Anger Management teams up Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, that being enough reason alone to watch. In typical Sandler movie fashion, this is a goofy, dumb comedy, though lacking the typical laugh quota his films usually provide. In fact, had it not been for Nicholson, there wouldn’t be anything at all to this one.
Sandler plays Dave Buznik, a typical office worker who is routinely calm and collected. When an airline fight goes awry and he’s accused of assaulting a stewardess, he’s sentenced to anger management therapy, which happens to be headed by Nicholson’s Dr. Buddy Rydell.
That set up seems easy enough in words, but the actual film set up is fairly unbelievable. The problem with the story is that while it tries to be based in reality, none of it ever makes sense due to a twist ending. Sure, it’s a simple Sandler comedy, but it doesn’t present itself like one initially. It pulls you out of the film. The so called “twist” isn’t used as a plot device because it would destroy the film inserted anywhere other than the end.
If the laughs were more common, maybe that wouldn’t matter. Sandler is mostly composed for much of the film, leaving many of his usual entertaining antics on the wayside. Instead, it’s Nicholson carrying the weight of the laughs. He’s aided by a few cameos, including Woody Harrelson reaching a new low point for the sake of the film’s funniest moment. John C. Reilly also has a part as a monk, also garnering some laughs.
Anger Management feels like a movie created to make the lives of the marketing team as easy as possible. Slap these two on a poster and you have instant success. The countless moments of product placement cheapen the film further. It’s not a terrible movie by any stretch, just one that doesn’t reach its full potential. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Movie]
Muted and flat are the first things to come to mind when viewing this transfer. Sadly, it stays that way throughout. Colors are diluted and dull. Black levels are mediocre at best, failing to create convincing depth. Edge enhancement is visible sporadically throughout, and near total lack of facial detail is a sure sign of some light DNR. The print has a surprising number of specks and scratches on it, far more than it should for a film this new. It’s not the worst transfer you’ll ever see, but it certainly is disappointing considering the age. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Video]
A TrueHD mix offers little to discuss given the film’s nature. There is some minor ambiance, and some noticeable stereo work. A car crashing off a roof delivers a nice low end punch while shattered glass pours into the rears. The finale inside Yankee stadium also delivers in terms of immersion, with a loud New York crowd entering every channel. The soundtrack also bleeds nicely while lighting up the subwoofer. It’s standard comedy audio. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Audio]
Extras begin with a Sandler/Peter Segal commentary. Why Nicholson didn’t join in is anyone’s guess. Two featurettes last just a hair over 22 minutes, providing basic details on the film’s conception and filming. Four deleted scenes go for ten minutes, with the first one at a candy stand offering laughs. A short gag reel is also enjoyable as these things usually are. A couple of trailers are included too if that’s your thing. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Extras]