Just Go With It is a mean, angry film, odd since it’s about romance, love, and kids. Maybe it’s those opening moments, a Jewish wedding where everyone is given hideous and obvious prosthetic noses while told to act goofy. Then, someone else is there to make of them, and the cycle repeats.

There’s endless series of these gags, some of them of the character’s own doing, like Kevin Nealon’s overdone botox. Others, with popped implants and misaligned eyebrows, just endlessly assault the viewer with cruel, heartless gags.

It’s odd too, because generally, director Dennis Dugan and Adam Sandler pairing up means a great time, unless of course we’re talking about Grown Ups. And we’re not. Mercifully not. They’re the duo behind Happy Gilmore, making this mess even more of a mystery.

Just Go With It never finds that groove. It tries everything, from cute kids to sexy swimsuit models to Nick Swardson, who well, he does something. Surely the film was green lit purely based on premise and not much else, letting this core comedic band of actors do their thing. Danny (Sandler) is a plastic surgeon who tricks women into believing his wife beats him, has died, or some other tactical lie in order to pick them up.

Cue “the one” entering his life, even though “the real one” has actually been working with him for years. You can probably see where this is headed already. The first “the one” is a smokin’ teacher played by swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, the “real one” is played by Jennifer Aniston. Danny, caught in his lies, ends up having to pull Aniston into the mix as his soon-to-be ex, and then come the kids, the contrivances, and Nicole Kidman’s painful, irritating overacting. It’s all just a mess, much like the character’s predicament.

Lest we forget one of those other recent Dugan hallmarks, utterly meaningless sequences like a hula dance between Aniston and Kidman that serves no purpose other than to shove another contrivance into the script. Oh, and Swardson’s fake backstory is that he sells sheep, so what happens in the middle of Hawaii when he just happens to be sitting there? Yeah, a sheep-related incident he needs to solve. It’s sort of like a sitcom when someone is trying to play a doctor and is suddenly thrust into a surgical procedure, only that might have been funnier here. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]

Dugan goes digital for this production, the Sony CineAlta F35, resulting in a clean, generally crisp image carrying with it minor faults that eat away at its bronzed exterior. For the most part, the mid-range is a relative lost cause, capturing enough definition and texture in terms of clothing or the fantastic jungle environments, while leaving faces unnaturally smoothed over. It’s a distracting sudden shift in the overall image quality when a face carries zero texture of any kind.

In close, this one performs better, facial detail kicking in with regularity, some heavy make-up on Aniston breaking up the fun. It’s so heavy during a dinner sequence you can literally see it cracking around her lips, so there’s your detail. Oddly, it performs well where distance is concerned too, the aerials of the Hawaiian Islands stunning in their beauty, all of those palm trees rendered with care.

That brings us around to color, the only complaint here being those occasionally amped up flesh tones. Not even the Hawaii sun could bronze someone like that, and it can get rough even before the trip into the ocean is made. The rest is certainly glossy and saturated, a deep richness running through the palette here to bring a real intensity to the images.

It’s aided by a vivid contrast, on occasion taking in a little too much sun, but otherwise nicely controlled. Black levels are much the same, if on the other spectrum. They lighten up for a few nighttime sequences, almost becoming extinct within those scenes, before regaining control of their own fate. Generally, they offer more than enough zip in the dark to prove satisfactory. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]

Just Go With It is flat out boring to listen too, and that’s not just the painful dialogue. Audio design here is simply dead before it can even get started. It’s an endless wait for something, anything to enter into the surrounds. The one moment where it succeeds, some generic jungle sounds at 56:33, is a complete shock to the system, or maybe a small notification that yes, everything is working properly.

Sure, there’s a mild surround bleed where it comes to music, and of course fidelity is sublime; it’s a modern Hollywood production. Listen to the kids restaurant where tons of the little ones are screaming, laughing, and at play. Nothing even exits the stereo channels let along adding some depth to the field. The grating hula performance later has an entire crowd sharing their applause, and none of it even tries to find the rears. It’s boring and center-focused except for the various music tracks. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Audio]

Just Go With It’s Blu-ray showcases a massive pet peeve, and it’s not the dual commentaries (one with Sandler/Swardson/filmmakers, the second with Dugan alone) that are totally unnecessary for a movie like this, but the endless barrage of short snippet featurettes. There’s a dozen of them, a fart joke played on set given its own behind-the-scenes piece, because that’s totally not appropriate for the blooper reel, right? Oh, and the spider gag played by the prop guy? Give that it’s own section too.

There’s almost nothing here worth watching aside from that blooper reel, a short hidden camera bit where Kevin Nealon walks around the city in full make-up (Adon Living Plastic), and , actually, that’s it. You can check out the deleted scenes if you want, but the three to five minutes it takes to work through each of those featurettes isn’t worth anyone’s time. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Extras]

4 thoughts on "Just Go With It Review"

  1. Damon says:

    a shame that this movie has been rated so low by so many. I found real
    enjoyment in this movie! To me, it was nice to see Adam Sandler using less
    insulting jokes. Of course, Jennifer Aniston was great and still looks amazing
    for her age. I look forward to seeing it again very soon! I am really excited
    because the Blockbuster
    Movie Pass
    that was released earlier this week will give customers a huge selection of
    DVDs like Just Go With It, along with TV shows and games by mail. Since it is
    being offered by DISH Network (who is also my employer), there are 20 channels
    that are included with the Movie
    Pass in addition to the
    thousands of movies and shows that you can stream to your TV or PC! Blockbuster
    also has many stores that you can exchange DVDs at and Blu-Rays are included! I
    think $10 is such a great price for all of this!

  2. Cameraman says:

    Hi, your review seems an odd mix of an actual film review coupled with an attempt at cinematic critique.

    As someone who works in the “biz,” I find your technical “review” a combination of finding out the name of the camera (Did you look at IMDB?  Those are user contributed, usually not by the crew; ashame you don’t subscribe to a real trade journal then you could learn what makes good imagery.  Starts with the lighting, filtration, chosen by the DP (that’s Director of Photography – not digital projection -digital anything for that matter.  Why do reviewers get a hard-*n for that word?)

    In other words, better just to leave it out.  Your calling out a camera for quality is as asinine as calling out a shade of lip gloss for a flubbed line, or a can of high speed film stock for a great scene lit, incidentally, by 10,000 double-wicked candles at Stanley Kubrick’s insistence!

    When writing a review, I was always taught that the author gets to observe a lot of interesting things, but should interest the READER with those things he chooses to share.

    You neither pass anything interesting along (other than the obnoxious fondness for non-film imagery that you “noticed” with an IMDB subscription), nor do you properly attribute the technical details to the proper sources when you DO choose to bash the reader over the head with them.

    Just as ASC magazine sticks with what their readership wants, technical information and imagery, you should stick with the target audience of a Blu-Ray site.  How does the Blu-Ray hold up to 35mm or DLP projection?

    Talking about digital cameras in a BLu-Ray review is as apropos as my pining for gel, filtration, and film stock Wally Pfister, ASC lensed Inception with. . . 

    1. Anonymous says:

      “… you should stick with the target audience of a Blu-Ray site. How does the Blu-Ray hold up to 35mm or DLP projection? How does the Blu-Ray hold up to 35mm or DLP projection?”

      Well, that’s the ultimate question. The problem is how do you know? How can you know what is a flub of the source, the digital intermediate, or the transfer process of the Blu-ray without seeing not only a proper theatrical presentation but the Blu-ray after? For instance, having seen Skyline on both (unfortunately), it carried the same look across both. Harry Potter: DH Part 2? It’s a radically different experience at home than in the theater. That’s an easy judgement.

      The target Blu-ray audience wants a combo of technicality and overall image quality. Part of that is the source, and part of that is the home conversion. How it was shot is just as important as the end product. It all factors into the home version. If a director/cinematographer wanted lens flares, blooming light sources, or filters, that becomes a necessary mention in the review.

      As for the camera mention, there is a difference. Early Red One features -for example- suffered from a very distinctive faded look. I could call it within the first 10 minutes of a movie. The more recent features with the Red have clearly evolved making such a distinction almost impossible. When you watch 300-400 movies a year, patterns do evolve, and not just from specific filmmakers/crew.

      I used to have a subscription to American Cinematographer and CineFX, both of which I let slide due to the cost as much as I enjoyed them. Information can be found at a variety of sources, not just IMDB, another reason I cut them out of the magazine list.

      I’ll also note that I have no fondness for digital. At all. I much prefer the look of film.

      1. Cameraman says:

        Unless a source of camera is unusual, there shouldn’t even be mention of it in an article!  The average viewer doesn’t care.

        I’d make a similar comment if someone wasted a paragraph talking about the Panavision Millenium, Cooke Glass, and Kodak Vision 3 5219.

        For better or for worse, digital origination has been so invasive in the field of comedy that it really doesn’t deserve mention, as say Star Wars would have in 2002.

        Also, making mention of technical details requires a knowledge of technical terminology.  It’s clear the author doesn’t understand the principles involved in capturing imagery to adequately inform an audience, even in a generally non-technical context.  The level of understanding I would say is so poor as to not even give credit where credit is due in terms of what is going on with the look of the film.  (How about naming the Cinematographer that, supposedly, ought to be the one choosing the camera for a movie?)

        Obviously, a reviewer needs to inform the audience of the article as to how the movie compares to the big scren.  They’re relying on his being there in the theatre because a lot of them didn’t bother going.  I guess a reviewer has more work now in that it is best to see the movie projected in a good film and good digital facility too.

        It seems more interest is taken in the article, with “sowing off” an ability to spot technical detail than to do the best job possible communicating the overall impact of the movie, on Blu-Ray, compared with the theatrical experience.  This article devotes as much time to trivia as to points of more profundity in the film, in the clip gallery, camera trivia, audio factoids, and mention of cast interviews in the audio section!  

        How did the movie sound?

        How did it look?

        And how did it make the author feel?  How is it likely to make Joe Q. Public feel having watched the movie, and is it ultimately worth his time to make an investment in the ownership of the movie for his home collection?

        ~Take care.

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