EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS
Review by Gordon Justesen
Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon
Director: Seth Kearsley
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Full Screen 1.33:1
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 76 Minutes
Release Date: November 4, 2003
is the Festival of Lights. One day of presents--hell no--we get eight craaazy
Adam Sandler has
become one of the top successful comedy stars of his generation. In fact, he's
probably the biggest next to Jim Carrey. The likes of Sandler venturing into the
foray of the animated movie might seem likely to induce some head scratching.
However, all you have to remember is that both Sandler and his humor are, in a
weird way, animated.
Crazy Nights is not the sort
of holiday movie fare you should compare with the likes of A
Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful
Life. It engages the spirit of the holidays very much, but it also happens
to be one to include large doses of crude humor, all of which is funny. This
ranks it more in the league of Bill Murray's Scrooged and especially Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation, which remains of my all time favorite holiday
The story tells of
the celebration of Chanukah in the quiet little town of Dukesberry. Chanukah is
indeed a special time of the year, but it is intensely despised by Davey Stone
(voiced by Sandler). Davey is, as described by the story's narrator (Rob
Schneider) as "a 33 year old crazy Jewish guy", and has had a long
history of performing embarrassing numbers in public during the season, which is
mostly due to drunkenness.
Upon Davey's latest
offense, the judge is ready to send him to jail, but at the request of the
elderly and kindly Whitey Duvall (also voiced by Sandler), Davey's punishment is
reduced to community service work, which is refereeing children's basketball
games at the local church. Davey, of course, isn't too thrilled about his
current disposition and continues to remain a cruel and offending individual.
Whitey, a long time
pillar of the community, feels obligated to make Davey change his ways. When
Davey comes home one night to find his trailer on fire, Whitey welcomes him to
his home, where he and his twin sister, Eleanore (also voiced by Sandler, and
one that you simply have to hear) have lived almost all their lives. Needless to
say, Davey makes their lives a living hell in an instant.
The movie also
happens to include some seriously funny musical numbers. The funniest of which
is the song "Technical Foul", a song where Whitey lays down the rules
of the house to Davey, where the breaking of any of the set rules considered as
such. And a song towards the end of
the film titled simply, "Bum Biddy" is likely to have you in stitches.
The songs have a way sneaking their funny bits up on you, even if the film hits
a sentimental moment, which is much appreciated.
Crazy Nights is an
unapologetic crudely funny holiday animated tale, which also happens to be
terrifically animated. It's unsure whether Sandler will try out future animation
projects, but for the moment this one remains a memorable holiday time entry.
Many of us,
including myself, have recently gotten use to enjoying the thrill of watching
computer animated films on DVD, such as the joyous Finding Nemo, but Columbia Tri Star's transfer of this traditionally
drawn animated feature reminds us that the old fashioned way can look pretty
darn good, too. The anamorphic presentation (a full screen version is also
included) is virtually and outstandingly flawless, with arrays of beautiful
colorizations and image detail. CTS, to the best of my knowledge, haven't really
had a big animated release in theaters or on DVD, so for that, the DVD handling
of Eight Crazy Nights is delightful
first on their part.
outstanding listen! This 5.1 track gets its primary audio juice from two
specific areas; the assorted physical comedy and the hilarious musical numbers.
But in just about every single moment of the presentation, the range seems to be
strongly split up among the channels, providing some very wonderful sound
quality. A most terrific job from CTS.
Columbia Tri Star
has delivered the double disc goods with this nicely feature-packed release.
Disc one includes
two commentary tracks; one with screenwriter Allen Covert and the characters
Whitey and Eleanore (a hugely funny listen), and one with Adam Sandler director
Seth Kearsley. Also featured on Disc One is a music video for "The Chanukah
Song Part 3", a short film titled "A Day with Meatball", an Eight
Crazy Nights TV spot for the NBA, and a trailer gallery.
Disc Two contains
an endless assortment of goodies located in an interactive map of Dukesberry.
Among them you will find an HBO making of special, nine featurettes focusing on
individual characters and their creation, a multi angle animation progression,
and some deleted scenes with optional commentary.
Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights is clearly no Punch-Drunk
Love, it is a wildly funny and engaging animated comedy that, for my money,
is a welcome entry into the holiday movie season line-up.