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Davey Stone (voice of Adam Sandler) is a guy down on his luck. After getting drunk at a local Chinese restaurant in his home town of Dukesberry, he goes on a rampage which sees him before the judge. Threatened with jail time, Stone’s skin is saved by Whitey Duvall (also Adam Sandler), the 70 year old stalwart of the local basketball league – a league in which Davey was once a star. Whitey convinces the judge to allow him to train Davey as a referee for the league. For Davey, this could be his last and best chance – or he could just as easily blow it all.

Review by David Edwards:

Ah, the holidays – friends, family, food and a feel-good movie. Well, not if Adam Sandler has anything to do with it. Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights is an animated feature; but it’s certainly not for kids. It’s set in a snow-covered small town during Christmas; but it’s not even in the same ballpark as It’s a Wonderful Life. In fact, this film can’t seem to make up its mind what it wants to be. Starting out, it feels a little like one of those Disney made-for-TV movies. Hell, the characters even burst spontaneously into song. But it takes only a few minutes for Sandler’s trademark gutter “humour” to kick in. From there, it slides downhill faster than a fat man on a sleigh. The “Eight Crazy Nights” of the title refers to the Jewish festival of Chanukah, which coincides with Christmas.

But precisely what Sandler and director Seth Kearsley are trying to achieve with this mess of a movie is anyone’s guess. And what’s with the product placement? It even reaches the stage where a bunch of corporate logos sing Davey a song! Of course, being a Christmas movie, there has to be a redeeming message in there somewhere; but when this movie finally delivers it, it feels so cheap and contrived, you’ll be reaching for the bucket, not the tissues. If there is a redeeming feature to this movie, it’s that it’s only 75 minutes long. Unfortunately, that’s allowed a short film to screen with it – a live action short featuring Sandler’s dog Meatball (says it all really). The only real achievement that a movie as puerile and moronic as Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights can claim is that it risks giving both Christmas movies and animation a bad name.

Special Features reviewed by Louise Keller:
The DVD for this animated Adam Sandler film delivers plenty of special features that are arguably better than the film. But that’s for you to decide. In the cast audio commentary, writer Alan Covert shares the microphone with Sandler in character as Whitey and Eleanore. This will appeal to those who like a bit of improv, and while some is funny, you really gotta be a fan. For my money, the technical commentary is far more interesting with a conversation between director Seth Kearsley, art director, head of animation, executive producer etc, who give a real insight into the making of the film. We get a glimpse of the complexities involved in making such an animation film, which was made not only in Los Angeles, but also in Canada, Denmark and Arizona. There are a string of deleted scenes including an alternative opening and an in depth behind the scenes featurette on the making of the film.

A day with the meatball is a live action short film that begins with Adam Sandler in bed with Bulldog Meatball. He gets up (the dog, not Sandler), goes to school, trains in the boxing ring, has his hair clipped, on the beach and at mealtime. The idea is probably funnier than the execution and I felt rather sorry for poor ol’ Meatball.

Published December 18, 2003

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VOICES: Adam Sandler, Jackie Titone, Austin Stout, Tyra Banks

DIRECTOR: Seth Kearsley

SCRIPT: Brooks Arthur, Allen Covert, Brad Isaacs, Adam Sandler (Story)

RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen 1.85:/16:9 enhanced

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by Adam Sandler, writer/producer Allen Covert; commentary by director Seth Kearsley; deleted scenes; behind the scenes; ‘a Day With Meatball’ short film; music video

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: November 19, 2003

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