|Friday, November 6, 1998||
Volume 64, Issue 54
Manson's Freak Show
cute, but donit rush to the theater
By Jason Caesar Consolacion
After the success of Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler's new film, The Waterboy, which opens in theaters today, has become one of the most anticipated comedies of the year.
Teaming up again with director Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer), Sandler pulls off another hilarious performance despite a silly plot and less-than-satisfactory direction. But neither of those is anything new for an Adam Sandler flick.
The Waterboy also stars Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates (Misery, Titanic) as Sandler's overprotective mama, Fairuza Balk (The Craft) as Sandler's love interest and Henry Winkler, better known as "The Fonz" from the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, as Sandler's mentor.
Adam Sandler (right) stars as Bobby Boucher, a socially inept 31-year-old who becomes a star football player when his coach, Henry Winkler, convinces him to fight back against the jocks who make his life miserable.
Cameos include NFL head coaches Jimmy Johnson (Miami Dolphins) and Bill Cower (Pittsburgh Steelers), as well as ESPN's Dan Patrick.
In The Waterboy, Sandler plays Bobby Boucher, a 31-year-old waterboy for the University of Louisiana football team. After being fired for basically being a dumbass, he comes home to his mama.
After taking a waterboy job at a college closer to home, coach Klein (Winkler) discovers Bobby's extraordinary niche for tackling people. Desperate to turn around a four-year losing streak, Klein signs Bobby to the team.
Mama forbids her son to play football, so Bobby is forced to keep it a secret. He is also feuding with mama because heis in love with his high school sweetheart, Vicki Vallencourt (Balk). According to Mama, "Girls are the devil!"
Above all this, Bobby has to deal with with going back to school, fitting in and gaining friends despite his low IQ and "redneck" ways.
It's a cute film that features every Sandler trick to make you laugh. Is it worth shelling out the $4.50 student discount price? Nope.
Just like every other Sandler movie, you don't need the wide screen
and digital surround sound to get the full effect of The Waterboy.
Wait for the video.
Reach Consolacion atRapper-laden Belly flops due to bad casting
By Tera Roberson
For his big screen writer/directorial debut, Hype Williams relied on his core of rap and R&B artists. But unfortunately, they didnit deliver the strong performances seen time and time again in their music videos.
Belly features DMX, Nas, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Taral Hicks and Method Man, but for Williams, this cast is just bad judgment.
Williams' method of using hip-hop recording artists to attract a young, hip, urban audience backfires because -- well, basically, theyire not worthy of the roles. Big names will bring in the crowds, but talent will keep them interested.
Going in, the audience knows these people can sell records, but the question at hand is their acting capabilities. Why do rappers or singers automatically think their skills translate over to acting? About 30 minutes into the film, it became clear they were incapable.
The only actor-rapper who was nearly convincing was Method Man, but the problem was that he was in a limited supporting role.
DMX, the star of the show, has been compared lyrically to 2-Pac, but DMX as an actor isnit even worthy of that comparison.
The story being told in Belly is such a familiar one: Two friends grow up in a life of crime, one decides to go straight and the other decides that he is in "the life" for life -- just like characters in movies like Boyz in the Hood, Menace II Society and Jason's Lyric.
The difference between Belly and those movies, of course, is the flimsy cast.
Tommy and Sincere grew up together. Sincere, a family man and father, decides their latest crime spree has netted him enough money to get out of the game, and devote his life to his wife (T-Boz) and thier child.
For Tommy, the more he gets, the more he wants, and he doesn't care who he has to cross to get it. Tommy is the type of hustler who would sell his mother if the profit was good enough.
Although dated in 1999, Belly gets a bit lost. The movie is supposed to serve as a wake-up call to young black men and their future as the millennium approaches, but many of them may walk away wanting to be like Tommy and Sincere.
To Williams' credit, Belly is a beautiful piece of cinematography, and it featuring good music, especially the a capella version of Soul II Soul's 1989 hit "Back to Life." But the fact remains that the movie truly does lack substance.
Maybe the film would have been better had Williams used real actors rather than people who look good on the screen. A bad script can be forgiven if actors are believable, but in this case, they aren't.
The adage "write about what you know" is arguably to Williamsi detriment. In the end, Belly is filled with fancy cars, dirty money, name-brand gear, scandalous women, sex, weed and profanity.
Isnit there already enough of that in rap music?
Reach Roberson at