Entertainment

Jennifer Anniston And Adam Sandler – There’s A Murder And A Mystery But No One Is Laughing

The recently released Netflix film Murder Mystery, which stars Jennifer Anniston and Adam Sandler, has all the makings of a summer blockbuster with its stylized settings, beautiful production value, a cast of outstanding actors and an okay script. However, the mediocre dialogue mixed with some misplaced juvenile camp and gratuitous scenes, as well as an absence of plot twists will disappoint viewers who have awaited a reuniting between the two stars.

Murder Mystery is the story of a blue-collar couple, Nick (Sandler) and Audrey (Anniston) Spitz, a beat cop, and a hair stylist, who are on their long overdue honeymoon. After a chance encounter on their flight to Europe, they are invited by a lord/viscount (Luke Evans) to join him and his family on a yacht cruise. Once there, they encounter a multi-billionaire uncle (Terrence Stamp), a maharaji (Adeel Akhtar) a movie star (Gemma Arterton), a Formula One driver (Luis Gerardo Méndez), a Colonel (John Kani) and a few others.

The scene is set, and what starts out to be the common snide jeering and derisive comments often found at family gatherings, turns into a “murder mystery” when the lights go out and the old uncle, who was about to sign his fortune over to his young bride (Shioli Kutsuna), is murdered.

The Spitzes, the only Americans and the ones without motive, become the suspects. The couple goes on the lam, until they can figure out who actually killed the old uncle. There are domino bookcases, a walk on a ledge and a street and car chase, all which lack edge-of-your-seat tension.

Creators, James Vanderbilt and Kyle Newacheck might have taken a cue from the film Date Night, which was also about a married couple, who find themselves in the middle of criminal intrigue. The film would have bombed were it not for Tina Fey’s and Steve Carrell’s quirky chemistry, physical comedy, dry humor and of course Mark Wahlberg’s shirtless portrayal of Holbrooke.

While the actors of Murder Mystery do their best to deliver the lackluster scenes, and even though Sandler sports a moustache a la William Powell and Dashiell Hammett, Vanderbilt’s and Newacheck’s creation just doesn’t have the originality, pizazz, not even a McGuffin like some of the memorable comedic mystery classics that came before it: Foul Play (Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase), Charade (Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn), and any Dashiell Hammett movie with the Nick and Nora Charles characters (William Powell and Myrna Loy).

 

 

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Brendan Fraser As Gunther On The Affair Is Breakout Role

While there are all kinds of rumors flying around about Brendan Fraser being cast in Showtime’s, The Affair, the truth is the character he plays, prison guard, John Gunther is a break out role; and it confirms that he is a versatile and skillful actor.  Gunther, as he’s known on the show, is nothing like the iconic heroes that Fraser has always portrayed. He is a creepy, unlikeable bully.

The low, guttural, uneducated sounding voice that Fraser uses for the character is disturbing, and an unexpected departure from the lilting charm and deliberate humor of characters like George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right.

Fraser may be uncomfortable playing such a monster, but it’s actually refreshing to see him take on such a despicable character. This is not a low point in his career. This is Brendan Fraser maturing as an actor. He has played those loveable goofballs so well for so long.

However, by the interview that he did on AOL, it would seem that he’s having trouble adjusting to the changes in his life and in the entertainment world. While pain and adversity in any form can be debilitating, it’s actually a chance for growth. Fraser should embrace the journey he is on, as it has made him a better actor. Whether he’s heartbroken over his divorce or because he’s not the blockbuster sensation he once was, he should remember that making good art isn’t primarily about being the leading man. And, it doesn’t always have to be on the big screen.

Show business and technology are evolving. If Fraser doesn’t progress with it, he will get left behind. Lots of film stars are now appearing in series on cable channels. Anthony Hopkins is on Westworld (HBO), and Luke Wilson in Roadies (Showtime), and Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are in an upcoming miniseries called Big Little Lies (HBO).

As for playing John Gunther, some of the best actors have performed in supporting roles, and it has eventually led them to the top. If Fraser plays his cards right, and chooses future parts wisely, his appearance on The Affair could be his road back to a more fulfilling career.