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Anger Management

Seen: 2003.04.21   ¶   Reviewed: 2003.05.12

Proof that, when not directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Adam Sandler pictures are assembled from modules: The expressionless Jewish hero module, the interchangeable improbably beautiful girlfriend module, the eccentric old fart module, the proposal of marriage at a baseball game module, the kooky plot device module. (In this case, that last takes the form of breaking into a Broadway show tune.)

I’m not even willing to vouchsafe that the concept of the film works: Wrongful arrest and conviction are not intrinsically funny, and are especially not funny to me, given that I can say hello to someone and be accused of being sarcastic. The in-flight sequence in which a controlled and calm expressionless Jewish hero is accused of acting in anger is, frankly, too plausible to be funny.

I suppose we’re supposed to let the gay stereotype (not to mention the blind stereotype) slide because two obviously straight actors elsewhere play fags. Even that was a joke: “Sam, I think you need a massage.”

I don’t even want to talk about the substance of this movie. What’s almost as shocking is the free ride Roger Ebert gave it. Suddenly the smartest film critic in the English language (much more than Lane) equates Anger Management with Punch-Drunk Love?

Falling Down this ain’t.

And best of all, you’ve never heard a higher-fi rendition of “My Sharona” than in the (uncaptioned) trailer for Charlie’s Ankles II. The last time I enjoyed that sort of high-quality pop-music rendition was “Jessie’s Girl” in Boogie Nights.

A new kind of worst-case scenario

You couldn’t possibly imagine what happened when we tried to see this travesty of a picture the first time. “You needed two tries?” you ask.

Why, yes.

Arriving at Yonge & Eg on 2003.04.16, we were handed tickets to Cinema 1. That’s odd, I specifically remember thinking. Never been in there before. (Yonge & Eg has four hardwired auditoriums and two sets of display/emitter pairs.) Looking back through my ticket stubs, I find we watched accessible films in Cinemas 2 and 6 (3 and 8 are the others) – in any event, not 1.

We walk in and I say “Do you see a display up there?” We don’t. Not the sort of thing you can miss. I walk right up to the back of the stairs. Nope. A bare wall.

We return to Guest Services and explain this. The manager on duty is overwhelmed that a serious problem happened on his watch. He usually takes care of the concession stand, you see. He starts to walk off to check. I stop him, telling him this is not the sort of thing one can miss. (Didn’t I just say that?)

He does, however, retrieve his stack of movie listings from the various papers. We checked: None of them even implied that this evening’s showings were not accessible. (The petit fonctionnaire down at the Paramount would have been satisfied, I’m sure.)

He apologetically refunds Mr. Y’s money and hands all of us two free passes (that is, three each for Mssrs. X and Y, since I have a pass already).


We gave it another go at the Paramount. No problem, and a relatively pleasant task to get the gear tonight: Asked for ID (one ID), which was handed back. The manager knew me as a “regular.”

Caption quality

Can get old after awhile; It’s been awhile: That’s two words.

Depicting quote-unquote, "angry sex": For heaven’s sake! Don’t write articulated punctuation in words! Depicting "angry sex" is obviously the correct rendering.

Further demonstrating the inexperience and poor literacy of tonight’s captioners was the telltale oh-so error: ♪ I feel charming, oh, so charming ♪ is of course oh-so-charming.

The unpleasant and always-ill-handled combined caption was flubbed:

-♪ (that is, dash-staffnote)
(that is, no dash–staffnote)

Who was great in "Police Woman" – but CHiPs without quotation marks earlier.

Excuse me. (clears throat) was presented on a single line.

Go Yankees! actually needs a comma. Vocative, remember?

Description quality

Mr. X, seated alongside, claimed he could hear the descriptions through my headset. And he’s mostly deaf!

We will return to this phenomenon in due course.

“The thick-jawed cross-dresser puckers his lips, adjusts his breasts, and gets in.” “Lying face-down, Arnie pulls the thong from his buttcrack.” Nice.

The “SUV” is a Range Rover, as we are later told.

“As Buddy takes a seat beside him, a hot blond(e) walks by.” Really? Like, I dunno, Jake Busey or Dexter Holland?

“Now, at a train station”: It’s a subway station.



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