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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Film Review - Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories (PG)

Dir. Adam Shankman

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

2008 ends with a bang as the year’s most all round family pleasing fantasy effort rocks up to cinemas making far fetched children’s bedtime stories come to life.
In a brave move by Disney they have teamed up comedy goofball Adam Sandler with Brit shock comedian Russell Brand for their big Christmas movie. It might sound like a recipe for disaster but against all odds Bedtime Stories really works and director Adam ‘Cheaper By The Dozen 2’ Shankman manages to somewhat redeem his previous crimes against cinema with this genuinely good fun romp. So we have Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) the immature but hardworking handyman at a swanky hotel that used to be run by his dad. Due to a twist of fate he is saddled with looking after his niece Bobbi and nephew Patrick (Laura Ann Kesling and Jonathan Morgan Heit) and all sorts of fun ensues when the crazy bedtime stories he tells them begin to come true in real life.Sure there is a predictable romantic subplot and lots of the comedy moments are telegraphed miles in advance but Sandler goes about his slapstick role with gusto and real heart. Russell Brand is surprisingly good as Mickey – Bronson’s best pal who also works at the hotel and suffers from a comedic sleep panic disorder but even he is upstaged by a goggle eyed guinea pig named Bugsy.
Bedtime Stories makes good use of it’s ‘anything can happen and you’re only limited by your imagination’ idea taking fantasy spins through the Wild West, a medieval castle and a messy outer space showdown. The kids are suitably adorable, the supporting cast are effective, especially Keri Russell as Jill ‘the love interest’ and the lovely Teresa Palmer as the spoilt babe daughter of the hotel owner Violet Nottingham. Of course there are baddies on offer in the form of underhand work rival Kendall (Guy Pearce) and his devious sidekick Aspen (Lucy Lawless). There are some lovely throw away touches such as a bright red Ferrari horse and Russell popping up as mermaid but pick of the bunch is Band’s robot alter ego – he could be C3PO’s long lost brother!
Hardened sceptics and Sandler haters might balk at such a machine tooled Disney feel good production but when it is done this well, there really isn’t any reason not to enjoy some fantasy kids dream wish fulfillment.

Happy Christmas!
Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)

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