Throughout the recorded documents of both religious and legitimate historians alike, there are tales told of devastating plagues that wiped out great portions of the human race on a seemingly-regular basis. Likewise, our contemporary society is besieged on a periodic schedule by a similar evil — a modern equivalent of viral and organic disasters: something which the history books that follow us shall refer to as “Adam Sandler movies.” Indeed, it seems like a new one rolls off the assembly line every couple of months — each one just as bad (if not worse) than the last, each one as deadly or as incurable as their ancestral diseases and epidemics of the past.
For That’s My Boy, Sandler stars as a complete loser named Donny Berger — who became one of those many unwanted reality celebrities our airwaves are contaminated with (like a plague) when he was 14-years-old, wherein he succeeded in knocking up a 22-year-old teacher. Twenty-eight years later, his estranged son (Andy Samberg), the coyly-named Han Solo Berger, has convinced his friends and colleagues that his parents died in an explosion when he was a boy — in reality, he is as ashamed as of his actual father as one is to admit to having willingly gone to the cinema to see That’s My Boy.
Owing the IRS a significant amount of back-taxes and near a point of destitution, Donny agrees to a TV-reunion with his alienated son and the still-imprisoned woman who gave birth to the poor kid. Meanwhile, the average viewer of That’s My Boy has managed to enter a crap-induced coma, in which even the most uninteresting shapeless smudge you at long last noticed on the ceiling has significantly more meaning and depth than any of the irksome sights and sounds That’s My Boy has to offer.
The jokes are as predictable as the outcome of an episode of Family Feud. They’re also just as tired. The main performers (the aforementioned pairing of Sandler and Samberg, along with dreadful contributions by Ciara, Will Forte, et al) eke out a barely-recognizable facsimile of an artistic existence throughout — earning more levels of loathing from the audience than most people ever thought imaginable — while parts played by the most venerable of once-respected (or at least amusing for all the wrong reasons) celebrities — such as Susan Sarandon, Tony Orlando, James Caan, Vanilla Ice, and Alan Thicke — are as pitiable as the poor souls who died from the dreaded Black Death way back in 14th century Europe.
Hmm. Wait a sec. Adam Sandler. Andy Samberg. They both have four letters in their first name, seven in the last, and each begin with the same letters. Perhaps I have been hypercritical in my thinking religious history was not as serious as the more “justifiable” annals of time — since it’s very evident even from the trailer of That’s My Boy that this film is of the Devil.
Speaking of this film’s trailer, it’s nowhere to be found on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray release of That’s My Boy. Instead, the selection of special features here — all of which are just as mediocre as its parental feature — include a gag reel (sigh); a couple of deleted scenes [insert witty “whole movie should have been cut” remark here]; and featurettes about the making-of this ode to obnoxiousness, the most interesting of which centers on cameo appearances in the film, as played by stars (past and present) who are just aching to prove they still have it.
It’s rather ironic that a moving picture as awful as That’s My Boy would boast one of the better Blu-ray transfers of recent, but it’s an unfortunate truth nevertheless. The 1080p video presentation is a dazzling one — as crisp, immaculate, and well-detailed as can be. A DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack accompanies — and brings out all of the dreadful aural effects this film throws at you beautifully. Put simply: the A/V aspect of That’s My Boy is near-perfect — which is quite contrary to the quality of the movie itself, which is about as close to wrong as can be.
Avoid it, people. Like the plague.