A few not-so-shocking giveaways about this week’s new movie releases, including Justice League and Frank Serpico
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
Wasn’t it Chekhov who said, “If a character named ‘Dick’ appears in the first act of an Adam Sandler vehicle, there must be a dozen penis joke in the second?” Blended starts in a Hooters toilet and never quite recovers. After a disastrous first date, a divorcee (Drew Barrymore) and a widower (Sandler) are forced to “blend” families for a deluxe African vacation. Maudlinly sentimental even by Jerry Lewis’ standards, there are countless embarrassingly unintentional laughs to be found, particularly those involving one of Sandler’s daughters, who insists that her dead mother is as real as a six-foot imaginary rabbit named Harvey. Screenwriters Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera’s depiction of pop-eyed, subservient natives indicates their knowledge of African culture was fashioned after watching old Tarzan pictures. Once again Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates) is assigned the unenviable task of calling “Action!” “Cut!” and “Anything you say, mealticket!” 2014.