Monday, March 16, 2015

The Cobbler
Released March 13, 2015 (Limited)
1 hr 39 mins
Rated PG-13
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy


Director: Thomas McCarthy
Writers: Thomas mcCarthy, Paul Sado

Adam Sandler as Max Simkin
Dan Stevens
Dustin Hoffman as Abraham Simkin
Steve Buscemi as Jimmy
Melonie Diaz as Carmen Herrara
Ellen Barkin as Elaine Greenawalt
Clifford "Method Man" Smith as Ludlow
Sondra James as Anna Stevens
Dascha Polanco as Macy
Lynn Cohen as Mrs. Simkin

Review by Stephen M.

The Cobbler despite its many celebrities fails miserably in entertaining with a confusing plodding plot.  Adam Sandler is at his best when he is played by others, in this typical role swapping movie.  Adam Sandler plays Max, a rather disinterested long line of cobblers, or shoe repairmen.  His life changes one day when he uses his father's old stitcher that when the shoe is repaired with it and worn by another person, the wearer of the shoes take on the appearance of the owner of the shoes.  Magical Jewish Cobblers, as bizarre and interesting as that may sound, opens the door to too many questions that even the filmmaker may seem at a loss to explain.

The surprisingly best performance comes from Method Man as we see both the thug and softer side of him as Adam's character.  Aside from him, the rest of the supporting cast is quite unmemorable including the great Dustin Hoffman and Sam Buscemi.  The film is not without its moments of good humor, especially when Adam is first discovering his new found gift.  The glee from his new toy quickly becomes old as does the predictable jokes.

As you would expect there are jokes as far as "sole" searching, but the biggest problem is the many directions the movie takes you without really tidying up the plot.  An example is what happened to Method Man's character at his meeting with Max in his apartment.  It's implied what happened but never really gone into detail.  Another example is Dan Stevens's character's lifestyle that is touched upon but with no conclusion.  As well the ending sting by Max is as well more confusing than clever and never really explained well as well.  And the ending... well, that just opens more cans of worms.

Overall, I would recommend waiting for this one on Netflix.  It is a limited release in the US currently.  Given the number of people in the theater for the matinee viewing I attended, it doesn't appear that it will last very long in theaters.  As much as I would have love to like Adam Sandler's movie because I still remember his great films like Happy Gilmore, Water and 50 First Dates, I cannot remember a recent movie of his that just wows me.  The Cobbler is far from a wow.  Growing up in the Lower East Side, where many of the scenes are filmed especially on Essex Street.  Seeing where the neighborhood and Chinatown featured in the film which was predominantly Jewish is the only other joy I get from watching the film.


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