Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie review

Say no to '8 Crazy Nights'

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Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published December 2, 2002

Movie: 8 Crazy Nights

Rating: PG-13

Summary: In this animated feature, Davey Stone (voice of Adam Sandler) is the resident troublemaker in a sleepy mountain town. After his parents died when he was just 12, he went from being a nice, well-mannered kid to a rude, ignorant misfit. He has gotten into trouble with the law many times, and he is almost sentenced to 10 years in prison during a trial for his most recent infractions. Instead, thanks to an old, small, kindhearted man named Whitey Duvall, the judge decides to give him one last chance by making him the assistant referee in the local kids' basketball league. But, Davey doesn't jell with the old-fashioned, polite ways of Whitey and his twin sister, Eleanore. After hurting the only people who care about him, he finally realizes it's time to change his ways once and for all.

My view: I am a tried and true Adam Sandler fan. Through the thick and thin, the ups and the downs, no matter how bad the movie, I have remained an Adam Sandler fan. But, this movie makes me question my loyalty to him. This was such a completely awful film! The humor was so rude, it was almost embarrassing. Don't let the innocent sounding title of 8 Crazy Nights fool you into thinking that this is a cutesy little Hanukkah story. This Scrooge-like story has a ridiculously profane script, and it blurs the edge between a PG-13 and an R rating. The only remotely redeeming thing in this movie is his latest installment of The Hanukkah Song, played at the very end, but you can hear that on the radio. This movie left a really rotten taste in my mouth.

Recommendations: The audience this movie wants to target is still not clear to me, so my best advice goes out to everyone: Stay away!

Grade: Maybe a worthwhile animated feature will work for you someday, but sorry, Adam, not this time -- F.

-- Billy Norris, 15, is in the ninth grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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