Big Stan

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Big Stan
Big Stan Poster.png
Promotional poster
Directed byRob Schneider
Written byJosh Lieb
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyVictor Hammer
Edited byRichard Halsey
Music byJohn Hunter
John Debney (themes)
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • November 5, 2007 (2007-11-05) (KBS Premiere Pictures Festival)
  • March 24, 2009 (2009-03-24) (United States)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$7.5 million
Box office$8.7 million[1]

Big Stan is a 2007 American prison comedy film starring, produced and directed by Rob Schneider in his directorial debut[2] with help from his company From Out of Nowhere Productions while the rest of the cast consisting of Jennifer Morrison, Scott Wilson, Henry Gibson, Richard Kind, Sally Kirkland, Jackson Rathbone, M. Emmet Walsh and David Carradine. It tells the story of a real estate con artist who gets sentenced to three years in prison and spends the six months before it getting trained to survive in prison by a martial arts guru. This film was Gibson's final role before his death in 2009.

Although released in some markets during the fall of 2008, it was released straight to DVD in the U.S. on March 24, 2009. It debuted at number 17 on the DVD rental charts of March 23–30, 2009.

Plot[edit]

Stan Minton (Rob Schneider) is a wealthy real estate con artist, married to Mindy (Jennifer Morrison). One day, he is found guilty of conning elderly people out of their savings. His lawyer Mal (Richard Kind) defends him at the trial. As Mal refuses to bribe Judge Perry (Richard Riehle), Stan hires corrupt lawyer Lew Popper (M. Emmet Walsh) as a replacement. Upon being found guilty by the forewoman (Sally Kirkland) who Lew slept with and sentenced to 3 years in prison, he's given 6 months by Judge Perry to get his affairs in order. Stan's fear of jailhouse rape strains his marriage to Mindy and leads him to hire the mysterious guru known as "The Master" (David Carradine) who helps transform him into a martial-arts expert.

During his incarceration, Stan befriends an elderly inmate named Larry who is serving a life sentence for murdering his partner. Stan also befriends a sympathetic prison guard named Bullard (Kevin Gage), and learns more about the cliques and gang activities formed inside the prison. He then uses his new-found skills to bring peace and harmony to the prison yard by intimidating his fellow inmates like Big Raymond (Bob Sapp) into preventing them from harming each other. With this, peace is restored in the prison and Stan gains their respect, eventually becoming their leader. However, the corrupt warden Gasque (Scott Wilson) has plans to force its closure with a riot, and sell off the property as valuable real estate. Stan helps him with the real estate aspects in exchange for early parole. However, his peacemaking efforts threaten the warden's plan for a riot and he is persuaded to bring back violence.

In a last minute attack of conscience, he deliberately blows the parole hearing to rush back and prevent the deaths of his fellow inmates only to discover that his message of peace has sunk in and the prisoners are dancing instead of fighting. Warden Gasque orders the guards to open fire on the dancing men. When they refuse, he grabs a gun in front of the Board of Governors and shoots wildly. Warden Gasque attempts to shoot Stan, but he is stopped by Mindy and the Master, who had snuck in. Stan was surprised that the Master had trained Mindy during his incarceration when he thought they were having an affair during an earlier phone call.

Three years later, Stan leaves the prison where Bullard had been sworn in as the new warden. Gasque becomes the new inmate following his arrest for his illegal activities as Big Raymond intimidates him to say goodbye to Stan. Lew is also an inmate after he had foreseen that he would be arrested for having slept with a member of the jury. Stan is met by his wife, his young daughter Mindy Jr., and the Master outside the prison. While the Master has become Mindy Jr.'s nanny, Stan is annoyed that he has been smoking near her.

Cast[edit]

Rob Schneider's mother Pilar cameos as one of the Board of Governors. Wes Takahashi, former animator and visual effects supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic, makes a cameo appearance as a bartender.[3]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 11% based on reviews from 9 critics (1 positive, 8 negative), with an average rating of 3.00/10.[4]

Julie Rigg of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was highly critical of the rape-based humor, and concluded " I wasted two valuable hours of my life on Big Stan—don't make the same mistake."[5] Writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, Paul Byrnes asked "If there's been a clumsier, dumber, more casually put together collection of badly timed gags, racial stereotypes and lazy performances this year, I have yet to see it...How could [Schneider] be in so many movies over a 20-year career and learn so little about making a movie?"[6] Brian Orndorf of DVDTalk.com called it "a forgettable, unfunny waste of time". He criticized the "unrelenting" repetition of rape jokes, but believed that Schneider acted the character's fear of rape convincingly.[7]

MovieHole rated it 3.5 out of 5 and called it Schneider's best film since The Hot Chick.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Stan". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (18 May 2007). "MGM is big on Sky's 'Big Stan'". Variety.
  3. ^ "Subject: Wes Ford Takahashi". Animators' Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Big Stan (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  5. ^ Rigg, Julie (November 27, 2008). "Big Stan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  6. ^ Byrne, Paul (November 29, 2008). "Big Stan". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  7. ^ Brian Orndorf. "Big Stan". DVD Talk.
  8. ^ Clint, Caffeinated (6 November 2008). "Big Stan". Moviehole.net.[dead link]

External links[edit]