Daylight Preview

Jacked in and jacked up, Rich and Poe zoom about cyberspace looking for the FangTime2000 virus. Soon a group of lawnmower men come into view and Rich and Poe use their cyberlasers to take them out, with a little kungfu to boot. As they get the final lawnmower man into a devastating headlock Gruber zooms into view, “Rich and Poe, my my, aren’t we the clever ones. Figure out my plan and stop the lawnmower men, all without getting killed… until now.” He’s got a gun! Could this be the end, could Gruber actually win? “Gruber, there’s always one thing you underestimate about us,” Rich says as Gruber sneers at him. Poe nods back at Rich, “the power of friendship.” Gruber laughs at the absurdity of friendship in the face of his gun. But suddenly a beam of light bursts from his chest. As his body is sucked of life it’s revealed that Brock, Bryce, and Blaze have unleashed the virus on him. They all come together for a big bro-hug and freeze frame on their smiling faces. THE END.

Jamie finishes the script with tears in his eyes. It’s his magnum opus… a true piece of shit. Patrick enters the room, “well, I have to hand it to you. That script is real bad. And I asked the studio whether they would agree to our terms and they said yes. There is no way that this film is anything but a disaster.” Jamie is surprised, “They agreed to our terms?… all of them?” and Patrick nods. The film will be released at midnight, January 1st playing as a required 6-hour double feature with the Sly Stallone classic Daylight. “Huh,” says Jamie. He’s starting to get a bad feeling about this. That’s right! We’re transitioning to the next cycle in the year which is the hotly anticipated Bring A Friend cycle. This year we’ve decided to highlight some of the major stars in Hollywood and their… less successful siblings. So starting it off with Sly Stallone in Daylight (also featuring Renoly Santiago aka Phreak from Hackers) paired with The Roller Blade Seven starring his brother Frank. This friend is actually a film I’ve been aware of since my grad school days, but only now pulled the trigger on getting it. Hope it lives up to the hype. Let’s go!

Daylight (1996) – BMeTric: 35.7 

DaylightIMDb_BMeT

DaylightIMDb_RV

(Rather interesting how much is has regressed over the years. Seemed to stick to a low 5’s value for a few years there, and now it is almost 6.0. If it ever hits that it’ll look like a genuine good movie! That’s be weird.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Good old-fashioned disaster movie, built on a formulaic foundation. Stallone is a disgraced Emergency Medical Services worker who springs into action when a huge explosion cripples a tunnel under N.Y.C.’s Hudson River, with a handful of survivors inside. Great stunts and special effects. That’s Sly’s son Sage as a cocky young scam artist being taken to prison.

(Wow. That is a decent review. It kind of makes me interested in watching this film again. Weirdly Jamie claims he’s never seen this, but I swear I’ve seen this film multiple times. So it’ll be interesting to see if he suddenly remembers bits and pieces of this film during the rewatch.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRWIfCpxNK4/

(Oh boy the deep voiced “there was a time” guy. That set looks bomb by the way. The movie looks dumb as shit. But that set? It looks bomb.)

Directors – Rob Cohen – (Known For: DragonHeart; xXx; The Hurricane Heist; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Future BMT: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; The Skulls; BMT: The Boy Next Door; Stealth; Alex Cross; Daylight; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: Has directed over 150 commercial spots in his career. He graduated from Harvard University.)

Writers – Leslie Bohem (written by) – (Known For: Twenty Bucks; Future BMT: The Darkest Hour; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Nowhere to Run; Tracers; Dante’s Peak; House III: The Horror Show; The Alamo; BMT: Daylight; Notes: Played bass for the 80’s bands Gleaming Spires and the Sparks.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables; Escape Plan; Rocky III; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky II; The Expendables 2; Cliffhanger; Bullet to the Head; Antz; Cop Land; Nighthawks; Death Race 2000; Escape to Victory; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Rambo III; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Get Carter; Rhinestone; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Cobra, Cobra, Lock Up, Lock Up, Over the Top, Over the Top, Rambo III, Rambo III, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone, Rocky IV, and Tango & Cash; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; Notes: His daughter Sistine Rose Stallone just acted in her first feature film! 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. I was kind of hoping it would end up at BMT, but it ended up being too goo.)

Amy Brenneman – (Known For: Heat; Casper; Fear; A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Jane Austen Book Club; City of Angels; Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her; Words and Pictures; The Face of Love; Mother and Child; Nine Lives; Your Friends & Neighbors; Off the Map; Future BMT: The Suburbans; Downloading Nancy; BMT: 88 Minutes; Daylight; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Most famous for starring in the television show Judging Amy. She also played a character named Amy in an episode of Murder She Wrote.)

Viggo Mortensen – (Known For: Green Book; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Captain Fantastic; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; The Road; Witness; Carlito’s Way; Eastern Promises; A History of Violence; A Perfect Murder; Crimson Tide; G.I. Jane; A Dangerous Method; On the Road; The Prophecy; The Two Faces of January; Appaloosa; The Portrait of a Lady; Hidalgo; Future BMT: Psycho; Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Boiling Point; 28 Days; Fresh Horses; The Passion of Darkly Noon; The Young Americans; Good; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Todos tenemos un plan; BMT: Daylight; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars for Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic, and Green Book.)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $33,023,469 (Worldwide: $159,212,469)

(A pretty big underperformance. You can psych yourself into the worldwide gross, but that domestic take is pitiful.)

#29 for the Disaster genre

daylight_disaster

(Our eleventh disaster film right around Geostorm. Came out during the big disaster film peak. We were in a new peak for a bit up through 2016, but I think we’ve kind of coming out of it (as long as you don’t count creature features like Godzilla or some superhero films))

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (10/40): The opening’s got a great fiery explosion and Stallone puts in another earnest, sympathetic performance, but all else in Daylight feels designed to annoy the audience into submission.

(Some of these reviews are killer. Just dunking on Stallone left and right. Reviewer Highlight: “Daylight” is the cinematic equivalent of a golden oldies station, where you never encounter anything you haven’t grown to love over the years. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – SklogLight (B)

daylight

(I find the title and poster of this film confusing. Clearly people are trapped in an underwater tunnel… so like… what’s the daylight that we’re seeing? Particularly given the implication of the tagline. Anyway, font is boring but the coloring is fun. And nice spacing and artistic quality.)

Tagline(s) – Hold your breath (C)

(This is pretty boring and still somewhat confusing. Are they holding their breath because the tunnel is sealed and they’re running out of oxygen? Wouldn’t that take a while? The tunnel is gigantic. Or are they swimming because the tunnel is filling up with water? Then where is the daylight? I’m still not sure what this film is about.)

Keyword(s) – underwater scene; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 89.0 House of the Dead (2003); 88.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 87.8 BloodRayne (2005); 85.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 78.9 Jason X (2001); 78.0 Shark Night 3D (2011); 75.4 Elektra (2005); 73.0 Anaconda (1997); 72.2 A Sound of Thunder (2005);

(Noice. Just have to get on our trashy horror films / bad creature features and we’ll be done. A fantastic list though and I do believe all of these films have an underwater scene.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Amy Brenneman is No. 2 billed in Daylight and No. 4 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights. (As good a reason as any I suppose)

Sylvester Stallone was paid 17.5 million dollars to appear in this film.

Sylvester Stallone said this would be his last action film because he was getting too old for the genre. (That didn’t work out)

Rob Cohen originally wanted Nicolas Cage to play Kit Latura. Universal execs felt he was more of a “character actor”, and Sylvester Stallone was more commercially viable. (FALSE)

Sylvester Stallone’s son, Sage Stallone, plays Vincent.

The tunnel sequences were filmed in Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, on a set a third of a mile long. Cinecitta was chosen as the main studio set because of its enormous floodable sound stages. (Cool)

Whilst shooting in Rome, Sylvester Stallone insisted on staying at the luxurious Excelsior Hotel which charged 3,600 dollars a night. The Rome shoot lasted 3 months. (Lol well you do you Sly)

Before he was cast in Daylight, Sylvester Stallone was involved in another two movie projects. One was an action disaster thriller titled “No Safe Haven”, and he was going to play disgraced ex marine who visits his mother on Martha’s Vineyard at the same time when president and his family are there on vacation. But then the militia-like cult shows up and the members of it take over entire island, but president manages to escape and he and marine then join up to fight against cult members and save his family, and entire film would take place during large hurricane. Despite Universal studio spending $300,000 on buying the script after six hours long bidding war with other studios for it, “No Safe Haven” was cancelled very early in pre-production.The second project Stallone was involved in was another action thriller titled “High Roller”. Written by screenwriter J.F. Lawton, who wrote Steven Seagal’s action hit Under Siege (1992), High Roller was described as “Die Hard in a casino”, and it was about ex-hitman who has to fight against mobsters and his former boss inside huge Las Vegas casino which they took over and kidnapped the owner, and not only that he has to save the owner but he and some down on his luck gambler who got involved into entire thing by accident also must protect casino owner’s daughter from mobsters.The script for the film was sold for $1 million against $2.5 million in mid 1995 to Savoy Pictures studio who were in financial problems, which is why they disagreed with Stallone’s $20 million contract to star in the film, so he went on to make Daylight while they cancelled High Roller which, following the bankruptcy of their studio, was never again attempted to be made into a film, even though various studios tried to buy the rights for it in 1996 after Savoy Pictures went bankrupt. (MV Alert! I’m leaving it all in, it is just too interesting)

All the vehicles were shipped to Italy for filming in Rome. An on-set advisor was on hand to authenticate everything, including the paperwork on some of the office desks. (Fun facts)

Max Allan Collins wrote a novelization of the film. (I know what I’m getting Jamie for Christmas this year)

Both Daylight and Dante’s Peak were written by Leslie Bohem. In both movies, the audience is lead to believe the dog has died after it disappears, but in both films the dog reappears later and ultimately survives. (Good, I hate it when dogs die)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Richard L. Anderson, David A. Whittaker, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bruce Roberts, 1997)

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Dracula 2000 Recap

Jamie

Dracula is back, Jack! It’s Y2K and he’s ready to party (amiright?). When a group of cybertheives steal Dracula’s coffin and awaken the monster, he arrives in New Orleans looking for his part-vampire bride. But the Van Helsing gang ain’t having that, especially since it’s his daughter. *gulp* Can they defeat Dracula before it’s too late? Find out in… Dracula 2000.

How?! Van Helsing is an elderly antiquities collector with a dark secret. When some high tech thieves break into his office and open his locked vault they are shocked to find that it’s just filled with lame ol’ bones and a coffin. What’s extra lame is when a bunch of boobytraps kill half of them. Assuming what’s in the coffin must be extra valuable they take it and attempt to fly it back to America. On the way they inadvertently awaken the tenant of the coffin, Dracula, who has been kept in continual slumber by Van Helsing in hopes that he could figure out how to kill him. In scientific terms they are totally pwned by Dracula and turned into more draculas. Realizing that Dracula is probably going after his daughter, Van Helsing travels to New Orleans where she lives, followed closely by his assistant Simon. Once there, he attempts to take care of bizness, but finds himself outmanned by the number of vampires already on the loose. Heading back into the city he tries to find his daughter but is confronted by Dracula himself. Being an old rickety man who’s only stayed alive by infusing himself with dracula blood he is immediately killed, duh. Meanwhile Simon is able to find Van Helsing’s daughter, Mary, but they separated as they try to stay ahead of Dracula and his gang. Once separated Mary is almost immediately turned into a vampire by Dracula and they totes make out on the rooftops. He then goes on to explain exactly who he is, bum bum BUM Judas! What a twist! He’s actually Judas, unwelcome in heaven or hell for all eternity and feeding on blood and afraid of crosses, etc. etc. etc. Super twist. Simon confronts Dracula but is captured and Mary is forced to drink his blood. But then, double twist, Mary didn’t actually drink Simon’s blood and instead they do a little kungfu and hang Dracula/Judas all over again and he totally dies this time. Still worried, Mary vows to guard his ashes, setting up for the sequel that definitely will happen (spoiler alert: it didn’t). THE END.

Why?! Dracula is a monster so really just for that sweet sweet blood. He is the last of his kind and wants to make a whole mess of draculas, particularly with the help of his part-vampire bride. Van Helsing and the rest of the good guys just want to protect the world from Dracula. It’s all very straightforward… except the part where Dracula turns out to be Judas… not sure how it influences the motivations. It all just happened so quickly.

Who?! Been a while since we had a legit singer-turned-actor in one of these. No, I don’t mean Gerard Butler, star of Phantom of the Opera and formerly in a band called Speed (apparently). And no, I don’t mean Coolio (breakout star of Dracula 3000). I mean Vitamin C, who played Lucy in the film. She was the lead singer of the band Eve’s Plum before setting out on a solo career. This was pretty obviously the peak of her acting career.

What?! One of the best Product Placements we’ve had in a while. Mary works at the Virgin Megastore and boy howdy do we know it. Multiple scenes and multiple t-shirts are devoted to this fact. Is it somehow relevant to the story? The release of the soundtrack by Virgin suggests that the answer is no. There are a few props for sale, but nothing that allows me to dress exactly like Gerard Butler, so no thanks.

Where?! Can’t understate how fun New Orleans is as a BMT setting. Always know you’ll get a parade and beads and stuff and people in masks and crazy shit happening and everyone ignoring it because it’s New Orleans. There is also a significant portion that takes place in London. All around solid B+.

When?! Secret Holiday Film, Alert! This film clearly takes place during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Normally this would just be a great A- specific setting that is promoted up from B+ because of the significance of holidays in general. HOWEVER, given the bonkers twist that Dracula is in fact Judas and given that Mardi Gras occurs the day before Lent, which is meant to prepare for the celebration of Easter, this has to be elevated to an A. I’d even hear arguments for an A+ given 2000 in the title and the significance of the particular date.

The first half of this film I was just startled by how similar aspects of it was to Vampire in Brooklyn. Not just the obvious Dracula references but like… the search for his half-vampire bride, which seems to be unique to later adaptations. Because of this I was like, ‘lame, cliche’ even as cyberhacker thieves were stealing his coffin. After a certain point I started to kinda dig the visuals though. Nice mix of artistic and early 2000’s BMT. And so I was starting to get a little torn… until the twist happened. It is nuts. Just crazy that they dropped that in there at the end. It’s such a heavy twist thrown in at the very very end of a film that it really takes some balls to do. All of a sudden you can’t even pay attention to the climax of the film anymore because your brain can’t process the casual mixing of Judas and Dracula as if such a mix is a natural addition to the classic Gothic tale. It’s the twist we deserve. As for Dracula 3000, the movie is Transmorphers garbage. They were too tongue-in-cheek and in on the joke that I couldn’t even enjoy it. On top of that Dracula looked like trash, like straight out of a kids movie or something. It’s hard to imagine how it was delivered in the state that it was. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I’ve consumed like 14 pieces of vampire media in the last two months … for Dracula 2000! What is wrong with me? What have I done in my life that has led me here? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I had just read Dracula and watches Coppola’s vision of that adaptation, so the big thing was obviously going to be comparing this to those two. Also skinny Gerard Butler, an actor whose BMT fame was a mere glimmer in his sexy eyes, is an interesting proposal. What are my expectations? If this movie has just wall to wall references to Dracula I think I’d pretty much be satisfied. Anything else is a cherry on top.

The Good – While the twist is the worst thing in the world (and we’ll get to that), in an alternative universe that twist is a really really cool idea for Dracula, and it is pretty sad it is wasted on this trash film. Up until they get to New Orleans the idea of the film is actually quite cool: Dracula can’t die and Van Helsing doesn’t know why, so he invents a way to live forever to watch over his sealed coffin while trying to figure out how to kill him. That’s a pretty good conceit. Unfortunately everything else goes off the rails.

The Bad – The twist is awful once you think about it for five seconds. So here’s the twist: Dracula, the original vampire, is in fact Judas, rejected by both heaven and hell and thus doomed to walk the earth forevermore. The good here: it explains quite nicely the idea of drinking his blood, much like drinking of the transubstantiated blood of Jesus, makes you his follower (a vampire as well). The bad: but why does he need to drink blood? Why does he have sharp teeth? Why does he live in Transylvania? Why does sunlight kill him? Even within this same film, why does filtering Judas’ blood through leeches render it safe to inject into our veins as Van Helsing does to stay alive forever? It completely rejects the book it is adapted from for a, only vaguely, decent twist and that is a slap in the face. That twist would have been much more fitting for a reenvisioning like Dracula: Untold than what seems to be a direct sequel. Along with that the fact that it is a long Virgin Media commercial is insane, and the acting, outside of Plummer, is terrible.

The BMT – I think so, I think this will be a good benchmark for vampire / Dracula films from here on out. It basically has enough interesting additions to the vampire lore to legitimize its existence, but yet it tosses it all away for a twist that ends up being worthless at best, and a slap in the face at worst. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, it indeed had wall to wall references to Dracula. The best being that the plane they use to transport Dracula to New Orleans is called the Demeter and the pilot is ultimately lashed to the steering wheel, which is an iconic image from the original novel and probably any film adaptation of Dracula. And they toss a bad twist in for good measure.

Roast-radamus – Obviously we have one of the greatest Product Placement (What?) examples ever with the film quite literally being a commercial for Virgin Media. It also has a strong Setting as a Character (Where?) for New Orleans. A common setting, but only effectively used in my opinion to allow weirdos like Dracula to roam around without attracting attention. We have a fantastic Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the film specifically falling on Mardi Gras in New Orleans. And naturally it’ll be stiff competition for Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Dracula has been Judas all along. That is a decent lineup that maybe could mean this sneaks in as a BMT in the end, but we’ll see.

StreetCreditReport.com – It didn’t get any play from the worst of lists for the year, but that is fine. It will almost always end up on a list for worst vampire films. Funny enough that description gets it wrong, Plummer isn’t a descendant of Van Helsing, he is Van Halsing. That is a pretty early reveal so I would be a bit surprised if that was a spoiler consideration, but maybe it is. I would say this deserves the title as the worst Dracula film, but that is unlikely. Not only did we watch Dracula 3000 which is obviously much much worse, but there is also Argento’s Dracula 3D which is on the worst film ever wiki page. So really it is just a really bad Dracula film, not the worst. Still enough cred for me.

You Just Got Schooled – I also read the book and watched Coppola’s 1992 adaptation. The book is very long and pretty dry, but I was genuinely surprised at how much of the Dracula lore comes directly from the book itself. Stoker really went out of his way to flesh out the character. I was also a bit surprised that Dracula could walk around in the sunlight, that seems like a strange and bold change for someone else to have made after the fact, and yet getting killed by sunlight in a major point in True Blood and ‘salem’s Lot and even Dracula 2000. The adaptation I thought was very visually cool, but I found Mina’s characterization to be off putting and a very strange choice. Almost insulting. In the book she is a woman living in a man’s world who is just as smart and capable as the men, but who ends up in trouble partially because of how delicately the men treat here. Here she is kind of played off as the cheating woman whose love for another man (Dracula) is almost her doom … it was weird and wild stuff. In the end I could give or take either, but I’m glad I read/watched both as it gives me a much better perspective on Dracula as a character.

Bring a Friend Analysis – So as a friend we naturally brought along Dracula 3000 with Dracula 2000. I guess I didn’t have much expectations, although the idea of going to space with Dracula makes sense, no sun. But this is the exact type of “friend” I don’t like. It is intentionally dumb, intentionally cheap, all the while winking at the camera like “eh, get it, we’re really dumb and cheap. That’s fun right? Like, a real cheap dumb movie, right?”. I do not find films like that amusing. The characters are annoying, the lore bastardized, the ending is just tacked on once they met the obligatory 90 minute run time. Chockablock with Dracula references, all of which are unearned. We should have done Argento’s Dracula 3D. F, terrible friend, more like Bring an Enemy, amirite?

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Dracula 2000 Quiz

Hmmmmm for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to break into Van Helsing’s creepy vault, and didn’t think that maybe there would be a vampire, and then … Dracula came back, but do you remember what happened in the film?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Spoiler Alert! But Van Helsing is alive and kicking it in 2000s London, guarding the villain Dracula for all of time. How does Van Helsing stay alive?

2) Meanwhile, Van Helsing’s assistant’s boyfriend’s gang break in and steal Dracula. Why?

3) But, whoops! Turns out dracula is all alive and stuff and ready to kill a bunch of fools … but yet he’s distracted by a young woman Mary Heller. Why?

4) Welp, so Dracula is kind of sort of turning everyone to vampires. How many people do we see turn into vampires though?

5) So, what is the big twist. Who is Dracula and what’s his deal?

Answers

Dracula 2000 Preview

“Gruber?” Rich whisper, but instead of the mad man one of the groundskeepers steps into view. Suddenly the man’s suit glows blue and a virus begins to download onto their computer. Poe and Brock rush into the room out of breath. “Stop! Rich… the groundskeepers. They are lawnmower men.” A gasp goes through the room. How could such monstrous beings be hiding right under their noses? No wonder Gruber wanted the tech so badly. A virus that controls lawnmower men would be devastating. Rich turns to his colleagues. “Now I understand. It’s so obvious. Gruber wanted us to find the virus, once we found it it activated the lawnmower men who then came and downloaded the virus from our computer. It’s all a frame job. Made to look like we released lawnmower men on the world.” My God! It’s all so clear! The lawnmower men cackle in glee as they run forwards and jack into the internet and enter cyberspace. Just then Poe has an idea. “Get me the virus file and a laptop. It’s time to get spectechular.” They all high five at his appropriate use of teen lingo. Putting on some sweet VR head gear they all get hacking and hack like they’ve never hacked before. Finally they find the garbage file and isolate the virus. “Tell me the name,” Poe yells, “we need to understand the code and then we can jack into cyberspace and take it down.” Rich reconstructs the degraded file and gasps, “It’s a money-making scheme meant to bleed the school dry of funds before escaping to the Caribbean.” It’s Poe’s turn to gasp as he understands the implications, “you don’t mean…” But Rich nods, “It’s a Dracula Virus. FangTime2000. And we’re on the hook. It’s time to jack in.” That’s right! We are going back in time to the far past of 2000 where just adding that number to a film’s name meant you were in for a wild ride. No better exemplified than with Dracula 2000, which attempted to move the well-worn property into the new millennium. We’ve been eyeing this one mostly for the opportunity to see a tiny Gerard Butler when he was just a wee lad. Jonny Lee Miller gave us the opportunity. Let’s go!

Meanwhile… having subdued the security guards using their country bumpkin disguises the two hooded figures finally remove their hoods. Gasp! It’s Sticks and Stones! The wiley Z-universe twin cops. On brand, they are up to no good and gaze upon their final destination: the BMTVerse Jackdrive. They activate the screen and up pops their BMTverse partner in crime. “We’re ready to jack in, Dr. Vampiro.” That’s right! We’re watching Dracula 3000 as the delightful pairing for the Bring a Friend cycle. This is a terrible film that makes me sad to even think about watching. Yay! Let’s go!

Dracula 2000 (2000) – BMeTric: 64.0 

Dracula2000IMDb_BMeT

Dracula2000IMDb_RV

(Extremely consistent which is a good sign. As usual I feel like what this means is that over time people are still looking at this film and thinking “this is garbage”. Sub 4.0 is really low. Promising.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Miller heads to New Orleans to save a sweet young thing from the charms of cinema’s most famous bloodsucker (Butler). Perhaps the only film in history that manages to get its producer’s name, lead character and release date all in the official title, this modern-day take on the vampire classic shows why some characters are best left in their own era. Has a few good moments and better performances than you might expect. Followed by two direct-to-video sequels.

(Oooof, no Oxford comma Leonard? That is really just too bad, I’m a huge proponent of the Oxford comma. Whatever, I don’t think Leonard watched this film, this review is too generic. A few good moments? Naw, I bet this movie is garbage. Just speculating.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py_sPdBmstA/

(My God, this looks like the rudest tudest late-90s / early 00s trash remake in history. Just spit right in the face of Dracula fans. I cannot wait, this is going to be so dumb.)

Directors – Patrick Lussier – (Known For: My Bloody Valentine; White Noise: The Light; BMT: Dracula 2000; Drive Angry; Notes: Started as a television editor, specifically on MacGyver. His son is also involved in film editing.)

Writers – Joel Soisson (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Trick or Treat; Future BMT: Piranha 3DD; Highlander: Endgame; Cam2Cam; BMT: Dracula 2000; Notes: Wrote the straight-to-video sequel Hellraiser: Hellworld. His wife Claudia Templeton often cameos in his films.)

Patrick Lussier (story) – (Future BMT: Terminator Genisys; BMT: Dracula 2000; Drive Angry; Notes: Also wrote straight-to-video sequels Dracula II: Ascension and Dracula III: Legacy. Despite the different names they are indeed sequels to this film.)

Actors – Gerard Butler – (Known For: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; 300; Den of Thieves; Olympus Has Fallen; RocknRolla; How to Train Your Dragon; The Vanishing; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Tomorrow Never Dies; Reign of Fire; Nim’s Island; Coriolanus; Beowulf & Grendel; Mrs Brown; Dear Frankie; Harrison’s Flowers; The Cherry Orchard; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Tale of the Mummy; The Ugly Truth; A Family Man; The Game of Their Lives; Machine Gun Preacher; BMT: Movie 43; Dracula 2000; Geostorm; Gods of Egypt; The Bounty Hunter; Timeline; Gamer; Playing for Keeps; London Has Fallen; Hunter Killer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; and in 2017 for Gods of Egypt, and London Has Fallen; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble for The Bounty Hunter in 2011; Notes: His home was apparently destroyed in the Woolsey Fire, all of the recent news is dominated by press concerning his soon-to-be-released Angel Has Fallen.)

Justine Waddell – (Known For: The Fall; Mansfield Park; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Thr3e; Anna Karenina; BMT: Dracula 2000; Notes: Daughter of Gordon Waddell former captain of the Scottish rugby union team.)

Jonny Lee Miller – (Known For: Trainspotting; T2 Trainspotting; Mansfield Park; Byzantium; Melinda and Melinda; Afterglow; Endgame; The Flying Scotsman; Future BMT: Dark Shadows; Hackers; Mindhunters; Plunkett & Macleane; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Dracula 2000; Æon Flux; Notes: Star of Hackers, he is English and dropped out of school at 17 to pursue acting.)

Budget/Gross – $54 million / Domestic: $33,022,767 (Worldwide: $47,053,625)

(Not good. I’m stunned it had a 50+ million dollar budget at this point in time. That is really high, and for what? A remake of one of the classically overdone tales in cinema history. This is like how they keep making Robin Hood films that almost always bomb / suck.)

#128 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

dracula2000_rratedhorror

(Came right at the end of an initial peak. As far as gross goes, it comes in right around Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter … which is not a very good look. That movie was the 3rd sequel of a cheap 80s horror franchise. This cost $50 million dollars.)

#25 for the Vampire genre

dracula2000_vampire

(Our fourth vampire film for BMT. This came before the Twilight boom, but I’m pretty surprised at how consistently vampire films have been made throughout history.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (12/68): This retelling trys [sic] to offer a different spin on the origin of Dracula. Unfortunately, there’s nothing here audiences haven’t seen before.

(That misspelling is just incredible. And now I’m getting a bit concerned this is just going to be boring. I still have hope this will be completely trash. Reviewer Highlight: A thudding, suspense-free montage of unshocking shock effects and more severed heads than toppled during the French Revolution. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Spectacula 2000 (B+)

dracula_two_thousand

(I like the feel of it. The color and framing particularly. The font is less interesting, but has a kind of shine to it. Overall pretty solid stuff.)

Tagline(s) – The Most Seductive Evil of All Time Has Now Been Unleashed in Ours. (D)

(If I wanted to read this much I’d buy a book. Also this is nonsense. Just stop reading it. It’s just gonna make less and less sense.)

Keyword(s) – number in title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.4 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 86.4 Troll 2 (1990); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.6 Movie 43 (2013); 83.9 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 83.8 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011); 83.0 RoboCop 3 (1993);

(Oh shit. Well we have to watch Piranha 3DD at some point (it will be unpleasant). Human Centipede is never happening though. It is amazing how many terrible films have numbers in the title. I like the inclusion of Battlefield Earth which is sometimes subtitled “A Saga in the Year 3000”.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Gerard Butler is No. 1 billed in Dracula 2000 and No. 1 billed in The Bounty Hunter, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 2 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Must Love Dogs, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – The name of Van Helsing’s antique business, “Carfax Abbey” is also the name of house Dracula moves into in Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula”.

The line in the film where Jonny Lee Miller playing Simon Sheppard says, “Never, ever fuck with an antiques dealer,” was a line the actor would say on set as a joke. The director liked it and incorporated it into the scene. (Oh no!)

Dracula says, “I don’t drink… coffee,” in one scene. This is a spoof of “I never drink… wine” from Dracula (1931).

Script doctor Scott Derrickson told the story of how he got the job working on this film. Harvey Weinstein called him, saying, “I just bought this script, called, ‘Dracula 2000’.” Derrickson replied, “Oh, yeah? Is it good?” Weinstein replied, “It stinks!” Derrickson asked, “So why did you buy it?”, and Weinstein replied “Because it’s called, ‘Dracula 2000’.” Derrickson did the re-write, which Weinstein discarded. Ehren Kruger did the next rewrite. (Jesus Christ)

The typeface used on the title screen is a variation of the same typeface used on the first release of the Dracula novel in 1897. (Cool)

Nathan Fillion plays a priest in this movie. He would also go on to play Caleb, an evil Priest on the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) (Must be a young Nathan Fillion)

The doctor who screams as Dracula approaches him in the police station is named Dr. Seward, a reference to the Book. (Cool)

The character Lucy Westerman’s name is a reference to the character Lucy Westenra from Bram Stoker’s book. She is in the movie, as in the book, the best friend of the main character Mina (book)/Mary (movie). (Alright, it is starting to feel like the writers just read the book and shoehorned a bunch of shit in this thing)

Gerard Butler was given a break from filming The Cherry Orchard (1999) so that he could play Dracula in “Dracula 2000”.

Director Patrick Lussier remarked in an interview that the Father Uffizi character played by Jason Scott Lee in Dracula II: Ascension (2003) and Dracula III: Legacy (2005) was originally written into this film. (Huh, so a more direct sequel than I thought)

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace Recap

Jamie

Jobe is back, Jack! And he’s got a new face and a new plan to take over the world with his VR brilliance. But not so fast! Dr. Trace is on the case with his gang of rambunctious teens. Can they stop Jobe (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace!

How?! Jobe is back, Jack! And boy howdy was he all burned up in that fire that we definitely remember. Unwittingly a virtual reality company reconstructs his face (what?) but can’t save his legs (alright) and they just prop him up in a chair so he can start coding up a virtual reality world while they pretend they can’t find a wheelchair for him. Meanwhile Jobe’s old friend Peter is living on the streets of post-apocalyptic LA with his gang of rad teens. They just love hooking into cyberspace and cruising around when suddenly Jobe is there and he’s like “I need help. Find me Dr. Benjamin Trace who totes is important.” Trace lost the patent to a powerful VR tool back in the day but now lives a reclusive life. Peter convinces him to come see Jobe, but when Peter enters cyberspace to let him know Jobe is a straight up crazy person and is all ready to rule the (virtual) world that he’ll convince everyone to hook into. He just needs a little help with a program called Egypt, but Trace refused. Enraged, Jobe send all kinda of subway cars at them, but they escape. Coming up with a plan, Dr. Trace gets in contact with his ex-girlfriend who still works at the company and with her help they steal the Chiron Chip. Unfortunately, they realize too late that they stole a fake and Jobe has bypassed Egypt and is ready to take over the world. In their last ditch effort they break into the company again and enter the virtual world. There they do battle with Jobe with virtual swords and shit and totally own him. Feeling sorry they find him a wheelchair (finally) and take him outside where sunshine makes him smile. THE END. 

Why?! Jobe is still evil and wants to rule the world with his superior intellect. The company is evil and wants to make money. The good guys are by definition not evil and want to stop them. There is also the MacGuffin of the Chiron Chip, which is the key to virtual reality. But as we’ve learned from the Lawnmower Man franchise, perhaps VR is too powerful for us mere mortals.

Who?! It’s claimed on IMDb that Molly Shannon played a homeless woman in the film, but I don’t really recall that. There was also someone portraying the President of the United States in the film who was one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen. I was excited to see who the actor was but apparently he went uncredited and IMDb/the internet can’t help me with the trivia. So Hail to the Chief, President Uncredited is in the house.

What?! There are some props for sale, but they are just boring ol’ ID cards. I wonder who from the crew got away with Jobe’s bonkers gold, bejeweled suit? There was also a video game sequel released at the time of the film, but it involved Dr. Angelo going into Cyberspace to battle Jobe, so not particularly close to the film. And just as poorly received as the first video game adaptation.

Where?! This time we are told explicitly that we are in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Surprisingly, they don’t seem particularly interested in explaining why that is. Only a cursory, “Oh, I moved here with my mom and then she died,” without ever mentioning that apparently the world also pretty much ended in that time span as well.

When?! When Dr. Trace and Peter’s GF Jade totally hack the Gibson to figure out where to go after Jobe they are given a time signature: January 24th, 3:35PM. As for the year, it told us that it was set in “The Future” in an intertitle at the beginning so that’s good enough for me. Although judging by Peters age it can’t be much later than 1997. B+.

This film has been on my bucket list for ages. The idea that it was released to theaters in any capacity is high comedy. Whenever I get so hyped for a BMT film it usually ends in disaster. Not the case here! I screamed in silent joy for the entire run time of Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. Somehow it surpassed even my wildest expectations for what it could be. Did I expect it to take place in a Super Mario Bros-esque post apocalyptic LA hellscape? Nope, but it did. Did I expect Jobe to be a legless man played by a Jim Carrey act-alike? Nope, but he was. Could I have possibly expected our heroes to subdue their VR corporate foes and then help Jobe (the bad guy of the film) return to the world full of joy? Definitely not, and yet there Jobe was laughing and laughing and laughing while looking at a sunset. Nothing will ever surpass Here on Earth in exemplifying what it means to be a BMT film, but this came mighty close. This is what an instant BMT classic feels like and… I’m… I’m getting a little emotional. Forgive me. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! 500th film guitar riff, and I have to say, we picked a doozy. Sometimes you think after 500 films there can’t possibly be more bananas films to watch, but … let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I actually knew more about the original The Lawnmower Man than this one. I remember maybe my older brothers watching The Lawnmower Man, or maybe I caught a bit on television. This I was stunned to see was directed by the Max Headroom guy, and that the neighbor in Honey I Shrunk the Kids was Max Headroom himiself, and is Jobe in this! The entire thing looked crazy, like Highlander 2: The Quickening so … I guess I was just very excited? What were my expectations? B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers shit. If there are 10 b’s on the bonkers chain then I would be happy as a clam with regards to the 500th BMT film.

The Good – Nothing is genuinely good in this film. Nothing. Things are ironically good, but as everyone knows irony is dead and we take things super duper seriously here at BMTHQ. So genuinely nothing is good in this film, so … let’s get to the good stuff.

The Bad – Hooooooooooo doggie … Where to begin? The graphics are awful. Somehow deciding to just film people in a forest and declaring “this is a computer simulation” is worse than The Lawnmower Man’s graphic’s version of VR. The film has nothing to do with the original, and it is kind of offensive that they even bothered to try and connect it. Matt Frewer was awful and is a completely different character than the original Jobe. They have a weird thing about him being a double amputee, and in the end … my God, the end! In the end they go out into the real world and back in the sunshine and I guess he’s no longer a megalomaniacal genius? Future dystopian LA as the setting is crazy and unnecessary … like how did we get from The Lawnmower Man to this in 10 years? Why not connect it to The Shop? It is just bullshit. The bad guys are one-dimensionally bad, moustache twirling garbage with literally “money! crime!” as their motivation. The kid actors are awful. Initially I tried to write this section as a stream of consciousness, but it came out basically as a garbled word salad, so I rewrote it, but that is basically how this film makes me feel.

The BMT – Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. This is like Highlander 2: The Quickening, but watched at a time where my BMT tastes have somewhat matured. While watching the beginning I almost cried when Jobe appears in the simulation the first time. I’m not joking, I’m 100% serious, I got emotional. That is how incredibly terrible/amazing this film is. It is one of hte first honest to god, so-bad-its-good films I’ve seen in years. Years! Did it meet my expectations? Heeeeeeeeeeeell yeah.

Roast-radamus – It has an outside shot for Setting as a Character (Where?) for it’s very Double Dragon post-apocalyptic LA. In the same vein it could get something for its time period (of “future!!” with two exclamation points), but we tend to always go for secret holiday films. It definitely has a good chance for MacGuffin (Why?) with the mysterious Chiron Chip … which honestly, I’m not sure I know what it does still, it like … makes an internet maybe? And of course this might be the favorite for the BMT film of the year. A good crop.

StreetCreditReport.com – Again, I’m not surprised it didn’t hit on any the worst of lists for 1996, this one in particular would definitely fly below the radar for most critics. Like The Lawnmower Man it was also on the list of films with virtual reality. This one really has credit because it is … just well known as a bad movie. It has an astonishingly low 2.5 on IMDb, and goes hand in hand with Highlander 2: The Quickening (which is on wikipedia’s worst movies ever list … this really should be there as well).

You Just Got Schooled – Matt Frewer has been a character actor for years, but he kind of started out as Max Headroom, which I vaguely knew of because of the Max Headroom incident in Chicago. I decided to watch an episode. There was an original TV Movie, a talk show, a television show based on the movie, and then a revival of the talk show. I naturally watched the last one because it was short and easy to find. And … it is awful.

Holy shit. All of the jokes are try hard garbage, Frewer is exasperating, and the interactions with Max ends up being so difficult for the guests to deal with that … it hurts me. I am physically hurt by this show. I am interested in the original television movie though, but that is for another time. Interestingly I commented to Jamie that I thought Frewer should have avoided his characterization of Jobe in Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace because it was too reminiscent of Jim Carrey (especially as The Riddler in Batman Forever which had come out the year before). But in reality he was just playing Max Headroom. And apparently Jim Carrey has said that many of his manic characters are somewhat based on Frewer’s portrayal of Max Headroom. So I guess I should have scolded Jim Carrey for stealing Frewer’s thunder instead. Good to know.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Lawnmower Man Recap

Jamie

Dr. Angelo has unlocked the key to super smartness through virtual reality, but when he shares it with his developmentally delayed lawnmower man, Jobe, he soon finds it out of control. With new telekinetic powers Jobe is ready to take over the world. Can Dr. Angelo stop him (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… The Lawnmower Man.

How?! Dr. Lawrence Angelo is a super smart scientist who has unlocked the key to learning through virtual reality. When the most talented of his ape subjects goes berserk and kills a bunch of people before being killed itself, Dr. Angleo kinda loses his shit. Soon his life is in shambles and he decides to take the testing underground and prove that it works on human patients without the aggressive factors his funders want him to use. Working with his developmentally delayed landscaper, Jobe, he soon makes him super smart just like him… except like way smarter. Like he’s beating everyone in video games smart… and he also all of a sudden has a super smokin’ bod and all the ladies are like “who’s that?”… and also he starts having headaches and can hear what people are thinking… oh, and also he can move stuff with his mind. Anyway, While Dr. Angelo is out of town meeting with his funders, Jobe decides to share his powers with his lady love and unknowingly uses the old formulation and busts her brain. Enraged, he decides that it’s time to take over the world and goes off on a killing spree against those that he feels have wronged him or others that he cares about. Dr. Angelo learns of the swapped drugs and comes back in time to try to stop Jobe in his ultimate goal of entering cyberspace and taking over everyone’s minds. He is able to lock Jobe out of communication with the internet, leaving him trapped in the computer that Dr. Angelo has rigged with explosives. Just before they go off, though, Jobe is able to find a backdoor out. Feeling pretty jazzed Dr. Angelo is ready to go off and probably smooch on some ladies but BUM BUM BUM… Jobe is out there. Uh oh! THE END.  

Why?! Science! Dr. Angelo sees the promise in virtual reality for expanding the mind. Particularly for helping those that have trouble learning. His funder though, termed The Shop, see it differently and insist he use aggressive factors. Dr. Angelo is pretty short sighted apparently, because this obviously is because The Shop wants to make a new weapon using VR. As for our unwitting antagonist, Jobe, he just wants to be a lawnmower man… you know before he decides that the world must bow down before his great intellect.

Who?! Not much to highlight here, so I’ll just mention the curious fact that this was originally marketed as Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man after combining an unrelated script called CyberGod with one of his short stories. King is well known to not like adaptations that veer from the source, so I could understand that this would drive him bonkers. What’s even crazier is that the studio kept on ignoring the court orders and he had to sue them over and over. Anyway, I read the story before and I honestly didn’t even think it was that crazy of an adaptation. They took a very short story about a Greek god/satyr/killer lawnmower man and made it about a man that is turned into a god and becomes a killer lawnmower man… it’s at least inspired by Stephen King.

What?! There is so little to highlight here that I started to read about the video game adaptations that came out. Apparently it’s a mix of action and puzzles and flying and mostly got bad reviews. In fact at the time it made it on some lists of the worst video games ever made. I think I just got an idea for a new blog.

Where?! Patrick and I had a long discussion about this. Mostly stemming from the fact that Wikipedia has this listed as a film set in California. While it obviously is filmed in LA, I contest that there is just no way it is set there. Dr. Angelo has a meeting in Washington DC. We see him escape at night and start the drive back to his house. The next morning he arrives at his house. It just has to be in New York or perhaps, given the source, Maine or something. But I’m pretty confident it’s not set in California. Or at least confident that Wikipedia can’t be confident it’s set in California. Regardless, D-.

When?! Fortunately for us (and the criminal justice system) Dr. Angelo keeps a running diary of his illegal human experimentation. We seem him start it in early May and then finish it on July 10th. So the whole movie runs about two months. You can say a lot of things about Dr. Angelo, but you can’t say he didn’t get results in his unethical underground human trial. B+

I think there are a lot of interesting things going on in this film and probably the only BMT thing about it is that you get the sense that it’s been hacked to shit. Like… Dr. Angelo’s wife is there for three seconds and then just disappears, never to be heard from again. No wonder the Director’s Cut is like double the length. But really the thing you hear about it is the computer graphics and how dated they are but… I didn’t really mind them. They were actually very clever given the limitations of the time. Like abstract art. I was actually impressed more than anything else. My biggest gripe with the film is that Dr. Angelo is allegedly our “hero” but is more or less a criminal. He seems to have no issue with the fact that he experiments on a human being and is very invested in the “end justifies the means” method. Then, when this all blows up in his face due to the unethical nature of his funders, he doesn’t reflect on the fact that what he did was wrong and had disastrous consequences. In fact, at the end of the film he is still talking about having to take his work underground… mere seconds before his work causes a worldwide disaster! He’s a pretty bad dude, but the film never really addresses or acknowledges that fact. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! So what happens when we schedule a film and forget that the previous one also qualifies? Well … we watch three movies in a weekend. We don’t leave men behind here at BMTHQ. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The main thing is the computer graphics. Those can easily sink an otherwise fine film. I was also genuinely curious about Pierce Brosnan. Just because outside of James Bond I don’t think I’ve really seen young Pierce Brosnan act very much. Fahey had a little outside shot at the Tropic Thunder Simple Jack corner going on as well, I was very curious as to how he would act out his character early in the film. What are my expectations? I was I guess hoping the entire thing would be a silly disaster with people going into computers TRON style and everything just going off the rails in the end. Otherwise it is just a stepping stone to its sequel.

The Good – I actually thought this film was pretty decent for the most part. The computer graphics have aged in such a way that it all kind of makes sense. I think the recent trend towards 8-bit and cheap-looking graphics helps immensely to make it seem mostly stylized at this point. I was also pleased with the evil corporation, which was giving me whiffs of RoboCop. Once you get past some of the early issues, the film does mature a bit into a decent techno-thriller.

The Bad – The beginning of the film is a mess, in particular the character of Pierce Brosnan’s wife was obviously cut from the film … except they couldn’t cut her so they just had her leave at one point. The entire film also spreads itself too film. The Lawnmower Man has beefs with: the abusive father, the abusive priest, the abusive guy at the gas station, the evil corporation / government entity, and Pierce Brosnan. Too many. They should have cut the priest and merged the gas station attendant and the abusive father. It would have focused Fahey’s simmering anger onto a single figure and clarified things. There is a decent argument that the eeeeeeeevil corporation / government entity was a bit too moustache twirlingly eeeeeeevil, but what can you do, it’s the 90s.

The BMT – Only by association. I think this is a lot closer to Good than Bad in the end, and its association with its sequel is what makes it BMT. If Highlander got bad reviews it would have been the same thing with Highlander 2: The Quickening. Did it meet my expectations? No I don’t think so. Or at least, not as a bad movie. It wasn’t nuts enough and the computer graphics weren’t terrible enough to get it over the top. As a good movie, it was a pleasant surprise though.

Roast-radamus – I think it has a very very outside shot at Good. And maybe the only other category it has a chance at is Worst Twist (How?). The twist being The Lawnmower Man getting into the telephone system and making all of the phones in the world ring all at once in the end, his birth cry as he says. I guess by itself it is jarring and perhaps a bit scary. But it is also incredibly obvious, and it is completely thrown away in the sequel. It is just a weird choice. The film won’t get anything in the end I don’t think.

StreetCreditReport.com – I’m not surprised it didn’t hit on any of the worst of lists I could find. It did get a shoutout at 35 for worst computer graphics in film (fair). And then both Lawnmower Man films get a shoutout on this list of films with virtual reality. Otherwise I can’t really think of another category it would qualify for … maybe for actors playing a disabled person, or worst Pierce Brosnan films.

Sklognalysis – Again, no time for schooling people. Here, … let’s go with a short analysis of eeeeeeeeevil scientists in BMT. The main one I always go back to is Dr. Alexander McCabe in the movie Bats, who ultimately is hoisted by his own petard when his mutant bats tear him apart with their razor wings. Brosnan is definitely an evil scientist. His arrogance convinces him that he can save humanity, that his science trumps the ethics surrounding human testing of new scientific methods. And in the end he creates a living god who can kill at will and take over the world. Sure the eeeeeeeevil corporation / government entity causes some of the issues by trying to hijack his research to create the ultimate weapon, but Brosnan’s inability to see that he is already creating a weapon with or without the enhanced aggression protocol is his downfall. I do love the neo-luddite aspects of evil scientists in film (a staple of Michael Crichton). Unfortunately, Brosnan misses it a bit as they pull the punch and place most of the blame on The Shop, the weird corporation / government entity that is funding him. I would have enjoyed the movie even more if Brosnan created his God and then sacrifices himself to save humanity from his abomination. It would have further simplified an already pretty messy film as well.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hackers Recap

Jamie

Dade Murphy is an elite hacker just looking to have some fun. After moving to NYC he gets involved with a hacking group that finds itself the target of an evil corporate hacker who is worried they will expose his criminal scheme. Can they stop the evil hacker (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Hackers.

How?! Dade Murphy aka Zero Cool aka Crash Override is just a regular ol’ high school student… other than being a totally elite hacker! C00ool! As a kid he crashed a bunch of Wall Street computers and has spent his youth on probation. So when he moves to New York City he goes through all the trials and tribulations of the “new kid” while also being drawn into the hacker scene that he’s been barred from enjoying. When one of the hacker gang, Joey, gets caught hacking a Gibson supercomputer run by an eeeeevil oil company they have to figure out why they are claiming the Joey is part of a hacker group looking to use a virus to crash oil tankers. Due to his record Dade is intimidated into giving over a copy of the disk Joey partially copied off a garbage file on the Gibson. Realizing his mistake, he joins up with his crew to figure out what the hell is going on. Using his beautiful mind hacking skillz, Dade figures out that the garbage file contains a worm that the oil company’s computer security expert/elite hacker, The Plague, has been using to steal millions of dollars. Worried that Joey may have copied everything in the file, The Plague is using the virus as a cover so he can blame the hackers for the theft. Realizing that they are going to take the fall, Dade concocts a scheme to hack the Gibson and download the whole garbage file to get definitive proof. They band together a worldwide network of hackers to distract The Plague with viruses. In an epic hack battle (as the kids say) they are able to copy the garbage file and take down the Gibson before getting arrested. But with the new proof they are able to implicate The Plague and Dade totes smooches his lady love Kate. Rad. THE END.

Why?! The Plague wants money. He sees himself as a hired hand. A cowboy out there taming the wild west of the computer world and so has little qualms stealing from the people he considers beneath him. As for the hackers they just want to free information for the good of the people. They see the government and corporations using the power of computing to ruthlessly make money and spy on people. They just expose this information to the people for examination. When this gets them mixed up with The Plague this turns the motivation towards a MacGuffin. The garbage file in the mythical Gibson supercomputer. Unhackable… or is it? It’s like a bank heist where the safe is the Gibson and the treasure is the garbage file. Solid.

Who?! For films like this I knew there would be interesting credits like what you find for Dave Buchwald, who served as a “computer hacking consultant”. This is the only one on IMDb, but on the film itself there are several other Hackers credited in that capacity (including Emmanual Goldstein, Cereal Killer’s real name). There is also a performance by Urban Dance Squad near the end of the film. Fun fact: the band also had a song on the soundtrack for Gigli. Nice. Oh and as Patrick pointed out, Joey is actually a really nice example of a Planchet. 

What?! The sheer number of Coca-Cola product placements is impressive, not to mention an in-film commercial for Jolt Cola. I obviously would have loved to garb myself head-to-toe in Dade’s wardrobe if possible, but unfortunately, while some of it is listed online, it seems that they are just for show and not for sale. Well, duh. Who would willing part with such treasure?

Where?! This is a fantastic NYC film. Really of the city with the hacker culture, the techno music, Stuyvesant, and just ‘blading up and down town. You could say that there are a number of cities it could take place, but I disagree. Just wouldn’t feel the same anywhere but New York. A.

When?! This actually made me angry. It certainly seemed like summer when they moved to NYC and then Dade starts up at school that Fall and seems to pretty quickly integrate into the Hacker crowd. So when they said the Da Vinci virus was going live on the 14th was pretty set on a vague October 14th date. Then Dade checks his watch the day of the big hack and it says it’s Wednesday, October 18th 1995. WTF, Hackers. You just told me that it was all going down on the 14th and then whoever is responsible for getting a shot of Dade’s watch fumbles the perfectly lobbed pass? At that point I turned off the film and vowed never to watch it again. B+. Nice exact(ish) date, but not necessary to the plot.

I certainly had a fun time watching this movie. In fact, if you removed some of the sillier looking visuals used for the computers and hacking stuff, then I’m not sure I’d say there was much to it that was even BMT. It’s still enjoyable to watch and I think better written than perhaps its given credit for. It’s always fun to watch something like this for BMT because we end up paying so much more attention to the plot. Not just about the intricacies of The Plague’s entire scheme, but about The Plague himself. The film intentionally sets up the world of hacking, which is a world of curiosity, not crime. They are using computers to bring freedom, in that they use their skills to enter and expose things to the light that people want hidden. It’s their belief that they aren’t committing crimes, and in fact the people and companies they are hacking are often the ones committing crimes and then covering it up under the guise of going after the hackers. Is The Plague a hacker, then? Not according to the film. He is obviously elite (duh), but he also is using his skills to keep things hidden (mostly his own crimes). He thinks he’s a hacker, but he’s not. He even tries to be a hacker with his skateboard and disdain for the government agents, but it’s a disguise. One that he exchanges at the end in his attempt to escape to Japan. See? BMT movies that actually aren’t all that bad always get me thinking a lot more than I expect. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I have seen Hackers approximately 30 times … so yeah, let’s go ahead and pretend this is a bad movie. This sounds like a fun game. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Nothing can convince me this is a bad movie. There are ways for me to realize it is maybe a messy movie, or a dumb movie. But a bad movie? Impossible. But I was amused to see if my viewing changed at all given we were now doing it for BMT. What are my expectations? To pop a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy a movie night in. I had no plans to think any less of this movie so don’t even try.

The Good – The movie is pure entertainment, in the cheesiest more hilarious early 90s computer-y way. The choice of doing the computer sequence practically ages incredibly well. While I could imagine these days the film could have aged into its effects over time, there would have been a ten year period from maybe 2000-2010 where Hackers would have looked dumb as shit with out-of-date graphics. Instead the “graphics” still kind of look state of the art because … well, they aren’t graphics, they are models. Lillard and Jolie are really good and it is kind of incredible they are in this movie. It makes New York look mythical, even though in reality it had a pretty bad crime problem at the time. Oh, did I mention it is an incredibly entertaining movie I love?

The Bad – The movie is a complete mess from a directing perspective. I know it is apparently his trademark, but the random pop culture clips they occasionally cut to haven’t aged very well because, to be honest, it has been done better since then. Additionally, they completely botch the timeline of the film which makes it incredibly confusing. It was only now, on probably my 30th watch, and with the intention of close watching the film that I fully discerned The Plague’s ploy and how all of the pieces fit together. The film is non-linear at times, and it is definitely not intentional. The hackers are more criminal than they seem to want to make you believe, but it is all in good fun but like … poor Agent Gill. Mostly messy, with some brutal acting.

The BMT – I love this movie and I’m offended it even qualifies. So no, it is not BMT. It probably enters into a select list of “genuinely good movies” we’ve watched for BMT. Freddy Got Fingered, Tango & Cash, and this. Genuinely good movies. I declare it. Did it meet my expectations? Actually yeah. I’m pretty shocked that I noticed new things during the viewing. The power of BMT close watching I guess. Who knew I still had wonderful things to learn from this film.

Roast-radamus – This will easily enter in The Good for the year. Wait .. is Joey a Planchet (Who?) … I think he is! That’s pretty wonderful. If we had realized this we could have named it the Joey instead. What a life, I love you Jesse Bradford. The Product Placement (What?) is off the chain for this film, but the craziest one I think is for Jolt Cola which runs an honest to god ad in the middle of the film during Razor and Blade’s show. And I do think this is a Setting as a Character (Where?) in that New York City, the city that never sleeps, is quintessential to the plot. Also a great MacGuffin (Why?) with the Gibson and the garbage file, which most characters only know as the thing that Ellingson Minerals really really wants for some reason. That is quite the list for a genuinely good film.

StreetCreditReport.com – While I obviously disagree, CNN did throw it onto a list of worst “tech” films. I have now seen all but Antitrust on that list. Also they admit it is a cult classic, so I think that is a win. Otherwise I couldn’t find it on either underappreciated or worst of lists for 1995. I would put it at number one best Jesse Bradford movies ever. Unfortunately it can’t be on Matthew Lillard’s best of list because Freddy Prinze Jr. isn’t in it.

You Just Got Schooled – Since I watched three movies this weekend I didn’t have time to watch anything else to “school” you. Luckily, the Hacker Manifesto from January 8, 1986 is pretty short and also still online, preserved in Phrack Magazine where it originally appeared. “This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud.  We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals.” That was pretty much read out loud in the film. The rest of it sounds frighteningly like the “lazy genius” nonsense you hear people claim sometimes, but … well in this case Loyd Blankenship is actually probably a genuine genius and those fundamental misunderstandings with adults probably did happen when growing up in Texas in the 70s.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs