Men in Black II Recap

Jamie

This movie is good. Patrick?

Oh right, I should probably elaborate. This is the same movie as the first Men in Black, which is a good film. On rewatch I found the first film to be a lot weirder than I remembered. There was a strain of 90’s indie film in it mixed with the broad Will Smith action and Danny Elfman score. D’Onofrio is nuts and it’s not at all what you would expect from a Will Smith vehicle after Independence Day. I probably shouldn’t have worked a la Wild Wild West, but it did and we got a second film.

That second film is basically them finally getting the gang together after five years and running it back. Not exactly a way to get reviewers on your good side. But as far as I can tell that is pretty much the only reason this qualified for BMT. They looked at the film and said “we expect more from you Men in Black II.” It’s all expectations at this point. That is unless they got really hung up on Johnny Knoxville getting a role that was just too substantial for his talents at the time. He needed a bit more time to warm up and was pretty annoying. You could also nitpick the plot, but really you could probably say that about the first film too. Men in Black is all MacGuffins and aliens. So to all of a sudden be like “your MacGuffin and alien plot isn’t well thought out,” seems like a weak critique.

I feel like I’m going too strong on this. I’m not a big time MIB 2 fan or something. I’m not staking my reputation on this film. I’m not even sure what will happen come Smaddies Baddies time. I think my problem is that I was surprised to even see MIB 2 on the list of qualifying films. It’s right on the boundary. Usually those borderline films come out as just that: borderline BMT. This doesn’t even really feel borderline. Should have been a 50-60% RT score probably. It offends my BMT senses that we watched it.

I think if I were to do an in depth Wrong Analysis (patent pending) for this film I would go all in on the second film actually being better than the first. Here is my evidence:

  • Much improved special effects. You can accomplish a lot in five years, particularly when the five years run from 1997-2002 and special effects are making leaps and bounds by the day. But it’s not just the CGI I’m talking about. Even the puppet work is better. Case in point are the worms. They play a minor role in the first film, but by the time we are part of a smash hit they are all over the film and doing some real cool practical effects to bring them alive.
  • The best scene in the movie. Aliens in the locker is all you need to know. It’s great and nothing in any of the films beats it. So how can this be bad when that is so good?
  • They imply Tommy Lee Jones had sex with an alien. Strike that. They didn’t even really imply it. It seems pretty clear that Tommy Lee Jones had a love child with an alien.
  • It’s the same move as MIB with better effects, the best scene in the franchise, and the implication that Tommy Lee Jones is getting down with aliums on the regular. Case closed.

But that analysis is probably wrong. Patrick?

Patrick 

‘Ello everyone! Men in Black II? More like Men in Black Too … like as well. Because it is the same movie as the first one. Whatever, let’s go!

  • Much sillier than the first film I can see why it got relatively poor reviews.
  • BUT I also watched the first film, and while fun it is basically an exercise in how something novel can blind you to how poorly put together it is. Both films feel a bit like they are barely held together by Will Smith’s charisma alone.
  • Bar none this has the funniest scene in the entire franchise with the little weirdo aliens in the locker. The ending is the best part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sd10CHAP8
  • This film suffers most in just feeling like a fun movie (J and K following clues around New York) bookended by the barest of all possible introductions and endings. The movie literally opens with an intentionally shoddy fake tv show (which they play again later to better effect) and then a really poorly done introduction to Serleena in Central Park. And then the film ends with a half-assed battle in MIBHQ stretched out to the twist ending.
  • And ultimately isn’t that the issue? They actually did have a MIB television show. I forgot about it, but they had a decently long running animated program (53 episodes). But the film feels like a television show that would exist now. A comedic version of The X-Files. Forcing it into a $100+ million budget blockbuster mold seems ultimately like a waste. And too bad, because you obviously can’t do anything with the original cast, and MIB: International was a colossal bomb, so they are kind of stuck.
  • Although it is a little funny to say that considering the Men in Black comic has six issues … total. Like there were only ever six issues of this property. If they work at it they could get more feature films than issues of the original source material. Bring back the MIB/21 Jump Street crossover! You know that would have been amazing.
  • There was a lot of product placement I’m sure, but my favorite Product Placement (What?) was when Rosario Dawson is asked to go get a whole mess of Mountain Dew from the basement (Do the Dew!). Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City which they use to excellent effect. Really incredible MacGuffin (Why?) work on the Light of Zartha. Which then rolls right into a Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Dawson herself is the Light of Zartha. Closest to Good, the film is undeniably fun to watch.

No sequel in the quiz this week, but I do outline my mid-credits scene / short film involving J going on a hot date. Check it out. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Men in Black II Quiz

Oh man. So I definitely saw this alien running around NYC and then some Men in Black as well … but then, I guess I didn’t because they pointed a flashy thing at me and now I can’t remember a thing. Bummer. Do you remember what happened in Men in Black II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Our bad guy, Serleena, is actually like an itty bitty plant thing. Why does she then become the supermodel-esque Lara Flynn Boyle?

2) They need K back Jack! Why?

3) K’s having a hard time remembering stuff (for some reason), so they need to de-neuralize him. We see two de-neuralizers in the film. Where are they and what is the explanation for there being multiple versions of them?

4) Hey, K’s got his memory back. One problem … he still can’t remember anything. What clues does he leave himself that leads him to remember what’s up?

5) What alien power does Rosario Dawson have, on full display as she floats off to her home planet?

Bonus Question: In the after credits scene we see Will Smith preparing to go somewhere. Where?

Answers

Men in Black II Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and LePumice lounge poolside in Vegas. Just one stop on the tour couldn’t do any harm. Besides, LePumice brought his time machine along disguised as a vintage 2003 PT Cruiser, so they can jet at a moment’s notice back to the present. “Suns out, sipping drinks with the bros, our PT Cruiser is looking sweet (duh). Cheers!” Jamie says, luxuriating. Nothing could spoil this day, for sure. Suddenly, Mikey Myers (of Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes fame) comes hurrying over. “Vegas, we have a problem,” he says and they all laugh because that’s his catchphrase. But this time he’s serious. “I… uh… just came from the gift shop. Not to freak anyone out, but… uh… I was there.” They laugh again. Silly Mikey, of course he was there because he just said… Patrick shoots up looking startled. “Shit, shit,” Jamie says, picking up the vibe. Future Mikey Myers has found them and is ready to settle the score. Mikey Myers starts to leave with them, but Jamie and Patrick stop him. With hands on his shoulders they tell him how proud they are. By the end of the beautiful speech tears are streaming down all their faces. “We obviously want you to help us, Mikey, but you have a gift.” They turn away ashamed, knowing deep down that selfishly they don’t want Mikey to come because this tour is the key to their Bad Movie Twins empire. LePumice taps his watch, indicating that it’s time to get their PT Cruise on, but as they head away from the pool they stop short at the sight of Future Mikey, dressed in the standard issue black suit of the time cops. They turn back and are aghast at the sight of another Future Mikey. “What thuuuuu…” Jamie says dumbly. That’s right! We’re going classic with Men in Black II. Hard to remember that this film was a critical failure at the time, but it did qualify. Good enough for us and our neverending Chain Reaction which takes us from Walking Tall to Men in Black II through Johnny Knoxville. Let’s go!

Men in Black II (2002) – BMeTric: 31.1; Notability: 129

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 22.4%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 35.3%; Higher BMeT: Crossroads, Rollerball, Halloween: Resurrection, The Master of Disguise, Feardotcom, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Boat Trip, Half Past Dead, The Sweetest Thing, Derailed, Scooby-Doo, Queen of the Damned, Swimfan, Maid in Manhattan, They, Full Frontal, The Truth About Charlie, Snow Dogs, The Tuxedo, and 36 more; Lower RT: Killing Me Softly, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Derailed, Hansel & Gretel, State Property, Ritual, Try Seventeen, Hard Cash, The Master of Disguise, Deuces Wild, Feardotcom, Half Past Dead, Rollerball, Darkness, Serving Sara, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, New Best Friend, Boat Trip, The New Guy, Dragonfly, and 64 more; Notes: Notability off the damn chart! See this is what I’m talking about. A 100+ Notability BMT qualifier? They literally barely exist!

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Some sequels continue a story. Others repeat it. ”Men in Black II” creates a new threat for the MIB, but recycles the same premise, which is that mankind can defeat an alien invasion by assigning agents in Ray-Bans to shoot them into goo. This is a movie that fans of the original might enjoy in a diluted sort of way, but there is no need for it–except, of course, to take another haul at the box office, where the 1997 movie grossed nearly $600 million.

(Yeah, I do kind of remember the film was just kind of the same except with J and K just swapped since K lost his memory at the end of the first film. So that makes a lot of sense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4NJHqoojOU/

(Yeah … odd trailer. You don’t see any of the actual bad guys from the movie. One good thing is they don’t spoil the big joke of the movie, so that’s nice. Still, how many aliens did you see in that trailer? Just the worms basically. Weird choice.)

DirectorsBarry Sonnenfeld – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; The Addams Family; Get Shorty; Addams Family Values; Big Trouble; Future BMT: RV; For Love or Money; BMT: Wild Wild West; Men in Black II; Nine Lives; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Won an Emmy for Pushing Daisies. He is directing television, specifically episodes of Schmigadoon! for which he is also a producer.)

WritersLowell Cunningham – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; Future BMT: Men in Black: International; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: Writer of the original comics which was published by Aircel Comics (which was later bought out by Malibu Comics which in turn was also bought out by Marvel Comics). There were, amazingly, only six issues ever published.)

Robert Gordon – ( Known For: Galaxy Quest; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Addicted to Love; Future BMT: Wonder Park; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: He is tapped to write the upcoming Galaxy Quest TV movie … sequel? Remake? Hard to tell.)

Barry Fanaro – ( Known For: Kingpin; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Men in Black II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2008; Notes: Was the executive producer and writer on The Golden Girls for its first four seasons for which he won four Emmys. He has apparently written five movies since 2009 which have been options, none of which, evidently, have ultimately been produced.)

ActorsTommy Lee Jones – ( Known For: No Country for Old Men; Captain America: The First Avenger; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Ad Astra; Jason Bourne; Lincoln; Men in Black 3; Natural Born Killers; JFK; Love Story; Small Soldiers; Under Siege; The Comeback Trail; Space Cowboys; Wander; In the Electric Mist; The Client; Volcano; The Homesman; Future BMT: U.S. Marshals; Criminal; Double Jeopardy; The Family; Blown Away; The Hunted; Man of the House; Rules of Engagement; Just Getting Started; Nate and Hayes; BMT: Batman Forever; Men in Black II; Mechanic: Resurrection; Fire Birds; Notes: Went to Harvard where he was roommates with Al Gore and was part of the undefeated 1968 football team.)

Will Smith – ( Known For: King Richard; Independence Day; Men in Black; Bad Boys for Life; I Am Legend; Enemy of the State; Aladdin; The Pursuit of Happyness; Ali; Bad Boys; Focus; Hancock; Men in Black 3; Bright; I, Robot; Hitch; Six Degrees of Separation; Concussion; Spies in Disguise; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Gemini Man; Shark Tale; Bad Boys II; Seven Pounds; Collateral Beauty; Made in America; BMT: Wild Wild West; After Earth; Men in Black II; Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … well, you know Will Smith, Oscar Winner for King Richard. He somewhat notably (I’m not sure you would have heard this) was suspended from the Academy for slapping Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. Little known fact.)

Rip Torn – ( Known For: Men in Black; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Hercules; Men in Black 3; Marie Antoinette; The Insider; Bee Movie; The Beastmaster; Wonder Boys; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Legend of Awesomest Maximus; King of Kings; Airplane II: The Sequel; Coma; Defending Your Life; Sweet Bird of Youth; How to Make an American Quilt; A Face in the Crowd; Canadian Bacon; Extreme Prejudice; Future BMT: Zoom; Down Periscope; Summer Rental; Senseless; City Heat; BMT: Men in Black II; Yours, Mine & Ours; Freddy Got Fingered; RoboCop 3; Welcome to Mooseport; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Freddy Got Fingered in 2002; Notes: Died in 2019. Somewhat sadly/amusingly he was arrested for robbing a bank, but in reality he was drunk and, since his residence was in the same building, he broke in merely thinking it was where he lived.)

Budget/Gross – $140,000,000 / Domestic: $193,735,288 (Worldwide: $445,135,288)

(Yeah maybe not what you want domestically after the first made about $50 million more and overall the first made over $100 million more. Still a decent blockbuster though. I imagine TLJ was the big sticking point since they eventually wrote him out of the series.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (76/197): Lacking the freshness of the first movie, MIB 2 recycles elements from its predecessor with mixed results.

(Yeah, there it is. Still a bit stunning at the drop from the prior installment. I just watched the original, it ain’t that good. And I imagine MIB II isn’t thaaaaaat much worse.)

Reviewer Highlight: After five years, the chemistry has curdled. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Poster – The Notorious MIB

(I like the stark black and white. Funny they brought back the weird egg chairs from the first one for this poster. It is certainly a distinctive scene, but not notable and I don’t think they ever show up again. Good font. Good poster. A-.)

Tagline(s) – Back in Black. (C-)

(I can’t be too hard on it. It’s short and honestly that’s where my mind would go too. Hard to shake the similarity between the words Black and Back and so I would be stuck making something like this too. Still, just not very good.)

Keyword(s) – alien

Top 10: Dune (2021), Eternals (2021), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Don’t Look Up (2021), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (2016), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 71.5 Supergirl (1984), 66.3 Max Steel (2016), 65.4 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 63.4 Meet Dave (2008), 61.1 Space Chimps (2008), 59.0 Suburban Commando (1991), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011), 55.8 The Stupids (1996), 54.5 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Battleship (2012), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Pixels (2015), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Predator (2018), Species (1995), After Earth (2013), Men in Black II (2002), I Am Number Four (2011), Howard the Duck (1986), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lost in Space (1998), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Masters of the Universe (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Mac and Me (1988), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Battlefield Earth (2000), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Host (2013), Doom (2005), Dreamcatcher (2003), Skyline (2010), The Darkest Hour (2011), The Space Between Us (2017), Species II (1998), Alone in the Dark (2005), Virus (1999), Critters 2 (1988), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Escape from Planet Earth (2012), Wing Commander (1999), Meatballs Part II (1984)

Matches: Eternals (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), Venom (2018), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Man of Steel (2013), The Avengers (2012), Starship Troopers (1997), Captain Marvel (2019), Aliens (1986), Arrival (2016), Annihilation (2018), The Tomorrow War (2021), Transformers (2007), Independence Day (1996), A Quiet Place Part II (2020), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The 5th Wave (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Cosmic Sin (2021), Green Lantern (2011), Oblivion (2013), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Thing (1982), War of the Worlds (2005), Mars Attacks! (1996), They Live (1988), Ender’s Game (2013), Men in Black: International (2019), The Faculty (1998), Galaxy Quest (1999), Megamind (2010), Power Rangers (2017), Men in Black 3 (2012), Krull (1983), Pixels (2015), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), The Watch (2012), Alien 3 (1992), Paul (2011), Riddick (2013), Lilo & Stitch (2002), We Can Be Heroes (2020), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Species (1995), Slither (2006), Men in Black II (2002), The Abyss (1989), Treasure Planet (2002), Alien: Resurrection (1997), I Am Number Four (2011), Predators (2010), Cocoon (1985), … (an many more)

(So many alien films. And I suppose amusingly since we did What Happens in Vegas last week that first movie in the Future BMT section (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas) also technically takes place in Vegas! The alien is the Great Gazoo, obviously the thing you want to bring to the Flintstones movie franchise is the huge mistake they introduced in like season 7 right before they got canceled. That makes sense.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tommy Lee Jones is No. 2 billed in Men in Black II and No. 3 billed in Mechanic: Resurrection, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The original pug from Men in Black (1997) was used to play Frank again, but since the pug was now seven years old, they used makeup to hide the gray fur around its nose.

J’s line on the “driver airbag” (“Actually it came with a black dude, but he kept getting pulled over.”) was improvised by Will Smith. The producers liked it so much it even made the theatrical trailer.

Famke Janssen was originally cast as Serleena, and even completed some of the filming, but was forced to drop out of the project due to a death in her family. Lara Flynn Boyle was then cast in her place.

The extra head attached to Scrad is called a ‘symbiote,’ and was first developed in Men in Black: The Series (1997). It is the most obvious development of the animated series to be carried over into the movies.

Linda Fiorentino was originally intended to reprise her role as Agent L, before eventually being dropped from the script.

The children of the cast/crew make an appearance in the film: the little girl at the post office who wants to buy Rugrats (1991) stamps is Barry Sonnenfeld’s daughter Chloe Sonnenfeld.Tommy Lee Jones’s daughter appears in the film as the little girl in the apartment where J, K, and the worms acquire weaponry. and the two children who look up as the MiB car flies overhead are Will Smith’s kids.

Reputedly Jack Nicholson insisted on the casting of Lara Flynn Boyle. Sony were keen to get Nicholson for their Adam Sandler comedy “Anger Management”, and Flynn Boyle was Nicholson’s girlfriend at the time.

The beatboxing alien in the post office is played by the rapper Biz Markie, who also has a recurring role on the kid’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! also showing off his beatboxing talents

Barry Sonnenfeld took issue with the producers wanting to focus on the love story between Agent J and Laura: “I learned on Wild Wild West (1999) that audiences didn’t want to see Will Smith as the straight man. And until Tommy Lee Jones comes back into the movie, by definition, Will’s the straight man.”

The locker that holds the tiny aliens who worship K is numbered C18, the same number of the locker used in the film Get Shorty (1995) that contains the “dirty” money. Both films were directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

Though Linda Fiorentino’s character was prepped to co-anchor in the sequel alongside Will Smith, it has been reported that Tommy Lee Jones only agreed to return under the direct stipulation that Fiorentino wasn’t invited back.

Fire Island Lighthouse, New York, serves as a stand-in for the Truro, Massachusetts, Post Office.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Lara Flynn Boyle, 2003)

What Happens in Vegas Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the future, because What Happens in Vegas should have been named What Happens when Skynet Writes a Rom Com Script. Thank you. It is as generic a Rom Com as you’ll find anywhere, so rife with cliche that it made me wonder whether it was the film that launched a thousand listicles about generic Rom Coms. Just to recount a few of the many tropes. Diaz has the visually distinct job of working the floor of the Stock Exchange; both Diaz and Kutcher have hilarious best friends (and Zach Galifianakis is added later just for funsies); the very unlikely meet cute happens when Diaz and Kutcher are mistakenly booked into the same room at Vegas; we can’t just have Diaz and Kutcher drunkenly marry each other, they have to also win a big Vegas jackpot, go to court to split the winnings, and get sentenced to “try to make their marriage work” at therapy; they hate each other; or do they?; they don’t, in fact they love each other. The end. I think the only thing it really lacked was Diaz and Kutcher finding out that their respective best friends who hate each other in fact love each other and have been sleeping together. Or wait… did that happen? I can’t remember because all the cliches are mixing around in my head.

After that long paragraph you probably think I hated this film. Not true. I thought the film was quite dumb, but there is also a reason why all this stuff has worked over and over again for decades. It is enjoyable to watch two charming people fall in love. Also a bit refreshing that they are never actively bad people. In fact they are generally pleasant people and you really do start rooting for them to be with each other. Why not? They are hot and pleasant. Be hot and pleasant together.

I’m gonna do a quick game I just made up called What Would I Change. So what would I change? Fine, you don’t want Diaz and Kutcher’s best friends to fall in love? I get it, they are more fun as frenemies and in a weird way it would be like cousins kissing. Just too similar. But what about expanding Galifianakis’ role? It already seemed like they originally got him for a scene but then liked him so much they had him show up a couple more times. So let’s just make him Kutcher’s roommate. Plays nicely as a way for Kutcher to originally try to sabotage the marriage. He refuses to kick out his deadbeat roommate even after Diaz moves in. What does Diaz do in response? She gets a third roommate and has her move into Kutcher’s woodworking studio. Uh oh! But egad, the weirdo she gets to sabotage the marriage falls for Galifianakis and soon they sit down Diaz and Kutcher to tell them they have to move out because they need their own space for their love to grow. Awwwww. 

All in all not a bad film. Just a dumb one. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What Happens in Vegas? More like That Film was a D+! Remember back, young children, to an age where romantic comedies were released to theaters with the thinnest of tissue thin plots. Let’s go!

  • Wait … is this movie good? Why is it that this cycle in particular seems to be giving us oh so many at-least-okay films? I have a theory (I know you want to hear it). The cycle is very very specific. We are requiring a film to star a notable rapper and we aren’t allowing ourselves to double up. And when you get that specific (our old M.O. really) you end up having to choose a lot of borderline films. Et voila! Les films, ils sont bons!
  • In reality the film has a stacked supporting cast (Zach Galifianakis, Lake Bell, and Rob Corrdry) who are all laugh-out-loud funny at different moments. And Diaz, as usual, is a charmer. I don’t think Kutcher’s man-child schtick works here, but I get what he’s going for and the concluding scene is genuinely emotional.
  • Is it the funniest film I’ve ever seen? No. But I laughed a few times. That is above average for BMT. One laugh is like … an okay BMT film. More than one is a genuine anomaly.
  • Oh, and the films premise. Dare I say that it works? A light coincidence in our leads being booked into the same room in Vegas. And just merely-odd that the wacky Dennis Miller decides that these two people just must stay married for six months.
  • Enough about what worked in this film. Let’s leave it on a sour note. The entire middle of this film is a pretty unnecessary sequence of the two leads very half-heartedly trying to get the other to botch the marriage. It never even gets close to working. They should have definitely thought of a better way to punch that up.
  • Hey an A+ Product Placement (What?) for Vegas! It really is a giant advertisement for it at one point. And hey, an A+ Setting (Where?) for Vegas! Although the film mostly takes place in NYC. Ooooooh, and a great MacGuffin (Why?) for the $3 million waiting for those who can merely live in holy matrimony for six months. Closest to Good easily, the film is kind of funny, especially Corrdry.

One again, check out my sequel idea (What Happens in Vegas 2: Baby Boom) in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

What Happens in Vegas Quiz

Oh man, guess what? I go suuuuuuuper drunk in Vegas and … what? No I’m already married. I was just going to say I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in What Happens in Vegas?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The heroes of our story just have a no good terrible week prior to heading off to Sin City. What happens to both of them that makes them want to get away?

2) In Vegas how do Diaz and Kutcher meet that results in them having a craaaaaazy time in Vegas?

3) How much money do the two (now married) lovebirds win at the slots in Vegas which causes a bit of an issue with them getting an annulment back in NYC?

4) Over the next six months they both try and make each other’s lives hell. Specifically though they try and get the other to cheat on them since that is easiest. What things do each of them do to achieve this goal?

5) How many lighthouses are there 30 miles east of the city according to Ashton Kutcher? Which one was Cameron Diaz waiting at?

Bonus Question: After a nice bloopie reel the movie reopens on Vegas to a flashback to the night Diaz and Kutcher got married. What else happened that night?

Answers

What Happens in Vegas Preview

“Ninubus! Not I, not you, but us. The living vampiiiire,” croons little Mikey Myers. Jamie and Patrick are stunned. Here they are with years of professional dance experience under their belts and yet they can only attempt to follow Mikey sinuous dance moves that have left the arena in an exultant trance. Is this why he was such a big fan of the band? He too dreamed of fame on the big stage? They all pile down the stairs to the green room after the show, sweat coursing rivulets down their glistening chests. “My god, Mikey!” screams teen heartthrob Jamie. Tears are brimming in his bloodshot eyes and teen heartthrob Patrick is already weeping. “It was beautiful,” he mutters, “I now understand art. You are art.” Ty and Parsons are already deep into writing the next album in the corner, having been inspired by Mikey’s majestic tunes. “Gee,” Mikey says embarrassed, “I was just being me. You really think I can join?” Teen heartthrob Jamie and Patrick chuckle and shake their heads. “No, we’re done with this life. We’re thinking more of a manager role in the next iteration of the band. We have an idea for a website and we need just a little more capital to get it off the ground.” They wink at each other and Jamie and Patrick know exactly what that website might be. Ty and Parsons come over and each put an arm around Mikey’s shoulder. “We’re also thinking of a name change. What do you think about Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes?” Mikey blushes again, “Geeee.” Looks like Jamie and Patrick’s work here is done, but before they go teen heartthrob Jamie and Patrick ask them if they might want to stay on. At least for the next stop on the tour. That’s right! We’re watching What Happens in Vegas. It’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl are forced by the court system to try to work it all out (for love). Classic. Let’s go! 

What Happens in Vegas (2008) – BMeTric: 30.7; Notability: 43

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 24.0%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.1%; Higher BMeT: Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, The Hottie & the Nottie, The Love Guru, Prom Night, One Missed Call, Superhero Movie, The Spirit, Zombie Strippers!, The Happening, College Road Trip, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, 10,000 BC, An American Carol, Meet Dave, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, College, Space Chimps, First Sunday, Witless Protection, and 40 more; Higher Notability: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Eagle Eye, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, New York, I Love You, Miracle at St. Anna, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Meet Dave, Jumper, Bedtime Stories, Drillbit Taylor, Semi-Pro, An American Carol, The Love Guru, The Happening, Superhero Movie, Seven Pounds, Made of Honor, 10,000 BC, Four Christmases, Max Payne, and 13 more; Lower RT: One Missed Call, House, Surfer, Dude, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Strange Wilderness, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Witless Protection, College, The Accidental Husband, The Hottie & the Nottie, Babylon A.D., Prom Night, Bangkok Dangerous, 10,000 BC, Shutter, Hell Ride, Fool’s Gold, Deception, First Sunday, and 34 more; Notes: Clawing its way back to 6.0 which isn’t so bad. Not so bad at all. The Notability is pretty high I think for a comedy, probably a testament to the stacked cast.

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Super-organized Diaz, dumped by her fiance, and irresponsible Jutcher, fired by his father from the family business, both seek escape in Las Vegas – and wind up married to one another after a drunken evening. But dissolving the union becomes a challenge when a judge orders them to live together for six months. About what you’d expect, especially as the duo engage in dirty tricks, but as the film goes on it becomes more benign and entertaining – boosted by the two stars’ engaging personalities.

(Sounds about right. I think most bad reviews seem to be very focused on how trite the whole concept is and how the film really brings nothing new to the table.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsO3PfQiXy8/

(Man they should have left out the judge part of it. Without that the film kind of makes sense. With it it ends up just teetering off the edge of a farce. What kind of judge would want to deal with some annulment nonsense 6 months later? It doesn’t make sense, just split the money and annul the marriage, simple.)

DirectorsTom Vaughan – ( Known For: Starter for 10; Some Kind of Beautiful; Extraordinary Measures; So Undercover; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; Notes: He’s been doing a lot of television, like The Flight Attendant recently. He had a very brief foray into features.)

WritersDana Fox – ( Known For: The Lost City; Cruella; How to Be Single; Isn’t It Romantic; The Wedding Date; Future BMT: Couples Retreat; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; Notes: Apparently she was tapped to punch up Knight and Day because of this film, recommended by Diaz herself, but she didn’t receive credit.)

ActorsCameron Diaz – ( Known For: Shrek; Shrek 2; Gangs of New York; Shrek the Third; The Mask; Minority Report; There’s Something About Mary; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Being John Malkovich; Shrek Forever After; The Holiday; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Charlie’s Angels; Knight and Day; Bad Teacher; Annie; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; In Her Shoes; The Box; Any Given Sunday; Future BMT: Sex Tape; The Other Woman; The Counselor; Slackers; BMT: Vanilla Sky; The Sweetest Thing; What Happens in Vegas; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2015 for Sex Tape, and The Other Woman; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for What Happens in Vegas in 2009; Nominee for Worst Actress for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Annie in 2015; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Sex Tape in 2015; Notes: Y’all know Diaz. Famously broke her nose surfing and that is why she got a nose job. She stopped acting in 2014 to pursue health science ventures.)

Ashton Kutcher – ( Known For: No Strings Attached; Annie; Spread; Guess Who; Open Season; A Lot Like Love; Coming Soon; Bobby; Personal Effects; Future BMT: The Butterfly Effect; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Just Married; Reindeer Games; My Boss’s Daughter; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Killers; New Year’s Eve; Valentine’s Day; What Happens in Vegas; The Guardian; Jobs; Down to You; Texas Rangers; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2011 for Killers, and Valentine’s Day; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2004 for Cheaper by the Dozen, Just Married, and My Boss’s Daughter; and in 2014 for Jobs; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for What Happens in Vegas in 2009; Notes: He’s pretty much stopped acting interestingly. I think it is because he’s a genuinely successful venture capitalist maybe? That and he’s started a family with Mila Kunis.)

Rob Corddry – ( Known For: The Way Way Back; Hot Tub Time Machine; Old School; Pain & Gain; Blades of Glory; Warm Bodies; Semi-Pro; Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; The Layover; W.; Shimmer Lake; Office Christmas Party; Arthur and the Invisibles; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; Muppets Most Wanted; How to Be a Latin Lover; Hot Tub Time Machine 2; The Winning Season; Butter; In a World…; Future BMT: Sex Tape; The Heartbreak Kid; BMT: Failure to Launch; What Happens in Vegas; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Escape from Planet Earth; Unaccompanied Minors; Notes: Still working. He was one of the more notable Daily Show correspondents back in that show’s true heyday. Won four Emmys for Children’s Hospital.)

Budget/Gross – $35,000,000 / Domestic: $80,277,646 (Worldwide: $219,375,562)

(That is solid as a rock. Which I suppose maybe explains why Kutcher and Diaz remained staples of the rom coms of that era.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (34/133): What Happens in Vegas has a few laughs, but mostly settles for derivative romantic comedy conventions and receives little help from a pair of unlikable leads.

(A few laughs? So a few more than most bad comedies? So … it’s a okay comedy? A bad comedy has like … one laugh. An okay one a handful. What or we, just picking laughs off the laugh tree?)

Reviewer Highlight: We all know what happens in Vegas — and we know, without having to watch it, what happens in this movie. – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Poster – What Sklogs in Vegas

(Noooooo. The dreaded white background and lack of color scheme. It’s horrible. Get it out of here… funny font, though. So appreciate that. D)

Tagline(s) – Get Lucky. (B-)

(Meh. Playing on Vegas, which you kinda have to do. Even though it’s not the point of the film, it’s still the point of the film… you know? A little clever, I guess.)

Keyword(s) – newlywed or las-vegas

Top 10: Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Shrek 2 (2004), Beetlejuice (1988), True Romance (1993), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Identity (2003), Groundhog Day (1993), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Disturbia (2007)

Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 69.0 Showgirls (1995), 56.1 Shutter (2008), 39.9 The Heartbreak Kid (2007), 38.6 Play It to the Bone (1999), 36.1 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), 35.0 Vegas Vacation (1997), 32.7 Indecent Proposal (1993), 31.3 Lucky You (2007), 18.6 Awake (2007)

BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), Maximum Overdrive (1986), What Happens in Vegas (2008), Over the Top (1987), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

Matches: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), What Happens in Vegas (2008), The Heartbreak Kid (2007), 13 Cameras (2015), Best Man Down (2012), Broken Vows (2014), Arthur Newman (2012), Lovely Molly (2011), Carnage (1984), Honeymoon Horror (1982), Prisoners of Inertia (1989), 21 (2008), The Hangover (2009), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Con Air (1997), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Showgirls (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Indecent Proposal (1993), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Smokin’ Aces (2006), Mars Attacks! (1996), Vegas Vacation (1997), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Wild Card (2015), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Bugsy (1991), The Cooler (2003), Last Vegas (2013), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015), One from the Heart (1981), The Trust (2016), Lucky You (2007), Play It to the Bone (1999), Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), Station to Station (2021), Delusion (1991), Weedjies: Halloweed Night (2019), Diamonds and Guns (2008), Three Corners of Deception (2021), Las Vegas Vietnam: The Movie (2019), The Garlock Incident (2012), Deadly Rhapsody (2001), Desert Steel (1994), Ride Me (1994), Sawgrass (2019)

(C-c-c-c-c-c-combo keyword. Look at that sweet one. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which movies are newlywed movies and which Vegas movies. Is Rock Vegas the same as Las Vegas? I’m skeptical.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rob Corddry is No. 3 billed in What Happens in Vegas and No. 3 billed in Escape from Planet Earth, which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 3) + (2 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Annie, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Diaz and Kutcher stated in a post-production interview that they were actually drunk during the wedding scene in order to make it look realistic and their erratic behavior caused the scene to be filmed multiple times. An video of the outtakes was available online, but Fox blocked it due to copyright infringement.

According to Rob Corddry, Ashton Kutcher slapped him in the face during his audition even though it was not scripted.

Joy’s party trick was performed by Cameron Diaz in another movie – Charlie’s Angel’s: Full Throttle during the recovery of the Halo rings.

The lobby of their hotel is the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The view from their room places them in the northern most part of the building with a view of the Paris and Caesars Palace.

Rob Corddry’s character is a lawyer who mentions community college early on in the film. A year later, Corddry would go on to play a lawyer again in the NBC sitcom Community, set in a community college.

The nameplate of the divorce judge in the court reads “Honor the whopper” (Hon. R. D. Whopper)

In a flashback in a scene during end credits, the protagonists are shown getting married in Las Vegas. In an additional scene, we see Tipper (Lake Bell) punching Mason (Jason Sudeikis) in the groin.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Cameron Diaz, 2009)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, 2009)

Morbius Recap

Jamie

Hooo hooo, now this is more like it. It feels like the more common reaction during a BMT Live is a hope that we didn’t screw up a little by jumping the gun and watching a film that is merely bad and not BMT bad. No worries this time as Morbius is complete trash. Not trash in the way the boring, Flatliners remake was. That had us asking “why did they make this and why are we watching it?” No, this is an actively horrible, mostly incomprehensible, one of the worst endings I can remember type of film. I never wanted to walk out of the theater. It was a tragedy in three parts. 

First, the very premise is inane. I could go on and on (and on) about the science behind this film. So Dr. Morbius has a genetic disease… caused by a mutation or alteration of some sort (I presume) and yet he has to use vampire bat DNA to fix it. Uh, why not the several billion other people on Earth who don’t have the alteration? Surely that would be easier. Then when he incorporates this alteration into his DNA he requires blood for sustenance (fine) and can’t use the artificial blood that makes him uber successful (fine, fine) but it also has to be human blood specifically. Hold up. Why? Do vampire bats only sustain themselves on human blood? Or bat blood? Or whatever would ever make that make sense. Oh yeah, and he’s totally a human when he drinks blood but turns into a monster other times, cause that’s also how DNA/bats work. Again, I could talk about this forever.

Second, to prop up this premise they fill the script with “they sound like jokes, but I assure you they are not” types of jokes. What do I mean? No one ever has anything to talk about other than the pseudo-science mumbo jumbo so when they can’t talk about bat DNA they are delivering quippy one-liners. And these one-liners sound like they are being written $10 a pop for an awards show. At times so much noise and motion was happening on screen that I couldn’t really even tell what was and wasn’t a joke. The delivery was so flat and the moment so fleeting that it was lost in the wind (and straight out of my brain) immediately.

Finally, and most egregiously, you literally couldn’t tell what happened in the back third of the film. They set up a big climactic fight and then decided to have it take place while everyone was falling off a building through smoke and a swarm of bats. Suddenly the bad guy died and the movie ended, but not before bringing Morbius’ love interest back to life (as a bad guy? Who knows) and delivering Michael Keaton as Vulture FROM AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FRANCHISE! My head exploded. Making heads or tails out of this film is impossible in the moment. Scientists will have to study it like Dr. Morbius studied that bat DNA.

And I will study it forever if they give me the chance. Give me a sequel! I want The Mummy 2 starring Tom Cruise. Keep this going and don’t you dare give up! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Morbius? More like Why Us?! amirite? After Venom and … uh, a second Venom, people were clamoring for that sweet Sinister Six. And who’s better for that than (checks notes) Morbius? Who the hell is Morbius? Let’s go!

  • For real, it is hard to even figure out Morbius because he is barely a character it seems. Is he in the Sinister Six? He was in the Sinister Sixty-Six and Sinister Sixty … so he’s like the deeeeeeep bench of the Sinister Six. But time to call him up to the show, show us what you’ve got Morbius!
  • That’s it? That’s what you got? You ooze smoke and are a not-really-vampire? He can move fast, but for real, you trap him in a box for a day and he’s toast! A perplexing decision top to bottom.
  • Let’s add bar-none some of the worst action scenes I’ve ever seen. Completely incomprehensible, and I assume, when producers realized all of the action scenes looked like trash they screamed “Uh, quick, have him ooze smoke so the audience can’t see how crap it looks!” Because Morbius is nonsensically oozing smoke all over the place.
  • And wait … why does he have to drink HUMAN blood? Vampire bats drink like cattle blood, shouldn’t that be sufficient? Seems easy peasy and like an actual cure when you put it that way …
  • And not since Hitman: Agent 47 (inducted into the Hall of Fame this year) have we seen so many humorless jokes in an action film. Leto calmly and quietly says “I’m Venom” at one point and it takes five seconds before you register “wait … that was supposed to be a joke.” And that was the best joke in the entire thing.
  • So what are the chances of a sequel? I think 0%. There is no way that any of this ends up going anywhere without Tom Hardy carrying it over the finish line as Venom. They still have three more people to go! I guess they could just get bad guys from older Spider Man films and stuff. Doc Ock and Green Goblin would actually probably both do it in the end because why not?
  • Decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City. Is the mythical cure for Morbius’ rare disease a MacGuffin … yeah why not, a MacGuffin (Why?) for that nonsense. And a for real Worst Twist (How?) for none of the Sinister Six set up, but instead the reveal that Morbius’ doctor girlfriend is still alive.
  • Theater rating? You best believe I had a solid time at AMC Framingham. Surprisingly busy, so I had to sit a little close to the screen, but otherwise nice and quiet and relaxing. I have a feeling this section for Live! will end soon since I’ll just be heading off to AMC Framingham for cheap matinees for the foreseeable future.

I’ll once again point out that I put sequel ideas into my quizzes, so I’m going to stop doubling up on that in the recaps. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Morbius Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I was trying to cure my terminal blood disease when I accidentally made myself into a vampire (whoops!). During my transformation though I bopped myself on the head and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Morbius?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Michael and his besties Milo are young boys with a terrible terminal blood disease living in Greece. But Milo isn’t his real name, it is Lucius. Why does Michael call him Milo?

2) Soon though Michael’s caretaker discovers that Michael is a genius. What tips him off to Michael’s unique genius? What is Michael’s great invention (which he ultimately turns down the Nobel Prize for)?

3) Michael is trying to find a cure for him and Milo. What is actually wrong with their blood and why does Michael think the DNA from a vampire bat will cure them?

4) Name the four main powers Michael and Milo gain via their super bat serum.

5) What the hell, let’s do a question about the mid-credits scenes. Why is Toombs (the Vulture) let out of prison?

Bonus Question: In the after-after-after credits scene we see a familiar face vowing revenge on our “hero” Morbius. Who is it?

Answers

Morbius Preview

Jamie flips back the denim sheet covering the other crate of jorts and huddled in the corner is, “Little Mikey Myers?” Jamie and Patrick gasp simultaneously. Now in his late teens and clutching a PaJama ParTy CD to his chest, Mikey Myers looks at them with fear in his eyes. “Are you…,” he stammers but can’t finish the thought before he faints. This is tickling some vague memory for Patrick, but he can’t quite grasp it. “Wake him up and bring him along. We can’t risk him alerting the guards,” Patrick finally says and soon they are all on their way to the PaJama ParTy green room. LePumice is staring around at his surroundings in awe. “The last concert,” he whispers, “the scene of the crime.” Jamie’s jaw clenches. “Yes,” he agrees, “the night we embarrassed ourselves. It’s clear we were sent here to stop Ty from doing what he did. To resolve the sins of the past and give PaJama ParTy the send off it deserved.” But Patrick isn’t so sure. When they reach the green room door they take a deep breath before busting into the room, a twin chop ready for action. The scene is familiar, Parsons eyes glazed, Ty a devious smirk on his lips, and Jamie and Patrick about to mack on some potent weed brownies. Jamie screams, “Don’t eat it, it’s reefer. Ty is trying to ruin everything.” But instead of a thanks, teen heartthrob Jamie just rolls his eyes. “Uh duh, gramps. That’s the point,” and with that he downs the brownie. Now they remember… The fans were too much, the fame was too much. They did it together. “Now what?” Jamie says hopelessly. Patrick looks at his watch and looks at LePumice, Mikey, and Patrick. “Looks like we’re doing this live.” That’s right! We are doing it Live! BMT Live, that is, and watching the latest, greatest, worstest movie on the block: Morbius. He is a living vampire and we are living people actually going to the theater to watch the film. Let’s go!

Morbius (2022) – BMeTric: 53.5; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 2.0%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.6%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Brazen, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, Moonfall, Blacklight; Lower RT: Blacklight, Brazen; Notes: So yeah, 34 probably actually translates to what? Like 70 in the long run for Notability. So you probably have to double things. Would be kind of interesting to try and figure something like that out. Could use Lives! from the last few years maybe (NOTE: Looking back at a few it seems like x1.5 is a pretty safe bet. Unfortunately Notability doesn’t go back very far). I am very much looking forward to Blacklight though.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), the title character of Columbia Pictures’ MCU-adjacent semi-horror movie “Morbius,” is a “living vampire.” What, you might be thinking, does that mean? Did the good doctor become a vampire without having to die first? Why, yes—he fused his DNA with vampire bat DNA in an attempt to cure the rare, fatal blood disease that’s been plaguing him since childhood. (What disease, you ask? You sweet, innocent child.) The fusion gave him super speed, super strength, echolocation abilities, and an appetite for blood that’s only partially sated by the artificial substitute for which Morbius rejects a Nobel Prize at the beginning of the film. (Why? Again, you’re asking too many questions.) In short, he’s a science vampire. (So, like if Batman was a doctor, then? Wrong universe, but close.)

(It is a very accurate description of how maddening this film is. But … how is that review a 2/4 stars? The film isn’t close to that good and is gobbledegook, so I don’t get how you go above 1.5 stars at all.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQK-QxxtE8Y/

(Yeah … that looks like garbage haha. Dark, nonsensical garbage. So that’s something to look forward to.)

DirectorsDaniel Espinosa – ( Known For: Life; Safe House; Child 44; Snabba Cash; BMT: Morbius; Notes: He is from Sweden. He is announced for two Middle-East-set films about war. I assume in the end only one of those will actually be made.)

WritersMatt Sazama and Burk Sharpless – ( Known For: Power Rangers; Future BMT: Dracula Untold; BMT: Morbius; Gods of Egypt; The Last Witch Hunter; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Gods of Egypt in 2017; Notes: A writing team who also created the new Lost in Space series. They are also writing a Madam Web movie … for real, who are these characters Sony is making movies about?)

ActorsJared Leto – ( Known For: Blade Runner 2049; House of Gucci; Zack Snyder’s Justice League; American Psycho; Fight Club; Requiem for a Dream; Panic Room; The Little Things; Dallas Buyers Club; Girl, Interrupted; Lord of War; Mr. Nobody; The Thin Red Line; The Outsider; Chapter 27; Prefontaine; How to Make an American Quilt; Lonely Hearts; Highway; Sunset Strip; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Alexander; Switchback; Black & White; BMT: Morbius; Urban Legend; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for House of Gucci in 2022; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Suicide Squad in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for House of Gucci in 2022; Notes: These days possibly more known for being somewhat of a lunatic on set than anything else. He won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club which has given him something of a blank check over the last ten years.)

Matt Smith – ( Known For: Last Night in Soho; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Official Secrets; The Forgiven; His House; Charlie Says; Womb; Lost River; Patient Zero; Mapplethorpe; Bert & Dickie; Future BMT: Terminator Genisys; BMT: Morbius; Notes: Actually most famous for Dr. Who. He was a fine Doctor, although out of the five Doctors since the restart of the series he might be my least favorite, personally.)

Adria Arjona – ( Known For: 6 Underground; Triple Frontier; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Sweet Girl; The Belko Experiment; Future BMT: Life of the Party; BMT: Morbius; Notes: She’s going to be in the Star Wars show Andor. Originally from Puerto Rico, she’s the daughter of singer Ricardo Arjona.)

Budget/Gross – $75–83 million / Domestic: $43,838,847 (Worldwide: $88,738,847)

(I think this will likely be a small loss for Sony in the end, but maybe not so bad that they will pull the plug on the Sinister Six entirely. I’ll end up probably around like $70 domestic and closer to $100 international for a $60 take home for Sony … not what you want, but also maybe not enough to deter things. Then again The Mummy made waaaaaay more than that and the Dark Universe was just one and done immediately.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (33/205): Cursed with uninspired effects, rote performances, and a borderline nonsensical story, this dreary mess is a vein attempt to make Morbius happen.

(Really rather astonishingly bad. Shocking. Like … I was half convinced it was impossible to release a blockbuster with sub-20% these days just because of how studios could repeat the test-screen/reshoot cycle until a film was merely boring instead of outright bad.)

Reviewer Highlight: Morbius is a forgettable, often laughable, entry in Sony’s attempt to fill its own Spider-Man-adjacent cinematic universe, a poorly edited, derivative time suck — pun intended. – Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Poster – Morbius: Two Wong Chew, Fangs for Everything! Julie Newmar (the Living Vampire)

(There is some nice effort here. I was afraid this would be blah grays and blacks, but they give it an 80’s vibe with some red, blue and purple pop. Nice font too. Biggest problem? This is what I call a Tom Cruise poster: all about dat star. But is Jared Leto really enough of a draw to be the whole poster? Feels incorrect. B-.)

Tagline(s) – The line between hero and villain will be broken. (B-)

(Phew, I thought the tagline on the poster was official and that one is terrible. This one is way better. Effective from an advertising angle (I’m intrigued) but maybe not all that clever or interesting. Still, not bad.)

Keyword(s) – vampire

Top 10: Morbius (2022), Twilight (2008), Doctor Sleep (2019), I Am Legend (2007), Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2022), Blade (1998), Dracula (1992), The Lost Boys (1987), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Future BMT: 90.0 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.6 BloodRayne (2005), 51.7 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 49.9 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.1 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 44.6 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 43.4 Bordello of Blood (1996), 43.0 Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), 40.9 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.9 Blade: Trinity (2004)

BMT: Morbius (2022), Hellboy (2019), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Priest (2011), Vampire Academy (2014), Queen of the Damned (2002), Dracula 2000 (2000), Ultraviolet (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Dudley Do-Right (1999)

Matches: Twilight (2008), Blade (1998), Dracula (1992), The Lost Boys (1987), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Let Me In (2010), Blade: Trinity (2004), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), Blade II (2002), Underworld (2003), Dark Shadows (2012), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), Night Teeth (2021), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Fright Night (2011), Near Dark (1987), Body Double (1984), 30 Days of Night (2007), Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), Fright Night (1985), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Daybreakers (2009), Priest (2011), Vampire Academy (2014), Queen of the Damned (2002), Vampires (1998), Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), Underworld: Evolution (2006), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), Dracula 2000 (2000), Ultraviolet (2006), Sleepwalkers (1992), Underworld: Awakening (2012), Embrace of the Vampire (1995), Once Bitten (1985), Vampire’s Kiss (1988), Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), Thirst (2009), Shadow of the Vampire (2000), The Little Vampire (2000), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), Fright Night Part 2 (1988), BloodRayne (2005), Freaks of Nature (2015), Paris, je t’aime (2006), Vampires Suck (2010), The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 (2021), … (and many more)

(We’ve watched a ton of these over the last two years I think. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (or as I know it, LXG obvs) has somehow evaded us. It isn’t impossible that that is a Hall of Famer in waiting, that film is hilariously bad.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jared Leto is No. 1 billed in Morbius and No. 2 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The name of the cargo ship in the beginning of the movie is Murnau (as in F.W. Murnau, the director of the classic vampire movie ‘Nosferatu’). Like the cargo ship in ‘Nosferatu’, the Murnau arrives in port with its entire crew dead and drained of blood.

The character of Morbius can also be glimpsed in the bonus features of the Blade (1998) DVD, in a deleted ending.

Matt Smith joined the film, after previously turning down other superhero film roles, due to director Daniel Espinosa’s involvement and encouragement from his former Doctor Who co-star Karen Gillan, who portrays Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The New York scenes were actually filmed in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, United Kingdom. All city lights, signs, and license plates were changed to match those found in New York.

In the subway scene, several ads/posters are seen in the background with the names “Thomas & Kane”. An obvious nod to Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, who were the creators of the Marvel superhero Iron Fist.

In the first crime scene, Agent Ramirez states that this was the weirdest crime after “that thing in San Francisco”. This is a reference to Venom. Later in the movie, Morbius states, “I am Venom.”

Leto was rumored for another vampire role, Lestat in Josh Boone’s failed Vampire Chronicles reboot.

Second SSMU film to tie-in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021).

The original cut had Carnage as one of Morbius’ prisoners (before the film was reshuffled and placed eight movies ahead of where it originally was going to be).

The film was set to be released on July 31, 2020 in the United States. But when the coronavirus pandemic began to affect the film industry including attendance at movie theaters, the film’s release was moved to March 19, 2021, January 11, 2021 and finally January 28, 2022. Sony Pictures subsequently began moving their release date for 2020 films to 2021 including another film set in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters: Venom: Let There Be Carnage from its October 2, 2020 release date to June 25, 2021. Spider-Man: No Way Home, another Marvel film associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was dated for release in the United States on July 16, 2021 to November 5, 2021, and again to December 17, 2021.

One of the key locations in the film is Horizon Labs, where Morbius looks after children with the same blood disorder that he has — while also carrying out his research into curing the condition. But Horizon Labs has been a huge part of the “Spider-Man” comics in the last decade, as Peter Parker worked there during Dan Slott’s run on the character. It’s a place for gifted scientists to work on the most cutting-edge technology and ideas, without the restraints of having to pitch them to a board of directors. Horizon Labs first appears in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue #648, and it’s run by Max Modell, one of Peter’s personal heroes in the scientific community. Morbius also works for Horizon in the comics, and he’s the one who creates a serum that saves everyone in New York when the events of “Spider-Island” turn everyone into giant arachnids. But he’s not the only villain to grace the laboratory’s halls. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, also works for the company after he transfers his consciousness into Peter’s brain in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue #700 — and he uses Horizon as a way of developing new technology for his own heroic career. Although don’t worry, non-comic readers, Otto eventually surrendered Peter’s body back to the hero’s consciousness.

J.K. Simmons originally filmed scenes as J. Jonah Jameson for this movie. In the time that elapsed between the film’s original shoot and the production of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it became evident to the filmmakers that Morbius did not actually exist in the same universe as J.K. Simmons’ version of J. Jonah Jameson. As a result, Simmons’ scenes were removed from the film.

MCU fans prefer to think that the Adrian Toomes / Vulture from another universe is a variant and not the one from the MCU despite the confirmation from the director that it’s the same character, given how his character arc was resolved in Spider-Man: Homecoming and how his appearance here undermines it, not to mention how the logic behind his appearance in this universe doesn’t gel with how No Way Home presented the spell.

Bones (2001) Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the Bones Zone where I’m prepared to talk about all things Bones. So let’s get going. Fact number 1: *checks notes* Bones is a film that I watched. And thank you, that’s all I got. I have already forgotten the details of Bones but it’s a fun enough cheapo horror film. Definitely different than the typical fare given the concept. A bunch of musicians buy a house that unbeknownst to them was where a numbers runner, Jimmy Bones, was murdered. They try to open a nightclub there and inadvertently raise Bones from the dead and he goes around killing those that wronged him in the past and then other people to gain his evil strength. You see? Definitely different. It just didn’t really have the means to make it actually good.

For example, there are a number of cheapo horror films that I love. Night of the Demons, Pumpkinhead, Basket Case, etc. What made those stand out? They are highly original and also actually creepy. They use whatever means they have available to bring the horror to life. This is certainly a unique viewpoint for a horror film, but seems more inspired by Halloween 5 or something. It also had some of the worst old person makeup that I can remember. Which is a pretty big deal when you are in a genre that is known for some dope special effects. Like how can you even think about being in the same genre as something like The Thing while just caking a guy in plaster and saying that he’s old now? Anyway, it’s by no means a bad movie, but also not a cult classic like I was led to believe by some very reputable sources (read: wikipedia). But maybe I’m being a little too harsh because I like watching horror films and was kinda excited for this one. 

So I said this was a pretty original film and that’s true as you don’t get a blaxploitation inspired horror film every day, but that’s not the only thing that clearly inspired this film. I love weird connections so I thought I’d detail the obvious, the maybe not so obvious, and the awesome inspirations for this film:

The Obvious –  Amityville Horror. This is a haunted house film at heart but this takes it even a step further in the visual look of the house involved. Amityville Horror made a lot out of the general creepy, face-like house heavily used in its poster. Guess what this house looked like? 

The Maybe Not So Obvious – Hellraiser. This was actually the first film that came to mind as I watched it. We have an evil spirit that gains strength as people are murdered and his ghost/dog consumes the flesh and blood. You even see him come back to like in a very similar way, from skeleton on up.

The Awesome – I’ve always loved the idea of weird, unexpected adaptations. Add this to the pile cause this junk is Julius Caesar. We have Bones ruling the roost until he is betrayed by his supposed friends and stabbed to death. We even have Bones’ gf trying to persuade him not to go to the meeting due to a premonition, just like in the play. And just like in this film Julius Caesar came back to life and murdered everyone in a nightclub… right?

Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Bones (2001)? Wait … 2001? Were we not doing all 12 seasons of the television series Bones from 2005 starring Emily Deschanel as the titular Bones? I watched 245 episodes of David Boreanaz for nothing?! Let’s get into it!

  • Naw I was joking, I’ve never seen an episode of the show Bones … although given by love for Psych, Muder She Wrote, and other cheesy murder mystery shows I’m sure I would love it.
  • Bones, what is there to say about Bones … literally what is there to say? The film is somewhat of an enigma. A Blaxploitation-style Haunted House movie. Can you name another film like it? The closest I can really get is something like Candyman where they took urban legend themed slashers into housing projects.
  • Snoop Dogg is a terrible actor, but I can forgive him for that since he isn’t an actor. I liked Pam Greer.
  • Oh, the film does have bar none the worst makeup I’ve ever seen. The anti-Norbit. You have to see this shit, there is a character where they are trying to age him up, but instead of just putting some white hair on his temples they decide to put him in a terrible fat suit … it is a very distracting and perplexing decision.
  • Perplexing is also how I would describe the main character’s decision to buy a decrepit building and make it into a nightclub and, seemingly, open that night club within a month of buying a decrepit building full of rats. The party looked kind of fun I suppose, although they were just serving pizza on paper plates and stuff? Odd choice for a night club. Then again, I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a real nightclub. Is that a thing? Just ordering a mess of za to the club?
  • Man, turns out I had a lot to say about Bones, except I barely talked about it still somehow. A run of the mill haunted house film with some bad looking 70s flashbacks concerning crack flooding into American cities. I’m not at all surprised it got terrible reviews since it is a bad horror film.
  • I’m honestly at a bit of a loss for any superlatives I could throw its way, because it isn’t really set anywhere, and the people aren’t really looking for anything (except a good time at a party house). Closest to Bad, just for its terrible fat suit and makeup on the police officer.

I’m going to leave it there. Look for the sequel plan in the Quiz as usual. Cheerios,

The Sklogs