Point Break (2015) Preview

“A clue,” Poe says looking closely at the branches of the wicker man, “these aren’t branches at all!” Rich reaches over and breaks him off a piece of the wicker man is stunned to find that Poe is right, “These are pages from tattered books. My god, we’ll be cinders in no time!” But Poe sees this as an opportunity. Calculating the weight of a paper wicker man and it’s probable center of mass and accounting for the fact that it’s burning from the bottom up he guesstimates that with just a quick heave-ho of him and Rich’s well-toned bodies, crafted by years of professional dance, they should topple free and back flip their way to freedom (like they have done so many times before as their alter egos, the Bad Movie Twins). Just before they are to put their plan into action Rich stops Poe and points to what awaits them outside the wicker man. Poe is aghast, “a cliff! What a dastardly tournament indeed. How are we to escape a fiery wicker man and survive the subsequent fall from a cliff. Impossible.” But Rich corrects him, “Nothing is impossible, my dear Poe, just wildly improbable. And while this cliff jump is improbable, it hardly impossible. Don’t you remember what I did before I became a Bad Movie Twin/detective?” Rich prompts Poe. “You were a successful novelist of YA novels,” Poe answers and while true Rich reminds him that even before that he was an extreme sports artist. “That’s how I got this rad scar,” he says pointing to the previously unmentioned enormous scar that adorns his torso. Ah yes, how could Poe forget. Time to get extreme. With that they lovingly craft a hang glider from pieces of the wicker man, slam some Mountain Dew, and get ready to do the dew. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching the ill-advised remake of the action classic Point Break, Point Break (2015). It stars… people that are way less famous than Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze aka The Swayze. We missed it when it came out (for the same reason as Holmes & Watson actually, released around Xmas) but we won’t miss it this time. Let’s go!   

Point Break (2015) – BMeTric: 55.7; Notability: 51 

PointBreakIMDb_BMeT

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(That rating is actually pretty high in my opinion. I would have thought die hard fans would have ruined the rating long ago. It has stayed stock still for years now though, which is usually a good sign. It means people still hate it today, there is something innately bad about the film that crosses generations.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – The idea of remaking “Point Break” was not necessarily a bad idea, I suppose, but whatever charms that film might have had, they are utterly lost on the people behind this embarrassment. Instead, their game plan appears to have been to take a familiar title, throw in a bunch of random action sequences that seem more interested in aping the lunacies of the “Fast & Furious” franchise than Bigelow’s visual poetry and toss it out into a crowded marketplace without any advance screenings (hence the lateness of this review)[.] …The original film, you might recall, was released with the tag line “100% Pure Adrenaline!” This version misses that mark by about 97.5%.

(Fast & Furious is a really good comparison. As a matter of fact there could be an argument that all they really needed to do was make one more (Point Five) set in like Argentina and they could have crossed into the ironically good territory. Too late now though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvFAm4kYCo/

(Bigger and badder. The is one of the fundamental arguments against things like The Fast and the Furious franchise’s progression: everything doesn’t need to be bigger and badder. If you wanted to remake Point Break, why not just remake Point Break?)

Directors – Ericson Core – (Known For: Togo; Invincible; BMT: Point Break; Notes: He’s the cinematographer for the film as well (and was on The Fast and the Furious as well).)

Writers – Kurt Wimmer (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Salt; Equilibrium; The Thomas Crown Affair; The Recruit; Future BMT: Sphere; Total Recall; Street Kings; BMT: Ultraviolet; Point Break; Notes: Apparently invented “gun kata”, a fictional martial arts discipline used in Equilibrium and Ultraviolet. Nicknamed The Wimmer.)

Rick King (story & 1991 story) – (Known For: Point Break; BMT: Point Break; Notes: Was writing some television through the 2000s, but seems to have maybe retired from credited writing. Had a few smaller films prior to Point Break, but pretty close to a one hit wonder writer.)

W. Peter Iliff (story & 1991 screenplay & 1991 story) – (Known For: Point Break; Varsity Blues; Patriot Games; Under Suspicion; BMT: Point Break; Notes: Basically didn’t work throughout the 2000s, but made a short (Trump’s America) recently and now maybe has two movies in production.)

Actors – Edgar Ramírez – (Known For: The Girl on the Train; Zero Dark Thirty; The Bourne Ultimatum; Joy; Gold; Hands of Stone; Wasp Network; Che: Part One; La quietud; The Liberator; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Wrath of the Titans; Domino; Deliver Us from Evil; Bright; Vantage Point; Time Out; BMT: Point Break; Notes: Played Gianni Versace in American Crime Story. Became famous on the Venezuelan soap opera Cosita Rica appearing in over 270 episodes.)

Luke Bracey – (Known For: Hacksaw Ridge; Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan; Me Him Her; Future BMT: The November Man; Lucky Day; The Best of Me; BMT: Point Break; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Monte Carlo; Notes: Huh, he also became famous on a soap, Home and Away which was broadcast in Australia. He appeared in 224 episodes.)

Ray Winstone – (Known For: The Departed; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Hugo; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Snow White and the Huntsman; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Noah; Cold Mountain; Rango; Beowulf; Sexy Beast; Edge of Darkness; The Proposition; Quadrophenia; Scum; The Sweeney; Ripley’s Game; The War Zone; Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains; The Legend of Barney Thomson; Future BMT: The Queen’s Corgi; King of Thieves; 13; Reckless; London Boulevard; King Arthur; Breaking and Entering; Elfie Hopkins; Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Cats; Point Break; Fool’s Gold; The Gunman; Notes: Nominated for two BAFTAs, one in 1979 as a newcomer, and then for Nil by Mouth as a lead actor. Was the schoolboy boxing champion of England three times and represented England internationally twice.)

Budget/Gross – $105,000,000 / Domestic: $28,782,481 (Worldwide: $133,718,711)

(That isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The domestic take is shocking, as is the budget, but over $100 million worldwide is pretty solid for a movie with a bunch of nobodies in the cast.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (12/108): Loaded with dazzling action but bereft of purpose, the Point Break remake will be remembered as the first film to make audiences pine for the simultaneous presences of Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey.

(False, I always pine for the presence of Gary Busey. Keanu ain’t a bad bonus. Reviewer Highlight: Boldly reimagining Kathryn Bigelow’s cult favorite as a movie where absolutely nobody seems to be having any fun, the new Point Break drops the original’s Zen-like balance of macho mysticism and camp in favor of dour humorlessness. – Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club)

Poster – XXX: We’re Bank Robbers Now (D)

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(I remember hating this poster when the film was coming out and I still hate it. It’s just not good. Looks like an advertisement for a travel agency or something. The original is beautiful.)

Tagline(s) – The only law that matters is gravity (Whatever is better than A+)

Find your breaking point (D)

(Nooooooooo. If only that first one was on the poster. My face actually melted as I read it. My god, it’s beautiful. Hey everyone! Come see this great tagline they didn’t use. They used this almost hilariously bad one instead. So you went with “Point Break… Find your breaking point” as the tagline?… alright.)

Keyword – surfing

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Top 10: Point Break (1991), Baywatch (2017), Beautiful Boy (2018), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Die Another Day (2002), Pearl Harbor (2001), Jumper (2008), Despicable Me (2010), The Shallows (2016), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008); 

Future BMT: 68.3 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 44.3 Surf Ninjas (1993), 37.1 Meet the Deedles (1998), 34.5 Without a Paddle (2004), 31.0 Pearl Harbor (2001), 20.3 The Allnighter (1987), 18.4 Act of Valor (2012), 16.6 Airborne (1993), 5.8 Chasing Mavericks (2012); 

BMT: Baywatch (2017), Jumper (2008), Point Break (2015), The Gunman (2015), Failure to Launch (2006)

(Surfing is one of those keywords which is applied to any film with even a moment of surf action, but this is actually pretty good. And now I’m really really rethinking these plots. I don’t doubt that “surfing” movies are becoming less popular over time, the early 2000s were the time of Extreme Doritos and Mountain Dew, and since then surfing is just an interesting hobby to have. But it is plausible that 2000s films also just get keywords much much more often. But maybe it is okay as long as we are aware of the issue.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Teresa Palmer is No. 3 billed in Point Break and No. 3 billed in I Am Number Four, which also stars Alex Pettyfer (No. 1 billed) who is in Endless Love (2014) (No. 1 billed), which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 6 = 17. If we were to watch Feeling Minnesota, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – While shooting second unit footage at the Jaws surf break in Maui, the crew was fortunate enough to catch one of the largest wave breaks of the last decade, being ridden by the world’s top big wave surfers.

In the original 1991 film, James Le Gros played Roach, one of the ex-Presidents; in the remake he plays an assistant director of the FBI. (Fun)

The Angel Falls sequence is an expensive one, with a structure that cost upwards of $500K to build. It consisted of a platform that was approximately the size of a football field just beneath the summit of the falls where the crew set up camp so as not to disrupt the environment by making camp on the ground. Kosove likened the shoot at Angel Falls to a “full-scale military operation”.

Teresa Palmer did most of her own stunts, despite this being her first acting job after she gave birth to her son Bohdi. (Wait … she named her son Bohdi, like the name of the character in Point Break?)

The wingsuit scene that takes place early in the film, was all choreographed and flown in real life. Taking place at “the crack” in Walenstadt, Switzerland, the sequence is edited together of multiple jumps, all flown by some of the best wingsuit pilots in the world: Jon DeVore, Michael Swanson, Julian Boulle & Noah Banson were doing the formations flying, while Jhonathan Florez & James Boole were flying just next to them as camera-guys. (this sequence was supervised by Jeb Corliss) The crew spent a period of 3½ weeks in Switzerland, and the wingsuit pilots did the jump more than 60 times to get the right shots.

Some of the world’s best athletes worked on this film, including Jeb Corliss, whom Kosove cited as being “the greatest wing suit athlete in the world”. Legendary surfers Laird Hamilton and Sebastian Zietz, and pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist were also involved & also pro rock climber Chris Sharma. (Cool)

Gerard Butler was the first person cast. He was cast as Bodhi but later dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. (Noooooooooo)

The film takes place over the period of about a month, and took close to a year to shoot. It was shot in over 10 countries and 4 continents. Point Break (2015) uses physical locations as much as possible, and the producers tried to be judicious when implementing green screens or VFX. (Roooooooooooad triiiiiiiiiiip)

Luke Bracey won the role of Johnny Utah after an extensive audition process, and he got the part due to the fact that he seemed “real” and unaffected, according to Kosove. An added bonus was the fact that Bracey has been surfing and playing rugby since childhood.

The closing credits last for 13 minutes 30 seconds. (I’ll just go ahead and skip those … unless they are so long because of multiple extended dance sequences and bloopie reels. Then I’m watching it multiple times)

Core also acts as cinematographer, a fact that actress Teresa Palmer called “a gift because he is so involved in every single aspect of this film.”

Director Ericson Core worked as the director of photography on The Fast and the Furious, a film very similar to Point Break (1991).

The Ozaki 8 as seen on the chalkboard in the FBI headquarters are as follows: -1. Emerging Force – Navigate the Inga Falls Rapids (Democratic Republic of the Congo) -2. Birth of Sky – Base jump from a high location (Everest, Tibet). -3. Awakening Earth – Penetrate the ground in the Cave of Swallows after skydive (San Luis Potosi, Mexico). -4. Life of Water – Surf giant ocean waves about 20-30 meters high (Biarritz, France). -5. Life of Wind – Fly with a wingsuit after jumping from the top of a mountain (Churfirsten Mountain Range, Switzerland). -6. Life of Ice – Snowboard from the top of an ice mountain to the mountainside (Aosta Valley, Italy). -7. Master of Six Lives – Climb the stone wall of a grand waterfall without using security measures (Angel Falls, Venezuela). -8. Act of Ultimate Trust – Jump off the waterfall after climbing it (Angel Falls, Venezuela).

Holmes & Watson Recap

Jamie

Sherlock is back, Jack! And it seems like he might have found his match, as a mysterious murderer is loose in London and Moriarty is nowhere to be seen. Even worse this murderer’s next target? The Queen *gasp*. Can Sherlock and his trusty pal Watson solve the case (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Holmes & Watson.

How?! After being bullied as a child, Sherlock Holmes vows to never be controlled by emotions and to use his big ol’ brain to take down the bad guys. Flash forward and he’s doing just that. When Moriarty is on the verge of going to jail, Holmes shocks the world by revealing his theory that in fact he’s an impostor and the real Moriarty has escaped to America. The London authorities are incredulous, but the Queen is thrilled and invites Holmes to the palace for what turns out to be a surprise birthday party. The party is immediately ruined by a corpse being found in the cake and the revelation that there is a plot to kill the Queen. Sherlock is on the case with the help of his trusty doctor sidekick Watson and they track down lead after lead. This includes the revelation that Holmes was right, the man they thought was Moriarty was an impostor and blackmailed into helping with the plot. As Holmes thinks hard about how it’s possible that someone (anyone!) could battle his big ol’ brain, he comes to the only reasonable conclusion: it must be someone very close to him. He points the finger at Watson (slander!) and gets him thrown in jail, but the guilt he feels over betraying his only true friend puts him back in touch with his emotions. Going to free Watson before his execution he finds the final clue that puts all the pieces together: it was his housekeeper (who was also secretly Moriarty’s child! (what a twist!)). Realizing that the plot will culminate with the murder of the Queen aboard the Titanic, Holmes arrives just in time to free Watson and, as a team, foil the plot and catch the baddies. Afterwards, as a newly minted detective duo, they go to America to catch Moriarty once and for all. Am I smelling a sequel (hint: I’m not). THE END. Big Question: how much do you actually have to laugh during a comedy for it to not be terrible?

Why?! For Queen and Country, duh. Oh, and Sherlock also wants to prove to everyone else that he’s the smartest. Oh, and Watson wants to become co-detective with Sherlock. Oh, and Moriarty and his daughter only want to murder the Queen to prove to the world that they are smarter than Sherlock and make him look like a fool. The mystery is so devious that they think he can’t possibly solve it… they are wrong.

Who?! Steve Coogan and Hugh Laurie went uncredited for their cameo roles. Both were small, but significant roles. Billy Zane appeared as himself in the film, which I was all for. Always into a ride on the Zane Train. All aboard! Choo choo. Finally, we generally highlight appearances of real of fictional Presidents on screen. Well how about Pam Ferris playing Queen Victoria? Long live the Queen! As a last note, Watson is comically played as a Planchet in the film… almost to a tee. Shit on all day, but generally competent and helpful.

What?! I stopped at nothing to find a prop from this film for sale. It just seemed impossible for them to make a period piece without accruing a huge number of props that you could sell for charity and/or to amuse me. Finally I dug up this prop pistol that apparently has already sold. I’m not even that disappointed. I was mostly hoping to find full Holmes and Watson costumes so I could gift the Watson costume to Patrick and then have the Holmes’ costume tailored to fit his dog Tolstoy (obviously). But alas.

Where?! London, baby. With a little dash of Wyoming (seriously) at the end. Obviously this plays a huge role in the film considering the entire mystery is about the attempted murder of the Queen, the Titanic makes an appearance, etc. Solid A as it is as necessary as bubble and squeak at brekkie.

When?! The timeline is all screwed up as they mix all kinds of historical events together. You have to go with the date on one of the many newspapers that are shown on the screen, November 26th, 1892, as the true date (weirdly making this is a super duper secret Thanksgiving film: London edition) and not the fact that the Titanic plays a role in the film despite not even being ordered for construction until 1908. I kinda like that they were like “who cares?” with this kind of stuff… if they want to make a bunch of Titanic jokes and have a Billy Zane cameo then that’s all fine by me… as long as you give me a newspaper with the actual date on it. B.

We all have biases. I have a soft spot for stupid comedies, particularly of the Ferrell-Reilly variety. This should already have been clear considering the Smaddies Baddies award for bad-film-that’s-actually-good is named after Freddy Got Fingered… although I guess that’s because that movie is actually good. I wouldn’t go nearly that far with Holmes & Watson. But I would also say that I laughed occasionally, thought it looked quite good, and certainly wasn’t lazy in ways that you sometimes see in bad comedies. By the end I was moderately sad that the product was bad enough to guarantee that there couldn’t be a sequel. I would have enjoyed seeing if they could have produced something good out of their attempt at a Sherlock spoof. But that’s not gonna happen and their first attempt is just meh in a Get Hard kind of way. You’ll laugh a few times but that’s probably about it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You know me, I love me a murder mystery. Poirot, Jessica Fletcher, DCI Barnaby. It’s my jam. But now for the best adaptation yet! Will Ferrell as Sherlock Holmes … Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I’m not exaggerating when I say the preview said maybe 10 times that this was the least funny film ever produced. So unfunny that your mind would reject it, and you would rage against the mere idea of continuing to watch more than a mere second of the film … so yeah, I was getting prepared to be bored out of my mind. What were my expectations? A boring mess. Like with the classic Kicking and Screaming, Will Ferrell sometimes ends up in comedies where he just shouts a bunch and not much happens. So I was expecting that.

The Good – Superficially the case is at least somewhat interesting. A double of Moriarty, murder by tattoo, and a twist reveal of Holmes’ housekeeper being the long lost daughter of Moriarty trying to make Holmes look the fool. I found that mostly satisfying (although there are issues with it which I’ll mention below). I laughed three times during this film, which is above average, so that is a small positive. I especially liked the whole Titanic bit at the end. And the cast is a murderer’s row of British comedians (unfortunately they aren’t given much to do, but I do enjoy the casting in general).

The Bad – While superficially interesting the mystery is very disjointed, and upon inspection the twist is basically impossible to determine organically. Like, they have a giant scene in which Holmes and Watson are trying to find the mysterious tattoo artist, but in the end they end up not knowing any additional information from the escapade and Mycroft just has to tell Holmes the answer. The accents by Ferrell and Reilly are immediately annoying, a huge mistake to surround them with actual British people. And the origin story of Sherlock (which no one asked for) in the beginning is a terrible addition to the Sherlock lore and unnecessary to boot (who gives a shit as to why Sherlock Holmes solves cases “unemotionally” … is that even a thing?). The more I write about the film the more I actually dislike it.

The BMT – If not for the cast of the film I’m confident I would have despised this film as a try-hard and unfunny piece of garbage. It still mostly sucks, but hey, I like Ferrell and Reilly and I can’t help myself, I ended up laughing a bit. I’m quite interested to see if we end up watching another Sherlock Holmes film at some point. Did it meet my expectations? It was certainly slightly funnier than I expected. But it mostly just matched them. An unfunny adaptation of a classic book is a tough sell.

Roast-radamus – One of the better Planchett (Who?) with Watson in this one in my opinion, but he might be a bit too competent of a doctor to count. For the most part that is his purpose though, to be ripped on by Holmes and look like an idiot. Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for London. It is also a Period Piece (When?) for the Victorian setting, but we usually go for secret holiday film in the end. Worst Twist (How?) for the long lost Moriarty daughter, and Best MacGuffin (Why?) for the mystery of the missing Moriarty … my God, it potentially qualifies for everything!

StreetCreditReport.com – So I can’t find this on any of the big lists, but I think I know why: it was released on Christmas Day, 2018. So all of the lists were already published by the time it came out. I think it makes one or two of them if they were to edit them though, it definitely has the cred, especially with that cast. I also think it is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever, so it has that going for it.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally, watching one of the greatest Sherlock Holmes adaptations every made I had to find an even better one to watch: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century! A cartoon series from 1999 (free on Tubi) the show amazingly follows along with a good number of the classic Holmes mysteries (quite the coincidence given the concept of the show is that all of the Holmes mysteries were real and occurred in the 19th century as well …). I just watched the first episode. Beyond the travesty that is the CGI in the show, mainly it suffers from relying far too heavily in calling back to the original books. C-. Amusing for about 5 minutes, and then the overwhelming sense of ennui that comes with wasting one’s life watching bad cartoons settles in and ruins the experience.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Holmes & Watson Quiz

So here’s the thing. I’m Sherlock Holmes, but like a bumbling version of him (you know?). So I was stumbling about for clues and naturally smashed my head with a cricket bat and got a concussion. I’ve forgotten everything! Can you remember what happened in Holmes & Watson?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The beginning of the film is a flashback to Sherlock’s childhood (fun …) where it is revealed why Sherlock is so smart. Why?

2) In the beginning of the film Sherlock is very very late for a very important date! What is the date? And name two reasons he ends up late.

3) After a dead body turns up in Holmes’ celebratory cake (along with a threat to the Queen’s life), what do Holmes and Watson determine happened to him?

4) How does Sherlock come to suspect his loyal companion Watson of betraying him, sending him to the gallows for murder?

5) Who is the real culprit and why are they attempting to kill the Queen?

Answers

Holmes & Watson Preview

Jamie and Patrick wander the wasteland of the BMTverse, their tuxedos in tatters. Last they saw Banks was thrilled with another boffo box office Rich and Poe entry, but the reviews were brutal. “A truly terrifying cat-astrophe,” said one critic, while another derided, “the deranged vision of two power-hungry maniacs.” Harsh, but fair. They had lost their way in their quest to bring their magnum opus to screen and now they must suffer the consequences. Suddenly a hooded figures appears in front of them and they are overcome with emotion. “Nic Cage,” Patrick cries, “we’ve failed you. We made a horrible Rich and Poe movie but they weren’t here when we came back. It must have been too terrible to work.” But Nic Cage pulls down his hood and laughs. “Silly Bad Movie Twins, can’t you see? Rich and Poe were in you the whole time.” When they look down their tattered tuxedos have been replaced by detective suits. “Wooooaaaaahhh,” they say in wonder. “It is time,” Nic Cage says solemnly, “the tournament.” Another figure approaches and they bow their heads and explain that the tournament will consist of the pillars on which the universe is built. Each one is a test, but also a learning experience. The first is about the dangers of imagination. “Stick close to what you know,” says Nic Cage, “for the new and unknown are dangerous.” The other hooded figure nods, “tread well-worn paths and you will not be… punished.” At that Nic Cage bows his head and Rich and Poe are transported into a Wicker Man. As the fire rages around them they wonder what this has to do with winning the ultimate tournament. Nic Cage’s eerie voice whispers from seemingly nowhere, “Elementary, my dear Rich and Poe. Elementary.” That’s right! We’re watching last year’s big Christmas disaster Holmes & Watson as the first entry in the first cycle of 2020: adaptations and remakes. I have to admit I was somewhat interested in this film before it came out given that even the poorly reviewed Get Hard gave me a good chuckle here and there, but the reviews for this Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly were so bad that it ended up waiting for BMT. I still think there’s a chance I like it. Let’s go!

Holmes & Watson (2018) – BMeTric: 80.6; Notability: 43 

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(Below 4.0 is so low. I’m actually a bit surprised. I feel like horror fans are super hard on horror because they want new and interesting things and come down hard when things are done poorly. Comedy on the other hand seems to be: as long as it is even remotely funny and I have a good time I’m good to go. I guess this must be just excruciatingly not-funny?)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – “Holmes & Watson” is so excruciatingly awful that you have to wonder what it was, other than their paychecks, that could have possessed the cast and crew to keep coming back each day, when it must have been obvious from the first day of shooting that the project was the most hopeless of cases imaginable. … Considering that the end result is probably the biggest cinematic clunker of the season, the closest thing to an actual mystery in “Holmes & Watson” is how a screenplay as puerile as this one could attract so many talented people.

(Cooooooold bloooooooded. That is a quite the review. It does seem like the consensus seems to genuinely be: this is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever made … somehow including Sherlock Gnomes? You have to assume.)

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

(I was kind of just like “meh, whatever” right up until The Boys are Back in Town started up, and then my mind viscerally rejected this trailer. It really does look like garbage. A bunch of predictable jokes, poor British accents, and if those are the creme de la creme jokes they are rolling out for the trailer, I have to assume the movie is twice as bad.)

Directors – Etan Cohen – (Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: He is tapped to direct a Mandrake the Magician adaptation starring Sasha Baron Cohen … that seems like an insane thing to adapt. Very specifically not Ethan Cohen.)

Writers – Etan Cohen (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black 3; Tropic Thunder; Idiocracy; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Got his start on Beavis and Butt-head with Mike Judge, along with King of the Hill. Currently writing an animated monster wrestling movie called Rumble.)

Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created by the late) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – (Known For: Sherlock Holmes; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; The Great Mouse Detective; Young Sherlock Holmes; Mr. Holmes; The Hound of the Baskervilles; The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Murder by Decree; The Lost World; Future BMT: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; The Hound of the Baskervilles; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Notes: That’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to you. In addition to creating probably the most famous literary detective ever, he also wrote a number of other works, most notable The Lost World.)

Actors – Will Ferrell – (Known For: Elf; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Step Brothers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; The Other Guys; Between Two Ferns: The Movie; The Lego Movie; Old School; Wedding Crashers; Blades of Glory; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Megamind; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; Zoolander; Stranger Than Fiction; Starsky & Hutch; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; The Producers; Future BMT: Bewitched; Boat Trip; Land of the Lost; Superstar; The Ladies’ Man; The House; Semi-Pro; Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Drowning Mona; Get Hard; The Suburbans; Daddy’s Home 2; Daddy’s Home; The Internship; A Night at the Roxbury; Zeroville; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Zoolander 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Bewitched in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2006 for Bewitched, and Kicking & Screaming; in 2010 for Land of the Lost; and in 2019 for Holmes & Watson; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Zoolander 2 in 2017; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Land of the Lost in 2010; Notes: I would argue he’s the best SNL alumni cast member in history. Tons of hits and misses, but he has manages to build a successful television, film, and short film career. He founded Funny or Die with Adam McKay.)

John C. Reilly – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; Sing; Step Brothers; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Wreck-It Ralph; Gangs of New York; The Aviator; The Lobster; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; The Sisters Brothers; Boogie Nights; Kong: Skull Island; Chicago; Magnolia; We Need to Talk About Kevin; Stan & Ollie; The Thin Red Line; The Dictator; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Hoffa; Future BMT: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Boys; Days of Thunder; Nightwatch; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Started out as a character actor, moves into dramatic roles, but also somehow manages to be a great comic actor as well. Is married to Alison Dickey who apparently was Sean Penn’s assistant for a while.)

Ralph Fiennes – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Skyfall; Spectre; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Official Secrets; Schindler’s List; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Duchess; Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang; In Bruges; Red Dragon; The English Patient; The Hurt Locker; Great Expectations; The Lego Batman Movie; The Reader; Hail, Caesar!; Future BMT: Maid in Manhattan; Wrath of the Titans; Clash of the Titans; Chromophobia; BMT: The Avengers; Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Avengers in 1999; Notes: Is the oldest of six siblings. His brother Magnus is an accomplished composer, and his brother Joseph is famous for playing Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love.)

Budget/Gross – $42,000,000 / Domestic: $30,573,626 (Worldwide: $40,466,970)

(Hmmmm, the budget makes sense, a period piece will rack up bills on extras, sets, and costumes. And they probably were hoping for a $100 million return from the box office which I think is still fairly normal for a Will Ferrell comedy. Missed the mark though, that’s a pretty big bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (8/75): The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.

(That is actually likely a pretty accurate presumption … it does look like an awful adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Reviewer Highlight: If a comedy falls in the forest and nobody laughs, did it even exist? – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out)

Poster – Rich & Poe: Old Timey Detectives: A Rich & Poe Story (D)

holmes_and_watson_ver2_xlg

(Nah, this is actually in line with many of the Will Ferrell films, but it doesn’t really work for me. Bad color scheme and boring font… really just all around boring. No thanks.)

Tagline(s) – They don’t have a clue. (B)

(Predictable, but solid. Works just enough to escape being too generic. This is just good solid craftsmanship. It’ll get the job done.)

Keyword – victorian era

Holmes&Watson_victorian era

Top 10: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A Christmas Carol (2009), The Prestige (2006), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dracula (1992), The Lost City of Z (2016), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Van Helsing (2004), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Sherlock Holmes (2009); 

Future BMT: 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.1 The Wolfman (2010), 37.1 Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), 31.7 Victor Frankenstein (2015), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 13.4 Tai-Pan (1986), 5.4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004), 4.9 A Dog of Flanders (1999); 

BMT: Holmes & Watson (2018), Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

(Both of those BMTs star Steve Coogan, that’s fun. I guess he is British … does he look Victorian or something? The big spike in the early 90s was Interview with a Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It does genuinely seem like 1990 to 1995 was a big Victorian Era era. Indeed there are shockingly few released between 1995 and 2000)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rebecca Hall is No. 3 billed in Holmes & Watson and No. 3 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 17. If we were to watch A Night at the Roxbury we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to Deadline, after disastrous test screenings, Sony attempted to sell the film to Netflix, which declined. (Uh oh, that isn’t a good sign)

Speaking on the Empire Podcast #346 (11 January 2019) about the quality of the film, Steve Coogan, who played Gustav Klinger, said “I think in 20 years time when the dust has settled and people are able to look at Holmes and Watson objectively, I think people will say ‘It’s still rubbish”. (Hahahah, Coogan is great)

In 2008, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell were once attached to star as Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The project re-entered development in 2016 with Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson. (Huh, that is actually a pretty interesting pair)

Became the only film in the history of the Razzie Awards to “win” Worst Picture and not even be nominated for Worst Screenplay.

Actor Billy Zane has a cameo in this film aboard the Titanic; an homage to his role in the 1997 film about the Titanic.

Christophe Beck wrote a score for this film which was not used.

Hugh Laurie, who plays Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, in the film, previously portrayed the title character in the television series, House MD. The character Greg House was modeled after Sherlock Holmes.

As of 2018, this is the seventh adaptation during the decade to be based on Sherlock Holmes lore, after: Sherlock (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Elementary (2012), Mr. Holmes (2015) and Sherlock Gnomes (2018).

Moriarty has a daughter in this film. He is traditionally portrayed as unmarried, with no children.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Etan Cohen, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Will Ferrell, 2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, 2019)

Cats Recap

Jamie

A cat is abandoned in London and learns about a group of cats called the Jellicle cats. Periodically they have a talent show to determine who goes to heaven to be reborn and that is tonight, but the evil McCavity wants to hijack the show. Can the rightful cat be chosen before it’s too late? Find out in… Cats… it’s about cats. Let’s go!

How?! Victoria is not a Jellicle cat. She’s just a cat dropped into a Jellicle world of London. All the cats dance and sing about how they are Jellicle cats and Victoria is like “damn, that’s cool. I wish I were Jellicle,” but she isn’t. The cats let her know that tonight is a very special night because Old Deuteronomy is in town and ready to judge a cat talent show and send one cat to heaven to be reborn into the life they’ve always dreamed of. There is this one cat that is kinda fat and makes mice and cockroaches sing. Then there is like a more R&B cat who’s breaking all the rules. Then there is another fat cat that loves to eat… that’s kind of his thang. Then there is a mysterious cat called Macavity who is the bad guy who is trying to hijack the competition by kidnapping the competition to make sure he wins (oh no!). Victoria briefly gets entangled with some cat burglar cats, but Mr. Mistoffelees comes in and saves the day, phew. Victoria also takes pity on a rejected cat, Grizabella, who used to pal around with Macavity and so all the Jellicle cats hate her, but Victoria is like “her story is sad, yet beautiful… like life and/or dance.” When the competition starts, an old cat named Gus sings a song (but come on, he ain’t winning). Then Taylor Swift cat sings a song and everyone is mesmerized, allowing for Macavity to swoop in and demand to win. When denied by Old Deuteronomy he kidnaps her and forces her to walk the plank into the Thames. Everyone is like “but wait, Mr. Mistoffelees is a magical cat… get her back.” And he sings a song and is real sad cause he think it didn’t work, but guess what? It did. In the end, Victoria convinces Grizabella to sing and it’s beautiful and she wins and flies up in a hot air balloon and everyone’s heads explode in confusion and glee for the wonderful cats and the newly minted Jellicle cat, Victoria. THE END. Big Question: What is this about? Oh wait… it’s about cats. Also, how does this exist?

Why?! Motivation, shmotivation. Let’s just appreciate that this exists and is in our lives. Sure they all want to win the competition because they want to have all their dreams come true by being born into the life they were destined for, but also, like, it’s about cats and they did it all for us the viewer.

Who?! Secret Twins Alert! We actually had been eyeing this film as a twin film for a potential twin cycle and so it’s still important to point out that Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer are twin cat burglars. There is also a brief appearance of cats called Plato and Socrates that are probably twins… or at least they are played by Les Twins who are twins in real life (duh). Oh and Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson and Jason Derulo and a million ballerinas are in the film too.

What?! Back in 2000, once the musical had completed its legendary run on Broadway, it auctioned off all of the set pieces for the benefit of charity. Which is kinda cool. Even cooler would have been getting my paws on some of those Cats wigs. They would immediately become part of my new bowling team, The Jellicle Cats and we’d be pretty feisty. I doubt the film will have a similarly celebrated prop auction so I’m just biding my time to get my hands on… I guess the motion capture leotards? Damn you, technology.

Where?! Obviously set in London as evidence from the scenery, accents, and most notably the Thames. They even go out of their way to make a Thames pronunciation joke for us Yankees. How fun. Pretty important, but not that important. B.

When?! From the set pieces you assume that this is set in the past but it’s never made exactly clear. They don’t seem particularly interested in establishing anything other than what a Jellicle cat is and all the interesting Jellicle cats… and you’re probably like “Jamie, what is a Jellicle cat?” and I’ll tell you… it’s a Jellicle cat. Cat! It’s about cats! F.

Cats is a wild ride of both the best and worst CGI you’ve ever seen. Seriously, one second you are amazed at the visual splendor and then next terrified by the horrible cat monsters. It’s also a very expensive film made for the twelve biggest Cats fans in the world (and no one else). Theater geeks are going to be thrilled by it. The rest of humanity will just be confused. For me it was so weird and great and confusing and I was watching ballet and tapdance and shit for two hours and I couldn’t understand how it all came to exist or if it was good or bad or if it didn’t matter. It’s as if Rocky Horror started out as a $200 million Christmas release and the creators were like “wait… why didn’t people see our great movie?” What I’m saying is that they made a major motion picture cult film. It will lose them a lot of money, but there is a chance people are sitting in theaters throwing tuna fish at the screen in ten years. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I’m pretty stunned people find Cats to have an odd story. Like … Beautiful Cat meets the Jellicle Cats who sing and dance about themselves, and then Old Cat picks Downtrodden Cat to be the Special Cat. The End. Seems really straightforward. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I was actually really amazed by the cast for the film. Given all of the previews focused on the big names (Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Hudson in particular) I had kind of assumed the cast was top to bottom big names. But the main three cats are ballerinas or no name actors, and even a lot of the other cats are directly from the stage production from what I can tell. It feels like a good decision on their part, but then again, we’re watching it for BMT so maybe not. What were my expectations? A wild visual ride. A mind-meltingly weird film. And some terrible CGI. That seems to be it, just a weird weird film with bad CGI mostly.

The Good – When you watch this film you are watching film history. It is such a bizarre choice to release a wildly expensive adaptation of Cats. The songs are obviously very good, and a lot of moments make you think “wow, this is beautiful”. The side cats are quite good, like Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer in particular worked well despite coming directly from theater (I think). As a matter of fact the acting is all rather good. Even the bits that might not have worked (Rebel Wilson, James Cordon, and Taylor Swift) all mostly work in my opinion.

The Bad – But holy shit, at times the CGI is just some of the worst stuff you’ll ever see. The entire Gumbie Cat song with Rebel Wilson is extremely bad. I thought it was bad with the creepy children mice, but then the line dancing cockroaches … it sounds like I’m joking, but I’m not. If the background was kept as CGI and everyone was in costumes it might have worked, but the CGI ends up being so distracting at times that you can’t help but think “yeah, they should have waited a bit to release this”. It got around 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, and that sounds right, but the base story is like a 60-70% film, it really just is impossible not to downgrade the film for the technical issues it presented. I also guessed the original song based solely on the Les Miz Criteria: The worst song in a film adapting a famous musical is the original one. Victoria’s Song, nailed it. Finally, I don’t know if it is the same as in the original production, but the first rendition of Memories is so low-key as to be boring. I was honestly stunned that that was it when it ended. That feels bad.

The BMT – I think in 15 years when they release this as an “update” instead of a “remake” we’ll know we’ve made film history. Hear me out: the expensive bit of paying all of the actors and the giant production is done. The CGI is obviously expensive, but you could “remake” the film by just updating the CGI in 15 years using the base footage. I honestly think it is possible that is the future. Instead of re-releasing Disney animated classics as live action, we’ll start seeing things like Toy Story “updated” to use modern CGI techniques and released as “new” movies to a new generation. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, although I expected it to be worse. I guess I shouldn’t have really, it is a famous musical production for a reason, the songs are just going to be bangers no matter what. The CGI is mind meltingly bad, but book it: it’ll be updated in the future and people will say “you know what? Cats ain’t so bad”.

Roast-radamus – Definitely gets a Setting as a Character (Where?) for London which is very much a huge part of all of the sets. And Best MacGuffin (Why?) as well think for the general purpose of the entire film being to rise to the Heaviside Layer. As Jamie points out there is a Best Twin Film (Who?) possibility here with both Les Twins and the characters of Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer being twins. That’s a twin heavy film for sure.

StreetCreditReport.com – Obviously a huge amount of street cred. First, the trailer broke the internet (as the kids say) producing what scientists claim is the creepiest of all possible valleys. Second, it is a colossal financial failure (especially if the rumored budget of like $300 million is correct, but … it couldn’t possibly be, right?). And finally, the critics are loving to hate it, unloading all of their best cat puns on unsuspecting readers. It didn’t make the AV Club list, possibly because the list was released prior to Cats and never updated. But Variety specifically updated their list to include it, and the Hollywood Reporter also has it. It is a true triple threat.

BMT Live Theater Report – A secret BMT Live indeed. It isn’t official, but obviously I had to go out and see the film in theaters. And boy oh boy it was a wild ride. Again, I was in a small theater at Vue in Westfield, so it was nearly sold out when I arrived (!). It was 6pm on a Monday, so obviously the theater was filled with children. And there was a boy there who was not having a good time. First, his brother ate all the popcorn like 10 minutes before the movie started, so he was running in and out of the theater up through 15 minutes of the movie trying to find his mother/nanny to complain about it. Then he was literally walking around at parts because he was bored. And then, after getting upset again about something his brother did, he started intentionally making a ruckus until his mother/nanny pulled him out of the theater … but then he came back in alone! To be fair, it didn’t really affect my viewing experience, Cats is wall to wall music with not much storyline, so it was more like a little side show I got to enjoy. But by far the most disruptive theater experience I’ve ever been in, D.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Cats Quiz

Oh boy, it happened again, I got a concussion and forgot all about this movie I watched … what’s that? I didn’t have a concussion, I just watched the incredibly bizarre film Cats? … Well, do you remember what “happened” in Cats?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Before our hero Victoria can be delighted by the song about Jellicle Cats she needs to arrive into the world of the Jellicle Cats. How does she get there?

2) Name as many of the cats as possible. Spelling doesn’t matter. As a matter of fact names don’t matter, just like … describe as many as you can.

3) What are all of the cats competing for?

4) What is the eeeeeevil Macavity’s plan for winning the competition?

5) Who actually wins and why?

Answers

Cats Preview

“You can’t fire me, it’s my money,” Banks says calmly, weathering Jamie’s wrath. “Beside we have just two weeks before our Christmas release date and as far as I can tell you have 25 minutes shot.” Jamie and Patrick squint at Banks and ask if it can be pushed back, but Banks shakes his head. Whatever they have will be going out, so they better get their lazy asses into gear and find 2 hours of footage from somewhere, with or without the crew they just fired. Using dream sequences and flashbacks cut from previous entries in the series they get up to about an hour, but they begin to panic. “What about public domain footage?” Patrick asks, but even having Rich and Poe sing Happy Birthday to each other while watching an entire episode of The Three Stooges only gets them so far. Suddenly, while lazing away their remaining days on their helicopter cruise ships, Jamie has a brilliant idea to get the last 45 minutes of film. “Patrick! You have a beautiful mind, right?” Patrick shrugs, duh. “Well why don’t you put that beautiful noggin to work and craft some sweet AI computer magic to bring our vision to life!” Patrick agrees and gets down to coding. Mere hours before the premier they get their finished film in the can and ready for the show. Jamie and Patrick are beaming. Despite the many roadblocks they persevered and their vision is complete. The theater hushes and the lights dim and a gasp arises from the audience as the terrible, freakish computer generated figures of Rich and Poe dance eerily across the screen. Jamie looks at Patrick for an answer but Patrick can only shake his head and mutter, “I guess the AI decided to make us monster cats.” That’s right! For the final entry in the 2019 entry we decided to catch one final bonus BMT Live, given the Christmas release of one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Indeed we decided to watch Cats, the much reviled adaptation of the long-running hit musical. This also gives a little hint to the first cycle of next year. Let’s go! 

Cats (2019) – BMeTric: 79.1; Notability: 34 

CatsIMDb_BMeT

CatsIMDb_RV

(Incredibly BMeTric, which I guess makes sense given how much the internet hates his film. The notability is quite low, maybe because much of the cast is made up of dancers? Notability is somewhat depressed in the year of release because there are people who aren’t yet famous but will be in the future. I’ll have to run a study on it, but perhaps it is cut in half? It is hard to tell without looking at the data.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – In 1939, T.S. Eliot published a book called Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, filled with poems he had written about cats to amuse his godchildren. A far cry from The Waste Land, almost 20 years before, Eliot’s poems are sweet and sneakily profound, detailing different kinds of cats, their behaviors, personalities, and mysterious self-involvement. … There’s not nearly enough of that in “Cats,” but I enjoyed the film for what it is. It’s “London’s Got Talent” for the feline set.

(That is a really really positive review. I mean, relatively at least. I’ve heard inklings of “if you ignore the CGI the film is kind of good” coming from some places, it is just hard to tell how much of it is critics being contrarian after the fact.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtSd844cI7U/

(This is the cleaned up trailer I think. There is another one which is truly mind-boggling. Like, Idris Elba’s face is kind of floating in the general vicinity of his creepy cat body it looks like. This looks mostly fine. It takes a lot of dancing cats and stuff for your brain to start rejecting it, although that is always a bad sign given that you have to watch 2 hours of dancing cats and stuff.)

Directors – Tom Hooper – (Known For: Les Misérables; The Danish Girl; The King’s Speech; The Damned United; BMT: Cats; Notes: Met the British director and producer Matthew Robinson through his father who was somehow involved with ITV in England. Via that connection he got work in television, and made the transition to major motion pictures from there.)

Writers – T.S. Eliot (poetry collection “Old Possum’s Books of Practical Cats”) – (BMT: Cats; Notes: Was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1948 and is considered one of the greatest poets of modern times.)

Lee Hall (screenplay) – (Known For: Rocketman; Billy Elliot; War Horse; Victoria & Abdul; BMT: Cats; Notes: Also wrote the book for the musical adaptation of Billy Elliot.)

Tom Hooper (screenplay) – (BMT: Cats; Notes: The first writing credit he’s received since the short film he produced while in school.)

Andrew Lloyd Webber (musical) – (BMT: Cats; Notes: A titan of musical composition having developed Jesus Christ: Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.)

Actors – Francesca Hayward – (BMT: Cats; Notes: Principal ballerina at the Royal Ballet in London. Took a sabbatical to make this film.)

Taylor Swift – (Future BMT: The Giver; BMT: Cats; Valentine’s Day; Notes: Y’all know Taylor. Reported to be worth over $300 million including nearly $100 million in real estate assets.)

Laurie Davidson – (Known For: The Good Liar; BMT: Cats; Vampire Academy; Notes: Got his start as William Shakespeare in the television show Will.)

Budget/Gross – $95,000,000 / Domestic: $22,950,935 (Worldwide: $43,450,935)

(So … first, the run isn’t over, there is, in theory, plenty of time to make some sweet cash. But, second, the rumor is the budget is in fact much higher than that given the issues with CGI and reshoots. Over twice as much even, which would be disastrous. We legitimately might have just witnessed Tom Hooper’s directing career end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (56/272): Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.

(An absolute abomination of a critical consensus. For shame Rotten Tomatoes, for shame. Reviewer Highlight: Cats is terrible, but it’s also kind of great. – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine)

Poster – Sklogs (B+)

cats

(I actually kind of like this. Very nice symmetry and color. Although makes the cats seem human size which, let me tell you, is not the case. Obviously also has that classic Cats font we all know and love.)

Tagline(s) – You will believe (C-)

(Nah. Way too generic. Seems more appropriate even for a sci fi picture which this… is, I guess. Not even sure what I’m supposed to be believing… that they actually made a major motion picture about Cats. At least it’s short.)

Keyword – based on stage musical

Cats_based on stage musical

Top 10: Cats (2019), Les Misérables (2012), Annie (1982), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Mamma Mia! (2008), Dreamgirls (2006), Into the Woods (2014), Chicago (2002), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Little Shop of Horrors (1986); 

Future BMT: 51.9 Fame (2009), 42.3 The King and I (1999), 37.6 Nine (2009), 20.9 Chorus Line (1985), 5.4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004); 

BMT: Cats (2019)

(Pretty amazing that we’ve only seen one of these in the end. At the very least Fame should have been on our radar, with Nine being a close second. The 90s really were as bereft of musicals as it would seem. Newsies was supposed to be the big comeback for the West Side Story type major musical production, but instead it flopped. I would imagine the genre will eventually be relegated to streaming, headlined by musicians hoping to break into acting instead of the more rare triple threats like Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. Which might honestly be the prudent financial path in the end … musicals are really really hit-or-miss.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Idris Elba is No. 5 billed in Cats and No. 7 billed in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 7 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch The Dark Tower, and Two for the Money we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – On December 21st 2019, a mere 2 days after its release, Universal Pictures announced they would be releasing a new version with updated CGI at an undisclosed time. (This was known prior to that, but it is still apparently unprecedented. It marks a major moment in both film and BMT history)

One week after its release, it was revealed by The Daily Mail that director Tom Hooper edited and re-cut the film after it was panned by many critics.

Dame Judi Dench was cast in the original 1981 London stage production in the dual roles of Jennyanydots and Grizabella. However, shortly before the opening of the original production, she suffered an injury that forced her to withdraw from the show, to be replaced at the last minute by Elaine Paige.

Was originally intended to be a traditionally animated movie before Tom Hooper came on board to direct. (Animated? Would make much more sense for actors in costume shrunk down if anything)

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote new songs exclusively for the film. (Like Les Miz the new songs are probably terrible)

Universal Pictures originally planned to release Wicked (2021) on this release date. (Oh yeah, I heard this as well)

The cast attended “cat school” for preparation, according to Taylor Swift.

This is the first movie adaptation of “Cats” since the 1998 made-for-television BBC movie. (Which appears to just be a recording of the musical itself)

Andrew Lloyd Weber has had to fight off charges that he plagiarized “Memory”, which is said to be influenced by Ravel’s Bolero.

Tom Hooper’s second musical movie after Les Misérables (2012).