Swimfan Preview

With the collars popped on their jean jackets and bubble gum a-poppin’, Rich and Poe ‘board their way to Seattle Tech (or as the kids call it, Seattle Blech. Rad). They’ve been on the case for a week and have deftly used their social skillz and disregard for the rulez to glean info from the high school rumor mill. With that they have targeted the auto vocational class as suspect numero uno. Word on the street is that they’ve developed some new tech that let’s them boost some of the sweet wheels around town. Selling them on the blackmarket can fetch a pretty penny, but these punks better be ready to step up to the streetz or all they’ll fetch is a world of hurt. “This has got to be the tech Gruber is after. Let’s take down this punks, get the ‘ware, and save my family,” says Rich, but Poe doesn’t like this one bit. Will they themselves become fugitives from the law by helping Gruber? No time for hesitation, though, as they stroll into class and immediately win over the gang of car thieves. One of them is wary, but the leader, Blaze, is pretty sure he can trust these new cool bros. They are soon pulled into the heists, and ultimately become part of their family. “Blaze,” Rich says, “you’re real cool, bro. I have something to tell you. We’re the fuzz. I’m sorry.” Blaze is shocked and horrified, “you gonna turn us in, bro?” tears glistening in his eyes. But they can’t and just ask him to hand over the tech. But Blaze is confused. Tech? What tech? They’ve mostly just been jimmying the locks and using their mad driving skillz to get away. But Blaze does remember some rumors about the Swim Team and their unlikely run to the championship last season. “They gotta have the tech, bros,” Blaze says, “so I suggest we grab some speedos and become some swim fans.” That’s right! We’re watching the teen thriller classic Swimfan starring our boy Jesse Bradford of Hackers fame. It’s a wonder he became such a swim champ after drinking coffee, smoking cigs, and hacking his life away just a short while before. What’s not a wonder is that he caught the eye of the crazy high school stalker. He’s Jesse Bradford! Let’s go!

Swimfan (2002) – BMeTric: 56.3 

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(Holy shit, it was in the 4.0s? That seems quite low for a cheesy teen thriller. Then again, IMDb does tend to skew against films that target female viewership, so I shouldn’t be so surprised.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Waterlogged teenage version of Fatal Attraction with Christensen as a new girl in town who sets her sights on high school swimming champion Bradford – who already has a girlfriend – and doesn’t take rejection well. Even as a formula film this falls short, becoming outlandish, with laughable plot turns and dialogue.

(Yes, that is really all I want Leonard, outlandish and laughable plot turns. Yellow card for the terrible “waterlogged” use at the beginning, but then again, this is a Maltin review, so I don’t know what I expected really.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-RGVruG7Y0/

(That looks thrilling. I am thrilled. I’m officially super excited to watch Jesse Bradford swim around. I might be a swimfan … hold your breath!)

Directors – John Polson – (Known For: Tenderness; Siam Sunset; Future BMT: Hide and Seek; BMT: Swimfan; Notes: Started out as an actor, even having a named part in Mission: Impossible II. He’s transitioned to directing and producing, including producing Elementary starring none other than Jonny Lee Miller.)

Writers – Charles F. Bohl (written by) (as Charles Bohl) – (BMT: Swimfan; Notes: Died in 2018, he basically wrote this and then a bunch of television movies, notably one about Martha Stewart’s time in prison.)

Phillip Schneider (written by) – (BMT: Swimfan; Notes: Nothing about this guy except that weirdly he’s had an “announced” film on IMDb since 2017 called Homicidal which I fear will never see the light of day.)

Actors – Jesse Bradford – (Known For: Romeo + Juliet; Bring It On; Flags of Our Fathers; W.; Presumed Innocent; The Year of Spectacular Men; My Blue Heaven; Happy Endings; Falling in Love; Cherry Falls; King of the Hill; Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog; Heights; Bound; Prancer; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Future BMT: Clockstoppers; 10 Rules for Sleeping Around; Dead Awake; Hackers; Dancing at the Blue Iguana; Speedway Junky; Eulogy; BMT: Swimfan; I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell; Notes: Both of his parents are actors, he debuted as an infant in a Q-Tip commercial. He graduated from Columbia with a degree in film.)

Erika Christensen – (Known For: Traffic; The Case for Christ; The Upside of Anger; The Banger Sisters; Home Room; Mercy; Future BMT: Riding the Bullet; The Perfect Score; The Tortured; Leave It to Beaver; Flightplan; How to Rob a Bank (and 10 Tips to Actually Get Away with It); BMT: Swimfan; Notes: A Scientologist, and was clearly born into it, going to a Scientologist school as a kid. Was in over 100 episodes of parenthood.)

Shiri Appleby – (Known For: Charlie Wilson’s War; The Devil’s Candy; Havoc; I Love You to Death; The Meddler; Lemon; Undertow; I’m Reed Fish; When Do We Eat?; Future BMT: The Battle of Shaker Heights; The Other Sister; What Love Is; BMT: Swimfan; Notes: Was in over 50 episodes of Roswell right before landing this role. Is married to the celebrity chef Jon Shook.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $28,564,995 (Worldwide: $34,411,240)

(That’s a solid haul. Where is Swimfan 2: Olympic Dreams? WHERE?!)

#18 for the Thriller – Psycho / Stalker / Blank from Hell genre

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(Wow this made less money than The Roommate and The Boy Next Door?! On a bit of a hiatus, but they always do come back. Might already be sequestered to VOD though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (14/92): A Fatal Attraction rip-off, Swimfan is a predictable, mediocre thriller.

(Basically what everyone says it that is well made, but predictable. Wait … is Fatal Attraction the film the following review is talking about? Reviewer Highlight: Director John Polson mutes the conservative sexual politics of the original film, focusing on the lightweight, efficient suspense story. – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader)

Poster – Sklogfan (D+)

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(Terrible poster, but also a little ahead of its time. I feel like this is a type of poster that has only gotten more popular AS (After Swimfan). But yeah, it sucks and even the font is a little lackluster. I give it a bump for being a little artistic.).

Tagline(s) – His biggest fan just became his worst nightmare. (C)

(My brain is having trouble figuring out whether this is good. It’s on the verge of being too long and on the verge of being clever (I think). It does paint a very clear picture of what the film is about… but is that good. It’s like they were trying to land perfectly at mediocre.)

Keyword(s) – fatal attraction; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.3 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 70.2 The Boy Next Door (2015); 68.6 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 64.5 Body of Evidence (1992); 63.0 Obsessed (2009); 60.1 Sliver (1993); 56.3 Swimfan (2002); 55.8 Eye of the Beholder (1999); 55.2 Queen of the Damned (2002); 49.3 In the Cut (2003);

(I love this keyword. It is now officially my goal that we complete this keyword. They do indeed all qualify, phew!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 27) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jason Ritter is No. 5 billed in Swimfan and No. 16 billed in The Wicker Man, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 16 + 5 + 1 = 27. If we were to watch Hackers, and Mindhunters we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – The scenes inside Madison’s house are the only ones where a light blue tint was not added to the screen. (Whaaaaaaaa?)

Erika Christensen took cello lessons for three months prior to filming. (WHAAAAAAAA?)

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Gone in 60 Seconds Recap

Jamie

Memphis Raines was out of the game until he’s pulled back in for one last heist in order to save his little bro from a ruthless criminal. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of stealing 50 cars in one night Raines is undaunted because he’s just that good. Can he overcome the curse of Eleanor and save his bro before it’s too late? Find out in… Gone in Sixty Seconds.

How?! In a wholly original concept we are introduced to Memphis Raines, the best car thief history who is out of the game after watching too many of his friends go to jail or get killed. Unfortunately he’s about to be pulled right back into the game when he learns that his little bro is on the hook for a botched job and will be killed by ruthless furniture maker Raymond Calitri… he makes furniture… and boy is he angry about it. Anyway, Memphis gets the gang back together, including some young hotshot additions thanks to his bro, and start to scope out all fifty (!) of the cars he’ll have to steal in one night. Unfortunately Memphis is also super well known to the cops given that he’s the best car thief in history and they are also tagging along ready to nab him when he takes a wrong step. But this is Memphis Raines, best car thief in history, he don’t take wrong steps. On the night of the heist, things are going swimmingly: they are stealing cars and looking dope doing it. But when they attempt to steal a few “unstealable” cars tagged by the police Memphis’ Memphis-sense gets a-tinglin’ and he’s like “No way,” and basically they go and totally steal the cars from the police impound instead (take that, 5-0!). By the end of the night they start to hit some bumps in the road and one of his little bros’ best buds gets shot, so it’s all up to Memphis, the best car thief in history, to grab the last car dubbed Eleanor. He goes out and totes steals it, but the fuzz are all over him. He leads them on a giant chase and is basically the man and only survives by the skin of his teeth by jumping a million feet over an accident on a bridge. He arrives mere minutes late so Calitri, being ruthless, is ready to kill him, but his little bro comes to the rescue. In a climactic fight set in Calitri’s furniture warehouse/factory/office, Memphis and the police join forces to kill Calitri and then laugh about it. THE END.

Why?! Family, duh. Ever heard of it? Memphis was out of the game, man. He was the best, but he was out of the game. He wasn’t gonna come back, but gets pulled back in to save his little bro. As for the bad guy, he seems to have so little motivation it’s comical. He just kills willy-nilly and cares mostly for the beauty of wood and the craftsmanship of solid furniture.

Who?! Master P went uncredited as Johnnie B. in the film, the gangster angry that Memphis has returned to his turf. Interesting that he ended up uncredited in the role given that he has a number of lines and I mean, I wouldn’t think he would be embarrassed by the film or anything. Maybe his part was supposed to be bigger and he got mad about it? Or maybe it was always supposed to be an unbilled cameo. Hard to say with these things.

What?! For some reason in my head it’s way more common for a film to have the main characters quenching their thirst with the unequaled refreshment of a delicious Coca-Cola. But here our main characters are apparently a bunch of bozos as they can’t get enough Pepsi… gross.

Where?! Nic Cage is the king of Long Beach and he ain’t afraid to remind you. It’s LA all day, bro. But don’t worry about our boy Nic showing up in his old stomping ground, Det. Delroy Lindo, he just came in to catch a Lakers game *electric guitar*.

When?! I believe in my heart of hearts that you can get an exact date on this film. It’s just that my DVD copy I got was of such low quality that it actually hindered my efforts. My gut is telling me that it’s August. It feels like August… in the citaaay. F

I’m going to have to be honest here and it’s painful to say: this film is terrible. I really thought it was super dumb and bad and had so many characters and things going on that it all became a jumbled mess. There are only two good things about this film: 1. The music is actually really banging and sounds like Nic Cage is saving the Earth from an asteroid when he’s just stealing a bunch of cars. 2. Nic Cage. That’s it. It’s actually amusing that Angelina Jolie is so prominently featured in the advertising of the film because her part is miniscule and really poorly developed. But still better developed than almost everyone else. One problem for me I think is that I watched the original before this one and while that film is super low budget, poorly acted, and poorly written, the final 40-minute chase is way way better than any of the car action in this film. So that certainly didn’t help. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Gonna get them cars bro! And we’re going to look sweaty and dirty and gross while doing it. It’s about the fambly, bro. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This is Nic Cage all day every day. I’ve seen the film before, it is just ludicrous from top to bottom. But it is vintage Cage, so any revisit is well worth the price of admission. I remember … mostly just that they have fake fingerprints at one point. And they have to hack some ultra-sophisticated anti-theft device. Otherwise, I’ll go in as a clean slate (kind of, since I’ve seen the film at least three times). My expectations for the film: I needed one of two things to happen, either Nic Cage needed to be acting b-b-b-b-bonkers, or the film needed to have wall-to-wall absurd car “hacking” nonsense. I just didn’t want to be exhausted with the premise 30 minutes into the film.

The Good – The film is actually very well paced. It quickly gets into the action, Nic Cage assembles an interesting team, and we get to stealing some cars. This film is The Fast and the Furious before The Fast and the Furious. Legit, the second film would have seen Patton get killed during a job and Nic Cage seeks revenge, the third they get recruited by the detective to perform a sting, and from the fourth onward they are international spies. We’ll forget about Gone in 62 Seconds: Bangkok Hijinx. Nic Cage is right on the correct side of insane for me, I thought he was great in this film.

The Bad – The crew is so big. It is maybe four people too large. It is unclear what the point of several of them are, and you don’t really see most of them actually stealing cars. Speaking of which there really is too little in the way of interesting car stealing. Where’s the hacking and other magic nonsense they could have invented? There is a really dumb superfluous story about a rival gang, they don’t give Jolie or Duvall enough to do, and the detective story hinges on the police being genuinely dumb. The movie is not good … so why do I like it so much?

The BMT – Hmmmmm. I like the film. I think if someone wants to watch a really really dumb film starring Nic Cage, this is a pretty good choice. It isn’t a good movie like National Treasure, The Rock, and Con Air, but this is pretty close if you don’t mind it being aggressively dumb. So would I recommend it as a bad movie? No, but I would watch it again in a heartbeat. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, but just barely. Nic Cage was just b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers enough to get me to where I needed to be.

Roast-radamus – You know, this film could have really used a Planchet. It did have a great Product Placement (What?) with Patton in particular grabbing an ice cold Pepsi when talking with Nic Cage. You can definitely say this is a Setting as a Character (Where?) for California and Long Beach in particular. Is Elanor, the Shelby Mustang, a MacGuffin? … I don’t think so, it isn’t the thing they are going after, they are stealing 50 cars to save Kip’s life. And I could believe this gets a nod for Good in the end, just because that category is usually pretty sparse.

StreetCreditReport.com – Nice, we finally got one that actually made a top ten Worst Of list, this time for Rolling Stone. Also it made a more specific worst car films ever list. And in general the film has a multitude of fun articles online, from people arguing about how they actually like the film, to more specific takedowns involving minutiae of the film. A truly divisive film. BTW, the first thing there, “why steal Elanor in broad daylight?”, was my number one pet peeve in the film. The car is incredibly conspicuous and the police are spotting it from miles away whenever Cage made an escape.

You Just Got Schooled – And guess what? This is a remake. The original is something of a cult classic. The 1974 film was directed, written, financed, starred, stunt coordinated, etc. etc. by  H.B. “Toby” Halicki whose own cars (including both cars used as all four Eleanors seen in the film) were also used in the film. Notable for its 40 minute chase finale, the film itself is actually a lot more fun that you’d think, and it makes a lot of sense that it is a cult hit among car aficionados. Cheap looking, poorly acted, and poorly written, Halicki would eventually aim to remake the film himself in 1984 with more money, but he sadly died during a stunt before the film could get finished. The premise of the original is actually a lot more solid than the remake, but I can see why the destructive and truly criminal nature of Halicki’s character was thrown out in favor of a redemption story. Still, fun to see what a true independent film of the 70s looked like. Kind of amazing what he was able to do it totally out of the studio system at the time. D remake, the new one just didn’t have the same heart or love of cars to serve as a proper remake of the original.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Gone in 60 Seconds Quiz

Hmmmm, I remember tearing around town in this stolen car, but after a big bridge jump I knocked m’head about a bit and can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Gone in 60 Seconds?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Kip done done it now! He blew the job and the boss ain’t happy. Not only that, but they left tons of evidence behind in the warehouse they were working in. What three key pieces of evidence were left behind?

2) Well Kip is in some hot water and they need to call big bro Memphis up to patch things up (as usual). What does Memphis do now?

3) Why do they nickname all of the cars with women’s names?

4) Can you name the crew? Even just getting the numbers would be pretty impressive.

5) Why are they stealing all 50 cars in one night, and why is Eleanor saved until last?

Answers

Gone in 60 Seconds Preview

Just as it seems like Rich will succumb to his wounds his door busts in revealing Poe. “Bye Bye… man” Rich stammers. “Not on my watch, partner. RoboPD 3000, get in here,” with that a small flying robot zooms into the room, quickly assesses Rich’s wounds and goes to work with her advanced robot technologies. When he’s healed enough to enjoy a refreshing Coca-Cola, Rich recounts the horrific events of the previous evening. A group of thugs busted in on Christmas Eve, beat him within an inch of his life, and kidnapped Jade and their child, Junior. Tears glisten in his eyes as Poe suddenly looks away… Rich realizes something, “Poe, how… how did you know to come here?” Slowly Poe looks up, “I’m sorry…” “How!?” Rich screams, grabbing Poe by the collar. “RoboPD 3000 got a holofax last night. We thought it was a prank. Gruber was dead, I karate chopped him in the neck myself, remember… but… but there was something about it. Something that didn’t sit right. So we came here… and found you.” Rich is stricken, “show me.” With that a holofax of Gruber appears from RoboPD 3000, “Hello, Rich. I have your beloved. I have your child. Don’t worry, they are safe… for now. I have a task for you. Get a computer virus that’s been developed by some punks at Seattle Technical High School. I’d go myself, but… I’m an international fugitive thanks to you. So now you will help me or you and your family will be dead. Have fun.” With that the image flips off. Enraged, Rich grabs his gun and turns to Poe, “Will you help me,” to which Poe nods, “so how fast can we blow this joint?” and Poe can’t help but smile, “We’ll be gone in sixty seconds.” That’s right! We’re watching Gone in Sixty Seconds starring the incomparable Nic Cage and Hackers alum Angelina Jolie. There are a few films that leapt instantly to mind when we decided to do this cycle and this was one of them (I think you also might be able to guess the Jesse Bradford vehicle we may have chosen). There is something beautiful about a bad film with big stars and a big release. Can’t pass it up. Let’s go!

Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) – BMeTric: 19.4 

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(A rating of 6.5 is patently absurd! How is it so high? I vaguely remember the film being entertaining … but I also remember it mostly being very silly. Is Gone in Sixty Seconds an Armageddon type thing where people of a certain age love it or something?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Relentlessly stupid remake of the 1974 drive-in hit about a reformed car thief who – to save his kid brother – agrees to marshal a mass theft in 48 hours’ time, while cop Lindo is hot on his trail. Even for a no-brainer this is pretty poor, with low-octane action and a preposterous finale. Jolie is barely in it; Duvall and Lindo are wasted.

(Jolie is barely in it? I … don’t remember that somehow. Isn’t she Nic Cage’s right hand man? Everything else in that sounds excellent though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxCE9gDm1vo/

(Wow that is a truly truly awful trailer. Completely stunning just how bad the beginning of it is along with the graphics that appear all over the screen throughout.)

Directors – Dominic Sena – (Known For: Kalifornia; Future BMT: Whiteout; BMT: Season of the Witch; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Swordfish; Notes: A major music video director in the 2000s and co-founder of Propaganda Films.)

Writers – H.B. Halicki (1974 motion picture) – (Known For: Gone in 60 Seconds; BMT: Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Used all of his own cars in the original film which basically didn’t have a script. Planned a remake in 1982 with a more polished production, but died in an on-set accident during filming.)

Scott Rosenberg (screenplay) – (Known For: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Con Air; High Fidelity; Beautiful Girls; Future BMT: Disturbing Behavior; Impostor; Venom; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Notably was arrested alongside Vince Vaughn for their involvement in the 2001 bar brawl where Steve Buscemi was stabbed.)

Actors – Nicolas Cage – (Known For: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Mandy; Kick-Ass; The Rock; The Frozen Ground; National Treasure; Leaving Las Vegas; Raising Arizona; Face/Off; Teen Titans Go! To the Movies; Con Air; Snowden; Moonstruck; Grindhouse; Lord of War; Wild at Heart; Joe; The Croods; Future BMT: G-Force; Tokarev; Dying of the Light; Outcast; Pay the Ghost; 211; Stolen; Wings of the Apache; Southern Fury; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; The Humanity Bureau; The Runner; Looking Glass; Between Worlds; Inconceivable; Army of One; Zandalee; Deadfall; Amos & Andrew; Windtalkers; Trapped in Paradise; Knowing; Next; Sonny; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; 8MM; Christmas Carol: The Movie; BMT: The Wicker Man; Left Behind; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Ghost Rider; Drive Angry; Trespass; Season of the Witch; Bangkok Dangerous; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Justice; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Wicker Man; in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next; in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice; and in 2015 for Left Behind; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Snowden in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2007 for The Wicker Man; and in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; Notes: Ya’ll know Nic Cage. Apparently his new movie Jiu Jitsu is the first film to take advantage of Cyprus’ new tax credit scheme by filming entirely within the country.)

Angelina Jolie – (Known For: Wanted; Girl, Interrupted; Maleficent; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Good Shepherd; Kung Fu Panda; Changeling; Salt; Beowulf; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Playing by Heart; Pushing Tin; A Mighty Heart; Hell’s Kitchen; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Alexander; By the Sea; Life or Something Like It; The Tourist; Shark Tale; Playing God; Original Sin; Taking Lives; Hackers; Foxfire; Beyond Borders; The Bone Collector; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2002 for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Original Sin; in 2003 for Life or Something Like It; in 2004 for Beyond Borders, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and in 2005 for Alexander, and Taking Lives; Notes: Ya’ll know Angelina Jolie. Apparently she’s going to be a Contributing Editor for Time starting this year.)

Giovanni Ribisi – (Known For: Avatar; Saving Private Ryan; The Bad Batch; Lost in Translation; Lost Highway; Ted; The Virgin Suicides; The Gift; Public Enemies; Ted 2; That Thing You Do!; Cold Mountain; Selma; Contraband; Boiler Room; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Heaven; The Dead Girl; Meadowland; SubUrbia; Future BMT: The Mod Squad; Perfect Stranger; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Masked and Anonymous; Flight of the Phoenix; I Love Your Work; Basic; The Big White; All the Rage; Middle Men; Gangster Squad; The Other Sister; 10th & Wolf; BMT: The Postman; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: An active Scientologist. I knew him originally for his role as Phoebe’s brother on Friends.)

Budget/Gross – $90 million / Domestic: $101,648,571 (Worldwide: $237,202,299)

(Actually not bad with the international gross. Strong argument it wasn’t a loss at least, and considering there would be a number of product placement opportunities with the cars, it probably was a pretty safe bet from the start.)

#3 for the Action Remake genre

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(Remake graphs are the best. You can see the two peaks where they seem to just run out of original properties and start recycling things temporarily. The cyclic nature of taste. Shocking that we’ve only seen four others: Red Dawn (2012), Death Wish (2018), Rollerball, and Get Carter. Not even halfway through the qualified films.)

#13 for the Heist / Caper genre

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(Right at the peak of terrible caper films. It’s beautiful. We’ve seen six of them now and this is the most profitable qualifying films. There are 26 qualifying films in total … where have we been!?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (34/137): Even though Oscar-bearers Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, and Robert Duval came aboard for this project, the quality of Gone in 60 Seconds is disappointingly low. The plot line is nonsensical, and even the promised car-chase scenes are boring.

(Yeah the consensus seems to be that they really dropped the ball on the car chases. Reviewer Highlight: Where the original had too many car chases and not enough plot or characterisation, this has too much plot, too many characters and not enough metal crunching, tyre squealing action. – Time Out)

Poster – Gonna Get ‘Dem Cars Bro (B+)

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(I’m gonna shock the world and say that I kinda like this poster. Good color and nice unique font. I don’t really understand what’s happening with Nic Cage’s face being partially obscured, but overall I think the effect is good. It is a little odd that Angelina Jolie is featured on the poster when her role is fairly minor, but I think she just won an Oscar so makes sense.)

Tagline(s) – Ice Cold, Hot Wired. (B)

(The poster doesn’t have a tagline, so I chose the one from imdb that I liked the best. I’m not sure where they used this one but it tickles me. Nic Cage is Ice Cold and those cars are Hot Wired. It’s actually a pretty perfect tagline given my criteria. It’s short and sweet, hints at the plot, and uses Hot and Cold to nice affect. Unfortunate it’s not on the poster.)

Keyword(s) – auto theft; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.5 Material Girls (2006); 74.0 Kangaroo Jack (2003); 68.2 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006); 44.6 National Security (2003); 37.3 xXx (2002); 33.5 Captive (II) (2015); 32.1 The Rookie (1990); 28.8 Let’s Go to Prison (2006); 28.3 The Hunted (2003); 27.4 Next (2007);

(Really good list I think. You can tell it is applied to the films properly, but doesn’t include every film ever made. And the Gone in 60 Seconds type film really seems to be a blind spot for BMT, just looking at the genres and this keyword.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 8) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicolas Cage is No. 1 billed in Gone in Sixty Seconds and No. 1 billed in The Wicker Man, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 8. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Seven Eleanor replicas were made for use in this movie. Five of them were totaled during stunt sequences. Nicolas Cage and Jerry Bruckheimer kept the remaining two. Cage regularly takes his out for joy rides, while Bruckheimer is afraid of driving his. (That sounds just like Cage)

Nicolas Cage did most of his own stunt driving for the film. He attended the Bondurant Driving School in Phoenix, Arizona, Willow Springs (another car driving school), and the Bobby Ore Stunt Driving School in preparation for the film. He liked the race car driving school so much, that he continued to pursue it as a hobby after shooting was completed. (A lot of actors seem to do this)

When Mirror Man (T.J. Cross) is talking to the clerk at the police impound yard, a sign can be seen in the background that reads “If you leave your car unlocked, it will be gone in 60 seconds.” This same sign was used in Gone in 60 Seconds (1974). (The exact same sign?! Cool)

[NOTE: There is an entire list of the type of cars and their nicknames here, it is cool, but enormous, so go to IMDb itself to see that]

Christopher Eccleston spoke with his natural Lancashire accent in the film, because he noted that in American films, the English accents are always either posh or Cockney.

While only basic plot elements are shared with the original Gone in 60 Seconds (1974), one is the location of the final car. Eleanor, a classic Mustang (a 1973 model in the original, a 1967 in this movie), was parked at the International Towers in Long Beach. (Little fan service)

After some disagreements with director Dominic Sena about the rewriting, Scott Rosenberg left the project. Writers Jonathan Hensleigh and J.J. Abrams came in and did an uncredited rewrite of the script. (J.J. was all over the place back in the day)

The motorcycle that Sway (Angelina Jolie) rides in the movie is a 1999 MV Agusta Serie ORO (Gold Series). It’s one of only 300 produced worldwide, with a 750cc, in-line four-cylinder engine, which produces 125 horsepower, and a top speed of over 175 miles (281 kilometers) per hour. (Jesus, the excesses of Hollywood)

Right after the film’s release, Eleanor replicas based on the 1967 Mustang skyrocketed. Executive producer Denice Shakarian Halicki had to file a copyright for Eleanor’s likeness, and she won a court case against Carroll Shelby in 2008. His company, Carroll Shelby Enterprises, had a licensing agreement with Unique Performance in Farmers Branch, Texas, where his continuation series of Shelby Mustangs were produced until the company was closed in 2008 due to vehicle identification number irregularities and failure to deliver cars to customers. As of 2014, Classic Recreations of Tulsa, Oklahoma is the licensed manufacturer of the Eleanor replica used in the film, using 1967 Mustang fastback bodyshells supplied by Dynacorn Restoration Bodies.

The ultra-rare McLaren F1 was originally supposed to be in the movie, but after the producers couldn’t get their hands on one, it was replaced with another supercar, the Jaguar XJ220. (Wow, they couldn’t get one? They would just kind of fabricate them these days)

Christopher Eccleston did not have his driver’s license during the shoot. He did not choose to take the drivers test until several years after the film was released. (Ha!)

Delroy Lindo accidentally totalled the BMW he drives in the movie.

In 2012, a group called the “Gone in Sixty Seconds Gang” was arrested for stealing 39 cars in the U.K.

The bridge stunt was filmed at the Vincent Thomas Bridge which crosses Los Angeles Harbor. It was shut for a full day to film the car jump, the only time in the history of the bridge that this has happened. It was also featured in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), City of Angels (1998), and Charlie’s Angels (2000).

Bye Bye Love Recap

Jamie

Ba-da-da-da-da! They aren’t loving it. That’s because Donny, Vic, and Dave are all divorced Dad’s who only get their children on the weekend and are dealing with the varied difficulties of the situation. Can they come to understand what divorce means and grow as people… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… Bye Bye Love.

How?! Donny, Vic, and Dave are a group of divorcees struggling with coparenting. While Donny still pines for his ex-wife, Vic hates his and Dave can’t stop sleeping around (the cause of his first marriage’s demise). While the love of their children are often at odds with these struggles surrounding their ex-wives, they are not at odds with their #1 love: that sweet, sweet Mickey D’s. They look forward to picking up their kids not only because they love them but also because of the oasis of those Golden Arches. Your kids on the younger side? They’ll love the play place. They getting a little older? Let them ogle the rebel teen manning the cash register. They getting really old? Maybe they can take part in the McMasters program. No matter how old they are they’ll love the delicious hamburgers that no red-blooded American can resist… wait, what were we talking about? Oh right, Bye Bye Love. So anyway Donny is having trouble with his high school age kid who is growing out of weekends with Dad while also having trouble getting over his wife. This culminates in him finding love with Dave’s ex-wife (his long-time friend) and realizing that his selfish struggles with the divorce have made him shortsightedly overlook how hard it’s been on his daughter. Meanwhile Dave makes a right mess of a love polygon as a number of recent divorcees descend on his house wanting more than just to share his Big Mac. Through this debacle he learns that he needs to grow up. Finally Vic is a total boor who can’t help but get riled up by his ex-wife’s post-divorce lifestyle. But in the end you realize how much he has worked to be the best Dad he can be and that this troll of a man is actually a softy at heart (awww). I guess, in summary… this film didn’t really have much of a plot. THE END.

Why?! Love, duh. Seriously, the film is just three vignettes that give viewpoints on the struggles of a post-divorce love when children are involved. Three very white and very heteronormative viewpoints, which would have certainly not been the case if this was a film made today, but three viewpoints nonetheless. I think the moral of the story is that kids come first, and as long as that is kept in mind then everything will work out. Even if you seem like a terrible person, like Vic, everything is golden (arches) if you’re ba-da-da-da-da, lovin’ them (your kids).

Who?! There were a couple bit parts for future notable actors, the biggest being Jack Black who played a DJ at a party and has a single line. Additionally, Stephen Root showed up uncredited as a neighbor awakened by Eliza Dushku’s hijinks. The weirdest credit, though, is a special thanks for the Hon. Arthur J. O’Dea. He seems to have been a judge in Vermont… the only explanation is that he was used as a consultant for the script as it does appear he was a family court judge.

What?! Product Placement Alert! We occasionally get to talk about settings as a character. It’s much more rare to talk about products as a character (outside of Adam Sandler’s filmography). But here, McDonald’s is legit a character and several scenes center around those working at the local McD’s (and only having a tenuous connection to the rest of the plot). I’m actually not sure whether the reason for its inclusion is even real… is McDonald’s really a generally accepted, neutral site drop off location for divorced dads in the LA area? All evidence (this movie) points to yes. Ba da da da daaaaaa. I was lovin’ it.

Where?! Classic California. It just feels like California even before there was specific confirmation. But eventually you get some close-ups on some license plates. No clues from McDonald’s as people of all nations crave their tasty treats.

When?! Pretty obviously takes place around the end of May or early June as one of Paul Reiser’s plot points is the graduation of his daughter from middle school. Not sure we get any more specific. Probably should look closely at the McDonald’s menu and see if there are any specific seasonal offerings on there… or perhaps the film coincides with one of the returns of the McRib, which would really narrow it down.

I really didn’t mind the film as a whole. I think it kinda has a clever dynamic between Donny, Vic, and Dave where on the face of it you think Dave has his shit together and is processing his divorce the best, while Vic’s boorish behavior and hatred for his ex-wife is off putting and Donny is kinda pathetic in never moving on from his ex-wife. But as the film goes on, you realize that it’s kinda flipped around. Vic is a great Dad and he and his ex-wife just really should not have been married, while Dave is a man-child who doesn’t really understand what a real relationship means… Donny is still kinda just sad, though. Anyway, the only thing that really sets this apart is the absolutely stellar McDonald’s product placement in the film. It really is top of the line and I’d love to go back through BMT’s nearly 500 (!) films and figure out where it stands. It’s in the running at the very top. It’s really fun to have a film that is mostly fine, but with a crazy BMT aspect to it like this one. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Bye bye love, bye bye happiness, hello loneliness, I think I’m gonna grab a delicious Big Mac from McDonald’s. That’s how that song goes right? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – The trailer and all of the notes were basically about how this was an extended advertisement for McDonald’s, so I got out my stop watch and got ready to count the TiMD’s for the episodes (that’s Time in McDonald’s, it’s not a real thing, and I did not really do this). It really was my entire fascination with the episode. Seeing Paul Riser and Matthew Modine act a bit had an outside shot of being interesting as well. My expectations for this film: It was going to be a weird, slow, boring film with a bizarre (but overblown) connection to McDonald’s.

The Good – The film has a much better message that I think it gets credit for. Quaid is a lunatic throughout, but they do go out of their way to show that while he ultimately manifests his mounting frustrations with his divorce in extremely destructive ways, he does love his kids and is arguably the best and least selfish father of the three. Similarly Modine seems to have everything together, a decent relationship with the ex and a girlfriend or two, but then he ends up being the most selfish and broken. The switcheroo on that level feels very earned and the film is an interesting tale of being divorced dads in the mid-90s. The highly touted Garofalo scene lived up to the hype as well, she was very funny.

The Bad – Could this film take place more in McDonald’s? It just felt the four or five scenes and probably 30 minute total run time just wasn’t enough. Tell me more about the McMasters program, and how it is helping unemployed seniors change careers late in life. Tell me more about how it is helping combat the adult homelessness problem in America. Ba-da-da-da-da I’m Lovin’ It! The film also feels very small in that everything in the three main characters lives come to a major crossroads all on the same day. Quaid is such a lunatic it is a wonder he wasn’t thrown in jail in the middle of the film (and then where would your kids be, dummy?). It was borderline mean-spirited. The entire structure of the film centers around a radio psychologist played by Rob Reiner which is very dated and in your face. But I guess without him the movie would literally have no structure.

The BMT – Sneaky great BMT. You know you have a weirdly good one when you can’t stop thinking about it for a few days and then end up writing a giant review where you probably miss about 14 things that blew your mind at the time. I basically didn’t mention Paul Reiser! He’s the main character! His storyline just doesn’t even end up in the review it is so tangential to the b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers shit I’m seeing on screen. Sneaky great. Did it exceed expectations?: Yes! While weird and slow, the film was far from boring by being chockablock with McDonald’s. So much so that is amazing the McDonald’s executives saw the cut and didn’t say, “Yeah … but don’t you think there is too much McDonald’s?”

Roast-radamus – I mean … I would be shocked if this didn’t manage to win the Produce Placement (What?) award for McDonald’s. I think when I was a kid I got this movie in a Happy Meal, I swear to God. Does graduation count as a holiday? No? … fine. Definitely a contender in the BMT category as well. Really the entire legacy of this film rests on its status as a Mac and Me level product placement. It is right up there with Mac and Me.

StreetCreditReport.com – None! But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve it. I think if you made a list of worst films featuring McDonald’s it could have a shot. Or worst film focused on divorced dads. Worst Rob Reiner films? I guess you’d have to go with ones he’s acted in … Worst films which share a name with a song?

You Just Got Schooled – What could I possibly watch for this weirdo movie? Mad About You season 1 episode 1 starring Paul Reiser of course. While making this film he was in the middle of this series for which he was nominated for six emmys (he never won, he lost to Lithgow three times for 3rd Rock and Grammer three times for Fraiser). I have to say, now being thirty-something and married this series seems actually genuinely funny. Quaint, but not really old school, the first episode revolves around Hunt and Reiser trying to make time to have sex, and as a forgotten dinner party begins they end up having sex in the kitchen as the party is ongoing! Cheers would have went up to that door, but never really gotten through it, but this is the 90s, it was time to talk about being Master of Your Domain, and other more sexually explicit things in primetime. I don’t feel any particular need to actually watch the series, but a lot better than I expected. Fun to see the classic sitcom character as well: the friend who is only in one season and then disappears in Reiser’s friend Selby.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Bye Bye Love Quiz

Hey, I’m new here with the McMasters program, but I can’t remember all the bits and bobs of Mickey D’s. But you’re my teenaged trainer! You can help me remember! But first, what happened in the movie Bye Bye Love again?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In an initial voice over monologue it is explained precisely why McDonald’s plays such a prominent role in the proceedings. Why?

2) With three divorcees there comes three ex-wives with lives of their own. Can you describe the marital / relationship status of all three.

3) Young adult Max and old-timer Walter both work at McDonald’s and have an interesting relationship, what is it?

4) Paul Reiser’s daughter is rather upset at her father during the run up to her graduation, including driving drunk at a party the night before. Where does she drive to and why is she so gosh darn upset?!

5) At the very end Quaid goes to confront Rob Reiner during his radio program. Just give me the gist of Quaid’s reasoning for why Reiner is oh so wrong about divorced dads.

Answers

Bye Bye Love Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit glumly backstage at the Academy Awards juggling their newly won Oscars. 2 Rich 2 Poe: Reclamation was a smash hit, obviously, and hailed as ushering in a new age of post-irony filmmaking. Even their ruse to premier the film on an acre of newly razed Amazonian rainforest was taken as a commentary on how art is contributing to climate change through its unwillingness to engage in the political discourse leading to the President signing a new carbon reduction law at the premiere. “And it still might have been OK if you hadn’t knocked down that tree and discovered a cure for cancer,” sighs Patrick looking sadly at his Nobel Prize for Medicine, “they couldn’t help but give us good reviews after that.” Jamie scoffs angrily, “well you just can’t admit that you botched this whole thing. You should have listened to me in the first place. We needed robots and computer technobabble galore.” Patrick tugs uncomfortably at his cable-knit sweater, “well alright, Mr. Roboto, why don’t you take the lead on the next one. God knows they’ll let us write it. Just make sure it’s shit, alright?” Jamie smiles at the challenge, “oh it will be total garbage.” With that he pulls out a mini-recorder and begins an extemporaneous dictation of the entire script, “Title: Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D. We open in Bulgaria…”

We pan over broken shards of glass and come upon a battered Rich. Christmas lights twinkle in the background as he struggles to reach for a picture of his beloved Jade and their toddler, Junior. He gasps in pain as he hugs the picture to his chest, “Bye bye,” he stammers… “bye bye… love.” That’s right! We’re continuing our journey through the films of Hackers actors by jumping to a little known film called Bye Bye Love starring Paul Reiser, Matthew Modine, Randy Quaid, and Wendell Pierce (aka Agent Dick Gill) in a minor role. Why’d we pick this film? When McDonald’s may as well be listed as part of the cast we don’t really have a choice. Let’s go!

Bye Bye Love (1995) – BMeTric: 16.6 

ByeByeLoveIMDb_BMeT

ByeByeLoveIMDb_RV

(That blip … seems real? Here is the dip, and here is the date after. Probably purging fake votes … then again, why would there be fake votes for Bye Bye Love? So maybe … some database error? Regardless, weird and wild stuff. Actually a classic 2014 increase there. Something happened in 2014, precisely on New Years’ Day I think. It’s weird.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Mediocre seriocomedy about three dads, devoted to their kids, trying to make their way through divorcehood. Some sincere moments and occasional comic insights are washed away in a sea of sappiness. Garofalo, as Quaid’s hilarious date from hell, almost makes the film worth watching.

(I’m not even going to pretend that seriocomedy is a real thing Leonard. I refuse. Just call it a goddamned dramedy like a normal person. And no mention of McDonald’s and how delicious it is? Ridiculous.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF0ws2vpSw4

(There appears to be what? Like five different scenes in McDonald’s? You can even tell by the trailer alone that it was bought and paid for by McDonald’s!)

Directors – Sam Weisman – (Known For: George of the Jungle; Future BMT: The Out-of-Towners; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; D2: The Mighty Ducks; BMT: Bye Bye Love; Notes: Long time television director, he briefly produced family comedies in the mid-90s. Brother of producer David Weisman.)

Writers – Gary David Goldberg (written by) – (Known For: Dad; Future BMT: Must Love Dogs; BMT: Bye Bye Love; Notes: Created Spin City, and Family Ties among many other television shows.)

Brad Hall (written by) – (BMT: Bye Bye Love; Notes: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s husband. On SNL from 1982 to 1984.)

Actors – Matthew Modine – (Known For: The Dark Knight Rises; Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Full Metal Jacket; Notting Hill; 47 Meters Down; Transporter 2; Any Given Sunday; Vision Quest; Birdy; Short Cuts; Memphis Belle; Pacific Heights; Married to the Mob; The Hotel New Hampshire; The Hippopotamus; The Confirmation; Wind; Go Go Tales; Une vie de chat; Baby It’s You; Future BMT: Le divorce; Cutthroat Island; Army of One; Backtrace; Girl in Progress; The Blackout; The Real Blonde; Family Weekend; Gross Anatomy; Equinox; Mrs. Soffel; BMT: Jobs; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Launched back into prominence with Stranger Things. I mostly knew him from the Jiminy Glick joke about two of his kids being named Matthew and Modine.)

Randy Quaid – (Known For: Independence Day; Brokeback Mountain; National Lampoon’s Vacation; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Midnight Express; The Last Picture Show; Kingpin; The Last Detail; Freaked; Paper Moon; Parents; The Long Riders; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; What’s Up, Doc?; Home on the Range; The Missouri Breaks; Foxes; Quick Change; Moving; No Man’s Land; Future BMT: Major League II; Not Another Teen Movie; Vegas Vacation; Days of Thunder; The Wraith; Heartbeeps; Last Dance; The Slugger’s Wife; Breakout; BMT: Pluto Nash; Caddyshack II; Hard Rain; Grind; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Has become a weird crazy person recently, involving extradition and revoked passports and squatting in Canada. Lives in Vermont now.)

Paul Reiser – (Known For: Aliens; Whiplash; The Spy Who Dumped Me; Beverly Hills Cop; The Little Hours; Funny People; Life After Beth; Beverly Hills Cop II; Concussion; Behind the Candelabra; War on Everyone; Diner; Joshy; Cross My Heart; Miles; The Thing About My Folks; Future BMT: The Darkness; The Story of Us; One Night at McCool’s; I Do… Until I Don’t; Crazy People; The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; BMT: The Marrying Man; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Also, crazily, in Stranger Things. Most notable for his starring turn in Mad About You with Helen Hunt.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $12,096,673

(I still don’t understand … how does a film like this make over $10 million? Regardless, apparently the entire production was funded by McDonald’s so they probably didn’t care.)

#244 for the Romantic Comedy genre

byebyelove_romanticcomedy

(Only First Daughter, Town & Country, and Say It Isn’t So made less for BMT films. The genre is making a shocking comeback. Right when it looked like it would be permanently relegated to Netflix and VOD in general)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (4/21):

(I’ll just have to make a consensus: Effective for some, but essentially just an extended McDonald’s advertisement. Reviewer Highlight: The angst of dating, the struggle with children, and the joys of McDonalds. – Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com)

Poster – Bye Bye Sklog (D-)

bye_bye_love

(A real tried and true favorite here. Just pile a bunch of humans up and that’ll look good (hint: it doesn’t) and then when you realize you don’t have enough human garbage to cover your poster just throw some sky on there because… why not? There’s sky everywhere. Why not in the poster? Also I’m not even going to try on the font, just to really insult you.)

Tagline(s) – Donny, Dave and Vic are best friends. They have everything in common … ex-wives, new girlfriends, and the kids for the weekend. (F)

(My god. Is this a novel? I grew a beard while reading this. What is it even saying? Are they just telling us the basic premise of the movie? Is this supposed to entice us? Just a million words in tiny font on the poster telling us to gear up for a depressing tale of divorce. I hate this.)

Keyword(s) – product placement; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.6 Date Movie (2006); 91.2 Gigli (2003); 90.4 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.2 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.6 Left Behind (I) (2014); 87.6 Crossroads (I) (2002); 87.2 The Love Guru (2008); 86.4 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 86.0 The Cat in the Hat (2003);

(You know what … I’m going to leave it. Just because this is just such an incredible product placement. This is just kind of a pointless keyword since everything has product placement of some kind.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Amy Brenneman is No. 5 billed in Bye Bye Love and No. 4 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ed Flanders’ final project.

Janeane Garofalo would later go on to play Paul Reiser’s adult daughter Mabel on the series finale of Mad About You.

Amber Benson, Eliza Dushku, and Lindsay Crouse went on to star in Buffy the Vampire Slayer the TV show together as Tara, Faith and Prof. Maggie Walsh.

In 1995, both this film and Houseguest (1995) featured extensive McDonald’s product placement, but neither film was accompanied by a promotional tie-in with the fast-food restaurant. (I could have sworn there were Bye Bye Love Happy Meals with little toy Matthew Modines … perhaps just a wonderful dream)

Lucille is wearing a different earring in each ear when on her date with Vic.

Matthew Modine and Paul Reiser later starred on Stranger Things (2016), with both appearing in the second season. While they do not share screen time, both actors’ characters are connected to the series’ Hawkins National Laboratory. (Huh)