Dark Phoenix Preview

As Rich does his best to battle Assassinbot 3000 in space, Poe is forced to watch on a big screen by Gruber, who screams in delight, “Bwahaha. I have finally won. You all will die. Except for you, Poe. You will be forced to watch it all.” Suddenly Jade is by his side and whispers softly to him something about family and to always be himself. Rich’s last words, apparently. Odd. He tries to decipher what it could mean. Be himself… be… HIMSELF! Of course. His time machine! “Granny, you still have my seventh grade science project?” he whispers to her. She nods silently that she does. Freeing a hand, he reaches for her otherwise innocent looking keychain, which in fact was a time machine dongle that he never quite got working. He manages to tap into the mainframe and bypass the firewall in order to overclock the CPU and reroute power to the tiny dongle. A time bubble forms behind the distracted Gruber and a monstrous hooded figure emerges. “Are… are you me?” Poe stammers. The figure takes off his hood and is revealed to be a spider monster. “But how… why am I a spider monster?” The spider monster responds, “all the monstrous things that Gruber forces you to watch. It turns you into this.” Poe is still a little confused, “I become a spider monster?” The spider monster nods his head. Well alright. The spider monster frees them all from their ropes and Poe and him perform a patented spider chop to Gruber’s neck rendering him unconscious. “Thanks, Spider Monster Me,” says Poe, but his joy is crushed as the spider monster looms over him and begins to laugh. “Bwahahaha, I was never you, Poe. I was Spider Monster Gruber this entire time! You have still failed. I have only risen from the puny human ashes to become my true, dark self. Dark Gruber!” That’s right! After a long winter and spring nearly bereft of bad films it’s been a veritable smorgasbord lately. This includes some very big failures of some very big franchises. So we are taking the plunge and really putting a huge burden on ourselves by watching the latest (last?) installment of the X-Men prequels live and in theaters! X-Men: Dark Phoenix is one of only two X-Men films that qualifies for BMT (the other being X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and comes with three previous installments of which I saw just one. So I got some work ahead of me. You better be worth it Dark Phoenix. Let’s go!

Dark Phoenix (2019) – BMeTric: 30.0

DarkPhoenixIMDb_BMeT

DarkPhoenixIMDb_RV

(A flat six sounds correct as the initial rating. I think this means the BMeTric is going to fall quite a bit over time. The rating usually goes up as general audiences rate the film, so I assume it’ll go to like .. 6.2 or something.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Everyone seems to agree that this X-venture is the last cinematic one for a long time. Fox is being rolled into the Marvel empire and we probably won’t see Professor X, Magneto, or even Wolverine for years. By then, everyone will have forgotten “Dark Phoenix.” Heck, that will happen by the end of the month. After all, nobody cares anymore.

(Ha! Basically: why does this movie exist anymore? And I have to say, that basically agrees with my perception in the lead up to the film as well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWbMckU3AOQ/

(Pretty good trailer to be honest. As people online pointed out, it is a bit spoilie, in that you can pretty much guess what happens to Jennifer Lawrence and when given the brief bits shown in the trailer, but I do think that is a pretty compelling trailer indicating that Dark Phoenix is what causes humanity to close ranks somewhat against the X-Men and for the school to become as isolated as it seems in the original film.)

Directors – Simon Kinberg – (BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Fantastic Four in 2016; Notes: He developed the new Twilight Zone. He also directed one of the episodes. That was his only other directorial effort prior to this film.)

Writers – John Byrne and Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum (story “The Dark Phoenix Saga”) – (BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: They wrote the original Marvel run that the film is based on.)

Simon Kinberg (written by) – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men: The Last Stand; Sherlock Holmes; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; BMT: Fantastic Four; xXx²: The Next Level; Jumper; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; This Means War; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Fantastic Four in 2016; Notes: He wrote all of the other films in this New Class series, and he was given the shot to close it out. He’s writing the new Logan’s Run film.)

Jack Kirby (comic book created by) – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; X-Men: Apocalypse; Avengers: Infinity War; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok; X: First Class; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Black Panther; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Captain America: Civil War; Captain America: The First Avenger; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Iron Man; Thor; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Ant-Man; The Incredible Hulk; Iron Man Three; Thor: The Dark World; Future BMT: Captain America; The Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Justice League; BMT: Fantastic Four; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Him and Lee basically built Marvel up to what it is now. He fought in WWII and almost lost his legs to frostbite.)

Stan Lee (comic book created by) – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; X-Men: Apocalypse; Avengers: Infinity War; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok; X: First Class; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Black Panther; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Iron Man; Thor; Doctor Strange; Spider-Man; Ant-Man; The Incredible Hulk; Iron Man Three; Thor: The Dark World; Iron Man 2; Future BMT: The Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; BMT: Fantastic Four; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Died rather recently after a lot of rumors concerning elder abuse, and other unsavory issues surrounding his failing health. Would cameo in most Marvel films.)

Actors – James McAvoy – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Deadpool 2; X: First Class; Split; Atomic Blonde; Wanted; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Atonement; Filth; The Last King of Scotland; Trance; Penelope; Gnomeo & Juliet; Starter for 10; Becoming Jane; Wimbledon; Muppets Most Wanted; Bright Young Things; The Conspirator; Future BMT: Sherlock Gnomes; Swimming Pool – Der Tod feiert mit; Submergence; Victor Frankenstein; Glass; BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: He grew up in Glasgow and is a fan of Celtic.)

Michael Fassbender – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X: First Class; Inglourious Basterds; 300; Alien: Covenant; Prometheus; 12 Years a Slave; Shame; Jane Eyre; Steve Jobs; The Light Between Oceans; Eden Lake; Centurion; Song to Song; Macbeth; Hunger; A Dangerous Method; Slow West; Haywire; Future BMT: The Counsellor; BMT: Jonah Hex; The Snowman; Assassin’s Creed; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Ate nuts, berries, and sardines as a diet in order to lose 33 pounds for Hunger.)

Jennifer Lawrence – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X: First Class; The Hunger Games; Red Sparrow; Mother!; American Hustle; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; Silver Linings Playbook; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; Joy; Winter’s Bone; Like Crazy; The Beaver; The Poker House; Future BMT: Serena; House at the End of the Street; Garden Party; The Burning Plain; BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Mother! in 2018; Notes: Is the third youngest best actress nominee ever at 20 years old for Winter’s Bone, which is a fantastic film.)

Budget/Gross – $200 million / Domestic: $39,190,534 (Worldwide: $142,934,155)

(This is a gigantic bomb. Even worldwide this is going to lose around $100 million if you calculate the net in the traditional manner (needing two times the budget). The nail in the coffin for this iteration of X-Men.)

#119 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

foxmarvel18b_comicbookadaptation

(Around Judge Dredd at the moment (and it really isn’t going to get much better to be honest). This is our 22nd comic book film. It is obviously huge right now.)

#97 for the Superhero genre

foxmarvel18b_superhero

(Our 17th superhero film. Right now this is around Catwoman. It’ll be a bit better than that … maybe like the new Fantastic Four maybe. Again, huge right now, so it makes sense the film is our right now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (67/290): Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc — with deeply disappointing results.

(Yep, meaningless, emotionless, and dull is what all the reviews say. Which is not what you want. Reviewer Highlight: “Logan” is the proper finale to the “X-Men” film series. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”… is so disappointing that it doesn’t deserve that honor. – Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com)

Poster – Sklog Phoenix (D-)

dark_phoenix_ver2

(I don’t want to be too harsh, but this is trash. Why are there so many colors? It’s like all the colors that ever existed are on this poster. Gross. Almost an F… just needs to be a tad stupider to really hit the bottom.)

Tagline(s) – The Phoenix will rise. (C-)

(I mean, I guess this is fine for fans of the series. If you are excited for the Dark Phoenix storyline this could get you all jazzed up… but otherwise it’s pretty blah.)

Keyword(s) – mutant; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.3 Epic Movie (2007); 88.0 Street Fighter (1994); 87.8 BloodRayne (2005); 84.8 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 83.7 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 78.4 Superhero Movie (2008); 73.2 Cell (I) (2016); 72.9 The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996); 72.1 A Sound of Thunder (2005); 68.2 The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961);

(Another week, another reminded that I’ve seen Street Fighter like 4 times, but never for BMT. Which is ridiculous. The Island of Dr. Moreau is easily going to be the best of that batch.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Fassbender is No. 3 billed in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and No. 1 billed in The Snowman, which also stars Val Kilmer (No. 4 billed) who is in Batman Forever (No. 1 billed), which also stars Tommy Lee Jones (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 3 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Glass, Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Hans Zimmer decided to retire from composing superhero movies after having worked on scores for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, but Simon Kinberg convinced him to work on this film.

The film takes place in 1992, the year the X-Men comics were relaunched with new costume designs and a new cartoon show, X-Men (1992). (Period piece!!!!!!)

This will be the first X-Men film to not feature or reference either Logan/Wolverine or the actor that portrays him, Hugh Jackman. This is because Jackman retired from the role, which he portrayed since X-Men (2000). He was briefly featured in Deadpool 2 (2018) through reused and stock footage from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

Mystique and Magneto were not originally intended to appear as Jennifer Lawrence implied in several interviews that she was done with playing Mystique, though she said in an interview that she had a change of heart as she didn’t want fans to be confused if her character got the ‘Chuck Cunningham Syndrome treatment’. (I’ve never heard of that, but it is great)

Directorial debut for writer Simon Kinberg.

Was originally scheduled for a November 2nd, 2018 release, but due to 20th Century Fox wanting reshoots in March 2018, the film was delayed by 3 months to February 15th, 2019, and then another 4 months to June 7th, 2019. (It would have been better off in February. Rumor is that the original story was the same as Captain Marvel, and the delays meant they had to re-cut it on the fly to differentiate itself)

Director Simon Kinberg has stated that he cut a good deal of the original storyline of the Dark Phoenix to focus more on ending the storyline that originally began in X: First Class (2011) and focus more on Jean’s character for the film. As such the elements of the Hellfire Club and the alien race known Shi’ar and their Shi’ar Empire from the original comic book storyline were removed from the film adaption to cut down on unnecessary sub-plots. Members of the Hellfire Club such as Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost previously appeared in X: First Class (2011).

Simon Kinberg took influence from Logan (2017) in making the film less stylish and more natural.

Simon Kinberg describes the land of Genosha as Magneto’s Israel: “It’s a land built for mutants, a homeland where they can be safe and self-sufficient.” In keeping with Magneto’s Jewish heritage, Israel is the land where the Hebrews founded and made their home after being set free from Egypt. (That’s pretty great)

In her role as Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence is now actually older than Rebecca Romijn was when she originated the role in the first film of the franchise. (fun)

The film released before Fox’s other X-Men Universe film, The New Mutants (2020). Unlike Dark Phoenix’s original release date where the film was to release 7 months after The New Mutants’s original April 6th, 2018 release date. (I’m skeptical New Mutants is coming out)

The third act was originally going to take place in space. After re-shoots were completed, it was changed to a sequence where the X-Men are kidnapped and taken aboard a military train. (Yes, I think this is the Captain Marvel thing. I think they wanted something that was similar to some sequence in Captain Marvel, but had to change it)

Advertisements

Lost in Space Recap

Jamie

The Robinson family are ready to save the Earth by traveling across the universe to open a gateway to a new world. Unfortunately sabotage is afoot by the eeeeevil Dr. Smith. Can they stop the evil genius from destroying humanity (and maybe find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Lost in Space.

How?! It’s the year 2058 and the world is on the brink of ecological disaster. The only thing that stands in the way is the Robinson family and their brood of kids: whiz kid Will, angsty teen Penny, and the smoking hot Judy (don’t get any ideas Matt Leblanc). Unfortunately their physician, Dr. Smith, has his own plans and it involves getting a whole bunch of money from a rebel group to sabotage the trip. Saboteur! After they launch, he sets a robot to destroy the ship, but he is double crossed (double saboteur!) and left to die. Waking up just in time, he helps subdue the robot and is taken prisoner, but not before super pilot Matt LeBlanc (I guess his character was Major Don West… whatever), does some super pilot shit and uses their hyperdrive to shoot through the sun and into deep space. Uh oh! In a shocking coincidence they end up exactly where a time hole exists and they encounter a long dead ship from the rescue mission sent to find them. On the ship they encounter a CGI monkey (wait, were we supposed to think it was real?) and a bunch of spider aliums that totally bite Dr. Smith (but shhhh, don’t tell anyone). Escaping just in time they crash land on a plant where they once again encounter a time hole. Needing supplies to get off the planet they venture into the time hole to find that inside is their own ship from the future with a grown up Will Robinson living inside. He’s on the verge of finishing his time machine and aims to go back to Earth and stop the mission but uh oh! Dr. Smith from the future is there and he’s totally a gross spider monster. He’s ready to use that time machine to totally eat up Earth with his space spider friends (triple saboteur!), but Dr. Robinson has different ideas. He goes and karate chops that spider monster in the neck (probably, I can’t remember) and then saves Will, who in turn realizes that the only course of action is to use the time machine to send his dad back to the ship in time to get them off the planet. He once again engages the hyperdrive, gets them super lost in space again setting them up for the inevitable sequel for this megahit. Oh and Matt LeBlanc and Judy totally smooch and her dad is like “wtf, mate?” THE END.

Why?! Humanity, duh. The Robinsons just want to save Earth and their family. Per usual the motivation of the bad guy is much more interesting. In the beginning Dr. Smith is all about the benjamins (as the kids say) and wants that sweet rebel cash to destroy the mission. The point seems to then turn around and make a much more capitalistic mission that will save Earth but for a price. Anyway, it’s actually kinda funny that then when Dr. Smith is trapped with the Robinsons he’s almost immediately bitten by some space spiders that turn him into a monster then hungers only to eat Earth. It wasn’t enough that he already wanted to fuck up the only mission to save Earth, he then has to be bitten by some spiders that make him literally want to eat Earth. This is also not resolved in the film. He’s still alive and totally going to turn into a spider monster at the end.

Who?! One thing we haven’t really talked about in this section is the case where two actors portray the same character. It’s always funny when one actor portrays two (think JCVD in Maximum Risk AND Double Impact), but there are way more cases where two actors play the same character. Usually it’s via flashback. Here, though, is a classic time travel version of it where Will Robinson is portrayed by both Jack Johnson and Jared Harris and briefly coexist in time. I feel like there could be a really difficult cycle for us in here somewhere… perhaps collecting a bunch of interesting cases of such double dipping.

What?! I was disappointed there wasn’t a little more for this category. Perhaps they realize how old the rescue ship is because all the delicious Coca-Cola has gone flat, so while still refreshing (when isn’t it?), it’s just not the same. So Will invents a recarbonator so they can all enjoy some refreshing Coca-Cola’s before battling some space spiders (the space spider’s only weakness? Coca-Cola, duh). But that didn’t happen. It’s also hard to figure out if I was missing anything because the Netflix reboot TV series apparently had a ridiculously terrible Oreos product placement that dominates my Google searches. There are some fun props online, but it’s hard to tell whether they are on sale… like could Matt LeBlanc’s entire battle costume really me for sale? Doesn’t seem possible.  

Where?! A+ Space setting for this one. They almost immediately zip right through the sun and start grappling with small metal spider aliens and meet a space monkey and crash on a snow planet. Really just the greatest hits from the space genre.

When?! We get a really nice intertitle exact setting on this as we are told that the attack depicted in the beginning of the film takes place on September 30th, 2058. Generally speaking I’ve given intertitles B’s in the past, but given just how rare it is for us to get something of this level I have to give it an A.

The more I think about this film the more I love it. It really tickled me in a lot of ways. It’s just so stupid and really convoluted and involves a time travel storyline where a (quite literally insane) future version of Will Robinson helps his dad save their space ship and as the space-time continuum collapses around him he screams “Don’t forget mmmmmmmeeee.” Like… you want him to remember the weird scraggly bearded version of his son that befriended a spider monster and nearly destroyed Earth? Do you want him to remember you as a cautionary tale? It’s bizarre. The entire film is bizarre. Add on top Matt LaBlanc not being able to act his way out of a paper bag (sorry Matt, I know you’re a reader) and a CGI monkey that is impressive only insomuch that they dared release it to theaters and I’m starting to think this might be a dark horse classic. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Danger, Will Robinson! A classic phrase I’m sure every 12 year old was just a-clamoring to hear on the big screen in 1998. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Fun fact, I saw this in theaters in 1998 in New York City. Just thought I would mention that. And indeed, I never saw it again. Weirdly I could remember quite a bit of it. Like the Spider Smith at the end. And the CGI monkey. I have to say, muddled memories from over 20 years ago did not prepare me for just how wild this film would be.

The Good – The film never tries to be much more than it needs to be to kick off what was surely a trilogy of deep space adventure films. Oldman is at peak scenery chewing glory at times as well, which I personally consider a very positive note for the film. The design of the spaceship is fun. And hey, they went for it didn’t they? They really went for some stuff about two years before it was a good idea to go for them, specifically they reached on the CGI. But partial credit there.

The Bad – Straight up this might be the worst CGI we’ve seen. At times it is on par with A Sound of Thunder, but in this case they didn’t run out of money, they just tried to create multiple full CGI characters and it didn’t work out very well at all. Matt LeBlanc is terrible in the film, and his character is a real smarmy weirdo (in a children’s film! Man, the 90s were a wild ride sometimes). They hired Jared Harris to play an American without, somehow, realizing he couldn’t do an accent and had to dub all of his lines. Spider Smith I think is the reason I am scared of spiders, so thanks for that. The Space Spiders in general were just awful. And Penny’s fashion choices … this film is something to behold.

The BMT – It is something to behold and I love it? It doesn’t offend your sensibilities because it is kind of a kids’ film, so who cares right? But then you have Spider Smith, and the CGI monkey, and Penny as a character somehow 100 years in the future, but stuck in the late 90s, and Matt LeBlanc existing 100 years in the future but outside of the MeToo movement? Oldman chewing scenery, weird time travel story, a son and father understanding each other and learning to love again! Ah yes, that’s the stuff, it hits you right here (I’m pointing at my throat like in the A-1 Steak Sauce commercial, not my heart). Very BMT.

Roast-radamus – Whooooooo doggy. I think you could argue this is one of the better Setting as a Character (Where?) films we’ve seen as long as you stretch the definition to include the spaceship itself. It really is kind of a character, just needed a sassy AI voice. And what the heck I’ll throw in Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal of Spider Smith being the ultimate bad guy who gets eaten by his own Space Spider babies. And naturally a nod for BMT as the film itself is b-b-b-b-b-bonkers. That’s some good stuff.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual with this cycle the cred is always there because Siskel and Ebert themselves declared this to be one of the worst films of the year in 1998. Besides that it is a bit hard to find other lists, but it is thrown into Time’s run down of the worst films based on television shows. It’s got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally when you watch a film based on a television show you should watch an episode of the television show. And what better episode to watch than the first one. I only watched part one, I’m not a monster, but amazingly the first half of the 1998 film is almost identical to the plot of The Reluctant Stowaway (first aired September 15, 1965). The family is going to Alpha Centauri to colonize. Smith is trying to sabotage the ship for money but accidentally is taken away with the crew. He programs the robot to destroy the ship and then is unable to stop it before it wrecks things almost irreversibly. And he is kept around because he saves one of the Robinsons (this time the mother, not the daughter). The show is incredibly slow, much slower even than its contemporary Star Trek. But I imagine it is mostly the same style, a monster / exploration of the week type deal. Kind of admirable that they tried to stay so true to the original series in the first half there. B adaptation, should have stopped short of the Space Spiders.

Cheerios,

Ths Sklogs

Lost in Space Quiz

Oh no! Un sabateur! My deep space exploration vessel has been ruined (ruined!) by a dastardly act of sabotage. But maybe … if I can remember the plot of Lost in Space, I can stop being … lost in space. Can you remember anything?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Matt LeBlanc is hired on at the last minute for the babysitting job as the pilot of the mission to Alpha One. He basically will act like a monkey, press a few buttons, and absolutely nothing will go wrong necessitating piloting expertise. Anywho, why did they need a replacement pilot?

2) Ooooooooooo, Mr. Robinson is in the dog house. Why is his family just in general not too pleased with him. I’m mainly looking for the issue with Will, his son.

3) Why is Dr. Smith trying to sabotage the mission and how does he end up lost … in space?!

4) Once lost in space the ship passes through two time bubbles. What do they find there that indicates how far into the future each bubble puts them?

5) What happens to Dr. Smith, and how do they dispense with him/it?

Ansers

Lost in Space Preview

Rich walks down the hallway towards the space shuttle. With one of their patented Rich and Poe undercover disguises he is virtually indistinguishable from astronaut Jim McBrawn. The plan is simple: blast into space, take over the space shuttle, take the moon ransom, and then get Poe back. All in a day’s work for Rich… however usually he’s on the right side of the law. But what can you do when a madman has your best friend and his granny hostage? Suddenly Jade runs around the corner. They share a tender kiss and sing John Mayer’s romantic masterpiece Your Body is a Wonderland to each other. Spinning in circles for what seems like hours reminds the world what they are fighting for. Love. The love between a man and a tree monster. The love between a grandson for his foul-mouthed granny. The love between John Mayer and chart-topping hits. As he departs he tells Jade to remind Poe that he’s doing this for family and that he needs to remember to just be himself. Simple as that. The shuttle launches as people around the world look on. Inspiration. Love. Emotion. Explosions. Shortly after entering orbit the shuttles screens all switch to the face of Gruber. “Ah, Rich. You didn’t really think I would trust you with this mission. This has all been a big ol’ trick to get you out of the picture. Have fun with my assassin robot, Assassinbot 3000. He’ll take it from here. Bwahahahaha.” Suddenly Assassinbot 3000 burst into the command module killing all of Rich’s co-astronauts. Rich hopes that Poe gets his message, for it’s looking mighty dire for him and any false move against this robot could leave him… lost in space. That’s right! We’re watching Lost In Space, also from the greatest year in film 1998. This was also on Siskel’s year end worst of the year list with the previously watched Godzilla. Obviously Patrick and I saw this at the time and I recall thinking it was real dumb… and I was 12. So this should be solid. I’m just really hoping that Matt LeBlanc lives up to his billing. Let’s go!

Lost in Space (1998) – BMeTric: 62.9

LostinSpaceIMDb_BMeT

LostinSpaceIMDb_RV

(Wow, sub-5.0 is so low. It is slowly creeped up, but this will never be anything but 50+ BMeTric. Which is kind of awesome. I had kind of figured it would just be a middling, if-you-were-a-kid-when-you-watched-this-you’ll-like-it kind of deal.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  In 2058, with the hope of opening a gateway to a new planet for denizens of the overcrowded Earth, a family is launched into space, accompanied by a he-man pilot and the weasley doctor who tried to sabotage the journey. The 1960s TV series is re-created on a lavish scale, bu hurt by crudely episodic story, grim tone, and paper-thin characters. Oldman, curiously, underplays the role of Dr. Smith. Angela Cartwright, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, and June Lockhart, stars of the original TV series, have cameo roles. Also available in PG version.

(Why is this film PG-13 again? Like … it is a children’s film. There is no way around it, the film is a family film through and through, so why make it PG-13? Whatever.)

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

(Wait … did they just use Star Wars music at the end? Or wait no, it is maybe Indiana Jones with a little sci-fi twist? That trailer is horrible, but I have to say they hit the fact that most of the film is constructed from bad CGI well. It actually looks like they leaned into the cheesy 60s set idea … but in reality they didn’t.)

Directors – Stephen Hopkins – (Known For: The Ghost and the Darkness; Race; Under Suspicion; The Life and Death of Peter Sellers; Future BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; The Reaping; Blown Away; Judgment Night; BMT: Lost in Space; Predator 2; Notes: Directed 12 of the original 24 episodes of the first season of 24. Was dating Heather Graham at the time of filming.)

Writers – Irwin Allen (television series) – (Known For: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; BMT: Lost in Space; Notes: Producer of the original series. Made the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea series at the same time.)

Akiva Goldsman (written by) – (Known For: I Am Legend; A Beautiful Mind; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; The Client; Cinderella Man; Future BMT: The Dark Tower; Insurgent; Practical Magic; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Batman & Robin; Rings; Lost in Space; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; Batman Forever; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1998 for Batman & Robin; and in 2018 for Transformers: The Last Knight; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: Notable for writing episodes and producing the current Star Trek series Discovery. He is mostly a producer at this point. Batman & Robin immediately preceded this film, oooof.)

Actors – Gary Oldman – (Known For: The Dark Knight; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Leon; The Dark Knight Rises; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Fifth Element; Batman Begins; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; True Romance; The Hitman’s Bodyguard; Dracula; Darkest Hour; The Book of Eli; Lawless; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; RoboCop; Air Force One; JFK; Future BMT: The Unborn; Paranoia; Tau; Planet 51; Man Down; Criminal; Criminal Law; The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot; Child 44; Hannibal; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: Lost in Space; Red Riding Hood; The Scarlet Letter; Tiptoes; The Space Between Us; Hunter Killer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: Ha, IMDb has Oldman first? He’s been married five times, and is apparently rather private about his personal life.)

William Hurt – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Captain America: Civil War; The Incredible Hulk; Into the Wild; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Village; Robin Hood; Mr. Brooks; Dark City; Body Heat; A History of Violence; Syriana; The Good Shepherd; The Yellow Handkerchief; The Big Chill; Altered States; The Miracle Season; Race; Tuck Everlasting; Future BMT: Michael; Trial by Jury; Vantage Point; Days and Nights; Neverwas; BMT: Lost in Space; The Host; A New York Winter’s Tale; Notes: A private pilot, he owns a Beechcraft Bonanza. I feel like actors owning and flying planes never seems to end well though.)

Matt LeBlanc – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Future BMT: Ed; All the Queen’s Men; Lovesick; BMT: Lost in Space; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst New Star for Ed in 1997; and Nominee for Worst New Star in 1997 for Mother, She’s the One, and The Pallbearer; Notes: Joey! This is arguably his largest role. He’s continued to have a very successful television career with Episodes and Man with a Plan since 2011.)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $69,117,629 (Worldwide: $136,159,423)

(That isn’t good. It is a flop and there is no way a sequel would have been made considering the level of CGI that is on display.)

#24 for the Future – Near genre

lostinspace_future

(A Sound of Thunder is the lowest grossing film we’ve seen, and honeslty … the CGI is about the same in Lost in Space. We still love future films, go figure.)

#55 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

lostinspace_scifiadventure

(Wow, this is the highest grossing Sci-Fi Adventure we’ve seen! That’s insane. Again … we are loving sci-fi right now. On television and in film we are going bananas for Sci-Fi.)

#41 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

lostinspace_basedontv

(The veritable peak of the TV Adaptation genre. Came out the same year as The Avengers, and then everyone collectively realized there are only so many television shows from the 1960s which aren’t cheesy, and weird, and suck.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 28% (23/83): Clumsily directed and missing most of the TV series’ campy charm, Lost in Space sadly lives down to its title.

(They forgot to mention that it is just chock-a-block full of CGI effects without bothering to actually make a movie around it. Reviewer Highlight: A galactic slump of a movie that stuffs its travel bag with special effects but forgets to pack the charm. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post)

Poster – Sklog in Space (C+)

lost_in_space_ver2

(This is so old school. I like the color and the font is fine, particularly the stylized “LS” in the background. The rest is kind of blah.)

Tagline(s) – Danger Will Robinson! (D+)

(Also the website they used for the film. This is not good and basically playing into a property that the target audience in its entirety has no familiarity with in any capacity. I guess it’s short.)

Keyword(s) – spaceship; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.1 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 86.4 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 82.2 Skyline (2010); 78.8 Jason X (2001); 74.8 After Earth (2013); 70.3 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 65.2 Thunderbirds (2004); 62.9 Lost in Space (1998); 62.6 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987);

(We’ll complete this at some point. We’ll have to be careful with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but it is on the worst of all time wiki page, so we’ll bring it along as a friend with like … Fred Claus or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Heather Graham is No. 5 billed in Lost in Space and No. 2 billed in Say It Isn’t So, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 5 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Despite opening in theaters on April 3, this was the first new film of 1998 to open at #1 at the box office. Titanic (1997) had been at the top spot for the previous 15 weeks, starting in late December. For a short time, the movie was nicknamed “The Iceberg”. (HA)

Dick Tufeld reprises his role from Lost in Space (1965) as the voice of the Robot. (That’s kind of awesome)

All principal actors were contracted to a three-picture option. The film failed to recoup its budget in North America, so plans for a new franchise were scrapped. (Yeah, it was a big enough flop that that was never going to happen … man, what would a Lost in Space 2 have looked like?

The television series Lost in Space (1965) was set in the future of 1997 – the year the film began production.

Gary Oldman was the first member of the cast to sign on, jumping at the chance to appear in a family film.

Matt LeBlanc filmed his role while Friends (1994) was still shooting, and had to fly back and forth between sets several times per week in order to do both projects at the same time. Gary Oldman guest-starred in a couple of episodes with LeBlanc, but director Stephen Hopkins had never seen an episode up to that point.

The first robot in the movie weighed two tons and required eight people to control. (Jesus, it looked like it was made of plastic)

Originally, all surviving cast members of the TV show were meant to have cameo appearances. Dick Tufeld reprises his role from Lost in Space (1965) as the voice of the Robot. Mark Goddard, the original Major Don West, plays the General. June Lockhart, the original Maureen Robinson, plays Will Robinson’s principal. Marta Kristen and Angela Cartwright, the original Robinson girls, play reporters. Ironically, Bill Mumy and Jonathan Harris, the two actors most supportive of the idea of a new movie (as well as the two most popular characters on the show), did not appear in it. Mumy wanted to play the older Will Robinson but the director thought it would be too distracting from the plot to have the original Will play the older Will. Harris was to have played the man who hired, then betrayed, Dr. Smith. In an interview for “TV Guide” prior to the film’s release, it was mentioned that Harris bluntly stated, “I will have you know I have never done a walk-on or bit part in my life! And I do not intend to start.” He announced that if he could not play his own role in the movie, he wanted nothing to do with it – famously being quoted as saying “Either I play Doctor Smith, or I do not play.” He did return as Dr. Smith in a one-hour TV special Lost in Space Forever (1998). (I kind of respect the stance by the Dr. Smith guy. The notion of having the original Will play the older Will is ridiculous. Not because it would be distracting … but because the guy who played Will is probably a terrible actor)

Sean Patrick Flanery was originally cast as Don West, but he was let go while the project was still in rehearsal because it was thought that he too closely resembled William Hurt. The part was also offered to Matthew Perry before it went to his Friends (1994) costar Matt LeBlanc. (Matthew Perry would have been hilarious)

A huge production, this movie occupied 12 separate soundstages when it was being filmed at London’s Shepperton Studios.

In the script the ship with the spiders doesn’t have a name while in the movie it is called The Proteus. You could also notice this later on by watching Older Will’s lips move when he talks about how the spiders survived.

Heather Graham was dating director Stephen Hopkins during filming. (Wow, that is crazy)

Blarp was originally going to be an animatronic puppet in the film, except the puppet didn’t look real enough so it was replaced with a CG puppet. (The CG puppet looks so bad, an incredible decision)

In the original script and movie adaptation, it wasn’t Silicon Graphics who co-sponsored the Jupiter mission, it was Coca-Cola. (WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT)

The movie opens on September 30th, 2058 (two days after Mike Johansen & Naomi Watts’s 90 birthday). This is an allusion to Robinson Crusoe who was stranded on his Island on September 30th, 1659. The Robinsons ultimately owe their name to Crusoe via the Swiss Family Robinson, who were named after Crusoe.

British Band Lighthouse Family recorded the song “Lost in Space” for this film, but the producers decided not to use it. It wasn’t released for 2 months after the films US release. (Amazing)

According to the screenwriter, if this movie did receive a sequel it would have been about the Robinson family making it to Alpha Prime. However, they’d discover that Alpha Prime is already populated with humans because they previously went through a wormhole in the first movie that sends them into the future. There would also have been a sub-plot with Judy Robinson creating a cure for Dr. Smith to prevent the spider infection from turning him into Spider Smith and Penny ending up receiving the same color-changing abilities as Blarp has. (Oh thank God I wasn’t left hanging)

Future Will’s dialogue is entirely dubbed, as Jared Harris did not have the vocal scale to complete the role. (Yeah ………….. I think he couldn’t cover his British accent. It is very weird)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (1999)

Armageddon Recap

Jamie

When an asteroid is found to be hurtling towards Earth, NASA has to turn to a group of oilmen led by Harry Stamper to figure out how to blow it up. Can Harry become an astronaut, learn to trust AJ (the hotshot boyfriend of his daughter), and stop that asteroid before it’s too late? Find out in… Armageddon.

How?! We open with the destruction of a space shuttle mission and parts of several major US cities (naturally, this is Michael Bay) and NASA scrambles to figure out what it was. Turns out a giant asteroid is on its way and boy howdy do they need some help figuring out how to drill a hole in it and blow it up (I feel like there’s a metaphor here). Who you gonna call? Harry Stamper, duh. But he’s also going through his own major catastrophe as he’s just found out that his cocky hotshot partner is dating his daughter. Oh no! That’s just as bad as that asteroid stuff. No time to figure it out though because the government comes and brings him to Houston. There they are like, can you help us? And he’s like “not with these jokester astronauts. Me and my bozo gang of misfits have to be your astronauts.” So they get the gang together, go through some real intense training, and then remember what they are fighting for by visiting family and going to a strip club (to two most american things you can do). The plan is to get some fuel from the Russian space station, swing around the moon, and land on the asteroid, but things immediately go wrong when the junky Russian space station blows up. They swing around the moon but get caught in asteroid debris and one of the spaceships go down, including AJ. Noooo. The other spaceship overshoots the landing spot and has to drill through an iron plate. It’s slow going and they keep breaking parts of the driller and it looks like all is lost when the drill monster truck blows up and flies into space. Things start going nuts with the government trying to blow up the nuke from the surface and people getting “space madness,” but unbeknownst to everyone AJ is being a total hero and he and a few of the others make their way from their wreck and arrive in time to save the day. AJ pushes that drill monster truck like no one has ever pushed a drill monster truck before and totally gets that nuke in there (still feeling like a metaphor), but uh oh! The nuke can’t be detonated from the surface! Someone will have to step in. That man is Harry and he gives a rousing speech to his daughter and saves the goddamn world! After coming back everyone forgets how shitty everyone was before and greet them like heroes. THE END.

Why?! You’re probably all like “for humanity, duh.” *shakes head sadly* you learned nothing. It’s for love, man. Love. And your eyes, your eyes, your eyes. They tell me how much you care. Ooooh yes, you will always be… my… endless looooove. Armageddon.

Who?! Hail to the Chief! We have the election of an unnamed President to the BMT Hall of Presidents played by Stanley Anderson. Has he played the President in other films? Why yes. In The Rock, also directed by Michael Bay and also the greatest film ever made. Does that mean those two films take place during the same presidential term? Probably. Also need to shoutout the least heralded member of the Armageddon crew: Noonan, played by Clark Brolly. I did not remember this character until this viewing and he really does get short shrift when all is said and done. As Ben Affleck is crying over Owen Wilson’s body he just kinda implies that Noonan was also killed on impact. Who is Noonan?!

What?! Some real iconic product placement here for Animal Crackers. There is probably some more blatant placement for Nokia or TAG Hauer, but the Animal Cracker scene is perfection. I don’t want to close my eyesssss. I don’t want to falll asleep. Cause I’d miss you babe and I don’t want to miss a thaaaaannnnngggggggggg. As for props there are some real gems here. A Stamper Oil hard hat?! AJ’s space costume?! How do I choose just one?

Where?! We got scenes all over the place. These are the types of films that really would help cover a large portion of a world map. But really this is set in Texas and Space… a solid choice for the catchall setting, Space. As specific as needed and quite necessary. A.

When?! I do not believe that they make it clear when the film takes place. Seems like the summer given the sweltering look of NYC in the beginning. Usually I’m all like “but only if I could get my hands on some props,” well from the website above I can… they purposefully don’t have any dates on it. So I think they never really make it clear other than to say that the events of the film take place over almost exactly 18 days. F.

Armageddon is the greatest film ever made. Patrick?… oh, should I elaborate on that? I sat down to watch this movie and was like “It’s pretty late, I’ll watch half the movie and then finish it tomorrow.” Three hours later, with tears streaming down my face, I finished watching Armageddon. I literally didn’t want to close my eyes… didn’t want to fall asleep… cause I’d miss Armageddon and I didn’t want to miss a thing. Now, just to be clear, when I say Armageddon is the greatest film ever made I don’t mean that it’s like the best film ever made or anything crazy like that. It just hits all the right buttons for me and allows me to forgive all the bad visual effects, scientific inaccuracies, ludicrous plot devices, and the fact that Michael Bay films America like it still is 1957… even when astronauts are flying souped-up space shuttles to an asteroid to plant a nuke using a monster truck space drill. I forgive all that because Ben Affleck is playing with animal crackers and is like “I hope other people are doing this, because otherwise what are we fighting for,” and Bruce Willis telling his daughter that he’ll look in on her from time to time before sacrificing himself for the good of humanity. As A1 steak sauce would say, it gets me right here *points to heart*. Patrick?

‘Ello everyone! Sometimes for BMT we re-watch a film we’ve seen before to give it the real BMT treatment. And sometimes we … watch a film for the like 50th time and revel in it and make fun of all the no-fun-having critics who hate explosions and America. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – You think I didn’t already know everything about Armageddon? The most interesting things were that it was nominated for several Oscars. More rare than you would think for BMT. You’d think more terrible films would still manage the technical awards. And that this was the most successful Michael Bay film outside of the Transformers films, which is also fun.

The Good – Uh … this film? The film is good? More seriously, the first half of the film is very fun. Just balls to the wall grumpy Bruce Willis telling the eggheads at NASA what’s what about drilling in space. Lots of funny characters, lots of funny lines, and great visuals that hold up. The cosmonaut character is still the best as well. Just absolutely the funniest. The last third is a bit melodramatic, and the asteroid set … has problems. But the movie is gosh darn entertaining. I would watch it again right now if you asked me to.

The Bad – The asteroid set is ludicrous. I think if they had had a bit more time they could have whipped something together that looked fine … but it doesn’t. Very melodramatic, and basically the definition of inserting a romantic subplot into an action film for no reason (and Bay would repeat the same mistake in Pearl Harbor). Some bits here and there are problematic (Buscemi suggesting he committed statatory rape being played for laughs isn’t great), but hey, it’s an action film in 1998.

The BMT – There is, in my opinion, more good than bad here. I don’t think this film comes out to the same reviews these days. I think it gets a very respectable “good for what it is” like … 50-60% on Rotten Tomatoes released today. So no. Of course it isn’t BMT. It is too good. I will never accept this film isn’t good. It is like Hook, I saw it at just the right time to love it and it’ll always tug at that bit of nostalgia. I can’t help myself.

Roast-radamus – Can we get a Where? for the asteroid? No? I’m going to give it a What? (Product Placement) though. What product? NASA and the US Military of course. Legitimately this is US propaganda, but whatever, I love it. Something about this film screams Why? to me. Is it a MacGuffin? No, but the entire thing about the 800 foot hole they are trying to drill on the asteroid is just too much. How they are all so sad when they are only at 250 feet. When they are so happy when they cross this arbitrary point. It is just so good. I have a sneaking suspicion this is a shoe in for Good as well because … well, just read my review.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual, all of these films have a lot of cred already because Siskel and Ebert put it on their worst of list for 1998. And crazily … I can’t find any other lists where it was mentioned. There are so many bad disaster films it doesn’t even get close to the lists it seems. So good for Armageddon, it ain’t got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – You may or may not have heard of the notorious Ben Affleck Armageddon audio commentary. The most famous bit is when he talks about how he asked Michael Bay why they couldn’t just send astronauts up to drill on the asteroid, and Michael Bay told him to shut up. (1) His Michael Bay and Billy Bob Thornton impressions are second to none. (2) His on set stories are really interesting, like about how much stuff leaked in from other projects, and how crap everything looked when you are actually doing it. (3) He basically has the same opinion as me about the patriotic aspects, he says he’s mostly a cynic about such things, but something about Armageddon he likes and he finds really powerful. People think he was drunk, but I think he was mostly just tired. If you listen to the entire thing, he is far too coherent for way too long while watching the entire film for the drunk idea to hold much water. A+ audio commentary, especially this svelte 30 minute cut which is just Affleck and not the other people:

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Armageddon Quiz

Don’t wanna close my eyeeeeeeeees. Don’t want to fall asleep, ‘cause I’d miss you baby, and I don’t want to miss a thiiii-iiing. Did you miss anything?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Harry is the baddest m-f-ing oil driller on the high seas, and his crew? It’s the best. AJ though, he can get a little wild. What two major mistakes does AJ make to get himself fired?

2) Let’s get into some asteroid facts! How big was the asteroid, which city do we see get hit by the asteroid in the beginning of the film, and which city is completely destroyed by the asteroid in the middle of the film?

3) Describe in as much detail as possible the actual plan to destroy the asteroid. And while you do this please laugh as little as possible.

4) Who were in the crews, who died, and how did they die? No need for names, but please, an hour of silence for our fallen heroes.

5) At the end of the film all of the remaining heroes draw straws to see who has to stay behind and detonate the bomb manually. Why do they have to detonate it manually?

Answers

Armageddon Preview

Rich and Elvira the tree monster nanny are smooching hard. It’s real sexy and steamy and inappropriate to describe the scandalous nature of their forbidden love. Oh how forbidden! What a mismatched pair! What a indecent proposal! What a fatal attraction! What a… uh… wild orchid! In between bouts of steamy make-out sessions Elivira reveals that her real name is Jade and that Elivira is just a front that Gruber convinced her to put on to further his dastardly plan. “But what’s the plan?” asks Rich, taking a break from their sensual lovemaking. But Jade doesn’t know. “Well there’s only one way to find out.” Jade protests, but Rich quiets her with a kiss. “Nothing can stop us when we’re together,” and off they go to deliver him into Gruber’s hands. As they enter the arcade, it’s empty. Were they gone for so long totally frenching? Suddenly Gruber spins around in a chair, “well, well, well Rich. How nice of you to join us. Seems like you and Elvira have been having quite the time… or should I say… Jade?” Gruber already knows! Rich rips off his shirt ready to pound on Gruber, but he puts up his finger, “Not in front of your best friend and his little old granny.” Suddenly a panel in the wall spins around revealing Poe and his granny hanging suspended above a tank of electric eels. “You bastard,” Rich says through clenched teeth, “What do you want from us?” Gruber laughs, “Always so slow. Perhaps this will give you a clue.” With that another wall panel spins. “My god, it’s Jim McBrawn, renowned astronaut and sex symbol,” Rich exclaims. Gruber laughs again, “That’s right and you’re going to impersonate him and help me… hold the moon ransom!” That’s right! We’re watching one of the greatest movies ever made, Armageddon. You’re probably like, “bro, you even watch bad movies. That shit can’t possibly qualify.” Oh but it does. By the slimmest of margins. And that’s the first mistake, because leave an opening for us to watch Armageddon and we’re gonna slither in like a couple of greased up snakes at a county fair. Hooooooo weeeeeeeeeeeeeee… anyway, this indeed was Ebert’s worst film of 1998 while Siskel gave his award to none other than Patch Adams. All I gotta say is I’m much more excited to watch Armageddon than I would be to watch Patch Adams. Let’s go!

Armageddon (1998) – BMeTric: 14.8

ArmageddonIMDb_BMeT

ArmageddonIMDb_RV

(Wow, the BMeTric just collapsed. Probably appropriate. Armageddon is ridiculously fun. I’ve seen it like 15 times. It is a little shocking just how much the critics hated the film. But that’s an opportunity for us to watch a good film for BMT)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Opens with a bang, and sets up an exciting (it improbable) story about NASA and the U.S. government turning to a veteran oil-well driller and his motley team to save humanity by flying to an asteroid and planting a nuclear bomb. After a while it becomes so routine, so predictable, and so redundant that all the fun is drained away.

(Hard disagree, but two stars sounds about right. It is a perfectly even film. On the one hand it is fun as hell and so so sincere. On the other it is just such a logical conclusion to 80s/90s action films that, as Leonard says, you can predict what is going to happen at every moment.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vizwnpbwO0w/

(I love it. “You have twelve days” … why? Why not just do it in 10 or 11? Why? Then you’d just have however long you want to complete the mission instead of literally (spoiler alert) blowing up the asteroid with one second to spare.)

Directors – Michael Bay – (Known For: Transformers; The Rock; Bad Boys; 13 Hours; Pain & Gain; Future BMT: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Pearl Harbor; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Bad Boys II; The Island; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2010 for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; and Nominee for Worst Director in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; and in 2018 for Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Loves English Mastiffs, and produces a bunch of horror films like the Friday the 13th reboot.)

Writers – Jonathan Hensleigh (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Jumanji; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Kill the Irishman; A Far Off Place; Future BMT: Next; The Saint; The Punisher; BMT: Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Armageddon in 1999; Notes: )

J.J. Abrams (screenplay) – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Super 8; Mission: Impossible III; Joy Ride; Forever Young; Regarding Henry; Future BMT: Gone Fishin’; Filofax; BMT: Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Armageddon in 1999; Notes: His father is Gerald William Abrams a television producer from the 80s. His sister is also a screenwriter.)

Tony Gilroy (adaptation) – (Known For: Rogue One; The Devil’s Advocate; The Bourne Identity; The Negotiator; The Bourne Supremacy; The Bourne Legacy; The Bourne Ultimatum; Dolores Claiborne; State of Play; Michael Clayton; The Cutting Edge; Duplicity; Extreme Measures; Future BMT: The Great Wall; Bait; Proof of Life; BMT: Armageddon; Notes: Has two brothers. Tony Gilroy is a very accomplished editor. And Dan Gilroy is also a writer (and married to Rene Russo).)

Shane Salerno (adaptation) – (Known For: Savages; Shaft; BMT: AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem; Armageddon; Notes: Was just 21 when he began writing on NYPD Blue. He is apparently writing Avatar 3.)

Robert Roy Pool (story) – (Known For: Outbreak; The Big Town; BMT: Armageddon; Notes: A little unclear what he’s been up to for the last 20 years, but worked with Laurence Dworet, a doctor, on writing the Outbreak screenplay.)

Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Pulp Fiction; Split; Unbreakable; The Sixth Sense; The Fifth Element; Die Hard; Sin City; RED; Looper; Twelve Monkeys; RED 2; Moonrise Kingdom; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Die Hard 4.0; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Ocean’s Twelve; Planet Terror; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; Vice; The Cold Light of Day; The Prince; Extraction; Lay the Favorite; Precious Cargo; Breakfast of Champions; First Kill; Cop Out; Reprisal; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Marauders; Acts of Violence; Fire with Fire; Perfect Stranger; Striking Distance; Rock the Kasbah; The Story of Us; Blind Date; Rugrats Go Wild; Mercury Rising; Loaded Weapon 1; Billy Bathgate; Surrogates; Sunset; The Jackal; Last Man Standing; Tears of the Sun; Hostage; Grand Champion; Glass; Four Rooms; BMT: North; A Good Day to Die Hard; Color of Night; The Whole Ten Yards; The Bonfire of the Vanities; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Hudson Hawk; Death Wish; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Winner for Worst Actor in 1999 for Armageddon, Mercury Rising, and The Siege; and Nominee for Worst Actor in 1992 for Hudson Hawk; in 1995 for Color of Night, and North; and in 2019 for Death Wish; Notes: Y’all know Bruce Willis. Famously married to Demi Moore for years, now married to model Emma Heming Willis.)

Billy Bob Thornton – (Known For: Tombstone; Love Actually; The Judge; Monster’s Ball; Princess Mononoke; Faster; Bound by Honor; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Sling Blade; Intolerable Cruelty; Dead Man; Puss in Boots; Friday Night Lights; The Man Who Wasn’t There; A Simple Plan; U Turn; Bad Santa; Bandits; Bad News Bears; Parkland; Future BMT: The Informers; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Bad Santa 2; Into the Grizzly Maze; London Fields; Indecent Proposal; School for Scoundrels; Waking Up in Reno; The Alamo; Our Brand Is Crisis; South of Heaven, West of Hell; Cut Bank; Eagle Eye; The Baytown Outlaws; Entourage; Levity; The Winner; The Badge; Jayne Mansfield’s Car; BMT: On Deadly Ground; Mr. Woodcock; Armageddon; Notes: Y’all know Billy Bob. All the news on google is about his band which I think is called Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters … I would have thought it was just The Boxmasters, but given the ‘t’ isn’t capitalized it has to include his full name.)

Ben Affleck – (Known For: Triple Frontier; Justice League; Gone Girl; Dazed and Confused; The Accountant; Good Will Hunting; Argo; The Town; He’s Just Not That Into You; Field of Dreams; Daredevil; Dogma; Shakespeare in Love; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; The Company Men; Chasing Amy; Clerks II; Mallrats; State of Play; The Sum of All Fears; Future BMT: Surviving Christmas; Runner Runner; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Reindeer Games; Suicide Squad; Man About Town; Pearl Harbor; 200 Cigarettes; The Third Wheel; Live by Night; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Smokin’ Aces; BMT: Gigli; Phantoms; Paycheck; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2004 for Daredevil, Gigli, and Paycheck; Winner for Worst Screen Combo for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2017; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Gigli in 2004; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2005 for Jersey Girl, and Surviving Christmas; and in 2017 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Daredevil, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Paycheck, Pearl Harbor, and Surviving Christmas; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; and in 2005 for Jersey Girl; Notes: His next film Torrance sounds suspiciously like Hardball with Keanu Reeves. Had a giant Netflix success with Triple Frontier recently.)

Budget/Gross – $140 million / Domestic: $201,578,182 (Worldwide: $553,709,788)

(These days that would be an underperformance, but that is kind of okay in the end. Bay’s biggest success until the Transformer franchise, so I think this was basically the ceiling for the type of action film Bay was producing around that time.)

#7 for the Disaster genre

armageddon_disaster

(Absolute pinnacle of the genre in 1998. It tried to make a comeback recently, I think because people tend to like disaster stuff when things are going well in the US. Seems like that is waning now though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (45/120): Lovely to look at but about as intelligent as the asteroid that serves as the movie’s antagonist, Armageddon slickly sums up the cinematic legacies of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.

(Basically nails it. Prior to the re-watch I decided this film was the logical conclusion to Top Gun and disaster films smushed together. Reviewer Highlight: It’s strictly a side issue whether mankind will survive colliding with an asteroid the size of Texas; the real question is whether Liv Tyler, who plays Bruce Willis’s daughter, gets to keep her boyfriend. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader)

Poster – Sklogageddon (A-)

armageddon_ver4

(It’s actually beautiful. Well spaced. I like the orange color, which is both the color of fire and Michael Bay as a whole. A little on the fence whether the font is good or not… you can barely see that it’s unique because of the fire. But it is unique.)

Tagline(s) – For Love. For Honor. For Mankind. (A)

(Yes, yes, and yes. That tagline is nearly perfect. Maybe add a dash of wit and you’d be up at the top. I also feel like it would be a good advertising scheme. Like, “For Love. For Honor. For Mankind… Four Loko.” Nailed it.)

Keyword(s) – asteroid; Top Ten by BMeTric: 74.8 After Earth (2013); 52.0 Green Lantern (2011); 48.3 Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007); 46.5 Space Station 76 (2014); 41.9 Meteor (1979); 41.6 Ice Age: Collision Course (2016); 38.4 Galaxina (1980); 38.4 The Phantom Planet (1961); 34.8 The Green Slime (1968); 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009);

(Wow, how haven’t we seen more of these? Well, I guess I’ve seen Green Lantern and all of the Transformers. I’m excited for Fantastic 4 2 though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Clarke Duncan is No. 8 billed in Armageddon and No. 4 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 8 + 4 + 2 + 2 = 16. If we were to watch Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 9.

Notes – N.A.S.A. shows this film during their management training program. New managers are given the task of trying to spot as many errors as possible. At least one hundred sixty-eight have been found. (Makes sense, I can’t help but laugh that they decided to have both space shuttles blast off at the same time)

Regarding the film’s premise, Ben Affleck asked Director Michael Bay, “Wouldn’t it be easier for N.A.S.A. to train astronauts how to drill rather than training drillers to be astronauts?” Bay told Affleck to shut up. Besides, the reasoning behind sending drillers, rather than training astronauts, is explained in the movie. (Straight from the notorious audio commentary. To be fair to Ben he acknowledges that it is explained in the movie … that explanation was “my guys are the best” which is equally ridiculous. I don’t doubt the scene was added to the script precisely because it was glaringly obvious that that was the better solution)

Steve Buscemi claimed that the role of Rockhound was pitched to him as a heroic geologist, which he eagerly accepted, wanting a change from the lowlifes, as whom he had been typecast. He noted that after he had been cast in the role, Rockhound’s sleazy characteristics were written into the script. (Great. Out of everything this aspect ages the worst. They suggest he’s a rapist basically so …)

Rockhound’s line about sitting on a million pounds of fuel in a rocket built by the lowest bidder is a variation of an actual radio transmission by Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, just prior to lift-off. (Cool)

Because of the patriotic nature of the script, and the success of using Top Gun (1986) as recruitment material, the producers persuaded N.A.S.A. to allow Director Michael Bay and company to shoot in the normally restricted space agency. This included the neutral buoyancy lab, a sixty-five-million-gallon, forty-foot-deep pool used to train astronauts for weightlessness, and the use of two ten-million-dollar space suits. The crew was also allowed to shoot in the historic launch pad that went out of service after the Apollo 1 disaster, and parts of the movie were filmed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. (Yup. Works really well it turns out)

Michael Bay had the actors write their list of demands on the papers from which Bruce Willis read.

The shuttle launches were filmed for real. Disney (Touchstone Pictures) was allowed to put cameras (about sixteen of them) all over the place. The camera on the launch pad was shaken so hard (25G) that all the screws fell out of the lens, and it had to be returned to Panavision in a box of pieces (which they put back together).

The film crew was also allowed to shoot sequences at the top of a real launch pad, with an actual space shuttle docked to it. The only condition was that they not step into the shuttle itself. Ben Affleck admitted to stepping inside the orbiter for a brief moment, before N.A.S.A. technicians ordered him out of the spacecraft. (Maybe for contamination reasons, but that’s hilarious)

Bruce Willis has said that he did not care for Michael Bay’s directing style, and he refuses to work with him again. (ha!)

When asked why he did this film, Steve Buscemi replied, “I wanted a bigger house”.

Bruce Willis came to the film after he decided a comedy he was filming called “Broadway Brawler” could not be salvaged, and sought a way to exit the project. Disney’s then-head Joe Roth worked out a deal where Willis would star in Armageddon and two future films for the studio, and in exchange, Disney would absorb the failed project’s costs as an advance against his initial salary. The two films Willis later made under this deal were The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000). (I love these silly stories from Hollywood, what a weird business)

Michael Clarke Duncan improvised the line, “Come and get Papa Bear!” This later became one of the actor’s nicknames.

Despite playing one of the principal characters, Michael Clarke Duncan’s name does not appear in the opening credits.

Michael Bay thinks Armageddon is his worst film. “I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in sixteen weeks”, he told The Miami Herald in 2013. “It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could.” (Yeah, it is definitely the weakest part. The asteroid looks ridiculous, and the movie suffers a bit. Plus the time jumps are crazy. They’ll be like “Hey can we do this in two hours?” and then literally two seconds later “We only have ten minutes left!” It is really jarring)

Billy Bob Thornton told Michael Bay that his backstory for Truman was that he was on track to join N.A.S.A. as an astronaut, but suffered crippling nerve damage as a young man, and was only able to serve as an administrator. Bay loved the idea, and had a scene written that refers to this by showing a metal brace on Truman’s leg.

During the filming of this movie, the cast and crew worked around nineteen billion dollars worth of equipment, including a real oil rig and real space shuttle.

According to the Criterion Collection commentary, many of the errors found in the film were acknowledged by the director, and known even during filming and production and were left in deliberately (such as fire in space). Michael Bay said, “It’s a movie and not many people know about it”, so they were kept in for entertainment value.

Billy Bob Thornton has admitted to doing this film for the money and often jokes about acting in it. He has, however, called it “not THAT bad”. (It isn’t that bad)

By the time of its release, this was the Walt Disney Company’s highest-grossing live-action film (without adjustment for inflation). (Oh so times have changed)

The convenient existence of a fault plane passing right through the asteroid is not unrealistic. Several asteroids are now believed to be “contact binaries”, each apparently consisting of two separate lumps of rock that are just sitting on each other.

The original script did not include the romantic subplot between A.J. (Ben Affleck) and Grace (Liv Tyler), and instead had more emphasis on Truman. It was added after the success of Titanic (1997) with teenage girls. Most of the romantic scenes were written by Scott Rosenberg and were filmed late in production. (WHAT, that’s crazy. I think it works though, Liv Tyler’s scenes with Affleck and Willis is a touch of humanity the movie needs as cheesy as it all is)

Michael Bay said in a magazine interview that the solution in the movie for dealing with the asteroid was very clever, but not realistic, but that one idea for countering the threat was in line with actual N.A.S.A. research (anti-gravity systems). He also said that a problem with a film like this, was that it would make Americans erroneously think that if a situation like the movie actually occurred, then there was anything that could be done about it. (Yeah we’d all be dead. That being said, we would have known about the asteroid waaaaaay before that. We would have known about the errant comet and its path through the asteroid belt years before it ever happened, as if we wouldn’t track a comet flying through our solar system)

Stanley Anderson, who played the U.S. President, also played the U.S. President in The Rock (1996). (I love fake presidents)

Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the role of Harry Stamper. (Wow, what a movie that would be … that is blowing my mind)

Scott Rosenberg, Robert Towne, and Ann Biderman all did uncredited work on the screenplay. J.J. Abrams’ original contribution was also going to be uncredited, but Michael Bay liked it so much, that Abrams was brought back for additional dialogue work, and ended up sharing a Story credit with Shane Salerno.

Ben Affleck has practically disowned the movie, even repeatedly making fun of it on the commentary.

Bruce Willis was given a second trailer that housed a full working gym, at an estimated cost of one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars. It was reportedly never used. (HA, go get yo’ money Bruce)

Lawrence Tierney repeatedly turned down the part of Harry’s father, until he was offered a substantial pay raise. (……… he is uncredited in the film … but that must have been cut. I don’t recall a scene with Harry’s father)

DIRECTOR CAMEO (Michael Bay): As a N.A.S.A. scientist. Shown after Carl asks to name the asteroid Dottie. (I noticed this real time during the watch. It is super quick)

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #40. (It’s in the Criterion Collection?)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Sound (Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Keith A. Wester, 1999)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (George Watters II, 1999)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects (Richard R. Hoover, Pat McClung, John Frazier, 1999)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Diane Warren, 1999)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Bruce Willis, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd, Michael Bay, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Liv Tyler, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Bay, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Hensleigh, J.J. Abrams, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Diane Warren, 1999)