Urban Legends: Final Cut Preview

“Hey Poe, what’s wrong? Looks like you saw a ghost.” Rich’s mouth has run dry at the sight of none other than Helmut Gruber. He leaps to his feet and tackles him to the ground, handcuffing him to the desk. “What the hell are you doing Poe?” the captain asks incredulously. “Let DETECTIVE Heinerich Gruber up and get to work.” Detective? Heinrich? Rich needs to get out of here and fast, but before he can leave the chief grabs his arm and stops him. “I know this is hard, but do this for Rich. The fact is that we no longer think his death was a freak dressage accident. We think it’s… murder.” Everyone gasps. Murder? But why? “For this,” the chief says and turns on a projector. On the screen is the Obsidian Dongle. Gasps ring out again. “That’s right,” the chief says, “Rich had gotten close to a seller of the Dongle. You think you can keep it cool and get this done?” Rich stops rubbing his chest and nods his head. In the car he and Gruber discuss the plan. A quick karate chop to the neck should do it. When they enter the abandoned cement factory where the deal is supposed to take place they are greeted with a gruesome scene. “Is that… the seller?” Rich asks. Gruber nods and gulps, taking in a man pinned to the wall by an arrow, his blood smeared on the wall, “Sincerely, The Sparrow.” Rich ponders for a moment. Sparrow… arrow… he turns to Gruber and asks again how Rich was killed. Gruber sighs, “Like you heard, a freak dressage accident. He got tangled in the reigns of his horse and literally rode until he couldn’t anymore.” My god, Rich thinks, we’ve got a serial killer on the loose. That’s right, we’re doubling up and crushing the Urban Legend(s) franchise. While the first is totally bereft of twins (mistake), the sequel is twin centric. Hopefully the twins are used for good instead of evil. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go!

Poe looks at the twin dragons circling the smoking mountain. If that’s the way back to help Rich then that’s where he will go. “How?” he asks his twin protectors. They look at each other and nod, “To defeat the twin dragons you must have strength.” Poe thinks for a moment, “So like a killer workout routine?” But the twins laugh. “No,” they say, still shaking their heads, “food… it’s munchies time.” That’s right! We’re pairing up our horror cycle with the Gremlins super-knockoff Munchies where they literally hired the editor of Gremlins and told her to make another one. Let’s go!

Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) – BMeTric: 68.8; Notability: 31 

(Brutal rating. It floated sub-4.0 for years prior to a more recent inexplicable uptick. I think I finall have a good grasp on the notability. A film with 50+ means they are pulling out all the stops on the budget and pretty rare for bad films. 30-50 are normal theatrical releases. Some odd tweener films are from 20-30 where it is released to theaters, but they are going with a smaller budget or skimping on the cast. Anything in 10-20 might be independent, or some straight-to-video with recognizable faces, etc. Anything below 10 is a nothing movie. There you have it.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – I don’t know if you’re tired of terrified girls racing through shadowy basements pursued by masked slashers while the soundtrack pulses with variations on the “Halloween” theme, but I am. Real tired. This time the killer wears a fencing mask, and at the end no one even thinks to say “touche!”

(I can’t believe he gave this a 2, that’s so crazy. By all accounts this is much worse than the first, and yet he just shrugs and is like “all the same to me I suppose”. If he’s so tired of the genre why give it a two out of four?)

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

(Oh shit, the scene where they fake the girl’s death they clearly had to color the blood black to get around issues with putting the trailer on television. It is the only explanation. Immediately a much worse concept than the first film … basically just a rip off of the cooler concept of Scream 2. Seriously, what is wrong with the people making Urban Legend that they are literally just copying Scream beat for beat?)

Directors – John Ottman – (BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Mostly a composer, he is the notorious editor for Bohemian Rhapsody, a film most critics seemed to think was poorly edited, but evidently the mere fact that he cobbled together a film from what was apparently a pile of nonsense earned him accolades in the editor community (who are the ones who vote on the award).)

Writers – Silvio Horta (characters) – (Future BMT: Urban Legend; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Didn’t seem to actually write this, this is just a character credit. Executive produced The Chronicle a one and done workplace comedy set at a tabloid newspaper.)

Paul Harris Boardman (written by) – (Known For: The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Future BMT: Deliver Us from Evil; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Devil’s Knot; Notes: Appears to have only written horror films in his career. Wrote Hellraiser: Inferno, the fifth Hellraiser film.)

Scott Derrickson (written by) – (Known For: Doctor Strange; Sinister; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Land of Plenty; Future BMT: Sinister 2; Deliver Us from Evil; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Devil’s Knot; Notes: A major director and producer now for Disney, he not only wrote Doctor Strange, he also directed it and is involved with the Labyrinth sequel.)

Actors – Jennifer Morrison – (Known For: Bombshell; Star Trek; Warrior; Star Trek into Darkness; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Report; Assassination Nation; Stir of Echoes; Superfly; Miracle on 34th Street; Back Roads; All Creatures Here Below; Sun Dogs; Some Girl(s); Future BMT: The Darkness; Amityville: The Awakening; Surviving Christmas; Intersection; Big Stan; Knife Fight; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Grind; Notes: You’d know her from the first few seasons of House, and she was one of the main characters in Once Upon a Time. Started modelling as a child in things like JCPenney.)

Matthew Davis – (Known For: Legally Blonde; Blue Crush; Tigerland; Below; Heights; Future BMT: BloodRayne; S. Darko; Pearl Harbor; Finding Bliss; Seeing Other People; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Waiting for Forever; Notes: Briefly a star in the early 2000s, he was the bad guy in Legally Blonde. Starred in Vampire Diaries and the spinoff series Legacies.)

Hart Bochner – (Known For: Die Hard; Carrie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; For Your Consideration; Rules Don’t Apply; Breaking Away; Bulworth; Anywhere But Here; Making Mr. Right; Rich and Famous; Islands in the Stream; Apartment Zero; Future BMT: Supergirl; Spread; Liberty Stands Still; Terror Train; Mr. Destiny; The Innocent; BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Notes: Was the yuppie asshole Harry Ellis in Die Hard, and has always been juuuuuust not quite a star throughout his career. Directed PCU and High School High, and is the son of Lloyd Bochner who was all over television and film in the 60s and 70s.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $21,468,807 (Worldwide: $38,574,362)

(Ehhhhhh this would be considered a pretty bad haul by most standards just because it relies on worldwide take to recoup a 2x on the budget. So definitely not surprising they didn’t go for a third. I have to assume at some point you’re running on fumes with some mediocre urban legends.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (7/82): This teen horror movie brings nothing new to an already exhausted genre. And it’s bad. Really bad.

(Yeah, that’s a rouch sub-10 percentage there. It is pretty sad how exhausted the slasher genre got only a few years after Scream revitalized it. Reviewer Highlight: It delivers bald-faced variations on devices that were originally deployed, albeit with a redeeming glint of irony, in the Scream films and in Scary Movie. – David Chute, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Karl Urban Legends: Ghost Ship with the Most Ship

(I really appreciate that they went all in on a Jason style mask even before the mask premiered in the franchise. As if we are supposed to know what a fencing mask is supposed to mean in this context. Like the orange, but needs that sweet sweet font and feels very crowded. C+.)

Tagline(s) – Legends never die (A)

(I think… I think I like it. It’s very short and sweet and gets to the point. It’s also a little double meaning mixed in and lets you know you’re in for some thrills and chills. Yeah, I like it. Weird to use a word from the title in the tagline, but OK.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Great Outdoors (1988), House of Wax (2005), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Despicable Me 3 (2017), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 52.0 The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 17.3 Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), Father Figures (2017), Pluto Nash (2002), The Identical (2014)

(We are getting there. We have at least three more of these on the docket, so we are moving through them. Came in right before the big twins boom of the Harry Potter franchise it looks like.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eva Mendes is No. 6 billed in Urban Legends: Final Cut and No. 2 billed in Ghost Rider, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 6 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Originally set to film on the campus of the University of Western Ontario, it was turned down by the administration, because of its violent nature.

The opening sequence in the film was originally supposed to take place on a boat. During a location scout, they found the airplane set, and decided to revise the script. As it turns out, the original boat sequence was originally inspired by the airplane sequence in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).

The character of P.A. Kevin was based on an actual student at USC, where John Ottman, Paul Harris Boardman, and Scott Derrickson attended. (Ha)

The snow storm seen in the film was unintended.

Since the campus used as Alpine University in the film didn’t have an actual bell tower, a one hundred fifty foot tower was built at an estimated one hundred fifty thousand dollars. All of the interiors were done on a separate stage and the bell was papier-mâché. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat)

The campus used during filming was Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

Anson Mount originally auditioned for the role of Travis/Trevor. (I think he would have been better honestly)

Reached number one at the box office opening weekend with a mere gross of $8,505,513. The film was a moderate financial success, but only grossed about half of what the original made, leading to the third film, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005) being released straight-to-video.

The ice in the bathtub during Lisa’s death scene was actually made of silicon, and very heavy. The kidney used in this scene was actually a goat’s kidney.

The sequence with Lisa (Jacinda Barrett), Trevor (Matthew Davis), and Toby (Anson Mount) at the bar shortly before her death was a reshoot. It was filmed several months after principal photography was completed. It was decided after the film was done, that a death scene needed to occur much earlier in the film to add a sense of danger. This is why the character is never mentioned before or after her appearance. Mount had to wear a wig during this sequence, because he had cut his hair significantly since. (Ahhhhhh this makes so much sense! Because there is no logical reason for the murders to have started occurring until the idea of an Urban Legend film was pitched, but that happens after the first death)

While the killers are different (as was the studio that produced it), this film picks up on the same urban legend where the first movie left off, The Kidney Heist. (Yeah I find that a bit odd actually)

The character of Vanessa being revealed to be a lesbian with a crush on Amy was a holdover from the original draft of the first film, where Reese was originally going to be a lesbian.

Urban Legend Preview

“Hey Poe, what’s wrong? Looks like you saw a ghost.” Rich’s mouth has run dry at the sight of none other than Helmut Gruber. He leaps to his feet and tackles him to the ground, handcuffing him to the desk. “What the hell are you doing Poe?” the captain asks incredulously. “Let DETECTIVE Heinerich Gruber up and get to work.” Detective? Heinrich? Rich needs to get out of here and fast, but before he can leave the chief grabs his arm and stops him. “I know this is hard, but do this for Rich. The fact is that we no longer think his death was a freak dressage accident. We think it’s… murder.” Everyone gasps. Murder? But why? “For this,” the chief says and turns on a projector. On the screen is the Obsidian Dongle. Gasps ring out again. “That’s right,” the chief says, “Rich had gotten close to a seller of the Dongle. You think you can keep it cool and get this done?” Rich stops rubbing his chest and nods his head. In the car he and Gruber discuss the plan. A quick karate chop to the neck should do it. When they enter the abandoned cement factory where the deal is supposed to take place they are greeted with a gruesome scene. “Is that… the seller?” Rich asks. Gruber nods and gulps, taking in a man pinned to the wall by an arrow, his blood smeared on the wall, “Sincerely, The Sparrow.” Rich ponders for a moment. Sparrow… arrow… he turns to Gruber and asks again how Rich was killed. Gruber sighs, “Like you heard, a freak dressage accident. He got tangled in the reigns of his horse and literally rode until he couldn’t anymore.” My god, Rich thinks, we’ve got a serial killer on the loose. That’s right, we’re doubling up and crushing the Urban Legend(s) franchise. While the first is totally bereft of twins (mistake), the sequel is twin centric. Hopefully the twins are used for good instead of evil. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go!

Poe looks at the twin dragons circling the smoking mountain. If that’s the way back to help Rich then that’s where he will go. “How?” he asks his twin protectors. They look at each other and nod, “To defeat the twin dragons you must have strength.” Poe thinks for a moment, “So like a killer workout routine?” But the twins laugh. “No,” they say, still shaking their heads, “food… it’s munchies time.” That’s right! We’re pairing up our horror cycle with the Gremlins super-knockoff Munchies where they literally hired the editor of Gremlins and told her to make another one. Let’s go!

Urban Legend (1998) – BMeTric: 45.7; Notability: 34 

(While it is rising, this has a much lower rating that I would expect. Considering how 90s nostalgia works I would have expected people to eventually get over the comparisons to Scream and embrace it as a silly send up of Horror tropes as well. It might eventually reach mediocrity, but it still seems like the consensus is the film just isn’t that good.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Urban Legend” is not art. But for its teenage audience, it serves the same purpose, which is to speed the meeting of like minds. Everybody knows how it works: The guy puts his arm casually around his date’s shoulders. Onscreen, Natalie/Brenda, etc., goes poking around in the abandoned campus building where the massacre took place years ago. The Creep Chord blasts out of the Dolby speakers, everyone jumps, and if in the confusion his hand slips south, well, who says cable will ever replace the theatrical experience?

(Oh Roger, you rascal. Much like a lot of critics it feels like Ebert might have mixed feelings on the slasher as the genre. But this review truly sounds like Ebert is at the very least game to learn the tropes of the modern slasher. And it sounds like he mostly understands the purpose of something like Urban Legend, and also how it is an inferior version of the truly fun / interesting slashers of the time.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4d1_D90BwU/

(Really good concept for a slasher film. It is actually a little bit amazing it hadn’t been done in the slasher heyday of the 70s and 80s. I have to say, playing up the Englund appearance was solid, I would have easily been sold for this film just from that, as silly as it looks.)

Directors – Jamie Blanks – (Future BMT: Valentine; Long Weekend; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Pitched for I Know What You Did Last Summer, but the directing jobs had already been filled. Producer Moritz then tagged him for the next slasher in Urban Legend. Is now a composer for film in Australia.)

Writers – Silvio Horta (written by) – (Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy as a writer for Ugly Betty. Was a consultant for P-Valley this year, although he sadly passed away last January.)

Actors – Jared Leto – (Known For: Fight Club; Blade Runner 2049; Requiem for a Dream; American Psycho; The Thin Red Line; Dallas Buyers Club; Girl, Interrupted; Panic Room; Mr. Nobody; Lord of War; How to Make an American Quilt; Lonely Hearts; Prefontaine; Future BMT: Alexander; Black and White; Suicide Squad; Chapter 27; The Outsider; Switchback; Basil; BMT: Urban Legend; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Suicide Squad in 2017; Notes: Was mostly a star in the late 90s despite winning an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club in 2014, and playing the Joker in 2016. The lead singer and songwriter for the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, which amazingly had a number two album in 2018 and several number one singles on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart.)

Alicia Witt – (Known For: Dune; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Two Weeks Notice; Citizen Ruth; Last Holiday; The Upside of Anger; Cecil B. Demented; Liebestraum; Bodies, Rest & Motion; Fun; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Bongwater; Peep World; Four Rooms; I Do; BMT: Urban Legend; A Madea Christmas; 88 Minutes; Vanilla Sky; Notes: Did a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies in the mid-2010s. She’s also a musician, although there is little information about whether she’s charted in any meaningful way.)

Rebecca Gayheart – (Known For: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Scream 2; G.B.F.; Pipe Dream; Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Jawbreaker; Harvard Man; Nothing to Lose; Shadow Hours; BMT: Urban Legend; Notes: Was a model and at one point engaged to Brett Ratner. Is married to Eric Dane, although they filed for divorce in 2018. Convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2001 and sentenced to probation in the accidental death of a boy in Los Angeles.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $38,072,438 (Worldwide: $72,527,595)

(Not exactly a Scream performance, but it still shows why pretty bad slasher schlock can be such a draw for production companies. $14 million in young actors and fake blood and you can make money hand over fist.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (12/56): Elements of Scream reappear in a vastly inferior vehicle.

(Ah interesting. Perhaps this is a little hindsight creeping in, but I guess it is understandable to view this as merely a copycat of Scream as that had temporarily resurrected the teen slasher genre. Both I Know What You Did Last Summer and this seem to have a pretty distinct premise though. Reviewer Highlight: It’s just a weary sigh over how Scream’s juicy archness has already turned into boilerplate. – Ty Burr, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Keith Urban Legend

(There is just a lot going on here. I appreciate the effort and the artistry on this one, but it’s very busy. Some nice color and spacing. Needs a distinctive font. FInally, is this somehow a play on breaking a mirror gives you bad luck? Anyway, interesting but not necessarily in a good way. C+.)

Tagline(s) – What You Don’t Believe Can Kill You. (C)

(I was trying to figure out whether this was a play on a phrase and apparently yes. “What you don’t know can’t hurt/kill you,” which is probably more commonly heard in reference to like “What Mom doesn’t know won’t kill her.”. A phrase so entrenched that cultural touchstone Murder She Wrote played on it for Episode 22 of Season 12 What You Don’t Know Can Kill You… what I’m saying is that this is taking mediocre to an entirely different level.)

Keyword – slasher flick

Top 10: Truth or Dare (2018), Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Candyman (1992), Halloween (2018), Scream 4 (2011), Hostel (2005), Scream 2 (1997), Happy Death Day (2017), Child’s Play (2019)

Future BMT: 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.6 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.4 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 65.9 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), 64.3 Valentine (2001), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 61.7 My Soul to Take (2010);

BMT: Truth or Dare (2018), Urban Legend (1998), Friday the 13th (2009), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981), Jason X (2001), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(The genre has certainly been relegated to things like Shudder in recent years, although Blumhouse has busted out a few (which would also mean low notability as they operate on a shoestring budget). The big bump around 2004 I think might be things like Hostel where there was a flurry of torture porn all of a sudden. You can also see how it died in the mid-90s before Scream.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 7) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Alicia Witt is No. 1 billed in Urban Legend and No. 2 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 7. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – When Paul and Natalie walk into the hidden room in Professor William Wexler’s office, a puppet of Freddy Krueger can be seen just before they see the axe. Robert Englund, who played Professor William Wexler, played Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.

The killer’s outfit is based on the fact that the film was originally planned to be set in the middle of winter. When the weather was too warm, it was decided to drop the winter aspect of the storyline, rather than fake snow in all the outdoor scenes, and dress all of the extras in winter outfits, but they kept the killer’s costume. (Well it certainly was initially supposed to be winter because one of the characters goes on a ski trip to Vermont, but yeah, the date is supposed to be around April 27th during filming. Weird they didn’t change the ski trip at least)

The SUV driven in the beginning, was originally supposed to be a Land Rover. It was changed to the Ford Expedition (the largest 4×4 available at the time), because the filmmakers discovered they couldn’t swing an axe inside of a Land Rover. (I don’t believe it, this had to be product placement, that is ludicrous)

Brenda is seen wearing a blue ribbon around her neck at the end of the film, as this is a minor reference to another urban legend about a girl whose head falls off if she removes the ribbon around her neck.

Joshua Jackson (Damon Brooks) cranks his car before he takes Natalie to “that” spot in the woods. When it cranks, the radio plays Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” from Dawson’s Creek (1998) also starring Jackson. (Booooooooooooooooooooooooo)

The book sitting on the desk in Professor William Wexler’s desk in his class, is “The Vanishing Hitchhiker”, which is one of the seminal texts on urban legends. (He is an urban legend professor after all)

Danielle Harris (Tosh) was a smoker at the time and thrilled to be allowed to smoke while working. She quickly realized that shooting scenes while smoking meant that she was going to have to smoke cigarettes for hours all day while they shot. She eventually got sick of it and quit smoking.

Rebecca Gayheart got sick after eating Pop Rocks all day for the classroom scene.

Julian Richings who plays the “Weird Janitor” later had a recurring role as “Death” on “Supernatural” (2005), the first season of which was mostly based on urban legends.(Huh … I might have to check that out actually)

At the end when students are recounting the events and one comments “Yeah and Brenda was the girl from the Noxema commercial ” – Rebecca Gayheart (Brenda) WAS the Noxema girl in the commercials at that time. (This is all very Scream which is pretty dumb)

Filmed at the same university as “Killer Party” (1986), another campus-set slasher. Incidentally, both films feature a costume party at a fraternity, characters being targeted by a masked killer, and an urban legend about murder at an abandoned dormitory. (Huh, now I REALLY have to watch that one)

The film was inspired by the huge success of “Scream” (1996), and whereas that film was a self-aware satire of horror film tropes, this one is a self-aware satire on urban legends. The film’s negative reception was a result of many critics finding the film to have been an imitation of “Scream”.

The film’s fictional location is Melbourne, New Hampshire. Director Jamie Blanks home city is Melbourne, Australia.This film co-starred two of Hollywood’s most iconic mass murderers. Brad Dourif, who portrays Chucky in the “Child’s Play/Chucky” films, and Robert Englund, who played Freddy Krueger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.

Bad Company Recap

Jamie

CIA operative extraordinaire Kevin Pope is killed while in the middle of trying to obtain a dirty bomb. Realizing that they only have one option, his partner Oakes recruits Kevin’s street hustling, separated-at-birth twin Jake to join the squad. Can he learn to be a spy and get back that dirty bomb before it’s too late? Find out in… Bad Company.

How?! Kevin Pope is a dapper CIA operative with a flair for high class. A real James Bond type. But when our boy Kev goes down moments after making a deal for a dirty bomb the CIA are in a tough spot. Lucky for them (and that’s an understatement), Kevin had a twin that was separated at birth, Jake. Jake is a hustler on the streets of NYC and Kevin’s partner, Oakes, considers it impossible that they could get him up to speed in time. Despite this Jake takes the money the CIA is offering in order to prove that he can provide for his girlfriend. Things… actually go pretty well from there. Jake is a genius like his bro and just never applied himself. In short order the CIA wants to test him and sends him to NYC to impersonate Kevin. Unfortunately he is attacked while there and goes on the run. Only when Oakes lays out the case for why they really need him does Jake rejoin the team and head to Prague. There Jake is shocked to meet up with Kevin’s beautiful girlfriend, Nicole. Going out to dinner with her he realizes that he only has eyes for his girlfriend back home and breaks up with her. At the same time, he is attacked by rival buyers and is able to only narrowly escape. When he meets up with the sellers they are ambushed by the rival buyers and the bomb is stolen. Fortunately they were able to lock it with Jake’s retinal scan, which now is the only thing standing in the way of disaster. Realizing this, the terrorists grab Jake’s girlfriend and hold her hostage. Jake and Oakes go after her and are able to get into an action-packed thrill ride of a shootout with the terrorists and they save everyone thanks to Jake’s big ol’ brains. Later we see Jake and his girlfriend getting married and everything is great. THE END.

Why?! To save the world, duh. Really this is as straightforward as a Bruckenheimer film can be. The bad guy wants money. The good guys want to stop them, despite all the obstacles in the way. Jake also wants to prove to his GF that he’s a man worth marrying and boy howdy, does he ever. So I guess what I’m saying is love isn’t dead and the motivation for this film is love. Awwwww.

Who?! I really do love speculating on uncredited performances. Apparently Charlie Day was in this as a stoner but was uncredited… which makes sense considering I think his scenes were cut. But shockingly Shea Whigham was uncredited despite having a fairly sizable role, particularly at the end where he was one of the heroes. I wonder if maybe there was also something about the cuts to his part that ended up with him going uncredited? Because he clearly was significantly cut out of the film until near the end (where I think it started to be infeasible to do so).

What?! Solid enough MacGuffin in this one, although I often wonder about the strict definition of a MacGuffin. The stereotype is represented best in Pulp Fiction: a briefcase that contains… something of great importance. The audience never even becomes aware of what it is, just that people want it. Sure this is a briefcase, but we more or less are in the know that it’s a dirty bomb and it functions, well, as a bomb. So is that a MacGuffin. I still say yes, but maybe not the best of the best.

Where?! Good settings here with Prague to NYC to Langley, back to NYC, and then back to Prague. Everything is made pretty clear throughout and honestly, I thought Prague looked beautiful. Made me want to go there. Good use of NYC as well considering Jake is a hustler talking about the Knicks, Yanks, etc. all movie. B.

When?! For some reason I had the impression that it was the spring… like April or something. Can’t exactly remember if that was made clear, but Rock is talking up selling Yankees, Knicks, and Rangers tickets I think. And mentions the Masters. Then after he saves the world it’s three months later that he’s getting married on what looks like a beautiful summer day. That’s a solid… D.

Bad Company is a fun, dumb action film that can scratch an itch if you need it to. It really has two fatal flaws. You saw them in big letters on the poster: Rock. Hopkins. I don’t want to be unkind to Chris Rock, but this wasn’t really the movie for him. He seemed a little out of his depth in a role that I think could only have been salvaged by someone like Will Smith. I’m talking Will Smith level star power and charisma and unfortunately there aren’t many people on the planet (ever?) with that. As for Hopkins, this may as well have been billed as Weekend at Bernies 3. I kinda dug his relaxed, seen-it-all CIA attitude at times but… my man, perk up once in a while so we know you’re alive. This could have been salvaged by bigger, more interested stars, but the material was pretty flat for this cast. As for Dragon Hunt, this classic from Up North was probably the first time in my life that I thought, “actually… twins are kinda creepy and real weird.” I didn’t conceive of the possibility that there was a line you could cross with twinness, but the mustachioed martial artist McNaramas were certainly toeing it, if it does exists. The saddest part? Apparently this was a sequel to a film and we weren’t aware of it when we watched it! Noooooooooooooooooooooooo. We’ll eventually have to watch another one! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember back in 2002 when everyone was clamouring for that classic action-comedy team up of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I distinctly remember the trailer to this film, because I remember thinking exactly what I was thinking nearly 20 years later when I watched the trailer in the preview: it is so weird that Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock were in an action-comedy spy film together. It truly makes no sense. It is like they put every major Hollywood star, put them in a hat, and pulled out two random names as Joel Schumacher looked on asking “uh … can we rechoose the leads to my film?” and Jerry Bruckheimer just shook his head no. What were my expectations? Pure lunacy I suppose. Although in reality I kind of just imagined that Chris Rock couldn’t hold down a semi-serious spy role and the film would end up just sinking under his performance.

The Good – The actual spy bit of this film is halfway decent. During the first half of the film I definitely was entertained and if it wasn’t for the two leads I would have wondered about why exactly the film was so reviled at the time. If this film was an Amazon Original television show with the premise that the twin of a CIA agent has to be quickly trained up to become a CIA agent himself after his brother is killed (don’t worry, it turns out the brother faked his own death, but that’s season 2) they I think it actually works really well. For real though … how haven’t they remade Bad Company into a television show, it seems like a perfect premise, like Chuck. Despite being completely out of his depth, I do like Chris Rock and he’s faintly amusing in the film. Best Bit: Premise.

The Bad – The performances of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock are something to behold indeed. Anthony Hopkins appears to have been awoken from a deep slumber just prior to filming each scene he is in. He looks so tired and disinterested, and he’s also just chomping on gum half of the time, it’s insane. Chris Rock on the other hand is just not a good actor. His jokes on occasion land, but mostly it seems surreal that you are watching an actual Joel Schumacher spy film and Chris Rock is just plopped into scenes as if directly off of a stand up set next door. The entire thing is so standard fare, that indeed, the bad performances by the leads end up sinking what would otherwise be … let’s say Safe House. It is like a poor man’s Safe House. Fatal Flaw: Lead performances.

The BMT – It’ll be one among many BMT twin films in the end. I think it’ll have some legs as a bad buddy cop film, a bad Joel Schumacher film, and of course as a film primarily set in Prague (which is awesome and extremely rare it turns out). So it has some BMT notables. That being said, I doubt I would recommend this film or watch this film again beyond telling someone that it is kind of okay if you don’t mind bad acting. Did it meet my expectations? Kind of. It was completely sunk by the performances, but in the end ended up being a bit too coherent to really be a truly great bad film.

Roast-radamus – I’m going to give a rare Prop I Really Want (What?) to Anthony Hopkins’ Harvard University Police hat that he wears throughout the film … I just don’t get it, but I love it. A definitely great Setting as a Character (Where?) for Prague, a rare bad movie locale. A solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the suitcase nuclear bomb that Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins are chasing throughout the film. And just like last week I think this is surprisingly closest to a Good film as far as the superlative categories.

StreetCreditReport.com – For the most part this film missed out on top ten lists for the worst of 2002. But I did manage to find it on a few blogs / listicles websites for worst spy films. So it has a bit of cred there. Obviously it’ll make a list for worst twin films, but I think its biggest claim to fame is as the worst film set in Czechia. So that’s some decent cred.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week as another twin action film, we brought along a very obscure film called Dragon Hunt starring the McNamara twins aka the Twin Dragons. The film appears on a lot of Canuxploitation film lists (see here), and is apparently notable for being the first Canadian martial arts film released to theaters (although I found no evidence it was, in fact, released to theaters). Elsewhere on the internet it was suggested that it is a remake of Twin Dragon Encounter, but a flashback at the beginning of the film makes it clear that it is merely a sequel with a very similar story. A vanity project through and through, the film is oddly much more of a survivalist film than a martial arts film. While the twins do show off kickboxing on occasion, most of the fighting is done with traps, weapons, and eventually firearms. I can’t really say the film is particularly entertaining, it is the kind of small VHS trash that is faintly amusing for about 15 minutes. But the actor known simply as B. Bob, who plays the main villain Jake (who would comfortably fit into any post-apocalyptic straight-to-video film) somewhat saves the film with his strange catchphrases and voiceovers that punctuate what would otherwise be a pretty boring film. C-, it would have been a D without Jake, but it is certainly not a film I’ll ever willingly watch again or recommend. Perhaps the original Twin Dragon Encounters is better. Only time will tell.

Twin Analysis – Alright, As far as Bad Company is concerned I’m going to dock some points because Chris Rock never gets to meet his twin brother in the film, he is killed prior to the CIA picking up his streetwise character. I’ll give some bonus points for the fact that people can kind of tell he’s not actually his brother, and because they play off of the Opposite Twin trope and also the Rich/Poor Twin Separated at Birth trope. Those are some nice trops. A- I think, if only Chris Rock could have got in on some split screen action I think I’d have given it an A, but it has to get a ton of credit for the twin element being so vital to the plot. As for Dragon Hunt the twin aspect isn’t super vital to the plot, and the twins are absolutely dire actors. There aren’t many twin tropes either … it is just incidental that the main actors are twins, it isn’t even in the title of the film. For all that I’m going to give it a B+, just because of how weird these twins obviously are. They’re both martial artists and obviously extremely into their Twin Dragon brand, so much so they made multiple terrible Canadian martial arts films to prove just how awesome they are as people (and twins). If they didn’t come across as the second weirdest twins in the world (after us) the movie would definitely get like a C- twin grade.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Bad Company Quiz

Oh boy, the last thing I remember my twin brother turned out to be in the CIA and then I was recruited to complete his mission. But you know how it is, I got bopped on the head and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Bad Company?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What is the job that Kevin Pope (and later Jake Hayes, both played by Chris Rock) is pretending to have for the Prague mission?

2) What job does Jake Hayes have prior to being recruited into the CIA?

3) What object are Hopkins and Rock supposed to recover from Peter Stormare and where did it come from?

4) Uh oh, the object is then stolen by another set of Yugoslavian terrorists. Luckily they can’t use it without Jake. Why? And what do they need from Jake to get it to work?

5) Ultimately what is the target of the Yugoslavian terrorists and how does Jake disarm the bomb?

Answers

Bad Company Preview

Rich flexes his muscles, his glistening skin growing taut again the ropes that bind him. With a snap he is free and he leaps from the ceremonial table and jumps through a stained-glass window. Looking around he realizes he’s in a maze. “Heh heh heh, rats in a maze,” a Nic Cage says to his left, but when he turns no one is there. “Men in a cage,” the other responds to the right, but Rich is already off running. Suddenly he comes to a stop. “Fa… Father?” he stutters in astonishment. His father, long dead, is up ahead, beckoning him forward. He follows, but each turn he makes his father is already making the next turn. “Father!” he calls, “we have to find Poe. We have to find my… my brother.” Suddenly, he finds himself in a police station. He tries to tether himself to reality to stop himself from slipping back to bashing heads amidst the swirling papers.Yet he finds himself grabbing a stale slice of za from a box, readying himself to launch into his latest diatribe against those goddamn rulez when he hears “Poe! Get in here!” Poe! He looks around, but he doesn’t see his partner. When he looks back at the Chief he’s staring right at him. “Poe! Get a move on or I’ll have your ass.” Confused, Rich walks into the office and sits down. “I know it’s been hard since Rich has been killed, Poe, but we need your help,” the Chief sighs, “we need you to go undercover as Rich. Given your… similar… physical characteristics, you’re the only one that can pull it off.” Rich nods. “We also got you a little company. Meet your new partner.” Rich turns. His blood runs cold. That’s right! We’re watching Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. Rock plays twins separated at birth who are all mixed up in some spy shit. Let’s go!

Poe comes to love and respect his monstrous twin protectors as they nurse him back to health. Eventually, having gained strength from their delicious Dr. Pepper infused lasagna, he asks them where they are. They looked confused, “We are here,” they say. “So how do we get there?” Poe asks. They nod and point up. Poe’s eyes travel up the mountain to the swirling storm clouds above. His blood runs cold. That’s right! As a partner for Bad Company we are diving head first into Dragon Hunt, one of the action films made by the Twin Dragons, Canadian twin martial artists with moustaches for days. Let’s go!

Bad Company (2002) – BMeTric: 44.6; Notability: 51 

(My god, a 50+ notability film! And it’s Bad Company, how odd. The bad rating on this is really sticking right around 5.5. And you can definitely see the inflection there. The votes rising right around 2011 (when IMDb when mobile) and now tailing off again as the new user base saturates their ratings. I wonder if IMDb is going to be in trouble at some point as people finally stop having old movies to rate … I guess they only really make money off of IMDb Pro anyways.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Hard on the heels of “The Sum of All Fears,” here’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Bad Company,” another movie about an American city threatened by the explosion of a stolen nuclear device. This one is an action comedy. There may come a day when the smiles fade. To be sure, the movie was made before 9/11 (and its original autumn 2001 release was delayed for obvious reasons), but even before 9/11 it was clear that nuclear terrorism was a real possibility. While “The Sum of all Fears” deals in a quasi-serious way with the subject (up until the astonishingly inappropriate ending), “Bad Company” is more light-hearted. Ho, ho.

(Well … this review just makes me want to watch Sum of All Fears. Or more realistically read some trash Clancy books. Oh, and yeah, I didn’t think about the impact of 9/11, but this one is one of the more wild versions of the story, all the way down to it maybe being the last film featuring a true blue Yugoslavian terrorist (it is hard to tell).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8wWFqwmcA/

(The “hand me a towel” joke is all I distinctly remember from the trailer when this came out. The trailer is interesting because it doesn’t indicate that the main character didn’t know he had a twin brother, but I suppose that is a minor point. The Saddam Hussien comment is also interesting considering it was released in June of 2002.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; Falling Down; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Client; Phone Booth; Flatliners; Flawless; Blood Creek; Tigerland; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Twelve; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Street Fleet; Dying Young; 8MM; The Phantom of the Opera; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; Bad Company; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: A stalwart director from 1980 through 2005, after which he semi-retired. Directed a few music videos like The End is the Beginning is the End by The Smashing Pumpkins. Died this year.)

Writers – Gary M. Goodman (story) (as Gary Goodman) – (BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Mostly a producer. Directed a single episode of the Police Academy television show in 1998.)

David Himmelstein (story) – (Known For: Power; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Wrote a television movie called Soul of the Game about the players trying to break the color barrier in baseball.)

Jason Richman (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Swing Vote; BMT: Bangkok Dangerous; Bad Company; Notes: Was a professional musician. The creator of a few television shows including Stumptown.)

Michael Browning (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Six Days Seven Nights; BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Is also a producer on Bad Company. This is the last thing he is credited for in any category on IMDb.)

Actors – Anthony Hopkins – (Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; Thor: Ragnarok; Thor; Red Dragon; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Legends of the Fall; A Bridge Too Far; Thor: The Dark World; Meet Joe Black; RED 2; Mission: Impossible II; Fracture; The Two Popes; Noah; The Elephant Man; The Mask of Zorro; Howards End; The Bounty; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Beowulf; Future BMT: Alexander; Misconduct; Freejack; Go with Me; The Wolfman; Slipstream; Desperate Hours; Collide; The Rite; Kidnapping Freddy Heineken; All the King’s Men; 360; Solace; Instinct; The Innocent; Surviving Picasso; The Trial; Hannibal; The City of Your Final Destination; August; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Bad Company; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for A Change of Seasons in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2018 for Collide, and Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Born in Wales, he was inspired by Richard Burton to become an actor. He’s now an American citizen and was allowed to keep his knighthood.)

Chris Rock – (Known For: Bee Movie; Madagascar; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Dolemite Is My Name; Dogma; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Death at a Funeral; Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Beverly Hills Cop II; Doctor Dolittle; Osmosis Jones; Lethal Weapon 4; Boomerang; New Jack City; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Top Five; CB4; Krush Groove; Nurse Betty; Future BMT: The Week Of; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Sandy Wexler; Nobody’s Fool; Pootie Tang; Beverly Hills Ninja; Down to Earth; Head of State; I Think I Love My Wife; Paparazzi; Sgt. Bilko; The Longest Yard; Panther; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Bad Company; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Grown Ups; Notes: Came up through SNL and into a supporting comedic actor in the 90s. He became a starring lead in the 2000s. Notable for his friendship with Adam Sandler and his participation in many of his recent films.)

Peter Stormare – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Fargo; Constantine; Minority Report; John Wick: Chapter 2; 22 Jump Street; Awakenings; Pain & Gain; Chocolat; The Last Stand; The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Dancer in the Dark; Fanny and Alexander; The Zero Theorem; Penguins of Madagascar; Clown; How I Spent My Summer Vacation; Damage; Henry’s Crime; Future BMT: Tokarev; Witless Protection; Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; Rupture; Eye for an Eye; Horsemen; Dark Summer; Nacho Libre; The Brothers Grimm; Premonition; Anamorph; Every Thing Will Be Fine; The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; The Million Dollar Hotel; Playing God; Lockout; Windtalkers; Strange Magic; Birth; Jewtopia; I Am Here; Small Apartments; Autumn Blood; 8MM; Circus; Unknown; Bad Boys II; Spun; BMT: The Tuxedo; Bad Company; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Mercury Rising; Armageddon; Notes: A fun “that guy” since the mid-90s. He’s Swedish, but he tends to play a variety of nationalities, particularly Russian and Eastern European.)

Budget/Gross – $70,000,000 / Domestic: $30,160,161 (Worldwide: $66,200,782)

(That is slightly better than I would have expected, but pretty bad considering the listed budget. You obviously are hoping a Joel Schumacher film is a blockbuster.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (14/135): Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins fail to generate the sparks necessary to save the movie from a generic and utterly predictable script.

(Just a shade over 10% sadly, I do like collecting sub-10% Rotten Tomatoes films. Yeah, everything I remember about the film when it came out was how much of a miscast the pair of Hopkins and Rock were. Reviewer Highlight: Bad Company is a bad movie with really bad timing. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.)

Poster – Sklog Company

(It is quite amusing that they have this big poster and are like “Hopkins”… “Rock” as if this is the teamup that we’ve all been waiting for. “Oh, when will I be able to see the dynamic action/comedy duo of Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins?! When will Hollywood finally deliver what we’ve all been clamouring for?!!! Pretty good poster though. Only critique is them riding that star power a little harder than it deserved. Get me a little taste of the plot please. B+)

Tagline(s) – The World is in Good Hands (D)

(Hands… hands… is this a pun I’m not picking up on? Why can’t these movies just figure out how to do a decent twin pun. Back-to-back weeks where the tagline has been merely lame or worse. This is boring fluff.)

Keyword – twin

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), The Prestige (2006), Gone Girl (2014), Stand by Me (1986), Octopussy (1983), Avatar (2009), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), A Simple Favour (2018), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), There Will Be Blood (2007)

Future BMT: 71.1 The Spirit (2008), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 68.1 Seed of Chucky (2004), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 52.2 The Divorce (2003), 51.2 Scary Movie 3 (2003), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 48.6 The Real Cancun (2003), 47.5 Dumb and Dumber To (2014);

BMT: 2012 (2009), The Snowman (2017), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Forest (2016), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Old Dogs (2009), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Bad Company (2002), 88 Minutes (2007), New York Minute (2004), Babylon A.D. (2008), Grind (2003), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

(So indeed there aren’t really twins in this film I don’t think, so I went with the “twin” keyword instead. This is a pretty good keyword as well. The Forest was a great twin film, as was I Know Who Killed Me, Old Dogs, New York Minute, and The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. Most of the other ones (like 88 Minutes) are more tenuous, in that one the first death in the film involves two twins who live together, although it is easy to forget that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chris Rock is No. 2 billed in Bad Company and No. 3 billed in Grown Ups, which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Spirit, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – This was one of the last movies filmed in the World Trade Center (some of the subway scenes).

One of several movies that had its release date changed after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. This movie was originally set for release in November 2001, but was not released until June 2002.

Originally written as a sequel to Blue Streak (1999). (Huh that is actually super interesting)

When Jake (Chris Rock) is dining with Nicole (Garcelle Beauvais) in Prague, he says, “I’ll eat a pig’s ass if they cook it right.” This is a line from his 1996 HBO special. (Weird)

Originally titled “Black Sheep” until it was discovered that there was already a movie with that title, Black Sheep (1996). (Oh did they discover that? Did they dig into the archive and be like “Oh, Chris Rock, you’re friends with David Spade and Chris Farley right? Did you know they had a film called Black Sheep?! Get out of here with that.)

Father Figures Recap

Jamie

Peter and Kyle are as different as twins can be. Kyle is a fun loving free spirit, while Peter is a down-on-his-luck sad sack. When Peter finds out that the story about their dead father was all a lie, they set out in search of their real dad. Can they find their dad (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Father Figures.

How?! Peter is a divorced doctor who laments how his life turned out. His kid hates him, he does rectal exams all day, and the highlight of his day is watching TV alone. It’s all made worse when at his mother’s wedding he is reminded about the carefree, fun lifestyle of his fraternal twin brother Kyle. The cherry on top is that at the same wedding he finds out the story about his dead dad was all a lie! The man very well could still be alive. With Peter’s world crumbling, Kyle agrees to set off and find their father. First stop, Terry Bradshaw (duh) playing himself and boy does he. He’s ready to accept them into the family until he realizes that while their mom was great in the sack, they weren’t together at the time of conception. Time to head off again. This time to confront Ronald Hunt. The loser criminal doesn’t seem like the best dad, but they still give him a shot. Unfortunately he gets them wrapped up in trying to steal a car. Oops. Time to give up, but while heading to the airport they pick up a hitchhiker who gets them lost in the middle of nowhere. While arguing about the state of things, they almost get killed by a train and realize that all they need is each other… and the magical hitchhiker. So with their new Enterprise Rent-a-car they head off to none other than Worcester, MA (!) where they’ve got a hot tip on another potential dad, Patrick O’Callahan. On the way, Peter has a one night stand with a woman who he is shocked to find was Patrick’s daughter! Uh oh! But Patrick’s twin brother insists it’s not true, because Patrick didn’t have sex before marriage. Instead it must have been Peter and Kyle’s family vet, Dr. Tinkler. They head home to confront him where their mother reveals the truth: they were adopted. She doesn’t know who their father is, but their mother was a young drug addict she was trying to help. Realizing that life is more about what you have and that they have each other, Peter and Kyle team up to start a new billion dollar app and everything is looking pretty good. THE END.

Why?! For a film with a scene of a kid peeing on Owen Wilson, Ed Helms thinking he had sex with his sister, and a weird (but kind of good (but also out of place)) satire of the magical black person trope, it’s a pretty heavy film. It’s very much about finding and understanding your purpose in life and not getting hung up or dwelling on what you’ve lost, what you thought you had, or what you want, but appreciating what you have. Particularly when it comes to family. Peter and Kyle didn’t choose their family, but they realize that their family actually did choose them, and that despite how different they are the love they have is stronger than those differences. It’s really nice… for a film that’s not super great.

Who?! This isn’t Terry Bradshaw’s first BMT rodeo. We know him best from Failure to Launch, and that honestly was a better effort considering he wasn’t just playing a cartoon version of himself. Then there was The Cannonball Run where he played *check notes* Terry… huh… guess I’m not sure whether he was playing himself in that one.

What?! This is actually one of my favorite subtle product placements in recent memory. Peter and Kyle get their rental car destroyed by a train and we see them talking to a man delivering a new one and are all like “that’s for delivering the new rental car.” And I’m like “Ha, Enterprise up in here.” And then in the credits we see under special thanks: Enterprise. Even if you totally explode your car with a train, Enterprise will still deliver a new one.

Where?! Nice solid road trip film starting in Ohio and then going to Florida, New York, and Massachusetts. Finishing with a taste of Hawaii is also perfect. I also can’t really get over that they very specifically head to my old stomping grounds, Worcester, MA. Although I didn’t recognize where they went, so not sure they actually filmed there. B+.

When?! I do not know when exactly this took place. My guess is that it’s early Fall given the wedding setting, the changing leaves in New York, and shift towards sweaters as they journeyed north… yes, I’m insane. My guess is that if we really poured through all the footage we’d find something. Maybe the prop Enterprise Rent-a-car rental agreement has a date on it. F.

To me this seemed like a film that was written by three different people. Or perhaps even existed as three scripts before being merged together. It’s very surprising that there is just one writer considering how quickly and often they vacillate between comedy styles. You’ve got an indie Jeff Who Lives at Home vibe going on, then the next second it feels like Harold and Kumar, and then the next second it’s like Wedding Crashers. It just never seemed like they knew exactly what they wanted to make. As a result even something that could be good, like what I take as satire of the “magical black person” cliche, can get lost and confused in the muddle of everything. But I can’t say the underlying message wasn’t touching, it’s just the journey to get there didn’t come together well at all. As for Twin Sitters, I couldn’t have been more tickled by the bizarre Paul twins and their twin extravaganza of a film. Twins everywhere and they are just muscley freaks of nature with fashion for days. I disagree with Patrick a bit, much better than Santa with Muscles and for one main reason: I kinda liked that the Paul twins weren’t afraid to play stupid. Big muscle guys seem to shy away from that (Hulk Hogan being a prime example). They always want to be big brain business people or scientists. Wrong! Give me some twin dum dums! I love it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ugh, fraternal twins. Whatever, I guess we had to watch a film with fraternal twins eventually. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The film has been on our radar for a long while, but for an odd reason: it might have one of the best examples of a terrible movie poster ever! Just look at all of those faces staring out at you from a snow white background. Really just useless garbage. Anyways, modern bad comedies tend to just be boring and no fun, and I doubt this would be any different. It can’t help but end up being wholesome in the end. That fact that it has bad reviews suggests it is boring. What were my expectations? To be bored and to laugh zero times.

The Good – Funnier than I expected, and that is entirely due to Owen Wilson. Something about his exudes charm, and while he is leaning into his vague surfer/stoner hippy schtick in the film, it ends up working (except when they make him anxious and sad in the middle of the film). I think his performance, plus a surprisingly surprising twist involving Katie Aselton, end up saving the back half of the film. Oh and out of nowhere I really liked the diversion involving Katt Williams’ hitchhiker character. There is a weird amount of stuff to like for a film that is really not very interesting. Oh and I secretly liked the silly connections drawn to The World According to Garp right at the end. Best Bit: Owen Wilson.

The Bad – It is indeed pretty not funny and boring, especially the first half of the film. I didn’t really like Ed Helms’ character who was so depressing that he had to end up with a happy ending because it was literally impossible to make him sadder at the end of the film. Terry Bradshaw was awful in the film, and surprisingly so was J.K. Simmons. The entire film felt inevitable. If you could start the film with a better first father than Bradshaw, and then flow right into them being depressed about a near miss there with the Katt Williams hitchhiker character, and skip the middle bit, I think the film ends up much better. Considering it is far too long for a comedy, I’m surprised they didn’t try and reedit it into a leaner film. Fatal Flaw: Trite.

The BMT – I think the only thing this film will be notable for in terms of BMT in the future is that terrible poster. It’ll be the poster child (heyooooo) for “throw a bunch of faces on a white piece of paper and call it a day” style of modern movie posters. Otherwise it might be a small stop on the Owen Wilson bad movie filmography,twin films (fraternal or not), and road trip films maybe. I will probably never watch this film ever again. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them, but in the wrong direction, it was too good. It had a few solid laughs, and the back half was too interesting to be boring.

Roast-radamus – A solid Product Placement (What?) with Dunkin’ Donuts. Turns out both America and existential-journeys-to-find-your-father run on Dunkin’. A great Road Trip (Where?) film covering Ohio, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, including a ton of driving (and presumably stops at Dunkin’). I do think we have a MacGuffin (Why?) for the search for the ultimate MacGuffin: Dad (awwwwwwwww). I don’t think any of the twists are bad unfortunately. I think this is closest to Good personally. I couldn’t help but be touched by the message being presented, and Wilson was solid.

StreetCreditReport.com – I was looking through all the lists and mainly marvelling that I’ve seen probably a solid 50% of the worst films of 2017 on any given list. That’s pretty impressive given the sometimes random choices some of these lists make (The Only Living Boy in New York is on the AV Club list and Transformers 5 isn’t … what?). Usually I’d say something like “I’m not shocked this film went under the radar” … but I am legitimately shocked that this film wasn’t on any list! And then I realized why, it was a Christmas film! Ah, well rest assured this had cred galore. I think it would have easily made most top 10 lists for the year, and is definitely the worst twin film of 2017. And this is coming from someone who kind of liked the film!

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we brought along another twin-based comedy in Twin Sitters. What a wild career Peter and David Paul had. Twin bodybuilders, they managed to star in four films. The last few are a lot like this where the twins straight up say “we’re big dumb brutes.” What a strange idea of a career, playing character that are almost too dumb to function but big and strong. And the entire film is very twin-centric with the twins baby-sitting another set of twins! The child twins are actually the actors who played the lead child role in Kindergarten Cop which is pretty fun. The entire film is really silly, directed by the actor who played the bad guy’s son in UHF (and Jambi in Peewee’s Playhouse) who also appears in the film. It really is just so dumb it is hard to articulate coherent feelings on. I guess the most interesting thing was the end is a lot like 3 Ninjas with a group of bad guys attempting to infiltrate the house to kidnap the children, and the Paul twins fighting them with household objects. Where did that cinematic trope originate? Looney Tunes? Are the Paul twins just big cartoon characters? Anyways, I bet there are better Barbarian Twin films out there. If I’m being honest, this just feels like a weird knockoff of other films. It feels like Santa With Muscles, so C-, wouldn’t really recommend it unless you are watching all of the Paul twin films or something.

Twin Analysis – I’m going to tell it like it is: fraternal twins start at a C. Sorry, not sorry, it is just the way it is. They might as well be brothers. Anyways, I did like the Polar Opposite Twin trope, that’s a classic. With Helms being an uptight doctor, and Wilson being a very laidback loser who fell ass backwards into money. The twin angle plays a decent sized role in the film as well. Lucky for the film there is an identical twin in the film (one of the potential fathers is an identical twin), and a set of twins at the end. Three twins!! I’m going to give it a B. Much better than I expected. Now, on the other hand we have Twin Sitters! My god, has there ever been a more twin film in the history of twin films. And another fortuitous connection, despite Peter and David Paul being very identical, they also play into the Polar Opposite Twin trope. Now that’s fun! There are, I think, five sets of identical twins in the film (and a set of identical triplets!). I was hoping the bad guy would have also turned out to be a twin, but alas, it was not meant to be. Regardless, I’m going to give this the true A+. They might not be stigmata twins, but this film has so many twins, and the idea of twins, and standing by your twin brother, and twin dynamics, and magical twin abilities … it has it all (as far as twins are concerned)!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Father Figures Quiz

Oh man, so here I was with my twin bro trying to find our father (and man was that a comedy of errors!), and all of a sudden Ving Rhames destroyed me while I was playing catch with Terry Bradshaw! And now I can’t remember a thing (and I think I shattered my spine, but whatever). Can you remember what happened in Father Figures?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We open the film at a wedding, with two best men played by Ed Helms and Owen Wilson, twins with a somewhat rocky relationship. What do both twins do for a living?

2) Ed Helms learns that the person he thought was his father was not, in fact, his father. How does he learn this fact?

3) Name the four people the twins end up thinking is their father during the course of the film, and where do they live?

4) Prior to the big end scene, the twins meet Katt Williams, who plays a hitchhiker. Where is he trying to go and why?

5) In the end of the movie what new job do the twins have together?

Answers

Father Figures Preview

Rich is dragged into a dark ceremonial chamber. He looks wildly between the identical Nic Cages. How could such a monstrosity be? Their ideniticalness is perverse. Unnatural. And yet their grips are like iron, with full twin power. And Poe! Sweet Poe. Dragged to whatever depths by John Travolta’s dark magic. The horror, the horror. As Rich is strung up to a ceremonial table, the Nics prep a variety of terrible tools to extract the delicate shard of the Obsidian Dongle from his heart. They sing a jolly Christmas tune, showing off those pipes that both Nic Cage and John Travolta are well known for. The tune brings back memories, and spur on vivid hallucinations of his past life as it flashes before his eyes. His childhood in Louisiana, a place of wonder. His mother’s fresh baked bread, the smell mingling with his father’s pipe smoke. His denim jacket! Oh how he and Poe laughed over the jackets. They were a present from his parents to both of them. They always treated Poe like a son, especially after… the accident. The jackets were totally rad and had a couple white cobras stitched into the back with the words “No Rulez 4 Life.”. He remembers when they first put them on. It felt like they’d never take them off. In fact, they never had and have been wearing them this entire time. They were so intertwined with those jackets that there was no need to ever mention them before. And in that moment when they first donned their trademark jackets his father said, “look at my boys… brothers for life. As long as you have each other you’ll never lose.” His father… Poe’s father, too, after… the accident. Using the last of his strength, Rich utters one word, “No.” That’s right! We’re watching Father Figures from 2017. I remember seeing the trailer for this film and thinking, “someday we’ll watch that for BMT.” And here we are. Destiny that a twin cycle would come along and Father Figures would be there to take its rightful Place. Let’s go!

Poe awakens. He’s covered in dirt and rocks and can barely move. Suddenly he feels the Earth shift above him and two hulking hands pull him from the rubble. “Are… are you dead?” two hulking identical monsters ask him, their ludicrous fashion stretched to the breaking point by their muscles. Using the last of his strength, Poe utters one word, “No.” That’s right! As a twin friend for this twin cycle we are watching Twin Sitters starring bodybuilders-turned-actors David and Peter Paul aka The Barbarian Brothers. They are twins and they are babysitting twin. Need I say more.

Father Figures (2017) – BMeTric: 41.9; Notability: 32 

(That notability is precisely what I would expect for a big comedy, I now know enough about notability to know that. And I bet in a few years this is a 50+ BMeTric. Just need to drop a few points off of that IMDb rating.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “Father Figures” is what you might call a bastard comedy, and not just for the fact that it was once boldly titled “Bastards” and tells of two twins (played by Ed Helms and Owen Wilson) road-tripping to find their biological father. As a kicked-around project originally meant for a November 2016 release, and then a January 2017 release, and now coming out in time to be the comedy alternative to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” it has that uncertain lineage in its very construction. Filled with insincere wackiness and sappiness, “Father Figures” never quite figures out whether it wants to be a raunchy, zippy road movie or a more dialogue-driven dramedy. Despite having no personality of its own, this movie just yearns to be recognized at all.

(Love the twin shoutout in the review itself. And this appears to be a very common complaint: the film has the feel of a family friendly road trip film, but then swerves inexplicable into a rauchy sex farce randomly. That could be interesting I suppose.)

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

(This definitely seems like a cheerful road trip comedy for the most part. Really weird they kind of went the Wedding Crashers route in the end. Probably just was received poorly with notes like “I want to see Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, and Ed Helms in Hangover again please.”)

Directors – Lawrence Sher – (BMT: Father Figures; Notes: Primarily a cinematographer he was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Joker. He also was the Director of Photography on the Hangover films, so he worked with Ed Helms before at the very least.)

Writers – Justin Malen (written by) – (Known For: Office Christmas Party; BMT: Father Figures; Notes: Wrote a Chinese comedy called Wished (under what I assume is a pseudonym Hongwen Mai), and is writing the script for the upcoming Clifford the Big Red Dog film.)

Actors – Owen Wilson – (Known For: Wonder; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Midnight in Paris; Cars; Wedding Crashers; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Inherent Vice; Night at the Museum; Cars 3; Night at the Museum 2; Meet the Parents; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; The Royal Tenenbaums; Starsky & Hutch; Zoolander; The Cable Guy; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; No Escape; The Big Year; The Darjeeling Limited; Future BMT: Breakfast of Champions; How Do You Know; Little Fockers; You, Me and Dupree; Are You Here; Drillbit Taylor; Hall Pass; Masterminds; Free Birds; Cars 2; Meet the Fockers; The Internship; The Hero of Color City; BMT: Zoolander 2; Anaconda; Marmaduke; The Haunting; I Spy; Father Figures; Around the World in 80 Days; Behind Enemy Lines; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Zoolander 2 in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Notes: Went to the University of Texas with Wes Anderson with whom he’s collaborated a number of times including The Royal Tenenbaums. Says “wow” in a distinct and easily mimicked way.)

Ed Helms – (Known For: We’re the Millers; The Hangover; Tag; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Night at the Museum 2; Monsters vs. Aliens; A Futile and Stupid Gesture; The Senator; They Came Together; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie; Jeff, Who Lives at Home; Stretch; Everyone’s Hero; Mune, le gardien de la lune; Cedar Rapids; Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story; Future BMT: Meet Dave; Evan Almighty; Coffee & Kareem; The Hangover Part III; The Clapper; Semi-Pro; Confessions of a Shopaholic; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Christmas with the Coopers; Corporate Animals; Vacation; Someone Marry Barry; I Do… Until I Don’t; The Hangover Part II; BMT: Father Figures; Notes: At this point maybe most famous for his role in The Office than anything else. Started in UCB, and was a correspondent for the Daily Show as well, and is an accomplished banjo player.)

Glenn Close – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; Dangerous Liaisons; The Natural; Mars Attacks!; Fatal Attraction; What Happened to Monday; Air Force One; Tarzan; 101 Dalmatians; The Big Chill; The Girl with All the Gifts; In & Out; Crooked House; The Wife; The World According to Garp; Cookie’s Fortune; Hoodwinked; Albert Nobbs; 5 to 7; Reversal of Fortune; Future BMT: 102 Dalmatians; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; The Stepford Wives; The Divorce; Mary Reilly; The Wilde Wedding; Anesthesia; Hook; Maxie; The House of the Spirits; The Chumscrubber; BMT: Pinocchio; Father Figures; Evening; Warcraft: The Beginning; Notes: Has won three Tony awards for her work on Broadway. Her role in Hook is as the Boo Box guy in an undisclosed cameo role.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $17,501,244 (Worldwide: $25,601,244)

(Not great. A film like this you’d expect at the very least a $50 million take, but you’d be quite pleased if you could pull off that rare $100 million comedy. Instead it kind of scrapes out what was likely a break even result once VOD was counted.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (8/48): Success has many fathers, but failure is Father Figures.

(Wowza, someone pay whoever came up with that insane consensus! I kind of love it, but probably because I hate it so much. Reviewer Highlight: Distinguished mainly by its overqualified cast and lack of inspiration, “Father Figures” can’t decide whether it’s a gross-out comedy or an uplifting tale of brotherly love; it embraces the worst of both worlds. – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times)

Poster – Rad Dads

(Nooooooooooo. This is everything I’ve been fighting against in talking about these posters. Look at that color scheme. Just a bunch of dumb human faces on a white background. Gross. Look at the spacing, the font, what story does it tell?! My god, it’s horrible. F.)

Tagline(s) – Finding Their Father Would Be a Family Miracle (F)

(Is… is “family miracle” a phrase? Are they doing this on purpose just to hurt me? What the hell is this tagline? Either my brain isn’t working and I’m missing a pun or this is one of the most nonsensical, trash taglines in history. You better hope my brain is broken.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Despicable Me 3 (2017), The Great Outdoors (1988), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: Jack and Jill (2011), Father Figures (2017), Pluto Nash (2002), The Identical (2014)

(Note for the coming weeks, I’ve added this keyword to a bunch of the upcoming films … so that’ll be nice. I mean, if they come in. I haven’t had much luck with IMDb keywords if I’m being honest, they are sticklers over there at IMDb. Unlike wikipedia, where I rule the roost. As for this film, you can see by 2017 we had entered the post-Harry Potter lull. I predict twins will be charging back to become a keyword force in American cinema yet!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Owen Wilson is No. 1 billed in Father Figures and No. 2 billed in Zoolander 2, which also stars Penélope Cruz (No. 4 billed) who is in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (No. 2 billed), which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch The Internship, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The script was sold less than two days after being pitched, in an impressive thirty-six hours.

Originally titled “Bastards”, but changed to “Father Figures” in September 2017, just three months before release.

The front desk worker in the hotel is Andrew Wilson; Owen Wilson’s older brother. (Oh wow, a rare Andrew Wilson sighting. He’s in quite a few small films at this point)

Bill Irwin filmed scenes as Dr. Tinkler, but Christopher Walken took over the role during re-shoots. (Big oooooof)

Although they play twins, Owen Wilson is five years older than Ed Helms in real-life..

Near the end of the film, Helen mentions that Peter (Ed Helms) and Kyle (Owen Wilson) were born “three days before Christmas” in December 1975. The film was released on December 22, 2017, Kyle and Peter’s 42nd birthday. (That’s fun, although likely unintentional since I think it was delayed for a bit before release)

Paramount Pictures was originally attached to the project, but they ended up dropping out, sending the script into turnaround and leaving Warner Brothers to release the film.

Ed Helms says that ” this is a ’75 stingray, the car is a 1981 corvette, not a ’75 (Huh)

During the epilogue, it is revealed that Kyle had twin babies. While there is no evidence that identical twins run in families., non-identical twins can do. (YUP. Actually also happened in The Identical where our Elvis stand in also is shown having had twins at the end of the film)

Towards the end of the film, Helen (Glenn Close) reveals to the boys their mother was an unmarried girl; she would not reveal the father’s name and her name was Jenny. Glenn Close played Jenny Fields in The World According to Garp (1982), a single mother who only knew her child’s father as “Technical Sergeant Garp”. (Now that is a fun fact!)

The Identical Recap

Jamie

Ryan Wade and Drexel Hemsley are identical twins separated at birth. Drexel ends up gaining worldwide fame as a musician, while Ryan struggles with his passion for music and his calling to God. This ultimately results in Ryan making a name for himself impersonating his brother on stage. Can he… uh… live his dream before it’s too late? Find out in… The Identical.

How?! There’s really not much to it. Ryan and Drexel are twins born to very poor parents in the Depression. Hearing a minister speak, they decide that fate is telling them to give one of the babies to the minister and his wife. While Ryan struggles to balance being a good minister’s son and a musician, Drexel rises from poverty to international fame. Ryan becomes a huge fan of Drexel’s without knowing their relationship and when a contest is held to find the best Drexel impersonator he enters and wins. And boy does he! Because an agent sets him up touring the country singing Drexel songs and things are pretty great. Ultimately, the inability to sing his own songs and life on the road bring him back home. Ultimately he finds out about his twin too late, as he tragically dies in a plane crash. But he is able to reconcile this and begin to tour again singing both his brother’s songs and his own. THE END.

Why?! Love… of music. Duh. The motivation is really life. He grows up with music in his bones and spends his life searching for it. Ultimately he finds it, but too late to share it with the only other person who could have understood. In some ways it’s like if Patrick and I were separated at birth and never got to combined our passion for bad movies and give it to the world *shudder* a truly terrible thought.

Who?! You have to highlight the wild story of Blake Rayne, our main character, for this section. The dude basically lived the story and then read the script and was like “wait, this is what happened to me… minus the twin part,” and then got the gig… even though he wasn’t an actor. Basically he entered an Elvis impersonator contest on a dare and won and then spent years doing that.

What?! Didn’t know what to put here, really, but did notice that this won an award according to IMDb. When I checked what it was it was “Worst Picture” from the Houston Film Critics Awards. Which is kinda hilarious that they give it out. In fact they even have nominees. This beat out Blended, Dumb and Dumber To, Left Behind, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Interestingly, it looks like the category was discontinued starting this year. Must have seen the Smaddies Baddies buzzsaw coming its way.

Where?! This opens in Alabama, where Drexel is born and raised. Ryan is then separated and lives and grows up in Tennessee. That’s where most of the film takes place, besides some roadtrip type stuff while Ryan is on tour. All around pretty solid and plays a minor role in the film given the role of music in the plot. B+.

When?! The twins (feels good writing that) are born in 1935 and so the bulk of the film takes place from the early 50’s into the 70’s. Most of it probably takes place in the 60’s. Not bad given that we get a pretty clear picture of the exact birth date for our main character. Not important though. B.

I might have been able to forgive the film’s interminable length, directionless plot, and weird Elvis knockoff story. I even thought the story was pleasant enough and acting was all around decent. But the music… the music is terrible. I had to spend the entire film listening to these not very good songs play over and over. Sure there were a few halfway decent ones, but I literally thought Ryan’s first “hit” was supposed to be bad so that people would be like “he needs some work, but he’s otherwise good.” But no, it was apparently supposed to be that way. Then the final City Lights song that is supposed to be his crowning achievement is even worse. I’m not sure how you are supposed to make an Elvis knockoff and then write terrible songs to try to sell it. Boo. As for Sorceress, great choice by us. The film is ludicrous and I honestly am shocked it doesn’t get more play in bad movie circles. It is both unpleasant to watch and mesmerizing. A perfect combo. My only thought is perhaps it’s a little too R rated to be part of culture. Perhaps, but I don’t care. The film is Twins to the max and hilarious. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What happens when you mix Elvis impersonators with a heavy dose of Christian film production? Apparently a twin film called The Identical. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I was not looking forward to watching this film. Mainly because the preview made it incredibly obvious that it was a barely-released Christian films. One of the delights of BMT is that we tend to occasionally go out of our comfort zone to watch films where we aren’t really the intended audience. But Christian films? They are almost always boring. The one saving grace perhaps would be Ray Liotta. What were my expectations? To be bored. But perhaps with a healthy dose of Ray Liotta wearing a Ray Liotta mask and cackling at me? A boy can dream.

The Good – The main actor / elvis impersonator was better than you would expect, the expectations being so low as to effectively be non-existent. I can’t decide if Ray Liotta looking like a normal human being is a positive or negative, but his performance was more subtle that a bad movie aficionado would hope as well. It is a very very very twin film, and that has to be a positive. And at least one of the songs I think was halfway decent (Angel of Mine). And Joey Pants is great as usual. Best Bit: Low Expectations.

The Bad – The film is, as expected, a nothing film. It, indeed, had a ham-fisted attempt to insert some pro-Isreal weirdness (specifically a scene where the cast prays for Israel to win the Six-Day War), likely at the bequest of the production company. Most of that stuff is just vaguely amusing (like the “other” twin finding out he’s half Jewish), but on occasion it is so weird as to be jarring. The music is mostly crap. And I could do without one twin dying in a plane crash. Fatal Flaw: Boring nothing film.

The BMT – I’m not sure. In the future I’m sure we’ll have to pick up a bunch of Christian films in some capacity, although I’m not exactly sure how to do that properly. There is a non-insignificant number of “wide” release films, but really just films barely released to 600 theaters and they’ll mostly be like this. Let’s sum up the storyline for most of these films: Man thinks he has the perfect life, man meets adversity he can’t immediately overcome, man questions his faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, man has epiphany about what faith really is all about, man achieves actual perfect life. I guarantee like 80% of the films are just that with various forms of adversity plugged in. Did it meet my expectations? Sadly yeah, this film was boring. Not only that, Ray Liotta looked normal and didn’t cackle at me. So overall a disappointment I think.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – I think I’m going to count Seth Green as a Planchet (Who?), a character who just kind of gets into trouble and the rest of the cast bemusingly pokes fun at? I can get behind that. A decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for I think both Tennessee (where most of the film takes place for obvious reasons) and Alabama (where the beginning and end up for a bit). Definitely a good Period Piece (When?) for the 50s / 60s setting to coincide with Elvis’s rise. I think the unconscious search for his twin brother counts as a MacGuffin (Why?), f-it. Closest to Bad in the superlatives.

StreetCreditReport.com – The street cred comes from it being a twin film, for it being a weirdo half-biopic of Elvis, and it being a nothing-Christian film. But interestingly 2014 was a big Christian film year. According to Rolling Stone in a 2014:God’s Not Dead, Son of God, Heaven Is for Real, Persecuted, The Identical, Left Behind, and Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas were all released! We’ve now seen three of those and God’s Not Dead will eventually be on the docket, but no wonder no list includes The Identical, it was competing with the notorious God’s Not Dead and Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas!

Bring a Friend Analysis – As a friend this week we reached deeeeeep into the depths of the early 80s Roger Corman filmography to retrieve the absolutely dire Sorceress. Starring Leigh and Lynette Harris (Playboy Playmates) the film had a somewhat notorious production. Explicitly developed to build off of the success of Conan, Jack Hill (who often worked with Corman) was roped in with the promise of a big budget, and Hill thought it could revive his career (instead this would be the last film he would direct). Amazingly, this is actually a lot more similar to The Identical than it appeared at first blush. Hill specifically wrote the script in reference to The Corsican Brothers, which sounds suspiciously similar to moments in The Identical! I can tell you this much: The Satyr in the film is the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen, the Harris twins are not actors, the effects are horrible, and the multiple beastiality and rape scenes and jokes made me very uncomfortable. I would recommend this to no one, and may God have mercy on Roger Corman’s soul for producing this pile of garbage. And yet … I’m very very surprised that this isn’t more well known in bad movie circles (it does seem to be mentioned a lot on grindhouse lists due to it being directed by Hill) because it is like watching a slow motion car crash on screen. I’m going to give it an A. I hate it, but I cannot deny the allure. Somehow it feels like this is exactly the type of films we should be watching for Bring a Friend in general, and yet I never want to watch anything like this ever again. The juxtaposition is tantalizing. It’s the satyr. It is so horrifying that one must understand the demented mind that created it. And I can’t stop thinking about it.

Twins Analysis – How twins-y was The Identical? Extremely!! There were some extreme identical twins. You had identical twins separated at birth, both destined to be songwriting stars in their own right. When one twin dies tragically the other feels the others death instinctively without having to hear of the news. These guys were one step away from being Stigmata Twins. A. I won’t be docking points for not using twins because in most cases it doesn’t make sense. Like here, what? You’re going to go out and find twin Elvis impersonators?! That’s insane. And what about Sorceress. Five words for you: The Two That Are One. The entire plot is about twin destiny and how twins are the only thing that can defeat an evil wizard. Bomb. A-, I docked a bit for the twins being such horrible actors and besmirching the good name of twins.

The Identical Quiz

Oh man, last thing I remember I got bopped on the head while winning an Elvis impersonation contest. When I awoke I was a world famous recording artist! Go figure. Otherwise I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in The Identical?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Brian Geraghty gives up one of his two twin boys to Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd. What promise does he make Ray Liotta keep about the boys?

2) Ryan Wade has a bestest friend in the whole world in Seth Green. What instrument does Seth Green play?

3) During the course of the film Ryan Wade has three jobs. What are they?

4) How did Ryan’s secret twin brother Drexel Hemsley die and what happened to Ryan when he did?

5) During the course of the film Ryan and Drexel see each other once. When?

Answers