The Bodyguard Preview

“Virus?!” asks Patrick, shocked at the latest twist in their ever evolving adventure. “That’s right,” Jamie answers, making his way around the giant box that now occupies their living room. Stupid box. Why have such an unwieldy thing around when it’s so obviously useless? “Why do we have this box around when it’s so obviously useless?” Jamie finally asks, but Patrick waves him off. “Nevermind that, a global pandemic totally changes our calculus.” They both turn to Rachel, their resident pandemic expert, and ask whether people in the pandemic still, perchance, enjoy video games. They cross their fingers and hold their breath. The anticipation is killing them. “Probably even more,” she replies honestly. Excellent. “And music? We haven’t entered some footloose scenario where music has been outlawed, right?” Rachel rolls her eyes, but they just shrug. A lot can change in a year… in fact it has. With a footloose scenario confirmed not to be in play, Jamie fires up his AskJeeves.com email account and drafts an email containing their Starring Jason Derulo demo for WGRG, but before he hits send Patrick stops him. He looks serious. “Starring Jason Derulo is a great song,” Patrick starts. Well, duh, everyone knows that, especially Jamie the writer, lead singer, and keyboard player on the Starring Jason Derulo track. “But,” he continues and this confuses Jamie. What else needs to be said about Starring Jason Derulo? “With the new developments do you think we need something more…” But Jamie is already nodding his head. When Patrick’s right, he’s right. “Inspirational. Something a little more like…” and now they’re both nodding their heads, “I Will Always Love You from the smash film (and musical) The Bodyguard,” they say in unison and Predator high five. Time to get their sentimental ballad on. Let’s go! If you couldn’t guess from that introduction we are watching The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. It had one of the most iconic soundtracks of all time and that still wasn’t able to prevent it from qualifying for BMT. All the better for us. Let’s go!

The Bodyguard (1992) – BMeTric: 24.4; Notability: 57

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 18.4%; Notability: top 9.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.3% Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Pet Sematary II, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, Sleepwalkers, 3 Ninja Kids, The Lawnmower Man, Poison Ivy, Freejack, Beethoven, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Dr. Giggles, Evil Toons, Ladybugs, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Passenger 57, Man Trouble, Captain Ron, and 9 more; Higher Notability: Newsies, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie; Lower RT: Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Mom and Dad Save the World, Passed Away, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Ladybugs, Claire of the Moon, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Mo’ Money, Class Act, Knight Moves, Freejack, Dr. Giggles, Blame It on the Bellboy and 20 more; Notes: Notability is impressive, which I guess kind of reminds me that I’m very excited to watch Newsies for BMT, I unironically love that film. Incredible rise in the rating, maybe pointing to another genuinely good film!

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – The movie was made as a thriller, I suppose, because of box-office considerations. I felt a little cheated by the outcome, although I should have been able to predict it, using my Law of Economy of Characters, which teaches that no movie contains any unnecessary characters, so that an apparently superfluous character is probably the killer. I thought the basic situation in “The Bodyguard” was intriguing enough to sustain a film all by itself: on the one hand, a star who grows rich through the adulation that fans feel for her, and on the other hand, a working man who, for a salary, agrees to substitute his body as a target instead of hers. Makes you think.

(Love that law. It is true all the way from Murder She Wrote, to Scooby Doo. I watched a Scooby Doo episode the other day (don’t ask) and I’m not joking when I say there was only one other person in the entire story other than the meddling kids … so yeah, obviously the Creeper was that guy. It was bizarre. And you can almost always guess the bad guy in things like Psych because they’ll be the most famous person other than the main cast. It is hilarious that The Bodyguard falls into the same trap.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JFRdJTszRM

(Oh man, those jamming tunes! Haha, them playing the fight in the kitchen (spoiler alert, it is with Houston’s original bumbling security guard guy) as an intruder is pretty funny. I wonder why I Will Always Love You didn’t get any play? There is something in some of the notes that maybe suggest it was a single created pretty late into production, so maybe they didn’t think it was going to be the big one.)

Directors – Mick Jackson – (Known For: Volcano; Denial; L.A. Story; Chattahoochee; The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest; Future BMT: Clean Slate; BMT: The Bodyguard; Notes: Won an Emmy for directing the TV movie Temple Grandin. He’s from Britain originally.)

Writers – Lawrence Kasdan (written by) – (Known For: Raiders of the Lost Ark; Solo: A Star Wars Story; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Silverado; Wyatt Earp; The Big Chill; Body Heat; The Accidental Tourist; Grand Canyon; Continental Divide; Mumford; Darling Companion; BMT: Dreamcatcher; The Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Nominee for Worst Director for Wyatt Earp in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Bodyguard in 1993; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars for screenplays. His sons also write and produce movies, Jonathan notably writing Solo: A Star Wars Story with this father. Both are writing on the upcoming Willow television show.)

Actors – Kevin Costner – (Known For: Zack Snyder’s Justice League; Dances with Wolves; Hidden Figures; Man of Steel; Molly’s Game; Let Him Go; The Highwaymen; Waterworld; Silverado; The Untouchables; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Field of Dreams; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Draft Day; Wyatt Earp; JFK; No Way Out; McFarland; Open Range; The Art of Racing in the Rain; Future BMT: Play It to the Bone; Dragonfly; 3 Days to Kill; Swing Vote; Criminal; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Revenge; Black or White; The War; BMT: Rumor Has It…; 3000 Miles to Graceland; The Postman; The Bodyguard; Message in a Bottle; The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for The Postman in 1998; Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Winner for Worst Actor for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1993 for The Bodyguard; in 1996 for Waterworld; in 2000 for For Love of the Game, and Message in a Bottle; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Wyatt Earp; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Postman, The Postman, Waterworld, Waterworld, Wyatt Earp, and Wyatt Earp; Notes: Very notably was nominated for best picture, directing, and starring in Dances With Wolves. A very “every man” kind of leading man, a bone fide movie star in the 80s and 90s, but then in the late 90s he was in eight straight BMT films before having an old-man-renaissance in the 2010s. Wait … he must be in a band right? Yup, “Kevin Costner and Modern West” … that is a hilarious name.)

Whitney Houston – (Known For: Waiting to Exhale; The Preacher’s Wife; Sparkle; BMT: The Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress, Worst Original Song, and Worst New Star for The Bodyguard in 1993; Notes: Won an Emmy for performing at the Grammy Awards. Sung backing vocals with her mother at age 15 on Chaka Khan’s 1978 hit “I’m Every Woman”.)

Gary Kemp – (Known For: The Krays; Killing Zoe; Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism; Dog Eat Dog; Hide and Seek; Büvös vadász; American Daylight; BMT: The Bodyguard; Notes: Principal songwriter and vocalist for Spandau Ballet. Brother of Martin Kemp who was on EastEnders for 13 years.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $122,006,740 (Worldwide: $411,006,740)

(That is a pretty big hit. Costner has apparently said he has never had any interest in doing sequels to any of his films (even ones that have written sequels). So I guess this was just a one-off smash success as usual.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (15/46): The Bodyguard is a cheesy, melodramatic potboiler with occasional moments of electricity from Whitney Houston.

(That sounds good to me actually. Some drama with serenades by Houston every so often is just the ticket, I hope Costner mumbles every single one of his lines. Reviewer Highlight: Just about everything that can go wrong with this film does, and yet it’s compulsively watchable. (So is a train wreck.) – Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – The BodySklog

(A poster so iconic it’s still spoofed today. This is how you bring your stars seamlessly into a poster. The blue hue gets the tone right and it looks pretty dramatic and sexy. Just needed a sweet Bodyguard specific font to put it over the top. B+.)

Tagline(s) – Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love. (B)

(They have the right idea, but couldn’t edit it down enough. I do like the twist at the end though. The first two it’s like “well yeah, bodyguard stuff” and then they hit you with the love angle and you’re like this isn’t your parents’ The Bodyguard. Get ready for a sexy ride.)

Keyword – bodyguard

Top 10: Tenet (2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), The Dark Knight (2008), The Gentlemen (2019), Inception (2010), Titanic (1997), Black Panther (2018), Batman Begins (2005), Iron Man (2008), Deadpool (2016)

Future BMT: 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 63.5 Mr. Nanny (1993), 62.9 Fat Albert (2004), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 51.9 Blackhat (2015), 47.4 Men in Black: International (2019), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 44.9 The Rhythm Section (2020), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007);

BMT: Baywatch (2017), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Fantasy Island (2020), Bloodshot (2020), Geostorm (2017), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Hunter Killer (2018), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), The Expendables 3 (2014), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), London Has Fallen (2016), Vampire Academy (2014), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), The Bodyguard (1992), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Snowman (2017), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), The Pacifier (2005), Gangster Squad (2013), Mortdecai (2015), Be Cool (2005), Elektra (2005), Over the Top (1987), Alex Cross (2012), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Ride Along (2014), Romeo Must Die (2000), The Prince & Me (2004), Pluto Nash (2002), The Gunman (2015), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), I, Frankenstein (2014), I Spy (2002), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Exit Wounds (2001), First Daughter (2004), Grind (2003), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Proud Mary (2018), Left Behind (Video (0), Ride Along 2 (2016), The Musketeer (2001), Never Die Alone (2004)

(Is the concept of bodyguards having a moment? This is a really loose keyword idea. Like, doesn’t Kazaam only kind of have a bodyguard because the bad guy has one or something? Or is Kazaam the bodyguard?)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kevin Costner is No. 2 billed in The Bodyguard and No. 2 billed in Rumor Has It…, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 1 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), 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 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – It was Kevin Costner’s idea for Whitney Houston to start “I Will Always Love You” a capella.

Rachel’s mansion is the same mansion as the “horse’s head in the bed” mansion in “The Godfather (1972).” (fun fact!)

Whitney Houston suffered a miscarriage during production and missed a couple of weeks of production recovering.

Whitney Houston would give Kevin Costner singing lessons on set in exchange for acting advice. (ha!)

Kevin Costner said that he based his portrayal of Frank Farmer on actor Steve McQueen. He even went as far as to get McQueen’s trademark haircut for the role.

As of 2015, with over 37 million albums sold, the film had the best-selling soundtrack of all time. “Saturday Night Fever (1977)” places second–with nearly 10 million fewer albums sold.

Kevin Costner and Mick Jackson encouraged Whitney Houston not to take acting lessons – they wanted her to be natural.

This film was originally proposed in the mid-’70s, starring Diana Ross and Steve McQueen, but was rejected as “too controversial”. The film concept was to be attempted again in the late 1970s, with Ryan O’Neal and Diana Ross cast as the leads. The project fell through after only a few months because of irreconcilable differences between O’Neal and Ross, who had been dating.

Crew driver Bill Vitagliano was killed in an on-set accident when he was crushed between two colliding scissor-lifts, during the preparation for an underground parking garage scene.

The film had to undergo some hasty re-cutting when test audiences jeered Whitney Houston’s performance. (But why?)

Originally “I Will Always Love You” wasn’t in the movie – the big single was “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” When that song was used in “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1991),” Kevin Costner suggested “I Will Always Love You.” (These production stories are wild, Costner really was involved in every single aspect of this film)

Rachel and Frank go and see “Yojimbo (1961),” which was released in the United States as “The Bodyguard”. (THAT is a fun fact)

The basement used as Kevin Costner’s basement in the movie The Bodyguard (1992) is the same basement that’s used in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) as Gibbs’ basement. (I’m in love with this fact)

One of the few films that presented a fictional Academy Awards in its plot and later on were nominated for the actual Academy Awards. While this movie scored two Best Song nominations, the other movie with similar circumstances, California Suite (1978) managed to win an Oscar (acting category, an ironic contrast with the movie’s subplot involving an actress who loses the same award).

The brand of whisky being drunk throughout the film is Springbank from Campbeltown in Scotland, where the director was on holiday prior to making the film.

Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan is a fan of director Akira Kurosawa. As such, he named the film after Yojimbo (1961), and wrote the male lead role for Steve McQueen, who had appeared in The Magnificent Seven (1960), a remake of Seven Samurai (1954). Two of the characters in Kurosawa’s film The Hidden Fortress (1958) were the inspiration for C-3PO and R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, four of which Kasdan wrote.

Scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan was also the director of The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). Kevin Costner was in all of those films, though his part in the first one was cut.

Dolly Parton wrote and sang the song I will always love you” In an interview on the Graham Norton show she said that they asked her to let them use the song “I will always love you” for the movie and she sent it in and forgot about it. Then one day she was driving from her office to her house in Nashville when she heard Whitney Houston’s version on the radio and she had to pull off the side of the road in order to finish listening to it. Dolly Parton was blown away by how well, and beautiful the song was done. She was also impressed by how beautifully Whitney Houston sang it.

Kevin Costner said that if he could change one thing about the movie, he would not have the shooting take place at the Academy Awards. (Yeah it doesn’t make much sense, they even have to say it out loud during the film because it is so weird)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (David Foster, Linda Thompson, 1993)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Jud Friedman, Allan Rich, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Costner, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Whitney Houston, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Lawrence Kasdan, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Whitney Houston, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Whitney Houston, Eric ‘Babyface’ Walsh, Daryl Simmons, 1993)

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Virus Recap

Jamie

Kit and Steve are part of the unlucky crew of a tugboat whose container ship gets lost in a storm (along with their financial future). Damaged, they find themselves in the eye of the storm with a ghost ship (with the most ship). Seeing a salvage opportunity, they board, but soon realize that something is amiss. Can they escape before it’s too late? Find out in… Virus.

How?! Kit is the badass XO of a tugboat whose captain has staked his entire life on one big container ship. Unfortunately that ship is now at the bottom of the ocean after they run smack into the middle of a Pacific typhoon. Badly damaged, they fortunately find their way into the eye of the storm where they are surprised to find they aren’t alone. A giant Russian research vessel is there and looking pretty rough. The captain is seeing dollar signs and as long as no survivors are found they can get a huge chunk of change for salvaging what is a very expensive ship. But things start going badly right away and they realize they aren’t alone. Not just that they find a terrified surviving crew, but when they turn on the power they feel like they are being watched and one of their crew goes missing. When they go searching for him they find an automated workshop producing robots and are attacked by a cyborg! Egad! Turns out there is a spooky alium onboard that is all electrical and shit and it is all up in those robots. They are taking people and turning them into robots too. Like a… uh… robot… uh, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh… virus. A robot virus. Realizing they have to take out the computer brain they head off, only to be attacked by more alium robots. The captain decides to become a cyborg of his own volition (apparently so he can still salvage the ship… which will probably be a little difficult being a crazy scary cyborg person, but whatever) and the rest of the crew scatter just trying to survive. In the climax they have to fight (and kill) the captain cyborg and then ultimately sets a trap to fight (and kill) the main robot alium brain. Just as they explode the ship, Kit and Steve eject themselves off the ship and are rescued. THE END.

Why?! As usual I kinda love the motivations in a horror film. Obviously all the crew members just want to survive. Other than the captain who really doesn’t care if or how he survives as long as he can still salvage that ship. Turn him into a cyborg, he doesn’t care. Probably use his cyborg brain to get an even better deal on the salvage. Anyway, the bad guys are always more interesting and here the alien is indeed interesting to ponder. It’s electrical and, by my reading, was having a jolly time floating through space before unfortunately finding its way into a space station computer that was connected to the research vessel. Now the alien is trapped on this big dumbo ship and needs to find its way out. Solution? Get some cyborg bodies, pilot its way to a base, and upload onto the world’s computers like a big ol’ terrible alien robot virus. Check mate.

Who?! It’s been a while since I’ve had a surprise entry in this, but Ritchie (who builds the contraption that helps Kit and Steve escape the ship in the end) was played by Sherman Augustus. He was a former professional football player with the Chargers and Vikings. It sounds, though, like he might be a “former professional football player” like on The Bachelor. He apparently suffered a knee injury and never played in a game.

What?! Like Cutthroat Island, you know they were ready to unload what had to be an ungodly number of props for this film. I obviously love the ones that aren’t for sale because I like to imagine how much a fully animatronic cyborg prop would cost. Whatever number you have in mind factor in that one of the tiny robot props runs $2800.00. Yah.

Where?! In some ways this is an A. It takes place on a ghost ship (which the most ship) and that obviously plays quite a big role. However if we’re going from the actual location this is in the pacific somewhat generally. So it’s still quite good for a Middle of the Pacific film, but maybe would put this in more the B range.

When?! This seems to be unknown, although maybe you can catch a glimpse somewhere. The only thing you get is the time frame in relative terms. The alien gets beams down to the research ship before the storm and then seven days later our groups of tugboaters get damaged in the storm. I wonder why seven… maybe biblical? F+.

Much like the big ol’ dumbo ship, this is a big ol’ dumbo movie. It’s got some pretty weird and at times interesting (at other times a little cheesy) special effects. Clearly that’s all the director was interested in because most of the stuff the actors get to do is just scream and run and look at cyborg aliens (and then scream and run some more) and the script is as basic a scifi horror as they could have come up with. No wonder Jamie Lee Curtis talks about this like it’s the worst movie she ever made. Doesn’t seem like the director was very interested in giving the actors much to chew on. Everything is in service of the effects. This isn’t the worst movie though. Just a pretty one-dimensional movie. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! How is it that I’ve watched multiple William Baldwin films this year? Well this one is about him fighting robo-aliums in the South Pacific, so … Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – An interesting preview since Jamie Lee Curtis hate, hate, hated this film. She has called it the worst film ever made in multiple interviews. That seems … hyperbolic. I mean, I’ve seen Battlefield Earf, so it is unlikely that Virus is somehow worse than that hot garbage. Based on a graphic novel (yeah, I’m reading that), and with a shoddy PS1 game barely released in the US (yeah, I’m playing that). What were my expectations? From the movie? I don’t know, I guess a mostly cheesy Sci-Fi film with bad effects. From the video game? The game genuinely looks like the worst game I’ve ever seen, and I recently watched someone speedrun King’s Quest 8. So that is exciting.

The Good – Some of the monster designs are okay, even if the execution is unimpressive. I also like Jamie Lee Curtis, who, despite hating working on the film, brings that Scream Queen cachet to the film to solid effect. The core idea of the electrical alien attack is trite now, but was definitely an interesting idea at the time when computer viruses were still a somewhat unknown entity in popular culture. Best Bit: Jamie Lee Curtis.

The Bad – The actual effects are awful, a poor man’s The Thing (1982). If they were done with as much effect as in that film, then I’m convinced the film would have been somewhat effective. Sutherland and Baldwin were both subpar, likely second or third choices for their roles, borderline television movie level at times. Like when Sutherland is a robot … it is Heartbeeps level weirdness, the whole thing feels like a director completely in order his head and over budget. Fatal Flaw: The aliums look like trash.

The BMT – I love films set on boats. I love films with electric aliums. I love films with William Baldwin. This film kind of had it all. It is a kind of fun movie is you squint, but it does get sunk by looking like garbage. The vitriol by Curtis is unwarranted … but you can definitely feel like the production must have been terrible. Did it meet my expectations? Yup, cheesy sci-fi film with bad effects. I was delighted that William Baldwin was as weird as ever, and who can help but be charmed by just-almost-too-old Donald Sutherland, if only he was an arsonist. Stay tuned for my video game review.

Roast-radamus – A pretty solid and rare Setting as a Character (Where?) for the boat being specifically stranded in the South Pacific. I wonder if they were near the Blue Lagoon. I think that is it. Closest to BMT I think. I personally liked it, but I’m also certain if I showed it to anyone they would be like “what the hell is this?” and laugh at it.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Definitely a sequel. Set 25 years after the events of the original film Steve Baker has made a name for himself in the US military as they prepare for the potential return of the electro-aliums from the original film. This terror is unleashed upon the world in the form of a communication satellite infected with a new virus which beams into, you guessed it, the internet. That’s right, the Aliums are in cyberspace and they want to take over the world! Ba ba baaaaaaa! Los Angeles, the mecca of social media influencers becomes ground zero for a viral infection that makes the original film look like a radio play, you got robots up the wazoo. In flies Baker, who gets Kit Foster, now a Neo-Luddite living off the grid, out of retirement to try and contain the cyberspace firestorm. They tap into cyberspace with the military’s new VR haptic suits and fight the virus virtually, and, spoiler alert, they totally pwn those alium dweebs. Virus 2: Cryptowarz. Get fat William Baldwin on the phone stat!!

You Just Got Schooled – Another tie-in cycle film, another terrible video game. This week, the survival horror game Virus: It is Aware. Oh boy … uh, this might actually be the worst game I’ve ever played. I only ultimately played an hour or two of it, and while I think I could finish it, I don’t think I have the will to. A bit tough to find, I ultimately set up a standalone PS1 emulator and got it working. It feels a bit like a homeless man’s Resident Evil as far as gameplay is concerned. Somewhat interesting in that each level, much like Little Nicky, is standalone. After you complete the level it gives you a code (you can save, but apparently around this time for releases to secondary markets some games chose to also provide a code instead, again, like Little Nicky!), and you get all of your health and ammo back. The parallels to Little Nicky are striking, a game made on the cheap, borrowing heavily from better games, to push to market a tie-in with little thought about gameplay. Except I found Little Nicky bizarrely charming. This … is an abomination, only to be played ironically. F. Until further notice this is the worst game I’ve ever played in my life, may god have mercy on the developers’ souls.

Bonus Book Report – Oh snap, that’s right, I also read the four issue graphic novel series by Dark Horse, also called Virus. The story is kind of close to the movie, although here everyone is immediately on board with the salvage operation, and the alium takes over really quickly. In my opinion … the art style is pretty bad looking, and the two main characters are cliches. It is pretty obvious that it was written by someone who isn’t a professional writer, ultimately creating an impossibly capable everyman mechanic as his main character with really really bad dialogue. It also seems potentially like a rip off of The Thing … especially considering he wrote a sequel graphic novel to the 1982 film that same year … it seems pretty likely. That being said, a pretty enjoyable quick read, took me maybe an hour, and you can see why they thought they could brush it up into a sci-fi thriller. C+. Not a good graphic novel, but a fun read regardless paired with the film.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Virus Quiz

Oh boy, so last summer I was working on this tugboat when we went full “salvage operation” on an abandoned Russian research ship. It turns out though, this abandoned ship wasn’t really abandoned … more like infected. With aliums. Yeah. And one of them bopped me on the head, and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Virus?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film a Russian research vessel is chilling in the South Pacific. What is the purpose of the ship and what is it doing when it is infected with an electric alien lifeform?

2) Meanwhile, a tugboat is dragging some cargo through the Typhoon in the South Pacific. What are they tugging and why won’t the captain cut it loose to save their lives?

3) When they encounter the Russian research vessel Captain Everton gets miiiiiiiiiighty excited. How much do they think the salvage will be worth and what is their cut?

4) They eventually find a lone survivor on the ship and learn about what happened when the alien species infected the ship’s computer. What does the alien want with the humans and Earth in general?

5) In the end how to do they destroy the alium?

Bonus Question: Does Steve ever buy his island?

Answers

Virus Preview

As Jamie heads out of the apartment he almost bumps into a delivery man carrying a large wooden box. After he drops it off, Jamie waits a moment before asking the obvious question… “what’s that?” Patrick looks up confused. “Oh… you mean the box? I got a safe to keep the Obsidian Dongle in but now… you know… we don’t have it anymore.” Jamie nods. Makes sense. No need to investigate further or even think about that box. It’s obviously nothing that anybody needs to worry about. With that clearly unimportant event out of the way Jamie heads downtown whistling Starring Jason Derulo. It sure is catchy. As he approaches WARR, their local pirate radio station, he is shocked to find a “Closed” sign up in the window. Whaa-whaaa-whaaaaaa? Quickly snatching the transistor radio out of his pocket he tunes it to the station and hears only static. What the heck is going on? He walks down the street getting odd glances from everyone he sees. But really he should be giving them weird glances. Seems a bit warm to be wearing face masks. When he arrives at the second most popular local pirate radio station WGRG the owner is just locking up. “Oh thank god,” Jamie says relieved, “I have a hot new track that needs to drop fast for the latest FMV VR video game craze for the gucci crowd.” The owner understands all this perfectly but informs him that because of the virus he’ll have to send it via email. “Virus?” Jamie asks and the man snorts. “What have you been living under a rock?” Jamie, insulted, is about to inform him that no, he just happened to be saving the world for the last year (thank you very much) when everything clicks into place. A pandemic! That’s right! We’re appropriately watching Virus starring Jamie Lee Curtis. She considers it the worst film she’s made and so I’ve been pretty excited to catch it one of these days. It also had what is widely considered a terrible video game associated with that, so Patrick can have fun with that. Let’s go!

Virus (1999) – BMeTric: 60.1; Notability: 44

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 31.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.4% Higher BMeT: Baby Geniuses, Inspector Gadget, Universal Soldier: The Return, Wild Wild West, Wing Commander, The Haunting, Dudley Do-Right, Bats, The Rage: Carrie 2; Higher Notability: Wild Wild West, Inspector Gadget, The 13th Warrior, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Haunting, Idle Hands, End of Days, Joan of Arc, My Favorite Martian, The Out-of-Towners, Random Hearts, Crazy in Alabama, Double Jeopardy, Instinct, Stigmata, The Bone Collector, In Too Deep, Entrapment, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, The General’s Daughter, and 4 more; Lower RT: Baby Geniuses, The Mod Squad, Universal Soldier: The Return, The Omega Code, The Bachelor, Eye of the Beholder, Wing Commander, Chill Factor, Body Shots, End of Days, My Favorite Martian; Notes: Really solid, the IMDb rating is absurdly low. We’ve almost seen all of those Higher BMeT films. Inspector Gadget and The Rage: Carrie 2 are the only non-BMT … which is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – The last half hour of the movie is almost unseeable. In dark dimness, various human and other figures race around in a lot of water and flashlight beams, and there is much screaming. Occasionally an eye, a limb, or a bloody face emerges from the gloom. Many instructions are shouted. If you can explain to me the exact function of that rocket tube that turns up at the end, I will be sincerely grateful. If you can explain how anyone could survive that function, I will be amazed. The last shot is an homage to “The African Queen,” a movie I earnestly recommend instead of this one.

(I might just have to go ahead and watch The African Queen. Although I’ll watch both … I don’t need to make a choice or anything. I don’t look forward to watching this film in broad daylight on my old dim television and being like “THIS DIRECTOR IS AN IDIOT!” when it is actually mostly me watching it like an insane person.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEFf78HegJg/

(Oh shit is that a ghost ship with the most ship? Blast from the past with Mir as well, which fell back to Earth in 2001 (a mere two years later). Really went for the “return of the scream queen” ending there with a clear jump scare a la Alien as well.)

Directors – John Bruno – (Known For: Heavy Metal; BMT: Virus; Notes: Nominated for 6 Academy Awards for special effects (and won for The Abyss). Notable for working closely with James Cameron, this was his only live action full length directorial effort.)

Writers – Chuck Pfarrer (creator: Dark Horse Comic Book series: “Virus” & screenplay) – (Known For: Darkman; Hard Target; Future BMT: Red Planet; Navy Seals; The Jackal; BMT: Barb Wire; Virus; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Barb Wire in 1997; Notes: He was a Navy SEAL, the details of which are written in his autobiography Warrior Soul.)

Dennis Feldman (screenplay) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; Real Men; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child; Notes: Brother of Randy Feldman who wrote Tango & Cash, and son of the producer Phil Feldman. Went to both Harvard and Yale.)

Actors – Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Knives Out; Trading Places; True Lies; Halloween; Halloween; Escape from New York; My Girl; Freaky Friday; A Fish Called Wanda; The Fog; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Terror Train; Forever Young; Veronica Mars; From Up on Poppy Hill; Prom Night; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Blue Steel; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; My Girl 2; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; Halloween II; BMT: Virus; Christmas with the Kranks; Perfect; Notes: The original Scream Queen. The daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, she is also married to Christopher Guest. She’s been nominated for a Primetime Emmy (Nicholas’ Gift) and won two Golden Globes (True Lies and Anything but Love).)

Donald Sutherland – (Known For: The Hunger Games; Pride & Prejudice; National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; A Time to Kill; Ad Astra; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; Horrible Bosses; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; M.A.S.H.; The Italian Job; Cold Mountain; JFK; Klute; Lord of War; Fallen; Backdraft; Outbreak; Deception; Ordinary People; Future BMT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Art of War; Shadow Conspiracy; The Eagle; The Puppet Masters; Instinct; Catholic Boys; BMT: Virus; An American Haunting; Fool’s Gold; Lock Up; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Lock Up in 1990; Notes: Father of Kiefer Sutherland. Won an Emmy (Citizen X) and two Golden Globes (Citizen X and Path to War). Was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2018. Is set to feature in Roland Emmerich’s action film Moonfall.)

William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Backdraft; Born on the Fourth of July; Internal Affairs; The Squid and the Whale; Flatliners; Bulworth; Aftermath; Curdled; Maximum Impact; Three of Hearts; You Stupid Man; Adrift in Manhattan; The Broken Key; Noise; Park; Relative Values; Jock; Say Nothing; Dino Time; BMT: Virus; Sliver; Fair Game; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Sliver in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game in 1996; Notes: Incredible flex by us clearing out Billy’s qualifying films within a few weeks of each other. Both him and Stephen Baldwin were Calvin Klein models prior to pursuing acting.)

Budget/Gross – $75,000,000 / Domestic: $14,036,005 (Worldwide: $30,657,854)

(Disaster, but I don’t know what they would have thought it would be otherwise? It is based on an obscure Dark Horse comic … but they were expecting what? $150 million. Insane.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (6/49): Despite its great special effects, this movie’s predictability greatly undermines its intensity.

(Oooo, I’m excited for some “good” effects from the late 90s. Reviewer Highlight: A derivative sci-fi shocker that isn’t likely to spark much interest beyond its target audience of undemanding genre fans. – Joe Leydon, Variety)

Poster – Alien Shock Wave v2.0

(I like the colors, the framing and really all the visuals. If I was walking in a theater the only thing that would stop me from being pretty excited for some dumb fun it Billy Baldwin’s face. Replace him with Gerard Butler and we’d be cooking with gas. It’s also pretty amazing that they put the giant robot face up there as if it’s a star of the film. B)

Tagline(s) – Life on earth is in for a shock. (B)

(I can’t tell if I love this or hate this. The fact that I laughed out loud when I read it is probably not a great sign for the actual quality of the tagline though. “In for a shock” seems a bit mild for how life on earth would react to an electricity-borne virus that creates killer robots. Beyond how funny it is it certainly is short, clever, and hints at the plot. So still gets an OK score. The tagline combined with the giant robot head makes for one of the more unintentionally funny posters I can remember..)

Keyword – virus

Top 10: The Matrix (1999), American Psycho (2000), Iron Man Three (2013), Logan (2017), The Maze Runner (2014), Dawn of the Dead (2004), I Am Legend (2007), Contagion (2011), Alien: Covenant (2017), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Future BMT: 65.6 Pulse (2006), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 50.1 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), 40.8 Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), 39.4 The Forsaken (2001), 39.0 Jigsaw (2017), 36.1 The Invasion (2007), 35.0 The Relic (1997), 27.6 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), 27.5 Inferno (2016);

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), The Happening (2008), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Paycheck (2003), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Darkest Minds (2018), Species II (1998), Virus (1999)

(Huh … I guess you would argue ‘puters really went mainstream in ‘95 then. Kind of amazing just how much of an inflection that is. It was pretty much immediately from 0 to HACK THE PLANET! on that graph. Can’t wait to just smash all six of the Resident Evil films at some point.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jamie Lee Curtis is No. 1 billed in Virus and No. 2 billed in Christmas with the Kranks, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Because of the ship being mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet, on the border of Isle of Wight County and city of Newport News, the ship was covered in rust and disrepair when the filming started. For the movie, one side of the ship was painted and dressed up, leaving the other half in poor condition. Hence, only one side of the ship was ever filmed on camera for the movie.

The “Goliath” robot was approximately 9 ft tall and weighed an estimated 4000 lbs. The special effects company hired to create Goliath had only three-and-a-half months to produce the robot from the initial drawings to the finished product.

In an IGN.com interview, Jamie Lee Curtis said the following about Virus (1999): “Rob Reiner, for his 40th birthday, had a bad show business party where everybody brought show business clips. Rob’s was playing a hippie on Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) singing ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’. Virus (1999) is so bad that it’s shocking. That would be the all time piece of shit. It’s just dreadful. That’s the only good reason to be in bad movies. Then when your friends have [bad] movies you can say ‘Ahhhh, I’ve got the best one. I’m bringing Virus (1999).'” (Incredible, but I highly doubt Virus is going to blow my mind in how bad it is)

Jamie Lee Curtis has admitted to hating this film, calling it “the worst movie ever made”. She added that she lobbied hard to have the director fired and replaced by Steve Miner, who she had made Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) with. However, he wasn’t available, as he was working on Dawson’s Creek (1998)).

The lyrics of the Russian march heard during the end credits are actually the names of various cast and crew members pronounced backward.

John Bruno was about to start work on the visual effects for Titanic (1997) when the offer came through to direct his first feature.

In 1999, prolific French video game developer Cryo (also known as Cryo Interactive Entertainment) released on PlayStation “Virus: It is Aware”, their action/horror third person shooter tie-in video game that was very loosely based on this movie. The game immediately fell into obscurity. (Oh did it, because I think I’m playing it this weekend …)

Originally set for a Summer 1998 release, the film’s release was eventually pushed to January of 1999.

Chuck Pfarrer explained in an interview that the comic book was based on the script that he wrote in the early-’90s. Because of the special effects that the script called for, it was impossible to make the script into a movie at that time, and he handed it to Dark Horse Comics who published it in 1995. Several years later, when special effects technology had caught up, Pfarrer revised the original script. (Oh interesting, I wonder if I can get my hands on a copy of the comic)

In the beginning when the Captain (Donald Sutherland) is aiming a pistol at Baldwin he is holding a British Webley .455 caliber. It was the standard sidearm of the British army from 1897-1963.

Director John Bruno is a visual effects artist known for his frequent collaborations with director James Cameron.

Cutthroat Island Recap

Jamie

Morgan Adams is a mighty pirate cut from a different cloth. When her eeevil uncle vows to find the family treasure by any means necessary, she decides to beat him to it with the help of sexy rogue William Shaw. Can she stop her uncle, find the treasure, earn the trust of her crew (and perhaps get the guy) before it’s too late? Find out in… Cutthroat Island.

How?! Morgan Adams has quite the dastardly reputation in the Caribbean. Already a fugitive from the law, she finds herself in even more hot water when her father is captured by her evil uncle Dawg Brown. Rather than give him the secret of Cutthroat Island, her father chooses to give up his own life in exchange for giving a piece of the treasure map to Morgan. Now on the run, she gets the begrudging acceptance of her father’s crew and sets sail to Port Royal to find a translator for the map. In Port Royal, dashing rogue William Shaw has also found himself in hot water having lied and swindled ladies across the isles. Now a prisoner, Morgan buys him at auction, but not before the authorities recognize her and a major shootout ensues. Across the island they catch up with Morgan’s other uncle, but before they can get the second piece of the map Dawg appears. A fight ensues, Morgan is shot and in the chaos William is able to find and keep hidden the map piece. Shaw, who has claimed he is a doctor, treats Morgan’s wounds and perchance a romantic spark is lit. But before long Dawg is in hot pursuit and they only barely keep them at bay by navigating through dangerous seas. During the storm Morgan finds William attempting to use the map for his own devices and has him locked away, meanwhile the crew revolts and sends Morgan and her loyal crew off in a tiny liferaft. Miraculously they survive and wake up to find themselves at Cutthroat Island itself. On the island they are dismayed to find that Dawg and her former crew have teamed up and also surprised when they find that William is there and has stolen the last piece of the map from Dawg! With all the pieces in hand William and Morgan find the treasure, but are found by Dawg who forces them to jump from a cliff. William survives and is taken captive, while Morgan sneaks aboard her old ship and takes it back. A big ol’ climactic fight ensues on the high seas resulting in Dawg getting killed by a cannon and William and Morgan recovering the treasure. They then smooch and such and set out on another adventure. THE END (or is it? (it is.))

Why?! As Vinny D would say: fambly. Geena Davis comes from a family of pirates who’s patriarch (her grandfather) found and hid the family treasure on Cutthroat Island. Only the whole family could together find the treasure… you know, as long as the crazy evil one doesn’t kill all of them first. So the rest is obvious. Gotta stop that crazy evil one from ruining the fambly plan.

Who?! Renny Harlin appears in the film uncredited, which isn’t all that exciting. What is exciting is that Thor the dog appears CREDITED in the role of Pirate Dog. He had already appeared in a prior Renny Harlin film, Cliffhanger, so they must have had a good rapport. Finster appears uncredited as Morgan’s monkey, which is a travesty as the role was pretty big. He is better known for his star role as the titular monkey in Monkey Trouble.

What?! Whether you think of it as four separate MacGuffins or a single MacGuffin broken into four pieces, this is a pretty good one as the entire plot focuses around getting all the pieces together. It’s also a little unclear why the treasure was hidden in the first place. Maybe to wait out the authorities. But the family had all the pieces the entire time and never cared to get together and get it until Dawg started his own quest? It doesn’t make much sense. I found this to be a little more interesting than the thousands of props for sale online, which honestly probably ended up there because the studio sold it all off trying to make a buck.

Where?! The Caribbean and primarily Jamaica. It got me thinking about mapl.de.map. There have always been some vague parameters on what would “win” the spot on the map for a particular location. Is it how prominently the setting factors into the film or is it the grade (A+ location in title wins). This makes me think the answer is the former. Would rather have a film that best represents the location take the spot. B.

When?! I could probably write a bunch on this, but I think this might be an A film. I’ll keep it short, but they tell us explicitly that the year is 1668. Why? Because at the time Jamaica had just changed from Spanish to British rule, and let’s just say the Spanish weren’t happy about it. As a result the British, aiming to keep control of the island, supported piracy to fend off the Spanish. The island then descended into lawlessness from 1660-1670 after which a treaty was signed and the piracy was reined in. Interesting.

I certainly understand the reviews for the film. It took a big swashbuckling adventure and just filled it with explosions and were like “that’s fun, right?” The complete lack of humor is glaring considering that was a big part of what made Pirates of the Caribbean such a success. They would even say lines that almost sounded like jokes, but I assure you they were not. Just kinda bland explosions most of the time. All that being said, it was still a rollicking adventure if that’s simply all that you were looking for. It also took some shots for the gender reversal with Morgan as swashbuckling captain and Shaw as gentleman in distress, but I actually thought that was deftly done. Matthew Modine plays the pretty boy liar who slithers his way out of trouble with his smile well and Geena Davis was very winning. So I disagree with that. Overall some good and bad things and not the total disaster I maybe would have thought given the reputation it earned at the box office. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Well, shiver me timbers. It is time to raise the Jolly Roger and ogle that 90’s heartthrob … Matthew Modine? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – One of the most notorious box office bombs in history. All of the reviews seem to suggest it is … good? It does seem odd that swashbuckling adventures just were terrible in the 90s, so bad, in fact, that people thought pirate films were just done until Disney breathed new life into it half a decade later. What were my expectations? A good movie I guess. Which I don’t often say. It seemed plausible that the movie was actually pretty good, but it was just a box office catastrophe never seen before.

The Good – So … I wouldn’t call the movie good, which I’ll get to. But Geena Davis was solid, and the film is, indeed, a pretty fun adventure film. Like something like The Three Musketeers (the 90s one) maybe. The main set peces of Port Royal, the bar in Spittlefield, and the final naval battle are all incredible as well. You can definitely see where most of the money went in this financial disaster. And if you watched Masters of the Universe and thought “Man, I wish Frank Langella was allowed to really go over the top, he’s so restrained as Skeletor!”, well, then this is the movie for you. Best Bit: The set pieces.

The Bad – Unfortunately the action looks like absolute garbage. I might be being a bit harsh, but like The Three Musketeers (the 90s one) there is something about 90s films where swashbuckling action looks ultra cheesy and terrible. Something about cannonballs resulting in giant Hollywood explosions just doesn’t sit right. And something about the lackluster sword fighting in this film only serves to remind me how incredible Pirates of the Caribbean really is. And unfortunately Modine constantly feels like a second or third choice for the role, no matter how much good effort he puts in. Fatal Flaw: Bad action for how much money it costs.

The BMT – I don’t know … I kind of dug this movie. If you can excuse that it doesn’t look as polished as Pirates of the Caribbean and the action is kind of lame even compared to other swashbucklers from arond the same time, then there is a pretty entertaining pirate story sitting in there. And Geena Davis and Frank Langella are a solid good/bad team. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, for the most part. I would have thought the movie would look better, but I can excuse that to get my swashbuckler on.

Roast-radamus – There is a halfway decent Planchet (Who?) for Captain Trotter who Ainslee just dunks on the entire film for being a dummy. Obviously a fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for Jamaica which, oddly, this film is rarely mentioned as being set there, but a good 50% of the film is very much explicitly in various parts of Jamaica. And then a solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the secret three part treasure map of Cutthroat Island, which isn’t on any maps! This film is very much closest to Good despite looking like garbage and having garbage action because, honestly, who hates a swashbuckling adventure story?

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – The obvious one is Sequel since they tease a sequel at the end of the film. Flashforward a few decades and Morgan Adams and William Shaw are married and ruling the roost in Madagascar as pirates extraordinaire! Suddenly, who shows up but their old enemy Dawg’s former first mate, uh … Pound Grisham (Dawg & Pound, get it? That’s the prequel I’m setting up). And who does he have as a prisoner, but Mordachai’s grandson, William Adams. Pound wants Morgan to help him to sail across the Indian Ocean and attack the great eastern pirate stronghold of … let’s go with Gao. Little does she know that this is all a ruse set up by William and Pound to attack her Madagascar fortress himself as her back is turned. Racing back to Madagascar things are bleak as it looks to be too late, but who is coming around the corner but Bowen (Christopher Masterson), and Mr. Glasspool, and all the other Caribbean pirates who now have their own crews. In the final battle blood proves thicker than gold (it makes sense, don’t think about it) and William switches sides to defeat Pound and save Morgan and Shaw’s skins. Looking to the half dozen pirate empires that rallied to her aid, Morgan openly wonders if there is any place that could stand in their way … could she, for example, rule Jamaica like Dawg once hoped? Smash cut to To Be Continued … Cutthroat Island: Escape 2 Africa. After would be Dawg & Pound: Tales from Cutthroat Island. And the third is Cutthroat Island: Black Harry’s Revenge.

You Just Got Schooled – This week’s film had another video game tie-in! Cutthroat Island for the SNES is a pretty basic brawler (think Final Fight) with a notoriously bad minecart level as level number 2. I played about an hour of this, but decided I should probably return to it after playing some brawlers. I never liked brawlers as I never had the patience to “solve” how to beat all of the different characters and things just devolved into button mashing. With this game that definitely happened, although I did eventually get to the point where I was able to get through levels 1 and 2 quite consistently. With only 10 levels there is a possibility I’ll finish this game sometime in the future. For now though I’ll have to give it a D. It is bad for a brawler, and apparently (who can tell these days) looks like garbage even for an SNES game of the time. I’ll get back to you about whether I’ve finished it sometime in the next decade.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Cutthroat Island Quiz

Man, wild story. I was looking for buried treasure on an uncharted Caribbean island, when I fell off a cliff and really bonked my head when I hit the water. I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Cutthroat Island?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where was the final piece of the treasure map hidden at the beginning of the film? Who has the other two pieces? 

2) What profession does Shaw, played by Matthew Modine, claim to be at the party where he is arrested for theft? Why do the pirates, led by Morgan Adams, break him free?

3) Where did Morgan’s uncle hide the second piece of the map?

4) How do they ultimately get the third piece of the map, the one Dawg carries around throughout the film?

5) Where is the treasure hidden on Cutthroat Island?

Bonus Question: What ultimately happened to Cutthroat Island?

Answers

Cutthroat Island Preview

“It’s gonna be a hell of a lot of work, I mean,” Patrick clarifies as he starts in on a pretty sweet boolean array. Jamie’s head is spinning. “Rabbit. Flu shot. Somebody talk to me,” he exclaims in exasperation. The coding jargon Patrick is throwing around is more suited to a haxxor than little ol’ Jamie. Rachel pats him on the shoulder and suggests that he just work on the rocking tune. No need to say more as Jamie whips out his harmonica, gives it a quick toot, and begins to warm up his angelic voice with a series of complicated and largely unnecessary vocal exercises. The scene is electric. Patrick on one side, his eyes glazing over like dolls eyes as he spits hot fire on the k’board. Jamie on the other, a VR headset strapped to his head and he composes in 3D-4K. “It’s a game about a couple of underdogs who come from behind to save the universe,” Patrick says, coding in their gritty origin story. “Yeah, underdogs with abs for days and it opens with the titular song, Starring Jason Derulo: Just a couple of jokesters living in the bayou making ends meet busking on the street, starring Jason Derulo. Brothers in arms, armed to the teeth, justice and truth are all that they seek, starring Jason Derulo,” Jamie croons, tears in his eyes. “Nice half rhyme,” comments Patrick as his code springs to life. Patrick is in the zone, guided by the lyrical picture that Jamie has painted about the legendary lives of Rich & Poe (who definitely didn’t die). He waves Jamie away. “Go down the street to the local pirate radio stations and start getting some underground buzz going for this game. I got some 1337 coding to do.” Jamie shrugs, “shiver me timbers.” That’s right! We’re watching the notable box office bomb, Cutthroat Island, which had a tie-in video game that was critically panned. It barely qualifies for BMT, but it doesn’t feel that way as the production was such a disaster that a studio collapsed. Should be fun. Let’s go!

Cutthroat Island (1995) – BMeTric: 38.7; Notability: 72

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.0%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 33.5% Higher BMeT: Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Batman Forever, Congo, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Tank Girl, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, The Babysitter, Judge Dredd, Nine Months, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Operation Dumbo Drop, Jade, The Scarlet Letter, Johnny Mnemonic, Man of the House, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Virtuosity, Money Train, and 1 more; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo; Lower RT: A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, It Takes Two, The Hunted, The Tie That Binds, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Pebble and the Penguin, Bushwhacked, Johnny Mnemonic, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Scarlet Letter, Four Rooms, Three Wishes, Jade, Canadian Bacon, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Houseguest, Man of the House, Reckless, Rough Magic, Two Much and 42 more; Notes: A higher BMeTric than I would have thought considering it is mostly known for being a giant flop as opposed to an actual bad movie. Hugh Notability again! I do love hitting up those Notability films. We’ve seen the other higher ones from 1995 as well it looks like.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – This is, in short, a satisfactory movie – but it doesn’t transcend its genre, and it’s not surprising or astonishing. I saw it because that was my job and, having seen it, I grant its skill, and award it three stars on that basis. But unless you’re really into pirate movies, it’s not a necessary film. Sorry.

(An incredible score from Ebert, coming off the top rope. So let me get this straight … if I like swashbuckling adventure then I’ll like this film. Alright then … it sounds like a good movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV5JD490ZL4

(Oh boy, the 1812 Overture is something else in that trailer. What a very very strange choice. It comes across as cartoonish and cliche, right? Even the trailer looks cheap as far as swashbuckling action is concerned. I guess that’s to be expected when your production company is teetering on bankruptcy.)

Directors – Renny Harlin – (Known For: Cliffhanger; Die Hard 2; Deep Blue Sea; The Long Kiss Goodnight; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; The Dyatlov Pass Incident; Cleaner; Skiptrace; Prison; 5 Days of War; Bodies at Rest; Gu jian qi tan zhi liu yue zhao ming; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; 12 Rounds; Mindhunters; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Driven; The Covenant; Cutthroat Island; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; in 1996 for Cutthroat Island; in 2002 for Driven; in 2005 for Exorcist: The Beginning; and in 2015 for The Legend of Hercules; Notes: Just inducted his film The Legend of Hercules into the BMT Hall of Fame. Has an extramarital affair with his assistant which resulted in his son Luke and subsequent divorce.)

Writers – Michael Frost Beckner (story) – (Known For: Spy Game; Sniper: Ultimate Kill; Prince Valiant; Future BMT: Sniper; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Only gets credited for the many straight-to-video Sniper sequels as far as films are concerned, but does some television work, most recently the mini-series To Appomattox.)

James Gorman (story) – (BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Produced Sniper, so I would guess he’s a writing partner of Beckner to a degree. His only writing credit, but he produced a few things like Gunman starring Christopher Lambert and Mario Van Peebles, who would then both star in Highlander III a year later.)

Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon (story) – (Known For: Stand by Me; Starman; Mr. Brooks; Made in Heaven; A Man, a Woman and a Bank; Future BMT: Kuffs; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated as a team for an Oscar for Stand by Me. They haven’t written anything since 2007.)

Robert King (screenplay) – (Known For: Vertical Limit; The Nest; Under the Boardwalk; Bloodfist; Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge; Dragon Fire; Future BMT: Speechless; Clean Slate; Red Corner; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated for four Emmys for The Good Wife. His career started with cheap horror and bad martial arts films, but he has a few big budget films made in the late 90s.)

Marc Norman (screenplay) – (Known For: Shakespeare in Love; The Killer Elite; Breakout; The Aviator; Oklahoma Crude; Zandy’s Bride; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. Wrote a single episode of the original Mission: Impossible in 1970.)

Actors – Geena Davis – (Known For: Ava; Beetlejuice; Thelma & Louise; A League of Their Own; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Tootsie; Stuart Little; Earth Girls Are Easy; When Marnie Was There; Fletch; Quick Change; Stuart Little 2; In a World…; The Accidental Tourist; Marjorie Prime; Accidental Hero; Don’t Talk to Irene; Angie; Me Him Her; Accidents Happen; Future BMT: Transylvania 6-5000; Speechless; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Was married to Renny Harlin at the time. Won an Oscar for the accidental tourist, and was nominated for Thelma & Louise. Is an Olympic level archer.)

Matthew Modine – (Known For: Wrong Turn; The Dark Knight Rises; Full Metal Jacket; Breaking News in Yuba County; Notting Hill; Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Any Given Sunday; 47 Meters Down; Vision Quest; Transporter 2; Short Cuts; Pacific Heights; Married to the Mob; Memphis Belle; Speed Kills; Backtrace; The Hotel New Hampshire; Birdy; Army of One; Foster Boy; Future BMT: The Divorce; Mrs. Soffel; Gross Anatomy; Fluke; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Jobs; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Probably most notable recently for his supporting role in Stranger Things. Both his son and daughter are in the industry. Ruby Modine in particular was in 20 episodes of Shameless. Boman modine is a director.)

Frank Langella – (Known For: The Trial of the Chicago 7; Red Dragon; Captain Fantastic; Lolita; Superman Returns; All Good Things; Noah; Unknown; The Ninth Gate; Small Soldiers; Draft Day; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Muppets Most Wanted; Good Night, and Good Luck.; The Box; Frost/Nixon; Dave; 5 to 7; The Tale of Despereaux; Grace of Monaco; Future BMT: Junior; Eddie; Brainscan; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Sweet November; BMT: Body of Evidence; Masters of the Universe; Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Frost/Nixon. Was a stage actor, and somewhat notable for taking some specifically weird roles, like Skeleor (in absurd makeup) in The Masters of the Universe.)

Budget/Gross – $98,000,000 / Domestic: $10,017,322 (Worldwide: $10,017,322)

(Yeah it is a notorious catastrophe. I actually think it was considered the biggest financial loss for a motion picture in history for quite a while. It managed to sink a genre (pirate films, until Pirates of the Caribbean) and a production house (Carolco Pictures).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (15/40): Cutthroat Island may aspire towards the earnest thrills of classic swashbucklers, but a distinct lack of charm and stilted script make this adventure a joyless hodgepodge of the pirate genre’s flotsam and jetsam.

(I mean, I don’t really see that many pirate films so I have a district feeling I might just like this one. I can’t say I’m going to scoff at it being like “so trite, I’ve see it all before. Blah.” Because I haven’t … I’ve pretty much just seen Pirates of the Caribbean. Reviewer Highlight: In this $90m revisionist swashbuckler, we get Geena Davis doing the all-action honours, and a hotchpotch script that seems to think pirate movies are so funny in themselves the need for more humour is superfluous. – Trevor Johnston, Time Out)

Poster – Pirates of the Cutthroat Island

(I love this. I would unironically hang this on my wall… alright, there would be a bit of irony involved. But still. Font! Framing! Color scheme! Adventure galore! It’s got it all. A.)

Tagline(s) – The Course Has Been Set. There Is No Turning Back. Prepare Your Weapons. Summon Your Courage. Discover the Adventure of a Lifetime! (F)

(As usual, this travesty of a tagline is not featured on the actually good poster. You know why? Because they knew this was absolute shit and wouldn’t let it get near that poster.)

Keyword – pirate

Top 10: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Goonies (1985), Aquaman (2018), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Princess Bride (1987), Hook (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Moana (2016)

Future BMT: 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 59.6 Virus (1999), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 39.4 Six Days Seven Nights (1998), 35.5 Playmobil: The Movie (2019), 35.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 31.2 The Ice Pirates (1984), 29.8 The Pirate Movie (1982);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Expendables 3 (2014), Rambo (2008), Epic Movie (2007), Cyborg (1989), Cutthroat Island (1995), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Double Impact (1991)

(Nothing says pirate like Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m excited for Virus, which we are actually watching next! So that’s fun. Swashbuckling pirates to space pirates I presume.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matthew Modine is No. 2 billed in Cutthroat Island and No. 1 billed in Bye Bye Love, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 5 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch The Art of War, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Oliver Reed was originally cast as Mordechai Fingers. He was fired after getting in a bar fight and mooning at Geena Davis.

Matthew Modine described Oliver Reed – “I’d heard these stories about Oliver Reed I think it is all bunk. Oliver was a gentleman. Sure, he had a reputation as a man who enjoyed a drink. But only off set. His reputation as an actor is stellar. Professional. I stand by that. God rest his soul.”

Morgan Adams’s flag was flown by “Calico” Jack Rackham, one of the only Caribbean pirates to have women on his crew (Anne Bonny and Mary Read). He later turned his ship over to them.

Dawg Brown’s flag is the oldest known “Jolly Roger” flag, flown by Captain Emmanuel Wynne.

According to “The Guinness Book of Records”, this film is the biggest financial loss ever. It cost $115 million to make, and made $10 million at the box office, a loss of $105 million.

Several years later, Matthew Modine explained some of the reasons why the film’s costs spiraled out-of-control. Among other things, dozens of cases of V8 juice were shipped out to Malta, expressly for Renny Harlin and Geena Davis. An entire room of V8 was left towards the end of the shoot, so it was served to everybody. Every scene had three cameras in constant use, resulting in yards and yards of film used for every shot.

When Renny Harlin fired the chief camera operator following a dispute, more than two dozen crew members quit.

Michael Douglas originally agreed to do the film on two conditions: filming had to start immediately because he was only available for a limited time, and his character had to have the same amount of screen time as Geena Davis. Douglas eventually pulled out, claiming that Davis’s role was expanded at his character’s expense. Davis wanted to quit when Douglas did, but she was contractually obligated to finish the film. After Douglas quit, Renny Harlin was so preoccupied with trying to find a male lead that set construction and script work were done without his input. Harlin didn’t like what he saw when shooting was set to begin, leading to massive, expensive rebuilding and rewriting.

Renny Harlin is famous for pushing actors to do their own stunts whenever possible. While promoting the film, Geena Davis appeared on talk shows with clips of her doing stunts over and over (including one take where she fell out of the window too soon, rolled down the roof and under the carriage) and explained the bruises and injuries she sustained while filming. (Jesus, that botched stunt sounds terrifying)

Carolco Pictures, which financed the film, filed for bankruptcy six weeks before it reached theaters.

At the time, Renny Harlin was dating Geena Davis, who was known for light comedies. He convinced Mario Kassar to cast Davis as the lead, sure it would turn her into an action-adventure star. The couple married prior to production, and affectionately called the movie their ‘honeymoon’.

Renny Harlin spent $1 million of his own money to rewrite the script. Carolco was in so much debt that they couldn’t afford it.

Frank Langella considers Dawg to be one of his three favourite roles (the other two are Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2008) and Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)), because he got to not only be a pirate, but a scenery-chewing over-the-top bad guy pirate.

Carolco Pictures had finished pre-production on another mega production at the time, called ‘Crusade’, to be directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Filming was slated to begin, but the movie was canceled at the last moment, when Carolco could not finance two blockbusters at the same time. They opted to do this film, which was supposed to have been less costly, but which later went massively over budget, and put the already ailing studio further in debt. Verhoeven went on to make Showgirls (1995) instead, largely as a favor to Mario Kassar in an attempt to save Carolco from financial downfall. After both Cutthroat Island and Showgirls bombed at the box office, the studio was bankrupted, and Crusade was shelved indefinitely.

One of a number of pirate movies made between the mid 1970s and mid 1990s which were a flop at the box-office. The other films were Pirates (1987), Yellowbeard (1983), Scarlet Buccaneer (1976), Savage Islands (1983), The Pirate Movie (1982). (None of those are big films. The actual closest to a big budget Pirate film in the 80s/90s is probably Hook)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Renny Harlin, 1996)

Little Nicky Recap

Jamie

Nicky is the son of Satan and not so keen on taking over Hell. So he’s thrilled when his father announces he’s not retired. Unfortunately Nicky’s evil brothers don’t take it so well and break out of Hell to take over Earth. Can Nicky get them back before Hell freezes over and his father dies (and perhaps also get the girl) before it’s too late. Find out in… Little Nicky.

How?! Little Nicky just likes to rock out in Hell without all that evil mumbo jumbo. So when his father, Satan, decides not to retire he’s pretty thrilled. Particularly since his brothers, Cassius and Adrian, are pure evil and would have made his life a living hell (nailed it). Furious, they storm out of Hell to take over Earth as their own kingdom of evil. Unfortunately, Hell freezes over as a result and without souls Satan begins to die. Nicky is tasked with going up and capturing his brothers and bringing them back. Queue a long montage of Nicky acclimating to Earth and dying over and over again. In the process he finds all kinds of friends: a talking demon bulldog sent to help him, two satanists who are super into Satan and all that jazz, his dorky actor roommate, and the lovely Valerie. Despite the best efforts of his brothers to derail his plans, destroy his relationship with Valerie, and take over Earth, the evil within Nicky wins the day by taking down Cassius at a Globetrotters gain. Adrian responds by turning the whole city against Nicky, which ultimately leads to his arrest. But with the help of a few friends he is able to escape and lure Adrian into a trap. Unfortunately, Adrian isn’t just any foe and after a tussle Nicky sacrifices himself for Valerie. This sacrifice sends Nicky to Heaven where he meets his Mom. That’s right. He’s half good-half evil. He’s given a special orb as a weapon and returns to Earth to confront Adrian, who has taken over both Hell and Earth. They have an all-out, Popeyes fueled fight then ends with Nicky smashing the orb and revealing the ultimate weapon: Ozzy Osbourne, who captures Adrian. All is well back in Hell and Satan lets Nicky return to Earth to start a life with Valerie. THE END.

Why?! I believe the idea is that Nicky is part good and part evil… in other words, he’s human. By venturing up to Earth he realizes that that’s the place he belongs. So stopping his brothers isn’t just about saving his father, it’s about saving Earth… his home. Little twist at the end, too, where Nicky’s satanist friends are ultimately happier in Hell than on Earth. I wonder if they would eventually become the new satan(s) since Hell is where they belong? Did I just go deep on Little Nicky?

Who?! Sandler dominated these sections like young Shaq in the paint. This is just a posterizing jam here as the cameo game is pretty much on par with peak Sandler. Henry Winkler, Ozzy Osbourne, Regis, Bill Walton, Dan Marino (who weirdly went uncredited for the cameo), and then Carl Weathers playing Chubbs from Happy Gilmore. Kinda like how Brendan Fraser just kept playing Link from Encino Man over and over.

What?! This is where Sandler brings down the backboard and they have to spend a half hour putting up a new one. Probably should have just made his name Popeye, gave him a googly eye, and then have him fall in love with Popeyes because he thinks they make it just for him. That’s how major the Popeyes product placement is. Hit an A grade of product placement that will be an A+ once I come out with the BMT cut of the film titled Little Popeye. I don’t even have to mention all the other product placement, which pales in comparison (but would probably be a high point of any other BMT film).

Where?! Hell and NYC. I was trying to think of what other BMT films have Hell as a setting and Monkeybone is the first one that comes to mind, but I think that was set in Limbo technically. This might be the best one we’ve watched. Pretty good NYC film as well, but it does make we wonder where this would have been set later in Happy Madison history… does he emerge from Hell in a Cancun resort? A-.

When?! Oh I don’t know. I think it’s the summer because it’s kind of a joke that Nicky is always freezing and wearing a big coat. I usually say that I think any movie probably has something in it to pin down an exact date but… I don’t really think that would be the case here. Everything is fake. Every newspaper, tv spot, everything… maybe you could narrow it down based on advertisements around the city. But who has time for that? F.

If you want to appreciate the wonder and magic of the cinema then look no further than Little Nicky… because you realize while partaking in the film that at some point, somewhere a group of very important studio people sat around watching Adam Sandler put on a crazy annoying voice and smash Popeyes Chicken and had to think “it’s what the people want.” Cause I can’t imagine they fully understood what they were making. They just saw green and Sandler was (and is) a green machine. It’s actually pretty beautiful. A creator given full control to bring what they feel is funny fully realized to screen. The amount of set design and costumes and hair and makeup and props that went into making this real… it’s amazing. It exists and that’s a pretty crazy accomplishment, so I kinda love it for that… what’s that? What did I actually think about the movie? Didn’t care for it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! *Take a big bite of Popeye’s chicken while watching Little Nicky* This movie is the shiznit! *openly weeps* Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Adam Sandler films. Up until more recently we were mostly resigned to only really watching the more recent ones because we didn’t want to watch films we had already seen for BMT. Well, that is no more, so it is time to go back to what people might consider his “imperial” period, where he could do no wrong … until he did for basically the rest of his career (as far as comedies go). I think this is probably his first major miss, and it is a doozy. What were my expectations? I knew I would hate this film, because even when I was the target audience I hated this film. It isn’t funny, and Sandler is grating as the character of Nicky … so yeah, that’s what I expected.

The Good – Uh …. Well, if you are into the Happy Madison universe to some degree this is not the worst choice in the universe. Allan Covert is decent, and the set pieces (as far as Sandler comedies are concerned) are truly second to none. As a matter of fact a lot of the characters in the film could be decent, but the issue is they are usually saddled with either childish fart/homophobic/violent humor, or they are exclusively interacting with Nicky (the worse character in film history maybe, at least one of the more annoying), or both. Keitel, for example, could be decent except every few scenes he’s obligated to shove a pineapple up Hitler’s ass and it is like “ugh, this again?” Best Bit: Set pieces.

The Bad – Nearly everything else. The humor is everything that ultimately is wrong with early Sandler cranked up to 11. Homophobic humor at every turn. The solution to life’s problems being to punch someone in the face (and often the act of punching someone in the face represents growth somehow). And fill in the cracks with fart jokes, and for some reason demons with high squeaky voices. I’m not exactly sure how this film functions. It is like Sandler just gave $100 million to set designers, and then came back and improved the rest in a long weekend. It is a really really weird film. Fatal Flaw: Outdated garbage humor, and the most annoying character in film history.

The BMT – I mean, if I had to choose a single qualifying Sandler film as the BMT representative for him this is the leader in the clubhouse. And I am skeptical something like Eight Crazy Nights can stage the comeback. If Nicky was even a little less annoying as a character this film would at least be interesting to marvel at, because it really is just a production on an epic scale (especially for a comedy). It is Hollywood at its most self-indulgent. In the end it is mostly just a surreal experience. On the one hand I never want to watch this film ever again … and yet there is something deeply alluring about just how bad it is. Did it meet my expectations? More than I could imagine. It is maybe the least funny and most annoying comedy ever created. Congrats Little Nicky.

Roast-radamus – Genuine Planchet (Who?) for Covert as Nicky’s roommate in New York. His function does seem to be just to be dunked on by the Satan worshippers and to be called gay as a joke. Perhaps the greatest Product Placement (What?) in any Sandler film for Popeye’s, which is a huuuuuuuuuge part of the film. Nickey eats it at least three times, and the end scene features a giant anthropomorphic bucket of Popeye’s which walks around and the demons are obsessed with it. And quite a good Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City which is featured in all of its weird glory. Definitely a contender for BMT I think, typically I would have went with bad, but this is so so weird it transcends badness and becomes BMT.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Easy, a Prequel. Get a young Keitel look-alike in there, and a young Dangerfield look-alike in there, and reveal that Little Nicky’s journey on Earth isn’t entirely without precedent. When Nicky’s grandfather was set to retire he too had concerns over whether Keitel was ready to take over the throne. But when a rogue fallen angel appears in Middle Ages Britain leading a brutal raving army of criminals, Keitel is sent to Earth to sort it out before God gets wind of the encroachment in their DMZ (Earth). Learning to love and live again, Keitel defeats the angel in a joust and gets the maiden. In the end, God appears (played by …. let’s go with Chris Rock) and reveals that he knew about the encroachment all along, but knew that Keitel would have the heart to save the day without needing to escalate tensions between heaven and hell. He suggests they have a mixer sometime, and then winks at the camera. Everyone cheers. 

You Just Got Schooled – As part of the movie tie-in cycle we are mostly sticking to films which have either hit singles released as part of the film soundtrack, or video game licenses. Well, there was certainly a doozy of a video game for Little Nicky on the Game Boy Color. One of the last games made for the obsolete system (as the Advance had just come out), it is a basic platformer. A small twist is that it doesn’t have a saving mechanism, but instead relies on a set of passwords. This mechanism is combined with only having 5-7 lives during the course of the game, and being brutally slow at times as the Nicky sprite can only sprint when charged up with heat. There is some good fun here and there, the different movement mechanisms they built into the game are fun, and the ratchet-like advancement meant that beating the 24 levels was somewhat of an inevitability. And beat it I did, it probably took me about 6 hours. The final fight is actually quite good. Amusingly, as the manual is unavailable online, the game is pretty difficult to beat without seeing the film! That’s the kind of tie-in you love to see. C+. As a platformer it is probably one of the worst you can play. But I’ll throw in the plus for being a pretty entertaining diversion. I wish more weirdo video game tie-ins like this existed.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Little Nicky Quiz

So get this, I was a devil in a cooky version of hell where shit jokes thought up by 13-year-olds is the pinnacle of humor. But then the two garbage brothers left and things got nuts! And then I got bopped on the head by a big beast-man thing and can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Little Nicky?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film the fires of hells freeze over. Why, and what does Little Nicky have to do to unfreeze Hell? What are the consequences if he doesn’t?

2) Who are the brothers disguised as initially?

3) Where does Nicky capture Cassius, and how does he trick him into the magic flask?

4) How does Nicky get Adrian back to Hell?

5) Who is Nicky’s mother and how did she meet the Devil, and what power does that mean Nicky has?

Bonus Question: When is the next time Nicky sees his mother?

Answers

Little Nicky Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and Rachel sit around the apartment racking their brains. What could they possibly do to stop the cyborgs’ plans? The cyborgs have the Dongle and will blast them to hell once their plan comes to fruition and Rich & Poe are dead. “What do the kids like these days? Once you’ve hooked the kids they won’t dare give the film bad reviews. Voila, Rich & Poe don’t die,” queries Patrick. Jamie ponders for a moment and being hip with the kidz he suggests a warm Rich themed blanket and a delicious cup of Poe brand tea, “the perfect combination. Just like Rich & Poe are the perfect combination of bad guy stopping power.” Patrick holds up his hand in exasperation. He gets it. “What about muscle shirts and muscle milk,” he brainstorms, “muscle everything cause Rich & Poe are all about muscles.” Jamie nods but then stops when he sees Rachel shaking her head in disgust. “Bopping tunes?” throws out Jamie, which gets the OK from Rachel. Not to be outdone Patrick throws out the unparalleled experience of Rich & Poe: The Video Game: VR: Legends Never Die. Now Rachel is intrigued. Jamie fleshes out his thoughts with a wiki-wild-wild-west banging hook and an internet shattering music video which mixes Thriller with TikTok or whatever shit kids are doing now. Rachel stops them and lays it out: “what about both?” and Jamie and Patrick’s mouths fall open. “The FMV Rich & Poe: The Music Video Game VR Experience: Legends Never Die starring Jason Derulo,” The say together and high five. Game changer. It’s going to be a lot of work, though, as Patrick takes the brunt of the coding and Jamie dives right back into the Rich & Poe book to make sure the tie-in is tight. “Welcome to hell,” says Patrick. That’s right, we go from some banging tunes right into an unparalleled video game experience with the Adam Sandler classic Little Nicky. What? You didn’t know that Little Nicky had a video game? Well it did and Patrick beat it. Deal with it. Let’s go!

Little Nicky (2000) – BMeTric: 57.7; Notability: 85

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 2.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 20.3% Higher BMeT: Battlefield Earth, Dungeons & Dragons, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Highlander: Endgame, 102 Dalmatians, Big Momma’s House, Supernova; Lower RT: The in Crowd, Battlefield Earth, Bless the Child, Lost Souls, Turn It Up, The Skulls, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Dungeons & Dragons, Supernova, I Dreamed of Africa, Ed Gein, Screwed, The Ladies’ Man, The Watcher, Boricua’s Bond, Highlander: Endgame, Boys and Girls, Get Carter, Hanging Up, Whipped and 22 more; Notes: That is an incredibly high Notability, especially for a comedy. This is the pinnacle for Sandler clearly, the moment where, coming off of Big Daddy, he seemingly could do no wrong … until he did.

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – All of this is kinda fun, and some of it more than that. I can see how “Little Nicky” could have worked, It’s just that Sandler, at the center, is a distraction; he steals scenes, and we want him to give them back. He’s 35 now. I know you can play an adolescent all of your life (consider Jerry Lewis), but isn’t it time for us to see the real Adam Sandler? When I met him, I thought to myself, this guy has movie star potential.

(Little Nicky is definitely the moment where it seemed like Sandler regressed from what I remember. Big Daddy showed a level of growth for the man-child character from Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison … but then Little Nicky is like he was trying to go back to that lazy silliness instead of keeping an emotional core to the films or progressing. Amazing that Ebert gave it 2.5 stars!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0jhAYDiFwo/

(My god, even the trailer is awful. Also, it is really weird that they couldn’t or wouldn’t make a trailer that showed the actual storyline of the film. It makes it seem like the brothers go after Nicky to bring him back to Hell, but it is the exact opposite, Nicky is going after his brothers to bring them back to Hell. Weird.)

Directors – Steven Brill – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; Walk of Shame; The Do-Over; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: Drillbit Taylor; Mr. Deeds; Without a Paddle; Heavyweights; BMT: Movie 43; Little Nicky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Movie 43 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: Was a comedy partner with Marc Maron in college. Is a consistent director for Happy Madison films through the current Netflix contract.)

Writers – Tim Herlihy (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; The Wedding Singer; Future BMT: Mr. Deeds; Bedtime Stories; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; and in 2016 for Pixels; Notes: Adam Sandler’s college roommate and, obviously, co-writer. Worked on Saturday Night Live with Sandler as well.)

Adam Sandler (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Eight Crazy Nights; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Going Overboard; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Notes: Y’all know Adam Sandler. It is the 25th anniversary of Happy Gilmore, so there are a bunch of news stories about the potential for a Happy Gilmore sequel … that seems unlikely.)

Steven Brill (written by) – (Known For: Walk of Shame; Future BMT: D3: The Mighty Ducks; Ready to Rumble; D2: The Mighty Ducks; The Mighty Ducks; Heavyweights; BMT: Little Nicky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Movie 43 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: This was basically the last film he wrote for Happy Madison. I assume he moved into a more exclusive Director / Producer role afterwards.)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Uncut Gems; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; Murder Mystery; The Wedding Singer; Hotel Transylvania; Punch-Drunk Love; The Do-Over; Anger Management; Hotel Transylvania 3; The Meyerowitz Stories; Spanglish; Funny People; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Reign Over Me; Future BMT: Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Eight Crazy Nights; Mr. Deeds; Mixed Nuts; Bulletproof; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; The Waterboy; Click; Big Daddy; The Longest Yard; Dirty Work; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Jack and Jill; Going Overboard; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; Zookeeper; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; and in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for The Cobbler in 2016; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Notes: Was Nominated for a Golden Globe for Punch-Drunk Love. I’m surprised he didn’t get one for Uncut Gems as well. Next year he has what appears to be another serious role in Hustle, about a washed up basketball coach who discovers a prospect in China. Could be interesting.)

Patricia Arquette – (Known For: True Romance; Toy Story 4; Holes; Boyhood; Uncle Buck; Lost Highway; Ed Wood; Bringing Out the Dead; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; Holy Matrimony; Otherhood; The Indian Runner; Flirting with Disaster; Fast Food Nation; Nightwatch; Human Nature; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; Girl in Progress; Prayer of the Rollerboys; Future BMT: Stigmata; Goodbye Lover; Beyond Rangoon; BMT: Little Nicky; Tiptoes; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: Won an Oscar for Boyhood in 2015. From the Arquette acting family, and was married to Nicolas Cage for six years.)

Harvey Keitel – (Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Pulp Fiction; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Taxi Driver; The Irishman; Red Dragon; Isle of Dogs; Reservoir Dogs; From Dusk Till Dawn; Moonrise Kingdom; National Treasure; Thelma & Louise; Get Shorty; The Piano; Youth; The Two Jakes; Fatima; Sister Act; The Last Temptation of Christ; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Arthur and the Invisibles; The January Man; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Be Cool; Rising Sun; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Last Temptation of Christ in 1989; Notes: We just say him in Rising Sun. Let’s just see what he’s got on the docket for next year: He’s playing Meyer Lansky about the  National Crime Syndicate.)

Budget/Gross – $85,000,000 / Domestic: $39,464,775 (Worldwide: $58,292,295)

(Oh that’s a disaster. I’m pretty sure Sandler has something like ten comedies which made over $100 million, so this was seems like it must have been a serious come down. The three films surrounding this were $160 million, $80 million, and $130 million domestic … so yeah, this was a terrible showing for Sandler.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (25/115): Despite the presence of a large, talented cast, the jokes in Little Nicky are dumb, tasteless, and not that funny, and Adam Sandler’s character is grating to watch.

(Yeah, basically all of the reviews boil down to: Sandler has never been more annoying, thanks, I hate it. Reviewer Highlight: Where’s Sandler in all this? Lost in gimmicks that smack of desperation. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Poster – Little Snickers

(Woof. And I’m not just saying that cause there is a dog on the poster. There are… a lot of colors on that mess. And yet a shocking amount of empty space. I’ll give a minor point for the font, which is not totally generic. But I also have to say that the off-center bench is a real problem. It messes with your head. Why not even that sucker out? D.)

Tagline(s) – If Your Father Was The Devil And Your Mother Was An Angel, You’d Be Messed Up Too. (Spoiler Alert!)

Be unafraid. Be very unafraid. (C+)

(Double tagline poster. The first one is far too long and a real spoiler alert. It’s kind of supposed to be a surprise who Nicky’s mom is and they just say it. The second one is fine I guess, in that it actually is a tagline. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue though.)

Keyword – hell

Top 10: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Love Actually (2003), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), As Above, So Below (2014), 2012 (2009), Hercules (1997), Constantine (2005), Inferno (2016), Hellboy (2019), Little Nicky (2000)

Future BMT: 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 63.2 The Haunted Mansion (2003), 57.1 The Lazarus Effect (2015), 56.9 A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), 56.1 Spawn (1997), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 35.8 Hideaway (1995), 27.5 Inferno (2016), 26.6 As Above, So Below (2014), 21.6 The Shack (2017);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Hellboy (2019), Little Nicky (2000), Event Horizon (1997), Doom (2005), Silent Hill (2006), The Golden Child (1986), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

(Hmmm, I wonder why there is potentially less of a prevalence of “hell” as a concept in film. Could be something with appealing more widely to a global market. I can’t wait to watch the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I love watching just a ton of horror films all in a row.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 1 billed in Little Nicky and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, 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) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – When Jon Lovitz was on the celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999) in 2000, he promoted this movie, and mentioned some of the co-stars. Interestingly, host Regis Philbin has an uncredited cameo as himself, but never mentioned to Jon Lovitz or the audience that he’s in the same movie. (Ha! He’s also a boss in the Game Boy Color game. Stay tuned for my review of that in the Recap)

Adam Sandler’s real life dog, named Meatball, is the son of the dog that played Mr. Beefy in this movie. Meatball was Adam Sandler’s best man at his wedding.

Carl Weathers reprised his role of “Chubbs” from Happy Gilmore (1996), though he is not credited for the role a second time.

This is the fourth Adam Sandler film to have a love interest with the initials “V. V.,” with Patricia Arquette as Valerie Veran. The first was Billy Madison (1995) (Veronica Vaughn); the second was Happy Gilmore (1996) (Virginia Venet); and the third was The Waterboy (1998) (Vicki Valencourt).

Dana Carvey (Referee) broke his ankle while filming the Harlem Globetrotters basketball game scene, and ended up on crutches. (What!)

Adam Sandler’s wife Jackie plays the redheaded angel Jenna.

Harvey Keitel replaced Dustin Hoffman in the role of Satan.

During the closing credits, flashes of the character’s whereabouts are explained. When they explain Nicky’s mom (Reese Witherspoon), a picture still of her is shown saying “Mom immediately fell in love with her new aerobics instructor, Chris Farley.” Giving a tribute to Chris, who died three years before the film, in 1997. The aerobics reference is referring to his classic skit on Saturday Night Live (1975) that will always be hilariously remembered. Adam, and the rest of the Saturday Night Live (1975) gang, were great friends with Farley.

Adam Sandler expressed in one of his songs that this movie was his father’s favorite film featuring Adam.

When Adrian (Rhys Ifans) makes Nicky (Adam Sandler) get hit by the bus, the blood spatter on John (Jonathan Loughran) and Peter’s (Peter Dante’s) shirt says “666”.

When Nicky makes the basket at the basketball game, you can see “666” on the shot clock above the hoop.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Rob Schneider, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Steven Brill, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Steven Brill, 2001)