Alright! Here it is! Moving on to this week’s film we are finally at the finish line! You all doubted we could do it, but here we are. Us shrouded in glory and you all eating crow. That’s right, we are finally to the coveted final state of apl.de.ap. To recap, we have seen all the Black Eyed Peas in BMT films. Will.i.am was in X-men Origins: Wolverine, Fergie was in Poseidon, and Taboo was in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li. While apl.de.ap has never appeared in a film as a character, he has appeared with the Black Eyed Peas in several film. Lucky for us they appeared in the BMT sequel to Get Shorty called Be Cool. So here’s the map. Look at it… I said look at it! It’s fucking gorgeous and it’s all ours. Phew. Well there we go. After years of searching and watching terrible movies it is done (literally years. We started the map on January 31, 2013… so almost three years ago). Now time to start up the world map. Which film would represent the US? Here on Earth probs. Here on Earth represents everything that is BMT. Let’s go!
Be Cool (2005) – BMTMetric: 40.6 (at the time ), 37.8 (April 18, 2016)
(Pretty good score. Surprisingly so. This basically means that the movie is predicted to be a better BMT film than 40.6% of other films that scored 40% or lower on RT (our original, arbitrary BMT metric). So kind of middle of the pack. Patrick has already explained what it is before… I think. But he might do it again in a future email [or on the website!]. It’s a really good metric actually. Uses imdb data in a clever way to reflect our feelings on good and bad films for BMT watching.)
Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – In this sequel to Elmore Leonard’s GET SHORTY, Chili Palmer (Travolta) moves into the music business and chooses a promising young singer (Milian) as his protegee, despite the fact that she’s already under contract to ruthless Keitel and his loose-cannon lieutenant Vaughn. Amiable, good-looking film retains Leonard’s story smarts but blunts the impact by allowing its comedic costars (Vaughn, Cedric) to riff to their heart’s content. The Rock is especially funny as a bodyguard/Hollywood wannabe. James Woods appears unbilled; other music stars make cameo appearances.
(Second movie in a row that has commented on how the film is “handsome-looking” or “good-looking”. One would hope given it’s a visual medium. Glad we get a little Vaughn riffing. It’s become quite the BMT standard.)
(Oh wow. I don’t like that at all. That feels very dated to me. In particular the Vince Vaughn character. Didn’t realize that Andre 3000 is a legit cast member in the film either. Love me movies with singers as actors (obviously))
Director(s) – F. Gary Gray – (Known For: The Italian Job; The Negotiator; Friday; Straight Outta Compton; Set It Off. BMT: Law Abiding Citizen; Be Cool; A Man Apart. Notes: Bet he gets an Oscar nom for Straight Outta Compton. Like his slate of movies. A Man Apart will be a fun future BMT. Started out as a major music video director. There was a time when that’s where many prominent filmmakers were being found… Interesting to think about.)
Writer(s) – Peter Steinfeld (screenplay) – (BMT: 21; Analyze That; Be Cool; Drowning Mona; Notes: From his imdb trivia page: “Abandoned a promising Mixed Martial Arts career to become a writer at the insistence of novelist Cormac McCarthy”, “Goes by the nickname ‘Gator’, which he earned in Hawaii”, “Has won two regional pie baking competitions and place top three in an astonishing 17 others.” Just so many follow up questions and thoughts.)
Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Face/Off; Grease; Bolt; Hairspray; Broken Arrow; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Phenomenon (Dir); Get Shorty; Look Who’s Talking; Saturday Night Fever; Carrie; Blow Out; Ladder 49; Primary Colors; A Civil Action. BMT: Swordfish; From Paris with Love; Battlefield Earth; The Punisher; Be Cool; Wild Hogs; Basic; The General’s Daughter; Look Who’s Talking Too; Michael; Old Dogs; Look Who’s Talking Now; Domestic Disturbance; Killing Season; Staying Alive. Notes: Nominated for two Best Actor Oscars for Pulp Fiction and Saturday Night Fever. BMT Legend. Nominated for Worst Actor of the Decade both 1980s and 2000s. Won Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth/Lucky Numbers (2000). Nominated for Worst Actor, Old Dogs (2009), Domestic Disturbance/Swordfish (2001), Perfect (1985), Staying Alive/Two of a Kind (1983). Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Shout (1991).)
Budget/Gross: $53 million / $56,046,979 ($95,226,116 Worldwide)
(Wow. That’s way more than I thought it would have cost and made. It’s the 14th highest grossing film set in Hollywood about the world of filmmaking. The worst wide-release film in that category? Our old friend Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.)
Rotten Tomatoes: 29% (50/169), Critics Consensus: Be Cool is tepid, square, and lukewarm; as a parody of the music business, it has two left feet.
(Oh, wow RT. For a website that loves its puns when it comes to crafting a consensus this one is pretty weak. You use “two left feet” as a jab about a film about the music business? It’s not the dancing business guys. Also, this movie is perfectly low enough for BMT. For some reason I thought we were reaching for this final state with a 35% film or something. I’m warming to this one.)
Poster – Human Colored (C-)
(While I feel like I should like this (like them all sitting on a big gold record is kinda cool right?) I really do not. I don’t like when there are huge blocks of color that split the poster. Should be well integrated and a single color should be dominant. And you know how I feel about “human colors” on posters and with all of them sitting in the middle of the poster being all human colored and and wearing all different clothing it just jumbles everything. Boo.)
Tagline(s) – Everyone is looking for the next big hit (A)
(When I first read this I didn’t think it was very good. Just seemed like a phrase about the music business was being used lazily. But now that I get it (the use of the word hit meant to evoke not just the music business, but also Travolta’s criminal background) I really, really love it. Gives great insight into the plot of the film, by using a common phrase in a new way, and in a tight package. Perfection.)
Notes – In the beginning of the film, Chili mentions how a film needs to only use the “F” word more than once in order to get an R rating. He then uses the “F” word – the only use of it in the film – and thus, it gets a PG-13 rating. (That’s fun)
James Woods was originally cast as Nick Carr but had to drop out due to emergency surgery for an aneurysm. He was given the smaller role of Tommy Athens instead.
The film deviates considerably from the source material. (Awww man, now I feel bad that neither of us read the book in advance. Damn.)
This was Robert Pastorelli’s last film. He died from an accidental drug overdose during production. (sad)
Joe Pesci was part of the cast before filming began. But, for reasons unknown, he left the project shortly before production started.
Jennifer Connelly, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Halle Berry were considered for the role of Edie Athens.
The infamous monologue that Sin LaSalle delivered was neither in the novel nor in the early drafts of the script. The idea was put on by director F. Gary Gray who wanted Sin to be likable, but serious at the same time as well. (oh shit! Why infamous?)
Barry Sonnenfeld originally intended to return as director to this follow-up to his Get Shorty (1995) but production delays and scheduling issues precluded that.
Eric Balfour’s role as Derek was cut from the movie, although at least some of his scenes appears among the deleted scenes on the DVD. (Oh, man. I love Skyline’s Eric Balfour… I need that DVD).
Brett Ratner was originally set to direct the project, but pulled out.