Warcraft Preview

It’s the time you’ve all been waiting for! BMT Live. It’s the break in the cycle where Patrick and I take valuable time out of our busy schedule to head to the theater, plunk down our hard earned cash, and watch the worst that Hollywood has to offer (that is playing concurrently in London). If you follow the movie scene at all you might have already realized that Hollywood has provided a golden BMT opportunity in Warcraft. Not only did it get largely negative reviews, but is also far and away the most lopsided domestic/foreign grossing film in history. While it literally broke records overseas, it straight bombed here. A true curiosity. Additionally, because of the solid reception by fans it will almost certainly be the lowest BMeTric scoring film we’ve ever watched. It really couldn’t be missed by us. Almost a BMysTery in and of itself. Let’s go!

Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) – BMeTric: 1.1

Warcraft_BMeT

Warcraft_RV

(Ha. Obviously not much here at the moment. Although fun to see a film like this in action. Sitting at a 7.6 on IMDb Warcraft is an objectively good movie according to that metric, and so obviously the BMeTric is depressed. I liked this movie for Live! Because of how divisive it is. At one point it was under 20% on rotten tomatoes and internet brains were melting. So we’ll see how the BMeTric develops over time. I have a feeling though this will be a sub 15 BMeT for a long time, and yet I’m somewhat confident it will make the Razzie longlist for consideration. We’ll see.)

Rogerebert.com (Christie Lemire) – 1/2 stars –  It is brutal. It is repetitive. It is numbing. And just as it’s ending, “Warcraft” leaves all kinds of plot threads dangling for the ambitious possibility of a sequel. But you’ll be likely to cry “Game Over” because this first one is easily a contender for the worst movie of the year.

(Wow. I wasn’t expecting this review to be quite this brutal. This movie seemed ripe for the classic Leonard Maltin 2 stars “Terrible movie, fun visuals” type of review where you can’t quite figure out where the extra stars are coming from. But rogerebert.com went for the jugular and took this thing down. Gaining confidence in our choice)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rxoz13Bthc

(I believe this is the second trailer. The first trailer was an absolute catastrophe and was when I had a slight inkling this movie probably wouldn’t break the video game adaptation streak. This looks slightly better than that, but still. Leans heavily on the visuals with a somewhat trite seeming story, pretty standard for high fantasy actually.)

Directors – Duncan Jones – (Known For: Moon; Source Code; BMT: Warcraft; Notes: David Bowie’s son, Jones became somewhat of an indie darling with Moon. Subsequently Moon, due to how much of a “little known gem” it is on the internet, has become a meme related to high school aged male cinephiles. Which is unfortunate because Moon is a pretty nice little Sci Fi film, just don’t ever tell anyone you saw it because we all know … it is a hidden gem of a movie.)

Writers – Duncan Jones (screenplay) – (Known For: Moon; BMT: Warcraft; Notes: His middle name is Zowie.)

Charles Leavitt (screenplay) – (Known For: In the Heart of the Sea; Blood Diamond; K-PAX; The Express; The Mighty; BMT: Seventh Son; The Sunchaser; Warcraft; Notes:  A prolific re-writer, his two main bad movie credits (Seventh Son and Warcraft) are rewrites of others works. Born in Pittsburgh, PA.)

Chris Metzen (story and characters) – (BMT: Warcraft; Notes: Well known game designer for Blizzard covering Diablo, Starcraft, all of the iterations of Warcraft, and most recently Overwatch.)

Actors – Travis Fimmel – (Known For: Maggie’s Plan; BMT: Surfer, Dude; The Baytown Outlaws; Warcraft; Notes: A former Australian model discovered working out in a gym in Melbourne. He eventually turned to acting as a career over modelling. Well known for his leading role in the show Vikings.)

Paula Patton – (Known For: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Deja Vu; 2 Guns; Precious; Hitch; About Last Night; Disconnect; Just Wright; Jumping the Broom; Idlewild; BMT: Baggage Claim; Mirrors; Warcraft; Notes: At one point she provided background vocals for Usher. Former wife of Robin Thicke, he has promised to win her back through the power of song, mmmhmmmm)

Ben Foster – (Known For: The Finest Hours; X-Men: The Last Stand; Lone Survivor; The Program; 3:10 to Yuma; Alpha Dog; Hell or High Water; 30 Days of Night; Phone Booth; Big Trouble; Kill Your Darlings; Contraband; The Mechanic; 11:14; The Messenger; Rampart; Get Over It; Ain’t Them Bodies Saints; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Liberty Heights; BMT: 360; The Punisher; Hostage; Pandorum; Warcraft; Notes: Best known to me as the kid in Flash Forward. He’s put together a pretty impressive resume of smaller films since then in his transition from a child actor. Born in Boston.)

Budget/Gross – $160 million / Domestic: $24,356,000 (Worldwide: $286,100,000)

(Will be a resounding financial success internationally, but is going to be an absurd Pacific Rim level catastrophe domestically. Like Pacific Rim I fully expect Legendary, which was just bought out by a Chinese company, to pump out sequels geared toward Chinese audiences going forward (see: Transformers 4 which focuses heavily on Chinese product placement in the back half of the film which was set in Hong Kong I believe).)

#190 for the 3D genre

3dAnalysis

(Again, I like these because there is just so much data it makes a pretty plot. 3D has been going down a bit (I would guess because tentpoles have been sucking up IMAX showings with or without 3D and so there are marginally less theaters available for 3D releases). I will, sadly, likely see this film in 3D, so that makes me sad. Not that I hate 3D, I just don’t want to pay for 3D for this movie).

#64 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

liveactionfantasyAnalysis

(Will probably end up near Hansel and Gretel and between the two recent bombs in Huntsman and Alice Through the Looking Glass. This genre saw quite the surge after Lord of the Rings I would guess and seems to be a pretty consistent genre since then.)

#15 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

swordandsorceryAnalysis

(It is kind of useless to compare Warcraft to these now, but it looks like it is going to take somewhere in the 50-60 million range domestic … which is absurd. That will most likely be less that fucking Willow! Anyways, I think people were putting too much stock into this movie anyways. Look at these last three plots and realize something: All of these genres aren’t really “surging”, but rather have kind of been consistent in production and performance since 2000. Nothing is really hinging on Warcraft’s success beyond maybe video game adaptations (and they still got their best shot coming, Assassin’s Creed).)

#21 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

videogameadaptationAnalysis

(The good news is Warcraft should make the top ten in the genre. The bad news is that domestically it will now probably be at best the third highest grossing video game adaptation of the year. The genre is surprisingly consistently produced considering literally no video game adaptation has ever reached even the modest benchmark of 50% on rotten tomatoes. The best ever reviewed? Final Fantasy Spirits Within (I saw that in theaters, go me) at 44%. The best on metacritic was Mortal Kombat btw. It really is quite dire, over 15 years that RT record has stood).

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (34/127): Warcraft has visual thrills to spare, but they — and director Duncan Jones’ distinctive gifts — are wasted on a sluggish and derivative adaptation of a bestselling game with little evident cinematic value.

(See above for some commentary on the RT score. Basically this did nothing to help the cause in getting video game adaptations taken more seriously by critics. This film is incredibly divisive. On the internet there is much debate about the stark contrast between critic reviews and audience reviews. And yet people openly admit that the movie is in fact derivative and possessing little cinematic value. The question you have to ask yourself is: is merely being entertaining the benchmark for success for a movie like this? And this is why I’m actually genuinely interested in seeing this film)

Poster – Sklogcraft (C-)

warcraft_ver8_xlg

(I don’t like it, but I feel like I should. Like I’m an old man and behind the times and that I should somehow understand that this poster is good. But I don’t. I think it is terrible. I think it looks old, and is silly, and I hate the colors, and it is busy, and blah. I don’t like it. [Jamie’s Note: Check out The Avengers poster that is graded an F- for being the worst thing I have ever seen? Look familiar? Wow.])

Tagline(s) – Two worlds. One destiny. (B+)

(I like it. Good cadence. Short. Does a little to get across the basic plot. It is still a little vague. Like, if I was staring at the poster what does that sentence mean? But after watching the trailer it makes sense, so only a bit of a minus there.)

Keywords – based on video game Top 10 BMeTric examples: 82.4 Street Fighter (1994), 81.2 Alone in the Dark (2005), 79.1 House of the Dead (2003), 78.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), 78.6 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), 78.3 BloodRayne (2005), 77.1 Super Mario Bros. (1993), 69.9 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), 63.8 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), 62.4 Wing Commander (1999)

(Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and House of the Dead are all Uwe Boll. DOA will be watched for BMT as some point. Other landmark movies above 20 BMeTric are Max Payne, the entire Resident Evil series, and both Lara Croft movies. Unfortunately a cycle really can’t be made out of it, but it sounds like it is ripe for the Sequel Cycle we are planning. We have seen 12 of 34 20+ BMeTric movies based on a video game, although I would argue that maybe 26 actually qualify. I mean, I’m going to watch all of the Pokemon movies, just not in the context of BMT)

Notes – Director Uwe Boll contacted Blizzard about directing the film, but Blizzard refused. As quoted by MTV news Uwe Boll stated: “I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, ‘We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you. Because it’s such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it.” (Good fucking choice considering he directed 6 of the top 12 BMeTric video game adaptations)

The source for the movie adaptation is being taken from the books “Rise of the Horde”, which tells how the Orcish Horde was formed; as well as “The Last Guardian”, which shows the human side and reaction to Orcish invasion. (Oh well I guess I should have read this book… but nope. I did not.)

The film was going to be released in December 2015 but was pushed back to May 2016 to avoid the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). (Again solid choice)

Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided in terms of the two factions (Horde and Alliance). after signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story. (ehhhhhh, probably not a great choice)

Bill Westenhofer, the lead visual effects supervisor for the film, is a long time World of Warcraft player and has mentioned getting up at 2 AM to raid with his guild while on film sets. Robert Kazinsky is also a die hard Warcraft player and recalls producers telling him to turn the game off while on the set of Pacific Rim (2013). (uh oh, you mean you intentionally signed someone who worked on the other gigantic domestic catastrophe for Legendary, Pacific Rim? Yikes)

An Orcish dialect was created specifically for the movie. (And people will undoubtedly learn it. I look forward to it. Let’s leave it there).

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