We are finishing up our first BMT Calendar cycle and boy what a success it was! The Calendar in a way represents the worst of the worst, so every week we had some gangbuster film on tap. Don’t be fooled though, the Calendar also hides days of the year where no truly spectacular critical flop ever was released. So like the mapl.de.map that came before it, the calendar will eventually descend into sadness and disarray (hooray). But we don’t live for the future. We live for the now! And now we are officially transitioning to my favorite cycle that we’ve done. It’s time for another Now a Major Motion Picture cycle! In this cycle all the films have to be based on a book (which I will also read cause I’m insane). We start off with the classic Fair Game starring Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin. It’s based on a small dime store thriller released in Britain as A Running Duck, which was released in the US under the title Fair Game, was adapted into the Sly Stallone BMT film Cobra, rereleased in the US under the title A Running Duck (Now Filmed as Cobra), adapted into Fair Game, and released under the title Fair Game. It was an absolute terror to find through my local public library, but that’s a story for next time. For now, let’s go!
Fair Game (1995) – BMeTric: 56.1
(Only somewhat interesting for the fact that its rating over the last 10 years went down a bit and then up. Just a somewhat abnormal trend. Kind of crazy this movie I would have literally never heard of if not for BMT (and a movie we might not have done if not for book cycles being such a smash hit) has a 50+ BMeTric. The pull of Crawford in a rare acting role must elevate it beyond its expectations.)
Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Totally pre-fab action thriller that almost looks as if producer Joel Silver is trying to satirize himself. Miami lawyer Crawford survives the requisite amount of firepower and fireballs during her pursuit by former KGB operatives. Baldwin is the cop trying to keep them both alive. Arguably the worst movie of 1995. In her acting debut, supermodel Crawford makes a good jogger.
(Acting debut!? Loving it! A very rare BOMB from Maltin, although his review is hardly scathing. The worst he says is what? That it is a pre-fab action thriller? People basically satirizing themselves is a new theme for BMT. I’m looking at you Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2)
(That is a perfect BMT trailer. We have Billy Baldwin in his heyday looking sweet, whatever it is Cindy Crawford is doing and calling it acting, a mustachioed Shooter McGavin, explosions, more explosions, and even more explosions. Woooooo! Let’s do this! I’m excited! The night’s still young! Woooooo!)
Directors – Andrew Sipes – (BMT: Fair Game; Notes: One and done! One and done! A sparsely cited television writer prior to his break. He quit Hollywood in 1997 and is now a tech entrepreneur having founded eCasablanca, MyPermitting, OurHistree, and Our Stay. The latter two companies are certainly still functioning.)
Writers – Paula Gosling (novel) – (BMT: Fair Game; Cobra; Notes: Hilariously based on the same single book A Running Duck. And after both films they re-released the book under difference titles Otherwise a very successful crime novelist. )
Charlie Fletcher (screenplay) – (BMT: Fair Game; Mean Machine; Notes: Okay this guy’s filmography is amazing. He wrote Mean Machine in 2001 which is described as “A soccer star jailed for assault leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards.” … That’s the plot of The Longest Yard with soccer (and it is literally described as an adaptation of The Longest Yard on wikipedia!). He is now best known for writing the YA trilogy Stoneheart)
Actors – William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Flatliners; Born on the Fourth of July; Backdraft; The Squid and the Whale; Internal Affairs; Bulworth; Aftermath; Noise; Three of Hearts; Adrift in Manhattan; BMT: Virus; Fair Game; Sliver; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Actor for Sliver. Shockingly low number of BMT films in his filmography, although he has been mostly VOD/Direct-to-DVD for a long while.)
Cindy Crawford – (BMT: Fair Game; 54; The Simian Line; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, and Worst New Star for Fair Game. One of the most famous supermodels in history, also famous for the Pepsi Superbowl commercial in 1992 and was the wife of Richard Gere for a few years. Valedictorian of her high school class she got a scholarship to study Chemical Engineering (what what) at Northwestern, but dropped out to pursue modelling after one quarter.)
Budget/Gross – $50 million (estimated) / Domestic: $11,534,477
(Oooooof. We’ve been on quite the streak of box office bombs. That could explain a bit the popularity of this film relative to my expectations. People love a good box-office bomb. The bombs of the 80s and 90s particularly can be somewhat legendary for sinking studios (who couldn’t absorb failures as well as they can today seemingly). Cutthroat Island (which we still need to watch) comes to mind, which sunk Carolco pictures. Coincidentally Basic Instinct was also made by Carolco.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (3/24) No consensus, so bonus Ebert review snippet: Works as a thriller for anyone who lives entirely in the present. Those with longer memories will find the film grows increasingly funny as it rolls along.
(What Ebert is tactfully trying to say with the line, “Works as a thriller for anyone who lives entirely in the present,” is that it works for dumb people… you might like it if you’re dumb. If you are not dumb though you will merely find it funny… because of how dumb it is.)
Poster – Sklog Game (D)
(Nope, I do not like this. I don’t like when people (and all their mish-mash of colors) are the focus of a poster, the font here is not interesting or unique, and the tagline is hilariously long. I guess it has OK blocking… or something.)
Tagline(s) – He’s a cop on the edge. She’s a woman with a dangerous secret. They’ve been targeted by the Russian Mob, and now they’re both… (D)
(Fair Game… to finish the tagline for you. Way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too long, but doesn’t get an F because I didn’t feel like giving it an F. So there.)
Keywords – russian top 10 BMeTric examples: 82.5 Street Fighter (1994), 78.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), 57.8 Tekken (2010), 57.5 Virus (1999), 57.1 A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), 56.1 Fair Game (1995), 52.7 Jupiter Ascending (2015), 51.7 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 49.1 Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (2006), 49.1 Red Dawn (2012)
(The Pacifier and Mortdecai were also close to cracking this sweet top ten. This will be our fifth seen in the top ten, and Superman 4 and Virus in particular will definitely be on the docket in future BMTs. I have no idea what actually makes any of these things “russian”. Like … I guess Zangief makes Street Fighter get the “Russian” keyword?)
Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Cindy Crawford)
Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (William Baldwin, Cindy Crawford)
Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Cindy Crawford)
Notes – The Paula Gosling novel the movie is based on was previously the basis for the 1986 movie Cobra (1986) with Sylvester Stallone.
Julianne Moore and Geena Davis were originally considered for the role of Kate McQueen.
Brooke Shields and Drew Barrymore were each offered the role of Kate McQueen, but both turned down the part.
Originally set in San Francisco, changed to Miami to suit Sylvester Stallone, who subsequently left the project. (Ha, no fucking way. Was Sylvester Stallone attached to both adaptations of the book A Running Duck?! I want to live in that universe please)
Salma Hayek only took her part in the film after insisting that she rewrite it (good idea!)