Godsend Preview

There were a number of pure science fiction films available for StreetCreditReport.com, but we were feeling a little genre mash’em-up. Let’s get something that’s a little dash of horror, a little pinch of intense family drama, a smidgen of science fiction, and literally no comedy whatsoever. That’s right! We’re watching Godsend. Not sure how many people remember this Robert De Niro/Greg Kinnear film that scored a startling 4% on RT. It’s about a family who loses their only son in a tragic accident. Offered the chance to clone their child they take the chance (against their own better judgement). All is well until strange things start happening once the child passes the age at which he died. Uh oh! Sounds extremely sad, incredibly close, and marginally creepy. Just how I like it! Let’s go!

Godsend (2004) – BMeTric: 63.9

Godsend_BMeT

Godsend_RV

(Those are some dense plots for reals. Extremely promising. Basically no regression to the mean and a significantly low rating for IMDb being sub-5.0. Kind of amazing that a film released in 2004 can “only” have around 20 thousand votes over 13 years later, but even so, it seems like people have been slowly watching the film over the years and thinking “wow, this apparently terrible film is in actuality terrible” which is a good sign.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – A couple grieving over the loss of their 8-year-old son is approached by a medical researcher who promises that he can enable the woman to give birth to the identical child all over again – using a revolutionary (is illegal) cloning method he’s perfected. Good performances and an interesting premise reel us in, but then the filmmakers string us along, teasing us about where the story is headed. It doesn’t pay off. Filmed in Canada, which never looked more unlike the U.S.

(Sweet settings burn by Leonard, decent hyphen game, and an overuse of the word “us” (speak for yourself Leonard). I kind of love this review, even if it does put a damper on my hopes for the film. Leonard doesn’t like the spooky-scary though, so 50-50 whether he actually watched this film. I could easily guess that the highlight of the film is the acting and premise based solely on the trailer.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWI2qZC_KUY

(I remember this trailer. And I remember thinking it looked spookily interesting. And I remember being shocked when it was apparently terrible. Loving the kick ass black Wilson b-ball in the beginning, and hating the little title cards “His Mother’s Eyes” etc. Cheesy, but getting me amped.)

Directors – Nick Hamm – (Known For: The Journey; The Hole; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Godsend; Notes: A BAFTA Award winning director, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and extensively in British television.)

Writers – Mark Bomback (written by) – (Known For: The Wolverine; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Die Hard 4.0; Unstoppable; Race to Witch Mountain; Future BMT: Deception; Total Recall; Insurgent; BMT: Godsend; Notes: There is an entire interview just about this movie and the thought process that went into it. Fascinating stuff. Seems like a writing-for-fun-and-profit kind of guy, and strangely seems to have ended up doing a ton of action films.)

Actors – Robert De Niro – (Known For: Goodfellas; Heat; The Godfather: Part II; Taxi Driver; Sleepers; A Bronx Tale; The Deer Hunter; Silver Linings Playbook; Stardust; American Hustle; Limitless; Casino; Once Upon a Time in America; Joy; Jackie Brown; The Intern; Cape Fear; The Untouchables; Raging Bull; Hands of Stone; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Killing Season; Showtime; The Carrier; The Fan; Hide and Seek; Analyze That; Shark Tale; Righteous Kill; Arthur et les Minimoys; 15 Minutes; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Red Lights; Heist; Meet the Fockers; The Family; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Killer Elite; The Comedian; Bloody Mama; Stanley & Iris; Great Expectations; BMT: Godsend; The Big Wedding; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Dirty Grandpa in 2017; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for Showtime; Notes: Not much to say about him, he’s been in an incredible number of films (and an incredible number of bad films). He’s been in something like 100 films with over five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is crazy. Anyways, someday maybe we’ll do a De Niro exclusive cycle, try and knock a few more of these guys off.)

Greg Kinnear – (Known For: Little Miss Sunshine; Brigsby Bear; As Good as It Gets; We Were Soldiers; Invincible; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Sabrina; Stuck in Love; You’ve Got Mail; Robots; Mystery Men; The Gift; Baby Mama; Green Zone; Animal Attraction; Stuck on You; Little Men; Heaven Is for Real; Ghost Town; Bad News Bears; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; Loser; Blankman; The Last Song; Salvation Boulevard; Dear God; A Smile Like Yours; Unknown; Murder of a Cat; Feast of Love; BMT: Movie 43; Godsend; Notes: If I was older I probably would have realized that he used to be a talk show host before making his film debut in Blankman (!). Nominated for an Oscar for As Good as It Gets.)

Rebecca Romijn – (Known For: X-Men; X: First Class; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Femme Fatale; S1m0ne; Run Ronnie Run; The Alibi; Future BMT: Good Deeds; Man About Town; The Punisher; Dirty Work; BMT: Rollerball; Godsend; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Rollerball in 2003; Notes: Formerly Romijn-Stamos, and now married to Jerry O’Connell with whom she has twin daughters. Love me some twin notes. She was a model, and has an impressive filmography after breaking out in X-Men.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $14,379,751 (Worldwide: $30,114,487)

(That’s a bomb. But at least the budget was modest. It could have easily been worse considering the actors involved, which is definitely why it costs $25 million instead of $10 million.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (6/138): A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend is features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.

(I don’t like cheap shocks, they are the worst way to make a horror film. I loooooove ludicrous dialogue though, so I’m down. Make me jump in exchange for De Niro saying something like “he’s got his brother’s memories!”. I take that deal 10 out of 10 times.)

Poster – Sklogsend (C-)

godsend_ver2

(Why is there smoke all over this poster? I can barely tell what’s actually on it. But still a nice example of how to make a poster with people in it without ruining the color. Solid orange color, terrible font, and really bad spacing. Meeeehhhhhhh.)

Tagline(s) – Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996. (Thank you.)

When a miracle becomes a nightmare, evil is born. (B-)

(The first tagline is not on the poster, but I like that at some point they made very specific decision on exactly when the entire movie took place. If worse comes to worse I can use it for the temporal setting. So thanks, anonymous tagline writer. The second one is elusive. I certainly sounds like a tagline. But does it really mean anything? I don’t think so and graded it accordingly.)

Keyword(s) – birthday; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.1 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 87.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 85.6 The Room (2003); 84.8 Left Behind (I) (2014); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 81.9 Skyline (2010); 76.0 Junior (1994); 71.5 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 67.6 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 63.9 Godsend (2004);

(Ha! Junior is by far the best one there. Someday we are going to watch and regret watching 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain starring the Hulkster.)

Notes – Robert De Niro had originally planned on merely providing a brief cameo for the film – however after director Nick Hamm heard De Niro would be interested in his project, he asked De Niro to participate in a few more scenes that were all filmed within a week. De Niro later regretted this because his name was “splashed over all the advertisements”. (De Niro regretted that his money grab became a high profile money grab)

Before the release of this movie, Lions Gate Films set up two official websites: one conventional site with movie information, and one site that appeared to be a promotional tool for the (fictional) cloning institute depicted in the movie. The website gave an email address and phone number (1-888-699-2672) for the “Godsend Institute;” calling the number resulted in a recorded message giving the institute’s office hours. Several news outlets reported that when a few bereaved parents called or emailed the fake institute to inquire about having their children genetically reconstituted, the studio started responding to them and explaining that it was just a movie tie-in and not a real laboratory. Similar advertisements for fictional medical procedures and clinics were also produced as parts of the advertising campaigns for Gattaca (1997) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). (That isn’t great to be honest. That sounds terrible)

Five different endings were shot for this movie and the released one is the tamest one. (This is worthless unless I can see the other endings, I don’t even know what tamest means in this context)

The operating room sequences were filmed inside the empty swimming pool of the institute complex. (fun facts)

The snow scene in the graveyard was unplanned. It was hoped the snow would remain until the scene was completed, and it did. (fun facts)

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Godsend Preview”

  1. “Purely” science fiction in terms of the genre it represents. Jupiter Ascending would be an example of something that is “purely” science fiction, or something like Fifth Element. Jason X on the other hand is both a horror and science fiction film in that we would considering watching it for either category.

    Godsend is both a thriller and a science fiction film. We chose this despite there being more purely science fiction films available like Max Steel.

    Like

    1. Oh I understand what you are implying but I would posit that genre is far more fluid than you might want to believe…. Especially as some of the great SF films blend many elements/genres — drama, horror, etc. And thus these categories you are conjuring are exactly that, conjured.

      Like

      1. I could come up with an infinite number of examples — all the Alien movies are horror combined SF elements (and I would argue so is Blade Runner). So is Predator. Upstream Color uses many elements of indie drama — as does Another Earth. In short your distinctions are entirely artificial.

        Like

  2. While I agree I also think they are important to their intention. In the rule book it is and has been the main driving force of the cycle for six years. The intention is to diversify our viewing, not just having things like action films dominate BMT. That diversification is important when looking at a film like Cobra (action) and realizing that the hospital scene is extremely reminiscent of Halloween II (horror). I hated horror films growing up (they were a bit too spooky for me), but I’ve probably watched 50 horror film in the context of BMT alone over the past six years. Without genre restrictions guiding BMT that wouldn’t have happened.

    I also think “entirely artificial” is somewhat harsh. IMDb gives a list of genres for every film and the list isn’t totally random. Our rule is fairly simple: if it is listed on the IMDb list it is fair game to be considered, and from there we just make a decision as to where it belongs. There is at least some objectivity in there, from a crowd sourced perspective.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s