Crossroads Preview

Arriving in Bolivia we make our way to the Isla del Sol. It’s here that we will find what we covet, the mysterious liquid that will power the Ivory Socket. We find a tunnel leading deep into the ground but come to a fork in the road. Dusty words reveal another riddle “At the shores of the shining lake, twins must split with goals in sight. One must fight the mighty snake. The other a flower that blooms at night.” We split up …  Patrick, who is deathly afraid of rare flowers, opts to fight what must be a dangerous foe. When he comes upon a small subterranean lake he is greeted by a voice. It’s Mr. Slithers, the friendly snake! They quickly become best of friends and Patrick soon forgets himself. He no longer cares whether he is human or snake. Mr. Slithers asks him to become blood brothers but… didn’t he already have a brother? He stares at his hand as he remembers the patented Twin Chop and horrified quickly stuns the snake and steals a cup of venom. He runs, tears streaming down his face, to the entrance to the cave to await Jamie’s return …

With quaking knees I venture down the underground tunnel alone, having been separated from Patrick in our quest to power the Ivory Socket. The only solace is the fact that Patrick has chosen to fight a large and dangerous snake in my stead, leaving me to pick some flower that sounds like it’ll be NBD. As I enter a large cavern I am enthralled by the ethereal glow that lights the entire room. In the center is a gigantic flower in full bloom. Suddenly the flower uproots itself, rippling muscles glistening in the sunlight. It’s eyes gleam red, it knows nothing but death and destruction. We grapple for what seems like hours as the giant man-like flower beats the shit out of me. I play dead, hoping to momentarily appease the flower, but the flower relentlessly pummels my face as I wish only for the sweet release of death. The light … it is so harsh on my wounds. But wait! Light? A shaft of light shines down from a hole in the ceiling. That must be where the flower is getting its power! With my last bit of strength I pitch a perfect 98 mph fastball into the crevice, and with a rumble the gap closes. The flower wilts, melting into a puddle of sickly sweet nectar that burns my bent and broken body. Sure to die, I only hope Patrick wasn’t instantly killed by what must have been an even more fearsome snake and can continue our quest alone. As darkness fills my eyes I hear a distant and familiar voice: “Not yet my friend.” I awaken hours later and stumble from the cave, thrilled to find Patrick unharmed and with a cup of the snake’s venom in hand (and yet an odd distant look in his eyes).

Soon Jamie stumbles up from the other path battered, bruised, and soaked in blood. With glee we combine the snake venom and flower nectar. The serum glows red with power and we pour the contents into the Ivory Socket… which opens a compartment containing another riddle. Great. “Having defeated the mighty beast, you quest is nearly won. The trophy is your final piece, once you win a famous run.” Damn… guess we gotta find some way back to the good ol’ USA to win a race. As we head to port we see a sign that reads “Karaoke inside. Cash prizes.” Patrick and I know what must be done. That’s right! We’re watching Crossroads starring Britney, bitch. Patrick and I have obviously seen this film before (who hasn’t?) but like Anaconda before it we’d like to give it the full BMT treatment. Let’s go!

Crossroads (2002) – BMeTric: 87.3 (#44 bottom IMDb)

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Crossroads_RV

(Huh, what an absolutely fascinating plot. I imagine it first drops because non-fans watching Crossroads is somewhat rare prior to 2010. And then rises as more casual fans enter IMDb and, well … not all of them can give the movie less than 2, and thus it rises with the vote number. That’s all I got. Maybe it has to do with some separation between when Britney had her troubles (2007ish) and when she started to recover her image a bit (2011ish)?)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Teenage girl who’s always followed Daddy’s wishes finally cuts loose by taking a cross-country road trip with two girlhood friends and a guy with a 1973 Buick convertible. Her goal: to meet the mother who abandoned her when she was three. Debut vehicle for pop star Spears doesn’t waste time showing her in her underwear – and also gives her a couple of songs. Innocuous, predictable teen fare with a few serious moments.

(Yeah, so … the underwear thing feeeeeeeel exploitative. A lot of this film feeeeeeels exploitative. But I like this review. Leonard is always one to apologize for innocuousness, which I’m fine with. Two and a half stars is pushing it, but it’s fine. Like a Monte Carlo maybe.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb398BOlv0Q

(Bad choice putting Anson Mount’s freakout with the car in the trailer. Probably the worst moment in the film. And yeah … it feeeels exploitative still. That soundtrack seems fun though, and Britney doesn’t seem like too terrible of an actress.)

Directors – Tamra Davis – (Known For: Billy Madison; CB4; Guncrazy; Future BMT: Best Men; Half Baked; BMT: Crossroads; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Crossroads in 2003; Notes: Married to Mike D of the Beastie Boys and was the original director of Bad Girls before getting replaced.)

Writers – Shonda Rhimes (written by) – (Future BMT: The Princess Diaries 2; BMT: Crossroads; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Crossroads in 2003; Notes: Wait… WHAT?!? The very same Shonda Rhimes who has created some of the biggest shows on television and just signed a giant contract with Netflix. The more you know.)

Actors – Britney Spears – (Known For: Austin Powers in Goldmember; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: Crossroads; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2003 for Crossroads; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2005; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Crossroads in 2003; Notes: She’s Britney, bitch. One of the biggest pop stars of all time and a Mouseketeer so you know she’s got the acting chops.)

Anson Mount – (Known For: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane; Non-Stop; Straw Dogs; Mr. Right; Safe; Last Night; Boiler Room; In Her Shoes; City by the Sea; Tully; The Battle of Shaker Heights; Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Visions; Hood of Horror; Hick; The Forger; Burning Palms; Supremacy; BMT: Crossroads; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Crossroads in 2003; Notes: His mother was a pro golfer. Also he claimed he didn’t want to take the role in Crossroads but Robert De Niro encouraged him to do so… liar.)

Zoe Saldana – (Known For: Avengers: Infinity War; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Guardians of the Galaxy; Avatar; Star Trek Beyond; I Kill Giants; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Star Trek; Star Trek into Darkness; The Terminal; The Book of Life; The Losers; My Little Pony: The Movie; Out of the Furnace; Center Stage; Death at a Funeral; Guess Who; Drumline; Blood Ties; Get Over It; Future BMT: Dirty Deeds; Takers; Haven; Nina; Burning Palms; Colombiana; The Skeptic; Live by Night; Vantage Point; Constellation; BMT: Crossroads; Notes: Megastar now having roles in both the Avengers, Star Trek, and Avatar franchises. That ain’t bad considering this was one of her first films.)

Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $37,191,304 (Worldwide: $61,141,030)

(That’s fine. That’s more than fine actually. That seems great. Surprising they never gave her more to do, but maybe the genre plots will tell us a little more about the state of play at the time.)

#18 for the Pop Star Debuts genre

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(There it is! So this came right at a peak of making pop stars star in films. Sure, for the first time, but overall the trend for pop stars in movies is probably the same. So Britney probably didn’t get another film because by the time the cycle of putting singers in films came back she was married / having trouble with her life. And then by the time she got things back together it was too late. We’ve seen seven of these films. Spice World is the most BMT, Glitter is the worst, Cool as Ice is the raddest. Battleship is the most profitable, starring Rihanna naturally, because why wouldn’t it?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (15/104): A cliched and silly pop star vanity project, Crossroads is strictly for Britney fans only.

(A vanity project?! Britney Spears was 20 at the time. This is some producers doing and has nothing to do with vanity on Spears’ part if that is what they are suggesting. This isn’t only for Britney fans either, this is for the world! Reviewer Highlight: She’s not yet an actress, not quite a singer… – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper)

Poster – Sklogroads (D)

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(Nah. I appreciate the font but this straight up looks like it’s from the 90s. Also, none of the other actresses get their name at the top of the poster? Just Britney, bitch?)

Tagline(s) – Dreams change. Friends are forever. (B)

(Are they, though? Anyway, good cadence and it gets to the root of the plot. All around pretty good but just a little nonsense.)

Keyword(s) – audition; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.3 Crossroads (I) (2002); 75.7 Daniel der Zauberer (2004); 71.5 Bewitched (2005); 69.5 Dance Flick (2009); 69.3 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004); 64.6 Seed of Chucky (2004); 62.4 Staying Alive (1983); 58.9 Dirty Love (2005); 57.6 The Three Stooges (2012); 52.9 Hollywood Homicide (2003);

(Number one! Number one! Seed of Chucky is weirdly the most likely I think, mainly because we are always thinking of adding another rotation of classic horror film series. Surprisingly only two of the seven Child’s Play films qualify for BMT.)

Movie Stub – Crossroads (GA-class) – Ha, all of the Talk notes are about how fans wrote the entire page and made it sound like a masterpiece. There really isn’t much to do on the page, it is (naturally) quite in depth.

Notes – Anson Mount was initially reluctant to accept the role of Ben – finding the script to be “cheesy” and “lame” – but was encouraged by Robert De Niro, with whom he was working at the time on City by the Sea (2002). De Niro turned out to be a huge Britney Spears fan. They went over scenes from ‘Crossroads’ on breaks from ‘City by the Sea,’ with Mount reading his lines and De Niro reading Spears’. (Oh no …)

At one point in the movie, the girls sing “Bye Bye Bye,” which was a hit song by *NSYNC. This was an inside joke referencing the well-publicized romance between N’Sync member Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

When Lucy’s Dad is talking to Lucy in the hospital, a picture of Britney Spears can be seen on a copy of USA Today that a man is reading in the waiting room. (booooo.)

One of the most highest grossing movies in Japan, due to Britney Spears’ popularity in Japan.

Bowling for Soup, the band who features in the film and have 3 songs in the film, belong to Britney Spears’ record company, Jive Records, as do *NSYNC (the band featuring Spears’ then boyfriend Justin Timberlake) who also have a song that features in the film. (Good to know, they are the band at the party in the beginning)

The set used for the hospital scene is that from TV Series Scrubs (2001). (These facts sure are fun)

The young Lucy in the opening scene is played by Britney Spears’ younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears. (Whaaaaa, and I didn’t recognize her?!)

The pictures in Lucy’s locket are actual pictures of Britney Spears when she was younger. (I mean … what else would they be. That’s how they do)

Dan Aykroyd created a detailed back-story for his character and his life in the navy. He even had a friend draw a navy tattoo on his arm (which can be seen in the scene where he is working on the car in the garage). (You also get that from the dialogue, so duh)

The Britney Spears songs in the film all went on to become singles and were featured on her third album, “Britney,” which was released shortly before the film.

No Coca-Cola products are ever used. Instead, Pepsi products are featured prominently, e.g. Mimi drinks from a Pepsi can in the hotel room after their karaoke win. Britney Spears, of course, endorses Pepsi-Cola. (Of course)

Melissa Joan Hart was considered for the role of Mimi. (Oh, that would have been interesting)

The scene where the group stop to watch the sunset before camping is filmed in Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas

Ben’s car is a Buick Skylark custom convertible. (Like the two protagonists from My Cousin Vinny!)

Was originally titled, “What Friends Are For.” (hmmm, I’m rolling that around in my brain to see how it feels… I think Crossroads is still better).

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Britney Spears, Madonna, 2003)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Max Martin, Rami Yacoub, Dido, 2003)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2003)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie (2003)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Tamra Davis, 2003)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Shonda Rhimes, 2003)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Max Martin, Rami Yacoub, 2003)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Britney Spears, Anson Mount, 2003)

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