Amsterdam Preview

It was a classic Bad Movie Twins dance. Abs? Gleaming. Jorts? Brimming. Legs? Akimbo. Just when Kevin James thought it would end, his hand hovering over his patented “Not Good Buzzer,” the routine would ratchet up a notch. Jamie and Patrick stared daggers at him, their muscles burning at 45 straight minutes of experimental dance the likes of which a national audience had never witnessed. Ratings were spiking as other networks hopped on the broadcast. Over 200 million Americans watched as Kevin James was dragged from the stage screaming that Jamie and Patrick were punks. Punks who needed Punk’ding. The producers scoffed at his antics. They wouldn’t let a personal vendetta stand in the way of them getting the opportunity to declare the once Bad Movie Twins the Very Good Twins. Imagine! America is Very Good will be the top talent show on TV in no time as long as the Very Good Twins were part of the team. “That… that was amazing,” Producer Frank Brow exclaims, “and you can take that to the bank,” he finishes with a flourish. He doesn’t let his disappointment show when it becomes clear that Jamie and Patrick don’t recognize a classic Brow-ism. “Yeah, well we’re good now,” Patrick says shrugging. “Very good,” Jamie chimes in with a wink and The Brow almost faints, dollar signs dancing in his vision. “So this is the button… the Not Good Buzzer. You guys can just press it together if you like. Or we can get a second one.” Jamie and Patrick are confused. “Mr. Brow. This seems like a good gig for some Very Good Twins, but I think we just won the show… so…” Brow is picking up what they’re putting down. “The Prize. Of course. How would you like a trip to …” That’s right! We’re heading off to Amsterdam for David O. Russell’s very big bomb Amsterdam. It’s not a movie I wanted to see… but here we are. Let’s go!

Amsterdam (2022) – BMeTric: 28.5; Notability: 50 – BMeTric: top 10.8%; Notability: top 1.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.2%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Firestarter, Moonfall, Morbius, Blacklight, Pinocchio, Me Time, Spiderhead, Deep Water, The Invitation, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World: Dominion, Senior Year, Blackout, The 355, White Elephant, Samaritan, Prey for the Devil, and 7 more; Higher Notability: Black Adam, Jurassic World: Dominion, Pinocchio; Lower RT: After Ever Happy, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Me Time, Poker Face, Blacklight, Firestarter, White Elephant, Prey for the Devil, Morbius, The Last Manhunt, Blackout, The Bubble, The Man from Toronto, Senior Year, On the Line, The 355, The Invitation, Pinocchio, Memory, Jurassic World: Dominion, and 2 more; Notes: That notability is off the chain for real though. I need to watch Black Adam at some point, got to hit up those big Notability films. – 1.5 stars – But despite these sporadic moments of enjoyment, “Amsterdam” is ultimately so convoluted and tedious that it obliterates such glimmers of goodwill. It’s so weighed down by its overlong running time and self-indulgent sense of importance that its core message about the simple need for human decency feels like a cynical afterthought. And whispering the word “Amsterdam” throughout, as several of the characters do, doesn’t even begin to cast the magic spell it seeks to conjure.

(Yeah that is what it feels like. But also, isn’t that kind of David O. Russell’s M.O. at this point? The huge ensemble cast desperately trying to hold an overblown ripped-from-the-headlines plot together? Or should I actually say the magnetic charisma of Christian Bale trying to kill such a plot afloat.)

Trailer –

(I watched this trailer when it came out. Looked good. Oh wait, I should be more specific. Christian Bale looked good. I was a little disappointed it apparently isn’t. Because I like Christian Bale. Such is life I suppose though.)

DirectorsDavid O. Russell – ( Known For: American Hustle; Silver Linings Playbook; The Fighter; Joy; Three Kings; I Heart Huckabees; Spanking the Monkey; Flirting with Disaster; Accidental Love; BMT: Amsterdam; Notes: Nominated for five Oscars for writing/directing American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Fighter. He might have defined Bradley Cooper as a serious dramatic actor.)

WritersDavid O. Russell – ( Known For: American Hustle; Silver Linings Playbook; Joy; Three Kings; I Heart Huckabees; Spanking the Monkey; Flirting with Disaster; BMT: Amsterdam; Notes: Born in New York City, he went to Amherst College and got his start with a Documentary short about the Hispanic community of Boston.)

ActorsChristian Bale – ( Known For: The Pale Blue Eye; Thor: Love and Thunder; American Psycho; The Dark Knight; The Prestige; The Dark Knight Rises; Ford v Ferrari; Batman Begins; The Big Short; Little Women; Knight of Cups; 3:10 to Yuma; American Hustle; Out of the Furnace; Equilibrium; Hostiles; The Machinist; Empire of the Sun; The Fighter; Public Enemies; Future BMT: Terminator Salvation; Exodus: Gods and Kings; Newsies; BMT: Amsterdam; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Notes: He won an Oscar for The Fighter, but has been nominated four times in total. Welsh, he was a notable child actor (in things like Empire of the Sun) and starred in Newsies which was supposed to be the return of the big Hollywood musical … it was not.)

Margot Robbie – ( Known For: Babylon; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; The Wolf of Wall Street; The Suicide Squad; About Time; The Big Short; Birds of Prey; Dreamland; Bombshell; I, Tonya; Focus; Mary Queen of Scots; Terminal; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Peter Rabbit; Suite Française; Slaughterhouse Rulez; Z for Zachariah; Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway; Goodbye Christopher Robin; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; The Legend of Tarzan; BMT: Amsterdam; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for I, Tonya and Bombshell. Australian, she obviously started out on Neighbours. They all do.)

John David Washington – ( Known For: Tenet; BlacKkKlansman; Malcolm X; Malcolm & Marie; Beckett; The Old Man & the Gun; Devil in a Blue Dress; Monster; Monsters and Men; Love Beats Rhymes; BMT: Amsterdam; Notes: Wait … wait. He is Denzel Washington’s son. And he was a professional football player, albeit as the running back for the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions. But still, what the hell.)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $14,947,969 (Worldwide: $31,245,810)

(That is a colossal bomb, but not surprising. Everything that was kind of mid-budget (and not fantastic) bombed this year. Hopefully that will change a tiny bit next year, but we’ll see.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (79/244): Amsterdam has a bunch of big stars and a very busy plot, all of which amounts to painfully less than the sum of its dazzling parts.

(Awwww. This film feels like it was just on the cusp of being kind of okay. But ultimately yeah, whenever Bale isn’t the center of attention the film kind of gets away from itself.)

Reviewer Highlight: Jaw-droppingly terrible, interminably dull… – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Poster – Amsterdaaaang

(I kind of dig this. Could use some better font, but the colors are interesting and the framing as well. Not the worst. C+)

Tagline(s) – Let the love, murder, and conspiracy begin. (A)

(Helllll yeah. Now that fits what we want. It’s giving a little hint. Short and sweet and rule of three. Even a little clever with the “Let the [blank] begin.” It’s good. You can’t claim otherwise.)

Keyword(s) – year 2022

Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), Bullet Train (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Adam Project (2022), The Northman (2022)

Future BMT: 65.8 Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022), 64.8 Halloween Ends (2022), 63.9 Firestarter (2022), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 50.5 Umma (2022), 45.9 The 355 (2022), 44.3 Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), 38.5 Memory (2022), 19.2 Black Adam (2022)

BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), Blacklight (2022), The Invitation (2022), After Ever Happy (2022), Prey for the Devil (2022), The King’s Daughter (2022), Amsterdam (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

Best Options (pearl-harbor): 28.2 Amsterdam (2022)

(Hey there, I like that. Maybe the crown jewel of any cycle this year we left it out here and there (for comedy for example) entirely because we knew that if we could wait to juuuuuuust this week precisely it would come out on HBO Max. Perfecto.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert De Niro is No. 4 billed in Amsterdam and No. 1 billed in Righteous Kill, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Christian Bale stopped talking to Chris Rock on set. He claimed that he was very funny, which made it hard for him to act.

The eye drops the characters use near the film’s end, are likely allusions to the cocaine eye drops that Adolf Hitler reportedly favored enthusiastically.

Of working with Anya Taylor-Joy on this film, David O. Russell said, “Anya is fearless and intuitively vulnerable and confident in a manner that is uniquely her own. She is different and strange in ways that are fascinating both toward darkness and toward light.”

Was a box office failure, losing the studio an estimated $97 million, according to Deadline.

A rumored title of the film was “Canterbury Glass.”

Was originally set to release on November 4, 2022, but was moved up to October 7 to avoid competition with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).

The cast includes three Oscar winners – Christian Bale, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro – and two Oscar nominees – Margot Robbie and Michael Shannon.

Mike Myers also played a British military man with a similar look in Inglourious Basterds (2009).

This film was inspired by the Business Plot, a 1933 political conspiracy in which wealthy American businessmen and bankers plotted a military coup d’état to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt and replace him with a fascist veterans’ organization headed by U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler. Butler revealed the plot in a testimony under oath to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Special Committee on Un-American Activities in 1934. The committee concluded that a plot was indeed concocted, but none of the plotters were prosecuted. General Dillenbeck (Robert De Niro) is based on Butler.


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