Firestarter (2022) Preview

“Wow, that was a really great memory,” Jamie says, wiping tears from his face. “It’s true, we had so many very good memories, but that was the most emotional and exciting of all of them,” Patrick agrees. They both wish other people could hear about the very good adventure they remembered, but alas, there is no one around to share the memory with. Suddenly they hear a familiar voice, “Hey, guys, do you need someone to share that very good memory with?” They whirl around and are stunned to see Kyle. “Kyle!” they exclaim in glee. “We’re so glad you’re here,” Patricks says, while Jamie nods his head vigorously, “there was a moment where we were concerned we were actually bad, but it turned out to be a false alarm.” They go to hug Kyle but he steps back, a look of concern on his face. “No really, share the good memory because the only thing I’ve seen from you lately is pretty gosh darn bad.” At that he pulls out his phone and shows them a viral meme of their Dino World temper tantrum. “They’re calling you the Tantrum Twins,” Kyle says solemnly. Jamie and Patrick hang their heads in shame, but also make a mental note to trademark Tantrum Twins, which is very marketable. “I don’t know what’s happening, Kyle,” Patrick admits, “It’s like we’re lost without our BMT true north. Being good is hard.” Kyle ponders this for a moment. “Well what made being bad so easy?” he poses. Jamie and Patrick look at each other, inspiration growing bright on their faces. “The rules! Rulez are coolz!” they say excitedly. “We just have to do the same thing, but for… good stuff… Good Movie Twins.” Patrick says, eyes gleaming. “Good Movie Twins,” Jamie whispers, “that’s fire.” That’s right! We are transitioning to a new year of BMT with “good” films. Oh ho, don’t get it twisted, these are still BMT films, just ones where the title suggests they could be good. We start off with the Firestarter twins, Firestarter (1984) and this year’s FIrestarter (2022). Both are not “fire” as the name suggests. Let’s go!

Firestarter (2022) – BMeTric: 63.9; Notability: 22 – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 7.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.8%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Firestarter; Higher Notability: Black Adam, Jurassic World: Dominion, Pinocchio, Amsterdam, Morbius, Disenchanted, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, Spiderhead, Don’t Worry Darling, The 355, Where the Crawdads Sing, Blacklight, Slumberland, Samaritan, Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Lower RT: After Ever Happy, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Me Time, Poker Face, Blacklight; Notes: Yup, a huge BMeTric for the year. And will probably stay up there, it seems to be genuinely reviled. – 1.0 stars – The Stephen King novel on which the new version of “Firestarter” is based was published in 1980 during a phase of the horror master’s career in which the writer seemed fascinated by kids with inexplicable powers. Charlie, played by Drew Barrymore in the 1984 film and Ryan Kiera Armstrong in this one, is cut from similar cloth as Danny from “The Shining” and the title character in “Carrie”—people who discover they’re not like normal kids. There’s nothing scarier than an out-of-control child. Trust me. King’s work would inspire generations—Elle in “Stranger Things” owes a great deal to Charlie, for one—which made a remake of this 40-year-old tale of pyromania inevitable. And yet, once again, inevitability doesn’t equal creativity. So often remakes feel more like contractual requirements than artistic explorations or updates of timeless themes. There is no better recent example of this than “Firestarter,” a film that goes through the motions with such apathetic predictability and pure cinematic laziness that you may want to set whatever device you’re watching it on ablaze.

(Uh oh, that sounds perhaps just a tad bit boring instead of horrible, no good, nonsense. Which I admit, is all I want really.)

Trailer –

(An alternate ending!? And holy shit, they put “liar, liar, pants on fire” in the trailer! Just for that I’m giving this trailer an F. For shame. For shame.)

DirectorsKeith Thomas – ( Known For: The Vigil; BMT: Firestarter; Notes: Has a degree in Religious Education which is interesting. Otherwise really nothing on him. He directed an episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.)

WritersStephen King – ( Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; Stand by Me; Mr. Harrigan’s Phone; The Green Mile; The Shining; It; The Mist; Doctor Sleep; Misery; Gerald’s Game; Carrie; It Chapter Two; The Running Man; Christine; Carrie; 1408; 1922; Pet Sematary; Dolores Claiborne; Cujo; Future BMT: The Dark Tower; Children of the Corn; Sleepwalkers; Creepshow 2; Thinner; Needful Things; The Mangler; Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice; BMT: Firestarter (2022); Firestarter (1984); Dreamcatcher; The Lawnmower Man; Maximum Overdrive; The Rage: Carrie 2; Graveyard Shift; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Maximum Overdrive in 1987; Notes: Ah a classic. I do need to read more of his books and I wish I could have read this prior to watching the films. He somewhat notably almost died in a car accident which completely changed how he approached writing (and life) if I recall and ended up with him starring in Dark Tower ultimately in a bizarre way. Something like that, I haven’t read those either.)

Scott Teems – ( Known For: The Quarry; That Evening Sun; Future BMT: Halloween Kills; BMT: Firestarter; Notes: Seems like a horror writer through and through, also has a credit in Halloween Kills.)

ActorsZac Efron – ( Known For: The Greatest Showman; The Greatest Beer Run Ever; Hairspray; 17 Again; Neighbors; The Disaster Artist; Gold; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Beach Bum; The Lorax; Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising; The Paperboy; Scoob!; High School Musical 3: Senior Year; Liberal Arts; Parkland; Me and Orson Welles; At Any Price; The Derby Stallion; Melinda’s World; Future BMT: That Awkward Moment; Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates; The Lucky One; Charlie St. Cloud; We Are Your Friends; BMT: Baywatch; New Year’s Eve; Firestarter; Dirty Grandpa; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Baywatch in 2018; Notes: A Disney kid with High School Musical, which made him famous. I like him, although I can’t say his track record in recent years has been spotless. Very BMT-ful.)

Ryan Kiera Armstrong – ( Known For: Black Widow; The Tomorrow War; It Chapter Two; The Art of Racing in the Rain; The Glorias; BMT: Firestarter; Notes: Daughter of Dean Armstrong who is a legit actor. Was in Anne With An E.)

Sydney Lemmon – ( Known For: Tár; Velvet Buzzsaw; BMT: Firestarter; Notes: Has done mostly television work, although she was in Tar this year. The granddaughter of Jack Lemmon.)

Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $9,589,250 (Worldwide: $14,889,250)

(Ehhhhh, actually not as bad as you would expect because it was so cheap. Additionally, given it was on Netflix and is now I Prime I assume they are partially making their money optioning it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (16/157): There was plenty of room to improve on the original, but Firestarter trips over that low bar and tumbles toward the bottom of the long list of Stephen King adaptations.

(Juuuuuust a shade over 10% which is too bad. I usually don’t go for smaller publications for the highlight, but this was decently funny.)

Reviewer Highlight: At least this one is mercifully short. – Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Toronto

Poster – Firesklogger: It’s Fire

(Is it bad just cause it’s the same as the original? I say no. Still works. Orange color scheme pops and the font is delightfully different. Eye catching and gives you a taste. All around pretty good. I think the only suggestion would be to go a little more artistic. Newer posters can have a bit of an Instagram sheen sometimes. Going old school would have worked nicely. A-.)

Tagline(s) – None

(Booooo. F. Although I can also imagine if they did something dumb like “She’s fire” I would have been forced to give it an F-, so a win from that angle.)

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), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 50.5 Umma (2022), 45.9 The 355 (2022), 19.2 Black Adam (2022)

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

Best Options (good): 63.9 Firestarter (2022)

(A new cycle! We won’t be able to see that graph until next week though. This does complete our 2022 year. We watched 13 films, which is pretty good I think, although also the absolute minimum we can watch in a year. But better than last year, and puts us on a good footing for the future. I think Umma maybe, and Black Adam definitely are the only two we really missed out on.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Zac Efron is No. 2 billed in Firestarter and No. 1 billed in Dirty Grandpa, which also stars Robert De Niro (No. 2 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 1 billed) 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) => (2 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – John Carpenter, who did the music for this film, was set to direct the original Firestarter (1984), but was replaced when his previous film, The Thing (1982), failed at the box office. He would instead direct another Stephen King adaptation, Christine (1983).

Final film for Executive Producer Martha De Laurentiis, who died December 4, 2021. Her first film as a producer was the original Firestarter (1984), and she would go on to produce several other Stephen King adaptations with her husband, Dino De Laurentiis.

In the back alley when Charlie sees a stray cat there is a dumpster for the waste removal company “Joyland” referencing Stephen King’s book of the same name.

The beer that Irv offers Andy is labeled ‘Ayuh’, a northeastern phrase akin to ‘yep’ that is heavily present in the writing of Stephen King.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong previously appeared in It Chapter Two (2019), another Stephen King adaption.


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