Navy Seals Preview

“What up, Gutes? You watch Citizen Kane yet?” Jamie asks, as he and The Gutes do their top secret handshake. They briefly reminisce about their wild times living in Miami Beach before Steve starts a classic Gutes riff on the Dudikoff Center. “Pfff, this place is a joke. They can’t never make me watch Citizen Kane. Bad movies 4 life.” Sensing the tension rise in Jamie and Patrick he quickly adds, “but, you know, to each their own.” Seeing the dismay in Kyle’s eyes at their lives in Delaware really put things in perspective for them. Maybe this center was their best chance to turn things around. “So what is it, Gutes?” Patrick says seriously. Gutes coughs and hands over a scroll, “Uh, you know much about this place?” Jamie and Patrick shake their heads and Gutes starts to explain, “it’s all very mysterious. Lots of money. Lots of jewels. Drake Dudikoff was just a front, the real man behind the money was his brother Charlie.” Jamie and Patrick crinkle their brow looking over the scroll that Gutes has handed them. It looks like a cryptic map of the Center. “So this is a map to some gold, I assume,” Patrick sighs, “and you need us to help you find it. Gutes…” The Gutes puts up his hands innocently and tries to quickly explain, “No, no. Not help, really, just get me started. You guys were always the brains to my muscles… and let’s be real, the muscles to my ineffable charm, right?” Jamie and Patrick are flattered. They look back at the map. “What’s this?” Jamie says pointing at the Center’s harbor/aquatic fitness center where one word stands out “TESTAROSSA.” The Gutes is smiling. “Exactly, that’s the only word in Charlie’s handwriting. So will you take the mission?” That’s right! We are indeed taking on a very serious mission by watching the Biehn/Sheen classic Navy SEALs. Well… classic might be a strong word, but it’s a classic on our hearts. Let’s go!

Navy Seals (1990) – BMeTric: 41.8; Notability: 34 – BMeTric: top 5.2%; Notability: top 14.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 11.9%; Higher BMeT: Captain America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Rocky V, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Ghost Dad, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Graveyard Shift, Repossessed, Soultaker, Problem Child, Fire Birds, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Navy Seals; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, Jetsons: The Movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Air America, Captain America, Young Guns II, Marked for Death, The Rookie, Rocky V, Stella, Bird on a Wire, Revenge, Ghost Dad, Another 48 Hrs., Mr. Destiny, Funny About Love, Loose Cannons, and 17 more; Lower RT: Problem Child, Graveyard Shift, Death Warrant, Repossessed, Madhouse, Loose Cannons, Soultaker, Funny About Love, The End of Innocence, Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders, Fire Birds, Meet the Applegates, Where the Heart Is, Heart Condition, Ernest Goes to Jail, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Opportunity Knocks, Captain America, Air America, and 8 more; Notes: Kind of a funny movie in that I feel like I vaguely knew about this film, but I was always surprised when I stumbled onto it. Interestingly low scale for a big military looking film.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Middle Eastern terrorists are mere putty in the hands of U.S. Navy’s elite commando unit (SEa, Air, Land); “inspired” by the actual team formed under J.F.K.’s administration. G.I. Joe-level action is the name of the game here. Sheen’s character operates at the maturity level of Dennis the Menace.

(Semi-colon, add it to the spreadsheet boys. Nice zing at the end on Sheen, but really indeed stunts are the name of the game for this guy.)

Trailer –

(MF-ing Orion. Basically looks like Stunts: The Movie. Impressive stuff though. “America’s Designated Hitters against terrorism”?!?! I love that. Was baseball / the designated hitter in the news around then? It did come out in mid-July, so I wonder if this was a trailer that would have been playing around the All-Star Game or something.)

DirectorsLewis Teague – ( Known For: Cujo; Death Race 2000; Alligator; The Jewel of the Nile; Cat’s Eye; The Big Red One; Collision Course; The Lady in Red; Dirty O’Neil; Wedlock; Fast Charlie… the Moonbeam Rider; Future BMT: Fighting Back; BMT: Navy Seals; Notes: Apparently was an apprentice of Sydney Pollack. His IMDb has a few funny stories as he was second unit director for things like Death Race 2000.)

WritersChuck Pfarrer – ( Known For: Hard Target; Darkman; Future BMT: The Jackal; Red Planet; BMT: Barb Wire; Virus; Navy Seals; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Barb Wire in 1997; Notes: He was a former SEAL. I have to assume this was his screenplay he was shopping around when he broke into the business in the 90s.)

Gary Goldman – ( Known For: Total Recall; Big Trouble in Little China; Future BMT: Next; BMT: Navy Seals; Notes: Not much about him, seems to have done a bunch of action basically and adaptations when called upon.)

ActorsCharlie Sheen – ( Known For: Major League; Platoon; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Red Dawn; Being John Malkovich; Young Guns; Wall Street; Hot Shots!; Badlands; Lucas; The Wraith; The Arrival; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; The Boys Next Door; Foodfight!; The Big Bounce; Catchfire; Grizzly II: Revenge; 9/11; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; The Three Musketeers; Scary Movie 4; Due Date; Machete Kills; Loaded Weapon 1; Major League II; Money Talks; The Rookie; Men at Work; Madea’s Witness Protection; All Dogs Go to Heaven 2; Shadow Conspiracy; BMT: Scary Movie V; Navy Seals; Terminal Velocity; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Scary Movie 5 in 2014; Notes: Part of the extended Estevez/Sheen family tree of acting. A little bit of a rough go lately, but he was nominated for four Emmy for Two and a Half Men back in the day.)

Michael Biehn – ( Known For: Grease; The Rock; The Terminator; Aliens; Tombstone; Planet Terror; The Abyss; Grindhouse; Havoc; Bereavement; The Divide; Cherry Falls; Sushi Girl; Puncture; Stiletto; Deadfall; K2; The Fan; The Victim; Rampage; Future BMT: Take Me Home Tonight; Clockstoppers; The Seventh Sign; The Art of War; The Lords of Discipline; BMT: Jade; Navy Seals; Notes: One of those cult favorite actors for people. Probably because he appeared in both the Alien and Terminator franchises and so was one of those “that guys” of the 90s. Was a voice actor in a podcast series about Alien III? Looks to be maybe a table read of the original script.)

Joanne Whalley – ( Known For: Willow; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Twixt; Scandal; Paul, Apostle of Christ; Kill Me Again; Flood; Mother’s Boys; The Guilty; 44 Inch Chest; Crossing the Line; Muse; Dance with a Stranger; Love Is Love Is Love; Storyville; The Good Father; Played; Birth of the Beatles; Before You Go; No Surrender; Future BMT: The Man Who Knew Too Little; A Good Man in Africa; Trial by Jury; BMT: Navy Seals; Notes: I’ve seen her in a bunch of stuff recently. But she’s notably Sorsha in Willow which she reprised in the television series. Was married to Val Kilmer for a time, and is the mother of Jack Kilmer.)

Budget/Gross – $21 million / Domestic: $25,069,101 (Worldwide: $25,069,101)

(Atrocious. I’m a bit surprised though. I would have imagined a summer action film doing at least reasonable business.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (6/33): A non-winning military recruitment progaganda movie that happens to star Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn.

(Ha! That happens to star them. Pretty good. I mean, a bunch of them die, but I guess I could see the argument that it is high testosterone “only we can fix this problem!” stuff that is kind of annoying.)

NY Times Short Review: Hostages.

Poster – Navy SEALs: The Movie

(I love this poster. Check out that submarine on the bottom and the burning city on top. It’s telling a story, my friends, a real story. Check out the title! The only thing you could say is that it’s a little busy. I got one word for that: No. A.)

Tagline(s) – America’s top secret weapon. (C-)

(I probably should give this a D, but it’s not like it’s totally uninteresting. I think you’re supposed to think “What are they talking about? A big ol’ tank?” then you see that it’s people and you’re like “Woah, I better check this out.” But nah, too generic.)

Keyword(s) – Citizen Kane

Top 10: The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), The Terminator (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Aliens (1986), Groundhog Day (1993)

Future BMT: 75.0 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), 71.9 Teen Wolf Too (1987), 64.2 Poltergeist III (1988), 61.0 Pet Sematary II (1992), 59.6 Suburban Commando (1991), 58.5 Rocky V (1990), 56.4 The Karate Kid Part III (1989), 55.6 Ringmaster (1998), 54.1 Who’s That Girl (1987), 53.2 Made in America (1993), 52.4 Blank Check (1994), 51.5 The Pest (1997), 50.5 Getting Even with Dad (1994), 50.0 Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), 49.9 3 Ninjas (1992), 49.1 My Girl 2 (1994), 48.3 My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), 47.9 Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), 46.7 House Party 3 (1994), 46.3 Zapped! (1982)

BMT: Batman & Robin (1997), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Troll 2 (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), RoboCop 3 (1993), Grease 2 (1982), Caddyshack II (1988), Bio-Dome (1996), Mac and Me (1988), Anaconda (1997), Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996), Double Team (1997), Fair Game (1995), Leprechaun (1993), Body of Evidence (1992), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), Wild Orchid (1989), Sliver (1993), Chairman of the Board (1997), Red Sonja (1985), Nothing But Trouble (1991), Ishtar (1987), Toys (1992), Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Exit to Eden (1994), Fire Down Below (1997), Color of Night (1994), Graveyard Shift (1990), No Holds Barred (1989), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988), Maximum Overdrive (1986), Fire Birds (1990), Cocoon: The Return (1988), Jingle All the Way (1996), Raw Deal (1986), Crocodile Dundee II (1988), Hudson Hawk (1991), Navy Seals (1990), Critters 2: The Main Course (1988), Rambo III (1988), Hot to Trot (1988), Terminal Velocity (1994), Meatballs Part II (1984), Cobra (1986), Ernest Goes to Jail (1990), Hard to Kill (1990), Conan the Destroyer (1984), The Golden Child (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Hard Rain (1998), Under the Cherry Moon (1986), Mannequin (1987), K-9 (1989), Days of Thunder (1990), Blame It on Rio (1984), No Mercy (1986), Senseless (1998), The Wizard (1989), The Marrying Man (1991), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), The Cannonball Run (1981), Stone Cold (1991), Tango & Cash (1989), Lock Up (1989), The Good Son (1993), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Dangerous Minds (1995), Young Guns II (1990), Event Horizon (1997), Dutch (1991), Police Academy (1984), Road House (1989)

Best Options (Action): 59.6 Suburban Commando (1991), 56.4 The Karate Kid Part III (1989), 50.0 Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), 49.9 3 Ninjas (1992), 45.7 Sidekicks (1992), 45.4 Excess Baggage (1997), 44.8 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 44.3 DeepStar Six (1989), 43.8 Pink Cadillac (1989), 41.9 Navy Seals (1990), 41.6 V.I. Warshawski (1991), 40.8 Iron Eagle (1986), 40.4 Loose Cannons (1990), 40.4 The Delta Force (1986), 39.7 Invasion U.S.A. (1985), 38.3 Action Jackson (1988), … (and many more)

(Again, we are hitting up maybe not the top guy, but this was a fun one without too much flotsam floating around. I should mention that the odd films from like 2021 in there? Those are mistakes. I’m still cleaning the data a bit.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Dennis Haysbert is No. 7 billed in Navy Seals and No. 5 billed in Random Hearts, which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (7 + 5) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 19. If we were to watch Shadow Conspiracy, The Art of War, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – The actors spent two weeks in an intensive SEAL-style “boot camp.” In the end, it was actors versus SEALs in a final “war game” showdown. The SEALs are reported to have graciously said that the actors made a good showing for themselves.

Originally, the men were going to play touch-football. But Bill Paxton felt the scene was too similar to the volleyball scene in Top Gun (1986). So he suggested that they play golf instead. Most of the golf sequence was directed by Paxton with a second unit crew.

In an interview, Michael Biehn stated that working on this film was “probably the worst experience of my life”.

Several events in this movie are inspired by Chuck Pfarrer’s real SEAL career.

‘Chief Dave’ one of several real-life SEALs who would later play themselves in the film ‘Act of Valor’ cites this film as his first introduction to the world of SEALs and inspired him to join them.

Despite those named in the credits, the film went through many different drafts by several writers. In one draft, Hawkins (Charlie Sheen) sacrifices himself to rescue Curran (Michael Biehn), who ends up with the love interest. In another version, Curran is killed off rescuing some kids, and Hawkins and Claire Varrens (Joanne Whalley) are left to mourn his passing. Also in one of those drafts, Curran is an accomplished boxer who squares off in a fight with Hawkins, who’s into karate. The golf sequence in the film was a concession when the film’s leads objected to a Top Gun (1986)-style scene with knife-throwing contests and bikini bimbos.

Chuck Pfarrer, the film’s co-screenwriter and a former Navy Seal, plays an uncredited part as an officer on the aircraft carrier who debriefs the Seal team after their first mission, his character being the one getting into a heated discussion with Lt. Curran (Michael Biehn) regarding the Stinger missiles. Many of the missions seen in the film are based on real top secret missions that Pfarrer had himself taken part in.

Much of the filming took place in and around Norfolk, Virginia, home to world’s largest Naval fleet. The production crew was able to shoot key scenes in such restricted areas as the Norfolk base and its training grounds.

When discovered by a terrorist who tries to speak to him, Hawkins shoots him without answering, then says, “Boring conversation. Leader, we’re gonna have company!” imitating a similar line by Han Solo in Star Wars (1977).

In the warehouse scenes with the missiles, the containers have markings that refer to the “Redeye” M41 missile system, a predecessor to the “Stinger” that is referred to in the film.

During the segment at the golf course, Leary (Rick Rossovich) is seen wearing a Martini Ranch t-shirt. Bill Paxton, who plays Dane, was a member of the ’80s rock band Martini Ranch.

The character of Dane, callsign “God”, played by Bill Paxton, is the Seal Team sniper and uses a Barrett M82A1. It is a recoil-operated, semi-automatic sniper system capable of firing high powered .50 caliber rounds at military equipment and enemy personnel. The weapon in the film is outfitted with a combination Thermal Imaging Sight and Star Light Scope.

The film was partly shot in Spain. The submarines, warships, helicopters, and planes that are seen in the film mostly belong to the Spanish Navy/Air Force, which gave the production full co-operation. In one scene, set on an aircraft carrier, you can actually see a Spanish flag flying in the background while the Seals are on the ship’s elevator being raised from the hangar up to the deck, ready to set off on their final mission.

Former SEAL Chuck Pfarrer was the film’s co-writer and technical advisor. To help ensure the film’s accuracy, Pfarrer enlisted eight additional former Navy SEALs to train the actors in their roles and, occasionally, perform specialized stunts. The producer Bernard Williams explains: “A lot more than stunt work was involved, however. Each actor had a SEAL double to whom he could turn for help in handling weapons or perfecting SEAL techniques. They were an on-the-spot source of vital research, to make the movie as much like the real thing as possible”.

The Ready Room Bar and Pizza is still open although a fire destroyed many of the memorabilia items signed by the cast.


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