Surviving the Game Quiz

So get this, I was a bit off my game … by which I mean homeless, when a nice guy offered me a swish gig at his hunting cabin. The next thing I know I’m in a very dangerous game and one of them knocked me on my noggin to boot! Well, needless to say I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Surviving the Game?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film our hero Ice-T tries to kill himself before he gets convinced to become a wilderness guide instead. This is instigated by two events. Name them.

2) Awwww, Ice-T doesn’t seem too keen on their plan to hunt the amnimals. But they did bring a “special guest” animal. What kind (bonus if you remember his name)?

3) The Most Dangerous Game is afoot! What are the rules of the game?

4) We got Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey, Charles Dutton, F. Murray Abraham (and his son), and John C. McGinley. They gotta die! How and in what order do they die during the hunt?

5) Well all of his hunting clients are dead and there is a seriously pissed Ice-T after him in Seattle, so time for Hauer to escape. What does he disguise himself as in order to escape?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we are treated to a bit of a cameo. Who appears?

Answers

Surviving the Game Preview

Just as Future Mikey #1 is approaching Jamie and Patrick to figuratively rip out their hearts, Repo Men style (as the kids say), they hear someone say, “Don’t you lay a finger on those butterfingers, baby.” They all stare slack-jawed as Future Mikey #2 unexpectedly kicks Future Mikey #1 in the testicles… hard. They all laugh, obviously, and then turn their attention to Future Mikey #2. “I think we all are on the same page now,” begins Jamie, “Nice to meet you Future Mikey who was a teenhearthrob-turned-timecop.” Future Mikey #2 nods his head. It’s true, unbeknownst to Future Mikey #1 he had inadvertently crossed the time-stream (pardon the technical term) and picked up a Future Mikey timecop who held the Bad Movie Twins in the highest esteem. “I bided my time, waiting till I could help you by taking you… back to the future.” They all chuckle and sigh. Anyway, time to get going. But before they can get in their PT Cruiser time machine they hear a chilling gurgling sound from behind them. It’s Future Mikey #1! He’s on his feet, pistol in hand, blood pouring from his nose and mouth as a result of his crushed testes. “You… you… can’t stop the future.” But before he can shoot a microphone spins into view and knocks the pistol slightly off target. Mikey Myers has caught up just in time to save the day! The bullet ricochets off a nearby hot dog cart, back through the window of the PT Cruiser, and destroys the control panel in a shower of sparks. “Quick, we’ll have to get to my time machine,” Future Mikey #2 says before looking back Future Mikey #1, now reloading his pistol. “If we can survive.” That’s right! We are watching the Ice-T classic that everyone remembers is a film. It’s called Surviving the Game and is one of several Most Dangerous Game adaptations that have washed up on BMT shores over the years. We are pairing it with another Ice-T straight-to-dvd film called Sonic Impact. Why? Mostly because it looks rad and was so hard to find I ended up having to buy it used. Can’t go wrong with a plane flick. Let’s go!

Surviving the Game (1994) – BMeTric: 20.7; Notability: 24

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 30.0%; Notability: top 32.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.5%; Higher BMeT: Street Fighter, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Junior, The Next Karate Kid, Double Dragon, On Deadly Ground, The Flintstones, It’s Pat: The Movie, North, The Fantastic Four, Leprechaun 2, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Exit to Eden, In the Army Now, Color of Night, Richie Rich, Car 54, Where Are You?, Blank Check, My Girl 2, and 55 more; Higher Notability: The Flintstones, The Shadow, Wyatt Earp, Beverly Hills Cop III, Love Affair, Ready to Wear, North, Radioland Murders, I Love Trouble, The Pagemaster, Exit to Eden, Little Giants, Street Fighter, Drop Zone, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Speechless, Junior, Thumbelina, The Scout, The Specialist, and 60 more; Lower RT: Wagons East, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, House Party 3, Death Wish: The Face of Death, It’s Pat: The Movie, The Silence of the Hams, Holy Matrimony, Car 54, Where Are You?, Getting Even with Dad, A Low Down Dirty Shame, Major League II, Exit to Eden, Trapped in Paradise, Lightning Jack, In the Army Now, Leprechaun 2, The Specialist, The Next Karate Kid, Trial by Jury, Blank Check, and 42 more; Notes: Hmmmm, maybe a cult classic then. Above 6.0 for a film like this is interesting. One of the lower notability / BMeTric films we’ve done in a while. Should be fun.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Only the absence of Maria Conchita Alonso keeps this umpteenth variation of The Most Dangerous Game from having the definitive schlock action cast, as destitute Ice-T is unwittingly hired to perform vague duties at a secluded woodsy resort, only to learn he’s the prey of high-roller hunters. Sub-routine chase pic is Confusion City all the way; it’s difficult to believe that the same plot could be recycled less than a year after John Woo’s far more stylish Hard Target.

(Hard Target was good. Also, return of the semicolon! Oh how I’ve missed you my old friend. And finally, nice to see Maltin definitively not thinking this is a cult classic. Makes a lot of sense. Maltin reveres old Hollywood pictures it feels like, so a useless remake of a classic isn’t going to sit super well with him.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SdUm-xFu38/

(Yeah, looks like crap. Insane Gary Busey though. That could be fun. A bit of an odd choice for an ensemble cast, but I guess you need bodies if Ice-T is going to kill a bunch of people.)

DirectorsErnest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Ambushed; Double Play; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; BMT: Surviving the Game; Bulletproof; Bones; Never Die Alone; Notes: We’ve seen a lot of his films in the last year. I mentioned in the Bones preview that he is most notable for being Spike Lee’s cinematographer on a his early films.)

WritersEric Bernt – ( Known For: The Echo; Future BMT: Virtuosity; The Hitcher; BMT: Romeo Must Die; Surviving the Game; Highlander: Endgame; Notes: Virtuosity is basically the only bad 90s future film we haven’t seen for BMT. Produced the television series Z Nation.)

ActorsRutger Hauer – ( Known For: Batman Begins; Blade Runner; Sin City; Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets; The Sisters Brothers; Iron Mask; The Osterman Weekend; Ladyhawke; The Hitcher; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Flesh+Blood; Split Second; Nighthawks; Hobo with a Shotgun; Turkish Delight; Minotaur; Blind Fury; 24 Hours to Live; Spetters; Soldier of Orange; Future BMT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Samson; Wanted: Dead or Alive; The Letters; BMT: The Rite; Surviving the Game; Notes: My lockdown sourdough starter was names Rutger Sour. He’s Dutch. Was in the military, but forced his way out by convincing his superiors that he was mentally unfit for service.)

Ice-T – ( Known For: The Other Guys; New Jack City; Ricochet; CB4; Trespass; Ticker; Who’s the Man?; Mean Guns; Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn; Below Utopia; Ablaze; ‘R Xmas; Final Voyage; Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang; Sonic Impact; What Now; Corrupt; The Alternate; The Wrecking Crew; Future BMT: Tank Girl; UglyDolls; Breakin’; Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo; BMT: Johnny Mnemonic; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Surviving the Game; Notes: Also was in the military, but dropped out after four years to pursue music. Was one of the originators of Gansta Rap, and now is probably more well-known as an actor on Law & Order: SVU.)

Charles S. Dutton – ( Known For: Se7en; A Time to Kill; Alien 3; Menace II Society; Secret Window; Mimic; Mississippi Masala; Rudy; Cat’s Eye; Eye See You; Q&A; Bad Ass; The Express; Cookie’s Fortune; Jacknife; Get on the Bus; Cry, the Beloved Country; The Monkey’s Paw; Honeydripper; American Violet; Future BMT: Legion; Gothika; The Perfect Guy; Nick of Time; A Low Down Dirty Shame; Fame; The Distinguished Gentleman; Last Dance; Against the Ropes; BMT: Crocodile Dundee II; Surviving the Game; Random Hearts; Black Dog; No Mercy; Notes: He won three Emmys for The Corner (Directing), The Practice, and Without a Trace (both as a Guest Star). Went to Yale. Was originally supposed to be in Halloween: H20, but his role was eventually cut.)

Budget/Gross – $7.4 million / Domestic: $7,727,256 (Worldwide: $7,727,256)

(Huh … like not a bomb? It is wild that a film like this could make nearly $10 million. It seems like a direct-to-video effort through and through.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (4/17)

(Oh boy, I get to make a consensus: Poorly written with absurd action sequences, Surviving the Game is merely yet-another derivative action flick.)

Reviewer Highlight: Essentially, the movie is Cliffhanger with one third the firepower.  – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sklogifying the Game

(Wooooowwwwww. That’s bad. Like real bad. The colors are bad. That spacing is bad. Nothing makes sense. It creates more questions than answers. Only positive is a little font work. D.)

Tagline(s) – The thrill is the kill. (A)

(I mean, I can’t deny that it is a fun tagline. The thing that bothers me a little is that the poster and the tagline kinda, you know, give me the unsettling feeling that the makers of the movie kinda were digging Ice-T getting hunted. He barely appears on the poster and he’s the hero. Everyone else are trash people who hunt people… but yeah, the thrill of the kill, for sure. Still can’t dock it much on moral grounds. It’s a good tagline.)

Keyword(s) – hunting, survival

Top 10: The Blue Lagoon (1980), Avatar (2009), The Hunger Games (2012), Split (2016), The Hunt (2020), Predator (1987), Apocalypto (2006), Jurassic World (2015), Ice Age (2002), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Future BMT: 34.0 Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), 30.4 Wrong Turn (2003), 27.6 The Legend of Tarzan (2016), 12.4 Brother Bear (2003)

BMT: The Blue Lagoon (1980), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986), Surviving the Game (1994)

Matches: Surviving the Game (1994)

(Decided to go for the double. Very interesting that it seems like a boom in the 00s/10s, although I couldn’t possibly give you a solid theory as to why. Out of the possible upcoming BMTs I would be most excited for Wrong Turn.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Charles S. Dutton is No. 3 billed in Surviving the Game and No. 3 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) => (3 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – According to Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey wrote his entire dinner monologue about the origin of his scar himself. The script had several scenes of Hauer’s character Burns establishing his natural leadership by reminding the other hunters to abide by his rules. Originally, the dinner scene would be the moment where he puts Busey’s character Doc back in his place. However, on the day of rehearsals, Busey came up with a two-page monologue about his dog that he wanted to try out. Hauer felt that Busey was obviously trying to steal his scene away by not giving him a chance to intervene in his monologue. So during the actual filming, Hauer improvised a quick response to the story by calling it “bullshit”, which greatly confused Busey. However, Busey’s delivery so impressed the director and the other actors that his monologue was kept in the final film, and Hauer’s retort wasn’t used.

This movie was released less than a year after Hard Target (1993), with a similar plot about homeless people being hunted for sport.

The landing strip and cabin seen in the movie are at Lake Wenatchee State Airport, Washington, which is very close to civilization. The cabin has since been torn down.

While staying in Wenatchee, Washington in September 1993 during the shooting of this movie, F. Murray Abraham was injured in a car crash, suffering a fractured wrist, bruised ribs, and facial lacerations, after he was struck by a drunk driver.

Almost all of the “city” scenes were filmed in downtown Wenatchee, Washington. Most scenes were filmed with a two-block perimeter of Mission, Orondo, Palouse, and Columbia streets, plus the alley behind the Liberty Theater off of Mission Street. The area includes the infamous Bruce Hotel, which became Bruce Transitional Housing for the homeless in the early 2000s.

This is one of numerous movies based on the short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, written by Richard Connell, first published in 1924 in Collier’s Magazine.

Despite being bookended by scenes set in Seattle, Washington, not a single frame of the movie was actually shot there.

The same year this movie was released, Ice-T’s metal band Body Count recorded an unrelated song with the title “Surviving the Game”, which appeared on their second album, “Born Dead”.

While traveling to the campsite in the plane…Jack Mason ( Ice T ) looks out the window…Below was an Albino moose… In Canada, it is a unique variety and is considered by the local population and good luck to the indigenous culture.

Repo Men Recap

Jamie

After an unironically promising start to the cycle we finally hit our first stinker. Repo Men is about a couple of former military jackasses who use their skillz to repossess mechanical organs that people fail to pay off. Jude Law ends up getting shocked by a piece of faulty equipment and receives a heart transplant. Aahhh, repossessor has become the repossessee. Quickly realizing he doesn’t have… the heart… for his job anymore and thus can’t pay for the organ he goes on the run with a cyborg lady (more or less). Forest Whitaker is hot on his trail and they get into a big ol’ battle. Realizing that he’ll never outrun Forest, Law and his cyborg friend break into the transplant factory, delete all their organs from the files, and live happily ever after on the beach… or did they? It’s a twist, baby! Whitaker actually totally owned Law earlier and put him in a coma. They then did a brain transplant which gave him a happy life to live out.

So yeah, the biggest issue with all of this is a classic doozy. It’s pretty rare to find an “it was all a dream” plot device in the wild. So well-worn and unsatisfying for audiences, it’s basically a guaranteed ticket to the BMT zone. About 20 minutes into the film Whitaker started talking about a neural transplant he saw at a trade show and I immediately texted Patrick to ask if it was possible we were going to be treated to such a twist. His coy reply was everything I needed to know. It never works and it didn’t here. Particularly given just how weird his “dream” is at the end.

That’s a nice parlay into my second biggest gripe with the film. While Law and Whitaker get to have a bunch of fun, the female characters in the movie are either drugged up weirdos or total wet blankets. This culminates with Law’s “dream” where after getting into an argument with his ex-wife, his son inadvertently shocks her into unconsciousness with a taser. Law can barely contain his glee. He then proceeds Oldboy style into the transplant HQ and has a super super super (super) weird pseudosexual transplant extraction scene with his primary love interest. It is straight out of a deviant art page from the early 2000s. I honestly am having trouble shaking that part of the film. It is startling… and to think that that whole sequence was part of his neural transplant induced life of perfection is upsetting. As for good things, I will say it’s stylish and has some superb acting by Forest Whitaker. That’s as far as I’m willing to go with the complements.

I’m feeling my soon to be trademarked segment of Hot Take Clam Bake, where I stake my claim on a hot take about the film. This time I’m making the claim that a large portion of this film is actually a dream. “But Jamie, we already knew that!” But did you? I’m claiming that even more of the film is a dream! What a twist! My claim is that the shock that resulted in Law’s heart transplant was actually a shock that resulted in Law’s neural transplant. My primary piece of evidence is that the film takes a real weird left turn at that very moment. Law awakens in the hospital with Whitaker and Liev Schreiber giddily telling him he had a heart transplant. Already weird. Then after he has lost the nerve for his job he stumbles upon a lady who he saw singing earlier in the film. Weird, she’s singing the same song now… in the middle of nowhere… and also has had a transplant… and also loves him. It’s all so coincidental and weird. Finally, no matter where he goes Whitaker seems to always find him. It’s like he’s the center of the universe… but he’s not. In the plot of the film he’s just another nobody who can’t pay for his organ. Three things all add up to this being a dream and the original dream being a Wicker Man level dream within a dream. Case closed.

I put that Hot Take Clam Bake at “Steaming.” Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Repo Men? More like Please No, Man! What everyone was a-clamoring for in the post-’08 financial meltdown world: the heartwarming story of people falling behind on payments and literally dying at the hands of repo men … Let’s go!

  • This movie is bleak. The kind of film that was exclusively made (mainstream) in the late 2000s I feel like. That gritty real nonsense version of sci-fi with in-your-face gore, washed out backgrounds, and a narrator.
  • SPOILEES! It was all a dream. I honestly didn’t really think movies actually Jacob’s Ladder-ed you. But this is a full blown Jacob’s Ladder. Like half the film doesn’t exist. It is so stupid.
  • We watched the Unrated version (bully for us) so we apparently got a ton of extra stuff including John Leguizamo who was cut out of the theatrical release. That’s crazy.
  • As pointed out in the Flophouse podcast on this film (from years and years ago, around when it came out) they posit a world in which basically 60% of people have artificial organs. It is begging for an explanation where it is shown that The Union is also releasing chemicals into the world which is causing people’s organs to fail or something.
  • What else … the film is entirely narrated, that is a blast from the past. Forest Whitaker is great, like legitimately quite good, that’s a surprise. Everything else you can just give or take.
  • Solid Product Placement (What?) for Volkswagon throughout. I’ll throw out the Future Movie (When?) for this as this is a very good example of an actual sci-fi future film, which is more rare than you would think. And this might be the runaway winner of Worst Twist (How?) for Jacob’s Laddering us. Definitely closest to Bad just for being a bit boring and weird for my tastes.
  • Special Features Alert! The DVD (from the ‘brary as I like to call it) was chockablock with special features. We got deleted scenes (B-, a good number, but none were particularly interesting), we got fake commercials (F, not funny and pointless), we got a sfx short documentary (A, funny and interesting to see that some of the shots were entirely CGI), and, of course, we got an audio commentary with the director and both writers of the film. The commentary was fine, a solid B. The director was funny and seemed to be really proud of the film (they recorded it three weeks prior to opening weekend, so they didn’t know how it was going to be received), and overall they told a bunch of interesting production tidbits. It ain’t Ben Affleck dunking on Armageddon, but it was enough for a commentary-head like me to enjoy.

As usual, go to the Quiz to find out about the long lost sequel to Repo Men. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Repo Men Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I got bopped right on the head, and now I have to get a fake brain for my head before I die. Luckily it means I’ll be in debt forever and my life will suck. Unluckily I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Repo Men?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We open with a repo (natch). What organ is he getting back?

2) Where did Jake and Remy meet, and how did they end up in The Union?

3) How and where do Jake and Remy find the first nest?

4) Remy has been knocked out on four occasions. Name them.

5) What is the big plan in the end to get themselves to safety?

Bonus Question: The mid-credits scene shows a fancy new product from The Union. What is it?

Answers

Repo Men Preview

“Looks like you didn’t expect this, Bad Movie Twins,” says Future Mikey #1. “Come on, dummies. We’re time cops. There is no limit to our power,” laughs Future Mikey #2. Jamie and Patrick despair. If they escape this, Mikey can just come back with however many time cops he needs. They contemplate their options. But even as they are doing it, a loud crackling screech comes from a nearby stage. Parsons, Ty, and Mikey Myers are up there and launch into an impromptu poolside concert. Suddenly teenyboppers are swarming and the Future Mikey’s are swept away in the crowd. Mikey is crooning his latest hit, “Run, Run From Your Heart” and Jamie, Patrick and LePumice do just that as they dash into the casino. It’s churning with bodies as they weave their way to where they parked the PT Cruiser. They let out a heavy sigh of relief as the purple sheen of the car comes into sight. Just as quickly their hearts fall. On the wheel is a boot labeled Time Cop Industries. They spin around, confronted once again with the two Future Mikey’s. “Poor, pathetic Bad Movie Twins. Did you really think a puny concert like that would stop us? Did you think we wouldn’t see through your sad excuse for a PT Cruiser disguise for your time machine? Sure, metallic purple PT Cruisers are everywhere. Wildly popular for a reason: they are rad. But your license plate is HOE4EVER. Either you’re a very excited farmer or you are the Here on Earth megafans we know you to be.” Jamie and Patrick curse their misfortune. They didn’t even order a vanity plate. That plate came with the car. What bad luck! “Prepare,” the Future Mikey’s say, “because we’re about to rip out your heart.” That’s right! We’re watching the 2010 film Repo Men (not to be confused with Repo Man) starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker and featuring RZA in a minor role. It’s set in the future where people get organ transplants on a payment plan and… well… I think you get it. Let’s go!

Repo Men (2010) – BMeTric: 24.2; Notability: 52

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 25.6%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 20.0%; Higher BMeT: The Last Airbender, Vampires Suck, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, Skyline, Sex and the City 2, Furry Vengeance, Jonah Hex, Gulliver’s Travels, Marmaduke, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Yogi Bear, Tekken, My Soul to Take, Tooth Fairy, Legion, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Why Did I Get Married Too?, Passion Play, The Back-up Plan, Killers, and 44 more; Higher Notability: Clash of the Titans, The Wolfman, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Valentine’s Day, Sex and the City 2, The Tourist, Gulliver’s Travels, Marmaduke, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Tooth Fairy, The Last Airbender, Little Fockers, Shanghai, All Good Things, Eat Pray Love, Burlesque; Lower RT: Tekken, Passion Play, Twelve, 6 Souls, Shanghai, Vampires Suck, The Last Airbender, The Tortured, Waiting for Forever, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Furry Vengeance, 13, Crazy on the Outside, Marmaduke, Little Fockers, My Soul to Take, Saw: The Final Chapter, Killers, Grown Ups, Virginia, and 29 more; Notes: Love the Notability (how do you do that on a $30 million budget though?). The IMDb rating is stock still. 6.3 definitely in that “cult classic” territory where this film must have a decently devoted fanbase to it. Interesting, 17 films with higher Notabilities, and we’ve only seen five of them. That is crazy to think about.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – There are enough props in this movie to clean out the Organ Department at Moo & Oink’s. When I say they’re up to their elbows in blood, I mean it. This work takes its toll. Remy’s friend at work is a repo man named Jake, played by Forest Whitaker. Like most Forest Whitaker characters and Whitaker himself, he is a warm, nice man. I noticed for the second time in a week (after “Our Family Wedding”) that Whitaker has lost a lot of weight and looks great. I hope the extra pounds weren’t repo’ed.

(Moo and Oink’s funny. But what a weird way to end this review. Just a paragraph complimenting Whitaker for looking svelte.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl9Nvg4yuus/

(I mean, it isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I can see what people might find appealing about it. Feels a bit like Priest. Understandably interesting premise, but also understandably thin film in the end.)

DirectorsMiguel Sapochnik – ( Known For: Finch; BMT: Repo Men; Notes: He’s directed mostly television including 6 episodes of Game of Thrones (for which he won two Emmys, one of which for directing the episode Battle of the Bastards).)

WritersEric Garcia – ( Known For: Matchstick Men; Strange But True; BMT: Repo Men; Notes: This book was optioned before it was completed, which makes sense since he had already had a book he wrote (Matchstick Men) optioned for a very successful film.)

Garrett Lerner – ( BMT: Repo Men; Notes: Almost exclusively a pretty big television writer (including for John Doe and Ordinary Joe). Nominated for four Emmys for his work on House M.D.)

ActorsJude Law – ( Known For: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore; Sherlock Holmes; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Captain Marvel; Gattaca; Contagion; The Talented Mr. Ripley; Road to Perdition; The Aviator; The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Closer; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Cold Mountain; Anna Karenina; Hugo; A Rainy Day in New York; Spy; The Holiday; Future BMT: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; The Rhythm Section; King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; All the King’s Men; BMT: Repo Men; Notes: Born in London, and nominated for two Oscars (Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley). Playing Captain Hook in an upcoming adaptation of Peter Pan.)

Forest Whitaker – ( Known For: Black Panther; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; How It Ends; Arrival; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Sorry to Bother You; Platoon; Panic Room; Good Morning, Vietnam; Where the Wild Things Are; The Butler; Southpaw; Bloodsport; The Crying Game; The Color of Money; Respect; Phone Booth; The Last King of Scotland; Out of the Furnace; City of Lies; Future BMT: Taken 3; Street Kings; Vantage Point; Blown Away; Consenting Adults; Ready to Wear; Our Family Wedding; Light It Up; BMT: Species; Battlefield Earth; First Daughter; Repo Men; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth in 2001; Notes: Won an Oscar for The Last King of Scotland. Has said in interviews that he has considered corrective surgery for his eye, but that it was too late as it has become something of a trademark for him.)

Alice Braga – ( Known For: The Suicide Squad; Soul; City of God; I Am Legend; Elysium; Predators; On the Road; Redbelt; Blindness; Crossing Over; The Duel; Kill Me Three Times; Lower City; Journey to the End of the Night; Sólo Dios sabe; Ardor; O Cheiro do Ralo; Latitudes; Future BMT: The New Mutants; The Shack; BMT: The Rite; Repo Men; Notes: Brazilian. Is slated to appear in an upcoming murder mystery show called Retreat which sounds interesting.)

Budget/Gross – $32,000,000 / Domestic: $13,794,835 (Worldwide: $18,409,891)

(I mean … disastrous. How a film like this could only make $18 million is beyond me. And a rarity because it feels like $32 million is also a bargain on the budget as well considering the effects that it must have involved. Wild.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (33/153): Repo Men has an intriguing premise, as well as a likable pair of leads, but they’re wasted on a rote screenplay, indifferent direction, and mind-numbing gore.

(Mind-numbing gore sounds about right for 2010. Right on the tail end of probably the worst (reviewed) decade in film history just from the perspective that there was actual junk being put into theaters on a regular basis. And not like Roger Corman junk, like big budget junk released to 2000 theaters. It mostly disappeared after 2010, probably due to streaming becoming a financially viable alternative. This would have definitely been a weird Netflix movie or series these days.)

Reviewer Highlight: There are plenty of moments when the appearance of a flying, green-glow Chevy Malibu would be a welcome distraction. – Keith Uhlich, Time Out

Poster – Beep-Boop Men

(I dig it. Fun font. Nice color scheme. Showing off your stars. Biggest complaints are that it’s not particularly interesting or artistic and it doesn’t tell me much about the film… so why would I be excited for it? B)

Tagline(s) – For a price, any organ in your body can be replaced. But it can also be repossessed. (F)

Consider them your final notice. (A)

(I feel like they needed these taglines because the poster wasn’t giving much information about the film. So the first one is like an elevator pitch. I hate it. Too long and boring. The second one is actually good. If the poster was better then they could have just used that one and really won the day. Cause it is short and sweet and good.)

Keyword(s) – future

Top 10: Dune (2021), The Adam Project (2022), Moonshot (2022), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Interstellar (2014), Dune (1984), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Fifth Element (1997), Blade Runner (1982), The Hunger Games (2012)

Future BMT: 52.6 Tank Girl (1995), 51.9 Johnny Be Good (1988), 45.9 Virtuosity (1995), 45.6 Voyagers (2021), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 42.2 Red Planet (2000), 35.0 The Ice Pirates (1984), 33.3 Lockout (2012), 30.4 Mortal Engines (2018), 30.3 Push (2009)

BMT: Barb Wire (1996), 2012 (2009), Event Horizon (1997), After Earth (2013), Demolition Man (1993), Lost in Space (1998), Dragonball Evolution (2009), The Postman (1997), Æon Flux (2005), Battlefield Earth (2000), RoboCop 2 (1990), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Judge Dredd (1995), Priest (2011), Cyborg (1989), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), RoboCop 3 (1993), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Soldier (1998), Repo Men (2010), Double Dragon (1994), Solarbabies (1986), Babylon A.D. (2008), Freejack (1992), Supernova (2000), The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Heartbeeps (1981)

Matches: Dune (2021), The Adam Project (2022), Moonshot (2022), Interstellar (2014), The Fifth Element (1997), Blade Runner (1982), Idiocracy (2006), Her (2013), Looper (2012), Black Panther (2018), Prometheus (2012), Starship Troopers (1997), In Time (2011), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), The Tomorrow War (2021), The Lobster (2015), Logan (2017), V for Vendetta (2005), The Terminator (1984), X-Men (2000), Star Trek (2009), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), The Master (2012), Oblivion (2013), 12 Monkeys (1995), WALL·E (2008), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), 2012 (2009), Mortal Engines (2018), Minority Report (2002), Waterworld (1995), Cloud Atlas (2012), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Mr. Nobody (2009), Back to the Future Part II (1989), I, Robot (2004), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Terminator Genisys (2015), Chappie (2015), Ghost in the Shell (2017), The Giver (2014), The Island (2005), Downsizing (2017), Demolition Man (1993), High Life (2018), Equilibrium (2002), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Lost in Space (1998), Doomsday (2008), Surrogates (2009), Zone 414 (2021), Æon Flux (2005), Push (2009), The 6th Day (2000), Enemy Mine (1985), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Judge Dredd (1995), The Ice Pirates (1984), The Handmaid’s Tale (1990), City of Ember (2008), The Prototype (2022), Cyborg (1989), Paradise Hills (2019), Runaway (1984), Timecop (1994), Red Planet (2000), The Kid Who Would Be King (2019), Repo Men (2010), Double Dragon (1994), … (and many more)

(We have basically watched every “future” film released widely to theaters prior to 2000 according to this keyword except Virtuosity, Tank Girl, and The Ice Pirates. Virtuosity is the only real one left. Amazing we’ve left it so long.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Forest Whitaker is No. 2 billed in Repo Men and No. 3 billed in Battlefield Earth, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed) which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 3) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (6 + 1) = 17. If we were to watch Jakob the Liar, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Moments before the filming of the Chinatown scene a crew member was approached by a local Chinese person who pointed out to him that all the neon signs with Chinese characters were upside down. A frantic rigging crew proceeded to flip all the signs while the shooting crew shot in the direction of the newly flipped signs.

In a scene showing the city a Fast and Furious X billboard can be seen.

The young Remy (Jude Law) seen during the school yard fight was played by Jude Law’s actual son, Raff Law.

Forest Whitaker has been studying Filipino Kali for several years under masters such as Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo. He utilizes his skills in several fight scenes in the film.

Note that Jude Law’s character does not have a name (a similar situation in the book). The mystery effect was somewhat ruined when marketing inserted a name for him in the film’s first trailer.

To secure a product placement deal with Volkswagen, the production was required to feature one of their cars for 9 minutes.

When Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are watching TV the Monty Python sketch about organ repo men is on the TV.

The film takes place in 2025.

There’s a scene showing a sign for Jarvik St. It’s actually Jarvis St. in Toronto. Jarvik is the name of the man who created the first artificial heart.

It has been widely speculated that Repo Men’s premise was lifted heavily from the rock opera/cult movie “Repo! The Genetic Opera”. Both stories center around a character in a dystopian future tasked with reposessing organs for a villainous corporation. The opera predates this film as well as the book it was based on, “Repossession Mambo”. However, apart from this basic premise, Repo! and Repo Men differ wildly, making such plagiarism accusations difficult to substantiate.

Part of the film’s promotion was a seven minute comic released on Apple.com.

Men in Black II Recap

Jamie

This movie is good. Patrick?

Oh right, I should probably elaborate. This is the same movie as the first Men in Black, which is a good film. On rewatch I found the first film to be a lot weirder than I remembered. There was a strain of 90’s indie film in it mixed with the broad Will Smith action and Danny Elfman score. D’Onofrio is nuts and it’s not at all what you would expect from a Will Smith vehicle after Independence Day. I probably shouldn’t have worked a la Wild Wild West, but it did and we got a second film.

That second film is basically them finally getting the gang together after five years and running it back. Not exactly a way to get reviewers on your good side. But as far as I can tell that is pretty much the only reason this qualified for BMT. They looked at the film and said “we expect more from you Men in Black II.” It’s all expectations at this point. That is unless they got really hung up on Johnny Knoxville getting a role that was just too substantial for his talents at the time. He needed a bit more time to warm up and was pretty annoying. You could also nitpick the plot, but really you could probably say that about the first film too. Men in Black is all MacGuffins and aliens. So to all of a sudden be like “your MacGuffin and alien plot isn’t well thought out,” seems like a weak critique.

I feel like I’m going too strong on this. I’m not a big time MIB 2 fan or something. I’m not staking my reputation on this film. I’m not even sure what will happen come Smaddies Baddies time. I think my problem is that I was surprised to even see MIB 2 on the list of qualifying films. It’s right on the boundary. Usually those borderline films come out as just that: borderline BMT. This doesn’t even really feel borderline. Should have been a 50-60% RT score probably. It offends my BMT senses that we watched it.

I think if I were to do an in depth Wrong Analysis (patent pending) for this film I would go all in on the second film actually being better than the first. Here is my evidence:

  • Much improved special effects. You can accomplish a lot in five years, particularly when the five years run from 1997-2002 and special effects are making leaps and bounds by the day. But it’s not just the CGI I’m talking about. Even the puppet work is better. Case in point are the worms. They play a minor role in the first film, but by the time we are part of a smash hit they are all over the film and doing some real cool practical effects to bring them alive.
  • The best scene in the movie. Aliens in the locker is all you need to know. It’s great and nothing in any of the films beats it. So how can this be bad when that is so good?
  • They imply Tommy Lee Jones had sex with an alien. Strike that. They didn’t even really imply it. It seems pretty clear that Tommy Lee Jones had a love child with an alien.
  • It’s the same move as MIB with better effects, the best scene in the franchise, and the implication that Tommy Lee Jones is getting down with aliums on the regular. Case closed.

But that analysis is probably wrong. Patrick?

Patrick 

‘Ello everyone! Men in Black II? More like Men in Black Too … like as well. Because it is the same movie as the first one. Whatever, let’s go!

  • Much sillier than the first film I can see why it got relatively poor reviews.
  • BUT I also watched the first film, and while fun it is basically an exercise in how something novel can blind you to how poorly put together it is. Both films feel a bit like they are barely held together by Will Smith’s charisma alone.
  • Bar none this has the funniest scene in the entire franchise with the little weirdo aliens in the locker. The ending is the best part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sd10CHAP8
  • This film suffers most in just feeling like a fun movie (J and K following clues around New York) bookended by the barest of all possible introductions and endings. The movie literally opens with an intentionally shoddy fake tv show (which they play again later to better effect) and then a really poorly done introduction to Serleena in Central Park. And then the film ends with a half-assed battle in MIBHQ stretched out to the twist ending.
  • And ultimately isn’t that the issue? They actually did have a MIB television show. I forgot about it, but they had a decently long running animated program (53 episodes). But the film feels like a television show that would exist now. A comedic version of The X-Files. Forcing it into a $100+ million budget blockbuster mold seems ultimately like a waste. And too bad, because you obviously can’t do anything with the original cast, and MIB: International was a colossal bomb, so they are kind of stuck.
  • Although it is a little funny to say that considering the Men in Black comic has six issues … total. Like there were only ever six issues of this property. If they work at it they could get more feature films than issues of the original source material. Bring back the MIB/21 Jump Street crossover! You know that would have been amazing.
  • There was a lot of product placement I’m sure, but my favorite Product Placement (What?) was when Rosario Dawson is asked to go get a whole mess of Mountain Dew from the basement (Do the Dew!). Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City which they use to excellent effect. Really incredible MacGuffin (Why?) work on the Light of Zartha. Which then rolls right into a Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Dawson herself is the Light of Zartha. Closest to Good, the film is undeniably fun to watch.

No sequel in the quiz this week, but I do outline my mid-credits scene / short film involving J going on a hot date. Check it out. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Men in Black II Quiz

Oh man. So I definitely saw this alien running around NYC and then some Men in Black as well … but then, I guess I didn’t because they pointed a flashy thing at me and now I can’t remember a thing. Bummer. Do you remember what happened in Men in Black II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Our bad guy, Serleena, is actually like an itty bitty plant thing. Why does she then become the supermodel-esque Lara Flynn Boyle?

2) They need K back Jack! Why?

3) K’s having a hard time remembering stuff (for some reason), so they need to de-neuralize him. We see two de-neuralizers in the film. Where are they and what is the explanation for there being multiple versions of them?

4) Hey, K’s got his memory back. One problem … he still can’t remember anything. What clues does he leave himself that leads him to remember what’s up?

5) What alien power does Rosario Dawson have, on full display as she floats off to her home planet?

Bonus Question: In the after credits scene we see Will Smith preparing to go somewhere. Where?

Answers

Men in Black II Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and LePumice lounge poolside in Vegas. Just one stop on the tour couldn’t do any harm. Besides, LePumice brought his time machine along disguised as a vintage 2003 PT Cruiser, so they can jet at a moment’s notice back to the present. “Suns out, sipping drinks with the bros, our PT Cruiser is looking sweet (duh). Cheers!” Jamie says, luxuriating. Nothing could spoil this day, for sure. Suddenly, Mikey Myers (of Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes fame) comes hurrying over. “Vegas, we have a problem,” he says and they all laugh because that’s his catchphrase. But this time he’s serious. “I… uh… just came from the gift shop. Not to freak anyone out, but… uh… I was there.” They laugh again. Silly Mikey, of course he was there because he just said… Patrick shoots up looking startled. “Shit, shit,” Jamie says, picking up the vibe. Future Mikey Myers has found them and is ready to settle the score. Mikey Myers starts to leave with them, but Jamie and Patrick stop him. With hands on his shoulders they tell him how proud they are. By the end of the beautiful speech tears are streaming down all their faces. “We obviously want you to help us, Mikey, but you have a gift.” They turn away ashamed, knowing deep down that selfishly they don’t want Mikey to come because this tour is the key to their Bad Movie Twins empire. LePumice taps his watch, indicating that it’s time to get their PT Cruise on, but as they head away from the pool they stop short at the sight of Future Mikey, dressed in the standard issue black suit of the time cops. They turn back and are aghast at the sight of another Future Mikey. “What thuuuuu…” Jamie says dumbly. That’s right! We’re going classic with Men in Black II. Hard to remember that this film was a critical failure at the time, but it did qualify. Good enough for us and our neverending Chain Reaction which takes us from Walking Tall to Men in Black II through Johnny Knoxville. Let’s go!

Men in Black II (2002) – BMeTric: 31.1; Notability: 129

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 22.4%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 35.3%; Higher BMeT: Crossroads, Rollerball, Halloween: Resurrection, The Master of Disguise, Feardotcom, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Boat Trip, Half Past Dead, The Sweetest Thing, Derailed, Scooby-Doo, Queen of the Damned, Swimfan, Maid in Manhattan, They, Full Frontal, The Truth About Charlie, Snow Dogs, The Tuxedo, and 36 more; Lower RT: Killing Me Softly, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Derailed, Hansel & Gretel, State Property, Ritual, Try Seventeen, Hard Cash, The Master of Disguise, Deuces Wild, Feardotcom, Half Past Dead, Rollerball, Darkness, Serving Sara, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, New Best Friend, Boat Trip, The New Guy, Dragonfly, and 64 more; Notes: Notability off the damn chart! See this is what I’m talking about. A 100+ Notability BMT qualifier? They literally barely exist!

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Some sequels continue a story. Others repeat it. ”Men in Black II” creates a new threat for the MIB, but recycles the same premise, which is that mankind can defeat an alien invasion by assigning agents in Ray-Bans to shoot them into goo. This is a movie that fans of the original might enjoy in a diluted sort of way, but there is no need for it–except, of course, to take another haul at the box office, where the 1997 movie grossed nearly $600 million.

(Yeah, I do kind of remember the film was just kind of the same except with J and K just swapped since K lost his memory at the end of the first film. So that makes a lot of sense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4NJHqoojOU/

(Yeah … odd trailer. You don’t see any of the actual bad guys from the movie. One good thing is they don’t spoil the big joke of the movie, so that’s nice. Still, how many aliens did you see in that trailer? Just the worms basically. Weird choice.)

DirectorsBarry Sonnenfeld – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; The Addams Family; Get Shorty; Addams Family Values; Big Trouble; Future BMT: RV; For Love or Money; BMT: Wild Wild West; Men in Black II; Nine Lives; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Won an Emmy for Pushing Daisies. He is directing television, specifically episodes of Schmigadoon! for which he is also a producer.)

WritersLowell Cunningham – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; Future BMT: Men in Black: International; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: Writer of the original comics which was published by Aircel Comics (which was later bought out by Malibu Comics which in turn was also bought out by Marvel Comics). There were, amazingly, only six issues ever published.)

Robert Gordon – ( Known For: Galaxy Quest; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Addicted to Love; Future BMT: Wonder Park; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: He is tapped to write the upcoming Galaxy Quest TV movie … sequel? Remake? Hard to tell.)

Barry Fanaro – ( Known For: Kingpin; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Men in Black II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2008; Notes: Was the executive producer and writer on The Golden Girls for its first four seasons for which he won four Emmys. He has apparently written five movies since 2009 which have been options, none of which, evidently, have ultimately been produced.)

ActorsTommy Lee Jones – ( Known For: No Country for Old Men; Captain America: The First Avenger; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Ad Astra; Jason Bourne; Lincoln; Men in Black 3; Natural Born Killers; JFK; Love Story; Small Soldiers; Under Siege; The Comeback Trail; Space Cowboys; Wander; In the Electric Mist; The Client; Volcano; The Homesman; Future BMT: U.S. Marshals; Criminal; Double Jeopardy; The Family; Blown Away; The Hunted; Man of the House; Rules of Engagement; Just Getting Started; Nate and Hayes; BMT: Batman Forever; Men in Black II; Mechanic: Resurrection; Fire Birds; Notes: Went to Harvard where he was roommates with Al Gore and was part of the undefeated 1968 football team.)

Will Smith – ( Known For: King Richard; Independence Day; Men in Black; Bad Boys for Life; I Am Legend; Enemy of the State; Aladdin; The Pursuit of Happyness; Ali; Bad Boys; Focus; Hancock; Men in Black 3; Bright; I, Robot; Hitch; Six Degrees of Separation; Concussion; Spies in Disguise; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Gemini Man; Shark Tale; Bad Boys II; Seven Pounds; Collateral Beauty; Made in America; BMT: Wild Wild West; After Earth; Men in Black II; Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … well, you know Will Smith, Oscar Winner for King Richard. He somewhat notably (I’m not sure you would have heard this) was suspended from the Academy for slapping Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. Little known fact.)

Rip Torn – ( Known For: Men in Black; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Hercules; Men in Black 3; Marie Antoinette; The Insider; Bee Movie; The Beastmaster; Wonder Boys; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Legend of Awesomest Maximus; King of Kings; Airplane II: The Sequel; Coma; Defending Your Life; Sweet Bird of Youth; How to Make an American Quilt; A Face in the Crowd; Canadian Bacon; Extreme Prejudice; Future BMT: Zoom; Down Periscope; Summer Rental; Senseless; City Heat; BMT: Men in Black II; Yours, Mine & Ours; Freddy Got Fingered; RoboCop 3; Welcome to Mooseport; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Freddy Got Fingered in 2002; Notes: Died in 2019. Somewhat sadly/amusingly he was arrested for robbing a bank, but in reality he was drunk and, since his residence was in the same building, he broke in merely thinking it was where he lived.)

Budget/Gross – $140,000,000 / Domestic: $193,735,288 (Worldwide: $445,135,288)

(Yeah maybe not what you want domestically after the first made about $50 million more and overall the first made over $100 million more. Still a decent blockbuster though. I imagine TLJ was the big sticking point since they eventually wrote him out of the series.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (76/197): Lacking the freshness of the first movie, MIB 2 recycles elements from its predecessor with mixed results.

(Yeah, there it is. Still a bit stunning at the drop from the prior installment. I just watched the original, it ain’t that good. And I imagine MIB II isn’t thaaaaaat much worse.)

Reviewer Highlight: After five years, the chemistry has curdled. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Poster – The Notorious MIB

(I like the stark black and white. Funny they brought back the weird egg chairs from the first one for this poster. It is certainly a distinctive scene, but not notable and I don’t think they ever show up again. Good font. Good poster. A-.)

Tagline(s) – Back in Black. (C-)

(I can’t be too hard on it. It’s short and honestly that’s where my mind would go too. Hard to shake the similarity between the words Black and Back and so I would be stuck making something like this too. Still, just not very good.)

Keyword(s) – alien

Top 10: Dune (2021), Eternals (2021), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Don’t Look Up (2021), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (2016), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 71.5 Supergirl (1984), 66.3 Max Steel (2016), 65.4 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 63.4 Meet Dave (2008), 61.1 Space Chimps (2008), 59.0 Suburban Commando (1991), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011), 55.8 The Stupids (1996), 54.5 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Battleship (2012), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Pixels (2015), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Predator (2018), Species (1995), After Earth (2013), Men in Black II (2002), I Am Number Four (2011), Howard the Duck (1986), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lost in Space (1998), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Masters of the Universe (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Mac and Me (1988), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Battlefield Earth (2000), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Host (2013), Doom (2005), Dreamcatcher (2003), Skyline (2010), The Darkest Hour (2011), The Space Between Us (2017), Species II (1998), Alone in the Dark (2005), Virus (1999), Critters 2 (1988), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Escape from Planet Earth (2012), Wing Commander (1999), Meatballs Part II (1984)

Matches: Eternals (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), Venom (2018), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Man of Steel (2013), The Avengers (2012), Starship Troopers (1997), Captain Marvel (2019), Aliens (1986), Arrival (2016), Annihilation (2018), The Tomorrow War (2021), Transformers (2007), Independence Day (1996), A Quiet Place Part II (2020), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The 5th Wave (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Cosmic Sin (2021), Green Lantern (2011), Oblivion (2013), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Thing (1982), War of the Worlds (2005), Mars Attacks! (1996), They Live (1988), Ender’s Game (2013), Men in Black: International (2019), The Faculty (1998), Galaxy Quest (1999), Megamind (2010), Power Rangers (2017), Men in Black 3 (2012), Krull (1983), Pixels (2015), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), The Watch (2012), Alien 3 (1992), Paul (2011), Riddick (2013), Lilo & Stitch (2002), We Can Be Heroes (2020), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Species (1995), Slither (2006), Men in Black II (2002), The Abyss (1989), Treasure Planet (2002), Alien: Resurrection (1997), I Am Number Four (2011), Predators (2010), Cocoon (1985), … (an many more)

(So many alien films. And I suppose amusingly since we did What Happens in Vegas last week that first movie in the Future BMT section (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas) also technically takes place in Vegas! The alien is the Great Gazoo, obviously the thing you want to bring to the Flintstones movie franchise is the huge mistake they introduced in like season 7 right before they got canceled. That makes sense.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tommy Lee Jones is No. 2 billed in Men in Black II and No. 3 billed in Mechanic: Resurrection, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The original pug from Men in Black (1997) was used to play Frank again, but since the pug was now seven years old, they used makeup to hide the gray fur around its nose.

J’s line on the “driver airbag” (“Actually it came with a black dude, but he kept getting pulled over.”) was improvised by Will Smith. The producers liked it so much it even made the theatrical trailer.

Famke Janssen was originally cast as Serleena, and even completed some of the filming, but was forced to drop out of the project due to a death in her family. Lara Flynn Boyle was then cast in her place.

The extra head attached to Scrad is called a ‘symbiote,’ and was first developed in Men in Black: The Series (1997). It is the most obvious development of the animated series to be carried over into the movies.

Linda Fiorentino was originally intended to reprise her role as Agent L, before eventually being dropped from the script.

The children of the cast/crew make an appearance in the film: the little girl at the post office who wants to buy Rugrats (1991) stamps is Barry Sonnenfeld’s daughter Chloe Sonnenfeld.Tommy Lee Jones’s daughter appears in the film as the little girl in the apartment where J, K, and the worms acquire weaponry. and the two children who look up as the MiB car flies overhead are Will Smith’s kids.

Reputedly Jack Nicholson insisted on the casting of Lara Flynn Boyle. Sony were keen to get Nicholson for their Adam Sandler comedy “Anger Management”, and Flynn Boyle was Nicholson’s girlfriend at the time.

The beatboxing alien in the post office is played by the rapper Biz Markie, who also has a recurring role on the kid’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! also showing off his beatboxing talents

Barry Sonnenfeld took issue with the producers wanting to focus on the love story between Agent J and Laura: “I learned on Wild Wild West (1999) that audiences didn’t want to see Will Smith as the straight man. And until Tommy Lee Jones comes back into the movie, by definition, Will’s the straight man.”

The locker that holds the tiny aliens who worship K is numbered C18, the same number of the locker used in the film Get Shorty (1995) that contains the “dirty” money. Both films were directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

Though Linda Fiorentino’s character was prepped to co-anchor in the sequel alongside Will Smith, it has been reported that Tommy Lee Jones only agreed to return under the direct stipulation that Fiorentino wasn’t invited back.

Fire Island Lighthouse, New York, serves as a stand-in for the Truro, Massachusetts, Post Office.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Lara Flynn Boyle, 2003)

What Happens in Vegas Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the future, because What Happens in Vegas should have been named What Happens when Skynet Writes a Rom Com Script. Thank you. It is as generic a Rom Com as you’ll find anywhere, so rife with cliche that it made me wonder whether it was the film that launched a thousand listicles about generic Rom Coms. Just to recount a few of the many tropes. Diaz has the visually distinct job of working the floor of the Stock Exchange; both Diaz and Kutcher have hilarious best friends (and Zach Galifianakis is added later just for funsies); the very unlikely meet cute happens when Diaz and Kutcher are mistakenly booked into the same room at Vegas; we can’t just have Diaz and Kutcher drunkenly marry each other, they have to also win a big Vegas jackpot, go to court to split the winnings, and get sentenced to “try to make their marriage work” at therapy; they hate each other; or do they?; they don’t, in fact they love each other. The end. I think the only thing it really lacked was Diaz and Kutcher finding out that their respective best friends who hate each other in fact love each other and have been sleeping together. Or wait… did that happen? I can’t remember because all the cliches are mixing around in my head.

After that long paragraph you probably think I hated this film. Not true. I thought the film was quite dumb, but there is also a reason why all this stuff has worked over and over again for decades. It is enjoyable to watch two charming people fall in love. Also a bit refreshing that they are never actively bad people. In fact they are generally pleasant people and you really do start rooting for them to be with each other. Why not? They are hot and pleasant. Be hot and pleasant together.

I’m gonna do a quick game I just made up called What Would I Change. So what would I change? Fine, you don’t want Diaz and Kutcher’s best friends to fall in love? I get it, they are more fun as frenemies and in a weird way it would be like cousins kissing. Just too similar. But what about expanding Galifianakis’ role? It already seemed like they originally got him for a scene but then liked him so much they had him show up a couple more times. So let’s just make him Kutcher’s roommate. Plays nicely as a way for Kutcher to originally try to sabotage the marriage. He refuses to kick out his deadbeat roommate even after Diaz moves in. What does Diaz do in response? She gets a third roommate and has her move into Kutcher’s woodworking studio. Uh oh! But egad, the weirdo she gets to sabotage the marriage falls for Galifianakis and soon they sit down Diaz and Kutcher to tell them they have to move out because they need their own space for their love to grow. Awwwww. 

All in all not a bad film. Just a dumb one. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What Happens in Vegas? More like That Film was a D+! Remember back, young children, to an age where romantic comedies were released to theaters with the thinnest of tissue thin plots. Let’s go!

  • Wait … is this movie good? Why is it that this cycle in particular seems to be giving us oh so many at-least-okay films? I have a theory (I know you want to hear it). The cycle is very very specific. We are requiring a film to star a notable rapper and we aren’t allowing ourselves to double up. And when you get that specific (our old M.O. really) you end up having to choose a lot of borderline films. Et voila! Les films, ils sont bons!
  • In reality the film has a stacked supporting cast (Zach Galifianakis, Lake Bell, and Rob Corrdry) who are all laugh-out-loud funny at different moments. And Diaz, as usual, is a charmer. I don’t think Kutcher’s man-child schtick works here, but I get what he’s going for and the concluding scene is genuinely emotional.
  • Is it the funniest film I’ve ever seen? No. But I laughed a few times. That is above average for BMT. One laugh is like … an okay BMT film. More than one is a genuine anomaly.
  • Oh, and the films premise. Dare I say that it works? A light coincidence in our leads being booked into the same room in Vegas. And just merely-odd that the wacky Dennis Miller decides that these two people just must stay married for six months.
  • Enough about what worked in this film. Let’s leave it on a sour note. The entire middle of this film is a pretty unnecessary sequence of the two leads very half-heartedly trying to get the other to botch the marriage. It never even gets close to working. They should have definitely thought of a better way to punch that up.
  • Hey an A+ Product Placement (What?) for Vegas! It really is a giant advertisement for it at one point. And hey, an A+ Setting (Where?) for Vegas! Although the film mostly takes place in NYC. Ooooooh, and a great MacGuffin (Why?) for the $3 million waiting for those who can merely live in holy matrimony for six months. Closest to Good easily, the film is kind of funny, especially Corrdry.

One again, check out my sequel idea (What Happens in Vegas 2: Baby Boom) in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

What Happens in Vegas Quiz

Oh man, guess what? I go suuuuuuuper drunk in Vegas and … what? No I’m already married. I was just going to say I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in What Happens in Vegas?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The heroes of our story just have a no good terrible week prior to heading off to Sin City. What happens to both of them that makes them want to get away?

2) In Vegas how do Diaz and Kutcher meet that results in them having a craaaaaazy time in Vegas?

3) How much money do the two (now married) lovebirds win at the slots in Vegas which causes a bit of an issue with them getting an annulment back in NYC?

4) Over the next six months they both try and make each other’s lives hell. Specifically though they try and get the other to cheat on them since that is easiest. What things do each of them do to achieve this goal?

5) How many lighthouses are there 30 miles east of the city according to Ashton Kutcher? Which one was Cameron Diaz waiting at?

Bonus Question: After a nice bloopie reel the movie reopens on Vegas to a flashback to the night Diaz and Kutcher got married. What else happened that night?

Answers