Hitman: Agent 47 Recap

Jamie

Through our time doing BMT, Patrick and I have done several in-theater BMT’s. They have ranged from packed-houses (Grown Ups 2) to empty theaters (Pompeii). From the crowd loving it (us not included) to a number of people walking out. Through all that, I’m not sure I’ve quite experienced something like Hitman: Agent 47. In most every movie, no matter the genre, there are generally jokes. Sometimes the theater laughs uproariously, sometime they don’t, but almost always people laugh (cause they’re jokes and characters are saying them). Hitman: Agent 47’s script was so bad (and continued to get worse throughout the film) that the number of jokes increased to unbelievable levels. And yet, nothing was funny. Nothing was a real joke. And no one laughed. Still the characters continued to say phrases that sounded like jokes (but I assure you, they were not) at an ever increasing clip. Presumably this was to fill the void left by the black hole that was the rest of the film. It was very confusing and combined with a plot that was paper-thin and yet incomprehensible, made for a near abstract art experience where these character walked around doing things and saying things and yet did nothing and said nothing. It’s hard to describe what it was like. If only we had a go-to phrase for something like this…. oh yes! It was dog poo in my face.

Love the new format and since we could get any MonoSklog from the film seeing as it was in theaters (and no one actually said anything of significance) I’m going to go for a nice new game that I thought up while reading Transporter Refueled reviews. It’s where I try to think of a punny one-liner about the film for my RT review caption so people know how clever I am (e.g. “The Transporter Refueled should be put up on blocks.” – New York Daily News. Guffaw). For the first Hitman I would say: “Let’s address the Olyphant in the room: this film is firing blanks.” For Hitman: Agent 47 I would start my review with “Bach hits all the wrong notes with this Hitman adaptation that misses the mark.” Ooof, those puns are killer. Both play on the name of someone involved with the film and yet has nothing to do with the film and then strikes fast with a second pun about the film itself. The punsters on RT should watch out. I’m coming for yah. Double puns are the new single puns.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone, this week was Hitman: Agent 47 (too easy, Shitman). More like 4 out of 7 people walked out of Jamie’s showing (true story, not even making up those numbers). Welp, it seemed like the UK audience liked it a bit more as there were probably 12 other people sitting in stony silence enduring this complete pile of garbage with me. Is it? Wait for it …. dog poo right in my face? yes it was! Right in my face (and wallet). I’m going to change things up a bit at this point (for fun), so here is a Brief Two Point BMT Recap (BTPBMTR):

  • The movie was incomprehensible, the acting was terrible, and the dialogue was horrible. Triple threat. I’m going to refer to such adaptations as “aggressively adapted”. If fans of the Hitman series think the Olyphant version was incompetent with regards to the video game, then this can only be described as intentionally antagonistic.
  • Add unpleasant to the bunch. This movie could be called Human Bodies Falling Several Stories Onto Banisters. Or maybe People Getting Killed By A Horrible Person In Terrible Ways. Or in a meta way A Movie Where You Hate Everyone. In other words: Instant BMT Classic (IBMTC).

See, short and sweet. Now, in the vein of Patrick’s Rules I wanted to look at some of the things from the Hitman news / advertising campaign that should have made Jamie and I very suspicious that this movie was BMT bound. I will call you BMT:CSI:SVU (the special victims are me and Jamie):

So all the way back nearly a year ago we should have immediately penciled this guy right on into the BMT calendar. The trailer companion (and reception, whoa nelly, the response by fans was vitriolic, I remember) was just a final confirmation. Ahhhh, a little BMT Forensics (BMTF) going on. This is all building to the application of statistical techniques to sniff out bad movies, and then ultimately the BMT Awards which will be like the BCS: a computer generated set of the worst movies of the year that everyone hates. I literally cannot wait.

Cheerios ,

The Sklogs

Hitman Recap

[Editor’s Note: This “recap” was originally found within the Into the Storm recap as a part of preparation for Hitman: Agent 47. Jamie did not provide an official recap. While short, in order to complete the official record of BMT for historical posterity this short section is included here]

Patrick

I wanted to mention that in preparation for BMT Live! (Hitman: Agent 47) I also watched Hitman (the original). Some brief thoughts: It is completely incomprehensible and riddled with inane dialogue. The entire movie is told as a flashback, Olyphant clearly doesn’t want to be there, and it has the classic: Hey, filming in Prague is cheap let’s set the movie in … rural Russia? It at least touches on what made the video game famous (Agent 47’s ability to get in, kill, and get out without being detected), although he is obviously less stealth while being framed and chased by other agents. In other words: I am now fully prepared for Agent 47. Are there any two movie combo with a worse combined RT score? I smell some data analysis coming.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hitman: Agent 47 Preview

So from the title of this email you may wonder, “hey Jamie, why are you doing Hitman: Agent 47? Isn’t the cycle mapl.de.map? Seeing as I keep up with the latest bad movie news in depth, doesn’t that movie take place in Germany and Singapore? Last time I checked those weren’t states. Also, knowing the cycle as well as I do, this is certainly not a horror/thriller. What’s going on? BMT is the rock around which I base my life and this change is concerning.” All valid points average BMT email reader. We are in fact taking a week break from the cycle to do a super special in theaters edition of BMT. The release of one of the worst reviewed films of the year required action and seeing as it was nearly simultaneously released in the US and UK, me and Patrick thought it was a no-brainer to go ahead and catch Hitman: Agent 47 on the big screen. So without further ado: Let’s go!

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) – BMeTric: 38.6 (November 14, 2016)

hitmanagent47_bmet

hitmanagent47_rv

(A very classic and nice graphic for a recently released film. We got a sweet theatrical/VOD regime separation, and this is also quite a high BMeTric. Reaffirms or BMT Live! choice from oh so long ago. Commentary generated on November 14, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star – “Hitman: Agent 47” is aggressively awful, the kind of film that rubs its lackadaisical screenwriting, dull filmmaking and boring characters in your face, almost daring you to ask the theater operator for your money back. It is a film that feels made out of contractual obligation instead of artistic venture, or even a remote desire to entertain.

(This sounds like our jam. Lackadaisical screenwriting? Yes, please. Dull filmmaking? We expect nothing less (more?), boring characters? I want them to be paper thin. Also, wasn’t this made out of contractual obligation? I just assumed cause there were literally ZERO people asking for this film to be made.)

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

(That plays more like a music video than a movie with an actual plot. Don’t like Rupert Friend as 47 right off the bat. Also at least two helicopters in the film (one that blows up and another than crashes into a building) so that’s a plus. Though Into the Storm promised a helicopter crashing into buildings and that turned out to be cut from the film. Just another reason not to like that film.)

Director(s) – Aleksander Bach – (BMT: Hitman: Agent 47. Notes: Feature debut. Mostly has worked in music videos and commercials till now. Back-to-back winner of the Cannes Young Director Award for Orange I Love You and Stars in 2008 and 2009, respectively.)

Writer(s) – Skip Woods (screenplay, story) – (Known For: The A-Team. BMT: X-Men Origins – Wolverine; Swordfish; Hitman; Sabotage; Thursday; Hitman: Agent 47; A Good Day To Die Hard. Notes: Legendary BMT writer. Hitman and Hitman: Agent 47 will be the fifth and sixth BMT films we’ve watched from him. Somehow never nominated for a Razzie. Impossible! (said in a French accent).)

Michael Finch (screenplay) – (Known For: Predators. BMT: The November Man; Hitman: Agent 47. Notes: We shall see him again. He is the writer for the upcoming sequel Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2. Wait… what?! Who the fuck was scrambling for that?!)

Actors – Rupert Friend – (Known For: The Young Victoria; Pride and Prejudice; Starred Up; Chéri; The Zero Theorem; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. BMT: The Last Legion; Outlaw; Hitman: Agent 47; The Libertine. Notes: Probably best known right now for his work on Homeland.)

Hannah Ware – (Known For: Shame; Oldboy; BMT: Cop Out; Hitman: Agent 47; Notes: Also best known for her work on tv with starring roles in Boss and Betrayal.)

also stars Zachary Quinto.

Budget/Gross: $35 million / $15 million ($25 million Worldwide)

(Still out in theaters so it will probably recoup its base budget with worldwide gross. Still will go down as a big bomb given it has the 24th worst opening ever for a film released in 3000+ theaters. Just behind this week’s release No Escape! Haha, not even the worst 3000+ opening of August 2015.)

#36 for the Hitman / Assassin genre

hitman_36

(Generated on November 14, 2016; Nearby 2016 BMT smash hit Mechanic Resurrection. I can’t quite see any specific trends, but perhaps the 90’s boom was helped along by Pulp Fiction in 1994? Really unclear beyond that it has become a major genre in the 00’s and beyond. Little bit of waves, a little decrease in monetary yield in the past 5 years. We’ll see if there is a collapse a bit.)

#22 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

videogameadaptation_22

(NOTE: Generated on November 14, 2016. Analysis partially borrowed from Warcraft; The genre is surprisingly consistently produced considering literally no video game adaptation has ever reached even the modest benchmark of 50% on rotten tomatoes. The best ever reviewed? Final Fantasy Spirits Within (I saw that in theaters, go me) at 44%. The best on metacritic was Mortal Kombat by the way. It really is quite dire, over 15 years that RT record has stood. #22 for this genre is impressively poor, near Super Mario Bros!!!!)

Rotten Tomatoes: 8% (7/82), Critics Consensus: Hitman: Agent 47 fails to clear the low bar set by its predecessor, forsaking thrilling action in favor of a sleekly hollow mélange of dull violence and product placement.

(Still gathering votes on RT, but seems safely below 10% which is quite the accomplishment. Hitman’s bar is quite low indeed, but I think the consensus forgets that the first one also forsook thrilling action for sleekly hollow melange. So that’s nothing new. And yes, forsook is a word.)

Poster – Sklogman: Agent 4Life (F)

hitman_agent_forty_seven_ver4

(I can’t remember the last time I’ve hated a poster more than this. Unaccompanied Minors probably. Way, way, way too much white. The cutout of 47 is unnecessary and distracting. Can barely tell he’s holding a gun. And no tagline! Boo, boo, boo.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F-)

(I hate you already you garbage movie made for trash people! Unacceptable. I do not accept this.)

Keyword(s) – Based on a Video Game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.7 Street Fighter (1994); 81.4 Alone in the Dark (2005); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 78.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 78.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 78.4 BloodRayne (2005); 77.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 70.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 64.0 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 62.6 Wing Commander (1999);

(Obviously incredible. We will watch all of these films without a doubt. If anyone needs a bad movie to watch for whatever reason spin around, point your finger at this list, and watch with horror and joy.)

Notes – Paul Walker was previously attached to play the lead role in this film before his sudden death in late November, 2013. (Oh, sad)

Hitman Preview

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This entire preview was generated on November 14, 2016. I apologize for any mind-bending anachronisms that may inadvertently occur while reading this]

Hitman (2007) – BMeTric: 20.6 (November 14, 2016)

hitman_bmet

hitman_rv

(Classic regression to the mean, solid 2011 inflection. If you recall that comes about for popular movies. And look at the number of votes! Very impressive Hitman. Bravo. It is kind of crazy how flat the entire BMeTric plot is, but I kind of comes from being only borderline bad from an IMDb rating perspective)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Every bit as visually flashy and dramatically sketchy as you would expect a video-game-inspired action-adventure to be. Still, some genuinely rousing run-and-gun sequences – enhanced with rapid-fire editing, slo-mo flourishes, and very loud music – generate interest as prolifically lethal buut increasingly self-doubting Agent 47 (Olyphant), a bald-pated, bar-code-tattooed assassin, dashes about Russia after being betrayed by his employers.

(Alright, I think that Leonard might have been attempting to win a bet here concerning exactly how many hyphens he could put into a single review. An even dozen. Congrats. Either way, seems like a solidly drab romp through Russia, exciting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJhNzHyq-IE

(While I kind of dig the quiet and contemplative style with the music, it doesn’t really get me jazzed up for the movie, and it certainly, I think, misleads about the eventual product shown in theaters. If a movie that relfected that trailer was produced I’m not sure people would have been pissed. And people were piiiiiiiiiissed.)

Directors – Xavier Gens – (Known For: Frontière(s); BMT: The ABCs of Death; The Divide; Hitman; Notes: French director. Rumor has it that the studio did not like the extreme level of violence presented in his original cut of the film and effectively fired him. They hired outside help to edit the film and conduct reshoots while Gens was out of the country. Interesting stuff. I’m skeptical because an unrated version exists which is by all accounts just as bad as the theatrical cut, but maybe that was still heavily edited. Got to wait for that director’s cut.)

Writers – Skip Woods (written by) – (Known For: The A-Team; BMT: A Good Day to Die Hard (BMT); Hitman: Agent 47 (BMT); Sabotage (BMT); Hitman; Swordfish (BMT); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (BMT); Thursday; Notes: Wow Skip Woods, just wow. How he’s avoided a Razzie nom among all of that trash is beyond me. In addition to writing he also owns a tactical weapons consultancy firm which inspired him to become an action movie writer in the first place.)

Actors – Timothy Olyphant – (Known For: Snowden; This Is Where I Leave You; The Girl Next Door; Scream 2; Die Hard 4.0; Go; Rango; The Crazies; A Perfect Getaway; Rock Star; Stop-Loss; The Broken Hearts Club: BMT: Dreamcatcher; Head Over Heels; Elektra Luxx; Mother’s Day; I Am Number Four; A Man Apart; Catch and Release; Hitman; The First Wives Club; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Probably most well known for Deadwood. He is apparently a keen tennis player and huge LA sports fan.)

Dougray Scott – (Known For: Mission: Impossible II; London Town; My Week with Marilyn; Deep Impact; EverAfter; Enigma; Dark Water; Last Passenger; Ripley’s Game; Twin Town; Princess Caraboo; New Town Killers; BMT: The Vatican Tapes; Taken 3; The Truth About Love; Hitman; Notes: Maybe most well known for famously turning down the role as Wolverine due to conflicts with Mission: Impossible II. Some fans maintain his build made more sense at the time, but I would doubt anyone would argue that now.)

Also Stars Olga Kurylenko

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $39,687,694 (Worldwide: $99,965,792)

(Solid hit, enough to warrent a sequel at least. Way more than I would expect, although with a setting in Russia and a French director I imagine the European cut was probably pretty solid.)

[See Hitman Agent 47 Preview for additional box office notes]

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (14/101): Hitman features the unfortunate combination of excessive violence, incoherent plot, and inane dialogue.

(Check. Check. Check. Alright Jamie, pack it in, this one will do. Sounds perfect to me, not sure why any of that is a problem …)

Poster – Sklogman (B+)

hitman_ver2_xlg

(I like it. Jamie would probably say all the black hurts it by making it bland, but I think it is appropriate for the video game it is adapting. There was a better poster actually, but this is the one I remember from when it came out.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F)

(Boo no tagline. I’ll make one up: You’ll never see him coming. Boom. Not the best maybe, but at least it is something. Better than nothing.)

Keyword(s) – hitman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.5 The Avengers (1998); 70.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 66.2 Kangaroo Jack (2003); 62.9 Abduction (I) (2011); 60.3 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 58.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 58.0 Tekken (2010); 57.4 Daredevil (2003); 52.8 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 52.8 Alex Cross (2012);

(That is a sick list bro. Bro … sick list. I would also gladly watch the other … except for Tekken. That is not a real movie. Look it up, not a real movie. For reals.)

Notes – While Dougray Scott often pulls a cigarette out, he never actually manages to light one. (fun fact)

During the restaurant sequence, the scene in which Nika (Olga Kurylenko) talks about owning a squirrel/chipmunk when she was young was actually true for the actress, and the scene was improvised during filming. (ugh, terrible. I hate that. Not a fun fact. A decidedly un-fun fact)

The scene where Agent 47 sits atop the roof, sniper in hand and red lettering behind him is taken directly from artwork from the game, as is the scene between 47 and Yuri in the bathtub, including the rubber duck. (I remember that scene from literally the only time I played that game, weird)

When Agent 47 jumps through the hotel window into the kid’s room, they’re playing Hitman: Blood Money (2006) for the PlayStation 2. (They’re playing through “Death of a Showman”, the training level.) (HORRIBLE, I’M OUT!)

Into the Storm Recap

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Into the Storm? More like … Merely Lukewarm? Not many good rhymes there, plus I hate hate hated this movie (to quote Roger Ebert). I think Jamie was more okay with it and I should get one thing out front: I think it was supposed to be a comedy a bit. A poor bit of comedy, but a comedy … but I’m going to ignore that and eviscerate this thing. Get ready to get slammed, Into the Storm:

  • I wasn’t straight up dog poo in my face (a phrase reserved for, really, only the best of the worst), but it was maybe the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen.
  • The found-footage part of it was not only done poorly (in that they were recovering footage that was literally unrecoverable and thus admitting that it was really just a real movie, just shot in POV), but also unnecessary. The movie would have been better as the spiritual successor to Twister instead of an excuse to get bad actors jobs (I feel bad about this burn, but beyond Armitage it was a who’s who of TV and bad young actors).
  • The story was nonsense: Two of the main characters are just stuck in a smashed building and shown maybe three times before getting rescued. Dumb.
  • There’s a side story with two hillbillies (who Jamie loooooved, or so I’m assuming) which is not only pointless, but also just the cherry-on-top to the ridiculousness when they survive getting sucked up into a category 5 tornado.
  • The entire movie is just people running from set to set culminating in the good guys hiding in a “storm drain” aka a wind tunnel built as the only expensive set piece for the production.
  • Now it wasn’t all bad. At times the CGI looked okay (although in 5 years that will not be the case). If you’re into disaster porn it will sate your disaster lust (gross). And the storm chaser story, while a little preachy, did provide interest at times. Plus I will always support TV and film that gives former Prison Break actors work (get yo’ money Dr. Tancredi).
  • I think you go Sequel here. Jamie had his own idea (about a tornado named Pete wreaking havoc in … Japan I think, can’t remember), but mine is Into the Storm: London Eye. In the movie they mention that global warming will lead to tornadoes in new and unprepared places (LA, London, etc.). Well, I live in London! It’s 2040, and a British child has to make a hologram diary for his school graduation (ooof, bad start). But what is this? A tornado in London?! … That’s it … that’s all I got. I feel like this writes itself since it is going to be shot found footage style. I can lead production here in London if Netflix wants to add this to their slate of original programming.

Alright, I’ll leave it there.

Jamie

Wait, are you telling me that the “That thing got a hemi?” guy wasn’t your favorite character?

I was waiting for him to say the catchphrase. Or maybe see a mack truck sucked into a tornado and scream “that thing got a semi!” and look directly into the camera and then everyone involved kill themselves.

Moving on. Hoo wee, I just watched Into the Storm and boy did that storm blow… hard. (thank you, thank you). In seriousness I have to recap the movie with a bit of a qualifier: I actually thought the concept was fun. It’s a weather disaster film. Lots of tornadoes coming out of nowhere and chasing people and shit. And if I went to the theater looking to see some tornadoes, I would have been pretty satisfied. I thought the storms themselves looked good and when the “characters” (if you could call them that) were in the middle of the storms I was on the edge of my seat. This movie though had a major flaw and destroyed the experience for me.

WHY IS THIS A FOUND FOOTAGE FILM?! This has hands down the worst conceit for a found footage film I have ever seen. Usually these films start with a character filming some big change in their lives (“honey, we just got married. Let’s document our lives for our children and junk.”) with some bullshit background about how the character used to do this all the time, but hadn’t done it in years (I think this is to make the directing and editing skills of our otherwise unskilled and incompetent character believable) which then gets ramped up into obsession when they realize they caught some weird stuff on film (here the genre generally fails as we usually see footage of the character editing his film… why would they film themselves editing film?). What I’m driving at is that there is usually a lot of time spent creating a situation where filming all this stuff makes a modicum of sense. Into the Storm? They seemed to just say “Fuck that, let’s not address it,” and continued on their merry way. The number of random overhead shots is startling (where is that footage from? A totally random weather helicopter from which an anonymous editor decided to take footage for B-roll?), the intersection of four independent sets of characters all religiously documenting everything before the storms even hit is ridiculous, and the fact that all this happens in the middle of a disaster area makes it impossibly unlikely that any of the film would be recovered (there is literally a scene where we see from a camera point of view a character sucked up into a fire tornado… how did they recover the footage from that camera?). It’s awful. Just make it a regular film. It would have been good. I would have liked it. Instead you made it ridiculous. The only explanation for why the film is found footage is that they wanted to make the film on the cheap and had a week to write the script so they needed characters to explain things directly into the camera. The whole genre has to go. We’re nearing rock bottom here, where a perfectly good concept is ruined by making it found footage. The only thing I ask before they finish up and kill the genre is to make a found footage rom com. I don’t know why, but I would like for that to happen and be a complete disaster.

Dipping back into MonoSklog for the game this week. Into the Storm probably broke the record for the most number of MonoSklogs ever because the script had characters speak at length directly into the camera just to keep everything rolling along. So while I had four or five to choose from I think the MonoSklog by the main character (if you could call him that) as he believes he’s about to die is the best. I call it Mis Ojos Aguados. [Editor’s Note: In order to make sure our website if legally kosher in our analyses we’ve removed links to the monosklogs from the online record. We apologize, but do encourage readers to watch and revel in the described monologues for they are glorious]. God, that’s even better than I remember. That’s a solid 2 minutes of face-to-camera found footage bullshit action.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Into the Storm Preview

This week we move onto our Action film in the cycle and were really fortunate to have a recent film come out that took place in one of our remaining states. That would be Into the Storm, a found footage (ugh) disaster film set in the town of Silverton, Oklahoma. We had always planned on watching it and I was delighted to find that it worked so well for mapl.de.map. Rest assured, we’re almost there! Let’s go!

Into The Storm (2014) – BMeTric: 34.3 (November 18, 2016)

intothestorm_bmet

intothestorm_rv

(Ah, classic. Look at that VOD release bump. I think maybe a good thing to look at in the future is the size of the VOD bump relative to theatrical and see how consistent that is. I’ve seen movies with bumps around four times the original theatrical run. This looks to be three times the original. Perhaps it is related to genre? Commentary and plots generated on November 18, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – Given our national interest in all things weather-related, “Into the Storm” feels like an inevitability, almost a cinematic obligation to the country’s latest obsession, and it’s about as creatively inspired as that description makes it out to be.

(So you’re basically saying it’s boring? Are you though? I can’t tell. If you read the rest of the review it goes on to say how poor the character development was and how they wanted some deep characters. I just hate this bullshit. Reviewers pick and choose when to care about character development and plots when they want to hate a movie or not. So the non-characters of Jurassic World (3 stars) are OK, but we couldn’t possibly watch a tornado rip a town apart without feeling a deep connection to the characters involved? Sorry, just breaking in the new saddle on my high horse.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBH25XxM-7g

(I don’t think I have to see the rest of the film. I believe I just watched the entire thing. I will admit, although I didn’t like the tone of the RogerEbert.com review, they may be on to something. The characters and events look very poorly thought out in this one. Almost as if I’m only supposed to be interested in watching a giant fucking tornado… wait.)

Director(s) – Steven Quale – (Known For: Final Destination 5; Aliens of the Deep; The Hundred-Foot Journey. BMT: Into The Storm. Notes: He did Final Destination 5 (the finalest of all the destinations)! I heard that one was supposed to actually be pretty good… now I’m intrigued.)

Writer(s) – John Swetnam – (Known For: The Hundred-Foot Journey. Step Up: All In. BMT: Evidence; Into The Storm. Notes: Currently directing/writing an upcoming found footage dance film called Breaking Through. A found footage dance film?! That’s amazing. I CANNOT WAIT).)

Actors – Richard Armitage – (Known For: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; Captain America: The First Avenger; No End in Sight; Last Days in Vietnam. BMT: Into The Storm. Notes: Only bad film on the resume, though I’ve never heard of him. Does audiobooks and won the 2014 Best Audiobook of the Year from Audible for Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel.)

also stars Sarah Wayne Callies and Matt Walsh

Budget/Gross: $50 million / $47,602,194 ($160,602,194 Worldwide)

(Despite doing reasonably well at the box office it was still labeled a flop. Actually had the 188th worst opening ever for a super saturated (3000+ theaters) release. Right above previous BMT film This Means War.)

#26 for the Disaster genre

disaster_26

(Pretty rough, right around the cinematic classic Volcano starring Tommy Lee Jones. This is a rarity: a terrible movie coming out at the peak of a genre’s popularity and financial prowess. Since then the disaster genre has collapsed. I think this might follow the zombie-spaceship-wasteland paradigm. Where disaster films make way for alien attack makes way for etc. etc. But hard to prove. That big peak maybe came from Apollo 13 and/or Twister … or maybe just Titanic doing crazy business in 1997. Sleep well disaster genre.)

#11 for the Found Footage genre

foundfootage_11

(Right around BMT Classic The Devil Inside. The found footage genre page is clearly incomplete (and in no way does this make me trust boxofficemojo as a source …) because Blair Witch 2 is missing (unless that wasn’t found footage). The little bump down in gross I think was the ushering in of the Blumhouse style of production: low budget, high volume, large profits. By all accounts the production style is working and is being looked at as a possible way forward for independent movie development. I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing, it just means a bunch of barely movies get released to theaters. Good for us I guess … I guess.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (30/140), Critics Consensus: Clumsily scripted and populated with forgettable characters, Into the Storm has little to offer beyond its admittedly thrilling special effects.

(Gah! Why am I going to this movie? Am I looking to engage with the characters as they run screaming from a tornado? “But you need to identify with them so you care about them.” They are still in danger from a giant fucking tornado that apparently looks awesome, right? That being said, I do not doubt that this script is clumsier than Paul Blart on a bender (relevant!).)

Poster – Into the Sklog (D)

into_the_storm_ver4_xlg

(I guess it’s got the color scheme going for it… at least consistent. But it’s a bit cheap looking and the font is shit.)

Tagline(s) – Prepare to go (F)

(Welp, that’s a shame. I’m about done defending this one. I do understand that it is meant to be paired with the title (prepare to go… into the storm) but that is still awful. Just awful.)

Keyword(s) – storm; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.5 The Avengers (1998); 72.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 68.5 Psycho (1998); 64.3 Gulliver’s Travels (2010); 63.6 Swept Away (2002); 57.7 Virus (1999); 57.3 Darkness Falls (2003); 57.0 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 56.9 Godzilla (I) (1998); 53.0 An American Haunting (2005);

(Hell yeah The Avengers has a horrible CGI storm. This list is quite nice. Looks like a ton of garbage movies like to use weather in their plotlines. And for that I say thank you!)

Notes – In a clear homage to Twister (1996) , a statue of a cow is blown off a building and across the screen in one scene.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Recap

Jamie

Oh Happy Madison, you keep us in business (other than the upcoming hit The Do Over, obviously). At this point it’s a bit hit or miss whether I’m going to merely dislike a Happy Madison film or if I will become enraged and full of hate, not only for the film but for myself at having watched it. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2? Somewhere in the middle. Perhaps I was in a good mood, but I didn’t think this really dipped down into the Strange Wilderness/Grown Ups arena, where everyone just lobs half-hearted, mean-spirited jabs at each other, takes their $5 million, and heads home. It also wasn’t quite in the arena of Benchwarmers and Bucky Larson, where you’re not totally sure you haven’t entered some bizarre alternate dimension where the concept of comedy has been turned on its ear. No, this was just a middling feature, kind of like Zookeeper or Blended. Nothing that offended my sensibilities (and that’s good!).

To me the whole Paul Blart genre is an old fashioned one. The plots are pretty much straight out of an Ernest P. Worrell feature or a Three Ninjas straight-to-DVD romp. Oh no! A bunch of BMX riding baddies have taken over a mall! Get Paul Blart on the case. Oh no! A bunch of art thieves have taken down a casino. If only Paul Blart and a bunch of other Mall Cops were here to save the day. All the while his daughter is teeny-boppin’ and MacGyvering her way in and out of jams. It’s essentially a kids film. And if you think real, real hard about it almost all of Happy Madison’s productions are just that: kids films. Blended, Grown Ups, Paul Blart, Zookeeper, Jack and Jill, etc. are essentially kids films. They have a big goofy clown up front to make the kids laugh. Animals fight humans constantly (they may as well be talking). The plots are paper thin nonsense. All conflict is contrived. Kids are often the center of the real romantic story line. These are children’s films. And yet here we are, years after swearing off kids films for BMT, going back to the well over and over as if Sandler is doing anything other than create children’s films disguised as films for adults. That’s how he makes his money. No wonder he makes a film targeted more for adults (Pixels) only to have it straight bomb at the box office.

And I don’t think realizing that these movies are kids films (or maybe more accurately family films… maybe) changes anything. It’s basically a matter of Poe’s law. A satire where you can’t tell it’s a satire is a bad satire. A kids film where you can’t tell it’s a kids film is a bad kids film. People looking for an adult film will be offended and people looking for a kids film will be offended. And that, my friends, is how Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 gets a 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. Oh, and also it’s trash.

Moving on, I knew that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 would have a solid MonoSklog cause you saw from the trailer that he gives a lengthy speech, but I also felt like I’ve been copping out and doing MonoSklogs too many times lately. Don’t worry, I’ll whip it out for a down week. Instead I have a new game! I call it On the Bright Side and it’s where I tried to find a scene in the movie that I actually liked or laughed at loud at. There were a few funny moments: Neal McDonough’s two different colored eyes, Paul Blart punching a maid, and a piano player super into playing the piano for example. But the winner for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’s On the Bright Side scene involves a super black banana and it goes a little something… like… this:

That was pretty disgusting, but I still chuckled at it. It’s just so black.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2?! Nuff said. Not even going to go for the low hanging fruit (… Paul Fart Mall Crap in case anyone was wondering. Always sophisticated stuff). This movie was an enigma of a riddle. Is it horrible? Is it kind of funny? Do I hate myself for watching this? Is my brain melting and dripping out of my nose? Impossible to tell. Let’s get into it:

  • There is a veritable spectrum of Happy Madison productions. You have the higher quality Sandler vehicles. Then the slightly less-so James vehicles. A bit further down you have the scraps that Spade and Schneider pick up. Then really far down are things like Bucky Larson and Strange Wilderness. This is like Blended: innocuous enough, but giant portions of it are just contrived nonsense. In Blended it was a ridiculous ostrich ride. Here is was …
  • Segway riding, an unnecessary (and awful) battle sequence and a long sequences of security guards trying out various non-lethal weapons. None are great. You see, it is like a Sandler led film except more so. Got to kick it up a bit to account for a smaller lead.
  • The beginning is dark. His wife divorces him after six days and then his mother dies. He is launched into a horrible six year struggle with depression (which he continues to deal with throughout the films shockingly frequent “real talk” segments). Just really really sad stuff.
  • And a bunch of the jokes are, unfortunately, the not-great jokes from Paul Blart (just bigger and better because Vegas. Fuck yeah!). Decidedly less funny than the already dire original.
  • On a lighter note: Could not be more set in Vegas. They really went to town with the Wynn. Good for them.
  • And Neal McDonough kind of kills it. At the very least he certainly knows what kind of movie he is in, and it is actually a pretty great skewing of the classic too-cool-for-school heist movie bad guy. “I have two different colored eyes! That tells you all about how I live my life!” is one of his lines and a rare laugh-out-loud moment for me during the film.

I’m thinking Prequel because I need more Neal “BMT Legend” McDonough in my life. Straight action movie with him as the bad guy. He’s setting up for a heist and Swordfish style a young hotshot hacker (played by Nick Swardson … “young”) is brought in to help him out (but he’s a secret CIA agent). As things go awry, Swardson is called on to go beyond the call of duty and stop McDonough. In the end McDonough kills Swardson, gets away, and everyone just looks shocked for a bit. Fade to black and then smash cut to a trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 Preview

Continuing with our final mapl.de.map cycle, I told you that we had a extra space to include a replacement film for a state we weren’t totally satisfied with. Well New Years come early (we both independently used this phrase before I incorporated Patrick’s part. Best twins ever!), cause the time is now to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which very much takes place in Las Vegas. Previously we had a little Razzie film called The Marrying Man in for Nevada. Not only was that film not that BMT, but it also split time pretty evenly between Las Vegas and California. We never felt like it belonged, so now we replace it with one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Here’s the map. I’m pretty excited for this one. Let’s go!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) – BMeTric: 66.4 (November 19, 2016)

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(Regression to the mean (from an incredibly low rating to be honest, that is really low, so it isn’t surprising that people who actually watched the film disagreed with what is probably a significant number of people who are voting based solely on impression) is strong. The what I think will become standard 25-75 split in theatrical-VOD votes within a year of release. I’m going to be frank: I am surprised it doesn’t have more votes on IMDb, a crap comedy people can relax and watch with the family I feel like usually has more than that. The BMeTric thogh. Whoooooooweeeeee, that is impressive. Commentary written on November 19, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – Thumbs Down – Think of the worst movie you’ve ever seen – a movie that didn’t make you laugh, didn’t make you cry, didn’t move you or change you in any way besides giving you the desperate urge to flee the theater. Think of a movie that was a massive waste of your time and money. Hold that title in your mind. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is worse than that.

(I seriously doubt this will be the worst film I have ever seen. If this is worse than Strange Wilderness then it will take another small part of my soul and leave me just a bit less human. But I doubt it. Perhaps I doubt because I’m afraid to believe it might be true. Or perhaps I just know that no one will be fucking a turkey in this one. Either way I think this may be hyperbole.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_ld3IJ0sUU

(Well that is unfortunate on multiple levels. It does have a plot, though, so it’s got a bit of a leg up on the “worst ever” competition.)

Director(s) – Andy Fickman – (Known For: She’s the Man; Race to Witch Mountain; Reefer Madness. BMT: The Game Plan; You Again; Parental Guidance; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Notes: Surprisingly never nominated for a Razzie. This will certainly be the year.)

Writer(s) – Kevin James – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Here Comes the Boom; Zookeeper; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor and Onscreen Couple for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.)

Nick Bakay (written by, characters) – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Notes: You would recognize him as the voice of the black cat Salem on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.)

Actors – Kevin James – (Known For: Hitch; Hotel Transylvania; Monster House; 50 First Dates; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Here Comes the Boom; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Zookeeper; The Dilemma; Barnyard; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Pixels. Notes: Starred in the long running sitcom King of Queens for which he was nominated for an Emmy for the final season.)

also stars Raini Rodriguez and BMT super fav Neal McDonough

Budget/Gross: $30 million / $71,038,190 ($104,138,190 Worldwide)

(Big success, but not on the same level as the first one which was a box office smash. The 9th highest grossing “Comedy – Bumbling” ever. The worst ever? Ernest Rides Again. The last Ernest film ever released to theaters.)

#9 for the Comedy – Bumbling genre

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(Wow, turns out Paul Blart is a rare bumbling comedy these days. Out of fashion I imagine. People making fools of themselves will always in one way be comedy gold. The number one bumbling comedy? Paul Blart! Kevin James did hit something solid here, the company for both films are classics from the 80’s and mostly spoof, so even getting an original comedy and character in there seems really impressive.)

#42 for the Sequel – Live Action genre: The second movie in a live action comedy franchise

comedysequel_42

(Around Scary Movie 2 and Big Momma’s House 2 so in okay company. We are almost definitely looking towards a bust period of comedy sequels. Feels right … can you think of a comedy film that has come out recently that will end up with a sequel within the next few years? I can’t really. For Cheaper by the Dozen 2 I did note Zoolander 2 and Neighbors 2 from this year. Bad Santa 2 soon. The relative failures of all of those might usher in a wave a original concepts. Maybe. Commentary written on November 11, 2016)

#7 for the Travelogue Las Vegas genre: Films primarily set in or around Las Vegas

lasvegas_7

(Not very exciting, although kind of funny that even this seems to run in waves. Big chunk up to 2010ish, then a break, and then a bunch more recently. I wonder if it vaguely tracks with the highs and lows of the economy in Vegas. If they are busy they can’t film. Otherwise they’ll sell filming rights to get a little extra scratch)

Rotten Tomatoes: 5% (3/54), Critics Consensus: Bathed in flop sweat and bereft of purpose, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 strings together fat-shaming humor and Segway sight gags with uniformly unfunny results.

(Will certainly be one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Interesting that they say there is “fat-shaming” humor in this one. I don’t remember there being too much of it in the first one and it’s the same writers. It’s not like Norbit where a big fat lady is a horrible monster.)

Poster – Paul Sklogt: Mall Sklog 2 (B-)

paul_blart_mall_cop_two

(I have to admit I like the coloring. Not sure on the spacing, though. Really odd and open. And why is he riding away from Las Vegas? While posters don’t have to tell stories, they can’t be nonsensical either. I take this stuff pretty seriously.)

Tagline(s) – Vegas has a new high roller (A-)

The stakes have been raised (B)

(Crazy enough the first tagline is pretty much everything I ask for in a tagline. It is short. It tells me that my favorite segway riding hero is back and in Vegas. And it is a bit clever with the connection of high roller with the setting. Not perfect, but close. The second one is slightly worse, because it isn’t as informative and a bit generic. But still good. Good job, advertising team.)

Keyword(s) – sequel; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.7 Batman & Robin (1997); 84.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 83.7 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 82.6 Son of the Mask (2005); 81.7 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 80.5 Home Alone 3 (1997); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 78.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 78.7 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 78.5 The Avengers (1998);

(We’ve seen a ton of these natch. A couple notes: The Avengers is not a sequel, that is a mistake, for shame IMDb. A reboot at best, although if there was an original film I would doubt it was theatrical anyways. Home Alone 3 is also obviously barely a movie. We will watch Son of Mask and Jaws 4 though, so maybe someday …)

Notes – Jayma Mays couldn’t reprise her role due to scheduling conflicts with Glee (So they had her divorce Paul Blart 6 days after they got married… strangely this strategy was also employed for the Entourage movie).

This is the first film that got access to film on site at the Wynn Resort (wait, but other commercials for the Wynn were also filmed there. This one is just longer).

Kevin James had personally called up Vic Dibitetto, with a private number listed, to play Gino Chizetti. James had told Dibitetto that he was so entertained by his YouTube videos that he created the character based on his viral work (I like how they specify that it was a private number. Just to emphasize that Kevin James went to Xtremes on this one).

Gary Valentine appeared as a different character in this film then he did in the first film. He played Saul Gundermutt in this film, in the first one he played the singer in the bar. (it’s weird they also don’t mention that Adam Sandler’s wife played two different characters. She was the Victoria Secret cashier in the first one and a woman in a bar in the second one).

Paul Blart: Mall Cop Preview

[Editor’s Note: This template was generated on November 19, 2016 as this film was watched as a bonus film and did not get a preview at the time. For completeness we wanted to generate it as it is a qualifying BMT film. Enjoy!]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) – BMeTric: 57.9

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(Fun. Pretty standard BMeTric and Vote plots. But the rating is interesting. Regression to the mean would be going the other way (up not down) since the mean is around 6.0. I believe this has to do with the reputation of Paul Blart getting a bit bemirched over time. At the time I remember it being hailed a bit as better than the reviews wouuld suggest. I doubt you’d find many people with that opinion these days.)

RogerEbert.com – 3 stars –  Paul Blart emerges as a hero, and something else: Kevin James illustrates how lighting and camera angles can affect our perception of an actor. In the early scenes, he’s a fat schlub, but after he goes into action, the camera lowers subtly, the lighting changes, and suddenly he’s a good-looking action hero, ready for business. He demonstrates what fat men have been secretly believed for a long time.

(Wowzer, a rave review. It really does go like that throughout: wholsome, but not boring. Empowering. Funny. Impressive. But I have a feeling this is a rosy view and the ludicrouus story and awkward non-jokes are going to get in the way of most people enjoying this film in a genuine way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib4VZ1uvP6U

(Three major thoughts. One, loving the BMX bike gang and parkour. That just never gets old does it? Two, they are seriosly going to do that … they gave away the “twist” in the trailer! You can see one of the security guards hanging with the bad guys on several occasions. Insane. Three, if you knocked the top off of a tank of compressed gas it would go through walls … so basically it wold jst blow that guy it hit to literal pieces. Paul Blart is a monster.)

Directors – Steve Carr – (Known For: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life; Dr. Dolittle 2; BMT: Movie 43; Are We Done Yet?; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Daddy Day Care; Rebound; Next Friday; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2014 for Worst Director for Movie 43 (among many others); Got hired to direct Next Friday after directing a music video for Ice Cube.)

Writers – Kevin James (written by) – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Here Comes the Boom; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Screenplay for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; I was kind of shocked to (re)learn he wrote most of his films. Those are probnably his major ones for the last like seven years. Pretty impressive given the track record.)

Nick Bakay (written by) – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Screenplay for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; An extremely accomplished television writer and actor, not surprisingly this includes King of Queen. He was the voice of Salem the cat for all of the over 200 episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.)

Actors – Kevin James – (Known For: Hotel Transylvania 2; Hotel Transylvania; 50 First Dates; Hitch; Monster House; BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Grown Ups 2; The Dilemma; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Pinocchio; Pixels; Barnyard; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Here Comes the Boom; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Actor for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Supporting Actor for Pixels and in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry;  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Screen Combo for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Incredibly famous for his presence in many Adam Sandler films. I would argue he is second banana to Sandler even. Interesting considering he was a late addition to the main Grown Ups crew after Farley passed away. He has a new show (Kevin Can Wait) now, so back to television and general goofy success. More power to him.)

Also stars Keir O’Donnell (Seen in When in Rome) and Jayma Mays (Seen in both The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2)

Budget/Gross – $26 million / Domestic: $146,336,178 (Worldwide: $183,293,131)

(A smash hit. Easily top five family comedies of the year. The more interesting bit is that it is the number one “bumbling” comedy of all time! See below. No surprise it got a sequel. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a third if they so desired.)

#1 for the Bumbling Comedy genre

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(Kevin James hit something special with these films. On the level with Mr. Bean and the Ernest films as far as original comedies with a singular “character”. Kind of interesting that almost all modern examples get just horrid reviews. Changing of the time? And yet the biggest boom was recent? Interesting stuff.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (37/113): Paul Blart: Mall Cop has some laughs, but its plot is flimsy and lacking in any sustained comic momentum.

(Fair! And a lot better than I remembered. 33% is retty good to be honest. Why one would expect this to be anything but flimsy is beyonde me though.)

Poster – Paul Sklogt: Mall Sklog (C)

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(I don’t mind the poster, it is just boring. I do like the idea in a way, it follows from the ideals of the film: empowering. The focus is on what one might see as a heavyset schlub normally, but shot in a way to make him seem powerful. Is it ironic? I think that is the question the movie is attempting to tease you with (and eventually subvert). But still boring.)

Tagline(s) – Safety Never Takes A Holiday. (C-)

Don’t Mess With His Mall! (D)

(The first is only slightly better because it gives youu an inkling that this is indeed a “holiday” film, taking place on Black Friday. A rare Thanksgiving film! Might have to bust it out this holiday season. I do not like the second.)

Keyword(s) – mall; Top Ten by BMeTric: 68.1 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 60.9 Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012); 57.9 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009); 57.4 The Final Destination (2009); 55.4 Vanishing on 7th Street (2010); 49.3 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008); 46.5 The Hot Chick (2002); 46.1 Jingle All the Way (1996); 39.8 Eight Crazy Nights (2002); 37.7 While She Was Out (2008);

(Very nice list. The mall in Silent Hill was minor. And I don’t even remember is in Zohan. The others are pretty standard. Looking forward to the Hot Chick)

Notes – Two of Kevin James’ real-life family members are seen in this film: the karaoke singer is his older brother Gary Valentine, and the woman with two children who Paul helps is his wife Steffiana De La Cruz. (ooo from this I learned that Kevin James’ real name is Kevin Knipfing. No offense, seriously, but an interesting name and I can see why he took on a stage name)

The first film of 2009 to gross over $100 million at the box office. (yes, very impressive)

The Burlington Mall does not have a video arcade. (wow, bullshit. This movie is bullshit!)

The first movie ever released in the month of January to gross over $100 million during its initial release. (Again, extremely impressive. I wonder why this wasn’t released pre-Thanksgiving. I understand that they might not have anticipated the reception, but it is a rare Thanksgiving movie)

By the time this movie was released in American theaters, there were no longer any Sharper Image retail stores. (truly devastating. What a time to be alive)

Wild Bill Recap

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Wild Bill?! More like Mild Bill! Hey look at this a relatively short recap. New Years come early for all y’alls (you like my southern accent?):

  • Do I regret doing Wild Bill for BMT? Relevant question. The answer is no, but only because:
  • The direction is straight up insane. Dutch angles (might as well be called Wild Dutch Angles! Buuuuurn), black and white flashbacks (might as well be called Wild Black and White Flashbacks! Slammed!!!!) and overexposure galore (might as well be called Wild Overexposure Galore! Roasted!). Out of everything this is what really struck me about the film.
  • During my conversation with Jamie a couple things came up. First: just how bad Ellen Barkin and David Arquette were. This related to a conversation about Scarlet Letter and how reviews for that film, oddly, appeared to excuse Demi Moore’s acting (which was atrocious) as a simple miscasting. In this movie a similar thing happened: Arquette is ignored while Christina Applegate (who was actually okay) was eviscerated. Kind of a weird “state of the industry” thing going on. Looking back now Demi Moore’s career was never really the same after Scarlet Letter. Arquette ended up okay, he was young, but this movie strongly suggests his future would have been better served in smaller character actor roles. And Applegate is now a strong supporting or leading female comic actor. Go figure.
  • The writing and acting overall are okay. There is interesting things here and there. But nothing that warrants the 90 minutes you’ll spend watching this film. So whatever.
  • I think I’m going to steal this one from Jamie as a game: Secret Prequel/Sequel. Hear me out. Wild Bill is the prequel to … R.I.P.D. Jeff Bridges plays a not-so-reputable wild west lawman with a strange obsession with his hat. Add a short prequel explaining why Bridges goes by a different name and we’re good to go.

Alrighty. Prequel/Sequel/Remake. Well, I wouldn’t remake it, no point. I do think a prequel could work though. The legends of the west are interesting. Do a little Unreliable Narrator action with people telling stories about Bill overlaid with the much more reasonable, dirty and mundane “true” story as Bill remembers it acted out. Could work. Who knows? I don’t. I know sometimes my intelligent discourse on the industry can be deceiving, but I do not in fact work in a high-level position in any production house (yet …).

Jamie

Last week we captured South Dakota with Wild Bill. We worried quite a bit whether this would truly qualify as a BMT film, but I think we rest assured after viewing. Not the best, but certainly not the worst. Middle of the pack. Kind of the down side of a strict BMT criterion. I’m sure there are a number of hilarious BMT films between 40-50% on RT, but we can’t risk the false positives we would have to wade through to find them unless we must.

Since I was able to read both sources materials for the film (Deadwood by Pete Dexter and Fathers and Sons by Thomas Babe) before watching, I’ll mostly discuss the adaptation. Really only one line and two short scenes are taken from Deadwood. It’s otherwise almost entirely based on the play Fathers and Sons. Actually startling that they gave Dexter a writing credit. It is also amazing that Walter Hill wanted to adapt Fathers and Sons to the big screen. It’s a minor 70’s play that was written with little historical accuracy in mind. In fact it was written as an allegory for the Kent State and Jackson State shootings that occurred in the early 70’s, concerning generation-on-generation violence. So Babe didn’t blink an eye when claiming that Wild Bill’s murderer Jack McCall was his son and homosexual. The change to McCall’s character serves only to deepen the allegory he had in mind, and yet many of these types of changes show up in the film. Reviews for the film derided it for playing more into legend than fact and I would say that that’s not even true. It played into a fictionalization of Wild Bill’s death (its source material) instead of fact… it didn’t even worry about legend. There is no legend of McCall being his son, and it certainly wasn’t true. It’s super weird that it sticks so closely to the play and even weirder on some of the changes Walter Hill decided to make. Which leads me to my biggest problem with the film: the mere presence of John Hurt as some bullshit fake British character, Charlie Prince, they used as a replacement of a real, historical character named Charlie Utter who was a major character in the play. Why? There is no acceptable explanation for this. The only plausible one is that they wanted John Hurt in the film, but he refused to do an American accent… which is bullshit. Tell him to go jump in a lake (if we lived in the 1950’s) and get someone willing. You even had Bruce Dern in a minor role in the film. Promote him to Charlie Utter and give Hurt the heave ho.

Also I’m glad Patrick mentioned the Applegate thing. Reviewers were aghast at her “miscasting” (but… but…. but… she’s on Married with Children! Scandalous! Harumph!). I thought she was fine and people were being particularly mean about it. So she’s more attractive than you would want your precious Wild West prostitutes? Boo hoo. Barkin is more attractive than I like my Calamity Jane. So there. Now for my game. Since the film was based primarily on a play I was certain that the film would have a perfect little MonoSklog for us. It didn’t disappoint as it delivered a wonderful Diane Lane monologue during one of the crazy flashback, black-and-white, dutch angle, nightmarescapes that Patrick mentioned. I call it Mi Vida [Editor’s Note: Apologies, as usual to avoid any legal issues with hosting video clips from movies we have to remove the monologue itself. Have fun renting and watching the clip yourself though. And by fun I mean not-fun]. Beautiful. BTW, that’s the actual quality of the film in those scenes. Purposefully grainy. This helps you get an idea of what Patrick was talking about in his recap.

Phew, with that I’m done. I love Walter Hill, but the film wasn’t for me. Cheerios,

The Sklogs