Jaws: The Revenge Recap

Jamie

Jaws is back, Jack! And ready for a little revenge. When another shark related tragedy hits her family, Ellen Brody goes a little crazy thinking that she is the target of a vast shark conspiracy. Escaping to The Bahamas she is shocked to find the giant shark there waiting for her. Can she stop this voodoo shark conspiracy before it’s too late? Find out in… Jaws: The Revenge.

How?! Ellen Brody is still living it up on Amity Island. Her husband Martin has passed from a heart attack and her son Michael is off getting a PhD. But Sean is still there living a peaceful life as a police officer. Just a quiet life on the island during Christmas… PSYCH!! He is fucking eaten by a shark!!!! Ellen is now convinced that these sharks are out to get her. First Martin (who I guess had a heart attack obsessing over the shark?) and now Sean. All the evidence we need. Realizing his mom is going a little nuts Michael has her come spend the holidays in the Bahamas with his family. When they get down there she meets an older gentleman Hoagie and they start a romance. They have a nice peaceful Christmas in the Caribbean and not much goes on… PSYCH!!! A fucking shark shows up!!!! The shark is following them!!!! It eats a bunch of people and the Brody’s are all freaked out because this shark is totally voodoo conspiracy after them!!!! In a last ditch effort to rid the world of these giant sharks, Michael and his mom go out on a sailboat, shoot the shark with a electrode thing, and shock the shit out of it until it explodes/gets impaled by the ship. Finally they are happy because they don’t have to worry about any more sharks… or do they? (they don’t because this killed the series). THE END.

Why?! Ha, well the shark is apparently motivated by revenge. It’s actually a little confusing whether you are supposed to come to agree with that assessment. Sure this one family keeps on getting attacked by sharks but there is no actual explanation for why this family of sharks would follow them all over the world. It’s nonsense. The actual explanation is fleshed out in the novelization where a voodoo woman with a vendetta against the Brody’s curses them to forever be hunted by these sharks… which is straight Halloween Parts 4-6 Curse of Thorn bullshit. Also it makes these sharks more or less the evil pawn of a much more evil voodoo lady who never gets a comeuppance. Which is actually kind of sad for both the Brody’s and the shark.

What?! They were probably two movies away from having Ellen Brody stab the shark with The Knife of Power while reciting verses from the Necronomicon. In this film they just used the power of Miller Lite to drain their worries about a voodoo-powered shark out for revenge.

Who?! We get a bunch of fantastic special thanks in this. There are a couple Bahamas related people and Dr. John McCosker, an ichthyologist who obviously advised the production. But most notable was this Special Thanks:

Jaws credits

Thank you very much Selectmen of Edgartown, indeed.

Where?! We open on Amity Island a.k.a. Edgartown, MA, but quickly transition to The Bahamas. I like the choice if only for how weird and random it is and the Caribbean is used to good effect. A-.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert! This takes place right at Christmas time. Why? No idea. I guess because they had to film in the winter and so they figured ‘Why not?’ Perhaps it’s a metaphor for the resurrection of the shark who died for our sins… three times. Anyway, very specific and factors into the plot, but not in a particularly important way. A-.

Let’s get one thing straight: this movie is incredibly stupid. Like extra dumb and not surprisingly I think people came to believe that the series could no longer continue without getting dumber. This is probably correct. Jaws 5: It’s Back! would not have been good. However, given our expectation for the film I think it’s surprisingly coherent. I kinda liked the Michael Caine scenes and some of the family stuff (even though it all seemed totally misplaced in the film) and you could kinda go along for the ride without much issue. But again: extra dumb dumb stupid. As for Birdemic: Shock and Terror I had actually already seen it. It was the film that made me officially decide that these were not the films we wanted to be doing for BMT. I remember watching it and finding it mostly excruciating and frustrating to watch. This viewing didn’t necessarily change that assessment. I will say that I’ve come to appreciate these incredibly low budget bad films because they often are the creation of quirky singular viewpoints. So you get a glimpse into someone’s mind. Like in Birdmic you clearly see that the creator’s background in software sales and passion for climate change is a big part of his life and thought process (and thus the crazy film he made). And that’s interesting… to a point. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Jaws is back jack and with a voodoo twist (presumably, I’m just guessing) … that’s right, Jaws, a shark, is now consciously hunting the Brody clan. And in no way is that ridiculous. Let’s go!

The Good – Far more entertaining than you would think for a film that is purportedly one of the worst films ever made … or at least one of the worst sequels. Lorraine Gary is a delight. Caine is just hilarious in how much he doesn’t give a shit. Nice underwater … I’m going to call them vistas, sue me. The conch tagging scenes were beautiful.

P’s View on the Preview – This film is considered to be one of the worst sequels ever made. The reviews suggest it just looks like garbage and makes no sense. Going in I was certainly the most interested in the revenge story though. Is Jaws actually taking revenge? Do they try and explain it? If they don’t they why do they think Jaws is seeking revenge? Do they acknowledge the fact that in the three (fine, two canonical) films the shark always dies? So many questions and so little expectation!

The Bad – NONE OF MY QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED. I really wished they had gone completely Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers on us, but alas, they do something even worse: they just kind of allude to shark vengeance and offer no explanation. Add to that the shark looking like crap, most of the actors being not great, and the writing being a mess and you can see why the film is reviled. And yet I kept coming back to the Leonard Maltin review … something about this film is very watchable.

You Just Got Schooled – I’m going to do a two-fer youtube video here. First, witness the original uncut ending of Jaws: The Revenge! Two major things changed between the original theatrical ending and the European (and subsequent home video) released. First, Jaws is merely killed by Ellen slamming a boat into it (wizzeak). Second, and you can’t notice it in the video, but Jake (Mario Van Peebles) dies in this version. The shark … looks atrocious. Which brings me to: A recent video in which the VFX is tastefully redone! I actually think it looks quite good. Good enough at least that you might not have cared that it was spitting in the eye of the original. I’m actually quite liking this entry to my recaps and I think I’ll continue to find “homework” to recap each week.

The BMT – I think I’ll remember this film for it giving me an epiphany: creature features are eminently watchable. Combine some sort of animal attacking people with a halfway decent directorial effort and there is almost nothing you can do to make me think the film isn’t at least watchable. Jaws: The Revenge? Why not? Anaconda? YUP. Bats? Fine, there is a limit, that movie is pretty rough. I guess the point is that Jaws remains the primary creature feature franchise, even years after it died, and that’s saying something.

Welcome to Earf – Michael Caine is in this and Get Carter (2000) with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – As mentioned above, this is legitimated considered on the worst sequels ever made. People happily mention it in 1987 worst of lists, where it takes a nice place next to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (another crazy number four in a series). It was also so bad it was at one point added to the worst films wiki (although it was removed). This was a must see eventually considering its Razzie cred alone, but it is very famous for being a terrible sequel. Only took us about 450 films to get to it.

Bring a Friend – This week we watched Birdemic: Shock and Terror for the Bring a Friend cycle as another creature feature. Fun fact: the movie was filmed in Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco where I just so happened to have gone for a wedding two months ago! Like legit … I saw the double decker bus and passed by the cafe in the beginning of the film. As for the film: the birds look so ridiculous you can’t help but be delighted by them. Sure the movie is mostly boring, kind of gross, and weirdly obsessed about global warming (to no satisfying conclusion), but the birds themselves are kind of enough to sustain 60% of the film. If Teen Witch is a solid A, and A Talking Cat?! is a C-, this is somewhere in between. I’m going to give it a B- I think. It isn’t nearly entertaining enough to sustain the runtime, but I understand the allure of the film are far as entertainingly bad films. I could maybe be convinced to watch the film again with a bunch of people.

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

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The 13th Warrior Recap

Jamie

Ahmad Ibn Fadlan is an ambassador from Baghdad who gets caught up in a Viking quest to defend a town under attack from mysterious monsters. Can he stop the monsters (and get (with) the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… The 13th Warrior.

How?! Ahmad Ibn Fadlan is a totally rad emissary for Baghdad, exiled because he was just too sexy and the ladies loved cool Ahmad. On his journey as an ambassador he meets up with a bunch of even radder Vikings who are informed that they must help a king whose lands are being attacked by mysterious monsters. They are also told that a stranger, a thirteenth warrior, must join their group if they hope to succeed. Obviously Ahmad is chosen because he’s rad and ladies love him. They go to the Viking manor and find evidence that the rumors are true and the town is being attacked by a mysterious force that eats their victims. They prepare for battle, but after a brief skirmish they realize they’ll have to do more to survive and they start to put up barricades. Meanwhile the ladies still love cool Ahmad. After a large nighttime battle with the monstrous force they again realize that they’ll have to do better to survive as their group is dwindling (the ladies still love Ahmad to this point). They go to an oracle and are told to take out the enemy Queen in her lair and kill their leader who possesses the Horns of Power. They proceed to go there and do so, but the leader of the Vikings is poisoned. In his dying effort he is able to defeat the final forces and crush that dude and his Horns of Power. Everyone is sad but also happy and Ahmad forgets about the ladies that loved him and heads back home. This may in fact be my worst ever synopsis. I have only the movie to blame. THE END.

Why?! Ahmad really just gets caught up in all of this, but eventually you get the sense that he kind of digs the Viking lifestyle of fighting and drinking and, pardon my French, making sweet, sweet love to Viking queens. He always like “No, I can’t do that for God or whatever,” but then he does… because he’s a Viking at heart.

What?! Before each battle Ahmad slams a couple Coors Lights and when the Vikings asks how that’s OK with his religion he exclaims “It is mere water to quench my thirst.” Seriously though I thought this section would be trouble until a prophecy at the end reveals that in order to conquer the bad guys they must defeat the leader who wears the Horns of Power. While perhaps not a MacGuffin in the truest sense of the word, it is definitely awesome in every other sense of the word.

Who?! There are two interesting credits here. The first is Dr. Leroy Perry, a sports chiropractor who got a special thanks on the film. He is apparently a big deal LA chiropractor and likely entered this production after Banderas sustained a back injury early in filming. For a while there he was part of a number of films, but IMDb doesn’t have any credits after this one. The second is that Michael Crichton ended up doing uncredited reshoots on the film and is listed as an director on IMDb. This is the reason that the film was not released for over a year after filming as Crichton had final cut rights and didn’t like McTiernan’s version (which also tested poorly). So he did his own reshoots and that’s what we ended up seeing. This also may explain why the film is so close to the book (which is nearly unfilmable) as it appears that Crichton had a lot of control on production.

Where?! The whole setting can only really be gleaned from the book/historical person that the story fictionalizes. So we can presume this takes place in modern day Russia… but it’s kinda lame. D

When?!  One can assume that this takes place in the 10th century because Banderas’ character is based on a real person who wrote about the culture of Vikings in his travels. The whole story was concocted as a reimagining of the Beowulf mythos as a twisting of the true tale of a Viking battle. But of course no one in the film is like “Yo, it’s the 10th century, bro. Viking time.” D

This film is really interesting… but no matter how much I wanted to say that it was underrated and actually good I couldn’t make myself do it. Why? Because it’s kinda boring and they botched the big action pieces that could have taken it to another level. I actually listened to the audiobook for the novel that this was based on and it is shockingly similar. That would be fine except that as I listened to it the only thing I could think was “This could be a really great film as long as they made major changes and really amped up the action scenes.” Guess what? They didn’t. And in the end it pretty much matched the book. Interesting as a concept, but boring as a film. Matched with it was Edison Force starring our boys LL Cool J and Justin Timberlake. JT in particular gives the worst performance I’ve actually seen put to film and the entire film seems like a less successful 88 Minutes or Righteous Kill (if that can be believed). It is a terrible film and also kinda funny to watch at times if only for JT embarrassing himself. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever just want to go on a relaxing holiday up north, a little sauna, a few laughs, but then get hooked into a battle against some cannibals with magic horns of power?! Me neither, but Ahmad Ibn Fadlan did, let’s go!

The Good – Let’s get this out of the way: I dug this movie. And not in an ironic way. If this was cleaned up a bit and was made in like 1980 I think it might have been kind of good in the Conan the Barbarian kind of way. But it was instead made in 1999, and is not cleanly made. So it is merely a somewhat tolerable film in the medieval genre, that is really the best you can say about it. Beautiful though.

Ps View on the Preview – The director of this film is actually really interesting. Made Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt for the Red October back-to-back-to-back. He was a true legend, someone that is still mentioned as “hey, maybe he could still make something great if given the chance.” But he perjured himself to the FBI and went to prison and now no one seems to want to touch him with a ten foot pole. And by all accounts this film was a complete mess with audiences and cut / shot to shit by Michael Crichton. It is bananas, and the only reason this is even on BMT’s radar.

The Bad – And it is cut to shit. The movie is at turns kind of boring and extremely confusing. It is beautiful, but that only really gets you so far. It helped immensely that I brushed up on my Beowulf so I could pick up what they were … just kind of throwing willy nilly at the screen. I also had to watch the film in pieces. It really doesn’t grab you. And this is coming from a person who said he dug the film. Yikes.

Get Yo Rant On! – It is tough to think on something to rant about here … how about the gall of Michael Crichton to think he could make Beowulf interesting (his words not mine, that is literally why he wrote the book, as a kind of dare to make the story interesting to modern audiences). I can’t speak to whether the book was successful … but the movie is pretty boring, so probably not very successful there. I still bet you could make the story interesting though … like set it on an alien planet and make Grendal an actual alien monster or something? I’ll take my payment for this idea in Bitcoin, thanks.

The BMT – Naw, this isn’t a BMT film at all … but I could probably watch it again. For the vistas! I love vistas and this movie has them in spades. But it is nowhere near as bad as a BMT film should be. It is one of the better actual films we’ve seen for BMT in the last year easily … which I guess is terrible?

Welcome to Earf – Antonio Banderas is in The 13th Warrior and Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone who was in The Zookeeper with Adam Sandler who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – The only mention I found in an actual worst of list was it being mentioned as being … not that bad. But it is easily found on worst flops lists. Like this one. That is basically why it is famous after all.

Bring a Friend – This week we watched Edison as part of the bring a friend cycle. And unfortunately the only thing you can really say about it is that it is generic. Sure Justin Timberlake’s acting is straight up hilarious in the film. And some of the directorial choices are kind of off the wall. But if you’ve seen any number of cheesy corrupt cop dramas you’ve seen this movie. There is no twist, or mystery, no killers like in Righteous Kill to keep things interesting. It is just m’boy Justin T cracking the case with good journalism and taking down some fratty F.R.A.T. bros. No biggie. As far as bring a friend is concerned though I would give is a D+. It is hard to fault the film for its mere existence, but why does it exist? Why did I watch this? I will never watch it again, and would never recommend it to anyone. The extra few points is because JT’s acting is amusing on occasion. If you like guns though there is a good shoot’em up right in the beginning. Watch the first 10 minutes and then turn it off.

I did not read the book.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The 13th Warrior Preview

Patrick and Jamie are transported to the Top Hat Land, the land of the Top Hat Man. Their tale of how they met, battled, earned a grudging respect for, and ultimately became good friends with the Top Hat Man is a really exciting tale full of adventure and good humor. Maybe someday you’ll get to hear it… it’s really great. Too bad this is a different story. They walk into Top Hat Man’s kitchen where he is doing his morning sudoku over a warm cup of the blood of innocents. He looks at us with surprise. ‘Oh hi, guys. I didn’t expect you. You need something?” Boy howdy, do they. “I need to escape the horrorscape that I’m trapped in before I am destroyed by the many terrors I’m encountering,” says Patrick. “And I need to totally own this vampire in a dance-off,” says Jamie. The Top Hat Man ponders while consuming one of his recently captured souls of the damned. “Hmmm, I’m only a simple all-powerful demon my guys. I think I can maybe do one of those things. Which should I do?” When Patrick open his mouth to ask for rescue from his dire situation he is quickly interrupted by Jamie, “I want to learn the Top Hat Dance to put this piece of shit Vampiro to shame.” Patrick winks out of existence. When the Top Hat Man finishes the Top Hat Dance Jamie realized it’s not that much different than the patented Twin Dance he and Patrick have mastered. “Seems pretty obvious in retrospect, Top Hat Man. Guess I didn’t really need your help in the end. But nice seeing you.” Jamie winks out of existence.

Back in Dracula School, Jamie pulls out all the stops in performing his sensual yet classy dance routine. Vampiro is stunned. He falls to his knees and stammers, “Just as the Viking legend foretold…” That’s right! This week we’re watching The 13th Warrior. It is the classic story of a Middle Eastern emissary caught up in a Viking war that we know and love. It was well known at the time of release for being totally recut and reshot after test audiences responded poorly to it. It ended up sitting on the shelf for almost a year before finally being released in 1999. Let’s go!

Back in the alleyway set Patrick reappears. Now that he thinks about it he kind of wishes he had also asked to learn the Top Hat Dance, although he doubted it was better than their patented Twin Dance anyways. Nearby Sticks and Stones, unaware that he has returned, are finishing the end of a heated conversation. “Gosh dern it! We lost him! If our corrupt police captain who wrapped us up in all of that corruption with that corrupt city official finds out, that’s it! No more corruption money for us, Sticks and Stones, the most corrupt cops in the Z-Movie Multiverse.” At that moment Sticks notices Patrick. “He’s back” he growls, “how much of that did you hear?” That’s right, we’re also watching Edison (Force). Known either as simply Edison or Edison Force, this star-studded film (featuring Morgan Freeman, Justin Timberlake, and *cough* Kevin Spacey) was shelved for one year before being quietly released as a direct-to-DVD feature. Let’s go!

The 13th Warrior (1999) – BMeTric: 16.6

The13thWarrior_BMeT

The13thWarrior_RV

(Wowza that 2011 inflection! It is so steep there! I think this kind of confirms one of the original theories I had about all of this. The 13th Warrior is exactly the type of film people outside of the US would end up voting a ton on. So it is very likely that is why the vote count increased so dramatically at that time.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  In ancient times, exiled Arabian nobleman Banderas travels with some Norsemen to their homelands, there to face possibly supernatural nighttime marauders, who eat their victims. Sturdy, action-packed adventure with horror overtones, realistic but in the heroic tradition, shot on spectacular Canadian locations. Based on Michael Crichton’s novel Eaters of the Dead, itself inspired by true travel writings and the medieval tale of Beowulf.

(A true rarity. Two and a half stars is pretty common in my opinion, Leonard Maltin is pretty gentle with a lot of reviews. But three stars points to this being possibly genuinely enjoyable. Maybe he just loves the visuals more than he hates the muddled story.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui7GUCzlBTM

 

(I. Am. Getting. Amped. Although you can totally see why this is considered a complete mess of a production, so … I guess we’ve got that going for us. It isn’t surprising that the critics tend to say it looks nice, but is thin on plot. This trailer proves that: it looked nice, but hey, guess what, you don’t need a plot in a trailer.)

Directors – John McTiernan – (Known For: Predator; The Hunt for Red October; Die Hard; The Thomas Crown Affair; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Future BMT: Medicine Man; Last Action Hero; Nomads; Basic; BMT: Rollerball; The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Known for including unsubtitled foreign language dialogue in his films. Born into the biz, but basically retired after Basic.)

Michael Crichton – (Known For: Runaway; Westworld; Coma; The First Great Train Robbery; Future BMT: Physical Evidence; Looker; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Twister in 1997; Notes: Basically stopped directing after the 80s. This is literally his only credit after 1989 for directing and it is via uncredited reshoots. Just nuts.)

Writers – Michael Crichton (novel) – (Known For: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Jurassic World; Jurassic Park; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Twister; Jurassic Park III; Runaway; Westworld; Disclosure; Coma; The First Great Train Robbery; The Andromeda Strain; The Terminal Man; Future BMT: Congo; Sphere; Rising Sun; Looker; BMT: Timeline; The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Twister in 1997; Notes: Probably my favorite thing about Crichton is his kind of obvious hatred of scientists (at the very least his penchant for making them pure evil). They always know what is best, but their hubris ends up nearly destroying the world. What disasters!)

William Wisher (screenplay) – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; The Terminator; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; I.T.; Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist; BMT: Judge Dredd; The 13th Warrior; Notes: Had bit parts in both Terminators and The Abyss … so probably knows James Cameron quite well.)

Warren Lewis (screenplay) – (Known For: Black Rain; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Notes: He is credited as contributing to the 1969 film Latitude Zero. This seems extremely unlikely as it is 20 years prior to his other credits and would make him 70 years old at the very very least. But I can’t find additional information on his birthdate or age anywhere.)

Actors – Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Shrek 2; Shrek Forever After; Shrek the Third; Spy Kids; Philadelphia; Desperado; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; Knight of Cups; The Mask of Zorro; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Acts of Vengeance; Frida; La piel que habito; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; The 33; Bullet Head; Puss in Boots; Black Butterfly; Future BMT: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D; Machete Kills; Play It to the Bone; Never Talk to Strangers; The Other Man; The Legend of Zorro; The Body; The Big Bang; Original Sin; Gun Shy; Two Much; Autómata; Assassins; Of Love and Shadows; Justin and the Knights of Valour; Four Rooms; Imagining Argentina; Black Gold; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Expendables 3; The 13th Warrior; Notes: Was married to Melanie Griffith for nearly 20 years. He looked pretty swanky with his new GF at the Starlite Gala though.)

Diane Venora – (Known For: Heat; Romeo + Juliet; The Insider; The Cotton Club; True Crime; F/X; Ironweed; The Substitute; Hamlet; Wolfen; Bird; The Young Girl and the Monsoon; Looking for an Echo; Future BMT: Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; All Good Things; The Jackal; Surviving Picasso; Stateside; Three Wishes; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Notes: Originally a theater actor. She even was reportedly fired from the show Thunder Alley because she was playing the part like she was on Broadway.)

Dennis Storhøi – (Known For: Zwei Leben; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Notes: Norwegian actor. Nearly all of his credits are productions in Norway. It is hard to tell, but it is possible this was his one foray into an American production.)

Budget/Gross – $85–160 million / Domestic: $32,698,899 (Worldwide: $61,698,899)

(Yeah the budget numbers are all over the place according to the IMDb notes. It is probably in the $115 million range prior to marketing. Regardless one of the largest bombs in history.)

#51 for the Adventure – Period genre

13thwarrior_adventureperiod

(Only narrowly beats out The Three Musketeers (2011) which is … embarrassing. Had a bit of a lull, but it is kind of struggling to reassert itself. Kong: Skull Island and The Jungle Book suggest that there is still an audience for something like this … if it is attached to a known quantity.)

#15 for the Medieval Times genre

13thwarrior_medieval

(Our highest grossing. In kind of a lull now. Possibly because of things like Game of Thrones eating away a bit at its audience? Didn’t help that that King Arthur film bombed hard.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (29/88): Atmospheric, great sets and costumes, but thin plot.

(Thanks Rotten Tomatoes, Jesus. Could you maybe give me less to work with here. So basically … eye candy with literally nothing behind it? Whatever, this movie is going to be boring I bet. Reviewer Highlight – With a budget said to be more than $100 million, it displays a lot of cash on the screen, but little thought. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – The Umpteeth Bore-ior (B-)

thirteenth_warrior_ver3

(Did a little NYPost with that one. Not the best of the posters, but it’s what’s on IMDb so I default to that. I kind of like the spacing and all the pieces to this one including some font work. Should have played up the orange tones. Give it a little fire.)

Tagline(s) – Defy fear (C+)

An Ordinary Man…An Extraordinary Journey! (F)

(Two versions of the poster exist with these two different taglines. They should have burned one of them… I’ll let you guess which one. Defy fear is fine (although almost a tongue twister to say and mostly nonsense). The second one is… not good.)

Keyword(s) – arab; Top Ten by BMeTric: 62.5 Bitch Slap (2009); 61.7 Ishtar (1987); 54.9 Cannonball Run II (1984); 53.6 Best Defense (1984); 49.7 The Sin Eater (2003); 46.3 Legionnaire (1998); 44.3 American Dreamz (2006); 41.3 2012 (I) (2009); 38.8 Bad Kids Go to Hell (2012); 38.7 The Delta Force (1986);

(Oooooof what a keyword. Anyways, All of these sound awful and I want to see none of them. I also am unsure what 2012 has to do with arabs. Ishtar is fine, but Cannonball Run II is straight up racist. This keyword is bonkers.)

Notes – In accordance with the book, John McTiernan’s version of the Wendol’s mother was an old woman, which was filmed with veteran actress Susan Willis. When Michael Crichton took over and did the reshoots, it was decided that brutally killing off an old lady did not reflect very well on the heroes. Crichton decided after the fact to make her younger, sleeker and tougher. In the final released film, Wendol’s mother is played by actress Kristen Cloke (uncredited), but the final credits still list Susan Willis as the Wendol’s mother (although she is nowhere to be seen in the final cut). (This movie seems like a gem …)

Graeme Revell had composed a complete original score when the movie was slated to be released as “Eaters of the Dead” in 1998. But after the film was deemed unwatchable during test screenings, Michael Crichton took over the project and rejected Revell’s original score and brought in Jerry Goldsmith to rescore the film, renamed “The 13th Warrior.” (Unwatchable …)

Although rumors persist that ‘The 13th Warrior’ was one of the most expensive movie flops ever with a budget of $160m (the figure given on the-numbers.com for its combined production and marketing costs), the producers claimed that the actual cost of the film before marketing was $90m. In the U.S. The 13th Warrior grossed $32,698,900 and only $61,702,600 worldwide. (So a giant bomb, got it)

The film omits an explanation of who the “mist monsters” actually are. In the novel, author Michael Crichton reveals they were the descendants of the Neanderthals.

One of the Viking ships used in the movie is now to be found in the Norwegian pavilion in the EPCOT-center, Walt Disney World, where it is used as a playground for kids. The Disney-company is also the owner of Touchstone Pictures that made the movie. (Fun fact)

Since Michael Crichton published his novel “Eaters of the Dead” in 1976, the basis of this film, it has become regarded as one of the most notorious hoaxes in Librarianship Circles. The Ahmad Tusi Manuscript that Crichton referenced in his bibliography as being the source of this story, is completely made up. The name of the translator Fraus Dolus is in fact two Latin words meaning both ‘hoax’ and ‘fraud’. The University of Oslo, where this manuscript is supposed to be kept, have (since the book was published), on an annual basis had to send out letters telling enquirers that they have been the victim of a hoax. (That’s pretty good, have to give Crichton credit there, that is hilarious)

Adapting “Beowulf” for his novel and then for this movie, Michael Crichton changed some of the original names for ones that sounded similar: Beowulf is here named Buliwyf, Hygelac becomes Hyglak, the Grendel transformed into the Wendol, etc. (So yeah … this is just Beowulf?)

Originally titled ‘Eaters of the Dead’, the film went through several re-edits after test audiences did not react well to the initial cut. After re-shooting several key scenes with Michael Crichton taking over as director, the title was changed to ‘The 13th Warrior’. The budget, which was originally around $85 million, reportedly soared to more than $110-115 million before principal photography wrapped. With all of the re-shoots and promotional expenses, the total cost of the film was a rumored $160 million. (Wow. That is nuts)

When Ibn Fahdlan (Banderas) and Melchisidek (Sharif) enters the tent at the beginning of the movie the latter speaks Greek which eventually leads to a conversation with the viking Herger (Storhoi). Melchisidek speaks Greek, and though Herger obviously understands Greek he responds in Latin which Melchisidek fortunately understands.Though it is not stated why a Northman could understand both Latin and Greek as there were no official connection between Scandinavia and Byzantine in the 10th century, the logical assumption would be that Herger learned the languages due to him taking part in the viking raids/travels into modern day Russia (where the first scenes are filmed) and from there south into what was then the Byzantine Empire. The dominant language of the Byzantium realm was Greek with Latin as a second language. The vikings made at least one attempt at conquering the capital of the Byzantium Empire. (Whaaaaaaa, there are like a thousand notes like this on IMDb each one more confusing than the last)

Was filmed two years before its eventual release date, which had been pushed back several times. (And that is why we are watching it, for reals)

The idea of 13 warriors is taken from Scandinavian myths regarding the danish king Hrolf Kraki (Pole-Ladder). The legend goes that Hrolf Kraki had an entourage of 12 warriors (like Buliwyf in the film) and in some versions, one of them is Bödvar Bjarki, a hero who shares parallels with the hero Beowulf. Some scholars has suggested that the story of Bödvar Bjarki is simply another version of the story of Beowulf. (Very interesting stuff)

In John McTiernan’s original cut there was no final duel between Bulywyf and the leader of the Wendol. (Huh, then why add it in?)

Director Stuart Gordon first optioned the rights from Michael Crichton’s book in the early 1990s and generated a lot of interest in the project, before ‘Martha Coolidge’ (QV) got interested before John McTiernan was ultimately actually hired to direct it. (Sounds like a real prize …)

Speed 2: Cruise Control Recap

Jamie

Annie is back, Jack! And now she has a new boyfriend, Alex, who is in no way similar to her much more famous ex-boyfriend. They decide to go on a cruise, but uh oh! It gets hijacked by a terrorist hell bent on revenge against the cruise ship navigation company that did him wrong (wait, what?). Can Annie stop him before it’s too late? Find out in Speed 2: Cruise Control.

What?! Annie is still the same old girl we knew and loved from Speed. Can’t drive and is always joking around. Boy oh boy, sure do love Annie from Speed. She has a new boyfriend, Alex, who swears he’s a bike cop but is actually a SWAT team member… just like her last boyfriend. Hmmm, almost as if his role was written for someone else. The discovery of this fact throws their relationship into turmoil and you know what that means: vacay time! They hop on a Caribbean cruise ready for some fun in the sun and that’s pretty much all they get…. besides some light international terrorism! John Geiger, a former programmer for the company that makes the navigation system on the cruise ship, is on board and he’s got an axe to grind. That’s because he got sick and the company was like “no way, we don’t like sick people” and dropped him. He plants all kinds of bombs all over the ship and then takes over controls. He forces the captain to abandon ship, but Annie and Alex have a bad feeling about it and throw his plan into flux by being total bosses. Realizing his plan is going awry at the hands of a super cop, Geiger starts to target Alex and try to take him out. Fat chance, jokester. Alex is totes cool and just as famous and awesome as Keanu Reeves, don’t worry about it. They realize that Geiger is controlling the ship and attempt to flood the ballasts to slow them down. They then try to jam the propellers when they realize that the ship is aimed directly at an oil tanker but Geiger ambushes them and escapes with Annie as a hostage. Desperate, Alex used the bow thrusters to turn the ship away from the tanker and crash it into land. He then hops on a speedboat and chases after Geiger who is attempting to fly away in a plane. Fat chance, sucker. Alex is on your tail and he totally takes him out and smooches Annie. THE END.

Why?! Oh boy, this is going to be good. So, our main man Geiger is totes sick because he worked on computers for the navigation system. The electromagnetic waves and prolonged exposure to computer parts gave him copper poisoning. This turned into some kind of chronic condition so in a very Philadelphia-like scenario he is fired by the company. Unlike Philadelphia, though, Geiger doesn’t aim to remediate this through litigation, but rather by becoming a domestic terrorist that will end with him escaping an exploding cruise ship with millions and millions of dollars in stolen diamonds… the whole thing is crazy and pretty much amazing.

What?! In a shocking twist there is not a MacGuffin in this film. There are a bunch of diamonds but not the MacGuffin’s Jewel or some such that is super valuable. There were a couple different movies shown on screen, which is always fun. We saw both The Enemy Below (another film where a boat crashes into another boat) and Lolita (another film where a grown man has an inappropriate relationship with a young girl). I kid of course, as Alex does not in fact have a relationship with the deaf 14-year-old girl in the film but there were all these weird things in the film that made you think that he might.

Who?! No less than three musicians/bands appear in this film. The smallest part goes to Carlinhos Brown, who performs A Namorada in the film. We also see the band UB40, which performs Tell Me Is It True and has a Speed 2 themed music video:

Finally we have the mononymous Tamia who actually appeared in the film as the character Sheri Silver and performed Make Tonight Beautiful… it was her only feature film role ever.

Where?! I thought for a while we would have a vague “Caribbean” setting, but fortunately near the end it’s revealed that the ultimate target of Geiger is the island of Saint Martin where the tanker is docked. Not even the first film we’ve seen set there. The island was also the setting of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

When?! Buckle your seatbelts because this is my favorite temporal setting of all time. That’s because Geiger gets his bombs on board disguised as golf balls. When the cruise temporarily loses his clubs he is freaking out. Alex and Annie see this and are totally confused and a little suspicious when then this apparent golf nut has no interest in The Players Championship at Sawgrass. This would place the events of the film at the end of March… it’s just so good. It’s so randomly vital to the plot. I’m giving it an A-.

This may in fact be the lamest film ever. It’s sooooo 90’s and has like 3 different smooth R&B/Ska bands that play in the beginning of the film. Jason Patric may not have been wearing mom jeans in reality, but I pretty much remember him that way because this film was so lame. I feel like someone made it as a joke… but I don’t think they did. I just think they didn’t really know what made Speed such a success (or didn’t care) so they just made something dumb because they had to make something. Should I even talk about the strange Lolita storyline they had in the film? Nah, I could write a novel about that storyline because it’s bonkers. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Speed 2: Cruise Control? More like Speed 2: Snooze Control amirite? A bunch of people unwisely signed a contract promising a sequel to the smash action hit Speed. Now, I’m not saying they intentionally botched it, but … let’s get into it!

The Good – There is a kernel of a good movie here (see Get Yo Rant On below). Sandy Bullock is as charming and beautiful as ever. Dafoe knows what he’s gotten himself into and acts accordingly. The grand island-crushing finale is satisfyingly grand, even though these days you’d be able to do the same thing for pennies on the dollar using special effects.

P’s View on the Preview – We had both seen this film before (many times in bits and pieces over the years on cable as well). Re-watching films has, up until recently, been a very rare occurrence. I was immediately interested in knowing how BMT would hold up in the face of these prior experiences. Would it end up being kind of boring as I know the beats of the film (which has happened with one or two of the Hall of Fame films), or would the non-stop pulse-pounding Jason Patric action take (cruise) control.

The Bad – This film is straight up nonsense. Dafoe has copper poisoning from working with computer systems for years? He uses leeches to clean his blood? His plan is to steal a bunch of diamonds from a cruise ship? Did he intend to crash it into an oil tanker? Why didn’t Jason Patric turn the boat completely around when they were manually steering it with the bow thrusters? Why didn’t they manually steer the boat initially instead of trying to stop the propellers? What was the point of Bullock or any of the other non-essential characters? Are we to believe the same person who had his car commandeered and crashed in Speed lives in Saint Martin and then also gets his boat commandeered and crashed in Speed 2?! Forget all of the other questions, I’m most concerned about the last one, the man only known as … Tune Man.

Get Yo Rant On – This movie could have been a fine Die Hard knockoff. A couple, a cop who can’t relax and his straight talking girlfriend, go on a cruise. He plans on proposing, but can’t find the right time. During the ballroom show one night the cop gets seasick and goes to his cabin. At that moment a group of criminals take control of the boat. Under the guise of eco terrorists hell bent on crashing the (diesel guzzling) ship into a (environment destroying) tourist island, they are actually after the diamonds stored deep in the belly of the ship. Little to they know that our hero, overlooked initially, is roaming the ocean liner foiling their every move. Can the cop stop the disaster, kill the bad guy, and pop the question? Don’t you know it! All aboard, Cruise Control!

Welcome to Earth – Straight off the dome, this is a long one! Sandy Bullock is in both Speed 2: Cruise Control and Miss Congeniality, which stars Benjamin Bratt who is also in Catwoman, which stars Halle Berry who is also in Swordfish, which stars John Travolta (who by the way is in Battlefield Earth, welcome to Earf) who is also in Old Dogs, which stars Robin Williams who is also in Big Wedding, which stars Robert De Niro who is also in Righteous Kill, which stars Al Pacino who is also in 88 Minutes, which stars Leelee Sobieski who is also in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

The BMT – The more I think about this film the more enamored I become. The initial watch was just kind of blah. It is pretty dull if you don’t psych yourself into it. But after a lengthy discussion with Jamie about it I came around a bit just because the film itself is so ludicrous. Absolutely nothing in this film makes sense, and it is kind of beautiful. I don’t know if it’ll end up being much more than a I’ve-seen-this-film-a-few-times-and-it-is-dumb-fun film, but I wouldn’t not watch it again if asked. It’s legacy, I think, might end up being that it is the worst sequel ever made and thus was required viewing for any good Bad Movie Twin.

StreetCreditReport.com – This is considered one of the worst films ever made. It is number two on this list for the worst of the 90s! And number twenty on this other one. It is number one on the worst sequels ever made list! Amazingly we’ve only seen 20 of those 50, some outside of BMT even. It mainly gets play on worst of sequels lists, which I think is fair. It is very arguably this is the worst sequel ever made.

Did I re-watch Speed? No, I watched it about a month ago randomly anyways, so it was fresh enough in my mind that I could pull refs like Tune Man on the fly. No regrets. Speed is a good movie, but, in my opinion, it is not a great movie. The last third sinks it hard. You end up wanting to shut it off once they get off of the bus.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Speed 2: Cruise Control Preview

We sit on our perch, chilling with the night security guard, Ed, while he protects the Ivory Socket. We discuss at length his hopes and dreams. His passions, his loves and his greatest fears. He asks if we would like a cracker. Ed, you devil, you always know just what would hit the spot. As we munch on our crackers Ed asks us when we plan to steal the Socket. We freeze… cracker crumbs spilling down out parrot costumes. How did he know? Of course, he always knew (the devil), for we are full grown adult humans in parrot costumes. But he enjoyed our company and thought he’d delay our arrest for as long as he could. Today was supposed to be the day he finally turned us in, but he just can’t. We’ve changed his life (and honestly, Ed has changed ours too). He hands us the Ivory Socket and tells us to go, throwing rocks at us to goad us on. “I never even liked you stupid birds!” He screams with tears streaming down his face and we squawk our way out of the Royal Library. When we attempt to use the Socket to destroy the Dongle we find it’s port jammed with a note. “Before you make two pieces one, a sacred liquid must be found. Venture to the isle of sun, and find it deep within the ground.” Wait… another MacGuffin? Or is the Socket still the only MacGuffin and the sacred liquid is like… part of it that helps power it? Regardless, the riddle is trash (suspiciously so, hmmmmmm) and obviously points to the Isla del Sol in Bolivia. Time to catch a boat and get some R&R on a relaxing cruise where nothing super crazy should happen along the way. That’s right! We’re watching Speed 2: Cruise Control. This is one of the most critically reviled sequels in film history with an well deserved place on our Calendar. We’ve obviously seen it before, but probably not since its release so I remember almost none of it. Let’s go!

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) – BMeTric: 89.5

Speed2CruiseControl_BMeT

Speed2CruiseControl_RV

(Notorious, but I think it gets a bit of a pass as an action film with a charming and still-loved lead in Bullock. It’ll rise steadily with more votes, although I’m not sure it’ll ever actually get to 4.0 … I mean, it would need people to give it a 5/10 at least … are people giving Speed 2 ratings of 5 or above? That would be crazy.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Mind-numbingly stupid action yarn opens with a chase scene that makes no sense, and never improves. Bullock (whose character here is especially annoying) agrees to go on a Caribbean cruise with boyfriend Patric, an L.A.P.D. officer. When a madman Dafoe takes control of the ship, Patric feels it’s his duty to try and stop him. Did anyone read the script before signing on for this one?

(Keanu Reeves did. That’s why he then skipped out on it. The director had to do it, and I think Bullock was at an early point in here career where she still needed the job/money. Patric … well this kind of derailed whatever career he had I think, so yeah, he should have thought this guy through.)

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

(My word. Loud, choppy cuts, one liners out the wazoo. C’mon now, this is going to be amazing. Dafoe is also just completely ridiculous as well. Get hyped.)

Directors – Jan de Bont – (Known For: Twister; Speed; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; The Haunting; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1998 for Speed 2: Cruise Control; and in 2000 for The Haunting; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: There is very little explanation as to why he basically retired after Lara Croft 2. He was a cinematographer for years before becoming, briefly, one of the most in demand action directors of the late 90s.)

Writers – Graham Yost (characters) – (Known For: Speed; Broken Arrow; The Last Castle; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Hard Rain; Notes: Writes and produces television now. Only credited because he wrote the original Speed screenplay.)

Jan de Bont (story) – (BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1998 for Speed 2: Cruise Control; and in 2000 for The Haunting; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: The only film he has a story credit for, presumably because it is based off of a dream he had (? Read the notes below).)

Randall McCormick (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Titan A.E.; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: This was his first screenplay after getting the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.)

Jeff Nathanson (screenplay) – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; The Terminal; Rush Hour 2; Tower Heist; The Last Shot; Future BMT: Rush Hour 3; New York, I Love You; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Apparently was an uncredited screenwriter on Twister (also directed by de Bont) along with Joss Whedon, which I imagine is how he got attached to this film. Is somewhat famous for uncredited rewrites of many notable projects.)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Ocean’s Eight; The Proposal; Gravity; Crash; Minions; The Heat; Miss Congeniality; Speed; While You Were Sleeping; The Prince of Egypt; A Time to Kill; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Two Weeks Notice; Forces of Nature; The Vanishing; The Thing Called Love; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Infamous; Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Future BMT: Premonition; Love Potion No. 9; The Net; Stolen Hearts; Hope Floats; 28 Days; Murder by Numbers; Gun Shy; Practical Magic; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; In Love and War; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; Demolition Man; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man in 1994; Notes: She’s opened up recently about sexism and other tough subjects in Hollywood. But she does give a good shout out to de Bont whom she credits with giving her her big break when no one else would.)

Jason Patric – (Known For: The Yellow Birds; The Lost Boys; Sleepers; The Losers; My Sister’s Keeper; In the Valley of Elah; Rush; Narc; Geronimo: An American Legend; The Confines; Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound; Your Friends & Neighbors; After Dark, My Sweet; The Journey of August King; Keyhole; Expired; Three Days of Rain; Future BMT: The Prince; Cavemen; The Outsider; The Alamo; Downloading Nancy; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Solarbabies; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Was a sort of child actor in things like Solarbabies. His father was nominated for an Oscar for The Exorcist.)

Willem Dafoe – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; John Wick; Finding Nemo; Spider-Man 3; The Florida Project; What Happened to Monday; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Spider-Man; Finding Dory; American Psycho; Platoon; The Fault in our Stars; Inside Man; Spider-Man 2; Death Note; John Carter; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The Aviator; Antichrist; The English Patient; Future BMT: New Rose Hotel; Anamorph; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; The Great Wall; Tomorrow You’re Gone; Flight of the Intruder; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; Fireflies in the Garden; Lulu on the Bridge; A Family Man; Adam Resurrected; The Reckoning; Miral; Odd Thomas; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; xXx²: The Next Level; Body of Evidence; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Body of Evidence in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: He’s playing the villain in the upcoming Aquaman film. There are tons of rumors about him as the Joker as well, although that obviously seems pretty unlikely … since he’s the villain in Aquaman.)

Budget/Gross – $110 million (official) $135–160 million (estimated) / Domestic: $48,608,066 (Worldwide: $164,508,066)

(That is pretty catastrophic. Ultimately that is likely in the $30-50 million write off range if my admittedly amateur box office math works correctly. Although, this movie was a pretty long time ago so who knows how this all worked back then.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (2/69): Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.

(One of the worst reviewed films ever I would presume, 3% is quite low. Given the first has a RT score above 95% this also certainly qualifies as one of the worst sequels of all time (if not the worst sequel ever made). Reviewer Highlight: An ear-splitting amusement-park attraction posing as a movie. – Jamie Bernard, New York Daily News)

Poster – Speed 2: Sklog Control (D)

speed_two_cruise_control

(Wow. A true tragedy nearly on the level of 1998’s The Avengers, which has become my watermark for how bad a poster can be. Look at those two electric colors and… like, rain or something across everything. Truly misguided. Does have unique font though and it’s not super cluttered like some posters can be, so just above the bottom of the barrel.)

Tagline(s) – Rush hour hits the water. (D+)

(Ha! For some reason this is very amusing to me. The idea that this would deal with some kind of boat traffic or whatever. It’s got fine construction, but is just so stupid that it’s funny.)

Keyword(s) – time bomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.5 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 85.4 Spice World (1997); 83.6 RoboCop 3 (1993); 78.9 Torque (2004); 78.0 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 70.3 On Deadly Ground (1994); 68.2 Double Team (1997); 64.4 Fair Game (1995);

(Awesome. We do have to go back and smash Street Fighter at one point. We stupidly didn’t do it when we did Legend of Chun Li or again when we inducted that into the Hall of Fame. Although that would have required a outside of the box Bonus, which we’ve never done … this is some pretty niche BMT behind the scenes talk)

Movie Stub – Speed 2: Cruise Control (GA-class) – Look at this beauty. There isn’t much in the talk page, although there is a pretty thorough review commentary which I plan on looking at as some point. No specific public notes on improvements, nor do I think it needs any, so I’ll leave it be for now.

Notes – The original script was intended to be the third film in the “Die Hard” series. After the success of the first film though, the script was reworked into a Speed sequel instead. (Huh. Vengeance is a much better idea for that (and Vengeance’s script was supposed to be a Lethal Weapon sequel)).

In a 2000 interview, Sandra Bullock jokingly referred to this movie as “the biggest piece of crap ever made.” (Not really, but it isn’t great)

Gary Oldman turned down the role of the villain, and instead chose to make Air Force One (1997). (Great choice)

Although the movie was close to being universally panned by film critics, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were among the very few critics to give the movie a positive review. Before his death, Ebert stated that this was the review he had to defend more than any other he had written, and that it was the one most often cited as an example of him being a poor film critic. (Ebert was a rare critic who could make a convincing argument for “it’s good for what it is”. It worked for him because he rarely deployed it for really dire films and also didn’t tend to bump films up that much using the excuse. It is understandable he’d be criticized here though, it is quite a leap to call this movie anything but garbage IMO)

Keanu Reeves turned down the movie to go on tour with his band Dogstar. (FAKE NEWS. According to Keanu. See the note below)

Matthew McConaughey was one of the male stars considered once Keanu Reeves bailed. (Would have been 1000x better. Sorry Jason)

Sandra Bullock’s character Annie was not given a last name at all in Speed (1994). movie. Here, it is revealed to be Porter. (Coooool)

Sandra Bullock agreed to star in this film in order to get financing for her pet project Hope Floats (1998). (Get yo money Sandra)

Jason Patric only agreed to make the film contingent on some major script changes being made. However, when he eventually arrived onset three months later, he found that the script hadn’t changed at all and he was contractually obligated to make the film. He found the whole experience to be thoroughly miserable and depressing. (Awwwww)

Susan Barnes plays Constance in this film. In the first Speed film, she plays the frozen-in-fear female executive who is the last one out of the perilous elevator. In this film, her character is seen calmly sitting down smoking while being trapped among others in a life-threatening situation. This may allude to her character’s survival from the first film. She is one of four people to appear in both films. (Nooooooo)

Jon Bon Jovi, ‘Patrick Muldoon’, and Christian Slater were also considered for the male lead. (Jon Bon Jovi might have worked, especially if they recast Bullock as well)

The oil tanker bears the name “Eindhoven”, the Dutch hometown of director Jan de Bont. (ooooo fun fact)

The device labeled “Fiber Optic Converter” used by the hacker is really a mechanical KVM switch (a device used to operate several PCs with one set of keyboard, mouse and monitor). (Who knows these kinds of things?)

Keanu Reeves passed on the role to star in the horror film The Devil’s Advocate (1997), which was filmed at the same time as Speed 2, and subsequently toured with his band, Dogstar. Reeves said that Fox was “furious” with his decision and released “propaganda” against him, falsely claiming that he turned down the role to tour with his band.

The sequence where the Seabourn Legend rams into port was, at the time, the most expensive stunt ever filmed, accounting for $25,000,000 of the film’s $110,000,000 budget. (holy shit)

Director Jan de Bont initially felt that Speed (1994) had no sequel potential, but he was contractually obliged to direct a sequel when it was green-lit after the success of the first movie. Many ideas were pitched, including a plane which cannot ascend above a certain altitude without exploding. Finally, de Bont used an idea of his own after he had recurrent nightmares about a cruise ship crashing into an island. (Oooof. The airplane idea is much better. Should have also recast once Keanu dropped, would have made it a bit more believable maybe.)

When Annie is retaking her driving test at the end of the film, a bus identical to the one in the original Speed passes by on the highway. Annie notes to her instructor about the bus “going way too fast”.

When the oil tanker explodes, what looks like a cow can be seen flying out with the rest of the debris from the tanker, possibly a reference to the flying cow from Twister (1996). (Noooooooo)

A total of 3 different ships were used in this film: Seaborn Legend (actual cruise liner; used for most exterior shots of the ship) “Bridge Ship” (Sturgeon Atlantic freighter ship built with a false hull and bridge; used for bridge scenes and the boat crashes in the marina) “Rail Ship” (false hull built on an underwater rail; used for the island crash finale scene). All other shots of the ship were complete computer graphic effects. (Super interesting. This is what I live for)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sandra Bullock, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Willem Dafoe, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson, Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (1998)

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Recap

Jamie

Ecks is a former FBI agent broken by the loss of his wife, Sever is a former assassin hell bent on getting revenge on the boss who betrayed her. Are they working with or against each other to save a kidnapped child? Find out in… Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.

How?! If that introduction makes this film sound coherent then I’m sorry, I have misled you. For it is laughably incomprehensible. Almost to the point where Patrick and I disagreed over exactly what happened in the end. But… I’ll give it a shot. Gant is a dangerous weapons dealer who has used his child (or is he? Bum bum bum) to transport a dangerous nanobot assassin across international borders. However, once in the US a rogue assassin, Sever, abducts the child (nanobots and all) with some rad martial arts. Needing someone to help find the kid the FBI approach disgraced FBI agent Ecks. At first resistant, he eventually relents when told that his long presumed dead wife is actually alive and they will lead him to her in exchange for his help. Working against Gant’s goons, Ecks and Sever play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. In order to get Ecks out of the way he is framed for a crime and arrested. While being transported to jail, though, Sever frees him and leads him on a ho-hum but very lengthy motorcycle chase. This culminates in Sever revealing that she is actually a good guy (what a twist!) and that Ecks’ wife is actually Gant’s wife (what a double twist!) and the missing child is actually Ecks’ child (what a… wait, none of this makes sense anymore). They team up to lead Gant to a train yard where they set off giant explosions and kill a whole mess of people. In a final showdown Sever shoots Gant with a nanobot infused bullet leading to his death. Ecks then lives happily ever after with his wife and child who he’s never met. Cool. THE END.

Why?! By all accounts the motivations for Ecks and Sever are what got this film in trouble in the first place. According to the director the producers wanted the leads to have clearer motivations. They rewrote it so that Ecks didn’t just want to help find a kid but that he was doing it to find his not-actually-dead wife and that the kid turned to be his kid… which would be great if it actually made any sense. Patrick and I still aren’t exactly sure what was going on. Was she Gant’s wife, but Ecks’ lover? Was she actually Ecks’ wife and then Gant put together a super elaborate scheme so that he could get with Ecks’ wife and become an international criminal? All I know is that it sure does seem extra dumb.

What?! We do have a nice MacGuffin in this guy with Softkill, the assassin nanobot. Complete with absurd computer graphics showing how said nanobot can totes inject you with dangerous chemicals, Softkill is something that every bad guy can’t wait to get his hands on.

Who?! Little did people know that this film actually completed a mononymous director tril-o-geez for BMT. That’s because we previously watched This Means War directed by McG and Catwoman directed by Pitof. This of course was directed by Kaos. Sweet trilogy bro. Next up Into the Sun directed by mink.

Where?! At first I thought for sure this was one of those classic films set in American City for American Action, but filmed in Canada. However, it wasn’t long before it was clear that this was actually set in Vancouver… which really throws everything for a loop. So the DIA director (a component of the DoD) just lives in Vancouver full time? And several different American law enforcement agencies just waltz into Canada and take over an investigation? Cool. B+.

When?! I cannot recall seeing a date thrown around anywhere, but it might have been because my brain died halfway through watching this film. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. F.

Usually when the reviews for a film say that a film is nearly incomprehensible what they actually mean is that they didn’t feel like paying attention because the film was bad, but in reality if you pay attention the film is coherent enough. Not Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. It’s legit hard to follow. And for that it must be commended. At the same time its incompetence gets in the way of truly enjoying the film as the worst reviewed of all time. It’s a great example of a truly bad film that I wouldn’t love to watch again. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Oooo what’s this, the first cut of that new sweet wife-fu film we commissioned from that up and coming director Kaos. What a sweet name, Kaooooos. The next John Woo I was told. Let’s just pop this guy in … oh, my God. May the lord have mercy on my soul. Let’s get into it!

The Good – There are moments in this film which look good. A specific shot in the rain is a little out of date, but not much different than something you’d see in Max Payne or Sin City. And a shot of a police officer falling off a building, specifically how they did it, is pretty impressive I think, and I think looks good. Like … the good parts make you kind of believe Kaos’ story that the movie was doomed by the production issues, because he filmed at least a few shots amazingly well I think.

P’s View on the Preview – This is the worst film ever reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes. So obviously exploring why that is and the interesting notability there was the number one priority. I also had seen the film once before over ten years ago. The only things I remembered was there is a crazy bus crashing scene, and the movie was so confusing that at one single point the storyline abruptly made no sense. To the point where I was confused as to why it was considered so bad and then all of a sudden I was “ah … there it is”.

The Bad – For the first half of the film it is just kind of confusing (more silly than anything), but then they try and pull Ecks’ wife into the mix and woooooof. It dials the confusion to eleven. Like … was he married to her? If so why did she subsequently get into Gant’s car? What happened to the other lady at lunch? It is fairly obvious that the initial intention was to not make Talisa Soto Ecks’ long dead wife (at least I think so), but they kind of reshot things to add the storyline in to makes things more personal … uh, that’ll be a mistake dawg. Besides that the action looks corny and/or shitty more often than not, the stunts look legit dangerous which makes me sad, and the soundtrack is bonkers. So really it is kind of top to bottom an impressive mess. Also shout out to Antonio Banderas’ character whitesplaining the One Child Policy to an Asian actor in the middle of the film.

Get Yo Rant On – It is kind of sad that it is likely that nothing will ever beat this film from a Rotten Tomatoes perspective. Nothing. There is just no way a film gets 100 reviews and all of them are bad. There was a sweet spot in the early 2000s where there were enough online reviewers for a kind of minor release like this to get 100 reviews, but these days someone out there would give it an ironic “so bad I vomited all over myself in the theater and missed the second half of the movie. Three out of four stars, good for what it is” for anything that a production company would even bother releasing. Something like this probably has a 50-50 shot of being shelved no matter the budget at this point just because of the crowded release schedule. What a time to be alive.

The BMT – So is this the worst movie ever? I wouldn’t personally go that far. It actually kind of reminds me of Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li. And legit, if you recast the film with Chris Klein it would have been a legend and probably made the Hall of Fame. As it stands it probably is the most confusing film I’ve ever watched, and not in the way critics often use the term, as a synonym of messy, I mean like I still don’t know the interpersonal relationships described in the film. That’s just one piece of making a film legendary, and instead I think this will have to settle for merely being a quintessential example of that one particular movie trait.

StreetCreditReport.com – Oh yeah. On a worst-of list here, here, and here. Funny, for a film that was a little too forgettable to get noticed by the Razzies it sure did get noticed by the critics. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. I revise any previous statements and I think that it didn’t get any nominations because despite being on the early ballot people just hadn’t seen it and couldn’t be bothered to vote. Although, how they could resist voting for a man named Kaos would be beyond me.

No homework, unless you count not playing the Nintendo DS game of the same name … you don’t? Excellent, then cheerios,

The Sklogs

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Preview

As world famous bad movie scientists, we obviously have a high powered lawyer on retainer to fix the many jams we find ourselves in. Unfortunately he’s far too busy cleaning up our latest scandal to help up set up the BMT Productions, LLC. “No probs, bro,” we say and hop right onto LawyerHelpPleaseAndThankYou.net to find a new lawyer the old fashioned way. We obvs crush it on the message boards and soon snare a lawyer who says she will do it for free (and she sounds pretty cute to boot). When she shows up though we are shocked to find that she’s no lady… she’s a dog! And our country club is no dogs allowed (gulp). But we’re in a jam and we need this LLC quick or else the Obsidian Dongle is doomed. We just got to get it done, dog lawyer or no. Surprisingly, our journey with Ruffles is marked by startling personal growth. Patrick’s rambunctious children realize their Dad can still be pretty cool sometimes and Jamie finally learns to live and love again. Ruffles has changed our lives and become this man’s… best friend. Just as we are about to sign the final papers for the company an assassin jumps through the window and knocks us out cold. When we awaken Ruffles is gone and all that’s left is a note that says “I’ve taken your dog lawyer to Vancouver. Follow if you dare. Signed, Aitch.” While this seemingly makes no sense and veers wildly away from our original plan of creating a film company, we only have one choice. The fate of Ruffles is in our hands. That’s right! We’re watching Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (Produced by Elie Samaha who also produced Battlefield Earth). This is the worst reviewed film of all time and is one that Patrick and I have both seen before (I’ve actually seen it a few times). However recently we decided that we’re going to revisit such gems and give them the full BMT treatment. This one deserves it. Let’s go!

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) – BMeTric: 77.2

BallisticEcksvsSever_BMeT

BallisticEcksvsSever_RV

(Stock still baby. No regression = super ultra everyone-agrees-this-is-garbage film. Which makes sense considering this is the worst reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes in history.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Idiotic action film boasts what may be the worst movie title ever coined. Banderas plays an ex-FBI agent still mourning the death of his wife after seven years; his former boss recruits him for a kidnapping case by telling him his wife is still alive, and the kidnapper can lead him to her. But even that sliver of logic dissolves as the story unfolds. Only devotees of cars exploding into fireballs will find any value here.

(If this got anything other than a BOMB my head would have exploded. I remember this movie not making a lick of sense. There is a crazy bus scene, but I don’t remember an inordinate number of car explosions. I think the people who would find value in it are more likely to be wire-fu completionists. I’m loving that semi-colon in the middle of the review as well, you always give your audience what they want Leonard, I love it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tme_SdRv2gk

(A microdevice! Oh no! Two main things. First, them dropping what is the worst like in the film (“I told her you just got beat up by a girl”) and blowing their load with the kind of sweet overhead shot of the guy falling off of the building is just premo marketing. They also give away the plot of the film, like beginning to end. I’ll give them this: the trailer looked a lot better than the actual film is.)

Directors – Wych Kaosayananda – (BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: The son of a Thai diplomat he broke out with Fah in 1998, which had the largest budget for any Thai film to that point. Ballistic basically destroyed his career in the US, although in interviews he chaulks many of the issues it has up to its disastrous production.)

Writers – Alan B. McElroy (written by) (as Alan McElroy) – (Known For: Wrong Turn; Future BMT: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings; Tekken; Spawn; Thr3e; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; The Perfect Guy; Rapid Fire; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Marine; Left Behind; Notes: Interestingly in interviews the director claims the script was heavily rewritten by Peter Lenkov without credit. Amazing career focusing heavily on horror. He was probably in the last wave of people who literally just up and moved to Hollywood with a single script in hand and was hired onto the Columbia screenwriting program based off of that.)

Extra Note: Peter Lenkov wrote Son in Law and Demolition Man. He mainly does tv now, and is notably the writer of the original R.I.P.D. comic book!

Actors – Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Shrek 2; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Shrek the Third; Spy Kids; Shrek Forever After; Bullet Head; The Mask of Zorro; Frida; Acts of Vengeance; Desperado; Knight of Cups; La piel que habito; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Philadelphia; Black Butterfly; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; The 33; Puss in Boots; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Future BMT: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D; Machete Kills; Play It to the Bone; Never Talk to Strangers; The Other Man; The Legend of Zorro; The Body; The Big Bang; Original Sin; Two Much; Gun Shy; Autómata; Assassins; Of Love and Shadows; Justin and the Knights of Valour; The 13th Warrior; Four Rooms; Imagining Argentina; Black Gold; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Expendables 3; Notes: Most notable as the bee in those Nasonex ads (j/k). Zorro, Puss in Boots, Spy Kids, Expendables. You know Antonio Banderas! Spanish actor who successfully crossed over into American films.)

Lucy Liu – (Known For: Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Chicago; Kung Fu Panda 3; Jerry Maguire; Charlie’s Angels; Kung Fu Panda; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Lucky Number Slevin; Kung Fu Panda 2; Payback; Detachment; The Man with the Iron Fists; Shanghai Noon; TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings; Kaguyahime no monogatari; True Crime; Gridlock’d; Cypher; City of Industry; Future BMT: Code Name: The Cleaner; Rise; Play It to the Bone; Domino; Hotel; The Trouble with Bliss; Molly; Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: American, she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese however. Has played Watson on the long running television series Elementary.)

Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Piñero; Spike of Bensonhurst; Future BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Spy Hard; Mortal Kombat; The Sunchaser; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: Basically retired from acting after this film. Not because of the film, she happened to marry Benjamin Bratt and have her first child around the same time … but I like to think her experiences on Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever helped her decide.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $14,307,963 (Worldwide: $19,924,033)

(There is a note below claiming this is the biggest bomb ever, which is obviously false. Yes, $70 million is a lot, but I’m pretty sure at this point films that have cost of $100 million have ended up not being released. It is impossible for this to be the worst ever I think. But this is catastrophic stuff, the whole budget is a write off at that point.)

#20 for the Action – Wire-Fu genre

ecksvssever_wirefu

(Amazing. It really was in that in between period when you could spend the money on this stuff, and when it probably was all replaced with CGI instead. Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave, The Tuxedo, Bulletproof Monk, The Medallion … we’ve seen a lot of these films. A very funny genre with a delightful mix of amazing and trash films as well.)

#64 for the Action Heroine genre

ecksvssever_actionheroine

(A bit ahead of the curve there which is interesting, especially considering none of the other combinations in the notes had the character played by a woman. The genre is obviously booming now. Fun fact: We’ve seen the lowest grossing movie on this list, Barb Wire, which is indeed barely a movie.)

#89 for the Spy genre

ecksvssever_spy

(Right in the thick of the peak. The huge dive is, I think, because Pierce Brosnan was James Bond for the last time then (in a terrible movie), so it kind of put a damper on the genre which was kind of subsequently taken over by Bourne for a bit.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/116): A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.

(From what I remember, this sounds about right. Noteworthy, still, for being the only movie with over 100 reviews all of which were rotten. I don’t think this will ever be broken in the age of ironic viewing and good-for-what-it-is-itis. Which I guess makes this all the more amazing. Reviewer Highlight: Ballistic is a generic blur of metallic blue and fireball orange set to the contrapuntal sounds of throbbing techno and eardrum-puncturing noise. – Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Sklog-llistic: Rich vs. Poe (B+)

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(I like this poster, but I don’t love this poster and I’m not totally sure why. It’s got everything: blue tone, unique font, nice enough framing. I guess it just doesn’t tell a story to me. Like if I saw this poster would I want to go see it? Nope.)

Tagline(s) – Your most dangerous enemies are the friends you’ve double-crossed. (D)

(Lol, wot? They talk about this film being a convoluted mess. Same goes for the tagline. Also, I don’t think this has anything to do with the actual plot of this film.)

Keyword(s) – fbi; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.7 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 78.8 Torque (2004); 77.2 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002); 76.0 Death Note (2017); 74.8 Taxi (I) (2004); 73.7 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); 71.9 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 70.3 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 68.7 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 67.1 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009);

(Death Note doesn’t count (Netflix original), but the rest of those I am down for. I’m surprised Speed 2 doesn’t have this keyword. It definitely has a higher BMeTric than 67.)

Notes – The film is #1 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of “The 100 Worst Reviewed Movies of All Time”. (Indeed, I believe it is the only film with over one hundred reviews that are all rotten)

The film grossed less than 30% of its budget at the box office, making it one of the biggest box-office failures in film history. (Weeeeellllllll, not sure I believe that one)

Agent Sever was originally written to be played by a man. The film’s original stars were Wesley Snipes and Jet Li, then Vin Diesel and Sylvester Stallone. (I would have watched any of these three versions)

While filming a large-scale action scene that involved explosives, a detonation occurred too close to Antonio Banderas, who escaped with minor burns. (Scary)

The 2001 Game Boy Advance game “Ecks vs. Sever” was actually based on an early script draft for this film, not the other way around. The game’s producers later made a sequel to that game that was based on the finished version of this movie. (Apparently the one based off of the script is quite good as well. The one based on the movie is less well regarded)

According to director Wych Kaosayananda, co-star Antonio Banderas suggested Lucy Liu come on for the role of Sever after having previously worked with her on Play It to the Bone (1999). When the director had earlier read the script, he felt that it was rather similar to the films The Killer (1989) and Leon the Professional (1994), while actually visualizing that Chou-Yun Fat and Jean Reno could be perfect square-off leads. Franchise Pictures didn’t find either Fat and Reno financially viable though. (… Wait, Chow-Yun Fat and Jean Reno were too expensive … that’s weird. I wonder if it has to do with where they were filming)

The film started in the 1980s as a spec script by Alan McElroy, titled ‘Legion’, then ‘Gunner’. Vestron Pictures tried to make the movie in 1988, with Dwight H. Little directing and Dolph Lundgren starring, but Charles W. Fries didn’t want to do it. (Jesus, there are like seventeen version of this film billed as X vs Y, and all of them sound pretty amusing to be honest)

Roger Ebert included the film on his “Most Hated” list. (No doubt)

Some critics, bloggers and other movie viewers have compared this film to War (2007) due to it containing a similar storyline (disgruntled federal agent figuring out a conspiracy), people varying on the action scenes being exciting or not, both films being advertised as a versus film only for both lead stars to square off briefly on-screen and due to overwhelming dislike with both films. (Another film we have to watch)

“After casting, the real challenges started. We were going to shoot everything in Bangkok while we retouched the script to fit the location. Then the notes came in, and I won’t get into the details but there are only two things anyone needs to know about the changes that were made by request from the studio. One: In the original draft, Sever kidnaps Ecks’ son, and the whole time, the boy is basically kept in a kid-sized glass box just big enough for him to sit in, placed on top of a kilo of C4. That was changed. Two: There was no other motivation for the characters. It was all about family. Gant “kills” Ecks and takes his wife, Vinn, and their son, with both believing each other to be dead. Meanwhile, Sever wants revenge for the death of her family at the hands of Gant and his men. So, believing it was Gant’s son, she kidnaps him and Ecks springs into action. It was all about love and family and nothing else. The nano technology included in the final draft had nothing to do with what I wanted for the story. Granted, we had a fantastic writer. Franchise Pictures brought Peter Lenkov to rewrite Alan McElroy’s script and he did a great job with the instructions he was given. Yes, there were changes made that watered it down to my chagrin, but it was as satisfactory as it needed to be at the time and everybody was on board. Then, tragedy struck in September 2001 and we had to relocate from Bangkok to Vancouver for safety reasons. Those moving expenses ended up in cutting more action scenes out, but thankfully our terrific crew made things feel much easier.” (Wych Kaosayananda on changes made to the film) (Yeah, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising the production was a mess. To be honest, it sounds like 9/11 had a bigger impact that any of the production notes. I understand he wasn’t something different, but it doesn’t really sound like making a note of “don’t put a kid in a glass box on some C4” is that big of a deal)

“Well, I’ll try to explain this as best as I can: I did my first cut which as I understood it was just that-my first cut which was the script as shot and fine tuned. There were scenes I wasn’t sure of, but liked. And we also tested the movie; One scene in particular lost the audience and the experience wasn’t very good. It was a little heavy on melodrama, and I own that. I loved the scene, but also was afraid it wouldn’t work and could easily be cheesy. But again, I honestly felt that was what the tests were for, and I was wrong. We didn’t score well and based on that test, two producers who I was already having issues with for various reasons basically just took over the movie. I found out as I was on my way to the editing room two days after the test screening and just a day after having a big meeting with Warner Bros. executives and marketing people, who were terrific by the way. By the time I got to the edit suites, my editor was Caroline Ross, a wonderful person and a great editor, was also fired and replaced, after all those hours and weeks I spent with her. And I wasn’t too pleased to say the least. So, after consulting with my agents at CAA, it was decided it was best to just walk away quietly and they’d focus on getting my next job. I still had a great relationship with the executives at Warner Bros. I had things in development with Fox 2000 and RKO and we’d just move on. The problem was, I couldn’t. I’d shot an old school actioner in 2002 with the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt as my template. My DP and I had specific needs to be met with the way we shot it, especially when it came to all the action scenes I choreographed while working with Joel Kramer – one the best stunt coordinators in his field. But despite our best efforts, the movie was butchered to the point where certain shots were flipped because the edit no longer made sense. And yes, this also affected the sequencing and pacing of the action – it was horrible to watch. Just so you know, I had only ever seen the theatrical cut once with no audio, during the colour grade with Julio, my DP. At the premier I waited until the movie had been playing for thirty minutes before taking my seat. I did this because I knew the movie was bad. I pretty much hyperventilated for the whole evening.” (Wych Kaosayananda on producer’s interference with the film and his reaction with how it turned out) (Jesus. So the note is a bit confusing, possibly because of a language barrier. But, it seems like he couldn’t walk away because some of the action scenes were specifically templated a certain way, and without him they would have been butchered and nothing would have made sense and it would have besmirched his good name. Whoooooowwwweeeeeee)

Talisa Soto’s last acting role for 7 years until she appeared in La Mission (2009).

Part of Rotten Tomatoe’s Bottom 10 films that were poorly rated. The other nine are One Missed Call (2008), Pinocchio (2002), King’s Ransom (2005), National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers (2004) Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004), Strange Wilderness (2008), 3 Strikes (2000), Redline (2007) and Witless Protection (2008). (This will be our sixth, although this list is quite out of date. I can’t find an updated list)

Despite making several “bad movies of all time” lists, this film has never been nominated nor won any Razzie awards. (It was too unknown to be poked fun at … that isn’t a compliment)

The possibly only good review recorded to dare by a professional critic (yet wasn’t recorded on Rotten Tomatoes’ site) was a review for the Daily Herald by film critic Jean Carey. It was recorded on Sept. 20, 2002 and the headline was ” ‘Ballistic’ a great time at the movies.” (Ha, there is a whole article on this. So it looks like it isn’t on Rotten Tomatoes because the editor wrote it, not the movie critic, and they basically “covered” it with a new terrible review when they realized what they had done. Amazing stuff)