Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Preview

Oooooooooo boy. Exciting times at BMT HQ. The next set of films nail two (that’s right, two!) different dates on the BMT calendar! “Egad! How is that possible? My life is shattered by the revelation. I love reading this email and perusing the BMT website and didn’t see this coming!” cry our ever-growing crowd of adoring fans. It’s very possible when you have a hot piece of IP like Superman. Even after releasing the critically reviled Superman III, Hollywood still decided to go DJ Khaled on us and bring us ANOTHER ONE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. These films hit the blockbuster months of June and July and are some of the classics of the major motion picture bust. Let’s go!

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) – BMeTric: 86.1

SupermanIVTheQuestforPeace_BMeT

SupermanIVTheQuestforPeace_RV

(Just like with number three this just goes up and up. And wow, that rating is just astonishingly low. The regression to the mean suggests it isn’t so funny people are going out of their way to watch and hate it, but that is just such a bad rating, it is amazing. Probably one of the worst superhero films ever.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Superman does his bit for world peace by ridding the globe of nuclear weapons – which inspires Lex Luthor to become a black-market arms profiteer. He also challenges Superman by creating Nuclear Man. Disappointing fantasy adventure is pretty ordinary, with a second-rate special effects. Sincere performances help a lot. Reeve receives co-story credit on this one (along with 2nd unit directing).

(This plot sounds like a mess. Kind of interesting Leonard gives the fourth a better review than the third, but he is often lenient for merely lightweight or boring films. Whereas the third sounds like it rejects the Superman for a clashing and annoying alternative … this movie is going to be boring.)

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

(Wow. It just looks cheap. It has a cheap message, heavy handed and lame. Nuclear Man? This is two years after Rocky defeated Ivan Drago and, by the transitive property, the Soviet Union. And they give us this shit?)

Directors – Sidney J. Furie – (Known For: The Entity; Lady Sings the Blues; The Ipcress File; Future BMT: Ladybugs; My 5 Wives; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for The Jazz Singer in 1981; Notes: Martin Scorsese put the Entity at number four on his list of scariest horror films.)

Writers – Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman) – (Known For: The LEGO Batman Movie; Man of Steel; Superman Returns; Superman; The Iron Giant; Superman II; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: These are credits for creating the original Superman strip.)

Christopher Reeve (story) – (BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: I wouldn’t be surprised if his somewhat notorious involvement in the writing of the two widely panned Superman films waylaid his career somewhat. Numerous stories come out of both productions claiming he was rather difficult to work with)

Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Planet of the Apes; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; The Legend of Billie Jean; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Mighty Joe; The Jewel of the Nile; Flicka; Future BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Desperate Hours; Mercury Rising; The Concierge; Mona Lisa Smile; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: They have worked together for over 30 years! Originally worked in television they were paired on the cult hit The Legend of Billie Jean.)

Actors – Christopher Reeve – (Known For: Superman; The Remains of the Day; Superman II; Somewhere in Time; Noises Off…; Deathtrap; Gray Lady Down; Street Smart; Above Suspicion; Switching Channels; The Bostonians; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Speechless; Monsignor; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: After his horse-riding accident that left him a quadriplegic in 1995 him and his wife founded a center devoted to helping paralyzed individuals live independently.)

Gene Hackman – (Known For: Young Frankenstein; Wyatt Earp; Unforgiven; Superman; The Birdcage; The Royal Tenenbaums; Enemy of the State; The Replacements; A Bridge Too Far; The Firm; Bonnie and Clyde; The French Connection; Get Shorty; Mississippi Burning; Antz; The Poseidon Adventure; Crimson Tide; The Conversation; Heartbreakers; The Quick and the Dead; Future BMT: Loose Cannons; Two of a Kind; Behind Enemy Lines; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Welcome to Mooseport; The Chamber; Notes: I love Gene Hackman. During out last film I noted that a lot of people assume his is dead because he retired from acting after Welcome to Mooseport. At 87 though I don’t know if he will release another book.)

Margot Kidder – (Known For: Superman; Maverick; Superman II; Black Christmas; Sisters; Delirious; The Great Waldo Pepper; Chicago, Chicago; The Annihilation of Fish; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Halloween II; The Amityville Horror; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: As mentioned in the Superman III preview, her career was put on hold a bit due to mental health issues in the 1990s. As far as recent films, I’m actually rather interested in seeing her in Halloween II (the remake). I loved the original Halloween, and the rest of the series is somewhat notoriously bad, but it’ll fun to see Kidder in a more recent role.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $15,681,020

(Terrible. And no wonder this filled the franchise for around 15 years. So bad it apparently killed their live action Spiderman idea for over 10 years as well.)

#125 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre and #100 for the Superhero genre

superman4_superhero

(This time I’ll only show the Superhero plot. This is below The Phantom … rough stuff. That big peak is Batman, and like with Comic Book Adaptations it basically ticks up with Spiderman in 2000 and then Avengers a decade later.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (5/42): The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.

(Ooooooof. So … boring. Not funny-bad like number three … just boring. Blah. At least we have number three to revel in.)

Poster – SuperSklog IV: The Quest for Cheese (B-)

superman_iv

(A lot going on here, but still nicely artistic as far as posters go. Look at the perspective. Again, wish they had a more consistent color scheme, but can’t complain too much.)

Tagline(s) – Nuclear Power. In the best hands, it is dangerous. In the hands of Lex Luthor, it is pure evil. This is Superman’s greatest battle. And it is for all of us. (F)

(Now this one actually hurts me. This tagline is my kryptonite.)

Keyword(s) – volcanic eruption; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.1 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 72.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011); 68.2 Supergirl (1984); 59.6 Congo (1995); 50.5 Pompeii (I) (2014); 49.0 The Wild (2006); 48.5 Robot Monster (1953); 47.3 King Solomon’s Mines (1985); 41.3 2012 (I) (2009); 40.8 Wrath of the Titans (2012);

(Hehe, So Alvin and the Chipmunks have to deal with a volcano when they get Chipwrecked. Also great that Superman IV and Supergirl both made the cut. Some of these are amazing! Like, does anyone remember the The Wild!? Just bonkers.)

Notes – Christopher Reeve publicly regretted his involvement in the film. He stated, “Superman IV was a catastrophe from start to finish. That failure was a huge blow to my career.” (…. you wrote the movie)

According to Margot Kidder, she and Christopher Reeve did not get along during filming. Kidder states that Reeve’s ego was inflated because he co-wrote the story. (Yeah. I’ve heard other interviews which suggested a bit of the same from the beginning of the series as the hot young guy chosen to play Superman)

Wes Craven was set to direct, but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve. (What?)

The failure of this film at the box office prompted The Cannon Group Inc., to cancel a planned production of “Spider-Man”. (That would have been a hilarious disaster. Considering the effects in the superman films)

The movie’s original budget was 36 million dollars. Just before filming was to begin, The Cannon Group, Inc., which was experiencing financial problems, slashed the budget to seventeen million dollars. As a result, the filmmakers cut corners, by doing things like re-using special effects. (Makes sense … again considering the effects)

When the film was cut from 134 minutes to 90 minutes, the producers considered using the deleted footage as the groundwork for a fifth film. (Holy shit, that’s a big cut!)

When Nuclear Man was being developed, Christopher Reeve was approached to play that part as Superman’s polar opposite, or a darker version of Bizarro.

Christopher Reeve agreed to play Superman for the fourth time if the studio financed his project, Street Smart (1987). (Cool. Ended up with good reviews too)

The vast majority of the external scenes were filmed in and around Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus couldn’t afford to shoot in New York City. (London, hoooooooollllla)

Nuclear Man only has eleven lines. (Ha, a wonder he didn’t get third billing like Kidder in number 3)

A scene cut out of the U.S. theatrical version featured Superman saving a group of Soviet Generals from a nuclear missile in Moscow. The scene appears on the video release, but not on the DVD. (fun fact)

Much of the special effects crew that worked on the first three films and Supergirl (1984) were hired during pre-production, but eventually left following salary disputes. (that makes sense)

In the original screenplay, by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, Nuclear Man was able to change shape, and expand in size. (cool idea actually)

The Cannon Group, Inc., thinking that they had a potential blockbuster on their hands, cut the two-hour-plus film down to a lean ninety minutes, so that theater owners could have more screenings per day, and potentially make more money that would eventually filter back to the studio. (Wow, a slight miscalculation there…)

This is the only Superman film from the Christopher Reeve era where Clark Kent changes to Superman in a phone booth. The Superman films made since this film have not featured this signature scene yet. (THAT IS A FUN FACT)

An enlarged Daily Planet front page hanging in the Daily Planet building’s lobby reads “Superman Saves Chemical Plant from Fire.” Superman did save a chemical plant from a fire in Superman III (1983). (Cool I guess. He did)

The Cannon Group, Inc. was in severe financial trouble by the mid 80s. They bought the rights to Superman, hoping the film would save them. The finished picture ended up being another costly failure. (We’ve watched a ton of films that basically bankrupted studios)

The music track used in the deleted scenes featuring Clive Mantle as the Nuclear Man prototype, is actually the theme tune for the British children’s television show Bric-A-Brac (1980). (What?! I’m loving these facts!)

Before Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) was released, The Cannon Group, Inc. began planning a fifth film, directed by Albert Pyun. When Cannon went bankrupt, Superman’s film rights reverted to Ilya Salkind and Alexander Salkind. Ilya wrote a story for a fifth film with Cary Bates and Mark Jones, in which Superman died, and was resurrected in the bottled city Kandor. It was not an adaptation of the famous “Death and Return of Superman” storyline, which it predated by about two years. (Kind of cool idea. A lot of people attached to this disaster of a film had “cool” ideas that went anywhere)

Robert Beatty (U.S. President) previously played the Tanker Commander in Superman III (1983). (A always love fictional president facts)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Harrison Ellenshaw, John Evans)

Superman III Preview

Oooooooooo boy. Exciting times at BMT HQ. The next set of films nail two (that’s right, two!) different dates on the BMT calendar! “Egad! How is that possible? My life is shattered by the revelation. I love reading this email and perusing the BMT website and didn’t see this coming!” cry our ever-growing crowd of adoring fans. It’s very possible when you have a hot piece of IP like Superman. Even after releasing the critically reviled Superman III, Hollywood still decided to go DJ Khaled on us and bring us ANOTHER ONE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. These films hit the blockbuster months of June and July and are some of the classics of the major motion picture bust. Let’s go!

Superman III (1983) – BMeTric: 67.9

SupermanIII_BMeT

SupermanIII_RV

(With some fits and starts this has got a serious BMeTric going now. This has had a pretty solidly low and steady sub-5 rating for years and years now, which I think suggests it will be quite low. Very possibly entertainingly bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Appalling sequel trashes everything that Superman is all about for the sake of cheap laughs and a costarring role for Richard Pryor, as a computer operator who unwittingly gives villainous Vaughn a chance to conquer the Man of Steel. Director Lestor’s opening slapstick ballet is a funny set-piece, but doesn’t belong in this movie.

(A movie not-funny comedic take on Superman? I’m in. Being a huge fan of things like Brewster’s Millions with Pryor, which is of the same era, I can already envision what this will feel like, and just how unabashedly not-Superman that seems like it would be is weirdly charming. In a bad movie sort of way.)

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

(Ha! That looks so dumb. Sigh. Richard Pryor just seems so out of place. Maybe it could have worked a bit with someone else as the computer operator and pull back a bit on the comedy, but this looks like a travesty.)

Directors – Richard Lester – (Known For: Superman II; A Hard Day’s Night; The Three Musketeers; Help!; Robin and Marian; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Four Musketeers; How I Won the War; The Return of the Musketeers; Petulia; Cuba; The Ritz; The Knack …and How to Get It; The Mouse on the Moon; It’s Trad, Dad!; BMT: Superman III; Notes: Huge director in the 1960s he is considered by some to be the father of the music video with his two Beatles films (A Hard Day’s Night and Help!) having a similar frenetic style to the videos made a generation later on MTV.)

Writers – Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman) – (Known For: The LEGO Batman Movie; Man of Steel; Superman Returns; Superman; The Iron Giant; Superman II; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: They made Superman originally which is obviously where all of these credits come from.)

David Newman (screenplay) – (Known For: Superman; Bonnie and Clyde; Superman II; What’s Up, Doc?; Bad Company; Still of the Night; There Was a Crooked Man…; Future BMT: Sheena; Santa Claus: The Movie; BMT: Superman III; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Sheena in 1985; Notes: He was at one point the editor of Esquire magazine, this was before he made a major turn to screenwriting.)

Leslie Newman (screenplay) – (Known For: Superman; Superman II; Future BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; BMT: Superman III; Notes: Also a cookbook author writing Feasts: Menus for Home-Cooked Celebrations. She was married to David Newman until his death in the early 2000s.)

Actors – Christopher Reeve – (Known For: Superman; The Remains of the Day; Superman II; Somewhere in Time; Noises Off…; Deathtrap; Gray Lady Down; Street Smart; Above Suspicion; Switching Channels; The Bostonians; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Speechless; Monsignor; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: Sadly he might be equally well-known for playing Superman and for subsequently becoming a quadriplegic following a horse riding accident.)

Richard Pryor – (Known For: Lost Highway; Silver Streak; Stir Crazy; The Muppet Movie; Car Wash; Lady Sings the Blues; California Suite; Blue Collar; Uptown Saturday Night; Wild in the Streets; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; Future BMT: The Wiz; The Toy; Another You; Brewster’s Millions; See No Evil, Hear No Evil; BMT: Superman III; Harlem Nights; Mad Dog Time; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Superman III in 1984; Notes: Widely considered perhaps the best stand up comedian ever. He had a very up-and-down life battling depression and drug addiction. This film was only three years after he, as he says, tried to kill himself via self-immolation, although family members maintain it was due to drug-induced psychosis. Sad nonetheless, Brewster’s Millions was a staple of my childhood.)

Margot Kidder – (Known For: Superman; Maverick; Superman II; Black Christmas; Sisters; Delirious; The Great Waldo Pepper; Chicago, Chicago; The Annihilation of Fish; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Halloween II; The Amityville Horror; BMT:Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: She also has a somewhat sad story involving mental illness, although it would seem she has since recovered and become an advocate for mental wellness. She was an avid political activist as well and has an incredible number of film and television credits to her name. She was briefly married to John Heard.)

Budget/Gross – $39 million / Domestic: $59,950,623

(Not too too bad. No wonder they made a third. I bet they were thinking “alright, if we correct a few of the issues from the dud we’ll be back to printing money in no time!”.)

#84 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre and #72 for the Superhero genre

superman3_comicbookadaptation

(I’m only showing Comic Book because these two were roughly the same. Kind of amazing that these have legit been on a roll since basically 2000 (Spiderman). There really isn’t a hiccup there, even though you could think that there would be. I guess you had Spiderman, and then X-Men, and then Marvel. This is near Hellboy … which isn’t too bad actually.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (11/43): When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

(Sounds just about right. Such a classic third-installment problem too. A different problem, but sounds a little like Spiderman 3 even. In that one they ended up with too many villains and the director went a little too heavy with the silliness … yeah roughly the same.)

Poster – SuperSklog III (B)

superman_iii

(Love everything about it but the color scheme. Wish we had a dominant color to work with. Besides that, though, it’s artistic in a classic way.)

Tagline(s) – If the world’s most powerful computer can control even Superman…no one on earth is safe. (D)

(Nope. Unacceptable. Breaks every BMT rule of tagline quality. Only gets a D because it doesn’t make me ill to read it. I’m not angry, just disappointed.)

Keyword(s) – computer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.1 Epic Movie (2007); 94.4 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.9 Alone in the Dark (2005); 85.8 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 84.5 The Fog (2005); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 81.4 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 79.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 78.7 Feardotcom (2002);

(Amazing list. I would def watch this in basically the worst 24 hours of my life. I also don’t believe The Fog has anything to do with “computers”, but I would certainly watch it again to find out!)

Notes – In his autobiography, Richard Pryor admitted that he thought the screenplay for this movie was terrible, and he only accepted the role because he was offered five million dollars for it.

The first time Christopher Reeve had top billing in a Superman movie. In the first Superman (1978) film, he was behind Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman; for Superman (1980) he was behind Hackman.

Richard Donner originally planned for Tom Mankiewicz to direct the film, as he written outlines for two more Superman films. But after he was fired from Superman II (1980), Mankiewicz could no longer be involved with the franchise.

According to Ilya Salkind, an earlier version of the script included the comic book villains Brainiac and Mr. Mxyzptlk teaming up, and Superman meeting his cousin, Supergirl, which would lead to the potential Supergirl spin-off. The character of Mister Mxyzptlk was going to be in the film, with Dudley Moore in the role.

Christopher Reeve threatened not to return for this film, in protest of the treatment of Richard Donner, and also because he hated the script. With the film already in pre-production, the producers scrambled to find an actor to play Superman. John Travolta was approached, but declined. Jeff Bridges and Kurt Russell were also considered, but were also not interested. Finally, with filming a few days away from beginning, the Salkinds settled on Tony Danza in the role of Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman. Richard Lester was mortified with the casting of Danza, and pleaded for Reeve to return. Reeve eventually agreed, under the condition that he could make numerous changes to the script. The producers agreed, and Christopher Reeve reprised his role as Superman. (whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat)

The original title was “Superman vs. Superman”. The producers of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) threatened a lawsuit, refusing to believe the Salkinds’ explanation that it was intended as a play on various “Superman vs…” comic stories. Eventually Pierre Spengler suggested that “Superman III” would be a more sensible title anyway, and the issue was dropped. (That is a horrible title anyway)

Christopher Reeve was not happy with the film, and, as with the fourth, often expressed in later interviews that he hated how this film turned out. The experience and final product was so bad, that he initially swore off ever playing the role again, only to be persuaded to make Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) in exchange for more input on the script. (Oh dear… so it came out worse)

According to the writers, the original choice to play Ross Webster was Alan Alda. They wanted an actor who could be ruthless without losing any charm. Executive Producer Ilya Salkind said in the DVD commentary, that his choice was Frank Langella. Langella later starred as Perry White in Superman Returns (2006).

The ski slope outside Ross Webster’s penthouse took three months to build at Pinewood Studios, and seventeen tons of salt was used as snow. (I wonder how much that cost)

When Gus lists his “impossible” program, it’s a series of PRINT statements. (classic)

Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally set to star as Lana Lang, but turned down the role, because she was too young. (That’s crazy. Would have been her fourth film)

The shot of the subway train entering a tunnel during the shutdown scene is actually stock footage from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). (Ha)

Noel Neill: Lois Lane from Adventures of Superman (1952) can be seen as an old woman on the dais in Smallville, just after Superman receives the key to the city. (fun fact)

Richard Pryor’s character steals money from his company by collecting fractions of a cent from other accounts and collecting them in his personal account. In computer crime terminology, it’s called the “salami technique.” (I call it the Da Vinci virus)

Filmed in Calgary, Alberta, home of Canada’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. It includes multiple KFC references: the Metropolis computer school payroll is handed out by a man in a Sanders-style goatee, Gus walks past a Smallville display with Kentucky Colonel outfits, Gus drags the intoxicated Brad past a closet whose open door shows a bag hanging full of KFC items, and Gus uses a “chicken in the bucket” recipe to explain to Ross why Kryptonite doesn’t kill Superman. (uhhhhhh, yes please)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Richard Pryor)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Musical Score (Giorgio Moroder)

Redline Recap

Jamie

I realized recently that I was touching on a lot of our obsessions with the 6W’s (MacGuffins, plot twists, settings, cameos, and Planchets), but I had missed one: product placement. Should probably have ended up as the What?! but instead I think I’ll just sprinkle the product placements throughout the email wherever appropriate. Seems like the right thing to do.

What?! Natasha and Carlo find themselves inadvertently embroiled in the dangerous world of underground street racing. When Carlo’s brother is killed and Natasha captured by one of these racing hot shots, Carlo is out for revenge. Can he take the syndicate down, quench his thirst with some sweet Dasani Water, and rescue Natasha before it’s too late? Find out in… Redline!

Why?! Natasha just wants to further her music career. Carlo is just there to watch out for his little brother. However, all this goes out the window when Carlo’s brother succumbs to the overwhelming pressure to win and is killed attempting a risky racing maneuver. The story immediately turns to vengeance as Carlo goes after those responsible. Unlike the other racing bosses (who are fueled only by crippling gambling addictions), our main antagonist is fueled by a combination of lust for Natasha, fear that he’ll be killed over his gambling debts, and his own psychotic tendencies.

How?! Carlo has a simple backstory as he has just returned from the army as a war hero to find his younger brother is racing for an evil gangster. The backstory for Natasha, however, is much denser. She is the daughter of a famous racecar driver killed in a tragic accident. While she herself possesses great talent in the sport, she can’t race as a result of the trauma of that loss. Instead she aspires to be a singer. When an underground racing fat cat sees her talent he tricks and bribes her into racing for him, only to turn around and bet her as stakes in the race against his evil rival. The stories converge when Carlo’s brother and Natasha race each other, Carlo’s brother is killed, and Natasha is taken captive. Carlo wants to kill the evil gangster, but ends up rescuing Natasha instead. When Natasha is subsequently blackmailed into racing they put together a dastardly plan to throw the race and get the gangster killed. Everyone lives happily ever after with huge record contracts, dope sportscars, and all the Dasani they can drink. Hooray!

Who?! Claims abound online that Wyclef Jean scored the film and appeared in a cameo. I don’t remember him showing up but it is credited (or more accurately uncredited) on IMDb. No music credit, though, just a “Thanks.” I did notice that the scumbag of a producer cameoed as a poker player who immediately loses all his money. A little foreshadowing.

Where?! Right off the bat we are treated to a rad street race from LA to Las Vegas, highlighting the two major settings for this film. I would give the main setting title to LA, but Vegas is not far behind. B

When?! I scoured the film twice over trying to find an exact date. There were two potential leads (a close-up of a loan contract and an issue of variety) but the quality of the video and focus of the shot wasn’t good enough to make it out. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out… maybe someday [Jamie says wistfully. A tear trickles down his cheek and tumbles playfully to his well-oiled six-pack abs]. F

Woooooo. Getting those details is like a rad racecar race at 200mph. Exhilarating. My overall impression of the film is that it’s similar to what Patrick and I might end up creating if we were ever tasked with creating a bad film. Everything is horrible, only entertaining from the viewpoint of its horribleness, and a product of extreme hubris. Most people would think it’s just boring and bad… exactly how we meant it to be. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Redline? More like Bad Sign! Amirite? So a predatory lender loves fast cars. But like … in a I-like-to-show-off-my-fast-cars-I-bought-with-my-gross-predatory-lending-profits kind of way. He also likes to show off his girlfriend, a former soap opera star trying to make it big in the industry. Presto! Making a movie is like saying your ABC’s: Action, Boobs, and Cars. What could go wrong!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Cars (maybe, I’m not exactly sure what people who like cars like exactly since I don’t really like cars), but that is about it. I’ll leave all of the things that did go wrong for the next section, but an interesting aspect of this film was how much of a history they managed to give everyone. Right at the end a random guy who we had not seen before pops up and the main character is like “he’s the man who killed my father” WHAT?! So obviously we are doing a prequel called Redline: Warzone. The film finds Carlo and Jason working with their father running a successful race team in NSCRA alongside and against Natasha’s father. Ultimately the movie tells the story of Michael, who is running an illegal gambling syndicate surrounding the sport, fixing the race in which Natasha’s father dies. When Jason’s father threatens to expose Michael, Michael has him killed, but staged to look like a suicide. This is all set alongside the run up to the Iraq war, and Carlo leaves for Baghdad, but not before telling Michael to stay away from Jason. Oh … if only Michael would have listened. We finally get the backstory we were all dying for!

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Well this is easy: Pride. On the part of the producer who was clearly a lunatic. Now that that is out of the way: The acting in this film is an atrocity, it is so bad you can only kind of notice that the crazy producer put himself in the movie and gave himself like seven lines (I only noticed it because he doesn’t at all look like an actor). The writing is ridiculous. At one point the rap producer Infamous lands his plane on a highway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas … the FAA would like to have a word with you, and the phrase “prison time” was mentioned emphatically. This is the first film in a while where I can call the direction bonkers. A lot of weird transition choices, weird CGI, the cars all look like they are travelling half speed in most shots. So yeah … Basically this is borderline barely-a-movie and it is ridiculous that it exists.

The BMT: Legacy – The legacy of this film is it is somehow quintessentially The Golden Age of Bad Movies. The Golden Age s roughly the Noughties (2000-2010), and I now think this has to do with two factors. First, CGI had made the transition to being very cheap and easy to get. Productions which might have been too expensive to make previously could now safely be greenlit with a manageable special effects budget, meaning more options (in more genres) available to producers. And second, there was a ton of money floating around due to the artificially inflated economy. This isn’t even mentioning the writer’s strike in 2007/2008! Anyways, this movie perfectly encapsulates this era: a producer with a ton of fake money to throw at terrible CGI ultimately making a vanity project that is just trash. Great stuff. That is it’s BMT legacy.

Now as for its StreetCreditReport.com? It … is borderline. It makes its way onto MTV’s worst of list of 2007 (barely), but other than that it typically get nary a whisper from things like the AV Club list I linked to for Epic Movie. From there it just kind of ends up as either first or second on blogs concerning car movies in particular. No Razzie cred … it is kind of a forgotten film. But I think a big part of its cred is in that car racing genre in particular. On occasion a film like 200 M.P.H. which was Direct-to-Video and made by the Asylum sneaks in above it, but this is basically a unanimous worst car racing film ever. That counts for something!

Cheerios, 

The Sklogs

Redline Preview

There is something both gross and enthralling about the action film we chose for the StreetCreditReport.com cycle. The confluence of time and place that created the opportunity for the film to exist is pretty incredible. That’s right! We’re watching the totally forgotten underground racing film Redline! What makes the film really interesting is that the producer of the film was a player in the subprime mortgage crisis. In fact the entire production was funded by his company Quick Loan Funding which went bankrupt the very year that Redline came out, 2007. Even weirder was that this producer used his own cars in the production (allowing a number of his very expensive cars to be destroyed in the process… for fun I guess) and also his own girlfriend. You heard that right. He cast his girlfriend (a soap opera actress) in the leading role of a film that ultimately (and misguidedly) got released to >1000 theaters. Predictably this film bombed, his company went bankrupt, his girlfriend dumped him, and he personally declared bankruptcy in 2009. See? Gross and enthralling. That’s called street cred. Let’s go!

Redline (2007) – BMeTric: 60.4

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(This movie gets its BMeTric basically entirely from its Low Rating. I think there are a handful of different “trends” in these movies. This had regression to the mean, but is very poorly regarded. So over time it will seem less disliked, and ultimately, perhaps, suggests that we are not looking at a movie that is going to sustain its terribleness. After over a year of producing these graphs I have the ability to just kind of read them. I’m almost there … I am just one step away from predicting things based on this.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Real estate developer Daniel Sadek financed, cowrote, produced, and provided his exotic car collection for this slow and curious Fast and the Furious wannabe. Gorgeous woman who happens to be an ace driver gets caught up in the world of illegal drag racing competitions in which filthy-rich men with nothing better to do wager big bucks on the outcome. When she’s not pushing the pedal to the metal, she fronts a band singing lyrics like, “I want to be your car so you can ride me tonight.” Steer clear of this one.

(I am mesmerized by the line “Gorgeous woman who happens to be an ace driver ..” … It is like they were desperately trying to drop one word from the book and finally asked “do we really need this ‘A’ in the Redline review?” This description though sounds like an earnest Torque which bodes extremely well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-8qDoDrACw

(Holy shit. It is Torque but earnest. Who are all of these people, what was the graphics at the beginning and end (were they supposed to be like car brake lights, or stop lights?). The story sounds simple enough. I just hope it isn’t like Need For Speed which was … boring and kind of okay if you squinted a bit. This better be a goddamned travesty or I will never forgive it.)

Directors – Andy Cheng – (BMT: Redline; Notes: Wow, he is a member of Jackie Chan’s stunt team and now, as Chan has sustained serious injuries in the past, will stand in for him on occasion. Very interesting to see a one-and-done (although he does have a direct-to-DVD credit) stuntman director. Second-unit director for Red Riding Hood (BMT) and Twilight.)

Writers – Robert Foreman (screenplay) – (BMT: Redline; Notes: Uncredited as a Bartender in recent BMT Rumor Has It … Otherwise I can’t find anything about this guy.)

Daniel Sadek (story) – (BMT: Redline; Notes: So yeah, this guy is the producer who had a company called Quick Loan Funding. There is a whole discussion about why he doesn’t have a wikipedia page on Quora, there are insane stories about how that company totally went under in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crash and the after effects. There is little information about him these days, and I’d rather not speculate. But let’s just say I use the word “gross” to describe the financing of this film multiple times in this preview …)

Actors – Nathan Phillips – (Known For: Snakes on a Plane; Wolf Creek; These Final Hours; Dying Breed; Balibo; BMT: Chernobyl Diaries; Redline; Surfer, Dude; Notes: I think I would only recognize him from Snakes on a Plane, although we are certainly going to watch Chernobyl Diaries at some point. Born in Australia, his most significant roles recently have been on television.)

Nadia Bjorlin – (BMT: Redline; Notes: Mostly known for her role as Chloe in Days of Our Lives. She was also a go-go dancer in Ricky Martin’s Shake Your Bon Bon music video (you can’t see her, I watched it))

Eddie Griffin – (Known For: How the Grinch Stole Christmas; The Last Boy Scout; Undercover Brother; Jason’s Lyric; The Wendell Baker Story; Brain Donors; BMT: Date Movie; Norbit (BMT Hall of Fame); Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Redline; Coneheads; The Mod Squad; Pinocchio (BMT); Scary Movie 3 (BMT); Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; The Meteor Man; My Baby’s Daddy; House Party 3; The New Guy; American Hero; Double Take; Armageddon; Notes:  He got married for the first time when he was just sixteen years old and has nine (!) children. His recent defense of Bill Cosby probably won’t help his career …)

Budget/Gross – $26 million / Domestic: $6,881,022 (Worldwide: $8,267,379)

(Yeah, super bad. Pretty much horrible. The good news? I’m willing to bet most of that was for the cars and since the producer sold them to himself to use in the film I’m betting he got a nice write off there. That’s nice.)

#25 for the Car Racing genre

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(There is basically no analogy. It made about as much money as Grandview U.S.A. … the big peak in 1995 is also a bit weird, Red Rock West, which made around $2 million, but Box Office Mojo reports its widest release as 22 theaters, making its per theater average incredible. Probably false. The genre was big pre-1990 and has become huge in the last ten years with the Fast and the Furious franchise. Not surprisingly this came just as the genre was going into a slumber, maybe because of the recession? Wrecking ridiculous looking cars might not go over so well when people’s lives are falling apart.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/27): Redline has plenty of bad acting, laughable dialogue, and luxury cars.

(Good, I need some laughable dialogue. Bad acting is a boon. This is one of the worst reviewed films of all time, the 15th most reviews for a film with 0% on rotten tomatoes. This right here is basically the entire reason we are watching this film.)

Poster – Sklogline (B+)

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(This isn’t blowing any minds or anything, but it is astonishingly competent given the film. I like the bold red on black, it has one of the more interesting title fonts, and the spacing is good. The background cars seem a bit extraneous, but that’s pretty minor.)

Tagline(s) – Fear Nothing. Risk Everything. (B+)

(Again, astonishingly competent. Like the “nothing” and “everything” juxtaposition. The “fear” and “risk” highlights the racing and gambling aspects of the plot. Concise. Ratchet up the cleverness and uniqueness and we’d be looking at an A+.)

Keyword(s) – ferrari; Top Ten by BMeTric: 60.4 Redline (2007); 60.0 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007); 58.0 The Counsellor (2013); 53.1 Death Tunnel (2005); 49.6 The Smurfs 2 (2013); 48.5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015); 44.8 American Dreamz (2006); 41.6 Mr. Deeds (2002); 39.4 Playing for Keeps (2012); 32.4 Georgia Rule (2007);

(Number one, number one! Alvin and the Chipmunks get a lot of play there, that smells a bit like product placement. I totally forgot about The Counsellor as well, which is a film we are unlikely to ever see.)

Notes – For the film, Sadek donated his Porsche Carrera GT (which costs over $400,000) to be destroyed in a spectacular crash scene. The mangled remains were on display at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Kind of gross. Truly the pinnacle of pre-subprime mortgage crash waste)

The comedian/actor Eddie Griffin destroyed a rare million-dollar Enzo Ferrari (which belonged to the film’s producer, Daniel Sadek) on Monday 3/26/07, when he crashed it into a barricade while promoting this movie. He was unhurt in the low-speed incident, at Irwindale Speedway, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles. He was practicing for a celebrity charity racing event tied to this upcoming film, causing $300,000 damage to the car (including labor and parts). Sadek estimated that the car was worth $1.1 million, and said he was just happy that Griffin was unharmed. (Sounds like perhaps a guy who just loves cars soooo much … he’d bilk people out of money preying on trash investments. Blah)

The title “Redline” was one of the working titles of The Fast and the Furious (2001).

Prior to the demise of his company, Quick Loan Funding, Sadek was forced to sell off all his car collection, including those featured in the film. One of them, the crash damaged Enzo was acquired by Texan dealer, Matt Groner of Matthews Auto Sales. As the main tub was intact with no chassis straitening, the Enzo only needed new authentic parts bolted in, worth $91,000. The car has since found a new owner. (Well, a happy ending there …)

In the opening sequence of the film, a building with a sign that reads “Quick Loan Funding” can be seen. This was the name of writer/producer Daniel Sadek’s company at the time. (groooooosss)

Most of the rest of the notes are about cars

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Recap

Jamie

What?! Hansel and Gretel are all grows up and ready to take out some witches. Called to action in the town of Augsburg, it soon becomes clear that this isn’t just a case of missing children; a witch gathering is afoot and spells doom if it comes to fruition. Can Hansel and Gretel stop the witches’ dastardly plan before it’s too late? Find out in… Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters!

Why?! Cue The Flintstone’s garbage disposal pterodactyl looking into the camera and declaring, “it’s a living.” Cause that’s what this is to Hansel & Gretel. They are employed as witch hunters and that is what they will goddamn do whether or not the local sheriff approves. This motivation doesn’t change much even when the witches’ scheme grows grander and scarier. They are simply looking to rescue some kids and take out some witches. As for the antagonists of the story (witches, if you hadn’t pick up on that yet), they’re motivations are more complex. They hope to perform a ritual known as the Blood Moon Sabbath where they sacrifice 12 children, take the heart of a white witch, and create powerful magic to make witches immune to fire (and thus immune to Hansel & Gretel’s skillz). In order to do this they must lure Hansel & Gretel to town and capture Gretel, as they are aware that [SPOILER ALERT] Gretel is actually a white witch herself! Oh my GAAAWWWWD:

How?! The first half of the film plays out pretty linearly. Hansel & Gretel are there to save the day and they run around killing witches and unveiling the secrets of the Blood Moon Sabbath. Just as they realize the role they play in the plan (after they find out that their mother was a uber white witch herself and so Gretel is as well), Gretel is kidnapped and Hansel must save her. Using their mother’s extra strong white magic power he creates super weapons that make it all but futile for any witch to oppose him… which is exactly what happens. Seriously, the climax is him just systematically mowing down a hundred witches who stand no chance. In the end Hansel & Gretel both survive and walk the Earth evermore hunting witches in numerous sequels to come… wait, they didn’t make like eight sequels to this a la Fast and the Furious? Oh well.

Who?! Planchet alert! This is one of the best Planchets we’ve had in awhile. He is so Planchet that if we had watched this film before The Three Musketeers the trope would be called a Walser. Ben Walser is a Hansel & Gretel superfan who is basically just dismissed and made fun by his heroes for the entire movie. Only at the end, when Hansel needs anyone he can find to help save Gretel, does he finally allow this lame weirdo to join in the fun. He is a Planchet. A Planchet is he.

Where?! It is very clearly set in Augsburg, which I can assume is in Germany since that’s the name of one of the oldest cities in the country. If I can’t assume that then we don’t know where it is since it’s never mentioned. Pretty typical “meh” setting you sometimes get with a fantasy film. C

When?! This is a solid F. There is no indication of time other than an implication that it is probably somewhere in the 1350-1650 range (when witch hunts were the rage)… belied by the fact that Hansel & Gretel carry advanced weaponry and even play a record on a record player at one point. But that’s steampunk for you… and steampunk is an F temporal setting type of genre.

Wow, I breezed through that. Now let’s get an idea of how BMT the film was. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters? More like Hansel & Gretel: Niche Blunders! You’ll get it in a second. Hansel and Gretel are a steampunk set of buddy cops in the wild west of Grimm’s Germany … it was probably a better idea than that gives it credit for. Let’s get into it.

  • The Good – There are bits and pieces throughout which are arguably the best the steampunk genre has to offer. Three Musketeers and Wild Wild West are two of the notorious examples of steampunk. Snow White and the Huntsman and Red Riding Hood are the same kind of dreary fairy tale film. This is better than all four of those. It is at times fun, Renner is very funny, the makeup and effects are great (even if the accompanying soundtrack isn’t my cup of tea), especially Edward the Troll, who I insist looks like a hulking Aaron Eckhart:Edward_by_the_springEven if you don’t quite see it I was so convinced when I was watching the film that I had to look it up on IMDb. Like “wait … maybe Aaron Eckhart did play Edward the Troll” … he didn’t. Great stuff.
  • The Bad – The storyline is a mess. More of a mess than you could ever really describe. The film is a comedy … and yet there is literally heads exploding left and right. There is a sex scene which is literally just there for the sake of a sex scene. There is a full blown rape scene. And if all of that doesn’t turn you off, then the third act should be enough to turn you off. It is weak.
  • The BMT – Huge BMT film. Easily in the 75th percentile and only because this film is so fun to watch in a perplexed fashion, and has enough to like that you’d probably grow to like it a bit more than you feel comfortable with (like a Underworld or Resident Evil, a real cult film). It has steampunk, it has the second best Planchet in BMT history, it rocks random sex scenes, ultra violence, and a heavy metal soundtrack. It has a ton to love and is real dumb to boot. This is what I meant by niche blunders, it goes wrong in all of the best BMT ways. It makes me proud to say this albatross of a film followed through so well. I’m looking at you now 10,000 BC, it is time to deliver.

And naturally I think this is a prime Sequel territory. The problem with doing a prequel is it would be pre-combinatorial gang explosion (by the end of the first film their witch hunting posse was up to four people, I guarantee with me at the helm I’ll have that number up to twenty hilarious characters hanging around) so it is Hansel, Gretel, Planchet, and Edward the Troll globetrotting and witch hunting. I think what the series needed was a sense of the world, so let’s take them to China (dat sweet Chinese box office bucks too, oooo that is nice). I’m thinking Jackie Chan maybe as a Chinese witch hunter, and the investigation concerns a pair of ninja witches attempting to steal a McGuffin from the Forbidden City. Turns out the Imperial Guard has been systematically infiltrated by a coven and Hansel and Gretel have only mere days to stop the ninja-witches before they get the treasure and take control of the Chinese Kingdom. Hansel & Gretel 2: The Forbidden Coven. Honestly I could just dump Hansel and Gretel and go with Jackie Chan, sounds rad (natch).

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Preview

Ooooooooooooooh boy. Guys… it’s happening. Every once in awhile we do a film that has been on our docket for so long that it seems like not doing it is a running joke. Not today! That’s right! We’re watching Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters! I remember when this came out. BMT was just a baby (with far fewer beautiful rules and regulation) and I was stoked to watch it. But the stars never seemed to align. Alas. But now with our punctuation cycle and trying to hit nine different punctuation marks it seemed primed that we would require the use of an ampersand. Welcome to the show Hansel & Gretel! If only your ill-conceived sequel wasn’t scrapped for 2016 it would have come sooner. I… can… not… wait. Let’s go!

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) – BMeTric: 27.1

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(For you hard-core fans out there you must just be screaming! What about all the Hall of Fame talk, Patrick, whereby films whose rating didn’t change in the face of increased votes are somehow special. Welp … amazingly this film is so overpoweringly average that it doesn’t really regress to the mean, it is already there the entire time! A BMeTric of 25 is about average too, and look at that plot. I kind of love it.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hansel and Gretel, of the famous fairy tale, are now all grown up and seeking revenge for the murder of their parents by becoming bounty hunters, out to kill witches wherever they find them. Renner and Arterton are lost in the fireworks of this ridiculous movie, which is just another excuse to bring out big guns and pyrotechnics. (It’s never explained how this pair are packing such modern-day weapons.) Why does Hollywood want to destroy all of our childhood memories?

(I want to get lost in the fireworks! Bring the guns and the pyrotechnics. They also don’t explain where the witches came from Leonard. And whose fond childhood memories is about the nightmare that is Grimm’s fairytales? I have a lot of problems with this review, although I’m mostly joshing around here. I’m mostly bitter that Maltin yet again is stingy with his BOMB ratings, give the people what they want Leonard!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9246msCh7x4

(I’m getting a heavy Seventh Son vibe on this one. My favorite line from it is Renner saying “I don’t think we’re hunting witches.” Uh, what?… there are like 5000 witches in that trailer. I’m pretty sure you’re hunting witches.)

Directors – Tommy Wirkola – (Known For: Dead Snow; Dead Snow 2; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Norwegian. Has a completed directing project called What Happened to Monday? starring Noomi Rapace, although there is very little information about it outside of variety stories from four years ago.)

Writers – Tommy Wirkola (written by) – (Known For: Dead Snow; Dead Snow 2; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: He is attached to a project called Irredeemable as the writer based on a comic book series, but hasn’t done anything major outside of the Dead Snow series in a while. Might have to check out Irredeemable, sounds interesting.)

Actors – Jeremy Renner – (Known For: Arrival; Captain America: Civil War; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Avengers Assemble; American Hustle; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Thor; The Hurt Locker; The Town; Wind River; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; The Bourne Legacy; 28 Weeks Later; S.W.A.T.; Lords of Dogtown; Kill the Messenger; North Country; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Senior Trip; A Little Trip to Heaven; Notes: I feel like I’ve heard a variety a weird things about Renner … but specifics escape me. His filmography is impressively lacking in BMT worthy movies. Renovated homes with fellow actor Kristoffer Winters.)

Gemma Arterton – (Known For: The Girl with All the Gifts; The Boat That Rocked; RocknRolla; Quantum of Solace; 100 Streets; Their Finest; The Voices; Byzantium; Tamara Drewe; Orpheline; The Disappearance of Alice Creed; Gemma Bovery; Song for Marion; A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures; BMT: Runner Runner; Clash of the Titans; St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold; St. Trinian’s; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; Notes:  British, burst onto the scene when she beat out 1500 other women for a role in Quantum of Solace. My favorite IMDb note: A lifelong fan of karaoke, Gemma once worked as a singer in a south London ‘gangster bar’ where she was frequently instructed to sing “My Heart Will Go On” whenever things got out of hand with the rowdy patrons. … I need to find that bar! I bet it is some posh bullshit.)

Also stars Peter Stormare – (I know his from the smash hit Prison Break … but real people would know him from things like Fargo, Minority Report, and most importantly Armageddon. His BMT library is impressive, but we’ve only seen him in The Tuxedo)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $55,703,475 (Worldwide: $226,349,749)

(Kind of a weird smash hit. The formula I’ve always heard it double the budget and use 50% of domestic and 25% of foreign and you’ll be close (don’t quote me on any of that though). So $25 + $113 = $130 million ish versus a $100 break even. They made money … why did this film always seem like a disaster then and why did the director never get another shot?)

#34 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(Right below the classic Knight’s Tale. The plot is super weird. The number of theaters taking in films like this was so consistent from the 90s and then all of a sudden the money starts to tumble until, boom, the genre collapses. I kind of assume it has to do with the cost of such a production. Period pieces need costumes, and locations need to be dressed, etc. etc. Maybe making a comeback with Tarzan and King Kong though? Plausible.)

#49 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(Just below Sklog childhood classic Willow! Gods of Egypt and Warcraft are recent additions to the genre and BMT. With Harry Potter and more fantastic Marvel movies coming out this genre is on the rise it would seem, although it seems nisely settled at a nice level that looked like a cool $100 million was in reach for most releases. Are the Icarus, flying too close to the sun on their wings of Fantasy Live Action films? We’ll see.)

#4 for the Witch genre

(I’m not going to give the plot because it is useless. I wanted to mainly point out that this being #4 on a genre list means this isn’t a real genre. Other shocks: It is just below the Bewitched remake starring Will Ferrell and only a shade above Hocus Pocus. Take a deep breath, that’s the smell of a non-genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (19/130): Alternately bloody and silly, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters fails as both a fantasy adventure and as a parody of same.

(Ha. I kind of love when reviewers get all weird about violence in films like this. I mean, it makes sense, I think a lot of people would expect this to be a little more comedy than action. But for a movie described on wikipedia as an American-German dark fantasy action horror comedy film I’m sure I’ll get what I’m expecting … which is the Applebee’s menu of movies (Mike Lombardi fans know what I’m talking about, that menu that has so much stuff you know none of it could possibly be good, boom roasted).)

Poster – Jamie & Patrick: Sklog Hunters (C-)

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(I like the bold red color splashed on the rest of the neutral backdrop and I love the original font. Dutch angle is a mistake and the characters are way too prominent. Takes away from the other artistic aspects and ruins it. Also, there is an alternate poster that Patrick figured out was a perfect play on a Rorschach inkblot. To this day I don’t think anyone else has made the connection. In a day where it seems everything has already been done or said on the internet this still is a totally original thought by The Sklogs. You’re welcome.)

Tagline(s) – Classic Tale New Twist (C-)

(Ehhhhh, kinda fits with my criteria. Short, got some cadence and cleverness, and gives a slight hint at a plot. However, it’s getting a bit meta for me… like just acknowledging that this is a classic tale and now they are witch hunters. Not loving it.)

Keyword(s) – bounty hunter; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.5 Barb Wire (1996); 68.3 Jonah Hex (2010); 65.3 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 61.3 Ghost Rider (2007); 53.0 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 49.9 Suburban Commando (1991); 48.6 One for the Money (2012); 47.8 The Bounty Hunter (I) (2010); 42.5 Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014); 40.3 Identity Thief (2013);

(Oooooooo, can’t wait to see Jason Goes to Hell. Why would this be on the bounty hunter list. So many questions! Solid list top to bottom, but wouldn’t really work for a marathon, too similar across the board, all action, no genre mix … I was going to say, what about those romantic bounty hunter movies, but that is literally what One for the Money and the Bounty Hunter are, blah.)

Notes – Hansel is diabetic, as a result of his experience in the gingerbread house as a child. In the original script, Gretel was also supposed to have an eating disorder, as a result of the same trauma, but this was not included in the movie. (Ugh, just the worst. It is like something I would write and think was very clever in high school … no offense)

Originally scheduled for release in March 2012, the movie was delayed for ten months to accommodate Jeremy Renner’s appearances in Avengers Assemble (2012) and The Bourne Legacy (2012), and to give director Tommy Wirkola time to shoot a post-credits scene. (That super sweet after credits scene. Kind of nuts to think this was released basically just after The Avengers …. It feels like this came out so long ago)

Director Tommy Wirkola got the idea to create the film, based on the adult lives of Hansel and Gretel in 2007, while at film school in Australia. After being discovered by Gary Sanchez Productions, Wirkola pitched the idea at a meeting with Paramount Pictures and won a contract. (Will Ferrell why? You could have stopped this).

Despite portraying brother and sister of close ages, Jeremy Renner (Hansel) is actually fifteen years older than Gemma Arterton (Gretel). (Ugh, classic Hollywood)

The movie’s cast featured two former Bond Girls,Famke Janssen from GoldenEye (1995) and Gemma Arterton from Quantum of Solace (2008), where the movies were made and released around thirteen years apart in the James Bond film franchise. (ooooo fun fact)

In an interview with Famke Janssen at Cannes 2011, she stated that she took the role as the head witch in this movie because she had to pay off her mortgage. Janssen has stated multiple times that since 2007, she was prepping her writing/directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby (2011), where funding and distribution had gone through hard times, partly due to the 2008 economic crisis. She also had not done much acting in that period of time. (ha, get yo money Famke)

The text of the newspaper clippings, used in the opening credits, is from Alexander Roberts’ 1616 “A Treatise on Witchcraft.” (We will end with that ultra-fun fact)

RoboCop 3 Recap

Jamie

Trying to catch up. No probs. Just gonna kick the shit out of this email just like RoboCop does with the bad guys. Woooooo.

What?! RoboCop is back and looking good. Almost as if a totally new actor took over the role. OmniCorp is trying to clear Detroit to make way for Delta City (still), but has to move all the poor people out before it can happen. Can our beloved cyborg hero stop the unjust evictions before the entire city is left as rubble? RoboCop 3!

Why?! As always OmniCorp is trying to build Delta City. This time though there is added motivation as OmniCorp is in deep shit and is getting bought out by a Japanese company. The merger will save the company from complete collapse, but hinges on OCP clearing out Detroit in time to start construction on Delta City. RoboCop’s motivation changed this time… jk! Still the same: Chew bubblegum. Run out of bubble gum. Kick ass. Also, he wants some sweet, sweet retribution for the unfortunate death of his partner, Nancy Allen, who really didn’t want to be in this film (but still wanted to get paid for filming a death scene).

How?! Since OCP has proven to be super inept at building all but one crime fighting cyborg they are just using a group of British(?) mercenaries to clear the city. Unfortunately a band of rebels are making their lives a living hell. They also make a terrible mistake by killing RoboCop’s partner, which leads him to join the rebels in their fight. In the end it’s OCP on one side and the police and rebels on the other. Guess who wins? You’re right! The one with the cyborg killing machine with a shiny new jetpack (a.k.a. shiny new action figure accessory). In the end RoboCop defeats OCP (and a random Japanese cyborg that is 5000x better than RoboCop but still loses) and the city is given independence by the Japanese company. It really wraps up the whole saga in a neat little bow.

Who?! While he wasn’t really comic relief, Bradley Whitford makes an appearance as an OCP executive. Clearly he was honing his Eric Gordon character for Billy Madison because he basically plays the same person. He was the best. In fact, there are a lot of things you can say about RoboCop 3 but it has a pretty dope TV actor cast.

Where?! How many times do we have to say it. RoboCop is Detroit. Detroit is RoboCop. Shouldn’t even have called it Delta City in the film. It’s RoboCop City. Because he owns it. A-

When?! As noted for RoboCop 2, the creator of RoboCop has continually said that the year is the “near future” for the first film and true to form the sequels also seemed to take this approach. Very little about the year the film takes place is provided. We know from the first two that this is in the general vicinity of the late 80’s and early 90’s. More fun is the fact that RoboCop 3 represents the first of the year’s random Xmas films! Yay! This film very clearly takes place around Christmas. Not only are there Christmas decorations EVERYWHERE, but the parents of one of the characters are killed at the beginning of the film and their day of death is shown as December 7th. Perhaps with a very close watch a year could be gleaned like in the first one, but I couldn’t find it. Despite that, this is probably my favorite temporal setting of the three films. C+

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! RoboCop 3? More like RoboCrap-py!!!! (Wow, that just falls right out of it huh?). I watched both RoboCop and RoboCop 2 on a ten hour flight to Vegas (just as the director intended the movie to be consumed, via iPad). Would my gamble of watching the third on the return flight instead of sleeping pay off? Nope, busted. Let’s get into it!

  • The Good – Woof. I’m surprised by how much Robert John Burke looked like Peter Weller once the mask was on. I was happy to see the returning actors as well. This series isn’t something to scoff at, it could have been serious business if it was handled properly.
  • The Bad – Basically everything. The story makes little sense. None of the characters are particularly believable or motivations made clear. The finale is horrible, ditching the bread-and-butter practical effects for a special effect ending that just looks like garbage. RoboCop comes across as much less likeable in this installment. Less robotic somehow.
  • The BMT – This one, yes. For sure. I can kind of see why it is reviled. I would probably put it around 40. If there were more sequels I bet that is where it ends up to be honest. Being the only really bad installment of an iconic series has its downsides.

Here I will go Sequel. They tried and failed to do the remake. Time to go RoboCop 4. Let’s cast, yes the 69 year-old retired PhD, Peter Weller again as the now old RoboCop. Of course he ages! He has a human … face or whatever. He’s too old for this shit, but when Detroit comes under fire by a series of, what appears to be, terrorist attacks, the officers of the Metro West go into the basement and dust off the, now, behind the times relic. Recruiting youthful hackers from a rambunctious gang they retrofit RoboCop with some new toys, and soon he is fit as a fiddle, directive free, and ready to kick some terrorist ass. Can the obsolete become cutting edge? Could the remnants of OmniCorp, scattered to the wind oh so long ago, somehow be connected to this new attack on old Detroit? Can RoboCop find … love? RoboCop 4 (no subtitle, get out of here!), coming next June!

I would watch it. Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!