Turbulence Recap

Jamie

Ryan Weaver is a newly recaught serial killer being flown back to Los Angeles for trial. During the flight, one of the other prisoners escapes, resulting in the deaths of both pilots. Now a flight attendant, Teri, is the only thing that stands in the way of the maniac crashing the plane. Can she stop the bad guy and land the plane before it’s too late? Find out in… Turbulence.

How?! Ryan Weaver is a serial killer (or is he? (He is… just look at him)) who is being flown back to LA for trial after being recaught. Taking advantage of a Christmas Eve flight that is nearly empty, the marshals load him onto the plane with another prisoner, making the flight crew nervous. Teri, one of the flight attendants, is at first intrigued by Weaver, who comes across as charming (but also super duper Ray Liotta creepy) and not at all what she expects a serial killer to be like (besides his general serial killer vibe). It becomes only more confusing when the other prisoner is able to escape and take everyone hostage, but is ultimately subdued and killed by Weaver (but also it’s not confusing because Ray Liotta is a madman and obviously is playing a serial killer). As this has all happened, both pilots have ended up dead, leaving Weaver in charge and Teri the only one trying to stop the plane from crashing. Unfortunately, they are heading straight for a megastorm (oh no!) and things are looking pretty dire. Realizing that Teri is trying to save the plane and ruin his plan of having it crash into some populated area (interesting plan), Weaver lures her out of the cockpit and tries to scare her into submission. But he didn’t count on her grit and smarts cause she uses Weaver’s obvious attraction to her against him and is able to knock him down for the count and retreat back to the cockpit. At this point they are through the storm (really not much of a role in the film) and Teri is able to get the autopilot set for landing. Just then, though, Weaver destroys the autopilot and sets the plane back on a crash course (oh no!). Teri is able to barely save the plane and turn it around and begs for one more shot at saving their lives before being shot down. But Weaver has other plans as he busts into the cockpit and they have a final climactic fight, ending with Teri shooting Weaver. Getting back to the cockpit, Teri reengages the emergency autopilot and brings the plane in safely. THE END.

Why?! Survival, for the most part. Alternatively, Weaver’s motivations are all over the place. He’s a serial killer on death row so he’s really not trying to survive. He more seems annoyed that the detective who caught him was able to get a conviction by planting evidence. And even then mostly because that’s a blow to his ego. He wants everyone to know that he was in fact too smart to be caught by ethical means and is then hoping to crash the plane so that he can go out with a bang and show everyone how smart he is and how the detective didn’t win. It’s nuts, but also kinda refreshing for the insane person in a film to truly act insane. I guess that’s the benefit of casting Ray Liotta. He nails acting insane.

Who?! There honestly isn’t much for this section, but the captain of the plane is played by J. Kenneth Campbell. That would not be notable in any way other than his face is now burned into my brain because he plays a character, Flint Lukash, in the film Operation Delta Force 2: Mayday and it is the greatest acting performance of all time. In fact, don’t watch Turbulence. Watch that film instead. He is a mad man.

What?! Being on an airplane there are a number of products thrown about. Some Minute Maid orange juice clutched in terror, a Heineken ordered in jest, a Ford attached to the wheel of the plane (naturally). The Ford is even commented on in the script. Quite the achievement for a product placement. I also did want to note that the airline in the film is a fake one called TCA (Trans Continental Airlines). That would be totally uninteresting except that the former manager of the Backstreet Boys, Lou Perlman, used that company name as the front for his Ponzi scheme. Now at the time that the film was being made the Ponzi scheme was active, but not yet uncovered, so just a really weird coincidence.

Where?! There is a whole cycle we could do for film set on different modes of transportation or in a location that is not specific to a place in the world. Here this is truly a “plane movie” and boy is it ever. It also technically takes place in New York at the beginning and LA at the end. It’s very solid and very important to the plot. A.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert! And this one is a doozy. This film takes place on a Christmas Eve flight. You might be like, oh that’s fun, they mention that it’s Christmas Eve. No they don’t just mention Christmas Eve. This film IS Christmas Eve. Liotta is caught while out buying a Christmas present for his next victim. The plane is so decked out with Christmas decorations that it legit seems like a hazard of some sort. It’s a Wonderful Life is playing on the plane in the background of multiple scenes. It’s an A… It’s just an A.

This film is pure schlock. Probably the funniest thing about it is that the script seems to be written from the perspective that the audience is not supposed to know whether Weaver did it or not. There are hints that he may have been framed, the flight attendants chatter about how he seems so charming, and he’s nice and polite up to the point of seemingly saving the plane from the other, clearly evil prisoner. One problem… they cast Ray Liotta, creepiest man alive, to play Weaver. You have to chuckle when Liotta, innocently chatting up the flight attendants, comes across not as a charming, possibly framed man, but as a Ray Liotta crazy maniac. It’s almost like he read the script, got bored, skipped to the end and was like “crazy and creepy as fuck, got it” and then played it that way for the entire film. It’s genuinely funny. Add on top one of the most insane not-so-secret holiday films of our generation and I think it’s a pretty solid BMT. It is more entertaining than it actually deserved to be despite botching pretty much every aspect of the film, but maybe that’s what a BMT film is all about. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this film I would call it Frequent Flayer. Get it? He’s a serial killer on a plane. Should we just call it Serial Killer on a Plane? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I knew basically nothing about this film before watching it. I was returning from a trip and watched it before completing the preview. So I kind of knew it starred Liotta and that it was an airplane thriller. That’s it. I was in for a wild (turbulent? Nope that isn’t a phrase) ride. What were my expectations? I guess I kind of hoped it tracked along with Con Air? Like a knock off Con Air. It came out around the same time so that made sense to me.

The Good – Hooooooooooooo boy, if you like insane performances there is nothing better than Liotta in this guy. Also, there is a “twist” in the beginning where they do a very small and short-lived head fake to make the viewer think “hey, maybe Liotta is a good guy.” That head fake is hilarious and so obviously a fake that it kind of makes the whole first act work. Without it and you’re left waiting for Liotta to break free of his chains (and all time and space and logic) and start chewing the plane apart like a gremlin in The Twilight Zone.

The Bad – Basically the rest of the film. Liotta’s performance actually belongs here because it is ludicrous. It might be one of the craziest villain performances ever. No one has ever gone more over the top than this. They throw a bunch of subplots against the wall to add drama to the film, but none of them work because they hinge on everyone in the film making terribly dumb decisions. If the main character had merely decided it was more important to stay in the cockpit and lock Liotta in the main portion of the plane, then most of the rest of the film could have been avoided quite easily I think. The film is also basically plotless … a serial killer gets on a plane and is trying to crash it. That’s it. Finally, they assemble a whole rag tag group of passengers in the beginning of the film … and then lock them in a back room 30 minutes in, never to be seen again. Presumably it is because they realized they couldn’t have Liotta kill them all, but they also couldn’t figure out how they wouldn’t overpower him once they realized he intended on crashing the plane? The whole film is insane!

The BMT – I think I’m a bit higher on this one than Jamie, but that is fine. Maybe it is because I watched it while actually on a plane (which was interesting … didn’t really bother me). It definitely gets me jazzed to develop an odd-setting-as-a-character cycle which breaks the mold of the normal state/country settings we are used to. Did it meet my expectations? I suppose since I didn’t have many expectations it had to. I should have been prepared for Liotta, but somehow I wasn’t. And he exceeded my expectations. It was like In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale all over again!

Roast-radamus – I’m going to throw out a minor Product Placement (What?) for Ford, which gave us the car that nearly takes out heroic plane down. Is this a Setting as a Character (Where?) for a plane in general? I think so. The plane is kind of a character. And boy does Ray Liotta go to town on our boy. It is definitely an excellent Secret Holiday Film (When?) because you know you can’t have a Die Hard Scenario unless it is set during Christmas. I also have to mention the kind of interesting Worst Twist (How?) as they initially seem to play up a “Liotta is innocent” like in The Fugitive, but then it becomes abundantly clear he is a psycho. I think it is a real twist despite the fact that they ignore it in the trailers for the film. And I think this has a decent shot at BMT as well solely due to Liotta’s b-b-b-b-b-bonkers performance.

StreetCreditReport.com – Surprisingly no cred really. You would think this of all things would get more play as it contrasts with Con Air and Air Force One around the same time. WatchMojo, which I think is run by IMDb, gave it honorable mentions for both best hijacking films, and best airplane crashes … boooooooo. I genuinely think this could be in the top 5 worst airplane films, and it might be one of the craziest serial killer performances by Liotta. So take that mainstream media, you missed out on this one.

You Just Got Schooled – So there are two straight-to-video sequels to this film, but I obviously wouldn’t watch either of those so … psych! I watched the second one, Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying. In this installment a class of people with a fear of flying, upon graduation, take a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles to celebrate. Little do they know there is a deadly toxin on board and a terrorist itching to use it! The film stars Tom Berenger most notably as the ground control operator trying to help bring the plane back to Seattle safely. The film is not that bad from a tv movie perspective. Usually tv movies are just boring and sad. This threw every hijacked plane twist at the wall and hoped something would stick, which was actually pretty entertaining. Combine that with a lead actor with stage combat training (who clearly insisted on using it), and a mysterious carton of milk Berenger drank throughout the film, and you have a winner in my book. I did not watch the third one though, Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal. But I didn’t need to as I had already seen it reviewed on Red Letter Media and had very little interest in experiencing the film for myself:

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Turbulence Quiz

Well yeah, I was on this airplane and there was maybe a serial killer? But then there was some super scary turbulence, I hit my head, and I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Turbulence?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What is the serial killer name that the media gives to Liotta’s character?

2) What crime did the other criminal, played by Brendan Gleeson, commit that got him put onto the Con Air? Oh was … that not the name they gave this flight?

3) Early in the flight both pilots are killed. How did each of them die?

4) How many people, in total, die during this ill-fated Con Air? Wait … for real, that isn’t what this movie is called? The name seems just so a propos!

5) The flight almost lands initially, but has to pull up at the last second. Why, and how did they solve the issue?

Answers

Turbulence Preview

“Look around, mates, this here is a jungle. The wild west. The outback. And I’m the king. So stick with me and you’ll be fine,” Alligator Steve says, pointing out all the different cliques on display in the middle school’s cafeteria. There are nerds, jocks, artistes, clowns, unicyclers, bare-knuckle boxers, demolition experts, animal wranglers, etc. Just the classics. But Steve is the coolest tween around and he’s somehow taken Rich and Poe under his wing. Thank god, because they were about to get pounded for being such uggo nerds (for real). As they sit down for lunch, Rich and Poe ponder the purpose of this quest. Are they just supposed to spend the rest of their lives in this nerd purgatory? Fat chance, thinks Rich, secretly flexing his muscles, there must be something more to all this. Returning to the conversation, Rich listens closely as Steve details exactly why this is the raddest and baddest middle school around. “The kids run the school, plain and simple. The teachers try to rein us in, but we just give em the ‘tude and it’s all icy, diglet my zoom?” Rich and Poe smile and nod, for they understand the latest lingo all the kids are using. So are they meant to bring order to the chaos, The Substitute style? That sure would be a test, considering this school doesn’t play by the rules that they’ve come to know and hate. Suddenly Alligator nudges them. “And here’s your next lesson, mates.” At that the cafeteria doors bust open and a clique of “cool girls” stroll in. It’s clear they don’t have time for nobody, let alone Rich and Poe: nerd alert central. But they are heading straight for their table and Steve whispers, “Get ready, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.” That’s right! We’re watching Turbulence. Like a lot of Action films, this followed the age old formula of Die Hard: trap a bunch of people somewhere with a terrorist/criminal and let them battle without the help of the authorities. This also has the added benefit of starring Ray Liotta before he became the Actor Who Looks Like He’s Wearing a Ray Liotta Mask (AWLLHWRLM, rolls off the tongue) and is a film that no one remembers exists. Killing three birds with one airplane. Let’s go!

Turbulence (1997) – BMeTric: 51.6; Notability: 46 

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TurbulenceIMDb_RV

(If this reached 5.0 that is absurd. This film is so obviously a terrible version of Con Air so like … how does anyone watch this and think “that was okay.” It is obviously not okay. If Nic Cage isn’t in the film then that is not okay!)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – There are more questions. Like, if a 747 sheers off the roof of a high-rise restaurant, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if a 747 plows through an outdoor billboard, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if it sweeps all the cars off the roof of a parking garage, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if it gets a truck caught in its landing gear, what would happen then? (“It’s a Ford!” a sharp-eyed observer says, in a line that–for once–I don’t think represents product placement.) Oh, yes, there are many moments I will long remember from “Turbulence.” But one stands out. After Lauren Holly outsmarts and outfights the berserk killer and pilots the plane through a Level 6 storm, the FBI guy still doubts she can land it. “She’s only a stewardess,” he says. To which the female air traffic controller standing next to him snaps, “She’s a . . . flight attendant!”

(This review is amazing. I love you Ebert. All great questions. And the answer for the most part is: yes, it would crash. About fifteen times the plane would have crashed. One hundred percent.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arr-4RGgJvU/

(I actually like the really unique start to the trailer. BTW, the reveal that Liotta is actually a bad guy is kind of a mini-twist in the beginning which they don’t even bother with (for good reason, it would be impossible to cut a trailer for the film which doesn’t feature Liotta maniacally chewing the scenery). Finally, the heavy metal soundtrack kind of previews the eventual third entry to the series which I will semi-review in my recap, so stay tuned.)

Directors – Robert Butler – (Known For: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes; Now You See Him, Now You Don’t; The Barefoot Executive; BMT: Turbulence; Notes: Hugely involved in a few television series like Remington Steele which he directed and consulted for. He also directed the pilot for the original Star Trek. This was his last feature film.)

Writers – Jonathan Brett (written by) – (Known For: The Boynton Beach Bereavement Club; BMT: Turbulence; Notes: Produced She-Devil somewhat randomly. Also nominated for an Oscar for a short film, The Dutch Master.)

Actors – Ray Liotta – (Known For: Marriage Story; Goodfellas; Identity; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Cop Land; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Killing Them Softly; Heartbreakers; Bee Movie; Something Wild; Date Night; Kill the Messenger; Muppets Most Wanted; Youth in Revolt; Observe and Report; Narc; No Escape; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Go with Me; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Revolver; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; The Lonely Lady; Slow Burn; Even Money; Powder Blue; Better Living Through Chemistry; Unforgettable; Smokin’ Aces; Hannibal; Corrina, Corrina; Crossing Over; Flock of Dudes; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Turbulence; Wild Hogs; Notes: BMT Legend, his face looks like he is wearing a mask of his own face. He has a very crazy ad campaign for Chantix happening at the moment, which The Onion riffed on here.)

Lauren Holly – (Known For: Spirited Away; Dumb and Dumber; What Women Want; February; Sabrina; Any Given Sunday; Beautiful Girls; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Tammy’s Always Dying; Field of Lost Shoes; Entropy; Future BMT: Down Periscope; How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town; Live Wire; A Smile Like Yours; After the Ball; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; No Looking Back; Band of the Hand; BMT: Turbulence; Crank 2: High Voltage; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1998 for A Smile Like Yours, and Turbulence; Notes: Married to Jim Carey for a year. Co-starred opposite of Mark Harmon in the early seasons of NCIS.)

Brendan Gleeson – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; 28 Days Later…; Troy; Edge of Tomorrow; Braveheart; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Gangs of New York; In Bruges; In the Heart of the Sea; Cold Mountain; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Village; Mission: Impossible II; Beowulf; Paddington 2; Frankie; Safe House; Green Zone; Future BMT: The Smurfs 2; The Raven; Live by Night; Country of My Skull; The Tiger’s Tail; BMT: Turbulence; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Irish. An accomplished fiddle player, he played in Michael Collins and Cold Mountain.)

Budget/Gross – $55,000,000 / Domestic: $11,538,235 (Worldwide: $11,538,235)

(That is catastrophic. For reference Con Air has a budget of around $75 million and made over $200 million. So this had roughly the same budget and made … 20x as much money. It is rough.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (3/18)

(Oooo I get to make one. Expensive but not expensive looking. Little more than a series of cliches strung together. Reviewer Highlight: Fasten your seat belts, folks. It’s going to be a cliche-cluttered ride. – Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today)

Poster – Ray Liotta’s Magical Plane Ride (B-)

turbulence

(That is terrible, but also kind of great. It’s creative in how it’s framed and with some sweet font. The big letters at the top are a terrible idea, but so bold you have to give it to them. This poster is like two decades late… feels like it’s for Avalanche or something.)

Tagline(s) – Can You Survive The Ride? (C)

(The ride… the ride… hmmmm. That doesn’t sound right. But fine, it does its job and kinda makes me think that there is a whole other category of tagline. The rhetorical question. A little generic though. Fits the theme of an old school disaster film, but it’s just not giving me much.)

Keyword – die hard scenario

Turbulence_die hard scenario

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), The Magnificent Seven (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Leon (1994), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), 13 Hours (2016), World War Z (2013)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 62.1 Half Past Dead (2002), 55.1 Knock Off (1998), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 49.7 Collateral Damage (2002), 47.7 Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), 46.7 Cop Out (2010), 46.6 Solo (1996), 44.6 Metro (1997), 44.5 The Purge (2013);

BMT: Angel Has Fallen (2019), The Expendables 3 (2014), Along Came a Spider (2001), London Has Fallen (2016), Doom (2005), Need for Speed (2014), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Red Dawn (2012), Swordfish (2001), Tango & Cash (1989), Soldier (1998), Max Payne (2008), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Skyline (2010), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Daylight (1996), Mercury Rising (1998), Firewall (2006), Getaway (2013), xXx²: The Next Level (2005), Alex Cross (2012), 88 Minutes (2007), On Deadly Ground (1994), Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), Fire Down Below (1997), Black Dog (1998), Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002), Turbulence (1997), Firestorm (1998), Extreme Ops (2002)

(The graph looks like what you would expect. This is a second-banana die hard scenario. And the genre came to a crescendo around 2000, and then briefly died. Interesting that people don’t seem to running it these days, but maybe it is just overplayed. Under Siege 2 is def the best one that we haven’t seen. And my god, we’ve seen so many of them!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ray Liotta is No. 1 billed in Turbulence and No. 3 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 9. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Despite its box-office failure when of its release, the movie managed to get two direct-to-video sequels due to the film’s good performance as being one of the most rented films of that year. (Ohhhhhh yeah, Red Letter Media reviewed the third one which straight up looks like an abomination)

MGM pulled trailers from theaters and temporarily suspended its marketing campaign after the crash of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996.

The airliner used in the movie (N614FF) was a Tower Air Boeing 747-246B. The fictional TCA livery seen is very similar to Japan Air Lines’ livery but minus the Tsurumaru Crane Bird on the tail.

Was scheduled to be released in theaters for the 1996 holiday season, in tandem with the film’s Christmas setting, but was delayed to January 1997.

Catherine Hicks and Lauren Holly are talking about serial killers as the plane is loading. Hicks says “did you ever see Bundy, he was a charmer, Mark Harmon played him”. Holly later went on to star opposite Mark Harmon in NCIS. (Damn, I was going to add this trivia to IMDb! I got that one organically while watching the film. And in no way is that depressing)

The toy store in the movie in reality is a bookstore on the Main Street in Clinton, New Jersey, USA. There is a toy store on Main Street but it is in an alley and director Robert Butler didn’t like the exterior of the building. The bookstore’s front window was decorated with toys for the week of filming.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Lauren Holly, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property (1998)

Tango & Cash Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. Tango & Cash (or is it Rich & Poe?) check off all the boxes: Sly Stallone, Sly Stallone, and Sly Stallone. This is the preview for the film, a Hall of Fame induction speech will follow immediately afterwards. Enjoy!

Generated on: 2020-01-13

Tango & Cash (1989) – BMeTric: 21.3; Notability: 68 

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(The rating is actually a bit lower than I would have expected. This is a really really fun film, and a film I’ve seen mentioned online as being underrated. So I would have kind of expected it to me close to 7.0 to be honest. I guess it helps that the movie is just a bit too strange (especially near the end) for people to get entirely on board? Love the notability though. This was probably just after Stallone’s Imperial Phase (to borrow a term from music) which is maybe 1983 to 1988, but it is close.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Rumored $55 million budget must have gone for male hairstyling in congenitally derivative narc caper about two competitive cops who take on M.r Big. Surprisingly tolerable, though, with a nifty prison break sequence and a pleasingly relaxed Stallone.

(A pleasingly relaxed review by Leonard. Odd use of the word congenitally to be honest, but genuinely an interesting take on the movie as it was probably written at the time of release. I’m sure that is part of the reason the movie is merely borderline BMT, critics probably like “meh, fun”.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwzkxI6b9Go/

(This is an incredibly bad trailer for conveying what the movie is about. It’s an incredibly good trailer in that it condenses all the truly insane shit from the film into a short clip that genuinely makes me excited to watch it.)

Directors – Andrey Konchalovskiy – (Known For: Runaway Train; Shy People; Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s’éteint et que le film commence; Ray; The Inner Circle; Belye nochi pochtalyona Alekseya Tryapitsyna; Dom durakov; Future BMT: The Nutcracker in 3D; Homer and Eddie; BMT: Tango & Cash; Notes: Fired from the film by the ever erratic producer Jon Peters who was famous for the Superman/Wild Wild West giant mechanical spider story. He won an Emmy for the miniseries The Odyssey.)

Albert Magnoli – (Known For: Purple Rain; BMT: American Anthem; Tango & Cash; Notes: Brought in to finish the film. For a time he was Prince’s manager.)

Writers – Randy Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Hell Night; Future BMT: Metro; Nowhere to Run; La chispa de la vida; BMT: Tango & Cash; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Tango & Cash in 1990; Notes: Brother of Dennis Feldman, who wrote BMT films Species II and The Golden Child, along with a number of future BMT films.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; First Blood; The Expendables; Creed; Escape Plan; Rocky Balboa; Cliffhanger; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky II; Cop Land; Bullet to the Head; Antz; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Escape to Victory; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; Escape Plan 3; D-Tox; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Rambo III; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Rambo: Last Blood; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Demolition Man; Rambo; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Cobra, Cobra, Lock Up, Lock Up, Over the Top, Over the Top, Rambo III, Rambo III, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone, Rocky IV, and Tango & Cash; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; Notes: I mean, come on.)

Kurt Russell – (Known For: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Forrest Gump; The Hateful Eight; The Christmas Chronicles; Fast & Furious 8; The Thing; Fast & Furious 7; Tombstone; Deepwater Horizon; Death Proof; Bone Tomahawk; Sky High; Stargate; Big Trouble in Little China; Executive Decision; Escape from New York; Grindhouse; Overboard; Future BMT: Captain Ron; The Best of Times; Crypto; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; It Happened at the World’s Fair; BMT: Poseidon; Soldier; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Tango & Cash; Vanilla Sky; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Tango & Cash in 1990; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for 3000 Miles to Graceland in 2002; Notes: Double come on. It’s Kurt!)

Teri Hatcher – (Known For: Tomorrow Never Dies; Spy Kids; Coraline; 2 Days in the Valley; Planes: Fire & Rescue; Soapdish; The Big Picture; Resurrecting the Champ; Future BMT: Planes; Heaven’s Prisoners; Straight Talk; Madness in the Method; BMT: Tango & Cash; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 1997 for 2 Days in the Valley, and Heaven’s Prisoners; Notes: Probably best known for TV work, winning a Golden Globe for Desperate Housewives. Also was a 49ers cheerleader.)

Budget/Gross – $55 million / Domestic: $63,408,614 (Worldwide: $63,408,614)

(Modest hit. A little strange in that you have a film with two megastars, that was modestly popular at the time of its release, and yet usually when I mention this film to people my age they’ve never heard of it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (14/45): Brutally violent and punishingly dull, this cookie-cutter buddy cop thriller isn’t even fun enough to reach “so bad it’s good” status.

(Punishingly dull! Punishingly dull?! That’s just flat wrong. Not, cookie-cutter buddy cop thriller… that… that’s true. I will contend it’s clearly so bad that it’s good and Rottentomatoes should amend that consensus. Reviewer Highlight: The jokes seem lame and the rivalry fraudulent, as the two boys play with their big guns. – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Rich & Poe (D)

tango_and_cash

(The literal Rich & Poe poster. I even have a coffee cup with that image on it. Ironically it’s a really bad poster. Kinda violates all my rules. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: Probably my best fake movie poster ever. I got the graininess just right, and started to actually manipulate things in the image (like the glasses, which are just modified directly off of the picture of Stallone). Could have done better with the font I suppose.)

Tagline(s) – Two of L.A.’s top rival cops are going to have to work together… Even if it kills them. (C-)

(Egad, that’s long. It’s not even that clever when you think about it. They went for a double entendre, but it only really makes sense in one meaning. Also bad.)

Keyword – buddy movie

Tango&Cash_buddy movie

Top 10: Green Book (2018), The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019), Hall Pass (2011), The Other Guys (2010), Bad Boys (1995), Central Intelligence (2016), Men in Black (1997), Ice Age (2002), Hot Fuzz (2007), 21 Jump Street (2012)

Future BMT: 49.8 Gone Fishin’ (1997), 44.7 National Security (2003), 42.2 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 40.4 Hall Pass (2011), 39.7 Pink Cadillac (1989), 33.2 Sahara (2005), 31.9 Armed and Dangerous (1986), 27.9 Men in Black II (2002), 27.5 Rush Hour 3 (2007), 16.9 Bad Boys II (2003);

BMT: Wild Wild West (1999), Tango & Cash (1989), Double Team (1997), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Hot to Trot (1988)

(This genre is really dying. It is kind of amazing. I’m very excited for all of the films that are coming up. They are almost universally great bad movies.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Tango & Cash and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – When Tango and Cash escape from the prison, Cash turns to Tango and asks if he stopped “for coffee and a Danish.” Tango says, “I hate Danish,” an in-joke referring to Sylvester Stallone’s recent divorce from Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen. (oof)

The glasses Sylvester Stallone wears early in the film are his own, not props. He usually wears contact lenses in his films. The lenses show that he is very near-sighted in one eye, less so in the other. Plus, he has astigmatism.

Director Andrey Konchalovskiy was replaced toward the end of principal photography by Albert Magnoli. In his book of memoirs, Konchalovsky says that the reason he was fired was because he wanted to give the film a more serious tone than the producers wanted, and as such, his relationship with Producer Jon Peters became untenable. Konchalovsky, however, has nothing but praise for Sylvester Stallone, who he states was a constant voice of reason on the set.

When Brion James was originally hired to play Requin, it was a very small role with only two lines. In an effort to give the character something that would make him stand out, James decided to speak in a horrible “cockney” accent. Sylvester Stallone loved it, and re-wrote the script to give Requin a much bigger role. (Jesus, Imperial Phase for real)

The scene where Tango faces an oncoming truck with nothing but a gun was borrowed from Ging chaat goo si (1985), where Jackie Chan performed the stunt. As a “response”, Chan would later reference the make shift zip-line prison escape moment in this film in a scene early in the third installment of the Police Story series, Ging chaat goo si III: Chiu kup ging chaat (1992) (Oh, fun)

Patrick Swayze was originally cast as Cash, but he dropped out to star in Road House (1989). (Good choice, although I feel like Tango & Cash would have benefited from his more serious attitude)

Kurt Russell was originally considered and offered the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987), but he turned it down, and it went to Mel Gibson, with whom he worked on Tequila Sunrise (1988). His character in this film is loosely based on Riggs.

While filming the scene in which the back of the SUV catches fire, the flames would not go out when filming was over. Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone were caught in a cross draft. Stallone was so close to the fire that his hair was singed in places.

Years later, Sylvester Stallone offered the role of “Mr. Church” to Kurt Russell in The Expendables (2010). Russell declined the role, which was then accepted by Bruce Willis.

A total of four different people directed the film. Andrey Konchalovskiy, who was fired after about three months of filming by Jon Peters, Sylvester Stallone, after the movie went over-budget and schedule (but not by his fault), Executive Producer Peter MacDonald, who was also the Second Unit Director, then took over directing on the movie for some time (a year earlier MacDonald had to step in as a director for Stallone’s previous movie Rambo III (1988) after the original director was fired by Stallone), then Albert Magnoli was hired as the new director to finish the movie (but even after principal photography was finished, he caused two more weeks of further delays after he decided to re-shoot some parts of the movie), and Stallone was also directing the movie behind the scenes (something he was known for, especially during the 80s). None of them however had any control over the editing of the movie. Instead, Warner Bros. hired expert editor Stuart Baird to re-edit the movie after they expressed strong dislike for the initial rough cut. Baird hired another editor Hubert de La Bouillerie to help out when Warner Bros. kept complaining on every different cut of the movie that was edited, which almost caused for release date to be pushed way further than planned.In the end, the movie was finally approved for theatrical release by Warner Bros., and it ended up being shipped to theaters only a week after its original release date, as “wet prints” – an industry term meaning that the movie was just barely completed before its release date.

One of the monster trucks at the quarry scene towards the end is the famous Bigfoot truck. Although it’s painted different colors than its trademark blue color, and does not feature any Bigfoot decals, it was confirmed that it is in fact Bigfoot by owner of the original monster truck Bob Chandler.

Originally, the part of Katherine, Tango’s sister was to be played by Daphne Ashbrook. She was not supposed to be Tango’s biological sister; possibly an adopted sister, or a foster child his parents took in. But, when they decided to make her his actual sister, they re-cast the role with Teri Hatcher, who slightly resembles Stallone. (I love that they give a shit about the actors looking the same, who cares?)

The tank-like SUV seen in the film (with a windshield shape resembling a 1990s-era Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan) was built from a 1988 Chevrolet K2500 truck. At the time of the film’s release, the vehicle resembled a GM concept (a 1987 Chevrolet Blazer XT-1) which was planned as a crossover-like SUV which was powered with a Chevrolet 4.3L V6 – the engine block and cylinder heads were cast in aluminum alloy. GM did not proceed with the Blazer XT-1 but its styling cues were used with the W-body “Dustbuster” minivans (Lumina, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Trans Sport).

Jack Palance jokingly showed his displeasure about filming this movie while on the tonight show with Jay Leno. He said that when he first got the script he was really excited about doing the movie since he had three nice scenes with Sylvester Stallone, but as soon as filming started all his scenes with Stallone were cut, and he didn’t even see Stallone throughout the entire movie. (That’s kind of sad)

Shortly after this film was released, there was a very lethal “brand” of heroin being sold in The Bronx, New York, NY. It was named “Tango & Cash”. This was stamped on the bags the drugs were contained in. So many addicts overdosed (and died), the NYPD was driving around neighborhoods using loudspeakers to tell people not to use this particular “brand” of heroin. This was reported on all the flagship network TV stations there as well.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kurt Russell, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Randy Feldman, 1990)

After Earth Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. After Earth is this generation’s Battlefield Earth… you know if John Travolta had used Battlefield Earth as a way to insult his children. This is a preview, the hall of fame induction speech will immediately follow. Enjoy!

Generated on: 2020-01-12

After Earth (2013) – BMeTric: 74.9; Notability: 46 

AfterEarthIMDb_BMeT

AfterEarthIMDb_RV

(Exactly the rating I would expect, high fours is just right. The notability is much lower than you would think. I wonder if films starring huge actors tend to have lover notability even if the production is big. Since salaries have to be adjusted to accommodate the star.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.5 stars – “After Earth” is a lovely surprise. This film from producer-costar Will Smith and director M. Night Shyamalan, about a father and son marooned on a hostile future earth, is a moral tale disguised as a sci-fi blockbuster. It’s no classic, but it’s a special movie: spectacular and wise. … “After Earth” carries itself with confidence because it knows what it wants to say, and how to say it. The asteroid storm appears suddenly, as if willed into being by Poseidon stirring a cauldron with his trident. The design of the spaceship would make Odysseus feel at home: the ribs of its hull seem to be made of wood and bone. The skyscrapers on Nova Prime are built from triangular wedges that suggest a schooner’s sails. The warriors fight with blades. Ursa is Latin for bear. Kitai’s leap from a high cliff is a leap of faith. His name is Japanese for “hope.” This movie is a fable. Fables teach.

(Insane review! But I have to respect the legacy of Roger Ebert. He always had an interesting take on blockbusters and films being “good for what they are” and this review for his site basically does just that here. He liked the movie for what it is, ignoring things it didn’t necessarily need to be (well acted with a good story).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r9IXze_tPM/

(Looks pretty cool when you put it that way. But we know better, because we’ve seen the glory of this movie. We’ve seen Jaden Smith becoming best friends with a bird.)

Directors – M. Night Shyamalan – (Known For: Split; The Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Village; The Visit; Wide Awake; Future BMT: Glass; BMT: The Last Airbender; After Earth; The Happening; Lady in the Water; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Last Airbender in 2011; Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Supporting Actor for Lady in the Water in 2007; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Happening in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Lady in the Water in 2007; Notes: Has started producing television, which honestly is where I would expect him to end up in a few years. I could see him doing something like Star Trek where you just throw big idea sci-fi at the screen with a medium-to-good hit rate. That genuinely seems missing from television these days.)

Writers – Gary Whitta (screenplay) – (Known For: Rogue One; The Book of Eli; BMT: After Earth; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Was an editor of PC Gamer for years.)

M. Night Shyamalan (screenplay) – (Known For: Split; The Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Village; The Visit; Stuart Little; Devil; Wide Awake; Future BMT: Glass; BMT: The Last Airbender; After Earth; The Happening; Lady in the Water; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Last Airbender in 2011; Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Supporting Actor for Lady in the Water in 2007; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Happening in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Lady in the Water in 2007; Notes: The Sixth Sense is one of the most recent films that appear on the AFI Top 100.)

Will Smith (story) – (BMT: After Earth; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Created the television show All of Us which is nearly all of his writing credits. This is his only feature film credit. Otherwise he has a single story credit for an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.)

Actors – Jaden Smith – (Known For: The Pursuit of Happyness; The Karate Kid; Skate Kitchen; BMT: After Earth; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Noted weirdo, and I say that with total affection. He made waves a few years ago with his word-salad ramblings on social media. A rapper who claims he doesn’t see gender … or something like that.)

David Denman – (Known For: Brightburn; Logan Lucky; Power Rangers; 13 Hours; The Replacements; The Gift; Big Fish; Fair Game; Puzzle; The Nines; Smart People; Take; Beneath the Harvest Sky; Future BMT: When a Stranger Calls; Shutter; The Singing Detective; Fanboys; Men, Women & Children; BMT: After Earth; Jobs; Out Cold; Notes: You’d recognize him as Roy from The Office. He went to Juilliard with Alan Tudyk.)

Will Smith – (Known For: Spies in Disguise; Aladdin; Bad Boys; Men in Black; Independence Day; Men in Black 3; I Am Legend; The Pursuit of Happyness; Hitch; Focus; Hancock; I, Robot; Enemy of the State; Concussion; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Ali; Six Degrees of Separation; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Where the Day Takes You; Future BMT: Student of the Year 2; Made in America; Gemini Man; Suicide Squad; Shark Tale; Men in Black II; Bright; Bad Boys II; Collateral Beauty; BMT: After Earth; Wild Wild West; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: He is playing Serena and Venus Williams’ father in the upcoming biopic.)

Budget/Gross – $130,000,000 / Domestic: $60,522,097 (Worldwide: $243,611,982)

(Pretty close to doing fine(ish). If the budget was $100 it would be roughly break even. It is … basically Birds of Prey? A bit more expensive to make, and a little less domestic take.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (23/203): After Earth is a dull, ploddingly paced exercise in sentimental sci-fi — and the latest setback for director M. Night Shyamalan’s once-promising career.

(Awwww that’s actually a really sad consensus. Feels filled with resignation, as if there was no other way this film could have been. I suppose in this case Rotten Tomatoes is right. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are producers on “After Earth,” which suggests that there was no one on the production who could really say no to him. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times)

Poster – After Earf (C+)

after_earth

(Real father-son motif there, which is nice and helps me think this was all some tragic mistake and not something that Will Smith orchestrated to embarrass his son. Nice font too. I would have liked more of the blue-green in the color scheme and the construction works for a star vehicle, but doesn’t give any sense of what you are in for. It’s alright.)

Tagline(s) – Danger is real. Fear is a choice. (A-)

(A little on the nose, but works for the film. Particularly before you watch it. It grows on you the more you read it I think. Could have been a little cleverer I think, but that’s about it.)

Keyword – stranded

AfterEarth_stranded

Top 10: Dunkirk (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Kong: Skull Island (2017), The Martian (2015), Constantine (2005), Star Trek Beyond (2016), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Prometheus (2012), Cast Away (2000), Blockers (2018)

Future BMT: 62.4 The Hills Have Eyes II (2007), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 55.0 Coneheads (1993), 42.0 Red Planet (2000), 39.4 The Forsaken (2001), 39.4 Six Days Seven Nights (1998), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 28.9 Flight of the Phoenix (2004), 20.6 Last Man Standing (1996), 20.3 The Amazing Panda Adventure (1995);

BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Jumper (2008), Soldier (1998), After Earth (2013), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

(This seems to go in waves. Which is pretty cool. Perhaps like Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. This keyword is closest to Wasteland, and the idea is that the tastes of generations cycle between the three ideas. Fighting against zombies, exploration through space, and surviving a post-apocalyptic wasteland.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Will Smith is No. 2 billed in After Earth and No. 1 billed in Wild Wild West, which also stars M. Emmet Walsh (No. 5 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 4 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Although not credited on the finished film, co-writer/producer Will Smith was responsible for much of the movie’s direction. While M. Night Shyamalan was primarily in charge of the blocking (composition of shots, placement of the camera) and the visual aspects of the film (color and design), it was Will Smith who personally coached Jaden Smith in his performance and dictated the development of the story and the on-screen action. After both the story and acting were heavily criticized, Shyamalan decided to take the blame.

The original cut was 130 minutes long, and included more backstory on the decline of Earth and the formation of Nova Prime. However, the film was vastly re-edited after performing poorly at test screenings, and any actors playing Nova Primates were either reduced to extras or cut out entirely. The deleted footage will likely never be seen, as M. Night Shyamalan is satisfied with the theatrical cut.

The original idea for the film was a father and son on a camping trip. After the car they are traveling in careens off the road, the son makes his way through the forest to find help for the father. Realizing that the idea had greater potential, producer Will Smith and screenwriter Gary Whitta decided to adapt the basic survival concept into a much larger science-fiction project. (The original sounds better)

Will Smith, who had wanted to work with M. Night Shyamalan for several years but was unable to find a suitable project, personally hired him to direct. This became the first time in twenty years that Shyamalan accepted a project based on someone else’s screenplay, and the first film in Shyamalan’s career where he does not appear on screen.

Producer/co-writer Will Smith envisioned “After Earth” as a multi-platform franchise, including books, graphic novels, and interactive video games, which would all inform on and add to the ideas and concepts already developed in the finished film.

In a 2019 lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Shyamalan publicly disowned his films The Last Airbender (2010) and After Earth (2013), calling them “junk movies.” He added: “I did a couple huge, big-budget CGI movies. There has always been this inexorable pull to join the group; a constant seduction in the form of whatever you want to tally, in the form of money, or safety, ease, not getting criticized. I did these movies, and I rightfully got crushed, because they said, ‘You don’t believe in yourself, you don’t believe in your own voice, and in you don’t believe in your values.’ I felt really lost. It just didn’t work. There’s probably something Darwinian about all this.”

Eisner Award-winning comic writer Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and Robert Greenberger produced a 300-page “bible” covering the history of mankind, from their decision to leave Earth to the events depicted in the finished film. It was intended to serve as a resource for all kinds of ancillary materials in the After Earth (2013) franchise.

When Kristofer Hivju showed up on set, he got into a discussion with the make-up department, who wanted to cut his characteristic long hair and beard. Hivju was against it, and was even supported by Jaden Smith, but eventually lost out. To make matters worse, most of his role was eventually deleted from the final cut.

A series of spin-off novels, sub-titled “Ghost Stories”, have been planned to promote the movie, but are also intended to flesh out the concepts in the film itself. The titles of these books include ‘Innocence’, Peace, ‘Hunted’ and ‘A Perfect Beast.’ All books are written by writers Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and Robert Greenberger, with illustrations by Benito Lobel.

Second time that real-life father and son Will Smith and Jaden Smith play father and son on screen. The first time was in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006).

The film takes place in 3071.

M. Night Shyamalan’s first digital film. The first feature film shot with Sony’s F65 digital camera.

The original screenplay was written by Gary Whitta based on an idea by Will Smith. In pre-production, M. Night Shyamalan did a few drafts of the screenplay to familiarize himself with the material, before passing it over to Stephen Gaghan, who stayed on as the chief screenwriter during production. Mark Boal, writer of The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), also worked on the script.

To promote the movie, Harper Collins and Insight Editions published ‘After Earth: United Ranger Corps Survival Manual’ and ‘After Earth: Kitai’s Journal.’

Kristofer Hivju, Lincoln Lewis, and Isabelle Fuhrman had major supporting roles in the original cut though the majority of their scenes were deleted during post-production (In the theatrical cut Hivju has one scene, Lewis has one line, and only the back of Fuhrman’s head is visible in one shot – though her face can be seen in the trailer).

The word “ursa” is the Latin for “female bear”. The protagonist’s name Kitai is the Russian for “China”.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jaden Smith, 2014)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Will Smith, 2014)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Jaden Smith, Will Smith, 2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (M. Night Shyamalan, 2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Gary Whitta, M. Night Shyamalan, Will Smith, 2014)

Point Break (2015) Recap

Jamie

Johnny Utah is an FBI agent with a dark and x-treme past. He is tasked with infiltrating a gang of equally x-treme criminals who are pulling off x-treme stunts in tandem with robin hood like criminal activity. Unfortunately he finds himself intrigued by their philosophy and x-treme lifestyle. Can he stop them before it’s too late? Find out in… Point Break (2015).

How?! After the tragic death of his… poly extreme athlete (?) friend… *shakes head* Johnny Utah joins the FBI to find purpose in life. In a wild coincidence, right when they are doubting his abilities, a new breed of… poly extreme athlete… *sighs heavily* bank robbers arise. Seeing all the signs of his kindred spirits (and recognizing the tell tale signs of the Ozaki 8 set of extreme sports trials) Johny correctly predicts their next stop on their global crime spree. Setting out to infiltrate the gang by surfing a giant wave, he inadvertently snakes their leader Bodhi’s wave, who is forced to jump in and save Johnny’s life. Curious about this newcomer, and recognizing him from his past tragedy, he lets Johnny into their crew despite the misgivings of his friends. Soon he is base jumping into their hearts, finding love with the beautiful Samsara, and finding closure with his past demons. Everything is looking up… other than the fact that the FBI is kinda pissed that he’s just palling around with these pseudophilosophical extreme losers (nailed it) instead of getting the evidence they need to arrest them. After one of the group dies attempting a snowboarding trial in the Alps, Johnny is depressed and knows things have gone too far. When they bring him in on the next big robbery, blowing up a gold mine (to save the planet or some shit), he attempts to stop them but Bodhi escapes. The FBI moves in when Bodhi attempts to rob a bank to fund the last few ordeals, but again he escapes and Samsara is killed in the process (noooooo). Down but not out, Johnny uses his beautiful mind to track Bodhi to Angel Falls where he free climbs the shit out of it and confronts Bodhi who jumps off the falls and escapes for a final time. Realizing that there is only one ordeal left, he finally tracks Bodhi to a giant wave in the middle of a hurricane where he lets him surf to his death rather than arrest him. THE END. Big Question: So they didn’t rob anything for money? Just to give it back to the earth?… and instead they had a sponsor who funded this activity… why?

Why?! I mean, this is really the crux of the problem here. In the original film the gang was a bunch of surfers who were legit criminals. They robbed for money. Bodhi was just a charismatic criminal leader. In this case they are actually not at all interested in money. Instead they perform increasingly dangerous extreme sports feats in tandem with extreme sports robberies, after which they give the money to the oppressed workers and/or mother earth. In fact the connection of the Ozaki 8 and the robberies is never fully explained… other than an implied connection through Bodhi’s environmental philosophy. The Ozaki 8 are supposed to demonstrate the power of mother earth. The robberies are supposed to be the resulting punishment against those corporations that dared to betray mother earth… you know what, the more I talk about it the stupider is actually is. So I’m just going to stop. Johnny is just trying to find his place in the world and get over the death of his friend… mission accomplished by the end, I guess.

Who?! There are a tremendous number of cameos in the movie. They were mostly featured at the “rad” parties that the crew threw between bank heists. The best cameo was DJ Steve Aoki, who showed up DJing at a ski chalet a la Deadmau5 in Runner Runner. It’s like these films just ask for the hottest DJ so they can make it very clear just how cool the party they are depicting is. There were also interestingly three in memoriams, but not for deaths that occurred on the set. They just were using such high level stunt people that they literally were doing the most dangerous stuff on earth all the time… and some of them unfortunately died before the film was released.

What?! I mean, it’s hard to imagine that such a recent film (and a critical flop to boot) would have many props for sale. I certainly couldn’t dress up as poly extreme athlete Johnny Utah when he was still jamming out on his dirt bike. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. And only $1300? What a deal! They’re even selling a “Utah” skateboard that I don’t even remember being in the film! I have to stop. There is too much.

Where?! A little bit of a road trip film here as Bodhi starts in the United States and then travels through France, Italy, and eventually Venezuela while undercover. We spend the most time in Italy, but Venezuela also has a major landmark (Angel Falls) play a pivotal role in the film. At the very least this is an A- just for that and how clear they made the places where they went.

When?! In the beginning of the film we see footage from a heist which has an October 13th timestamp. They specifically say that heist happened “last month” so we presume that this mostly takes place at the beginning of November. I won’t even allow myself to think of the possibility that the meal that Johnny shares with the crew could possibly be a super secret Thanksgiving. It’s not made clear and so I can’t get my hopes up like that. C

This movie is straight dumb. It’s x-tremely hard to get over the bastardization of the motivations of the characters as compared to the original, but even without that comparison it’s inane. The idea that they are performing death-defying (and sometimes not even defying) stunts in order to specifically NOT steal money is bad and I don’t like it. Especially when the FBI freezes their assets at the end and they have to rob a bank to get more money… you know what might have helped you there? Some money from those crazy bank robberies you performed for free. All that being said, there are moments that are visually electric. I particularly liked the wingsuit scene. It really is amazing. Too bad the actual story set around the beautiful stunts is trash. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever wonder what would happen if some producers decided to remake a beloved 80s action film, but then made it totally different and lame? Wonder no more! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This has been on the docket for years now (well … since 2015 to be exact), but I now know I really had no idea what the film was ever about. Because x-treme poly-athletes is not really what I would have guessed. I would have guessed it was still about surfing, just that they also did more extreme skydiving stunts and stuff. I do love vistas, so I was excited regardless. What did I expect? Vistas, vistas, and more vistas. Oh, and also a dumb story. If it gave me vistas without slapping fans of the original in the face then I’d be happy.

The Good – The vistas! Some of the more beautiful action scenes I’ve ever seen. You can kind of see the point of the movie right there: get some really nuts action shots, and build a dumb movie around it. That is well and truly the only good thing about this movie, the action stuff. Because the rest of it is terrible.

The Bad – Alright, let’s start with the fact that this is a slap in the face to fans of the original. In the original you got this hippy dippy surfer nonsense, but that is a real thing. But this hippy dippy x-treme poly-athlete nonsense? Yeah, I’m not buying it. They hijacked the name for no good reason, and then the movie doesn’t even bother to have much surfing in it. The acting is top-to-bottom really bad. And the criminal exploits are just weird, like, they don’t even bother to keep any of the money because they have a private backer? That is insane. What kind of private backer funds a series of x-treme sport endeavors which would kill anyone four times over by the end of it. Repeat after me: x-treme poly-athletes don’t exist. No one is that good at free-solo rock climbing and base jumping / wingsuit stunts. I makes no sense!

The BMT – It’ll always hold a place in my heart due to the vistas. And also it is probably going to be one of the worst adaptations we’ve ever seen forever more. It didn’t quite cross into dog poo territory because I respect the action craft and the vistas, but it really is one of the dumbest films you’ll ever watch. Did it meet my expectations? No, it was a slap in the face to fans of the original and I can never respect that.

Roast-radamus – I have to give it up for the Setting as a Character (Where?) category because I love jet-setting films, and this is one of the best from a vistas perspective. It also had amazing Product Placement (What?) for things like Monster Energy which was all over the place. I have to throw this into the MacGuffin (Why?) category for the entire misguided concept of the Ozaki Eight, which is just complete fucking nonsense. This will have a decent shot at getting mentioned for Bad next year, although I think it ends up missing out on the big awards in any case.

StreetCreditRerpot.com – I don’t remember this, but apparently this was also released on Christmas Day! So yeah, it missed out on all of the big lists for 2015, but no doubt it would have made it onto a few if they had released it in January like they probably should have. It is definitely the worst x-treme poly-athlete film ever made, that seems like a given.

You Just Got Schooled – I rewatched the original Point Break (1991) prior to viewing, and it is a true classic. The group of surfers feel authentic, Gary Busey is hilarious, and the cast is pitch perfect for the film. Yeah, some bits are cheesy. And yeah, the hippy surfer vibe you get from Swayze is a little extreme at times, but it ends up all the more shocking once you realize that he’s a fake. He’s a criminal, and his hippy dippy vibe and attitude is cultivated by surrounding himself by other criminals who can do the dirty work for him. He hides behind a code of non-violence, while befriending explicitly violent people for use when he so pleases. It made watching the remake feel like a slap in the face. They really do take one aspect of it (that hippy “we are all leaves in the wind, go with the flow” attitude) and pop it into a trash film about a whole lotta bullshit. B+ for the original, which is only docked for being a little too cheesy at times.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Point Break (2015) Quiz

Alright, this time I’m serious guys. I did like eight different super x-treme things with by x-treme buds, and I got like eight x-treme concussions in the process. I don’t remember a thing about what just happened. Do you remember what happened in Point Break (2015)?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We open with Johnny Utah killing his best friend in an x-treme pol-athletic venture, but let’s just skip that dumb bit. Now he’s a rad FBI agent (sweet), and there are some x-treme athletes committing some crime. What tips Johnny Utah off that the people they are dealing with are x-treme poly-athletes?

2) Johnny and his British contact jet out to the middle of the ocean to catch the gnarliest of all gnarly waves. Why does Johnny know that this is where he can find his x-treme poly-criminal?

3) How are these extreme poly-athletes / criminals funding their venture?

4) How do the criminals / x-treme poly-athletes / Johnny Utah’s new best friends know Ozaki, the inventor of the challenges they are all pursuing?

5) Name the eight Ozaki challenges (generally, I don’t need the actual names).

Answers