Bad Company Recap

Jamie

CIA operative extraordinaire Kevin Pope is killed while in the middle of trying to obtain a dirty bomb. Realizing that they only have one option, his partner Oakes recruits Kevin’s street hustling, separated-at-birth twin Jake to join the squad. Can he learn to be a spy and get back that dirty bomb before it’s too late? Find out in… Bad Company.

How?! Kevin Pope is a dapper CIA operative with a flair for high class. A real James Bond type. But when our boy Kev goes down moments after making a deal for a dirty bomb the CIA are in a tough spot. Lucky for them (and that’s an understatement), Kevin had a twin that was separated at birth, Jake. Jake is a hustler on the streets of NYC and Kevin’s partner, Oakes, considers it impossible that they could get him up to speed in time. Despite this Jake takes the money the CIA is offering in order to prove that he can provide for his girlfriend. Things… actually go pretty well from there. Jake is a genius like his bro and just never applied himself. In short order the CIA wants to test him and sends him to NYC to impersonate Kevin. Unfortunately he is attacked while there and goes on the run. Only when Oakes lays out the case for why they really need him does Jake rejoin the team and head to Prague. There Jake is shocked to meet up with Kevin’s beautiful girlfriend, Nicole. Going out to dinner with her he realizes that he only has eyes for his girlfriend back home and breaks up with her. At the same time, he is attacked by rival buyers and is able to only narrowly escape. When he meets up with the sellers they are ambushed by the rival buyers and the bomb is stolen. Fortunately they were able to lock it with Jake’s retinal scan, which now is the only thing standing in the way of disaster. Realizing this, the terrorists grab Jake’s girlfriend and hold her hostage. Jake and Oakes go after her and are able to get into an action-packed thrill ride of a shootout with the terrorists and they save everyone thanks to Jake’s big ol’ brains. Later we see Jake and his girlfriend getting married and everything is great. THE END.

Why?! To save the world, duh. Really this is as straightforward as a Bruckenheimer film can be. The bad guy wants money. The good guys want to stop them, despite all the obstacles in the way. Jake also wants to prove to his GF that he’s a man worth marrying and boy howdy, does he ever. So I guess what I’m saying is love isn’t dead and the motivation for this film is love. Awwwww.

Who?! I really do love speculating on uncredited performances. Apparently Charlie Day was in this as a stoner but was uncredited… which makes sense considering I think his scenes were cut. But shockingly Shea Whigham was uncredited despite having a fairly sizable role, particularly at the end where he was one of the heroes. I wonder if maybe there was also something about the cuts to his part that ended up with him going uncredited? Because he clearly was significantly cut out of the film until near the end (where I think it started to be infeasible to do so).

What?! Solid enough MacGuffin in this one, although I often wonder about the strict definition of a MacGuffin. The stereotype is represented best in Pulp Fiction: a briefcase that contains… something of great importance. The audience never even becomes aware of what it is, just that people want it. Sure this is a briefcase, but we more or less are in the know that it’s a dirty bomb and it functions, well, as a bomb. So is that a MacGuffin. I still say yes, but maybe not the best of the best.

Where?! Good settings here with Prague to NYC to Langley, back to NYC, and then back to Prague. Everything is made pretty clear throughout and honestly, I thought Prague looked beautiful. Made me want to go there. Good use of NYC as well considering Jake is a hustler talking about the Knicks, Yanks, etc. all movie. B.

When?! For some reason I had the impression that it was the spring… like April or something. Can’t exactly remember if that was made clear, but Rock is talking up selling Yankees, Knicks, and Rangers tickets I think. And mentions the Masters. Then after he saves the world it’s three months later that he’s getting married on what looks like a beautiful summer day. That’s a solid… D.

Bad Company is a fun, dumb action film that can scratch an itch if you need it to. It really has two fatal flaws. You saw them in big letters on the poster: Rock. Hopkins. I don’t want to be unkind to Chris Rock, but this wasn’t really the movie for him. He seemed a little out of his depth in a role that I think could only have been salvaged by someone like Will Smith. I’m talking Will Smith level star power and charisma and unfortunately there aren’t many people on the planet (ever?) with that. As for Hopkins, this may as well have been billed as Weekend at Bernies 3. I kinda dug his relaxed, seen-it-all CIA attitude at times but… my man, perk up once in a while so we know you’re alive. This could have been salvaged by bigger, more interested stars, but the material was pretty flat for this cast. As for Dragon Hunt, this classic from Up North was probably the first time in my life that I thought, “actually… twins are kinda creepy and real weird.” I didn’t conceive of the possibility that there was a line you could cross with twinness, but the mustachioed martial artist McNaramas were certainly toeing it, if it does exists. The saddest part? Apparently this was a sequel to a film and we weren’t aware of it when we watched it! Noooooooooooooooooooooooo. We’ll eventually have to watch another one! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember back in 2002 when everyone was clamouring for that classic action-comedy team up of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I distinctly remember the trailer to this film, because I remember thinking exactly what I was thinking nearly 20 years later when I watched the trailer in the preview: it is so weird that Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock were in an action-comedy spy film together. It truly makes no sense. It is like they put every major Hollywood star, put them in a hat, and pulled out two random names as Joel Schumacher looked on asking “uh … can we rechoose the leads to my film?” and Jerry Bruckheimer just shook his head no. What were my expectations? Pure lunacy I suppose. Although in reality I kind of just imagined that Chris Rock couldn’t hold down a semi-serious spy role and the film would end up just sinking under his performance.

The Good – The actual spy bit of this film is halfway decent. During the first half of the film I definitely was entertained and if it wasn’t for the two leads I would have wondered about why exactly the film was so reviled at the time. If this film was an Amazon Original television show with the premise that the twin of a CIA agent has to be quickly trained up to become a CIA agent himself after his brother is killed (don’t worry, it turns out the brother faked his own death, but that’s season 2) they I think it actually works really well. For real though … how haven’t they remade Bad Company into a television show, it seems like a perfect premise, like Chuck. Despite being completely out of his depth, I do like Chris Rock and he’s faintly amusing in the film. Best Bit: Premise.

The Bad – The performances of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock are something to behold indeed. Anthony Hopkins appears to have been awoken from a deep slumber just prior to filming each scene he is in. He looks so tired and disinterested, and he’s also just chomping on gum half of the time, it’s insane. Chris Rock on the other hand is just not a good actor. His jokes on occasion land, but mostly it seems surreal that you are watching an actual Joel Schumacher spy film and Chris Rock is just plopped into scenes as if directly off of a stand up set next door. The entire thing is so standard fare, that indeed, the bad performances by the leads end up sinking what would otherwise be … let’s say Safe House. It is like a poor man’s Safe House. Fatal Flaw: Lead performances.

The BMT – It’ll be one among many BMT twin films in the end. I think it’ll have some legs as a bad buddy cop film, a bad Joel Schumacher film, and of course as a film primarily set in Prague (which is awesome and extremely rare it turns out). So it has some BMT notables. That being said, I doubt I would recommend this film or watch this film again beyond telling someone that it is kind of okay if you don’t mind bad acting. Did it meet my expectations? Kind of. It was completely sunk by the performances, but in the end ended up being a bit too coherent to really be a truly great bad film.

Roast-radamus – I’m going to give a rare Prop I Really Want (What?) to Anthony Hopkins’ Harvard University Police hat that he wears throughout the film … I just don’t get it, but I love it. A definitely great Setting as a Character (Where?) for Prague, a rare bad movie locale. A solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the suitcase nuclear bomb that Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins are chasing throughout the film. And just like last week I think this is surprisingly closest to a Good film as far as the superlative categories.

StreetCreditReport.com – For the most part this film missed out on top ten lists for the worst of 2002. But I did manage to find it on a few blogs / listicles websites for worst spy films. So it has a bit of cred there. Obviously it’ll make a list for worst twin films, but I think its biggest claim to fame is as the worst film set in Czechia. So that’s some decent cred.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week as another twin action film, we brought along a very obscure film called Dragon Hunt starring the McNamara twins aka the Twin Dragons. The film appears on a lot of Canuxploitation film lists (see here), and is apparently notable for being the first Canadian martial arts film released to theaters (although I found no evidence it was, in fact, released to theaters). Elsewhere on the internet it was suggested that it is a remake of Twin Dragon Encounter, but a flashback at the beginning of the film makes it clear that it is merely a sequel with a very similar story. A vanity project through and through, the film is oddly much more of a survivalist film than a martial arts film. While the twins do show off kickboxing on occasion, most of the fighting is done with traps, weapons, and eventually firearms. I can’t really say the film is particularly entertaining, it is the kind of small VHS trash that is faintly amusing for about 15 minutes. But the actor known simply as B. Bob, who plays the main villain Jake (who would comfortably fit into any post-apocalyptic straight-to-video film) somewhat saves the film with his strange catchphrases and voiceovers that punctuate what would otherwise be a pretty boring film. C-, it would have been a D without Jake, but it is certainly not a film I’ll ever willingly watch again or recommend. Perhaps the original Twin Dragon Encounters is better. Only time will tell.

Twin Analysis – Alright, As far as Bad Company is concerned I’m going to dock some points because Chris Rock never gets to meet his twin brother in the film, he is killed prior to the CIA picking up his streetwise character. I’ll give some bonus points for the fact that people can kind of tell he’s not actually his brother, and because they play off of the Opposite Twin trope and also the Rich/Poor Twin Separated at Birth trope. Those are some nice trops. A- I think, if only Chris Rock could have got in on some split screen action I think I’d have given it an A, but it has to get a ton of credit for the twin element being so vital to the plot. As for Dragon Hunt the twin aspect isn’t super vital to the plot, and the twins are absolutely dire actors. There aren’t many twin tropes either … it is just incidental that the main actors are twins, it isn’t even in the title of the film. For all that I’m going to give it a B+, just because of how weird these twins obviously are. They’re both martial artists and obviously extremely into their Twin Dragon brand, so much so they made multiple terrible Canadian martial arts films to prove just how awesome they are as people (and twins). If they didn’t come across as the second weirdest twins in the world (after us) the movie would definitely get like a C- twin grade.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Bad Company Quiz

Oh boy, the last thing I remember my twin brother turned out to be in the CIA and then I was recruited to complete his mission. But you know how it is, I got bopped on the head and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Bad Company?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What is the job that Kevin Pope (and later Jake Hayes, both played by Chris Rock) is pretending to have for the Prague mission?

2) What job does Jake Hayes have prior to being recruited into the CIA?

3) What object are Hopkins and Rock supposed to recover from Peter Stormare and where did it come from?

4) Uh oh, the object is then stolen by another set of Yugoslavian terrorists. Luckily they can’t use it without Jake. Why? And what do they need from Jake to get it to work?

5) Ultimately what is the target of the Yugoslavian terrorists and how does Jake disarm the bomb?

Answers

Bad Company Preview

Rich flexes his muscles, his glistening skin growing taut again the ropes that bind him. With a snap he is free and he leaps from the ceremonial table and jumps through a stained-glass window. Looking around he realizes he’s in a maze. “Heh heh heh, rats in a maze,” a Nic Cage says to his left, but when he turns no one is there. “Men in a cage,” the other responds to the right, but Rich is already off running. Suddenly he comes to a stop. “Fa… Father?” he stutters in astonishment. His father, long dead, is up ahead, beckoning him forward. He follows, but each turn he makes his father is already making the next turn. “Father!” he calls, “we have to find Poe. We have to find my… my brother.” Suddenly, he finds himself in a police station. He tries to tether himself to reality to stop himself from slipping back to bashing heads amidst the swirling papers.Yet he finds himself grabbing a stale slice of za from a box, readying himself to launch into his latest diatribe against those goddamn rulez when he hears “Poe! Get in here!” Poe! He looks around, but he doesn’t see his partner. When he looks back at the Chief he’s staring right at him. “Poe! Get a move on or I’ll have your ass.” Confused, Rich walks into the office and sits down. “I know it’s been hard since Rich has been killed, Poe, but we need your help,” the Chief sighs, “we need you to go undercover as Rich. Given your… similar… physical characteristics, you’re the only one that can pull it off.” Rich nods. “We also got you a little company. Meet your new partner.” Rich turns. His blood runs cold. That’s right! We’re watching Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. Rock plays twins separated at birth who are all mixed up in some spy shit. Let’s go!

Poe comes to love and respect his monstrous twin protectors as they nurse him back to health. Eventually, having gained strength from their delicious Dr. Pepper infused lasagna, he asks them where they are. They looked confused, “We are here,” they say. “So how do we get there?” Poe asks. They nod and point up. Poe’s eyes travel up the mountain to the swirling storm clouds above. His blood runs cold. That’s right! As a partner for Bad Company we are diving head first into Dragon Hunt, one of the action films made by the Twin Dragons, Canadian twin martial artists with moustaches for days. Let’s go!

Bad Company (2002) – BMeTric: 44.6; Notability: 51 

(My god, a 50+ notability film! And it’s Bad Company, how odd. The bad rating on this is really sticking right around 5.5. And you can definitely see the inflection there. The votes rising right around 2011 (when IMDb when mobile) and now tailing off again as the new user base saturates their ratings. I wonder if IMDb is going to be in trouble at some point as people finally stop having old movies to rate … I guess they only really make money off of IMDb Pro anyways.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Hard on the heels of “The Sum of All Fears,” here’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Bad Company,” another movie about an American city threatened by the explosion of a stolen nuclear device. This one is an action comedy. There may come a day when the smiles fade. To be sure, the movie was made before 9/11 (and its original autumn 2001 release was delayed for obvious reasons), but even before 9/11 it was clear that nuclear terrorism was a real possibility. While “The Sum of all Fears” deals in a quasi-serious way with the subject (up until the astonishingly inappropriate ending), “Bad Company” is more light-hearted. Ho, ho.

(Well … this review just makes me want to watch Sum of All Fears. Or more realistically read some trash Clancy books. Oh, and yeah, I didn’t think about the impact of 9/11, but this one is one of the more wild versions of the story, all the way down to it maybe being the last film featuring a true blue Yugoslavian terrorist (it is hard to tell).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8wWFqwmcA/

(The “hand me a towel” joke is all I distinctly remember from the trailer when this came out. The trailer is interesting because it doesn’t indicate that the main character didn’t know he had a twin brother, but I suppose that is a minor point. The Saddam Hussien comment is also interesting considering it was released in June of 2002.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; Falling Down; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Client; Phone Booth; Flatliners; Flawless; Blood Creek; Tigerland; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Twelve; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Street Fleet; Dying Young; 8MM; The Phantom of the Opera; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; Bad Company; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: A stalwart director from 1980 through 2005, after which he semi-retired. Directed a few music videos like The End is the Beginning is the End by The Smashing Pumpkins. Died this year.)

Writers – Gary M. Goodman (story) (as Gary Goodman) – (BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Mostly a producer. Directed a single episode of the Police Academy television show in 1998.)

David Himmelstein (story) – (Known For: Power; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Wrote a television movie called Soul of the Game about the players trying to break the color barrier in baseball.)

Jason Richman (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Swing Vote; BMT: Bangkok Dangerous; Bad Company; Notes: Was a professional musician. The creator of a few television shows including Stumptown.)

Michael Browning (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Six Days Seven Nights; BMT: Bad Company; Notes: Is also a producer on Bad Company. This is the last thing he is credited for in any category on IMDb.)

Actors – Anthony Hopkins – (Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; Thor: Ragnarok; Thor; Red Dragon; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Legends of the Fall; A Bridge Too Far; Thor: The Dark World; Meet Joe Black; RED 2; Mission: Impossible II; Fracture; The Two Popes; Noah; The Elephant Man; The Mask of Zorro; Howards End; The Bounty; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Beowulf; Future BMT: Alexander; Misconduct; Freejack; Go with Me; The Wolfman; Slipstream; Desperate Hours; Collide; The Rite; Kidnapping Freddy Heineken; All the King’s Men; 360; Solace; Instinct; The Innocent; Surviving Picasso; The Trial; Hannibal; The City of Your Final Destination; August; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Bad Company; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for A Change of Seasons in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2018 for Collide, and Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Born in Wales, he was inspired by Richard Burton to become an actor. He’s now an American citizen and was allowed to keep his knighthood.)

Chris Rock – (Known For: Bee Movie; Madagascar; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Dolemite Is My Name; Dogma; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Death at a Funeral; Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Beverly Hills Cop II; Doctor Dolittle; Osmosis Jones; Lethal Weapon 4; Boomerang; New Jack City; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Top Five; CB4; Krush Groove; Nurse Betty; Future BMT: The Week Of; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Sandy Wexler; Nobody’s Fool; Pootie Tang; Beverly Hills Ninja; Down to Earth; Head of State; I Think I Love My Wife; Paparazzi; Sgt. Bilko; The Longest Yard; Panther; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Bad Company; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Grown Ups; Notes: Came up through SNL and into a supporting comedic actor in the 90s. He became a starring lead in the 2000s. Notable for his friendship with Adam Sandler and his participation in many of his recent films.)

Peter Stormare – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Fargo; Constantine; Minority Report; John Wick: Chapter 2; 22 Jump Street; Awakenings; Pain & Gain; Chocolat; The Last Stand; The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Dancer in the Dark; Fanny and Alexander; The Zero Theorem; Penguins of Madagascar; Clown; How I Spent My Summer Vacation; Damage; Henry’s Crime; Future BMT: Tokarev; Witless Protection; Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; Rupture; Eye for an Eye; Horsemen; Dark Summer; Nacho Libre; The Brothers Grimm; Premonition; Anamorph; Every Thing Will Be Fine; The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; The Million Dollar Hotel; Playing God; Lockout; Windtalkers; Strange Magic; Birth; Jewtopia; I Am Here; Small Apartments; Autumn Blood; 8MM; Circus; Unknown; Bad Boys II; Spun; BMT: The Tuxedo; Bad Company; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Mercury Rising; Armageddon; Notes: A fun “that guy” since the mid-90s. He’s Swedish, but he tends to play a variety of nationalities, particularly Russian and Eastern European.)

Budget/Gross – $70,000,000 / Domestic: $30,160,161 (Worldwide: $66,200,782)

(That is slightly better than I would have expected, but pretty bad considering the listed budget. You obviously are hoping a Joel Schumacher film is a blockbuster.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (14/135): Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins fail to generate the sparks necessary to save the movie from a generic and utterly predictable script.

(Just a shade over 10% sadly, I do like collecting sub-10% Rotten Tomatoes films. Yeah, everything I remember about the film when it came out was how much of a miscast the pair of Hopkins and Rock were. Reviewer Highlight: Bad Company is a bad movie with really bad timing. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.)

Poster – Sklog Company

(It is quite amusing that they have this big poster and are like “Hopkins”… “Rock” as if this is the teamup that we’ve all been waiting for. “Oh, when will I be able to see the dynamic action/comedy duo of Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins?! When will Hollywood finally deliver what we’ve all been clamouring for?!!! Pretty good poster though. Only critique is them riding that star power a little harder than it deserved. Get me a little taste of the plot please. B+)

Tagline(s) – The World is in Good Hands (D)

(Hands… hands… is this a pun I’m not picking up on? Why can’t these movies just figure out how to do a decent twin pun. Back-to-back weeks where the tagline has been merely lame or worse. This is boring fluff.)

Keyword – twin

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), The Prestige (2006), Gone Girl (2014), Stand by Me (1986), Octopussy (1983), Avatar (2009), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), A Simple Favour (2018), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), There Will Be Blood (2007)

Future BMT: 71.1 The Spirit (2008), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 68.1 Seed of Chucky (2004), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 52.2 The Divorce (2003), 51.2 Scary Movie 3 (2003), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 48.6 The Real Cancun (2003), 47.5 Dumb and Dumber To (2014);

BMT: 2012 (2009), The Snowman (2017), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Forest (2016), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Old Dogs (2009), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Bad Company (2002), 88 Minutes (2007), New York Minute (2004), Babylon A.D. (2008), Grind (2003), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

(So indeed there aren’t really twins in this film I don’t think, so I went with the “twin” keyword instead. This is a pretty good keyword as well. The Forest was a great twin film, as was I Know Who Killed Me, Old Dogs, New York Minute, and The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. Most of the other ones (like 88 Minutes) are more tenuous, in that one the first death in the film involves two twins who live together, although it is easy to forget that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chris Rock is No. 2 billed in Bad Company and No. 3 billed in Grown Ups, which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Spirit, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – This was one of the last movies filmed in the World Trade Center (some of the subway scenes).

One of several movies that had its release date changed after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. This movie was originally set for release in November 2001, but was not released until June 2002.

Originally written as a sequel to Blue Streak (1999). (Huh that is actually super interesting)

When Jake (Chris Rock) is dining with Nicole (Garcelle Beauvais) in Prague, he says, “I’ll eat a pig’s ass if they cook it right.” This is a line from his 1996 HBO special. (Weird)

Originally titled “Black Sheep” until it was discovered that there was already a movie with that title, Black Sheep (1996). (Oh did they discover that? Did they dig into the archive and be like “Oh, Chris Rock, you’re friends with David Spade and Chris Farley right? Did you know they had a film called Black Sheep?! Get out of here with that.)

The Musketeer Recap

Jamie

D’Artagnan is back, Jack! And boy is he ready to karate chop you in the neck. Coming to Paris to become a Musketeer, our boy Lil D is shocked to find them in disarray. But that doesn’t stop him from doing one for all and all for one. Can he stop the eeeeevil Cardinal Richelieu and his henchman before it’s too late? Find out in… The Musketeer.

How?! D’Artagnan is just a young boy when he witnesses his parents’ deaths at the hands of Cardinal Richelieu’s henchman Febre. Trained by his father’s loyal friend Planchet (yeeeaaaaah boy) Lil D grows up to be a backflipin’, rope swingin’, ladder climbin’, barrel rolling swordsman extraordinaire. Arriving in Paris ready to become a Musketeer he finds the group disbanded and Aramis, Porthos and Athos bitter men ready to give it all up. But Lil D says nay! Not in the face of a nefarious scheme by Cardinal Richelieu to kickstart a war between France and England. And not in the face of a beautiful young woman, Francesca, who he wants to woo with his daring deeds. He convinces them to help free the imprisoned head of the Musketeers and take him to safety. Then, catching wind of a scheme to attack the King of France and the English dignitary Buckingham to show the weakness of the throne, he recruits them to help kung fu the King and Queen to safety. Hoping to keep peace, d’Artagnan is recruited to organize a meeting between the Queen and Buckingham only to be betrayed and the Queen, Francesca and Buckingham are kidnapped. In a stirring climax, LilD4Life jumps all over some ropes and ladders and owns Febre like he’s never been owned and saves the day. Cardinal Richelieu is actually relieves, as the scheme had gotten quite out of hand, but our man Lil D ain’t having it and basically implies he better watch his back. Then he and Francesca smooch a whoooooole bunch. THE END

Why?! Uh, for all and for one? Duh. Specifically, all for one and one for all. Truly for the honor of the throne and for the honor of d’Artagnan’s legacy and his daddio and even the King of France who kinda sucks. The bad guys just want power… but they can’t handle it… they can’t handle the power because it’s a corrupting force and only someone pure of heart and mind and with abs for days like d’Artagnan can resist it.

Who?! I always do like noting when nonfictional or fictional Kings and other important historical figures are shown in film. This obviously has a huge number. It’s also funny to think how a figure like Louis XIII, who would likely have rarely been seen in films, would end up being portrayed over and over again due to The Three Musketeers. And probably in many of them, this included, the role is fairly minor. Here he was portrayed by Daniel Mesguich… you know. That guy.

What?! I mean, obviously this adaptation takes the bold step of changing the main Musketeer slogan to One for All and All for a Refreshing Coca-Cola to which they all cheers some classic Coke’s and play beach volleyball. But I mean, that’s hardly a product placement. That’s just life. And honestly we’re about 15 years too late to pick up props online for this guy. So just take solace in the fact that the full Cardinal getup from the 2011 classic is going for $10,000.

Where?! France for days. In fact I’d be hard pressed to find another film that was more French than this film. From Paris with Love starring John Travolta, sure, but that barely qualifies. Oh wait, I got it. The Three Musketeers starring Planchet… God, what a great adaptation. No wonder we’re going back to Paul W. S. Anderson next week. A.When?! The beginning is similar to the classic Three Musketeers storyline in that d’Artagnan is going to Paris to join the Musketeers at the time that Caridinal Richelieu is trying to stoke war between France and England. This would place this film in 1625. Although they don’t make this clear in the film I don’t think. They just say the events take place 14 years after d’Artagnan’s parents were killed which is unhelpful. D.

When?! The beginning is similar to the classic Three Musketeers storyline in that d’Artagnan is going to Paris to join the Musketeers at the time that Caridinal Richelieu is trying to stoke war between France and England. This would place this film in 1625. Although they don’t make this clear in the film I don’t think. They just say the events take place 14 years after d’Artagnan’s parents were killed which is unhelpful. D.

This movie is shockingly boring for a film that is based entirely on the premise “Three Musketeers but with some martial arts.” It’s actually pretty well made and all that, but everything is real dark and they seemed to have trouble editing it together in the end so it feels pretty choppy. Also Justin Chambers was just not ready to carry a film and he is unfortunately quite bad. Not great for someone who is in approximately 100% of the film, especially when I think Roth and Rae are both pretty good. Overall, I just wish it was a little more over the top. As it is, it’s merely a subpar adaptation of The Three Musketeers with some fun fight scenes and some bad filmmaking and acting. Also, they needed more Planchet. Disappointing really. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The legendary literary badass d’Artagnan has had maybe like … 400 films made about him. But this ain’t your dad’s d’Artagnan. This time he’s attached to wires and doing kung fu. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I was very excited for this film. The trailer is one of the craziest things you’ll ever watch. It seems like a normal Three Musketeers film … but then the wire-fu parkour magic starts. It is almost immediately obvious that it was a bad idea, but we could never really figure out a way to fit it into BMT … until now! What were my expectations? Just the craziest thing you’ll ever see. Anything less would be a disappointment. I want The Three Musketeers starring Jackie Chan basically, I want them to throw out everything that makes the Three Musketeers the Three Musketeers and just make them martial arts masters!

The Good – The film is shot beautifully … if you ignore the fact that it was clearly too dark. If you cut out the Hong Kong fight choreography this would actually be a pretty okay (if poorly acted) Three Musketeers film. Somehow the direction ends up being both the strength and weakness of the film. A strength in that the set design and general look are really interesting. A weakness because I think it ends up being structurally a mess, which by all accounts was the director’s fault. Best bit: Set design.

The Bad – Let’s start with the acting. I have nothing against Justin Chambers and the rest of the main actors in the film, but overall it does come across as a tv movie because of the people involved. The action scenes are too much and too little at the same time. They are too stylized and jarring if you only have a few of them, which I think is what happened here. If you are going to go that big and shocking, you should just go balls to the wall and have every scene be an action scene. Finally, the story is just boring and confusing. It may have worked better using a very simple story and focusing a lot more on the action element. Fatal flaw: Action scenes are too much, and occur too infrequently.

The BMT – Sadly I think this will go down as a near miss for BMT. A “oh, what could have been!”. In an alternative universe this film is wall to wall parkour with people dressed as musketeers! But alas, within the film there is hiding a dimly lit earnest telling of the story of d’Artagnan. Somehow, against all odds, the 2013 Three Musketeers film (complete with Planchet) is actually a much better BMT in my estimation. Did it meet my expectations? Oh you couldn’t tell from that? No. It certainly is a pretty bad movie, mostly due to the acting and falling short in the action set pieces. But it should have been oh, so much more.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Naturally this is a great Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) for the clear 17th century Paris setting. Otherwise there isn’t much there, and it is closest to being a Bad film in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – It is a bit surprising maybe, but the bad movie lists weren’t really happening in 2001. I don’t know why really, but whatever. This is probably the second worst Musketeer film though. I would call it the worst, but if you look anywhere all critics consider the 2011 film to be the worst (and I generally agree). Still, that combined with the bizarre genre mash-up is street cred enough.

You Just got Schooled – I was very much looking forward to this because I ended up figuring out that there have been multiple Three Musketeers cartoons throughout history. First, I watched the Hanna Barbera version which debuted as part of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. Released in 1968, this seems like an odd time for Hanna Barbera, after their big hits in The Flintstones and The Jetsons ended in the mid-60s, but before Scooby-Doo which would premiere a year later in 1969. I ended up watching the first episode of Banana Splits (which had an Arabian Knights cartoon and weird live-action cliffhanger-based shorts called Danger Island) and the Three Musketeers part of the second episode. The Banana Splits are brutally unfunny characters meant to entertain 5-year-olds (maybe). Meanwhile both Arabian Knights and Danger Island are genuinely racist garbage. So against all odds the cheaply made and boring Three Musketeers ended up being the best bit from that. D-, very little to recommend from this Hanna Barbera catastrophe. Additionally, I watched the first episode of The Three Musketeers anime (Anime Sanjūshi) from 1987. Directed by the guy who would end up directing all of the pokemon anime, it shows. It very much reminds me of the pokemon show in that it is probably too boring to sustain a binge watch, but was entertaining enough that maybe I’ll end up watching another one eventually. B-. I kind of fell into a rabbit whole with animation recently. The history of animation I think is endlessly fascinating. So being able to watch two not-very-good old-school Musketeers animated shows was a delight, even if neither ended up being particularly good.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Musketeer Quiz

Oh man, the last thing I remember was being legendary literary badass D’Artagnan. I was really just dunking on the Cardinal’s men (it was frankly an embarrassment), but then I think Porthos bopped me on the head because I don’t remember anything else … do you remember what happened in The Musketeer?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We open the film with a young D’Artagnan and his family enjoying a meal. But then here comes mean, old Febre. Long story short, D’Artagnan’s family is killed, D’Artagnan slices up Fabre’s eyeball, and Planchet comes to take care of the boy. But why did Febre and D’Artagnan’s father get into a fight?

2) Oh my, how you have grown D’Artagnan! Now a dashing young medical doctor at Seattle Grace Hospital swordsman, he’s ready to get his revenge on the eeeeevil Febre. But first he must join the Musketeers, who have been disbanded and their leader, Treville imprisoned. How does D’Artagnan break into the prison to free Treville?

3) They know something is up because a Spanish ambassador is murdered on the way to gran Paris (by Febre, natch), so the Musketeers figure something is about to go down like Charlie Brown at the big bash at the palace. What was going down, and how do the king, queen, and British Lord Buckingham escape?

4) And now for one more grand plan to rule them all, D’Artagnan and his sweet parkour skillz are employed by the Queen to help her get where and to do what? This is much to the Musketeers’ chagrin as they could use D’Artagnan’s parkour skillz in their own plan.

5) Finally, all of The Musketeers go and rescue the Queen and Buckingham from Febre, hooray! But how do they know where to find them?

Answers

The Musketeer Preview

Wha-wha-wha… Sirs Sklogsalot? Where, and more importantly when, are they? “It’s… it’s August 12th, 2031, right?” Rich asks earnestly, stating the exact date very clearly. But their fellow knight Sir Bangarang just guffaws, “Right. 2031. As if, bro. It’s totally September 23rd, 1326. Pretty rad, right?” Rich and Poe’s heads are spinning. 1326? Why does it feel like… not that. Like this is all so fake… as if someone made it. “It’s falling apart,” Poe whispers to Rich, “we’re near the end and it’s all crashing down.” Rich nods and the end will be a battle for everything within them. Their souls, but most importantly the Obsidian Dongle and thus… Earth. “Where are we going?” Rich asks Bangarang, walking besides his horse. “Ha. Classic Sklogsalot. The castle, duh. The King is waiting and he’s none too happy. Nope. Better to just bite the bullet and get it over with. Face the music and all that. Lame, but I’m not the one who tried to kill him, amiright?” Rich and Poe’s faces blanch. This ain’t sounding so good. Maybe time to scram, but just when they are looking to book it Bangarang turns on them and pulls an uzi from under his armor. The gamemasters really half-assed this one. “Just come along quietly, Sklogalots. I’m getting too old for this shit.” Just then a whistle is heard from the surrounding trees. Bangarang looks around, suddenly concerned, and then turns and breaks out into a trot as several people backflip their way out of the forest. “Who are you?” Rich and Poe ask, admiring their flashy blue velour suits. “We are French,” they say matter of factly. “We saved you, so you are part of our crew. You are our… how do you say… Planchet?” That’s right! We are finally watching the Justin Chambers vehicle The Musketeer. This is the super rad martial arts interpretation of the Three Musketeers that literally everyone was clamouring for. We flooded the streets for calls for more Musketeer IP but now with karate! Swing around on ropes, we begged. Can they fight while on ladders? We asked. And so we received. The Musketeer. Let’s go!

The Musketeer (2001) – BMeTric: 55.7; Notability: 29 

(You can see the nice inflection in ‘11 and indeed, it seems like over the last few years films have reached a different stable point in vote growth. I feel like I need to do a new meta analysis on notability, because I would have thought this would have been a bit higher … but it also seems like most major films get between 25 and 35. But it is hard to tell.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – Peter Hyams’ “The Musketeer” combines traditional swashbuckling with martial arts in a movie where the men wear plumes in their hats but pounce like crouching tigers and scheme like hidden dragons. No wonder; the choreography of the fight scenes is by Xin-Xin Xiong–not a name on every tongue, I grant you, but he is one of the top action designers in Hong Kong. … I cannot in strict accuracy recommend this film. It’s such a jumble of action and motivation, ill-defined characters and action howlers. I am not even quite sure if Richelieu and Febre are on the same side, or if there are three or even four sides in the story. But the banquet scene is a marvel of art design. The action scenes are wonders to behold. And when Tim Roth vows vengeance on the man who blinded him, I for one believe him.

(An amazingly ok review from Ebert here. I think by 2001 he had fully entered his “it’s good for what it is” phase, which I personally rather appreciate. Watch the old “Worst of” shows for Ebert from the late 80s and early 90s and you’ll see him tear a film like this apart. By 2000 I think he became more appreciative of people just doing their thing.)

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

(This is one of the best-bad trailers ever made. If you show this trailer to anyone without pretense I have to assume their minds would melt. It doesn’t seem real. The moment where the narrator says “with fight choreography by …” as if I’m supposed to know who that is, and (worst yet), as if I’m supposed to think bringing wire-fu to The Three Musketeers is the most incredible idea ever conjured into existence … I love it. I’ve been waiting to watch this movie just based on this trailer for literally years.)

Directors – Peter Hyams – (Known For: Stay Tuned; Timecop; 2010: The Year We Make Contact; Hanover Street; Outland; Running Scared; Capricorn One; The Presidio; Sudden Death; Narrow Margin; Enemies Closer; The Star Chamber; Future BMT: End of Days; The Relic; Beyond a Reasonable Doubt; BMT: A Sound of Thunder; The Musketeer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for End of Days in 2000; Notes: Has three sons. One was the director of Universal Soldier: Regeneration (for which Peter was cinematographer). One is the CEO of Indeed. And the last is the rap battle promoter Lush One. Read the notes on him below, this film was legitimately his career’s last gasp.)

Writers – Alexandre Dumas (novels) (as Alexandre Dumas père) – (Known For: The Count of Monte Cristo; The Three Musketeers; The Return of the Musketeers; La Reine Margot; The Four Musketeers; The Three Musketeers; The Count of Monte Cristo; The Iron Mask; Future BMT: The Three Musketeers; The Man in the Iron Mask; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; The Musketeer; The Three Musketeers; Notes: I don’t think I need to explain who Alexander Dumas is … but let’s appreciate that he is, in fact, credited as writing the novel that Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li is “based on”. Snooping around this seems potentially fake, but some places suggest maybe it is a vague adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo? Bizarre.)

Gene Quintano (screenplay) – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Sudden Death; Future BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Operation Dumbo Drop; King Solomon’s Mines; Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: The Musketeer; Notes: Was a salesman who worked with the director Tony Anthony which is how he got into film. Wrote a good number of the Police Academy films. The Musketeer was effectively his last major production. Hyams and him worked on Sudden Death together.)

Actors – Justin Chambers – (Known For: Lakeview Terrace; Liberty Heights; Leo; Future BMT: The Wedding Planner; The Zodiac; Broken City; BMT: The Musketeer; Notes: You would know him as reformed bad-boy Dr. Alex Karev on Grey’s Anatomy. He left the show this year, and you would not believe the arc they gave his character! No spoilers, but it is juicy drams, and fans are NOT happy.)

Catherine Deneuve – (Known For: Dancer in the Dark; Belle de Jour; The Brand New Testament; The Truth; The Hunger; Repulsion; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; Pola X; Persepolis; Les Demoiselles de Rochefort; 8 Women; Tristana; Indochine; A Cop; Hustle; Mississippi Mermaid; Once Upon a Time; The Last Metro; Time Regained; A Christmas Tale; Future BMT: O Convento; BMT: The Musketeer; Notes: Chosen as one of the 100 sexiest stars in history by Empire magazine in 1995, and from 1985 to 1989 she was the model for Marianne, the national symbol of France.)

Mena Suvari – (Known For: American Pie; American Beauty; American Pie 2; American Reunion; Slums of Beverly Hills; Becks; Stuck; Edmond; Brooklyn Rules; The Dog Problem; Future BMT: The Rage: Carrie 2; Loser; Beauty Shop; Trauma; Domino; You May Not Kiss the Bride; Sugar & Spice; Live Virgin; The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Sonny; Caffeine; The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson; Standing Still; Factory Girl; Nowhere; Spun; Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children; BMT: The Musketeer; Rumor Has It…; Kiss the Girls; Notes: She now does mostly television (like American Woman and American Horror Story) and non-theatrical / television films. Notable for the sheer number of works with the word “American” in them that she’s been in.)

Budget/Gross – $40,000,000 / Domestic: $27,073,640 (Worldwide: $32,533,802)

(For the actual production company I imagine this was a disaster, and I also imagine they totally blamed the director in the end. According to the notes the distribution was sold for $7.5 million so cleary the companies that distributed it did fine. That is a lot more money, especially domestically, than I would have thought.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (11/99): Hong Kong inspired action sequences take center stage in this latest Three Musketeers adaptation. Unfortunately, the oversimplification of the story and an uncharismatic lead character leave the movie flat.

(How dare you slander Justin Chambers like that! He’s Grey’s Anatomy mega-star Justin Chambers!! Reviewer Highlight: Musketeer’s fight scenes are underlit, overmiked, and appallingly edited, with none of the spacious grace that even routine Asian action flicks get right. Worse, the narrative scenes make less sense. – Ty Burr, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Câble-fu

(This ain’t your daddy’s Three Musketeers. I think that comes across in this poster, although a bit busy. Nice font, nice color scheme. Needs a little bit more of an artistic touch to get the feeling of motion across. But not the worst. B.)

Tagline(s) – As you’ve never seen it before. (C)

(Why not just go with The ain’t your daddy’s Three Musketeers? It is what you’re trying to say and at least people would have been like “lol, WTF” rather than just shrug at the cliche of it all. I need more from my taglines. This is short and gets the point across, but there isn’t any heart… no love… you know?)

Keyword – historical fiction

Top 10: Django Unchained (2012), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Titanic (1997), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Dunkirk (2017), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Wonder Woman (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Assassin’s Creed (2016), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Future BMT: 55.6 Robin Hood (2018), 41.8 Young Einstein (1988), 37.2 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), 36.9 The Great Wall (2016), 27.5 The Legend of Tarzan (2016), 27.5 Inferno (2016), 27.4 47 Ronin (2013), 21.8 Yellowbeard (1983), 20.5 Live by Night (2016), 20.4 The Three Musketeers (1993);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Three Musketeers (2011), Wild Wild West (1999), Red Riding Hood (2011), Jonah Hex (2010), The Scarlet Letter (1995), The Musketeer (2001)

(I think next on the docket had to be Robin Hood. Like The Three Musketeers it is a story that just gets made and made and made, presumably because the rights are in the public domain or something. There must be hundreds of versions of Robin Hoods. That peak at 2016 is interesting, there does seem to be an inordinate number of historical fiction films that came out then. I wonder why.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 25) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Mena Suvari is No. 4 billed in The Musketeer and No. 8 billed in Rumor Has It…, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 1 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 8 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 25. If we were to watch The Wedding Planner, and Two for the Money we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – D’Artagnan did really exist. His name was Charles de Batz and was called D’Artagnan when he arrived in Paris probably because he was coming from the south-west of France (where the movie was partly shot) and where there is a little city called Artagnan.

The first film that Director Peter Hyams had directed without his long time editor Steven Kemper, who vowed not to work with the Director after the last few films he had directed which included End of Days and The Relic were too darkly lit and shot causing editorial problems. (Wow!)

The first film the Director Peter Hyams did not work with his usual composer John Debney. Debney had composed the music for Sudden Death, The Relic and End of Days for Hyams.

Universal Pictures teamed up Miramax Films to buy the film’s North American and U.K. rights for only $7.5 million, and the film was very profitable for both companies.

Knock Off Recap

Jamie

Marcus Ray is a Hong Kong counterfeiter trying to go legit in the fashion world. But when a plot to use knock off products as bombs puts him in the crosshairs of his business partner/CIA operative Tommy he finds himself wrapped up in trying to stop the scheme. Can he stop the scheme (and perhaps uncover a larger conspiracy) before it’s too late? Find out in… Knock Off.

How?! Everyone loves Marcus. He’s super cool and got muscles and stuff. So he sees a way to use this charm to get out of the illegal business of counterfeiting and straight into the business of high fashion (a.k.a. jeans). But when some of his fellow counterfeiters are getting knocked off, he comes to find out that his business partner Tommy is actually a CIA agent trying to stop a dangerous international terrorist plot. Teaming up they use all of Marcus’ underworld contacts to start piecing together what’s going on… which is… uh… I guess that there are bombs and stuff in these knock off products and also everyone is getting killed and Marcus has to kick and punch people. Honestly it’s a little vague. At this point they find that their fashion world contact, Karen, is also CIA (is anyone actually working in fashion? Who is designing these dope jeans?!) and it’s revealed that the Russian mob is orchestrating the plot (or are they?). The mob kidnaps Tommy and Karen and Marcus has to go rescue them. It’s revealed that Tommy’s handler at the CIA is actually the puppetmaster pulling all the strings on the plot and Marcus and Tommy are like “what a twist?!” A big fight ensues and I mean, come on… It’s JCVD. He wins. THE END.

Why?! In a weird turn of events the good guy, JCVD, actually has somewhat interesting motivation. That’s because he just wants to be a legit fashion mogul and sell jeans to all the dope tweens of the world. Unfortunately a terrorist plot is getting in the way. As for the bad guy, why would a CIA operative turn around and orchestrate a terrorist plot. That sweet green, baby. He wants to have all these products with bombs in them distributed around the world so that then he can threaten governments with blowing them all up if they don’t pay him a ransom. “Crime pays” is almost a default motivation for every bad action film that needs a twist.

Who?! You would think that Rob Schneider would be a Planchet here. He certainly fits the bill, but not nearly to the extent that I would like. They barely make fun of him for doing a merely OK job in the investigation… you gotta really ramp up those Planchet vibes when you got a Planchet talent like Rob Schneider on hand.

What?! I do enjoy a fake product here and there. This one has a number of them, since it deals with knock off products (some real, some not). For example during the very exciting rickshaw race JCVD dons a pair of Pumma running shoes. The extra ‘m’ gives away the fact that those shoes explode off his feet midrace. We also have their main company, V-Six jeans, which apparently markets itself as jeans that specifically won’t fall apart… the knock offs obviously do.

Where?! Exclusively Hong Kong. It’s actually less common than you’d think that we get a film set entirely in one city. Usually we have people jet-setting around or schemes being concocted in remote locations. Not here. Just Hong Kong. It also plays a role in the plot due to the prevalence of knock off merchandise in the city. A.

When?! Not So Secret Holiday Film Alert. It’s not even a subtle point that the events of the film are leading up to the handing over of Hong Kong to China on July 1st, 1997. Images are shown of the event and it’s talked about a lot, but it pretty much just functions as a backdrop for the events of the film… I honestly can’t remember if it plays a role in the plot beyond that. A-.

As you can tell from the brief plot description this film seems like it was mostly written on a napkin. The parts that make sense are just standard action fare, while the rest is so incomprehensible that it slips right off your brain. It left an impression that I watched a film, but my brain assures me I did not. It really is like you’re watching a movie in an entirely different language… and yet it’s in english. I think there is a temptation to forgive a lot of this craziness on my own inexperience with Hong Kong cinema. There were moments where I had to stop and think “is this bad or do I just think this is bad because it’s different than what I’ve come to expect.” By the end I came to the conclusion that it was just bad… but I’m not sure where and how it actually went wrong. Maybe everything. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Knock Off? More like Knock It Off! Amirite? We watched … well I think it was a movie. Jean Claude Van Damme was in it, so I assume it was a movie. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I didn’t know very much about this beyond that it was a classic team up of *checks notes* Jean Claude Van Damme and Rob Schnieder? Oooof, that can’t end well. Anyways, during the prep I found out it takes place in Hong Kong and specifically during the handover to China on July 1, 1997. The Hong Kong director was also intriguing as I hadn’t seen much Hong Kong cinema (unless you count like … Hard Target or Face/Off, but I don’t). What were my expectations? I guess a Hong Kong martial arts film? Whenever there is a heavily asian cinema inspired film (see Ecks vs. Sever) there can be a bit lost in translation, so I was really hoping it was just bonkers direction instead of a rote Hong Kong action film with bad acting.

The Good – Oh man, I mean … nothing? This film is a complete mess. It is such a mess it made me wonder whether there were even people on set who could give direction to the main three leads of the film. Alright, calm down Patrick, you have to say something nice about the film, that’s the rules. … Jean Claude Van Damme kick boxes and isn’t the worst actor in the film. They use Hong Kong well I think, playing up a bunch of different aspects of the city and the transition that was happening at the time. And I think the B-story of the jean company is hilarious. At least two of those things are genuinely good things.

The Bad – Ah back in my element. Here’s the thing, the film is directed insanely. Which, after watching A Better Tomorrow which I’ll discuss below, is very odd because Hark is a titan of HK cinema. It makes me think that some Hollywood exec gave him complete control over the film, to the extent that JCVD just had to fly to Hong Kong, and the production was probably run via a multi-lingual crew, and … then some Hollywood guy got this film back and was like “Oh no, I don’t know how we are going to edit this into a releasable product.” Spoiler alert, it isn’t releasable. This film is crazy. There are like insets at one point, you’re flying through CGI shoes and computers and stuff, there’s a rickshaw race, everyone is a CIA agent by the time the film ends … what is happening!? Reminds me of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever in the end.

The BMT – I think this film is incredibly amusing. For a JCVD night? I would definitely think of throwing this on. As a matter of fact, a line up of Universal Soldier (Emmerich), Hard Target (Woo) and this (Hark) would be pretty funny. And close out with The Quest which was directed by JCVD himself. It was basically the last major release for JCVD prior to him occasionally showing up for smaller parts like The Expendables. It has a lot of cache and is so so weird. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, I think it exceeded them in the end. I cannot overstate how weird the direction is. It was a different time in US cinema, at the tail end of a decade where any martial artist could get at least a straight-to-video release under their belt. And this really closed that era out with a bang leaving basically just Jackie Chan standing.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – I certainly think Rob Schneider’s character fits in as a Planchet (Who?) which is fun. There is also a strong argument for Product Placement (What?) for Puma which gets mentioned multiple times via a counterfeit version of the shoe called Pumma. Obviously an amazing Setting as a Character (Where?) for Hong Kong, which dovetails nicely with a Temporal Setting / Not-so-Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the entire film taking place during the week of the handover of Hong Kong from British control to China on July 1, 1997. There is a strong MacGuffin (Why?) for the search for an elusive set of counterfeit jeans fitted with explosives. And then a solid Worst Twist (How?) with the “reveal” that the higher up CIA character played by Paul Sorvino was the bad guy all along (for reasons …). And then it will get consideration for BMT as well … wait, was this a clean sweep?! This film qualifies for all the potential awards. I think that is just a testament to how badly this film is written, it is just one giant cliche.

StreetCreditReport.com – Once again, despite all of the potential cred described above, this film is the kind of film which would have flew under the radar of critics and audiences alike. It seems to rarely get mentioned as even a bad Van Damme film, or a bad martial arts film. I think all of the cred just comes from it being a Van Damme film, and hopefully once Bad Movie Twins goes global we’ll be able to give it the recognition it deserves.

You Just Got Schooled – I have to admit, I’m just really not that familiar with Hong Kong cinema. The closest I’ve come is that I have seen Drunken Master with Jackie Chan. So what better time to familiarize myself with a true classic: A Better Tomorrow. Directed by John Woo, and starring Chow Yun-Fat, the film tells the story of two brothers on opposite sides of the law, both fighting against the criminal underworld that threatens to overwhelm their lives. This film is a bit of a revelation. It is no wonder Woo would find success in Hollywood, as this film draws from the greats of both Hong Kong cinema and US cinema to create a pretty compelling blend of both. A kind of western film set in the criminal underworld of Hong Kong. Weirdly apropos as both Knock Off and this deal with the counterfeiting criminal underworld of Hong Kong. But then the director of Knock Off produced A Better Tomorrow, and ultimately directed the poorly received A Better Tomorrow 3 and failed miserably to kick off his US career. Hark is objectively a good director, he has five films on a list of the 100 best Hong Kong films ever … perhaps Woo was just better at absorbing and reproducing elements of western cinema in his work, and that’s why things like Face/Off work so well. I don’t know, I’ve seen a grand total of three films made in Hong Kong, so I’m far from an expert. Maybe I’ll watch Police Story next though. A. An extremely good film I would recommend to anyone interested in Hong Kong cinema or gangster films like The Departed. 

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Knock Off Preview

The men in Tiniman’s army expect nothing from Rich and Poe. Yeah, they may have toned biceps and abs for days, but they also seem like a couple of rascals who don’t care much for rules. At first it seems like they’re right. “This sucks!” yells Rich, while Poe looks sadly at his nutritionless grub they’re served in the mess. “How are we expected to keep ourselves lean, mean fighting machines without a balanced meal,” he sighs. But soon, they learn the meaning of their military family and come to trust and love their brothers in arms. They aren’t just passable soldiers, they are oddly competent. “Hey Roach,” Rich asks one day, “what are we training for anyway?” Their comrade Roach looks up from polishing his robot legs. “War,” he grunts and gets back a-polishing. He needs those babies gleaming. “War… who are we fighting?” Poe asks, curious now. “Alligator,” Roach grunts. Rich and Poe nod their heads but suddenly look at each other… Alligator. Rich and Poe get as many details as they can from Roach, one grunt at a time. Tiniman’s aim is to conquer the lands to the south. Where a tribe of men have come to live harmoniously with giant alligators. “Unconquerable,” Roach says winking, his legs now gleaming in the sunlight. “My God,” Rich says, “Alligator Steve… this is where he’s from.” Poe gulps, “and we’re going to destroy them.” While their newfound maturity bucks at the idea of betraying their comrades they also know they gotta get out of there… and fast. “What we need is…” Rich begins, but suddenly a shadow passes over them. “Deception,” Roach grunts. Startled, they look up in fear, but Roach is smiling. “Twins,” he says and Rich and Poe smile back. “Knock offs,” they agree. That’s right! We’re watching the JCVD-Rob Schneider buddy cop film about a Hong Kong… uh… fashion designer? Who also does karate or something? And Rob Schneider is a cop… what, what’s happening? Let’s go!

Knock Off (1998) – BMeTric: 55.3; Notability: 29 

KnockOffIMDb_BMeT
KnockOffIMDb_RV

(The notability is higher that I would have expected for a film I never heard of, but not super high for a major release. I’m intrigued. The rating is riding, but sub-5.0 is pretty great with that 50+ BMeTric. This film has a lot going for it from a numbers perspective.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Van Damme teams up with American agents to combat terrorists. Having Van Damme play a Hong Kong clothing designer/importer in an action film pinned to a plot about designer jeans is peculiar but not interesting … which also describes the movie. Director Hark abandons his vivid fight choreography for standard swift intercutting instead. Samo Hung appears unbilled.

(Ha! I love that description. Leonard is just flabbergasted by the B-story which is actually the A-story. The character sounds like Tommy Wiseau in real life.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Txm_I4usB0/

(The trailer is fucking bonkers. Just cut after cut after cut with weird quips (“Goodbye yellow brick road”? It isn’t even that quoting Elton John is out of date, it is that it is just a weird turn of phrase). Explosions, Rob Schnieder saying random words, clearly a bunch of wire-fu which is going to annoy me. I literally cannot wait to watch this ludicrous film.)

Directors – Hark Tsui – (Known For: Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame; Journey to the West: Demon Chapter; Once Upon a Time in China; Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings; Seong lung wui; Flying Swords of Dragon Gate; Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung; Zhi qu wei hu shan; Shu Shan – Xin Shu shan jian ke; Once Upon a Time in China III; Shun liu ni liu; Tit sam gok; Future BMT: Shu shan zheng zhuan; Qi jian; BMT: Double Team; Knock Off; Notes: He is considered a master in martial arts action, and one of the best Chinese directors ever. His production company is one of the biggest Hong Kong film companies in the business.)

Writers – Steven E. de Souza (written by) – (Known For: Die Hard; Commando; Die Hard 2; The Running Man; 48 Hrs.; Ricochet; The Return of Captain Invincible; Future BMT: Street Fighter; The Flintstones; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Bad Dreams; BMT: Knock Off; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Judge Dredd; Beverly Hills Cop III; Hudson Hawk; Another 48 Hrs.; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Notes: One of the last films he wrote that got a major release. He was only 51 at the time, so I assume he just kind of retired.)

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: Bloodsport; The Expendables 2; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Kickboxer; Hard Target; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Timecop; Kickboxer: Vengeance; Lukas; Sudden Death; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Cyborg; Welcome to the Jungle; The Order; Legionnaire; Double Impact; Maximum Risk; Inferno; Replicant; The Quest; Missing in Action; Pound of Flesh; Black Water; Nowhere to Run; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Breakin’; Last Action Hero; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Knock Off; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Literally the last film he released prior to starting to mostly release non-theatrical films. Legionnaire would be his next film, and Universal Soldier: The Return was after that and was his last theatrical release for a decade.)

Rob Schneider – (Known For: 50 First Dates; Muppets from Space; Future BMT: The Animal; Norm of the North; Little Nicky; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; InAPPropriate Comedy; The Hot Chick; Sandy Wexler; Eight Crazy Nights; Surf Ninjas; Mr. Deeds; The Adventures of Pinocchio; You May Not Kiss the Bride; Bedtime Stories; The Waterboy; Big Stan; Down Periscope; Click; Big Daddy; The Longest Yard; Necessary Roughness; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; BMT: Little Man; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; The Beverly Hillbillies; Knock Off; The Benchwarmers; Judge Dredd; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Around the World in 80 Days; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for Little Man, and The Benchwarmers; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2011 for Grown Ups; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Grandma’s Boy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Little Man, Little Nicky, The Animal, The Benchwarmers, and The Hot Chick; Notes: This was kind of right in the middle of his starring career, after he had already teamed up with Stallone for Judge Dredd. He is apparently anti-vax, which caused him to be dropped as a spokesperson for State Farm in 2014.)

Lela Rochon – (Known For: Any Given Sunday; Boomerang; Brooklyn’s Finest; Waiting to Exhale; The Big Hit; Gang Related; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Blood Done Sign My Name; Future BMT: The Meteor Man; Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo; Breakin’; Supremacy; BMT: Knock Off; First Daughter; The Chamber; Harlem Nights; Notes: Right at the top of her peak as a leading lady in film, right around Why Do Fools Fall in Love. She has a degree in broadcast journalism.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $10,319,915 (Worldwide: $10,319,915)

(Oh wow. Now this can’t possibly be true right? Wouldn’t this, at the very least, get a release in Hong Kong? This came out right as Van Damme’s career was cratering though, so I imagine they only realized it was mostly unreleasable afterwards. Case in point: this came out after Legionnaire.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/39): Muddled plot; stiff acting.

(Short and sweet! They seem to kind of agree that it is a little too jokey, but somehow very serious, and … honestly it does sound muddled now that I write it. Reviewer Highlight: Something of a kaleidoscopic mess of a movie, but it has its moments. – Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle)

Poster – Sklog Off

knock_off

(That is nuts. I find it offensive. What were they even thinking? Case in point: why is “Van Damme” in giant block letters that nearly fade into the background. My eyes hurt. F. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think this was the most difficult font I’ve ever undertaken. I’m rather impressed with how okay the background looks behind the letters since I had to rebuild it all. Overall looks pretty good for what is, in fact, a pretty complicated poster.)

Tagline(s) – There is no substitute. (C+)

(It’s a pun… that’s the best you can say about it. Obviously playing on the fact that the story involves a bunch of knock off products and the fact that there is no substitute for Van Damme. But it’s stretching just a bit too far and doesn’t flow.)

Keyword – kickboxing

KnockOff_kickboxing

Top 10: The Mummy Returns (2001), American Assassin (2017), True Lies (1994), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), Road House (1989), Tomb Raider (2018), Street Fighter (1994), Say Anything… (1989), Kiss the Girls (1997), The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 61.9 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 57.6 Cyborg (1989), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 42.9 Fighting (2009), 41.0 The Quest (1996), 37.3 Nowhere to Run (1993), 26.4 American Assassin (2017), 24.6 A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave (1990);

BMT: Road House (1989), Kiss the Girls (1997), Universal Soldier (1992), Double Team (1997), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Knock Off (1998)

(Wow, we really loved kickboxing in the 90s! There is something about it. I’ve been doing “research” into non-theatrical stars in my free time, and one of the major conclusions I’ve come to is there are different eras of straight-to-video films. And the 90s was definitely the apex of martial artists being recruited to put out their weirdo non-films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rob Schneider is No. 2 billed in Knock Off and No. 1 billed in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, which also stars William Forsythe (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 5 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 1 = 14. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Hong Kong superstar and director Sammo Hung served as the film’s 2nd unit director. The release print of “Knock Off” suffers from the removal of a lot of the martial arts action shot for the film, with a couple of sequences being very heavily edited. The final battle between Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character and Australian actor/stuntman Michael Miller is less than half of the action shot for their fight, and upon careful viewing you can pick up the fact that the fight has raged across several different sections on the boat, while the fight between Jeff Wolfe’s character Scar and Jean-Claude’s is the most heavily edited with more of the action being shown in the “Making Of” featured on several of the DVD editions than in the finished film.

The film is one of the last in the world to feature Kai Tak Airport still in use; the airport closed in 1998.

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