Geostorm Recap

Jamie

After the world’s weather went crazy the nations of the Earth, led by Jake Lawson, banded together to build a weather manipulation satellite system. Years later this system goes haywire and Jake is sent to fix it, only to find that it’s not a bug after all, but rather a scheme for world domination. Can Jake save the world before it’s too late? Find out in… Geostorm.

What?! We open on an extended voiceover explaining that in the near future the world’s weather began extreme fluctuations resulting in worldwide death and destruction. In an effort to curb the damage the world’s nations came together to build a complex satellite system led by a rough and tumble scientist, who don’t take no guff from nobody, named Jake Lawson. This inability to take guff sends Jake Lawson to the unemployment line and the satellite system marches on without him. Years later things start acting kooky (sorry for the technical terms) and Jake is pulled back into action and sent to space in an effort to find and fix whatever bug is causing the issue. In the least realistic aspect of the film Jake insists that there aren’t any bugs in the system (sure bro, whatever you say) and yet it becomes immediately clear that the weather catastrophes are not in fact caused by a bug at all but rather a virus that has been planted in the system. Needing the presidential kill codes to reboot and flush the virus, Jake’s brother Max rescues the President from a superstorm in Orlando and escorts him to Kennedy Space Center. They are able to upload the kill codes but not before self-destruct is initiated on the space station. Uh oh! Jake stays behind to make sure everything is rebooted and proceeds to climb aboard a satellite and ride it back to Earth an international hero. Wooooooooooooo! Geostorm! The End.

Why?! Action films provide the best motivations. Not for our main characters or course (Jake Lawson is only concerned with quelling the slanderous claims against his entirely bug-free complex satellite system), but for our vast criminal enterprise hell bent on world domination. Basically the Secretary of State has devised a plan whereby he got a lackey on the space station to upload a virus. This virus will ever so slowly begin the systematic destruction of the world in order to make it seem like an accident. The aim is to wipe out most of the world, including all those that stand in the way of the Secretary of State’s ascension to the presidency, and lead to total domination. What he didn’t plan for was Jake Lawson, international hero, stepping in and saving the day… What’s that? That actually was explicitly in the plan… get international hero Jake Lawson to take the blame and die in space. What a terrible plan… he’s Jake Lawson! International hero! He obviously would be the last person you’d want up in space trying to stop you… literally the only person. In fact wouldn’t you just go ahead and kill him before even starting the plan? I already just fixed your plan. Step 1. Kill Jake Lawson.

What?! After a long day of stopping a conspiracy to destroy your reputation for bug-free coding (and also destroy the world) there’s only one thing that will quench that thirst for justice: a nice cold Coors Light. It’s the taste of the Rockies and the choice of international hero Jake Lawson.

Who?! Two weeks in a row for fake US Presidents. This time it’s Andy Garcia’s President Andrew Palma. While it seems like President Palma is well on his way to reelection (before a Geostorm so rudely interrupts his DNC speech #DemsInDisarray, amirite?) he probably has to reevaluate his vetting criteria for his most valued advisors. I mean, having most of your cabinet wiped out in a conspiracy set in motion by your own Secretary of State? Not a great look.

Where?! Great settings film. Not just because we spend most of our time in space, DC, and Florida, but also because we so specifically spend such a long time in Orlando for a fake future Democratic National Convention. This after we spent the entirety of Jaws 3D in Orlando. Having quite the BMT moment. I give it a solid B.

When?! Little point of contention here. It’s hard to get a good idea of exactly when everything takes place for a film in theaters. I think they said things started going crazy in 2019 and in three years we built the satellite system (going off of my memory here, so might be slightly inaccurate). When we jump forward we are close to the ten year mark for the system. So we should be somewhere around the 2032 election? We’re also going through nominations for that election so must be summer 2032? This is all +/- 4 years. C+ if I go back and confirm all this from the DVD (Spoiiler Alert: I’m not going to be doing that).

Overall, the film is not well made. It was clearly rewritten and reshot (unless they meant for the beginning to just be a series of expository scenes that are super boring. If so then they just made a bad movie from the jump) and made the start of the film a mess. Once we get to space and the Geostorm starts things picked up and a lot of the scenes in space were shockingly beautiful. Funny enough there was one aspect of the film that everyone I know who saw it couldn’t help focusing on: Max Lawson a.k.a. Jim Sturgiss’ haircut. The most catastrophic disaster in the entire film, but I’ll let Patrick explain a bit more. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! GEOOOOOSTORM. What will cure those summer boxoffice blues? A disasterpiece from the maker of Independence Day (I call it ID4). GEOOOOOSTOOOOORM in my face! Yeah. What’s that? It’s been delayed by a bit? That isn’t so bad, I mean … oh, two years? It was delayed by two years and stars Gerard Butler. I mean the co-stars though … what’s that? The co-star is the guy from 21 with a terrible hair cut? Uh … you know what, I have a refrigerator to defrost, I’ll see you later, tell me how it is. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Seuqel / Prequel / Remake) – The space visuals were stunning. When I say the first one I legitimately wondered exactly how cheap it had all gotten, is this just going to be normal now? No more hilarious spikey comet set from Armageddon? If you squint you might not hate this movie because it is so dumb. This time I think I want to see the Sequel. Why? Because think of what the sequel would actually involve. Another almost Geostorm! How could such a thing happen? In this case I think we revisit Jake Lawson, but this time it’s … President Jake Lawson. The world owns Dutch Boy, and all is peachy keen until (uh oh!) it isn’t! Storms they are a-brewin’, and things are looking dire. How could this happen again!? What a twist! It was Jake Lawson causing the issues after he realizes the world had begun to recover from humanity’s ecological ruin and scientists are about to recommend that Dutch Boy be shut down completely! Wait, that sounds shaky, why would he want to keep Dutch Boy around? Because he thinks the instant humanity gets pulled back from the brink of disaster we’ll fall back into our disastrous ways (probably true). Anywho, he turns heel and audiences cheer in Geostorm 2: Jake Lawson Strikes Back.

The Bad (Crimes Against BMT-anity) – The entirety of the story on the ground was absurd. Gerard sleepwalks through the film. The bad guy is so obvious and mustache twirling-ly eeeeevil that it is almost sad when the finale comes into play. It is also aggressively stupid. Which I have decided is both a good and bad thing. It is cut to shit and at times just makes no sense, complete with super hero hacker who makes nearly anything possible and then is promptly forgotten during the finale. And now, for a new game! In Crimes Against BMT-anity I identify a specifically perplexing part of a terrible film. In this case (was there ever any doubt?) it was Jim Sturgiss’ amazingly distracting haircut. Are we to believe he dates an incredibly attractive secret service agent for three years and she never once asks who his barber is any why he still uses him? Or more likely makes him stop cutting his own hair. The most ludicrous part of the story bar none. Congrats Jim Sturgiss’ haircut! You have a non-zero chance of getting a nomination for Worst Screen Couple at the Razzies this year.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – This has some serious cred potential. It is one of those movies that will kind of vaguely live in the collective conscious of a generation because it’ll just be like always on Netflix or something. Out of all of the bad movies of 2017 it is the one I can imagine people talking about along the lines of “you know what was a decently fun movie everyone thought was terrible at the time …”. An Armageddon for another generation. It was one of the worst reviewed films of the year, although it did manage to avoid an incredible sub-10 on Rotten Tomatoes (which seemed quite possible for a time). Still, for both legacy and street cred this I think measures up very well among BMT Lives.

A quick BMT Theater Review and I’m out. I went with the much posher Fulham Vue this time around and it was a pleasure indeed. And given the movie not a wary eye was cast at the lonesome creeper catching a movie on Tuesday night. There were some noticeable guffaws when something particularly ridiculous happened, but for the sparsely populated theatre (as the Brits call it) the tone was expectedly muted. Can’t say I don’t miss the raucous crowds I would expect at something like Transformers 11, but it was pleasant enough. B-. Nice theater, muted crowd.

And with that our BMT Live season is complete. A highly successful season I think marked by a patience we didn’t exercise last year much to our own chagrin.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Geostorm Preview

This would have been the closing week of the Bring a Friend cycle but the Barometric Macroclimate Targeting satellites Patrick and I sent into orbit last year malfunctioned and blew in a GEEOOOOOSSTTTOOORRRRMMMMM. That’s right! As was foretold on an ancient Egyptian scroll, we are indeed watching the much anticipated Geostorm for the final BMT Live! of 2017. The movie was delayed, reshot, and delayed some more to the point where I honestly didn’t actually believe they were releasing the film. Boy was I wrong! They released it all right and it was glorious. Garnering 15% on RT (and still only the third worst reviewed wide release of the week thanks to The Snowman and Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween), it got us to where we were needed to be and capped off a particularly fruitful year of BMT Live! with Fifty Shades Darker, The Mummy, Flatliners, and now Geostorm. Get excited. Let’s go!

Geostorm (2017) – BMeTric: 15.6 (October 22, 2017)

Geostorm_BMeT

Geostorm_RV

(Haaaaa. I usually don’t put up these plots for films that just came out, but this one was too good. Opens inexplicably at 7.0 on IMDb and then (wait for it …) drops like a goddamned stone. It is below 6.0 as of writing, although I won’t update the plot, so this should be a solid 30+ pretty easily even before people see it on VOD. Great stuff.)

AV Club – D+ –  In the tradition of KFC’s Famous Bowl—famously described by Patton Oswalt as “a failure pile”—comes Geostorm, which attempts to be every possible apocalyptic weather-based disaster movie at once.

(Hmmmm, an interesting take. The story does seem like a kind of mish-mash of disaster film / conspiracy thriller / action film. That did kind of throw me when I first heard of this film. The plot just sounds like the mix of four different terrible films.)

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

(After a chilly reception to a first trailer if I recall they went all in with the second. It does look fun if you can look past a questionable choice in music and a dire closing one-liner. “Marry her!” was a major criticism on the net (as the kids call it), and it turned out to be more reflective of this movie than this relatively fun trailer is overall.)

Directors – Dean Devlin – (BMT: Geostorm; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; and in 2017 for Independence Day: Resurgence; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: Mainly a producer and writer (see below), but he’s slowly been taking on more directing projects. Some minor TV Movies, and four episodes of the Librarian television series which he produces.)

Writers – Dean Devlin (written by) – (Known For: Independence Day; Stargate; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Future BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Godzilla; Universal Soldier; BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence; Geostorm; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; and in 2017 for Independence Day: Resurgence; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: The son of two prolific Hollywood writers / actors from the 1960s, his wife is also an actress and has appeared in several of his Librarian projects.)

Paul Guyot (written by) – (BMT: Geostorm; Notes: Primarily a television writer he wrote seven episodes of Librarians. Devlin is, as I said, heavily involved with the Librarian television movies and series concerning the character of Flynn Carsen, and Indiana Jones-esque protector of ancient artifacts. I will likely never see any of them.)

Actors – Gerard Butler – (Known For: 300; RocknRolla; Olympus Has Fallen; How to Train Your Dragon; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Reign of Fire; Tomorrow Never Dies; Mrs Brown; Coriolanus; Nim’s Island; Beowulf & Grendel; Dear Frankie; Harrison’s Flowers; The Cherry Orchard; Future BMT: Dracula 2001; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Tale of the Mummy; The Ugly Truth; Machine Gun Preacher; The Game of Their Lives; A Family Man; BMT: Movie 43; Gods of Egypt; The Bounty Hunter; Timeline; Gamer; Playing for Keeps; London Has Fallen; Geostorm; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; and in 2017 for Gods of Egypt, and London Has Fallen; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble for The Bounty Hunter in 2011; Notes: Scottish, but often plays Americans with vaguely Scottish accents. He has a law degree, but was fired a week before being able to practice. Plenty of BMTs to go for this BMT All Star.)

Jim Sturgess – (Known For: Cloud Atlas; Deception; The Other Boleyn Girl; Across the Universe; Eliza Graves; The Way Back; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; Spike Island; Fifty Dead Men Walking; Heartless; Mouth to Mouth; The Browning Version; Future BMT: Kidnapping Freddy Heineken; Upside Down; 21; Electric Slide; Crossing Over; BMT: Geostorm; Notes: Awarded the Worst Haircut in Hollywood Award (joking, but his hair does look particularly weird in this film). Was mainly a musician from around 2000 to 2005 in bands like Saint Faith and Dilated Spies, but re-broke into acting as Jude in Across the Universe.)

Abbie Cornish – (Known For: 6 Days; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Limitless; Seven Psychopaths; RoboCop; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; Bright Star; Candy; Stop-Loss; Somersault; The Monkey’s Mask; The Girl; Future BMT: Trauma; Solace; W.E.; A Good Year; Elizabeth: The Golden Age; BMT: Sucker Punch; Geostorm; Notes: Raps under the name MC Dusk, and older sister to Isabelle Cornish who is in the new disastrous Marvel series Inhumans.)

Budget/Gross – $120 million / Domestic: $4,300,000 (Worldwide: $29,800,000)

(Unless it turns out China loooooves disaster movies (audiences there might actually) this will not even break even in the gross-equals-budget kind of way. It’ll float to something like $80 million. Turns out the biggest disaster was … this movie’s box office returns (ayoooooo))

Rotten Tomatoes (October 22, 2017)  – 11% (6/53): Lacking impressive visuals, well-written characters, or involving drama, Geostorm aims for epic disaster-movie spectacle but ends up simply being a disaster of a movie.

(Blah, not a very informative consensus. But the reviews are shockingly bad. This movie should be a prime good-for-what-it-is, and yet people just trashed it. There is some hope in the world!)

Poster – GeoSklog (C-)

geostorm

(Basically a poster that lives up to the film. Boring, terrible font, and nothing consistent to tie it together. It does tell a story, so that’s a minor plus.)

Tagline(s) – Some Things Were Never Meant to Be Controlled (C)

(Not clever enough to make up for the length. Combined with the poster it does tell a nice concise story on what to expect. All around meh for both poster and tagline, which is disappointing. Feel like they could have gone crazy with it.)

Keyword(s) – malfunction; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.7 The Apparition (2012); 64.3 Stealth (2005); 55.5 Dark Tide (2012); 49.1 Fortress 2 (2000); 36.6 Two Moon Junction (1988); 33.3 Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike (2012); 32.7 Barbarella (1968); 28.5 Igor (2008); 28.1 Phantom (I) (2013); 24.6 Surrogates (2009);

(HA. Stealth is definitely a malfunction. The only other one I think that will really be on the radar is The Apparition, and borderline Surrogates. That film was barely BMT though.)

Notes – The film underwent re-shoots under the auspices of Jerry Bruckheimer, who was brought in in a producer capacity at a very late stage. Reportedly, these extensive re-shoots, featuring new material written by Laeta Kalogridis, were helmed by ” CSI ” alumnus Danny Cannon over a two week period at a cost of $15m. (Not worth it)

Noted by several cast and crew (even the film’s extras) as being the movie where producer and lead star Gerard Butler kept forgetting all his lines. (hahahahah)

Some NASA scenes were filmed at NASA Facility in New Orleans.

Dean Devlin’s feature directorial debut. (could it be a one and done?! Prob not, he already has another film slated for next year)

The film was set for March 25, 2016 release, But later in August 2014, Warner cancelled the March 2016 date for the film, and replaced the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) with its original date. On December 11, 2014, WB shifted its live-action animated film Jungle Book: Origins to 2017 and gave its previous date October 21, 2016 to Geostorm. In September 2015, the studio again moved back the film to release on January 13, 2017. It has once again been rescheduled to an October 20, 2017 release date per its trailer on the Kong Skull Island Dvd. (Jesus Christ, that is a delay)

Originally set up at Paramount, but moved to Warner Bros. (Not a super great sign, as if companies didn’t really think it was going to make money)

The idea of catastrophic consequences of weather control by space based stations also is a major plot point in the directorial debut of Dean Devlin’s long time collaborator, Roland Emmerich, _Das Arche Noah Prinzip (1984)_.

Skydance’s 2nd project not released by Paramount. Instead, Warner Bros. Pictures will produce the film.

A game under the same name was released by developer Sticky Studios, which was featured by Apple. It keeps the same premise but follows an alternative plot where three people gather data on Earth to locate a rogue satellite. The game is a turn-based puzzler and generally has very positive reviews. (Huh … I might actually check that out)

Flatliners (2017) Recap

Jamie

Looking to scientifically explore the concept of the afterlife, a medical student, Courtney, has four of her peers stop her heart and then resuscitate her. Finding that the procedure improves her mental capacity, they each in turn try the risky procedure to deadly consequences. Can they stop the game before it’s too late? Find out in… Flatliners (2017).

What?! Courtney is a star student at the University of Anonymous Medical School. However, she is haunted (figuratively) by the death of her younger sister in a car accident caused by her own distracted driving. Looking to explore the afterlife, she recruits a few of her fellow students to help her stop her heart and then resuscitate her a minute later. When the experiment is a success and Courtney seems to gain increased mental acuity and memory (straight out of Limitless) the rest of the morons are super into the idea of almost dying too. These supernatural abilities are cool for a second, but it totally turns out that they’ve opened the door to their worst sins coming to life and trying to murder them. Uh oh! After Courtney (now literally haunted by her sister) is killed by what they had assumed were hallucinations, the rest of the dumbos realize they must apologize to those they’ve wronged or suffer the same fate. Once they go through this process they are free from their hauntings and ready to focus on what’s important: scrubbing away all evidence of their involvement in Courtney’s death (that is a real fact, the film ends with them disposing of evidence in a river… not sure what moral we are meant to learn from all this). The End.

Why?! Much like the original film each character in Flatliners has their own motivation for flatlining. Courtney claims to want to make scientific history by proving the existence of the afterlife, but we get the feeling that what she really wants is to overcome the guilt associated with the death of her sister. The next to go is Jamie who simply wants to gain worldwide fame as a Dr. Oz type television personality. Seeing how Jamie and Courtney gain special abilities from the experience, Sophia wants to go next so that she won’t struggle so much in finishing med school. Finally Marlo is just super competitive and goes last. Ray is the fifth member who doesn’t actually flatline and plays the moral compass of the group looking to make sure none of them die.

What?! I’m going to settle this score once and for all. Everyone who says that this isn’t a remake but rather a sequel hasn’t done their due diligence. Yes, Kiefer Sutherland appears in a cameo, but his name is Dr. Barry Wolfson. It’s not Nelson like in the original. “But Jamie, maybe he changed his name after the horrors of the first film.” That would be a good point if it weren’t so dumb. Why would that be the case and they end up doing nothing with it? No sly wink to Courtney/the camera. No “Be careful. Reaserch can be a real killer,” delivered with a smirk  so that all the Flatlinerheads in the cinema can get amped and cheer. Nothing. Just boring old Dr. Barry Wolfson cameoing away. This film is clearly a remake.

Who?! A little case of nepotism up in here. Avery Bederman played the younger sister of Courtney in the film and just so happens to be the daughter of executive producer Michael Bederman. While I could mention that he’s quite successful and was executive producer on Best Picture winner Spotlight, I will instead highlight that he was an uncredited line producer of one of our very favorites of 2014. That’s right! Endless Looooovveeeeeeeee. I have endless love for that book/movie/movie.

Where?! It’s a rarity for us to find a film that goes out of its way to not have a setting. The Tuxedo is a famous example where they digitally scrubbed the film of NYC references following 9/11 to avoid controversy. For Flatliners (2017) I can only presume they just didn’t want to spend the money making Toronto look like Chicago (where the original was set). Instead an unrecognizable city skyline and “Great State” license plates told us all we needed to know: welcome to the great state of Americana, where we bleed red, white, and blue and eat hot dog pie. F.

When?! Temporal settings are hard as it is, even when you have a DVD to pause. In the theater? Forget about it. It might be there, but I’ll have to wait until it’s out on DVD so I can never watch it again probably. F.

My theatrical experience was quite different from BMT Live’s of the past. That’s because my showing was absolutely packed (shocking, I know). I went on a Friday and it was filled to the brim with teenyboppers jockeying for seats next to potential beaus. Despite this, a few of them must have been paying attention because they actually chuckled at the jokes, jumped at some of the scares, and seemed to have a bit of fun. I did not. I had assumed the film was a slim 85 minutes when I entered the theater, but realized an hour in that that was an impossibility. How did you make a 110 minute long ABC television pilot of a film? How and why? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! While reflecting on the remake of Flatliners I liked to imagine the conversation Kiefer had with the writer of this film prior to signing on. Am I playing the same character? Maybe. Well, do I have the same name? Maybe. But are we shooting a scene where I’m the character from the first movie? Probably, but we’ll see if we edit it out in the end … any other questions, Kiefer? Nope, sounds chill. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake; Homework Sklog-signment) – The story is as interesting as ever, and the cast is fine (specifically Luna, Page, and, after a bit of a false start, Clemons). If the original didn’t exist it would be a forgettable albeit still terrible supernatural horror film. Nothing more. Which I guess is a positive. Since this is already a remake might as well get the review of Flatliners (1990) out of the way: I dug the Gothic look a ton, and the cast was incredible (even if the acting wasn’t always). I loved the idea … right up until they were getting haunted by spooky ghosts. There is a better story concerning doctors exploring life after death, which I guess is why Flatliners is more on the cult side of cult classics. And … why they really needed to do something new for this remake. A group of doctors one-upping themselves. Going further. Getting addicted. Breaking down psychologically, and the one that dreamt it up (and dreamt of fame) finally snapping when he realizes he’ll have to share the spotlight with those he considers less than him. Go true blue low-budget mad scientist. At least then you’d bulletproof against it being a bomb, and you don’t devolve into the supernatural (at least, when you don’t have anything new or interesting to say).

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – The supernatural part of the story is the weakest and ends up handcuffing the film into a trite jump-scare horror that is honestly not scary, not interesting, and no fun. There is also a major divergence from the original in which the doctors go a little limitless (although The Fly is what came to mind initially) after flatlining. Bullshit, people would have noticed they were geniuses after dying for a minute. A recent Sklognalogy is Godsend. Although there at least you get that awesome mad scientist character in DeNiro. Here, Page ended up dying halfway through, and wasn’t even the same kind of unhinged madman that Kiefer eventually morphed into in the original.

The BMT (Legacy; StreetCreditReport.com) – This is the second year in a row August didn’t serve up a serviceable Summer Live, but we did wait it out to get something with a truly dire Rotten Tomatoes score. We’ll see about the legacy. I think it depends on the Razzies, and it has a better chance than Mechanic Resurrection did last year of snagging a few. I think the 4% Rotten Tomatoes score speaks for itself for street cred, but there won’t be worst-of lists for a while to confirm. I’m on the edge of my seat!

I already did the Homework Sklog-signment, but I might as well give a little BMT Live Theater Review! I watched at the Cineworld on Fulham Road and, wow, what an absolutel shithole. No offense, but it is just kind of getting run down, and I have a feeling it will close soon. The Fulham Broadway Vue is way better, not to mention the enormous (and posh) Westfield Vue. Anyways, there was a surprising number of people, mostly older, one who just couldn’t figure out how not to eat popcorn ridiculously loudly. No audience reaction at all. Which for a purported horror film is not the best I think. The only really remarkable thing though is that there were (count em!) 30 minutes of commercials and trailers before the film. Mostly commercials. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten angry about that, but it was just way too many. I could have left my house after the movie started and easily got there before the movie actually started. No fun … maybe I’m getting old.

Cheerios, 

the Sklogs

Flatliners (2017) Preview

Our keen BMT instincts had us eyeing Flatliners since May for a potential Fall BMT Live! We needed something to bridge the gap between The Mummy and (hopefully) the weather disaster film Geostorm and it just didn’t seem possible that a remake of a 1990 cult classic that no one was asking for could possibly be good. Boy were we right. Taking a break from our Bring a Friend cycle we will be heading to the theater for some BMT fun. Coming into this weekend it stands as the worst reviewed major release of the year (2% on RT compared to 6% for the Rings sequel) and is everything that nobody was hoping it would be. Destined to be forgotten to the sands of time, but not to BMT, let’s get ourselves geared up for a sci fi/horror romp. We haven’t lived until we’ve died, babbbbbyyyyyyy! Let’s go!

Flatliners (2017) – BMeTric: 15.0 (October 1, 2017)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  This sort of movie can be more frustrating than a maliciously terrible or blunderingly incompetent film because at each step you can tell that everyone involved in the production sincerely believed in the material, both as raucous entertainment and as a tale of moral growth. But when the best you can say about a movie is that it means well, that’s proof that it’s not working on any level that matters.

(Just to be clear … this is a film which got 35 bad reviews in a row and sits at 2%. It is likely to be the worst reviewed film of a year that includes The Emoji Movie. Apparently a movie that merely “means well” is a movie everyone can rally behind and give uniformly bad reviews to.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1S52y5ZVlY

(I can’t tell if it is a good choice to go full horror or not. I do know that I don’t think this is a particularly interesting choice for a remake to Flatliners. Whether it is an IP grab or a legitimate choice to remake what is kind of a forgotten film of the 90s is yet to be scene, but it feels like an IP grab. Which probably means safe garbage-y horror.)

Directors – Niels Arden Oplev – (Known For: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Drømmen; Future BMT: Dead Man Down; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Danish, and that is naturally the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, not the American remake. He’s worked on several American television shows since including directing an episode of Mr. Robot.)

Writers – Peter Filardi (story by) – (Known For: Flatliners; The Craft; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: He is from a family of screenwriters including his brother and wife. Oddly hasn’t written all that much though, although he was attached to some sort of supernatural project a few years ago.)

Ben Ripley (screenplay by) – (Known For: Source Code; The Choir; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Ha, he wrote the direct-to-video sequels to Species as his first jobs for Fox! He somewhat hit it big with Source Code (his original idea) and is attached to the sequel that is in production.)

Actors – Ellen Page – (Known For: Inception; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Juno; X-Men: The Last Stand; Mercy; Hard Candy; Into the Forest; Super; The Cured; To Rome with Love; My Life as a Courgette; Whip It; Tallulah; The East; Freeheld; Smart People; Window Horses; Mouth to Mouth; The Stone Angel; Marion Bridge; Future BMT: Touchy Feely; The Tracey Fragments; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Vegan and well-known LGBT advocate having come out as gay a few years ago. In a relationship with professional surfer Samantha Jones.)

Diego Luna – (Known For: The Bad Batch; Rogue One; Elysium; Blood Father; Y Tu Mamá También; Open Range; The Terminal; The Book of Life; Frida; Milk; Contraband; Before Night Falls; Casa de mi Padre; Mister Lonely; Criminal; Rudo y Cursi; Nicotina; Future BMT: Vampires: Los Muertos; Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: A mexican actor appearing in numerous mexican films and some telenovelas. He’s started producing with his company Canana Films.)

Nina Dobrev – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Chloe; The Final Girls; Away from Her; Fugitive Pieces; How She Move; Future BMT: Barely Lethal; Let’s Be Cops; BMT: The Roommate; Flatliners; Notes: Bulgarian, although she grew up in Canada. She starred in Vampire Diaries, and has started to make the shift to major features including Bring a Friend film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $2,150,000 (Worldwide: $5,250,000) (October 1, 2017)

(That budget is … respectable actually. It won’t make it back (it is a colossal bomb already), but this now seems like a kind of shot in the dark to try and get some cheap nostalgia cash instead of a poorly thought out use of sweeeeeeeet IP.)

#58 for the Horror Remake genre (October 1, 2017)

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(Can’t really remake horror films without horror films to remake I guess. The boom in the late-00s suggest this is a very nice genre for bad movies. It seemed like it was surging again, but nay, this was the first placed in the genre in nearly two years. And it is not making much money at the moment, soooooo probably won’t help matters)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/47): Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.

(It falls flat? Really? Anyways, this is probably the worst reviewed film of the year. At least up there, sub-5% is extremely rare. I figured this film was going to be terrible because it is a terrible idea (not the killing themselves part, the part where they remake Flatliners), but I never really imagined it would get quite this bad reviews.)

Poster – Sklogliners (A-)

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(This poster is good. Seems a bit more like an art piece than a poster, but still good. Only wish the majority of the poster wasn’t so dull colorwise.)

Tagline(s) – You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Died (A)

(I would say this is a near perfect tagline. It is short, plays on a common phrase, and hints at the plot. Check marks all around. The only concern I have is that I’m not sure it captures the tone of the film, which seems to be a sci fi/horror. But hard to tell without having seen the film.)

Keyword(s) – medical student; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.0 Jason X (2001); 65.4 Valentine (2001); 54.2 Annabelle (I) (2014); 44.3 Unrest (I) (2006); 35.7 The Ruins (2008); 33.7 The Prince & Me (2004); 31.3 Victor Frankenstein (2015); 30.1 Wrong Turn (I) (2003); 29.9 Pathology (2008); 28.0 The Taking (2014);

(Awesome. Victor Frankenstein is one of those films we should have just watched and then never got around to it. I don’t think it even got any Razzie nods, which is also super weird. From everything I heard it is as bad as I, Frankenstein.)

Notes – Sequel to Flatliners (1990) which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt and William Baldwin.

With Kiefer Sutherland returning as Nelson, the same character he played in the 1990 version of the movie, makes this a sequel rather than a remake.

This movie is NOT a sequel to the 1990 movie. It is a remake, a re-imagining, or a version of the previous movie and has no other connection to it at all. Although Kiefer Sutherland appears in both versions, he plays two different characters. (See above … this production sounds very clear and coherent)

Ellen Page also voiced and motion captured the lead character Jodie Holmes from the 2013 video game Beyond: Two Souls (2013). The game explores the “infraworld” which is analogous to the world after death where the souls reside. Ellen Page’s character in the game also experiences supernatural activities and communicates with entities from the “other side.”

Avery Bederman, the daughter of one of the executive producers of the film, Michael Bederman, has a small role in this movie.

The Mummy (2017) Recap

Jamie

Second BMT Live! of the year and we got a good jump on the new Dark Universe franchise. Not as sexy, embarrassing, or unintentionally hilarious as Fifty Shades Darker, but still got some things to say. Let’s go!

What?! Nick Morton is a thief, liar, and total badass. He’s treasure hunting in war-torn Iraq (natch) when he accidentally uncovers an Egyptian mummy, Ahmanet. Instantly cursed to be Set’s human vessel in Ahmanet’s dastardly plan, Morton must join forces with Dr. Jekyll and his monster hunters to stop her. Can she be stopped before it’s too late? Find out in… The Mummy!

How?! Alright, so like a million years ago Ahmanet was all set to rule Egypt as the one and only heir to the throne. That is until her daddio knocks up one of his servants and a son is born. Infuriated, Ahmanet make a deal with the devil (Set), kills her whole family, and attempts to bring death and despair to the world. Fortunately she is stopped and buried alive far from Egypt. Millenia later our hero Nick Morton inadvertently uncovers her tomb while treasure hunting/defending America in Iraq. When a sexy archaeologist (with whom Morton has has had prior relations, natch) attempts to bring the sarcophagus back to London for study, the mummy’s curse brings the plane down. Miraculously, Nick awakens unscathed from the crash revealing that he has been cursed to be Set’s human vessel in Ahmanet’s plan (and can’t die… yet). From there a bunch of origin story bullshit happens with Dr. Jekyll, Ahmanet is captured and then not captured, and Nick Morton drops some sweet one-liners. This culminates in Ahmanet’s plan almost working only to have Nick embrace the mummy’s curse to defeat her. Now part good and part evil he is left to roam the world fighting monsters trying to find a cure for his curse. Phew.

Why?! Uh… good question. Ahmanet is fueled by rage (obvs. She’s a monster). Nick Morton is mostly out to get money (and slay the ladies), but once he becomes Ahmanet’s chosen one he kind of loses any motivation for his actions. In fact this is a device used in the film, where Nick will suddenly stare into space, flashback to Ancient Egypt, and then awaken in a new place without explanation (other than that the plot needed him to be there). Only at the end do they allow that he may have grander, more virtuous motivations in stopping Ahmanet.

Who?! We have to talk about Jake Johnson, our resident comic relief and as close as we’ve gotten to a Planchet in a while. He was… not good. Weirdly miscast and misused. He only rarely had anything to say and even more rarely was actually funny. I’m not sure what happened exactly but perhaps through rewriting the script his character was lost a little and became more of a plot device than an actually person. Otherwise we’d just have to chalk it up to a bad script. Here’s to hoping he gets a better showing next time around.

Where?! Nice settings game here. The opening flashback takes place mostly in Egypt. Then we flash forward to Iraq, where the mummy is unearthed and loaded on a cargo plane back to London. From there we get a wonderful array of London establishing shots, English bobbies, and pubs. Almost an A, but I’ll leave it at a B+. Not quite indispensable.

When?! I swear to god there is a scene at the very beginning of the film where a full date is flashed on the screen as part of a video recorder perspective shot. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of a BMT Live is my inability to go ask the projectionist to quickly rewind the film so I could see it better. I’ll give this an Incomplete as a grade. Likely a B- at best. Probably a C. Could be an F if I was mistaken.

There is no way for me to make the argument that this film is actually good. It is not. It’s like if you took just the very beginning or very end of Iron Man and stretched it to feature length. Just not a lot there but origin story and franchise building (and that’s pretty lame). But it definitely was more horror than I thought it would (which was a pleasant surprise) and it’s probably better than a Transformers film… definitely shorter. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Mummy?! More like Just Crummy?! Ayyyyyyyyooooooooooooo. Take that The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, about time someone took you down a peg. So you want to make a movie universe to print Marvel like money, here’s a little checklist: (1) Get a movie star (check, Tom Cruise, killing it), (2) find some sweet IP that you own and serves a lucrative niche audience (nostalgia for Universal’s monster universe, the general boom of monster films, sounds good to me, check), (3) literally just make a Marvel movie … uh let’s get into it.

The Good (BMT Dream Journal) – I dug the bits that came across as spooky scary. The mummy sucking the life out of bobbies in jolly ole England creating a creepy zombie army? Digging it. I even could kind of get into the Dr. Jekyll as the head honcho of the Monster killers thing. Everything was there to set up a universe I cared about. I can’t really do any of these guys because, well … there is going to be a sequel, and this is a remake. So how about a little BMT Dream Journal of what I hope for this franchise moving forward: stop making these action films. They worked perfectly fine as a kind of pop-horror franchise and served a kind of cool idea: Big budget films which take the horror formula to general audience appeal. I dig it.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Yikes. This film is hacked to pieces. It is written by like twenty people and it shows. Jake Johnson feels so out of place (I love him, but whenever he pops up it is like I’m in a different movie). It is 95% exposition and flashback. And you often feel like they kind of get bored with what they are doing so they trigger a Tom-Cruise-Is-In-A-Dream sequence and throw you in a totally new place without explanation. It is not a good movie. The sin is Greed. They wanted the Dark Universe so badly they couldn’t step back and make sure things were done right when the directors started dropping out. The result is a mess, but …

The BMT: Legacy – Here I’ll mention that I don’t think this film was irrecoverably bad. People are discussing it as if this is somehow a death knell for the Dark Universe. It is the second attempt at a start after Dracula Untold (which immediately became non-canon after it bombed), and while I haven’t seen that one, this was a promising enough start I don’t think it is an issue it bombed. It is like the DC Cinematic Universe, it takes a bit to start a universe out of nothing it seems. It isn’t a death knell, but it does put the universe on red alert. It needs to find its Wonder Woman soon, figure out the tone it will use throughout the attached films, and move into a place where a film a year is possible. We’ll see. I have hope. And I hope the legacy of The Mummy in BMT is that it was a weird footnote in a decent pop-Horror franchise, but I now like horror films, and the idea of pop-horror is cool to me.

Close with a little BMT Homework Assignment. I watched the original 1932 Mummy film with Boris Karloff. The film itself is brilliant, with a very cool story involving Imhotep being resurrected and then attempting to resurrect his lover Ankh-es-en-amon with a backdrop of British colonialism / archeology in 1930s Egypt. I would have said this story would have made much more sense for 2017’s The Mummy … but apparently that is the plot of 1999s The Mummy with Brendan Fraser … so yeah can’t really do that again. Cheerios and back to you Jamie.

The Mummy (2017) Preview

You’ve been waiting with bated breathe. You might have thought that King Arthur, Pirates, or Baywatch would have hit the mark and made it through. But no! We knew that something even worse reviewed was on the horizon… we just thought it would have been Transformers. That’s right! We’re watching our boy Tommy Cruise in the latest iteration of The Mummy for BMT Live! It’s the second of 2017 (after Fifty Shades Darker) and far less embarrassing to go see by myself. Ever since I saw it’s I, Frankenstein-esque trailers I had held out some thin hope that it might qualify. Little did I know that it would settle at a stunning and unexpected 17% on RT. Oh, I’m excited. Let’s go!

The Mummy (2017) – BMeTric: 24.4 (June 11, 2017)

TheMummy_BMeT

TheMummy_RV

(I do love big film like this. It starts at over 8.0 … how does that happen? Who are the mega-fans of the Universal Dark Universe? With Warcraft it is a bit understandable, but this kind of suggests that a little digital manipulation has been happening by studios. That’s my thought anyways. It’ll bounce back up to around 6.0 I think, but ultimately the BMeTric will remain high because it’ll have like 100K votes. A popular below-average film through and through. NOTE: This plot was updated on August 12, 2017)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Perhaps I’m becoming jaded in my old age, but I was more amused than appalled. The Morton character is admittedly more of a callow nothingburger than any [Cruise]’s played. And given how the movie ends I’m a little disappointed that he wasn’t named Larry Talbot. But who knows, maybe he’ll be obliged to change it for the next installment. Which I am looking forward to, out of nothing but base curiosity.

(Not a too scathing review, even if it doesn’t match the awful 1.5 stars the reviewer gave it in the end. I had to look up Talbot (he’s the Wolfman), so … spoiler alert? Actually I doubt that is a spoiler since, I believe, Cruise is supposed to be a novel character that ties all of the franchises together, possibly Van Helsing (ultimately).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjHgzkQM2Sg

(Tom Cruise loves his stunts. Two takeaways from this trailer: (1) They repeated his weird scream twice in the airplane scene and it throws me off; (2) I thought this was a terrible trailer which gives the opposite impression you would hope. Universal monsters aren’t action stars. They are supposed to be spooky scary. This trailer makes it abundantly clear they felt the need to “update” the stories to make them action films. They did not. And based on the reviews that decision seems like it didn’t work out.)

Directors – Alex Kurtzman – (Known For: People Like Us; BMT: The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; Notes: His first major directoral job … and it is meant to launch a universe. A producer and writer mostly, he stepped in after the first two directors dropped out very close to when production was meant to start.)

Writers – David Koepp (screenplay) – (Known For: Jurassic Park; Spider-Man; Mission: Impossible; War of the Worlds; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Panic Room; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Carlito’s Way; Death Becomes Her; Secret Window; Premium Rush; Stir of Echoes; Snake Eyes; Ghost Town; Bad Influence; The Trigger Effect; The Paper; Apartment Zero; Future BMT: The Shadow; Inferno; Dark Angel; Toy Soldiers; Angels & Demons; BMT: The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Mission: Impossible in 1997; Notes: A titan. Born in Wisconsin and went to UCLA. Hugely influenced by Raiders of the Lost Ark, and wrote the fourth Indiana Jones installment and is currently working on the fifth.)

Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay) – (Known For: The Usual Suspects; Edge of Tomorrow; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Jack Reacher; Valkyrie; Jack the Giant Slayer; The Way of the Gun; Public Access; Future BMT: The Tourist; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Kind of incredible story: bummed around teaching in places like Perth, Australia and working as a security guard. Was childhood friends with Bryan Singer and that’s how he broke into the industry, ultimately winning an academy award for The Usual Suspects.)

Dylan Kussman (screenplay) – (BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Half of these people are semi-connected to Tom Cruise. This guy acted in Jack Reacher and is, indeed, mostly an actor. Lives in Tennessee of all places.)

Jon Spaihts (screen story by) – (Known For: Prometheus; Doctor Strange; Future BMT: The Darkest Hour; Passengers; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Interesting that he helped write Doctor Strange. Will be writing the upcoming Van Helsing movie as well. Passengers was on the 2007 Blacklist as a promising screenplay as well. He is an alum of Princeton.)

Alex Kurtzman (screen story by) – (Known For: Transformers; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness; Mission: Impossible III; The Island; Cowboys & Aliens; People Like Us; Future BMT: The Legend of Zorro; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; BMT: The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; Notes: Our director, who is indeed mostly a screenwriter. Well known for his collaboration with Roberto Orci, a partnership which has since dissolved, although both are producers on this movie and still work together outside of feature screenwriting.)

Jenny Lumet (screen story by) – (Known For: Rachel Getting Married; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: She has almost no credits which is interesting. Daughter of Sidney Lumet! And also was married to Bobby Cannavale for nearly ten years.)

Actors – Tom Cruise – (Known For: Top Gun; The Outsiders; Edge of Tomorrow; Tropic Thunder; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Oblivion; Eyes Wide Shut; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Minority Report; A Few Good Men; Knight and Day; Jack Reacher; Legend; Mission: Impossible; Mission: Impossible III; Collateral; Jerry Maguire; Magnolia; The Last Samurai; War of the Worlds; Future BMT: Days of Thunder; Losin’ It; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Lions for Lambs; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Endless Love; Cocktail; The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; and Nominated for Worst Actor in 1989 for Cocktail; and in 2006 for War of the Worlds; Notes: Noted scientologist and one of the last in a dying breed of genuine charming movie stars. There isn’t much I could tell most people about Cruise, so I’ll leave it with this: I would watch Jack Reacher all day. Fact.)

Sofia Boutella – (Known For: Atomic Blonde; Star Trek Beyond; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Tiger Raid; StreetDance 2; Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest; Future BMT: Monsters: Dark Continent; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: She has a very distinctive accent having been born in Algeria and grown up in France. She is a classically trained dancer.)

Annabelle Wallis – (Known For: X: First Class; Body of Lies; Come and Find Me; Future BMT: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; Annabelle; Sword of Vengeance; Grimsby; Mine; W.E.; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Apparently her role in Peaky Blinders snagged her the role in this movie. Niece of the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris. We’ll see her later in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword I’m sure.)

Budget/Gross – $125 million / Domestic: $12,000,000 (Worldwide: $151,000,000)

(Obviously this only counts a few days of its run (reflective when I snagged this particular piece of information). It is doing well enough worldwide to make people pause a bit. It is an utter disaster domestically … but like Pirates of the Caribbean 5 it is looking like foreign box office is saving it a bit.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (32/186): Lacking the campy fun of the franchise’s most recent entries and failing to deliver many monster-movie thrills, The Mummy suggests a speedy unraveling for the Dark Universe.

(Brutal reviews. Reading through them they aren’t nearly as bad as that rating suggested, but the consensus does hint that it is forgettable and boring. Not great. Maybe there will be just enough monster-movie thrills? … Give me one monster-movie thrill, please.)

Poster – We Landed Tom Cruise! (C+)

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(Tom Cruise is… The Mummy. Not loving the droll colors here and Cruise is obviously a little prominent for a mummy movie. It’s basically the opposite of the Bredan Fraser poster that has a giant mummy head and pyramids on it. This one looks like a Jack Reacher film set in London. Points for font, artistry, and spacing.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters (F)

(Oh no! No! Don’t do this to me. A CEO says this at a ribbon cutting ceremony at a newly opened theme park. It’s not a tagline for an actual film.)

Keyword(s) – bare chested male; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.1 Disaster Movie (2008); 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.5 Gigli (2003); 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.1 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.3 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.7 Crossroads (I) (2002); 86.4 The Love Guru (2008);

(Yeeessssss of course we are doing a full movie marathon with this keyword. Crossroads?! Street Fighter?! Fifty Shades?! Speed 2: Cruise Control?! It has got something for everyone! It’s fun for the whole family!)

Notes – It is intended to be the first installment in a possible Universal Monsters shared universe AKA “Dark Universe”.

The movie introduces Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, which will set up the character for a standalone film in Universal’s monster universe. (Maybe ill-advised. It is interesting trying to set up films based around monsters … since they aren’t heroes. I hope they aren’t marching towards a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen remake.)

The zero gravity scene took 64 takes and was shot for 2 days in a falling plane. Reportedly, a lot of the crew got nauseous during the scene and vomited, except for the main stars Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis, who were really proud of the stunt.

The Book of Amun-Ra from the previous movie-franchise is briefly seen falling down on the floor during a fight sequence. (People use this to claim the two franchises exist in the same world. They don’t … although bringing back Fraser would be kind of funny)

Sofia Boutella’s character is named Princess Ahmanet, which is similar (but not related) to Amunet, a primordial Ancient Egyptian goddess that was the consort of the deity Amun.

Javier Bardem, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Eddie Redmayne were all considered to play Dr. Henry Jekyll before Russell Crowe was cast in the role. Bardem was then cast as Frankenstein’s Monster. (Oh, I was going to say Bardem would have been a good choice. You’d have to hulkify the other two which would be a little League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as I mentioned before).

Alex Kurtzman did state that there’s no post end credit scene because that’s Marvel’s domain. (No it ain’t bro, but at the same time I don’t care)

When Jake Johnson was offered his part in the movie, he loved the idea and the opportunity to work with Tom Cruise, so he signed on immediately. However, when he read the full script and learned what stunts he was expected to do, he admitted to getting cold feet.

The film was partially filmed in London, England, with shooting taking place in July 2016. (Wooooooooooooo, settings 101 here we come)

The film’s original plot is set in Iraq and follows a Navy SEAL and his team that battle Mummies led by Ashurbanipal. (Wow, that sounds awful)

When Universal was planning their Dark Universe franchise they originally envisioned Dracula Untold (2014) as the first installment with this film being the second. That film ended with Dracula in modern day times while the Master Vampire “Let the games begin” in a very obvious set up for future installments. There was early talk about Dracula appearing in this film. However, as this film progressed it was cited as the first in the Dark Universe leaving the earlier movie to exist on its own. While Dracula director Gary Shore said he hoped the possibility that his film would join the universe was left open Mummy director Alex Kurtzman said it would not be canon. (Ha. I was wondering whether I had some homework to do … turns out nope)

Fifty Shades Darker Recap

Jamie

What?! After their “dramatic” break-up in the first film, Christian Grey realizes that he can’t live without Anastasia Steele. Promising to give up his S&M lifestyle they get back together. Can they make it work? Find out in… Fifty Shades Darker… seriously, that’s all this is about.

Why?! Mostly it’s because Christian Grey is a broken, lonely man who needs to learn to love and he feels like Anastasia Steele is the first thing in his life that truly gives him that opportunity. As for Anastasia it’s oddly about taking control of her life and becoming more assertive about what she wants personally and professionally in part by giving into her desires with Christian (bit of a contradiction, no?). By setting her ground rules and allowing herself to do what she wants, she unshackles herself from societal norms and flies fr… blech… sorry, I just puked all over myself.

How?! Imagine just watching a couple people dating for two hours. That’s this movie. They just go on dates and stuff. Incredibly dramatic things happen to them (she almost gets raped, he is involved in a helicopter crash, she is held at gunpoint by a crazy former lover of Christian’s) and yet five seconds after these things happen they are forgotten and we continue to watch them argue casually over wine. There was a moment where they were having dinner where I actually thought, “Imagine if this never ended? That I had to sit here watching these two boring people go to dinner over and over again.” A cold shiver ran down my spine. That’s how mundane it all was. So yeah… that’s “how” it all went down. Oh, and they got engaged in the end. That was the climax (sigh, I feel like I can’t even celebrate that pun). Thank God the music was dope.

Who?! Ha! Just thinking about a version of this film that included a Planchet is amusing to me. Like if Christian Grey’s chauffeur Taylor was some chubby, bumbling fool that is the brunt of Christian’s constant chiding. That would be cool. As it is, there is no Planchet. So just gonna shout out my girl Kim Basinger. It’s a crime her role is so small this time around, but I heard it’s bigger in 2018’s future BMT film Fifty Shades Freed. Things are looking up for 2018!

Where?! If you didn’t know (but who doesn’t at this point) these books started as Twilight fan fiction. Accordingly, this film takes place in Seattle, Washington. Most notable Anastasia works at SIP, Seattle Independent Press. Also, the Space Needle is basically a character in the film given how many times we see it in establishing shots. B

When?! The major downside of BMT Live! is the inability to try to figure out exactly when the film takes place by analyzing the film frame-by-frame Zapruder-style. One would think that it’s immediately following the last film. It’s implied that they actually didn’t break up for all that long, so probably June right after graduating. This is supported by E.L. James’ assertion that Christian’s birthday is June 18th (perhaps detailed specifically in the book?), so basically they broke up for two weeks, she started her job, and then like two weeks later they got back together and got engaged. The thing that really shoots this in the foot is that you can see Christmas decorations on store windows when they’re walking around Seattle. Come on, guys. Think about the poor children trying to piece this timeline together. Think of the children! D-

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Fifty Shades Darker?! More like Fifty More Movies please! Not really, one more movie exactly please (I feel strangely sad when movie series get cut short, plus the third is already filmed). We had a night at the movies. Was it an entertaining girls night (and Patrick!) night on the town!? Or was it so awkward I wondered if I perhaps had stumbled into a British comedy series?! Spoiler alert: I’ve never been so uncomfortable in my life. Let’s go!

  • The Good – The music was jamalaming. The film makes you think … more on that later. Dakota Johnson is a fine actress and does an admirable job. I don’t exactly remember the first movie, I know it happened to me but almost no details beyond that there was a sex contract, but I do know the sex scenes in this one came a lot faster and furiouser which I’m sure satisfied many of the target audience in attendance in my sparsely populated theater.
  • The Bad – Dornan is straight awful. Kim Basinger was given way too little to do (I nearly forgot she was in this). Oh, and literally nothing happens in the film. Basically she dumped his ass in the first film, and he comes back being like “You’re so plain I love you so much, I need you, I’m a billionaire” and then they date for a while. There is a stalker but that is dispatched quickly. Anastasia’s boss goes from zero to rape in 1.5 seconds, which was alarming. And Dornan get paid to look like a complete asshole for two hours. All in all it was a perplexing and yet fascinating time.
  • The BMT – Yes. I’m actually pretty sure this is the worst film of the year. I think it is. It is polished, it looks great, it has some decent acting here and there, but it is also boring, and yet consistently and often humorously terrible. I feel like I need to watch this film again, which makes me uncomfortable to my core. If that isn’t a 80+ BMeTric I’m not sure what is. I’m drawn to it like a fly into an electric fly zapper.

Oh my favorite of all the games: BMT Live! Theater Experience. So basically my plan of action for this film was to show up 15 after the official showtime to ensure the theater is dark, and sit near the exit. Great plan in theory. What actually happened was that the theater was still quite bright when I then very conspicuously entered and sat approximately 40 feet from everyone else. Also, since I was right near the exit anyone who entered after me would go around this little wall and kind of come face-to-face with creeper #1 sitting there like a creeper. Once the movie kicked off the rowdiness was sadly kept to a minimum, but I did indeed manage to bolt out of the theater and around the corner before, I think, anyone else even had a chance to get their things. It is the small victories I savor. This was bar-none the most awkward theater experience of my life. As I sat there it was almost a religious experience. A pariah, alone and consuming delights not meant for me. Reacting with disgust, but was it meant to evoke lust or joy? I would not know, for I was not the intended audience. This is something I do love with BMT in a bizarre way, particularly with Madea films. Watching something not meant for me. Wondering if what I was experiencing was intended in any way by the creators. In this case, I don’t think so, this was one for the ladies. Get yo movies, ladies. BMT Live!

Cheerios, 

The Sklogs