After We Fell Recap

Jamie

After is back, Jack! And boy are these jokesters in love. Tessa and Hardin are totally into each other. But now Tessa is moving to Seattle and Hardin is super jelly all the time. Add to the mix some more of their tumultuous personal lives and things are pretty rough. Can they stay super steamy in love with each other before it’s too late? Find out in… After We Fell.

How?! Tessa and Hardin are sticking by each other even though Hardin is an alcoholic and they basically don’t talk to each other. They just f-f-f-f-french all night. Tessa is even keeping secret that she is transferring to Seattle in order to stay in school while taking the job at the Big Publishing House (BPH). When Hardin finds out he’s like “but I won’t have any friends,” and he’s right, he won’t. He thought they were heading off to London, but she’s like whatever, I’m going to Seattle. In the meanwhile her estranged alcoholic father comes and stays with them and strikes up a friendship with Hardin. Before moving to Seattle, Tessa and Hardin go to his Dad’s lake house and it’s real sexy until it’s not sexy at all and they get in a big ol’ fight, but everyone knows they are meant for each other. Tessa moves to Seattle and is a real saddo and Hardin finds a journal she left behind that explains to him just how much of a dick he was. Communication! He spends time bettering himself by making friends and getting into boxing and helping out her dad. Hardin comes and apologizes for all the pain he caused her, but for some reason he can’t get over a nightmare he had of Tessa cheating on him. They talk and have steamy sex and he like “you’re right, dreams aren’t real.” He decides to take her to his Mom’s wedding (which he didn’t even want to go to) and while there finds Tessa’s boss, Vance, totally f-f-f-f-frenching his mom (probably shouldn’t have went). After Hardin confronts his Mom, Vance decides the best course of action is to reveal that he’s actually Hardin’s daddio because that’ll probably help a bunch. Hardin and Tessa kiss because they only have each other and their love. THE END.

Why?! Love.

Who?! In what will likely be debated for centuries to come, there is a Jeff Bezos lookalike/cameo in this film that has all the bad movie twins abuzz. Patrick wondered how they got Bezos to even appear. I scoffed at the idea that that was Bezos and in fact just assumed they got a random bald man to get people to ask the question “wait, is that Jeff Bezos?” Point in my favor: why would Bezos be in this film? Point in Patrick’s favor: set in Seattle, so maybe? Wrong, filmed in Bulgaria. Conclusion: no way that was Jeff Bezos.

What?! Patrick was reminiscing about his sweet Sainsbury’s that he’s already mentioned. I will concur that it is fun when a product placement isn’t really seen, but is such a staple of a location that the mere mention is enough to transport the viewer from Bulgaria to London. Movie magic. Really the most prominent product placement is for safe sex. Good on Tessa and Hardin practicing it in a variety of ways throughout the film: condom, morning after pill, birth control. 

Where?! Much like all romantic films of this era, this film takes place in Washington state. It’s basically the triad of modern romance: Bad Boys, Publishing, and Washington State. Not totally sure how publishing even got in there since this all seems to stem from Twilight where Bella wanted to be a [checks notes] wife of a vampire when she grew up… or I guess never grew up or whatever. Got a dash of London in there. Pretty good. B+.

When?! It appears to take place mostly in the Spring because Hardin eventually attempts to transfer to be closer to Tessa but is told he can’t do it because he is too close to graduating. This is more certain with the context of the previous entry in the series, which took place around Xmas and the New Years, so it would seem Tessa’s transfer does occur after holiday break and most of the events of this film is in that second semester. C

I love franchises! It’s kinda my thing now. I’m the franchise guy who loves franchises. I want Tom Cruise to come back and make another Mummy (have I mentioned that before?). And so when we saw that the After franchise keeps on keeping on I was thrilled. The first one was kinda dumb, but any high school or college rom com/dram has a kernel of fun. The shared experience of youth, etc. etc. And then the second one was surprisingly good. Like all about Hardin being tragic and an alcoholic and everyone (rightfully) telling Tessa that it probably won’t work out and she’s going to be hurt and yet they try to make it work like so many people do. It felt real. After We Fell reverted so fast to the immaturity of the first one that it went all the way past it and became an actually bad movie. Hardin and Tessa don’t communicate and instead have what is best described as fake steamy sex in a series of places that no one actually has sex. A boxing gym, a hot tub, and even using ice cubes as an accoutrement. It was all so cartoonish. He’s getting super jelly all the time in over the top ways, while she gets offended when Hardin rightfully says that it’s going to be hard for him to move to Seattle where he doesn’t know anyone and would only have her and be sad. And instead of working that out he’s eventually like “You’re right, I should move to Seattle and you’ll be my entire life.” Gah! It’s a frustrating film and I don’t really see how the fourth isn’t going to be just as frustrating… oh you didn’t know there is going to be a fourth? There is. And apparently a fifth and a prequel. Nevermind! I’m back in! Franchises! As for Woman in the Window, I’ll keep it brief. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as it was made out to be. Sure it’s tedious and the plot is well worn territory, but the same kind of goes for the book. I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t blow my socks off and I’m not surprised a straight adaptation didn’t surpass it in quality. The movie did have some interesting directorial choices and some good acting, even in the extreme. I guess Patrick is the better judge since he didn’t read the book. I think that may have colored the reviews in some ways. Patrick?

Patrick

Hello everyone! We got drama! We got bad boys! We got bad boys punching four or five people in the face and being like “I’m so broken, fix me”! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – You better believe this qualifies … barely. It basically didn’t. It was, in reality, released to a few hundred theaters a few months ago. But for one day only it was expanded to 1200 theaters. This is probably some contractual arrangement, but that’s all you need. You just need a maximum of 600+ theaters and more than five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with <40% average. So here we go again. What were my expectations? Uh … bad sex scenes, bad boys punching people, and me remembering why romdrams aimed squarely for that Wattpad fanfic audience are excellently weird bad movies.

The Good – I can’t really explain it, but I really like the main actress in these films. There is just something about her in that why-isn’t-this-a-CW-show kind of way. And I’m going to be honest, that is the only actually good thing about the films. I enjoy Hardin punching multiple people, which is absurd, but it is in no way a good thing, just highly amusing. Best Bit: Langford and it isn’t even close really.

The Bad – This might be the one that jumps the shark for the series. Nothing happens in this film. They don’t really trust each other, but that was already established. The new bit is that she kind of moves to Seattle. They are both still fabulously wealthy (or inexplicably know multiple people who are fabulously wealthy). And I have to say it, this has two of the grossest sex scenes I’ve ever seen put to film. Having sex in your family’s hot tub? Gross. Having sex (as a house guest) in the home gym? Double gross. Just disgusting. Fatal Flaw: Not only are the sex scenes boring, they are also, routinely, disgusting.

The BMT – Why can’t I quit you weird romdrams? They are my shame. I have to watch all of these now. Wattpad is my new favourite production company. But … this isn’t a very good BMT film. This ain’t no Fifty Shades. This wishes it was that. This isn’t even After. I expect better. So next time, when I definitely watch the sequel next year, I expect more After. I’ll be waiting. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I got multiple punches by a bonafide bad boy. That is enough to sustain me, but I expect more next time from you After. Bring me that drama.

Roast-radamus – Right at the last second a great Product Placement (What?) for Sainsbury’s while they are in London. And a decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Seattle I think, complete with either Jeff Bezos or a Jeff Bezos lookalike at a party for Vance Publishing, they must be a big deal. This is tough … like do I love this film? Do I hate it? It feels like it is a Bad film because it is, in reality, boring with far too little drama to make up for the thinnest of all possible plots.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – This is tough since there is already a sequel and prequel in the works … I think our only option is a BMT Crossover Episode. And this is going to be a special one. I think we need to assemble the bad boy Avengers. Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember, David Elliot from Endless Love, and Kelley Morse from Here on Earth show up just as Tessa and Hardin land from England. “Hardin, I think we’re going to need your help.” They are part of an elite teen romance punching crew, and you know they are bad boys with hearts of gold. They need to infiltrate a fraternity at the University of Washington, and they need Hardin’s experience with both fraternities and punching. He broods a bunch and secretly reads poetry but also drinks a bunch and the frat bros are like “this guy is deep, we need him in the frat.” And he’s in! In the end they find out the frat is a front for a secret society, and what are they hiding in the basement? None other than Luke McNamara, the Nick Fury of H.O.G. (Hearts of Gold). After springing him he calls on The Skulls to destroy the frat, and slips Hardin a note. “I’m going to call on you again Hardin … you have one of the most powerful hearts of gold I’ve ever seen.” Bad Boys Assemble: Hearts of Gold.

Patrick’s IMDb Trivia Section – A new section for those weeks where I haven’t schooled myself in anything! If you’ve ever read IMDb’s trivia section you’ll know that it can get a little weird. He’s my entry for After We Fell. Trivia: When in London Hardin’s mother suggests he go to Sainsbury’s to get something to eat. Sainsbury’s is one of the most popular grocery stores in the United Kingdom with over 1400 locations in all four countries. Other possible places for Hardin to go would be Tesco, which has over 4000 locations, M&S and Whole Foods (given that they are in London). Hardin doesn’t want to cook, so Iceland would be a poor choice as they specialize in frozen foods. God, I love it. I love it so much I’m going to throw in a bonus Goof: When talking with Vance in the hotel bar at the end of the film Vance can clearly be seen drinking a regular US pint of beer. In England you would either have a larger (~568ml) imperial pint, or a smaller half pint. Took me right out of the film.

Bring a Friend Analysis – For the friend this week we watched Woman in the Window. This was a two sided coin for me. On the one hand, I found the film very difficult to get through. It just felt very long and it all felt like very well-worn territory from much better films. On the other hand, as a person who watched Ice Road on a whim, I do like cheesy thrillers. And by the time they do finally get to the big reveal near the end I was pretty interested in seeing the conclusion to the story. One major issue though … I knew what was going to happen literally five minutes into the film. The instant the kid showed up I was like “he’s the killer and her family is dead.” He hadn’t even killed anyone yet! Well, I guess he had in Boston, but I didn’t know that. So I would say it is a decent enough thriller, beautifully shot, with great set design, and some great performances. If you don’t mind it being extremely rote and easy to predict if you’ve seen any thrillers in your life, then I think it is worth a watch B-.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

After We Fell Quiz

Oh man, so here’s the thing. I was in a basic vanilla relationship with this bad boy, and he was so totally bad (but secretly good, you know?). Then he accidentally bopped me on the head during a bar fight (so sexy) and now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in After We Fell?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where is Tessa going which she failed to mention to Hardin? Why? And where did Hardin want to go instead?

2) What book does Tessa pick up while packing that results in a pretty emotional montage?

3) Why does Tess get all mad at Hardin about the job in Seattle?

4) When Tessa goes to Seattle where does she stay?

5) Tess’s father breaks into Hardin’s house. Why? What does Hardin give him?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we see Hardin intensely boxing when he is approached by a mysterious person. Who?

Answers

After We Fell Preview

It was all so hard to comprehend. Could it be that they could be scapegoated as the bad guys in an effort to continue the never ending cycle of BMT? That someday they’d be laughing it up in their villa in Stockholm or Athens or Mozambique or wherever and suddenly a couple of new, rad Bad Movie Twins would twin chop them down to take their place? “It’s… impossible!” Jamie screams again in anguish, but he and Patrick also know that there was truth there. Things had gotten so… complicated. Deep down they could feel that Lou Cash was right. They solemnly nod their heads and quickly jot down a note for Kyle and Rachel. “Give this to them when the time is right,” Patrick explains and Lou Cash says he will. Jamie and Patrick predator high five in case it’s the last time they’ll ever get a chance and climb into the Deconvoluting Machine. As it powers on, things warp and change around them. One second they are children and the next old men. Their lives and all their many future lives flash before their eyes. Fighting Scott Bakula, winning the 2033 Nobel Peace Prize, working Predator Patrol, exploring Mars, and walking the sands of the wastelands of the BMTverse. Tears stream down their faces as they realize the knife’s edge they had been walking, the horror of where they were heading and yet always keeping at bay the chaos that is the ultimate product of the power of the Dongle. The feeling was that of riding a rocket into space, their bodies pushed against their seats to the point of near unconsciousness. And just when it felt like they would succumb to the pressure… they fell. That’s right! We were very happy to see that the After franchise continued this year with the third in the series After We Fell. It’s the story of a love and honestly I remember kinda liking the second entry. Somehow it managed a very brief wide release in theaters so we thought it would be fun to pair it up with Woman in the Window as Bring a Friend. That film was meant to be a wide release film, but ultimately after a number of reshoots it was released to Netflix instead. Let’s go!

After We Fell (2021) – BMeTric: 51.9; Notability: 16

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 11.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, Home Sweet Home Alone, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Misfits, Spiral, The Unholy, Tom and Jerry; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Dear Evan Hansen, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, The Starling, Thunder Force, The Unforgivable, Reminiscence, The Birthday Cake, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, and 9 more; Notes: Yeeeeeeeeeeah. The BMeTric is becoming slightly more important from a bad movie perspective as so many films don’t qualify, but are major releases. Impressive 0%, and impressive this actually did get released (for one day) at over 600 theaters.

AV Club – D –  For those keeping track at home, we’re now three installments deep into a franchise that started as One Direction fan fiction before morphing into a sort of Fifty Shades Of Grey for teenagers. … The problem is that most of After We Fell is too boring to even lend itself to mockery. The movie comes close to the right lack of self-awareness in a scene where Hardin watches in increasing sexual fervor as Tessa does some basic white girl hip-swaying at an office party. But you’ve got to sit through an awful lot of stilted scene work to get there.

(Boring isn’t good. But jokes on them, I love this kind of garbage and I’m also in too deep. I’ve seen the other two and I would watch a season of After webisodes if they were served to me in a convenient manner. I mean, I wouldn’t pay for them, but I would secretly watch them and then tell my wife about them for an hour one night when I got drunk. That would happen.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYdNN6C9hfI/

(Man that seems dramatic. Glad to see Hardin still punching people. Such a bad boy. So broken. So sexy.)

DirectorsCastille Landon – ( Known For: Fear of Rain; BMT: After We Fell; Notes: She appears to be a major director for the new Wattpad film studio. She is slated to direct Perfect Addiction, about a boxing trainer who trains her ex-boyfriend’s foe after she learns her ex cheated on her. She is also directing the next two After sequels and the prequel.)

WritersAnna Todd – ( Known For: After We Collided; BMT: After We Fell; After; Notes: The writer of the book which was originally One Direction fanfiction on Wattpad which makes sense that it is part of Wattpad Productions. Is Wattpad Productions the house that After built? Probably.)

Sharon Soboil – ( BMT: After We Fell; Notes: Also wrote the sequel. Has another film in production called Of Corset’s Mine.)

ActorsJosephine Langford – ( Known For: After We Collided; Moxie; Future BMT: Wish Upon; BMT: After We Fell; After; Notes: Australian, her sister is also an actress and was the star of 13 Reasons Why. Is in the next film, but doesn’t seem to be contracted for the other two (and I don’t know if her character is necessarily in those).)

Hero Fiennes Tiffin – ( Known For: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; After We Collided; The Silencing; Private Peaceful; Bigga Than Ben; BMT: After We Fell; After; Notes: Yup, he’s the nephew of Ralph Fiennes. He is also not contracted for the other two films, so I assume it follows a different After Cinematic Universe story of some kind. He’s slated for a few films which sound like direct-to-Netflix fare.)

Louise Lombard – ( Known For: After We Collided; Hidalgo; Tale of the Mummy; My Kingdom; Lichnyy nomer; BMT: After We Fell; Notes: Ah, she plays Hardin’s mother. I’m pretty surprised she is a bit part of this one. She was a British star to some degree it looks like, starring in The House of Eliott.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $2,170,750 (Worldwide: $21,782,642)

(That is a lot more money than I expected. I think Wattpad Productions will be okay …)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/11)

(Ooooo I get to make a consensus: A boring barely-movie with boring sex. Uh-oh … that seems bad.)

Reviewer Highlight: Should come with a warning to viewers: contains extremely boring sex. – Cath Clarke, Guardian

Poster – After We Smelled

(I was hoping they would return to the form of the first film and give us an ultra sexy poster. But alas, just a poster smeared with Vaseline. Font is the only thing I’m digging and doesn’t nearly approach the hilarity of this alternate poster for the second film.)

Tagline – None.

(F obviously. And no, I don’t consider ‘Based on the Best-Selling Worldwide Phenomenon’ a tagline cause that would still be an F.)

Keyword(s) – based-on-young-adult-novel

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Hunger Games (2012), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), After We Fell (2021)

Future BMT: 43.9 Allegiant (2016), 38.0 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), 37.3 Chaos Walking (2021), 37.1 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), 33.8 How to Deal (2003), 30.4 Mortal Engines (2018), 27.7 The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015), 14.5 If I Stay (2014)

BMT: After We Fell (2021), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), I Am Number Four (2011), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Host (2013), The 5th Wave (2016), Vampire Academy (2014), The Darkest Minds (2018), Beastly (2011)

Matches: None

(The no matches would be expected haha. God there are so many still to do. How to Deal seems exciting. The plot is awesome, just nothing prior to 2000 (was there no designation or something?). And the genre died, although I would guess that it has just moved to streaming in general. You will be sorely missed, but maybe Wattpad can save it! I hope so, these films are hilarious.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Stephen Moyer is No. 7 billed in After We Fell and No. 10 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (7 + 10) + (3 + 1) = 21. If we were to watch The Replacement Killers we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, After We Fell (2021) was shot back to back with the final film After Ever Happy (2022) in Sofia, (Bulgaria) as opposed to Atlanta, Georgia (USA) where the first 2 movies were filmed. Sofia was chosen due to low cases and was considered Covid safe at the time.

Stephen Moyer replaces Charlie Weber as Christian Vance. Mira Sorvino replaces Selma Blair as Carol Young. Chance Perdono replaces Shane Paul McGhie as Landon. Arielle Kebbel replaces Candace King as Kimberley. (This might get confusing)

Hard to Kill Recap

Jamie

Mason Storm is… hard to kill. That’s right! After an attempt on his life kills his wife and leaves him in a coma, things are looking bleak for Mason. But seven years later he’s awake and ready to take out the scumbags that are trying to finish the job. Can he get the baddies (and maybe even reconnect with his son) before it’s too late? Find out in… Hard to Kill.

How?! Mason Storm is a police officer extraordinaire (and Academy Awards aficionado) hot on the trail of a corrupt bigwig looking to use the mob to take out a political opponent. After fleeing with evidence of the plot, Mason is ambushed at home. His wife is killed, his son flees into the night, and Mason is left in a coma. Knowing that he’s a target, a friend of Storm’s help fake his death and keep him safe at the obviously not fake LA Coma Center. Seven Oscar ceremonies later and Mason awakens to a changed world… mostly changed by the fact that a hot nurse is now super into him. Nice. The nurse, Andy, tries to contact Mason’s friend but inadvertently alerts a group of corrupt cops that Mason is alive and awake. They storm the hospital, but even in his weakened state Mason is able to escape with the help of Andy. She takes him to a friend’s house where he recuperates through martial arts, acupuncture, meditation and sweet sweet lovemaking with Andy (that also makes him sad, so he goes to pray at his wife’s grave… like for real). One day Mason recognizes the voice of big time Senator Trent as the voice of the corrupt bigwig from seven years ago. Mind like a steel trap! Realizing that this goes extremely high up, Mason recruits his friend to get his long lost son while he gets the evidence needed to put away Trent. They are supposed to meet at the train station, but things start to get crazy as Trent’s forces close in. Mason is snapping necks and taking no names, eventually arriving at Trent’s mansion where he dispatches a whole mess of people before confronting Trent. As the police stream in it becomes clear that Mason already sent them the evidence against the Senator and he’s arrested. Mason wins again! THE END

Why?! Mason Storm just wants justice… and his family to be safe… and to totally get with Andy. But mostly justice. Senator Trent wants power by any means necessary. At the beginning of the film he’s like some lowly city council member who needs someone dead to move on up in the world. So with seven years having passed and Trent becoming a Senator you’d think he’s got at least four or five assassinations under his belt when Mason wakes up.

Who?! We got a Senator… too bad he wasn’t VP Trent by the end. They even show a newspaper where he’s touted as VP for 1992. Gah! Just hold off for a second Seagal! Really I have to give a shout to the local LA newscaster Jerry Dunphy who legitimately plays a role in the plot of the film. This is his second BMT film after Beverly Hills Cop III.

What?! There is a fair amount of Miller High Life in the film. Like sodas, it’s always fun to find what brand a film represents. Patrick also noted a crazy thing where there is just a bunch of spearmint gum in a character’s briefcase. It’s things like that where I wish every movie had a ten part podcast or was required by law to have several DVD commentaries made… we need to really drill down into why the gum was in the briefcase.

Where?! Good LA picture, particularly since we get the legendary intertitle telling us that Seagal has spent seven years in the “LA Coma Center.” That… that’s not a thing. There is no such thing as a coma center and again… I want to know if everyone involved knows how crazy that is. Bring on the ten part podcast! B+.

When?! While the LA Coma Center is legendary, the 1983 Academy Awards setting for the beginning of the film is off the charts. Pretty easily my favorite setting I can remember and I’m only sad they didn’t have him later watch a bunch of movies during his recovery and then express dismay when Dances With Wolves wins Best Picture. A++++++

This is a pretty borderline BMT film in the end, but we felt like it was appropriate to start from the beginning with his first BMT qualifying film. Boy, we weren’t disappointed. Even his first, better regarded film, Above the Law is totally crazy and he continues his descent into martial arts mayhem with this entry. This starts out like a normal film (minus a truly hilarious setting centered around the 1983 Academy Awards) but then we wake up in a coma center (what?) to a totally changed world ourselves. That’s because Seagal is back, Jack, and he’s snapping necks left and right. It’s a pretty entertaining film in the end as long as you’re just looking for a whole mess of action and some pretty dumb stuff. Oh and I’m pretty sure the entire sequence where Mason has sex with Andy and then sadly visits his wife’s grave to pray is spoofed in MacGruber. You gotta be doing something right if you’re what a spoof film is spoofing. As for The Patriot… wow. I mean… that is basically not a movie. On occasion this happens. We will watch something so terrible that it is simply not a film. The Patriot is pretty much not a film. Sure there is an outbreak of a deadly flu and they ultimately solve it with flower power (literally), but most of the film is spent meandering around with Seagal specifically not fighting people. It’s almost like it was in his contract that they couldn’t have him do anything cool or interesting the whole time. It feels like you are peering into Seagal’s mind and it doesn’t feel good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got Seagal! We got ponytails! We’ve got seven year comas! He’s Hard. To. Kill. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Hard to Kill baby! We’re finally on our way to watching all of Seagal’s 90s releases, and this week we hammered out three of them. In no way is that depressing. I definitely didn’t have a ton of better things to do this week … anyways, funny that Seagal was a cop in his first three films. What were my expectations? I just hoped Seagal actually did some sweet Aikido in his early films. It is a bit sad later on that he mostly shoots people.

The Good – Aikido babyyyyyy! He was genuinely good at it. And he also showed off a bit of how it worked. Early on he basically has to goad the guy we just saw in Wishmaster II into attacking him so he could Aikido him. Yeah, that is basically how it works, using your opponent’s momentum and body weight against them. At least that is a part of it. And a halfway decent storyline as well. The film (and his first film as well) are surprisingly good, despite Seagal not being a particularly good actor. Best Bit: AIKIDO.

The Bad – It is juuuuuuuuust a tad self-indulgent. Having your wife say “Steven Seagal has a giant penis” directly into the camera is just a whole other level of writing a film for yourself. Then he goes to someone else’s house and fucks up all of their trees and makes their guest bedroom into a Buddhist temple? And don’t get me started on how much he was exercising in Los Angeles with a blazing fire burning. Everything Seagal-y in the film is a little bit off, although fun to some degree. Oh, and the first two Seagal films he runs on screen and it is Leelee Sobieski level perfect. He cannot run. Fatal Flaw: Steven Seagal just cannot run, there is no way he was a track star like they suggested in the film. Took me right out of it.

The BMT – The first two Seagal films (and probably all of them up through Under Siege) are quite good. I understand why the critics were skeptical of the new brand of action hero, which tended to take rote storylines and insert whomever was available at the time, but even being not very good this was at least fun on a “police procedural two-parter from 1993” level. Did it meet my expectations? Yes. I finally managed to watch a Seagal film where he did Aikido, looked fit, and it wasn’t all played as a comedy (I’m looking at you Under Siege with your random Playboy Playmate running around cracking jokes).

Roast-radamus – I have to give the Product Placement (What?) to Spearmint Gum which you can see multiple packs of in a briefcase at one point. Why? Who knows, he never chews on the gum, he never offers it to someone. Presumably it was a character choice, like he was planning on quitting smoking. Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles, and specifically you seem them venture out to Malibu and Venice Beach among other locales. Closest to Good for sure.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – There has never been a movie that was better suited for a BMT Crossover Episode than this. Sasha Petrosevich has found himself outnumbered and outgunned. Only a person as good as him at Aikido could get him out of this jam. But surely in this universe, such a person couldn’t exist! “Not in this universe,” Sasha says. Taking his infinity gauntlet he opens a portal to an alternate universe and pulls out Mason Storm, who (as luck would have it) is also half past dead. They aren’t twins, but they can kick some ass. Aikido-ing around like whirling dervishes they dispatch the bad guys and save their terrified families. “Hey brother, you can come to my universe anytime.” Once back in the world of Hard to Kill Mason Storm starts his own agency, Hard Past Dead. “That’s a portmanteau.” Mason Storm says with a smirk. Oooooooooh boy, the ladies love cool Mason. These crossover episodes are starting to really get deconstructed. Very dadaist.

Friend or Fiend – We went for a curious one, a Seagal film that was released straight-to-video, but which was released prior to his last film to be released theatrically, The Patriot (1998) (yeah not the Mel Gibson one). The film is about Seagal (a Montana rancher and *checks notes* leading military doctor for infectious diseases?) as he tries to find the cure for a military-developed virus when it is intentionally released by an eeeeeevil militia leader. Yep … that’s the storyline. And guess what the cure is that they take literally forever trying to develop? Flowers. Just some of the Eastern / Native American medicine that these idiot doctors would never think of. But Seagal does, and then the military drops flowers on the town and everyone is saved (I’m not joking, that’s the conclusion to the film, here’s some flowers, it is the best anti-viral in the world?). The film is a joke. It is so so weird. And in a way that is interesting and pretty funny, but those moments are few and far between. And the Eastern medicine is better than Western medicine garbage, and also the characters being mealy mouthed about condemning the violent ideology of the militia left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m putting this squarely in the Fiend territory.

You Just Got Schooled – Uh oh, turns out that the first ever Seagal film (which was just prior to Hard to Kill) was (vaguely) good! That’s right, I watched Above the Law (that’s three Seagal films this week, may God have mercy on my soul). The film is fun, as expected. Seagal is looking fit, and he’s hitting people hard and they are falling hard and you can immediately understand why he was such a magnetic character/actor at the time. The first hour of the film operates mainly as a normal buddy cop film, except the one of the buddies is Steven Seagal and all of the weird whispering baggage that entails. The last thirty minutes of the film? Pure comedy. Actually one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. Seagal can’t run in this film either, and everything devolved into pure lunacy right when he sends his wife away to protect his family from his poor decision making skills. I think if you watch Above the Law, Hard to Kill, Under Siege, and Fire Down Below you’ll know exactly what Seagal was bringing to the table in the 90s. B+. Enjoyed watching it despite it ultimately being very very Seagal at the end.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hard to Kill Quiz

Oh man, so I just woke up from a coma and I need to take down the guy who put me into it … one second, I need to go through years of physical therapy to heal my atrophied body. Also I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Hard to Kill?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Seagal catches a criminal conspiring with a city assemblyman to commit a crime. What crime were they planning on committing? And why didn’t Seagal get them arrested?

2) How long was Seagal in a coma? And where does he hide out while getting into shape?

3) How did Seagal’s old buddy O’Malley find him in the end?

4) How was Seagal’s hideout discovered?

5) Before their plans were waylaid, what was the plan for Seagal and his son to get away?

Bonus Question: How long does Mason and Andy’s relationship last after the events of the film?

Answers

Hard to Kill Preview

As Clutch parachutes into the VP’s residence he asks himself whether he has any chance of changing the man his brother has become? A booming voice tells him to stop. “My my my, Clutch. I never thought they’d dig you up for this job,” McGuire Guthrie says, applauding sarcastically. “Last time I heard you were drunk off your ass in Peru.” Clutch clenches his fists and sneers, “Last time I heard you were an asshole.” McGuire laughs, “Same old Clutch. Now where’s my gold?” Clutch shakes his head and McGuire frowns. “Pity,” he says and takes his signature samurai sword. Facing certain death Clutch reaches up his hand and catches a sword of his own, perfectly thrown from the shadows by Kat. A super sweet battle ensues ultimately ending with them both knocking the sword from the other’s hand. “Twin chop,” they shout and the blows land in unison. They fall into each other’s arms, mortally wounded. “I… I…” McGuire stammers, but Clutch shushes him. “I know,” and the power of their twin love heals their wounds and McGuire realizes the error of his ways. Clutch’s ex-wife hugs him and tells him she’s glad he found love with Kat. VP Jack Parrot shakes his hand and tells him he’s going to win the Nobel Prize for Heroism. But he brushes past all of them to lift McGuire from the ground and reach his hand out for a twin Predator high five. THE END.

Patrick closes his novel. It’s amazing, obviously. When he looks up that piece of shit hack Manfred Long is out of his quickening. “I knew I’d never win,” he says sadly, “but with the power of the Dongle I know I can kill you.” But Patrick shakes his head. “I think you’ll find I’m a little…” That’s right! We are going way back to 1990 to watch the first qualifying Steven Seagal film ever, Hard to Kill. It barely qualifies, so that would seem to indicate it’s actually not that bad, but I doubt it. Let’s go!

With a snap of his fingers Kyle fills the dance floor with bodacious babes and he and Jamie flee to the back room while the cyborgs are preoccupied. “What was all that about a cyber jack?” Kyle asks, but Jamie shakes his head. “Just a distraction, Kyle. Remember when we bought the club we had two rules.” Kyle nods, “Every night starts with the national anthem and…” suddenly his eyes light up. That’s right! We are pairing the first BMT qualifying Steven Seagal film with his first straight-to-video fare. The Patriot where he plays a *checks notes* doctor. Oh, come on! Let’s go!

Hard to Kill (1990) – BMeTric: 36.1; Notability: 35

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 7.2%; Notability: top 12.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 23.3%; Higher BMeT: Captain America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Rocky V, Ghost Dad, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Repossessed, Graveyard Shift, Soultaker, Problem Child, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Wings of the Apache, 3 Men and a Little Lady, The Bonfire of the Vanities, RoboCop 2, Loose Cannons, Navy Seals, Ernest Goes to Jail, Death Warrant; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, Jetsons: The Movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Air America, Captain America, Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory, Marked for Death, 3 Men and a Little Lady, The Rookie, Stella, Rocky V, Revenge, Bird on a Wire, Another 48 Hrs., Ghost Dad, Mr. Destiny, Havana, and 11 more; Lower RT: Problem Child, Death Warrant, Graveyard Shift, Repossessed, Madhouse, Loose Cannons, Coupe de Ville, Funny About Love, Soultaker, Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders, Wings of the Apache, Heart Condition, Meet the Applegates, Where the Heart Is, Ernest Goes to Jail, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Captain America, Opportunity Knocks, Air America, and 35 more; Notes: I’m a bit surprised at how high the rating is, I wouldn’t think that it would have necessarily followed the usual trend.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Police detective Seagal uncovers a major political corruption ring and is shot and left for dead; when he awakens from a seven-year coma, he’s ripe for revenge. Full of the usual violence and shades for this genre, but Seagal is fun to watch. LeBrock, who nurses him back to health, was then the real-life Mrs. Seagal.

(This is also pretty high … wait … is this film good? I’m down to the usual violence from Seagal. I assume by “usual violence” they don’t mean an obese Seagal shooting people in the face with a high powered rifle. I assume he does actual Aikido in this one.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy54Q4rcJuk/

(The slow motion is excessive in this trailer. So apparently Seagal saying “take that to the bank” is only in the trailer because in the original Seagal kills the bad guy in the end … yeah that would have been a nuts ending.)

DirectorsBruce Malmuth – ( Known For: Nighthawks; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Where Are the Children?; Pentathlon; Foreplay; BMT: Hard to Kill; Notes: Started in commercials. Put on a play in Los Angeles that starred the yet-unknown Toby Maguire.)

WritersSteven McKay – ( Known For: Midnight Sting; BMT: Hard to Kill; Notes: Bookended his career with The Magic of Christmas and its sequel nearly 30 years later.)

ActorsSteven Seagal – ( Known For: Under Siege; Machete; Executive Decision; Above the Law; Beyond the Law; Sniper: Special Ops; Code of Honor; General Commander; The Patriot; China Salesman; Attrition; The Onion Movie; The Foreigner; Mercenary: Absolution; Killing Salazar; Maximum Conviction; Contract to Kill; Gutshot; The Perfect Weapon; The Asian Connection; Future BMT: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Out for Justice; Marked for Death; BMT: Hard to Kill; Exit Wounds; Fire Down Below; On Deadly Ground; Half Past Dead; The Glimmer Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1995 for On Deadly Ground; in 1998 for Fire Down Below; and in 2003 for Half Past Dead; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Executive Decision in 1997; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song for Fire Down Below in 1998; Notes: Allegedly is starring in a sequel to his first film Above the Law over 30 years after the original … yeah, I’ll bet a dollar that doesn’t happen.)

Kelly LeBrock – ( Known For: Weird Science; Zerophilia; 10 Days in a Madhouse; Hard Bounty; Betrayal of the Dove; Gamers; Future BMT: The Woman in Red; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Hard to Kill; Notes: Was married to Seagal at the time and ultimately had three children with him before they divorced in 1996.)

William Sadler – ( Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Green Mile; The Mist; Iron Man Three; Bill & Ted Face the Music; Die Hard 2; The Highwaymen; The Hot Spot; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Kinsey; Rush; Freaked; The Duel; Being Flynn; Project X; Trespass; Freeheld; The Good Student; Ava’s Possessions; Freedom; Future BMT: The Unholy; Eagle Eye; Grudge; Machete Kills; August Rush; Disturbing Behavior; Man on a Ledge; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Bordello of Blood; RocketMan; Hanky Panky; BMT: Hard to Kill; K-9; Solo; Notes: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist are all directed by Frank Darabont and all originally stories by Stephen King.)

Budget/Gross – $11.5 million / Domestic: $47,410,827 (Worldwide: $47,410,827)

(That’s pretty good. You see, this is why martial arts films were booming in the late-80s/early-90s, easy money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 36% (5/14)

(The consensus is pretty positive: Undoubtedly one of Seagal’s best, and a decently entertaining actioner.)

Reviewer Highlight: With his ponytail and velvet voice, Steven Seagal makes an ironically gentle kamikaze gunslinger — he’s like a cross between Clint Eastwood and Mickey Rourke. For all that, his presence is paper thin. He’s part of a new breed of action hero: the nonstar star. These lightweight vigilantes — they include Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme — have zero charisma and sell millions of tickets. Why? It must be because they’re exactly as generic as their movies. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Hard to Sklog

(My god. If I asked someone to make a joke poster that hit every poster grading point on my rubric this very well might be it. It’s got a weird artistic sketch thing going. A nice overall red tone and black and white for the people. The font is legit. What is there not to like?! A.)

Tagline(s) – He’s L.A. Detective Mason Storm. Three hired assassins left him for dead. And he’s waited seven years to even the score. (D-)

(Well that’s something not to like. No way. Not into it. I started reading it and then stopped and just jumped straight down here to write this. I’m calling it right here: Steven Seagal wrote this tagline.)

Keyword(s) – coma

Top 10: Nobody (2021), Soul (2020), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Suspiria (2018), Jack Reacher (2012), Insidious (2010), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Annihilation (2018), Batman & Robin (1997)

Future BMT: 76.8 Superhero Movie (2008), 56.0 Ghost Dad (1990), 54.2 Hanging Up (2000), 51.3 Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007), 43.6 Life of the Party (2018), 42.8 The Brothers Solomon (2007), 39.5 Jigsaw (2017), 37.2 Saw IV (2007), 35.0 Paparazzi (2004), 28.1 Dragonfly (2002)

BMT: Batman & Robin (1997), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Vanilla Sky (2001), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Countdown (2019), Death Wish (2018), The Choice (2016), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Replicas (2018), Hard to Kill (1990), Monkeybone (2001), Swimfan (2002), Miss March (2009), Soul Survivors (2001)

Matches: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Jack Reacher (2012), Insidious (2010), Fast & Furious 7 (2015), The Cell (2000), The Big Sick (2017), Fracture (2007), The Descendants (2011), While You Were Sleeping (1995), The Dead Zone (1983), Unknown (2011), If I Stay (2014), Dave (1993), Forever Young (1992), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), Columbus (2017), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Hard to Kill (1990), Amityville: The Awakening (2017), Monkeybone (2001), Sex and Death 101 (2007), The Brave One (2007), Miss March (2009), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), Possession (2009), 18 Again! (1988), Bad Dreams (1988), The Brothers Solomon (2007), Catfight (2016), Pit Stop (2013), Paparazzi (2004), Kickin’ It Old Skool (2007), Timeless Love (2019), The Safety of Objects (2001), Until Death (2007), Lonesome Jim (2005), Touched (2005), BrainWaves (1982), Wonderful World (2009), The Dark Place (2014), Lying in Wait (2001), Black Eyed Dog (2014), Seven Hours to Judgment (1988), Forgiving the Franklins (2006), To the Other Shore (2020), Will and Testament (2012)

(Only one more from 1990, Ghost Dad (ooooooof). I can’t wait to watch through the Saw series, it is going to be awful.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Steven Seagal is No. 1 billed in Hard to Kill and No. 1 billed in Exit Wounds, which also stars Isaiah Washington (No. 3 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 5 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 1) + (3 + 5) + (2 + 3) = 15. If we were to watch Out for Justice we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Steven Seagal and Kelly LeBrock were married at that time.

Kelly Le Brock had pretty much retired from acting at the time and only did the movie as a favor for her husband.

Steven Seagal did not get along with Bruce Malmuth and considered him to be a very poor director. Chief among Seagal’s complaints included dissatisfaction with filming the action scenes and being excluded from the editing process.

Was filmed with the title “Seven Year Storm” and publicized in several trade magazines with that name. Warner Bros. decided to re title the finished pic “Hard to Kill” to make it sound more like a slam-bang action film.

Reportedly, an alternate ending was also filmed where Storm kills Trent and says “Take that to the bank”. Storm is shown saying this line in the theatrical trailer, which indicates that there indeed was an alternate ending where Trent dies.

The 17 February 1989 draft of the screenplay credits Steven Pressfield & Ronald Shusett & Steven Seagal as writers. Pressfield & Shusett are not credited in the final film and Seagal only received an acting credit. (YES I knew he had to have written this film! And it had to have been written by him and two friends because it is so Seagal-y)

Craig R. Baxley was offered to direct it by Steven Seagal. Baxley passed because he didn’t want to work with Seagal.

Based on several references to the Academy Awards being broadcast on the same night, the events in the first part of the film would’ve taken place on April 11, 1983.

Seagal’s pistol is a Colt Series 80 1911 with a commander hammer and Herrett skip checkered grips. Similar grips are seen in the movie poster but the gun is a Colt Series 80 Gold Cup.

Master Pistolsmith Terry Tussey built a number of custom 1911’s for Steven Seagal.

The inside of the mansion was also used in the Cohen Brothers comedy The Big Lebowski

Seagal’s gun handling and technique strongly suggest that he may have spent some time at Gunsite in Paulden, AZ. His use of the 1911, the press check, weaver stance, finger on trigger, are indicative of legacy training techniques at Gunsite, which was founded by Col. Jeff Cooper as the American Pistol Institute in 1976. When he began making his films in the late 80’s, there were only a mere handful of civilian firearms training centers in the U.S. and Gunsite is widely credited with being the first.

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege Recap

Jamie

Police Academy is back, Jack! When the city is hit with a crime wave, Lassard and his officers are called in to stop the baddies. Hijinks ensue and it looks like the police will fail until the officers figure out that the robberies are connected to a new train line. Can they find the gang and take them out before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.

How?! There is a big ol’ crime wave in the city and the mayor is concerned. He gets Capt. Harris in there to try to take them out, but being the bumbling fool that he is, he totally botches it. The mayor and the commissioner are furious and bring in Lassard and all our favorite former cadets to clean up the mess. Meanwhile we see that the crime wave is being caused by three ridiculous criminals who are really just doing whatever a shadowy figure known as The Mastermind tells them. With Lassard in charge things… go pretty much just as badly. They botch a sting operation and let a giant diamond get stolen on their watch. Despite these failures The Mastermind still wants the police out of the way and plants diamonds in Lassard’s office, leading to their suspension from the case. Knowing that time is running out and wanting to clear Lassard’s name, Nick gets everyone together and tells them that he’s noticed something odd about the robberies: they follow an old bus line. Wait a second! That’s no bus line! That’s a new train line! Knowing where they will strike next they are able to corner the baddies and do battle. Ultimately after a classic Police Academy Chase they subdue the baddies and chase The Mastermind to the Commissioner’s office where he’s revealed to be… the Commissioner? No, really it’s just the Mayor in disguise. With that our friends are once again honored for their bravery. THE END.

Why?! You see, the Mayor had inside information about the train line and knew that the properties along the route were going to be bought for big bucks by the city. By getting the robberies to hit up all the places along the route he could drive down property values and snap them up and make a big ol’ profit. It’s really a classic case of corruption.

Who?! Two interesting things in this one. One is that Robert Folk goes uncredited on the music. I can’t recall seeing that before, but he seems to have done it a number of times in his career. But maybe here it’s more because they just keep reusing the Police Academy music for every film. The other thing is that Billie Bird shows up in this film as Mrs. Stanwyck… just two movies after she was a titular Citizen on Patrol in Police Academy 4.

What?! Dunkin’ Donuts and Coca-Cola have some fantastic product placement in the fifth film and at least Coca-Cola said “sign me up for some more of that Police Academy action.” They show up once again as the drink of choice for our group of misfits. It’s what gives them the power to take out dirtbags while also tickling our funny bones. Put that on the bluray cover.

Where?! Sigh, back in our anonymous city. I think I speculated back in some other recap that this might be set in Jacksonville or something, but it’s all just a mishmash of random places (but mostly Canada). This one had a weird scene at the end where Harris is sent flying into the sky after Nick ties a bunch of balloons to his chair. We then see him float over the skyline of Boston. But, why? F.

When?! Just give me another F. They barely put any effort into giving these films a general plot, let alone putting things together to give an idea of when things are set. Let’s see if we can narrow it down. There is a blackout in the city and people aren’t going absolutely crazy so we can probably rule out summer. That’s all I got.

It’s also a classic case of a film with an actual plot?! Patrick and I were stunned when we watched this film and it read like an episode of Law and Order or something. They were picking up clues, tracking down criminals, and putting the baddies in jail. Where are the pratfalls? Where is Harris getting pooped on by a bird or something? It’s actually kind of amazing how straight it’s all played. I can’t tell if this makes it the best of the Gutesless Trilogy (all rights reserved) or the worst. On the one hand, I followed along with an actual plot. On the other, no one said any jokes. Well I guess at one point Winslow literally got on stage in a comedy club and started doing his act… but as I said… no jokes (zang). It’s a very odd entry in the series. Almost like they momentarily jumped back on the rails and transported back in time to Police Academy 2 or something. As for the poor, sad Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, it totally fell apart. No wonder they attempted a lackluster limited release, but ultimately shuttled it off to straight-to-video. It’s not just barely a movie, you can almost feel the anxiety of the actors as they attempt to carry out their duties. Well, at least Moscow was interesting to look at in the film. Crazy they shot there at that time. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The whole gang is back … uh, again! We have Tackleberry! We have Hightower! Wait … now House is gone? You’re supposed to add more characters to the ensemble cast, not less! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Out of all of the Police Academy films, this feels like the odd man out. You go from taking the gang to Miami (fun!) to … a rehash of the second film? At least let the gang go undercover or something. Police Academy 6: Undercover is not a bad idea actually. That might come up in the Sequel, Prequel, Remake section. Anyways, just thought this was an odd direction for the franchise this late in the game. What were my expectations? I was really hoping this would be the one where I was like “this is kind of okay actually” just to throw a curveball into these recaps.

The Good – The film actually has a storyline which is an interesting departure for the series (zing). There is a bad guy (obviously the Mayor, spoilers), a plot, a police investigation, and the inevitable chase using a silly vehicle (in this case a cherry picker and monster truck). I kind of liked the Three Stooges-esque bad guys. That type of bad guy works really well with the goofy cops. Best Bit: It is interesting to watch a Police Academy film with the plot of a 70s police procedural episode.

The Bad – Still not funny. Weird that they didn’t manage to one up themselves after taking the gags to Miami, instead it is just the second film again (with a plot). The twist … my god, there is literally only one person it could be the entire time. I was very skeptical they would have the Mayor actually be the bad guy because it was so obvious (and he’s a doofus), but there was no one else it could have been! I would have had mad respect for the film if they had Captain Harris steal a bunch of stuff to frame Lassard? That would have been great. Fatal Flaw: Still not funny.

The BMT – We did it boys! This isn’t the most impressive franchise we’ve done (the saga of Friday the 13th is still the best), but it is amazing we did it in like two years. Seven films, and at one point or another all of them qualified for BMT. And the back half is all 0% and BOMB films. It really does set the bar for just how bad a franchise can be, at least for comedies. Did it meet my expectations? Honestly, the film is dull. It is more amusing when the whole thing just explodes in a ball of fire. It was probably the best of the non-Guttenberg films, but that isn’t saying much.

Roast-radamus – Decent Product Placement (What?) for Coca-Cola being prominently displayed (oddly the seventh film was clearly brought to you by Pepsi, what happened?). And this might be the leader out of the gate for Worst Twist (How?) for the inevitable reveal that the only person in the film who wasn’t in a previous Police Academy film was the bad guy … This film is closest to BMT.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – You heard it above, let’s make the Remake of the sixth film to make it like it should have been. The gang is going undercover. They are tossing off their blues and donning their sweater vests because they are going to an actual academy to investigate a drug ring on a college campus! Hightower is an astrophysics professor, Hicks is a brash economics professor, tackleberry is undercover as a pacifist political science professor … you get the gist, I’m trying to cast them against types for the goofs, but it is now occurring to me that that is tough. Anyways, they think they know the bad guys are the frat bros, but boy are their faces red when it turns out they are just trying to raise money for the local hospital, and they are “taken off the case”. Not so fast! They figure out that actually it is the math club that is doing it, those dastardly nerd alerts! They have a big chase scene in the school’s solar cars (which run out of juice when a cloud floats by, doh!). In the end they get their guys, solve the case, and prove once again that a rag tag group of goofs can still do good. Police Academy 6: Undercover University.

Bring a Friend Analysis – Obviously, in order to finish up the series we just had to watch the seventh, and final (for now), Police Academy film, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. Interestingly, this is also the only sequel to not officially have the number in the title. I should probably get this out of the way: the film is hot garbage. It is a shadow of the already-not-very-good Police Academy films, and is mostly fueled by bad ADR and sound effects (and not the faintly amusing sound effects from Winslow, sound effects from a 90s morning zoo program). It also very notably was filmed during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis (you can see the damaged White House clearly during the final chase scene) which caused all kinds of issues with the schedule. If not for that I’m willing to bet the series would have successfully transitioned to straight-to-video and there would have been ten films in total, just based on how cheap this should have been to make. A solid friend though, a trip to see just how much the series fell apart with the four year break. C+. Not amusing to watch, but amusing in the context of the series as a whole. The issue is you have to watch seven films to get there, and the film itself is pretty aggravating.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Recap

Jamie

Police Academy’s back, Jack! And boy are they ready for some fun in the sun. When Cmdt. Lassard is the honored guest at the big Miami police convention, the gang is invited along. But when they inadvertently get in the way of some diamond smugglers, things get hairy. Can they stop the burglars before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach.

How?! I think I just kinda summarized it. Cmdt. Lassard is wildly popular at this point, thanks to the success of his academy and his adoring pupils. But Capt. Harris (boooo) finds a law on the books that suggests Lassard is past the age for required retirement (double booo). But no before he gets honored with the Police Officer of the Decade (yay). He insists that his best officers come along (minus the Gutes) and so they are ready to live it up in Miami Beach. Hijinks ensue as Lassard inadvertently picks up a bag of stolen diamonds from a gang of burglars. Uh oh! Arriving in Miami they meet Nick, Lassard’s nephew and a definite Gutes type character, and partake in all kinds of beach/police convention fun. Oh and Harris totally embarrassing himself like a bozo, naturally. Anyway, the jewel thieves try all kinds of ways to get the diamonds back, but with their necks on the line they eventually resort to kidnapping Lassard, who mistakes it as the annual police procedure demonstration. Lassard totally charms the thieves, who start to regret their kidnapping ways, and even helps them acquire a helicopter to get them to the everglades where they are meant to hand off the diamonds. Fortunately our gang is there and they jump on some fan boats and totally take out all the baddies. Due to his heroics Lassard is allowed to stay on as Commandant and Hightower is promoted. THE END.

Why?! The films certainly fluctuate between entries that are more like regular films (having some gang the police must take out or something like that) and then those that are more just things happening around the academy. This is certainly the latter. This mostly involves the impending retirement of Lassard and everyone celebrating him in Miami. The diamond plot is really tangential to all this, but creates enough drama to give us the classic chase/fight climax we know and love from Police Academy.

Who?! The Producer of the film makes a few uncredited appearances in the film. Here he shows up as a homeless man. IMDb also lists Jerry O’Connell as having appeared as a kid on the beach… not sure I believe that. That feels very much like someone saw a kid that looked like Jerry O’Connell in the beach scene and added him to IMDb.

What?! I would dare to say that this is likely the best MacGuffin of the series in the stolen diamonds. I wonder if there is a reverse correlation between strength of plot and strength of MacGuffin. This really, really needed that MacGuffin to get the tissue paper thin plot from Point A to Point Miami Beach.

Where?! This whole series has been a disaster in terms of settings since they have always purposefully set it in an anonymous US city. Not so fast, says Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach. May as well call it Assignment A+ Setting Alert cause that’s what we got on our hands.

When?! Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Who knows when any of these things are set. I guess I could see when the national police convention is… oh, now I guess. Like literally starting as I type this. That’s a weird coincidence. So there you have it. This is set in early September. Nailed it. F.

This is probably the closest the series came to dropping the pretense of plot in favor of people tripping over golf balls and Capt. Harris being lit on fire and stuff. If this was the first in the series I probably would have been like “WTF, mate? Put more shrimp on the barbie,” but this represents exactly why I like watching franchises so much. You get so deep into Police Academy that you just let it wash over you and wait for Winslow to pull out his problematic kung fu impression for the third straight movie. They clearly got to the point where they had so many characters and repeat gags that they could pretty much craft an entire film from just that. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it BMT? I’m not sure what it is really… it just exists. It’s kind of crazy that it does. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The whole gang is back. We’ve got Tackleberry! We’ve got Hightower! We’ve got … wait … uh oh, where’s Mahoney? Uh, this ain’t good. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I don’t think I realized until we got to these last three films in the series just how much cred the series as a whole has. These last three films all have a BMeTric over 70. They all have a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. And they all got BOMBs from Leonard Maltin. That is mind-bending. What it must have been like to actually experience the six straight years of Police Academy films coming out … it must have been like some sick joke. What were my expectations? I think for the fifth one I expected it to be Police Academy in Miami and thus have a ton of bad Miami jokes and not much else. These films really aren’t that complicated.

The Good – Huh, maybe some bits of the ending where Lassard thinks the whole thing is just a simulation and so he’s getting along with the mafia guys? That was faintly amusing. The few times where you could see Lassard physically press down on a fake golf club to deploy a dumb golf ball goof. Wait … do I just like Commandant Lassard? Best Bit: Commandant Lassard I guess, it is kind of the only amusing thing in the film.

The Bad – I mean … is this a movie? I swear to god there was a 30 minute stretch in the middle of the film where they just roll out the greatest hits of Police Academy’s past but in Miami. I affectionately refer to this as: Hightower smashes, Hicks yells, Tackleberry shoots, and Jones does a racist impression of a Japanese person. Usually there would also be a “Mahoney sexually assaults”, but he wasn’t in this film, that part was instead given to the new character Nick Lassard (and assaults he does!). Anyways, the film basically doesn’t have a plot. I can describe it in a sentence: Lassard is retiring and so is given an award in Miami where he accidentally steals a diamond from the mafia, nonsense ensues. Fatal Flaw: Written on a napkin during the Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol premiere afterparty.

The BMT – At a point while contemplating the Police Academy franchise I transcended the plane of existence and saw it all. It must be the quintessential bad comedy franchise. Even the progression is cliche: (1) Initial blockbuster, (2) on the streetz, (3) back to the academy, (4) new blood, (5) different city, (6)???, (7) foreign country. Only six is an anomaly, but we’ll get to that in that recap. There is something very pure about the fact that they released the first six films in six years. That will never ever be replicated again. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah. In a way it exceeded them, because watching a few in a short period of time really allows you to see just how odd the whole endeavor was.

Roast-radamus – Obviously a great A+ Setting (Where?) for Miami, which snuck into the title. And a really solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the stolen diamonds that Lassard accidentally gets ahold of and the bad guys chase throughout the film. Definitely closest to BMT, you can’t deny the franchise is so bizarre as to be amusing.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Uh oh … how do you do a sequel or prequel to a franchise with seven entries. I guess here I’ll think through the Remake since the eighth film only makes sense within the context of reviewing the sixth and seventh. I have to imagine you could remake Police Academy by making it like 21 Jump Street … actually, that’s the answer right? You make it the third 21 Jump Street film! Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube are put in charge of the Police Academy in their city because they think there is a drug ring operating out of it. Unfortunately, since Hill and Tatum are now famous cops in the Jump Street crew, they can’t go undercover, but instead are installed as teachers. Inside, a rag tag set of recruits tagged as “unacceptable” (Jones, Hicks, Hightower, and Mahoney) are their eyes and ears on the ground. All the while they are fighting the nefarious Lieutenant Harris who is trying to oust an increasingly annoyed Ice Cube (who is undercover as Commandant Lassard, the head of the Police Academy). I dare say? Does it work? 23 Jump Street: Police Academy. I think “fans” of the franchise would be angry, but that is maybe the best option for an actual Police Academy “remake” possible.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege Quiz

Oh man, so here I was, back on the streetz trying to get a handle on a crime spree sweeping the city, when these three jokers pop out of a jewelry store and bop me right on the head! Needless to say I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film a crime wave has gripped the city with the Wilson Heights Gang robbing stores at will. Oh no! And during the latest robbery Captain Harris has a front row seat. Where did the Wilson Heights Gang strike this time, and where did Harris think they were going to strike?

2) After a bank robbery the officers figure out that the bad guys are being paid by someone to commit the robberies. How do they figure this out?

3) After all of their “old-fashioned police work” falls flat, a trap is devised. What is the plan?

4) Eventually the team is dismissed from the case (oh no! Won’t these people ever learn that the Police Academy recruits are the best?). Why?

5) So … who’s the bad guy and why did he do it?

Bonus Question: Again, where was Mahoney during all of this?

Answers

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach Quiz

Oh man, so I was supposed to go to Miami for an award ceremony for my best friend / commandant, and wouldn’t you know it? I bumped into a mafiosi and got bopped right on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Commandant Lassard is going to be forced to retire. Why?

2) Smash cut to Miami! And some bad dude robbers and … well they’re robbing! A museum specifically. What do they steal, and how do they later lose their bounty?

3) Time for some real trivia. We see the police officers participate in three sports while chilling in Miami Beach. What are they?

4) Remember the bag switcheroo? Well the diamonds aren’t just sitting out in the open. They are hidden somehow within the bag as well. How are they hidden?

5) What is the bad guy’s plan to get away, and why do the recruits decide to rescue Lassard in the end?

Bonus Question: Where do they say Mahoney was during all of this?

Answers