Alpha and Omega Recap

Jamie

Humphrey and Kate are bestest of wolf friends, but he’s an omega and she’s an alpha and she’s destined to mate with the son of the leader of a rival wolf pack. Disaster strike, though, when they are tranquilized and transported to a far off national park. Can they get home and save the pack (and perhaps get each other) before it’s too late? Find out in… Alpha and Omega.

How?! Kate and Humphrey are wolves that want to totally bone (for real). He’s like “who dat?” whenever she’s around. But she’s an alpha and he’s an omega and that means that they can’t be together. Instead there is a sexy male wolf, Garth, that she’s supposed to mate with because he’s the son of leader of a rival wolf pack. This rival wolf pack is really struggling on the other side of valley where food is becoming scarce. So they’re like “we’re moving in and gonna done fuck you up if she doesn’t mate with Garth and join the packs.” Everyone seems cool with this scenario, except that Garth is also like “who dat?” to Kate’s sister. Anyway, this all comes to naught as Kate and Humphrey are tranquilized and transported to an Idaho park as part of a repopulation effort. Humphrey’s like “we better get busy with that repopulation effort.” But Kate is like nah and with the help of a Canadian Goose golfer (don’t ask) they start their journey back home. This also more or less goes swimmingly and they end up arriving home just as the big wolf pack battle royale is about to begin. Kate is like “I better get busy with repopulation with this sexy wolf and forget Humphrey for the good of the pack” until both she and Garth reveal the truth that they don’t love each other. The big fight ensues but is interrupted by a giant stampede where Humphrey and Kate heroically save the leaders of the two packs. They decide that Humphrey isn’t so bad after all and allow omegas and alphas to marry and they all howl at the moon which is a metaphor for a giant orgy I’m pretty sure. THE END.

Why?! They are wolves and they want to ffffffffffffff-rolic through the fields together. Seriously they just want to have sex with each other bunch a bunch of stuff stand in their way. Mostly societal rules.

What?! Obviously no product placements or MacGuffins. One interesting thing associated with any film is references to other films or errors or goofs. These are detailed manually by users on IMDb and being a weirdo I often read all of them when watching one of these films. A drawback to this is that you get goofs like this one that stay on IMDb: “When Humphrey gets attacked by a bear, you can see what appears to be a boom mic at the top right corner of the screen for a split second.” … come on IMDb. That is obviously not true… it’s not true, right?

Who?! Have to obviously point out that this was the last film made by the late Dennis Hopper and he got a Dedicated To credit as a result. Seemha Ramanna got a Special Thanks for his association with Crest Animation that made the film. He also got a Special Thanks for future BMT film Norm of the North. Apparently it was in production at Crest when it went under… in 2013. It didn’t get released until 2016. That’s quite the wait.

Where?! Set primarily in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. Kate and Humphrey are then transported to Idaho and make their way back. It’s a pretty solid settings film given that it’s animated and due to the importance of certain aspects of these spots I’m gonna give it a B+.

When?! Ha! Nope. I have no idea. Modern times obviously. The only thing is that part of the plot is reintroduction of wolves into Idaho… This apparently happened around 1995-6. I actually don’t see much about that happening afterwards. So I’m gonna call it… I think this film is set in 1995. Prove me wrong. D- just for funsies.

I think that Alpha and Omega (which I didn’t note in the last post was actually our Chain Reaction film from The Game Plan through Christine Lakin) and Foodfight are a perfect pairing for this cycle. Alpha and Omega is a children’s film that only stands out in that is seems to insist on having weird adult sexual concepts being thrown around. The wolves are drawn all sexily and they have howling that is a stand in for the wolves canoodling on a mountaintop. Why? No one knows. Foodfight basically takes all of that to the extreme. It is racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, misogynistic, etc. etc. etc. Everything is an upsetting stereotype. So beyond the fact that it had animation at an impossibly terrible level, it just was never going to be good because it was offensive and bad from the start. So while Alpha and Omega was underwhelming on its own, the synergy between the two films made it a much more satisfying BMT film. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We watched a kids film about wolves where the wolves were like … super sexy though? Like, that bothered me. It felt really gross and wrong, and I didn’t like it. Let’s get into it.

The Good – The message I guess. The primary message of not allowing others to dictate what you can do in your life, especially about things like who makes you happy. There is a bit with howling which is somehow both terrible and also one of the only unique things the movie brings to the table as far as cheap CGI kids films go, so it has to go in the good.

P’s View on the Preview – There were two main things that interested me going in. First, just how bad the CGI was. It looked terrible in the trailer, so I thought it would be interesting to see just how cheap they went (spoiler alert, really cheap). Second, that sexy wolf. I can’t get it out of my head. Why make the girl wolf sexy? Is it just me that thinks the character design is sexy? Am I the weird one?! AM I THE WEIRD ONE?!

The Bad – The sexy wolves still bother me (AM I THE WEIRD ONE?!), but I think I’ll just put a button on that specific complaint. The story is pretty basic, and the film looks like garbage. It looks like a CGI tv show basically, something that can be produced in a hot second these days. A lot of adult humor mixed with fart jokes basically, which is an tad bit odd, but really, what did I expect?

You Just Got Schooled – This film is basically The Land Before Time series for this generation. There are eight films in total, the last three of which were produced all at once and premiered within a year and a half of each other. The voice actors have been extremely consistent once they replaced the (much more famous) original cast as well, which is a surprise. Here and the trailers for the eight films:

 Enjoy? I’m not going to link them, but there are a number of full reviews of the franchise as well. A few things stand out. First, people are genuinely passionate about the franchise, lamenting the decline in quality after the fifth installment. Second, the reviewers are all around 12 years old probably, which is profoundly weird, would I have been doing things like this if I grew up now? I guess I probably would have. Third, I would not recommend looking for any fan fiction about this franchise … yeah you guessed it, it is all basically weird porn. Franchises like this provide a veritable bounty of deep diving opportunity which gives me existential anxiety, but I still find endlessly fascinating.

The BMT – It definitely is still weird watching kids films for BMT. Like, it all seems kind of pointless once you throw out the need to have a coherent storyline or character motivations. This is one of the more interesting ones though because of its many direct-to-video sequels and really quite terrible CGI (something that is now pretty standard). In that way it was somewhat worth it. Also, it is on the Calendar. Somehow it managed to get onto the Calendar and we watched it.

Welcome to Earf – Easy peasy. Justin Long was in Alpha and Omega and also in Old Dogs with Robin Williams, who was in The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, who was in Righteous Kill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf.

StreetCreditReport.com – None. Which isn’t very surprising for the chain reaction at the end of the chain, we often have trouble getting to the current year cycle in the end. It is on the Calendar though, which means it is the worst film released on that specific day of the year ever. So that’s something. But this isn’t even close to the worst animated film around (see below for the film that almost unanimously takes that honor), and 2010 was such a good year for bad movies it would never get close on that either.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we watched another computer animated adventure in Foodfight! Right off the bat I’ll say this is actually far more entertaining than it has any right to be (don’t get me wrong, it is boring, it is just less boring than you would think). The look of the film suggests a mid-90s video game cutscene, but it is implausibly worse than that. The Flophouse gets it right in saying it is more like what a 7 year old would produce on animation software that comes for free with a computer. I’m going to give it a B+ and hear me out. The film has an extremely unique backstory for a film like this. It was produced and released in desperation and because they were legally obligated to. Things like The Room or Troll 2 or Teen Witch all are mainly produced in a thick fog of delusion. This film started that way, but then is obviously only completed and released because they had to complete and release something (anything). And thus it sidesteps a bit of the cynicism that surrounds something like A Talking Cat?! Oh, the film itself? It is made by monsters who perhaps dream of corrupting children’s minds. It is the only explanation. If the film weren’t quite so boring / upsetting it would have gotten an A.  Like if it was as harmless as Teen Witch it would have easily gotten there I think.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Alpha and Omega Preview

Jamie and the Predator climb aboard his rocket powered skateboard and fly out of the whale. At first they totally don’t get along due to their differences. The Predator is a bloodthirsty monster focused only on killing. Jamie is a cool dude just looking for a party. But soon they find common ground as Jamie realizes the Predator has some pretty cool tech to track the little old librarian and the Predator realizes that Jamie can brew a mean cup of coffee. Turns out that’s not the only thing brewing: we got ourselves a full blown bromance. They spend hours telling each other secrets and braiding the Predator’s hair. They come up with some elaborate handshakes and build a tree fort together. It’s more or less the best. Unfortunately this also means distraction as the Predator totally wrecks his rocket skateboard in the wilderness of Canada while trading baseball cards with Jamie. “Damn it, Predator. What are we going to do? We’ll never get back to civilization in time to kill the little old librarian and rescue Patrick from the terrors of the alternate dimension.” The Predator shrugs his shoulders, downs a can of Mountain Dew, and begins the trek in the general direction of the LOL (little old librarian, duh). Suddenly a pack of wolves emerges from the trees. Just before the Predator blows them to smithereens Jamie intervenes. “Wait,” he says in confusion, “these aren’t real wolves… these are terribly rendered holograms.” That’s right! This week we’re watching Alpha and Omega, that animated wolf film that everyone remembers and loves. There was a time when it seemed like everything rendered in beautiful 3D animation was gold and never got bad reviews. This film came out right after that. But don’t worry it made bank and has a thousand straight-to-DVD sequels (I know you were worried)… sigh, this should be fun. Let’s go!

Patrick awakens on the beach, but now it looks like a beautiful European vista. “I love vistas.” Patrick thinks as a beautiful woman exits the water and approaches him. It is young Elizabeth Taylor, or at least someone who looks like her. In an instant he lives an entire life, they have a torrid love affair that the press can’t get enough of, he wins awards, becomes an alcoholic, and becomes a shattered soul as their love sours, rekindles, and then falls apart. On his deathbed in Switzerland, an old man, Patrick thinks back to that iconic love story before peacefully passing away. Becoming a force ghost, he haunts Elizabeth Taylor for the rest of her days until … Patrick awakens, he isn’t actually dead, he is still in Switzerland and was merely napping, but as if through a thick fog he can hear a familiar voice: “Gosh dern it Patrick, snap out of it!”, he awakens again! It was a dream within a dream! What a twist! The beach is torn to shreds, the birds gone, and Sticks and Stones are battered and bruised. Patrick can barely hear them through the whipping winds. Patrick is lifted into the air at the center of the storm, tears filling his eyes, and fear filling his heart. He doesn’t know what to do. He wishes he could just go back to something comfortable and calming, like illogical and unending product placement within the bad movies that he loves. Bam! The beach set is now a supermarket, and Stick and Stones are cartoon cereal mascots. “Shit, how’d you do that?!” Sticks growls. “It don’t matter, use those twin powers to get us to the precinct!” says Stones. They all jump in a supermarket cart and dash off down the aisle. That’s right, we’re watching Foodfight! Produced in 2003 the film is thought to have been a money laundering scheme gone awry, the gimmick being the promise of product placement covering production costs. After defaulting on loans, the film was auctioned off and, with investors invoking a contractual clause, the film was quietly released on DVD a decade after production began. Let’s go!

Alpha and Omega (2010) – BMeTric: 44.1

AlphaandOmega_BMeT

AlphaandOmega_RV

(Shockingly low rating for an animated film it feels like. Not much else to say beyond that it has a very nice vote curve which appears to be asymptotically approaching a value around … fifteen thousand maybe?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Two wolves, a male and female with opposite personalities names Humphrey and Kate (get it?), are transported to Idaho to mate and expand the wolf population. Instead, they band together to trek back home to Canada, encountering numerous perils along the way; later, they work together to stop their packs from having a turf war. Animated film is aimed at the youngest members of the family, with slapstick antics and cliched characters that will have parents squirming. Produced on a low budget and animated primarily in Mumbai, India.

(So I guess what Leonard is referring to is Humphrey (Bogart) and Kate (Katharine Hepburn I assume)? Although I couldn’t find anything definitive on that actually being the case, so perhaps I’m missing something. While researching this I have discovered there are a number of fan fiction short stories about Kate and Humphrey’s children. So that’s a thing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXLAvDEpdT0

(Wowza, the animation is terrible! What an Idaho film as well … too bad Georgia Rule already dominates that state on the Mapl.d.map.)

Directors – Anthony Bell – (BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Duckman, The Wild Thornberrys, and Rugrats are just a few of his television credits. Seemingly was a big name in animation directing.)

Ben Gluck – (BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Graduated from the California Institute of Art. Did a few direct-to-video sequels, Bambi II and Brother Bear 2, prior to co-directing this film.)

Writers – Chris Denk (screenplay) – (Known For: Bling; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Was a production assistant before breaking through as a screenwriter.)

Ben Gluck (story by) – (Known For: Bambi II; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: His last credit both as a director and writer were Madea’s Tough Love, which is an animated Madea film.)

Steve Moore (original screenplay and story) – (Known For: Open Season; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Created the syndicated cartoon In the Bleachers which Open Season is a spin off from. Alpha and Omega is his only original screenplay it looks like.)

Actors – Hayden Panettiere – (Known For: Remember the Titans; Scream 4; A Bug’s Life; Dinosaur; Ice Princess; The Object of My Affection; Future BMT: Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Racing Stripes; Joe Somebody; Raising Helen; Message in a Bottle; The Affair of the Necklace; Fireflies in the Garden; The Architect; BMT: I Love You, Beth Cooper; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Apparently just split up with Wladimir Klitschko after a five year engagement during which they had a daughter.)

Christina Ricci – (Known For: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Sleepy Hollow; The Addams Family; Monster; Casper; Addams Family Values; Black Snake Moan; Speed Racer; Penelope; Mermaids; Small Soldiers; Buffalo ’66; The Ice Storm; Bastard Out of Carolina; The Opposite of Sex; Anything Else; Pecker; The Hard Way; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; Around the Block; Future BMT: Cursed; The Smurfs 2; Bel Ami; That Darn Cat; Home of the Brave; 200 Cigarettes; Mothers and Daughters; Distorted; New York, I Love You; The Man Who Cried; Prozac Nation; I Love Your Work; Pumpkin; All’s Faire in Love; Now and Then; Desert Blue; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Bless the Child; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Child star turned actress, she seems to do more television these days, like playing Zelda Fitzgerald in Z: The Beginning of Everything)

Justin Long – (Known For: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Tusk; Idiocracy; He’s Just Not That Into You; Drag Me to Hell; Funny People; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; Die Hard 4.0; Galaxy Quest; Veronica Mars; Jeepers Creepers; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; A Case of You; 10 Years; Herbie Fully Loaded; Going the Distance; The Conspirator; Comet; Youth in Revolt; Frank & Lola; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Yoga Hosers; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Jeepers Creepers II; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; The Break-Up; Serious Moonlight; Trauma; Planet 51; Ghost Team; The Lookalike; Literally, Right Before Aaron; Accepted; Best Man Down; Waiting…; BMT: Crossroads; Movie 43; Old Dogs; Strange Wilderness; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Was the Mac guy in old Mac commercials (opposite John Hodgman, the PC). Apparently might be back together with Drew Barrymore, they were reportedly dating around the time they filmed Going the Distance.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $25,107,267 (Worldwide: $50,507,267)

(A success I would say. Not enough maybe to make a real sequel, but it isn’t that surprising it has … six sequels! Well, it isn’t surprising it has sequels, we’ll leave it at that.)

#191 for the Animation genre

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(Huh … we haven’t watched any traditional animated films. Unless you count Cool World which was only partially so. Most of the recent examples are computer animated, but interesting to see how inconsistent (but extremely successful) the early 90s were for traditional animation with things like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, made alongside things like Rock-a-Doodle.)

#129 for the Animation – Computer genre

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(The Emoji Movie was by far the most recent of the computer animated. Pretty interesting to see the success of the early examples (like Toy Story) and how it almost immediately settles into a steadily rising production / revenue line.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (9/56): With bland visuals and a dull, predictable plot, Alpha and Omega is a runt in 2010’s animated litter.

(Huh, bland and predictable doesn’t seem too great. At least it is a real animated film I guess. Reviewer Highlight: There’s nothing here that Disney hasn’t done much better decades ago, and the script is a lame mixture of slapstick and sentiment. – Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail)

Poster – I’m Uncomfortable With How Sexily They Have Drawn That Girl Wolf (B)

alpha_and_omega_ver5

(If you think that’s uncomfortable wait until you see how they animate that sexy girl wolf. It gets weird. Anyway, nice font, good balance, and OK coloring. Overall pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – A Pawsome 3D Adventure (Nope)

(Woof! That one’s… ruff. They sure let this tagline… go to the dogs.)

Keyword(s) – park; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.1 The Room (2003); 75.8 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 71.4 Getaway (I) (2013); 68.9 The Happening (2008); 65.7 Yogi Bear (2010); 61.6 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987); 60.5 The Snowman (2017); 56.5 Befikre (2016); 56.4 Rough Night (2017); 55.7 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994);

(Well, I suppose The Room does have a scene in a park … Yogi Bear seems like the only actually park film. Richie Rich does end in a park as well, but that is a fairly minor part of that atrocious film.)

Notes – Dennis Hopper’s last film. (yes, this is sadly true)

It was Lionsgate’s highest grossing animated feature, before 2017 when it was dethroned by My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).

The names of the two main characters are Humphrey and Kate, which are the names of the co-stars of The African Queen (1951) Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. (Hey, I guessed right!)

In reality, northwestern wolves that originated from Alberta, Canada, were used to repopulate Yellowstone National Park.

The first of five movies released in a seven-month period, that set the record of the worst debut for a 3-D movie. This movie debuted to 9.1 million dollars, setting the then-record, losing it to My Soul to Take (2010) (6.8 million dollars) three weeks later, which lost it to Gulliver’s Travels (2010) (6.3 million dollars) eleven weeks later, which lost it to Drive Angry (2011) (5.2 million dollars) ten weeks later, which lost it to Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011) (4.1 million dollars) nine weeks later. However, despite its rather disappointing opening at the box-office, the movie did much better later on, managing to make three times more than its twenty million dollar budget. (Probably just reflects the growing ubiquity of 3D films in the US at the time, that eventually even really small films were getting 3D released in 2011)

Gained a cult following among audiences, and developed a decent fanbase. It’s also Crest Animations’ and Lionsgate’s most famous and popular movie. (I mean … maybe Crest. But certainly not Lionsgate. Maybe their most famous released together?)

The actors, actresses, directors, and crew would actually act out the performances themselves, and then send out the footage to the main studio in Mumbai, India to be fully animated. (whaaaaaaa)

The movie didn’t do as well as expected at the U.S. box-office, earning a little over twenty-five million dollars on its twenty million dollar budget. However, it did better in the rest of the world, eventually grossing almost fifty-one million dollars.

Steve Moore originally intended to give the movie a slightly darker and more serious story, but Lionsgate wanted it to be aimed more towards children, leading the original script to be re-written.

The Game Plan Recap

Jamie

Joe Kingman is the star QB the Boston Rebels still in search of a championship. He’s selfish and arrogant, two things that don’t go very well with having a kid. Luckily he doesn’t… or so he thinks! That’s right! His daughter shows up and totes turns his life upside down. Can he learn to laugh and love (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… The Game Plan.

How?! ‘Never Say No’ Joe Kingman is the star QB of the NOT NFL pining for a NOT Super Bowl. Nothing will get in his way because he is selfish and arrogant and that’s a winning combination in his book. His arrogant selfish world is turned upside down, though, when the daughter he didn’t know he had shows up at his doorstep. All of a sudden he can’t have dates with terrible actresses pretending to be Russian, watch the big Celtics games with his bros, or open flashy restaurants with his celeb friends. Instead it is all ballet, dressing his macho dog in a dress, and sleeping on the couch for this dude. Pretty lame, right? Not so fast. Through it all he finds that perhaps the winning ingredient for his life wasn’t arrogance or selfishness, but was in fact… love. Awwww. He learns this valuable lesson and wins his way to the NOT Super Bowl, only to have his daughter taken away due to custody issues. Dismayed he plays like shit in the big game until his daughter shows up and is like “I don’t care if you’re injured. You better win or else I won’t be proud of you.” Or something to this effect. He storms back, wins the big game, wins the hearts of his fans and daughter and also her ballet teacher. Duh. THE END.

Why?! Now Joe Kingman thinks all he want in life is a championship because winning is everything and he’s an arrogant asshole. But he soon finds out that having a family is super important too awwwwww. His daughter just wants the love of a father… oh and also really wants him to win. Stop being such a wimp, Joe, and get back in that game. Your daughter is skeptical about the severity of your shoulder injury.

What?! Nary a product placement to be seen. Psych! This is more or less an extended commercial for ESPN and all of ESPN’s favorite personalities. It was great and terrible at the same time. Throw in some clips from our favorite Disney shows and people smashing Dasani’s left and right and you got a product placement classic.

Who?! God do I have to? There is almost too many cameos to list. Boomer Esiason and Marv Albert announce all the games in the film and Stuart Scott (and other ESPN personalities) are shown in clips throughout. A large number of sports reporters are seen in a press conference scene including John Clayton. Finally, Joe open a restaurant in the middle of the film which features most of the Celtics at the time (including Paul Pierce), the Maloof Brothers (weird), and other athletes like Eddie George. Oh and Joe’s bulldog is played by Tubbs. Awwwww.

Where?! It’s hard to remember a film more set in the Boston than this one. It is Boston 100% all the time. I wouldn’t typically give this an A because technically he could have also been playing for the *gasp* New York Dukes (say it ain’t so, Joe). Not required by the plot that it take place in Boston but… I’m gonna relent. This is a solid A setting.

When?! A little Secret Holiday Alert for this one as we open the film with the Boston Rebels making the playoffs and celebrating with a New Year’s Eve celebration. The rest of the movie takes place during the month of January as Joe pursues a Not Super Bowl. This is despite showing clips from a Celtics-Trailblazers game that took place on November 10th, 2004 (a buzzer beater by Pierce). So I guess in The Game Plan alternate universe this exact same game took place in January of 2007. A.

While this movie is perfectly fine as a bit of light family fun, and I’m sure Patrick will reiterate that point, I do have one major point to make: Is this not the exact same movie as Old Dogs? The very same movie that was one of the most absurd, great, and horrible things we’ve gotten to watch?  It’s pretty crazy how similar the plots are. A professional associated with the business of sports finds out he has a kid that he didn’t know existed and has to take care of her in a bachelor pad while his agent (friend) who thinks of the kid only as a hindrance attempts to help out. There are even specific details that seems crazy similar like how the mother of the kids in Old Dogs is going to jail for a little while protesting as an environmental activist, while the aunt of the kid in The Game Plan is flying off to the Sudan to bring fresh water to villages. They are both in this pickle not because they are bad but are in fact doing something noble? How strange. Is it possible that The Game Plan was some ripoff of a treatment for Old Dogs? I’m not going to speculate, but also that’s my speculation. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You know what most fish-out-of-water family comedies are missing these days? A sinister underlying social commentary about the link between sub-concussive blows to the head and long-term brain disease … Let’s get into it!

The Good – One of the best kid actors we’ve seen I think. She was preeeeeetty precocious. Dwayne Johnson, excluding the one time he tried to sing, was pretty okay as well. My heart was sufficiently warmed. Honestly, if you ignore all of the football stuff the film was actually not half bad.

Ps View on the Preview – This film is basically Old Dogs … but Old Dogs is crazy. Like super entertainingly bad. Somehow I knew it was impossible this could ever live up to that, but the parallels are ridiculous: A fish-out-of-water father needs to suddenly care for the child(ren) he never knew existed, but his high flying life in the sports entertainment industry just keeps on getting in the way! What a Fish Out of Water!!

The Bad – The football part of this film is at once ridiculous (the best is Dwayne Johnson just wandering onto the field in the middle of play forcing his coach to suddenly take an impromptu timeout in order to avoid a too many men penalty, presumably. Keep your head in the game Joe!) and also ludicrously entertaining. There is zero chance though that they would allow the star QB of the Boston Rebels (currently participating in the NFL playoffs) to just star in a Boston Ballet school performance. Mostly the film just felt pointless, a family comedy that just kind of doesn’t exist anymore.

Get Yo Rant On! – You can basically figure out the entire playoff bracket from this film. The Boston Rebels make the playoffs as a Wild Card in the AFC. They defeat Denver in Denver to start the playoffs. I think the most likely scenario is that the Rebels were the sixth seed because they (1) locked up their playoff spot in week 17 which is very late, and (2) the Steelers had just won as a sixth seed for the first time ever in 2005, so it makes sense that this might reflect on that a bit. This makes Denver the 3 seed having won the West. The Rebels then play the number one seed Indianapolis (who is helmed by Peyton Manning who exists in this universe), and then … and here’s the rant: it is extremely unclear who they play in the AFC Championship game. Online it says Baltimore … which I think makes sense only from a Baltimore-as-the-two-seed-from-the-North makes sense given the bracket, but still. You have to give me more! Who won the East for godsake!! You give me so much, and yet it only leaves me wanting more Game Plan!

The BMT – It could only really have a legacy by standing next to Old Dogs to prove that that films is as absurd as we think it is. The Game Plan is the same story but told in a reasonably coherent way, whereas Old Dogs is pure distilled lunacy. I think that is fun … but unlikely I’ll ever watch this again.

Welcome to Earf! – This is easy. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in this and Be Cool with John Travolta who was in Old Dogs with Robin Williams who was in Big Wedding with Robert De Niro who was in Righteous Kill with Al Pacino who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in  Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Of course this doesn’t have much street cred. I did find a list of The Rock films ranked from worst to best and this was 16th on that list. Interestingly they suggest Dwayne Johnson wore a tutu in the film. He did not, once again proving that most of the bad movie media is a vicious lie. Only trust The Bad Movie Twins for all of your Bad Movie Media needs.

No homework luckily, so I’ll leave it there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Game Plan Preview

Rumors of a giant robot spiders generally travel fast and in little time Patrick and Jamie are hot on its trail. They bicker over the extensive number of MacGuffins they’ve had to collect, almost as if some invisible hand has guided them from task to task. They know that this just has to be the final step, for what else could they be missing? As they round the next corner they see the small cave that an old prospector pointed them to. They take a step towards it but without warning the protective giant robot spider is upon them. They do battle, hoping only to survive. Even with twin powers combined it seems that they are no match for the robotic beast. Finally it turns its laser beam eyes upon them. This is it! It’s the end for our heroes. Patrick suddenly remembers the Obsidian Dongle in his hand and turns it towards the spider as it shoots. The laser beam is absorbed and he feels the Dongle pulsate with energy. The spider cocks its robot head in confusion, but only for a moment as Patrick then blasts it away with the power of the Dongle. “My God,” they say with looks of horror on their faces. It’s a power too great for mankind to possess and they know in that moment that their quest has been righteous. They enter the cave expecting the next MacGuffin or a new riddle, but instead find a small child. She looks upon Jamie and speaks, “Father?” Jamie is confused, but deep down he knows the fact is true. But how can a child… his child… be the key to destroying the Dongle? How can a child be a MacGuffin? That’s right! We’re watching The Game Plan. In an effort to repair the Chain Reaction that Cannonball Run II destroyed we are shifting that film over to the Game section of the cycle (as a Razzie award nominee) and jumping to The Game Plan starring The Rock through Roselyn Sanchez. Phew. What a mess. Thanks IMDb. Let’s go!

The Game Plan (2007) – BMeTric: 25.9

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(Quite a low BMeTric compared to other recent films. The interesting thing actually is how the rating just stalls. Been around 6.2 forever, which is basically exactly average for wide release films since 1980. No one will ever see it as anything more or less than that: average.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Egocentric superstar quarterback (Johnson) becomes a better person – and a better player – after he spends quality time with the 8-year-old daughter (Pettis) he never knew he had. Predictable mix of rib-tickling and heart-tugging elements; this family-friendly comedy sticks close to the rulebook for movies about self-absorbed workaholics suddenly saddled with parental responsibilities.

(First, no way The Rock is a quarterback. Middle Linebacker for sure. Second, love the hyphen and semicolon game here, strong stuff. Finally, “sticks close to the rulebook”? I’m not mad Leonard, I’m just disappointed.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okZ4S4yjvlw

(I had to look it up: apparently you can just put a person’s name on a birth certificate. If you do so knowing the information is false you can be charged with a crime. But in this film I imagine the mother was fairly certain The Rock was the father, so I guess s’all good. That trailer? It was fine. Looks like a kid’s film.)

Directors – Andy Fickman – (Known For: She’s the Man; Race to Witch Mountain; Future BMT: You Again; Parental Guidance; BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; The Game Plan; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 in 2016; Notes: Is now mainly a producer and has directed over 40 episodes of Kevin James’ show Kevin Can Wait.)

Writers – Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price (screenplay & story) – (Future BMT: Fallen; BMT: The Game Plan; Notes: Both Price and Millard were lawyers. The only difference in their credits is Price wrote for the reality show The Mole, which was a fantastic show.)

Audrey Wells (story) – (Known For: Under the Tuscan Sun; George of the Jungle; Shall We Dance; The Kid; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Guinevere; BMT: The Game Plan; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Busted into the biz as an assistant for novelist and screenwriter Alan Sharp who wrote Rob Roy and Night Moves among other things.)

Actors – Dwayne Johnson – (Known For: Skyscraper; Rampage; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Moana; Fast & Furious 8; Get Smart; Fast & Furious 7; Central Intelligence; Hercules; San Andreas; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Furious 6; The Other Guys; Fast & Furious 5; The Mummy Returns; Pain & Gain; Race to Witch Mountain; Welcome to the Jungle; Snitch; The Scorpion King; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Jem and the Holograms; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Southland Tales; You Again; Reno 911!: Miami; Planet 51; Walking Tall; BMT: Doom; Baywatch; Be Cool; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Game Plan; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Doom in 2006; Notes: Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? According to news reports he’s cooking the acceptance of animal abuse … by taking his family to an aquarium apparently. Y’all looney animal right activists, aquariums are fun, save the hate for Sea World.)

Kyra Sedgwick – (Known For: The Edge of Seventeen; Born on the Fourth of July; Submission; Secondhand Lions; Kill Your Darlings; The Possession; Singles; Phenomenon; Murder in the First; The Woodsman; Heart and Souls; Cop Car; The Last Act; Time Out of Mind; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Critical Care; Personal Velocity: Three Portraits; What’s Cooking?; Future BMT: Something to Talk About; Collection; Loverboy; Big Sky; Man on a Ledge; Tai-Pan; Kansas; BMT: Gamer; The Game Plan; Notes: The Closer. Personally I love her more at Wuntch in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Wuntch time is over! She’s married to Kevin Bacon.)

Madison Pettis – (Known For: Horton Hears a Who!; That’s What I Am; Future BMT: Do You Believe?; BMT: The Game Plan; Notes: Had a few leading roles in television including a number of voice parts. She is now twenty, and I believe attends Tisch.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $90,648,202 (Worldwide: $147,880,543)

(Huge hit. But probably not something The Rock wanted to continue as he transformed himself into movie star Dwayne Johnson. Also I feel like these types of films rarely get sequels, what with children growing up and stuff.)

#9 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(Ah a classic. Cheaper by the Dozen is the most successful one we’ve watched, but it is juuuust beat by Big Daddy which currently has a 39.8% on Rotten Tomatoes, it wasn’t qualifying for the last ten years (!), a bad review was added in March. For some reason there hasn’t been films added to this list in five years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (29/101): Despite The Rock’s abundant charisma, The Game Plan is just another run-of-the-mill Disney comedy.

(Hmmmm, does not bode well for us. Likely boring, inncuous, laugh-free, heart warming, and hard to hate. Like the Pacifier. Reviewer Highlight: Having tamed one muscled man-child (Vin Diesel in The Pacifier), Disney sets its sights on The Rock. – Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly (see))

Poster – The Sklog Plan (D+)

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(A very Disney poster. As you all know I hate posters that are predominantly white in color tone. Feels very empty and messy. Mediocre font and the balance is all off anyway. Weird and generally bad poster here. I do like the poses that the football players in the background are making to show their displeasure at the situation. They all be like “say whaaaaaaa? You got a whaaaaaaa?”)

Tagline(s) – Joe Kingman had the perfect game plan to win the championship… but first, he has to tackle one little problem. (D)

(Hahahahaha. No. It is egregious and insane that that entire thing actually appeared on the poster. No thanks. Give it a D for the puns, but otherwise useless.)

Keyword(s) – tween girl; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.1 Grease 2 (1982); 75.0 Daddy Day Camp (2007); 55.1 The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990); 52.2 Annie (2014); 48.4 Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005); 45.8 Unaccompanied Minors (2006); 39.1 Blue Crush (2002); 38.9 Ladybugs (1992); 36.3 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003); 34.7 Monkey Trouble (1994);

(I cannot wait to see Neverending Story II again, it is just a bonkers film. He’s like loving his memory and shit. I’ve seen Annie (2014) … in theaters … why did I watch that in theaters if it wasn’t for this? I guess The Razzies maybe? Blah.)

Notes – Dwayne Johnson said he came up with the idea for his character to be such a huge Elvis fan, and suggested the idea to the writers, who loved it and added it to the script. Johnson later said that when they asked how he came up with the idea, Johnson responded that he is Elvis’ biggest fan, and much of the Elvis memorabilia his character owns actually belongs to Johnson. (Fun facts. I have a feeling we are going to get a ton of fun facts. This screams: The Rock went on a three week press tour for this film)

Dwayne Johnson has said that this film will be the last film in which he will be credited as “The Rock”. (That makes sense. I’m like 50-50 whether I refer to him as Dwayne Johnson or The Rock at this point, although not to other people I guess)

Two bulldogs, named Tubbs and Tank, shared the role of Spike. (I love dog facts, Tubbs is on IMDb but this is his only credited role)

Dwayne Johnson’s character, Joe Kingman, suffers a separated shoulder that temporarily knocks him out of the big game. In real life, The Rock actually did suffer a season-ending shoulder separation while playing defensive tackle as a freshman at the University of Miami. (Fun fact)

Production was pushed back by several months after Dwayne Johnson suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon injury during a football practice session. (Oh shit. You aren’t getting any younger Dwayne, got to chill on those stunts I guess)

The scene in which “Joe Kingman” (Dwayne Johnson) runs the whole way through the city to the hospital carrying his daughter Peyton resembles Dustin Hoffman doing the same for his son in the movie Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). Also a movie about a father raising a child on his own. (Honestly … I think that is just something stressful fathers could relate to, that helplessness and duty that comes with being a father)

Originally the script called for the football team to be the New England Patriots, but negotiating with the NFL became difficult for producers so they made up the team name instead. (Gross)

The Rebels and New York Dukes stand in for the NFL’s New England Patriots and New York Giants. In the film, the Rebels play the Dukes in the last game of the regular season, and later in the League’s Championship game. The movie was released during the 2007 NFL regular season, and in that season the Patriots played the Giants in both the last game of the Regular season and in Super Bowl XLII (2008). (You know what? Let’s not think about that game)

The football referees were from the Association of New England Football Officials (What’s up with New England being all over this film?)

Underclassman Recap

Jamie

Tre Stokes is a young cop hoping to make detective and sees his chance in an undercover gig at a local high school investigating the death of a student. Can he solve the crime, win the big streetball competition (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Underclassman.

What?! Tre Stokes don’t play by anybody’s rulez and that means he ain’t doing paperwork, he ain’t calling for backup, and he ain’t letting go of an investigation. When a new undercover gig comes about investigating the death of a teenager, Tre knows it’s his big chance at a break. He heads to an upper class, predominantly white high school posing as a student and almost immediately butts heads with the cool jocks. To ingratiate himself he helps take their premier streetball team straight to the top (not joking) and defends the main cool dude in a fight (writing this back it does sound a bit stereotypical). When he flubs a chance to take down a local drug dealer and then gets the police chief’s car stolen in a bungled sting operation, he is promptly fired. Despite this he never gives up and eventually tracks it all back to his cool kid friends who are part of a Fast & Furious style streetball/car stealing gang. Except in a twist it turns out they are being blackmailed by the principal who is stealing cars and dealing drugs to make quick cash (what a twist!). In a climactic boat chase scene Tre ends up totally murdering the guy and then totes makes out with his Spanish teacher… oh did I not mention that he and his Spanish teacher totally flirt the whole time in a weirdly inappropriate manner? Well they do. THE END.

Why?! Tre just wants to make his Pops proud by becoming a detective in the LAPD like he was. Unfortunately he hasn’t yet learned that rules=coolz (trademark, BMT Entertainment) so he’s pretty much the worst. As for the bad guy, he’s just a lowly principal of a prestigious urban private high school teaching the snobby kids of rich people. Guess what? It’s his time to make some sweet cash by dealing drugs and stealing cars. No chance this will backfire and totally end with him exploding.

What?! As Patrick mentioned there was a baby blue Chevy Corvette Stingray that is probably the most obvious products that we see in the film. I may have missed something though as I had tears streaming down my face following a truly glorious jetski, rugby, streetball, and paintball sports scenes combo. It was beautiful.

Who?! We get a brief shot of a house party near the beginning of the film where a band is playing. This must be some mega famous band to be featured in person in such a major motion picture, right? Nope. It’s a band called The Actual and the song they’re singing is so small that I couldn’t even find it on the internet to listen to. It is digitally unavailable. Interestingly the lead singer is the son of Nora Ephron… small world.

Where?! Califfooorrrnia Loo-ooove. Baaah-da-da-buh-buh-buh-buh. It’s apparently a law that films that take place in LA are required to play 2Pac’s California Love. We almost certainly could make an entire cycle of films that feature that song… you know if we hadn’t already watched like 5000 terrible movies. The setting is very prominent, but not necessary. B+.

When?! Uh… Autumn probably. We know the car shown being stolen in an opening scene was taken in October, so I would guess that this all took place in November. Not sure we could get any more specific than that. D+.

This film is like every cliche wrapped into one giant ball of garbage and rolled down the aisle of a movie theater (where I’m also rolling around at this point). I actually can’t believe people created it unironically. Like… Nick Cannon goes undercover at a prestigious, predominantly white high school where he immediately a) make a big splash on the school’s streetball team (?) and b) begins to romance the smoking hot Spanish teacher which is… problematic. But not according to Nick Cannon who when interviewed about the ethics of a teacher romancing a student, particularly in the case where “they’re 16 or younger, 17 I guess makes them legal, if they’re 16 I guess they’re a minor?” to which he responded, “Realistically I don’t personally, I don’t personally, as me – young guy got game. He can’t help it. Put it on the teacher, that’s every guy’s wish. I didn’t have any sexy teachers at my school.” Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. What? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! As a producer I wonder how many times you ultimately get a soft reboot of 21 Jump Street rejected. Once or twice, right? You have to throw it in there when a deadline approaches and you are out of ideas. Well guess what … someone actually made one in 2005! Let’s get into it.

The Good – The basketball scenes look reasonable enough. Like, I can believe Nick Cannon dunked a few times, and there are a few clear shots of actors hitting three point shots. Don’t ask me to guess how high the hoop was or whether they repainted the three point line though. That, sadly, is it. Well, besides this movie being bonkers and reviving my love for bad high school comedies that is!

P’s View on the Preview – I had to make a choice with this film. The wiki page was start class, but sorely lacking. A very unprofessional and short plot summary, and missing references. Do I close watch the film and fix it? Or do I just focus on BMT and ignore my growing passion for wiki film stubs? You betta belieb I close watched the shit out of this film. You’re looking at the foremost expert on Underclassman right here. Did you know Captain Delgado’s prized car was a 1965 Chevy Corvette Stingray named Juanita? Did you want to know that? Did you want to know that I knew that? Didn’t think so.

The Bad – The existence of this film is an enigma. Nick Cannon is just not suited for the role. The headmaster twist is telegraphed. Cannon macking the Spanish teacher is creepy. The reaction of Captain Delgado is off the chain (he at one point suggests Cannon should have shot a high school student in order to stop a carjacking … that is insane). Streetball. Rugby. Paintball. Jet skis. Boat chases. A designer drug called Bliss. A baby blue Chevy Corvette Stingray named Juanita … the movie is gloriously terrible. A glorious absurdity.

Get Yo Rant On – There is something profoundly creepy about the gall the producers in the mid-2000s had with the romantic lead in the film. Why? Why not make Tre fall in love with the Kelly Hu character or something, his undercover handler? Why a teacher? It is a profoundly disturbing statement about our society not even that long ago … although I think I would have still be creeped out in 2005 to be honest. It is just so weird. Why do this to me Underclassman? I loved you so much besides this one thing! Rant over.

Welcome to Earf – I am pretty sure this would have been impossible for me to do off the top of my head … except that the film was in our Chain Reaction category. So Keith Dallas was in both this film and I Spy starring Eddie Murphy, who was in Norbit with Terry Crews who was in Blended with Adam Sandler who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

The BMT – This so far is actually one of the top films for the first half of the year. Really silly enough to show to someone and they’ll immediately get why I love it. Trey goes undercover at an affluent predominantly white high school, joins the school street ball team and single-handedly wins several rounds. C’mon now!

StreetCreditReport.com – None, which I guess isn’t surprising. Given his limited filmography this even shows up on Nick Cannon’s best-of lists! It does get a random shoutout for being one of several films starting with “un” that year though.

No homework, but I wish there was a multi-season adaptation of this film into a television show. I can’t get enough. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Underclassman Preview

Pacing the room and slamming Mountain Dew, Patrick and I brainstorm our barnburner of a film. Chris Klein has already signed on and our mind is on action (and plenty of it, you betta believe). However, when we open the door for our old bag of a stenographer we are taken aback. She’s no old bag at all! Quite the contrary! Did the company not see where we wrote “old bag” in the comment section? Oh well, being consummate professionals we get right to work. She’s efficient and hardworking and together we make quick work of the script. We shake hands with her and provide a glowing review to her temp agency. We offer each other some honest feedback for future improvement. Where boundaries may have been crossed in the name of romance, instead a beautiful professional relationship built on mutual respect had bloomed. After she departs we look at the script. It reads Rich & Poe and boy howdy do these hard-boiled detectives get into some deep undercover action in this action flick. That’s right! We’re watching Underclassman, the Nick Cannon 21 Jump Street knock-off where he’s a cop that has to infiltrate a high school. No doubt we’re gonna have some sweet inappropriate jokes about underage girls and teachers sleeping with students. Can’t wait. Let’s go!

Underclassman (2005) – BMeTric: 51.1

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(Wow that started amazingly low. Its creeped up to where I think maybe it should be (mid-4.0s, which is basically really fucking bad … but not so bad you’d have heard of it for being bad). Kind of amazing how hated it is though, I would have imagined this would have just gotten forgotten. Maybe because it was released just as IMDb was coming into their own? You can even see this plot starts basically right when the movie was released which is pretty stunning for a 2005 release. Look at the first scrape!)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Pause here for a Jack Webb “uh-huh”: Instead of being canned when he precipitates half a mile’s worth of car-chase damage, barely-literate cop Cannon is assigned to pose incognito as a student at a swanky prep school that’s been victimized by a car-theft ring. Few clichés are missed, including Cannon’s inevitable yen for the campus Spanish instructor (Sanchez). Script is in serious stupor, as if it has spent a month in a locked room with some of Cheech’s old stash.

(Jack Webb was in Dragnet which Leonard is kind of cryptically referencing. This is a very weird review, especially the end. I think Leonard just hates lazy cliché ridden garbage? There is almost no reason this is a BOMB considering some of the other passes he tends to dole out for simple nonsense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB3rqT7X4Bw

(Ooooof, that looks absolutely terrible. Terrible race jokes. Terrible sex-with-the-teacher insinuations. Terrible sports scenes. Oh wait, did I say terrible? I meant I am very excited for this film.)

Directors – Marcos Siega – (Future BMT: Chaos Theory; Pretty Persuasion; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: He’s pretty exclusively a television producer/director. He directed a ton of The Following, Dexter, and Vampire Diaries among others. He’s also made quite a few television movies as well.)

Writers – Brent Goldberg (story & screenplay) and David Wagner (story) (as David T. Wagner & screenplay) (as David T. Wagner) – (Known For: The Girl Next Door; Future BMT: Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; My Baby’s Daddy; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: These guys killed it in the early 2000s. They really dropped off the radar in 2005 though, here’s an interview concerning their collaboration from 2004.)

Nick Cannon (story) – (BMT: Underclassman; Notes: He actually has a ton of writing credits, but they are either on concert/music projects or the movies he’s been involved with don’t have enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I wish there was a way to know the level of involvement with the “story” Nick Cannon had though.)

Actors – Nick Cannon – (Known For: Chi-Raq; Monster House; Drumline; Bobby; Shall We Dance; Roll Bounce; The Killing Room; King of the Dancehall; American Son; Future BMT: Garfield; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; Whatever It Takes; Goal II: Living the Dream; Men in Black II; Even Money; Weapons; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: Was married to Mariah Carey for eight years, they had a pair of twins (heyyyyyoooo) in 2011.)

Shawn Ashmore – (Known For: X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; The Ruins; Mother’s Day; Frozen; Strike!; Mariachi Gringo; Future BMT: The Day; Hatchet II; Acts of Violence; Breaking the Girls; The Quiet; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: Played the Iceman in X-Men. Has a twin brother who has mostly been on television, including five episodes of Veronica Mars.)

Kelly Hu – (Known For: X-Men 2; The Scorpion King; The Doors; Strange Days; Americanese; Future BMT: Surf Ninjas; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Wo zhi nv ren xin; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Underclassman; Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: Was a Miss Teen USA, born in Hawaii.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $5,655,459 (Worldwide: $5,879,555)

(A complete and utter disaster. Kind of a wonder they released it at all. It was apparently delayed from 2004, so they certainly could have pushed it out onto cable. Although … I suppose the movie does skew a bit old for the Nick Cannon demographic. What a strange strange movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (5/83): Despite the appealing presence of Nick Cannon, Underclassman is a shopworn Beverly Hills Cop/ 21 Jump Street knockoff.

(Single digits baby. Nearly one hundred reviews as well, which is nothing to sniff at. That time, around 2005, was a weird time huh? Uwe Boll films, and Nick Cannon in actual movies. Wild. Reviewer Highlight: Almost comically unambitious, Underclassman seldom tries to be funny, and never even attempts to be original. – Nathan Rabin, AV Club)

Poster – UnderSklogins (D)

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(I find it incredibly weird that he’s holding his gun like that in the poster… he’s like casually pointing it at the audience. Put that away! You’re scaring the children! I kid because I love… how terrible this all is. Woof.)

Tagline(s) – A Comedy About Upholding The Law And Disturbing The Peace (C-)

Get Ready To Be Schooled (A-)

(Both are on the poster, both are getting judged. First one is terrible. Too long and self-referential like it’s from the old days or something. “A Comedy About…” really? Just do the joke you’re aiming for. Upholding the law and disturbing the peace… Underclassman. Boom. Easy. Second one is better. Clever, hints at the plot, short and sweet. I like it.)

Keyword(s) – undercover; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.3 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 82.2 Barb Wire (1996); 81.1 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); 74.9 Taxi (I) (2004); 73.6 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 71.8 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 70.4 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 70.3 On Deadly Ground (1994); 67.8 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006); 65.5 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005);

(Big Momma Like Father Like Son best be there. We’ll probably hit all of these, although the Cable Guy movies will get a bit dicey. There are some things that kind of make you wonder “why am I doing this?” and I have a feeling watching the Larry the Cable Guy movies would be one of those things. Although, I have to admit … he was fine in Madea Christmas, so what do I know?)

Movie Stub – Underclassman (Start-class) – So when I got to this webpage the critical reception and box office response was jammed together. Also the entire thing sounded “non-encyclopedia” and it was suggested that the entire article be rewritten. I wouldn’t go so far, it had the proper structure, it was just a little loosey goosey with the lingo. Finally, I expanded the plot summary to a comfortable 410 words, and re-submitted the article for review. Viola, now that is a start-class wiki page! Actually, I think it is borderline C-class according to the quality guidelines, although some notes about production I think would be needed to put it over the top.

Notes – Originally set for a US theatrical release in 2004. Then two massive waves of layoffs were sustained at Miramax and Dimension, and the infamous Disney and Miramax split reached its height. This film thus remained in the Miramax vaults unreleased during this time of uncertainty. When the Disney and Miramax divorce was finally completed, numerous films under the Miramax and Dimension label were finally released theatrically. (I do love production issues, usually explains a lot)

The scene where Trey shoots Murdock and eventually tackles an undercover DEA agent which results in him explaining that Murdock can’t be a murder suspect because he was out of town on that date is extremely reminiscent of an exact same scene from Point Break (1991) where Tom Sizemore is the DEA agent. (fun fact?)

I Spy Recap

Substandard secret agent Alex Scott is paired with cocky boxing champ Kelly Robinson to recover a missing government weapon known as The Switchblade. Can they recover the weapon, stop the baddies, and get the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… I Spy. Also test your super-spy powers with the quiz!)

Jamie

What?! Alex Scott is a bumbling stumbling spy ready to make his mark (a real Patrick type character). When a secret government weapon called The Switchblade is stolen, Alex is teamed with a cocky boxing champ with an oversized ego, Kelly Robinson (a real Jamie type character). With this Jamie and Patrick type team of super spies assembled they head to Hungary where it’s rumored that a terrorist baddy is trying to sell the weapon (a real Tolstoy type character). Through the fame of Kelly Robinson they are able to infiltrate the bad guy’s hideout and plant a tracking device on the terrorist, but nearly get caught and have to escape. The next morning they track the terrorist to a turkish bath, but it turns out to be a trap (oh no!) and Alex’s lady love is tragically killed. Angry and despondent, Kelly Robinson heads to his boxing match while Alex continues to track the weapon. He is able to find it hidden in plain sight through advanced cloaking technology, but is captured in the showdown with the terrorists (classic Patrick). In a giant twist it turns out his lady love didn’t actually die but was a traitor in league with the bad guy (what a twist!). When all seems lost Kelly Robinson (in a real Jamie move) comes to rescue and they are able to recover the weapon, albeit in the most stumbly bumbly way possible. Credits roll and we are promised a spy franchise to laugh and cry with for the next decade. THE END.

Why?! I mean… I guess it’s just Alex’s job so he has to try to stop the terrorist. He does have some hang ups about being considered a second rate spy and feels like he has something to prove in order to get with the lady spy he’s crushing on. As for Kelly he’s mostly just an egomaniac that wants a parade. Finally, the bad guy wants to sell The Switchblade for cash monies plain and simple. In fact, even after being informed that the weapon will be used by its buyer to drop a bomb on Washington DC he kinda just shrugs. He don’t care as long as he gets that cash.

What?! MacGuffin alert! The entire conceit of the film is the recovery of a super secret government plane nicknamed The Switchblade. It also has a cloaking device that makes it nearly invisible to the naked eye. While it is unclear why a plane would need that given they are detected with everything but the naked eye, the bad guys still seem pretty jazzed for it, so must be good and definitely not dumb.

Who?! I could talk about all the boxing related celebs that had cameos in this film, such as Sugar Ray Leonard, but I’m much more interested in the fact that the actual Mayor of Budapest made an uncredited appearance in this film. That is so perfect I feel like I should already give this film an A+ for setting. Oh, and the IMDb trivia claims Will Ferrell voiced a faux George W. Bush in a scene, but he is not credited or uncredited anywhere that I can find… so is it real? Can’t say.

Where?! Hungary, duh. 80% of the film takes place there and some major landmarks take center stage. A perfect grade A setting. Even more interesting are some of the minor settings such as our recently departed Monte Carlo and an opening that takes place in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is so rare that it’s very tempting just to use this film for that location too.

When?! I feel like some of our recent films has shaken my belief that the full setting for films are likely attainable as long as they aren’t purposefully obscured (a la The Tuxedo). But this film pulled me right back in. While there isn’t a huge amount of information available to place it, there is a newspaper where an article states that the baseball season has just opened and that the “three-time champ Yankees take up where they left off – winning.” This would place the events of the film around April 2, 2001. C+ as exact but obviously very hard to place.

Try to think of a film where you really liked the performances, but everything else in the film is cliched garbage. That’s this film. This was on the cusp of Eddie Murphy’s decline in Hollywood, but you still get a pretty solid, funny performance here (minus a couple politically incorrect jokes). Owen Wilson was really on the rise and certainly hits his comedic notes. Their dynamic worked and I think this film would have been successful if it weren’t for the fact that it was terrible. The plot is just bad and proceeds in a mundane, predictable way throughout. It seems almost like they thought “we have two superstars, don’t think too hard about the plot”… which is so on the nose I would actually believe that it happened. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I Spy is a film that dreams big, planning and yearning for that series, a new Shanghai Noon for us Owen Wilson-heads to revel in. Sadly, the American people are idiots who can’t even bother to appreciate the gifts bestowed upon them. Pshaw, sad. Let’s get into it!

The Good – This is probably one of the later films in the Eddie Murphy filmography where his kind of arrogant charm works. And Owen Wilson is an equal delight. It makes the film go along at a solid enough clip, and Budapest is indeed rather beautiful. And Eddie Murphy boxing is … shockingly believable.

P’s View on the Preview – This was a settings film through and through, half the notes were about how they wanted to film in Budapest because you never see Budapest in films. And this is very Budapest, all the way down to the final scene on the Chain Bridge. The only other thing of interest to me was the television angle, but I didn’t get a chance to do the homework to watch an episode of the old series, so it is basically impossible to comment.

The Bad – Despite all of the good I’ve said thus far I, uh, … did not like this film. It is a zero laugh comedy. It doesn’t really use Famke Janssen well, and the entire thing feels like an episode of a television show, and not a particularly good one. The film just washes off of me like water off of a duck’s back … I’ll probably forget we watched it in a couple of weeks.

Welcome to Earf – I’m still trying to figure out where I want to put this, but since I don’t have much to talk about concerning this film well … at least I’ll explain it. Like Jamie’s Phantom Zone from his Submersion podcast, the intent is to go from I Spy to Here on Earth, but I want to do it from memory, and only going from BMT films. For I Spy you can got to (1) Norbit via Eddie Murphy to (2) Blended via Terry Crews to (3) Jack and Jill via Adam Sandler to (4) 88 Minutes starring Al Pacino to (5) Here on Earth starring Leelee Sobieski. Welcome to Earf I Spy!

The BMT – Blah. The film is basically boring. It has a television angle, a buddy cop angle, Eddie Murphy, it is a ports film, and a war film, and a spy film … and it isn’t really a good-bad movie for any of them. It doesn’t have the legs beyond being yet another piece in the eventual complete Eddie Murphy BMT filmography project.

StreetCreditReport.com – Didn’t get much notice in the 2002 lists, but I did find it on a list of the 30 worst spy films where it got 13th. We need to step up our game because on this excellent list we’ve only seen seven films, which is a shame.

As I said above I didn’t get to the homework (again). I do promise I’ll get better, this month is just a tad bit hectic. Cheerios,

The Sklogs