The Beverly Hillbillies Recap

Jamie

Jed Clampett strikes oil and strikes out for Beverly Hills in pursuit of a wife to help tame his tomboy daughter. Surrounded by sycophants and con men looking to take advantage of his country naivete, can they be stopped before it’s too late? Find out in… The Beverly Hillbillies.

How?! It’s the classic fish-out-of-water story updated for a modern time. Jed Clampett is out hunting for dinner in rural Arkansas when a stray bullet strikes a giant oil reserve. Selling his land for billions he hoofs it to Beverly Hills with Grannie, Jethro, and Elly May in tow in order to find a wife to help Elly May become a proper young lady (she currently spends her time wrasling bears and the like). Upon arriving they are taken under the wing of the head of the bank, Mr. Drysdale, and his associate Miss Jane Hathaway. Unbeknownst to them, though, a skeezy employee of the bank, Woodrow, and his money-grubbing girlfriend, Laura, plan to trick the country bumpkins into handing over their fortune. Disguised as a French etiquette teacher, Laura infiltrates the family and cozies up to Jed. While the Clampett clan generally charm all those that come across their simple, kind ways, it all seems headed for naught as Jed announces that he will indeed marry Laura. On the day of the wedding Miss Jane and Grannie discover the dastardly plot and at the last moment stop the wedding. The End. The film is also that abrupt in concluding.

Why?! The original TV show was a bit light on motivation. They move to Beverly Hills in order just to take advantage of their new wealth since it seemed like the right thing to do. In the film they solidify this a bit by detailing a fear of Jed’s that his daughter is growing up rough in rural Arkansas without a mother. By moving to ritzy Beverly Hills he hopes to find a sophisticated wife who can teach Elly May to be a proper lady. As for Mr. Drysdale, he’s a sycophant that hopes only to keep Jed’s money in his bank (although he and Miss Jane are pretty nice to the Clampetts nonetheless). Laura and Woodrow are the bad guys that only aim to steal money that is not theirs. Played by Rob Schneider, Woodrow is terribly unfunny and easily the worst part of a pretty silly film.

What?! I was fearing that we wouldn’t get a decent product placement in the entire film and I would be forced to use a conspicuously placed bottle of Shasta soda for this entry (the horror). That is until Jed’s glamorous birthday party when Juthro, shown to be a huge eater in several different scenes (character development!), can’t stand the snobby food. Starving and eager for a decent meal he orders a six-foot sub from Subway! Not joking, it’s a commercial within a film.

Who?! While Zsa Zsa Gabor appears very briefly in a police lineup (for no discernable reason) and the original Jed Clampett himself, Buddy Ebsen, appears as Barnaby Jones, I have to give this section to the queen Dolly Parton. Not only does she sings a full rendition of If You Ain’t Got Love and Happy Birthday, but she wrangled a higher billing than Rob Schneider and Dabney Coleman for a single scene. Good on ya!

Where?! Love the original setting of Arkansas. Fairly brief, but specific. The main setting though sets off a serious A+ Settings Alert! Beverly Hills is essential to the plot and in the title. Can’t beat a satisfyingly A+ setting.

When?! Patrick and I discussed this at length. With some sleuthing it would seem that the film takes place over a 6 month period starting from February 1993, with the wedding taking place on the 10th of August of that year. This is all based on a calendar on Barnaby Jones’ desk and a couple of magazine people read (we are crazy people). Most B- setting that I can remember.

I actually didn’t totally mind this film. Just as silly as something like Dudley Do-Right, but with some characters I liked and I thought the Clampett actors did an admirable job conveying the sweet innocence of the family without becoming insulting… or at least too insulting. Rob Schneider never fails to be terrible though. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Beverly Hillbillies? More like the Beverly Fail-billies? That’s a toughy. Jed Clampett just fell ass backwards into a billion dollars and wants to find his daughter a new mother … that’s it. That’s the story, let’s get into it.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I like the actors (although I don’t think anyone comes across as decent besides, maybe, Lea Thompson). And the movie is kind of harmless in an oh-shucks kind of way. I would Remake it obviously. Because there is nothing better than remaking a remake of a 1960s television show. I think I would use it as a launching point for a new show, so cast the show and start it with a Beverly Hillbillies movie (hey, why not?) which tells the tale of Jed Clampett falling backwards into $10 billion (inflation, amirite?) and all of a sudden rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elites. Run it like a faux-soap opera, a kind of pseudo-drama comedy. Not the OC, more like a light-hearted Twin Peaks season 1. Is there a show like that? I feel like if there isn’t there should be, and why not use that sweet IP to do it?

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – When I initially watched this movie I thought it was merely boring and harmless. There was silly sound effects, and a ludicrous story about a wedding and a Swiss bank account. But the longer I ruminate the more I dislike it. It is like a two episode arc of a television show premiere. It adds nothing and I can’t quite figure out why it exists. I’ve subsequently seen a few critics say roughly the same thing (see Ebert’s review below), so it was as obvious at the time as well. It just seems so pointless, which is somehow worse than just making a terrible movie in the first place! The Sklognalogy I think has to be Car 54 Where are You? but at the same time, at least that movie decided to do something interesting with that property. Maybe Dudley Do-Right though … I can barely remember that worthless film.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – No legacy. This film is just along for the ride with other early-90s tv adaptations. I hope to forget it almost immediately. In StreetCreditReport.com the episode of Siskel & Ebert The Beverly Hillbillies was Siskel’s worst tv remake of the year!! Funny enough Ebert chose Coneheads even though he destroys this film in his own review. I’m not surprised, the film is more of a disappointment and boring, not aggressively bad like Super Mario Bros. Buys a bit into my big-targets theory of bad movie criticism: a movie might be objectively better than other films coming out in the same year, but if you have a big target (here, it is the fact that it is based on a beloved classic property), then you’ll get disproportionately slammed when things turn out poorly.

I wish I could say I watched some original Beverly Hillbillies in prep … but I didn’t really see the point. I watched an episode of Car 54 Where Are You? and just kind of realized shows from that era don’t really have arcs, and remakes tend to not stray too far from the general tone anyways. They barely have characters. Meh, that is what I say to you Beverly Hillbillies.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Beverly Hillbillies Preview

Huge decision for us this week. After painting ourselves into a corner with our last Chain Reaction film Hot To Trot, we are attempting to move ourselves into position for the final 2017 cycle of the year. Getting from a 1988 Bobcat Goldthwait vehicle to a major motion picture of today is nothing to be trifled with so we’ve been mapping out our course for months. Unfortunately this means our path is gonna get a little kooky. That’s right! We’re watching The Beverly Hillbillies. Moving through Dabney Coleman we are able to make it to this long forgotten film adaptation of the classic television show about a bunch of hillbillies who strike it rich and move to Cali… hilarity ensues and fish may or may not be taken from their aquatic homes. With that we make our first step to glory. Let’s go!

The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) – BMeTric: 56.7

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(It has settled quite nicely into its 50-60 place and, while its rating is quite low, it is showing regression to the mean. Which probably means it is bad, but not amazingly and interestingly bad. And that is less votes than I expected, but in retrospect I’m not sure why I expected more from a movie remake of a show from the 1960s. It is a not very popular, poorly rated film.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Big-screen rehash of the corny 1960s TV series, with the backwoods Clampett clan striking oil and moving to Beverly Hills, where they’re prey for sharpie Schneider and his girlfriend (Thompson). The actors are ernest and enjoyable, but the script (by four writers – count’em – four) is more lamebrained than the sitcom ever was, with smarmy sex jokes thrown in for good measure. Even worse, director Spheeris doesn’t know how to stage a gag.

(Oh Leonard, my sweet summer child. Four writers is nothing in today’s bad movies, if I recall The Mummy has something like six screenwriters, as does White Chicks. That is also just credited writers, although I’m sure Leonard accounts for that. I could go for some inappropriately placed sex jokes in what is ostensibly a kid’s movie. Plus poorly directed gags … I think I’m in! At least it doesn’t sound boring.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy0tjb-Gjqw

(Oof. Just a tad bit too much slow motion for my comedy. I’m liking the early Rob Schneider though. I remember this coming out and the grandmother getting knocked off of the car by the tree limb. Not funny, actually terrifying seeing it now, but it was vivid in my mind. It feels like a cast summary with “from the director of Wayne’s World” stuck in there, so that isn’t great. It probably means it has no plot.)

Directors – Penelope Spheeris – (Known For: Wayne’s World; Suburbia; Future BMT: Senseless; Black Sheep; The Little Rascals; The Kid & I; BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Notes: Was the daughter of a carnival strongman, and travelled around the country as a child. She primarily now helps with her daughter Anna Fox’s music-themes films.)

Writers – Paul Henning (television series) – (Known For: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Lover Come Back; BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Notes: Creator of The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres in a sort of Henning Extended Universe (HEU). The series had multiple crossover episodes. His daughter starred in Petticoat Junction and appeared in five episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, that is how common the crossovers were.)

Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Planet of the Apes; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Mighty Joe; The Jewel of the Nile; The Legend of Billie Jean; Flicka; Future BMT: Desperate Hours; Mercury Rising; The Concierge; Mona Lisa Smile; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; The Beverly Hillbillies; Notes: Hey, we know these guys! A writing team on the very recent BMT Superman IV. I believe in that preview I said I didn’t discover much about them, but I do appreciate they made the second best original cast Star Trek movie (in my opinion, I could give or take the whales personally).)

Jim Fisher and Jim Staahl (screenplay) – (BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Notes: Residents of Second City Theater and writers for SCTV, they have had pretty illustrious careers in comedy television. Staahl is also an actor, including appearing in five episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.)

Actors – Diedrich Bader – (Known For: EuroTrip; Napoleon Dynamite; Office Space; Ice Age; Bolt; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Surf’s Up; Recess: School’s Out; Dead & Breakfast; Sassy Pants; Calvin Marshall; Future BMT: Meet the Spartans; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Balls of Fury; The Country Bears; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous; The Beverly Hillbillies; Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike; Notes: Best known for his part on The Drew Carey show back in the day. Most of his childhood was spent in Paris, up until high school.)

Erika Eleniak – (Known For: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; The Blob; Under Siege; Future BMT: Bordello of Blood; Chasers; Love Stinks; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Notes: Was a Playboy Playmate in 1989, and performed in the first two seasons of Baywatch. She currently teaches acting in L.A.)

Jim Varney – (Known For: Toy Story; Atlantis: The Lost Empire; Toy Story 2; Ernest Goes to Camp; Daddy and Them; 100 Proof; Future BMT: 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain; Ernest Goes to Jail; Ernest Saves Christmas; Ernest Scared Stupid; Ernest Rides Again; Wilder Napalm; BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst New Star for Ernest Goes to Camp in 1988; Notes: Ernest! I love Jim Varney. He had a crazy smoker’s voice (which you can hear in the Toy Story films), and it is beyond me how he changed his voice so dramatically for Ernest. That character was initially a part of a series of advertisements in Kentucky, and he basically built a career in comedy out of it. Sadly he passed away in 2000 from lung cancer.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $44,029,386 (Worldwide: $57,405,220)

(Meh. That is a pretty svelte budget though, smart. The horrible reception probably saved us from a sequel, and they had far worst television show adaption ideas waiting in the wings anyways … like Car 54 Where Are You?)

#58 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(Right around the new Three Stooges movie (oof) and came out right as the tv adaptation genre was taking off (around the same time as Addams Family Values, the Addams Family probably kicked off the classic tv show adaptation craze to a degree). This is an interesting genre which had its peak prior to the bad movie boom of the early 2000s, this (and not very good slashers) must have filled in the gap between the blockbuster era of the 80s and the 00s bad movie boom right around when all of the smaller production studios were going out of business. Get that cheap IP!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (7/30): No consensus yet.

(Nice, let’s make one: In retrospect this exercise in insensitive stereotyping is shamefully unfunny, … but you might also find yourself enjoying the innocence of the 1960s sensibility in this bad but innocuous television remake. That’s just about all. I should say, I do think Rotten Tomatoes is the best review aggregator around (30 reviews for a movie from 1994? Metacritic doesn’t even have a page for it), but it is kind of weird seeing something like this where literally all of the reviews are from around 2008 and onwards … doesn’t give a great perspective on the actual reception of the film.)

Poster – The Beverly SklogBillies (C-)

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(Dear god, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!… … … that being said, the spacing is nice and the gold font is well done. Better grade if it didn’t hurt my eyes to look at it. I wonder why blue was chosen as the primary color of this poster.)

Tagline(s) – Upscale neighborhood, Down-home heart. (B-)

(I don’t know what this means. It sounds good. Nice cadence, to the point, and a juxtaposition of up and down. But what is it trying to say? What is meant by down-home… heart?)

Keyword(s) – redneck; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 78.6 Striptease (1996); 78.5 Torque (2004); 77.4 The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994); 77.0 Shark Night 3D (2011); 69.1 Postal (2007); 66.8 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009); 64.5 Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985); 63.1 The Dukes of Hazzard (2005); 60.4 The Final Destination (2009);

(Awesome. I’m digging this list. You got a little comedy, and drama, and action, and horror, and romance. Only missing a true sci fi in there (I guess I would watch a sci-fi film with a redneck character … would be weird though), and it would be a very unpleasant 24 hours, but still a pretty funny marathon there.)

Notes – Buddy Ebsen reprises his role as Barnaby Jones for this film. His last film appearance.

The Clampett’s automobile is a 1921 Oldsmobile. (fun fact)

The name of the retirement home where Granny is held hostage, “Los Viejos”, is Spanish for “The Old People”. (fun fact)

When Granny invites cousin Pearl and all of the family to Jed’s wedding, she says “only the Clampetts, not the Kelloggs or Daggs”. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes was one of the original network TV sponsors of The Beverly Hillbillies. Daggs may be related to the other original network TV sponsor, Winston cigarettes, but this is as yet unconfirmed. (That is actually a fun fact. I like that a lot)

When Miss Hathaway dresses up as the blonde nurse her name tag has the name “R. Rigdon” on it. This was a nod to Rhonda G. Rigdon, Assistant to Director Penelope Spheeris during filming. (Man, look at these little nuggets)

Same mansion as The Bodyguard with the late Whitney Houston.

The car’s license plate number in front of Jethro’s truck at the birthday party is 2GAT123. This plate has been seen in various movies and TV shows over the years. Such as Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Go (1999), Pay it Forward (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001), “Curb Your Enthusiasm”  (2000), Two and a Half Men (2003), Modern Family (2009), The Boy Next Door (2015), and numerous others. (Wow, we are really getting into movie prop 101 in this thing)

Jim Varney almost did not get the part of Jed Clampett. The studio thought at first he was too identified as Ernest to play a character such as Jed. But in the end Jim impressed them enough with a screen test to get the part. (I would have certainly thought so, but I was also seven at the time and loved Ernest films)

According to Director Penelope Spheeris, Sam Elliot was being considered for the role of Jed Clampett, but ultimately, it was Jim Varney ‘s background in comedy that got him the part.

Hot to Trot Recap

Jamie

Who would have thought that watching an entire cycle of films that received the rare <10% RT score would result in us getting dog poo shoved ever so slowly into our faces over and over again? That’s our BMT life. Let’s go!

What?! After the death of his mother, Fred Chaney needs to prove to his asshole stepdad that he can handle the family biz. Fortunately his mother has bequeathed him a talking horse with a nose for stock trading. Can he amass a fortune, get the lady, and shove it in his stepdad’s face before it’s too late? Find out in… Hot to Trot.

How?! Comedy business storyline alert! As is the case with most 80’s comedies, this film concerns our main characters lust for success and money in the world of finance. Fred’s mother dies, leaving him with half an investment company and one talking horse named Don. He’s a deadbeat loser, so naturally his asshole of a stepdad wants to buy him out of his stake in the company, but Fred hates his stupid face so decides to stay on out of spite. By sheer luck, Don overhears some important business tips around the stables and Fred is soon raking in the dough and living it up (with Don) in a penthouse apartment. His luck soon runs out, though, when one of Don’s tips comes up a dud and he loses everything. With only Don to his name (weird that he still “owns” Don even though he’s basically his friend and talks with him all day), he stakes it all on a big horse race. Riding Don to victory as the unlikeliest of jockey’s, Fred finally gives his stepdad the comeuppance he deserves. As for Don, his storyline is a sad affair concerned mostly with loneliness and wanderlust. As for our storyline while watching this film, it was also a sad affair concerned only with sadness and dog poo in our faces.

Why?! Technically Fred’s goals are two-fold. He primarily wants to prove that he’s not the black sheep bozo that his stepdad assumes he is (and he certainly is in actuality). There is a secondary romantic goal of getting with Allison, a coworker at the office, but that is a pretty weak romantic storyline. As for Don, he’s just looking for three simple things: a friend, a nice filly to make baby talking horses with, and all the TaB he can guzzle. The final race provides an answer to all these goals. If they win they get rich (to buy TaB, probably), Fred gets the girl, and Fred wins all of his stepdad’s horses, including the filly of Don’s dreams. How convenient! I guess that’s why they made a documentary about it since it was such a crazy convenient storyline.

Who?! We’ve been on a roll with uncredited appearances (and in a major slump on Planchets) and this film is no different. Appearing unbilled as the voice of Don’s dad is Mickey himself, Burgess Meredith. Pretty big role to go unbilled (three major scenes), but just a voice so maybe didn’t think a terrible talking horse film was worth the billing in the end. I like to imagine he was really good friends with Bobcat Goldthwait and did him a solid.

Where?! California setting. Lots of license plates and California living. Most notably though is the climactic horse race, the El Segundo Stakes, set outside LA. Pushes it from a C+ to a B-.

When?! There is no clear temporal setting for this film. There were a couple glimpses of newspapers and computer screen, but all were prop constructions. No dates to be seen. The only conjecture we can make is on the date of the El Segundo Stakes. There is a race by that name that seems to run in the third week of May, but it is so small that I can’t tell if it even existed in the 80’s or is always run in May. So that’s pretty weak. D+.

Let’s see what Patrick thought of this dog poo. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Hot to Trot? More like Dog Poo In My Face! Or Should I say Horse Poo In My Face!? Amirite? John Candy voices a stock-tip giving, best-bud of a party animal in this hilarious comedy showcasing the one of a kind talents of Bobcat Goldthwait! What could possibly go wrong! Oh yeah, I already told you, it was like dog poo being pushed slow motion into my face, let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Some of the performances, like Virginia Madsen, were okay which is only more confusing as to how they got them in this movie in the first place. Besides that literally nothing. But we obviously are going to go Sequel! Here we see mega-billionaire Fred Chaney who, with the help of Don the talking horse, has skyrocketed to the top of the financial world. But Don is concerned after finding some discrepancies in the company’s books … could Fred be stealing from his clients and friends? Paranoid, and afraid, Don seeks out Allison Rowe to help unravel the mystery of Fred Chaney. Is he the man they thought he was, or could he be a crook … even a killer? Hot to Trot 2: Money Never Sleeps. “A tense thriller … although the talking horse deflates it a bit” says the New York Times.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Where to start? Everything about the talking horse and the lore surrounding it is cheesy and awful and not funny. The direction is bonkers, there are parts which legit look like they filled out the film with stock footage. The writing is awful, bouncing between a kind of weird talking horse financial comedy and a surreal odd couple situation (with a talking horse). It is aimless, and at times boring, aggravating, annoying, and predictable all wrapped up in one. It is legitimately one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. The sin is Greed. And that is only because stupidity isn’t a sin. Why they thought they could just make easy money with this bit of schlock is beyond me.

The BMT: Legacy – Boy oh boy, this film is awe inspiring in how bad it is, a rarity even. This could go down as one of the worst earnest 80s films we’ll ever watch. We’ve probably seen worse actual films (Can’t Stop the Music comes to mind), and I’ve certainly seen other terrible films quality-wise, but this is somehow indicative of the legacy of the 80s. Like Maximum Overdrive it is cocaine distilled, a heady hubris-driven idea of doing whatever you want and expecting it to come up heads every time. It is special, and deserves to be in any conversation about terrible 80s films, especially in a BMT context. It is nearly beyond words … so naturally I wasted a ton of them trying to explain it. This movie is like smoke, ungraspable and ephemeral. Enjoy it while you can.

Boom, and shine that off with a little StreetCreditReport.com! Interestingly Hot to Trot doesn’t get a lot of love as a bad movie. It is the 3rd worst talking animal film ever though, but then gets 23rd on a list concerning all of the 80s. That guy is a random guy from Tampa Bay, but we have seen 5 of his top 10 (Cobra, Rhinestone, Ishtar, Over the Top, and Gymkata) … I’m sticking to my guns, this easily gets into my top 10. Anyways, I think why this doesn’t get more notice is because no one remembers. This list seems to suggest that is plausible. That is what Bad Movie Twins give you though, the unpopular opinions. You heard it here first … Hot to Trot is a bad movie.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hot to Trot Preview

After the breath of formulaic and dull air that is License to Wed, it feels like time to paint ourselves into a corner for Chain Reaction. It’s an annual tradition whereby we see how far we can sink ourselves into the dregs of major Hollywood releases before expertly extricating ourselves like a pair of bad movie Houdini’s. There is no further we can sink than our next film (connecting through Wagons East! via John Candy), which truly puts the Street Cred in the StreetCreditReport.com cycle. That’s right! We’re watching Hot to Trot! This is the Bobcat Goldthwait vehicle in which John Candy voices a stock tip providing horse… do I need to say anything more? Let’s go!

Hot to Trot (1988) – BMeTric: 35.9

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(The delay in the regression to the mean is tripping me out. But I think what this is saying is that this film is aggressively bad to a point where almost anyone who watches it agrees with this fact … but there is something ridiculous about it that allows you to, now, watch it with irony. For an 80s film to have such a high BMeTric is a rarity as IMDb votes couts drops off dramatically for films released pre-2000, so this is something we’ve have plenty of time to plan for.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Here’s a fresh concept from the 1980s: a comedy about a talking horse. Goldthwait plays a semi-imbecile who gets stock tips from a whinnying pal with the voice of John Candy. As comedies go this is the equivalent of Black Monday. Coleman, courtesy of the makeup department, wears a pair of horse teeth here; They are funny.

(Mixed signals from Leonard here. Are the horse teeth funny or not. The rest of the review is dripping so thoroughly with irony it is hard to tell. Is it a fresh concept?! We may never know! The Black Monday joke too, so much to unpack with the review. I have a feeling this is a good sign. Leonard was juggling many thoughts and feelings about this film, it is so dense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mRE4Hoe5dQ 

(Hooves don’t fail me now! Ah there is something about 80s comedies that are so comfortably ridiculous. I think I’ll feel right at home … although 80s comedies also tend to be overly serious and often boring, so I guess we’ll see?)

Directors – Michael Dinner – (Known For: Heaven Help Us; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: A television director (and executive producer) of shows like Justified and Sneaky Pete now. He was a singer in the 1970s:

I’m 95% sure this is him.)

Writers – Stephen Neigher (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: His name is … Neigher. Besides that can’t see much besides that this is his only feature film, and he most did one off television episode scripts for most of his career.)

Hugo Gilbert (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Nothing. The search lead me to the book Frame by Frame II: A Filmography of the African American Image, 1978-1994, where it is noted that Harry Caesar plays Gideon Cole … nothing about Gilbert, I just had nothing else to say.)

Charlie Peters (screenplay) – (Known For: Ruth & Alex; My One and Only; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Krippendorf’s Tribe; My Father the Hero; Blame It on Rio; Her Alibi; Music from Another Room; BMT: Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Taught screenwriting at USC and was brought to LA initially to help Columbia with PR after the David Begelman embezzlement scandal. Juicy stuff.)

Andy Breckman (uncredited) – (Known For: Rat Race; I.Q.; True Identity; Future BMT: Arthur 2: On the Rocks; Sgt. Bilko; BMT: Hot to Trot; Notes: A script doctor, which explains the uncredited role here. Has an ongoing feud with Don MacLean (the singer of American Pie) from when he was a singer as well:

)

Actors – Bobcat Goldthwait – (Known For: Blow; Hercules; Scrooged; One Crazy Summer; World’s Greatest Dad; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Freaked; Tapeheads; Sleeping Dogs; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Burglar; Destiny Turns on the Radio; Shakes the Clown; Hansel & Gretel; Mrs. Winterbourne; Radioland Murders; BMT: Hot to Trot; Grind; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: Primarily a director now, his most well known film is probably World’s Greatest Dad with Robin Williams. It claims he has directed nearly 300 episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live as well, which is interesting. He was a staple of my mid-afternoon Comedy Central viewing as a child in One Crazy Summer specifically.)

Dabney Coleman – (Known For: WarGames; Rules Don’t Apply; You’ve Got Mail; Tootsie; Stuart Little; The Towering Inferno; 9 to 5; Dragnet; On Golden Pond; The Man with One Red Shoe; Bite the Bullet; Battle of Midway; Cloak & Dagger; Moonlight Mile; Rolling Thunder; This Property Is Condemned; Melvin and Howard; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Recess: School’s Out; North Dallas Forty; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; The Beverly Hillbillies; Clifford; Amos & Andrew; Domino; Young Doctors in Love; Meet the Applegates; Viva Knievel!; BMT: Hot to Trot; Notes: He voiced the principal in the show Recess. Was somewhat well known for his short-lived television show Buffalo Bill as well.)

John Candy – (Known For: Home Alone; Spaceballs; Uncle Buck; The Blues Brothers; Stripes; Vacation; Heavy Metal; Cool Runnings; Little Shop of Horrors; JFK; Splash; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; The Great Outdoors; The Rescuers Down Under; Volunteers; Delirious; Only the Lonely; Follow That Bird; Future BMT: Armed and Dangerous; Cannonball Fever; 1941; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Rookie of the Year; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Career Opportunities; Summer Rental; Once Upon a Crime…; Brewster’s Millions; BMT: Nothing But Trouble; Wagons East; Hot to Trot; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Nothing But Trouble in 1992; Notes: I love John Candy. We went through this in the last Chain Reaction of course with Wagon’s East. Instead of a normal note let’s reminisce in BMT history: remember when John Candy played his own twin sister in Nothing But Trouble … yeah that was weird.)

Budget/Gross – $9,000,000 / Domestic: $6,436,211

(Wow. I’m not sure I trust the budget number for a movie this old, but at the same time it makes sense. That though is still a very low domestic total. The 109th highest grossing film of 1988 right above, gulp, Mac and Me. Not great.)

#33 for the Family – Talking Animal (Live action) genre

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(Amazing. It started the craze! Talking animals are amazing, so not surprisingly it just kind of general trends upwards … I’m not sure what is up with that gap, maybe the genre collectively moved to VOD (like Santa Paws?), but Jungle Book at least kind of put it back on the map, so maybe they’ll be a renaissance. Fun fact: The point when the trend takes off for real is with Babe in 1995, which probably also marker the point of no return where CGI was used for the talking bits instead of doing it Mr. Ed style (with peanut butter and stuff). This movie also only really beats Gordy as far as gross is concerned.)

#17 for the Horse genre

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(Not a real genre, but fun nonetheless. The peak in the mid-2000s might be due to Seabiscuit, but it is hard to tell.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/16): No consensus yet.

(My consensus: A one-note update to the Talking Horse genre merely brings profanity to the table. Justifiably considered terrible, it is somehow worse than even rock bottom expectations. There are a few reviews which suggest it isn’t sooooooo bad, but none offer anything beyond a glimmer of a hope in the comedy department. None of the reviews are from the time though. I do think it goes hand in hand with the IMDb vote analysis above: I think there are people who watch it now and think “oh that isn’t as bad as I thought it would be”, which might explain the modest regression to the mean in recent years.)

Poster – Sklog to Blog (Oh God. Oh man!)

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(That… is… unfortunate.)

Tagline(s) – “When I talk, you’re going to laugh yourself hoarse.” (D-)

The funniest talking horse movie ever! (F)

(True blue double tagline film. And both seem like taglines that would be written ironically for a modern “purposefully bad film”. The first being a stereotypically bad pun and the second being almost self deprecating. I give the first a point for delivering on the pun.)

Keyword(s) – horse; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 86.8 BloodRayne (2005); 85.3 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 83.3 Dungeons & Dragons (2000); 82.2 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 80.2 xXx²: State of the Union (2005); 79.2 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 75.5 Hercules in New York (1970); 72.6 Jonah Hex (2010);

(Loving it. Obviously this list is dominated by sword and sorcery type pictures, but the occasional bad western like Jonah Hex is always welcome. I’m not even going to try and remember where the horse in Superman IV comes in, we have to watch that for BMT anyways.)

Notes – After Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Tim Burton was offered to direct, but declined. (Good idea Tim)

Elliott Gould was the original voice of the horse. After a poor test screening of the film, the horse’s half of the script was rewritten by Andy Breckman in an effort to make the film funnier. John Candy was hired to re-record the horse’s voice; he ignored the new script and improvised the dialogue instead. (That is the beauty of such films you see, you can rewrite half of the script and punch it up indefinitely)

Reportedly, when Bobcat Goldthwait was given a script of the movie, he wrote “Why would I do this?” on the cover. His agent responded by drawing a dollar sign over it. (This is a straight cash grab job brother, get in get out)

Joan Rivers was originally cast as the lead. (Interesting, I guess after Spaceballs she was hunting for acting jobs)

During the race at the end of the movie Don asks for Fred to inspire him like the old guy from Rocky. He is of course referring to Burgess Meredith who voiced Don’s father. (fun fact)

Virginia Madsen claimed to have made this movie for two reasons: one, so that her sister’s children could see the film; secondly, for the money. She admits the movie was an embarrassment, but she was not ashamed to take the role, since she needed the money at the time. (Everyone is doing it for the money!)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Bobcat Goldthwait)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Dinner)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Stephen Neigher, Hugo Gilbert, Charlie Peters)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (The Horse I assume)

Wagons East! Recap

Jamie

What?! After a group of settlers realize that the Wild West is super lame they all decide to head back East. Led by a former doctor, Phil, and a wagon master with a secret, Harlow, they strike out eastward much to the chagrin of some city fat cats who will do anything to stop them. Will they evade the traps set by the fat cats and make it back home? Find out in… Wagons East!

Why?! As mentioned above, the settlers have all come to the conclusion that the West sucks balls for one reason or another. It is the entire motivation for the plot of this film. Once they set out, others realize that quitting is OK and the eastward trek goes viral. This spooks a bunch of railroad tycoons and land developers who are about to get a major investment in railroad construction if they can achieve a high enough population in the West. They determine that they must stop the wagons, and thus the trend, by any means necessary in order to preserve the investment.

How?! While all the settlers hate the West, they also don’t want to be seen as quitters. A series of good omens and the arrival of a wagon master, albeit a drunk one, convinces them that quitting is OK and they set out on the trail. The businessmen looking to stop the wagon train first hire a local gunslinger to do the deed, but the wagons evade his traps by pure dumb luck. Even when the wagon train has their own bad luck, such as stumbling into a Native American war camp, they come out unscathed due to the common sense in their quest. The film basically proceeds like this, with more traps evaded and bad luck turning fortuitous. In the climactic scene, the US Cavalry is called in and Harlow challenges the leader to a fight. He wins and the wagon train proceeds without hindrance to St. Louis. If that sounds dumb and boring then you’re not far off.

Who?! No Planchet or cameos/musicians/athletes/presidents in this one. There is a notable character that went uncredited. That’s J.P. Moreland, the land developer that is trying to stop the wagon train. He’s played by Gailard Sartain (what a name!), who we know from most of the Ernest films and television show (usually as the character “Chuck,” although as “Jake (Chef #1)” in Ernest Goes to Camp). Presumably this is a case where he realized how bad the film was and chose to go uncredited, as his part is fairly significant.

Where?! Interesting settings film. We are shown in the beginning that Prosperity is located in the New Mexico Territory. From there they travel vaguely East until arriving in St. Louis. Pretty good all things considered. Not sure I’d count this as a setting that is vital to the plot though… The West isn’t really exact enough and it could have been set in Colorado or Arizona. B-

When?! I usually fear films set in the past or future. They are often satisfied with simply saying “Hey, we’re in the past/future!” and leaving it at that. Wagons East! is fortunately not one of those cases. We get some nice reference years to try to nail down the date. We are told that Phil is a former surgeon in the war. This is presumably the Civil War, so we can place the film sometime after 1865. Later we are told that Harlow led the Donner Party “about 20 years ago.” The Donner Party set out in May 1846, so makes sense that we are looking at about 1866-1867. As for the time of year, I get to set off a little Secret Holiday Film Alert! That’s because while the film is mostly vague on exactly when the wagon train is travelling, we are shown explicitly that they arrive at St. Louis on July 4th! Happy 4th of Jooooo-ly, everybody! B+

Now that you know the ins and outs of all that makes up Wagons East! we can dive into the BMT-ness of the film.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Wagons East!! More like Ragged Least! A parody starring classic comedians and slamming a genre cresting at the peak of its power? What could go wrong? Actually … seriously, what went wrong? Let’s get into it! Oh … and I’m trying something new. A twist to The Good, The Bad, The BMT. Basically they will now function as three minigames. Usually these will be the three that follow. After that, if there was a Homework Sklog-signment or other thing to discuss it will go there, otherwise it will be these three games. Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Somewhere buried under the overlong unfunny mess of a production is a simple idea: Westerns are peaking in popularity after a lengthy period without releases in the 80s (Dances With Wolves and Unforgiven won best picture two and four years prior), so it is time to skewer them like Blazing Saddles did before! In that vein I think you could get away with a Reboot. But how you ask? Westerns aren’t really having a moment anymore. Ah, but it wouldn’t be a parody of Westerns … it is a parody of reboots! Complete with CGI Candy teaser at the end! Is that gross and weird or bizarrely brilliant, skewering the resurrection of characters played by now deceased actors in a reboot of one of the worst films ever? There is nothing to salvage here is the point, but like the reported (and abandoned) Men in Black / 21 Jump Street cross-over film, skewering the idea of bullshit crossovers, reboots, and origin stories is in.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Here I will try and identify the sin committed to create this film. Greed? Did they want that sweet Western boom money? Pride? In their hubris did they think they knew Westerns so well it would be easy to nail the genre? No … sloth. Produced by a company going out of business they hired people ill-suited for the job resulting in a movie containing almost no humor. Too lazy to rewrite or edit the movie makes no sense. Richard Lewis phones it in, literally wearing an 80’s NYC comedian blazer and mullet. They don’t even bother to give Candy a character (Ebert nailed that in his review). Top to bottom just terrible.

The BMT: Legacy – This movie is too boring to be good, like a ten in the BMeTric. The legacy of this film though is interesting. It is a rarity, a parody of Westerns. Alongside Blazing Saddles, and A Million Ways to Die in the West it comes along only so often. Parodies themselves are somewhat rare. The legacy is that this is literally the worst example of an extremely niche genre. And as such it will always have a place in BMT lore. Even if I never want to watch it again and it makes me sad. It has a place, it is a warning.

I’ll close with a short Sklognalysis as well. Mainly because it is astonishing to me that parody westerns managed to come out exactly 20 years apart right as the genre was cresting. In 1974 Blazing Saddles came out after the glut of Westerns in the late-60s. In 1994 Wagons East in response to things like Dances With Wolves. And in 2014 came A Million Ways To Die in the West. There always seems to be one. So what can we expect in 2034 I wonder. Mull on that.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wagons East! Preview

This week we continue our quest to not screw ourselves over in the Chain Reaction category. We always seem like we paint ourselves into a corner only to miraculously escape (and then repaint ourselves into a corner immediately after). This week is no different as we found ourselves with few options coming from Are We Done Yet? featuring a pretty thin cast. Throwing caution to the wind we went ahead and used John C. McGinley to jump to one of the worst reviewed films of all time, John Candy’s last film Wagons East! Candy died a few days before filming was wrapped and it’s not known for much else besides being terrible. We used it for the exclamation point entry in the punctuation cycle, although there is a bit of controversy over whether that’s the true stylization of the title. Whatever. That’s what it is on the poster and DVD box. Good enough for me. Let’s go!

Wagons East! (1994) – BMeTric: 34.7

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(I declare this a little known terrible film. The BMeTric almost entirely comes from the fact that the rating is aggressively low. I’m also suspecting now that this is not going to be a classic BMT gem … the rating just meanders up with the number of votes. I’m getting a mighty bad feeling about this movie.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – The loss of John Candy is made all the more poignant because “Wagons East!” is the last film he completed. It is possible he never appeared in a worse one. The producers claim he finished all his key scenes before his unexpected death on the location, but that’s hard to believe, because his character is an undefined, vague figure, and isn’t even required to be funny most of the time. That’s easy in this film, which is one of the least amusing comedies I’ve ever seen, right down there with “Clifford.”

(I had to include the Clifford bit because Clifford really is a wild ride and movie we should watch at some point. That feeling that this movie is just going to be boring and is going to make me sad is getting stronger. I’ll have to rock a little showing of The Great Outdoors and reminisce.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2exnr6xTIzM

(Hooooooo, boy. That looks like some rough stuff. Hopefully they were keeping all the good stuff for the big screen, but somehow I doubt it.)

Directors – Peter Markle – (Known For: Bat*21; BMT: Wagons East; Youngblood; Notes: He wrote Youngblood a story inspired … wait for it … from his experiences playing professional ice hockey including three years for the US National Team. Say what?! His stats, he went to Yale, played for the Rochester Mustangs, and indeed played for the national team. He didn’t play in the 1972 Olympics it looks like, although he is listed on the roster for the 1970 world championships. I love this note … so much.)

Writers – Matthew Carlson (screenplay) – (BMT: Wagons East; Notes: A pretty impressive television resume including The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle. There isn’t much else about him, this was his only feature it seems.)

Jerry Abrahamson (story) – (BMT: Wagons East; Notes: There is literally nothing about this guy on the internet. I wonder if it is a made up name … IMDb I think only knows “uncredited” or pen names because people eventually reveal it in interviews and stuff. I bet it was Markle … I’m only half joking.)

Actors – John Candy – (Known For: Home Alone; The Blues Brothers; Spaceballs; Vacation; JFK; Little Shop of Horrors; Splash; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Stripes; Cool Runnings; Heavy Metal; Uncle Buck; The Great Outdoors; The Rescuers Down Under; BMT: Nothing But Trouble (BMT); Wagons East; Hot to Trot; Cannonball Fever; Armed and Dangerous; 1941; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Rookie of the Year; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Career Opportunities; Summer Rental; Once Upon a Crime…; Brewster’s Millions; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actress for Nothing But Trouble. Sigh. I loved Candy as a kid. Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Cool Runnings, Stripes, Spaceballs, Home Alone …. Just a staple of my childhood. I remember being devastated when he died and always I thought I would watch his last film. But it was apparently terrible and I never got around to it. As I said .. sigh.)

Richard Lewis – (Known For: Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Leaving Las Vegas; She’s Funny That Way; Vamps; Drunks; BMT: Wagons East; Hugo Pool; Once Upon a Crime…; Notes: Lewis is great in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Otherwise I only really knew him from Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)

Also stars John C. McGinley – (Our eighth McGinley BMT! Highlander II: The Quickening; Are We Done Yet?; On Deadly Ground; Alex Cross; Get Carter; Wild Hogs; And most recently Car 54, Where Are You?)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $4,412,297

(This is somehow far more than I would have expected. Obviously way too little since the undisclosed budget has to be more than $2 million.)

#50 for the Western genre

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(They sure did follow the money huh? I guess that is the time to make a spoof film, but the western genre kind of went into the dark ages right after this and has only now just recovered. And … my God … how did this movie make more than The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford?! We don’t do many westerns, our last was Wild Bill.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/29): Wagons East! is a witless, toothless satire of Westerns that falls far below the standard set by Blazing Saddles, and is notable only for being John Candy’s final screen performance.

(Oh that is right. One of the worst films ever reviews on rotten tomatoes. It is quite rare to get more than 25 reviews and stay perfect at 0%. Witless and toothless sounds like unfunny and boring. Ugh.)

Poster – Sklogans East! (C+)

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(I’m not a huge fan of the coloring or framing, but it also doesn’t go against the philosophy… just not the best. A little too busy and the font isn’t super original. A little above “meh.”)

Tagline(s) – They came, they saw, they changed their minds. (A+)

(Classic. This is pretty much exactly what I would want in a tagline. It’s a clever take on a classic phrase, it’s not too long, original, and give a hint on the plot of the film: a group of people who came out west have decided it blows and want to go back East. Shockingly perfect.)

Keyword(s) – title spoken by character; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.7 Catwoman (2004); 85.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 83.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 81.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 81.3 Norbit (2007); 81.1 Movie 43 (2013); 80.5 The Love Guru (2008); 78.9 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 77.6 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 76.7 The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009);

(Nice list. We are going to see Manos: Hands of Fate soon enough I think. Super Mario Bros. is a film we’ve seen … a few times, so it’ll be a special day when we revisit the film with our BMT hats on. And yeah … I plan on never watching The Human Centipede, screw that.)

Notes – John Candy died during filming. His few remaining scenes were either not filmed, or were filmed using a stand-in, then re-written not to involve him. His second bar sequence re-uses footage from his earlier bar sequence. (Jeez. There are similar stories for Gladiator and very recently the Fast & Furious series. Amazing that they can do it)

John Candy didn’t want to make the film, but was contractually obliged to do it. (sucks, very similar to Theodore Rex in that way. I wonder if 1995 marked a high point in actor unfriendly contracts, seems interesting that two high profile bombs like Theodore Rex and Wagons East were made under duress)

Ends with “Dedicated to the memory of John Candy”.

Carolco’s last film to be distributed by TriStar Pictures. (They made Cutthroat Island the next year and went bankrupt. Also seems like a common theme, companies desperately trying to make films while stumbling their way into bankruptcy).

Are We Done Yet? Recap

Jamie

What?! Nick Persons is back and the playa has settled down. With a new job and a growing family it’s time to buy a house in the country. Unfortunately the one they find is more than they bargained for and they are soon overwhelmed with renovation headaches. Can Nick turn it around and make the house their dream home? Find out in… Are We Done Yet?

Why?! Nick was totally content with living it up with Suzanne, Kevin, and Lindsey in his tiny bachelor pad in downtown Portland. However, he gets big news when Suzanne announces she’s pregnant with twins. That just won’t work. That’s why they end up needing to buy a house. The reason why they end up getting in trouble with renovations is classic hubris. Nick thinks he can do everything himself so he impulse buys the house and then skimps on the necessary inspections, opening himself to being taken advantage of by the local contractor. He then has to try to manage the ballooning costs as he’s forced to do a complete overhaul. So basically this is a Greek tragedy with a tragic downfall of our hero Nick… except that it all works out in the end and everyone lives happily ever after. Literally no one else in this film has any motivations or storylines of interest.

How?! While Nick’s hubris is the reason for his renovation disaster, the disaster itself is caused by one evil, manipulative human being played by John C. McGinley. He uses classic sales tactics to take advantage of Nick’s hubris and trick him into buying a dilapidated house. Since he’s also the town’s only certified contracted (and the town’s building inspector) he then stands to profit greatly from Nick’s failure to inspect the house. It is horrific, and yet in the end you grow to love McGinley’s character because… he’s like sad or something… so it’s okay that he steals from people (?)… I think. You know what, don’t worry about it. This film is terrible. By the end of the film Nick endears himself to the townspeople, rebuilds his house, they have their babies, he starts a home renovation themed magazine, and everyone is literally the happiest any people have ever been ever.

Who?! McGinley is waaaay too big a character to be a Plachet (he appears more than Nia Long in the film), but he’s the closest we’ve got. He’s essentially the exact same character as he played in Scrubs… which is really weird. At this point I have to assume that’s what he’s like in real life too. How else would every character he plays end up being exactly the same?

Where?! We are still in Oregon, just instead of Portland we’ve moved out into the boonies. Sadly the location is much less important in this one and there are far fewer instances where two characters stand around discussing the virtues of Portland. C+

When?! This was a double downgrade from Are We There Yet? to Are We There Yet? Not only isn’t this a holiday film (boo), this isn’t even an exact date film (booooooooo). We get very little sense of when the film actually takes place and this becomes even more confusing once you realize that about 5-7 months or so pass during the film… so you don’t get anything to latch onto from scene to scene. Sigh. F

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Are We Done Yet? More like Is This Movie Done Yet?! Boom, almost as if it was made for it. A sequel to a family comedy starring Ice Cube? What could go wrong? Considering their intention appears to be cracking jokes about Ice Cube falling off things absolutely nothing it would seem! Let’s get into it.

  • The Good – I mean, I like McGinley even if he plays the same character at this point (and forever will). He’s carved quite the odd niche out for himself hasn’t he? I also think Ice Cube is charming as usual, and hey, Nia Long has a bit more to do this time. Fun fact: This is the second sequel to a comedy we’ve seen this year (!) where Nia Long is pregnant, the other being Big Momma’s House 2.
  • The Bad – Having established that acting isn’t really a problem what is? Well the mere concept of the film kind of. There isn’t a single funny moment, the entire movie is just stressful and not very enjoyable, and the conflicts are ludicrous. The biggest sin though? Incredibly dull. Just a waste of life.
  • The BMT – I mean … no. It is a waste of life. There isn’t a payoff in any way shape or form. Literally the only reasons I kind of enjoyed doing this film for BMT is because (1) It’s got cred given the amazingly low rotten tomatoes scores for both films, and (2) it is a remake of a film from 1948 which in and of itself is ridiculous. But naw, there isn’t a need. It is a kids film, and naturally those rarely pay off.

And, given that this is a remake let’s turn in a little BMT Homework Sklog-signment. We often have homework assignments (books to read, previous installments to watch, television shows to … ignore). This movie though was pretty special, a film from 1948 called Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House starring Cary Grant and Myma Loy (what a name! She lived to the age of 98!). It was also aggressively aggravating and incredibly long. Basically what you are watching is two people flush money down the toilet due to arrogance and stupidity. And just as their lives fall totally apart their black cook saves their asses (don’t worry she gets a raise though …). I did not like this movie for some of the same reasons I knew I wouldn’t like Are We Done Yet? Financial difficulties stress me out even when they are fiction. The only reason I survived both movies without tearing my hair out was that I knew both would have happy endings. And they did. Spoiler alert. Still despite great performances by both leads I wouldn’t recommend Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House either (although I wouldn’t call it a waste of life either, it is kind of fun seeing how perceptions of things like Connecticut have changed in the last 60+ years).

Cheerios,

The Sklogs