Problem Child 2 Recap

Jamie

Junior is back, Jack! And boy is he still a problem. After moving with his dad, Ben, to the divorce capital of the world, Junior is distressed to find his daddio is the object of affection for the villainess Lawanda. Teaming up with frenemy (and fellow problem child) Trixie, can Junior stop the potential wedding between Ben and Lawanda before it’s too late? Find out in… Problem Child 2.

How?! Junior and his dad, Ben, just need a change of scenery. Enter the Divorcee Capital of the US (Orlando?) where Ben is not just in demand, but literally an indescribable hunk. To make matters worse his grandpa shows up having lost everything in a bum business deal and is super lame. Junior is not happy about this unlikely turn of events and begins to act out again. He ruins a lemonade stand, he blows up a barbeque, and hypnotizes Grandpa’s dog, etc. etc. etc. As each of his dad’s hot dates show up, Junior finds creative, and often dangerous, ways to get them out of the picture. Little does he know that a storm is a-brewin’ in the form of the local bank owner. Oft-married (and oft-divorced) Lawanda has her eyes on the prize that is Ben Healy and will destroy all in her path to get him. Turns out Ben likes being waited on hand and foot by a rich, beautiful lady, and they get engaged. Even Grandpa is thrilled with the potential financial windfall that is heading the family’s way. Despondent, Junior finds a kindred spirit in another problem child, Trixie, and is excited to find that her mom is pretty dope and should probably be with his dad instead. They team up to ruin the wedding in a variety of ways. When this doesn’t work they instead just roll a giant boulder down the aisle and squash Lawanda, but not before she reveals her true colors to Ben. Ben is like “phew, thank god I didn’t marry that lady before a boulder squashed her,” and instead smooches Trixie’s mom. Then, realizing an opening when he sees one, Grandpa swoops in and starts smooching Lawanda. Finally (and this is real, so prepare yourselves), Trixie and Junior light a firecracker, shoot it into the wedding cake, it proceeds to fly up into the air and land on Grandpa and Lawanda, who then are shocked to find that Grandpa’s dog has made a giant poop. THE END. 

Why?! That sweet cash, baaabbbbbyyyy. This sequel has no purpose other than to make money for everyone involved with no regard for human life or decency. I guess Ben Healy wants to get married again so that Junior has a mom, but Junior just wants fun dad time with the World’s Best Dad. In the end they split the difference and seemingly live happily ever after.

Who?! Twin film alert! There are not one, but two sets of twins in the film. Junior has a set of twins as neighbors named Dolly and Madison, which appears to be a joke on the Hostess brand of food. Either than or a joke about the First Lady of the US. There is also a brief commercial shown where Grandpa is in a hot tub with twins. Those actresses actually have appeared in a number of BMT qualifying films so look forward to seeing them again.

What?! I think the obvious winner here is the Love Rock, which is like a meteorite or something that crashed near the town and has a heart shaped, red-colored indentation on it. People make wishes on it. Unfortunately this is not a prop I’m seeing for sale, nor did they decide to make it a permanent fixture in Orlando, so presumably it was destroyed. I would have never let that happen.

Where?! It’s odd to encounter these films that have very clear settings sprinkled throughout the internet that are impossible to identify in the actual films. In this case, Problem Child 2 is apparently set in Oregon… that would be mystifying to anyone that actually watches the movie. It’s clearly shot in Orlando and Patrick astutely pointed me to some places (e.g. a phone book) where this is confirmed… so isn’t this set in Orlando? Usually when this happens it’s because in an interview the creators said it was set in Oregon, or the script sets it in Oregon, or someone one time thought it was set in Oregon, or a slight chance it’s actually set in Oregon and we missed it. But I don’t think so. I think this is set in Orlando. C-.

When?! I don’t recall seeing a specific time for the film, but it appears to be set right at the beginning of school. At least when Junior shows up at school and is skipped a few grades he ends up in class where the teacher is going around the classroom finding out what level everyone is operating at as if it’s just off of summer vacation. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. C+.

Oooooooooooof. This is dog poo in my face. In fact it’s the giant dog poo at the end of the film right in my face. It is bizarre to an extreme degree, which at times can be fun. Like the carnival scene which descends into an absurd amount of puke flying around the screen on par with an SNL sketch. Otherwise, they destroyed every single spark of charm that remained from the first one and the actor playing Junior regressed to near unwatchability (presumably due to a combination of a bad script and a poorly chosen director). Add in a good dose of toilet humor and this is just no fun and somehow, despite dropping the problematic aspects of the first film, feels way more gross and unpleasant. You can really just watch the very end of the film (described above) to get the full picture of what this terrible, terrible film is all about. I honestly wonder how John Ritter got through it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Problem Child was the surprise smash hit comedy sensation of 1990. Run it back!!!!! We’re going again. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I’m 90% sure we owned Problem Child on VHS when we were growing up. Problem Child 2 on the other hand … I think I just saw it several times when it was on cable. I’ve definitely seen it that way, because I also know that they cut out the two scenes involving comically large piles of dog shit. What were my expectations? Well I was hoping for it to be a surrealist delight like the first film. I fully expected it to be an unfunny surrealist nightmare though. I didn’t even like this film as a kid I don’t think.

The Good – Not much. I think the acting is still pretty solid given all the material they are working with. On occasion you get whiffs of the same charming weirdness from the first film (the scene with the animal control officers is amusingly odd for example). The film is worse in every respect compared to its predecessor though so it is difficult to point to anything as actually good with that comparison available. Best Bit: John Ritter.

The Bad – The film is grotesque in precisely the way that critics slammed the first one for (incorrectly I think). There is literally people drinking piss, the aforementioned giant piles of dog shit, a scene with so much vomit that the joke is merely the sheer volume of vomit in the scene, medical mutilation, and animal cruelty. The film is aggressively unfunny, so much so that it mostly ruins the scant charm of the lead child actor in the process. And obviously, when asking for a sequel, it was necessary to revert all character growth as well which is a shame. The whole thing feels like exactly what the film critics thought the first Problem Child was, when in fact they hadn’t seen anything yet. Fatal Flaw: Grotesque body humor.

The BMT – A marvel of our childhood at the very least, I’m quite glad I finally got to see these films back-to-back. They compliment each other very well. The first is a somewhat misunderstood not-really-kids’ movie. The second is the monstrosity that happens when you mix that formula with a cynical cash grab. They are beautiful in a way. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, although I wish the second film was less gross. I would never dare to watch the film again just because it is just so gross to watch. No so with the first.

Roast-radamus – Maybe our first Twin Film (Who?) of the year for the neighbor twin girls that Junior antagonizes. Some decent Product Placement (What?) for things like Uhaul throughout. And a minor Setting as a Character (Where?) for Florida as the phonebook prominently suggests that they are, in fact, in the Orlando area. Wait a second, is that why there are so many divorcees and cougars around? I just got that. Closest to Bad I think.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Since we are going to ignore the direct-to-video third film, let’s go with a Sequel. Junior is all grown up, thirty, and divorced. He worked for his ex-wife’s father so obviously his insurance career is in shambles as well. Adrift he is moping around when who shows up? His step-grandmother Lawanda, with his 9-year-old uncle Ben in tow. It turns out his grandfather, now 90, had left Lawanda for a younger woman and with the kid. Well, like nephew-like-uncle I suppose, because the kid is a nightmare! He terrorizes the neighborhood, wreaking havoc on Junior’s life as he tries to win his wife back. Through Ben, Junior meets a well meaning teacher at the local elementary school and they hit it off. Vengeance on his father-in-law is had, lessons are learned, and Junior and Ben decide to have a go at being a family with Junior officially adopting Ben from Lawanda. Problem Child Generations. Exclusively released to local libraries on VHS.

You Just Got Schooled – I was thinking I would skip this part, but what the hey, I decided to watch The Bad Seed (1956) which the writers of Problem Child claimed the film was vaguely based on (but as a comedy). It is hard to assess old films, this one in particular is two hours, but in reality is a neat 90-minute film where they decided to tell-not-show a bunch of stuff that would have been left unsaid in a a film made in the 80s or 90s. The film is a weird inspiration because the child is the polar opposite of Junior. In The Bad Seed Rhoda is an 8-year-old girl who has a severe temper, appears older and wiser than her age, and is a compulsive liar. A textbook sociopath (given the definition at the time I assume). Junior on the other hand delights in telling you that not only did he do the things he’s accused of, he laughs uncontrollable about it and would do it again with glee. Junior I think would be considered precocious more than anything else. Rhoda is a monster. I liked the movie, but it is slow going, and you’ll get the idea they are going after about 2/3rds of the way through. B, a solid 50s “horror” film in the end.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Problem Child Recap

Jamie

Junior is a child and also is a problem. As a result he keeps getting returned to the orphanage. That is until Ben and Flo Healy show up looking to enter the exclusive parental club. While Junior wreaks havoc across the land, driving everyone around him crazy, Ben keep on killing him with love and kindness. Can Ben help Junior feel loved and change his ways before it’s too late? Find out in… Problem Child. 

How?! Junior spent his childhood shuttled from home to home until ending up in an orphanage where his troublesome ways continued. The nuns have been driven insane and just when it seems like Junior will be all alone forever, in walks Ben Healy and his wife Flo. They are a couple desperate for a child, Ben so he can be the perfect all-American dad, Flo so that they can start getting invited to the exclusive parties, dinners, and trips that other families partake in. Junior seems like a quick and easy fix to all of their problems, right? Wrong. Junior continues his terrible ways as he ruins camping trips, birthday parties, burns down his room, injures his grandpa, etc. etc. etc. It all comes to a head when Junior injures a multitude of children during a baseball game and our boy Ben realizes that maybe, just maybe, Junior is bad news. When they confront the manager of the orphanage they are appalled to find that Junior has been returned over and over from other families. Unlike Flo, though, Ben is more appalled at himself. How could he, all-American dad, be unable to give the love necessary to help Junior? But when he goes out to tell Junior that they won’t be taking him back, Junior doesn’t believe them and drives away in the family car, destroying his grandpa’s business in the process. Suffering a mental breakdown, Ben doesn’t realize that things have gone from bad to far far worse when a serial killer that Junior has been corresponding with shows up at the front door. Thinking he’s Junior’s uncle, Flo woos him as a way to try to take Junior (or maybe just her) away with him. Waking up to find Junior and Flo gone and a ransom note scrawled on the wall Ben snaps out of it just in time to race to the circus (for real) and attempt to pay the ransom and get Junior back. The serial killer attempts to escape, but not so fast! Ben and Junior super team chase down the serial killer and stop him just in time. Now best buds, the father and son super team head off into the sunset together. THE END. 

Why?! Probably the sweetest thing about the film is Ben Healy and just how desperately he wants to be the bestest dad in the world ever. The implication is that his own father is cold and distant (despite selling sporting equipment geared to the father-son experience) and Ben is determined that his own son will never lack for love. This unerring love for his son ultimately wins out and saves Junior. Probably we could drill pretty deep into the root of Junior’s behavioral issues. Despite the implication at the beginning of the film that he is evil from the get go, we get the sense that a lot of his behavior is more about the feeling that he is unlovable.

Who?! Dennis Dugan has a long history of BMT films. Not surprising as he’s one of Adam Sandler’s favorites. This was his feature directing debut and as a result the first of many cameos he made in films he’s directed. I think we’ve done about eight of his films and I believe he made cameos in all of them. Impressive.

What?! Smiley Pies obviously has a very, very prominent product placement (in my memories at least). Patrick points out Pepsi as the actual most prominent product placement, but for me the product that stands the test of time is Penn tennis balls as there is a scene where a car crashes into a giant display case of tennis balls and it’s burned there forever… actually every moment of this film is indelibly burned into my memory.

Where?! Very clearly takes place in Illinois in a town called Cold River, which is obviously made up. Impressive number of signs and posters for the location given that it’s not real. Not in the least bit relevant to the plot, but it is prominent. B+.

When?! Patrick pointed out to me that this could be one of the few Fake Holiday Film Alerts we’ll come across. The baseball scene occurs during Founder’s Day in Cold River, which being a fake place must mean it’s a fake holiday. Which is bizarre in a great way. Really there are a large number of dates thrown around in the film via newspaper, but the most solid seems to be from the poster advertising the Circus which would place the film at the end of June or beginning of July, which tracks with the camping trip, baseball, etc. B+

Problem Child is everything I remember it is. It is just nonstop one liners and gags by a small child. It makes me wonder if I maybe underrate Dennis Dugan as a director given how much I loathe some of his films (looking at you Grown Ups(es)). The fact is that he took a kid that basically never acted before and spun some really entertaining gold. He obviously was helped by a very game John Ritter who is actually amazing in this film. He’s just so goddamn likeable that you basically ignore a pretty problematic concept (but weren’t they all back in the day). I have to acknowledge that the film’s basic plot is dark in a pretty gross way. The opening scene is shocking as we see Junior shuttled from home to home before being unceremoniously dropped at an orphanage. And throughout the film there is a stigmatization of adoption that is unacceptable by today’s standards. But all this doesn’t change that it basically lived up to my memories. It is quite entertaining and the sheer number of memorable quotes is impressive. I think the first Problem Child is actually… not that bad. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Smiley Pies!? I haven’t had one of these in FIF-teen years! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I think I could have written the preview from memory, I’ve seen the film so many times. I looked up the kid actor who played Junior and really not very involved in acting after the films themselves. He is a great actor though given the part, but I’ll get to that later. What were my expectations? A blast from the past. I’m not joking when I say I’ve seen the film at least a dozen times. Which is kind of weird, as this simultaneously feels like a kids’ film which has become completely forgotten at this point.

The Good – The actor who plays Junior is really good considering the part was written for Macauley Culkin. He does a decent facsimile of the wiser-than-his-years mischief for a not-very-well-known child actor. The acting top-to-bottom is actually really good. And the surreal nature of the whole film is also just … it makes it really unique. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but as mean-spirited and weird as the film can get, there is an undeniably interesting point-of-view to it all. A comedic Bad Seed, as the screenwriters say, which I would say they nailed. Best Bit: Junior and John Ritter.

The Bad – Now, I say a comedic Bad Seed is interesting, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good. It is a very weird film, and almost definitely not a kids’ film … and yet it operated under the guise of a kids’ film. Which makes it unsurprising that critics thought it was abhorrent and that everyone involved thought it would bomb. The film isn’t really funny in any capacity, and Junior’s behavior at times is, indeed, abhorrent and unpleasant to watch. Fatal Flaw: Pushes things too far.

The BMT – On one hand I would say that they could have easily edited and reigned by Junior’s behavior and created a more tolerable mainstream hit I think. But then, Problem Child wouldn’t be the bizarre boundaries-pushing masterpiece that it is. I would argue though that this first one is actually really good, as long as you buy into the surreal weirdness of the cartoon world the screenwriters create. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, it is always odd to watch a film I watched constantly as a kid in BMT. I was pleasantly surprised with this one and I very much enjoyed watching it again.

Roast-radamus – A solid Product Placement (What?) for Pepsi throughout the film, not least of which prominently displayed during the baseball game (which, despite taking place on Founder’s Day, is not a secret holiday, more like a fake holiday). A really really good Setting as a Character (Where?) for Cold Water, Illinois. This film is really really Illinois which is excellent, but then also there is a giant statue of the founder Carl Coldwater outside of the adoption agency which is awesome. This is somehow closest to Good, don’t argue it just it, sue me I like the film.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Seeing as there are already multiple sequels and a television cartoon there is only one way to go, backwards! The Prequel goes full period piece, it is the late 50s, and Big and Little Ben are amoral travelling salesmen who will do whatever to earn a buck. The story centers around the arrival of the Healy’s in Cold Water. Big Ben places Little Ben in the local orphanage and gets him adopted out to a rich childless family where he begins to terrorize the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Big Ben reenters town pretending to be a local returning from war to find his young wife dead and only son adopted. The plan is for Little Ben to terrorize the couple into un-adopting him, and then Big Ben would exploit the shame and humiliation to blackmail them. In the end Little Ben realizes that they (gasp!) love him, and no matter what he does they will always love him! He runs away to the local circus where a friendly clown tells him that all families are different and he shouldn’t hate his father for their life of crime, that the best he can do is grow up, have a son, and love him as much as he can. Little Ben returns to town where Big Ben promptly turns him over to the rich couple for the reward money they’ve offered for his safe return. They are touched by the young family, unadopt Little Ben, and let Big Ben keep the money. He uses it to start his sports store and they settle down to a normal life. The End. Cold Water Grifters: A Problem Child Story.

You Just Got Schooled – Now what are the chances Problem Child had some weird cartoon series … 100% it turns out! I watched the first episode of Problem Child, the early 90s cartoon series. The episode is called Toys Will Be Toys. This cartoon is, first of all, terrible. But even besides that it has nothing to do with the movie it claims to be an adaptation of. Junior doesn’t seem to be an orphan, his father has the same red hair as him. Junior has a weird mutant possum pet, and a best friend who’s a girl not-named Trixie. His grandfather is the mayor, which very specifically didn’t happen in the films. And his father is a cop. Oddly the writers of the films did make the show, although I think it was drawn by a Spanish company which maybe explains it getting a bit lost in translation. The episode itself is pretty silly, Junior wants a toy bazooka, and scrimps and saves to buy the toy, only for it to turn out to all be elaborate false advertising. The episode ends with Junior getting revenge on the toy company president. D. Actually, maybe the worst adapted cartoon series I’ve seen. The Back to the Future show is way way better.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Problem Child 2 Quiz

Man, so the last thing I remember I was on a carnival ride when it started going super fast, I vomited everywhere, then I bopped my head, sustained a massive concussion and don’t remember anything after that. Do you remember what happened in Problem Child 2?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why is Junior skipped three grades to the sixth grade? 

2) How does Junior stop Ben’s first date? And what about his second? And the third?

3) Where did the Mortville love rock come from?

4) At one point in the movie Big Ben’s dog Nippy goes into a weird coma. What caused the coma, and what snaps him out of it?

5) What causes Ben to call off the wedding?

Bonus Question: How long did Lawanda and Big Ben’s marriage last?

Answers

Problem Child Quiz

Man, the last thing I remember I was dipping and dodging from a car slamming into Big Ben’s Sports store. I sustained a pretty bad concussion though. Do you remember what happened in Problem Child?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) How does Junior end up getting acquainted with the Bow Tie Killer?

2) Why isn’t Little Ben’s father Big Ben handing the company over to Ben and who is he selling to instead?

3) How does the Bow Tie Killer escape prison?

4) What convinces Ben to return Junior to the orphanage … and then what convinces him that that is a terrible idea?

5) How much does the Bow Tie Killer want as ransom for Junior and Flo?

Bonus Question: What ever happened to Flo?

Answers

Problem Child 2 Preview

“That’s a wrap,” Patrick calls in exasperation. Another day, another unscripted fist fight between Chris Klein and Angel. With CK now playing both Rich and Poe in this entry of the film, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who is even fighting Angel and whether they are dealing with a love triangle or love square. It all won’t matter anyway if this continues as CK is getting perilously close to leaving the film and their production deal was predicated on their star’s return to the series. “Dastardly cyborgs,” Jamie says, pounding the desk in their trailer. They’ve tried every which way to get rid of Angel, but his contract is iron clad. Besides, despite not being able to act a lick his test audience scores are through the roof. “So Angel has to appear in at least 90% of the film, right?” Jamie nods along as Patrick thumbs through Angel’s contract trying to find a loophole in the wording, “and we’re not allowed to recast,” Jamie nods again, wincing at their predicament, “but they don’t say anything about additional casting, right?” Jamie looks confused, but there is a twinkle in Patrick’s eye. The next day a chorus of boos rain down on Angel as he makes out with Leighton Vanderschmidt. He looks uncomfortable as he eyes the latest addition to the cast, Rich and Poe Jrs., the previously undisclosed twin children of Rich and Leighton Vanderschmidt’s character. Soon Angel has agreed to rewrite his part and remove the love triangle. CK is satisfied and so are Jamie and Patrick, but Adam Banks looks wary on his latest visit to set. A fart-gag laden scene is being shot and the production has taken on a distinct PG-rated vibe “Aren’t these children going to be a bit of a… problem?” That’s right, we’re taking on a couple of problem children in Problem Child 1 + 2. The first film was a staple and is probably one of the most quoted films of our childhood. The second film… was not. Let’s see if either of them hold up in any capacity. Let’s go!

Problem Child 2 (1991) – BMeTric: 60.5; Notability: 26

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 54.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.4% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Rock-A-Doodle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Billy Bathgate, Driving Me Crazy, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Married to It, and 33 more; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters; Notes: There we go, sub-5.0 is much more what I expected for these films. The 60+ BMeTric is beautiful, but somehow it got better critical reviews than the first film … who knows. Mobsters is an interesting film I don’t recall ever hearing about but it seems like we should watch.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The sequel no one asked for has Ritter adopting a second demon-child, ths one female and hell-bent on giving her stepbrother a run for his money. Any parent who lets and impressionable child watch this stuff ought to have his or her head examined! Followed by a 1995 TVM sequel.

(Uh … that isn’t the plot of the film? Trixie is the daughter of Ritter’s love interest and Junior and her have a prank war for completely unrelated reasons. Is this a true blue instance of Maltin not watching the film? Or maybe he just wrote it long after. It feels like something you’d gleen from only watching the trailer or something.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmvf4Jr0AEg/

(Nope, the trailer seems fairly clear that Trixie is probably just Junior’s rival, not his step-sister (yet). How in the world did Maltin get it so wrong I wonder? Anyways, this trailer is terrible and I’m so very excited to watch this film again.)

Directors – Brian Levant – (Known For: Max 2: White House Hero; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Flintstones; Snow Dogs; The Spy Next Door; Beethoven; BMT: Are We There Yet?; Problem Child 2; Jingle All The Way; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Director for Jingle All the Way in 1997; Notes: He is writing and directing and producing the new Police Academy film apparently. Directed a bunch of The New Leave it to Beaver series in the 80s.)

Writers – Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (characters & written by) – (Known For: Man on the Moon; 1408; Ed Wood; Big Eyes; Goosebumps; Dolemite Is My Name; The People vs. Larry Flynt; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; Problem Child; That Darn Cat; Screwed; BMT: Problem Child 2; Notes: Apparently they didn’t want to write the film, but were offered a ton of money to do it because the studio wanted a sequel completed a year after the release of the first film.)

Actors – John Ritter – (Known For: Sling Blade; Bride of Chucky; Bad Santa; Nowhere; Real Men; Stay Tuned; Noises Off…; They All Laughed; The Other; Tadpole; Nickelodeon; Hero at Large; Panic; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Americathon; Montana; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Hacks; Shadow of Doubt; Future BMT: Problem Child; Wholly Moses!; Skin Deep; BMT: North; Problem Child 2; Notes: Ended up married Amy Yasbeck who played his character’s love interest in both films (as two different characters).)

Michael Oliver – (Future BMT: Problem Child; BMT: Problem Child 2; Notes: Seems to work in music now. This is likely due to his half-siblings or maybe his step-father who seem to be involved in music.)

Jack Warden – (Known For: 12 Angry Men; Heaven Can Wait; The Great Muppet Caper; Sunset Blvd.; All the President’s Men; Shampoo; While You Were Sleeping; The Replacements; Death on the Nile; From Here to Eternity; Being There; The Champ; The Bachelor Party; The Verdict; Donovan’s Reef; Mighty Aphrodite; …and justice for all.; Used Cars; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Bulworth; Future BMT: Problem Child; Guilty as Sin; Dirty Work; A Dog of Flanders; BMT: Ed; Problem Child 2; Chairman of the Board; Toys; Notes: Was married to Wanda Ottoni although they apparently separated in the 70s but never got divorced, and thus were legally married for nearly 50 years at the time of his death.)

Budget/Gross – $11–15 million / Domestic: $25,104,700 (Worldwide: $32,704,700)

(Not bad, but obviously once you cut your box office in half you probably aren’t completing the trilogy (in theaters at least).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/26): Crude, rude, puerile, and pointless, Problem Child 2 represents a cynical nadir in family-marketed entertainment.

(It couldn’t possibly be a nadir since the previous film somehow got worse reviews. I’ve seen both of these films a ton in my life, and the second is loads worse so that is insane. Reviewer Highlight: I’m probably getting awfully moralistic, but couldn’t the geniuses who devise entertainment for tots have come up with something a bit more, uh, responsible? – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sklogin’ Children Too: Mo’ Problemo

(Retread of the first one with Ben in the washer instead of the cat. I thought it was pretty good for the first one, but gotta do something different to keep the score up. C+.)

Tagline(s) – This summer, Junior has a brand new friend. (D)

He’s bad. She’s worse. (B-)

(The first one doesn’t really work without the poster and the second tagline beyond already being too long. So that’s off the table. The second is better. Short and knowing what the first movie is about you get the idea. Not terribly clever though.)

Keyword – slapstick comedy

Top 10: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The Goonies (1985), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Iron Man (2008), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 92.3 Son of the Mask (2005), 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 87.3 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 79.3 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 78.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), 78.6 Superhero Movie (2008);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), The Lone Ranger (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Superman III (1983), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Epic Movie (2007), Wild Hogs (2007), Meet the Spartans (2008), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Hudson Hawk (1991), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Made of Honour (2008), Mortdecai (2015), Out Cold (2001), The Love Guru (2008), Old Dogs (2009), Jingle All The Way (1996), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), The Master of Disguise (2002), Harlem Nights (1989), Big Momma’s House 2 (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), The Medallion (2003), Caddyshack II (1988), Problem Child 2 (1991), Miss March (2009), Furry Vengeance (2010), Are We Done Yet? (2007), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), Dudley Do-Right (1999), The Marrying Man (1991), Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

(It would peak around ‘97 and it has been a bit downhill since the mid 00s. Makes sense in a way, although who knows how scientific these numbers really are. Son of Mask is a huge one we’ve been semi-consciously avoiding.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Laraine Newman is No. 4 billed in Problem Child 2 and No. 4 billed in Perfect, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – During a 2014 interview on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski revealed that the studio was reluctant to rehire them, only doing so because they wanted to shoot a sequel before Michael Oliver could noticeably grow and, as the writers of the first film, could produce a script quicker than writers new to the story and characters of the franchise. Frustrated with the criticisms of Problem Child (1990), they deliberately increased the poor taste in the sequel, intending to make a Pasolini or John Waters film for children, and went so far overboard that the first cut received an R rating from the MPAA, a secret kept until their 2014 appearance on the podcast. Dubbing over Junior’s use of the term “pussy whipped” got the film a PG-13 rating on appeal but the studio was still so nervous that, at the last minute, they added the Woody Woodpecker cartoon Smoked Hams (1947) to the film’s theatrical release to reassure parents that the film was suitable for children.

In 1999, John Ritter married Amy Yasbeck in real life.

When Mrs. Dumore sees Ben in the bank, she says she plans to make him “Hubbie #7” and a bunch of pictures are shown of her previous husbands. Her other husbands are John Ritter in several costumes. (ha!)

Ben is still driving the Jeep he “borrows” from Roy in the first film when he goes to rescue Junior from the Bow Tie Killer.

Based on the landmarks the Healys pass on their road trip, it can be assumed that they’re moving from California (the first landmark is the Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, CA) to Florida (the final landmark they pass is the Booby Trap club in Orlando, FL). (I’m not sure this is true, elsewhere it indicated they were in Illinois in the first film and Oregon in the second. But we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled).

The only actor to appear in all three films and the short-lived cartoon series was Gilbert Gottfried. Jack Warden appeared in all three films, but not the cartoon.

In the original movie, while Junior is watching news clips of the Bow Tie Killer on TV, he goes into a toy box and retrieves a bowtie to wear so he can emulate his hero. The bowtie is being worn on a My Buddy doll. This is referenced in the sequel during the carnival scene, when Ben wins a My Buddy doll and gives it to Junior.

Mortville, the town that Ben and Junior move to, is a reference to a town with the same name in which the John Waters film Desperate Living is set. (Absolutely incredible ref, WTF this is a kids film?)

June Foray, who voiced the puppets in the puppet show before Trixie (Ivyann Schwan) took it over, did various cartoon voices for 60 years; in particular many Warner Brothers cartoons. She passed away in 2017 just shy of her 100th birthday.

The license plate on Ben’s car reads “JRS DAD”.

When LaWanda is reading various newspaper headlines that detail Junior’s actions in the first film, one of the headlines reads, “Union Carbide Plant Explodes.” This was not Junior’s fault, this is referencing the incident known as “The Bhopal Disaster” that occurred on December 2, 1984 at the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, where methyl isocyanate gas leaked, exposing 500,000 people. It is estimated that 16,000 died from pesticide exposure.

Problem Child Preview

“That’s a wrap,” Patrick calls in exasperation. Another day, another unscripted fist fight between Chris Klein and Angel. With CK now playing both Rich and Poe in this entry of the film, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who is even fighting Angel and whether they are dealing with a love triangle or love square. It all won’t matter anyway if this continues as CK is getting perilously close to leaving the film and their production deal was predicated on their star’s return to the series. “Dastardly cyborgs,” Jamie says, pounding the desk in their trailer. They’ve tried every which way to get rid of Angel, but his contract is iron clad. Besides, despite not being able to act a lick his test audience scores are through the roof. “So Angel has to appear in at least 90% of the film, right?” Jamie nods along as Patrick thumbs through Angel’s contract trying to find a loophole in the wording, “and we’re not allowed to recast,” Jamie nods again, wincing at their predicament, “but they don’t say anything about additional casting, right?” Jamie looks confused, but there is a twinkle in Patrick’s eye. The next day a chorus of boos rain down on Angel as he makes out with Leighton Vanderschmidt. He looks uncomfortable as he eyes the latest addition to the cast, Rich and Poe Jrs., the previously undisclosed twin children of Rich and Leighton Vanderschmidt’s character. Soon Angel has agreed to rewrite his part and remove the love triangle. CK is satisfied and so are Jamie and Patrick, but Adam Banks looks wary on his latest visit to set. A fart-gag laden scene is being shot and the production has taken on a distinct PG-rated vibe “Aren’t these children going to be a bit of a… problem?” That’s right, we’re taking on a couple of problem children in Problem Child 1 + 2. The first film was a staple and is probably one of the most quoted films of our childhood. The second film… was not. Let’s see if either of them hold up in any capacity. Let’s go!

Problem Child (1990) – BMeTric: 48.9; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 2.4%; Notability: top 32.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0% Higher BMeT: Rocky V, Ghost Dad, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Jetsons: The Movie, Air America, Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory, The Rookie, 3 Men and a Little Lady, Marked for Death, Rocky V, Stella, Revenge, Bird on a Wire, Ghost Dad, Another 48 Hrs., Mr. Destiny, The First Power, Desperate Hours; Notes: Impressive stuff, just shy of 50 BMeTric, and a genuine 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. If you told me this was a cult film and has like a 6.0 on IMDb I wouldn’t have been surprised. And it seems like it might genuinely be on its way there.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Botched comic twist on The Bad Seed has Ritter as an unlucky father who adopts devil-child Oliver. A promising opening leads nowhere as bad performances and crude jokes prevail. Followed by a sequel, a TV movie, and an animated TV series,

(Don’t worry, I’m already planning on partaking in the Problem Child animated series. It didn’t really occur to me that this film is based on horror/dramas of the kid-from-hell. It was always just Problem Child growing up.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxFT8zYZ3dU/

(Absolutely insane concept for a kids film. Basically, a psycho kid wreaking absolute havoc all played for laughs … but I loved it as a kid. Bizarre. I can’t wait to watch it as an adult.)

Directors – Dennis Dugan – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Love, Weddings & Other Disasters; Brain Donors; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Beverly Hills Ninja; National Security; Saving Silverman; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Grown Ups 2; Problem Child; The Benchwarmers; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2012 for Jack and Jill, and Just Go with It; and Nominee for Worst Director in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Notes: Frequent collaborator of Adam Sandler. I’ve mentioned it in a note before, but his son is/was a major league baseball player with the Phillies.)

Writers – Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (written by) – (Known For: Man on the Moon; 1408; Ed Wood; Big Eyes; Goosebumps; Dolemite Is My Name; The People vs. Larry Flynt; Future BMT: Problem Child 2; Agent Cody Banks; That Darn Cat; Screwed; BMT: Problem Child; Notes: Won two Emmys for American Crime Story. Alexander started out as a music editor on small horror films, and Karaszewski wrote a biography of the Marx Brothers.)

Actors – Michael Oliver – (Future BMT: Problem Child 2; BMT: Problem Child; Notes: Was on a 2011 episode of Loveline with Gilbert Gottfried which was apparently the first time the two had talked since the filming of the second film.)

John Ritter – (Known For: Sling Blade; Bride of Chucky; Bad Santa; Nowhere; Real Men; Stay Tuned; Noises Off…; They All Laughed; The Other; Tadpole; Nickelodeon; Hero at Large; Panic; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Americathon; Montana; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Hacks; Shadow of Doubt; Future BMT: Problem Child 2; Wholly Moses!; Skin Deep; BMT: North; Problem Child; Notes: Won an Emmy for Three’s Company, but was nominated for four series in total (Hooperman, Ally McBeal, and 8 Simple Rules… for Dating my Teenage Daughter were the other three). Tragically died in 2003 due to cardiac arrest from a misdiagnosed heart defect.)

Jack Warden – (Known For: 12 Angry Men; Heaven Can Wait; The Great Muppet Caper; Sunset Blvd.; All the President’s Men; Shampoo; While You Were Sleeping; The Replacements; Death on the Nile; From Here to Eternity; Being There; The Champ; The Bachelor Party; The Verdict; Donovan’s Reef; Mighty Aphrodite; …and justice for all.; Used Cars; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Bulworth; Future BMT: Problem Child 2; Guilty as Sin; Dirty Work; A Dog of Flanders; BMT: Ed; Chairman of the Board; Toys; Problem Child; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait. Boxed under the name Johnny Costello in his youth.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $53,470,891 (Worldwide: $72,270,891)

(That is a lot more money than I would have expected for this film. Like … that is a legit haul, so obviously they were going to make a sequel! I just can’t get over that they got reasonably close to being a $100 million comedy.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/29): Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that’s loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.

(I do remember it being mean-spirited, in particular just how insane the beginning is with Junior continually being returned to the orphanage. Reviewer Highlight: The rest of the kid’s tricks are too unimaginative to be much fun — though with jokes this lame you won’t have to worry as much about your children getting any bad ideas. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sklogin’ Child

(Apparently this poster was a bit controversial in its depiction of Junior putting the cat in a washing machine, which doesn’t happen in the film. Font’s good, spacing and cartoon aspect of it is fun, only problem is the gaudy 90’s color scheme. B.)

Tagline(s) – Attila the Hun. Ivan the Terrible. Al Capone. They were all seven once. (C-)

(This is like a who’s who of the least offensive choices they could have used for the tagline… thank god. Takes far to long to get to the punchline and waters down whatever they were going for.)

Keyword – orphanage

Top 10: Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Deadpool 2 (2018), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Clifford (1994), Orphan (2009), Up (2009)

Future BMT: 50.9 The Boss (2016), 50.1 Friend Request (2016), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 The Princess Diaries 2 (2004), 33.6 Suspect Zero (2004), 32.1 Clifford (1994), 28.9 Original Sin (2001), 28.8 Igor (2008), 26.9 Grimsby (2016);

BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Silent Hill (2006), The Snowman (2017), Epic Movie (2007), Zoolander 2 (2016), Problem Child (1990), Double Impact (1991), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Solarbabies (1986), Alone in the Dark (2005)

(I’m surprised by how consistent the plot it, you would think once the tropey version of orphanages went out of fashion it would vaguely die out as far as cheap laughs are concerned. My god, Clifford (1994)! Another film I’ve seen an inordinate number of times starring a bad child which comes across as crass and mean-spirited.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jack Warden is No. 2 billed in Problem Child and No. 5 billed in Toys, which also stars LL Cool J (No. 7 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 5 + 7 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 19. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Throughout the film, Ben reads several self-help books on parenting. Each book features a photo of the author on the back cover. The author photos are John Ritter in various costumes. (Nice, I like the joke)

An ad campaign for this film included “reviews” from a number of famous movie villains: “Four-star fun for the whole gang!” – Al Capone “Two thumbs up!” – Captain Hook “10 out of 10! Junior had me in stitches!” – Frankenstein “This kid gives ME nightmares!” – Freddy Krueger “Junior is a real cut-up!” – Leatherface “I wish he were MY son!” – Darth Vade r”Don’t have a cow! Just see this movie, dude!” –Bart Simpson

During a 2014 interview on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski revealed that the story was inspired by the 1988 LA Times article “An Adopted Boy–and Terror Begins.” The story is about a married couple suing an adoption agency because they were not informed that their adopted son had severe mental health issues with violent tendencies, and had been previously returned to the agency multiple times. While other writers pitched the story as a horror film in the vein of The Bad Seed (1956) or The Omen (1976), Alexander and Karaszewski thought it had potential as a comedy. They envisioned a dark, adult satire of the then-popular trend of films in which cute kids teach cynical adults how to love, as seen in Baby Boom (1987), Parenthood (1989) (directly spoofed by the film’s poster), Look Who’s Talking (1989), Uncle Buck (1989), Mr. Mum (1983), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and 3 Men and a Baby (1987). The studio insisted on turning it into a children’s film, which meant numerous reshoots and rewrites. All involved in the difficult production were disappointed, and anticipated that it would bomb. Alexander cried after the cast and crew screening. The film was a surprise hit, and Universal’s most profitable film of 1990. Alexander and Karaszewski were so embarrassed that they tried to distance themselves from the film in its immediate aftermath, which proved difficult. Studios were initially reluctant to hire them or take them seriously based on their work on such a prominent disreputable film. In later years, they eventually came to work with executives who grew up watching the film on TV airings and were excited to be meeting “the guys who wrote Problem Child.” Looking back, they still feel the film is “a mess,” but take some pride in being involved with one of the “very few [PG-rated] children’s films THAT black and THAT crazy,” adding “and it’s funny.”

According to Dennis Dugan, the test screenings were disastrous, with 70 percent of the audience walking out, verbal complaints from viewers, and a score of only 30. The studio forced two weeks of reshoots, including a retooled ending and the addition of key scenes like the girl’s birthday party.

Dennis Dugan had never directed a feature film before, so he decided to make his pitch to Universal executives a memorable one. He stood on the studio president’s coffee table and passionately proclaimed, “You’re looking at me like I’m f*cking nuts, and this is what we want. We want this kind of chaos.” Three hours later, Dugan learned he had the job.

During production, both John Ritter and Gilbert Gottfried were allowed to ad lib, making Universal complain at Dennis Dugan for shooting too much footage for Gottfried’s scenes

The poster for the movie was a spoof of the poster for Parenthood (1989). Imagine Entertainment produced both films and Dennis Dugan, who directed Problem Child, acted in both films.

Universal originally wanted John Landis to direct this film. But Landis turned it down as he had no interest in making kids movies. They then approached Joe Dante to direct after directing The ‘Burbs (1989) for them. Dante read the script and liked it. But he turned it down as he was about to work on Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

The doll that Junior takes the bow-tie from in the orphanage is a “My Buddy” doll that is missing its striped shirt and tennis shoes. When sold in stores, the doll never originally came with a bow-tie.

Dennis Dugan: as the All-American Dad who buys his son a canteen.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Gilbert Gottfried, 1991)

Toys Recap

Jamie

The head of a fanciful toy factory passes away and instead of leaving it to his similarly minded son, Leslie, he gives it to his militaristic brother. Soon the factory is deep into the development of drones and most of the workers laid off. Can Leslie and his gang of misfits team up to stop the general (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Toys.

How?! Leslie is the silly son of a silly founder of a silly toy company. He has his head in the clouds and is a bit of a flake, so on his deathbed his father decides to give the factory over to his militaristic general brother instead. The general comes in guns a-blazing, taking a liking to tamping down perceived corporate espionage and the possibility of getting back in the war game with the development of toy-sized drones. As the budgets of these secret military projects balloon, Leslie soon looks around and realizes that all the happy employees are gone and the factory has transformed into a venture that he barely recognizes. Leslie decides that the general must be stopped and finds allies in his sister Alsatia, his new boo Gwen and, surprisingly, the general’s son Patrick, who has realized that his father is a monster. They head into the factory, which is now controlled by a state of the art AI driven security system. They face death at every turn at the hands of the (surprisingly effective) drones. But through ingenuity, elbow grease, and good old-fashioned fun they break through, take out the security system and confront the general. In the final fight Alsatia is revealed to be a robot, which is a bit of a surprise, and the general is ultimately taken down by his own ultimate weapon, The Sea Swine (which I choose to imagine is a sophisticated submarine drone). In the end Leslie gets the factory and the girl and everyone lives whimsically ever after. THE END.

Why?! This is where you have to start to question whether the film is actually bad or not. The motivation is pretty thought provoking, because why was the factory even left to the clearly eeeevil general? It becomes obvious that the Zevo patriarch always meant for Leslie to take over, but that he was flaky… he had no backbone. He knew that the general would twist the factory to his whims and eventually Leslie would be forced to fight back and through that process he would grow into the owner that the factory needs. Profound… although he almost killed his own son and ruined the company, so not a foolproof plan or anything.

Who?! Ladies Love Cool Jamie and also LL Cool J making his (almost) film debut. He was coming off the Michael J. Fox film The Hard Way but who remembers that? Everyone remembers him in Toys camouflaged in a couch. Paved the way for NCIS: Los Angeles. The best NCIS… although I can’t make that judgement. Patrick is the resident NCIS expert. (Patrick Note: I’ve only seen one episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, but I do think Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J are a significantly more fun pairing that Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly)

What?! There are quite a number of props from this film for sale online. Given that there is a battle between thousands of toys at the end this is unsurprising. Nothing too spectacular, though. Then as Patrick mentioned we see that the Toy factory serves Pepsi and not Coke, so no wonder it’s going down the tubes. Other than that, the sea swine is kind of a MacGuffin if you squint enough… it’s at least an object of great but unknowable power, but not really something that everyone wants to get their hands on.

Where?! I usually say that if I could just get my hands on a prop newspaper or look closer at what’s on TV or in the background of shots that you could figure out where any film takes place… but probably not this film. Seems pretty clear that they have set this very specifically in an unknowable, whimsical location in the United States. Case closed. F.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert!… I think. The opening and ending of the film is a Christmas extravaganza. I speculated on the possibility that this was just because the owner of the factory was dying and Christmas was every day because he loved that time of year, but when it came back at the end I threw that theory out the window. Add in that one of the songs that plays during the celebration is called The Closing of the Year and I have to think that in fact the events of the film take place over a single year from Christmas to Christmas basically. B+.

I mean… this is not that bad (It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!). I can understand that when people saw that there was a film about toys starring Robin Williams they came in with some expectations. Those expectations were not exactly met by a dark comedy about military toys with a heavy surrealist influence on production. But it’s not like some auteur “dream projects” that are the bread and butter of bad movies. Is it weird that this was Berry Levinson’s passion project? I don’t think so. It’s an interesting story with some downright prescient themes on drone warfare and a beautiful and whimsical visual spectacle that is kind of the definition of movie magic. Just like how there are things to celebrate about Little Nicky even existing, it’s a wonder and amazing that this exists and it really isn’t even all that bad (unlike Little Nicky). Interesting. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Wonder and whimsy is the name of the game. And a … mechanical sea slug maybe? Real hard to tell what is happening with that thing. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Toys! I’ve seen Toys a ton of times, it was constantly on television when I was a kid. And spoilees. I loved it as a kid. Kids … are morons. But Robin Williams was great, and it was just a bunch of kid jokes and toys flying around in an insane toy factory. What’s not to love?! What were my expectations? I think like with that other Robin Williams classic, Hook, I’ll be able to acknowledge that Toys is a messy film that should have been a lot better, while also admitting that I still love it. That’s my prediction.

The Good – Whimsy is indeed the name of the game. With horror films the most interesting thing, to me, is often the practical effects and how that really brings a horror film to life. With the occasional comedy or drama with a very specific set of directors, pure set design can at least partially save a film. This is one of those rare films (and funny enough so is the aforementioned Hook). There are genuine “wow!” moments in this film, and it is a shame the product wasn’t polished enough to really let it stand the test of time. Best Bit: The set design.

The Bad – The film is a mess for a few complex reasons. It feels cobbled together from a bunch of Robin Williams manic improvisational shots, and while they sometimes work, they sometimes are just really really annoying. The military ends up feeling like a weird antagonist, likely because the film was originally written in the late 70s (and thus Vietnam was in the more recent past). And then the finale is a real dud with a weirdo sea slug machine thing (in the original script, by the way, it was called a “submarine with a nose”). It seems like the film wants to be a kids film when determining humor, but also have giant war scenes and a sex scene and stuff. It is weird. Fatal Flaw: Thinks it is funny, but it isn’t.

The BMT – Log this as another Oscar-nominated BMT film, a BMT film from our past, and a BMT film I kind of like. I can’t hate Toys! It is an indelible part of my childhood. But yeah, it is a mess … you can mostly get the gist of it by watching a youtube video about the production design. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah! Actually, I did get the ending of the film a lot better as an adult. I always was a bit confused as to why Robin Williams thinks he can defeat the military toys with the old Toys … but he doesn’t, he just uses them as a distraction to buy LL Cool J time to defeat his father. See, well worth the rewatch.

Roast-radamus – A genuine Product Placement (What?) for Pepsi of all things, which is a wild product placement for a film like this, it feels like they would have you know … gotten some toys or something. And I declare this an official Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the beginning and ending of the film almost definitely taking place around Christmas one year apart. It is debatable, but I think it is easier to reason about if it was actually Christmas rather than some other event involving Santa. I think it is closest to Good, sue me.

Prequel, Sequel, Remake – You know what? I’m going with remake. Sell it to Netflix, and make it a nostalgia driven period-piece a la Stranger Things. Set in 1980 (so not too far off from the original script date), right as personal computers and a big arcade boom was coming around. Re-tool the story towards Leslie being too resistant to technology for his father to entrust the company to him. And then Leland becomes obsessed with military games, just like in the movie. Underlying the whole thing is an underground Soviet-US double agent thing with Leland attempting, with the help of some Russian dissidents, to start a third world war. In the end, Leslie, with the help of a few of the kids brought in to test the war games, ends up creating a whole line of whimsical Zevo brand arcade games, and they hack the planet to take down Leland once and for all. Toys: World War. It will be a ten episode order obviously. The second season would bring in a rival toy company and really ramp up the magical whimsey to eleven, so consider that before passing on this Netflix.

You Just Got Schooled – The video game movie tie-ins keep on coming, and Toys is no exception. There was a SNES game called Toys: Let the Toy Wars Begin! and hoooooooooooooooooo boy is this a pile of dog poo in my face! The game is an isometric shooter (for the most part) consisting of only five levels. The first four are mostly identical, involving Leslie running around defeating military toys and then playing a bizarre mini-game to turn off the cameras to allow Patrick, Leland’s son, into the factory. The final level is a side scrolling game with you in an airplane. Notably considered one of the worst movie tie-ins ever created, and playing it I can’t say I disagree. The wide variety of games I’ve played for this cycle is astounding! I think by the end I will have played basically every type of game totally by accident. It is great. F. Absolutely worthless game with aggravating gameplay. Just watch the speed run to see how it operates if you are curious.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Toys Quiz

Oh boy, well I was in a fantastical toy company, and what a place it was. But then, suddenly, a little toy elephant popped out and bopped me on the head! Now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Toys?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Leslie’s father hand the company over to his brother instead of his son?

2) Why is Patrick Zevo, the general’s son, brought into the business?

3) Where does Leslie meet Gwen within the company?

4) What is Leland Zevo’s big secret project within the toy company?

5) What is the plan with all of the old toys they find during the culminating infiltration of Zevo Toys?

Bonus Question: How long do Gwen and Leslie stay together after the events of the film?

Answers

Toys Preview

“Riiiich and Poooooe,” Jamie croons ethereally as a dope hip hop beat plays behind the track, “They’ll never diiieeeee, noooooo,” he continues while Rachel and Patrick sway to the ghostly high pitched sound of his falsetto. “No matter what you sawwwww, this game is canon and you can’t kill the lawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Rich and Poe, alive forever. Peace.” He finishes in a whisper. There isn’t a dry eye in the room. Jamie and Patrick shrug at each other, it’s worth a shot. Likely a tie-in FMV VR music video game isn’t actually canon, no matter how many times Jamie mentions it in the lyrics (28, by Patrick’s count). But the most important thing is to get this single on the airwaves and start the hype machine a-hummin’. As Jamie turns to the computer in order to begin crafting the email to WGRG, he bumps into the giant box again. “Gah,” he says in frustration and bangs his hand on the lid. “Don’t take it out on the box,” scolds Patrick as he inspects the completely useless box for damage. But Jamie is already waving off the dumb, useless box and shoots off the email to WGRG. Just as he and Patrick are about to high five in celebration they hear that distinctive “You Rang” notice from the JeevesMail. An email from WGRG sits in the inbox titled “Rad Dopness for sure… BUT” But what? Jame purses his lips. No one seems satisfied with all the hits he’s churning out lately. When he opens the email the WGRG manager suggests they send over some Rich & Poe merch as a prize for the premier of the song to “really hype the film for the millennial gucci crowd.” Not a bad point, but what R&P toy should they make? That’s right! We’re watching the Robin Williams classic Toys. Obviously we saw this as children and really not many times since then. So I’m interested in whether it is in fact a misunderstood masterpiece. Plausible. It also had a tie-in video game that is apparently just the worst. Let’s go!

Toys (1992) – BMeTric: 58.4; Notability: 77

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 3.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 23.4% Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Pet Sematary II; Lower RT: Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Mom and Dad Save the World, Passed Away, Ladybugs, Claire of the Moon, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Mo’ Money, Class Act, Knight Moves, Freejack, Dr. Giggles, Blame It on the Bellboy and 16 more; Notes: My god, the highest notability of 1992. This was a huge film. Impressively low IMDb rating as well. Definitely a top bad movie from 1992.

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – “Toys” is visually one of the most extraordinary films I’ve seen, a delight for the eyes, a bright new world. It takes place within the entirely imaginary world of a giant toy corporation, which springs from a limitless grain field as if there were no other buildings on earth.

(Incredible. We really are on a roll of sneaky good films. The Bodyguard and Toys back to back? I can say that will confidence because I’ve seen Toys a bunch of times and loved it as a kid. So there is no way I don’t watch it now and at least love it due to nostalgia.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP-TU0P2Lw4/

(Great trailer. Shows off the crazy set pieces, doesn’t overdo the absolutely over-the-top performance by Robin Williams, gives a good perspective on the overarching story (without touching on the final act pretty much at all). Like, actually seems like a delightful movie.)

Directors – Barry Levinson – (Known For: Sleepers; Rain Man; Bugsy; Diner; Avalon; Disclosure; The Natural; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Bay; Wag the Dog; Young Sherlock Holmes; What Just Happened; Bandits; The Last Act; Tin Men; Liberty Heights; An Everlasting Piece; Future BMT: Rock the Kasbah; Sphere; Jimmy Hollywood; Man of the Year; BMT: Envy; Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Toys in 1993; Notes: Was nominated for 5 Oscars (winning one for directing Rain Man) and 11 Emmys (winning 4 times, twice for writing on The Carol Burnett Show, for producing Displaced Person, and for directing Homicide: Life on the Street). Does a lot of television work now including the upcoming Dopesick.)

Writers – Valerie Curtin (written by) – (Known For: …and justice for all.; Inside Moves; Best Friends; Future BMT: Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Toys; Notes: Was married to Barry Levinson until the mid-80s, nominated alongside him for …and justice for all. Was in the original cast of Three’s Company, but was replaced after the pilot was picked up.)

Barry Levinson (written by) – (Known For: Sleepers; Tootsie; Diner; Avalon; High Anxiety; The Bay; …and justice for all.; Silent Movie; Inside Moves; Tin Men; Best Friends; Liberty Heights; Street Girls; Future BMT: Jimmy Hollywood; Man of the Year; Unfaithfully Yours; BMT: Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Toys in 1993; Notes: Wrote Paterno, the big television movie starring Al Pacino. And is writing an upcoming tv movie called Sheela, about the leader of the Rajneesh movement from the 1980s which was profiled in the Netflix series Wild Wild Country.)

Actors – Robin Williams – (Known For: Jumanji; Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Night at the Museum; Aladdin; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Mrs. Doubtfire; Insomnia; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Popeye; Robots; Awakenings; Night at the Museum 2; The Butler; What Dreams May Come; The Birdcage; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; Happy Feet; The Fisher King; Good Morning, Vietnam; Future BMT: Flubber; R.V.: Runaway Vacation; Nine Months; Fathers’ Day; Jack; Club Paradise; The Night Listener; Man of the Year; The Best of Times; The Survivors; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Jakob the Liar; Hook; Patch Adams; Bicentennial Man; August Rush; BMT: Toys; License to Wed; Old Dogs; The Big Wedding; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Notable for being a Juilliard trained actor who cut his teeth in the stand up comedy scene of the 70s. Committed suicide in 2014, apparently due to dementia. Was nominated for four Oscars, and won for Good Will Hunting.)

Michael Gambon – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Book of Eli; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The King’s Speech; Sleepy Hollow; Judy; Paddington 2; The Good Shepherd; Hail, Caesar!; Paddington; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Gosford Park; Layer Cake; The Insider; Future BMT: The Omen; Mary Reilly; Mobsters; Clean Slate; BMT: Toys; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys, and was the replacement Dumbledore after Richard Harris passed away.)

Joan Cusack – (Known For: Sixteen Candles; Instant Family; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Toy Story 4; School of Rock; Grosse Pointe Blank; Toy Story 3; High Fidelity; Say Anything…; Toy Story 2; Working Girl; Runaway Bride; Addams Family Values; Klaus; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; My Sister’s Keeper; Broadcast News; Let It Snow; Ice Princess; My Bodyguard; Future BMT: Snatched; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Mr. Wrong; Nine Months; Mars Needs Moms; Chicken Little; Raising Helen; Class; The Allnighter; Corrina, Corrina; Where the Heart Is; Martian Child; BMT: Toys; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for In & Out and Working Girl. Was apparently the first regular cast member of SNL to be nominated for an Oscar. Of the Cusack acting family, including her brother John Cusack.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $23,278,931 (Worldwide: $23,278,931)

(Oooof, that is a disaster. The budget is basically all production costs, which makes it all the worse. They apparently produced this stunning work of art from a production design perspective … and then the film was a totally mess and financial disaster. Too bad.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (8/27): Like a colorfully overengineered gewgaw on the shelf, Toys might look like fun, but its seemingly limitless possibilities lead mainly to confusion and disappointment.

(That is definitely true. As a kid it was a real spectacle and Robin Williams is obviously the best for kids. Reviewer Highlight: The failure of Barry Levinson’s Toys is of a different order: it’s the kind of folly only a very fine filmmaker could make, a labor of misguided love. – David Ansen, Newsweek)

Poster – Please Enjoys Toys

(Clever and actually does hint a little at the plot… or at least Barry Levinson’s perspective while making the film. Absolutely great great great custom font and it certainly is unique. I like it. Striking. Maybe a little more color theme, but good. B-)

Tagline(s) – Laughter is a state of mind. (D)

(I don’t know what this means. I guess maybe it’s playing on the poster itself. That Robin William’s mind in the film is a Russian nesting doll of himself? I don’t know. Nonsense. But at least it’s short nonsense.)

Keyword – inventor

Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), The Dark Knight (2008), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Avengers Assemble (2012), The Goonies (1985), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), The Prestige (2006)

Future BMT: 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 57.1 Flubber (1997), 47.3 Blankman (1994), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 40.1 Paranoia (2013), 38.5 Two of a Kind (1983), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 30.4 Arthur and the Invisibles (2006);

BMT: Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Fantastic Four (2015), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Geostorm (2017), Masters of the Universe (1987), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Pixels (2015), Wild Wild West (1999), Tango & Cash (1989), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Hudson Hawk (1991), Toys (1992), Jobs (2013), Envy (2004), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Ernest Goes to Jail (1990)

(I’m here for the other Robin Williams inventor bad movie, Flubber. Mostly has been buoyed in recent years from Tony Stark and Beast in the new X-Men films from what I can tell.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: LL Cool J is No. 7 billed in Toys and No. 2 billed in Rollerball, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 7 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 12. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Theatrical movie debut of Jamie Foxx (Baker).

It took writer, producer, and director Barry Levinson over ten years to develop this movie. It took ten months to shoot.

Much of the look drew its inspiration from surrealist painter René Magritte. This is most obvious in the break in scene where Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) and Alsatia Zevo (Joan Cusack) pretend they’re doing a music video featuring raining men in the background.

As of May, 2001 the Zevo Tombstone (the stone elephant) resides at Planet Hollywood in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

The blue car that Leslie (Robin Williams) drove was a rare 1950 Muntz Jet, of which fewer than four hundred were made.

In the arcade sequence, where a child is shown playing one of the military games of a helicopter destroying civilian vehicles, a “kill” monitor is visible at the bottom of the screen listing the number of cars destroyed by model. Only the Volvo column is still at zero kills, an in-joke referring to the Volvo’s legendary safety and indestructibility.

The scene with Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) addressing his troops was ad-libbed. Levinson kept a camera rolling everytime Williams was on-set.

The “electric jacket” worn by Robin Williams was created by Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini.

In the arcade scene, the introduction to “Tank Gunner” is actually the introduction to Absolute Entertainment’s Super Battletank. One year later, Absolute Entertainment released the video game adaptation for this movie. (Oooooooo I’m going to play that!!)

A long-cherished project for writer, producer, and director Barry Levinson, this was originally set to be his directorial debut.

The words used by Lieutenant General Leland Zevo (Sir Michael Gambon) in an attempt to stop the rampaging sea creature are “Klaatu, Barada, Nikto”, the same words used to command the robot Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). Also, these were the same words Ash (Bruce Campbell) was supposed to use in Army of Darkness (1992) prior to picking up the necronomicon. (That is a super fun fact)

Italian designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti spent over one year designing the sumptuous sets, which took over every soundstage at Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles. (Awesome)

Robin Williams and Joan Cusack performed “The Mirror Song” themselves in the MTV scene. (Amazing)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Linda DeScenna, 1993)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Costume Design (Albert Wolsky, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Barry Levinson, 1993)

Confessions of a Shopaholic Recap

Jamie

Rebecca Bloomwood has a problem. She’s deep in debt and she just got a job at a financial magazine. The irony! While doling out advice and trying to overcome her crippling shopping obsession, she’s also trying to evade her debt collector. Can she avoid public embarrassment (and perhaps get the guy) before it’s too late? Find out in… Confessions of a Shopaholic.

How?! Rebecca Bloomwood has big dreams. She wants a place in the world of fashion, writing for the top magazine Alette. Unfortunately she’s stuck at a gardening magazine while blowing all her money (and more) on the latest trends (that honestly and objectively look hideous). When she fails to get an interview at Alette she settles for an interview at the financial magazine Successful Saving helmed by Luke Brandon. She blows the interview and while drinking to forget that (and her crippling debt) she writes two letters: one to Alette telling everything she wished she could, and a second to Successful Saving raking them over the coals. Unfortunately in her drunken stupor she mixes up the letters! Uh oh! Or not so ‘uh oh’ as her spunk gets her a job at Successful Saving after all. Despite the irony of her position, Rebecca immediately charms everyone around her and starts churning out a wildly successful column tying sensible financing to the financial troubles she’s experiencing under the pseudonym The Girl in the Green Scarf. Soon she’s falling for her boss, booking appearances on TV, and trying everything to avoid her debt collector. Unfortunately on her big TV interview day disaster strikes and her debt collector is in the audience. The fallout is immense as not only does she lose her job, but her boss is also forced out. Realizing that her shopaholic tendencies have ruined all the relationships around her (including the one with her best friend), Rebecca declines a job offer from Alette to work on herself. Through Shopaholics Anonymous she organizes an auction of all her clothes (including her signature scart) and pays off her debt. Rebecca mends her relationships and finally runs into Luke, who reveals that he in fact bought her scarf and that he wants her to work with him at his new company. They then smooch a bunch probably. THE END.

Why?! Love, duh. Actually I take that back. This film is probably one of the least love-centric rom coms I can remember. Luke is very much a side character and they barely kiss before her addiction derails things. The film is much more interested in exploring the root of her addiction than love… at least on the surface. So I guess the motivation is, uh, shopping.

Who?! Funny cameo in this one as one of the members of Shopaholics Anonymous is John Salley. Yes, 4-time NBA champion and 0-time all-star John Salley. Not nearly his only BMT film, either as he also appeared in the film Eddie and Bad Boys II. I learned from wiki that he was friends with Eddie Murphy and used to do some stand up when he was on the Pistons. He was funny in this.

What?! Uhhhhhhhh, I mean, the film is a giant advertisement. It would actually be hard to list anything of particular significance as so many brands were spotlighted that they kinda washed each other out. The only thing I’ll reiterate is that I thought that a fair number of Fisher’s outfits were objectively terrible to the point where I wondered if the point was that she would realize that she was meant to be a financial writer rather than a fashion writer.

Where?! Big time NYC film, which is interesting as it’s not till the second book that the Shopaholic series went to America (and even then, just for that entry). A little weird they changed the setting and made Rebecca America, but whatever. Sprinkled in a little Miami too for good measure. A-. Could have been London.

When?! Another film, another purposeful dodging of the temporal setting. There are multiple parts where they could easily have dropped a “Sale of the Century, March 2nd” in there but they didn’t. Clearly this took place in winter and into the early Spring just given the general attire and mood of NYC. But never specified. D.

This is a hard film to review. On the one hand it’s a generic rom com that has some charming actors, some nice to look at locales, and literally no surprises (if you’re into that kind of thing). On the other hand, it takes everything good about the book and throws it in the trash in favor of shameless and mostly off-putting consumerism. I guess as far as a straightforward rom com my biggest gripe is the lack of love. There doesn’t seem to be much building of the Isla Fisher/Hugh Dancy love connection and can we get more than just a very PG-rated smooch? As far as the consumerism goes, I think this suffers mostly in trying to fit a not-very-generic rom com book into a generic rom com package. The idea of the book is kinda that Rebecca is actually very qualified for financial writing because she sees through all the lies that everyone is fed by the financial institutions because she herself has been duped into debt by them over and over. That’s a very prominent part of the book, her snide remarks as she listens to financial PR campaigns. They threw that all away in favor of someone who seemingly just bumbles and stumbles her way to success by mostly looking at her shopping bags and being like “credit cards are like… empty shopping bags…” and people are like ‘Brilliant!’ That being said, I also didn’t like the book very much. Rebecca is a giant liar in the book and it’s hard to take at times as she just keeps lying and lying and lying. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! A film about rampant consumerism literally moments after the financial collapse? What is this, Sex and the City 3?! Kind of, yeah. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I swear to god I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to not do this film. It just is one of those films I didn’t really have an interest in. I figured it would be boring, and if not boring it would just be Sex and the City, and if not that it would be like … a bad adaptation of the book or something. Hugh Dancy was the only thing that gave me hope, he tends to be in weird secretly-good BMT films like the weirdo animated Oz film where he was a nutcracker. What were my expectations? An unfunny film that mostly people hated because of the rampant consumerism which was unbecoming in 2009.

The Good – Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy are very charming and play their roles well. Actually, all of the actors do a serviceable job in the film. Outside of the context of the financial collapse the consumerism is probably not quite so disgusting. Really good NYC film with a very out of place excursion to Miami. Very much felt like they left NYC solely because that’s what Hollywood films are supposed to do. Best Bit: Isla Fisher.

The Bad – Much like Sex and the City the comsumerism is really gross feeling in 2020, and the film isn’t funny. The humor is actually mostly like The Office, which I guess makes sense considering this came out in the middle of its most popular run, but the awkwardness is a bit of a shock watching in 2020. The main character is also quite unappealing. If she was just a shopaholic that would be okay, that’s something she needs to learn to get over, good for her. But she’s also a compulsive liar, and the lies are what actually gets her in trouble. Why anyone would ever believe a word she says is beyond me. Fatal Flaw: Dated humor.

The BMT – Well, I don’t think I’ll ever think of this film again. Probably, the main issue is the film is kind of okay? I didn’t mind it. Isla Fisher saved it to a large degree. I can’t imagine a single situation in which I would recommend anyone watch this film … huh, usually at the very least people could marvel at a bad-BMT film for its blandness, but this is just not really much of a film if you don’t care for the book series. Did it meet my expectations? Kind of, I do think that the rampant consumerism is why the film got terrible reviews. It would get terrible reviews today as well though for its dated awkward humor, so nothing has changed for it unfortunately.

Roast-radamus – This might actually be the greatest Product Placement (What?) in the history of BMT. Is “all fashion brands” a valid product placement? Do you think any of them had to pay for their placement? Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City. I won’t count Miami, but that is one of the worst uses of a city in a film I’ve ever seen. And a small Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Dancy was both bidders for the green scarf at the end. Like why both? Why not outbid the actual people there? Whatever. Closest to Good in my opinion with some distance from the financial collapse.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – This is obviously prime for a Netflix streaming remake. It is already a book series so you have built in stories for multiple seasons. From what I can tell the movie isn’t super faithful to the book, so you have an opportunity to draw in fans there as well. And you move it to London (with Rebecca still being from the US) and you have some real Emily in Paris energy going. I can see it now, a woman, trying to escape her financial obligations in the US, moves to the UK to try and turn her life around. Initially lying about her experience and her financial situation (to employers and the UK government alike), the first series would basically be like the movie except you replace the debt collector with a government employee trying to unravel Rebecca’s web of visa application lies! I would actually probably watch that.

You Just Got Schooled – Final week for the suspension of You Just Got Schooled for the Hall of Fame rewatches. This week I rewatched both Endless Love films. Those previews and the Endless Love (2014) induction are all now live. Stay tuned as this section returns next week.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs