A Dog’s Purpose Recap

Jamie

Meet Bailey, the loveable dog of a loveable boy in a loveable world full of triumph and tragedy. Reincarnated over the years trying to understand his purpose on Earth, Baily is always looking out for his owners, particularly his original owner Ethan. Can he bring Ethan that ultimate joy he’s been looking for before it’s too late? Find out in… A Dog’s Purpose.

How?! I have a feeling this will be a short one. That’s because the film is not really a film at all but rather a series of vignettes strung together by a continually reincarnated dog named Bailey. As a puppy Bailey is rescued from a hot car by Ethan. Ethan and Bailey grow up together and we see him struggle with his father’s alcoholism and yet have a fulfilling life playing football and hanging with the girl he loves, Hannah. After getting a football scholarship to Michigan State, a jealous rival throws a firecracker through the mail slot of his house. Bailey wakes Ethan and helps him save his mom from the fire but not before Ethan injures his leg, dashing his hopes of a football career. Devastated he breaks it off with Hannah and heads off to agricultural school. We then get a glimpse at Bailey’s slow death (fun!) culminating in him being put down with Ethan at his side (double fun!). Over the ensuing decades we seen Bailey reincarnated as a police dog and a corgi companion for a lonely woman. Through these adventures Bailey learns two things: loneliness is bad and loneliness can be cured by finding a companion to be with. After a couple more heart wrenching dog deaths (I’m have so much goddamned FUN!) Bailey is reincarnated in Michigan and finds his way back to Ethan’s farm. Hooray! Taken in by Ethan he notices that he is lonely. From the lessons of his past life Bailey goes out and find a widowed Hannah. Reunited, Ethan and Hannah fall in love all over again and the film ends with their wedding and Ethan’s realization that his new dog is just his old dog reincarnated… for some reason he doesn’t find this amazing at all and basically shrugs it off. Presumably Bailey dies again after the credits role but the filmmakers spared us that one death at least. THE END.

Why?! Like the title suggests, this film is entirely motivated by the search by Bailey for meaning in his various lives. At first he thinks perhaps playing with Ethan is his purpose. As a police dog he learns that he can have a greater purpose in saving people, but he also sees that his owner is still sad and lonely despite their success at their job. As a corgi companion he sees that this loneliness can be cured by finding a someone to be with. Finally back with Ethan he puts this all together and realizes that life’s purpose is having fun, helping people, being with people you love, and living in the moment. Wait a second… these are all lessons humans can use too! Goddamn it, A Dog’s Purpose. You’ve done it again.

What?! Not much in the way of plot devices, props, or product placement. If anything this is a giant commercial on how a dog might die. Don’t let it get out, it might end up in the pound and DIE. Don’t leave it in a hot car, it might end up overheating and DIE. Don’t love it too much, it might grow old and make you sad when it DIES. Valuable lessons. The more you know.

Who?! I have to admit that I don’t know much about credits for animals but I would have thought this would have been a perfect candidate for IMDb to highlight an animal actor. Alas, not the case. No credits to be seen. Instead there is a plethora of Special Thanks doled out to members of the Manitoba community where the film was made. Even the owners of a local carnival, Wonder Shows, each get a Special Thanks… I’m starting to think these don’t mean much.

Where?! Clearly there are a number of locations in this film for each of the lives of the dog. Fortunately there is still a primary setting as Ethan spends his entire life in Michigan. There are also large portions of the film set in Chicago and Atlanta. A solid B.

When?! Road Trip Film Alert! That’s right, I’m calling an alert for a Road Trip Film in the When?! section. The films skips through time starting around the Cuban Missile Crisis and ending in modern day. We don’t spend a huge amount of time in one era, but get a taste of each decade (as evidenced by the style of clothes, etc.). It’s nice, but not specific most of the time. C+.

I think Patrick’s part touches on my major complaint for the film. I didn’t really understand Josh Gad’s entire role. They took what might would have been a drama and seemingly punched it up with ADR jokes by a dog. I realize this isn’t actually what happened (it’s based on a book after all), but I can’t help not liking it. Just give me the dog being a dog. Everything would be understood by what was shown on the screen. That’s what a movie is supposed to do. Besides that I think the only weird thing was that I didn’t cry during the film. It was basically a dog slaughter and yet nary a tear escaped my eye. That’s a failure in my book. I needs my sweet, sweet pathos. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! After months of meetings, editing, reshoots the film is finally here. The premier is a few weeks away, but you’re going to take the time from the office to relax a bit. The stars can handle the press junket … oh what’s this, my phone is ringing. The office? But … huh, controversy about the treatment of the dogs on your set, well that’ll probably blow over, right? Like 24 hours from now it’ll all be cleared up … right? Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – The doggies are cute as usual. Can’t avoid that. I actually thought the transition from early 60’s to present day was super cool. Subtle enough that it isn’t really thrown in your face that there are 4 or 5 “periods” being pieced in the movie. The story was interesting at times, at least the parts not involving the main character Ethan. Did I mention the dogs were cute? Let’s see a Sequel. Or at least an idea of a sequel. We’ve completed the story of Ethan, so this thing can be a franchise! A whole universe! The dog’s purpose seemed to just be “stand by your owner no matter what, help them be the best they can be”. Great! That can be done with anyone. Let’s see one that starts now and then goes into the future. Let’s see one that starts in 1910 and goes through the depression and the world wars! It is a fine idea for a kind of “slice of Americana” or slowly shifting time frame. I wouldn’t mind it. Maybe you can try to not get a giant PR disaster to happen right before the movie is released.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Josh Gad adds nothing with his voice over work. It almost feels like an add on. Bailey doesn’t really have a personality, unlike Homeward Bound and others which do the same thing, here they go a bit too far into a “realistic” dog mind. In that his mind is rather simple and direct. Considering this is literally the main character and crux of the film this isn’t great. At least it isn’t very amusing. They also suggest his first “life” as a dog was just immediately getting killed, … if you’re going sickly sweet can we not have a puppy get murdered in the opening scene? Weirdly the Sklognalogy for the week is kind of the movie we just watched: The Space Between Us. Both are cloyingly sweet. Both are light, and intended to deliver a family friendly product. But yet I thought The Space Between Us was much better than this guy. This is a shadow of Homeward Bound, as I said, which holds a template on how to do the voice-over pet film (give them interesting personalities, really anthropomorphize them). Whereas The Space Between Us is kind of the be all end all of YA space romance films, which is why it is a bit more acceptable to me.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – There is likely no legacy for the film. This is becoming a trend with the year-end cycle I think. But that is kind of understandable. How many films have an impact on BMT every year? Ten? Twenty? Half of them? Considering we’ve now watched for seven years, that is somewhere in 100-200 films having an impact release between 1980 and now, about 40 years. So you’d think like 2.5-5 films a year. So most of a 9 film cycle won’t have any impact whatsoever I would imagine. We watch around 15 current-year films a year (4 Lives and 9 in the cycle, plus a few more likely) so when we cover those high impact films you’ll know it. This isn’t it. As for Street Cred the Telegraph puts it in the worst of the year (behind a paywall unfortunately, so no link), and Slate puts it in their bottom 20. It’ll get play in end of year lists for sure because of the controversy.

Was there a book? There was, right? Didn’t read it. Someday in the distant future maybe I will. I’ll put an Editor’s note here to tell me to add it to the archive when that happens … which will be never most likely.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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A Dog’s Purpose Preview

Alright, well for all our faithful fans who were worried about the treacherous route we took through the Chain Reaction this year this is the main event. Last cycle we sunk all the way back to 1983 for Jaws 3-D and now we pop back 34 years later to the Dennis Quaid sad-fest A Dog’s Purpose. Probably not at the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to 2017 BMT films, but it is a qualifier and set us up nicely for next year’s chain. It also was for a brief time the most hated film in America when it was alleged that the film engaged in animal cruelty on set. This was ultimately proved incorrect, but it was enough to get the US premiere cancelled. Then everyone forgot about it. I cannot wait to bawl my eyes out watching a dog die over and over again. Sound like a blast. Let’s go!

A Dog’s Purpose (2017) – BMeTric: 9.9

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(I straight up have never seen anything like this before. You can even see that the rating started at literally 1.0, everyone gave it a one. There were actually several days in which the rating was 1.0, but then they shut the page down again because people were piling on (I assume). It then makes its long slow trek to 7.0! This could be the highest rated film we’ve ever done (it isn’t, but it is darn close). Truly bizarre.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  This movie has its moments—no movie with such an adorable array of pooches could not, plus Mr. Quaid, who in addition to being movie-star handsome is also a pretty good actor, sells his fifteen or so onscreen minutes. But the tonal weirdness and the philosophical fallacies and the general level of treacle did not sit very well with me. Then again, I have to admit I’m really more of a cat person

(The reviews for this film as obviously off because they were made literally days … weeks? after the abuse scandal broke. There is a question of whether any abuse happened in the end. But I’m sure I’ll have the same reaction: a little sickly sweet, but overall okay … if I didn’t have my doubts about the intentions of the film. I am much more of a dog person though, so …)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jLOOCADTGs

(I just got diabetes from that trailer. Sickly sweet. And I know I’m going to cry too. I’m not going to like this one at all.)

Directors – Lasse Hallström – (Known For: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Chocolat; The Hundred-Foot Journey; Casanova; The Cider House Rules; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; An Unfinished Life; The Shipping News; My Life as a Dog; The Hoax; Once Around; Future BMT: Something to Talk About; Dear John; BMT: Safe Haven; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Swedish. Was nominated for Best Director in 1988, notable as the first time the Best Director category was all non-Americans.)

Writers – W. Bruce Cameron (screenplay & based on the novel by) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: The writer of the original book. He is in the process of adapting the sequel as well, A Dog’s Way Home.)

Cathryn Michon (screenplay) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has been working with Cameron for his last few movies (Cook Off! and Muffin Top: A Musical). Prior to that she worked mostly on television, so possibly she met him when he worked on 8 Simple Rules.)

Audrey Wells (screenplay) – (Known For: Under the Tuscan Sun; George of the Jungle; The Kid; Shall We Dance; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Guinevere; Future BMT: The Game Plan; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Seems to be a Kids’ Film and Romantic Comedy writer. She also directed Under the Tuscan Sun, which was her only major directorial effort.)

Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky (screenplay) – (Known For: Monsters vs. Aliens; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Infinitely Polar Bear; The Rocker; The Polka King; Future BMT: Seeing Other People; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: You knew there had to be a writing team when there are five writers attached. Wolodarsky producer and wrote for the Simpsons. Forbes produced and wrote for The Larry Sanders Show.)

Actors – Josh Gad – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Beauty and the Beast; Frozen; Marshall; Angry Birds; Love & Other Drugs; Thanks for Sharing; The Rocker; Wish I Was Here; Future BMT: Marmaduke; The Internship; Ice Age: Continental Drift; 21; Crossing Over; BMT: Pixels; Jobs; The Wedding Ringer; A Dog’s Purpose; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in 2016 for Pixels, and The Wedding Ringer; Notes: Probably in the news recently because of the 25 minute long “short” starring Olaf the snowman that was playing in front of Coco. Also was the star of The Book of Mormon in its original Broadway run in 2011.)

Dennis Quaid – (Known For: The Parent Trap; The Day After Tomorrow; Stripes; The Right Stuff; Traffic; Footloose; The Rookie; Innerspace; Any Given Sunday; Soul Surfer; DragonHeart; Wyatt Earp; Frequency; Enemy Mine; Breaking Away; Dreamscape; Truth; Far from Heaven; Postcards from the Edge; Suspect; Future BMT: Legion; Cold Creek Manor; Yours, Mine & Ours; Beneath the Darkness; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Horsemen; Something to Talk About; Flight of the Phoenix; The Alamo; Caveman; Undercover Blues; Vantage Point; Switchback; Wilder Napalm; Pandorum; All Night Long; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Movie 43; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Playing for Keeps; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has a band called The Sharks, is a five-handicap golfer, and has a pilot’s license. This video makes his band seem … well, I’m sure they have their fans.)

Peggy Lipton – (Known For: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; True Identity; Future BMT: The Postman; Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects; BMT: When in Rome; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: She was in the original and recent revival of Twin Peaks. Is the mother of Rashida Jones as well, who played Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $64,321,890 (Worldwide: $196,200,124)

(Despite the controversy this was a giant success … how strange. For whatever reason I thought this completely bombed after it was torn apart for allegedly abusing dogs. It is weird to think that this would have been a much bigger deal only a year later. It this happened now this shit wouldn’t have even made it to theaters I think.)

#18 for the Controversy genre

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(There were a few from this year here as well, the funniest being The Great Wall for “white-washing”. Controversy films make a chunk of change it turns out. I don’t want to say “outrage culture”, but they’ve gotten a lot more popular since 2000 … just saying.)

#12 for the Dog genre

adogspurpose_dog

(Everyone loves doggies! Well … they like them less since 2010 it seems. Do you know which dog movie came out in 2010? That’s right, Marmaduke. Coincidence? Yuuuuuuup. Anyways, this comes in around 102 Dalmatians, which kind of tells you all you need to know.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (43/130): A Dog’s Purpose offers an awkward blend of sugary sentiment and canine suffering that tugs at animal-loving audiences’ heartstrings with shameless abandon.

(I will almost certainly be crying during this film. If not, then it has failed because I’m a softy. Hopefully it won’t pull at my heartstrings any harder than Bing Bong did in Inside Out… I might melt.)

Poster – A Sklog’s Purpose (B+)

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(Obviously great color and unique framing. Terrible font. Really bad choice. But otherwise I like what they decided to do here. Tells me everything I need to know.)

Tagline(s) – Every dog happens for a reason. (C+)

(Every dog happens… every dog… happens. Huh, that is really not rolling off the tongue. It’s short and gets at the idea of the film, but not super clever and weird phrasing. It seems like they should have been able to do better.)

Keyword(s) – reincarnation; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 80.5 Dragon Wars (2007); 65.1 The Haunted Mansion (2003); 58.6 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 54.0 The Return (I) (2006); 52.9 Lost Souls (2000); 51.4 Jack Frost (1998); 51.3 Tank Girl (1995); 50.3 Mannequin: On the Move (1991);

(Give me a little Fluuuuuuke … wait? No Fluke? I guess not that many people watched Fluke. Fair, but I think the story will have some passing similarities, so I’m still glad I watched Fluuuuuuke.)

Notes – Prior to theatrical release, controversy arose when behind-the-scenes footage surfaced and appeared to show a distressed dog being forcibly submerged into turbulent pool water during filming. As a result of the leaked footage, the filmmakers chose to cancel the U.S. premiere. However, it was announced on February 4, 2017 by the American Humane Association that the footage was misleadingly edited and no abuse had taken place. (I totally forgot about that. Wow.)

Bradley Cooper was originally slated to provide the voice of the titular dog; however, he was ultimately replaced with Josh Gad. (I love this fact. Would it have been the same script?… seems like wildly different choices).

The Maya segment of the film differs from the events in the book. In the book, Maya is a K9 officer who takes over handling Ellie after her first handler Jakob (Carlos in the film) is shot and injured by a kidnapper. In the movie, it is Ellie who is shot – fatally – by the kidnapper, then reincarnated as Tino the Corgi and adopted by Maya, a college student. (Damn, I forgot this was based on a book. I don’t think either of us will end up reading it. Are we losing our edge?).

Dennis Quaid plays adult Ethan, who was once starting quarterback with a full scholarship but was injured. In Everybody’s All-American (1988), Quaid played a star high school quarterback no longer playing. In Any Given Sunday (1999) he played a quarterback past his prime trying to relive his days. (We get it, Dennis Quaid. You love sports).

Jaws 3-D Recap

Jamie

Jaws is back, Jack! Just when the latest SeaWorld resort is set to open, our titular shark swims into the park with a baby in tow ready to wreak havoc. Can Michael Brody stop the terror and get the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Jaws 3-D.

How?! SeaWorld is about to open a new resort and things are popping. They got waterskiers, they got dolphins doing tricks, and they got our old friend Mike Brody getting hot and heavy with his lady love. Life is good and nothing could go wrong. When a maintenance man goes missing on a routine dive, Mike goes searching for his body only to discover that a shark has gotten loose in the resort! Uh oh! Springing into action the trainers are able to corner the shark and capture it alive… which seems suspect.You would think it would be a lot harder to capture a monster shark alive. They literally had to blow it to smithereens and electrocute it to death in the past. But oh well, nothing to see here (or is there?). Obviously it soon becomes clear that the shark they captured is just the baby of the true monster Jaws that we’ve come to love and respect. By the time Mike realizes this it’s too late, the resort is in the midst of its grand opening. As the shark wreaks havoc across the limited scope of a theme park, they devise a plan to lure it into a tunnel and suffocate it to death. When this plan fails there’s only one thing left to do: delicately remove the pin from a water grenade held by a dead guy chilling in the mouth of the shark (even more ridiculous than it sounds). After a grand 3D explosion we are treated to a couple dolphins doing neato tricks. THE END.

Why?! Sadly this legitimately becomes a question in the Jaws series as the Brody family is continually stalked by killer sharks. In the first two films you could chalk it up to the shark being hungry and heading to Amity to snack nearer to shore. So its motivation is simply to eat because it’s essential to life. However, this film would take place a decade later in a totally different state and Michael and Sean Brody would once again encounter a monstrous shark that wants to eat them. So we must ask what the shark’s real motivation is. My guess? It’s an assassin sent from the future to kill the Brody family as their offspring are all that stands in the way of the successful shark uprising of 2044. Wait… did I just make this movie rad?

What?! This film is peppered with product placement but you simply can’t ignore the fact that it’s essentially a five hour commercial for SeaWorld (Wait, this film wasn’t five hours long?) Halfway through the film they open the park to great fanfare and it actually made me sad. I don’t want to watch a commercial for SeaWorld! Why did you make me, BMT?

Who?! No Planchet character to be seen. In fact very little humor at all. One interesting fact is that the actor who portrayed Sean Brody, John Putch, eventually turned full time to directing, mostly for television. I presumed he wouldn’t have directed anything for BMT… I presumed wrong. He is none other than the director of Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike. It’s a small BMT world.

Where?! Have I mentioned that this is set at SeaWorld in Florida? Because it’s set entirely in a theme park in Florida. This really should be an A+, but can only get an A because it happens to not be called SeaWorld: The Movie. A.

When?! I didn’t get anything exact. It can be presumed that it’s the beginning of summer since Sean Brody arrives on the scene fresh off final exams at school. I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed something more specific, but for now it stands as a measly D.

This film is terrible. An unacceptable jump down from a serviceable first sequel in Jaws 2. The storyline could never have been made successfully and they obviously got a director who didn’t have the chops to bring the tension that either Jaws or Jaws 2 had (albeit in two totally different ways). Not a surprise that he didn’t direct ever again. I did not like it at all. As for our Friend, D-Tox starring Sly Stallone I’ll let Patrick talk about the merits of the film. Instead I’ll limit my comments to the book on which it’s based, Jitter Joint. The film and book are only very tenuously connected, to the point where I wonder how the author ended up with a credit. Other than the basic idea of a cop heading to rehab and dealing with a string of murders, they are entirely different. The book ended up having a more sensical and original killer (son of an alcoholic targeting alcoholics) and a nice ambiguous ending (not sure whether he ends up living or dying), so I guess I enjoyed that one more, although I didn’t much enjoy the book. It’s just that the film didn’t have much of anything of value. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! So you’re the new PR director for SeaWorld and you want to make … a splash! Luckily you got connections up to wazoo, and you’ve been hearing that Jaws is not only going three-dimensional but also, more excitedly, they are looking for some corporate synergy! Can they guarantee all patrons to SeaWorld will look 100% super happy and 100% super alive throughout? … No? Whatever, let’s get that money making machine rolling! Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Lea Thompson is as cute as ever, and Dennis Quaid obvs looks great too. I dug the classic 70s/80s bar scene. There is so little good here I’m actually having a hard time figuring out what to do, because the idea behind Sequel/Prequel/Remake is to take the nugget of good and try and correct everything around it to make a good movie. But … honestly this comes across as more of one of the knockoff Jaws films that were being made in the late-70s and early 80s. So I guess Remake it, but don’t make it a Jaws film. Strip all of it out, and almost go Jurassic Park with it: Shark World. A bold SeaWorld-like amusement park which claims the world’s largest and most dangerous sea life on display! But uh-oh, everything goes wrong and a small group of patrons are trapped underwater fighting for their lives against the park’s most dangerous pets. Meanwhile, on the surface there is a scramble to secure the facility in the face of a greedy owner who only cares about money and himself, in that order. Shark World 3D! Underwater, they are the dominant species!

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – This film looks like a cheap 70s film you’d see on Mystery Science Theater 3000. In fact, the Sklognalogy is from MST3K: The Return, the disasterpiece Avalanche! This movie very much comes across as similar to that, cheap with weirdly well-known main actors and only appealing to the genre nuts. The director clearly had no idea how to film underwater, the connection to SeaWorld is gross and perplexing, and there is never really a coherent storyline (at least not one you care about). It also shits all over the Jaws franchise. In a way that is actually unrecoverable. This movie took a series that had kind of a silly but inevitable sequel, to a laughable franchise that would eventually be poked fun of in Back to the Future II.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – For us I think Jaws 3D joins a film like Can’t Stop the Music as being just kind of perplexing. I could see myself watching it again if, for whatever reason, I found myself watching all four at once. But I doubt it. It is probably still going to be one of the technically worst films we see in BMT, because films that look this technically bad probably wouldn’t be released any year after around 1988. And street cred would be hard to determine if not for the Razzies where it got nominated for nearly every award (it won none of them), and, blessedly, a very amusing clip by Siskel and Ebert for their worst of the year.

Definitely a catastrophe at the time.

There was a small Homework Sklog-signment here in that I had never previously seen Jaws 2. And honestly? In many ways I dug it. I agreed with the choice to show more of the shark since the surprise in the first one was already blown. I liked the teenage characters and the tension when they were stranded on a flotilla of broken sailboats. It worked all the way up to the end, when a terrible looking fiberglass island comes into play, and the shark is electrocuted to end it all. And, obviously, the fact that the Amity Island selectmen wouldn’t believe Brody that a shark was attacking after seeing a shark eat a bunch of people ten years prior is ludicrous.

The more important bit was out Bring a Friend, where we brought along a true blue straight-to-DVD picture. D-Tox starring Sylvester Stallone would remind anyone that watching straight-to-DVD garbage just isn’t worth it. It is boring, and honestly the entire movie is cut in such a way as to make little-to-no sense. I don’t think it is going to change our mind in our tendency to avoid non-theatrical releases, but maybe we just have to find the right one. The set and much of the acting was amusing though, so it did get pretty close. I don’t think I would have necessarily batted an eye if that had come up in BMT, besides that it might be the most poorly edited together film I’ve seen. I’ll leave it there. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Jaws 3-D Preview

Every cycle is new and different in the BMT-verse, but one thing stays the same: the Chain Reaction always puts us in a tough spot. We have to navigate the past, current, and future cycles all at once or else we might paint ourselves into a corner. This cycle was no different and it left us with only one true spot. That’s right! We’re doing Jaws 3-D-Tox! We’re making our way from The Beverly Hillbillies through the lovely Lea Thompson to the first of the two Jaws sequels that qualify for BMT, Jaws 3-D. Apparently at the time the underwater 3-D photography for the film was actually pretty amazing, but it has been lost to film. Despite this it was still nominated for Worst Picture at the 1983 Razzies, so another feather in our BMT cap. As for D-Tox there was really no other choice for straight-to-DVD as this cycle represented one of the few times we could watch one of films Sly Stallone made in the early 2000’s. This was when his career was really waning and he consecutively made Driven, this, Avenging Angelo, Spy Kids 3-D, and Shade before resuscitating his career with the criminally overrated Rocky Balboa. D-Tox has been on our radar for a while because of just how bad its title is, not to mention that it was released in Europe under an even worse name: Eye See You. Unacceptable! Let’s go!

Jaws 3-D (1983) – BMeTric: 84.7

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(See! Last week I wondered about votes just kind of … tailing off. This is more like it. I really do think Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is just slipping into obscurity. The rating is astonishingly low. Like crazy low. I’m kind of shocked. Take a peek below … this is a film Leonard Maltin gave 2 stars. The reviews aren’t overwhelmingly bad … why do people hate this so much. I am intrigued.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Road-company Irwin Allen-type disaster film, unrelated to first two Jaws except by contrivance; this time a shark’s on the loose in Florida’s Sea World. (Does this make it an unofficial remake of Revenge of the Creature?) Might play on TV, but in theaters its only real assets were excellent 3-D effects. Retitled Jaws III for TV and home video.

(Jesus, this review is excellent. Back-to-back hyphen / semi-colon work to open. Two (count’em, two!) older film references (Irwin Allen, the father of the disaster film, and, of all things, Revenge of the Creature). Nice and short, and I’m all about a plot driven by contrivance, so getting me excited.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMlx33ov82c

(A little bit less information than we traditionally see in trailers for BMT films. Probably for the best considering this just shits all over the previous two films …)

Directors – Joe Alves – (BMT: Jaws 3-D; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Jaws 3-D in 1984; Notes: His one-and-done director job. He is mainly an art director and production designer, including for three Spielberg films (Jaws, The Sugarland Express, and Close Encounters).)

Writers – Peter Benchley (suggested by the novel “Jaws”) – (Known For: Jaws; Jaws 2; The Island; Future BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; The Deep; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Notes: Grandson of famed humorist Robert Benchley, he appears in Jaws as the man reporting the shark attacks at Amity on Fourth of July weekend.)

Richard Matheson (screenplay) – (Known For: I Am Legend; Real Steel; The Box; What Dreams May Come; Stir of Echoes; Twilight Zone: The Movie; The Omega Man; Somewhere in Time; The Legend of Hell House; The Last Man on Earth; The Incredible Shrinking Man; Pit and the Pendulum; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Devil Rides Out; The Raven; Tales of Terror; The Comedy of Terrors; Fanatic; Night of the Eagle; Future BMT: Loose Cannons; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; De Sade; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Jaws 3-D in 1984; Notes: Wrote the book I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, among others. Likely he got involved with Spielberg because he wrote the short story Duel which was Spielberg’s first film.)

Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) – (Known For: Jaws; Jaws 2; The Jerk; Doctor Detroit; Future BMT: Caveman; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Jaws 3-D in 1984; Notes: Wrote the famous book The Jaws Log about the difficult production of the original Jaws. Heavily involved with the Writers’ Guild.)

Guerdon Trueblood (story) – (BMT: Jaws 3-D; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Jaws 3-D in 1984; Notes: Highly successful television writer, he ended up writing several made-for-television creature features including The Savage Bees.)

Michael Kane (additional dialogue) (uncredited) – (Known For: All the Right Moves; Southern Comfort; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Notes: Appears to have retired around 1994, he rocked multiple movies per year from ‘79 to ‘83. Solid early-80s run.)

Actors – Dennis Quaid – (Known For: The Day After Tomorrow; The Parent Trap; Any Given Sunday; Footloose; Traffic; Wyatt Earp; The Rookie; Soul Surfer; Innerspace; DragonHeart; Frequency; The Right Stuff; Stripes; Truth; Breaking Away; Enemy Mine; Far from Heaven; Dreamscape; At Any Price; Playing by Heart; Future BMT: Legion; Cold Creek Manor; Yours, Mine & Ours; Beneath the Darkness; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Horsemen; Something to Talk About; Flight of the Phoenix; The Alamo; Caveman; Undercover Blues; Vantage Point; Switchback; Wilder Napalm; Pandorum; A Dog’s Purpose; All Night Long; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Movie 43; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Playing for Keeps; Notes: The more successful brother of Randy Quaid. He plays in a band called “The Sharks” … which is kind of funny because he claims he doesn’t really remember making this film.)

Bess Armstrong – (Known For: Serial Mom; Pecker; Dream Lover; Nothing in Common; The Four Seasons; Diamond Men; Future BMT: That Darn Cat; Second Sight; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Notes: Onca said about Tom Selleck: “he has some real power now, but he doesn’t use that, or his charm, to exploit women. He genuinely seems to like women. For an actor, that’s rare.”)

Simon MacCorkindale – (Known For: Death on the Nile; The Sword and the Sorcerer; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Wing Commander; Notes: Was on 230 episodes of Casualty. He died in 2010 from cancer.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $45,517,055 (Worldwide: $87,987,055)

(Absolutely smashing it. People do like a creature feature sequel.)

#190 for the 3D genre

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(It is staaaark how many more 3D films came out in the last 10 years compared to in the 80s. People think these films are dying … but they’re going pretty strong it looks like. Right around The Great Wall from this year!)

#27 for the Creature Feature genre

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(We are seeing a resurgence after the boom following Jurassic Park could repeat that success. Things like Jurassic World and Kong: Skull Island seem like the genre is truly back.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (3/28): No consensus yet

(I’ll have to make my own!: A testament to the greed and arrogance that ultimately lead to a sort of studio collapse in the 90s, this represents nothing more than yet another dumb sequel. The reviews are pretty brutal, although all from after the fact. This film got me wondering about sequelitis, but creature features in particular always had a lot of sequels (like Godzilla), so it wasn’t unique to the “modern” studio system. Still, given the joke about Jaws 19 in Back to the Future Part II, the awareness of the problem was there.)

Poster – Sklogs 3-D (B+)

jaws_3d

(Why do I like this poster so much? Like, I like the symmetry, and how it tries to get across the 3-D. I deduct a bit because the big shark looks very silly, but then the foreground with the water skiers is fun. I dig it.)

Tagline(s) – The third dimension is terror. (D-)

(My initial gut reaction was “I dig it”, but then my brain had time to process the nonsense that is actually there. The third dimension is terror. So like, x, y, and terror? It is lucky it doesn’t get an F.)

Keyword(s) – shark; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.9 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 84.7 Jaws 3-D (1983); 84.2 Movie 43 (2013); 81.4 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 77.1 Shark Night 3D (2011); 62.2 My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006); 57.0 Chairman of the Board (1998); 55.5 Dark Tide (2012); 51.8 Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991); 51.2 Sand Sharks (2012);

(We’re leaving a bit of flotsam in our wake with this one, as Jaws: The Revenge will have to be done another time. This is actually an incredible list minus the comedies which “merely have a shark in them”, but Return to the Blue Lagoon? Yes please.)

Notes – According to the book “Roy Scheider: a film biography” (2002) by Diane C. Kachmar, Scheider, who starred in the first two Jaws movies, once said, “Mephistopheles….couldn’t talk me into doing [it]…They knew better than to even ask”. Reportedly, Scheider agreed to make Blue Thunder (1983) in order to ensure that he was definitely and contractually unavailable for this film. Scheider had made Jaws 2 (1978) reluctantly due to a contract issue with Universal Studios whereby he owed the studio two films after withdrawing from The Deer Hunter (1978). To get out of this situation, he opted to make to do Jaws 2 (1978), a picture he didn’t want to work on, in exchange for the studio releasing him from his contract.

The shark was 35 feet long, 10 feet longer than previous films.

David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck, producers of the first two films, originally pitched this as a spoof, based on a suggestion by Matty Simmons and John Hughes. Titled “National Lampoon’s Jaws 3, People 0”, it was about a movie studio trying to make a second sequel to Jaws (1975). It opened with author Peter Benchley being eaten in his pool by a shark, and included a naked Bo Derek and shark-costumed aliens. Joe Dante was attached as director. Steven Spielberg rejected the idea and threatened to walk from his deal with Universal. When Zanuck and Brown learned of the rejection, they quit the studio. (That movie would have been terrible. But it is kind of funny to think of how excited Zanuck and Brown must have been about this idea to quit the studio over it).

In a later interview Dennis Quaid referred to this movie as “I was in Jaws what?”

Lea Thompson’s feature film debut. (Noice, I love Lea Thompson)

The female dolphin called Sandy in the movie is really a male dolphin named Capricorn. He currently lives in Discovery Cove which is owned by SeaWorld Orlando and has interactions with guests like giving them rides and doing tricks for them. Capricorn is 50 years old. (fuck SeaWorld)

In later interviews, writer Richard Matheson claimed that the film was bedeviled with script doctors that ruined the central premise of a white shark swimming upstream and becoming trapped in a lake.

The film made $13,422,500 in its first weekend of release. At the time, that was the highest grossing opening for a 3-D film, it wouldn’t be until 20 years later when Spy Kids 3-D Game Over broke that record ($33,417,739).

The filmmakers initially planned to have very few “pop-out” effects where objects extend beyond the screen in 3D. Studio executives ultimately pressured them to include more, worried that audiences would leave disappointed and spread bad word-of-mouth if the 3D were used mainly for depth. (I cannot wait to notice all of this garbage in 2D)

This is the only film ever directed by Joe Alves. (One and done, one and done, one and done!)

Actresses Lorraine Gary and Fritzi Jane Courtney starred in three of the four “Jaws” films. This movie is the only one that they don’t appear. It is also arguably the only one that Roy Scheider does not appear, given the fact that he appeared in the first two films, and the fourth, Jaws: The Revenge (1987), but in the latter only via the inclusion of a framed photograph, and archive footage used for flashbacks.

This sequel did not use any actors from the first two Jaws movies, Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978).

The movie was part of an early 1980s cycle of 3D movies that also included Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985), Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983), Jaws 3-D (1983), Parasite (1982), Amityville 3-D (1983), Comin’ at Ya! (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983) and El tesoro de las cuatro coronas (1983) [“Treasure of the Four Crowns”].

“Jaws 3-D” and “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” have several things in common. Both are the third films in a popular series that began with very successful films released in the 1970s (“Jaws” (1975) and “Halloween” (1978)), both of which launched the careers of their respective directors (Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter). Both were set in new locales not seen in the first two films (the “Jaws” movies took place in Amity Island, and the “Halloween” movies in Haddonfield, Illinois), and were unsuccessful attempts to deviate from previous sequels, which had been highly derivative of the originals (“Jaws 2” (1978) and “Halloween II” (1981)). And both were made by first-time directors who had been the production designers of the previous films (Joe Alves for “Jaws” and Tommy Lee Wallace for “Halloween”).

The movie was directed by Joe Alves who had been the production designer on Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978) and was also the second unit director for on the latter. Trade paper ‘Variety’ said “Joe Alves was instrumental in the design of the first Jaws shark and was the unsung production hero in both the first two pictures”.

This film was the first shot on Arriflex’s single-camera ArriVision 3D system. However, the system was not actually ready for use until a week into production. During the wait, the Optimax and StereoVision 3D systems were used. All of the footage from the Optimax system was deemed unusable and thrown out (that system was prone to serious misalignment issues), while StereoVision was deemed acceptable enough that it continued to be used for second-unit work through the entire production. ArriVision footage makes up the bulk of the final film, with the earliest-shot and second-unit scenes shot in StereoVision and miniatures and effects shot with a two-camera beam-splitter system similar to later digital 3D setups.

The only Jaws movie which does not feature any scenes filmed at Martha’s Vineyard, known as Amity Island in the series. (BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

Veteran editor Verna Fields, who won an Oscar for editing the first film, recommended Joe Alves as director.

One of a cycle of 1980s and late 1970s movies that got made after the box-office success Jaws (1975). The films include that movie’s three sequels, Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3-D (1983), and Jaws: The Revenge (1987), as well as Orca (1977), Piranha (1978), Tentacles (1977), Killer Fish (1979), Barracuda (1978), Tintorera… Bloody Waters (1977), Blood Beach (1980), Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981), L’ultimo squalo (1981), Up from the Depths (1979), Monster (Humanoids from the Deep) (1980), L’isola degli uomini pesce (1979), Devouring Waves (1984) and Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976). (I want to see these)

The characters of Mike Brody (Dennis Quaid) and Sean Brody (John Putch) are the sons of Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) from Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978).

All the appliances seen in the film’s interior shots were Sears Kenmore-branded. However, this was not intentional. (Awesome secret sponsor)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Rupert Hitzig)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Louis Gossett Jr.)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joe Alves)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Richard Matheson, Carl Gottlieb, Guerdon Trueblood)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star

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

TheBeverlyHillbillies_BMeT

TheBeverlyHillbillies_RV

(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