Ride Along 2 Preview

Alright, so this week we arrive back at our most misguided genre, the Chain Reaction. It was incredibly difficult jumping from 1986 to 2016. Not many actors, even big stars, are still making BMT films after 20 years. So jumping from 1986’s No Mercy to a 2016 film seemed an impossible task. Thank god for Bruce McGill. Unlike Richard Gere and Kim Basinger, McGill is still going strong, and allowed us to jump straight from No Mercy to 2016’s sequel du jour, Ride Along 2. This also means we got extra content this week as the original Ride Along is also BMT (and both DVDs have commentaries by director Tim Story). Lucky us. Let’s go!

Ride Along 2 (2016) – BMeTric: 28.8

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(Alright, like Ride Along this guy is also super stable. I love the giant drop at the end. Classic. The fans of the film give it 10’s, and then it gets a bunch of 1’s from idiots early, and then it bounces right to where it eventually lands at 5.9. Also pretty good considering its reviews. A BMeTric of 30 is solid considering it was released less than a year ago.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – This second helping of Hart’s hyper hijinks as rookie cop Ben, once more paired with Ice Cube’s glowering bulldog presence as rule-flouting veteran James, exists for the same reason that “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” does: money. Probably a good test of whether you should consider riding along with this low-rent version of “Bad Boys” meets “Rush Hour” is if you are tickled by Ben suggesting that he and James call themselves “The Brothers-in-Law.” Get it? They are brothers-in-law and they are “brothers” IN Law. OK. You can stop giggling now

(Sounds about right. But also something you could feasibly say about nearly any franchise comedy sequel. They exist for money. And if you like the jokes they are going to make you’ll like the movie. Groundbreaking. The reviewer does note that the film is more diverse which is nice.)

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

(Ha! This is basically the plot of Dirty Grandpa … not really, but weird that both start in Atlanta and go to Florida and the main character has to get back in time for his wedding while getting pulled into trouble by a relative. C’mon, that’s weird. What’s that I smell? Is that a Hollywood badass bar? I hope it is brightly lit with sparsely and even distributed dancers! I hope there is just no crowd around the bar area and getting a drink seems convenient!)

[NOTE: I just copied these notes from the Ride Along preview as these are literally all of the same people minus Jason Mantzoukas]

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; BMT: Taxi (BMT); Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  From the Taxi preview: The top grossing African-American director of all time (domestic at least, not sure about worldwide). Actually just retook the top spot from Tyler Perry with Ride Along 2. I’ll add that he has announced he is directing Humbug starring Ice Cube as a real estate mogul in a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol. Be still my beating heart.)

Writers – Greg Coolidge (screenplay & story) – (BMT: Employee of the Month; Sorority Boys; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  Not much about him online, but that is an incredible filmography. I need to see Sorority Boys at some point, just an absurd White Chicks-esque premise.)

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (screenplay) – (Known For: The Invitation; Crazy/Beautiful; BMT: The Tuxedo (BMT); Æon Flux (BMT); R.I.P.D. (BMT); Clash of the Titans; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: Legends. How does one go from Crazy/Beautiful to The Tuxedo exactly? If you want some insight this article is incredibly in depth. Turns out … you do one solid adaptation and you’ll basically be tapped for a million more. Honestly I don’t think the script was the problem with most of these movies so get yo money.)

Actors – Ice Cube – (Known For: 22 Jump Street; 21 Jump Street; Friday; The Book of Life; Boyz n the Hood; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Three Kings; Barbershop; Rampart; Higher Learning; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Trespass; The Glass Shield; The Longshots; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union (BMT); Anaconda; Torque (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); Are We There Yet?; First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Ride Along 2; Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Dangerous Ground; Ride Along; Next Friday; Notes: Cube! A legend in his own right if only for Ghosts of Mars, a secret BMT favorite. Most famous for being a primary player in NWA he has since become somewhat of a comedy staple. Started with Friday in the 90’s and then the Barbershop series in the 00’s, he’s a full blown comedian at this point. Impressive dude.)

Kevin Hart – (Known For: The Secret Life of Pets; Central Intelligence; This Is the End; The 40 Year-Old Virgin; Death at a Funeral; The Five-Year Engagement; Think Like a Man; Top Five; About Last Night; Death of a Dynasty; BMT: Epic Movie; Superhero Movie; Soul Plane; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Meet Dave; In the Mix; Scary Movie 3 (BMT); Little Fockers; Fool’s Gold (BMT); Drillbit Taylor; Along Came Polly; Think Like a Man Too; Get Hard; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Grudge Match (BMT); The Wedding Ringer (BMT); Notes: He exploded as one of the most prolific comedic actors a few years ago (and trust me, some people are not happy about that for some reason) with Ride Along, Get Hard, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2, and the Wedding Ringer coming out in the last 3 years basically.)

With Tika Sumpter again (from Madea Christmas and now Ride Along … I’m going to be honest, I’m surprised she’s in this considering this movie takes place in Florida now. They could have easily kind of just said “she’s in Atlanta, don’t worry about it” kid-from-London-Has-Fallen style. Save some cash.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $90,862,685 (Worldwide: $124,246,152)

(Definitive success if probably a disappointment considering the take of the original. Here I’ll highlight one thing. If you look through some big name multi-film series starring black actors there is a possibly-not-surprising trend. The Barbershop series has an average foreign percentage of gross of 1.6%. The Friday series has an average 2.6%. All of the Madea movies have an average of 1.1%. It is at least somewhat well known that films geared towards African American audiences basically don’t get released to foreign markets. This is probably because there is a cultural factor that is (perceived?) to not translate. Ride Along 2 though actually seems to have bucked the trend a bit taking 26.9% of its take overseas. Promising. Kevin Hart said he wanted to remove the stigma off films that are called “black films” and it seems like he is doing it.)

#19 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Not much is going to change from the commentary from the Ride Along preview. I will say it has to be a bit disappointing to see the take slip a bit in the second installment for this genre considering how consistent Ice Cube’s other series 21 Jump Street has been. Being near Green Hornet is domestic take is not so hot.)

#27 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(Unfortunately this might reveal a bit of why this film as a disappointment as it sits near Sex and the City 2 and Madea Goes to Jail on the domestic charts, oooof. We most recently saw this chart with Cheaper By the Dozen 2 where we noted these bad ones tend to come as a peak is a-tumbling. And I have a feeling we’ve crossed the rubicon and we’ll be seeing a new crop of original comedy rise so that sequels can be made a plenty in about 5 years)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (15/104): Ride Along 2 presents a cop-comedy sequel whose well-matched stars can’t break the law of diminishing returns — or lock up a script that unabashedly steals from the original.

(Ooooooof. For an original that was in itself simplistic, linear, and predictable being forced to borrow from oneself is a bit rough. They painted themselves into a corner a bit I think. What movie are they intending to parody in this case (or set of movies). Miami Vice? 2 Fast 2 Furious? For a little more absurdist take there are a million directions to go in, but I can’t really think of what they can do here except drug dealer in Miami, he’s bad, brightly lit clubs, the end.)

Poster – Sklog Along 2: Sklog-ami Vice (D)

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(They really liked that first poster apparently. This is still drab and dull, but instead of of effectively using yellow they throw in some crazy pants and a blue car… that blue car really bums me out. Such simple things can ruins so much. Sklog Along 2 anyone?)

Tagline(s) – The brothers-in-law are back. (C+)

(I’m digging this one a little more than the first Ride Along tagline. Here they keep it more concise and have a couple b’s popping. A light pun on “brothers-in-law” that doesn’t work great visually. No plot at all though, other than the fact that it is a sequel.)

Keyword(s) – drugs; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.0 Disaster Movie (2008); 75.7 LOL (2012); 72.6 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 71.3 Showgirls (1995); 67.1 Year One (2009); 65.0 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 62.5 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 59.3 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991); 59.0 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 56.0 Sliver (1993);

(… How is “drugs” a part of Jason Goes to Hell? I guess that is one of the smoke-weed-and-you-get-murdered tropes from horror franchises. Again, garbage list because the keyword is too general.)

Notes – The title “Ride 2gether” was strongly considered but they chose to remain with the original title. (This make come as a shock, but I think that is a horrible title. It isn’t close enough to actually remind you of the first smash hit film, so it would be difficult to pull off as a sequel)

In the beginning of the film Ben (Kevin Hart) is sitting in a surveillance van with “Packer” written on the side. This is named after the film’s producer Will Packer. (Fun facts are the best facts)

A “Gears of War 3” poster can be seen in Ben’s apartment when he is being asked to go to Miami. (okay)

Ashanti is seen as one of the party girls with Kevin Hart and Ken Joung at Ben’s bachelor party. (say what. That is weird. Sadly not many good notes for this film. Have to wait for those PAs to dish I guess)

Ride Along Preview

Alright, so this week we arrive back at our most misguided genre, the Chain Reaction. It was incredibly difficult jumping from 1986 to 2016. Not many actors, even big stars, are still making BMT films after 20 years. So jumping from 1986’s No Mercy to a 2016 film seemed an impossible task. Thank god for Bruce McGill. Unlike Richard Gere and Kim Basinger, McGill is still going strong, and allowed us to jump straight from No Mercy to 2016’s sequel du jour, Ride Along 2. This also means we got extra content this week as the original Ride Along is also BMT (and both DVDs have commentaries by director Tim Story). Lucky us. Let’s go!

Ride Along (2014) – BMeTric: 22.5

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(Kind of interesting BMeTric, so stable. That is unusual. Graphs like this come about when, against all odds, a movie’s rating doesn’t change and they were released after 2011 (so no potential for the 2011 bump). Except it isn’t really against all odds, 6.1 is literally the average rating on IMDb, so there is just no regression to the mean at all. Anyways, 6.0+ is more common than you think for BMT, but it is always fun to watch them … usually means that we are not the target audience. And with this movie … yeah, we aren’t the target audience.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Intermittently funny vehicle for the fast-talking comedic talent of Hart finds him playing a motor-mouthed security guard who joins tough-as-nails cop Ice Cube on a 24-hour ride-along. Object: to prove himself not only worthy of fulfilling his dream of joining the department, but also of marrying his one-day partner’s sister. Nothing we haven’t seen before in buddy-cop movies, from 48Hrs. to Lethal Weapon, yet this one is apparently striving to be a comic version of Training Day. Cube is a perfect foil for Hart, who’s amusing in short spurts – but this movie provides an overdose.

(First, that is one long review. Second, nice hyphen game as usual Leonard (I’m convinced someone on his staff has a bet going to see how many hyphens they can fit into a short review, we’ve seen this before). And third, yeah, I would have blindly guess two stars from Maltin before reading this review. This movie is going to be vaguely funny, ten minutes too long, and occasionally aggravating. And not that bad. Book it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5klp6rkHIks

(Meh. I obviously remember this trailer from when it came out and it looks meh. Does seem like they went the Training Day route which is fine. Do not like the portrayal of video games in this movie … that isn’t how they work, but whatever.)

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; BMT: Taxi (BMT); Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  From the Taxi preview: The top grossing African-American director of all time (domestic at least, not sure about worldwide). Actually just retook the top spot from Tyler Perry with Ride Along 2. I’ll add that he has announced he is directing Humbug starring Ice Cube as a real estate mogul in a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol. Be still my beating heart.)

Writers – Greg Coolidge (screenplay & story) – (BMT: Employee of the Month; Sorority Boys; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  Not much about him online, but that is an incredible filmography. I need to see Sorority Boys at some point, just an absurd White Chicks-esque premise.)

Jason Mantzoukas (screenplay) – (BMT: Ride Along; Notes:  WHAT. So apparently there is news reports about him getting hired to rewrite the script when it was about a hard boiled detective taking his potential brother-in-law on a ride along, but the brother was a uptight white psychiatrist. It was rewritten after though. Kind of surprised he hasn’t gotten writing credits on anything else. Obviously from The League and the How Did This Get Made podcast among many other things, but most recently seen in a major role in Dirty Grandpa. I love Jason Mantzoukas, he’s hilarious.)

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (screenplay) – (Known For: The Invitation; Crazy/Beautiful; BMT: The Tuxedo (BMT); Æon Flux (BMT); R.I.P.D. (BMT); Clash of the Titans; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: Legends. How does one go from Crazy/Beautiful to The Tuxedo exactly? If you want some insight this article is incredibly in depth. Turns out … you do one solid adaptation and you’ll basically be tapped for a million more. Honestly I don’t think the script was the problem with most of these movies so get yo money.)

Actors – Ice Cube – (Known For: 22 Jump Street; 21 Jump Street; Friday; The Book of Life; Boyz n the Hood; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Three Kings; Barbershop; Rampart; Higher Learning; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Trespass; The Glass Shield; The Longshots; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union (BMT); Anaconda; Torque (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); Are We There Yet?; First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Ride Along 2; Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Dangerous Ground; Ride Along; Next Friday; Notes: Cube! A legend in his own right if only for Ghosts of Mars, a secret BMT favorite. Most famous for being a primary player in NWA he has since become somewhat of a comedy staple. Started with Friday in the 90’s and then the Barbershop series in the 00’s, he’s a full blown comedian at this point. Impressive dude.)

Kevin Hart – (Known For: The Secret Life of Pets; Central Intelligence; This Is the End; The 40 Year-Old Virgin; Death at a Funeral; The Five-Year Engagement; Think Like a Man; Top Five; About Last Night; Death of a Dynasty; BMT: Epic Movie; Superhero Movie; Soul Plane; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Meet Dave; In the Mix; Scary Movie 3 (BMT); Little Fockers; Fool’s Gold (BMT); Drillbit Taylor; Along Came Polly; Think Like a Man Too; Get Hard; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Grudge Match (BMT); The Wedding Ringer (BMT); Notes: He exploded as one of the most prolific comedic actors a few years ago (and trust me, some people are not happy about that for some reason) with Ride Along, Get Hard, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2, and the Wedding Ringer coming out in the last 3 years basically.)

Also stars Tika Sumpter (seen in A Madea Christmas!!! So exciting)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $134,938,200 (Worldwide: $154,468,902)

(A huge hit. No wonder they made a sequel and are planning on making it a trilogy. Tim Story is box office gold for a reason. And that reason seems to be he can wrangle comedians into making something that resembles a coherent comedic feature film. And he’s friends with Ice Cube who is also an amazing comedic actor it turns out.)

#13 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Super successful. Between Lethal Weapon 4 and 21 Jump Street. Picking out an interesting era, 2000-2005 seems to be a little bit of a Buddy Comedy Rush. Strangely enough the common denominator is Jackie Chan, which is interesting. Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon and their sequels all came out at the tail end of the Lethal Weapon (and general buddy cop) era and may have ushered in more of a general dual lead action-comedy formula into Hollywood. A lot of the films of the subsequent era naturally plays on this: Central Intelligence, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and The Other Guys all play off of the 80s and 90s buddy comedy formula in interesting ways. And perhaps that is where this movie failed: it doesn’t play off of it, it plays into it, and chose to poke fun at the late 90s / early 00s cop dramas instead. We’ll see.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (23/124): Kevin Hart’s livewire presence gives Ride Along a shot of necessary energy, but it isn’t enough to rescue this would-be comedy from the buddy-cop doldrums.

(Too bad I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Hart, otherwise there might be some hope. I just hoping to not be bored. Can you give me that Ride Along. Give me some horrible lines and stupid characters to make fun of, please.)

Poster – Sklog Along (D+)

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(Weird. This is like the opposite of my poster philosophy, detailed in my upcoming book Posterized! The Michael Jordan Story. It’s drab and dull with meager symmetry and a simplistic font that can easily be changed to Sklog Along. Get out of here. Only plus is that I like posters that use yellow effectively.)

Tagline(s) – Propose to this cop’s sister? Rookie mistake. (C-)

(They really shoehorn the plot right in there, huh? Wish it was more clever and had better flow.)

Keyword(s) – police; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.8 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.5 Catwoman (2004); 84.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 82.7 Street Fighter (1994); 80.6 Home Alone 3 (1997); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 78.7 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 77.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 77.2 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.8 Inspector Gadget (1999);

(Amazing and horrible list at the same time. This list should be movies like RIPD and the like, but they are drowned out by movies “with a police officer in it”. Bull. But whatever. I’m just thankful there is a relevant keyword at all for a recently released movie. The keywords are generally trash. At least this reminds me that I really want to watch Robocop 3)

Notes – Originally the movie intended for Dwayne Johnson to play James and Ryan Reynolds to play Ben. (say whaaaaaaaat, that might have been an incredible movie)

When Ben is surrounded by the group of bikers he quotes multiple lines from Denzel Washington’s speech in Training Day (2001), such as his line about playing basketball in Pelican Bay. This is one of many references to Training Day made throughout the film. (yup, it is supposed to be kind of a comedic take on it clearly)

When Ice Cube is talking in the conference room about the 126 experience, he says “today was a good day.” He is actually quoting one of his popular songs titled “It Was A Good Day.”

Ben is considered short. Kevin Hart is only 4.5 inches shorter than Ice Cube. (ha!)

While James’ car is an unmarked police car, throughout the film, James never turns on any siren or lights (however Ben attempts to). (okay … I was hoping to end it with a fun fact, but that is just kind of dumb)

No Mercy Recap

Jamie

It’s such a rare occurrence for us to get a film like No Mercy for BMT that I gotta get hyped for writing about it. Whew… here it goes… you ready? IT’S NOT THAT BAD. (“It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!” the crowd chants as Patrick and I strut eagerly about the arena). That’s right, I actually liked this film. If you are looking for a JCVD-ish type action thriller with better actors and a shockingly gritty and emotional storyline then I RECOMMEND No Mercy. You saw that right. I would recommend this film. Is it a somewhat by-the-numbers thriller? Of course. Is the final fight a bit anticlimactic? Sure. But it also has a number of solid aspects to it: the acting is good (even Basinger puts in a nuanced performance), the setting is good, and the relationship between Basinger and Gere is actually really good. In particular, the level of emotion brought to Basinger’s character and the situation she is in was completely unexpected. She is kept woman by a Cajun gangster in New Orleans. In the beginning of the film you don’t know much about her other than that she was present at the murder of Gere’s partner. You soon come to learn that she was given over to the gangster as a child and has basically known nothing but terror at the hands of this monster for years. It’s pretty raw. The best part of the film is when the gangster finally catches up with them and is getting Basinger out of jail. She is handed a form to sign and he matter-of-factly states “she can’t read or write,” and there is a look of embarrassment on her face as she looks at Gere who stands there shocked. It was kind of beautiful and terrible and done with a single look. In that moment I really felt like not only was the film not bad, but perhaps the best BMT film we’ve watched. Anyway, I’ll let Patrick give a slightly less glowing (and probably more realistic) review of the film. I really liked it though.

No Mercy nails two separate locations for Settings 101. The first is Chicago, where Gere operates as a Chicago PD detective. It’s made pretty clear where we are set, but not so plot defining to be considered in the A range. Pretty solidly in the C range as it could have been NYC or Houston even a place like Memphis. However, when the film transitions to the New Orleans area we go all in. Not only do we start out with an extended Old South plantation scene and Gere walking around Bourbon Street, but then we get some extremely specific scenes located in the 15th ward of New Orleans called Algiers (also where Shaq is from in the film Blue Chips) and Gere and Basinger wading around a bayou bumping up against Cajun people and eating crawfish. Basically it descends into New Orleans: The Movie. It jumps right over the B range and in the A range, where the setting begins to be inseparable from the plot itself. I would even say that it lands right in A, given that so many aspects of the plot could be done in so few other places. Perhaps you could transfer this over to parts of Florida or Alabama, but even that would be hard. I really love settings and I really liked this film. Perfect combo.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! No Mercy? More like No, More Please! I guess, let’s quickly get into it.

  • The Good – I kind of dug this movie. The first 30 minutes is reminiscent of the hard-boiled detective movies of the 70s, a little tiny bit of a Dirty Harry vibe going on. And while the middle gets a bit slow the Home Alone 3: Lost in New Orleans ending is also rather well done. And Richard Gere is quite quite good. While it feels like a rich man’s Steven Seagal movie, you can’t imagine either him, JCVD or Norris pulling off this movie. But Gere does. I was diiiiigging this soundtrack.
  • The Bad – The middle is just blah. And while I can’t tear into Basinger for a ludicrous Cajun accent (she basically didn’t try and do an accent which was … sigh … practical), she wasn’t the best. The bad guys and henchmen feel like they belong in a mediocre Steven Seagal movie as I indicated. But I liked this movie enough that that is it.
  • The BMT – Sing it with me now: It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! No BMT film, more like a GMW film (Good Movie Wednesday, no one has time to watch two movies in a night, c’mon, I got work). Maybe a front runner for the Freddie Got Fingered “It’s Not That Bad” Smaddie Baddie this year? We’ll have to see. Likely considering we only have three non-2016 films left on the docket. And I agree with Jamie, going through all of the previous surprisingly good movies we’ve watched this one seemed real and less good-for-what-it-is and something I would just kind of accidentally watch on Netflix and like.

Quick game and then we are done. A Sequel/Prequel/Remake might be nice. Sequel. Set today, Gere and Basinger live in a quiet town in Wisconsin, him having been pushed out of the Chicago PD as part of the cover up of his brutal murders committed in New Orleans. Little does he know a little bit of the past has come back to haunt him. After women in the town start going missing he uncovers that it was all a trap laid out by Losado’s brother, fresh from … uh, the Bayou or wherever he was supposed to be from. Time to go back to Algiers to find the kidnapped ladies, and crush the villains who have secretly run the city for centuries. I’m digging it! Cheerios, and back to you Jamie.

No Mercy Preview

Alright, this week we have to pause and feed the cycle beast. That’s right, it’s time for the Chain Reaction where we continue our misguided attempt to connect each cycle to each other through shared actors. Someday this will bite us in the ass, but that day isn’t today! Last film in the chain was Random Hearts (based-on-a-book). We used Charles S. Dutton to connect from there to a 1986 film called No Mercy starring Richard Gere and BMT favorite Kim Basinger. Not a huge amount to say about the film other than the fact that it’s surprisingly not well known given the star power that it has up front. Let’s go!

No Mercy (1986) – BMeTric: 22.7

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(Not very interesting beyond the fact that this looks more “normal” than the recent 1986 film trajectories. Basically, it reaches a asymptote which is far more typical of a 2000 film if I recall correctly (whereas the 1986 films have looked more linear recently). Compared to other recent films this is a much lower BMeTric as well, but Chain Reaction can do that.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Chicago cop Gere storms into Louisiana Bayou country seeking the killer of his partner, falls for Cajun beauty Basinger — who’s been ‘sold’ to the kingpin perpetrator of the murder. Even the mindless melodramas have to make sense, at least on their own terms; this one’s pretty ridiculous. The two sexy stars don’t really click.

(Alright, let’s get this out of the way: great semi-colon work as usual Leonard. But … do my ears deceive more or is there a suggestion that Kim Basinger plays a Cajun beauty in this film? One second, I just need to catch my breath. You are telling me BMT megastar Kim Basinger pretends to be Cajun in this film? It is like Christmas. If you could see the look on my face right now you would think “huh, must be his birthday or something, because he seems unreasonably happy for no reason”. There are no words for how excited I am right now.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehtJo9B98TQ

(I really thought for a while there that Kim Basinger wouldn’t speak for the whole trailer and it would keep up the hope that she actually attempts a Cajun accent. Unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be the case. Alas. In an alternate universe this film was made in 1992 and stars JCVD, which makes the fact that Gere actually stars all the more ridiculous.)

Directors – Richard Pearce – (Known For: Leap of Faith; A Family Thing; The Long Walk Home; Country; Heartland; BMT: No Mercy; Notes: Won the Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin Film Festival for Heartland. Father of Remy Pearce, a prominent costume designer and married to Lynzee Klingman, an Oscar-nominated editor.)

Writers – James Carabatsos (written by) – (Known For: Heartbreak Ridge; Hamburger Hill; BMT: No Mercy; Notes: Not much to find about him. Served in Vietnam and then became a screenwriter, but hasn’t done much since the 80s.)

Actors – Richard Gere – (Known For: Pretty Woman; Chicago; Primal Fear; Unfaithful; Hachi: A Dog’s Tale; An Officer and a Gentleman; The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; The Mothman Prophecies; I’m Not There.; Brooklyn’s Finest; Arbitrage; Days of Heaven; American Gigolo; The Cotton Club; Shall We Dance; Runaway Bride; First Knight; Sommersby; Time Out of Mind; Internal Affairs; Looking for Mr. Goodbar; Dr. T & the Women; Breathless; The Hunting Party; Final Analysis; The Hoax; Hachi-gatsu no rapusodî; Mr. Jones; Power; Yanks; Bee Season; BMT: Movie 43; Autumn in New York; Intersection; The Double; Amelia; The Benefactor; No Mercy; Nights in Rodanthe; The Jackal; King David; Red Corner; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1986 for Worst Actor for King David; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screen Couple for Autumn in New York.)

Kim Basinger – (Known For: The Nice Guys; L.A. Confidential; Batman; 8 Mile; The Natural; 9½ Weeks; Never Say Never Again; Cellular; Wayne’s World 2; The Door in the Floor; Final Analysis; People I Know; Nadine; Fool for Love; BMT: Cool World; My Stepmother Is an Alien; Ready to Wear; The Informers; Bless the Child; While She Was Out; The Real McCoy; The Getaway; Blind Date; The Sentinel; No Mercy; I Dreamed of Africa; The Marrying Man; The Man Who Loved Women; Grudge Match; Even Money; Third Person; Charlie St. Cloud; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Razzie Loser of Our First 25 Years; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actress for Bless the Child, and I Dreamed of Africa in 1995 for The Getaway; in 1993 for Cool World, and Final Analysis; in 1992 for The Marrying Man; and in 1987 for Nine 1/2 Weeks)

Also stars Jeroen Krabbé who we’ve seen in The Punisher outside of BMT. Otherwise famous for Ocean’s Twelve and The Fugitive.

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $12,303,904

(That is probably a giant bomb. But there is little information to tell. But based on the previous films in the cycle I would assume that the budget was something around $15 million dollars at the least.)

#19 for the Travelogue – New Orleans genre: Movies set in or near the city

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(Kind of boring. Funny that this is even a chart. And a little surprising New Orleans has been a film mecca for so long. I knew Nic Cage lived nearby and the city gave good tax breaks for filming, but I didn’t really have a good idea for how long. Seemed only recently that Trespass and Escape Plan and whatnot all were set in New Orleans)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (3/14): No consensus yet.

(Uh oh, time to generate a consensus: The stars fizzle in this neo-noir thriller with no chemistry. Gere tries hard to save what amounts to a safe and formulaic New Orleans cop drama. It is the best I can do. Funny enough Ebert liked the film and gave it three out of four stars, so it seems a little divisive. A lot of people complimented Gere whereas another reviewer straight up said he hoped he never got another starring gig. That reviewer was disappointed I think. Also, check out the WaPo review for some comedy gold.)

Poster – Sklog Mercy? I don’t know … (B-)

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(I actually kind of dig this poster even though it too prominently features the two actors alone with no filter (too many colors as a result). But there is something interesting done with the poster that makes it look like a classic pulp book cover or something and I obviously love the unique font used for the title. Weird framing of everything though.)

Tagline(s) – He is entering her world to track down the killer she is desperate to be free of (C-)

Murder brought them together. Passion keeps them there. (B)

(Two separate taglines appear on the poster. The first one is too long and not clever and a bit botched on its wording. The second is much better but still botches the wording. Would have probably been an A- if it flowed a little better.)

Keyword(s) – neo noir; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.0 RoboCop 3 (1993); 72.6 Striptease (1996); 69.0 Feardotcom (2002); 62.3 Setup (I) (2011); 58.8 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 57.3 Daredevil (2003); 56.3 Body of Evidence (1993); 55.8 Catch .44 (2011); 54.6 The Prince (I) (2014); 54.5 The Canyons (2013);

(Okay, The Canyons is certainly a very weird neo noir, but I’m a bit skeptical about the others. Like I feel like Striptease is pushing the definition. Feardotcom is certainly pushing it. This list does remind me that I absolutely want to watch Robocop III. It is apparently a huge load of crap. And Robocop II was already a giant piece of crap.)

Notes – As told in his memoir, Kim Basinger’s then husband Ron Snyder found two love letters penned by Richard Gere stashed in a drawer in Basinger’s home gym at the end of April 1986, decided to follow his wife on one of her late night shoots with Gere, tracked the cheating superstars to a restaurant and watched them passionately making out in the parking lot in Gere’s limo. Snyder later confronted her and the marriage survived the affair, until Basinger started another romance on the set of Batman (1989). (uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, that is quite awkward. But stars will be stars you know?)

The swamp-lands region seen in the picture was the Louisiana Bayou. Producer D. Constantine Conte said: “The bayou scenes were also shot in North Carolina, in swamps full of alligators and cottonmouth snakes. Richard Gere and Kim Basinger’ were very brave to do these scenes without stunt doubles. Director Richard Pearce said: “The air temperature was about thirty-five degrees and the water temperature about forty-five”. SPOILER: Ironically, it is within these scenes shot in the bayou that Eddie Jillette (Richard Gere and Michel Duval (Kim Basinger) warm toward one another and then fall in love. (awwwwwwww)

To offset the cost of production on several films, Tri Star Pictures, who usually released their films on the home market through parent company RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, sold off the foreign video rights to No Mercy (1986), 8 Million Ways to Die (1986), Night of the Creeps (1986), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), The Squeeze (1987), Nadine (1987) and Gardens of Stone (1987) to CBS/Fox Home Video. (It was a different time back then. 8 Million Ways to Die was very much on our radar for films to watch this cycle, but didn’t make the cut).

The Louisiana leg of shooting also included scenes set in the Vieux Carre Police Station. Production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein said: “We converted a tourist-information-society building with wonderful murals of old New Orleans into our police station. The funny thing was that the building was due to be converted into a real police station and the department asked to keep some of our counters and other fixtures”. (Now that is a fun fact).

Random Hearts Recap

Patrick

Guten Tag, allerseits! I was in Vienna this weekend, so we are still a little behind on things so I’ll try and make this quick. We watched Random Hearts (more like Not So Smarts! You have to give me a break on that, for some reason my mind was pulling me to “farts” rhyming with hearts which, while hilarious, seems below me, you know?), and I have to say: what? Seriously, I don’t understand. Let’s get into it.

  • The Good – Some of the performances were quite good. If you are a fan of the 80s style political / crime drama this probably has a place deep within Netflix where you go “I’ve never heard of The Falcon and The Snowman, I guess I might as well watch that, it isn’t like I’m doing anything else …” you know? There are large swaths of this movie which from a writing perspective seem effective and well done. In fact, the only notable thing about the audio commentary by director Sydney Pollack was his intense love for the script.
  • The Bad – Whoever had the job of waking up Harrison Ford so that he could stumble onto set and deliver lines in a monotone did a poor job. Hard to watch. The entire B storyline involving a crooked cop and Ford’s job would make you go “oh yeah, I forgot this was part of the story … why do I care about this again”. Incredibly little payoff overall in the movie. The entire thing meanders around for like 2 hours before reaching the “climax” and then I looked at my watch and said to myself: “There is only 20 minutes left … that is not nearly enough time to untangle this story.” And it was not.
  • The BMT – Weird weird weird. My gut says no. I would never watch this again. I would only ever recommend this to a political / cop drama enthusiast looking for a movie recommendation (not as a bad movie) and it would be in the context of “want to see what happens when someone tried to make an 80s style drama in the late 90s? Seems super weird right?”. The blunt answer is no. I think this movie is merely bad. In a boring way. Not BMT. Sorry.

See what I mean? Weird. I will note that since we’ve gone through Ford before in Chain Reaction (Firewall and Hollywood Homicide) this makes the third Ford focused ( … see what I did there, I’m the best) Chain Reaction film. And I look forward to more in the future. I would have done an audio commentary review, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead I’m going to a quick career BMTrospective for Harrison Ford to look forward to his prospects and where he might land in the BMT pantheon. So here are his BMT films with respective BMeTrics:

(47.6) Hollywood Homicide; (47.2) Random Hearts; (38.2) Six Days Seven Nights; (34.1) Paranoia; (33.9) Firewall; (26.6) The Expendables 3; (24.2) More American Graffiti; (23.9) The Devil’s Own; (10.8) Extraordinary Measures; (7.1) Crossing Over; (3.6) Getting Straight;

So first, Getting Straight (only 6 reviews on rotten tomatoes) and Crossing Over (released to only 42 theaters) I don’t think qualify. Extraordinary Measures I think will be done, but on a very special occasion. I’m personally too busy for it, some might say I already work around the clock. Out of them all Six Days Seven Nights might end up being a keystone in a certain number game Jamie might just be outlining below, so I think it is a definite. And More American Graffiti seems poised for a sweet Bad Sequel cycle. I think 3 more Ford films will find their way into BMT then to make a total of seven (plus Paranoia which was done on our own as a Razzie nominee I think). For such a long career that is a pretty solid hit rate to be honest, to only have those handful of duds available. That’s your life Harrison Ford. Auf wiedersehen, and back to you Jamie.

Jamie

Random Hearts is the perfect Chain Reaction film for this cycle. Is it a thriller? Is it a romance? Is it a political drama? Or is it a political-thriller-rom-dram? Whatever it is it hardly fits into a standard category and provides something a little different than our typical fare. Patrick expounded on the weirdness of this film, even without the baggage of the book. Why? Because the book is exponentially weirder. Even though the book has some of the political angle of the film, there is no doubt that it aims to be a straight romantic drama. The only problem is that there is nothing romantic about the book in the least. The story starts essentially the same as the film: two people find out their spouses were having an affair after they turn up in a plane crash sitting next to each other under false names. Good plot. It then deviates into the super philosophical about the nature of love and what it means. The characters feed off each others’ crazed neuroses brought on by their anger and grief. They throw everything they own out, they sell their houses, Vivien give her son to her parents and implies that she’s never coming back, and she gets rid of her dog all because they believe that if their love wasn’t real then nothing else they had was too (including her son!). He then loses his job and so they spend their days shacked up in an apartment together obsessing over finding the secret love nest that their spouses kept, having sex, and talking endlessly about their nihilistic view of love and how nothing can ever be promised or built because love has no future or past. It is depressing and horribly unromantic. You might wonder how this was ever adapted into a film. Well, when you have a simple nugget of a plot so good (the plane crash aspect) it not hard to see the desire to take that and turn it into a totally different film, which is what they did here. Other than that particular crux of the story very little of the film has any relation to the book, which was a relief. 

We got a great Settings 101 film in Random Hearts. The film is very specifically set in Washington D.C. with Harrison Ford being a part of the D.C. police department and Kristin Scott Thomas being a state representative from New Hampshire. We get a jogging scene in front of the National Mall, a jaunt to New Hampshire, Miami, and Maryland through the film (I like when there are specific secondary settings in a film, adds to the fun), and the major event in the film (the plane crash) is explicitly detailed as a flight from D.C. to Miami that crashes into the Potomac. You have to give it an A-. Why the minus? The setting plays a major role in the plot, but not in a particularly fun way. Has all the elements of an A settings film, but could have been set elsewhere without much of a hiccup (other than changing the occupation of Thomas).

Next up is the Sci Fi category in our Based on a Book cycle. Cheers,

The Sklogs

Random Hearts Preview

Thankfully we are past the garbage book that is The Choice and get to jump right onto our Chain Reaction. Last time we watched Cheaper by the Dozen 2 starring Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, and Eugene Levy. Oddly enough very few of the cast actually appeared in a film based on a book (or at least not one that worked for Chain Reaction for the rest of the year). Fortunately there was one gem amongst the stones. It is Random Hearts starring Harrison Ford and featuring Bonnie Hunt in a supporting role! It’s based on the Warren Adler novel of the same name, which I’ve already read. All I will say is that the book is super duper weird, so hopefully the film is a loose adaptation. Otherwise we are in for a bumpy ride. Let’s go!

Random Hearts (1999) – BMeTric: 47.2

RondomHearts_BMeT

RondomHearts_RV

(Pretty typical stuff. Regresses to the mean as the number of votes increases. That vote total (~16K at the moment) seems … low for some reason. But maybe it has to do with this being kind of a forgotten movie of the time. And it just cannot quite break through that 50 BMeT barrier. Sad stuff all around for poor Random Hearts)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Sub-par political movie, sub-par D.C. cop movie and sub-par romance get bludgeoned into one in this critical/commercial flop about a police sergeant and congresswoman who discover that their mates – recently killed in the same airliner crash – were having an affair. Gloomy, lugubrious, heavily altered adaptation of Warren Adler’s novel suffers from one of the rare constipated Ford performances. Every once in a while it wakes up long enough to remember it’s an Internal Affairs movie and that a few heads have to be bashed.

(What the hell Leonard. First, how many times does Leonard just give a movie a tepid 2 star review, but somehow this gets one and a half! Second, constipated? Really Leonard? Third, too bad I haven’t gotten that far back in the archive, but lugubrious has quite the history with Leonard. In the review for Evening he notes that it is a “lugubrious translation of Susan Minot’s time-skipping novel…”. I also seems like a synonym for gloomy, making its use here all the more confounding. I will not become lugubrious Leonard, I promise you that!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zGdCzEzzPg

(Alright, I’m into it. I’m ready to go. Watching that trailer I was thinking “oh, that looks interesting”. So it makes me more and more curious how it could have gone wrong. Just old-fashioned? Boring? I need to know!)

Directors – Sydney Pollack – (Known For: The Firm; Sabrina; Three Days of the Condor; Tootsie; Out of Africa; The Way We Were; The Interpreter; Jeremiah Johnson; They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?; This Property Is Condemned; The Electric Horseman; The Swimmer; Absence of Malice; BMT: Random Hearts; Havana; Bobby Deerfield; Notes:  Look at that filmography. Died in 2008 from cancer. Often appears in cameos in the films he driects (including Random Hearts). Was an accomplished Jazz Pianist.)

Writers – Warren Adler (novel) – (Known For: The War of the Roses; BMT: Random Hearts; Notes:  Currently in the process of making a sequel to War of the Roses (jeez Louise) and adapting another one of his novels Funny Boys at the ripe age of 88. Famous for his novel War of the Roses, but also was an accomplished crime writer as well.)

Darryl Ponicsan (adaptation) – (Known For: Taps; The Last Detail; School Ties; Vision Quest; The Boost; BMT: Random Hearts; Nuts; Notes: An author himself, The Last Detail is an adaptation of his own novel of the same name. An accomplished screenwriter as well. Appears to also be a fairly accomplished artist as well.)

Kurt Luedtke (screenplay) – (Known For: Out of Africa; Absence of Malice; BMT: Random Hearts; Notes: Former reporter and editor of the Detroit Free Press. All three of his screenplays were directed by Pollack. Even wrote a script for Bridges of Madison County when Pollack was attached to direct, but was rejected by Warner Bros.)

Actors – Harrison Ford – (Known For: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; The Age of Adaline; Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope; Apocalypse Now; Raiders of the Lost Ark; Blade Runner; Air Force One; Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Ender’s Game; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; The Fugitive; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Working Girl; American Graffiti; Patriot Games; Cowboys & Aliens; Clear and Present Danger; The Conversation; Sabrina; What Lies Beneath; Witness; 42; Morning Glory; K-19: The Widowmaker; BMT: Hollywood Homicide (BMT); Random Hearts; Six Days Seven Nights; Paranoia (Seen it); Firewall (BMT); The Expendables 3 (BMT); More American Graffiti; The Devil’s Own; Extraordinary Measures; Notes: We do love our Harrison Ford BMT flicks. What more is there to say about him? He’s great. Astonishing, all things considered, that he’s avoided a Razzie Nomination. I would have though Paranoia at least would have gotten him one)

Kristin Scott Thomas – (Known For: The Other Boleyn Girl; Only God Forgives; Mission: Impossible; The English Patient; The Golden Compass; Suite Française; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Gosford Park; The Horse Whisperer; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; The Invisible Woman; Tell No One; Bitter Moon; Life as a House; BMT: Random Hearts; Bel Ami; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Under the Cherry Moon; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Supporting Actress for Under the Cherry Moon; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst New Star for Under the Cherry Moon; Has lived in Paris since she was 19 and typically dubs herself for French releases of her films. Accomplished stage actor, and future BMT mega-star in Under the Cherry Moon, released almost exactly 30 years ago: July 2, 1986)

Also stars Charles S. Dutton – (Will see him in future BMT Legion)

Budget/Gross – $64 million / Domestic: $31,502,583 (Worldwide: $74,608,570)

(failure, but borderline I suppose. It definitely lost money, but less that I would have thought. But look at that budget. Woof. $65 million for a romantic drama based off of a book that cannot possibly be as well known as they thought it was. Not a good look.)

#58 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(Two in a row! The Choice was #76 and obviously was this year during the new age of rom drams. Random Hearts came right befor the fall. You can see it sitting in a nice box office trough too after the pre-2000s heyday too. Then it all came a tumbling down. Just so strange. Maybe, and this is pure speculation, prior to 2000 the idea was big star leads in the rom drams (like Ford). And then the bottom just fell out of the genre. And then in 2008 or so they realized they could just get actors from the CW to be in micro-budget borderline-VOD rom drams and print money. And then The Choice was made. The End. I like that theory, but there is no basis in reality for it).

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (13/87): Even Harrison Ford could not save the dull plot and the slow pacing of the movie.

(You can tell this consensus was written way after the release of the film. Would clearly say “Even Harrison Ford can’t save the dull plot…” nowadays. Also just vague enough to make me think whoever wrote it had never seen the film and probably had no idea what it was about.)

Poster – Random Sklogs (C-)

random_hearts

(I like the color theme personally, something about the subtle blue in the black in white works for me when you are dealing with a poster that is mostly a face. And that is it. I hate the weird fade to the right and resulting asymmetry. And it is boring.)

Tagline(s) – In a perfect world…they never would have met. (B+)

(I like how it is short and sweet. I like the little plot detail. I like that it seems like a clever twist on an idea: the star-crossed lovers. That in a perfect world you find each other and live happily ever after. Twisted into the opposite, that all of this depended on a catastrophe to happen. But given the poster and the tagline and the title, how am I supposed to know anything about this film? It would be totally impenetrable to me I think)

Keyword(s) – plane crash; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.8 Skyline (2010); 63.5 The Darkest Hour (2011); 60.0 Stealth (2005); 57.5 Congo (1995); 53.7 Batman Forever (1995); 49.1 Red Dawn (2012); 47.2 Random Hearts (1999); 46.2 Green Lantern (2011); 41.3 Whiteout (2009); 40.4 King Solomon’s Mines (1985);

(Da-da-da-da-da I’m loving this list. Makes me want to watch Whiteout and whatever King Solomon’s Mines is. Would be a great “completed” accomplishment … by certain people’s definitions of “great”)

Notes – The neon in the “Parkway Lanes” sign had not worked for over 20 years. It was repaired by the production company. At night, the lit sign may be seen from the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway. (nice)

Based on the novel by Warren Adler, the film rights were obtained soon after the novel’s release in 1984. However the film then languished in “development hell” for 15 years. In the 1980s, Dustin Hoffman was attached to star in the film but later withdrew as he did not like the earlier drafts of the script. By the 1990s, Kevin Costner was attached to star and James L. Brooks was attached to direct it, though this never came to fruition either. Eventually, Harrison Ford and Sydney Pollack showed interest in the project and it finally went into production. (A troubled production usually spells a great film in the end, right?)

The 1984 novel by Warren Adler that the film is adapted from was based on the January 1982 “Air Florida” plane crash into the Potomac River, flying out of National Airport, Washington, D.C. (An adaptation of a book that is based on real events. Noice)

This is the only film in which Harrison Ford plays a character who wears an earring, as the actor does in real life. (Not a great look Harry, in my opinion, but who am I to talk shit about Harrison Ford, do you dude)

The simulated plane crash that starts the film was so realistic that 40 people called 911, convinced that it was a real disaster.

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Recap

Jamie

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is not the first time we’ve watched two films in a series separately for BMT, but it does kind of fly in the face of some of the measures that Patrick and I have taken in constructing BMT. We have slowly built up to consuming all relevant media when watching a film. So for Endless Love I read the book, watched the original film, and watched the 2011 film. For Paul Blart we watched the original as a bonus film when tackling Paul Blart 2. So this is a bit of a relic of yore. Now we probably would have watched both films at the same time (and read the book and watched the original film and…) but instead we are just watching this film a year later trying to remember what we thought of the first one. As I remember it I found the first to be a thoroughly depressing adaptation of a very good book with OK acting. Unsurprisingly the second film is a not quite as depressing but infinitely shoddier version of the first film. Lower the stakes and up the physical comedy and voila. Not particularly satisfying.

Patrick and I have been workshopping the Settings 101 class. Really trying to hammer out the details on what make a good setting for a film. For Cheaper by the Dozen 2 we get a surprisingly solid settings film. Now, it’s not as good as the first film. In the first film the crux of the plot is the family moving from Midland, Indiana to Evanston, Illinois to coach at the imaginary Illinois Polytechnic University. Look at those settings! It screams ‘Illinois!’ at the audience. That’s probably an A- (we’re tough graders). In the second film the family is still living in Illinois and decides that they have to go to the lake house in Wisconsin. While kudos to them for going all in on a specific setting again, it wasn’t as clear this time exactly where they were going. In fact I kind of missed it until later in the film when the oldest son and Jaime King talked about moving to Wisconsin to pursue their dreams. So I kinda have to give it a C+. It would have gotten into the B or B+ range if they had been clearer. Maybe passing a “Welcome to Wisconsin” sign when driving to the lake or just printing it on the screen. I call that a meta-acknowledgement. Where the film itself nods to the audience and says “in case you didn’t know where we were.”

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Cheaper by the Dozen Two?! More like Sequel Repercussions, Boo! (does that make sense? It felt good writing it). We went full on BMTquel, a very rare double BMT delight (Grown Ups and Growns Ups 2 come to mind for sure, not sure about other sequels). Let’s get into it!

  • The Good – I do think the “family comedy” genre is necessary for the world. I for one enjoyed things like The Great Outdoors growing up even though that movie is objectively terrible in retrospect, but I was like eight, why worry about movies like this? The tom-boy girl was fantastic in this film as well. Maybe the best kid actor in BMT history.
  • The Bad – It is a movie that you can kind of see the seams of its movie costume in. It doesn’t feel like a real movie. It is like a producer was like “What? The stupid remake of Cheaper by the Dozen made money, shit … I guess make another one. I have this script for The Great Outdoors 2 which makes no sense and stars the ghost of John Candy, can you rewrite this?” The movie legit stars 25 different people and is excruciating for 95% of the runtime. I really didn’t enjoy this film for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it just felt like a throwaway.
  • The BMT – Yes! I’m actually surprised it isn’t higher than the 40 something that it was. It is a kids movie, but again, it is kind of the worst the genre has to offer in a way. I should have put Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the good category to a degree, they clearly ad-libbed all of their lines, and they are solid as rocks, but still, the movie is super weak and I didn’t like it at all.

Boom. Audio Sklog-entary review. So this one was again just the director. This guy was pretty funny and had some good anecdotes … but was also kind of hilariously down on the movie. Everything seemed rushed, he was wrangling 20 kids at all times, and in addition to that he had to deal with the fact that Tom Welling, Hilary Duff and the twin boys (who were on Desperate Housewives at the time) were almost literally not on set all together at any given time. The guy did admirably (and was also weirdly obsessed with the noises his stomach was making throughout), but still not as good as if there was a second person to get the stories out of him. B. One of the better single person commentaries I’ve listened to thus far.

BTW I want to Reboot Cheaper by the Dozen haaaaard. Just to make Steve Martin a competent football coach / father. Example: Tom Welling is meandering around like a weirdo in both films at this point. Why not make him become the assistant coach? Why not show Steve Martin do something with his family? He talked about kids being “hardwired”, but seriously, his son liked football, he didn’t hate it, it makes no sense that all of a sudden he’s opening a garage in rural Wisconsin. One of the more frustrating storyline issues with both movies in this series. I’ll do the remake for a dime. No joke.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs