Black Knight Recap

Jamie

Jamal Walker is living his life in LA when he’s unexpectedly transported back to the Middle Ages. There he finds himself in the middle of a rebellion and at odds with the King and his eeevil minions. Can he save his own hide, take down the King and get back to the present (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Black Knight.

How?! Jamal Walker is not serious. So when the medieval theme park he works at is threatened by a cooler, newer one he’s ready to jump ship and keep things flowing. That is until he falls into the moat and wakes up in the actual Middle Ages. Uh oh! At first he is mistaken for a messenger from France, while a lady of the castle is convinced that he is part of the rebellion hoping to reinstate the rightful queen to the throne that the eeevil King Leo stole with the help of his eeevil henchman Percival. He is treated to a feast where he busts some moves and smooches the princess only to inadvertently ruin a rebel assassination attempt much to the frustration of Victoria. As a reward Jamal is made a knight and everything goes swimmingly… that is until he is caught in bed with the princess. Uh oh! The marriage prospects of the princess ruined Jamal is set to be executed. Just before his execution he is rescued by a disgraced knight, Sir Knolte, at the behest of Victoria. At the rebel camp he is ready to get back to LA and heads for the moat, but ends up having a change of heart and returns to camp to find it in ruins and the rebel force decimated. Jamal musters up all the leadership he has and rouses the rebels for a fight and leads them into battle. Jamal himself is able to turn the tide posing as the Black Knight and ends up in direct contact with Percival. With the help of his friends (awww) he is able to win and the Queen is returned to the throne. Huzzah. Officially knighted he wants Victoria to return to LA with him but accidentally falls through time alone. With a new lease on life he turns the theme park around and makes serious strides in his professional life. Someone who looks a lot like Victoria *wink* even agrees to a date. Nice. He then inexplicably falls back through time to Ancient Rome… weird. THE END.

Why?! This is interesting only insofar as the setup for everything is so flimsy. Clearly meant to get Jamal to the Middle Ages as quickly and with as few questions asked (or answered) as possible. I wasn’t even sure what lesson Jamal was supposed to be learning by going back in time (there always has to be a lesson). Eventually you realize that he didn’t take life, his job, etc. seriously enough. Only by having to lead a revolt against the unrightful and eeeevil king is he able to learn the value of community and leadership and thus return to LA and take ownership and responsibility at his job (and quickly rise in the ranks as a result). Good for him.

Who?! We always note when we have a new President in a film. Here we have a new reigning King and then Queen of England. King Leo is the antagonist of the film. Interesting, since Leo wasn’t a common name for British Kings. Common in Armenia and like… The Kings of Leon, right? The Queen who takes back the throne at the end of the film is just credited as The Queen. Also weird that they reign from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere England apparently. Not much of a kingdom really.

What?! There is a bit of actual product placement at the front of the film and then Jamal is often making references to culture and stuff when he’s in the Middle Ages. But nothing that is necessary for the plot. It’s not like he fails miserably at inspiring the rebels only to realize that perhaps if he gave them a sip of a delicious, refreshing and yes, inspiring Coca-Cola, that they would rise to the occasion… in fact, note to self…

Where?! This is set in England. That is the extent of it. It doesn’t look like England, it doesn’t feel like England. It probably seems more like a Medieval Times than any part of Medieval England. Really the only way we know for sure that it’s in England is that they keep talking about Normandy and making fun of France. A-.

When?! We actually get an (approximate (likely (probably))) exact date on this guy. Confused and afraid, Jamal asks earnestly what the date is. It’s of course Sunday the 5th, silly. And he breathes a sigh of relief… oh… not 2001 (which presumably is August 5th, 2001… the only 5th that year that falls on a Sunday). It’s Sunday the 5th, 1328 (presumably September 5th, 1328… the only 5th that falls on a Sunday other than December and I mean, it wasn’t nearly cold enough for that). So yup, he left LA on August 5th, 2001 and landed in England on September 5th, 1328… case closed. A-.

At the start of the film I was pretty sure I was in for a rough night. The set up for him falling through time is nonexistent. It’s like they just wrote “Jamal ends up in the Middle Ages” on a sheet of paper and handed it to Martin Lawrence. It’s actually a wonder to see him make his way through full scenes without anything of substance to say or do. But once we were there and Jamal is both confused by his surroundings and employing all his people skills to simply survive, it’s actually a somewhat touching and amusing film. He is concerned for people who seem like they are unwell and covered in dirt. He’s titillated by all the ladies at the castle who seem to be there to serve him. And he’s enticed by the opportunities of knighthood after living without much opportunity in LA. It all unravels (and so does the film), but for a moment I was actually enjoying myself quite a bit. With as much grace as they started the film they ended it and it all crashed down in a terrible Monosklog, a kinda boring battle, and then a heartwarming ending. If only they didn’t have to have a beginning, middle, and end… if they could just have one long Martin Lawrence middle then they might have had something. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Man, the sequel to Big Momma’s House is WILD. I mean … Big Momma isn’t even in it! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Growing up on A Kid in King Arthur’s Court playing on television and I know that the film is likely to just be silly. But then I remember Big Momma’s House and how disjointed it is, and White Chicks and how … insance that film is, or Norbit and how unpleasant that film is and … there is an outside shot this film is absolutely awful in really weird ways. Only one way to find out though. What were my expectations? I’m hoping it is a disjointed delight like Big Momma’s, but I feel that it is going to be like A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (also qualified by the way).

The Good – The film is far more charming than it has any right to be. I think it is a testament to Martin Lawrence, who had transferred all of his manic energy from his stand-up and Martin directly into the Jamal character. I also personally appreciate how quickly they cut to the chase. There isn’t a huge amount of bookends to the film. It is like 10 minutes at the beginning setting up Jamal just kind of not caring about giving back to society, and then 5 minutes at the end to show how he changes. Easy peasy. The film isn’t funny, but it has a giant dance scene, so that’s fun. Best Bit – Martin Lawrence.

The Bad – The sheer number of sex and dick jokes in the film. It ends up just being too much. Jamal is stuck in like 1300s England, at risk of dying at any moment … but all he wants to do is smash that chambermaid and needle the king’s daughter about her sex life. The big monologue in the film (complete with outdated-at-the-time Rodney King reference) is really really bad. It ends up doing the opposite of the big monologue in Big Momma’s House, sinking the film, instead of tying it up in a big BMT Hall of Fame bow. The film isn’t funny, and ends up being unabashedly trite. Fatal Flaw – Too reliant on sex jokes.

The BMT – The film is ultimately too good to be on the same level as Big Momma’s House. It is also too linear, we very rarely get to see Jamal like … go and learn to joust, and then go and learn to sword fight, and then to the maypole or whatever. My point is, everything that allowed Big Momma’s House to transcend it’s reason for being and become a Hall of Fame BMT film is absent from this film. It was also absent from the other Big Momma films. It really is something quite special for comedies. This is just less than. Did it meet my expectations? No, in that it didn’t manage to roll into Big Momma territory, but yes in that that is what I expected. It is probably the same as A Kid in King Arthur’s Court or any of the number of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court adaptations.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Definitely a good Setting as a Character (Where?) film for England in general, and on a similar note a great Period Piece (When?) for taking place on an exact date in 1328. I don’t think there are good arguments for any of the others. There is a mysterious pendant, but that wouldn’t really qualify as anything unless Jamal had it taken from him the instant he was transported back in time, and then spent the entire film trying to get the inexplicably magically pendant back. I think it has the best shot at Good for the main superlatives.

StreetCreditReport.com – 2001 was a weird year because there weren’t really any lists of bad movies that year. I’m actually not sure if it predated the trend of online worst-of lists or what. I do think this is probably the best of the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court films, although it is likely one of the worst time travel comedies ever made. It mostly has cred for catching Martin Lawrence right around his Imperial Period. This might actually mark the turning point in Lawrence’s film career where his projects wouldn’t be immediately greenlit.

You Just Got Schooled – Now, I could have watched A Knight in Camelot starring Whoopi Goldberg, but I have plenty of time (and other films) I could do that with. It had occurred to me that despite seeing Martin a number of times somewhat randomly on Fox (and rerunning on cable channels) I had never really sat down and watched an episode. So I watched the pilot … it’s incredible. First, the show is actually quite good I think. Lawrence is manic and funny, and you can immediately see why he became a movie star in the late 90s/early 00s using the exact same formula. Second, Big Momma is in the show! Well, she isn’t fat, but Martin plays a number of characters in the show (interesting, considering it is a multi-camera sitcom filmed in front of a studio audience (I assume, it looks like it), including his own mother who has exactly the same mannerisms as Big Momma. The whole thing is a revelation in a way. Tisha Campbell is by far the best part of the show though, funny and a perfect foil to Martin’s silliness. I watched the pilot for Mad About You a few years ago and had a similar reaction, but it always surprises me how distinct sitcoms were in the 90s. In my mind they all kind of blend together, but naturally they all have their distinct hooks (in this case Lawrence playing multiple characters, and his trademark energy). A. I’m really liking going back and watching some of these old shows in the course of BMT.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Black Knight Quiz

Oh man, last thing I remember I saw this sweet necklace in a pond, fell in, and now it seems I’ve travelled back in time! I must have bopped my head on something in the temporal vortex. Do you remember what happened in Black Knight?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When we meet Jamal he’s a cynical employee of a run down Los Angeles amusement park. Just prior to going back in time he plans to quit his job. Why?

2) Once back in time Jamal meets Sir Knolte of Marlborough, a disgraced knight. Why is he so disgraced?

3) Jamal quickly finds himself at a castle and very easily infiltrates the king’s court. Who do they think Jamal is, and why were they expecting him?

4) Jamal eventually does get caught and sentenced to death. How does he (and his friends) escape the clutches of the evil king?

5) At the end of the film they do a classic sequel setup (although the sequel makes no sense since there isn’t much else Jamal needs to learn … but whatever). Where does Jamal end up the second time through the temporal vortex?

Answers

1) He’s going to quit his job in order to try and get an even better job at a competing medieval amusement park that is opening nearby. Little does he know he’s about to learn a valuable lesson in service to one’s community.

2) He was disgraced because when the Queen was overthrown by the eeeeeeeeevil King, Sir Knolte escaped with his life instead of dying defending her. Later it is revealed that rather than condemn his for cowardice, the Queen valued his intelligence in escaping to fight another day.

3) They think Jamal is a messenger from Normandy. They are expecting such a messenger to arrive concerning the eventual arrival of a suitor for the King’s daughter from Normandy. Little do they know that, as Jamal will astutely observe, that the King’s daughter is a “freak” and the wedding will never happen as a result. It’s pretty gross.

4) They are sprung free by the defenders of the displaced queen who are lead by Victoria, a chambermaid of the court and secret resistance fighter. While Jamal initially fails to escape, he is picked up by Sir Knolte who finds his courage in saving Jamal’s life.

5) He ends up basically in the film Gladiator. It doesn’t make much sense because he really didn’t have much time to become cynical again or become in need of some other lesson. Plus I don’t think they ever intended on making a sequel.

Riiiiiight, that is what actually happened. I went back in time for no discernable reason … welp, better save this medieval kingdom from a tyrant, see you guys later!

Black Knight Preview

As John Travolta dances his heart out in their dreamworld, Rich and Poe’s heart sink deeper with each hip thrust. Travolta is bringing the heat like a sultry night in Havana. “It’s just so dirty,” Rich says in stunned admiration. “Filthy, really,” Poe agrees, his bright eyes brimming with tears. Breathing hard and wiping sweat from his well bronzed and eerily smooth brow, Travolta manages to just gasp out, “That’ll… show you… what it’s like.” Confused, Rich and Poe temporarily fear that what they have truly won’t be enough and perhaps they will know what it’s like. Knowing that fear can’t stop them trying, they nonetheless start their mesmerizing twin dance routine. Years of training have perfected not only their physiques, but also their dance moves. They move in unison and Travolta’s eyes bug out in amazement. But it’s not enough. Poe’s jaw clenches in frustration as even their dirtiest of dance routines can’t match Travolta’s absolutely disgusting moves. Rich still shows no fear, though, and just as the sweat on their muscles hits peak magnitude he signals to Poe and they simultaneously rip off their shirts, leaving them clad only in their sweat-soaked jorts. The beam of light bursts from Rich’s chest and gleams off Poe’s sweaty pectoral muscles. It’s like a supernova and in the blinding brightness they hear a final “nooooooooooo… never forget meeeeeeee!” from Travolta. As their eyes adjust, they find themselves in a boggy swamp and hear the faint words of Travolta, “Now all of time and all of Earth is our Battlefield.” They know this is the fourth and final trial. They just don’t know when it is. Suddenly a armor clad knight gallops up to the swamp and cocks his head, “Sirs Sklogsalot? What are you doing in that swamp?” he asks. That’s right! We’re watching Black Knight starring Martin Lawrence where he is transported back to the Middle Ages a la A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. We’re really watching it because of the promise of Big Momma’s House. If it can approach even a fraction of that film then we’ll be in a good spot. Let’s go!

Black Knight (2001) – BMeTric: 65.5; Notability: 39 

(The rating is a lot lower than I would have expected, which is basically the entire reason the BMeTric is so high. You know what is a bit odd? I feel like when I started making these plots it looked like the IMDb votes were just increasing with no bound. I think this makes it a bit more clear that around 2011 (which I previously pinpointed to the moment IMDb got a phone app) the vote counts increased, and now the votes are mostly tailing off for older films … could be. Only time will tell.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  A 21st-century homeboy who works at a run-down medieval theme park is magically transported back to 14th century England, where he must use his wits to survive, and forms an alliance with a disgraced knight (Wilkinson) to help restore a deposed queen to the throne. Comedy vehicle for Lawrence gives you pretty much what you expect, though it would have meant a lot more if a better more famous actress had played the queen.

(Interesting to condemn the film partially on just not getting a big actress for the queen? Although I guess I could see it. It would be like if you got a rando to play the part of the escaped convict in Big Momma’s House. Some of the power of the film is that they kind of randomly have Terrence Howard as the headliner of the B-plot of the film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw7dzS8UJ4Q/

(The ending there is not what you want. As a matter of fact for family entertainment the trailer gives the impression of a much more sexually explicit film that one would expect.  But otherwise the film looks a bit like Big Momma’s House,  a vehicle for Lawrence’s brand of very physical and brash humor.)

Directors – Gil Junger – (Known For: Think Like a Dog; 10 Things I Hate About You; BMT: Black Knight; Notes: Huge television director, probably most notable for 29 episodes of Ellen for which he was nominated for an Emmy. Seems to work on kids’ programming mostly these days.)

Writers – Darryl Quarles (written by) (as Darryl J. Quarles) – (BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House 2; Black Knight; Big Momma’s House; Notes: The Big Momma sequels are actually just characters, so this is the one true big budget follow up to Big Momma. He was a producer on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.)

Peter Gaulke (written by) – (Known For: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Future BMT: The Babymakers; BMT: Black Knight; Say It Isn’t So; Strange Wilderness; Notes: Was a gymnast at UCLA and would work his skills into his comedy routines when he was coming up. Wrote for SNL.)

Gerry Swallow (written by) – (Known For: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Future BMT: The Babymakers; Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie; Ratchet & Clank; BMT: Black Knight; Say It Isn’t So; Notes: Was a stand-up comedian in Seattle before moving to LA. Clearly was the writing partner with Gaulke for a time, although not recently it would seem. Writes under the pen name Dr. Cuthbert Soup.)

Actors – Martin Lawrence – (Known For: Bad Boys for Life; Do the Right Thing; Bad Boys; The Beach Bum; Life; House Party; Boomerang; Death at a Funeral; Open Season; Future BMT: College Road Trip; Rebound; National Security; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; House Party 2; Blue Streak; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate; Bad Boys II; Nothing to Lose; BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House 2; Black Knight; Big Momma’s House; Wild Hogs; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son in 2012; Notes: Television star with Martin in the 90s, and then movie star in the 00s. After his divorse he seemed to kind of retire until the Bad Boys For Life this year. Notably almost died while running in extreme heat in preparation for Big Momma’s House.)

Marsha Thomason – (Known For: Priest; Future BMT: The Haunted Mansion; Long Time Dead; The Tripper; My Baby’s Daddy; Caffeine; BMT: Black Knight; Notes: British. Mostly a television star including a long stint on White Collar, and 11 episodes of Lost.)

Tom Wilkinson – (Known For: Selma; Batman Begins; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Burden; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; The Patriot; Michael Clayton; Sense and Sensibility; Rush Hour; In the Name of the Father; RocknRolla; Snowden; Valkyrie; Shakespeare in Love; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; The Green Hornet; In the Bedroom; Belle; The Ghost; Future BMT: The Titan; Good People; Jenny’s Wedding; The Samaritan; Burke and Hare; The Catcher Was a Spy; Essex Boys; A Good Woman; A Business Affair; Little Boy; BMT: Black Knight; Unfinished Business; The Lone Ranger; The Choice; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars (In the Bedroom, and Michael Clayton). A huge character actor, especially in the 90s and early 00s.)

Budget/Gross – $50,000,000 / Domestic: $33,426,971 (Worldwide: $39,976,235)

(Pretty horrible bomb. It is pretty surprising Big Momma’s House 2 was made considering that. Although maybe 9/11 played a part in the depressed box office in the end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (14/98): Black Knight feels like a lazily constructed movie, filled with lame gags and constant mugging from Lawrence.

(Constant mugging from Lawrence? What else are you expecting? Did you watch Martin? Did you watch Big Momma’s House? Bizarre consensus take. Reviewer Highlight: Martin Lawrence [stars] as a theme park worker who falls into a scummy moat and surfaces in the Middle Ages — perhaps in search of people who would find his humor fresh and original. No such luck. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.)

Poster – Sir Sklogsalot

(This is a shockingly bad poster. Like… parody poster made as a prop for a different film level of bad. I can give it some props for trying to do something with the font but that’s basically it. It’s actually hard to look at. D.)

Tagline(s) – He’s About To Get Medieval On You. (B)

(It works. This got me thinking about where and when this phrase became popular enough to be a tagline. “Getting medieval on your ass” seemed pretty current. Turns out it is. Popularized in Pulp Fiction. A mere seven years and it’s headlining a major motion picture. Not the most clever, but as I said, does the trick.)

Keyword – time travel

Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), Back to the Future (1985), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Interstellar (2014), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018)

Future BMT: 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), 59.5 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 49.3 Mannequin: On the Move (1991), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 43.0 Freejack (1992), 34.4 Il mondo di Yor (1983), 33.6 The Time Machine (2002);

BMT: Assassin’s Creed (2016), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), The Lake House (2006), Jumper (2008), Timeline (2003), Lost in Space (1998), Paycheck (2003), Black Knight (2001), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), A Sound of Thunder (2005)

(Wow we’ve watched a ton of these! Seems pretty consistent over time. Maybe depressed a bit in the late-90s, although I don’t really have a theory as to why. I’m excited to watch Freejack if I have to choose any of the films in the Future BMT list.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Martin Lawrence is No. 1 billed in Black Knight and No. 3 billed in Wild Hogs, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The scene where Princess Regina trips over her bed sheets was not scripted, Jeannette Weegar really did trip and fall, but the director liked it so it was kept and put in the final cut.

Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism helped in the historical recreation of this movie by providing consulting work and playing as extras. (Ha!)

Chris Tucker was originally cast as Jamal Walker. (Huh, interesting. So I assume Quarles was hired onto the film to rewrite once they secured Martin Lawrence)

Martin Lawrence was paid $20 million for his work on the film.

In the DVD commentary, it was said that the black horse that Jamal rode at the end of his dream was taught to rear on command.

Based on the book “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain

The film was rushed by Fox after the attacks on 9/11 to be released much sooner than it was intended. The film was slated for a Winter/Spring 2002 release and had just started the post-production process when Director Gil Junger and was called by the studio to speed up the editing on the film for a November 2001 release date to capitalize on family friendly entertainment, comedies, dramas and thrillers which some studios were filling with after having to reschedule films that were deemed too sensitive for that period of time. (Pretty gross)

The second of two films starring Martin Lawrence in 2001. The other was “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?” co-starring Danny DeVito.

In the Army Now Recap

Jamie

Bones and Jack are a couple of slackers with big dreams for an electronics store. To pursue this they accept an easy check from the National Guard assuming they would never see action. Wrong. They are immediately called into Chad on the verge of war. Can these unlikely heroes save the day (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… In the Army Now.

How?! Bones and Jack are a couple of cra-a-a-zy boys (to use their parlance) who are fired from their job at an electronics store for mostly being slackers. Immature dreamers, they have hopes of opening their own electronics store, but don’t have the money (or talent, really). Enter the National Guard, which will pay them some money to be weekend warriors. Once they are in the army they are confronted with the harsh realities of boot camp. They probably goof off and almost get kicked out, right? Wrong. They are model soldiers and grow into more responsible adults. In fact, after they leave boot camp for the water purification unit they are top of their class with their teammates Fred and Christine. Upon graduation they revert to their immature, partying ways until they are shockingly called up to the front lines of a potential war in Chad. After attempting to get out of deployment through pure, distilled homophobia, they finally accept their mission. In Chad things get tough when Bones is targeted and harassed by a macho special forces soldier… and then even tougher when their truck breaks down during a mission… and then even tougher when Bones drives them into the desert where their other truck gets stuck… and then even tougher when they wander through the desert on the verge of death. But through his leadership they are able to make it to an oasis… but then it gets tough again when they are captured by Libyan forces. At the Libyan base they find the special forces soldier injured and they all manage to escape during an air strike. Finding some sweet dune buggies dropped for the special forces they are ready to leave Libya, but are ordered back to complete the mission of taking out the Libyan chemical weapons. During the dangerous mission Bones leads the group to victory and the missiles are destroyed. Back home they open their electronics store and show how much the Army helped them be all that they can be. THE END.

Why?! That sweet green, duh. One interesting aspect of the film is that Bones and Jack are immature and all that, but once they actually join the army they are pretty immediately improved for the better. We are supposed to see them backslide into their immature ways when first called up to Chad, but the rest of the film they are not just competent, but perfectly good at their jobs. Even when they are put in a horrific position by the Army, they step-up and get it done. Afterwards they have improved so much on a personal and professional level that I actually did believe they had a decent shot at making the electronics store work.

Who?! This is, of course, the last film in which Bredan Fraser appeared as his star-making character Link. A main character in Encino Man, he then shows up for cameos in both Son in Law and then this film. Hasn’t aged particularly well at this point… I’d love to see someone’s reaction to that now if they had never seen (or probably heard) of Encino Man… I know, hard to believe, but I imagine that the youngsters these days aren’t popping down to Hollywood Video to grab a copy of that comedy gem.

What?! This is one giant advertisement for the military, which is a bit difficult to swallow. It’s even mentioned in a paper about the propaganda model in Hollywood. The paper argues that despite the reputation of Hollywood as liberal, pretty much every film about the military is primarily pro-military. Given this film, I tend to agree.

Where?! This is what this whole cycle was built for. Starting in California (and then likely moving from there to Oklahoma for basic training), we end up shipping off to Chad… what are the chances? The characters ping pong between there and Libya for pretty much the rest of the film. Interesting that it even has a role to play in the plot, as Lori Petty’s character mentions she chose water purification as a specialty because of the likely war in Chad and the need for such a service. Gotta give it an A just for that.

When?! I honestly don’t know. This is one of those films where there is a good chance there is some hidden information regarding when it takes place, but it’s not apparent for the viewer. Our only recourse is to get an original print of the film and scour the high-definition stills for the evidence. Until then this is an F.

This is… not a funny movie. Kinda hamstrings it for anyone who would even try to say it’s good. I’m not one of those people. It’s certainly not an offensive movie… or at least I wasn’t offended by how bad it was. It does have a pretty gross homophobic scene in the middle, though, where Bones and Jack try to get out of going to Chad by pretending to be lovers. Unconvinced, the commander requests that they kiss to prove it (even more offensive) at which point Bones and Jack resign themselves to the possibility that they may die. But besides that it flows along with Jack and Bones proving at each step that they are learning and maturing due to the time spent in the military. Overall, it’s impossible to say that I enjoyed the movie. To say that would be to say that I like not funny and periodically offensive “comedies”… but I guess I didn’t think it was the worst. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Amazingly we never watched a Shore film in the 500+ films for BMT. He was a star that shone so bright for an instant, and this is probably the least popular of his five major films. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I’ve (obviously) seen all of the Pauly Shore starring vehicles growing up given that I was his target demo in 1995 … except for this one. Until now. All I really knew about In the Army Now was that it was never really on television and seemed boring whenever I happened across it. Funny enough the notes suggest Pauly Shore’s agents were like “don’t do this, just be the weasel. Being something you aren’t is going to ruin your career” … and I distinctly remember just not being interested in the film partially because it didn’t really seem like a Pauly Shore film. Sounds like his agents nailed it. What were my expectations? To be bored. There was very little going for this. It isn’t that it is the worst Shore film of that era (that would be interesting). It is that it is the most uninteresting of the five films he starred in.

The Good – Weirdly, after a bit of a rough start, this film is probably Shore at his most charming. The weasel character is only funny when you are like 10 years old. As an adult I’m sure I would find Jury Duty and Bio-Dome especially grating. But here he seems like just a vaguely silly dude? It oddly works in what is mostly just a not very funny and not very interesting film. I thought the ensemble of Shore, Dick, Grier, and Petty was actually very cool. They work as a bunch of misfits who mature in the context of army training. Which brings me to the army storyline. It’s propaganda and a bit odd … but it is nice to see an anti-Stripes. Instead of the army changing to accommodate the silly slacker, the silly slacker matures to fit the army. I’ll get back to that in my You Just Got Schooled section.

The Bad – The film isn’t funny. Not at any moment. The film is also too obviously propaganda. That is the danger with going with that anti-Stripes track. Stripes, by making the army change to accomodate Bill Murray, ends up very earnestly poking fun at the U.S. military and thus doesn’t feel like propaganda. In the Army Now just feels like the message is “the army will mature you and make you a better person … join the army.” Just how mustache-twirling-ly evil the Libyans are in the film is also a little off. It doesn’t quite have the same amusing Cold War era needling of the Russians. Much like all of 90s U.S. foreign policy, it feels like they were just searching for a villain to fit the bill. What else … I mean the film is boring and unfunny, would not recommend. The end.

The BMT – We’ll finish off the Pauly Shore films eventually. That is the BMT legacy. And obviously the mapl.d.map aspect. There is very little chance another film will come along which takes place predominantly in Chad. So it’ll always have that going for it. As a matter of fact, it is possible this is the greatest obscure BMT setting we’ve ever had. I just wish the film was just a bit more good-bad. Did it meet my expectations? Yup, this film is almost precisely what I expected (except Shore being a competent soldier, that was unexpected). Unfunny, but it’s biggest crime is just being uninteresting. There are worse Shore films, and more entertaining Shore films, better Shore films, and weirder Shore films … this is the “other” Shore film.

Roast-radamus – I think this falls into a different category where a “team” is built. This is a decent team building movie. There is an odd Product Placement (What?) I think with the video game (3DO) playing at the top of the film … also it is a giant advertisement for the military as well. Obviously one of the greatest Setting as a Character (Where?) films as the film’s plot centers around an invasion of Chad. Otherwise I don’t think it’ll really have a chance at anything else … but hey, I think it has pretty good odds of snagging the Where? crown at the end of the year.

StreetCreditReport.com – It is amazing. Not only is the film not featured on any worst of lists for 1994 (including the Stinkers which gives dishonorable mentions to a ton of films), but I couldn’t even find it mentioned on worst military film lists! I think if I were to guess, it is because Son-in-Law was so well received, and the film doesn’t seem like a true travesty. Jury Duty would crater Shore’s career only one year later, so if anything this film only primed critics to wonder whether Shore had overstayed his welcome as a comedy star.

You Just Got Schooled – All of the reviews of this film focused on how this was very much not Stripes. If I hadn’t seen Stripes I would have watched that. Given that I had though I had to go a little deeper into the military comedy well: Private Benjamin. And there was a lot more in common with In the Army Now than I would have thought, particularly how Goldie Hawn matures via her training instead of the Army molding around her particular quirks. The movie itself has a strong performance by Hawn, but is very very scattered. The best bits are the basic training sequences in the middle third of the film. Then the film goes off the rails, with Hawn rising through the ranks extremely quickly, almost getting raped by her superior, parlaying that into an engagement to a rich French man, and then the film just ends with her breaking off the engagement leaving her out of the army and on the outs with her family … like what? Stripes also goes off the rails in the third act, so maybe this is just a military comedy thing. But in the end Hawn’s performance isn’t enough for me to actually recommend the film to anyone. So, much like with the In the Army Now reviews, just watch Stripes. It probably is the best military comedy ever made. C.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

In the Army Now Quiz

Huh, so I joined the army to try and commit a bit of light fraud, and I ended up in Chad of all places! The long short of it is my truck exploded and I got a pretty massive concussion and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in In the Army Now?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where do Pauly Shore and Andy Dick work prior to joining the army?

2) And how do they learn about the Army Reserve and that sweet sweet “free” money they are a-offering?

3) And further, why does Pauly Shore decide to join the water purification unit?

4) Who is part of Pauly Shore’s water purification team and what are their various quirks?

5) What was Libya’s plan of attack that Shore and his team foil at the end of the movie?

BONUS: Four animals play a big part in Shore’s adventures in the desert. What are they?

Answers

In the Army Now Preview

Rich and Poe plunge into the water. A slow motion shot shows them float slowly downward as sad music plays. They are seemingly dead and this is the end of their story… the end of their quest… the end of their world… or is it?! Suddenly a beam of light shoots from Poe’s chest pointing their way to safety. They swim like a couple of totally majestic dolphins and burst forth onto a beautiful beach, sputtering for air. They look around. Their surroundings are so exotic. Just being able to place their eyes on such a beautiful exotic location makes everything seem way better than it actually is. “I… don’t understand… is this a new quest? Or did they kill us? Also why did that random beam of light shoot from your chest out of nowhere to save our lives?” Rich has so many questions and yet Poe has no answers. He sniffs the air and he turns quickly to Rich in panic, “do you smell that?” Rich sniffs too and narrows his eyes. “Is that…” but before he can finish the thought they both scramble up the nearest sand dune and lay eyes on a sea of fire and desert. It was all a facade. An oasis in a world of shit. Suddenly a convoy of trucks come screaming through the fire and smoke to come to a screeching halt in front of them. A small military man steps out of the nearest car and looks them up and down before nodding to a nearby soldier. The soldier steps up to Rich and Poe and thrusts some guns into their hands. “Congratulations,” he says in an unidentifiable (but definitely not racist) accent, “General Tiniman has recruited you. You are officially in the army now.” That’s right! We’re watching the Pauly Shore classic In the Army Now, which is set in the African country of Chad for some reason. It is somehow the first of the five major Pauly Shore films that we’ve done for BMT, which seems like a mistake. Let’s go!

In the Army Now (1994) – BMeTric: 51.8; Notability: 41 

IntheArmyNowIMDb_BMeT

IntheArmyNowIMDb_RV

(Great BMeTric obviously, and the notability is incredibly impressive. Looking through his filmography the notability for Shore-led films is always around 30-40. Sub-5.0 films are relatively rare. This is a film that was inevitable for BMT, and one I’m quite excited to actually see, since I’ve seen the other major Pauly Shore films.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Pauly is a pacifist who joins the army so he can “be all that he can be for free,” only to learn that there’s more to enlisting than receiving complimentary room and board. Latest in a long line of barracks comedies proves no competition for Buck Privates. Pauly’s fans might disagree. Brendan Fraser appears unbilled.

(Absolute deep cut with Buck Privates, a comedy from 1941. Just whip that ref out like it’s nothing. And yeah, I think between the two Iraq wars there was a sense of, I don’t know … comedy about the army again. That would obviously go away real quick in the 2000s. I can’t think of a comedy-army film that has come out since the 90s to be honest … A brief look suggests Delta Farce might be a rare breed indeed.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8WQ8sgWaVU

(Ha, they call Encino Man “California Man” in the beginning, so this trailer is maybe for European consumption? I had to change all of those in the autogenerated preview because I think that is what it is called in the UK. Other than that it looks like a Pauly Shore movie. If that is what “toning down” the weasel character was to the producers … I don’t know what to say really.)

Directors – Daniel Petrie Jr. – (Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; Stranded; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Is the son of Daniel G. Petrie who won three Primetime Emmys, and Dorothy Petrie who won two Primetime Emmys. His brother, Donald Petrie, directed BMT classic Welcome to Mooseport.)

Writers – Steve Zacharias and Jeff Buhai  (story) – (Known For: Revenge of the Nerds; Future BMT: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise; Johnny Be Good; Eddie; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Long time writing partners. They released the Johnny Be Good screenplay as a book in the early 2000s.)

Robbie Fox (story) – (Known For: So I Married an Axe Murderer; BMT: In the Army Now; Playing for Keeps; Notes: Son of Charles Fox, a composer who was nominated for two Oscars for original songs in the 70s.)

Ken Kaufman (screenplay) – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Space Cowboys; The Missing; Curious George; Muppets from Space; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: In 2013 he wrote a novel called Ramblefoot.)

Stu Krieger (screenplay) – (Known For: The Land Before Time; Monkey Trouble; Future BMT: A Troll in Central Park; BMT: In the Army Now; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Where the Boys Are in 1985; Notes: Briefly wrote feature films in the mid-90s, he has mostly worked in television (both movies and shows). He developed the kid’s show Toot & Puddles.)

Daniel Petrie Jr. (screenplay) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Turner & Hooch; The Big Easy; Deadly Pursuit; Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; BMT: In the Army Now; Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: Was was nominated for an Oscar for Beverly Hills Cop.)

Fax Bahr and Adam Small (screenplay) – (Known For: Bad Grandpa; Future BMT: Malibu’s Most Wanted; Son in Law; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: These guys worked on In Living Color and MadTV together. Just prior Bahr, to start his career, made Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, the acclaimed and award winning documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now.)

Actors – Pauly Shore – (Known For: A Goofy Movie; Pauly Shore Is Dead; Future BMT: Bio-Dome; Jury Duty; Sandy Wexler; The Wash; Encino Man; Son in Law; 18 Again!; Class Act; For Keeps?; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; In the Army Now; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 1996 for Jury Duty; and in 1997 for Big Bully, Bio-Dome, Carpool, and The Stupids; Winner for Worst New Star of the Decade in 2000 for Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Jury Duty; Winner for Worst New Star for Encino Man in 1993; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Jury Duty; Notes: Debuted on MTV with Totally Pauly in the late 80s. From the 80s through 2010 he only actually starred in 5 films: Encino Man, Son-in-Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty, and Bio-Dome. He hosts Random Rants on YouTube.)

Lori Petty – (Known For: A League of Their Own; Point Break; Free Willy; Tank Girl; Cadillac Man; Prey for Rock & Roll; Relax… It’s Just Sex; The Glass Shield; Future BMT: Dead Awake; Poetic Justice; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Was apparently originally cast in the Bullock role in Demolition Man, but left over creative differences. The Glass Shield was the last in a series of starring turns for her in the mid-90s.)

Andy Dick – (Known For: Old School; Road Trip; Laputa: Castle in the Sky; Zoolander; Dr. Dolittle 2; Funny People; The Cable Guy; Reality Bites; Hoodwinked; Permanent Midnight; For the Boys; Pauly Shore Is Dead; The Hebrew Hammer; Scotland, Pa.; The Independent; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; The Comebacks; Happily N’Ever After; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Blonde Ambition; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Loser; Employee of the Month; Bongwater; Best Men; Abducted; BMT: Zoolander 2; Double Dragon; In the Army Now; Notes: Allegedly reintroduced Phil Hartman’s wife to cocaine, something that would contribute to her murdering her husband and committing suicide. Had a years long feud with Jon Lovitz over it, although he denies any culpability. In the Army Now was a rare star turn for him, he was mostly a television actor (News Radio) and supporting comedic actor (like in Old School).)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $28,881,266 (Worldwide: $28,881,266)

(That’s kind of okay. $10 million less than Son in Law which is probably the benchmark they were looking at. This is the beginning of the end for his starring career. Jury Duty would make $17 million, and then Bio-Dome would make $13 million, and that was it, he wouldn’t star in a feature film (of consequence) again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (2/32): This 1994 Pauly Shore vehicle stretches its star’s thin shtick to the breaking point with a laugh-deficient screenplay that borrows shamelessly from Bill Murray’s far superior Stripes.

(The comparisons to Stripes are thick across all reviews. Would a movie like this made now draw such comparisons? Probably not. Just because its popularity (and the popularity of Bill Murray in general) has waned so much in the last 25 years. But it is interesting that a film made nearly 15 years later is getting condemned to comparing unfavorably to a classic … like, can people not make comedies about the military unless they are better than Stripes? Reviewer Highlight: The screenplay, work by five writers, based on a story by three others, seems to have been rewritten often enough that any individuality has been lost. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Stupid Soldier

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(Hate the font. Hate the color. But I love the framing and think it’s a pretty well put together poster besides being aesthetically gross. B- Patrick’s Shallow Fake: Whenever these things compress they always look a bit off. Love that for no reason they have two totally different fonts. Decent shadow on my face this time, just needed to be a bit more matte? The idea behind the fake movie is that there is a super soldier serum that I take that makes me Captain America, but it also makes me super dumb for the duration of my super powers. Like … you can pay me for that spec whenever Netflix, the lines are open.)

Tagline(s) – America, sleep tight! The safety of the free world rests in his hands! (F)

(That is unpleasantly bad. Although now that Patrick is making parody posters and we have been trying to make up taglines for these films I do appreciate that there are probably larger forces at play a lot of the time when we get something bad like this. Like there is an obvious tagline in The Few, The Proud, The Stupid… but I think they had to tread carefully in their treatment of the military. So they went with something inoffensive but bad.)

Keyword – u.s. military

IntheArmyNow_u.s. military

Top 10: Midway (2019), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Top Gun (1986), Spider-Man (2002), Fury (2014), 2012 (2009), Platoon (1986), The Predator (2018), Stripes (1981), Black Hawk Down (2001)

Future BMT: 68.4 Delta Farce (2007), 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), 33.5 Red Tails (2012), 30.4 The Monuments Men (2014), 27.8 Pearl Harbor (2001), 25.2 The Fifth Estate (2013), 23.2 The General’s Daughter (1999), 22.1 Renaissance Man (1994);

BMT: 2012 (2009), The Predator (2018), Hunter Killer (2018), The Mummy (2017), The Pacifier (2005), In the Army Now (1994)

(Vaguely ebbs and flows with things like the Cold War (peaking around 1990), and then post-9/11 … or maybe that is just the career of Michael Bay? Hard to tell. The kind of regular gaps in the 80s and 90s is interesting … makes me wonder if it has something to do with recruitment cycles for the U.S. military.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 23) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Art LaFleur is No. 7 billed in In the Army Now and No. 6 billed in Cobra, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 7 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 23. If we were to watch Encino Man, and Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to an interview, the scar on the back of Pauly Shore’s neck, visible when he first encounters the female drill sergeant, occurred during filming, when a shell casing ejected and landed on his neck, burning him. This scar is first visible when the barber turns him around after his haircut.

This is the third Pauly Shore movie to feature Brendan Fraser as Link in progressive life roles. The others are Encino Man (1992) (High School) and Son in Law (1993) (College).

Most of the basic training and war scenes were shot at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. A sign saying “Fort Sill” is clearly visible in one scene.

The video game Bones plays in the opening sequence is Return Fire (1994) for the 3DO.

In a 2017 interview with Joe Rogan, Pauly Shore admitted that this film was the beginning of the end of his movie career. While he enjoyed making it, and doesn’t regret doing it, he was offered the script when he was under a 3-film contract with Disney. He’d already made Encino Man (1992) and Son in Law (1993), which had been modest box office hits. Executives at New Line Cinema offered him a role in a film called “Totally London,” in which Shore would’ve continued a variation on his popular Weasel character. Disney CEO Jeffery Katzenberg refused to let Shore out of his contract. Disney bought the script from New Line Cinema, and decided to shelve it. Katzenberg then gave Shore the option to do this movie. Shore’s agents advised him against it because they thought the script was mediocre. They also felt audiences wouldn’t accept Shore without his usual Weasel style, since he would have to cut off all his hair in the beginning for the basic training sequences. Shore said he made the film because it was his only available choice at the time, and he desperately wanted to be on a movie set. When this movie earned less at the box office than his previous films, Disney wouldn’t let him make anymore movies for them. His next two films, Jury Duty (1995) and Bio-Dome (1996), were box-office failures, though the latter eventually gained a big cult following. (You can glean as much from his career trajectory. He started in supporting roles in major films, then made those five films as a leading man, and then immediately just churned out a bunch of supporting roles in non-theatrical films … it is bizarre, but he never really got many leading man roles for video releases. Just seems odd considering he was genuinely quite famous among teen audiences in the mid 90s)

Bones enlists as a Water Purification Specialist in the Army Reserve thinking he’ll be in safe position far from danger. In reality, a reserve water purification unit assigned to the 14th Quartermaster Detachment suffered the highest casualty rate of any American unit in the Gulf War. A Scud missile struck their barracks in Saudi Arabia, killing or wounded 81% of the soldiers of the unit. (Oooooooof, … could this have been a recruitment tactic to try and make that unit more appealing afterwards. I mean … assuming they are talking about the first Gulf War)

The script was originally much raunchier and was supposed to be Pauly Shore’s first R rated film similar to Stripes (1981). Disney rejected the original script due to Pauly Shore’s popularity at the time with teenage audiences and said the film could not exceed a PG-13 rating so the younger crowd could see it. The script then went through several changed and was toned down to its eventual PG rating.

Damon Wayans was considered for the role of Fred. He turned it down to work on Blankman (1994). (Wowza!)

Whoopi Goldberg was considered for the role of Drill Sergeant Ladd. She turned it down because she was filming Corrina, Corrina (1994). (Semi-wowza!)

Ed Quiz

Whoooooooo dogggy, the last thing I remember I was picking up this amazing ball player at the bus station. But then some animal knocked me on the noggin and I don’t remember anything else! Do you remember what happened in Ed?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) How do the coaches of the Santa Rosa Rockets decide on whether to cut a player after 30 days? What happens with LeBlanc? 

2) Why is Ed brought onto the team and where does he come from?

3) Why does LeBlanc seem to have terrible luck to start his single-A baseball career, why does he keep on getting smashed?

4) When Ed is subbed in for the first time he does something very special, so special the coach says it is the first time he’s ever seen such a thing. What is it? 

5) Eventually LeBlanc finds his luck, throws his fastball, and starts cooking with fire. How fast can LeBlanc allegedly throw a baseball?

Answers

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles Recap

Jamie

Crocodile Dundee is back, Jack! And boy is he family friendly. When Sue gets a job offer in LA, Mick sees an opportunity to educate their young son in the ways of the world. But he’s soon thrust into the middle of the action when Sue starts investigating a dangerous story. Can Mick stop the bad guys before it’s too late? Find out in… Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.

How?! We return to the adventures of Crocodile Dundee and are greeted with a picture of domestic bliss. Sue and Mick now have a child and enjoy their lives in Australia. There’s really only one problem: Mick doesn’t want to get married. But they’ve come to terms with that in a lot of ways too. When Sue gets a call about temporarily taking over the LA office of her father’s newspaper she is hesitant, but Mick suggests they go for it so that their son, Mikey, can experience the big city, just like he did so many years ago. They make the trip and boy is he already a fish out of water. He’s picking up skunks because he doesn’t know what they are, he’s interacting with Mike Tyson doing some meditation, etc. etc. It sure is a series of wacky hijinks. When Sue gets on the trail of some criminal activity being committed by a small film studio, Mick offers up his services to infiltrate the set. There he immediately ingratiates himself to the crew with his skillz with the animalz. With the steady job he’s able to find out that something funny is happening with a series of paintings being used on the set of their latest picture. It sure seems like they are smuggling priceless paintings into the country using the film as a ruse. But that can’t be, those paintings have been destroyed (or have they?!). In his attempt to get the final evidence against the studio, Mick, Sue, and his friend Jacko (oh yeah, he was also there), are chased by the studio head and his thugs. But never count out Mick, who uses some of the on-set animals to scare the baddies into submission. Because of the danger, Mick realizes how much he loves Sue and their life and so he proposes and they get married. THE END.

Why?! There is certainly a reason for the more family oriented turn in the series. Mick and Sue are happily together and have a life and a kid. The film is less about Mick and Sue’s adjustments to the other’s world and more about teaching their son about the world that his mother comes from… or at least that’s the motivation until Investigative Reporter Sue is hot on the case of some criminal activity. The baddies just want money and that money comes in the form of smuggled paintings thought to have been destroyed in a bombing in war-torn Yugoslavia (naturally).

Who?! I mean, there is a whole scene of Paul Hogan meditating with Mike Tyson and it’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand it and I don’t wish to understand it. George Hamilton also makes a cameo and then there are a couple newscasters that play themselves, which is amusing and something to think about for future cycles.

What?! This is a no-brainer as there is an entire scene devoted to Crocodile Dundee showing off America’s great cuisine to his friend Jacko by driving him through a Wendy’s drive-thru. This joke is mentioned in a lot of places as one of the few that actually hit, which is impressive for product placement. And because the placement is so gratuitous there were actually articles written about it in major newspapers like the New York Times. It’s incredible.

Where?! A+ setting alert! We have Croc D. We have LA. We have Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. There is also a significant part at the beginning and end that are set in Australia, so we’re looking at an LA sandwich with Australia bread. Delicious. A+.

When?! I’ve been on a roll in not finding when these films are set. There is a possibility that we could maybe find something in the news reports that are shown. But I don’t think so. Otherwise all we know is that it takes place during the school year. Not great. I guess it’s a D-… we know the bare minimum.

I mean… the film is kinda sad if you think of it as an actual entry in the series. But it’s really more like something like Ace Ventura Jr., where they take a property and make it family-friendly and send it straight-to-video (except this is a major release and all the main actors return for their roles). It is not even that the film is necessarily horrible or anything, it is actually a reasonable family comedy, but it probably belonged on video. It really does feel like Paul Hogan willed this film into existence because he needed an influx of that sweet, sweet Croc D moolah. At this point the most interesting thing about the film is that fantasy sports expert Matthew Berry wrote it and has talked about that experience on some podcasts and a few times on his website and ESPN. It is an interesting story and informs some of what you see with the series as a whole, particularly regarding Paul Hogan’s process and the reason why a film like this even exists in the first place. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would call it Crocodile Dundee: A Crocodile Out of Water. Just so you know that this time Dundee is going to be out of his element. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This guy has always been on our radar. What it looks like is the ultimate logical conclusion to the fish out of water story. A notable fish out of water at his fishiest and at his most out of water. It just screams: We’re going to make Crocodile Dundee feel uncomfortable about things, and its the early 2000s, so some of those things are probably gay panic. It is a pretty exciting time. What were my expectations? Just that. I admit, watching the trailer the movie came across different than I expected. Specifically, I kind of didn’t remember he had a kid in this one, nor that his Australian friend came with him. Regardless if Dundee seems out of water I’ll be pretty happy.

The Good – Paul Hogan is very charming. It isn’t surprising he became a star for a hot second in the 80s (it also isn’t that surprising he faded quickly, Dundee kind of seems like he’s playing himself to an extent, or like a character he developed and played for a long time, like Jim Varney and Ernest). It really is a super sweet family film. The film is mostly about Dundee being a great father and supporting his family while trying to find a place in the world. He does in the end (with a wink and a nod) as, effectively, an LA private detective.

The Bad – The fact that they immediately go back to the “weird not-crocodile-hunting and not-romantic-comedy story” well is pretty nuts. It is the main reason the second film doesn’t work, and they go straight back to that well making Crocodile Dundee a private detective almost immediately. Oh he’s also magic and can talk to animals. Everyone thinks his giant knife is cool instead of terrifying (which is what it actually is). And indeed, they make several jokes about either Crocodile Dundee being gay or our Australian bumpkins being shocked by being exposed to gay people. The whole thing just plays out as a kind of … well I’ll just reuse the phrase logical conclusion. It is the logical and inevitable conclusion to the Crocodile Dundee Saga.

The BMT – It might actually be the best / most obvious bad fish-out-of-water film ever made. It is also a great third-film-way-after-the-sequel film. It is a great Los Angeles film. It has a lot going for it. I wish the film was cheesier and less of a heartfelt family comedy … but what can you do. Did it meet my expectations? It kind of fell short. I expected it to be a lot crazier, but it ended up being less crazy than the second one. I still can’t quite get over how they thought the logical sequel storyline for Crocodile Dundee was international drug conspiracy … Somehow the third film’s storyline concerning an international art smuggling operation ends up feeling sane in comparison.

Roast-radamus – Is he actually a Planchet (Who?) or something else? I think Jacko, the Australian bumpkin who seems to have been introduced to the movie being Crocodile Dundee was somehow too cosmopolitan, qualifies nicely, despite them kind of being very kind to him. This time there is a slam dunk Product Placement (What?) with Dundee and Jacko going through a Wendy’s drive through and showing down on some delicious burgers. Also an A+ Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles which is very very Los Angeles in the film. Beyond that I don’t think it’ll be looked at for anything else.

StreetCreditReport.com – There aren’t many lists from 2001 for some reason … I would have thought by then a bunch of places would have started making them. Regardless it didn’t get onto anything I’ve found. It doesn’t really seem to be referenced anywhere. Any of the categories I listed above I think would do well to include the film on a short list. Worst fish-out-of-water, worst delayed trilogy-completing film, worst A+ setting film. The film is absurd, but they pull out a pretty decent trick. Despite looking like it is going to be just the worst thing you’ve ever seen, instead it manages to wrap itself in a pretty cute story about a family forging their own way. It doesn’t make it good, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously we have to do a review for the original film, so here goes! I watched Crocodile Dundee a few years ago and I remember being pleasantly surprised. The fact that Dundee is kind of suggested to be a fraudster and poacher was a refreshing way to introduce the character. Instead of being some glorious “native” character that teaches the hero about life and love, he’s a charmingly backwards guy with an unknown (and possibly sinister) past. It develops into a genuinely good romantic comedy, and it is no wonder it ended up being the film that triggered the somewhat brief star turn for Hogan in Hollywood. B+. If only they kept that original spirit up for the sequel instead of falling back into more common Hollywood tropes. Jamie’s right. They should have had the sequel focus on Dundee trying (and failing) to find a job in New York City. After a blow up with Sue he goes back to his land in Australia. After some drama, Sue realizes the moral of the story: It is unkind to ask Dundee to change so much to fit into New York City life, and maybe there is a middle ground for their life together. Smash cut to sue making big city deals in her office, but that (what a twist) zoom out to reveal the office is in the middle of the outback. Boom. Don’t make a third.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Crocodile Dundee II Recap

Jamie

Crocodile Dundee is back, Jack! And boy is he still having trouble adjusting to life in the Big Apple. When Sue gets caught up in a dangerous story about Colombian drug traffickers, it’s up to Mick to save her and save the day. Can he stop the bad guys with his powers of the Australian outback? Find out in… Crocodile Dundee II.

How?! Crocodile Dundee is living it up in NYC. But it’s not all that fun just hanging out. It’s time to get a job and boy howdy is that a hoot. That is until Sue’s ex-husband/journalist gets her embroiled in a dangerous expose about a murderous Colombian drug lord. Oh no! When Sue is kidnapped, it’s up to ol’ Croc D (as the kids call him) to jump into the fray with the help of some bee-boppin’ teen troublemakers. He’s able to snag Sue back and escape to the Australian bush. On his territory the drug lord is at a disadvantage and Crocodile Dundee makes them look silly at every turn. He’s able to slowly pick apart their crew until they take them all out and Sue and everyone is safe. Long live, Crocodile Dundee! Wait… is this seriously all this movie is about? Let me look back on my notes… yup. This is literally the entire plot of the film. THE END.

Why?! Hmmm, well this is more like a situation than a real motivation. Crocodile Dundee and Sue would have probably just kept on living their lives if it wasn’t for the pesky Colombian drug lord. It’s almost like they wrote a film where the entire motivation was Crocodile Dundee wanting to get a job, but then realized that that’s more like an SNL sketch and not a real movie. So then they added in the life or death stakes of international drug smuggling (naturally).

Who?! It’s always funny to find all the different types of people to feature for this category. We highlighted Nobel Prize winning characters for god’s sake. But I rarely highlight the kid actors in a film. Usually it’s not particularly notable. Here, though, there are a few kids that Crocodile Dundee shows off to and one of them is Tatyana Ali. It was her first role ever and she didn’t appear in another feature film until… Kiss the Girls! Woooooaaahhhhhh.

What?! There isn’t much to say for this. When Crocodile Dundee shows off his patented Croc D Never-Miss Throw, he uses the classic red and white can of a delicious coke. Not only do the colors pop on the screen, but it’s refreshing too. But not a super great entry for this one… that has to wait for the third film. Hoooo weeeee.

Where?! All the Crocodile Dundee films are pretty good for setting. The first was a fish out of water tale of an Australian man from the bush being dropped in NYC. Now he’s gotten his feet in NYC, but must save Sue by bringing the Colombian drug lord to the bush. So now the drug lord is the fish out of water… and Crocodile Dundee is the dynamite. A

When?! Oh, I don’t know. It feels like the summer. He’s out fishing in the Hudson and the like. But I don’t think it was made very clear. It’s like Croc D (as the kids call him) exists outside of time. He’s just ambling through his day dealing with whatever animals cross his path.

There are definitely some positives for the film. Like Sue and Croc D (as the kids call him) still have that sexy charm that we know and love. He’s also still funny being the laid-back tough Australian. But the plot really lacked and they didn’t really know what to do for the sequel other than just retread a tired 80’s plot. It’s almost more like a TV pilot than an actual movie. It also doesn’t help that there are some truly bonkers potentially offensive jokes sprinkled throughout. But then again, I think it was the same case with the first film (and spoiler alert, the third film). I still don’t think the film is that bad considering the characters are still the same. But also nothing to write home about… or even write much about in a recap. This has got to be some record for brevity in a BMT post. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would call it Crocodile Dundee: Back to the Bush. Just so you’re like “whoa, I’m so happy they are going back to Australia!” You know? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This has been a long time coming. I watched Crocodile Dundee ages ago and, no surprise, I loved it. A surprisingly good film. You’d think it would be kind of cheesy and dumb, but nope. Rather heartfelt stuff. Obviously the third one is the premier BMT prospect, but maybe this one could be bad as well? We’d just have to watch and see. What were my expectations? More of the same I suppose. It is the most plausible explanation, once the shine of the originality of the first film wears off what you are left with is just a boring retread.

The Good – The last maybe 30 minutes of this film is actually quite charming and fun. It is nice seeing Crocodile Dundee in his element owning big city losers in the outback. A little odd to say considering the entire film franchise is based around the concept of a fish out of water. The character is just more fun when he’s in water, what can I say? While the acting can get a bit dicey, I thought the bad guy was pretty good. He exudes a very menacing calmness that combines with his obvious arrogance well. And I think Hogan and Kozlowski have as good of chemistry as ever.

The Bad – The story is just like … a different story with Crocodile Dundee inserted into it? The original was literally just a romantic comedy between the two leads taking place in Australia and New York City (in a reverse of this film). But here, seemingly unable to think about what to do with Dundee, they just decide to involve him in an international drug smuggling conspiracy. Why? Hogan complained in interviews about how he didn’t want Dundee to just become James Bond, but then why did you write the first sequel as basically a knockoff James Bond?! It is truly bizarre and almost sinks the entire film. The middle bit is very weird as well involving a very nice man named Leroy Brown, and a comic Warriors-esque gang of youths. Oh and the inevitable homophobic joke that also pokes fun at suicide.

The BMT – This film is a lot better of a BMT that I would have expected. The entire storyline is insane. Like … why is Crocodile Dundee battling a drug kingpin again? Weird choice. It’ll be overshadowed by the third film for sure, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them. I expected a boring retread, and instead I got an insane international drug kingpin story! There are just enough weird bits (the gang in particular in the middle of the film out of nowhere) to sustain the film until you get to Australia. Once you get to Australia the film actually is kind of good.

Roast-radamus –  I think there is a pretty strong Setting as  a Character (Where?) for New York City and Australia. The double team is actually pretty great, and they make rural Australia seem a lot more welcoming and beautiful than a lot of Americans probably think. I do think there is a minor Product Placement (What?). No, not for Australia. Well, not directly. All three films seem to be subtle commercials for Fosters (it’s Australian for beer don’t you know?). There is a pretty awesome MacGuffin (Why?) involving pictures of the drug kingpin literally murdering a man in the open. The entire plot of the film hinges on Dundee getting involved in that nonsense. It’ll be closest to Good but I don’t think it’ll get there. As I said, it is actually a pretty good BMT because it is so weird at times.

StreetCreditReport.com – Sorry Crocodile Dundee II, you got no cred! At least, I don’t think this film was particularly poorly regarded at the time, just kind of meh. All of the cred comes from the third film at this point. Without the third film I bet we would have watched the two Crocodile Dundee films, thought the second wasn’t that bad, and wondered why a third wasn’t made. It is the second worst Crocodile Dundee film, so it has that going for it.

You Just Got Schooled – I’m going to skip this bit because no joke no one in this film seems to be in a non-qualifying film to watch. Check out the Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles recap to read my review of the original film.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles Quiz

G’day mate! Give me a Fosters, mate. It’s Australian for beer. And I’ve been drinking so much Fosters, that I’ve managed to forget what happened in this movie. Do you remember what happened in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does the Dundee family move to Los Angeles?

2) What is so suspicious about the production company that Sue ultimately sets out to complete a story about?

3) What does Mike Tyson teach Mick and Michael Dundee in the park?

4) Why is Crocodile Dundee such a good detective (according to Crocodile Dundee)?

5) What is ultimately the racket that the production company is running behind the scenes? How are they making their illegal cash monies?

Answers