The Wizard Preview

Jamie and Patrick walk the streets of New York City. “We need rulez,” Patrick says, pounding his fist into his gloved hand and pulling his coat tight against the winter chill. No matter how many crisp, cool Bud Lights they drink they keep arriving back at the standard 9 rulez of BMT. Jamie stops and pulls out the laminated BMT rule card they carry around. Number 1 was “Full Body Burns = Rad.” He considers this rule but can’t find fault with it. “They are rad,” he mumbles, disappointed. Suddenly Patrick has an idea. He takes out a marker and uses it to cross out Rule #1 in order to write “CGI.” Jamie frowns, but has to admit that pretty much everything great now has lots of CGI. “So you’re saying we just have to come up with equal but opposite rulez for GMT. OK. Well what’s rule number 2?” Jamie asks, hoping this one works out better. Patrick looks at the card again, “Uh, let’s see. Rule #2 – Settings = Awesome” Now they’re both frowning. Settings are awesome. Who doesn’t like a big time film set at Christmas, New Years, or the Fourth of July? Who wouldn’t want to watch a Hawaii vacation, a glamorous Hollywood night, or a crazy time in the Big Ap… suddenly they stop. They look around at winter in NYC. The cold skyscrapers. The slushy streetz. The salt strewn sidewalks. “Too gritty,” Patrick says. “Too grand,” Jamie agrees. “We need to get out of this dump. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Patrick asks. Jamie nods his head and croons, “Delaware,” extending the word for real effect. With that they cross off Rule #2 and replace it with “Settings = Boring.” Patrick puts on a pair of real cool sunglasses and smirks, “That’s wizard.” That’s right! We’re not heading to Delaware, we’re heading to Caaallliiifffoorrrnniiiaaa for a viewing of the cult classic (at least in our cult) The Wizard. Starring Fred Savage (but let’s be real, mostly Super Mario Bros 3) this was a staple of our childhood. It’s time to revisit it and see what all the hubbub was about. I’m sure it’s wizard. Let’s go!

The Wizard (1989) – BMeTric: 27.2; Notability: 22

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.8%; Notability: top 21.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 18.3%; Higher BMeT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Wild Orchid, Cyborg, The Karate Kid Part III, The Fly II, No Holds Barred, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Cutting Class, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, DeepStar Six, Pink Cadillac, The Toxic Avenger Part II, Shocker, The Punisher, The January Man, The Horror Show, Leviathan, and 12 more; Higher Notability: Tango & Cash, Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Fletch Lives, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Listen to Me, Lock Up, Pink Cadillac, Family Business, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Millennium, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Let It Ride, Renegades, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, and 34 more; Lower RT: Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Worth Winning, The Toxic Avenger Part II, The Horror Show, Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy, Night Game, Second Sight, Wired, Dream a Little Dream, No Holds Barred, Rooftops, Wild Orchid, She’s Out of Control, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Millennium, Chattahoochee, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, The Blood of Heroes, and 23 more; Notes: I mean, those scores look right for a not-so-bad masterpiece right? For a film where I knew at the end I would say “sure me I liked it.”

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “The Wizard” is one of those movies that provokes the Hey, Wait a Minute Syndrome – you know, the kind where you keep saying things like, “Hey, wait a minute. How could a 9-year-old boy walk miles along a desert highway without being noticed?” Or “Wait a minute. Do you mean to say a trucker wouldn’t even stop if he saw two little kids coasting down an interstate highway on a skateboard?” Or “Wait a minute. Do businessmen on their lunch hours really gamble on video games with little kids?” Or “Wait a minute. Could three little kids (for their ranks have swelled by now) really make it from Utah to Los Angeles without anything terrible happening to them?” But wait a minute. I know, I know, “The Wizard” is only a silly Christmas kiddie movie, and we aren’t supposed to ask questions like that. But we must. In an age when child abduction is the subject of half the TV docudramas and all of the milk cartons, how are we supposed to blind ourselves to the central fact of this movie, which is that a 13-year-old boy and his 9-year-old brother, accompanied part of the way by a 13-year-old girl, manage to walk, hitchhike and con themselves all the way from Utah to the National Video Game Championships in L.A.? The movie is filled with shots of these little kids walking down highways, and hitching rides, and walking into bars and video parlors and Reno gambling casinos, and there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t question the sanity of the film and fear for their safety. It was only after the three kids arrived safely at the championships that I began to question the ethics of the film, which is, among other things, a thinly disguised commercial for Nintendo video games and the Universal studio tour.

(Honestly, Roger Ebert nailing it. This film reads much much much differently as an adult than as a child. Much like Dutch, you see the penultimate scene in that film and think about the kid walking along a highway and think that Dutch is a psycho. This is the same. As a kid it seems like magical nonsense. As an adult it is a harrowing tale of three children almost getting killed on the highways of America. And yeah … it is all under the guise of a commercial specifically for Super Mario Bros. 3.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL39WARA8lQ/

(A touch of romance? Kids’ films are so weird. And this one especially. It is a real trip, traveling a thousand miles across the country is just very stress inducing. And then this trailer being maybe the first real life footage of Super Mario 3 people saw? Wowza.)

DirectorsTodd Holland – ( Future BMT: Krippendorf’s Tribe; Firehouse Dog; BMT: The Wizard; Notes: Mostly a television director. He created and wrote Wonderfalls, including directing 5 episodes.)

WritersDavid Chisholm – ( BMT: The Wizard; Notes: Wrote a show called Over My Dead body which has 51 votes on IMDb … dare me to watch all of it? I’ll make a podcast about it. Mostly wrote TV movies.)

ActorsFred Savage – ( Known For: The Princess Bride; Austin Powers in Goldmember; The Rules of Attraction; Little Monsters; The Boy Who Could Fly; Vice Versa; The Last Run; Future BMT: Super Troopers 2; BMT: The Wizard; Welcome to Mooseport; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Daddy Day Camp in 2008; Notes: Was nominated for two Emmys for The Wonder Years. Does a ton of television directing now. Too bad we can’t watch Little Monsters for BMT. Only 9 reviews though so … maybe someday.)

Luke Edwards – ( Known For: American Pie 2; The Super; Malicious; Mother’s Boys; Guilty by Suspicion; A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff; Future BMT: Newsies; Jeepers Creepers 2; Little Big League; BMT: The Wizard; Notes: Still acts a ton on television. Including an episode of NCIS, noice.)

Jenny Lewis – ( Known For: Bolt; Pleasantville; Don’s Plum; Foxfire; Big Girls Don’t Cry… They Get Even; Little Boy Blue; Trading Hearts; Future BMT: Troop Beverly Hills; BMT: The Wizard; Notes: A genuine rock star, she was lead vocals for the band Rilo Kiley and even apparently did some backup vocals for The Postal Service.)

Budget/Gross – $6 million / Domestic: $14,278,900 (Worldwide: $14,278,900)

(Actually, that’s fine. A $6 million dollar commercial and certainly they got their money’s worth. And guess what? Super Mario Bros. 3? Huge game. So yet more proof that The Wizard was indeed wizard.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (6/22)

(Oooo a consensus: This can join Mac and Me and Leonard Part 6 as one of the great movies-that-are-actually-commericals. And it’s also the best of the bunch.)

Reviewer Highlight: Video-addicted kids may well find this exciting, but for anyone old enough to stay out later than 9 P.M. it’s a distinct bore. – Janet Maslin, New York Times

Poster – The Sklizzard

(Hell yeah. I love my Wizard poster. It’s so bad. That’s so bad, in fact, that its come back around and is now an A. Too much nonsense to really comment on. Besides Mario are the other video game images from games? What game is that snake from? A+ font work. When I’m teaching my poster analysis class this will be the font example.)

Tagline(s) – They’re on a cross-country adventure to the world’s greatest video championship. It’s more than a game…it’s the chance of a lifetime. (C)

(Nope. I’ve already stopped reading. Why not just that last sentence. It’s more than a game… it’s the change of a lifetime. That’s good. You ruined it with all those other words.)

Keyword(s) – good

Top 10: Good Will Hunting (1997), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), The Great Gatsby (2013), Hot Fuzz (2007), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Man on Fire (2004), The Nice Guys (2016)

Future BMT: 67.3 Phat Girlz (2006), 63.2 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 60.6 Like a Boss (2020), 56.2 The Fly II (1989), 51.7 Playing with Fire (2019), 51.6 The Boss (2016), 51.0 Johnny Be Good (1988), 50.6 The Hot Chick (2002), 49.9 Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988), 48.4 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), 47.1 Barney’s Great Adventure (1998), 45.1 Fly Me to the Moon 3D (2007), 44.9 Fantastic Four (2005), 40.4 No Good Deed (2014), 39.4 Good Burger (1997), 37.2 The Great Wall (2016), 37.0 Stroker Ace (1983), 36.3 Milk Money (1994), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 34.3 Mo’ Money (1992)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Fantastic Four (2015), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Cool as Ice (1991), Cool World (1992), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Hot Pursuit (2015), One for the Money (2012), Fire Down Below (1997), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Fire Birds (1990), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Be Cool (2005), Chill Factor (1999), Money Train (1995), Hot to Trot (1988), The Golden Child (1986), Righteous Kill (2008), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), The Wizard (1989), Hunter Killer (2018)

Best Options (Comedy): 67.3 Phat Girlz (2006), 63.2 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 60.6 Like a Boss (2020), 51.7 Playing with Fire (2019), 51.6 The Boss (2016), 51.0 Johnny Be Good (1988), 50.6 The Hot Chick (2002), 49.9 Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988), 47.1 Barney’s Great Adventure (1998), 39.4 Good Burger (1997), 37.0 Stroker Ace (1983), 36.3 Milk Money (1994), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 34.3 Mo’ Money (1992), 32.1 Good Deeds (2012), 31.3 The Nude Bomb (1980), 28.8 A Good Man in Africa (1994), 27.1 The Wizard (1989), 24.5 Money Talks (1997), 24.0 Isn’t She Great (2000), 22.3 Hot Pursuit (1987), 21.9 Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), 21.6 For Love or Money (1993), 19.1 Other People’s Money (1991), 14.3 Hot Rod (2007), 10.6 A Good Year (2006)

(So many good options here, but you best believe we weren’t giving up an opportunity to use the word “wizard” as slang for good. Also, The Wizard is a film I’ve seen four or five times and I kind of unironically love it as a kids’ movie.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Christian Slater is No. 5 billed in The Wizard and No. 4 billed in Mindhunters, which also stars LL Cool J (No. 3 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 2 billed) which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (5 + 4) + (3 + 2) + (1 + 2) = 17. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The movie has developed a cult following, with movie-themed retro gaming tournaments hosted across the country. Luke Edwards, Fred Savage, and Jenny Lewis have made appearances at these events.

Beau Bridges and Christian Slater both admitted they had little to no interest in video games when they were cast. They played during filming, and became fans.

The dinosaurs in the film are a real-life tourist attraction at what was once the Wheel Inn Restaurant in Cabazon, CA, near Palm Springs. They also appeared in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) and in the music video for Night Ranger: Sing Me Away (1983).

Participating theaters distributed issues of “Pocket Power,” a pocket-sized version of “Nintendo Power” magazine.

The original pitch for the movie was “The Karate Kid (1984), but with video games.”

The literal translations of some of this film’s foreign language titles include: “Joy Stick Heroes” (Germany), “Sweet Road” (Japan), “The Wizard of Videogames” (Italy and Brazil), “Videokid” (France), “The Champion of Videogames” (Spain), “Gameboy” (Sweden), “Game Over” (Finland), and “The Child Genius” (Canadian French).

When Lucas plays Rad Racer (1987) with his Power Glove, he presses five keys that each play a different musical note. The 5 sequential tones is the famous five-tone musical phrase in a major scale (D’ E’ C’ C G) that the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) used to communicate with the Earthlings, and vice versa.

Haley finds the Video Armageddon ad in the July 1989 issue of Video Games and Computer Entertainment. The cover story is the US debut of the TurboGrafx-16 by NEC Home Electronics and designed by Hudson Soft. It had been released 2 years earlier in Japan, as the PC Engine, and outsold its competitors there, including the Famicom (the Japanese name of the Nintendo Entertainment System). It was less successful in the US.

The smoking effects on the casserole seen early in the film were done using a technique called “AB Smoke,” in which one chemical is applied to a surface, and another is later applied, which reacts with it, creating the smoke effect.

After several rejections, the producers got permission to shoot in a Reno casino when they let a state official’s kids meet Fred Savage, who was also starring on The Wonder Years (1988) at the time. The state official’s kids were filmed as extras, but according to the special edition Blu-ray commentary, their scenes were cut.

The tour guide at Universal Studios mentioned a movie title Mayhem in Monte Carlo starring Zsa Zsa Gabor and Paul Reubens (as Pee Wee Herman) in the romantic leads. The movie doesn’t exist.

The truck that Spankey is driving when the trucks block the road in front of the P.I. is the same truck used in Over the Top (1987) starring Sylvester Stallone as Hawk. It still has HAWK written on the door.

The structure Jimmy builds with toy blocks in the beginning resembles the Video Armageddon stage at the end of the film.

Even tho he is uncredited Toby maguire first movie appearance extra.

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After Ever Happy Recap

Jamie

Hi, it’s me. Franchise guy. You know, the guy who wishes they made another Mummy movie starring Tom Cruise. So you can imagine what a gift the After series has been to all of us. This is already the fourth movie in a series that started as One Direction fan fiction. And it ain’t done! There are (allegedly) three more entries in the series in the works! Did Patrick and I make a wish upon a monkey paw in order to make this dream a reality? No (that was a totally unrelated wish). These are growing organically and we are just lucky enough to pluck them off the After tree. Hopefully those After trees will bear their sweet fruit for many years to come. I want to be watching Hardin and Tessa as forty-something people churning through Hardin’s (latest) mid-life crisis.

To recap, we start right where we left off. Hardin has just found out his dad isn’t his dad and his actual dad is totally boning his mom right before she gets married. He’s real sad and it is not sexy. I’m talking burning down his mom’s apartment in a fit of rage kind of not sexy. Tessa is kinda over it, particularly when he disappears on a bender with his old London friends. Returning home she is shocked to find her addict father dead in her apartment. Not ideal and not sexy. Word eventually reaches Hardin, who rushes back to be by Tessa’s side, but she is still not having him. I don’t blame her, Hardin has, to put it bluntly, transitioned from sexy sad to actually sad. He needs to go to sexy rehab to get his mojo back and stat. Tessa, meanwhile, decides to escape it all by moving to NYC and becoming a waitress. She seems to find some level of peace in her new life (and perhaps a burgeoning romance to boot), but she can’t escape Hardin who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be a new man. And what a new man he is! He’s bringing sexy back and Tessa is all about dat. Unfortunately, after the sexy has been sufficiently brought back, Tessa finds that the real reason Hardin is back is to shop his new book. You know it! It’s After, the meta book! He wrote After! And it’s kinda rude and crude. Hardin’s like “come on, I kinda need this,” but Tessa throws him out cause he’s a rude crude dude. Months later he’s been rocketed to fame as the hot young author and it looks like maybe Tessa and Hardin aren’t meant for each other after all (or are they? (they are)). THE END.

I think the only appropriate thing to do in a situation like this is to assess this film in direct comparison to the other entries in the series. I have fond memories of the first film cause it was kind of a quaint classic college drama. I found that one to be quite silly, but in a good way. The second is actually good… or at least has some good things in it. It is the only entry in the series that had me stop and think “wait, do these films actually have something to say about addiction and the difficulties of young love?” The third was streaming trash that was mostly funny because of all the places they decided to have Hardin and Tessa have sex. Somehow both the most and least sexy film in the series. Finally, this one, which is actually just kind of sad. It doesn’t feel like a complete movie. It’s like they left out all the sexy stuff and are saving it for movie #5. So all you’re left with is a not sexy sad film about a girl and the asshole she loves… bring sexy back, After! Where has all the sexy gone!?

Hot Take Clam Bake! Hardin did the right thing. I think you’re supposed to be conflicted as to whether Hardin did Tessa dirty by writing After. It’s a full blown tell-all and Tessa wasn’t warned about it. But guess what, Tessa (if that’s even your real name) you left Hardin with nothing but his memories. He was at rock bottom and forced to confront his feelings in rehab through art and ever since you met him how has Hardin communicated? Through the written word. There he is with no friends, no prospects, and no girl to have sexy sex with in his sexy gym, car, or hot tub (amongst the many other very normal sexy places he might have sex). What was this guy supposed to do but write a scathing rebuke of your relationship and become rich and famous while you toil away as a waitress? Hot Take Temperature: Mango Habanero.  

Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! After Ever Happy? More like Ever More Happy That I Get to Watch After Films for the Rest of My Life! Amirite? I am, because After is my guilty pleasure. Tessa and Hardin are an epic couple. Like Ryan and Marissa, or Romeo and Juliet. That level. Let’s go!

  • I’m not joking, I would watch one of these films a year forever. Make it like that show … Degrassi is it? The one where they just rotate out the characters as they age out of the series. Just get different After people forever and ever and ever and ever.
  • For real though, why not? This is the only thing Wattpad Studios has going for it.
  • The writing! The acting! The complete lack of a plot! This is the BMT triple threat franchise. Nothing in the world even compares.
  • Can I even remember what happened in this film? Let’s see. Hardin cries a bunch because his father isn’t his father, so he burns down a house and then parties in East London for a bit. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Tessa’s dad dies from an overdose. Back in Seattle, Tessa learns she is infertile, and then Tessa reveals that she is breaking up with Hardin and moving to New York City as a strong independent woman. Hardin goes to AA and writes the titular After “novel”, which ends up in a bidding war in NYC. This is no bueno though, because Tessa doesn’t want her life put on blast in a bestselling “novel”. She breaks up with him again when he’s like “sorry not sorry, I’m selling this novel, it is like … the only thing I have going for me.” To be continued.
  • The To Be Continued is shocking to say the least. Spoilers but there isn’t another novel. There were four books and a prequel called Before. So, in a way they just Part I’d us! They made After Ever Happy Part I without telling anyone they were splitting the final book into two. Sneaky buggers. For real though, I would watch a 50-year-old Hardin struggling with addiction, crying to 50-year-old Tessa in their opulent midtown NYC penthouse, so I hope in 50 years there is an After Ever Happy Part XLI or whatever.
  • Wait, should I write After fanfiction? It started as fanfiction. So why not? Then I can have After forever and ever and ever.
  • Oh the movie? I will repeat myself: nothing happens, the writing is horrible, the acting is horrible, and you just watch inexplicable wealthy assholes cry at each other for 90 minutes. In other words: inject that right into my veins bro.
  • Unfortunately nothing so egregious as Hardin giving Tessa the gift of vertical integration via a Kindle in this one. I’m going to give it a Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC, which if we are being honest, should have always been where Vance Publishing is based, and where Tessa should have always been living. Funny Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the brief shot of a New Years Eve party in NYC. And a Worst Twist (How?) just for the “to be continued” at the end. Definitely BMT, so much so it might be a leader in the clubhouse for BMT winner this year, but I’ll have to look back.

I know you’ve been clamoring for it. A return of Hardin and the Bad Boys with Hearts of Gold. You met them in Bad Boys Assemble: Hearts of Gold. Well, read about the sequel Bad Boys Assemble: Fists of Steel in the Quiz. It gives me some real Empire Strikes Back vibes. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

After Ever Happy Quiz

Oh man, I’m so brooding. I’m a bad boy, but my heart is so full of gold. And I punch things, because I’m so broken. I love Tessa (Tesssssaaaaaa!), she’s trying to fix me, and I love her so much, but I drink to forget how broken I am. But I drank so much I forgot everything! Do you remember what happened in After Ever Happy?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We open where the last movie left off: Hardin is all mad because his father isn’t his father, and instead Tessa’s boss is her father. He’s so mad he decides to get real drunk and commit a crime. What crime, and who takes the fall?

2) After Tessa and Hardin return to London, Hardin is all like “I’ll see you laters. I’m totally not running away.” But run away he does. To where? And how does Tessa find him?

3) When Tessa goes back to Atlanta she finds her father dead (oh no!). What did he die of?

4) Tessa goes to the doctor to find out about something. What?

5) In the end Tessa moves to New York, Hardin writes the titular After series, and they break up like goobers (classic). But what does Tessa do for work while living in New York?

Bonus Question: Previously on Bad Boys Assemble: Hearts of Gold – Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember, David Elliot from Endless Love, and Kelley Morse from Here on Earth recruit Hardin into the Bad Boy Avengers (called H.O.G. aka Hearts of Gold). Infiltrating a University of Washington fraternity, Hardin frees Luke McNamara (head of H.O.G.) who calls on The Skulls to destroy the eeeeevil frat. In the mid-credits scene Hardin gets the call he’s always feared. Where is Hardin heading now?

Answers

After Ever Happy Preview

Kyle explains to Jamie that as a child he got explicit instructions from Sylvester Stallone to implant a simulation he wrote into Patrick’s car. Patrick knew that eventually Jamie would remember the one thing everyone knows about Patrick: massive gearhead. And Patrick knew a particular fact about Jamie: he will sing Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer when emotions are high. Sure you could bump into anyone on the street singing Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer. But get Jamie riled up and he’ll sing it again and again. And that’s what the simulation was designed to do, create a situation where Jamie feared the worst: the doomed fate of living out his remaining years as an elderly Frank Stallone. When Kyle heard the majestic tones of Frank Stallone’s voice singing “We got the afternoon. You got this room for two,” he had never heard anything more beautiful. Finally Jamie had returned. He takes Jamie back to his house and shows him the drawer where the Dongle has resided for many years. “And no one came to get it?” Jamie asks, curious. “Well, they came,” Kyle explains, “But then they left. I think… I think they didn’t understand how I could have such power and yet…” he sweeps his hand around his house and Jamie could see. The house wasn’t made entirely of glass or a work of modern art. Just a humble house full of love. No place for the Dongle to reside. “So are you ready?” Kyle asks and Jamie nods. “I’m a little sad that this means all this didn’t happen,” Kyle says, “But will you… remember me?” Just before the blinding light takes him back to reality Jamie tells Kyle to not worry, they’ll get him his happy ever after. That’s right! We are watching the fourth installment of everyone’s favorite After franchise. Hardin is back. Tessa is back. We are back. And yes, this did get released to theaters (duh). And yes, we are watching this in the Comedy slot of the cycle because we are being a little naughty (it’s after, after all… hey wait, that’s a good name for an entry in the franchise). Let’s go!

After Ever Happy (2022) – BMeTric: 45.0; Notability: 16

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 6.4%; Notability: top 10.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Moonfall, They/Them, Firestarter, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Morbius, Blacklight, Me Time, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, The Invitation, Senior Year, The 355; Higher Notability: Jurassic World: Dominion, Black Adam, Pinocchio, Amsterdam, Morbius, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, The King’s Daughter, Spiderhead, Don’t Worry Darling, The 355, Where the Crawdads Sing, Blacklight, Samaritan, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Memory, Firestarter, and 5 more; Notes: Yup, that’s a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although, with only 6 reviews it is a tepid one.

Variety  Either way, when that final “to be continued…” title appears  — and never has a girly, curly typeface looked more like a ransom note — it’s by far the most heart-clutching #Hessa moment so far, because we realize we’re still at least one whole movie away from release from our collective captivity to this absolute nonentity of a franchise. “All of us have demons,” husks the opening voiceover in “After Ever Happy.” That’s very true: The apparently unkillable “After” series is one of them, and it’s not done with us yet.

(My god. Anyways, I actually had to double up here because there was actually only one major review of this film and it was in Variety. This series is pure lunacy.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQ-5exgctI/

(My body is ready, but is my mind? Will it explode with the incredible passion they’ve managed to put onto screen? Can I handle how much of a bad boy Hardin is? Can Tessa fix this broken man once and for all? How many people does he punch? I’m on tenterhooks here!)

DirectorsCastille Landon – ( Known For: Fear of Rain; BMT: After Ever Happy; After We Fell; Notes: A big Wattpad productions director she is also slated for the sequel as well, so we’ll get her own trilogy in the After franchise (at least). Also directing another Wattpad production, Perfect Addiction.)

WritersAnna Todd – ( Known For: After We Collided; BMT: After Ever Happy; After; After We Fell; Notes: She wrote the After series on her phone on Wattpad. Basically, this series is the only thing which is keeping the lights on at Wattpad productions from what I can tell.)

Sharon Soboil – ( BMT: After Ever Happy; After We Fell; Notes: Currently not slated for the sequel. That appears to be written and directed by Castille Landon. A true Landon vision, finally.)

ActorsJosephine Langford – ( Known For: After We Collided; Gigi & Nate; Moxie; Future BMT: Wish Upon; BMT: After Ever Happy; After; After We Fell; Notes: She has been pretty much just acting in this. She has an upcoming film called The Other Zoe which is about amnesia and love or something.)

Hero Fiennes Tiffin – ( Known For: The Woman King; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; After We Collided; The Silencing; Private Peaceful; Bigga Than Ben; BMT: After Ever Happy; After; After We Fell; Notes: I say this every time, but yes, he’s related to the Fiennes acting family. He’s actually in other films and has four films in production, so his career is maybe heating up.)

Louise Lombard – ( Known For: After We Collided; Hidalgo; Tale of the Mummy; My Kingdom; Lichnyy nomer; BMT: After Ever Happy; After We Fell; Notes: In the upcoming Oppenhiemer film. Was on People magazine’s list of the 50 Most Beautiful People in 1994.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $1,072,750 (Worldwide: $19,053,825)

(Wait … wait. Wait. No. But yes? So this was actually an odd duck. It was released widely for just two days in the US (September 7th and 8th). But then this seems to be a huge series in Germany or something? Because it made $4 million there alone! No wonder they still make these things, that probably is more than enough for a profit by itself.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/6)

(There is really only one real review here. But here goes, let’s try a consensus: Nothing happens in this film. There is less than a bad episode of television worth of material, but yet you watch it all unfold in 90 minutes. The worst on screen romance in history.)

Reviewer Highlight: Can’t even charitably be said to be blah. It’s the space between the blahs. – Jessica Kiang, Variety

Poster – After After All

(Like the font and I like the framing or it all. But like… is it sexy enough? Am I wrong to kind of think this poster is for a not sexy movie? But that can’t be, can it? B-)

Tagline(s) – None

(Boooooooo. F. Let me give you one. Smooching is for the birds. Nailed it.)

Keyword(s) – year2022

Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Adam Project (2022), The Northman (2022), The Gray Man (2022)

Future BMT: 63.3 Firestarter (2022), 62.6 Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022), 60.8 Blacklight (2022), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 49.8 Umma (2022), 47.6 The Invitation (2022), 45.7 The 355 (2022), 44.2 Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), 37.7 Memory (2022), 24.7 Amsterdam (2022), 7.7 Black Adam (2022), 7.3 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), After Ever Happy (2022), The King’s Daughter (2022), Prey for the Devil (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Best Options (Comedy): 24.7 Amsterdam (2022)

(Oh huh … that’s right! Since we couldn’t do Amsterdam (it’s the only chain reaction film!), we decided to classify After Ever Happy as a comedy. Isn’t it? I mean … I find it hilarious. So isn’t it? Funniest comedy of the year in my opinion.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Stephen Moyer is No. 7 billed in After Ever Happy and No. 10 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (7 + 10) + (3 + 1) = 21. If we were to watch The Replacement Killers we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Grease 2 Recap

Jamie

Generally for a BMT film there is some context as to how it has attained a coveted spot in the BMT rotation. Perhaps it was released around the time BMT was created and it’s stuck in our minds as a quintessential “bad movie,” even if it has now been forgotten to the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Perhaps it stars an actor we’ve come to know and love during our BMTventure. Perhaps it so perfectly fits an otherwise restrictive BMT cycle that it can’t be denied. But sometimes a movie has none of these things. It just is a movie that we have always heard is bad and so we say “sure why not.” Grease 2 is kinda like that. Did I have a burning desire to watch Grease 2? Not really. In fact, I don’t even really like Grease all that much. I remember seeing it in theaters during the 1998 rerelease and my main takeaway was “boy, that was long,” and it was only 110 minutes. So yeah… it’s Grease 2!

To summarize, Sandy’s cousin Michael has arrived at Rydell and is instantly smitten with Stephanie, the head of the Pink Ladies. One problem, she only dates T-Birds and her recent ex, Johnny, isn’t about to let him into the gang. At the coolest place in town, the local bowling alley (the one thing the movie gets right), the Cycle Lords show up to harass the T-Birds. Michael soon realizes how he can win over Stephanie: become the coolest biker in town. He buys a run down bike and starts training in a big ol’ training montage. In order to get spare parts he helps people cheat on homework for cash. Basically, he’s already the coolest kid around, but still pursues this mysterious biker persona to impress Stephanie. Soon thereafter he is able to crush the Cycle Lords and takes Stephanie out on a date, all as the Cool Rider, a masked vigilante that sounds a lot cooler than it is. The T-Birds are incensed and promise to take out Cool Rider at the big talent show… which I forgot to mention is a big part of the film. When the talent show arrives Cool Rider is chased off by the T-Birds who no joke think they accidentally kill him by running him over the side of a cliff. They all shrug because they are maniacs and go back to the talent show. There Stephanie sings a solo for her dead beau and is crowned queen of the show, with Johnny as her king. At the graduation party later, the Cycle Lords show up, but so does Michael and he’s like… super cool. He defeats everyone with his radness, becomes a T-Bird and smooches Stephanie for sure. THE END

My overall impression of the film is that it’s pleasant enough, but the songs suck. It’s a lethal combination because a pleasant film becomes real boring when 80% of the songs are laughably bad. It’s not without some positive notes, though. My favorite bit is that the T-Birds are legit losers in this one. It gives a better real world impression of the gangs as fleeting high school fantasies. The instant they graduate it will all fade, but in the moment they pretend that they rule the roost (even when it’s clearly not true, like in this case). As for our friend, Class of 1999 is quite a fun film. I’m a well known Keach-head (we talking about The Keach?) and he is in full on “I have to watch every film this maniac made” mode. Much like Brion James there seems to have been a point where The Keach decided that he would never say no and also when he said yes he’d also do whatever the hell he wanted. It’s pretty great. Recommend.

Hot Take Clam Bake! The songs in Grease 2 are good!… JK, not the case. I will say that it’s pretty obvious that Michael and Stephanie will last 3 months at best. He’s a genius. She won’t date him until he is part of a gang full of losers, showing questionable judgment at best. By the time he’s leaving to attend Oxford the romance will have fizzled. He’ll give her a lackluster, “come with me to England,” but like Hardin in the After series she’s going to be asking what there would be in England for her? She just gonna bum around with no friends while he goes off to his friends in the publishing/academic world? No! She’s Stephanie and she looks just like a young Michelle Pfeiffer. You can’t stop that train from rolling on up the street to Hollywood where she becomes the biggest star in the world. One day he’ll show up at her latest premier and say “remember me?” and she’ll say “nope.” Boy, that hot take was a journey. Hot Take Temperature: Truffalo. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Grease 2? More like Greasy Poo, amirite? Gross, but yeah, at least from one perspective I’m right. Let’s go!

  • If you were to think it through, what is the one thing Grease 2 needs to get right? The songs, right? The songs from Grease are classics. Summer Lovin’, Beauty School Dropout, Grease Lightning, You’re the One that I Want. You see, off the top of my head I can name four of them. So obviously the one thing you’re going to be 100% sure of is that you got some real bangers for the Grease 2 soundtrack, right?
  • WRONG. Besides Cool Rider (which is catchy enough I was singing the refrain from it for a week after), none of them are particularly catchy, and most are, in fact, downright terrible. Reproduction is probably the worst of the bunch, although not because it isn’t catchy (it is), but because it is an absurd pseudo-parody of what a Grease 2 should sound like.
  • Jamie likes to do hot takes. You want to hear mine? Rock N’ Roll High School is what Grease 2 should have been. You jump forward to a whole other era and thus you jump to a whole other genre of popular music. The film becomes about how classic musicals are out, and what is in is rock n’ roll and casting real life musical artists in films. Temperature: Caribbean Jerk.
  • Pfeiffer is actually incredible in this, she is head and shoulders above anyone else in the film IMO. Also some fun stuff with the T-birds which makes them kind of hapless losers once Travolta left. There are bits and pieces where you can see what they were going for, but ultimately the songs let them down.
  • I think we have a bonafide Planchet Alert (Who?) for Leif Green as Davey, complete with him riding exclusively in a sidecar the entire film, it is great. I don’t think there is anything else of concern. This film is closest to BMT, it is kind of crazy fun in its weirdness and easy breezy.
  • To pair up a future film with Grease 2 we obviously went to a classic in futuristic high schools: Class of 1999. The follow up to the quite good Class of 1984 (we are the future!), this film is one weird exercise in tepid special effects and the suspension of disbelief that Joshua John Miller is some sort of hardcore gangbanger in dystopian Detroit circa 1999. Much like RoboCop, what is the solution to the crime problem in the future where super criminal teenagers kill for fun? ROBOTS! The robot teachers, led by Crichton-esque albino (?) scientist Stacy Keach who compulsively eats bananas (?), obviously decide that murder most foul is the only way to really clean up the streetz. This ultimately leads to a showdown between the gang leaders and this unstoppable force. Seeing Pam Grier is fun. But really, the main thing this film has going for it is Keach in all of his snow-white colored contact lensed glory. What an absolute legend. A, would definitely recommend this as a weird watch, especially if you’ve seen the more self-serious Class of 1984.

Check out the quiz for the mid-credits sequence from Grease 2 (long lost) which explains why there was never a sequel. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Grease 2 Quiz

Oh man, so there I was bipping and bopping to some rad tunes. I’m part of a gang (NBD), we have leather jackets (NBD), we’re pretty cool. Anyways, suddenly a real cool rider came out of nowhere and almost ran me over! Well, needless to say I fell over out of shock and bopped my head real good, and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Grease 2?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we meet one of our heroes, Michael. He’s from England. Who and how is he related to the cast of the original film?

2) Michael meets Stephanie and it is love are first sight, the problem is Stephanie wants nothing to do with this loser Michael. What is Stephanie really looking for in a man?

3) How does Michael earn all the money for that sweet ride he’s checking out, and where does he get it from?

4) On the night of the big talent show Michael is tragically killed (oh no!). Oh wait … no he’s not, he’s just a big faking faker. How does he fake his death?

5) What is the theme for the big end of the year graduation bash?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene Michael and Stephanie have just been married, and then have a real special guest at the wedding. Who?

Answers

Grease 2 Preview

Patrick looks around. Not only is the Dongle nowhere in sight, but neither is Jamie. He shivers. They’ve been separated a number of times during their adventures, and it usually didn’t turn out great. It would appear he is in a big old house, but before he can fully get his bearings he’s interrupted by a coy “yoo hoo.” When he turns his mouth goes dry. A very beautiful lady wearing an indecent amount of clothes is beckoning him. “Come back to bed, Sly,” she coos, further startling Patrick. He grabs one of the many nearby hand mirrors and screams in terror. Staring back at him is none other than Sly Stallone! Shaking out a nearby New York Times he finds a surprisingly good review for Speed Zone. My word, it’s 1989. “Where are you going?” yells the beautiful lady incredulously. He tries to think fast as he throws on whatever clothes can fit on his monstrous body. “Uh, school,” he sputters dumbly, stumbling out of the door.

Jamie looks around. Not only is the Dongle nowhere in sight, but neither is Patrick. Well, when the Patricks are away, the Jamies will play. The house he’s in is pretty dope and he can’t help but bump some tunes while making a few sandwiches. Through a mouthful of ‘wich he starts to sing along but is startled to hear what comes out. His voice has always been good… but not THIS GOOD. He rushes to the bathroom and gasps. He’s Frank Stallone… and he’s looking pretty rough. A teenage boy turns the corner and dumbly says, “Yo, Daddio, heading out for the first day of school. Senior year is gonna rock!” Jamie gasps again. His son is wearing a Class of 2031 shirt. He’s Frank Stallone and he’s 80 years old.

That’s right! We are fully transitioning to our Bring a Friend split story where on one side we are heading into the past. And on the other (smaller) side we are heading to the future. This time we are heading back to school with the one-two punch of Grease 2 and Class of 1999. Good combo as on one side we have a stark apocalyptic vision of high school life and on the other we have Class of 1999. Let’s go!

Grease 2 (1982) – BMeTric: 74.8; Notability: 44

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 1.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 11.1%; Higher Notability: Young Doctors in Love, Firefox, Trail of the Pink Panther, Movie Madness; Lower RT: Megaforce, Class Reunion, Movie Madness, The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Monsignor, The Toy, Zapped!, Friday the 13th Part III, Five Days One Summer, Parasite, The Beast Within, Losin’ It, Amityville II: The Possession, Vigilante, Fighting Back, Trail of the Pink Panther, Summer Lovers, Wrong Is Right, Lookin’ to Get Out, Young Doctors in Love, and 2 more; Notes: Wow, the BMeTric is really gaudy, especially for 1982. I sometimes forget just how well known this is as a bad movie.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – If ever there was a time for a punk “Grease,” that time is now. The original “Grease” was born all those many years ago as an affectionate memory of a Chicago high school in the 1950s. It went through a lot of changes on Its way through Broadway to Hollywood, but at least when John Travolta whipped out his pocket comb and slicked back his hair, we knew we were in the right era.

(Actually … that is a pretty good point Ebert. It would have made perfect sense to flash forward to like the 70s and have people’s children be the main characters, and other main characters from the original as teachers and junk. Basically Rock and Roll High School I suppose.)

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

(That is quite the trailer. Like … the whole movie? You see probably two thirds of the songs in some capacity. The reproduction song is absurd.)

DirectorsPatricia Birch – ( BMT: Grease 2; Notes: Won two Emmy for Great Performances, and was nominated for five Tonys for best choreography (including for Grease).)

WritersKen Finkleman – ( Known For: Airplane II: The Sequel; Illegally Yours; Future BMT: Who’s That Girl; Head Office; BMT: Grease 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Who’s That Girl in 1988; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Van Dyke and Company. Created The Newsroom among other things on television.)

Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey – ( Known For: Grease; BMT: Grease 2; Notes: They wrote the book for Grease on Broadway and they get Grease credits based on that.)

ActorsMichelle Pfeiffer – ( Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Scarface; Mother!; Murder on the Orient Express; Stardust; What Lies Beneath; Batman Returns; The Prince of Egypt; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Hairspray; The Witches of Eastwick; Dangerous Liaisons; The Age of Innocence; Ladyhawke; The Deep End of the Ocean; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Wolf; Frankie and Johnny; White Oleander; Married to the Mob; Future BMT: Dark Shadows; The Family; Maleficent: Mistress of Evil; I Am Sam; Up Close & Personal; The Story of Us; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; BMT: Grease 2; Dangerous Minds; New Year’s Eve; A Thousand Acres; Notes: A very early credit for her, she would break out the next year with Scarface. Nominated for three Oscars for Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Love Field. Dangerous Liaisons is what Cruel Intentions is based on.)

Maxwell Caulfield – ( Known For: Empire Records; Gettysburg; Electric Dreams; The Boys Next Door; Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat; Accident; Waxwork II: Lost in Time; Dance with Death; The Real Blonde; Oblivion 2: Backlash; Mind Games; Facing the Enemy; The Supernaturals; Submerged; Fatal Sky; Future BMT: The Man Who Knew Too Little; Calendar Girl; BMT: Grease 2; Notes: British. He was actually in quite a few American movies before going back to England to work on ITV shows and such. Probably most famously Casualty, which is a huge show.)

Lorna Luft – ( Known For: Where the Boys Are; I Could Go on Singing; Future BMT: 54; My Giant; BMT: Grease 2; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for producing Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. She is, in fact, Judy Garland’s daughter.)

Budget/Gross – $11.2 million / Domestic: $15,171,476 (Worldwide: $15,171,476)

(That isn’t great. At least, no way they were expecting such a return for the sequel to Grease. I think I see the issue though … the movie doesn’t have good songs.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (15/43): Grease 2 is undeniably stocked with solid songs and well-choreographed dance sequences, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a blatant retread of its far more entertaining predecessor.

(SOLID SONGS?! This movie is “stocked” with solid songs? That is what we are going with. Absurd! I’ve seen the film. The songs are, bar one or two, pretty terrible.)

Reviewer Highlight: Grease 2 is dizzy and slight, with an even more negligible plot than its predecessor had. This time the story can’t even masquerade as an excuse for stringing the songs together. – Janet Maslin, New York Times

Poster – Grease 2: This Time They’re Lame

(I guess it’s a classic take on a poster, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. What a difference a sequel makes. The first film you get Travolta and ONJ. Electric. This time you have Pfeiffer, sure, but then anonymous random dude #4. What a let down. C-)

Tagline(s) – The Music and Feeling go on Forever (D)

(I don’t know what that means, and you know what? I don’t care to find out.)

Keyword(s) – past

Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

Future BMT: 88.6 BloodRayne (2005), 72.9 The Unborn (2009), 70.3 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 69.7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 65.8 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.5 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.7 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 59.0 Apollo 18 (2011) … (and many more)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Ishtar (1987), The Nun (2018), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), Pinocchio (2002), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), House of Wax (2005), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Timeline (2003), Dolittle (2020), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Universal Soldier (1992), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), The Identical (2014), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Best Options (Comedy): 76.6 Grease 2 (1982), 69.7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 57.6 Bolero (1984), 54.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 53.7 Spy Hard (1996), 52.9 Porky’s Revenge (1985), 51.8 My Girl 2 (1994), 51.5 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983), 48.2 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008), 47.9 King Solomon’s Mines (1985) … (and many more)

(We’re in the past, baby! Actually a really hard concept to define. I ended up defining it as a collection of about 900 wikipedia pages, mostly things like “films set in the 14th century” and such. For the category most part I think it does pretty well, although undeniably there are films which merely have a prologue set in the past, but the bulk of the film is not. I think The Final Destination fits into that category. Anyways, we got the top comedy here.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michelle Pfeiffer is No. 2 billed in Grease 2 and No. 2 billed in New Year’s Eve, which also stars Robert De Niro (No. 1 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 1 billed) which also stars Al Pacino (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 13. If we were to watch The Family we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – “Do It For Our Country” is a duet between Sharon and Louis. Maureen Teefy couldn’t make it to the recording session, so Peter Frechette had to sing the whole song himself, which is why Maureen’s vocals aren’t on the movie’s soundtrack. Her voice was dubbed in later in the song

According to Maxwell Caulfield’s stunt double Gary Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer performed her own stunts in the famous Lone Rider/Stephanie romantic motorcycle ride. “She sat behind me, then I lifted her around to where she straddled me, and then we wheelie’d away. She was wonderful the whole time.”

Michelle Pfeiffer’s first major starring role. 

Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield did not get along during filming. A few years after the film was released, Caulfield said in an interview that they “got along infamously.” Pfeiffer claimed in an interview that Maxwell was “self-adoring.”

Though the connection was never acknowledged in the movie, Johnny Nogerelli was originally intended to be the cousin of Danny Zuko from the first film. But Michael was Sandy’s cousin, and the writers thought there were too many similarities.

John Travolta and Dame Olivia Newton-John met with the studio to discuss reprising their roles, but weren’t pursued further after the initial conference.

The film damaged Maxwell Caulfield’s career severely. He has been quoted as saying, “Before Grease 2 came out, I was being hailed as the next Richard Gere or John Travolta. However, when Grease 2 flopped, nobody would touch me. It felt like a bucket of cold water had been thrown in my face. It took me 10 years to get over Grease 2.”

Original plans were for this to be the second installment in a franchise of four movies and a TV series. When the movie flopped, plans for a franchise were thrown out. Disney ended up adapting the unused script for the third movie, which became High School Musical (2006).

The theatrical feature film debut for Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, and half-sister of Liza Minnelli.

Patricia Birch was the dance choreographer for the original Grease (1978) having also choreographed the source stage musical. Publicity for this sequel stated that it was the first time a female choreographer had become a film director. This movie was her directorial debut, and her only theatrical film directing credit.

The film had 500 cast members.

Fathers’ Day Recap

Jamie

There are three very funny things about Fathers’ Day that I think have to be noted at the top… mostly because the rest of the film is less interesting. First, the punctuation in the title is magnificent. And this wasn’t lost in translation. The French film’s title was also a pun. Working overtime on the title so they didn’t have to work on anything else it seems. Second, Sugar Ray isn’t just featured in this film. The film basically stars Sugar Ray. Perfection. This was before they hit it big with “Fly” and they changed from nu metal to pop rock. So anyone who watches it now has to think that the premise that Billy Crystal and Robin Williams’ son ran off to follow Sugar Ray on the road is hilarious. But I guess in that very brief moment it was totally serious. Third, the wikipedia page says that some people speculate it was a big commercial failure because it was released on Mother’s Day. HA!

Anyway, the concept of the film is that Billy Crystal is an oft-married lawyer and Robin Williams is a suicidal writer. A woman they both briefly dated seventeen years ago comes a-knockin’ and is like ‘you are the father of my son and he’s missing.’ Billy Crystal is like ‘no way’ but still finds himself drawn to the search where he ends up running into Williams. Realizing the ruse, they set out on the road nonetheless because probably one of them is the father (right? Actually wrong… the lady is an admitted liar and you still aren’t going to question this? Sigh). They find him trashed at a Sugar Ray concert (who among us…) and get him back to their hotel room, but he turns out to be more than they bargained for. He’s still totally in love with a girl following Sugar Ray and wants to go after her. Awww. Oh and also he stole a bunch of money from some drug dealers to buy the girl a necklace. Oh, uh, less awwww. They go after the girl, but the drug dealers catch up with them and hilarity more-or-less ensues. Crystal is ready to abandon the search, but his new wife is like “uh, what kind of father are you?” and he realizes that he has to do right by his fake son. So he goes to the next Sugar Ray concert and he and Williams headbutt everyone to death to help their son escape (basically). Williams and Crystal are now best friends and neither of them are the father of the kid they saved. THE END.

I kinda wish this film was funnier. Or at least that it was funnier in all the bad ways. Cause the idea that the main thrust of the film stars Sugar Ray should be enough to take a film from ‘pretty funny’ to ‘hilarious.’ But that’s presuming the rest of the film can get it to ‘pretty funny.’ But no. It just meanders along. Sometimes it’s sweet, sometimes Robin Williams is asked to carry a heavy improv load, and sometimes it makes no sense. Feels like The Odd Couple II or something. Meh, I mean… I guess it is what it is. 

Hot Take Clam Bake time. At the end of the film we see a family reconciled. So does it last? Does our prodigal son stay home for good? I’m gonna shock the world and say yeah. I mean, there he is laying on his bed, thinking of his girlfriend probably in bed with THE Sugar Ray, despite that also thinking of all the rad Sugar Ray moments he is missing when oh ho ho.. What’s this? The DJ on the radio is saying the new single from Sugar Ray is coming on. He turns it up. On comes “Fly” and he’s like WTF, mate? Put some more shrimp on the barbie, cause this isn’t the Sugar Ray I know and love. Where is the nu metal funkiness? This is just some pop rock sellout bullshit. He burns all his Sugar Ray posters and JNCO jeans and buys a suit, goes to college, and becomes a lawyer like his fake dad Billy Crystal. Years later on his deathbed he whispers “Mean Machine” before a wallet chain drops from his dead hand. Everyone is very confused. Hot Take Temperature: Nashville Hot. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Fathers’ Day? More like Fathers’ Lame, amirite? Here are ten easy steps to making Billy Crystal and Robin Williams not at all funny. Let’s go!

  • The reviewers on this film seemed confused as to how they made these actors not funny. I don’t think it is confusing at all if you’ve seen the original, because the original had, beat for beat, the same jokes. Except in the original it is Gerard Depardieu as a semi-sleezy journalist headbutting people whereas here is it … Billy Crystal still headbutting people? So you see, they just needed to let Billy Crystal and Robin Williams cook. But instead they took a French film (and all that that means in terms of a sense of humor) and applied them directly without alteration onto Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.
  • For all its quirks Robin Williams still works for me. His tragic depressed clown thing seems pretty okay outside of the one montage where he is trying on hats and saying dumb catchphrases to himself … that was rough.
  • Everyone else in the film I think doesn’t really work at all. Jared Harris as hardcore Sugar Ray fan / drug dealer? No thanks. Sugar Ray as themselves? Also no thanks. Billy Crystal and Julia Louis Dreyfuss might as well have not been there in the end. The kid is annoying. Bruce Greenwood is not nearly as Bad Dad as I would have hoped. More like Not So Bad Once You Get To Know Him Dad, you know?
  • But Reno? Sugar Ray? A cast and crew to die for? What a weirdo film. Too bad it wasn’t funny bad and was instead just bad bad huh?
  • The best ever Product Placement (What?) for Sugar Ray! That counts right? I’m counting it, they play such a huge amusing part in this film. Also a fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) as both a road trip comedy, but also in it taking place in Reno, Nevada of all places for the final big Sugar Ray concert. Pretty hilarious MacGuffin (Why?) for their not-child they are chasing through the film. I think this is closest to Bad, just by, indeed, being aggressively unfunny.
  • And I might as well do a tiny bit of a look at the original film called ComPère in a lot of places, which I think is a play off of compere (accomplice) and père (father), which is fun I suppose. The film also isn’t funny (although I could see people thinking it is), but at the very least Depardieu seems far more in place than Billy Crystal does in the same part. So I’ll give it that. I would never ever watch the film again, although it does make me intrigued by early Depardieu. Seems like an interesting actor in terms of how he eventually broke into Hollywood to some degree as well.

Read the never-to-be-seen 20-years-later sequel called Grandfathers’ Day (obviously, even though there are nary a grandfather to be seen in the entire film). Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Fathers’ Day Quiz

Wow, so get this. I was trying to chase down my maybe-kid (just found out) when this British punk popped out of nowhere and bopped me on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Fathers’ Day?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The two titular fathers are played by Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. What are their jobs?

2) They are both wrapped up in a search for someone they think is their son. Where did he run off to and why?

3) And he’s in a tad bit of trouble with Jared Harris (remember meeeeeeeeeeeeeee). Why?

4) Robin Williams drives around most of the film, but has one particular quirk when he drives which he shows off at least twice. What is it?

5) In the end, who is the actual father? Who think he’s the father as well?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we see Robin Williams show up at Billy Crystal’s door. Why?

Answers

Fathers’ Day Preview

“I don’t understand, what did we do?” Jamie says, scratching his head, “You just crushed the two Time Cops that were about to kill us.” Lou Cash is startled, but when he looks down to see the crushed remains of the Time Cops he waves it off as irrelevant. “Fiddle-faddle. You were about to do a sick twin forward flip and knock the guns out of their hands anyway. The point is you made it here, exactly when and where I landed my fully functional deconvolution machine.” Jamie and Patrick and the gang shrug and high five. Jamie and Patrick have been known to kick guns out of their enemies’ hands with twin forward flips from time to time. So it tracks. But just before they all pile into the time machine Patrick stops and turns back to Lou Cash. Something is bothering him. “Lou Cash… how did you know to come here?” Lou Cash shakes his head. “My dear boy, it’s because I was one of the Time Cops and I have the scar to prove it.” He pulls up his sleeve and there is a perfect twin kick scar on his wrist. Now something is really bothering Jamie, “But then didn’t you just crush yourself?” Lou Cash looks back at the crushed Time Cops and shrugs. “Guess I did.” Jamie looks concerned, “And that’s not a problem?” Lou Cash thinks for a second, looks down at his hand, which has now started to fade, and agrees that it probably is a problem. As he disappears he lets out one last “Never forget meeeeee.” Finally piling into the time machine, a somber mood now hanging in the air, both Jamie and Patrick gasp when they see the date punched into the console: Father’s Day, 2017. That’s right! We’re watching the very appropriately punctuated Fathers’ Day from 1997 starring Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. It’s based on a French film and something must have been… lost in translation. Let’s go!

Fathers’ Day (1997) – BMeTric: 49.7; Notability: 62

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 8.8%; Notability: top 3.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 21.6%; Higher BMeT: Batman & Robin, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Home Alone 3, Steel, Anaconda, Mr. Magoo, Double Team, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Chairman of the Board, Spawn, Flubber, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves!, An American Werewolf in Paris, Jungle 2 Jungle, Fire Down Below, Turbulence, Gone Fishin’, McHale’s Navy, The Pest, and 2 more; Higher Notability: Batman & Robin, The Saint, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Dante’s Peak, The Jackal, Flubber, The Postman, Spawn; Lower RT: Fall, Plump Fiction, The Blackout, McHale’s Navy, Shadow Conspiracy, Gone Fishin’, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, The Pest, Speed 2: Cruise Control, ‘Til There Was You, An American Werewolf in Paris, Mr. Magoo, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, Dangerous Ground, The Postman, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, Keys to Tulsa, Double Team, How to Be a Player, Steel, and 31 more; Notes: Really impressive numbers for a comedy. So many high Notability films left from 1997. The Saint is a pretty exciting one, I think that it is a sneaky good film.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  When her 16-year-old son runs away, a desperate Kinski tells each of two ex-lovers that he’s the real father, hoping that this will spur one of them to find the boy. The two men – a genuine odd couple – wind up working together on this daunting task. Lackluster remake of Francis Veber’s Les Comperes gets whatever mileage it has from the two comic stars’ personalities … but the boy is extremely dislikable, and a subplot with his stepfather (Greenwood) is a complete misfire.

(Man, does Greenwood play a Bad Dad again in this film? He plays a Good Dad in Here on Earth, but he’s definitely a Bad Dad in Endless Love. So he’s a Mixed Dad Bag.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsQfKt08Xlk/

(The montage with Williams looks horrible. And yup, there is Sugar Ray front and center. Makes me want to go see this movie, probably for the wrong reasons though.)

DirectorsIvan Reitman – ( Known For: Ghostbusters; No Strings Attached; Kindergarten Cop; Meatballs; Evolution; Ghostbusters II; Twins; Stripes; Draft Day; Dave; Cannibal Girls; Legal Eagles; Foxy Lady; Future BMT: Six Days Seven Nights; Junior; My Super Ex-Girlfriend; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Notes: Died just this year. Was nominated for an Oscar for Up in the Air, and for an Emmy for the television movie The Late Shift.)

WritersFrancis Veber – ( Known For: The Valet; The Birdcage; Dinner for Schmucks; The Valet; The Man with One Red Shoe; Le Dîner de Cons; La Cage aux Folles; Buddy Buddy; The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe; Ruby & Quentin; The Closet; La Chèvre; Partners; The Fugitives; Le Magnifique; The Toy; Hold-Up; The ComDads; The Jaguar; A Pain in the Ass; Future BMT: The Toy; My Father the Hero; Three Fugitives; Pure Luck; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Notes: Was nominated for an Oscar for La Cage aux folles. He has had 12 of his films remade as American films. That’s what I like to see for this cycle!)

Lowell Ganz – ( Known For: A League of Their Own; Robots; Splash; Parenthood; City Slickers; Night Shift; Fever Pitch; Multiplicity; Edtv; Forget Paris; Mr. Saturday Night; Future BMT: Where the Heart Is; Tooth Fairy; Spies Like Us; Gung Ho; Vibes; Greedy; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Splash. Basically his entire family is in entertainment (his three children, brother, and two cousins). His son created Santa Clara Diet.)

Babaloo Mandel – ( Known For: A League of Their Own; Robots; Splash; Parenthood; City Slickers; Night Shift; Fever Pitch; Multiplicity; Edtv; Forget Paris; Mr. Saturday Night; Future BMT: Where the Heart Is; Tooth Fairy; Spies Like Us; Gung Ho; Vibes; Greedy; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones in 1995; Notes: Writing partner of Ganz. They are going to get some play soon since the A League of Their Own television series is coming out.)

ActorsRobin Williams – ( Known For: Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Jumanji; Aladdin; One Hour Photo; Mrs. Doubtfire; To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar; The Birdcage; Night at the Museum; Robots; Popeye; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Good Morning, Vietnam; Awakenings; Insomnia; The Butler; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Dead Again; What Dreams May Come; Future BMT: Hook; Jack; RV; Patch Adams; August Rush; Bicentennial Man; Flubber; Nine Months; The Night Listener; Man of the Year; The Best of Times; Club Paradise; The Survivors; Jakob the Liar; BMT: The Big Wedding; Fathers’ Day; Old Dogs; Toys; License to Wed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Nominated for three Best Actor Oscars, ended up winning for Supporting actor in Good Will Hunting. Also nominated for 9 Emmys and won twice. Died in 2014.)

Billy Crystal – ( Known For: The Princess Bride; Cars; When Harry Met Sally…; Monsters, Inc.; Howl’s Moving Castle; This Is Spinal Tap; Monsters University; City Slickers; Analyze This; Here Today; Hamlet; I’m Still Here; Throw Momma from the Train; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; Running Scared; Deconstructing Harry; Forget Paris; Mr. Saturday Night; Standing Up, Falling Down; Untogether; Future BMT: Parental Guidance; Tooth Fairy; America’s Sweethearts; Analyze That; The Comedian; My Giant; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Remake or Sequel for City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold in 1995; Notes: If I’m counting right he’s been nominated for 23 Emmys and won six times. Naturally a few of those times were for hosting the Oscars, which he was famous for in the early 90s. He is 74 years old.)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – ( Known For: Black Widow; A Bug’s Life; Onward; Christmas Vacation; Enough Said; Hannah and Her Sisters; Deconstructing Harry; Future BMT: Planes; Downhill; Soul Man; Jack the Bear; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Troll; North; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Fathers’ Day in 1998; Notes: Was nominated for 27 Emmys and won 11 times, mostly for acting/writing in Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep, her three major television hits. Her father is a billionaire, and by extension so is she, but she hasn’t done so poorly for herself.)

Budget/Gross – $85 million / Domestic: $28,598,376 (Worldwide: $28,598,376)

(Terrible. It is a little confusing as to how this film could have cost so much, but then again, a chunk of it takes place are a genuine Sugar Ray concert, so it is possible that filming in Reno and throwing a giant fake concert with a real band could have contributed to the inflated budget. Also, just look at the cast and crew, every single one was nominated or won an Emmy or Oscar, so they really didn’t hold back in putting this film together.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (15/61): A maudlin misfire, Father’s Day manages the difficult task of making Billy Crystal and Robin Williams woefully unfunny.

(So I can lend some insight here having watched both the original and remake at this point. So the issue was they just reused most of the jokes from the original without really thinking through adapting the movie to the two leads. The film is immediately funnier if you just let Billy Crystal be Billy Crystal and Robin Williams be Robin Williams. Instead they aren’t.)

Reviewer Highlight: Add to these problems the fact that Fathers’ Day is a comedy starring two reputedly hilarious people who don’t make you laugh once, and you have a movie that would be great if everything about it weren’t terrible. – Keith Phipps, AV Club

Poster – Baldurs’ Gate

(Oh deary me, no. If this were a film about two friends, one a buttoned up family man with three kids and the other a man child who just knocked up his girlfriend, who go on a road trip so that Billy Crystal can help Robin Williams prepare to be a father (but perhaps learn a little bit more about themselves than they bargained for) then this poster makes sense. Otherwise it’s just a big red flag. Nice font though. C-.)

Tagline(s) – All she said was “My son is yours.” Unfortunately, she said it to both of them. (D)

(Yes, that’s the plot of the film. Unfortunately it’s not a tagline.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.1 Sleepless (2017), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), The Big Wedding (2013), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), Vanilla Sky (2001)

Best Options (Comedy): 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.5 Fathers’ Day (1997), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994), 37.9 My Father the Hero (1994), 36.8 Just Visiting (2001), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 31.4 The Toy (1982), 29.7 The Woman in Red (1984), 26.3 Pure Luck (1991), 24.4 The Man Who Loved Women (1983), 22.5 Once Upon a Crime… (1992), 20.7 The Associate (1996), 20.6 Three Fugitives (1989), 17.2 Oscar (1991)

(So yeah, Downhill was available, but I’ve heard mostly mixed things about it instead of it actually being bad. I’m a bit shocked at how few we’ve done in the end. Looking through the ones we have done I mostly haven’t seen the original. I saw the original Haunting, Get Carter, and Jungle 2 Jungle. I think that is it. Lots of British remakes in there as well, whereas in this cycle we are mostly doing French films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 6 billed in Fathers’ Day and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth, => (6 + 6) = 12. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – As a cross-promotion, Warner Brothers had Robin Williams and Billy Crystal make guest appearances in Friends (1994). (It is the one with the ultimate fighting championship, I remember this actually, they take the spot in the cafe that the titular friends usually occupy for a scene)

The concert was filmed at a park in Los Angeles. The scene took three days to film, and involved playing the same song over and over for all three days. To show the energy of the crowd, the extras had to cheer and “rock” to the music. On the first day everyone was up, yelling, jumping and punching their fists in the air, but by day three, most were too tired to even lift their arms, and many just remained seated.

During the filming of the concert scene, Robin Williams took a break and walked into the bleachers, where he entertained the extras who gathered around him.

Before appearing in this film, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal were already a well-known comedy duo, thanks to their work on HBO’s Comic Relief. The original French film, on which this is based, The ComDads (1983), also features a well-known comedy team: Pierre Richard and Gérard Depardieu.

Billy Crystal’s character hates mimes in this movie. In This is Spinal Tap (1984), he played a mime (who was also in charge of other mimes).

One of two 1997 films to star Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the other being Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry (1997).

While shooting the scene in which Dale and Jack remove Scott’s shoes and socks, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal discovered that Charlie Hofheimer was extremely ticklish on the soles of his feet. Robin Williams and Billy Crystal could not resist tickling Charlie Hofheimer’s bare feet, and they continually ruined the scene by tickling him. Charlie could not handle the tickling and wanted to quit. Ivan Reitman had to talk him into staying so that they could finally shoot the scene.

The apartment where Dale (Robin Williams) lives in San Francisco is the same one used in Mrs Doubtfire (1993).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 1998)