Kazaam Recap

Jamie

Shaq’s Kazaam, baby! And all our wishes come true. When Max finds a magic boombox with a genie inside he’s ready to use his wishes to try to get his dad back in his life. But an eeeevil nightclub owner has different ideas. Can Shaq and Max team up to stop the baddies before it’s too late? Find out in… Kazaam.

How?! Max is a trouble maker who’s always being hassled by the older kids in his class. Add a mom who just got engaged to a firefighter who WILL NEVER BE HIS REAL DAD and Max is having a bit of a tough time. One day, while escaping from the school bullies, he stumbles upon a magic boombox and *poof* out pops Shaq, ready to slam dunk and shatter the backboard of all his dreams. That’s because he’s a genie and until Max gives him three wishes to grant he’s stuck with him. Max is like “yeah, whatever,” and lets the supposed genie tag along to visit his dad, who’s back in town after bailing on him when he was just a baby. The dad is thrilled to see Max and sets him up with some VIP passes for a big concert that night. Riding high off this reunion, Max finally entertains the possibility that Shaq is a genie and Shaq in turn entertains us with some totally dope raps and BMX bike races. Finally Max asks for his first wish: junk food to the sky and *poof* there it is. Man, now Max has a father and a genie. What more could a kid wish for? Well, not so fast, cause that night they sneak to the big concert and Shaq is instantly a star, rapping his way into the show to everyone’s delight (particularly the eeevil club owner). Max tries to see his dad, but happens upon him in the midst of a shady deal with the club owner and is yelled at instead. Sad, Max tips off the school bullies about the shady deal and they end up stealing a valuable tape that could mean trouble for Max’s dad. Feeling bad, and getting yelled at by his dad again, Max sadly asks for Shaq to conjure a replacement tape, leaving him with only one wish. Later that night Shaq is distracted by his burgeoning music career so doesn’t notice that the eeevil club owner murders Max and steal the magic boom box. Enraged, Shaq breaks free of his bonds and slam dunks the club owner (literally… like actually does that). He then transforms into a djinn and brings Max back to life after which he grants his father a second chance since now he is all powerful and can do that shit. Max lives happily ever after with his new family while his father repents the error of his ways. THE END. 

Why?! Love and family. That’s all the kid wants. Fortunately Shaq goes all djinn on him and is able to grant him an ethereal wish, am I right? Everyone else is driven by greed, other than Shaq… he mostly wants freedom (naturally)… the freedom to have a crazy big rap career and to get down with the ladies again. High five.

Who?! Shaq is a supreme athlete-turned-musician-turned-actor and boy does he show his rapping skillz… … … anyway, Da Brat also shows up and everyone is like yo, she’s all that. I also have to point out that the main child actor in this, Francis Capra, grew up to play Weevil in Veronica Mars. Kinda mind blowing.

What?! A fun project would be to categorize all films by Coke vs. Pepsi. In this case, Shaq saps on Pepsi while he wait for his big concert to start. I feel like we’ve been on an insane Pepsi run (although the main series of Police Academy is squarely in the Coke camp). Really the most fun aspect of this would be when you get that random Tab film and are like WTF, mate?

Where?! This is pretty obviously set in NYC. I wouldn’t say that it is necessarily a great NYC film other than the fact that Max’s mom’s fiance is a New York city firefighter, which seems pretty classic. Given the setting I wonder whether you would characterize Shaq as an East Coast rapper. Born in New Jersey, grew up in Texas, playing basketball in Orlando, and about to move to LA. But obviously playing an NYC-based rapping genie trumps all that. East Coast. B.

When?! School year. I’ve started to think that this section of the email is too much work unless we are dealing with a holiday film (secret or otherwise). I think my main goal here will be to mostly promote the idea of finding out when random films take place rather than actually putting in the effort myself. Either that or insist we only watch secret Christmas films from now on. This is an F, but maybe one of our many fans will find differently and correct me (please?).

I’m going to start with some positives. The main kid is pretty good actually and I’m a bit of a sucker for kids films with some nice messages mixed in there. Troublemaker comes to respect his all-around-good-guy of a future stepfather while also realizing his biological father is flawed and helps steer him towards redemption? Sign me up. Also the raps are entertaining, although silly in a kids movie kind of way. As for the rest of the film? Well, it’s nonsense of course. It’s so “rad” that it is immeasurably lame and Shaq appears to have little interest in anything but showing off his rap skillz. I would guess that this movie could have been about anything, but if they let him rap and paid him the big bucks he would have said yes. “Rapping Paul Bunyan? I’m in.” Eventually it gets a little repetitive and boring that even when a crazy Middle Eastern stereotype kills Max by throwing him down an elevator shaft I barely batted an eye. I was like “sure, sure, just get on with it.” So overall I’d say solid, but not spectacular for a BMT kids film. As for Getting Lucky, I don’t have all that much to say. You can see what Troma was up to. Kind of an indie horror/comedy grindhouse production house that made films attuned to the vision of the head of the studio. You really get a sense that he made exactly what he wanted to see, which is interesting, but also comes off as on the same level as a college film production. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We got Shaq! We got Da Brat! We got a B-story that goes for miles and results in the cold-blooded murder of a child! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Everything about this film revolves around the B-plot. The B-plot is all I really remember about the film. The B-plot is one of the main things that perplexed reviewers at the time. The trailer actually makes the film look fun, but I know that’s a trick because there is nary a mention of music piracy, so it must only be showing half of the movie. As I said in the preview: recut Kazaam into just the B-plot. I dare you to, you cowards. What were my expectations? To like Shaq and also to love this B-plot. If this B-plot doesn’t go for days then I’m going to be furious.

The Good – I think with distance (and a whole lot more Shaq in our lives) his entire section of the film is pretty delightful. The kid actor is good, his interactions with him are fun, the way they dance around him being able to grant wishes and other silliness is amusing. The actual kids’ movie (complete with cameo by Da Brat, somehow a staple of the time) in the movie is actually not the worst thing in the world. Throw in a healthy dose of teaching kids that divorce isn’t their fault and step-dads can be pretty cool, and what’s now to love? Best Bit: Shaq, he’s a cheesy actor, but oozes charm.

The Bad – I remembered the B-plot of the film (and also that the kid falls a few stories multiple times during the film) … but no matter what I remembered I still couldn’t help but burst out laughing when Max’s father mentioned his “million dollar tape” and “music piracy” scheme. I guess the screenwriters must have known Shaq was coming on board, and they knew Shaq wanted to rap in the film, and so they needed some reason for Max to be in danger because of that … but music piracy? So weird. Without that the film is just a bog-standard kids film. With it it transcends B-plots and becomes something else entirely. Oh, and yeah, the kid actually is killed at the end which was pretty confusing for a hot second before you remember there is a genie who can bring him back to life. Fatal Flaw: A B-plot so ludicrous it blinded everyone to any virtue the film otherwise might have had.

The BMT – This is like Nine Lives on steroids. Nine Lives wishes it had the B-plot of Kazaam. Here’s the thing, Kazaam isn’t that entertaining. At times it is mostly just Max crying about his father and is somewhat sad (and the bullying in the film is off the chain, Max gets the shit kicked out of him a bunch). But the B-plot? It is the quintessential example. I could be misremembering something, but this has to be the best B-plot ever made, right? And it wasn’t by accident they definitely added it in after Shaq was attached. Legendary. Did it meet my expectations? And more, but I should be clear: I never want to watch Kazaam again. It just has the best B-plot in children’s film history.

Roast-radamus – I have to say, a legendary Cameo (Who?) by Da Brat (who, you might remember, was the musical guest on the second episode of All that, so yeah, lot’s of appearances of Da Brat in my life at the time). In the end I decided it was a really solid Product Placement (What?) for Pepsi in particular, although there are arguments for Jif and M&Ms among many others. And the Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC is really good as Max’s obvious failure by the New York City public school system is a subject of much consternation by his mother. I think closest to BMT, mainly, again, for the B-plot.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Imagine if they made a Sequel? And I got the perfect plot. Kazaam, an all powerful Djinn is now doing his thing in LA. He’s rapping, producing music, starring in movies, the works. But one day his powers start fading. What could it mean? Reading up on Djinn lore, he realizes that the moment he saved Max’s life it created a connection, as long as Max’s bloodline is doing well, he keeps his powers, but if he fails them he becomes mortal. Going back to NYC he finds Max, a famous inventor, but his family isn’t doing well. His son has fallen in with a gang, and Max just doesn’t know what to do. Well, Kazaam knows what to do. He makes Max into a genie, and tasks him with helping his son out of his predicament. There is a fun montage of Kazaam showing Max how to make wishes, and Max is disguised as Shaq so his son won’t know (double the Shaq!). And in the end, Max learns a valuable lesson in love, and his son stands up for himself and comes back home. And Kazaam? Well, he’s back to full power baby! Ka2aam. You know that is how it would be stylized and you hate it. Look into your heart, you know it to be true!

Bring a Friend Analysis – We really went with a curve ball this week and watched Getting Lucky a 1990 Troma distributed film made guerrilla style with nary a professional actor in sight. The film is pretty weird, but because it is Troma it also somehow manages to be weird enough to be interesting. To really boil it down, a boy finds a leprechaun in a beer bottle and gets three wishes and uses them to get the girl of his dreams. After the first attempted rape scene, I was like Tony should be in prison. After the second, I was like man the 90s were wild, Tony should be in prison. But then after the third when Tony DOES go to prison? I was blown away. The film knowingly winks at the camera with the final horseback chase scene and shish kabob fight, and barely has a plot, but something about it is compelling. It is a little like a Neil Breen film in that you eventually acclimate to Michael Paul Girard’s weird vision and enjoy it on some level beyond what the actual movie provides. But I’m still giving it a B-. It is just a hard sell considering the subject matter and the script which seems like it was barely written by a 12-year-old boy. Maybe someday I’ll be able to put it into better context within the Troma oeuvre.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Kazaam Quiz

Oh man, so while I was in this abandoned building I fell three stories and I’m pretty sure I’m dead and this entire movie is a dream … regardless I at least have a massive concussion and can’t remember anything. Do you remember what happened in Kazaam?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film Max meets the genie Kazaam in an abandoned building. Why did he go into the building?

2) Max goes to meet his long lost father Nicholas Matteo. How does he find out where he is?

3) What is Max’s father’s job and why is he in trouble?

4) What three events make Max’s father’s eeeeeeeeeevil boss suspect that Kazaam is a genie?

5) What are Max’s three wishes?

Bonus Question: How many years in prison did Max’s father get for the concert fire?

Answers

Kazaam Preview

Jamie and Lindsey turn a corner heading for the stairs to the rooftop only to stop short at the sight of the cyborg bad movie twins. They are talking with a man hidden in the shadows who shouts for the cyborgs to stop them. Scrambling up to the roof, Jamie follows the steamy water pipe until finally he and Lindsey stand by two dials. “Here goes nothing,” they say, initiating the emergency electronic wash. With a loud boom they are blown backwards across the rooftop, landing at the feet of the cyborgs. But before they can destroy Jamie and Lindsey with their fearsome robot strength a voice rings out, “not so fast!” Freed from their computer simulation prison by the water and returned to their young, super athletic bodies, Patrick and Kyle stand ready for a fight. The shadowy figure approaches, slowly clapping. “Impressive,” he says softly, “I knew you were clever Patrick, but I didn’t think you had it in you to match wits with me. Certainly not your meathead brother there and his sad bunch of friends. But I guess there was some reason you always were our publisher’s favorite.” And with that he steps from the shadows and Jamie and Patrick gasp. That piece of shit Manfred Long. “You goddamn hack,” Patrick spits, “I should have known if there was anyone who would shamelessly rip-off the BMT brand it would be you.” But Manfred just chuckles at that and waves the Cyborgs over to Jamie, Kyle, and Lindsey. “Take them,” he says, “I want to have a little chat with Patrick here. See if we can’t make a deal. I now have the power to make any wish you want come true… as long as you play ball.” And with that he holds up the Obsidian Dongle. That’s right! It’s the original Wishmaster of the NBA (as everyone called him) Shaq and the 90’s rapping genie classic Kazaam. I think probably this was just a bit past prime time for Patrick and I so I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Let’s go!

The cyborgs approach Jamie, Kyle and Lindsey with their evil dead eyes glowing red. Gulp! Looks like the end for our heroes, that is until they hear a whistle from above and they see Rachel the Pretzel Girl soaring in on one of their hang gliders. “You feeling lucky, punks?” she shouts and Kyle pumps his fist at her wholly original quote. Let’s go! We are taking a risk with a Troma film for the Kazaam pairing and watching Getting Lucky about a Leprechaun that gives a nerd a chance at… well, getting lucky. Let’s go!

Kazaam (1996) – BMeTric: 83.8; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 28.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.5%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Spy Hard, Jingle All The Way, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Mulholland Falls, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, Eye for an Eye, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Crow: City of Angels, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Joe’s Apartment, High School High, and 50 more; Lower RT: The Dentist, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ed, Big Bully, Ripe, Bio-Dome; Notes: Wow that BMeTric is gaudy. How have we avoided doing this film until now? A sub-3.0 on IMDb is absurd for such a wide release, it is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Kazaam” is a textbook example of a filmed deal, in which adults assemble a package that reflects their own interests and try to sell it to kids. How else to explain a children’s movie where the villains are trying to steal a bootleg recording so they can sell pirated copies of it? What do kids know, or care, about that? The movie stars Shaquille O’Neal, the Orlando Magic’s superstar center, as Kazaam, a genie who is released from captivity in an old boom box and has to perform three wishes for a little kid (Francis Capra). Right there you have a wonderful illustration of the movie’s creative bankruptcy. Assigned to construct a starring vehicle for Shaq, the filmmakers looked at him, saw a tall bald black man, and said, “Hey, he can be a genie!” At which point, somebody should have said, “OK, that’s level one. Now let’s take it to level three.” Shaq has already proven he can act (in “Blue Chips,” the 1994 movie about college basketball). Here he shows he can be likable in a children’s movie. What he does not show is good judgment in his choice of material. This is a tired concept, written by the numbers. Kids old enough to know about Shaq as a basketball star will be too old to enjoy the movie. Younger kids won’t find much to engage them. And O’Neal shouldn’t have used the movie to promote his own career as a rap artist; the soundtrack sounds less like music to entertain kids than like a trial run for a Shaq album.

(Wow, he cuts right to the core. And yeah, that’s called a great B-plot. This movie sounds kind of amazing for that reason alone, I love B-plots that make no sense for a kids movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFVaxa1UKNg/

(Looks fun. Although now I remember why we haven’t done this one yet … it’s a kids movie. This is definitively a kids movie. Just give me all B-plot. Recut the entire film into just the B-plot.)

DirectorsPaul Michael Glaser – (Known For: The Running Man; The Cutting Edge; Future BMT: Band of the Hand; The Air Up There; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for directing an episode of Miami Vice. He played Starsky in Starsky and Hutch. He also directed a great Criminal Minds episode starring Jason Alexander called Masterpiece.)

WritersPaul Michael Glaser – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Interestingly his only real attempt at writing apparently. I have to imagine he did uncredited stuff previously and probably just did too much tickering as the director and got a credit.)

Christian Ford – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Wrote an episode of Deep Space Nine which I can already tell I was probably fuming at since Kai Winn played a big role in it (she was a central long-running villain in the show).)

Roger Soffer – (Known For: Throne of Elves; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Was Ford’s writing partner. Looks like they must have parted ways at some point since Soffer got his Throne of Elves credit in 2017 well after the bulk of their writing work.)

ActorsShaquille O’Neal – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; The Lego Movie; The House Bunny; What Men Want; Uncle Drew; Thunderstruck; Future BMT: Scary Movie 4; Good Burger; After the Sunset; The Smurfs 2; Blue Chips; The Wash; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Blended; Jack and Jill; Freddy Got Fingered; Kazaam; Steel; Show Dogs; Chairman of the Board; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Steel in 1998; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Blended in 2015; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Blue Chips in 1995; Notes: Y’all know Shaq. Probably the best NBA actor ever, even if he doesn’t always choose the best roles. A four time NBA champion with the Lakers and Heat, he might be the most dominant big man in history (and if not that, he’s at least the most unique given his body shape).)

Francis Capra – (Known For: A Bronx Tale; SLC Punk!; Veronica Mars; Blood and Bone; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Rampart; Black Irish; Dishdogz; Future BMT: A Simple Wish; BMT: Crank; Kazaam; Notes: Not related to Frank Capra. Amazingly I recognize him mostly from his adult role as Eli Navarro (Weevil) in Veronica Mars. He looks quite different now obviously.)

Ally Walker – (Known For: While You Were Sleeping; Singles; Happy, Texas; Welcome to Hollywood; When the Bough Breaks; Mischief Night; Wonderful World; Eye of the Storm; The Seventh Coin; Future BMT: Bed of Roses; Steal Big Steal Little; BMT: Universal Soldier; Kazaam; Notes: Has been pretty much continuously employed in major television roles since the mid-90s besides taking a 10 year break while she was raising a family in the early 2000s. Was the star of the show Profiler.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $18,937,262 (Worldwide: $18,937,262)

(Yep, a huge bomb, and likely Ebert is right in this case. There is no way this didn’t derail any cinematic career Shaq could have had (well … until he became a staple of Adam Sandler comedies I suppose, he was in at least four of those).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (2/37): Crafted from a mix of genre clichés, Kazaam doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be, and Shaq’s larger-than-life charisma is stifled by rote filmmaking and an unimaginative story.

(Yeah, sounds about right. Two good reviews, and they basically just say Shaq is charming and the film old-school but fine.)

Reviewer Highlight: Kazaam never brings off the trick we most want to see: It fails to make the jolly, 7-foot-1 Shaq larger than life. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sha-blam

(Love the font, hate everything else. Like Ebert said it makes you wonder about the choices Shaq was making at the time. Like he can actually act and is charming as hell and yet he apparently was so keen on being a rapper that he did this shit. The poster looks like it’s for a straight-to-video talking cat movie or something. D)

Tagline(s) – The world’s most powerful genie has just met his match. (F)

(The world’s most powerful genie… as opposed to all those less powerful genies we are familiar with? It’s amazing that they were so set on using this generic tagline that they tried to force it. It no longer even makes sense. I think I hate it… yup, I hate it.)

Keyword(s) – genie

Top 10: Aladdin (2019), Bedazzled (2000), Aladdin (1992), Weird Science (1985), Aladdin (2020), Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002), Kazaam (1996), Burying the Ex (2014), The Tale of Despereaux (2008), Five Children and It (2004)

Future BMT: 13.9 Three Wishes (1995)

BMT: Kazaam (1996)

Matches: Kazaam (1996), The Lamp (1987), Miracle Beach (1992), Wishman (1992), Pretty Cool Too (2007), Wish Me Luck (1995), Djinn (2008), Wildest Dreams (1990), The Incredible Genie (1999), Shivers Down Your Spine (2015), Jinn (2016), Wishful Thinking the Series (2015)

(So few films with a genie … that somehow feels wrong, but yet, yeah … an all powerful, immortal being doesn’t leave much original storytelling ideas. The actual matches are mostly pretty small, Kazaam is the only major release. That is, if you want to be specific about the difference between a Djinn and a genie (this movie certainly does …))

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Efren Ramirez is No. 4 billed in Kazaam and No. 4 billed in Crank, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 14. If we were to watch Blue Chips, and Three Fugitives we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Despite the fact that this film was a critical and financial disaster, Shaquille O’Neal has not expressed regret for his involvement. He said in a 2012 interview, “I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I going to say, no? So I did it.”

John Costelloe plays a firefighter in this movie. In real life, he was a firefighter for 11 years before retiring in 1998. He also played a volunteer firefighter in The Sopranos (1999).

The main villain’s name is Malik, which is the Arabic word for king.

This movie is part of the false memory phenomenon (also called the “Mandela Effect”). According to many people, there was a movie named “Shazaam” starring Sinbad as the genie. This false memory was probably caused by a mix-up with this film and a costume Sinbad wore in 1994 when he hosted a TV broadcast of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). For April Fools’ Day 2017, the team of CollegeHumor Originals (2006) filmed a skit about alleged VHS footage of the Shazaam movie, with Sinbad starring as the genie.

Paul Michael Glaser’s last movie as a director, as of July 2021. He continues to direct television.

Son of the Mask Recap

Jamie

The Mask is back, Jack! Tim Avery just wants to be an animator. His wife just wants a baby. Loki just wants his mask back. These dreams all come together when Tim finds the mask, impresses everyone at work, and conceives a son… of the mask. But Loki is still after them. Can they stop Loki (and learn to raise a baby!) before it’s too late? Find out in… The Son of the Mask.

How?! Tim Avery is a giant, terrible man child. His wife is wildly successful and wants to have a baby, but he’s like, “No, I’m a giant terrible man child and I have to become a successful animator so I can make any child of mine proud of me.” So instead he sets out trying to chase his animation dreams. Things are not going well until one day his dog brings home the mask and Tim is like, dope. When a costume party at work rolls around he is scrambling for a costume and decides to use the mask. You better believe is all the rage at the party where he dances, sings, and jokes his way into everyone’s hearts. That night he makes sweet sweet mask love to his wife who obviously becomes pregnant. His boss is also pregnant… with ideas about how great it would be for Tim to make a show about the mask. Enter writer’s block. With the stressors of a new job, new kid, and no idea where the mask went, Tim is struggling to juggle all his responsibilities. His wife (still wildly successful) has to go on a trip and things start to get pretty hairy. That’s cause his dog is jealous of the baby and uses the mask it found to terrorize everyone. The baby is also totally maskified and so he gives it right back to the dog. Meanwhile I forgot to mention that Loki is looking for the mask and enters the fray trying to take everyone out. There are a bunch of silly battles and shit and eventually Loki gets the baby and demands the mask in exchange. Tim and his wife show up and Tim (as the Mask) battles Loki for his son, which ends when Tim takes his mask off and his son, feeling his paternal love, runs to him. Loki attempts one more time to kill them, but is stopped by Odin who, convinced of the joys of fatherhood, reconciles with Loki. Hooray. They all live happily ever after. THE END.

Why?! Much like Freddy Got Fingered the plot is driven by the main character man-child and his dreams of becoming an animation superstar. All the meanwhile his son wants to get rid of Tim, the dog wants to get rid of the baby, and Loki just wants the mask. This is all resolved by the end after wasting everyone’s time.

Who?! Some fun ones here. The baby is portrayed by twin actors, as is common with child actors. Neither baby went on to do anything after this which makes sense… they were babies. Bear the Dog portrayed Otis and he did appear in a few other films, but this was by far the biggest. Which also reminds me that the original Mask had one of the greatest dog actors of all time. Just another thing this sequel totally whiffed on.

What?! Of course the titular Mask is a pretty famous MacGuffin. Here more so than in the original, even, as Loki is specifically after it the entire film. Some reviews talk about extensive product placement in this film, but really the only one I remember is at the beginning of the film where Jamie Kennedy is playing a Game Boy Advance. Specifically he is playing Mark Kart: Super Circuit.

Where?! The Mask in general takes place in a fake comic book world. The large city in the original is called Edge City. In this one the mask travels to a smaller city called Fringe City, which seems generally more idyllic. So really this doesn’t take place anywhere and they did a good job making it seem that way by filming in Australia. Looks kooky. B+, even though it’s fake.

When?! Solid time setting at the beginning of the film with the whole crux of Tim’s professional career riding on the big big big Halloween party at work. From there the timeline gets crazy. He impresses so much at work that he gets a big show deal, but it appears to be a full year later and they are just presenting the very beginning of a pitch to investors. I mean his wife got pregnant, had the baby, and is leaving Tim alone with the baby and he still hasn’t even drawn the pitch for his cartoon. Nuts. A-.

I rewatched The Mask in preparation for watching this film and boy, there might not be a better example of how far you can miss the mark on a sequel. It takes about five seconds of the original film to realize that Jim Carrey was born to play the Mask and there are zero other people that could have made it all work… so of course the film replaces him with a crazy faced Jamie Kennedy, a cgi dog, and a cgi baby. At that point it was over. There was no saving the film. Even if the whole thing wasn’t also filled with juvenile humor and an odd Norse mythology throughline it would have failed spectacularly. And it did. It was actually hard to sit through. Dog poo to the moon. I think the only thing I think might be OK is the general premise of growth and paternal love involving Tim and Odin/Loki. I mean… that’s not the worst message to see put to screen. Tim does end up being a good dad. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are watching a true blue modern bad movie classic. That’s rare, we usually watch exclusively garbage even by bad movie standards. You’re welcome. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Kids’ movie? Classic top 10 worst films of all time candidate we somehow didn’t watch in the first ten years of BMT? Looks like dog poo in my face? That’s right, it is (finally) time for Son of the Mask! The best fact from the preview was that someone won a cameo in The Mask 2 from Nintendo Power, but then when the movie got canceled he ended up with $5,000 instead of waiting for a part in this film … good choice. What were my expectations? Dog poo in my face. Directly in there. Mostly just because it is a kids film.

The Good – Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. There is a kernel of a maybe okay kids’ movie in this film that has absolutely nothing to do with The Mask. Loki is a trickster punished to have his essence placed into a something (specifically NOT a mask) and himself trapped on Earth as an immortal for 1000 years or whatever. And then, just as he is supposed to get his essence back, it gets placed into a cartoonist’s baby. The baby does a bunch of classic cartoon stuff, and drives the father crazy. And in the end Loki learns to love Odin again, and Odin learns to accept Loki for who he really is (awwwwww). That is basically this movie, but cut all the nonsense about The Mask out (and no dog). That’s a maybe okay movie, right? Doesn’t sounds horrible. Best Bit: Loki I think (played by Alan Cummings).

The Bad – Anything where you can tell this was a semi-aborted sequel to The Mask. I’m pretty convinced that this film was only halfway made as a sequel to The Mask, the other half being the fight between the baby and the dog which forms the core of the storyline. And I don’t mean any real offense … but Jamie Kennedy is really really bad in this. It is like he is playing someone who is really really dumb, but then this person is also supposed to be responsible and smart and talented. But he seems really dumb, and Kennedy plays the character that way for some reason. If there was an inverse Oscars for Worst Makeup in Film History this would win for The Mask makeup. Also it basically just uses the dancing baby CGI thing from The Daily Show. How did this stuff get worse in the ten years between the two films? It makes no sense. This film is really bad, I recommend it to no one. Fatal Flaw: It being a sequel to The Mask makes me sad.

The BMT – Dog poo in my face obviously. Obviously. … Obviously, right? It is, but I will maintain that there is a kernel of something in there. I was a bit surprised the storyline was as normal as it ends up being. It is somewhat coherent with a normal weird-B-story (like all the best bad kids films do). So it has that going for it. Appropriately terrible. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, but since I would also never ever watch this film again, I bet it doesn’t really end up doing much as far as BMT history is concerned.

Roast-radamus – Solid Product Placement (What?) for the Game Boy Advance at the beginning of the film. Definitely a decent Secret Holiday Film (When?) for having their bit Halloween party at the beginning of the film. Obviously this is an A+ MacGuffin (Why?) for the titular mask, which is a solid claim to fame, especially for a kids’ film. This is obviously closest to BMT, it is appropriately insane as far as makeup and CGI is concerned.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think the movie itself gives you the idea of what this should have been: a cartoon. As a matter of fact they already had a Mask cartoon in the mid-90s, presumably as they were trying to get Carrey back for a sequel. Here though you make a direct sequel to the cartoon series, but posit that after spending years as the mask, something indelible occurred with Stanley Ipkiss, he changed in some way. And so, as he happily retires the mask and settles down into some happy years as a mild-mannered bank manager, his new baby boy ends up taking on some of The Mask powers. In fact, the child has become, in some way, the son of Odin himself. In the first episode Odin comes down and offers to take his son to Asgard to be raised among a people who won’t fear his powers, but Ipkiss, using the powers of The Mask, decides to instead raise him himself and reign in his mischievous ways in an attempt to guide him to using his powers for good (much like Ipkiss in the original film eventually did). Would have been a fun concept I think, but the one thing is it has to be a cartoon! The live-action stuff only works with Carrey and he wasn’t down. Son of the Mask still works well as a title, or maybe The Mask Jr.

You Just Got Schooled – Of course in order to actually assess Son of the Mask I needed to rewatch The Mask. For those who don’t remember, Jim Carrey had an absurd 1994 where he starred in The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Ace Ventura in a single year. A tour de force. The Mask I remember being rather disappointed with. No longer! Having now watched it with an adult brain and without heaps of expectations the film is pretty awesome. Maybe one of the better comic book movies starring a normal person / sans superheroes? And Jim Carrey is amazing. It is an abomination that they thought they could make The Mask 2 without him … it makes no sense. He’s a living breathing cartoon character! And you replaced him with Jamie Kennedy. Just the worst. Not this film though. The Mask is great. A. Loved rewatching it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Son of the Mask Quiz

Oh man, so one day my dog brought me this gnarly (literally) mask and I put it on and I became just like Jim Carrey in that movie from the 90’s … but then I bonked my head while doing my signature Tasmanian Devil spin and I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Son of the Mask?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film we meet Tim Avery who lives in Fringe City and is deeply fearful of fatherhood. What is his job?

2) But his life changes when he gets the mask. Where does he get it from?

3) Meanwhile Loki is looking for the mask. Why?

4) Well, now Tim has a kid and something is a … bit off with him. And their dog actually. The literal baby forms a master plan to get Tim out of the picture. What is the plan?

5) In the end Tim faces Loki, saves his son, and gets his big break. What is the concept of the cartoon he ultimately makes at the end of the film?

Bonus Question: In one of those intertitle sequences they explain what happens to everyone after the end of the film. What ultimately happened to Alvey, the titular Son of the Mask?

Answers

Son of the Mask Preview

After walking Kyle through the math it seems pretty straightforward: the sham R&P film is only one review away from not qualifying for BMT. “And so all we need is to somehow insert sexy mannequins into the film and it’ll be within your scope to review?” But Kyle shakes his head and explains that the film already has mannequins. “And they’re really quite striking,” he adds, sending a shiver up Jamie’s spine. The site has even already written a review. “So how was the movie?” asks Jamie. Kyle shakes his head and wrinkles his nose. Patrick throws up his hands. “So if you already wrote a bad review then how does that help us?” but Kyle shakes his head again and reiterates, “the mannequins… they were very striking.” Patrick feels bile in the back of his throat. They summarize: Kyle has a website (check), it reviewed the film (check), and they gave it a good review (check). “Cause of the extremely striking mannequins,” confirms Kyle. “The only problem,” he continues, “is that we don’t meet the eligibility requirements. Jamie and Patrick nod in understanding. It is pretty strict and obviously SMT isn’t getting 4 million hits a year, but Kyle is taken aback. “Of course we have 4 million hits a year… we have 4 million subscribers,” he says as Jamie’s mouth falls open in shock. “It’s mostly because one of our three reviewers isn’t qualified as an individual critic. Me and my brother Lyle are, but our other brother Miles isn’t because he’s only written for the site for a year.” So all they had to do was hack the planet and juke Miles’ stats? Kyle nods, “and I actually know an elite hacker. My son Niall, but… he’s a bit of a wild card.” That’s right! We are watching the sequel to the comedy classic The Mask that literally no one was asking for. A decade after the first film they jettisoned everything that people loved from the first one in order to make a film with a CGI dog/baby instead of Jim Carrey. Seems like a plan. Let’s go!

Son of the Mask (2005) – BMeTric: 92.8; Notability: 74

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 8.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.1% Higher Notability: The Island, Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven, Domino, Bewitched, Be Cool, Chicken Little, Memoirs of a Geisha, xXx²: The Next Level, The Longest Yard; Lower RT: Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, The Fog, Chaos, Supercross, Hate Crime, Yours, Mine & Ours; Notes: It is famous for a reason! One of the highest BMeTrics ever due to having 50K votes with a sub-3.0 (!) IMDb rating. Truly an astonishing feat, the lowest BMeTric of 2005.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Kennedy isn’t ready to be a father but conceives a baby anyway, wearing a supernatural mask. It, in turn, is coveted by a Norse god’s son (Cumming, in another of his leftover Paul Reubens roles). The god himself is played by Hoskins, in layers of makeup, and by this time the creaks are louder than anything in The Son of the Sheik. So-called sequel to The Mask (1994) is raucous without mercy, and burdened by a charmless cast; it has to plunder Chuck Jones’ cartoon One Froggy Evening to glean even a few good moments.

(Overly long review IMO (saved only by a late snippet semicolon). The review manages to completely undersell just how ridiculous this movie is and how famous it is as a legendary bad movie. I think this is Baby Geniuses level bad, and yet Leonard talks about it like it is a little kooky and unoriginal. No respect.)

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

(Oh man, they’re really showcasing the dancing baby and cartoon dog huh? Kind of amazing what they’ve done to The Mask. An abomination of a sequel for no good reason.)

Directors – Lawrence Guterman – (Known For: Cats & Dogs; BMT: Son of the Mask; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Was a CGI wizard hired out of film school by Spielberg to help direct Dreamworks projects. Went to Harvard and MIT as well at times.)

Writers – Lance Khazei (written by) – (BMT: Son of the Mask; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Also went to Harvard which makes me think he might have known Guterman in some capacity prior to the film. Was a writer on the Chevy Chase show, and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for the Great Minds Think For Themselves shorts.)

Actors – Jamie Kennedy – (Known For: Romeo + Juliet; Scream, Dead Poets Society; Enemy of the State; As Good as It Gets; Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; Scream 2; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Three Kings; Scream 3; Boiler Room; The Hungover Games; Bowfinger; Extreme Movie; Spinning Man; Roe v. Wade; Last Call; The Sand; Trick; Clockwatchers; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Malibu’s Most Wanted; Kickin’ It Old Skool; Max Keeble’s Big Move; Good Deeds; Bait; Skin Deep; BMT: Son of the Mask; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Allegedly helped his acting career by pretending to be his own agent. Dated Jennifer Love Hewitt in the late 2000s.)

Traylor Howard – (Known For: Me, Myself & Irene; Confessions of a Sexist Pig; Future BMT: Dirty Work; BMT: Son of the Mask; Notes: Probably most well known for her role as the assistant to Monk on the Emmy winning show Monk. I think she was the second assistant after Bitty Schram left the show.)

Alan Cumming – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; GoldenEye; X-Men 2; Spy Kids; Josie and the Pussycats; It’s Complicated; Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion; Battle of the Sexes; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Emma; Titus; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Nicholas Nickleby; Sweet Land; Black Beauty; Circle of Friends; The Anniversary Party; Dare; The Tempest; Hurricane Bianca; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Smurfs 2; The Smurfs; Strange Magic; Buddy; BMT: Son of the Mask; Spice World; Garfield; Get Carter; Show Dogs; Burlesque; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Was nominated for four Emmys, once for organizing the Tonys, and three other times as a guest star on The Good Wife. He won a Tony Awards as a lead in Cabaret in 1998.)

Budget/Gross – $84,000,000 / Domestic: $17,018,422 (Worldwide: $59,981,548)

(Brutal, although somehow I doubt they actually spent 84 million dollars on the film. That has to be some fudging. I still assume it was a pretty major loss considering the amount of CGI involved.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (6/105): Overly frantic, painfully unfunny, and sorely missing the presence of Jim Carrey.

(Well yeah. There should never have been a sequel without Carrey. Reviewer Highlight: No doubt extensive market research shows that there’s an audience out there for movies like Son Of The Mask, but it’s too depressing to speculate who that might be. – Scott Tobias, Variety)

Poster – Sklogtown USA 2: Maskalicious

(Sometimes I just don’t have a pun for the poster. Deal with it. The whole thing makes me a little sad though. Not like Ace Ventura Jr. sad, but still pretty sad. Lots of things going on, nothing that I want to see. Good font, too much going on to understand. Could be worse, but couldn’t be sadder. C-)

Tagline(s) – The next generation of mischief (C+)

(This is fine. It gets the point across in a not totally terrible way, but not in a way that is interesting. The more concerning tagline on the poster is “From the director of Cats & Dogs.” That’s an F.)

Keyword – transformation

Top 10: Mortal Kombat (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Conjuring 2 (2016), Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The New Mutants (2020), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Doctor Sleep (2019), The Matrix (1999)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 69.5 Teen Wolf Too (1987), 69.1 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 68.8 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 61.0 Cursed (2005), 60.7 Skinwalkers (2006);

BMT: Masters of the Universe (1987), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Fantastic Four (2015), Hellboy (2019), Vampire Academy (2014), Gods of Egypt (2016), Batman & Robin (1997), Event Horizon (1997), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), The Mummy (2017), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Super Mario Bros. (1993), R.I.P.D. (2013), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Lost in Space (1998), I Am Number Four (2011), Queen of the Damned (2002), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Pixels (2015), Little Nicky (2000), Seventh Son (2014), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Slender Man (2018), Dragonball Evolution (2009), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), Jason X (2001), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Dreamcatcher (2003), Dracula 2001 (2000), Beastly (2011), Son of the Mask (2005), The Lawnmower Man (1992), A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), I, Frankenstein (2014), The Golden Child (1986), Troll (1986), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), Species II (1998), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

(Man, a lot of films do transformations. Only thing this really tells me is the Notability is below average for the film. I’m excited to watch Teen Wolf Too though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Alan Cumming is No. 2 billed in Son of the Mask and No. 8 billed in Get Carter (2000), 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) => 2 + 8 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Buddy, and Two for the Money we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Plans for a sequel, “The Mask II,’ were in the works years before this film. Nintendo Power magazine held a contest, and first prize was a walk-on role in that movie. The project was canceled, and Nintendo Power issued a public apology to the contest winner in their final issue. Years later, the winner was revealed as Nathan Ryan Runk, from Arbutus, Maryland. The film was technically on hold, so Runk could have chosen the role or money and merchandise. Runk, who was 12 at the time, chose the money, and received $5,000, a film crew jacket (which he later lost), and several Super Nintendo video games, including “Pilotwings 64” on Nintendo 64. He later claimed it was “absolutely the right call.” (Yeah it was, although it would have been a better call to keep the jacket in mint condition and sell it to me for another $5,000)

Film critic Richard Roeper admitted that in the five years he co-hosted with Roger Ebert, this film was the closest he’d come to walking out halfway. Looking back, he wishes he’d walked out.

Initially was supposed to be a follow-up to the original, with Jim Carrey returning as Stanley Ipkiss, but Carrey decided after making Ace Ventura 2 that playing the same character twice wasn’t interesting to him at the time, so the sequel was shelved, and this stand-alone film was developed instead due to Carrey’s indifference to the project. Subsequently, Carrey became more open to sequels, costarring in “Dumb and Dumber To” and stating in 2020 that he wanted to do sequels to both The Mask and Sonic the Hedgehog.

When asked why he agreed to do the film, Jamie Kennedy responded, “I’ll give you 2.5 million reasons.”

Jack Black turned down the role of Tim Avery. (Would have been an infinitely better movie, although still terrible)

Ben Stein is the only actor in this sequel who was also in The Mask (1994).

This is one of four times that a movie starring Jim Carrey had a sequel in which Carrey was not involved. The other sequels are: Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), Evan Almighty (2007) and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. (2009). (I cut it down, but the note did say Batman Forever didn’t count)

Two dogs played Otis. They were each taught different tricks. Their fur was dyed in patches so they matched on screen.

The character name Tim Avery is a reference to the cartoonist Tex Avery.

Inconsistent with The Mask. In the first movie the mask only works at night but in this one it seems to work anytime even during the day. (There are a bunch of incongruities, in the first it also suggests Loki was trapped in the mask, so him being a character is weird)

Marlyn Waynes, Matthew Lillard, and Ryan Reynolds were all considered for the role of “Tim Avery.”

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jamie Kennedy, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Alan Cumming, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Bob Hoskins, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Jamie Kennedy, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Lawrence Guterman, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Lance Khazei, 2006)

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Recap

Jamie

The Gutes is back, Jack! This time Commandant Lassard has been given the chance to start Citizens on Patrol, a program where regular citizens get police training. But things quickly go sour when Capt. Harris comes back to head the program. Can Mahoney and the gang save the program and the day before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol.

How?! Considering his long history of success with the police academy, Commandant Lassard is given the opportunity to test out his pet project: C.O.P, Citizens on Patrol. It’s a program where regular citizens take the law into their own hands by training at the academy. All of our Police Academy friends are called back into action to help make the program work, but unfortunately Lassard is sent off to promote the program at a police seminar, leaving Capt. Harris in charge. Oh no! Harris thinks C.O.P. is real dumb, particularly after a couple of skateboarders (what jokesters) are thrown in the program in lieu of being sent to jail. Despite the program generally running OK, even sparking a love interest for Zed, Harris is the brunt of a series of pranks that makes him even more determined to shut the program down. Really, though, he doesn’t do anything to stop the program. Instead on the very first day that C.O.P. is out on the streets the citizens spoil a long running undercover police operation. Just as Lassard triumphantly returns to show off the program to a bunch of international police bigwigs he is informed that C.O.P. is donzo. Everyone is real sad. That is until Harris’ precinct allows for a number of hardened criminals/ninjas (this is real) to escape their jail. The C.O.Ps and our police academy friends team up to track down the criminals using jet skis and hot air balloons (naturally). Harris comes off looking like a total loser, duh, while Lassard and the police academics are heroes once again. Oh and the Gutes smooches his latest love interest (Sharon Stone!). Hooray. THE END. 

Why?! By the fourth one they are really struggling to keep a coherent plot together. Lassard wants to improve police-community relations and so C.O.P. is his idea to do that. The Police Academy crew seem to just want to help out their friend. Harris is just a dick and thinks police work shouldn’t be handled by the community. It’s all very vague and constantly interrupted by whatever prank the police academy jokesters are playing on their latest victim.

Who?! The presence of NFL player Bubba Smith has to be noted. Pro boxer Tex Cobb also had a cameo appearance. He’s better known (to me) as Lyle in Ernest Goes to Jail. Finally, we get some rad skateboarding scenes that are some of my favorite images put to film. Apparently a number of pro skateboarders were used for that including Tony Hawk.

What?! I am truly at a loss for anything for this section. So I’m just going to go on a tear regarding the prank that plays a huge part in the Where?! and When?! sections. That’s the 1986 Mazda Gator Bowl. Sure it’s not really a product placement because it’s neither seen nor heard in the film, but it was the first time the Gator Bowl was sponsored in any capacity, so that’s kind of a fun fact.

Where?! This is a little strange because pretty much everything the Police Academy world is built on has them operating in an anonymous American city. However, as mentioned above we have a prank that distinctly features the 1986 Gator Bowl between Clemson and Stanford in Jacksonville, FL… so is Police Academy set in Jacksonville? Possibly. C-.

When?! Police Academy doesn’t just exist outside of space. It also exists outside of time. It is useless to dive too deep into this or waste effort on it. However… much like above if the events were to coincide with the 1986 Gator Bowl then we would have a Super Secret Almost Too Secret to Count Holiday Film Alert as that game took place two days after Christmas, so likely portions of the film would occur on Christmas. And before you even entertain any other possibilities: yes, that is the only time Clemson and Stanford have ever played. C-.

I really enjoy watching franchises. There are so many flavors. Last week we had a classic horror franchise that built lore while bringing the monster to the forefront. This time we have a classic megahit stretched for all its worth. Every film in the series basically rehashes the same formula that struck gold in the first, low-budget entry. Gutes is smirking, Winslow is beeping and booping, and somebody wants to stop them from succeeding. The further you get into the franchise the more the plot becomes tissue thin. Just squashed between random pranks, jokes, and Winslow’s sound effects (which I’m not sure actually counts as a joke). At this point Guttenberg’s love interest barely says a word or is given the time of day before she’s riding off into the sunset with him in a hot air balloon. They don’t need her to… you already know Gutes will be smooching on her, so who needs character development? You can really feel that by the fourth entry they simply had a series of dots that they were connecting in order to move onto the next one. No wonder they were able to make the first six films in less than five years (!). Overall I wasn’t offended by how terrible the film was or anything (although there are numerous actually offensive things in the series), but it is a terrible film. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Police Academy series is something of a marvel, four films with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Five films given a BOMB by Leonard Maltin. It might actually be the worst franchise ever made. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – We’re back babyyyyyy. We watched the first two Police Academy’s two years ago (I think, if you told me it was five years ago I probably wouldn’t be shocked, BMT just blends together at this point), and it was high time we started back in. By all accounts the later sequels are just the same unfunny garbage over and over with little plot. Excellent. What were my expectations? The same unfunny garbage over and over with little plot.

The Good – As far as an ensemble cast is concerned there is a good mix of 80s charm (Guttenberg), 80s tropes (Bubba Smith as a generic sports figure turned comedy actor, Sweetchuck as the nerd), and off the wall comedians like Bobcat and Winslow. As a first credit for David Spade he is quite good and you can see why he ended up being a solid comedy actor soon after. I wonder, given that he has the same origin as Guttenberg in the original police academy, put in the program in lieu of prison, if the intention was for the character to come back in the sequels … that didn’t work out. I guess what I’m saying is the only good thing in this film is the cast. Best Bit: The cast.

The Bad – I mean, it is unfunny garbage that is the same jokes over and over and there literally isn’t a plot. The Commandant wants to create a citizen police force because he feels like the police and citizens have a bad relationship. They do, despite the meddling of people who want the Commandant to fail. It blows up in their faces, but then, once some ninjas escape (totally true) they realize it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. The end. That’s the story. And I honestly can’t think of a single joke in the entire film I found funny. I can’t even think of a single joke from the film period. Fatal Flaw: It isn’t funny despite apparently being a comedy.

The BMT – We are getting there. By all accounts the fourth film is the jumping off point for the series to really go downhill. The next one is Miami, then City Under Siege, and then Russia … so they are really just blowing it out after this one. This can be remembered in BMT legend as the last reasonably sane Police Academy film. Oh and also for having the raddest skateboarding montage in history! It is out of nowhere and completely amazing. Do yourself a favor and watch this thing:

Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, it was unfunny garbage which drove the same bad jokes into the ground over and over until it unceremoniously ended.

Roast-radamus – I genuinely think this doesn’t qualify for any superlatives which is quite interesting, it is even in what is described as an unnamed city according to Wikipedia (it seems like Los Angeles, but that is probably not the case considering the giant waterfall nearby … so it is like a cross between Los Angeles and Toronto?). It is closest to BMT I think.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think it is time for the long awaited Prequel to the entire Police Academy. We knew Mahoney as a lackadaisical petty-criminal-turned-prized-officer in the series, but what about those petty criminal days? Mahoney prowls the bodacious bods of the beach by day, and hustles the mean streets of Unnamed City by night. But when he witnesses a murder most foul, he gets roped into the detective business with straightlaced beat cop Carmichael Treech. What an odd couple! With Treech’s world weary tenacity, and Mahoney’s street smarts, they get all the baddies and save the day, hooray! No explanation is provided as to why, given Mahoney actually worked with the police department before, that this is never mentioned in any of the films. Don’t worry about it. That’s Mahoney: A Police Academy Story.

You Just Got Schooled – So previously on BMT we watched the first two films. This time around the third didn’t qualify (barely, hitting exactly 40%), so Police Academy 3: Back in Training had to be viewed separately. All of these films are the same. The third and fourth film are basically just the first film except with different motivations for why they are at the academy. Here they are there because Lessard needs them to help him save the Academy in a competition. Inexplicably both Zed (the bad guy from the second film) and Sweetchuck (an antiques dealer if memory serves) have now joined the force and are quite the odd couple / secret best friends. Literally, not a moment of this film is funny, but that isn’t much different than any of the sequels to the first film so … I guess carry on. This was merely an appetizer for the main course of four straight Police Academy films with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. D+. Not funny, but also not annoying enough to give an F I think.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Quiz

Oh man, so as I’ve done several times before, I joined the police force (such is my life) and hit the mean streets ready to bust some heads and solve crimes. Well, wouldn’t you know, but a bunch of baddies pop out and bopped me right on the head and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does the Commandant want to create Citizens on Patrol (COP)?

2) Randomly David Spade is in this film. What do the bad guy cops want to arrest him for and what is he sentenced for?

3) Bobcat Goldthwait does not like Captain Harris. So what does he replace his deodorant with?

4) What event screws up the launch of COP?

5) And what event saves COP from certain disaster?

Bonus Question: As we all know The Gutes left the Police Academy series after this film, but do you know why his character leaves the LAPD (or at least stops returning the Commandant’s phone calls)?

Answers

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Preview

Jamie and Patrick walk down a dark alley, steam spewing from the sewer grates. Patrick twirls a baton and Jamie mutters, “if I wanted to chase after aliums I would have joined the Alium Brigade,” getting a chuckle from Patrick. They stop in their tracks and look at each other in confusion. Why are they suddenly cops again? They look down at their uniforms and see the shiny nametags declaring them Det. Rich and Poe. Wait a tick, that can’t be right? They aren’t Rich and Poe… they’re trying to save Rich and Poe. And yet this dream is so real. They can smell the hot summer stench of the city. They can feel the sweat soaking through their slightly too-tight uniforms. They can hear the dusky chuckle of a nearby fiend. “Who-who’s that?” stammers Jamie. From the shadows steps a horrible fiend. Oh! He’s terrifying and oh boy… I mean, if you could see him you would def be totally scared for sure. Just check this out: “Get ready for some action, bitches,” the monster lisps as he proceeds to do a dumbo somersault into some trash cans like a dope. Jamie and Patrick shrug and help the big stupid monster up. He seems a bit embarrassed and assures them that he is definitely scary, it’s just that he hasn’t been sleeping super great. “Probably cause you’re haunting our dreams,” Patrick suggests helpfully, “so maybe stop that.” The monster shrugs in agreement. “Yeah and try this Rich and Poe Blanket and Tea set. It might help and is pretty rad.” But the monster seems ambivalent, “I don’t care for that… seems like odd branding.” 

Jamie and Patrick wake up screaming in a cold sweat. What a nightmare. They’re just glad they’re back in the real world as regular citizens. That’s right! We are catching another entry in the classic comedy series Police Academy by hitting the fourth film, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. The third film barely doesn’t qualify, which helps simplify things. Bring on the Gutes! Let’s go!

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) – BMeTric: 60.4; Notability: 54

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0% Higher BMeT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Teen Wolf Too; Higher Notability: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Who’s That Girl; Notes: … You know normally I would be like “whatever, 5.0 is pretty bad”, but this film has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it got a BOMB from Leonard, just look at his six word review! I would have imagined this would be much lower, even in the 3.0s. The Notability is incredibly high … I guess there are like 40 people in this super ensemble cast.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  More of the same, only worse.

(My God, Leonard! The writers had families! This series is a marvel. 2.5 stars, BOMB, 1.5 stars, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB … five of Leonard’s BOMB reviews are for this series alone. Leonard mostly follows along with critics in general, the first is the best, the third is the closest to being fine for the sequels, everything else is awful.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adlo9hJpemE/

(Looks brutal. But can we expect anything less from the late entries to this franchise? I think it is probably not great that almost no screen time is devoted to the actual Citizens on Patrol. And that is despite that fact that at least one of them is definitely in the cartoon series, so they were likely intent on carrying through popular characters across the sequels. What a weird and wild series this is.)

Directors – Jim Drake – (Future BMT: Cannonball Fever; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Speed Zone in 1990; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for directing episodes of The Golden Girls and Buffalo Bill.)

Writers – Neal Israel (characters) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Helped raise Mollie Heckerling who was the biological daughter of Harold Ramis, something she details in her book Ghostbuster’s Daughter.)

Pat Proft (characters) – (Known For: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Hot Shots! Part Deux; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Van Dyke and Company, he was good friends with Zucker and wrote on basically all of their spoof films as well.)

Gene Quintano (written by) – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Sudden Death; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; Future BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Operation Dumbo Drop; King Solomon’s Mines; Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Musketeer; Notes: Was offered the directing role for this film, but turned it down. Regretting it he eventually debuted with Honeymoon Academy starring Kim Catrall which went straight to video.)

Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield (characters) (uncredited) – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Both were writers on SNL in the early 80s and ended up writing on a bunch of Eddie Murphy films as a result.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Cocoon; Roe v. Wade; Rifkin’s Festival; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Bigger; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Trauma Center; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Amazon Women on the Moon; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Home for the Holidays; Don’t Tell Her It’s Me; Lez Bomb; Major Movie Star; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Surrender; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: You know The Gutes! I would highly recommend his episode of Party Down, I think it probably reflects what appears to be the genuine kindness of Steve Guttenberg.)

Bubba Smith – (Known For: Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Silence of the Hams; Black Moon Rising; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Played in the NFL for ten years before switching to acting. Was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2011.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Nice Dreams; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Gingerclown; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; The Trumpet of the Swan; CHARACTERz; Think Big; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Lovelines; Buy & Cell; Underground Aces; Going Under; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Decided to pursue standup as the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects. He moved to Los Angeles and ended up winning The Gong Show twice.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $28,061,343 (Worldwide: $28,061,343)

(Just printed money. And according to some of the actors in it (Graf in particular) a decent paycheck, so I guess rest assured that that $17 million did make its way into the stars’ pockets. Is there an equivalent to this kind of stuff these days? Or was it all absorbed into like … web series or something?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/20): Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.

(Wow a 0%. Actually that isn’t nearly as impressive as you think. The first three films are fairly normal (55%, 31%, 40%) review wise … and then the last four all have 0%!! That is just … well, that is something else. Reviewer Highlight: Script is merely a collection of gags tied together by the slightest suggestion of a story. – Variety Staff)

Poster – The Gute’s Big Balloon Adventure

(I really like this. I know there are some recent comedies that have played on the tradition of comedy posters, but there isn’t anything quite like an original. Just look at those cartoon renditions of real people all doing zany things in a balloon! Look at the font! The biggest problem really is that it makes it seem like a film about hot air balloon cops, which is honestly better than the actual plot of Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol. A)

Tagline(s) – Take off with the original cast… and some new civilian recruits as they take to the streets and the skies to fight crime. (D+)

(They really are leaning on the final hot air balloon/stunt plane finale. They mostly in fact do not take to the skies. Otherwise this is an accurate and disastrously long tagline. D+. A bump for the little “take off” pun at the beginning but that’s about it.)

Keyword – police chase

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), Knives Out (2019), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Birds of Prey (2020), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), The Goonies (1985), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Future BMT: 73.8 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), 65.1 The Cold Light of Day (2012), 57.4 First Sunday (2008), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 53.4 Meet the Browns (2008), 51.9 The Eye (2008), 50.8 The Watcher (2000), 49.1 Showtime (2002), 48.6 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.5 Feel the Noise (2007);

BMT: Armageddon (1998), Angel Has Fallen (2019), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), CHIPS (2017), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Need for Speed (2014), Battleship (2012), A Walk to Remember (2002), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Swordfish (2001), R.I.P.D. (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Daylight (1996), The Pacifier (2005), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Ride Along (2014), Cobra (1986), Exit Wounds (2001), Paycheck (2003), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Alex Cross (2012), Getaway (2013), Kangaroo Jack (2003), Ride Along 2 (2016), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Twisted (2004), Steel (1997)

(I did wonder if it would increase over time. It does seem to be the case. I guess with things like 3D printing and fabricating fake cars and CGI it’ll eventually reach a saturation point. Police chases look cool, but there is only so many films which can have them. Our brains are going to melt when we watch Police Academy 5, 6, and 7 all in one weekend.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sharon Stone is No. 4 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and No. 2 billed in The Specialist, 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) => 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The collapse of her first marriage contributed to Sharon Stone’s decision to work on this movie. Of wanting to have some fun after a difficult period in her life, she said that “hanging out with a gang of comedians, it was the best therapy.” (That’s nice)

Final appearance of the Mimico Lunatic Asylum. The iconic location was used as the Academy campus in the first, third and fourth films in the series.

Tony Hawk said this was the only job, from which he was ever fired. Most of the stunt doubles were from the Bones Brigade because their manager, former pro skateboarder Stacy Peralta, worked as a second-unit director on the film. As it turned out, Hawk was replaced as a stunt double for David Spade, because he was too tall. (Huh, he’s in the credits. That’s interesting)

Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky were brought on-board at the last minute to replace Bruce Mahler (Fackler), who was dropped from the film, due to negotiations falling apart over his pay. As a result of this, the Fackler character ended up being omitted from Police Academy: The Series (1988), and the comic book. (That is interesting, I had to look him up to remind me of who he was. He eventually returns in number six)

Film debut of David Spade. According to Steve Guttenberg’s biography, “The Guttenberg Bible”, Guttenberg took Spade under his wing during shooting in Toronto, Ontario. He also bought Spade an expensive Rolex watch. (Cool)

The last “Police Academy” movie to feature the Blue Oyster Bar. (Nooooooooooooo as gross and offensive as it was I was really hoping they’d have The Blue Oyster Bar in cyrillic when they went to Russia)

Despite the entire series’ negative critical reception, this was the only “Police Academy” movie to get a Razzie Award nomination. Brian Wilson’s “Let’s Go to Heaven in My Car” was nominated for Worst Original Song. It lost to “I Want Your Sex” from Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).

During the scene where Capt. Harris straddles the chain link fence, G.W. Bailey’s stunt double willingly took a hard fall directly onto the pavement, with no mat to protect him. (It looks like it really really hurt, I gasped when I saw it)

Steve Guttenberg’s final appearance as Mahoney, until his announced return to the franchise over three decades later in the eighth Police Academy movie. (Oh … why did I think he was in all of them except for the seventh? I might have been thinking of Graf).

A “Police Academy” spin-off titled “Commando School” was being planned at the time of this movie’s initial release, but it never made it to the production phase.

Was to be filmed immediately after Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), but production was held up by the death of that film’s director, Jerry Paris.

Tackleberry’s wife was not initially intended to appear in the film; Colleen Camp was unavailable for the initial shooting dates, which were back-to-back with those of the third film. However, the delay resulting from having to hire a new director after the death of Jerry Paris resulted in Camp being available after all, and her character was given a one-scene cameo appearance.

Two versions of the pool scene were filmed. One had Leslie Easterbrook in a wet T-shirt with her breasts exposed. In the “family friendly” version, Callahan’s T-shirt was not see-through. The latter version was used in the official trailer. (I noticed)

Around the time this movie was made, a full-motion Police Academy video game was also filmed with the original cast, for Hasbro’s NEMO console. According to developer Mark Turmell, the game was “essentially a lost Police Academy movie” which had multiple story paths that the player could choose. Unfortunately, the funding ceased when Hasbro decided not to proceed with the console. Some believe this unused footage could still potentially be made into a Police Academy interactive movie for a streaming service, if fan demand proved enough to convince Hasbro and Warner Bros. to complete the project, over three decades later. This would set a record for the longest time ever, in between a video game project’s conception and completion.

After it became clear that Jerry Paris would not be able to direct the film, screenwriter Gene Quintano was offered the chance to take over as director. He turned the offer down, not feeling confident enough in his abilities, and so Jim Drake directed it instead. On the day of the film’s premiere, Quintano told Paul Maslansky that he regretted turning down the director’s chair, and so Maslansky offered him the job of writing and directing Honeymoon Academy (1989), which this time Quintano accepted immediately.

The scene where Copeland chases Arnie and Kyle through the shopping mall was filmed at Woodbine Centre in Toronto, which is also the shopping mall where the Komodo dragon chase scene in The Freshman (1990) was filmed.

The last time we see Mahoney, Nogata, Copeland, Sweetchuck and Zed, though Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck) had a guest appearance on Police Academy: The Series (1997) as a janitor. (Oh wow, so the rest of the series I guess must be quite different)

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven “Police Academy” movies. Winslow even goes a step beyond this, as he also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher, 1988)

Little Nicky Recap

Jamie

Nicky is the son of Satan and not so keen on taking over Hell. So he’s thrilled when his father announces he’s not retired. Unfortunately Nicky’s evil brothers don’t take it so well and break out of Hell to take over Earth. Can Nicky get them back before Hell freezes over and his father dies (and perhaps also get the girl) before it’s too late. Find out in… Little Nicky.

How?! Little Nicky just likes to rock out in Hell without all that evil mumbo jumbo. So when his father, Satan, decides not to retire he’s pretty thrilled. Particularly since his brothers, Cassius and Adrian, are pure evil and would have made his life a living hell (nailed it). Furious, they storm out of Hell to take over Earth as their own kingdom of evil. Unfortunately, Hell freezes over as a result and without souls Satan begins to die. Nicky is tasked with going up and capturing his brothers and bringing them back. Queue a long montage of Nicky acclimating to Earth and dying over and over again. In the process he finds all kinds of friends: a talking demon bulldog sent to help him, two satanists who are super into Satan and all that jazz, his dorky actor roommate, and the lovely Valerie. Despite the best efforts of his brothers to derail his plans, destroy his relationship with Valerie, and take over Earth, the evil within Nicky wins the day by taking down Cassius at a Globetrotters gain. Adrian responds by turning the whole city against Nicky, which ultimately leads to his arrest. But with the help of a few friends he is able to escape and lure Adrian into a trap. Unfortunately, Adrian isn’t just any foe and after a tussle Nicky sacrifices himself for Valerie. This sacrifice sends Nicky to Heaven where he meets his Mom. That’s right. He’s half good-half evil. He’s given a special orb as a weapon and returns to Earth to confront Adrian, who has taken over both Hell and Earth. They have an all-out, Popeyes fueled fight then ends with Nicky smashing the orb and revealing the ultimate weapon: Ozzy Osbourne, who captures Adrian. All is well back in Hell and Satan lets Nicky return to Earth to start a life with Valerie. THE END.

Why?! I believe the idea is that Nicky is part good and part evil… in other words, he’s human. By venturing up to Earth he realizes that that’s the place he belongs. So stopping his brothers isn’t just about saving his father, it’s about saving Earth… his home. Little twist at the end, too, where Nicky’s satanist friends are ultimately happier in Hell than on Earth. I wonder if they would eventually become the new satan(s) since Hell is where they belong? Did I just go deep on Little Nicky?

Who?! Sandler dominated these sections like young Shaq in the paint. This is just a posterizing jam here as the cameo game is pretty much on par with peak Sandler. Henry Winkler, Ozzy Osbourne, Regis, Bill Walton, Dan Marino (who weirdly went uncredited for the cameo), and then Carl Weathers playing Chubbs from Happy Gilmore. Kinda like how Brendan Fraser just kept playing Link from Encino Man over and over.

What?! This is where Sandler brings down the backboard and they have to spend a half hour putting up a new one. Probably should have just made his name Popeye, gave him a googly eye, and then have him fall in love with Popeyes because he thinks they make it just for him. That’s how major the Popeyes product placement is. Hit an A grade of product placement that will be an A+ once I come out with the BMT cut of the film titled Little Popeye. I don’t even have to mention all the other product placement, which pales in comparison (but would probably be a high point of any other BMT film).

Where?! Hell and NYC. I was trying to think of what other BMT films have Hell as a setting and Monkeybone is the first one that comes to mind, but I think that was set in Limbo technically. This might be the best one we’ve watched. Pretty good NYC film as well, but it does make we wonder where this would have been set later in Happy Madison history… does he emerge from Hell in a Cancun resort? A-.

When?! Oh I don’t know. I think it’s the summer because it’s kind of a joke that Nicky is always freezing and wearing a big coat. I usually say that I think any movie probably has something in it to pin down an exact date but… I don’t really think that would be the case here. Everything is fake. Every newspaper, tv spot, everything… maybe you could narrow it down based on advertisements around the city. But who has time for that? F.

If you want to appreciate the wonder and magic of the cinema then look no further than Little Nicky… because you realize while partaking in the film that at some point, somewhere a group of very important studio people sat around watching Adam Sandler put on a crazy annoying voice and smash Popeyes Chicken and had to think “it’s what the people want.” Cause I can’t imagine they fully understood what they were making. They just saw green and Sandler was (and is) a green machine. It’s actually pretty beautiful. A creator given full control to bring what they feel is funny fully realized to screen. The amount of set design and costumes and hair and makeup and props that went into making this real… it’s amazing. It exists and that’s a pretty crazy accomplishment, so I kinda love it for that… what’s that? What did I actually think about the movie? Didn’t care for it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! *Take a big bite of Popeye’s chicken while watching Little Nicky* This movie is the shiznit! *openly weeps* Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Adam Sandler films. Up until more recently we were mostly resigned to only really watching the more recent ones because we didn’t want to watch films we had already seen for BMT. Well, that is no more, so it is time to go back to what people might consider his “imperial” period, where he could do no wrong … until he did for basically the rest of his career (as far as comedies go). I think this is probably his first major miss, and it is a doozy. What were my expectations? I knew I would hate this film, because even when I was the target audience I hated this film. It isn’t funny, and Sandler is grating as the character of Nicky … so yeah, that’s what I expected.

The Good – Uh …. Well, if you are into the Happy Madison universe to some degree this is not the worst choice in the universe. Allan Covert is decent, and the set pieces (as far as Sandler comedies are concerned) are truly second to none. As a matter of fact a lot of the characters in the film could be decent, but the issue is they are usually saddled with either childish fart/homophobic/violent humor, or they are exclusively interacting with Nicky (the worse character in film history maybe, at least one of the more annoying), or both. Keitel, for example, could be decent except every few scenes he’s obligated to shove a pineapple up Hitler’s ass and it is like “ugh, this again?” Best Bit: Set pieces.

The Bad – Nearly everything else. The humor is everything that ultimately is wrong with early Sandler cranked up to 11. Homophobic humor at every turn. The solution to life’s problems being to punch someone in the face (and often the act of punching someone in the face represents growth somehow). And fill in the cracks with fart jokes, and for some reason demons with high squeaky voices. I’m not exactly sure how this film functions. It is like Sandler just gave $100 million to set designers, and then came back and improved the rest in a long weekend. It is a really really weird film. Fatal Flaw: Outdated garbage humor, and the most annoying character in film history.

The BMT – I mean, if I had to choose a single qualifying Sandler film as the BMT representative for him this is the leader in the clubhouse. And I am skeptical something like Eight Crazy Nights can stage the comeback. If Nicky was even a little less annoying as a character this film would at least be interesting to marvel at, because it really is just a production on an epic scale (especially for a comedy). It is Hollywood at its most self-indulgent. In the end it is mostly just a surreal experience. On the one hand I never want to watch this film ever again … and yet there is something deeply alluring about just how bad it is. Did it meet my expectations? More than I could imagine. It is maybe the least funny and most annoying comedy ever created. Congrats Little Nicky.

Roast-radamus – Genuine Planchet (Who?) for Covert as Nicky’s roommate in New York. His function does seem to be just to be dunked on by the Satan worshippers and to be called gay as a joke. Perhaps the greatest Product Placement (What?) in any Sandler film for Popeye’s, which is a huuuuuuuuuge part of the film. Nickey eats it at least three times, and the end scene features a giant anthropomorphic bucket of Popeye’s which walks around and the demons are obsessed with it. And quite a good Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City which is featured in all of its weird glory. Definitely a contender for BMT I think, typically I would have went with bad, but this is so so weird it transcends badness and becomes BMT.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Easy, a Prequel. Get a young Keitel look-alike in there, and a young Dangerfield look-alike in there, and reveal that Little Nicky’s journey on Earth isn’t entirely without precedent. When Nicky’s grandfather was set to retire he too had concerns over whether Keitel was ready to take over the throne. But when a rogue fallen angel appears in Middle Ages Britain leading a brutal raving army of criminals, Keitel is sent to Earth to sort it out before God gets wind of the encroachment in their DMZ (Earth). Learning to love and live again, Keitel defeats the angel in a joust and gets the maiden. In the end, God appears (played by …. let’s go with Chris Rock) and reveals that he knew about the encroachment all along, but knew that Keitel would have the heart to save the day without needing to escalate tensions between heaven and hell. He suggests they have a mixer sometime, and then winks at the camera. Everyone cheers. 

You Just Got Schooled – As part of the movie tie-in cycle we are mostly sticking to films which have either hit singles released as part of the film soundtrack, or video game licenses. Well, there was certainly a doozy of a video game for Little Nicky on the Game Boy Color. One of the last games made for the obsolete system (as the Advance had just come out), it is a basic platformer. A small twist is that it doesn’t have a saving mechanism, but instead relies on a set of passwords. This mechanism is combined with only having 5-7 lives during the course of the game, and being brutally slow at times as the Nicky sprite can only sprint when charged up with heat. There is some good fun here and there, the different movement mechanisms they built into the game are fun, and the ratchet-like advancement meant that beating the 24 levels was somewhat of an inevitability. And beat it I did, it probably took me about 6 hours. The final fight is actually quite good. Amusingly, as the manual is unavailable online, the game is pretty difficult to beat without seeing the film! That’s the kind of tie-in you love to see. C+. As a platformer it is probably one of the worst you can play. But I’ll throw in the plus for being a pretty entertaining diversion. I wish more weirdo video game tie-ins like this existed.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs