Baywatch Recap

Jamie

Mitch Buchannon is a lifeguard extraordinaire protecting all Emerald Bay visitors from harm. When a ruthless businesswoman moves in hoping to privatize the beach and sell illicit drugs, Mitch and his crew aim to stop her. Can they bring down the baddie and learn valuable life lessons at the same time? Find out in… Baywatch.

How?! Mitch Buchannon runs the beach at Emerald Bay like a boss and everyone loves him for it. When a ruthless businesswoman moves in on the beach hoping to privatize it Mitch becomes suspicious. What is she up to and does the recent influx of street drugs have anything to do with her? He’s dead set on finding out. At the same time his crew is looking for three new members and after some political maneuvering disgraced olympian Matt Brody is thrust onto the team despite his sour attitude and general douchiness. After several high-profile bodies wash up on the beach, local officials blame Mitch and his obsession with the businesswoman which they say has driven him to distraction. Despite a large amount of circumstantial evidence they have uncovered he is replaced by Matt Brody as head lifeguard. This plan backfires though as Matt turns out to have learned the meaning of family and teamwork (the underlying theme of every Dwayne Johnson film) and continued Mitch’s detective work. This culminates in a climactic fight aboard a fireworks barge where they are able to blow the evil businesswoman to smithereens and uncover the larger conspiracy involving the corrupt local officials. If this doesn’t sound at all like the plot of a comedy it’s because it isn’t. It’s an action film that they turned into a comedy… or at least tried. THE END.

Why?! The Rock is an interesting actor in that I think he’s often used as a charisma machine to fill roles with little or no underlying motivations or character depth. He is simply an empty vessel filled with honor and truth. His greatest weakness always seems to be that he cares too much about honor and truth (also my greatest weakness, per any job interview I might have). Baywatch is no different. He just wants to stop the bad guy and keep the beach safe because he is a perfect, upstanding citizen of Emerald Bay. The more interesting character is actually Efron’s character. He suuuuuuucks. He care only about getting drunk and being lauded for his olympics feats of the past. This only changes once he is able to learn a thing or two about life and love from Mitch. Once he does his motivation is also all about truth and justice.

What?! This film is an absolute onslaught of product placements. First we have a TAG Heuer watch play a vital role in the plot of the film. It’s such a good watch that an upstanding local politician is persuaded to break the law just to get his hands on it. Then we have The Rock relegated to working in a Sprint store after losing his job at the beach. Like seriously. Here’s a picture of The Rock rocking a Sprint shirt in the movie:

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Shameless. But I think my favorite was when Zac Efron, showing that he’s too cool for school, sits out the lifeguard tryouts sipping on a delicious Mike’s Hard Lemonade… when I first saw it I thought it was going to be played for a joke. Then it wasn’t and I realized that he was just hanging and drinking it unironically. Unironically!!!!!

Who?! There are a number of cameos in the film, most prominently former Baywatch stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Their cameos are done pretty well compared to something like the new Ghostbusters film where they make no sense. Much like the rest of the film they serve a singular purpose: to poke fun at the premise of the original Baywatch.

Where?! By all accounts this takes place in Emerald Bay, Florida. I didn’t necessarily notice anything to confirm this while watching the film, but there are a bunch of pictures online with the lifeguard boat with “Broward County” prominently displayed. So that does it. C.

When?! Another case where I bet if you had a really high resolution of a film then you would be able to get an exact date. In particular there is a close up of a land deed that I’m sure has the date on it, but the DVD resolution makes it impossible to figure out. It’s an F, nothing else to be done about it.

Despite everything horrible about this film I actually expected worse. It had some amusing moments, played the action well, and the leads are dopes but you want them to succeed. It is super lame, just not as lame as I thought it would be. One big question this raised, though, was how we are still at the point where several jokes in a major motion picture are based entirely on the concept of gay panic? A whole scene devoted to the hilariousness of convincing a man to touch a guy’s balls? Really? An ending where Efron is shocked and horrified to find that he is getting CPR from The Rock? He is saving your life using the medical standard in resuscitation. Why are you yelling in terror as a result? Will we ever be beyond this? Seems like the answer might be no. Can’t wait to be further baffled in this area by CHiPs, which I’ve heard is even worse. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You’re a producer looking wistfully at the office memo concerning the cast party for 22 Jump Street. No, you are not invited, and yes you are pissed about this. What can you do though? Wait! Sweet IP! Of course, you just need some of that sweet IP. We got Baywatch right? That show was ridiculous. Nailed it. Cast party with The Rock incoming, what could go wrong? Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Honestly, the film is kind of fun. They are right there on the cusp of being okay I think, just needed to not hire literally seven writers to write the thing and they would have been fine. The action scenes are on point and by far the best part of this film. I was practically on charisma overload with The Rock and Efron. And they didn’t gross me out too much with the portrayal of women, which was a pleasant surprise. I want a Remake with a twist: give me a tv show! Make it a kind of half-serious melodrama action thing. Use the template of Riverdale, brand it as a kind of self-serious (but still secretly ironic) crime serial that takes place on the beach, and try your best to kind of knowingly build up something fun. It is a difficult maneuver, but I think that is where this movie shined. If it had pumped the brakes a bit on the comedy (which was the worst part of the film) it might have had something kind of Fast and the Furious like fun. But I acknowledge that it is a tough ask.

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The character of Ronnie which was supposed to kind of be an audience stand-in who lampshades the rest of the ridiculousness, but he is really the one thing that stands in the way of this film just going for being an action film instead of an action-comedy. The comedy bits are the worst part of the film. Part stupid dick-jokes, part gay panic, basically nothing works. And the root cause of this I think is Ronnie who, acting as straight man, makes everything comedic in comparison. Ronnie also serves as the “hacker” solving all of the problems right at the end, which it itself a crime. Really the only unforgivable bit of all of those is the gay panic. It is dumb this is still a thing in comedies in 2017. I’m introducing a new game for the bad section which is where I coin a term for a bad movie trope. Perhaps coin is inaccurate, I don’t actually check to see if the term is coined elsewhere, but it should highlight a bad movie idea of some kind anyways. This week for the Sklog-cabulary Quiz we have

Deus Ex Hackina (n.) – an unexpected computer hacking power saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a terrible movie.

It is basically what I described above, it is when a character is endowed with a special “hacking” ability that allows him or her to solve everyone’s problems all at once right at the end. Otherwise known as “Ronnie from Baywatch”, who manages to not only gather a ton of incriminating evidence to prove the baddies are bad, but they also foil their getaway by (not joking) hacking a fireworks display. Geostorm actually gives a decent example as well in the character of Dana played by Zazi Beetz, and I’m sure there are countless other examples.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – As usual these are a little tough for recent films. For legacy I think this has none unless an (unlikely) sequel is made. We might look back fondly at Ronnie as the origin of our thoughts on Deus Ex Hackina events though (much like Planchet from The Three Musketeers represents the idea of a tangential character whose sole purpose is to be made fun of by the main characters) For the street cred it has a bit because it can be grouped with future-BMT CHiPs as kind of a weird situation in which people started to reboot television shows again. But of that pair CHiPs is going to be the one people look at as more terrible.

I think that’s it. Nothing to report as far as homework is concern, I chose not to watch any of the original Baywatch television show in prep. I’ll see if I decide to watch any CHiPs in a few months. I probably won’t.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Baywatch Preview

The official transition to the Worst of 2017 cycle we start with comedy. In an interesting coincidence we also had one of the worst reviewed comedies of the year released this very week in Daddy’s Home 2 (currently at 16%), but it was not released concurrently in the US and UK. Bummer. So we stuck with our original plan as it was quite the doozy in its own right. That’s right! We’re watching the Dwayne Johnson/Zac Efron vehicle Baywatch. Following the wild success of 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street we were treated to not one, but two unnecessary adaptations of niche 80s/90s shows in Baywatch and CHiPs. Both turned out poorly. Now we get to find out just how poorly Baywatch turned out. Let’s go!

Baywatch (2017) – BMeTric: 46.5

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(I kind of love this ratings graph. So you can see it starting high (people who haven’t seen the film but like the idea of the film chiming in like dummies) and then dropping once people actually start seeing it. But that overcorrects a bit, as more and more of the “fans” see it corrects back up. But the interesting bit is that once it drops on VOD the rating goes down again. The mean IMDb rating is somewhere around 6.0 so it basically corrected back to what will ultimately be around its eventual rating of slightly below-average. I just find that fascinating. It is hard to find films that really teeter on the edge of good/bad. To get 70K votes in a few months as well? I’m always stunned by how “popular” current movies are, they get so many more votes than even popular films from the 90s.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  [The movie] features long periods of too-sincere homilies about teamwork, weirdly gratuitous brutality (one innocuous character is subjected to a grotesquely grisly death) and an extended corpse-penis joke which, in the dishonorable tradition of “Dirty Grandpa,” subjects a character played by Zac Efron to humiliation in a way that’s not even stealthily homophobic. On the plus side, the movie has a pervading air of crass amiability about it—it’s almost like a two-hour end-credits gag reel. (Nevertheless, it contains an end credits gag reel.) But as I said, if you saw the trailer, you got the best the movie has to offer.

(Hmmmm. So let me get this straight. Two films based on older television series (CHiPs being the other) were released the same year and both were overtly homophobic? The gay panic riddles the CHiPs trailer. They seem to have hidden it well here with Baywatch. Which makes it all the more disappointing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ5tqzw841s

(See this actually doesn’t look bad. It at least tries to do what the original did. They at least avoided what CHiPs did which was overtly use three or four gay panic scenes in the advertising. It was to the point where I thought the movie might have been called Gay Panic: The Movie. But I was shocked by the reviews because this trailer looks decent.)

Directors – Seth Gordon – (Known For: Horrible Bosses; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Identity Thief; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Director of acclaimed documentary King of Kong. Parlayed that into several feature films and a whole mess of television shows, most recently The Goldbergs.)

Writers – Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (Known For: Soul Surfer; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Also the creators of the Hulk Hogan television series Thunder in Paradise, so basically legends.)

Gregory J. Bonann (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (BMT: Baywatch; Notes: See above. Legend.)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (story by) – (Known For: Guess Who; Future BMT: I Spy; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; Baywatch; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Norbit in 2008; Notes: BMT faves. Just got a pilot picked up with the following synopsis: hard as nail female CIA agent gets partners with self-absorbed male agent trained to use sex and seduction to keep America safe… … Bad TV Tuesday, anyone?)

Thomas Lennon  and Robert Ben Garant (story by) – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; Herbie Fully Loaded; Future BMT: Balls of Fury; Hell Baby; Reno 911!: Miami; Let’s Go to Prison; BMT: Taxi; Baywatch; The Pacifier; Notes: Prolific screenwriters who even wrote a whole book on how best to sell-out in Hollywood. Part of The State and Reno 911!)

Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay by) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; BMT: Friday the 13th; Baywatch; Notes: This finishes their filmography having just watched the Friday the 13th films they wrote. Writing the upcoming Aladdin film, so they are on the rise.)

Actors – Dwayne Johnson – (Known For: Moana; Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; San Andreas; Furious 6; The Other Guys; Central Intelligence; Hercules; Faster; Fast & Furious 5; The Mummy Returns; Pain & Gain; Get Smart; The Scorpion King; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Snitch; Welcome to the Jungle; Race to Witch Mountain; Gridiron Gang; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Jem and the Holograms; Southland Tales; You Again; Reno 911!: Miami; Planet 51; Walking Tall; The Game Plan; BMT: Doom; Baywatch; Be Cool; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Doom in 2006; Notes: Still known widely by his WWE monicker The Rock. He is amazingly one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood now. What he’s got charisma in spades.)

Zac Efron – (Known For: The Disaster Artist; Bad Neighbours 2; Hairspray; Bad Neighbours; 17 Again; The Lorax; We Are Your Friends; The Paperboy; Parkland; High School Musical 3: Senior Year; Liberal Arts; At Any Price; Me and Orson Welles; Future BMT: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates; That Awkward Moment; The Lucky One; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; BMT: Baywatch; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Notes: Broke out with the High School Musical Series. Has struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism during his career, but appears to be clean now.)

Alexandra Daddario – (Known For: San Andreas; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; The Squid and the Whale; Bereavement; Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Layover; The House; Hall Pass; Burying the Ex; The Babysitters; The Hottest State; BMT: Baywatch; The Choice; Notes: Made her acting debut on All My Children. I recognize her more from her various television roles than her movie work.)

Budget/Gross – $69 million / Domestic: $58,060,186 (Worldwide: $177,856,751)

(Not super great domestically, but potentially okay overall. We won’t be seeing Baywatch 2 though. They were obviously expecting a 21 Jump Street level take which is closer to $140/$200 million. Not even close.)

#35 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(This is just above the Tom Hanks classic Dragnet. They kind of blew it in 2002 / 2003 by somehow released 11 buddy action films in those two years and audiences rebelled. This included things like future BMT Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. It has come back over the past ten years, and is a steady genre releasing three films this year … all terrible.)

#47 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(Ah I remember that boom (it included the recently watched Beverly Hillbillies). I feel like I’m continually surprised at how many films are made that are based on television shows. Near Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Otherwise known as the worst one.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (38/201): Baywatch takes its source material’s jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original’s campy charm — and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.

(Which is basically what 21 Jump Street did right. They took the ridiculous thing (cops going undercover in a high school) and took it to its logical conclusion (everyone basically doesn’t believe they are actually high school students). Here it doesn’t seem like they took the original’s hook (attractive people in skimpy outfits solve crimes for some reason on a beach) and took it anywhere at all. And that’s a shame.)

Poster – Sklogwatch (C+)

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(A poster is a delicate thing. You want it to be artistic, tell a story, and sell a product. This seems singularly focused on the last point. The Rock and some hotties (looking at you Efron) are here to save the day and capture your heart. Let’s throw their pics on the poster and put a weird giant wave behind them. That’s about it. That being said, great font game guys. That ‘A’ with the lifeguard station is bomb. I’m putting you above average just for that.)

Tagline(s) – Beaches ain’t ready (D)

(Ohhhh nooooooo. This is like 7 levels too high, guys. Reel it back in. I know the entire movie is based on making something so stupid that it might go all the way around and become good again but this is unfortunate. While this secretly might be a very good tagline. I can do nothing but hate it. Sorry.)

Keyword(s) – lifeguard; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.2 Piranha 3DD (2012); 61.7 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004); 54.3 Lovewrecked (2005); 52.9 Aquamarine (2006); 51.3 Sand Sharks (2012); 47.5 Bait (III) (2012); 46.5 Baywatch (2017); 36.7 The To Do List (2013); 34.7 Joe Dirt (2001); 33.5 The Lifeguard (2013);

(Oooo, I like that it isn’t the top. Most of these are kind of crap though. Like Piranha 3DD and Joe Dirt I don’t think will be done in our lifetimes (perhaps our grandchildren will do it on a throwback week for the BMT News Network, BMTNN). The only safe bet is Cody Banks to be honest.)

Notes – Zac Efron gave Dwayne Johnson all the names to call him in the movie, like One Direction. (This sounds like something Zac Efron would say but isn’t true)

In an interview, Priyanka Chopra said that the role of the main antagonist was written for a man, but the director changed the role and the script upon meeting her. (This sounds like something Priyanka Chopra would say but isn’t true)

After scathing reviews poured in from critics and fans alike, Dwayne Johnson tweeted that the film wasn’t made for critics. (This sounds like something Dwayne Johnson would say but isn’t true)

Nina Dobrev, Ashley Benson, Alexandra Shipp, Shelley Hennig, Bianca A. Santos, and Denyse Tontz were considered for the role of Summer. (Nina Dobrev! Of Flatliners and XxX: The Return of Xander Cage fame?)

Robert Ben Garant was going to write and direct the film.

Jeremy Garelick was set to write and direct the film. (love me some alternate directors)

Pamela Anderson also performs a cameo at the very movie’s end but, like the original Mitch Buchanon appearance, all is spoiled from the beginning since their names are listed at the initial credits. (Ha. That’s pretty stupid.)

Cameo…David Hasselhoff appears in a scene with this “Mitch” where they interact and call each other “Mitch”.

Project X Recap

Jamie

Three high school losers set out to throw an epic birthday bash in hopes of upping their social status. As word spreads, the party begins to spiral out of control. Can they keep the police at bay, the damage under control, and still get the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Project X.

How?! When Thomas’ parents are heading out of town during his birthday his best friend Costa plans to throw a huge rager to impress the girls that never notice them (documenting it along the way using an A/V club nerd). At school Costa attempts to spread the word of the party far and wide with seemingly little success. Following a series of misadventures getting weed and quieting the neighbors, Thomas, Costa, and their third friend JD are thrilled to find the party is more than just popular, they are already legends. Hundreds and hundreds of people show, alcohol is flowing, hard drugs are aplenty and the party spins out of control. Meanwhile Thomas is trying to balance getting with the girl he’s in love with and potentially getting with the hottest girl in town. When the neighborhood descends into chaos, riot police come in, and his house is burnt to the ground our “hero” learns a valuable lesson: even if you break a million laws and do immeasurable damage to your family and life, it’s much more important that you are cool and got really drunk that one time. Oh yeah, and he still gets the girl somehow. The End.

Why?! The party is planned by Costa with the express purpose of increasing their social cache. He wants to be known, plain and simple, and a giant rager is how he can accomplish this. In a way he totally exploits Thomas, who really just wants to get with the girl he’s in love with, Kirby. Costa hears that Thomas’ parents are going to be out of town and jumps on the opportunity to use the empty house for his own purposes. In a weird twist he literally gets no comeuppance. He expresses some remorse, but Thomas kind of waves it off. Not great lessons in Project X.

What?! Prominent role for Thomas’ dad’s Mercedes which “cannot be touched.” Which of course inevitably means that it is destroyed during the party. Also, in terms of plot devices, there is a pretty heavy Chekhov’s Gun set up where our characters steal a gnome from a maniac and then seem to assume that they will never hear from him again… he obviously shows up in the third act to burn down the house.

Who?! Shout out to Miles Teller who plays… Miles Teller in the film. Would be weird if it weren’t for the fact that most people in the film played characters that shared at least a first name with them. Jimmy Kimmel also makes a cameo at the end making a joke in an opening monologue for his late night show.

Where?! Prominently set in North Pasadena, California. Said over and over and shown in writing on the high school they go to. C+.

When?! Exact Date Alert! We get featured on screen in text that the party takes place on May 14th, 2011. This is as close as we’ve come to intertitle confirmation of an exact date. Gotta give that a B+.

As for our Bring a Friend film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage I found myself fairly entertained while also recognizing that the film is a symptom of where cinema is heading for better or for worse (big ensemble flicks with easy to digest plotlines and foreign actors catering to the international audience). It felt very much like a better version of Mechanic: Ressurection, which isn’t saying a whole lot since that movie was one of the worst we’ve watched for BMT. In fact the more Patrick and I discussed the film the more I didn’t like it. But at the moment I think it’s merely an incredibly silly, predictable popcorn movie that is slightly better than I expected (as I expected a pile of trash). Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember being young and you thought writing about the rad fake party with the rad fake girls in english class made sense? Remember later realizing you knew nothing about parties, or girls, and honestly the third act was always a mess? Just me? Anyways, now imagine if a hero came along and said “no, I shall live without shame! We shall show the world what a party imagined by a 14-year-old boy would look like!” This is Project X! Let’s Go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I can appreciate that this is probably one of the better found footage films we’ve watched for BMT. It has a Logical explanation of why they are carrying a camera around like idiots for an entire party; A proper three-act structure often lacking in the meandering found footage genre; And, in some ways, an attempt to show at least some of the unflattering bits of what is otherwise a rather rosy picture of a youth ruining his life right in front you your eyes. Let’s do the brutal Sequel! They helpfully mentioned that our main character was heroically convicted of multiple crimes, although it would seem (unless multiple counts are involved) that all are misdemeanors and involve at most a year in county jail. The sequel follow him descending into obscurity as he tries to stay out of trouble in his senior year in high school and his slow realization that for one night of fame … he sacrificed a decade of his life and possibly his future. The movie is a slice of life drama (also found footage) as he struggles to stay connected to Kirby, who is off to USC in the fall. Project X: Crime and Punishment. “Wow, I mean, I didn’t like the first one, but this just feels mean spirited” says Leonard Maltin.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – I didn’t enjoy this film. It is gross and devoid of worth, but I am not the intended audience. The acting is pretty brutal, but that is expected, the third act is a mess, but that’s expected, and shoehorning a love interest plot kind of backfires because they do almost nothing to make us care about either of the people involved. Sklognalogy is I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, in that is is just … gross and devoid of worth as I said. Although this is streets ahead of that piece of literal garbage. This movie is understandably loved by the demographic it focuses on like a heat-seeking missile, and I’ll say it every time: I am not the audience. If you are, say, a woman, or a man over the age of 24, you’ll probably just watch it in disgust. That’s my opinion anyways.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I think if I take anything from this movie it is this is a decent example of a good found footage film, but bad film, like The Gallows in a way. Also watching this and (re-watching) xXx in the same week was kind of interesting. I called both movies “misogynistic”, but that isn’t totally precise. Ultimately I settled on the definition: both films would fail basically all tests used to analyze gender equality in Hollywood. FilmSchoolRejects named it to its worst list of the year, and PopMatters put it at number 2 pointing out that there were at least three copycat parties in California after the movie was released! Pretty solid cred, including the previously discussed revulsion from Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin. It had to be done.

Finally, a brief recap of my adventures with xXx over the week. I re-watched the first two, and yeah, basically the first one is actually not too bad outside of the fact that the tech is straight out of GI Joe and the boat at the end looks absolutely ridiculous. It is believable that Vin Diesel’s character would be able to infiltrate the hilariously one-note anarchist bad guys’ crew though. The second one is amazingly ridiculous, and obviously has the best character of the whole franchise: the Presidential Bullet Train. The third is somewhere in between. It isn’t as good as the first, but it is better than the second. But it is silly, with just explosions on stupid sets, and wholly predictable. That is its biggest sin, it can’t surprise and thus can’t really be that fun because everything feels inevitable. It doesn’t make me any more inclined to watch films above 40% on Rotten Tomatoes … as a matter of fact it makes me much less inclined to watch films with reviews above 30% these days to be honest. So, it had the opposite effect. Congrats xXx: Return of Xander Cage!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Project X Preview

For the first main entry in the cycle we wanted to do the film that really planted a seed for the Bring A Friend cycle. When this film came out we were devastated to find that it crept above our threshold for BMT qualification. It didn’t seem possible. Like a terrible nightmare. And yet we had come to accept that we would never watch this film for BMT… until Bring A Friend made Missed Opportunity a valid non-BMT category. That’s right! We’re watching Project XXx: Return of Xander Cage!!!! Attaching nicely to the poorly reviewed (and yet apparently beloved) teen comedy Project X, we are able to integrate the 44% RT near-miss sequel of a major BMT film into the fold (albeit not as an official BMT film). Love you, Vinny D! Let’s go!

Project X (2012) – BMeTric: 14.6

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(Hooooooooly shit. That … is a really impressive number of votes. I wonder how much that translates to actual cash? I only wonder because this movie set some sort of record for being pirated in 2012. This is probably a good example of how the demographics of the internet probably don’t reflect the demographics either critics or movie producers care about. But that is neither here nor there, the internet demographics clearly loved this fucking movie.)

Leonard Maltin – So, is this merely an extreme teenage version of The Hangover, or is it another sign of the end of civilization as we know it? How you feel about Project X will have a lot to do with your age and gender. If I were a hormonally charged 16-year-old boy, I might think it was the greatest movie ever made, a wish-fulfillment comedy featuring lots of good-looking naked girls. As a parent, I have quite another view: it’s a horror movie! …  If I were an adolescent girl this movie would make me want to move to another continent rather than suffer the foul-mouthed, condescending outlook of the “typical” high-school boys depicted here. … In any case, this movie wasn’t intended for me. Come to think of it, I should be grateful for that.

(This was from a small-ish review on IndiWire, and there is no listed stars. On his podcast he’s mentioned it as a non-recommendation at least once though, so suffice to say, he’s not a fan. Don’t worry Leonard, I’m not the target audience as well, but I remember that time 15 years ago when I was, and I’m sure there will be cringing all around for the adolescent nonsense this panders to. I’m excited.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5m4bPQLPZ8

(Not a giant fan of the secret audience reactions, but to be honest this trailer is basically 1000 creative writing nerds’ Hangover knock-off rolled into one. Given the modest budget, it looks really well done. Still hate the genre though, and I’m not the demographic, so I’ll probably find it gross and off-putting as well. Hooray.)

Directors – Nima Nourizadeh – (Known For: American Ultra; BMT: Project X; Notes: Apparently he was primarily a music video director outside of his two main feature films. His brother is a music producer. Of Iranian descent, he is the son of political activist Alireza Nourizadeh)

Writers – Matt Drake (screenplay) – (Known For: Tully; Future BMT: The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman; BMT: Project X; Notes: There is very little outside of press for his movies online about him. Makes me wonder if this is a pen name for someone else, like Todd Phillips, the producer. Although Todd Phillips has plenty of writing credits, so that seems unlikely.)

Michael Bacall (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; 21 Jump Street; 22 Jump Street; Manic; Bookies; BMT: Project X; Notes: Plenty of cred, he is also an actor doing a ton of mostly bit parts in films. His story is one of moving from smaller scripts like Manic, to arguably some of the funniest and most successful comedies of the decade. Has Project XX in the works apparently.)

Actors – Thomas Mann – (Known For: Kong: Skull Island; Blood Father; The Stanford Prison Experiment; Beautiful Creatures; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; It’s Kind of a Funny Story; Welcome to Me; Memoria; Future BMT: Barely Lethal; Fun Size; As Cool as I Am; The Preppie Connection; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Project X; Notes: Moved to California at 17 to give acting a go. Bold. Seems to be working out well for him.)

Oliver Cooper – (Known For: Office Christmas Party; Future BMT: Runner Runner; The Hangover Part III; Burying the Ex; Mojave; BMT: Project X; Notes: His part in Hangover III is likely due to his role here. He was nominated for an MTV Movie award for best villain … coool)

Jonathan Daniel Brown – (Known For: Kid Cannabis; Bad Milo!; BMT: Project X; Notes: He is garbage and I hope he somehow reads this: you are a garbage internet troll of a person and I wish you no success. Congrats on being terrible.)

Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $54,731,865 (Worldwide: $102,731,865)

(Obviously an enormous success, but mostly because you can go so cheap with found footage. Given a normal budget of, say, $30 million, the return would be middling for a comedy.)

#15 for the Comedy – High School genre

projectx2011_highschoolcomedy

(Huh. I think the thing that is most interesting is that there are so few movies in this genre in the 90s. And it makes me wonder if it reflects periods of studio gluttony. A number of major movie studios collapsed in the 90s, and the economy collapsed in 2008, and without the troves of free wheeling cash, perhaps movies directed towards high school nostalgia just don’t get onto the docket.)

#32 for the Comedy – R-Rated Youth genre

projectx2011_r-ratedcomedy

(Huge in the 80s, and over 15 years the genre became a juggernaut in the 2000s. This is where I wonder if trusting Box Office Mojo is exactly wise. Neighbors gets on the list (correctly), but then … where is Neighbors 2? We are relying on some random Amazon employee remembering this shit or what?)

#8 for the Found Footage genre

projectx2011_foundfootage

(Blair Witch is still number one?! And still going strong. A garbage genre, but at the same time … it is interesting that it is a genre that is kind of just a style. You can have a comedy, horror, sci fi, etc. It starts getting to be a stretch, but something like Chronicle is an example of how interesting the “genre” can get.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 28% (37/133): Unoriginal, unfunny, and all-around unattractive, Project X mines the depths of the teen movie and found-footage genres for 87 minutes of predictably mean-spirited debauchery.

(Sounds about right. I do not like found footage in general. It usually manages to be both lazy (in that you don’t have to actually think about how a scene works since it is supposed to kind of look like shit), and illogical (by not bothering to explain why people leave a camera rolling uninterrupted for 90 minutes straight). I just think it is hard to get it to work well, and this seems to lie a bit on the Gallows side of things.)

Poster – Sklogject X (B+)

project_x

(This is actually a very good poster. Artistic, interesting framing, tells a little story of what you’re in for with the film. Wish the color scheme was a little less bland, but goes with the found footage aspect. The font is trash.)

Tagline(s) – Witness it. (D)

(I think they probably made this tagline for social media purposes. Given the success and popularity of the film I would bet that this had a really good social media presence and #WitnessIt is a nice concise hashtag to spread the word. As a tagline though it is not good.)

Keyword(s) – party; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.1 Epic Movie (2007); 95.3 Disaster Movie (2008); 92.1 Jack and Jill (I) (2011); 91.2 Son of the Mask (2005); 88.4 House of the Dead (2003); 88.0 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.1 Crossroads (I) (2002); 86.9 The Room (2003); 84.2 Movie 43 (2013); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012);

(Gross. We need to watch Crossroads (again … for like the sixth time), just to really delve into the background of how that film was made once and for all).)

Notes – The most pirated movie in 2012 (approx. 8,720,000 downloads). (Ha)

Some of the footage was shot by the cast with cell phones, Flip, iPhone and Blackberry phones that were handed out by the crew. Over 10 hours of footage was recorded mostly due to the cast continuously recording.

Although the party seems to have more than a thousand people attending, only around 200 extras were used during filming.

Filmed on a set as opposed to a real neighborhood in order to minimize disruption to the locals. This proved to be a wise move as the set was effectively trashed during production. Nevertheless, nearby locals complained to Burbank police about the noise.

Loosely based on the house party of Corey Worthington (Delaney) in Australia. The then-teenager posted the address of his house party on MySpace, attracting around 500 people and caused over $20,000 in property damage. His party attracted journalists and was widely disliked by the public, having been assaulted by a group of teenagers after the events. (Wait … who was assaulted? Even looking through the information online it doesn’t seem like anyone was. Corey Worthington is a weird-ass D-List celebrity though now in Australia).

When the camera catches the young lady urinating, she gestures for it to shoo away. According to a popular Internet rumor, the lady was urinating in a corner due to a lack of bathrooms on the set, and was irritated by this violation of her privacy. Only by paying her an extra amount of money were the editors allowed to use the footage in the film. However, her expression is ambiguous, and she almost appears to be smiling or laughing while gesturing the camera away from her body function.

All the teenagers including the extras, in the party were at the age of 18 or older.

To create a believable bond between them, lead actors Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown were sent to Disneyland and for a weekend away in Big Bear City in California. (… Cool)

Outgrossed its production budget by $9 million on its first weekend of release.

Thomas Mann is one of the few members of the cast to have prior acting experience. He had to audition seven times before landing the role.

Most of the cast are all first-timers, recruited via an open casting call.

Filmed over a period of five weeks.

Project X was a tentative title until it became official.

Writer Michael Bacall worked on the script in the evenings as during the day he was working on the screenplays to 21 Jump Street (2012) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010). (Both much more critically successful … I wonder how much he actually worked on this “script”)

When Miles Teller arrives to the party he is addressed by his real name (Whaaaaaaaaa Miles Teller is in this?)

Director Nima Nourizadeh’s background in commercials landed him the job as helmer. He initially moved from London to Los Angeles for what he thought would be a two-week stint on refining the screenplay. He ended up staying for two years.

The High School scenes were filmed at Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, CA.

It’s Pat Recap

Jamie

No one can figure out Pat’s gender. It’s driving the world insane. Can they figure out who and what Pat is before it’s… uh… too late? Find out in… It’s Pat!

How?! At the top we are introduced to Pat, an androgynous looking person who wanders from job to job and is generally an unpleasant asshole to be around. After once again taking up a new career, Pat meets Chris, another androgynous looking person who is not an asshole, and they fall in love. At the same time Kyle and his wife move next door and he becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of Pat’s gender. From there… pretty much nothing happens. Pat randomly becomes a love talk radio host, Chris and Pat break-up due to Pat’s immaturity, and Kyle descends into madness trying to solve Pat’s gender mystery. In the end Pat and Chris get married and Kyle is still crazy. Nothing happens! Literally nothing! And it’s only 78 minutes long! Tied with Dudley Do-Right for the shorted in BMT history.

Why?! Did I mention how literally nothing happens in this film. Pat has no motivation. This might be the only film I can recall where the main character has no motivation. Even in horror films the main characters at the very least don’t want to die. Not Pat. Nothing motivates Pat. The only motivation to be found is Kyle’s deeply disturbed obsession with discovering what gender Pat is. Some would interpret this as offensive, whereby Kyle is so entrenched in gender norms of our culture that he is unable to function without being able to label Pat (and is incapable of figuring out how to broach the subject politely). But I interpret this more as Kyle’s self-identity being shattered by finding himself in love with Pat. Without knowing what Pat is he feels like he doesn’t know a part of himself. He really doesn’t care what Pat is in the end (he would love Pat regardless), but just needs to know what it means for his own self discovery. You know what?… That still sounds kind of offensive. Is that still offensive?

What?! New What section. Here I’ll highlight some hilarious product placement in the film (another one of our favorite BMT things). While It’s Pat didn’t hawk a random beer or soft drink, it did serve as an extended music video for the 90’s alternative/lo-fi rock band Ween. That’s how little happened in this film. They were able to have two extended musical scenes by the band Ween and still come in under 80 minutes.

Who?! Ween was the biggest cameo, but not It’s Pat’s most acclaimed. That honor goes to Camille Paglia, a well regarded feminist thinker and academic. She unexpectedly shows up in a bizarre sequence where Pat’s engagement party karaoke video is screened on national television and she comes in to comment on it. Ween and Camille Paglia… interesting choices for a film that aims to say nothing of significance.

Where?! Easy breezy LA living for It’s Pat. Pretty clearly set there and I think for good reason. The one thing Pat seems to care about is somehow becoming famous. Makes sense that this takes place in LA then. B-.

When?! Exact date alert! Rarely do we get an super duper exact date and time, but that is the case for It’s Pat. As Kyle descends into madness he begins stalking Pat, including recording every minutiae of Pat’s day. In one such scene he notes that the time is August 2nd, 11:07 PM. Boom. Going out of their way for a slam dunk. B+.

It’s hard to overstate just how bad and crazy It’s Pat is. Easily one of the worst films we’ve watched… like ever. I sat in astonishment at what I was witnessing with nary a chuckle escaping my lips. Let’s expand on that thought. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Guess what? … It’s Me! Terrible joke, but this week we watched It’s Pat. Who would have thought making a movie about an SNL character who can barely sustain a five minute sketch would have been a bad idea? No one knew!! Let’s get into this pile of dog poo. Note: I will be referring to Pat as “he” for this review for simplicity’s sake, they never do reveal the character’s gender.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – There is nearly nothing good in this film. I’ll throw a shoutout to Charles Rocket who, playing a man spiraling out of control in his obsession with Pat, it actually rather intriguing (maybe not good). But that is it. But it is time … Remake! There is the smallest nugget of okay-ness in this film, and that is the idea behind Kyle’s (Charles Rocket) obsession. I’ll get a bit more into why everyone’s quest to discover Pat’s gender is an unappealing central conflict for a film, but Kyle utters a single line which I think could have been an okay storyline. “I love you Pat, I just need to know how we fit together”. Pat plays a boor; a narcissistic, obnoxious, asshole. But if instead Pat was strangely appealing it might work. He is a weirdo, but people find him oddly calming. Perhaps he is naive, or straightforward, and his struggles to fit in are inspiring. Regardless, Kyle’s obsession is then rooted in himself. How do he and Pat fit together? Is he gay, is he in love with a man? The conflict is his self-torment. And everyone he asks, Pat’s friends and family, shrug off all inquiries: Why does it matter? Pat is Pat? Pat would be the same regardless of whether he dressed and acted more masculine or feminine. Perhaps this story works better twenty-five years on, but it certainly could be made more pleasant that what we got. Which …

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Honestly, this movie is offensive. Everyone’s obsession with Pat’s gender comes across as weird and gross (weirder and grosser than Pat is intended to be, in many ways). Kyle’s obsession rings false because of just how big of a douchebag they make Pat out to be. It is poorly made, riddled with confusing stops and starts and flashbacks, and there isn’t really a story. A giant chunk of the middle of the film has to do with Pat playing a gig with Ween (they are somehow an enormous part of this movie!). Sklognalogy! I’m trying this out for a bit, but I’ll reach deep inside BMT and try and figure out ghosts of BMT’s past that haunt and colored my viewing of this film. Two obvious choices come to mind, straight from SNL alums. Going Overboard starring Adam Sandler has the same kind of low-quality surrealist living-cartoon-as-a-vessel-for-a-one-man-show kind of feeling to it, although It’s Pat is obviously relatively higher quality. The other is Stuart Saves His Family, which is closer to the same era of SNL films, but at least Stuart Saves His Family took a chance with the serious-family-drama-in-an-SNL-film idea. This is a blend between the two. A true SNL disaster.

BMT: Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com – StreetCreditReport.com is here to stay! First, the legacy: This might be the worst film I’ve ever seen. It is at least amazingly close. I think it will carry that torch for years to come, and I think along with Car 54 Where Are You? these films kind of exemplify bad movies of this particular era. As far as street cred, woof. #95 on the IMDb Bottom 100, and it is consistently mentioned as (by far) the worst SNL movie ever made. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t make it onto the worst films wiki page (I swear it used to be there), but it certainly would be top 3 for 1994 and top 10 for the 90s I think, if you really got into it. This is a truly weird film. Would not recommend.

I’ll close there with a very very brief BMT Homework: Do yourself a favor and watch one or two Pat skits from the early 90s. They are for reals offensive. People’s obsession with his gender is, as I said, gross and weird. The character is absurdly annoying. My year of flops gets into it a bit, but basically they seem to be correct: a ridiculous number of sketches just involve Pat meeting his doppelganger in the form of the guest for the week. It is everything that is wrong with that era of SNL: the recurring, cheap, and lazy character all rolled into one. I’ll leave it there. Cheerios, and back to you Jamie.

It’s Pat Preview

Having fully transitioned to the Calendar cycle we are once again giving ourselves a little challenge for the set of nine film. We’re going to make sure that all the films are released in different months of the year. So One Missed Call knocks off the premier month of January. For the comedy entry in the cycle we are heading to the second most vaunted month in BMT: August. Where summer blockbusters go to die. This film, though, was hardly a blockbuster. That’s right! We’re watching the mostly forgotten SNL film It’s Pat! I remember watching this as a kid and being mostly disturbed by the depiction of a man driven to madness by the mystery that is Pat’s gender. Let’s find out if we’ll be disturbed by the “comedy” once again. Let’s go!

It’s Pat: The Movie (1994) – BMeTric: 66.6 (#95 on IMDb bottom 100)

ItsPatTheMovie_BMeT

ItsPatTheMovie_RV

(There it is. Barely any regression from a truly dire 2.x rating for its entire IMDb existence. This indicates it has legendary potential. I’ll also say 10K votes for a film that was barely released is pretty impressive, as is the 60+ BMeTric for a film from 1994.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sweeney’s cheerfully obnoxious, androgynous characters from Saturday Night Live skits was never a prime candidate for feature-film stardom. If you can get through the first five minutes, you may get through the whole movie, as Pat finds true love with the equally androgynous Chris. Barely released theatrically. Sweeney coscripted.

(Yup. Interestingly understated. Saying that one can manage the movie if you can get past the first five minutes means either the first five minutes are so bad it ruins the movie (this could be our golden goose! A very similar thing happened with the truly bizarre beginning to Car 54 Where Are You?) or it means you become numb and your brain shuts off after five minutes. I’m now getting a bit more fascinated by this movie and am interested to see exactly what tone it takes.)

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

(Mother of God. Everything terrible about television-to-film adaptations of this time rolled into a single film. I feel like the only thing that is going to be interesting about the film is the direction, which seems at times to be almost surreal. But it looks brutal. Just brutal.)

Directors – Adam Bernstein – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Notes: Huge television director, including being nominated for an Emmy for the television series Fargo. He directed Scrubs, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, Californication, and Better Call Saul as well. He, like many directors, come from music videos. He directed the Baby Got Back music video for Sir Mix-a-Lot. Here’s an oral history of the project.)

Writers – Julia Sweeney (characters & written by) – (Known For: God Said, ‘Ha!’; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actress, Worst New Star, and Worst Screen Couple for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; and Nominated for Worst New Star for Stuart Saves His Family in 1996; Notes: Most well known for her time on SNL, which is where this character obviously came from. She is on several boards promoting secularism, science, and reason and is married to a scientist as well.)

Jim Emerson (written by) – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: Former editor of rogerebert.com and critic in Los Angeles. There isn’t much about him beyond that. Interesting that a critic got a credit on the movie, although perhaps this was before he moved into film criticism.)

Stephen Hibbert (written by) – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: He was married to Julia Sweeney at the time (or at least up until 1994). He was the Gimp in Pulp Fiction. We saw him act in Cat in the Hat, and his biggest credit is probably as a MadTv writer.)

Actors – Julia Sweeney – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Monsters University; Stuart Little; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Honey I Blew Up the Kid; Don’t Come Knocking; Future BMT: Coneheads; Clockstoppers; Whatever It Takes; Vegas Vacation; Meet Wally Sparks; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Stuart Saves His Family; Notes: Her brother got very ill and died right around when this opened. Her struggles around this time resulted in her one woman show God Said, Ha! I’m not too sure how this got nominated in 1996 either since it was definitely released in 1994. So, somehow, it missed the 15th annual Razzie Awards, but got picked up a year later, which was also before its home video release in 1997. It doesn’t make sense.)

Dave Foley – (Known For: Cars; A Bug’s Life; Sky High; Blast from the Past; 3 Men and a Baby; Toy Story 2; Monsters University; South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut; Dick; Run Ronnie Run; Suck; Childstar; Future BMT: Vampires Suck; My Boss’s Daughter; Postal; On the Line; Employee of the Month; Stark Raving Mad; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Monkeybone; Grind; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: Most well known for his role in The Kids in the Hall and Newsradio. Is also somewhat known for his more recent … low budget work, a result of his career being somewhat sidetracked while dealing with a nasty divorce in Canada.)

Charles Rocket – (Known For: Dumb and Dumber; Dances with Wolves; Titan A.E.; Earth Girls Are Easy; Short Cuts; Shade; Delirious; Future BMT: Fathers’ Day; Fly Me to the Moon; Tom and Huck; Murder at 1600; Hocus Pocus; Steal Big Steal Little; How I Got Into College; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Wagons East; Notes: Also known as Charlie Hamburger, his story is pretty sad culminating in a strange suicide in 2005. He is also somewhat famous for being fired by SNL for saying “fuck” live on air.)

Budget/Gross – $8 million / Domestic: $60,822

(Absurd. Basically they did a limited release (probably because people watched it and said “yeah we can’t spend the money to release this”) and then pulled it. I’m actually not sure why they didn’t either shelve it or spit it straight to DVD. Straight to DVD would have maybe even gotten it a bit more cash since this was such a high profile bomb at the time even I, an eight-year-old, remember this coming out.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/11): No consensus yet.

(Oooh I get to make a consensus: Literally one of the worst pieces of garbage I’ve ever seen. I’m joking, but that is kind of what the critics said. One review appears to only be “Dear God…”, and another noted he wasn’t going to dignify the film with a review. Shockingly unfunny seems to be the closest you can get to a true consensus. Two 0% films in a row as well, line them up and knock them down!)

Poster – It’s Sklog (B-)

its_pat

(This looks more like the cover of a dime store paperback adaptation of the film that a poster of a film. Nice spacing, font, and a bold pink question mark that at least gives it a central color scheme. Somehow everything else is the worst thing ever.)

Tagline(s) – The Sex Symbol of the 90’s (A)

A Comedy that Proves that Love is a Many Gendered Thing (D-)

(Huge disparity between the two taglines from the poster. The first is short and clever. It uses the double meaning of sex symbol to make a joke about Pat, but also hint that the symbol in this case is more a question mark. That ties it all together with the plot. Needs the poster to fully succeed so not an A+, but very good. The second is basically the opposite of that, but doesn’t get an F because they seemed to try.)

Keyword(s) – neighbor; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.4 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.1 The Cat in the Hat (2003); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 78.0 Superhero Movie (2008); 72.7 Are We Done Yet? (2007); 72.1 The Apparition (2012); 71.6 Bewitched (2005); 71.2 The Boy Next Door (2015); 67.1 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006);

(In the Name of the King getting a neighbor keyword is hilarious. I guess Ron Perlman was Jason Statham’s neighbor. I find it highly unlikely that we will watch any of these other movies any time soon. Maybe Home Alone 3 if we get it to tag along with something.)

Notes – The film did so poorly that it was pulled from theaters one week after its opening weekend. (This is why it was only released to three cities and 33 theaters)

Pulp Fiction (1994), which came out in theaters seven weeks after ‘It’s Pat’ premiered, also features appearances by both Kathy Griffin and Julia Sweeney. Some critics have noted that Griffin and Sweeney both had the distinction of acting in one of the best movies of 1994, and also one of the worst movies of 1994.

Quentin Tarantino, a good friend of Julia Sweeney, worked on the script uncredited. (WHAT)

In the recurring ‘It’s Pat’ sketches on Saturday Night Live (1975), Dana Carvey portrayed Pat’s equally androgynous partner, Chris. Carvey was asked to reprise the role in this movie adaptation, but turned it down. Dave Foley was cast instead.

According to an interview with Michael De Luca, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly worked on the script uncredited. (WHAT)

Two cameos that ended up on the cutting-room floor: Harvey Keitel as a priest and Jonathan Richman as Pat’s father.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Charles B. Wessler)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Dave Foley, Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jim Emerson, Stephen Hibbert, Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Julia Sweeney)

Epic Movie Recap

Jamie

What?! Four down-on-their-luck orphans are taken in by a horrifying Willy Wonka-like monster and escape into the magical world of Gnarnia. There they find a world ruled by the evil White Bitch. Can they take her down and restore freedom to Gnarnia? Find out in… Epic Movie.

Why?! In the beginning the motivation is to escape the evil Willy who wants to maim and disfigure them for the benefit of his delicious candy (true story). Once they escape to Gnarnia through a wardrobe it becomes a direct parody of the Narnia story. So the motivations are pretty much the same as in that film: take down the White Bitch because of destiny or whatever. The White Bitch is just a power-hungry… well… bitch, I guess. Their words, not mine.

How?! I entered this film presuming that we would have a disjointed mess. Instead once the orphans enter Gnarnia the plot just marches through the plot of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe with nary a laugh. Just as in that film, Edward is the only orphan to waiver in the quest to destroy the White Bitch. Instead he mostly wants to bone her and drink the sweet, sweet malt liquor that she can make appear by magic. He ends up imprisoned by her, while the rest of the orphans set off with Harry Beaver (actual name of a character) to the camp of Aslo, a half-man/half-lion warrior. He helps them free Edward, only to be killed in the process, leaving the orphans in charge to do battle with the White Bitch. They then decide to throw a big pre-battle rager where Susan pukes all over everyone for like five minutes. This disgusts their fellow warriors to the point where no one shows up the next day to fight the White Bitch. Obviously on the verge of a major defeat Peter fortunately finds a magic remote control (a la Click) and pauses time, allowing the orphans to kill everyone. They rule over Gnarnia for years, only to stumble on the wardrobe in their old age. Returning to Willy’s house of terror they seem quite happy to be young again, only to be randomly crushed by a giant wheel. The end. Yeesh.

Who?! No Planchet and all the cameos are fake. Kevin Hart has a significant role as an albino monk but decided to go uncredited. Obviously this was so he didn’t sully his good name with this garbage. The only other note is that the band that plays at the pre-battle rager is The Eagles of Death Metal.

Where?! Gnarnia for the most part. Weirdly during the MTV Cribs spoof the location of Mr. Tumnus’s house is given as Gnarnia Hills, California… taking this at face value we can say this is set primarily in California. It doesn’t make me feel good though. C+

When?! Time is irrelevant in this film. In fact all things are irrelevant. Nothing matters. God is dead. F

I found this film to both be better and worse than I expected. As I told Patrick it’s like aliens came to Earth and created a film. They showed it to us and asked, “Good? Laugh?” We were both amazed that they made something that felt like an actual movie at times, but also found the movie terribly sad in how awful it was. How did the poor aliens think this was what we wanted? Where did humanity go so wrong to give them that perception?… sigh… Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Epic Movie? More like Epically Bad! Amirite. That’s a New York Post headline! There was once a time where we indicated we would never watch Friedberg and Seltzer garbage. But when their movies are just about 3 of the top 5 worst movies by BMeTric it starts to become unavoidable. And what an opportunity to earn some well deserved street cred! Let’s go!

The Good (Prequel, Sequel, Remake) – The only bright spot in the film was the cast. There are cameos from some serious comedy heavy hitters (Crispin Glover, Darrell Hammond, Fred Willard to name a few). On top of that the sets and effects are, on occasion, rather impressive. And that’s the rub. I would say Sequel is the guy, Epic Movie 2 could pretty much just play as a spoof of the Marvel/DC cinematic universes, but … the budget just wouldn’t be there. Something like Fifty Shades of Black made $10 million … that ain’t cutting it.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sins) – This is a zero laugh movie. It might as well have been called Curse-words-and-reaction-shots, because half of the jokes are people cursing and other people looking shocked. On occasion the effects are pretty good … mostly the effects are bad. And the acting is horrible, but what did I expect? The sin isn’t Sloth, a lot of effort was put into this film even if the soundtrack is just a best of the early 2000s track and they default to musical montage at the drop of a hat. Perhaps Envy? Looking wistfully back to the heyday of spoofs lead our intrepid filmmakers to ruin I think. Maybe a bit of that, but ultimately it is their misguided belief that they had the ability to continue a genre that can only be very very good or very very bad. Pride.

The BMT: Legacy – This is the number one BMeTric film of all time. It is dire to watch. It becomes almost confusing as to how such a movie was ever popular. We haven’t seen Date Movie or Disaster Movie but I think Epic movie will ultimately be the one I would be most likely to kick off a BMT Movie Marathon with because the cast is by far the most impressive in this one. There is a legacy, but a legacy with regard to the BMeTric. This movie is #46 as far as IMDb rating is concerned. It isn’t even on the 0% on Rotten Tomatoes list because it is at 2%. But combining popularity and poorly rated creates a mixture that suggests this is the worst film ever (in some hazy way), and ultimately that is what it represents, the BMT formula.

Quick check in from StreetCreditReport.com where we ponder the larger bad movie landscape … and yeah this is a doozy. Friedberg and Seltzer went from being involved with an incredibly popular spoof franchise of the 2000s and beyond (Scary Movie) to overnight being described in such glowing terms as: “Friedberg and Seltzer…are not filmmakers. They are evildoers, charlatans, symbols of Western civilization’s decline…” from Josh Levine of Slate. It was number 2 (behind BMT HoF Norbit) worst film of the year according to the A.V. Club. It is too bad it can’t really claim Worst of the Year honors, Norbit pretty much swept that wherever I looked. But it has the cred.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs