It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! Boy oh boy, as Patrick implies it’s not common for me and him to disagree about films, at least to a significant degree, but I guess I was in the mood for a real dumbo stoner flick cause I dug this movie. I could almost end my review there, cause I simply had a good time watching Method Man and Redman joke around about taking Harvard by storm. Is there a story? Not really. Does anything make sense? Obviously not. Is it structured like a coherent narrative? Not in the least. Are all the scenes with the improving pimps unnecessary and terrible? For sure. Did it matter to me? Nope.
The very concept of this film falls into the category of “how the hell did they make and release this film.” It’s kind of hard to explain but I’ll try to be concise. Essentially, Method Man is a botanist and after his friend dies he grows some weed using the dude’s ashes. When he then shows up to a college admissions test he meets Redman and they smoke the weed. It’s good. So good that the dude’s ghost shows up and gives them all the answers to the test. Harvard comes a-knockin’ and by the time they are in college (and getting hounded by the straight-laced nerd-alert dean) the narrative falls apart and you just need to know that they are trying to get a couple of gals and stay in school. So why did I like it so much? I’m going to give you my ranked list of the five craziest things that happened in the film:
In a poorly aged sequence, we see Method Man and Redman decide they need to get some ladies. They find some coeds on campus who seem enchanted by them and proceed to have sex. Why is this crazy? We then cut over to their roommates filming them, followed by a sequence where they sell the tapes on campus. Gross and crazy it made the cut.
Redman woos the daughter of the Vice President. It’s not all that crazy other than imagining the writers being like “the daughter of the President is obviously not realistic. Let’s make her the daughter of the VP instead.”
At the big climactic alumni party the gang gets everyone high on the special weed and demonstrates that Benjamin Franklin’s newly discovered artifact is not a cannon like they thought, but a giant bong. When everyone doesn’t believe them the ghost of Benjamin Franklin shows up and is like “Yup, it’s true” and that’s how they win the day.
The Dean is named Dean Cain. Like for real.
Realizing they are going to flunk out of school without their special weed they decide they need to smoke a different dead guy. Who is buried on campus? Check out President John Quincy Adams. From there we get a full ten minutes of them digging up JQA, pulling a gross hyperrealistic corpse out, dragging it across campus as their friend pukes all over the place, and then scenes of them trying to break apart, mash up, and smoke the corpse. It… is… insane, and also hilarious.
And that’s not even mentioning the bicycle scene. It’s just funny. It is. You can’t deny it. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! How High? More like How Low? Amirite? I think you guys are in for a bit of a treat, because I think this is a rare BMT moment where Jamie and I kind of disagree. Let’s go!
The tale of two movies for me. I thought the first hour of the film was not very funny, mostly weird, and kind of boring. But guess what? The last thirty minutes did a lot to save it. I laughed out loud several times throughout the climax of the film, which indeed left a somewhat better impression.
But I still maintain that while the set of the film is interesting, that first hour isn’t actually very funny. It is mostly annoying. But, of course, one could chalk it up to me not really being the audience for the film. Like … is it any more dumb than Hot Rod? No. And yet I find that movie A+ hilarious.
A very rare appearance of the actress who played Lisa Turtle in a feature film.
Method Man is actually a good actor, but we all knew this anyways.
Anything involving the two pimps (including Mike Epps who we just saw in Next Day Air) and the two ladies who Silas and Jamal secretly film (yup, gross) is terrible.
I’m actually a bit confused by the student villain character Bart. There is basically no pay off regarding him. He ultimately still goes to Harvard and is still an asshole at the end of the film. The character is basically the same as Richard Bagg from Van Wilder, but in Van Wilder they really really really give him a comeuppance (disproportionate to how terrible he really was, it is kind of nuts), whereas here they kind of just forget about him in favor of destroying Dean Carl Cain instead.
If there is only reason to watch this film it is for the scene where they dig up John Quincy Adams’s corpse. That is the level of absurdity I wish the rest of the film consistently had.
A definite Planchet (Who?) for Jeffrey, the frat-pledging roommate of Silas and Jamal who they beat up and demean throughout the film. Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Massachusetts as the film is definitely set at Harvard University. And naturally why not throw in Worst Twist (How?) for the inevitable reveal of Ben Franklin’s bong. Closest to BMT for me dawg.
There is actually a sequel to this film which came out on streaming a few years ago which, truly, has nothing to do with this original film. Which is sad. They even set up a sweet sequel where they would live in the White House! I may or may not have outlined this sequel in the Quiz. Although it also may or may not have devolved into a knock off of the original xXx.
Just as Jamie and Patrick prepare to lock hands and launch into their patented Flying Twin Kick, they are shocked to see little Mikey Myers turn unexpectedly on his adult counterpart and punch him swiftly in the groin. Eyes crossed, Adult Mikey groans hilariously and falls face first on the ground. Jamie and Patrick laugh uncontrollably at the hilarious violence and LePumice claps Young Mikey on the back just as Adult Mikey lapses into unconsciousness. “I’m not sure I understand,” Jamie says after recovering from his laughing fit. Patrick, though, is quicker on the uptake, “Don’t you see? We helped out Young Mikey by having our Young selves apologize and befriend him, but the dastardly Adult Mikey is still set in the future, which has a different past. It’s just time travel 101.” Young Mikey nods his head and continues, “When you arrived in town I was shocked. It was just like Adult me said, except… different. You were… good” He takes a look over at the unconscious older version of himself. “Before you go I do have one question. How did you know it started with me?” Jamie and Patrick look at each other. Know? But they didn’t know. They shake their heads in confusion and Mikey understands. “I guess we’ll just have to find out… in the future. Now go. Go before I change my mind!” With that he throws small rocks at Jamie, Patrick and LePumice with tears streaming down his face. They all climb into the time machine and Jamie asks how far in the future they should travel. But Patrick shakes his head and points at the date already entered in the time machine by an unknown ally. “It’s not how far, it’s how high.” Jamie’s eyes widen in recognition of the date. That’s right, we are watching the classic stoner comedy How High starring Method Man and Redman. Once of the crazier plots I can remember reading so should be fun. Let’s go!
How High (2001) – BMeTric: 26.2; Notability: 41
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 25.6%; Notability: top 16.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 24.9%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Monkeybone, The Musketeer, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Summer Catch, The Order, Say It Isn’t So, The Wash, and 44 more; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, The One, Town & Country, The Affair of the Necklace, Scary Movie 2, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Texas Rangers, Joe Dirt, and 21 more; Lower RT: Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Joe Dirt, Head Over Heels, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, Freddy Got Fingered, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Perfume, The Musketeer, Double Take, Valentine, and 40 more; Notes: That rating is so high (appropriately I suppose). It is a very niche comedy I suppose. The Notability is crazy high as well. For a comedy in 2001 I feel like 40+ is much much higher than I would expect.
Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – With Willard playing the chancellor of Harvard and Bob Dylan’s son directing, this rare Ivy League stoner comedy has a curio advantage going in. Film’s rapper leads play goof-offs who finesse their entrance exams by smoking the mind-expanding ashes of a dead friend. (Who says the spirit of Lubitsch is dead?) Movie has enough low-grade laughs to sustain its length, though there have probably been cockfights with more redeeming social value.
(Zing. I actually don’t really get the Lubitsch reference. He was a director, particularly for “comedy of manners.” So is smoking their friend a commentary on … something? Is it the ritual of college entrance exams, and the manner in which our heroes sidestep it, some sort of satire? Or am I just not understanding at all what Leonard is talking about?)
(Huh. The film seems somewhat … incoherent, maybe? I can’t tell what the storyline is. They go to Harvard and … something something something? For real, it seems like one of those rare “one act structure” films.)
Directors – Jesse Dylan – ( Known For: American Wedding; Kicking & Screaming; BMT: How High; Notes: Naturally, given Bob Dylan is his father, he started in music videos. He appears to have returned to those in his later career and he really hasn’t directed much in the last 10 years.)
Writers – Dustin Lee Abraham – ( Known For: The Runner; BMT: How High; Notes: He wrote 26 episodes of CSI over the years. He too hasn’t really done much in the last 10 years, and really this is his only feature work, The Runner is a small film that wasn’t theatrically released.)
Actors – Method Man – ( Known For: Last Looks; Trainwreck; Garden State; Cop Land; Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; Paterson; Keanu; Red Tails; This Is the Night; Venom; The Cobbler; Concrete Cowboy; The Wackness; Future World; Vampires vs. the Bronx; Staten Island Summer; Where’s the Money; Sinners and Saints; The Mortician; Love Beats Rhymes; Future BMT: Peppermint; Scary Movie 3; Belly; The Sitter; Soul Plane; One Eight Seven; Black & White; My Baby’s Daddy; BMT: Shaft; Meet the Spartans; How High; Notes: Part of the Wu-Tang Clan, he’s become a fairly accomplished actor. I could have sworn we watched The Cobbler for BMT (as a friend or something), but I think actually that was just because it was nominated for a Razzie one year. He’s kind of good in that.)
Redman – ( Known For: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; Ride; Boricua’s Bond; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Seed of Chucky; BMT: How High; Notes: Not part of the Wu-Tang Clan although he was close with them and worked with Method Man a lot.)
Obba Babatundé – ( Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; The Notebook; Philadelphia; That Thing You Do!; Life; City of Lies; The Net; The Manchurian Candidate; Black Dynamite; Dead Again; Lap Dance; Multiplicity; Married to the Mob; Necronomicon: Book of Dead; The Watcher; The Wild Thornberrys; Miami Blues; Kinky; The Celestine Prophecy; A Reason to Believe; Future BMT: John Q; After the Sunset; The Eye; Undercover Blues; Carpool; Born to Be Wild; BMT: How High; Material Girls; Leonard Part 6; Notes: Been in a bunch of stuff recently on television like SWAT. Was nominated for an Emmy for Miss Evers’ Boys. He won a Daytime Emmy for a guest appearance on The Bold and the Beautiful.)
(Almost looks like a poster for an independent film. All over the place, though. I enjoy the font and artsy. Not all bad, but some weird choices. C+.)
Tagline(s) – They’ve got their degrees all rolled up. (Incomplete)
(They’ve… got their degrees… all rolled up… I can’t say I understand this one. Am I missing a pun? Is it a play on “wrapped up?” Is that it? That they’ve got the degrees wrapped up by rolling up and smoking some joints?)
Top 10: The King of Staten Island (2020), The Big Lebowski (1998), Kick-Ass (2010), Dazed and Confused (1993), Point Break (1991), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Friday (1995), Knocked Up (2007), Road Trip (2000), Sausage Party (2016)
Future BMT: 70.2 Soul Plane (2004), 51.3 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 50.7 Your Highness (2011), 39.5 21 & Over (2013), 38.5 The Perfect Score (2004), 38.1 Without a Paddle (2004), 37.6 Encino Man (1992), 36.4 Still Smokin (1983), 26.4 Knockaround Guys (2001), 25.5 Idle Hands (1999)
BMT: Good Luck Chuck (2007), Scary Movie V (2013), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), How High (2001), Bio-Dome (1996), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
Matches: Knocked Up (2007), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), The Beach Bum (2019), Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), American Ultra (2015), How High (2001), Highway (2002), Halloweed (2016), High Society: A Pot Boiler (2009), Asockalypse! (2016), Get Bossy (2020), Stone & Ed (2008), Secret Agent 420 (2005), Night of the Alien (2011), Generation Y (2016), The Rise of the Robots (2015), Attack of the Psychedelic Zombies, Man! (2015)
(That sounds about right, the acceptance of weed as something to be joked about instead of feared does seem to be around 2000ish. The Big Lebowski is possibly an inciting incident.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Héctor Elizondo is No. 8 billed in How High and No. 4 billed in Turbulence, which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (8 + 4) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 19. If we were to watch My Baby’s Daddy, and Double Take we can get the HoE Number down to 15.
Notes – The film’s sequences at “Harvard” were actually shot at UCLA.
In creating the sound for the mystical pot plant (Ivory), sound designer Andrew Somers (uncredited) used a Theremin and a set of Obsidian Chimes. For the sound of the giant bong, (and the sound of Ivory appearing) they recorded inhaling through an actual bong.
Dean Cain is a reference to Dean Cain the actor who played Superman.
The film is named after the hit 1995 hip hop song How High by the starring duo Method Man and Redman.
Tracy Morgan cameos as the baseballer in ghost form a la field of dreams. (And in the commercials at the beginning of the film).
“Curses is right, LePumice,” Adult Mikey sneers and with that launches into a stirring explanation of exactly how we arrived at this moment in time and space. You see, Mikey was just your ordinary kid. But when he got that fish in his overalls it started a cascade of familial disaster resulting in his parents’ entry into a life of illegal gambling. Learning the tricks of probability and statistics from the blackjack tables he got into MIT and made his way to the World Police Academy, a secret cabal of conspirators designed to avert global disaster. There he headed the Obsidian Dongle Destruction Team (ODDT) which was tasked with destroying the most powerful object on Earth. But Mikey had different ideas. Instead of destroying it maybe they could steer it into the hands of unwitting egotistical nincompoops. Every time the power of the Dongle corrupted and Mikey was there to replace the useful idiots with the next in line. All so eventually Mikey could suggest the candidates he wanted: Jamie and Patrick, the now world famous Bad Movie Twins. “You proved quite adept at protecting the Dongle. Almost destroyed it a couple times even, that would have been a shame. And even more surprising, when it came time for my plan to bear fruit you were nowhere to be seen. Lost in time thanks to your uncanny ability to gain friends from foes.” With that he shakes his head at LePumice. “Fortunately we had time on our hands and we spent it building a Time Cop Academy to go back and stop whatever you were up to. Now we’re here, and now you’ll die.” With that he and the younger Mikey get into fighting stances. Jamie and Patrick reciprocate and drop their world famous catchphrase: “Let’s fly,” That’s right! We’re transitioning to the next cycle of the year with Next Day Air. This film is short and sweet and features Mos Def, which is perfect since this cycle will feature different Hip Hop artists-turned-actors in each film. Let’s go!
Next Day Air (2009) – BMeTric: 29.9; Notability: 22
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 24.8%; Notability: top 32.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.6%; Higher BMeT: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, S. Darko, Stan Helsing, Halloween II, Year One, The Unborn, All About Steve, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, Bitch Slap, Obsessed, Madea Goes to Jail, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, The Final Destination, G-Force, Miss March, Land of the Lost, Sorority Row, and 42 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2012, Angels & Demons, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Terminator Salvation, The Lovely Bones, Nine, Fast & Furious, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Halloween II, Surrogates, G-Force, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Fanboys, Fame, Land of the Lost, Bride Wars, Crossing Over, and 61 more; Lower RT: Labor Pains, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Miss March, Old Dogs, All About Steve, Whiteout, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Echelon Conspiracy, Post Grad, My Life in Ruins, Malice in Wonderland, The Unborn, Couples Retreat, Bride Wars, The Cry of the Owl, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, The Stepfather, S. Darko, The Pink Panther 2, I Love You, Beth Cooper, and 20 more; Notes: That is a shockingly large drop from IMDb for this film, I guess the super fans loved it. Look at those BMeT films, 2009 was a wild time.
RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – “Next Day Air” is a bloody screwball comedy, a film of high spirits. It tells a complicated story with acute timing and clarity, and gives us drug-dealing lowlifes who are almost poetic in their clockwork dialogue. By that I mean they not only use the words, they know the music.
(WOW. Three out of four is nothing to scoff at. Ebert himself did, especially later in his career, start to heavily subscribe to the concept of being “good for what it is intending to be.” And this review excerpt is overflowing with that concept. They went for something and did it and films that do something interesting should be celebrated. Shocking to see that concept applied to Next Day Air though.)
(Alright … well having seen the film there is something crazy about this trailer. Faison and Mos Def aren’t really in the film all that much. Mos Def is in it for maybe 5 minutes. And Faison for 15-30 in total (I’m not joking). That whole drug dealer storyline? That is actually the main storyline. They legit show both of the scenes Mos Def is in, he’s only in two, how is he the top billed actor?!)
Directors – Benny Boom – ( Future BMT: All Eyez on Me; BMT: Next Day Air; Notes: Directs a lot of television these days including 6 episodes of Black Lightning. Also a huge music video director which is where he got his start.)
Writers – Blair Cobbs – ( BMT: Next Day Air; Notes: Basically nothing about him on IMDb. According to Variety his nickname is Butta.)
Actors – Yasiin Bey – ( Known For: The Italian Job; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Monster’s Ball; Begin Again; Cadillac Records; Life of Crime; 16 Blocks; Brown Sugar; The Woodsman; Be Kind Rewind; The Hard Way; I’m Still Here; Bamboozled; Journey to the End of the Night; Civil Brand; Tour de France; Island of the Dead; Where’s Marlowe?; Future BMT: Showtime; BMT: Next Day Air; Notes: Birth name Dante Smith, I knew him primarily as Mos Def, but he changed his name to Yasiin Bey in 2011. He was a major rapper-turned-actor and appeared a few times on Chappelle’s Show.)
Mike Epps – ( Known For: The Hangover; Faster; Hancock; Girls Trip; Dolemite Is My Name; Uncle Drew; Acts of Violence; The Last Black Man in San Francisco; Term Life; Guess Who; Troop Zero; Something New; Dr. Dolittle 2; School Dance; Mac & Devin Go to High School; Roll Bounce; Love Jacked; The Fighting Temptations; Sparkle; Soul Men; Future BMT: The Hangover Part III; Malibu’s Most Wanted; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Next Friday; Resident Evil: Extinction; How High; Friday After Next; All About the Benjamins; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; Meet the Blacks; Lottery Ticket; Bait; 3 Strikes; The Honeymooners; BMT: Death Wish; Fifty Shades of Black; Next Day Air; Notes: Started as a comedian on Def Comedy Jam, he quickly transitioned to acting and most recently was in the new show Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. He is not related to Omar Epps.)
Donald Faison – ( Known For: Pitch Perfect; Clueless; Remember the Titans; 12 Monkeys; Can’t Hardly Wait; Game Over, Man!; Juice; The Wave; Big Fat Liar; Josie and the Pussycats; Waiting to Exhale; Little Evil; Embattled; Something New; Wish I Was Here; Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife; Good Boy; New Jersey Drive; Double Whammy; Homie Spumoni; Future BMT: Kick-Ass 2; Uptown Girls; The Perfect Match; Sugar Hill; Trippin’; King’s Ransom; BMT: Skyline; Next Day Air; Notes: Definitely most notably Turk on Scrubs. Apparently his current wife was the assistant to Jessica Simpson for at least a little bit.)
Budget/Gross – $3 million / Domestic: $10,027,047 (Worldwide: $10,172,519)
(Actually not bad at all. For such a low budget a lower figure directed to a small audience seems fine. I wonder if they just didn’t really set up for sequels or what. It would seem to me that a sequel would make sense if they can make it for $3 million.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (14/66): Rife with half-baked jokes and excessive violence, Next Day Air is an uninspired stoner comedy.
(Yeah, the violence seemed to be a particular sticking point for a lot of critics. The theme generally seems like it is going for a farce where the real-life consequences of drug-dealing are actually happening.)
Reviewer Highlight: In the end, it’s a fitfully amusing, sloppy comedy that doesn’t work very hard for your 10 bucks. – Dan Kols, Washington Post
(Mos Def being front and center on the poster is insanity. Don’t love the whole look of it, but the framing is cool and obviously the font is banging. I think overall pretty good, but needed to tie it all together a little better. B+.)
Tagline(s) – It’s all in the delivery. (D)
(Booooo, this is obviously a phrase and it’s being manipulated for the poster, but my god, at least try to have it means something in the context of the film. Just because there is a common phrase with the word “delivery” in it doesn’t mean it has to be your tagline.)
Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Pulp Fiction (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), American Psycho (2000), Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021), Goodfellas (1990), Sicario (2015), The Departed (2006), Léon: The Professional (1994), Deadpool 2 (2018)
Future BMT: 69.0 Showgirls (1995), 64.7 Sex Tape (2014), 60.1 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 59.8 The Mod Squad (1999), 59.2 Corky Romano (2001), 58.7 Stay Alive (2006), 57.7 The Counselor (2013), 49.4 Showtime (2002), 46.7 Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990), 43.0 Sleepless (2017)
BMT: Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021), Dirty Grandpa (2016), Crank (2006), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Sliver (1993), Tango & Cash (1989), Sabotage (2014), A Haunted House (2013), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Hot Pursuit (2015), A Haunted House 2 (2014), Trespass (2011), Next Day Air (2009), Never Die Alone (2004)
Matches: Goodfellas (1990), Boogie Nights (1997), True Romance (1993), Magnolia (1999), Horrible Bosses (2011), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Blow (2001), Pain & Gain (2013), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), London (2005), The Last Seduction (1994), Contraband (2012), Running with the Devil (2019), Paid in Full (2002), Kill the Messenger (2014), Sleepless (2017), CrissCross (1992), A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011), Puncture (2011), Descent (2007), Clean and Sober (1988), Next Day Air (2009), The Boost (1988), Down to the Bone (2004), Journey to the End of the Night (2006), Ten Violent Women (1982), Pineapple (2008), Ambushed (2013), The Preppie Connection (2015), Dirty Hands (2014), Jimmy and Judy (2006), Torchlight (1985), Cocaine Wars (1985)
(Yup … Showgirls does have a lot of cocaine. It is depressing that I’ve already seen Sex Tape and will likely have to see it again at some point in my life. It is not a funny movie.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 26) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Donald Faison is No. 2 billed in Next Day Air and No. 4 billed in Skyline, which also stars Eric Balfour (No. 1 billed) who is in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (No. 5 billed) which also stars Jessica Biel (No. 1 billed) who is in New Year’s Eve (No. 4 billed) which also stars Robert De Niro (No. 1 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 1 billed) which also stars Al Pacino (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 4) + (1 + 5) + (1 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 26. If we were to watch Sugar Hill, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.
Notes – It was widely reported that during the filming of a scene in the movie between the characters of Mike Epps and Omari Hardwick, an altercation between the two ensued and escalated, causing Mike Epps to leave the set threatening Omari Hardwick, shouting he was going to his car in the parking lot to retrieve his gun and was going to come back and “handle” Hardwick. Darius McCrary, who was also an actor on the set, is credited with calming Epps down and de-escalating the situation, as he followed Epps to the parking lot to talk him out of it.
Shipped to theaters under the code name “Express”.
I think the sudden change in format deserves some explanation. For everyone who is reading each entry in the Bad Movie Twins saga with bated breath it should come as no surprise that the film recaps appears to have gone… back in time! Back in time to a shorter, sweeter time in BMT. So it just begs one question…
Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for the sunshine… [record scratch] Not so fast it’s more like We’ve Been Waiting for the Summer. A film theme song so terrible that there is no evidence of it on the internet. I can’t even find the lyrics to make some joke about it. So a very worthy introduction to Meatballs II, a film that also should have all evidence of it scrubbed from the internet. They then launch you into a plot that is so startlingly similar to Meatballs that you can’t possibly believe it was actually conceived as something other than a sequel to Meatballs (as the director claims). That is until you remember that every camp film basically has the same plot as Meatballs: Loner not interested in participating in camp life? Check. Rival camp of TOTAL JERKS set to compete in some intercamp championship? Check. Loner participates in championship and wins? Check. A vaguely jewish extraterrestrial shows up and everyone turns out to be pretty cool about it? Uh…hold on a second. A series of incredibly homophobic remarks by the rival camp director? Well definitely not that part.
You get the drift. The movie is real bad and real cheap and basically didn’t have anything we like in terms of settings and junk. Honestly the best of the bunch is an unexpected appearance by Donald Gibb a.k.a. Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds who technically was an athlete-turned-actor. Always a treat when Ogre shows up. With that I’m going to play a little game this week called Vocab Quiz where I’ll highlight some of the new terms I learned from those bubblegum poppin’ rad teens/30-somethings of Meatballs II:
Pinky – a term for penis that we had to hear over and over and over (and over) again in the film. It’s a term I never want to hear again, thank you very much.
Dork – you might think you know what dork means, but you don’t. It’s also a term for a penis! That’s right! I try to learn something new every day and that is certainly something new. Look it up, it’s real.
S-E-X – A subject not discussed in polite company, but who’s lack of knowledge will lead a group of young ladies to make a pledge to see a pinky and/or dork by the end of camp.
I’ll spare you the many terms used to insult large swaths of the population. Patrick?
Hello everyone! Meatballs Part II? More like Bad Call, Fart Too! Amirite? You’re welcome for me not using something about my balls there by the way. Just like Meatballs this installment has boxing, bad boys with hearts of gold, a military themed summer camp, and a French chef serving dead horses to children … wait a tic, Meatballs didn’t have any of that!! Where’s Rudy the Rabbit you bastards?! Let’s get on with the ‘pinions:
To start I’ll just say that this film isn’t a sequel to Meatballs. For sure this was a comedy made on the cheap by writers from Friday the 13th who thought they could do the same thing: write and direct a film in a few days for a million dollars and make a good return.
Coach Giddy was a fun character. Understanding, and tricky, and smart. The strong “camp leader” character contrasts nicely with Morty from the original.
Bad boys with hearts of gold. I’m not even going to tell you if that is good or bad you decide for yourself.
Uh … aliens anyone? This film has aliens. Did no one tell you that? It is a huuuuuuge part of the film. His name is Meathead. He lives in an old outhouse for a while. He wanders around and no one really notices he’s there most of the time. This is real, this is the storyline for the Meatballs sequel.
The film ends with the bad boy using his heart of gold (and the alien’s psychic powers) to fly around and beat up Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds while wearing a dress. Hundreds of people witness human levitation, and their biggest takeaway is “Flash wore a dress?!” They seemingly just bounce the next day.
Kind of sucks for superlatives. Only really a small Product Placement (What?) for a few shots of old school Mountain Dew here and there. Ultimately mostly a Bad film in the end.
Just to note, Leonard Maltin somehow gave this film a better review than Meatballs. WHAT?! But Meatballs is a classic … right? Well, I just had to watch it again and I have to say, it isn’t a very funny movie. The Rudy storyline is interesting but not really comedic, more sad. The only thing going for it is Bill Murray. He’s a tour de force. But he legitimately just has no one to work off of. The film is fun, but I can see Maltin’s point. It is a very weird “comedy”. Like the last third of Stripes. It is amusing, and I love it, but it isn’t really funny.
I’ll just leave you with mentioning that it is kind of weird that Meatballs hasn’t been attempted as a Netflix series. I feel like Wet Hot American Summer shows there is some appetite for funny comedy camp movies. But … I kind of fear it’ll end up being like Meatballs: Camp TikTok or something and totally ruin it.
Oh man, so get this. Everyone else got injured by the eeeeeevil Camp Patton and so I had to fight in the big boxing match. Naturally I got punched in the head a bunch and sustained a massive concussion. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Meatballs Part II?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Why is Flash the Bash going to Camp Sasquatch?
2) Why is Flash recruited to the boxing team for the big fight against Camp Patton?
3) Why does the alien (yup, not joking) visit Camp Sasquatch? Where does it hide while it is here?
4) Why is Camp Sasquatch going to lose access to the lake? And how do they try and stop it from happening?
5) After a covert mission to Camp Sasquatch, Flash is captured (oh no!!) and left naked in Camp Patton. What clothing does he end up wearing to the big fight?
Bonus Question: In the mid-credits sequence (which is a bizarre 35 year flash forward) what do we see happens to the camp?
“So we are in the past,” Jamie says with wonder, thinking back on all the adventures they had in the gardens of the water reclamation plant. Everything was so simple and uncomplicated. Just a couple of scamps running around causing chaos, pretending they were saving the world. Their eyes fill with tears at the memory. Who would have thought that all these years later they actually would be saving the world? And even crazier, that they would find it so boring that they’d risk their lives, risk all time and space, by going back in time on a new adventure they barely understand. They look at each other, the tears now spilling down their cheeks. “We’ve made a terrible mistake, we shouldn’t be here,” Patrick says quietly and Jamie agrees, but before they can head back to the time machine they hear a noise in the clearing down below. Crouching down, they see the younger versions of themselves running through the brush. They are carrying some comic books and arguing over the latest issue. “What was it we used to read?” Jamie asks in a whisper. Patrick smiles at the thought that Jamie could forget their favorite weekly comic series, Bad Movie Thursday. It’s not like they invented watching bad movies. They just turned it into a billion dollar franchise and legions of fans across the world (including Antarctica, duh). Just as Young Jamie and Young Patrick’s argument reaches a crescendo a few more kids come out of the brush and stop dead at the sight of Jamie and Patrick. Jamie and Patrick frown. “I don’t remember these kids, do you?” Jamie asks and Patrick nods slightly, mesmerized and horrified by what he knows comes next. “Yo, you meatballs, what are you doing on our turf,” Young Patrick yells. That’s right! We’re diving in on our short and sweet cycle with the second entry in a beloved series from our youth, Meatballs II. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen Meatballs. I can tell you how many times I’ve seen Meatballs II. That would be zero. Soon to be one. Let’s go!
Meatballs Part II (1984) – BMeTric: 38.5; Notability: 24
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 10.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Supergirl, Ghoulies, Rhinestone, The Hills Have Eyes Part II, Bolero, Cannonball Run II, Children of the Corn, Missing in Action, Sheena; Higher Notability: Cannonball Run II, Supergirl, City Heat, Protocol, Mrs. Soffel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, The River, Unfaithfully Yours, Conan the Destroyer, The Woman in Red, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Firstborn, Sheena, American Dreamer, The Ice Pirates, Rhinestone, Reckless, Exterminator 2, C.H.U.D., Maria’s Lovers, and 7 more; Notes: We’ve been doing a lot of research into how to determine if pre-1985 films qualify, and I think really it comes down to if the film had a New York Times film review. Amazingly Meatballs 2 did. And all of those with higher BMeTrics did as well. Phew, we can finally start really watching early 1980s garbage.
Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – In-name-only sequel throws everything from Jewish aliens from to From Here to Eternity take-off, as the fate of Camp Sasquatch rides on a boxing match against nearby Camp Patton (“Where Outdoor Living Molds Killers”). Slightly better than its predecessor (which isn’t saying much).
(Whaaaaaaaaaa? The original Meatballs is a classic! Wait … I’m starting to get a feeling Leonard Maltin didn’t watch Meatballs 500 times on Comedy Central when they were 10-years-old.)
(I don’t think there is a real trailer online. Just clips. This is as close as it is going to get. And it looks awful. Interesting to see John Larroquette, who was playing a similar character in the Bill Murray film, Stripes.)
Directors – Ken Wiederhorn – ( Known For: Eyes of a Stranger; Shock Waves; Dark Tower; A House in the Hills; Future BMT: Return of the Living Dead II; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: He directed seven episodes of the, frankly terrible, Nightmare on Elm Street television series. Dropped out of college and started as the mail boy at CBS before working himself up to a film writer and director.)
Writers – Martin Kitrosser – ( Known For: Facing the Enemy; Model Behavior; BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Meatballs Part II; Notes: I have to imagine that his connection to Friday the 13th was the inspiration for what seemed to have started as a Meatballs knockoff and then became a Meatballs sequel.)
Carol Watson – ( BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part III; Meatballs Part II; Notes: Was a staff writer for South Park for at least a bit. Also part of the Friday the 13th writing team clearly, so I imagine her and Kitrosser made the original script.)
Bruce Franklin Singer – ( Known For: The Killing Time; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Mostly a television writer, including 16 episodes of Subset Beach. I would guess he is the person they hired to rework and punch up the script a bit.)
Actors – Richard Mulligan – ( Known For: The Group; The Undefeated; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; Oliver & Company; Little Big Man; S.O.B.; Love with the Proper Stranger; Teachers; Scavenger Hunt; The Big Bus; Micki + Maude; 40 Pounds of Trouble; One Potato, Two Potato; Doin’ Time; Visit to a Chief’s Son; Future BMT: The Heavenly Kid; Trail of the Pink Panther; A Fine Mess; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Brother of Robert Mulligan who directed To Kill a Mockingbird. He won an Emmy for Empty Nest, and died in 2000.)
Hamilton Camp – ( Known For: The Little Mermaid; Dick Tracy; Starcrash; Heaven Can Wait; Doctor Dolittle; S.O.B.; Titanic; Eating Raoul; My Cousin Rachel; Bird; Evilspeak; No Small Affair; Under Fire; The Black Shield of Falworth; Nickelodeon; Dark City; All Night Long; Arena; Executive Suite; Kim; Future BMT: Joe Dirt; City Heat; Almost Heroes; All Dogs Go to Heaven 2; The Pebble and the Penguin; Young Doctors in Love; Gordy; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: British, he was evacuated to the US during World War II when he was a child. He died in 2005. He is notable for being relatively short, five foot two inches.)
John Mengatti – ( Known For: Tag: The Assassination Game; Knights of the City; Dead Men Don’t Die; Hadley’s Rebellion; BMT: Meatballs Part II; Notes: Has a pretty solid television career in the early 80s, including 34 episodes of The White Shadow. His career didn’t take off in the 90s, and he stopped acting in the early 2000s.)
(These are the reasons we have to look into some of these films. You can’t make $5 million without being widely released, but there also are often not good numbers for anything prior to 1985. This seems like a bad return though, even for a minor comedy.)
(Hard to make a consensus with two reviews. Does this qualify? We think so. The issue can be that some reviews are, for whatever reason, not available. Here it suggests there are at least 4 other publications reported on Meatballs II, but unfortunately none seem to be available online.)
Reviewer Highlight: Pallid writing, awkward acting, familiar situations and tired jokes make the morons, wimps and losers of ”Meatballs Part II” easy to pass up. – Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
(I love 80’s posters. The complicated drawings of comedies like the Police Academy films. This one is a little underwhelming. Even the poster artist seemed to realize there was only so much to this film to draw. All that said, still got that 80’s artistry. B.)
Tagline(s) – The insanity continues… (D)
(Ah well, this is not good. Such a lack of creativity when it comes to sequels. Probably because they know that a tagline isn’t hooking anyone who isn’t already hooked by the concept of another Meatballs. Sigh.)
Top 10: Lolita (1997), Wonder (2017), The Parent Trap (1998), A Simple Favor (2018), Before Sunrise (1995), Friday the 13th (1980), Addams Family Values (1993), Friday the 13th (2009), Fear Street: Part Two – 1978 (2021), Mask (1985)
Future BMT: 77.9 Daddy Day Camp (2007), 62.8 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004), 59.3 Agent Cody Banks (2003), 31.7 It Takes Two (1995), 29.2 The Story of Us (1999), 28.5 Fired Up! (2009), 27.7 Wonder Park (2019), 21.6 Camp Nowhere (1994), 12.8 Heavyweights (1995)
BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Jason X (2001), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Meatballs Part II (1984)
Matches: The Parent Trap (1998), Friday the 13th (1980), Addams Family Values (1993), Sleepaway Camp (1983), The Burning (1981), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Little Darlings (1980), Rim of the World (2019), The Baby-Sitters Club (1995), Camp Nowhere (1994), Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), The Story of Us (1999), Indian Summer (1993), Standing Up (2013), The First Turn-On!! (1983), Cheerleader Camp (1988), Daddy Day Camp (2007), Recess: School’s Out (2001), Gorp (1980), Meatballs Part II (1984), Madman (1981), Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986), Happy Campers (2001), My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree (2016), Party Camp (1987), The Rainbow Tribe (2008), Family Plan (1997), Twisted Nightmare (1987), Camp Dread (2014), Camp Takota (2014), Camp (2013), Summerhood (2008), Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre (2009), Porkchop (2010), Camp Stories (1996), Camp Harlow (2014), Darkest Hour (2005), Geronimo (1990), Sasquatch (2017)
(My god, we haven’t watched Heavyweights for BMT yet? How dare we. Amazingly this is the last 80s summer camp film we needed to watch for BMT, and yet we have watched basically none of the 90s summer camp films.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 40) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Larroquette is No. 3 billed in Meatballs Part II and No. 18 billed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which also stars Jordana Brewster (No. 1 billed) who is in Fast & Furious (No. 4 billed) which also stars Vin Diesel (No. 1 billed) who is in Babylon A.D. (No. 1 billed) which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed) 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) => (3 + 18) + (1 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 40. If we were to watch Blind Date, Nights in Rodanthe, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 17.
Notes – Misty Rowe wore a heavily padded bra in order to play the top heavy Fanny.
The film was never intended as a sequel to Meatballs. When the studio picked it up they changed the name to Meatballs Part II, much to the surprise of director Ken Wiederhorn.
The horror film that the kids watch is Shock Waves (1977), also directed by Ken Wiederhorn.
Cheryl (‘Richards, Kim’) is asked if she comes from another planet (due to her lack of experience with boys). Cheryl replies that she sort of is. Richards played a young alien girl, marooned on earth, in two Disney movies: Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), and Return from Witch Mountain (1978).
Tom & Jerry are back, Jack! But also for the first time. They are just a cat and mouse in the big city trying to make their way and that involves living/working in a hotel and disrupting a totally cool wedding that everyone cares about. Can they save the wedding that they are destined to disrupt before it’s too late? Find out in… Tom & Jerry.
How?! You’d think this film would be mostly about Tom and Jerry, but you’d be wrong. It’s actually about Kayla, a young woman trying to make it in the big city but who just can’t seem to catch a break. After Tom and Jerry get her fired from her latest job she ends up accidentally (but not really) stealing the identity of a qualified job applicant for a position at a swanky hotel. Turns out they need a temporary manager to take care of the extra workload from the biggest wedding of the year! Finally! A film that gets what kids are clamoring for: celebrity wedding talk. Almost immediately, though, things go awry when Jerry is spotted having taken up residence in the hotel. Egad! That won’t do. When Kayla encounters Tom messing around in the hotel she thinks of the solution: a cat to get the mouse. Antics ensue as Tom gets rid of (or at least thinks he gets rid of) Jerry in a variety of zany ways. Meanwhile, Kayla endears herself to the big time celeb couple Ben and Preeta and draws the suspicion of the full time hotel manager Terrence. After Tom and Jerry create a gigantic scene in the hotel lobby the blame is placed on Terrence, who is kicked to the curb in favor of Kayla. With the wedding getting crazier and crazier, Kayla makes a deal with Tom and Jerry. Learn to get along on a big day out in the Big Apple and they can stick around the hotel. Unfortunately they cause a ruckus on the trip and Terrence gets his hands on them. He ultimately orchestrates a gigantic disaster at the wedding. The wedding is ruined! Sad about her job, but really mostly sad that Ben and Preeta seem to have broken up as a result of the wedding fiasco, Kayla, Tom and Jerry put their heads together to produce a scaled down wedding of their dreams. Ben and Preeta live happily ever after, Kayle gets a job out of it, and even Terrance turns out OK. THE END.
Why?! Love of course… or maybe that wouldn’t be obvious for a Tom and Jerry film. But that’s the point here for the primary plot of the film. Kayla mostly wants a job though, and she seems like a capable gal, so that’s good. Tom and Jerry just want to exist and yet the world doesn’t care for them for the most part. Sad really.
Who?! Tom and Jerry get credited as themselves, which is only possible because they don’t speak. Still weird though. Interestingly Tom does sing in the film and that is done by T-Pain. Not even the only musician in the film either. The artist Nicky Jam voices a rough and tumble back alley cat. Animation is the best.
What?! I think the obvious winner here is the intense sneaker talk between Kayla and a fellow hotel employee, Cameron. He’s always wearing fly Nikes, she’s always commenting on his fly Nikes. Deftly lets you know that they are meant to be with each other. Now that’s character development!
Where?! The Big Apple, NYC. Solid setting from the jump as Tom is seen riding the subway and playing piano in Central Park. From there it deviates a little bit by focusing a bunch on the big wedding, but we can’t forget the cityscape montage of Tom and Jerry having a grand old time with each other at all the sites and sounds of NYC. Probably a B+ because it could have been any number of cities.
When?! My guess is Spring/Summer given the wedding, although not sure exactly how clear that is made. I thought the best case was to figure out what baseball game Tom and Jerry attended with each other and then nail down the date. Apparently, though, there are people even weirder than me out there that already did that leg work. Apparently the clip from the game is a July 29th, 2018 game. So not sure that actually helps D.
This movie is a mix of inexplicable choices and surprisingly funny writing. Early in the film we see Tom, a piano playing animated cat, pretending to be a blind piano playing animated cat. When it’s revealed that he is in fact not blind a person in the crowd screams in disgust, “Hey! He’s a regular cat playing the piano.” That’s funny, and there are a bunch of actually funny lines. I chuckled and I laughed here and there, which is more than I can say for a bunch of a films we watch. And yet 75% of the film is about a big ol’ wedding and drones and dope shoe talk and popping champagne bottles. I understand the desire to have a film be about something… anything… even when you are writing a film for children who will likely not remember most of the film. It makes sense that The Son of the Mask is about the unshakeable love of a father for his child. But also, maybe don’t drown the film in the trials and tribulations of a young lady’s search for a job and celebrity weddings. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! We got Tom! We Got Jerry! We got … Kalya and mostly a movie about a wedding I think … Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Oh boy was I not looking forward to this. I think one of the more shocking things is there haven’t been more classic cartoon films. It was almost 30 years since the one and only Tom and Jerry feature film prior to this one. They are old fashioned, but it still feels like making an attempt at updating them is worthwhile. What were my expectations? Kids’ film. But then again, the trailer makes it abundantly clear that the B-plot for this one (a wedding) is, in fact, the A-plot, which is always fun.
The Good – The B-plot can go miles and miles and miles and milessssssssss. It is, indeed, the only redeemable feature of the film. And not because it is actually good. Oh no, it is a travesty. But precisely because of that I didn’t feel like I was completely wasting my life while watching this film. I thought the actors were game as well, although very clearly they have very very little to work with in the end. Best Bit: B-plot babyyyy, gotta love it.
The Bad – Most things. I mean, it’s a kids’ film. Half the jokes are about dogs taking massive dumps in New York City, but then the main drama is about a woman not being able to communicate with her soon-to-be spouse … I’m sure that storyline translates perfectly to the 5 year olds watching this film for Tom and Jerry to beat each other up. More of that was needed. It just feels like when you have shallow characters like Tom and Jerry that trying to go the Pixar route of introducing real emotional weight and adult themes is doomed to fail. Go the other way and make an actual cartoon kids film. Fatal Flaw: Somehow also the B-plot. Tom and Jerry are so shallow that in order to introduce anything of consequence is to inevitably sideline them to secondary characters.
The BMT – Just throw it in the pile of bad kids’ films we’ve watched. I suppose it’ll go down as somewhat notable as a 2021 film since there is going to be something on the order of ten total qualifying films in the end. Did it meet my expectations? While the B-plot was a delight, in the end it was kind of sad seeing Tom and Jerry sacrificed on the altar of the B-plot.
Roast-radamus – The film is chockablock full of Product Placement (What?) if you are eagle eyed, specifically Jerry’s house is filled with junk. Really nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City, and inevitable twist for a film like this. I think I’ll leave it at that, my memory is failing a bit since I couldn’t take notes while watching this one. Closest to Bad for sure.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – The most natural option is a Prequel, not least of which because I already detailed the sequel idea in the quiz (and it is excellent). The prequel takes us back to the unnamed suburb where it all started. Tom as the loving cat of an elderly woman, and Jerry as his nemesis mouse who only wants to cause him trouble. Oh right, we need a storyline … uh, I guess the woman’s house is being foreclosed on by an eeeeeeevil bank manager, and Tom and Jerry decide to team up to really cause him a lot of trouble at his bank. With all of the call backs you would hope for all of the big T&J-heads out there, but specifically the big fans of the original film. So, basically the call back is that Tom gets enamored with music at some point in his bank-related antics and that’s when he decides he is going to move to New York City. Well, really, the old woman, grateful to have her house saved, gets a kitten which Tom has zero interest in dealing with. And since animals are intelligent enough to have the right to vote in this world, he moves out. Thus begins the saga of Tom and Jerry around the world. Tom and Jerry: Bank Antics. The name does evoke that classic Saturday morning cartoon feeling doesn’t it?
And once again, skipping the schooled section in an attempt to catch up on things. Cheerios,
Oh man, so here’s the thing. I live in a world where animals are cartoons and they beat the shit out of each other. And I was caught in a war between a cat and mouse and (being that I’m not a cartoon) I sustained a massive concussion and now can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Tom and Jerry (2021)?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) When we first meet Jerry and Kayla they both have jobs, what are they? Why is Kayla fired from her job?
2) Kayla likes to sneak into hotels to steal food when she isn’t working though. And today she hears a juicy piece of gossip, it looks like they are hiring a new assistant for the wedding of the century. But there is a very very qualified candidate there before her, how does she dispatch this pest?
3) Oh yeah, the whole B-story. There is a huuuuuuge wedding happening. And throughout the affair there are three main things that the couple have discussions about. Two are animals that are to appear at the wedding, and one is a technological device. What are they?
4) Oh yeah, and there is a whole storyline with Michael Peña wanting to get Kayla fired. But, instead Peña is the one that is fired. Why? But he also gets the last laugh because he gets Kayla fired. How?
5) In the end Kayla, Tom, and Jerry save the day by organizing an impromptu second wedding. Where is the wedding?
Bonus Question: Kayla seemed to be besties with the bride by the end of the movie, why did she see her next?
Jamie and Patrick use their Bad Movie Twins power to sense the Obsidian Dongle. It rises from the roiling sea of dongles and floats towards them as that piece of shit hack Manfred Long scrambles after it howling in rage. But he’s too slow and Jamie and Patrick grab the Dongle and point it at Manfred, now quivering in fear of their power. Kyle places a hand on their shoulder. “You don’t have to do this,” he says. Rachel and Lindsey Appleton rush in and also tell them to stop. “We can all protect the Dongle together, don’t use its power for evil,” they say. Patrick and Jamie look at each other and then back at them, “show us,” they say. With that Kyle shows them how with their intricate plot they were able to successfully get his brother approved for RT review status. With a click of a button the new Rich & Poe film goes to exactly 40%. Jamie and Patrick smile. Rich and Poe live another day. But they’re not done. Lindsey shows them how with her hardscrabble reporting she’s able to take the buzz from the SexyMannequinTimes.com review and blow out the RT score from 40% to 46%. “They aren’t just safe today, they’re safe forever,” she says. But Rachel’s not finished as she delivers piping hot soft pretzels for everyone. “Friendship,” she says and Jamie and Patrick nod in appreciation of the value she brings to the team. Jamie and Patrick grasp hands and instead of destroying Manfred they use the Dongle to create a perfect job for him. “Congratulations, Manfred,” they say, “or should we say, the writer of the new Tom & Jerry adaptation.” Manfred wipes his eyes. “Thank you, I won’t let you down. I’ll make a much better adaptation than last one.” That’s right! We’re watching Tom & Jerry from this very year. There have been some hits in a very weird year for film and this was one of them. But fortunately for us it was not a critical hit. As we head into this cycle we should be clear that it won’t all be from this year, but like last year a mix of current films and films celebrating some anniversary. Just not enough qualifying wide releases to make a full cycle unfortunately. Let’s go!
Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021) – BMeTric: 52.2; Notability: 59
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 0.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 18.1%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Kissing Booth 3, The Misfits, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Lower RT: Out of Death, Rogue Hostage, The Devil Below, Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, After We Fell, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, Sweet Girl, The Starling, and 19 more; Notes: Obviously for 2021 this is right up there. Impressive notability at least. Less impressive that it is definitely a dumb kids’ film, ugh.
RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – Aggressively mediocre, the updated version of “Tom & Jerry” that premieres in theaters and on HBO Max today is a depressing affair, a film that reminds one of similarly hollow uses of beloved properties like “Yogi Bear” and “The Smurfs.” Although at least those knew to focus on their timeless characters. “Tom & Jerry” barely understands the physical comedy that made the cat and mouse first-round entries in the animated Hall of Fame, focusing instead on a celebrity wedding at a fancy New York hotel and the people who work there. A few sequences of classic T&J comedy aren’t nearly enough to make up for the dull plotting and flat characters in this soulless product, one that will fail equally for adults who grew up on Tom and Jerry, and their kids who have never heard of these characters.
(Wow. Aggressively mediocre is everything one would fear about a film like this. Truly we are in the worst timeline. And yeah, the film apparently it basically not about Tom & Jerry? Bizarre choice. But you know us, we love dem B-plots.)
(Yup, that looks aggressively dumb. I very much don’t look forward to the Now That’s What I Call Music soundtrack as well. Maybe Moretz is good? Funny that the wedding itself barely is mentioned in the trailer.)
Directors – Tim Story – ( Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; Hurricane Season; Future BMT: Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Think Like a Man Too; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Ride Along; Ride Along 2; Shaft; Taxi; Notes: Was a rapper on Ice-T’s record label, Rhyme Syndicate. Has a twin sister.)
Writers – William Hanna and Joseph Barbera – ( Known For: Scoob!; Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!; Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold; The Man Called Flintstone; Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear; Top Cat Begins; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; Tom and Jerry: The Movie; Yogi Bear; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: They have slightly different credits, but whatever. They are the titular Hanna and Barbera, pioneers in animation in the 50s and 60s. As is evident, they are responsible for Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, and Scooby-Doo among others.)
Kevin Costello – ( Known For: Brigsby Bear; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: Not much info available for him, but he’s also tapped for an upcoming Looney Tunes film, so I have to imagine he’s the main writer for an attempt as finding a place for the Looney Tunes characters in the modern media landscape.)
Actors – Chloë Grace Moretz – ( Known For: The Addams Family; Suspiria; Let Me In; The Equalizer; Carrie; Shadow in the Cloud; Kick-Ass; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; 500 Days of Summer; Hugo; Bolt; Say When; Bad Neighbours 2; Dark Places; Greta; The Miseducation of Cameron Post; Muppets Most Wanted; Brain on Fire; Snow White and the Red Shoes; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya; Future BMT: The Addams Family 2; Dark Shadows; The Amityville Horror; Kick-Ass 2; If I Stay; The Eye; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Movie 43; The 5th Wave; Big Momma’s House 2; Notes: A kid actor in things like Big Momma’s House 2 back in the day, she’s still going strong as a leading lady. Apparently there was a Moretz hosiery fortune which her family came into around 2010 worth $350 million.)
Michael Peña – ( Known For: Fury; The Martian; Ant-Man; American Hustle; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Crash; Million Dollar Baby; Shooter; The Lincoln Lawyer; The Mule; Dora and the Lost City of Gold; End of Watch; 12 Strong; Extinction; Babel; A Wrinkle in Time; Turbo; Tower Heist; Observe and Report; My Little Pony; Future BMT: Vacation; Collateral Beauty; Jexi; Lions for Lambs; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; CHIPS; Fantasy Island; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gangster Squad; Battle: Los Angeles; Notes: Was a drummer in the band Nico Vega in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s.)
Colin Jost – ( Known For: Coming 2 America; How to Be Single; Staten Island Summer; BMT: Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: Host of Weekend Update on SNL, the co-head writer for the show, and married to Scarlett Johansson. So I have no qualms saying he is apparently terrible in this film.)
Budget/Gross – $79 million / Domestic: $46,041,123 (Worldwide: $132,841,123)
(Not what you want, but at the same time they probably didn’t intend on releasing this during a pandemic. So while unfortunate, it maybe would have done decently in a normal time.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (39/126): It isn’t the worst of the long-squabbling duo’s feature-length adventures, but Tom & Jerry is disappointingly short on the anarchic spirit of their classic shorts.
(This is way way higher than I expected. But wait … what as the worst of the long-squabbling duo’s feature-length adventures?)
Reviewer Highlight: Tom And Jerry can’t even let the cat and mouse escape from such bogus, contemporary studio-film standards… – Erik Adams, AV Club
(Far too much going on for my puny brain to comprehend. I guess those youngsters with their smartphones and tiktoks and whatnot can make sense of this garbage poster. OK font I guess. D+)
Tagline(s) – Best of Enemies. Worst of Friends. (C-)
(I would have made the tagline They’re Animals and then chuckled to myself for hours until I saw some blog that no one reads gave the tagline a C- and I’m like ‘what… can’t you tell I was being ironic, bro?’ and then I’d sue for slander. I’m not sure I understand this tagline and I don’t think they are being ironic. Right idea, but just not good as it’s nonsense.)
Top 10: Spectre (2015), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Coraline (2009), The Witches (2020), Jeepers Creepers (2001), Cinderella (2015), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Witches (1990), Sing (2016), The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
Future BMT: 76.8 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 61.0 G-Force (2009), 59.1 Corky Romano (2001), 45.4 Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), 37.4 Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992), 33.4 The Getaway (1994), 32.1 A Simple Wish (1997), 21.4 Rock-A-Doodle (1991)
BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Garfield (2004), The Specialist (1994)
Matches: Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Stuart Little (1999), The Secret of N-I-M-H (1982), Garfield (2004), The Specialist (1994), An American Tail (1986), An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992)
(Kind of amazing that we already watched all of the 2021 adventures. Those matches are awesome. Although … I can’t necessarily remember the mouse in The Specialist. The cat for sure. The mouse is tougher to recall.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Peña is No. 2 billed in Tom & Jerry: The Movie and No. 1 billed in Fantasy Island, which also stars Michael Rooker (No. 8 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 4 billed) => (2 + 1) + (8 + 4) = 15. If we were to watch The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 14.
Notes – The film features archive recordings of William Hanna, who did all of the original screeches, yells, gasps, shrieks, howls, and screams for Tom and Jerry heard in the original cartoons from 1942 to 1957. It’s the same technique used previously in Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (2015), where all the Snoopy’s screeches, yells, gasps, shrieks, howls, and screams were the made by Bill Melendez in the original cartoons from 1965 to 2000 (including movies, TV series and TV specials).
This is the first Tom and Jerry theatrical film to be made without the original creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera who died in 2001 and 2006, respectively.
The film is dedicated to veteran animator Gene Deitch (1924 – 2020), who worked on several “Tom & Jerry” features in his career.
When Jerry is in his bathtub he is reading a book or magazine titled Secret Squirrel. Secret Squirrel was Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran from 1965-66 featuring a James Bond-esque adventures.
The film contains gags from previous “Tom & Jerry” cartoons: the gag of Jerry socking Tom in the eye comes from Mouse Trouble (1944)the gag with the fishing line comes from Cat Fishin’ (1947)Tom playing a piano comes from The Zoot Cat (1944).
Not counting the shorts, this is the second Tom and Jerry movie to be theatrical, after Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992), as well as the first one to be live-action and animated.
Director Tim Story cites the live-action-animation hybrid film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) as an influence on the film’s VFX.
All of the animal characters in the movie, including those in the background, are animated.
This is the first live action animated Warner Brothers film to be based on a Hanna-Barbera cartoon since Yogi Bear (2010) 11 years prior.
Chloë Grace Moretz cited the performances of Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Lucille Ball, and Meg Ryan as an influence on her role as Kayla. Moretz described Kayla as “a lot like Jerry” and as “a girl who gunned for what she wanted to achieve but realizes that time and honesty is what will prevail in the end”, as well as “a total goofball”, the latter aspect which allowed Moretz to “lean into who she is in real life”. She also said Kayla is “a little unlikeable with some of the decisions she makes”, yet she still wanted the character to feel relatable.