Holmes & Watson Recap

Jamie

Sherlock is back, Jack! And it seems like he might have found his match, as a mysterious murderer is loose in London and Moriarty is nowhere to be seen. Even worse this murderer’s next target? The Queen *gasp*. Can Sherlock and his trusty pal Watson solve the case (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Holmes & Watson.

How?! After being bullied as a child, Sherlock Holmes vows to never be controlled by emotions and to use his big ol’ brain to take down the bad guys. Flash forward and he’s doing just that. When Moriarty is on the verge of going to jail, Holmes shocks the world by revealing his theory that in fact he’s an impostor and the real Moriarty has escaped to America. The London authorities are incredulous, but the Queen is thrilled and invites Holmes to the palace for what turns out to be a surprise birthday party. The party is immediately ruined by a corpse being found in the cake and the revelation that there is a plot to kill the Queen. Sherlock is on the case with the help of his trusty doctor sidekick Watson and they track down lead after lead. This includes the revelation that Holmes was right, the man they thought was Moriarty was an impostor and blackmailed into helping with the plot. As Holmes thinks hard about how it’s possible that someone (anyone!) could battle his big ol’ brain, he comes to the only reasonable conclusion: it must be someone very close to him. He points the finger at Watson (slander!) and gets him thrown in jail, but the guilt he feels over betraying his only true friend puts him back in touch with his emotions. Going to free Watson before his execution he finds the final clue that puts all the pieces together: it was his housekeeper (who was also secretly Moriarty’s child! (what a twist!)). Realizing that the plot will culminate with the murder of the Queen aboard the Titanic, Holmes arrives just in time to free Watson and, as a team, foil the plot and catch the baddies. Afterwards, as a newly minted detective duo, they go to America to catch Moriarty once and for all. Am I smelling a sequel (hint: I’m not). THE END. Big Question: how much do you actually have to laugh during a comedy for it to not be terrible?

Why?! For Queen and Country, duh. Oh, and Sherlock also wants to prove to everyone else that he’s the smartest. Oh, and Watson wants to become co-detective with Sherlock. Oh, and Moriarty and his daughter only want to murder the Queen to prove to the world that they are smarter than Sherlock and make him look like a fool. The mystery is so devious that they think he can’t possibly solve it… they are wrong.

Who?! Steve Coogan and Hugh Laurie went uncredited for their cameo roles. Both were small, but significant roles. Billy Zane appeared as himself in the film, which I was all for. Always into a ride on the Zane Train. All aboard! Choo choo. Finally, we generally highlight appearances of real of fictional Presidents on screen. Well how about Pam Ferris playing Queen Victoria? Long live the Queen! As a last note, Watson is comically played as a Planchet in the film… almost to a tee. Shit on all day, but generally competent and helpful.

What?! I stopped at nothing to find a prop from this film for sale. It just seemed impossible for them to make a period piece without accruing a huge number of props that you could sell for charity and/or to amuse me. Finally I dug up this prop pistol that apparently has already sold. I’m not even that disappointed. I was mostly hoping to find full Holmes and Watson costumes so I could gift the Watson costume to Patrick and then have the Holmes’ costume tailored to fit his dog Tolstoy (obviously). But alas.

Where?! London, baby. With a little dash of Wyoming (seriously) at the end. Obviously this plays a huge role in the film considering the entire mystery is about the attempted murder of the Queen, the Titanic makes an appearance, etc. Solid A as it is as necessary as bubble and squeak at brekkie.

When?! The timeline is all screwed up as they mix all kinds of historical events together. You have to go with the date on one of the many newspapers that are shown on the screen, November 26th, 1892, as the true date (weirdly making this is a super duper secret Thanksgiving film: London edition) and not the fact that the Titanic plays a role in the film despite not even being ordered for construction until 1908. I kinda like that they were like “who cares?” with this kind of stuff… if they want to make a bunch of Titanic jokes and have a Billy Zane cameo then that’s all fine by me… as long as you give me a newspaper with the actual date on it. B.

We all have biases. I have a soft spot for stupid comedies, particularly of the Ferrell-Reilly variety. This should already have been clear considering the Smaddies Baddies award for bad-film-that’s-actually-good is named after Freddy Got Fingered… although I guess that’s because that movie is actually good. I wouldn’t go nearly that far with Holmes & Watson. But I would also say that I laughed occasionally, thought it looked quite good, and certainly wasn’t lazy in ways that you sometimes see in bad comedies. By the end I was moderately sad that the product was bad enough to guarantee that there couldn’t be a sequel. I would have enjoyed seeing if they could have produced something good out of their attempt at a Sherlock spoof. But that’s not gonna happen and their first attempt is just meh in a Get Hard kind of way. You’ll laugh a few times but that’s probably about it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You know me, I love me a murder mystery. Poirot, Jessica Fletcher, DCI Barnaby. It’s my jam. But now for the best adaptation yet! Will Ferrell as Sherlock Holmes … Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I’m not exaggerating when I say the preview said maybe 10 times that this was the least funny film ever produced. So unfunny that your mind would reject it, and you would rage against the mere idea of continuing to watch more than a mere second of the film … so yeah, I was getting prepared to be bored out of my mind. What were my expectations? A boring mess. Like with the classic Kicking and Screaming, Will Ferrell sometimes ends up in comedies where he just shouts a bunch and not much happens. So I was expecting that.

The Good – Superficially the case is at least somewhat interesting. A double of Moriarty, murder by tattoo, and a twist reveal of Holmes’ housekeeper being the long lost daughter of Moriarty trying to make Holmes look the fool. I found that mostly satisfying (although there are issues with it which I’ll mention below). I laughed three times during this film, which is above average, so that is a small positive. I especially liked the whole Titanic bit at the end. And the cast is a murderer’s row of British comedians (unfortunately they aren’t given much to do, but I do enjoy the casting in general).

The Bad – While superficially interesting the mystery is very disjointed, and upon inspection the twist is basically impossible to determine organically. Like, they have a giant scene in which Holmes and Watson are trying to find the mysterious tattoo artist, but in the end they end up not knowing any additional information from the escapade and Mycroft just has to tell Holmes the answer. The accents by Ferrell and Reilly are immediately annoying, a huge mistake to surround them with actual British people. And the origin story of Sherlock (which no one asked for) in the beginning is a terrible addition to the Sherlock lore and unnecessary to boot (who gives a shit as to why Sherlock Holmes solves cases “unemotionally” … is that even a thing?). The more I write about the film the more I actually dislike it.

The BMT – If not for the cast of the film I’m confident I would have despised this film as a try-hard and unfunny piece of garbage. It still mostly sucks, but hey, I like Ferrell and Reilly and I can’t help myself, I ended up laughing a bit. I’m quite interested to see if we end up watching another Sherlock Holmes film at some point. Did it meet my expectations? It was certainly slightly funnier than I expected. But it mostly just matched them. An unfunny adaptation of a classic book is a tough sell.

Roast-radamus – One of the better Planchett (Who?) with Watson in this one in my opinion, but he might be a bit too competent of a doctor to count. For the most part that is his purpose though, to be ripped on by Holmes and look like an idiot. Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for London. It is also a Period Piece (When?) for the Victorian setting, but we usually go for secret holiday film in the end. Worst Twist (How?) for the long lost Moriarty daughter, and Best MacGuffin (Why?) for the mystery of the missing Moriarty … my God, it potentially qualifies for everything!

StreetCreditReport.com – So I can’t find this on any of the big lists, but I think I know why: it was released on Christmas Day, 2018. So all of the lists were already published by the time it came out. I think it makes one or two of them if they were to edit them though, it definitely has the cred, especially with that cast. I also think it is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever, so it has that going for it.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally, watching one of the greatest Sherlock Holmes adaptations every made I had to find an even better one to watch: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century! A cartoon series from 1999 (free on Tubi) the show amazingly follows along with a good number of the classic Holmes mysteries (quite the coincidence given the concept of the show is that all of the Holmes mysteries were real and occurred in the 19th century as well …). I just watched the first episode. Beyond the travesty that is the CGI in the show, mainly it suffers from relying far too heavily in calling back to the original books. C-. Amusing for about 5 minutes, and then the overwhelming sense of ennui that comes with wasting one’s life watching bad cartoons settles in and ruins the experience.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Holmes & Watson Quiz

So here’s the thing. I’m Sherlock Holmes, but like a bumbling version of him (you know?). So I was stumbling about for clues and naturally smashed my head with a cricket bat and got a concussion. I’ve forgotten everything! Can you remember what happened in Holmes & Watson?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The beginning of the film is a flashback to Sherlock’s childhood (fun …) where it is revealed why Sherlock is so smart. Why?

2) In the beginning of the film Sherlock is very very late for a very important date! What is the date? And name two reasons he ends up late.

3) After a dead body turns up in Holmes’ celebratory cake (along with a threat to the Queen’s life), what do Holmes and Watson determine happened to him?

4) How does Sherlock come to suspect his loyal companion Watson of betraying him, sending him to the gallows for murder?

5) Who is the real culprit and why are they attempting to kill the Queen?

Answers

Holmes & Watson Preview

Jamie and Patrick wander the wasteland of the BMTverse, their tuxedos in tatters. Last they saw Banks was thrilled with another boffo box office Rich and Poe entry, but the reviews were brutal. “A truly terrifying cat-astrophe,” said one critic, while another derided, “the deranged vision of two power-hungry maniacs.” Harsh, but fair. They had lost their way in their quest to bring their magnum opus to screen and now they must suffer the consequences. Suddenly a hooded figures appears in front of them and they are overcome with emotion. “Nic Cage,” Patrick cries, “we’ve failed you. We made a horrible Rich and Poe movie but they weren’t here when we came back. It must have been too terrible to work.” But Nic Cage pulls down his hood and laughs. “Silly Bad Movie Twins, can’t you see? Rich and Poe were in you the whole time.” When they look down their tattered tuxedos have been replaced by detective suits. “Wooooaaaaahhh,” they say in wonder. “It is time,” Nic Cage says solemnly, “the tournament.” Another figure approaches and they bow their heads and explain that the tournament will consist of the pillars on which the universe is built. Each one is a test, but also a learning experience. The first is about the dangers of imagination. “Stick close to what you know,” says Nic Cage, “for the new and unknown are dangerous.” The other hooded figure nods, “tread well-worn paths and you will not be… punished.” At that Nic Cage bows his head and Rich and Poe are transported into a Wicker Man. As the fire rages around them they wonder what this has to do with winning the ultimate tournament. Nic Cage’s eerie voice whispers from seemingly nowhere, “Elementary, my dear Rich and Poe. Elementary.” That’s right! We’re watching last year’s big Christmas disaster Holmes & Watson as the first entry in the first cycle of 2020: adaptations and remakes. I have to admit I was somewhat interested in this film before it came out given that even the poorly reviewed Get Hard gave me a good chuckle here and there, but the reviews for this Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly were so bad that it ended up waiting for BMT. I still think there’s a chance I like it. Let’s go!

Holmes & Watson (2018) – BMeTric: 80.6; Notability: 43 

HolmesWatsonIMDb_BMeT

HolmesWatsonIMDb_RV

(Below 4.0 is so low. I’m actually a bit surprised. I feel like horror fans are super hard on horror because they want new and interesting things and come down hard when things are done poorly. Comedy on the other hand seems to be: as long as it is even remotely funny and I have a good time I’m good to go. I guess this must be just excruciatingly not-funny?)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – “Holmes & Watson” is so excruciatingly awful that you have to wonder what it was, other than their paychecks, that could have possessed the cast and crew to keep coming back each day, when it must have been obvious from the first day of shooting that the project was the most hopeless of cases imaginable. … Considering that the end result is probably the biggest cinematic clunker of the season, the closest thing to an actual mystery in “Holmes & Watson” is how a screenplay as puerile as this one could attract so many talented people.

(Cooooooold bloooooooded. That is a quite the review. It does seem like the consensus seems to genuinely be: this is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever made … somehow including Sherlock Gnomes? You have to assume.)

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

(I was kind of just like “meh, whatever” right up until The Boys are Back in Town started up, and then my mind viscerally rejected this trailer. It really does look like garbage. A bunch of predictable jokes, poor British accents, and if those are the creme de la creme jokes they are rolling out for the trailer, I have to assume the movie is twice as bad.)

Directors – Etan Cohen – (Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: He is tapped to direct a Mandrake the Magician adaptation starring Sasha Baron Cohen … that seems like an insane thing to adapt. Very specifically not Ethan Cohen.)

Writers – Etan Cohen (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black 3; Tropic Thunder; Idiocracy; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Got his start on Beavis and Butt-head with Mike Judge, along with King of the Hill. Currently writing an animated monster wrestling movie called Rumble.)

Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created by the late) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – (Known For: Sherlock Holmes; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; The Great Mouse Detective; Young Sherlock Holmes; Mr. Holmes; The Hound of the Baskervilles; The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Murder by Decree; The Lost World; Future BMT: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; The Hound of the Baskervilles; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Notes: That’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to you. In addition to creating probably the most famous literary detective ever, he also wrote a number of other works, most notable The Lost World.)

Actors – Will Ferrell – (Known For: Elf; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Step Brothers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; The Other Guys; Between Two Ferns: The Movie; The Lego Movie; Old School; Wedding Crashers; Blades of Glory; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Megamind; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; Zoolander; Stranger Than Fiction; Starsky & Hutch; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; The Producers; Future BMT: Bewitched; Boat Trip; Land of the Lost; Superstar; The Ladies’ Man; The House; Semi-Pro; Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Drowning Mona; Get Hard; The Suburbans; Daddy’s Home 2; Daddy’s Home; The Internship; A Night at the Roxbury; Zeroville; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Zoolander 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Bewitched in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2006 for Bewitched, and Kicking & Screaming; in 2010 for Land of the Lost; and in 2019 for Holmes & Watson; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Zoolander 2 in 2017; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Land of the Lost in 2010; Notes: I would argue he’s the best SNL alumni cast member in history. Tons of hits and misses, but he has manages to build a successful television, film, and short film career. He founded Funny or Die with Adam McKay.)

John C. Reilly – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; Sing; Step Brothers; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Wreck-It Ralph; Gangs of New York; The Aviator; The Lobster; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; The Sisters Brothers; Boogie Nights; Kong: Skull Island; Chicago; Magnolia; We Need to Talk About Kevin; Stan & Ollie; The Thin Red Line; The Dictator; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Hoffa; Future BMT: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Boys; Days of Thunder; Nightwatch; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Started out as a character actor, moves into dramatic roles, but also somehow manages to be a great comic actor as well. Is married to Alison Dickey who apparently was Sean Penn’s assistant for a while.)

Ralph Fiennes – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Skyfall; Spectre; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Official Secrets; Schindler’s List; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Duchess; Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang; In Bruges; Red Dragon; The English Patient; The Hurt Locker; Great Expectations; The Lego Batman Movie; The Reader; Hail, Caesar!; Future BMT: Maid in Manhattan; Wrath of the Titans; Clash of the Titans; Chromophobia; BMT: The Avengers; Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Avengers in 1999; Notes: Is the oldest of six siblings. His brother Magnus is an accomplished composer, and his brother Joseph is famous for playing Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love.)

Budget/Gross – $42,000,000 / Domestic: $30,573,626 (Worldwide: $40,466,970)

(Hmmmm, the budget makes sense, a period piece will rack up bills on extras, sets, and costumes. And they probably were hoping for a $100 million return from the box office which I think is still fairly normal for a Will Ferrell comedy. Missed the mark though, that’s a pretty big bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (8/75): The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.

(That is actually likely a pretty accurate presumption … it does look like an awful adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Reviewer Highlight: If a comedy falls in the forest and nobody laughs, did it even exist? – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out)

Poster – Rich & Poe: Old Timey Detectives: A Rich & Poe Story (D)

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(Nah, this is actually in line with many of the Will Ferrell films, but it doesn’t really work for me. Bad color scheme and boring font… really just all around boring. No thanks.)

Tagline(s) – They don’t have a clue. (B)

(Predictable, but solid. Works just enough to escape being too generic. This is just good solid craftsmanship. It’ll get the job done.)

Keyword – victorian era

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Top 10: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A Christmas Carol (2009), The Prestige (2006), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dracula (1992), The Lost City of Z (2016), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Van Helsing (2004), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Sherlock Holmes (2009); 

Future BMT: 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.1 The Wolfman (2010), 37.1 Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), 31.7 Victor Frankenstein (2015), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 13.4 Tai-Pan (1986), 5.4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004), 4.9 A Dog of Flanders (1999); 

BMT: Holmes & Watson (2018), Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

(Both of those BMTs star Steve Coogan, that’s fun. I guess he is British … does he look Victorian or something? The big spike in the early 90s was Interview with a Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It does genuinely seem like 1990 to 1995 was a big Victorian Era era. Indeed there are shockingly few released between 1995 and 2000)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rebecca Hall is No. 3 billed in Holmes & Watson and No. 3 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 17. If we were to watch A Night at the Roxbury we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to Deadline, after disastrous test screenings, Sony attempted to sell the film to Netflix, which declined. (Uh oh, that isn’t a good sign)

Speaking on the Empire Podcast #346 (11 January 2019) about the quality of the film, Steve Coogan, who played Gustav Klinger, said “I think in 20 years time when the dust has settled and people are able to look at Holmes and Watson objectively, I think people will say ‘It’s still rubbish”. (Hahahah, Coogan is great)

In 2008, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell were once attached to star as Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The project re-entered development in 2016 with Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson. (Huh, that is actually a pretty interesting pair)

Became the only film in the history of the Razzie Awards to “win” Worst Picture and not even be nominated for Worst Screenplay.

Actor Billy Zane has a cameo in this film aboard the Titanic; an homage to his role in the 1997 film about the Titanic.

Christophe Beck wrote a score for this film which was not used.

Hugh Laurie, who plays Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, in the film, previously portrayed the title character in the television series, House MD. The character Greg House was modeled after Sherlock Holmes.

As of 2018, this is the seventh adaptation during the decade to be based on Sherlock Holmes lore, after: Sherlock (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Elementary (2012), Mr. Holmes (2015) and Sherlock Gnomes (2018).

Moriarty has a daughter in this film. He is traditionally portrayed as unmarried, with no children.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Etan Cohen, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Will Ferrell, 2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, 2019)

The Hustle Recap

Jamie

Josephine Chesterfield is a conwoman extraordinaire living it up in the south of France. But when a less refined conwoman, Penny Rust, strolls into town they decide their isn’t room for both of them. They set up a contest to con a bumbling tech entrepreneur out of money, winner takes France. Can they con (or be conned?) before it’s too late? Find out in… The Hustle.

How?! Setting: French Riviera, Objective: Deception. That’s what life is all about for Josephine who, with the help of a local policewoman, takes monetary advantage of the many wealthy men who pass through her world. Unfortunately that world is about to be rocked by Penny Rust, a loud Australian bore whose rough exterior hides a cunning ability to dupe unsuspecting men. Josephine first tries to get rid of Penny by steering her to a different resort town. When that doesn’t work she gets her arrested and plays hero by freeing her and getting her on a one way ticket out of town. Finally, she takes Penny under her wing and mentors her in a game whereby they trick a man into proposing to Josephine only to have Penny, dressed as some kind of insane monster woman, scare them away, leaving behind the engagement ring. But when she insists that Penny go unpaid she leaves in a huff and everything seems great, right? Wrong! That’s because Penny is still hanging around cramping Josephine’s style. Only one thing left to do: a con-off. They pick a bumbling young entrepreneur, Thomas, as the mark and off they go. Zany adventures abound as Penny pretends to be blind and Josephine a prominent doctor. Oh boy oh boy. It sure is zany. Long story short it all predictably ends with Josephine and Penny becoming the marks (what a twist!) as Thomas turns the tables on them and steal their money out from under them. They are all angry until Thomas returns to rope them into joining up with him for even bigger better schemes (in the sequel? No? OK). THE END. Big Question: Did Thomas actually invent the app YaBurnt that Penny gushes over… because she clearly implies it’s real… so did he invent a popular app as part of a small potatoes con scheme?

Why?! Cash money, baby. Somewhere in the middle of the film Josephine makes some argument about how it’s really about using the fact that men underestimate women against them, but really everyone is just in it for the lettuce. The green. The cheddar. Dollah dollah bills y’all.

Who?! I love when there is a little story with a credit. Here we have a Special Thanks for Christian Louboutin and you’re all like ‘the shoes?’ Yes, apparently he got a Thanks credit for providing the shoes that Anne Hathaway wore for the film. I like that.

What?! There is quite a bit of product placement in this film, mostly regarding the fashion mentioned above (you want to buy Anne Hathaway’s shoes? Too late). But easily the most prominent is how Anne Hathway organizes her life with a variety of Apple products. You too can orchestrate elaborate cons with the help of an iPad!

Where?! Like the original film this is very French Riviera centric. In particular Beaumont-sur-Mer. We get those sites, we get those sounds, and really I don’t think this could be set anywhere else given the original.

When?! We got rescued by a last minute intertitle. Right after Thomas offers to partner with our leading ladies we flash forward “6 months later” where we see the end of a three-person caper they are pulling off in London. What do we see in that scene? A large Christmas decoration on the bank of the Thames. Last second Secret Holiday buzzerbeater! B.

I’m not sure I understand why this exists. It’s almost a shot-for-shot remake of a classic comedy… except every change they made (and there weren’t many) was for the worst, in particular a plot hole the size of the French Riviera. As mentioned in my big question I just can’t figure how it’s possible for Thomas to orchestrate a con which involves pretending to be a tech entrepreneur of a wildly popular app. The inventor of the app would be featured somewhere in the news… or have his picture somewhere on the internet, particularly since Penny estimates that the popularity of the app would make him immensely rich. Do they do no research? Not even a double check that the guy is who they think he is before going full bore on an all out con job of the dude? It’s leads to only one conclusion: they are in fact terrible con artists… or I guess two conclusions: this is a terrible film. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are fully into the 2019 cycle now watching a critically panned comedy, The Hustle. It is I who will be conned by this movie? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – A remake of a classic 80s comedy is always foreboding, but this maybe could work? I mean, it obviously didn’t since we’re watching it for BMT, but there was an original movie, Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels seems to just be that, but with 80s comedy … so why not Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with 2010s comedy? I don’t really see why not. Plus with the gender swap you can sidestep comparisons with Steve Martin. What are my expectations? A not-funny, lazy, cynical piece of garbage. Why? Because there is no explanations for why a film that is mainly comedians pretending to be overly posh should be a disaster otherwise. It can only be because it isn’t funny and makes people sad.

The Good – I like Anne Hatheway a lot, I think the character she created here works very well, specifically the accent which she specifically designed to make you wonder if she was just an American pretending to be British. There is a single laugh in the film (Train Bitch) which I guess is above average? The vistas! How could I almost forget the vistas! There are wonderful vistas. I also think it is genuinely well directed. Evokes a bit of the old 60s British model work (but with CGI) I think … I think that makes sense.

The Bad – It is a lazy piece of garbage. Every single beat of the film is incredibly predictable AND is it just a shot for shot remake of the original! The biggest offender being that you can’t help but immediately know the tech millionaire is just another con man, which then kind of ruins the film. Saves me from saying Alex Sharp is bad since he is kind of supposed to be acting that way? He’s far more entertaining in the brief bit at the end where he is an exotic animal smuggler from Texas. It also somewhat loses the thread at points. Probably the weirdest bit is that set up a training montage and a Lord of the Rings grift (which is pretty fun to be honest) but all of that takes maybe 15 minutes? The rest of the film ends up kind of drowning in setting up the “big” tech grift which itself is a giant plot hole. Like … did Alex Sharp actually invent the app or did Hatheway just not do any research into him? I’m sure Jamie will get into that more.

The BMT – I will forget about this film in about 15 seconds, and blessedly there is little chance it’ll get the sequel it was desperate to set up at the end of the film. This film, The Intruder, and Countdown is giving me a sense of dread about bad movies. All of them seem to be … overly workshopped? That’s what it feels like at least. Like they reshot, recut, and re-edited everything 100 times via studio intervention and what you get is passively entertaining (at least not really boring or laughably bad), but mostly shiny garbage. Did it meet my expectations? Sigh, yeah. You can’t open a box marked A Shiny Piece of Cynical Garbage and be surprised when inside there is a shiny piece of cynical garbage. Cynical is probably not the right word … just worthless vaguely entertaining studio nonsense? Whatever, I can’t even be bothered to think this through further.

Roast-radamus – Great Setting as a Character (Where?) for the French Riviera, a classic of the original as well. Some very minor Product Placement (What?) as well with some Apple computer tech stuff floating around. Obviously Worst Twist (How?) for the final twist that Alex Sharp somehow invented an app worth billions and is also the grandson of the most famous grifter in the world. That’s wild. It will in contention mostly for Live!, but unlikely to be considered for the other tree awards.

StreetCreditReport.com – Again, it is a bit too early for all of the lists to be complete, but it did get a shoutout on this Looper article. And also this very strange looking iDaily article. It’ll probably win a few Razzies because it is a pretty high profile target in the end. And it is somewhere among the worst con-man films as well (actually as noted in the preview it is probably the worst film that is actually primarily about con-men).

You Just Got Schooled – You know I had to do it, because I had somehow managed to never see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in my life. And I’m glad I did, because I lost a looooot of respect for The Hustle after watching it. The film isn’t just a remake, it is a carbon copy of the original! It makes no sense to do it this way because you are now competing with Steve Martin toe-to-toe on comedy chops alone. And you’ll lose that every time. The movie is an A+, just watch that instead of The Hustle. How would I have done The Hustle? I would have made the two leads Bill Hader and Anne Hatheway. Keep Hatheway’s character of the rich con woman who resent men for thinking they are smarter than her. And give Hader Steve Martin’s character’s attitude than it was about time men got a chance to take money from rich women. And have the battle be applied to a rich couple. No con man twist at the end, just then make them realize they kind of fancy each other instead (and they also get twice the money, since they got to con both the husband and the wife). Close with them in Morocco performing a con that sounds suspiciously like the plot of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Big bang boom, flawless Jimmy Stewart impression by Hader (in case you were wondering why I cast him). Call me in the morning Netflix, I’m done.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Hustle Quiz

So I was pulling off this sweet con when all of a sudden I slipped on a slippery floor, crashed into the wall, and a vase bopped me right on the ol’ noggin’. Long story short I think I have a massive concussion, because I don’t remember a thing about The Hustle. Do you?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Prior to becoming Hatheway’s protege, Wilson is seen committed three cons. What are they? What is Hatheway’s con when we are introduced to her?

2) What big con do Hatheway and Wilson pull off together (i.e. what are both of their parts, and what is the code name for the con)?

3) What was the app that Alex Sharp invented called / what did it do?

4) When trying to con Alex, Wilson pretends to have what affliction? How does Hatheway butt into the con?

5) In the end how much money does Alex Sharp steal from both of them? Also what is his relationship with Medusa, the extremely famous female con artist?

Answers

The Hustle Preview

Jamie and Patrick watch as Square HQ burns to the ground. “There’s no way Sticks and Stones got out, right?” Jamie asks, but even he can’t get his hopes up. A part of him knows that though they totally crushed Sticks and Stones’ groins rendering them seemingly incapacitated, they will be back to haunt them again. It was not their time to die. With that they thank the Rambos and turn to go. Jamie reaches out to the power in Patrick and *boop* they’re back in their apartment in Brooklyn. They discuss the future of the Rich and Poe project and how they now realize that they can only accomplish their goals together. “But you know what, making the bad Rich and Poe film can wait,” Patrick says, “this adventure through space and time to defeat Sticks and Stones shall be our final Rich and Poe masterpiece.” With studios knocking down their doors for the next Rich and Poe installment it’s not hard to get a meeting with all the big names in town, but when they finally sit down and are about to sign on the dotted line they hesitate. Is this film not their magnum opus? The film that will detail their life and passion? Be their legacy? Will they just let some big shot actors stroll in and again tie for the Best Actor Oscar? No! “We have one demand,” they say and the studio head chuckles. The franchise is a worldwide phenomenon and they will give them anything: gold. Yachts. Gold yachts. Name it. “We want to star,” Jamie and Patrick state to the shock of the studio head. He hesitates, “star? For real? Are you… are you hustling me?” That’s right! We’re watching the 2019 remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Hustle starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. I only know one thing about this film: it’s always playing on about 50% of the video screens on airplanes. People can’t get enough of The Hustle when they have very few other options. Let’s go!

The Hustle (2019) – BMeTric: 48.1; Notability: 25

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(You know … first the BMeTric is very high for a film that came out so recently. Could just be weirdo Dirty-Rotten-Scoundrel fans kicking off online, who knows. But the notability is really low I feel like. Big comedies should typically have big guest stars … this is why I need to do some genre analyses for notability. I have no feel for the metric yet. I like it though, very interesting stuff.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  “The Hustle,” a con comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, is light and slight and utterly forgettable as soon as it’s over. It is the kind of movie you watch on an airplane—perhaps on the way to someplace luxurious and relaxing like the South of France, the film’s setting—while falling in and out of naps.

(So pretty meh. Hmmmmmm, was there really not a better more interesting comedy to watch here. Quickly checking my notes suggests it was Madea or this so … well at least with this I have an excuse to watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j5hwooOHVE/

(I don’t know, that seems kind of like fun. I do need to watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels though. I’ll be missing something if I don’t at the very least watch that one (if not the original as well))

Directors – Chris Addison – (BMT: The Hustle; Notes: Was a main cast member of The Thick of It, which in the US was semi-adapted into Veep (which he produced and also directed 13 episodes of).)

Writers – Stanley Shapiro (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Operation Petticoat; Pillow Talk; That Touch of Mink; Lover Come Back; Come September; For Pete’s Sake; BMT: The Hustle; Notes: Died in 1990, has the credit via Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He won an Oscar for Pillow Talk.)

Paul Henning (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Lover Come Back; BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; The Hustle; Notes: Died in 2005, also has the credit via Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He was nominated for an Oscar for Lover Come Back.)

Dale Launer (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: My Cousin Vinny; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Ruthless People; Future BMT: Eddie; Love Potion No. 9; Blind Date; BMT: The Hustle; Notes: Son of actor S. John Launer. He claims to have written the line “dead on balls accurate” for Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny. Appears to have been retired since the mid-90s.)

Jac Schaeffer (screenplay by) – (Known For: TiMER; BMT: The Hustle; Notes: A writer on the upcoming Black Widow film and WandaVision Disney+ television show. Appears to maybe be the only original writer credited for the film.)

Actors – Anne Hathaway – (Known For: The Dark Knight Rises; Interstellar; Les Misérables; Ocean’s Eight; The Devil Wears Prada; Brokeback Mountain; Alice in Wonderland; Love & Other Drugs; The Princess Diaries; Don Jon; Colossal; The Intern; Get Smart; Rio; Ella Enchanted; Rio 2; Rachel Getting Married; Becoming Jane; Havoc; Neko no ongaeshi; Future BMT: Serenity; The Princess Diaries 2; Passengers; Song One; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Don Peyote; The Other Side of Heaven; BMT: Bride Wars; The Hustle; Valentine’s Day; Notes: Married to Adam Shulman, and is expecting their second child relatively soon.)

Rebel Wilson – (Known For: Jojo Rabbit; Isn’t It Romantic; Pitch Perfect; Bridesmaids; Pain & Gain; Pitch Perfect 2; How to Be Single; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Bachelorette; Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie; Future BMT: Pitch Perfect 3; A Few Best Men; Grimsby; Small Apartments; Struck by Lightning; Ice Age: Continental Drift; BMT: Ghost Rider; The Hustle; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: Her two sisters appear to have competed in The Amazing Race Australia at some point, which is fun. Although they only managed two episodes.)

Alex Sharp – (Known For: To the Bone; How to Talk to Girls at Parties; BMT: The Hustle; Notes: Won a Tony in 2015 for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.)

Budget/Gross – $21 million / Domestic: $35,417,038 (Worldwide: $95,017,038)

(That is actually probably pretty good. Although I’m sure the expectation was higher, you’d maybe want $50 for a comedy, but worldwide that isn’t horrible.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (21/149): The Hustle’s stars might make an effective comedy team in a different setting, but this gender-flipped remake of a remake adds little beyond its feminine twist.

(Hmmmm that doesn’t sound great. Neither does all the reviews suggesting it feels super long because it is boring. Like this one … Reviewer Highlight: Even with a running time of 93 minutes, The Hustle felt about an hour too long. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – The Hustle and Bustle (B-)

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(Striking poster. Truly awful font. And a classic case of really just using the stars for the marketing and not really needing the poster to tell a story. Obviously smart, when that’s your strength. Bumping it up because the color really does draw the eye. Very memorable.)

Tagline(s) – They’re giving Dirty Rotten Men a run for their Money. (D)

(God damn it. Why? Why would you willingly draw even more comparisons to the classic comedy that you are remaking? Also, is that really the audience you are trying to draw in? People who know what Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is? Don’t you want young people or something? I just really hate self-referential taglines.)

Keyword – con-artist;

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Top 10: Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), A Simple Favour (2018), The Big Lebowski (1998), The Hustle (2019), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), Ocean’s Eight (2018), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Now You See Me (2013), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Zootropolis (2016); 

Future BMT: 87.9 Street Fighter (1994), 44.8 The Pest (1997), 43.0 Dunston Checks In (1996), 41.0 Boiling Point (1993), 40.1 What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2001), 38.3 The Nut Job (2014), 36.8 The Brothers Grimm (2005), 36.5 House Party 2 (1991), 35.2 Duplex (2003), 34.4 My Best Friend’s Girl (2008); 

BMT: The Hustle (2019), The Three Musketeers (2011), Striptease (1996), Maximum Overdrive (1986), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)

(The lull from around 2004 to 2014 is interesting. 2014 is basically Focus and Now You See Me. The early 2000s is basically Ocean’s Eleven and its various knock-offs. I think out of all of the future BMT The Pest is probably the weirdest and most interesting since against all odds I’ve already seen that film. Looking at the BMT list this is the first movie where a con is front and center to the plot of the film. Looking back at the future options, those do seem rare.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Anne Hathaway is No. 1 billed in The Hustle and No. 1 billed in Bride Wars, which also stars Kate Hudson (No. 2 billed) who is in Mother’s Day (No. 3 billed), which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 1 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 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) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Serenity, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 10.

Notes – Because the film’s PG-13 rating was originally an “R,” Rebel Wilson had to go out and argue with the board that the film was no raunchier than similar comedies that had received PG-13 ratings featuring male actors. Her efforts prevailed.

Anne Hathaway said in an interview on Good Morning America (aired on 5/7/19) that she avoided performing a traditional English accent for this film. She said that audiences know she’s American and could potentially scoff at her numerous English characters. So, because her character Josephine is a con artist, Hathaway performed as if maybe Josephine is not actually English at all but speaks in an English accent as another con.

On the Stephen Colbert show Anne Hathaway revealed that her ad lib line “Well that was unexpected” was based on a time when her father was given the wrong medicine and had to sleep it off in her apartment. He slipped and fell in the bathroom and hit his head. While she was alarmed and asking if he was all right, said “Well that was unexpected.”

Filmed in Mallorca.

The airport scene is filmed at Farnborough Airport in front of the terminal building. (That’s in London BTW, for private jets basically)

This is advertised as a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) starring Steve Martin, Michael Caine and Glenne Headly. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is actually a remake of Bedtime Story (1964) with Marlon Brando, David Niven and Shirley Jones. (Interesting, I’ll want to watch both of those I imagine, sigh)

Alex Gaumond, the actor playing the Waiter on the Train featured at the beginning of the official movie trailer, is an Olivier Award nominated actor who starred in the stage adaptation of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Savoy Theatre, in London’s West End. In the stage production, he starred opposite Robert Lindsay and played the role of Freddy Benson, which was played by Steve Martin in the original 1988 movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), and by Rebel Wilson in this remake.

Lost & Found Recap

Jamie

Dylan Ramsey’s love life is a total mess at the exact moment that a stunningly beautiful, professional cello player moves in next door. Realizing he’s in love he does anything to win her affection, including steal her dog so they can search for it together. Can he… give the dog back to her, I guess (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Lost & Found.

How?! Act I: Dylan Ramsey is a restaurateur extraordinaire in need of THE BIG LOAN, but his love life is a disaster. Just then he meets his new neighbor, Lila, and immediately knows this smart, super attractive, talented woman is perfect for him: a self-confident loser. If only she also had the self-confidence to realize it! Luckily the power of positivity is destined to bring them together. Or is it? Bum bum bum. That’s because Lila’s scummy ex-boyfriend, Rene, who totally cheated on her and didn’t foster her self-confidence, is in town. Uh oh! What’s a boy to do? You know, other than never go to work and steal Lila’s dog so that she all day searching for it with you. And so his life as a dognapper is born. Act II: The whole middle of the film is mostly him making snide remarks to Rene and lamenting having to spend a bunch of time with a lame dog that totally ate his best friend’s anniversary ring that he conveniently had to hold onto (that’s just good writing). Act III: Things come to a head at the big party Dylan’s restaurant is holding to try to secure THE BIG LOAN. Coincidentally Lila is also there so that she can speak to the head of the philharmonic to try to get a job. There’s a scene where Dylan sings Neil Diamond and totally gets THE BIG LOAN, but at the same time Lila finds out that he has her dog. Oh no! After a while of moping around Dylan finds that Lila actually forgives him for his transgressions and takes him back and they smooch a whole bunch. THE END. The film hinges on a regressive “low self-esteem woman needs the right man to fulfill her promise” plot with Dylan espousing the self-help stylings of The Secret. Dylan’s advice is to dream big, have confidence, and good things will happen. So the big question: Did Dylan imagine Lila into existence through the power of positive thinking?

Why?! Love, duh… at least as far as the “romantic” storyline goes. He’s smitten with Lila and all the insane things he does is tied up in that. She actually doesn’t seem as interested in love at the moment. She’s fresh out of a toxic relationship and just trying to find work in a new country (we could analyze exactly what kind of visa she has all day but I’ll spare you). Then there is the background business loan that Dylan needs to expand his successful (?) restaurant… but I choose to ignore that. Oh and a minor B-plot MacGuffin Alert as Dylan really needs to find the engagement ring he’s been tasked to keep safe… but no one else cares about that.

Who?! Movie Within A Movie Alert! Another rare type here as portions of a fake movie about a kid who has to shoot his own dog were shot for the film. The kid? Frankie Muniz. Speaking of dogs, I also appreciate when the canine actor is given an actual credit in the film. In this case Jack was played by Cody. Good dog.

What?! There are a number of small product placements, including an extended shot of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and the forced consumption of Pepto-Bismol by a dog. I do love when there is something in there that is so small you can’t even think of how or why it would be product placement. Like there is a moment when a character is drinking conspicuously from an Orange Julius cup… did Orange Julius pay for that? If yes, why?

Where?! This is obviously set in California. From the beautiful vistas to the California license plates to the Dodgers paraphernalia. If that was it, I think I’d land this at C+/B- territory. However, there are two scenes set explicitly in the Hollywood Bowl… which means this probably jumps all the way up to an A-.  

When?! Because I’m insane, I went back through the film and made sure we couldn’t get an exact date. The closest we get is the Victoria’s Secret catalogue that Dylan gets in the mail. Clearly says Spring ‘98 on the cover and he’s getting the new issue so it is a rough estimate. Too bad I couldn’t find when those magazines were released more precisely. D+

Anyway, overall the film is pretty lightweight all-around and is particularly embarrassing at the end when Dylan secures the big loan from Martin Sheen by dressing up and singing a Neil Diamond song. I shudder even thinking about it. As for the Friend we brought, Soultaker starring Joe Estevez was a pretty enjoyable film to watch. It plot is thin, but the acting and writing are off the hook. The main actor in particular is just so weird it’s almost like meta-acting. Almost like he looked at the role and decided to play the type of actor that would take such a role instead of the role itself. The ending is nonsense too. Not bad in my opinion. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! I was lost, but now … I am found. All it took was a meandering story about a vulgar restauranteur with a heart of gold. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I would have thought this film on first blush was a Happy Madison joint. In reality it seemed like a weird Spade vehicle that might have started as a Spade/Farley buddy comedy that was retrofitted after Farley’s death. Late 90s Something About Mary clones are maybe a blind spot for me, so that was probably the most interesting bit. What are my expectations? I would just be happy if there is enough gay panic, gross humor, and racial stereotypes to remind be that “yup, this is what comedies used to be like”. It was a wildly different time.

The Good – I genuinely liked Spade and how they made a big part of the film the idea that he needs to get this woman to know him because he comes across as a jerk. This is something that gets glossed over elsewhere: the sarcastic schlubby guy needs to have a sweet and funny side to make the mutual attraction at the center of the film make sense. I had one good chuckle which, again, is above average. We’ll get to the intricacies of the plot in the next section, but it is a surprisingly coherent plot given together it has to hold about five different threads together (main romantic storyline, restaurant needs a loan, Spade needs to hold his friend’s ring, French ex-beau in town, Spade’s employee is obsessed with him).

The Bad – Oh boy, the gay panic, child rape jokes, a hard f-bomb. It was a wild time indeed. The storyline is one of the best examples of the “plot cloud” I’ve ever seen. And little of it makes much sense … like, why is this bank allowing this restaurant to cater an event as part of a loan application (I know I know, Spade did it at cost, but why would Martin Sheen give a shit?)? Why does Sheen basically say loans aren’t based on money … and then turns around and gives the loan after Spade lip-syncs some Neil Diamond?! None of it makes sense. And finally, while it is clear the bad guy is a bad guy because he cheated on Lila we are told … most of his actions during the film make him look fine? He’s clearly controlling and smarmy, but Spade is kind of mean and inconsiderate to his friends as well. I can absolutely see why Leonard Maltin thought the bad guy came across as better than Spade during the film, especially at the time.

The BMT – It is weak. I think you can add it to the repertoire of late-90s and SNL-alum comedies. But the film isn’t over the top with the weirdness that you have to show it to people. Like, there isn’t a four minute long gay panic scene or anything, which would have made the movie a bit more must-see. We’ll see more Spade films, specifically Black Sheep with Farley qualifies. Did it meet my expectations? I feel like we are on an interesting streak of films kind of half meeting my expectations. We got gay panic, and child rape jokes, and gross humor out the wazoo. But it was too few and far between to sustain the shock-horror throughout.

Roast-radamus – I don’t think Artie Lange is a Planchet … he’s just filling into the Laurel and Hardy / Abott and Costello mold that Farley left behind with his death. Reading Jamie’s section I do think the Orange Julius thing was a real Product Placement (What?). Because SNL must have some connection to Orange Julius. They have to. Definitely a Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles complete with a trip to the Hollywood Bowl. And then there is a discussion about the dog. It isn’t a MacGuffin, but it is a “thing” that is a linchpin to the plot. You can imagine any plot: boy meets girl, boy steals [object, e.g. a car, a dog, a prized surfboard] from her to get closer to her, hilarity ensues. It is a something, not a MacGuffin, but it is the “why” of the film. We won’t use it for the awards, but it is something to think about.

StreetCreditReport.com – Almost nothing, which shouldn’t be a surprise since I basically didn’t know this movie existed until I watched it. Roger Ebert eviscerated it which is a plus. It probably is one of the worst dognapping films. Could definitely make a list of worst David Spade films. And probably could be considered for a Worst Films Starring a French Movie Star list of some kind as well. But even those are pushing it.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we watched the Joe Estevez and Robert Z’Dar classic Soultaker? Never heard of it? Well, it is about four people whose souls become displaced after they die in a tragic car accident. They then must race against death itself, players by Joe Estevez … kind of, he’s like a dark angel character, but Z’Dar is like his boss as well. Anyways, it was written and stars Vivian Schilling and it was clearly a passion project for her. As a bad movie the acting is probably its strongest attribute. The weirdness of Joe Estevez and Z’Dar’s interactions help. And finally some of the weird choices like the drug dealing alcoholic asshole friend, and very strange scene with the mother are probably what you’d see online. I really liked this film. It is wild, and just entertaining enough to sustain the run time. Probably the only time is starts to die a bit is in the end when it just takes forever to get to the point. I really liked this as a friend. A B I think, very entertaining, but nothing super special and specifically interesting.

You Just Got Schooled – This time I had it easy because it turns out Soultaker is considered one of the best episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 ever made. In a poll it ranked 18th among fans, and it was noted as a favorite of current MST3K writer Elliott Kalan. The episode is very good in my estimation, having watched a number of MST3K over the years. The comparison of the main character to Tonya Harding, the constant 60 Minutes references, the riffing on the screenwriting in general, and notes concerning Joe Estevez’s status as the lesser Estevez brother are all gold. I would say that while Soultaker itself is entertaining in its weirdness, the MST3K episode made it a very easy rewatch a week later. Indeed, while I may have only occasionally indulged in Soultaker by itself, I think if someone had never seen MST3K this is a fine introduction and companion to the film. It is nice that it, in a way, lends a stamp of approval to the film as an unqualified bad movie.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs