Batman & Robin Preview

Big week highlighting one of the few changes the BMT Board of Directors (BMTBD) proposed for the year. That was to try to bring in some of the many major bad movies that we had watched prior to BMT and as a result never gave the full BMT treatment. Originally such films were totally excluded from consideration. No more! So for the SciFi/Fantasy/Other category of the adaptation cycle we went straight for the crown jewel. That’s right! We’re bringing the single highest scoring BMeTric film of all time, the critically reviled superhero film Batman & Robin. We obviously watched this as kids and probably didn’t even think it was all that bad (we were like 11, so I’m not sure I had ever watched a film and thought it was bad). Let’s see if it holds up (holds down?) on a rewatch. Also have to note that Batman Forever qualifies (RT 39%) so it will be included as a bonus. Let’s go!

Batman & Robin (1997) – BMeTric: 94.5

BatmanRobin_BMeT

BatmanRobin_RV

(That, boys and girls, is the highest BMeTric in existence. Nearly 200K IMDb votes and a sub-4 rating, it is incredibly, almost impossibly, poorly rated. Let it sink in.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Batman #4 spotlights two colorful villains, Schwarzenegger’s lusty Mr. Freeze and Thurman’s deliciously nasty Poison Ivy, who (for different reasons) want to destroy Gotham City, but even their antics can’t sustain an overlong, episodic film in which the “story” often makes no sense. Clooney is OK but unremarkable as Bruce Wayne/Batman, ditto for Silverstone as the new Batgirl. The action and effects are loud, gargantuan, and ultimately numbing.

(He gave a better review to this one compared to Batman Returns! Incredible. Maltin doesn’t like “dark” things, at least that is what he complains about with the early Burton films. Hell, he gave The Dark Knight two stars! He thought Batman & Robin was better than The Dark Knight. Because of “colorful” villains basically.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RBXypX4qWI

(How did Uma Thurman end up doing this and The Avengers? The trailer is actually pretty cool. It looks like a cartoon, sure, but there isn’t really a good reason that that is a bad thing. Gotham looks cool. Arnold seems like he could work as an intimidating villain. I don’t know. I kind of expected the trailer to be garbage, but it isn’t really garbage, it is surprisingly compelling I think.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: Flatliners; The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; St. Elmo’s Fire; Falling Down; Phone Booth; The Client; Flawless; Tigerland; Town Creek; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Bad Company; Dying Young; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; 8MM; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: In a recent Vice article, Schumacher said “Look, I apologize,” Schumacher told me in a phone interview last week. “I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that.” Good times.)

Writers – Bob Kane (Batman characters) – (Known For: Justice League; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Batman Begins; The LEGO Batman Movie; Batman; Batman Returns; The LEGO Movie; Batman: The Killing Joke; Batman: The Movie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Catwoman; Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Notes: The creator the Batman Character. There are a ton of articles about Bob Kane and his relationship with Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman. Let’s just say it isn’t a super happy tale, although Finger is getting more credit now than he did in his time.)

Akiva Goldsman (written by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Lost in Space; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Batman & Robin; Rings; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; Batman Forever; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: There is only so much to say right? He is currently overseeing the Ology book series adaptation with other heavy hitters like Michael Chabon on his staff.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: True Lies; Kindergarten Cop; Total Recall; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Killing Gunther; Predator; The Terminator; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Aftermath; Conan the Barbarian; The Expendables 2; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; The Running Man; Commando; Welcome to the Jungle; The Last Stand; Maggie; The 6th Day; Red Heat; Future BMT: Hercules in New York; Junior; Red Sonja; Jingle All the Way; Collateral Damage; End of Days; Twins; Cactus Jack; Eraser; Last Action Hero; Terminator Genisys; The Kid & I; BMT: Batman & Robin; Raw Deal; Sabotage; Around the World in 80 Days; Conan the Destroyer; The Expendables 3; Notes: Former governor of California his marriage to Maria Shriver famously fell apart when it was reported he had fathered a child with their former housekeeper. I didn’t realize it, but the child is 20-years-old and goes to Pepperdine.)

George Clooney – (Known For: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond; Ocean’s Eleven; From Dusk Till Dawn; Gravity; Hail, Caesar!; The Men Who Stare at Goats; The Thin Red Line; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Burn After Reading; Ocean’s Thirteen; Up in the Air; Ocean’s Twelve; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Spy Kids; The Descendants; Money Monster; The American; Michael Clayton; Out of Sight; The Perfect Storm; Future BMT: Return of the Killer Tomatoes!; The Monuments Men; The Good German; BMT: Batman & Robin; Notes: Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, he’s found love with his wife Amal. And guess what? They had twins! A son and a daughter, so fraternal, but still, that’s pretty good.)

Chris O’Donnell – (Known For: Scent of a Woman; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Kinsey; Vertical Limit; School Ties; Blue Sky; Circle of Friends; Kit Kittredge: An American Girl; A Little Help; Cookie’s Fortune; Men Don’t Leave; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; The Bachelor; Mad Love; 29 Palms; In Love and War; The Three Musketeers; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Max Payne; The Chamber; Notes: He’s one of the guys whose career was potentially derailed by this disaster. But he seems like he’s doing okay having starred in all 168 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles. I saw the pilot and him and LL Cool J tear it up, so there we go.)

Budget/Gross – $125 million / Domestic: $107,325,195 (Worldwide: $238,207,122)

(An absolute disaster at the time. Movies like this are more common these days, but at the time the budget was mind-blowing, so not making it back at the domestic box-office was crazy. I’m sure they made a mint on toy sales though.)

#64 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

batmanrobin_comicbookadaptation

(The same as above. The largest two we’ve seen for BMT are Fantastic Four and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies … did we watch those for BMT? I think we saw the first one for BMT, but not the second. Which is weird, because I’ve definitely actually seen the second. I must have watched it on a plane.)

#61 for the Superhero genre

batmanrobin_superhero

(There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said about the genre in the Batman Forever preview. Let’s just say that we’ve had a few gems in our time watching the dregs of Superhero films. You remember Elektra? You remember that piece of garbage? We need to watch a few of these too, like Blankman. Blankman is crazy.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (9/86): Joel Schumacher’s tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that’s too jokey to care much for.

(Hmmm, kind of surprising it isn’t below 10%. I do like the consensus though, I think it very much rings true with what can go wrong with the jokey superhero paradigm. It works fine for Marvel, but this is the logical conclusion of the style and it can get ugly.)

Poster – Sklogman and Sklogin’ (D-)

batman_and_robin_ver9

(This is horrific. This is where you can take the Batman Forever poster (good) and make what seems to be mild changes and dive straight into F territory. Too many colors and too much going on. That being said still has the font… so maybe just narrowly missing that The Avengers F level… barely.)

Tagline(s) – Strength. Courage. Honor. And loyalty. On June 20, it ALL comes together… (D)

(It’s like a child wrote this. I really don’t like it… the more I look at it the more I hate it and I better just grade it before I give it an F.)

Keyword(s) – bat; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 72.5 Are We Done Yet? (2007); 67.8 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 65.9 Bodyguard (2011); 64.5 Bats (1999); 63.6 Dracula 2000 (2000); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 55.4 Batman Forever (1995); 49.5 The Order (2003); 41.3 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994);

(I modified this one a bit, but I do like the ultimate list … I wonder is any of these guys are concerning like a baseball bat? Not an animal bat. City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold is the greatest title for a film of all time as well.)

Notes – Most of the scenes with Batgirl, played by actress Alicia Silverstone, were cut out because Silverstone had gained a few pounds during production and the wardrobe team had to refit her costume. When the press discovered the news, they slammed Silverstone’s weight gain and mocked the actress for being “too fat” to fit into her costume. As a result, director Joel Schumacher publicly defended Silverstone during interviews and press meetings, joking “What is this girl’s big sin – that she ate some pizza?” When the press continued to taunt Silverstone’s weight gain, mostly from female journalists, Schumacher again intervened and lashed out at the reporters that taunted her. Schumacher went on record about the weight gain to one magazine by saying: “”It was horrible. I thought it was very cruel. She was a teenager who gained a few pounds – like all of us do at certain times. I would confront female journalists and I’d say, ‘With so many young people suffering from anorexia and bulimia, why are you crucifying this girl?'” Alicia Silverstone Batgirl in this movie is the only time Batgirl was ever shown on screen for a live action Batman movie. (Huh. Makes Schumacher sound like a decent dude. That story kind of sucks)

Due to the difficulty and large amount of time it took to remove the Batman suit, George Clooney reportedly urinated in his suit on at least one occasion. (Jesus Christ these notes)

George Clooney has been known to refund people who saw this film. (I would rather watch the film with him in his house. That would be an experience. I don’t need money back)

In later interviews, director Joel Schumacher would blame studio pressure to make the film more “toyetic” (i.e., a showcase for marketable toys and games), and in a “making-of” documentary on the DVD, apologized to disappointed fans.

Final film of wrestler Jeep Swenson (Bane), who died two months after the film’s release. (Oh no, that is awful. Died of heart failure at 40.).

Joel Schumacher had several meetings with Warner Bros. to get them to reconsider letting him do another Batman movie. Schumacher wanted to take the film back to its darker roots and make a “Batman: Year One” movie. Schumacher wanted to cast Kurt Russell as a young Commissioner Gordon and would have had Selina Kyle as a young, beautiful African-American woman living in the ghetto. However, Warner Bros. decided not to rehire Schumacher and the Batman film franchise remained in development limbo for years until Batman Begins (2005). (Probably a fine decision all things considered. Schumacher would have been poison regardless)

Last Batman film viewed by Batman creator Bob Kane. He would die one year after the release of this film. This is also the last film which Kane worked as project consultant.

Mr. Freeze says 27 “ice puns” throughout the movie. (This is why we watch bad movies)

Voted as the #1 in Empire magazine’s “50 Worst Movies Ever” (February 2010). (Streeeeeeeeet credit report dot coooooooom)

In the evidence room at the prison where Freeze is held and before Bane breaks in, both the Riddler’s and Two-Face’s outfits can be seen. (Noice)

In an interview the cast members were asked what item from filming they would like to take home with them. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would be taking Mr. Freeze’s armor home, Uma Thurman said that she wanted Ivy’s floral throne, and Elle Macpherson said that she just wanted a cap or something with the “Batman & Robin” logo before anyone else. When asked, George Clooney said he wanted Elle Macpherson. (ha … kind of creepy though)

After filming was completed, Arnold Schwarzenegger went in for heart surgery. Because studios were anxious about insuring Schwarzenegger in one of their action movies, he couldn’t get work again until End of Days (1999). (Huh, didn’t know that. Interesting story.)

The only film in the original series in which Tim Burton had no involvement during the development stages (he directed Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and worked as producer in Batman Returns and Batman Forever (1995)).

After the poor reception of Batman & Robin, several Batman projects were considered to substitute for the next Batman movie. One was a direct sequel, Batman Unchained written by Mark Protosevich. The second was an adaptation of the graphic novel, Batman: Year One. The last was a live-action adaptation of Batman of the Future (1999). None of those projects came to fruition, instead the franchise was rebooted with Batman Begins (2005). (These notes are really good)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is reputed to have earned $25 million for playing Mr. Freeze.

Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to reprise the role of Conan for “Conan the Conqueror”, which was rewritten as Kull the Conqueror (1997), to star as Mr. Freeze in the film. (Too bad. That film would have probably been terrible)

The Oxbridge Academy, Barbara’s fictional university in England, is really a combination of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Oxbridge is used jokingly in American pop culture to refer to any British college graduate. (British people to refer to the two colleges as such. It is often a boon to hire an “Oxbridge” graduate)

Uma Thurman and Elle MacPherson both went on to have children by Arpad Busson who refused to marry either of them. (Wow, I’ll leave that as the last note. Keep it classy IMDb note makers)

Awards

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Peter Macgregor-Scott)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Chris O’Donnell)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joel Schumacher)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Akiva Goldsman)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Billy Corgan)

Advertisements

Batman Forever Preview

Big week highlighting one of the few changes the BMT Board of Directors (BMTBD) proposed for the year. That was to try to bring in some of the many major bad movies that we had watched prior to BMT and as a result never gave the full BMT treatment. Originally such films were totally excluded from consideration. No more! So for the SciFi/Fantasy/Other category of the adaptation cycle we went straight for the crown jewel. That’s right! We’re bringing the single highest scoring BMeTric film of all time, the critically reviled superhero film Batman & Robin. We obviously watched this as kids and probably didn’t even think it was all that bad (we were like 11, so I’m not sure I had ever watched a film and thought it was bad). Let’s see if it holds up (holds down?) on a rewatch. But first we have some homework to do! That’s right, Batman Forever qualifies (RT 39%) so it will be included as a bonus here. Let’s go!

Batman Forever (1995) – BMeTric: 55.4

BatmanForever_BMeT

BatmanForever_RV

(Sacre Bleu! That … it is so beautiful. It is the most steady unwavering below average IMDb ratings I’ve ever seen. It is pristine. Shhhhh, don’t scare it away, just appreciate that you get to appreciate it.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Kilmer makes the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne his own in this well-written sequel in which the Caped Crusader battles Two-Face (Jones) and The Riddler (Carrey) while attempting – at least for a while – to resist the advances of a sexy psychologist (Kidman). He also acquires a partner in O’Donnell (as Robin), and it’s this aspect of the film – the character relationships – that give it solidity. The loud, razzle-dazzle special effects are overkill. Ed Begley, Jr., appears unbilled.

(Wow, that is a pretty solid review. Better than most that’s for sure. I’m not sure “well-written” is how I would describe the film from what I recall, but this does get me a bit more excited about the whole affair.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROLvjRB4E_Q

(Besides how over-the-top both of the villains looks that trailer is actually quite good. It even makes the whole Robin introduction make a bit more sense: Batman is fighting two villains and thus needs a partner … makes sense to me.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: Flatliners; The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; St. Elmo’s Fire; Falling Down; Phone Booth; The Client; Flawless; Tigerland; Town Creek; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Bad Company; Dying Young; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; 8MM; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: Started his career with the Brat Pack and then adapting Grisham novels. Has been openly gay throughout his career.)

Writers – Bob Kane (characters) – (Known For: Justice League; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Batman Begins; The LEGO Batman Movie; Batman; Batman Returns; The LEGO Movie; Batman: The Killing Joke; Batman: The Movie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Batman & Robin; Catwoman; Batman Forever; Notes: Original creator of Batman. Died in 1998 having acted as a consultant on all of the Burton/Schumacher Batman films.)

Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Batman Forever; Pompeii; Notes: Married screenwriting team. They wrote the first pass with Robin Williams in mind which was subsequently re-written by Goldsman.)

Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Lost in Space; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Batman & Robin; Rings; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; Batman Forever; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: Incredible career which we touched on in several previews already. Is an executive producer on the upcoming Dark Tower television series … good luck.)

Actors – Val Kilmer – (Known For: Heat; Top Gun; True Romance; Song to Song; Tombstone; Willow; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Deja Vu; The Prince of Egypt; The Doors; Top Secret!; Real Genius; Palo Alto; Felon; Kill the Irishman; MacGruber; Bad Lieutenant; The Missing; The Ghost and the Darkness; Pollock; Future BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; The Snowman; Twixt; Alexander; The Traveler; Red Planet; Planes; 5 Days of War; Hard Ca$h; Delgo; The Real McCoy; At First Sight; Masked and Anonymous; The Saint; Mindhunters; Wonderland; 10th & Wolf; Stateside; Summer Love; BMT: The Love Guru; Batman Forever; Notes: His health reports are quite strange. It seems like he had throat cancer which is why he didn’t do any films for two years. He was back this year with The Snowman … but tabloids are still pushing stories about his cancer spreading to his brain and being terminal? Just super weird stuff. He at one point denied having cancer and then said “I’ve had a healing of cancer” … what?)

Tommy Lee Jones – (Known For: No Country for Old Men; Captain America: The First Avenger; Lincoln; Jason Bourne; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Natural Born Killers; Men in Black 3; JFK; Space Cowboys; Small Soldiers; The Homesman; Love Story; Under Siege; In the Valley of Elah; The Client; The Company Men; Blue Sky; The Missing; Volcano; Future BMT: Man of the House; Wings of the Apache; The Hunted; Men in Black II; Black Moon Rising; The Family; Blown Away; Criminal; Double Jeopardy; Rules of Engagement; U.S. Marshals; Just Getting Started; Emperor; BMT: Batman Forever; Mechanic: Resurrection; Notes: Famously the college roommate of Al Gore. Also played Offensive Guard on the undefeated Harvard football team that played in the famous 29-29 game.)

Jim Carrey – (Known For: The Truman Show; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; The Bad Batch; Dumb and Dumber; Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Mask; Bruce Almighty; Man on the Moon; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Liar Liar; Yes Man; Me, Myself & Irene; Earth Girls Are Easy; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; The Cable Guy; I Love You Phillip Morris; A Christmas Carol; Peggy Sue Got Married; Horton Hears a Who!; Future BMT: Dumb and Dumber To; Pink Cadillac; Once Bitten; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone; Fun with Dick and Jane; Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls; Kick-Ass 2; BMT: Batman Forever; The Number 23; Notes: One of the many breakout stars of the television show In Living Color and went on to be one of the most famous comedic actors in the world. Despite winning two Golden Globes he has never even been nominated for an Oscar. Also noted crazy person.)

Budget/Gross – $100 million / Domestic: $184,031,112 (Worldwide: $336,529,144)

(Basically nothing by today’s standards. Kind of amazing, but the first Burton one was the highest grossing of the three. Forever actually did better than Returns.)

#39 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

batmanforever_comicbookadaptation

(Basically Superman and Batman kicked off a chain of comic book films that peaked in 1995 and then collapsed. Spiderman rejuvenated the genre which is now averaging 64 thousand theaters a year … considering you kind of max out at 4K theaters, or roughly 16 comic book movies in a calendar year at one point. Steel and Barb Wire are kind of the lowest of the lows for the genre)

#38 for the Superhero genre

batmanforever_superhero

(Same as above although it is kind of interesting to see that we are at a peak for superhero films, but not for comic book movies. Makes sense, the set of comic book movies almost entirely contains the set of superhero films.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (24/61): Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.

(This actually went from 40% flat to just a shade below this year! Rotten Tomatoes scores change unfortunately. The extra review was a short review from CNN in 1995, it just hadn’t been recovered yet. We had to jump at the chance to do the film though, one more good review and it won’t qualify.)

Poster – Sklogman Forever (B)

batman_forever_ver7

(I wish they had done more to tone down the colors brought in by the different characters so that there was a little consistency, but otherwise this is a well laid out poster that gives us everything we need to see without going overboard. Font is even given a unique spin. I like it.)

Tagline(s) – Courage now, truth always…. (B-)

(Apparently this is from the trailer and ended with “Batman Forever.” Which may or may not be obvious. It’s a good cadence and sounds like a tagline, but dips a little into the generic zone. Also I like my taglines on the poser. Just a preference.)

Keyword(s) – partner; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 68.0 Double Team (1997); 67.8 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 61.4 Exposed (III) (2016); 58.2 Alex Cross (2012); 55.4 Batman Forever (1995); 54.6 Jungle 2 Jungle (1997); 51.1 The Mummy (2017); 51.0 Twisted (I) (2004); 50.9 Scream 3 (2000);

(Interesting. We need to watch Vampire in Brooklyn for sure, tick off another Murphy film. This is somewhat of an enigmatic one though, basically all cop / batman films … so what does partner in Jungle 2 Jungle mean?)

Notes – According to Jim Carrey, he did not get along with Tommy Lee Jones, who told him that he hated him and his films. (Sounds about right)

Jim Carrey’s original idea – to shave a question mark into his scalp – had to be scratched as he was due in court to finalize his divorce. (Jeez, that is a dark reason)

While Tim Burton was still slated to direct the film, Micky Dolenz was considered to play The Riddler. After Burton dropped out, Robin Williams was offered the role by Warner Brothers, but refused due to being bitter about being used as “bait” to lure Jack Nicholson to commit to play the Joker in Batman (1989).

Michelle Pfeiffer was considered to reprise her role as Catwoman.

In the first Batman (1989), District Attorney Harvey Dent was played by Billy Dee Williams. Williams accepted the role with the knowledge and expectation that Dent would eventually become Two-Face. He reportedly had a clause put into his contract, reserving the role for him in any sequels, which Warner Bros. had to buy out, so they could cast Tommy Lee Jones. Williams would eventually voice the character in The Lego Batman Movie (2017). (Huh, I guess I understand wanting a bigger name in there, but that would have been pretty fun maybe)

Dick Grayson suggests “Nightwing” for a hero name. This was the name used by the adult Dick Grayson in the comic books.

Before deciding not to don the cape and cowl for a third time, Michael Keaton met with Joel Schumacher and declined to join the project after deciding that he did not like the direction in which Schumacher was looking to take the franchise. In the brief time that Tim Burton was still considering doing a third Batman film, Riddler was the only villain that he planned on using. The idea of using Two-Face did not come up until Schumacher joined the project.

While learning to twirl a cane, Jim Carrey reportedly broke around a dozen prop canes and some of his trailer furniture.

The Batmobile was usually driven by stunt drivers, but Chris O’Donnell insisted on driving it himself in the joyride scene. He crashed it into a curb, and dented a fender. (nice)

Val Kilmer and Joel Schumacher clashed during filming. Schumacher described Kilmer as “childish and impossible”. According to Schumacher, Kilmer refused to talk to him for two weeks.

Val Kilmer and Jim Carrey became good friends during filming. They bonded over the deaths of their fathers.

Tommy Lee Jones was Joel Schumacher’s first choice for the role of Two-Face after working with him in The Client (1994). Jones accepted the role because his son Austin, eleven at the time, said Two-Face was his favorite character.

Joel Schumacher’s decision to put nipples and enlarged codpieces on the Bat-costumes, as well as an earring on Robin caused controversy – it even bothered Batman creator Bob Kane. Schumacher said he wanted the costumes to have an anatomic look, while the earring was supposed to make Robin more hip. He also claimed that the basis for the Batman and Robin suits came from statues of the gods of ancient Greece. (Joel Schumacher everyone!)

Robin’s costume is not the classic costume of the comics that Dick Grayson wore, but it is based on the costume worn by the third Robin, Tim Drake. This costume was introduced in 1990, and it is rumored that Tim Burton had a hand in designing it.

So heavy was his Batsuit, that Val Kilmer lost five pounds filming the opening fight scene alone. (NOPE, that fact is fake. FAKE)

Will Shortz, “puzzlemaster” on National Public Radio and editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, created the Riddler’s riddles. (Wow)

Tim Burton said “I always hated those titles like Batman Forever. That sounds like a tattoo that somebody would get when they’re on drugs or something. Or something some kid would write in the yearbook to somebody else. I have high problems with some of those titles.” It is rumored that Burton was considering the title Batman Continues while he was still slated to direct.

For the scene where Chase Meridian is visited by Batman on her balcony at night, Nicole Kidman was not wearing any clothing underneath the white silk sheet, with which she was covering herself. (But why?)

William Baldwin was reported to be considered for the role of Batman. Other names considered for the part before Val Kilmer was cast included Daniel Day-Lewis, Kurt Russell, Alec Baldwin, Ethan Hawke, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hanks, and Johnny Depp. (TOM HANKS)

Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord was a stunt double for Chris O’Donnell. (That is BMT legend Mitch Gaylord to you)

Joel Schumacher said in an interview about Val Kilmer “Val did me two great favors when I wanted him to be Batman, he said yes. Then he created a situation which allowed me not to have him play Batman again, they were both happy, happy instances for which I will always be grateful”. (Cooooooold bloooooooded)

Unlike the two Tim Burton Batman films, this is not scored by Danny Elfman. Also, unlike those two, this film features original songs performed by multiple artists. The trailers for this film and Batman & Robin (1997) feature Elfman’s score from Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), however. (Oh I didn’t know that)

The handgun Two-Face uses throughout the movie is a chrome plated Benelli mp95e. (gun facts, a staple of any good IMDb trivia section)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Cinematography (Stephen Goldblatt)

Nominated for the Oscar for Best Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Frank A. Montaño, Michael Herbick, Petur Hliddal)

Nominated for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (John Leveque, Bruce Stambler)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bono)

Marmaduke Preview

I actually did not mind watching our previous film The Women. Unfortunately that means we’ll inevitably turn around and do some film that’s a giant pile of dog poo in our face. Not looking like it’ll be any different here. For the Chain Reaction we are jumping from A Dog’s Purpose through it’s star Josh Gad straight into another dog-centric film. That’s right! We’re watching Marmaduke! What should have been a slam dunk success (what kid doesn’t like talking animals?) turned out to be a critical and financial train wreck (hooray?). In it Josh Gad played *squints at casting sheet* Bandana Dog… huh. Alrighty. This film is of course about the titular great dane from the old comic strip that essentially asks the question: what if you had a dog that might be just a little too big? Presumably big laughs as he gets into all kinds of zany situations… sigh. This is gonna be a tough one. Let’s go!

Marmaduke (2010) – BMeTric: 66.4

Marmaduke_BMeT

Marmaduke_RV

(So sometimes it is hard to tell: is that regression to the mean? Or is it basically people who didn’t watch the movie shitting on it in 2010 and then forgetting about it (allowing people who have watched the film to give it a more appropriate 4/10 review)? A combination of both actually makes the most sense. With regression to the mean you aren’t regressing to the overall mean (although I sometimes use it that way). You are regressing to the film’s mean rating. The early reviewers might be more discriminatory (or more lax) than the general population, but eventually with enough votes it will get to where it is truly meant to be. This suggests the film is bad (a rating of 4 is objectively bad), but that it wasn’t nearly as bad as the initial reactions suggest (a rating of 2 is an all time bad film). Sounds innocuous to be honest, which doesn’t not bode well for the Bad Movie Twins.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Fans of the long-running comic strip by Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming may be surprised to learn that Marmaduke, the humongous Great Dane who often tests the patience of this “two-legger” owners, speaks in a lazy hipster voice (supplied by Wilson) that suggests a California stoner. Unfortunately, that’s one of the very few novelties in this otherwise derivative, unimaginative comedy that relies heavily on the intermingling of human actors in thankless parts and CGI-tweaked live animals voices by familiar actors. Strictly kid stuff.

(Oh no, strictly kid stuff. I want to point out something: this is one of the longest reviews I’ve ever seen in a Leonard Maltin book. In other reviews they will insert abbreviations awkwardly, seemingly just to get them a character or two shorter. Why would Marmaduke be allowed this luxurious review length? No idea.)

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

(Dance scene alert. That better be during a post-credits bloopie reel. Loving the music, loving the setting (California is basically a character), and loving the Black-Eyed Peas shout with Fergie getting ludicrously high billing. Everything about this suggests I will hate-love this film.)

Directors – Tom Dey – (Known For: Shanghai Noon; Future BMT: Showtime; BMT: Marmaduke; Failure to Launch; Notes: Interesting that he has almost nothing in the pipeline. Did a commercial reel which landed him at Ridley Scott’s production company, which lead to his (almost exclusively) directorial career.)

Writers – Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio (written by) – (Future BMT: Smother; BMT: Marmaduke; License to Wed; Notes: Interesting. They are writing partners it looks like. But Di Meglio is also a visual artist on a number of films including Miss Congeniality and Hansel & Gretel.)

Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming (comic) – (BMT: Marmaduke; Notes: Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming created the original strip. Anderson created it, and Leeming helped for the first ten or so years of its run.)

Actors – Owen Wilson – (Known For: Wonder; Cars 3; Wedding Crashers; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Cars; Inherent Vice; Midnight in Paris; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; The Royal Tenenbaums; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Zoolander; Night at the Museum; No Escape; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Marley & Me; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; The Darjeeling Limited; The Cable Guy; Meet the Parents; She’s Funny That Way; Future BMT: Anaconda; Breakfast of Champions; I Spy; Little Fockers; How Do You Know; You, Me and Dupree; Are You Here; Drillbit Taylor; Masterminds; Hall Pass; Free Birds; Cars 2; Meet the Fockers; The Internship; Father Figures; Behind Enemy Lines; Armageddon; BMT: Zoolander 2; The Haunting; Marmaduke; Around the World in 80 Days; Notes: Y’all know Owen Wilson. Has had a working relationship with Wes Anderson throughout both of their careers. Shanghai Dawn with Jackie Chan is currently in the works.)

Judy Greer – (Known For: War for the Planet of the Apes; Jurassic World; Ant-Man; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; The Village; Tomorrowland; 13 Going on 30; 27 Dresses; Love & Other Drugs; Our Souls at Night; The Descendants; Carrie; What Women Want; Three Kings; Wilson; Adaptation.; Lemon; Neko no ongaeshi; Grandma; All We Had; Future BMT: Cursed; The Wedding Planner; Jawbreaker; Love Happens; Kissing a Fool; Peep World; Elizabethtown; Addicted to Fresno; I Love Your Work; Entourage; The Amateurs; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Marmaduke; Playing for Keeps; Notes: If you saw her you’d recognize her, she is a well known comedic character actor. I know her best as Kitty from Arrested Development. She had her directorial debut, A Happening of Monumental Proportions, in early 2017.)

Lee Pace – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Lincoln; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Fall; The Good Shepherd; A Single Man; Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; The Program; Infamous; The White Countess; Ceremony; Future BMT: The Resident; 30 Beats; The Book of Henry; BMT: Marmaduke; When in Rome; Notes: Maybe most well known for his television work, including the lead in Pushing Daisies. He was a dwarf in The Hobbit franchise, and owns a farm.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $33,644,788 (Worldwide: $83,761,844)

(I wouldn’t say it is a bomb, but they would have wanted to crack $100 I think. Especially considering how well the Chipmunk franchise was doing around this time. These things are so easy to make I can kind of understand why you just dump it and move onto the next one honestly.)

#26 for the Dog genre

marmaduke_dog

(I’m going to field a guess here: I think the basically seven year gap in Dog movies after 2010 was partially a reaction to Marmaduke and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, partially that films like those ended up going direct-to-VOD after 2010, and partially because big kids’ films started just using cheap animation instead of animals at the time. Fascinating stuff. And A Dog’s Purpose was the first Dog movie we watched for BMT as far as I can tell. And I love dogs.)

#28 for the Family – Talking Animal (Live action) genre

marmaduke_talkinganimal

(Hot to Trot was also our firsts. 2017 really was a year of firsts for BMT. This came right at the peak, like the tippy top before the fall. Again, I think it is because talking animal movies are released to VOD now. Why would you bother going to a theater to watch Garfield 5 when the kids are going to be distracted anyways and your house is quiet and comfortable? Kind of inevitable that big releases like this would eventually die off, not really worth it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (9/100): Dull and unfunny, Marmaduke offers family filmgoers little more than another round of talking animals and scatological humor.

(Brutalized. Yeah, this is kind of why we shy away from the family friendly affairs here at the BMT Media Empire HQ. Dull, unfunny, kid humor. Almost never a rewarding combination. I’m kind of loving the very matter of fact Reviewer Highlight: Lines like “Get your bark on,” “Who let the dogs out?” and “Cowabarka” abound. Many of the jokes revolve around excretory functions. – Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post)

Poster – Marmasklog (F)

marmaduke

(I do not like the contrasting blue and red colors there. Jarring and frankly ugly. And don’t pretend Marmaduke is too big for the title to be on the poster, you are just depriving people like me from seeing what garbage font the graphical design intern painstakingly chose during their lunchbreak. No one called him “the Duke”, everything about this makes me angry actually.)

Tagline(s) – Live Large (C-)

(We get it: Marmaduke is a big dog. Then again, wasn’t that the point of the comic strip? Wasn’t it just about a dog that was just too big for the house and family to deal with? So … fine I’ll bump it up to a passing grade … barely.)

Keyword(s) – great dane; Top Ten by BMeTric: 66.8 Scooby-Doo (2002); 66.4 Marmaduke (2010); 62.9 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004); 33.6 The Other Woman (2014); 32.2 Good Boy! (2003); 29.6 Committed (I) (2000); 24.0 Teenage Cave Man (1958); 16.8 The Heat (I) (2013); 13.3 Oliver & Company (1988); 10.8 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001);

(Huh … well a lot of those don’t qualify, but still a little nuts this is the first Great Dane film we’ve seen. The Scooby-Doos have to happen because they are on the Calendar though.)

Notes – The film has the distinction of featuring two dog farts, three urine gags, two hits to the groin, one animal belch, two record scratch moments and two uses of the phrase “Who let the dogs out?” (This IMDb user is doing the Lord’s work)

Twin dogs were used for the titular character. (Twin film!!!)

Ron Perlman was originally cast as the voice of Chupadogra, but for unknown reasons, Sam Elliott took over the role.

Amanda Seyfried was the first choice for Mazie.

In the original comics, Marmaduke never talked. (uuuuuuugh)

In 2010, George Lopez, who does the voice of Carlos, the cat, was accused of being extremely rude to a fan and refusing to take a picture with her. The fan turned out to be a Mexican radio show personality and she had taken the incident to live radio.Mexican radio show personality, La Vozalona (Marlene Quinto), as part of the Mexican radio show, “El Show de Don Cheto”, said that she had met George Lopez at a Cuban restaurant. When she saw that he had finished eating and was on his way out, she approached him near the exit of the restaurant. While he was taking a picture with a fan, she had asked to take a picture with him, to which she said he became very rude and disrespectful. She had to wait and was told that “even Mexicans have manners and say please”. Confused, La Vozalona said she told Lopez she was a big fan and one of his many followers on Twitter. In response, Lopez told her to shut up and take the picture. La Vozalona said she told Lopez to stop being rude or else she would “burn” him on talk radio. He responded with a, “What, you think I care?”.This was very surprising for many and many considered Lopez a big hypocrite for the incident, considering he had also been criticizing and ridiculing _CHiPs (1977)_ star ‘Erik Estrada’ for many years. This prior incident, like his most recent, was for not shaking his hand and refusing to sign an autograph, while Estrada filmed an episode of CHiPs near Lopez’s neighborhood. (Do I leave this in the preview? It seems so crazy that this long-winded story is on the Marmaduke page, … like it has nothing to do with Marmaduke. Why is it here? It is just so crazy I can’t stop thinking about it … I hope it gives someone else as much confusion-joy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (George Lopez)

The Women (2008) Preview

Usually I start off the preview for a film by talking about how excited I am to watch it. Not this time! For the Girls Night Out section we jumped to an adaptation of a play. While we had a number of terrible musicals to choose from we at the BMT Media Empire HQ are always looking to buck trends. That’s right! We’re watching The Women… you know, that dramedy you definitely know came out starring Meg Ryan and an ensemble of women living it up in the Greater New York City Area. It’s based on the 1936 play by Clare Booth Luce, which ran on Broadway for a number of years and has been revived and adapted for the screen many times over. This is the latest such adaptation and the critics were less than thrilled. I’m less than thrilled to watch it. Thank god it’s only… 2 hours long! Gah! Let’s go!

The Women (2008) – BMeTric: 58.9

TheWomen_BMeT

TheWomen_RV

(This movie actually has a bit more votes than I would expect, and the number seems to just keep on growing. That initial rise is somewhat interesting, why would the early viewers hate on this movie so? Especially when the thousands of viewers that voted subsequently seem to agree with is about a ~5/10 film. I’m going to go ahead a assume it is a case of Early Viewers Are Fans syndrome, and that they tend towards hating what fails to meet expectations. But … who would have expectations about The Women? God … I hope this isn’t a The Internet Hates Things Aimed At Women thing. I really do.)

Roger Ebert – 3 stars –  “The Women” isn’t a great movie, but how could it be? Too many characters and too much melodrama for that, and the comedy has to be somewhat muted to make the characters semi-believable. But as a well-crafted, well-written and well-acted entertainment, it drew me in and got its job done.

(Wowza, is that two in a row? Very interesting take ultimately. I think he admired the actresses so much (as almost pitch perfect for the movie they were creating) he got a little blinded that the movie was in fact (as he even admits) just not good. We’ll see though. Maybe we’ve discovered a hidden gem.)

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

(I have to say… that didn’t look like the most boring thing in the world for one reason: literally everyone in the trailer is a woman. Even the extras and shit. It’s actually amazing and might make the film at least visually interesting to look at.)

Directors – Diane English – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Effectively her one-and-done directorial project. There is another movie called Timbuktu but it seems like it was never released.)

Writers – Diane English (screenplay) – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Well known as a writer for Murphy Brown. The Women was her only writing gig after that series went off the air. But guess what? There is going to be a new season of Murphy Brown (with Candice Bergen) this year, 20 years after its last season!)

Clare Boothe Luce (play) – (Known For: The Women; BMT: The Women; Notes: Was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy under Dwight D. Eisenhower.)

Anita Loos (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; The Women; San Francisco; Babes in Arms; Strange Cargo; BMT: The Women; Notes: An early screenwriter in Hollywood (her first screenplay was for a Griffith film in 1912). Her brother created the Blue Cross health insurance company.)

Jane Murfin (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Pride and Prejudice; The Women; Come and Get It; BMT: The Women; Notes: She brought Strongheart the dog, Hollywood’s first canine film star, to the U.S. in the 20s.)

Actors – Meg Ryan – (Known For: Top Gun; You’ve Got Mail; Anastasia; When Harry Met Sally…; Sleepless in Seattle; Innerspace; The Doors; In the Land of Women; Kate & Leopold; Addicted to Love; City of Angels; Proof of Life; Courage Under Fire; French Kiss; When a Man Loves a Woman; Restoration; Joe Versus the Volcano; The Presidio; I.Q.; Flesh and Bone; Future BMT: Hanging Up; Amityville 3-D; In the Cut; Against the Ropes; Serious Moonlight; Armed and Dangerous; Ithaca; BMT: The Women; Notes: Mostly known for co-starring with Tom Hanks as love interests in three separate movies: Sleepless in Seattle, Joe Versus the Volcano, and You’ve Got Mail. She was married to Dennis Quaid for about 10 years.)

Eva Mendes – (Known For: Training Day; The Place Beyond the Pines; Fast & Furious 5; The Other Guys; Hitch; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Stuck on You; Last Night; Out of Time; We Own the Night; Holy Motors; Bad Lieutenant; The Wendell Baker Story; Live!; Future BMT: The Spirit; Urban Legends: Final Cut; Exit Wounds; Lost River; Trust the Man; All About the Benjamins; Girl in Progress; Cleaner; A Night at the Roxbury; BMT: Ghost Rider; The Women; 2 Fast 2 Furious; Notes: Cuban-American, she’s the only one in her family to have been born in the U.S., her three siblings were born in Cuba.)

Annette Bening – (Known For: American Beauty; 20th Century Women; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Mars Attacks!; Open Range; Rules Don’t Apply; The American President; The Great Outdoors; Ruby Sparks; The Kids Are All Right; Danny Collins; The Grifters; Bugsy; The Siege; Valmont; Regarding Henry; Postcards from the Edge; Ginger & Rosa; Richard III; What Planet Are You From?; Future BMT: In Dreams; Girl Most Likely; Running with Scissors; Love Affair; BMT: The Women; Notes: She was the original choice for Catwoman in Batman Returns, but had to drop out when she became pregnant. She’s been married to Warren Beatty for nearly 30 years.)

Budget/Gross – $16 million / $26,902,075 ($50,007,546 Worldwide)

(Eh, below what it probably expected. For a film like this you’d kind of want to double those numbers I would think. Not a bomb, but not really raking in much cash … unless The Women talk over their problems with a refreshing ice-cold Bud Light at one point that is.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (19/146): The Women is a toothless remake of the 1939 classic, lacking the charm, wit and compelling protagonists of the original.

(Again, thank you RT. I guess this consensus is old enough to actually be useful. This is a brutal score for a film like this. I can only assume it is disastrously boring, which doesn’t bode well for me staying awake watching it on a plane. Reviewer Highlight: One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.” – Richard Schickel, Time Magazine)

Poster – The Sklogettes (F)

women_ver2

(Nooooooooooooooooo. Why does this keep happening. Look at all the people! Look at the basic white color of it. Dear god, look at the spacing. Even the font is shit.)

Tagline(s) – It’s all about… (F)

(Lol. Wot? I mean I get it… it’s all about The Women but still… lol. Wot?)

Keyword(s) – divorce; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.9 Kazaam (1996); 78.8 Striptease (1996); 77.7 Bratz (2007); 64.2 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 63.1 North (1994); 63.1 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993); 63.1 Ben & Arthur (2002); 62.1 Sliver (1993); 58.9 Mr. Woodcock (2007); 58.9 The Women (I) (2008);

(Oh shit, Kazaam. I’ve seen this movie (well, the first half of it …) so many times. Dr. T weirdly doesn’t qualify for BMT actually, so looks like we’ll never complete this list. My favorite movie with divorce? Why not Mrs. Doubtfire, great stuff.)

Notes – Tanya the manicurist (Debi Mazar) talks about meeting Madonna. Mazar and Madonna are long-time friends; Mazar appeared in four Madonna music videos: “True Blue” and “Papa Don’t Preach” (1986), “Deeper and Deeper” (1992) and “Music” (2000).

Like the 1939 version, the film has an all-female cast. (noice)

While the project was being put together in Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan were set to star. The production stalled because Roberts and Ryan ended up wanting the same role.

The painting in the restaurant scene features Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith.

In The Women (1939) the only scene in color was the fashion show sequence. In this version the fashion show begins with all-black and white clothes, and the scene before it takes place in a black-and-white room.

In the late 1970’s a remake of the 1939 classic was proposed to star Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Faye Dunaway, but it was not made. (That sounds like this could have been fun)

Blythe Danner, Marisa Tomei, Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston, Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock were all in the running for various parts in the film.

For scenes planned on being shot in the Boston Public Library, it was suggested that all the portraits and busts of men to be replaced with those of women. However, the scene was never shot. (Excuuuuuuse me? You talking ‘bout the Boston Public Library? Why would you not shoot that?)

There is an abundance of the use of the color green, from the color of the sets, props, costumes, in almost every scene throughout the movie. In the final fashion show, except for the models, almost every guest is wearing green.

Candice Bergen previously played Meg Ryan’s mother in Rich and Famous (1981).

Edie’s (Debra Messing) daughters are called January, April, May and June. The last three are the names of Daisy Duck’s nieces (counterparts to Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie).

Before development was put on hold in 2006, Annette Bening and Uma Thurman were rumored to have been considered for the roles of Mary Haines and Crystal Allen respectively. Also Lisa Kudrow and Anne Hathaway were in talks for the roles of Mirian Aarons and Peggy Day, but the roles were cut out of the final script.

According to Diane English, the project was in development, from the first draft to the final green light, for fifteen years. (Jesus. No wonder it ended up being a mess)

The original Broadway production opened on 7 September 1937 and had 666 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. (666? How does that happen I wonder. I would think with how superstitious theater operators are that they would have avoided it)

“The Women’s” screenwriter Anita Loos who wrote this film’s original 1939 screenplay, started her writing career in 1912 with her first full film screenplay The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) starring Lillian Gish for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. which is still in existence today. After writing many scripts for Biograph, Loos went on to write such other films such as Saratoga (1937), Another Thin Man (1939), San Francisco (1936), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

Except for the newly-born baby boy in the final scene, there are no male characters in the entire film, not even the extras in wide shots. (That is actually quite cool)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan)

88 Minutes Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the third in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

88 Minutes (2007) – BMeTric: 37.1

88Minutes_BMeT

88Minutes_RV

(Wow, I think this is a first. It regressed down from what appears to be roughly above-average rating on IMDb. No wonder its BMeTric is so low. I cannot believe it has over fifty thousand votes and a rating of around 6.0, that is truly mind-boggling.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dreadful thriller about a forensic psychiatrist (and professor) who’s received an all-too-palpable death threat from a man he helped send to Death Row (McDonough). Lumbering, heavyhanded theatrics and clumsy attempts at suspense make this a total waste of time.

(aaaaaaaaaye I see what you did there Leonard. 88 minutes … a waste of time. I got you. This is what I live for though. Heavyhanded theatrics. If anything says good-bad thriller or drama it is heavyhanded theatrics. I want dolly zooms all over my film, I want rending of clothes, chewing of scenery. You’ve given me everything I need to know Leonard … this is why 88 minutes is great (from what I recall).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUCd805JDJk

(The bird’s nest they tricked Al Pacino into wearing on his head is absurd. Tick tock doc. Tick tock! Getting me amped. He got a guuuuuuuun ….)

Directors – Jon Avnet – (Known For: Fried Green Tomatoes; Future BMT: Righteous Kill; Up Close & Personal; Red Corner; The War; BMT: 88 Minutes; Notes: Not sure if this ended his feature directing career, but it was the last film he directed. He produces and directs a lot of television. His filmography is tripping me out, he does a lot of scripted television for his own channel WIGS previously funded by YouTube and digital exclusive, so a lot of his credits are shows I’ve legit never heard of with giant stars in them. Like this.)

Writers – Gary Scott Thompson (written by) – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Furious 6; Fast & Furious 7; Fast 5; Future BMT: Hollow Man; BMT: The Fast and the Furious; 2 Fast 2 Furious; 88 Minutes; Fast & Furious; Notes: If you can’t tell he wrote the original Fast and The Furious (the rest are character credits). He also created the show Las Vegas, and wrote the show Taxi Brooklyn (the American show based on the French film Taxi which was remade into the Fallon and BMT classic Taxi!))

Actors – Al Pacino – (Known For: The Godfather; Heat; The Godfather: Part II; Scarface; The Devil’s Advocate; The Godfather: Part III; Insomnia; Ocean’s Thirteen; Donnie Brasco; Scent of a Woman; Glengarry Glen Ross; Dog Day Afternoon; Danny Collins; Dick Tracy; Carlito’s Way; The Insider; Any Given Sunday; Serpico; Cruising; Dabka; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Misconduct; Revolution; Righteous Kill; Two for the Money; Stand Up Guys; Bobby Deerfield; BMT: Jack and Jill; Gigli; 88 Minutes; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Nominated for Worst Actor in 1986 for Revolution; and in 2009 for 88 Minutes, and Righteous Kill; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Gigli in 2004; Notes: Y’all know Al Pacino. Let’s go with a nice BMT themed fun fact for him: for a bit he was in both the best rated film on IMDb (The Godfather) and the worst rated film on IMDb (Gigli).)

Alicia Witt – (Known For: Dune; Two Weeks Notice; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Last Holiday; The Upside of Anger; Cecil B. DeMented; Citizen Ruth; Liebestraum; Bodies, Rest & Motion; Fun; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Urban Legend; Peep World; Bongwater; Four Rooms; BMT: Vanilla Sky; A Madea Christmas; 88 Minutes; Notes: Born in Worcester, MA. She is also a rather accomplished pianist and has gone on tour with Ben Folds and others.)

Leelee Sobieski – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; Public Enemies; Deep Impact; Never Been Kissed; Roadkill; Max; Walk All Over Me; My First Mister; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Future BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Branded; The Glass House; Finding Bliss; BMT: The Wicker Man (HoF); In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (HoF); Here on Earth; 88 Minutes (HoF); Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress in 2009 for 88 Minutes, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Her filmography is a lot more impressive that I would imagine considering she will have been in four of the first fifteen BMT Hall of Fame films. I think she’s taken a bit of time off from acting as she is now a mother of two. Was previously married to Matthew Davis who is best known as the jerk boyfriend of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $17,213,467 (Worldwide: $32,593,385)

(Bombtastic. Stunning that they’d spend $30 million on a weird thriller starring Pacino, but he had a bit more … clout at the time I think. Just not good.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (6/122): 88 Minutes is a shockingly inept psychological thriller that expertly squanders the talent at hand.

(“Talent” … Pacino. You are referring to Pacino. I love Leelee and McDonough, but they are BMT all stars. To put in another way: This will be, along with In the Name of the King A Dungeon Siege Tale, Leelee Sobieski’s third Hall of Fame BMT film (Wicker Man is the other). And along with I Know Who Killed Me this is also McDonough’s third (Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li is the other). That is amazing. So the cast might not be the tops … all I’m saying.)

Poster – Eighty-Sklog Minutes (C-)

eighty_eight_minutes_ver3

(I actually kind of hate this poster. The stylization comes across as cheap and half-assed. The red letters are kind of embossed in a weird way as well. We’ve had posters similar to this before and we came to the same conclusion: it looks cheap.)

Tagline(s) – Jack Gramm has 88 minutes to solve a murder. His own. (D)

(I also kind of hate this. It repeats the title (strike one). It is kind of expectedly inevitable, in that of course the “twist” on the tagline is that it is his own murder (strike two). And I don’t even like the name of the main character. I can’t even figure out why I hate all those things so much. I gave a little bump from an F because it at least tells me something about the movie.)

Keyword(s) – serial killer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.0 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 78.9 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 78.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 78.2 Feardotcom (2002); 76.8 The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994); 76.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 74.1 Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005); 73.9 Species II (1998); 73.5 Psycho (1998); 72.9 Zoolander 2 (2016);

(I wonder if the Deuce Bigalow 2 note is a spoiler … is that part of the storyline or a one off joke. I’m intrigued. Otherwise we’ll likely watch all of those .. maybe not Psycho unless we are rolling through a remake cycle of something. Nice list though, those are some real bad horror / thriller films. Shout out to fellow Hall of Fame inductee I Know Who Killed Me.)

Notes – The film runs in “real time” meaning that at the moment Jack Gramm is first told he has only 88 minutes to live, the remaining running time of the motion picture until the identity of the person who set Gramm up is exactly 88 minutes. (yiiiiiiissssss. From what I recall they don’t make a big deal out of this, it was just kind of a fun trick)

The movie trailer of the film reveals parts of scenes that failed to reach the final cut, most obvious of which were flashbacks of the trial convicting Jon Foster. (I wish this movie was called 888 minutes so I could just live inside of it. Let’s get a tv series going, call me Netflix)

Was scheduled for release in 2005 but the release date was pushed back numerous times. (awesome)

Jon Avnet replaced James Foley as director. (Probably at the last minutes, and I thank him for it)

Filmed on campus at the University of British Columbia and in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Al Pacino)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Ouija Preview

Oh boy. I am pretty excited for this week’s film. It’s not just because Horror/Thriller has turned into my favorite section of the cycle, but also because this film in particular looked so misguided and awful when it was released that it piqued my curiosity. That’s right! We are watching Ouija, the horror film based on the Hasbro spirit board game and one of the many horror films produced by Michael Bay over the years (he’s a noted enthusiast). Seems like an obvious choice to make an adaptation out of. It’s already about spirits and spooky ghosts so as long as it’s not totally unoriginal and terrible you should be fine. Easy, right? Wrong. Let’s go!

Ouija (2014) – BMeTric: 75.7

Ouija_BMeT

Ouija_RV

(Pretty good. A film in the 4.0’s staying strong and not rising as votes are added is a very very good sign. This is a case of what I will call Arrested Regression. The film should be regressing to the mean (the mean being that of films with around the same number of votes), but it isn’t. This is because it is in actuality as terrible as it initially seemed, so people seemingly are choosing to see the film despite knowing that it is terrible.)

RogerEbert.com – 3 stars –  Though I admit 16-year old me enjoyed the hell out of “Witchboard,” I didn’t think I’d have fun at “Ouija.” But I did, and assisting me were actors who gave their paper thin teenage types a little humor and character, and the film’s look. Shot by veteran camera operator, David Emmerichs, “Ouija” is a glossy hoot, showing more flair than a throwback to the 80’s horror movie should. As a lifelong horror movie viewer, I wasn’t scared by the film, but I dug the many ways it tried to goose me.

(Wowza! Three stars?! The review reads a little oddly, admitting he basically had a soft spot for the nostalgia the film evoked, but it is an interesting take I suppose. Not very many people agree to say the least.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBLmBdn2QF8

(Classic case where the less you show the better. Definitely parts that make me think it’ll be spooky scary. But then all the parts that they actually show the ghost or have someone flossing with their mouth stitched shut is just… not.)

Directors – Stiles White – (BMT: Ouija; Notes: Started in the industry in special effects before launching his career in screenwriting with his writing partner/wife Juliet Snowden.)

Writers – Juliet Snowden (written by) – (Known For: Ouija: Origin of Evil; The Possession; Future BMT: Boogeyman; Knowing; BMT: Ouija; Notes: Married to Stiles White. Also executive producer on the film.)

Stiles White (written by) – (Known For: Ouija: Origin of Evil; The Possession; Future BMT: Boogeyman; Knowing; BMT: Ouija; Notes: Apparently they are both attached to a remake of a German film called Du Hast Es Versprochen. Hoping it works out as well as this one did.)

Actors – Olivia Cooke – (Known For: The Limehouse Golem; Thoroughbreds; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; The Signal; Katie Says Goodbye; Future BMT: The Quiet Ones; BMT: Ouija; Notes: Notably starring in the upcoming blockbuster release Ready Player One. Also in the new Amazon adaptation of Vanity Fair.)

Ana Coto – (BMT: Ouija; Notes: Really hasn’t done anything much since Ouija. Weirdly was just in a Logan Paul film released exclusively to Shudder called Can’t Take It Back which is coincidentally about putting something on the internet that you can’t take back… must not have been much of an acting stretch for Logan.)

Daren Kagasoff – (BMT: Ouija; Notes: Probably best known as one of the leads of the show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.)

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $50,856,010 (Worldwide: $103,590,271)

(Obviously a colossal hit. They all are aren’t they? These small budget horror films. It is quite the phenomenon that they can effectively print money with these types of movies.)

#39 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

ouija_supernaturalhorror

(Comes is right around The Devil Inside which isn’t a good look. Being a major money-maker for cheap horror means it has been growing in power throughout the 2000s, although it looks like maybe it is reaching its saturation point now. BMT: The Ring Series, The Devil Inside, Silent Hill, Thirteen Ghosts, Ghost Ship, The Fog, Bless the Child, The Forest, The Gallows, and  The Bye Bye Man)

#13 for the Toy Adaptation genre

ouija_toyadaptation

(They are desperately trying to make this a thing. It looks like it has so far resisted moving beyond a few big budget franchises into faller fair. I feel like this is going to stay in the realm on animated films for the most part though, they’re all adapted from cartoons basically, so Transformers is really the odd-man out, no the other way around. BMT: The Transformer series, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Bratz)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (5/79): Slowly, steadily, although no one seems to be moving it in that direction, the Ouija planchette points to NO.

(I wish someone at RT would tell them that no one wants a joke consensus. Just tell me the actual consensus of the critics, which is kinda the point of your website. This tells me nothing other than you spent too much time trying to think up something clever.)

Poster – Sklog-ja (B-)

ouija

(I can dig this. Bold choice with some interesting font. Decidedly not scary though. Literally just a ouija board… why would I be scared of that?)

Tagline(s) – Keep telling yourself it’s just a game (B)

(I think this is good. Sometimes I have to say it a few times to make sure it isn’t nonsense. But this is short enough and gives a hint of the spooky scary concept. Wish it was a bit more clever.)

Keyword(s) – ghost; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.8 The Fog (2005); 80.2 One Missed Call (2008); 78.9 Feardotcom (2002); 76.9 Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977); 75.7 Ouija (II) (2014); 73.2 Zoolander 2 (2016); 72.8 The Apparition (2012); 70.7 The Gallows (2015); 68.7 The Haunting (1999); 67.5 Pulse (I) (2006);

(We are killing this list. The Fog is by far the best one there. Although The Haunting is a pretty special viewing experience as well.)

Notes – The name can either be pronounced ‘wee-ja’ or ‘wee-gee’. Charles Kennard, founder of the company manufacturing the boards, claimed he learned the name “Ouija” from asking the board what it wanted to be called. (My god)

Far from being ancient, the Ouija Board was patented on May 28, 1890. (Well … yeah, that isn’t a surprise)

Hasbro Studios first horror film. (Probably last? Oh wait, they made (a pretty good) sequel to this film.)

According to costume designer Mary Jane Fort, the cast and crew would often take breaks between shooting and use the Ouija board to jokingly predict the box office opening weekend numbers. (Z-E-R-O D-O-L-L-A-R-S … you know what this is stupid)

The film’s tagline, “Keep telling yourself it’s just a game,” was used for several years as the advertising slogan for the Ouija board game.

Though there are many other horror movies about Ouija boards – some with the same title – this film is not officially a remake of any of them and tells its own story revolving around the titular game. (Well yeah, it is a Hasbro production)

None of the actors portraying teenagers in the film were actually in their teens. The youngest actor was Olivia Cooke who was 21 at the time of filming.

When re-shoots went underway, in the process of drastically changing Doris Zander’s backstory, two new characters were created including her sister and mother. Lin Shaye, who plays Paulina Zander, was not in the original version of the film and was cast for the re-shot footage.

The location where Laine goes to visit Paulina Zander is also known as Eichen House in MTV’s hit TV show, Teen Wolf (2011), where Shelley Hennig, who plays Debbie, stars as Malia Tate/Hale.

Although this is the first film theatrically released starring Shelley Hennig, she filmed this after completing her work on Unfriended (2014) which was previously released as Cybernatural making it her proper film debut (technically). It would be theatrically released about 6 months after the release of this film.

Some cast members are said to have experienced supernatural occurrences since the production of the film Ouija ended. It is said to be influenced by the making of the film.

In the original unaltered version of the film, Doris Zander had a much different look to her. In the original cut she took the appearance of a young girl with half of her face burnt while always carrying a doll. The re-shoots version is a rotting girl with sewn lips. (What? Changing the fundamental look, and thus backstory, of a character like that seems like an odd decision)

Erin Moriarty was cast in the film in an undisclosed role though she does not appear in the finished project. Her scenes were deleted when the film was reshot.

Another theory of where the name of the Ouija Board comes from is that it is the French and German for “Yes”: Oui-ja. The Board has Yes and No answers as well as the alphabet. (No that seems much more plausible)

Film debut of actors Ana Coto, Darren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, and (technically) Shelley Hennig.

Directorial debut of Stiles White.

Although Sarah Morris is supposed to be Laine’s younger sister in the film, in real-life the actress Ana Coto is actually 3 years older than Olivia Cooke, who plays Laine.

The first trailer for the film was released with the theatrical release of The Fault in our Stars (2014) containing alternate footage. A new trailer was released in the summer containing new scenes. In an interview, Olivia Cooke stated that about 50% of the film was reshot due to a negative reaction from test audiences, as a result Universal ordered a week’s worth of re-shoots during the summer 4 months before its theatrical release which drastically altered the original plot. The original cut contained a different assortment of footage including an alternate death scene for Debbie where she instead falls to her death instead of hanging herself (which is why the chandelier is swinging when Pete sees it because she struck it while falling) along with the most advertised scene where Sarah’s eyes roll back and she says “it’s not even real okay? It’s just a game”. Nona was also supposed to have a more prominent role in the film as it implied she becomes possessed in the promotional material. (Wow … this is going to be a mess)

Strange Wilderness Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the second in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Strange Wilderness (2008) – BMeTric: 48.8

StrangeWilderness_BMeT

StrangeWilderness_RV

(So I’m going to dub this trajectory the Teenage Boy Arc. Basically I think what happens is that the only people who want to watch this film when it is difficult to get are people who like this brand of terrible humor. Then once people can watch the film and it is featured on rental sites it drops. And now the only people who watch the film are, again, teenage boys who watch stoner comedies unironically. Not to shit on an entire class of people, but I was a teenage boy, and I had terrible taste in comedy. Just terrible.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Painfully unfunny farce about producers of a ratings-challenged wildlife TV series who desperately seek Bigfoot in the wilds of Ecuador. You can’t help feeling embarrassed or Zahn, as the clueless host, when a wild turkey chomps on his private parts and won’t let go. Shelved for nearly two years before a fleeting theatrical run.

(I forgot it was shelved for years before it was released. The rumor is that Paramount stripped their name off of the film entirely. After watching the movie again the turkey scene is the worst thing I’ve ever seen, so if you are reading this preview before watching the film … enjoy.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKyowLXH8sk

(Yeah, seems about right. That trailer has more of a direction and storyline than the actual film by the way. It is far far less coherent when they try to stretch this out to 90 minutes.)

Directors – Fred Wolf – (Known For: The House Bunny; BMT: Strange Wilderness; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: Both of the movies he directed came out in 2008 and he has been doing straight-to-video and shorts since. He is slated to have an Alec Baldwin film, Drunk Parents, out next year though.)

Writers – Peter Gaulke (written by) – (Known For: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Future BMT: Black Knight; The Babymakers; BMT: Say It Isn’t So; Strange Wilderness; Notes: I wouldn’t call him the writing partner of Wolf necessarily, but he was a staff writer on SNL at the same time as Wolf and is writing Drunk Parents with Wolf slated for later this year.)

Fred Wolf (written by) – (Known For: I Want Candy; Future BMT: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Joe Dirt; Without a Paddle; Black Sheep; Dirty Work; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Grown Ups; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: He was a staff writer for SNL during Sandler’s stint which was his big break. After all of those guys got fired he was asked back to be the head writer and featured player. I can only find one clip with him in it though, a short Weekend Update piece.)

Actors – Steve Zahn – (Known For: War for the Planet of the Apes; Captain Fantastic; Dallas Buyers Club; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; You’ve Got Mail; The Good Dinosaur; That Thing You Do!; Out of Sight; Lean on Pete; Roadkill; Stuart Little; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Rescue Dawn; A Perfect Getaway; Crimson Tide; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules; Bandidas; Reality Bites; Knights of Badassdom; Stuart Little 2; Future BMT: Daddy Day Care; National Security; Chicken Little; Saving Silverman; Sahara; Race the Sun; Chelsea Walls; Employee of the Month; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Strange Wilderness; Escape from Planet Earth; Notes: Was born and raised in Minnesota, and trained for stage acting in Boston. He met his wife while they were touring with a production of Bye Bye Birdie. Cool life story.)

Allen Covert – (Known For: Hotel Transylvania 2; Happy Gilmore; 50 First Dates; Big Daddy; Hotel Transylvania; The Wedding Singer; The House Bunny; Never Been Kissed; Anger Management; Future BMT: Little Nicky; Eight Crazy Nights; Sandy Wexler; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; Bulletproof; The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; The Longest Yard; Heavy Weights; Grandma’s Boy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Pixels; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star in 2012; Notes: Often vaguely seen as a sidekick to Adam Sandler’s characters in his various films. He had a string of writing credits which appears to have ended with Bucky Larson and Jack and Jill.)

Justin Long – (Known For: Jeepers Creepers; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Idiocracy; Die Hard 4.0; He’s Just Not That Into You; 10 Years; Galaxy Quest; Tusk; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Drag Me to Hell; Veronica Mars; Herbie Fully Loaded; Funny People; Youth in Revolt; Comet; Going the Distance; Frank & Lola; The Conspirator; For a Good Time, Call…; Future BMT: Crossroads; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Yoga Hosers; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Jeepers Creepers II; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; Alpha and Omega; The Break-Up; Serious Moonlight; Planet 51; Trauma; Ghost Team; Accepted; The Lookalike; Best Man Down; Literally, Right Before Aaron; Waiting…; BMT: Movie 43; Old Dogs; Strange Wilderness; Notes: Pretty famous comedic actor, who might still be most well known as the Mac Guy from the Apple ads featuring John Hodgman. His BMT filmography is … formidable.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $6,575,282 (Worldwide: $6,964,734)

(Just no money. Like nothing. An absolute catastrophe. No wonder the director couldn’t really get anything done for a while.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/45): Strange Wilderness is a laugh-free comedy that’s both aimless and overly crass.

(Laugh free. Aimless. Overly crass. Yeah, that is just about how I remember this film. One of the worst reviewed films ever made. Excellent.)

Poster – Sklog Wilderness (C-)

strange_wilderness

(So the poster is a hard-F. Like unforgivably ugly … but the boldness of the color choice is almost interesting in itself. And then the font on the title is actually quite good. Like the silhouette. Something about it gets it close to average I think.)

Tagline(s) – This ain’t March of the Penguins. (B)

(Like it actually. Pretty descriptive idea. Bump it down because it is aging quite poorly and will only get worse as time goes on.)

Keyword(s) – bigfoot; Top Ten by BMeTric: 55.3 Eegah (1962); 48.8 Strange Wilderness (2008); 44.5 Willow Creek (2013); 43.3 The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II (1984); 39.1 Exists (2014); 36.2 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011); 32.6 Harry and the Hendersons (1987); 31.3 Abominable (2006); 29.9 Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012); 27.4 The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972);

(Huh, some of those are pretty big! I didn’t realize it until now, but Harry and the Hendersons was originally released as Bigfoot and the Hendersons in the UK.)

Notes – During the clip of the zebra being eaten by the vultures, the zebra “responds” to the birds with “oh my god, oh my god…” is actually a clip taken from the movie “Super Troopers”. It is Paul Soter when his character is “flashing” Marisa Coughlan outside of the police station while on the phone with her. (I think I actually caught that)

“Strange Wilderness” began its life in the 1990’s as a series of independently produced short videos by former “Saturday Night Live” writers Fred Wolf and Peter Gaulke. “They started out as little parodies of wildlife shows,” explains writer and producer Gaulke. “Fred and I went out and shot them with the help of John Burrud, who actually has a real-life wildlife show. His father Bill used to host ‘Animal World’ and other travel and nature shows back in the ’60s. So John helped us produce these little shorts which we eventually got onto Comedy Central.” (Ugh, that’s embarrassing. Reminds me of how Friedberg and Seltzer kind of got their start because Rick Friedberg made a cheesy golf instructional video with Leslie Nielsen)

The two main characters are named after the film’s screenwriters.

Some of the clips used when the TV executive proves that Strange Wilderness is too inappropriate are clips from the Faces of Death series. For example, Man on fire with Jesus music, Man being attacked by an alligator, and Pygmy footage) (I didn’t know this was a thing and I don’t really like that I now know that is a thing … but maybe I’m somehow better because I know this thing? It is a confusing time for me)