Primeval Preview

In a fun montage we see Rich, Poe, and Roach enact their scheme to construct mashed potato based deep fakes of themselves to escape from Tiniman’s camp. Step 1: Enter the big camel race. Step 2: win camel race, beating Gen. Tiniman’s prized camel. Step 3: get potato peeling duty. Step 4: use natural artistic abilities to craft potato people. Step 5: place potato people in bed and sneak away. “Come on, Roach,” Rich says before accidentally plunging his hand into who he thought was Roach, but was in fact his potato person. They all laugh nervously at the unsettling photorealism of the duplicate and tiptoe their way out of camp. Just when it seems like they are in the clear, a light shines in their faces and Gen. Tiniman steps out from behind a spotlight. “But… but how?” Rich and Poe say, but when they turn to Roach he has a badge out and grunts “Cop.” Saboteur! A group of military police approach them and it seems like the end! Oh, woe is them, woe is the Earth! Suddenly the beacon of light shines from Rich’s chest again and Gen. Tiniman is temporarily blinded. Taking action, Rich and Poe escape Roach’s last blind grab and sprint into the fire desert. Rich and Poe’s muscles aren’t just for show and boy howdy do they demonstrate that here. Their endurace is stunning and their legs churn with lightning quickness taking them away from the pursuing trucks. They would almost certainly outrun the vehicles using their unrivaled athletic abilities, but suddenly Poe pulls up with a cramp. My god, the climactic tension is almost unbearable! Once again the military police approach, but no light is there to save them now. Suddenly a deafening roar rings out. The alligators are here. That’s right! We’re watching the not-so-original big crocodile horror film Primeval. Set in Burundi and “based on a true story” it has been high on the list of craziest settings for BMT. Let’s go!

Primeval (2007) – BMeTric: 56.6; Notability: 28 

(Creeping up, but seems like it is settling right around sub-5.0 which is nice. Notability hits right where I imagine. I think the sense I’m getting it that 25ish is like a normal wide release. Above that and it scales with the size of the production. Below that (down to like 10) and you’re looking at a really small film (intriguingly so). Nice string of 50+ films recently it feels like.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  American reporters reluctantly trek to Africa to capture a huge man-eating crocodile the locals call Gustave, and becomes embroiled in a local war. Peculiar blend of Jaws and a Blood Diamond-like subplot has its moments, but is mostly routine, with herky-jerky editing in the frequent action scenes. Loosely based on real events.

(I am down with that. Mixing Jaws with some bizarre B-plot? Yes please. I’m very ready for a creature feature, and I’ll even take one with … herky-jerky editing? Alright, Leonard, let’s go with that description.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RARfk8cXPeg/

(The entire marketing campaign around this film was about this mayyyybe being a serial killer film … nope psych it is about a crocodile. This trailer is garbage though, way too many cuts to black and choppiness.)

Directors – Michael Katleman – (BMT: Primeval; Notes: Huge television guy. He directed individual episodes from the early 90s, and has been a major producer since 2000. I think my favorite one is the very short lived series Reunion … yeah I watched that live.)

Writers – Michael Ferris and John Brancato (written by) – (Known For: The Game; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Future BMT: The Net; The Hunter’s Prayer; Surrogates; Terminator Salvation; BMT: Catwoman; Primeval; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Catwoman in 2005; Notes: Most of their credits are for The Net and subsequent spinoffs of that. I vaguely knew there was a television series, but I didn’t know there was a straight-to-video sequel The Net 2.0. Ferris wrote Bloodfist 2 prior to them working together.)

Actors – Dominic Purcell – (Known For: Mission: Impossible II; Equilibrium; Straw Dogs; Blood Creek; Gridlocked; Vikingdom; The Gravedancers; Scenes of the Crime; Future BMT: The Carrier; Blade: Trinity; Bailout: The Age of Greed; Elimination Game; Killer Elite; BMT: Primeval; Notes: You will know him from Prison Break (which yeah, I’ve seen basically the entire series, want to fight about it?), but I first saw him in the short-lived series John Doe … man there are so many television people involved in this film.)

Orlando Jones – (Known For: Magnolia; Office Space; The Replacements; Bedazzled; Evolution; Runaway Jury; Drumline; Liberty Heights; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Biker Boyz; I Think I Love My Wife; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Double Take; The Time Machine; Woo; Beyond a Reasonable Doubt; Sour Grapes; The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; BMT: Primeval; Say It Isn’t So; Notes: Roomed with Artie Lange when both were on MadTV. That is basically where he got his start.)

Brooke Langton – (Known For: The Replacements; Swingers; The Deal; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Terminal Velocity; Kiss the Bride; BMT: Primeval; The Benchwarmers; Notes: Ha! She starred in The Net television show! No wonder she got the job in this case. Was on 68 episodes of Melrose Place.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $10,597,734 (Worldwide: $15,291,277)

(That is likely not going to do it. But I also imagine, given the talent was mostly pulled from television, that you maybe could have gotten away with a budget of $10 million? While trying to figure this out I ended up stumbling onto The Numbers page for Primeval. Their categorization of this film is “serial killer” … this is not a serial killer film from what I can tell, but for a hint as to why someone might think so go check out the tagline section.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (11/57): Primeval is a low-quality horror film, which due to the inane political messages does not even qualify as campy fun.

(Oh wow. Read the description of the film on Rotten Tomatoes … like, for a split second I thought “wait … is this a serial killer film?!”. Again, I don’t think it is, but some descriptions make it seem like it is. So many of the reviews slam the film for the political message, described as blending a giant crocodile film with Hotel Rwanda. Reviewer Highlight – The sub-sub-Anaconda bottom-feeder Primeval makes the mistake of taking itself far too seriously; with its exploitative images of civil war and genocide, it’s the Blood Diamond of 25-foot-killer-crocodile movies. – Scott Tobias, AV Club)

Poster – Sklogeval

(But… why? This looks like shit. The alternate poster with a bunch of bones that pretends the film is about a serial killer is much better. This just looks like a bad photo. Nice font though. C-)

Tagline(s) – Inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history. (D)

He’s 20 feet long, and has taken 300 lives. Now, he’s about to resurface. (D)

(Both of these aren’t great. The first is just being tricky with what the film is about. While I like when a tagline tells you about the plot, I don’t love when they basically lie about it. The second one is just using numbers and I guess that’s supposed to be interesting. Hard to say. Both are too long and not nearly clever enough to make up for it.)

Keyword – crocodile

Top 10: Suicide Squad (2016), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), Jumanji (1995), Annihilation (2018), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), Pan (2015), Octopussy (1983), The Legend of Tarzan (2016), Romancing the Stone (1984)

Future BMT: 43.8 King Solomon’s Mines (1985), 42.2 Pan (2015), 38.6 Firewalker (1986), 34.5 Suicide Squad (2016), 33.9 Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 30.2 Eraser (1996), 29.6 Inkheart (2008), 27.5 The Legend of Tarzan (2016);

BMT: Runner Runner (2013), Crocodile Dundee II (1988), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004), Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001), Primeval (2007)

(The second recent film where we’ve used this keyword. The other is obviously Crocodile Dundee II. Really just crushing those Crocodile features recently. Maybe we’ll look into Firewalker soon, that would be a weird one.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Orlando Jones is No. 3 billed in Primeval and No. 3 billed in Say It Isn’t So, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 9. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – In real life, as seen in this film, an attempt to bait the crocodile failed. The team used a live goat as bait one night, and the team continued this for days. One day the goat disappeared. The camera failed the night before due to a storm, and then political issues in the area forced the team out of the country. Leaving them unable to know what happened that night.

Since Gustave has not been captured, his exact length and weight is unknown, but in 2002 it was stated that he could be “easily more than 18 feet (5.5 m)” long, and weigh more than 2,000 pounds (910 kg). He was estimated to be around 100 years old in order to achieve such outstanding size; however, further more careful observation of Gustave revealed a complete set of teeth when he opened his mouth. Since a 100-year-old crocodile “should be nearly toothless” (according to the documentary), he was estimated to be “probably no older than 60, and likely, still growing”. Gustave is also known for the three bullet scars on his body. His right shoulder blade was also found to be deeply wounded. Circumstances surrounding the four scars are unknown. Scientists and herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impede his ability to hunt the species’ usual, agile prey such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to attack larger animals such as hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans. According to a popular local warning, he is said to hunt and leave his victims’ corpses uneaten. The documentary film also stated that since crocodiles can go several months without eating, Gustave could afford to select his prey carefully. In 2009 the croc had reappeared in Ruzizi River near Lake Tanganyika.

Gustave was named by Patrice Faye, a herpetologist who has been studying and investigating him since the late 1990s. Much of what is known about Gustave stems from the film Capturing the Killer Croc, which aired in 2004 on PBS. The film documents a capture attempt and study on Gustave.

Knock Off Preview

The men in Tiniman’s army expect nothing from Rich and Poe. Yeah, they may have toned biceps and abs for days, but they also seem like a couple of rascals who don’t care much for rules. At first it seems like they’re right. “This sucks!” yells Rich, while Poe looks sadly at his nutritionless grub they’re served in the mess. “How are we expected to keep ourselves lean, mean fighting machines without a balanced meal,” he sighs. But soon, they learn the meaning of their military family and come to trust and love their brothers in arms. They aren’t just passable soldiers, they are oddly competent. “Hey Roach,” Rich asks one day, “what are we training for anyway?” Their comrade Roach looks up from polishing his robot legs. “War,” he grunts and gets back a-polishing. He needs those babies gleaming. “War… who are we fighting?” Poe asks, curious now. “Alligator,” Roach grunts. Rich and Poe nod their heads but suddenly look at each other… Alligator. Rich and Poe get as many details as they can from Roach, one grunt at a time. Tiniman’s aim is to conquer the lands to the south. Where a tribe of men have come to live harmoniously with giant alligators. “Unconquerable,” Roach says winking, his legs now gleaming in the sunlight. “My God,” Rich says, “Alligator Steve… this is where he’s from.” Poe gulps, “and we’re going to destroy them.” While their newfound maturity bucks at the idea of betraying their comrades they also know they gotta get out of there… and fast. “What we need is…” Rich begins, but suddenly a shadow passes over them. “Deception,” Roach grunts. Startled, they look up in fear, but Roach is smiling. “Twins,” he says and Rich and Poe smile back. “Knock offs,” they agree. That’s right! We’re watching the JCVD-Rob Schneider buddy cop film about a Hong Kong… uh… fashion designer? Who also does karate or something? And Rob Schneider is a cop… what, what’s happening? Let’s go!

Knock Off (1998) – BMeTric: 55.3; Notability: 29 

KnockOffIMDb_BMeT

KnockOffIMDb_RV

(The notability is higher that I would have expected for a film I never heard of, but not super high for a major release. I’m intrigued. The rating is riding, but sub-5.0 is pretty great with that 50+ BMeTric. This film has a lot going for it from a numbers perspective.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Van Damme teams up with American agents to combat terrorists. Having Van Damme play a Hong Kong clothing designer/importer in an action film pinned to a plot about designer jeans is peculiar but not interesting … which also describes the movie. Director Hark abandons his vivid fight choreography for standard swift intercutting instead. Samo Hung appears unbilled.

(Ha! I love that description. Leonard is just flabbergasted by the B-story which is actually the A-story. The character sounds like Tommy Wiseau in real life.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Txm_I4usB0/

(The trailer is fucking bonkers. Just cut after cut after cut with weird quips (“Goodbye yellow brick road”? It isn’t even that quoting Elton John is out of date, it is that it is just a weird turn of phrase). Explosions, Rob Schnieder saying random words, clearly a bunch of wire-fu which is going to annoy me. I literally cannot wait to watch this ludicrous film.)

Directors – Hark Tsui – (Known For: Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame; Journey to the West: Demon Chapter; Once Upon a Time in China; Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings; Seong lung wui; Flying Swords of Dragon Gate; Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung; Zhi qu wei hu shan; Shu Shan – Xin Shu shan jian ke; Once Upon a Time in China III; Shun liu ni liu; Tit sam gok; Future BMT: Shu shan zheng zhuan; Qi jian; BMT: Double Team; Knock Off; Notes: He is considered a master in martial arts action, and one of the best Chinese directors ever. His production company is one of the biggest Hong Kong film companies in the business.)

Writers – Steven E. de Souza (written by) – (Known For: Die Hard; Commando; Die Hard 2; The Running Man; 48 Hrs.; Ricochet; The Return of Captain Invincible; Future BMT: Street Fighter; The Flintstones; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Bad Dreams; BMT: Knock Off; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Judge Dredd; Beverly Hills Cop III; Hudson Hawk; Another 48 Hrs.; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Notes: One of the last films he wrote that got a major release. He was only 51 at the time, so I assume he just kind of retired.)

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: Bloodsport; The Expendables 2; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Kickboxer; Hard Target; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Timecop; Kickboxer: Vengeance; Lukas; Sudden Death; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Cyborg; Welcome to the Jungle; The Order; Legionnaire; Double Impact; Maximum Risk; Inferno; Replicant; The Quest; Missing in Action; Pound of Flesh; Black Water; Nowhere to Run; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Breakin’; Last Action Hero; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Knock Off; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Literally the last film he released prior to starting to mostly release non-theatrical films. Legionnaire would be his next film, and Universal Soldier: The Return was after that and was his last theatrical release for a decade.)

Rob Schneider – (Known For: 50 First Dates; Muppets from Space; Future BMT: The Animal; Norm of the North; Little Nicky; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; InAPPropriate Comedy; The Hot Chick; Sandy Wexler; Eight Crazy Nights; Surf Ninjas; Mr. Deeds; The Adventures of Pinocchio; You May Not Kiss the Bride; Bedtime Stories; The Waterboy; Big Stan; Down Periscope; Click; Big Daddy; The Longest Yard; Necessary Roughness; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; BMT: Little Man; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; The Beverly Hillbillies; Knock Off; The Benchwarmers; Judge Dredd; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Around the World in 80 Days; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for Little Man, and The Benchwarmers; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2011 for Grown Ups; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Grandma’s Boy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Little Man, Little Nicky, The Animal, The Benchwarmers, and The Hot Chick; Notes: This was kind of right in the middle of his starring career, after he had already teamed up with Stallone for Judge Dredd. He is apparently anti-vax, which caused him to be dropped as a spokesperson for State Farm in 2014.)

Lela Rochon – (Known For: Any Given Sunday; Boomerang; Brooklyn’s Finest; Waiting to Exhale; The Big Hit; Gang Related; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Blood Done Sign My Name; Future BMT: The Meteor Man; Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo; Breakin’; Supremacy; BMT: Knock Off; First Daughter; The Chamber; Harlem Nights; Notes: Right at the top of her peak as a leading lady in film, right around Why Do Fools Fall in Love. She has a degree in broadcast journalism.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $10,319,915 (Worldwide: $10,319,915)

(Oh wow. Now this can’t possibly be true right? Wouldn’t this, at the very least, get a release in Hong Kong? This came out right as Van Damme’s career was cratering though, so I imagine they only realized it was mostly unreleasable afterwards. Case in point: this came out after Legionnaire.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/39): Muddled plot; stiff acting.

(Short and sweet! They seem to kind of agree that it is a little too jokey, but somehow very serious, and … honestly it does sound muddled now that I write it. Reviewer Highlight: Something of a kaleidoscopic mess of a movie, but it has its moments. – Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle)

Poster – Sklog Off

 

knock_off

(That is nuts. I find it offensive. What were they even thinking? Case in point: why is “Van Damme” in giant block letters that nearly fade into the background. My eyes hurt. F. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think this was the most difficult font I’ve ever undertaken. I’m rather impressed with how okay the background looks behind the letters since I had to rebuild it all. Overall looks pretty good for what is, in fact, a pretty complicated poster.)

Tagline(s) – There is no substitute. (C+)

(It’s a pun… that’s the best you can say about it. Obviously playing on the fact that the story involves a bunch of knock off products and the fact that there is no substitute for Van Damme. But it’s stretching just a bit too far and doesn’t flow.)

Keyword – kickboxing

KnockOff_kickboxing

Top 10: The Mummy Returns (2001), American Assassin (2017), True Lies (1994), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), Road House (1989), Tomb Raider (2018), Street Fighter (1994), Say Anything… (1989), Kiss the Girls (1997), The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 61.9 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 57.6 Cyborg (1989), 43.7 Double Impact (1991), 42.9 Fighting (2009), 41.0 The Quest (1996), 37.3 Nowhere to Run (1993), 26.4 American Assassin (2017), 24.6 A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave (1990);

BMT: Road House (1989), Kiss the Girls (1997), Universal Soldier (1992), Double Team (1997), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Knock Off (1998)

(Wow, we really loved kickboxing in the 90s! There is something about it. I’ve been doing “research” into non-theatrical stars in my free time, and one of the major conclusions I’ve come to is there are different eras of straight-to-video films. And the 90s was definitely the apex of martial artists being recruited to put out their weirdo non-films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rob Schneider is No. 2 billed in Knock Off and No. 1 billed in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, which also stars William Forsythe (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 5 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 1 = 14. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Hong Kong superstar and director Sammo Hung served as the film’s 2nd unit director. The release print of “Knock Off” suffers from the removal of a lot of the martial arts action shot for the film, with a couple of sequences being very heavily edited. The final battle between Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character and Australian actor/stuntman Michael Miller is less than half of the action shot for their fight, and upon careful viewing you can pick up the fact that the fight has raged across several different sections on the boat, while the fight between Jeff Wolfe’s character Scar and Jean-Claude’s is the most heavily edited with more of the action being shown in the “Making Of” featured on several of the DVD editions than in the finished film.

The film is one of the last in the world to feature Kai Tak Airport still in use; the airport closed in 1998.

In the Army Now Preview

Rich and Poe plunge into the water. A slow motion shot shows them float slowly downward as sad music plays. They are seemingly dead and this is the end of their story… the end of their quest… the end of their world… or is it?! Suddenly a beam of light shoots from Poe’s chest pointing their way to safety. They swim like a couple of totally majestic dolphins and burst forth onto a beautiful beach, sputtering for air. They look around. Their surroundings are so exotic. Just being able to place their eyes on such a beautiful exotic location makes everything seem way better than it actually is. “I… don’t understand… is this a new quest? Or did they kill us? Also why did that random beam of light shoot from your chest out of nowhere to save our lives?” Rich has so many questions and yet Poe has no answers. He sniffs the air and he turns quickly to Rich in panic, “do you smell that?” Rich sniffs too and narrows his eyes. “Is that…” but before he can finish the thought they both scramble up the nearest sand dune and lay eyes on a sea of fire and desert. It was all a facade. An oasis in a world of shit. Suddenly a convoy of trucks come screaming through the fire and smoke to come to a screeching halt in front of them. A small military man steps out of the nearest car and looks them up and down before nodding to a nearby soldier. The soldier steps up to Rich and Poe and thrusts some guns into their hands. “Congratulations,” he says in an unidentifiable (but definitely not racist) accent, “General Tiniman has recruited you. You are officially in the army now.” That’s right! We’re watching the Pauly Shore classic In the Army Now, which is set in the African country of Chad for some reason. It is somehow the first of the five major Pauly Shore films that we’ve done for BMT, which seems like a mistake. Let’s go!

In the Army Now (1994) – BMeTric: 51.8; Notability: 41 

IntheArmyNowIMDb_BMeT

IntheArmyNowIMDb_RV

(Great BMeTric obviously, and the notability is incredibly impressive. Looking through his filmography the notability for Shore-led films is always around 30-40. Sub-5.0 films are relatively rare. This is a film that was inevitable for BMT, and one I’m quite excited to actually see, since I’ve seen the other major Pauly Shore films.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Pauly is a pacifist who joins the army so he can “be all that he can be for free,” only to learn that there’s more to enlisting than receiving complimentary room and board. Latest in a long line of barracks comedies proves no competition for Buck Privates. Pauly’s fans might disagree. Brendan Fraser appears unbilled.

(Absolute deep cut with Buck Privates, a comedy from 1941. Just whip that ref out like it’s nothing. And yeah, I think between the two Iraq wars there was a sense of, I don’t know … comedy about the army again. That would obviously go away real quick in the 2000s. I can’t think of a comedy-army film that has come out since the 90s to be honest … A brief look suggests Delta Farce might be a rare breed indeed.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8WQ8sgWaVU

(Ha, they call Encino Man “California Man” in the beginning, so this trailer is maybe for European consumption? I had to change all of those in the autogenerated preview because I think that is what it is called in the UK. Other than that it looks like a Pauly Shore movie. If that is what “toning down” the weasel character was to the producers … I don’t know what to say really.)

Directors – Daniel Petrie Jr. – (Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; Stranded; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Is the son of Daniel G. Petrie who won three Primetime Emmys, and Dorothy Petrie who won two Primetime Emmys. His brother, Donald Petrie, directed BMT classic Welcome to Mooseport.)

Writers – Steve Zacharias and Jeff Buhai  (story) – (Known For: Revenge of the Nerds; Future BMT: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise; Johnny Be Good; Eddie; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Long time writing partners. They released the Johnny Be Good screenplay as a book in the early 2000s.)

Robbie Fox (story) – (Known For: So I Married an Axe Murderer; BMT: In the Army Now; Playing for Keeps; Notes: Son of Charles Fox, a composer who was nominated for two Oscars for original songs in the 70s.)

Ken Kaufman (screenplay) – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Space Cowboys; The Missing; Curious George; Muppets from Space; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: In 2013 he wrote a novel called Ramblefoot.)

Stu Krieger (screenplay) – (Known For: The Land Before Time; Monkey Trouble; Future BMT: A Troll in Central Park; BMT: In the Army Now; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Where the Boys Are in 1985; Notes: Briefly wrote feature films in the mid-90s, he has mostly worked in television (both movies and shows). He developed the kid’s show Toot & Puddles.)

Daniel Petrie Jr. (screenplay) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Turner & Hooch; The Big Easy; Deadly Pursuit; Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; BMT: In the Army Now; Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: Was was nominated for an Oscar for Beverly Hills Cop.)

Fax Bahr and Adam Small (screenplay) – (Known For: Bad Grandpa; Future BMT: Malibu’s Most Wanted; Son in Law; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: These guys worked on In Living Color and MadTV together. Just prior Bahr, to start his career, made Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, the acclaimed and award winning documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now.)

Actors – Pauly Shore – (Known For: A Goofy Movie; Pauly Shore Is Dead; Future BMT: Bio-Dome; Jury Duty; Sandy Wexler; The Wash; Encino Man; Son in Law; 18 Again!; Class Act; For Keeps?; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; In the Army Now; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 1996 for Jury Duty; and in 1997 for Big Bully, Bio-Dome, Carpool, and The Stupids; Winner for Worst New Star of the Decade in 2000 for Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Jury Duty; Winner for Worst New Star for Encino Man in 1993; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Jury Duty; Notes: Debuted on MTV with Totally Pauly in the late 80s. From the 80s through 2010 he only actually starred in 5 films: Encino Man, Son-in-Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty, and Bio-Dome. He hosts Random Rants on YouTube.)

Lori Petty – (Known For: A League of Their Own; Point Break; Free Willy; Tank Girl; Cadillac Man; Prey for Rock & Roll; Relax… It’s Just Sex; The Glass Shield; Future BMT: Dead Awake; Poetic Justice; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Was apparently originally cast in the Bullock role in Demolition Man, but left over creative differences. The Glass Shield was the last in a series of starring turns for her in the mid-90s.)

Andy Dick – (Known For: Old School; Road Trip; Laputa: Castle in the Sky; Zoolander; Dr. Dolittle 2; Funny People; The Cable Guy; Reality Bites; Hoodwinked; Permanent Midnight; For the Boys; Pauly Shore Is Dead; The Hebrew Hammer; Scotland, Pa.; The Independent; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; The Comebacks; Happily N’Ever After; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Blonde Ambition; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Loser; Employee of the Month; Bongwater; Best Men; Abducted; BMT: Zoolander 2; Double Dragon; In the Army Now; Notes: Allegedly reintroduced Phil Hartman’s wife to cocaine, something that would contribute to her murdering her husband and committing suicide. Had a years long feud with Jon Lovitz over it, although he denies any culpability. In the Army Now was a rare star turn for him, he was mostly a television actor (News Radio) and supporting comedic actor (like in Old School).)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $28,881,266 (Worldwide: $28,881,266)

(That’s kind of okay. $10 million less than Son in Law which is probably the benchmark they were looking at. This is the beginning of the end for his starring career. Jury Duty would make $17 million, and then Bio-Dome would make $13 million, and that was it, he wouldn’t star in a feature film (of consequence) again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (2/32): This 1994 Pauly Shore vehicle stretches its star’s thin shtick to the breaking point with a laugh-deficient screenplay that borrows shamelessly from Bill Murray’s far superior Stripes.

(The comparisons to Stripes are thick across all reviews. Would a movie like this made now draw such comparisons? Probably not. Just because its popularity (and the popularity of Bill Murray in general) has waned so much in the last 25 years. But it is interesting that a film made nearly 15 years later is getting condemned to comparing unfavorably to a classic … like, can people not make comedies about the military unless they are better than Stripes? Reviewer Highlight: The screenplay, work by five writers, based on a story by three others, seems to have been rewritten often enough that any individuality has been lost. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Stupid Soldier

in_the_army_now

(Hate the font. Hate the color. But I love the framing and think it’s a pretty well put together poster besides being aesthetically gross. B- Patrick’s Shallow Fake: Whenever these things compress they always look a bit off. Love that for no reason they have two totally different fonts. Decent shadow on my face this time, just needed to be a bit more matte? The idea behind the fake movie is that there is a super soldier serum that I take that makes me Captain America, but it also makes me super dumb for the duration of my super powers. Like … you can pay me for that spec whenever Netflix, the lines are open.)

Tagline(s) – America, sleep tight! The safety of the free world rests in his hands! (F)

(That is unpleasantly bad. Although now that Patrick is making parody posters and we have been trying to make up taglines for these films I do appreciate that there are probably larger forces at play a lot of the time when we get something bad like this. Like there is an obvious tagline in The Few, The Proud, The Stupid… but I think they had to tread carefully in their treatment of the military. So they went with something inoffensive but bad.)

Keyword – u.s. military

IntheArmyNow_u.s. military

Top 10: Midway (2019), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Top Gun (1986), Spider-Man (2002), Fury (2014), 2012 (2009), Platoon (1986), The Predator (2018), Stripes (1981), Black Hawk Down (2001)

Future BMT: 68.4 Delta Farce (2007), 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), 33.5 Red Tails (2012), 30.4 The Monuments Men (2014), 27.8 Pearl Harbor (2001), 25.2 The Fifth Estate (2013), 23.2 The General’s Daughter (1999), 22.1 Renaissance Man (1994);

BMT: 2012 (2009), The Predator (2018), Hunter Killer (2018), The Mummy (2017), The Pacifier (2005), In the Army Now (1994)

(Vaguely ebbs and flows with things like the Cold War (peaking around 1990), and then post-9/11 … or maybe that is just the career of Michael Bay? Hard to tell. The kind of regular gaps in the 80s and 90s is interesting … makes me wonder if it has something to do with recruitment cycles for the U.S. military.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 23) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Art LaFleur is No. 7 billed in In the Army Now and No. 6 billed in Cobra, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 7 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 23. If we were to watch Encino Man, and Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to an interview, the scar on the back of Pauly Shore’s neck, visible when he first encounters the female drill sergeant, occurred during filming, when a shell casing ejected and landed on his neck, burning him. This scar is first visible when the barber turns him around after his haircut.

This is the third Pauly Shore movie to feature Brendan Fraser as Link in progressive life roles. The others are Encino Man (1992) (High School) and Son in Law (1993) (College).

Most of the basic training and war scenes were shot at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. A sign saying “Fort Sill” is clearly visible in one scene.

The video game Bones plays in the opening sequence is Return Fire (1994) for the 3DO.

In a 2017 interview with Joe Rogan, Pauly Shore admitted that this film was the beginning of the end of his movie career. While he enjoyed making it, and doesn’t regret doing it, he was offered the script when he was under a 3-film contract with Disney. He’d already made Encino Man (1992) and Son in Law (1993), which had been modest box office hits. Executives at New Line Cinema offered him a role in a film called “Totally London,” in which Shore would’ve continued a variation on his popular Weasel character. Disney CEO Jeffery Katzenberg refused to let Shore out of his contract. Disney bought the script from New Line Cinema, and decided to shelve it. Katzenberg then gave Shore the option to do this movie. Shore’s agents advised him against it because they thought the script was mediocre. They also felt audiences wouldn’t accept Shore without his usual Weasel style, since he would have to cut off all his hair in the beginning for the basic training sequences. Shore said he made the film because it was his only available choice at the time, and he desperately wanted to be on a movie set. When this movie earned less at the box office than his previous films, Disney wouldn’t let him make anymore movies for them. His next two films, Jury Duty (1995) and Bio-Dome (1996), were box-office failures, though the latter eventually gained a big cult following. (You can glean as much from his career trajectory. He started in supporting roles in major films, then made those five films as a leading man, and then immediately just churned out a bunch of supporting roles in non-theatrical films … it is bizarre, but he never really got many leading man roles for video releases. Just seems odd considering he was genuinely quite famous among teen audiences in the mid 90s)

Bones enlists as a Water Purification Specialist in the Army Reserve thinking he’ll be in safe position far from danger. In reality, a reserve water purification unit assigned to the 14th Quartermaster Detachment suffered the highest casualty rate of any American unit in the Gulf War. A Scud missile struck their barracks in Saudi Arabia, killing or wounded 81% of the soldiers of the unit. (Oooooooof, … could this have been a recruitment tactic to try and make that unit more appealing afterwards. I mean … assuming they are talking about the first Gulf War)

The script was originally much raunchier and was supposed to be Pauly Shore’s first R rated film similar to Stripes (1981). Disney rejected the original script due to Pauly Shore’s popularity at the time with teenage audiences and said the film could not exceed a PG-13 rating so the younger crowd could see it. The script then went through several changed and was toned down to its eventual PG rating.

Damon Wayans was considered for the role of Fred. He turned it down to work on Blankman (1994). (Wowza!)

Whoopi Goldberg was considered for the role of Drill Sergeant Ladd. She turned it down because she was filming Corrina, Corrina (1994). (Semi-wowza!)

Sanctum Preview

“Woooooo,” scream the gang as they ride Bessy the Giant Alligator through the sewers of the school. There aren’t any rules against water polo playing alligators and there aren’t any rules against having fun either. Suddenly they drop into a dank sanctum deep underground with a wondrous swirling pool of water in the middle. “The portal,” Poe whispers, beholding a link between universes and the object of their quest. “How… how do we destroy it?” asks Rich, but Adrestia sushes him and points to Rich’s chest, “The Devil’s Key. It was inside of you the whole time.” Rad. They all link hands, Rich and Poe readying to destroy the portal, but before they do a slow, sharp crack of applause rings out and sends chills down their spines. Nic Cage and the hooded gamemaster stand behind them. “Excellent,” Nic Cage says with a smile, “you quelled the riots with your silly book. But I’m curious, how did you know that the book would help uncover the larger conspiracy? That the students, inspired by chaste love, would then turn over the football coach for distributing steroids?” Rich and Poe look at each other. The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All… of course. “Yes, very curious indeed,” the game master adds shaking with fury, “and what are you doing here?” Thinking fast Rich and Poe explain that they were just looking for a place to dispose of all those bad steroids. “While rulez are coolz, everyone knows drugz are totally not coolz.” They fist bump and hold their breath. “Excellent,” says Nic Cage beaming. “Now we’re ready for the third challenge,” he says, “and remember, sometimes a good setting can go a long way.” “Oui, de Paris avec amour,” the hooded gamemaster says and kicks Rich and Poe into the portal. That’s right! We’re watching Sanctum. That film that everyone remembers. It’s a perfect transition to the next cycle as not only is it an example of a Deus Ex Machina (according to the internet), but takes place in Papua New Guinea of all places. That fits nicely with the globe-trotting mapl.de.map adventure that is the third leg of our battle for the universe. This time, though, anywhere and anything goes as we try to get some truly ludicrous settings. Let’s go!

Sanctum (2011) – BMeTric: 35.2; Notability: 21 

SanctumIMDb_BMeT

SanctumIMDb_RV

(Ha the 9.7 … I suppose the early views were by underwater filmmaking fanatics? It ended up just under 6 it looks like which is about what I would expect. The notability is a bit higher that I would expect, but then again I bet a bunch of those are famous underwater stuntmen and filmmaking technicians, so perhaps it is understandable. Hard to make an underwater film without people who are good at making underwater films.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  “Sanctum” tells the story of a terrifying adventure in an incompetent way. Some of it is exciting, the ending is involving, and all of it is a poster child for the horrors of 3-D used badly. The film is being heavily marketed as a “James Cameron Production,” but if this were a “James Cameron Film,” I suspect it would have fewer flaws and the use of 3-D would be much improved.

(Big oof. If you look below at the people involved … yeah, it kind of seems like the review nails it on the head. It is very much a story of Cameron asking an underwater filmmaker to make a movie his friend wrote using Australian Soap Opera stars … not really what you want.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBik92hLhAY/

(So dramatic! Probably doesn’t help that I have a long standing fear of deep water … I remember when this came out and thought “yeah, nope, I’m not watching that.” But the siren song of BMT beckons, I must watch to appear the BMT gods.)

Directors – Alister Grierson – (Known For: Kokoda: 39th Battalion; BMT: Sanctum; Notes: Apparently was offered the job while visiting the set of Avatar. I assume Cameron knew him based on his experience with underwater filmmaking.)

Writers – John Garvin (written by) – (BMT: Sanctum; Notes: Was apparently brought on due to his experience with underwater filmmaking.)

Andrew Wight (written by & story) – (BMT: Sanctum; Notes: An accomplished diver, he has been involved in a ton of underwater documentaries. The story is based on an event that happened to him. He sadly died in a helicopter crash in 2012.)

Actors – Rhys Wakefield – (Known For: Bliss; After the Dark; Broken Hill; Shadow Walkers; Nobody Walks; The Black Balloon; Paint It Black; Future BMT: The Purge; War on the Range; Bootmen; BMT: Sanctum; Endless Love; Notes: Started on Home and Away, an Australian Soap Opera. He was in over 300 episodes.)

Allison Cratchley – (BMT: Sanctum; Notes: Australian. She was featured heavily on All Saints, which is a medical drama, and that same Soap Opera Home and Away.)

Christopher James Baker – (Known For: The Purge: Election Year; Serendipity; Ned Kelly; Nim’s Island; Appropriate Behaviour; Kokoda: 39th Battalion; Future BMT: The Condemned; The Duel; Renaissance Man; The Great Raid; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Sanctum; Notes: Ultimately he’s got a ton of work in television (along with a bunch of bit parts in the movies listed above). He’s going to be featured consistently in the upcoming Stargirl, and was in 7 episodes of Ozark.)

Budget/Gross – $30,000,000 / Domestic: $23,209,310 (Worldwide: $108,609,310)

(Whooooooooo doggy, that is actually kind of a success. I’m actually willing to bet there was no attempt at a follow-up in any capacity because of Cameron. I can imagine him seeing the project as an interesting challenge and then just walking away after it was completed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (50/167): Sanctum is beautifully photographed, and it makes better use of 3-D technology than most, but that doesn’t make up for its ham-handed script and lifeless cast.

(This all seems incredibly consistent. A beautiful film with cardboard cutouts as a cast and a terrible script written by someone who isn’t a screenwriter … what did you expect? Reviewer Highlight: Sometimes the sets look like, well, Styrofoam. So do the actors. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.)

Poster – Sanctum? Damn Near Drowned ‘Em

sanctum

(This is actually an exciting poster. You got cave diving and an interesting layout, with nice color and at least a little playfulness with the font. Overall I enjoy this. It’s nicely made. A; Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I didn’t really work too hard on the face this time, just kind of popped it in and colored it. The thing I really proud about it mimicking the font pretty well. It makes me think I might have the skillz to mimic basically any font in the future, which is rather helpful when I want to just write some ridiculous title onto a poster.)

Tagline(s) – The only way out is down (A)

(I also enjoy this tagline. It’s an unexpected twist and kinda gives you a sense of the film itself. Makes your breath catch a little to think that you would be diving and you think of the disorientation of having to dive further and further down to make your way out. I like it.)

Keyword – scuba diving

Sanctum_scuba diving

Top 10: Inception (2010), Licence to Kill (1989), Never Say Never Again (1983), Finding Nemo (2003), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Charlie’s Angels (2000), Fool’s Gold (2008), The Italian Job (2003), Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2018), The Abyss (1989)

Future BMT: 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 59.1 The Cave (2005), 55.1 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 38.2 Masterminds (2016), 33.6 Along Came Polly (2004), 33.2 Sahara (2005), 22.8 After the Sunset (2004), 18.4 Act of Valor (2012);

BMT: Fool’s Gold (2008), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), Ghost Ship (2002), Jaws 3-D (1983), Sanctum (2011), The Medallion (2003)

(Let’s see. Free Will 2 seems exciting, I very much want to watch that for some reason. Pretty consistent over the years. I wonder if the drop off has to do with HD documentaries becoming more available, and also travel itself getting cheaper over time. So that wide release films featuring diving are no longer needed nor seen as a novelty.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Richard Roxburgh is No. 2 billed in Sanctum and No. 5 billed in Stealth, which also stars Jessica Biel (No. 2 billed) who is in Valentine’s Day (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 1 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch King Arthur, and Killer Elite we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Ioan Gruffudd performed his own base jump stunt, which he described as his favorite part of the shoot. (That is extremely dangerous. So dangerous in fact that I don’t really believe it)

Ioan Gruffudd was the only member of the cast to be a fully qualified diver before the film began shooting. (Oh, so maybe he was already kind of qualified to base jump?)

In an unfortunate coincidence, Agnes Milowka, one of the film’s diving doubles, drowned after running out of air shortly after the film was released. (I have a feeling a bunch of the cave diving stunt people had their lives cut short)

Having trained in a diving center to prepare for his role, Richard Roxburgh claimed that the hardest thing to master was the rebreather, which he described as “fantastic in theory, but a torture in real life”.

Richard Roxburgh said that despite the on-set security, he feared for his life several times during the shoot.

The film used a tank containing seven million liters of water for its underwater scenes.

Originally the production seriously considered shooting in real underground caves. However, the practicalities of lugging all the equipment into such tight, confined spaces – not to mention the freezing cold temperatures of the water within the caves – soon precluded that.

At one point Richard Roxburgh asked the art department if they could lighten the load of the pack that he has to carry for most of the film. The next morning they presented him with the reduced weight pack, telling him that they’d managed to take 2 kgs off the total weight. Of course, they hadn’t bothered doing anything at all but Roxburgh was convinced that they had.

All the underwater sequences were shot in a large water tank at the Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, Australia.

As of March 2011, the 10th biggest grossing Australian film at the international box office. (That is an absurd fact)

Production designer Nicholas McCallum built the caves in concrete, so that they wouldn’t move while the actors were climbing them, and so that they could be reused for underwater scenes. Once scenes with one setting were wrapped, the cave parts would be put in a water tank for the diving scenes.

Director Alister Grierson and cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin had no experience with 3D prior to working on this film. Thus, they had learn how to light the scenes, use the stereoscopic space and manipulate the cameras from scratch.

Production designer Nicholas McCallum built a 14 meter high underwater fall for the film, which propelled 20000 liters of water per minute.

Universal and Relativity paid $12 million for the rights to distribute the film internationally.

Director Alister Grierson contracted pneumonia during the shoot.

The cave itself was based on the Cheve/Chaco/etc expeditions in the Yucatan, and the father character was based on Bill Stone, the caver/diver who was instrumental in those expeditions as well as in the invention of the re-breather.

John Garvin was chosen as co-writer by James Cameron and Andrew Wight due to his considerable experience as an accomplished diver. Moreover, Garvin wrote the role of Jim Sergeant with himself in mind, hoping Alister Grierson would let him play it.

To complement the tank shoot, the production headed into the wild. Caver and producer Andrew Wight said: “We also filmed in real caves in South Australia’s cave-diving region around Mount Gambier. Filming in the limestone, water-filled caves added a scale and an authenticity to the tank shoot at the studio.”

Based on the true story of co-writer Andrew Wight. He once went cave diving under the Nullarbor plain with fourteen other people. An unexpected storm made the cave’s entrance collapse and they spent two days looking for another way out. Unlike in the film however, a rescue was organized and everybody survived. Wight told his frequent collaborator and fellow diving enthusiast James Cameron the story in 2006, who decided they should get a director and make a film about it. (Jesus, that’s pretty scary)

Ed Preview

Steve, Adrestia and Rich stand in a circle. Rich details the prophecy read to him by Brawln and Sorsaron about the portal that he and Poe must close to stop the gamemaster’s ultimate plan. “But then when we got here there was so much chaos that we more or less forgot. Our only idea was to quell the riots with a new salacious entry in the The Platonics Solids Series.” At that Adrestia and Steve look up shocked, “No,” they exclaim, “we need the riots as a distraction!” But before he can run to stop Poe and Det. Halloway, they come around the corner smiling from ear-to-ear. They smooch tenderly before showing off the last copy of The Platonic Solids Series Part II: Love on the Blocks. “Shit,” wails Steve in despair, “this book is lit. The gucci crowd is gonna love it!” Rich and Poe are despondent. Will this mean they’ll miss their only chance to close the portal? “We don’t have time to explore all the parts of this campus,” Poe thinks out loud. “No one could,” Rich follows. Suddenly everyone looks at Steve. “Or at least no person,” Poe says excitedly. Steve looks confused and then a light sparkles in his eye. “I get what you’re putting down,” and with that he gives a shrill whistle. A monstrous alligator bursts out of a nearby sewer in terrifying fashion, but Steve calmly pats it on the head and starts to speak softly, “They don’t call me Alligator Steve for nothing, mates. Perfect cover as there aren’t any rules against alligators playing middle school water polo.” With that he looks into Bessy’s eyes. “Remember, mate. Middle school,” and Bessy responds with a growl that sounds startlingly like “Extreme friendship.” That’s right! We’re taking a dive into the world of animal films by watching a classic of the animals-play-sports genre: Ed, starring Matt LeBlanc. It’s just a simple tale of a small town boy trying to make it to the big leagues… and also a chimpanzee is on the team. As a Bring a Friend companion we are going to rot our brains by consuming MVP: Most Valuable Primate… at least it isn’t Most Vertical or Extreme Primate. Not sure I could have handled that shit. Let’s go!

Ed (1996) – BMeTric: 65.4; Notability: 30 

EdIMDb_BMeT

EdIMDb_RV

(Holy crap that rating is so low. Completely makes up for the fact that less than 10K people have bothered to rate it on IMDb. And the Notability of 30 is kind of crazy. Possibly it is due to a bunch of baseball people being involved in various parts of the production and cameos and stuff? Who knows. This seems like a legendarily bad kids film though.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Nervous pitcher getting his big break on a minor-league baseball team becomes roommate with the club’s new third baseman: a full-grown chimpanzee. Uninspired vehicle for Friends star LeBlanc (and Hollywood debut for award-winning documentary director Couturie). Strikes out as a warm family comedy, though younger viewers may be amused.

(Sounds about right. It is bizarre just how big the film seems given just how dull the storyline seems. Something was really happening in the mid-90s. It seems like a bunch of production companies were flailing about with different niche genres to try and make money.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InqDF8ImCgU/

(Man I remember this trailer! Let’s see, I was like 10 at the time. I remember seeing the film, but I imagine I just caught it randomly on cable at some point after. But who knows, we were decent Friends fans so we might have rented it. I also remember the ice cream scene being disgusting.)

Directors – Bill Couturié – (BMT: Ed; Notes: A documentary filmmaker of some acclaim, winning the oscar in 1989 for best documentary about the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Him and Ken Richards I think might be partners of some kind as they’ve done multiple documentaries together.)

Writers – Ken Richards (story) – (BMT: Ed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Ed in 1997; Notes: Has only done documentaries besides getting credited for this. He has a few about the life of a soldier in war from both wars in Iraq.)

Janus Cercone (story) – (Known For: Leap of Faith; BMT: Ed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Ed in 1997; Notes: He wrote the book for the Leap of Faith musical adaptation as well.)

David Mickey Evans (screenplay) (as David M. Evans) – (Known For: The Sandlot Kids; BMT: Ed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Ed in 1997; Notes: He’s uncredited as the writer of Radio Flyer, but he apparently wrote it initially and sold it for over a million dollars. He also sold The Sandlot for a lot, and has written the sequels as well.)

Actors – Matt LeBlanc – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Future BMT: All the Queen’s Men; Lovesick; BMT: Ed; Lost in Space; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star in 1997 for Ed, Mother, She’s the One, and The Pallbearer; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Ed in 1997; Notes: You know him as Joey from Friends. I know him as Don West in Lost in Space. The first of two major film roles he would have, he mostly has always done television including Episodes.)

Jayne Brook – (Known For: Kindergarten Cop; Gattaca; Future BMT: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead; Last Dance; Clean Slate; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Ed; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Also mostly television including a major role in Star Trek: Discovery. She did bit parts mostly, this was her only starring role.)

Jim Caviezal – (Known For: The Passion of the Christ; The Rock; The Count of Monte Cristo; Escape Plan; The Thin Red Line; Wyatt Earp; Deja Vu; My Own Private Idaho; Frequency; G.I. Jane; The Ballad of Lefty Brown; Paul, Apostle of Christ; Ride with the Devil; The Stoning of Soraya M.; Midnight Sting; Transit; Future BMT: Ed; Angel Eyes; Long Weekend; Highwaymen; Outlander; The Final Cut; Blue Chips; High Crimes; Unknown; When the Game Stands Tall; Savannah; Notes: Has maintained that his star has faded partially due to his strong religious beliefs (part of why he took the role of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ). He was a genuine movie star from around 2000-2010, but now he kind of seems to do religious films mostly.)

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $4,422,380 (Worldwide: $4,422,380)

(How could that budget possibly be right? I guess the animatronic chimpanzee would be pretty expensive … but for real could that possibly be right? That is more than Air Bud made. There has to be some nonsense accounting in there, there is no way anyone thinks Ed is going to make like $50 million.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/16)

(Wow! A true blue zero-percenter! We haven’t seen one of those in years. Let’s write a consensus: Will only amuse the under-10 year old crowd, otherwise it is an unadventurous bore. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. LeBlanc … is so blank that the only impression he makes is of having teeth that are very large and unnaturally white. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Ape-mazing!: The Jack Cooper Story (C)

ed

(There’s something beautiful and yet sad about this poster. I want to paint it and then destroy the painting. Seriously, though, there is something actually artistic in how things are spaced in the poster and some nice red theme… those two things claw it back to a C rating. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think I’m getting a bit better at putting my face into poor quality posters. The poor quality also helped in that I didn’t have to worry too much about removing that giant Ed title and getting the grass “just right”.)

Tagline(s) – Minor league. Major friendship. (A+)

(Probably one of the best taglines I’ve come across. I mean… it’s near perfection. The only critique is that you don’t necessarily get a sense that it’s about a chimpanzee, but who cares? Major friendship? Sign me up.)

Keyword – baseball movie

Ed_baseball movie

Top 10: Major League (1989), Moneyball (2011), A League of Their Own (1992), The Sandlot Kids (1993), The Natural (1984), Rookie of the Year (1993), The Perfect Catch (2005), Field of Dreams (1989), Bull Durham (1988), The Rookie (2002)

Future BMT: 50.7 Major League: Back to the Minors (1998), 34.7 The Fan (1996), 32.7 The Scout (1994), 29.1 Rookie of the Year (1993), 27.0 Angels in the Outfield (1994), 23.9 Mr. Baseball (1992), 21.5 Little Big League (1994), 18.6 The Slugger’s Wife (1985), 6.7 The Final Season (2007);

BMT: The Benchwarmers (2006), Ed (1996)

(Oh wow, only our second one. Honestly the weirdest bit is how consistent baseball movies have always been. They’ve completely disappeared recently … but maybe all sports movies have moved to VOD? I’m trying to think of the last baseball or football movie I’ve seen go to theaters. That was the Affleck basketball movie. It does seem like maybe “sports” movies are getting to be smaller affairs. I’m excited to watch The Fan and Mr. Baseball since I haven’t seen those before.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matt LeBlanc is No. 1 billed in Ed and No. 3 billed in Lost in Space, which also stars Heather Graham (No. 5 billed) who is in Say It Isn’t So (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 3 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc’s co-star from Friends (1994), was considered for the lead role. (He ended up being a movie star for a bit in the late 90s and early 00s. He genuinely had never starred in a wide release film until Fools Rush In in 1997, so he might have actually done it if he got it)

Ed watches an episode of Friends (1994), the show that made Matt LeBlanc a star. The scene he watches features Marcel, the pet monkey of one of the characters.

Ed, the chimp, is actually “just a guy in a suit” (according to Matt Leblanc), with a mechanically controlled head. That head made so much noise that all the dialogue in the scenes which included the “chimp” had to be re-dubbed in post-production.

Texas Rangers second baseman Mark McLemore, long time friend of Matt LeBlanc, spent time during off season teaching LeBlanc how to look and play like a major league baseball player.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Rosalie Swedlin, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Matt LeBlanc, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (David Mickey Evans, Ken Richards, Janus Cercone, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, 1997)

Masters of the Universe Preview

“Down!” Adrestia shouts as she tackles Rich to the ground. A shot rings out and a window shatters. “Go!” Rich barks and with that they are out the door. They see a man disappear around the corner of the school, but before Rich can pull out his patented Twin Speed, Adrestia is off like a flash. Rich is stunned. Thinking fast, he stops at the nearest soda machine for the unrivaled energy and refreshment of a delicious Mountain Dew. Doing the Dew, Rich is able to catch up to Adrestia just in time to help take down the fleeing shooter. “Nice running,” says Rich and before he can even ask Adrestia points to her legs. Robot legs, of course. At that they unmask the suspect to reveal none other than Alligator Steve! “Of course, it only makes sense it was you all long,” says Rich, but Steve protests and pulls out a badge, “Det. O’Malley, Mate. I swear I wasn’t trying to kill you. I was trying to save my world.” Rich is confused. Save his world? From the gamemaster? And Steve nods. “The gamemaster is pulling all the strings. The rogue cops, the riots, everything. It’s all to stop you from completing the task. And if we don’t stop you he’ll destroy my home… my fambly,” he finishes, descending into a low, emotional growl. Suddenly Steve looks up and his eyes are shining, “but now I see… what’s inside of you. It’s not just my home that is at stake is it?” And Rich shakes his head. With that Steve pulls himself up from the ground and extends his hand, “Crikey, then I’m in… let’s go save the whole universe, Mate.” That’s right! We’re going back in time to our youth to watch the classic action figure turned cartoon turned major motion picture, Masters of the Universe. We are using this as the MacGuffin entry of the cycle as The Cosmic Key is an all-timer when it comes to unexplainable, mostly magical objects of power in cinematic history. So get ready to blast out some sweet synth notes as we jam out to Masters of the Universe. Let’s go!

Masters of the Universe (1987) – BMeTric: 50.1; Notability: 53 

MastersoftheUniverseIMDb_BMeT

MastersoftheUniverseIMDb_RV

(Huh, I wonder why it increased so much in the early 2000s … unclear. Very nice how low it is and is staying. I’ve seen pieces of this film before, at the very least it looks like complete crap.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  He-Man (Lundgren) comes to Earth seeking a key that controls the power of the universe, stolen by cosmic crub Skeletor (unrecognizable Langella); somehow two teen puppy-lovers get involved. Elaborate comic book nonsense (which has had another life in kiddie animation) is dumb but inoffensive.

(I love dumb but inoffensive. That “somehow” is doing some heavy lifting, and can basically be used to describe any ridiculous sci-fi / action B-story issue. Like Pearl Harbor: “Somehow a love triangle becomes the focus of the film.”)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF20B8p4F08/

(Wow, Skeletor’s costume looks even worse than I remembered. Truly horrific. Reminds me of Howard the Duck and The Garbage Pail Kids’ Movie. That level of shooting incredibly far over their budget/technological capabilities at the time.)

Directors – Gary Goddard – (BMT: Masters of the Universe; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Tarzan the Ape Man in 1982; Notes: He founded Landmark Entertainment Group for which he directed many of the biggest theme park videos (T-2 3D, Jurassic Park intro, etc.))

Writers – David Odell (written by) – (Known For: The Dark Crystal; Future BMT: Supergirl; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Notes: He wrote on the Muppet Show in the 80s and wrote on a few other Muppet things over the years. He seems to have effectively retired in 1990.)

Stephen Tolkin (rewrite) (uncredited) – (Future BMT: Captain America; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Notes: Mostly wrote for television. His brother, Michael, was nominated for an Oscar for The Player, and his father was an Emmy nominated comedy write from the 50s all the way into the 80s.)

Gary Goddard (rewrite) (uncredited) – (Future BMT: Tarzan the Ape Man; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Tarzan the Ape Man in 1982; Notes: He created a Captain Power television program prior to Masters of the Universe which he wrote on. It was canceled after one season.)

Actors – Dolph Lundgren – (Known For: Aquaman; Creed II; Hail, Caesar!; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Don’t Kill It; Future BMT: Red Scorpion; The Punisher; Black Water; Skin Trade; The Peacekeeper; Showdown in Little Tokyo; Dark Angel; A View to a Kill; Small Apartments; Rocky IV; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Johnny Mnemonic; Universal Soldier; The Expendables 3; Notes: A world class kickboxer, he also has an advanced degree in Chemical Engineering. Apparently he still does some work with his brother who is a scientist.)

Frank Langella – (Known For: Captain Fantastic; Lolita; Red Dragon; Noah; The Ninth Gate; Superman Returns; Unknown; Small Soldiers; Muppets Most Wanted; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Draft Day; Frost/Nixon; Dave; The Box; Good Night, and Good Luck.; 5 to 7; The Tale of Despereaux; Robot & Frank; Dracula; The Prophet; Future BMT: Junior; Eddie; Cutthroat Island; Grace of Monaco; And God Created Woman; All Good Things; Bad Company; Brainscan; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Sweet November; The Caller; BMT: Body of Evidence; Masters of the Universe; Notes: Started out as an acclaimed Broadway actor, winning a Tony for his role in Seascape in 1975. Nominated for an Oscar for Frost/Nixon.)

Meg Foster – (Known For: Overlord; They Live; 31; The Lords of Salem; The Emerald Forest; Blind Fury; The Osterman Weekend; Ticket to Heaven; The Minus Man; Relentless; Future BMT: Jeepers Creepers 3; Leviathan; Best of the Best II; Stepfather II; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Notes: We’ve actually seen her before in a Friend of BMT, Future Kick. She starred in that film. She had quite the straight-to-video career in the early 90s.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $17,336,370 (Worldwide: $17,336,370)

(An unmitigated disaster that apparently helped Cannon Films to go under. So that, maybe, is a net positive? I kid, but for real every Cannon film I’ve seen looks like garbage, so I wasn’t surprised to hear they produced this movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (4/23): Masters of the Universe is a slapdash adaptation of the He-Man mythos that can’t overcome its cynical lack of raison d’etre, no matter how admirably Frank Langella throws himself into the role of Skeletor.

(I just love the stories about Langella in this. He either hated working on this or loved it. He either thought everything was trash or he loved it. Mixed signals from everyone. It’s going to sound obvious but I think he may have done this movie for one reason: $$$. Reviewer Highlight: The result is a colossal bore. – Variety)

Poster – Masters of the MacGuffinverse (C+)

masters_of_the_universe

(This poster is really telling a story… and it’s not a great one. It seems like if I were a huge fan of Masters of the Universe I would probably be like “just please don’t make it the case that He-Man and the gang are transported to Earth for some reason.” Then I would see the poster and be like “well, Shit.” Spacing is bad and too much going on, but some nice on-brand font and general blue tone. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I was going for speed in this case, and I came in at just around 60-70 minutes. Which is quite good. It took me about 50 minutes for the words, and then the face went pretty quickly. Not the best face I’ve done, but again, this one was for speed and I think looks pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – A battle fought in the stars, now… comes to Earth. (D)

(Lol, what? If you think about the synopsis of the cartoon, all events take place in a relatively small kingdom of Eternia. So when was the battle fought in the stars? They aren’t in spaceships or anything. This feels very much like “let’s get those Star Wars butts in the seats,” and I don’t appreciate that.)

Keyword – based on toy

MastersoftheUniverse_based on toy

Top 10: The Lego Batman Movie (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Trolls (2016), Bumblebee (2018), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Transformers (2007), The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), The Lego Movie (2014), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), UglyDolls (2019)

Future BMT: 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 57.1 Jem and the Holograms (2015), 41.0 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), 37.4 UglyDolls (2019), 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), 27.9 Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), 2.6 Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985);

BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Masters of the Universe (1987), Bratz (2007), Ouija (2014)

(Amazing. Basically bad production companies like Cannon producing schlock in the 80s. After those companies went under the big production houses knew better in the 90s. And then Transformers changed the game again in the 2000s. Looks to be slowing in the last decade. A lot of the future BMT I’ve actually already seen, although I am excited for Max Steel and Jem and the Holograms.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Dolph Lundgren is No. 1 billed in Masters of the Universe and No. 8 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 8 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Zoom we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The Throne Room set of Castle Grayskull was originally two large, adjoining sound stages. The wall between the sets was knocked down to make one gigantic sound stage. At that time, this was the largest set Hollywood had seen in over 40 years.

Frank Langella went on record in an interview stating that playing Skeletor was one of his favorite roles. His young son was a huge fan and was running around the house shouting “By the power of Grayskull,” so he took the role for him. He wrote some of his own lines, like: “Tell me about the loneliness of good, He-Man. Is it equal to the loneliness of evil?”

Anthony De Longis trained Dolph Lundgren in the use of a sword. He also choreographed the sword fight between He-Man and Blade and the climatic duel between He-Man and Skeletor. De Longis also played Skeletor during the final fight, instead of Frank Langella.

Mattel, the toy company that produced the original He-Man toys, ran a contest where the winner would get a role in the new He-Man movie. The production was under a great deal of pressure to finish in time and under budget, so director Gary Goddard had to squeeze the contest winner into the shoot. The winner, Richard Szponder, is Pigboy, who hands Skeletor his staff when he returns from Earth. He was even listed in the ending credits. (Ha, funny)

Dolph Lundgren said in a French magazine that working on this film was “a nightmare”. The shooting schedule was five months, including two months of night shooting. He said he was approached to do a sequel during shooting, and he turned down the offer. However in an interview with the IO9 website promoting The Expendables (2010), Lundgren said he would return to appear in a new “Masters of the Universe” movie, as either a cameo or He-Man.

A script for the sequel, to be titled “Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg” was written. It followed He-Man, who returned to Earth to battle Skeletor, who had left Earth a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The film was to feature Trap Jaw and She-Ra, and Albert Pyun was hired to direct. Because the film bombed at the box office, Mattel and Cannon decided to cancel production on the sequel. Pyun rewrote the script, which became Cyborg (1989).

Mattel, which owned and produced the “Masters of the Universe” toyline, mandated early in production that He-Man could not kill anyone on screen. That’s why Skeletor’s troops are robots. (Basically the same thing with Disney properties now. They always kill like … clones and robots, or mindless aliens or something)

Meg Foster said that she based her character on Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. In the film’s beginning, she is a pantomime villainess but obviously deeply in love with Skeletor. As the storyline progresses, she gradually comes to realise that he does not truly care for her. In the end, she abandons him to his fate, her withdrawal of her forces leads to his eventual defeat. In Foster’s opinion, the character progresses from evildoer to scorned woman to tragic heroine.

A total of three working Cosmic Key props were built for the film, each personally constructed by Richard Edlund. The props were extremely fragile and broke down easily, so a special team of prop technicians had to be on hand at all times to repair damage during filming. As of 2012, they are valued at $6,000 each.

Because of financial difficulties, Cannon Cinema made a decision to discontinue all filming three days before its scheduled end, leaving the movie in a quandary. All the climactic scenes were completed bar the final battle and resolution between He-Man and Skeletor. After two months, the Cannon Cinema executives allowed director Gary Goddard to film the ending in a complete, albeit rushed manner.

Production designer William Stout took an existing fast food stand in Lake View Terrace and transformed this into “Robby’s Ribs ‘n’ Chicken” where Julie Winston works. According to Stout, the same fast food place was later the site of the infamous Rodney King beating. (That is a wild fact)

At the 1987 Cannes Festival press conference, producer Menahem Golan announced that lead actor Dolph Lundgren was set to reprise his role as He-Man and that he had already signed on for two more movies. However, Lundgren refused to reprise his role when he was offered it while filming Red Scorpion (1988) and went on record in a 1989 interview with Comics Scene magazine that he felt playing He-Man was his “lowest point as an actor”. His role was recast with surfer Laird Hamilton but the “Masters of the Universe” sequel ultimately never happened. (Wild, that guy ended up not really acting in anything)

The character Gwildor was created to replace Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). (Obviously)

The original budget of $17 million increased to $22 million and this became Cannon Films’ most expensive film.

During production, Gary Goddard developed Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1987) which premiered on American television the same year as the release of Masters of the Universe (1987). (Uh …. Do I watch that then? No, surely I watch some of the He-man cartoon instead …)

In the official “Masters of the Universe” comic book adaptation, an alternate ending is used that was written for the movie but never filmed. In the comic, after the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Man-At-Arms comes from the depths of Castle Grayskull carrying a NASA and United States flag. The NASA flag has “Starfinder 5. July 10, 2221” written on it, revealing that the first humans on Eternia were actually from a future American space mission. (WHAAAAAA)

Cannon Films originally had plans to make a Spider-Man movie but opted instead to take the money and split it in two for two other films: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and Masters of the Universe. The plan was to take the profits from both movies and make a large-budget Spider-Man movie. Both movies bombed at the box-office and the Cannon-produced Spider-Man movie never materialized.

Gary Goddard came up with the idea of Skeletor in a bottomless pit filled with bubbling red water at the very end of the film. After filming the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor which took one day to shoot. Gary Goddard told Frank Langella his idea for the very end of the film and that Frank Langella approved. Boss Studios prepared a vat of bubbling red liquid and Gary Goddard walked Frank Langella in full costume and make up to the vat of bubbling liquid and told him that “You get there in full make up and costume and you pop up and says “I’LL BE BACK!”. And they got the shot and this was the last shot of the day.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Billy Barty, 1988)

Bloodshot Preview

Having trailed her through the hallways of the school, Rich looks on curiously as Adrestia attempts to pick the lock to the principal’s office. *Ahem* he coughs and she whirls, locked and loaded and ready for a fight. Seeing who it is, though, she lifts a finger to quiet him and nods towards the now open door. Once inside the office she sticks her hand out, “I guess we can drop the ruse. Det. Adrestia at your service.” Rich is confused. “I’ve been working undercover here for the last year,” she explains, “trying to track down a rogue cop deemed the Four-Finger Fellow cause he always takes the pinkie fingers of his victims as souvenirs.” “Gross,” thinks Rich, but he’s also curious. Could Halloway be this rogue cop? Or maybe Adrestia is lying like a big ol’ liar. Only one way to find out. “Let’s join forces for justice,” he says, mustering all his natural charisma and charm. She hesitates. Rich without Poe is one cop short of an action-packed team. But two heads are better than one and she finally relents, “but only because I’ve yet to figure out where to find the final piece to the puzzle… The Devil’s Key.” Rich gasps. “But that’s only a legend,” he whispers shakily. But Adrestia shakes her head. It’s real. A device capable of revealing all the undercover cops in the world, corrupt or otherwise. “With such power comes great responsibility,” warns Rich, coining a wholly original phrase. But Adrestia insists it’s the only way to find the information she needs. Rich nods, knowing that if it comes to it he’ll have to destroy the key or take down Adrestia trying. Suddenly a red dot sight appears on Rich’s chest and Adrestia’s eyes widen in horror. That’s right! We’re doing it. The shelter in place BMT Live! Given where the film’s reviews landed we were primed and ready to watch Bloodshot in theaters for BMT. But then the virus hit and we sadly thought our chance was gone. Wrong! That’s because they released this mofo streaming. Ready or not, Vinny D, cause here we come. Let’s go!

Bloodshot (2020) – BMeTric: 30.3; Notability: 24 

BloodshotIMDb_BMeT

BloodshotIMDb_RV

(That’s a fun graph. It was only in theaters for about a week. And then in a day or two of online release it managed to double the vote count. I would actually guess that you could estimate the total online gross pretty well by just tracking that graph and doing a little back of the envelope calculation. The Notability is very small, which makes a bit of sense when you look at the budget. Notability probably scales pretty well with budget.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Vin Diesel fans who can’t wait for the next installment of the “Fast and Furious” macho soap opera series can get their fix at “Bloodshot,” a comic book adaptation that’s as big a stickler about “family” yet far less satisfying than even the worst films of the “Fast” franchise. The family in question here is the wife of Ray Garrison (Diesel), who is put in danger by her spouse’s mercenary soldiering. Now, if you want to walk into director Dave Wilson’s sci-fi actioner as blindly as I did, exit this review now. If you desire a hint of what you’re in for, let me leave you with a few phrases you would have encountered had you stuck around: “Universal Soldier,” “robotic cucarachas,” “needle drop abuse of the Talking Heads” and “blatant rip-off.”

(Oooooooo spoiler alerts in the review. Yes please. I don’t really go for spoiler warnings usually, but you know what? I don’t know anything about this movie so I’m going to give going in blind a shot.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F95Fk255I4M/

(Ah I get it … it actually is a superhero movie. The bad guy looks like a cross between Doc Ock and Vulture from Spiderman basically. So … that’s going to be terrible. I can’t wait.)

Directors – Dave Wilson – (BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: A video game trailer director! That’s amazing. He probably got this film partially based on his Love, Death & Robots (produced by David Fincher) short film.)

Writers – Jeff Wadlow (screenplay by & story by) – (Future BMT: Prey; Fantasy Island; Cry Wolf; True Memoirs of an International Assassin; Kick-Ass 2; BMT: Truth or Dare; Bloodshot; Notes: Nephew of Katie Couric, who interviewed him on Today at one point. Has produced a few television shows such as The Strain.)

Eric Heisserer (screenplay by) – (Known For: Bird Box; Arrival; Lights Out; Final Destination 5; Hours; Future BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street; Extinction; The Thing; BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Arrival. Married to Christine Boylan who is herself an accomplished television writer and producer of things like The Punisher.)

Kevin VanHook, Bob Layton, and Don Perlin (comic book) – (BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Mostly just comic book writers, although VanHook is a prolific visual effects artist on things like The Marine 5!)

Actors – Vin Diesel – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Guardians of the Galaxy; Avengers: Infinity War; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Saving Private Ryan; Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; xXx: Return of Xander Cage; Furious 6; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Fast & Furious 5; Pitch Black; Riddick; Awakenings; xXx; The Iron Giant; Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Boiler Room; Find Me Guilty; Future BMT: A Man Apart; Knockaround Guys; The Chronicles of Riddick; BMT: Babylon A.D.; The Pacifier; The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; The Last Witch Hunter; Bloodshot; Fast & Furious; The Fast and the Furious; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for The Chronicles of Riddick in 2005; Notes: Allegedly Steven Spielberg said that if Diesel didn’t direct another movie it would be “crime against cinema”.)

Eiza González – (Known For: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw; Alita: Battle Angel; Baby Driver; Paradise Hills; She’s Missing; Future BMT: Jem and the Holograms; Welcome to Marwen; BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Born in Mexico. Started in the telenovelas Lola: Érase una vez abd Sueña conmigo.)

Sam Heughan – (Known For: The Spy Who Dumped Me; BMT: Bloodshot; Notes: Scottish, he’s one of the stars of the show Outlander.)

Budget/Gross – $45,000,000 / Domestic: $10,021,787 (Worldwide: $28,428,855)

(This is going to look a little odd since it only managed to get out to theaters for a short run. It was probably going to mostly be unsuccessful regardless, but the low budget of $45 million probably means it’ll ultimately be a wash for the most part.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (39/132): Bloodshot gives Vin Diesel a solid opportunity to indulge in old-school action that should satisfy fans, even if the end result is disappointingly mediocre.

(Oooof. As a not-huge fan of Diesel, whose acting often leaves a lot to be desired, that isn’t too promising. Sounds like Vin Diesel: The Movie (again … for like the fifth time). Reviewer Highlight: By the time our man/machine finds himself in the time-honored pickle of dangling by one hand from a ledge 50 stories above the ground, Bloodshot has already given us an action movie hangover. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – BloodSklog (B+)

bloodshot

(Gotta be honest, despite kinda looking lame I also kinda dig this poster. Nice strong red color, font has a bit of flair with the classic Bloodshot symbol incorporated, and it’s doing its job… of telling you that Vin Diesel is in the film. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think this is probably the best one I’ve done yet, and it only took like an hour and a half. I am preeeeeetty impressed with myself.)

Tagline(s) – You Don’t Need a Past to Have a Future (B-)

(This has merits, but it’s a bit too bland and generic. It really could be the tagline for any number of films with heroes with dark pasts… I mean, even something like, say, The Glimmer Man. But it’s still got flow and it’s mildly clever. Just generic.)

Keyword – super strength

Bloodshot_super strength

Top 10: Bloodshot (2020), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), Black Panther (2018), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain Marvel (2019), Watchmen (2009), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Future BMT: 71.1 The Spirit (2008), 70.5 Zoom (2006), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 61.0 Cursed (2005), 57.9 Supernova (2000), 55.7 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 51.7 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008), 51.1 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010);

BMT: Bloodshot (2020), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Hellboy (2019), Sucker Punch (2011), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Batman & Robin (1997), The Predator (2018), Gods of Egypt (2016), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Universal Soldier (1992), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Soldier (1998), Dracula 2001 (2000), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Alone in the Dark (2005), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

(Honestly the only one of those I’m looking forward to is Supergirl which is a classic bad movie. That dip in the 2000s is quite interesting. It seems plausibly like an oversight as that was right when things like Spider-man 2 was coming out. Could also just be that some comic book films (like Batman) don’t qualify and the gritty “real” ones became popular for a split second before Marvel broke everything wide open. Both seem realistic.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Vin Diesel is No. 1 billed in Bloodshot and No. 1 billed in Babylon A. D., which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Bloodshot is one of the most popular characters in the 80 million comics selling Valiant Universe. Bloodshot has sold over 7 million comics in all languages. Bloodshot #1 was a much anticipated comic that became a best selling issue and has gone on to sell approximately 1 million copies. Bloodshot #1 was awarded “Best Comic” by Diamond Distributors (the American comics industry’s leading distributor) and “Best Innovation” for its chromium cover (the first of its kind). (So its got that comics cred, got it)

First film based on Valiant Comics. (Oh wow, I wouldn’t have guessed that actually, but it makes sense. I would have thoughts there would have been some trash made in the late 2000s)

Just like other films released around the same time as this one, Bloodshot suffered a bad opening weekend at the box office due to the global pandemic, the coronavirus. Though the opening was never projected to be large, it is said it still suffered millions in losses both domestically and especially worldwide. (Oh yeah, I forgot about COVID-19 …)

This is the second comic-book role for Vin Diesel (after playing Groot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Guy Pearce (after Iron Man Three (2013)), Eiza González (after Alita: Battle Angel (2019)), Sam Heughan (after Lego DC Super-Villains (2018)), and Talulah Riley (after Thor: The Dark World (2013)). (Yeah, turns out a lot of people do comic book movies now)

Vin Diesel and Eliza Gonzalez have both appeared in films from “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. Diesel starred in 8 films and Gonzalez appeared in the 2019 spin-off “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw”. (Whaaaa that’s pretty funny)