Phantoms Preview

Just moving right along in our Now a Major Motion Picture cycle we had quite a conundrum on our hands with Horror/Thriller. There is an obvious champion of the Horror-based-on-a-book genre and it’s called One Missed Call (one of the rare 0% on RT). The movie was based on a Japanese film that was based on a Japanese novel. Unfortunately the book never received an English translation! So we just couldn’t do it. We just couldn’t allow One Missed Call to turn this cycle into a sham. I must read them all, damn it! Another option was Sliver… but that was weird too because it’s an erotic thriller starring Billy Baldwin and Sharon Stone… both of whom we just saw in different BMT films (Fair Game and Basic Instinct 2). No go. Gotta keep it fresh. So instead we chose the freshest film around. A film that Ben Affleck was the bomb in, yo. That’s right! Phantoms! This has always been on our BMT bucket list, so I’m pretty excited. On top of that I’m a huge Stephen King and horror lit fan, so It’ll be nice to be able to expand my repertoire with a Dean Koontz book. I’ve never read one by him. Let’s go!

Phantoms (1998) – BMeTric: 38.7

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(Obviously beautiful regression to the mean there with the rating following right along with the number of votes. It has been a while since we’ve seen a nice two plateau plot. This one is basically caused by the rating initially rising more than it should (reaching 5.0 in 2006) countering the rising in votes. After that the votes go through an inflection (going from 3000 to 10000 votes on IMDb is incredibly important for the BMeTric) and then again the rise in rating kind of counters the steady vote rise. Not super interesting, but you can kind of see the shape of the BMeTric in the plots which is kind of cool. Also 40 is solid, surprisingly so in my opinion.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Sisters are frightened to find a Rocky Mountain town totally deserted, except for a few dead bodies; sheriff Affleck shows up to help, followed by scientist O’Toole. The answer is a mysterious underground monster from the beginning of time: intelligent, deadly, and amorphous. Not-bad thriller with good performances, astute use of locations, and some suspenseful scenes.  

(I often facetiously say SPOILER ALERT for mundane details provided by Leonard as a joke, but Jesus Leonard: SPOILER ALERT. How am I supposed to be suspended if I already know that the bad guy is an amorphous underground monster from the beginning of time? Come on!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HynK3ZkjtcE

(I gotta say, the effects actually look OK from the short trailer. That would be a pleasant surprise. Best part though was Affleck delivering his line as if he’s the postmaster general… cause he’s mailing it in. Ay-o.)

Directors – Joe Chappelle – (BMT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Phantoms; Notes: Got his shot in film and didn’t work out. Now a TV director and producer of some pretty big and influential shows. Includes The Wire and currently Chicago Fire.)

Writers – Dean R. Koontz (novel & screenplay) – (Known For: Demon Seed; BMT: Phantoms; Hideaway; Notes: Horror author. Still active. Actually has a number of books adapted for film, but almost all had limited or no theatrical release.)

Actors – Peter O’Toole – (Known For: Troy; Stardust; Ratatouille; Lawrence of Arabia; The Last Emperor; The Lion in Winter; How to Steal a Million; Man of La Mancha; Venus; Lassie; FairyTale: A True Story; My Favorite Year; Becket; The Stunt Man; Zulu Dawn; Bright Young Things; The Ruling Class; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Rosebud; Lord Jim; BMT: Supergirl; Caligula; Casino Royale; King Ralph; Phantoms; Club Paradise; High Spirits; What’s New Pussycat; One Night with the King; Notes:  Nominated for 8 acting Oscars, but never won one. Got an honorary Oscar in 2003. Died in 2013. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Supporting Actor for Club Paradise; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1985 for Worst Actor for Supergirl)

Rose McGowan – (Known For: Scream; Death Proof; Grindhouse; Machete; Planet Terror; The Doom Generation; Class of 1999; Fifty Dead Men Walking; Going All the Way; BMT: Bio-Dome; Conan the Barbarian; Monkeybone; The Black Dahlia; Jawbreaker; Phantoms; Ready to Rumble; Encino Man; Notes: She was part of an Adam Sandler related BMTMZ regarding a casting note for The Do-Over. Love it.)

Also stars Joanna Going and Ben Affleck.

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $5,624,282

(Truly an unknown budget. Can’t find it anywhere other than some hints that it was a “low-budget” film. It better have been a super low-budget film cause this shit the bed. Opened at #9 in the box office. Not good.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (4/30)

(Hard to comment on a film like this. Released just before RT became big. Looking around you can find a one-star review by Ebert that basically just derides it for being unoriginal. Although, again, he says the effects are pretty good. I’m starting to get excited for this.)

Poster – Spooky Sklog Ghosts (A-)

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(This does seem to be the official poster, although you more commonly see the DVD cover. I kinda dig it. Old fashioned. Stark light against a deep black background and organized well. I kinda wish the light was less dominated by white… more green. But it’s good.)

Tagline(s) – For centuries they told us the terror would come from above. We’ve been looking the wrong way. (C+)

(Centuries? Ha, not really. I like what they were going for and way they turn it around at the end is clever. But it’s too long and clunky to get a good grade. Just can’t do it.)

Keyword(s) – town; Top Ten by BMeTric: 47.7 Vehicle 19 (2013); 42.5 Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White (2012); 38.7 Phantoms (1998); 34.6 The Bay (II) (2012); 32.0 Never Talk to Strangers (1995); 17.8 Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003); 17.7 The Philadelphia Experiment (1984); 16.6 Snow Beast (2011); 15.6 The Village (2004); 14.3 A Night in the Woods (2011);

(Ha, what the hell does this keyword even mean? Like … there is a town in the movie? Weird list with an almost unknown Paul Walker film up top. Also The Village, I suspect, has a village in the film, not quite a town, so also this list is bullshit. I liked Mirror Mirror as well, although that might just be compared to the atrocity that is Snow White and the Huntsman.)

Notes – An adaptation of Phantoms was originally set to be made in the late 1980s/early 1990s by New World Pictures & Allied Vision Entertainment but was shelved after New World filed for bankruptcy. (I bet that would have been an even worse film)

Categorically one of the chief cinematic influences for Konami’s original Silent Hill (1999) on the PS1 and to the series overall, along with Jacob’s Ladder (1990) and Session 9 (2001). (Ha)

Get Carter (2000) Preview

Since the inception of the Stallonian Calendar we’ve kind of been avoiding sweeping up the last of the Stallone films available to us. That’s because we need some in the arsenal for the rare Stallone Days ahead. However, it’s really quite rare for a film in the action genre to be adapted from a source. So it was a bit hard to avoid choosing the very best of the bunch (that happens to also star Stallone). Coincidentally it was also his 70th birthday last week, so we can chalk up our viewing of the Get Carter remake to a celebration of sorts. The film is based on the Ted Lewis crime noir Jack’s Return Home. The book was first adapted into 1971’s Get Carter starring Michael Caine, which has grown into a classic. The remake? Not as much. Pretty excited to read the book, watch the original film, watch the new film, maybe watch the other adaptation (1972’s Hit Man), and listen to the director’s commentary. Welcome to Crazytown (Population: 2). Let’s go!

Get Carter (2000) – BMeTric: 52.3

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(Nothing very interesting here actually, pretty standard regression to the mean in the rating, twenty-five thousand votes seems normal, and the BMeTric plot is standard stuff. Disturbingly boring.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Las Vegas enforcer goes home to Seattle to investigate his brother’s death and meets one sleazy character after another who may have been involved. Routine crime drama, enlivened by high-powered car chases but burdened by show-offy visual gimmicks. Remake of the far superior 1971 film that starred Caine, whose role here is thankless. Gretchen Mol appears unbilled.

(Look at those settings. Magnifique. How in the hell does a Get Carter remake have show-offy visuals. We can only hope that there is a talking dog or an animated sidekick, because I can’t for the life of me think why this film would need to show off any visuals. Just be a badass action film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQg27CqCV_M

(I guess now I understand what show-offy visuals are… weird coloring and the occasional dutch angle. This also might have been the peak of Sly Stallone mumblemouth. Just listen to that delivery on the line, “I’m Jack, Richie’s brother.” A simple line made incomprehensible.)

Directors – Stephen Kay – (BMT: Boogeyman; Get Carter; Notes: Directs mostly television now. Married to Piper Perabo (Cheaper by the Dozen 1 & 2). Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Screenplay for The Mod Squad)

Writers – Ted Lewis (novel) – (Known For: Get Carter; The Snake; BMT: Get Carter; Notes: British author. Started as an animation specialist even working on Yellow Submarine. His Jack Carter series started the noir school of British crime fiction.)

David McKenna (screenplay) – (Known For: American History X; Blow; S.W.A.T.; Bully; BMT: Get Carter; Body Shots; Notes: Had 6 feature films made in 6 years following his break-out American History X. Used the pen name Zachary Long for Bully because he was unhappy with the finished product.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Creed; Rocky; The Expendables 2; The Expendables; Escape Plan; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; Bullet to the Head; Demolition Man; Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over; Rocky III; Antz; Rocky II; Victory; Cop Land; Cliffhanger; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Rocky V; Staying Alive; Zookeeper; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; The Specialist; Rhinestone; Eye See You; Cobra; Rambo III; Over the Top; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Reach Me; Tango & Cash; Assassins; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Lock Up; Grudge Match; Oscar; Notes: There is literally nothing I can say to emphasize how important Sly is to BMT. We named the yearly cycle the Stallonian Calendar for God’s sake.)

Razzie Cred for Stallone: Won – 2000 for Worst Actor of the Century; 1990 for Worst Actor of the Decade; 2004 for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over; 1995 for Worst Screen Couple for The Specialist; 1993 for Worst Actor for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; 1989 for Worst Actor for Rambo III; 1986 for Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II; 1986 for Worst Director, Worst Actor for Rocky IV; 1985 for Worst Actor for Rhinestone; Nominated – 2014 for Worst Actor for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; 2011 for Worst Director for The Expendables; 2002 for Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Screen Couple for Driven; 2001 for Worst Actor for Get Carter; 1999 for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; 1997 for Worst Actor for Daylight; 1996 for Worst Actor for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; 1995 for Worst Actor for The Specialist; 1994 for Worst Screenplay for Cliffhanger, and Michael France; 1992 for Worst Actor for Oscar; 1991 for Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay for Rocky V; 1990 for Worst Actor for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; 1989 for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III; 1988 for Worst Actor for Over the Top; 1987 for Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay for Cobra; 1986 for Worst Screenplay for Rocky IV; 1985 for Worst Screenplay for Rhinestone, and Phil Alden Robinson)

Also stars Rachael Leigh Cook (Texas Rangers) and Miranda Richardson (The Prince and Me).

Budget/Gross – $63.6 million / Domestic: $14,967,182 (Worldwide: $19,412,993)

(What in the fuck happened here? This is a trainwreck. This is even worse than Driven, which was released around the same time. Stallone’s worst major motion picture release until the recent Bullet to the Head (god I hate that film).)

#22 for the Action Remake genre

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(I. Love. Remake. Plots. The waves …. The waves! This is yet again one of those coming in at a downswing. It also looks like we are on a little downswing ourselves these days. The last three big ones were Red Dawn, Robocop, and Point Break. Oooooof. Yeah, we should probably let this genre breath for a bit boys.)

#59 for the Crime Time genre – Dramas or thrillers centered on the criminals and the world of crime.

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(Ha, holy shit. First, the steady incline through the 10’s is interesting. My theory? It is actually just a really consistent genre and the number of total theaters (either in total or reported by boxofficemojo) is just generally going up. And then, BOOM, the genre explodes and then reverts right back to pre-2010 levels again. Looking through the last five years they do seem to be very rarely very successful, so it was probably people getting all excited about The Departed, The Town, and American Gangster coming out post 2005. Get Carter came at kind of a nadir there.)

#52 for the Revenge genre

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(A rare one where the movie we look at predates the boom. And a boom that is still ongoing, this plot doesn’t include the hugely successful Deadpool from this year. The undesirable lead has been pretty big on tv recently (Breaking Bad, Fargo, etc.) and I would guess this plot kind of reflects that same growth since the early 2000s. A movie focused on revenge will typically have pretty dark elements to the leads I would guess.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (7/60): A remake that doesn’t approach the standard of the original, Get Carter will likely leave viewers confused and unsatisfied. Also, reviews are mixed concerning Stallone’s acting.

(How… strange. This consensus must harken back to the days where RT actually tried to sum up reviewers’ feelings rather than just make a witty pun. That last tacked on part about Stallone’s acting is something I don’t recall ever seeing before.)

Poster – Get Skloger (B-)

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(Not a huge fan of the black and white poster because I don’t like posters that are mostly white. I do like the white font. That’s artistic. And I like how Stallone is artistically modified as well. Can’t totally blame them for the black and white either because there is an outside chance this is based on some of the original Get Carter art. Gonna give is a mediocre B-. Nothing special, but some good things too.)

Tagline(s) – The Truth Hurts (B-)

(I understand what they’re going for here. Stallone is going to hurt you and I guess he’s the truth (?). I just don’t think it’s particularly original (a lot of movies could use it) and doesn’t hint at the story enough (in fact it might be a bit misleading). Still pretty good as a whole once you think through it.)

Keyword(s) – enforcer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 52.3 Get Carter (2000); 25.4 The Package (I) (2013); 25.3 Mercenary: Absolution (IV) (2015); 21.4 Hummingbird (I) (2013); 19.9 Repo Men (2010); 18.1 Predators (2010); 15.0 Savages (2012); 11.8 B. Monkey (1998); 10.9 Interview with a Hitman (2012); 10.4 New Jack City (1991);

(What is this list. I’m starting to regret adding this keyword thing because this one is just weird. Honestly Get Carter is the only enforcer movie we would ever consider for BMT apparently. What a weird keyword IMDb)

Notes – Franchise Pictures was reluctant to cast Mickey Rourke in light of his troubled past as a Hollywood bad boy. Friend Sylvester Stallone, who put Rourke up for the role, guaranteed a portion of his salary so if Rourke did cause any delays or problems, the production would be covered. Rourke turned up every day on time and was a complete professional. His work impressed Franchise enough that they hired him shortly after for their next film The Pledge.

When Doreen asks Carter why he went away for so long, Carter responds, “That’s a long story.” Doreen replies, “It’s a long ride back.” These lines were also spoken in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) when John Rambo is speaking with his Vietnamese insider.

The original screenplay Stallone signed on for was much more violent and focused more on the “revenge” element.

Director Stephen Kay clashed with Franchise Pictures, the financier, over the tone of the film. Kay wanted the film to be more of an “anti-revenge” film, while Franchise wanted a more traditional Stallone action picture. (Ha. Odd, but I agree with the studio here)

There were plans to do a sequel which never materialized.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Pinocchio (2002) Preview

This week we move fully into the Now a Major Motion Picture cycle with the comedy entry. Since I’m required by BMT law to read each book that the film is based on, I requested that we do something real short for this entry just to make sure I don’t fall behind right off the bat. This worked out wonderfully as one of the worst reviewed films of all time just happens to be based on a 150 page children’s book. That’s right, we are watching Roberto Benigni’s much reviled adaptation of Pinocchio! Did I say that Basic Instinct 2 was a vanity project? We ain’t seen nothing yet. Let’s go!

Pinocchio (2002) – BMeTric: 47.1

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(This is another super weird rating plot! It goes down and then completely recovers over years. It doesn’t make sense. Typically for a kids movie I would say this might be the youth factor, the fanbase of a shitty movie coming of age and using nostalgia to rate things. But what kind of weirdo kid was watching Pinocchio starring Roberto Benigni? No one. It is impossible. There has to be a weird “it was a hit in Italy” thing going on. It has to be foreign audience power.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  A carved wooden puppet comes to life as a mischievous boy who can’t resist temptation of any kind. Benigni’s interpretation of the beloved 1885 story by Carlo Collodi emerges as a test of one’s tolerance for the bombastic comic actor. This was a big hit in Italy … but then, so was Mussolini. U.S. Version was cut to 100 m. and dubbed with Breckin Meyer (as Benigni) and a host of stars.

(Goddamn Leonard that film had a family! Let’s all revel in Leonard’s need to invoke Italy’s fascist past in order to deliver an adequate burn for this travesty of a movie. This was well known at the time as a disastrous American dubbing as well and somewhat inexplicable if not for Benigni’s Academy Award a few years prior.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnyD71SK-wk

(Well that’s unfortunate. Notice that they do not let anyone talk in the trailer other than to say the word “Pinocchio!” Didn’t want to reveal that it was foreign in hopes to attract more people. Didn’t work. From the trailer it also looks a bit like those Israeli live-action fairy tales we used to watch as a kid. The Frog Prince used to freak me out. Giant scary frog. But I loved them. So maybe I’ll love this.)

Directors – Roberto Benigni – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Nominated for Best Director Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Although he only sporadically works in film now he is still beloved in Italy and very active in the political scene there.)

Benigni Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Actor for Pinocchio with Breckin Meyer; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screen Couple with Nicoletta Braschi, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Pinocchio with Vincenzo Cerami; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst New Star for Son of the Pink Panther

Writers – Roberto Benigni (screenplay) – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Nominated for Best Screenplay Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Also a poet and songwriter.)

Vincenzo Cerami (screenplay) – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Longtime writer and assistant director collaborator with Benigni. Died in 2013 after a long illness. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screenplay for Pinocchio with Roberto Benigni)

Carlo Collodi (novel) – (Known For: Pinocchio (1940); BMT: Pinocchio (2002); The Adventures of Pinocchio Notes: Wrote the original story as a serial in the 1800s. Apparently, the original ending to the tale was that Pinocchio was such a bad puppet that he hangs himself in despair. Solid.)

Brendan Donnison (English adaptation) – (BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Super weird. This guy is primarily a casting director for ADR and voice work. In fact has a company Lyps Inc. based in the UK that is a major player in the ADR voice casting game. Makes one wonder how he is the only english adaptation credit for the film… particularly since he has no other writing credits.)

Actors – Roberto Benigni – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; To Rome with Love; Night on Earth; Coffee and Cigarettes; Down by Law; Luna; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; BMT: Pinocchio; Son of the Pink Panther; Notes: Won the Best Actor Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Had a brief moment of fame in American film in the early 90s ending with Son of the Pink Panther.)

Also starring Nicoletta Braschi his costar in Life is Beautiful (and real life wife)

Budget/Gross – €40 million / Domestic: $3,684,305 (Worldwide: $41,323,171)

(An absolute travesty of a US release. Still 150th on the worst openings for a 600+ theater release (it opened at #19!), but obviously earned enough in Italy to break even (probably). The rumor is that it was well received in Italy and that a lot of the negative reaction here in the US was due to odd and off-putting voiceover choices. Sounds like it may have come down with a serious case of the Doogals.)

#13 for the Toys Come to Life genre

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(Normally I wouldn’t show this, but … what is this genre? Turns out it is Chucky movies, the Toy Story series, Pinocchio adaptations, and, of course, the classic smash hit Small Soldiers. We’ll just forget about Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. There is obviously no trends in the all-important toy’s coming to life genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/55): Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.

(Yuuuuuup you are reading this right. This is an extremely rare 0% on RT. To name some of the BMT films with 0%: A Thousand Words, Bucky Larson Born to be a Star, The Ridiculous 6, Mac and Me, Highlander II The Quickening, and American Anthem. And guess what? Pinocchio has more actual reviews than any of them! It really is incredible.)

Poster – Sklognocchio (B+)

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(This seems to be the primary poster. I like the base color and creativity used in both the image and the title font. Kinda striking and beautiful in its simplicity. And he can get away with it due to the popularity of the source material. Needs a tagline and almost too simple to be interesting, but doesn’t assault the senses.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F)

(Unacceptable.)

Keywords – fairy; Top Ten by BMeTric: 80.7 Movie 43 (2013); 56.1 Tooth Fairy (I) (2010); 47.8 Troll (1986); 47.1 Pinocchio (2002); 32.6 Pan (2015); 29.0 Arthur and the Great Adventure (2009); 27.5 Snow White and the Huntsman (2012); 27.2 Spanish Movie (2009); 27.1 Get Over It (2001); 25.9 Return to Never Land (2002);

(Interesting list. I still need to see Pan (not BMT unfortunately). Besides that the only for sure BMT film I think would be Get Over It which looks like an absolute travesty. I need to watch that film.)

Notes – This was the most expensive production in Italian film history, with a budget of about $45 million.

This is the first film in a non-English language to be nominated for Worst Picture at the Razzie Awards.

Roberto Benigni originally conceived this project as a collaboration, with Federico Fellini directing it. When Fellini died, Benigni became its director. (wow)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Roberto Benigni, Breckin Meyer)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roberto Benigni)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni)

Fair Game Preview

We are finishing up our first BMT Calendar cycle and boy what a success it was! The Calendar in a way represents the worst of the worst, so every week we had some gangbuster film on tap. Don’t be fooled though, the Calendar also hides days of the year where no truly spectacular critical flop ever was released. So like the mapl.de.map that came before it, the calendar will eventually descend into sadness and disarray (hooray). But we don’t live for the future. We live for the now! And now we are officially transitioning to my favorite cycle that we’ve done. It’s time for another Now a Major Motion Picture cycle! In this cycle all the films have to be based on a book (which I will also read cause I’m insane). We start off with the classic Fair Game starring Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin. It’s based on a small dime store thriller released in Britain as A Running Duck, which was released in the US under the title Fair Game, was adapted into the Sly Stallone BMT film Cobra, rereleased in the US under the title A Running Duck (Now Filmed as Cobra), adapted into Fair Game, and released under the title Fair Game. It was an absolute terror to find through my local public library, but that’s a story for next time. For now, let’s go!

Fair Game (1995) – BMeTric: 56.1

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(Only somewhat interesting for the fact that its rating over the last 10 years went down a bit and then up. Just a somewhat abnormal trend. Kind of crazy this movie I would have literally never heard of if not for BMT (and a movie we might not have done if not for book cycles being such a smash hit) has a 50+ BMeTric. The pull of Crawford in a rare acting role must elevate it beyond its expectations.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Totally pre-fab action thriller that almost looks as if producer Joel Silver is trying to satirize himself. Miami lawyer Crawford survives the requisite amount of firepower and fireballs during her pursuit by former KGB operatives. Baldwin is the cop trying to keep them both alive. Arguably the worst movie of 1995. In her acting debut, supermodel Crawford makes a good jogger.

(Acting debut!? Loving it! A very rare BOMB from Maltin, although his review is hardly scathing. The worst he says is what? That it is a pre-fab action thriller? People basically satirizing themselves is a new theme for BMT. I’m looking at you Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC3npzqwXcs

(That is a perfect BMT trailer. We have Billy Baldwin in his heyday looking sweet, whatever it is Cindy Crawford is doing and calling it acting, a mustachioed Shooter McGavin, explosions, more explosions, and even more explosions. Woooooo! Let’s do this! I’m excited! The night’s still young! Woooooo!)

Directors – Andrew Sipes – (BMT: Fair Game; Notes: One and done! One and done! A sparsely cited television writer prior to his break. He quit Hollywood in 1997 and is now a tech entrepreneur having founded eCasablanca, MyPermitting, OurHistree, and Our Stay. The latter two companies are certainly still functioning.)

Writers – Paula Gosling (novel) – (BMT: Fair Game; Cobra; Notes: Hilariously based on the same single book A Running Duck. And after both films they re-released the book under difference titles Otherwise a very successful crime novelist. )

Charlie Fletcher (screenplay) – (BMT: Fair Game; Mean Machine; Notes: Okay this guy’s filmography is amazing. He wrote Mean Machine in 2001 which is described as “A soccer star jailed for assault leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards.” … That’s the plot of The Longest Yard with soccer (and it is literally described as an adaptation of The Longest Yard on wikipedia!). He is now best known for writing the YA trilogy Stoneheart)

Actors – William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Flatliners; Born on the Fourth of July; Backdraft; The Squid and the Whale; Internal Affairs; Bulworth; Aftermath; Noise; Three of Hearts; Adrift in Manhattan; BMT: Virus; Fair Game; Sliver; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Actor for Sliver. Shockingly low number of BMT films in his filmography, although he has been mostly VOD/Direct-to-DVD for a long while.)

Cindy Crawford – (BMT: Fair Game; 54; The Simian Line; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, and Worst New Star for Fair Game. One of the most famous supermodels in history, also famous for the Pepsi Superbowl commercial in 1992 and was the wife of Richard Gere for a few years. Valedictorian of her high school class she got a scholarship to study Chemical Engineering (what what) at Northwestern, but dropped out to pursue modelling after one quarter.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million (estimated) / Domestic: $11,534,477

(Oooooof. We’ve been on quite the streak of box office bombs. That could explain a bit the popularity of this film relative to my expectations. People love a good box-office bomb. The bombs of the 80s and 90s particularly can be somewhat legendary for sinking studios (who couldn’t absorb failures as well as they can today seemingly). Cutthroat Island (which we still need to watch) comes to mind, which sunk Carolco pictures. Coincidentally Basic Instinct was also made by Carolco.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (3/24) No consensus, so bonus Ebert review snippet: Works as a thriller for anyone who lives entirely in the present. Those with longer memories will find the film grows increasingly funny as it rolls along.

(What Ebert is tactfully trying to say with the line, “Works as a thriller for anyone who lives entirely in the present,” is that it works for dumb people… you might like it if you’re dumb. If you are not dumb though you will merely find it funny… because of how dumb it is.)

Poster – Sklog Game (D)

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(Nope, I do not like this. I don’t like when people (and all their mish-mash of colors) are the focus of a poster, the font here is not interesting or unique, and the tagline is hilariously long. I guess it has OK blocking… or something.)

Tagline(s) – He’s a cop on the edge. She’s a woman with a dangerous secret. They’ve been targeted by the Russian Mob, and now they’re both… (D)

(Fair Game… to finish the tagline for you. Way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too long, but doesn’t get an F because I didn’t feel like giving it an F. So there.)

Keywords – russian top 10 BMeTric examples: 82.5 Street Fighter (1994), 78.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), 57.8 Tekken (2010), 57.5 Virus (1999), 57.1 A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), 56.1 Fair Game (1995), 52.7 Jupiter Ascending (2015), 51.7 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 49.1 Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (2006), 49.1 Red Dawn (2012)

(The Pacifier and Mortdecai were also close to cracking this sweet top ten. This will be our fifth seen in the top ten, and Superman 4 and Virus in particular will definitely be on the docket in future BMTs. I have no idea what actually makes any of these things “russian”. Like … I guess Zangief makes Street Fighter get the “Russian” keyword?)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Cindy Crawford)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (William Baldwin, Cindy Crawford)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Cindy Crawford)

Notes – The Paula Gosling novel the movie is based on was previously the basis for the 1986 movie Cobra (1986) with Sylvester Stallone.

Julianne Moore and Geena Davis were originally considered for the role of Kate McQueen.

Brooke Shields and Drew Barrymore were each offered the role of Kate McQueen, but both turned down the part.

Originally set in San Francisco, changed to Miami to suit Sylvester Stallone, who subsequently left the project. (Ha, no fucking way. Was Sylvester Stallone attached to both adaptations of the book A Running Duck?! I want to live in that universe please)

Salma Hayek only took her part in the film after insisting that she rewrite it (good idea!)

Basic Instinct 2 Preview

This week we move right back into our Calendar cycle for the Razzie entry. Since the calendar is amazing and affords us amazing choices for movies each week, we of course were able to choose a past Razzie Worst Picture winner! That’s right, we are watching 2006’s Basic Instinct 2! Quite literally the sequel that no one was asking for (and perhaps many begging Hollywood not to make). Released on March 31st, it beat out The Skulls for the honor. Thank God. We’ve (obviously) already seen The Skulls. Let’s go!

Basic Instinct 2 (2006) – BMeTric: 72.4

BasicInstinct2_BMeT

BasicInstinct2_RV

(Obviously considering the current score it isn’t too shocking that the historical profile is pretty mundane. And now that we know all about the regression to the mean even the vote/rating plot is kind of boring. Reaching 4.0 is kind of expected. Up to 4.3 is starting to get a bit above average. It could be because of the recent erotic thriller comeback … but nah, probably just random.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Long-gestating sequel to the notorious 1992 hit isn’t the embarrassment you might have expected – or hoped for. What should have been high camp is instead a rather dull psychological-sexual thriller in which slippery novelist Catherine Tramell is up to her old tricks in London when a male companion turns up dead in her car. Did she or didn’t she? Stone makes the best of this and looks sensational while the impressive British cast tried hard to keep it afloat.

(Wow, I was not expecting the classic two star Maltin for this one. I like his creeper comment on how good Stone looks, keep it up Maltin. Dull is bad, but perhaps he was so distracted by the gorgeous magnificence of Stone that he couldn’t focus on the enthralling psycho-sexual thrill-ride that was this film? We’ll have to see.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhNFW1AXLOg

(My God. So 2006, the music, the way they shot London, the crazy car stunts in the middle of a purported erotic thriller. The entire thing almost seems like a parody of itself in a weird way. Like they made a trailer for a fake movie sequel for April Fools Day.)

Directors – Michael Caton-Jones – (Known For: This Boy’s Life; Doc Hollywood; Rob Roy; Memphis Belle; City by the Sea; Scandal; BMT: Basic Instinct 2; The Jackal; Notes: He has bad-mouthed this film and Sharon Stone several times in interviews over the years and openly admits he only did it for the money. Despite this, he does a commentary for the film, which is very exciting. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Director for Basic Instinct 2)

Writers – Leora Barish (written by) – (Known For: Desperately Seeking Susan; BMT: Basic Instinct 2; Notes: Currently resides in New York and runs a sustainable farm school for vetrens. Won the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Screenplay for Basic Instinct 2)

Henry Bean (written by) – (Known For: Internal Affairs; The Believer; Deep Cover; Noise; Almayer’s Folly; BMT: Basic Instinct 2; Notes: Also directed The Believer and wrote a novel adapted from his screenplay. Won the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Screenplay for Basic Instinct 2)

Joe Eszterhas (characters) – (Known For: Basic Instinct; Jagged Edge; Betrayed; F.I.S.T.; Telling Lies in America; Music Box; Hearts of Fire; Children of Glory; BMT: Basic Instinct 2; Showgirls; Sliver; Jade; Nowhere to Run; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Flashdance; Notes: Bad movie legend. He started his career in journalism, but was mired in some controversy, including losing a ‘false light’ case in front of the Supreme Court. Won the Razzie Award in 1999 for Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Screenplay, Worst New Star, and Worst Original Song for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Won the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Screenplay for Showgirls; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Screenplay for Jade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Screenplay for Sliver; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1984 for Worst Screenplay for Flashdance)

Actors – Sharon Stone – (Known For: Alpha Dog; Casino; Basic Instinct; Total Recall; The Quick and the Dead; Lovelace; Antz; Bobby; Broken Flowers; Above the Law; Fading Gigolo; The Mighty; Stardust Memories; Irreconcilable Differences; The Muse; Beautiful Joe; Bolero; BMT: Catwoman; Basic Instinct 2; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Sliver; Cold Creek Manor; The Specialist; King Solomon’s Mines; Diabolique; Action Jackson; Intersection; Simpatico; Gloria; Sphere; Last Action Hero; He Said, She Said; Deadly Blessing; Last Dance; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Casino. Bad movie legend, as you can see from her Razzie street cred. Frequent visitor to the fair island of Martha’s Vineyard.)

Sharon Stone Razzie Cred: Won the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Actress for Basic Instinct 2; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Supporting Actress for Catwoman; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screen Couple for Catwoman; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actress for Gloria; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst New Star for Diabolique, and Last Dance; Won the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Actress for Intersection, and The Specialist; Won the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Screen Couple for The Specialist; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Actress for Sliver; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1988 for Worst Actress for Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold

Also stars David Morrissey and David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in Harry Potter)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $5,971,336 (Worldwide: $38,629,478)

(Oh my … oh … oh my. That is not great. That is just … not very good.)

#33 for the Thriller – Erotic genre

eroticthrillerAnalysis

(Sigh, if only I lived in the early 90’s once again. Fatal Attraction (1987) and Basic Instinct (1992) ushered in a heyday of erotic thrillers including BMT legend Color of Night (1994). The waves in the graph are interesting, like they saturate the market and then feel a cooling off period. And each wave smaller than the last. A slowly dying genre. But one I hope to see revived once again in the future. Until then though, enjoy one of the worst I suppose)

#43 for the Thriller – Serial Killer genre

serialkillerthrillerAnalysis

(oooof, what was our fascination with serial killers in the 2000s? The show Dexter was right in there as well. This comes right before one last hurrah in the genre before a complete and utter collapse. And recently (The Following, Hannibal) the genre has gotten play in a little wave, but is probably dying again. Looking through things it was basically the Saw series sustaining that, and looking at the actual money being made the genre is kind of moving to microbudget/VOD releases I think. The movie, incredibly, marks an attempt at two 90s genres that are both now on the brink of total collapse. Fascinating.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (10/150): Unable to match the suspense and titilation of its predecessor, Basic Instinct 2 boasts a plot so ludicrous and predictable it borders on “so-bad-it’s-good.”

(Sorry, I’m getting a bit distracted by what appears to be a typo in the consensus there. Apparently “titillation” is spelled with two L’s. Very very odd. Sign me up for a ludicrously plotted erotic thriller all fucking day though.)

Poster – Sklogal Instinct 2 (C-)

basic_instinct_two_ver3

(Just like with The Day the Earth Stood Still I think it’s generally a mistake to have a skewed perspective in the poster (which is the effect that the weird shadow creates). I do like the idea that the poster is from the point of view of someone getting murdered and we are looking through his half-closed eyelids. Interesting and artsy and polished in that way. The brown tone isn’t great and too much going on, though, so overall slightly below average. If they had kept it a bit simpler it probably would have gotten a much better grade.)

Tagline(s) – Everything interesting begins in the mind. (F… I think.)

(I can’t believe this ended up on the poster… what does it mean?! It’s an unsolvable riddle. This is one of the worst and most incomprehensible taglines I’ve ever seen for a film.)

Keywords – psychiatrist top 10 BMeTric examples: 73.9 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), 72.4 Basic Instinct 2 (2006), 71.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 68.3 Psycho (1998), 66.6 Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), 62.8 Abduction (2011), 61.3 Pulse (2006), 56.9 Dr. T and the Women (2000), 55.9 Poltergeist III (1988), 54.5 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

(I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see all the horror films on the list. Psychology, of course, often plays a prominent role in horror. Either in the form of dealing with past trauma or by those attempting to understand the machinations of madmen. The Halloween series, interestingly, often has both. Donald Pleasence plays a prominent role in five of the Halloween films, whereas in the long running series the “survivors” of each movie often deal with the psychological aftermath in subsequent movies. Not a pure keyword, but interesting.)

Notes – Michael Douglas declined to reprise his role from the original movie, admitting that he felt he was too old for the part. (yah think?)

Robert Downey Jr. was set to star but had to drop out when he was charged with drug possession. Kurt Russell was attached at some point but bailed out because he felt uncomfortable with the nudity. Pierce Brosnan refused to play the male lead role because of distasteful elements. Bruce Greenwood was set to star but dropped out because he hadn’t been signed on yet and feared the actors strike. Benjamin Bratt was banned by Sharon Stone for not being a good actor. (Poor Benjamin Bratt. Also, these casting choices must go back a while. RDJr. hasn’t been busted for drug possession since 2001)

Before agreeing to perform the full-frontal nude scene, Sharon Stone invited a friend over to watch the original Basic Instinct (1992). During the film, Stone, by her own admission, stripped down totally naked and asked her friend if she could “still pull it off.”

Rupert Everett publicly expressed his anger after being turned down to star opposite Sharon Stone by MGM CEO Chris McGurk for being “pervert who would never be accepted by the American public in this role”.

The film was originally intended to be made in 2000. (there we go)

Sharon Stone agreed to reprise her role of Catherine Tremell in a “pay or play” arrangement, meaning she got fully paid, whether the film would ultimately be made or not.

Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Gabriel Byrne, Javier Bardem, Benicio Del Toro, Viggo Mortensen and Aaron Eckhart were all in the running to star opposite Sharon Stone at one point. (So many people considered and yet they ended up with David Morrissey… huh)

David Cronenberg was in talks to the direct the film for some time. John McTiernan was set to direct after Cronenberg bailed out due to producer Mario Kassar banning him from using his own cinematographer, production designer, and the rest of his usual team. (sound like a lot of people were banning other people)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sharon Stone)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel or Sequel

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Leora Barish, Henry Bean, Joe Eszterhas)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (David Thewlis)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Caton-Jones)

Warcraft Preview

It’s the time you’ve all been waiting for! BMT Live. It’s the break in the cycle where Patrick and I take valuable time out of our busy schedule to head to the theater, plunk down our hard earned cash, and watch the worst that Hollywood has to offer (that is playing concurrently in London). If you follow the movie scene at all you might have already realized that Hollywood has provided a golden BMT opportunity in Warcraft. Not only did it get largely negative reviews, but is also far and away the most lopsided domestic/foreign grossing film in history. While it literally broke records overseas, it straight bombed here. A true curiosity. Additionally, because of the solid reception by fans it will almost certainly be the lowest BMeTric scoring film we’ve ever watched. It really couldn’t be missed by us. Almost a BMysTery in and of itself. Let’s go!

Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) – BMeTric: 1.1

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(Ha. Obviously not much here at the moment. Although fun to see a film like this in action. Sitting at a 7.6 on IMDb Warcraft is an objectively good movie according to that metric, and so obviously the BMeTric is depressed. I liked this movie for Live! Because of how divisive it is. At one point it was under 20% on rotten tomatoes and internet brains were melting. So we’ll see how the BMeTric develops over time. I have a feeling though this will be a sub 15 BMeT for a long time, and yet I’m somewhat confident it will make the Razzie longlist for consideration. We’ll see.)

Rogerebert.com (Christie Lemire) – 1/2 stars –  It is brutal. It is repetitive. It is numbing. And just as it’s ending, “Warcraft” leaves all kinds of plot threads dangling for the ambitious possibility of a sequel. But you’ll be likely to cry “Game Over” because this first one is easily a contender for the worst movie of the year.

(Wow. I wasn’t expecting this review to be quite this brutal. This movie seemed ripe for the classic Leonard Maltin 2 stars “Terrible movie, fun visuals” type of review where you can’t quite figure out where the extra stars are coming from. But rogerebert.com went for the jugular and took this thing down. Gaining confidence in our choice)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rxoz13Bthc

(I believe this is the second trailer. The first trailer was an absolute catastrophe and was when I had a slight inkling this movie probably wouldn’t break the video game adaptation streak. This looks slightly better than that, but still. Leans heavily on the visuals with a somewhat trite seeming story, pretty standard for high fantasy actually.)

Directors – Duncan Jones – (Known For: Moon; Source Code; BMT: Warcraft; Notes: David Bowie’s son, Jones became somewhat of an indie darling with Moon. Subsequently Moon, due to how much of a “little known gem” it is on the internet, has become a meme related to high school aged male cinephiles. Which is unfortunate because Moon is a pretty nice little Sci Fi film, just don’t ever tell anyone you saw it because we all know … it is a hidden gem of a movie.)

Writers – Duncan Jones (screenplay) – (Known For: Moon; BMT: Warcraft; Notes: His middle name is Zowie.)

Charles Leavitt (screenplay) – (Known For: In the Heart of the Sea; Blood Diamond; K-PAX; The Express; The Mighty; BMT: Seventh Son; The Sunchaser; Warcraft; Notes:  A prolific re-writer, his two main bad movie credits (Seventh Son and Warcraft) are rewrites of others works. Born in Pittsburgh, PA.)

Chris Metzen (story and characters) – (BMT: Warcraft; Notes: Well known game designer for Blizzard covering Diablo, Starcraft, all of the iterations of Warcraft, and most recently Overwatch.)

Actors – Travis Fimmel – (Known For: Maggie’s Plan; BMT: Surfer, Dude; The Baytown Outlaws; Warcraft; Notes: A former Australian model discovered working out in a gym in Melbourne. He eventually turned to acting as a career over modelling. Well known for his leading role in the show Vikings.)

Paula Patton – (Known For: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Deja Vu; 2 Guns; Precious; Hitch; About Last Night; Disconnect; Just Wright; Jumping the Broom; Idlewild; BMT: Baggage Claim; Mirrors; Warcraft; Notes: At one point she provided background vocals for Usher. Former wife of Robin Thicke, he has promised to win her back through the power of song, mmmhmmmm)

Ben Foster – (Known For: The Finest Hours; X-Men: The Last Stand; Lone Survivor; The Program; 3:10 to Yuma; Alpha Dog; Hell or High Water; 30 Days of Night; Phone Booth; Big Trouble; Kill Your Darlings; Contraband; The Mechanic; 11:14; The Messenger; Rampart; Get Over It; Ain’t Them Bodies Saints; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Liberty Heights; BMT: 360; The Punisher; Hostage; Pandorum; Warcraft; Notes: Best known to me as the kid in Flash Forward. He’s put together a pretty impressive resume of smaller films since then in his transition from a child actor. Born in Boston.)

Budget/Gross – $160 million / Domestic: $24,356,000 (Worldwide: $286,100,000)

(Will be a resounding financial success internationally, but is going to be an absurd Pacific Rim level catastrophe domestically. Like Pacific Rim I fully expect Legendary, which was just bought out by a Chinese company, to pump out sequels geared toward Chinese audiences going forward (see: Transformers 4 which focuses heavily on Chinese product placement in the back half of the film which was set in Hong Kong I believe).)

#190 for the 3D genre

3dAnalysis

(Again, I like these because there is just so much data it makes a pretty plot. 3D has been going down a bit (I would guess because tentpoles have been sucking up IMAX showings with or without 3D and so there are marginally less theaters available for 3D releases). I will, sadly, likely see this film in 3D, so that makes me sad. Not that I hate 3D, I just don’t want to pay for 3D for this movie).

#64 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

liveactionfantasyAnalysis

(Will probably end up near Hansel and Gretel and between the two recent bombs in Huntsman and Alice Through the Looking Glass. This genre saw quite the surge after Lord of the Rings I would guess and seems to be a pretty consistent genre since then.)

#15 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

swordandsorceryAnalysis

(It is kind of useless to compare Warcraft to these now, but it looks like it is going to take somewhere in the 50-60 million range domestic … which is absurd. That will most likely be less that fucking Willow! Anyways, I think people were putting too much stock into this movie anyways. Look at these last three plots and realize something: All of these genres aren’t really “surging”, but rather have kind of been consistent in production and performance since 2000. Nothing is really hinging on Warcraft’s success beyond maybe video game adaptations (and they still got their best shot coming, Assassin’s Creed).)

#21 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

videogameadaptationAnalysis

(The good news is Warcraft should make the top ten in the genre. The bad news is that domestically it will now probably be at best the third highest grossing video game adaptation of the year. The genre is surprisingly consistently produced considering literally no video game adaptation has ever reached even the modest benchmark of 50% on rotten tomatoes. The best ever reviewed? Final Fantasy Spirits Within (I saw that in theaters, go me) at 44%. The best on metacritic was Mortal Kombat btw. It really is quite dire, over 15 years that RT record has stood).

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (34/127): Warcraft has visual thrills to spare, but they — and director Duncan Jones’ distinctive gifts — are wasted on a sluggish and derivative adaptation of a bestselling game with little evident cinematic value.

(See above for some commentary on the RT score. Basically this did nothing to help the cause in getting video game adaptations taken more seriously by critics. This film is incredibly divisive. On the internet there is much debate about the stark contrast between critic reviews and audience reviews. And yet people openly admit that the movie is in fact derivative and possessing little cinematic value. The question you have to ask yourself is: is merely being entertaining the benchmark for success for a movie like this? And this is why I’m actually genuinely interested in seeing this film)

Poster – Sklogcraft (C-)

warcraft_ver8_xlg

(I don’t like it, but I feel like I should. Like I’m an old man and behind the times and that I should somehow understand that this poster is good. But I don’t. I think it is terrible. I think it looks old, and is silly, and I hate the colors, and it is busy, and blah. I don’t like it. [Jamie’s Note: Check out The Avengers poster that is graded an F- for being the worst thing I have ever seen? Look familiar? Wow.])

Tagline(s) – Two worlds. One destiny. (B+)

(I like it. Good cadence. Short. Does a little to get across the basic plot. It is still a little vague. Like, if I was staring at the poster what does that sentence mean? But after watching the trailer it makes sense, so only a bit of a minus there.)

Keywords – based on video game Top 10 BMeTric examples: 82.4 Street Fighter (1994), 81.2 Alone in the Dark (2005), 79.1 House of the Dead (2003), 78.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), 78.6 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), 78.3 BloodRayne (2005), 77.1 Super Mario Bros. (1993), 69.9 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), 63.8 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), 62.4 Wing Commander (1999)

(Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and House of the Dead are all Uwe Boll. DOA will be watched for BMT as some point. Other landmark movies above 20 BMeTric are Max Payne, the entire Resident Evil series, and both Lara Croft movies. Unfortunately a cycle really can’t be made out of it, but it sounds like it is ripe for the Sequel Cycle we are planning. We have seen 12 of 34 20+ BMeTric movies based on a video game, although I would argue that maybe 26 actually qualify. I mean, I’m going to watch all of the Pokemon movies, just not in the context of BMT)

Notes – Director Uwe Boll contacted Blizzard about directing the film, but Blizzard refused. As quoted by MTV news Uwe Boll stated: “I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, ‘We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you. Because it’s such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it.” (Good fucking choice considering he directed 6 of the top 12 BMeTric video game adaptations)

The source for the movie adaptation is being taken from the books “Rise of the Horde”, which tells how the Orcish Horde was formed; as well as “The Last Guardian”, which shows the human side and reaction to Orcish invasion. (Oh well I guess I should have read this book… but nope. I did not.)

The film was going to be released in December 2015 but was pushed back to May 2016 to avoid the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). (Again solid choice)

Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided in terms of the two factions (Horde and Alliance). after signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story. (ehhhhhh, probably not a great choice)

Bill Westenhofer, the lead visual effects supervisor for the film, is a long time World of Warcraft player and has mentioned getting up at 2 AM to raid with his guild while on film sets. Robert Kazinsky is also a die hard Warcraft player and recalls producers telling him to turn the game off while on the set of Pacific Rim (2013). (uh oh, you mean you intentionally signed someone who worked on the other gigantic domestic catastrophe for Legendary, Pacific Rim? Yikes)

An Orcish dialect was created specifically for the movie. (And people will undoubtedly learn it. I look forward to it. Let’s leave it there).

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Preview

Alright, so we are moving on to the Sci-Fi entry of our Calendar cycle and watching a film that has been on the BMT radar for years. Mostly this is due to its star, who is bad movie royalty. That’s right, we’re watching The Day the Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves. It was released on December 12th, 2008 beating out the likes of Exodus: Gods and Kings, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, For Richer or Poorer, Home Alone 3, The Golden Child, and Delgo for a place on the calendar. Wow! That’s a murderers row. I’m actually surprised that we ended up going with The Day the Earth Stood Still for December 12th. Delgo is one of the biggest bombs in film history and has terrible reviews to boot. It’s a good thing though because our calendar is lacking in Sci-Fi. Without further ado, let’s go!

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) – BMeTric: 48.6

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(Pretty boring BMeTric plot, but look, we found one! It’s been a while, but this is a movie which starts basically above its eventual mean rating and moves down. If you remember the regression plot 6.0 to start is pretty much the crossover point, so while this is well within normal expectations we could be seeing a bit of a Transformers effect. A movie which gets a bad reputation which drives its rating downwards (unusual for bad movies). The amount of votes this movie got is also startling, for such a giant domestic bomb I find that a little strange.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Strange visitor from another planet arrives on Earth in a giant sphere and adopts human form. The government and the military respond with hostility and weapons but super-smart biologist Connelly makes a personal connection with the alien – though her young stepson (Smith) isn’t as easily won over. Pallis remake of the 1951 classic turns Klaatu into a cipher and dissipates the impact of the story.  

(Having already watched the original in preparation for the remake I’m not sure I like that they seem to have merged the female lead and the mathematician into a single character (Connelly). I feel like that dissipates the impact of the story.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ16Rzi-lfA

(Daaaaannnnnggggggg! They made it a straight action film. That’s unsurprising, but the original is more like a Hitchcock film, so I was kind of expecting and hoping for a suspenseful thriller. Oh well.)

Directors – Scott Derrickson – (Known For: Sinister; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; BMT: The Day the Earth Stood Still; Deliver Us from Evil; Notes: Officially in the Marvel Universe fold as he is directing and writing the Doctor Strange film.)

Writers – David Scarpa (screenplay) – (Known For: The Last Castle; BMT: The Day the Earth Stood Still; Notes: Has been attached to write a Daredevil reboot and currently involved in writing a Cleopatra film.)

Edmund H. North (1951 screenplay) – (Known For: Patton; The Day the Earth Stood Still; In a Lonely Place; Sink the Bismarck!; Damn the Defiant!; One Night of Love; BMT: The Day the Earth Stood Still; Meteor; Notes: Won a screenwriting Oscar for Patton. Died in 1990 at age 79.)

Actors – Keanu Reeves – (Known For: Keanu; The Neon Demon; John Wick; The Matrix; Point Break; The Devil’s Advocate; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; Dracula; The Replacements; The Matrix Reloaded; Constantine; Speed; Something’s Gotta Give; Much Ado About Nothing; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; The Gift; A Scanner Darkly; My Own Private Idaho; Parenthood; Dangerous Liaisons; A Walk in the Clouds; The Private Lives of Pippa Lee; Man of Tai Chi; BMT: Knock Knock; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; Exposed; The Watcher; Johnny Mnemonic; Chain Reaction; Generation Um…; Feeling Minnesota; 47 Ronin; Youngblood; Hard Ball; Notes: Obviously huge actor in the BMTverse. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Razzie Loser of Our First 25 Years; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2002 for Worst Actor for Hard Ball, and Sweet November; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for The Watcher; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst Actor for Chain Reaction; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Actor for Johnny Mnemonic, and A Walk in the Clouds; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Supporting Actor for Much Ado About Nothing;)

Also starring Jennifer Connelly (from BMT classic Winter’s Tale) and Kathy Bates – (from BMT Classics: Tammy, North, Failure to Launch, Valentine’s Day, and American Outlaws! She’s a secret BMT legend!)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $79,366,978 (Worldwide: $233,093,859)

(Fairly successful for what it was. Opened with a reasonable $30.4 million and then dropped like a rock.)

#8 for the Environmentalist genre – Movies concerned with the cause or promoting it.

environmentAnalysis

(Anyone else find it funny that the waves seem to follow Democratic presidents almost perfectly? Doesn’t bode well for those fearing a Trump presidency, looks like environmentalism in film is out at the moment. This one came literally at the peak of environmentalism oriented films)

#117 for the IMAX (Feature-length) genre

imaxAnalysis

(I almost didn’t even generate this one, but this is amazing! First how it just goes up and up. Second, because of how stable the monetary output from IMAX movies has been. If only all the genre plots had this much data too, so smooth and nice to look at.)

#21 for the Sci-Fi – Alien Invasion genre

scifialieninvasionAnalysis

(The big peak around ‘95 is obviously Independence Day. Seems like a rare case because this movie kind of came right as the genre was rising. We are coming down from a big peak (like Battle Los Angeles, Skyline, and Cowboys and Aliens from a few years back), but I’m wondering if the new Independence Day pulls a Jurassic World whether we might see that trend change a bit).

#8 for the Sci-Fi Remake genre

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(I love the remake categories because you can see the “waves” as remakes are used in between (presumably) times in which more original properties are made. This is kind of messy, but as usual this movie comes as the back end of one of these waves, although the money always seems to be there for the sci fi remakes maybe. We seem to be entering one of the short troughs at the moment perhaps)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (40/191): Heavy on special effects, but without a coherent story at its base, The Day the Earth Stood Still is subpar re-imagining of the 1951 science-fiction classic.

(That’s funny that they remade a classic film (that clearly has a coherent story) and seemingly removed or ignored the story in favor of special effects. That sounds like a terrible idea.)

Poster – The Day the Sklog Stood Still (D-)

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(Dear God. The only thing good about this is the green and blue tone. Otherwise this is an absolute disaster. Only didn’t get an F because it’s not the poster for The Avengers.)

Tagline(s) – 12.12.08 is the Day the Earth Stood Still (F)

(That’s an F, as in fuck that noise.)

Notes – Renowned astronomer Seth Shostak was hired as a consultant on the film. He reviewed the script several times for errors, and gave suggestions for making the scientists less dry: “Real scientists don’t describe an object entering the solar system as ‘notable for the fact that it was not moving in an asteroidal ellipse, but moving at nearly 3*10 to the 7 meters per second’. More likely, they would say that there was ‘a god-damned rock headed our way!'” He also noted the scientists should refer to one another by a first name basis. (This could be our jobs I feel like. Because he isn’t wrong. I never walked around calling my coworkers doctor. The notes make perfect sense, although probably would seem comedic and strange in a Sci Fi film).

In the original movie, Gort was 8 feet tall. In the remake, he is now 28 feet tall. (Which seems like a strange move to me, just why? It begs the question).

In Harry Bates’ short story ‘Farewell to the Master’, upon which the movie is based, the last line revealed a dramatically different angle. It reads: “‘You misunderstand,’ the mighty robot had said. ‘I am the master.'” (yeah, and the original adaptation totally ignored this as well… obviously the new one wasn’t based on the story. It’s based on the film, duh.)

Keanu Reeves recorded the line “Klaatu barada nikto” twice, and one recording was played backward and spliced with the other (which was left normal) to make the overall dialog sound more otherworldly.

According to the filmmakers, John Cleese was the most difficult choice in casting as he was primarily noted for comic roles. Cleese felt that at his age, a dramatic role with subtle humour would be an easier role to play rather than another manic old man.

The film was primarily filmed in tones of green and blue, the Earth’s natural colours.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel