What Goes Up Preview

So now you probably looked at the title of this email and were all like “Crikey! WTF is What Goes Up, mate?” Again, this is a byproduct of mapl.de.map. A symptom of the underlying disease. As we get the last couple states we’re going to get weirder, and weirder, and weirder. What Goes Up is actually our Chain Reaction. By good fortune we happened to be able to find this film connecting to our last Chain Reaction, Cheaper By the Dozen, through Hilary Duff and it happens to take place in the great state of New Hampshire. Now you’re probably all like “Oy! Didn’t we already get NH with Grown Ups 2, mate? That’s not a knife. This is a knife. Put another shrimp on the barbie.” You’d be right, and yet so wrong. Turns out that Grown Ups 2 probably didn’t take place in New Hampshire (shocking, I know). Upon review of the tape, we determined that in all likelihood it actually took place in CT (we are in talks with Netflix to get this confirmed directly with Adam). So we had to call a quick audible and grab a new NH in this final cycle. If we hadn’t I would have been able to look at the map with nothing but shame rather than the sad, misplaced pride that I currently feel when staring longingly at my baby. So beautiful. Let’s go!


What Goes Up (2009) – BMeTric: 11.7 (July 9th, 2016)

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WhatGoesUp_RV

(A pretty unusual plot for two reasons. First, the archive caught a super early snapshot of the IMDb page so the rating was an absurd 8.0+ which makes the whole ratings plot look ridiculous. In reality the rating didn’t really move much more that one would expect with regression to the mean. But, they you have that kind of weird jump from 5.3 to 5.7 very very late in its life which significantly drops the BMeTric. That is weird. Did it find an audience, is it British viewers rallying to defend Coogan, was it his relatively celebrity increasing at that point in time? Unsure, but it is strange. NOTE: Analysis written on July 9, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Interesting but odd, sometimes off-putting film, set in 1986, about a cynical N.Y.C. newspaper reporter who goes to New Hampshire to write about a teacher who’s traveling on the NASA space shuttle. Instead he falls in with a group of misfit high school kids who are mourning the death of a teacher who was their champion – and hero. Well acted but it’s uncertain what the point is supposed to be.

(Odd and off-putting? Sounds like the reviews for my Christmas album I’m Dreaming of a Sklog Christmas. The whole plot described here sounds like it could be in bad taste, but we’ll see.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyyjv-oRu0g

(It’s funny that they used a trailer from 1996 for a film that came out in 2009… just think it’s an interesting choice. The whole tone of the film seems off. Almost like the trailer for Gooby, which makes it look like a family film when it’s clearly a horror film)

Director(s) – Jonathan Glatzer – (BMT: What Goes Up. Notes: This is his only major work in film, but currently a writer for the Netflix series Bloodline.)

Writer(s) – Jonathan Glatzer (written by) – (BMT: What Goes Up. Notes: Worked at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire as a screenwriting fellow.)

Robert Lawson – (BMT: What Goes Up; Notes: Also served as Hilary Duff’s acting coach on the set of What Goes Up. Uh oh.)

Actors – Steve Coogan – (Known For: Hot Fuzz; Philomena; Tropic Thunder; Despicable Me 2; The Other Guys; Night at the Museum; The Trip; Hamlet 2; Ruby Sparks; Our Idiot Brother; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; 24 Hour Party People; Minions; Coffee and Cigarettes; In the Loop; The Trip To Italy; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian; Alan Partridge. BMT: Around the World in 80 Days; Marmaduke; What Goes Up. Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for writing and producing Philomena.)

Hilary Duff – (Known For: The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Human Nature. BMT: A Cinderella Story; The Perfect Man; Raise Your Voice; Material Girls; Cheaper by the Dozen; Agent Cody Banks; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Stay Cool; What Goes Up; War Inc. Notes: Nominated for the Razzie in 2007 for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple for Material Girls; Nominated for the Razzie in 2006 for Worst Actress for Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Perfect Man; Nominated for the Razzie in 2005 for Worst Actress for A Cinderella Story, Raise Your Voice; Wow, three years in a row!)

Also stars Molly Shannon.

Budget/Gross: N/A / N/A

(Yup. I’m unashamed. This movie did not get a release. Not the first, not the last. But just enough in my opinion. We only use it when we need to.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% (5/31), Critics Consensus: What Goes Up squanders the charisma of Steve Coogan with a lazy screenplay, contrived plotting, and overall poor production.

(But… but… but… don’t you expect overall poor production when the budget is N/A? Honestly though, this sounds like trash.)

Poster – What Goes Sklog (A+)

what_goes_up

(I love this poster. Just appealing to the eye and nice coloring.)

Tagline(s) – A Different Class of Misfits (C+)

(This is perfect, in the sense that it is indeed a series of words in the shape of a tagline. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean though… I guess just that they are misfits and are in school… but nothing else informative. I wonder what makes them so much different than other misfits. Guess I’ll have to watch and find out.)

Keywords – suicide; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.1 House of the Dead (2003); 78.7 Skyline (2010); 77.0 The Room (2003); 76.8 RoboCop 3 (1993); 76.8 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 76.3 The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009); 74.4 Anaconda (1997); 72.2 The Devil Inside (2012); 71.6 Dragon Wars (2007); 69.8 Ouija (II) (2014);

(First, what a downer. Sorry guys. Second, super competitive category with just about 5000 movies having this keyword on IMDb! Third, yeah some of these don’t sound right … like, was there a suicide in Skyline? It is a super big stretch. I think Anaconda and Legend of Hercules are also probably stretches, where, at the very least, suicide doesn’t play a huge rule. Alas, such is the problems with data-scraping IMDb. NOTE: Analysis written on July 9, 2016)

Notes – The film was in production for many years. Originally Mandy Moore was cast as Lucy, Michelle Williams was cast as Tess and Peter Sarsgaard was cast as Campbell. Later, Steve Coogan was cast as Campbell and Amber Tamblyn was cast as Tess, Kelli Garner was cast as Peggy, Paul Dano was cast as Jim, Alison Pill was cast as Ann and the singer Nellie McKay was cast as Sue . In early 2008 all six dropped out and Amanda Seyfried was given the role of the character Peggy. She was then cast as Sophie in the film Mamma Mia! (2008) and dropped out of What Goes Up (2009) and was replaced by Sarah Lind. Hilary Duff and Olivia Thirlby were then cast in the roles of Lucy and Tess respectively. Josh Peck, Ingrid Nilson and Andrea Brooks were then cast in the roles of Jim, Ann and Sue respectively. (this is amazing. I love this note).

A Thousand Acres Preview

Well we continue our march to mapl.de.map history. This week is girls’ night out and we get to watch a little classic known as A Thousand Acres… what’s that? No one actually knows what that is? Well it’s based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Jane Smiley (which I read, obvs) about a family of farmers in Northern Iowa. The plot loosely follows that of King Lear and the book was excellent. Apparently the movie was not as excellent. We’ll see though. This obviously takes the Iowa spot on the map, which I’m saving to update in the near future. Let’s go!

A Thousand Acres (1997) – BMeTric: 14.2 (November 13, 2016)

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(Pretty classic older movie plot. Votes go up, rating regresses to the mean, BMeTric reaches a plateau. The votes are so low that the BMeTric is generally below average for a bad movie. Expected. Commentary generated on November 13, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – When a stubborn, single-minded widowed father decides to relinquish ownership of his farm to his three daughters, a family is abruptly torn apart, and long-held secrets come out of the closet. The only thing missing from this melodrama is character motivation, which presumably did exist in Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a variation on King Lear. A hollow film notable only for the strong performances of the two leading ladies (whose companies jointly produced the film).

(Well, having read the novel I will admit that the character motivations are a bit hazy but mostly because everything is told from a particular point of view. The character who tells the story is naive and a bit too optimistic, so she is generally blind to the underlying motives of several of the major characters… you know, to be totally serious and analytical about this whole thing. Long story short: don’t talk about things you don’t know anything about Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGH5iZZxFBg

(“A story of family…” wait, wot? This is coming off a bit too ‘gee whiz, guys we can work this out cause we’re FAMILY’ (you know, like Furious 7), when the novel is not that… definitely not that. What a weird trailer.)

Director(s) – Jocelyn Moorhouse – (Known For: How to Make an American Quilt; Proof. BMT: A Thousand Acres; Unconditional Love. Notes: Her imdb picture is of her reading A Thousand Acres. She hasn’t done anything in film since this movie, but is returning to writing and directing this year with the release of The Dressmaker staring Kate Winslet. Wow.)

Writer(s) – Laura Jones (screenplay) – (Known For: Angela’s Ashes; Possession; The Portrait of a Lady; Oscar and Lucinda; An Angel at My Table; Brick Lane; The Well; High Tide. BMT: A Thousand Acres. Notes: Has mostly worked on literary adaptations to mostly great results.)

Actors – Michelle Pfeiffer – (Known For: Scarface; What Lies Beneath; Batman Returns; Hairspray; One Fine Day; Stardust; Wolf; The Age of Innocence; Dangerous Liaisons; Ladyhawke; I Could Never Be Your Woman; White Oleander; The Witches of Eastwick; Love Field; The Fabulous Baker Boys. BMT: I Am Sam; The Family; Dangerous Minds; Dark Shadows; Grease 2; The Story of Us; Up Close & Personal; New Year’s Eve (BMT); A Thousand Acres. Notes: Nominated for three Oscars (Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Love Field))

Jessica Lange – (Known For: Big Fish; Cape Fear; Tootsie; Rob Roy; The Gambler; Broken Flowers; All That Jazz; Titus; The Postman Always Rings Twice; King Kong; Frances; Blue Sky; Music Box; Losing Isaiah; Grey Gardens. BMT: The Vow; Hush; Prozac Nation; A Thousand Acres; Everybody’s All-American. Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress Razzie for Hush. Nominated for six Oscars, winning two (Tootsie and Blue Sky).)

Also stars Jason Robards.

Budget/Gross: $23 million/$8 million

(I knew this was a big bomb because it was noted everywhere that Pfeiffer spent five years trying to get it made only to have it bomb at the box office, which predictably bummed her out. Not her worst performance at the box office though, that would be Into the Night.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 22% (11/48), Critics Consensus: A Thousand Acres makes disappointingly sudsy stuff out of the source material, but benefits from solid performances by a strong cast.

(Surprising number of reviews for a film that came out in 1997 to little fanfare. Also fortuitously bad reviews as far as mapl.de.map is concerned. Not the typical film to drop all the way down to 22%, especially when the performances are noted everywhere as being great. I feel like if this came out now it would put up August: Osage County types of numbers.)

Poster – A Thousand Sklogs (B)

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(I like this poster quite a bit. Like the symmetry of the sisters hugging above the stark Iowa farmhouse. Would have rather had Lange and Pfeiffer colorized to match the rest of the poster and would have loved for the poster to be more yellow (like the farm land, this is a bit too dark) but this is still good.)

Keyword(s) – iowa; Top Ten by BMeTric: 38.8 Children of the Corn (1984); 38.7 Unaccompanied Minors (2006); 35.4 Michael (1996); 29.5 I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998); 23.2 Sleeping with the Enemy (1991); 20.2 Fraternity Vacation (1985); 19.1 The Puppet Masters (1994); 17.5 Butter (2011); 16.6 Burlesque (I) (2010); 15.7 Whiteboyz (1999);

(They are missing one: I believe Bucky Larson Born to be a Star began in Iowa and if Burlesque counts then so should that. One of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I’m impressed by how few of these films I’ve seen. Fly over country indeed.)

Tagline(s) – Best friends. Bitter rivals. Sisters. (C)

(Ha, how poorly this goes with the simple random addition of the word “sisters”. “Best friends. Biter rivals.” is a pretty good tagline… this? Not as much.)

Notes – Michelle Pfeiffer, who produced the film, wanted Paul Newman to play patriarch Larry Cook, but he turned down the role.

According to an article in Premiere Magazine 1997, all extras in the film had to sign an agreement promising not to attempt to approach/speak to actresses Michelle Pfeiffer or Jessica Lange. (haha, what?)

Lange battled with producers during the editing phase of the film, during which it through extensive re-editing. When released, Lange stated that the only thing about the film which worked were the performances.

Jocelyn Moorhouse reportedly tried to take her name off the picture after her first cut of the film didn’t sit well with test audiences. (wow, this gets worse and worse. This would have been a super funny Alan Smithee film.)

Survival of the Dead Preview

Alright, moving right along to this week, we are returning to mapl.de.map and our quest for fire (and by fire I mean a completely filled up map). This week is kind of a historic selection. That’s because we are doing one of the hardest states on the entire map. A state that I didn’t even think had a qualified movie for the map when we first started this endeavor. A state that I used to make jokes about in every email and which may or may not be imaginary. That’s right! We are onto Delaware! For those that aren’t in the know about this kind of stuff, me and Patrick were able to find a little film called Survival of the Dead set in Delaware. Hooray! On a worse note it turned out that this film was the sixth (!) in the George A. Romero Dead series. It went from Night of the Living Dead, to Dawn of the Dead, to Day of the Dead, to Land of the Dead, to Diary of the Dead, and finally to Survival of the Dead. So me and Patrick had a bit of homework to do. Boo! Fortunately, the exercise will give us a nice perspective on the movie by the end of it. Let’s go!

Survival of the Dead (2010) – BMeTric: 50.2 (November 13, 2016)

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(Do you know what that is? That is the profile of a movie that almost no one saw in theaters. It is all DVD release, so there aren’t two regimes. Impressive. Also incredibly high BMeTric, very very impressive. That is also one of the largest drops in rating I’ve ever seen. 7.2 to 5.0 doesn’t really make sense. So I guess one die hards initially rated it 10 and it was kind of washed out over time. Commentary generated on November 13, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Another Romero visit to an America overrun with cannibalistic walking corpses. This time a small paramilitary group hopes to evade the chaos by going to an island off the Delaware Coast, but conflict between two very Irish patriarchs that control the place over how to treat the numerous reanimated corpses means only more chaos. Less nihilistic than others in the series, with strong characterizations and good cinematography, but it’s really just more of the same. Won’t someone give Romero money to do another kind of movie?

(Love the little shout out to Delaware right there. Not sure what he means by “very Irish patriarch”… why “very”? Also, a little presumptuous that Romero is only making these films cause it’s the only kind he can get money for. He probably likes making them. He’s made six of them after all. Perhaps even if you gave him all the money in the world he would still make a zombie movie. Why not?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNg3CEkQtnk

(Oh dear, did we make a mistake? This looks like I made the trailer for the film. Yet it was actually released in a handful of theaters and reviewed by 84 critics on RT. Weird shit. Looks rough.)

Director(s) – George A. Romero – (Known For: Dawn of the Dead; The Crazies; Night of the Living Dead; Land of the Dead; Day of the Dead; Diary of the Dead; Creepshow; Monkey Shines: An Experiment In Fear. BMT: Survival of the Dead. Notes: Wow, this is his only film he directed that got bad reviews. That’s pretty amazing.)

Writer(s) – George A. Romero (written by) – (Known For: Dawn of the Dead; The Crazies; Night of the Living Dead; Land of the Dead; Day of the Dead; Diary of the Dead; Creepshow; Monkey Shines: An Experiment In Fear. BMT: Survival of the Dead; Creepshow 2; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Notes: He went to Carnegie Mellon and worked on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood for a time, so unsurprisingly many of his films take place in and around Pittsburgh.)

Actors – Alan Van Sprang – (Known For: Land of the Dead; Narc; Diary of the Dead; Steal This Movie; BMT: Survival of the Dead; Immortals; Saw III; Masterminds. Notes: Starring now in the ABC Family show Shadowhunters. The same network that brought us the hit television program The Vineyard? Sign me up!)

Also stars Kenneth Welsh and Kathleen Munroe

Budget/Gross: $4 million / $101,740 ($143,191 Worldwide)

(For some reason I thought this got a wider release than I’m seeing here. Only 20 theaters. Still not the lowest we’ve done. Both Theodore Rex and Devil’s Knot (also on the map!) did not get a theatrical release. Regardless, what are we to do? This is the only bad movie set in Delaware. We can only cross our fingers and hope for a future release to take its place.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 29% (25/84), Critics Consensus: Survival of the Dead offers glimmers of Romero’s savage wit, but not nearly enough to make up for his unusually uninspired directing and a lack of new ideas

(Anyway, look at the number of reviewers. Even has a consensus. We’ll see if this is unusually uninspired after *gulp* watching the whole series this week. Perhaps we’ll conclude that it’s usually uninspired.)

Poster – Survival of the Sklog (B-)

survival_of_the_dead_xlg

(Not a poorly made poster, just a boring one. And a bit dark. But the colors are nicely consistent, the poster is symmetrical, and I like the text spacing. Hits a lot of a good marks.)

Tagline(s) – Survival isn’t just for the living. (C)

(Well this is certainly confusing. I’m not sure what this even means in the context of a zombie movie. Are we going to we seeing a movie from the perspective of the zombies? Are they the characters? That would be cool. If that’s not the case then this tagline definitely isn’t cool.)

Keyword(s) – island; Top Ten by BMeTric: 83.3 The Wicker Man (2006); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 78.7 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 76.5 The Fog (2005); 72.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 69.0 Shark Night 3D (2011); 67.5 The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996); 66.6 Scooby-Doo (2002); 65.8 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011); 64.0 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006);

(Wow, that is a great list, and we’ve seen almost none of them officially for BMT! Pretty nice. And island is always a convenient excuse to trap people who should know better in a place they want to get the fuck away from stat. See: Jurassic Park. Good stuff.)

Notes – This film marks the first time that a character from a previous Living Dead film returns to star in a sequel, with Alan Van Sprang as Sarge “Nicotine” Crockett having been seen in Diary of the Dead (2007).

Hitman: Agent 47 Preview

So from the title of this email you may wonder, “hey Jamie, why are you doing Hitman: Agent 47? Isn’t the cycle mapl.de.map? Seeing as I keep up with the latest bad movie news in depth, doesn’t that movie take place in Germany and Singapore? Last time I checked those weren’t states. Also, knowing the cycle as well as I do, this is certainly not a horror/thriller. What’s going on? BMT is the rock around which I base my life and this change is concerning.” All valid points average BMT email reader. We are in fact taking a week break from the cycle to do a super special in theaters edition of BMT. The release of one of the worst reviewed films of the year required action and seeing as it was nearly simultaneously released in the US and UK, me and Patrick thought it was a no-brainer to go ahead and catch Hitman: Agent 47 on the big screen. So without further ado: Let’s go!

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) – BMeTric: 38.6 (November 14, 2016)

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(A very classic and nice graphic for a recently released film. We got a sweet theatrical/VOD regime separation, and this is also quite a high BMeTric. Reaffirms or BMT Live! choice from oh so long ago. Commentary generated on November 14, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star – “Hitman: Agent 47” is aggressively awful, the kind of film that rubs its lackadaisical screenwriting, dull filmmaking and boring characters in your face, almost daring you to ask the theater operator for your money back. It is a film that feels made out of contractual obligation instead of artistic venture, or even a remote desire to entertain.

(This sounds like our jam. Lackadaisical screenwriting? Yes, please. Dull filmmaking? We expect nothing less (more?), boring characters? I want them to be paper thin. Also, wasn’t this made out of contractual obligation? I just assumed cause there were literally ZERO people asking for this film to be made.)

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

(That plays more like a music video than a movie with an actual plot. Don’t like Rupert Friend as 47 right off the bat. Also at least two helicopters in the film (one that blows up and another than crashes into a building) so that’s a plus. Though Into the Storm promised a helicopter crashing into buildings and that turned out to be cut from the film. Just another reason not to like that film.)

Director(s) – Aleksander Bach – (BMT: Hitman: Agent 47. Notes: Feature debut. Mostly has worked in music videos and commercials till now. Back-to-back winner of the Cannes Young Director Award for Orange I Love You and Stars in 2008 and 2009, respectively.)

Writer(s) – Skip Woods (screenplay, story) – (Known For: The A-Team. BMT: X-Men Origins – Wolverine; Swordfish; Hitman; Sabotage; Thursday; Hitman: Agent 47; A Good Day To Die Hard. Notes: Legendary BMT writer. Hitman and Hitman: Agent 47 will be the fifth and sixth BMT films we’ve watched from him. Somehow never nominated for a Razzie. Impossible! (said in a French accent).)

Michael Finch (screenplay) – (Known For: Predators. BMT: The November Man; Hitman: Agent 47. Notes: We shall see him again. He is the writer for the upcoming sequel Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2. Wait… what?! Who the fuck was scrambling for that?!)

Actors – Rupert Friend – (Known For: The Young Victoria; Pride and Prejudice; Starred Up; Chéri; The Zero Theorem; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. BMT: The Last Legion; Outlaw; Hitman: Agent 47; The Libertine. Notes: Probably best known right now for his work on Homeland.)

Hannah Ware – (Known For: Shame; Oldboy; BMT: Cop Out; Hitman: Agent 47; Notes: Also best known for her work on tv with starring roles in Boss and Betrayal.)

also stars Zachary Quinto.

Budget/Gross: $35 million / $15 million ($25 million Worldwide)

(Still out in theaters so it will probably recoup its base budget with worldwide gross. Still will go down as a big bomb given it has the 24th worst opening ever for a film released in 3000+ theaters. Just behind this week’s release No Escape! Haha, not even the worst 3000+ opening of August 2015.)

#36 for the Hitman / Assassin genre

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(Generated on November 14, 2016; Nearby 2016 BMT smash hit Mechanic Resurrection. I can’t quite see any specific trends, but perhaps the 90’s boom was helped along by Pulp Fiction in 1994? Really unclear beyond that it has become a major genre in the 00’s and beyond. Little bit of waves, a little decrease in monetary yield in the past 5 years. We’ll see if there is a collapse a bit.)

#22 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(NOTE: Generated on November 14, 2016. Analysis partially borrowed from Warcraft; 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 by the way. It really is quite dire, over 15 years that RT record has stood. #22 for this genre is impressively poor, near Super Mario Bros!!!!)

Rotten Tomatoes: 8% (7/82), Critics Consensus: Hitman: Agent 47 fails to clear the low bar set by its predecessor, forsaking thrilling action in favor of a sleekly hollow mélange of dull violence and product placement.

(Still gathering votes on RT, but seems safely below 10% which is quite the accomplishment. Hitman’s bar is quite low indeed, but I think the consensus forgets that the first one also forsook thrilling action for sleekly hollow melange. So that’s nothing new. And yes, forsook is a word.)

Poster – Sklogman: Agent 4Life (F)

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(I can’t remember the last time I’ve hated a poster more than this. Unaccompanied Minors probably. Way, way, way too much white. The cutout of 47 is unnecessary and distracting. Can barely tell he’s holding a gun. And no tagline! Boo, boo, boo.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F-)

(I hate you already you garbage movie made for trash people! Unacceptable. I do not accept this.)

Keyword(s) – Based on a Video Game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.7 Street Fighter (1994); 81.4 Alone in the Dark (2005); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 78.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 78.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 78.4 BloodRayne (2005); 77.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 70.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 64.0 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 62.6 Wing Commander (1999);

(Obviously incredible. We will watch all of these films without a doubt. If anyone needs a bad movie to watch for whatever reason spin around, point your finger at this list, and watch with horror and joy.)

Notes – Paul Walker was previously attached to play the lead role in this film before his sudden death in late November, 2013. (Oh, sad)

Hitman Preview

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This entire preview was generated on November 14, 2016. I apologize for any mind-bending anachronisms that may inadvertently occur while reading this]

Hitman (2007) – BMeTric: 20.6 (November 14, 2016)

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(Classic regression to the mean, solid 2011 inflection. If you recall that comes about for popular movies. And look at the number of votes! Very impressive Hitman. Bravo. It is kind of crazy how flat the entire BMeTric plot is, but I kind of comes from being only borderline bad from an IMDb rating perspective)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Every bit as visually flashy and dramatically sketchy as you would expect a video-game-inspired action-adventure to be. Still, some genuinely rousing run-and-gun sequences – enhanced with rapid-fire editing, slo-mo flourishes, and very loud music – generate interest as prolifically lethal buut increasingly self-doubting Agent 47 (Olyphant), a bald-pated, bar-code-tattooed assassin, dashes about Russia after being betrayed by his employers.

(Alright, I think that Leonard might have been attempting to win a bet here concerning exactly how many hyphens he could put into a single review. An even dozen. Congrats. Either way, seems like a solidly drab romp through Russia, exciting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJhNzHyq-IE

(While I kind of dig the quiet and contemplative style with the music, it doesn’t really get me jazzed up for the movie, and it certainly, I think, misleads about the eventual product shown in theaters. If a movie that relfected that trailer was produced I’m not sure people would have been pissed. And people were piiiiiiiiiissed.)

Directors – Xavier Gens – (Known For: Frontière(s); BMT: The ABCs of Death; The Divide; Hitman; Notes: French director. Rumor has it that the studio did not like the extreme level of violence presented in his original cut of the film and effectively fired him. They hired outside help to edit the film and conduct reshoots while Gens was out of the country. Interesting stuff. I’m skeptical because an unrated version exists which is by all accounts just as bad as the theatrical cut, but maybe that was still heavily edited. Got to wait for that director’s cut.)

Writers – Skip Woods (written by) – (Known For: The A-Team; BMT: A Good Day to Die Hard (BMT); Hitman: Agent 47 (BMT); Sabotage (BMT); Hitman; Swordfish (BMT); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (BMT); Thursday; Notes: Wow Skip Woods, just wow. How he’s avoided a Razzie nom among all of that trash is beyond me. In addition to writing he also owns a tactical weapons consultancy firm which inspired him to become an action movie writer in the first place.)

Actors – Timothy Olyphant – (Known For: Snowden; This Is Where I Leave You; The Girl Next Door; Scream 2; Die Hard 4.0; Go; Rango; The Crazies; A Perfect Getaway; Rock Star; Stop-Loss; The Broken Hearts Club: BMT: Dreamcatcher; Head Over Heels; Elektra Luxx; Mother’s Day; I Am Number Four; A Man Apart; Catch and Release; Hitman; The First Wives Club; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Probably most well known for Deadwood. He is apparently a keen tennis player and huge LA sports fan.)

Dougray Scott – (Known For: Mission: Impossible II; London Town; My Week with Marilyn; Deep Impact; EverAfter; Enigma; Dark Water; Last Passenger; Ripley’s Game; Twin Town; Princess Caraboo; New Town Killers; BMT: The Vatican Tapes; Taken 3; The Truth About Love; Hitman; Notes: Maybe most well known for famously turning down the role as Wolverine due to conflicts with Mission: Impossible II. Some fans maintain his build made more sense at the time, but I would doubt anyone would argue that now.)

Also Stars Olga Kurylenko

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $39,687,694 (Worldwide: $99,965,792)

(Solid hit, enough to warrent a sequel at least. Way more than I would expect, although with a setting in Russia and a French director I imagine the European cut was probably pretty solid.)

[See Hitman Agent 47 Preview for additional box office notes]

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (14/101): Hitman features the unfortunate combination of excessive violence, incoherent plot, and inane dialogue.

(Check. Check. Check. Alright Jamie, pack it in, this one will do. Sounds perfect to me, not sure why any of that is a problem …)

Poster – Sklogman (B+)

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(I like it. Jamie would probably say all the black hurts it by making it bland, but I think it is appropriate for the video game it is adapting. There was a better poster actually, but this is the one I remember from when it came out.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F)

(Boo no tagline. I’ll make one up: You’ll never see him coming. Boom. Not the best maybe, but at least it is something. Better than nothing.)

Keyword(s) – hitman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.5 The Avengers (1998); 70.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 66.2 Kangaroo Jack (2003); 62.9 Abduction (I) (2011); 60.3 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 58.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 58.0 Tekken (2010); 57.4 Daredevil (2003); 52.8 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 52.8 Alex Cross (2012);

(That is a sick list bro. Bro … sick list. I would also gladly watch the other … except for Tekken. That is not a real movie. Look it up, not a real movie. For reals.)

Notes – While Dougray Scott often pulls a cigarette out, he never actually manages to light one. (fun fact)

During the restaurant sequence, the scene in which Nika (Olga Kurylenko) talks about owning a squirrel/chipmunk when she was young was actually true for the actress, and the scene was improvised during filming. (ugh, terrible. I hate that. Not a fun fact. A decidedly un-fun fact)

The scene where Agent 47 sits atop the roof, sniper in hand and red lettering behind him is taken directly from artwork from the game, as is the scene between 47 and Yuri in the bathtub, including the rubber duck. (I remember that scene from literally the only time I played that game, weird)

When Agent 47 jumps through the hotel window into the kid’s room, they’re playing Hitman: Blood Money (2006) for the PlayStation 2. (They’re playing through “Death of a Showman”, the training level.) (HORRIBLE, I’M OUT!)

Into the Storm Preview

This week we move onto our Action film in the cycle and were really fortunate to have a recent film come out that took place in one of our remaining states. That would be Into the Storm, a found footage (ugh) disaster film set in the town of Silverton, Oklahoma. We had always planned on watching it and I was delighted to find that it worked so well for mapl.de.map. Rest assured, we’re almost there! Let’s go!

Into The Storm (2014) – BMeTric: 34.3 (November 18, 2016)

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(Ah, classic. Look at that VOD release bump. I think maybe a good thing to look at in the future is the size of the VOD bump relative to theatrical and see how consistent that is. I’ve seen movies with bumps around four times the original theatrical run. This looks to be three times the original. Perhaps it is related to genre? Commentary and plots generated on November 18, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – Given our national interest in all things weather-related, “Into the Storm” feels like an inevitability, almost a cinematic obligation to the country’s latest obsession, and it’s about as creatively inspired as that description makes it out to be.

(So you’re basically saying it’s boring? Are you though? I can’t tell. If you read the rest of the review it goes on to say how poor the character development was and how they wanted some deep characters. I just hate this bullshit. Reviewers pick and choose when to care about character development and plots when they want to hate a movie or not. So the non-characters of Jurassic World (3 stars) are OK, but we couldn’t possibly watch a tornado rip a town apart without feeling a deep connection to the characters involved? Sorry, just breaking in the new saddle on my high horse.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBH25XxM-7g

(I don’t think I have to see the rest of the film. I believe I just watched the entire thing. I will admit, although I didn’t like the tone of the RogerEbert.com review, they may be on to something. The characters and events look very poorly thought out in this one. Almost as if I’m only supposed to be interested in watching a giant fucking tornado… wait.)

Director(s) – Steven Quale – (Known For: Final Destination 5; Aliens of the Deep; The Hundred-Foot Journey. BMT: Into The Storm. Notes: He did Final Destination 5 (the finalest of all the destinations)! I heard that one was supposed to actually be pretty good… now I’m intrigued.)

Writer(s) – John Swetnam – (Known For: The Hundred-Foot Journey. Step Up: All In. BMT: Evidence; Into The Storm. Notes: Currently directing/writing an upcoming found footage dance film called Breaking Through. A found footage dance film?! That’s amazing. I CANNOT WAIT).)

Actors – Richard Armitage – (Known For: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; Captain America: The First Avenger; No End in Sight; Last Days in Vietnam. BMT: Into The Storm. Notes: Only bad film on the resume, though I’ve never heard of him. Does audiobooks and won the 2014 Best Audiobook of the Year from Audible for Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel.)

also stars Sarah Wayne Callies and Matt Walsh

Budget/Gross: $50 million / $47,602,194 ($160,602,194 Worldwide)

(Despite doing reasonably well at the box office it was still labeled a flop. Actually had the 188th worst opening ever for a super saturated (3000+ theaters) release. Right above previous BMT film This Means War.)

#26 for the Disaster genre

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(Pretty rough, right around the cinematic classic Volcano starring Tommy Lee Jones. This is a rarity: a terrible movie coming out at the peak of a genre’s popularity and financial prowess. Since then the disaster genre has collapsed. I think this might follow the zombie-spaceship-wasteland paradigm. Where disaster films make way for alien attack makes way for etc. etc. But hard to prove. That big peak maybe came from Apollo 13 and/or Twister … or maybe just Titanic doing crazy business in 1997. Sleep well disaster genre.)

#11 for the Found Footage genre

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(Right around BMT Classic The Devil Inside. The found footage genre page is clearly incomplete (and in no way does this make me trust boxofficemojo as a source …) because Blair Witch 2 is missing (unless that wasn’t found footage). The little bump down in gross I think was the ushering in of the Blumhouse style of production: low budget, high volume, large profits. By all accounts the production style is working and is being looked at as a possible way forward for independent movie development. I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing, it just means a bunch of barely movies get released to theaters. Good for us I guess … I guess.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (30/140), Critics Consensus: Clumsily scripted and populated with forgettable characters, Into the Storm has little to offer beyond its admittedly thrilling special effects.

(Gah! Why am I going to this movie? Am I looking to engage with the characters as they run screaming from a tornado? “But you need to identify with them so you care about them.” They are still in danger from a giant fucking tornado that apparently looks awesome, right? That being said, I do not doubt that this script is clumsier than Paul Blart on a bender (relevant!).)

Poster – Into the Sklog (D)

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(I guess it’s got the color scheme going for it… at least consistent. But it’s a bit cheap looking and the font is shit.)

Tagline(s) – Prepare to go (F)

(Welp, that’s a shame. I’m about done defending this one. I do understand that it is meant to be paired with the title (prepare to go… into the storm) but that is still awful. Just awful.)

Keyword(s) – storm; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.5 The Avengers (1998); 72.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 68.5 Psycho (1998); 64.3 Gulliver’s Travels (2010); 63.6 Swept Away (2002); 57.7 Virus (1999); 57.3 Darkness Falls (2003); 57.0 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 56.9 Godzilla (I) (1998); 53.0 An American Haunting (2005);

(Hell yeah The Avengers has a horrible CGI storm. This list is quite nice. Looks like a ton of garbage movies like to use weather in their plotlines. And for that I say thank you!)

Notes – In a clear homage to Twister (1996) , a statue of a cow is blown off a building and across the screen in one scene.

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 Preview

Continuing with our final mapl.de.map cycle, I told you that we had a extra space to include a replacement film for a state we weren’t totally satisfied with. Well New Years come early (we both independently used this phrase before I incorporated Patrick’s part. Best twins ever!), cause the time is now to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which very much takes place in Las Vegas. Previously we had a little Razzie film called The Marrying Man in for Nevada. Not only was that film not that BMT, but it also split time pretty evenly between Las Vegas and California. We never felt like it belonged, so now we replace it with one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Here’s the map. I’m pretty excited for this one. Let’s go!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) – BMeTric: 66.4 (November 19, 2016)

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(Regression to the mean (from an incredibly low rating to be honest, that is really low, so it isn’t surprising that people who actually watched the film disagreed with what is probably a significant number of people who are voting based solely on impression) is strong. The what I think will become standard 25-75 split in theatrical-VOD votes within a year of release. I’m going to be frank: I am surprised it doesn’t have more votes on IMDb, a crap comedy people can relax and watch with the family I feel like usually has more than that. The BMeTric thogh. Whoooooooweeeeee, that is impressive. Commentary written on November 19, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – Thumbs Down – Think of the worst movie you’ve ever seen – a movie that didn’t make you laugh, didn’t make you cry, didn’t move you or change you in any way besides giving you the desperate urge to flee the theater. Think of a movie that was a massive waste of your time and money. Hold that title in your mind. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is worse than that.

(I seriously doubt this will be the worst film I have ever seen. If this is worse than Strange Wilderness then it will take another small part of my soul and leave me just a bit less human. But I doubt it. Perhaps I doubt because I’m afraid to believe it might be true. Or perhaps I just know that no one will be fucking a turkey in this one. Either way I think this may be hyperbole.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_ld3IJ0sUU

(Well that is unfortunate on multiple levels. It does have a plot, though, so it’s got a bit of a leg up on the “worst ever” competition.)

Director(s) – Andy Fickman – (Known For: She’s the Man; Race to Witch Mountain; Reefer Madness. BMT: The Game Plan; You Again; Parental Guidance; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Notes: Surprisingly never nominated for a Razzie. This will certainly be the year.)

Writer(s) – Kevin James – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Here Comes the Boom; Zookeeper; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor and Onscreen Couple for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.)

Nick Bakay (written by, characters) – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Notes: You would recognize him as the voice of the black cat Salem on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.)

Actors – Kevin James – (Known For: Hitch; Hotel Transylvania; Monster House; 50 First Dates; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Here Comes the Boom; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Zookeeper; The Dilemma; Barnyard; Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Pixels. Notes: Starred in the long running sitcom King of Queens for which he was nominated for an Emmy for the final season.)

also stars Raini Rodriguez and BMT super fav Neal McDonough

Budget/Gross: $30 million / $71,038,190 ($104,138,190 Worldwide)

(Big success, but not on the same level as the first one which was a box office smash. The 9th highest grossing “Comedy – Bumbling” ever. The worst ever? Ernest Rides Again. The last Ernest film ever released to theaters.)

#9 for the Comedy – Bumbling genre

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(Wow, turns out Paul Blart is a rare bumbling comedy these days. Out of fashion I imagine. People making fools of themselves will always in one way be comedy gold. The number one bumbling comedy? Paul Blart! Kevin James did hit something solid here, the company for both films are classics from the 80’s and mostly spoof, so even getting an original comedy and character in there seems really impressive.)

#42 for the Sequel – Live Action genre: The second movie in a live action comedy franchise

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(Around Scary Movie 2 and Big Momma’s House 2 so in okay company. We are almost definitely looking towards a bust period of comedy sequels. Feels right … can you think of a comedy film that has come out recently that will end up with a sequel within the next few years? I can’t really. For Cheaper by the Dozen 2 I did note Zoolander 2 and Neighbors 2 from this year. Bad Santa 2 soon. The relative failures of all of those might usher in a wave a original concepts. Maybe. Commentary written on November 11, 2016)

#7 for the Travelogue Las Vegas genre: Films primarily set in or around Las Vegas

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(Not very exciting, although kind of funny that even this seems to run in waves. Big chunk up to 2010ish, then a break, and then a bunch more recently. I wonder if it vaguely tracks with the highs and lows of the economy in Vegas. If they are busy they can’t film. Otherwise they’ll sell filming rights to get a little extra scratch)

Rotten Tomatoes: 5% (3/54), Critics Consensus: Bathed in flop sweat and bereft of purpose, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 strings together fat-shaming humor and Segway sight gags with uniformly unfunny results.

(Will certainly be one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Interesting that they say there is “fat-shaming” humor in this one. I don’t remember there being too much of it in the first one and it’s the same writers. It’s not like Norbit where a big fat lady is a horrible monster.)

Poster – Paul Sklogt: Mall Sklog 2 (B-)

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(I have to admit I like the coloring. Not sure on the spacing, though. Really odd and open. And why is he riding away from Las Vegas? While posters don’t have to tell stories, they can’t be nonsensical either. I take this stuff pretty seriously.)

Tagline(s) – Vegas has a new high roller (A-)

The stakes have been raised (B)

(Crazy enough the first tagline is pretty much everything I ask for in a tagline. It is short. It tells me that my favorite segway riding hero is back and in Vegas. And it is a bit clever with the connection of high roller with the setting. Not perfect, but close. The second one is slightly worse, because it isn’t as informative and a bit generic. But still good. Good job, advertising team.)

Keyword(s) – sequel; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.7 Batman & Robin (1997); 84.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 83.7 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 82.6 Son of the Mask (2005); 81.7 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 80.5 Home Alone 3 (1997); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 78.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 78.7 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 78.5 The Avengers (1998);

(We’ve seen a ton of these natch. A couple notes: The Avengers is not a sequel, that is a mistake, for shame IMDb. A reboot at best, although if there was an original film I would doubt it was theatrical anyways. Home Alone 3 is also obviously barely a movie. We will watch Son of Mask and Jaws 4 though, so maybe someday …)

Notes – Jayma Mays couldn’t reprise her role due to scheduling conflicts with Glee (So they had her divorce Paul Blart 6 days after they got married… strangely this strategy was also employed for the Entourage movie).

This is the first film that got access to film on site at the Wynn Resort (wait, but other commercials for the Wynn were also filmed there. This one is just longer).

Kevin James had personally called up Vic Dibitetto, with a private number listed, to play Gino Chizetti. James had told Dibitetto that he was so entertained by his YouTube videos that he created the character based on his viral work (I like how they specify that it was a private number. Just to emphasize that Kevin James went to Xtremes on this one).

Gary Valentine appeared as a different character in this film then he did in the first film. He played Saul Gundermutt in this film, in the first one he played the singer in the bar. (it’s weird they also don’t mention that Adam Sandler’s wife played two different characters. She was the Victoria Secret cashier in the first one and a woman in a bar in the second one).

Paul Blart: Mall Cop Preview

[Editor’s Note: This template was generated on November 19, 2016 as this film was watched as a bonus film and did not get a preview at the time. For completeness we wanted to generate it as it is a qualifying BMT film. Enjoy!]

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) – BMeTric: 57.9

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(Fun. Pretty standard BMeTric and Vote plots. But the rating is interesting. Regression to the mean would be going the other way (up not down) since the mean is around 6.0. I believe this has to do with the reputation of Paul Blart getting a bit bemirched over time. At the time I remember it being hailed a bit as better than the reviews wouuld suggest. I doubt you’d find many people with that opinion these days.)

RogerEbert.com – 3 stars –  Paul Blart emerges as a hero, and something else: Kevin James illustrates how lighting and camera angles can affect our perception of an actor. In the early scenes, he’s a fat schlub, but after he goes into action, the camera lowers subtly, the lighting changes, and suddenly he’s a good-looking action hero, ready for business. He demonstrates what fat men have been secretly believed for a long time.

(Wowzer, a rave review. It really does go like that throughout: wholsome, but not boring. Empowering. Funny. Impressive. But I have a feeling this is a rosy view and the ludicrouus story and awkward non-jokes are going to get in the way of most people enjoying this film in a genuine way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib4VZ1uvP6U

(Three major thoughts. One, loving the BMX bike gang and parkour. That just never gets old does it? Two, they are seriosly going to do that … they gave away the “twist” in the trailer! You can see one of the security guards hanging with the bad guys on several occasions. Insane. Three, if you knocked the top off of a tank of compressed gas it would go through walls … so basically it wold jst blow that guy it hit to literal pieces. Paul Blart is a monster.)

Directors – Steve Carr – (Known For: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life; Dr. Dolittle 2; BMT: Movie 43; Are We Done Yet?; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Daddy Day Care; Rebound; Next Friday; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2014 for Worst Director for Movie 43 (among many others); Got hired to direct Next Friday after directing a music video for Ice Cube.)

Writers – Kevin James (written by) – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Here Comes the Boom; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Screenplay for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; I was kind of shocked to (re)learn he wrote most of his films. Those are probnably his major ones for the last like seven years. Pretty impressive given the track record.)

Nick Bakay (written by) – (BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Screenplay for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; An extremely accomplished television writer and actor, not surprisingly this includes King of Queen. He was the voice of Salem the cat for all of the over 200 episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.)

Actors – Kevin James – (Known For: Hotel Transylvania 2; Hotel Transylvania; 50 First Dates; Hitch; Monster House; BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Grown Ups 2; The Dilemma; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Pinocchio; Pixels; Barnyard; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Here Comes the Boom; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Actor for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Supporting Actor for Pixels and in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry;  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2016 for Worst Screen Combo for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Incredibly famous for his presence in many Adam Sandler films. I would argue he is second banana to Sandler even. Interesting considering he was a late addition to the main Grown Ups crew after Farley passed away. He has a new show (Kevin Can Wait) now, so back to television and general goofy success. More power to him.)

Also stars Keir O’Donnell (Seen in When in Rome) and Jayma Mays (Seen in both The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2)

Budget/Gross – $26 million / Domestic: $146,336,178 (Worldwide: $183,293,131)

(A smash hit. Easily top five family comedies of the year. The more interesting bit is that it is the number one “bumbling” comedy of all time! See below. No surprise it got a sequel. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a third if they so desired.)

#1 for the Bumbling Comedy genre

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(Kevin James hit something special with these films. On the level with Mr. Bean and the Ernest films as far as original comedies with a singular “character”. Kind of interesting that almost all modern examples get just horrid reviews. Changing of the time? And yet the biggest boom was recent? Interesting stuff.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (37/113): Paul Blart: Mall Cop has some laughs, but its plot is flimsy and lacking in any sustained comic momentum.

(Fair! And a lot better than I remembered. 33% is retty good to be honest. Why one would expect this to be anything but flimsy is beyonde me though.)

Poster – Paul Sklogt: Mall Sklog (C)

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(I don’t mind the poster, it is just boring. I do like the idea in a way, it follows from the ideals of the film: empowering. The focus is on what one might see as a heavyset schlub normally, but shot in a way to make him seem powerful. Is it ironic? I think that is the question the movie is attempting to tease you with (and eventually subvert). But still boring.)

Tagline(s) – Safety Never Takes A Holiday. (C-)

Don’t Mess With His Mall! (D)

(The first is only slightly better because it gives youu an inkling that this is indeed a “holiday” film, taking place on Black Friday. A rare Thanksgiving film! Might have to bust it out this holiday season. I do not like the second.)

Keyword(s) – mall; Top Ten by BMeTric: 68.1 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 60.9 Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012); 57.9 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009); 57.4 The Final Destination (2009); 55.4 Vanishing on 7th Street (2010); 49.3 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008); 46.5 The Hot Chick (2002); 46.1 Jingle All the Way (1996); 39.8 Eight Crazy Nights (2002); 37.7 While She Was Out (2008);

(Very nice list. The mall in Silent Hill was minor. And I don’t even remember is in Zohan. The others are pretty standard. Looking forward to the Hot Chick)

Notes – Two of Kevin James’ real-life family members are seen in this film: the karaoke singer is his older brother Gary Valentine, and the woman with two children who Paul helps is his wife Steffiana De La Cruz. (ooo from this I learned that Kevin James’ real name is Kevin Knipfing. No offense, seriously, but an interesting name and I can see why he took on a stage name)

The first film of 2009 to gross over $100 million at the box office. (yes, very impressive)

The Burlington Mall does not have a video arcade. (wow, bullshit. This movie is bullshit!)

The first movie ever released in the month of January to gross over $100 million during its initial release. (Again, extremely impressive. I wonder why this wasn’t released pre-Thanksgiving. I understand that they might not have anticipated the reception, but it is a rare Thanksgiving movie)

By the time this movie was released in American theaters, there were no longer any Sharper Image retail stores. (truly devastating. What a time to be alive)

Wild Bill Preview

So this week (last week?) we are ending our beloved Now a Major Motion Picture cycle. Alas, it was probably our favorite cycle we’ve ever done, so we are still working out how to keep it around in some form. In the meantime, though, we are transitioning to the last ever mapl.de.map cycle! OMG, OMG! It’s true, we only have 8 states left and we are cycling down. With 9 spots in the cycle available we get to fill up the map and replace a state we didn’t like with an extra special movie (oh, you’ll see). We are starting the cycle off as always with the Scattegories category which requires a a film that covers both the based-on-a-book and map cycles. It is a film set in the very, very difficult to obtain South Dakota. I would say that this turned out to be the most difficult state we had to fill, except that it was really only hard to fill because we had already watched the only other film that qualified for the honor. I’m of course talking about Son-in-law starring Pauly Shore. With that off the table, there was only one choice left and it kept me and Patrick awake at nights thinking on whether we truly had to use such a borderline case for the map. In the end, we had no other choice. So for South Dakota we have Wild Bill starring Jeff Bridges. It’s based on Deadwood by Peter Dexter along with a play called Fathers and Sons by Thomas Babe. Here’s the map with our new addition. Let’s go!

Wild Bill (1995) – BMeTric: 16.7 (November 20, 2016)

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(Sigh. So yeah, when we watched this film it was borderline qualifying. If I recall correctly it was literally 40% on rotten tomatoes with a question as to whether a few of the reviews were repeated and/or legit. Well now it is definitely non-qualifying. But there wasn’t anything to be done at the time, it was the only film for South Dakota (still is as far as I can tell … Mercury Rising qualifies, but only the opening is in South Dakota). With a steadily increasing IMDb score that can either be regression to the mean or the fact that the film is legitimately considered somewhat of a cult classic. I’ll repeat: sigh.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Odd revisionist take on Wild Bill Hickok, told in episodic form that creates creates distance from – rather than understanding of – the legendary hellraiser of the Old West. The title of the film should really be THE ASSASSINATION OF WILD BILL, because that’s what it’s all about. There are those opium dreams to break the monotony… Barkin is fun as Calamity Jane, but other characters are superficially drawn at best.

(Leonard should read up on the films. Obviously this was revisionist, it was based on a revisionist play and revisionist novel. Also, super surprising that Leonard is recommending alternate titles for films. I thought me and Patrick were the only ones into that.)

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

(Ever since we had this movie on the horizon I’ve marveled at the trailer. It’s crazy. The black-and-white hallucinogenic dream sequence-type scenes in particular give me hope that this film we turn out to a be a legit BMT film. Also, David Arquette always helps.)

Director(s) – Walter Hill – (Known For: The Warriors; Red Heat; Bullet to the Head; Undisputed; Streets of Fire; Southern Comfort; Crossroads; The Driver; Trespass; The Long Riders; Johnny Handsome; Geronimo – An American Legend; Wild Bill; Extreme Prejudice; Hard Times; 48 Hrs. BMT: Last Man Standing; Another 48 Hrs.; Brewster’s Millions; Supernova; Notes: Nominated for Worst Picture, Blue City (1986) which he produced. Interesting future BMT film.)

Writer(s) – Walter Hill (screenplay) – (Known For: The Warriors; Red Heat; Undisputed; The Getaway; Streets of Fire; Southern Comfort; The Driver; Wild Bill; Hard Times; Alien 3; 48 Hrs.); BMT: Last Man Standing; Another 48 Hrs.; Blue City. Notes: Originally meant to direct Alien, which he wrote the story for.)

Also credits Peter Dexter and Thomas Babe who wrote the novel and play that the screenplay was based on.

Actors – Jeff Bridges – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; Iron Man; True Grit; TRON; K-PAX; Arlington Road; Crazy Heart; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Starman; The Fisher King; Seabiscuit; Surf’s Up; King Kong; The Vanishing; White Squall; The Fabulous Baker Boys; Fearless; The Last Picture Show; The Door in the Floor; Tucker: The Man and His Dream; Against All Odds; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; The Contender; Cutter’s Way; Heaven’s Gate; Tron Legacy. BMT: The Giver; R.I.P.D. (BMT); Seventh Son; Wild Bill; Blown Away; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; Stick It; Tideland; The Open Road. Notes: And that’s just a portion of his filmography. Nominated for 6 Oscars, winning for Crazy Horse. Son of famous actor Lloyd Bridges.)

Also stars Ellen Barkin and John Hurt.

Budget/Gross: $30 million / $2,193,982

(Ridiculously gigantic bomb. Probably the strongest reason why this film should be considered BMT worthy. It currently has the 95th worst opening for a wide release (600+ theaters) coming in right behind the classic Mom and Dad Save the World.)

#54 for the Western genre

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(Ooof, right around Heaven’s Gate which has been heralded as somewhat career ending for those involved. The reported budgets aren’t much different even, although Wild Bill came out 10 years later. Cool graph though. People lament the collapse of the genre, and this movie came literally at the end of its gloriously profitable run in the 90’s. Interestingly enough as far as screens are concerned westerns surpassed than peak about 5 years ago. The profitability is probably not there though. Would depend on the budgets I guess. I would guess that in the future VOD releases will include some indie westerns though, they tend to get a solid cult following rather quickly (see Bone Tomahawk).)

Rotten Tomatoes: 40% (9/22)

(And this is the biggest reason why it shouldn’t have been a BMT film. We really tossed and turned over this one. We usually use a pretty strict 40% or lower cutoff for RT scores, and usually when we’ve ventured over that (or couldn’t use the RT score cause the movie is too old) it’s because the film is notably reviled and gained a cult following which boosted the score. Upon investigation, though, this seemed to pretty well earn that 40%. Basically, it was considered not great but not horrible. One thing I will say in defense of this selection is that there were actually 8 uncounted reviews on RT. I found that 2 were good and 6 were bad in my own assessment. This would have put the score at 37% for a respectable 30 RT reviews. It counts!)

Poster – Wild Sklog (A)

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(Love the poster. Aesthetically pleasing to look at and nice color scheme. Only weird thing they do is put a tagline at the top and then another one right below the title. Confusing. Makes it look like the movie is actually called Wild Bill: Take a Walk on the Wild Side. Which would be the worst title in cinematic history.)

Tagline(s) – A legend never dies. (D+)

Take a walk on the wild side. (C+)

(The first is hurting my brain. Why is this the tagline to your film about a legend dying? Not clever either. Despite sounding and looking like a tagline it is a terrible tagline. The second one is actually a little better, which is shocking cause I hated it when I first read it. At least it’s a bit clever in playing on a common phrase.)

Keyword(s) – opium; Top Ten by BMeTric: 49.7 Tell Your Children (1936); 48.3 The Man with the Iron Fists (2012); 42.7 Shanghai Surprise (1986); 32.9 Emmanuelle (1974); 31.8 Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985); 31.2 People I Know (2002); 26.7 Above the Law (1988); 25.7 Te wu mi cheng (2001); 23.3 Love (II) (2015); 22.6 Shanghai Knights (2003);

(Wow, what the hell is Tell Your Children? Oh, haha, Reefer Madness, got it, funny. The rest of this list is bonkers. Crazy Seagal films, and like Emmanuelle. Just insane. Would truly be a ridiculous list to “complete”. Doable, only 11 films have a BMeTric over 20.)

Notes – More than 30 years earlier, the part of Wild Bill Hickok was played by Jeff Bridges’ father, Lloyd Bridges, in a 1964 episode of the television series “The Great Adventure” (1963). (great trivia)

Keith Carradine, who played Buffalo Bill Cody in Wild Bill, took the part of Wild Bill Hickock on HBO’s TV series Deadwood (2004), the first episode of which Walter Hill also directed. (Another great piece of trivia!)

Scarlet Letter Preview

Alright, so this week is And the Loser is… where we watch a past Razzie winner or nominee. There were two obvious choices here to fit our Now a Major Motion Picture meta-theme. The first was The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers. If we weren’t having so much fun actually reading the books, that would have been selected I’m sure. Instead we are watching the 1995 classic The Scarlet Letter starring Gary Oldman and Demi Moore. The only things I knew about the film going into this is that it’s a travesty of an adaptation (particularly given that the book is a classic) and people make fun of Gary Oldman’s penis in reference to this film… which means we are going to see an Oldman’s penis. Great. Let’s go!

The Scarlet Letter (1995) – BMeTric: 43.3 (November 23, 2016)

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(Solid score for a 90’s film, definitely in the above-average BMeTric. Nice regression to the mean in the rating as well. Basically people don’t actually think it is better, it is just more likely that a film will closer to the mean rating (of around 6) as more and more reviews come in. Otherwise standard. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Hokey adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel throws in everything from witch hunts to Indian attacks to a controversial happy ending — all to no avail. Moore is woefully miscast as Hester Prynne (though she sure fills a Puritan frock). Oldman gives a histrionic performance, while Duvall is simply incomprehensible. “Erotic” love scenes are especially embarrassing, in soft focus with phallic candles and a chirpy Disney bird (credited as Rudy the Robin) who sings for sexual freedom!

(Wait, Indian attacks? Witch hunts? What is happening. Am I reading the review for the wrong movie? I do love “simply incomprehensible” actors. If they made it nowadays that role would be played by Jeff Bridges… or still Robert Duvall somehow… Is there actually a Disney bird? I feel like this review is asking more questions than it’s answering for me. No wonder it’s a BOMB.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtZetd_jOo8

(Holy fuck. That… that… that is not the plot of The Scarlet Letter. They made a prequel-adaptation monster. Why call it The Scarlet Letter even? It’s not even the plot of the story. It does give me an idea though: how about an Anna Karenina adaptation, but instead of focusing on Anna, let’s focus on Vronsky. And instead of dealing with that pesky (and boring!) affair with Anna, let’s mostly detail Vronksy’s trials and tribulations in learning the electric guitar. Boom! Netflix!)

Director(s) – Roland Joffé – (Known For: The Mission; The Killing Fields; City of Joy; Fat Man and Little Boy. BMT: Captivity; The Scarlet Letter; Vatel; There Be Dragons; Goodbye Lover; The Lovers. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Captivity (2007); Won for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for Worst Director for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Directing Oscars for The Killing Fields and The Mission. Father of future BMT director Rowan Joffe.)

Writer(s) – Douglas Day Stewart (screenplay) – (Known For: An Officer and a Gentleman; Vision Quest; Flight of the Navigator. BMT: The Blue Lagoon; The Scarlet Letter; Thief Of Hearts. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Screenplay Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman. His name sounds like the name someone would use in a scandalous tell-all if they didn’t want to get sued for libel by Daniel Day-Lewis.)

Actors – Demi Moore – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle; Ghost; Mr. Brooks; G.I. Jane; A Few Good Men; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Flawless; Disclosure; The Joneses; Margin Call; Mortal Thoughts; St. Elmo’s Fire; We’re No Angels; One Crazy Summer; Deconstructing Harry. BMT: Striptease; Indecent Proposal; LOL; The Juror; The Scarlet Letter; Half Light; The Seventh Sign; The Butcher’s Wife; Now and Then; Passion of Mind; Nothing but Trouble. Notes: Nominated for 7 Razzie awards. Won for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (Supporting Actress), G.I. Jane (Actress), The Juror (Actress), Striptease (Actress/Couple), The Scarlet Letter (Actress/Couple). Nominated for Passion of Mind (Actress), Indecent Proposal (Actress), The Butcher’s Wife (Actress), Nothing but Trouble (Actress). Probably one of the most prolific BMT actresses, but we haven’t done too many of her films yet.)

Gary Oldman – (Known For: Batman series; Air Force One; The Fifth Element; The Book of Eli; RoboCop; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Harry Potter Series; True Romance; Sid & Nancy; JFK; The Contender; Bram Stoker’s Dracula. BMT: Hannibal; Red Riding Hood; The Unborn; Lost in Space; Paranoia; Planet 51; The Scarlet Letter; Child 44; Tiptoes. Notes: Nominated for Worst Couple Razzie for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for an Oscar for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.)

Also starring Robert Duvall

Budget/Gross: $46 million / $10,382,407

(A giant bomb. Oddly released the same weekend as two other high profile box office bombs (Jade and Strange Days) resulting in this NYTimes article. The Scarlet Letter is the 96st highest grossing Romantic Dramas ever. Number 95? You guessed it, Here on Earth.)

#96 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(As mentioned it is right near Here on Earth in the charts. This is actually the third of this genre we’ve watched along with Random Hearts and The Choice. A little snippet from the first of those: Wow, look at that mid-2000’s collapse! I think it has to do with a couple bombs in a row, but it could easily be that some other genre was sapping things up. Everyone knows that the trough there is the true heyday of bad movies! The dizzying heights we live in now I think is the result of micro-budget film companies. But it is hard to tell. This movie comes right in that initial wave as well. What we know now: There might be a collapse of the genre again. Hard to tell. If I were to guess we’ll be seeing a return to around 15K theaters for the genre moving forward. Looking at ’09-’12 and ’92-’96 that just feels like where the genre wants to be. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Rotten Tomatoes: 14% (5/35). No consensus, but here’s the Netflix synopsis for funsies: In this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, Puritan settler Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) is accused of adultery in a Massachusetts settlement in the 1660s. Although she’s attracted to the town’s pastor (Gary Oldman), the two resist temptation. But only a whiff of scandal is enough for the town’s morality police to sentence Prynne to live as an outcast and wear a shameful scarlet A for adultery.

(Yeah, straight panned. I’m not sure what Netflix is talking about though. In the trailer we clearly see Moore carrying a baby to her public shaming… where’d the baby come from if they resist temptation? A baby is a little bit more than a whiff of scandal. I almost feel like we should bring Netflix synopsis back. They are wrong half the time on the very basic plot of these films.)

Poster – The Skloglet Letter (B-)

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(Sexy much? I like the coloring (though could have been slightly redder) and the symmetry. Not feeling the dark portion at the bottom. Would prefer a more interesting and creative way of commingling the text and images.)

Tagline(s) – When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all. (C-)

(I really should have given this worse. When it’s this long, everyone loses. What saved it a bit was the cadence and the creativity. Way too long though.)

Keyword(s) – adultery; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.8 Skyline (2010); 75.6 Left Behind (I) (2014); 64.9 The Boy Next Door (2015); 62.4 Postal (2007); 58.4 My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006); 57.0 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 56.4 Body of Evidence (1993); 54.7 The Canyons (2013); 51.3 The Big Bounce (2004); 50.4 The Dilemma (2011);

(That is a nice list. Indeed, adultery plays a major role in: Sci Fi, Christian, Dramatic, Erotic Thrillers, and Comedies. And that is just the ones we’ve seen. The human condition.)

Notes – Listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in “The Official Razzie® Movie Guide”.

Three original scores were written for this film. The ones by Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein were rejected. The one used was by John Barry. (these types of fact amuse me)

Meg Ryan lobbied hard for the part of Hester Prynne, but lost out. Sharon Stone was also considered.

Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Anthony Hopkins were all considered for the male lead.

Won one Razzie for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for 6 more (Picture/Actress/Supporting Actor/Couple/Director/Screenplay)