Exit Wounds Recap

Jamie

Orin Boyd is a Detroit police officer sent to the beat after one too many police brutality complains (coooool). He starts to have run-ins with crime lord Latrell Walker, but soon realizes that it’s actually a group of corrupt cops he has to worry about. Will he be able to stop the bad guys (and perhaps get a new best friend) before it’s too late? Find out in… Exit Wounds.

How?! Orin Boyd don’t take guff from nobody, plays by his own rules, and is a lone wolf unwilling to compromise in taking down the bad guys. When he saves the Vice President from a major terrorist assassination attempt he is demoted and sent to the 15th precinct (ugh, the 15th. The worst, right?). Read that again… there is a major assassination plot against the VP that is pretty much successful except Boyd rides up and saves the VP and kills the bad guys… and this is a problem. Anyway, when he gets to the 15th he ends up breaking up a drug deal which turns out to be a sting operation (or is it?) and immediately butts heads with the big dogs in the department. Despite another demotion he starts hot on the trail of Latrell Walker, the guy involved in the drug deal. He tracks Latrell back to a meeting at the local jail with his brother and finds out that he isn’t a criminal at all but a computer genius who is independently collecting evidence against the cadre of corrupt cops. These cops attempt to kill Boyd, but he escapes, strikes a deal with Latrell to help take them down, and meets with his boss to tell her what’s up. At this meeting they are attacked and his boss is killed so Boyd decides it’s time to take out all those MFers out. They go to a warehouse for The Big Deal where everything goes wrong and there are several double crosses (what a twist!). They fight it out with karate, all the bad guys are killed, Latrell gives them all the evidence, and his brother is freed. THE END.

Why?! Boyd operates under the common film cop matra that all is fair in taking down the bad guys. We literally see a meeting where his boss laments the multiple police brutality complaints he has gotten in the last year and the fact that he ignores the law in the line of duty… that ain’t good, bro. Latrell’s motivations are more interesting, although still pretty simple. His brother was framed for a large drug deal gone wrong when the crooked cops involved needed a fall guy. Latrell, being a dotcom billionaire computer genius, pays for a new identity and gets involved with these cops in order to exonerate his bro. The cops want to make money because they are tired of all the bad guys getting rich while they toil away and don’t get rich… this is also a very common crooked cop trope which we recently saw in The Underclassman.

Who?! Anthony Anderson’s character T.K. is a pretty solid example of a Planchet. He is kinda chubby, well-meaning, helps out his bro and what does he get in return: near constant ridicule. Also an unexpected Secret Twin Film with a cameo by The Tiger Twins as a couple of twin street thugs. Interestingly they choose not to use their twin powers to easily dispatch Seagal. How kind. Finally, on a sad note, this is one of a number of films we’ve come across marred by a major stunt accident. In this case Chris Lamon was killed during a stunt where he was supposed to roll out of a speeding van. Something went wrong and he ended up dying and another stunt man got a concussion. These stories always make me sad.

What?! Big shoutout to a primo example of a Hollywood badass bar run by T.K. It’s bright, it’s got girls dancing in cages, it looks like it was built in a bank, it’s everything. There is also a bunch of product placement (Latrell is identified in a video by his fancy TAG watch, Boyd’s new partner has trouble getting his nice refreshing afternoon pepsi when he’s first introduced, etc.). But my personal favorite thing in the film was probably the first and only Chekov’s Industrial Paper Cutter. We are briefly shown a very large paper cutter in a warehouse where the climax of the film is certain to take place and I thought, “Someone is fighting with that paper cutter like it’s a samurai sword.” Correct on all counts. Perfect.

Where?! Detroit through and through (although filmed in Canada). The film even opens with the Vice President of the US welcoming everyone to Detroit in a speech he’s giving… you know before Seagal saves him from a crazy huge assassination attempt that legitimately involved a couple dozen armed assailants. B+.

When?! Prepare yourself, because this is the greatest time setting of all time. While tracking DMX, Seagal finds a county jail pass in the garbage that explicitly says that DMX visited his brother on 9/9/01… two days prior to the events of the majority of the film. Let that sink in. The film takes place on September 11, 2001… and no one notices in the Detroit Police Department. Seagal certainly wouldn’t have had the time to track down corrupt cops in the wake of the most significant terrorist attack in US history. Gotta be an alternate timeline. B-.

Exit Wounds is silly and a lot of fun to watch. Steven Seagal is straight-up ridiculous and it’s crazy that all the way up to 2000 he was considered an actual actor that you would put in a major motion picture. His character continually makes light of police brutality and is legit a bad guy (except that all the other cops are much worse). He’s more like a workaday, punch-in punch-out kind of bad person. It’s funny too because from the start DMX is a much more likable and good person, to the point where when it is shockingly revealed that he is actually a good person I was totally unsurprised. It was obvious, but perhaps not as obvious in 2000?… or maybe it was just very poorly written. Hard to tell. Anyway, a little dumb fun for BMT can go a long way. As for Samurai Cop, I was definitely getting a distinct The Room vibe from it. There is crazy art on the wall that’s super distracting, offices that are supposed to be hospitals, terrible sound issues, crazy reaction shots by a plethora of terrible actors, boobs everywhere, lots of dick jokes (on a positive note), and a strain of racism that after watching a number of Z-movies for this cycle seems more or less standard. It’s kooky to the point where I actually started to wonder whether The Room was inspired by it or some kind of parody… but then I remembered that Tommy Wiseau is a crazy person and so that’s almost definitely not the case. Anyway, it was super weird. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Steven Seagal plays a badass cop who likes to beat people up and teaches us a valuable lesson: violence is awesome. DMX is a tech billionaire just looking for justice. It is the buddy cop pair you’ve been waiting for! Let’s go!

The Good – Seagal is a lot more normal than one would expect … like he seems like an actor, not a fake person wearing a Steven Seagal suit. The twists and turns are on occasion interesting (like Seagal’s boss getting killed in a car crash is shocking and brutal). The entire story isn’t as gross as you would expect. By the early 2000s I actually expected Seagal already going full blown “the only people who watch these films just want to see me literally blow someone’s head off with a gun so … there we go”. It is not, frankly it is pretty much about police corruption with a dash of “this guy just wants to do right and just can’t catch a break”. Which … is fine I guess.

P’s View on the Preview – Steven Seagal baby. We rarely watch JCVD or Seagal films. Partially because anything after … well Exit Wounds really, is 100% going to be trash. This is the last Seagal film released to theaters, which is astonishing given it made like $80 million, so I was ready to realize why they dropped him like a sack of potatoes.

The Bad – The more I think about the film the more I realize that it is profoundly terrible. Seagal’s character is ridiculous, basically someone who loves to beat the shit out of people, and people love to love him for beating the shit out of people. The story really makes no sense, with DMX being some tech billionaire pretending to … commit horrible felonies to prove cops are corrupt? Great plan bozo. The final fight is just straight bonkers. And the cast makes me upset. Seagal is a Russian shill. DMX went to prison for tax fraud. Isaiah Washington is likely a bigot. Anthony Anderson proooobably raped some people. And Tom Arnold … is weirdly the best of the bunch. WTF bros!?

You Just Got Schooled – There isn’t much about this film as far as online footprint is concerned. So let’s do a little analysis. There are 173 films listed under Martial Arts on Box Office Mojo. Of those 59 films officially qualify by having <40% on Rotten Tomatoes for an astonishing 34% rate. That isn’t the whole story though, there are only 105 wide releases, of which 55 (!) qualify, that’s over 50% of wide release martial arts films! That is nuts. For Seagal he has an interesting career. He made a few terrible films in the early 90s before hitting it semi-big with Under Siege. He then released a terrible film every year from 1994 to 1998, only releasing Executive Decision in 1996 as a good film. He was evidently forced into a break before releasing a flurry of films in the early 2000s (including Exit Wounds). Since then he only recently started to get his straight-to-VOD garbage reviewed again, but that is almost as a fat-seagal irony at this point. Known for his aikido, rumors fly of his actual martial arts acumen, but everyone generally agrees concerning his films: they are garbage. Like most of the martial arts films in general.

The BMT – I think we are working through Seagal films. I don’t think there is much more to say about it. There are certainly better Seagal BMTs. And in general his films don’t really need to be watched. This was fine. I was fine with it. I was just fine with it! Stop asking jeez.

Welcome to Earf – Steven Seagal is in On Deadly Ground with Michael Caine, who is in Get Carter with Sly Stallone, who is in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who is in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who is in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!!!!

StreetCreditReport.com – So it certainly is not considered his best … otherwise this doesn’t even come up. The previous link even mentions how indeed no one ever remembers this film which is also not well regarded. And yet this film made $80 million worldwide. … $80 million.

Bring a Friend Analysis – For this friend we watched another martial arts cop film, Samurai Cop. Fact, Samurai Cop is strangely entertaining. Fact, Samurai Cop is genuinely racist and disgustingly misogynistic. Fact, it looks like crap. And yet … weirdly entertaining. It actually kind of hits all of the boxes, it just isn’t really consistently entertaining to get the full A, but a clean A-. It is weird enough to be entertaining. But not unpleasant enough to make me want to never watch it again. Just lags a bit near the end. I’ve been very very impressed with our slate of friends this cycle. I think we’ve have mostly A’s and B’s … those are films we are willing to watch again! That is crazy. These films are barely there, and yet I would show them to friends. That’s saying something.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Exit Wounds Preview

“Where are we going?” Jamie says as he drags the corpse of Frang through the forest with hologram wolves nipping at his heels. Captain Chip strides boldly where he has presumably gone before with The Predator snacking on some Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell behind him. Suddenly a massive spaceship comes into view. “Here it is. Now tell me where to point this thing,” Captain Chip says, one arm slung over the shoulder of his new bro, The Predator. “We’re trying to find a Little Old Librarian before she can use a weapon called the Ivory Socket.” Captain Chip’s mouth falls open, “did you say Little Old Librarian? Finally revenge shall be mine,” he exclaims with a gleam in his eye. We all pile into the spaceship and off zoom into the stratosphere. Focused for mere moments, Captain Chip and The Predator are soon competing to see who can zoom the fastest across the nighttime sky. While they are preoccupied Jamie wonders to himself how the world has turned so upside down. Could the impact of the Obsidian Dongle’s destruction have caused more problems than first imagined? Also, why are these hologram wolves so sexy? Suddenly there are flashing lights behind the spaceship and a police rocket pulls them to the side. When the Space Cops approach the window and ask why they were going so fast Jamie spills the beans about their urgent mission to defeat the Little Old Librarian. “Did you say Little Old Librarian?” Says one of the Space Cops to the other, “That sounds like our girl, Jacobs.” Jacobs leans closer, “you may know her as the Little Old Librarian, but we know her as Officer Libby… the dirtiest Space Cop in the universe.” That’s right! We’re watching Exit Wounds starring Steven Seagal and DMX. I honestly have no idea what it’s about. All I know is that it stars a soon-to-be past his prime Steven Seagal and DMX and Tom Arnold and seems to have been created in a BMT lab. This is the Games portion of the cycle as this film is on the Calendar for March 16th. Oh, glorious day. Let’s go!

Patrick, Sticks, and Stones ride out into the desert. “It is weird that we don’t really see anyone else around, right? People have to live here, like … actors?” Patrick still didn’t really understand how the Z-movie multiverse worked. Stones’ eyes well up with tears. “Gosh dern it, they do. But they all end up like us. They can’t help but end up like us.” Sticks growls a woeful assent. “You mean, cops?” Patrick says dumbly, like a real dummy he has no idea. What a fool! Just then glowing alien ships begin to descend. “There they are, aliens for sure” says the truck driver. Large spotlights roam the sky, clearly projected from a nearby airbase, a group of people dance a mesmerizing dance a few hundred yards away. As the truck driver whoops and howls, stripping his clothes off to frolic in the desert, Patrick begins to follow. “Naw, it ain’t worth it son.” Stones says, “We just need to get to LA. No time for fake alien gobbledygook. Gosh dern it, it is enough to drive a man insane I tells ya.” Patrick begins to scramble back into the truck. “No. We don’t need that anymore” Sticks growls. Sticks and Stone gaze at Patrick with an insane look. “Use your twin powers,” they say in creepy unison, their eyes glazing over, doll-like and hard. Patrick laughs, “You guys are real weird,” and zap, they are in Los Angeles on a police precinct set, papers blowing around them, the din of the criminals raging against the overwhelmed cops ringing in the distance. Outside there is a very tall black police officer, and a white officer with a katana. “Gosh dern it, it’s Wash and Hoops. I … I, uh, owe them money, let’s go around the back.” Sticks says quickly. That’s right! We’re also watching Samurai Cop!

Exit Wounds (2001) – BMeTric: 45.8

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(The fact that it went down first is pretty amusing. It is basically: Phase 1 – Seagal-heads watch it and think “this is pretty bad”, Phase 2 – Regular action fans get a hold of it and think “this is really bad”, Phase 3 – Regular people get a hold of it and basically think “a bad rating is 6 stars right? I’ll give it that”.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Blah actioner with aging, ever-wooden Seagal playing a tough loner cop who tangles with some on-the-take colleagues. Rapper DMX adds life to the proceedings as a mysterious drug entrepreneur. All too familiar, but the target audience might not mind.

(Give me ‘dem hyphens Leonard!! I’m heartened to hear DMX brings some life to the film. There is a reason we tend not to do Seagal films (they are usually garbage), so maybe there is some special sauce here.)

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

(Wholley spoils the twist of the film! WHAT THE HELL BRO?! Also they frame the story incorrectly. When he says that DMX worked for internal affairs he isn’t actually talking to DMX, he’s talking to someone else. Such a weird trailer.)

Directors – Andrzej Bartkowiak – (BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Doom; Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Notes: We did it boys, we finished Andrzej Bartkowiak’s BMT filmography. Seems to be a very accomplished cinematographer when he isn’t directing garbage.)

Writers – Ed Horowitz (screenplay) – (BMT: On Deadly Ground; Exit Wounds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Notes: You can see his full resume online, he did a bunch of theater more recently in California, so possible that is kind of what he does now.)

Richard D’Ovidio (screenplay) – (Known For: The Call; Future BMT: Gallows Hill; The Forger; BMT: Thir13en Ghosts; Exit Wounds; Notes: Went to UMass where he got a degree in Economics.)

John Westermann (novel) – (BMT: Exit Wounds; Notes: I don’t understand. The book this movie is based on is free, doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon, and doesn’t have a plot summary anywhere … why was this even optioned?!)

Actors – Steven Seagal – (Known For: Machete; Under Siege; Executive Decision; Above the Law; Future BMT: The Patriot; Half Past Dead; The Foreigner; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; The Glimmer Man; Hard to Kill; Marked for Death; Out for Justice; Contract to Kill; China Salesman; BMT: On Deadly Ground; Fire Down Below; Exit Wounds; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for On Deadly Ground in 1995; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1995 for On Deadly Ground; in 1998 for Fire Down Below; and in 2003 for Half Past Dead; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Executive Decision in 1997; and Nominee for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Fire Down Below in 1998; Notes: He is effectively a Russian citizen now … somehow not at all shocking.)

DMX – (Known For: Top Five; Future BMT: Belly; BMT: Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Never Die Alone; Notes: Just got released from prison having served a one year sentence in a tax fraud case.)

Isaiah Washington – (Known For: Out of Sight; Dead Presidents; True Crime; Clockers; Bulworth; Crooklyn; Love Jones; Welcome to Collinwood; Dead Birds; The Washington Snipers; Get on the Bus; Stonewall; Go for Sisters; Future BMT: Girl 6; Strictly Business; The Moguls; BMT:Hollywood Homicide; Ghost Ship; Exit Wounds; Romeo Must Die; Notes: My God, this cast is just filled with amazing people. Anyways, Mo’Nique just released a video where she claims she has evidence that Isaiah Washington was blackballed from Grey’s Anatomy based on a lie. Juicy. I’ll save judgement until I see the evidence I guess.)

Budget/Gross – $33 million / Domestic: $51,758,599 (Worldwide: $79,958,599)

(Pretty good. Kind of surprising this ended up being Seagal’s last theatrical release considering it did fine. But then again, he sounds like a nightmare to work with so who knows.)

#19 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Ah, I yearn for the days of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Alas, I think Martial Arts films are a bit out of fashion, and when they are made I bet they go VOD. Someday we might just have to search those out.)

#4 for the Cop – Dirty genre

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(This made more money than Cop Land which is a travesty. Not many qualify it looks like. The next one down is Street Kings.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (21/65): It probably goes without saying that Exit Wounds is loaded with plotholes and bad dialogue. Critics also note that Seagal has aged rather badly.

(Ha! The subtle “critics note” there feels like Rotten Tomatoes covering their asses. Like, people are saying … we’re not saying, we’re just saying that other people are saying you look broke down, Steven. Reviewer Highlight: It doesn’t take long to see that Seagal has not spent his layoff getting buff and into fighting trim. – Todd McCarthy, Variety)

Poster – What if Like … People Were the Real Guns, You Know? (A+)

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(This is what I’m talking about. We got some polish, some bold colors, some distinctive font. We got a gun with faces in it and people at the muzzle. This literally checks off every box on what I want out of a poster. I don’t care what you think, I’m a big fan.)

Tagline(s) – What Can Two Men Do Against A Gang Of Crooked Cops? Whatever It Takes. (F)

This Is Gonna Hurt (C-)

(The first is long and not clever and makes my head hurt when I think about it. The second is short and sweat. Still not clever or very interesting, but I appreciate it. Especially compared to the first one.)

Keyword(s) – heroin; Top Ten by BMeTric: 70.5 The Animal (2001); 56.5 The Lords of Salem (2012); 54.3 The Informers (2008); 52.5 Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010); 52.0 Bangkok Dangerous (2008); 49.1 Abandon (2002); 45.8 Exit Wounds (2001); 44.8 Contracted (2013); 41.9 What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004); 38.8 Observe and Report (2009);

(I wonder if What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? Actually has a story related to heroin, or … if they misspelled heroine when plugging in the keyword. Regardless, no joke, these are all garbage. The Animal has one moment where he finds heroin in a guys butt and it gets the keyword? It is just terrible.)

Notes – Eva Mendes (who called this a “terrible movie”) said her dialogue in this film was entirely re-dubbed by another actress. Mendes says she learned of this when she attended the premier with her family and realized “…Something was wrong. Something was just off.” She says the producer later explained to her that her voice was replaced because she “didn’t sound intelligent enough.” Mendes told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (1996), “A Steven Seagal film, and I didn’t sound intelligent enough?!” (Ha, that’s misogynistic. Mainly because DMX is supposed to be as or more intelligent than her in the film, both of them are millionaire computer scientists)

In an interview with Huffpost Live, Tom Arnold claimed that Steven Seagal fell into the water while filming a scene on his character’s houseboat: Seagal had opted to shoot the scene without rehearsal and mistakenly exited through the wrong door, leading him to drop into the bay.

DMX did not enjoy working with Steven Seagal, describing him as a “dickhead”. (HA! I wonder what he thought of Jet Li)

Filming in Toronto was delayed again when David Vadim was arrested and charged with committing a sexual assault on a wardrobe technician on the set. (WHAT. Gross.)

According to Stephen Quadros, the fight scene between Steven Seagal and Michael Jai White was not choreographed in advance; Seagal and White ad-libbed it during production. (Wait … the one with the swords? Yeah … I don’t believe you)

During filming in Hamilton, a van was being towed along a street upside-down as part of a chase scene; stuntman Chris Lamon and another man were supposed to roll safely out, but Lamon apparently struck his head, and died six days later. Todd Schroeder suffered a concussion in the same incident. The scene was re-shot with the van moving slower and the stuntmen placed differently. (What?! Someone died on this film too? What a mess)

The opening action sequence which was actually part of the re-shoots was inspired by similar action sequence from screenwriter Jeffrey Boam’s rejected script for fourth Lethal Weapon film which he wrote in 1995, and which had main heroes of Lethal Weapon films, Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, fighting against neo-nazi terrorists in L.A. Producer Joel Silver remembered the action sequence from the script and he was the one who decided to add it in Exit Wounds.

Anthony Anderson joked that his main purpose in the film was to make DMX look good. (As per usual m’man. Anderson is another guy accused of sexual assault multiple times. What a gem of a cast we have here)

Michael Jai White and Steven Seagal first worked together in 1993, on a Japanese soup commercial. (I wish I would find that commercial but alas I cannot)

Steven Seagal’s last film to have a wide theatrical release. (Noice)

Jill Hennessy said being in this film was “one of the best times in my life.” (Not Law and Order. Tough look for Law and Order)

The bridge attack scene; with the Happy Face helicopter, was shot on the Centre Street Bridge in Calgary, Alberta. The 85-year-old bridge had been closed for close to a year for restoration when the Exit Wounds crew came to town, so there was much concern from nearby residents when things started blowing up on the bridge. About six months later, long after the bridge had been re-opened, there was a major controversy in Calgary when the producers requested the bridge be closed again for retakes.

This was Steven Seagal’s return to movies after a three-year absence. It was a new Seagal – he slimmed down, updated his wardrobe, and ditched his trademark ponytail. (He did look much more reasonable and not ridiculous I thought)

Andrzej Bartkowiak, Isaiah Washington, DMX and Anthony Anderson all worked together in Romeo Must Die (2000). (And DMX and Anthony Anderwon and Tom Arnold and Bartkowiak also made Cradle 2 the Grave!)

The film bares little resemblance to the novel it is based on by ex-cop-turned-novelist John Westermann. (Not surprising)

This was Steven Seagal’s first go at wire work in a movie. (Well, it was made in 2001, prime time for wire work)

Cannonball Run II Recap

Jamie

Remember those bozos from the last movie? Well they’re back, Jack! And ready to ride their way to victory in a cross country road race. When the Sheik is kidnapped by some mobsters the cannonballers gotta pull out all the stops to help him. Will they free the racist caricature (and perhaps win the big race) before it’s too late? Find out in… Cannonball Run II.

How?! The Sheik is pretty embarrassed about losing the last race due to an unforeseen plot hole so he sets up a second one to prove his worth. While everyone is gathering, however, it is revealed that the goofball son of the Mafia don has gotten in deep with a rival mob. He comes to collect from Jamie and Morris (the priests from first film) and they point to the Sheik as a way to get the cash. A plan is in motion to kidnap the Sheik and ransom him for the large sum that the rival mob is asking for. If this sounds terrible and in no way related to a film about car racing you are correct. Anyway they all get new gimmicks. J.J. and Victor are now impersonating Army generals, Jackie Chan is back with a new robot car, the drunk priests are now impersonating cops, the hot ladies are still just hot ladies, and the good ol’ boys are back except now one of them is Tony Danza and they have a car driven by a orangutan… yeeeeessh. Basically nothing happens for a while except J.J. and Victor pick up a couple of actresses dressed as nuns and Jackie Chan’s car goes into a lake and turns into a submarine (best scene of the film). Eventually the Sheik is kidnapped and our heroes hatch a plan with Frank Sinatra to infiltrate the Mafia’s hideout and get him back. This culminates in a big fight which they win. They then finish the race off screen and we are treated to seeing the orangutan declared the winner. THE END.

Why?! More like Whhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy??!!! Amirite? The motivations are the same. J.J. and Victor want glory and fame, the priests/cops are in it to clear their gambling debts, the hot ladies just want to go fast, Jackie Chan is back to prove the superiority of Japanese racing technology and talent, and the good ol’ boys just want to have a good time (but the orangutan sure is making it tough)… god, writing about this is making me sad.

What?! Someone switched sponsors! Last film everyone was crushing Budweiser. This film? Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) is in everyone’s hands. Also want to note that back in 2011 there was a lot of buzz for a remake of The Cannonball Run series starring Brad Pitt which was supposed to birth a new generation of product placement as it was funded by GM. It never came to fruition and now the remake seems to be in the works sans Pitt and GM.

Who?! Victor played by Dom DeLuise is probably the best example of a Planchet we’ve seen in quite some time. The man is generally a good guy, a great friend, and a bumbling chubby idiot at the same time. So of course J.J. treats him like shit. He is always hitting him and calling him names. Congrats Victor, you are a very good BMT thing coming out of a truly terrible film. Frank Sinatra makes one of his final screen appearances in a bizarre set of scenes where it’s obvious that he was never in the room with any of the other actors. On top of that they all more or less grovel at the feet of Blue Eyes. Joe Theismann followed in Bradshaw’s shoes and appeared in this film. Finally I have to give a big shoutout to Don Knotts who made a cameo appearance here as a highway patrolman who gets attacked by an orangutan (this is real).

Where?! Road Trip Alert! Still a roadtrip movie, but no nearly as good as the last film. It starts in Redondo Beach, California, but then almost immediately spends most of its time hanging around Las Vegas. It finally jumps to CT at the end. So not a great road trip but better focus on a single place. B-.

When?! Better chance this time to see an actual date as there were fliers for the race, but I couldn’t make out the date on any of them. Maybe if I had an original print of the film or happened upon a large cache of props. Until then… F.

This movie is terrible, terrible, terrible. It is just a knock-off of the first one with a lot of the good stuff removed. It’s barely even a racing movie anymore as they mire themselves in a Las Vegas mobster plot that is real tedious to get through. It’s amazing that both the first one and the second one were so bad considering their success, but this one makes the first one look like a masterpiece. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Oh snap, you remember that crappy movie you made a few years ago on a shoestring budget? It made boatloads. A sequel is going to be easy. I mean … the jokes write themselves! Well, actually, if we do it right the jokes are literally already written … Let’s get into it!

The Good – Oof. Uh … Jackie Chan’s story is a bit better this time around. I was mentally prepared for watching this trash because I had seen the first one. That’s it.

P’s View on the Preview – Now having watched the original I knew what I was getting into. The first was garbage. The second is considered worse so … double garbage, all the way, oh my gosh. Otherwise I guess I was most interested in seeing Frank Sinatra play himself a bit? I wasn’t looking forward to watching this to say the least.

The Bad – This film is totally and utterly unnecessary. They don’t even do a cross country race. They go from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (an afternoon jaunt) and then animate the entire thing at the end! It is crazy. Burt Reynolds and DeLuise are particularly bad in this one, I’m skeptical they even had a script. If they did it said “Burt and Dom improv for 15 minutes, end scene” at times, I guarantee it.

Get Yo Rant On – In the previous recap I talked about Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise’s comic stylings. This time let’s get a little shout out for everyone else involved. Jamie Farr plays a truly racist caricature (and not in a “the times they are a-changin” kind of way, he’s in blackface in 1984). In back-to-back films they inexplicably cast Terry Bradshaw and Joe Theismann. The main pair of ladies basically just show their breasts the entire time. Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin … the less said the better. And … who knows I can’t remember anyone else. Like an orangutan. These characters are neither interesting or funny and on most occasions offensive. So congrats Cannonball Run II, you managed to make a not-funny film even less funny and more offensive.

The BMT – Now this! This is a real Razzies-Calendar-Smellements film, it ticks the games off like crazy. It is one of those classic bad movies we just had to watch. Would I want to watch it again? Never. But maybe just show the opening scene and turn to whomever you are talking with and say “You see? You see this garbage? Do you want more of this? Didn’t think so” and shut it off.

Welcome to Earf – Not surprisingly The Cannonball Run and its sequel have the same chain: Burt Reynolds was in Cannonball Run II and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – At one point in time Gene Siskel suggested this film was the worst film ever made. There aren’t many lists from the time, but do yourself a favor and watch the Siskel and Ebert review:

They absolutely destroy Burt Reynolds, that man had a family! Presumably, I don’t know. I think it would be a few years before he got married and adopted his son.

Besides the BONUS of The Cannonball Run there was no homework. Turns out that despite Speed Zone being referred to as Cannonball Run III in the literature, it is not in fact a sequel. Good for me since I’m not sure I could have watched a third version of this trash.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Cannonball Run Recap

Jamie

A bunch of bozos get together for the annual (?) Cannonball Run, a cross country road race where rules are not coolz. They all have their gimmicks and celebs galore as they race for the coveted cup. Can [insert favorite character] win the race before it’s too late? Find out in… The Cannonball Run.

How?! In the flimsiest of plots our heroes, J.J. and Victor, enter The Cannonball Run disguised as ambulance drivers in an attempt to evade police suspicion. Added to the mix are: some hot women, a gambler and a washed up race car driver turned drunk disguised as priests, Jackie Chan in a Japanese robot car, good ol’ boy Terry Bradshaw, a Roger Moore lookalike played by Roger Moore, and a very racist depiction of a Middle Eastern Sheik. There are others but those are the major players. Anyway, J.J. and Victor kidnap a photographer lady and have a rivalry with the priests, but otherwise it’s just zany antic after zany antic for our heroes. The whole time there is an attempt by a politician to shut down the race, but that comes to nothing except sadness for the politician. The film culminates with a fight at a gas station where all the cars end up stuck waiting for construction to clear. We get some Jackie Chan moves and Victor becomes a weird superhero or whatever and it’s obviously hilarious. They then all sprint for the finish line (even though it was a staggered start) ending with the hot ladies winning the prize. THE END.

Why?! It is interesting to think about the motivations for the characters. J.J. and Victor want money and fame, the priests placed a large wager on themselves, the ladies seem to just want to go fast, Roger Moore is for the thrill of it, Terry Bradshaw wants to whoop it up and have fun, Jackie Chan wants to show the superiority of Japanese technology, and the Sheik doesn’t want to bring shame to his family’s name. I think that’s pretty accurate.

What?! There are certainly product placements to note (like Terry Bradshaw crushing Budweisers left and right), but I’m gonna take the rare opportunity to note a rare plot hole in this film. Plot holes are hard to spot, but in this case it’s pretty clear that the creators of this film just didn’t care. It’s explained that the race is run using time cards. Each team punches their card in a staggered start and then whoever has their timecard show the lowest elapsed time is the winner of the race… and yet the film finishes with all the major teams in the film running to the finish line to try to cross first. The time card is never mentioned, nor is it noted that the declared winners (the hot ladies) started earlier than several of the teams shown and should have lost to them. Congrats. That is truly terrible writing.

Who?! There is a classic Planchet in this film, but I’ll use the recap of the second film to discuss that. Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin are in both films and both had major singing careers. Peter Fonda has a cameo as the head of a biker gang in a nod to Easy Rider. Football player Terry Bradshaw is a character in the film. Finally, Jamie Farr plays the Sheik in arab-face which is problematic to say the least. It’s pretty offensive in a very they-made-this-in-the-80s kind of way.

Where?! We get another Road Trip Alert! The Cannonball Run starts in Darien, CT (confirmed by several signs). We get scenes in New Jersey, Ohio, and Missouri in the very least (probably more could be definitively determined). It ends in Redondo Beach, California. Not as good as Crossroads, but solid. B.

When?! My guess would be that the film takes place in the Spring, but it’s not something that I could figure out for sure. Maybe it’s noted somewhere in the film but I sure in hell ain’t going back and watching it again to find out. F.

This movie is surprisingly terrible and useless for being one of the biggest hits of 1981. Let me count the ways. The production is ramshackle, exemplified by the plane stunt where cameras and police barricades are clearly visible. The Middle Eastern character is one of the most racist depictions I’ve seen in a BMT film… his name is Sheik Abdul ben Falafel! Even though I can to appreciate the charm of Dom DeLuise, the film is just not funny. Finally, it has one of the most glaring plot holes I’ve ever witnessed on film. It is just not a good film… and yet America seemed to not be able to get enough. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Time to pack up your ambulance, grab a disgusting doctor character, and unleash your inner Captain Chaos, because The Cannonball Run is starting. Mad antics like this just haaaave to be funny, right? … Right? Let’s get into it!

The Good – If you like cars, Burt Reynolds, or both this film might just be for you. Farrah Fawcett is like … super attractive. The fact that this is as true to the original race as you’ll see is pretty fun. Some of the others are funny in their own way, Jackie Chan and Roger Moore in particular are fine.

P’s View on the Preview – I told Jamie that I wondered if this would be like Anaconda. If this is one of those films which have bad reviews now, but didn’t really back then (at least not as bad) and that once I watched it I would think it wasn’t nearly as bad as the rating suggests. He told me to watch the movie. But you can kind of see my mindset going into the film. I expected it to be a cult-classic (which was always my perception of it). Boy howdy was I wrong.

The Bad – This movie isn’t funny. Seeing Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin doing … this, just isn’t a good look. The movie is just not funny, not a single moment of it. It is a totally mess from a storytelling perspective, less of a three act structure and more of the loosey goosey meandering scripts from the decades before. There is some complicated sexual assault / drugging / disgusting garbage behavior played for laughs which you just couldn’t get away with now. The movie just isn’t funny, it is boring.

Get Yo Rant On – For the first film’s rant I choose to highlight the interactions between Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in particular. Specifically the way they fake laugh with each other and Burt’s kind of … odd improvisational stylings. Perhaps it is my pre-1980 bias showing, but was this normal? Or was it a product of a very quick and very tight shooting schedule. Did Hal Needham just trust Reynolds to get the comic timing correct, or is this a fundamental disaster. I will say: Burt Reynolds doesn’t really come across as funny in the film. He comes across as a very smooth ladies man and straight man playing off of DeLuise’s comedy … but DeLuise isn’t funny either. No one is funny in this film … I don’t get it, am I taking crazy pills? Rant over.

The BMT – Weirdly … I do think this has legs. Cannonball Run films are a very strange as specific sub-genre. Almost exclusively comedies (interestingly enough). I wonder if there is an example of a serious version of Cannonball Run? And if not, why not? I guess it was all played for jokes at the time, but someone who really needs the money or someone who needs to stop another person from getting the money seems like a decent action premise. My point is, completing the Cannonball Run genre will be a thing and this will be part of it. I will never watch this film again if I can help it though.

Welcome to Earf – Shockingly easy in light on last week’s run. Burt Reynolds was in The Cannonball Run and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – This one doesn’t have much beyond most respectable critics at the time ragging on it. In particular Siskel and Ebert seemed to think this was a particularly egregious example of lazy filmmaking. Maybe Lennon and Garant can fix it the next time around …

Phew, one Cannonball Run down, one to go. The second couldn’t possibly be as bad as this right? … Right?

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Cannonball Run II Preview

As we enter the bar to put our names in for the high stakes karaoke competition, Patrick and I get a glimpse of the crowd and can see in their eyes that they want a sexy show. Time to pull out all the stops! We fit ourselves into the snuggest jean shorts we can find and show off the goods. Despite our jorts-limited range of motion, the crowd is pleased by the sensual and yet classy dance routine/karaoke masterpiece we perform in perfect unison. Never before has John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland” rung so true. With chests heaving and jorts soaked with sweat, we exit the stage to raucous applause. The next singer approaches the stage only to have garbage and rotten vegetables thrown at them. “Jamie and Patrick! Jamie and Patrick!” The crowd chants in ecstasy. We return to the stage and perform a three hour encore show. We are showered with record deals, but the big road race awaits and we have no time for overnight success. The emcee of the show approaches and hands us the prize: a golden microphone and enough money for one way tickets back to the States. We look longingly at the stage, but know that this dream will fade, but the friendship we’ve forged fighting to save the world from the Obsidian Dongle, that… is forever. We board the plane and arrive in Delaware just in time for The No Rulez Road Race where rulez are decidedly not coolz. That’s right! We’ve got another double feature this week as we partake in the classic The Cannonball Run series of films. This is part of the chain reaction going from Underclassman. We’re using Cheech Marin to get from that film to Cannonball Run II as he was *check notes* “Tire Store Employee (Uncredited)”… … … hmmmm, stay tuned next week to find out if we have to mend this chain because it sounds like he’s not even in Cannonball Run II. Great. Let’s go!

Cannonball Run II (1984) – BMeTric: 54.8

CannonballRunII_BMeT

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(If The CannonBall run rises in such a way that it floats about the transition point from good-to-bad, this is just on the other side, managing to rise up enough to become a significant bad movie choice. Given it was released in the early 80s this is actually a pretty solid achievement.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sequel to the 1981 box-office hit looks like someone’s bad home movies. Amateurish action comedy with tons of tacky guest-star cameos. What a waste! Final film roles for Martin and Sinatra.

(That last bit is a bit sad. The entire thing is also amusing in that is can be summed up as: this is barely a movie. Coincidentally, that is our most common criticism of films like this, that they are barely-movies and I don’t really know why we watch them.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vT8_gg7VU8

(Joe Theismann! Anyways, this looks like complete garbage as you would expect. Although, I do enjoy that they put Burt Reynolds’ terrible fake laugh into the trailer. It is an important part of his character in these films I feel like.)

Directors – Hal Needham – (Known For: Smokey and the Bandit; Hooper; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Megaforce; Stroker Ace; Cactus Jack; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1983 for Megaforce; in 1984 for Stroker Ace; and in 1985 for Cannonball Run II; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: His run in the early 80s (aided and abetted by Burt Reynolds apparently) is astounding as his Razzie nominations (back when that meant something goddamnit!) indicate.)

Writers – Brock Yates (characters creator) – (Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Notes: Wrote the original screenplay and created the actual Cannonball Run race. It is interesting he doesn’t have a credit on Speed Zone which is often referred to as Cannonball Run III.)

Hal Needham (written by) – (Known For: Smokey and the Bandit; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Megaforce; Stroker Ace; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1983 for Megaforce; in 1984 for Stroker Ace; and in 1985 for Cannonball Run II; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: He wrote four television (prequel) movies for Smokey and the Bandit. They claim to all have been released in 1994 … so perhaps some sort of vague mini-series.)

Albert S. Ruddy (written by) – (Known For: The Mean Machine; Cloud 9; Future BMT: Bad Girls; Megaforce; The Longest Yard; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: Huge producer. He created Hogan’s Heroes and Walker, Texas Ranger as well.)

Harvey Miller (written by) – (Known For: Private Benjamin; Future BMT: Protocol; Getting Away with Murder; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: A famous comedy writer he was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Private Benjamin)

Actors – Burt Reynolds – (Known For: Boogie Nights; Deliverance; Smokey and the Bandit; Bean; Dog Years; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; All Dogs Go to Heaven; The Player; The Mean Machine; Hooper; Sharky’s Machine; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask; White Lightning; Silent Movie; The End; Semi-Tough; Citizen Ruth; Hustle; Best Friends; Switching Channels; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; Smokey and the Bandit Part 3; Cop & ½; Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Delgo; Without a Paddle; City Heat; Stroker Ace; Hotel; Deal; Meet Wally Sparks; The Crew; Rent-a-Cop; The Man Who Loved Women; The Longest Yard; Gator; Physical Evidence; Malone; At Long Last Love; Heat; Stick; Mystery, Alaska; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Striptease; Driven; Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Trigger Happy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Cop & ½ in 1994; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1985 for Cannonball Run II, and City Heat; and in 1989 for Rent-a-Cop, and Switching Channels; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1997 for Striptease; in 2002 for Driven; in 2006 for The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Longest Yard; and in 2009 for Deal, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; Notes: Y’all know Burt Reynolds. He at one point owned a USFL team (the Tampa Bay Bandits) and ran a NASCAR Winston Cup team with Hal Needham (Mach 1 Racing).)

Dom DeLuise – (Known For: Blazing Saddles; Spaceballs; Robin Hood: Men in Tights; History of the World: Part I; Johnny Dangerously; The Secret of NIMH; Oliver & Company; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; An American Tail; All Dogs Go to Heaven; The Muppet Movie; An American Tail: Fievel Goes West; Fail-Safe; Silent Movie; The End; The Twelve Chairs; The Glass Bottom Boat; The Cheap Detective; Fatso; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; The Silence of the Hams; Loose Cannons; A Troll in Central Park; Haunted Honeymoon; All Dogs Go to Heaven 2; Wholly Moses!; Happily Ever After; Sextette; Girl Play; The World’s Greatest Lover; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Haunted Honeymoon in 1987; Notes: Had three sons who all became regular television actors one shows like 21 Jump Street, seaQuest DSV, The Wizards of Waverly Place, and 3rd Rock From the Sun.)

Dean Martin – (Known For: Robin and the 7 Hoods; Airport; Some Came Running; Ocean’s Eleven; The Sons of Katie Elder; Rio Bravo; The Young Lions; Kiss Me, Stupid; Road to Bali; Artists and Models; Bells Are Ringing; Come Blow Your Horn; Toys in the Attic; The Caddy; Scared Stiff; Future BMT: 4 for Texas; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Notes: One of the original Rat Pack, the three main members (Sinatra, Davis, and Martin) all appear in this film.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $28,078,073

(One-third of the gross of the original which … isn’t great. So not surprised they didn’t go for a third.)

#21 for the Car Racing genre

cannonballrun2_carracing

(Lower than Need for Speed and Driven! The only BMT film which grossed less in Redline, ooooooooooooooof. Died in the 90s, resurrected by The Fast and the Furious among other things.)

#89 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

cannonballrun2_comedysequel

(Around Duece Bigelow: European Gigolo. The Highest grossing film we’ve ever seen in this genre is Grown Ups 2. We are still in the process of coming down from a heady high in this genre, we’ll see in the next few years if we rebound. The fact that the only real comedy sequel this year had to be Kickstarted (Super Troopers 2) probably doesn’t bode super well.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (2/15): No consensus yet.

(I’ll just have to make a consensus: An anachronistic, lazy, laugh-free embarrassment. Are you waiting for a punchline? That’s it, this film is garbage. Reviewer Highlight: Cannonball Run II is one of the laziest insults to the intelligence of moviegoers that I can remember. – Roger Ebert)

Poster – The No Rulez Race II: Even Less Rulez (A-)

cannonball_run_ii

(Despite the number of things happening on the poster, I think this kind of works. Nicely balanced, nice yellow adventure film coloring, and some font to boot. Pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – The popcorn is in the lobby. The nuts are on the screen. (A+++++++++++)

(Ahahahahahahaha. Can something be so wrong that it’s right? My god do I love this tagline. When/if Patrick and I write a fake movie about the bad movie twins and their underwater adventure to save the world this will 100% be the tagline. Copyright laws be damned!)

Keyword(s) – chase; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.7 Catwoman (2004); 94.6 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.5 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 89.0 The Last Airbender (2010); 88.7 House of the Dead (2003); 86.0 The Avengers (1998); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.8 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011);

(Smashing chase films. Not even a joke. Just House of the Dead … can we bear another Uwe Boll film?)

Notes – Frank Sinatra’s cameo was his final acting role in a theatrical film, though he would make one final appearance in the television movie Young at Heart (1995). All his other appearances from here on would be in documentaries and retrospectives. (Not a super great conclusion to a career … playing yourself in Cannonball Run II)

Sir Roger Moore later regretted his decision to turn down a role in this film, after finding out Frank Sinatra was appearing. In his autobiography, he states of this, “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but too few to mention.”

Final of the 1970s to 1980s action car stunt comedies for Burt Reynolds. These films included the Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run film franchises, as well as Stroker Ace (1983) and Hooper (1978). (Box office bomb did it in I assume)

As this movie features Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Shirley MacLaine, it is arguably the final ever “Rat Pack” movie (original Rat Pack members Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford are not in this film). For this movie, it was the final film for Martin and Sinatra. (Don’t call it that …)

Final “Cannonball Run” movie for all of the cast except Jamie Farr, who appeared in the third movie, Cannonball Fever (1989). (I had to look this up … this is called Speed Zone, and is not related to the other films I don’t think)

Jackie Chan appeared as part of a contractual obligation to Warner Brothers. (Ah that makes sense)

Bobby Berosini’s orangutan and Tony Danza appeared in Going Ape! (1981). (Oh …. That makes sense)

Hal Needham, on the first film’s commentary, talked about how Frank Sinatra showed up very early on the set of this film to get his parts shot, and then left before the other actors even showed up. If you watch closely during the office scene, Sinatra is never on film with the other actors. A few times his back is shown with the other characters facing him, but this is a double. (WHAAAAAAAAT)

Burt Reynolds said in 1982, a couple of years before this picture, that he wasn’t going to make any more “car chase” movies. (Then he was shown the big bucks)

On certain original Beta video covers, it stated this movie was the debut of the monster truck Bigfoot in a motion picture, cashing in on the popularity of the truck in the mid 1980s. It’s not true, as Bigfoot first appeared in Take This Job and Shove It (1981). (LOL)

Aside from playing Victor Prinzim, Dom DeLuise also played mob boss Don Cannelloni, who behaves and speaks similar to The Godfather (1972)’s main character, Don Corleone. DeLuise played a similar character in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), a film directed by his long time collaborator Mel Brooks. He also played a similar character in The Godson (1998). (Yeah, it is the same as in Robin Hood, I recognized that)

Frank Sinatra was not happy with the movie, asking how his character was supposed to win the Cannonball Run after joining it on its final leg. He was under the impression it was a race where the first person across the finish line was the winner, and no one explained you clock in at the start, and clock off at the end. (Wait … did he win? They suggested Tony Danza and the ape did I thought)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Albert S. Ruddy, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Burt Reynolds, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Shirley MacLaine, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Sammy Davis Jr., 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Susan Anton, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Marilu Henner, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Hal Needham, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Harvey Miller, Hal Needham, Albert S. Ruddy, 1985)

The Cannonball Run Preview

NOTE: This is a BONUS BMT this week in preparation for Cannonball Run II. To read up on the continued adventures of the Bad Movie Twins see the Cannonball Run II preview.

The Cannonball Run (1981) – BMeTric: 24.4

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(It is kind of amazing that there was only five thousand votes for a 1981 smash hit film in 2004 or whatever. Very consistent BMeTric, so basically it is rising just one might expect for a crap film slowly gaining votes over time.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Just what civilization needs – more Reynolds car-chase silliness, inspired by the same cross-country road race depicted in The Gumball Rally and Cannonball. Pretty unendurable, despite unusual cast; rumor has it that the one responsible for casting Dino and Sammy as priests is still doing his Hail Marys. Followed by a sequel.

(Hell yeah this was followed by a sequel. I’m quite shocked this is supposed to be so bad. I had it pegged as a not-funny but very successful minor comedy of the 80s more famous for spawning an infamous sequel than anything else. And it seems that actually both are reviled for mostly the same reasons.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2hGFN8NlLQ

(Oh shit they put the fox cartoon at the front of the trailer! Jeez lousie! Farrah Fawcett is looking … a little cold in the early part of that trailer. Terrible trailer, primarily because it muddles the entire plot of the film in my opinion. You obviously can’t fly … like, any transcontinental flight would have crushed those goobers. Just nonsense. Crazy cast, and I’m actually rather surprised that Jackie Chan gets a shout out in the trailer (although this is likely a home video trailer, not theatrical, so it could have been after he was already famous))

Directors – Hal Needham – (Known For: Smokey and the Bandit; Hooper; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Megaforce; Stroker Ace; Cactus Jack; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1983 for Megaforce; in 1984 for Stroker Ace; and in 1985 for Cannonball Run II; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: Was primarily a stuntman and is well known for training a new generation of stuntmen and pushing for recognition for their work in film. There is a sad tale to the film though.)

Writers – Brock Yates (written by) – (Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Notes: The creator of the actual Cannon Ball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. The ambulance in the film was the actual car he drove in the first race.)

Actors – Burt Reynolds – (Known For: Boogie Nights; Deliverance; Smokey and the Bandit; Bean; Dog Years; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; All Dogs Go to Heaven; The Player; The Mean Machine; Hooper; Sharky’s Machine; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask; White Lightning; Silent Movie; The End; Semi-Tough; Citizen Ruth; Hustle; Best Friends; Switching Channels; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; Smokey and the Bandit Part 3; Cop & ½; Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Delgo; Without a Paddle; City Heat; Stroker Ace; Hotel; Deal; Meet Wally Sparks; The Crew; Rent-a-Cop; The Man Who Loved Women; The Longest Yard; Gator; Physical Evidence; Malone; At Long Last Love; Heat; Stick; Mystery, Alaska; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Striptease; Driven; Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Trigger Happy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Cop & ½ in 1994; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1985 for Cannonball Run II, and City Heat; and in 1989 for Rent-a-Cop, and Switching Channels; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1997 for Striptease; in 2002 for Driven; in 2006 for The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Longest Yard; and in 2009 for Deal, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; Notes: Y’all know Burt Reynolds. Rolling Stone recently called him the last Good Ol’ Boy Movie Star.)

Roger Moore – (Known For: Live and Let Die; Moonraker; For Your Eyes Only; The Spy Who Loved Me; Octopussy; The Man with the Golden Gun; The Wild Geese; The Last Time I Saw Paris; Shout at the Devil; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; Boat Trip; Curse of the Pink Panther; The Quest; The Saint; A View to a Kill; North Sea Hijack; BMT: Spice World; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Spice World in 1999; Notes: James Bond times seven. A possibly-BMT film The Spy Who Dumped Me comes out this week, an obvious reference to one of his classic works listed above. Interesting that only one of his seven films qualifies … some of them are truly dire.)

Farrah Fawcett – (Known For: Logan’s Run; Dr. T & the Women; The Apostle; Extremities; See You in the Morning; Future BMT: Man of the House; Saturn 3; The Cookout; Myra Breckinridge; BMT: The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Saturn 3 in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Cannonball Run in 1982; Notes: Was married to Lee Majors and appears on television with him on numerous occasions in the 70s. Broke out as a star with Charlie’s Angels in the late 70s.)

Budget/Gross – $16–18 million / Domestic: $72,179,579

(Huge. Top ten film of the year and obviously made a ton. Amazing to be able to make a film with that many stars, that many stunts, and across the US for that little I feel like. What a steal.)

#14 for the Car Racing genre

cannonballrun_carracing

(This genre all but died in the 90s although I can’t tell you why (tastes change perhaps, much like the slashed went into a slumber in the 90s?). It is now booming with the Fast and the Furious franchise, which coincidentally are the highest grossing BMT films we’ve see from this genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (9/31): No consensus yet.

(The consensus is essentially: They made a terrible bad film, escapism in its purest form … which in a way I guess is fine given it made boatloads of cash. Reviewer Highlight: The Cannonball Run is an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition. – Roger Ebert)

Poster – The No Rulez Race (B-)

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(If you look ahead to the Cannonball Run II tagline and poster it’s a bit of a surprise that they did so much better with both those things the second time around. Perhaps they had a little less shame and just went for it when they got to the sequel. This all looks a little restrained, but still artistic.)

Tagline(s) – You’ll root for them all…but you’ll never guess who wins. (D)

(Blah. I actually straight up don’t like this one. Boring. Check out Cannonball Run II for one of the all-time classic taglines. This could not and does not match up.)

Keyword(s) – competition; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 83.5 Rollerball (2002); 81.9 You Got Served (2004); 77.6 The Starving Games (2013); 75.0 Daddy Day Camp (2007); 72.8 Driven (2001); 69.7 Recep Ivedik 4 (2014); 68.9 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 68.8 Herbie Fully Loaded (2005); 55.9 Snow Dogs (2002);

(I want to get served so badly. All of these are pretty great, we’ll sweep these up easily over the next few years I imagine.)

Notes – Jackie Chan makes one of his first U.S. film appearance. Inspired by Hal Needham’s notion of including bloopers during the closing credits, Chan began a tradition of doing the same in most of his movies, from this point onward.

The movie was originally planned as an action film starring Steve McQueen. After McQueen’s death, the lead went to Burt Reynolds, and the film became a comedy. (Oh … uh, that’s too bad, on both counts)

The ambulance used in the movie, is the actual ambulance that Hal Needham and Brock Yates souped up and raced in the real Cannonball Run. It had been modified with a HEMI engine, that made it go up to one hundred forty-five miles per hour (two hundred thirty-three kilometers per hour), and was equipped with four gas filler holes, so that the required ninety gallons (three hundred forty-one liters) could be pumped quickly. Needham and Yates didn’t win the race (the transmission blew in Palm Springs, California) so Needham kept it in storage for several years, until the time came to make this film. After the movie, he gave it to a church charity, which raised a good deal of money auctioning it off. (That is amazing)

Burt Reynolds became the highest paid actor in cinema history up to that point, for this movie, making five million dollars for four weeks work. (Good for him! Good for him!)

The producers asked the Governor of Georgia, if the crew could shut down the center of a small town, so that a plane could land in the middle of it. The police blocked off the section, in which the plane was to land, and a barrier can be seen in the background. (I mean … yeah you can, it is super amateurish)

To get material for this movie, Brock Yates ran the final Cannonball in 1979. The move cost him his editorial position at Car and Driver Magazine, which has since been reinstated. (Oh wow … that is crazy)

Legendary odds-maker Jimmy the Greek had a cameo in this movie, where he did a scene with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Jimmy and Dean grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, and were friends since childhood.

The short sequence in the beginning of the film, which involved two animated cars wrecking the 20th Century Fox logo, was created by Hal Needham, who did a similar one for another studio when releasing Smokey and the Bandit (1977). At first, Fox didn’t appreciate the notion of wrecking their logo, but soon found it would be appealing to audiences if it were left in.

Hal Needham and Producer Albert S. Ruddy liked the chemistry of Terry Bradshaw and Mel Tillis so much, that after this film, they tried to sell a pilot to ABC featuring their characters. The head of the network loved the idea, but the day before the meeting was to be held to discuss it, the head of the network was fired, and the project was cancelled. (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

Burt Reynolds said of the film, “I did that film for all the wrong reasons. I never liked it. I did it to help out a friend of mine, Hal Needham, and I also felt it was immoral to turn down that kind of money. I suppose I sold out, so I couldn’t really object to what people wrote about me.” (Good on you Burt. Good on you)

In one of the earlier scenes in the movie, J.J. McClure (Burt Reynolds) said “Could get a black Trans Am”, and then answers himself, “Naw, that’s been done.” This is a reference to Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), which starred Reynolds, and were directed by Hal Needham, who directed this film. DeLuise co-starred with Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (1980). (I hate this kind of stuff, but for such a light hearted comedy it makes sense)

Vehicles used in the film: J.J. and Victor are driving a 1978 Dodge Sportsman. Seymour is driving a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Blake and Fenderbaum are driving a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS. Terry and Mel are driving a 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna. Marcie and Jill are driving a 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S. The Japanese team is driving a 1980 Subaru DL. The Sheik is driving a 1976 Rolls-Royce Shadow 1. Mad Dog and Batman are driving a 1980 GMC C-35 Pickup. Brad and Shakey are driving a Harley-Davidson Sportster. When Mr. Foyt shows up at the hotel, he’s driving a 1972 Volvo 142. At the opening, Victor is driving a 1973 Honda Civic. The plane that J.J. and Victor are flying is a Maule M 5-235 Lunar Rocket. During the first appearance of Captain Chaos, he and J.J. are driving a 1969 Porsche 911. (I love it)

The moustache worn by Burt Reynolds in this movie was subsequently auctioned for the charity, UNICEF. The auction was held in Geneva, Switzerland, and the winning bid was twenty-five thousand dollars. The identity of the winning bidder was kept secret for many years. In an interview in 2012, the guitarist of the British rock band Queen, Brian May, revealed the winning bidder was Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. (So it was a fake mustache … or did they like … shave it off and put it on some tape or something)

NOTE: There was a note about this incident here, which I’ve replaced with a link to this article instead. (Super sad. Two years later the disaster on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie would happen. And while still much safer, accidents like what happened on one of the recent Transformers films, still happen)

The names of the characters of Jill and Marcy are never mentioned in this film. In Cannonball Run II (1984), both actresses were replaced, and were called Jill and Marcy, which has been a matter of debate for many years, as to if Jill and Marcy from Cannonball Run II (1984) are even supposed to be the same characters from this movie, or if it’s just to give the original two characters a name for crediting on movie media sites. (They are the same characters. It would be ludicrous if that weren’t the case)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Farrah Fawcett, 1982)

Righteous Kill Recap

Jamie

Detectives Turk and Rooster are on the trail of a scumbag-killing serial killer. Only when they discover that the killer is a vigilante cop do they realize that he may be closer than they thought. Can they stop the killer before it’s too late? Find out in… Righteous Kill.

What?! We open on Turk telling the camera that he is totes a vigilante cop killing people like no big deal (seriously, don’t worry about it. It’s definitely him). We then go back in time to when he and his total weirdo of a partner Rooster first found the trail of a serial killer called the Poetry Boy Killer. They track him all over the city and battle a different pair of detectives for authority over the case. At the same time Turk coaches softball, helps out a young lawyer he got in trouble in a sting operation, and occasionally has kinky sex with his considerably younger girlfriend… it’s real weird. When Poetry Boy unsuccessfully attacks a Russian mobster he knows that the jig is up. He attempts to kill him in the hospital only to be interrupted in the act. In a final act of desperation he goes to Turk’s girlfriend’s house and rapes her. Turk confronts Rooster after discovering that he is Poetry Boy from a little journal he is keeping. We then realize that all the scenes we saw of Turk admitting his guilt were just him reading the journal on camera like and idiot and it’s real dumb (like super dumb (I’m not sure you are getting how dumb this is))… oh yeah, and what a twist or whatever. Ultimately Turk confronts Rooster and is coaxed into shooting him. Rooster begs Turk to let him die and Turk acquiesces. THE END.

Why?! The reason for Rooster’s vigilantism is a little convoluted despite Turk trying to explain it directly to the viewer via the framing device. Apparently there was this criminal who killed a young girl and got away with it. Turk, who by all accounts was a very good, stand-up detective couldn’t handle this and framed the guy for a different crime. Rooster saw this event as indication that the justice system is corrupted and it broke down all the barriers of law and order in his head. Then once he got a taste of justice through his first righteous kill, Rooster just couldn’t stop (in other words he was a super crazy psychopath) and ended up killing like fifteen people.  

What?! It’s hard to ignore the fact that there was a lawsuit regarding the use of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s images in advertisements for the watch company Tutima. But if there was something that could make me forget that it’s the sheer number of Heinz ketchup bottles that are seen on screen. And lest you think this is just coincidence, they get a Special Thanks at the end of the credits. Thank you indeed.

Who?! In one of the briefest and strangest cameos I can remember, former pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek is seen for about five seconds in the role of a skateboarding pimp Rambo. This character is immediately killed and never talked or thought of again. Of course this isn’t the only celebrity actor in the film as 50 Cent plays a drug dealer Spider.

Where?! They are NYPD detectives so ‘nuff said… except I’ll say some more. 50 Cent’s club is the Club 404 in Harlem, they play softball in Central Park, and the entire cast of Friends are victims of Poetry Boy (note: not all BMT facts are true). B+ for prominence, could have been set in Seattle or Chicago or wherever really.

When?! I bet if you really scoured this film you’d find an exact date. Or at least a month, given that there are a lot of scenes in police stations, which are prime places for calendars to be hanging on walls. I went back through the film though and didn’t find a trace of anything… Spring or Summer probably because the police softball league is up and going. F

This movie is unbelievably incompetent. Like 88 Minutes all over again and no wonder since it was made by the same people. It is so poorly written you have to wonder whether it somehow fell apart in editing or they simply gave up on trying to make all the pieces fit together. And the twist was so dumb and obvious that it’s stupid they tried to trick the audience with it. All that being said, I found great joy in watching Al Pacino. You can tell just how little he gives a shit and is just goofing off and doing Al Pacino stuff the whole time. He is hilarious. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Righteous Kill? More like Fractious Mess, amirite? After the rousing success of Heat the studio executives all got together and declared “after thirteen years of hype we’ve done it! We’ve brought Pacino and De Niro back together to old-man-act together terribly like everyone always wanted!” And everyone thought “wait, who’s this now?” Let’s get into it!

The Good – If this movie existed in a vacuum with two actors you kind of didn’t know you might be able to squint your eyes and think “hey, whatever I like cop thrillers and serial killer stuff.” … But it doesn’t. Al Pacino’s acting is a beautiful thing to behold and something that should be cherished at every opportunity.

P’s View on the Preview – This movie is all about that cast isn’t it? But by far the most interesting thing discovered while making the preview was that Al Pacino was in both this film and BMT Hall of Fame film 88 Minutes in the same year. Not only that both films were directed by the same person! That is nuts. So obviously looking out for the similarities between Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes was high priority.

The Bad – It’s biggest crime is the film is kind of long and boring unlike the svelte 88 Minutes (which is naturally 88 minutes long … not joking). The acting was entertaining but bad. Carla Gugino’s role came across as a bit exploitative and gross. And the twist (if you can even call it that) is amazingly telegraphed and pointless. The story is just one big cliche we’ve seen before. By the end of it you are left wondering what was even the point when you can just watch 88 Minutes. They are stylized in the same weird way, which is the only enjoyable relic of the two movies being made in the same year by the same person.

Get Yo Rant On – If this move was released today it would star John Travolta and Nicolas Cage and it would be released direct-to-VOD. They would bill it as some sort of reunion of Face/Off, but it would be some rote story about a lawyer trying to take down some mafia boss and ending up as some vigilante hero or some crap like that. And ultimately all it would do is remind you of your own mortality and about how your best years are also probably behind you and how every good thing fades and is forgotten into an uncaring universe. That’s Righteous Kill. Thanks Righteous Kill, just what I needed while pointlessly wasting my life watching bad movies. Rant over.

Welcome to Earf – Easy obviously. Al Pacino is in both Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf you beautiful Al Pacino vehicle.

The BMT – It is kind of paired with 88 Minutes in an interesting way I think. And it is on the Calendar. So there are a few things going for it. But it probably won’t get anything fun in the end of the year Smaddies Baddies and it won’t make the Hall of Fame or anything like it’s twin film 88 Minutes. It isn’t anything special even if it is a total mess and a disaster.

StreetCreditReport.com – It does get a bit of credit here and there, although often overshadowed or mentioned alongside 88 Minutes (naturally). I am actually a bit shocked I could find anything, it feels like one of those movies where everyone would just forget it exists a month after it is released.

And that is that. I will say I took some homework upon myself for this one watching Heat. Which I liked. I can’t say I’m super sold on Michael Mann’s work. I liked Thief well enough (which is surprisingly similar to Heat I think, just in 1981), and Collateral, but I haven’t seen of ton of his stuff. Heat has a ridiculous cast and maybe the best bank robbery scene I’ve seen, which is enough, a very good heist / action film, if a bit long. This film is an abomination next to that one, and doing the homework was unnecessary to say the least.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs