It’s Pat Recap

Jamie

No one can figure out Pat’s gender. It’s driving the world insane. Can they figure out who and what Pat is before it’s… uh… too late? Find out in… It’s Pat!

How?! At the top we are introduced to Pat, an androgynous looking person who wanders from job to job and is generally an unpleasant asshole to be around. After once again taking up a new career, Pat meets Chris, another androgynous looking person who is not an asshole, and they fall in love. At the same time Kyle and his wife move next door and he becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of Pat’s gender. From there… pretty much nothing happens. Pat randomly becomes a love talk radio host, Chris and Pat break-up due to Pat’s immaturity, and Kyle descends into madness trying to solve Pat’s gender mystery. In the end Pat and Chris get married and Kyle is still crazy. Nothing happens! Literally nothing! And it’s only 78 minutes long! Tied with Dudley Do-Right for the shorted in BMT history.

Why?! Did I mention how literally nothing happens in this film. Pat has no motivation. This might be the only film I can recall where the main character has no motivation. Even in horror films the main characters at the very least don’t want to die. Not Pat. Nothing motivates Pat. The only motivation to be found is Kyle’s deeply disturbed obsession with discovering what gender Pat is. Some would interpret this as offensive, whereby Kyle is so entrenched in gender norms of our culture that he is unable to function without being able to label Pat (and is incapable of figuring out how to broach the subject politely). But I interpret this more as Kyle’s self-identity being shattered by finding himself in love with Pat. Without knowing what Pat is he feels like he doesn’t know a part of himself. He really doesn’t care what Pat is in the end (he would love Pat regardless), but just needs to know what it means for his own self discovery. You know what?… That still sounds kind of offensive. Is that still offensive?

What?! New What section. Here I’ll highlight some hilarious product placement in the film (another one of our favorite BMT things). While It’s Pat didn’t hawk a random beer or soft drink, it did serve as an extended music video for the 90’s alternative/lo-fi rock band Ween. That’s how little happened in this film. They were able to have two extended musical scenes by the band Ween and still come in under 80 minutes.

Who?! Ween was the biggest cameo, but not It’s Pat’s most acclaimed. That honor goes to Camille Paglia, a well regarded feminist thinker and academic. She unexpectedly shows up in a bizarre sequence where Pat’s engagement party karaoke video is screened on national television and she comes in to comment on it. Ween and Camille Paglia… interesting choices for a film that aims to say nothing of significance.

Where?! Easy breezy LA living for It’s Pat. Pretty clearly set there and I think for good reason. The one thing Pat seems to care about is somehow becoming famous. Makes sense that this takes place in LA then. B-.

When?! Exact date alert! Rarely do we get an super duper exact date and time, but that is the case for It’s Pat. As Kyle descends into madness he begins stalking Pat, including recording every minutiae of Pat’s day. In one such scene he notes that the time is August 2nd, 11:07 PM. Boom. Going out of their way for a slam dunk. B+.

It’s hard to overstate just how bad and crazy It’s Pat is. Easily one of the worst films we’ve watched… like ever. I sat in astonishment at what I was witnessing with nary a chuckle escaping my lips. Let’s expand on that thought. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Guess what? … It’s Me! Terrible joke, but this week we watched It’s Pat. Who would have thought making a movie about an SNL character who can barely sustain a five minute sketch would have been a bad idea? No one knew!! Let’s get into this pile of dog poo. Note: I will be referring to Pat as “he” for this review for simplicity’s sake, they never do reveal the character’s gender.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – There is nearly nothing good in this film. I’ll throw a shoutout to Charles Rocket who, playing a man spiraling out of control in his obsession with Pat, it actually rather intriguing (maybe not good). But that is it. But it is time … Remake! There is the smallest nugget of okay-ness in this film, and that is the idea behind Kyle’s (Charles Rocket) obsession. I’ll get a bit more into why everyone’s quest to discover Pat’s gender is an unappealing central conflict for a film, but Kyle utters a single line which I think could have been an okay storyline. “I love you Pat, I just need to know how we fit together”. Pat plays a boor; a narcissistic, obnoxious, asshole. But if instead Pat was strangely appealing it might work. He is a weirdo, but people find him oddly calming. Perhaps he is naive, or straightforward, and his struggles to fit in are inspiring. Regardless, Kyle’s obsession is then rooted in himself. How do he and Pat fit together? Is he gay, is he in love with a man? The conflict is his self-torment. And everyone he asks, Pat’s friends and family, shrug off all inquiries: Why does it matter? Pat is Pat? Pat would be the same regardless of whether he dressed and acted more masculine or feminine. Perhaps this story works better twenty-five years on, but it certainly could be made more pleasant that what we got. Which …

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Honestly, this movie is offensive. Everyone’s obsession with Pat’s gender comes across as weird and gross (weirder and grosser than Pat is intended to be, in many ways). Kyle’s obsession rings false because of just how big of a douchebag they make Pat out to be. It is poorly made, riddled with confusing stops and starts and flashbacks, and there isn’t really a story. A giant chunk of the middle of the film has to do with Pat playing a gig with Ween (they are somehow an enormous part of this movie!). Sklognalogy! I’m trying this out for a bit, but I’ll reach deep inside BMT and try and figure out ghosts of BMT’s past that haunt and colored my viewing of this film. Two obvious choices come to mind, straight from SNL alums. Going Overboard starring Adam Sandler has the same kind of low-quality surrealist living-cartoon-as-a-vessel-for-a-one-man-show kind of feeling to it, although It’s Pat is obviously relatively higher quality. The other is Stuart Saves His Family, which is closer to the same era of SNL films, but at least Stuart Saves His Family took a chance with the serious-family-drama-in-an-SNL-film idea. This is a blend between the two. A true SNL disaster.

BMT: Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com – StreetCreditReport.com is here to stay! First, the legacy: This might be the worst film I’ve ever seen. It is at least amazingly close. I think it will carry that torch for years to come, and I think along with Car 54 Where Are You? these films kind of exemplify bad movies of this particular era. As far as street cred, woof. #95 on the IMDb Bottom 100, and it is consistently mentioned as (by far) the worst SNL movie ever made. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t make it onto the worst films wiki page (I swear it used to be there), but it certainly would be top 3 for 1994 and top 10 for the 90s I think, if you really got into it. This is a truly weird film. Would not recommend.

I’ll close there with a very very brief BMT Homework: Do yourself a favor and watch one or two Pat skits from the early 90s. They are for reals offensive. People’s obsession with his gender is, as I said, gross and weird. The character is absurdly annoying. My year of flops gets into it a bit, but basically they seem to be correct: a ridiculous number of sketches just involve Pat meeting his doppelganger in the form of the guest for the week. It is everything that is wrong with that era of SNL: the recurring, cheap, and lazy character all rolled into one. I’ll leave it there. Cheerios, and back to you Jamie.

One Missed Call (2008) Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the Calendar where only the best of the worst of the worst reside. And there are very few films more poorly reviewed than One Missed Call. Let’s get into it.

What?! A cursed cell phone message is killing nubile college students. Each time someone is killed a call from the future previews the next victim’s imminent death. When Beth becomes the latest player in this deadly game of phone tag she teams up with a local cop to stop the madness. Can she uncover the mystery before it’s too late? Find out in… One Missed Call.

How?! There is a very basic premise that one needs to know to get 90% of this film: People die, when they die their phone calls someone in their contacts list (from the future… bum bum bum!), that person receives a message (from the future…bum bum bum!) that contains a recording of the last moments of their life (from the future… bum bum bum!), and a few days later that person is killed (as predicted) and the cycle begins anew. The entirety of the first part of this film takes place watching as random characters in the film are killed in increasingly silly and decidedly PG-13 ways as a result of these phone calls. When our main character, Beth, finally receives the phone call she’s got enough grit and last-girl-itude to try to solve the mystery (especially after the good people at Boost Mobile are no help at all… gah! Why must their mobile plans provide so many affordable minutes?!). She teams up with Ed Burns, a cop whose sister was also killed by the phone call, to figure it out. They trace it back to a woman who died in a hospital fire after her child died of an asthma attack. They go to the hospital and find the mother’s body, finally bringing her peace and thinking they’ve stopped the madness (phew!). But alas [SPOILER ALERT] it turns out that it was actually the evil daughter who was responsible for all the death and mayhem! In a “climactic” scene Beth is saved from the evil girl ghost by the mom ghost, but Ed Burns is killed. His phone dials a spooky posthumous call and the cycle starts anew. In case you’re confused: none of this actually makes sense.

Why?! Alright, let’s try to explain why this is all happening. The ghost mom had two children. The younger girl kept on getting sick and so everyone thought the mom had Munchausen By Proxy and was doing it on purpose. When the mom discovers that her elder daughter was actually responsible she locks her in her room where she dies of an asthma attack (daannnggg, coooold Bloooddeedd). With her dying breath the daughter dials her mother’s cellphone. This begins the curse as shortly thereafter her mother is killed in the hospital fire. So you see, the motivation for the whole film is a psychotic ghost child who uses her powers of evil to kill at random as a form of revenge for her unsettled spirit. Everyone else just doesn’t want to die.

Who?! Definitely have to give a shout out to one of the kid actors in the film. The evil daughter, Ellie, is played in the flashbacks by none other than Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame. Not the first Ariel Winter film in BMT. She also appeared in Killers. I barely remember the film let alone her role in it.

Where?! Not since The Tuxedo have we seen such a concerted effort to conceal the location of a film. There are fake license plates, fake drivers licenses, and concealed addresses. That is until the very end where Beth receives a letter that claims she lives in Minniwauka, NJ 60209. While that is a mindbogglingly bad fake location and the zip points to Evanston, IL you have to give default to the state listed. This is an NJ film. Makes sense too because I’ve heard that Ed Burns can’t exist outside the tri-state area. Exact but hardly mentioned. B-.

When?! This is clear from the get go. The film opens with a call from the spooky ghost on June 9th. So we got exact details without even trying. An easy slam dunk B+. Not an A because the time of year has little relevance, but it is mentioned over and over.

If you anyone wants to watch a horror film but wants something rididididididiculously not scary then this is the ticket for you. It is laughable for much of the film and I felt like it was right on the cusp of being a really good, funny BMT film. But my opinion doesn’t matter, I’m just the details man. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! One Missed Call? More like No Script At All! Amirite. What once was old is new again was the motto of mid-2000s horror, and for a brief period they were looking for anything that sounded vaguely like The Ring. Well this one sounds exactly like The Ring except with sweet Boost flip phones. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Woof. Not much was good in this film. Dare I say nothing at all? Even Ray Wise couldn’t save it from itself. This movie was crazy bad … so let’s do a remake! A remake of a remake? That’s right. This time the evil spirit is inhabiting a smart phone, and with access to all that technology it can reach beyond the confines of its sweet but limited flip phone capabilities! Spooky. Throw out your phone? It calls you on skype! Get rid of skype, it is in your email with hangouts! No escape, as it leaps from technology to technology. And this time you actually do make a statement about the pervasive and toxic nature of our connected world, because it turns out just reshooting a mediocre J-Horror film didn’t really cut it. Slash the budget, get inventive, One Missed Call: Unlimited Data Plan (ooooof, what a terrible title).

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sins) – As I said, this movie was crazy super-bad. At a svelte 90 minutes flat the film still felt like it was 20 minutes too long. The acting was top-to-bottom an atrocity. The movie, as I said, is a shot-for-shot remake of an already-not-scary J-Horror. Its existence is questionable, its production is sloppy, and, the biggest sin, it is not even a little bit scary. They couldn’t even do jump-scares properly (I was straight laughing at times). Good-bad horror is funny, and this gets mighty close to that area. Indeed, it would have been legendary if it didn’t feel a little too long. The sin is sloth: copying The Ring, copying the original Japanese film, barely even managing to muster a single scare in the entire film. Weak.

The BMT: Legacy – I think this will go down as one of the worst actual horror films we’ve ever seen. It is worse than The Gallows … The Gallows! The only thing that comes close is something like The Devil Inside, but found horror is a whole different garbage-y animal. As far as actual horror goes, this is a decent example of a film I would trot out if someone asked to watch the worst horror film I’ve seen (competing closely with The Fog). I disliked something like Friday the 13th Part 5 more, but there is something pure and kind of fun about how much this stands alone and proclaims: I am terrible. I’ll mention a small StreetCreditReport.com here because I love it. Sadly, despite being one of the worst films ever reviewed, I can’t find much play in the worst of lists. Possibly because 2008 was incredible (The Happening, Max Payne, Mamma Mia, What Happens In Vegas, etc.), but also because people hate horror films (at least critics seem to). I certainly gets high up on my personal list. Its cred comes from the reviews though, 0% on Rotten Tomatoes is always special.

And finally word about a little BMT Homework where I watched the original One Missed Call. This was the first J-Horror I’ve ever seen. I watched The Ring, but never Ringu. This … was not a good introduction. Too long, not very spooky or scary, a silly concept, and feels like a rip-off of The Ring. Better than the remake, but still, below-average. It did get me interested in watching more though. A very different feel from the slasher genre I’ve grown to love over the past few months. I’m thinking Ringu will be on the docket when we inevitably watch Rings this Fall, and from there, who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with that sub-genre as well. 

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Whole Ten Yards Recap

Jamie

As we crawl desperately through the wasteland that is <10% RT films, the scorching sun of The Whole Ten Yards beats down on us. I think fondly of Here on Earth for a moment and wonder what films may be beyond the horizon. The oasis of our next cycle is so close, and yet one long (oh, so long) recap of The Whole Ten Yards still stands in our way. Can we make it? Or will BMT die in this desert of dog poo? Let’s find out.

What?! Jimmy ‘The Tulip’ is back, Jack! After years in hiding, Jimmy seems to have lost his edge. But when his ex-wife, Cynthia, is kidnapped by vengeful mobsters he joins up with his erstwhile friend Oz to get her back. Can he stop the bad guys, save the girl, and perhaps pull one last big job before it’s too late? Find out in… The Whole Ten Yards.

How?! When we last saw our friends from The Whole Nine Yards, Jimmy had fallen for Jill, Oz had fallen for Cynthia, and they both had come into a bucketful of cash. Flash forward four years and Oz is a successful dentist in LA and he and Cynthia are living it up. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Jill are driving each other crazy hiding out in Mexico. Draaaaammmmaaaa (may as well be an alternate title for this film). Just when Oz learns that Cynthia is pregnant, the head of the Chicago mob, Lazlo, comes to LA to get revenge for Oz’s part in the events of the first film. Oz manages to escape to Mexico but Cynthia is kidnapped and there is only one person he can turn to for help, Jimmy. Oz and Jimmy team up once again and travel back to LA. There they kidnap Lazlo’s son, drink a whole mess of delicious Carlsberg beers, and deal with enough family drama to fill a soap opera (Jimmy and Jill want a baby, Jimmy is experiencing decreased libido, Jill is concerned that Jimmy’s still in love with Cynthia, Jill is concerned she’s not a good enough hitman etc. etc. etc). Using Lazlo’s son as leverage they coerce their way into the mobster’s hideout and [SUPER TWIST ALERT!] reveal that Jimmy and Cynthia has orchestrated the whole thing! Jimmy is actually Lazlo’s son and knows the secret to his fortune! They manage to subdue Lazlo, send him back to jail, and get the money. Hooray! Oh and Jill is suddenly pregnant. Double hooray!

Why?! Jimmy and Cynthia are in it for the sweet, sweet cash monies. Knowing that Lazlo will come after them once he’s out of jail they manufacture an unnecessarily complex scheme to trick everyone they love into risking their lives for the cash. Oz, of course, falls for it because he’s a sweet man who loves Cynthia. The mobsters just want blood and never really suspect that they’re getting played. The motivations are actually simple… it’s just the plot that ends up super convoluted.

Who?! Got to give a little shout out to Bruce Willis’ daughter Tallulah who shows up as a girl scout selling cookies in one of the opening scenes. Not to disparage a child but she’s not good. Like Marten Weiner in Mad Men not good (deep cut nepotism reference). The line reading just doesn’t make sense. She stresses random syllables like she’s reading the lines phonetically. I guess this is our one and only lesson: nepotism doesn’t always work. Who would have thought.

Where?! The Whole Nine Yards had the amazing and super rare setting of Montreal. Even shot on location. The second one also really wanted you to know where you were at all time. We split time between Mexico and LA with a slight edge to LA in the end. Solid without being necessary. B.

When?! Two different newspapers were shown up close. The first gave us a date of November 2003 for the film. The second seemed like it could yield an exact day, but I would need to see a higher quality version of the film to confirm anything. Almost a B. C+ instead.

Our lips are parched and yet there is no respite. Just dog poo everywhere. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone? The Whole Ten Yards? More like … Time to Discard? I can’t even think of a good NY Post headline … Zero out of Ten? Nine Yards Short? I tried looking up some etymology but … turns out it is a riddle! Seems to maybe come from a similar origin as “dressed to the nines” which itself is not really known. Anywho, is this movie dog poo in my face? Close at least. It is quite the mess. Let’s get into it, work through this riddle together!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Hmmmm. The cloud that represents the plot of this film is somehow quite simple to follow, which is nice. It also got me to watch The Whole Nine Yards, which held up far better than I expected it to. Linear, but still entertaining with two charming leads. Has anyone ever remade a sequel before!? Remake: Totally ignore that the other sequel exists, go back to Montreal, and, and this would be controversial, dump Matthew Perry. Instead, you see Tudeski trying to save Jill who, still moonlighting as an assassin, has landed herself in hot water. Jimmy teams up with a taxi driver who, ultimately, becomes a kind of getaway driver (similar to how Oz’s dental skills were the perfect skill Jimmy needed to resolve his troubles in the previous film). And yes … Kevin Hart is the taxi driver. The Whole Nine Yards 2: License to Drive. Amazingly terrible title.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Uh, those charming characters from the first film are now lost to Flanderization, including Jimmy who they managed to invent a trait to Flanderize him towards (cooking / cleaning / being a house husband). The storyline makes no sense. Kevin Pollack is just weird playing the father of the character he played in the first film (interesting if misguided idea). The twist is telegraphed, the motivations are ludicrous, and it comes across as a carbon copy of the original. I still don’t quite know if this is dog poo in my face … this is a bit closer to where something like Old Dogs is, which is thoroughly perplexing to a degree where you are just sitting there thinking “why is any of this happening?”. It has a fantastic gay panic scene too. Like The Medallion level gay panic. Dog poo in my face is a punch in the gut, like Strange Wilderness. It is like someone shoving dog poo in my face. It feels different. Oh … the sin is greed obviously. They wanted to cash in on that sweet franchise money yo.

The BMT: Legacy – I do think this gets pretty close to a rare spot for a comedy, which is a good-bad comedy. A tad bit boring and slow, but enough of the movie is ridiculously melodramatic,and the plot line is so perplexing, and Pollack’s performance is so over-the-top, that, for me, it gets to a place where I could watch it again and think it is just as funny-bad. It helps that the original Whole Nine Yards is a solid early-2000s comedy. Gives a little extra help there since this is probably a quintessential example of taking characters to extremes and reusing old jokes. I think it has decent legs ultimately when we reflect on 2017.

And finally the StreetCreditReport.com. Not surprisingly this actually does quite well in the amazingly crowded 2004 bad movie lists. The Movie Blog ranked it an impressive number 4! And Ebert had it as his 9th worst film of the year. Previously we watched Godsend as another 2004 film and it got no play, but this film is a genuinely perplexing catastrophe, so I think the praise is well deserved.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Mummy (2017) Recap

Jamie

Second BMT Live! of the year and we got a good jump on the new Dark Universe franchise. Not as sexy, embarrassing, or unintentionally hilarious as Fifty Shades Darker, but still got some things to say. Let’s go!

What?! Nick Morton is a thief, liar, and total badass. He’s treasure hunting in war-torn Iraq (natch) when he accidentally uncovers an Egyptian mummy, Ahmanet. Instantly cursed to be Set’s human vessel in Ahmanet’s dastardly plan, Morton must join forces with Dr. Jekyll and his monster hunters to stop her. Can she be stopped before it’s too late? Find out in… The Mummy!

How?! Alright, so like a million years ago Ahmanet was all set to rule Egypt as the one and only heir to the throne. That is until her daddio knocks up one of his servants and a son is born. Infuriated, Ahmanet make a deal with the devil (Set), kills her whole family, and attempts to bring death and despair to the world. Fortunately she is stopped and buried alive far from Egypt. Millenia later our hero Nick Morton inadvertently uncovers her tomb while treasure hunting/defending America in Iraq. When a sexy archaeologist (with whom Morton has has had prior relations, natch) attempts to bring the sarcophagus back to London for study, the mummy’s curse brings the plane down. Miraculously, Nick awakens unscathed from the crash revealing that he has been cursed to be Set’s human vessel in Ahmanet’s plan (and can’t die… yet). From there a bunch of origin story bullshit happens with Dr. Jekyll, Ahmanet is captured and then not captured, and Nick Morton drops some sweet one-liners. This culminates in Ahmanet’s plan almost working only to have Nick embrace the mummy’s curse to defeat her. Now part good and part evil he is left to roam the world fighting monsters trying to find a cure for his curse. Phew.

Why?! Uh… good question. Ahmanet is fueled by rage (obvs. She’s a monster). Nick Morton is mostly out to get money (and slay the ladies), but once he becomes Ahmanet’s chosen one he kind of loses any motivation for his actions. In fact this is a device used in the film, where Nick will suddenly stare into space, flashback to Ancient Egypt, and then awaken in a new place without explanation (other than that the plot needed him to be there). Only at the end do they allow that he may have grander, more virtuous motivations in stopping Ahmanet.

Who?! We have to talk about Jake Johnson, our resident comic relief and as close as we’ve gotten to a Planchet in a while. He was… not good. Weirdly miscast and misused. He only rarely had anything to say and even more rarely was actually funny. I’m not sure what happened exactly but perhaps through rewriting the script his character was lost a little and became more of a plot device than an actually person. Otherwise we’d just have to chalk it up to a bad script. Here’s to hoping he gets a better showing next time around.

Where?! Nice settings game here. The opening flashback takes place mostly in Egypt. Then we flash forward to Iraq, where the mummy is unearthed and loaded on a cargo plane back to London. From there we get a wonderful array of London establishing shots, English bobbies, and pubs. Almost an A, but I’ll leave it at a B+. Not quite indispensable.

When?! I swear to god there is a scene at the very beginning of the film where a full date is flashed on the screen as part of a video recorder perspective shot. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of a BMT Live is my inability to go ask the projectionist to quickly rewind the film so I could see it better. I’ll give this an Incomplete as a grade. Likely a B- at best. Probably a C. Could be an F if I was mistaken.

There is no way for me to make the argument that this film is actually good. It is not. It’s like if you took just the very beginning or very end of Iron Man and stretched it to feature length. Just not a lot there but origin story and franchise building (and that’s pretty lame). But it definitely was more horror than I thought it would (which was a pleasant surprise) and it’s probably better than a Transformers film… definitely shorter. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Mummy?! More like Just Crummy?! Ayyyyyyyyooooooooooooo. Take that The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, about time someone took you down a peg. So you want to make a movie universe to print Marvel like money, here’s a little checklist: (1) Get a movie star (check, Tom Cruise, killing it), (2) find some sweet IP that you own and serves a lucrative niche audience (nostalgia for Universal’s monster universe, the general boom of monster films, sounds good to me, check), (3) literally just make a Marvel movie … uh let’s get into it.

The Good (BMT Dream Journal) – I dug the bits that came across as spooky scary. The mummy sucking the life out of bobbies in jolly ole England creating a creepy zombie army? Digging it. I even could kind of get into the Dr. Jekyll as the head honcho of the Monster killers thing. Everything was there to set up a universe I cared about. I can’t really do any of these guys because, well … there is going to be a sequel, and this is a remake. So how about a little BMT Dream Journal of what I hope for this franchise moving forward: stop making these action films. They worked perfectly fine as a kind of pop-horror franchise and served a kind of cool idea: Big budget films which take the horror formula to general audience appeal. I dig it.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Yikes. This film is hacked to pieces. It is written by like twenty people and it shows. Jake Johnson feels so out of place (I love him, but whenever he pops up it is like I’m in a different movie). It is 95% exposition and flashback. And you often feel like they kind of get bored with what they are doing so they trigger a Tom-Cruise-Is-In-A-Dream sequence and throw you in a totally new place without explanation. It is not a good movie. The sin is Greed. They wanted the Dark Universe so badly they couldn’t step back and make sure things were done right when the directors started dropping out. The result is a mess, but …

The BMT: Legacy – Here I’ll mention that I don’t think this film was irrecoverably bad. People are discussing it as if this is somehow a death knell for the Dark Universe. It is the second attempt at a start after Dracula Untold (which immediately became non-canon after it bombed), and while I haven’t seen that one, this was a promising enough start I don’t think it is an issue it bombed. It is like the DC Cinematic Universe, it takes a bit to start a universe out of nothing it seems. It isn’t a death knell, but it does put the universe on red alert. It needs to find its Wonder Woman soon, figure out the tone it will use throughout the attached films, and move into a place where a film a year is possible. We’ll see. I have hope. And I hope the legacy of The Mummy in BMT is that it was a weird footnote in a decent pop-Horror franchise, but I now like horror films, and the idea of pop-horror is cool to me.

Close with a little BMT Homework Assignment. I watched the original 1932 Mummy film with Boris Karloff. The film itself is brilliant, with a very cool story involving Imhotep being resurrected and then attempting to resurrect his lover Ankh-es-en-amon with a backdrop of British colonialism / archeology in 1930s Egypt. I would have said this story would have made much more sense for 2017’s The Mummy … but apparently that is the plot of 1999s The Mummy with Brendan Fraser … so yeah can’t really do that again. Cheerios and back to you Jamie.

Godsend Recap

Jamie

Godsend! Part of the technothriller triumvirate with Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace and Ghost in the Machine. Get it? God, Man, and the (Holy) Ghost. Thank you, thank you. Let’s get this going.

What?! Paul and Jessie have the perfect life until their son Adam is tragically killed in an accident. Approached with the possibility of cloning him, they take the chance, only to have the clone turn evil around the age that Adam was killed. Can they stop this evil Adam clone monster that they’ve unleashed on the world before it’s too late? Find out in… Godsend!

How?! The storyline starts as more of a family drama than a science fiction horror. We spend a good half hour watching a loving family get torn apart by the tragedy of a life cut short too soon. Even worse, when Robert De Niro’s creepy baby clone doctor, Dr. Wells, enters the picture (all too eager to “help” a family in mourning), you only feel sorrow. In almost any situation you would presume Dr. Wells was there to scam them with expensive false promises of cloning their lost child. But of course in this case his promises aren’t false and a new Adam is born. They live a wonderful eight years together until he begins to act super weird and have crazy violent nightmares. It would seem that he has some psychic connection to an evil, murderous child named Zachary. But who is Zachary? Twist Alert! Paul investigates and figures out that Zachary is in fact the long dead son of Dr. Wells himself! He’s a mad scientist who used Adam as a vessel to bring parts of Zachary back to life! Uh oh! When Paul confronts Dr. Wells about this things turn violent and Dr. Wells escapes. Paul recovers just in time to stop Adam/Zachary from killing Jessie. Realizing that they have a child possessed by pure evil they do what any parent would do: move away and pretend like everything’s fine… nothing to see here.

Why?! The motivations of Paul and Jessie are perfectly consistent: they mourn the loss of their child and will do anything to get him back. After they do get him back they will do anything to keep him. As for Dr. Wells, he uses a tenuous connection to Jessie to pretend that he just wants to help her with his scientific gift. Of course, after the twist is revealed it becomes clear that he shares the same motivations as Paul and Jessie for his own dead son, but chooses the evil, twisted route of incorporating his genes into Adam’s DNA without their knowledge. Finally, Adam’s motivation always was and always will be to get those sweet Reebok Pump Verticals. Pump up and air out, Adam/Zachary.

Who?! There is a nary a speck of humor in this film, so no possibility of a Planchet. No animals, no cameos, and no Presidents. The only Who?! I can think of is the fact that this was the first feature film that Mark Cuban’s production company produced. What a stain on our future President’s legacy.

Where?! Great settings film. When Adam is killed in the beginning of the film you see several cars with Massachusetts license plates in a big city. You can presume they lived in Boston. After they move to pursue the cloning, the family’s car changes from MA plates to Vermont plates. This is confirmed once Dr. Wells escapes as local newspapers list the location of the cloning center as Riverton, VT. Of course back when we were filling up the Mapl.d.map we had no way of knowing this and watched god damn A Change of Seasons for that state. What a waste. C+.

When?! No clues are given other than suggestions that the first part of the film takes place in the mid-90’s. There is a tagline from a poster for the film that says “Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996.” So if we take that at its word we have a perfect exact date as the films takes place after his second 8th birthday: September 23, 2004. All fits within the film’s context, but not clear from the film itself. D-.

I would describe the film as a slightly better version of Bless the Child until you hit the twist. From there it makes no sense with the rest of the film and leads to an stunningly bad ending (that might still have been the best of the several endings shot for the film). Woof. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Godsend? More like God, Send it Back! Amirite!? A couple’s child dies and Robert De Niro crashes their mourning period to reveal a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: play God, abandon the life as you know it, and lie to your child for the rest of your life and you can get him back! I mean, what is the downside?! Let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – For the most part the first two thirds of this film are at least okay. Not really “thrilling” maybe, but the acting is solid, a few jump scares here and there, and the premise is interesting enough to sustain the film for a good hour at least. Sounds like it is time for a sequel. Fifteen years later and Dr. Richard Wells is still missing, and his “son” Zachary has been quelled and is controlled within Adam, now a New York City detective. When episodes involving Zachary become more frequent, and disturbing stories of a mad doctor start to float around the precinct, Adam has a sinking feeling Wells is back to his genetic research games. Following leads through back alley clinics and mafia doctors Adam discovers with horror that Wells has perfected a procedure to transfer consciousnesses from one man to another. How does one catch a man who can change faces at will? Godsend: Face / Off. The New York Times calls it “a piss-poor sequel built entirely upon the premise that Robert De Niro refused to return to the series”.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Mainly the issue with the film is that the ending is garbage. Not only that, all four alternative endings they wrote are also garbage. The writing gets seriously shaky in the third act, although it includes the gloriously evil-scientist line “Tell me something, if I’m not supposed to do this Paul, how is it that I can?” from Dr. Wells. If I had a nickel for every time I screamed that while doing my PhD work I would be a rich man. I’m not sure the sin (Lust, gluttony, greed? Probably greed), but I think all of the issues stem from the producers accidentally landing Robert De Niro and then rushing to expand his part (allegedly all shot within a very short time span). I would guess by expanding Wells into the main antagonist role they painted themselves into a corner with the ending. That’s my take anyways.

The BMT: Legacy – I do think Wells gets up there in the pantheon of evil bad movie scientists, along with Dr. Alexander McCabe from Bats. Along with that it also joins movies like The Call in which the first two thirds are pretty good and then the last act (often just the ending) ruins the entire film. Interesting, but this movie won’t be in any bad movie marathons, I don’t think. For the most part the film is too good in its first two acts to be anything that sticks around.

And wrap with StreetCreditReport.com as is usual these days. Godsend, not surprisingly, got no love at the time despite being the third lowest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes of the year. Ebert neglects it in his recap, and I found nary a list that mentioned it. But 2004 was an amazing year (Catwoman, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, New York Minute, White Chicks, The Whole Ten Yards!!) and Godsend is amazingly forgettable. Street cred? More like No Cred. For shame.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Godsend Preview

There were a number of pure science fiction films available for StreetCreditReport.com, but we were feeling a little genre mash’em-up. Let’s get something that’s a little dash of horror, a little pinch of intense family drama, a smidgen of science fiction, and literally no comedy whatsoever. That’s right! We’re watching Godsend. Not sure how many people remember this Robert De Niro/Greg Kinnear film that scored a startling 4% on RT. It’s about a family who loses their only son in a tragic accident. Offered the chance to clone their child they take the chance (against their own better judgement). All is well until strange things start happening once the child passes the age at which he died. Uh oh! Sounds extremely sad, incredibly close, and marginally creepy. Just how I like it! Let’s go!

Godsend (2004) – BMeTric: 63.9

Godsend_BMeT

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(Those are some dense plots for reals. Extremely promising. Basically no regression to the mean and a significantly low rating for IMDb being sub-5.0. Kind of amazing that a film released in 2004 can “only” have around 20 thousand votes over 13 years later, but even so, it seems like people have been slowly watching the film over the years and thinking “wow, this apparently terrible film is in actuality terrible” which is a good sign.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – A couple grieving over the loss of their 8-year-old son is approached by a medical researcher who promises that he can enable the woman to give birth to the identical child all over again – using a revolutionary (is illegal) cloning method he’s perfected. Good performances and an interesting premise reel us in, but then the filmmakers string us along, teasing us about where the story is headed. It doesn’t pay off. Filmed in Canada, which never looked more unlike the U.S.

(Sweet settings burn by Leonard, decent hyphen game, and an overuse of the word “us” (speak for yourself Leonard). I kind of love this review, even if it does put a damper on my hopes for the film. Leonard doesn’t like the spooky-scary though, so 50-50 whether he actually watched this film. I could easily guess that the highlight of the film is the acting and premise based solely on the trailer.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWI2qZC_KUY

(I remember this trailer. And I remember thinking it looked spookily interesting. And I remember being shocked when it was apparently terrible. Loving the kick ass black Wilson b-ball in the beginning, and hating the little title cards “His Mother’s Eyes” etc. Cheesy, but getting me amped.)

Directors – Nick Hamm – (Known For: The Journey; The Hole; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Godsend; Notes: A BAFTA Award winning director, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and extensively in British television.)

Writers – Mark Bomback (written by) – (Known For: The Wolverine; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Die Hard 4.0; Unstoppable; Race to Witch Mountain; Future BMT: Deception; Total Recall; Insurgent; BMT: Godsend; Notes: There is an entire interview just about this movie and the thought process that went into it. Fascinating stuff. Seems like a writing-for-fun-and-profit kind of guy, and strangely seems to have ended up doing a ton of action films.)

Actors – Robert De Niro – (Known For: Goodfellas; Heat; The Godfather: Part II; Taxi Driver; Sleepers; A Bronx Tale; The Deer Hunter; Silver Linings Playbook; Stardust; American Hustle; Limitless; Casino; Once Upon a Time in America; Joy; Jackie Brown; The Intern; Cape Fear; The Untouchables; Raging Bull; Hands of Stone; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Killing Season; Showtime; The Carrier; The Fan; Hide and Seek; Analyze That; Shark Tale; Righteous Kill; Arthur et les Minimoys; 15 Minutes; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; Red Lights; Heist; Meet the Fockers; The Family; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; Killer Elite; The Comedian; Bloody Mama; Stanley & Iris; Great Expectations; BMT: Godsend; The Big Wedding; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Dirty Grandpa in 2017; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for Showtime; Notes: Not much to say about him, he’s been in an incredible number of films (and an incredible number of bad films). He’s been in something like 100 films with over five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is crazy. Anyways, someday maybe we’ll do a De Niro exclusive cycle, try and knock a few more of these guys off.)

Greg Kinnear – (Known For: Little Miss Sunshine; Brigsby Bear; As Good as It Gets; We Were Soldiers; Invincible; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Sabrina; Stuck in Love; You’ve Got Mail; Robots; Mystery Men; The Gift; Baby Mama; Green Zone; Animal Attraction; Stuck on You; Little Men; Heaven Is for Real; Ghost Town; Bad News Bears; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; Loser; Blankman; The Last Song; Salvation Boulevard; Dear God; A Smile Like Yours; Unknown; Murder of a Cat; Feast of Love; BMT: Movie 43; Godsend; Notes: If I was older I probably would have realized that he used to be a talk show host before making his film debut in Blankman (!). Nominated for an Oscar for As Good as It Gets.)

Rebecca Romijn – (Known For: X-Men; X: First Class; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Femme Fatale; S1m0ne; Run Ronnie Run; The Alibi; Future BMT: Good Deeds; Man About Town; The Punisher; Dirty Work; BMT: Rollerball; Godsend; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Rollerball in 2003; Notes: Formerly Romijn-Stamos, and now married to Jerry O’Connell with whom she has twin daughters. Love me some twin notes. She was a model, and has an impressive filmography after breaking out in X-Men.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $14,379,751 (Worldwide: $30,114,487)

(That’s a bomb. But at least the budget was modest. It could have easily been worse considering the actors involved, which is definitely why it costs $25 million instead of $10 million.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (6/138): A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend is features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.

(I don’t like cheap shocks, they are the worst way to make a horror film. I loooooove ludicrous dialogue though, so I’m down. Make me jump in exchange for De Niro saying something like “he’s got his brother’s memories!”. I take that deal 10 out of 10 times.)

Poster – Sklogsend (C-)

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(Why is there smoke all over this poster? I can barely tell what’s actually on it. But still a nice example of how to make a poster with people in it without ruining the color. Solid orange color, terrible font, and really bad spacing. Meeeehhhhhhh.)

Tagline(s) – Adam Duncan. Born: December 11, 1987. Died: December 12, 1995. Born September 23, 1996. (Thank you.)

When a miracle becomes a nightmare, evil is born. (B-)

(The first tagline is not on the poster, but I like that at some point they made very specific decision on exactly when the entire movie took place. If worse comes to worse I can use it for the temporal setting. So thanks, anonymous tagline writer. The second one is elusive. I certainly sounds like a tagline. But does it really mean anything? I don’t think so and graded it accordingly.)

Keyword(s) – birthday; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.1 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 87.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 85.6 The Room (2003); 84.8 Left Behind (I) (2014); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 81.9 Skyline (2010); 76.0 Junior (1994); 71.5 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 67.6 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 63.9 Godsend (2004);

(Ha! Junior is by far the best one there. Someday we are going to watch and regret watching 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain starring the Hulkster.)

Notes – Robert De Niro had originally planned on merely providing a brief cameo for the film – however after director Nick Hamm heard De Niro would be interested in his project, he asked De Niro to participate in a few more scenes that were all filmed within a week. De Niro later regretted this because his name was “splashed over all the advertisements”. (De Niro regretted that his money grab became a high profile money grab)

Before the release of this movie, Lions Gate Films set up two official websites: one conventional site with movie information, and one site that appeared to be a promotional tool for the (fictional) cloning institute depicted in the movie. The website gave an email address and phone number (1-888-699-2672) for the “Godsend Institute;” calling the number resulted in a recorded message giving the institute’s office hours. Several news outlets reported that when a few bereaved parents called or emailed the fake institute to inquire about having their children genetically reconstituted, the studio started responding to them and explaining that it was just a movie tie-in and not a real laboratory. Similar advertisements for fictional medical procedures and clinics were also produced as parts of the advertising campaigns for Gattaca (1997) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). (That isn’t great to be honest. That sounds terrible)

Five different endings were shot for this movie and the released one is the tamest one. (This is worthless unless I can see the other endings, I don’t even know what tamest means in this context)

The operating room sequences were filmed inside the empty swimming pool of the institute complex. (fun facts)

The snow scene in the graveyard was unplanned. It was hoped the snow would remain until the scene was completed, and it did. (fun facts)

Hot to Trot Recap

Jamie

Who would have thought that watching an entire cycle of films that received the rare <10% RT score would result in us getting dog poo shoved ever so slowly into our faces over and over again? That’s our BMT life. Let’s go!

What?! After the death of his mother, Fred Chaney needs to prove to his asshole stepdad that he can handle the family biz. Fortunately his mother has bequeathed him a talking horse with a nose for stock trading. Can he amass a fortune, get the lady, and shove it in his stepdad’s face before it’s too late? Find out in… Hot to Trot.

How?! Comedy business storyline alert! As is the case with most 80’s comedies, this film concerns our main characters lust for success and money in the world of finance. Fred’s mother dies, leaving him with half an investment company and one talking horse named Don. He’s a deadbeat loser, so naturally his asshole of a stepdad wants to buy him out of his stake in the company, but Fred hates his stupid face so decides to stay on out of spite. By sheer luck, Don overhears some important business tips around the stables and Fred is soon raking in the dough and living it up (with Don) in a penthouse apartment. His luck soon runs out, though, when one of Don’s tips comes up a dud and he loses everything. With only Don to his name (weird that he still “owns” Don even though he’s basically his friend and talks with him all day), he stakes it all on a big horse race. Riding Don to victory as the unlikeliest of jockey’s, Fred finally gives his stepdad the comeuppance he deserves. As for Don, his storyline is a sad affair concerned mostly with loneliness and wanderlust. As for our storyline while watching this film, it was also a sad affair concerned only with sadness and dog poo in our faces.

Why?! Technically Fred’s goals are two-fold. He primarily wants to prove that he’s not the black sheep bozo that his stepdad assumes he is (and he certainly is in actuality). There is a secondary romantic goal of getting with Allison, a coworker at the office, but that is a pretty weak romantic storyline. As for Don, he’s just looking for three simple things: a friend, a nice filly to make baby talking horses with, and all the TaB he can guzzle. The final race provides an answer to all these goals. If they win they get rich (to buy TaB, probably), Fred gets the girl, and Fred wins all of his stepdad’s horses, including the filly of Don’s dreams. How convenient! I guess that’s why they made a documentary about it since it was such a crazy convenient storyline.

Who?! We’ve been on a roll with uncredited appearances (and in a major slump on Planchets) and this film is no different. Appearing unbilled as the voice of Don’s dad is Mickey himself, Burgess Meredith. Pretty big role to go unbilled (three major scenes), but just a voice so maybe didn’t think a terrible talking horse film was worth the billing in the end. I like to imagine he was really good friends with Bobcat Goldthwait and did him a solid.

Where?! California setting. Lots of license plates and California living. Most notably though is the climactic horse race, the El Segundo Stakes, set outside LA. Pushes it from a C+ to a B-.

When?! There is no clear temporal setting for this film. There were a couple glimpses of newspapers and computer screen, but all were prop constructions. No dates to be seen. The only conjecture we can make is on the date of the El Segundo Stakes. There is a race by that name that seems to run in the third week of May, but it is so small that I can’t tell if it even existed in the 80’s or is always run in May. So that’s pretty weak. D+.

Let’s see what Patrick thought of this dog poo. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Hot to Trot? More like Dog Poo In My Face! Or Should I say Horse Poo In My Face!? Amirite? John Candy voices a stock-tip giving, best-bud of a party animal in this hilarious comedy showcasing the one of a kind talents of Bobcat Goldthwait! What could possibly go wrong! Oh yeah, I already told you, it was like dog poo being pushed slow motion into my face, let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Some of the performances, like Virginia Madsen, were okay which is only more confusing as to how they got them in this movie in the first place. Besides that literally nothing. But we obviously are going to go Sequel! Here we see mega-billionaire Fred Chaney who, with the help of Don the talking horse, has skyrocketed to the top of the financial world. But Don is concerned after finding some discrepancies in the company’s books … could Fred be stealing from his clients and friends? Paranoid, and afraid, Don seeks out Allison Rowe to help unravel the mystery of Fred Chaney. Is he the man they thought he was, or could he be a crook … even a killer? Hot to Trot 2: Money Never Sleeps. “A tense thriller … although the talking horse deflates it a bit” says the New York Times.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Where to start? Everything about the talking horse and the lore surrounding it is cheesy and awful and not funny. The direction is bonkers, there are parts which legit look like they filled out the film with stock footage. The writing is awful, bouncing between a kind of weird talking horse financial comedy and a surreal odd couple situation (with a talking horse). It is aimless, and at times boring, aggravating, annoying, and predictable all wrapped up in one. It is legitimately one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. The sin is Greed. And that is only because stupidity isn’t a sin. Why they thought they could just make easy money with this bit of schlock is beyond me.

The BMT: Legacy – Boy oh boy, this film is awe inspiring in how bad it is, a rarity even. This could go down as one of the worst earnest 80s films we’ll ever watch. We’ve probably seen worse actual films (Can’t Stop the Music comes to mind), and I’ve certainly seen other terrible films quality-wise, but this is somehow indicative of the legacy of the 80s. Like Maximum Overdrive it is cocaine distilled, a heady hubris-driven idea of doing whatever you want and expecting it to come up heads every time. It is special, and deserves to be in any conversation about terrible 80s films, especially in a BMT context. It is nearly beyond words … so naturally I wasted a ton of them trying to explain it. This movie is like smoke, ungraspable and ephemeral. Enjoy it while you can.

Boom, and shine that off with a little StreetCreditReport.com! Interestingly Hot to Trot doesn’t get a lot of love as a bad movie. It is the 3rd worst talking animal film ever though, but then gets 23rd on a list concerning all of the 80s. That guy is a random guy from Tampa Bay, but we have seen 5 of his top 10 (Cobra, Rhinestone, Ishtar, Over the Top, and Gymkata) … I’m sticking to my guns, this easily gets into my top 10. Anyways, I think why this doesn’t get more notice is because no one remembers. This list seems to suggest that is plausible. That is what Bad Movie Twins give you though, the unpopular opinions. You heard it here first … Hot to Trot is a bad movie.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs