Gone in 60 Seconds Recap

Jamie

Memphis Raines was out of the game until he’s pulled back in for one last heist in order to save his little bro from a ruthless criminal. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of stealing 50 cars in one night Raines is undaunted because he’s just that good. Can he overcome the curse of Eleanor and save his bro before it’s too late? Find out in… Gone in Sixty Seconds.

How?! In a wholly original concept we are introduced to Memphis Raines, the best car thief history who is out of the game after watching too many of his friends go to jail or get killed. Unfortunately he’s about to be pulled right back into the game when he learns that his little bro is on the hook for a botched job and will be killed by ruthless furniture maker Raymond Calitri… he makes furniture… and boy is he angry about it. Anyway, Memphis gets the gang back together, including some young hotshot additions thanks to his bro, and start to scope out all fifty (!) of the cars he’ll have to steal in one night. Unfortunately Memphis is also super well known to the cops given that he’s the best car thief in history and they are also tagging along ready to nab him when he takes a wrong step. But this is Memphis Raines, best car thief in history, he don’t take wrong steps. On the night of the heist, things are going swimmingly: they are stealing cars and looking dope doing it. But when they attempt to steal a few “unstealable” cars tagged by the police Memphis’ Memphis-sense gets a-tinglin’ and he’s like “No way,” and basically they go and totally steal the cars from the police impound instead (take that, 5-0!). By the end of the night they start to hit some bumps in the road and one of his little bros’ best buds gets shot, so it’s all up to Memphis, the best car thief in history, to grab the last car dubbed Eleanor. He goes out and totes steals it, but the fuzz are all over him. He leads them on a giant chase and is basically the man and only survives by the skin of his teeth by jumping a million feet over an accident on a bridge. He arrives mere minutes late so Calitri, being ruthless, is ready to kill him, but his little bro comes to the rescue. In a climactic fight set in Calitri’s furniture warehouse/factory/office, Memphis and the police join forces to kill Calitri and then laugh about it. THE END.

Why?! Family, duh. Ever heard of it? Memphis was out of the game, man. He was the best, but he was out of the game. He wasn’t gonna come back, but gets pulled back in to save his little bro. As for the bad guy, he seems to have so little motivation it’s comical. He just kills willy-nilly and cares mostly for the beauty of wood and the craftsmanship of solid furniture.

Who?! Master P went uncredited as Johnnie B. in the film, the gangster angry that Memphis has returned to his turf. Interesting that he ended up uncredited in the role given that he has a number of lines and I mean, I wouldn’t think he would be embarrassed by the film or anything. Maybe his part was supposed to be bigger and he got mad about it? Or maybe it was always supposed to be an unbilled cameo. Hard to say with these things.

What?! For some reason in my head it’s way more common for a film to have the main characters quenching their thirst with the unequaled refreshment of a delicious Coca-Cola. But here our main characters are apparently a bunch of bozos as they can’t get enough Pepsi… gross.

Where?! Nic Cage is the king of Long Beach and he ain’t afraid to remind you. It’s LA all day, bro. But don’t worry about our boy Nic showing up in his old stomping ground, Det. Delroy Lindo, he just came in to catch a Lakers game *electric guitar*.

When?! I believe in my heart of hearts that you can get an exact date on this film. It’s just that my DVD copy I got was of such low quality that it actually hindered my efforts. My gut is telling me that it’s August. It feels like August… in the citaaay. F

I’m going to have to be honest here and it’s painful to say: this film is terrible. I really thought it was super dumb and bad and had so many characters and things going on that it all became a jumbled mess. There are only two good things about this film: 1. The music is actually really banging and sounds like Nic Cage is saving the Earth from an asteroid when he’s just stealing a bunch of cars. 2. Nic Cage. That’s it. It’s actually amusing that Angelina Jolie is so prominently featured in the advertising of the film because her part is miniscule and really poorly developed. But still better developed than almost everyone else. One problem for me I think is that I watched the original before this one and while that film is super low budget, poorly acted, and poorly written, the final 40-minute chase is way way better than any of the car action in this film. So that certainly didn’t help. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Gonna get them cars bro! And we’re going to look sweaty and dirty and gross while doing it. It’s about the fambly, bro. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This is Nic Cage all day every day. I’ve seen the film before, it is just ludicrous from top to bottom. But it is vintage Cage, so any revisit is well worth the price of admission. I remember … mostly just that they have fake fingerprints at one point. And they have to hack some ultra-sophisticated anti-theft device. Otherwise, I’ll go in as a clean slate (kind of, since I’ve seen the film at least three times). My expectations for the film: I needed one of two things to happen, either Nic Cage needed to be acting b-b-b-b-bonkers, or the film needed to have wall-to-wall absurd car “hacking” nonsense. I just didn’t want to be exhausted with the premise 30 minutes into the film.

The Good – The film is actually very well paced. It quickly gets into the action, Nic Cage assembles an interesting team, and we get to stealing some cars. This film is The Fast and the Furious before The Fast and the Furious. Legit, the second film would have seen Patton get killed during a job and Nic Cage seeks revenge, the third they get recruited by the detective to perform a sting, and from the fourth onward they are international spies. We’ll forget about Gone in 62 Seconds: Bangkok Hijinx. Nic Cage is right on the correct side of insane for me, I thought he was great in this film.

The Bad – The crew is so big. It is maybe four people too large. It is unclear what the point of several of them are, and you don’t really see most of them actually stealing cars. Speaking of which there really is too little in the way of interesting car stealing. Where’s the hacking and other magic nonsense they could have invented? There is a really dumb superfluous story about a rival gang, they don’t give Jolie or Duvall enough to do, and the detective story hinges on the police being genuinely dumb. The movie is not good … so why do I like it so much?

The BMT – Hmmmmm. I like the film. I think if someone wants to watch a really really dumb film starring Nic Cage, this is a pretty good choice. It isn’t a good movie like National Treasure, The Rock, and Con Air, but this is pretty close if you don’t mind it being aggressively dumb. So would I recommend it as a bad movie? No, but I would watch it again in a heartbeat. Did it meet my expectations? Yes, but just barely. Nic Cage was just b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers enough to get me to where I needed to be.

Roast-radamus – You know, this film could have really used a Planchet. It did have a great Product Placement (What?) with Patton in particular grabbing an ice cold Pepsi when talking with Nic Cage. You can definitely say this is a Setting as a Character (Where?) for California and Long Beach in particular. Is Elanor, the Shelby Mustang, a MacGuffin? … I don’t think so, it isn’t the thing they are going after, they are stealing 50 cars to save Kip’s life. And I could believe this gets a nod for Good in the end, just because that category is usually pretty sparse.

StreetCreditReport.com – Nice, we finally got one that actually made a top ten Worst Of list, this time for Rolling Stone. Also it made a more specific worst car films ever list. And in general the film has a multitude of fun articles online, from people arguing about how they actually like the film, to more specific takedowns involving minutiae of the film. A truly divisive film. BTW, the first thing there, “why steal Elanor in broad daylight?”, was my number one pet peeve in the film. The car is incredibly conspicuous and the police are spotting it from miles away whenever Cage made an escape.

You Just Got Schooled – And guess what? This is a remake. The original is something of a cult classic. The 1974 film was directed, written, financed, starred, stunt coordinated, etc. etc. by  H.B. “Toby” Halicki whose own cars (including both cars used as all four Eleanors seen in the film) were also used in the film. Notable for its 40 minute chase finale, the film itself is actually a lot more fun that you’d think, and it makes a lot of sense that it is a cult hit among car aficionados. Cheap looking, poorly acted, and poorly written, Halicki would eventually aim to remake the film himself in 1984 with more money, but he sadly died during a stunt before the film could get finished. The premise of the original is actually a lot more solid than the remake, but I can see why the destructive and truly criminal nature of Halicki’s character was thrown out in favor of a redemption story. Still, fun to see what a true independent film of the 70s looked like. Kind of amazing what he was able to do it totally out of the studio system at the time. D remake, the new one just didn’t have the same heart or love of cars to serve as a proper remake of the original.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Bye Bye Love Recap

Jamie

Ba-da-da-da-da! They aren’t loving it. That’s because Donny, Vic, and Dave are all divorced Dad’s who only get their children on the weekend and are dealing with the varied difficulties of the situation. Can they come to understand what divorce means and grow as people… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… Bye Bye Love.

How?! Donny, Vic, and Dave are a group of divorcees struggling with coparenting. While Donny still pines for his ex-wife, Vic hates his and Dave can’t stop sleeping around (the cause of his first marriage’s demise). While the love of their children are often at odds with these struggles surrounding their ex-wives, they are not at odds with their #1 love: that sweet, sweet Mickey D’s. They look forward to picking up their kids not only because they love them but also because of the oasis of those Golden Arches. Your kids on the younger side? They’ll love the play place. They getting a little older? Let them ogle the rebel teen manning the cash register. They getting really old? Maybe they can take part in the McMasters program. No matter how old they are they’ll love the delicious hamburgers that no red-blooded American can resist… wait, what were we talking about? Oh right, Bye Bye Love. So anyway Donny is having trouble with his high school age kid who is growing out of weekends with Dad while also having trouble getting over his wife. This culminates in him finding love with Dave’s ex-wife (his long-time friend) and realizing that his selfish struggles with the divorce have made him shortsightedly overlook how hard it’s been on his daughter. Meanwhile Dave makes a right mess of a love polygon as a number of recent divorcees descend on his house wanting more than just to share his Big Mac. Through this debacle he learns that he needs to grow up. Finally Vic is a total boor who can’t help but get riled up by his ex-wife’s post-divorce lifestyle. But in the end you realize how much he has worked to be the best Dad he can be and that this troll of a man is actually a softy at heart (awww). I guess, in summary… this film didn’t really have much of a plot. THE END.

Why?! Love, duh. Seriously, the film is just three vignettes that give viewpoints on the struggles of a post-divorce love when children are involved. Three very white and very heteronormative viewpoints, which would have certainly not been the case if this was a film made today, but three viewpoints nonetheless. I think the moral of the story is that kids come first, and as long as that is kept in mind then everything will work out. Even if you seem like a terrible person, like Vic, everything is golden (arches) if you’re ba-da-da-da-da, lovin’ them (your kids).

Who?! There were a couple bit parts for future notable actors, the biggest being Jack Black who played a DJ at a party and has a single line. Additionally, Stephen Root showed up uncredited as a neighbor awakened by Eliza Dushku’s hijinks. The weirdest credit, though, is a special thanks for the Hon. Arthur J. O’Dea. He seems to have been a judge in Vermont… the only explanation is that he was used as a consultant for the script as it does appear he was a family court judge.

What?! Product Placement Alert! We occasionally get to talk about settings as a character. It’s much more rare to talk about products as a character (outside of Adam Sandler’s filmography). But here, McDonald’s is legit a character and several scenes center around those working at the local McD’s (and only having a tenuous connection to the rest of the plot). I’m actually not sure whether the reason for its inclusion is even real… is McDonald’s really a generally accepted, neutral site drop off location for divorced dads in the LA area? All evidence (this movie) points to yes. Ba da da da daaaaaa. I was lovin’ it.

Where?! Classic California. It just feels like California even before there was specific confirmation. But eventually you get some close-ups on some license plates. No clues from McDonald’s as people of all nations crave their tasty treats.

When?! Pretty obviously takes place around the end of May or early June as one of Paul Reiser’s plot points is the graduation of his daughter from middle school. Not sure we get any more specific. Probably should look closely at the McDonald’s menu and see if there are any specific seasonal offerings on there… or perhaps the film coincides with one of the returns of the McRib, which would really narrow it down.

I really didn’t mind the film as a whole. I think it kinda has a clever dynamic between Donny, Vic, and Dave where on the face of it you think Dave has his shit together and is processing his divorce the best, while Vic’s boorish behavior and hatred for his ex-wife is off putting and Donny is kinda pathetic in never moving on from his ex-wife. But as the film goes on, you realize that it’s kinda flipped around. Vic is a great Dad and he and his ex-wife just really should not have been married, while Dave is a man-child who doesn’t really understand what a real relationship means… Donny is still kinda just sad, though. Anyway, the only thing that really sets this apart is the absolutely stellar McDonald’s product placement in the film. It really is top of the line and I’d love to go back through BMT’s nearly 500 (!) films and figure out where it stands. It’s in the running at the very top. It’s really fun to have a film that is mostly fine, but with a crazy BMT aspect to it like this one. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Bye bye love, bye bye happiness, hello loneliness, I think I’m gonna grab a delicious Big Mac from McDonald’s. That’s how that song goes right? Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – The trailer and all of the notes were basically about how this was an extended advertisement for McDonald’s, so I got out my stop watch and got ready to count the TiMD’s for the episodes (that’s Time in McDonald’s, it’s not a real thing, and I did not really do this). It really was my entire fascination with the episode. Seeing Paul Riser and Matthew Modine act a bit had an outside shot of being interesting as well. My expectations for this film: It was going to be a weird, slow, boring film with a bizarre (but overblown) connection to McDonald’s.

The Good – The film has a much better message that I think it gets credit for. Quaid is a lunatic throughout, but they do go out of their way to show that while he ultimately manifests his mounting frustrations with his divorce in extremely destructive ways, he does love his kids and is arguably the best and least selfish father of the three. Similarly Modine seems to have everything together, a decent relationship with the ex and a girlfriend or two, but then he ends up being the most selfish and broken. The switcheroo on that level feels very earned and the film is an interesting tale of being divorced dads in the mid-90s. The highly touted Garofalo scene lived up to the hype as well, she was very funny.

The Bad – Could this film take place more in McDonald’s? It just felt the four or five scenes and probably 30 minute total run time just wasn’t enough. Tell me more about the McMasters program, and how it is helping unemployed seniors change careers late in life. Tell me more about how it is helping combat the adult homelessness problem in America. Ba-da-da-da-da I’m Lovin’ It! The film also feels very small in that everything in the three main characters lives come to a major crossroads all on the same day. Quaid is such a lunatic it is a wonder he wasn’t thrown in jail in the middle of the film (and then where would your kids be, dummy?). It was borderline mean-spirited. The entire structure of the film centers around a radio psychologist played by Rob Reiner which is very dated and in your face. But I guess without him the movie would literally have no structure.

The BMT – Sneaky great BMT. You know you have a weirdly good one when you can’t stop thinking about it for a few days and then end up writing a giant review where you probably miss about 14 things that blew your mind at the time. I basically didn’t mention Paul Reiser! He’s the main character! His storyline just doesn’t even end up in the review it is so tangential to the b-b-b-b-b-b-bonkers shit I’m seeing on screen. Sneaky great. Did it exceed expectations?: Yes! While weird and slow, the film was far from boring by being chockablock with McDonald’s. So much so that is amazing the McDonald’s executives saw the cut and didn’t say, “Yeah … but don’t you think there is too much McDonald’s?”

Roast-radamus – I mean … I would be shocked if this didn’t manage to win the Produce Placement (What?) award for McDonald’s. I think when I was a kid I got this movie in a Happy Meal, I swear to God. Does graduation count as a holiday? No? … fine. Definitely a contender in the BMT category as well. Really the entire legacy of this film rests on its status as a Mac and Me level product placement. It is right up there with Mac and Me.

StreetCreditReport.com – None! But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve it. I think if you made a list of worst films featuring McDonald’s it could have a shot. Or worst film focused on divorced dads. Worst Rob Reiner films? I guess you’d have to go with ones he’s acted in … Worst films which share a name with a song?

You Just Got Schooled – What could I possibly watch for this weirdo movie? Mad About You season 1 episode 1 starring Paul Reiser of course. While making this film he was in the middle of this series for which he was nominated for six emmys (he never won, he lost to Lithgow three times for 3rd Rock and Grammer three times for Fraiser). I have to say, now being thirty-something and married this series seems actually genuinely funny. Quaint, but not really old school, the first episode revolves around Hunt and Reiser trying to make time to have sex, and as a forgotten dinner party begins they end up having sex in the kitchen as the party is ongoing! Cheers would have went up to that door, but never really gotten through it, but this is the 90s, it was time to talk about being Master of Your Domain, and other more sexually explicit things in primetime. I don’t feel any particular need to actually watch the series, but a lot better than I expected. Fun to see the classic sitcom character as well: the friend who is only in one season and then disappears in Reiser’s friend Selby.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Medicine Man Recap

Jamie

Dr. Rae Crane is tasked by her company to find Dr. Robert Campbell, who has holed up deep in the rainforest. When she arrives, he claims to have found a cure for cancer so she decides to give him a chance… but they may not have that long with a new road being built nearby. Can they find the cure (and perhaps love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Medicine Man.

How?! Dr. Crane is looking for Dr. Campbell at the behest of a pharmaceutical company. He has requested a new assistant and gas chromatograph deep in the Amazonian rain forest. When she shows up he’s all like “you aren’t qualified,” but that’s sexist and Dr. Crane ain’t having any of it. She shows her stuff and duly impressed Dr. Campbell shows her what he has: a cure for motherf’n cancer made from a rainforest flower, babbbby. So we all kinda forgive him for being a total asshole. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to replicate his initial findings, called compound 37. In their quest to find the secret they learn to live and love again… but also that a logging road is getting dangerously close to the village and they don’t have much time. To add to the pressure, a child in the village gets cancer and needs the last sample in order to survive. Not willing to give it up Dr. Crane convinces Dr. Campbell to seek out the old Medicine Man. That Medicine Man totally gives them the secret, but they are a couple of dopes but don’t get the hint and use the sample on the child anyway. Just when everything seems lost they discover the secret: it wasn’t the flower at all but the bugs that lived in them (what a twist!). But then everything is still lost because a bunch of bulldozers come into town and start a fire and burn down everything. Noooooo! Not willing to give up Dr. Crane and Dr. Campbell go with the tribe in search of the flower and leave their lives behind. THE END.

Why?! Uh, to cure cancer, duh. Nice MacGuffin alert for Compound 37 here, but there is also the underlying theme of protecting the indiginous populations of the rainforest. Not only from the people building the road, but also from disease if too many people move into the area. That’s why, in the end, Dr. Campbell decides to be so secretive about the cure for cancer. Even though the company would give him everything he wants (and probably pay the logging company to stall the road building in the area) if they knew about it, he already knows from experience that it would be even more devastating to the tribe if he allowed that to happen. He had that happen before and the guilt he felt for bringing disease to the tribe destroyed his life and marriage. So basically he’s not an asshole at all, just a lovely curmudgeon looking out for the well-being of all. Hooray.

Who?! Very small cast and unfortunately Sean Connery doesn’t have to call up the Prez to get the road through Brazil delayed. Just him and Bracco chumming it up. The only truly interesting thing is that concurrent to its release it seemed like it was pretty well known that Tony and Academy Award winning playwright Tom Stoppard did uncredited rewrites on the script (which he did fairly frequently apparently). This normally makes its way into IMDb at some point, but not in this case. But by all accounts it’s true. 

What?! All of these latter categories are going to be so boring because the film is set in the middle of nowhere and is so tiny. Like obviously they aren’t snapping into some Slim Jims in the middle of a jungle. But for the low low price of $450 you can get the bird mask that Sean Connery is wearing when we are introduced to his character. Complete with a certificate of authenticity. Wonder why Planet Hollywood is willing to part with such a gem.

Where?! It actually isn’t explicitly stated that this film is set in Brazil, I don’t think. But it’s pretty obvious for a number of reasons. I’m sure based on some of the towns mentioned by Connery that it’s for sure (and obviously the location is somewhat necessary to the plot), so I’ll still give this a C.

When?! I actually think this might be the first film where I could honestly say that there might be absolutely no indication of when it takes place in the entire film… literally no chance of figuring it out. I just can’t even imagine why they would have needed to let you know what the date was… it’s in the jungle. Don’t even have newspapers. Time is totally irrelevant. I guess maybe if I got one of their prop lab notebooks. F.

I can totally understand why this film was made and why Sean Connery and Lorrainne Bracco made it. It’s a classic character study and actor-driven film in the same vein as The African Queen. Exotic location, main love interest (?) who is kind of a dick, and a strong woman protagonist who is a little bit out of her element (a fish out of water, you might say. I just coined that). So I can see why people wanted to make this film and really sink their teeth into a role like this. However… there are some flaws (gasp). FIrst of all, both of their characters are kind of caricatures. She’s a loud and brash New Yorker that is more stereotypical than necessary (given that she’s a very well qualified scientist) and he’s pretty much a bore. Second, and probably the most BMT thing about the film, the twist regarding the bugs being the actual cure is so airmailed and obvious that it borders on ridiculous. Other than those two things, though, I found the film to be pleasant enough to watch… the location in itself was interesting enough for me to be engaged throughout. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Let’s hop into a time machine to when people fundamentally didn’t understand cancer and thought we’d find just like … some random chemical that cures what is effectively like a hundred different diseases. Like that makes sense. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I was very surprised to see this was a McTiernan film. Die Hard, Predator, The Hunt for Red October, he’s smashed out some classics in his time. As a matter of fact there are only three films he directed that I haven’t seen. The most interesting is Nomads which appears to be a horror film that was not released widely, only 500 or so theaters in total. But we are on track to finish his filmography, and this is just a step along the way. Quite a different project to his three famous films though, and not surprising that apparently audiences were annoyed that it wasn’t an action or thriller, but instead a romantic drama.

The Good – I think the first half of the film is very interesting. It is a pretty rare genre, the medical genre. Lorenzo’s Oil comes to mind. Concussion. I Already Work Around the Clock: The Movie (I think it was released as Extraordinary Measures in the States). If you can excuse the overacting from Bracco a bit, I actually think it is quite good. Inverts the White Savior trope as well. Instead of Connery ultimately saving the tribe, he is hoping the tribe can help him save humanity. I like the medical stuff even if it was all a bit nonsense.

The Bad – They completely telegraph the ending of the film, to the point that you wonder if these literal genius-level scientists are in fact dumb people. They aren’t, but the twist is. Also, I could be wrong, but I think the kid who got cancer near the end was eating ants earlier in the film, which, if I know my fake-Medicine-Man-biology means he should have been immune to cancer. Whatever. Bracco’s character is written to be incredibly brash, and I don’t think it works the way it was intended, instead it just results in Bracco yelling a lot for mostly no good reason. A more clever twist and I think this film would have been fine though.

The BMT – I think this is a very specific genre, and could maybe be mentioned alongside Extraordinary Measures eventually as far as bad medical dramas. At the same time I don’t think I would really recommend the film as a bad movie in any capacity, which is usually how I judge these things. I can’t even think of a scene I would show anyone.

Roast-radamus – This is certainly a Setting as a Character (Where?) for Brazil and the Amazon rainforest in general. And arguably a great MacGuffin (Why?), with the cure for cancer (all cancer!) being the Maltese Falcon that the protagonists are going for. And definitely a Worst Twist (How?) for the ultimate conclusion of ants being the cure for cancer … a full half hour after they give you a close up shot of ants crawling all over the magical cancer curing plant. Pretty good line up there, but nothing for good, bad, or BMT I think.

StreetCreditReport.com – Not surprisingly the only cred here is, again, from Siskel and Ebert’s worst of list for 1992. There is this bizarre list from IndieWire which puts it at the 52nd best movie of the 90s … that’s a stretch. I’m actually not sure if Reverse Shot is supposed to be a joke of some kind? Johnny Mnemonic at number 4 feels a tad bit high. I also found it on a list of Left-Wing films for its environmental message. Doesn’t seem to be on any worst or best of environmental lists either.

You Just Got Schooled – There isn’t really a good movie to do alongside this one, so let’s highlight a little fun fact. On the Medicine Man wiki page the first citation is an LA Times article concerning someone suing the production for stealing their film idea. The person suing was, in fact, Wilburn H. Ferguson, a 1930s Amazonian explorer and doctor who came back from the Amazon claiming to have found a cure for cancer (called the Jivaro Head Shrinking Compound, and indeed the Jivaro tribe is one of the few well known head shrinking tribes in the world). Ferguson alleged that he sat down with executives in 1988 and described his story Tsanza, which is the native term for head shrinking, but they passed and independently produced Medicine Man. Not surprisingly, there is no evidence that the concoction that Ferguson sold in the 50s treated cancer. Interestingly the wiki page seems to suggest the film is instead based on the exploits of Richard Evans Schultes, who is considered the father of ethnobotany.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Jungle 2 Jungle Recap

Jamie

Michael Cromwell needs a divorce and fast, but when he arrives in the Venezuelan rainforest he’s shocked to find he has a son. Hoping to connect with the boy he brings him to NYC amidst both personal and professional upheaval. Can he learn to live and love again (and perhaps make big bucks on the commodity market) before it’s too late? Find out in… Jungle 2 Jungle.

How?! Michael Cromwell is an asshole, but the kind of asshole that is totally selfish and crushes the commodities market. He’s wheeling and dealing in the world of coffee while getting ready for his marriage to his high-fashion fiance, so what could go wrong? Maybe just a Sweet Home Alabama situation up in here. He’s still married and needs a divorce first. He heads on down Venezuela way to find his estranged wife in the rainforest where she lives with a secluded tribe. When he arrives there, he’s surprised to find he has a son, Mimi-Siku! And Mimi-Siku only knows the ways of the jungle. Egad. But let’s get back to that storyline that all the kids are clamoring to hear more about. What’s happening with all those coffee stocks our boy has bought (says the chorus of boys and girls in the theater)? Well while he was in the jungle he didn’t get a chance to sell them and now they are crashing. He and his partner have to try to unload them so they don’t lose everything. And that’s how they get mixed up with the Russian mob. What’s that? Mimi, who? Oh right, yeah so meanwhile Mimi-Siku comes back to NYC with Michael because he inadvertently promised that he would take him to the Statue of Liberty. When Mimi-Siku arrives he continually scares the bejeezus out of everyone with his giant tarantula, bows and arrows, and blow darts. Michael’s fiance is totally fed up cause she kinda sucks and moves out. Michael’s partner totally panics and go through with the deal with the Russian mob because Michael is busy bonding with Mimi-Siku. When the price of coffee continues to fall they demand their money back and Michael obliges only to have the stock rebound, further angering the mob. They take Michael and his partner’s family hostage, but Mimi-Siku uses his jungle skillz to take them all out and leave everyone rich and happy. Having realized that NYC is not his home, Mimi-Siku asks to go back to Venezuela only to be surprised when Michael shows up a short time later to live with him. THE END.

Why?! I mean, the film is founded on a mountain of happenstance. Michael finds out he has a son raised in the rainforest and handles it pretty well. It’s actually a little weird he isn’t more freaked out. The only explanation is that finding that he has a son stirred some strong paternal instincts within him… instincts so strong that they overtake his love of the high stakes world of commodity trading. That’s actually the largest source of motivation we get in the film: commodity trading. Everything in the film flows around the commodity trading storyline that, no joke, rivals or surpasses Mimi-Siku’s storyline in terms of scope.

Who?! Not typically one of our categories, but obviously this film has Leelee Sobieski in it as Mimi-Siku’s love interest (weird). Creeping ever closer to finishing her filmography. More interesting though is that her on-screen brother is played by Frankie Galasso… one of the members of the boy band Dream Street that everyone knows and loves. I went ahead and listened to their biggest hit and boy… it’s something.

What?! There is some obvious product placement sprinkled here and there. The Venezuelan natives play with Tim Allen’s electric razor and he screams in dismay that “it’s a Braun.” Tim Allen feeds his son some all-american delicious breakfast in the form of Cap’n Crunch… that sort of thing. Better than the props that were for sale, which for whatever reason all involve fake snakes.

Where?! Great world mapl.de.map setting as this is very clearly set in Venezuela for a surprising amount of the film. The other portion is set in NYC with the Statue of Liberty as the centerpiece. I would have actually considered giving this an A+ if it was set in Chicago… Jungle to Jungle, get it? But alas. Just an A for a very necessary NYC setting with Venezuela.

When?! Secret holiday film alert! After Michael Cromwell has learned to live and love again he takes Mimi-Siku to the Statue of Liberty. He explains that they’ll have to return in two days when it’s the 4th of July because the fireworks are spectacular. While we don’t actually get to celebrate the holiday on screen, we know that everything occurs right around that time, so I count it. C+.

I feel like the boy who cried wolf here because there have been a number of times where we’ve watched a remake of a film and remarked at how shockingly similar it is to the original. We oooohed and aaaaahed at the blatant disregard for creativity. Oh, but those were nothing compared to Little Indian, Big City and Jungle 2 Jungle. It made me question the nature of art after watching what is essentially a shot for shot remake of a film (down to the blocking of scenes and throwaway jokes). Really the only differences they had were the addition of some Tim Allen centric jokes (fart in a native hammock, blow darting of a cat, piranha on the finger… that sort of thing) and making Martin Short’s character slightly less of a child abuser idiot and more of just an idiot. They were so similar that after watching Jungle 2 Jungle first I was thoroughly bored in my viewing of the original as I was being forced to watch the same movie over again. Who would have thought being totally bored by a film would be so interesting from a BMT perspective. Totally worth it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We watched literally the same movie back to back. I’m not exaggerating. I’m stunned. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I think I saw at least a bit of this as a kid. Regardless the most exciting bit? Leelee Sobieski. I’m always excited to mark another one off for a BMT favorite’s filmography. She’s a literal child actress in this, so anything but a catastrophic performance would be quite good. I’m not going to sit here and rip into the acting of a teen actor. I’m not a monster.

The Good – Leelee Sobieski was fine. I would even argue she’s on par with Sam Huntington as Mimi-Siku. Now that I think about it … the acting was kind of alright throughout the film. It struck a nice contrast with the more slapstick French version, the acting itself was toned down while the props, sets, etc. were all kind of blown out of proportion. This was more normal people living in an exaggerated world, instead of exaggerated people living in a normal world … you know what I mean?

The Bad – I don’t actually think the film is that bad. Scattershot sure. But Tim Allen and the cast do a decent job at it. There are two major crimes here. First, this is a shot-for-shot remake of the original French film. I’ll get to that in a bit … but that’s just wild considering the original was released to theaters in the US the year prior. Second, the B-story involving the coffee options is so big and in your face and important to the story it is almost the A-story. A story about commodity speculation … is basically the primary storyline in a children’s film about a boy from the Amazon rainforest coming to live in New York City. Give me a goddamned break.

The BMT – I think this acts as an extremely interesting pair for BMT. A remake of a French film which itself has maybe the second worst dubbing I’ve ever seen (nothing will beat Roberto Begnini’s Pinocchio … which by the way he’s doing again). A literal shot-for-shot remake in fact. A perfect display of the difference between French and American humor as well. Something about it makes me love it, even if I don’t think Jungle 2 Jungle is a particularly good bad movie by itself.

Roast-radamus – I think there is a strong argument that Martin Short is a Planchet (Who?), although one that kind of holds his own. But his purpose is to be beaten up and humiliated. Sweet Cap’n Crunch Product Placement (What?) as well. Two punch Setting as a Character (Where?) for Venezuela and New York City. Very Minor Secret Holiday Film (When?) for the Fourth of July setting, and plausibly MacGuffin (Why?) with the B-story involving unloading coffee options with the Russian Mafia. If it got a twist it would have run the gamut! And yet I don’t think this gets a Good, Bad, or BMT in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual I can’t find a yearly list up to stuff, but like other films in this cycle it at the very least on Ebert’s worst of list of 1997. As a matter of fact there are so many terrible remakes of foreign films it doesn’t even get a nod on any of the lists I could find for that category.

Bring a Friend Analysis – For Jungle 2 Jungle we fortunately managed to get a pair of films which both fit into the category (Little Indian, Big City was on Ebert’s worst of list for 1996). And … these films are astonishingly close together. They utilize many of the same jokes (the woman saying “hot for you” on the computer, the spider and alligator chasing Tim Allen in the water, both spider scenes with the boss and the girlfriend, eating the fish), the story is really close as well. Basically just the end is slightly different. The original does have a pretty terrible dub, but I think both films have their relative charms (especially if you watched the subbed French films I’m sure). Adaptation .. can I give it both an F and A? It is too close to be worth it, but yet is the most faithful adaptation of a film I’ve ever seen. It is truly bizarre and well worth a Bring a Friend.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Dark Phoenix Recap

Jamie

When the X-Men encounter an unusual source of power in space, Jean Grey saves them by absorbing it. Unfortunately absorbing strange energy sources in space isn’t great for her health as she becomes Dark Phoenix and can’t control her rage or power. Can the X-Men bring her back (and perhaps save the world) before it’s too late? Find out in… Dark Phoenix.

How?! Several years after the X-Men saved the world from the apocalypse they are the belles of the ball and worldwide heroes. They also aren’t kids anymore as they’ve taken on the responsibilities of the X-Men team, being called on to save the day by the President like all the goddamn time. Professor X keeps pushing them to greater risks in a misguided attempt to keep them safe, but this backfires when he sends them into space to save a space shuttle and they end up in the way of a dangerous ball of mysterious energy. They are able to save the astronauts but at the expense of Jean Grey, who ends up absorbing the energy in order to protect them. Back on Earth she’s all like “wow, I feel great… almost like I’ve absorbed a whole bunch of evil energy,” and almost immediately she starts to lose control of her power. Unlocking long hidden memories of her childhood, she goes to visit her father who admits to abandoning her. Once again she is filled with rage and once again she loses control and blindly lashes out at the X-Men who come to try to help her. Raven/Mystique is killed in the process (gasp! What a twist!) and the X-Men are thrown into disarray. Seeking out Magneto, Jean Grey even scares the shit out of him and he’s all like “you crazy, girl,” and tells her to leave. She ends up meeting an alien who is super interested in the crazy dangerous power she possesses (not a great sign) and she heads to NYC to hear her out. Beast joins with Magneto and his crew in order to go kill Jean in revenge for Raven, while the rest of the X-Men also head to NYC in order to stop them. A big climactic battle ensues which ends with the US government seizing them just before the aliens can fully take the power. Locked up on a special prison train, the X-Men beg the g-men to let them fight the aliens, but they scoff and are like “they’re called aliums, bro.” Just then a bunch of the aliens attack and it’s only through the ultimate sacrifice of Jean are they able to survive. In the end Professor X retires and everything kind of goes on like before. But legend says when you look up in the sky at night you can still see a Jean Grey phoenix explosion in the sky. THE END.

Why?! This is a much darker movie than the previous installments and the motivations are darker too. It’s implied that Professor X has started to act a bit irrationally. Perhaps because he’s fame-hungry. Perhaps because he’s a little bit of an alcoholic. Or perhaps because he knows that only by becoming greater and greater heroes can he stave off the inevitable turn of humanity against them. This directly results in the terrible events of this film. The alien’s motivations are actually pretty bland. Their planet was destroyed by the great power, so they followed it around until Jean absorbed it. They then aim to use Jean to wipe out the Earth and create a new home for themselves. Pretty obvious.

Who?! Hail to the Chief and congratulations on the election of POTUS Brian d’Arcy James. Although that’s not really his name, just the actor’s name, as the President is not explicitly named… although could it still be George Bush? He just really doesn’t look much like George Bush (unlike the obvious Nixon in Days of Future Past).

What?! I didn’t notice anything specific for this spot and it’s way to early for props to go on sale (I’m thinking one of the rad leather jackets that Nightcrawler or Cyclops wears). The one really noticeable thing this film did have is a prominent “I will fucking kill you” line dropped right in the middle. It was so jarring that I didn’t even have to wonder whether the film was rated PG-13 or not. They really wanted to use that swear to great effect. Felt a little out of place instead.

Where?! A large majority of the film takes place in New York. The school is in New York (as shown on its sign), Jean’s hometown is in New York, and the climax of the film is in New York City. Very different from the rest of the series which has had a tendency to hop around the globe constantly. B+.

When?! While the X-Men series operates on a slightly different timeline than reality, it does take place in 1992 and during the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. That would likely place this film around May 17th, 1992, the shuttle’s first launch, since it seems more like Spring. But can’t count out the possibility that it’s the second launch in September or that enough has changed in the timeline where Endeavour launched on a different date. Would need more confirmation. C-.

I actually did not mind this film. Sure, it’s small and there are moments that are cringeworthy (particularly near the end where things started to get a little funky… maybe because they had to rewrite it). But overall I thought it was considerably better than Apocalypse, which was super flat and had some bad acting from good actors (which I think can only be blamed on a terrible script). The acting in this was way better and even though the story was small in scopt, I was actually engaged in the emotions of Jean’s story. Particularly her and Scott’s romance, which was actually somewhat touching. I am surprised by how poor the reviews actually were for this and can only chalk it up to sincere affection for the Dark Phoenix story, which has been hotly anticipated and seems to fail every ten years or so, and the fact that this installment wasn’t as fun as it probably should have been… it was actually kind of depressing. But still fine. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The bad blockbusters are back jack! There have been quite a few recently, so we had to snap up one, and what better than to ride this superhero craze to its inevitable conclusion, Dark Phoenix. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I kind of realized part way through that I hadn’t caught up on the whole series. So let’s make this a review for Deadpool 2. So, I was kind of shocked that I liked Deadpool. It is immature and dumb, but amusingly small scale and its heart was in the right place. It worked well for Ryan Reynolds. The second one? Am I getting old? Because I hated this thing. The humor is kind of the same, but everything is now on a much larger (and less amusing) scale. They play a lot of the same jokes (like Deadpool growing back little baby parts) over again, and the good/bad guy in Firefist is just exasperating. I did really think Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz) were great though, and overall I would watch a third. I just hope things get scaled back down a bit and maybe … I don’t know, I won’t be as tired of this brand of humor next time? Reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I also hated, in that once the initial novelty of the concept wears off it is exactly the type of movie I cannot stand. So that’s where I was going into the viewing.

The Good – This film is weirdly … okay. If you had never seen a superhero film before I can imagine thinking “wow, that’s really cool, the effects were really good, the acting was good, I can’t believe it!” This isn’t a Batman Forever where the series tilts on its head and you know something terrible has happened, it is just a boring conclusion to a series whose main thread (the seven X-men films) has run its course. It does leave the series in an odd place, with only, potentially, Deadpool 3 being on the docket in the non-MCU world.

The Bad – It is pretty boring. Jennifer Lawrence clearly doesn’t want to be there and ends up with a number of terrible lines which just don’t really work right up to (spoilees!) she dies. The alien storyline seems tacked on, and by all accounts it was at the very least massively altered after Captain Marvel was released. I don’t begrudge the right of this Fox property to go out on its own terms, I just wish something other that Dark Phoenix was chosen. We’ve seen Phoenix like three times before, and I’m not sure we needed it to be the ultimate conclusion to this 12 movie franchise.

The BMT – Sure. This year might genuinely go down as the year of the bad blockbuster. There has been a complete 180 from last year, where literally no BMT films were released in June and July, and we’ve had multiple giant summer films fall flat. I liked this one as the series itself has been very consistent, only X-men: Wolverine Origins qualifies narrowly with 37%. So this really is a great example of a long running series fizzling out, and also tells my age a bit that I’ve seen all of these films now. I had seen nine of them naturally before this film was even chosen.

Roast-radamus – I don’t think it’ll really have a shot at Live but it’ll obviously be in the conversation. I kind of like it as a Recent Period Piece (When?) for going with a early 90s time period. Those are always fun. Arguably you have a decent MacGuffin (Why?) as well with regards to the Phoenix power. Otherwise, nope, pretty weak.

Homework Sklog-signment – As this film just came out there isn’t time to evaluate its cred, so here’s a second review for Logan which completed by viewing of all 12 X-men films. Now this film I also was weirdly not at jazzed about upon initial viewing, but I think I came around on it. I think as long as it is understood that this is a “what if” type deal (and not the actual conclusion) to Logan / Xavier’s stories I like it a lot. Basically this is a real world version of X-men, a world where the other movies are basically comic books or movies, a hopeful version of the real world stories where people died and eventually mutants died off (basically). I really don’t like it as an actual conclusion, it is too depressing to me, but as an interesting idea of what a more realistic analogue to the original movies could be I enjoyed it a lot. It is a great stand alone super hero film and I hope they do more things like this, especially considering they are, apparently, going to do an entire What If? television show.

BMT Live! Theater Review – I’ll keep this short, but I returned triumphantly to Vue, which as one would hope was clean and wonderful and not at all depressing like I find Cineworld. Sparsely populated viewing, a guy on his phone the entire time out of the corner of my eye, but ultimately it was a fine show and I found it very engaging and fun in the end. B+ viewing, no little cell phone light will bring me down.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Lost in Space Recap

Jamie

The Robinson family are ready to save the Earth by traveling across the universe to open a gateway to a new world. Unfortunately sabotage is afoot by the eeeeevil Dr. Smith. Can they stop the evil genius from destroying humanity (and maybe find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Lost in Space.

How?! It’s the year 2058 and the world is on the brink of ecological disaster. The only thing that stands in the way is the Robinson family and their brood of kids: whiz kid Will, angsty teen Penny, and the smoking hot Judy (don’t get any ideas Matt Leblanc). Unfortunately their physician, Dr. Smith, has his own plans and it involves getting a whole bunch of money from a rebel group to sabotage the trip. Saboteur! After they launch, he sets a robot to destroy the ship, but he is double crossed (double saboteur!) and left to die. Waking up just in time, he helps subdue the robot and is taken prisoner, but not before super pilot Matt LeBlanc (I guess his character was Major Don West… whatever), does some super pilot shit and uses their hyperdrive to shoot through the sun and into deep space. Uh oh! In a shocking coincidence they end up exactly where a time hole exists and they encounter a long dead ship from the rescue mission sent to find them. On the ship they encounter a CGI monkey (wait, were we supposed to think it was real?) and a bunch of spider aliums that totally bite Dr. Smith (but shhhh, don’t tell anyone). Escaping just in time they crash land on a plant where they once again encounter a time hole. Needing supplies to get off the planet they venture into the time hole to find that inside is their own ship from the future with a grown up Will Robinson living inside. He’s on the verge of finishing his time machine and aims to go back to Earth and stop the mission but uh oh! Dr. Smith from the future is there and he’s totally a gross spider monster. He’s ready to use that time machine to totally eat up Earth with his space spider friends (triple saboteur!), but Dr. Robinson has different ideas. He goes and karate chops that spider monster in the neck (probably, I can’t remember) and then saves Will, who in turn realizes that the only course of action is to use the time machine to send his dad back to the ship in time to get them off the planet. He once again engages the hyperdrive, gets them super lost in space again setting them up for the inevitable sequel for this megahit. Oh and Matt LeBlanc and Judy totally smooch and her dad is like “wtf, mate?” THE END.

Why?! Humanity, duh. The Robinsons just want to save Earth and their family. Per usual the motivation of the bad guy is much more interesting. In the beginning Dr. Smith is all about the benjamins (as the kids say) and wants that sweet rebel cash to destroy the mission. The point seems to then turn around and make a much more capitalistic mission that will save Earth but for a price. Anyway, it’s actually kinda funny that then when Dr. Smith is trapped with the Robinsons he’s almost immediately bitten by some space spiders that turn him into a monster then hungers only to eat Earth. It wasn’t enough that he already wanted to fuck up the only mission to save Earth, he then has to be bitten by some spiders that make him literally want to eat Earth. This is also not resolved in the film. He’s still alive and totally going to turn into a spider monster at the end.

Who?! One thing we haven’t really talked about in this section is the case where two actors portray the same character. It’s always funny when one actor portrays two (think JCVD in Maximum Risk AND Double Impact), but there are way more cases where two actors play the same character. Usually it’s via flashback. Here, though, is a classic time travel version of it where Will Robinson is portrayed by both Jack Johnson and Jared Harris and briefly coexist in time. I feel like there could be a really difficult cycle for us in here somewhere… perhaps collecting a bunch of interesting cases of such double dipping.

What?! I was disappointed there wasn’t a little more for this category. Perhaps they realize how old the rescue ship is because all the delicious Coca-Cola has gone flat, so while still refreshing (when isn’t it?), it’s just not the same. So Will invents a recarbonator so they can all enjoy some refreshing Coca-Cola’s before battling some space spiders (the space spider’s only weakness? Coca-Cola, duh). But that didn’t happen. It’s also hard to figure out if I was missing anything because the Netflix reboot TV series apparently had a ridiculously terrible Oreos product placement that dominates my Google searches. There are some fun props online, but it’s hard to tell whether they are on sale… like could Matt LeBlanc’s entire battle costume really me for sale? Doesn’t seem possible.  

Where?! A+ Space setting for this one. They almost immediately zip right through the sun and start grappling with small metal spider aliens and meet a space monkey and crash on a snow planet. Really just the greatest hits from the space genre.

When?! We get a really nice intertitle exact setting on this as we are told that the attack depicted in the beginning of the film takes place on September 30th, 2058. Generally speaking I’ve given intertitles B’s in the past, but given just how rare it is for us to get something of this level I have to give it an A.

The more I think about this film the more I love it. It really tickled me in a lot of ways. It’s just so stupid and really convoluted and involves a time travel storyline where a (quite literally insane) future version of Will Robinson helps his dad save their space ship and as the space-time continuum collapses around him he screams “Don’t forget mmmmmmmeeee.” Like… you want him to remember the weird scraggly bearded version of his son that befriended a spider monster and nearly destroyed Earth? Do you want him to remember you as a cautionary tale? It’s bizarre. The entire film is bizarre. Add on top Matt LaBlanc not being able to act his way out of a paper bag (sorry Matt, I know you’re a reader) and a CGI monkey that is impressive only insomuch that they dared release it to theaters and I’m starting to think this might be a dark horse classic. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Danger, Will Robinson! A classic phrase I’m sure every 12 year old was just a-clamoring to hear on the big screen in 1998. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Fun fact, I saw this in theaters in 1998 in New York City. Just thought I would mention that. And indeed, I never saw it again. Weirdly I could remember quite a bit of it. Like the Spider Smith at the end. And the CGI monkey. I have to say, muddled memories from over 20 years ago did not prepare me for just how wild this film would be.

The Good – The film never tries to be much more than it needs to be to kick off what was surely a trilogy of deep space adventure films. Oldman is at peak scenery chewing glory at times as well, which I personally consider a very positive note for the film. The design of the spaceship is fun. And hey, they went for it didn’t they? They really went for some stuff about two years before it was a good idea to go for them, specifically they reached on the CGI. But partial credit there.

The Bad – Straight up this might be the worst CGI we’ve seen. At times it is on par with A Sound of Thunder, but in this case they didn’t run out of money, they just tried to create multiple full CGI characters and it didn’t work out very well at all. Matt LeBlanc is terrible in the film, and his character is a real smarmy weirdo (in a children’s film! Man, the 90s were a wild ride sometimes). They hired Jared Harris to play an American without, somehow, realizing he couldn’t do an accent and had to dub all of his lines. Spider Smith I think is the reason I am scared of spiders, so thanks for that. The Space Spiders in general were just awful. And Penny’s fashion choices … this film is something to behold.

The BMT – It is something to behold and I love it? It doesn’t offend your sensibilities because it is kind of a kids’ film, so who cares right? But then you have Spider Smith, and the CGI monkey, and Penny as a character somehow 100 years in the future, but stuck in the late 90s, and Matt LeBlanc existing 100 years in the future but outside of the MeToo movement? Oldman chewing scenery, weird time travel story, a son and father understanding each other and learning to love again! Ah yes, that’s the stuff, it hits you right here (I’m pointing at my throat like in the A-1 Steak Sauce commercial, not my heart). Very BMT.

Roast-radamus – Whooooooo doggy. I think you could argue this is one of the better Setting as a Character (Where?) films we’ve seen as long as you stretch the definition to include the spaceship itself. It really is kind of a character, just needed a sassy AI voice. And what the heck I’ll throw in Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal of Spider Smith being the ultimate bad guy who gets eaten by his own Space Spider babies. And naturally a nod for BMT as the film itself is b-b-b-b-b-bonkers. That’s some good stuff.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual with this cycle the cred is always there because Siskel and Ebert themselves declared this to be one of the worst films of the year in 1998. Besides that it is a bit hard to find other lists, but it is thrown into Time’s run down of the worst films based on television shows. It’s got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally when you watch a film based on a television show you should watch an episode of the television show. And what better episode to watch than the first one. I only watched part one, I’m not a monster, but amazingly the first half of the 1998 film is almost identical to the plot of The Reluctant Stowaway (first aired September 15, 1965). The family is going to Alpha Centauri to colonize. Smith is trying to sabotage the ship for money but accidentally is taken away with the crew. He programs the robot to destroy the ship and then is unable to stop it before it wrecks things almost irreversibly. And he is kept around because he saves one of the Robinsons (this time the mother, not the daughter). The show is incredibly slow, much slower even than its contemporary Star Trek. But I imagine it is mostly the same style, a monster / exploration of the week type deal. Kind of admirable that they tried to stay so true to the original series in the first half there. B adaptation, should have stopped short of the Space Spiders.

Cheerios,

Ths Sklogs

Armageddon Recap

Jamie

When an asteroid is found to be hurtling towards Earth, NASA has to turn to a group of oilmen led by Harry Stamper to figure out how to blow it up. Can Harry become an astronaut, learn to trust AJ (the hotshot boyfriend of his daughter), and stop that asteroid before it’s too late? Find out in… Armageddon.

How?! We open with the destruction of a space shuttle mission and parts of several major US cities (naturally, this is Michael Bay) and NASA scrambles to figure out what it was. Turns out a giant asteroid is on its way and boy howdy do they need some help figuring out how to drill a hole in it and blow it up (I feel like there’s a metaphor here). Who you gonna call? Harry Stamper, duh. But he’s also going through his own major catastrophe as he’s just found out that his cocky hotshot partner is dating his daughter. Oh no! That’s just as bad as that asteroid stuff. No time to figure it out though because the government comes and brings him to Houston. There they are like, can you help us? And he’s like “not with these jokester astronauts. Me and my bozo gang of misfits have to be your astronauts.” So they get the gang together, go through some real intense training, and then remember what they are fighting for by visiting family and going to a strip club (to two most american things you can do). The plan is to get some fuel from the Russian space station, swing around the moon, and land on the asteroid, but things immediately go wrong when the junky Russian space station blows up. They swing around the moon but get caught in asteroid debris and one of the spaceships go down, including AJ. Noooo. The other spaceship overshoots the landing spot and has to drill through an iron plate. It’s slow going and they keep breaking parts of the driller and it looks like all is lost when the drill monster truck blows up and flies into space. Things start going nuts with the government trying to blow up the nuke from the surface and people getting “space madness,” but unbeknownst to everyone AJ is being a total hero and he and a few of the others make their way from their wreck and arrive in time to save the day. AJ pushes that drill monster truck like no one has ever pushed a drill monster truck before and totally gets that nuke in there (still feeling like a metaphor), but uh oh! The nuke can’t be detonated from the surface! Someone will have to step in. That man is Harry and he gives a rousing speech to his daughter and saves the goddamn world! After coming back everyone forgets how shitty everyone was before and greet them like heroes. THE END.

Why?! You’re probably all like “for humanity, duh.” *shakes head sadly* you learned nothing. It’s for love, man. Love. And your eyes, your eyes, your eyes. They tell me how much you care. Ooooh yes, you will always be… my… endless looooove. Armageddon.

Who?! Hail to the Chief! We have the election of an unnamed President to the BMT Hall of Presidents played by Stanley Anderson. Has he played the President in other films? Why yes. In The Rock, also directed by Michael Bay and also the greatest film ever made. Does that mean those two films take place during the same presidential term? Probably. Also need to shoutout the least heralded member of the Armageddon crew: Noonan, played by Clark Brolly. I did not remember this character until this viewing and he really does get short shrift when all is said and done. As Ben Affleck is crying over Owen Wilson’s body he just kinda implies that Noonan was also killed on impact. Who is Noonan?!

What?! Some real iconic product placement here for Animal Crackers. There is probably some more blatant placement for Nokia or TAG Hauer, but the Animal Cracker scene is perfection. I don’t want to close my eyesssss. I don’t want to falll asleep. Cause I’d miss you babe and I don’t want to miss a thaaaaannnnngggggggggg. As for props there are some real gems here. A Stamper Oil hard hat?! AJ’s space costume?! How do I choose just one?

Where?! We got scenes all over the place. These are the types of films that really would help cover a large portion of a world map. But really this is set in Texas and Space… a solid choice for the catchall setting, Space. As specific as needed and quite necessary. A.

When?! I do not believe that they make it clear when the film takes place. Seems like the summer given the sweltering look of NYC in the beginning. Usually I’m all like “but only if I could get my hands on some props,” well from the website above I can… they purposefully don’t have any dates on it. So I think they never really make it clear other than to say that the events of the film take place over almost exactly 18 days. F.

Armageddon is the greatest film ever made. Patrick?… oh, should I elaborate on that? I sat down to watch this movie and was like “It’s pretty late, I’ll watch half the movie and then finish it tomorrow.” Three hours later, with tears streaming down my face, I finished watching Armageddon. I literally didn’t want to close my eyes… didn’t want to fall asleep… cause I’d miss Armageddon and I didn’t want to miss a thing. Now, just to be clear, when I say Armageddon is the greatest film ever made I don’t mean that it’s like the best film ever made or anything crazy like that. It just hits all the right buttons for me and allows me to forgive all the bad visual effects, scientific inaccuracies, ludicrous plot devices, and the fact that Michael Bay films America like it still is 1957… even when astronauts are flying souped-up space shuttles to an asteroid to plant a nuke using a monster truck space drill. I forgive all that because Ben Affleck is playing with animal crackers and is like “I hope other people are doing this, because otherwise what are we fighting for,” and Bruce Willis telling his daughter that he’ll look in on her from time to time before sacrificing himself for the good of humanity. As A1 steak sauce would say, it gets me right here *points to heart*. Patrick?

‘Ello everyone! Sometimes for BMT we re-watch a film we’ve seen before to give it the real BMT treatment. And sometimes we … watch a film for the like 50th time and revel in it and make fun of all the no-fun-having critics who hate explosions and America. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – You think I didn’t already know everything about Armageddon? The most interesting things were that it was nominated for several Oscars. More rare than you would think for BMT. You’d think more terrible films would still manage the technical awards. And that this was the most successful Michael Bay film outside of the Transformers films, which is also fun.

The Good – Uh … this film? The film is good? More seriously, the first half of the film is very fun. Just balls to the wall grumpy Bruce Willis telling the eggheads at NASA what’s what about drilling in space. Lots of funny characters, lots of funny lines, and great visuals that hold up. The cosmonaut character is still the best as well. Just absolutely the funniest. The last third is a bit melodramatic, and the asteroid set … has problems. But the movie is gosh darn entertaining. I would watch it again right now if you asked me to.

The Bad – The asteroid set is ludicrous. I think if they had had a bit more time they could have whipped something together that looked fine … but it doesn’t. Very melodramatic, and basically the definition of inserting a romantic subplot into an action film for no reason (and Bay would repeat the same mistake in Pearl Harbor). Some bits here and there are problematic (Buscemi suggesting he committed statatory rape being played for laughs isn’t great), but hey, it’s an action film in 1998.

The BMT – There is, in my opinion, more good than bad here. I don’t think this film comes out to the same reviews these days. I think it gets a very respectable “good for what it is” like … 50-60% on Rotten Tomatoes released today. So no. Of course it isn’t BMT. It is too good. I will never accept this film isn’t good. It is like Hook, I saw it at just the right time to love it and it’ll always tug at that bit of nostalgia. I can’t help myself.

Roast-radamus – Can we get a Where? for the asteroid? No? I’m going to give it a What? (Product Placement) though. What product? NASA and the US Military of course. Legitimately this is US propaganda, but whatever, I love it. Something about this film screams Why? to me. Is it a MacGuffin? No, but the entire thing about the 800 foot hole they are trying to drill on the asteroid is just too much. How they are all so sad when they are only at 250 feet. When they are so happy when they cross this arbitrary point. It is just so good. I have a sneaking suspicion this is a shoe in for Good as well because … well, just read my review.

StreetCreditReport.com – As usual, all of these films have a lot of cred already because Siskel and Ebert put it on their worst of list for 1998. And crazily … I can’t find any other lists where it was mentioned. There are so many bad disaster films it doesn’t even get close to the lists it seems. So good for Armageddon, it ain’t got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – You may or may not have heard of the notorious Ben Affleck Armageddon audio commentary. The most famous bit is when he talks about how he asked Michael Bay why they couldn’t just send astronauts up to drill on the asteroid, and Michael Bay told him to shut up. (1) His Michael Bay and Billy Bob Thornton impressions are second to none. (2) His on set stories are really interesting, like about how much stuff leaked in from other projects, and how crap everything looked when you are actually doing it. (3) He basically has the same opinion as me about the patriotic aspects, he says he’s mostly a cynic about such things, but something about Armageddon he likes and he finds really powerful. People think he was drunk, but I think he was mostly just tired. If you listen to the entire thing, he is far too coherent for way too long while watching the entire film for the drunk idea to hold much water. A+ audio commentary, especially this svelte 30 minute cut which is just Affleck and not the other people:

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs