Santa Claus: The Movie Recap

Jamie

When Santa’s forward-thinking assistant Patch attempts to streamline the North Pole’s production line he fails to maintain QA/QC and leaves in disgrace. Going to work for a ruthless toy maker in order to prove himself, he inadvertently turns the world against Santa. Can Patch and Santa patch things up before it’s too late? Find out in… Santa Claus: The Movie!

How?! The film starts with a gritty reboot of the Santa origin story. Who was he? Why a dumbo who took his family out on a sleigh during a horrific blizzard (against the advice of everyone) and ended up freezing to death. Or at least that’s an interpretation of what you see, as just as Mr. and Mrs. Claus are about to die they magically awaken to find themselves transported to the North Pole as part of a prophecy fulfilled. Santa will spend all of eternity doing what he loves, making toys and bringing joy to children across the world. Centuries later Santa is still chilling making toys and all the kids around the world kinda know he exists. One Christmas he seems particularly tired and he decides to get an assistant. Enter Patch, the overly-enthusiastic and forward-thinking elf dead-set on taking the North Pole production line into the 20th century. Unfortunately, despite being a mechanical genius, Patch doesn’t totally appreciate impact of his new technology on quality assurance (a message that every boy and girl can relate to). After Santa delivers the presents he is horrified to see that most of them are returned as defective. With no other choice he makes another elf his assistant. The only bright spot that Christmas is that he made friends with a homeless boy in NYC named Joe. In the intervening year Patch heads to NYC to convince a super evil toy maker to hire him so he can show his stuff to Santa, while Joe becomes friend with the evil toy maker’s niece, Cornelia. The next Christmas Santa is old news when Patch’s new flight-powering lollipop is a holiday hit. Super sad, Santa is pretty much Mopey McMoperson and ready to give up, but Joe and Cornelia overhear that the evil toymaker’s new super lollipops are dangerous and get Santa to come and help save the day. In the end Santa saves Joe and Patch using the classic Super Duper Looper (duh) and everyone loves Christmas and Santa. Also the evil toymaker dies when he flies into space using his own flying candy. Hoisted by his own petard. Nice. THE END.

Why?! Santa only wants to bring joy to children, but also gets real sad when a competing toy maker brings joy to them and Santa isn’t A-1 in their hearts anymore… so it’s kinda that he wants to be the only one to bring joy to kids. Oh and he likes to steal kids. At the end he just kind of keeps Joe and Cornelia in the North Pole. The bad guys are cartoons.

Who?! I swear if this was made five years later Donald Trump is in it. Alas, not much for this section other than a special thanks to Frans J. Afman, a banker that was involved in film financing for a while, particularly in the age of smaller studios like Cannon and the like. Apparently he was knighted by the Queen of The Netherlands for his contributions to film, so he’s no slouch. I look forward to my own knighting ceremony.

What?! The product placement in this film is art. Our poor homeless kid Joe spends his day looking longingly into the window of a McDonald’s. Not just for the delicious food but the sense of family and community (you know?). When he finally does get fed by Cornelia he doesn’t get his McD’s (bullshit), but she does leave a delicious Coca-Cola to quench his thirst and seal their friendship in iron.

Where?! Split almost evenly between the North Pole and NYC. Both play a pivotal role in the film and should rightfully get double billing in terms of the setting. I’m not sure where the beginning of the film took place before Santa almost froze to death… I guess probably Sweden or something. A.

When?! Not so secret Holiday Film alert. The story takes places over several centuries, but the most important things happen on Christmas… also Lithgow tries to start a new holiday on March 25th called Christmas II that is now a BMT Holiday. We celebrate that now. A.  

This truly had the makings of a BMT classic. It oozes earnestness. Even when they are throwing around delicious McDonald’s and Coca-Colas in our faces, it still smacks more of gee whiz than corporate exploitation. It’s that kind of earnestness that blinds people to just how ridiculous the film that’s being made truly is. Unfortunately the first thirty minutes of the film was actually a bit too good. The set design was actually impressive. To truly experience this film you have to just watch the latter half where things go way way way way off the rails. First and foremost is John Lithgow who puts on a masterclass in what is one of my favorite performances of all time. He ate entire set pieces with his giant fake chompers. Add on top a really odd QA/QC storyline and a Chekov’s Super Duper Looper sleigh trick (that no one could possibly figure out would be the key to saving the day) and you’ve got a BMT holiday classic on your hands. Can’t wait to force feed this to my kids every Christmas. As for Santa with Muscles it made me sad and not since Transmorphers have I felt such sadness as I watched something. I couldn’t tell if Hulk Hogan was just being himself or was actually acting or if anyone was actually trying to make a film.  Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! It’s the origin story everyone was clamoring for. They got it in stop motion, and now they brought it to the masses live action. It’s the movie that put the Saint in Saint Nick, and da da da da da I loved it! Not really, let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I literally had no idea what this film was prior to watching it. I was very shocked to realize it was our first John Lithgow film, and watching the trailer he was obviously the key to why this movie could be amazing. FOOOOOOR FREEEEEEEE?!?! Is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen and it makes me so so happy that the trailer editor didn’t hide that from the viewers. He or she knew what I wanted and gave it to me in spades, which made me a little more excited for a film I would usually default to probably-boring.

The Good – The beginning is actually a fine television movie level origin story for Santa. I actually genuinely think the first third is better than Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, the Rankin/Bass production it’s storyline is closest to. I also quite like how unabashedly it leans into the magical part of Santa. They don’t try and explain things too much, it is basically just like “you’ll live forever, this stuff makes reindeers (and children) fly, you just magic into and out of houses, don’t worry about it!”. I kinda dug that.

The Bad – The second half of this film is pretty bad. The instant Joe sits outside of a McDonald’s drooling at not only the delicious (and nutritious!) hamburgers, but the familial love that McDonald’s naturally attracts everything turns into a joke. Like, yo, Santa, you can do whatever you want, why not give Joe a house? What, is Joe the only homeless kid in New York City? The first half you have to buy into just magic existing. The second half takes it a step too far and tries to paint a world that is just far enough from how everything actually works that it is really hard to pick up what they are putting down. The movie is insane and could actually be one of the most misguided film we’ve watched, and as Jamie says, it is very very earnest in what it is trying to sell.

The BMT – You notice anything missing from the two above sections? No Lithgow! That’s because I’m putting him here. His performance is easily the most “thanks, I hate it” performance we’ve seen in BMT. It is off the wall, bananas, bonkers, I’m running out of adjectives to describe it! I both love it, and realize it is the craziest thing ever, and that is kind of the punctuation mark on why Santa Claus: The Movie is amazing. Pop that into a two hour long commercial for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, and mix in a very (very) earnest Christmas film where Santa (probably) dies in the beginning and you get a perfect monster of a movie.

Roast-radamus – Easily a When? (Not so secret holiday film) as mentioned, an unabashedly pro-Christmas film. And also a What? (Product Placement) because Da-da-da-da-da I’m lovin’ McDonald’s now. And wash that down with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. I couldn’t tell but I think they cut the part of the film where Mrs. Claus was like “naw, green is not his color … can we dress him up as a giant Coca-Cola can?”. I actually do think we have a Who? (Planchet) for Lithgow’s assistant whom Lithgow shits on all film and insinuates is gay (I think? It’s hard to tell). The Where? (Setting as a character) for a New York City filled with McDonald’s loving families (and homeless children, and evil toy makers). And How? (Chekov’s Blank) for Chekov’s Super Duper Looper which is inevitably used to save Joe and Patch from their exploding flying car. And naturally this slides head first into a BMT award … my god, it’s running the gamut! It legit qualifies for all of the categories!!!

StreetCreditReport.com – As far as worst Christmas films? It gets seven here. And thirteen here. It is well known in bad movie circles for being a quintessential bad Christmas film. And I think as we quickly approach the end of this cycle I can safely say that the movie’s rejection from the worst movie of all time wiki page is cred enough. But this got the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – There wasn’t much in terms of direct Santa Claus: The Movie accoutrements to consume alongside the film itself, so I took the opportunity to listen to a movie podcast where they reviewed the film. We Hate Movies is one of the most famous bad movie podcasts around. And I have to say, this episode was very funny, and very informed. They basically rehashed the storyline while adding in funny asides (like the John Carpenter version of this film complete with synth soundtrack, and a Jessie Ventura impression that was spot on). I still think I like The Flophouse more. We Hate Movies felt very rehearsed and I found myself not laughing as much as I do with The Flophouse’s more off the cuff tangents. Be warned though, some of their podcasts appear to be behind a Patreon funded paywall which is fine, but just something to know up front, the whole catalog is not free.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week was Bring a Friend week and we watched another Christman classic: Santa with Muscles starring Hulk Hogan. So … I’m not sure why a movie like this exists. Why would Hulk Hogan do this? Was he trying to act? Or was this just his character at the time? It was supremely confusing, a strange mash up of two films. In one film the eeeeeevil businessman Hulk Hogan bumped his head, thinks he’s Santa, learns to love again, and saves the orphanage. In the second a mall Santa (Hogan) saves the orphanage from the eeeeevil businessman (Ed Begley Jr.) and his crew of eeeeevil scientists. And they just … put those two scripts together and went on their way? I hated watching this film. But I think it is valuable to see what the mid-90s direct-to-video kids’ market was like … and it was trash. Good to know.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Advertisements

Double Dragon Recap

Jamie

Billy and Jimmy Lee are just a couple of martial arts bros. Little do they know that they are destined to protect the Double Dragon medallion from falling into the hands of evil. Can they stop the eeevil Koga Shuko from getting both pieces of the medallion and taking over New Angeles before it’s too late? Find out in… Double Dragon.

How?! Jimmy and Billy are just a couple of bros living it up in the post-apocalyptic punk/crime world of New Angeles where you best not be found out at night or one of the many street gangs might get ya. Orphans, they are taken care of by Satori, a former work colleague (?!) of their dad, who teaches them martial arts. The entire conceit of the film revolves around a magic medallion that they are destined to protect. The medallion is broken into two parts of the Double Dragon, one piece that allows control over the body and the other that allows control over the spirit. The eeeeevil Koga Shuko has obtained one, but wants both in order to control the world. Realizing that the second piece must be with Satori, he attacks them and kills her, but Billy and Jimmy are able to flee with their piece of the medallion. Using the power of his half of the medallion, Koga combines all the gangs in the city into one giant gang (can you dig it?) in order to find Jimmy and Billy. After a couple narrow escapes they figure that their only shot is to join up with a vigilante gang called the Power Corps that love to stop gang violence, rollerblade, and play video games (duh). Rollerblading their way over to Koga’s HQ they confront him, but are defeated and Jimmy is taken captive. Koga then attacks the Power Corps and a climactic battle ensues that is super rad and in no way terrible and lame. During the battle Billy rescues Jimmy from Koga and they are able to karate chop him a whole bunch and fulfil their destiny of dressing up in silly clothes, calling themselves Double Dragon, and riding around in a dumb car with a monster person (oh, I forgot to mention, there’s a monster person in this). THE END.

Why?! MacGuffin Alert! Our boy Koga is corrupted by power. The power of the Medallion. He was there when the Medallion was uncovered in an archeological dig and tried to get it for himself. Basically he just wants to rule the world using the perfect MacGuffin. As for our heroes, they are mostly naive and only know that they have to stop Koga and avenge the death of their father and Satori. Eventually they realize their destiny is to protect the Dongl…er, I mean, the Medallion. So now they just gotta battle evil and ride around in a ghostbusters car.

Who?! As mentioned below they chose to not have the Lee Brothers be twins in this adaptation, which is horseshit. There were a few cameos as part of some RoboCop-esque news reports featuring George Hamilton, Vanna White, and Andy Dick. Finally, there was only one strange Thanks credit and that was to the Cleveland Indians. I couldn’t recall anything in the film that would require thanking the Indians, but found in my deep research that some of the cast threw out the first pitch at a game… so I guess that means you get thanked at the end of the film.

What?! For every video game film we do I’m required by law to state the obvious, which is that the film itself is a product placement for the video game (and vice versa in a weird way). Interestingly this film also actually does have a product placement for the video game as the arcade version is prominently featured in the climactic fight (which raises all kinds of questions that the film was not equipped to answer).  As for props, I obviously would have loved to find the Medallion, but alas, it’s probably lost to the sands of time. In fact I couldn’t find any listings for props from this film for sale. I can only assume that Scott Wolf still has them all.

Where?! Very nice setting here as Los Angeles has been transformed into New Angeles following the destruction of most of the city by earthquakes, war, and rising seas. It even goes out of its way to show you many sights and sounds of Los Angeles in varied states of destruction. Could this have been set in Miami or NYC? Probably, but still pretty solid. B+.

When?! Second film in a row that takes place in a far future that has already passed. In this case it’s the far future of 2007. Getting more specific than that is difficult. I tried to keep my eyes peeled for something more, but couldn’t find it. I did catch both Jimmy and Billy Lee’s birthdays, which only confirmed that they were indeed not twins… very disappointing. Still gets an OK grade because I like to reward when they provide a specific year in the future. B

After a murderer’s row of BMT films to start to year I feel like we’ve settled in for a series of interesting films. This film got me thinking a lot about video game films because this really didn’t feel anything like Double Dragon. They chose instead to steer towards a RoboCop, Warriors, Escape from New York, etc. etc. etc. post-apocalyptic cityscape punk action film. The exact same mistake Super Mario Brothers made the year before. It’s almost like in the early days of adapting video games they fished around for a genre that was hot and then forced the property to conform. As far as the film specifically, the beginning was actually interesting to look at and I was shocked to find myself somewhat engaged for the first hour. Sure it fell face-first into every single trope and cliche in the book, but it looked all kooky with crazy makeup and matte painting and giant gasoline explosions and I was kinda having fun. Then the last thirty minute happened. The end of this film could actually be the worst thing I’ve ever seen. If they could have finished it without falling flat on their faces I could have imagined it being a cult film of sorts. Instead it’s a (rejected) worst film of all time. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Jamie and I peering into Double Dragon and realized our destiny: to become karate twins! Who knew this was an actual job you could have? Thanks guidance counselors. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I didn’t remember much about the film, maybe just catching the boat chase scene every so often and every time just thinking how much it looked like crap (kind of a crazy set though). Along with Super Mario Bros. this film exemplified how poorly the early adaptations of video games went. For some reason they would just like … throw the idea of the film in the trash in favor of post-apocalyptic nonsense. In both of them! It is pretty nuts.

The Good – The beginning of this film is a lot better than I think people give it credit for. It can kind of be described in one word: quaint. It harkens back to when a film like this (or RoboCop, we’ll get to that in a second) could be made, where all of the world building is like: there was an apocalypse, then the gangs from The Warriors took over, but in like … a funny way you know? It is kind of like they were trying to put the horror film formula into a video game mold, film this thing on a budget, and hope the fans come out. They didn’t and it was a financial disaster. Alyssa Milano was kind of amazingly good (also very game for the crazy getup she had to wear during the entire film).

The Bad – Let’s set aside the fact that this film looks objectively like crap. The trailer itself told you that much. Let’s start with the most obvious issue with the film, that the last twenty minutes are just nuts. They are having a big rumble in a warehouse which houses the good gang run by Milano. There is a Double Dragon arcade. There are multiple body swaps. There is a very dramatic scene with the police officers refusing to police the city at night. And there are just problematic fight choreography involving cutting whips, and paint cans, and it really might be the worst martial arts movie ever. The last twenty minutes of this film is a catastrophe. But the biggest crime of the film? That the best part of it, the fake news stories giving us the backstory of New Angeles, is a complete and utter ripoff of RoboCop. Which means you can’t even enjoy that! For shame Double Dragon, for shame.

The BMT – Absolutely. I think it isn’t a bad goal to complete the Bad Movie Arcade, just run the gauntlet of all video game films ever made. And this one is probably in the top 10 as far as video game cred. So it had to be done. I think it also gives you a lot to chew on, has some interesting hot takes (like that it is decent outside of the third act), and is a good tag team with Super Mario Bros. Not much more to ask for there.

Roast-radamus – I don’t think Abobo is a Planchet, although he is something else (like, the ultra dumb bad guy who gets redemption in the end). It probably is a What? (Produce Placement) and much like other video games films is an A+ product placement by literally being an advertisement for the Double Dragon video game series. It definitely gets a Where? (Setting as a Character) for New Angeles, the post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. And finally you could make an argument for the medallion being a MacGuffin, although we kind of do know what it is meant to do, there are a lot of secrets … I’m going to give it to it, also an A+ MacGuffin (Why?). I think it is close to BMT as well, it could end up being one of the more entertaining films we watch this year, I could believe that. Wow, impressive list there.

StreetCreditReport.com – As said this is one of the worst video games films ever made I think, although this Vulture article puts it at 26th which is rather impressive. There was only one real worst of list at the time and it isn’t on it, but hey, it gets its cred mostly from the legacy video game films have left behind.

You Just Got Schooled – What you thought I was going to watch the 1993 animated Double Dragon television show? No way, this time let’s get a glimpse of the wonderful world of speed runs. Double Dragon has an 11-minute speedrun online. You can even see Abobo at about 1:25, he’s the first boss. Speed runs are usually a bit more fun when they can really glitch it, like beating Mario 64 in a few minutes using game breaking jumps and stuff. But this was still cool, seeing how an old game can just be memorized to finish it real quick. That appears to be the third fastest run which is pretty cool.

Cheerios, 

The Sklogs

The Postman Recap

Jamie

In the dystopian future of 2013 a wandering actor escapes from the clutches of a militaristic dictator and dons the guise of a mailman in order to gain access to local communities. His ruse inadvertently spurs a revolution and thus the ire of the dictator. Can he realize his destiny as a leader, defeat the dictator, and perhaps find love before it’s too late? Find out in… The Postman.

How?! Wandering across the West following a devastating disaster that has left the United States in a dystopian ruin, an actor uses his (meager) skills to get food. While performing in a town he is taken captive by a military dictator who leads a group called The Holnists. There he is told that he better be all cool with their way of life and there are a bunch of rules including one where the leader of the Holnists is whoever can defeat their leader in hand-to-hand combat. But don’t even worry about that because you’ll never defeat their leader played by Will Patton… wait… is that right?… Will Patton? Anyway, our actor hero is like “no way” and is able to escape. Finding shelter in a mail delivery truck he gets an idea and dresses up in a postman uniform. This uniform turns out to be magic and he becomes our hero The Postman, a man so powerful that he might just be able to beat up a middle-aged Will Patton (spoiler alert… also not all facts in recap are true). The minute people see this dude in a postal uniform they are super jazzed and he’s hailed as a hero. Literally women throw themselves at him and he totally bones the beautiful Abby as her request to get her pregnant with his powerful postman babies. While visiting the next town (and actually delivering letters) the Holnists catch up and blow everything up. The Postman is able to escape with Abby and they hide in the mountains and recover from their injures. Coming down from the mountains, they are surprised to find that a movement of Postmen has started and are bringing hope of a new United States. The Postman takes this movement over, but eventually after the death of several people he cares for he decides to disband it. Trying to get Abby to safety he finds that everyone he meets is super inspired by him and he realizes that perhaps his movement isn’t based on a pile of lies after all and once again he dons his Postman cape and collects an army. They ride to confront the Holnists, but he’s like “remember your rulez?” and challenges Will Patton. They tussle like a couple of dopes on the ground until The Postman prevails and unites everyone under the flag of The Postman. THE END.

Why?! Ah, one of the rare cases where the motivations of the hero are more interesting and complex than the bad guy. The dictator is just evil and insane and honestly doesn’t even look like he works out much, bro, so not sure why no one has come along and crushed him in hand-to-hand combat yet. The Postman on the other hand just wants a hot meal every once in a while, thus the reason he becomes a postman. He’s pretty cynical about the meaning of the movement this creates and tries to stop it couple times. It’s only at the end that he realizes that the world can be better (and not just in the tall tales he tells) and that he can lead the country back to unity. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it… it’s just… just so boring.

Who?! All of Costner’s children appear in the film, including Annie who appears in a not small role as *checks imdb* Ponytail… that was her name apparently. Anyway, I thought she was actually OK in the role and a little surprised she hasn’t acted a bit more. Only odd bit was where her character seems like she wants to bone The Postman at a local dance. It’s weird not just because he’s a million years old but also because he’s portrayed by her dad. The singer Tom Petty also appears as the Mayor of Bridge Town and it’s a super weird performance. Really subdued. Doesn’t really seem all that comfortable acting.

What?! A number of articles online point out that the film acts as a pretty intense example of product placement for the USPS. Obviously had to be in the film because it was the basis of the books, but it is funny to think that it got an entire epic war drama devoted to it. The mere idea of delivering mail is the impetus for breaking away from a literal dystopia to found a new United States of America. Nuts. As for props I was specifically interested in whether the giant Kevin Costner statue shown at the end was ever for sale. The answer: yes, obviously. $610 at the time. Not bad. I also found a picture posted by the guy who owns it where it’s sitting in his garage next to his car. Weird and wild stuff.

Where?! We had considered this at one time for the Oregon entry of our mapl.de.map. Would have been a pretty good choice seeing as we get multiple intertitles telling us that that’s where we are. All in all I liked how the setting was used. B+.

When?! Takes place in the far future of 2013. It never gets old for a film to be set in a year that has already passed. Ages like a fine wine. Getting more specific is difficult. Presumably the film opens in the late summer or fall and then the middle takes place as Costner gets trapped in the mountains in the winter. After the thaw it seems to proceed fairly quickly to the climactic battle, so everything seems to occur over one year. However if they told me that it actually took place over a five year period I wouldn’t be surprised. Took me about that long to watch. A-yo. B-.

This movie is real long (read: boring) and can be separated into three pieces. I thought the first was fine or whatever… kinda sad. The second, where The Postman and Abby were recovering in the mountains, I thought was actually pretty good and reminded me of a traditional western. The third was actually quite bad. Unfortunately that third part dominated the film and just had a bunch of actors smiling at The Postman like he delivered rainbows and unicorns to them. They couldn’t get enough of this dude and how he delivered mail. It was unsettling. I love inspiring, sugar sweet movies (I am a red-blooded human person after all), but this was too much. I felt like they were waiting for the audience to stand up and applaud for two hours straight. Tone it down, Costner. We get it, you’re a hero. Patrick?

Patrick 

‘Ello everyone! There are only so many “The Postman is long and boring” jokes you can make before they feel trite, but I still think I got a solid dozen more available to me no prob. The Postman is so long and boring Rip Van Winkle was like “wow, this movie needs an editor!”. Heeeeeyooooooo. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I’ve never seen Robin Hood, or Dances with Wolves. I liked Waterworld well enough. Basically I had never really seen the Costner Classics. I liked him in Field of Dreams and such. But what I’m getting at it this: This is a Costner vehicle known for being long and boring, so I kind of knew what to expect going in … a Costner vehicle that was long and boring. And yet I was kind of excited because I hadn’t actually seen that many Costner vehicles. That’s all.

The Good – Most of the story is solid. You can definitely imagine the book (which, sadly, I didn’t read beforehand) being extremely good. If you don’t mind the cheesiness the film can deliver what is a pretty simple but good-hearted message to the people: believe in yourself, each others, and the goodness of man and you can change the world, you can make it better.

The Bad – The movie is two films kind of smooshed together. There is a war film in which a drifter is absorbed into a dictator’s army and reluctantly leads a rebellion against him. And then, about 40 minutes into the film he finds a postman outfit ( I forgot that was what the movie was about while I was watching the beginning, no joke) and there is this second film stuck right in the middle in which he kind of wanders around being a fake postman and being shot up and ill in the woods. I think the middle part is more interesting, and the entire beginning should have be cut. You can have the run in with the army being the instigating event without then spending thirty minutes with him joining the army. I don’t care that they would have to explain why Costner can challenge Will Patton to a fight, hell, they can merely explain that he was part of the army at one point in time, it doesn’t matter, it is more important that this movie be 30 minutes shorter than it is. Because it is long and boring.

The BMT – I would never watch the film again, nor recommend it as a bad movie. It is the perfect storm of why you wouldn’t want to: it is long, boring, and the message is so cloyingly sweet that to make fun of it makes you feel kind of dirty. It had to be done for BMT, but I don’t think it has the joyful badness to stand the test of time. It is a checkmark. Just look at the cred. It legit just had to be done.

Roast-radamus – Let’s see. It definitely has some Where? (Setting) appeal with Oregon, a very unique kind of post-apocalyptic setting there. The Who? (Cameo) option on Tom Petty is interesting, if underwhelming. He pops in and it like “I’m Tom Petty playing myself!” … coooool. What? (Product Placement) is there, Ford, Mercury, the cigarettes … the Postal Service? (Some people probably wish the Postal Service was some corporation which sponsored The Postman), but those are probably all mostly from the book and don’t really count. I think that is all of the plausible ones. It is neither Bad, Good, or BMT.

StreetCreditReport.com – So it definitely appears on some worst of the 90s lists, but I think this list of the 6 (!) most boring films is even funnier. On this weird ass site you can see that it is definitely in the top 5 worst flops ever. And then it won five Razzies. Triple threat. Not only is it long and boring and hated by audiences, but it then made no money and was also hated by critics. It’s got the cred, just not bad movie joy, ya heard?

You Just Got Schooled – Originally like a normal person I was going to read the book … but then I didn’t. Then I was going to watch Dances with Wolves … but I didn’t. So instead read this article! It is much shorter than both of those. Also … it isn’t really good? It is kind of weird. I’m not one to criticize other media, I mean … have you read the crap we write most of the time? But suggesting critics misunderstood Will Patton? I don’t think they did, his performance is hammy. To suggest audiences rebelled because dark edgy films like Seven were the flavor of the month at the time? This movie is cheesy no matter the context. As cheesy as Forrest Gump, but with worse performances and a worse story. And then ends with “Most people who hated Air Force One would criticise it for its blandness” … who hates Air Force One? This article is weird. Usually I enjoy these types of review because they give you nice nuggets about filming and the context of the film, but this is just making excuses for a film that is frankly long, boring, and pretentious (as Leonard Maltin would say).

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

Town & Country Recap

Jamie

Porter and Ellie are extremely successful and extremely wealthy and seemingly have a perfect marriage… other than the fact that Porter is having multiple affairs for reasons unknown. Can he stop having affairs, stop lying to everyone, and stop being a giant asshole before it’s too late? Find out in… Town & Country.

How?! Porter is a very very very very very very rich architect married to an equally successful interior designer, Ellie. Unfortunately Porter has a problem: he can’t seem to stop having affairs. Even when the marriage of their best friends falls apart as a result of an affair he can’t see just how disastrous a choice he is making and almost immediately falls back in bed with his cellist mistress. To make matters worse Ellie is so concerned for her soon-to-be-divorced friend that she asks Porter to accompany her down to Mississippi to check in on her property where they totally bang (seems like a mistake). Returning to NYC dead set on ending the affair, Porter and her end up banging again and almost get caught by Ellie. Upon their return to the city it’s revealed that Ellie has discovered Porter’s affair with the cellist (who is apparently also pregnant) and at last Porter admits everything. Porter and his friend, now both set to be divorced, decide to take a trip to Idaho to a secluded cabin. There Porter proceed to almost have affairs with two more crazy women (at this point he literally seems like the worst person in the world) only to be discovered by his children who have come to talk sense into him. Disgusted they storm off and Porter realizes everything he has lost. Returning to NYC he attempts to reconcile with Ellie only to have all the women he’s had affairs with show up at the same time. Coming to grips with his own foibles, Porter admits all the terrible mistakes that he’s made and bears his soul to Ellie. Realizing that they still love each other they decide to attempt to work through their issues in their own time. THE END.

Why?! Porter seems to indicate at the beginning of the film that the affairs are out of the ordinary and yet through the next two hours they all seem quite routine. It got to the point where I started to assume he was an unreliable narrator and in fact he was always a lying scumbag. Only at the end of the film does he reveal that he started having affairs because in his old age he feet like he lost something. He thought some youthful indiscretions may recapture the magic (he is of course wrong and instead he loses everything he cares about). Well that sounds like an OK film… why do none of those motivations show up on screen and instead we have to watch a rich asshole act like a rich asshole for two hours?

Who?! Vera Wang has had two major motion picture credits in her career, both of which we have now watched for BMT. The first was for Bride Wars, which makes sense as I assume she provided the wedding dresses used in that one. The credit she got here was also for “Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn’s wedding dresses,” which is interesting since I don’t remember them in wedding dresses in the film… maybe in a picture or something?

What?! Do you think the magazine Town & Country was cool with this being named after them? Doesn’t seem like much of a product placement as it’s more or less making fun of what is considered the stereotypical audience of the magazine.

Where?! This is ridiculously NYC. The entire concept is built around the highest of the highfalutin Manhattanite (with a beach hour in The Hamptons, obvs). To nice effect they travel to the rare BMT locales of Mississippi and Idaho under the guise that these types of people just randomly own property around the country that they never visit, don’t give a shit about, and let fall into disrepair until their lives are such a disaster that they are forced to go out there. I gotta give this an A because I don’t think the film makes any sense other than set in NYC.

When?! For a while I didn’t think we’d get an exact time for the film, but then out of nowhere popped up a Secret Holiday Film Alert. In the midst of his marital troubles our boy Porter attends a Halloween party dressed as a polar bear and gets into all types of farcical hijinks which results in the final dissolution of his marriage. Hilarious! A-

This is a BMT mystery for the ages right here. While this was not a good movie on either an artistic or BMT level, Patrick and spent more time discussing it than 95% of BMT films. Why? Because we truly couldn’t wrap our heads around how it could seemingly misfire on almost everything up until the very end of the film. It’s tough to watch such an unlikeable guy do a series of relatively mundane things for two hours. Not to mention the fact that everyone is like cartoon NYC rich. The only redeeming thing about it is that Gary Shandling is pretty funny here and there and Andie MacDowell is so convincing as an absolute crazy person that it made me momentarily forget that she is beautiful. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Town & Country? More like Boring & Unfunny. Amirite? I am. I am right, this movie is boring and unfunny. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This isn’t quite at the point of a “forgotten film”. I should try and quantify this at some point, but a forgotten film is basically a film that just … no one watches? Like Hex … I’ve never heard of this film, it looks like a kind of parody of the erotic thrillers we all know and love from the early 90s, and it was released to 2000 theaters. Anyways, Town & Country is probably still known for being Beatty’s last big release, but it was still a film I had personally never really heard of beyond whispers of its financial shortcomings. I was a tabula rasa.

The Good – Some of the acting was solid. Andie MacDowell comes to mind. I like Gary Shandling. And for what they needed to do Keaton and Hartnett and Vessey also did a fine job. If you like looking at rich people (like … REALLY rich people) live their rich (like REALLY rich) lives, then this has a few moments of like “hey you are flippantly flying to Paris on a private jet for a birthday weekend … that’s cool”. I think I laughed once which is actually probably above average.

The Bad – The entire film is a disaster. An unmitigated disaster. You can even tell points in which they tried to massage the story into something more palatable. Like, hmmmm it seems weird that Beatty decides to cheat on his wife a whole bunch right after seeing his best friend’s life get ruined by doing the same thing … uh, let’s add a little beginning part explaining that no, he’s been cheating all along! Wait … is that better? It seems worse. He tries to cheat with four women, but only succeeds with two of them, but the movie would have been more fun if he succeeded with all of them and realized that it didn’t help his midlife crisis, or if he tried but just couldn’t manage it like what happened in Curb Your Enthusiasm. The movie feels about, oh, four hours too long? It really is a marvel, I’m still chewing this movie over in my mind days later.

The BMT – You know, this isn’t a traditional BMT favorite, but maybe it should be. We discussed the ins and outs of how this could possibly be made for like an hour. We fixed it, debated it, raged over it. It was a really fun discussion about a really really not-fun film. Which is amazing. We’d probably have to seek out more dramas to get the same feeling. This was a “comedy”, but the most interesting part was how it tried to straddle the line between drama and comedy and managed to be a bad version of both.

Roast-radamus – There probably were product placements, but I’m too poor to notice them. There wasn’t a Planchet, but there was an interesting Odd-Ensemble thing going on, with like forty different caricatures all floating around Beatty at any given time, but that isn’t a category (yet). Setting as a Character (Where) is definitely in play for New York City. Also Secret Holiday Film (When) in that the climax of the film takes place at and after a big Halloween bash, which is actually quite excellent. I don’t think it’ll make Good/Bad/BMT, but it is closest to Bad.

StreetCreditReport.com – Amazingly this Empire article from 2010 lists this as 48th worst film ever … which is insane. But really I’m just here for the juice goss (that’s short for gossip). And this article dishes like whoa. That’s some cred.

You Just Got Schooled – I really couldn’t find anything specifically about the film, so let’s go with a bit of data analysis for fun. Jamie and I have been exploring an idea of notability in film. And how do you know something is notable? That’s right, the thing in question has a wikipedia page. So how many people involved with Town & Country are notable? Well there are 218 people in the fill cast on IMDb. Of those an impressive 51 have wikipedia pages. And sure, Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, but there are surprising ones as well. And Jamie mentioned, Vera Wang gets a special thanks on Town & Country. And yes, this would count towards your notability. After all, just being able to put that in your film is a level of notability I could only dream of. Stay tuned, “notability” is the next big Bad Movie Twins metric.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Troll Recap

Jamie

When the Potter family moves into their new apartment their young daughter is taken possession by an evil wizard/troll. It’s up to the young Harry Potter to team up with the sorceress upstairs to stop the evil plan. Can they stop the troll and get his sister back before it’s too late? Find out in… Troll.

How?! The Potters are ready to live it up in their new apartment in San Fran, but on the very day they move in an evil wizard turned troll, Torok, possesses their daughter, Wendy, and begins to wreak havoc on the apartment building. While the parents are largely oblivious, their son, Harry Potter (seriously), is pretty much like “this girl has super strength and is a psychopath, something is going on.” He learns from Eunice, the witch that lives upstairs, about the whole troll business and she explains that he is trying to transform the apartment building into a fairy world. Once he is able to turn all the other tenants of the building into totally gross plants/fairies/trolls/giant bear monsters he will be able to take over the human realm in its entirety (which seems a bit arbitrary… why the apartment building?… whatever). She informs Harry that he needs to stab the heart of the fairy world in order to stop Torok. By doing this he’ll save his sister since Torok needs her to be his bride in his new kingdom. In a final climactic battle Harry confronts a giant bear-bat monster thing but is totally pwned like a noob. However, Torok is horrified when his creation gets out of control and attempts to kill Wendy (which would spoil his whole plan) and kills the monster himself. The fairy realm is thus destroyed and the Potter family skedaddles real quick before anyone realizes that a whole bunch of people died in that apartment building. In the end we see a police officer enter the basement of the building and the troll possesses him. BUM BUM BUM. THE END.

Why?! We are really given a lot of exposition by Eunice on exactly why the troll is doing what he’s doing. Back in the day the fairy and human realms were in perfect balance. Torok attempted to rise up and break this balance and there was a big war and the humans won. This resulted in Torok being turned into a troll. Only occasionally can Torok try to reclaim his power. As for our hero, Harry Potter, he’s just a kid who wants his lame little sister back rather than a psychopathic monster.

Who?! There are a bunch of interesting and not traditional things to highlight here. We have Phil Fondacaro playing two characters, Torok and Malcolm. We have the same role portrayed by two people as Eunice St. Claire is an old woman for most of the film, but also transformed into her younger self. These roles were portrayed by mother/daughter June and Anne Lockhart. Finally the recently deceased director of the film John Carl Buechler was featured uncredited as Torok in human/wizard form.

What?! There are certainly some Coca-Cola cups laying around, but nothing really pops as super interesting. I’m much more interested in what props were for sale for this film and lo and behold my little mushroom guy was! Look at the price he was asking for it. Can’t say I have $2000 laying around ready to be spent on a little mushroom puppet no matter how much I like it singing its little heart out.

Where?! We get a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge near the Potter’s apartment so this is a San Francisco treat. Doesn’t really come into play beyond that though seeing as we spend the whole movie in the apartment building. B-.

When?! You are probably like “No way. Troll couldn’t possibly be a Secret Holiday Film.” Wrong! We are told by Eunice that the day that Wendy was transformed was Walpurgis Night, which lands on May 1st. The rest of the film follows from there. This is made somewhat confusing by an October calendar on Eunice’s wall, but I chalk that up to her being a witch land loving Halloween so much she keeps it up all year round. Weirdly specific and part of the plot. A-.

What a weird interesting movie. I can 100% see why this became a cult film. Like there is a moment when the troll is starting to build his fairy world and there is this creepy music going on and a little mushroom person is singing and shit and I was straight digging it. It also has a super nerd alert fantasy storyline without a lick of irony, which I always appreciate. All that said, the acting, writing, and general filmmaking is not good at all… so a mixed bag. On the one hand there is a little singing mushroom person, on the other everything else is bad. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Troll is super weird. Like Leprechaun it is hard to tell whether I’m supposed to think the movie is terrible on purpose or what. I imagine not. I mean … It at least seems like they want to make all of the practical effects work. They don’t. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – The only reason we watched this film is because of Troll 2 honestly. Oh … and I think the Worst Of wiki page is severely lacking in horror films. As a matter of fact I think we literally had to choose between Vampire in Brooklyn (a comedy in actuality) and this, and we chose this. I figured it was going to be nonsense. I was right.

The Good – As a fantasy story it actually is decently interesting. A remake (which is apparently in the works) is perfect for a film like this. Just for the love of God don’t make it an actual horror film. Just make it an adventure fantasy with the Troll being a kind of goofy antagonist. I think that would work much better. That’s it, I enjoyed the vibe of the film, but not much else. At times the VFX were impressive for 1986.

The Bad – The film is certainly nonsensical. I had a hell of a time making a quiz for it because I couldn’t even remember who all of the characters were. It isn’t a horror film and I don’t know why places suggest it is. Like maybe earlier in the 80s you could have gotten away with it, but at this point it should have been a Leprechaun-esque horror comedy. I’m not even sure the Troll actually kills anyone. Do they come back in the end? Otherwise wouldn’t the Potters be going to prison for killing them all? See the movie is ultra confusing. Top to bottom the acting is terrible. Like an early 80s syndicated television series instead of a film.

The BMT – As mentioned in the preview the film itself is mainly notable as being the not-really prior installment to the actual maybe-worst-film-ever in Troll 2. The film itself doesn’t have that BMT magic though. It feels a bit like you are punching down when a film is this small and looks so amateurly made. Especially when it isn’t made by a lunatic, but instead by a well-meaning FX artist who literally just died a few days ago. I’m a bit stumped as to why anyone would think this is one of the worst films ever made.

Roast-radamus – Huh. Nothing really comes to mind. No big cameos, no product placement from what I could recall, no twists, no Planchet getting ripped on in every scene. The movie isn’t good, but it isn’t horrible, and it isn’t really our cup of BMTea if you get my drift. A tiny Where (Setting) for San Francisco, but not even that. A recipe for completely forgetting I watched this film in a month.

StreetCreditReport.com – Lists from the 80s are few and far between naturally, but amazingly it did make this random list. The list itself is solid, we’ve seen quite a few of those for BMT. And I agree wholeheartedly with the Troll assessment there. It has some cred as a bad horror film of the mid-80s, and as the precursor to the notorious Troll 2, but not much else.

You Just Got Schooled – I was hoping there would be a doc or something about the film, and it turns out there is!:

It looks like the production company may have made it as some sort of promotion for their films since it is somehow related to Ghoulies. I would say watch the first ten minutes and you’ll get most of the interesting stories. The back half is fine, but all with the VFX guys and it is just very technical. I wish more movies had this kind of stuff. Instead of reading a never ending stream of IMDb nonsense you can get it straight from the source. Also makes me want to look into Fangoria. I can’t believe it still exists.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Godzilla (1998) Recap

Jamie

Godzilla is back, Jack! And boy is he… something. When a series of disasters are tracked to a nuclear-mutated giant lizard a military/scientific team follow it to NYC where it has gone to lay its eggs. Will they be able stop Godzilla (and perhaps get the girl (and perhaps advance their journalistic ambitions)) before it’s too late? Find out in… Godzilla.

How?! A giant lizard is on the loose, a product of nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific, and as they track it across the globe they recruit a nuclear scientist/biologist expert, Nick, to figure out what’s going on. When the lizard, called Godzilla, shows up in NYC and starts to wreak havoc, Nick figures out that it’s using the island as a nest to hide its eggs until they can hatch. Meanwhile his ex-girlfriend, Audrey, is an aspiring journalist who uses her connection to Nick to get the big Godzilla egg scoop. Unfortunately she ruins everything because this leak gets Nick kicked off the team, his theory discounted, and she doesn’t even get credit for the story. Damn… because I was really invested in this aspiring journalist storyline you spent 45 minutes on. Anyway, Nick isn’t ready to give up and teams up with some French special forces to infiltrate the city and find the eggs. Audrey also isn’t ready to give up (hmmm, seems like they have a lot in common… particularly regarding giving up and whether they are ready to do something like that) and follows Nick into the city. There they find that Godzilla has laid his eggs in none other than Madison Square Garden. Ready to blow that place to smithereens and eviscerate a species they are just a second too late and the eggs hatch into a million velocirap… I mean, baby Godzillas. Using Audrey’s journalistic skillz they broadcast from the announcing booth and alert the army to what needs to be done: blow up an NYC landmark (eeesh, how very 90’s). Managing to escape just in time, the army blows all those baby animals apart, but are surprised to find an enraged Godzilla emerge from under the city and start a rampage. Acting the hero again, Nick and his team lure Godzilla to the Brooklyn Bridge where it becomes entangled and is finally subdued. THE END… or is it? (it is).

Why?! I actually enjoyed the motivations for Godzilla. While I remember it kinda being made fun of at the time I actually think the idea that this large lizard just chilled for a while eating fish in the pacific until it was time to lay eggs at which point it found a nest in a city because the buildings allowed it to hide is kinda cool. I don’t really understand the whole “asexual reproduction” thing they came up with… seems a little Jurassic Park and unnecessary. I would have preferred for the male Godzilla to show up and be a garbage shrimpy lizard that the female Godzilla immediately eats or something… but I digress. The motivations for the human characters though are trash. Audrey is a one-dimensional, poorly written character that wants to be a journalist and that basically motivates everything she does and Nick is supposed to be a former hippy dippy nuclear activist turned scientist that then mostly just wants to destroy Godzilla off the face of the Earth. Just very strange.

Who?! Dedicated to the memory of Tomoyuki Tanaka, the long time producer of the Godzilla franchise who died from a stroke the year before this film. Additionally, while we always note Presidents and the such, I do think that city mayors are probably fairly common in their own right, particularly of NYC. This had Mayor Ebert, named after critic Roger Ebert as a dig by the director. Nice one, Roland.

What?! The product placement comes at you in this film fast and furious. Broderick is glancing at his swatch, the French secret service are holed up in their UPS van, Godzilla attacks a ship full of delicious Bumblebee tuna, etc. But my favorite is a joke where Broderick buys a Kodak disposable camera (like the type used by a stereotypical NYC tourist) to take pictures of Godzilla… right before that stereotype went out the window and completely dates the film.

Where?! This is as perfect an A as you can get. Doesn’t reach A+ because they didn’t go with the Godzilla Attacks New York title, but Manhattan is pretty much a starring character as the buildings are described as the perfect Godzilla habitat. Add on top that Godzilla uses iconic MSG as a nest and they have to blow it up (that wouldn’t fly past-2001) and you got gold.

When?! This was obscure for sure. The only thing I really saw that would potentially help with this was a poster on a wall in NYC for a concert in the beginning of March… but like those posters probably go up well before the concert and stay up for long after so not great. I bet it’s discoverable considering how much NYC shit was visible while Godzilla was rampaging about, but it would take a full reviewing of the film and that ain’t happening. F.

This movie is not good and it’s interesting that you can find articles written claiming that it’s not as bad as people remember. Sure I think the basic premise is actually pretty good but it stop at that point. The film looks bad, is about 50 minutes too long, and they spent most of the filler time between Godzilla sightings rehashing the professional motivations for the characters. Are we supposed to care that Audrey wants to be a journalist but feels like she can’t make it in a male-driven world. A Godzilla monster is attacking! Why not just make her a successful and ambitious journalist and be done with it? Seemed like a big disservice to Maria Pitillo who took a lot of heat and ended up being the only actor to get a Razzie nomination (and she won). It’s not her fault really. I think she plays the character well, it’s just that the character is trash. I think this stands as a nice part of 1997-9 trilogy with Batman & Robin and Wild Wild West. Wild Wild West is crazy and fun, this is drab and bad, and Batman & Robin is BMT. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ah, remember simpler times. Bill Clinton is in the process of being impeached. The dot com boom is a chugging with no (discernible …) end in sight. And the US was swept by Godzilla-mania! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – When Patrick was a young child he had a terrible affliction. That affliction? Godzilla-mania. Or at least I remember when this film came out, I remember the secrecy surrounding what Godzilla looked like, and I distinctly remember thinking it looked dumb when it was finally leaked. Very specifically I didn’t really get why it didn’t look like Godzilla. This rewatch was a long time coming.

The Good – The main actors are all fine given what they are given to do. It was an interesting premise: the idea of Godzilla just being a new species (focused less on the consequences of nuclear proliferation) and very specifically an animal, and using a biologist angle to figure out how to deal with it. The CGI is not good, but it certainly was big, and that’s something. The first half hour is that of a genuinely good film, I was supremely entertained by the first half hour.

The Bad – The next one and a half hours? Woof. I feel bad for Maria Pitillo who was fine, but got a load of shit for this film because whoever wrote it seemed to just have “Audrey looks confused” written into every scene. The side romance story ropes in a strange journalist plot that makes NYC seem rather small. The entire Madison Square Garden plot down to them blowing the building up is something that could have only happened in 1998 very specifically. Oh yeah, and who could forget what genuinely might be the worst song ever created. My god, my ears! P Diddy why?!

The BMT – Yeah, of course. It might actually be the quintessential big-budget creature feature for BMT. Most creature features are terrible, but they are also mostly low-budget and get away with it (sometimes coasting on irony alone), or they are like the fifth sequel to an originally good feature. This is a pretty rare misfire right out of the gate. And for a remake of a beloved franchise no less.

Roast-radamus – Hmmmmmm, it could sneak in for Where (Setting as a Character) for sure for New York City. And there is an outside shot it will age like a fine wine and it’ll get a nod for BMT in general. Otherwise I can’t think of an in your face product placement. I would love to say How (Worst Twist) for the baby egg hatching at the end, but I don’t really think that was a twist. More of a sequel set up. And I think Godzilla laying eggs in Madison Square Garden isn’t a notable terrible twist either.

StreetCreditReport.com – It occasionally gets onto lists of worst remakes (well deserved I think). Additionally MovieFone and Siskel and Ebert put it on their worst of lists of 1998. It has serious cred for the late 90s, although a bit of it is washed out by how bad Armageddon was received that same year. That is one I find mentioned more these days, although partially out of a kind of cult love for its jingoistic cheesiness.

You Just Got Schooled – One more bad film watched, one more animated series to sample. Godzilla (1998) indeed had a sequel in the form of Godzilla: The Series. Opening exactly where the film left off our heroes (plus a few new friends) discover the egg teased at the end of the first film which promptly imprints on Nick and escapes to New York Harbor. Quickly growing in size and displaying intelligence, loyalty, and an oh-so-important sterility, Godzilla 2.0 is chased around by the military until the gang finds a new monster in Jamaica. After Godzilla battles and defeats the beast everyone realizes that Godzilla could be the only thing standing between humanity an apocalypse at the hands of other mutated monsters. Godzilla … The Series! Honestly for a late 90s cartoon it actually was pretty good I thought. They still gave Audrey nothing to do, which would have been funny if it weren’t so sad. I would say A for adaptation because I genuinely think this was the vision for the sequel. For actual cartoon maybe a B? I would give it higher, but I don’t think people will go back and be like “this is great!” like they’ve done with Gargoyles. But this is serviceable.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Beverly Hills Cop III Recap

Jamie

Axel Foley is back, Jack! And he’s ready to take down the bastards who killed his cranky, but beloved, boss. Tracking them back to Beverly Hills and a nearby amusement park, Axel pulls out all the stops to stop these baddies in their tracks. Can he solve the crime (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Beverly Hills Cop III.

How?! When a bust on a minor chop shop goes horribly awry resulting in the death of his boss, our boy Axel Foley will hold nothing back in finding (and probably killing) those responsible. It comes as no surprise that these killers are based in sunny California and so Axel heads back to his old digs in Beverly Hills. Teaming up with his pal Rosewood they start to investigate the private security firm operated by a local amusement park. Despite acting super shady and seeming like real assholes, the bad guys are able to head off Axel’s investigations though their connections to the police and the community. However, Axel knows he’s on the right track when the owner of the amusement park himself approaches him and lets him know that the security people are real shady (duh). After some dead ends, some “you better stop what you’re doing” by the Secret Service, and some more snooping, Axel is able to find that the security guys are running a sophisticated counterfeiting operation. Unable to convince the Secret Service of the plan he meets back up with the owner of the amusement park to get some evidence but they get ambushed and the owner is seriously injured. Axel now knows that he needs a final climactic confrontation to blow the case open. He goes to the amusement park and they ride on a bunch of rides and shit and everyone shoots at each other and gets shot. Finally Axel is able to kill the man who killed his boss. Approached by the Secret Service agent in charge Axel (out of nowhere) realizes that he was involved and shoots him too (what a twist!). Gravely injured, both he and Rosewood laugh and laugh whilst remembering all the people they murdered together over the years. THE END.

Why?! Every Beverly Hills Cop film is a film of revenge for the shooting of someone close to Axel. The first was Axel’s neerdowell childhood friend, the second was the Lieutenant of the Beverly Hills Police, and now it’s his boss in the Detroit PD. They also all have unnecessarily convoluted conspiracy style schemes by the bad guys. This time the bad guys were at the chop shop in Detroit to pick up the US mint level paper they needed for the counterfeiting operation. They shielded the operation behind the production of Wonder World Bucks, a new amusement park specific currency. Now why Wonder World would use their private security team to also produce the new currency in-house is something you’d have to ask the owner… seems expensive to buy all the high tech machinery needed to build the operation from the ground up.

Who?! There are a bunch of cameos in this including some prominent directors in bit parts, the singer Al Green as a minister, and most strangely George Lucas as a patron of the amusement park. Those didn’t really interest me as much as Joey Travolta showing up as Giolito, one of Axel’s coworkers in the DPD.

What?! Nothing major in this category, although should point out that the original Beverly Hills Cop film is notable as one of the later examples of a cigarette company (Lucky Strike) paying for product placement in a film geared to young people. It was brought up in several books and congressional hearings and shit. For this film I’ll just do what I’ve enjoyed doing recently, which is looking for signature props for sale. Anyone want an apparently authentic Wonder World Buck? $30… yeah, I don’t want that. Now, the Eddie Murphy version? That’s more interesting and thus more expensive.

Where?! A+ Setting, baby. This one is probably not as Beverly Hills as the previous installments of the franchise. The first one in particular plays with fancy hotels and art galleries and gated houses. This one is more of an LA picture than anything else. So even disappointing in this regard.

When?! In a funny quirk we are provided with an intertitle exactly once in order to inform us that it’s “Tuesday 1:37 am”… and? It’s not even like there is much of a countdown clock to some important event occurring on Friday. Entirely useless. Thanks. C- but only because it did give an intertitle, which is something.

Rewatching the first film in preparation made me appreciate just how good and funny that first one is. Really very, very rewatchable. The second stumbles in taking the characters to some extremes that make them all intensely unlikeable. But it’s really nothing compared to this one where almost nothing works and the plot seems like it’s from a rejected Van Damme script or something. “Beverly Hills Cop in an amusement park” should have stopped this in its tracks cause that sounds terrible. And indeed this film is terrible. Like really boring and really flat and just kind of hitting the beats that they felt like they needed to make a Beverly Hills Cop film. They even brought back minor character Serge from the first film for a couple comedic relief scenes that seem to drag on forever. I can see how this finished the franchise for good. Hard to come back from. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Beverly Hills Cop III was rejected for consideration on the worst film of all time wikipedia page, but that doesn’t mean I can’t completely hate it. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I love Beverly Hills Cop. I hated Beverly Hills Cop II. So I didn’t hold out much hope for the third film to be honest. The fact that it was set in an amusement park was intriguing though. One of at least two films we’ll watch with such a setting (the other being, obviously, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain starring Hulk Hogan).

The Good – There are brief flashes of classic Eddie Murphy comedy in this film. The amusement park setting is actually pretty fun, as long as you buy into the secret tunnel Disneyland conspiracy aspect of the whole thing. I like Judge Reinhold, what can I say?

The Bad – Light on the comedy unfortunately, it has a lot of flatness between the gags. The gags mostly don’t work as well, feeling much more over the top than the actually-quite-serious original. The beach scene in particular is just goofy. Serge is completely out of place and misused as a weirdo arms dealer. They should have just went back to the art gallery and had him now be the owner, otherwise it feels like they were trying to punch up a boring movie. Just no laughs, which really is exactly what a bad comedy is I guess.

The BMT – Probably a classic third+ installment of a comedy franchise. Pairs up well with Another 48 hrs., and eventually things like the Police Academy sequels. You have to collect Eddie Murphy films like pogs if you are going to watch bad movies, so if anything the film was an inevitable watch.

Roast-radamus – Some maybe solid ones here. It is a solid contender for Where (A+ Setting) because it is set in Beverly Hills and boasts a very impressive amusement park setting. The film is chockablock with celebrity cameos including an incredibly long take of George Lucas at the amusement park, so a Who (Cameo) could work. Judge Reinhold is arguably a Planchet although perhaps a bit too competent by the third film for that to work. The film is arguably a candidate for How (Worst Twist) as well with about fourteen different cops ending up as part of the conspiracy in the end just to keep Axel Foley reeling. That … is a very 90s comedy sequel list of things to be, impressive.

StreetCreditReport.com – It is widely considered one of the worst sequels of all time. This list puts it at number 2. Beyond that it is also up there as one of Eddie Murphy’s worst. And as I said, you just have to collect these things like pogs. It has the cred.

You Just Got Schooled – This article is more to do with Ronny Cox from the first and second Beverly Hills Cop, but don’t worry, he still gets in a dig at Beverly Hills Cop III. The article is pretty great to be honest, with probably the most interesting bit being about inevitable BMT film Captain America (1990). He says the script is brilliant! It is hard to believe, but why would Ronny Cox lie to me man?

Cheerios,

The Sklogs