What Goes Up Recap

What goes up, must come down. Spinning wheel got to go round. Woooo! Love that song and love this documentary about the making of the Blood Sweat & Tears classic

… what’s that? Did I watch the wrong movie? It’s the one starring Steve Coogan, Hilary Duff, and Josh Peck, right? Yeah… I just assumed all the bullshit in the film was an extended allegory for the literal blood, sweat, and tears that David Clayton-Thomas poured into the making of that song and struggles of leading a contemporary American jazz-rock ensemble. No? Huh. Well then I’m completely flabbergasted cause nothing in the film really meant anything and it was all super weird and unnecessary. It was actually pretty unpleasant to watch. The main character was a doucher whose whole life is a sham and the kids all had upsetting lives. In particular, Olivia Thirlby’s character who had a pretty rough incest/abortion storyline. That’s right, second week in a row with an incest storyline! Last week it was A Thousand Acres, and this week What Goes Up followed it right up… because that’s what everyone’s clamoring for in their film selections: incest.

Alright, well I’m glad they made this film for the sake of my precious, precious map, but also kinda wish we could have just pretended we had never seen Eight Crazy Nights (or as I like to call it, Eight Cray Cray Nights). Like, would any of you have really cared or knew that Patrick and I tricked you? No. But we would have known in our hearts, and much like Coogan in What Goes Up, the lie would have been necessary, but also soul-consuming.

Anywho, gonna keep my MonoSklog section brief this week. Loved, loved, loved Josh Peck’s MonoSklog in What Goes Up. I call it Mi Panegírico, and if you can catch it it is worth it. There is something about how Josh Peck says “But everyone says ‘No… You gotta fucking accept it.'” that really make that scene. Just a really solid job right there. But like usual, Monosklogs are not for the website. Fair use just isn’t our bag you know?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What Go Up … Brings me down! What a depressing, weird, small, weird movie.

  • It was weird. It is hard to even make fun of. There is just so much that goes into it that seems like it is super serious. Probably super personal. But I feel like it is a mess. Just a jumble of symbols and messages and nothing really gets done particularly right.
  • Side stories alongside side stories. There’s a girl who was paralyzed in an accident, we get to see a story about that. There is Hilary Duff’s story of trying to seduce Coogan. Another girl was in love with the teacher who died. Two other girls are weirdos, and get involved in a variety of shenanigans. Josh Peck has a strange story about being fascinated with the principal’s wife and newborn child. The music teacher (who was in love (?) with the teacher who killed himself) is having a meltdown for various reasons. And Coogan has been fabricating stories about the woman he loved for months to deal with her suicide …. None of these storylines are particularly interesting.
  • Probably because Coogan’s character is a bad person whom I do not like.
  • This is unpleasant and it was a bad BMT film. The BMeTric based on IMDB votes and rating nailed it again (11.7/100 (NOTE: As of July 9, 2016) if you recall, where 25 is just about the BMThreshold for Enjoyment). This week we probably have a bit better chance (Critters 2 has a BMeTric of approximately 35/100, not bad).

That’s it. I want to see the Prequel to this movie called The Shed. It is about all these characters, how they get to be in Mr. C’s class, and how they learn acceptance and love. It ends with Coogan rolling into town. Literally no one will watch this film. Netflix, get off the horn, this movie does not and never will need to be made.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

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A Thousand Acres Recap

Jamie

It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! Every once in a while we at BMTHQ stumble across a film that, for whatever reason, was underappreciated at the time. This doesn’t mean that the films were good by any means (looking at you Freddy Got Fingered), just that it seems odd that they got such bad reviews. A Thousand Acres is one of those films. Perhaps it was due to the fact that it was based on a beloved (at the time) book or maybe it was because there was a bit of drama in the pre- and postproduction stages of the film. I don’t know. All I know is that this was essentially a straight adaption of a book I loved (read: good story) which some really good acting. Could it have been better? Sure, there is a bit of a tonal problem when the film seems to set out to be a family film (or at least a film about families) and then shift into the realm of incest. But despite that shortcoming the rest of the film seemed perfectly reasonable. At the very least it shouldn’t have ended up at 23% on RT. That seems ridiculous.

Alright, it’s been a little bit since our last MonoSklog so you can thank A Thousand Acres for providing a gem for this week. I call it Mi Hermana [EDITOR’S NOTE: Link to video has been removed for rights reasons] (I don’t think we used that one yet). That is some serious staring-at-each-other-and-crying action. I can’t wait to use that in my regional theater auditions and shush the casting director if he doesn’t let me stare and cry long enough at the end. “It says 40 seconds of staring and crying God damn it and that’s what I’m going to do! Geez! Can’t an artist get a break in this town!”

Before I throw it to Patrick I would like to note that this is not the first film involving incest that we’ve watched for BMT. Not even the first on the map. That would be Georgia Rule, set in the great state of Idaho. And thinking about it, that film also suffered from a significant tonal problem as it vacillated between a family comedy and incest… And with that I’m out.

Patrick

It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! ‘Ello everyone. A Thousand Acres wasn’t that bad:

  • Actually, I rather enjoyed it. Sure some of the complex ideas from the book seemed to have been slightly lost in translation, but the performances were, dare I say, excellent?
  • I had two (minor) complaints. First, a little boring. It isn’t the most exciting movie you’ll ever watch. Second, Colin Firth’s character probably played a bigger role in the book, but in the movie the character just kind of melts away after the climax of the film. I understand the point of the character, but the movie as written kind of doesn’t need him.

That’s it! That’s the complaints. I’m not sure why it got such a poor reception at the time. I think a few years later and this guy does just fine. Whatever, not my problem, and a poor poor (but necessary addition) to the map (for another example, see this week). Since this is so short let’s get really into some BMT:CSI:SVU, non-Thousand Acres addition.

[NOTE: The following discussion was fleshed out in later posts, and then collected into this Institute post. I’ve removed the plots because, for the most part they are old and non representative of the ultimate analysis, but left as mch of the discussion as possible for archival reasons. Enjoy!]

So in the past few months I’ve become more and more fascinated by IMDB user ratings. The value is enigmatic, but I can’t get over how useful a measure of “popularity” is in assessing potential BMT candidates. The thing is it can’t be used for 2015 films because films gain a ton of their lifetime votes in their first year of release. So, using the way back machine (the internet archive) I’ve been collecting the IMDB vote and rating trajectories from the past. Rough, but kind of fascinating.

But … there is something weird. Baiscally there is an inflection point in 2011, so what is happening? That inflection point is often there regardless of the age of the movie. At first I thought it was a cult-film thing with Grandma’s Boy … but Big Momma’s House isn’t a cult film. Then I thought maybe it was something to do with non-US users, but the proportion of votes coming from outside the US has been steadily rising since the early 2000s, no weird bump in 2011. Then I thought maybe bots. It could be bots, but you’d think since they have to “trick” bots into thinking they are voting by actually recording (but ignoring) their votes that you’d see a larger and larger discrepancy between the calculated rating and real rating, but nope, nothing special in 2011.

I’m now convinced the answer is simple: 2011 marks a point in time in which smartphones became effectively universal, and a point in time in which IMDB upgraded their site, the iOS app was launched, etc. A point in which IMDB went from auseful tool (for people who knew about it), to basically the first resource people access. Looking at Google trends for IMDB you do see this weird bump around 2011. It is subtle, but it is there. It appears to coincide, indeed, with their app going “universal”. So then, if you look at a films which have been pretty stable over time it still seems to get the same bump!

Phew … Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Survival of the Dead Recap

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Survival of the Dead? More like Dead on Arrival. Heyyyoooooo. What a week. And by what a week I mean I watched five movies for BMT, something I vow to never do again until the Resident Evil BMT Marathon Extravaganza Celebration of the Life and Works of Paul WS Anderson (uh …. REBMTMECotLaWoPWSA). A positive: one of the movies was extraordinary, one was okay, one was meh, and only two were genuinely awful. That’s like batting .400 as far as BMT is concerned, amazing average Romero, even if you are so old you’ve forgotten how to make compelling zombie films. Speaking of which:

  • Romero reminds me of Carpenter in that regard. Prior to The Ward in 2010 Carpenter had a series of poorly received films that lead to his semi-retirement in 2001. Escape from LA (future BMT, guaranteed), Vampires, and Ghosts of Mars (an amazing BMT film). Ghosts of Mars in 2001 literally looks like a film from 1996 and it is painfully clear that Carpenter had just kind of had the horror genre (which seems to evolve rather quickly) pass him by, he was around 53 at the time. Romero was even older, he was around 65 when the second Dead trilogy was being produced after a substantial directing hiatus, and honestly it shows. The fourth film feels like it was made in 1996, the fifth film was a shaky cam horror with Romero hesitantly poking fun at the booming genre, and the sixth is kind of an old school independent project again, like the original film.
  • And that’s why it’s weird. The entire film series is kind of focused around a single message: this slow zombie apocalypse is more about human’s moral failings than the zombies being particularly threatening. And it’s a message that is completely lost in the 00’s (as compared to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when the first three came out). While smashing us over the head with the morality tale the trilogy just falls flat. Weirdly, the sixth (while being by far the worst movie in the series, so fucking bad), is the only one that feels like Romero. The other two felt like he was emulating other people.
  • But what do I know? I don’t even like zombie movies. These are literally the only ones I’ve ever seen.
  • Since there isn’t much of a BMT:CSI:SVU forensics case to be made (Romero was hired to make a new trilogy, the fourth film made solid money, he made two terrible films that were barely released … not rocket science), I’ll close with this: This was a solid BMT, and highlights what I like about the last 5 years of doing this. I’m not sure I ever see Dawn of the Dead without being made to watch Survival of the Dead. And Dawn of the Dead is fantastic. Maybe the best practical effects I’ve seen in a horror film outside of The Thing. That’s something.

I’ll just close it here. No sequel, prequel, remake because why? There would be no point. Already too many sequels. What would a prequel be about? Life before the zombie apocalypse? And no need to ever remake Dawn of the Dead (again, haven’t watched the existing remakes yet).

Jamie

Alright, well I really liked the first one, looooovvveeeeed (like The Warriors loved. Or The Thing loved) the second one, and thought the third one was kind of silly but still really good. Then the second trilogy was a travesty. The first was too cartoony and weird and then the next two were just blah. Does anyone else see what that mimics? Anyone? That’s the exact progression of the two Star Wars trilogies! The first one is a classic and great for what it is, but the second is the true classic. The third went a bit too far in certain regards but everyone still loves it. Then an the elderly director comes back decades later to make a silly cartoony fourth film and a couple of duds to follow it up. There is my Sklognalysis, thank you. You know what this means, don’t you? This means we are in for a big budget sequel/reboot to the series (like World War Z level) to bring back the fans and get this shit going again. And when that happens I’ll be right there, cause Dawn of the Dead was fucking fantastic.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hitman: Agent 47 Recap

Jamie

Through our time doing BMT, Patrick and I have done several in-theater BMT’s. They have ranged from packed-houses (Grown Ups 2) to empty theaters (Pompeii). From the crowd loving it (us not included) to a number of people walking out. Through all that, I’m not sure I’ve quite experienced something like Hitman: Agent 47. In most every movie, no matter the genre, there are generally jokes. Sometimes the theater laughs uproariously, sometime they don’t, but almost always people laugh (cause they’re jokes and characters are saying them). Hitman: Agent 47’s script was so bad (and continued to get worse throughout the film) that the number of jokes increased to unbelievable levels. And yet, nothing was funny. Nothing was a real joke. And no one laughed. Still the characters continued to say phrases that sounded like jokes (but I assure you, they were not) at an ever increasing clip. Presumably this was to fill the void left by the black hole that was the rest of the film. It was very confusing and combined with a plot that was paper-thin and yet incomprehensible, made for a near abstract art experience where these character walked around doing things and saying things and yet did nothing and said nothing. It’s hard to describe what it was like. If only we had a go-to phrase for something like this…. oh yes! It was dog poo in my face.

Love the new format and since we could get any MonoSklog from the film seeing as it was in theaters (and no one actually said anything of significance) I’m going to go for a nice new game that I thought up while reading Transporter Refueled reviews. It’s where I try to think of a punny one-liner about the film for my RT review caption so people know how clever I am (e.g. “The Transporter Refueled should be put up on blocks.” – New York Daily News. Guffaw). For the first Hitman I would say: “Let’s address the Olyphant in the room: this film is firing blanks.” For Hitman: Agent 47 I would start my review with “Bach hits all the wrong notes with this Hitman adaptation that misses the mark.” Ooof, those puns are killer. Both play on the name of someone involved with the film and yet has nothing to do with the film and then strikes fast with a second pun about the film itself. The punsters on RT should watch out. I’m coming for yah. Double puns are the new single puns.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone, this week was Hitman: Agent 47 (too easy, Shitman). More like 4 out of 7 people walked out of Jamie’s showing (true story, not even making up those numbers). Welp, it seemed like the UK audience liked it a bit more as there were probably 12 other people sitting in stony silence enduring this complete pile of garbage with me. Is it? Wait for it …. dog poo right in my face? yes it was! Right in my face (and wallet). I’m going to change things up a bit at this point (for fun), so here is a Brief Two Point BMT Recap (BTPBMTR):

  • The movie was incomprehensible, the acting was terrible, and the dialogue was horrible. Triple threat. I’m going to refer to such adaptations as “aggressively adapted”. If fans of the Hitman series think the Olyphant version was incompetent with regards to the video game, then this can only be described as intentionally antagonistic.
  • Add unpleasant to the bunch. This movie could be called Human Bodies Falling Several Stories Onto Banisters. Or maybe People Getting Killed By A Horrible Person In Terrible Ways. Or in a meta way A Movie Where You Hate Everyone. In other words: Instant BMT Classic (IBMTC).

See, short and sweet. Now, in the vein of Patrick’s Rules I wanted to look at some of the things from the Hitman news / advertising campaign that should have made Jamie and I very suspicious that this movie was BMT bound. I will call you BMT:CSI:SVU (the special victims are me and Jamie):

So all the way back nearly a year ago we should have immediately penciled this guy right on into the BMT calendar. The trailer companion (and reception, whoa nelly, the response by fans was vitriolic, I remember) was just a final confirmation. Ahhhh, a little BMT Forensics (BMTF) going on. This is all building to the application of statistical techniques to sniff out bad movies, and then ultimately the BMT Awards which will be like the BCS: a computer generated set of the worst movies of the year that everyone hates. I literally cannot wait.

Cheerios ,

The Sklogs

Hitman Recap

[Editor’s Note: This “recap” was originally found within the Into the Storm recap as a part of preparation for Hitman: Agent 47. Jamie did not provide an official recap. While short, in order to complete the official record of BMT for historical posterity this short section is included here]

Patrick

I wanted to mention that in preparation for BMT Live! (Hitman: Agent 47) I also watched Hitman (the original). Some brief thoughts: It is completely incomprehensible and riddled with inane dialogue. The entire movie is told as a flashback, Olyphant clearly doesn’t want to be there, and it has the classic: Hey, filming in Prague is cheap let’s set the movie in … rural Russia? It at least touches on what made the video game famous (Agent 47’s ability to get in, kill, and get out without being detected), although he is obviously less stealth while being framed and chased by other agents. In other words: I am now fully prepared for Agent 47. Are there any two movie combo with a worse combined RT score? I smell some data analysis coming.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Into the Storm Recap

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Into the Storm? More like … Merely Lukewarm? Not many good rhymes there, plus I hate hate hated this movie (to quote Roger Ebert). I think Jamie was more okay with it and I should get one thing out front: I think it was supposed to be a comedy a bit. A poor bit of comedy, but a comedy … but I’m going to ignore that and eviscerate this thing. Get ready to get slammed, Into the Storm:

  • I wasn’t straight up dog poo in my face (a phrase reserved for, really, only the best of the worst), but it was maybe the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen.
  • The found-footage part of it was not only done poorly (in that they were recovering footage that was literally unrecoverable and thus admitting that it was really just a real movie, just shot in POV), but also unnecessary. The movie would have been better as the spiritual successor to Twister instead of an excuse to get bad actors jobs (I feel bad about this burn, but beyond Armitage it was a who’s who of TV and bad young actors).
  • The story was nonsense: Two of the main characters are just stuck in a smashed building and shown maybe three times before getting rescued. Dumb.
  • There’s a side story with two hillbillies (who Jamie loooooved, or so I’m assuming) which is not only pointless, but also just the cherry-on-top to the ridiculousness when they survive getting sucked up into a category 5 tornado.
  • The entire movie is just people running from set to set culminating in the good guys hiding in a “storm drain” aka a wind tunnel built as the only expensive set piece for the production.
  • Now it wasn’t all bad. At times the CGI looked okay (although in 5 years that will not be the case). If you’re into disaster porn it will sate your disaster lust (gross). And the storm chaser story, while a little preachy, did provide interest at times. Plus I will always support TV and film that gives former Prison Break actors work (get yo’ money Dr. Tancredi).
  • I think you go Sequel here. Jamie had his own idea (about a tornado named Pete wreaking havoc in … Japan I think, can’t remember), but mine is Into the Storm: London Eye. In the movie they mention that global warming will lead to tornadoes in new and unprepared places (LA, London, etc.). Well, I live in London! It’s 2040, and a British child has to make a hologram diary for his school graduation (ooof, bad start). But what is this? A tornado in London?! … That’s it … that’s all I got. I feel like this writes itself since it is going to be shot found footage style. I can lead production here in London if Netflix wants to add this to their slate of original programming.

Alright, I’ll leave it there.

Jamie

Wait, are you telling me that the “That thing got a hemi?” guy wasn’t your favorite character?

I was waiting for him to say the catchphrase. Or maybe see a mack truck sucked into a tornado and scream “that thing got a semi!” and look directly into the camera and then everyone involved kill themselves.

Moving on. Hoo wee, I just watched Into the Storm and boy did that storm blow… hard. (thank you, thank you). In seriousness I have to recap the movie with a bit of a qualifier: I actually thought the concept was fun. It’s a weather disaster film. Lots of tornadoes coming out of nowhere and chasing people and shit. And if I went to the theater looking to see some tornadoes, I would have been pretty satisfied. I thought the storms themselves looked good and when the “characters” (if you could call them that) were in the middle of the storms I was on the edge of my seat. This movie though had a major flaw and destroyed the experience for me.

WHY IS THIS A FOUND FOOTAGE FILM?! This has hands down the worst conceit for a found footage film I have ever seen. Usually these films start with a character filming some big change in their lives (“honey, we just got married. Let’s document our lives for our children and junk.”) with some bullshit background about how the character used to do this all the time, but hadn’t done it in years (I think this is to make the directing and editing skills of our otherwise unskilled and incompetent character believable) which then gets ramped up into obsession when they realize they caught some weird stuff on film (here the genre generally fails as we usually see footage of the character editing his film… why would they film themselves editing film?). What I’m driving at is that there is usually a lot of time spent creating a situation where filming all this stuff makes a modicum of sense. Into the Storm? They seemed to just say “Fuck that, let’s not address it,” and continued on their merry way. The number of random overhead shots is startling (where is that footage from? A totally random weather helicopter from which an anonymous editor decided to take footage for B-roll?), the intersection of four independent sets of characters all religiously documenting everything before the storms even hit is ridiculous, and the fact that all this happens in the middle of a disaster area makes it impossibly unlikely that any of the film would be recovered (there is literally a scene where we see from a camera point of view a character sucked up into a fire tornado… how did they recover the footage from that camera?). It’s awful. Just make it a regular film. It would have been good. I would have liked it. Instead you made it ridiculous. The only explanation for why the film is found footage is that they wanted to make the film on the cheap and had a week to write the script so they needed characters to explain things directly into the camera. The whole genre has to go. We’re nearing rock bottom here, where a perfectly good concept is ruined by making it found footage. The only thing I ask before they finish up and kill the genre is to make a found footage rom com. I don’t know why, but I would like for that to happen and be a complete disaster.

Dipping back into MonoSklog for the game this week. Into the Storm probably broke the record for the most number of MonoSklogs ever because the script had characters speak at length directly into the camera just to keep everything rolling along. So while I had four or five to choose from I think the MonoSklog by the main character (if you could call him that) as he believes he’s about to die is the best. I call it Mis Ojos Aguados. [Editor’s Note: In order to make sure our website if legally kosher in our analyses we’ve removed links to the monosklogs from the online record. We apologize, but do encourage readers to watch and revel in the described monologues for they are glorious]. God, that’s even better than I remember. That’s a solid 2 minutes of face-to-camera found footage bullshit action.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Recap

Jamie

Oh Happy Madison, you keep us in business (other than the upcoming hit The Do Over, obviously). At this point it’s a bit hit or miss whether I’m going to merely dislike a Happy Madison film or if I will become enraged and full of hate, not only for the film but for myself at having watched it. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2? Somewhere in the middle. Perhaps I was in a good mood, but I didn’t think this really dipped down into the Strange Wilderness/Grown Ups arena, where everyone just lobs half-hearted, mean-spirited jabs at each other, takes their $5 million, and heads home. It also wasn’t quite in the arena of Benchwarmers and Bucky Larson, where you’re not totally sure you haven’t entered some bizarre alternate dimension where the concept of comedy has been turned on its ear. No, this was just a middling feature, kind of like Zookeeper or Blended. Nothing that offended my sensibilities (and that’s good!).

To me the whole Paul Blart genre is an old fashioned one. The plots are pretty much straight out of an Ernest P. Worrell feature or a Three Ninjas straight-to-DVD romp. Oh no! A bunch of BMX riding baddies have taken over a mall! Get Paul Blart on the case. Oh no! A bunch of art thieves have taken down a casino. If only Paul Blart and a bunch of other Mall Cops were here to save the day. All the while his daughter is teeny-boppin’ and MacGyvering her way in and out of jams. It’s essentially a kids film. And if you think real, real hard about it almost all of Happy Madison’s productions are just that: kids films. Blended, Grown Ups, Paul Blart, Zookeeper, Jack and Jill, etc. are essentially kids films. They have a big goofy clown up front to make the kids laugh. Animals fight humans constantly (they may as well be talking). The plots are paper thin nonsense. All conflict is contrived. Kids are often the center of the real romantic story line. These are children’s films. And yet here we are, years after swearing off kids films for BMT, going back to the well over and over as if Sandler is doing anything other than create children’s films disguised as films for adults. That’s how he makes his money. No wonder he makes a film targeted more for adults (Pixels) only to have it straight bomb at the box office.

And I don’t think realizing that these movies are kids films (or maybe more accurately family films… maybe) changes anything. It’s basically a matter of Poe’s law. A satire where you can’t tell it’s a satire is a bad satire. A kids film where you can’t tell it’s a kids film is a bad kids film. People looking for an adult film will be offended and people looking for a kids film will be offended. And that, my friends, is how Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 gets a 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. Oh, and also it’s trash.

Moving on, I knew that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 would have a solid MonoSklog cause you saw from the trailer that he gives a lengthy speech, but I also felt like I’ve been copping out and doing MonoSklogs too many times lately. Don’t worry, I’ll whip it out for a down week. Instead I have a new game! I call it On the Bright Side and it’s where I tried to find a scene in the movie that I actually liked or laughed at loud at. There were a few funny moments: Neal McDonough’s two different colored eyes, Paul Blart punching a maid, and a piano player super into playing the piano for example. But the winner for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’s On the Bright Side scene involves a super black banana and it goes a little something… like… this:

That was pretty disgusting, but I still chuckled at it. It’s just so black.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2?! Nuff said. Not even going to go for the low hanging fruit (… Paul Fart Mall Crap in case anyone was wondering. Always sophisticated stuff). This movie was an enigma of a riddle. Is it horrible? Is it kind of funny? Do I hate myself for watching this? Is my brain melting and dripping out of my nose? Impossible to tell. Let’s get into it:

  • There is a veritable spectrum of Happy Madison productions. You have the higher quality Sandler vehicles. Then the slightly less-so James vehicles. A bit further down you have the scraps that Spade and Schneider pick up. Then really far down are things like Bucky Larson and Strange Wilderness. This is like Blended: innocuous enough, but giant portions of it are just contrived nonsense. In Blended it was a ridiculous ostrich ride. Here is was …
  • Segway riding, an unnecessary (and awful) battle sequence and a long sequences of security guards trying out various non-lethal weapons. None are great. You see, it is like a Sandler led film except more so. Got to kick it up a bit to account for a smaller lead.
  • The beginning is dark. His wife divorces him after six days and then his mother dies. He is launched into a horrible six year struggle with depression (which he continues to deal with throughout the films shockingly frequent “real talk” segments). Just really really sad stuff.
  • And a bunch of the jokes are, unfortunately, the not-great jokes from Paul Blart (just bigger and better because Vegas. Fuck yeah!). Decidedly less funny than the already dire original.
  • On a lighter note: Could not be more set in Vegas. They really went to town with the Wynn. Good for them.
  • And Neal McDonough kind of kills it. At the very least he certainly knows what kind of movie he is in, and it is actually a pretty great skewing of the classic too-cool-for-school heist movie bad guy. “I have two different colored eyes! That tells you all about how I live my life!” is one of his lines and a rare laugh-out-loud moment for me during the film.

I’m thinking Prequel because I need more Neal “BMT Legend” McDonough in my life. Straight action movie with him as the bad guy. He’s setting up for a heist and Swordfish style a young hotshot hacker (played by Nick Swardson … “young”) is brought in to help him out (but he’s a secret CIA agent). As things go awry, Swardson is called on to go beyond the call of duty and stop McDonough. In the end McDonough kills Swardson, gets away, and everyone just looks shocked for a bit. Fade to black and then smash cut to a trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs