The Space Between Us Recap

Jamie

Gardner is a teenager born on Mars and unable to go to Earth for fear his body can’t handle it. When he connects with a girl on Earth, Tulsa, and finds information about his father he insists it’s time to return “home.” Can he fall in love and find his dad before it’s (literally) too late? Find out in… The Space Between Us.

What?! We open on the first mission to populate Mars funded by billionaire Nathaniel Shepard. On the way it’s revealed that the mission leader is pregnant. Fearing PR backlash NASA keeps the pregnancy confidential. Shortly after arrival she gives birth to a healthy child, Gardner, but dies in childbirth. Due to the differences in gravity they fear bringing the child home will kill him so Gardner is left to grow up on Mars. Flash forward 16 years and he is living a happy but isolated life with a robot friend and everything. He’s a total nerd alert, but spends his time chatting it up with an equally isolated girl in Colorado named Tulsa. He really wants to go to Earth to find his father (but we also know he wouldn’t mind finding this girl, wooing her, and getting it in). Finally NASA relents and after a rigorous physical preparation he is flown back to Earth. Hooray. When he arrives it looks like he’ll be sent right back for health reasons so he escapes to meet up with Tulsa. She is totally freaked out by this weirdo saying he’s from Mars (so much for getting it in), but helps him escape when NASA comes a-knocking. Thus begins their road trip together. They track Gardner’s father from New Mexico to Arizona to California. On the way, Tulsa and Gardner fall in love and he actually does get it in. Wow. Took you like five hours on Earth to lose your virginity. He then starts to show symptoms of an enlarged heart. When he finally finds the man he thinks is his dad he is told he was wrong the whole time. The man is actually his uncle. Sad but in love he walks into the ocean to die only to be rescued by Nathaniel Shepard, who turns out to be his real dad (duh, it was pretty obvious). They are able to save his life and get him back to Mars where we see him enjoying time with his dad. We are also treated to a scene of Tulsa preparing for her own trip to Mars. Awwwwwwww. THE END.

Why?! While Gardner is literally from Mars his motivations are primarily typical teen angst. He wants to see Earth, he wants to know what it is to be human, he wants to live, he wants to love, he wants to find belonging, and most importantly he wants to know who he is. And knowing who he is involves knowing who his father is. Thus the road trip from Mars to Florida to Colorado to California and back to Mars. As for Tulsa, while she is born on Earth she also mostly wants to know that she has belonging. She’s shuttled from foster home to foster home and feels like an alien in her own world. Trust me it’s all very deep in a highly predictable and saccharine way.

What?! I was really hoping that Tulsa would introduce Gardner to the beauty of Coca-Cola or something at one point, but alas. Gardner’s journey is mostly product placement free. Same can’t be said for Nathaniel Shepard and the sleek technology he surrounds himself with. He shuttles around in his self-driving Volvo as if it’s the ultimate replacement for his shattered dreams of space travel. Shove it, astronauts! You haven’t experienced adventure till you’ve driven the new Volvo (he says as he cries himself to sleep… don’t worry, the car drives itself. He can weep as hard as he wants without putting himself or others in danger).

Who?! As with many robot friends in cinematic history, Gardner’s robot, Centaur, is basically a Planchet. Gardner is always like “You aren’t even real, stupid robot.” and dismantles him for his own schemes. But the robot still had only unconditional love for him and it’s sad really. Even sadder is when he’s abandoned part way through the movie and never mentioned again. Bring that robot to Earth! Let him in on your kooky adventures. Anyway, I only did a Planchet this week because I didn’t want to mention that Logan Paul, a Youtube star, makes a truly terrible cameo halfway through the film. Fuck. That.

Where?! Road Trip Alert! I would put the primary settings as Mars and Colorado (I love it!), but with some stops in Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. It’s an A because of how important Mars is to the plot. You could even argue it’s an A+ with the mention of “Space” in the title. But let’s appreciate it for what it is, not for what it isn’t.

When?! Future Setting Alert! From Gardner’s mother’s grave we know she died on January 25, 2018. The film takes place 16 years later so in 2034. That’s enough for me when it comes to the date of a future film. I’ll give it a C. Funny enough this was a major sticking point for reviewers. The fact that nothing really got updated from the phones to the cars to the slang used by Tulsa. Showed a single robot, a single self-driving car, and some plexiglass computers and that’s apparently all they budgeted for.

When I started watching the film I thought it was going to be terrible. It was slow and extremely predictable. Interestingly once they went a more cliched route for the latter half of the film it actually picked up pace and was pretty enjoyable. Like two films smooshed together. A somewhat boring space adventure at the front, and a typical teen romance road trip on the back half. It all added up to mostly harmless fluff. Interesting that it got hated on so much. Is it so bad that every once in awhile they make a sugar sweet film for the whole family? It’s not like it’s inherently bad just for that reason. That being said I wish it wasn’t laughably predictable. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Space is so in right now, and you want a little piece of the action. You got this weird script about some Moon boy or whatever so … hey, intern, give this a once over and set it on Mars like that Damon one. We’ll rake in that dough, I’ll grab a few drinks with some stars, no problem … Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sklog-nalogy) – The movie actually isn’t all bad. It wasn’t quite It’s-Not-That-Bad level, but it is a lot closer than you would think. The first hour is a little slow but interesting, and the second half picks up even if it is half of a YA road trip film. There are certainly things I disliked, but for a young adult romance that is over two hours long it could have been a lot lot worse. Which is why I’m porting over Sklog-nalogy from the Bad section for the week. In this case the BMT film this reminds me of is possibly the least likeable film we’ve ever done: Waiting for Forever. In both cases you have a weirdo “martian” guy stalking a girl he’s fallen in love with through misadventures. In this case the “martian” is actually a Martian and is innocuous, funny, kind, a hopeless romantic, and genuinely makes a bit of sense. In Waiting for Forever he is a creepy stalker who the lead actress should have been concerned was going to kill her. The movies have a weird core that is similar, but take drastically different turns. This film is an okay example of the genre, although it has its faults. Waiting for Forever shows exactly how such a storyline can go wrong by basically glorifying stalkers as “romantics”. That I think is probably why I liked this film reasonably well in the end, at least it kept it innocent in that regard.

The Bad (Crimes Against BMT-anity) – The film basically turns into a Young Adult road trip movie where they barely mention Mars which isn’t so great. The twist with Gary Oldman is incredibly obvious. The film is, indeed, so sugary sweet that I can understand why it got a ton of bad reviews (although 16% is much much lower than I would have expected). The last bit I’ll run through for a Crime Against BMT-anity. The faux-future stuff is off the chain. Basically everyone uses these weird plexiglass computers, but then everyone has phones that look like a current Samsung. Gary Oldman is in a self-driving car, but yet Tulsa’ Dad drunkenly flies a beat up crop duster, they drive around in a beat up pick up, and at one point Gardner gets a ride in a (driver-ful) crappy Greyhound bus. The mixed messages are crazy! It is basically an exercise in how little one can do while still getting away with setting a film nearly 20 years in the future. Most can be forgiven, it isn’t like cars look alien compared to 2000, but the phones were a very strange oversight considering they updated the computers fairly well.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I don’t think there is legacy here. It might have at some point, if we decide it is the best bad movie we’ve watched this year. But for some reason I highly doubt that. It has been listed in a few places for worst of already. Looper, and The Playlist specifically. Ultimately I think it’ll fall away without much notice, but we’ll have to wait and see.

This does seem like one of those films that is based on a book … but it wasn’t. So no homework to report on here. I’ll just leave it there then.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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The Space Between Us Preview

It’s been a strange year for the Romance film. While there is a major ongoing BMT saga in the Fifty Shades series, with Fifty Shades Darker coming in as a BMT Live! this year, there wasn’t much besides that. Even Nicholas Sparks seems to have taken himself out of the game. We basically found ourselves choosing between the Reese Witherspoon RomCom vehicle Home Again and the SciFi/Romance The Space Between Us. I think you know which one won that battle. That’s right! We’re watching the very rare SciFi/Romance film in The Space Between Us. This film is about a boy born on Mars who yearns only about experiencing Earth, but is denied that opportunity because his body wouldn’t handle our gravity… until he takes the matter into his own brittle-boned hands. I would have loved to save this film for a Set in the Future cycle (as romances are hard to come by), but alas. Guess we’ll just have to go with Heartbeeps instead. Let’s go!

The Space Between Us (2017) – BMeTric: 19.3

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(The number of votes is a bit surprising and the rating is very surprising. Who watched this film? How does it end up being one of the worst opening of all time and then gets 30K votes on IMDb and decent enough (average at least) ratings. It makes no sense! This could be a mystery, but I think I have to watch the movie first to see if it is worth an investigation.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  Butterfield and Robertson (who’s about 10 years too old to be playing a high-school student at this point) don’t exactly get sparkling dialogue with which to convince us of their burgeoning love. Neither does the score, which works overtime to make us feel all the feels. But hey, at least there’s an exploding barn. That’s something you don’t see on Mars every day.

(The score! I love when a score is all up in your face, it is the best. I think this film is going to be boring, but there is an outside shot it’ll be just silly and self-serious enough to keep me interested.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x73-573aWfs

(That … kind of looks interesting. Uh oh … this movie is going to be crazy boring isn’t it? How long is this? Two hours?! Goddamnit.)

Directors – Peter Chelsom – (Known For: Hannah Montana: The Movie; Serendipity; Shall We Dance; The Mighty; Funny Bones; Hear My Song; Future BMT: Town & Country; BMT: The Space Between Us; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Town & Country in 2002; Notes: British, his long career has seen him nominated for BAFTAs and Razzies. A classically trained actor originally he played alongside Patrick Stewart and Anthony Hopkins among the Royal Shakespeare company.)

Writers – Allan Loeb (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Rock of Ages; The Switch; Things We Lost in the Fire; Future BMT: So Undercover; Here Comes the Boom; 21; Collateral Beauty; The Only Living Boy in New York; BMT: The Dilemma; Just Go with It; The Space Between Us; Notes: His story seems very inspiring. He was struggling and almost bankrupt when he moved to New York, joined Gambler’s Anonymous, and developed the script for The Only Living Boy in New York. This sparked his career despite only just having being produced this year.)

Stewart Schill (story by) – (BMT: The Space Between Us; Notes: Almost exclusively a television editor of all things. He’s managed to earn just about one writing credit every ten years. I assume him and Lewis punch up in their spare time.)

Richard Barton Lewis (story by) – (BMT: The Space Between Us; Notes: Almost exclusively a producer (including being the Executive Producer of The Outer Limits), it is interesting he’s a writer here as this is his first writing credit it nearly twenty years.)

Actors – Gary Oldman – (Known For: Darkest Hour; The Dark Knight; Dracula; Léon: The Professional; The Dark Knight Rises; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; True Romance; Batman Begins; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; The Fifth Element; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; The Book of Eli; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; A Christmas Carol; Lawless; JFK; RoboCop; Air Force One; Future BMT: The Unborn; Lost in Space; Paranoia; Planet 51; Man Down; Criminal; Criminal Law; Quest for Camelot; Child 44; Hannibal; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: Red Riding Hood; The Scarlet Letter; Tiptoes; The Space Between Us; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: Most of the recent news concerning him is about the Oscar buzz for Darkest Hour where he plays Winston Churchill. He also just got married for a fifth time.)

Asa Butterfield – (Known For: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; Hugo; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; Ender’s Game; Journey’s End; Nanny McPhee Returns; A Brilliant Young Mind; 10,000 Saints; Son of Rambow; Future BMT: The Wolfman; BMT: The Space Between Us; Notes: He broke onto the scene in Son of Rambow, but Hugo was his biggest role in his young career. Born on April Fool’s Day and a supporter of Arsenal (booooo).)

Carla Gugino – (Known For: Man of Steel; Gerald’s Game; Watchmen; San Andreas; Sin City; American Gangster; Spy Kids; Night at the Museum; This Boy’s Life; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Faster; Race to Witch Mountain; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Snake Eyes; Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The Lookout; Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco; Miami Rhapsody; Match; Future BMT: The Unborn; Rise: Blood Hunter; Michael; Elektra Luxx; The One; Son in Law; Righteous Kill; Troop Beverly Hills; The Singing Detective; Women in Trouble; Every Day; I Melt with You; The Center of the World; Even Money; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Hotel Noir; BMT: New Year’s Eve; Sucker Punch; The Space Between Us; Notes: Was turned on to acting by her aunt Carol Merrill, who, oddly I think, was really only a model on Let’s Make a Deal where she made $77 an episode.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $7,885,294 (Worldwide: $14,793,385)

(A catastrophe. It is rare that what amounts to a YA romance is so reviled and gets released so widely when it looks to be a disaster.)

#87 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

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(The genre is a-boomin’ and making a ton of cash. But what I’m interested in is the boom period in the early 2000s where the genre was still not making much money. 2002 in particular is crazy: Star Trek: Nemesis; Treasure Planet; The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones; The Time Machine. Woof.)

#12 on the Worst Openings – Saturated chart

(This chart is quite interesting. We’ve only seen three of the films above this one, although we’ll hit three or four of the others in the future for sure. Sometimes these films are just not even on the radar though. Like Won’t Back Down. Ludicrous trailer, but I doubt we ever bother with it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (19/118): The Space Between Us strands its star-crossed young lovers in a mind-numbingly vast expanse of shameless cheese that will send all but the most forgiving viewers eye-rolling for the exits.

(I had to read this consensus twice. Am I going crazy or does it not make a lick of sense? I think “mind-numbingly vast expanse” just rubs me the wrong way. Seems like it could be fun though. Like Safe Haven maybe? A boy can dream.)

Poster – The Sklog Between Us (B-)

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(Nice artistic poster here with the moon as part of the text and an astronaut standing in a field of flowers. Not super cohesive otherwise.)

Tagline(s) – What’s Your Favorite Thing About Earth? (D)

(Ha! I guess I never thought about it. Maybe the air. Probably the air. It’s nice to breath and it makes the sky and sunsets and maybe gives you a nice breeze on a sweaty summer day. Certainly my favorite thing about Earth does not include this tagline. I could do without this nonsense.)

Keyword(s) – mars; Top Ten by BMeTric: 66.9 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 46.1 The Last Days on Mars (2013); 46.0 Mission to Mars (2000); 45.5 Mars Needs Moms (2011); 44.6 Approaching the Unknown (2016); 41.7 Red Planet (2000); 40.8 Ice Age: Collision Course (2016); 30.6 Avalanche Sharks (2014); 24.8 RocketMan (1997); 21.6 Stranded (2001);

(Wow, at least we hit up the number one. Mission to Mars, Red Planet, and maaaaybe RocketMan are on the docket I would say. Mars Needs Moms … we’ll probably have to figure out a way to choke that pile of garbage down at some point, but I don’t want to. Kind of like this weird list, just wonky.)

Notes – The original title of The Space Between Us was Out of This World.

In the scene where Gardner arrive on Earth, the space suit masks, worn by some of the scientists, are actually a brand of full face snorkel masks. (Not a surprise, I feel like I know exactly what these look like)

Highland High school in Albuquerque was used in some scenes, during school hours which caused a hassle between school administrators and the State Film commission (Oh that sounds awful)

Spaceport America in New Mexico hosted their first movie shoot. There were over 400 crew, actors and extras at the spaceport during the shoot.

With less than a month to go before its debut, STX Entertainment has changed “The Space Between Us” release date from December 16, 2016 to February 3, 2017. This will take the sci-fi drama out of the competitive holiday movie season into the less crowded mid-winter timetable where it will open against the horror sequel “Rings”. (What what)

The Space Between Us is the second space-related movie Asa Butterfield has started in, Ender’s Game being the first.

Just after the video call with Tulsa, Gardner is watching a movie left by one of the German scientists. That movie is “Wings of Desire.”

Cameo appearances by YouTube stars Joey Graceffa and Lele Pons during the classroom scene (boooooooooooo)

The Space Between Us stars Britt Robertson, who had also starred in a major role in Tomorrowland. Both movies involve futurology and “illegal” adventures.

Both Asa Butterfield and Janet Montgomery were in BBC’s Merlin as Mordred and Mithian. (Yeah, I didn’t realize Butterfield was in Merlin … my dog has watched every episode twice if that is worth anything (spoiler: it isn’t)).

Britt Robertson also plays a role in the 2-season TV show “Life Unexpected”. In both roles, she plays a foster child who is seeking emancipation.

In Ender’s Game, Asa Butterfield played Ender who had a second in command named Bean. From the Ender’s Game novels, Bean was a baby who was born as part of an illegal experiment, was highly intelligent, was reunited with his biological family, grew to extreme proportions with an over sized heart that would eventually kill him in Earth gravity, left behind the woman he loved, and went into space to prolong his life. This mirrors much of the story of The Space Between Us. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat I’ve read Ender’s Game but I didn’t know the backstory to Bean. Thanks random IMDb note, spoiler alert).

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Recap

Jamie

Connor Mead is a world famous photographer/womanizer who does not believe in marriage. One problem, he has to attend his brother’s wedding this weekend! Uh oh! When he ruins everything, Connor is visited by three ghosts who try to show him the error of his ways. Can he save the day (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

How?! Truly a classic rom com storyline. We have our wildly wealthy man about town, Connor Mead, who does NOT believe in love (gross! That’s for sissies!). He slays the ladies but we get the feeling that he really only sleeps around because he can’t face that he’s still hung up on the one that got away, his (also wildly successful) childhood friend Jenny. Connor heads off to his brother’s wedding and almost immediately begins to ruin everything. After one too many drinks he is taken on a journey of discovery to cure him of his wild ways by the ghost of his long dead womanizing uncle and three ghosts of girlfriends past (who hasn’t, right? College). First he is shown his past where we see a young Connor in love with Jenny but fated to screw it up. Then he is shown how his womanizing is hurting everyone that comes in contact with him in the present. Finally he is shown how if he doesn’t stop he’ll end up dying a sad and lonely man. While all this is happening he also manages to get the wedding cancelled… so not doing so hot on picking up what the spooky ghosts are putting down. After realizing that love is real he madly dashes to save the wedding and get the girl… which he does. The End.

Why?! The motivation in rom coms are just as straightforward as in horror films. Except instead of death, hate, and mayhem the motivation is love (awww). Someone is searching for love but can’t find it, only to figure out that it was right in front of them the entire time (awww). Pretty much the case here as while Connor isn’t actively searching for love he learns through the film that love is what he needs and Jenny has been there the whole time (awww).

What?! Connor is as much a scrooge about love as Scrooge was about Christmas spirit. Bah humbug on the whole thing. So when he has to suffer through his brother’s wedding he does the only thing he apparently likes to do more than have sex with any woman who passes his way: drink. And not just any drink, it’s Johnnie Walker Blue all day and all night. Expensive habit.

Who?! Double dose here as we have musician Christina Milian appearing unbilled as the subject of a Connor Mead photograph in the opening scenes. This completes a BMT trilogy for Milian with Be Cool (gross) and Torque (less gross). Don’t worry though, she has plenty more.

Where?! While the movie was filmed at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA, which I stayed at on my wedding night, it surprisingly wasn’t set in MA. In the opener, which takes place at Connor’s studio in NYC, he mentions that he has to travel to Newport for the wedding. This is an obvious reference to Newport, RI which is famous for its mansions. Pretty rare state. Rare enough that we used a film called Evening to hit it for mapl.de.map. What a disgrace. C-.

When?! A little debate at BMTHQ as to whether this is a holiday film. It’s certainly an adaptation on The Christmas Carol and at one point Connor even directly quotes the classic tale by asking a kid whether it’s Christmas yet (but he might just be joshing). It’s never directly acknowledged so can’t really count it, but diving deep into the uncredited roles listed on IMDb there are no less than three actors credited as “Unemployed Santa.” I think I’d remember a few jobless Santas in the film if they actually appeared, but that just might make this a super secret holiday film. D-.

Much like the recently BMT’d Made of Honor this film is almost pleasant in its genericness. Just plods along a plot that we’ve watched a million time. Unfortunately it totally botches the one thing that allowed Made of Honor to stand out from the crowd: an endearing main character and a realistic relationship to root for. In this case Connor Mead may just be the most unpleasant protagonist we’ve had to suffer through (not counting everyone Gerard Butler has played). He’s just an obnoxious, rich asshole who suffers no consequence for his years of being an obnoxious, rich asshole. All that being said, Emma Stone was fun. As for our foreign flick, Asterix at the Olympic Games, that shit was the Frenchest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not totally sure why it was that French audiences rejected it so thoroughly (I thought it was silly but amusing). I presumed that it was the fact that our heroes Asterix and Obelix are somewhat minor characters in the film, but according to reviews I read that wasn’t the problem. Apparently this film was guilty of one too many French pop/athlete references and cameos… I didn’t notice because I didn’t get many of those references. The moral of the story? Bad movies are not a universal language. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Your boss is a hotshot producer and wants a fresh spin on an old classic. Well it’s coming onto Christmas, and you know what that means … you’ve forgotten to buy gifts and you need to smash out this spec in like ten minutes before hitting the mall! Oh, and obviously your idea is just a rehash of A Christmas Carol. But then you remember that Bill got fired for pulling the same trick last year … whatever, let’s have it star a horribly smarmy womanizer and release it in May. Bing bang boom, let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – The main players do a fine job with what they are provided, and the movie looks good as well. Oh, the bumping 80s tunes were a definite A+. But, there is very little else good about this, which we will obviously get into. But let’s make a Remake! About time we got this right. First, make it an adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, Michael Douglas isn’t the warning miser, he’s the angel who wants his wings! He took in his nephews as his own, and for all he tried he couldn’t put Connor on the right track. And before he’s allowed his place in heaven, he needs to change the course of the young man’s life before it is too late! Going through the past he shows all the good he did, and where he went wrong, and the love he missed out on, and in the end the angel gets his wings. Yeah, also don’t fill the entire movie up with cliches.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Let’s just get the Sklognalogy out of the way: this movie is basically identical to Made of Honor. The beats are all the same: The womanizer who realizes the one that got away is the one, but before he can get the girl he has to convince her (and himself) that he’s changed! The main difference: Made of Honor was half-way filled up with cliches. This guy had the smarmy lead, the psychoanalyzing ex, the honorable brother, the bridezilla, the bridesmaid who wants to bone him, the groomsmen who wants to be him, the sultry future mother-in-law and scary military father-in-law … sigh, it is just incredible. Not to mention that this entire movie reads as rich-white-people-problems put to film (like Made of Honor …). Anywho, long story short: turns out making a movie that is one-hundred percent rom-com cliches makes for innocuous by ultimately unsatisfying results. Go figure.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – The one-two combination of this and Made of Honor is actually quite tantalizing for a footnote of 2017. It could come up there. I love McConaughey (Foooool’s Gold, it’s not that bad, it’s not that bad), so perhaps as the pinnacle romantic comedy lead … I could see it. CNN has it fifth worst for 2009, but it doesn’t get much play elsewhere for what is a truly impressive bad movie year. Two 2009 movies in a row! And plenty to go it would seem.

Along with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past we watched a Foreign Film this week for the Bring a Friend requirement: Asterix and the Olympic Games. This basically proved to me why we don’t do foreign films: I’m missing context. I thought it was actually rather funny (especially Brutus), I laughed more than I did during Ghosts of Girlfriends Past for example. But I feel like there was something missing. Were these actors good? Were they playing with or against type? If Will Smith was sitting there mugging it on screen I would possibly think a movie was great fun … but Disaster Movie has nobodies mugging constantly and is merely sad and tragic. It had two prequels (I didn’t watch them), and is based off of a beloved comic / cartoon … so there is possibly a level of offense as well with hurting the source material. I’m adrift. I thought it was fine (its bad-movieness saved by hilarious back-to-back-to-back French sports figure cameos to end the film), but people really seem to hate this thing, so I can merely defer to their opinion.

Some foreign films I think we could maybe gain context over time (Hong Kong cinema in particular, and possibly French comedy), but it would be difficult. I have a similar problem with films prior to 1980. That issue though I think is remedied easily: watch a ton of good movies from that era to get a feel for a typical 1970s film, for example. Same goes for martial arts and westerns actually. We just did it with slashers, a genre I had almost no knowledge of prior to this year! So there are opportunities. BMT brings opportunities, truly one of the greatest things ever to be invented ever.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Preview

Originally it seemed obvious that when we hit the “foreign film” entry in the Bring a Friend that we would watch our beloved Nic Cage in Outcast, the Chinese film he did with our less beloved Hayden Christensen. However as we did more research it was clear that the film was an American production looking to break into the Chinese market and probably would have gotten an American release if, you know, it wasn’t so terrible. Seemed to fit better as a straight-to-DVD. So instead we went all in and chose a film that was a 100% foreign release with no American audience in mind and linked it up with a very traditional American rom com release. That’s right! We’re watch Ghosts of Girlfriends PAsterix at the Olympic Games. We all know Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: stars Matthew McConaughey, he plays a giant doucher with a heart of gold, and got solidly terrible reviews. Classic. As for Asterix at the Olympic Games, it’s unlikely anyone has heard of it. I read some articles about it back when it was released because it was a shock to the French cinema. It was the third in a series of films in which the second entry, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a historically gigantic box office smash and critical darling. So obviously the third film was hotly anticipated… and landed with a thud. Everyone hated this film in France and it went on to win the French equivalent to the Razzie award for worst picture. Seemed like a perfect test to see if the language of bad film is universal. Let’s go!

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) – BMeTric: 39.4

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(Huh … Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I feel like I haven’t noticed movies’ IMDb votes tailing off as time goes by. I actually kind of assumed as new users replaced old the number of new votes for a film would kind of just, paradoxically, rise. But apparently it does tail off. Or … maybe this movie is of a certain breed. A movie slowly being forgotten. One of those forgotten films of the 00s that young BMTers will be marvelling over in 2037 … one can dream.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tepid reimagining of A Christmas Carol as a romantic comedy, with McConaughey typecast as a roguish lothario who’s encouraged to change his charming-wastrel ways while visited by various apparitions – including his late playboy uncle (scene stealer Douglas) – the night before his brother’s wedding. Game actors aren’t helped by flat cinematography (even Garner, as McConaughey’s once and future sweetie, looks drab) and predictable writing.

(Sounds boring. But I’m liking the shots at the cinematography. Niche. I think as long as you go in not expecting much you can probably get out untraumatized. At least, that’s how it sounds to me.)

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

(Emma Stone looks like fun there. Always loving Breckin Meyer. I guess this is what Leonard Maltin meant by “game cast”. Also it seems like it plays right into a bunch of romantic comedy tropes, like the last 30 minutes of Made of Honor, so that could be fun to stare aghast at.)

Directors – Mark Waters – (Known For: Mean Girls; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Vampire Academy; Head Over Heels; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Brother of the screenwriter Daniel Waters for Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Heathers, and Hudson Hawk! Also married to an actress (Dina Spybey-Waters) who seems fairly accomplished in television.)

Writers – Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (written by) – (Known For: Bad Moms; The Hangover; Office Christmas Party; Future BMT: Rebound; Four Christmases; The Hangover Part III; 21 & Over; The Change-Up; Full of It; The Hangover Part II; Flypaper; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: They created and wrote for the show Mixology which at one point became quite famous for being terrible! Notably have provided many uncredited rewrites, including for the BMT film Mr. Woodcock.)

Actors – Matthew McConaughey – (Known For: Sing; Interstellar; Gold; The Wolf of Wall Street; Dazed and Confused; Tropic Thunder; Kubo and the Two Strings; Dallas Buyers Club; Magic Mike; Mud; Free State of Jones; Contact; A Time to Kill; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Reign of Fire; The Lincoln Lawyer; Frailty; Amistad; Bernie; We Are Marshall; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Wedding Planner; Surfer, Dude; Sahara; Paparazzi; The Dark Tower; Larger Than Life; My Boyfriend’s Back; Angels in the Outfield; The Sea of Trees; Two for the Money; BMT: Failure to Launch; Fool’s Gold; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Tiptoes; Notes: Enjoying continued late-career success dubbed The McConaissance. He broke onto the scene with Dazed and Confused (which is was subsequently type-cast for, and later embraced), and is an ardent supporter of the Texas Longhorns football team.)

Jennifer Garner – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Juno; Dallas Buyers Club; Daredevil; Wakefield; 13 Going on 30; Miracles from Heaven; The Invention of Lying; Draft Day; Danny Collins; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Kingdom; Deconstructing Harry; Washington Square; Future BMT: Mr. Magoo; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Arthur; Pearl Harbor; Catch and Release; Butter; The Odd Life of Timothy Green; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Elektra; Nine Lives; Valentine’s Day; Mother’s Day; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Recently separated from her husband of over ten years, Ben Affleck. Born in Texas she was raised in West Virginia, a fact that occasionally comes up in her acting roles (her call sign in Alias was The Mountaineer at one point, for example).)

Emma Stone – (Known For: Battle of the Sexes; La La Land; The Help; Superbad; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Amazing Spider-Man 2; The Amazing Spider-Man; The House Bunny; Zombieland; Easy A; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; The Interview; Friends with Benefits; Irrational Man; The Croods; The Rocker; Magic in the Moonlight; Future BMT: Marmaduke; Aloha; Gangster Squad; Unlikely Hero; BMT: Movie 43; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Broke out after her role in Superbad she has become one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood as well as winning the Oscar for Best Actress for La La Land last year.)

Budget/Gross – $37.5 million / Domestic: $55,250,026 (Worldwide: $102,223,269)

(Rough domestic total. Would have expected at least a bit more, 75-100 million if it were a success. Probably not really room for a sequel anyways. Thinking about it, I wonder how many romantic comedies leave room for a sequel … they all kind of end the same way right?)

#3 for the Romantic Comedy – Fantasy genre

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(What a very strange (and consistently created) genre. Her was the last one listed, so … again, either dead or forgotten by the Box Office Mojo staff.)

#16 for the Romantic Fantasy genre

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(Combined with the previous plot the romantic fantasy really did peak in 2009! I wonder if it is because it is cheap, or because they are light hearted fun … either way it does seem interesting that it would crest right after the financial collapse. Both make sense. These are still killing it though, with Beauty and the Beast and certainly other live-action Disney adaptations to come.)

#10 for the Womanizer / Cad / Player genre

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(This genre booming in the early 2000s is just … exactly what you would expect. The genre certainly has gone out of style … can’t say I miss it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (37/140): A retread of A Christmas Carol, featuring Matthew McConaughey in a retread of his Dazed and Confused role, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm.

(I don’t believe you. It is impossible for a film starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone, and Michael Douglas to not be incredibly charming. Originality and humor on the other hand I can totally believe.)

Poster – Ghosts of Sklogfriends Past (C-)

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(Certainly tells a story and has a central color to focus everything around, but busy and has terrible font. Slightly underwhelming mixed bag.)

Tagline(s) – You can’t always run from your past (D+)

(I always thought that the phrase “running from your past” implied that you can’t actually do it… it’s not something that you can get away from… because it’s your past… an abstraction that cannot be changed or erase and will eventually “catch up with you.” Anyway, what I’m saying is I don’t understand this tagline as it seems meaningless. Besides, it sounds weird that they’re repeating the word “past” in the title and tagline.)

Keyword(s) – wedding; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 80.8 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 79.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000); 76.5 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000); 72.8 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 70.3 Devil’s Due (2014); 68.4 Supergirl (1984); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 67.8 Double Team (1997);

(Ha! I think Sex and the City 2 is the big one there (although … is there a wedding? I can’t remember. There is in the first one). Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas was once proposed as a Nevada based movie for the Mapl.d.map … we nixed that, but the thought still kind of tickles me. Suggesting Rock Vegas is in fact in Nevada.)

Notes – This is the second time that Christa B. Allen has played the younger version of a character played by Jennifer Garner. The first was in 13 Going on 30 (2004).

Originally set up at Walt Disney Pictures with Ben Affleck attached to play the lead character, and Kevin Smith to direct. Production was to begin in the fall of 2003, but budgetary concerns and the failure of Gigli (2003) forced the studio to cancel the film one month prior to shooting. Ironically, when the film did get made years later, Affleck’s wife Jennifer Garner appeared in it. And the role Affleck was supposed to play, was instead played by his Dazed and Confused (1993) co-star, Matthew McConaughey. (Doesn’t feeeeel like irony. More of just a fun coincidence. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t expect Jennifer Garner to get attached to a movie her now ex-husband was set to star in from years prior.)

When Ben Affleck was attached to the project, offers went out to Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson for the part of Uncle Wayne.

Based on the novel A Christmas Carol in Prose, 1843, by Charles Dickens. (You don’t say)

When going back to his late teens, Connor winds up in Kripke’s basement. Kripke’s basement is where, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), John Connor said he first made out with Kate Brewster only a few days before the T-2 arrived, both Connor’s name and the locale being homage to the Terminator series.

Released in Germany as “Night of the Ex-Girlfriends”

Director Mark Waters installed a ping-pong table at both Crane Estate and Elm Bank Reservation, where the present-day wedding scenes were filmed, and would regularly challenge Micah Sherman, Albert M. Chan, and Michael Anastasia, who play the groomsmen. (Fun facts)

The first of two films to feature Jennifer Garner and Matthew McConaughey. The second was Dallas Buyers Club (2013).

Anne Archer and Michael Douglas have also been in Fatal Attraction (1987) together, although they do not have scenes together in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009).

In the movie they play the song nothing but a good time by Poison a song that was later sung in the movie Rock of Ages (2012) a movie that stars Catherine Zeta-Jones wife of Michael Douglas who co-starred in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009). (Wait … and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has 23 letters, the number 23!!!!!!!!!)

Made of Honor Recap

Jamie

Thomas and Hannah are a couple of platonic besties. When Hannah returns from a business trip with a surprise fiancé and asks Thomas to be her maid of honor, he realizes that he’s in love with her. Can he stop the wedding and get the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Made of Honor.

How?! Thomas is a ridiculously rich playboy living it up in New York City. While he beds a new girl each day, he has a strict regimen to avoid commitments. His only commitment is his long-time best friend Hannah. When Hannah leaves for a six week business trip in Scotland it tears Thomas apart and he soon realizes that he’s in love with her. Planning to admit this love to her, he’s surprised when she returns with an engagement ring on her finger and a beau in tow. Oh no! When she asks him to be her maid of honor he plans to use the position to prove to her that he’s the one. Cracks in the engagement start to show when they arrive in Scotland for the wedding, but a misunderstanding threatens to send Thomas packing back to the States. On the drive to the airport he realizes that he shouldn’t have given up so easily and races (literally… on a horse) to the wedding to break it up at the last moment. Thomas and Hannah get together and live happily ever. Duh.

Why?! Love, obviously. Seriously, we kind of plop into the film in the middle of Thomas and Hannah’s story. They’ve been best friends for ten years and haven’t fallen in love because Thomas is a stunted man-child who loves to bone any and all beautiful women without committing to anything. So when he realizes he’s in love with her that becomes the entire focus of the film. Everyone else is just a pawn in their game of love, especially Hannah’s poor, perfect fiancé Colin. He can do no wrong and yet still is left standing like a dope at the altar.

What?! The source of Thomas’ fortune is probably the most cliche thing in a film that is built painstakingly from years of cliches cultivated from the rom com forest of love. He is purported to be the inventor of the coffee cup sleeve and gets 10 cents each time a cup of coffee is sold. Ha! So he is made to be so rich that he just bums around NYC slaying ladies. This is our hero, everyone! A side effect of this totally ludicrous aspect of the plot is that Starbucks is sipped aplenty on screen.

Who?! In a perfect demonstration of Poe’s Law, the writers of Made of Honor attempted to make a spoof of a maid of honor instructional video starring Survivor/The View/Fox & Friends’ own Elisabeth Hasselbeck. While it may have seemed extreme enough on paper I actually couldn’t tell whether the video was real or not. I had to go online to find out whether it should go under the What category as a super odd product placement for a real video or under the Who category for a super odd cameo. It was the latter. Either way it wasn’t funny.

Where?! We get the first half of the film set in NYC hard. We get shots of the Met, Central Park, etc. The glorious sights and sounds of the city. Then the action moves to Scotland even harder. Beautiful. I like it enough to give it an A-.

When?! Exact date alert! When Hannah heads to Scotland we see a text from Thomas dated May 27th. The trip is 6 weeks and the wedding is planned 2 weeks after that. So apparently the wedding is set for the end of July. Cell phones really revolutionized our settings game. B-

Despite the incredible genericness of this film, I thought the first half was pretty pleasant. The main character was a nice guy and didn’t stoop to being bad to try to win the girl. But when the action moved to Scotland it got ridiculous real fast. Went right off the rails. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Made of Honor? More like It’s a Goner! Amirite. McDreamy goes to his native home of Scotland (I assume that is where the McDreamys are from) to win his best friend’s hand from a true blue baxter (the name for the dope left at the altar in rom coms). As long as I can stare at Patrick Dempsey all day I should be good … right? Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I think Patrick Dempsey is very charming, it is interesting how he kind of reinvented himself years after losing relevancy as a young actor. The first thirty minutes of this film are also pretty refreshing: you have what appears to be a genuine friendship between a man and a woman, it is believable, and how Dempsey decides to give a relationship a go rings true. The lead up to him becoming the Maid of Honor is actually quite good. Spoiler alert: he gets the girl in the end. So naturally you have to do a Sequel in which we explore the nasty divorce proceedings several years later. Think Kramer vs. Kramer, but more dramatic. At the same time Tom’s Cup Caddy business is floundering because his brand is banned in Europe (probably a retaliatory act by Colin, the baxter in the original film), and he is dealing with his father’s death. It is a tear jerker, exposing the limits of human will. Can Tom save his business, reconcile with his wife, and handle his father’s estate? “Wait, is this a sequel to that lightweight romantic comedy from a few years back … I mean, all of the characters have the same names so I guess it must be. Divorce of Honor is a very weird name too.” says Leonard Maltin.

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – The instant Patrick Dempsey becomes the titular Maid of Honor things get rolling into what is one of the most ridiculous romantic comedies you’ll ever see. You have a crazy basketball slam dunk sequence, they all go out to Scotland and stay in a big castle, they all participate in a Highland Games scenario, they kiss during a weird Scottish Hen Do celebration, there is the misunderstanding non-sex scene, and a horseback ride to stop the wedding. The last thirty minutes is just nuts, every cliche you can think of rolled into one movie. I should also mention that the three leads in the film are all incredibly wealthy and just have no care in the world, like tens of millions of dollars wealthy, making the entire situation even harder to parse. For the Sklognalogy I think I’ll stick to Rom Coms and go with What to Expect When you’re Expecting, just because it is kind of just a mashup of every cliche in each’s respective subgenres. WtEWYE for ensemble-cast rom coms, and Made of Honor for stop-the-wedding! rom coms.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I think this guy has decent legs. If someone asked me for a recommendation of a stop-the-wedding! romantic comedy, this is officially the one I would point to. It’s just got the perfect rich-people-problems, crazy setting, and baxter combo (the guy is the perfect baxter, straight up a perfect man by design). From the critics it is impressively named on the top 15 worst of 2008 by critics according to The Guardian. Maybe not a surprise there though, it could have been on the Brit’s radar because of its aggressive use of the Scottish setting. And 2008 was a crazy good year for bad movies, that honor is nothing to scoff at.

I’m going to do a short Sklognanlysis for the the 10 cent per coffee sleeve thing Jamie mentioned … those things probably come in a pack of 1000 for a dollar. He would get something like 0.01 cents per sleeve. Still a lot, even that low-ball would probably make him something like $200K a year (based on US statistics alone, so millions worldwide isn’t out of the realm of possibility). They should have said he used his invention money to buy a large early stake in Starbucks and that’s why he is rich, would have made more sense. And maybe that is what they meant … but 10 cents per cup? He’d be a billionaire. There is something like five million cups of coffee sold per day in the US.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Made of Honor Preview

Double weeks of double duty here at BMTHQ. Looking to get away from franchises we picked the worst reviewed Rom Com available on the calendar that wasn’t Sex and the City 2. That’s right! We’re watching Made of Honor, the Patrick Dempsey Rom Com vehicle cashing in on his Grey’s Anatomy return to stardom. I remember this coming out because I thought it looked ridiculously generic. Let’s see if the years have aged this into a fine wine. Let’s go!

Made of Honor (2008) – BMeTric: 35.5

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(I’m pretty shocked at how high the rating of this film on IMDb is. It kind of makes no sense. I guess if it was only super fans of McDreamy … but are there 60K people who just love Patrick Dempsey enough to vote on this film? It is flabbergasting. It is a modestly below average popular film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Dempsey is a serial womanizer but loves spending time with best friend Monaghan. Only when she announces that she’s getting married (to a Scotsman she’s just met) does he realize he’s going to lose her. As her “maid of honor” he determines to undo her wedding plans. Slick romantic comedy covers familiar ground, but does it with brio – and great Scottish scenery. Dempsey’s first star vehicle since his reemergence on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy.

(McDreamy a serial womanizer? Looks like this is a secret prequel to Valentine’s Day (he played the douchebag boyfriend (but he’s married!) of Jennifer Garner). I could look at Scottish things though. I hope they go to Edinburgh. There is a lot of distinctive cool stuff in Edinburgh and I can say to myself “I’ve been there” a bunch.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVpvkMmjK4

(Gay Panic: The Movie. I’m excited. I like Dempsey actually, and as long as he lays on that Grey’s Anatomy charm I’ll probably buy into it. I can see it now: me sitting in my living room typing “It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!” … one can hope.)

Directors – Paul Weiland – (Known For: Sixty Six; Future BMT: City Slickers: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Leonard Part 6; Made of Honor; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Leonard Part 6 in 1988; Notes: Hilarious filmography. Awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his creative work. He describes Leonard Part 6 as a terrible mistake in which Cosby wasn’t funny and wouldn’t take direction concerning how slowly paced the movie felt.)

Writers – Adam Sztykiel (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Due Date; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul; BMT: Made of Honor; Notes: Writing We’re the Millers 2 at the moment, and has done a few tv movies as well. Can’t find much else … married to Ellie Knaus if you know who that is.)

Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (screenplay) – (Known For: Josie and the Pussycats; Can’t Hardly Wait; A Very Brady Sequel; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; Surviving Christmas; Leap Year; BMT: Made of Honor; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Surviving Christmas in 2005; Notes: Kaplan and Elfont actually directed Can’t Hardly Wait and have been writing partners since the mid-90s. Kaplan is married to Breckin Meyer of (gulp) Pinocchio fame.)

Actors – Patrick Dempsey – (Known For: Bridget Jones’s Baby; Can’t Buy Me Love; Enchanted; Freedom Writers; Outbreak; Loverboy; The Stuff; Heaven Help Us; The Emperor’s Club; Some Girls; In the Mood; Future BMT: Scream 3; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Mobsters; Hugo Pool; Flypaper; With Honors; BMT: Valentine’s Day; Made of Honor; Sweet Home Alabama; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2012; Notes: McDreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeamy. Clearly the better of the McDreamy vs. McSteamy debate that raged across America when Grey’s Anatomy was still on the air (oh it still is on the air, that’s embarrassing). Probably most famous as the production manager (and occasional voice work) of the Super Mario Bros. television show. He is also a professional endurance race car driver, which is a thing a lot of actors do for whatever reason.)

Michelle Monaghan – (Known For: Patriots Day; Gone Baby Gone; Source Code; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Constantine; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Unfaithful; Mission: Impossible III; Due Date; The Bourne Supremacy; Somewhere; North Country; Fort Bliss; Trucker; Winter Solstice; Future BMT: The Heartbreak Kid; Sleepless; Playing It Cool; Tomorrow You’re Gone; It Runs in the Family; Better Living Through Chemistry; Perfume; Eagle Eye; Gus; The Best of Me; Machine Gun Preacher; BMT: Pixels; Made of Honor; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Pixels in 2016; Notes: She won several blue ribbons as a hog wrestler at the age of 13.)

Kevin McKidd – (Known For: Trainspotting; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Brave; Nicholas Nickleby; Dog Soldiers; De-Lovely; Max; The Acid House; Topsy-Turvy; Hideous Kinky; The Leading Man; Bedrooms and Hallways; Small Faces; 16 Years of Alcohol; Future BMT: The Last Legion; Home Sweet Hell; Hannibal Rising; Bunraku; BMT: Made of Honor; Notes: He is also in Grey’s Anatomy (was? I don’t know). He became an American citizen in 2015, and initially pursued an engineering degree before auditioning for drama school.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / $46,012,734 ($105,962,760 Worldwide)

(That … is kind of a hit. Where was Made of Honor 2: Divorce Court? I mean … I can only assume Kevin McKidd gets kicked in the nuts Baxter-style, and Monaghan and Dempsey get married. That isn’t going to last. That’s almost certain. So why not show us the hard drama that follows?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (16/116): Sharp performances by Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan can’t save this forgettable, formulaic chick flick from its comic failings.

(Uh oh … that sounds really boring. The trailer did make it seem light and enjoyable. Probably heavy on the light and light on the enjoyable if you get my drift.)

Poster – Made of Sklognor (C+)

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(Focus, guys. Come on. What color is this poster? No one knows. Can we spoof the font? Yah, duh. The only good thing is that you can stare into Patrick Dempsey’s dreamy eyes for hours.)

Tagline(s) – It takes a real man to become a maid of honor. (B+)

An unbridaled comedy. (F)

(Gonna go on record and say that this is one of the all time worst titles that Hollywood has produced. Why the pun? And then make a tagline that doesn’t use the pun? Whatever. The first one is actually pretty good. Not sure why it’s “become a maid of honor” and not just “be,” but that’s nitpicking. The second one is the worst thing that’s happened to me today. Ruined my day. Shockingly bad.)

Keyword(s) – friend; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.8 The Hottie & the Nottie (2008); 88.0 Vampires Suck (2010); 86.4 The Room (2003); 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.2 Troll 2 (1990); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 82.2 You Got Served (2004); 81.5 Prom Night (I) (2008); 77.3 Ouija (II) (2014); 76.9 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002);

(Friend! Football friend! This is, as usual with these things, just a list of very bad movies and mostly useless. As a matter of fact this entire preview seems fairly generic … there is a theme emerging. And overwhelming feeling of pure averageness wafting off of this film.)

Notes – Patrick Dempsey learned how to juggle plates while working as a street performer. (Something he put into good use as a child actor is my understanding, although I don’t think I ever saw his early work. Actually that isn’t true, I’ve seen quite of bit of Loverboy on cable growing up. He is basically a prostitute delivering pizzas if I recall correctly.)

To give Patrick Dempsey a youthful appearance for his scenes as a college student, CGI was used. (Thanks IMDb. In order to make a middle-aged man not-passable as a college student we made him look creepy fake instead.)

Sydney Pollack’s final acting role. (oof)

In an interview with Newsweek, Patrick Dempsey mentioned shooting a nude locker-room scene, which was cut to preserve the PG-13 rating.

Patrick Dempsey (Tom), and Kevin McKidd (Colin), are co-stars on the show Greys Anatomy. (Yeah … I know)

While filming at London’s Park Lane Hotel, about 30 extras had to be used on short notice when the production team noticed red double-decker buses passing by frequently. That’s common in London, but not New York, where the scene is set. The extras were used outside the hotel, to block the buses. (A travesty. Why not just CGI them out like you CGIed Dempsey’s wrinkles and grey hairs out in that other scene)

The company filmed at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye for five days. Dunvegan Castle is said to be the oldest inhabited castle in northern Scotland. It has been occupied continuously by the chiefs of MacLeod for over seven centuries, and it is still the MacLeod ancestral home. Though there are only at most 12,000 people on Skye at any one time, the film production rolled in with a crew of 250, a cast of 25, and 300 extras.

The punning title only works in English. The Spanish title is “Quiero Robarme la Novia,” which translates to “I Want to Steal the Bride”. (Whoa, they get right to the point in Spain.)

The song Colin sings to Hannah is “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns.

At Starbucks, Tom orders a grande drip and a decaf triple grande non-fat extra hot stirred no-foam caramel macchiato with whipped cream extra caramel filled 70%. (… I hope there is one guy who is meticulously recording this information. This is like in I Know What You Did Last Summer when I thought to myself “I should write down Julie James’ license plate … seems like good trivia”. But then I thought better of it)

License to Wed Recap

Jamie

Ahhh. Nothing like the relaxing week of a single, simple 80 minute film with bloopies at the end. Really trying to stretch that lack of a story to feature length. Gives us something light to snack on before getting back to the g-g-g-g-garbage. Let’s go!

What?! Sadie and Ben are getting married! But before they can have their dream wedding at Sadie’s childhood church they must go through pre-wedding counseling with Reverend Frank. Can they pass the course and walk the aisle before… uh… it’s too late!? Find out in… License to Wed!

How?! The story focuses around Ben and Sadie who met and fell in love while ordering a delicious coffee from Starbucks. Ben proceeds to pop the question and Sadie says yes. Hooray! They find out that the church that Sadie wants to get married in is booked solid except for a date only three weeks away. Uh oh! Artificial plot constraint alert! This means that they have to plan the wedding and pass a pre-wedding counseling course all in a matter of days. When it turns out that the head of the church, Reverend Frank, is a monster that uses illegal surveillance and mind games to manipulate his victims into incredibly high stress situations, Bed and Sadie’s love are no match and they call off the wedding. Once separated, they both realize that Reverend Frank was right… or something… and that they belong together. Ben jets off to join Sadie at the beautiful and luxurious Sandals resort in Jamaica where they are married by the monster who almost ruined their lives. Gah!… He illegally surveilled you and almost destroyed your relationship! Everyone acts like he’s totally normal and not a crazy person! It’s infuriating.

Why?! Also infuriating. Ben and Sadie simply want to get married and literally nothing stands in their way. There isn’t some other person who wants to get married on the same day. There isn’t some crazy family drama throwing a monkey wrench in the celebration. There isn’t an unexpected ex or second thoughts giving someone cold feet. In fact they breeze through planning a wedding in three weeks as if it’s nothing. The only conflict is the garbageman himself, Frank. He is the conflict. Why? Because he is so dismayed by the divorce rate in the United States that he insists that everyone experience the ultimate levels of stress to see if their relationship can survive it. If they can then they deserve to be married, if they can’t then they don’t. What?! You are bonkers insane, Frank.

Who?! We got double decker uncredited action on this one. Both Bob Balaban and Wanda Sykes make cameo appearances as people who appear normal but, I assure you, they are crazy. It’s impossible to know why they ended up appearing uncredited. Maybe they were doing a favor to the director or a producer. Or maybe they didn’t think it was worth the credit. I certainly wouldn’t have if I appeared in the same scene as Balaban did.

Where?! Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. Everywhere you look there is a Cubs hat or a Northwestern shirt or an establishing shot of the Chicago River. It’s pretty prominent, but not ridiculously so. B.

When?! What’s that sounds? That’s right! An exact date alert! When Ben and Sadie are ordering their wedding rings we get a brief glimpse of the paperwork. Right at the top shines a beautiful “5/17” for the date. Since the proposal and wedding all take place within three weeks we know that May 17th is approximately correct for the entire film. Magnifique. B as it’s exact but not vital to the plot and hard to determine.

If you couldn’t tell I really didn’t like this film. I found it infinitely frustrating. But perhaps it just cut to my core. Perhaps the situations were just too real. I’ll have to ask an objective observer about this. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! License to Wed? More like License Revoked! A true blue NY Post headline! I’ve been informed that my rhyme game has become a little more like a half-rhyme game recently and is wizzzzzeak as shit (his words not mine). I’ll do better though, I promise. Perhaps … I just need to be put under intense pressure and stress for weeks on end until I go crazy, punch Jamie in the face, quit BMT, and am left a wreck picking up the pieces of my shattered life … but what’s that? I learn that BMT is what I need, it is what I love, and from me blossoms the most beautiful full rhymes the world has ever seen! To achieve these dizzying heights I needed to know me and BMT could go through anything together!!! Or maybe that’s bonkers and so are the writers of this movie, let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – How can I recover when we’ve already revealed that one of the protagonists of the movie is a raging psychopath? Well if there was one thing that kind of redeems the film it is that if you squint enough you can kind of see the point: If you can make it through the toughest time together you’ll make it through anything. Let’s extend that harsh truth into a “hilarious” sequel. This time following Reverend Frank’s young protege played by Josh Flitter. Now in seminary school the young man, billed curiously as simply Choir Boy in the original (he was like … the fifth biggest character), has started to doubt his path to God. Did Reverend Frank teach him good or evil? If his place in the world is not to commune with the Lord, what is it? A movie that explores a lost soul sinking unyieldingly into a deep spiritual depression. The New York Times called it “a huge downer. Why they would call it License to Wed: Legacy is beyond the entire editorial staff”. Sorry, harsh truths and all, if he can’t get through the toughest times how is he to know his relationship with the Lord is going to last? Gross.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – The acting by the television crew of the Office was spotty at best. This is a one laugh movie, and is otherwise just frustrating. The evil that is Reverend Frank in this film must have come about in a very complex fashion because very early on he plants a bug in Ben and Sadie’s house and from there it is hard to imagine the character recovering. Yeah, they’re going to find it. So how does everyone not immediately see Frank exposed for the garbage monster that he is? Well, a solid 20 minutes of this 80 minute long film relies on Frank’s surveillance of Ben and Sadie so you can’t write it out, so naturally they make Ben break into Frank’s house and make him look like a crazy person as well. This is a trend in this film: it exists in a world where up is down, black is white, and people act like lunacy is normal. It is the only way this film operates, and is rather common in poorly written comedies, and basically comes from sloth, too lazy to actually write normal human beings until the film is a frustrating mess. Weirdly common.

The BMT: Legacy – What I wrote in the previous paragraph is interesting: that MO, the storyline that can’t be extracted as it is somehow (and inexplicably) woven throughout the messy tapestry of a movie, is indeed quite common in bad comedies. This could ultimately be a singular example of such a storyline. That I think could be this film’s legacy for BMT. Otherwise it is bad, but it also isn’t even the worst wedding based film we’ve seen in the last couple of months so ….

And finally a quick StreetCreditReport.com: This film came out in 2007, but doesn’t get a lot of love on the worst of lists. It was number three on the MTV worst of list, and top three on CNN’s list, but otherwise doesn’t even make the top 15 on the AV Club, and is general trounced by Norbit. I think this is ultimately lost to time as it’s not even the third worst comedy of 2007, let alone anything special from an impressive decade light the 00s.

I’ll leave it there. Cheerios,

The Sklogs