The Bodyguard Preview

“Virus?!” asks Patrick, shocked at the latest twist in their ever evolving adventure. “That’s right,” Jamie answers, making his way around the giant box that now occupies their living room. Stupid box. Why have such an unwieldy thing around when it’s so obviously useless? “Why do we have this box around when it’s so obviously useless?” Jamie finally asks, but Patrick waves him off. “Nevermind that, a global pandemic totally changes our calculus.” They both turn to Rachel, their resident pandemic expert, and ask whether people in the pandemic still, perchance, enjoy video games. They cross their fingers and hold their breath. The anticipation is killing them. “Probably even more,” she replies honestly. Excellent. “And music? We haven’t entered some footloose scenario where music has been outlawed, right?” Rachel rolls her eyes, but they just shrug. A lot can change in a year… in fact it has. With a footloose scenario confirmed not to be in play, Jamie fires up his AskJeeves.com email account and drafts an email containing their Starring Jason Derulo demo for WGRG, but before he hits send Patrick stops him. He looks serious. “Starring Jason Derulo is a great song,” Patrick starts. Well, duh, everyone knows that, especially Jamie the writer, lead singer, and keyboard player on the Starring Jason Derulo track. “But,” he continues and this confuses Jamie. What else needs to be said about Starring Jason Derulo? “With the new developments do you think we need something more…” But Jamie is already nodding his head. When Patrick’s right, he’s right. “Inspirational. Something a little more like…” and now they’re both nodding their heads, “I Will Always Love You from the smash film (and musical) The Bodyguard,” they say in unison and Predator high five. Time to get their sentimental ballad on. Let’s go! If you couldn’t guess from that introduction we are watching The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. It had one of the most iconic soundtracks of all time and that still wasn’t able to prevent it from qualifying for BMT. All the better for us. Let’s go!

The Bodyguard (1992) – BMeTric: 24.4; Notability: 57

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 18.4%; Notability: top 9.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.3% Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Pet Sematary II, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, Sleepwalkers, 3 Ninja Kids, The Lawnmower Man, Poison Ivy, Freejack, Beethoven, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Dr. Giggles, Evil Toons, Ladybugs, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Passenger 57, Man Trouble, Captain Ron, and 9 more; Higher Notability: Newsies, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie; Lower RT: Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Mom and Dad Save the World, Passed Away, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Ladybugs, Claire of the Moon, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, California Man, Mo’ Money, Class Act, Knight Moves, Freejack, Dr. Giggles, Blame It on the Bellboy and 20 more; Notes: Notability is impressive, which I guess kind of reminds me that I’m very excited to watch Newsies for BMT, I unironically love that film. Incredible rise in the rating, maybe pointing to another genuinely good film!

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – The movie was made as a thriller, I suppose, because of box-office considerations. I felt a little cheated by the outcome, although I should have been able to predict it, using my Law of Economy of Characters, which teaches that no movie contains any unnecessary characters, so that an apparently superfluous character is probably the killer. I thought the basic situation in “The Bodyguard” was intriguing enough to sustain a film all by itself: on the one hand, a star who grows rich through the adulation that fans feel for her, and on the other hand, a working man who, for a salary, agrees to substitute his body as a target instead of hers. Makes you think.

(Love that law. It is true all the way from Murder She Wrote, to Scooby Doo. I watched a Scooby Doo episode the other day (don’t ask) and I’m not joking when I say there was only one other person in the entire story other than the meddling kids … so yeah, obviously the Creeper was that guy. It was bizarre. And you can almost always guess the bad guy in things like Psych because they’ll be the most famous person other than the main cast. It is hilarious that The Bodyguard falls into the same trap.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JFRdJTszRM

(Oh man, those jamming tunes! Haha, them playing the fight in the kitchen (spoiler alert, it is with Houston’s original bumbling security guard guy) as an intruder is pretty funny. I wonder why I Will Always Love You didn’t get any play? There is something in some of the notes that maybe suggest it was a single created pretty late into production, so maybe they didn’t think it was going to be the big one.)

Directors – Mick Jackson – (Known For: Volcano; Denial; L.A. Story; Chattahoochee; The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest; Future BMT: Clean Slate; BMT: The Bodyguard; Notes: Won an Emmy for directing the TV movie Temple Grandin. He’s from Britain originally.)

Writers – Lawrence Kasdan (written by) – (Known For: Raiders of the Lost Ark; Solo: A Star Wars Story; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Silverado; Wyatt Earp; The Big Chill; Body Heat; The Accidental Tourist; Grand Canyon; Continental Divide; Mumford; Darling Companion; BMT: Dreamcatcher; The Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Nominee for Worst Director for Wyatt Earp in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Bodyguard in 1993; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars for screenplays. His sons also write and produce movies, Jonathan notably writing Solo: A Star Wars Story with this father. Both are writing on the upcoming Willow television show.)

Actors – Kevin Costner – (Known For: Zack Snyder’s Justice League; Dances with Wolves; Hidden Figures; Man of Steel; Molly’s Game; Let Him Go; The Highwaymen; Waterworld; Silverado; The Untouchables; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Field of Dreams; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Draft Day; Wyatt Earp; JFK; No Way Out; McFarland; Open Range; The Art of Racing in the Rain; Future BMT: Play It to the Bone; Dragonfly; 3 Days to Kill; Swing Vote; Criminal; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Revenge; Black or White; The War; BMT: Rumor Has It…; 3000 Miles to Graceland; The Postman; The Bodyguard; Message in a Bottle; The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for The Postman in 1998; Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Winner for Worst Actor for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1993 for The Bodyguard; in 1996 for Waterworld; in 2000 for For Love of the Game, and Message in a Bottle; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Wyatt Earp; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Postman, The Postman, Waterworld, Waterworld, Wyatt Earp, and Wyatt Earp; Notes: Very notably was nominated for best picture, directing, and starring in Dances With Wolves. A very “every man” kind of leading man, a bone fide movie star in the 80s and 90s, but then in the late 90s he was in eight straight BMT films before having an old-man-renaissance in the 2010s. Wait … he must be in a band right? Yup, “Kevin Costner and Modern West” … that is a hilarious name.)

Whitney Houston – (Known For: Waiting to Exhale; The Preacher’s Wife; Sparkle; BMT: The Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress, Worst Original Song, and Worst New Star for The Bodyguard in 1993; Notes: Won an Emmy for performing at the Grammy Awards. Sung backing vocals with her mother at age 15 on Chaka Khan’s 1978 hit “I’m Every Woman”.)

Gary Kemp – (Known For: The Krays; Killing Zoe; Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism; Dog Eat Dog; Hide and Seek; Büvös vadász; American Daylight; BMT: The Bodyguard; Notes: Principal songwriter and vocalist for Spandau Ballet. Brother of Martin Kemp who was on EastEnders for 13 years.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $122,006,740 (Worldwide: $411,006,740)

(That is a pretty big hit. Costner has apparently said he has never had any interest in doing sequels to any of his films (even ones that have written sequels). So I guess this was just a one-off smash success as usual.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (15/46): The Bodyguard is a cheesy, melodramatic potboiler with occasional moments of electricity from Whitney Houston.

(That sounds good to me actually. Some drama with serenades by Houston every so often is just the ticket, I hope Costner mumbles every single one of his lines. Reviewer Highlight: Just about everything that can go wrong with this film does, and yet it’s compulsively watchable. (So is a train wreck.) – Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – The BodySklog

(A poster so iconic it’s still spoofed today. This is how you bring your stars seamlessly into a poster. The blue hue gets the tone right and it looks pretty dramatic and sexy. Just needed a sweet Bodyguard specific font to put it over the top. B+.)

Tagline(s) – Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love. (B)

(They have the right idea, but couldn’t edit it down enough. I do like the twist at the end though. The first two it’s like “well yeah, bodyguard stuff” and then they hit you with the love angle and you’re like this isn’t your parents’ The Bodyguard. Get ready for a sexy ride.)

Keyword – bodyguard

Top 10: Tenet (2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), The Dark Knight (2008), The Gentlemen (2019), Inception (2010), Titanic (1997), Black Panther (2018), Batman Begins (2005), Iron Man (2008), Deadpool (2016)

Future BMT: 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 63.5 Mr. Nanny (1993), 62.9 Fat Albert (2004), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 51.9 Blackhat (2015), 47.4 Men in Black: International (2019), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 44.9 The Rhythm Section (2020), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007);

BMT: Baywatch (2017), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Fantasy Island (2020), Bloodshot (2020), Geostorm (2017), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Hunter Killer (2018), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), The Expendables 3 (2014), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), London Has Fallen (2016), Vampire Academy (2014), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), The Bodyguard (1992), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Snowman (2017), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), The Pacifier (2005), Gangster Squad (2013), Mortdecai (2015), Be Cool (2005), Elektra (2005), Over the Top (1987), Alex Cross (2012), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Ride Along (2014), Romeo Must Die (2000), The Prince & Me (2004), Pluto Nash (2002), The Gunman (2015), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), I, Frankenstein (2014), I Spy (2002), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Exit Wounds (2001), First Daughter (2004), Grind (2003), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Proud Mary (2018), Left Behind (Video (0), Ride Along 2 (2016), The Musketeer (2001), Never Die Alone (2004)

(Is the concept of bodyguards having a moment? This is a really loose keyword idea. Like, doesn’t Kazaam only kind of have a bodyguard because the bad guy has one or something? Or is Kazaam the bodyguard?)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kevin Costner is No. 2 billed in The Bodyguard and No. 2 billed in Rumor Has It…, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 1 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – It was Kevin Costner’s idea for Whitney Houston to start “I Will Always Love You” a capella.

Rachel’s mansion is the same mansion as the “horse’s head in the bed” mansion in “The Godfather (1972).” (fun fact!)

Whitney Houston suffered a miscarriage during production and missed a couple of weeks of production recovering.

Whitney Houston would give Kevin Costner singing lessons on set in exchange for acting advice. (ha!)

Kevin Costner said that he based his portrayal of Frank Farmer on actor Steve McQueen. He even went as far as to get McQueen’s trademark haircut for the role.

As of 2015, with over 37 million albums sold, the film had the best-selling soundtrack of all time. “Saturday Night Fever (1977)” places second–with nearly 10 million fewer albums sold.

Kevin Costner and Mick Jackson encouraged Whitney Houston not to take acting lessons – they wanted her to be natural.

This film was originally proposed in the mid-’70s, starring Diana Ross and Steve McQueen, but was rejected as “too controversial”. The film concept was to be attempted again in the late 1970s, with Ryan O’Neal and Diana Ross cast as the leads. The project fell through after only a few months because of irreconcilable differences between O’Neal and Ross, who had been dating.

Crew driver Bill Vitagliano was killed in an on-set accident when he was crushed between two colliding scissor-lifts, during the preparation for an underground parking garage scene.

The film had to undergo some hasty re-cutting when test audiences jeered Whitney Houston’s performance. (But why?)

Originally “I Will Always Love You” wasn’t in the movie – the big single was “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” When that song was used in “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1991),” Kevin Costner suggested “I Will Always Love You.” (These production stories are wild, Costner really was involved in every single aspect of this film)

Rachel and Frank go and see “Yojimbo (1961),” which was released in the United States as “The Bodyguard”. (THAT is a fun fact)

The basement used as Kevin Costner’s basement in the movie The Bodyguard (1992) is the same basement that’s used in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) as Gibbs’ basement. (I’m in love with this fact)

One of the few films that presented a fictional Academy Awards in its plot and later on were nominated for the actual Academy Awards. While this movie scored two Best Song nominations, the other movie with similar circumstances, California Suite (1978) managed to win an Oscar (acting category, an ironic contrast with the movie’s subplot involving an actress who loses the same award).

The brand of whisky being drunk throughout the film is Springbank from Campbeltown in Scotland, where the director was on holiday prior to making the film.

Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan is a fan of director Akira Kurosawa. As such, he named the film after Yojimbo (1961), and wrote the male lead role for Steve McQueen, who had appeared in The Magnificent Seven (1960), a remake of Seven Samurai (1954). Two of the characters in Kurosawa’s film The Hidden Fortress (1958) were the inspiration for C-3PO and R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, four of which Kasdan wrote.

Scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan was also the director of The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985) and Wyatt Earp (1994). Kevin Costner was in all of those films, though his part in the first one was cut.

Dolly Parton wrote and sang the song I will always love you” In an interview on the Graham Norton show she said that they asked her to let them use the song “I will always love you” for the movie and she sent it in and forgot about it. Then one day she was driving from her office to her house in Nashville when she heard Whitney Houston’s version on the radio and she had to pull off the side of the road in order to finish listening to it. Dolly Parton was blown away by how well, and beautiful the song was done. She was also impressed by how beautifully Whitney Houston sang it.

Kevin Costner said that if he could change one thing about the movie, he would not have the shooting take place at the Academy Awards. (Yeah it doesn’t make much sense, they even have to say it out loud during the film because it is so weird)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (David Foster, Linda Thompson, 1993)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Jud Friedman, Allan Rich, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Costner, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Whitney Houston, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Lawrence Kasdan, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Whitney Houston, 1993)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Whitney Houston, Eric ‘Babyface’ Walsh, Daryl Simmons, 1993)

Endless Love (2014) Preview

Brief note before we start: This year we got together our fifth (!) class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. At the time these films are inducted it will be officially 10 years since we started BMT! That’s absurd. But as is typical there will be films we watch five years ago which maybe deserve to be considered the merde de la merde of BMT delight. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the eighth (tenth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films ultimately chosen. Some might say the purpose of watching all genres and sizes of movie is to find another Here On Earth, the perfect BMT film. Well … that is the only possible reason Endless Love 2014 is being inducted, it has to be Here on Earth 2 … right? Enjoy!

Endless Love (2014) – BMeTric: 22.7; Notability: 32 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 46.0%; Notability: top 40.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.2% Higher BMeT: Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules, Ouija, God’s Not Dead, The Pyramid, Tammy, Sex Tape, A Haunted House 2, I, Frankenstein, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Outcast, Dying of the Light, Tokarev, Annabelle, Everly, Annie, Pompeii, The Carrier, Vampire Academy, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and 41 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Exodus: Gods and Kings, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Dracula Untold, Transcendence, Think Like a Man Too, Dumb and Dumber To, Annie, The Monuments Men, A New York Winter’s Tale, Horrible Bosses 2, Ride Along, The Expendables 3, Need for Speed, Men, Women & Children, Lessons in Love, Vampire Academy, Blended, I, Frankenstein, and 6 more; Lower RT: Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules, Outcast, I, Frankenstein, Ouija, Lessons in Love, Addicted, A Haunted House 2, Dying of the Light, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Just Before I Go, Search Party, The Best of Me, The Cobbler, The Carrier, Tokarev, No Good Deed, God’s Not Dead, The Nut Job, A New York Winter’s Tale and 7 more; Notes: This, I think, is right in that Here on Earth zone. Perhaps that is what Here on Earth really is. A film that critics are like “blah” and normal people are like “what? I haven’t seen that” … but we aren’t normal people.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Feste’s sanitized version seems like it’s aimed not at high-school kids but rather at those who are even younger: girls who can leave the theater and peruse the mall for just the right boho-chic clothes to emulate Wilde’s fashionably wild look.

(Sanitized. That really is what it is all about. It feels odd that a sanitized film could be, in actuality, a BMT Hall of Fame film, but perhaps with just the right amount of “wait … this is what they adapted the book about a crazy stalker boyfriend into?” it could work.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRXGch6675Q/

(I think the trailer makes David out to be more dangerous than he actually is in the film. They must have realized they screwed up in you know … not actually adapting the book.)

Directors – Shana Feste – (Known For: The Greatest; Boundaries; Future BMT: Country Strong; BMT: Endless Love; Notes: She writes almost all of what she directs. Currently writing and directing the mini-series Dirty Diana with Demi Moore.)

Writers – Shana Feste (screenplay) – (Known For: The Greatest; You’re Not You; Boundaries; Future BMT: Country Strong; BMT: Endless Love; Notes: The plotline for The Greatest: “A drama that is centered around a troubled teenage girl, and a family that is trying to get over the loss of their son.” … that’s this movie! WHAT THE HELL?!)

Joshua Safran (screenplay) – (BMT: Endless Love; Notes: Writer/producer on Gossip Girl and Quantico among others. My guess is they brought him in to adapt the book into something more palatable for 2014.)

Scott Spencer (book) – (Known For: Waking the Dead; Future BMT: Father Hood; BMT: Endless Love; Endless Love; Notes: Wrote the book. The book is interesting. It was considered to be one of the quintessential stories written about young love at the time, but it feels like it has been completely overshadowed by, oddly, the song made for the 1981 film.)

Actors – Gabriella Wilde – (Known For: Wonder Woman 1984; Carrie; Future BMT: St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold; BMT: The Three Musketeers; Endless Love; Notes: British and descended from actual genuine royalty. She was originally a model and artist but switched to acting.)

Alex Pettyfer – (Known For: The Butler; Magic Mike; Wild Child; Back Roads; Elvis & Nixon; The Strange Ones; Tormented; Future BMT: Stormbreaker; The Last Witness; In Time; Echo Boomers; BMT: Beastly; I Am Number Four; Endless Love; Notes: Kid actor, he got the part in the Alex Rider series when he was 15 years old. Also British.)

Bruce Greenwood – (Known For: Doctor Sleep; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Star Trek; The Place Beyond the Pines; The Post; Gerald’s Game; Deja Vu; Flight; Super 8; Star Trek into Darkness; First Blood; The Core; Gold; I, Robot; Dinner for Schmucks; Spectral; Eight Below; Capote; Kodachrome; I’m Not There; Future BMT: Swept Away; Wild Orchid; Racing Stripes; Fathers’ Day; Disturbing Behavior; Passenger 57; The Captive; Firehouse Dog; Rules of Engagement; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Double Jeopardy; Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House; And Now a Word from Our Sponsor; Cell 213; For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada; Donovan’s Echo; Fathers & Daughters; BMT: Hollywood Homicide; Here on Earth; Devil’s Knot; Endless Love; Notes: Yup, he’s the father in both Here on Earth and Endless Love. Currently starring in The Resident, a medical drama on Fox.)

Budget/Gross – $20,000,000 / Domestic: $23,438,250 (Worldwide: $34,718,173)

(Quite bad. That big name energy coming from 1981’s smash hit Endless Love didn’t do much for it it seems.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (15/95): Blander than the original Endless Love and even less faithful to the source material, this remake is clichéd and unintentionally silly.

(I. love. cliched. And I love unintentionally silly. Bodes well. Reviewer Highlight: This remake has almost nothing to do with Spencer’s novel. It’s the kind of film you make when you’ve run out of Nicholas Sparks books. – Wesley Morris, Grantland)

Poster – Endless Lurv (2014)

(Honestly, this poster would be 400x better if it didn’t have the scratched lettering in the center. I’m fine with the “you hot leads” as the poster for a film like this, but I think this, like the trailer, is selling a more thriller-y film than it actually is. Were there massive reshoots or something? The marketing seems strange. C.)

Tagline(s) – Say Goodbye to Innocence. (B)

(I think I get what they are selling to a degree: Dad’s worst nightmare? Except in the film David isn’t that. The dad is actually a colossal dick to David at every moment and the entire film is “bad dad broken dad gets fixed by naive high school boy who doesn’t know what love is”. It’s a wild film. Anyways, I think for what they are likely selling it is fine, even though it doesn’t describe the film.)

Keyword – remake

Top 10: Beauty and the Beast (2017), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Invisible Man (2020), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016), Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), The Departed (2006), The Grinch (2018), The Lion King (2019)

Future BMT: 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 74.3 Psycho (1998), 72.0 Grudge (2020), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.8 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 67.8 Poltergeist (2015), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 66.8 Thunderbirds (2004), 65.6 Pulse (2006);

BMT: Fantasy Island (2020), Baywatch (2017), Just Go with It (2011), The Last Airbender (2010), The Mummy (2017), Fantastic Four (2015), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), The Hustle (2019), Point Break (2015), Poseidon (2006), Godzilla (1998), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Friday the 13th (2009), Wild Wild West (1999), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), Endless Love (2014), Death Wish (2018), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), The Lone Ranger (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), CHIPS (2017), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Flatliners (2017), Red Dawn (2012), The Haunting (1999), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Left Behind (2014), The Avengers (1998), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), The Big Wedding (2013), The Fog (2005), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), The Wicker Man (2006), Get Carter (2000), The Women (2008), One Missed Call (2008), Are We Done Yet? (2007), The Musketeer (2001), Bangkok Dangerous (2008)

(So. Many. Remakes. The plot is interesting. I think it points to smaller cast/crew productions taking over some of what used to be fairly large productions. Like if this film was made in 1999 it would have been huge with like … Matt Damon in talks to star. But instead they are like “just how many British people who can’t really do accents can we put into this production?”)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 3 billed in Endless Love and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth => 3 + 6 = 9. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Both lead roles are British. (So is the mother, and the brother is Australian. And yet … the only person in the entire film who even attempts a southern accent is Robert Patrick, despite the entire film being set in Georgia)

Emma Roberts turned down the lead role of Jade Butterfield. (Would have been more interesting with her I think, shame)

The trailer for the film included scenes that were either altered or not included in the actual film. (Reshoots?)

Remake of the 1981 film. (Not really, it isn’t even an adaptation of the book … are we sure they even asked permission to use the title?)

In the original film, Jade was 15, David was 17, and they started dating after her brother Keith introduced them to each other; and a subplot involved Ann becoming infatuated with David and living vicariously through him and Jade after watching them have sex one night. Also, David’s surname was Axelrod; here it’s been changed to Elliot; and Ann’s name is spelled Anne. (Yeah … they changed a bit of the story).

Endless Love (1981) Preview

Brief note before we start: This year we got together our fifth (!) class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. At the time these films are inducted it will be officially 10 years since we started BMT! That’s absurd. But as is typical there will be films we watch five years ago which maybe deserve to be considered the merde de la merde of BMT delight. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the eighth (tenth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films ultimately chosen. This actually isn’t one of those five films. This is a bonus preview I’ve made because Endless Love (2014) is being inducted. That preview will follow directly. But if you end up watching Endless Love 1981, here’s your one stop shop for preview information. Enjoy!

Endless Love (1981) – BMeTric: 46.5; Notability: 31 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.3%; Notability: top 28.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 8.6% Higher Notability: Halloween II, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, The Cannonball Run, Looker, All Night Long, The Devil and Max Devlin, The Final Conflict, Death Hunt, Caveman; Lower RT: Final Exam, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Deadly Blessing, Death Hunt, The Devil and Max Devlin, Student Bodies, Caveman; Notes: The BMeTric bit is obviously the most impressive. To understand what it is saying, consider that only films with Rotten Tomatoes scores below 40% are counted in the percentiles (so it is the top XX% for qualifying films). So basically it is saying there are 20ish such films in 1981 and of those this film has the highest BMeTric. That’s pretty amazing. Sub-5.0 IMDb, and very notable for having an Oscar nominated song. Hit it! Endlesssssss Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Is there anything good in the movie? Yes. Brooke Shields is good. She is a great natural beauty, and she demonstrates, in a scene of tenderness and concern for Hewitt and in a scene of rage with her father, that she has a strong, unaffected screen acting manner. But the movie as a whole does not understand the particular strengths of the novel that inspired it, does not convince us it understands adolescent love, does not seem to know its characters very well, and is a narrative and logical mess.

(I 100% agree with Ebert on all counts here. I think the film, with a few years of distance, is slightly better than the two stars he gave it. But I think Shields is the strongest bit of a pretty okay adaptation of a difficult book.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33msTt1jAu8/

(Pretty intense stuff. This trailer makes me wonder whether it was recut due to confusion by test audiences. Because it is really explicit that he set the fire, so the scene (which isn’t in the movie) of him admitting he set the fire doesn’t make sense. But, if the film was originally non-linear … then it would be easy for the movie to be shown in such a way where the “you’re just jealous of our love compared to your failing marriage” idea holds a lot of water.)

Directors – Franco Zeffirelli – (Known For: Tea with Mussolini; Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet; Jane Eyre; The Taming of the Shrew; Brother Sun, Sister Moon; Callas Forever; Future BMT: The Champ; BMT: Endless Love; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Endless Love in 1982; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars, one as director for Romeo and Juliet, and the other for La traviata as a set designer. Was a member of the Italian parliament in the 90s for the rightist party Forza Italia.)

Writers – Scott Spencer (based on the novel by) – (Known For: Waking the Dead; Future BMT: Father Hood; BMT: Endless Love; Endless Love; Notes: Apparently adapted someone else’s book into the Charles Bronson film Act of Vengeance.)

Judith Rascoe (screenplay by) – (Known For: The Bang Bang Club; Dog Soldiers; Future BMT: Terror Train; Havana; BMT: Endless Love; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Endless Love in 1982; Notes: Daughter of critic Burton Rascoe, she is a writer who taught fiction at Yale. She was tapped to adapt a series of novels in the late 70s and early 80s.)

Actors – Brooke Shields – (Known For: The Other Guys; Pretty Baby; The Midnight Meat Train; Chalet Girl; Freeway; Hannah Montana: The Movie; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Alice, Sweet Alice; Freaked; King of the Gypsies; Daisy Winters; Future BMT: The Bachelor; Black and White; Cannonball Fever; The Hot Flashes; The Greening of Whitney Brown; BMT: Furry Vengeance; Endless Love; The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for The Blue Lagoon in 1981; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Sahara in 1985; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Speed Zone in 1990; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1982 for Endless Love; and in 1985 for Sahara; Nominee for Worst Actress of the Century in 2000 for Endless Love, Sahara, and The Blue Lagoon; and Nominee for Worst Actress of the Decade in 1990 for Cannonball Fever, Endless Love, Sahara, and The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Was a model and 15 at the time of filming this film. She stopped acting in 1983 to attend Princeton where she graduated in Romance Languages. She was the star of the television show Suddenly Susan.)

Martin Hewitt – (Future BMT: Two Moon Junction; Yellowbeard; BMT: Endless Love; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Endless Love in 1982; Notes: Hired as part of a nationwide search. Is a home inspector in California now.)

Shirley Knight – (Known For: As Good as It Gets; Our Idiot Brother; Sweet Bird of Youth; The Private Lives of Pippa Lee; Picnic; The Salton Sea; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; The Rain People; Juggernaut; The Group; Petulia; Redwood Highway; A House on a Hill; Future BMT: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Angel Eyes; Diabolique; The Centre of the World; Grandma’s Boy; Little Boy Blue; P.S. Your Cat Is Dead!; BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Color of Night; Endless Love; Stuart Saves His Family; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Endless Love in 1982; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars in the 60s for Sweet Bird of Youth and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Was a Warner Brothers television contract star in her early career.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $31,184,024 (Worldwide: $32,492,674)

(Obviously hard to tell, but $31 million seems pretty alright for an adaptation of a novel in 1981. I can’t imagine people were thinking in terms of beaucoup bucks on the Endless Love IP at the time. There are also not really any actors in it. It was probably fine.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 28% (5/18)

(I get to make a consensus: Notorious for its poor understanding of the character and melodramatic tones, the film mainly fails to live up to its much more profound source material. Reviewer Highlight: A Cotton-candy rendition of Scott Spencer’s powerful novel, Endless Love is a manipulative tale of a doomed romance which careens repeatedly between the credible and the ridiculous. – Variety Staff, Variety)

Poster – Endless Lurv

(I like it. I like the color, I like how creepy he looks. The literally endless Endless Love is maybe a bit on the nose, but otherwise it is a pretty solid poster for the film. A-.)

Tagline(s) – She is 15. He is 17. The love every parent fears. (B)

(I think it could have done without the first bit. I understand that part of the point is that she is far too young to be dealing with this obsessing young man … but I think the short and sweet “The love every parent fears” gets the point across while clashing with what otherwise might seem like a generic romance to work well.)

Keyword – obsessive love

Top 10: The Great Gatsby (2013), Batman (1989), Fear (1996), There’s Something About Mary (1998), Ghost (1990), The English Patient (1996), Fatal Attraction (1987), Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), Walk the Line (2005), The Reader (2008)

Future BMT: 60.5 Obsessed (2009), 51.0 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 50.9 Mr. Wrong (1996), 37.3 Enough (2002), 36.0 Hush (1998), 33.3 Mad Love (1995), 32.4 The Crush (1993), 25.1 The Phantom of the Opera (1989), 24.0 To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (1996), 23.0 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996);

BMT: The Boy Next Door (2015), Swimfan (2002), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), The Roommate (2011), Perfect Stranger (2007)

(They’ve loved obsessive love in Hollywood for years. I think I’m most intrigued by eventually watching Obsessed, although I do believe Jamie has already seen that one.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Brooke Shields is No. 1 billed in Endless Love and No. 3 billed in Furry Vengeance, which also stars Brendan Fraser (No. 1 billed) who is in Escape from Planet Earth (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 4 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – During the lovemaking scene, director Franco Zeffirelli squeezed Brooke Shields’ big toe off camera to provoke a reaction that would look like an orgasm. (Gross)

Movie debuts of Tom Cruise, Ian Ziering and Jami Gertz. (I don’t remember Ian Ziering)

Tom Cruise’s very brief appearance in the movie is critical to the movie’s plot. (I guess … )

Brooke Shields’ mother and manager Teri Shields nearly turned down the movie after first reading the script, as she felt the role of Jade Butterfield had no substance. She said “It was just going to be Brooke standing around looking beautiful.”

Martin Hewitt was the subject of a high profile talent search. Despite considerable media attention, his career failed to take off. Both Leonard Whiting and Graham Faulkner experienced similar career slumps after appearing in Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972) for Franco Zeffirelli.

Meg Ryan auditioned for the role of Jade Butterfield before Brooke Shields was cast. (That could have been interesting)

The MPAA awarded the initial cut of the movie an X rating. Franco Zeffirelli subsequently made several cuts in the love scenes between Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt to achieve a lower rating. The movie was resubmitted to the MPAA five times before they awarded this an R rating.

The movie was noted to have one of the most spectacular one-man stunt displays when Hugh Butterfield gets run over by a car in New York City. The stuntman does a high end-over-end flip in mid-air. (It is very impressive)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Lionel Richie, 1982)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Dyson Lovell, 1982)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Brooke Shields, 1982)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Shirley Knight, 1982)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Franco Zeffirelli, 1982)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Judith Rascoe, 1982)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Martin Hewitt, 1982)

Message in a Bottle Recap

Jamie

When Theresa finds a message in a bottle with a beautifully sad love note in it, it piques her interest in the writer. She tracks down Garrett, a widower and boat restorer and they embark on their own love story. But Garrett’s inability to move on from the death of his wife threatens to end it all in tragedy. Will they find love before it’s too late? Find out in… Message in a Bottle. 

How?! It’s a message in a bottle, baby. Come… come… come on and let it out. And that’s exactly what divorcee Theresa does when she finds such a bottle on a Cape Cod beach. Inside is a beautiful and yet sad love note to a long lost love. Theresa brings it back to her Chicago newspaper office and her boss subsequently publishes it in his column. Initially angered by this, the response to the letter and the fact that it results in the discovery of two other letters by the same writer make Theresa all the more excited to find the author. Tracking him down to North Carolina, she heads there and meets Garrett, a soft spoken widower who lost his wife three years prior. Taking care of his alcoholic father, Garrett’s life has stalled as he has attempted to preserve the memory of his wife in every aspect. But sparks fly when he meets Theresa and suddenly he’s taking her sailing and doing all kinds of things that he would have thought impossible. When Theresa heads back to Chicago she fears it’s the end of the affair, only to be surprised when Garrett decides to visit. They have a wonderful time, particularly in regards to Garrett’s ability to relate to her young son, but on their final night together he discovers the copies of his letters in her nightstand. He is shocked and wonders whether this was all a scheme by a journalist to get a story, but is even more shocked when it’s revealed that there are three letters… he only wrote two! The other was the final note written by his wife before her death. With this closure he is able to move on with his life and finish building a sailing boat that he designed for her. After seeing him complete the boat, Theresa tells him to call her when and if he feels ready to move on. Shortly thereafter he writes a final letter to his wife telling her he’s ready to move on with Theresa and heads out into a storm. Before turning back, though, he finds another boat in distress and tragically dies attempting to rescue the sailors. Theresa and everyone, including the viewer, are real sad because this is Sad Love by Nicholas Sparks. THE END.

Why?! Love… or more accurately getting over love. Both Theresa and Garrett are getting over lost loves in different ways. Theresa has recently divorced, while Garrett lost his wife. Now they kind of have to heal each other with the power of love. Unfortunately for them this is also a Nicholas Sparks novel so death is always right around the corner to snatch that sad love away.

Who?! There are a couple great little casting tidbits in this guy. First off there is a kinda nerdy looking dude that a friend of Theresa’s is like “yo, girl get on that accountant… he’s a real successful accountant or something,” and Theresa is like thanks but no thanks. That guy is the Director of Photography, Caleb Deschanel… yes, that Caleb Deschanel. The father of Zooey and Bones. Then the little girl that Garrett saves from the sinking boat at the end (before tragically dying) was played by a young Hayden Panettiere.

What?! This is a Budweiser film. Full Stop. Paul Newman plays Garrett’s father and he’s a recovering alcoholic who is allowed a beer a day. His beer of choice: Bud, of course. They are so delicious and refreshing that Garrett has to count them daily and pay the local kids to watch his father so he doesn’t slake his thirst a little too much.

Where?! North Carolina meet Chicago, cause we get some pretty sweet settings in this guy, particularly in the many sights and sounds of Chicago. Funny because the novel had Theresa based in Boston, which makes a little more sense in her finding the bottle, but I think I get why they made the change… it seems a bit odd in the book that Garrett seems totally unwilling to move to Massachusetts. It’s not that different from North Carolina given his passion in life is sailing. B+

When?!  I couldn’t really find a specific date for this one, although I think it runs similar to the book. She discovers the message in the bottle during the summer when her son is off with his father during summer break. Then she heads down to NC at the tail end of summer. After that it’s a couple months of distance dating before sometime in the winter he launches the boat. We know from his note that he launched “on the 25th.” I presume January as Theresa’s first article in the paper appears next to a couple articles from early January 1998… so it’s tenuous, but that’s where I place it. C-.

Saaad Love. I guess I appreciate the fact that the film didn’t pull the punch of the book and have Garrett live or something. But it is pretty rough stuff to have the whole book be like “isn’t love grand… until it’s shattered by death?” and then expect the reader to be like “but at least she loved, right?” I don’t know… still pretty sad. The book was fine and the film was fine. I guess I wish there was more to it than that. I thought Robin Wright was pretty good and charming, but Kevin Costner probably needed to give me a bit more than mumbling along and looking like he’s carved out of wood. Make me feel that Draft Day Jennifer Garner spark, Kevin Costner. Anyway, Nicholas Sparks was just starting out and didn’t yet have the clout to throw around his “yes, there is a ghost in Safe Haven and we’re keeping it in the film” weight. So pretty straight forward. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! He’s a message in a bottle baby, come on and let Kevin Costner out. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The OG Sparks, it is a little stunning to realize that basically every Nicholas Sparks adaptation has gotten bad reviews besides The Notebook (and even that only got 53% on Rotten Tomatoes). We’ve seen his most recent for BMT already as well, The Choice. He seems to have slowed down with writing, he only wrote two novels since 2016. Can’t have bad adaptations if you don’t write novels I suppose, real 3D chess moves. What were my expectations? It is a bit weird, because prior to watching the trailer I legit thought the film was just about a lonely dude who threw bottles in the ocean. But it is about a broken dude who just needs that one special lady to mend his broken heart. Awwwwwww. I expected to weep uncontrollably in my living room.

The Good – I’ve seen quite a few Kevin Costner films over the past few months and years, both good and bad. And unlike something like Wyatt Earp (where his acting is almost a joke, especially as “young” Wyatt Earp), I feel like Message in a Bottle is directly in his wheelhouse. You can moan about the writing and ridiculous situations good actors are put into, but the actors themselves I think are doing their best with what they are given. The vistas are nice, always love a good Cape Cod / NC crossover, real Dawson’s Creek vibes. Best Bit: Setting.

The Bad – I can see why critics hated this film. It is a total waste of a decent story and some decent actors with situations and a plot which gives them nothing to really work with, and at worst (like in the end) launches itself into pure melodrama. I know they need to be like “I’m sad and forever broken, vague allegories about religion and forever love” because it is a Nicholas Sparks novel, but, again, I think the critics are mostly right in that the ending of the book and thus film let down what is otherwise a decent story. I will say that the “man’s man who never speaks and is so broken he lives with the ghost of his dead wife” doesn’t age well. The guy doesn’t need love, he needs a therapist and to actually work through his feelings instead of bottling them up (and throwing them in the ocean). Fatal Flaw: Poor ending.

The BMT – We’ll work through all the Nicholas Sparks novels, even if they are done one Based on a Book cycle at a time. There is also something about Kevin Costner here. Something magical about just how 90s his stardom was. You can watch him anchor a three hour epic in JFK and be completely lost in his character come to life, and then watch Wyatt Earp and be like “what the hell is he doing with his mouth … is he wearing fake teeth, what is happening?” Did it meet my expectations? Not really. I found Costner’s character so closed off and broken that I actually started to become concerned about his mental state. Surely this is just a changing mentality towards depression over the past 25 years, but still, it made it difficult to fully invest in the tragic love story which was so obviously being force fed to me. I didn’t shed a single tear. Now, that’s a tragedy.

Roast-radamus – Big Product Placement (What?) energy as both Costner and Newman guzzle Budweiser while giving each other haircuts and whatnot. That’s how you know Kevin Costner was made in America, he drinks all-American delicious Budweiser. Great Setting as a Character (Where?) for Chicago (where Robin Wright lives), Cape Cod (where she finds the bottle), and North Carolina (where every Nicholas Sparks book is contractually obligated to be set). At least part of this film is secretly during July 4, but nary a firework is to be seen. Disappointing. Closest to Good.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – This is an easy Netflix series. The first four episodes are from two different periods of time. Flashbacks to the two years prior and two years after Catherine’s death in North Carolina. And simultaneously the discovery of the first bottle, and then hunt for the other two bottles he sent out dealing with his love and loss of Catherine. Then the trip to North Carolina and a recap of that last year of his life mid-season. The final six episodes are then effectively the movie. The meet cute, dating in North Carolina, the trip to Chicago, one episode which is just the sex scene over and over in black and white (this is directed by David Lynch) … fine it is the big dramatic blow up about the story, the big dramatic finale, and then a closing episode wrapping things up. Boom, beautiful. Why aren’t there more Nicholas Sparks television shows? They seem really easy and cheap to make overall.

You Just Got Schooled – We are still working through the Hall of Fame. This week? Oooooooo Endless Luuuuuuuuuurv (the 2014 one, but of course I rewatched the 1981 one as well, get right on outta here!).

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Message in a Bottle Quiz

Oh man, so I was running on the beach (usual Sunday, natch) and I found this bottle. Wouldn’t you know it, it was from a lonely heart writing to his lost love awwwwwww. Then a rock was dropped on my head by a seagull and I got a horrible concussion and I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Message in a Bottle?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Robin Wright go on vacation and where? 

2) On the day of their sailing trip Costner gets into a fight with someone in the diner. Why? 

3) How did Catherine die? 

4) How many letters did Costner write? 

5) What gift does Costner give Wright and her son when he visits Chicago? What gift does Wright give Costner on the day he christens his boat Catherine? 

Bonus Question: So … why did Kevin Costner fake his own death?

Answers

Message in a Bottle Preview

Jamie and Patrick stride down the street towards St. Mary’s Church, Jamie’s nose still buried deep in the book. “Why are we going anywhere?” whines Jamie, “This book is really heating up, the cyborg just took Communion.” Patrick ignored him. For all its lack of literary merit, the book does seem to be giving them clues. Taking a deep breath Patrick busts into the church, half expecting a couple of cyborgs ready for some hand-to-hand combat. Instead a lone priest stands shocked in the middle of the empty nave. His eyes become wide and he starts to stumble backwards. “Los diablos… los robots,” he is able to sputter before turning and fleeing out a side entrance. Well, they certainly seem to be on the right track. “Ahem,” they hear and wheel around, hands ready for karate. A woman leans back lazily in one of the pews. “So I guess it’s true,” she says, a smirk on her face, “los diablos came back looking for a fight. Don’t worry, I’m not here to fight you, so relax. I’m here to find out what the hell is going on with the Bad Movie Twins. The name’s Lindsey Appleton, hardscrabble investigative reporter… and I presume you two aren’t los diablos.” Jamie and Patrick shake their heads. When they ask what she’s found out so far, Lindsey shrugs and tosses them an object. “This was here when I arrived, but it’s addressed to you, so I assume you better be the ones to read it.” Jamie and Patrick look at what they hold in their hands… a bottle. But not just any bottle. This bottle has a message in it. When they pull it free it just has two words on it, “page 473,” and Jamie’s already flipping to that place in the book. That’s right! With a based-on-a-book series comes great responsibility… but also mostly reading Nicholas Sparks novels. We still have quite a number of them to get through so we thought we should start at the beginning. Not his first book but the first one that got adapted, Message in a Bottle. Let’s go! 

Message in a Bottle (1999) – BMeTric: 22.4; Notability: 40 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 30.4%; Notability: top 34.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 32.6% Higher BMeT: Baby Geniuses, Inspector Gadget, Universal Soldier: The Return, Wing Commander, Wild Wild West, The Haunting, Dudley Do-Right, Bats, The Rage: Carrie 2, Virus, The Mod Squad, The Bachelor, Breakfast of Champions, The Astronaut’s Wife, Eye of the Beholder, Superstar, My Favorite Martian, Random Hearts, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Simply Irresistible, and 32 more; Higher Notability: Wild Wild West, Inspector Gadget, The 13th Warrior, End of Days, My Favorite Martian, Snow Falling on Cedars, Idle Hands, Joan of Arc, The Haunting, The Story of Us, The Out-of-Towners, Crazy in Alabama, Double Jeopardy, Random Hearts, Instinct, Stigmata, Dudley Do-Right, In Too Deep, The General’s Daughter, The Other Sister, and 9 more; Lower RT: Baby Geniuses, The Mod Squad, Universal Soldier: The Return, Friends & Lovers, The Bachelor, Eye of the Beholder, Wing Commander, Chill Factor, Virus, Body Shots, End of Days, Jawbreaker, My Favorite Martian, The King and I, Lost & Found, Molly, Gloria, Idle Hands, Random Hearts, The Astronaut’s Wife and 42 more; Notes: Low BMeTric, but a surprisingly high Notability, especially since this is the first Nicholas Sparks film. Looking at this list mostly reminds me that we have a ton to do still as far as 1999 is concerned.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Message in a Bottle” is a tearjerker that strolls from crisis to crisis. It’s curiously muted, as if it fears that passion would tear its delicate fabric; even the fights are more in sorrow than in anger, and when there’s a fistfight, it doesn’t feel like a real fistfight–it feels more like someone thought the movie needed a fistfight ’round about then.

(That is pretty brutal. Ebert mentions later in the review that he hadn’t read the book, so indeed, he wouldn’t really know whether all of this makes sense with regards to the book, not like that really matters.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpb616fwYMk/

(I remember when this movie came out … and yet I don’t remember this trailer. Because I feel like I thought this was some Sleepless in Seattle, “lonely heart looking for love, going to do some silliness with a message in a bottle” story. But this is like “my wife died and I’m real sad, can you fix me, I’m a brooding and broken man” type story … somehow that is far less interesting than a story about a weirdo who thinks bottles in the ocean are a dating app or whatever.)

Directors – Luis Mandoki – (Known For: When a Man Loves a Woman; White Palace; Voces inocentes; La vida precoz y breve de Sabina Rivas; Gaby: A True Story; Future BMT: Angel Eyes; Born Yesterday; Trapped; BMT: Message in a Bottle; Notes: Gaby: A True Story was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. From Mexico City, he’s also made a few Documentaries, particularly about the 2006 election in Mexico.)

Writers – Nicholas Sparks (novel) – (Known For: The Notebook; Future BMT: The Last Song; Nights in Rodanthe; Dear John; The Lucky One; The Best of Me; The Longest Ride; BMT: Message in a Bottle; The Choice; Safe Haven; A Walk to Remember; Notes: It is just an incredible number of books he’s had made into films. Has twin daughters.)

Gerald Di Pego (screenplay) (as Gerald DiPego) – (Known For: Sharky’s Machine; Phenomenon; Words and Pictures; Little Murder; W; Future BMT: Angel Eyes; The Forgotten; Instinct; BMT: Message in a Bottle; Notes: Almost exclusively wrote television. Including an episode of Murder, She Wrote where Jessica probes a 20-year-old unsolved murder after attending the funeral of a New Orleans jazz great.)

Actors – Kevin Costner – (Known For: Let Him Go; Hidden Figures; Man of Steel; Molly’s Game; Dances with Wolves; The Untouchables; The Highwaymen; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Waterworld; JFK; No Way Out; Mr. Brooks; Field of Dreams; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; The Art of Racing in the Rain; Silverado; Open Range; Tin Cup; Draft Day; The Big Chill; Future BMT: Play It to the Bone; Dragonfly; 3 Days to Kill; Swing Vote; The Bodyguard; Criminal; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Revenge; Black or White; The War; BMT: Rumor Has It…; 3000 Miles to Graceland; The Postman; Message in a Bottle; The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for The Postman in 1998; Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Winner for Worst Actor for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1993 for The Bodyguard; in 1996 for Waterworld; in 2000 for For Love of the Game, and Message in a Bottle; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Wyatt Earp; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Postman, The Postman, Waterworld, Waterworld, Wyatt Earp, and Wyatt Earp; Notes: Rumors are swirling that he might be leaving Yellowstone! I’ve never seen it, but I am always intrigued by westerns.)

Robin Wright – (Known For: Wonder Woman 1984; Wonder Woman; Forrest Gump; Blade Runner 2049; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Princess Bride; Everest; Moneyball; State of Play; Unbreakable; Adore; Beowulf; A Most Wanted Man; The Pledge; The Last Castle; White Oleander; A Christmas Carol; New York, I Love You; The Conspirator; State of Grace; Future BMT: Toys; Justice League; BMT: Message in a Bottle; Notes: Won a Golden Globe for House of Cards. Her career started on the Soap Opera Santa Barbara. Was married to Sean Penn for nearly 15 years.)

Paul Newman – (Known For: Cars; Cool Hand Luke; Road to Perdition; The Towering Inferno; The Sting; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Slap Shot; The Verdict; The Color of Money; Nobody’s Fool; The Hustler; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Hud; The Hudsucker Proxy; Exodus; Twilight; Hombre; What a Way to Go!; Torn Curtain; Silent Movie; Future BMT: When Time Ran Out…; Harry & Son; BMT: Message in a Bottle; Notes: Was married to his second wife for 50 years prior to his death. Won an Oscar for The Color of Money, and then started a salad dressing company which was non-profit and donated all profits to charity. It has apparently raised over $550 million for charity.)

Budget/Gross – $80,000,000 / Domestic: $52,880,016 (Worldwide: $118,880,016)

(Amazingly terrible performance if the budget is to be believed. I guess a Kevin Costner rom com would have been looking for $100 million at the time? So yeah, it didn’t really do great overall I guess.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (12/38): Handsome-looking but dramatically inert, Message in a Bottle maroons a formidable cast in a trite romance that lacks spark.

(But it doesn’t lack Nicholas Sparks (da dum chhhhhh). Reviewer Highlight: Adapted from Nicholas Sparks’ 1998 best-seller, ”Message in a Bottle” isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s a true all-stops-out gusher, the sort of solemn contemporary hankie-fest in which a sweet, smart, lonely-at-the-core professional woman … proceeds to fall for the Last Romantic Man. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sad Love 2: Even Sadder

(I mean, that poster is getting butts in seats, let’s not get it twisted. It does its job and I suspect it does it well. But couldn’t get a little better with the font? I’m gonna come in at a B. Like the overall sunset orange color tone as well.)

Tagline(s) – A story of love lost and found. (B-)

(I can see what they were going for. Not totally terrible, weaving in “Lost and Found” into the tagline along with “Love Lost”. So kind of a twist of two common phrases. Not clever enough though and a little clunky.)

Keyword – based on novel

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Goodfellas (1990), Forrest Gump (1994), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Jojo Rabbit (2019), Emma. (2020), Homefront (2013), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), The Invisible Man (2020)

Future BMT: 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 47.5 The Dark Tower (2017), 43.8 Priest (2011), 43.6 Allegiant (2016), 43.4 The Rhythm Section (2020), 42.2 Pan (2015), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.8 Ben-Hur (2016), 39.7 Eat Pray Love (2010);

BMT: After (2019), Dolittle (2020), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Hunter Killer (2018), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), The 5th Wave (2016), The Three Musketeers (2011), Striptease (1996), The Circle (2017), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Death Wish (2018), A Walk to Remember (2002), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Choice (2016), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Kiss the Girls (1997), Jumper (2008), The Snowman (2017), The Host (2013), Something Borrowed (2011), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Mortdecai (2015), Eragon (2006), I Am Number Four (2011), Vampire Academy (2014), Dragonball Evolution (2009), The 13th Warrior (1999), Poseidon (2006), Seventh Son (2014), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), The Postman (1997), The Haunting (1999)

(Looks to be in that last little wave of the 90s just prior to when they started making a ton of YA adaptations and things like Harry Potter, and instead they were harkening back to when you picked a wall-liked book and made a straight adaptation from the material (without sequels in mind).)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kevin Costner is No. 1 billed in Message in a Bottle and No. 2 billed in 3000 Miles to Graceland, which also stars Kurt Russell (No. 1 billed) who is in Tango and Cash (No. 2 billed), which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Toys, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – After the scene where Kevin Costner gets involved in a fight, his lip is bleeding. He puts his hand to it and looks at the blood. This was not part of the script. Another actor, Steve Mellor (Man on Dock) was scripted to pull Costner away from the fight from behind. When Mellor’s arms came around, he accidentally gave Costner a bloody lip. After the take, Mellor apologized to Costner for the accident. Costner said not to worry about it; that he ended up turning it into something. And, in fact, the director ended up using that shot. (fun fact)

This is the 1st film adaptation from a Nicholas Sparks novel.

The sites that were finally chosen for most of the shooting of the scenes of Garret’s hometown were Northport and Popham Beach, Maine. Over $250,000. of renovations were done to the seasonal home in Popham that became Garret’s house, including the addition of the room which held Catherine’s artwork and the adjacent living room with fireplace (faux). At the end of filming the owner of the house demanded that it be returned to its original state costing the production company nearly as much to undo. (Ha!)

The producers originally planned to film on Tangier Island, Virginia, USA, but some members of the town council objected to the drinking, cursing and sex in the movie and demanded script revisions in exchange for shooting permission. Warner Brothers then tried Martha’s Vineyard near Chilmark, Massachusetts, USA, but the Chilmark Conservation Commission turned down a request to build a temporary 3,000-square-foot house on stilts in the dunes near Chilmark Pond. (They would, that is an incredibly irresponsible thing to do. Think about the poor Piping Plovers you lunatics!!)

This movie is set in North Carolina, but at the end of the movie when Dodge is brought to Garrets boat the Game Wardens sleeve patches have the state of Maine Logo. (Huuuuuuuge error!)

The painting in Catherine’s studio that Dodge carried outside during Garrett’s encounter with Catherine’s brother is “Girl With Lantern” by the American impressionist painter Helen Maria Turner. The painting, which was produced in 1904, is housed in the Greenville Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina, USA.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Costner, 2000)

Sex and the City 2 Recap

Jamie

Our gals are back, Jack! And they are ready to hit the road and spice up their lives with a little trip to the Middle East. Given a free trip to Abu Dhabi for business, Samantha brings the whole gang along for the ride. And boy howdy do they need it with married life hitting some bumps in the road. Can they straighten out their lives before it’s too late? Find out in… Sex and the City 2.

How?! Two years after Carrie and Big’s wedding and things are starting to get bumpy for everyone. Carrie fears they are turning into an old boring couple that will slowly drive each other crazy, and a suggestion by Big to spend some days apart each week doesn’t help. Miranda has a new boss who hates her and has to quit when he takes it too far. And Charlotte is going through the terrible two’s with her kids and things are getting overwhelming (including the hot nanny who never wears a bra). Only Samantha seems to be riding high, coasting through menopause with the help of hormones. When Smith returns to her life for his big film premier he puts in a good word for her with a powerful Middle Eastern businessman. He asks Samantha to come to Abu Dhabi and discuss taking over his account and she accepts… on one condition. Soon all the ladies are heading to Abu Dhabi for some very necessary R&R. Unfortunately Samantha immediately gets her hormones confiscated and is on the prowl for a guy to relight her spark. Meanwhile Carrie gets more bad news with some bad reviews of her new book. So despite Charlotte’s empathy and Miranda’s zest for tourism, Carrie is soon looking for her own spark and finds it with her old flame Aiden. Meeting him for dinner, they briefly kiss and in shock she runs away. She decides to tell Mr. Big and he responds coldly. Already down in the dumps they are soon in a panic when Samantha is picked up for breaking the law when she is caught canoodling with a hot Danish architect. This turns everything sour as the businessman revokes the trip and the ladies are soon heading for the airport (but not before meeting a few Middle Eastern ladies with a flair for fashion). Back home Carrie awaits Mr. Big anxiously only to find him more in love with her than ever and ready to give her a big ol’ diamond. Hooray. Everything works out great for everyone per usual and life is grand. THE END.

Who?! It’s hard to match the full Liza Minnelli music video in the beginning of the film. She performs a full cover of Single Ladies. It’s actually even a little explainable why she is there (she’s performing for the hottest gay wedding of the year), but even the characters ask each other why she would really accept the gig. Cause it’s in a movie, dum dums.

What?! This is mostly one long commercial for Abu Dhabi… you know up until their conservative way of life crashes headlong into Samantha’s way of life and it becomes a living nightmare. In reality the amount of product placement in the film is a little overwhelming but my personal favorite was a very nice 1968 Rolex 1601 that Carrie gives Big for their wedding anniversary. Would have run her maybe 5K and it’s a very nice and specific watch that gets to shine.

Where?! Inexplicably Abu Dhabi for the majority of the film. Truly a mystery as to why this is the direction that the film takes the franchise not only because it seems almost unnecessary for a franchise with such a fanbase to veer so far off course, but also because it is not really even appropriately advertising the location. It is, in fact, quite the opposite by the end of it. They really kinda dig in against Abu Dhabi to the point where it seems like it’s more of the vehicle used to deliver some statement about how women can embrace traditional values while also being thoroughly modern and rebellious. A.

When?! The great thing about a franchise like Sex and the City is that there are people even more insane than use taking care of a lot of these details. The same often goes for horror franchises (coincidence?). According to one site we see that the wedding at the beginning of the film takes place in July. Big and Carrie’s two year wedding anniversary takes place the next month and the trip at the center of the film takes place the week of August 26th. Ahhh. It’s nice. B.

Oh boy, I did not like watching this film. It is almost unbearably long and requires first sitting through a somewhat offensive start where they trot out all the marital cliches in the book. Working too much, afraid the husband will cheat with the nanny, are we a boring couple watching TV in our PJs, etc. etc. etc. They even shoehorn a rude couple in there to stare in disgust when Big and Carrie tell them they aren’t having children. I thought we were living in modern NYC with our modern gals? Never heard of a couple of uber-rich insufferable selfish people not having kids? Then we get an hourlong commercial for Abu Dhabi. Really the only thing I kinda liked was that Miranda gets to shine after quitting her job and turning into fun Miranda while on vacation. Oh and it’s pretty inclusive with some sweet storylines for some of the smaller characters. But overall glad we are past it and ready to watch SatC3 in theaters in shame. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! After a long hard journey I finally … didn’t watch the television show, we just decided it was time to watch the Sex and the City movies. It was time. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – So after watching the first film I was convinced that the decision to make the second a “destination sequel” had to be some British writer-director’s idea (British series love to make destination / road trip films, like The Inbetweeners) … but nope. The sequel has the same writer-director as the first, who is also the creator and the writer-director of dozens of episodes of the original HBO show. That was a stunning revelation that begged far more questions than it answered. What were my expectations? Every review says it is a vapid consuming-obsessed garbage film. So … that I suppose. Somehow more so than the original.

The Good – If you are obsessed with the television show I can’t imagine you aren’t somewhat pleased to have these four women back in your life one last time. I think if you can see beyond the bad messaging the show and films have about money, relationships, and consumerism … there is a solid message for women buried deep within there. Something like, everyone is different, women are powerful, and to forge your own path in your career, love, and motherhood. Something like that. It is best done with Miranda and Charlotte I think. The film is also surprisingly hard hitting towards the UAE. It’s a bit confusing on that front because it feels like a commercial for Abu Dhabi for a chunk of the film right up until they slam them on their general treatment of women and then bounce. Best Bit: The four main characters.

The Bad – The writing is horrendous. Just one bad joke after the other just serves to remind you that the style of comedy Sex and the City thrived in in the late 90s / early 00s really passed them by by the time this film came out. Carrie and Big’s relationship continues to perplex. He’s an unabashed asshole, and they both seem rather unwilling to significantly change their ways. I guess I can see why the message of “we are going to do our thing, society be damned” is tempting, it just seems like Mr. Big’s general assholery in both movies bodes poorly. I just don’t see how Mr. Big well and truly screwing up their wedding in the first film, and then seriously suggesting they take a two day break every week (every week!!!!) is anything but lunacy. Finally, the film is just a series of five different stories, all about 30 minutes long, to fill up their ludicrous 150 minute runtime. I’ll get into that more in the You Just Got Schooled section. Fatal Flaw: Big is the worst.

The BMT – This film has one of the highest BMeTrics ever recorded, and it takes place in the UAE. It’s a double dose of BMT magic. It’ll be remembered for those two things, and really should have been done earlier, but I wanted to at least try and watch the series beforehand (I got through two seasons and then quit). Did it meet my expectations? No. I was expecting more UAE ridiculousness if I’m being honest. I wasn’t quite prepared (despite having seen the first film) for it just being another season-disguised-as-a-film and it ended up being absolutely brutal to get through.

Roast-radamus – I’m going to give a shoutout to Celebrity Cameo (Who?) for Liza Minnelli looking real old singing and dancing to Single Ladies by Beyonce. It was terrible. There are too many Product Placement (What?) to count, but Rolex plays a particularly important role throughout the film. Huge Setting as a Character (Where?) for the UAE and Abu Dhabi in particular which plays a central role in the middle hour of the film. And this is closest to BMT by sheer cred alone.

StreetCreditReport.com – Speaking of cred. This makes all of the major lists of 2010. Indiewire and AV Club lead the pack, with the film getting second on the latter. The Indiewire review I think is particularly poignant as it points at that at least some of the vitriol towards the film seemed to be a commentary on the aging of the main stars. I mostly agree on all counts with that one, especially the bit concerning that the major issue was the running time. I have to imagine this is the worst sequel to a film based on a television show? There can’t be too many of those.

You Just Got Schooled – I have watched a few seasons of Sex and the City. In my opinion it is worse than people would remember, mostly because many prestige shows that have come after have done what it was doing better and without slipping into many of the tired cliches the show relies on (like Carrie like shoes amirite? Carrie be shoppin’!). But I did feel the need to watch the original Sex and the City movie. It is … actually kind of okay. If you can get past just how horrible Big inexplicably is, the movie is basically just another season of the show condensed into five short 30 minute episodes all stuck together. And as a season of the show I think it kind of works. If they had done that as a 10 episode show I think it would have been hailed as a surprising comeback for a show that had been off the air for a few years at that point. I think watching the two films back to back (a brutal five hours of Sex and the City) makes the issues of the sequel much more apparent. Even as a season of television that movie would have been horrible. A season filled with inconsequential melodrama and dumb excuses to foist the gang onto exotic locales. In the end I think the original is a cool B-. It is better than you would expect, but the run time makes it a no go for anyone without a decent reason to give it a watch.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Sex and the City 2 Quiz

Oh boy. So I was hanging with the gal pals in Abu Dhabi, soaking up that sun (and buying some shoes, natch) in the spice market, when I tripped and bopped my head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Can you remember what happened in Sex and the City 2?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What song does Liza Minnelli perform at the wedding at the beginning of the film?

2) What gifts do Big and Carrie give each other for their anniversary?

3) Why are Samantha and the girls invited out to an all expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi?

4) In the spice market of Abu Dhabi Carrie sees her old beau Aiden. Why is Aiden there?

5) Why is Samantha arrested at the hotel, why do they have to leave the hotel, and why are they rushing to the airport?

Answers

Sex and the City 2 Preview

“You gotta help us!” Poe wails and he, Rich and their new BFFF Kilgorn follow close behind the fleeing ghost. But the ghost is having none of it. “Uh uh. You better back on up. I ain’t no Casper the Friendly Ghost and you ain’t no Ghostbusters and if it wasn’t for the good Lord Jesus I’d punch you square in the faces.” They all can’t help but smile at the ghost and how sassy she is. Suddenly Poe has an idea, “But that’s just it,” he explains, “we are doing this for the good Lord Jesus.” Suddenly the sassy ghost is listening. “You see the Book of Secrets is the devil’s book and we’re going to destroy it.” The ghost ponders for a minute and eventually relents and nods for them to follow. Soon they reach a brightly lit club with a neon sign blinking the words “Hollywood Badass.” Progressive psytrance music blasts each time the door opens and the group knows they have no chance at getting in. Unless… Rich and Poe leap to put their masters of disguise skillz to the test. “Alright, keep cool, I know this club” the big sassy ghosts says, “These disguises have got to be tight. So let’s go over our backstory. I’m Carrie, a gal about town looking for love. You three are my friends. You’re prim and proper Charlotte,” she says pointing to Kilgorn, who beams. “You’re the overworked voice of reason, Miranda,” she says pointing to Rich who acts upset (but is secretly thrilled). “And you’re Samantha,” she growls pointing to Poe. Poe frowns and starts to explain why the ghost is really more the Samantha of the bunch, but stops when he sees the scowl on the sassy ghost’s face. He gives a reluctant thumbs up. That’s right! We’re finally hitting up the classic squeak-quel Sex in the City 2, the one where they go to the Middle East for some reason and their old and married pretty much. We’ve been reluctant, and let’s see if it was for good reason. Let’s go!

Sex and the City 2 (2010) – BMeTric: 79.6; Notability: 67 

(An incredibly low rating. And an incredibly high Notability. I should check, but is that because of cameos, or literally just because the IMDb cast list is just enormous. I bet there are a lot of cameos. And now I’m excited.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – Some of these people make my skin crawl. The characters of “Sex and the City 2” are flyweight bubbleheads living in a world which rarely requires three sentences in a row. Their defining quality is consuming things. They gobble food, fashion, houses, husbands, children, vitamins and freebies. They must plan their wardrobes on the phone, so often do they appear in different basic colors, like the plugs you pound into a Playskool workbench.

(I mean, while true that “consuming things” wasn’t necessarily the crux of the show (Carrie has a thing about fashion and shoes, and Samantha works in that industry, but most stories were about, you know … sex and New York City), that definitely was a very obviously strange part of the first film. It is interesting to see how much more it seemed to grate on critics this time around.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djz0q-GeboM/

(Wow that really doesn’t show much huh. I guess that is good. Somehow the fact that it is getting more obviously about worshiping consumerism and rich people in general does make its shininess seem … dirty. Also the more I look into this film for the preview the more perplexed I am that they chose Abu Dhabi. It seems like it could have just as easily been Paris, or Morocco, or Tokyo, or Sydney. Tokyo would have probably made the most sense since I think they went to Paris in the later seasons of the show.)

Directors – Michael Patrick King – (Known For: Sex and the City; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; Notes: Directed 10 episodes of Sex and the City, and both movies. Won two Emmys for his work on the series.)

Writers – Michael Patrick King (written by) – (Known For: Sex and the City; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; Notes: Wrote 31 episodes of the series. Ultimately went on to create 2 Broke Girls.)

Candace Bushnell (characters from the book by) – (Known For: Sex and the City; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Notes: Has had two of her books made into television series, the other being Lipstick Jungle.)

Darren Star (television series creator) – (Known For: Sex and the City; Future BMT: Teen Agent; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Notes: Notably created and produced Melrose Place, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Sex and the City. His current show is Younger which is in its 7th season.)

Actors – Sarah Jessica Parker – (Known For: Footloose; Mars Attacks!; The First Wives Club; Sex and the City; Ed Wood; Flight of the Navigator; The Family Stone; L.A. Story; Honeymoon in Vegas; Extreme Measures; Strangers with Candy; State and Main; Smart People; Miami Rhapsody; The Substance of Fire; Future BMT: I Don’t Know How She Does It; If Lucy Fell; Striking Distance; ‘Til There Was You; Girls Just Want to Have Fun; Blue Night; Spinning Into Butter; Hocus Pocus; Moving In; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Did You Hear About the Morgans?; Dudley Do-Right; Failure to Launch; New Year’s Eve; Escape from Planet Earth; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Actress in 2010 for Did You Hear About the Morgans?; and in 2012 for I Don’t Know How She Does It, and New Year’s Eve; Notes: Won two Emmys for played Carrie in Sex and the City. Had been married to Matthew Broderick since 1997.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: Big Trouble in Little China; Sex and the City; The Ghost; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Ice Princess; Horrible Histories: The Movie; Masquerade; Above Suspicion; Meet Monica Velour; The Return of the Musketeers; Ticket to Heaven; Midnight Crossing; Future BMT: Mannequin; 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Live Nude Girls; Unforgettable; Turk 182; The Tiger’s Tail; Rosebud; BMT: Crossroads; Baby Geniuses; Sex and the City 2; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Police Academy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1991; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy five times for her role in Sex and the City, but never won. Is somewhat notable as one of the last actors to have been part of the studio contract system.)

Kristin Davis – (Known For: The Knight Before Christmas; Sex and the City; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Future BMT: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D; The Shaggy Dog; Deck the Halls; Couples Retreat; Nine Months; Holiday in the Wild; Sour Grapes; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy once for her role in Sex and the City. She was in Melrose Place for one year, but was written out, reportedly because viewer hated her character and they didn’t know what to do with her.)

Budget/Gross – $100,000,000 / Domestic: $95,347,692 (Worldwide: $290,745,055)

(That’s a success. I can see why you would look at the reviews and think that they really stretched the concept too far and should quit while they are behind. Also I bet at least one of the actresses would just have no interest at this point.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (34/217): Straining under a thin plot stretched to its limit by a bloated running time, Sex and the City 2 adds an unfortunate coda to the long-running HBO series.

(Uh oh. A bloated running time, how long are these films … they are both 2.5 hours. Shoot. I have to watch 5 hours of Sex and the City this weekend? Reviewer Highlight: It’s an almost avant-garde adventure in aimlessness. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)

Poster – Sklogs in the City 2

(While I do not personally find the poster aesthetically pleasing and question the need for a Dutch angle, I also cannot fault them for this poster. You have your four glam girls up front and a little desert and sky to give a taste of that desert heat. Throw in some fine font work and I think it’s doing a job. B.)

Tagline(s) – Carrie on (D)

(I’m glad to see this tagline isn’t on the poster and in fact this is probably one of the few times where I don’t think it needs one. Besides the tagline is trash. The only thing that would make it good is if the person who wrote it revealed that he was actually playing on the desert theme and the fact that they all will carrion for vultures one they succumb to the heat.)

Keyword – based on tv series

Top 10: The Addams Family (1991), Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), Addams Family Values (1993), The Addams Family (2019), Star Trek Beyond (2016), Fantasy Island (2020), The Avengers (1998), Dark Shadows (2012), Brüno (2009), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Future BMT: 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 79.3 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 69.4 The Flintstones (1994), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 66.8 Thunderbirds (2004), 66.4 Yogi Bear (2010), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 65.0 Max Steel (2016);

BMT: The Avengers (1998), Baywatch (2017), The Last Airbender (2010), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Masters of the Universe (1987), CHIPS (2017), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), The Lone Ranger (2013), Wild Wild West (1999), Sex and the City 2 (2010), Lost in Space (1998), Æon Flux (2005), Garfield (2004), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Garfield 2 (2006), I Spy (2002), Marmaduke (2010), Dudley Do-Right (1999), Car 54, Where Are You? (1994)

(This is a rare instance where I think the plot actually is suggesting this filmmaking trend is well and truly dying. I think it is entirely due to television becoming prestige enough that television series don’t merely have to dream of becoming a major motion picture anymore. When you want to redo a series or make a sequel to a series you just make another series a la Twin Peaks. So I do imagine that in the future we’ll just stop seeing feature films based on television shows and instead we’ll get little 2 or 3 episode seasons instead.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sarah Jessica Parker is No. 1 billed in Sex and the City 2 and No. 2 billed in Dudley Do-Right, which also stars Brendan Fraser (No. 1 billed) who is in Escape from Planet Earth (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 4 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch If Lucy Fell, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Kim Cattrall occasionally came to the set wearing a wedding dress for the benefit of the paparazzi photographers, to trick the public into thinking that her character Samantha Jones would get married in this film.

The dress Carrie wears to dinner when Mr. Big picks her up from her old apartment is the same one she wore when apologizing to Natasha, Mr. Big’s ex-wife, for her and Mr. Big’s affair in Sex and the City: What Goes Around Comes Around (2000).

The government of Abu Dhabi did not allow filming, calling the film “too sexual”.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Penélope Cruz mentioned that she shot her cameo in two hours. She said that she wanted to do it because she was a fan of the series and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The airport, when the ladies arrive in the Middle East, is not the Abu Dhabi airport. It is the airport of Marrakesh, Morocco, famous as well for its architecture.

In May 2015, Sarah Jessica Parker posted a teasing photo of her with a shopping bag, in order to promote her collaboration with Bloomingdales. However, the photo went viral, when it proved so ambiguous, that several fans believed the photo teased a potential third “Sex and the City” movie. Several online outlets reported the announcement, and an unaware and puzzled Cynthia Nixon, co-star of the show, was asked about it during a live interview. In the end, Warner Brothers Studios had to make an official statement that there was no plans for a “Sex and the City 3”.

“Sex and the City 3” has been discussed, but not yet confirmed. Sarah Jessica Parker went a bit into detail in an interview on Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003), but in 2017 confirmed that it’s “not gonna happen”.

When Samantha makes a comment about Charlotte’s Irish nanny not wearing a bra, she says, “you mean Erin go bra-less”. “Erin Go Bragh” is an Irish saying that means “Ireland Forever”.

Jennifer Hudson’s character didn’t return for this film. Hudson herself still featured in the film, as she recorded the original song “Love is Your Color” for the production.

The film is included on Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list.

The blue Manolo Blahnik pumps that Carrie leaves in the penthouse and that Mr. Big uses as the “diamond to seal the deal” are visible over her left shoulder when she’s in her closet packing for Abu Dhabi.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, 2011)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble (2011)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2011)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Liza Minnelli, 2011)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Patrick King, 2011)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2011)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Michael Patrick King, 2011)

Mrs. Winterbourne Recap

Jamie

Connie Doyle is down on her luck and pregnant. As if things couldn’t get worse she gets in a train accident and is mistaken for the wife of a prodigal son of a wealthy family. Taken in by the eccentric mother and grumpy identical twin brother, she’s in quite the pickle. Can she set things straight (and also maybe get the guy) before it’s too late? Find out in Mrs. Winterbourne.

How?! Connie Doyle comes from a troubled background. At a young age she runs off to NYC and finds herself pregnant. The father, Steve, is a con man asshole and so wandering alone around the city she finds herself mistakenly on a train to Boston. A nice man named Hugh helps her and while palling around with his similarly pregnant wife they get in a terrible train accident. Connie wakes up in the hospital having been mistaken as the wife of Hugh Winterbourne, the prodigal son of an intensely wealthy New England family. While she tries to escape the Winterbourne’s and set things straight, she is also amazed at the wealth and comfort they live in as they pamper the new “Mrs. Winterbourne” and the new grandson. Hugh’s mother, Grace, is particularly taken with the pair, while his identical twin brother Bill is suspicious and cold. Connie is different from the typical Winterbourne ilk and Grace kinda digs it, so she forces Bill to spend time with her. This is wildly (almost unbelievably) successful as Bill falls in love with Connie after spending approximately two hours with her. At the same time he discovers her dark secret and the guilt weighs heavily on him. Connie attempts to leave several more times until Bill makes it clear that their hours together have been the happiest of his life and that he wants to marry her. Through the publicity of the wedding, Steve tracks down Connie and attempts to blackmail her. Distraught, she decides to kill him, but in a truly farcical manner both she and Bill converge on Steve’s hotel room to discover he’s dead. At the wedding the police show up and more farcical things happen, but ultimately it’s made clear that Steve’s new girlfriend was the killer. Having resolved that, Bill and Connie get married and wink at the screen to prepare us for the sequel Meet the Doyles. THE END.

Why?! It’s quite the farce as no matter how hard Connie tries she can’t seem to make it clear that she’s not part of the Winterbourne family. The reason is made pretty clear. While she wants to be truthful, she also wants what’s best for her son (which is wealth and privilege). What is a mother to do? Probably the weirdest motivation is Bill, who seems sullen and distant until he spends a single day with Connie after which it’s love and marriage. Why? I actually don’t know.

Who?! There is an amusing scene where the father of Connie’s baby is watching TV and is laughing at Bobcat Goldthwait and he is being predictably weird in his standup and Steve is laughing at it and I think the point is character development to be like “he’s the kind of guy who laughs at Bobcat” and I kinda love it. Bobcat of course goes uncredited. Connie’s nurse after the accident is played by Paula Prentiss who was a prominent actress who hadn’t made a film in 15 years and her performance is predictably weird… and uncredited.

What?! I’m sure there were some weird semi-50’s props from this film that found their way to a Toronto area dumpster. The only thing that stuck in my mind a bit was the Winterbourne ring representing a special type of prop… one that holds some kind of power over Connie’s transformation in Mrs. Winterbourne. But really it’s just because it’s what seals a connection to the film Two Much which is startlingly similar to this film and yet we decided to watch it next week for some reason. Maybe to enjoy Jeff Fahey having sex on a motorcycle for this week.

Where?! Really fabulous Massachusetts film. We know Connie is heading MA way on the the train and then she is delivered to the Massachusetts manor of the Winterbournes. This would just be OK, but they add in a Tour de Boston in the middle of the film where Connie and Bill walk by Paul Revere’s home and through Boston Common not once but twice. That deserves at least a B+.

When?! I don’t know when this takes place. My guess is Spring and that Connie and Bill rush to a Spring wedding, but hard to say. The film doesn’t really take all that much time really because, as I mentioned, Bill falls in love with Connie in a matter of days and insists on getting married in just a couple weeks… even though this is apparently the widow of his estranged identical twin brother who just gave birth to his nephew. It’s all very bizarre. Would have made more sense if the film took place over a much longer time period while Connie recovered from being in a terrible train accident.

This is certainly a film. It has charm at times, but suffers a little bit with a lead that is a little overmatched by Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser. It also has one of those weird production design choices that makes most of the film feel like it’s set in the 1950’s, while whenever they venture away from Winterbourne manor you realize that it’s the present day. Overall I think I would have said this was just a meh film except that I actually did like the character of Paco. A gay Cuban who was persecuted by his government, he found a place in Mrs. Winterbourne’s household and knows that no matter what problems Connie has she will be accepted there. It’s very sweet and so I’d say this is slightly better than nothing. As for Woman of Desire, phew… hose me down. Jeff Fahey having sex on a motorcycle. Uh yeah, yes please. Yes for sure. You’re saying The Lawnmower man is having sex on a motorcycle? Yah. Add in some truly humorous 90’s concepts of DNA technology in regards to identical twins and I very much enjoyed Woman of Desire. Did I mention Jeff Fahey has sex on a motorcycle? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Somehow we keep on watching films which would have been pitch perfect for the US Mapl.d.map. First Urban Legend for New Hampshire, and now Mrs. Winterbourne for Massachusetts. We’re on a tour of New England! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I had literally never heard of this film prior to building this twin cycle. It looks like … Change of Seasons? A film that was made. It exists. It has a really famous cast. But it seems impossible anyone actually watched the film at the time. I know that’s wrong because this style of rom com was huge, so obviously there had to be bad versions that were released. You just rarely hear of them I guess. What were my expectations? To be bored. There aren’t many reasons a film like this is slammed by critics, the most common reason is because it is boring.

The Good – Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser are both quite good, especially MacLaine. I also really liked Miguel Sandoval’s storyline as Paco, the Winterbourne’s valet. Great Massachusetts film. And finally, the film is more interesting than I would have immediately given it credit for, it is not nearly as boring as you would expect. If not for a really weak leading actress I think this would have been well received based on MacLaine’s performance specifically. Best Bit: MacLaine.

The Bad – Ricki Lake is so bad in the lead role that it completely sinks the film, it is only saved a tiny bit by how genuine the romance that anchors the plot feels, and I think if the story was better Lake’s performance could be forgiven. The main issue is the storyline is just a huge downer. You bookend the film with two lovely and generous people tragically dying in a train wreck, and a murder of a dirtbag blackmailer. Everything in between is poisoned by just how depressing the core of the story is. Unfortunately there isn’t much to be done, it isn’t quite so easy to just put everyone in comas and call it a day, and I suppose all of this comes from the book. Fatal Flaw: Downer story.

The BMT – Slightly higher that you would think. It is definitely one of the better Big Wedding type garbage rom coms I’ve seen. If someone wanted to watch Mrs. Winterbourne I wouldn’t flat out refuse like with a lot of other films. But the BMT cred is mostly just as a twin film as usual with this cycle. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them by not merely being a boring mess of a film. The fact that there were some truly heartfelt moments, and a whole lotta weird choices made it at least a bit interesting to watch, even if it isn’t a particularly good-bad film.

Roast-radamus – A fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for Massachusetts and Boston in particular complete with a walk along the Freedom Trail. And throw out the Worst Twist (How?) for the incredibly obvious twist that Steve’s new pregnant girlfriend murdered him. So obvious in fact that they literally show the woman leaving the motel in the scene before. I think this is closest to Bad … although I could be convinced this is actually a good movie if you ignore Ricki Lake’s performance.

StreetCreditReport.com – I actually did find a blog / old website list from 1996 with Mrs. Winterbourne on it which is kind of amazing. Otherwise I think you throw this on a top 10 worst films set in Boston list. I imagine it could make a list for the worst mistaken identity films. Almost all of its credit, as is usual, is because the film is a twin film, and we love twin films.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we curled up with our old friend Jeff Fahey for what I would consider a rare instant classic for BMT Bring a Friend, Woman of Desire. In the end it shouldn’t be too surprising that most of the friends we watch aren’t actually particularly fun to watch, they are mostly just amusing disasters. This film from a zoomed out perspective is no different, messy, weirdly almost set in South Africa, and kind of dull. But then you get not one, but two Jeff Fahey / Bo Derek sex scenes one of which (wait for it) is performed on a motorcycle parked in Jeff Fahey’s living room. Wait a tick, that can’t be right … but oh, it is so so right. I will remember this film for one thing and one thing alone: Jeff Fahey and Bo Derek have sex upon a motorcycle sitting in Jeff Fahey’s living room. You can’t ever take that away from me. A. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I would watch that entire film again just for that sex scene. I only wish Jeff Fahey played smooth jazz on a saxophone afterwards. Maybe that’s in the director’s cut.

Twin Analysis – In this case our two movies have the connection that one of the twins is deceased for the vast majority of the film. In the case of Mrs. Winterbourne we have Brendan Fraser playing Bill and Hugh Winterbourne which fall into the Opposite Twin trope with Bill being a straightlaced businessman, and Hugh clearly dressed as a kind of Bohemian hipster type. No split screen, but the fact that they are twins is a huge part of the story, so I’m going to give it a solid A-. Just wish we could have seen Brendan Fraser act opposite of Brendan Fraser. As for our friend Woman of Desire we again have the Opposite Twin trope with Steven Bauer playing Jonathan and Ted, where the eeeeeevil twin has murdered his own brother with the help of his brother’s lover Bo Derek. The twin energy is real here, and incredibly important. As the defense attorney says at the end “the government overlooked one little known fact: twins have the same DNA.” Wait … they did what?! Is that a little known fact? I guess in 1994 you might have to explain to a jury that indeed, the two people who look identical have the same DNA, but that sounds like a screenwriter thinking he’s about ten times more clever than he actually is. I wish Jeff Fahey was the twin though, Bauer actually wasn’t really in the movie as much as you would think. B+, great twin energy, but in a supporting role.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs