The King’s Daughter Recap

Jamie

Our BMT venture (and future empire) is inherently a silly venture. But serious things do have impact. The King’s Daughter is a clear byproduct of one such serious thing: the pandemic. Way back in 2015 we were already seeing the writing on the wall regarding streaming (and the writing spelled out “The Ridiculous 6” in big block letters). Sandler was the king of BMT and yet would disappear from our lives if we didn’t relax the theatrical requirement… but we didn’t break. Flash forward to the pandemic and nothing is theatrical and so the end of year cycle was in an existential crisis. What is a theatrical requirement without theatrical releases? … but we didn’t break. And now this is our reward. 2022 has juuuuust enough films for us to do a true blue end of year cycle and so we take what we can get and that includes The King’s Daughter. Funny enough, The King’s Daughter had already wrapped filming BEFORE we watched The Ridiculous 6… and yet it also didn’t break. It persisted all the way to BMT glory.

To summarize, Pierce Brosnan has some glorious flowing locks and is like “check out my hair and also I want to live forever find me a mermaid.” And someone does. This dude brings the mermaid back and the king’s doctor is like “thanks, and also we are going to murder it so make sure it survives till then.” And the guy is like… uh, OK. Meanwhile he also has a secret daughter that has been kept away in a convent and Brosnan is like “check out my hair and also bring me my daughter.” And someone does. She’s a dope musician and pretty quickly he’s bipping and bopping to her tunes. While she’s living it up in luxury she stumbles upon the sea captain and his hot bod (and also the mermaid). She’s instantly smitten. Meanwhile her daddio is ready to marry her off for profit (and still planning on killing that mermaid). She ends up going out for a day of fun with the sea captain and breaks her arm which is then magically healed by the mermaid. So as you can imagine, she is horrified when it is then revealed that this magical creature is going to be sacrificed for the King. She and the sea captain go off to free her. They fight off an evil doctor and then she flees to the coast where she begs her dad not to kill the mermaid. He refuses so she does the only thing she can: fling herself from the cliff so that he needs the mermaid to live in order to save her life. He stops the mermaid murder and allows her and the sea captain to go off on sea adventures together. THE END.

Let’s start with some positives. Cool looking movie. It was filmed at Versailles so it’s a visual feast at times and you can really feel at those times the love and care that finally brought the film to the big screens. I also found the story itself to be weird fun… although the book appears to be even weirder so maybe I would have liked it more if it was a more faithful adaptation. Now for the negatives. The film is a narrative mess, particularly in the beginning as they try to hack their way into the story. And I really do mean hack, as the film appears to have been edited by a terminator robot designed to get you from beginning to middle as quickly as possible. Once there you just kind of muddle along as you wonder to yourself exactly how you ended up watching a movie that even Pierce Brosnan has probably forgotten exists. So yeah, negatives certainly far outweigh the positives in this mermaid tale that everyone was clamoring for. As for Spiderhead, is it wrong that I kind of dug it? I thought the acting was pretty good and the concept engaging (if maybe a little simplistic). I often find contemporary science fiction a little cold and often extremely stupid (The Circle is a good example… Replicas as well) and this is far superior to most of the films in that genre that I’ve seen recently. Surprised it dropped so low on RT, even if it’s overall just an OK film.

Hot Take Clam Bake! Brosnan was right. First of all he seems like a pretty good king. I didn’t see the obligatory attempted assassination scene that would tell me he was bad ergo he was good. And it’s not like this is the only mermaid around. So maybe he’s just trying out this dangerous experiment first on himself so that then he could bring the disrupting technology to the masses of France. Ever think about that? We even get a glimpse at the end of Atlantis and there was like… a lot of mermaids. So, what? This alleged King’s daughter gets to decide whether the world gets to know about being immortal. Who came along and made you Queen of Mermaid Protection, lady? I want to be immortal, but I also don’t want to be the first person to try out some weird mermaid medical procedure. Brosnan was a risk-taking visionary stopped by his shortsighted daughter. Hot Take Temperature: Blazin’

Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The King’s Daughter? More like Wince Harder! Amirite? A film so big it was 20 years in the making and shelved for 8 of those years. Let’s go!

  • So this film was optioned in the late 90s/early 00s and has been in production for literally 20 years. It is basically this generation’s Avatar 2. The grand vision of (checks notes) Sean McNamara finally coming to screen!
  • Oh, but it was filmed around 2014. That’s right, it sat on a shelf for 8 years waiting for just the right moment to dump it in theaters (that has to be a contractual thing right?) and forget about it.
  • It was also apparently the largest Chinese investment in an American film ever? That is a very 2014 thing as well. These days American films don’t even get released in China. This could actually be a record held by The King’s Daughter for a long long time.
  • The first third of the film is basically 70 separate shots all strung together by a poor editor who was probably given 48 hours to recut the film and chainsmoked the entire time. I’ve never seen so many smash cuts in my life. Just smash cut to the North Sea. Smash cut to the convent. Smash cut back to Versailles. There is clearly very very little footage available to construct this film. Which also makes it ultra confusing as to why it isn’t 80 minutes long. I would have fully expected it to be 80 minutes with 7 minutes of credits to stretch things out.
  • There is something to the costume design and pop soundtrack. Like a CW show or Vampire Academy thing maybe. There are moments where it is jarring. Like when they have a shot of the main character and she’s in a dress with a full length back zipper. I had to look it up. Zippers weren’t invented until maybe 200 years after the film took place. So there is an anachronistic faux-modern thing going on with the costuming and stuff. I hate it personally, but it is a thing.
  • All the acting is awful. There is a scene near the end where William Hurt and Pierce Brosnan are just spouting like “Forgive me Father for I have sinned” and Hurt is like “You are forgiven” and then they awkwardly touch each other’s faces and … I think half this film might be improvised? Something is up with it because even the established actors seem to be bumbling around not quite knowing what they are supposed to be doing.
  • This film is very perplexing. It should be a fun watch as it is a complete mess with several laugh out loud moments. But it is also only entertaining for the first thirty minutes and then sinks into a boring non-story for an hour and the film is overall just quite boring. Which is too bad.
  • Naturally a Setting as a Character (Where?) for France, and specifically Versaille. There is nothing else. It is set in a specific year in the 17th century (they say at the beginning) and it is specifically set during a solar eclipse, but I looked it up. There wasn’t an eclipse in the right spot that year, so that was just all made up. Closest to Bad for committing the bad movie mortal sin of being boring.
  • Along with The King’s Daughter we had to go hunting for a 2022 friend and that naturally led us to Spiderhead. I knew of Spiderhead because it is based on a short story which people seem to enjoy quite a bit called Escape from Spiderhead. Naturally I read the short story which is very short and it is an interesting read. It does kind of ruin the movie. The movie ends up veering into a weirder story involving an actual escape, the main scientist taking his own drugs, and a lot more prisoners than in the book. The main differences: (1) In the original the main character doesn’t just drunkenly kill his friend and girlfriend, he kills a guy with a rock during a fight on purpose; (2) There is no love interest; (3) He kills himself in the end, that’s his escape, he gives himself a huge dose of the sadness drug and then kills himself. The movie is interesting in its own way, but would have been much more interesting if they had stuck to the book more. A character study where you really only see three or four characters and keep the title and twisty ending. As it stands it just ends up being a glossy Netflix movie without much heart. C. Some interesting stuff, but not enough to recommend.

Check out the sequel to the film called The King’s Granddaughter. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Advertisement

The King’s Daughter Quiz

Oh man, so I was a sweet little merman, living in Atlantic (natch), when an eeeeeevil fisherman caught me and bopped me right on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in The King’s Daughter?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the court of Louis XIV an event causes the king to fear for his mortality. What happened?

2) Meanwhile, the king’s illegitimate daughter is hidden away in a convent. What mundane activity is she barred from doing?

3) But it is time for a big celebration, so the king calls his daughter to court. It turns out she has musical talent! What position is she appointed to, and what instrument does she play?

4) Later the king’s daughter is flirting with her potential beau and uh-oh, an accident happens. What happens to the king’s daughter and how is she cured?

5) What stops the king from killing the mermaid and getting eternal life?

Bonus Question: Years later, the king lays on his deathbed. His dear friend Father Pere La Chaise by his side. As he dies he whispers one final work to La Chaise. What does he say?

Answers

The King’s Daughter Preview

Patrick’s beautiful mind has created a most beautiful simulation. Kyle and Jamie meet in billions of different ways. Some are hilarious, others somber dramas of loss and ennui. In one, Jamie has been turned into a rabbit. At one point, Patrick is brought to tears as he witnesses Jamie live a full life of love, dying in the arms of his beloved on his 101st birthday. Through his tears he witnesses over and over again the solution to their problem. He scribbles down a full list of instructions for Kyle. He presses the piece of paper into his tiny hand and tells him everything he needs to know and bids him adieu. With that he sits down with the pile of scripts waiting on Stallone’s desk… he’s got all the time in the world, so he can really craft a masterpiece.

Kyle’s eyes gleam as he looks at Patrick’s kick ass Pontiac Trans Am. “He literally never stopped talking about this car. Just a giant gear head for sure,” Jamie says, shaking his head. Kyle nods. It was true. If there was one thing everyone knew about Partick it was that he was a giant gear head. “Hello, Frank,” the car says, startling Jamie. When did the car start talking? “So he’s just Frank, not Jamie?” Kyle asks anxiously. The car says nothing and Kyle turns to Jamie sadly. He picks up a bunch of pebbles and starts pelting Jamie with them. “Get out of here, you idiot,” he yells, tears streaming down his face. “You spider… you stupid head.” Jamie is scared by this turn of events. Not knowing what else to do he begins to sing Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer again and Kyle stops. He wipes his eyes. “It really is you,” he smiles.

That’s right! We are nearing the end of our 2022 journey heading into the current year cycle. They really did have all the time in the world crafting one of the more bizarre releases of the year in The King’s Daughter. Filming began in 2014 for this film and so obviously all that time created a beautiful BMT diamond for us to gaze upon. We ended up pairing this film with Spiderhead. Probably the biggest non-theatrical release of the year below 40% RT. I kinda thought it looked good. Let’s go!

The King’s Daughter (2022) – BMeTric: 34.1; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 9.2%; Notability: top 4.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Moonfall, Firestarter, They/Them, Morbius, Me Time, Blacklight, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, Senior Year, The Invitation, The 355, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World Dominion, Samaritan, Persuasion, and 3 more; Higher Notability: Jurassic World Dominion, Black Adam, Pinocchio, Morbius, Amsterdam, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto; Lower RT: Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, After Ever Happy, Me Time, Blacklight, Firestarter, Morbius, Paradise Highway, Home Team; Notes: Good stuff. Blacklight, Firestarter, and After Ever Happy are on the docket, so well start cleaning up the lower RT ones for sure. The BMeT seems to be dominated as usual by very bad streaming films.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “The King’s Daughter” has been kicking around as a potential project ever since the book on which it is based, Vonda McIntyre’s novel The Moon and the Sun, was published in 1997 (winning the Nebula over a little-known book called Game of Thrones). It’s not hard to see why this story would have so much appeal. There is a strong female central character, and the book blends together historical fact and supernatural-fantasy, using the Versailles court of Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” as backdrop. Jim Henson Pictures expressed interest in the story, as did Disney. Natalie Portman was attached at one point in the early aughts. None of it came to anything, although the property continued to change hands. The only reason this background matters is that “The King’s Daughter,” directed by Sean McNamara, released on this day in the year 2022, was actually shot in 2014, and slated for a 2015 release. To call this a “new release” is to stretch the truth into absurdity.

(This really is one of the more bizarre releases in recent memory. As they ask in the review: who is this for? For what purpose is this released to theaters? Was it just that in January 2022 there was a gap in the schedule with covid still around and so the production studio took a flier on something with almost nothing to lose? It seems that way. Maybe the rare case in which something was released widely because of the pandemic instead of in spite of it.)

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

(Nonsensical. Just disparate things edited together with a pop music soundtrack. Exciting stuff.)

DirectorsSean McNamara – ( Known For: Soul Surfer; The Miracle Season; Spare Parts; 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain; Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite; Field of Lost Shoes; P.U.N.K.S.; Aliens Stole My Body; Treehouse Hostage; Mighty Oak; Cody the Robosapien; Space Warriors; The Legend of Galgameth; Race to Space; Future BMT: Raise Your Voice; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Bratz; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for producing That’s So Raven. His filmography is bonkers. He directed things like the straight-to-video sequels to Baby Geniuses. No wonder this film looks the way it does.)

WritersBarry Berman – ( Known For: Benny & Joon; Future BMT: The Adventures of Pinocchio; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Strange career. I think it is probable that he wrote his version of the screenplay in the early 2000s when the book was first optioned, since his last feature film was made in 2000 previously.)

James Schamus – ( Known For: Hulk; Lust, Caution; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm; Eat Drink Man Woman; Ride with the Devil; Indignation; Taking Woodstock; The Wedding Banquet; Pushing Hands; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars, two for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and one for producing Brokeback Mountain. Well known for his collaborations with Ang Lee.)

Vonda N. McIntyre – (BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Odd one. She’s the writer of the book which won the Nebula Prize in 1997. Odd because she doesn’t have a TMDb profile at all, so it screws up all my algorithms. Get on that TMDb!)

ActorsPierce Brosnan – ( Known For: GoldenEye; The World Is Not Enough; Mars Attacks!; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Mamma Mia!; The Mirror Crack’d; Cinderella; The World’s End; Tomorrow Never Dies; Die Another Day; Mrs. Doubtfire; The Foreigner; Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; No Escape; The Thomas Crown Affair; The Ghost Writer; The Misfits; The Only Living Boy in New York; False Positive; Future BMT: Black Adam; Remember Me; Dante’s Peak; The November Man; After the Sunset; Laws of Attraction; I Don’t Know How She Does It; Love Affair; BMT: The King’s Daughter; The Lawnmower Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Mamma Mia! in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The World Is Not Enough in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Brosnan. Famously couldn’t play James Bond due to commitments to Remington Steel (and possibly odd contract conditions like not being able to wear a tuxedo outside of Remington Steel). But then they want back to him in the 90s when working on Goldeneye.)

Kaya Scodelario – ( Known For: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Maze Runner; Moon; Crawl; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Don’t Make Me Go; Wuthering Heights; Now Is Good; Spike Island; Tiger House; The Truth About Emanuel; Shank; Twenty8k; Future BMT: Clash of the Titans; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; The King’s Daughter; Notes: In 2014 when this was shot she would have been shooting Maze Runner and just coming off of Skins. So the casting makes a bit more sense in that context instead of her current status as the lead in a defunct Resident Evil franchise.)

William Hurt – ( Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Robin Hood; The Incredible Hulk; Black Widow; Captain America: Civil War; Into the Wild; The Village; Body Heat; A History of Violence; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Good Shepherd; Dark City; Altered States; The Big Chill; Mr. Brooks; Eyewitness; Tuck Everlasting; Broadcast News; Syriana; Future BMT: Vantage Point; Michael; Trial by Jury; BMT: The King’s Daughter; The Host; Lost in Space; Winter’s Tale; Notes: Died in March. Was nominated for Best Actor three years in a row (1986 he won for Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1987 he was nominated for Children of a Lesser God, and 1988 he was nominated for Broadcast News). Also nominated for Supporting Actor in 2006 for A History of Violence. Nominated twice for Emmys as well.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $1,758,963 (Worldwide: $2,204,327)

(My god. Again, why even bother to release this? Was it a clause in a contract or something. There is no way it makes more money than dumping it on streaming right? Or do studios get paid by theaters to play movies or something? It makes no sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (13/65): A muddled mess that was clearly tinkered with in post-production to little avail, The King’s Daughter is a royal disappointment.

(Tinkered?! The first 30 minutes of this film are an editor’s nightmare. Clearly just 40 disparate 3 minute long scenes strung together to try and build up an otherwise non-existent story. That isn’t tinkering. That’s an abomination.)

Reviewer Highlight: The King’s Daughter might be more fascinating than the movie itself, which has its moments of campy delights but is eventually sunk by the meandering story, some over-the-top performances and underwhelming special effects. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Poster – The King’s Sklogger

(Look at Brosnan’s flowing locks! The poster certainly tells a story. Just not one I want to look at. I guess I like the gold font on the blue background. C+.)

Tagline(s) – A King. His Daughter. A Hidden World. (C-)

(This tagline is telling us things already explained by the title of the movie. It’s got the structure of a tagline, but somehow really doesn’t work.)

Keyword(s) – past

Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

Future BMT: 88.7 BloodRayne (2005), 73.0 The Unborn (2009), 70.5 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.2 Black Christmas (2006), 67.4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 66.0 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.6 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.8 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 56.8 Robin Hood (2018), 55.1 Annabelle (2014), 54.9 The Quiet Ones (2014), 54.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 53.8 Spy Hard (1996), 53.2 Porky’s Revenge (1985), 52.4 2016: Obama’s America (2012), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 51.6 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983), 50.3 Halloween Kills (2021), 50.2 The Last Legion (2007)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Apollo 18 (2011), Ishtar (1987), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Pinocchio (2002), The Nun (2018), Bolero (1984), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), House of Wax (2005), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Dolittle (2020), Timeline (2003), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Ben-Hur (2016), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), The King’s Daughter (2022), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Universal Soldier (1992), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Identical (2014), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Best Options (year2022): 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 34.2 The King’s Daughter (2022), 20.6 Amsterdam (2022), 7.3 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

(There really wasn’t much to choose from here. I promise you, we would have never watched this film if not for the fact that it was the only bad film released in 2022 set in the past.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kaya Scodelario is No. 2 billed in The King’s Daughter and No. 1 billed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which also stars Neal McDonough (No. 7 billed) who is in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (No. 3 billed) which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (2 + 1) + (7 + 3) + (2 + 2) = 17. If we were to watch Laws of Attraction, and Next we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Filmed in 2014, it remained unreleased until 2022.

The film was partly filmed in the Palace of Versailles, which included a huge dance sequence filmed inside the Hall of Mirrors. They had to film it at night, when the tourists weren’t around, and struggled to finish it up by 5:30 a.m.

Filming wrapped in May 2014 and a release date was set for April 2015. However a series of events starting with the studios lack of enthusiasm with the cut they were originally presented with followed by Fan Bingbing getting into trouble with the Chinese authorities for non payment of taxes had impeded this film’s release. As the film featured a then major star in Chinese cinema and Chinese investors stumped up 50% of the budget, her income tax issues and the negative publicity in China effectively killed her career there and with it any chance of a lucrative Chinese release. With Pierce Brosnan as the only international star in the cast and without a major studio to back the release campaign the film sat on the shelf for nearly eight years.

Benjamin Walker (Yves De La Croix) is married to Kaya Scodelario (Marie-Josephe D’Alember).

The final film of his to be released while William Hurt was alive, however, it was far from the final film he shot as it was shot 8 years prior to its release and Hurt’s death.

The second time Julie Andrews narrated a film, as she narrated Enchanted (2007).

The 1997 source novel by Vonda N. McIntyre: ”The Moon & the Sun”, was awarded the Nebula Award for Best Sci-fi Novel, besting the George R.R. Martin novel which would generate the Game of Thrones (2011) series.

The film rights for the source Vonda N. McIntyre novel ”The Moon & the Sun” were purchased in 1999 by Jim Henson Productions, with Broadway director Christopher Renshaw was announced as making his cinematic debut. Henson associate Bill Mechanic reportedly brought the project with him to Disney who signed Mechanic as a producer in 2001 and a 2002 start date with Natalie Portman as star was announced, but did not eventuate.

Oscar Recap

Jamie

As all BMT super fans know, we operate on the Stallonian Calendar. It consists of 6 months of 8 weeks each, plus four random breakout weeks that represent the BMT Celebration of the Life, and then on very special years an extra week culminating in Stallone Day, where all laws are suspended and murder is legal (bum bum bum). The only law is Stallone himself and he goes around curing the disease of crime. I think we can all agree this has been a wild success. However, I have to admit that there was one unforeseen and unexpected consequence: the reduction in the number of Stallone films we watch. How paradoxical. This is because it has been foretold in one of the many BMT prophecies that when a Stallone Day arrives and there isn’t a qualifying film to watch then the apocalypse will be upon us. That’s… not great, but sometimes you gotta throw caution to the wind. We need Stallone like Stallone needs… Stallone. So here we are watching Oscar, a classic Stallone BMT film. 

To recap, “Snaps” Provolone (he is not named Oscar, I repeat, Sly Stallone is not the titular Oscar), is a gangster who has promised to go straight. With that in mind we enter a very important day in the life of Snaps. It’s the day he makes good on that promise by making a deal with the bank. Everyone is on their best behavior, but things just keep on getting in the way. Most significantly is his accountant, who announces that he is in love with Snaps’ daughter and as a result has stolen thousands of dollars from Snaps in order to make sure he deserves her hand in marriage. Snaps is enraged, but relents and goes to talk to his daughter Lisa. Turns out that she’s pregnant (not really) and not by the accountant, but rather the former chauffeur Oscar (ah, there he is, I’m sure he’ll play a major role). Snaps pushes the accountant and Lisa together, but they don’t seem particularly thrilled, so Snaps eventually sets her up with his speech teacher. She surprisingly seems quite thrilled with him and the worldly academic trips he takes. Meanwhile, the other “daughter” that the accountant actually likes shows up and turns out that she was lying to the accountant. He is angry and they break off their engagement as well. A bunch of people are spying on Snaps trying to figure out what he’s up to and when the bankers show up that blows up in everyone’s faces. Once that’s out of the way, Snaps finds out from his new maid (that turns out to be his former lover) that his fake daughter is his real daughter and they have a double wedding. THE END

Boy that is way worse to recap than the film is in reality. It’s actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. A bunch of the supporting actors are amazing and Tomei is a raw talent that picks up steam as the film goes on. You could dissect Stallone’s performance all day, but it is probably his strongest comedic performance. On the one hand he performs admirably when there is a lot of work to be done. He is the star through and through and has to support the entire film. On the other hand I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing some of the time. His character appears to be the straight man in a series of comedy bits and yet he plays it pretty broad. It seems like he enjoyed showing off his comedy chops, but not sure this is the film to do it. Doesn’t come together for me, but not a total disaster. As for Arena, I would highly recommend it. The film is just flat out fun. Lots of makeup and aliens and a strangely coherent style of alien boxing. I really dug it and thought it looked cool. Great start.

Hot Take Clam Bake! Exact same movie but with Al Pacino instead of Sly Stallone and it works. You’d think that’s not a hot take (Al Pacino was offered the role), but I mean it in the literal sense. When BMT makes us a million dollars… no wait, what’s better than a million dollars? Oh right, a billion dollars. So when BMT makes us a billion dollars we will sink that hard earned cash into digitally inserting Al Pacino (or a hologram of Al Pacino) into Oscar. Just word-for-word exactly the same, but with the correct inflection and straight-man energy that Pacino showed off in Jack & Jill. Now it’s good and it actually doesn’t have a sadly ironic name because it ends up winning the Oscar for Best Picture. Sorry, Silence of the Lambs. Hot Take Temperature: Mild. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Oscar? Not likely for this piece of garbage. Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing. Let’s go!

  • Sly Stallone of the 80s was a national treasure. A true triple threat who bet on himself time and time again to write himself to multiple Oscar nominations, and then (somehow) writing and directing himself into the role of Biggest Action Star in the World (for a time at least). He basically redefined action filmmaking. Not to mention when he beat Drago (in Russia!) he ended the Cold War. Word.
  • But Stallone also thinks (or at least thought) he was really funny, and seemingly just one comedy away from everyone realizing how funny he is.
  • He is not funny. His comedies are pretty much universally terrible and legitimately you could argue they almost ruined his career in the 90s before he came back (like three different times).
  • Oscar, weirdly, is maybe the most successful Stallone comedy. It turns out when you aren’t funny, a French farce works well enough to give you lines that sound like jokes and some people might be tricked into thinking you’re funny.
  • So let’s summarize. Stallone is a legend of an industry he basically single-handedly helped redefine. Stallone really really thought he was funny. Stallone is not funny. But when he kind of shouts lines and is surrounded by a weird French farce people who like French farces might find him funny. I laughed zero times during this film.
  • Marissa Tomei is quite good in the film.
  • It is not at all surprising Ornella Muti was voted as the most beautiful woman in the world in the early 90s.
  • I liked the two suit makers, they were actually funny (in a French farce kind of way).
  • This film felt endless.
  • It is a French farce through and through complete with people running around, near misses, and mistaken identity. Still not funny.
  • Amazingly this film doesn’t really have any superlatives. Fictional setting. Non-holiday. No planchet. A period piece so tough to place products. No real twist. No MacGuffin. Just a plain old Bad movie IMO.
  • We decided to pair the 1989 straight-to-video action film Arena. I have to say, this is a really fun film. Wacky sets. Funny huge alien costumes. Multiple actors from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine specifically. Maybe the funniest bit is that the main character is like … a Great Human Hope for this weird battle competition? Some nice bad acting to boot. Actually, we were already there. This felt like a bad episode from Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation where some special effects coordinator was like “I can totally make huge aliens that look good!” and when it came to the day of the shoot the director was like “Yikes … welp, get some people to move this horrible looking giant tube legs around I guess?” But still, a funny and fun film. It is exactly why late-80s / early-90s direct-to-video films make the best Friends.

Check out the spin off series The Finucci Bros Fine Italian Suits in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Oscar Quiz

Oh man, what a day! Like, I’ve had to arrange like forty marriages and the cops are after me, it’s nuts. I’m so twist-turned around I actually can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Oscar?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film Angelo’s father makes him promise one thing before he dies. What is it?

2) A month later Angelo gets an urgent call at home at the uncommonly early hour of 8:45AM. From whom and why?

3) What a twist? Angelo just keeps on getting visitors. This time from a nice young lady. What spanner does she want to throw in the works of Oscars increasingly complicated day?

4) There is like a big switcheroo involving three bags. What are in all of the bags?

5) So … who marries who in the end?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we see the now arrested Vendetti gets some visitors in his cell. Who?

Answers

Oscar Preview

“This is your original sin,” Mikey says, staring daggers at Jamie and Patrick. “You have to pick it up,” he continues, “pick it up so I can finally end this.” It would seem the chase has finally driven Mikey mad. Jamie and Patrick rack their brains. If they don’t pick it up Mikey will surely shoot them anyways. Perhaps their only chance is to hope their lightning quick reflexes can turn the tables on him at the last moment. Sweat drips down their abs as they reach for the Dongle. Suddenly the door bursts open and Kyle and the past bad movie twins rush in. “Not so fast!” screams Kyle. Mikey seems momentarily flummoxed. “But… but the Gram told me you were in Greece!” he cries in disbelief. Kyle shrugs slyly. “Greece is for the birds,” he says, trying out a new catchphrase where he declared various things are “for the birds.” This further flummoxes Mikey. With a double flummox in place Jamie and Patrick see their chance and grab for the Dongle. But just as they grasp it in their hands they realize that it’s not just two hands on the Dongle… it’s four! Jamie and Patrick stare at their past selves simultaneously in possession of the Dongle. They turn to look at Mikey, whose eyes widen in horror. Kyle, realizing that maybe the Dongle is decidedly not for the birds, quickly grabs for the Dongle as well just as the world disappears in a flash of brilliant white. Rubbing his eyes, Kyle looks around. He is now alone in the apartment, Mikey having been disintegrated by the temporal paradox experienced by the Dongle and the twins… gone. He looks down at the Dongle in his hand and knows they are still alive… somewhere… somewhen? That’s right! We are transitioning to the climactic penultimate cycle of the year with the recent tradition of running a Bring a Friend cycle. This year it’ll be films set in the past paired with nonqualifying films set in the future. Get ready for some postapocalyptic bullshit. To start we are going for a classic Sly Stallone vehicle, Oscar, paired with Arena, a very fun looking alien boxing movie. Let’s go!

Oscar (1991) – BMeTric: 17.2; Notability: 47

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 23.2%; Notability: top 4.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Cool as Ice, Problem Child 2, Critters 3, Child’s Play 3, Nothing But Trouble, Suburban Commando, Return to the Blue Lagoon, Mannequin: On the Move, Kickboxer 2: The Road Back, Double Impact, King Ralph, Zandalee, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, Hudson Hawk, V.I. Warshawski, House Party 2, The Butcher’s Wife, Curly Sue, Drop Dead Fred, and 38 more; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Rock-A-Doodle, Flight of the Intruder, Life Stinks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Out for Justice, The Marrying Man, Necessary Roughness, The Five Heartbeats; Lower RT: Return to the Blue Lagoon, Critters 3, The Super, Run, Cool as Ice, Another You, Mobsters, All I Want for Christmas, Problem Child 2, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred; Notes: The IMDb rating of 6.5 is crazy high. The European Remake cycle has been wild with some of these. For a 1991 comedy the notability is pretty high.

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Stallone is surprisingly enjoyable in a comic change-of-pace, playing 1930s gangster Angelo “Snaps” Provolone, who’s trying to go straight, despite the domestic and financial chaos that surrounds him. Farcical comedy, complete with mistaken identities and slamming doors, offers showcases for Palminteri as Snaps’ henchman, Curry as a priggish speech teacher, Bracken as a stuttering stoolie, and Shearer and Ferrero as the Finuccis but never quite takes wing. Based on a French play, filmed before in 1967 with Louis de Funes.

(Surprisingly solid review by Leonard. Although, I suppose it isn’t that surprising once you consider that Maltin is a sucker for old Hollywood in many regards. It does seem like something he would ultimately appreciate.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbfVZBsgC4s/ 

(Huh, kind of an odd trailer. Since that is only one of three or four plots floating around in this film. The actual plot is that Snaps is trying to go straight, but everything in his life (on this particular day) seems to be trying to stop him from doing so. His daughter’s potential marriage is just one of those things.)

DirectorsJohn Landis – ( Known For: National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Blues Brothers; Coming to America; Trading Places; An American Werewolf in London; Three Amigos!; Twilight Zone: The Movie; The Kentucky Fried Movie; Blues Brothers 2000; Amazon Women on the Moon; Into the Night; Burke and Hare; Schlock; Susan’s Plan; Future BMT: Spies Like Us; Innocent Blood; The Stupids; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Oscar; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for Beverly Hills Cop III; and in 1997 for The Stupids; Notes: He won an Emmy for Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project. Probably, sadly, most notable for directing the segment of The Twilight Zone Movie where several people were killed in a helicopter stunt.)

WritersClaude Magnier – ( Known For: Oscar; Jo; Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?; Oskar; BMT: Oscar; Notes: A playwright, he wrote the play which both the French original and this are based on.)

Michael Barrie – ( Known For: Bad Boys; Amazon Women on the Moon; …All the Marbles; BMT: Oscar; Notes: The writing partner with Mulholland. He is not in the film though.)

Jim Mulholland – ( Known For: Bad Boys; Amazon Women on the Moon; …All the Marbles; BMT: Oscar; Notes: He actually plays the titular Oscar who is only seen for a moment at the end of the film. He has 20 Emmy nominations, for The Tonight Show and The Late Show. Amazingly, they never won.)

ActorsSylvester Stallone – ( Known For: The Suicide Squad; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Rocky; The Expendables; First Blood; Cliffhanger; The Expendables 2; Creed; Rocky III; Cop Land; Creed II; Escape Plan; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky Balboa; Death Race 2000; Eye See You; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Antz; Escape Plan 2: Hades; Future BMT: Rocky IV; Staying Alive; Rocky V; Assassins; Ratchet & Clank; BMT: The Expendables 3; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Demolition Man; Cobra; Over the Top; Tango & Cash; Rambo III; The Specialist; Judge Dredd; Daylight; Oscar; Lock Up; Driven; Get Carter; Zookeeper; Grudge Match; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Rhinestone; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Cobra, Cobra, Lock Up, Lock Up, Over the Top, Over the Top, Rambo III, Rambo III, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone, Rocky IV, and Tango & Cash; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; in 2002 for Driven; and in 2020 for Rambo: Last Blood; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; and in 2020 for Rambo: Last Blood; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Rambo: Last Blood in 2020; Notes: He has a television show coming out, which I think is crazy. Tulsa King.)

Ornella Muti – ( Known For: Flash Gordon; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; To Rome with Love; Appassionata; The Last Woman; Storie di ordinaria follia; Oasis of Fear; Swann in Love; La stanza del vescovo; Romanzo popolare; The Girl from Trieste; Hotel; Death of a Corrupt Man; Madly in Love; Il bisbetico domato; La moglie più bella; First Love; Magical Nights; Love & Money; Viva Italia!; Future BMT: Once Upon a Crime…; BMT: Oscar; Notes: Italian. She was voted the most beautiful woman in the world in 1994 in a poll.)

Peter Riegert – ( Known For: National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Mask; Traffic; We Bought a Zoo; Local Hero; Pie in the Sky; American Pastoral; At Middleton; Crossing Delancey; A Shock to the System; A Man in Love; Movie Madness; Infinity; Americathon; Coldblooded; Passed Away; Passion of Mind; That’s Adequate; The Object of Beauty; Chilly Scenes of Winter; BMT: Oscar; Notes: Was nominated for an Oscar for a short film By Courier, and for an Emmy for Barbarians at the Gate. Still working, a recent notable role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $23,562,716 (Worldwide: $23,562,716)

(Yeah, this is considered a catastrophic bomb for a reason. That is a very bad performance indeed. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t release the film into France and Italy though. I think they could have gotten a bit from both places. This is very French humor at the time.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (2/17)

(Oh, I get to make a consensus: Stallone isn’t funny. That’s the be all and end all of the reviews on that page really.)

Reviewer Highlight: Sylvester Stallone isn’t completely without a sense of humor (he showed a comic instinct in Rocky), but the last place he belongs is at the center of a classically structured farce – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sklogster

(This is a very funny poster. Artistic in an old timey way. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense. They make it seem like the film is a race against time. But not really… it just happens to be the day of a big meeting for “Snaps” Provolone. Font is meh, but overall aesthetic is good. B-.)

Tagline(s) – In crime and comedy, timing is everything. (C)

 Gangster “Snaps” Provolone has until noon to become an honest man. (D-)

(I feel like they were almost there with a timing is everything riff. It would have been better if it was just that, really. But adding more words they take away some of the punch. The second is bad. Like that’s just a phrase about what the movie is about (kind of)… like would appear in the Leonard Maltin book or something.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994), 39.8 Intersection (1994)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), Nine Months (1995), The Big Wedding (2013), Brick Mansions (2014), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Original Sin (2001), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Oscar (1991), Vanilla Sky (2001), Wicker Park (2004)

Best Options (past): 21.7 The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), 17.2 Oscar (1991), 15.6 Jakob the Liar (1999), 8.9 The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

(Obviously the transition is going to be a tough ask, and yet there were four movies which were remakes of European films and also set in the past? I think The Thirteenth Floor might be a tough one though, I think it is only like “virtually” in the past or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Oscar and No. 1 billed in The Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 9. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – At the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1991 which went to Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone in his tribute to Douglas recalled the filming of the scene where he hits Stallone in the face. After a swing and miss, Stallone jokingly told Douglas to slap him hard. “Let me have your best”, whereupon Douglas proceeded to beat Stallone silly. Stallone said “I learned the hard way: never spar with Spartacus.”

One night, after filming wrapped, a fire destroyed several sets, many of the actors’ trailers (among them Tim Curry’s), all of the costumes, and twenty-one valuable vintage cars. Production was halted for two weeks while they were remaking all of the costumes. A Universal security guard hired to guard the cars later admitted to setting the fire.

Appearing as the title character Oscar, this is Jim Mulholland’s only movie.

In the early 1980s, this movie was originally proposed as another project for director John Landis and John Belushi, who was pencilled in for the Angelo “Snaps” Provolone role. The project was abandoned once Belushi died, but resuscitated later, this time with Sylvester Stallone in the lead.

This movie was based on the 1958 French play “Oscar” by Claude Magnier.

Kirk Douglas and Sylvester Stallone had only appeared in one movie together previously, and it had not been a happy experience. Douglas had started out as Colonel Trautman in First Blood (1982), but quit after a dispute over whether Rambo should live or die at the end. It was not an amicable departure.

The name of the horse on which one of Snaps’ henchmen places a bet is High Hat, the name of the horse ridden by Harpo Marx in A Day at the Races (1937).

When Anthony Rossano C.P.A. (Vincent Spano) first appears at Angelo “Snaps” Provolone’s (Sylvester Stallone’s) door, Aldo (Peter Riegert) says “it’s Little Anthony” he looks behind him “and his Imperial”. Little Anthony and the Imperials was a rock band in the 1950s.

Snaps and his men quip that they were last in Chicago on Valentine’s Day, most likely referring to the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The poster is an homage to the iconic scene from Safety Last! (1923).

The film takes place in 1931.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (John Landis, 1992)

School for Scoundrels (2006) Recap

Jamie

I was pretty sure we had already watched School for Scoundrels for BMT before. I dreaded having to tell Patrick that, alas, his bad movie memory (BMM) must be shot when he picked this out as the first entry of Merde. Duh, don’t you remember, it’s the one where Billy Bob Thorton is a big ol’ bully… and it co-stars that guy who made it big off that high school comedy a few years earlier… oh wait, that was Mr. Woodcock. And there you have it: this film is a perfect encapsulation of a very precise moment in film history. So precise that I mixed it up with the other Billy Bob Thorton film. So let’s get into it.

Jon Heder is a wimp. He’s got a huge crush on a girl, Amanda, who doesn’t know who he is, his job sucks, and people walk all over him. A friend suggests he take a class by Mr. P on how to be a more assertive person and when he does, guess what? It actually works! Suddenly he’s having great dates with Amanda, he’s standing up for himself at work, and everything is looking up for Job Heder. Nothing can go wrong! He’s going to live forrreeeevvvver. That is until Mr. P decides that he doesn’t like how assertive Heder is getting, so it’s time for him to steal his girl and ruin his life. But uh oh, the student is becoming the master and Heder ruins his life right back. It’s just a comedy of ruining everyones lives. Isn’t it fun to watch people’s lives fall apart? Ha ha ha… ha… oh… ha… yeah. Anyway, when Mr. P and Amanda start to get serious Heder takes things into his own hands and digs up all the dirt on Mr. P’s terrible deeds. Confronting Mr. P and Amanda on a plane, he pretends to have a panic attack forcing Mr. P (who is pretending to be a doctor) to administer aid. Realizing that he’s a big ol’ Liar McLiarton, Amanda dumps the zero to get with the hero… and by hero I mean Heder. THE END.

I actually found myself digging the first half of this film. Heder is charming in his own way and you can kinda believe he is who he’s playing: a nice guy who is finishing last. And the comedy chops that surround him in the film are legit nuts. Every single person in the class and then many in supporting roles are top tier talent. It’s mind blowing. At one point you’re watching the film and you’re like “wait, is that Jim Parsons?… of Young Sheldon fame?… and they don’t even give him a line? But he’s Old Sheldon!” And you’d be right. The back half? Not as much. Pretty unpleasant actually as Mr. P is a monster and ruins Heder’s life. They even do a fake out where they pretend he’s not a monster for a second and I was like “noooooo,” because it just wasn’t right that they would attempt to redeem the piece of shit. But they didn’t pull the punch at least. Overall a pretty mixed bag.

Hot Take Clam Bake time: we see Heder and Amanda vacationing in Miami at the end (speedo and all) and so we are led to believe that they are together for the long haul. Guess what? I’m not buying it. Why? Cause Heder has no talents as far as we can tell. He was a meter maid who got fired for (allegedly) sexually harassing his boss. What is he up to next? Answer: not much. And guess who Amanda just fell for? An old man who was pretending to be a surgeon. What happens when she meets a decrepit old surgeon for real? She’ll be out of there so fast he won’t know what hit him. It lasts three months tops. Hot Take Temperature: Parmesan Garlic. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! School for Scoundrels? More like Uncool and Down-drels! Amirite? How was Jon Heder a star of films again? Just seems wild that he went from barely acting in Napoleon Dynamite to headlining multiple major comedies for about 5 years there. Let’s go!

  • Yeah, speak of the devil, Heder is terrible. He isn’t really a comedian. His delivery is flat and for the most part he can only play one character (waifish weakling characters who ultimately find inner strength).
  • All the while the supporting actors in this film are all a who’s who of soon-to-be incredibly famous television comedians. Multiple eventual headliners. It makes me feel insane to think Heder was wandering around on that set, when they could have probably just got David Cross to do it better.
  • And I liked Napoleon Dynamite and I like Heder in general, he just can’t do the heavy lifting needed to actually make this movie consistently funny. He needed a Will Ferrel type to play off of in scenes … that actually could have been a good storyline. The School for Scoundrels gives everyone a brash obnoxious buddy to help them out. Heder hates Ferrel who, obviously, proceeds to ruin his life to some degree. In the end though they realize they are good friends, can lean on each other, and that they are, in fact, precisely what they need. And what is revealed? That that is the school for scoundrels! They have a corresponding School for Nice Guys for assholes like Ferrel to go to, but the formula is the same: you can help each other become a little better. Friends! Is it a better film? I don’t know. It is different. But Heder needed help I think is the main issue.
  • While not as kind hearted as the original British film, it is a lot nicer than I expected. I expected it to be a horrorshow of early 2000s awful humor. It was instead mostly nice, with only the ending really dipping in quality.
  • The ending does kind of ruin it though. You have to have Billy Bob Thornton be secretly nice! It is kind of the idea. That he’s teaching you the tricks you need to get ahead, but that he is not actually a scoundrel.
  • Decent Product Placement (What?) for Heder’s standard issue New Balance shoes he gets stolen in the beginning of the film. And a Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City. Otherwise probably closest to Bad for me, but that might be colored by having watched and loved the original.
  • Speaking of which, the original School for Scoundrels from 1960 is great! The structure of the film is interesting, with the first part of the main character getting dunked on being told in flashback. Then basically a montage sequence at the school for a short middle. And then a mirror image of the main character dunking on all of the people who wronged him at the end. And the whole thing is ultimately very sweet. It did probably make me like this one a bit less.

Read about the School for Scoundrel sequel School for Scoundrels: Friendship is Magic (Literally), in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

School for Scoundrels (2006) Quiz

Oh man, so here’s the thing, I went to this school for scoundrels and, naturally, while learning to be a total dick to people someone punched me right in the face and I got a massive concussion. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in School for Scoundrels?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Heder has a load of people stepping on him in his life. Like at his job. What does he do for a living?

2) How does Heder learn about the School for Scoundrels anyways?

3) What are Heder’s tasks that he has to do for class? That is, prior to him getting his personal assignment of starring in a romantic comedy (there are two).

4) Well, things are looking up now for Heder. He’s getting the girl … and what’s that? Mr. P is trying to go out with her too?! But why? Why would he do that (he claims)?

5) Who does Heder to go visit to get his mojo back at the end of the film?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene Heder gets two calls back-to-back, from whom?

Answers

School for Scoundrels (2006) Preview

Jamie, Patrick and the rest of the team backflip their way into the Fortress. Halfway through his third backflip, however, Patrick notices something is off. “Stop! Stop backflipping!” he yells and once everyone is reoriented they notice the same thing. The halls of the school building are completely empty. Their steps ring out in the empty hallways until they finally reach a set of heavy steel doors. Jamie and Patrick fling them open, instantly bathes in an eerie blue light emanating from the doorway. They gasp. They find themselves in the ethereal beauty of a submarine pen. A submarine pen? On the grounds of the school? But why? Suddenly they begin to hear the cracking sounds of slow clapping and from behind the submarine emerges Jamie and Patrick themselves. But it can’t be, can it? “No, my sweet Bad Movie Twins, you haven’t been betrayed by yourselves. We have won!” the Jamie double cackles, before they both pull off their latex masks. Jamie and Patrick aren’t surprised to see it’s actually two Mikey Time Cops. The Time Cops pull their guns and laugh maniacally, but Jamie and Patrick just smirk. “Sure, sure, you’re gonna shoot,” Patrick says before they both theatrically motion for one of them to kick the other in the testicles. And yet nothing happens. “Oh shit,” Jamie mutters, “are you both bad Mikey Time Cops?” They nod, confused as to what else they would be. This looks like the end for our heroes. But wait! Suddenly there is a loud pop and from a hole in the sky a large machine falls and crushes the bad Mikey’s. Out from the steaming time machine walks Lou Cash. “You did it you scoundrels!” he screams, much to the delight and confusion of everyone there. That’s right! We are watching School for Scoundrels as a transition to the next cycle: Films adapted from European films a.k.a. Merde. We got so very close to getting a roster of all French films, but could resist a couple out of the box. So let’s sit back and enjoy School for Scoundrels adapted from the 1960 British film, School for Scoundrels. Let’s go! 

School for Scoundrels (2006) – BMeTric: 33.2; Notability: 55

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 24.8%; Notability: top 8.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 27.1%; Higher BMeT: Date Movie, The Wicker Man, Ultraviolet, Pledge This!, Little Man, Basic Instinct 2, Material Girls, Zoom, Big Momma’s House 2, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Black Christmas, The Marine, The Shaggy Dog, DOA: Dead or Alive, Pulse, Phat Girlz, Eragon, Scary Movie 4, The Grudge 2, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, and 42 more; Higher Notability: Poseidon, The Wild, The Da Vinci Code, Eragon, Scary Movie 4, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Happily N’Ever After, Click, The Pink Panther, Smokin’ Aces, The Guardian, The Black Dahlia, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Zoom, The Shaggy Dog, A Good Year, Lady in the Water, Factory Girl, All the King’s Men; Lower RT: The Contract, Kiss Me Again, Karla, Pledge This!, Material Girls, Happily N’Ever After, The Covenant, Zoom, Big Momma’s House 2, Deck the Halls, Basic Instinct 2, Date Movie, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, Gray Matters, Ultraviolet, When a Stranger Calls, See No Evil, Annapolis, Stay Alive, Pulse, and 47 more; Notes: Way higher IMDb rating that I expected, but sticking nicely below/around 6.0. The Notability is off the chain though! Solid for a comedy.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Nerdy guy who lets people step all over him is recruited by a mysterious entrepreneur who runs a class for worms in need of turning. But our would-be hero isn’t prepared for his “teacher” to start playing dirty tricks on him. Most contemporary comedies are too crude for our taste, but this one is terminally bland and never takes off as it repeatedly promises to do. Remake of the 1960 British comedy.

(Interesting. I think if this is made today it is probably very heartfelt, while also being crude (but in a way that teaches the hero that it is worth it not to be, you know?). I am surprised though, I would have figured this was just the right year to have a horrible no-good remake of a film like School for Scoundrels that aged horribly.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh-nQKB8fwg/

(A hard r in the trailer itself really is a bold move. The mid-00s were a wild time. Also the film looks aggressively not funny.)

DirectorsTodd Phillips – ( Known For: Joker; The Hangover; War Dogs; Road Trip; Old School; Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Hangover Part II; Due Date; The Hangover Part III; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Apparently he originally directed Borat, but quit due to creative differences with Cohen.)

WritersTodd Phillips – ( Known For: Joker; War Dogs; Road Trip; Old School; Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Hangover Part II; Due Date; The Hangover Part III; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Nominated for four Oscars, three for Joker, and one for the original Borat.)

Scot Armstrong – ( Known For: Road Trip; Old School; Starsky & Hutch; Search Party; Future BMT: The Heartbreak Kid; The Hangover Part II; Semi-Pro; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote some sort of remake of Problem Child? There isn’t even a poster on IMDb, so I can’t even make fun of that.)

Hal E. Chester – ( Known For: Curse of the Demon; School for Scoundrels; The Weapon; Crashout; Joe Palooka, Champ; Gentleman Joe Palooka; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote the original. Was uncredited here, which is interesting since he was somehow still alive when this was made! He was 85 years old.)

Patricia Moyes – ( Known For: School for Scoundrels; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Irish, and similarly wrote the original. Died in 2000, so didn’t get to see this made.)

Stephen Potter – ( Known For: School for Scoundrels; The Shipbuilders; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote the original novels that the original film was based on. Obviously wasn’t alive for this film, he would have been 106. That would have been a trick. He died in 1969.)

ActorsBilly Bob Thornton – ( Known For: Tombstone; Love Actually; Princess Mononoke; Blood In, Blood Out; Monster’s Ball; Friday Night Lights; Sling Blade; The Judge; Puss in Boots; Dead Man; The Informers; A Simple Plan; The Baytown Outlaws; U Turn; Faster; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Bad Santa; Intolerable Cruelty; Parkland; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Future BMT: London Fields; Indecent Proposal; Entourage; Eagle Eye; Our Brand Is Crisis; The Alamo; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Armageddon; Going Overboard; On Deadly Ground; School for Scoundrels; Mr. Woodcock; Notes: From Arkansas, won an Oscar for writing Sling Blade. Has been married six times, including to Angelina Jolie famously.)

Jon Heder – ( Known For: Napoleon Dynamite; Just Like Heaven; Blades of Glory; Monster House; Surf’s Up; Reality; The Sasquatch Gang; Walt Before Mickey; Mama’s Boy; For Ellen; Life Happens; Christmas Eve; Ghost Team; Weepah Way for Now; Bling; Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit; The Tiger Hunter; Unexpected Race; The Little Penguin Pororo’s Racing Adventure; Moving McAllister; BMT: The Benchwarmers; When in Rome; School for Scoundrels; Notes: Became famous for Napoleon Dynamite. Does a lot of voice acting these days.)

Jacinda Barrett – ( Known For: The Last Kiss; Hide and Seek; Middle Men; New York, I Love You; The Human Stain; The Namesake; Ladder 49; Campfire Tales; Ripley Under Ground; Seven in Heaven; Matching Jack; So B. It; BMT: Poseidon; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Urban Legends: Final Cut; School for Scoundrels; Notes: From Australia, and was on the fourth season of The Real World, which took place in London. Hasn’t done much since the show Bloodline ended in 2017.)

Budget/Gross – $35,000,000 / Domestic: $17,807,569 (Worldwide: $24,470,583)

(Not great at all. And given the absurdly stacked comedy cast this film sports, that budget makes perfect sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (36/138): School for Scoundrels squanders its talented cast with a formulaic, unfocused attempt at a romantic comedy that’s neither romantic nor funny.

(A talented cast indeed. Just watch the trailer. David Cross, Paul Sheer, Matt Walsh, etc.! It is crazy good.)

Reviewer Highlight: It feels as if director Phillips was scrounging desperately for morsels with comic potential and came up empty-handed. – Claudia Puig, USA Today

Poster – Howls for Hooligans

(Wow, that’s a bad poster. Like F level bad. Funny cause that’s not typically the poster I think of for the film, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure what was really used to advertise. There are so many words. But fine, the font has a little vim and vigor so it’s a D.)

Tagline(s) – Too nice? Too honest? Too you? Help is on the way. (B)

(It’s too long, but otherwise it’s actually not bad in concept. Like it’s got a rule of three in there. Also it is a little clever curveball. All good things and then saying don’t worry, this asshole will help you. Just needed to figure out a way to tighten it up and make it flow.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.6 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.5 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 77.0 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 59.0 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Boys and Girls (2000), Texas Rangers (2001), Reindeer Games (2000), Halloween (2007), School for Scoundrels (2006), Fortress (1992), Senseless (1998), Impostor (2001), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (European Remake): 33.2 School for Scoundrels (2006)

(Oh yeah! The only one available baby! Indeed we had to move School for Scoundrels from the comedy spot because it needed to be here. It is a bit insane just how many Dimension films we have left. We could almost make a whole new cycle from it … might be missing a romance. Unclear.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Clarke Duncan is No. 5 billed in School for Scoundrels and No. 4 billed in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (5 + 4) + (2 + 2) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ben Stiller’s cameo was shot in two days in California because he was unable to fly to New York for filming, due to a scheduling conflict.

Director Todd Phillips first offered the lead role to Howard Stern (Phillips is a big Stern fan), but Stern had to turn it down because he was about to leave terrestrial radio for satellite radio and did not have the time to film a movie. The role eventually went to Billy Bob Thornton.

Diego (Horatio Sanz) says, “Things are going to change, I can feel it,” quoting Beck’s song, “Loser.”

Aziz Ansari’s unnamed character’s only dialogue is a short scene with fellow classmate Ernie (Jon Glaser). The two actors would later have major roles in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” as Tom Haverford and Councilman Jeremy Jamm respectively.

To date, this is Todd Phillips’s only movie that isn’t distributed by DreamWorks or Warner Bros.

Dr. P’s rules “From the Bar to your Bed” are: Be dangerous, it’s cool. No compliments, *ever*. Always get the girl alone. Wherever you are, the place is lame! Relate to her. Lie, lie, and lie some more. (Gross)

Halloween: Resurrection Recap

Jamie

Wooooooaaahhhhh. Dog poo. It’s dog poo in our faces. The debate will forever be whether this is so dog poo that it’s a big time BMT hit? Or is it too dog poo (thanks for everything! Julie Newmar) and is just bad and should be burned to the ground? Patrick and I will probably debate this for hours because this is bar none the single worst horror film of any of the major franchises. It’s not even close.

I’m serious, this is a tragedy put to screen. I can’t believe they did this. I can’t believe they let it go out with Halloween as the title. Cut the beginning, reedit it so you never see Michael’s face and release it as a different movie. Anything but what they did here. My god, it is offensive. Patrick and I were driven to insanity because it is like Michael Myers himself was turned into a film. It is an unstoppable force. No one must watch this. Preserve your quaint view that Halloween 4-6 represented the nadir of the franchise. Such an innocent time. Oh I miss those Halloween 6 days. The days of the Cult of Thorn.

I’m not sure if I can even give a cursory recap of the film. I’m so shocked and awed by the traumatic event that I experienced while watching it, but I’ll give it a try. Even though we all saw Michael Myers die at the end of the H20 we are told not to believe our lying eyes. In fact Myers traded places with an incapacitated paramedic and that’s who Laurie Strode decapitated. Cool cool cool. Lucky for Laurie, Michael comes back and she is swiftly and mercifully killed before she is forced to participate in this film any further. Meanwhile a reality show is being produced that is gonna take a whole bunch of dumbos and leave them in the Myers house on Halloween. Sounds dumb and fake. It is. But also Michael Myers shows up and actually does kill a bunch of people. Our new Laurie Strode, Sara Moyer, is able to survive with the help of her internet boyfriend, a giant nerd alert high school freshman named Myles. In a final showdown she and Busta Rhymes join forces to take down Michael Myers and victory is theirs. Or is it? It’s not, Michael appears to survive, but this new series didn’t. Also, after the film ends Sara meets Myles and is extremely disappointed and basically is like “see yah, nerd.” That’s a fact.

Honestly some shocking stuff. D-double-O to the P-O-O. So let’s Hot Take Clam Bake and GTFO. Today my clam bake is that while the new series claims to eliminate the Halloween franchise after the second entry, I say nay. If you look closely at the beginning of H20, where Myers enters the recently deceased Dr. Loomis’ house to find info on Laurie, you’ll see a newspaper clipping claiming that Laurie died in the car accident. This was the ruse she used to escape her past life and prevent Michael from finding her. But wait, was that not also the explanation we got for why Laurie wasn’t in entries 4-6? Indeed. We also see Loomis tracking Myers and his whereabouts, so doesn’t it reason to believe that he in fact would appear like a super crazy ghost in the Haddonfield on occasion terrorizing the local townfolk claiming Michael was back. My theory? Entries 4-6 are the delusions of the mad man himself. He imagined those events. So no, the sequels aren’t skipped. They actually hold the key to Loomis’ deranged mind and must be studied extensively. Thank you.

That’s what we in the biz call a Raging Inferno of a hot take. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Halloween: Resurrection? More like Dog Poo Straight In My Face: Resurrection! How dare you. How daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare you. Let’s get into it!

  • My god, what have they done to my boy! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!
  • A slap in the face to fans! Dog poo shoved ever so slowly into my face! This film is an abomination. It has dead eyes, dark like coals. I looked into its eyes and knew it survived through pure unfeeling evil. I must warn the sheriff! The Cult of Thorn made this film to control an ancient magic! Why won’t anyone listen to me?!
  • Is this movie a joke? It feels like it is a joke, but one that no one is really in on. Like they made a garbage film, all looked at each other and were like “uh oh … put some jokes in there and change the ending, maybe people will think we weren’t serious.” This is the era of Jason X so it isn’t totally implausible.
  • This film is a direct-to-video film called like Murder.com or something that somehow contains Michael Myers. Half of the film is shot on webcams (like legit webcams), and the other half is reaction shots of teenagers at a costume party. It has no connection to any Halloween film that has come before or after. Completely perplexing nonsense.
  • I just don’t know how something like this happens. Further I have no idea how Halloween as a franchise survived Resurrection. Jason X is a joke (and Jason in general was at that point anyways) so that didn’t affect that franchise. But this is unforgivable. No wonder they did a remake of the original and then a direct sequel to the first film eventually. The sixth film can be somewhat forgiven and forgotten. Resurrection is forever. Tainting that bloodline forever.
  • I think I’m going insane.
  • I think I’ll just leave it with that to some degree with one serious warning: do not watch this film on its merits or in connection to Halloween at all. Watch this, if you must, as a perplexing touchstone in the history of slashers. The early 2000s was when slashers died, and I dare say I think Halloween: Resurrection may have been the final nail in the coffin.
  • The usual Setting as a Character (Where?) for Haddonfield (made explicit via Haddonfield College). And also the usual A+ Holiday Film (When?) for Halloween. A decent Production Placement (What?) for Pepsi which is prominently displayed on several occasions early in the film. This is either the worst film ever or the most BMT film ever, and I think it is the most BMT film ever, an abomination!
  • And you best belieb there are special features on the DVD I got (from the brary natch). There was a lame deleted scene showing more of the in-movie interview about the reality show characters (D). There was a weird little movie about how awesome Jamie Lee Curtis is (A because Curtis is awesome, but F because she lied and said she thought the movie was good). There was literally all of the headcam footage (F because it is 40 minutes long, looks like shit, and ain’t no one got time for that). There was a storyboard (B, kind of cool to see the motivation for the headcams). And there was a set tour (A, really cool to see very extensively how they built the house). And finally an audio commentary (D, not interesting and mostly you learn the same stuff as in the other special features. Solo audio commentaries are never good.). Phew!

Check out to my sequel to this film, Halloween: Exorcism, in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs