Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Recap

Jamie

Captain Kirk is back, Jack! This time Kirk and his crew are called off shore leave to investigate an uprising in a Federation neutral zone. When they get there a Vulcan named Sybok and his followers take over the Enterprise and go on a mission to the center of the galaxy. Can Kirk and the rest stop him before it’s too late? Find out in… Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

How?! This film is separated into three parts: a total embarrassment, an interesting gooey center, and a bungled ending. Let me explain. We open with the Enterprise crew on shore leave in Yellowstone. Kirk is climbing like a boss and everyone else is wearing scarves and getting lost. When they finally get back to camp they sing row row row your boat and embarrass themselves. It is bad and goes on forever. The only thing interesting that happens is that Kirk explains that he knows he’ll die alone and that’s why he’s never scared on their adventures because they are always there. Anyway, they get called off shore leave to investigate an uprising by a Vulcan named Sybok on a neutral planet. It’s like an outlaw western-y planet and they get in there and fuck up a bunch of people only to find that the hostages they are meant to rescue are actually now followers of Sybok. He’s like a cult leader that uses people’s pain to help them come to terms with it and thus gain followers on his quest to find God. He says he communicated with God and that he’s in the center of the galaxy. When they get to the Enterprise, Sybok gains followers from the Enterprise crew and only Kirk and Spock can really resist him. They are imprisoned until they get to the center of the galaxy where Sybok guides them to a planet. When they go down to the surface they find that it’s actually the prison for a malevolent force and Sybok is killed in the fight to destroy it. Everyone is happy including the Klingon ship that I didn’t even mention because that side story is kinda strange and out of place. THE END.

Why?! It’s pretty straightforward in the end (which is kind of why I say it is bungled), Sybok is a very powerful Vulcan who has communicated with a force in the universe who he believes is God. Aiming to find this force he uses his immense mind meld powers to delve into people’s pain and help them come to terms with it. Kirk wants to stop him because it’s kinda his mission but also he doesn’t believe that Sybok’s methods are correct and that pain is part of what makes someone resilient and human.

Who?! People just kind of show up throughout the Star Trek franchise. His wife shows up in one of the films and his daughter in two of them (including this one). The producer Harve Bennett shows up in three of the films as well. Also while looking around I found that Shatner is listed as the “Creator” of a TV movie called Fire Serpent. Didn’t direct it or star in in… just created it. Whatever that means.

What?! It’s noted online that product placement is pretty rare in Star Trek as a whole. This is one of the few cases where it shows up as during their vacation on Earth Captain Kirk wears Levi’s jeans and indulges in some Jack Daniels cooked baked beans. Also should talk a bit about the Great Barrier. While not a MacGuffin in the true sense of the word it is an object of mysterious power that is never really explained. They claim that you can’t go through it and yet the Enterprise does just that with ease (as does a Klingon ship). It turns out that everyone was wrong and it wasn’t much of a barrier at all. It is strange and vague (much like the rest of the end of the film).

Where?! Starts in Yosemite National Park and then moves to Nimbus III. Finishes in the center of the Milky Way. All pretty specific. Not as good as the fourth film which really really really takes place in San Francisco. B.

When?! At some point in the series it’s made clear what exact year it is and from that you can determine that this one takes place in 2287. That’s good enough for me and I especially love exact years for films taking place in the past or future. B.

I can’t talk about this film without talking about the film series as a whole. So to keep it brief: 1. The first film is a really drawn out television episode more than a movie, but I did appreciate the extreme Sci-Fi aspects to it. Just wasn’t all that great. 2. My favorite. Best character (Khan) and most emotional and I’m surprised it’s not talked about more in general as part of good cinema… because it’s good. 3. Airmailed sequel to the second that took away some of the emotion from that entry. Again liked the Sci-Fi aspect and they did a good job moving towards a more fun part of the series. 4. The funniest of the series but not my favorite. Still very good and really interesting choices made. So I came into the BMT entry of the series on a very positive note so I was surprised to find five almost immediately embarrassing. Just straight bad. Then when Sybok on the scene I thought it got somewhat interesting. They had an opportunity to explore the idea of delving into people’s pain and relieving it to make them happy and gain followers. I thought this would have naturally led into the exploration of the morals of a cult. Cult leaders are often amoral in their exploitation of their followers and I thought for sure this would come up. Nope. Instead our cult leader Sybok is just good and instead the God that he communicates with is actually bad… and almost immediately killed off. So in my opinion they bungled it. They had the opening for a complex storyline and defaulted to a simple and vague one. Pretty easily the worst of the series which I really really loved. They got a new Star Trek fan up in here. Finally, Groom Lake is a super tiny independent film written, directed, and starring William Shatner. It is bonkers that it exists and seems like something that Shatner just thought would be fun to do or something. Only weird thing is that there is a this whole rape scene in the middle that I could have done without… unpleasant and really unnecessary. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Fun fact: I love Star Trek. I’ve seen the original series. I watched the animated series! I’ve seen all of the films. So why not revisit the worse of the worse (BTW the animated series doesn’t count. It isn’t canon! IT IS NOT CANON!). Time for Star Trek V! Let’s get into it!

The Good – The comradery of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is unparalleled. And when you know the final part of the movie the middle it actually quite a bit better than I remember. Previously I remember being quite annoyed that the story was about God and they went off to find him. But once you know that Sybok is a really cool character besides … well I’ll save that for the bad section.

P’s View on the Previews – Well I had already seen the series, so really the watch was a re-watch and a chance for a reassessment. And what I had remembered was the entire story about God seemed surreal and the fact that this seemed to be the big goal of the entire thing sunk the film. Fortunately, I think once you know the conclusion the second viewing is slightly better as I say above.

The Bad – Sybok being Spock’s brother is a big load of shit. He should have been a friend, or a legendary exiled Vulcan from Spock’s childhood. Him being in the family is just annoying and changes Spock’s father’s character a bit too much. The beginning is a bit too cute, and the Klingon B-story is kind of pointless. There are a lot of problems with the film, especially considering the relative quality of 2, 3, and 4.

You Just Got Schooled – I watched a third movie this week! I decided to finally watch Chaos on the Bridge, which was also directed by Shatner (although a documentary, so different than Groom Lake), and details the issues surrounding the development and first three seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Interesting, although without Roddenberry some of the characters came across as a bit too self-serving, speaking ill of him and puffing up their own status I thought. Shatner never felt the need to challenge people, despite multiple contradictory statements being made about people and events. Interesting nonetheless, and a blessedly short 60 minutes.

The BMT – It had to be done. It had to be. I think this is a turning point, although it kind of depends on what Jamie thought of doing a fill series like that. Because, personally, I think I would like to do more franchises. There are so many terrible sequels it’ll take forever to get through them otherwise. So perhaps we’ll look back fondly on Star Trek V as a major part of BMT in the future.

Welcome to Earf – William Shatner is in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and also in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, which also stars Sandra Bullock who is also in In Love and War, which stars Chris O’Donnell who is also in Batman & Robin, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger who is also in Expendables 3, which stars Sly Stallone who is also in Zookeeper, which stars Adam Sandler who is also in Jack and Jill, which stars Al Pacino who is also in 88 Minutes, which stars Leelee Sobieski who is also in Here on Earth. Phew, welcome to earf!!

StreetCreditReport.com – Surprisingly sparse. But it does narrowly make this list for worst Sci-Fi films at 96. As far as Star Trek movies go it is widely considered terrible. Here is a list mentioning it as second worst. Interestingly they have insurrection last … disagree, but whatever.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we also watched Groom Lake. This film is not really a film. It is a weird thing that William Shatner did. It was vaguely interesting I guess. Kind of interesting to something weird like that, this film that is barely there. But naw, it isn’t the types of films I would like to do in the future. It just … isn’t fun in any way. It is just weird and pointless. Sorry Groom Lake, you get a D-. You have a point (Shatner directed you), but it is dumb.

I’ll close with my analysis of the full series: (1) One is boring, but if you like the original series it is like an episode of that and is also much better on re-watch; (2) Two is always good and brings back one of the best villains of the original series as well, highly recommend watching that episode before the film; (3) Silly and kind of pointless … well it has a point, to get Spock back, but that was inevitable and the movie just happens around that inevitability; (4) Some people think this is the best one, I find it a bit too silly, but it is certainly fun and has by far the most genuinely funny moments Star Trek has ever seen; (5) Initial watch this is terrible, slightly better on rewatch I have to admit. Sybok is better than you would think, but again, kind of just like a long episode. (6) Where you really see Kirk stare down his age and his biases in the conclusion to open war with the Klingons. Good, but ultimately a little too confusing to be great.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Preview

The Predator screams in rage once he realizes that the wolves are not real but rather holograms that it won’t be able to kill. Blasting the surrounding trees with a laser beam it runs into the trees to find and destroy those that pulled such a trick on him. Jamie is despondent at The Predator’s lack of focus. He thought The Predator would be helpful in his quest, but apparently working with a space monster driven by bloodlust is harder than he first imagined. Suddenly one of the hologram wolves walk by and boy howdy does she walk. “That’s one sexy wolf,” Jamie thinks distractedly as he heaves the rotting corpse of Frang to his shoulder and starts to follow The Predator’s trail of destruction. Clearly the creator of the holograms must be some kind of devious mastermind… to be able to create such a sexy hologram wolf. He shakes his head. Why is his mind so focused on that wolf’s walk that just won’t quit? As he ponders the sexiness of that cartoon wolf he breaks into a clearing where he is confronted by a horrifying scene of gore. The Predator screams to the heavens in the joy of the hunt. Only one of a group of people remains alive, quivering at its feet. Eyes wide with fear the man implores Jamie, “I can help you get whatever you want if you save me from this space monster.” Jamie calms The Predator with a bro hug. The man reveals that he is a space explorer sent back in time with his now dead crew. As a reward for his life he could give Jamie access to his spaceship or laser beam weapons. But Jamie doesn’t need those… he just needs something to defeat one little old librarian. That’s right! We’re watching Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I never watched any of the franchise so was somewhat unaware just how far we would have to go to get the first qualifying entry in the series. Exciting stuff, but also a shitload of homework for me. Let’s go!

Patrick, Sticks, and Stone go careening down the aisle and into the supermarket. But this ain’t no ordinary supermarket, in this one the brands come to life! What a wonderland, Patrick thinks, imagine how much fun children would have here, laughing and playing with their favorite corporate logos! Beautiful capitalism. Something deep within him starts to stir and he feels compelled to sing. “Ooooh say can you seeeeeee…” All of a sudden Sticks cuts him off, “Hey Patrick … why is this supermarket filled with racist characters?” Patrick looks around. No race, creed, or gender was left unabused in the horrorscape surrounding him. It was a mockery of the red-blooded capitalism Patrick knows and loves. The shopping cart flips and the supermarket disappears (blessedly, seriously it was disturbingly racist and, not surprisingly, filled with farts), and they find themselves on a desert set. “Gosh dern, that’s not bad Patrick. The good news is we’re on the California Desert set which should be close to the LAPD set” says Stones. “What’s the bad news?” Patrick asks hopefully. “We’re going to die of exposure if we don’t find a way out of here,” Sticks growls in reply. Just then a tow truck rolls up and the driver pops his head out, “Y’all want to see some aliens?” Shrugging our shoulders we all clamber aboard the truck and roll out into the desert. That’s right! We’re also watching the William Shatner directed film Groom Lake. Never heard of it? Neither has anyone else, let’s get into it!

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – BMeTric: 51.9

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(Honestly 5.4 is way way lower than I would expect. It is a not good film, but it isn’t complete without merit, and I would have thought fans of the series at least would see the good along with the bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  The Enterprise crew takes off on an emergency mission when an apparent madman takes over a distant planet and holds its interstellar ambassadors hostage; his motives, however, turn out to be anything by terroristic. Dramatically shakey trek starts off with the case of the cutes, and gets worse before it (finally) gets better. A weak entry in the series. Shatner’s feature-film directing debut; he also shares story credit.

(Leonard knows what I love (semi-colons). BTW this is indeed the lowest rated of all of the Trek films according to Leonard. Funny enough After this he gives every single film (literally) exactly three stars. Out of the twelves films in the 2015 book Leonard gives nine of them three stars. Only voyage home (3 1/2 stars), the motion picture (2 1/2 stars) and this don’t get that rating.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE7_pOy_jZk

(This trailer makes the film look like a comedy. It … well, after four it probably makes sense to advertise it that way, but it really isn’t. The story itself is rather serious, perhaps overly so.)

Directors – William Shatner – (BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Star Trek III: The, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Notes: One of two films he directed. I get the feeling he didn’t really like directing, and only really did it because Nimoy tried it out for three and four.)

Writers – Gene Roddenberry (creator: based on “Star Trek”) – (Known For: Star Trek Beyond; Star Trek; Star Trek into Darkness; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek: First Contact; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek: Generations; Star Trek: Insurrection; Future BMT: Star Trek: Nemesis; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Notes: Roddenberry is obviously a television legend. Married Majel Barrett who was famously Nurse Chapel in the original series, Lwaxana Troi in Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and voiced the computer in basically every series.)

William Shatner (story) – (BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Star Trek III: The, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Notes: Probably more famous for writing a ton of spoken word poetry.)

Harve Bennett (story) – (Known For: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Picture of the Decade for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Notes: Died two days before Nimoy. Was at one point attached to a Star Trek Starfleet Academy prequel series which ended up being opposed by Roddenberry and fans alike, and was never made.)

David Loughery (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Nurse 3-D; Lakeview Terrace; Dreamscape; Future BMT: Obsessed; Money Train; Passenger 57; Tom and Huck; The Three Musketeers; Flashback; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Notes: Apparently does uncredited rewrites of a bunch of Joseph Ruben’s films including the “other” WWI film The Ottoman Lieutenant starring Josh Hartnett. Small world.)

Actors – William Shatner – (Known For: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Miss Congeniality; Over the Hedge; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Judgment at Nuremberg; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Osmosis Jones; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Airplane II: The Sequel; Star Trek: Generations; Big Bad Mama; A Christmas Horror Story; Kingdom of the Spiders; Free Enterprise; Incubus; Future BMT: The Wild; Showtime; The Devil’s Rain; Loaded Weapon 1; Visiting Hours; Fanboys; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Escape from Planet Earth; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Star Trek III: The, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Notes: He was a classic 60s television actor I would say, back at the time when such things were just as cheap as one would imagine. He clearly loved stage fighting and running, and many of the notes about his directorial effort suggest as much.)

Leonard Nimoy – (Known For: Star Trek; Star Trek into Darkness; Atlantis: The Lost Empire; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; The Transformers: The Movie; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Them!; The Balcony; Future BMT: Land of the Lost; The Pagemaster; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Zambezia; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Notes: Possibly the most beloved of all television characters in Mr. Spock. He appeared in the rebooted Star Trek films, but, sadly, died a few years ago.)

DeForest Kelley – (Known For: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Gunfight at the O.K. Corral; The Men; The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; House of Bamboo; Future BMT: Night of the Lepus; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Notes: Doctor McCoy. Was effectively typecast as the character. Also appeared in the pilot for Star Trek The Next Generation as the 137-year-old McCoy.)

Budget/Gross – $33 million / Domestic: $52,210,049

(Not great. It isn’t that surprising then that they looked to close out the original series cast and move onto more exciting Next Generation films after the sixth film.)

#62 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

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(Shockingly only After Earth has done better for a BMT film. Most of these films are actually really really good at the top, this is no bad movie genre, it is a regular genre. The genre is booming. And I don’t think it is going to stop unless Star Trek and Star Wars actually collapses … neither of which I think is going to happen.)

#50 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(We’ve seen Wild Wild West, Baywatch, I Spy, and CHiPs just in the last year! Really getting these things going. This came in way before the big 90s boom. Which makes sense, the Star Trek films weren’t really supposed to exist. The Motion Picture was supposed to launch a new series in the 80s, but they were so lucrative they just went for it, so they really were doing something that even they didn’t seem to think would work: remaking old television series as movie franchises.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (10/45): Filled with dull action sequences and an underdeveloped storyline, this fifth Trek movie is probably the worst of the series.

(Being a big fan of Star Trek myself I’ll get into the personal rankings in the recap I think. But suffice it to say, this was the first of the films which I thought was actually genuinely terrible. Reviewer Highlight – Of all of the Star Trek movies, this is the worst. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Rich and Poe V: Space Law (A+)

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(This is just a really really really good poster. I like everything about it. Can I have this poster hanging in my room? *check if in fact he’s allowed to have this hanging in his room* I’m being told I can’t have this in my room… also I would want a better film hanging in my room. Like Here on Earth.)

Tagline(s) – Adventure and Imagination Will Meet At the Final Frontier (D)

(Ah shit. That sucks. Given that fantastic poster this is a giant disappointment.)

Keyword(s) – captain; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 84.6 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 82.7 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 78.1 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 74.8 After Earth (2013); 71.5 Wild Wild West (1999); 70.4 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999); 68.3 Captain America (1990);

(The 1990 Captain America, now that is a terrible film which needs to be brought along with a friend at some point.)

Notes – Enterprise-D corridor sets from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) were used as Enterprise-A corridors in this film. Very few cosmetic alterations were made, so as not to interfere with filming of the television series, which was under way at the same time. (Yeah, likely the Klingon story here is a set up to the treaty in number 6 which is a necessary precursor to Next Generation. Tight. Writing.)

According to George Takei, despite studio pressure to complete the film on time, William Shatner maintained a creative and enthusiastic atmosphere on set. “I have enormous admiration for his ability to block that kind of pressure from seeping on to the set.” Moreover, Takei acknowledged, “despite our sometimes strained personal history, I found working with Bill (Shatner) as a director, to be surprisingly pleasant.” (Yeah, they didn’t like each other, apparently due to some miscommunication about Shatner not being invited to Takei’s marriage, along with Shatner generally just being a hard guy to get along with.).

Originally, Spock and McCoy were to side with Sybok. Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley objected, saying that their characters would never betray Kirk. Gene Roddenberry agreed. (Noice)

Stuntman Kenny Bates is credited with the highest descender fall in the United States, standing in for William Shatner’s fall from El Capitan.

Initially, William Shatner believed that the film would get a positive response. In the morning after the opening night, he woke Leonard Nimoy up to tell him that the Los Angeles Times had given the film a positive review. Soon after, a local television reporter also gave the film a good review, and Shatner recalled that he incorrectly “began sensing a (positive) trend”. He later agreed that the film nearly ended the film franchise, and looking back on the film called it a “failed, but glorious attempt” at a thought-provoking film, that did not come together.

William Shatner, in an interview on E! Entertainment Television, said that David Warner’s character was going to have a prop that consisted of a self-lighting cigarette. According to Shatner, they simply forgot to use it in one of the scenes, even though the prop actually worked, and cost thousands of dollars.

This film contains the first confirmed appearance of Starfleet Marines, an idea Gene Roddenberry wanted, but was unable, to include in Star Trek (1966). The officers accompanying Kirk and crew down to Nimbus III have since been said to be Marines. (coooooool)

DeForest Kelley noted the physicality required for the film and enjoyed doing things that he had not been asked to do in years. “I was very pleased to see that he (Shatner) brought it along in fine style,” he said. Kelley noted that his own ambition to direct had deserted him after seeing difficulties Leonard Nimoy faced directing the previous two Star Trek films.

Leonard Nimoy noted that this was the most physical film in the series, which reflected William Shatner’s energetic sensibility and what he enjoyed doing most on the series – “running and jumping”. (He does love running and jumping. It is incredibly apparent in the original series).

Nichelle Nichols, an accomplished singer and dancer, provided an authentic performance of the “fan dance” routine in this film; she was outraged when her vocals in the scene were later overdubbed in editing without her approval. (She was a singer, she released to albums, although it is unclear whether these are similar to how Shatner released like four spoken word poetry albums).

Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) is the real-life son-in-law of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, whose Desilu Productions company sponsored the first two seasons of Star Trek (1966). (He’s also in a rather fine episode of Murder She Wrote, Lady in the Lake.)

The Great Barrier effects were created using chemicals, which were dropped into a large water tank to create swirls and other reactions. The same technique was used to create the image of the Mutara Nebula in The Wrath of Khan. (Classic)

William Shatner scheduled the campfire scenes to be the last ones shot, after which the cast and crew had a small celebration before a traditional wrap party later.

This film takes place in 2287.

William Shatner originally wanted Sybok’s horse to be a unicorn, adding a more “mythical” approach to the character, but Gene Roddenberry disapproved of this, saying that this would turn Star Trek into a space fantasy instead of science fiction. (But …. It was a unicorn. Just like, an alien unicorn).

This is the only Star Trek movie to win (or even be nominated for) the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture.

The Sickbay set from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) is used, unaltered in the film, making this the first chronological appearance of the LCARS computer system.

Final film voyage of the complete original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Although there would be one more film featuring the original cast, Sulu is no longer a member of the Enterprise crew in the next movie, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), being Captain of the U.S.S. Excelsior. (EXCELSIOR!)

Harve Bennett was exhausted by his work on the previous three Star Trek films, and wanted to move on, feeling that he was not part of the “Star Trek” family, and that he had been mistreated by Leonard Nimoy. When William Shatner tried to convince Bennett to reconsider, the Producer insisted on a meeting at his home. After several hours of discussion Bennett agreed to return. Bennett disagreed with several elements of Shatner’s story, feeling that because no one could assuredly answer the question of God’s existence, the ending of the film would never be satisfying. Bennett also told Shatner that the film had the feeling of a tone poem, rather than an adventure story. The studio agreed with Bennett, reasoning that the subject matter could be too weighty or offensive to theatergoers. (I think it legit was supposed to be God at the end then … that is nuts).

A Bandai Nintendo Entertainment System action game was slated to be released in 1989 along with the movie. The game was canceled following the underperformance of the film at the box-office (it barely broke even). A prototype has surfaced and is circling the net as a ROM. This is notable for its many basic spelling errors (example: at one point Scotty is named “Scotto”) and lack of an ending (the game may have been incomplete at the time this was scrapped). (WHAAAAAAT)

Leonard Nimoy recalled William Shatner’s attempts to instruct him in riding a horse, although Nimoy had ridden many horses bareback when playing American Indian roles for Republic Pictures serials.

Harve Bennett blamed part of the film’s failure on the change from a traditional Thanksgiving-season opening, to the sequel-stuffed summer release period, and the diffusion of fan viewership following the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). (Don’t you dare speak ill of Next Generation)

Kirk’s line “All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” is a quote from the John Masefield poem Sea Fever. Kirk earlier recited the same line in the Star Trek episode The Ultimate Computer.

David Loughery stopped work on the script when the Writers Guild of America went on strike, and the production was further delayed when Leonard Nimoy began working on another project.

The film was produced during the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), making this the first time that a “Star Trek” film was made while a “Star Trek” television series was in production. The same would be true of every subsequent “Star Trek” film up to, and including Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

When Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are in the brig, Kirk presses a button causing a seat to emerge from the wall. This seat is evidently a toilet (with the lid down) because on the wall there’s a warning that it is not to be used while in spacedock. The giveaway here is that in the US, the restrooms on passenger trains used to have signs saying toilets were not to be used when the train is stopped at a station. This is because there were no holding tanks, and the toilet contents were simply dumped onto the tracks when it was flushed.

Gene Roddenberry was highly critical over the idea of Sybok being Spock’s half-brother. He felt this apocryphal for Sarek to have had a son with another woman prior to his marriage to Amanda. (Yeah basically. Like Michael in Discovery he should have been an adopted son. It would have ultimately lead to a beautiful sort of family for Sarek. An adopted full-Vulcan, an adopted full-human, and he own outside son, the half-vulcan-half-human … can we retcon this?)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Harve Bennett, 1990)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (William Shatner, 1990)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (William Shatner, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (DeForest Kelley, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (David Loughery, William Shatner, Harve Bennett, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade (Harve Bennett, 1990)

Wild Wild West Recap

Wicky wicky Wild Wild West. Jim West, desperado, rough rider. No do you don’t want nada. That’s because he is on a mission from the President to stop a conspiracy enacted by former Confederate rebels. Paired with annoying inventor Artemus Gordon can they join their brains and brawn to take down the baddies before it’s too late? Find out in… Wild Wild West.

Jamie

How?! I contemplated whether I should just write all the lyrics to the song here and leave it at that, but unfortunately the song has nary a mention of a giant mechanical spider. So Jim West (desperado and alleged rough rider) is hot on the trail of a big time gun runner/former confederate general. When he tracks him to a saloon he busts in only to find that another federal agent (and inventor/master of disguise) Artemus Gordon is there already. As a result everything blows up and the baddies get away. Called to DC, West and Gordon find themselves paired up in the service of President Grant to stop whatever grand conspiracy the criminal enterprise is up to. “Go get on that steampunk train I have for some reason,” Grant huffs and off they go. They make their way to New Orleans for a grand party thrown by a former Confederate inventor who had been presumed dead. They are able to get some information about the plans, escape, and pick up the sexy Rita Escobar who is searching for her captive father. They then chase after the baddies as they head to Utah to disrupt the completion of the transcontinental railroad only to have Rita kidnapped and find themselves playing some dangerous (and ultimately useless) technological games set up by the inventor. They again escape and track down the bad guys, who have kidnapped President Grant and are attempting to use him to sign away large swaths of the United States. Luckily Jim West (desperado) is there to dress up like a Middle Eastern belly dancer (for real, it’s crazy) and distract the bad guys. A big fight on a giant mechanical spider (still real) ensues and eventually our heroes beat the baddies. Hoping for a smooch they find that Rita is actually married and they instead ride off together for their next sequel. THE END.

Why?! Jim West (desperado) actually does have an interesting motivation in this film. A bit surprising given that the good guy usually is motivated just by goodness. Of course he and Gordon want to protect the President and the nation, but it’s also revealed that Jim’s parents were killed in a massacre orchestrated by the evil genius antagonist. So it’s personal. The bad guy on the other hand feels betrayed by both the US and the Confederacy so he is attempting to break up the United States and sell it to the highest bidders. He also don’t want nada of any desperados or rough riders that may be about.

What?! I would have done a complete 180 on this film if Will Smith pumped up some Reeboks before jumping onto the giant mechanical spider. But alas, it didn’t happen so there is nothing to talk about for this section. I guess I’ll just reiterate that there was a part of this film where our main bad guy is giving a large presentation about his intricate plot to take down the US only to be distracted by Will Smith dressed as a Middle Eastern belly dancer… it’s INSANE. It’s also the most racist portrayal of Middle Eastern culture we’ve seen since *checks notes* last week.

Who?! Will Smith is one of the ultimate musicians-turned-actors, but I have to give a big shout out to Kevin Kline who played both Artemus Gordon and President Ulysses S. Grant. At one time we had contemplated creating a Hall of Presidents where each time a US President (real or fake) appeared in a BMT film that would serve as his “election” and start his term in office. Thus this would begin the term of Ulysses S. Grant as President of the Sklognited States of America. This would of course be his second term in office having been previously elected for his portrayal in Jonah Hex. Huzzah! Long live President Grant!

Where?! Almost a Road Trip Alert with a plethora of specific locations. Starts in West Virginia, moves to Washington DC, heads next to New Orleans, and finishes in Promontory Summit, Utah for a very special climax set at the laying of the Golden Spike to finish the Transcontinental Railroad. Gotta give that a B+.

When?! Did I mention that the climax was set during the laying of the Golden Spike? That gives us an exact date of May 10th, 1869. That is simply magnifique. Giving that an A- for effort, although not exactly necessary to the action at hand.

Oh boy. I mean, this is right up there with Batman & Robin as one of the most misguided films ever to be created. It is straight up terrible and almost impossible to understand how it went as far down the path of terribleness without being stopped. For some reason they cast Will Smith as Jim West riding a steampunk train and fighting a mechanical spider and then felt the need to inject realism about the social climate at the time. Every character has to express surprise at his appearance and thus Will Smith finds himself making joke after joke after joke about the rampant racism that he would have had to deal with. This includes an entire scene where he attempts to evade a lynching by convincing the crowd that he was just evoking his African heritage in touching a woman’s bosom and that slavery wasn’t that big of a deal in his opinion… it is insane. Add on top of that the sublime overacting performance of Kenneth Branagh and the general nonsense and unfunny jokes that populate the script and we have a true BMT gem. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You’ll have to forgive me, I’m actually recovering from a sickness. I developed a terrible fever and hallucinated that Will Smith was in a sci-fi western with a flying bicycle and a mechanical spider. I saw death at my door … up until I realized I wasn’t sick. I was just watching Wild Wild West (slammed), let’s get into it!

The Good – I very much enjoyed the set pieces. You could tell they had the ability and leeway to put together some really special moments. The brothel in particular was incredible, the multi-tiered almost comic-like take on the classic setting, brightly-lit and colorful in opposition to typical westerns. I also very much enjoyed the assassins hidden in paintings, very well put together. Salma Hayek was fun, Kline was fun, Will Smith did his best I think. People were game is what I’m saying.

P’s View on the Preview – We had seen the film before so there wasn’t much to surprising in the preview. I guess I was most fascinated by how the Wicky Wicky Wild Wild West theme song would be incorporated (it wasn’t), and a bit about Kenneth Branagh who I’ve since seen in The Winter’s Tale on stage in London (with Dame Judi Dench … it was fantastic, and yeah, I’m bragging … it was awesome).

The Bad – I mean … mostly everything? Will Smith might be game, but he’s out of place in this film, he feels like a modern action hero instead of a US Marshal in the Wicky Wicky Wild Wild West. I love Branagh, but he character is very weird and, again, feels out of place (this time by being a little too gross and dark for the comic tone). The last third of the film is just catastrophic from a storytelling perspective, even Will Smith just pops out of nowhere in disguise at one point. The gang of attractive women Dr. Loveless drags around … gives off a problematic impression (so problematic they apparently rewrote the final fight because it was just Will Smith wailing on three women, wowza!). This film is stunning. Like Batman & Robin except dressed up as a cautionary tale about steampunk westerns.

Get Yo Rant On – The writers of this film did Will Smith a huge disservice. I hope I’m not speaking out of turn: but they put him in a position where he’s faux-lynched and is avenging the death of his freed-slave parents … and to serve what? Some strange question as to why a black US Marshal might be out of place for the time? It sure seemed like it. Ignore it! I mean … Kevin Klein’s character invents a genuine self-propelled airplane in 1869, so why is it impossible to believe this weirdly advanced society is colorblind? The film is bad enough as is without making the bad guy an ultra-racist confederate (Dr. Loveless isn’t even a Confederate in the original show, he’s just a (short) man out for revenge!) and explicitly pitting him against Will Smith. Woof. Just very strange to watch twenty years later. End rant.

The BMT – It’s a classic right? I would watch this movie again. I would watch it a bunch of times. As I said, the brothel set piece is actually quite nice looking in the beginning, the painting assassination scene is also pretty fun (middle) and I can laugh all day at the belly dancing scene (end). It really doesn’t quit. Probably the best argument so far for watching some of these films we’ve seen before, I couldn’t have even imagined how crazy this film was without watching it again.

Welcome to Earf – So, Salma Hayek was in Wicky Wicky Wild Wild West and Grown Ups with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – This has got credit up to wazoo. It is third for the worst film of 1999 in Rolling Stone, and although the formatting is a bit messed up it was mentioned near the end in this New York Post article. It basically swept the Razzies, and you can find a litany of quotes from everyone involved about how terrible the film is.

So in theory there was a ton of Homework Sklog-signment, because the movie is based on a television program. I did end up watching an episode (season 1 episode 20, the Night of the Whirring Death). Two things: first, luckily I found an episode streaming with Dr. Loveless, who is played by a little person in the television show (Michael Dunn, who I recognize from an episode of the original Star Trek); second, the show is far more serious than the movie they decided to make. It is like Star Trek, quippy or tongue in cheek at times, but also very serious. Old-fashioned. That is what I would have preferred for the film and I’m glad I wasn’t incorrect in my thinking. Welp, better for the eventual Wild Wild West Cinematic Universe (WWWCU) to reboot it anyways.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wild Wild West Preview

When Patrick and Jamie arrive in beautiful Delaware City for the big No Rulez Race they are dismayed to find that their teammate, noted speedster and comic superstar Cheech Marin, has totally ditched them. On top of that he broke the chain on their rad three person tandem bicycle that they were going to use to power their way to victory. They hold the pieces of chain in their hands and vow to mend it, but it’s too late and they still got a race to win. In a stroke of genius they decide to split up into two different teams to give themselves a better chance to win and go off in search of a zany gimmick that will lead to victory.

As Jamie walks down the boardwalk he’s nearly run over by a rollerblader looking super sweet. “Watch where you’re going!” He yells and tries to get a police officer’s attention but he is waved off. Just then he gets an idea: no one stops a rollerblader because they are just too cool. What better way to win the No Rulez Race than to do the thing furthest from rulez: rollerblading. He straps on his blades, jumps into his jorts, and skates his way across America bippin’ and boppin’ to sweet tunez. Other teams totes sabotage each other, but no one minds the dude just blading along. Nearly 1 month later he finally blades his way towards the finish line. Every other competitor has broken down weeks ago, but his blades keep on a-going. He looks to his right…

As Patrick stumbles his way out of the nearest tavern he’s nearly run over by a rollerblader looking like a total asshole. “Hey, watch it bub!” He shouts drunkenly and in a stupor. He’s taken the loss of their three-person tandem bicycle hard and has only found solace in the cool refreshing taste of Zima. He is generally terrible at everything now and decides to give up on life. What better way to show the world that you’ve given up than to strap on some blades and attempt to skate your way across America. Nearly a month later and trailing empty Zima bottles the entire way, Patrick approaches the finish line. Every other competitor has broken down, but Patrick has continued ever forwards, his eyes glazed with hate for the world that has abandoned him and his three-person tandem bicycle. He looks to his left…

… they are shocked to see each other right alongside! Patrick’s legs akimbo, he looks terrible. Like some knock-off terrible version of Jamie’s golden rollerblading god. Yet they finish at the exact same time because they are the best twins ever and demand their prize. The organizer reveals that the prize was supposed to be a golden microphone but he lost it months ago in Bolivia. “Like this one?” They ask, pulling out their karaoke prize. “Yup, guess you had it the whole time and this whole adventure was pretty much useless and not worth going through.” Knowing just what to do we sing together with perfect pitch and the microphone opens to reveal another riddle. Good god. “To the desert you must go, and find the final piece you need. A robot spider is your foe, defeat it with your twinzo speed.” That’s right! We’re watching the only major BMT film with a giant robotic spider, Wild Wild West. A true classic of the BMT genre, I remembering seeing it when it came out in theaters with a packed crowd. I was of an age where films were mostly good and never bad, but I do remember feeling that this one was a very strange film. BTW, the reason Cheech Marin abandoned us in this story is he was used as a Chain Reaction but didn’t actually appear in the film at all. IMDb totally screwed us. Anyway, we’ll mend the chain next week. Let’s go!

Wild Wild West (1999) – BMeTric: 71.5

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WildWildWest_RV

(Very stable around 70+ which is in “legendary” territory. Basically the rating is rising as one would expect with the number of votes coming in. This kind of trend is pretty common with really terrible films that came out before Rotten Tomatoes pages started getting archived. You can’t see the start of the graph basically, but by 2004ish it had already been established as one of the worst films ever made.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Rehash of 1960s TV series finds special agents James West (Smith) and inventor Artemus Gordon (Kline) on a special mission for President Grant to capture nefarious bad guy Arliss Loveless (Branagh). Overstuffed with visual gimmickry, but leaden in every way. You can hear the banter landing with a thud every few minutes.

(Sounds about right. Everything you read about this film suggests Will Smith was a major miscast. Is seems to forced a film that should have been westers-sci-fi into a more comedic style. And by doing so things get leaden as Maltin says.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It89i3W-v4s

(Wow. Well, the first half of that trailer actually looked kind of fun. If I was around 13 years old in 1999 and saw that on television I might be excited to see it in theater (hehe … gulp). The second half looks genuinely terrible though, just kind of a mess of bad CGI mostly.)

Directors – Barry Sonnenfeld – (Known For: The Addams Family; Men in Black; Men in Black 3; Addams Family Values; Get Shorty; Big Trouble; Future BMT: R.V.: Runaway Vacation; Men in Black II; The Concierge; BMT: Wild Wild West; Nine Lives; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Has directed for over 20 years. Recently directed ten episodes of the Series of Unfortunate Events television series.)

Writers – Jim Thomas and John Thomas (story) – (Known For: Predator; Predators; Executive Decision; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; Predator 2; BMT: AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem; Wild Wild West; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; Behind Enemy Lines; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: They haven’t done much credited work, mainly they get story credits for the various Predator adaptations and sequels. Jim Thomas did an article in Empire looking back at Predator though, so they are still kicking around it seems.)

S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock (screenplay) – (Known For: Tremors; Short Circuit; *batteries not included; Heart and Souls; Future BMT: Ghost Dad; Short Circuit 2; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Claimed their original script was more serious and tried to get their names taken off of the credits. Helped found Stampede Entertainment which made the first four films in the Tremors franchise.)

Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman (screenplay) – (Known For: Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Shrek the Third; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Doc Hollywood; Last Holiday; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2001; Notes: Comedy writers presumably brought in to punch up the script after they decided to go the comedy route with this film. Their credited work is punctuated with large gaps in working, and I can’t really find much additional information on them.)

Actors – Will Smith – (Known For: Independence Day; I Am Legend; Men in Black; Focus; The Pursuit of Happyness; Men in Black 3; Bad Boys; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Hancock; I, Robot; Hitch; Enemy of the State; Concussion; Ali; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Six Degrees of Separation; Where the Day Takes You; Future BMT: Made in America; Shark Tale; Suicide Squad; Men in Black II; Bright; Bad Boys II; Collateral Beauty; BMT: After Earth; Wild Wild West; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Y’all know Will Smith. Once a rapper, a television phenom in Fresh Prince, now … he’s bungee jumping over the Grand Canyon on Youtube for his 50th birthday.)

Kevin Kline – (Known For: Beauty and the Beast; No Strings Attached; The Big Chill; A Fish Called Wanda; Definitely, Maybe; Sophie’s Choice; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Road to El Dorado; Silverado; Ricki and the Flash; Chaplin; Last Vegas; Cry Freedom; Life as a House; Dave; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Grand Canyon; In & Out; The Conspirator; French Kiss; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Darling Companion; The January Man; Consenting Adults; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; The Last of Robin Hood; As You Like It; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Kevin Kline. His daughter is the musician Frankie Cosmos.)

Kenneth Branagh – (Known For: Avengers: Infinity War; Dunkirk; Murder on the Orient Express; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Valkyrie; The Boat That Rocked; The Road to El Dorado; My Week with Marilyn; Much Ado About Nothing; Hamlet; Dead Again; Chariots of Fire; Swing Kids; Henry V; Rabbit-Proof Fence; Mindhorn; Celebrity; Othello; Five Children and It; Future BMT: Frankenstein; Sleuth; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: He had a very obscure uncredited cameo in Avengers: Infinity War. Naturally, he is huge in the Shakespeare scene in London, I saw him in Winter’s Tale … it was fantastic.)

Budget/Gross – $170 million / Domestic: $113,804,681 (Worldwide: $222,104,681)

(Some places argue it made back its money overseas. False, this was a write off of probably $100 million from the pure accounting perspective. But it likely made its money back with advertising and tie-ins surrounding the release.)

#17 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

wildwildwest_actionbuddycomedy

(Barely beaten by the first Ride Along for the highest grossing qualifier we’ve seen, although Men in Black II is actually the most successful qualifying example available (same director as Wild Wild West!). The genre got blown out in the early 90s, but has recovered since.)

#20 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(The Pirates franchise crushes this one for bad films, and the Three Musketeers (Plaaaaanchet) from 2011 is my favorite. I have a feeling with CGI and 3D printing technology that period films are going to see a boom in the near future and it becomes easier and cheaper to create. I guess we’ll see though. You can definitely see CGI helping the genre come into its own in the late 90s.)

#17 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(This is our seventh, and this is by far the most successful bad adaptation we’ve seen, and the most successful qualifying film ever. This kind of marks the end of a giant boom of adaptations. They come out more regularly now (Baywatch and CHiPs are recent examples), but they were just churning them out in the late 90s)

#6 for the Western genre

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(Peak of the western genre actually, highest grossing qualifying film in the genre. The genre is coming back in style in a major way as well after dying in the late-90s. We’ve seen six westerns now, my favorite being (Hall of Fame) Texas Rangers. Although Jonah Hex is also pretty hilarious.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (22/131): Bombastic, manic, and largely laugh-free, Wild Wild West is a bizarre misfire in which greater care was lavished upon the special effects than on the script.

(The argument in the notes seems to be that the script was overwritten once they got Will Smith (mis)cast in order to make it a comedy. Then they didn’t even do that right and had to do a bunch of reshoots to add even more comedy in because audiences didn’t understand why the movie wasn’t really funny. It sounds like a complete disaster. Reviewer Highlight – The elaborate special effects are like watching money burn on the screen – Roger Ebert)

Poster – Wild Wild Sklog (F! F! F!)

wild_wild_west_ver2

(Whhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Holy shit. Move over The Avengers (1998) there is a new sheriff in town. That has got to be hands down the worst poster I have ever seen for a major motion picture release.)

Tagline(s) – It’s a whole new west. July ’99. (:D)

(Lol, yes please put this on the poster. Make sure you have that year on there in case someone is confused and thinks the movie might come out in July 2000 or July 2001. This smacks of someone being like “this is truly an event people. When children across America hang this on their walls they want to remember exactly when it came out.”)

Keyword(s) – utah; Top Ten by BMeTric: 71.5 Wild Wild West (1999); 55.3 Point Break (2015); 48.6 R.V.: Runaway Vacation (2006); 25.1 Idle Hands (1999); 24.6 Resident Evil: Extinction (2007); 23.9 My 5 Wives (2000); 23.3 Duets (2000); 22.6 Pride and Prejudice (2003); 20.3 The Mountain Between Us (2017); 18.8 Love Me Like You Do (2014);

(I wouldn’t really call Wild Wild West a Utah film unfortunately. The climax takes place there, but the film is kind of roadtrippy in how it moves around. Starts in West Virginia, moves to Washington D.C., goes to New Orleans (for an extended segment), and then they railroad it to Utah pretty directly. But it definitely takes place across a number of different settings. Still, pretty surprising we’ve not seen any of the others on this list.)

Notes – Will Smith turned down the lead role in The Matrix (1999) to star in this movie, being a fan of the television series. He later said this was the worst decision he made in his career. (It was. Although you can’t really say Keanu somehow because I giant star after The Matrix, and Will Smith was slightly more famous than him at that point … but Wild Wild West definitely quickened the pace of Will Smith’s box office downfall)

The film underwent costly re-shoots in an attempt to inject some humor after it was found that test audiences weren’t sure if it was supposed to be a comedy. (It shouldn’t have been)

Though a box-office failure in the U.S. (it managed to turn a profit overseas), it’s commonly joked that the only reason the film earned any money at all is because unaccompanied minors would buy tickets to this film, then use them to sneak into screenings of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and American Pie (1999). (HA)

Will Smith said that he knew the movie wasn’t any good and he was embarrassed when it earned almost fifty million dollars in its opening weekend. Years later, Smith apologized publicly to Robert Conrad (star of the original television series) and said now that he was older and more experienced, he understood Conrad’s anger and criticism of the film version, as well as Conrad’s refusal to make a cameo appearance in it. (Conrad should have had more input, although maybe he just was opposed to any movie being made)

When Kenneth Branagh was in an articulated metal platform as Dr. Loveless, he actually was seated in the device in a kneeling position. He would have to get up every few minutes and walk around to get the circulation back in his legs, as they would constantly go numb from being in that position for an extended period of time.

When this film swept the 20th Annual Razzie Awards, winning five statuettes including Worst Picture, Robert Conrad, who played James West in the original 1960s television series, accepted three of the awards in person, as his way of expressing his low opinion of what had been done with his source material. (HA, good on Robert Conrad)

Robert Conrad was initially approached by Barry Sonnenfeld to make a cameo appearance as President Ulysses S. Grant. He turned down the offer after reading the script, due to what he felt was its poor quality and lack of loyalty for the original series, on which it was based. (YOU SHOULD HAVE DEMANDED TO BE SCRIPT SUPERVISOR)

The characters of “Spike Guy” and “Knife Guy” were added to the movie and inserted into the climax after test audiences found the heroes fighting only Loveless’ beauties to be very odd. (Ahahahahahahhaha these notes are gold)

Mel Gibson was set to star as James West, and Richard Donner (who had directed three episodes of The Wild Wild West (1965)) was set to direct, with a script by Shane Black, back when Warner Bros. announced the plans to make the movie in 1992. However, they both dropped out and went on to do Maverick (1994). After Gibson dropped out, Tom Cruise was attached to star, before dropping out to star in Mission: Impossible (1996). (Wow, what a journey this had to the screen. Maverick is better … although still a very odd Western)

Belle was originally cast with, and filmed with British actress Phina Oruche. Reportedly, the chemistry needed for the bathtub love scene wasn’t there. The scene was recast and re-shot with Garcelle Beauvais. However, Oruche was not told, and found out she was no longer in the film at the premiere in Los Angeles. (Oh no!)

Kevin Smith has said that the giant spider was producer Jon Peters’ idea for the later-abandoned “Superman Lives” project with Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton. (Yup, a very famous story on podcasts. The entire thing sound so absurd as to be … extremely plausible)

Barry Sonnenfeld, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek, Will Smith, and in fact half the staff at Warner Bros. hate this film. Hayek in particular thought she was being underused, while Kline considered himself too good of an actor for the finished product. (Kline is too good of an actor for the finished product. So is Branagh actually)

This is the second movie in which Kevin Kline plays both the President of the United States and the man impersonating the President. The first was Dave (1993). (That didn’t even occur to me as I watched the film)

When Will Smith asked his mother what she thought of the film, she replied “You’ve done better, baby”. (Oh no! These notes are amazing)

There was a recurring villain on the television series named Dr. Loveless, but he was a dwarf rather than an amputee, and his first name was Miguelito, not Arliss. (Huh, fun fact)

Ted Levine grew up watching the original television series. Levine said he enjoyed working on the film, but because there were so many writers revising the script, there was no center, causing the story to be all over the place. He attributed that to the film’s failure, as well as Will Smith’s miscasting. (Uh … fair)

According to screenwriters S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, their original script was rewritten almost entirely from their draft. The duo, who have worked on several films together, claimed their script was heavily rewritten by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, with further rewrites by an uncredited Jim Kouf, in an attempt to add more action and comedy to a script that was a mostly serious, dialog-driven mystery western. Entire additions, such as the villain, most of the jokes and action scenes, and the entire 3rd act involving the giant spider, were new without their input. Wilson and Braddock tried to get their names taken off from the film after seeing the final product, and they have since refused to work with a major studio because of the experience. (Yeah, the first script sounds much better sadly. Although I’m not sure how much I buy it, Maddock himself claims he tends to drive scripts towards comedy, but perhaps they mean it would be more like Tremors and less like … this.)

At an official 150 million dollars (unofficial 170 million dollars) it stands as the most expensive movie produced by Warner Bros. and the most expensive movie released in 1999.

In 1997, writer Gilbert Ralston sued Warner Bros. over the upcoming motion picture based on the series. Ralston helped create The Wild Wild West (1965) television series, and scripted the pilot episode, The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Inferno (1965). In a deposition, Ralston explained that in 1964 he was approached by producer Michael Garrison who ‘”said he had an idea for a series, good commercial idea, and wanted to know if I could glue the idea of a western hero and a James Bond type together in the same show.” Ralston said he then created the Civil War characters, the format, the story outline and nine drafts of the script that was the basis for the television series. It was his idea, for example, to have a secret agent named Jim West who would perform secret missions for a bumbling Ulysses S. Grant. Ralston’s experience brought to light a common Hollywood practice of the 1950s and 1960s, when television writers, who helped create popular series, allowed producers or studios to take credit for a show, thus cheating the writers out of millions of dollars in royalties. Ralston died in 1999, before his suit was settled. Warner Bros. ended up paying his family between 600,000 and 1.5 million dollars. (Hollywood accounting at its best. Go get your money Ralston)

The locomotive in the film (#25 William Mason) was previously used in The Great Locomotive Chase (1956). “Chase” also featured Virginia & Truckee Railroad #22 “Inyo”, which was used in The Wild Wild West television series. (Train facts! Awesome)

The sequences on both Artemus Gordon’s and Dr. Loveless’ trains interiors were shot on sets at Warner Bros. The train exteriors were shot in Idaho on the Camas Prairie Railroad. The Wanderer is portrayed by the Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 No. 25, one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the U.S. Built in 1856 at the Mason Machine Works in Taunton, Massachusetts, it was later renamed The “William Mason” in honor of its manufacturer. During pre-production the engine was sent to the steam shops at the Strasburg Railroad for restoration and repainting. The locomotive is brought out for the B&O; Train Museum in Baltimore’s “Steam Days”. (Tauton Mass. what what)

In the movie, the Central Pacific’s Jupiter was played by the J.W. Bowker (Virginia & Truckee #21). Now displayed at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California. The Union Pacific’s 119 was played by the Reno (Virginia & Truckee #11). Now displayed at Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, Arizona. (I. Love. Train facts!)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Kevin Kline, Will Smith, 2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Barry Sonnenfeld, 2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jim Thomas, John Thomas, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, 2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Stevie Wonder, Kool Moe Dee, Will Smith, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Kline, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kevin Kline, 2000)

Conan the Barbarian (2011) Recap

Jamie

After surviving an attack by the warlord Zym as a child, Conan grows up to be a powerful pirate, pilfering and banging ladies all day (high five). But when he overhears that Zym is back in town and looking for immense power Conan knows what needs to be done. Can he stop Zym (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in Conan the Barbarian.

What?! Conan’s totally the boss from day one. He’s like ten years old and totes crushing his enemies under his Cimmerian heel. Unfortunately a dangerous warlord Zym and his sorceress daughter are hoping to get all the pieces of the powerful Mask of Acheron which definitely does… something… and guess who has the last piece? That’s right, Conan’s daddio and he gets killed trying to protect it. Flash forward years and Conan is still the boss and he’s a pirate extraordinaire. While he loves crushing brews and the ladies with his bros, he finds destiny calling when he learns that Zym is out to finish the job with the mask. To bring it to full power Zym needs the blood of a totally bodacious pure-blood and he’s right on her trail. But Conan’s right there to be like ‘psych’ and grab her instead. He pretends to want to trade her to Zym but really he’s there to karate chop Zym in the neck, but Conan is seriously injured in the ensuing fight. They go off oto recover on his pirate ship and eventually bone in a cave (obviously) immediately after which she’s captured by Zym and taken to his magical cave shaped like a skull (lots of caves in this one). Conan comes to the rescue, fights an octopus, battles with the sorceress, and eventually Zym falls into a crevasse and dies because he’s dumb. Conan and the lady then go off to setup a sequel. If anyone wants to put this in as the synopsis on Wikipedia feel free to do so. I’m pretty sure I summed it up the best. THE END.

Why?! Well the bad guy wants that sweet looking mask that definitely is super powerful. He wants to use it to bring his sorceress wife back from the dead using the pure-blood as a vessel. His daughter is like “but I’m also like a powerful sorceress,” but Zym isn’t too impressed and is like “you’ll never be like your mom. She was rad.” Conan mostly wants to freely kill and pillage to his heart’s desire, but when the chance to avenge his father comes about he’s pretty into that too.

What?! Sometimes even I forget that this section isn’t just for product placement (which might be hard to come by in Cimmeria), but also for MacGuffins. MacGuffins like the Mask of Acheron that Zym hopes to put back together to attain ultimate power. Except that the crown seems to need the blood of a pure-blood to work… so doesn’t that make the blood the real MacGuffin and the crown just something rad you wear while killing innocents? Something to think about.

Who?! As often seems to be a requirement in these types of films the main bad guy has an underling of immense size which our hero must overcome. In this case it’s Pro wrestler/MMA fighter/kickboxer/former pro football player Bob Sapp. While he doesn’t do much of any of that in the US anymore, he is still a pretty big star over in Japan fighting people and apparently a bear. He also pretty much loses every fight he participates in (including against said bear) and recently was accused of domestic violence… so things not looking great for Bob Sapp.

Where?! The lands of the Hyborian Age, duh (emphasis on the -Bor-, amirite?). Conan is from Cimmeria, but his adventures take him all over the place… which is just not worth me talking about since it’s all made up anyway. Hard to judge these things so I usually give it an N/A.

When?! After the sinking of Atlantis, duh (emphasis on the… uh… -Anti-… amirite?). People have tried to place this sometime around 10,000 B.C. but I don’t think that’s worth the effort. This is all made up. Don’t know if you heard but Atlantis is fictional. N/A.

At first I actually thought I might like this. There were bare-breasted ladies, limbs getting chopped, and other things that my lizard brain liked. But it pretty quickly got bogged down in the main thrust of the film focused around the mask and revenge. Blah. Can’t I just enjoy Conan being a pirate and learning of a big time treasure he wants to get (which turns out to actually be a sexy princess, ooh lah lah) and eventually coming to rule a kingdom? Do I need you to rehash and ruin the origin story of Conan? It seemed like they couldn’t even decide how to ruin the plot so they not only had a MacGuffin in the Mask, but also had the revenge subplot. Choose one and stick with it. Also Rose McGowan was not good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Conan the Barbarian? We haven’t had a movie about him in like … 30 years! Call up that swords and sandals screenwriter we have on retainer and give him a million, I want a script by Tuesday, we’ll lunch. That’s my impression of the producer of this film. Let’s go!

The Good – Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … this movie got me to watch the original again, and read another Conan short story. I know a lot more about pulp novels of the 30s and Conan because of it. Thanks terrible Conan movie.

Ps View on the Preview – I like where I went a few weeks ago with this, so I’m going to try again. There are 15 qualifying films in the sword and sorcery genre in Box Office Mojo (nearly 50% of the wide release films qualify, which I’ve now discovered is a higher percentage than 75% of the other Box Office Mojo genres). We’ve seen 9 of 15 qualifying films, the other six being Highlander 3 and 4, Red Sonja, Kull the Conqueror, Krull, and Quest for Camelot. There was a lot of cred to live up to for sure.

The Bad – This is the kind of movie which makes you think they ruined Conan the character (even though they didn’t really). It is an action film starring Conan instead of a Conan story. The acting is dire. And not just Momoa (who sadly captures none of the charm Arnold brought to the role), but everyone, especially Rose McGowan. The story is a bit too expositiony. The action a bit too clean. … I’m doing a terrible job describing this, but having watched the original and read another short story (see below) the heart of Conan was missing and replaced with Dungeons & Dragons (the movie). And that makes me sad.

Get Yo Rant On – This movie is far too convenient for me. Oh, Conan cuts the nose off of one of the villains henchmen so that he immediately recognizes him 20 years later, how convenient. Oh, Conan happens to fall in with an escaping thief who is something of a king of thieves and can pick any lock in the world, hope we have some locks to pick later (oh, we do? How convenient). Conan happens to save Tamara, totally by accident, who is (quite literally) the only pure blood of Achemon in the entire world, how convenient. Hell, the entire last fight scene involved Conan kind of accidentally not falling into a giant pit and dying. Too convenient, bad writing, kind of loses itself trying to set up big action set pieces. End of rant.

Welcome to Earf – Luckily this is a short one. Ron Perlman is in Conan the Barbarian and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale which also starred Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

The BMT – I think this will only be notable once we finish off the three and a half Conan films available (Conan the Destroyer, Conan 2011, Red Sonja, and Kull the Conqueror which was originally written as Conan the Conqueror). We’ve done two, and the other one and a half should be easy enough. I think this will be the least pleasant, if only because it is the only one without that 80s/90s sword and sorcery charm going for it.

StreetCreditReport.com – Looks like plenty. Here is it 19. Here is it 6. And Stuckman has it at 5. Basically it isn’t beating out things like Jack and Jill or The Zookeeper very often, but it was on the critics radar and widely disliked at the time. Since? I imagine it has mostly been forgotten. Maybe they’ll reboot or sequelize the older movies again.

Whoooeeeeee. And I actually did some homework! I re-watched the original Conan and read another of the short stories, Shadows in the Moonlight. The story was quite good. Goes into Conan’s chivalry, and also his tendency to be both a pirate and a thief, but also never actually pillaging or stealing during the story (it is always before or after the story). He’s an interesting character, and one I think Arnold portrayed quite well in the original. Which also had a much more effective beginning to the film (yada yada yada-ing a bunch of stuff with “and he was a slave and became super strong and learned to fight”), and a generally pleasant and true-to-character thief story that evolves into revenge. I don’t think the new movie did the character wrong in any way, it is a lot closer than I expected. But it still felt like a modern version of Conan with a heart and conscious of gold, not enough barbarian. It just doesn’t really sit correctly with the 1930s pulp novels vibe I would want. C- adaptation, better than I expected, but worse than it easily should have been.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Conan the Barbarian (2011) Preview

Rich and Poe are hardboiled detectives ready to crack heads and flush crime down the drain (if it wasn’t for all the bureaucratic bullshit at the LAPD). Poe is only 10 days away from retirement and Rich doesn’t play by anyone’s rules so when they are called into the chief’s office and told that they must infiltrate a middle school in downtown LA they want to say no way. Unfortunately they know that despite being nearly 40-years-old they are the only ones hip to what the kids are up to and capable of doing the job. Tossing on backwards caps and some Reebok pumps they skateboard their way into school as a couple of dope tweens. They need to infiltrate the 7th grade Dungeons & Dragons club which is suspected to be a front for dealing a new synthetic drug on the market called DeezNuts. “D&D!” says Rich, “man, that sounds like rulez.” But Poe reminds him that in school, rulez=coolz. True dat. They get dressed in some major nerd attire and enter the world of swords and sorcery as they take the guise of Sorsaron the Barbarian and the powerful Mage, Brawln. Together they infiltrate the gang and start up the campaign that will take these drug-dealing preteens downtown. That’s right! We’re watching the remake of Conan the Barbarian. We already watched Conan the Destroyer for BMT so this will complete the complete Conan set… until the next remake comes out. This was produced by Boaz Davidson, who also produced the Nic Cage classic and BMT HoFer The Wicker Man… man, this guy loves making shitty remakes. Let’s go!

Conan the Barbarian (2011) – BMeTric: 60.7

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(Wow, beautiful curve right there. This is a set it and forget it definitely below average film. Like … a kind of film you can enjoy depending (sub 5.0 is where it starts to get dicey), but also not even close to the average (which is around 6.2))

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Raised by a fearless tribal leader, Conan seeks revenge on the rival who brought death and destruction to his father and community. While on his quest he meets a woman who is being hunted by the same evildoers for her “pure blood.” New look at Robert E. Howard’s pulp-fiction hero may not be intellectually stimulating, but it’s never dull, with great action scenes, visual effects, and two formidable villains: warlord Lang and McGowan, as his sorceress daughter. Extremely violent.

(For the record he gave this the same review as the original, which honestly could very well be fair. The “extremely violent” part at the end is pretty amusing. It doesn’t really get me excited for the film, but it doesn’t make me worried either. Just kind of meh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1iJZIMddpM

(This soundtrack makes me worried. Kind of right there in the thick of the 300 fad of washed out colors which is just now dying ten years later. It looks terrible, but I will withhold judgment. A Conan film is always about the representation of Conan in my opinion. Momoa looks terrible in the trailer, but we’ll see.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: He was a very prolific music video director up until 2000. Notably a friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he almost directed End of Days.)

Writers – Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (written by) – (Future BMT: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; Sahara; BMT: A Sound of Thunder; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Not much information on these guys. They are adapting Mandrake the Magician though, which should be … frankly it sounds like a terrible idea.)

Sean Hood (written by) – (Known For: Cube 2: Hypercube; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Started his career as a set dresser on Twin Peaks. Is known for horror and swords-and-sandals films.)

Robert E. Howard (character of Conan) – (Known For: Conan the Barbarian; Solomon Kane; Future BMT: Red Sonja; Kull the Conqueror; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Wrote the Conan pulp novels in the 1930s. They are interesting and short, reading either the introduction (which is super weird) or one of the novels involving Belit the pirate queen is well worth the time I think.)

Actors – Jason Momoa – (Known For: Justice League; Braven; The Bad Batch; Bullet to the Head; Road to Paloma; Future BMT: Johnson Family Vacation; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Wolves; Sugar Mountain; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Wrestler turned actor who played Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Drive; Tangled; Hellboy; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Alien: Resurrection; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; Blade II; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; La guerre du feu; The Bleeder; 13 Sins; Cronos; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Conan the Barbarian; Season of the Witch; Notes: Bad movie legend. He announced his intention to run for U.S. President in 2020.)

Rose McGowan – (Known For: Scream; Death Proof; Planet Terror; Grindhouse; Machete; Class of 1999; The Doom Generation; Going All the Way; Fifty Dead Men Walking; Future BMT: Bio-Dome; The Black Dahlia; Ready to Rumble; Jawbreaker; California Man; Paranormal: White Noise; Nowhere; Southie; BMT: Monkeybone; Conan the Barbarian; Phantoms; Notes: Has been in the news a ton recently due to her high-profile battle with Harvey Weinstein over accusations of rape and legal settlements. Probably most famous as a television actress in Charmed.)

Budget/Gross – $90 million / Domestic: $21,295,021 (Worldwide: $48,795,021)

(Wow, catastrophic. Makes sense they scraped plans for the sequel then. That is just astonishingly bad.)

#76 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(People do love their fantasy don’t they? As crazy as it sounds the highest ranked BMT film is The Last Airbender of all things. Disney and Harry Potter have dominated the releases.)

#46 for the Revenge genre

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(Kind of gross, but the genre is waning which is … good I think. Revenge isn’t particularly great for anyone usually, right? Need for Speed was the highest ranked BMT film here. This earned less than that crazy Ben-Hur remake!)

#20 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(The plot is a little enigmatic, but I guess you could say these come in waves and we are moving out of a wave at the moment. Warcraft is the most recent film listed which seems crazy, but I also am hard pressed to name another Sword and Sorcery in the meantime … kind of sad, it is a fun genre I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (34/145): While its relentless, gory violence is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books, Conan the Barbarian forsakes three-dimensional characters, dialogue, and acting in favor of unnecessary 3D effects.

(I don’t get this consensus. More faithful to the books? The 1982 film is extremely gory and violent. And it wasn’t really the character building that made it great … it very much took the pulp approach to the series. So I don’t really understand the point. Whatever. Reviewer Highlight: Rent the original instead. – Tom Huddleston, Time Out)

Poster – Conan the Sklogarian (C)

conan_ver8

(Oh boy. This is like the artistic version of the legendary Avengers poster. Weird two-color gradient is no bueno and there is just way too much going on. That being said this actually looks somewhat artistic with some nice font and symmetry. Lands back in the middle.)

Tagline(s) – Enter An Age Undreamed Of (D)

(Heh. No thanks.)

Keyword(s) – sword and sandal; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 82.6 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 76.6 Hercules in New York (1970); 64.7 Eragon (2006); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 54.1 Vercingétorix (2001); 53.9 Gods of Egypt (2016); 53.7 Season of the Witch (2011); 52.2 Caligula (1979);

(Vercingetorix is called Druids in the United States and looks … awful. It looks kind of like the cheap Asterix films. Hercules and Caligula are classics though, pre-1980 and a 50+ BMeTric is pretty nuts. And then we’ll have truly mastered the sword and sandal epic … but who are we kidding The Legend of Hercules is the best of the bunch.)

Movie Stub – Conan the Barbarian (2011 film) (C-class) – There is a small note about expanding the critical reception, but it is already quite good. I’m not sure why whomever put that there put it as a public display instead as a plea on the talk page to be honest. Otherwise this looks like a very well maintained page will little (beyond perhaps editing the plot a bit after watching) for me to offer. Good example of the “(YEAR film)” title requirement on wikipedia, because the name is the same as (1) The character from the original pulp novels, and (2) The original 1982 adaptation.

Notes – Jason Momoa enrolled in an intense six-week training program at a stunt and martial arts academy in Los Angeles for his part, while still finalizing negotiations for the film.

Jason Momoa is by his own admission afraid of horses, so all his horse riding scenes had to either be faked or filmed with doubles. (hahaha, this is like the thing about how Gary Busey is allergic to horse saliva and has a rider in his contracts that prohibits them from being on set)

Rachel Nichols had a body double for her sex scene. (As I assume most ladies do)

Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the role of Corin, Conan’s father, but declined. Schwarzenegger played Conan in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982), of which this film is a remake. (eeeeh, is it a remake though? Or is it a separate adaptation of the pulp novels. I guess we’ll see if the story is the same … because if it is then yeah, it’s a remake)

Jason Momoa and Rachel Nichols would later be offered the roles of Drax the Destroyer and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Both turned the roles down, and Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana, respectively, took them. (huh I wonder why Momoa turns down Drax. Maybe he was already in discussion for Aquaman)

Dolph Lundgren, then Mickey Rourke, were in talks to play Corin, Conan’s father, but Rourke turned it down to do Immortals (2011) before Ron Perlman was cast. (Oh, that reminds me, we need to watch Immortals)

After production on the film was completed, Jason Momoa (Conan) went on to star as Khal Drogo in the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011). Nonso Anozie, who played Conan’s shipmate Artus, would star as Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the second season of the series.

Ron Perlman, who plays Conan’s father Corin, previously voiced Conan himself in the video game Conan (2007) and the unreleased animated film “Conan: Red Nails”. (Oh … that’s a fun fact)

Kellan Lutz and Jared Padalecki were considered for the lead, which eventually went to Jason Momoa. (Noooooooo, my boy Lutz could have been Conan? And they didn’t just throw money at him?!)

The film was originally rumored to be a remake of the original Conan the Barbarian (1982). It was revealed that the film was not a remake, but a reboot, and it had been intended to be more true to the original stories by Robert E. Howard. (I knew it!)

The ship “Hornet” is a fairly accurate replica of a seventeenth or eighteenth century Chinese junk, especially with its three square sails. (Oh perhaps … only due to its three square sails? I’m skeptical about this IMDb reviewers ship authentication creds)

A “Conan” sequel was abandoned when this film did poorly at the box-office. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Conan in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982), announced he was to return in the role of Conan, which he last played in 1984, in a long-awaited second sequel “The Legend of Conan”, which will be a direct sequel to the 1982 film. (Wait … it wouldn’t be a sequel to Conan the Destroyer? Also this isn’t happening. Also, I think Conan the Conqueror was the most recent rumored title)

While pre-production, Conan was a temporary title for the film, until it was changed to Conan 3D. Finally, early in December 2010, the title was definitely changed to Conan the Barbarian, as was titled the 1982 film. (Conan 3D is such a bad name)

Assassin’s Creed Recap

Jamie

Cal is a killer given a new lease on life by a company claiming to look for a cure for violence. Through the use of technology his consciousness is transported into the mind of his ancestor in order to find the powerful Apple of Eden. Can he prevent the Apple from falling into the wrong hands before it’s too late? Find out in… Assassin’s Creed.

What?! The Assassin’s Brotherhood is a group sworn to protect the world from the Templars. During the Spanish Inquisition this entails preventing them from recovering what is known as the Apple of Eden, a MacGuffin… I mean, sphere that contains the key to destroying free will and thus subjugating the human race (rad, right?). Cal is descended from these assassins and is rescued from execution by a group called Abstergo in order to find the Apple (extra cool beans). They hook him up to the Animus machine that taps into his assassin genes and relive scenes from his ancestors past (real cool stuff, believe you me). While he struggles with whether to help his captors for the promise of freedom, knowing that they might be evil, he eventually succumbs when it’s revealed that his father, who he witnessed kill his mother, is also held by Abstergo and is an assassin. He’s like “I learned it from you, dad!” and out of spite helps Abstergo discover that the Apple was hidden by none other than Christopher Columbus (badass). They then get the apple and Cal is like “oops, my bad” and quickly turns around and kills the main bad guy and recovers the apple like no big deal (cause he’s a rad, cool, badass assassin destined for several sequels). We then have 15 minutes of credits… not joking, they are actually 15 minutes long. THE END.

Why?! Cal witnessed the murder of his mother by his father as a child and grew up to be a killer himself. So his motivation for much of the movie is to be free so that he might escape what he perceives as cursed genes. This freedom will be granted only if he can deliver the Apple of Eden to Abstergo Industries, so that is what he does. Eventually when he realizes that the Apple of Eden is a MacGuffin that will allow for the Templars to control the world he changes his tune and works against them. That’s the beauty of a MacGuffin. EVERYONE must have it. NO ONE can resist.

What?! This is a truly primo MacGuffin with the Apple of Eden. I mean, it is a total mystery as to what it is, but we do know that the most powerful organization in the world would do anything to get their hands on. To me it sounded like it contained the key to discovering the genetic source to violence in humans (which also is genetically what gives us free will). However, in the video game it sounds more like a piece of the Garden of Eden, which… like… zombifies humans because of the power it holds… or something. It’s hard to explain.

Who?! We get an In Memory Of to Eli Richbourg. He was the VP of Film Development for UbiSoft and was involved in the Assassin’s Creed development. Interestingly he died in 2013 of a brain aneurysm, which gives you a sense of how long the film was in development at UbiSoft.

Where?! It is a very nice Spain movie with settings in both Madrid and Granada. Kinda jumps through hoops to make sure you understand that’s where they are in both the present and past when they very easily could have just obscured it in the beginning. Nope. Very clear and vital to much of the plot. A.

When?! We get an exact date announced for Cal’s date of execution: October 21st, 2016. While this date is not particularly important for the main storyline, the year in the past is 1492. Bet you can’t tell who plays a prominent role in the finale… spoiler alert he directed Home Alone. I say this combines to form a solid A-.

When I started this film I was getting real Transformers vibes. Not the later ones, but the first one and I had a moment where I thought, “wait, could I actually like this?” And then that all fell apart and the movie was straight garbage. It spends way too much time in the present and not enough time in the past and even when they would show you the past you knew it was useless because they more or less told you that Cal couldn’t change anything of the events. So it was like watching someone else watch a movie… cool. This all led to a ridiculously anticlimactic finale that might as well have just had Cal stand in front of the screen and say “I know this is lame, but just you wait for the sequel.” It was terrible… like really, really bad. Although it was pretty at times. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Assassin’s Creed? More like Assassin’s Crud amirite? Ubisoft thought they could make a movie (how hard could it be?) … turns out they were wrong. Let’s get into it!

The Good – The acting. Fassbender, Cotillard, and Irons all did a great job all things considered. There is something to the underlying story, although it is definitely a video game story through and through, but it is interesting in its own way. I could be beautiful at times, in the same way Warcraft was beautiful at times, although not as much as they seemed to think.

P’s View on the Preview – This film felt like it was going to be much better than the critics gave it credit for. I was convinced that I would watch it and think to myself “I guess at the time people just weren’t ready to give a silly movie a chance like they do comic book movies”. Compared to more recent mediocre responses to such films (Tomb Raider, and Rampage) this was completely destroyed in terms of reviews, and it seemed so unlikely that it was actually that bad.

The Bad – But it was. From the word go the direction was really just not where it needed to be. The story is silly, the acting is very serious, and the direction had to be able to tie those two pieces together … but instead we received bad looking crane shots with CGI dust inserted to obscure the vistas (I need me some goddamn vistas). The scenes in the past were mostly worthless as well. Oh and let’s go ahead an glorify Christopher Columbus, expert genocider and colossal garbage human to end the film … great idea.

Get Yo Rant On – I feel like I’m slowly honing on in my structure much like how Jamie ended up with the 6Ws. Here I think the sklogcabulary quiz, sklogification, sklognalysis will kind of live under the guise of me getting my rant on. We all got to vent. We know that because Bud Light told us so via the 8th wonder of the modern world: the vented beer can. Ahem … You know what I can live with? A terribly contrived and rushed plotline that seems to occur in say … three days. But there is one thing I don’t abide … fake anti-heros (coining it now as the Semi-Hero, Sklogcabulary Quiz mid-rant). Have some balls and make a real anti-hero. Cal is a murderer, great start. But wait! He killed a pimp. Aw guys, it was just a pimp. Wait a tick … why does that matter? Are we supposed to think you are some vigilante hero because you killed a pimp? Give me a break. He has the blood of assassins, he doesn’t need to have some heart of gold so we can root for him. It’s called an anti-hero, not an anti-but-depending-on-how-you-feel-about-vigilante-justice-maybe-a-regular-hero, rant over!

The BMT – Lump it in with Warcraft as a failed video game adaptation of 2016 prior to what has become a kind of rise for the genre in 2018. Sure, Rampage is barely clinging to the somewhat embarrassing distinction of being the first video game film to ever get a 50% or above on Rotten Tomatoes (currently 98-98, exactly 50%), but that is much better than those the came before. Really depends on the director I think … and maybe whether Assassin’s Creed can hold onto that Map Street’s Map Alright! Spain spot.

Welcome to Earf: Assassin’s Creed stars Jeremy Irons who was in Dungeons & Dragons with Marlon Wayans who was in White Chicks with Terry Crews, who was in Blended with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earf. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Here the film is hidden by two factors. First, it came out on Christmas day of 2016 which means it is somewhat unlikely to make worst of 2016 or 2017 lists, and thus kind of misses out. Second, it tends to be passed over by Warcraft which came out the same year. Critics seemed to not want to throw two video game adaptations in the mix. I don’t think it’ll ever get play though, eventually I think Assassin’s Creed will end up with the (somewhat undeserved) distinction of ushering in a close-and-faithful “realistic” video game film, and could be a pre-Tomb Raider footnote … just feels like it.

I have never played any of these games, but maybe now I will. After a crazy April I’m going to start taking stock of the upcoming movies so I can start doing more of the homework. It feels like I’m letting people down here.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs