RoboCop 3 Preview

Jeez, these squeakuels are long. Almost as bad as a book cycle. JK, book cycles are the worst. Anyway, this week we move onto the Action entry of the cycle and it seemed fitting that we would hit one of the worst reviewed action sequels of all time. That’s right, we’re not only watching RoboCop 2 but the much abhorred follow-up RoboCop 3! Another two-for-one this week. The first one is a classic satire of capitalism, so I can’t wait to see how RoboCop three shits all over that. Let’s go!

RoboCop 3 (1993) – BMeTric: 77.3

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(Oh snap. Yeah, this is supposed to be a terrible film. Juxtaposing this with Robocop 2 it is kind of nuts the start difference. Basically this is half as popular, but a whopping 1.7 IMDb lower! A sub-4.0 for a movie this old is definitely a big worst-of-all-time kind of contender.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – When the evil corporation OCP uses a policelike group to force impoverished Detroit citizens out of their homes, RoboCop (Burke) leaves the force and joins the rebellion. The script (by Frank Miller and the director) is smug but crude; though it lacks the first sequel’s violence, it’s also short on spectacle. Filmed in 1991.

(Maltin … are you for reals? You liked RoboCop 3 more than 2? Very interesting. (1) Awesome semi-colon work. (2) The fun facts flying in from Maltin, filmed in 1991? Very good. Too bad it all sounds like you could distill this review into one word: boring)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOdELisKpP4

(“I thought your damned ninja was supposed to take care of RoboCop for me” Oh God. Yeah, you can see how this guy went off the rails. It is kind of amazing that that is a Frank Miller plot right there. I really don’t see how that trailer made a movie that Leonard Maltin liked more than RoboCop 2. I can’t really see it.)

Directors – Fred Dekker – (Known For: The Monster Squad; Night of the Creeps; BMT: RoboCop 3; Notes: An avid comic book fan, monster movie buff, and film nerd as described on his IMDb. He went to college with Shane Black and is now involved in his new Predator remake. He only ever directed movies he wrote and this was his last.)

Writers – Edward Neumeier (characters) – (Known For: Starship Troopers; RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); Starship Troopers 3: Marauder; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: Basically all of his credits are based on the original RoboCop (which is is credited for characters in all but the first) and Starship Troopers (which he was very much involved with, he even directed the third). It appears that he declined the vice-presidency of Universal to make RoboCop and that is how he met Verhoeven and got involved with Starship Troopers.)

Michael Miner (characters) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: For a guy who wrote RoboCop and directed Lawnmower Man 2 and Anacondas 2 this guy has nothing about him! I found this variety article about him making a movie names Marathon … yeah that movie never got made.)

Frank Miller (story & screenplay) – (Known For: 300; Sin City; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; 300: Rise of an Empire; BMT: RoboCop 3; Elektra; The Spirit; RoboCop 2; Notes: Most well known as a comic book writer it kind of shocks me he wrote a movie so long ago. He wrote this guy in 1993 and then nothing else until 2005 over ten years later. But he killed it in comics. This movie is closer to his script, which is a plus.)

Fred Dekker (screenplay) – (Known For: The Monster Squad; House; Night of the Creeps; Ricochet; BMT: RoboCop 3; House II: The Second Story; Teen Agent; Notes: Besides what was written above there isn’t too much to say about this guy unfortunately.)

Actors – Nancy Allen – (Known For: Carrie; RoboCop; Out of Sight; Dressed to Kill; The Last Detail; Blow Out; The Philadelphia Experiment; Strange Invaders; I Wanna Hold Your Hand; BMT: RoboCop 3; Poltergeist III; RoboCop 2; 1941; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1981 for Worst Actress for Dressed to Kill. Her first film role was in Stephen King’s Carrie directed by Brian De Palma. She would marry De Palma three years later, and then divorce five years after that. During their marriage she exclusively appeared in his films, and supposedly their divorce interfered quite substantially with her career (although it didn’t stop her from landing and nailed this role in the RoboCop franchise).)

Robert John Burke – (Known For: Tombstone; Limitless; 2 Guns; True Story; Munich; Safe; Cop Land; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Connie and Carla; Heaven & Earth; Brooklyn’s Finest; Good Night, and Good Luck.; Rambling Rose; Ned Rifle; A Far Off Place; The Chosen; The Unbelievable Truth; Flirt; Simple Men; First Love, Last Rites; BMT: RoboCop 3; Fast Track; Fled; Thinner; Hide and Seek; If Lucy Fell; State Property; The Oh in Ohio; Miracle at St. Anna; Notes:  I personally know him as Ed Tucker from IA in Law and Order SVU. He’s been mostly a television actor (Chuck Bass’ father in Gossip Girl what what?!) despite having quite an extensive feature filmography.)

Also stars John Castle – (A ton of television work, including a 2007 episode of Midsomer Murder. I eat Murder She Wrote and Midsomer Murders for breakfast, so I cannot wait to watch that episode.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $10,696,210 (N/A)

($22 million budget! My God. At least it was less than the previous film. No wonder it looks terrible though. And yeah, huge bomb. Orion was going under as this film was shot so there is a whiff of desperate throw-anything-at-the-wall IP chasing surrounding this film. Like with De Laurentiis it did not work.)

#36 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(And while RoboCop 2 came right at the beginning of what I will call the Terminator 2 peak in this genre, this came as it unceremoniously died. Number 36 puts it right around Deadly Friend! Extremely unimpressive stuff.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/30): No consensus yet.

(Hooray, I secretly love making consensuses: Downscaling the gore along with the budget, RoboCop 3 tries for a more family friendly affair. Losing the brilliant satire of the original (and gaining some good old fashioned Japan bashing), this is little more than a mindless actioner marking the end of a promising franchise. This paints a more expected picture of the franchise. The reviews of the time seemed to forgive the second film, but declare this the end of the RoboCops.)

Poster – RoboSklog 3 (D) 

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(I initially liked this poster. Then I looked at it some more. First, the double RoboCop. Second the weird white halo around RoboCop. Then the ghostly city in the background. And finally the dreary dark blue coloring. And I realized it … I actually hated this poster.)

Tagline(s) – Chaos… Corruption… Civil War… (B+)

(Short. Sweet alliteration. Simple. Probably too simple to be an A, I don’t really know why this would be the plot of RoboCop 3, but I still like it.)

Keyword(s) – ninja; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.0 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 79.0 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 77.3 RoboCop 3 (1993); 70.1 The Master of Disguise (2002); 69.4 Elektra (2005); 64.1 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 62.1 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987); 59.5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); 58.1 Tekken (2010); 57.9 Highlander: Endgame (2000);

(Wait wait wait ………. The fourth police academy movie has a ninja in it? Yes please. We do need to do the second Mortal Kombat for BMT. We saw it in theaters (!) when we were young, but it deserves a preview and full recap as adult bad movie connoisseurs.)

Notes – Was filmed in 1991, but was not released until end of 1993 due to production company Orion going bankrupt. (The is like the fourth movie we’ve watched in the last 6 months made by a production company going bankrupt)

Peter Weller refused to reprise his Robocop role due to scheduling conflicts with Naked Lunch (1991). (Good choice)

Filmed in Atlanta, most of the abandoned buildings seen in the film were slated for demolition to make way for facilities for the 1996 Olympics. (huh, that is kind of amazing actually)

The RoboCop suit worn in the movie was originally built for RoboCop 2 (1990). Since Robert John Burke is taller than Peter Weller, he complained that wearing it was painful after a short time.

Nancy Allen (Ofc. Ann Lewis), Robert DoQui (Sgt. Reed), Felton Perry (OCP’s Johnson), Mario Machado (Newsanchor Casey Wong) and Angie Bolling (Murphy’s wife) are the only actors to appear in all three RoboCop movies. (Good stuff, Allen had huge roles in all three, pretty impressive)

Unlike the first two movies, this one did not receive a novelization. (too bad, maybe someone can poke Frank Miller for a sweet graphic novelization)

RoboCop 2 Preview

Jeez, these squeakuels are long. Almost as bad as a book cycle. JK, book cycles are the worst. Anyway, this week we move onto the Action entry of the cycle and it seemed fitting that we would hit one of the worst reviewed action sequels of all time. That’s right, we’re not only watching RoboCop 2 but the much abhorred follow-up RoboCop 3! Another two-for-one this week. The first one is a classic satire of capitalism, so I can’t wait to see how RoboCop three shits all over that. First up, the BONUS film. Let’s go!

RoboCop 2 (1990) – BMeTric: 38.5

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(Interesting from a theoretical perspective: Basically the votes has increased dramatically and by virtue of regression to the mean the rating has steadily increased as well. All the while this has somehow come out perfectly balanced such that the BMeTric has barely changed at all. Kind of cool considering the movie has a halfway decent BMeTric (somewhere around where Razzie nominees typically sit, top 10-20 worst films of the year.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Appallingly (and unnecessarily) mean, ugly sequel in which coldblooded corporation czar O’Herlihy and drug kingpin Noonan threaten to end Robo’s existence — while the laboratory whizzes cook up a bigger, “better” cyborg cop to take his place. Offensively violent and humorless. Phil Tippett’s stop-motion animation is the film’s only asset.

(Wow, that is an incredibly step down from Robocop. I can see ugly for sure, but I’m surprised by humorless. I vaguely remember this film from my childhood, specifically that a guy ends up with his brain in a jar and a weird CGI face.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxumzn82V9s

(I usually don’t complain about such things but … they do actually just give away arguably the main twist of the film (that Kane, the drug guy becomes RoboCop 2). I’m also shocked Gabriel Damon didn’t make an appearance since he is a gigantic part of the film. It just kind of looks terrible (although you do kind of see the money in the trailer, it is a much grander story than the first in that way at least))

Directors – Irvin Kershner – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back; Never Say Never Again; Eyes of Laura Mars; The Return of a Man Called Horse; One Born Every Minute; BMT: RoboCop 2; Notes: … Why did I think Kershner had way more terrible movies than that. Interesting guy having been a surprise pick for Episode V, but not much else in his career.)

Writers – Edward Neumeier (characters) – (Known For: Starship Troopers; RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); Starship Troopers 3: Marauder; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: Basically all of his credits are based on the original RoboCop (which is is credited for characters in all but the first) and Starship Troopers (which he was very much involved with, he even directed the third). It appears that he declined the vice-presidency of Universal to make RoboCop and that is how he met Verhoeven and got involved with Starship Troopers.)

Michael Miner (characters) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: For a guy who wrote RoboCop and directed Lawnmower Man 2 and Anacondas 2 this guy has nothing about him! I found this variety article about him making a movie names Marathon … yeah that movie never got made.)

Frank Miller (story & screenplay) – (Known For: 300; Sin City; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; 300: Rise of an Empire; BMT: RoboCop 3; Elektra; The Spirit; RoboCop 2; Notes: Most well known as a comic book writer it kind of shocks me he wrote a movie so long ago. He wrote this guy in 1990 and the third in 1993 and then nothing else until 2005 over ten years later. Apparently this movie is nothing like the script he wrote … makes you wonder how they convinced him to write the third.)

Walon Green (screenplay) – (Known For: WarGames; Dinosaur; The Wild Bunch; Wages of Fear; The Border; The Hi-Lo Country; Crusoe; BMT: RoboCop 2; Solarbabies; Eraser; Notes: Just recently watched his magnum opus Solarbabies (apparently he was the “big shot” writer Mel Brooks got to write a first draft before handing over complete control to Metrov, the real genius behind that film). Pretty solid filmography he is mostly known as a documentary filmmaker.)

Actors – Peter Weller – (Known For: Star Trek Into Darkness; RoboCop; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Naked Lunch; Mighty Aphrodite; Al di là delle nuvole; Cat Chaser; Shoot the Moon; Shakedown; Ivans Xtc; The New Age; BMT: The Sin Eater; RoboCop 2; Undiscovered; Leviathan; Repentance; Skin Trade; Screamers; Notes: That’s Dr. Peter Weller to you, he was awarded his Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance Art from UCLA in 2014. Most well known for RoboCop (naturally), but The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonza in Across the 8th Dimension as well. I have a weird fondness for his villainous turn on 24 personally.)

Belinda Bauer – (Known For: UHF; Winter Kills; BMT: Poison Ivy 2; RoboCop 2; Flashdance; Notes: Retired from acting now, she is a psychologist. From Australia, and was in Sklog Childhood Movie Hall of Fame … as a mud wrestler? How strange.)

Also stars John Glover – (Who was in the legendary Batman & Robin)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $45,681,173 (N/A)

(Not great. Makes one wonder why a third was considered. We might be hitting a little Laurentiis mirror here. Where Dino De Laurentiis was going to declare bankruptcy so he made one last desperate attempt at releasing a movie for all of the IP he owned … and they were all trash and basically sunk 1986 as a year for bad movies. In this case the third movie was made two years later while Orion was starting to go under, and might have just been a desperate last effort at saving the company.)

#25 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Actually made about the same as Robocop (just with a much larger budget). Actually funny that is it right at a start to a boom that was exemplified by Terminator 2. Also previous BMT Deadly Friend is on the list at 39. Terminator: Genisys may have killed the boom we’ve been seeing recently, although there is nothing like yet another Transformers movie to provide a shot in the arm for a genre like this.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (11/34): No consensus yet.

(Uh oh, looks like someone needs a consensus: Half-baked and unfinished, RoboCop 2 is gruesome and humorous at turns, but without impact. Basically it feels like RoboCop 2 was an unfinished idea with the ironic-gore peppered in without thought. Sounds fine to me honestly.)

Poster – RoboSklog 2 (C+)

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(Considering that the original RoboCop poster is brilliant, it is hard not to be harsh with the grading. I think this poster is a pretty boring kind of sad example of just a giant picture of a face. The reflection of the primary bad guy of the film could have maybe saved the poster a bit, but I still think it is pretty bac=d)

Tagline(s) – He’s back to protect the innocents. (C+)

(I don’t really like the tagline. It doesn’t flow with the innocents part. And the reference (RoboCop Primary Directive #2 is to protect the innocent) isn’t so well known to really register. It barely registered with me and I literally watched three RoboCop movies in three days.)

Keyword(s) – drugs; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.1 Disaster Movie (2008); 75.8 LOL (2012); 72.7 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 71.4 Showgirls (1995); 67.1 Year One (2009); 65.1 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 62.6 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 59.4 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991); 59.1 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 56.1 Sliver (1993);

(Kind of an amazing list in a few ways. First, I’m kind of stunned at how bad Year One is on this list. I mean, I fell asleep during that movie and really didn’t like it, but getting even close to 70 alongside something like Showgirls is ridiculous. We do need to see LOL don’t we? We do. I don’t want to. Maybe when we do another Merde (foreign films adapted into American films) we’ll get to it. We need to do more classic horror franchises as well.)

Notes – Although the producers loved Frank Miller’s original version of the script, they quickly realized it was unfilmable as written. The final screen version was heavily rewritten and bears only a superficial resemblance to Miller’s story. In 2003, Miller’s screenplay was adapted into a comic book series titled, appropriately, “Frank Miller’s RoboCop”. (Again, it makes me shocked they managed to get him back for the third film)

After the success of RoboCop (1987), director Paul Verhoeven and the original screenwriters Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner were immediately approached for a sequel by the studio. According to Verhoeven, he didn’t want to make the kind of sequel that the studio had in mind. He felt going forward so quickly with their ideas would make it feel like he was attempting to cash in on the first film, and he only wanted to do a follow-up if it was original and innovative. Neumeier and Miner had already presented a very rough outline called “RoboCop: Corporate Wars”. In this draft, RoboCop was to be shot and pulverized to metallic dust by a cannon in the very beginning. He would be resurrected 25 years later in an even more dystopian future, where he becomes a pawn in the struggle between an all-powerful corporation, the government and an impoverished population and even at one point having a love interest with a Neruobrain to humanize Robocop even more. The studio liked this idea, but the writers did not want to continue working on script due to personal interests associated with the writers strike. Verhoeven also did not support the project, having gone to shoot “Total Recall” for big money, while agreeing to all conditions of the producers and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gave the director only three hours for making decision from the beginning of reading the script. Ultimately Verhoeven felt if the studio kept patient his idea for the sequel was far more superior.In the end, the film was shot on a new script by Frank Miller & Walon Green, but the plot also has lines from the original script and early drafts for the first movie that were never filmed. (I like the background to this, the movie business of the 80’s just sounds kind of nuts with studios going under and strikes and money (and cocaine) free flowing.)

The point-of-view shots from RoboCop show an interface based on MS-DOS . The villain Cain has the Apple based OS.interface with a skull instead of the Apple logo. (ha!)

In the scene where RoboCop was being reprogrammed by Dr. Faxx, the following hex numbers scroll quickly up the screen: “50 45 54 45 20 4B 55 52 41 4E 20 49 53 20 41 20 47 52 45 41 54 20 47 55 59”. Converted to ASCII text, it reads: “PETE KURAN IS A GREAT GUY”. Peter Kuran was the special effects photographer. (That’s just weird. Fun fact!)

A directive which is only seen briefly in the scene where they are having trouble uploading the new directives into RoboCop is ‘Directive 262: Avoid Orion Meetings’. Orion Pictures was the production and distribution company of RoboCop 2 (1990). (Fun. Fact)

Big Momma: Like Father Like Son Recap

Jamie

What?! Big Momma’s back! Uh… again! Malcolm Turner is once again the FBI’s #1 cop. While staking-out a big time mobster, Malcolm is surprised by his stepson Trent, who witnesses a murder. Oh no! What are they going to do? Go deep undercover at the Georgia Girl’s School for the Arts, that’s what! Can they hide out long enough to find the evidence they need to put the mobster behind bars? Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.

Why?! McGuffin alert! While Malcolm is tracking the mobster the audience is made aware that an important thumb drive with important information that’s really important is importantly hidden somewhere important. So when he and his son have to go underground they go to where the thumb drive was hidden (the Georgia Girl’s School for the Arts). It’s a race against time as they attempt to find the drive before the mobsters catch up. Trent also has a B storyline motivation of his own (besides staying alive) in trying to get his music career off the ground, but he first needs to convince his disapproving father than it makes sense to skip college to pursue his dream. But of course that kind of goes to the wayside when they MIGHT DIE.

How?! McGuffins are funny in this way as they really help streamline the motivation. Their importance is so inherent that the ‘how’ revolves around it and hilarity ensues. A big part of the conflict though is that while Big Momma is playing the den mother (and thus isn’t fully trusted by the girls), it turns out that Trent, playing one of the students in drag, is able to ingratiate himself and get more information. Oh how the roles have been reversed. Unfortunately this also leads to Trent falling in love with one of the students! Uh oh! Before it all blows up in their faces they are able to find the drive (hidden in the school’s cherished music box) and subdue the mobsters. And while Malcolm ultimately does gives his blessing to Trent’s music career, it turns out that Trent learned more than just how to survive a mob hit at the Girl’s School. He also learned the value of a good education.

Who?! I wouldn’t say there was a great Planchet in the film, so instead I’ll give a little shoutout to the hoops the filmmakers went through when faced with Nia Long passing on her role as Sherry for this installment. After finding out that Trent got into Duke we get a scene of Malcolm trying to contact Sherry at the spa she’s staying at. No dice though. Apparently the spa is a no cell phone, no contact spa and she’s going to be in isolation for the next few days. Oh really? How very convenient to Nia Long’s schedule. Weirdly there is absolutely no mention of the other child that Malcolm and Sherry had at the end of the second film. Either the child is staying at Big Momma’s for the weekend, is off at boarding school, or there is a very sad underlying story that is never mentioned but Malcolm silently endures every day.

Where?! After switching the film setting to LA for the second film they jump right back to the original setting of Georgia for the final installment. It’s actually a super solid setting as they make clear that Malcolm works at the Atlanta FBI unit and then, of course, they hide out at the Georgia Girl’s School for the Arts. Prefecto. B.

When?! I actually don’t think there was an exact time spelled out. Certainly in the Spring, since Trent gets an acceptance letter from Duke at the beginning of the film. Would guess we’re talking about the beginning of April, but still not clear. D.

You got the dets, now get the truth.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Big Momma Like Father Like Son? More like Big Momma, This Franchise is Done! We completed the Big Momma Saga, could anything live up to the heady heights of the first? The second didn’t, but three times the charm right? Nope! Let’s get into it.

  • The Good – The rapping/music in the film is pretty solid. Somewhere deep within this film is another film not starring Big Momma that is actually halfway decent. The story is a lot tighter than you would think considering. I really liked Faizon Love.
  • The Bad – The fat suit got worse again! His/Her face looks just terrible. Just terrible. Moving Big Momma to an all girls school is just again moving the character to another setting. It doesn’t feel like a Big Momma movie, it just feels like another movie with Big Momma as the main character … you know? The third movie probably has the lowest of lows for the franchise with a simply awful Cleveland Shuffle twist ending.
  • The BMT – Again, not 60+, but 40 maybe. Above average. In the discussion for worst of the year it came out, but not stand out. Disappointing though. I would not be excited for Big Momma’s House Party now, I would just be skeptical that Martin Lawrence could even pull off something resembling entertainment within the bounds of this franchise. This franchise I fear is dead.

Sigh. We’ll end with a new-ish game (more like it is just a mix of Remake and Sklogification): Sklog Casting, where I recast the film to try and fix some of its flaws. In this case this movie feels like another movie, like how Big Momma’s House 2 is just the Pacifier with Big Momma. It’s just that the movie this one is based on hasn’t been made yet. So let’s do it: Ice Cube is an FBI agent who, along with his son, witness a mob hit and go undercover in an all-girls performing arts school. These girls have real talent, but Ice Cube and his son (both in drag) can teach them a thing or two about spitting hot fire. This time we go full musical with a very entertaining mix of classic pop with hip hop. It would be a solid movie (Leonard Maltin suggests as much in his review for Like Father Like Son), and c’mon … Cube in drag? C’mon.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Fifty Shades of Black Recap

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of the Black & Blue Bicycle where we watched Blue City and Fifty Shades of Black in one week. The two recaps are separate but go together. Here is a link to the Blue City Recap]

Jamie

This is the second part of an extra juicy post this week. That’s because we watched two films! A black and blue bicycle of Blue City and Fifty Shades of Black. You would think that as a result we would reap more from Fifty Shades, but not the case for me.

While I had some settings, MonoSklogs, and adaptation heavy lifting to do for Blue City, I didn’t really have any of that for Fifty Shades of Black. Being a spoof of another BMT film boded well, but it mostly just took all the scenes from that film and added excessive sex jokes. Like I bet you could almost play both of the films next to each other and they would proceed nearly in tandem (and look astonishingly similar). The other thing is that I generally do not mind Wayans films. Much like Madea, before BMT I didn’t think too much about the Wayans Brothers’ films. Would I have watched A Haunted House or Fifty Shades of Black or White Chicks or Little Man? Probably not. Now I look forward to them. Most comedies we watch are more boring than anything else and the Wayans don’t do boring (similarly Madea is simply not boring and I don’t care what anyone says). This wasn’t the best one though (that’s obviously White Chicks). It’s better than A Haunted House 2, but not better than A Haunted House. So on the A Haunted House metric this ranks A Haunted House 1.7… White Chicks on the other hand is A Haunted House -0.8. Ya’ll keeping up with that? Good. Because the A Haunted House metric is how I’m rating every film from now on. Phew.

The Settings 101 is pretty trash for Fifty Shades of Grey, it was obviously set in Seattle. It kind of had to be. Throw in a Supersonics joke, gratuitous shots of Seattle’s skyline, and a bus with a “Seattle” sign and we got a C or C+. Just C’s on C’s on C’s this week. Nice a brief for the bonus movie this week.

Patrick

We’re still doing this. Watching two movies in a week is haaaard when you have strict post guidelines. ‘Ello everyone! Fifty Shades of Black? More like nope, non-funny garbage movie! Let’s get into it.

  • The Good – I counted two chuckles and one hearty laugh, so about the same as Keeping Up With the Joneses as far as actual humor. The description of being “ashy like ET when he was sick in the river” cracked me up for like 5 minutes, I had to stop the movie. I do like Marlon Wayans, I think he’s a very funny actor with incredible screen presence. The way he can control his body and face to play to the camera is incredible. As a matter of fact the acting was pretty solid for a spoof movie all around.
  • The Bad – If you don’t like wall-to-wall sex jokes this movie isn’t for you. Literally people pretend to have sex on-screen for maybe 20 minutes of the total 90 minute runtime. There are two prosthetic penises (one gigantic and one really small naturally). I deadpanned the last hour of the film as well. None of the jokes really landing after the opening salvo. Irreverent spoof films are hard to pull off and this certainly does not.
  • The BMT – Certainly, 50+ easy. It is going to ultimately be top 5 worst film of the year for me. I would watch it again though. I would watch it while running a giant mind-melting 2000s spoof movie extravaganza (Scary Movies besides the first, Disaster/Epic/Date Movie, Haunted Houses, and this I guess, ten films, oof).

Let’s see … Since A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2 were both BMT let’s go back in time and learn a little BMHisTory. In particular, all those long year ago what did I think of A Haunted House 2? BAM, a little digest of my thoughts:

  • Marlon Waynes is a funny guy who can single handedly keep a movie from devolving into the Friedberg and Seltzer garbage that pervades the genre.
  • Relies way too much on sex and racial jokes.
  • But like the first four scary movies and Haunted House there are some laughs here (as cheap as they are), and I like all the players. I would (I’m serious) welcome a third movie (once again, totally serious).

My wish was Marlon Wayan’s command it seems, except it wasn’t a third Haunted House, it was this. And I’m having weird flashbacks here, this might as well literally be my review of Fifty Shades of Black! Patrick and Patrick from a year ago are so in sync.

Cheerios (for real),

The Sklogs

The Cat in the Hat Preview

The Cat in the Hat (2003) – BMeTric: 77.9

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(Woof. Just a blast off right from the start. This movie should remain in the pantheon of bad movies for ever more. I doubt many films drop below 4.0 on IMDb and yet have over 35 thousand votes, it makes almost no logical sense.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  A brother and sister spend an eventful day in the company of a magical cat while their single mom is off at work. Brightly colored adaptation of the beloved rhyming book for young children is a betrayal of everything that Dr. Suess ever stood for, injecting potty humor and adult (wink-wink) jokes into its mixture of heavy-handed slapstick and silliness. Hayes also provides the voice of The Fish. Officially known as Dr. Suess’ The Cat in the Hat, which is an official insult.

(I’m going to play a little game of “find the half star.” Where does Leonard find a half star to give this “official insult” and “betrayal of everything that Dr. Suess ever stood for”? Is it in the bright colors? Is it Sean Hayes? I just don’t see how this isn’t a BOMB review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OSStCz6EdY

(Welp, this is going to be the worst. Great.)

Directors – Bo Welch – (BMT: The Cat in the Hat; With BMeT: (77.9) The Cat in the Hat; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2004 for Worst Director (The Cat in the Hat). Four time Oscar nominee in Production Design for The Color Purple, The Little Princess, The Birdcage, and Men in Black.)

Writers – Dr. Seuss (book) – (Known For: How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Horton Hears a Who!; The Lorax; The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.; BMT: The Cat in the Hat; Notes: Gained some traction in Hollywood after writing the Oscar winning animated short Gerald McBoing-Boing. Following that he created his only original screenplay, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, which came in at a startling 1200-pages.)

Alec Berg (screenplay) – (Known For: The Dictator; EuroTrip; BMT: The Cat in the Hat; Shark Tale)

David Mandel (screenplay) – (Known For: The Dictator; EuroTrip; BMT: The Cat in the Hat)

Jeff Schaffer (screenplay) – (Known For: The Dictator; EuroTrip; Brüno; BMT: The Cat in the Hat; Shark Tale)

Combine Notes for Berg, Mandel and Schaffer – Got the gig after doing punch-up work on the Grinch film. Won the 2004 Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Cat in the Hat). These three are pretty much responsible for assuring that no other Seuss books were ever adapted into live-action films because Dr. Seuss’ widow was so offended by the non-family friendly nature of the film. Not wonder, look at their filmography! Additionally they are still all heavily involved in television. Berg is the exec producer of Silicon Valley, Mandel is exec producer of Veep, and Schaffer is the creator of The League.

Actors – Mike Myers – (Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Shrek; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Shrek 2; Wayne’s World; Shrek the Third; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Shrek Forever After; Wayne’s World 2; So I Married an Axe Murderer; BMT: The Love Guru; The Cat in the Hat; View from the Top; 54; Mystery, Alaska; Notes: Wow, interesting how few bad movies he actually ever made. It just seems like he made a lot because The Cat in the Hat and The Love Guru were so reviled.)

Mike Myers Razzie Notes – Nominated for a Razzie as Worst Actor of the Decade (The Cat in the Hat and The Love Guru), Won the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Actor (The Love Guru), Won the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Screenplay (The Love Guru), Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2004 for Worst Actor (The Cat in the Hat), Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2004 for Worst Screen Couple (The Cat in the Hat)

Also stars Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning

Budget/Gross – $109 million / Domestic: $101,149,285 (Worldwide: $133,960,541)

(That looks like a gigantic bomb to me. They were deceived by How the Grinch Stole Christmas methinks, whose success is probably more down to the holiday connection than anything else.)

#28 for the Family – Children’s Book Adaptation genre

(This is more of a massive bomb because of its budget if nothing else. Look at Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, a bomb because it cost $140 million (!). But below Cat in the Hat is Jumanji which was nothing but a resounding financial success because it only cost $60 million. This category is a fascinating hodge podge).

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (16/157): Filled with double entendres and potty humor, this Cat falls flat.

(Did you really have to end the consensus with “this Cat falls flat”? That is giving me chills at just how bad that is. Why did you do that?)

Poster – Sklog and the Dog (D+)

cat_in_the_hat_ver3

(Too much going on. Too many colors. The font would probably only trip up Patrick for a moment if he spoofed the poster (I would make it “The Sklog and the Dog” and it would be him and his dog. Nailed it). And as for the tagline…)

Tagline(s) – Cats with hats only! (F)

(Oh no! Oh deary me, no! Sweet summer child. That… that is meaningless. Interestingly, imdb posts several taglines including “The ultimate game of cat and house,” which I would have probably scored a B. Kinda clever, kinda fun, not totally sensical, but sensical enough. It just seems to be a phrase said in the trailer and not really used anywhere else.)

Notes – Mike Myers was unaware that a piece of the house would fall behind him near the end of the film. His reaction was real. (cooooooooooool)

As a result of this film, Audrey Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss decided to reject any future live-action adaptations of her husband’s work claiming that this film differed from her late husband’s Family Friendly Material. (As mentioned in the note above)

According to Mike Myers, less than a month before the film was released, the producers had already begun plans for a sequel based on The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. Because of the film’s negative reception, it was abandoned. (Sounds about right, also probably wouldn’t have been able to secure the rights even if they thought they could fix the issues)

Tim Allen was originally cast as the title role, but couldn’t do it because he was filming The Santa Clause 2 (2002) (Also starring Spencer Breslin, what?! Were you busier than him, Tim? Oh you were …)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst ‘Comedy’ of Our First 25 Years

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie (All Concept/No Content!)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mike Myers)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Bo Welch)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer)

Smaddies Baddies III

It has become an annual tradition. On the anniversary of the start of Bad Movie Thursday we take a look back at the year in review. With a name that’s just as bad as the films it honors it is ….

Smaddies. Baddies. Smaddies. Baddies. Remember, these awards are for the worst of the best of the worst films that we watched in the last year. So they could have been made in any year as long as we watched it in 2015. We usually start off with several silly awards to give something to those films that deserve to be “honored,” but may not have come out on top in the big awards. Think of them as the Sci-Tech Oscars of the Smaddies Baddies.


The Best Book-to-Movie-to-Reboot Lenny from Multiplicity Smaddy BaddyEndless Love – It’s rare for us to have a book-adaption-reboot on our hands where all three versions are like a big BMT ice cream sundae to dig into. It’s my… endless loooooovveeeeeeeeee.

He Just Wants to Go to Fashion Week! Planchet Smaddy BaddyBilly Zane in The Roommate – Goes to our favorite side character of the year (named to honor James Cordon in The Three Musketeers (2011)). Hard to overshadow Cam Gigantic in this masterpiece, but Billy Zane’s creepy (and potentially totally misunderstood) professor did just that. He just wanted to go to Fashion Week.

The Sound of Thunder Special Effects Smaddy BaddyMonkey Feet from Aeon Flux

MonkeyFeet.jpg

Nothing will actually ever top The Sound of Thunder for the disaster area that was its special effects, but we loved Monkey Feet enough to throw it a bone. Maybe Gods of Egypt can reach such great heights this year.

Mi Padre Monosklog Smaddy BaddyMi Cantina by Vin Diesel from The Pacifier – It’s just so beautiful. Thank you, Vinny D. I have to give a little shout out to the fact that Dungeons & Dragons somehow beat out Big Momma’s House in this category last year. Our very own Oscars-like diversity scandal. In hindsight, Big Momma’s House all day.

The Garry Mashall The Location is a Character! Smaddy BaddyPaul Blart Mall Cop 2 for Las Vegas – Happy Madison films could probably win this every year. It’s like they’re paid to take place at these resorts or something… wait.

White Commanche I Wish We Could Have a Mulligan Smaddy BaddyAtlas Shrugged Part III – Thank God this didn’t happen when I actually read the source material to these movies. I would have straight up refused to read that book and watch that trilogy. Would have taken me a month.


Alright, and now for the main awards. These are for the secretly good BMT film of the year, the worst of the worst BMT film of the year, the most BMT film of the year, and (new!) the top 2015 film of the year (to go head-to-head with the Razzies, natch). Each category presented the nominees that Patrick and I came up with and the final winner.


The Freddy Got Fingered (Secretly Good) Smaddy Baddy –  Nominees: Bless the Child, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, Mortdecai, Endless Love (1981), The Gunman;

The Winner: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – It had a great song and did everything it needed to do for a kids film. If someone was like, “Hey, could you watch Legends of Oz with my kid while I go shopping real quick?” I would obviously refuse (I ain’t watching your kid) and then sneak home and watch Legends of Oz by myself.

The Strange Wilderness (I Hate this Fucking Movie) Smaddy BaddyNominees: Hitman Agent 47, Unfinished Business, Around the World in 80 Days, Be Cool, Ridiculous 6.

The Winner: Unfinished Business – Unfinished Business is the worst written film of the year. It is nonsense. The true Razzie scandal this year is that it didn’t even make the nomination ballot (!!!!!!!!!).

The (new!) Worst of 2015 Smaddy BaddyNominees: Hitman Agent 47, Unfinished Business, Ridiculous 6, Boy Next Door.

The Winner: Unfinished Business -Obviously, given the last award. Is there more to say? Not really. It was the worst. We hated it.

The Here on Earth Best BMT Smaddy BaddyNominees: The Roommate, Silent Hill 2, Color of Night.

And the Winner is ….. Silent Hill 2 starring Triangle Head – Truly a great (and not meaningless) honor. And there we go. For those of you whose eyes naturally gloss over long lists of garbage the moral of the story is: watch Silent Hill 2, Legends of Oz, and The Roommate. Avoid Atlas Shrugged Part III and Unfinished Business. Women who do karate with monkey feet are the best.

Lock Up Recap

Jamie

Finally a movie that has a real anecdote to go with the watching of the film. So I taught at the prison that Lock Up was filmed at! It’s the East Jersey State Prison, formerly known as Rahway, and known in the film as Gateway. There were a lot of shots of the outside of the prison, which is instantly recognizable, and a single shot of the entrance that I used to go into the prison through. Surprisingly there were only two scenes set in the central hub of the prison, which is a big open space under the dome that contains a circular cage area that I had to wait in while they tried to get me up to the library/classroom area. It’s kinda cool looking (albeit depressing, as everything in a prison is), so I expected it to be featured more. That was it though! Only a couple other brief moments where I recognized anything. Such is life. The craziest thing was that there was a scene in the film with an electric chair and I was like, “OMG! Was there an electric chair in that prison?!?!” But I don’t think so… or at least certainly not when I taught there. There are some claims that there was an electric chair in the dome of the prison at one time, but I think that’s a myth. I believe the only electric chair in NJ was in Trenton. That would have given me the creeps if there had been one in Rahway. Anyway, that’s enough prison talk.

Well I would have really loved for this to be part of the Stallone Food Trilogy, but he doesn’t talk about food nearly enough. Instead I’ll just do my own BMT-solution. I feel like too many times in the past year we were presented with a very interesting adaptation and Patrick and I cited “time” and “work” as valid excuses for not reading the source material. No more! I resolve to read the source material for any and all films that we watch this year. I feel like this will give us a more well rounded idea of just what kind of travesties we are witnessing. Imagine if I hadn’t read Endless Love before watching Endless Love (and Endless Love)?! Impossible! Unacceptable! This is my BMT-solution. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it… Juwanna Mann’s not based on a book, right? Patrick?


Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Lock Up?! More like Shlock Up! Amirite?! Except … wait for it … I kind of dug this movie. Let’s get into it:

  • It had the cheesy weird Sly moment (like him pretending he can play football, presumably to legitimatize hiring a former NFL player to truck people in the prison), but he was okay. He had a little of the incomprehensible Sly talk going, but it was okay.
  • The movie is interesting in two ways. First, they hide his (obviously) noble reason for going to jail for almost the entire film. There is a history to the film with naturally revealing exposition slowly developing his background. Digging it.
  • Second, it is a little grindhouse-y. Like Cobra. There is the ultra-violence, prison-exploitation kind of thing going. Explains the weird Maltin review to an extent.
  • And a lot of the performances and writing are solid. The only tough spot is the bonkers insanity of Sutherland. Oh … and the ending makes no sense. Like Sly is in prison forever. So yeah, that’s an issue.

I’ll leave it there. Because we need a little Prequel to this. Lock Up: Origins. Fortuitously Kiefer Sutherland is 31 years younger than his father. It has been 26 years since Lock Up was released, and the prequel would take place five years prior to that movie …. 31 years ago in 1984! The time is now! Do it! Netflix! Lock Up: Origins! The only question is who plays Stallone? Looking at pictures I think Channing Tatum would weirdly work. But since this is going to be a BMT Production on the cheap let’s get Kellan Lutz on the horn. Boom. Done.

Also, I feel like my negativity is bringing BMT down. This is supposed to be fun guys! Watching movies is fun, right? (right?…). So, introducing my 2016 BMT-solution (oooo, I’m digging that terrible name). My BMT-solution is that I’m going to be less negative in my reviews. Get back to the fun. Try and not brutalize movies like Ridiculous 6 anymore (hey, Ridiculous 6, you got me and my bros to sit down and watch a movie together, that’s something). I’ll see how long that lasts.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Lock Up Preview

To celebrate the inception of the new calendar we will be ending the year with a Stallone Day! So, Happy Stallone Day! There won’t be a Stallone day for several years so relish it. As usual we would like for the film to not only star Sylvester Stallone, but to also lead nicely into the first cycle of the 2016 calendar. We have discussed and debated it and decided that the first cycle will be called Aaaiiiirrrrbbbbbaaallllll! and will be movies that feature (or hopefully star) former or active professional athletes. Without further ado, the first Stallone Day in history will be the 1989 classic Lock Up which features Sly Stallone as Frank Leone and Frank McRae in the role of Eclipse. McRae appeared in 6 games for the Chicago Bears in 1967. Let’s go!

Lock Up (1989) – BMeTric: 15.4

LockUp_BMeT.png

(Not bad for a 1989 film. Still not super high. I believe this has a bit of cult popularity associated with it playing on cable through the 1990’s. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the score was slightly deflated. Patrick’s Note: It most certainly is. The rating in 2004 was 5.4, it is now 6.3 on IMDB. It has clearly dropped significantly recently.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – With six months to go on his sentence, convict Stallone gets abducted from his country-club cell and transported to a hellhole run by old Hun-like adversary Sutherland. Missing are Linda Blair, John Vernon, a lesbian guard, and 15 gratuitous showers; you do get a body-shop montage backed by Ides of March’s ”Vehicle.” Bottom of the world, ma.

(Hun-like? What a weird thing to say. Guess Leonard really wanted to figure out the most tasteful way of saying that Sutherland is like a Nazi in the film. Then the whole review goes off the rails. I had to look up what the second sentence means. I guess he’s making a reference to the exploitation film Chained Heat. Finally, I have no idea why he makes a White Heat reference at the end. Maybe the end of the film is similar to the end of that film? Bar none the weirdest Maltin review I’ve ever read.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mRBoP0HBaE

(Uh… yes please. That looks amazing. It’s like a full movie of just the prison escape scenes from Tango & Cash.)

Director(s) – John Flynn – (Known For: Rolling Thunder; Best Seller; BMT: Lock Up; Out for Justice; Brainscan; Notes: Died in 2007, and was in the Coast Guard. Studied journalism at UCLA under the tutelage of Alex Haley, the author of Roots.)

Writer(s) – Richard Smith (written by) – (BMT: Lock Up; Notes: Recently passed away. He apparently did some work on a couple of the James Bond films and wrote a novel published in 2010)

Henry Rosenbaum (written by) – (Known For: ; BMT: Lock Up; The Dunwich Horror; Hanky Panky; Notes: Nothing of interest about him. Weird.)

Jeb Stuart (written by) – (Known For: Die Hard; The Fugitive; Next of Kin; Vital Signs; Blood Done Sign My Name; Hart’s War; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; Lock Up; Just Cause; Fire Down Below; Leviathan; Switchback; Notes: Wrote an early draft of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Rocky; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Escape Plan; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; Rocky II; Rocky IV; Antz; Demolition Man; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Bullet to the Head; Nighthawks; Creed; Death Race 2000; Spy Kids 3-D – Game Over; Shade; Victory; F.I.S.T. BMT: The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Judge Dredd; Rocky V; Tango & Cash; Assassins; Daylight; The Specialist; Cobra; Grudge Match; Over the Top; Driven; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Lock Up; Get Carter; Oscar; Rhinestone; Zookeeper; Rambo; D-Tox. Notes: Won for Worst Actor, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); Rambo III (1988); Cobra (1986); Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rocky IV (1985); Rhinestone (1984). Nominated for Worst Actor, Bullet to the Head (2012), Escape Plan (2013), Grudge Match (2013); Get Carter (2000); Daylight(1996); Assassins (1995), Judge Dredd (1995); The Specialist (1994); Get Carter (2000); Oscar (1991); Rocky V (1990); Lock Up (1989), Tango & Cash (1989); Over the Top (1987); Cobra (1986). Won for Worst Supporting Actor, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Driven (2001); An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997). Won for Worst Actor of the Century. Won for Worst Actor of the Decade (1980’s). Geez Louise. And that’s just for acting.)

Budget/Gross: $24 million / $22,099,847

(A definitive bomb for Stallone. This was smack in the middle of a disastrous run of films for him so he might have just started to wear out his welcome. After First Blood in 1982 he followed with Staying Alive, Rhinestone, Rambo II, Rocky IV, Cobra, Over the Top, Rambo III, Lock Up, Tango & Cash, Rocky V, Oscar, and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Oof.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% (2/12), No consensus yet.

(Never trust the RT on a movie this old (like Weekend at Bernie’s is a downright mediocre film according to RT). It’s nice that it’s low, but the Razzie recognition, Leonard Maltin review, and BMeTric are more important in this case.)

Poster – Black and White

LockUpPoster.jpg

(Looks pretty cheap but I guess the artistic take is nice. I’ve seen this same poster with red coloring on the letters and/or sky, which I like a bit more. But this seems official.)

Tagline(s) – How much can a man take…before he gives back? (D+)

How many times can a man be pushed to the wall…before he goes over it? (C-)

Stallone…behind bars? Not for long. (Hah)

He is only six months away from freedom. But a warden obsessed with revenge wants to take his future away. (D)

(I usually just grade the tagline that is found on the poster (which I consider official), but there isn’t one on the main poster and these are too good not to grade. They are all either too long or bonkers insane. The first and second use super weird phrasing to make their point. The third is hilarious… I can hear Stallone saying those words. The fourth is classic 70’s/80’s tagline.)

Notes – The cast includes real inmates of Rahway State Prison which is also known as East Jersey State Prison as it is located in Rahway, New Jersey, USA. A number of the prisoners appear as extras and background artists in the movie. (This is the prison I taught at in New Jersey. It’s got a very distinctive look. I wonder if I’ll recognize some of the places they show.)

The movie was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards at the 10th annual ceremony including Worst Picture, Worst Actor – Sylvester Stallone and Worst Supporting Actor – Donald Sutherland, but the film failed to take home a Razzie in any category.

First starring role of actor Tom Sizemore.

Actor Frank McRae, who participates in the football game sequence, had actually played gridiron as an NFL (National Football League) defensive tackle during the 1967 season playing six games for the Chicago Bears. (There it is).

Danny Trejo: As a gang member of Chink’s gang. (Keep a lookout)

Cheaper by the Dozen Recap

Jamie

BMT is truly a wonder. Just when you think it can’t get any better (seriously, how could it get better? It’s basically perfect), we go ahead and implement a BMT Book Club cycle to get us all jazzed up. It has been a joy to read these books and watch these films. In some cases it’s unnecessary (Fifty Shades of Grey is basically a straight-up adaptation, so you don’t really have to read the book), but in cases like Cheaper by the Dozen it takes what would have been a mediocre/forgettable BMT film and transmorphs it into a BMT extravaganza of insights.

And seriously, the adaptation of this truly wonderful book was a T-R-A-V-E-S-T-Y. There is no acceptable explanation for why this film turned out this way. They shit on the source material. Ripped all the interesting stuff out of a really interesting book and replaced it with cliches and garbage. It should really have been like what Patrick will explain: dad runs family like his occupation (football coach is actually a really good choice). Don’t make him a bumbling fool and make the family fall apart. Who wants to watch that? Wouldn’t you rather have the family use their unique skills to overcome the problems that face them (perhaps with a bunch of hilarious montages where their use their football knowledge to approach aspects of their lives?). Come on! So dumb. And to think! Without the book we would have had no idea that this was a pile of shit compared to what it was a remake of. Really makes me not want to watch the second one (which is supposed to be considerably worse). And with that I don’t really have much more to say about Cheaper by the Dozen.

I’ll let Patrick explain more though.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Cheaper by the Dozen? More like just Cheaper than the Original. This entire round of adaptations has been super interesting, but this one might be the most interesting. The Cheaper by the Dozen book (non-fiction, written in 1949 about events occurring around 1929) is probably the best of the source materials we’ve encountered thus far. The original movie is a super faithful adaptation (all the way down to the depressing end). The actual real life story is crazy cool (the mother was the first practicing female industrial engineer with a PhD, was inducted into the national academy of science, and is considered a pioneer of ergonomics). So … why? Why did they adapt it this way?

  • A few things it has going for it: Steve Martin is great. Bonnie Hunt is great. Most of the kids are fine. Even the older kids (limited in screen time) are fine. So what’s the problem?
  • While I was impressed with the movie’s ability to make the kids individuals and somewhat memorable (two twin boys are youngest, then another young boy, misfit kid, two fraternal twin girls, sporty girl, skateboard kid, chunky kid, Hillary Duff, Superman, Covert Affairs …. that’s in ascending order by age, or close to it), none of them have any kind of interesting story. Hillary Duff is upset about wearing hand me downs (resolved in the first half hour). Superman is kicked off the football team (NOT RESOLVED, what the fuck?). Misfit kid is sad (resolved with swelling music and Patrick tears at the end). Covert Affairs breaks up with Ashton Kutcher twice! (NOT RESOLVED, and he’s back in the sequel? EDITORS NOTE: He is not). Even the parents stories are half-baked.
  • And the entire tone is just off. In the original the family operates like a machine. The father is an industrial engineer specializing in efficiency and runs his family accordingly. Most of the humor (and drama) come from how people react to this unconventional family. Here: chaos. Chaos everywhere. Literally the worst parents. Literally begging the question: Why do you have 12 kids?! You cannot manage them! I know you have to go a little slapstick, but it ends up as a slap in the face (heyoooo) of the original.
  • I’ll leave it there. The music was obnoxious. Which means watch out Jamie: you might be getting this soundtrack as a gift.
  • Let’s Airbud this! Cheaper by the Tolstoy. Tolstoy has a litter of puppies, a dozen of them, and oh my are they a handful. With severe separation anxiety and leash aggression abound what will Patrick do with them?! Work through it of course, with love and laughter (and a little underbite). Cheaper by the Tolstoy … hot diggity dog! (That’s the terrible tagline). Also, perhaps, called Beethoven’s … Twelfth I guess? Although he only had 9 complete symphonies …

I think it is time for a Remake! Here’s the thing. Part of the charm of the original movie is just how capable the parents are. They joke around, and things go awry, but they rarely descend into chaos. The newer movie was chaos wall to wall. So here’s the change: The father is a coach, and runs his family like a football team. When he blows his whistle everyone falls in line. The drama of the story is more about people not believing in him because twelve kids just seems like too many today. They pull through because they are a team. Like in the first movie a lot of drama can also come from the kids getting bullied because of the oddity of their family. NETFLIX!!!! This is a live one, we need to hit this while the iron is hot. Also, all of the Netflix executives who read this week to week, hear me out. Bedknobs and Broomsticks Netflix original series. Just a thought.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs