Space Jam: A New Legacy Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the Space Jam… but tots on fleek for the gucci crowd. When LeBron James’ son is sucked into the Warner Bros. archive by an eeeevil algorithm, James has to team up with some Looney Toons to try to stop the dastardly plan. Can he beat the baddie at bball (and perhaps learn to be a better dad, awww) before it’s too late? Find out in Space Jam: A New Legacy.

How?! LeBron James is a bad dad. He’s all pressuring his son Dom to focus on basketball and not his real dumb dumb video games that never made anyone any money. Only basketball makes money. But Dom doesn’t just like video games, he like likes video games… like loves video games. He’s like a coding whiz and really wants to go to coding camp, but LeBron James is like “no, coding isn’t a real job like basketball.” Anyway, he feels bad for being a bad dad, so he takes Dom along to Warner Bros to check out a new offer: they want to use an algorithm to insert him into all kinds of sweet, sweet IP. LeBron is like no thanks, but the algorithm, which has taken on a life of its own and is named Al-G Rhythm, is not having it. He sucks LeBron and Dom into the Warner Bros computer and challenges LeBron to a basketball game. If he wins he gets to take over the world using LeBron’s brand. If he loses he sets them free. With that, LeBron is sent to Looney Tunes land where he meets up with Bugs Bunny. With Bugs’ help, LeBron gathers a team, although not exactly the team he was thinking. They are the rest of the Looney Tunes, who had been scattered across the universe by Al-G. LeBron is all “No, all fundamentals all day, no looney things or nothing,” and the Tunes agree (but they aren’t happy about it… kinda like Dom… hmmmmm). When the game starts, LeBron is shocked to see that Dom is the star of Al-G’s team and that the rest of the team are evil cartoon versions of his fellow NBA and WNBA superstars. They proceed to get shellacked and LeBron begins to learn and becomes a good dad. First he lets the Looney Tunes be real looney and they mount a comeback. Then, when Al-G starts to take it out on Dom, he apologizes and Dom forgives him. Finally, with the game on the line, LeBron decides to exploit a glitch in the system he learned from Dom. But it would kill him! So Bugs takes it instead and through the magic of being a great dad LeBron wins! In the end we see Bugs Bunny die and become a star in the sky (for real), LeBron drops Dom off at coding camp to become a great dad, and finally Bugs shows up because obviously he didn’t actually die. THE END.

Why?! Al-G is an algorithm that wants to have more influence on the world. For the moment he simply influences Warner Bros IP, but he wants to do more and he sees LeBron as the way to do that. He would hijack his followers and use his brand to take over the world (and maybe even break free of the confines of the WB computer? That part is a little fuzzy). So why doesn’t he just do that rather than challenge LeBron to basketball? That’s unclear. It has something to do with trapping a bunch of people in the WB computer for some reason, but otherwise I don’t know. Revenge? Anyway, LeBron just wants to be a great dad and teach everyone the fundamentals of basketball.

Who?! Obviously lots of athletes show up. LeBron is the main one, but then like Diana Turasi, Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, etc. in cameos (and cameo might even be generous given how little they are in the film). It did get me curious as to how many roles LeBron James has had in major motion pictures. So far it’s three, with a fourth in the works. Interesting that MJ only did Space Jam and Kobe appeared once in a credited role (as himself). LeBron is already closer to Shaq than those guys in terms of acting.

What?! The film is more of a film placement within a WB commercial. Still, beyond that the products are almost too numerous to count. Nike is sprinkled everywhere, including a giant Nike swoosh that appears when cartoon LeBron smashes into Looney Tunes world. And then all kinds of video game stuff, like E3 and Nintendo, show up, including my personal fave: a flydigi controller for playing games on your phone. I just like when something weird shows up in a major movie like this and you can wonder why.

Where?! We open with an establishing shot of LeBron and all his greatest achievements, including The Decision, which seems to appear unironically. We go through Cleveland and Miami and all that, but obviously it takes place in the present day when LeBron is in LA. To be more specific, the film primarily takes place in a computer on the Warner Bros Studio lot. A.

When?! We actually do kinda get a date for this. It all takes place in the week leading up to E3, since Dom wants to attend E3’s video game design program for kids. That would place this in early June. Seeing as LeBron is just bumming around taking meetings at Warner Bros, I assume in this fictional universe the Lakers were eliminated early in the playoffs. Otherwise he should be in the middle of the finals. B

I’m not gonna sit here and pretend this is a good movie. We spend the first third of the film with Bad Dad LeBron basically listening to a pitch about Space Jam 2 and being like “dumb, no thanks.” Then the middle third is just animated LeBron bipping and bopping around with the Tunes. Finally, the last third gets us to the basketball game, which isn’t really basketball, but some other hip new DomBall or whatever. What I’m saying is that this is no doubt about it some dumb stuff. BUT, I think when you boil it down you just have to ask whether you like to watch the Looney Tunes do Looney Tunes things and whether you like to see Bad Dad LeBron become Better Dad LeBron. If neither of those things are to your liking (or if you are particularly bothered by product placement), then it’s not the film for you. I personally found that the weirder it got (looking at you Don Cheadle) the more I kinda liked it and the more they leaned into the cheesy dad stuff the more it worked overall. Unfortunately that was like 40 minutes of a 2 hour film. So still not great. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got the looniest of tunes! We’ve got the kingliest of kings! We’ve got a kind-of-sort-of-not-really basketball game! We’ve got Space Jam: A New Legacy. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Needless to say the last two years have been sparse for BMT. We had to completely cancel BMT Live! last year because nothing was coming to theatres. This year we lucked out and several wide release films seem to be debuting same-day on streaming services. And HBO Max delivered us a qualifying Space Jam sequel from on high. Praise the Al-G Rhythm! What were my expectations? I knew quite a bit about the complaints concerning the film going into the viewing. Lucky for me I watched Space Jam maybe seven years ago and realized then that it is pretty boring. So I figured I would like this more than most people seem to, but also probably wouldn’t actually like it.

The Good – I actually didn’t mind the WB clips as much as others seemed to have online, they were so short with decent costumes and effects that they worked for me. I loved loved loved Don Cheadle as the villain Al-G Rhythm (get it?). He was having incredible amounts of fun and seemed to know how to play just the right amount of winking at the camera to make the story work better than it should have. And the Looney Tunes are fun, even if most of them didn’t have much to do. Best Bit: Don Cheadle by a long way.

The Bad – The beginning paints LeBron as a bad parent and that was kind of weird as it took a long time to get to the redemption bit. I also wish they had went the Space Jam route where you are supposed to imagine Michael Jordan lives in a two bedroom house in North Carolina or whatever, instead LeBron lives in the most enormously gaudy mansion imaginable. The middle bit suffers because LeBron spends most of it as a cartoon which seemed like a cop out for either time or money or both. And the final basketball game lacked any tension because it wasn’t actually basketball meaning you could score 1000 points in the blink of an eye. And for the climax of the film the Looney Tunes are only-decent-looking CGI instead of looking hand drawn. Oh, and, spoilers, they fake-kill Bugs Bunny? That was odd. Jesus, and I didn’t even get to the comicon-level costumes for the WB characters watching the final basketball game! There is a lot not to like about the film compared to Space Jam. Fatal Flaw: I think allowing LeBron to be a cartoon for the bulk of the film is its biggest crime.

The BMT – Compared to the original it lacks charm by dropping the ball four different times and on almost every level. But compared to the original it isn’t boring as well for the most part. Don Cheadle maybe saves the whole thing from being a complete catastrophe. I think I’m somewhat immune to the insane A+ Produce Placement from WB because I’ve seen both The Emoji Movie and Ralph Breaks the Internet which both effectively do the same thing, but even grosser since those only seem to serve mega-corporations. Did it meet my expectations? I did indeed like it more than a lot of people online I think. Basically I think this was a mid-30% on RT, not a mid-20% like it ended up being. Space Jam is an appropriate mid-40%. Would I watch a third Space Jam? … I guess.

Roast-radamus – I think there is definitely a Planchet (Who?) in Khris Davis who plays LeBron’s friend Malik whose sole purpose seems to be to be a goober and not do anything right. Let’s not even get started on Product Placement (What?) for the entirety of the WB cinematic library. And a nod for Worst Twist (How?) for the inevitable switcheroo of Dom James joining the Tune Squad and then getting to go to the E3 Game Dev Camp. It’ll obviously get play in the Live! section and it probably in the BMT category in the end.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Uh oh, looks like it is time for the return of the BMT Crossover Episode. In the second Space Jam we saw Al-G Rhythm defeated by LeBron and Dom James, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone. On no. He’s only laying in wait until a new superstar supreme enters his life. And you guessed it, that man is Sasha Petrosevitch. Al-G Rhythm plans on capturing the digital essence of Sasha and holding a worldwide Aikido tournament to, once again, win the hearts and minds of the world and ultimately rule it. Well, Sasha won’t be having that! He decides to go digital, and forms a rag tag group of WB properties to Aikido alongside him against the Goon Squad (composed of eeeeeeeevil versions of the only person that could possibly pose a threat to Sasha in martial arts skill … himself!). And you bettah belieb that he’s going to aikido chop his way to victory. It’s called Akido Jam: Half Past Digital.

Live Theatrical Review – Obviously I didn’t get to watch this in theaters, but instead on HBO Max. Does it feel different? Honestly, it kind of does. I’m not sure how I would have felt if I had shelled out 15 dollars to go sit in a theater with a bunch of annoying people to watch this film. I would have almost definitely walked out with that sick feeling of “what the hell am I doing with my life.” Is it really BMT Live! without that feeling? I did enjoy getting to watch a new film in the comfort of my home and the comfort of my own schedule though. And I’m not one to be precious about the theatrical experience, but it seems likely that if I had seen this film in theaters I would have had different feelings than “meh, whatever, it was okay right?”. B. I’ll have to watch a few more “theatrical” films outside of the theater before I can have a true verdict as to whether the feeling is the same, or whether it can’t really count as “Live” without being live.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Space Jam: A New Legacy Quiz

Oh man, so I got disintegrated by an algorithm and put into a server at a giant production studio … that’s wild. In a way I was murdered and am now no more real than a robot … it is an existential nightmare. I don’t remember a thing about anything in my past “life”, especially anything about this film. Do you remember what happened in Space Jam: A New Legacy?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The beginning of the film is alllllllll family drama because LeBron and his son Dom just don’t see eye-to-eye on what Dom should be doing this summer. What does LeBron want him to do, and what does he want to do?

2) The entire conflict of the film between Al-G Rhythm and LeBron is kicked off based on the sweet pitch by the algorithm for LeBron’s next big business opportunity. What is that opportunity?

3) Why is Bugs Bunny all alone in Tune World?

4) The Goon Squad is a team of monsters which are a mix of real NBA and WNBA players and animals/elements/other stuff. Where do they come from?

5) What is the “one weird trick that algorithms hate” that the Toon Squad needs to pull off in order to win the game?

Bonus Question: What was Dom’s next big game?

Answers

Space Jam: A New Legacy Preview

Jamie and Lindsey run off in pursuit of the hack jack port but Jamie can’t keep his mind off the mysterious sensuality of the hardscrabble reporter. “It was really cool how you used your credentials to get us in here,” he says meekly, spots of color blooming in his cheeks, but she just looks at him and mumbles about “the power of the press.” My god, he can hardly stand the power she exudes. Suddenly they turn a corner and there is a pipe pouring steamy water into the hallway. “This is here in case someone needs a steamy shower,” Lindsey says softly, “do you?” She says as she steps into the water. Nonplussed by the boldness of the steamy, sultriness of the scene, Jamie quickly recovers and joins her. As he does, she pulls away. “I… I can’t. Ever since I became a hardscrabble reporter I can’t understand love, life is just a series of news stories to me and I can’t see myself as a character… only others.” Jamie nods in understanding. Love is so hard. Living, loving, and learning, sigh, he totally gets it for sure. His wise words about the three L’s break through her hardened exterior and soon Jamie has a new L in his life: Lindsey, and they are making out… hard. Sure hope Patrick is having a better chance with the hack jack port cause this wild adventure of the senses ain’t slowing down.

“Oh that was easy,” Patrick says to Kyle, having found the hack jack port moments after Jamie and Lindsey ran off. “What now?” He asks Rachel through the headset. Now? Now it’s time to upload and hack the planet against the baddest algorithms in interspace. That’s right! Despite the lackluster harvest this year for BMT, we’ve doing our duty in grabbing what we can. It came out a little while back, but we finally caught up with Space Jam: A New Legacy as the second BMT Live! of the year. Talk about hacking the planet and algorithms and junk. Let’s go!

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) – BMeTric: 78.2; Notability: 84

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 1.1%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 17.0% Lower RT: Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Safer at Home, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, The Unholy, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Awake; Notes: The BMeTric is going to fall I presume as more and more normal people watch the film and realize that it is just like … Space Jam 2, and not some attack on their childhood. Also kids who watch it (and probably like it) will grow up and so the rating will probably rise to around 6.0, a bit below the original, but still I bet it’ll be decently high eventually.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Wait, when did everyone get a “-verse” to encompass all of their IP? I get it that the MCU was a way to bring together the different Marvel characters, and the Spider-verse was a way to bring the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man into one story. But around the time that the flying monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz,” Superman, King Kong, Agent Smith from “The Matrix,” and Ingrid Bergman from “Casablanca” show up in “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a movie about basketball-playing Looney Tunes characters, we cannot help wondering whether the movie’s not-so-side hustle is promoting every character they own that ever inspired a Funko Pop. We might also wonder whether it’s too much of a distraction from what’s happening in the movie as we play “Who’s that?” among the hundreds of cosplaying real and virtual background figures.

(I find the excerpt combined with 3 out of 4 stars to be interesting. An IP cash grab seems like the perfect opportunity to bust out a 2.5 out of 4, I liked it but do better kind of statement. Three out of four is like … good. That is a good review. I find that quite interesting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCsEKvz2mxs/

(I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. The CGI Toons look dumb and I don’t like it. Otherwise, from what I remember LeBron James is a far more capable actor than MJ, so he has that going for him.)

Directors – Malcolm D. Lee – (Known For: Girls Trip; Undercover Brother; The Best Man; Roll Bounce; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; The Best Man Holiday; Soul Men; Future BMT: Night School; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: He’s all about The Best Man series including writing and directing an upcoming television series based on the property and another sequel.)

Writers – Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick (based on “Space Jam” written by) – (Known For: Space Jam; The Santa Clause; Kicking & Screaming; The Santa Clause 2; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Leo Benvenuti seems to have retired in 2012. Steve Rudnick consulted on the recent Muppets show and wrote a few episodes as well.)

Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod (based on “Space Jam” written by) – (Known For: Space Jam; Trading Places; Kindergarten Cop; Twins; Astro Boy; Kindergarten Cop 2; Cheaper to Keep Her; Future BMT: My Stepmother Is an Alien; Pure Luck; Brewster’s Millions; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: They actually genuinely did write Kindergarten Cop 2, it wasn’t just a character credit. Space Jam was their last theatrical release screenplay credit.)

Juel Taylor (story by & screenplay by) – (Known For: Creed II; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Keenan Coogler’s brother wrote Creed, he wrote Creed II, and Keenen Coogler is writing the third, so a lot of Creed DNA in the film. He is writing They Cloned Tyrone with Tony Rettenmaier.)

Tony Rettenmaier (story by & screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Mostly does camera work it looks like. Has started writing features in 2019.)

Keenan Coogler (story by & screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Brother of Ryan Coogler who directed Creed. He’s now tapped to write Creed III.)

Terence Nance (story by & screenplay by) – (Known For: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Seems to do a little bit of everything. Has written a ton of shorts, and a television series starring himself.)

Jesse Gordon (screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Only credit is for some of the short segments in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)

Celeste Ballard (screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Seemed to have been involved in UCB and has written for a bunch of smaller series over the years. Her first film, and her second is in post-production starring Sophie Turner.)

Actors – LeBron James – (Known For: Trainwreck; Smallfoot; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: King James! Four time NBA champion. He was widely lauded for his performance in Trainwreck, so it seemed inevitable he would go for Space Jam 2, a film they’ve been trying to get off the ground for literally decades.)

Don Cheadle – (Known For: No Sudden Move; Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Boogie Nights; Captain Marvel; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Captain America: Civil War; Iron Man 2; Iron Man Three; Ocean’s Eleven; Crash; Flight; Traffic; Ocean’s Twelve; Ocean’s Thirteen; Out of Sight; Hotel Rwanda; Rush Hour 2; The Family Man; The Guard; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; The Meteor Man; After the Sunset; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Swordfish; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for Hotel Rwanda. Plays the saxophone, and he was nominated for a Grammy for a spoken word album (how quaint).)

Cedric Joe – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Plays LeBron’s fictional child. Makes me wonder if LeBron’s actual children got auditions. Bryce is maybe the right age.)

Budget/Gross – $150 million / Domestic: $69,223,929 (Worldwide: $148,723,929)

(In normal times I think they would have been looking for $100 million easy. This is actually a lot more impressive than I would have thought. With the HBO Max money maybe it is okay in the end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (55/211): Despite LeBron James’ best efforts to make a winning team out of the Tune Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy trades the zany, meta humor of its predecessor for a shameless, tired exercise in IP-driven branding.

(Yeah, sounds about right. I think it is a surprisingly low percentage, I was mostly expecting it to float around 35%, but it just kept dropping. Reviewer Highlight: Corporations handing a bag of unrelated IP and ordering screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio filmmaking now, if not all of contemporary existence. – Sam Adams, Slate.)

Poster – Space Clams

(Odd poster. They are basically showing us almost nothing of the draw of the film in favor of colorful empty space. Like… I guess I recognize LeBron James’ legs. And then just the tops of the heads of the Looney Tunes? Very strange. I do like the vibrant colors and the quirk of the font. But odd stuff. C+)

Tagline(s) – They’re all Tuned up for a rematch. (C)

(But… it’s not a rematch. Whatever. This is fine in a your-kinda-stretching-it way. It’s short enough. It hints at the general concept of a Looney Tunes Space Jam sequel. And it is mildly clever. It’s mild all around.)

Keyword – basketball

Top 10: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Space Jam (1996), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), American Beauty (1999), Black Panther (2018), Glass (2019), Baywatch (2017), Sleepers (1996), Doctor Strange (2016), Uncut Gems (2019)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 73.7 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 69.4 The Flintstones (1994), 67.7 Crossover (2006), 62.9 The Comebacks (2007), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014);

BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Baywatch (2017), Grown Ups (2010), Blended (2014), Bloodshot (2020), Cocktail (1988), A Walk to Remember (2002), Dangerous Minds (1995), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Jack and Jill (2011), Big Momma’s House (2000), Little Nicky (2000), Ride Along (2014), Now and Then (1995), Into the Storm (2014), The Game Plan (2007), Paycheck (2003), Dreamcatcher (2003), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Made of Honour (2008), Romeo Must Die (2000), Runner Runner (2013), Lock Up (1989), Steel (1997), Are We There Yet? (2005), Deadly Friend (1986), Juwanna Mann (2002), Half Past Dead (2002), Underclassman (2005)

(Kazaam is the obvious outlier here. We should have watched Kazaam ages ago, but it was probably hamstrung by the fact that we didn’t rewatch movies for the first five or so years of BMT. The plot is fun because I genuinely think it follows the pattern of 1990 onward basketball. I wonder what the baseball plot looks like …)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Don Cheadle is No. 2 billed in Space Jam: A New Legacy and No. 4 billed in Swordfish, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Mission to Mars, Reindeer Games, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – After the original idea for “Space Jam 2” was canceled, there was an idea for a spy film titled “Spy Jam” starring Chinese actor Jackie Chan, but he left the project and it evolved into Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

Bob Bergen is the only voice actor to return from the original Space Jam (1996) film (as Tweety).

The lighting effects on the Looney Tunes characters were done by Industrial Light & Magic which makes this the first time the company does the lighting effects on 2D animated characters in a live action and animated film since Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) 33 years earlier.

Kath Soucie had been set to reprise her role as Lola Bunny, and had all of her dialogue recorded. But for unknown reasons, she was replaced by Zendaya during late post-production.

The Warner Siblings make several cameos in the film. Looney Tunes: Back in Action director Joe Dante originally wanted to include a cameo of the siblings in the “water tower” scene, but the idea was discarded for unknown reasons. The Wacko, Yakko, and Dot can, however, be spotted multiple times through out the basketball game. They can be seen sitting on top of Marvin’s space ship.

Originally, the sequel was going to have Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes having a basketball game against a new alien villain named “The Berserk-O!”. Ultimately Michael’s refusal to return resulted in production’s cancellation.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was offered to star in the film, but he declined.

Warner Bros also had ideas for “Skate Jam”, “Golf Jam” and “Race Jam”, but they were all discarded.

Production began in June 2019 during the NBA off-season.

When Space Jam 2 was first announced back in 2011, one proposed idea was that it would star Tim Tebow and revolve around football. Little more information came from this idea before it was scrapped and replaced with its current plot about LeBron James. (I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS)

Pepe Le Pew, the French skunk, was supposed to have featured in a Casablanca (1942)-inspired scene where he tries to pick up Greice Santo, who violently rebuffs his advances. However, the unfinished scene was dropped after Malcolm D. Lee took over directing from Terence Nance, allegedly because the character of Le Pew was said to promote sexual harassment.

Original Space Jam (1996) director Joe Pytka said it took him five attempts to watch Space Jam 2 all the way through. He said that LeBron James was not a big enough celebrity to carry the film the way Michael Jordan did, adding “the truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael.” The commercial director went on to criticize the new film’s soundtrack as “insignificant” and the new version of Bugs Bunny as “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”

Terence Nance was the original director, but he voluntarily stepped down during production due to creative differences with the studio and producers, and was replaced with Malcolm D. Lee.

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon was reportedly attached to an auto racing-centered follow-up to Space Jam entitled “Race Jam”, but Gordon denied these rumors and the project fell through. Gordon did make a cameo appearance in the last theatrically-released Looney Tunes film, Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

Wild Orchid Recap

Jamie

Emily is a lawyer. The best lawyer. James is a weirdo. The best weirdo. They are on a collision course in steamy Rio and nothing can stop their adventure of the senses. But can Emily seal the big deal for her company while also helping James get over his rich people problems and find love… before it’s too late? Find out in… Wild Orchid.

How?! Emily is a small town girl who’s made it big as a multilingual lawyer. Hired by a big new firm she is immediately sent to Rio de Janeiro to help facilitate the closing of a hotel deal with a Chinese company under the tutelage of Claudia. When things start to go sideways with the deal, Claudia runs off to Buenos Aires to reign in one of the people involved. This leaves Emily in charge of entertaining Claudia’s friend James Wheeler, a real rich guy who mumbles and stumbles creepily about showing Emily all his rich person stuff. Emily is intrigued by this weirdo but ends up fleeing when he takes her to an Eyes Wide Shut type party. The next morning James is just chilling in her room when she wakes up (sigh, really James?) and convinces her to go with him and a weird rich couple out to a party. While there the wife of the rich dude gets assaulted and James helps get everyone to safety. In the car ride back tensions are high… but apparently not high enough for our boy James Wheeler. He convinces the couple to have marriage reaffirming sex in the car in front of him and Emily. Emily is shocked (shocked!), but soon learns the truth: because of all his sweet moneybags, James can’t love like a normal person. Love has become a game and he can no longer stand being touched. So that night Emily gives into his desires and has sex with a random pervert (the only way James can get pleasure now… for real). The next morning Claudia returns and Emily is dismayed to find that the random pervert is actually opposing counsel on the deal! But Claudia is thrilled and uses the situation to the benefit of the company. Unfortunately, Wheeler is Wheeler and he uses his riches to circumvent the deal and buy up the hotel himself. Claudia is angry and pushes forward with the Chinese company. The next morning she tells Emily all about James (and her own obsession with him) and then they proceed to almost have a threesome before James busts in angrily. Emily calls out James for all his antics and ultimately he ends up signing over the hotel to her, saving the deal. Emily then goes out to find James and they have wild sex for at least an hour and then ride away on a motorcycle. Rad. THE END.

Why?! James Wheeler is a rich person from a bad background who made boatloads of money because basically he didn’t like being poor and didn’t like how people made fun of him for stuttering. You would think this would land him bodacious babes… and it does, but eventually he finds these babes shallow and only in it for the money and so love becomes a game for him and he’s all sad or whatever. For Emily, though, love isn’t a game. In fact it’s nothing. She’s been so focused on rising from her humble beginnings in middle America that she hasn’t had time for love. It is this yin and yang of perversion and innocence that is… Wild Orchid.

Who?! We probably should note when the two leads in a film are married or get married. Rourke and Otis started dating on set and created (almost certainly false) rumors of an unsimulated sex scene. They got married three years later and were together almost a decade, although not happily according to Otis’ memoir.

What?! Rourke shows off how totally rad he is by tooling around on his motorcycle. Eventually the motorcycle becomes a character of sorts as their wild love is sealed by a final ride on the bike into the sunset. As if he is a cowboy and the bike is his faithful steed. And if you weren’t sure what super cool bike he was riding, there is a scene where he goes by a truck full of American sailors who scream “Harley Davidson!!!” at him.

Where?! This surpasses Blame it in Rio for best Brazil film we’ve seen (even though it’s not A+), thankfully. It really takes every facet of Brazil and squeezes all the Brazil it can out of it. I think Zalman King would say it required the Brazil setting, although I would think this is set in Miami 9 out of 10 times… still, A.

When?! Patrick reminded me that this is really Secret Holiday Film Alert since we have a pretty significant Carnival scene and it’s mentioned several times. That is a February event so that’s pretty specific. I think this goes hand in hand with the setting since you can’t squeeze out all the Brazil without setting it during Carnival. A-.

You can see the blueprint for Fifty Shades all over this junk. Rourke is a creepy weirdo but also super rich so that makes him mysterious and exciting but he’s also damaged and doesn’t like to be touched and only Emily’s innocent love can fix this damaged, beautiful, dangerous super rich man that can have anyone he wants but wants little ol’ her. It is trash through and through and I debate whether it’s even interesting trash. It’s interesting because of how weird and bad it is… like how The Room is weird and bad but interesting in its weird badness. You get a sense you’re getting a peek into Zalman King’s outlook on life and love in an unusually unfiltered way, but it doesn’t really make any of it less offputting. I’m not sure I even have much good to say… the main actress is beautiful but not a good actress, Rourke mumbles his way into a performance that is somehow worse than his amateur counterpart, and it all feels a bit exploitative of Brazilian culture in pursuit of a steamy adventure of the senses. So it appears I do not have anything good to say. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got creepy Mickey Rourke, we’ve got … actually that’s all I can remember about this movie, creepy Mickey Rourke will haunt my dreams forever. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – What can you say about a film that has been so long in the making for BMT? Ever since Color of Night we’ve been champing at the bit for more of ‘dem erotic thrillers. Well, this was the last jewel for our weird erotic thriller crown. I think we’ve seen most of the qualifying genre at this point, so this has to be good, right? … Right? What were my expectations? Well … the director comes across as an … eccentric if I were to be kind about it. It seems like he directed cable porn in the 90s if I were to be unkind. So with that in mind I really just desperately hoped I wasn’t watching porn.

The Good – I can kind of see what people must have seen in Rourke at the time. It is a bit like Kevin Costner in that his characters now come across as a bit emotionally stunted (if not in need of actual therapy), but at the time I think made sense from a “oh my God, this guy just sulks around and doesn’t talk … so hot!” perspective. Love the film for the Brazil setting, better than Blame it on Rio (although no less creepy …). As the crowning achievement as to the boundaries mainstream audiences were willing to see pushed, this is maybe a better example than, say, Showgirls (although I would have to rewatch that to be sure). Best Bit: Brazil and Carnival.

The Bad – My god could the guys in this film be any creepier? I don’t know what the writer/director of this film is thinking, but if any of this is sexy then count me out my friend. There is a bit in the middle where Bruce Greenwood’s character seems to propose that the main character some back to New York City to be his captive sex slave? I’m not sure about the visa situation in this plan, but it sounds sketchy. And Rourke is so repressed and brooding that all of his teachers thought he was mentally challenged when he was growing up … hot, amirite? For real, this went so far beyond Color of Night that it came back around a few times and just left me feeling bad. Fatal Flaw: Can we just not with these, please? More Bruce Willis hanging dong, less Creepy Rourke sexually assaulting women with his eyes.

The BMT – I mean it had to be done, but did it have to be done? I think this officially marks the point where the remaining erotic thrillers are either so small as to be really borderline wide releases, or so egregious as to have been forgotten to time. Too bad, I was hoping the genre would go out with a bang, but instead it taught us all a valuable lesson about the limits of enjoying bad things. Did it meet my expectations? Somehow I think so. It is tamer than you would think from an exploitative or gratuitous nudity perspective. It is just reprehensible, not actually pornography.

Roastra-damus – I think a genuinely bizarre Product Placement (What?) for Rourke’s two Harley Davidson motorcycles he “brings everywhere” (and a year later he would play Harley Davidson in a bad movie so …). Definite Setting as a Character (Where?) for Rio, as the film could not be any more Rio. A (not-so) Secret Holiday Film (When?) as they indicate it is explicitly Carnival in Brazil, which makes it late-February as well. And a pretty excellent MacGuffin (Why?) for the decrepit hotel that is the key to the big Chinese deal (and Rourke’s heart) that Emily is working on. I want to say it is bad, but it is actually closest to BMT since you can’t stop thinking about it after watching it.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I think this is the one to break the Half Past Dead cycle, we obviously have to get a Prequel in here to explain the brooding sexy nature of James Wheeler. We open in Miami, James Wheeler is a sweaty mess (so sexy) and has zero lines of dialogue for the first 45 minutes of the film (so sexy). He’s playing the game, you know the game … the one where it broods and thinks about women being objects to be manipulated (so sexy). In strolls Claudia Dennis, a woman of profound capability, and one to be supremely manipulated. They ride Harleys and look real cool, and then he gets the deal and strolls into the sunset with Claudia vowing she won’t let this silent, brooding, sexy man out of her life. Wild Orchid: The Wheeler Chronicles – Part 1: Origins. You better believe there are going to be a few more parts to the enigma that is James Wheeler.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wild Orchid Quiz

Oh man, so here I was dancing my little heart out at Carnivale when I get bopped on the head by this guy on a Harley and now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Wild Orchid?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Emily is a lawyer from the midwest who travels to New York City to pursue her passion in international law. Why does she want to do International Law specifically?

2) When she gets to Rio, why does Emily end up going on a date with the mysterious (and rich) James Wheeler?

3) What does Wheeler describe as his “pride and joy”?

4) Bruce Greenwood is a creep who very much wants to pay Emily for sex. Ultimately who is he (in relation to Emily) and why does their liaison get him into trouble?

5) In the end Wheeler kind of screws over the deal Claudia and Emily are working on. How?

Bonus Question: The usual, how long do Wheeler and Emily stay together?

Answers

Wild Orchid Preview

“Lindsey Appleton, hardscrabble investigative reporter from the Brooklyn Gazette Tribune,” Lindsey says, flashing her RTHQ badge. The officers at the gate peer at the badge, which denotes her status as a “full-blown journalist” and nod their heads, but just as Jamie, Patrick and Kyle walk through the gate the K-9 units start to bark wildly. Suddenly suspicious, the officers ask Lindsay who the bozos are tagging along. “These are my cameramen and audio technicians, Jerry, Lee and Lewis… and their baby” The officers narrow their eyes at the three men and a baby but eventually relent. The plan has worked! “Oh and Ms. Appleton,” the head officer notes, “We’ve had reports of some highly dangerous hang gliding terrorists attempting to infiltrate The Rock (as we call it). We are advised to shoot on sight. Would hate for your pals to get caught in the crossfire.” Lindsey coolly nods her head and ushers them inside, but Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock. Someone tipped them off! The cyborgs are closer than they imagined. “We should split up,” Patrick says, “it’ll give us the best shot of finding the, and excuse the technical term, hack jack port that Niall needs to hack into the system.” Seeing that the adrenaline of the heist seems to have put a wild spark into Jamie and Lindsey’s eyes, Patrick suggests maybe Kyle and Lindsey pair up. There is no time for thrills, erotic or otherwise. But Jamie and Lindsey are already off and running. Patrick sighs and communicates with Rachel via earpiece to find the quickest way to the hack jack port… it’s now up to him and Kyle. Jamie and Lindsey are lost to an adventure of the senses. That’s right! We are indeed watching the ultimate adventure of the senses: Wild Orchid. A real classic erotic thriller film and it should go without saying that it’s been on our radar for a very, very, very long time (if you know what I mean). Gross. Anyway, it should be fun in a probably unpleasant way. Let’s go!

Wild Orchid (1989) – BMeTric: 59.8; Notability: 18

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 71.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.7% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Fletch Lives, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Lock Up, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Millennium, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Cookie, Gross Anatomy, Her Alibi, and 26 more; Lower RT: Wired; Notes: Back to back 1989 films huh? That’s interesting. Sub-5.0 is amazing as usual. Hmmm maybe we should watch Wired at some point … seems depressing though.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Prim lawyer Otis, employed by banker Bisset, gets assaulted by Rio de Janeiro carny-time temptation: semi-public fornicators, limousine raunch, and the right of earringed Rourke in deep bronze makeup. Notorious simulated sex scene caused a stir, but it’s all for naught; this picture is enough to make any two bananas roll over in Carmen Miranda’s grave. Followed by a sequel.

(Semicolon? You know what I like to see Leonard. I kind of get the Carmen Miranda reference I guess … I think I do at least. It is kind of super weird if I’m being honest. Basically every review mentions the rumors about the final sex scene which notoriously some thought (incorrectly) was unsimulated.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwWLUzLbg8/

(“A man … struggling to unleash his emotions.” Ha! That’s an understatement. Having watched the film I have to say I wasn’t expecting them to so openingly state the plot as “A woman discovering her desires … a sociopath who can’t feel.”)

Directors – Zalman King – (Known For: Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Delta of Venus; Pleasure or Pain; In God’s Hands; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: Notoriously was an erotic films producer / director in the 90s and 00s, including the television program Body Language which he produced.)

Writers – Patricia Louisianna Knop (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Delta of Venus; Siesta; Lady Oscar; The Passover Plot; Silence of the North; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: She was the wife an collaborated for Zalman King. She was a producer on Red Shoe Diaries.)

Zalman King (written by) – (Known For: 9½ Weeks; Two Moon Junction; Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue; Pleasure or Pain; Return to Two Moon Junction; In God’s Hands; Roadie; Wildfire; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Nine 1/2 Weeks in 1987; Notes: He was an actor in the 60s and 70s including starring in the television show The Young Lawyers.)

Actors – Mickey Rourke – (Known For: Iron Man 2; Body Heat; Sin City; The Expendables; Immortals; The Rainmaker; The Wrestler; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; 9½ Weeks; Angel Heart; Buffalo ’66; Rumble Fish; Heaven’s Gate; 1941; Girl; The Pledge; Spun; Diner; Year of the Dragon; Future BMT: Domino; Desperate Hours; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Man on Fire; BMT: Double Team; Wild Orchid; Get Carter; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1991 for Desperate Hours, and Wild Orchid; Notes: Notable went back to professional boxing in 1991 well into his career as an A-list actor where he sustained severe facial injuries. He’s gotten extensive plastic surgery in an attempt to correct the issues.)

Jacqueline Bisset – (Known For: Bullitt; Murder on the Orient Express; Casino Royale; The Deep; L’amant double; Airport; Day for Night; 9/11; Blue Night; Dangerous Beauty; Miss You Already; Latter Days; The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean; Two for the Road; Death in Love; Backstabbing for Beginners; The Detective; The Man from Acapulco; Cul-de-sac; Under the Volcano; Future BMT: Domino; When Time Ran Out…; Class; Inchon; BMT: Wild Orchid; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Joan of Arc. Is Angelina Jolie’s godmother, as she was asked while working with Jon Voight on End of the Game.)

Carré Otis – (Known For: Exit in Red; Going Back; BMT: Wild Orchid; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Wild Orchid in 1991; Notes: Famously married Rourke in 1992, a romance that has fueled (unfounded) rumors that the final sex scene was unsimulated.)

Budget/Gross – $7 million / Domestic: $11,060,485 (Worldwide: $11,060,485)

(Not super great obviously, but not a complete bomb maybe. The budget is so low though, must basically be all salary for the actors at that point.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (2/29): Body Orchid is a tease-too-long, with overblown editing with an already slipping Mickey Rourke and unexperienced actress Carrie Otis.

(I had to look it up, and no, nowhere was the film called Body Orchid … is it just a weird play on words or something? Maybe they are mashing the title with Body Heat? Reviewer Highlight: What I couldn’t believe was the chemistry between Rourke and Otis, whose passion is supposed to shake the earth but seemed more like an obligation imposed on them by their genitals. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Wild Sorkin

(Wild Sorkin is the high school comedy about Aaron Sorkin’s wild youth. This poster is… not that. It makes me feel sweaty and dirty, so mission accomplished I assume. I do like the font and the color scheme fits what I would call “nude,” which is probably the point. Anyway, it could be better. C+)

Tagline(s) – An adventure of the senses. (C-)

(Grosssss. No thanks. Those words on that poster is just… just the worst. Leave my senses out of this garbo. It’s certainly telling you exactly what you can expect in just a few words, but it’s not something I want.)

Keyword – erotica

Top 10: American Beauty (1999), Call Me by Your Name (2017), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Sin City (2005), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Don Jon (2013), Coyote Ugly (2000), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Body Double (1984), Showgirls (1995)

Future BMT: 71.2 Showgirls (1995), 60.5 Obsessed (2009), 54.1 Bolero (1984), 49.4 In the Cut (2003), 46.2 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002), 43.7 Coyote Ugly (2000), 41.3 Addicted (2014), 41.0 Jawbreaker (1999), 37.8 Never Talk to Strangers (1995), 33.0 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016);

BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), The Boy Next Door (2015), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Striptease (1996), Cool World (1992), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Color of Night (1994), Wild Orchid (1989), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Specialist (1994), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), Miss March (2009)

(I had to try this one out. We have a few left, and a bunch of those are, in reality, not erotica. But Bolero and Showgirls definitely are. I’m pretty surprised that the notability plot is as stable as it is. I would have thought it would have dropped off a cliff after 2000, but that didn’t really happen until 2010.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 5 billed in Wild Orchid and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth => 5 + 6 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis were a couple at the time this film was made, and there is a persistent rumor that the sex scenes were not faked.

In a 2004 interview, Carré Otis denied the rumors that suggested the infamous last sex scene was real.

Brooke Shields turned down the role of Emily because she knew that nudity would be required.

Willem Dafoe turned down the role of James Wheeler.

The hotel construction site was actually the skeleton of an abandoned hotel in Salvador, Bahia that was never completed. It was imploded a few years later, after decades of abandonment.

Anne Archer was signed to play the Jacqueline Bisset part, but she had a disagreement with the producers over the scripts R rated content.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mickey Rourke, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Carré Otis, 1991)

K-9 Recap

Jamie

Dooley is a cop that doesn’t play by nobody’s rules. He pulls out all the stops and takes charge of a police dog, Jerry Lee, to go after a major drug kingpin. But danger is around every corner as the kingpin goes after Dooley, the people he loves, and even *gasp* Jerry Lee. Can they stop the baddie before it’s too late? Find out in… K-9.

How?! Dooley is a cop that doesn’t play by nobody’s rules… did I mention that already? Anyway, he’s starting to think the drug kingpin he’s after, Lyman, is getting wind of his investigation. How? Well, Lyman blew up his car using a helicopter. Man he wants this bust so bad, but his captain says he needs a partner and Dooley’s like “I don’t play well with others, man.” But seeing as he’s got a drug kingpin to bust he gets a pretty sweet idea: drug sniffing dog. How hard could it be to handle a K-9? Pretty hard when that K-9 unit is Jerry Lee, a dog that don’t take no guff from nobody. Dooley and Jerry Lee are a pretty potent combination, both rude, crude, and full of ‘tude and Dooley ain’t liking it. He’s always fighting the dog (like physically), but also Jerry Lee is getting him out of jams and stuff too so there forms a begrudging respect. Just as he’s on the verge of the big bust (oh man, he wants it so baaad) Dooley is shocked and horrified to find that Lyman has kidnapped his girlfriend. Oh no! Dooley, playing by no rules and taking no guff, barges in on a big party at Lyman’s house and starts to act super crazy. But it’s all a ruse! After getting arrested, Dooley and Jerry Lee steal the police car and make their way to bust the big shipment, just knowing that Lyman won’t miss a chance to move his stuff while Dooley is (allegedly) in jail. He’s right and Dooley and Jerry Lee (but mostly Jerry Lee) chase down and steal the truck carrying the drugs. They drive it to the meet up with Lyman and a shootout occurs during which Lyman is killed and Jerry Lee is shot! Double oh no! Dooley and his girlfriend rush him to the hospital (like a human hospital) where he is saved and everyone is super happy. THE END.

Why?! I’ll have to think of the BMT term for this type of film. Where there is a higher concept to the film itself (human-dog buddy cop film) that has almost nothing to do with the motivations (wanting to bust a ruthless drug kingpin). It’s the A plot that’s really a B plot. Cause who gives a shit why Dooley ends up with a dog partner? Who really cares what Lyman’s up to? Not a single person. They just want that dog to make Dooley crazy with his dog antics. It’s the main storyline of the film that slips off the mind the instant you step out of the theater and could have been replaced with thousands of other storylines. There is a multiverse of possibilities for the plot and motivations of K-9.

Who?! Big time shout out to the dog who portrayed Jerry Lee. He also played Jerry Lee in the short lived TV series in 1991, which was also sadly when he passed away. Although this is all disputed. Some places say the dog was Koton, an actual K-9 officer from Kansas City that continued to work and was killed in the line of duty in 1991. Other places are like ‘not so fast,’ he was actually Rando, a dog from Germany with a much less interesting history. The latter seems like the truth.

What?! I want to note that Dooley’s house is a Diet Pepsi house as further evidence for his clinical insanity. Beyond that it’s super fun when video games (such an up and coming industry) make appearances in the 80’s and 90’s. In this case Dooley is always playing around with a Game and Watch from 1983. It’s version 2 of a game called Manhole.

Where?! This is the best of the categories for sure as it quickly becomes clear that Dooley lives and works in San Diego. It makes some sense with the drug running storyline and it’s a bit refreshing given that San Diego isn’t as common as one would think given proximity to LA. I’m going to give it a B+.

When?! Do I think there might be some hint in this film for when it takes place? Possibly, although I didn’t find any. It seems hot… like maybe summer hot and we do know it’s near the beginning of a month cause of a schedule in the police station. But these are just things I notice when I don’t have anything else to say. F.

The juxtaposition of a rather straight buddy cop storyline with a totally insane cop-dog relationship has to be seen to be believed. Jim Belushi literally gets in a fist fight with the dog. And you might be thinking I’m employing the modern usage of the term ‘literally.’ Nope. Jim Belushi, fed up with Jerry Lee butting in on his love life, takes the dog out and begins to fist fight him. And it’s not even the only time you wonder whether they found a buddy cop script lying around and just searched the name of Belushi’s partner and replaced it with the word ‘dog.’ The dog seems to be written more like a human than a dog. But honestly I didn’t mind all that. Cause the dog was kinda dope. What I did mind was the police investigation storyline, which paints Belushi as both dangerously incompetent and a menace to those he claims to love. For the sake of the citizens of San Diego the mad man should have been stopped long ago. Thank god he delivers not one, but two mega human-to-dog MonoSklogs the likes of which we’ve never seen. Overall, I think I would describe the film as quietly insane. If you can get past the general concept of a human-dog buddy cop film I think you could watch this and be like “OK, that was fine,” but it’s not fine if you think about it for even a minute and that helps make it an OK BMT film. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got drug dealers! We’ve got a police officer who don’t play by no one’s rules! We have a police dog who also don’t play by no one’s rules! It’s K-9! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Was there a time in the late-80’s/early-90’s where critics were like “for real, just cut the shit with the dogs already!”? It sure seems like it. Coming out around the same time as Turner & Hooch, the critics eviscerated this film seemingly for no other reason than it was yet another human-dog buddy-[blank] film and they were sick of it. What were my expectations? There is a problem here. If I’m right about the critical thing then the film should be underrated because it was dunked on for its genre and not genuine quality. But … Jim Belushi isn’t funny or a good actor, so it seems unlikely to be true. So which will it be? I hope it is genuinely awful because that would be more interesting.

The Good –  I do love a good animal actor, and while this one isn’t as good as the dog in The Mask, he is still pretty good. Solid tricks including a silly drinking-from-a-straw trick. I also appreciated that they chose to treat the dog almost as an unruly human partner instead of a dog. At times Belushi gives random commands as if this thing is magical and will intuit that it needs to do. “Go get a search warrant and then get drugs and any firearms you find from this warehouse” might as well have been a command. The movie is at its best when there are a few people being charming with a dog. Best Bit: Doggies.

The Bad – The issue comes in with the A-story which a la 48 Hrs. or Beverly Hills Cop is a far more serious affair that you might expect from a comedy. Belushi is out of control. He goes so far beyond “I don’t have time for rulez” that he basically destroys his own investigation leaving the only option to be to get into a firefight and hope the bad guy dies in the process. He almost gets killed multiple times, and ultimately everyone he loves gets kidnapped or shot. And I just don’t see how he ends up not losing his job, he fired his weapon within a citizen’s house, escaped custody, stole a cop car, and then ended up in an altercation where three people died. In what universe would they just be like “well, got’em bud, our bad” at the end of that? Fatal Flaw: The main character hates rulez so much he might as well have murdered the bad guy in cold blood and called it a day.

The BMT – I’ll be up there in best bad dog-cop films (but surely Top Dog is worse right?). It sits as a nice introduction to leading-man Belushi who we will see again. It is a legendary San Diego film to be sure. But the police investigation is so absurd that it sinks the film. You simultaneously have to take it seriously for the film to work and can’t take it seriously because Belushi’s character makes no sense. It is a tough circle to square. Did it meet my expectations? I can definitely see a reason why critics might have hated this film since it makes no sense … but I do think it was underrated to a degree. A BOMB seems harsh from Leonard without specifically calling out the silliness of the police story.

Roast-radamus – I kind of love the Product Placement (What?) for of all things Game & Watch which plays a pivotal role in the climax of the film. A legendary Setting as a Character (Where?) for San Diego, which must be a pretty rare movie setting with LA just up the coast. And we have a MacGuffin (Why?) option for The Big Bust that Belushi is pursuing throughout. Closest to BMT I think, the police story is that weird.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Do I dare? … I do, we are going BMT Crossover Episode yet again, I’m going to do it until it isn’t funny anymore. Sasha Petrosevitch now runs the Half Past Dead division of the FBI where agents who have gone beyond death use their new found knowledge for law enforcement purposes. And guess who else is half past dead? That’s right, Jerry Lee! Sasha needs a drug dog to sniff out the culprits behind a drug running operation which is running drugs up and down the California coast. And guess who is behind it all? That’s right, Chad, the pilot from the first film. He is, in fact, an international drug smuggler using his pilot’s license and connections to get that sweet uncut snow into San Diego and up the California coast. Naturally, Sasha takes him down and gets a new doggie friend in the process. K-10: All Dogs Go to Heaven.

You Just Got Schooled – And do I dare? I do. I watched the television movie K-9000 which, according to wikipedia, is an attempted soft pilot for a television series based on this film … I somehow doubt it. First, it was made by a completely different production company (Fox instead of Universal). Second, no one involved in the film is involved in the series. Third, it is a sci-fi film about a guy who accidentally gets implanted with a microchip that allows him to talk to a super smart police dog. The film is pretty brutal, but a one season series could have been fun. It just ends up being overly long and the dog doesn’t even show up until 40 minutes into the film. Has that cheap sheen of made-for-syndication television of the early 90s, and is as boring as you would expect … but it does make me wonder why exactly people think it is based on K-9. I listened to a podcast on it that is one of two wikipedia sources for it being an adaptation and they suggest K-9000 was written in 1989 and shelved which is just more evidence that it definitely isn’t based on K-9, no way they make this weird adaptation the same year as the movie, right? It really really (really) seems like it isn’t. D. Not enough doggies and boring to boot.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

K-9 Quiz

So here I was trying to make the big bust with my new K-9 partner Jerry Lee, when wham! I get bopped on the head by my dog who is quite the rascal. Anyways, I can’t remember a thing since I sustained a pretty serious concussion. Do you remember what happened in K-9?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Dooley is a cop with a ‘tude, and he needs a new car. Why does he need a new car and under what condition will he get one?

2) And Dooley needs a car because he’s going to get a big bust. And to get the big bust he needs a dog. But under what condition can Dooley get a dog from Ed O’Neill?

3) Dooley and his new pal Jerry Lee head out to the port to check out the bad guy’s warehouse where oh shit! They are going to find some drugs. What do they find though?

4) So what is the big deal going down, what big plan is Dooley chasing with the big bad guy?

5) What is Belushi’s big plan to nab the bad guy and get his girl back?

Bonus Question: What big case landed on Dooley’s desk just as Jerry Lee recovered from his gunshot wound?

Answers

1) Well, his car was blown up by the bad guys because he was getting too close to their operation. So a helicopter came through and blew up his car, tough luck. But he’ll only get a car from the department if he takes a partner, which he doesn’t want to do. I have a feeling he’s going to get one anyways.

2) Ah, Dooley has to handle the dog himself. You see, Ed O’Neill is all out of K-9 unit handlers, he can’t spare a handler. So Dooley will have to command the dog himself for the big bust. I’m sure that’ll work out fine without any issues at all.

3) Well … they do find some drugs. The issue is that it is some guy smoking a joint in a back room instead of a giant cache of cocaine or whatever. But Dooley is going to be back, you can swear by that!

4) Well, there is a big shipment of drugs coming in, but it isn’t going to the streetz of San Diego. Nope, it is going to a single person, which Dooley, it turns out, ends up finding and chasing down at the beach. He’s really on the trail now!

5) Well, he waits for the transport to go by because he knows where the drugs are coming from, and he ultimately hijacks it with the help of Jerry Lee. He then pretends to make an exchange pretending his little Game & Watch is a bomb trigger, and when it goes off a big firefight ensues where ultimately the bad dude is killed. Much like Dooley’s general attitude towards law enforcement, the plan is a bit half-baked.

Bonus Answer: You have to follow the Beverly Hills Cop route so the second film should be about police corruption. I mean, in the first film the bad guy was all but openly discussing all of the drugs he was running and people he was murdering so there must have been loads of corruption. Dooley is handed a notice from those bums down in internal affairs who drag him into a secure interrogation room. He has a choice, help them root out corruption in the department, or go to jail for all the shit he pulled in the last investigation. Using his contacts (and Jerry Lee of course) Dooley rolls into the San Diego red light district to hit up the strip joint that is frequented by the SDPD brass. Dooley long suspected it was a front for more nefarious police-endorsed business. Instead of investigating though he just releases Jerry Lee on the terrified patrons and unloads multiple rounds into the ceiling (f rulez amirite?). Well, … that doesn’t work out, he’s arrested and internal affairs is pretty displeased by how much he hates rulez. After three years in prison he is released, moves to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, and becomes a school teacher (and now he loves rulez). The end.

It’s a prequel to Dangerous Minds obviously. Jim Belushi is basically George Dzundza in the film. It actually makes a ton of sense that former marine Louanne Johnson would know a former San Diego police officer as there is a big naval base there.

K-9 Preview

Jamie, Patrick and Kyle (aka Three of a Kind (aka The Three Amigos)), fresh out of the hospital and with baby in tow, look over a ridge at the towering skyscraper that is Rotten Tomatoes HQ. Despite racking their brains for at least several minutes, they can’t figure out how they are going to get into the impenetrable fortress. Just then they hear a cough and notice that Rachel the Pretzel Girl has rejoined the gang. “Kinda forgot about you,” mumbles Jamie, ashamed, “sorry.” But Rachel doesn’t seem to hear him as she says a quiet hello to Kyle, who turns crimson red in response. Jamie and Patrick narrow their eyes at the pair and quickly snap their fingers. “Hellllo, we got an HQ to infiltrate, Rachel. You can talk to our ex-con BFF later,” Patrick huffs. But Rachel just waves them off and smirks in a way that lets them know that she’s got a plan and it’s going to work. We see a montage of them going over some blueprints and nodding their heads (“This just might work,” Patrick says). They try on some blond mullet wigs and moustaches (“We’ll pretend to be cameramen for a big time movie review show. Brilliant,” Jamie adds). They work on their hang gliders and high five (“Perfect way to get onto the roof undetected,” Kyle replies). Suddenly they all look at each other in confusion. If they are all cameramen from Hang Gliders Monthly, then who’s the reporter?! Suddenly another lady appears out of the bushes. “Lindsey Appleton!” Jamie exclaims, recognizing the hardscrabble investigative reporter from St. Mary’s Church. “That’s right,” she says smoothly, “I’ve been hard at work tracking your every move and I can get you into HQ. There’s just one problem… the RTHQ dogs.” That’s right! We are jumping into a classic with K-9, taking the chain from Problem Child 2 using Alan Blumenfeld. This falls into the microgenre of buddy cop films featuring dogs, which still continues to today (just look at Show Dogs). Interestingly, very few other animals have ever been a buddy cop… maybe even just Theodore Rex. Let’s go!

K-9 (1989) – BMeTric: 30.5; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.8%; Notability: top 28.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 16.8% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Cyborg, The Karate Kid Part III, The Fly II, No Holds Barred, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Cutting Class, Nightmare Vacation 3, Shocker, Pink Cadillac, DeepStar Six, The Punisher, Leviathan, The January Man; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Fletch Lives, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Harlem Nights, Leviathan, Pink Cadillac, Lock Up, Three Fugitives, Dead Bang, Renegades, Let It Ride, Millennium, Slaves of New York, The Karate Kid Part III, Who’s Harry Crumb?; Lower RT: Wired, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, DeepStar Six, No Holds Barred, Rooftops, She’s Out of Control, Millennium, Winter People, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, The Karate Kid Part III, The Salute of the Jugger, Chattahoochee, Nightmare Vacation 3, The Lemon Sisters, Three Fugitives, Troop Beverly Hills, Cookie, Her Alibi, Cyborg, Rude Awakening and 4 more; Notes: All the way up to 6.0 on IMDb, so pretty much in that “people kind of don’t think this is that bad” territory. Pretty weak overall. We clearly have a ton of bad 1989 films to go, I’m probably most excited for DeepStar Six.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Cop Belushi teams with a German shepherd (Jerry Lee) to crack a drug case. Dubbing this one a dog would be much too kind. Followed by two direct-to-video sequels.

(Kind of a weird review. First, there is no way the capitalization in “German shepherd” is correct right? According to wikipedia it is not, but who knows? The second bit is that Jerry Lee is the name of the dog in the film I’m pretty sure. The film credits Jerry Lee and Jerry Lee as well, but the dog was actually named Rando so I find that weird. But what can you do, right?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCRZBon82Qw/

(I don’t mind the fake out at the beginning. It kind of works in this case, which is surprising. The rest looks aggressively dumb, although I kind of like that Belushi seems to be playing it like the dog is just a human partner. That is kind of funny in its own way.)

Directors – Rod Daniel – (Known For: Teen Wolf; Future BMT: Beethoven’s 2nd; The Super; BMT: K-9; Notes: Nominated for three Emmys for WKRP in Cincinnati. Retired from filmmaking in 2010 to focus on photography.)

Writers – Steven Siegel (written by) – (BMT: K-9; Notes: Most of his credits are related to this series. K-9000 is maybe the most interesting, a 1991 television movie spin-off that was meant to be a pilot for a potential television series. In the series the main character has an implanted microchip which allows him to talk with his dog partner.)

Scott Myers (written by) – (Known For: Trojan War; Future BMT: Alaska; BMT: K-9; Notes: Seems to have moved on to production in some degree as he was an executive producer of a reality television program in the mid-2000s.)

Actors – Jim Belushi – (Known For: Last Action Hero; Trading Places; The Little Shop of Horrors; The Whole Truth; Thief; Wonder Wheel; The Ghost; About Last Night…; Red Heat; Hoodwinked; Wag the Dog; The Fury; Return to Me; Salvador; Home Sweet Hell; Thunderstruck; Only the Lonely; Canadian Bacon; The Man with One Red Shoe; Cougars Inc.; Future BMT: Underdog; Snow Dogs; The Wild; Joe Somebody; Destiny Turns on the Radio; Curly Sue; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Who’s Harry Crumb?; The Pebble and the Penguin; Race the Sun; Once Upon a Crime…; Mr. Destiny; Filofax; BMT: Pinocchio; Jingle All The Way; New Year’s Eve; Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; K-9; Notes: Brother of John Belushi, he was a genuinely big comedy star in the late-80s/early-90s. Does a lot of television now including the recent Twin Peaks series.)

Mel Harris – (Known For: Raising Cain; Imagine That; Suture; The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie; Hangman’s Curse; The Lodger; Cameron’s Closet; Sonic Impact; Purple Heart; Future BMT: The Pagemaster; Wanted: Dead or Alive; BMT: K-9; Notes: Was married to the official White House photographer for Gerald Ford in the 80s, at which time she also won a decent amount of money on $10,000 Pyramid.)

Kevin Tighe – (Known For: Yours, Mine and Ours; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; The Graduate; My Bloody Valentine; School Ties; Geronimo: An American Legend; Eight Men Out; Shadow Makers; Matewan; Mumford; Men of War; The Road Home; City of Hope; The Deal; Bright Angel; I Love a Man in Uniform; Future BMT: Race the Sun; Newsies; BMT: Jade; Another 48 Hrs.; K-9; Road House; Notes: I know him mostly as John Locke’s con-man father from Lost. His daughter Jennifer Tighe is also an actor, mostly in television.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $43,247,647 (Worldwide: $78,247,647)

(That seems like a lot of money. I’m pretty surprised they only managed to get a few direct-to-video sequels out of it. But maybe dealing with a co-star dog is just terrible enough that you have to make a ton of money to make it worthwhile.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (2/9)

(My consensus: Only amusing to the most ardent dog fans. Tom Hanks’ dog film wasn’t good, so why should this be any different? Reviewer Highlight: We start with a standard drug movie and end up with so many monologues to the dog that the dialogue coach must have needed a pooper scooper. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Tango & Patch

(That’s the name of the Tango & Cash sequel starring a dog named Patch after Cash has run off with Tango’s sister. Anyway, when a poster like this comes along I like to imagine what would happen if I saw something like this hanging in a movie theater as a coming attraction. I might faint. It does almost everything wrong. Bad color scheme. Bad font. But it does tell a story and it’s oddly pleasing despite being bad. So maybe a C-.)

Tagline(s) – Meet the two toughest cops in town. One’s just a little smarter than the other. (C-)

(I don’t really get this tagline. It’s long, so you would hope it gets where it needs to go… but does it? Like what does the second sentence have to do with the first? What does them being tough have to do with one being smarter than the other? On the other hand it is a nice little implied hit… that the dog is smarter than this big ol’ dumbo haha. So I can see what they wanted, they just reached too far for it. Double C-’s on this one.)

Keyword – dog movie

Top 10: Turner & Hooch (1989), Scooby-Doo (2002), 101 Dalmatians (1996), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Isle of Dogs (2018), Alpha (2018), Bolt (2008), Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993), Beethoven (1992)

Future BMT: 68.8 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 66.0 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010), 64.6 102 Dalmatians (2000), 64.0 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), 63.9 Underdog (2007), 62.0 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993), 56.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 45.9 Beethoven (1992), 39.5 Top Dog (1995);

BMT: A Dog’s Purpose (2017), K-9 (1989), Marmaduke (2010), Show Dogs (2018), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)

(Lame plot, but great look at how few of these we’ve actually watched. I’m looking forward to none of these, although running through the Beethoven series could be fun. The first two are the only theatrical releases, but I spy an animated television series from 1994! That’s fun.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ed O’Neill is No. 4 billed in K-9 and No. 1 billed in Dutch, which also stars JoBeth Williams (No. 3 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 3 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 1 + 3 + 3 + 6 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Pebble and the Penguin we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Jerry Lee was played by Rando, a 3-year-old German Shepherd from West Germany. A year-long search was held to find the right dog for the role. Over 40 dogs were considered but none of the American German Shepherds were deemed suitable. Rando trained for 3 months with Karl Lewis Miller and learned to understand commands in English.

At the dinner party given by the gangster, there is a butler walking across a room behind a doorway. The butler is Michael John Robert Gill who was working with the catering staff hired for the film. After the filming, he actually served the food used in the scene to the cast and crew. Gill was not an actor but was actually a real English butler, and for seven years he was butler to British actor Laurence Harvey, prior to his death.

The game played by Dooley in his car is a Game and Watch from Nintendo. The game is called “Manhole” second version released in 1983.

Contrary to the claim made by Jim Belushi’s character that his car is a classic 1965 Mustang, the only ’65 mustang in the movie is the one at the end when they are driving to Vegas. Any others used in the movie are ’66 models.

Rando faking being dead or asleep after he is brought out of surgery into the recovery room wasn’t in the script. When the crew saw Rando doing it while filming, the camera crew was in a perfect position to capture him being sneaky in one take.

Two versions of Lyman’s death scene have been broadcast. In the first, when running towards a helicopter, he shoots Jerry Lee and is subsequently shot by Dooley. In the second, he shoots Jerry Lee and is then shot by the escaping helicopter crew.

Two of a Kind Recap

Jamie

We open in Heaven… seriously… where God is like “Earth is dunzo” but some angels convince him to give it another chance if a miracle happens. So God is like, “Fine, I’ll spare it if total trash human, Zack, becomes a not trash person.” The angels are sad, cause Zack is trash. Can Zack be redeemed (and perhaps even get the girl?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Two of a Kind.

How?! God is ready to dump Earth. Just trash it, cause it’s garbage. But the angels beg him to give Earth one more try. So he’s like, “Fine, if that guy over there miraculously turns out to be a good person then I won’t trash Earth.” When we look down, that person is John Travolta and we are like “shit.” That’s cause he’s Zack and he’s an inventor in debt with the mob. In order to get the money he owes he decides to rob a bank, but the teller, Debbie, has different ideas. Seeing a juicy opportunity she gives him a bag of trash and takes the money herself. Distressed and still on the run, Zack tracks down Debbie and despite being a total creeper is able to woo her and start a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, The Devil has joined the game and begins to try to mess with Zack’s journey to salvation. Things come to a head when, after a nice time out on the town together, The Devil has led the mobsters to Debbie’s apartment. Even after they escape, he has also led the police there with a tip about the bank robbery. Using the temptations of El Diablo, the police are able to get Zack to turn on Debbie. She refuses to turn on Zack and with the help of the angels is able to beat the rap. Realizing that Debbie never betrayed him, Zack has a change of heart and chases after Debbie. At the same time The Devil realizes that if Zack actually does lose and God destroys the Earth then he’s out of a job, so he orchestrates taking Debbie hostage. Realizing he’s in love Zack jumps in front of a bullet for Debbie, but miraculously survives. Thus we fulfill the requirements of the bet and Earth is saved. Hooray. THE END.   

Why?! I have two readings of this film. One is that Travolta is simply a survivor. Always running and scrambling to live (and invent) another day. That’s his motivation and the distillation of his character, so when he reverses course and takes a bullet for ONJ it’s truly a miracle. That’s the way I like to read it. I do wonder, though, whether the extensive God/Devil/Heaven/Angels storyline is pointing more towards a strained Adam and Eve metaphor. That Travolta and ONJ are simply human, no better or worse, who are able to be tempted by the Devil into their bad deeds.

Who?! Once again ONJ is pretty charming and puts out some bangers for an otherwise very strange movie. Like check out Twist of Fate. Daaaaaang. I just added that to my running playlist. Otherwise, it’s notable that Gene Hackman voices God and goes uncredited. Sometimes you can get a sense of why someone goes uncredited. In contemporaneous reviews everyone appears to assume it’s because he knew the film wasn’t good and decided not to take the credit.

What?! This has one of the craziest product placements (or probably not even product placements) I can remember. When Zack and Debbie have their grand date on the town, we see them on a ferry eating a box of Chicken Delight… a major chicken franchise in the US until 1971, when a legal victory for franchisees resulted in the owner pulling out of the US, leaving the franchisees to fend for themselves. By 1983 (and onto today) there would have just been the independent franchises left. So can’t really be a product placement. Maybe the director liked Chicken Delight, or maybe they felt it gave the film an NYC feel. Fun one though.

Where?! Given my reading of the film in the Why section I think there might be a chance this is more of an NYC specific film that one might first imagine. Could it have been set in LA? Sure, but given the time period I do wonder whether the miracle-of-miracles had some more special meaning coming in the form of an NYC dweller. A man living day to day, always scrambling, surviving like a cockroach. So I’m tempted to give it an A-.

When?! Not really many clues here other than a general sense that it’s summer in the cit-ay. In particular ONJ’s roommates are a couple of jokesters dead set on getting out to Fire Island to “catch some serious rays.” They are actually pretty mean about it too, huffing and puffing about missing their train out there after having to help Debbie following the bank robbery. C-

I think somewhere deep in this film there is something that might be worthwhile. There are moments between Olivia Newton-John and Travolta where you can see a little spark and you wonder why on earth they decided to a) muddle everything up with unnecessary and boring God vs. The Devil shenanigans and b) make Travolta a trash caricature of a person. Just slim this whole thing down: Travolta is a down-on-his-luck inventor who has fallen deep into the underbelly of NYC after crossing the wrong people. In a moment of desperation he robs a bank, but is duped by an equally desperate teller. After finding each other they go on the run and rediscover their own humanity. I mean, that’s the crux of the film, and yet this very serious concept is buried under a mound of silly fluff. You don’t even get to understand Travolta’s character because it’s mostly played for a laugh. Just play into the innate charm of ONJ and Travolta and let the steamy action carry you. They did the opposite and I guess it’s kind of fun in a stupefying way. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We’ve got Travolta! We’ve got ONJ! What more could you need or want?! Well … a script would be nice, but them’s the breaks. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – If I got one chance to look at the post of this film and guess the plot I would have never guessed “two pieces of garbage fall in love while God tries and decide whether humanity is worth saving” … huh? We couldn’t just get a meetcute between Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and call it a day? What were my expectations? I don’t know. The film looks like it is barely a movie. Or maybe more accurately it looks like a television movie masquerading as an actual film. That usually means boring, but sometimes things like Can’t Stop the Music just end up being so silly and bizarre they are kind of okay. So who knows. I wish it was a musical though.

The Good – Bit here and there involving Travola and Newton-John falling in love are pretty okay. It all comes across as a television movie, but that isn’t actually that bad, it just means it looks cheap and is a bit trite. Travolta can play a surprisingly good heel at this point in his career. He is a believable grifter piece of garbage. Actually, Newton-John does too, although her character is far far more redeemable than Travoltas. Best Bit: The romance probably, they do pair up well.

The Bad – The whole thing with God and the Devil fighting over these two people concerning the fate of the world is amateur hour. It feels like the movie does need a hook, but this ain’t it brother, even if the angels and devil are fun in their own bizarre way. Travolta is a genuine piece of trash in the film. Every time you think he’s going to turn a corner and be a little good, he ends up revealing even further depths of his garbage heart. It actually ends up sinking the film. The whole thing would be trite nonsense if he was a normal human being. But he is instead a garbage man and it becomes incredibly hard to root for his redemption. Fatal Flaw: Travolta’s character is a big ol’ pile of trash.

The BMT – This film goes into a group of bad movies which are basically television movies that were released to theaters. Maybe you can track these back to holdovers from the pre-blockbuster era or something. And Travolta obviously rockets to the top of the BMT Villains list with his character of Zack … am I joking, or am I deathly serious? Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, it is a television movie which is pretty fun. It feels like an 80s episode of Touched by an Angel or something, like a soft pilot, but somehow released to theaters. That’s fun.

Roast-radamus – A very surprising Product Placement (What?) for Chicken Delight, and I’ll let Jamie get into that a bit more. A very solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC which you see in multiple montages, and Newton-John is trying to break out on Broadway. And an entry for Worst Twist (How?) for the obvious life sacrifice by Travolta at the end to save the world. Closest to Bad I think, but I could be convinced of its BMT-ness as well.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I might have to add BMT Crossover Episode as an official category as I’m finding those delightful recently. This time, guess who we are adding to the cast? That is right, 90’s era Steven Seagal! He’s back as Sasha Petrosevitch, and he’s been called upon by God to do deep cover in Hell to try and figure out what that rascal Beasly is up to. Naturally, Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are along for the ride as they are good friends with all of the angels and Beasly and stuff. Sasha finds out that Beasly has been trying to find out the location of a stash of combination television/VCR players that was hidden before a real bad dude died and went to hell, but the bad guy (played by Brian Cranston, remember this is the 90s) isn’t giving up the secret. Can Sasha pry the secrets to the stash (and the afterlife) before Beasly gets the loot and destroys the world economy with cheap combination television/VCR players? Find out in Three of a Kind: Full Past Dead.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs