Juwanna Mann Preview

This week is Juwanna Mann. I vaguely remember this film coming out and being appalled. Didn’t seem to make sense that anyone, anywhere thought it was a good idea and I was like 14. This makes it perfect for the comedy entry in the Aiiirrrrbbbaaallllll! cycle. In Juwanna Mann we have a plethora of active (at the time) NBA talent featured. Rasheed Wallace? Vlade Divac? Dikembe Mutombo? Yes, yes, and yes. Ball don’t lie, baby. Ball don’t lie. For those keeping track, Juwanna Mann is indeed part of the (366) Days of Bummer. June 21st in the books. Yay! Let’s go!

Juwanna Mann (2002) – BMeTric: 37.4


(This trajectory makes sense because the movie came out in 2002, so the number of votes were still in the initial rise a few years later presumably. Despite a rather drastic increase in the IMDB rating (4.0 to 4.5 in the last three years, why?), the score has settled in quite nicely at around 40, which is what I would expect I think.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Egocentric basketball star torpedoes his own career and no one in the NBA will hire him – until he disguises himself as a woman and joins a female team. Naturally, he’s attracted to one of his colleagues – and predictably, he suffers a crisis of conscience as the experience turns him into a better man. This is Tootsie light – or is it tootsie dark? Similarities to that classic comedy are superficial at best. Several real-life sports figures appear as themselves.

(That “tootsie dark” joke is a little passé Leonard. I would say he should scrap that one in future editions but there are no more future editions. Too late. “Several real-life sports figures appear as themselves” is the most important takeaway from all this.)

Trailer – https://youtu.be/LfGnspMWpUY

(Woah. That starts off with some really bad jokes. Like the stamp joke seems to belong in a spoof and not a film that purports to be set in a real world. And then he’s dancing with some twins and he yells “I got to rethink cloning.” I love the use of the word “rethink” in that joke. The implication being that Jamal has thought long and hard about the biomedical ethics of the process… but then these hot twins got him all confused! After that I blacked out and didn’t get to see the rest of the trailer. I presume it’s pretty much the same as Big Momma’s House.)

Director(s) – Jesse Vaughan – (BMT: Juwanna Mann; Notes: A 27-time emmy award winner (mostly news and sports) before directing his one and only feature film in Juwanna Mann)

Writer(s) – Bradley Allenstein (written by) – (BMT: Who’s Your Caddy?; Juwanna Mann; Notes: This entire thing is fascinating. Here’s an article about Juwanna Mann. Basically it seems like Vaughan got attached because Allenstein knew Steve Oedekerk, who worked on In Living Color with Vaughan. I have a feeling they were attempting to do this on the cheap hoping for a fast and decent return.)

Actors – Miguel A. Núñez Jr. – (Known For: The Return of the Living Dead; Life; Lethal Weapon 3; Black Dynamite; BMT: Juwanna Mann; Scooby-Doo; Street Fighter (seen it); The Adventures of Pluto Nash (seen it); Meet Dave; Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (seen it); Leprechaun 4: In Space (seen it); Notes:  Was at one time a telemarketer for the Lakers. Was cut out of Lethal Weapon where he had a fight scene with Mel Gibson.)

Budget/Gross: $15,600,000 / $13,670,733 ($13,802,599 Worldwide)

(So close to breaking even! Surprisingly there is little of interest in the actual release numbers. Not the worst release ever, but not very good.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 9% (8/83), With its tired premise, Juwanna Mann’s jokes fall flat.

(This is the saddest RT consensus I’ve ever seen. Couldn’t even get up enough to throw a cheesy pun at us? Unless “fall flat” is a play on words… is it? I don’t think it is… but is it? Nah… or maybe… nah.)

Poster – Double Basketball Photoshop Nightmare


(This may be the worst poster we have had since we started including it in the email. Dear God. Everything I hate is included in this one. Avert your eyes, it’s hideous. Why is he standing on a giant basketball? Why is everyone perched upon the title like clipart? Why isn’t Juwanna Man in the center of the poster? Is it because his head would hit the bottom two names? WHY ARE THERE SEVEN PEOPLE LISTED ON THIS POSTER?! I’M LOSING MY MIND)

Tagline(s) – The only way he can stay pro, is to play (like) a girl. (F)

(Oh my God! Could this film from concept to advertising campaign represent the nadir of filmmaking? I can’t even read this with a straight face. It is awful. Was this film a tax scam or something?)

Notes – Kevin Pollak has said that when he signed on to the film, Will Smith was set to star. (haha, in what universe do you live Kevin Pollak?)

Tyra Banks was originally cast as Michelle Langford. (alrighty then)

Chris Tucker turned down the lead role. (good for you Chris Tucker)

Found a full section on this film in the book “Sports Heroines on Film.” Spoiler Alert! Gives away the fact that Juwanna Mann gives an impassioned speech to his teammates in the film! Which is like an anti-spoiler. Makes me even more excited.


Lock Up Recap


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?


‘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.


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


(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


(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)

Ridiculous 6 Recap


Ridiculous Six… *shudders*… Patrick?


‘Ello everyone. Ridiculous Six? More like Ridiculous that we watched this non-movie! Ayyyyyyoooooooo. Unfinished Business tried to ruin my Tgivs, and this one tried to ruin my Christmas. I will overcome. I will persevere. Let’s get into it:

  • We had some walkouts! Watching with the Fam to start they quickly fled in a panic. Is this what we do with our lives? Is this what I have been allowed to become?! Sadly yes, I “watched” the whole thing. If putting my brain into Windows sleep mode while pointing my eyes vaguely in the direction of the television counts as watching something.
  • The dialogue! Does a movie have a script if it seems like nothing is written down? The movie starts with Adam Sandler deadpanning a list of groceries to a backwoods trader as I quietly breathed “oh God, what hath we wrought upon our beautiful BMT”. There are exactly two good jokes in the movie, and they aren’t even funny.
  • I don’t know … the movie seems like it cost a lost of money. You’d think someone would be in charge of making sure a somewhat funny movie was made. But just… like Vanilla Ice Mark Twain and a uncontrollably shitting donkey (sorry, burro … sigh) just, why?
  • That’s it, I can’t do any more, this movie was bad. I’m going to say it: straight dog poo in my face. Or caca de perro en mi cara according to Rob Schnieder’s totally not racist Mexican caricature.

Welp, there it is. We did it. We did a Netflix Original. Hopefully this is the first and last, because I like Netflix. Although, I am very curious about what is happening in this Crouching Tiger trailer with the music?

I feel like there is an interesting story there. I’ll just leave it there, no game this time.


The Sklogs

Ridiculous Six Preview

Alright, so for the week of Christmas Patrick and I wanted to give all our loyal readers a real treat. That’s right! Ridiculous Six! I’m sure all of you were gnashing your teeth waiting to find out whether BMT would in fact watch Ridiculous Six. On one hand it is a terribly reviewed film starring Adam Sandler. What more could we ask for? On the other it did not release to theaters as it was part of Sandler’s new deal with Netflix. Usually this is a near-automatic disqualification. In the end our BMeTric told us that this was not a film to miss so we decided to watch it. Without further ado: Ridiculous Six. Let’s go!

The Ridiculous 6 (2015) – BMeTric: 37.2 (at the time), 54.7 (February 18, 2016)


(This was rather high considering it has been out on Netflix for only 20 days or so, and now it has entered rarefied air, a 50+ BMeTric. It should probably stay around here, without a DVD release it does seem to be plateauing. Note: plot generated February 18, 2016).

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – Little did I know how bad it would be. The combined –isms of a script in which a Native American character is named “Beaver Breath” are overwhelmingly unfunny enough, but it’s really only one aspect of the monumental failure on display in a film that is almost bafflingly bad.

(Bafflingly bad is all we can hope for. Like Ghosts of Mars, Silent Hill 2, or Color of Night. Simple bafflement on what we are seeing on the screen.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUp7Qgimn38

(That is incomprehensible. Methinks they give no indication of a plot in the trailer because the movie in fact does not have one.)

Director(s) – Frank Coraci – (Known For: The Wedding Singer; BMT: Click (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Blended (seen it); Here Comes the Boom; Around the World in 80 Days (seen it); Zookeeper (seen it); The Ridiculous 6; Notes: Ha, the second film of his we’ve done in the last few weeks with Around the World in 80 Days. Can complete his BMT filmography with Here Come the Boom.)

Writer(s) – Tim Herlihy – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; The Wedding Singer; Billy Madison; BMT: Just Go with It (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Mr. Deeds (seen it); Grown Ups 2 (seen it); Little Nicky (seen it); Bedtime Stories; Pixels (Seen it); The Ridiculous 6; Notes: Can complete his BMT filmography with Bedtime Stories. He was the college roommate of Adam Sandler and had a perfect LSAT score according to IMDB. Nominated for Worst Screenplay: Grown Ups 2 (2013), Little Nicky (2000), Big Daddy (1999))

Adam Sandler – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; BMT: Grown Ups( seen it); Just Go with It (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Grown Ups 2 (seen it); Little Nicky (seen it); Pixels (seen it); Jack and Jill (seen it); Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (seen it); The Ridiculous 6; You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (seen it); Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (seen it); Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, Blended (2014), Grown Ups 2 (2013), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Eight Crazy Nights (2002), Mr. Deeds (2002), Little Nicky (2000), The Waterboy (1998), Bulletproof (1996), Happy Gilmore (1996); Won for Worst Actor, That’s My Boy (2012), Jack and Jill (2011), Just Go with It (2011), Big Daddy (1999); Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Grown Ups 2 (2013), Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011), Little Nicky (2000), Big Daddy (1999); Won for Worst Screenplay, Jack and Jill (2011).)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; BMT: Grown Ups (seen it); Just Go with It (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Grown Ups 2 (seen it); Little Nicky (seen it); Pixels (seen it); Jack and Jill (seen it); Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (seen it); The Ridiculous 6; You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (seen it); Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (seen it); Notes: IMDB notes that his characters often have a penchant for “brand name foods” like Snack Pack. This sounds suspiciously like product placement.)

Budget/Gross: N/A / N/A (N/A Worldwide)

(Yup, released directly as a Netflix original. This caused massive confusion in the Razzie circles (fine, it was like three people) because you need to have a release to qualify for the awards, similar to the rule with the Oscars. Indeed, Ridiculous Six was not nominated for a single award.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 0% (0/25), Every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest, The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.

(Rough. But also confusing. The fact that this only garnered 25 reviews is weird to me. It is so easy to access you would think blogs and newspapers would be falling all over themselves to write some snarky review about the first terrible Netflix original. If I was a one to suggest conspiracy I would say this smacks to strong-arming by those who dislike the VOD model.)

Poster – Seven Samurai-esque


(I kind of weirdly like this. The structure is kind of unique (most Seven Samurai based movies go for the horizontal arrangement), I like the color scheme, and it tells you the most important part of this film: we’ve got a fuck ton of people in this. The only issue I have is the weird “age” artifacts (wrinkles at the top, the font, etc.) seem kind of haphazardly added after the fact.)

Tagline(s) – None

(Blasphemy. Let’s make up a few. Here’s the useless one “They’re Ridiculous”. Here’s one that sounds good but is meaningless “Conspicuously Ridiculous”. And here’s one that is too long, “They’re father has just been captured. Time to band together for a good old fashioned rescue!”. And here’s my attempt, “Six outlaws. One father. Too Ridiculous”)

Notes – In April 2015, it was reported that about a dozen Native American actors and actresses walked off the set over objections to their portrayal in the movie. More specifically, they were allegedly offended by inaccuracies in costumes and character names (such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra). Netflix responded by saying that the film is a broad satire of Western movies and their stereotypes, and that “[it] has ‘ridiculous’ in the title for a reason”. In the end, the stories turned out to be exaggerated as only four actors out of a group of 150 extras had left the set. (Classic)

The movie was initially to be produced by Sony Pictures, and then Paramount Pictures, but both studios passed on the project. Warner Bros was in an advanced state of negotiations, but after Adam Sandler signed a four-picture deal with Netflix, they also dropped the project. Some of the alleged reasons included Sandler’s recent streak of box office bombs (including That’s My Boy (2012), Blended (2014) and Men, Women & Children (2014)), the box office failure of the similarly Western-themed comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), as well as fear that Sandler’s Netflix contract would put the movie on hold for too long. Finally, Netflix stepped in and picked up the movie as part of Sandler’s contract. (Huh, didn’t know there was a whole story to this guy. I was just thinking about how weird it was to make this when A Million Ways to Die in the West bombed so badly).

Keywords – american indian stereotype; racial joke; racial stereotype; native american stereotype;

(I’m sorry, I just was cracking up with these IMDB keywords)


Fantastic Four Recap


I’ll start this one off with a little anecdote about watching this film. We had been yanked around by Hollywood regarding Fantastic Four’s release date. It’s a byproduct of the multiple ways that a film can be bought or rented these days. You now have to navigate the streaming purchase, streaming rental, iTunes, RedBox, Netflix, etc. release dates to try to figure when a film is actually available for viewing. Initially when me and Patrick put the film on our viewing schedule it was done inadvertently using the streaming purchase release date. BMT don’t play like that. We watch in the theater or we rent it. There is no in between. If we bought this film I would constantly be sadly reminded of purchasing it whenever I ventured into my Amazon library. So we waited and waited and finally took a risk and put it on the docket for a couple weeks ago hoping against hope that it would come out for rental before I would be forced to hold my nose and buy the damn thing. Then, against all odds, it came out for rental on the day that I ended up watching it! It was a Christmas miracle! If I had tried watching it the night before I would have had to buy it. Instead, for a paltry $4 I got to get my fill of the Fantastic Four. And oh what a fantastic ride it was.

Me and Patrick actually disagreed a bit on the film, but not enough to warrant much note. I thought it was terrible… just maybe not quite as terrible as Patrick did.

Alright, now for the game. I think this week I’ll do a little Sklogification of the film. My biggest issue with the film is that the main plot point (them becoming the Fantastic Four) is rooted in them being giant idiots and somewhat morally bankrupt. Basically they build this machine to transport people to an alternate universe. When told that they are not in fact going to travel to the planet that they discovered (why would they?… they are nerd alerts), they get all huffy and feel betrayed that they won’t attain the fame and fortune that comes with being the intrepid explorers of the new planet. So what do they do? They stupidly go without help or supervision and get all fucked up, they start working for the military, and hate their lives and each other (until a super rushed ending that turns that all around). Why have the entire group be so depressing and unlikable? Why have them so obsessed and focused on fame and fortune? The simple change I would make is that after the team develops the machine, the Army (headed by a guy that wants only to shut the expensive program down) dismisses it as a failure and too risky to send people for exploration (perhaps an initial animal test failed or something). Instead of letting the experiment be a failure the Fantastic Four volunteer to go instead of Army personnel. Fine. Your funerals. While the experiment is a success something goes wrong during their return trip and the Army is shocked to find that they have become the very super soldiers they had always hoped to create (and the machine has, of course, been destroyed). So they are now inexorably tied to these four scientists (instead of four soldiers of their choosing) as they represent the best weapons the world has ever seen. When they try to use the Fantastic Four for their own means they find they are unyielding in their morals and won’t play ball. Frustrated the Army goes behind their backs to team up with Dr. Doom to try to get back to the planet only to unleash terror on the Earth when Dr. Doom uses it to turn into an evil super soldier himself. Now they must turn back to the Fantastic Four to defeat Dr. Doom before it’s too late.

The above synopsis for the film solves a lot of the problems I had with the film. Mostly the Fantastic Four just weren’t likable in almost every way. They were morally bankrupt and sad. Just make them better people. Patrick?


‘Ello everyone. Back in America again, this time watching Fantastic Four … more like Atrocious Bore, am I right? This movie is straight up nonsense. No joke. Let’s get into it.

  • First, not buying the camaraderie of the team. Teller always seems like an outsider, and kind of a douche. There is little throughout that convinces me that these guys are best buds, and that’s a problem.
  • Second, the action scenes are hot garbage straight up. None of them are good. Did I mention that the acting throughout it terrible? Oh I did … it is.
  • Third, the finale is just five people on a green screen punching each other like idiots. And Teller phones in the entire second half of the film, it is bizarre. How is this cast so good and yet the acting so bad?
  • And finally, Mr. Fantastic is literally the worst. I dare Marvel to make a Elastic-man type character work. He looks so dumb. It is the worst … if the acting wasn’t terrible. The acting is actually the worst part of the movie.

The entire thing is shockingly bad. I was legit expecting to like this one. I usually like “fun” popcorn films if I go in expecting nothing. This is the second movie where lowered expectations failed miserably. The other? Transformers 4. I can’t actually lower my expectations far enough to make these films tolerable. I’m not sure it is the worst film of the year (or worst writing, or acting), but I’m tempted to call this the worst directed. Then again, apparently the producers had their fingers all up in the pie for Fantastic Four. What is a boy to do? By the way, Razzie noms coming soon, get hyped.


The Sklogs

Fantastic Four Preview

OK, this week we have finally arrived. Fantastic Four was finally “officially” released. I put that in quotations because the DVD is still not out to get from Netflix, so Patrick and I have to rent this PPV on Amazon or Vudu to get it (*gasp*). I don’t like it, but I’ll do it for BMT. This is probably the most hotly anticipated film of the Razzies season, garnering abysmal reviews in a very prominent franchise (popularity + bad reviews = BMeTric gold). I like the actors though and always wondered if it got a bit of a raw deal. Guess we’ll find out. Let’s go!

Fantastic Four (2015) – BMeTric: 82.2 (At the time) 83.4 (February 19, 2016)


(Not surprising. You can see that sweet sweet steady-state in the trajectory. Along with Fifty Shades (a rare film which scores a 90+ on the BMeTric) this film is the only other film to score over 70 so far this year. I have a feeling the Razzies are going to be a bit top heavy. Note: Plot generated on February 19, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Maybe “Fantastic Four” is a cursed property, or maybe just one that shouldn’t be turned into a film? … The good news is, it’s short. The bad news is, it feels longer than an afternoon spent at the DMV—and at least at the DMV, you can pass the time by people-watching.

(Blessedly short. Apparently the director had a version that was 50 minutes longer, but the producers were all like “lol, nope”. It is pretty sad that they just can’t quite figure out how to do these characters properly.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuV4BCYv-YY

(I never really understood all the flack the trailer got. People just seemed to really want this movie to fail … and they weren’t wrong. Still don’t really see why people hated the trailer so much. Seems fun. Even if every review I’ve read says it is painfully boring.)

Director(s) – Josh Trank – (Known For: Chronicle; Big Fan. BMT: Fantastic Four. Notes: Broke out with Chronicle. This is supposed to be his big shot)

Writer(s) – Jeremy Slater (screenplay) – (BMT: Fantastic Four; The Lazarus Effect. Notes: Publically thankful for the shot at making the film, although only one act resembles his original script)

Simon Kinberg (screenplay) – (Known For: X-Men: Days of Future Past; Sherlock Holmes; X-Men: The Last Stand; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; BMT: Jumper (seen); This Means War (seen); Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; Fantastic Four; xXx: State of the Union (seen); Ouija; Notes: A well known script doctor. Other uncredited superhero films he’s worked on was Catwoman and Elektra, legendary BMT films.)

Josh Trank (screenplay) – (Known For: Chronicle; Big Fan; BMT: Fantastic Four)

Actors – Michael B. Jordan – (Known For: Chronicle; Fruitvale Station; Creed; Red Tails; BMT: Fantastic Four; That Awkward Moment; Hotel Noir; Hardball (seen); Notes: Well known for his roles in Friday Night Lights and the Wire before breaking big in Chronicle)

Miles Teller – (Known For: Whiplash; The Spectacular Now; Divergent; Rabbit Hole; Footloose; BMT: Two Night Stand; Fantastic Four; That Awkward Moment; Insurgent; Project X; 21 And Over; Notes: Plays Shailene Woodley’s nemesis in Divergent, and love interest in Spectacular Now)

Budget/Gross: $120 million / $56,117,548 ($167,977,596 Worldwide)

(Bomb diggity. Straight up disaster. One could argue that the intention of the film was simply to protect the rights of the franchise (makes some sense considering you’d usually go much bigger with the budget for a film like this), but given the complete public meltdown Trank and Teller had concerning the film I’m going to go ahead and throw this one in the loss column.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 9% (19/198), Dull and downbeat, this Fantastic Four proves a woefully misguided attempt to translate a classic comic series without the humor, joy, or colorful thrills that made it great.

(“Classic comic series” and then woefully mismanaged series of films. I’ve never seen the first two pre-reboot films, but they look absolutely terrible. Color for sure seems lost on this one. I feel like humor and joy are also usually positives when describing a film …)

Poster – As Boring As This Movie (C)


(Not bad not good. Those are indeed the four characters. In an incredibly bland and dark poster. They aren’t wrong. Marvel’s most popular properties have kind of eye popping color traditionally. It is DC which goes dark and brooding. This kind of plays into the dark and brooding style.)

Tagline(s) – Change is coming. (D)

Beyond darkness… beyond fear… lies the fantastic. (B-)

When you change the world, prepare to defend it. (D)

(I like the middle one. A nice rhythm to it. Doesn’t really tell me much except that it is a fantastic four film … but whatever. The more I read it I don’t like it … I should stop. I think the other two are crap though. Change is coming? Blah)

Notes – In a quickly deleted tweet from 6th August, 2015, Josh Trank said “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” After seeing this version, the studio mandated heavy re-shoots. The newer scenes are easy to spot as Kate Mara had cut her hair and wore a blonde wig. Miles Teller also had facial hair that would appear and disappear between shots. (…. wow)

After the disappointing reviews, Josh Trank went on to tweet that “He’ll never be working on a comic book movie again”.

Marvel wasn’t fond of the direction the film was going, and made mention of it in a Marvel Comic: “The Punisher” #12 has the Fantastic Four (in the likeness of the cast members of this film) get taken down in an explosion.

Josh Trank envisioned his film as being between 2 hours and 20 minutes long; the studio cut that down significantly to 1 hour and 30 minutes. (And everyone rejoiced)

The characters in this film would have reverted back to Marvel, if the film was delayed past 2015. (Fox only having a 7 year window to produce a new Fantastic Four film, with a release of 1 year after that time expires.) (And there it is. I’m going to leave the notes there. There is literally 4 pages of notes for this movie. It’s pretty incredible)