Jupiter Ascending Preview

OK, we finally get to move on! For the last couple years Patrick and I have voted in the terrible, terrible Razzie Awards. They are the worst, but we can only do what we can. So each year we vote, and each year we’re disappointed in the films that ultimately win. In order to successfully vote without major disruption to our BMT schedule we need to start collecting some 2015 films stat. Since a lot of the major BMT releases are coming to video in the next few weeks, we can’t really keep a strict rotation. So instead we will hit all our categories, but in an order that makes sense with whatever is available. So to start it off we are going with SciFi and the most obvious BMT release of the year. This is, of course, the much anticipated Wachowski epic Jupiter Ascending. It was widely considered the most likely bomb of the year and obliged nicely. Without further ado, let’s go!

Jupiter Ascending (2015) – 51.7 BMeTric (March 19, 2016)

JupiterAscending_BMeT

(Generated on March 19, 2016. 50+ BMeTric bro. Look at that sweet DVD/VOD bump three months after release. Borderline though, just 0.1 rating away from sub-50, so it could easily change in the future.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – In a cynical age, poker-faced sincerity is tough to pull off. When it’s coupled with innovative filmmaking techniques and visual bombast, the degree of difficulty goes up and up, to the point where you’re inclined to give films points for attempting the near-impossible.

(oh shit, “poker-faced sincerity”. That’s not a good thing… although perhaps a bit better than lackluster attempts at humor. Looking at you Hitman: Agent 47.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoCyL_Pqzu8

(Certainly a fun trailer. Just smacks a little bit of a film heavy on visuals and low on plot… like what do you actually get from the trailer? There are aliens… that’s about it.)

Director(s) – Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski – (Known For: The Matrix; The Matrix Reloaded; Cloud Atlas; Bound. BMT: The Matrix Revolutions; Jupiter Ascending; Speed Racer. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions (2003). Obviously famous for the Matrix and have had reasonable success sense. They are at least bold with their choices.)

Writer(s) – Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski – (Known For: The Matrix; V for Vendetta; The Matrix Reloaded; Cloud Atlas; Bound. BMT: The Matrix Revolutions; Jupiter Ascending; Assassins; Speed Racer. Notes: Niece and Nephew of Laurence Luckinbill who we know as Mr. Mooney from the BMT film Cocktail.)

Actors – Mila Kunis – (Known For: Ted; Black Swan; The Book of Eli; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Extract; Date Night; Blood Ties; Get Over It; Friends With Benefits. BMT: Jupiter Ascending; Max Payne; Third Person; American Psycho II: All American Girl; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; Moving McAllister; Annie; Krippendorf’s Tribe. Notes: Comes from a line of scientists. Her mom is a Physicist, dad is a Mechanical Engineering, and brother a Biochemist. So she’s pretty much a black sheep.)

Channing Tatum – (Known For: 21 Jump Street; White House Down; 22 Jump Street; Magic Mike; She’s the Man; Foxcatcher; Public Enemies; The Book of Life; Side Effects; Haywire; Magic Mike XXL; This Is the End; 10 Years; Coach Carter; Don Jon; A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints; Stop-Loss. BMT: Dear John; Step Up; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Vow; Jupiter Ascending; The Eagle; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Fighting; The Dilemma; The Son of No One; Supercross; Step Up 2 the Streets. Notes: Wow, how have we not watched more with him. We kinda have to watch Supercross immediately.)

Also stars the wonderful Sean Bean of the Silent Hill franchise.

Budget/Gross: $176 million / $47,387,723 ($183,887,723 Worldwide)

(When all said and done it was a major disappointment. Kinda predictable though as it was supposed to be released as a summer blockbuster, but was moved to February. The 52nd largest grossing SciFi-Adventure of all time. The worst? Obviously, The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Nothing is touching that shit. Even Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 25% (53/207), Critics Consensus: Pleasing to the eye but narratively befuddled, Jupiter Ascending delivers another visually thrilling misfire from the Wachowskis.

(Narratively befuddled indeed. If there was something I could have told you without even watching the film it’s that nothing will make sense and aliens will just be flying everywhere for no reason.)

Poster – Just a Bit Busy (C-)

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(Ooooo, I do not like that. Too much going on. The font kind of blends into the background and the people seem out of place. Not the worst, but not very good.)

Tagline(s) – Expand your universe. (D)

(Cool story, bro. Not sure why this is supposed to make me excited for the film. It’s concise, but that’s the most positive thing I can say about it.)

Notes – Channing Tatum had to wear a mouthpiece to change the shape of his lower jaw to realistically portray a part-canine character. This unfortunately prevented him from closing his mouth and gave him trouble when he had to talk. (oh God, hope it was worth it)

Natalie Portman was originally cast as Jupiter Jones, but dropped out. Rooney Mara was considered to replace her, before Mila Kunis was finally cast. The film was originally slated for release for July 18, 2014, but the studio delayed the film’s release and pushed it back six and a half months to give the production more time in the post-production process.

According to the directors, the script was over 600 pages long. (hahahahahahaha)

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Be Cool Recap

Jamie

Be Cool. Ugh. Patrick is having me do the full recap for this one because he’s putting all of the information on the BMeTric that he’s been developing together [which is now on the website!]. What a film to leave me with though. I surprisingly despised this film. It is terrible. I cannot believe that it garnered a 30% on RT. Were those reviewers crazy? Did they watch this travesty of a film that tarnished everything the Get Shorty built? I really need to read the book now just to know whether Leonard (Elmore that is… Maltin wishes) screwed up in conceiving the plot for a sequel seemingly made as a result of Get Shorty’s success, or whether the acting, adaption, and production choices combined into a super storm of shit. I sure hope it’s the latter, cause that would be a shame for Elmore Leonard. I fully expected this film to just be a ‘meh’ film that I would forget about until three years from now I wonder ‘wait, did we watch Be Cool for BMT? I think we did but can remember nothing of the plot.’ Not the case. I hated this film.

Onto my three points:

  1. John Travolta! You know what happens when you try to make a sequel to a John Travolta film 10 years after the original? You go from having John “Too Cool for School” Travolta in your film to have John “Scary Mask Face” Travolta who seems just super thrilled with how great things are going in the music biz. You almost expect his scary stretched out face to start exclaiming, ‘Oh boy, this sure is fun. Neato,’ as he smiles uncontrollably at the camera. It would be interesting to look at the films in between Get Shorty and Be Cool to try to pinpoint exactly where John Travolta “lost it”. Can Patrick and I quantify it? As scientists we may be the only ones capable of unlocking the mystery. My guess? A little film called Battlefield Earth. I think it broke something in his brain… and face.
  2. The cameos! So many cameos to go along with ridiculously long music video sequences for Aerosmith and The Black Eyed Peas. I recently watched the Entourage movie (yes, of my own volition. Don’t you judge me) and found the movie pretty shitty, but the cameos at least a bit fun. This was the opposite. The cameos made everything worse. Seemed like they were more interested in filling the movie with meaningless fluff, than actually filming anything relevant. Oh and Andre 3000, who had an actual role in the film, wasn’t much better than the cameos. Pretty rough stuff all around for musicians on the big screen.
  3. The Rock! Finally something good to say. Almost all of the comedic roles in the film were pretty bad. Cedric the Entertainer was just OK, Vince Vaughn was awful, awful, awful. The Rock, though, was the only part of the film that I kinda liked. He had a fun role as a gay bodyguard of sorts and you can really tell that he’s going to be a star. The only critique I have is more in the writing of the role. His homosexuality seems to just be used as a one note joke throughout the film. He is simply gay and everyone laughs at the idea that The Rock is gay… but there isn’t any substance to it. Just felt a bit dated even for 2005. In fact the entire film just felt dated and weird and awful and I hated everyone in the film.

That’s kind of the entire take away from the film. Everything is dated. nothing feels like it was made in 2005. What once felt real and interesting in Get Shorty now feels super lame. Chili Palmer (Travolta’s character) is no doubt about it super lame in this film. God, he’s the lamest. Thank God I’m done with this. Great end to the map. A film I really didn’t care for, apl.de.ap singing a little tune on the big screen, and a beautiful finished map. Love it.

Well, I really, really, really wanted to get a MonoSklog from this film, but Netflix failed me and couldn’t get me the disc in time (whaaaaa? Let the people in charge know. Not good for their brand when they let down a media juggernaut like BMT). Lucky for us the MonoSklogs I wanted are available on Youtube. The first one is an absolute gem by The Rock. I call it Mi MonoSklogio:

Hilarious, albeit a bit shorter than we usually go for. The second one is the “infamous” MonoSklog by Cedric the Entertainer. I call it Mi Cultura:

This is explicitly mentioned as not being in the book and written for the film. Egad! Both are pretty ridiculously bad. Which makes them good… for their badness.

Cheers,

The Sklogs

Be Cool Preview

Alright! Here it is! Moving on to this week’s film we are finally at the finish line! You all doubted we could do it, but here we are. Us shrouded in glory and you all eating crow. That’s right, we are finally to the coveted final state of apl.de.ap. To recap, we have seen all the Black Eyed Peas in BMT films. Will.i.am was in X-men Origins: Wolverine, Fergie was in Poseidon, and Taboo was in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li. While apl.de.ap has never appeared in a film as a character, he has appeared with the Black Eyed Peas in several film. Lucky for us they appeared in the BMT sequel to Get Shorty called Be Cool. So here’s the map. Look at it… I said look at it! It’s fucking gorgeous and it’s all ours. Phew. Well there we go. After years of searching and watching terrible movies it is done (literally years. We started the map on January 31, 2013… so almost three years ago). Now time to start up the world map. Which film would represent the US? Here on Earth probs. Here on Earth represents everything that is BMT. Let’s go!

Be Cool (2005) – BMTMetric: 40.6 (at the time ), 37.8 (April 18, 2016)

BeCool_BMeT

(Pretty good score. Surprisingly so. This basically means that the movie is predicted to be a better BMT film than 40.6% of other films that scored 40% or lower on RT (our original, arbitrary BMT metric). So kind of middle of the pack. Patrick has already explained what it is before… I think. But he might do it again in a future email [or on the website!]. It’s a really good metric actually. Uses imdb data in a clever way to reflect our feelings on good and bad films for BMT watching.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – In this sequel to Elmore Leonard’s GET SHORTY, Chili Palmer (Travolta) moves into the music business and chooses a promising young singer (Milian) as his protegee, despite the fact that she’s already under contract to ruthless Keitel and his loose-cannon lieutenant Vaughn. Amiable, good-looking film retains Leonard’s story smarts but blunts the impact by allowing its comedic costars (Vaughn, Cedric) to riff to their heart’s content. The Rock is especially funny as a bodyguard/Hollywood wannabe. James Woods appears unbilled; other music stars make cameo appearances.

(Second movie in a row that has commented on how the film is “handsome-looking” or “good-looking”. One would hope given it’s a visual medium. Glad we get a little Vaughn riffing. It’s become quite the BMT standard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl94t438Jjo

(Oh wow. I don’t like that at all. That feels very dated to me. In particular the Vince Vaughn character. Didn’t realize that Andre 3000 is a legit cast member in the film either. Love me movies with singers as actors (obviously))

Director(s) – F. Gary Gray – (Known For: The Italian Job; The Negotiator; Friday; Straight Outta Compton; Set It Off. BMT: Law Abiding Citizen; Be Cool; A Man Apart. Notes: Bet he gets an Oscar nom for Straight Outta Compton. Like his slate of movies. A Man Apart will be a fun future BMT. Started out as a major music video director. There was a time when that’s where many prominent filmmakers were being found… Interesting to think about.)

Writer(s) – Peter Steinfeld (screenplay) – (BMT: 21; Analyze That; Be Cool; Drowning Mona; Notes: From his imdb trivia page: “Abandoned a promising Mixed Martial Arts career to become a writer at the insistence of novelist Cormac McCarthy”, “Goes by the nickname ‘Gator’, which he earned in Hawaii”, “Has won two regional pie baking competitions and place top three in an astonishing 17 others.” Just so many follow up questions and thoughts.)

Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Face/Off; Grease; Bolt; Hairspray; Broken Arrow; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Phenomenon (Dir); Get Shorty; Look Who’s Talking; Saturday Night Fever; Carrie; Blow Out; Ladder 49; Primary Colors; A Civil Action. BMT: Swordfish; From Paris with Love; Battlefield Earth; The Punisher; Be Cool; Wild Hogs; Basic; The General’s Daughter; Look Who’s Talking Too; Michael; Old Dogs; Look Who’s Talking Now; Domestic Disturbance; Killing Season; Staying Alive. Notes: Nominated for two Best Actor Oscars for Pulp Fiction and Saturday Night Fever. BMT Legend. Nominated for Worst Actor of the Decade both 1980s and 2000s. Won Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth/Lucky Numbers (2000). Nominated for Worst Actor, Old Dogs (2009), Domestic Disturbance/Swordfish (2001), Perfect (1985), Staying Alive/Two of a Kind (1983). Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Shout (1991).)

Also stars Uma Thurman and Vince Vaughn.

Budget/Gross: $53 million / $56,046,979 ($95,226,116 Worldwide)

(Wow. That’s way more than I thought it would have cost and made. It’s the 14th highest grossing film set in Hollywood about the world of filmmaking. The worst wide-release film in that category? Our old friend Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 29% (50/169), Critics Consensus: Be Cool is tepid, square, and lukewarm; as a parody of the music business, it has two left feet.

(Oh, wow RT. For a website that loves its puns when it comes to crafting a consensus this one is pretty weak. You use “two left feet” as a jab about a film about the music business? It’s not the dancing business guys. Also, this movie is perfectly low enough for BMT. For some reason I thought we were reaching for this final state with a 35% film or something. I’m warming to this one.)

Poster – Human Colored (C-)

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(While I feel like I should like this (like them all sitting on a big gold record is kinda cool right?) I really do not. I don’t like when there are huge blocks of color that split the poster. Should be well integrated and a single color should be dominant. And you know how I feel about “human colors” on posters and with all of them sitting in the middle of the poster being all human colored and and wearing all different clothing it just jumbles everything. Boo.)

Tagline(s) – Everyone is looking for the next big hit (A)

(When I first read this I didn’t think it was very good. Just seemed like a phrase about the music business was being used lazily. But now that I get it (the use of the word hit meant to evoke not just the music business, but also Travolta’s criminal background) I really, really love it. Gives great insight into the plot of the film, by using a common phrase in a new way, and in a tight package. Perfection.)

Notes – In the beginning of the film, Chili mentions how a film needs to only use the “F” word more than once in order to get an R rating. He then uses the “F” word – the only use of it in the film – and thus, it gets a PG-13 rating. (That’s fun)

James Woods was originally cast as Nick Carr but had to drop out due to emergency surgery for an aneurysm. He was given the smaller role of Tommy Athens instead.

The film deviates considerably from the source material. (Awww man, now I feel bad that neither of us read the book in advance. Damn.)

This was Robert Pastorelli’s last film. He died from an accidental drug overdose during production. (sad)

Joe Pesci was part of the cast before filming began. But, for reasons unknown, he left the project shortly before production started.

Jennifer Connelly, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Halle Berry were considered for the role of Edie Athens.

The infamous monologue that Sin LaSalle delivered was neither in the novel nor in the early drafts of the script. The idea was put on by director F. Gary Gray who wanted Sin to be likable, but serious at the same time as well. (oh shit! Why infamous?)

Barry Sonnenfeld originally intended to return as director to this follow-up to his Get Shorty (1995) but production delays and scheduling issues precluded that.

Eric Balfour’s role as Derek was cut from the movie, although at least some of his scenes appears among the deleted scenes on the DVD. (Oh, man. I love Skyline’s Eric Balfour… I need that DVD).

Brett Ratner was originally set to direct the project, but pulled out.

September Dawn Recap

Jamie

September Dawn was just the worst. Imagine a 100 minute Gods and Generals that feels like an 8-hour Gods and Generals (so like… normal length). That’s September Dawn. The worst. No fun at all. Just the worst. Think of the worst thing.. now think of something worse than that. That’s September Dawn. I have nothing more to say. The acting was bad. The story was bad. The editing was really crazy. The flashbacks were ridic (you’ll see). Everything was weird as shit and I hated it.

When I don’t have much to say I can trust Patrick to pick up the slack. Welp, I didn’t want to do a MonoSklog for September Dawn (it deserves nothing!), but when there is an impassioned speech by a Mormon leader set to the tune of really, really, really bad practical effects you gotta do what you gotta do. [Mis Testiculos was a MonoSklog from the movie which we have chosen to leave out of the online content until further notice]. Why the odd name… if you watch the movie you’ll see. Those were some pretty fake testicles. Ugh. This movie.

Patrick

Hallo allemaal! September Dawn? More like September Yawn! Sitting in Schiphol Airport on my way back from Amsterdam watching literally the most boring movie I’ve ever seen. Now, real BMT scholars should be raising extreme objections at this moment. “Bullshit, Gods and Generals extended 4 hour 30 minute cut.” They’d be right, so long that some say I’m still watching it to this day. But for a normal movie made by not crazy people, this one was quite boring. Let’s get very very briefly into this.

  • Scene by scene recap of this movie: A wagon train gets to Utah, they stop, boy falls in love with girl, gets a horse, yada yada yada people die. The horse training was literally the most interesting part of this movie.
  • I repeat: the horse training was the more entertaining part of this movie.
  • The direction was indeed bonkers, thanks for the tip Leonard.
  • And that’s that. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It is not fun to watch. It is so bad it goes all the way around and becomes bad again.
  • Quick Sequel, Prequel, Reboot: I’m thinking sequel, but really dig deep into the subsequent legal case that happened after the massacre. I’m thinking 24 hours long, just legal briefs being read out loud. More entertaining than this movie.

Alright, this looks like a pretty short one so I guess I’ll just wrap it up there. Psych! BMT:CSI:SVU (we’re the special victims) in your face. After this week’s movie we are moving into Bad Movie Thursday Emergency Razzie Preparation Mode (BMTERPM). So, since I’m doing all this analysis, why not try and figure out what makes the Razzies tick? Check out the full analysis here. But the takeaway, there does seem to at least be one major takeaway from looking at how the BMeTric and a Razzie Score correlate: you need BMTargets. The guys like Sandler, and Michael Bay, and Kirk Cameron to get the sweet sweet score. Something to think about as the Razzies approach.

At the time this was a long post (look at the size of that BMT:CSI:SVU!), but we got to be able to predict this stuff! Unfortunately there is little prenomination data available … maybe the head Razzie will send it to me….

Vaarwel,

The Sklogs

September Dawn Preview

OK, as we crawl woefully to the end of the travesty that has become mapl.de.map we must finish the true states on a dour note. The final state remaining is fucking Utah. I actually like Utah as a place and my wife, oddly, loves Utah but there just aren’t many good or bad films set there. Odd considering I think it has a lot to offer, especially in the comedy realm. Mormons are weird and stuff, right? So instead of getting a real movie to watch we ended up with a movie called September Dawn. It stars Jon Voight, was nominated for a Razzie for Jon Voight’s performance, was a disaster at the box office, and did I mention it starred Getaway’s Jon Voight? Cause it does. No one has ever heard of this film. But we are watching it. Sigh. Map will be in the next email at out glorious (?) conclusion. Great. This is going to be terrible. Let’s go!


September Dawn (2007) – 13.8 BMeTric (generated on July 1, 2016)

SeptemberDawn_BMeT

SeptemberDawn_RV

(The rating/votes picture is the more interesting of the two. Something happened early on. Either pro/anti-Mormons I think brigaded in some way. Although I would think eventually it kind of returned to where it was supposed to be in the end. Small number of votes though and not even that bad of a rating. Sigh. NOTE: plots and commentary generated on July 1, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Fictionalized Romeo and Juliet-style love story about a Mormon boy and a Christian girl in 1857 Utah set against the backdrop of a controversial, real-life (if little-known) incident in which 120 men, women, and children from her wagon train are ruthlessly murdered. Film places blame for the massacre on Mormon leader Brigham Young (Stamp), although this is vehemently denied by the church. Low-budget (but handsome-looking) drama blends facts with Hollywood speculation to create a fairly compelling tale. Director Cain coscripted; his son Dean has a cameo as Joseph Smith.

(What an odd review. I feel like the first sentence is grammatically incorrect. The blend of tenses if fucking with my head. And the use of “handsome-looking” to describe the film is throwing me for a loop.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2Vtse-6sj8 

(W… T… F… That trailer is crazy. Barely touches on the love story that is, apparently, the main plot. The editing was also super weird. I no longer know how to feel about this.)

Director(s) – Christopher Cain – (Known For: Young Guns; The Stone Boy; The Principal. BMT: Gone Fishin’; Pure Country; September Dawn; The Next Karate Kid; The Amazing Panda Adventure; That Was Then…This Is Now. Notes: Wow, Gone Fishin’. I was just thinking about that film recently for no particular reason. That is a future BMT film if there has ever been one. Stepfather of Dean Cain, a.k.a. Superman.)

Writer(s) – Carole Whang Schutter (written by) – (BMT: September Dawn; Notes: Author of the book and the subsequent screenplay. She is a YA Supernatural author as well as a Christian author.)

Christopher Cain (written by) – (BMT: September Dawn. Notes: Ran a studio called Mooncrescent that is since defunct. Ran out of money while completing a film called PC and the Web which never was released.)

Actors – Jon Voight – (Known For: Coming Home; Mission: Impossible; Heat; Transformers; Ali; Zoolander; Runaway Train; Rosewood; Glory Road; Varsity Blues; U-Turn; The Rainmaker; The Champ; National Treasure; Midnight Cowboy; Enemy of the State; Deliverance. BMT: Lara Croft – Tomb Raider; Pearl Harbor; Getaway; September Dawn; An American Carol; Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Pride and Glory; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Most Wanted; Four Christmases; Bratz: The Movie; Anaconda. Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Bratz (2007), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), September Dawn (2007), Transformers (2007), Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004), Most Wanted (1997), and U Turn (1997). Nominated for Worst Actor, Anaconda (1997). Nominated for four oscars, winning Best Actor for Coming Home.)

also stars Terence Stamp (who?) and  Lolita Davidovich (what?)

Budget/Gross: $11 million / $1,066,555

(Surprisingly released in over 800 theaters. Currently ranks as the 34th worst opening of all time for a wide release coming in right behind a movie that was called Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour… which is a real film released in 2007 in over 1000 theaters. Must be a Christian film or something. I’ve never heard of it.)

#137 for Summer Dramas – Serious Dramas that Debuted in the Summer

summerdramaAnalysis

(It is kind of stunning that this happens to be at the literal nadir of this genre. Additionally I’m surprised that summer dramas are even a thing anymore! You’d think with tentpoles taking over it would be almost impossible for dramas to even catch on. But looking at the list it is true, the summer drama is back! NOTE: figure and commentary generated on July 1, 2016)

Rotten Tomatoes: 12% (7/54), Critics Consensus: With its jarring editing, dull love story, and silly dialogue, September Dawn turns a horrific historical event into a banal movie.

(Oooo, jarring editing? If the trailer was any indication then this will certainly live up to the billing. I kinda love jarring editing, but hate, hate, hate dull love stories. )

Poster – Sklogtember Dawn (F)

september_dawn

(Oh wow, this poster is horrible. I’ve never seen a more horrible poster. And yet… Jon Voight’s big orange face is strangely mesmerizing. Welp, I know what Patrick is getting for his birthday.)

Tagline(s) – The untold story of an American tragedy. (C+)

(Gives a general idea in a tight package, but pretty bland. Nothing interesting about it at all. Meh.)

Keyword – settler; Top 10 by BMeTric: 26.6 Warrior of the Lost World (1983); 23.7 Lucky Luke (1991); 13.8 September Dawn (2007); 12.9 Pocahontas (1995); 10.4 The New World (2005); 10.1 River Queen (2005); 9.1 Meek’s Cutoff (2010); 8.8 Northfork (2003); 8.3 Far North (2007); 7.3 Old Surehand (1965);

(What .. the fuck is this list? What the fuck is Warrior of the Lost World (starring Donald Pleasance!)? What is Pocahontas doing on this list? How is this keyword the number one keyword for September Dawn and yet barely used on IMDb? So many questions. Zero answers. That’s a BMT promise.)

Notes – Jon Voight was nominated for a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie for his role (along with several other roles).

Critters 2: The Main Course Recap

 

Patrick

Bonjour tous le monde! Critters 2 more like Shitty Too! That’s right, I’m in grande Paris, and (sadly) I did watch Critters 2 in the bits and pieces of spare time I’ve had while killing it in the city of love. Lucky for you, this means this one will be short (yes, sadly, no BMT:CSI:SVU today). Let’s do it:

  • Let’s start with the first movie. So cheap. The shittiest of all shitty effects. Bad acting up and down (although the kid was actually rather decent). Essentially it is Leprechaun. A director who is either young or passionate about the horror genre getting his shot at making a feature length film. In this one it was actually impressive because this movie was probably made for like a thousand dollars. And the guy ended up being pretty famous (Bill and Ted, The Mighty Ducks, etc.). Anyways, the movie wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, plus I got a little Billy Zane time (which as you all should know, I’m always happy about).
  • The second one …. was kind of the epitome of why I hate horror-comedy. By taking nothing seriously it takes a movie that already has horrible acting and effects (because of budget), and adds in intentionally bad writing to the mix.
  • That being said: up until the end I didn’t actually mind watching the movie, it had entertaining bits. I do wish they hadn’t recast the sheriff. There were three major characters who returned from the first film, they got two (the aforementioned kid and his friend Charlie). Just cut the sheriff character, right? But that is a minor gripe.
  • A more major gripe: The first ending wasn’t bad. The issue is that there was a second one. Essentially the critters are being hunted by shapeshifting bountyhunters. And it turns out one of them secretly transformed into a critter in order to lead them to their ultimate destruction. I didn’t see it coming at all and I thought it was pretty clever. But then, after destroying them, the critters somehow form a giant critterball and roll around eating people they run over. Besides being dumb, it also managed to replace the kind of nice trick ending with the perfectly predictable one.
  • An impression of me watching the finale of the movie. “Oh Charlie is running away, I bet he’s going to get the spaceship.” “Oh there is a critterball, I bet Charlie is going to destroy it with the spaceship.” “Oh Charlie destroyed the critterball with the spaceship and ‘died’, I bet he ejected at the last minute and is totally alive”. All three easily predicted while only half paying attention to this movie.

I’ll leave it there and will close with this: Was it a good BMT? Nope. Low budget sequel to a low budget horror-comedy … 99 times out of 100 that’s bad news. But I didn’t mind watching the two films. Like Leprechaun there is a kind of cult mystique surrounding the film based on really loving the classic horror genre. I wouldn’t touch the direct-to-video sequels if you paid me though.

Jamie

Alright, so last week was Critters 2. I enjoyed the original Critters quite a bit. It was kind of like a more interesting and better made version of Leprechaun (also on the map for North Dakota) since it was an oddball horror with some comedy elements (albeit with a lot more Billy Zane). Also oddly reminded me a bit of The Thing in the sense that it was set up as a horror film but had some really hardcore SciFi elements to it. Something about the 70s and 80s where horror and SciFi mixed heavily (see: everything that Stephen King wrote). Critters 2? I’d rather not talk about it. Given that the first film was a modest success you would think that the film (at the very least) would look a bit better than the first one. Since the series was now a known quantity you need to step up your game and try to build a Mark Sanchize. Instead, they seemed to go the opposite direction. Now that they had a known quantity, they decided to wring every penny out of it till it was dead and they no longer had to deal with it (franchises are hard, no?). I’m not sure what else to say beyond that. I was surprised by how much worse than the first one it actually was as the film kept going it just kept on getting more and more embarrassing. The culmination was an ending that was so ridiculous and silly that I almost had to turn off the film.

I don’t remember if me and Patrick discussed the Critters-Leprechaun similarity in the past. If not, twins! I disagree about it not being a good BMT. I think this was an OK one. Not nearly the worst BMT we’ve ever had and comes with some interesting bad movie lore. I guarantee it’s better than both What Goes Up and this week’s September Dawn. That is quite the shit sandwich to be caught in. Also, how can you honestly say that you won’t be touching the direct-to-video sequels? This from a man who has watched all of the Leprechaun films.

Anyway, just going to have a quick game this week. Mostly it’s to highlight my least favorite part of Critters 2. It’s called WTF, mate? and it’s something that me and Patrick used to do way, way, way back before we even wrote an email. We used to ask each other what the WTF moment of the film was where you just couldn’t handle how bad the film was anymore. Not every film had one, but Critters 2 certainly did. While I would love to say that the ending was the WTF moment cause it was horrific, I have to go with this diner scene:

which is a travesty in a very Gremlins 2 on Key & Peele kind of way:

I have to admit though, that Critter’s new bald hairdo was indeed quite bitchin’.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Critters 2: The Main Course Preview

OK, well time to move onto this week’s film. This is another replacement film of sorts. While we never officially placed Unaccompanied Minors in Kansas, we certainly watched it with that state in mind (why else would we have stooped so low?). But it turned out that there wasn’t just an unacceptable level of Kansas-ness in the film, it didn’t take place in Kansas at all. It just didn’t. So we had to scramble to get a new one. After a painstaking search we landed on Critters 2: The Main Course. While the first one is generally liked by viewers for its humor, the second one wasn’t as accepted. Hard to tell how poorly it was received, but it did make Ebert’s list of his least favorite films of all time. Felt like that was enough to qualify it for BMT. Not gonna update the map this week. Next week maybe. Let’s go!


Critters 2: The Main Course (1988) – 36.3 BMeTric (July 2, 6016)

Critters2_BMeT

Critters2_RV

(This is honestly kind of a weird trajectory. While you’ll often see a movie’s rating rise substantially with votes this is usually just regression to the mean (it rises because we watch bad movies which are often rated very poorly when they rise come out). But 1.2 points from 4.0 is quite a bit more that you’d expect. Otherwise the only shocking thing is that such a small barely released movie could garner 10,000 votes on IMDb. NOTE: This analysis was written on July 2, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – The big-mouthed, quill-shooting nasties take on an entire town. Nothing special. Followed by two video sequels.

(Wow. Love the short and sweet. I’ll follow the lead. Nothing special with this comment either.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVyfEgnA678

(That’s not really as bad as it could have been I think. Considering that I kinda liked the original this kind of gets me excited to watch this one. Uh oh.)

Director(s) – Mick Garris – (BMT: Riding the Bullet; Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Also a writer (Hocus Pocus, Fly II, etc.) and obviously best known for directing the TV movie smash hit Fuzzbucket.)

Writer(s) – David Twohy (written by) – (Known For: The Fugitive; Pitch Black; Waterworld; Riddick; G.I. Jane; A Perfect Getaway; The Arrival; Below; Warlock. BMT: The Chronicles of Riddick; Impostor; Terminal Velocity; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Best known as the writer and director of the Riddick series of films. Long been rumored for a third AvP film. Fingers crossed.)

Mick Garris (written by) – (Known For: *batteries not included.  BMT: Hocus Pocus; The Fly II; Riding the Bullet; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Kind of a historical figure in Hollywood and in particular in the SciFi genre. Early on directed a series of making of documentaries of horror and SciFi films including a really good one about the film The Thing which I’ve seen. It’s awesome.)

Actors – Scott Grimes – (Known For: Robin Hood; Critters; Crimson Tide. BMT: Winter’s Tale; Mystery Alaska; Critters 2: The Main Course. Notes: Also a singer. Released several albums but his biggest hit came relatively recently with Sunset Blvd in 2005. Never heard of it.)

Also stars Don Keith Opper and Liane Curtis

Budget/Gross: N/A / $3,813,293

(The first film was a wild success ($13 million gross on a microbudget). This one not so much. Not surprisingly the rest of the sequels were not released to theaters. It actually had the second worst box office for a wide release creature feature of all time. The worst? BMT classic A Sound of Thunder (A Sound of Thundahhhhhhh))

#66 for Creature Feature

creaturefeature_66

(The creature feature is a staple of classic horror, but I think it kind of rose to prominence again after Jurassic Park (in case you were wondering what that gigantic peak around ’93 was). Since then it comes and goes in waves, but will probably rise again with Jurassic World killing it at the box office. King Kong may add to it soon as well. NOTE: Analysis written on July 2, 2016)

#57 for Horror Comedy

horrorcomedy_57

(Personally once of my least favorite sub-genres, because honestly they are rarely either good comedies or good horror films. They make relatively little money it seems, and one would think that they would thrive a bit more on VOD, so I really don’t understand why this genre keeps chugging along (in the past three years none of the theater releases were very impressive). Kind of interesting that Critters 2 kind of came during the 80’s heyday just as the genre was going back into a slumber once again. The 2010’s resurgence is probably 30-year-old directors who grew up on things like Critters 2 making passion projects. NOTE: This analysis was written on July 2, 2016)

Rotten Tomatoes: 33% (3/9), No consensus yet.

(Yeah, so as mentioned at the top there was some question on whether this actually qualified. What put it over the top (besides taking place in Kansas) was Ebert’s hatred of it. He gave it 1 star and said it had “no reason for existence” and all but considered a sign of the end of movies as he knew it. It ended up later on his list of most hated films of all time. So I think that qualifies it.)

Poster – Critters 2: The Main Sklog (C-)

critters_two

(We get it. It’s a sequel. Could there be any more two’s on this poster? Sheesh. And what color am I going to use for this state? Hate you Critters 2. Though I kinda dig the critters illustration.)

Tagline(s) – Get ready for seconds… they’re back! (C-)

The most illegal aliens of all are back — and they’re hungrier than ever. (weird)

(I have lately been trying to only use the poster tagline for this section, but I could resist with that second one. Pretty crazy. Not sure it would fly today. Must have been in the zeitgeist at the time given the 1986 immigration reform act. I hate the first one. Not as bad as it could have been since it’s references the Critters insatiable hunger, but still lazy like most sequel taglines are.)

Keyword – egg; Top ten by BMeTric: 85.9 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 68.0 The Flintstones (1994); 62.6 Eragon (2006); 59.3 Meet Dave (2008); 57.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 56.8 Godzilla (I) (1998); 56.6 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014); 51.0 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995); 50.3 The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1990); 46.5 Dreamcatcher (2003);

(huh … what a bizarre keyword, and what a amazingly excellent list for such a strange keyword. I saw Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie in theaters. That is all)