Underclassman Preview

Pacing the room and slamming Mountain Dew, Patrick and I brainstorm our barnburner of a film. Chris Klein has already signed on and our mind is on action (and plenty of it, you betta believe). However, when we open the door for our old bag of a stenographer we are taken aback. She’s no old bag at all! Quite the contrary! Did the company not see where we wrote “old bag” in the comment section? Oh well, being consummate professionals we get right to work. She’s efficient and hardworking and together we make quick work of the script. We shake hands with her and provide a glowing review to her temp agency. We offer each other some honest feedback for future improvement. Where boundaries may have been crossed in the name of romance, instead a beautiful professional relationship built on mutual respect had bloomed. After she departs we look at the script. It reads Rich & Poe and boy howdy do these hard-boiled detectives get into some deep undercover action in this action flick. That’s right! We’re watching Underclassman, the Nick Cannon 21 Jump Street knock-off where he’s a cop that has to infiltrate a high school. No doubt we’re gonna have some sweet inappropriate jokes about underage girls and teachers sleeping with students. Can’t wait. Let’s go!

Underclassman (2005) – BMeTric: 51.1

Underclassman_BMeT

Underclassman_RV

(Wow that started amazingly low. Its creeped up to where I think maybe it should be (mid-4.0s, which is basically really fucking bad … but not so bad you’d have heard of it for being bad). Kind of amazing how hated it is though, I would have imagined this would have just gotten forgotten. Maybe because it was released just as IMDb was coming into their own? You can even see this plot starts basically right when the movie was released which is pretty stunning for a 2005 release. Look at the first scrape!)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Pause here for a Jack Webb “uh-huh”: Instead of being canned when he precipitates half a mile’s worth of car-chase damage, barely-literate cop Cannon is assigned to pose incognito as a student at a swanky prep school that’s been victimized by a car-theft ring. Few clichés are missed, including Cannon’s inevitable yen for the campus Spanish instructor (Sanchez). Script is in serious stupor, as if it has spent a month in a locked room with some of Cheech’s old stash.

(Jack Webb was in Dragnet which Leonard is kind of cryptically referencing. This is a very weird review, especially the end. I think Leonard just hates lazy cliché ridden garbage? There is almost no reason this is a BOMB considering some of the other passes he tends to dole out for simple nonsense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB3rqT7X4Bw

(Ooooof, that looks absolutely terrible. Terrible race jokes. Terrible sex-with-the-teacher insinuations. Terrible sports scenes. Oh wait, did I say terrible? I meant I am very excited for this film.)

Directors – Marcos Siega – (Future BMT: Chaos Theory; Pretty Persuasion; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: He’s pretty exclusively a television producer/director. He directed a ton of The Following, Dexter, and Vampire Diaries among others. He’s also made quite a few television movies as well.)

Writers – Brent Goldberg (story & screenplay) and David Wagner (story) (as David T. Wagner & screenplay) (as David T. Wagner) – (Known For: The Girl Next Door; Future BMT: Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; My Baby’s Daddy; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: These guys killed it in the early 2000s. They really dropped off the radar in 2005 though, here’s an interview concerning their collaboration from 2004.)

Nick Cannon (story) – (BMT: Underclassman; Notes: He actually has a ton of writing credits, but they are either on concert/music projects or the movies he’s been involved with don’t have enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I wish there was a way to know the level of involvement with the “story” Nick Cannon had though.)

Actors – Nick Cannon – (Known For: Chi-Raq; Monster House; Drumline; Bobby; Shall We Dance; Roll Bounce; The Killing Room; King of the Dancehall; American Son; Future BMT: Garfield; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; Whatever It Takes; Goal II: Living the Dream; Men in Black II; Even Money; Weapons; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: Was married to Mariah Carey for eight years, they had a pair of twins (heyyyyyoooo) in 2011.)

Shawn Ashmore – (Known For: X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; The Ruins; Mother’s Day; Frozen; Strike!; Mariachi Gringo; Future BMT: The Day; Hatchet II; Acts of Violence; Breaking the Girls; The Quiet; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: Played the Iceman in X-Men. Has a twin brother who has mostly been on television, including five episodes of Veronica Mars.)

Kelly Hu – (Known For: X-Men 2; The Scorpion King; The Doors; Strange Days; Americanese; Future BMT: Surf Ninjas; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Wo zhi nv ren xin; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Underclassman; Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: Was a Miss Teen USA, born in Hawaii.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $5,655,459 (Worldwide: $5,879,555)

(A complete and utter disaster. Kind of a wonder they released it at all. It was apparently delayed from 2004, so they certainly could have pushed it out onto cable. Although … I suppose the movie does skew a bit old for the Nick Cannon demographic. What a strange strange movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (5/83): Despite the appealing presence of Nick Cannon, Underclassman is a shopworn Beverly Hills Cop/ 21 Jump Street knockoff.

(Single digits baby. Nearly one hundred reviews as well, which is nothing to sniff at. That time, around 2005, was a weird time huh? Uwe Boll films, and Nick Cannon in actual movies. Wild. Reviewer Highlight: Almost comically unambitious, Underclassman seldom tries to be funny, and never even attempts to be original. – Nathan Rabin, AV Club)

Poster – UnderSklogins (D)

underclassman

(I find it incredibly weird that he’s holding his gun like that in the poster… he’s like casually pointing it at the audience. Put that away! You’re scaring the children! I kid because I love… how terrible this all is. Woof.)

Tagline(s) – A Comedy About Upholding The Law And Disturbing The Peace (C-)

Get Ready To Be Schooled (A-)

(Both are on the poster, both are getting judged. First one is terrible. Too long and self-referential like it’s from the old days or something. “A Comedy About…” really? Just do the joke you’re aiming for. Upholding the law and disturbing the peace… Underclassman. Boom. Easy. Second one is better. Clever, hints at the plot, short and sweet. I like it.)

Keyword(s) – undercover; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.3 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 82.2 Barb Wire (1996); 81.1 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); 74.9 Taxi (I) (2004); 73.6 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 71.8 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 70.4 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 70.3 On Deadly Ground (1994); 67.8 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006); 65.5 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005);

(Big Momma Like Father Like Son best be there. We’ll probably hit all of these, although the Cable Guy movies will get a bit dicey. There are some things that kind of make you wonder “why am I doing this?” and I have a feeling watching the Larry the Cable Guy movies would be one of those things. Although, I have to admit … he was fine in Madea Christmas, so what do I know?)

Movie Stub – Underclassman (Start-class) – So when I got to this webpage the critical reception and box office response was jammed together. Also the entire thing sounded “non-encyclopedia” and it was suggested that the entire article be rewritten. I wouldn’t go so far, it had the proper structure, it was just a little loosey goosey with the lingo. Finally, I expanded the plot summary to a comfortable 410 words, and re-submitted the article for review. Viola, now that is a start-class wiki page! Actually, I think it is borderline C-class according to the quality guidelines, although some notes about production I think would be needed to put it over the top.

Notes – Originally set for a US theatrical release in 2004. Then two massive waves of layoffs were sustained at Miramax and Dimension, and the infamous Disney and Miramax split reached its height. This film thus remained in the Miramax vaults unreleased during this time of uncertainty. When the Disney and Miramax divorce was finally completed, numerous films under the Miramax and Dimension label were finally released theatrically. (I do love production issues, usually explains a lot)

The scene where Trey shoots Murdock and eventually tackles an undercover DEA agent which results in him explaining that Murdock can’t be a murder suspect because he was out of town on that date is extremely reminiscent of an exact same scene from Point Break (1991) where Tom Sizemore is the DEA agent. (fun fact?)

Advertisements

Alone in the Dark Preview

Ruffles, our beloved dog lawyer, has been kidnapped by the assassin Aitch and Patrick and I are crushed. We end up going on a weeklong bender in beautiful Vancouver fighting anyone and everyone that gets in our way. Alone except for the booze, we are approached by an NCIS: New Orleans agent who looks suspiciously like mega-star Scott Bakula from the smash television hit Quantum Leap. “Hi, I’m Scott Bakula,” he says and offers us a deal. He will tell us where Ruffles is in exchange for help on a matter of national security. We know what that means: g-g-g-g-g-ghosts! In the end we relent… for Ruffles. When we go to where Ruffles is being held we are ambushed by the cops. Fortunately, Aitch swoops in with some wire-fu and explosions galore and frees us. Turns out Aitch is a lady assassin and is on our side after all. What a twist! She was actually keeping Ruffles safe from mega-star Scott Bakula. But wait, it turns out she’s not a “she” but in fact mega-star Scott Bakula himself! What a double twist! He peels off his Mission Impossible facemask as we look on in shock. “What are you doing here? You betrayed us,” we say. “Did I,” he says softly, “Or did I save you… sons?” What a triple twist! We hug mega-star Scott Bakula and know that there is one final thing to do before we start setting up that production company. “Still need some help fighting those g-g-g-g-g-ghosts, Dad?” To which he responds with a wink, “Hope you’re not afraid of the dark.” That’s right! We’re watching Alone in the Dark. When we watched In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale all those years ago we promised ourselves we would never watch another Uwe Boll movie. Mostly because he doesn’t make real movies, but rather financial scheme disguised as movies. But promises are meant to be broken, especially when we are looking for a producer that also produced that HoFer ItNotK:ADST… which pretty much limits us to Uwe Boll films. Well fuck us, right? Let’s go!

Alone in the Dark (2005) – BMeTric: 90.2

AloneintheDark_BMeT

AloneintheDark_RV

(Legendary naturally. To just sit cold at 2.3 is just nuts. Would be one of the highest BMeTric films if people bothered to watch it. If that vote count doubled (and I’m not sure the rating would go up even if it did) it would exceed Meet the Spartans.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Paranormal investigator Slater tangles with a mad scientist in this unintelligible time-waster based on an Atari video game. The opening crawl is dopey and overlong; what follows is mind-numbingly awful. Casting Reid as an anthropologist is like assigning Curly Howard the role of neurosurgeon.

(Kind of an unnecessary dig at Tara Reid there. That was the obvious intention of the casting, to make it somewhat of a joke in and of itself. I’m glad I get an overlong and awful opening crawl though, I’ll revel in that a bit before my brain starts to scream.)

Trailer – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369226/videoplayer/vi4088725785?ref_=tt_ov_vi

(If you get this far the video above that is embedded is just a teaser, the link itself though is to IMDb which has the full trailer (youtube for some reason doesn’t). The CGI looks like complete garbage, the dialogue and action look terrible and blessedly ludicrous. It is pretty sweet I think.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: Alone in the Dark; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominee for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: He literally makes tax shelter films. He is quoted as saying “Maybe you know it, but it’s not so easy to finance movies in total. The reason I am able to do these kind of movies is I have a tax shelter fund in Germany, and if you invest in a movie in Germany you get basically 50% back from the government.” This though can’t actually be one because it was filmed in Canada which violates the agreement.)

Writers – Elan Mastai (written by) – (Known For: What If; Future BMT: The Samaritan; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Notes: Just wrote his debut novel All Our Wrong Todays which is about time travel and seems to have gotten pretty excellent reviews actually.)

Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer (written by) – (BMT: Alone in the Dark; Notes: They have written several Uwe Boll films, although mostly the later ones which didn’t get real releases. Here is an article about the production.)

Actors – Christian Slater – (Known For: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I; True Romance; Heathers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; The Wife; Zoolander; The Name of the Rose; Bullet to the Head; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Legend of Billie Jean; Broken Arrow; Very Bad Things; King Cobra; Bobby; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; La Cordillera; Pump Up the Volume; Untamed Heart; Future BMT: Hot Tub Time Machine 2; Soldiers of Fortune; Stranded; Playback; Sofia; The Ten Commandments; Hard Ca$h; Slipstream; Windtalkers; Igor; True Deception; Kuffs; Masked and Anonymous; Jimmy Hollywood; The Wizard; Mobsters; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Mindhunters; Bed of Roses; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Gleaming the Cube; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Hard Rain; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1992 for Mobsters, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Notes: Got his break in Heathers, and has been working consistently to a degree since. He’s now a part of the hit television program Mr. Robot.)

Tara Reid – (Known For: American Pie; The Big Lebowski; Cruel Intentions; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Josie and the Pussycats; Dr. T & the Women; Future BMT: My Boss’s Daughter; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Urban Legend; Body Shots; Just Visiting; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Alone in the Dark in 2006; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for My Boss’s Daughter in 2004; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Just Married in 2004; Notes: Somewhat of a punchline these days unfortunately. An example of how quickly one’s career can crater when you don’t guard against taking on poor projects. Her starring turn in Sharknado kind of revitalized her career a bit, although perhaps ironically.)

Stephen Dorff – (Known For: Public Enemies; Blade; The Iceman; Zoolander; World Trade Center; Somewhere; The Gate; Felon; Cecil B. DeMented; I Shot Andy Warhol; Blood and Wine; Backbeat; The Motel Life; Brake; City of Industry; The Deal; Nanking; Zaytoun; Entropy; Future BMT: Cold Creek Manor; Leatherface; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; Space Truckers; American Hero; Immortals; Steal; Deuces Wild; Shadowboxer; Tomorrow You’re Gone; Jackals; Botched; S.F.W.; Judgment Night; Den of Lions; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Feardotcom; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Notes: Will play a prominent role in HBO’s True Detective Season 3.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $5,178,569 (Worldwide: $10,442,808)

(Funny enough I had a whole thing written about how this film made money from tax breaks … but it probably actually couldn’t because it was filmed in Canada, not Germany. Which means … as crazy as it sounds, someone decided to make Alone in the Dark with actual financing. Naturally it was a complete bomb … congrats.)

#65 for the Creature Feature genre

aloneinthedark_creaturefeature

(There is a fascination with the creature feature, and there always has been I suppose. Jaws busted it out in the blockbuster, and then with CGI things like Anaconda made them huge in the late 90s. Alien, King Kong, Godzilla, Jurassic World … it really isn’t ever going to stop. A Sound of Thunder and Critters 2 made less money than this piece of garbage, think on that for a hot second.)

#332 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

aloneinthedark_rratedhorror

(This is having a moment naturally, although it is interesting that it isn’t doing exceptionally well financially. By which I mean: with IT and Get Out’s success I would have thought that the dollar per theater number would have just been huge. But really it seems like it has just returned to the position it was in in the late-90s weirdly. At least on average.)

#35 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

aloneinthedark_videogameadaptation

(They really have been trying to make this a thing since it all began. It has actually ticked up a bit on the return recently, and the reviews are coming in … but then again, Marvel/Star Wars/ Disney just kind of consume everything as well, so I don’t really see much room for giant video game franchises. Maybe they’ll end up on television though which could actually be quite cool now that I think about it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 1% (1/120): Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it’s good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter.

(This is arguably the second worst reviewed film of all time. It kind of depends on how you define things. Our last movie, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever has less review (116), but all bad. The former BMT thriller Twisted has more reviews (136) but two are good. One missed call also has a perfect 0% with only 80 reviews as well. So depending on how you calculate things I think there is a strong argument this is the second worst reviewed film of all time.)

Poster – Alone in the Sklog (C+)

alone_in_the_dark

(While cheap looking and with totally uninteresting font and color scheme, it’s not as bad as I would have expected. It also has some artistic touch that makes it a bit more interesting that it probably should be.)

Tagline(s) – Evil awakens. (D)

(Blah. Really hard to have an original and interesting two word tagline to a film. This is neither of those.)

Keyword(s) – battle; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.6 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.7 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.6 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 86.5 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007);

(Given that I’ve seen Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (in theaters …) I am kind of one away from completing this list … that is pretty impressive. For the keyword battle!)

Notes – The lengthy opening text crawl was added after numerous test audience members said they were confused by the plot. (As I assume most such terrible beginnings are made)

After execs read the green draft of the shooting script, the film got an additional $10 million. Uwe Boll poured the money into special effects. (After they saw how real this tax shelter of a film was some rich German decided to evade several million more dollars worth of taxes … that is literally how this probably worked).

Was named worst film of 2005 by the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. (One of the last ones)

Every piece of body armor worn by the various extra foot soldiers during major battle scenes is paintball body protection made by JT USA. (Sigh)

Uwe Boll wanted Christian Bale and Jessica Alba for the leads. (I’m sure he wanted many a thing in this pipe dream of a film)

One of the two films that received an “F” CinemaScore from audiences upon their release in 2005, along with Wolf Creek (2005). (That is actually pretty awesome. Wolf Creek doesn’t even qualify)

Nuclear Blast spend $30,000 on the soundtrack rights to promote their bands.

Uwe Boll stated on various occasions that he regretted having Tara Reid in the film. (I’m sure she regretted being in the film)

The song that can be heard during the shooting sequence is “Ghost” by Mnemic.

Uwe Boll changed the ending from the original script to make a more ambiguous note.

A love scene between Christian Slater and Tara Reid featuring the song “Seven Seconds” by Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry can be seen in the extended version. (Nooooooooo, I best be getting the extended version)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Tara Reid)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Meet the Spartans Preview

Fresh off our hike to Spain, Patrick and I are captured by the Absterlutely FerSher Industries goons and thrust into the Amnimals machine. Turns out it was all a ruse (what a twist!) and they didn’t want to help us get the Obsidian Dongle at all! Instead they wanted to hook our super big brains (nbd) into the machine to triangulate the location of the Dongle and grab it for themselves so they can control the world (told you the Obsidian Dongle was rad). “No way!” we say. Time to double cross and grab the Dongle right back. They didn’t count on our ninja skillz as we totally karate chop them in the wrist and get all up in that Dongle business. However, upon fleeing using our jet packs the goons reverse the Amnimals machine to brain drain us! Oh no! We are becoming extra dumb dumbs! As we crash land in Greece we know deep down what we must do with the Obsidian Dongle but keep getting distracted by the dumbest things possible. That’s right! We’re watching Meet the Spartans. Almost certainly one of the dumbest things we’ll ever watch this is also the highest BMeTric scoring films left for BMT and obviously appears on the BMT Calendar. Perfect for our Challenges entry in the cycle. We’ve avoided it for too long. Let’s go!

Meet the Spartans (2008) – BMeTric: 95.9

MeettheSpartans_BMeT

MeettheSpartans_RV

(Even this gets a little bit of that sweet sweet regression to the mean. Given that there are now nearly 100K votes on IMDb I guess it isn’t a surprise that they aren’t all ones and twos. It must get a few threes thrown to it once in a while. This is just a shade below Epic Movie as the worst (best?) BMeTric of all time.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  The creators of Date Movie and Epic Movie concocted this moronic, product-placement-laden spoof of the homoeroticism of 300, aimed at adolescent boys. Plot involves King Leonidas of Sparta (Maguire) and his self-adoring, scantily clad warriors as they battle the Persians. Oodles of pop-cultural references are complete duds. Unrated version runs 87m.

(That run time pleases me, as does the kick ass hyphen game from Leonard, and that this is the second BOMB of the cycle. Funny enough looking around I think this is only the second BOMB in something like eight months, although that is slightly less clear. He is certainly precious with them.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY-zJtYYolo

(Oooooof the Britney Spears part. That actress plays like four or five different parts and was in over one hundred MadTv episodes (that makes so much sense …). The film looks aggressively dumb and not funny. Why? Why are we doing this?)

Directors – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – (Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Best Night Ever; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Epic Movie; in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; Notes: Over a year ago it was rumored that they were working on a Star Wars spoof … I kind of hope it happens. It does have an IMDb page. So I think the title will ultimately change, seems way too close to the movies that Craig Moss produces like this and this.)

Writers – Jason Friedberg  and Aaron Seltzer (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Spy Hard; Scary Movie 3; Best Night Ever; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Epic Movie; in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; Notes: Recently they’ve been brought up on multiple sites to slam Ready Player One. The comparison is mainly about the sheer amount of product placement they use.)

Actors – Sean Maguire – (Known For: Waterland; The Dukes; BMT: Meet the Spartans; Notes: After this film he turned down Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, a British show, because he wanted to be taken more seriously. He reconsidered at the behest of his agent. He played Robin Hood in Once Upon a Time.)

Kevin Sorbo – (Known For: Soul Surfer; Let There Be Light; Future BMT: God’s Not Dead; Bitch Slap; Big Fat Important Movie; Kull the Conqueror; The Kings of Mykonos; BMT: Meet the Spartans; Notes: Hercules. Raised in Minnesota he’s done a number of Christian films recently. He claims he isn’t overly religious, although he endorsed Donald Trump for president saying that “Jesus would have voted for Trump”.)

Carmen Electra – (Known For: Scary Movie; Starsky & Hutch; Get Over It; Mr 3000; I Want Candy; Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Pledge This!; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4; Dirty Love; Good Burger; Bedtime Stories; Uptown Girls; Christmas in Wonderland; Full of It; Perfume; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 2007 for Date Movie, and Scary Movie 4; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2005 for Starsky & Hutch; in 2006 for Dirty Love; in 2008 for Epic Movie; and in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; Notes: I knew her mostly from MTV’s Singled Out, but her career is nuts. Fronted for a rap group in LA until being discovered by Prince, then toured with him as his opening act. Ended up getting her big break on Baywatch.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $38,233,676 (Worldwide: $84,646,831)

(Solid return. Not a surprise they produced a sequel. Oh, what’s that, you think they didn’t make a sequel? Well, at one point a wikipedia page existed for Meet the Spartans 2, which now redirects to Disaster Movie. It is almost definite that they realized that making fun of 300 didn’t work any more so they transitioned the planned sequel into something more fresh. Still, not surprising that they continued on their merry way with the franchise.)

#20 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

meetthespartans_spoof

(This came at a peak for the Friedberg / Seltzer brand of spoof. Subsequently the genre has well and truly died I think. Fifty Shades of Black was the last real example and it made so little money I don’t think the Wayans brothers are going to do anymore. It really depends on how you define things like Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Then again, that didn’t make much money either. Given the success of the Wet Hot American Summer television series, I wonder if we’ll see a few more TV examples in the coming years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/48): A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.

(Amazing. That one good review basically says “don’t expect much and this isn’t literally the worst thing you’ve ever seen” .. Reviewer Highlight: What’s the point of making a parody that’s dumber than the stuff it parodies? – Gene Seymour, Newsday)

Poster – Meet the Sklogans (F)

meet_the_spartans

(Designed like a heat seeking missile aimed at me not wanting to watch this movie. Nope. Pass.)

Tagline(s) – The Bigger the Hit, The Harder They Fall (C+)

(Oh geez. This is on the level of “From the producers of..” type self-referential taglines that I don’t like. Doesn’t tell me much about the film other than that it is a spoof… which everyone knows. Though it is at least a little clever, so climbs out of the basement.)

Keyword(s) – greece; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 82.6 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 51.0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003); 49.0 Mortdecai (2015); 48.7 Hercules Reborn (2014); 47.8 Alexander (2004); 41.1 Clash of the Titans (2010); 40.8 Wrath of the Titans (2012); 40.5 Hercules (1983); 40.2 Ben-Hur (2016);

(Sigh nothing will ever beat it. It will be stuck on the Mapstreet’s Map Alright! Sklogpacking Across Europe forever and ever. Good news is Alexander will be amazing to watch I think.)

Notes – Not screened for critics. (duh)

The entire movie was shot in a week. (WHAT)

The film led Sean McGuire to be cast as the title character of the short-lived fantasy comedy series “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire”, which was discontinued after 1 season due to it’s mixed reviews.

The narrator introduces Xerxes as looking like the fat guy from Borat, he’s played by Ken Davitian who played the fat guy in Borat.

To date (2011), one of two movies written and directed by both Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, not to have the word “movie” in the title. The other is Vampires Suck (2010).

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

Extreme Ops Preview

Extreme Ops (2002) – BMeTric: 46.5

ExtremeOps_BMeT

ExtremeOps_RV

(The fact that this keeps climbing up probably means it isn’t legendarily bad. But it is pretty stunning that the film opened as low as it did. Below 4.0 for a film that should only really be watched by the people it was designed to please? That is pretty nuts.)

Leonard Maltin – 2  stars –  Ho-hum actioner in which a wild-and-crazy film crew, shooting a commercial in the Austrian Alps, tangles with a Serbian war criminal in hiding. The genetic snowboarding/skiing/kayaking sequences look as it they’ve been lifted from a sports video.

(Jesus, drop the mic a bit more Leonard. This movie is boring and the scenes with actual extreme sports look boring too! That is what it boils down to, and yet two stars? That might be the most stunning part of all. That Leonard Maltin seemingly didn’t mind Extreme Ops.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZoACTYqwbg

(It starts looking like a horror film? And the terrorism parts looks crazy, I have a hard time believing that is actually how it ultimately looks like, because the minicam footage looks like cinema quality. It also looked like they just gave up the end of the film with the helicopter blowing up … like how wouldn’t that be the end of the film?)

Directors – Christian Duguay – (Known For: Un sac de billes; The Assignment; Belle et Sébastien, l’aventure continue; Future BMT: The Art of War; Live Wire; Screamers; BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: Canadian, started his career as a camera operator across commercials and documentaries and film. He’s more recently done a string of French films.)

Writers – Timothy Scott Bogart (story) – (Known For: The I Inside; BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: He started a production company, Boardwalk Entertainment Group, at some point around 2013, but there is very little information about the productions they have done.)

Mark Mullin (story) – (BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: The note from variety shows that he was at some point attached to an Untitled Smokejumpers Project. That is literally a fake movie from Entourage, Smokejumpers. Vinny and the director get into such a big fight they end up cancelling the production entirely.)

Michael Zaidan (screenplay) – (BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: Again, not much about him, but you can read the Variety blurb which describes, presumably, this film, originally entitled The Extremists apparently.)

Actors – Rufus Sewell – (Known For: Hercules; Dark City; A Knight’s Tale; The Holiday; The Illusionist; Hamlet; Paris, je t’aime; Dangerous Beauty; Amazing Grace; Carrington; Blinky Bill; The Sea; Vinyan; A Man of No Importance; Twenty-One; Future BMT: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; The Legend of Zorro; The Tourist; All Things to All Men; I’ll Follow You Down; Downloading Nancy; Tristan + Isolde; Hotel Noir; Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Bless the Child; Extreme Ops; Notes: Son of the animator who did the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds segment from Yellow Submarine. Raised in Twickenham with an impressive London theatre resume.)

Devon Sawa – (Known For: Casper; Little Giants; SLC Punk!; The Guilty; 388 Arletta Avenue; A Cool, Dry Place; Future BMT: Slackers; Life on the Line; Idle Hands; Wild America; Final Destination; Now and Then; BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: Kind of came from a Hollywood family, his mother was a production designer. Did all of his own stunts in Extreme Ops.)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras – (Known For: Billy Madison; Shopgirl; Higher Learning; Nixon; Unhook the Stars; Future BMT: The Wedding Planner; House on Haunted Hill; Mortal Kombat; Just Visiting; The Suburbans; Beautiful; Last Action Hero; Love Stinks; The Real Blonde; BMT: Extreme Ops; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Married to Pete Sampras obviously. At one point you could get the (terrible) 150-1 odds that their first son Christian would win Wimbledon … I’m not even sure he plays tennis so that would have been a waste of money.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $4,842,259 (Worldwide: $10,959,475)

(A complete disaster, although I’m a bit skeptical of the budget. It feels like one of those things where the more they report the larger the tax break from Austria or wherever this was actually filmed. I have a hard time believing they managed to sink $40 million into this for reals.)

#20 for the Sports – Extreme genre

extremeops_extremesports

(Oh my right at the peak. xXx: State of the Union, Out Cold, Rollerball were previous BMT films. There really was a moment though. xXx, this, and Blue Crush all came out in the same year. I do think this is exactly the type of niche genre that, like movies made for car or gun fanatics, inevitably made more sense to release to VOD.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (5/67): The various stunts in Extreme Ops don’t compensate for the inane storyline and bad dialogue.

(All. day. Long. I love inane storyline and bad dialogue, so I watch this all day. Reviewer Highlight: The impossible plot and laugh-out-loud dialogue would have been tolerable if the tricks were impressive. – Christy Lemire, Associated Press.)

Poster – Extreme Sklogs (B+)

extreme_ops

(I actually dig this poster. Bold blue with an artistic bent to presenting the extreme sports the film is meant to promote. Also nice unique font. Not perfect, but pretty… rad.)

Tagline(s) – Fear is a trigger (F)

(I literally don’t know what this means. Does this actually have something to do with fear being a trigger… like this is a trigger warning that they will be afraid and have trouble watching the film. I seriously don’t understand.)

Keyword(s) – time bomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.1 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.4 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.5 Street Fighter (1994); 85.2 Spice World (1997); 83.5 RoboCop 3 (1993); 78.8 Torque (2004); 77.9 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 70.2 On Deadly Ground (1994); 68.0 Double Team (1997); 64.2 Fair Game (1995);

(Fun fact: having watched the movie, there isn’t a time bomb in it. So good job random IMDb user, you completely botched that one. And that is why I don’t totally trust IMDb keywords. It was probably inserted by some guy who was like, “wait, there was a time bomb in this right … totes, otherwise why would I think this is so gnarly”. WRONG)

Notes – The closing credits begin with ‘To Werner’ – Werner Koenig had died in an avalanche in 2000 while location scouting for this movie. (Oh wow, that is terrible)

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo Preview

We are Sklogpacking right across Europe and there is literally no other choice for the comedy entry in the cycle than the film for this week. Based on historical evidence this will either be an underrated comedy that he hold close to our hearts… or it will literally be the worst thing we’ve ever seen. That’s right! We’re watching Deuce Bigelow European Gigolo. Obviously watching this critically reviled sequel will involve a bonus viewing of the first film (generally thought to be bad, but at least better than the second film). The sequel took Rob Schneider to beautiful Amsterdam to attempt to figure out who was out killing Male Gigolos across Europe. If it can at least not be a lazy sack of shit then it should come out on top of Strange Wilderness… I’m not holding out hope. Also a reminder that we now have the European mapl.de.map up on the website if you want to check it out. Let’s go!

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005) – BMeTric: 74.3

DeuceBigalowEuropeanGigolo_BMeT

DeuceBigalowEuropeanGigolo_RV

(A goddamned catastrophe, sub-5.0 with 40K votes is incredible. And it just goes there and sticks for the most part. If that rating hadn’t actually moved over the years I would think we were dealing with a BMT legend, but in reality this film is likely just very very terrible.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Ads for this woefully unfunny sequel show Schneider sitting under a phallic Leaning Tower of Pisa that appears to be protruding from his groin area. This would have been the film’s best joke – except it’s not in the film; nor is any other form of humor. Deuce is sent to Holland to train as a high-end Euro man whore. When he discovers some of his fellow gigolos are being killed, he jumps undercover(s). Can we possibly prevent another sequel? Famous faces appear in cameos, if that matters to you.

(Rough undercover(s) joke there, but, then again, this review was also funnier than this movie. It has been a while since we hit a BOMB from Maltin (especially since we tend to default to RogerEbert.com for recent films, since Maltin’s book is defunct). It is good to see that we definitely hit the worst Amsterdam has to offer us.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDTU4-tLR_g

(Oh wow they used the worst joke in the film (the wine coming out of the tracheotomy) in the trailer and as the closer. That is incredible. Not to tip my hand, but having seen the film … this trailer somehow makes the film look less crass and stupid than it actually is. It is so gross and dumb. Hopefully this trailer dissuaded you from ever watching this pile of garbage.)

Directors – Mike Bigelow – (BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Notes: One and done, one and done. He was a commercial director with quite a bit of acclaim. A tale as old a time, commercial director gets a break, and then doesn’t do any other movies.)

Writers – Harris Goldberg (characters) – (Future BMT: I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Without a Paddle; BMT: The Master of Disguise; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Notes: Was an actor on a show called 30 Dates to a Soul Mate in 2012 which lasted 23 episodes, although it is a little unclear what platform the show was made for.)

Rob Schneider (characters & story & screenplay) – (Future BMT: The Animal; The Hot Chick; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Notes: Has been a writer on both of his recent television shows as well which lasted, together, 24 episodes.)

David Garrett (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Corky Romano; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Notes: Is an accomplished trial lawyer who is (was?) Vice-President of development at Intrigue Entertainment.)

Jason Ward (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Corky Romano; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Notes: Was a writer on the Fran Drescher television show Living with Fran.)

Actors – Rob Schneider – (Known For: 50 First Dates; Big Daddy; Muppets from Space; Future BMT: Littleman; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Animal; Norm of the North; Little Nicky; Knock Off; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; InAPPropriate Comedy; Eight Crazy Nights; Sandy Wexler; Surf Ninjas; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; You May Not Kiss the Bride; The Adventures of Pinocchio; The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Down Periscope; Big Stan; Click; The Longest Yard; Necessary Roughness; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; The Beverly Hillbillies; Judge Dredd; The Benchwarmers; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Around the World in 80 Days; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for Littleman, and The Benchwarmers; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2011 for Grown Ups; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Grandma’s Boy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Little Nicky, Littleman, The Animal, The Benchwarmers, and The Hot Chick; Notes: Remember the girl selling girl scout cookies in the first Deuce Bigalow movie? That was his daughter Elle King.)

Eddie Griffin – (Known For: The Last Boy Scout; Undercover Brother; Jason’s Lyric; Brain Donors; The Wendell Baker Story; Future BMT: Date Movie; Coneheads; Scary Movie 3; The Meteor Man; House Party 3; My Baby’s Daddy; American Hero; The New Guy; Double Take; Armageddon; Foolish; The Walking Dead; BMT: Norbit; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Redline; Pinocchio; Notes: There aren’t many reviews out so far (the one I found was quite positive), but he has a new Showtime stand-up special airing soon, which dominates his newsfeed.)

Jeroen Krabbé – (Known For: Ocean’s Twelve; The Fugitive; EverAfter; The Living Daylights; Dangerous Beauty; Immortal Beloved; Scandal; The Prince of Tides; An Ideal Husband; King of the Hill; The Fourth Man; Kafka; Spetters; Soldier of Orange; Crossing Delancey; Farinelli; Turtle Diary; A World Apart; Future BMT: The Punisher; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Transporter 3; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; No Mercy; Notes: Dutch, he’s been married to his wife for over 50 years!)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $22,400,154 (Worldwide: $45,109,561)

(That is pretty rough. To just make back the reported budget is bad, but to do it at a time when Sandler was just turning out $100 million comedies like it was the easiest thing in the world probably but a nail in the coffin of Schneider’s leading man career.)

#46 for the Comedy – R-Rated Youth genre

deucebigalow2_r-ratedcomedy

(I won’t reiterate what I said in the Deuce Bigalow preview, but here the amusing thing is that Deuce Bigalow came out during the American Pie meteoric rise of the genre. This on the other hand sits right at the point where people were just churning out mostly garbage sequels … so it fits right in naturally.)

#91 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

deucebigalow2_comedysequel

(Ha, you can almost convince yourself that this movie actually made producers look at each other and say “alright then, I think that about does that, let’s get some original ideas in here so that we can make sequels again in 5 years”. I always note the wave form of these plots whenever a sequel comes up, which is exactly that I think. Hollywood going through periods of making originals, then making their sequels, rinse and repeat.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (9/99): A witless follow-up to the surprise 1999 hit, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo is raunchy, politically incorrect, and not particularly funny.

(Alright … politically incorrect is putting it mildly. Having actually seen this already this is bar-none the most homophobic film you’ll watch anytime soon. They drop the f-word like it is nothing, without a care in the world. It is shocking. Different time and all that, but … if I was in charge of this film I would have pulled as many DVD copies back in to edit some of the shit out and quickly as possible. It just comes across very very poorly.)

Poster – Deuce Bigelow European Gigosklog (D)

deuce_bigalow_european_gigolo

(I do not like this poster for a variety of reasons but I think I’m inordinately bothered by the fact that this features the Leaning Tower of Pisa and yet is almost entirely set in Amsterdam… why? It would be like if the first one had the Empire State Building as a stand in for his penis. It doesn’t make sense and is unacceptable. Oh and nothing else is good about it either.)

Tagline(s) – For the women of Europe… The price of love just got a lot cheaper. (C-)

(Too long and not clever, although at least a bit better than the first one. It’s just so old fashioned.)

Keyword(s) – prostitute; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.3 Date Movie (2006); 87.4 BloodRayne (2005); 77.8 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 74.3 Wild Wild West (1999); 74.3 Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005); 72.7 Jonah Hex (2010); 66.9 Extreme Movie (2008); 65.3 Baise-moi (2000); 64.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 63.6 The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005);

(Hopefully we never watch Extreme Movie. But this does remind me of one of the goals of the Bad Movie Twins over the coming months: watch more of the bad movies we had seen before we started the Bad Movie Twins Media Empire. They deserve the treatment we decided, so Wild Wild West here we come.)

Notes – Upon learning that the film received 5 Golden Raspberry (‘Razzie’) Award nominations, Rob Schneider himself took out a full page ad in the trades, boasting that the film was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Actor – Rob Schneider, Worst Remake or Sequel, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple – Rob Schneider and his diaper. Schneider later won the Worst Actor award. (Good for him? If he really wanted to impress though he would have attended and accepted the award in person. People get a ton of props for that every time)

The song that is being whistled throughout the movie is entitled “Something Stupid” (Good to know)

Roger Ebert hated the movie so much that he told Rob Schneider, “Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.” Ebert recounted this incident in his book, “Your Movie Sucks.” Schneider later sent Ebert flowers when Ebert was in the hospital with cancer. Ebert said that he was moved by Schneider’s gesture and that he hoped he’d someday see Schneider in a film he thought was great. (Awww. Kind of heartwarming. Sadly, and I’m really meaning no offense, I don’t think Ebert did ever see him in a film and thought it was great)

Happy Madison moved to Columbia to produce the sequel due to creative differences with Disney. Disney wanted a PG-13 sequel while Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider wanted it to be R-rated like the original. (Hmmm, probably a bad decision on Happy Madison’s part. The first was harmless and kind of charming enough in its own weird way. The second though … woof).

Rob Schneider twisted his ankle while filming the sword fight scene, the footage can be seen in the DVD Making of feature. (I wonder why I don’t get to see this hilarious footage, can’t be hiding those sweet extras from me).

Rachel Stevens, who appears as Louisa, the Dirty Girl, also performs the song heard over the end credits “I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)”. (WOW. I didn’t realize that was a singer, what a strange … cameo I guess you would call that).

Jeroen Krabbé was persuaded to be in the movie by his son, who was a big fan of the original Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999). (Poor choice)

Many of the Dutch extras and bit players in the movie are well-known actors and TV personalities in the Netherlands.

The word “man-whore” and it’s variations (“man-whoring” and “man-whores”) is said 47 times throughout the course of the movie. (Gross!)

The film is included on film critic Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list. In his zero-star review of the movie, he called it “aggressively bad, as if it wants to cause suffering to the audience”, and as “a movie that [the film’s studio and producers] should be discussing in long, sad conversations with their inner child.” (YUP)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Rob Schneider)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Rob Schneider)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Rob Schneider)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Rob Schneider, David Garrett, Jason Ward)

The Snowman Preview

Big week for us at BMTHQ as we transition from the adaptation cycle into the second cycle of the year which introduces a new game to BMT. That game is an extension to the wildly popular Mapl.de.map and is basically the International Mapl.de.map. It gets the Backstreet Boys inspired nickname of the Mapstreet’s Map, Alright! This whole venture will start with a focus on Europe with the Sklogs’ backpacking adventure. So we’ll attempt to hit nine films with different European settings and require that each must either be the first film we’ve watched from a particular country OR it must have a higher BMeTric score than whatever currently holds the spot on the map. Obviously the transition must be an adaptation of a book that also takes place in such a European country. And you know what that means. That’s right! We’re watching last year’s The Snowman. Based on the Jo Nesbø novel about an Oslo police officer, Harry Hole, they decided to keep the original setting (all the better for us) of Norway. It’s the first film we’ve watched for BMT that is set in Norway, so easy entry on the map, and I’ve already read the book. So basically NBD from the start. Let’s go!

The Snowman (2017) – BMeTric: 58.2

TheSnowman_BMeT

TheSnowman_RV

(This is basically by definition people voting on IMDb before they saw the film. This ain’t people going to film festivals and being like “hmmm, indeed, what a coherent and affecting crime thriller, I was thoroughly enthralled throughout. Sure to be a box office sensation”. Because 8.0 is hilarious. Who are these … what? Fassbender-heads? What world are we living in where people / robots do this kind of shit?)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  In the year 2075, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, and they start writing histories of 21st century cinema, “The Snowman” will make a very excellent case study. Perhaps by that time sufficient evidence will have been gathered to explain just why a movie assembled by a group of mostly first-rate talents wound up such a soggy, slushy mess.

(Oh snap. I held off from the rest of the review because as much as they tried to avoid it the review started to get mighty close to some spoilers. And honestly, with a soggy slushy mess such as this what things to you have to look forward to beyond the obvious misdirection the filmmakers will inevitably throw at you?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF2Ksrxu_QY

(Hmmm, actually pretty intense. Considering the film is supposed to be rather boring I can’t help but think this is a ruse to get me to watch the film … worked. I even was rather intrigued when the trailer debuted and shocked by just how back the reviews were.)

Directors – Tomas Alfredson – (Known For: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Let the Right One In; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Brother of Daniel Alfredson who directed two of the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films. From Sweden.)

Writers – Peter Straughan (screenplay by) – (Known For: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Frank; The Debt; Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution; Sixty Six; Future BMT: Our Brand Is Crisis; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Possibly involved as a frequent collaborator with Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). He was nominated for an Oscar along with his lote wife Bridget O’Connor for that film.)

Hossein Amini (screenplay by) – (Known For: Drive; Snow White and the Huntsman; Our Kind of Traitor; The Two Faces of January; Killshot; The Four Feathers; The Wings of the Dove; Jude; Future BMT: 47 Ronin; Shanghai; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Iranian-British, born to an Iranian diplomat he attended boarding school in Britain and eventually went to Oxford University.)

Søren Sveistrup (screenplay by) – (BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Was the head writer on the original Dutch television show The Killing.)

Jo Nesbø (based on the novel by) – (Known For: Hodejegerne; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: He’s written a number of novels (mainly involving the detective Harry Hole), but also wrote a television series, Occupied. It involves Russia occupying Norway because Norway, citing the environment, tries to stop all oil extraction in the North Sea.)

Actors – Michael Fassbender – (Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Alien: Covenant; X-Men: Apocalypse; 12 Years a Slave; Prometheus; X: First Class; 300; X-Men: Days of Future Past; The Light Between Oceans; Shame; Song to Song; Steve Jobs; Macbeth; Jane Eyre; Eden Lake; A Dangerous Method; Frank; Centurion; Hunger; Haywire; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Assassin’s Creed; BMT: Jonah Hex; The Snowman; Notes: German-Irish he resides in London. He now has a production company called Peanut Productions.)

Rebecca Ferguson – (Known For: The Greatest Showman; The Girl on the Train; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Life; Hercules; Florence Foster Jenkins; Future BMT: Despite the Falling Snow; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Swedish-British, she speaks both languages. She came into the business through modelling.)

Charlotte Gainsbourg – (Known For: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I; Antichrist; 21 Grams; I’m Not There.; I Think We’re Alone Now; Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer; The Science of Sleep; Jane Eyre; Les fantômes d’Ismaël; The Cement Garden; Samba; 3 coeurs; The Tree; Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d’enfants; La petite voleuse; Incompresa; Nuovomondo; Prête-moi ta main; Ma femme est une actrice; Kung-fu master!; Future BMT: Every Thing Will Be Fine; Confession of a Child of the Century; BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence; The Snowman; Notes: Her father is Serge Gainsbourg, a kind of jack-of-all-trades in the music and art business, notable for producing popular music in a multitude of genres. Her start in the business was somewhat controversial, appearing in a movie where she plays a young girl molested by her father … her actual father directed and starred in this film as the father. So … yup.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $6,700,035 (Worldwide: $43,084,060)

(I would call that a complete disaster. We certainly won’t see another Harry Hole film for a bit. A bit like Cross, which has kind of killed prospects for more Alex Cross adaptations, although I hope that isn’t the case. Despite being … problematic (Alex Cross is written by a very white person, and the protagonist is very much attempting to represent a certain set of black virtues, I’ll leave it at that), I do think a reboot of Alex Cross could touch on some very interesting subjects in the current cultural climate.)

#43 for the Thriller – Serial Killer genre

thesnowman_serialkillerthriller

(Huh, the genre is all but dead. I actually think this is a two-fold problem. First, with true crime podcasts booming and things like Mindhunters (and Dexter and Hannibal before it) on television the market for serial killers is saturated. Second, will the history of serial killers in film, books, and across all media, there is very little of interest to show in a single 2 hour film. So the thriller has looked elsewhere for their thrills. And honestly … given the reviews it does look like maybe a little 6 episode BBC series would have at least made Harry Hole’s debut a but more coherent.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (12/162): A mystery that feels as mashed together and perishable as its title, The Snowman squanders its bestselling source material as well as a top-notch ensemble cast.

(That isn’t very illumination. So like … boring? Maybe a Review Highlight will help: “The Snowman” is ugly and nasty, but that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that it’s boring and makes no sense. – Mick LaSalle, The San Francisco Chronicle … nope, it sounds like it is mostly boring.)

Poster – The Sklogman (B-)

snowman_ver3

(They really missed on this one. Good font and spacing. It’s just… too much white. If you insist on having a white poster you better be more artistic and can’t spoil it like they did here.)

Tagline(s) – Soon the first snow will fall, and the hunt for a killer begins. (D)

(What year is this tagline from? Jesus. Can you make it any longer? I fell asleep halfway through reading it. Not clever, too long, and too explicit with the plot.)

Keyword(s) – snowman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 58.4 The Snowman (2017); 52.9 Christmas with the Kranks (2004); 51.7 Jack Frost (1998); 51.6 Dorm Daze (2003); 49.3 Snow Day (2000); 43.5 Fred Claus (2007); 35.3 Christmas with the Coopers (2015); 32.9 Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011); 31.6 Sint (2010); 29.1 Every Thing Will Be Fine (2015);

(Wow, we really don’t like Christmas movie huh? In reality the issue is that for the past three years we’ve done the year recap cycle to try and get as many of the established worst-of of the year off the docket. And it kind of spoils any possibility of doing a Christmas film … we end up having to do it offseason which is a little weird/)

Notes – Martin Scorsese was originally attached to direct this movie. He remained on board as executive producer.

The film is NOT a remake of The Snowman (1982). It’s based on the 2007 novel Snømannen (The Snowman), the seventh book in Norwegian crime-writer Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series. (hahahahaha. Obviously)

Michael Fassbender started shooting this movie only two days after wrapping on Assassin’s Creed (2016).

Tomas Alfredson has said that production was too rushed. He came on board late, and reckons that up to 15% of the screenplay was never filmed. Location filming in Norway was shortened so production could move to London, which compromised the story. (Ah yeah, that sounds like a disaster)

Part of the film was shot at The Schrøder Restaurant in Oslo, where Harry Hole is regular guest in Jo Nesbø’s books. Also, according to the book, Harry’s home is at Sofies gate 5, a few minutes walk from Schrøder. (S-s-s-s-s-s-s-ettings)

The Snowman (2017) and Downsizing (2017) were the first two international features shot in Norway to receive funding from the new state incentive program to attract foreign film and TV productions. Togther, the two films spent $24 million in Norway during their Norwegian location shoots. [2016] (And bother were a box office disaster I think)

Jo Nesbø has a cameo in the movie.

All of Val Kilmer’s lines are dubbed throughout the film. According to a Reddit AMA in May 2017, Kilmer disclosed that he had “a healing of cancer,” and his tongue “was still swollen although healing all the time.” (Yeah … )

Although mostly shot in Norway, great care was taken to remove any Norwegian language from the movie. No Norwegian is spoken and anything normally written in Norwegian is changed. This includes newspaper headlines and destinations on public transportation. Norwegian police cars normally have “politi” written on them (meaning “police”) but this was simply removed. (That is very strange as well. I guess, what? They wanted to be able to do reshoots in London or something?)

In the source novel, the police discuss several Swedish serial killers, including Thomas Quick (a.k.a. Sture Bergwall). However, Quick/Bergwall was eventually acquitted of the alleged murders. Brother Sten-Owe Bergwall and lawyer Pelle Svensson wrote books criticizing the Swedish authorities’ handling of the cases.

Apparently, Michael Fassbender bought drinks for the whole crew after a long day of shooting. The next day, rigging electrician Karl Andre Bru walked up to Fassbender and said jokingly, “Thanks for the hangover, man!” Rumor has it Fassbender cracked up and was unable to keep a straight face for the rest of the day. (NOPE! There is no way Fassbender heard that cheesy joke and was like “holy shit, that’s the funniest shit. It is so funny it is ruining my day, that’s how funny it is.” It is just impossible)

The ringtone of Rakel’s phone is cover of Edvard Grieg’s piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.

Leading up to the release of the movie, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang released a series of mock articles in collaboration with Universal, intended to show how the newspaper would normally cover a case like the one depicted in the movie. They included articles about the murder weapon, Harry Hole himself, and grisly details of the antagonist’s murder spree.

The snowmen in the film are made by Norwegian kids in a small town, in collaboration with DesignIce from Trøgstad.

This is the second collaboration between Tomas Alfredson, David Dencik, and Toby Jones. The first was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). That film had Michael Fassbender as part of the original cast, in the role of Ricki Tarr, but he had to turn it down because of another project.

The film received a “D” CinemaScore. (Which is terrible, but not surprising considering the reviews. A thriller getting such bad reviews is pretty abnormal, mainly because I think you just release straight to VOD normally. I wonder if they had some deal with Norway which required the release)

Rebecca Ferguson shot this film before the press junket for Despite the Falling Snow (2016). In one interview, she talked about just shooting the other film while growing out her bangs (fringe) from this film.

The song “Popcorn” by the group Hot Buttered is playing every time the killer is at another murder scene. Either before a murder or during the setup. (So many music notes)

(Considering the terrible reviews it is somewhat odd that not only was this film not nominated for a Razzie, it wasn’t even pre-nominated if I recall. I would think at least the director would have had a shot.)

Marmaduke Preview

I actually did not mind watching our previous film The Women. Unfortunately that means we’ll inevitably turn around and do some film that’s a giant pile of dog poo in our face. Not looking like it’ll be any different here. For the Chain Reaction we are jumping from A Dog’s Purpose through it’s star Josh Gad straight into another dog-centric film. That’s right! We’re watching Marmaduke! What should have been a slam dunk success (what kid doesn’t like talking animals?) turned out to be a critical and financial train wreck (hooray?). In it Josh Gad played *squints at casting sheet* Bandana Dog… huh. Alrighty. This film is of course about the titular great dane from the old comic strip that essentially asks the question: what if you had a dog that might be just a little too big? Presumably big laughs as he gets into all kinds of zany situations… sigh. This is gonna be a tough one. Let’s go!

Marmaduke (2010) – BMeTric: 66.4

Marmaduke_BMeT

Marmaduke_RV

(So sometimes it is hard to tell: is that regression to the mean? Or is it basically people who didn’t watch the movie shitting on it in 2010 and then forgetting about it (allowing people who have watched the film to give it a more appropriate 4/10 review)? A combination of both actually makes the most sense. With regression to the mean you aren’t regressing to the overall mean (although I sometimes use it that way). You are regressing to the film’s mean rating. The early reviewers might be more discriminatory (or more lax) than the general population, but eventually with enough votes it will get to where it is truly meant to be. This suggests the film is bad (a rating of 4 is objectively bad), but that it wasn’t nearly as bad as the initial reactions suggest (a rating of 2 is an all time bad film). Sounds innocuous to be honest, which doesn’t not bode well for the Bad Movie Twins.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Fans of the long-running comic strip by Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming may be surprised to learn that Marmaduke, the humongous Great Dane who often tests the patience of this “two-legger” owners, speaks in a lazy hipster voice (supplied by Wilson) that suggests a California stoner. Unfortunately, that’s one of the very few novelties in this otherwise derivative, unimaginative comedy that relies heavily on the intermingling of human actors in thankless parts and CGI-tweaked live animals voices by familiar actors. Strictly kid stuff.

(Oh no, strictly kid stuff. I want to point out something: this is one of the longest reviews I’ve ever seen in a Leonard Maltin book. In other reviews they will insert abbreviations awkwardly, seemingly just to get them a character or two shorter. Why would Marmaduke be allowed this luxurious review length? No idea.)

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

(Dance scene alert. That better be during a post-credits bloopie reel. Loving the music, loving the setting (California is basically a character), and loving the Black-Eyed Peas shout with Fergie getting ludicrously high billing. Everything about this suggests I will hate-love this film.)

Directors – Tom Dey – (Known For: Shanghai Noon; Future BMT: Showtime; BMT: Marmaduke; Failure to Launch; Notes: Interesting that he has almost nothing in the pipeline. Did a commercial reel which landed him at Ridley Scott’s production company, which lead to his (almost exclusively) directorial career.)

Writers – Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio (written by) – (Future BMT: Smother; BMT: Marmaduke; License to Wed; Notes: Interesting. They are writing partners it looks like. But Di Meglio is also a visual artist on a number of films including Miss Congeniality and Hansel & Gretel.)

Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming (comic) – (BMT: Marmaduke; Notes: Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming created the original strip. Anderson created it, and Leeming helped for the first ten or so years of its run.)

Actors – Owen Wilson – (Known For: Wonder; Cars 3; Wedding Crashers; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Cars; Inherent Vice; Midnight in Paris; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; The Royal Tenenbaums; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Zoolander; Night at the Museum; No Escape; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Marley & Me; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; The Darjeeling Limited; The Cable Guy; Meet the Parents; She’s Funny That Way; Future BMT: Anaconda; Breakfast of Champions; I Spy; Little Fockers; How Do You Know; You, Me and Dupree; Are You Here; Drillbit Taylor; Masterminds; Hall Pass; Free Birds; Cars 2; Meet the Fockers; The Internship; Father Figures; Behind Enemy Lines; Armageddon; BMT: Zoolander 2; The Haunting; Marmaduke; Around the World in 80 Days; Notes: Y’all know Owen Wilson. Has had a working relationship with Wes Anderson throughout both of their careers. Shanghai Dawn with Jackie Chan is currently in the works.)

Judy Greer – (Known For: War for the Planet of the Apes; Jurassic World; Ant-Man; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; The Village; Tomorrowland; 13 Going on 30; 27 Dresses; Love & Other Drugs; Our Souls at Night; The Descendants; Carrie; What Women Want; Three Kings; Wilson; Adaptation.; Lemon; Neko no ongaeshi; Grandma; All We Had; Future BMT: Cursed; The Wedding Planner; Jawbreaker; Love Happens; Kissing a Fool; Peep World; Elizabethtown; Addicted to Fresno; I Love Your Work; Entourage; The Amateurs; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Marmaduke; Playing for Keeps; Notes: If you saw her you’d recognize her, she is a well known comedic character actor. I know her best as Kitty from Arrested Development. She had her directorial debut, A Happening of Monumental Proportions, in early 2017.)

Lee Pace – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Lincoln; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Fall; The Good Shepherd; A Single Man; Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; The Program; Infamous; The White Countess; Ceremony; Future BMT: The Resident; 30 Beats; The Book of Henry; BMT: Marmaduke; When in Rome; Notes: Maybe most well known for his television work, including the lead in Pushing Daisies. He was a dwarf in The Hobbit franchise, and owns a farm.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $33,644,788 (Worldwide: $83,761,844)

(I wouldn’t say it is a bomb, but they would have wanted to crack $100 I think. Especially considering how well the Chipmunk franchise was doing around this time. These things are so easy to make I can kind of understand why you just dump it and move onto the next one honestly.)

#26 for the Dog genre

marmaduke_dog

(I’m going to field a guess here: I think the basically seven year gap in Dog movies after 2010 was partially a reaction to Marmaduke and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, partially that films like those ended up going direct-to-VOD after 2010, and partially because big kids’ films started just using cheap animation instead of animals at the time. Fascinating stuff. And A Dog’s Purpose was the first Dog movie we watched for BMT as far as I can tell. And I love dogs.)

#28 for the Family – Talking Animal (Live action) genre

marmaduke_talkinganimal

(Hot to Trot was also our firsts. 2017 really was a year of firsts for BMT. This came right at the peak, like the tippy top before the fall. Again, I think it is because talking animal movies are released to VOD now. Why would you bother going to a theater to watch Garfield 5 when the kids are going to be distracted anyways and your house is quiet and comfortable? Kind of inevitable that big releases like this would eventually die off, not really worth it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (9/100): Dull and unfunny, Marmaduke offers family filmgoers little more than another round of talking animals and scatological humor.

(Brutalized. Yeah, this is kind of why we shy away from the family friendly affairs here at the BMT Media Empire HQ. Dull, unfunny, kid humor. Almost never a rewarding combination. I’m kind of loving the very matter of fact Reviewer Highlight: Lines like “Get your bark on,” “Who let the dogs out?” and “Cowabarka” abound. Many of the jokes revolve around excretory functions. – Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post)

Poster – Marmasklog (F)

marmaduke

(I do not like the contrasting blue and red colors there. Jarring and frankly ugly. And don’t pretend Marmaduke is too big for the title to be on the poster, you are just depriving people like me from seeing what garbage font the graphical design intern painstakingly chose during their lunchbreak. No one called him “the Duke”, everything about this makes me angry actually.)

Tagline(s) – Live Large (C-)

(We get it: Marmaduke is a big dog. Then again, wasn’t that the point of the comic strip? Wasn’t it just about a dog that was just too big for the house and family to deal with? So … fine I’ll bump it up to a passing grade … barely.)

Keyword(s) – great dane; Top Ten by BMeTric: 66.8 Scooby-Doo (2002); 66.4 Marmaduke (2010); 62.9 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004); 33.6 The Other Woman (2014); 32.2 Good Boy! (2003); 29.6 Committed (I) (2000); 24.0 Teenage Cave Man (1958); 16.8 The Heat (I) (2013); 13.3 Oliver & Company (1988); 10.8 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001);

(Huh … well a lot of those don’t qualify, but still a little nuts this is the first Great Dane film we’ve seen. The Scooby-Doos have to happen because they are on the Calendar though.)

Notes – The film has the distinction of featuring two dog farts, three urine gags, two hits to the groin, one animal belch, two record scratch moments and two uses of the phrase “Who let the dogs out?” (This IMDb user is doing the Lord’s work)

Twin dogs were used for the titular character. (Twin film!!!)

Ron Perlman was originally cast as the voice of Chupadogra, but for unknown reasons, Sam Elliott took over the role.

Amanda Seyfried was the first choice for Mazie.

In the original comics, Marmaduke never talked. (uuuuuuugh)

In 2010, George Lopez, who does the voice of Carlos, the cat, was accused of being extremely rude to a fan and refusing to take a picture with her. The fan turned out to be a Mexican radio show personality and she had taken the incident to live radio.Mexican radio show personality, La Vozalona (Marlene Quinto), as part of the Mexican radio show, “El Show de Don Cheto”, said that she had met George Lopez at a Cuban restaurant. When she saw that he had finished eating and was on his way out, she approached him near the exit of the restaurant. While he was taking a picture with a fan, she had asked to take a picture with him, to which she said he became very rude and disrespectful. She had to wait and was told that “even Mexicans have manners and say please”. Confused, La Vozalona said she told Lopez she was a big fan and one of his many followers on Twitter. In response, Lopez told her to shut up and take the picture. La Vozalona said she told Lopez to stop being rude or else she would “burn” him on talk radio. He responded with a, “What, you think I care?”.This was very surprising for many and many considered Lopez a big hypocrite for the incident, considering he had also been criticizing and ridiculing _CHiPs (1977)_ star ‘Erik Estrada’ for many years. This prior incident, like his most recent, was for not shaking his hand and refusing to sign an autograph, while Estrada filmed an episode of CHiPs near Lopez’s neighborhood. (Do I leave this in the preview? It seems so crazy that this long-winded story is on the Marmaduke page, … like it has nothing to do with Marmaduke. Why is it here? It is just so crazy I can’t stop thinking about it … I hope it gives someone else as much confusion-joy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (George Lopez)