Police Academy Recap

Jamie

When our hero Mahoney is given a choice between jail and entering the Police Academy he is dead set on flunking out as quickly as possible. When that is made impossible he is dead set on having as much fun and raising as much hell as possible. Can he have a super fun time before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy.

How?! Alright so that really isn’t the plot of this film. Really what happens is that The City has a new mayor who wants to bring down crime and part of that plan is to open up the police academy to all comers (and not just white straight macho males). The police don’t like this. They don’t want women or minorities being police officers and lament the days of yore where they couldn’t be (it’s all obviously very offensive). The police decide to force these misfits out of the academy by making their lives a living hell and forcing them to quit. Enter Mahoney. He is a slacker extraordinaire who specializes in razzing authority. When he has another run in with the law he is given the choice between jail and the academy. He obviously says yes to that dress and enters the police academy with the aim of getting kicked out (fat chance). The rest of the film is the zany antics of these kooky recruits as they run amok on campus and the police officer try to get them to quit. Too bad because these recruits have got guts and won’t give up because they legit want to be officers. Even Mahoney at a certain point realizes that he kinda like his pals and the potential love interest he has met there. Maybe he actually does want to be a police officer after all. Just at that moment though he ends up getting kicked out at the same time that a major riot breaks out downtown and the recruits are sent in as part of the peace keeping crew. Mistakenly sent to the heart of the riot Mahoney and a similarly dishonored recruit Hightower end up playing the heroes and are able to stop the ringleader of the riot. They end up graduating top of the class and gearing up for their First Assignment. THE END.

Why?! There is actually a very clear motivation in this film, which surprised me. Most of the characters truly want to be police officers and have finally been given this chance by the new mayor’s policy. The police officers mostly want to see these recruits quit because they don’t look or sound like the police officers of yesteryear (catch up with the times, bro). These two motivations are the driving force of a lot of the film. But really our main character is Mahoney and he doesn’t care about any of that. He floats around life with a smile on his face just looking to not be too serious and perhaps smooch with a lady here and there. When something gets in the way of his slacker lifestyle he tries to get out of it and quick by pranking people. His only clear motivating factor is to avoid jail and it’s only at the end of the film that he finally realizes that in fact he just might like this police business after all, thus setting up six sequels (duh).

Who?! The most obvious thing is that former NFL star Bubba Smith is one of the main characters in the film and is actually pretty good. Otherwise there are a couple uncredited things on IMDb that are throwing me for a loop. I saw that it was claimed that John Hawkes was in this film in an uncredited part and I was like “I don’t believe you.” But indeed there he was driving a truck and laughing like a maniac. Wow.

What?! Given that the sequel was chock full of product placement it’s a bit of a surprise that the first is not. When they do get the opportunity to get their party on about halfway through the film though the choice is obviously a refreshing Miller High Life. And that stays consistent in the second one as well, so that pretty much turns it around for me. I’m just really into narrative consistency. So now I guess I like Police Academy.

Where?! It’s been a while since we had one but this is purposefully no set anywhere. It is set in The City. None of the license plates have state names on them and it was all filmed in Canada so there isn’t even a place in the US you could say it looks like. There is a weird aspect to the sequel, but I’ll get to that in the other post. F

When?! You think this would be specified by the location would be totally hidden. What I think we’ll come to learn is that the Police Academy series exists outside of space and time. You can never pin down when for time is a flat circle for the police academy. It just is and will ever be. Over and over and over for all eternity.

This film was just as incredibly offensive as pretty much every 80’s comedy is at this point. A number of the established police officers are outspoken racists and sexists. The film is rife with gay panic. Even our hero Mahoney throws around a few homophobic slurs here and there. A major plot point is that the head of the academy mistakenly gets a blowjob from a prostitute hiding within a podium while he’s giving a speech (for real). It’s already crazy but then when he looks back at the podium Mahoney pops out and he goes into a tailspin. The thought that he received a mistaken blowjob from Mahoney makes this otherwise dumb and loveable character insist that they figure out some way to kick him out of the academy. It’s a bizarre and long gay panic joke. Anyway the only redeeming thing you could say about the humor was that generally the bad qualities are confined to the antagonists. The recruits are all colors and creeds after all, so they are pretty much fully tolerant of each other. Still, though, Mahoney does come off poorly as he spies on ladies in the shower and sexually harrasses a fellow cadet. Always strange to watch an 80’s comedy now. Other than I laughed a couple times and I can see why at the time some people liked it I guess. Funny enough it reminded me a lot of the film CHIPS… except that was made today and boy did it not work anymore. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember when the mayor allowed anyone into the police academy and we all became gross misogynists and homophobes? No? Well in the alternative universe of Police Academy we did apparently. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – When I told my father-in-law I was watching this film he was somewhat aghast. Because in his estimation Police Academy was on the same level of Airplane! The reviews disagree obviously, but it is definitely interesting. Bill Clinton apparently loves all of these films. Growing up things like Spaceballs (58% on Rotten Tomatoes) and Robin Hood Men in Tights (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) were films I watched multiple times a year, so it has to just be the times we live in. I guess I was ready to see why Police Academy because such a hit in that it spawned 6 sequels.

The Good – Guttenberg is very charming in the film, to the point where despite him being an objectively terrible person you still kind of like him. The ensemble cast is put together well and is well used top to bottom it feels like, they all serve a somewhat interesting purpose in the original film. This is less of an Airplane! and more of a discount-Stripes in reality. If you like Stripes, then this is a pretty good version of that type of movie I think. I also secretly love how Guttenberg plays to blowjob gag … you’d have to watch the movie to know what I mean, but that part holds up surprisingly well.

The Bad – My god, the homophobia, the misogyny. I know I shouldn’t be shocked, but it is shocking. Guttenberg sexually harasses and (possibly) assaults ladies throughout the film (but they love it don’t they? You salty dog you), everyone just cannot believe that there are gay clubs in Big City USA (and if you don’t watch out the big burly gay men will dance with you! The horror, the horror). It is on occasion played for a solid laugh, but mostly is just really dated and gross. The main issue otherwise is that the film just doesn’t seem to really have a plot. It is a cut rate Stripes. A bunch of jokers go to the Police Academy, shenanigans etc. etc., they are semi booted from the program, they have a big (somewhat self-inflicted) adventure where they become heroes. It just doesn’t have nearly the comedic chops to pull it off (and Stripes nearly doesn’t, the third act is an honest to god catastrophe!).

You Just Got Schooled – Did you know that they made two Police Academy television shows? Did you know you can watch the pilot for the 1997 live action one on YouTube complete with commercials? My main takeaway: Commercials from 1997 were wild, and also I watched too much television when I was like 10 because I remember every single one of these commercials (literally). Oh the show? Not shockingly terrible. I’m not surprised it got cancelled, but it isn’t actually as brutal as you might think. It is silly, but also kind of funny if you aren’t too concerned with it having any kind of continued story … well, except for the entire pilot hinging on the cadets beating a motorcycle gang in a ice hockey game. It is an hour long, the acting all sucks, the gags all suck, and the writing sucks. It is shocking what people would put on television in the 90s. This is 1997! Let’s just say it isn’t exactly competing with Frasier and Seinfeld for the Comedy awards.

The BMT – Of all of the franchises we could do, this is the one I think that is the most important. In the 80s there were plenty of franchises that were driven into the ground. The most notorious were horror franchises, like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. But comedy film franchises usually don’t grow so large. The Earnest films and Beethoven films are kids films and thus logically transition nicely to straight-to-DVD. The only equivalent I can think of is the American Pie franchise in the 2000s. Even then, it is beyond crazy that Guttenberg in particular is in the first six of these films! They were cash cows and everyone knew it and have openly stated that that is why they acted in them. It is kind of fantastic.

Welcome to Earf – Kim Cattrall is in both Police Academy and Bonfire of the Vanities with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator of Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – While not actually in the list Police Academy gets a shoutout in this 10 worst list of 1984, which suggests it is a possible borderline honorable mention. Its real claim to fame is as a franchise where it basically redefined what a “franchise” meant. The fact that it is on that list which is obviously heavily skewed towards recent films still mentioned it at number three says everything you need to know about how important Police Academy is as a bad franchise.

Still got one more of these to do. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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The Nun Recap

Jamie

When a nun at a remote monastery in Romania commits suicide The Vatican sends a priest and a young nun to investigate. There they find some truly evil shit going on and they are like “we better stop this.” Can they stop this before it’s too late? (no. Since The Nun is in The Conjuring 2). Find out in… The Nun.

How?! The Saint Cartha’s monastery is not a super fun place to be. That’s because an intense evil is being suppressed by the nuns there and hoooooo boy, let me tell you, it’s about to get out. When a nun there commits suicide the Vatican is like “we don’t like that” and sends Father Burke and Sister Irene there to investigate. When they get to Romania a French-Canadian villager named Frenchie, who discovered the body, leads them to the monastery and some crazy stuff starts to happen. First the French-Canadian dude almost gets killed by a crazy nun corpse. Then Father Burke is buried alive and has to be rescued by Irene. Finally, Irene is allowed to enter the monastery and learns that a demon, Valek, roams the halls. The original builder of the castle was totally into resurrecting demons but was stopped at the last minute by the Church. Since then they have kept the demon at bay until WWII damaged the monastery and released the evil. Since then the nuns have died one by one to prevent possession. When Father Burke and Frenchie reunite with Irene they realize all the nuns she’s talked to are actually dead and that they have to seal the demon’s portal before one of them is possessed and it escapes. They grab some of Jesus’s blood and totally take it down to the demon’s lair and almost die, but Irene spits some of it in its stupid demon face and it’s banished… or is it? (it’s not, because Valek is in basically all of The Conjuring movies which take place decades later). THE END.

Why?! Uh… I mean the demon is pure evil and Father Burke and Sister Irene and Frenchie all want to stop pure evil. Is there more motivation needed? I guess like Frenchie secretly wants to bone Sister Irene but it ain’t happening. Especially after he’s a totally gross possessed guy.

Who?! Usually I try to get a musician or someone playing a President or a Planchet (God willing) for this section but this film has none of those. What it does have is an IMDb Thanks credit to a certain Nikos Tsoup as a “Social Media Friend.” Looking him up he has Thanks credits for some of the biggest films of the last bunch of years like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Infinity Wars… so who is this person? I’m a pretty close watcher of credits and I didn’t even remember that there were special thanks in the film. You know why? Their weren’t. In fact, I can find little to no reference to Nikos Tsoup anywhere on the internet. It seems like maybe he’s involved in the background of social media promotion for film (maybe?) but then claims credits on all these big films as part of his job. It’s really weird and when we watch *checks Nikos Tsoup’s IMDb page* Johnny English Strikes Again you better believe I’ll be watching for his name… which won’t be there because he puts these up himself using IMDbPro or some shit.

What?! Obviously best case scenario here was the Valek could be warded off by the power and refreshment of a nice cold Coca-Cola, but alas. Not the case. I guess the closest we have to any of the normal stuff we look for is a bottle of Jesus’s blood that is used to banish Valek… which is kind of a MacGuffin though it seems like blasphemy to say so.

Where?! Really solid Romania film, although I’m guessing that the second Ghost Rider still tops this when it comes to the BMeTric scoring for a place on the map. I also like the added touch that they have a character named Frenchie that they go out of their way to say is actually French Canadian… only to make it even more weird and unlikely that he would be there. A-.

When?! I don’t think they say anything more than that this takes place in 1952. You could potentially guess a season from the weather and state of crops but why bother? Can’t we all just enjoy our lives and enjoy that this takes place specifically in 1952… in fact this almost seems like we need to start a new challenge for a BMT timeline. Rules TBD. C.

I saw The Conjuring in theaters and thought it was good and pretty scary. I personally thought Insidious was scarier, but it was a solid film. For some reason I thought The Conjuring 2 qualified for BMT so as I watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) that film I thought I was watching the greatest bad movie in history (perhaps only behind ahead-of-its-time Freddy Got Fingered). Then I looked it up and realized it got 80% on RT. Yeah, it’s good. Anyway, it made me excited to watch and see what seemingly went so wrong with this prequel. The answer was less exciting than I anticipated. They basically just made a muddled prequel with characters you didn’t really care about and an atmosphere that is more drab than anything else. They had to lose the whole “paranormal hunters” aspect of it, which took a lot of the fun out of it. Besides, we already knew from The Conjuring 2 that The Nun survives to the 70’s, so even when they are battling to defeat the demon it was presumed that it wouldn’t really be vanquished. Funny too since I actually thought The Nun character was a solid part of The Conjuring 2… but origin stories aren’t always the best way to use a character like that. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When I go on transcontinental flights the thing I always love to do is watch spooooooooky movies … not really, I find them unpleasant enough without being trapped in an unpleasant personal environment, but I was taking one for the team watching not only the The Nun, but also The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 on various plane trips this holiday season! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – In order to give it its due I’ll split up my short bonus recaps into two sections. So let’s talk about the original Conjuring. I loved this film. I liked the short introduction involving Annabelle, it was a great way to introduce the main characters and what they do, plus you get an idea of “there are hundreds of stories to explore here, this is a universe” right from the start. I loved how the story split between the struggling family and the Warrens. It had one of the most genuinely spooky moments I’ve seen recently (witch on the wardrobe). It didn’t over do it on jump scares and managed to give a solid template on how to do not only possession films, but also witch films. As far as modern horror films go this was one of the best I’ve seen personally and got me really excited for the sequel and The Nun right off the bat.

You Just Got Schooled – And as for the Conjuring 2, it was still pretty good, although here I kinda lost the thread a bit. The split method (here starting with Amityville, and then moving to the Lutz family in England) still worked really well. But I didn’t find the film as spooky. I loved the idea of Valak hiding behind the old man ghost, but The Crooked Man was kind of weak. There was a lot to like, but I just didn’t like it as much as the first. It didn’t really redefine the “demon” sub-genre like The Conjuring did the “witch” sub-genre in my mind. But still a very good “spooky” (as opposed to scary or gory) horror film in its own right. I am sufficiently excited for The Conjuring 3 and honestly am pretty game for any of the spin-off films in the universe. Easily the most consistently enjoyable horror franchise I’ve come across during my horror education over the past few years.

The Good – Finally onto The Nun. Unfortunately this is easily the weakest of the three films I watched. I did like the main actor, I thought she did a very good job (turns out that is the main character of The Conjuring’s 21-year-younger sister, which is nuts). I thought how they tied The Nun into the Conjuring universe was fine in the end, I was satisfied with the origin story they presented for Valak. There were some good horror moments, the young girl hanging herself and then attacking Frenchie comes to mind. I also like the time/place setting. It was nice to see things predate the Warrens in the timeline and continue the track record of globetrotting.

The Bad – Really weak introduction to the main characters. The possession of Daniel should have been presented as an introductory vignette to introduce us to Father Burke, instead of as a flashback. As presented we end up with about 20 minutes of introductory monologuing by honestly not-very-good actors. The Abbey seemed a little too supernatural for my liking. Given the Warren’s existence in a very real New England / England it is strange to see a legit haunted abbey with clockwork gates and other nonsense. It should have just been a regular abbey where the nuns worshipped Valak or something, defiling their vows etc. etc. And incredibly cliche horror element, just pop up scares and loud sounds, which were not featured heavily in the other two films I watched. Disappointing at the very very least.

The BMT – Oh, we’ll be watching more of the Conjuring franchise. As a matter of fact I’m much much more game to do some more franchises (like Paranormal Activity) as well, as those seemed to have redefined their respective sub-genres (found-footage), which is a sub-genre I tend to hate. And with Annabelle and multiple sequels / spin-offs in the works I think the franchise could produce more BMTs in the future as well which is fun.

Welcome to Earf – I needed some help here. You see Patrick Wilson at the end in the epilogue who was also in (I had to be reminded) Evening, which also stars Hugh Dancy, whose beautiful singing voice is heard in Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return which also had the melodious voice of Dan Aykroyd in it, who was in Nothing But Trouble with Demi Moore, who was in Striptease with Burt Reynolds, who was in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earth!

StreetCreditReport.com – It isn’t that surprising that this wouldn’t get too much play on end of the year lists, it was chosen for being from a franchise after all. I was somewhat surprised by it being featured 8th in Rolling Stone. But the criticism is real, it is incredibly recycled and cliche, which is a disappointment for a franchise which had seemed a breath of fresh air in the past half decade of horror.

I wrote a lot, but that is because I very much liked The Conjuring films I watched, and I very much look forward to watching the Annabelle spinoffs and upcoming sequel.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Mile 22 Recap

Jamie

CIA operative James Silva is totally smart. Way smarter than anyone else so when the US government needs someone to escort a highly valuable source out of an unstable country in order to locate some radioactive material they know who to call. Can Silva and his team find the material before it’s too late? Find out in… Mile 22.

How?! James Silva leads a team of total assholes/badasses. They don’t have time for character development, they’re a little busy saving the world. You OK with that? No? Then fuck you. His team leads a raid on a secret Russian spy bunker where they kill a whole bunch of people including a young guy who’s ominously like “you’ll regret this,” and Silva is like “I regret nothing… ever… because I have no emotions.” Anyway in the process they lose critical information on locating a dangerous radioactive material. Months later they are still trying to find that material and one of the team’s sources seems to totally bone them with a false lead. This dude shows up and claims that everything he has said is correct and if they get him out of the country he’ll give them the location of the rest of the material. He shows them proof that he knows where the material is and then proves that he’s pretty important by showing off some ninja moves against a couple of assassins. They decide to move him and need to get him 22 miles to the nearest airbase. You know what happens next. That’s right, they are compromised and their caravan is attacked. They then head to a safe house that is also compromised and they are attacked. They head into an apartment building which is compromised and they are attacked and the source demonstrates his loyalty by helping them escape. Finally they blow up everyone and crush their enemies only to find out that the source is a triple agent! Oh no, what a twist! He is actually working for Russia who wanted to nail Silva’s team for the death of that young guy that Silva killed who was also the son of a general. We end on a cliffhanger where Silva is all alone and he’s like “I’ll 100% kill you, triple agent, in the sequel. No need to resolve anything here.” THE END.

Why?! For a film predicated on the idea that you don’t know who to trust or what is real in this cat and mouse game of CIA trickery it sure does airmail a couple of things. We get an extended opening where Silva is shown killing a young man who utters the ominous prediction that he will regret his actions. Are we then supposed to forget this happened for the rest of the film? Because (surprise, surprise) this turns out to be the ENTIRE MOTIVATION for the enemy in the film. Yeah, duh. You may be wondering what Silva’s motivation is in the film. Simple: he has no motivation because he is a crazy obsessive who just screams and swears at everyone all the time.

Who?! God imagine if this film had a Planchet. Just some super helpful chubby dude that Silva spends the movie yelling at and calling an idiot. What I wouldn’t give. But obviously the main thing is that this is the second Ronda Rousey film we’ve done for BMT after Expendables 3. Soon to be three when we watch the Entourage film.

What?! As noted in a number of reviews for this film it has one of the weirdest product placements I can remember. One of the members of the team is a divorced mom and is shown using a shared custody app called OurFamilyWizard. I had assumed it was fake since they even made up the country they were in but nope. Real thing. Don’t ask me why this was featured so prominently. And I can’t imagine they paid for it since the character spends the whole movie talking about how much she hates it.

Where?! Opens in the United States and ends with some brief scenes in Colombia, but spends a vast majority of the film in the fictional country of Indocarr. I loved how specific they were with this fictional country that I think we’ll eventually do a cycle where we travel from fictional country to fictional country. Not sure there are enough of them, but we can find out. Incomplete.

When?! We can see on the surveillance cameras that Silva’s team uses that it’s 9/6/2018. There was some question of whether month or day comes first, but considering this is equipment used by a US black ops force I would guess that it’s indeed September. Nice exact date, although not super obvious or anything. B.

I actually somewhat enjoyed Mile 22. I guess I can understand why people were made uncomfortable by the semi right wing undertones of the film (similar to how the television show 24 just wouldn’t work the same way today as it did in the early 2000’s). But this is no Death Wish who’s foundation is built on the positives of vigilante justice and veiled racism. It’s fantasy spy shit with characters who have a license to kill. I liked the action, I liked how shockingly short it was, and I liked the balls to 100% without a doubt set up a sequel. There is literally no resolution to the story. They dared audiences not to gobble this up and ask for more (and they did not). They really misjudged the appetite in today’s world for this kind of stuff. Anyway, I think the film is a fine suspense action film despite an intensely unlikeable main character and a final “twist” airmailed from miles away. Though, I can understand the difficulty for the reviewers who have to review films that have morals they do not agree with. Much like every show on CBS this proposes a world where national security justifies any amount of violence and criminal actions. If you don’t agree with that are you supposed to ignore it… seems impossible. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Mark Wahlberg is a totally badass foul-mouthed off-the-radar agent who is super good at (1) his job and (2) being totally duped by Russia … wait a second! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Naturally I couldn’t get that RogerEbert.com review out of my head. Is is just jingoistic nonsense? It is downright gun-loving super violence? Is it just the film we’ll point to where Peter Berg started to direct straight-to-VOD Seagal films? It did take this from “ho hum, another Mark Wahlberg film” territory, to “wait a goddamn second am I about to watch alt-right propaganda?” which was I guess … interesting.

The Good – Almost nothing. If martial arts and gratuitous violence is your thing then go for it, this movie was made for you. But, it is not my thing and I hated basically every moment of this film. So let’s just skip to the next section.

The Bad – Almost everything! So am I supposed to think Mark Wahlberg is good at his job? Because if he isn’t I’m not sure why everyone puts up with his garbage ‘tude to be honest. He’s a stone cold asshole. And I think I’m supposed to think he’s good at his job … but then he is totally duped by Comrade Martial Arts? It all felt like a “whoops, our movie feels like a shitty Seagal film, well what about we make a little twist?”, but is kind of fails because the twist completely sacrifices the invincibility of the Wahlberg character, which is the only trait that would make him remotely tolerable! I’m going to say it: dog poo in my face. Probably specifically for me, but I found the film intolerable from start to finish.

You Just Got Schooled – Looking over the list of fictional countries (as Jamie points out this film takes place in Indocarr, a fictional country not yet on this list) it is interesting that we have seemingly not watched a single BMT film set in a fictional country. Now, this is unlikely, but possible. Interestingly for Expendables (not BMT, only Expendables 3 is BMT qualifying) we did visit the island nation of Vilena (also weirdly not on the list). But hey wait a minute … Expendables 3 has some sort of involvement with the government of Azmenistan … which isn’t as place. This list is hoooooorseshiiiiiit.

The BMT – Berg and Wahlberg films I think are now on the radar for future projects, just like Wahlberg comedies are all pretty terrible these days. It adds nicely to the repertoire of gun-loving action films as well, which is always an interesting sub-genre/culture to explore for me.

Welcome to Earf – Ronda Rousey is in Mile 22 and Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Genuinely I am shocked that I can’t find 22 Miles on any worst of lists. I think in retrospect it might get some play because of the big names, although now looking at Jamie’s review perhaps people just tolerated it more than me? It also has an almost zero percent chance at a Razzie since it isn’t even on the shortlist (and write-ins never work). I would smash Wahlberg for Worst Actor and Berg for Worst Director if I was still a voting member, but I am not.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Darkest Minds Recap

Jamie

After an illness sweeps the nation killing most children and leaving the survivors with a distinct set of superpowers, camps are set up to contain them. Despite being one of the most powerful of these mutant kids, Ruby is able to escape the camps. Will she be able to survive, find others like her, and perhaps fall in love before it’s too late? Find out in… The Darkest Minds.

How?! Ruby is just your typical kid… oh you know, besides being a super powerful Orange that can control minds and basically is too powerful to be allowed to live. That’s because after a children-targeted plague swept the Earth all surviving kids ended up with either super smart powers (Green), telekinetic powers (Blue), electrical powers (Gold), mind control powers (Orange), or fire powers (Red). The last two are killed and the rest are sent to camps. Luckily Ruby is able to trick the bad guys and pretends to be a Green until years later when her secret is discovered and she has to be smuggled out of the camp. On the outside she becomes wary of the adults that claim to want to help her and instead takes up with a group of escapees. They are on the road hoping to evade capture and find a mythical camp where similar survivors are able to live peacefully. While Ruby comes to accept that she’ll never see her parents again, they are able to track down where the camp is. Once there Ruby is recognized as one of only two surviving Oranges along with their leader, the son of the President, Clancy. After being taken under his wing everything is pretty great for Ruby until Clancy is revealed to be a power-hungry garbage person. Just when she tries to escape with her friends the military invades the camp (with the help of Clancy Garbageman over there) and they have an all out battle that Ruby wins. Realizing that she needs help to fight Clancy Garbageman she runs to a child army and in the process her friends are hurt, lost, or driven away. But she’s not crying about it (you are!) and she’s ready to lead in the sequel that is 100% being made. THE END.

Why?! For the main characters it’s survival plain and simple. But also survival on their own terms. They don’t want to live in camps, they don’t want to work for an anti-government resistance, and eventually they come to realize they don’t want to be in the survivor’s camp either. They just want to be able to cruise the countryside together in their Nissan minivan. As for the antagonist, it’s mostly revenge. His dear Papa President more or less tortured him after he gained his powers so now he want to take revenge on everyone by ruling the world with an iron fist or something.

Who?! Hail to the Chief. President Gray has taken office. I know there will be an argument whether President Gray should immediately be succeeded by President Gray Jr. in the BMT Hall of Presidents. But I would argue that he clearly installed himself as a dictator and that at that moment the Presidency became a mockery and that just won’t be tolerated. Also quick shout out to Mandy Moore, musician-turned-actress extraordinaire.

What?! Interestingly many reviewers took umbrage at the particularly noticeable product placement for a Nissan mini-van in this film. I actually didn’t notice it because it seemed to me like they were kind of making fun of how not cool the van they drove around in was. Although thinking about it, the defining feature or the van was its super reliability and they all cried when they had to leave the dear van behind. So yeah, I guess when they make a joke about giving a piece of product placement a Viking funeral then they may have stepped a bit too far.

Where?! We spend a large majority of the film in Virginia. In fact it might have been the whole movie for all we know. The beginning and end are both definitely in Virginia. The middle part is more like a road trip film about a gang of besties cruising about in their Nissan mini-van. B.

When?! Somehow a film set in the future after an epidemic doesn’t really even try to give you a year or time that the film is set. Looking very closely at the scan that Ruby is given at the camp I think it reads that her date of birth is October 23, 2004 or at least something close to that. Since we open around her birthday we can assume that this is more or less the date at the start. She then spends the next six years in the camp. Just guessing I think it makes sense that she is ten at the start and 16 for the main part of the film. Placing the film in the year 2020… but this is more or less guesswork. I just wanted to show off that I close read that brain scan. C-.

This movie is a good example of the logical conclusion to the postapocalyptic YA series trend we saw in Hollywood. Everything is vague but also spelled out as if for dumb people (if you are a Blue your eyes glow blue when you use your powers. How convenient for the viewer). All our main characters are good as can be and everyone else is on a gradient of badness. Our chaste main characters totally want to get together but are kept apart by circumstances. Etc. etc. etc. It’s not a good movie, particularly at the beginning and the end, which is straight up laughable. But there is a bit in the center where they are road tripping around as a group of four that I actually kind of dug. They were all likeable and I would have liked that to be the story. A much longer search for the camp only to arrive and find it destroyed by the military or something… but alas, tied to a book series they’ll never finish. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Y’all still like dystopian YA novels right? That’s still a thing and not a genre that will produce two enormous bombs in 2018, right? WRONG. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Around when Mortal Engines became possibly the biggest bomb of the year, here we are watching the old news dystopian YA adaptation disaster. What jabronis! Anyways, I was just hoping the film wouldn’t be aggressively boring. I have to admit … I really wanted to know what made her different. Because protagonists of YA novels have to be different. I can’t help myself, I needed to know!

The Good – Some of the effects look cool. The kid actors aren’t … the worst thing I’ve ever seen. The underlying story is shockingly dark. Like the characters are straight killing people. And not really in self-defense at times … like they just kill people. That part I didn’t really like, but at least it feels a bit different than Hunger Games or Divergent where killing was always given a virtuous excuse.

The Bad – Oh the rest of this film is a catastrophe though. Cliche, boring, a terrible “twist”, a dumb conclusion that sets up for a franchise that will never be. The acting is still terrible, even if it isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen. The entire beginning is just exposition trying to explain the nonsense world. And the biggest crime? She wasn’t even special. She’s just one of two “oranges” that aren’t captive in the world. This is a dumb film that makes you feel dumb with its dumbness.

The BMT – I think the notoriety will depend on how dystopian YA adaptations go from here. I imagine they will try again with something like Netflix soon, as they are quite keen on that demographic, the young teen group which consumes the new horror and romance films they are churning out. If so then maybe this will be one of the last we watch in a year end cycle and this is could be notable? … Otherwise nothing I will forget this movie presently.

You Just Got Schooled – Since this is based on a book I naturally did not bother to read it. Seriously … I never would. I read the entire Divergent series and regret it to this day. But I did go through the full series’ synopses just for you, so let’s blast through some highlights! (1) This book runs much like this movie, but in the end they go to a camp of oranges and ended up escaping and calling on the league after Chubs gets shot. (2) I can’t make heads or tails about this, but something about the President’s son trying to destroy his mother’s research about a cure for their condition. It sounds like Hunger Games Book 3. (3) Jesus Christ, how is there no information about these books. Basically they are now finding out about the cause of the powers they receive and trying to take down the corrupt government … I think. Wowza! What a disaster! They don’t get cured by the way, there is a sequel called Darkest Legacy which follows a different character and everyone still has powers it seems. You’re welcome world.

Welcome to Earf – Mandy Moore starred in The Darkest Minds and Because I Said So with Diane Keaton, who was in Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, who was in Righteous Kill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – As I previously mentioned: We have real lists now! From the AV Club, Variety, and Rolling Stone. This is the first top 10 from the AV Club since we watched Fifty Shades Freed, so that’s fun. Otherwise surprisingly overlooked. Might get a bit more play now that Mortal Engines is an official box office disaster, it could be groups with that eventually in updated lists in a month.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Proud Mary Recap

Jamie

Mary is a hitwoman working for the mob (with a heart of gold) who takes a young boy under her wing out of guilt for killing his family. A mob war breaks out as a result of her actions and things quickly spiral out of control as she attempts to leave the mob life. Will she be able to escape and keep Danny safe before it’s too late? Find out in… Proud Mary.

How?! Proud Mary is totally a hitwoman with a heart of gold. During one of her hits she realizes too late that her target has a young son, Danny, that she has made a orphan. Feeling guilty she begins to follow him around and try to keep him safe, but he ends up working for a rough mobster from a rival gang. When they begin to abuse Danny, Mary snaps, take the kid in and kills the mobster. This begins a mob war that puts everyone in danger and Mary has to try to cover up her own involvement in the hit. Meanwhile the other hitman in the mob, and her former flame, becomes suspicious when he starts to put the pieces together about where Danny came from. The mob boss also starts to take a shine to Danny and begins to groom him to be part of the family. Seeing her chance at escaping the mob world closing and Danny being sucked into it along with her, she makes one final dash for freedom. Unfortunately the mobsters are there first and take Danny as bait. You know what that means! Extended fight scene choreographed to music! Hooray. She indeed kills everyone to the bopping tunes of Proud Mary and everyone in the audience is bopping along too and is like “you know what, I actually kinda like this movie now that I have a sweet soundtrack to the merciless killings I’m witnessing.” They then escape and laugh about how many people they saw die. THE END.

Why?! The biggest question in the movie is Mary’s motivations. It becomes clear that Mary sees something of herself in Danny. She grew up on the street and Benny ended up taking her under his wing and training her as a hitwoman. Now she can’t ever escape. Clearly things were and are heading that way for Danny too and she wants to desperately keep that from happening.

Who?! I wonder what this film would be like if you inserted a Planchet into the middle of it. Just a chubby bumbling fool who just wants to do good by Benny but everyone shits on him. The movie’s already better. Also have to give a shout out to our boy Neal McDonough. *Italian chef kiss* Magnifique.

What?! I believe this film was fully financed as an extended commercial for Maserati… what’s that? It wasn’t? Could have fooled me. That’s because Mary’s Maserati had more character development than our primary antagonist Tom, the slab of meat hitman with a heart of shit. I actually felt more sadness when the car got all shot up and broken at the end than the five hundred people that were killed. But that car kept on trucking… solid Italian engineering.

Where?! Boston, baby. I was trying to find out what towns they filmed in and there were a bunch of articles claiming that the film was made in Boston, but is meant to be set in New York. Ha! Nope. This is Boston through and through, from the MA license plates, to the T rides, to Danny being from Jamaica Plain, and the real time baseball game they attended at Fenway Park (one of those may not be entirely true). B+.

When?! I didn’t espy anything that would indicate when this took place. I guess maybe the summer because Mary never seems particularly concerned or interested in getting Danny to go to school or do anything but sit in her apartment. Although I also feel like there were a lot of jackets… probably means that this is an F.

This movie is just not very good. For the first thirty minutes it was very expository in just trying to set up the story and felt either confusing or boring or both. Once it got past that, though, I liked the mob family dynamic and the two action scenes so it was fine… I guess the young actor was good. He had a little ‘tude (as the kids say)… that’s all I got. You know it isn’t a great BMT film when I can only gather a couple lackluster sentences about it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Every year we go through the worst of the worst of the year … and somehow every year we end up watching weirdo films that no one will remember in a year. Midnight Sun? Death Wish (2018)? Proud Mary? Ain’t nobody gonna have time to watch those in a year. I guess all the more reason to do them now. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Coming off of the small-feeling Midnight Sun I became somewhat hesitant about what appeared to be an equally small Proud Mary. Some bits of the preview suggested the film was a catastrophe, the IMDb rating in particular, but other bits made it seem just not as cool or fun as people wanted. I was hoping it was going to be a fun catastrophe because honestly … usually small bad films that aren’t are just boring.

The Good – The main character is good. The last third of the film gets its engine going and it just crazy enough to be a bit of fun. The film looks polished, even if the direction and writing often isn’t. All things considered remaking Gloria in this vein wasn’t a terrible idea, it was just not executed very well. It isn’t like Gloria is some amazing 80s masterpiece, and the remake feels like it has a point to make as well.

The Bad – The writing is terrible and the film does seem very small. The first third is pretty boring and kind of dumb. The actors besides the main character are either old and don’t seem to care (Danny Glover) or television actors or children and thus don’t really cut it, even for a film trying desperately to be an action film. The action at the end pushed it a bit too far into ludicrousness, not an inch of her car is not covered in a bullet hole and I’m supposed to believe she somehow survived? That’s probably the hardest bit to swallow, that even when they end up stumbling into an interesting bit it still feels like the director missed on how to make everything work.

You Just Got Schooled – Not much to really do here since I didn’t watch Gloria. I should have, but I didn’t. So I’ll just say that Proud Mary being both a song title and a movie title is not at all very rare. Which is surprising. Some of the examples are pushing it (like Ghostbusters, where the song is just the theme for the movie itself), but there are three bad movies which share the name of a song which are worse than Proud Mary by BMeTric. Deck the Halls (the Christmas film starring Matthew Broderick), My Girl 2, and Johnny Be Good (with Anthony Michael Hall). All three of those films are suppose to be terrible, and we’ve seen none of them. So at the moment Proud Mary is the worst film we’ve seen which shares its name with a song title! The more you know.

The BMT – Hmmmmmm. As I reflected on in the intro we do tend to end up watching kind of random films in this cycle for some reason. I don’t think this would make the cut when thinking back on 2018 in bad films in particular. I had had hopes, but unless the director hits it big, or some trend (like remaking 70s/80s films with predominantly black casts) becomes the next big thing, I don’t really see why Proud Mary would stand out for any reason whatsoever.

Welcome to Earf! – This is actually an easy one. Neal McDonough is in Proud Mary and Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein, star of Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – We have real lists now! From the AV Club, Variety, and Rolling Stone. You may or may not be surprised to learn that we actually haven’t seen many of the films on these lists. Part of that is because we are a bit more strict in our criteria than critics can be (Jurassic World 2 simply does not qualify), but mostly it is because a lot of these films are late summer, most are action films and thus can’t all be done in a cycle, and others are just too small to legitimize … but yeah, I wish these lists came out earlier because it would help a ton in getting a good cycle going.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Midnight Sun Recap

Jamie

Afflicted with a disease that doesn’t allow her to leave her house during the day, Katie Price has mooned over the boy down the street, Charlie, from afar. When they finally meet they fall madly in love. Katie chooses to withhold her condition from him leading to an accident that worsens it. Can their love survive her inevitable death before… er… it’s too late? Find out in Midnight Sun.

How?! Katie Price lives in seclusion in her house with only her super cool dad and… also super cool best friend for company. You see, she has a rare disorder called XP that makes any contact with sunlight potentially deadly. Growing up she watched the boy next door skateboard around and be super rad and she’d be all like “man, he’ll never like a diseased albeit super hot girl like me. Aw shucks.” On the night of high school graduation she ventures out to play music at the train station by moonlight. Unbeknownst to her, Charlie, her crush, is having an existential crisis right at that moment as he contemplates the recent loss of his swim scholarship following an injury. He’s all like “aw shucks, life must mean more than this small town.” As he mopes about he finds Katie and is instantly smitten. She runs away at the shock of seeing her crush, but a forgotten songbook and Katie’s super cool friend conspire to bring them together again. All of a sudden Katie is going on dates and totes macking on Charlie, her crush! What a dream! When her best friend and dad are both like “maybe tell him you might die if you end up in the sun.” She delays for fear he might run away. They hang out all summer and Charlie help Katie overcome her fear of playing in public and Katie helps Charlie start swimming again and just when they bone on the beach (it’s implied) they stay up all night talking post-coitus (it’s implied!) and Katie end up being exposed to the sun. She’s totally gonna die (for real) and she doesn’t want to put Charlie through that, but he totally loves her and they keep on dating and recording songs and watching Charlie swim until she does indeed die. At the end of the summer Charlie leaves to join his college swim team and as he leaves he hears a song that he helped Katie record become a smash hit on the radio. You know, that last part does seem a bit silly when you write it out. THE END.

Why?! Love, duh. For real, the movie is a story of how love, no matter how brief, makes you a better person. Katie and Charlie are lost at the moment they meet. She lives a nice life, but has never gotten to experience the world, while he is trying to figure out his place in the world. They help each other overcome their difficulties and finally feel whole and able to move forward with life… you know, until she dies.

Who?! I could sit here and talk about Patrick Schwarzenegger and his weird way that he speaks. But instead I’ll highlight a couple songs from Bella Thorne’s upcoming debut studio album. Oh didn’t know she was an actress/singer? Guess you haven’t heard Bitch I’m Bella Thorne

or Pussy Mine

Can we re-edit Midnight Sun so they record Pussy Mine at the end and that’s the song Charlie and Katie’s dad are freaking out about when it comes on the radio?

What?! There actually was a prominent product placement in the film in the scene where Katie is singing at the train station to the delight of train riders young and old. A child comes up and you think he’s gonna give her some money… oh ho, you’d be wrong. She’s getting a bag of delicious peanut M&M’s.

Where?! We get a nice jaunt into Seattle via train to really hammer home the message there are dear, ill-fated love birds reside in a beautiful coastal Washington State town. I feel like It needs to get a B+ simply because you see the Space Needle and Katie’s dad makes sure that Charlie is a Seahawks fan before he takes Katie out on a date. B+

When?! I feel like I need to mark out certain types of seasonal films. Like this is a “summer film.” It details the life of Katie and Charlie in the summer after their high school graduation as they learn the live, sing, swim, and bone on the beach (it’s implied). There are obviously winter, fall, and spring films as well. Also what would be termed “school year” films. C

This movie is fine. I actually had a fairly pleasant time watching it even though I knew exactly what was going to happen at all times. Seems like something that could have had a lot of success on a streaming service, but it went to theaters and somehow that was worse for it. All that being said, Patrick Schwarzenegger very well might be the worst actor we’ve seen in a film. He’s young and he can figure it out, but he needs to decide what look he wants. Does he want the look of “pretty boy with a weird smile that talks weird” a.k.a. the Tom Brady? Cause that’s where he is right now. I’d suggest maybe focusing on action as the strong silent type… who never smiles. Also you can’t think too hard about the film or else it falls apart pretty quickly. We live in a world where Katie has lived in the same town for 18 years and can venture outside at night and yet she never interacts with anyone in town except her dad and best friend. She never went up to Seattle (a short train ride away) or saw a concert (even though she loves music and wants to be a musician) even though both those things are possible to do at night. It’s just… a little unbelievable. Finally, do we really need another film where (it’s implied) that sex=death… we already have the Twilight Saga. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Midnight Sun is about the inevitability of death and how gross it is to exploit a real disease just to create a dumb teen rom-dram. But no joke I still cried a little. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Three things I’m interested in. First, the soundtrack. The girl is supposed to be a musician, so one would hope they but in the effort on the soundtrack. Second, the only striking thing in the preview really was the acting which seems atrocious. I need to see how little Schwarzenegger does. And finally, I’m banking on her dying at the end and that is why she is on the boat in the preview.

The Good – I’m not crying you’re crying you … crying rom-dram loving dummy. For reals though like maybe I’m getting old but I was like “Rob Riggle you gave her a great life, go out there and live!” at the end. The music is solid, especially Charlie’s Song which is actually good enough you can believe it would go viral. The two leads (oh we’ll get to them in the bad section) were at least as awkward as I think they were going for. I kind of wish the film didn’t center around a disease, but if you ignore that I’m honestly not sure what else people want from a teen rom dram. We all want another Breakfast Club, but are things like A Walk to Remember really so bad? Seriously, is it? I’ve never seen it.

The Bad – The acting is dire. Like … really dire stuff. It is rough. Of course it is schmaltzy garbage, but (and I’ll say this once) it is fine. What is the big deal? I now totally understand the RogerEbert.com review, like, 2.5 stars, yeah makes sense. The main thing is, when you look at the preview section above, I easily guessed the film’s entire plot from the end of the trailer. That’s a problem. The other really bad part: Our romantic lead Chris brings chinese food onto a train and is just chowing away. Disgusting. You disgust me. That would smell so bad.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally, the main thing we are all curious about is Patrick Schwarzenegger’s acting ability (only me and Jamie? … whatever). So I went right to the source, the pinnacle of American art: the music video. Patrick was in the Ariana Grande music video Right There (featuring Big Sean)

 And honestly … I’m desperate to see him attempt a foreign accent. There is something about him which makes me think it would be a disaster. He looks and acts precisely how he looks and acts in Midnight Sun merely confirming that this is how he looks and acts normally. Unfortunately … he’s not the best actor. I’m trying to be diplomatic about it, but I really don’t think he’s a good actor currently. He’s 25 though, plenty of time to grow into some roles.

The BMT – I want to watch more romantic dramas. I feel like if I have a larger stable of experience to draw from I could sit here and tell you ten things that are wrong with it. Instead I’m like half crying and thinking “this ain’t so bad”. It’s a problem I had with horror (since remedied) and I think we tend to go with comedies in this category not surprisingly. I hope this experience makes us look to these types of films more often. Which is kind of crazy to say since Here on Earth is basically the number one best BMT of all time. I think Waiting For Forever ruined our experiences with the genre.

Welcome to Earf – Again, we’ve been going through a rough patch. I used the preview to remind myself that we’ve seen Rob Riggle now both in this and in The Killers with Ashton Kutcher, who was also in The Guardian with Neal McDonough, who was also in Street Fight: Legend of Chun Li with Chris Klein, who was also in Here on Earf! Wow, I forgot about Neal McDonough. That connects a bunch as well, even Zookeeper (via Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)!

StreetCreditReport.com – There is one respectable list with this one on there and honestly … the criticism is real. I think I’m a little kinder because I’m just generally fine with the grossest aspect of the film (the exploitation of a real disease in a ludicrous manner), but probably because publicizing a disease is usually a good thing. But I understand the criticism. I have a feeling it will be forgotten in the real year-end lists though. It has 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has some genuinely fine reviews like the aforementioned RogerEbert.com review from the preview.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Truth or Dare Recap

Jamie

A bunch of dum-dums travel to Mexico to party it up one last time (literally). They end up playing a game of Truth or Dare in a spooky abandoned mission (naturally) and awaken a demon that uses the game to torment and eventually kill them one by one. Can they stop the demon before it’s too late? Find out in… Truth or Dare.

How?! I feel like I’ve written this one several times before. A bunch of (kinda douchey) friends are spending one last Spring Break in Mexico drinking and partying. Near the end of their time there they are invited out to a sketchy abandoned mission by a sketchy guy for sketchy reasons, but they follow him there (duh). He asks them to play truth or dare and they oblige because they are dumb. Turns out that he was using them to get more people involved in a demonic game of truth or dare run by a demon trickster. This demon trickster proceeds to torment them by having them reveal their deepest darkest secrets to each other or attempt death defying dares. When one refuses or is unsuccessful they are possessed and kill themselves. Weirdly, a lot of the truths and/or dares actually seem like they are helping the characters. Like they finally confront things in their lives that they’ve so far refused to confront. Like one guy has been scared to come out to his dad but the demon forces him to and he actually seems better for it. More true to himself. Kinda a good guy demon sometimes. Anyway, in the end they track down the source of the demon and find a way out of the game. But the demon is too tricky and smart and outwits them at the last moment. Our final girls are doomed but in a shocking twist (what a twist!) they post a video on YouTube inviting the whole world into the game thus dooming a significant number of people to death. Cooooool. THE END.

Why?! The motivations are where I think they could have played with the concept a little more. Like they have a bunch of people, most of who are objectively terrible, that get caught up in a game of terror with no other motivations other than to survive. Instead of having cartoonish misogynist Ronnie turn out to be a sensitive good guy… he is slaughtered in the first thirty minutes for laughs. Instead of having the fake prescription writing future med student learn the errors of his ways… he is also slaughtered. Instead of the two main characters knowing that while they’ll likely die as part of this game they actually were able to finally be fully truthful with each other after years of hiding their secrets away… they use the internet to turn the world to chaos (presumably). In the end it’s because the trickster demon of course doesn’t want to help them, he not some demon therapist trying to have them communicate better with each other or anything, but at the very least they could have acknowledged that that is kinda what the demon was doing. He helps a kid come out as gay to his homophobic dad for god’s sake!

Who?! I do want to discuss Ronnie a little bit. He’s not a true Planchet as his motivations are not pure (he is clearly a fratty horndog), but he does seem to just want to hang out with our terrible group of main characters and they’re like “gross, Ronnie.” There was opportunity to use him in a more creative way rather than as an obvious first kill… like why couldn’t the main character be dared to hook up with Ronnie but then find he’s actually a good dude and it’s all an act? Nope. Just killed off after his 1000th joke about wanting to bone some hot chick with big bazongas or whatever.

What?! The use of SnapChat, Facebook, YouTube, etc. throughout the film isn’t product placement perse. Seems more like a little signaling to let youngsters know that the writers “get it” and aren’t a couple fuddy-duddy old people. In particular when the main character says that she uses YouTube for videos about her volunteer work and SnapChat if just for fun. Classic. And yes, I used the term “fuddy-duddy” to signal to all the octogenarians that read BMT that I “get it.”

Where?! A nice balance of Mexico and California. They seem to go to the made-up Westlake University in the LA area as evidenced by the quick trips to Mexico, CA license plates, and bars and restaurants located in that area. While obvious it’s not super necessary to the plot. B+.

When?! Obviously around Spring Break, but we are no treated to an exact date. Weirdly our main characters are lured into playing the game by a previous group of players desperate to try to save themselves. It’s clear from some articles we see in the film though that this previous group was playing around June 4th. So we are either expected to believe that they have been continuing to play for almost a year or whatever school these dum-dums go to has Spring Break in the middle of June. I choose neither. They probably just screwed up the timing when making the props or whatever. C+.

I was actually really surprised at how bad this film was. Felt very Rings or Ouija to me and that’s not what you typically get from Blumhouse. They are supposed to deliver high concept horror/thriller, but this literally seems like the lowest, most cliched concept with a terrible script to boot. Patrick pointed out to me that rewrites aren’t generally in the cards for the budgets that Blumhouse are after but… I mean… at some point you have to, right? This was really bad. At moments you could get whiffs of Happy Death Day (which similarly had the main characters be damaged and somewhat unlikeable), but then it would disappear like a mirage. Is it better than Slender Man… eeesh. Probably. But barely and that’s not a good look. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What do you get when you cross Rings with Final Destination? Apparently a really dumb film with a terrible ending … let’s get into it!

The Good – The film looks okay. The concept is also at least original to a degree, with a kind of trickster demon being the crux of the whole thing. It is just Rings, so originality is really only superficial ultimately. I liked the actors even if they were terrible. And I still think I like Blumhouse. I think the concepts they bring to horror and the way they make them is fantastic for the genre and, honestly, I hope that similar things can be done with other flagging genres. Like rom coms, or original sci fi, or fantasy, see what you can do with a small budget and small television actors and see if there is any interest. Although the issue will likely be that horror audiences are dependable, you almost always get at least $10 million from teenagers no matter how bad the film is.

P’s View on the Preview – Everything pointed towards this being a boring PG-13 horror film. The only thing that made me a bit curious was why they added new rules to the game. In the preview it was suggested that you have to do a dare after two truths in a row. That isn’t real. That isn’t a real rule! That is just some made up bullshit to make sure the people in the film didn’t find the most obvious loophole to the stupidest game of all time. I was hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t. Sigh.

The Bad – This film is not scary, is mostly boring, and the hook is silly to the point of just making my laugh (like The Bye Bye Man). The entire film is predicated on the assumption that no one gives a shit that a handful of people who all know each other are killing themselves and dying and shit. Number one thing people would assume it that these people are all on some crazy drugs, they wouldn’t be running around solving mysteries. The action doesn’t start quick enough, the acting is bad, all of these people are horrible people I don’t care about who make poor decisions and are dumb. If not for the ending I would have just said the film was shiny nonsense like Flatliners, but the ending might be one of the worst shoulder shrugs of an ending I’ve ever seen. It pushes it right into Bye Bye Man level nonsense. Like … I hate this movie? Wait … is this dog poo in my face at the last second three pointer!?

You Just Got Schooled – Do you know what would be fun? Looking through the wiki page on the game Truth or Dare in general. First we have this bonkers 1986 straight-to-video feature. WTF, the writer-director was 18 when it was made! There are also films of the same name in 2011, 2013, and 2017 which is pretty incredible. The game itself seems to date to at least 1712 described thusly: “A Christmas game, in which the commander bids his subjects to answer a question which is asked. If the subject refuses or fails to satisfy the commander, he must pay a forfeit [follow a command] or have his face smutted [dirtied].” It also is similar to the ancient Greek game basilinda where a king would tell him subjects what acts to perform. Fun. Facts.

The BMT – This probably enters the worst endings hall of fame for me personally. Somehow the ending to Rings worked, whereas this just feels like a cop out. I’ll probably also note this as a bigger version of what we saw in The Call starring Halle Berry where the ending flies so totally in the face of how a character acts throughout the film that is it jarring and weird. Otherwise is just stands alongside Slender Man and Bye Bye Man and the like. Supernatural horror churns out a ton of films (five qualifying films this year alone) so it isn’t a surprise we collect them like pokemon.

Welcome to Earf – There was a zero percent chance I was getting any connections without looking up at least the first step. The number one best option would have been The Canyons starring Lindsay Lohan and (for reals, third billed) Nolan Funk … which I’ve seen, but it wasn’t released to enough theaters to count for BMT. So I’ll have to fall back to Sam Lerner who played our first hapless victim Ronnie, and was a child actor in the Jack Black classic Envy with Ben Stiller, who was in Zoolander 2 with Owen Wilson, who was in I, Spy with Eddie Murphy, who was in Norbit with Terry Crews, who was in Blended with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Interestingly the cred is a little thin here. It is obviously mentioned in review-based worst of lists (like this one), but elsewhere it seems to be ignored. There are individual reviews lamenting it as one of the worst of the year though. I certainly think it is. But some people seem to disagree about the ending in particular. I think that up until that ending they had a chance to be an Ouija with a decent prequel. Now? Trash.

This film is pretty bad, and now I’ve seen seven films from this year. From worst to best I think I would currently put them at: (1) Fifty Shades Freed (2) Show Dogs (3) Truth or Dare (4) Slender Man (5) Death Wish (6) The Predator (7) Hunter Killer. Stay tuned for an updated list.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs