Speed 2: Cruise Control Recap

Jamie

Annie is back, Jack! And now she has a new boyfriend, Alex, who is in no way similar to her much more famous ex-boyfriend. They decide to go on a cruise, but uh oh! It gets hijacked by a terrorist hell bent on revenge against the cruise ship navigation company that did him wrong (wait, what?). Can Annie stop him before it’s too late? Find out in Speed 2: Cruise Control.

What?! Annie is still the same old girl we knew and loved from Speed. Can’t drive and is always joking around. Boy oh boy, sure do love Annie from Speed. She has a new boyfriend, Alex, who swears he’s a bike cop but is actually a SWAT team member… just like her last boyfriend. Hmmm, almost as if his role was written for someone else. The discovery of this fact throws their relationship into turmoil and you know what that means: vacay time! They hop on a Caribbean cruise ready for some fun in the sun and that’s pretty much all they get…. besides some light international terrorism! John Geiger, a former programmer for the company that makes the navigation system on the cruise ship, is on board and he’s got an axe to grind. That’s because he got sick and the company was like “no way, we don’t like sick people” and dropped him. He plants all kinds of bombs all over the ship and then takes over controls. He forces the captain to abandon ship, but Annie and Alex have a bad feeling about it and throw his plan into flux by being total bosses. Realizing his plan is going awry at the hands of a super cop, Geiger starts to target Alex and try to take him out. Fat chance, jokester. Alex is totes cool and just as famous and awesome as Keanu Reeves, don’t worry about it. They realize that Geiger is controlling the ship and attempt to flood the ballasts to slow them down. They then try to jam the propellers when they realize that the ship is aimed directly at an oil tanker but Geiger ambushes them and escapes with Annie as a hostage. Desperate, Alex used the bow thrusters to turn the ship away from the tanker and crash it into land. He then hops on a speedboat and chases after Geiger who is attempting to fly away in a plane. Fat chance, sucker. Alex is on your tail and he totally takes him out and smooches Annie. THE END.

Why?! Oh boy, this is going to be good. So, our main man Geiger is totes sick because he worked on computers for the navigation system. The electromagnetic waves and prolonged exposure to computer parts gave him copper poisoning. This turned into some kind of chronic condition so in a very Philadelphia-like scenario he is fired by the company. Unlike Philadelphia, though, Geiger doesn’t aim to remediate this through litigation, but rather by becoming a domestic terrorist that will end with him escaping an exploding cruise ship with millions and millions of dollars in stolen diamonds… the whole thing is crazy and pretty much amazing.

What?! In a shocking twist there is not a MacGuffin in this film. There are a bunch of diamonds but not the MacGuffin’s Jewel or some such that is super valuable. There were a couple different movies shown on screen, which is always fun. We saw both The Enemy Below (another film where a boat crashes into another boat) and Lolita (another film where a grown man has an inappropriate relationship with a young girl). I kid of course, as Alex does not in fact have a relationship with the deaf 14-year-old girl in the film but there were all these weird things in the film that made you think that he might.

Who?! No less than three musicians/bands appear in this film. The smallest part goes to Carlinhos Brown, who performs A Namorada in the film. We also see the band UB40, which performs Tell Me Is It True and has a Speed 2 themed music video:

Finally we have the mononymous Tamia who actually appeared in the film as the character Sheri Silver and performed Make Tonight Beautiful… it was her only feature film role ever.

Where?! I thought for a while we would have a vague “Caribbean” setting, but fortunately near the end it’s revealed that the ultimate target of Geiger is the island of Saint Martin where the tanker is docked. Not even the first film we’ve seen set there. The island was also the setting of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

When?! Buckle your seatbelts because this is my favorite temporal setting of all time. That’s because Geiger gets his bombs on board disguised as golf balls. When the cruise temporarily loses his clubs he is freaking out. Alex and Annie see this and are totally confused and a little suspicious when then this apparent golf nut has no interest in The Players Championship at Sawgrass. This would place the events of the film at the end of March… it’s just so good. It’s so randomly vital to the plot. I’m giving it an A-.

This may in fact be the lamest film ever. It’s sooooo 90’s and has like 3 different smooth R&B/Ska bands that play in the beginning of the film. Jason Patric may not have been wearing mom jeans in reality, but I pretty much remember him that way because this film was so lame. I feel like someone made it as a joke… but I don’t think they did. I just think they didn’t really know what made Speed such a success (or didn’t care) so they just made something dumb because they had to make something. Should I even talk about the strange Lolita storyline they had in the film? Nah, I could write a novel about that storyline because it’s bonkers. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Speed 2: Cruise Control? More like Speed 2: Snooze Control amirite? A bunch of people unwisely signed a contract promising a sequel to the smash action hit Speed. Now, I’m not saying they intentionally botched it, but … let’s get into it!

The Good – There is a kernel of a good movie here (see Get Yo Rant On below). Sandy Bullock is as charming and beautiful as ever. Dafoe knows what he’s gotten himself into and acts accordingly. The grand island-crushing finale is satisfyingly grand, even though these days you’d be able to do the same thing for pennies on the dollar using special effects.

P’s View on the Preview – We had both seen this film before (many times in bits and pieces over the years on cable as well). Re-watching films has, up until recently, been a very rare occurrence. I was immediately interested in knowing how BMT would hold up in the face of these prior experiences. Would it end up being kind of boring as I know the beats of the film (which has happened with one or two of the Hall of Fame films), or would the non-stop pulse-pounding Jason Patric action take (cruise) control.

The Bad – This film is straight up nonsense. Dafoe has copper poisoning from working with computer systems for years? He uses leeches to clean his blood? His plan is to steal a bunch of diamonds from a cruise ship? Did he intend to crash it into an oil tanker? Why didn’t Jason Patric turn the boat completely around when they were manually steering it with the bow thrusters? Why didn’t they manually steer the boat initially instead of trying to stop the propellers? What was the point of Bullock or any of the other non-essential characters? Are we to believe the same person who had his car commandeered and crashed in Speed lives in Saint Martin and then also gets his boat commandeered and crashed in Speed 2?! Forget all of the other questions, I’m most concerned about the last one, the man only known as … Tune Man.

Get Yo Rant On – This movie could have been a fine Die Hard knockoff. A couple, a cop who can’t relax and his straight talking girlfriend, go on a cruise. He plans on proposing, but can’t find the right time. During the ballroom show one night the cop gets seasick and goes to his cabin. At that moment a group of criminals take control of the boat. Under the guise of eco terrorists hell bent on crashing the (diesel guzzling) ship into a (environment destroying) tourist island, they are actually after the diamonds stored deep in the belly of the ship. Little to they know that our hero, overlooked initially, is roaming the ocean liner foiling their every move. Can the cop stop the disaster, kill the bad guy, and pop the question? Don’t you know it! All aboard, Cruise Control!

Welcome to Earth – Straight off the dome, this is a long one! Sandy Bullock is in both Speed 2: Cruise Control and Miss Congeniality, which stars Benjamin Bratt who is also in Catwoman, which stars Halle Berry who is also in Swordfish, which stars John Travolta (who by the way is in Battlefield Earth, welcome to Earf) who is also in Old Dogs, which stars Robin Williams who is also in Big Wedding, which stars Robert De Niro who is also in Righteous Kill, which stars Al Pacino who is also in 88 Minutes, which stars Leelee Sobieski who is also in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

The BMT – The more I think about this film the more enamored I become. The initial watch was just kind of blah. It is pretty dull if you don’t psych yourself into it. But after a lengthy discussion with Jamie about it I came around a bit just because the film itself is so ludicrous. Absolutely nothing in this film makes sense, and it is kind of beautiful. I don’t know if it’ll end up being much more than a I’ve-seen-this-film-a-few-times-and-it-is-dumb-fun film, but I wouldn’t not watch it again if asked. It’s legacy, I think, might end up being that it is the worst sequel ever made and thus was required viewing for any good Bad Movie Twin.

StreetCreditReport.com – This is considered one of the worst films ever made. It is number two on this list for the worst of the 90s! And number twenty on this other one. It is number one on the worst sequels ever made list! Amazingly we’ve only seen 20 of those 50, some outside of BMT even. It mainly gets play on worst of sequels lists, which I think is fair. It is very arguably this is the worst sequel ever made.

Did I re-watch Speed? No, I watched it about a month ago randomly anyways, so it was fresh enough in my mind that I could pull refs like Tune Man on the fly. No regrets. Speed is a good movie, but, in my opinion, it is not a great movie. The last third sinks it hard. You end up wanting to shut it off once they get off of the bus.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Little Man Recap

Jamie

Calvin, a little person and criminal, and his partner in crime, Percy, steal a diamond but have it accidentally fall into the hands of a couple struggling with the idea of having kids. Calvin dresses up as a baby to infiltrate their house and get it back. Will he get the diamond (and perhaps change their lives for the better) before it’s too late? Find out in… Little Man.

What?! Calvin is a thief ready to get back in the game after serving some time in jail. His idiot partner picks him up with news that they already have a new gig: steal a giant diamond from a jewelry store. For some reason Calvin is under the impression that if you use guns or weapons to perform a heist that that somehow prevents you from going to jail… which is interesting considering he would clearly be on probation. So they pull off a clever little gambit to get the diamond but have to evade the police when their getaway goes wrong. During this evasion Calvin drops the diamond into the purse of Vanessa, who is struggling with the idea of having a baby with her husband Darryl. She wants to pursue a career while he… just wants to have a baby or something. I don’t know. It’s dumb. Anyway, because Calvin doesn’t want to use a weapon he decides to get the diamond back by pretending to be a baby dropped at Vanessa and Daryll’s doorstep. This of course leads to all kinds of antics like: making Vanessa’s father seem crazy, going to the park where toys fly into Daryll’s crotch, sexually assaulting several women, going to a hockey game, … what’s that? Did I say sexually assaulting several women? Why yes I did. That’s because Calvin is not just a thief but a sex criminal who literally gropes ladies in the guise of being a baby… it is unfortunate. Anyway, in the end the gangsters who hired Calvin for the heist come to get the diamond where Calvin basically Home Alones the shit out of them leading to their arrest. Despite Calvin’s criminal behavior through this whole adventure Darryl and Vanessa somehow because best friends with him. THE END.

Why?! Why indeed. Calvin just wants to get back in the game and stealing the diamond is part of that. They have to stretch a little to have Calvin not just want to steal the diamond from these people through force, but rather through an elaborate trick. In the end though we realize that all Calvin really wanted was a father figure in his life. Awwwwwwww. Darryl just wants a baby and so does Vanessa (though she doesn’t realize it yet).

What?! I’m actually a little surprised there wasn’t more product placement in the film. Some products in stores and some cereal boxes and stuff, but that’s about it. Instead I’ll highlight some prop work with the hockey game Darryl and Calvin attend. Obviously couldn’t be a real Blackhawks game so instead it seems to be some minor league event with the Chicago Chiefs (clever) and the Detroit Chargers. Oooo. Big rivalry.

Who?! Rob Schneider has an uncredited cameo as a television dinosaur, which is appropriate for one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Even more interesting is that there is a “In memory” credit at the end of the film for Arja Hannele “Honey” Lanning. I looked everywhere trying to figure out who this was eventually finding that she was a swim teacher in the LA area that apparently taught Keenan Ivory Wayans’ kids how to swim. She must have been a great swim teacher to get a credit at the end of a major motion picture.

Where?! Illinois license plates everywhere and they go to that Chicago hockey game late in the film. Sports events in films are truly special. Sometimes you get an actual arena or set of athlete’s getting a cameo. And sometimes you get them making up teams so they can keep the budget down. Both are great. C+.

When?! I’ve been slacking on trying to get these exact dates recently. I blame the films. They should be more clear on when things take place. Or better yet just set every film during a holiday. They go to a hockey game and yet are enjoying fun outside in Illinois? Probably Spring some time. F.

There was a legit argument whether this was worse than Strange Wilderness… which is quite something considering its place in BMT lore. This movie is unbelievable. It’s unbelievably offensive, unbelievably stupid, and unbelievably dog poo in our faces. Made all the more unbelievable by the fact that it followed up White Chicks, which we actually enjoyed! They went from a film where Marlon must fend off the advanced of a sexual predator, to being the sexual predator himself. It was horrible and I hated it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Little Man? More like “Stop slowly pushing dog poo in my face, man!” This was one of the worst comedies I’ve ever seen, but was it the worst? Read all about this catastrophe and find out. Let’s go!

The Good – Sigh. If I lived in an alternative universe where getting dog crap pushed into my face was good then I would have plenty to say. I do not.

P’s View on the Preview – This was a Wayans brothers productions (perhaps the last major Wayans brothers production) through and through. Out of the 7 entries in the director/writer/actor section of the preview, 6 were taken up by Shawn, Marlon, and Keenan Ivory Wayans. Having watched White Chicks which, while a terrible film, was incredibly amusing by how monstrous the makeup on Shawn and Marlon Wayans looked, there were obvious high hopes at BMT HQ. Were our hopes misplaced? … of course they were, this movie is dogshit.

The Bad – You know what was most surprising about this movie to me? How ill-prepared I was for it. I was not prepared for a Norbit, I was amped for a White Chicks. Norbit is a catastrophe because it makes light of spousal abuse and makes you sad throughout. Little Man makes light of sexual assault and makes you sad throughout. You are supposed to find people treating a grown adult as a baby, and that grown adult groping women indiscriminantly, funny … I do not. It upsets me. Whether this film is better or worse than Norbit is up for debate. I do think this is one of the worst comedies I’ve ever seen in my life … and I liked White Chicks reasonably well! I liked Haunted House reasonably well! I was ill-prepared, and that is on me. I should have been ready for the 96 mph fastball of dog poo in my face.

Get Yo Rant On – It is weird to rant on this since the rant is above. But let’s just discuss the CGI in this film for a second. It looks awful much of the time. And, to bring it back to Norbit once again, if you’ve never seen Norbit you might want to watch a second of it just to see the amazing makeup work in it. JUST LOOK AT THIS AMAZING FAT SUIT:

Someday I hope there will be an absolutely atrocious film that has an incredible CGI baby which wins the Best Visual Effects Academy Award just so people can make fun of the Oscars without realizing that sometimes even bad movies can do something right. Little Man? It did nothing right. Its CGI is terrible.

Welcome to Earf – Easy enough. Marlon Wayans is in Little Man and White Chicks 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!

The BMT – Legendary, but not in a good way. Like … We occasionally induct movies like Strange Wilderness or Norbit into the Hall of Fame because of just how unpleasant they are to watch. Those are probably the two worst comedies I’ve ever seen. I think I can add Little Man as a solid number three (possibly, I would have to mull it over). And that is some distinguished company. I don’t think it’ll end up doing much beyond winning the Worst Viewing Experience Smaddies Baddie by a landslide, but maybe in five years we’ll think to ourselves “huh, I kind of want to experience the extremely unfunny and unpleasant Little Man again” and induct it. In five years we’ll be totally different people.

StreetCreditReport.com – I am genuinely shocked that this isn’t on the Worst Films Ever wiki as a removed film. I’m not surprised it isn’t on the main page, but I am a bit surprised someone didn’t throw a flier out on this piece of garbage at some point. Strangely there aren’t many articles about the worst films of 2006. There is this blog which explains my feelings pretty well. I’m annoyed by the lack of 2006 lists though since I’m sure this would be in the top three on most of them.

No homework (unless you count me watching 5 minutes of that Little Rascals short from the preview … movies were weird in the 30s), so I’ll leave it there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Cool World Recap

Jamie

Writer Jack Deebs is released from prison only to find himself sucked into the world of the comic books he wrote while behind bars. There he is seduced by Holli Would, a sultry cartoon who wants to become human and enter the real world. Can Cool World detective Frank Harris stop her before it’s too late? Find out in… Cool World.

What?! Frank Harris is back from WWII and almost immediately accidentally kills his mom in a motorcycle accident. Nice going, IDIOT. Just as we think we are going into a drama involving Frank dealing with his grief and guilt, a hole randomly opens in space and time and transports him to Cool World thanks to a “doodle” doctor and his invention, the Spike of Power. We jump to present day where Jack Deebs, the incarcerated comic book writer who based his comic book’s world off of Cool World, is about to be released. We see him get pulled into Cool World where he sees Holli Would, a sultry femme fatale who wants to totes bone him (a “noid”) in order to gain power to enter the real world herself. Jack comes and goes from Cool World a couple more times where he learns from Frank that there are rulez that prohibit noids from boning doodles and that he better watch out for Holli… which he promptly ignores and the two have crazy noid-doodle sex. This turns Holli into a real woman and her and Jack flee Cool World for Vegas, baby! Holli immediately spurns Jack to try to find the Spike of Power in order to break down the barrier between Cool World and the real world and gain ultimate power. She kills Frank, gets the Spike, and breaks the barrier only to have a doodle-fied Jack take the Spike and reverse it all. Frank is then reborn in Cool World as a doodle and is super psyched because now he can fuck cartoons to his heart’s content. THE END.

Why?! The motivations that matter the most are that of Holli. She wants power and more than just what a cartoon life gives her. She has heard stories of a doodle who used the Spike of Power to enter the real world and wants to get there in order to get what she thinks she deserves: everything. Having sex with a noid is her way of doing this and she’s been bringing human men into Cool World to try to accomplish that. Jack’s just one of those dopes who thinks he’s created Cool World. When he finds that it’s actually a real place he ignores advice at every turn and just can’t resist having sex with Holli… which is pretty weird.

What?! Can’t recall any significant product placement. There is the mysterious object called the Spike of Power that was used to bridge the gap between Cool World and the real world. Holli Would seems to assume this object will also help her stay in noid form at the end of the film because… well, because it’s a MacGuffin I guess and you don’t really have to explain why it would have the power to do that.

Who?! Frank Sinatra Jr. makes a cameo appearance in a nightclub in Vegas. He was the son of a famous singer, a famous singer in his own right, and a famous victim of kidnapping. His daddio had to fork over a whole bunch of money to get him back. Cool stuff.

Where?! Vegas, baby! Seems like Cool World is somehow inexorably linked to Vegas as both Frank and Jack come from there. Perhaps it’s some meditation on Vegas as a cartoon world created by those who dreamt it up? Could have been an A- maybe if that was the case, but hard to know for sure. B+.

When?! We are given an intertitle setting us in 1992 for the main thrust of the film. While not exact it is still an intertitle so that pushes it to a B-.

What a strange, terrible film. I can understand the ambition and artistry here. The creator of this was obviously very much an artist in animation. The way that the doodles manically interact with each other and ghostly, half-drawn faces float around the world seems to indicate that he thought long and hard about what a world of cartoons would be and took it to the logical dark and twisted conclusion. But narratively this is a mess and just not worth watching. He even dropped the ball when it came to having real people interact with the cartoon and it looks like garbage. So I can’t even say that you could watch it for only the visual pleasure. Just an odd, weird thing that exists that maybe you can find aspects to appreciate (maybe?). Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Not-very-cool world is more like it, amirite? What if you could animate things and had a ton of cocaine? Let’s find out!

The Good – Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is a charming wonderful film, and this makes you appreciate the patience and skill it took the animators, director, and Bob Hoskins to make that film work. And then some jabronis made this … go figure.

P’s View on the Preview – The only thing this film had going for it was that it seemed like it could try and be a more mature (even r-rated) version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Once you read the preview though you realize the insane producer and Kim Basinger basically hijacked that vision, kicked the shit out of the director, and tried to force what was a fine (if misguided) idea into a PG box. To see them fail miserably and produce a steaming pile of shit was the only thing of interest here.

The Bad – This is a steaming pile of shit. The movie is scattershot and off from the get go. None of the acting or writing is good. The set design and direction is just … it takes the idea from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and basically did it on the cheap with cheap looking hand painted cutouts. Cool World isn’t fleshed out and instead comes across as merely a riff on the hard boiled detective cliche more than anything else. It is a marvel, but an unpleasant one, and one that never begs for a rewatch or showing anyone. It exists only to be put on worst of lists and to be compared to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Just terrible.

Get Yo Rant On – Cool World. Can anyone tell me what happens in Cool World? Who anyone is, what the rules are, the geography, the culture. They intentionally divide the Noids (humans) from the Doodles (cartoons), which basically hamstrings the entire thing as well, because the Doodle culture is not an amalgamation of human cultures of any kind, there is no riff on the oddity whereby age and mortality contrast with the humans that inhabit the same world. What was even the idea?! What did this movie have going for it that they would even consider making it?! Out of all of the films I wish I could read up on the background for this is either the most or least interesting one. Either there is a crazy story of how this was made … or the answer is simply “cocaine, hubris, and a dash of genuine insane people with power”.

Welcome to Earf – I admit, I had to look up Kimmy B’s filmography to remind myself. Kim Basinger is in both Cool World and Grudge Match 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!

The BMT – This will live on a bit because of the obvious correlation to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. I would never ever recommend this to anyone to watch ever though. It is boring and unpleasant. So there isn’t much there. To put in on a BMeTric like scale I would give it a 35, just a shade below where you’d want to be before recommending it to someone I feel like.

StreetCreditReport.com – The movie is so lame people write entire articles about it these days. To say the least it has some serious cred and had been on our radar for years (and is on the Calendar, which holds it own sort of cache). I found it difficult to find actual lists from the time, but retrospectives seem to be a bit more kind to it at this point. Whatever, this movie is hot garbage.

And that’s it. I wish I had watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for this recap, but I didn’t. But that’s just because that movie is awesome. This movie is just trash, so let’s forget about it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Righteous Kill Recap

Jamie

Detectives Turk and Rooster are on the trail of a scumbag-killing serial killer. Only when they discover that the killer is a vigilante cop do they realize that he may be closer than they thought. Can they stop the killer before it’s too late? Find out in… Righteous Kill.

What?! We open on Turk telling the camera that he is totes a vigilante cop killing people like no big deal (seriously, don’t worry about it. It’s definitely him). We then go back in time to when he and his total weirdo of a partner Rooster first found the trail of a serial killer called the Poetry Boy Killer. They track him all over the city and battle a different pair of detectives for authority over the case. At the same time Turk coaches softball, helps out a young lawyer he got in trouble in a sting operation, and occasionally has kinky sex with his considerably younger girlfriend… it’s real weird. When Poetry Boy unsuccessfully attacks a Russian mobster he knows that the jig is up. He attempts to kill him in the hospital only to be interrupted in the act. In a final act of desperation he goes to Turk’s girlfriend’s house and rapes her. Turk confronts Rooster after discovering that he is Poetry Boy from a little journal he is keeping. We then realize that all the scenes we saw of Turk admitting his guilt were just him reading the journal on camera like and idiot and it’s real dumb (like super dumb (I’m not sure you are getting how dumb this is))… oh yeah, and what a twist or whatever. Ultimately Turk confronts Rooster and is coaxed into shooting him. Rooster begs Turk to let him die and Turk acquiesces. THE END.

Why?! The reason for Rooster’s vigilantism is a little convoluted despite Turk trying to explain it directly to the viewer via the framing device. Apparently there was this criminal who killed a young girl and got away with it. Turk, who by all accounts was a very good, stand-up detective couldn’t handle this and framed the guy for a different crime. Rooster saw this event as indication that the justice system is corrupted and it broke down all the barriers of law and order in his head. Then once he got a taste of justice through his first righteous kill, Rooster just couldn’t stop (in other words he was a super crazy psychopath) and ended up killing like fifteen people.  

What?! It’s hard to ignore the fact that there was a lawsuit regarding the use of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s images in advertisements for the watch company Tutima. But if there was something that could make me forget that it’s the sheer number of Heinz ketchup bottles that are seen on screen. And lest you think this is just coincidence, they get a Special Thanks at the end of the credits. Thank you indeed.

Who?! In one of the briefest and strangest cameos I can remember, former pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek is seen for about five seconds in the role of a skateboarding pimp Rambo. This character is immediately killed and never talked or thought of again. Of course this isn’t the only celebrity actor in the film as 50 Cent plays a drug dealer Spider.

Where?! They are NYPD detectives so ‘nuff said… except I’ll say some more. 50 Cent’s club is the Club 404 in Harlem, they play softball in Central Park, and the entire cast of Friends are victims of Poetry Boy (note: not all BMT facts are true). B+ for prominence, could have been set in Seattle or Chicago or wherever really.

When?! I bet if you really scoured this film you’d find an exact date. Or at least a month, given that there are a lot of scenes in police stations, which are prime places for calendars to be hanging on walls. I went back through the film though and didn’t find a trace of anything… Spring or Summer probably because the police softball league is up and going. F

This movie is unbelievably incompetent. Like 88 Minutes all over again and no wonder since it was made by the same people. It is so poorly written you have to wonder whether it somehow fell apart in editing or they simply gave up on trying to make all the pieces fit together. And the twist was so dumb and obvious that it’s stupid they tried to trick the audience with it. All that being said, I found great joy in watching Al Pacino. You can tell just how little he gives a shit and is just goofing off and doing Al Pacino stuff the whole time. He is hilarious. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Righteous Kill? More like Fractious Mess, amirite? After the rousing success of Heat the studio executives all got together and declared “after thirteen years of hype we’ve done it! We’ve brought Pacino and De Niro back together to old-man-act together terribly like everyone always wanted!” And everyone thought “wait, who’s this now?” Let’s get into it!

The Good – If this movie existed in a vacuum with two actors you kind of didn’t know you might be able to squint your eyes and think “hey, whatever I like cop thrillers and serial killer stuff.” … But it doesn’t. Al Pacino’s acting is a beautiful thing to behold and something that should be cherished at every opportunity.

P’s View on the Preview – This movie is all about that cast isn’t it? But by far the most interesting thing discovered while making the preview was that Al Pacino was in both this film and BMT Hall of Fame film 88 Minutes in the same year. Not only that both films were directed by the same person! That is nuts. So obviously looking out for the similarities between Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes was high priority.

The Bad – It’s biggest crime is the film is kind of long and boring unlike the svelte 88 Minutes (which is naturally 88 minutes long … not joking). The acting was entertaining but bad. Carla Gugino’s role came across as a bit exploitative and gross. And the twist (if you can even call it that) is amazingly telegraphed and pointless. The story is just one big cliche we’ve seen before. By the end of it you are left wondering what was even the point when you can just watch 88 Minutes. They are stylized in the same weird way, which is the only enjoyable relic of the two movies being made in the same year by the same person.

Get Yo Rant On – If this move was released today it would star John Travolta and Nicolas Cage and it would be released direct-to-VOD. They would bill it as some sort of reunion of Face/Off, but it would be some rote story about a lawyer trying to take down some mafia boss and ending up as some vigilante hero or some crap like that. And ultimately all it would do is remind you of your own mortality and about how your best years are also probably behind you and how every good thing fades and is forgotten into an uncaring universe. That’s Righteous Kill. Thanks Righteous Kill, just what I needed while pointlessly wasting my life watching bad movies. Rant over.

Welcome to Earf – Easy obviously. Al Pacino is in both Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf you beautiful Al Pacino vehicle.

The BMT – It is kind of paired with 88 Minutes in an interesting way I think. And it is on the Calendar. So there are a few things going for it. But it probably won’t get anything fun in the end of the year Smaddies Baddies and it won’t make the Hall of Fame or anything like it’s twin film 88 Minutes. It isn’t anything special even if it is a total mess and a disaster.

StreetCreditReport.com – It does get a bit of credit here and there, although often overshadowed or mentioned alongside 88 Minutes (naturally). I am actually a bit shocked I could find anything, it feels like one of those movies where everyone would just forget it exists a month after it is released.

And that is that. I will say I took some homework upon myself for this one watching Heat. Which I liked. I can’t say I’m super sold on Michael Mann’s work. I liked Thief well enough (which is surprisingly similar to Heat I think, just in 1981), and Collateral, but I haven’t seen of ton of his stuff. Heat has a ridiculous cast and maybe the best bank robbery scene I’ve seen, which is enough, a very good heist / action film, if a bit long. This film is an abomination next to that one, and doing the homework was unnecessary to say the least.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Conan the Barbarian (2011) Recap

Jamie

After surviving an attack by the warlord Zym as a child, Conan grows up to be a powerful pirate, pilfering and banging ladies all day (high five). But when he overhears that Zym is back in town and looking for immense power Conan knows what needs to be done. Can he stop Zym (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in Conan the Barbarian.

What?! Conan’s totally the boss from day one. He’s like ten years old and totes crushing his enemies under his Cimmerian heel. Unfortunately a dangerous warlord Zym and his sorceress daughter are hoping to get all the pieces of the powerful Mask of Acheron which definitely does… something… and guess who has the last piece? That’s right, Conan’s daddio and he gets killed trying to protect it. Flash forward years and Conan is still the boss and he’s a pirate extraordinaire. While he loves crushing brews and the ladies with his bros, he finds destiny calling when he learns that Zym is out to finish the job with the mask. To bring it to full power Zym needs the blood of a totally bodacious pure-blood and he’s right on her trail. But Conan’s right there to be like ‘psych’ and grab her instead. He pretends to want to trade her to Zym but really he’s there to karate chop Zym in the neck, but Conan is seriously injured in the ensuing fight. They go off oto recover on his pirate ship and eventually bone in a cave (obviously) immediately after which she’s captured by Zym and taken to his magical cave shaped like a skull (lots of caves in this one). Conan comes to the rescue, fights an octopus, battles with the sorceress, and eventually Zym falls into a crevasse and dies because he’s dumb. Conan and the lady then go off to setup a sequel. If anyone wants to put this in as the synopsis on Wikipedia feel free to do so. I’m pretty sure I summed it up the best. THE END.

Why?! Well the bad guy wants that sweet looking mask that definitely is super powerful. He wants to use it to bring his sorceress wife back from the dead using the pure-blood as a vessel. His daughter is like “but I’m also like a powerful sorceress,” but Zym isn’t too impressed and is like “you’ll never be like your mom. She was rad.” Conan mostly wants to freely kill and pillage to his heart’s desire, but when the chance to avenge his father comes about he’s pretty into that too.

What?! Sometimes even I forget that this section isn’t just for product placement (which might be hard to come by in Cimmeria), but also for MacGuffins. MacGuffins like the Mask of Acheron that Zym hopes to put back together to attain ultimate power. Except that the crown seems to need the blood of a pure-blood to work… so doesn’t that make the blood the real MacGuffin and the crown just something rad you wear while killing innocents? Something to think about.

Who?! As often seems to be a requirement in these types of films the main bad guy has an underling of immense size which our hero must overcome. In this case it’s Pro wrestler/MMA fighter/kickboxer/former pro football player Bob Sapp. While he doesn’t do much of any of that in the US anymore, he is still a pretty big star over in Japan fighting people and apparently a bear. He also pretty much loses every fight he participates in (including against said bear) and recently was accused of domestic violence… so things not looking great for Bob Sapp.

Where?! The lands of the Hyborian Age, duh (emphasis on the -Bor-, amirite?). Conan is from Cimmeria, but his adventures take him all over the place… which is just not worth me talking about since it’s all made up anyway. Hard to judge these things so I usually give it an N/A.

When?! After the sinking of Atlantis, duh (emphasis on the… uh… -Anti-… amirite?). People have tried to place this sometime around 10,000 B.C. but I don’t think that’s worth the effort. This is all made up. Don’t know if you heard but Atlantis is fictional. N/A.

At first I actually thought I might like this. There were bare-breasted ladies, limbs getting chopped, and other things that my lizard brain liked. But it pretty quickly got bogged down in the main thrust of the film focused around the mask and revenge. Blah. Can’t I just enjoy Conan being a pirate and learning of a big time treasure he wants to get (which turns out to actually be a sexy princess, ooh lah lah) and eventually coming to rule a kingdom? Do I need you to rehash and ruin the origin story of Conan? It seemed like they couldn’t even decide how to ruin the plot so they not only had a MacGuffin in the Mask, but also had the revenge subplot. Choose one and stick with it. Also Rose McGowan was not good. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Conan the Barbarian? We haven’t had a movie about him in like … 30 years! Call up that swords and sandals screenwriter we have on retainer and give him a million, I want a script by Tuesday, we’ll lunch. That’s my impression of the producer of this film. Let’s go!

The Good – Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … this movie got me to watch the original again, and read another Conan short story. I know a lot more about pulp novels of the 30s and Conan because of it. Thanks terrible Conan movie.

Ps View on the Preview – I like where I went a few weeks ago with this, so I’m going to try again. There are 15 qualifying films in the sword and sorcery genre in Box Office Mojo (nearly 50% of the wide release films qualify, which I’ve now discovered is a higher percentage than 75% of the other Box Office Mojo genres). We’ve seen 9 of 15 qualifying films, the other six being Highlander 3 and 4, Red Sonja, Kull the Conqueror, Krull, and Quest for Camelot. There was a lot of cred to live up to for sure.

The Bad – This is the kind of movie which makes you think they ruined Conan the character (even though they didn’t really). It is an action film starring Conan instead of a Conan story. The acting is dire. And not just Momoa (who sadly captures none of the charm Arnold brought to the role), but everyone, especially Rose McGowan. The story is a bit too expositiony. The action a bit too clean. … I’m doing a terrible job describing this, but having watched the original and read another short story (see below) the heart of Conan was missing and replaced with Dungeons & Dragons (the movie). And that makes me sad.

Get Yo Rant On – This movie is far too convenient for me. Oh, Conan cuts the nose off of one of the villains henchmen so that he immediately recognizes him 20 years later, how convenient. Oh, Conan happens to fall in with an escaping thief who is something of a king of thieves and can pick any lock in the world, hope we have some locks to pick later (oh, we do? How convenient). Conan happens to save Tamara, totally by accident, who is (quite literally) the only pure blood of Achemon in the entire world, how convenient. Hell, the entire last fight scene involved Conan kind of accidentally not falling into a giant pit and dying. Too convenient, bad writing, kind of loses itself trying to set up big action set pieces. End of rant.

Welcome to Earf – Luckily this is a short one. Ron Perlman is in Conan the Barbarian and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale which also starred Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

The BMT – I think this will only be notable once we finish off the three and a half Conan films available (Conan the Destroyer, Conan 2011, Red Sonja, and Kull the Conqueror which was originally written as Conan the Conqueror). We’ve done two, and the other one and a half should be easy enough. I think this will be the least pleasant, if only because it is the only one without that 80s/90s sword and sorcery charm going for it.

StreetCreditReport.com – Looks like plenty. Here is it 19. Here is it 6. And Stuckman has it at 5. Basically it isn’t beating out things like Jack and Jill or The Zookeeper very often, but it was on the critics radar and widely disliked at the time. Since? I imagine it has mostly been forgotten. Maybe they’ll reboot or sequelize the older movies again.

Whoooeeeeee. And I actually did some homework! I re-watched the original Conan and read another of the short stories, Shadows in the Moonlight. The story was quite good. Goes into Conan’s chivalry, and also his tendency to be both a pirate and a thief, but also never actually pillaging or stealing during the story (it is always before or after the story). He’s an interesting character, and one I think Arnold portrayed quite well in the original. Which also had a much more effective beginning to the film (yada yada yada-ing a bunch of stuff with “and he was a slave and became super strong and learned to fight”), and a generally pleasant and true-to-character thief story that evolves into revenge. I don’t think the new movie did the character wrong in any way, it is a lot closer than I expected. But it still felt like a modern version of Conan with a heart and conscious of gold, not enough barbarian. It just doesn’t really sit correctly with the 1930s pulp novels vibe I would want. C- adaptation, better than I expected, but worse than it easily should have been.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Underclassman Recap

Jamie

Tre Stokes is a young cop hoping to make detective and sees his chance in an undercover gig at a local high school investigating the death of a student. Can he solve the crime, win the big streetball competition (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Underclassman.

What?! Tre Stokes don’t play by anybody’s rulez and that means he ain’t doing paperwork, he ain’t calling for backup, and he ain’t letting go of an investigation. When a new undercover gig comes about investigating the death of a teenager, Tre knows it’s his big chance at a break. He heads to an upper class, predominantly white high school posing as a student and almost immediately butts heads with the cool jocks. To ingratiate himself he helps take their premier streetball team straight to the top (not joking) and defends the main cool dude in a fight (writing this back it does sound a bit stereotypical). When he flubs a chance to take down a local drug dealer and then gets the police chief’s car stolen in a bungled sting operation, he is promptly fired. Despite this he never gives up and eventually tracks it all back to his cool kid friends who are part of a Fast & Furious style streetball/car stealing gang. Except in a twist it turns out they are being blackmailed by the principal who is stealing cars and dealing drugs to make quick cash (what a twist!). In a climactic boat chase scene Tre ends up totally murdering the guy and then totes makes out with his Spanish teacher… oh did I not mention that he and his Spanish teacher totally flirt the whole time in a weirdly inappropriate manner? Well they do. THE END.

Why?! Tre just wants to make his Pops proud by becoming a detective in the LAPD like he was. Unfortunately he hasn’t yet learned that rules=coolz (trademark, BMT Entertainment) so he’s pretty much the worst. As for the bad guy, he’s just a lowly principal of a prestigious urban private high school teaching the snobby kids of rich people. Guess what? It’s his time to make some sweet cash by dealing drugs and stealing cars. No chance this will backfire and totally end with him exploding.

What?! As Patrick mentioned there was a baby blue Chevy Corvette Stingray that is probably the most obvious products that we see in the film. I may have missed something though as I had tears streaming down my face following a truly glorious jetski, rugby, streetball, and paintball sports scenes combo. It was beautiful.

Who?! We get a brief shot of a house party near the beginning of the film where a band is playing. This must be some mega famous band to be featured in person in such a major motion picture, right? Nope. It’s a band called The Actual and the song they’re singing is so small that I couldn’t even find it on the internet to listen to. It is digitally unavailable. Interestingly the lead singer is the son of Nora Ephron… small world.

Where?! Califfooorrrnia Loo-ooove. Baaah-da-da-buh-buh-buh-buh. It’s apparently a law that films that take place in LA are required to play 2Pac’s California Love. We almost certainly could make an entire cycle of films that feature that song… you know if we hadn’t already watched like 5000 terrible movies. The setting is very prominent, but not necessary. B+.

When?! Uh… Autumn probably. We know the car shown being stolen in an opening scene was taken in October, so I would guess that this all took place in November. Not sure we could get any more specific than that. D+.

This film is like every cliche wrapped into one giant ball of garbage and rolled down the aisle of a movie theater (where I’m also rolling around at this point). I actually can’t believe people created it unironically. Like… Nick Cannon goes undercover at a prestigious, predominantly white high school where he immediately a) make a big splash on the school’s streetball team (?) and b) begins to romance the smoking hot Spanish teacher which is… problematic. But not according to Nick Cannon who when interviewed about the ethics of a teacher romancing a student, particularly in the case where “they’re 16 or younger, 17 I guess makes them legal, if they’re 16 I guess they’re a minor?” to which he responded, “Realistically I don’t personally, I don’t personally, as me – young guy got game. He can’t help it. Put it on the teacher, that’s every guy’s wish. I didn’t have any sexy teachers at my school.” Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. What? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! As a producer I wonder how many times you ultimately get a soft reboot of 21 Jump Street rejected. Once or twice, right? You have to throw it in there when a deadline approaches and you are out of ideas. Well guess what … someone actually made one in 2005! Let’s get into it.

The Good – The basketball scenes look reasonable enough. Like, I can believe Nick Cannon dunked a few times, and there are a few clear shots of actors hitting three point shots. Don’t ask me to guess how high the hoop was or whether they repainted the three point line though. That, sadly, is it. Well, besides this movie being bonkers and reviving my love for bad high school comedies that is!

P’s View on the Preview – I had to make a choice with this film. The wiki page was start class, but sorely lacking. A very unprofessional and short plot summary, and missing references. Do I close watch the film and fix it? Or do I just focus on BMT and ignore my growing passion for wiki film stubs? You betta belieb I close watched the shit out of this film. You’re looking at the foremost expert on Underclassman right here. Did you know Captain Delgado’s prized car was a 1965 Chevy Corvette Stingray named Juanita? Did you want to know that? Did you want to know that I knew that? Didn’t think so.

The Bad – The existence of this film is an enigma. Nick Cannon is just not suited for the role. The headmaster twist is telegraphed. Cannon macking the Spanish teacher is creepy. The reaction of Captain Delgado is off the chain (he at one point suggests Cannon should have shot a high school student in order to stop a carjacking … that is insane). Streetball. Rugby. Paintball. Jet skis. Boat chases. A designer drug called Bliss. A baby blue Chevy Corvette Stingray named Juanita … the movie is gloriously terrible. A glorious absurdity.

Get Yo Rant On – There is something profoundly creepy about the gall the producers in the mid-2000s had with the romantic lead in the film. Why? Why not make Tre fall in love with the Kelly Hu character or something, his undercover handler? Why a teacher? It is a profoundly disturbing statement about our society not even that long ago … although I think I would have still be creeped out in 2005 to be honest. It is just so weird. Why do this to me Underclassman? I loved you so much besides this one thing! Rant over.

Welcome to Earf – I am pretty sure this would have been impossible for me to do off the top of my head … except that the film was in our Chain Reaction category. So Keith Dallas was in both this film and I Spy starring 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!

The BMT – This so far is actually one of the top films for the first half of the year. Really silly enough to show to someone and they’ll immediately get why I love it. Trey goes undercover at an affluent predominantly white high school, joins the school street ball team and single-handedly wins several rounds. C’mon now!

StreetCreditReport.com – None, which I guess isn’t surprising. Given his limited filmography this even shows up on Nick Cannon’s best-of lists! It does get a random shoutout for being one of several films starting with “un” that year though.

No homework, but I wish there was a multi-season adaptation of this film into a television show. I can’t get enough. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Alex & Emma Recap

Jamie

When Alex gets in deep with the mob over gambling debt he hires a stenographer, Emma, to help him write his next novel in 30 days. After a tough start, Alex finds inspiration (and maybe more?) in Emma. Can he finish the book (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in Alex & Emma.

How?! There isn’t much more to the plot than what I just laid out. Alex is in debt and needs to write a book. Emma is a freelance stenographer he hires. While he dictates to her we get a story within a story about an Alex-type-character who finds love with an Emma-type-character, but there is another women in the middle of it all. In the end they finish the book, but the real life other woman shows and everything is thrown into flux… for like five seconds and then Alex sets up a grand gesture to get her back and “fix” the end of his book… by which I mean he rewrote it so it was cliched garbage. Wow, that’s the shortest plot recap I’ve ever written… probably because the story within the story is largely useless and represents what would almost certainly be a terrible book. THE END.

Why?! Alex needs that green to get the mob off his back. Apparently he got a big advance on his next book but when his lady love left him he gambled it all away (and more) in a fit of depression and heartbreak. Nothing like the threat of death to snap him out of it and get him moving on the book. Emma is just a lonely freelance stenographer. That’s pretty much the long and the short of it.

What?! You would think a film about writing a novel wouldn’t give much product placement to speak of. You would be wrong. Alex macks on Captain Crunch constantly and when his mouth gets shredded by those patented razor sharp edges, he grabs a dasani and slams it down. Gotta keep hydrated when you’re spinning hilarious gold.

Who?! While this was an Alan Griesman production for the purposes of this cycle I did want to highlight that Elie Samaha was also a producer on this film… and Battlefield Earth… and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever… and Texas Rangers. He was also the one convicted of defrauding investors regarding Battlefield Earth. Wonder if he’s turned his life around… nope.

Where?! The real life half of the film pretty obviously takes place in Boston, while the fake part of the film takes place on a fictional French-speaking island off the coast of Maine called St. Charles. That’s a double whammy of specificity. B+.

When?! I mostly don’t care, but we do know that the story within a story takes place in the summer of 1924. Since the entire story mirrors Alex’s life, we can presume that our current story takes place in the Fall (after the summer in which he falls in love and then loses everything). But that’s pretty vague. Maybe a C- just for the specific year in the past, but more likely a D+.

I found this entire film embarrassing for everyone involved. It is straight up terrible. I’m actually surprised it ever got an 11% on RT. I don’t really blame Luke Wilson (he was meh) and Kate Hudson (just being her charming self) because it is one of the worst scripts we’ve gotten to watch in quite a while. So they had very little to work with. It’s just a terrible movie about a terrible book being written. And not in a good way. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Recently I’ve been dictating my first novel to Caryn (she doesn’t love the arrangement) and I have to say … it sounds like complete garbage. According to Alex & Emma though that means it will ultimately be excellent, no problem. See you guys on the New York Times bestsellers list! It is called Dodger: A Garbage Pail Kids Prequel, and I think it might be the next great American novel. Let’s get into Alex & Emma!

The Good – I think Kate Hudson is hilarious and adorable. Fool’s Gold, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, etc. They all kind of work for romantic comedies for me because of her. The novel within a movie concept is intriguing enough with the changing characters that you can understand the misguided attempt at this film as well.

P’s View on the Preview – This movie has an absurdly low Rotten Tomatoes score, nearly in the single digits. So, doing a bit of analysis, the percentage of “wide release” romantic comedies (for the sake of simplicity I just defined this as the top 300 films on this chart) that qualify for BMT is an astounding 44% (this is indeed much higher than average, the percentage of films with Rotten Tomatoes scores below 40% in general is about 25% in my experience). The percentage which have a Rotten Tomatoes score at or below Alex and Emma is around 10%. So this a 90th percentile Romantic Comedy as far as bad reviews go. That’s impressive for a genre which such bad movie cred as Romantic Comedies. BTW, there are 29 Romantic Comedies with worse Rotten Tomatoes scores of which 12 have more than 100 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. We’ve seen eight of those for BMT, the other four being: Serving Sara, The Perfect Man, My Life in Ruins, and The Wedding Date.

The Bad – Sorry Luke Wilson, I’m putting you on blast. He’s just not good in this film. He’s not smarmy enough to fit the role they wanted him for (a gambling addict whose life is in danger because of a series of poor decisions), and the chemistry with Hudson isn’t really there, you don’t buy he’s actually in love with her. The entire thing is just kind of … not interesting in the least. I’ll have to save the main criticism for the rant though.

Get Yo Rant On – The book he is narrating is just awful. Just terrible. It sounds like a mess. He’s changing things in the middle. It is cliche. It sounds boring. And as the entire conceit of the film that is extremely problematic. The film is an embarrassment in that regard. Of all the films that needs a great script to be anything but awful, this might just be it. You have the main character narrating a book that is written in the vein of American classics, but it sounds like garbage. You have Rob Reiner sitting there at the end with a straight face saying “this is incredible” and as a viewer who just heard him write the entire thing you can’t help but think “you’re wrong, you have awful taste, this must be some sick condemnation of American literature.” Rant over.

Welcome to Earf – I forgot to do these recently, but this is, luckily, an easy one. Luke Wilson was in Around the World In Eighty Days with his brother Owen Wilson (they played the Wright brothers), 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.

The BMT – Nope, this is a completely pointless movie that I will forget in a day. Just throw this in the pile will less entertaining rom coms I guess. Like … a shade below the interest Made of Honor generated (at least there the second half had the destination wedding / weird competition for the bride combo to sustain my interest).

StreetCreditReport.com – As far as street cred goes it does make a few lists. This blog here for example. It doesn’t get much recognition elsewhere, no Razzie Award nomination (although it did get nominated for a late Stinkers Award for whatever that is worth i.e. nothing).

No homework as has been usual recently.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs