Bulletproof (1996) Preview

“Welcome to Raccoon City!” exclaims, Lou, the head of the Raccoon City Apartment Complex Welcoming Committee (RCACWC). He smiles at both Jamie and Patrick and then frowns a little at Kyle. “Uh, is he OK? You look a little green around the gills.” Kyle shrugs and Jamie and Patrick explain that he’s just a little love sick. “No need to worry. It’s not some big time zombie virus.” At that they all laugh and laugh and laugh. “But seriously, Mr. Cash, we need a little help. We need a little adventure. We just sit around this apartment all day and our heads are spinning. Can the RCACWC help?” Lou Cash smirks, reminiscing about the last great adventure he had. “The year was 1998,” he begins and proceeds to launch into a very long story about his days on the police force and a time that he had to investigate an old rich person’s house. “Were there ghosts?” Jamie asks out of nowhere. “Uh, no,” Lou responds confused and Kyle yawns in disappointment. Reading the room, Lou speeds through the latter half of his story, “and so you see, adventure is what you make of it and perhaps… it’s been staring you in the face this whole time.” He smiles and waits expectedly. But Jamie, Patrick and Kyle are now in the mood for ghosts and are already plucking their copy of Ghost off the shelf. Perhaps the rare combination of Patrick Swayze’s guide to love and a high stakes thrill-a-minute money laundering plot line will solve all of their problems. Lou is left forgotten at the door. He throws his hands up in exasperation and pulls a gun out of his pocket. “He’s got a gun!” screams Jamie. They wanted adventure and now Lou Cash is delivering. That’s right! We are going back 25 years to pick up an early Adam Sandler. It’s an old school buddy cop(ish) storyline with a Sandler/Wayans flair. Let’s hope its just as offensive as I think it might be. Let’s go!

Bulletproof (1996) – BMeTric: 37.4; Notability: 40

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 15.2%; Notability: top 17.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.3%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Ed, The Crow: City of Angels, Hellraiser: Bloodline, The Stupids, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy II, Solo, The Glimmer Man, Eddie, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Maximum Risk, Jingle All the Way, Bordello of Blood, and 18 more; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Jingle All the Way, Spy Hard, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Mulholland Falls, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Eye for an Eye, The Crow: City of Angels, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Larger Than Life, Joe’s Apartment, and 23 more; Lower RT: Big Bully, The Dentist, Ed, Ripe, Bio-Dome, Kazaam, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard; Notes: I do like it when films remind me that IMDb did something in 2014 on the new year to make some films’ ratings jump a ridiculous degree. Anyways, you can tell we still have a ton of work to do on 1996 when we have Bio-Dome and Big Bully sitting on the table.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A racial inversion of 48HRS. without the redeeming craft. Undercover cop Wayans teams up with Sandler, the crook he’s trying to bust. Their fortunes and ambitions are unified – often acrimoniously – by a vindictive drug kingpin/car dealer played by a pitifully hammy Caan. Once great cinematographer Dickerson squanders his talent here directing a sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick. A catastrophe of continuity to boot.

(First, I’ve never seen a review go so hard on continuity in a film. But “sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick” is one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. Honestly, I think a lot of action films these days are getting pretty close to that as well. Shoot someone in the face and sprinkle in some quips, boys.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfzAGAQvsz8/

(The guitar licks at the end!! It looks really terrible. Quips by Sandler, way too much punching, and just seems like a worse version of Midnight Run.)

DirectorsErnest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Ambushed; Double Play; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Surviving the Game; Bones; BMT: Bulletproof; Never Die Alone; Notes: Worked as the cinematographer for Spike Lee for his early films, whom he bet at Howard University.)

WritersJoe Gayton – ( Known For: Faster; Uncommon Valor; Sweet Jane; Shout; Warm Summer Rain; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: His brother is also a screenwriter, they both wrote on Hell on Wheels and have written a few movies together.)

Lewis Colick – ( Known For: October Sky; Unlawful Entry; Ladder 49; Ghosts of Mississippi; Beyond the Sea; The Dirt Bike Kid; Future BMT: Charlie St. Cloud; Judgment Night; Domestic Disturbance; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: He wrote a ton of films in the 80s and 90s. His last film was in 2010, but he is attached to both the Flaming Hot Cheetos movie and the Chicken Soup for the Soul film.)

ActorsDamon Wayans – ( Known For: Last Action Hero; Beverly Hills Cop; The Last Boy Scout; Roxanne; Earth Girls Are Easy; Colors; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Bamboozled; Hollywood Shuffle; Punchline; The Great White Hype; Farce of the Penguins; Future BMT: Major Payne; Look Who’s Talking Too; Celtic Pride; Blankman; Mo’ Money; Marci X; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: As part of In Living Color he was nominated for three Emmys. His family is filled with comedians including his three brothers and his son.)

Adam Sandler – ( Known For: Uncut Gems; Punch-Drunk Love; The Wedding Singer; Murder Mystery; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation; Anger Management; The Do-Over; Reign Over Me; Funny People; The Meyerowitz Stories; Hotel Transylvania 2; Spanglish; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: The Longest Yard; Eight Crazy Nights; Mixed Nuts; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; Click; Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Mr. Deeds; Airheads; Men, Women & Children; The Animal; Bedtime Stories; Dirty Work; BMT: That’s My Boy; Grown Ups; Just Go with It; Grown Ups 2; Blended; Pixels; Little Nicky; The Ridiculous 6; Jack and Jill; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Zookeeper; Going Overboard; Bulletproof; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Notes: Our 15th Sandler film for BMT and we have 15 to go … my god, he’s made so many. Someday Sandler, someday we will complete your filmography!)

James Caan – ( Known For: Elf; The Godfather; The Godfather: Part II; Misery; Santa’s Slay; A Bridge Too Far; Dick Tracy; Dogville; Queen Bees; Get Smart; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; 1941; Bottle Rocket; Detachment; Thief; El Dorado; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; The Yards; Middle Men; The Tale of The Princess Kaguya; BMT: That’s My Boy; Eraser; Bulletproof; Notes: Played football for Michigan State and is the father of Scott Caan. Was apparently on the professional rodeo circuit for nine years.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $21,576,954 (Worldwide: $22,611,954)

(That seems okay for 1998. You’d want more, but that doesn’t seem too catastrophic as Sandler at the time must have been relatively cheap.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/39): In addition to its ability to deflect gunfire, Bulletproof proves sadly impervious to humor, logic, or worthwhile viewing.

(Shots fired. That seems to be the general gist of things. That it is just a preposterous story with negative laughs.)

Reviewer Highlight: The film’s action elements are so preposterous that the sequence of events seems almost improvised. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

Poster – Bulletproof to the Head

(Classic poster. I can even imagine walking by it in the hallway of a theater. That’s mostly what it has going for it cause the color scheme is nonexistent and the font boring. I think the framing is the most interesting aspect. Looking down that long desert highway. C.)

Tagline(s) – Tough cop. Hostile witness. (C-)

(Yeah and? I’m not sure if this is a play on something and I’m missing it? Just seems like they are pointing out that one is a tough cop and the other is a hostile witness, which is indeed the plot of the film. Doesn’t offend my senses though.)

Keyword(s) – undercover-cop

Top 10: Baby Driver (2017), Spiral (2021), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Sin City (2005), Memento (2000), Batman Begins (2005), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Future BMT: 59.8 The Mod Squad (1999), 54.2 Spiral (2021), 49.3 Showtime (2002), 46.9 Cop Out (2010), 45.3 Tomcats (2001), 41.5 Boiling Point (1993), 41.0 Brick Mansions (2014), 38.1 Fled (1996), 37.7 Action Jackson (1988), 36.5 Death Warrant (1990)

BMT: The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Gangster Squad (2013), Ride Along (2014), Hard to Kill (1990), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Exit to Eden (1994), Exit Wounds (2001), Ride Along 2 (2016), Stone Cold (1991), Bulletproof (1996), No Mercy (1986)

Matches: Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), City of Lies (2018), Street Kings (2008), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Undercover Brother (2002), Exit to Eden (1994), Nighthawks (1981), Rush (1991), Superfast! (2015), Bulletproof (1996), The Mod Squad (1999), Renegades (1989), Ten Violent Women (1982), Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite (1999), The Proposal (2001), Jill Rips (2000), Lowball (1996), Strapped for Danger II: Undercover Vice (2020), Narx (2011), Black Lightning (2008)

(Done a bunch of these now. Given we are about to watch another JCVD film I’m pretty excited to eventually watch Death Warrant.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 2 billed in Bulletproof and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – James Caan said of working with the leads, “playing the heavy between these two clowns took a lot of serious concentration.”

Colton’s mansion is the same one used in Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Damon Wayans had a minor role in that film as the server who gave Eddie Murphy the bananas.

Director Ernest R. Dickerson was very critical about the movie, saying the movie was “castrated” because of the producers.

When Damon Wayans hosted Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1994, Adam Sandler had an idea to do an action movie together. A year later, he sent Wayans the script for this film.

James Woods was originally chosen to play Frank Colton. He had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Ghosts of Mississippi (1996).

Producer Robert Simonds knew Damon Wayans could be a leading man after seeing The Last Boy Scout (1991). “That’s what we needed, a leading man who could get the laughs when he had to.”

Ernest R. Dickerson said that film was trying to be 48 Hrs. (1982) for the 1990s.

Body Count: 26.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 1997)

Little Nicky Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and Rachel sit around the apartment racking their brains. What could they possibly do to stop the cyborgs’ plans? The cyborgs have the Dongle and will blast them to hell once their plan comes to fruition and Rich & Poe are dead. “What do the kids like these days? Once you’ve hooked the kids they won’t dare give the film bad reviews. Voila, Rich & Poe don’t die,” queries Patrick. Jamie ponders for a moment and being hip with the kidz he suggests a warm Rich themed blanket and a delicious cup of Poe brand tea, “the perfect combination. Just like Rich & Poe are the perfect combination of bad guy stopping power.” Patrick holds up his hand in exasperation. He gets it. “What about muscle shirts and muscle milk,” he brainstorms, “muscle everything cause Rich & Poe are all about muscles.” Jamie nods but then stops when he sees Rachel shaking her head in disgust. “Bopping tunes?” throws out Jamie, which gets the OK from Rachel. Not to be outdone Patrick throws out the unparalleled experience of Rich & Poe: The Video Game: VR: Legends Never Die. Now Rachel is intrigued. Jamie fleshes out his thoughts with a wiki-wild-wild-west banging hook and an internet shattering music video which mixes Thriller with TikTok or whatever shit kids are doing now. Rachel stops them and lays it out: “what about both?” and Jamie and Patrick’s mouths fall open. “The FMV Rich & Poe: The Music Video Game VR Experience: Legends Never Die starring Jason Derulo,” The say together and high five. Game changer. It’s going to be a lot of work, though, as Patrick takes the brunt of the coding and Jamie dives right back into the Rich & Poe book to make sure the tie-in is tight. “Welcome to hell,” says Patrick. That’s right, we go from some banging tunes right into an unparalleled video game experience with the Adam Sandler classic Little Nicky. What? You didn’t know that Little Nicky had a video game? Well it did and Patrick beat it. Deal with it. Let’s go!

Little Nicky (2000) – BMeTric: 57.7; Notability: 85

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 2.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 20.3% Higher BMeT: Battlefield Earth, Dungeons & Dragons, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Highlander: Endgame, 102 Dalmatians, Big Momma’s House, Supernova; Lower RT: The in Crowd, Battlefield Earth, Bless the Child, Lost Souls, Turn It Up, The Skulls, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Dungeons & Dragons, Supernova, I Dreamed of Africa, Ed Gein, Screwed, The Ladies’ Man, The Watcher, Boricua’s Bond, Highlander: Endgame, Boys and Girls, Get Carter, Hanging Up, Whipped and 22 more; Notes: That is an incredibly high Notability, especially for a comedy. This is the pinnacle for Sandler clearly, the moment where, coming off of Big Daddy, he seemingly could do no wrong … until he did.

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – All of this is kinda fun, and some of it more than that. I can see how “Little Nicky” could have worked, It’s just that Sandler, at the center, is a distraction; he steals scenes, and we want him to give them back. He’s 35 now. I know you can play an adolescent all of your life (consider Jerry Lewis), but isn’t it time for us to see the real Adam Sandler? When I met him, I thought to myself, this guy has movie star potential.

(Little Nicky is definitely the moment where it seemed like Sandler regressed from what I remember. Big Daddy showed a level of growth for the man-child character from Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison … but then Little Nicky is like he was trying to go back to that lazy silliness instead of keeping an emotional core to the films or progressing. Amazing that Ebert gave it 2.5 stars!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0jhAYDiFwo/

(My god, even the trailer is awful. Also, it is really weird that they couldn’t or wouldn’t make a trailer that showed the actual storyline of the film. It makes it seem like the brothers go after Nicky to bring him back to Hell, but it is the exact opposite, Nicky is going after his brothers to bring them back to Hell. Weird.)

Directors – Steven Brill – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; Walk of Shame; The Do-Over; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: Drillbit Taylor; Mr. Deeds; Without a Paddle; Heavyweights; BMT: Movie 43; Little Nicky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Movie 43 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: Was a comedy partner with Marc Maron in college. Is a consistent director for Happy Madison films through the current Netflix contract.)

Writers – Tim Herlihy (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; The Wedding Singer; Future BMT: Mr. Deeds; Bedtime Stories; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; and in 2016 for Pixels; Notes: Adam Sandler’s college roommate and, obviously, co-writer. Worked on Saturday Night Live with Sandler as well.)

Adam Sandler (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Eight Crazy Nights; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Going Overboard; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Notes: Y’all know Adam Sandler. It is the 25th anniversary of Happy Gilmore, so there are a bunch of news stories about the potential for a Happy Gilmore sequel … that seems unlikely.)

Steven Brill (written by) – (Known For: Walk of Shame; Future BMT: D3: The Mighty Ducks; Ready to Rumble; D2: The Mighty Ducks; The Mighty Ducks; Heavyweights; BMT: Little Nicky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Movie 43 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: This was basically the last film he wrote for Happy Madison. I assume he moved into a more exclusive Director / Producer role afterwards.)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Uncut Gems; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; Murder Mystery; The Wedding Singer; Hotel Transylvania; Punch-Drunk Love; The Do-Over; Anger Management; Hotel Transylvania 3; The Meyerowitz Stories; Spanglish; Funny People; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Reign Over Me; Future BMT: Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Eight Crazy Nights; Mr. Deeds; Mixed Nuts; Bulletproof; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; The Waterboy; Click; Big Daddy; The Longest Yard; Dirty Work; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Jack and Jill; Going Overboard; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; Zookeeper; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; and in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for The Cobbler in 2016; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Notes: Was Nominated for a Golden Globe for Punch-Drunk Love. I’m surprised he didn’t get one for Uncut Gems as well. Next year he has what appears to be another serious role in Hustle, about a washed up basketball coach who discovers a prospect in China. Could be interesting.)

Patricia Arquette – (Known For: True Romance; Toy Story 4; Holes; Boyhood; Uncle Buck; Lost Highway; Ed Wood; Bringing Out the Dead; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; Holy Matrimony; Otherhood; The Indian Runner; Flirting with Disaster; Fast Food Nation; Nightwatch; Human Nature; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; Girl in Progress; Prayer of the Rollerboys; Future BMT: Stigmata; Goodbye Lover; Beyond Rangoon; BMT: Little Nicky; Tiptoes; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: Won an Oscar for Boyhood in 2015. From the Arquette acting family, and was married to Nicolas Cage for six years.)

Harvey Keitel – (Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Pulp Fiction; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Taxi Driver; The Irishman; Red Dragon; Isle of Dogs; Reservoir Dogs; From Dusk Till Dawn; Moonrise Kingdom; National Treasure; Thelma & Louise; Get Shorty; The Piano; Youth; The Two Jakes; Fatima; Sister Act; The Last Temptation of Christ; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Arthur and the Invisibles; The January Man; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Be Cool; Rising Sun; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Last Temptation of Christ in 1989; Notes: We just say him in Rising Sun. Let’s just see what he’s got on the docket for next year: He’s playing Meyer Lansky about the  National Crime Syndicate.)

Budget/Gross – $85,000,000 / Domestic: $39,464,775 (Worldwide: $58,292,295)

(Oh that’s a disaster. I’m pretty sure Sandler has something like ten comedies which made over $100 million, so this was seems like it must have been a serious come down. The three films surrounding this were $160 million, $80 million, and $130 million domestic … so yeah, this was a terrible showing for Sandler.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (25/115): Despite the presence of a large, talented cast, the jokes in Little Nicky are dumb, tasteless, and not that funny, and Adam Sandler’s character is grating to watch.

(Yeah, basically all of the reviews boil down to: Sandler has never been more annoying, thanks, I hate it. Reviewer Highlight: Where’s Sandler in all this? Lost in gimmicks that smack of desperation. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Poster – Little Snickers

(Woof. And I’m not just saying that cause there is a dog on the poster. There are… a lot of colors on that mess. And yet a shocking amount of empty space. I’ll give a minor point for the font, which is not totally generic. But I also have to say that the off-center bench is a real problem. It messes with your head. Why not even that sucker out? D.)

Tagline(s) – If Your Father Was The Devil And Your Mother Was An Angel, You’d Be Messed Up Too. (Spoiler Alert!)

Be unafraid. Be very unafraid. (C+)

(Double tagline poster. The first one is far too long and a real spoiler alert. It’s kind of supposed to be a surprise who Nicky’s mom is and they just say it. The second one is fine I guess, in that it actually is a tagline. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue though.)

Keyword – hell

Top 10: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Love Actually (2003), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), As Above, So Below (2014), 2012 (2009), Hercules (1997), Constantine (2005), Inferno (2016), Hellboy (2019), Little Nicky (2000)

Future BMT: 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 63.2 The Haunted Mansion (2003), 57.1 The Lazarus Effect (2015), 56.9 A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), 56.1 Spawn (1997), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 35.8 Hideaway (1995), 27.5 Inferno (2016), 26.6 As Above, So Below (2014), 21.6 The Shack (2017);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Hellboy (2019), Little Nicky (2000), Event Horizon (1997), Doom (2005), Silent Hill (2006), The Golden Child (1986), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

(Hmmm, I wonder why there is potentially less of a prevalence of “hell” as a concept in film. Could be something with appealing more widely to a global market. I can’t wait to watch the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I love watching just a ton of horror films all in a row.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 1 billed in Little Nicky and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – When Jon Lovitz was on the celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999) in 2000, he promoted this movie, and mentioned some of the co-stars. Interestingly, host Regis Philbin has an uncredited cameo as himself, but never mentioned to Jon Lovitz or the audience that he’s in the same movie. (Ha! He’s also a boss in the Game Boy Color game. Stay tuned for my review of that in the Recap)

Adam Sandler’s real life dog, named Meatball, is the son of the dog that played Mr. Beefy in this movie. Meatball was Adam Sandler’s best man at his wedding.

Carl Weathers reprised his role of “Chubbs” from Happy Gilmore (1996), though he is not credited for the role a second time.

This is the fourth Adam Sandler film to have a love interest with the initials “V. V.,” with Patricia Arquette as Valerie Veran. The first was Billy Madison (1995) (Veronica Vaughn); the second was Happy Gilmore (1996) (Virginia Venet); and the third was The Waterboy (1998) (Vicki Valencourt).

Dana Carvey (Referee) broke his ankle while filming the Harlem Globetrotters basketball game scene, and ended up on crutches. (What!)

Adam Sandler’s wife Jackie plays the redheaded angel Jenna.

Harvey Keitel replaced Dustin Hoffman in the role of Satan.

During the closing credits, flashes of the character’s whereabouts are explained. When they explain Nicky’s mom (Reese Witherspoon), a picture still of her is shown saying “Mom immediately fell in love with her new aerobics instructor, Chris Farley.” Giving a tribute to Chris, who died three years before the film, in 1997. The aerobics reference is referring to his classic skit on Saturday Night Live (1975) that will always be hilariously remembered. Adam, and the rest of the Saturday Night Live (1975) gang, were great friends with Farley.

Adam Sandler expressed in one of his songs that this movie was his father’s favorite film featuring Adam.

When Adrian (Rhys Ifans) makes Nicky (Adam Sandler) get hit by the bus, the blood spatter on John (Jonathan Loughran) and Peter’s (Peter Dante’s) shirt says “666”.

When Nicky makes the basket at the basketball game, you can see “666” on the shot clock above the hoop.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Rob Schneider, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Steven Brill, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Steven Brill, 2001)

That’s My Boy Preview

Lately we’ve been using the Games category to try to tally some of the BMT Calendar that will likely never end. However, with only two punctuation marks remaining we looked back towards the Razzie Award winners to get the apostrophe. That’s right! We’re watching That’s My Boy, one of the few unwatched Adam Sandler films that also happens to be nominated for seven Razzies, winning two (Screenplay and Actor). I recall thinking the film looked like it might be good as it followed some of Sandler’s worst efforts (Grown Ups, Just Go With It, and Jack and Jill). Alas, it continued a downward spiral that is still arguably continuing through his multi-film deal with Netflix. It’s been a long time coming, so let’s get right into it. Let’s go!

That’s My Boy (2012) – BMeTric: 47.5

ThatsMyBoy_BMeT

ThatsMyBoy_RV

(What a twist! That is the opposite trend you usually see. Usually things start really high (from hardcore fans) and drop like a stone I feel like. Basically, people don’t like Sandler (shocking) and the passionate IMDb voters seem to just rock this film. It recovers really quickly. Regardless, nearly 50 BMeTric. This is a Very Popular Below Average film. Which for a comedy gives me a good feeling.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – A middle school student and his teacher have an intimate relationship resulting in pregnancy, incarceration, and (years later) a unique father-son relationship. Formulaic Sandler vehicle is filled to the brim with sight gags, inside jokes, absurd, raunchy, and racist humor. This is either a guilty pleasure, if you find it funny, or a miserable experience otherwise.

(There is something odd about Sandler films (I loved The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, and Billy Madison growing up) rewatching them with today’s sensibilities. The main observation is just how much people kick the crap out of each other and it is celebrated. A notorious example being I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry where Kevin James repeatedly assaults people and everyone acts as if he’s a stand up guy. Racism is also obviously on the table (never forget Rob Schneider playing an Asian stereotype in the same movie) and I am sure I will not fall in the guilty pleasure camp at this stage of my life.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPV2L2CGWdQ

(Man, Sandler loves his sports figure cameos (I see you Rex Ryan) and his product placement. His product placement is legendary, I can’t wait. The tattoo joke is solid, although as the youngest hedge fund managers in NYC you’d think he would at least start in on some laser removal.)

Directors – Sean Anders – (Known For: Sex Drive; Never Been Thawed; BMT: That’s My Boy; Daddy’s Home; Horrible Bosses 2; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Director for That’s My Boy; This is the only movie he directed that he didn’t also write. It seems like Sex Drive is what launched his career based on this variety article (mentioning a movie that I think never came out). I can’t find much else about him.)

Writers – David Caspe (written by) – (BMT: That’s My Boy; Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Screenplay for That’s My Boy; In the notes it mentioned this movie was on the 2009 Blacklist. It isn’t surprising that a movie from the Blacklist ended up as a mess, but it is heartening that this movie didn’t destroy this guy’s career, he’s the developer of the cult comedy Happy Endings and has been all over television since this movie debuted.)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; The Wedding Singer; Hotel Transylvania 2; 50 First Dates; Hotel Transylvania; Anger Management; Billy Madison; Reign Over Me; Punch-Drunk Love; Spanglish; Funny People; Top Five; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: Jack and Jill (BMT); Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Animal; The Ridiculous 6 (BMT); Zookeeper (BMT); Coneheads; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2 (BMT); You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Pixels (BMT); That’s My Boy; Eight Crazy Nights; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; Mixed Nuts; The Do-Over; The Cobbler; Bulletproof; Grown Ups (BMT); I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (BMT); The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; Shakes the Clown; Click; Just Go with It (BMT); The Longest Yard; Blended; Dirty Work; Men, Women & Children; Notes: Sandler’s filmography is interesting because we’ve seen him in eight BMT films, and almost all of them as the leading character! He just signed a new four picture deal with Netflix, so things like the Do-Over and Ridiculous 6 should be coming fast and furious. At some point the Razzies will have to either allow Netflix Originals, or we might have seen the last of Razzie Nominated Sandler (look at that cred!))

Sandler Razzie Cred – (Won: for Worst Actor in 2013 for That’s My Boy; in 2012 for Jack and Jill, and Just Go with It; and in 2000 for Big Daddy; for Worst Actress, Screenplay, and Screen Couple in 2012 for Jack and Jill; Nominated: for Worst Actor in 2016 for The Cobbler, and Pixels; in 2015 for Blended; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2001 for Little Nicky;in 1999 for The Waterboy; and in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; for Worst Screenplay in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star;in 2001 for Little Nicky; and in 2000 for Big Daddy; for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for The Cobbler; in 2013 for That’s My Boy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry)

Andy Samberg – (Known For: Storks; Bad Neighbours; Friends with Benefits; Hotel Transylvania 2; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; Hotel Transylvania; I Love You, Man; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Hot Rod; The To Do List; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; Brigsby Bear; Celeste & Jesse Forever; BMT: Space Chimps; Grown Ups 2 (BMT); That’s My Boy; The Watch; What’s Your Number?; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple in 2013 for That’s My Boy; I’ve loved Samberg all the way back to his Lonely Island days, I even remember the day he was announced as a cast member for SNL and being rather excited. I love him in Brooklyn 99 as well. I refuse to say bad things about him!)

Leighton Meester – (Known For: The Judge; Date Night; Going the Distance; Life Partners; Like Sunday, Like Rain; BMT: The Roommate (BMT); That’s My Boy; Monte Carlo; The Oranges; Hangman’s Curse; Country Strong; The Beautiful Ordinary; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Gossip Girl represent! She started acting in Florida while living with her grandparents when her mother was serving jail time for involvement in a drug-smuggling ring! I would guess the first thing I remember her from was Entourage when she was just 18 years old.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $36,931,089 (Worldwide: $57,719,093)

(What does this movie cost $70 million. The budgets for Adam Sandler films are some of the great mysteries of the universe. At the time this was a rare bomb for Sandler, and ultimately a trend. Blended didn’t do much better and after that kids’ films and sequels were his only real hits.)

#23 for the Wedding genre

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(Standard stuff, a nice little oscillation there a bit, but otherwise Wedding movies have always been big and seem like good bang for the buck too. Below License to Wed is indeed not great. There appears to be one big Wedding comedy a year … makes sense, people are always getting married.)

#27 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(Came out right on a rise. We have watched so many of these films. The Are We There Yet? series and Old Dogs in particular recently. This comes in right around Delivery Man, and oddly that movie (which came out in 2013) is the last one listed for the genre on box office mojo. Has the genre died? Doesn’t really make sense, it was still making bank when they all disappeared. Stop slacking box office mojo.)

#21 for the Slacker / Stoner genre

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(Below 30 Minutes or Less is reeeeeally not great. Right at the peak of slacker/stoner genre it would seem. I want to make an argument about Democratic and Republican presidents, but the trough in 2005 just doesn’t work with the narrative. I’ll just end with mentioning Inherent Vice is the last one listed there … how weird.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (23/113): While it does represent a new foray into raunch for the normally PG-13 Sandler, That’s My Boy finds him repeating himself to diminishing effect – and dragging Andy Samberg down with him.

(Noooooooo don’t drag Samberg down too. I’ve actually never really liked gross out comedies. They … well, gross me out. I have a soft spot for Sandler though weirdly, a guy who I think gets a lot of flack for doing a really good job making movies people like to watch (the horror!). I’ll give it a shot. Open mind time.)

Poster – That’s My Sklog (B-)

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(First, so easy to change the title. Second, I kind of like it, very bright and colorful, symmetric. My main complaint is that it is just kind of a picture of two people, not much else going on. At least there isn’t just a big swath of sky behind them.)

Tagline(s) – The story of a child… and his son. (D)

(Stupid. Yeah, I get it. Tells you nothing about how their relationship is unique (the son is only 12 years younger than the father and he is the product of teacher-student rape), or why I care.)

Keyword(s) – teacher student relationship; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.0 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 78.3 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 77.7 Jason X (2001); 72.6 Elektra (2005); 71.4 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 69.0 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 68.5 Cell (I) (2016); 67.7 Supergirl (1984); 65.1 God’s Not Dead (2014); 64.9 Jennifer’s Body (2009);

(Jason X? What does that really even mean? What does Elektra really mean? Or Dragonball Z? This list is a lie! Or at least That’s My Boy goes a little beyond what they mean I think.)

Notes – When Andy Samberg actually got married he invited Adam Sandler to the wedding who showed up as his character in this movie, outfit and all. (I wouldn’t like that, not one bit. Although I guess comedians’ weddings are probably a bit different)

Eva Amurri Martino plays the younger version of her real-life mother Susan Sarandon. (Holy shit! I was going to say they did a really good job finding a young person to look like Susan Sarandon in the movie!)

Adam Sandler is only 12 years older than Andy Samberg, who plays his son in this movie, which makes perfect sense since Sandler’s character fathered him as a child. (A rare temporal consistency)

The film was originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to its explicit sexual content, making the film’s Adam Sandler’s only attempt at an NC-17 rated film. The film was later re-rated R on appeal. (I’m sure Sandler did not intend it to be rated NC-17)

Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Robert Smigel, David Wain and Ken Marino all did uncredited rewrites of the script. (Some State guys in there which is fun)

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year. (Nice to see its critical and financial failure didn’t effect the main screenwriter)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler); and for Worst Screenplay (David Caspe)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture; Worst Director (Sean Anders); for Worst Supporting Actor (Nick Swardson and Vanilla Ice); for Worst Screen Couple; and for Worst Screen Ensemble