Space Jam: A New Legacy Preview

Jamie and Lindsey run off in pursuit of the hack jack port but Jamie can’t keep his mind off the mysterious sensuality of the hardscrabble reporter. “It was really cool how you used your credentials to get us in here,” he says meekly, spots of color blooming in his cheeks, but she just looks at him and mumbles about “the power of the press.” My god, he can hardly stand the power she exudes. Suddenly they turn a corner and there is a pipe pouring steamy water into the hallway. “This is here in case someone needs a steamy shower,” Lindsey says softly, “do you?” She says as she steps into the water. Nonplussed by the boldness of the steamy, sultriness of the scene, Jamie quickly recovers and joins her. As he does, she pulls away. “I… I can’t. Ever since I became a hardscrabble reporter I can’t understand love, life is just a series of news stories to me and I can’t see myself as a character… only others.” Jamie nods in understanding. Love is so hard. Living, loving, and learning, sigh, he totally gets it for sure. His wise words about the three L’s break through her hardened exterior and soon Jamie has a new L in his life: Lindsey, and they are making out… hard. Sure hope Patrick is having a better chance with the hack jack port cause this wild adventure of the senses ain’t slowing down.

“Oh that was easy,” Patrick says to Kyle, having found the hack jack port moments after Jamie and Lindsey ran off. “What now?” He asks Rachel through the headset. Now? Now it’s time to upload and hack the planet against the baddest algorithms in interspace. That’s right! Despite the lackluster harvest this year for BMT, we’ve doing our duty in grabbing what we can. It came out a little while back, but we finally caught up with Space Jam: A New Legacy as the second BMT Live! of the year. Talk about hacking the planet and algorithms and junk. Let’s go!

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) – BMeTric: 78.2; Notability: 84

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.0%; Notability: top 1.1%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 17.0% Lower RT: Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Safer at Home, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, The Unholy, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Awake; Notes: The BMeTric is going to fall I presume as more and more normal people watch the film and realize that it is just like … Space Jam 2, and not some attack on their childhood. Also kids who watch it (and probably like it) will grow up and so the rating will probably rise to around 6.0, a bit below the original, but still I bet it’ll be decently high eventually.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Wait, when did everyone get a “-verse” to encompass all of their IP? I get it that the MCU was a way to bring together the different Marvel characters, and the Spider-verse was a way to bring the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man into one story. But around the time that the flying monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz,” Superman, King Kong, Agent Smith from “The Matrix,” and Ingrid Bergman from “Casablanca” show up in “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a movie about basketball-playing Looney Tunes characters, we cannot help wondering whether the movie’s not-so-side hustle is promoting every character they own that ever inspired a Funko Pop. We might also wonder whether it’s too much of a distraction from what’s happening in the movie as we play “Who’s that?” among the hundreds of cosplaying real and virtual background figures.

(I find the excerpt combined with 3 out of 4 stars to be interesting. An IP cash grab seems like the perfect opportunity to bust out a 2.5 out of 4, I liked it but do better kind of statement. Three out of four is like … good. That is a good review. I find that quite interesting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCsEKvz2mxs/

(I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. The CGI Toons look dumb and I don’t like it. Otherwise, from what I remember LeBron James is a far more capable actor than MJ, so he has that going for him.)

Directors – Malcolm D. Lee – (Known For: Girls Trip; Undercover Brother; The Best Man; Roll Bounce; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; The Best Man Holiday; Soul Men; Future BMT: Night School; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: He’s all about The Best Man series including writing and directing an upcoming television series based on the property and another sequel.)

Writers – Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick (based on “Space Jam” written by) – (Known For: Space Jam; The Santa Clause; Kicking & Screaming; The Santa Clause 2; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Leo Benvenuti seems to have retired in 2012. Steve Rudnick consulted on the recent Muppets show and wrote a few episodes as well.)

Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod (based on “Space Jam” written by) – (Known For: Space Jam; Trading Places; Kindergarten Cop; Twins; Astro Boy; Kindergarten Cop 2; Cheaper to Keep Her; Future BMT: My Stepmother Is an Alien; Pure Luck; Brewster’s Millions; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: They actually genuinely did write Kindergarten Cop 2, it wasn’t just a character credit. Space Jam was their last theatrical release screenplay credit.)

Juel Taylor (story by & screenplay by) – (Known For: Creed II; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Keenan Coogler’s brother wrote Creed, he wrote Creed II, and Keenen Coogler is writing the third, so a lot of Creed DNA in the film. He is writing They Cloned Tyrone with Tony Rettenmaier.)

Tony Rettenmaier (story by & screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Mostly does camera work it looks like. Has started writing features in 2019.)

Keenan Coogler (story by & screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Brother of Ryan Coogler who directed Creed. He’s now tapped to write Creed III.)

Terence Nance (story by & screenplay by) – (Known For: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Seems to do a little bit of everything. Has written a ton of shorts, and a television series starring himself.)

Jesse Gordon (screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Only credit is for some of the short segments in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)

Celeste Ballard (screenplay by) – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Seemed to have been involved in UCB and has written for a bunch of smaller series over the years. Her first film, and her second is in post-production starring Sophie Turner.)

Actors – LeBron James – (Known For: Trainwreck; Smallfoot; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: King James! Four time NBA champion. He was widely lauded for his performance in Trainwreck, so it seemed inevitable he would go for Space Jam 2, a film they’ve been trying to get off the ground for literally decades.)

Don Cheadle – (Known For: No Sudden Move; Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Boogie Nights; Captain Marvel; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Captain America: Civil War; Iron Man 2; Iron Man Three; Ocean’s Eleven; Crash; Flight; Traffic; Ocean’s Twelve; Ocean’s Thirteen; Out of Sight; Hotel Rwanda; Rush Hour 2; The Family Man; The Guard; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; The Meteor Man; After the Sunset; BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Swordfish; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for Hotel Rwanda. Plays the saxophone, and he was nominated for a Grammy for a spoken word album (how quaint).)

Cedric Joe – (BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy; Notes: Plays LeBron’s fictional child. Makes me wonder if LeBron’s actual children got auditions. Bryce is maybe the right age.)

Budget/Gross – $150 million / Domestic: $69,223,929 (Worldwide: $148,723,929)

(In normal times I think they would have been looking for $100 million easy. This is actually a lot more impressive than I would have thought. With the HBO Max money maybe it is okay in the end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (55/211): Despite LeBron James’ best efforts to make a winning team out of the Tune Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy trades the zany, meta humor of its predecessor for a shameless, tired exercise in IP-driven branding.

(Yeah, sounds about right. I think it is a surprisingly low percentage, I was mostly expecting it to float around 35%, but it just kept dropping. Reviewer Highlight: Corporations handing a bag of unrelated IP and ordering screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio filmmaking now, if not all of contemporary existence. – Sam Adams, Slate.)

Poster – Space Clams

(Odd poster. They are basically showing us almost nothing of the draw of the film in favor of colorful empty space. Like… I guess I recognize LeBron James’ legs. And then just the tops of the heads of the Looney Tunes? Very strange. I do like the vibrant colors and the quirk of the font. But odd stuff. C+)

Tagline(s) – They’re all Tuned up for a rematch. (C)

(But… it’s not a rematch. Whatever. This is fine in a your-kinda-stretching-it way. It’s short enough. It hints at the general concept of a Looney Tunes Space Jam sequel. And it is mildly clever. It’s mild all around.)

Keyword – basketball

Top 10: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Space Jam (1996), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), American Beauty (1999), Black Panther (2018), Glass (2019), Baywatch (2017), Sleepers (1996), Doctor Strange (2016), Uncut Gems (2019)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 73.7 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 69.4 The Flintstones (1994), 67.7 Crossover (2006), 62.9 The Comebacks (2007), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014);

BMT: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Baywatch (2017), Grown Ups (2010), Blended (2014), Bloodshot (2020), Cocktail (1988), A Walk to Remember (2002), Dangerous Minds (1995), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Jack and Jill (2011), Big Momma’s House (2000), Little Nicky (2000), Ride Along (2014), Now and Then (1995), Into the Storm (2014), The Game Plan (2007), Paycheck (2003), Dreamcatcher (2003), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Made of Honour (2008), Romeo Must Die (2000), Runner Runner (2013), Lock Up (1989), Steel (1997), Are We There Yet? (2005), Deadly Friend (1986), Juwanna Mann (2002), Half Past Dead (2002), Underclassman (2005)

(Kazaam is the obvious outlier here. We should have watched Kazaam ages ago, but it was probably hamstrung by the fact that we didn’t rewatch movies for the first five or so years of BMT. The plot is fun because I genuinely think it follows the pattern of 1990 onward basketball. I wonder what the baseball plot looks like …)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Don Cheadle is No. 2 billed in Space Jam: A New Legacy and No. 4 billed in Swordfish, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Mission to Mars, Reindeer Games, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – After the original idea for “Space Jam 2” was canceled, there was an idea for a spy film titled “Spy Jam” starring Chinese actor Jackie Chan, but he left the project and it evolved into Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

Bob Bergen is the only voice actor to return from the original Space Jam (1996) film (as Tweety).

The lighting effects on the Looney Tunes characters were done by Industrial Light & Magic which makes this the first time the company does the lighting effects on 2D animated characters in a live action and animated film since Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) 33 years earlier.

Kath Soucie had been set to reprise her role as Lola Bunny, and had all of her dialogue recorded. But for unknown reasons, she was replaced by Zendaya during late post-production.

The Warner Siblings make several cameos in the film. Looney Tunes: Back in Action director Joe Dante originally wanted to include a cameo of the siblings in the “water tower” scene, but the idea was discarded for unknown reasons. The Wacko, Yakko, and Dot can, however, be spotted multiple times through out the basketball game. They can be seen sitting on top of Marvin’s space ship.

Originally, the sequel was going to have Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes having a basketball game against a new alien villain named “The Berserk-O!”. Ultimately Michael’s refusal to return resulted in production’s cancellation.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was offered to star in the film, but he declined.

Warner Bros also had ideas for “Skate Jam”, “Golf Jam” and “Race Jam”, but they were all discarded.

Production began in June 2019 during the NBA off-season.

When Space Jam 2 was first announced back in 2011, one proposed idea was that it would star Tim Tebow and revolve around football. Little more information came from this idea before it was scrapped and replaced with its current plot about LeBron James. (I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS)

Pepe Le Pew, the French skunk, was supposed to have featured in a Casablanca (1942)-inspired scene where he tries to pick up Greice Santo, who violently rebuffs his advances. However, the unfinished scene was dropped after Malcolm D. Lee took over directing from Terence Nance, allegedly because the character of Le Pew was said to promote sexual harassment.

Original Space Jam (1996) director Joe Pytka said it took him five attempts to watch Space Jam 2 all the way through. He said that LeBron James was not a big enough celebrity to carry the film the way Michael Jordan did, adding “the truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael.” The commercial director went on to criticize the new film’s soundtrack as “insignificant” and the new version of Bugs Bunny as “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”

Terence Nance was the original director, but he voluntarily stepped down during production due to creative differences with the studio and producers, and was replaced with Malcolm D. Lee.

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon was reportedly attached to an auto racing-centered follow-up to Space Jam entitled “Race Jam”, but Gordon denied these rumors and the project fell through. Gordon did make a cameo appearance in the last theatrically-released Looney Tunes film, Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

Alpha and Omega Preview

Jamie and the Predator climb aboard his rocket powered skateboard and fly out of the whale. At first they totally don’t get along due to their differences. The Predator is a bloodthirsty monster focused only on killing. Jamie is a cool dude just looking for a party. But soon they find common ground as Jamie realizes the Predator has some pretty cool tech to track the little old librarian and the Predator realizes that Jamie can brew a mean cup of coffee. Turns out that’s not the only thing brewing: we got ourselves a full blown bromance. They spend hours telling each other secrets and braiding the Predator’s hair. They come up with some elaborate handshakes and build a tree fort together. It’s more or less the best. Unfortunately this also means distraction as the Predator totally wrecks his rocket skateboard in the wilderness of Canada while trading baseball cards with Jamie. “Damn it, Predator. What are we going to do? We’ll never get back to civilization in time to kill the little old librarian and rescue Patrick from the terrors of the alternate dimension.” The Predator shrugs his shoulders, downs a can of Mountain Dew, and begins the trek in the general direction of the LOL (little old librarian, duh). Suddenly a pack of wolves emerges from the trees. Just before the Predator blows them to smithereens Jamie intervenes. “Wait,” he says in confusion, “these aren’t real wolves… these are terribly rendered holograms.” That’s right! This week we’re watching Alpha and Omega, that animated wolf film that everyone remembers and loves. There was a time when it seemed like everything rendered in beautiful 3D animation was gold and never got bad reviews. This film came out right after that. But don’t worry it made bank and has a thousand straight-to-DVD sequels (I know you were worried)… sigh, this should be fun. Let’s go!

Patrick awakens on the beach, but now it looks like a beautiful European vista. “I love vistas.” Patrick thinks as a beautiful woman exits the water and approaches him. It is young Elizabeth Taylor, or at least someone who looks like her. In an instant he lives an entire life, they have a torrid love affair that the press can’t get enough of, he wins awards, becomes an alcoholic, and becomes a shattered soul as their love sours, rekindles, and then falls apart. On his deathbed in Switzerland, an old man, Patrick thinks back to that iconic love story before peacefully passing away. Becoming a force ghost, he haunts Elizabeth Taylor for the rest of her days until … Patrick awakens, he isn’t actually dead, he is still in Switzerland and was merely napping, but as if through a thick fog he can hear a familiar voice: “Gosh dern it Patrick, snap out of it!”, he awakens again! It was a dream within a dream! What a twist! The beach is torn to shreds, the birds gone, and Sticks and Stones are battered and bruised. Patrick can barely hear them through the whipping winds. Patrick is lifted into the air at the center of the storm, tears filling his eyes, and fear filling his heart. He doesn’t know what to do. He wishes he could just go back to something comfortable and calming, like illogical and unending product placement within the bad movies that he loves. Bam! The beach set is now a supermarket, and Stick and Stones are cartoon cereal mascots. “Shit, how’d you do that?!” Sticks growls. “It don’t matter, use those twin powers to get us to the precinct!” says Stones. They all jump in a supermarket cart and dash off down the aisle. That’s right, we’re watching Foodfight! Produced in 2003 the film is thought to have been a money laundering scheme gone awry, the gimmick being the promise of product placement covering production costs. After defaulting on loans, the film was auctioned off and, with investors invoking a contractual clause, the film was quietly released on DVD a decade after production began. Let’s go!

Alpha and Omega (2010) – BMeTric: 44.1

AlphaandOmega_BMeT

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(Shockingly low rating for an animated film it feels like. Not much else to say beyond that it has a very nice vote curve which appears to be asymptotically approaching a value around … fifteen thousand maybe?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Two wolves, a male and female with opposite personalities names Humphrey and Kate (get it?), are transported to Idaho to mate and expand the wolf population. Instead, they band together to trek back home to Canada, encountering numerous perils along the way; later, they work together to stop their packs from having a turf war. Animated film is aimed at the youngest members of the family, with slapstick antics and cliched characters that will have parents squirming. Produced on a low budget and animated primarily in Mumbai, India.

(So I guess what Leonard is referring to is Humphrey (Bogart) and Kate (Katharine Hepburn I assume)? Although I couldn’t find anything definitive on that actually being the case, so perhaps I’m missing something. While researching this I have discovered there are a number of fan fiction short stories about Kate and Humphrey’s children. So that’s a thing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXLAvDEpdT0

(Wowza, the animation is terrible! What an Idaho film as well … too bad Georgia Rule already dominates that state on the Mapl.d.map.)

Directors – Anthony Bell – (BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Duckman, The Wild Thornberrys, and Rugrats are just a few of his television credits. Seemingly was a big name in animation directing.)

Ben Gluck – (BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Graduated from the California Institute of Art. Did a few direct-to-video sequels, Bambi II and Brother Bear 2, prior to co-directing this film.)

Writers – Chris Denk (screenplay) – (Known For: Bling; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Was a production assistant before breaking through as a screenwriter.)

Ben Gluck (story by) – (Known For: Bambi II; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: His last credit both as a director and writer were Madea’s Tough Love, which is an animated Madea film.)

Steve Moore (original screenplay and story) – (Known For: Open Season; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Created the syndicated cartoon In the Bleachers which Open Season is a spin off from. Alpha and Omega is his only original screenplay it looks like.)

Actors – Hayden Panettiere – (Known For: Remember the Titans; Scream 4; A Bug’s Life; Dinosaur; Ice Princess; The Object of My Affection; Future BMT: Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Racing Stripes; Joe Somebody; Raising Helen; Message in a Bottle; The Affair of the Necklace; Fireflies in the Garden; The Architect; BMT: I Love You, Beth Cooper; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Apparently just split up with Wladimir Klitschko after a five year engagement during which they had a daughter.)

Christina Ricci – (Known For: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Sleepy Hollow; The Addams Family; Monster; Casper; Addams Family Values; Black Snake Moan; Speed Racer; Penelope; Mermaids; Small Soldiers; Buffalo ’66; The Ice Storm; Bastard Out of Carolina; The Opposite of Sex; Anything Else; Pecker; The Hard Way; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; Around the Block; Future BMT: Cursed; The Smurfs 2; Bel Ami; That Darn Cat; Home of the Brave; 200 Cigarettes; Mothers and Daughters; Distorted; New York, I Love You; The Man Who Cried; Prozac Nation; I Love Your Work; Pumpkin; All’s Faire in Love; Now and Then; Desert Blue; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Bless the Child; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Child star turned actress, she seems to do more television these days, like playing Zelda Fitzgerald in Z: The Beginning of Everything)

Justin Long – (Known For: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Tusk; Idiocracy; He’s Just Not That Into You; Drag Me to Hell; Funny People; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; Die Hard 4.0; Galaxy Quest; Veronica Mars; Jeepers Creepers; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; A Case of You; 10 Years; Herbie Fully Loaded; Going the Distance; The Conspirator; Comet; Youth in Revolt; Frank & Lola; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Yoga Hosers; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Jeepers Creepers II; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; The Break-Up; Serious Moonlight; Trauma; Planet 51; Ghost Team; The Lookalike; Literally, Right Before Aaron; Accepted; Best Man Down; Waiting…; BMT: Crossroads; Movie 43; Old Dogs; Strange Wilderness; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Was the Mac guy in old Mac commercials (opposite John Hodgman, the PC). Apparently might be back together with Drew Barrymore, they were reportedly dating around the time they filmed Going the Distance.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $25,107,267 (Worldwide: $50,507,267)

(A success I would say. Not enough maybe to make a real sequel, but it isn’t that surprising it has … six sequels! Well, it isn’t surprising it has sequels, we’ll leave it at that.)

#191 for the Animation genre

alphaandomega_animation

(Huh … we haven’t watched any traditional animated films. Unless you count Cool World which was only partially so. Most of the recent examples are computer animated, but interesting to see how inconsistent (but extremely successful) the early 90s were for traditional animation with things like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, made alongside things like Rock-a-Doodle.)

#129 for the Animation – Computer genre

alphaandomega_computeranimation

(The Emoji Movie was by far the most recent of the computer animated. Pretty interesting to see the success of the early examples (like Toy Story) and how it almost immediately settles into a steadily rising production / revenue line.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (9/56): With bland visuals and a dull, predictable plot, Alpha and Omega is a runt in 2010’s animated litter.

(Huh, bland and predictable doesn’t seem too great. At least it is a real animated film I guess. Reviewer Highlight: There’s nothing here that Disney hasn’t done much better decades ago, and the script is a lame mixture of slapstick and sentiment. – Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail)

Poster – I’m Uncomfortable With How Sexily They Have Drawn That Girl Wolf (B)

alpha_and_omega_ver5

(If you think that’s uncomfortable wait until you see how they animate that sexy girl wolf. It gets weird. Anyway, nice font, good balance, and OK coloring. Overall pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – A Pawsome 3D Adventure (Nope)

(Woof! That one’s… ruff. They sure let this tagline… go to the dogs.)

Keyword(s) – park; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.1 The Room (2003); 75.8 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 71.4 Getaway (I) (2013); 68.9 The Happening (2008); 65.7 Yogi Bear (2010); 61.6 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987); 60.5 The Snowman (2017); 56.5 Befikre (2016); 56.4 Rough Night (2017); 55.7 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994);

(Well, I suppose The Room does have a scene in a park … Yogi Bear seems like the only actually park film. Richie Rich does end in a park as well, but that is a fairly minor part of that atrocious film.)

Notes – Dennis Hopper’s last film. (yes, this is sadly true)

It was Lionsgate’s highest grossing animated feature, before 2017 when it was dethroned by My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).

The names of the two main characters are Humphrey and Kate, which are the names of the co-stars of The African Queen (1951) Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. (Hey, I guessed right!)

In reality, northwestern wolves that originated from Alberta, Canada, were used to repopulate Yellowstone National Park.

The first of five movies released in a seven-month period, that set the record of the worst debut for a 3-D movie. This movie debuted to 9.1 million dollars, setting the then-record, losing it to My Soul to Take (2010) (6.8 million dollars) three weeks later, which lost it to Gulliver’s Travels (2010) (6.3 million dollars) eleven weeks later, which lost it to Drive Angry (2011) (5.2 million dollars) ten weeks later, which lost it to Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011) (4.1 million dollars) nine weeks later. However, despite its rather disappointing opening at the box-office, the movie did much better later on, managing to make three times more than its twenty million dollar budget. (Probably just reflects the growing ubiquity of 3D films in the US at the time, that eventually even really small films were getting 3D released in 2011)

Gained a cult following among audiences, and developed a decent fanbase. It’s also Crest Animations’ and Lionsgate’s most famous and popular movie. (I mean … maybe Crest. But certainly not Lionsgate. Maybe their most famous released together?)

The actors, actresses, directors, and crew would actually act out the performances themselves, and then send out the footage to the main studio in Mumbai, India to be fully animated. (whaaaaaaa)

The movie didn’t do as well as expected at the U.S. box-office, earning a little over twenty-five million dollars on its twenty million dollar budget. However, it did better in the rest of the world, eventually grossing almost fifty-one million dollars.

Steve Moore originally intended to give the movie a slightly darker and more serious story, but Lionsgate wanted it to be aimed more towards children, leading the original script to be re-written.

Cool World Preview

After seeing Rich get accused of vigilante murder (again), Poe quickly pulls out a small evidence notebook to reveal that he is also a vigilante cop (what a twist!). Secretly we know this is all a frame job and they just need to stick together so they can take down their ultimate foe. They go on trial and are thrown in the slammer (again). Luckily, being Rich and Poe, they escape like the badasses they are, punching people in the throats and faces along the way. They track their arch nemesis back to a secret iron smelting plant/cocaine factory/headquarters and find that it is none other than Helmut Gruber! He’s alive! Gruber leads them on a chase through a house of mirrors. There appears to be twenty Grubers… who do they shoot? Wrong question, who don’t they shoot? They blow him to pieces with their dual miniguns and with dead doll eyes set the factory ablaze, evidence and all. They high five a whole bunch and are reinstated to the force no questions asked. THE END … [fade from imagination script world] … We nervously sit across of a high powered studio executive, the script to Rich & Poe in his hands. We’ve been waiting for hours while he’s read it in a single sitting. “Jamie and Patrick. This script is a true masterpiece. I love it more than my children. Just one thing.” We hold our breath. “I think we need to change this ending… what if, and hear me out… what if we have Rich and Poe fuck a cartoon” That’s right! We’re watching Cool World. It’s the classic tale of boy meets cartoon girl, boy has sex with a cartoon. Straight from the deranged mind of Frank Mancuso Jr., the producer of I Know Who Killed Me, this is like Who Framed Roger Rabbit except super weird and a guy has sex with a cartoon. This also officially transitions to the Calendar cycle of the year where we try to knock a few more dates off that challenge. Let’s go!

Cool World (1992) – BMeTric: 61.4

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(Makes sense it would slowly increase. It sounds like something that animation fans would kind of grow to respect over time despite its problems at the time of release. Even pulling punches on hard-R and ending up at PG-13 can be forgiven given when it was released.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Pointless live-action / animation feature from Bakashi, who’s covered this ground before, much more successfully. Ex-con comic-book artist Byrne discovers his cartoon creations are real, and live in a parallel universe called Cool World. After sexy “doodle” Holli (Basinger) has sex with Byrne, she becomes human and escapes to the real world, with detective Pitt in tow. Too serious to be fun, too goofy to take seriously; lead characters unlikable and unappealing. Looks like a Roger Corman version of Roger Rabbit.

(Such a long review. Too serious to be fun and too goofy to be serious sounds exactly like I expected. Sounds ludicrous.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kJAVgY8DMk

(Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trailer that seemingly walks through the entire plot of a film so precisely… and boy does it seem really weird and yet super boring.)

Directors – Ralph Bakshi – (Known For: The Lord of the Rings; Fritz the Cat; Wizards; American Pop; Heavy Traffic; BMT: Cool World; Notes: Considered one of the greatest animators of all time.)

Writers – Michael Grais and Mark Victor (written by) – (Known For: Poltergeist; Future BMT: Poltergeist; Poltergeist II: The Other Side; Marked for Death; BMT: Cool World; Notes: Grais co-wrote Poltergeist with Steven Spielberg which basically influenced the rest of these two guys’ careers. Surprisingly little about them online though.)

Actors – Gabriel Byrne – (Known For: Hereditary; The Usual Suspects; Excalibur; Little Women; Enemy of the State; Miller’s Crossing; Assault on Precinct 13; Dead Man; Mad to Be Normal; The 33; Point of No Return; Vanity Fair; Louder Than Bombs; Spider; Gothic; Carrie Pilby; A Dangerous Woman; Shade; P.S.; No Pay, Nudity; Future BMT: Vampire Academy; End of Days; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; The Keep; Stigmata; Hello Again; The End of Violence; All Things to All Men; The Man in the Iron Mask; Quest for Camelot; Trial by Jury; Siesta; BMT: Cool World; Ghost Ship; Trigger Happy; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2000 for End of Days, and Stigmata; Notes: Irish. Is notable for only starting acting when he was 29, far later than most actors.)

Kim Basinger – (Known For: The Nice Guys; L.A. Confidential; Batman; 8 Mile; Nine 1/2 Weeks; Wayne’s World 2; Never Say Never Again; The Natural; The Door in the Floor; Cellular; Final Analysis; People I Know; Nadine; Fool for Love; Future BMT: The Informers; Prêt-à-Porter; My Stepmother Is an Alien; While She Was Out; The Getaway; The Real McCoy; Blind Date; The Sentinel; The Man Who Loved Women; Even Money; Third Person; I Am Here; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; The Burning Plain; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Cool World; Bless the Child; No Mercy; I Dreamed of Africa; The Marrying Man; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Fifty Shades Darker in 2018; and Nominee for Worst Actress in 1987 for Nine 1/2 Weeks; in 1992 for The Marrying Man; in 1993 for Cool World, and Final Analysis; in 1995 for The Getaway; and in 2001 for Bless the Child, and I Dreamed of Africa; Notes: Kimmy B! I missed her in Fifty Shades Freed. Her daughter Ireland is a model now.)

Brad Pitt – (Known For: Deadpool 2; Ocean’s Eleven; Inglourious Basterds; Fight Club; Se7en; Ocean’s Thirteen; Ocean’s Twelve; Troy; Fury; 12 Years a Slave; The Big Short; Snatch; World War Z; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Twelve Monkeys; Megamind; True Romance; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Allied; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Full Frontal; By the Sea; Cutting Class; The Devil’s Own; The Favour; Johnny Suede; BMT: Cool World; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Notes: Basically just in the new recently for his high profile divorce proceedings involving Angelina Jolie, they have five children together which … complicates things.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $14,110,589

(Complete bomb, but honestly that is expected. It is a Roger Rabbit knockoff and a terrible one at that.)

#222 for the Animation genre

coolworld_animation

(Shockingly only the fourth animated film we’ve seen (The Emoji Movie, Escape From Planet Earth, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, Doogal). I believe the big jumps are introductions of new technology (CG in the mid-90s), and the various phases of those technologies. Recently, I think the jump is the complete takeover of cheap animation by CG leaving basically no traditionally animated features being released.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/46): Cool World throws a small handful of visual sparks, but they aren’t enough to distract from the screenplay’s thin characters and scattered plot.

(I did not realize how low this rating was. That is pretty stunning. Review Highlight: A realm with precious little humor and zero pathos, to be admired only for its considerable technical achievements. – Brian Lowry, Variety … at least it is a technical achievement.)

Poster – Sklog World (C)

cool_world_ver2

(Brad Pitt looks so out of place on this poster… which is probably foreshadowing to how the effect will work in the actual film. Doesn’t even have good framing with the toons even. OK coloring and some kooky toon font rescues it a bit.)

Tagline(s) – Holli would if she could …and she will (C-)

(A little play on the character’s name and her ambitions to seduce a human… which we wouldn’t know because it’s not based on some known property. So it kinda just ends up being a meaningless play on words.)

Keyword(s) – profanity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.8 Troll 2 (1990); 71.5 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015); 68.1 Vice (2015); 65.8 Problem Child 2 (1991); 64.4 Stealth (2005); 63.7 Body of Evidence (1993); 63.1 Ben & Arthur (2002); 61.9 Blair Witch (2016); 61.4 Cool World (1992); 61.1 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017);

(Problem Child 2? It is rated PG-13 and basically made for like … 13-year-olds. Why would it get a profanity keyword. You’d think you’d save that for like … specifically profane movies.)

Movie Stub – Cool World – Rated GA-Class – GA is very high by the way, likely because of the pretty big sections on the production, release, and reception. Reception is actually often noted as a blind spot for film wikipedia pages. I’m not sure what they tend to look for, I guess a few choice soundbites from bit critics, but almost all C/B-class pages mention that the reception section is lacking. To me this is a perfect wiki page for the film, and I would hope that all BMT films could aspire to the svelte plot summary and expansive notes.

Notes – Ralph Bakshi was almost fired and sued by Frank Mancuso Jr. for punching him in the nose after he told him this film was being changed.

Ralph Bakshi wanted Brad Pitt to play Jack Deebs. Brad said he wanted the same, but Paramount Pictures disagreed.

As a publicity stunt, Paramount Pictures placed a huge cut-out of Holli Would on the D of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Although they did not have to pay any fees, the studio still had to make a donation of $27,000 to the sign’s maintenance fund, another $27,000 to the Rebuild L.A. fund (this was just after the L.A. riots), and the cost of two park rangers to guard the sign 24 hours a day. However, the publicity stunt angered local residents who picketed and demanded that the cut-out be taken down. (ha, fun fact)

Since the characters were simply created from scratch, the directors thought this to be appropriate to parody both popular Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon characters. A few examples would be the medium used for the rabbits, the old bald man and their own version of Geppetto and Pinnochio in a larger character’s stomach, or Daffy Duck’s face seen in a building on the movie.

In Ralph Bakshi’s original script, Holli Would was named Debbie Dallas, after the porn film Debbie Does Dallas (1978). (Kind of gross)

The movie was originally sold as a “hard-R” animated/live action horror film. The original concept art that Ralph Bakshi used to pitch the film was significantly more disturbing than what ultimately ended up onscreen, and had character designs stylistically similar to those found in Frank Miller’s “Sin City”. Once Kim Basinger became attached, she and the studio became ambivalent about the kind of reaction the movie would generate, resulting in the studio deciding to “soften” the picture to a PG-rated dark comedy (though the ratings board ultimately gave this a PG-13). (Ambivalent seems like the wrong work, to change things so dramatically one would have to be concerned about the negative buzz the picture could generate).

In the press release for the film, the studio tried to sell the movie both as a down-and-dirty Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and as a technical achievement in creating a multiplane effect using live-action and animation. The claims were somewhat foolhardy as Roger’s adult situations better served its plot and Roger had scores of technical breakthroughs in its attempt to seamlessly combine live-action and animation. (Alright, calm down IMDb trivia writer. I agree, but no need to throw Roger Rabbit’s “scores” of technical breakthroughs in their faces)

Ralph Bakshi originally wanted Drew Barrymore to play the sultry Holli Would. (Oooof, that would have been weird … did they decide that was a bad idea before or after they realized she was 17 at the time? …)

The character of Nails the Spider is borrowed from Bakshi’s own Christmas in Tattertown character Sidney the Spider. Charlie Adler provides the voices for both characters.

As of 2017, this is Ralph Bakshi’s last film, though he does intend to return to filmmaking soon, after being annoyed by every major animated film being made with computer animation. (He’s going to be annoyed for a long time sadly)

Despite the film’s less than stellar performance, its soundtrack gained critical acclaim and popularity which consists of electronic dance and rock songs by David Bowie, Moby, Neil Tennant and Mark Isham, the film’s composer.

The song, “Disappointed” by Electronic, appeared on the film’s soundtrack before this appeared on any of the band’s own albums. In 2006, this was finally released on the band’s compilation album, “Get the Message – The Best of Electronic”. (WHAT that is crazy)

During a meeting mid-production, Kim Basinger told Ralph Bakshi and Frank Mancuso Jr. that this would be wonderful if she could show this movie to sick children in hospitals. Bakshi replied “Kim, I think that’s wonderful, but you’ve got the wrong guy to do that with. Why didn’t you tell me that on the way in? How are you telling me that halfway through the picture?” Mancuso reportedly agreed with Basinger that this was a good idea. (This I assume was the incident that Bakshi punched Mancuso in the nose over. I love that this is the producer of I Know Who Killed Me as well.)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Kim Basinger, 1993)

The Emoji Movie Preview

Gotta end 2017 with a bang and there isn’t any BMT film bigger than the one tapped for the transition to 2018’s first cycle. It came into the year as one of the most anticipated BMT releases (along with Geostorm and Fifty Shades) and only escaped the BMT Live! treatment because we had already watched Fifty Shades and The Mummy by the time it came out. Better late than never. That’s right! We’re finally watching The Emoji Movie. This movie looked like absolute trash from the get go and now we get to see if it lived up to the hype as one of the few sub-10% films of the year (standing at 9% RT). As for the transition, we are starting 2018 off with a cycle of adaptations. Like a lot of cycles we are going to try to do nine different adaptations so not just books, but TV shows, comic books, theme park rides, etc. That’s where The Emoji Movie fits in. It is one of the few cases where technology in general has been adapted into film (the only one that came to mind for us was You’ve Got Mail… great example). What a start! Let’s go!

The Emoji Movie (2017) – BMeTric: 86.9

TheEmojiMovie_BMeT

TheEmojiMovie_RV

(Steadily rising, but it won’t get much higher that the mid-3’s I don’t think. People obviously pile on at first, but even early reviewers were giving it reviews in the 2-3 range, so it’ll settle at a more reasonable 3-4 over time I would think.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars The failure of imagination in “The Emoji Movie” is not limited to its depiction of the app world. This is a film that has literally nothing to offer viewers—there are no moments of humor, excitement or insight regarding a culture that considers emojis to be the pinnacle of contemporary communication. The actors go through their lines with such a lack of enthusiasm that they make Krusty the Klown seem focused and committed by comparison.

(If you read the rest of this preview you’ll learn this is one of the fastest produced computer animated films ever made. So it isn’t that surprising that the voice work is sub-par. The rest of the review doesn’t give much else besides suggesting it is just cynically made, and that he like other obviously superior animated films more.)

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

(Yeah … so, that trailer is not great. It doesn’t really present any major plot and really is just a mishmash of a bunch of different apps I guess. It manages to just look really really dumb. But I am not 10 years old so what do I know?)

Directors – Tony Leondis – (Future BMT: Igor; BMT: The Emoji Movie; Notes: Been involved with another animated film B.O.O. about ghost secret agents. Lots of actors attached but seems like Igor and The Emoji Movie might have put it on permanent hold.)

Writers – Tony Leondis (screenplay by & story by) – (Future BMT: Igor; BMT: The Emoji Movie; Notes: Cut his teeth as a story artist. Most notably on The Prince of Egypt.)

Eric Siegel (screenplay by & story by) – (BMT: The Emoji Movie; Notes: Husband of longtime CSI: NY actress Anna Belknap.)

Mike White (screenplay by) – (Known For: School of Rock; Brad’s Status; Nacho Libre; Beatriz at Dinner; The Good Girl; Year of the Dog; Chuck & Buck; Future BMT: Dead Man on Campus; BMT: The Emoji Movie; Notes: Probably best known for School of Rock, IMDb also says he wrote nine episodes of Dawson’s Creek. Coolio.)

John Hoffman (additional screenplay material) – (Known For: Good Boy!; Future BMT: Igor; BMT: The Emoji Movie; Notes: Must have known Tony Leondis from Igor. He’s also one of the executive producers of Grace and Frankie.)

Actors – T.J. Miller – (Known For: Office Christmas Party; Deadpool; Big Hero 6; She’s Out of My League; How to Train Your Dragon; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Rock of Ages; Cloverfield; Goon: Last of the Enforcers; Get Him to the Greek; Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; Extract; Our Idiot Brother; Future BMT: Gulliver’s Travels; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Search Party; BMT: The Emoji Movie; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Notes: There is a fair chance he is a terrible person as he has been accused of doing terrible things.)

James Corden – (Known For: Trolls; Into the Woods; Begin Again; The Lady in the Van; Starter for 10; The History Boys; One Chance; All or Nothing; Pierrepoint; Telstar: The Joe Meek Story; Heartlands; Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?; Future BMT: Gulliver’s Travels; Norm of the North; Lesbian Vampire Killers; Konferenz der Tiere; Planet 51; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; Kill Your Friends; BMT: The Emoji Movie; The Three Musketeers; Notes: Our very own Planchet. Obviously now a major talk show host.)

Anna Faris – (Known For: Brokeback Mountain; Just Friends; Lost in Translation; The Dictator; Scary Movie; The House Bunny; 22 Jump Street; Keanu; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; I Give It a Year; Observe and Report; My Super Ex-Girlfriend; May; Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel; Smiley Face; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Scary Movie 3; The Hot Chick; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Mama’s Boy; What’s Your Number?; Take Me Home Tonight; Waiting…; BMT: The Emoji Movie; Movie 43; Notes: Been in the news since she and Chris Pratt broke up in what was probably 2017’s biggest celeb split.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $86,089,513 (Worldwide: $216,970,871)

(That is a lot of money. I hope they don’t make a sequel though. Not because people shouldn’t go get their money. I just don’t want to watch another Emoji Movie.)

#105 for the Animation genre

theemojimovie_animation

(Animation has apparently held steady over the years as far as gross is concerned. The big jumps are likely technologically related. Late-90s was the advent of computer animated films. Mid 2000s is when that process became cheaper than traditional animation. And the big jump around now is likely concerning the ability for a single studio to produce a full-length feature in roughly the same amount of time as live-action production (something like that, i.e. the ability for a film like this to be made and profitable).)

#86 for the Animation – Computer genre

theemojimovie_computeranimation

(Tells the same story as above, basically confirming the mid-2000s jump was computer animation supplanting traditional animation. It makes sense with the above as well actually. The mid-2010s probably marks when animation because easy and cheap enough to produce television shows and made “kids films” almost entirely computer animated.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (10/108): 🚫

(Sub-10% means we kind of have to do the film at some point. It is kind of the crown jewel of any BMT year. The consensus here though is an embarrassment and Rotten Tomatoes should be embarrassed. It is an emoji if you can’t tell … I thought my email generator program was broken at first.)

Poster – The Sklogmoji Movie (D)

emoji_movie_ver12

(Not into it. This is essentially a slightly better version of the Father Figures poster. Slightly better because… well how couldn’t it be better than that disaster? But only marginally. That font is embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for you, poster.)

Tagline(s) – An adventure beyond words (A+)

(Oh shit… that’s actually pretty clever. Oh man. I’m starting to really like it. I better grade this before I give it an A+ because I take pride in how tough my grading is. Too late. That’s an A+ if I’ve ever seen one. Short, sweet, and clever. Gives a hint at the plot and works as an effective advertisement for emojis to boot. Daaannnnggggggg.)

Keyword(s) – food; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.9 The Emoji Movie (2017); 85.8 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.4 Troll 2 (1990); 84.1 Home Alone 3 (1997); 75.7 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 71.7 The Flintstones (1994); 64.8 10,000 BC (2008); 64.0 Leprechaun (1993); 63.1 North (1994); 61.2 Foodfight! (2012);

(Ah yes. In the Name of the King a Dungeon Siege Tale and … food. Two peas in a pod. Amazingly there appears to be no … food in Batman & Robin. A strange mix of films here which nearly pushes an actual food movie (Foodfight!) off of the list. Foodfight will be done as part of a Worst Movie Ever series I assume, it is apparently quite the experience.)

Notes – John Douglass, owner of the “jacksfilms” YouTube account, was invited to the world premiere of this movie by Sony because he praised it sarcastically since its announcement. (So getting early fake good reviews is actually a thing huh?)

Sony promoted the latter release of the trailer by hosting a press conference in Cannes, the day before the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which featured T.J. Miller parasailing in. Variety called the event “slightly awkward” and The Hollywood Reporter described it as “promotional ridiculousness.” (That doesn’t sound fun or funny, good job Emoji Film PR team)

According to T.J. Miller, this is the fastest produced animated film in history. (I’m loving this fact for some reason)

Tony Leondis, the director of the movie, does not take emoji’s seriously. He sees them as “the toys of the 21st century” and said he needed to rush the movie because “who even knows if people are going to like emoji’s in [six years]”.

The film was shown alongside Puppy, a short film based on the Hotel Transylvania films.

The original title was Emoji Movie: Express Yourself. (Would have joined The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle on the list of 2017 films that inexplicably used a random song title as the subtitle to a film. Not loving that trend)

In the Latin American Spanish version, the name of Jailbreak was changed with the name of “Lady Hacker”.

A week before the film was released, Sony tweeted a controversial promotional picture parodying the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale (2017). It was immediately met with criticism for being tasteless, considering the content and themes of the Hulu series. Following the backlash, the tweet was deleted. (Haaaaaaa)

The official artwork of the main trio bears a strong resemblance to the final poster for Free Birds (2013). (So artwork in posters follows a kind of wave-like pattern. Father Figures, which just came out, has a very similar poster to Emoji Movie among a few others actually. I do not like the seven-faced-shoved-together look though)

The opera music being played when the trash is being emptied translates to “If Sarastro does not through you feel the pain of death” (weird)

NOTE: Most of the other notes are just saying how many animated film each of the ten or so main cast members were in prior to the Emoji Movie. I’m genuinely shocked at how few notes there are, I would think a ton of gross set stories would have come out once everyone realized this was going to be critically panned.