Kazaam Preview

Jamie and Lindsey turn a corner heading for the stairs to the rooftop only to stop short at the sight of the cyborg bad movie twins. They are talking with a man hidden in the shadows who shouts for the cyborgs to stop them. Scrambling up to the roof, Jamie follows the steamy water pipe until finally he and Lindsey stand by two dials. “Here goes nothing,” they say, initiating the emergency electronic wash. With a loud boom they are blown backwards across the rooftop, landing at the feet of the cyborgs. But before they can destroy Jamie and Lindsey with their fearsome robot strength a voice rings out, “not so fast!” Freed from their computer simulation prison by the water and returned to their young, super athletic bodies, Patrick and Kyle stand ready for a fight. The shadowy figure approaches, slowly clapping. “Impressive,” he says softly, “I knew you were clever Patrick, but I didn’t think you had it in you to match wits with me. Certainly not your meathead brother there and his sad bunch of friends. But I guess there was some reason you always were our publisher’s favorite.” And with that he steps from the shadows and Jamie and Patrick gasp. That piece of shit Manfred Long. “You goddamn hack,” Patrick spits, “I should have known if there was anyone who would shamelessly rip-off the BMT brand it would be you.” But Manfred just chuckles at that and waves the Cyborgs over to Jamie, Kyle, and Lindsey. “Take them,” he says, “I want to have a little chat with Patrick here. See if we can’t make a deal. I now have the power to make any wish you want come true… as long as you play ball.” And with that he holds up the Obsidian Dongle. That’s right! It’s the original Wishmaster of the NBA (as everyone called him) Shaq and the 90’s rapping genie classic Kazaam. I think probably this was just a bit past prime time for Patrick and I so I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Let’s go!

The cyborgs approach Jamie, Kyle and Lindsey with their evil dead eyes glowing red. Gulp! Looks like the end for our heroes, that is until they hear a whistle from above and they see Rachel the Pretzel Girl soaring in on one of their hang gliders. “You feeling lucky, punks?” she shouts and Kyle pumps his fist at her wholly original quote. Let’s go! We are taking a risk with a Troma film for the Kazaam pairing and watching Getting Lucky about a Leprechaun that gives a nerd a chance at… well, getting lucky. Let’s go!

Kazaam (1996) – BMeTric: 83.8; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 28.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.5%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Spy Hard, Jingle All The Way, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Mulholland Falls, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, Eye for an Eye, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Crow: City of Angels, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Joe’s Apartment, High School High, and 50 more; Lower RT: The Dentist, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ed, Big Bully, Ripe, Bio-Dome; Notes: Wow that BMeTric is gaudy. How have we avoided doing this film until now? A sub-3.0 on IMDb is absurd for such a wide release, it is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Kazaam” is a textbook example of a filmed deal, in which adults assemble a package that reflects their own interests and try to sell it to kids. How else to explain a children’s movie where the villains are trying to steal a bootleg recording so they can sell pirated copies of it? What do kids know, or care, about that? The movie stars Shaquille O’Neal, the Orlando Magic’s superstar center, as Kazaam, a genie who is released from captivity in an old boom box and has to perform three wishes for a little kid (Francis Capra). Right there you have a wonderful illustration of the movie’s creative bankruptcy. Assigned to construct a starring vehicle for Shaq, the filmmakers looked at him, saw a tall bald black man, and said, “Hey, he can be a genie!” At which point, somebody should have said, “OK, that’s level one. Now let’s take it to level three.” Shaq has already proven he can act (in “Blue Chips,” the 1994 movie about college basketball). Here he shows he can be likable in a children’s movie. What he does not show is good judgment in his choice of material. This is a tired concept, written by the numbers. Kids old enough to know about Shaq as a basketball star will be too old to enjoy the movie. Younger kids won’t find much to engage them. And O’Neal shouldn’t have used the movie to promote his own career as a rap artist; the soundtrack sounds less like music to entertain kids than like a trial run for a Shaq album.

(Wow, he cuts right to the core. And yeah, that’s called a great B-plot. This movie sounds kind of amazing for that reason alone, I love B-plots that make no sense for a kids movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFVaxa1UKNg/

(Looks fun. Although now I remember why we haven’t done this one yet … it’s a kids movie. This is definitively a kids movie. Just give me all B-plot. Recut the entire film into just the B-plot.)

DirectorsPaul Michael Glaser – (Known For: The Running Man; The Cutting Edge; Future BMT: Band of the Hand; The Air Up There; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for directing an episode of Miami Vice. He played Starsky in Starsky and Hutch. He also directed a great Criminal Minds episode starring Jason Alexander called Masterpiece.)

WritersPaul Michael Glaser – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Interestingly his only real attempt at writing apparently. I have to imagine he did uncredited stuff previously and probably just did too much tickering as the director and got a credit.)

Christian Ford – (BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Wrote an episode of Deep Space Nine which I can already tell I was probably fuming at since Kai Winn played a big role in it (she was a central long-running villain in the show).)

Roger Soffer – (Known For: Throne of Elves; BMT: Kazaam; Notes: Was Ford’s writing partner. Looks like they must have parted ways at some point since Soffer got his Throne of Elves credit in 2017 well after the bulk of their writing work.)

ActorsShaquille O’Neal – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; The Lego Movie; The House Bunny; What Men Want; Uncle Drew; Thunderstruck; Future BMT: Scary Movie 4; Good Burger; After the Sunset; The Smurfs 2; Blue Chips; The Wash; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Blended; Jack and Jill; Freddy Got Fingered; Kazaam; Steel; Show Dogs; Chairman of the Board; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Steel in 1998; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Blended in 2015; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Blue Chips in 1995; Notes: Y’all know Shaq. Probably the best NBA actor ever, even if he doesn’t always choose the best roles. A four time NBA champion with the Lakers and Heat, he might be the most dominant big man in history (and if not that, he’s at least the most unique given his body shape).)

Francis Capra – (Known For: A Bronx Tale; SLC Punk!; Veronica Mars; Blood and Bone; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Rampart; Black Irish; Dishdogz; Future BMT: A Simple Wish; BMT: Crank; Kazaam; Notes: Not related to Frank Capra. Amazingly I recognize him mostly from his adult role as Eli Navarro (Weevil) in Veronica Mars. He looks quite different now obviously.)

Ally Walker – (Known For: While You Were Sleeping; Singles; Happy, Texas; Welcome to Hollywood; When the Bough Breaks; Mischief Night; Wonderful World; Eye of the Storm; The Seventh Coin; Future BMT: Bed of Roses; Steal Big Steal Little; BMT: Universal Soldier; Kazaam; Notes: Has been pretty much continuously employed in major television roles since the mid-90s besides taking a 10 year break while she was raising a family in the early 2000s. Was the star of the show Profiler.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $18,937,262 (Worldwide: $18,937,262)

(Yep, a huge bomb, and likely Ebert is right in this case. There is no way this didn’t derail any cinematic career Shaq could have had (well … until he became a staple of Adam Sandler comedies I suppose, he was in at least four of those).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (2/37): Crafted from a mix of genre clichés, Kazaam doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be, and Shaq’s larger-than-life charisma is stifled by rote filmmaking and an unimaginative story.

(Yeah, sounds about right. Two good reviews, and they basically just say Shaq is charming and the film old-school but fine.)

Reviewer Highlight: Kazaam never brings off the trick we most want to see: It fails to make the jolly, 7-foot-1 Shaq larger than life. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sha-blam

(Love the font, hate everything else. Like Ebert said it makes you wonder about the choices Shaq was making at the time. Like he can actually act and is charming as hell and yet he apparently was so keen on being a rapper that he did this shit. The poster looks like it’s for a straight-to-video talking cat movie or something. D)

Tagline(s) – The world’s most powerful genie has just met his match. (F)

(The world’s most powerful genie… as opposed to all those less powerful genies we are familiar with? It’s amazing that they were so set on using this generic tagline that they tried to force it. It no longer even makes sense. I think I hate it… yup, I hate it.)

Keyword(s) – genie

Top 10: Aladdin (2019), Bedazzled (2000), Aladdin (1992), Weird Science (1985), Aladdin (2020), Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002), Kazaam (1996), Burying the Ex (2014), The Tale of Despereaux (2008), Five Children and It (2004)

Future BMT: 13.9 Three Wishes (1995)

BMT: Kazaam (1996)

Matches: Kazaam (1996), The Lamp (1987), Miracle Beach (1992), Wishman (1992), Pretty Cool Too (2007), Wish Me Luck (1995), Djinn (2008), Wildest Dreams (1990), The Incredible Genie (1999), Shivers Down Your Spine (2015), Jinn (2016), Wishful Thinking the Series (2015)

(So few films with a genie … that somehow feels wrong, but yet, yeah … an all powerful, immortal being doesn’t leave much original storytelling ideas. The actual matches are mostly pretty small, Kazaam is the only major release. That is, if you want to be specific about the difference between a Djinn and a genie (this movie certainly does …))

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Efren Ramirez is No. 4 billed in Kazaam and No. 4 billed in Crank, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 4) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 14. If we were to watch Blue Chips, and Three Fugitives we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Despite the fact that this film was a critical and financial disaster, Shaquille O’Neal has not expressed regret for his involvement. He said in a 2012 interview, “I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I going to say, no? So I did it.”

John Costelloe plays a firefighter in this movie. In real life, he was a firefighter for 11 years before retiring in 1998. He also played a volunteer firefighter in The Sopranos (1999).

The main villain’s name is Malik, which is the Arabic word for king.

This movie is part of the false memory phenomenon (also called the “Mandela Effect”). According to many people, there was a movie named “Shazaam” starring Sinbad as the genie. This false memory was probably caused by a mix-up with this film and a costume Sinbad wore in 1994 when he hosted a TV broadcast of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). For April Fools’ Day 2017, the team of CollegeHumor Originals (2006) filmed a skit about alleged VHS footage of the Shazaam movie, with Sinbad starring as the genie.

Paul Michael Glaser’s last movie as a director, as of July 2021. He continues to direct television.

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach Preview

Having jacked in to hack jack port, Patrick swims through cyberspace like a beautiful otter. “Have you done this before?” asks Kyle, struggling to figure out the physics of this strange new world. “Yeah,” starts Patrick, remembering back to Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D, “kinda… when Jamie and I were Rich and Poe,” he continues but stops and shrugs. It’s all pretty confusing at this point. Their task, on the other hand, should be pretty simple, just find the trash folder (probably) and hack the planet and get Kyle’s website approved as an official reviewer. But as they look around they suddenly hear a booming voice, “Bad Movie Twin, where is your stupider half? Or are you the stupid one, I always forget.” A bead of sweat forms on Patrick’s forehead. I can’t be. “What is it?” asks Kyle, eyes wide. “Gruber,” Patrick says in a whisper as Gruber’s laughter begins to echo through cyberspace. Patrick clenches his eyes closed. “It can’t be. He’s not real. He was never real.” He lets out a bellow and when he opens his eyes he finds himself in a police station. On his chest is a name tag, “Rich.” Kyle is pale with fear and jumps when a man angrily screams for Rich and Gruber to get the hell in his office. Kyle holds up his own name tag, “Gruber,” and Patrick’s mouth runs dry. “It’s just a simulation, playing on my fears” he reassures Kyle (but mostly himself), “we just have to break the mainframe and everything will be OK.” When they get to his office, the Captain throws a couple of pieces of paper at them. Airline tickets… to Party Town, USA? The captain scowls, “The city’s under siege… and the Vice President has been taken hostage.” That’s right! We are doing double duty this week by watching not one, but three Police Academy films! We are officially finishing the series with Police Academy’s 5, 6, and 7, all three of which got a BOMB rating from Leonard and the last of which (Mission to Moscow) failed to make it to a wide theatrical release. It is perfection for the Bring a Friend entry in the cycle. Let’s go!

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988) – BMeTric: 72.5; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0%; Higher BMeT: Mac and Me, Caddyshack II; Higher Notability: Action Jackson, Sunset, High Spirits, Big Top Pee-wee, Caddyshack II, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Moving, Cocoon: The Return, The Couch Trip, Vibes, License to Drive, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Hot to Trot, Cocktail, Mac and Me, The Seventh Sign; Notes: The cred on these films are off the hook and only get better and better as the series goes along. We’ve seen the top three BMeTric for 1988. BMeTrics of 70+ are incredibly rare. There are only 184 out of over 2000 qualified films, so less than 10%. Amazingly we’ve seen around 65% of those so far. We legitimately could finish those off in like five years, twelve a year (two a cycle) … easy.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Gaynes is in Miami to receive an award before his mandatory retirement; arch-rival Bailey comes along to gum up the works. Fourth attempt to improve on imperfection is no charm; what can you say about a sequel that Steve Guttenberg won’t even appear in.

(Hey hey hey … Guttenberg for some reason claims he regrets that. I don’t really see why. Also two semi-colons? You know me well Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKEspwO4vHA/

(Wow, this is quite the 80s comedy spot. Wow they put the fart joke directly into the trailer … I guess you have the lead with your funniest joke (ba-dum-ch). The trailer is just “these zany character you love are doing all the same things you love but in Miami.” I mean … fair.)

DirectorsAlan Myerson – (Known For: Private Lessons; Steelyard Blues; BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Scottish. Was a huuuuuge television director throughout the 90s. Ended up getting nominated for an Emmy for directing the Larry Sanders Show.)

WritersNeal Israel – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Just has a character credit here. Was a big director as well, directing such classics as Surf Ninjas.)

Pat Proft – (Known For: Real Genius; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Bachelor Party; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Moving Violations; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Scary Movie 3; Scary Movie 4; Wrongfully Accused; Mr. Magoo; High School High; BMT: Police Academy; Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Was nominated for an Emmy for the variety special Van Dyke and Company. He worked a ton with the Scary Movie guys (including the last three movies in that series).)

Stephen Curwick – (BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Claims that he wrote a video game called Bad TV in the 2010s, but it is hard to search for due to the name.)

David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Only wrote the second. I guess the series is interesting since they added characters throughout and so a ton of people get “character” credits.)

Gene Quintano – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Sudden Death; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Making the Grade; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; King Solomon’s Mines; Operation Dumbo Drop; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Musketeer; Notes: Here’s the main guy for the third and fourth films. He directed Loaded Weapon 1.)

ActorsBubba Smith – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Black Moon Rising; The Silence of the Hams; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Played in the NFL prior to his acting career. He believed that Superbowl III was rigged.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Guarding Tess; Irreconcilable Differences; Fist of Legend; Citizen Ruth; Georgia’s Friends; Suture; Love at Stake; The Enforcer; American Kickboxer 2; Future BMT: Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: In interviews he talked about how he was struggling financially when he got the part in the first film, and so he never refused to appear in any of the subsequent films.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Nice Dreams; Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie; Grandview, U.S.A.; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Starchaser: The Legend of Orin; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; Think Big; The Trumpet of the Swan; Lovelines; Gingerclown; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Going Under; Lenny the Wonder Dog; BMT: Police Academy; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Notes: Still performs standup and has a multitude of apps which emit Winslow-produced sound effects.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $19,510,371 (Worldwide: $19,510,371)

(This isn’t so bad. I could definitely see why they thought they just needed to being it back to “nameless city” and allow the gang to hit the streetz again to get the money rolling in … they were wrong, but I could see why they may have thought that.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/8)

(Consensus time: The usual, except now it reeks of desperation, resorting to fart jokes with a neon-pink Miami background.)

Reviewer Highlight: Miami field trip only brings a pastel backdrop to the insipid infighting of the boobs in blue. – Variety Staff

Poster – Cop School: Destination: Tokyo

(Still got it, baby! This style of poster never really went out of style. Look at the details. It’s really a work of art. Makes me want to find out who drew it. In some respects it doesn’t totally work as a poster (color scheme, all the white space), but it’s hard for me not to like it. B.)

Tagline(s) – Hold everything! The cadets are dropping in on Miami Beach for an all new adventure. (F)

(No.)

Keyword(s) – police-academy

Top 10: The Departed (2006), 21 Jump Street (2012), Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Empire State (2013)

Future BMT: 45.1 National Security (2003), 27.0 Kuffs (1992)

BMT: Police Academy (1984), The Snowman (2017), CHIPS (2017), Judge Dredd (1995), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Ride Along (2014), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)

Matches: Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)

(I’ve changed this plot up, and I think it is a lot cooler. The y-axis is the total notability for each year. Blue is all films, green is wide release films, red is qualifying films (with the filled in portion being films we’ve seen), and gold is the amount being filled in by the film this week (in this case both BMT films this week). “Matches” at the bottom are films with the keyword in the IMDb plotline, so it isn’t a surprise that we’ve now seen all “police academy” films. Fun that we’ve seen another legit film in CHIPS.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bubba Smith is No. 1 billed in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach and No. 2 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, which also stars Sharon Stone (No. 4 billed) who is in The Specialist (No. 2 billed) which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 2) + (4 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 18. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Steve Guttenberg turned down the lead role and gave a firm “no” to any other Police Academy sequels that might turn up (and they did). He turned them all down. Two decades later, he expressed in an interview that he regretted turning down the chance to star in the later sequels, and was among the main people trying to make another Police Academy movie.

When Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was released, acerbic critic Rex Reed swore, “If they make another Police Academy movie, I’ll leave the business.” At the time, Paul Maslansky said, “Reed’s one of the reasons I’m making Police Academy 5. I expect him to be a man of his word.” To Maslansky’s disappointment, Reed was not.

Regarding his experience working on this film, Rene Auberjonois (Tony) stated, “Why I choose to do things is a mystery to me sometimes. I’ve done things that, on the face of it, you think, ‘why would anybody do Police Academy 5?’ I had to look at the role, and see if there’s a reason to do it. I did it because it was an opportunity to play a character that nobody else was ever going to let me play. I had a great time doing it, don’t regret it for a moment, and I’d do it again in a minute.”

Had Steve Guttenberg agreed to appear in the movie, his character Mahoney was to be promoted to Lieutenant at the end of the film. (Instead it was Hightower)

Bobcat Goldthwait did not reprise his role of Zed due to not being able to come to a financial agreement with the producers. Because of this, the filmmakers believed that there was no point in bringing back Sweetchuck without Zed, and so Tim Kazurinsky ended up not being involved either. Bobcat later said that he skipped this sequel because the script lost focus and his character “would never talk like that.”

The movie’s script and some promotional materials list Tony’s full name as Tony Stark. The surname was edited out of the film after Warner Brothers discovered that “Tony Stark” was a registered trademark owned by Marvel, for use in their Iron Man comics.

The book that Captain Harris is seen holding whilst “congratulating” Commandant Lassard on his mandatory retirement is a hardback copy of “3 Cheers for Me”, the first novel in the Bandy Papers series written by Donald Jack.

Janet Jones (Officer Kate) wed hockey player Wayne Gretzky four months after this movie’s release.

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven Police Academy movies. Winslow also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Matt McCoy’s character of Commandant Eric Lassard’s nephew, Nick, marks the fourth member of the Lassard family to be in a Police Academy movie. Previously, we’ve seen Lassard’s wife in Police Academy (1984) and Lassard’s brother, Captain Pete Lassard in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985).

Early drafts featured a canine character called Clancy, a Miami police dog.

At one point, David Spade’s Kyle Rumford character from Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) was being considered as a possible replacement for the departing Steve Guttenberg.

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).

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Preview

Jamie and Patrick walk down a dark alley, steam spewing from the sewer grates. Patrick twirls a baton and Jamie mutters, “if I wanted to chase after aliums I would have joined the Alium Brigade,” getting a chuckle from Patrick. They stop in their tracks and look at each other in confusion. Why are they suddenly cops again? They look down at their uniforms and see the shiny nametags declaring them Det. Rich and Poe. Wait a tick, that can’t be right? They aren’t Rich and Poe… they’re trying to save Rich and Poe. And yet this dream is so real. They can smell the hot summer stench of the city. They can feel the sweat soaking through their slightly too-tight uniforms. They can hear the dusky chuckle of a nearby fiend. “Who-who’s that?” stammers Jamie. From the shadows steps a horrible fiend. Oh! He’s terrifying and oh boy… I mean, if you could see him you would def be totally scared for sure. Just check this out: “Get ready for some action, bitches,” the monster lisps as he proceeds to do a dumbo somersault into some trash cans like a dope. Jamie and Patrick shrug and help the big stupid monster up. He seems a bit embarrassed and assures them that he is definitely scary, it’s just that he hasn’t been sleeping super great. “Probably cause you’re haunting our dreams,” Patrick suggests helpfully, “so maybe stop that.” The monster shrugs in agreement. “Yeah and try this Rich and Poe Blanket and Tea set. It might help and is pretty rad.” But the monster seems ambivalent, “I don’t care for that… seems like odd branding.” 

Jamie and Patrick wake up screaming in a cold sweat. What a nightmare. They’re just glad they’re back in the real world as regular citizens. That’s right! We are catching another entry in the classic comedy series Police Academy by hitting the fourth film, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. The third film barely doesn’t qualify, which helps simplify things. Bring on the Gutes! Let’s go!

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) – BMeTric: 60.4; Notability: 54

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0% Higher BMeT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Teen Wolf Too; Higher Notability: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Who’s That Girl; Notes: … You know normally I would be like “whatever, 5.0 is pretty bad”, but this film has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it got a BOMB from Leonard, just look at his six word review! I would have imagined this would be much lower, even in the 3.0s. The Notability is incredibly high … I guess there are like 40 people in this super ensemble cast.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  More of the same, only worse.

(My God, Leonard! The writers had families! This series is a marvel. 2.5 stars, BOMB, 1.5 stars, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB … five of Leonard’s BOMB reviews are for this series alone. Leonard mostly follows along with critics in general, the first is the best, the third is the closest to being fine for the sequels, everything else is awful.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adlo9hJpemE/

(Looks brutal. But can we expect anything less from the late entries to this franchise? I think it is probably not great that almost no screen time is devoted to the actual Citizens on Patrol. And that is despite that fact that at least one of them is definitely in the cartoon series, so they were likely intent on carrying through popular characters across the sequels. What a weird and wild series this is.)

Directors – Jim Drake – (Future BMT: Cannonball Fever; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Speed Zone in 1990; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for directing episodes of The Golden Girls and Buffalo Bill.)

Writers – Neal Israel (characters) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Helped raise Mollie Heckerling who was the biological daughter of Harold Ramis, something she details in her book Ghostbuster’s Daughter.)

Pat Proft (characters) – (Known For: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Hot Shots! Part Deux; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Van Dyke and Company, he was good friends with Zucker and wrote on basically all of their spoof films as well.)

Gene Quintano (written by) – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Sudden Death; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; Future BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Operation Dumbo Drop; King Solomon’s Mines; Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Musketeer; Notes: Was offered the directing role for this film, but turned it down. Regretting it he eventually debuted with Honeymoon Academy starring Kim Catrall which went straight to video.)

Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield (characters) (uncredited) – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Both were writers on SNL in the early 80s and ended up writing on a bunch of Eddie Murphy films as a result.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Cocoon; Roe v. Wade; Rifkin’s Festival; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Bigger; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Trauma Center; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Amazon Women on the Moon; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Home for the Holidays; Don’t Tell Her It’s Me; Lez Bomb; Major Movie Star; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Surrender; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: You know The Gutes! I would highly recommend his episode of Party Down, I think it probably reflects what appears to be the genuine kindness of Steve Guttenberg.)

Bubba Smith – (Known For: Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Silence of the Hams; Black Moon Rising; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Played in the NFL for ten years before switching to acting. Was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2011.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Nice Dreams; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Gingerclown; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; The Trumpet of the Swan; CHARACTERz; Think Big; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Lovelines; Buy & Cell; Underground Aces; Going Under; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Decided to pursue standup as the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects. He moved to Los Angeles and ended up winning The Gong Show twice.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $28,061,343 (Worldwide: $28,061,343)

(Just printed money. And according to some of the actors in it (Graf in particular) a decent paycheck, so I guess rest assured that that $17 million did make its way into the stars’ pockets. Is there an equivalent to this kind of stuff these days? Or was it all absorbed into like … web series or something?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/20): Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.

(Wow a 0%. Actually that isn’t nearly as impressive as you think. The first three films are fairly normal (55%, 31%, 40%) review wise … and then the last four all have 0%!! That is just … well, that is something else. Reviewer Highlight: Script is merely a collection of gags tied together by the slightest suggestion of a story. – Variety Staff)

Poster – The Gute’s Big Balloon Adventure

(I really like this. I know there are some recent comedies that have played on the tradition of comedy posters, but there isn’t anything quite like an original. Just look at those cartoon renditions of real people all doing zany things in a balloon! Look at the font! The biggest problem really is that it makes it seem like a film about hot air balloon cops, which is honestly better than the actual plot of Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol. A)

Tagline(s) – Take off with the original cast… and some new civilian recruits as they take to the streets and the skies to fight crime. (D+)

(They really are leaning on the final hot air balloon/stunt plane finale. They mostly in fact do not take to the skies. Otherwise this is an accurate and disastrously long tagline. D+. A bump for the little “take off” pun at the beginning but that’s about it.)

Keyword – police chase

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), Knives Out (2019), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Birds of Prey (2020), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), The Goonies (1985), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Future BMT: 73.8 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), 65.1 The Cold Light of Day (2012), 57.4 First Sunday (2008), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 53.4 Meet the Browns (2008), 51.9 The Eye (2008), 50.8 The Watcher (2000), 49.1 Showtime (2002), 48.6 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.5 Feel the Noise (2007);

BMT: Armageddon (1998), Angel Has Fallen (2019), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), CHIPS (2017), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Need for Speed (2014), Battleship (2012), A Walk to Remember (2002), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Swordfish (2001), R.I.P.D. (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Daylight (1996), The Pacifier (2005), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Ride Along (2014), Cobra (1986), Exit Wounds (2001), Paycheck (2003), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Alex Cross (2012), Getaway (2013), Kangaroo Jack (2003), Ride Along 2 (2016), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Twisted (2004), Steel (1997)

(I did wonder if it would increase over time. It does seem to be the case. I guess with things like 3D printing and fabricating fake cars and CGI it’ll eventually reach a saturation point. Police chases look cool, but there is only so many films which can have them. Our brains are going to melt when we watch Police Academy 5, 6, and 7 all in one weekend.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sharon Stone is No. 4 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and No. 2 billed in The Specialist, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The collapse of her first marriage contributed to Sharon Stone’s decision to work on this movie. Of wanting to have some fun after a difficult period in her life, she said that “hanging out with a gang of comedians, it was the best therapy.” (That’s nice)

Final appearance of the Mimico Lunatic Asylum. The iconic location was used as the Academy campus in the first, third and fourth films in the series.

Tony Hawk said this was the only job, from which he was ever fired. Most of the stunt doubles were from the Bones Brigade because their manager, former pro skateboarder Stacy Peralta, worked as a second-unit director on the film. As it turned out, Hawk was replaced as a stunt double for David Spade, because he was too tall. (Huh, he’s in the credits. That’s interesting)

Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky were brought on-board at the last minute to replace Bruce Mahler (Fackler), who was dropped from the film, due to negotiations falling apart over his pay. As a result of this, the Fackler character ended up being omitted from Police Academy: The Series (1988), and the comic book. (That is interesting, I had to look him up to remind me of who he was. He eventually returns in number six)

Film debut of David Spade. According to Steve Guttenberg’s biography, “The Guttenberg Bible”, Guttenberg took Spade under his wing during shooting in Toronto, Ontario. He also bought Spade an expensive Rolex watch. (Cool)

The last “Police Academy” movie to feature the Blue Oyster Bar. (Nooooooooooooo as gross and offensive as it was I was really hoping they’d have The Blue Oyster Bar in cyrillic when they went to Russia)

Despite the entire series’ negative critical reception, this was the only “Police Academy” movie to get a Razzie Award nomination. Brian Wilson’s “Let’s Go to Heaven in My Car” was nominated for Worst Original Song. It lost to “I Want Your Sex” from Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).

During the scene where Capt. Harris straddles the chain link fence, G.W. Bailey’s stunt double willingly took a hard fall directly onto the pavement, with no mat to protect him. (It looks like it really really hurt, I gasped when I saw it)

Steve Guttenberg’s final appearance as Mahoney, until his announced return to the franchise over three decades later in the eighth Police Academy movie. (Oh … why did I think he was in all of them except for the seventh? I might have been thinking of Graf).

A “Police Academy” spin-off titled “Commando School” was being planned at the time of this movie’s initial release, but it never made it to the production phase.

Was to be filmed immediately after Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), but production was held up by the death of that film’s director, Jerry Paris.

Tackleberry’s wife was not initially intended to appear in the film; Colleen Camp was unavailable for the initial shooting dates, which were back-to-back with those of the third film. However, the delay resulting from having to hire a new director after the death of Jerry Paris resulted in Camp being available after all, and her character was given a one-scene cameo appearance.

Two versions of the pool scene were filmed. One had Leslie Easterbrook in a wet T-shirt with her breasts exposed. In the “family friendly” version, Callahan’s T-shirt was not see-through. The latter version was used in the official trailer. (I noticed)

Around the time this movie was made, a full-motion Police Academy video game was also filmed with the original cast, for Hasbro’s NEMO console. According to developer Mark Turmell, the game was “essentially a lost Police Academy movie” which had multiple story paths that the player could choose. Unfortunately, the funding ceased when Hasbro decided not to proceed with the console. Some believe this unused footage could still potentially be made into a Police Academy interactive movie for a streaming service, if fan demand proved enough to convince Hasbro and Warner Bros. to complete the project, over three decades later. This would set a record for the longest time ever, in between a video game project’s conception and completion.

After it became clear that Jerry Paris would not be able to direct the film, screenwriter Gene Quintano was offered the chance to take over as director. He turned the offer down, not feeling confident enough in his abilities, and so Jim Drake directed it instead. On the day of the film’s premiere, Quintano told Paul Maslansky that he regretted turning down the director’s chair, and so Maslansky offered him the job of writing and directing Honeymoon Academy (1989), which this time Quintano accepted immediately.

The scene where Copeland chases Arnie and Kyle through the shopping mall was filmed at Woodbine Centre in Toronto, which is also the shopping mall where the Komodo dragon chase scene in The Freshman (1990) was filmed.

The last time we see Mahoney, Nogata, Copeland, Sweetchuck and Zed, though Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck) had a guest appearance on Police Academy: The Series (1997) as a janitor. (Oh wow, so the rest of the series I guess must be quite different)

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven “Police Academy” movies. Winslow even goes a step beyond this, as he also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher, 1988)

Taxi Preview

Alright, this week we transition fully to the Calendar rotation and start in with a comedy. The Calendar is pretty good for BMT street cred, as each film is more or less the worst film released on the day in question. Because of this there is a chance that we will be able to watch a number of 70+ BMeTric films (which is an amazing score). So starting it off right, we dive into the 70.2 BMeTric rated film Taxi starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. This is the worst film released on October 6th. Other notable films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Employee of the Month, and Assassins. All solid BMT, but not 70.2 BMeTric solid.

Taxi (2004) – BMeTric: 70.2

Taxi_BMeT

(Boom. Right out the gate a disaster. Barely sticking above that 70 threshold though. Really depends on the rating now (those fits and starts in the trajectory are it jumping between ratings). I was genuinely shocked at this btw. I didn’t really imagine that this film could be this reviled, I barely remember it exists on the good day.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hotshot cabbie teams up with an incompetent hot-dog cop in this weak action-comedy. Latifah and Fallon are strangers-turned-buddies out to catch a team of bank robbers (who happen to look like supermodels). Not a good showcase for the Queen or for former Saturday Night Live member Fallon. Produced by Luc Besson, based on the 1998 French film of the same name, which he wrote and coproduced. Extended version runs 112m.

(Leonard is a little familiar with Latifah, just calling her “the Queen.” Weird. I don’t really recall that being a common thing people called her. I do like the pairing of “hotshot” and “hot-dog” that Leonard uses here. Could be used for most every buddy-cop film.)

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

(Huh. Having already watched the French version of this film I can tell you that about 30% of the scenes they showed are from the climax of the film. Including three that are from the very last stunt where they catch the bad guys. Oh shit, spoiler alert. Guess I shouldn’t have revealed that Fallon and Latifah catch them at the end. My bad. Now you won’t be surprised.)

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Barbershop; Think Like a Man; BMT: Taxi; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: The top grossing African-American director of all time (domestic at least, not sure about worldwide). Actually just retook the top spot from Tyler Perry with Ride Along 2.)

Writers – Luc Besson (earlier screenplay) – (Known For: Lucy; Léon: The Professional; The Fifth Element; Taken; The Transporter; Point of No Return; Transporter 2; La Femme Nikita; The Big Blue; Unleashed; District B13; District 13: Ultimatum; BMT: Taxi; The Transporter Refueled; Brick Mansions; Taken 3; Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard; Transporter 3; Lockout; Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds; Arthur and the Invisibles; 3 Days to Kill; Taken 2; The Family; Fanfan; Colombiana; The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc; From Paris with Love; Revolver; Notes: Very influential French filmmaker. Founder of EuropaCorp, a major studio in France.)

Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (screenplay) – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; Herbie Fully Loaded; BMT:Taxi; Balls of Fury; The Pacifier; Hell Baby; Jessabelle; Reno 911!: Miami; Let’s Go to Prison; Notes: Never nominated for a Razzie, which is a bit of a surprise. Seems lately that Garant has been writing more independent of Lennon. Perhaps because Lennon is busy with the CBS show The Odd Couple. Or should I say the CBS smash-hit The Odd Couple.)

Jim Kouf (screenplay) – (Known For: Rush Hour; National Treasure; Gang Related; Stakeout; BMT: Taxi; Snow Dogs; Operation Dumbo Drop; Another Stakeout; Class; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Notes: Recently in the news after a Puerto Rican film Vasos de Papel was pulled from theaters for being a blatant copy of a film he wrote called Secret Admirer.)

Actors – Queen Latifah – (Known For: Miracles from Heaven; 22 Jump Street; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Hairspray; Chicago; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Stranger Than Fiction; Ice Age: The Meltdown; The Secret Life of Bees; Juice; Jungle Fever; Bringing Out the Dead; Last Holiday; Set It Off; Brown Sugar; Just Wright; BMT: Taxi; The Dilemma; Scary Movie 3; Pinocchio; Bringing Down the House; Valentine’s Day; The Country Bears; Beauty Shop; The Cookout; The Perfect Holiday; Sphere; House Party 2; Mad Money; What Happens in Vegas; Joyful Noise; Ice Age: Continental Drift; The Bone Collector; Notes: Rapper/hip-hop artist/singer/actress. Has won a Grammy, Emmy, and nominated for an Oscar (Chicago). She’s set up pretty well for potentially completing an EGOT before her career is over.)

Jimmy Fallon – (Known For: Jurassic World; Almost Famous; Whip It; Fever Pitch; Anything Else; BMT: Taxi; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Doogal; Jem and the Holograms; Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard; Get Hard; Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds; Arthur and the Invisibles; Factory Girl; Notes: Who would have thought that over a decade after making this film together, Gisele would go on The Tonight Show and teach Jimmy how to walk the runway? I wonder if they reminisced about Taxi backstage.)

With a rare appearance from Gisele Bündchen!

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $36,611,066 (Worldwide: $68,895,435 Worldwide)

#14 for the Remake – French genre

(There really aren’t any bad movies on the list besides this one. The more interesting thing is just how far down this is. Below 1989 Three Fugitives? Yeeeeeesh. Wasn’t even really a bomb either, but they must have been planning on more than $36 million domestic)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (11/105): Silly and unfunny remake of a French movie of the same name.

(Wow. RT got real serious on this one. Those are certainly the facts of the matter.)

Poster – Taxi Tilt (C-)

taxi

(Likes: Bright yellow base, integration of the title into the scene (clever), and actually provides a lot of visual info about the plot in the scene. Dislikes: Tilt, terrible font and block coloring for all the words on the poster, too basic/not artistic, and the weird foggy background is… not good. Almost a D+, but juuussssst better than that.)

Tagline(s) – He’s armed, but she’s dangerous. (A)

(Out of nowhere Taxi hits on a nearly perfect tagline. Short and sweet? Yup. Clever in some way? Yup. Gives an idea of the plot? Yup. Three for three.)

Notes – Ingrid Vandebosch, one of the female robbers in this film, is married to Jeff Gordon, who has an uncredited cameo in this film. (Athlete film!)

Kevin Bray was originally set to direct, but dropped out. (director of potential BMT films Walking Tall and All About the Benjamins)

Can’t Stop the Music Preview

This week we finally come to the conclusion of our Airball category (pro athletes in film). This also means that we are excited to make the transition to the second cycle of the year. We are proud to announce that this cycle will be… [drumroll] … [more drumroll] … [still drumrolling] … [even more drumroll] … [seems like the drumroll is coming to an end] … [he tricked you, still drumrolling] … [now he’s done] … [JK, still drumrolling] … [and now it’s done] … One and Dones! That’s right, the next cycle will be films where the director never made a feature film prior to or since making the film. It will be the only feature film in their filmography. So for the Scattegories week we were required to find a film that fit both categories. This led straight to a Razzie classico (the week of the Razzies nonetheless) as we were able to watch Can’t Stop the Music, the Village People film that won the first ever Razzie award for Worst Picture. It stars Caitlyn Jenner (at the time of filming Bruce Jenner, of course), Olympic Gold Medal winner in the Decathalon. It was also the only feature film directed by famed television actress Nancy Walker. It’s rare that we find such a perfect transition film, but this time we did. It feels good. Let’s go!

Can’t Stop the Music (1980) – BMeTric: 26.2

CantStopTheMusic_BMeT

(So, now having some experience reading these graphs this actually is indicating that Can’t Stop the Music is, illogically, decreasing in BMeTric over the last 6 years. Why people are feeling compelled to give this higher ratings I wouldn’t dream of speculating on. Regardless, 25+ for a film from 1980 is incredible.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – One or two catchy production numbers aren’t enough to salvage otherwise stiff comedy about the music-publishing biz, though some will feel they have to see what V. People and Jenner are doing in same film. Gay subtext abound, despite eye-boggling profile shots of Perrine.

(Funny little review here. Why does he call them the “V. People” (Patrick’s guess: This was for a newspaper blurb which restricted him to a certain number of characters)? Super strange. I’m also not sure I like Leonard talking about the “eye-boggling” profile shots of Perrine. Getting a little Rhinestone “look at that body” vibe and I don’t like it. Deep cut right there, guys. Deep cut.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU21LKlfrmA

(What… the… fuck.)

Director(s) – Nancy Walker – (BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). Much more famous as a television actress she won multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards for Rhoda and McMillan & Wife)

Writer(s) – Bronte Woodard (written by) – (Known For: Grease; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). Died in August 1980 6 months prior to “receiving” the Razzie Award.)

Allan Carr (written by) – (Known For: Grease; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). Won a Tony for La Cage aux Folles in 1984. Well known for his disastrous production of the 61st Academy Awards, which became a laughing stock and destroyed his career.)

Actors – The Village People (BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Obviously a highly successful band from the 70s and 80s)

Valerie Perrine – (Known For: What Women Want; Superman; Superman II; Lenny; Slaughterhouse-Five; The Electric Horseman; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Maid to Order; Boiling Point; 54; The Amateurs; Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). A former Las Vegas Showgirl.)

Budget/Gross: $20 million / $2 million

(No entry on Box Office Mojo, so all we know is that this was clearly a massive flop. The release of this and another flop Raise the Titanic, both in 1980, are blamed for the failure of the film company AFD.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 7% (1/13), No consensus yet.

(Per usual a film this old just doesn’t have the review numbers to give a solid RT score or consensus. I’ll make one up. Consensus: For those that weren’t convinced that disco was dead, this film just killed it.)

Poster – Can’t Stop the Headache (D)

CantStopTheMusic

(Wow. I’m not sure I can even unpack everything on the poster. There are the V. People, NYC skyline, a giant piano keyboard, and showgirls dancing on said keyboard. It’s giving me a headache.)

Tagline(s) – The Movie Musical Event of the 80’s (D)

(It’s 1980! You can’t say that! Booooo.)

Notes – The lead role was originally offered to Olivia Newton-John, who turned it down to do Xanadu (1980). (oooooof, out of the frying pan into the fire!)

Tensions on the set between Walker and Perrine rose to the point where Walker wouldn’t be present for any scene Perrine had to shoot. Cinematographer Bill Butler had to step in to film those scenes

The film was originally entitled Discoland: Where the Music Never Ends! (egad!). But when the disco craze failed just prior to the film’s release, the producers tried to distance themselves from the genre. (Ha! Good luck with that. I’m sure no one suspected that the Village People film was about disco).

The film “won” the very first Razzie® award for Worst Picture. It was nominated for every category of the inaugural Golden Raspberry Awards except Worst Supporting Actor. (That year was literally in the guy’s living room and had waaaay more nominees. It was a super weird year, look it up, I guarantee you won’t recognize most of the films)

Half of the film’s $20 million (US) budget was spent on a lavish world-wide publicity campaign that included spectacular openings across the United States and Europe. (See, this is the stuff I like to hear about. I wonder who got fired for that blunder)

After the movie’s theatrical release, Village People member David Hodo said “When I first read the script, I threw it across the room. I thought it was a piece of crap. It read like one of those stupid old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney pictures. We didn’t believe in the movie, but no one would listen to us! You can only go on for so long being a joke.” (Poor form, just embrace it, man. Like Jane March in Color of Night, smile and say you liked being in the film so much you didn’t even notice it was bad until it was too late).

Razzie Awards 2005: Nominated for Worst ‘Musical’ of Our First 25 Years

Razzie Awards 1981: Won for Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Bronte Woodard and Allan Carr); Nominated for Worst Actor (Caitlyn Jenner), Worst Actress (Valerie Perrine), Worst Supporting Actress (Marilyn Sokol), Worst Director (Nancy Walker), and Worst Original Song (Jacques Morali, For the song “(You) Can’t Stop The Music”)

White Chicks Preview

As we head into the homestretch of the airball category, we are faced with finding a Razzie nominated film featuring a professional athlete. This is going to be pretty hard, right? Wrong! Not when you have Terry Crews (played for six years in the NFL) on your side! That’s right, we are taking advantage of his comedy filmography and doing the classic Wayans Brothers film White Chicks! It was nominated for five Razzies (Worst Picture, Worst Actress (ugh, for the Wayans Brothers), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Onscreen Couple), but came up against a juggernaut (Catwoman) and failed to win any of them. I’m pretty excited for this. Let’s go!

White Chicks (2004) – BMeTric: 50.7

WhiteChicks_BMeT

(Woah Nelly! Two 50+ BMeTric films in a row? Hose us down! This might be too much to handle. This is actually a nice plot because White Chicks was released right as the internet archive started to store IMDb pages and it is reasonably popular. You can even see the DVD bump right in the beginning.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Two male, maverick FBI agents go deep undercover, disguised as air-headed twin sisters, to flush out a criminal. They’re black but the girls are white, and that’s the central joke. Logic aside (and it certainly is), the heavy-handed comedy is a fragile excuse for the Wayans brothers to do a series of broad, silly riffs, poking fun at stereotypical white people. Unrated version runs 115m.

(Secret twin movie! Secret twin movie! Just like the Antonio Banderas classic Two Much, this begs the question: does a movie where the characters are pretending to be twins count as a real twin movie? The answer is yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I’m so happy. Editor Note: To point out, unlike with Two Much in this case presumably Maitland Ward and Anne Dudek are in fact playing twins. Although I don’t recall whether they specifically mention they are twins in the FBI briefing in the beginning or not. It is a subtle but important difference.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6V25aqQblM

(They literally look like monsters. How anyone would think they are human beings is odd, especially anyone who knew the girls they were impersonating. I’ll just hang out waiting for the dance scene, which looks amazing.)

Writer/Director – Keenen Ivory Wayans – (Known For: Scary Movie; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; BMT: Scary Movie 2; White Chicks; A Low Down Dirty Shame; Little Man; Notes: Nominated for Worst Director and Screenplay, White Chicks (2004), Littleman (2006). Rose to prominence as the creator of the sketch comedy show In Living Color)

Actors/Writers – Shawn Wayans – (Known For: I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; BMT: Scary Movie 2 (Wri); White Chicks (Wri); Dance Flick (Wri); Little Man (Dir) (Not Found); Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood; Notes: Brother of director Keenen Ivory Wayans.)

Marlon Wayans – (Known For: Scary Movie; Requiem for a Dream; The Heat; The Ladykillers; Above the Rim; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; BMT: Scary Movie 2; White Chicks; A Haunted House; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; A Haunted House 2; Senseless; Dance Flick; Dungeons & Dragons; Norbit; The Sixth Man; Fifty Shades of Black; Mo’ Money; Marmaduke; Little Man; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood; Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009). Originally cast as Robin in Batman Forever.)

(Dual Razzie Notes For Shawn and Marlon: Won for Worst Actor and Screen Couple, Littleman (2006), Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Littleman (2006), Nominated for Worst Actress, Screen Couple and Screenplay: White Chicks (2004). I actually find it rather stunning that of their entire filmography only two movies generated all but one of the Razzie nominations for the Wayne family)

Additional Writers – Michael Anthony Snowden (screenplay) – (BMT: Scary Movie 2; White Chicks; Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, White Chicks (2004). According to IMDB his nickname is FireFly, used to write for South Park)

Andy McElfresh (screenplay) – (BMT: White Chicks; Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, White Chicks (2004). Writes prolifically for late night television. In 2013 he and Kevin Smith co-wrote a Krampus based anthology horror film on Kevin Smith’s podcast, unrelated to the actual Krampus movie from 2015)

Xavier Cook (screenplay) – (BMT: White Chicks; Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, White Chicks (2004), frequent collaborator with the Wayne family)

Budget/Gross: $37 million / $70,831,760 ($113,086,475 Worldwide)

(Smash hit… which is not surprising. Right around the time that Big Momma’s House was also a smash hit. The fifth (!) highest grossing “cross dressing” film of all time. The lowest grossing major release (1000+ theaters)? Connie and Carla (2004)… which I’ve never heard of.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 14% (18/123), Scattershot comedy that’s silly and obvious.

(Wow, RT. That’s all you can give us for a consensus? No clever pun like “Silly gags and poor writing makes this Wayans brothers comedy a drag.” Like I just made that up in five seconds and it’s better than your lame consensus that could apply to a trillion other comedies.)

Poster – Literal Monsters

WhiteChicksPoster.jpg

(Gooo! Again, monsters. This is a great example of the types of posters that I hate, hate, hate. No clear color scheme other than white (and human colored, which is the worst). The font isn’t interesting. The spacing is all off. You know what it reminds me of? The Juwanna Mann poster, which was also the worst. I wonder if it was made by the same guy.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F-)

(No!!! No, no, no, no, no.  I do not accept this. BMT will be shutting down until White Chicks gets their fucking act together and provides a tagline. Nope. Unacceptable.)

Notes – The Miltons was originally intended to be a comical remake of Gone With the Wind in modern day Beverly Hills. After many script revisions, the story settled and became White Chicks. (Is “the story settled” some euphemism for something? So we set out to make this like a modern day Godfather, but then the story settled, yada yada yada Deuce Bigelow).

The original title was the “The Miltons” sounding more like the Hiltons, which they spoofed. (hmmm, I think we may have missed the boat a bit on the cultural reference here)

When The Wilson sisters get out of the airplane, the song playing is a spoof of “Miss Hilton”, a song recorded by The Penfifteen Club for The Simple Life, Paris Hilton’s hit reality show. (yeah, I’m going to cut short the Hilton notes at this point. We get it, they’re making fun of the Hiltons)

Less than a year ago the Waynes said they wanted to do White Chicks 2. (sigh)

Razzie Cred

Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Picture, Columbia

Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Actress, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, The Wayans Sisters.

Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Screen Couple, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, The Wayans Brothers (In or Out of Drag).

Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Director, Keenen Ivory Wayans

Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Andrew McElfresh, Michael Anthony Snowden, Xavier Cook

Steel Preview

This week we move onto the film that made this cycle possible. When we dreamed a little dream about pro athletes in film, Steel was the first film to come to mind. One of two leading roles that Shaq enjoyed (the other is, of course, Kazaam), it was top of our list as a must-do. So here we are in our Sci-Fi category ready to do it. Made in 1997, this might be the most forgotten DC comic adaption of all time (willfully so, probably). So forgotten that it’s not even listed on Netflix. Not even like a “Save DVD for when it comes out” button. It just doesn’t show up if you search for it. Not in their database. I’m ready… you ready? Let’s go!

Steel (1997) – BMeTric: 53.8

Steel_BMeT

(Ugh, way to show off Steel. Yeah, we all know you’re going to be ridiculous, you don’t need to show off with your gaudy BMeTric score. It is pretty impressive though, 50+ is amazing).

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Film version of DC Comics’ “Steel” with basketball great Shaq in the title role, as a tall superhero with a heart of gold, wearing a funny metal suit and doing battle with stereotypical enemies of modern civilization. As endearing as Shaq can be, he should definitely not give up his day job.

(Interesting that this didn’t get a BOMB rating. Almost sounds like that half-star is given to Shaq and his endearing qualities.)

Trailer – https://youtu.be/-bAWWmLfkWo

(With this and Batman & Robin, 1997 must have been the Year of the Puns. Amazingly it actually looks like they spent a bit of money on the film. Looks like it’ll be at least fun to watch.)

Director(s) – Kenneth Johnson – (BMT: Short Circuit 2; Steel; Notes: He often works the names of friends and family into scripts.)

Writer(s) – Louise Simonson (comic book series) – (BMT: Steel; Notes: Her nickname is “Weezie”. Co-creator of Steel she now writes young adult novels.)

Jon Bogdanove (comic book series) – (BMT: Steel; Notes: Comic book writer. His son’s name is Kal-El. Co-creator of Steel.)

Kenneth Johnson (written by) – (BMT: Short Circuit 2; Steel; Notes: Most famous for the television shows V and Incredible Hulk.)

Actors – Shaquille O’Neal – (Known For: He Got Game; The Year of the Yao; CB4; The LEGO Movie (Not Found); BMT: Kazaam; Blended; Steel; Grown Ups 2; Scary Movie 4; Jack and Jill; Good Burger; When in Rome; Blue Chips; Freddy Got Fingered; The Smurfs 2; The Wash; The Kid & I; Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Blended (2014); Nominated for Worst Actor, Steel (1997); Nominated for Worst New Star, Blue Chips (1994). Someday he hopes to be nominated for writing and directing as well (fine, I made that up))

Budget/Gross: $16 million / $1,710,972

(Woah. That’s an incredible bomb. If you assumed that it wasn’t released in many theaters you’d be wrong. Over 1200. The 78th worst opening ever for a wide release film. Right ahead of Marci X… you know, that film that people remember.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 12% (3/25), Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches, but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones.

(Everything points to this being essentially Theodore Rex, but actually released to theaters.)

Poster – Dutch Angle Moon Poster

steelPoster

(Shaq is on this poster twice. It’s like they made a Matryoshka doll of posters. The main poster contains a smaller poster in the middle. Love the color. Love the font. I dig this poster.)

Tagline(s) – Heroes don’t come any bigger. (B-)

Man. Metal. Hero. (D+)

(I usually only grade the tagline that’s on the poster, but in keeping with the nested nature of the double poster, there are inexplicably two separate taglines. It’s almost like the first tagline is Shaq’s tagline and then the second tagline is for the movie. Neither are particularly good, but the second one is straight nonsense. Just words. And pretty boring words at that.)

Notes – Shaquille O’Neal had to do all of his own stunts; the producers were unable to find a 7’1″ stunt double for him. (awwwww hell yes)

Writer/director Kenneth Johnson revealed in a SlashFilm interview that he originally wanted Wesley Snipes to play Steel but Warner Bros. felt that casting Shaquille O’Neal would help sell more toys and merchandise. (In the alternate universe in which this swap occured I wonder if they regretted their decision…)

Conan the Destroyer Preview

This week we continue our athlete-turned-actor cycle with the Chain Reaction category. Last time we watched Around the World in 80 Days, so we have an obvious next step in Conan the Destroyer through Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is the sequel to Conan the Barbarian which we both loved, and a film that appears to be universally abhorred by fans of the original. It notably costars Wilt Chamberlain in his only major motion picture role. It’s pretty much the quintessential athlete-inexplicably-starring-in-a-film film. Greasy Arnold fighting monsters straight out of Krull? Yes please. There’s not much more to say than that. Let’s go!

Conan the Destroyer (1984) – BMeTric: 33.4

Conan2_BMeT

(This is actually much higher than I expected. I already watched the first film and loved it… how could they really mess the second one up so badly? Seems so easy not to. For some weird reason the rating for this movie has been moving up substantially. I think it, again, has to do with this somehow being popular with kids when growing up … maybe)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Lumbering attempt to pit Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age hero against very derivative special effects – leading to ridiculous climax.

(So is it just worse special effects? That seems strange. I wouldn’t even say the special effects were a big reason why I liked the first Conan… it was more the writing and the character… so did they fuck that up? I’m so confused.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15RX_fayv8

(I wouldn’t say that’s the worst trailer in the world for a Conan film. A few too many sidekicks in this one perhaps. But nothing in there that makes me especially worried… maybe it is that it just looks like shit now.)

Director(s) – Richard Fleischer – (Known For: Soylent Green; Tora! Tora! Tora!; Fantastic Voyage; The Vikings; The Boston Strangler; Mr. Majestyk; 10 Rillington Place; The Narrow Margin; Barabbas; Compulsion; Violent Saturday; BMT: Conan the Destroyer; Red Sonja; Doctor Dolittle; The Jazz Singer; Mandingo; Amityville: The Demon; Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, The Jazz Singer (1980 with Sidney J. Furie). Won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for Design for Death, which was written by Dr. Seuss. Seriously.)

Writer(s) – Roy Thomas (story) – (Known For: Fire and Ice BMT: Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Notable in the comic book world for his work at Marvel. Inducted in the Comic Hall of Fame.)

Gerry Conway (story) – (BMT: Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Also a big part of the comic book world. Worked at Marvel with Roy Thomas.)

Stanley Mann (screenplay) – (Known For: Eye of the Needle; The Collector; The Mouse That Roared; Circle of Iron; BMT: Conan the Destroyer; Firestarter; Meteor; Tai-Pan; Red Sonja; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Screenwriting for the Collector (1965). Died 3 weeks ago at the age of 87.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: Terminator 2; The Terminator; Terminator 3; Predator; Total Recall; True Lies; The Last Stand; Conan the Barbarian; The Running Man; Commando; Kindergarten Cop; The 6th Day; Escape Plan; Red Heat; Maggie; The Expendables 2; The Expendables; BMT: Last Action Hero; End of Days; Twins; Eraser (Dir); Jingle All the Way; Batman & Robin; Conan the Destroyer; Collateral Damage; Junior; Terminator Genisys; Red Sonja; Raw Deal; The Expendables 3; Sabotage; Hercules in New York; Around the World in 80 Days; Notes: Won for Worst Razzie Loser of Our First 25 Years. Nominated for Worst Actor, End of Days (1999), Last Action Hero (1993), Conan the Barbarian (1982). Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, The Expendables 3 (2014), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The 6th Day (2000), Batman & Robin (1997). Mind boggling that he’s been nominated 8 times and never won anything besides worst actor for the first 25 years.)

Budget/Gross: $18 million / $31,042,035

(Modest hit. The 14th highest grossing “sword and sorcery” film of all time. The lowest (#31)? In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. As if there was ever a doubt )

Rotten Tomatoes: 26% (6/23)

(RT is able to do an OK job with this old one. No consensus though, so I’ll make one up. Consensus: Arnold is so greasy and muscled and his muscles are so greasy and sexy… what was I talking about? )

Poster – Looks and Reads Like a Novel

conan_the_destroyerPoster

(Meh. Similar to the first one. Pretty good, all things considered. I wish IMDb listed that full paragraph on the poster as a tagline.)

Tagline(s) – The Darkest Side of Magic. The Strongest Side of Man. (B+)

(I like this quite a bit. I prefer when there are three things in a list though, so not perfect.)

Notes – After the phenomenon of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Universal thought Conan the Destroyer (1984) would make more money if it were family entertainment. Schwarzenegger argued against this change but they overruled him. Director Richard Fleischer agreed with Schwarzenegger, but complied with Universal’s wishes to make Conan the Destroyer (1984) more like a comic book. (Oh that is a serious change. The source material for Conan is very pulpy and the almost grindhouse feel of the original plays into that well. Here must be where it really went wrong. Making this more family friendly with humor and stuff would be really, really, really, really, really dissapointing.)

Wilt Chamberlain’s first and only credited film role. (That’s why we’re here boys)

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently confirmed Conan the Conqueror is moving forward. Previously it was suggested that the sequel would totally ignore this disaster area (methinks this is a good idea Arnold).

The original screenplay for the film became the graphic novel Conan: The Horn of Azoth (which I now officially want to read).

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Preview

Alright, so there are many BMT weeks where as Thursday approaches I wait in anticipation for the day to finally arrive. Where I have an inkling that I’m about to watch a film that will go down in the anals of BMT history (pun most definitely intended). This is not one of those weeks. This is more like a week where Patrick and I try desperately to replace the film that we’ve foisted upon ourselves through our strict combination of genre/cycle and ultimately fail. In this case finding a pro athlete featured in a bad chick flick that we haven’t already seen produced only one (!) viable choice. That choice is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Apparently Dwyane Wade is featured as … something… in the film. I really don’t care. I hate that we have to watch this film and I have to read (?) the book for my BMTsolution. Damn it! Let’s go!

What to Expect When You Might be Expecting (2012) – BMeTric: 36.7

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(Decently stable. Nothing really interesting except that it seems like it should stay in the 35-40 range. Definitively BMT.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Overlong, multi-character comedy about the pressures and problem of pregnancy, adoption, and impending parenthood featuring a likeable (and exceptionally attractive) cast. Rings hollow at first but gains traction as the script eschews cheap laughs and hews closer to real-life, relatable experiences. “Inspired by” the best-selling nonfiction book of the same name by Heidi Murkoff.

(Eschews and hews in the same sentence?! Not to mention a stellar “p” alliteration run at the start. Leonard was really indulging himself. I’m really glad that he put “Inspired by” in quotes. Because I definitely “read” this book in preparation for BMT.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wuIltIHQXY

(Huh… well that wasn’t as unpleasant as I thought it would be. I like a lot of the people in the cast and the guy group had some funny lines. Looks like it could be a better version of Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve.)

Director(s) – Kirk Jones – (Known For: Everybody’s Fine; Nanny McPhee; Waking Ned Devine; BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: An accomplished commercial director, he won the Silver Lion at Cannes in 1996 for his Heinz advertising campaign. Going to be the director of the upcoming Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.)

Writer(s) – Heidi Murkoff (books) – (BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: I genuinely cannot believe she actually has a credit. The book is considered one of the most influential books of the last 25 years)

Shauna Cross (screenplay) – (Known For: Whip It; BMT: If I Stay; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: Former roller derby participant, she wrote the book (and screenplay) for Whip It. Is credited for writing Bad Santa 2.)

Heather Hach (screenplay) – (Known For: Freaky Friday; BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Notes: Has won multiple awards for Freaky Friday and the musical adaptation of Legally Blond. Wikipedia claims her daughter’s name is HarperCollins, also the publishing company which published her novel Freaky Monday (a sequel to Freaky Friday).)

Actors – Cameron Diaz – (Known For: The Mask; There’s Something About Mary; The Holiday; Bad Teacher; Shrek; Being John Malkovich; Gangs of New York; Shrek 2; Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle; The Box; Knight & Day; My Sister’s Keeper; Charlie’s Angels; Vanilla Sky; Shrek the Third; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; The Other Woman (BMT); What to Expect When You’re Expecting; The Sweetest Thing (BMT); Sex Tape (BMT); A Life Less Ordinary; Gambit; Annie (BMT); Feeling Minnesota; The Invisible Circus; Slackers; Keys to Tulsa; The Counselor; Notes: Won for Worst Actress, The Other Woman / Sex Tape (2014); Nominated for Worst Actress, What Happens in Vegas (2008), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress, Annie (2014))

Budget/Gross: $40 million / $41,152,203 ($84,384,002 Worldwide)

(Solid hit. I love when Box Office Mojo has a niche genre that you can look through. This is the ninth highest grossing “Pregnancy” film of all time. The lowest grossing wide-release film in the genre? The Brothers Solomon. As if there was ever a doubt.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (29/132), The cast is stocked with likable performers, but What to Expect When You’re Expecting is too disjointed — and too reliant on stock rom-com cliches — to live up to its distinguished literary namesake.

(Uh oh. Disjointed is exactly what you don’t want with a movie based on a pregnancy information guide. A bit surprising though considering the movie only has two main screenwriters. It isn’t like 15 scripts were (necessarily) smashed together into a monster script. I’m ready to devour rom-com cliches though.)

Poster – There are Fifteen People on this Poster

what_to_expect_when_youre_expecting_ver8Poster

(Disorienting, too many colors, I like that the letters are slanted because it would make Patrick’s job harder if he spoofed the poster, but that’s about it. Also, there are like three too many pregnancy puns going on. Speaking of…)

Tagline(s) – It’s too late to pull out now. (Uh… … … wot?)

(Egad! That’s… unexpected. Don’t get me wrong, the tagline is fantastic. It’s short. It’s clever. It tells you a little about the plot using a solid double entendre. But it feels like it might be a bit at odds with the target audience and the sentiment of the film. Just a tad. [My wife’s take: “That’s too crude. I don’t like it.” Told yah.])

Notes – Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lopez are the only actresses cast as pregnant women who have children in real life; Lopez gave birth to twins, Banks has two sons via a surrogate. Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, and Brooklyn Decker have never had children. (While I personally don’t care, it is a weird casting move I feel like)

Based on the popular series of pregnancy guides by the same name. As of 2011, more than 14.5 million books have been sold.

Razzie Awards 2013: Brooklyn Decker (also for Battleship) and Jennifer Lopez each Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress