The Twilight Saga: New Moon Preview

As Rich and Poe walk down the hallway with the teacher, Ms. Halloway, they wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. If this was a The Substitute scenario they should be bashing skulls and taking names by now. “Maybe we’re missing a crime… a murder to solve?” Poe ponders. Ah, a The Substitute 2: School’s Out scenario… definitely possible, Rich agrees. “You know we can stop this ruse, right?” Ms. Halloway says behind them. They slowly turn and attempt to sputter out an excuse, but Ms. Halloway just smirks and flips open a badge. “Det. Halloway, BMTPD. You boys are a little late to the party.” What a twist! But how could she have seen through their bulletproof nerd alert disguises. “Well, you are both forty years old,” she explains, “and as a cop it was easy to connect the dots from there.” Clever girl. “I’ve been working undercover on the case for two years and you two stroll in and nearly blow the whole thing on day one. Lucky for you I know these kids and I know what they want.” Rich and Poe’s hearts leap, perhaps this is the break they need. “Love.” Rich is deflated. Love is lame. What about bashing skulls? What about patented Twin Chops, backflips, and abs. Pffff. Love. But Poe’s eyes are shining and he steps closer to Ms. Halloway. “What if I told you I know a little something about that.” He steps even closer. “You ever heard of a book called The Platonic Solids Series Part I: Outside the Box?” he asks breathily, inches from Ms. Halloways quivering lips. “It’s… it’s my favorite book,” she replies in a whisper, her bosom heaving and breath bated in anticipation. And with that they begin to make out… hard. That’s right! We are finally dipping our toes in the mother of all teen love triangle romances with the second Twilight film The Twilight Saga: New Moon. This is also one of only two qualifying films. So we are leaving the series hanging, but hopefully not for long. I’m ready for the steamy vampire-werewolf romance extravaganza. Let’s go!

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) – BMeTric: 78.1; Notability: 63 

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(Quite intriguing how low that is. I assume that is mostly because of the demographics of the people who vote on IMDb. I remember this movie mostly just being boring. That doesn’t feel sub-5.0 to be, but we’ll see.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – The characters in this movie should be arrested for loitering with intent to moan. Never have teenagers been in greater need of a jump-start. Granted some of them are more than 100 years old, but still: their charisma is by Madame Tussaud.

(Ooooooo, so maybe it is just so boring that it ends up being really really terrible! Because one star is really really low as well. This is precisely how I remember this.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNi-ebCWXos/

(Oh, I love you so much Bella. Oh, I love you so much Edward. Let’s die together, that would be super romantical wouldn’t it? Oh … that’s my impression of Twilight. Nailed it.)

Directors – Chris Weitz – (Known For: American Pie; The Golden Compass; Operation Finale; About a Boy; A Better Life; Future BMT: Down to Earth; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for About a Boy. Apparently he was uncredited on American Pie, presumably because he was just helping his older brother to direct it.)

Writers – Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay) – (Known For: Twilight; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Step Up; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2010 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon; in 2011 for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; in 2012 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Notes: Wrote the entire series. A legend of television, she produced and wrote on Melrose Place, The O.C., and Dexter among many many others.)

Stephenie Meyer (novel) – (Known For: Twilight; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; The Host; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in 2013; Notes: Wrote the novels. Apparently the idea for the storyline came to her in a dream, the idea of a vampire being in love with a human woman while thirsting for her blood.)

Actors – Kristen Stewart – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Underwater; Twilight; Into the Wild; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Snow White and the Huntsman; Zathura: A Space Adventure; American Ultra; Panic Room; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Adventureland; Still Alice; Cafe Society; The Runaways; On the Road; Personal Shopper; Certain Women; Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; J.T. LeRoy; Clouds of Sils Maria; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Cold Creek Manor; The Messengers; Catch That Kid; Equals; Seberg; Cell K-11; Anesthesia; Fierce People; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Jumper; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2013 for Snow White and the Huntsman, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in 2012; Nominee for Worst Actress for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2010 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Notes: Notably had an affair with the director Rupert Sanders, which caused her initial breakup with Robert Pattinson. She is bisexual and has mostly been in relationships with women recently.)

Robert Pattinson – (Known For: The Lighthouse; The King; Good Time; Twilight; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Lost City of Z; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; High Life; Waiting for the Barbarians; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Vanity Fair; Water for Elephants; The Rover; Maps to the Stars; Cosmopolis; Damsel; Life; The Childhood of a Leader; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Bel Ami; Queen of the Desert; Little Ashes; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for Remember Me, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2010; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2012 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Notes: He is going to be The Batman. During his entire Twilight period he would have amusing interviews where he would appear bemused about the various odd storylines from the film, look them up.)

Taylor Lautner – (Known For: Twilight; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Future BMT: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Tracers; Run the Tide; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; The Ridiculous 6; Abduction; Grown Ups 2; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Valentine’s Day; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in 2013; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and Valentine’s Day; and in 2012 for Abduction, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2010 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon; and in 2012 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Notes: Been moving more into prestige television recently, specifically was in Cuckoo for the past several years.)

Budget/Gross – $50,000,000 / Domestic: $297,816,253 (Worldwide: $711,020,081)

(Obviously, a huge success. One of the most successful series in cinema history. Single-handedly made vampires a huge thing again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 28% (64/227): The Twilight Saga’s second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.

(This is what I remember. Just Bella moping about depressed for an hour and a half. Reviewer Highlight: The boys preen while the girl sulks. And pouts. And sulks. And pouts. – Richard Roeper, RichardRoeper.com)

Poster – The Platonic Solids Series Part 2: Love on the Blocks (C)

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(Gonna be honest. I don’t really like that. The colors are drab and otherwise just the usually human mess. Some OK font, but even the spacing seems off. Like there is too much space around them.)

Tagline(s) – The Next Chapter Begins (F)

(Blah, boo. Give me something more than that. I spent more time thinking up the “Love on the Blocks” subtitle for the fake second book of our fake teen romance series.)

Keyword – vampire

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Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Twilight (2008), The Lost Boys (1987), I Am Legend (2007), Hellboy (2019), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 87.9 BloodRayne (2005), 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 51.1 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 48.6 Sleepwalkers (1992), 43.9 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 43.8 Priest (2011), 42.2 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 41.8 Bordello of Blood (1996), 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003);

BMT: Hellboy (2019), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Vampire Academy (2014), Queen of the Damned (2002), Dracula 2001 (2000), Ultraviolet (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Dudley Do-Right (1999)

(The crescendo is right after the Twilight books hit it big, they were trying to capture that fanaticism. It has, naturally, kind of slip away recently as one would expect. I’m excited for … Priest. That has been on the docket for years.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Taylor Lautner is No. 3 billed in The Twilight Saga: New Moon and No. 2 billed in Ridiculous Six, which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Just before Jacob almost kisses Bella, he says “Kwop kilawtley”, which means “stay with me forever” in Quileute.

Each member of the wolf pack had to have papers proving their Native descent. Chaske Spencer is Lakota (Sioux), Bronson Pelletier is Cree-Metis, Alex Meraz is Purepecha (Tarasco), Kiowa Gordon is Hualapai, and Tyson Houseman, who was discovered at an open casting call, is Cree.

After months of speculation and rumors, director Chris Weitz and the novel’s author, Stephenie Meyer, confirmed on her official website that Taylor Lautner would be reprising his role as Jacob Black. It was doubted as the filmmakers feared he would not be able to become fit enough in time. However, he was given the go-ahead after gaining 26 pounds of muscle.

Summit Entertainment greenlit this sequel one day after Twilight (2008) had opened in theaters.

The Italian sequences were shot over a period of 4 days. Red was deliberately kept out of the color palette until the Italian sequences.

While Carlisle is cleaning Bella’s wounds after the party, when he burns the blood-soaked gauze, the gauze forms the flower that is present on the New Moon book cover.

When Michael Sheen was cast as Aro, he had no clue of who the character is nor what are his characteristics. He learned as much as he could including the character’s back story from his daughter Lily Mo Sheen who is a fan of the series.

Contrary to scheduling conflict claims, Catherine Hardwicke turned down directing this film because the release date set by Summit (exactly one year after the first film’s release) would not allow her to have enough time to work on the script. With Hardwicke out, the studio scrambled in looking for a replacement director until producer Wyck Godfrey had to turn to his friend Chris Weitz who eventually agreed to do the film.

“New Moon” is Robert Pattinson’s favorite book in the Twilight series.

Ashley Greene wore a different wig than the one she wore in Twilight (2008), to portray Alice Cullen. She also cut her hair quite short so that it could fit under the wig.

A vampire’s diet is revealed by the color of the eyes – the Cullens feast only on animal blood and therefore have topaz eyes, whereas the Nomads and the Volturi have red eyes indicating they feast upon human blood.

The town of Voltera was chosen because of its uncanny resemblance to the Italian town described in Stephenie Meyer’s novel. The only difference was that its main square lacked a fountain which production designer David Brisbin duly had built from wood.

Every song that appears in the film and on the soundtrack is original and written specifically for the film.

The film is included on Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Robert Pattinson, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Melissa Rosenberg, 2010)

The Island of Dr. Moreau Preview

“A clue!” exclaims Detective Cross (a.k.a. Poe) looking closely at a shrub. The goblins, Sorsaron, and Brawl all gasp as they too notice the map hanging in the branches. A map that appears to show the exact burial spot of the Crown of Blizarion. “Hmmm, convenient,” concurs Detective Criss (a.k.a. Rich). Everything seems to have lined up quite nicely for the detectives. They didn’t have to break out even one patented Twin Chop or standing backflip… suspiciously convenient. As they make their way to the supposed hiding spot of the crown Rich has a sudden realization. “What if, my dear Cross, the crown was never stolen at all?” Everyone is puzzled at the theory, but Poe is picking up what he’s putting down, “Ah, you mean…” suddenly he whirls on Sorsaron and Brawln, “they were the culprits in the first place!” (what a twist!) Sorsaron gulp and babble nervously but break under the drop-dead gorgeous minds of the detectives. “Stupendous,” Brawln marvels, “and exactly what we hoped would happen.” Rich and Poe are confused and only become more bewildered as Brawln unburies the Crown and easily snaps it in half. “A mere bauble,” he explains, “but necessary to prove to the goblins that you were capable of the real task.” (what a double twist!) “You see,” he continues, “long ago the gamemaster stole something from the goblins, something that would close the well worn path that brought us here. This something would return us to our world and defeat the gamemaster, thus saving your world as well. It’s what we in the biz call a… win-win.” Rich and Poe are intrigued. “What and where?” they ask. “The Staff of Gabragorn,” Sorsaron explains, “the Isle of Killmore. But be careful, the Honorable Dr. Killmore… is quite insane.” That’s right! We are watching a true classic in The Island of Dr. Moreau. I remember watching this as a kid and finding it pretty creepy. I’m sure I’ll be less creeped out now that I’m older. *Takes a looks at some screenshots of the animal-humans* Nevermind. This is based on the book by H. G. Wells, which has been adapted a couple of times for film. It also feels like we’re getting close to someone thinking it’ll be a good idea to adapt again… excellent. Let’s go!

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) – BMeTric: 73.1; Notability: 47 

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(It is actually a bit confusing that it is arriving significantly above the low-4.0s. That is obviously insanely bad. But this film is insanely bad. I’ve seen it multiple times in pieces on cable. It is so weird and bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Heavy-handed retelling of H.G. Wells’ novel, as Thewlis is rescued at sea and brought to Dr. Moreau’s island, where he’s horrified to discover experiments turning animals into humans. Grotesque in the extreme, obvious, and ultimately pointless, but Brando devotees will want to check out his flamboyantly silly performance, and makeup buffs should admire Stan Winston’s remarkable creations.

(I enjoy that Leonard managed to find the good among the bad here. Obviously 1.5 stars is very bad, but there are absurdly amusing things to see in the film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJP3cb2RcII/

(Holy shit! We’ve been having a debate for like four days about what year this takes place. The Wikipedia page suggested 2010, but nowhere in the actual movie did it seem to say it. The script, which you can find online (I have no idea if it is real) suggests the year is 2007. But then, here it is. This trailer says 2010. As the only explicitly public mention of a date I would assume the 2010 date it thus canon. Wild.)

Directors – John Frankenheimer – (Known For: Ronin; The Manchurian Candidate; Seconds; Seven Days in May; The Train; Grand Prix; Birdman of Alcatraz; Black Sunday; 52 Pick-Up; French Connection II; The Iceman Cometh; The Challenge; All Fall Down; The Fixer; The Young Savages; The Fourth War; Future BMT: Reindeer Games; Prophecy; Year of the Gun; Dead Bang; BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1997; Notes: A good friend of RFK, he was originally reported to have also been shot at the Ambassador Hotel the night RFK was assassinated.)

Richard Stanley – (Known For: Color Out of Space; Hardware; The Theatre Bizarre; Future BMT: Dust Devil; BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1997; Notes: Was fired four days into production, the details of which is described in the documentary about the making of this film.)

Writers – H.G. Wells (novel) – (Known For: War of the Worlds; The Time Machine; The Island of Dr. Moreau; The Invisible Man; The War of the Worlds; Dead of Night; Island of Lost Souls; First Men in the Moon; Things to Come; The Invisible Man Returns; The Invisible Man’s Revenge; Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet the Invisible Man; The Passionate Friends; The Man Who Could Work Miracles; Future BMT: Empire of the Ants; The Food of the Gods; Village of the Giants; The Time Machine; War of the Worlds: Goliath; BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Notes: Y’all know H.G. Wells, a quintessential voice in science fiction literature. His grandson, Simon Wells, directed The Time Machine.)

Richard Stanley (screenplay) – (Known For: Color Out of Space; Hardware; The Theatre Bizarre; Future BMT: The Abandoned; Dust Devil; BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1997; Notes: Color Out of Space is the adaptation of the story by notorious racist H.P. Lovecraft which stars Nic Cage. It is supposed to be quite good, and that it likely the kind of crazy visuals Stanley wanted to bring to this film which got him fired.)

Ron Hutchinson (screenplay) – (BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1997; Notes: He’s written a crazy amount of television. I think he was a producer who was probably brought in to adapt Stanley’s script on the fly after he got fired. Just a guess.)

Actors – David Thewlis – (Known For: Legend; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Wonder Woman; The Big Lebowski; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; The New World; The Theory of Everything; Seven Years in Tibet; War Horse; RED 2; DragonHeart; Macbeth; Naked; James And The Giant Peach; The Zero Theorem; Anomalisa; Future BMT: The Omen; Regression; London Boulevard; The Fifth Estate; Justice League; Total Eclipse; The Trial; The Inner Life of Martin Frost; BMT: Basic Instinct 2; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Timeline; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2007 for Basic Instinct 2, and The Omen; Notes: )

Marlon Brando – (Known For: The Godfather; Apocalypse Now; Superman; Last Tango in Paris; The Score; A Streetcar Named Desire; On the Waterfront; Guys and Dolls; Candy; One-Eyed Jacks; Don Juan DeMarco; The Missouri Breaks; Mutiny on the Bounty; The Wild One; The Freshman; The Chase; Sayonara; A Countess from Hong Kong; Viva Zapata!; Julius Caesar; Future BMT: Christopher Columbus: The Discovery; Free Money; The Formula; The Brave; BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1997; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1981 for The Formula; and in 1993 for Christopher Columbus: The Discovery; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1997; Notes: )

Val Kilmer – (Known For: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; Heat; Top Gun; True Romance; Willow; Real Genius; Tombstone; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Top Secret!; The Prince of Egypt; Song to Song; Deja Vu; Kill the Irishman; The Doors; The Ghost and the Darkness; MacGruber; Bad Lieutenant; The Missing; The Super; Palo Alto; Future BMT: Twixt; The Traveler; Alexander; Red Planet; Planes; Delgo; 5 Days of War; Hard Ca$h; The Real McCoy; Masked and Anonymous; The Saint; At First Sight; Mindhunters; 10th & Wolf; Wonderland; Stateside; Summer Love; BMT: The Love Guru; The Island of Dr. Moreau; The Snowman; Batman Forever; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for The Saint in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1997 for The Ghost and the Darkness, and The Island of Dr. Moreau; and in 2005 for Alexander; Notes: )

Budget/Gross – $40,000,000 / Domestic: $27,663,982 (Worldwide: $49,627,779)

(Unmitigated disaster. I’m actually a bit surprised they managed to make the film for less than $50 million, this has a Cutthroat Island level disaster vibe to me, but it is only a modest financial disaster.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (8/33): Timid and unfocused in its storytelling, The Island Of Dr. Moreau is more lackluster misfire than morbid curiosity.

(Rotten Tomatoes trying to make clear this film is not so bad it’s good. I’m pretty happy with a misfire honestly, the disastrous production is funny in itself. Reviewer Highlight: )

Poster – The Island of Dr. Sklogenstein (C+)

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(I like the green. Very Rosemary’s Baby. Needed better font and probably needs to do a bit more to convey what the audience is in for (hint: it’s a wild ride). But have to give Brando props. Always impressive when an actor manages to be on the poster twice.)

Tagline(s) – Through DNA experimentation Dr. Moreau has upset the balance of nature. By turning animals into humans, he’s turned heaven into hell. (D-)

(I can actually imagine that Brando wrote this himself. That’s not a good thing. It’s insane. Bumped it from an F just because it does have strange mesmerizing cadance to it.)

Keyword – mutant

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Top 10: Suicide Squad (2016), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Deadpool 2 (2018), Deadpool (2016), Logan (2017), Annihilation (2018), Toy Story (1995), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), Overlord (2018)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 87.9 BloodRayne (2005), 84.5 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 78.6 Superhero Movie (2008), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 62.4 The Hills Have Eyes II (2007), 57.6 The Fly II (1989), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 50.0 Graveyard Shift (1990), 50.0 Masters of the Universe (1987);

BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Super Mario Bros. (1993), I Am Number Four (2011), Epic Movie (2007), Judge Dredd (1995), Double Dragon (1994), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), Troll (1986), A Sound of Thunder (2005)

(This is a really fun plot. You can see how mutant films prior to 2000 were like this. The Fly, Double Dragon, Judge Dredd. The mutants are kind of monster bad guys. And then in 2000 you get X-Men and all of the comic book films where they are the good guys in much larger films. I’m skeptical Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has a “mutant” in it though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Val Kilmer is No. 2 billed in The Island of Dr. Moreau and No. 1 billed in Batman Forever, which also stars Tommy Lee Jones (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 3 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 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) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch At First Sight, and The Replacement Killers we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – After being fired by the studio, original director Richard Stanley was rumored to have prevailed upon the makeup crew to turn him into one of the background mutants, so that he could at least keep tabs on the making of his dream project. He supposedly did not unmask himself until the wrap party. (That’s insane)

Marlon Brando wore a small radio receiver to aid him remembering his lines. Co-star David Thewlis claimed “He’d be in the middle of a scene and suddenly he’d be picking up police messages and Marlon would repeat, ‘There’s a robbery at Woolworths’.” (A British joke BTW. There was surely filmed in some remote jungle somewhere, right?)

Val Kilmer described the shoot as “crazy”. Marlon Brando was still recovering from his daughter’s suicide. The day production started, the French government set off an underwater atomic bomb near Tahiti, where Brando owned an atoll. Kilmer turned on the TV and learned that he was getting divorced. Two days later, the studio fired director Richard Stanley due to their concerns over the film’s direction. John Frankenheimer who was hired to replace Stanley, clashed with Brando, Kilmer, and studio executives from the start about the film’s direction. (This is all in the documentary I’m going to eventually watch about this film)

When Val Kilmer encountered Richard Stanley during the wrap-party, he apologised for costing the director his job. Marlon Brando later offered to compensate Stanley. To his regret, he didn’t take it.

Richard Stanley had spent four years developing the project, only to be fired after four days.

Richard Stanley had been offered his full fee on condition that he left the production quietly and did not speak about his sacking, so his disappearance caused consternation at New Line, who feared he might try to sabotage the filming. His removal also predictably sent shock waves through the cast and crew. An outraged Fairuza Balk stormed off the set after a heated exchange with the New Line executives, and then reportedly had a production assistant drive her all the way from Cairns to Sydney – a distance of some 2500 km- in a rented limousine. However, by her own account, Balk’s agent then warned her in blunt terms that the studio would ruin her, and that she would never work in films again if she broke her contract, so she was soon forced to return to the set.

Richard Stanley said of Val Kilmer: “He’d do [the lines] but he’d throw it all away. And he kept insisting on odd bits and pieces of his wardrobe that didn’t make sense, like a piece of blue material wrapped around his arm. It was like, ‘Why is that around his arm, and will he take it off?'” (It is crazy that these notes seem to suggest Kilmer was worse than Brando during the shoot)

Marco Hofschneider’s part was originally much bigger. His role was cut down because Val Kilmer didn’t want to be upstaged by him. Then Marlon Brando became obsessed with Nelson de la Rosa, the world’s smallest man, and insisted the script be revised. Some of Hofschneider’s scenes were given to De La Rosa. (WTF!)

Due to the many problems with the production, and the evident ongoing attempts by both Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer to sabotage it, the location shooting eventually stretched from a scheduled six weeks to almost six months, and the atmosphere on the production became almost a mirror of the plot of the movie, with the long-suffering cast and crew becoming more and more alienated by and hostile towards its megalomaniacal co-stars and their tyrannical director.

Rob Morrow spent a couple days on set to shoot his scenes as Edward Douglas but became unhappy with the production and its increasing lack of direction. Wanting to get back home to Los Angeles for his family, Morrow called New Line Cinema chairman Bob Shaye and pleaded to be released from the role, which Shaye honoured.

When David Thewlis arrived onset, Marlon Brando said to him, “Go home, David. This is not a good film to work on. It’s cursed”.

Val Kilmer felt obligated to ask Marlon Brando’s permission to “impersonate” him for the scenes where Montgomery imitates Moreau.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Marlon Brando, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Edward R. Pressman, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Val Kilmer, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (John Frankenheimer, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Richard Stanley, Ron Hutchinson, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Marlon Brando, Nelson de la Rosa, 1997)

Along Came a Spider Preview

As Rich and Poe approach an encampment with Sorsaron and Brawln they reflect on the walk through the waste. It sure was a walk to remember during which Poe met a wandering beauty and fell in love only to have her perish due to a rare medical condition. It was all very sweet and yet devastating. But no need to dwell on the past, time to focus on the future and the task at hand. As they peer down toward the camp they are told that the gamemaster spoke of the goblins within as thieves who stole a magical crown that would help Sorsaron and Brawln escape back to their dimension. “The Crown of Blizarion?” asks Rich and the centaur nods his head, “You’ve also heard of its power? Get it for us and we’ll take you to the school.” Rich and Poe are confused as to why everything feels so familiar and yet slightly different, but agree to the task nonetheless. First off they must ingratiate themselves with the goblins. While Rich wants to mesmerize and bewilder with their chiseled abs and spectacular dance moves, Poe has a different idea. A short time later they bust into camp. “Police!” they shout and the goblins freeze, demanding to know what they’ve done wrong. “How about a little thing called… MURDER!” shouts Rich waving his gun wildly around the crowd. The goblins gasp and implore them to help find the real culprit, for they are innocent. Rich and Poe agree and ask to take a quick look around, particularly in places where people hide things. The goblins sigh with relief, “thank you, officers. What are your names?” At that Rich and Poe look at each other. “Uh… well… this is Officer Chriss and I’m Officer Cross. Officers Chriss and Cross.” That’s right! We’re diving (back) into the world of Alex Cross only seven years after watching Tyler Perry play the character in Alex Cross. This time should be better as we get the precursors Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Both star Morgan Freeman and had considerably better reviews than the later adaptation, but still bad enough for us. I’m ready for some thrills and/or chills. Let’s go!

Along Came a Spider (2001) – BMeTric: 21.1; Notability: 49 

AlongCameaSpiderIMDb_BMeT

AlongCameaSpiderIMDb_RV

(Actually still quite good. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a big contingent of people who forgive the film because of Freeman. Even acting in terrible movies he is usually good and elevates the material.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – A few loopholes I can forgive. But when a plot is riddled with them, crippled by them, made implausible by them, as in “Along Came a Spider,” I get distracted. … [Y]ou [are] gonna be talking when you come out of this movie! Saying things like “but why . . .” and “if she . . .” and “wouldn’t he . . .” and “how come . . .” as you try to trace your way back through the twisted logic of the plot. Here’s a sample question. Dr. Cross mentions a $12 million ransom and later explains that the person he was talking to should have known it was $10 million but never said anything. And I’m thinking, should that person have even known about the ransom at all? Well, maybe, if . . . but I dunno. There are places in this movie you just can’t get to from other places in this movie.

(Haha, riddled with plotholes. It isn’t what you want with your early-2000s thriller. As he says, if the killer is interesting you forgive a few, but when there are too many it ends up taking all the fun out of figuring things out.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kswRbwYqn3k/

(Ohhhhhhh snap, I think you can see the aborted ending in the trailer. That scene where the daughter and the parents are hugging by the water isn’t in the film. In the film it all ends at night at a barn. Also, they very much indicate that the President of the United States is involved. He is not, it is the son of the Russian Ambassador.)

Directors – Lee Tamahori – (Known For: Die Another Day; The Edge; The Devil’s Double; Once Were Warriors; Mahana; Future BMT: Next; Mulholland Falls; BMT: xXx: State of the Unionl; Along Came a Spider; Notes: From New Zealand, started as a photographer and then transitioned into the film business as a boom operator.)

Writers – James Patterson (novel) – (Known For: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life; BMT: Alex Cross; Kiss the Girls; Along Came a Spider; Notes: He apparently came up with the slogan Toys R’ Us Kid.)

Marc Moss (screenplay) – (BMT: Alex Cross; Along Came a Spider; Notes: Was also uncredited on Kiss The Girls doing a continuity check / re-write or something. So he’s been involved in writing all three films.)

Actors – Morgan Freeman – (Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Seven; Batman Begins; Unforgiven; Lucy; Oblivion; Deep Impact; Now You See Me; Olympus Has Fallen; War of the Worlds; Million Dollar Baby; Wanted; Going in Style; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; RED; Gone Baby Gone; The Lego Movie; Bruce Almighty; Future BMT: Evan Almighty; Just Getting Started; Edison; The Nutcracker and the Four Realms; Eye for an Eye; Chain Reaction; The Contract; Ben-Hur; Momentum; Last Knights; High Crimes; Now You See Me 2; Harry & Son; Feast of Love; Levity; That Was Then… This Is Now; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Dreamcatcher; The Bonfire of the Vanities; London Has Fallen; Hard Rain; Transcendence; Along Came a Spider; Kiss the Girls; Angel Has Fallen; Notes: He owns a jazz club in Mississippi, and learned to fly at the age of 65.)

Michael Wincott – (Known For: The Count of Monte Cristo; The Crow; Ghost in the Shell; Alien Resurrection; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Treasure Planet; Born on the Fourth of July; Knight of Cups; Dead Man; The Doors; Strange Days; Hitchcock; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Basquiat; What Just Happened; Talk Radio; Before Night Falls; Curtains; Seraphim Falls; Forsaken; Future BMT: Metro; The Sicilian; The Three Musketeers; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: Along Came a Spider; Notes: Is the brother of Jeff Wincott who we’ve seen as Jeff Devreaux in the two Universal Soldier television sequels.)

Monica Potter – (Known For: Saw; The Last House on the Left; Con Air; Without Limits; A Cool, Dry Place; Future BMT: Head Over Heels; Bulletproof; Patch Adams; Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Along Came a Spider; Notes: Starred in over 100 episodes of the television show Parenthood, she has mostly focused on television in her later career.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $74,078,174 (Worldwide: $105,178,561)

(Hmmm, I wonder why they felt the need to double the budget. It isn’t like this film is particularly more complex than the first. At least the way they adapted makes it pretty straightforward.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (39/125): Derivative and contains too many implausible situations.

(Wait a second … this one did better review-wise than the first? That doesn’t make much sense. I’ve read Along Came a Spider, it is effectively unadaptable, which means it is either a terrible adaptation, a terrible movie, or both. Reviewer Highlight: Like a paperback plucked from a counter at an airport, Spider is an impulse buy of a film, a time killer that will neither tax your brain nor challenge your memory. – Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today)

Poster – Along Came a Spiderman (B)

along_came_a_spider

(I think this is solid. Although maybe a little too close to their faces. Back it up a bit. Also could have done with some sweet font.)

Tagline(s) – The game is far from over. (D-)

(That is decidedly mediocre. When did the game even start? What game are we talking about? Is this somehow a continuation of the previous film. This is a very confusing choice… but blessedly short. It’s just a few words away from being an F.)

Keyword – ransom

AlongCameaSpider_ransom

Top 10: Tropic Thunder (2008), The Big Lebowski (1998), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), In Time (2011), Captain Phillips (2013), Inherent Vice (2014), Angels & Demons (2009), The Rock (1996), A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), All the Money in the World (2017); 

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 73.5 Snatched (2017), 62.1 Half Past Dead (2002), 50.3 Son of the Pink Panther (1993), 46.4 The Wash (2001), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 41.5 Excess Baggage (1997), 39.7 Pink Cadillac (1989), 39.3 That Darn Cat (1997), 35.2 City Heat (1984); 

BMT: Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Along Came a Spider (2001), The Avengers (1998), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005)

(This I think is even more straightforward than the serial-killer one. This is basically just showing the trajectory of kidnapping thrillers. And indeed, they have tailed off as VOD absorbed most of the schlock that genre has to offer.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Morgan Freeman is No. 1 billed in Along Came a Spider and No. 5 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 17. If we were to watch Chain Reaction, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – When Alex is looking through Jezzie’s computer, there is an article on the Casanova Killer from the previous film, Kiss the Girls (1997).

The ending for the film was re-shot, due to poor test audience reception. (Oh God, I wonder what the original ending could have been)

The film takes place over the course of a few days, but in the novel the story takes place over approximately two years. Also, in the book Alex Cross is 38 years old with two kids, whereas in the film he is in his mid to late fifties.

The film’s title comes from its source novel by James Patterson. The title is taken from a nursery rhyme “Little Miss Muffet”. The early Cross novels were all named after nursery rhymes (Jack and Jill, Pop Goes the Weasel, etc.), while the later ones used Cross’ name in the title, either in a punning context (Cross Fire, Double Cross, etc.) or a matter-of-fact one (The Trial of Alex Cross, The People vs. Alex Cross, etc.) (Huh, I didn’t know that, I kind of like how it splits it up into eras)

Gary Soneji’s prosthetic makeup and affected British accent make him look and sound like actor David Thewlis. (It really really really does)

Kiss the Girls Preview

As Rich and Poe approach an encampment with Sorsaron and Brawln they reflect on the walk through the waste. It sure was a walk to remember during which Poe met a wandering beauty and fell in love only to have her perish due to a rare medical condition. It was all very sweet and yet devastating. But no need to dwell on the past, time to focus on the future and the task at hand. As they peer down toward the camp they are told that the gamemaster spoke of the goblins within as thieves who stole a magical crown that would help Sorsaron and Brawln escape back to their dimension. “The Crown of Blizarion?” asks Rich and the centaur nods his head, “You’ve also heard of its power? Get it for us and we’ll take you to the school.” Rich and Poe are confused as to why everything feels so familiar and yet slightly different, but agree to the task nonetheless. First off they must ingratiate themselves with the goblins. While Rich wants to mesmerize and bewilder with their chiseled abs and spectacular dance moves, Poe has a different idea. A short time later they bust into camp. “Police!” they shout and the goblins freeze, demanding to know what they’ve done wrong. “How about a little thing called… MURDER!” shouts Rich waving his gun wildly around the crowd. The goblins gasp and implore them to help find the real culprit, for they are innocent. Rich and Poe agree and ask to take a quick look around, particularly in places where people hide things. The goblins sigh with relief, “thank you, officers. What are your names?” At that Rich and Poe look at each other. “Uh… well… this is Officer Chriss and I’m Officer Cross. Officers Chriss and Cross.” That’s right! We’re diving (back) into the world of Alex Cross only seven years after watching Tyler Perry play the character in Alex Cross. This time should be better as we get the precursors Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Both star Morgan Freeman and had considerably better reviews than the later adaptation, but still bad enough for us. I’m ready for some thrills and/or chills. Let’s go!

Kiss the Girls (1997) – BMeTric: 16.1; Notability: 50 

KisstheGirlsIMDb_BMeT

KisstheGirlsIMDb_RV

(Honestly, given the rest of this preview, that 6.6 is right on target. It seems like maybe at the time it wasn’t very well received, but some of the reviews feel like maybe it actually wasn’t that bad.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.5 stars – When the film is over and we know all of its secrets, there’s one we’d like to know more about: What exactly is the dynamic of the relationship between the two most twisted members of the cast? But being left with such a question is much more satisfactory than being given the answer in shorthand Freudian terms. What we’re also left with is the real sense of having met two very particular people in the leads. Freeman and Judd are so good, you almost wish they’d decided not to make a thriller at all–had simply found a way to construct a drama exploring their personalities.

(This actually might legit be the best review we’ve ever features on a recent BMT film! Basically, Freeman and Judd are good actors and it is a fine thriller … so why does everyone seem to hate this film? Hinteresting. Methinks I’m going to enjoy this film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiHGk64-eNE/

(I like this old school trailer. Also a bit surprising that they manage to give away a good chunk of the film, but then don’t touch on The Gentleman Caller. So they manage to restrain themselves possibly as a red herring to distract the audience from realizing the two killers are distinct people initially.)

Directors – Gary Fleder – (Known For: Homefront; The Express; Runaway Jury; Future BMT: Impostor; Don’t Say a Word; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead; BMT: Kiss the Girls; Notes: Primarily has stuck to television more recently, and is primarily a producer at this point. Homefront I think was his most recent feature release in 2013.)

Writers – James Patterson (novel) – (Known For: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life; Future BMT: Along Came a Spider; BMT: Alex Cross; Kiss the Girls; Notes: He started as an advertising executive for Burger King.)

David Klass (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Desperate Measures; Walking Tall; Emperor; BMT: Kiss the Girls; Notes: Has produced and written a handful of Law & Order: Criminal Intent episodes.)

Actors – Morgan Freeman – (Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Seven; Batman Begins; Unforgiven; Lucy; Oblivion; Deep Impact; Now You See Me; Olympus Has Fallen; War of the Worlds; Million Dollar Baby; Wanted; Going in Style; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; RED; Gone Baby Gone; The Lego Movie; Bruce Almighty; Future BMT: Evan Almighty; Just Getting Started; Edison; The Nutcracker and the Four Realms; Eye for an Eye; Chain Reaction; The Contract; Ben-Hur; Momentum; Last Knights; Along Came a Spider; High Crimes; Now You See Me 2; Harry & Son; Feast of Love; Levity; That Was Then… This Is Now; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Dreamcatcher; The Bonfire of the Vanities; London Has Fallen; Hard Rain; Transcendence; Angel Has Fallen; Kiss the Girls; Notes: He became so concerned about the decline in honeybees that he turned his 100+ acre estate into a bee sanctuary.)

Ashley Judd – (Known For: Heat; Divergent; Olympus Has Fallen; Natural Born Killers; A Time to Kill; Frida; A Dog’s Way Home; Bug; De-Lovely; Dolphin Tale; Simon Birch; Smoke; Barry; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Animal Attraction; Dolphin Tale 2; Ruby in Paradise; Helen; Normal Life; Come Early Morning; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Eye of the Beholder; Allegiant; Insurgent; The Identical; Kuffs; Good Kids; High Crimes; Flypaper; Big Stone Gap; Double Jeopardy; The Passion of Darkly Noon; Crossing Over; Where the Heart Is; Trafficked; BMT: Twisted; Kiss the Girls; Notes: IT was rumored that she would run for Senate in Kentucky where she went to college, but ultimately decided not to.)

Cary Elwes – (Known For: Bram Stoker’s Dracula; The Princess Bride; No Strings Attached; Saw; Liar Liar; Twister; The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn; Hot Shots!; Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Glory; The Jungle Book; Ella Enchanted; A Christmas Carol; Shadow of the Vampire; Lady Jane; Whisper of the Heart; Porco Rosso; The Cat Returns; Another Country; The Cat’s Meow; Future BMT: The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure; Behaving Badly; Black Christmas; Saw 3D; Edison; The Alphabet Killer; Billionaire Boys Club; Days of Thunder; The Crush; The Chase; Collection; Sugar Mountain; The Bride; The Queen of Spain; The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot; Factory Girl; Delhi Safari; Being Charlie; BMT: New Year’s Eve; Georgia Rule; Kiss the Girls; Notes: Was recently features in the third season of the smash hit streaming television program Stranger Things.)

Budget/Gross – $27,000,000 / Domestic: $60,527,873 (Worldwide: $60,527,873)

(That’s not great I don’t think. You would have expected more from a Morgan Freeman vehicle in the late 90s. Bad thrillers though probably had terrible word of mouth back in the day.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (9/31): Detective Alex Cross makes his inauspicious cinematic debut in Kiss the Girls, a clunky thriller that offers few surprises.

(Surprises? This must have come out right when a few thrillers really smashed the Twist-y McTwist side of thrillers out of the park. As a matter of fact Primal Fear did come out the year prior. Reviewer Highlight: Even those engrossed by the build-up here are likely to kiss off the rest after suffering through Girls’ groaner of a wrap-up. – Mike Clark, USA Today)

Poster – Kiss the Sklogs (C-)

kiss_the_girls

(Ha. Well… this is less than a stellar effort. Looks like Alex Cross is going to battle a spooky ghost or something. Only good thing is the pop of color that ghost brings with it. But also not offensive.)

Tagline(s) – A detective is searching for a deadly collector. His only hope is the woman who got away. (D)

(They chose the wrong tagline for the poster. This is too long and not clever. It’s just telling us what the basic premise of the film is… and wasting our time in the process. It is still at least understandable.)

Keyword – serial killer

KisstheGirls_serial killer

Top 10: Joker (2019), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Pulp Fiction (1994), Zodiac (2007), Heat (1995), Shutter Island (2010), Split (2016), Glass (2019), Seven (1995), American Psycho (2000); 

Future BMT: 74.3 Psycho (1998), 68.4 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 65.9 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), 64.3 Valentine (2001), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 62.4 The Hills Have Eyes II (2007), 59.1 Child’s Play 3 (1991), 57.6 Sorority Row (2009), 55.8 Jury Duty (1995), 51.1 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010); 

BMT: The Snowman (2017), Kiss the Girls (1997), Friday the 13th (2009), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Cobra (1986), Leprechaun (1993), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Zoolander 2 (2016), Color of Night (1994), Alex Cross (2012), Righteous Kill (2008), Species II (1998), Untraceable (2008), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Jade (1995), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Twisted (2004), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), 88 Minutes (2007), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Bless the Child (2000)

(For a bit I wondered if notability tailing off like that was a quirk of the underlying data, but I don’t think so. I legitimately think “thrillers”, much like horror, went through a popularity boom and bust in the late-90s and early 2000s. They now mostly got to VOD with smaller big names. This was one of the big ones in the 90s though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Morgan Freeman is No. 1 billed in Kiss the Girls and No. 5 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 17. If we were to watch Chain Reaction, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Ashley Judd took kick-boxing lessons from stuntman David Lea before filming. She insisted on doing many of her own stunts, but the studio finally put their foot down, when she wanted to leap off a 150 foot waterfall. A stuntman, wearing a wig, made the jump instead, narrowly missing the rocks as he plummeted through the falls to the water below. (Uh … yeah you can see it, he gets really close. I can’t believe they put it in the movie)

Gillian Anderson was initially going to play Dr. Kate McTiernan during her hiatus from The X Files (1993). (Huh interesting. They are the exact same age)

At one point, Denzel Washington was to star, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, and Morgan Freeman was brought into the project. (That would have been a cool Alex Cross)

A split diopter lens is used in the final kitchen scene. The two-shots show both characters in sharp focus, even though one is much farther from the camera. Normally, one or the other would be out of focus. But a half-width lens placed in front of the camera’s main lens adjusts the focal plane of one side of the scene, allowing close and distant subjects to appear sharp. Brian De Palma often uses this filming technique. (Yeah … it is really old school. I was watching an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and they got the same effect but clearly there is some digital way to do that because instead of being weirdly fuzzy and looking like shit in my opinion, it looks super smooth.)

It was during the making of this film that Ashley Judd was subjected to sexual harassment by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. She would finally open up about the ordeal in 2017. (Gross!)

Campus officials at the University of North Carolina refused to agree to allow filming on campus in Chapel Hill, because of the subject matter of the film. Hence the only UNC-Chapel Hill campus scenes are the flyover shots. There is one other scene shot on UNC’s campus. After the flyover shot of Duke Chapel, the next scene is the detectives car turning onto Medical Drive in Chapel Hill.This can be seen by the sign behind the tree which is the old School of nursing sign on Columbia street.

Whenever Casanova speaks from the shadows, as well as in the opening credits, it is Tony Goldwyn’s voice being heard. Goldwyn’s voice was used to throw the audience off the trail so the unveiling of the real killer at the end would be more of a surprise. Goldwyn’s Casanova voice is easily distinguishable from Cary Elwes’ affected Casanova voice, which Ruskin uses as he is revealed as the real killer at the film’s close. As a result, when Rudolph is shouting at the hidden Casanova, Tony Goldwyn is essentially arguing with himself. (Yup, you can tell they are too totally different voices, it was an odd stylistic choice. Why not just have Elwes use his own British accent?)

MythBusters (2003) proved that it is nearly impossible for the muzzle flash of a gun to cause a room full of natural gas to explode.

A Walk to Remember Preview

“Wait wait wait,” Rich yells to the centaur as he gets dangerously close to cutting their tree free of the cliff. Just as Rich and Poe lament the end of their adventure, they hear a tiny voice, “Wait Sorsaron, let’s hear them out.” A tiny man in a robe appears next to Sorsaron, “Well?” he asks expectantly. Thinking quickly, Rich and Poe lay it all on the line. “Help us and you save the world,” they say solemnly. The centaur’s eyes softens, “Brawln, throw down a rope.” As they walk, Brawln and Sorsaron explain their gritty origin story. Such a mismatched pair! One a barbarian, the other a diminutive mage, they were brought together by fate under a blood wolf moon only to be captured by the evil gamemaster that is helping run the tournament. With each word, Rich and Poe can’t help but have a sense of deja vu. Have they heard this story before? It sounds suspiciously like an adventure they’ve already had except… worse. “We don’t care about this world,” explains Sorsaron, “but combine your earnestness with your muscled physiques and I had my first hope that perhaps you can defeat the gamemaster… even if the chances are still so slight.” Rich and Poe are deflated, it’s starting to sound like they have just as little idea about the well worn path as they do. But when they mention their task, Brawln and Sorsaron look startled. “The school,” Brawln mutters and at that Rich and Poe press them for more details. What and where is this school? “You must complete a task for us first,” Sorsaron insists. Rich and Poe look at each other and then agree. “Where to?” they ask and Brawl points across the desert. Well this should be a walk to remember. That’s right! We are watching teen drama A Walk to Remember. And before you riot and scream blasphemy against its inclusion in BMT just remember, we don’t make the rules… or I guess, we do technically make the rules, but by all metrics this did not get good reviews. So, tough. Deal with it. It’s based on a Nicholas Sparks book and was part of his rise to Hollywood prominence in the 2000’s. Let’s go!

A Walk to Remember (2002) – BMeTric: 4.5; Notability: 22 

AWalktoRememberIMDb_BMeT

AWalktoRememberIMDb_RV

(This might genuinely be the highest rated film (according to IMDb) that we’ve ever done. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a bit of crying this week.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – “A Walk to Remember” is a love story so sweet, sincere and positive that it sneaks past the defenses built up in this age of irony. It tells the story of a romance between two 18-year-olds that is summarized when the boy tells the girl’s doubtful father: “Jamie has faith in me. She makes me want to be different. Better.” After all of the vulgar crudities of the typical modern teenage movie, here is one that looks closely, pays attention, sees that not all teenagers are as cretinous as Hollywood portrays them.

(See! Roger Ebert loves it! How is it possible it got such bad reviews? I have a theory: With things like Dawson’s Creek and The OC and 90210 kind smashing television from the late 90s to the early 2000s people were just burnt out on melodramatic teen dramas. And so even the good versions of it, like this, got dunked on by mainstream critics. Prove me wrong!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq02sBe5xko/

(Landon Carter is a bad boy. And then he meets a good girl. And he wears headphones, and looks super cool. And they’ll fall in love, and everything is super sweet and awesome. But then he’s like “I’m too cool”, but then he’s like “I love you”.)

Directors – Adam Shankman – (Known For: What Men Want; Hairspray; Rock of Ages; Future BMT: The Wedding Planner; Bedtime Stories; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; The Pacifier; Bringing Down the House; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Got into Juilliard for dance without ever having taken a formal dancing course, and then started as a choreographer. He clearly has a relationship with Steve Martin, whom he directed in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Bringing Down the House. He also helped organize the 82nd Academy Awards which Martin hosted.)

Writers – Nicholas Sparks (novel) – (Known For: The Notebook; Future BMT: The Last Song; Nights in Rodanthe; Message in a Bottle; Dear John; The Lucky One; The Best of Me; BMT: The Choice; Safe Haven; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Apparently he still holds a Track and Field record at Notre Dame. He tends to write Christian-themed romance novels centered around tragedy.)

Karen Janszen (screenplay) – (Known For: Dolphin Tale; Dolphin Tale 2; The MatchMaker; Gracie; Digging to China; Duma; Future BMT: Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; BMT: A Walk to Remember; Notes: Created the recent television show Mars.)

Actors – Mandy Moore – (Known For: Midway; Tangled; Ralph Breaks the Internet; The Princess Diaries; 47 Meters Down; Saved!; Dr. Dolittle 2; Romance & Cigarettes; Dedication; Future BMT: Southland Tales; Love, Wedding, Marriage; Racing Stripes; American Dreamz; Swinging with the Finkels; How to Deal; Chasing Liberty; Try Seventeen; Hotel Noir; BMT: License to Wed; Because I Said So; The Darkest Minds; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Was already a famous singer by the time this movie came out. Played herself on a season-long arc on Entourage as well.)

Shane West – (Known For: Get Over It; Awakening the Zodiac; Here Alone; Liberty Heights; What We Do Is Secret; Future BMT: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Whatever It Takes; Echelon Conspiracy; The Lodger; BMT: Dracula 2001; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Is in a band called Jonny Was (which was Average Jo when this film came out, they have a song on the soundtrack). Played Bane on the television show Gotham.)

Peter Coyote – (Known For: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; Erin Brockovich; Bitter Moon; Femme Fatale; Good Kill; The Legend of Billie Jean; Southern Comfort; Jagged Edge; Cross Creek; Outrageous Fortune; Kika; Resurrecting the Champ; The Hebrew Hammer; Northfork; Heartbreakers; Bon voyage; Suddenly Naked; Here; La rançon de la gloire; Future BMT: Sphere; Moonlight and Valentino; Unforgettable; A Little Trip to Heaven; Patch Adams; BMT: Random Hearts; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Changed his name to Coyote because he took drugs once, hallucinated that he was a coyote, and then saw a coyote later and someone convinced him it was a sign. That is straight from his Wikipedia page.)

Budget/Gross – $11,800,000 / Domestic: $41,281,092 (Worldwide: $47,494,916)

(That is a decent hit. Honestly I’m a bit surprised it is that low. I would have expected a bit more from the movie that I think obviously kicked off the Sparks craze.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (28/103): Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy.

(Sounds about right, that is certainly part of why I’ve never seen the film. Comes across as syrupy sweet. Reviewer Highlight: Just because A Walk to Remember is shrewd enough to activate girlish tear ducts doesn’t mean it’s good enough for our girls. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – A Sklog to Remember (B)

walk_to_remember

(You have to admit that this is effective. If people are looking for some romance in their lives then this seems like a solid advertising scheme, with some soft colors and love in the air. Hate the font though. That would have helped immensely.)

Tagline(s) – She didn’t belong. She was misunderstood. And she would change him forever. (B)

It all comes down to who’s by your side (D)

(The first has the elements you want but just doesn’t get there in a reasonable amount of time. It’s nice though so it still gets a good score. The second one is a little confusing. First, why does the poster need two taglines? Second, what does this have to do with this movie? Third, this is a simple statement without even a sense of cleverness. It’s bad.)

Keyword – high school girl

AWalktoRemember_high school girl

Top 10: Lady Bird (2017), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Mean Girls (2004), The Breakfast Club (1985), Superbad (2007), Old School (2003), The Craft (1996), A Walk to Remember (2002), Never been Kissed (1999); 

Future BMT: 33.2 Drive Me Crazy (1999); 

BMT: A Walk to Remember (2002), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), The Gallows (2015)

(This has inspired me to update this section to take on multiple keywords. Like I want to just lump in all of the keywords to give the impression of “high school teen rom dram” you know? And probably do something like take the top 200-300 only so that it is a bit more manageable to generate. Makes me excited. EDITOR’s NOTE: Box Office Mojo appears to be blocking me from getting information, which is their prerogative. But I should be able to update this section to focus on the notability anyways, so I’m ultimately fine with it. Stay tuned)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Mandy Moore is No. 1 billed in A Walk to Remember and No. 2 billed in Because I Said So, which also stars Diane Keaton (No. 1 billed) who is in The Big Wedding (No. 2 billed), which also stars Robert De Niro (No. 1 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 4 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – This movie was filmed in only thirty-nine days, despite the fact that they only had Mandy Moore for ten hours a day because she was still a minor. (Wow, that is actually impressive)

Shane West loved the car he had in the movie so much that he actually bought the car; the price was only $5,000. (Nice, that’s cool)

Much of the movie’s soundtrack includes music from the band Switchfoot, who, at the time, were really only recognized in their native San Diego and in Contemporary Christian music circles. Mandy Moore was a huge fan of the band and had a great deal of influence in their participation on the film. When they were approached to do the film, however, the members really had no idea who Moore was and were not familiar with her music (despite her status as a pop star with several hits on the charts). Once they came on board, they contributed four existing tracks to the soundtrack. In addition, lead singer Jon Foreman recorded a duet with Mandy Moore, “Someday We’ll Know.” Moore also sings a version of the Switchfoot song “Only Hope” during the play in the film. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??)

The inspiration for Jamie Sullivan’s character and some of the events in the book/movie are from Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis (whom the book and movie are dedicated to).

The pictures of Jamie, on the mantle of the fireplace in the Sullivan house, are real pictures of Mandy Moore when she was a little girl.

The movie was shot in North Carolina; many of the sets were from the TV show Dawson’s Creek (1998), particularly the school, the hospital and Landon’s home. (NOICE)

The second film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and the first to be rated PG.

Holmes & Watson Preview

Jamie and Patrick wander the wasteland of the BMTverse, their tuxedos in tatters. Last they saw Banks was thrilled with another boffo box office Rich and Poe entry, but the reviews were brutal. “A truly terrifying cat-astrophe,” said one critic, while another derided, “the deranged vision of two power-hungry maniacs.” Harsh, but fair. They had lost their way in their quest to bring their magnum opus to screen and now they must suffer the consequences. Suddenly a hooded figures appears in front of them and they are overcome with emotion. “Nic Cage,” Patrick cries, “we’ve failed you. We made a horrible Rich and Poe movie but they weren’t here when we came back. It must have been too terrible to work.” But Nic Cage pulls down his hood and laughs. “Silly Bad Movie Twins, can’t you see? Rich and Poe were in you the whole time.” When they look down their tattered tuxedos have been replaced by detective suits. “Wooooaaaaahhh,” they say in wonder. “It is time,” Nic Cage says solemnly, “the tournament.” Another figure approaches and they bow their heads and explain that the tournament will consist of the pillars on which the universe is built. Each one is a test, but also a learning experience. The first is about the dangers of imagination. “Stick close to what you know,” says Nic Cage, “for the new and unknown are dangerous.” The other hooded figure nods, “tread well-worn paths and you will not be… punished.” At that Nic Cage bows his head and Rich and Poe are transported into a Wicker Man. As the fire rages around them they wonder what this has to do with winning the ultimate tournament. Nic Cage’s eerie voice whispers from seemingly nowhere, “Elementary, my dear Rich and Poe. Elementary.” That’s right! We’re watching last year’s big Christmas disaster Holmes & Watson as the first entry in the first cycle of 2020: adaptations and remakes. I have to admit I was somewhat interested in this film before it came out given that even the poorly reviewed Get Hard gave me a good chuckle here and there, but the reviews for this Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly were so bad that it ended up waiting for BMT. I still think there’s a chance I like it. Let’s go!

Holmes & Watson (2018) – BMeTric: 80.6; Notability: 43 

HolmesWatsonIMDb_BMeT

HolmesWatsonIMDb_RV

(Below 4.0 is so low. I’m actually a bit surprised. I feel like horror fans are super hard on horror because they want new and interesting things and come down hard when things are done poorly. Comedy on the other hand seems to be: as long as it is even remotely funny and I have a good time I’m good to go. I guess this must be just excruciatingly not-funny?)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – “Holmes & Watson” is so excruciatingly awful that you have to wonder what it was, other than their paychecks, that could have possessed the cast and crew to keep coming back each day, when it must have been obvious from the first day of shooting that the project was the most hopeless of cases imaginable. … Considering that the end result is probably the biggest cinematic clunker of the season, the closest thing to an actual mystery in “Holmes & Watson” is how a screenplay as puerile as this one could attract so many talented people.

(Cooooooold bloooooooded. That is a quite the review. It does seem like the consensus seems to genuinely be: this is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever made … somehow including Sherlock Gnomes? You have to assume.)

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

(I was kind of just like “meh, whatever” right up until The Boys are Back in Town started up, and then my mind viscerally rejected this trailer. It really does look like garbage. A bunch of predictable jokes, poor British accents, and if those are the creme de la creme jokes they are rolling out for the trailer, I have to assume the movie is twice as bad.)

Directors – Etan Cohen – (Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: He is tapped to direct a Mandrake the Magician adaptation starring Sasha Baron Cohen … that seems like an insane thing to adapt. Very specifically not Ethan Cohen.)

Writers – Etan Cohen (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black 3; Tropic Thunder; Idiocracy; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Got his start on Beavis and Butt-head with Mike Judge, along with King of the Hill. Currently writing an animated monster wrestling movie called Rumble.)

Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created by the late) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – (Known For: Sherlock Holmes; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; The Great Mouse Detective; Young Sherlock Holmes; Mr. Holmes; The Hound of the Baskervilles; The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Murder by Decree; The Lost World; Future BMT: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; The Hound of the Baskervilles; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Notes: That’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to you. In addition to creating probably the most famous literary detective ever, he also wrote a number of other works, most notable The Lost World.)

Actors – Will Ferrell – (Known For: Elf; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Step Brothers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; The Other Guys; Between Two Ferns: The Movie; The Lego Movie; Old School; Wedding Crashers; Blades of Glory; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Megamind; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; Zoolander; Stranger Than Fiction; Starsky & Hutch; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; The Producers; Future BMT: Bewitched; Boat Trip; Land of the Lost; Superstar; The Ladies’ Man; The House; Semi-Pro; Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Drowning Mona; Get Hard; The Suburbans; Daddy’s Home 2; Daddy’s Home; The Internship; A Night at the Roxbury; Zeroville; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Zoolander 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Bewitched in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2006 for Bewitched, and Kicking & Screaming; in 2010 for Land of the Lost; and in 2019 for Holmes & Watson; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Zoolander 2 in 2017; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Land of the Lost in 2010; Notes: I would argue he’s the best SNL alumni cast member in history. Tons of hits and misses, but he has manages to build a successful television, film, and short film career. He founded Funny or Die with Adam McKay.)

John C. Reilly – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; Sing; Step Brothers; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Wreck-It Ralph; Gangs of New York; The Aviator; The Lobster; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; The Sisters Brothers; Boogie Nights; Kong: Skull Island; Chicago; Magnolia; We Need to Talk About Kevin; Stan & Ollie; The Thin Red Line; The Dictator; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Hoffa; Future BMT: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Boys; Days of Thunder; Nightwatch; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Started out as a character actor, moves into dramatic roles, but also somehow manages to be a great comic actor as well. Is married to Alison Dickey who apparently was Sean Penn’s assistant for a while.)

Ralph Fiennes – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Skyfall; Spectre; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Official Secrets; Schindler’s List; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Duchess; Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang; In Bruges; Red Dragon; The English Patient; The Hurt Locker; Great Expectations; The Lego Batman Movie; The Reader; Hail, Caesar!; Future BMT: Maid in Manhattan; Wrath of the Titans; Clash of the Titans; Chromophobia; BMT: The Avengers; Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Avengers in 1999; Notes: Is the oldest of six siblings. His brother Magnus is an accomplished composer, and his brother Joseph is famous for playing Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love.)

Budget/Gross – $42,000,000 / Domestic: $30,573,626 (Worldwide: $40,466,970)

(Hmmmm, the budget makes sense, a period piece will rack up bills on extras, sets, and costumes. And they probably were hoping for a $100 million return from the box office which I think is still fairly normal for a Will Ferrell comedy. Missed the mark though, that’s a pretty big bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (8/75): The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.

(That is actually likely a pretty accurate presumption … it does look like an awful adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Reviewer Highlight: If a comedy falls in the forest and nobody laughs, did it even exist? – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out)

Poster – Rich & Poe: Old Timey Detectives: A Rich & Poe Story (D)

holmes_and_watson_ver2_xlg

(Nah, this is actually in line with many of the Will Ferrell films, but it doesn’t really work for me. Bad color scheme and boring font… really just all around boring. No thanks.)

Tagline(s) – They don’t have a clue. (B)

(Predictable, but solid. Works just enough to escape being too generic. This is just good solid craftsmanship. It’ll get the job done.)

Keyword – victorian era

Holmes&Watson_victorian era

Top 10: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A Christmas Carol (2009), The Prestige (2006), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dracula (1992), The Lost City of Z (2016), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Van Helsing (2004), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Sherlock Holmes (2009); 

Future BMT: 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.1 The Wolfman (2010), 37.1 Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), 31.7 Victor Frankenstein (2015), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 13.4 Tai-Pan (1986), 5.4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004), 4.9 A Dog of Flanders (1999); 

BMT: Holmes & Watson (2018), Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

(Both of those BMTs star Steve Coogan, that’s fun. I guess he is British … does he look Victorian or something? The big spike in the early 90s was Interview with a Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It does genuinely seem like 1990 to 1995 was a big Victorian Era era. Indeed there are shockingly few released between 1995 and 2000)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rebecca Hall is No. 3 billed in Holmes & Watson and No. 3 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 17. If we were to watch A Night at the Roxbury we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to Deadline, after disastrous test screenings, Sony attempted to sell the film to Netflix, which declined. (Uh oh, that isn’t a good sign)

Speaking on the Empire Podcast #346 (11 January 2019) about the quality of the film, Steve Coogan, who played Gustav Klinger, said “I think in 20 years time when the dust has settled and people are able to look at Holmes and Watson objectively, I think people will say ‘It’s still rubbish”. (Hahahah, Coogan is great)

In 2008, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell were once attached to star as Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The project re-entered development in 2016 with Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson. (Huh, that is actually a pretty interesting pair)

Became the only film in the history of the Razzie Awards to “win” Worst Picture and not even be nominated for Worst Screenplay.

Actor Billy Zane has a cameo in this film aboard the Titanic; an homage to his role in the 1997 film about the Titanic.

Christophe Beck wrote a score for this film which was not used.

Hugh Laurie, who plays Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, in the film, previously portrayed the title character in the television series, House MD. The character Greg House was modeled after Sherlock Holmes.

As of 2018, this is the seventh adaptation during the decade to be based on Sherlock Holmes lore, after: Sherlock (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Elementary (2012), Mr. Holmes (2015) and Sherlock Gnomes (2018).

Moriarty has a daughter in this film. He is traditionally portrayed as unmarried, with no children.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Etan Cohen, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Will Ferrell, 2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, 2019)

Cats Preview

“You can’t fire me, it’s my money,” Banks says calmly, weathering Jamie’s wrath. “Beside we have just two weeks before our Christmas release date and as far as I can tell you have 25 minutes shot.” Jamie and Patrick squint at Banks and ask if it can be pushed back, but Banks shakes his head. Whatever they have will be going out, so they better get their lazy asses into gear and find 2 hours of footage from somewhere, with or without the crew they just fired. Using dream sequences and flashbacks cut from previous entries in the series they get up to about an hour, but they begin to panic. “What about public domain footage?” Patrick asks, but even having Rich and Poe sing Happy Birthday to each other while watching an entire episode of The Three Stooges only gets them so far. Suddenly, while lazing away their remaining days on their helicopter cruise ships, Jamie has a brilliant idea to get the last 45 minutes of film. “Patrick! You have a beautiful mind, right?” Patrick shrugs, duh. “Well why don’t you put that beautiful noggin to work and craft some sweet AI computer magic to bring our vision to life!” Patrick agrees and gets down to coding. Mere hours before the premier they get their finished film in the can and ready for the show. Jamie and Patrick are beaming. Despite the many roadblocks they persevered and their vision is complete. The theater hushes and the lights dim and a gasp arises from the audience as the terrible, freakish computer generated figures of Rich and Poe dance eerily across the screen. Jamie looks at Patrick for an answer but Patrick can only shake his head and mutter, “I guess the AI decided to make us monster cats.” That’s right! For the final entry in the 2019 entry we decided to catch one final bonus BMT Live, given the Christmas release of one of the worst reviewed films of the year. Indeed we decided to watch Cats, the much reviled adaptation of the long-running hit musical. This also gives a little hint to the first cycle of next year. Let’s go! 

Cats (2019) – BMeTric: 79.1; Notability: 34 

CatsIMDb_BMeT

CatsIMDb_RV

(Incredibly BMeTric, which I guess makes sense given how much the internet hates his film. The notability is quite low, maybe because much of the cast is made up of dancers? Notability is somewhat depressed in the year of release because there are people who aren’t yet famous but will be in the future. I’ll have to run a study on it, but perhaps it is cut in half? It is hard to tell without looking at the data.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – In 1939, T.S. Eliot published a book called Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, filled with poems he had written about cats to amuse his godchildren. A far cry from The Waste Land, almost 20 years before, Eliot’s poems are sweet and sneakily profound, detailing different kinds of cats, their behaviors, personalities, and mysterious self-involvement. … There’s not nearly enough of that in “Cats,” but I enjoyed the film for what it is. It’s “London’s Got Talent” for the feline set.

(That is a really really positive review. I mean, relatively at least. I’ve heard inklings of “if you ignore the CGI the film is kind of good” coming from some places, it is just hard to tell how much of it is critics being contrarian after the fact.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtSd844cI7U/

(This is the cleaned up trailer I think. There is another one which is truly mind-boggling. Like, Idris Elba’s face is kind of floating in the general vicinity of his creepy cat body it looks like. This looks mostly fine. It takes a lot of dancing cats and stuff for your brain to start rejecting it, although that is always a bad sign given that you have to watch 2 hours of dancing cats and stuff.)

Directors – Tom Hooper – (Known For: Les Misérables; The Danish Girl; The King’s Speech; The Damned United; BMT: Cats; Notes: Met the British director and producer Matthew Robinson through his father who was somehow involved with ITV in England. Via that connection he got work in television, and made the transition to major motion pictures from there.)

Writers – T.S. Eliot (poetry collection “Old Possum’s Books of Practical Cats”) – (BMT: Cats; Notes: Was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1948 and is considered one of the greatest poets of modern times.)

Lee Hall (screenplay) – (Known For: Rocketman; Billy Elliot; War Horse; Victoria & Abdul; BMT: Cats; Notes: Also wrote the book for the musical adaptation of Billy Elliot.)

Tom Hooper (screenplay) – (BMT: Cats; Notes: The first writing credit he’s received since the short film he produced while in school.)

Andrew Lloyd Webber (musical) – (BMT: Cats; Notes: A titan of musical composition having developed Jesus Christ: Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.)

Actors – Francesca Hayward – (BMT: Cats; Notes: Principal ballerina at the Royal Ballet in London. Took a sabbatical to make this film.)

Taylor Swift – (Future BMT: The Giver; BMT: Cats; Valentine’s Day; Notes: Y’all know Taylor. Reported to be worth over $300 million including nearly $100 million in real estate assets.)

Laurie Davidson – (Known For: The Good Liar; BMT: Cats; Vampire Academy; Notes: Got his start as William Shakespeare in the television show Will.)

Budget/Gross – $95,000,000 / Domestic: $22,950,935 (Worldwide: $43,450,935)

(So … first, the run isn’t over, there is, in theory, plenty of time to make some sweet cash. But, second, the rumor is the budget is in fact much higher than that given the issues with CGI and reshoots. Over twice as much even, which would be disastrous. We legitimately might have just witnessed Tom Hooper’s directing career end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (56/272): Despite its fur-midable cast, this Cats adaptation is a clawful mistake that will leave most viewers begging to be put out of their mew-sery.

(An absolute abomination of a critical consensus. For shame Rotten Tomatoes, for shame. Reviewer Highlight: Cats is terrible, but it’s also kind of great. – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine)

Poster – Sklogs (B+)

cats

(I actually kind of like this. Very nice symmetry and color. Although makes the cats seem human size which, let me tell you, is not the case. Obviously also has that classic Cats font we all know and love.)

Tagline(s) – You will believe (C-)

(Nah. Way too generic. Seems more appropriate even for a sci fi picture which this… is, I guess. Not even sure what I’m supposed to be believing… that they actually made a major motion picture about Cats. At least it’s short.)

Keyword – based on stage musical

Cats_based on stage musical

Top 10: Cats (2019), Les Misérables (2012), Annie (1982), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Mamma Mia! (2008), Dreamgirls (2006), Into the Woods (2014), Chicago (2002), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Little Shop of Horrors (1986); 

Future BMT: 51.9 Fame (2009), 42.3 The King and I (1999), 37.6 Nine (2009), 20.9 Chorus Line (1985), 5.4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004); 

BMT: Cats (2019)

(Pretty amazing that we’ve only seen one of these in the end. At the very least Fame should have been on our radar, with Nine being a close second. The 90s really were as bereft of musicals as it would seem. Newsies was supposed to be the big comeback for the West Side Story type major musical production, but instead it flopped. I would imagine the genre will eventually be relegated to streaming, headlined by musicians hoping to break into acting instead of the more rare triple threats like Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. Which might honestly be the prudent financial path in the end … musicals are really really hit-or-miss.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Idris Elba is No. 5 billed in Cats and No. 7 billed in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 7 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch The Dark Tower, and Two for the Money we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – On December 21st 2019, a mere 2 days after its release, Universal Pictures announced they would be releasing a new version with updated CGI at an undisclosed time. (This was known prior to that, but it is still apparently unprecedented. It marks a major moment in both film and BMT history)

One week after its release, it was revealed by The Daily Mail that director Tom Hooper edited and re-cut the film after it was panned by many critics.

Dame Judi Dench was cast in the original 1981 London stage production in the dual roles of Jennyanydots and Grizabella. However, shortly before the opening of the original production, she suffered an injury that forced her to withdraw from the show, to be replaced at the last minute by Elaine Paige.

Was originally intended to be a traditionally animated movie before Tom Hooper came on board to direct. (Animated? Would make much more sense for actors in costume shrunk down if anything)

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote new songs exclusively for the film. (Like Les Miz the new songs are probably terrible)

Universal Pictures originally planned to release Wicked (2021) on this release date. (Oh yeah, I heard this as well)

The cast attended “cat school” for preparation, according to Taylor Swift.

This is the first movie adaptation of “Cats” since the 1998 made-for-television BBC movie. (Which appears to just be a recording of the musical itself)

Andrew Lloyd Weber has had to fight off charges that he plagiarized “Memory”, which is said to be influenced by Ravel’s Bolero.

Tom Hooper’s second musical movie after Les Misérables (2012).