The Snowman Preview

Big week for us at BMTHQ as we transition from the adaptation cycle into the second cycle of the year which introduces a new game to BMT. That game is an extension to the wildly popular and is basically the International It gets the Backstreet Boys inspired nickname of the Mapstreet’s Map, Alright! This whole venture will start with a focus on Europe with the Sklogs’ backpacking adventure. So we’ll attempt to hit nine films with different European settings and require that each must either be the first film we’ve watched from a particular country OR it must have a higher BMeTric score than whatever currently holds the spot on the map. Obviously the transition must be an adaptation of a book that also takes place in such a European country. And you know what that means. That’s right! We’re watching last year’s The Snowman. Based on the Jo Nesbø novel about an Oslo police officer, Harry Hole, they decided to keep the original setting (all the better for us) of Norway. It’s the first film we’ve watched for BMT that is set in Norway, so easy entry on the map, and I’ve already read the book. So basically NBD from the start. Let’s go!

The Snowman (2017) – BMeTric: 58.2



(This is basically by definition people voting on IMDb before they saw the film. This ain’t people going to film festivals and being like “hmmm, indeed, what a coherent and affecting crime thriller, I was thoroughly enthralled throughout. Sure to be a box office sensation”. Because 8.0 is hilarious. Who are these … what? Fassbender-heads? What world are we living in where people / robots do this kind of shit?) – 1.5 stars –  In the year 2075, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, and they start writing histories of 21st century cinema, “The Snowman” will make a very excellent case study. Perhaps by that time sufficient evidence will have been gathered to explain just why a movie assembled by a group of mostly first-rate talents wound up such a soggy, slushy mess.

(Oh snap. I held off from the rest of the review because as much as they tried to avoid it the review started to get mighty close to some spoilers. And honestly, with a soggy slushy mess such as this what things to you have to look forward to beyond the obvious misdirection the filmmakers will inevitably throw at you?)

Trailer –

(Hmmm, actually pretty intense. Considering the film is supposed to be rather boring I can’t help but think this is a ruse to get me to watch the film … worked. I even was rather intrigued when the trailer debuted and shocked by just how back the reviews were.)

Directors – Tomas Alfredson – (Known For: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Let the Right One In; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Brother of Daniel Alfredson who directed two of the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films. From Sweden.)

Writers – Peter Straughan (screenplay by) – (Known For: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Frank; The Debt; Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution; Sixty Six; Future BMT: Our Brand Is Crisis; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Possibly involved as a frequent collaborator with Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). He was nominated for an Oscar along with his lote wife Bridget O’Connor for that film.)

Hossein Amini (screenplay by) – (Known For: Drive; Snow White and the Huntsman; Our Kind of Traitor; The Two Faces of January; Killshot; The Four Feathers; The Wings of the Dove; Jude; Future BMT: 47 Ronin; Shanghai; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Iranian-British, born to an Iranian diplomat he attended boarding school in Britain and eventually went to Oxford University.)

Søren Sveistrup (screenplay by) – (BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Was the head writer on the original Dutch television show The Killing.)

Jo Nesbø (based on the novel by) – (Known For: Hodejegerne; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: He’s written a number of novels (mainly involving the detective Harry Hole), but also wrote a television series, Occupied. It involves Russia occupying Norway because Norway, citing the environment, tries to stop all oil extraction in the North Sea.)

Actors – Michael Fassbender – (Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Alien: Covenant; X-Men: Apocalypse; 12 Years a Slave; Prometheus; X: First Class; 300; X-Men: Days of Future Past; The Light Between Oceans; Shame; Song to Song; Steve Jobs; Macbeth; Jane Eyre; Eden Lake; A Dangerous Method; Frank; Centurion; Hunger; Haywire; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Assassin’s Creed; BMT: Jonah Hex; The Snowman; Notes: German-Irish he resides in London. He now has a production company called Peanut Productions.)

Rebecca Ferguson – (Known For: The Greatest Showman; The Girl on the Train; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Life; Hercules; Florence Foster Jenkins; Future BMT: Despite the Falling Snow; BMT: The Snowman; Notes: Swedish-British, she speaks both languages. She came into the business through modelling.)

Charlotte Gainsbourg – (Known For: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I; Antichrist; 21 Grams; I’m Not There.; I Think We’re Alone Now; Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer; The Science of Sleep; Jane Eyre; Les fantômes d’Ismaël; The Cement Garden; Samba; 3 coeurs; The Tree; Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d’enfants; La petite voleuse; Incompresa; Nuovomondo; Prête-moi ta main; Ma femme est une actrice; Kung-fu master!; Future BMT: Every Thing Will Be Fine; Confession of a Child of the Century; BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence; The Snowman; Notes: Her father is Serge Gainsbourg, a kind of jack-of-all-trades in the music and art business, notable for producing popular music in a multitude of genres. Her start in the business was somewhat controversial, appearing in a movie where she plays a young girl molested by her father … her actual father directed and starred in this film as the father. So … yup.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $6,700,035 (Worldwide: $43,084,060)

(I would call that a complete disaster. We certainly won’t see another Harry Hole film for a bit. A bit like Cross, which has kind of killed prospects for more Alex Cross adaptations, although I hope that isn’t the case. Despite being … problematic (Alex Cross is written by a very white person, and the protagonist is very much attempting to represent a certain set of black virtues, I’ll leave it at that), I do think a reboot of Alex Cross could touch on some very interesting subjects in the current cultural climate.)

#43 for the Thriller – Serial Killer genre


(Huh, the genre is all but dead. I actually think this is a two-fold problem. First, with true crime podcasts booming and things like Mindhunters (and Dexter and Hannibal before it) on television the market for serial killers is saturated. Second, will the history of serial killers in film, books, and across all media, there is very little of interest to show in a single 2 hour film. So the thriller has looked elsewhere for their thrills. And honestly … given the reviews it does look like maybe a little 6 episode BBC series would have at least made Harry Hole’s debut a but more coherent.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (12/162): A mystery that feels as mashed together and perishable as its title, The Snowman squanders its bestselling source material as well as a top-notch ensemble cast.

(That isn’t very illumination. So like … boring? Maybe a Review Highlight will help: “The Snowman” is ugly and nasty, but that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that it’s boring and makes no sense. – Mick LaSalle, The San Francisco Chronicle … nope, it sounds like it is mostly boring.)

Poster – The Sklogman (B-)


(They really missed on this one. Good font and spacing. It’s just… too much white. If you insist on having a white poster you better be more artistic and can’t spoil it like they did here.)

Tagline(s) – Soon the first snow will fall, and the hunt for a killer begins. (D)

(What year is this tagline from? Jesus. Can you make it any longer? I fell asleep halfway through reading it. Not clever, too long, and too explicit with the plot.)

Keyword(s) – snowman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 58.4 The Snowman (2017); 52.9 Christmas with the Kranks (2004); 51.7 Jack Frost (1998); 51.6 Dorm Daze (2003); 49.3 Snow Day (2000); 43.5 Fred Claus (2007); 35.3 Christmas with the Coopers (2015); 32.9 Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011); 31.6 Sint (2010); 29.1 Every Thing Will Be Fine (2015);

(Wow, we really don’t like Christmas movie huh? In reality the issue is that for the past three years we’ve done the year recap cycle to try and get as many of the established worst-of of the year off the docket. And it kind of spoils any possibility of doing a Christmas film … we end up having to do it offseason which is a little weird/)

Notes – Martin Scorsese was originally attached to direct this movie. He remained on board as executive producer.

The film is NOT a remake of The Snowman (1982). It’s based on the 2007 novel Snømannen (The Snowman), the seventh book in Norwegian crime-writer Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series. (hahahahaha. Obviously)

Michael Fassbender started shooting this movie only two days after wrapping on Assassin’s Creed (2016).

Tomas Alfredson has said that production was too rushed. He came on board late, and reckons that up to 15% of the screenplay was never filmed. Location filming in Norway was shortened so production could move to London, which compromised the story. (Ah yeah, that sounds like a disaster)

Part of the film was shot at The Schrøder Restaurant in Oslo, where Harry Hole is regular guest in Jo Nesbø’s books. Also, according to the book, Harry’s home is at Sofies gate 5, a few minutes walk from Schrøder. (S-s-s-s-s-s-s-ettings)

The Snowman (2017) and Downsizing (2017) were the first two international features shot in Norway to receive funding from the new state incentive program to attract foreign film and TV productions. Togther, the two films spent $24 million in Norway during their Norwegian location shoots. [2016] (And bother were a box office disaster I think)

Jo Nesbø has a cameo in the movie.

All of Val Kilmer’s lines are dubbed throughout the film. According to a Reddit AMA in May 2017, Kilmer disclosed that he had “a healing of cancer,” and his tongue “was still swollen although healing all the time.” (Yeah … )

Although mostly shot in Norway, great care was taken to remove any Norwegian language from the movie. No Norwegian is spoken and anything normally written in Norwegian is changed. This includes newspaper headlines and destinations on public transportation. Norwegian police cars normally have “politi” written on them (meaning “police”) but this was simply removed. (That is very strange as well. I guess, what? They wanted to be able to do reshoots in London or something?)

In the source novel, the police discuss several Swedish serial killers, including Thomas Quick (a.k.a. Sture Bergwall). However, Quick/Bergwall was eventually acquitted of the alleged murders. Brother Sten-Owe Bergwall and lawyer Pelle Svensson wrote books criticizing the Swedish authorities’ handling of the cases.

Apparently, Michael Fassbender bought drinks for the whole crew after a long day of shooting. The next day, rigging electrician Karl Andre Bru walked up to Fassbender and said jokingly, “Thanks for the hangover, man!” Rumor has it Fassbender cracked up and was unable to keep a straight face for the rest of the day. (NOPE! There is no way Fassbender heard that cheesy joke and was like “holy shit, that’s the funniest shit. It is so funny it is ruining my day, that’s how funny it is.” It is just impossible)

The ringtone of Rakel’s phone is cover of Edvard Grieg’s piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.

Leading up to the release of the movie, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang released a series of mock articles in collaboration with Universal, intended to show how the newspaper would normally cover a case like the one depicted in the movie. They included articles about the murder weapon, Harry Hole himself, and grisly details of the antagonist’s murder spree.

The snowmen in the film are made by Norwegian kids in a small town, in collaboration with DesignIce from Trøgstad.

This is the second collaboration between Tomas Alfredson, David Dencik, and Toby Jones. The first was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). That film had Michael Fassbender as part of the original cast, in the role of Ricki Tarr, but he had to turn it down because of another project.

The film received a “D” CinemaScore. (Which is terrible, but not surprising considering the reviews. A thriller getting such bad reviews is pretty abnormal, mainly because I think you just release straight to VOD normally. I wonder if they had some deal with Norway which required the release)

Rebecca Ferguson shot this film before the press junket for Despite the Falling Snow (2016). In one interview, she talked about just shooting the other film while growing out her bangs (fringe) from this film.

The song “Popcorn” by the group Hot Buttered is playing every time the killer is at another murder scene. Either before a murder or during the setup. (So many music notes)

(Considering the terrible reviews it is somewhat odd that not only was this film not nominated for a Razzie, it wasn’t even pre-nominated if I recall. I would think at least the director would have had a shot.)


Fifty Shades Freed Preview

Perhaps you thought the embarrassment of last year would save us from this year. But no, it is our solemn duty. That’s right! It’s the first BMT Live! of the year and we are finishing the Fifty Shades series with a theatrical viewing of Fifty Shades Freed. Fifty Shades Darker was hands down the worst theater experience of my life and I’m truly dreading this final chapter. Pray for my soul and pray that I’m not viewed as some deviant as I sneak my way in and out of this film after buying tickets to Peter Rabbit or something. Sigh. Let’s go!

Fifty Shades Freed (2018) – BMeTric: 54.1

(Given that this film was only just released I’ll forgo the plots. The original is at 4.1 with 200K votes, the second at 4.6 with 66K, and the third is currently at 4.3 and 10K votes. So I have a theory that the second film is considered better than the first because of the soundtrack, which is kind of shockingly good. I’m very excited to see what they do with the soundtrack for the conclusion to the series.) – 2.5 stars –  The problem with the “Fifty Shades” franchise—if it can be called a franchise—is not so much its portrait of a controlling man manipulating his lover past her comfort zone, although earlier installments feature such scenes. The problem is there’s not enough sex and too much … everything else.

(Preach sister! It is a very strange mark of the series that it lacks a certain … how do you say? Uh … softcore pornography that I believe was the main draw of the book series. I wouldn’t know, I read exactly 10 pages of the first book before my mind rejected it and I threw it in the garbage (well … returned it to the library anyways))

Trailer –

(So yeah … so you see all those car chases and the stalker and kidnapping and etc. etc. … that’s what the review is talking about. The film gets all caught up in the “exciting” stuff, it sometimes forgets what most people want is to mainly to see Dornan’s dong. Take a note from Color of Night and give the people what they want!)

Directors – James Foley – (Known For: Glengarry Glen Ross; At Close Range; Confidence: After Dark; The Corruptor; After Dark, My Sweet; Two Bits; Future BMT: Who’s That Girl; Perfect Stranger; Fear; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; The Chamber; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director in 1988 for Who’s That Girl; and in 2018 for Fifty Shades Darker; Notes: A major player in the 80s and 90s he’s been doing a lot of television more recently. Started as a director for Madonna shorts, and ultimately was the best man to Sean Penn when he married her.)

Writers – Niall Leonard (screenplay by) – (BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: E.L James’ husband. He’s been a (mostly television) writer since the 80s including multiple episodes of Monarch of the Glen. He was put in primary control of the script in order to get the second and third film on track under the singular vision of James.)

E.L. James (based on the novel by) – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: A bestselling author, her story is amazing. Twilight fanfiction to making $100 million in a year.)

Actors – Dakota Johnson – (Known For: The Social Network; How to Be Single; 21 Jump Street; Black Mass; A Bigger Splash; The Five-Year Engagement; For Ellen; Future BMT: Anarchy: Ride or Die; Date and Switch; Goats; Crazy in Alabama; Chloe & Theo; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Beastly; Need for Speed; Notes: According to The Sun Dakota Johnson got into shape for these films by doing hot yoga. Also, she has said that her parents have never seen any of these movies.)

Jamie Dornan – (Known For: Marie Antoinette; Anthropoid; The Siege of Jadotville; Future BMT: The 9th Life of Louis Drax; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: Has recently ruled himself out of starring in any other Fifty Shades films in the future. There aren’t any other books, but maybe he’s worried they are going to Harry Potter this stuff.)

Eric Johnson – (Known For: Legends of the Fall; Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed; The Work and the Glory II: American Zion; Expiration Date; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Texas Rangers; Notes: Canadian, broke big with Smallville and more recently with The Knick. Continuing his television work he’s joining the sixth season of Vikings.)

Budget/Gross – $55 million / Domestic: $38,560,195 (Worldwide: $135,060,195)

(This is going to smash it. This isn’t even its full strength Valentine’s Day! It made back its budget worldwide already. It is smashing it.)

#49 for the Romantic Drama genre


(Hmmm, so a theory on why the genre totally collapsed in the early 2000s, Spiderman came out and Hollywood was making money hand over fist, so they put anything that didn’t pull down cash on the backburner. Then they discovered, shockingly, that women spend money too, and the genre has found a new life producing Nicholas Sparks books and things like Fifty Shades. We’ll see what they do now that Fifty Shades is almost definitely over. Previous BMT: Fifty Shades Series, Safe Haven, The Lake House, Random Hearts, Endless Love, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Choice, Here on Earth, The Scarlet Letter)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (15/118): Fifty Shades Freed brings its titillating trilogy to a clumsy conclusion, making for a film franchise that adds up to a distinctly dissatisfying ménage à trois.

(Every time. Clumsy conclusion, good conclusion … who cares? I’m just here to sit awkwardly in a theater and feel uncomfortable for two hours. Do you know what I don’t appreciate? The clumsy use of titillating and ménage à trois in this review Rotten Tomatoes … for shame.)

Poster – Fifty Shades Sklogged (B)


(This is fine and stylish. I think every entry has been a massive disappointment in the font department, but such is life. Also really a perfect poster for Patrick to photoshop his face onto. Get a smug Sklog Wagon look to the camera on this one and we got gold.)

Tagline(s) – Don’t miss the climax (B)

(This is clever and short, so I have to give it props there. However it is particularly vague on what we are to expect from the plot of the film. So just above average.)

Keyword(s) – wedding ceremony; Top Ten by BMeTric: 68.1 Superman III (1983); 54.1 Fifty Shades Freed (2018); 53.6 Say It Isn’t So (2001); 50.4 Bride Wars (2009); 48.6 Stealing Harvard (2002); 47.2 MacGruber (2010); 47.0 Tomcats (2001); 45.5 When in Rome (2010); 44.3 The Big Wedding (2013); 43.8 Our Family Wedding (2010);

(Oooo I’m loving this list! Although MacGruber is great, so … forget about that one. But Tomcats should definitely be on the radar.)

Notes – Scenes were being filmed in Nice, France at the same time of the Nice terror attacks in July 2016. (Depressing)

There was talk that Jamie Dornan wouldn’t reprise his role as Christian Grey but those rumors were put to rest as of February 25th 2015 when his agent stated he was devoted to the sequels. (Yeah, this is a note for the previous film, they filmed the second and third together … these notes are weird)

Some of the filming was done at Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan’s home. (What?)

Third and final chapter of the Fifty Shades trilogy. (For now, don’t short sell yourself. You can make a fourth, no matter what Dornan thinks)

Dakota Johnson’s fourth consecutive movie to debut on Valentine’s Day weekend. The first was Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), the second was How to Be Single (2016), and the third was Fifty Shades Darker (2017). (Holy shit that is crazy)

Second Dakota Johnson movie to have a Hailee Steinfeld song in its soundtrack. The first was How to Be Single (2016), which also starred Steinfeld’s Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) co-star, Rebel Wilson.

To create Gia Matteo, Arielle Kebbel chose red well-manicured nails to represent the elegant control of her character. As seen on The IMDb Show (2017). (WHAT? You reporting notes from your own goddamned fake show now IMDb? Get out of here! These notes are travesties).

Texas Rangers Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the fourth in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Texas Rangers (2001) – BMeTric: 35.0



(I secretly kind of love this graph. So 5.0 is distinctly below average. Not in the 4’s where you’d know that something is truly amiss, but still low. It stays there. Stuck, as more and more people watch and agree: This movie is very much below average but not … like horrible. No regression to the mean because this movie is already at its mean: 5.0 through and through and forever. Solid like a rock.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Young man joins the recently formed Texas Rangers to avenge the death of his family and becomes an aide to the unit’s enigmatic leader (McDermott). Beautifully mounted widescreen Western isn’t bad, but its story is superficial and derivative. Of the young stars, Van Der Beek fares best, while Molina has fun as a sneering villain. This sat on the shelf for almost two years.

(Right up until the end I was getting a bit scared there. But sitting on the shelf for two years? You think they let a 2.5 / 4 star film sit on the shelf for two years? Luckily we’ve seen this and know Leonard is being forgiving, but still, pretty strong endorsement from Leonard for a genuine stinker here.)

Trailer –

(THE MUSIC. Just amazing. Running through that cast list in the end as well, just making my heart pound. I. Am. Into. It.)

Directors – Steve Miner – (Known For: Warlock; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Lake Placid; House; Forever Young; Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken; Future BMT: Big Bully; Soul Man; My Father the Hero; BMT: Friday the 13th Part III; Texas Rangers; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Wow… I actually had no idea that one of the directors of Friday the 13th also did Texas Rangers. What’s even funnier is that he directed Soul Man, one of the most obviously racist major film releases in history.)

Writers – George Durham (book) – (BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: Wait… this is based on a book?)

Scott Busby (written by) – (BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: Now works as a communications consultant through his company The Busby Group.)

Martin Copeland (written by) – (Future BMT: The Heavenly Kid; BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: Mostly teaches now. Has a PhD from UCLA and teaches there as part of the Writers’ Program.)

Actors – James Van Der Beek – (Known For: Downsizing; Scary Movie; Castle in the Sky; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Varsity Blues; The Rules of Attraction; Angus; I Love You, I Love You Not; Future BMT: The Big Bang; Stolen; Standing Still; BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: You know who this guy is. Interesting thing I learned from imdb is that he was apparently paid $3 million for Texas Rangers. It earned one-fifth a Van Der Beek at the box office.)

Rachael Leigh Cook – (Known For: Josie and the Pussycats; Nancy Drew; The Baby-Sitters Club; 11:14; All I Wanna Do; The House of Yes; Living Out Loud; The Big Empty; Bookies; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Blonde Ambition; She’s All That; Carpool; Tom and Huck; Descent; Antitrust; 29 Palms; The Lodger; Scorched; The Family Tree; My First Wedding; Blow Dry; Stateside; BMT: Get Carter; Texas Rangers; Notes: Married to future BMT actor Daniel Gillies who has a starring role in Captivity, one of the worst reviewed films in the torture porn subgenre.)

Ashton Kutcher – (Known For: No Strings Attached; A Lot Like Love; Open Season; Guess Who; Bobby; Future BMT: My Boss’s Daughter; Annie; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Just Married; Reindeer Games; Spread; What Happens in Vegas; Coming Soon; BMT: Down to You; Killers; Valentine’s Day; New Year’s Eve; Cheaper by the Dozen; Jobs; Texas Rangers; The Guardian; Notes: Underrated BMT talent and all around bad actor. Now married to Mila Kunis and living the life.)

Budget/Gross – $38 million / Domestic: $623,374 (Worldwide: $623,374)

(Yeah, so they essentially pulled this from release. Despite being made for so much they only put it out in 402 theaters for 17 days. Smacks of a contractual requirement.)

#66 for the Western genre


(Kind of a messy plot, but you can kind of see the genre surge back to life in the early 90s (e.g. Dances with Wolves), and not it is having a bit of a 2010s surge as well. People like westerns, and I want to like them more, but I often find them plodding. I need to put in the work though. Do the homework. I’ll get there.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/49): As far as westerns go, Texas Rangers is strictly mediocre stuff.

(I feel like RT is underselling a 2% scoring film. There has to be something profoundly wrong with a film to score that low. Certainly the case here.)

Poster – Texas Sklogs (A-)


(I actually think this poster is great. Nice symmetry and color (including the shading of the actors). Slight negative on font, which is OK but not perfect.)

Tagline(s) – Count Your Bullets. (D)

(Uh………………. Wot? I know I’m the boy who cried nonsense with a lot of this BMT stuff but this is nonsense.)

Keyword(s) – texas; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.2 Crossroads (I) (2002); 83.3 Rollerball (2002); 81.7 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 68.5 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013); 64.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 63.1 North (1994); 62.4 Ghost Rider (2007); 61.3 Ishtar (1987); 54.0 The Return (I) (2006); 53.0 View from the Top (2003);

(Crossroads! We’ll watch that (again … for the third or fourth time in our lives). Dr. T comes up in a lot of these lists somehow, but alas, it does not qualify. Maybe someday we’ll have an also rans section where we can watch high BMeTric films outside of the scope of BMT.)

Notes – James Van Der Beek had never ridden a horse prior to this movie. (You don’t say)

The film was in development for many, many years. In its earliest stages, it was planned as a directorial project for Sam Peckinpah.

Unused score composed by Marco Beltrami

Joshua Jackson was considered for the role of Lincoln Rogers Dunnison. (They should just remake this movie with all the actors from Dawson’s Creek taking turns in the leading role. An avant garde artistic masterpiece.)

A Dog’s Purpose Preview

Alright, well for all our faithful fans who were worried about the treacherous route we took through the Chain Reaction this year this is the main event. Last cycle we sunk all the way back to 1983 for Jaws 3-D and now we pop back 34 years later to the Dennis Quaid sad-fest A Dog’s Purpose. Probably not at the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to 2017 BMT films, but it is a qualifier and set us up nicely for next year’s chain. It also was for a brief time the most hated film in America when it was alleged that the film engaged in animal cruelty on set. This was ultimately proved incorrect, but it was enough to get the US premiere cancelled. Then everyone forgot about it. I cannot wait to bawl my eyes out watching a dog die over and over again. Sound like a blast. Let’s go!

A Dog’s Purpose (2017) – BMeTric: 9.9



(I straight up have never seen anything like this before. You can even see that the rating started at literally 1.0, everyone gave it a one. There were actually several days in which the rating was 1.0, but then they shut the page down again because people were piling on (I assume). It then makes its long slow trek to 7.0! This could be the highest rated film we’ve ever done (it isn’t, but it is darn close). Truly bizarre.) – 1.5 stars –  This movie has its moments—no movie with such an adorable array of pooches could not, plus Mr. Quaid, who in addition to being movie-star handsome is also a pretty good actor, sells his fifteen or so onscreen minutes. But the tonal weirdness and the philosophical fallacies and the general level of treacle did not sit very well with me. Then again, I have to admit I’m really more of a cat person

(The reviews for this film as obviously off because they were made literally days … weeks? after the abuse scandal broke. There is a question of whether any abuse happened in the end. But I’m sure I’ll have the same reaction: a little sickly sweet, but overall okay … if I didn’t have my doubts about the intentions of the film. I am much more of a dog person though, so …)

Trailer –

(I just got diabetes from that trailer. Sickly sweet. And I know I’m going to cry too. I’m not going to like this one at all.)

Directors – Lasse Hallström – (Known For: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Chocolat; The Hundred-Foot Journey; Casanova; The Cider House Rules; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; An Unfinished Life; The Shipping News; My Life as a Dog; The Hoax; Once Around; Future BMT: Something to Talk About; Dear John; BMT: Safe Haven; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Swedish. Was nominated for Best Director in 1988, notable as the first time the Best Director category was all non-Americans.)

Writers – W. Bruce Cameron (screenplay & based on the novel by) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: The writer of the original book. He is in the process of adapting the sequel as well, A Dog’s Way Home.)

Cathryn Michon (screenplay) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has been working with Cameron for his last few movies (Cook Off! and Muffin Top: A Musical). Prior to that she worked mostly on television, so possibly she met him when he worked on 8 Simple Rules.)

Audrey Wells (screenplay) – (Known For: Under the Tuscan Sun; George of the Jungle; The Kid; Shall We Dance; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Guinevere; Future BMT: The Game Plan; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Seems to be a Kids’ Film and Romantic Comedy writer. She also directed Under the Tuscan Sun, which was her only major directorial effort.)

Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky (screenplay) – (Known For: Monsters vs. Aliens; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Infinitely Polar Bear; The Rocker; The Polka King; Future BMT: Seeing Other People; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: You knew there had to be a writing team when there are five writers attached. Wolodarsky producer and wrote for the Simpsons. Forbes produced and wrote for The Larry Sanders Show.)

Actors – Josh Gad – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Beauty and the Beast; Frozen; Marshall; Angry Birds; Love & Other Drugs; Thanks for Sharing; The Rocker; Wish I Was Here; Future BMT: Marmaduke; The Internship; Ice Age: Continental Drift; 21; Crossing Over; BMT: Pixels; Jobs; The Wedding Ringer; A Dog’s Purpose; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in 2016 for Pixels, and The Wedding Ringer; Notes: Probably in the news recently because of the 25 minute long “short” starring Olaf the snowman that was playing in front of Coco. Also was the star of The Book of Mormon in its original Broadway run in 2011.)

Dennis Quaid – (Known For: The Parent Trap; The Day After Tomorrow; Stripes; The Right Stuff; Traffic; Footloose; The Rookie; Innerspace; Any Given Sunday; Soul Surfer; DragonHeart; Wyatt Earp; Frequency; Enemy Mine; Breaking Away; Dreamscape; Truth; Far from Heaven; Postcards from the Edge; Suspect; Future BMT: Legion; Cold Creek Manor; Yours, Mine & Ours; Beneath the Darkness; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Horsemen; Something to Talk About; Flight of the Phoenix; The Alamo; Caveman; Undercover Blues; Vantage Point; Switchback; Wilder Napalm; Pandorum; All Night Long; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Movie 43; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Playing for Keeps; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has a band called The Sharks, is a five-handicap golfer, and has a pilot’s license. This video makes his band seem … well, I’m sure they have their fans.)

Peggy Lipton – (Known For: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; True Identity; Future BMT: The Postman; Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects; BMT: When in Rome; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: She was in the original and recent revival of Twin Peaks. Is the mother of Rashida Jones as well, who played Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $64,321,890 (Worldwide: $196,200,124)

(Despite the controversy this was a giant success … how strange. For whatever reason I thought this completely bombed after it was torn apart for allegedly abusing dogs. It is weird to think that this would have been a much bigger deal only a year later. It this happened now this shit wouldn’t have even made it to theaters I think.)

#18 for the Controversy genre


(There were a few from this year here as well, the funniest being The Great Wall for “white-washing”. Controversy films make a chunk of change it turns out. I don’t want to say “outrage culture”, but they’ve gotten a lot more popular since 2000 … just saying.)

#12 for the Dog genre


(Everyone loves doggies! Well … they like them less since 2010 it seems. Do you know which dog movie came out in 2010? That’s right, Marmaduke. Coincidence? Yuuuuuuup. Anyways, this comes in around 102 Dalmatians, which kind of tells you all you need to know.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (43/130): A Dog’s Purpose offers an awkward blend of sugary sentiment and canine suffering that tugs at animal-loving audiences’ heartstrings with shameless abandon.

(I will almost certainly be crying during this film. If not, then it has failed because I’m a softy. Hopefully it won’t pull at my heartstrings any harder than Bing Bong did in Inside Out… I might melt.)

Poster – A Sklog’s Purpose (B+)


(Obviously great color and unique framing. Terrible font. Really bad choice. But otherwise I like what they decided to do here. Tells me everything I need to know.)

Tagline(s) – Every dog happens for a reason. (C+)

(Every dog happens… every dog… happens. Huh, that is really not rolling off the tongue. It’s short and gets at the idea of the film, but not super clever and weird phrasing. It seems like they should have been able to do better.)

Keyword(s) – reincarnation; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 80.5 Dragon Wars (2007); 65.1 The Haunted Mansion (2003); 58.6 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 54.0 The Return (I) (2006); 52.9 Lost Souls (2000); 51.4 Jack Frost (1998); 51.3 Tank Girl (1995); 50.3 Mannequin: On the Move (1991);

(Give me a little Fluuuuuuke … wait? No Fluke? I guess not that many people watched Fluke. Fair, but I think the story will have some passing similarities, so I’m still glad I watched Fluuuuuuke.)

Notes – Prior to theatrical release, controversy arose when behind-the-scenes footage surfaced and appeared to show a distressed dog being forcibly submerged into turbulent pool water during filming. As a result of the leaked footage, the filmmakers chose to cancel the U.S. premiere. However, it was announced on February 4, 2017 by the American Humane Association that the footage was misleadingly edited and no abuse had taken place. (I totally forgot about that. Wow.)

Bradley Cooper was originally slated to provide the voice of the titular dog; however, he was ultimately replaced with Josh Gad. (I love this fact. Would it have been the same script?… seems like wildly different choices).

The Maya segment of the film differs from the events in the book. In the book, Maya is a K9 officer who takes over handling Ellie after her first handler Jakob (Carlos in the film) is shot and injured by a kidnapper. In the movie, it is Ellie who is shot – fatally – by the kidnapper, then reincarnated as Tino the Corgi and adopted by Maya, a college student. (Damn, I forgot this was based on a book. I don’t think either of us will end up reading it. Are we losing our edge?).

Dennis Quaid plays adult Ethan, who was once starting quarterback with a full scholarship but was injured. In Everybody’s All-American (1988), Quaid played a star high school quarterback no longer playing. In Any Given Sunday (1999) he played a quarterback past his prime trying to relive his days. (We get it, Dennis Quaid. You love sports).

The Ring Two Preview

You would think that we’ve endured enough punishment after pushing our way through the 4th and 5th entries in a film franchise whose entries routinely run far past two hours. You would be wrong. Enter the horror entry for the 2017 Cycle. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled third entry of the Rings franchise, simply called Rings. This film not only includes a well reviewed first entry (The Ring) and a BMT qualifying second entry (The Ring Two), but also many other adaptations and version made in different countries (including a Japanese original that the series is closely adapted from). So we got a lot to work with and at the very least two films to watch. We never learn. It’ll be truly a Thanksgiving miracle when I get through these films. Happy TGivs (as the kids call it) and let’s go!

The Ring Two (2005) – BMeTric: 53.6



(That is actually a lot more votes than I would think, although I always underestimate how popular horror films are (and this is a sequel to an incredibly famous film to boot). The rating suggests it is bad, but, again, horror fans are a little odd in this sense. I think a “popular” horror film does tend to have a lower rating on average. This is something I would like to explore more next year in my analyses, so hopefully I’ll get some data to actually prove the suppositions I’ve held for a while now.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Fleeing Seattle for the small town of Astoria, Oregon, Watts discovers that the coldhearted ghost of a loveless child is still after her and her son, as well as anyone else hanging around. Slow and overlong, but often delivers the spooky goods, and director Nakata – who made the Japanese Ringu – uses misty Pacific Northwest locations well. Entire cast is good, especially young Dorfman, but not everything makes sense. This is not a remake of the Japanese sequel to Ringu.

(Want to hear something crazy? Leonard gave this one better reviews than the original. Which is shocking because having just rewatched the original I thought it was brilliant. I figured maybe since he apparently likes when the “spooky goods” are delivered it would be because The Ring is indeed quite light on scares (or spooky goods of any kind actually). But nope, it apparently is because it is overlong … despite the second being longer than the first. This officially intrigues me. Being a relative novice concerning JHorror this should be a decent example of something that is kind of inbetween two sensibilities I think. I guess we’ll see.)

Trailer –

(That does seem spookier than the original. This seems almost like a Jaws / Jaws 2 kind of relationship. In the original Ring you see very little of Samara by design. The film plays out as an investigative journalism movie more than anything else (interestingly). But obviously there is no reason to play a sequel that way as well, so you go for the creepier direct ghost story. I can see how they could fall into the over-explaining trap though, because they seem like they are muddling the rather simple mythos.)

Directors – Hideo Nakata – (Known For: Ring; Dark Water; Kaosu; Future BMT: Chatroom; Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Director of the original Ring film (Dark Water is also a adaptation of a book by the same author). I think this is his only attempt at making a film in the US.)

Writers – Ehren Kruger (written by) – (Known For: Ghost in the Shell; The Ring; Arlington Road; Future BMT: Scream 3; Blood and Chocolate; Reindeer Games; The Brothers Grimm; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Impostor; The Skeleton Key; BMT: The Ring 2; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; and Nominated for Worst Screenplay in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; Notes: Awarded a Nicholl Fellowship after writing Arlington Road. Wrote uncredited on Scream 4.)

Kôji Suzuki (novel) (as Koji Suzuki) – (Known For: The Ring; Dark Water; Ring; Dark Water; Sadako vs. Kayako; Future BMT: Rings; Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Most famous for the Ring trilogy (Ring, Spiral and Loop). Dark Water is a short story collection.)

Hiroshi Takahashi (1998 film Ringu) – (Known For: The Ring; Ring; Future BMT: Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: I cannot find anything about this guy on the internet. Just a small wiki stub referring him to vaguely as “J-Horror”.)

Actors – Naomi Watts – (Known For: The Glass Castle; Mulholland Drive; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Ring; While We’re Young; Lo imposible; Funny Games; King Kong; Demolition; Eastern Promises; 21 Grams; J. Edgar; The Bleeder; St. Vincent; Inland Empire; The Painted Veil; The International; Fair Game; Ned Kelly; I Heart Huckabees; Future BMT: Shut In; Le divorce; Tank Girl; Allegiant; Down; Dream House; The Sea of Trees; Insurgent; Adoration; 3 Generations; The Book of Henry; Stay; BMT: Movie 43; The Ring 2; Diana; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2014 for Diana, and Movie 43; and in 2017 for Allegiant, and Shut In; Notes: Most famous for being the honorary president of Welsh Alliance Division I football club Glantraeth F.C. Was fantastic in the new season of Twin Peaks.)

David Dorfman – (Known For: The Ring; Galaxy Quest; Bounce; Panic; 100 Mile Rule; Future BMT: Drillbit Taylor; The Singing Detective; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Graduates from UCLA at the age of 17 and Harvard Law at the age of 21. Impressive stuff.)

Sissy Spacek – (Known For: The Help; Carrie; JFK; Hot Rod; Tuck Everlasting; 3 Women; Badlands; The Straight Story; Blast from the Past; North Country; In the Bedroom; Missing; Coal Miner’s Daughter; The Man with Two Brains; Get Low; Affliction; Nine Lives; A Home at the End of the World; Prime Cut; Crimes of the Heart; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Gray Matters; Deadfall; The Mommy Market; BMT: An American Haunting; The Ring 2; Notes: Won an Oscar for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Her daughter is Shuyler Fisk who you might recognize as the female lead in Orange Country with Jack Black and Colin Hanks.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $76,231,249 (Worldwide: $161,451,538)

(That seems solid for a horror film. They might have expected more considering what The Ring did ($130 million domestic), but it isn’t crazy that Ring 2 still sits pretty high up on these horror related lists on box office mojo.)

#20 for the Horror – Supernatural genre


(This genre is a-boomin’ these days fueled by the recent hits in Sinister and The Conjuring (and the offshoots from that). There are a ton of stinker in there too (like Rings!), and I think it is starting to react a bit of a saturation point. I wonder if we’ll see a true collapse though. People must love ghost stories, because this has been a giant horror genre for almost 20 years now and it looks to be as popular as ever.)

#5 for the Horror Remake genre


(The peak from ‘05 to ‘10 is just too good to pass up, it was the golden age of bad movies for a reason. I imagine it’ll come back, but studios seem pretty satisfied with making “sequels” and soft-reboots more than remakes at this point. I think the fact that they couldn’t get any of the Friday the 13th / Halloween / Nightmare on Elm Street / Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes to catch hold made them put other remakes on hold. I think the new Halloween even has become a sequel at this point. It’ll be back. It always comes back.)

#7 for the Remake – Asian genre


(There were actually several other plots I could have put here, but, like this, most of them just looked like smaller versions of the horror remake plot from above. This one is interesting because you can see how the Ring itself jumpstarted a very short lived craze. The issue is I think that a lot of the original J Horror films from Japan are … not great. Like One Missed Call. And once they burned through the relatively few good options they were left with garbage. Godzilla is that big peak in ‘15 by the way.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (36/184): Ring Two serves up horror cliches, and not even Hideo Nakata, the director of the movies from which this one is based, can save the movie from a dull screenplay full of absurdities.

(The bad reviews seem to note how perplexing the script is and how many leaps of logic are made. Ebert himself specifically notes that you cannot discern the rules surrounding the things that are supposed to scare you. 20% is pretty terrible though.)

Poster – The Sklog Two (B+)


(It’s got its style and tells a story. The color scheme is at least consistent and the font is original. This has everything I ask for in a poster, in a simplistic kind of way.)

Tagline(s) – Fear comes full circle. (D+)

(Oh Jeez Louise. That is unfortunate… why did you put that in my brain. Concise but pretty much nonsense and straight-up silly.)

Keyword(s) – videotape; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.9 Feardotcom (2002); 75.7 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012); 65.3 Captivity (2007); 63.3 Body of Evidence (1993); 61.3 Blair Witch (2016); 59.8 Seed (2006); 58.9 The Fly II (1989); 54.7 Down to You (2000); 53.6 The Ring 2 (2005); 51.1 Scary Movie 3 (2003);

(Wow, some great stuff there. I’m stunned Blair Witch II isn’t there, and I have to at some point see The Fly II considering the original is both a great classic sci-fi and an example of practical effects not exactly working out so hot. Goldblum just looks hilarious by the end of the film.)

Notes – During the shooting of a carnival scene, locals mistook the set for an actual carnival and wandered in. They were included as extras in the film.

Even with three artists, Daveigh Chase’s (Samara’s) make-up took over five hours to complete.

According to the production notes, there were bizarre incidents on set of life imitating art. On the seventh day, the production office was discovered to have flooded overnight, the result of a burst water pipe. Water is a strong theme in the film. In response, Director Hideo Nakata requested a Japanese purification ceremony be carried out by a Shinto minister, but the strange incidents continued. While on-location, a swarm of bees descended on the prop truck, prompting the immediate evacuation of the department, before the bees left as quickly as they had arrived. For no apparent reason, a five-gallon water jug burst open in the production office kitchen, once again flooding the same room that had flooded earlier. One morning on the Universal lot, a Set Decorator stepped out of the parking garage to discover an antlered buck charging across the asphalt in her direction. Though deer are a regular occurrence in the hills, the similarity to the deer attack in the film is uncanny. (Indeed, y’all don’t sound like crazy people at all)

Copies of the “Cursed Tape” were dropped in public places as a form of promotion. After about five minutes of footage, the viewer is directed to the movie’s website. (Weird, and I don’t like that at all)

When Rachel takes the pills and puts them on the sandwich for Aidan, she crushes the pills into a powder. The medicine bottle has a label that can be seen with the name Tony Bonaventura, who is the Property Master for the film.

There is a reference to a “Dr. Koji” by the psychiatrist. This is a nod to the original writer of the Ring books, Kôji Suzuki.

When Naomi Watts and her son go to the outdoor Astoria Antique Fair Swap Meet, Watts picks through a bunch of used VHS tapes at a vendor’s stand – and all the movies are DreamWorks titles, such as Old School (2003), and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004). (Gross, all of these notes are dumb and just weird studio crap)

In the scene following the tape burning, when Rachel gets Aiden out of bed, after finding him “soaked and freezing”, after having a nightmare, we can see that the wet part of his bed is ring-shaped.

Feature film debut of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, though she only appears in the unrated version.

Hideo Nakata, was the director of the original film Ring (1998) of which this film’s predecessor is a remake. (Which makes it all the more bizarre this turned out terribly. Although, it is pretty rare for directors from Asian studio hubs like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong to make a successful jump to Hollywood).

Ryan Merriman, Emily VanCamp, and Kelly Stables all previously appeared in the video short Rings (2005) which served as a prequel to this film.

Contrary to popular belief, this film is not a remake of either Ringu (1998) or Ringu 2 (1999), and follows it’s own unique storyline, as a direct sequel to The Ring (2002).

Hideo Nakata’s directorial debut in America. (I’m not going to count this as a one-and-done, although I don’t think he’s directed an American feature since)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Preview

We hit two of the major action bombs this year for BMT Live! in The Mummy and Geostorm. This left us with a few of the lesser options available for this week. What we ended up landing on might come as a bit of a shock, but with a newly found love of franchises it shouldn’t. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with the final two installments (the only two that qualify), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales… wait, is that actually the name of the latest one? Wow, that is not good. The latest entry came this year, six years after the last installment, and while I would have assumed it was a bomb (I barely remember it came out), it still made $800 million worldwide. Feed those international audiences what they want, Disney, and what they want is Johnny Depp. Ugh. Let’s go!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – BMeTric: 17.0



(Decidedly above average from an IMDb rating perspective. Which is a lot more impressive than I thought it would be. My perception had always been that no one likes these films anymore. But 350K votes with a 6.7ish rating is actually fine. Sits around the same place as Quantum of Solace or Armageddon.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Capt. Jack Sparrow (Depp, broader than ever) finds himself on a ship with Blackbeard (McShane) and his daughter (Cruz), which whom he has a checkered history, sailing in search of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. Meanwhile, Capt. Barbossa (Rush) is piloting his own vessel on the exact same course. Among the perils they face: a host of alluring but vicious mermaids. More of the same, with a convoluted, often incomprehensible story designed to string a series of large-scale action set pieces together. Not so much a movie as a consumer product.

(Shots fired. Honestly that was probably the pitch: “more of the same, with several large scale action pieces that we know and love. It’ll be great summer fun!” The convoluted plot is actual a surprise given that, arguably, that is where the second and third stumbled. By creating an over complicated plot they weighed down what should have otherwise been light fun with the flamboyant Depp. That is probably my biggest hesitation with that review.)

Trailer –

(The only thing I remember from that trailer was the sword coming through the door. I think I must have seen it in a theater with 3D glasses on. I actually forgot this was kind of a big 3D release at the time. Looks like okay fun, although, again, I remembered not really understanding the connection to the previous movies at the time.)

Directors – Rob Marshall – (Known For: Chicago; Into the Woods; Future BMT: Nine; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: He has been nominated for six Tony awards and later an Oscar for Chicago.)

Writers – Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (screenplay & screen story & characters) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Treasure Planet; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Shrek; The Mask of Zorro; Small Soldiers; The Road to El Dorado; Future BMT: Godzilla; The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: Ted Elliot used to spell check Roger Ebert’s movie reviews, and Terry Rossio used to be a machinist. Pretty interesting.)

Stuart Beattie (characters) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; 30 Days of Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Collateral; Australia; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Future BMT: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Derailed; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: I, Frankenstein; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: Australian who attended the same High School as Hugh Jackman. He gets credits because he is the screenwriter for the first film.)

Jay Wolpert (characters) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; The Count of Monte Cristo; Future BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: Also wrote on the original, he is a producer of a number of television game shows including the New Price is Right and New Match Game.)

Tim Powers (novel) (suggestion) – (BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: Writes adventure novels with a sci-fi twist. This novel, On Stranger Tides, was the inspiration for the Monkey Island videos games, which are great, and was directly optioned for this film.)

Actors – Johnny Depp – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Sleepy Hollow; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Edward Scissorhands; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Corpse Bride; Alice in Wonderland; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Black Mass; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Blow; The Ninth Gate; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Platoon; 21 Jump Street; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Finding Neverland; Into the Woods; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Yoga Hosers; The Astronaut’s Wife; Private Resort; The Tourist; Dark Shadows; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Nick of Time; The Man Who Cried; The Libertine; The Brave; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: Jack and Jill; Mortdecai; Transcendence; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Mortdecai in 2016; Nominated for Worst Actor for The Lone Ranger in 2014; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2017; Notes: Kind of easier just to look through recent news for such a big name actor. The biggest current news is that he is playing Grindelwald in the next Fantastic Beasts movie, which is causing quite a stir. Let’s just say he has a weird hairdo and leave it at that.)

Penélope Cruz – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Blow; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; To Rome with Love; Open Your Eyes; Jamon Jamon; Volver; Bandidas; All About My Mother; Live Flesh; Los amantes pasajeros; Broken Embraces; Elegy; Don’t Move; The Hi-Lo Country; Belle Epoque; Future BMT: Sex and the City 2; G-Force; The Counsellor; Woman on Top; Gothika; Nine; Sahara; All the Pretty Horses; Waking Up in Reno; Masked and Anonymous; Grimsby; The Good Night; Fanfan; Noel; La reina de España; Head in the Clouds; Sin noticias de Dios; BMT:Vanilla Sky; Zoolander 2; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2002 for Blow, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Vanilla Sky; Notes: Married to Javier Bardem (with whom she has two children) who would appear six years later in Dead Men Tell No Tales.)

Ian McShane – (Known For: John Wick: Chapter 2; John Wick; Coraline; Hercules; The Golden Compass; Snow White and the Huntsman; Kung Fu Panda; Death Race; Shrek the Third; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Hot Rod; Jack the Giant Slayer; Sexy Beast; We Are Marshall; Scoop; Jawbone; Battle of Britain; Bilal: A New Breed of Hero; Cuban Fury; Performance; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Hollow Point; Grimsby; Case 39; BMT: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: Probably the funniest thing I’ve heard about him was his response to Game of Thrones fans being all pissy about him spoiling stuff about his (one-off) character in the show: “I was accused of giving the plot away, but I just think get a f—ing life. It’s only tits and dragons.” He has a point.)

Budget/Gross – $410.6 million / Domestic: $241,071,802 (Worldwide: $1,045,713,802)

(That budget can’t possibly be real. It is reported somehow as “gross” on wikipedia which I’ve never seen before. Probably tries to estimate marketing or something? Made a mint worldwide though, so you gotta go for the sequel if people are game. A billion isn’t something to shrug at.)

#44 for the 3D genre


(Came right as the 3D craze his that saturation point. People have declared it dead for years, but it will live on as long as it is a “unique” experience that theaters can offer consumers. The 3D television experiment failed, so it seems like 3D will remain the domain of a theatrical experience for the foreseeable future.)

#7 for the Adventure – Period genre


(Man they were creating a whole bunch of crap between 2010 and 2015. No wonder they took a breather, they nearly killed the genre. Jungle book brought it back though, plus this take isn’t too shabby at all.)

#5 for the Treasure Hunt genre


(Reeks of a genre that doesn’t really exist but is just kind of floating around with random people checking it. I still believe in Box Office Mojo, but moments like this make me question whether anything they report is real, or whether it is mostly guessing from the crazy skeleton crew IMDb uses to man that janky website. The genre makes a lot of money it looks like, so that is something.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (85/262): It’s shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this Pirates runs aground on a disjointed plot and a non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences.

(Yeah, sounds about right. I’m quite excited about the shorter and leaner part though. It is crazy how long franchise films are these days.)

Poster – Sklog-rates of the Caribbean: On Skloger Tides (D+)


(Almost everything is wrong with this. Look at how many things are on this poster? Look at how many different colors. It’s incoherent. Small plus in the unique font.)

Tagline(s) – None (FFFFFFFF)

(Wha? That seems impossible and yet it seems to be so. Unacceptable as always.)

Keyword(s) – pirate; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 68.7 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 65.3 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 63.5 The Phantom (1996); 61.5 Virus (1999); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 59.6 Cyborg (1989); 46.2 Double Impact (1991); 40.9 Cutthroat Island (1995); 39.2 Six Days Seven Nights (1998);

(None of them naturally. Cutthroat Island will be done at some point. Double Impact will likely come in some strange Van Damme series we do. And, wow, I totally forgot there was a significant storyline involving pirates in Miss Congeniality 2 … just fantastic.)

Notes – While filming in London in October 2010, Johnny Depp received a letter from a local nine-year old schoolgirl, telling him her classmates needed help to “mutiny” against her teachers. He turned up with almost no warning at the school in full Sparrow outfit, but advised against mutiny. (awwwww, we need less terrible on-set stories, and more wholesome stories in BMT I think)

After Walt Disney’s chairman of 38 years, Dick Cook was fired, Johnny Depp talked to the Los Angeles Times, and said his enthusiasm for the fourth Pirates movie had reduced after Cook left the project. “There’s a fissure, a crack in my enthusiasm at the moment,” Depp said. “It was all born in that office.” One of the reasons Johnny Depp committed to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), was because he trusted Cook, who supported him while “others at the studio were less than enthusiastic about my interpretation of the character, Dick was there from the first moment. He trusted me.”

During filming in London, a Jack Sparrow impersonator just walked onto the set. The guards did not think to ask for any ID, as he looked so much like the character (Reported in the English papers).

Jerry Bruckheimer gave strict instructions to casting directors that actresses auditioning for the mermaid roles must have natural breasts. During shooting of their scenes, they were not allowed outside until dusk, in order to avoid spoiling their make-up. (haha, gross. Not that that isn’t a legitimate condition to ask concerning an actress expected to appear near-topless as a part of the character, more maybe the idea of the character trait at all … feels gross)

Penélope Cruz was pregnant throughout production, but it wasn’t noticeable until September 2010. As Penélope’s baby bump grew, it caused difficulties in wardrobe, so the producers enlisted the help of Cruz’s younger sister, Mónica Cruz. According to reports, Penélope filmed the close-up shots, while Mónica doubled for her in the long-distance scenes. (Oh, cool. Nice way to accommodate)

Johnny Depp bought new water proof jackets for five hundred crew members on the set, to protect them from the cold weather. He spent a total of 64,200 dollars from his own pocket. (Now that he’s on the verge of bankruptcy I wonder if he regrets such frivolities)

Penélope Cruz was the only choice for the role of Angelica. She agreed to the role without reading the script.

The film does make an actual reference to Blackbeard’s historical death, in which he was beheaded and then had his head hung from the bow of his own ship.

The real-life pirate Blackbeard did indeed have a ship called the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It was a vessel that he’d captured from the French Navy, and renamed.

Johnny Depp said he agreed to star in this film before “there was a script or anything.”

As Jack enters the Santiago, the camera flashes to a skeletal Ponce de León laying on a bed, surrounded by treasure. This is a reference to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland where guests see a skeletal pirate Captain laying in bed, surrounded by treasure. (Always looking for those shouts. Amusing if not the most exciting ride these days)

When making Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the scriptwriters revealed that they placed the story in a thirty-year environment set loosely between 1720 and 1750. They also said that they did not intend the films to be entirely historically accurate. However, it was revealed that this movie takes place in 1750. (Interesting, will have to try and catch that)

The snake in the jungle scene is a king snake, and references the rhyme about coral snakes. Red on yellow kill a fellow, red on black friend of Jack.

The name of “Syrena” means mermaid in Spanish. The origin of “Syrena” is Greek, from Homer’s epic Odyssey. The songs of “syrenas” used to lure sailors to their island, where they were killed.

The only “Pirates of the Caribbean” film to not receive any Oscar nominations. (Not a surprise, although I guess you could kind of argue they always do a decent costume design job)

The film budget had to be scaled down to no more than two hundred million dollars (the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) budget was three hundred million dollars). This was mandated by studio president Rich Ross (who replaced the fired Dick Cook), in addition to the then 2008 economic slowdown in the U.S. (Jesus, $300M is absurd)

Blackbeard says that his quartermaster sees things before they happen. This is an oblique reference to the character of Fedallah in the novel Moby Dick, the source of various prophecies about the death of his Captain.

As of May 20, 2011, this installment has the second shortest run-time of the franchise, at 136 minutes. (My god, these films are monsters!)

This film is loosely based on the 1988 pirate novel “On Stranger Tides”, by Tim Powers. The novel’s protagonist is a pirate named Jack, but his character is significantly different from Jack Sparrow.

Was denied a release in China because the story line consisted of ghosts, the afterlife, and the supernatural. (As was usual, although I assume this practice is/has changed with China becoming a box office power house)

Barbossa’s ship, the Providence, was portrayed by the H.M.S. Surprise, part of the collection of ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego (, where it is open daily to Museum visitors. To sail the ship during the filming, Disney hired a crew from among volunteers and staff of the Maritime Museum. Surprise is a 179 foot full-rigged ship. She was built in Nova Scotia in 1970, from original Admiralty plans for the 1757 British 24-gun frigate H.M.S. Rose, for which she was originally named. The ship was purchased in 2001 by 20th Century Fox, and modified to serve as the H.M.S. Surprise, under the command of fictional Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). The Maritime Museum of San Diego purchased the ship from Fox Studios in 2004, and retained her movie name. In both of her names, the prefix “H.M.S.” (meaning Her (or His) Majesty’s Ship) is an honorary, rather than an official designation, since she does not hold a royal warrant. (Loving those factoids)

Alfred Molina was considered for the role of Blackbeard. (I love Ian McShane, but Alfred Molina would have also killed it I think, although I’m not sure Molina could have sold Blackbeard’s brutality)

The outdoor entrance to the Fountain of Youth, is the Waikapala’e Wet Cave on the north shore of Kauai. Analogous to the film’s magical watery passage to The Fountain of Youth, the cave holds a real submerged (depending on water level) passage, through which explorers can travel, in order to reach an isolated chamber known as “The Blue Room.” Some Hawaiians tell of an actual pirate treasure found hidden in “The Blue Room” by the original discoverers. The pirate treasure (if it ever existed) is gone, but the cave and chamber remain a natural treasure, still accessible to intrepid explorers.

The Bye Bye Man Preview

We finish up our Bring a Friend cycle by transitioning to the final cycle of the year, our traditional year-end Smaddies Baddies year in review cycle. It’s where we get to watch many of the worst films of 2017 that we didn’t get to watch in one of our BMT Live! events. Now that we are BMT horror fans and aspiring aficionados it’s only fitting that we start by pairing one of the worst reviewed horror films of 2017 with one of the worst films of all times. That’s right we’re watching The Bye Bye ManOs: Hands of Fate. The Bye Bye Man has been on our radar ever since it’s pretty ridiculous trailers (and even more ridiculous name) that seemed to air constantly during last football season. In quite the coincidence I was also watching a past Survivor season (yes, I watch past seasons of Survivor for fun in my spare time. So what?) that happened to feature a contestant by the name of Jonathan Penner. Why is it a coincidence? Because Penner also wrote The Bye Bye Man. So it was literally seared into my brain that we must, must, must watch this film in the future. As for Manos: Hands of Fate, while it’s considered one of the worst films of all time it doesn’t fit traditionally into BMT because of its pre-1980 release. Shot in 1966 on a super low budget by a random Texan businessman/amateur theater actor I have no more expectations for this than I would a film like Birdemic. It’s just an amateurish film made by a delusional person that should never have seen the light of day. Will likely be a bore, but that’s what this cycle is all about. Finding out whether these categories are as boring as we assumed when we precluded them. Let’s go!

The Bye Bye Man (2017) – BMeTric: 63.4



(That VOD bump though! This looks like a classic in the making. It ticked up a bit after the VOD release, but staying steady at 4.4 is very impressive indeed. Looking very promising for staying above 50+ BMeTric for its career.) – 0.5 stars –  Both as a straightforward horror exercise and a look at the perils revolving around off-campus housing in Wisconsin, “The Bye Bye Man” is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.

(Oooooooh yeah. Don’t tantalize me like this, my heart can only handle so much. This movie is either going to be hilarious, or an unfortunate mind-bending disaster like The Devil Inside. I’m excited to see which.)

Trailer –

(It’s …. The Bye Bye Man. Looks ridiculous. Like funny ridiculous. Like the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen, and my mind can only accept one thing: this is a steaming white hot pile of garbage. I’m excited.)

Directors – Stacy Title – (Known For: The Last Supper; Let the Devil Wear Black; Future BMT: Hood of Horror; BMT: The Bye Bye Man; Notes: Directed her husband Jonathan Penner in this, The Last Supper, and Let the Devil Wear Black. He also wrote The Bye Bye Man.)

Writers – Jonathan Penner (screenplay by) – (Known For: Let the Devil Wear Black; BMT: The Bye Bye Man; Notes: Multiple time contestant on Survivor. Despite being on three seasons he never made it all that far into any season but was a fan favorite. Also husband of director Stacy Title.)

Robert Damon Schneck (based on “The Bridge to Body Island” by) – (BMT: The Bye Bye Man; Notes: Guy who specializes in writing about urban legends and supernatural phenomena. His books sounds kind of fun for maybe a future read.)

Actors – Douglas Smith – (Known For: Miss Sloane; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Blast from the Past; Antiviral; State’s Evidence; Future BMT: Ouija; Sleepover; Stage Fright; Hangman’s Curse; Terminator Genisys; The Beautiful Ordinary; BMT: The Bye Bye Man; Notes: Brother of Gregory Smith who we saw in previous BMT films The Seeker: The Dark is Rising and American Outlaws.)

Lucien Laviscount – (BMT: The Bye Bye Man; Notes: British actor knew to American film, but in so much British TV that I’m guessing Patrick has inadvertently seen him before in something.)

Cressida Bonas – (BMT: The Bye Bye Man; Tulip Fever; Notes: British actress just on the scene. Already making a BMT splash with this and Tulip Fever that also got terrible reviews this year.)

Budget/Gross – $7.4 million / Domestic: $22,395,806 (Worldwide: $26,667,197)

(Like many horror film this wins largely by being made for next to nothing. This makes me wonder whether we’ll be treated to The Bye Bye Man 2, even if it is straight to DVD. I would watch it. Gotta keep up with the development of the lore of the Bye Bye Man.)

#90 for the Horror – Supernatural genre


(The chart is a tiny bit deceiving. It might look like the genre isn’t growing because the money is mostly stagnant, but given that year over year more and more theaters show a supernatural horror film that money does indeed translate to more and more profit. Kicked off by The Blair Witch Project the claim to fame and fortune for the genre is simple: like the slashers of the 80s you can make these on a dime and there is a built-in opening day audience for $10-20 million for anything even remotely coherent. Strike that: anything that promises a jump or two will turn a profit given the business model. It is incredible.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (16/69): The Bye Bye Man clumsily mashes together elements from better horror films, adding up to a derivative effort as short on originality as it is on narrative coherency or satisfying scares.

(Lack of narrative coherency? Sign me up. As for lack of scares? I’m indifferent. While I’m not scared by many older horror films, the jump scares that are sprinkled throughout modern horror still make for an uncomfortable watch even when other people say it’s not scary, so I’m skeptical. I bet that Bye Bye Man is popping up all over the place.)

Poster – The Sklog Sklog Man (A-)


(I actually like a lot about the poster. Nice font, nice coloring, and I like the artistry that makes it look kinda like an old photo. I wish there was a bit less detail on the main monster. Should be even more of a dark silhouette. But that’s just my opinion.)

Tagline(s) – Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. (Ha. Not a tagline.)

The evil behind the most unspeakable acts has a name (D+)

(The first is not a tagline. It’s just an artistic use of text on the poster for effect, but I like how many times imdb wrote it out. So exact. The second is just not a good tagline and should just be thrown out. Just let those “Don’t think it. Don’t say it” sets of text do their job. No need for this extra shit.)

Keyword(s) – supernatural; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.4 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 75.5 Ouija (II) (2014); 72.7 The Apparition (2012); 71.0 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013); 70.6 Cell (I) (2016); 70.5 The Gallows (2015); 70.4 Devil’s Due (2014); 67.6 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 67.4 Pulse (I) (2006); 67.2 666: The Prophecy (2011);

(We kind of now need to see Ouija, and perhaps we will for an upcoming cycle (SPOILER ALERT!). Man, there are some shit supernatural films out there, I feel like all of these will be watched, and would probably represent a final completion of the Sklog’s horror film education.)

Notes – Previously rated R by the MPAA for “bloody horror violence, language and some sexuality.”

Filmed in November and December 2015, but not released until January 2017.

Doug Jones, who plays the title character, previously played Slender Man (who has similar abilities) in Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story.

The story on which the film is based, “The Bridge to Body Island,” has a much more complex mythology for the Bye Bye Man: He was an albino born in New Orleans in 1912 who ran away as a child and became a derelict who lived in a train yard. After going blind he began murdering people and cutting out their eyes and tongues, which he sewed together and brought to life using voodoo. The resultant creature became the Bye Bye Man’s literal seeing-eye dog, helping him hunt his prey. Several elements from the story- notably the dog and the motif of trains– were retained for the movie, though their purpose is left more elliptical. (Spooky)

The Bye Bye Man is the 2nd collaboration between Carrie-Anne Moss & Douglas Smith. They played doctor and patient in the film, Treading Water.