Wild Bill Preview

So this week (last week?) we are ending our beloved Now a Major Motion Picture cycle. Alas, it was probably our favorite cycle we’ve ever done, so we are still working out how to keep it around in some form. In the meantime, though, we are transitioning to the last ever mapl.de.map cycle! OMG, OMG! It’s true, we only have 8 states left and we are cycling down. With 9 spots in the cycle available we get to fill up the map and replace a state we didn’t like with an extra special movie (oh, you’ll see). We are starting the cycle off as always with the Scattegories category which requires a a film that covers both the based-on-a-book and map cycles. It is a film set in the very, very difficult to obtain South Dakota. I would say that this turned out to be the most difficult state we had to fill, except that it was really only hard to fill because we had already watched the only other film that qualified for the honor. I’m of course talking about Son-in-law starring Pauly Shore. With that off the table, there was only one choice left and it kept me and Patrick awake at nights thinking on whether we truly had to use such a borderline case for the map. In the end, we had no other choice. So for South Dakota we have Wild Bill starring Jeff Bridges. It’s based on Deadwood by Peter Dexter along with a play called Fathers and Sons by Thomas Babe. Here’s the map with our new addition. Let’s go!

Wild Bill (1995) – BMeTric: 16.7 (November 20, 2016)

wildbill_bmet

wildbill_rv

(Sigh. So yeah, when we watched this film it was borderline qualifying. If I recall correctly it was literally 40% on rotten tomatoes with a question as to whether a few of the reviews were repeated and/or legit. Well now it is definitely non-qualifying. But there wasn’t anything to be done at the time, it was the only film for South Dakota (still is as far as I can tell … Mercury Rising qualifies, but only the opening is in South Dakota). With a steadily increasing IMDb score that can either be regression to the mean or the fact that the film is legitimately considered somewhat of a cult classic. I’ll repeat: sigh.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Odd revisionist take on Wild Bill Hickok, told in episodic form that creates creates distance from – rather than understanding of – the legendary hellraiser of the Old West. The title of the film should really be THE ASSASSINATION OF WILD BILL, because that’s what it’s all about. There are those opium dreams to break the monotony… Barkin is fun as Calamity Jane, but other characters are superficially drawn at best.

(Leonard should read up on the films. Obviously this was revisionist, it was based on a revisionist play and revisionist novel. Also, super surprising that Leonard is recommending alternate titles for films. I thought me and Patrick were the only ones into that.)

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

(Ever since we had this movie on the horizon I’ve marveled at the trailer. It’s crazy. The black-and-white hallucinogenic dream sequence-type scenes in particular give me hope that this film we turn out to a be a legit BMT film. Also, David Arquette always helps.)

Director(s) – Walter Hill – (Known For: The Warriors; Red Heat; Bullet to the Head; Undisputed; Streets of Fire; Southern Comfort; Crossroads; The Driver; Trespass; The Long Riders; Johnny Handsome; Geronimo – An American Legend; Wild Bill; Extreme Prejudice; Hard Times; 48 Hrs. BMT: Last Man Standing; Another 48 Hrs.; Brewster’s Millions; Supernova; Notes: Nominated for Worst Picture, Blue City (1986) which he produced. Interesting future BMT film.)

Writer(s) – Walter Hill (screenplay) – (Known For: The Warriors; Red Heat; Undisputed; The Getaway; Streets of Fire; Southern Comfort; The Driver; Wild Bill; Hard Times; Alien 3; 48 Hrs.); BMT: Last Man Standing; Another 48 Hrs.; Blue City. Notes: Originally meant to direct Alien, which he wrote the story for.)

Also credits Peter Dexter and Thomas Babe who wrote the novel and play that the screenplay was based on.

Actors – Jeff Bridges – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; Iron Man; True Grit; TRON; K-PAX; Arlington Road; Crazy Heart; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Starman; The Fisher King; Seabiscuit; Surf’s Up; King Kong; The Vanishing; White Squall; The Fabulous Baker Boys; Fearless; The Last Picture Show; The Door in the Floor; Tucker: The Man and His Dream; Against All Odds; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; The Contender; Cutter’s Way; Heaven’s Gate; Tron Legacy. BMT: The Giver; R.I.P.D. (BMT); Seventh Son; Wild Bill; Blown Away; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; Stick It; Tideland; The Open Road. Notes: And that’s just a portion of his filmography. Nominated for 6 Oscars, winning for Crazy Horse. Son of famous actor Lloyd Bridges.)

Also stars Ellen Barkin and John Hurt.

Budget/Gross: $30 million / $2,193,982

(Ridiculously gigantic bomb. Probably the strongest reason why this film should be considered BMT worthy. It currently has the 95th worst opening for a wide release (600+ theaters) coming in right behind the classic Mom and Dad Save the World.)

#54 for the Western genre

western_54

(Ooof, right around Heaven’s Gate which has been heralded as somewhat career ending for those involved. The reported budgets aren’t much different even, although Wild Bill came out 10 years later. Cool graph though. People lament the collapse of the genre, and this movie came literally at the end of its gloriously profitable run in the 90’s. Interestingly enough as far as screens are concerned westerns surpassed than peak about 5 years ago. The profitability is probably not there though. Would depend on the budgets I guess. I would guess that in the future VOD releases will include some indie westerns though, they tend to get a solid cult following rather quickly (see Bone Tomahawk).)

Rotten Tomatoes: 40% (9/22)

(And this is the biggest reason why it shouldn’t have been a BMT film. We really tossed and turned over this one. We usually use a pretty strict 40% or lower cutoff for RT scores, and usually when we’ve ventured over that (or couldn’t use the RT score cause the movie is too old) it’s because the film is notably reviled and gained a cult following which boosted the score. Upon investigation, though, this seemed to pretty well earn that 40%. Basically, it was considered not great but not horrible. One thing I will say in defense of this selection is that there were actually 8 uncounted reviews on RT. I found that 2 were good and 6 were bad in my own assessment. This would have put the score at 37% for a respectable 30 RT reviews. It counts!)

Poster – Wild Sklog (A)

wild_bill

(Love the poster. Aesthetically pleasing to look at and nice color scheme. Only weird thing they do is put a tagline at the top and then another one right below the title. Confusing. Makes it look like the movie is actually called Wild Bill: Take a Walk on the Wild Side. Which would be the worst title in cinematic history.)

Tagline(s) – A legend never dies. (D+)

Take a walk on the wild side. (C+)

(The first is hurting my brain. Why is this the tagline to your film about a legend dying? Not clever either. Despite sounding and looking like a tagline it is a terrible tagline. The second one is actually a little better, which is shocking cause I hated it when I first read it. At least it’s a bit clever in playing on a common phrase.)

Keyword(s) – opium; Top Ten by BMeTric: 49.7 Tell Your Children (1936); 48.3 The Man with the Iron Fists (2012); 42.7 Shanghai Surprise (1986); 32.9 Emmanuelle (1974); 31.8 Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985); 31.2 People I Know (2002); 26.7 Above the Law (1988); 25.7 Te wu mi cheng (2001); 23.3 Love (II) (2015); 22.6 Shanghai Knights (2003);

(Wow, what the hell is Tell Your Children? Oh, haha, Reefer Madness, got it, funny. The rest of this list is bonkers. Crazy Seagal films, and like Emmanuelle. Just insane. Would truly be a ridiculous list to “complete”. Doable, only 11 films have a BMeTric over 20.)

Notes – More than 30 years earlier, the part of Wild Bill Hickok was played by Jeff Bridges’ father, Lloyd Bridges, in a 1964 episode of the television series “The Great Adventure” (1963). (great trivia)

Keith Carradine, who played Buffalo Bill Cody in Wild Bill, took the part of Wild Bill Hickock on HBO’s TV series Deadwood (2004), the first episode of which Walter Hill also directed. (Another great piece of trivia!)

Scarlet Letter Preview

Alright, so this week is And the Loser is… where we watch a past Razzie winner or nominee. There were two obvious choices here to fit our Now a Major Motion Picture meta-theme. The first was The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers. If we weren’t having so much fun actually reading the books, that would have been selected I’m sure. Instead we are watching the 1995 classic The Scarlet Letter starring Gary Oldman and Demi Moore. The only things I knew about the film going into this is that it’s a travesty of an adaptation (particularly given that the book is a classic) and people make fun of Gary Oldman’s penis in reference to this film… which means we are going to see an Oldman’s penis. Great. Let’s go!

The Scarlet Letter (1995) – BMeTric: 43.3 (November 23, 2016)

scarletletter_bmet

scarletletter_rv

(Solid score for a 90’s film, definitely in the above-average BMeTric. Nice regression to the mean in the rating as well. Basically people don’t actually think it is better, it is just more likely that a film will closer to the mean rating (of around 6) as more and more reviews come in. Otherwise standard. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Hokey adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel throws in everything from witch hunts to Indian attacks to a controversial happy ending — all to no avail. Moore is woefully miscast as Hester Prynne (though she sure fills a Puritan frock). Oldman gives a histrionic performance, while Duvall is simply incomprehensible. “Erotic” love scenes are especially embarrassing, in soft focus with phallic candles and a chirpy Disney bird (credited as Rudy the Robin) who sings for sexual freedom!

(Wait, Indian attacks? Witch hunts? What is happening. Am I reading the review for the wrong movie? I do love “simply incomprehensible” actors. If they made it nowadays that role would be played by Jeff Bridges… or still Robert Duvall somehow… Is there actually a Disney bird? I feel like this review is asking more questions than it’s answering for me. No wonder it’s a BOMB.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtZetd_jOo8

(Holy fuck. That… that… that is not the plot of The Scarlet Letter. They made a prequel-adaptation monster. Why call it The Scarlet Letter even? It’s not even the plot of the story. It does give me an idea though: how about an Anna Karenina adaptation, but instead of focusing on Anna, let’s focus on Vronsky. And instead of dealing with that pesky (and boring!) affair with Anna, let’s mostly detail Vronksy’s trials and tribulations in learning the electric guitar. Boom! Netflix!)

Director(s) – Roland Joffé – (Known For: The Mission; The Killing Fields; City of Joy; Fat Man and Little Boy. BMT: Captivity; The Scarlet Letter; Vatel; There Be Dragons; Goodbye Lover; The Lovers. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Captivity (2007); Won for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for Worst Director for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Directing Oscars for The Killing Fields and The Mission. Father of future BMT director Rowan Joffe.)

Writer(s) – Douglas Day Stewart (screenplay) – (Known For: An Officer and a Gentleman; Vision Quest; Flight of the Navigator. BMT: The Blue Lagoon; The Scarlet Letter; Thief Of Hearts. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Screenplay Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman. His name sounds like the name someone would use in a scandalous tell-all if they didn’t want to get sued for libel by Daniel Day-Lewis.)

Actors – Demi Moore – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle; Ghost; Mr. Brooks; G.I. Jane; A Few Good Men; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Flawless; Disclosure; The Joneses; Margin Call; Mortal Thoughts; St. Elmo’s Fire; We’re No Angels; One Crazy Summer; Deconstructing Harry. BMT: Striptease; Indecent Proposal; LOL; The Juror; The Scarlet Letter; Half Light; The Seventh Sign; The Butcher’s Wife; Now and Then; Passion of Mind; Nothing but Trouble. Notes: Nominated for 7 Razzie awards. Won for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (Supporting Actress), G.I. Jane (Actress), The Juror (Actress), Striptease (Actress/Couple), The Scarlet Letter (Actress/Couple). Nominated for Passion of Mind (Actress), Indecent Proposal (Actress), The Butcher’s Wife (Actress), Nothing but Trouble (Actress). Probably one of the most prolific BMT actresses, but we haven’t done too many of her films yet.)

Gary Oldman – (Known For: Batman series; Air Force One; The Fifth Element; The Book of Eli; RoboCop; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Harry Potter Series; True Romance; Sid & Nancy; JFK; The Contender; Bram Stoker’s Dracula. BMT: Hannibal; Red Riding Hood; The Unborn; Lost in Space; Paranoia; Planet 51; The Scarlet Letter; Child 44; Tiptoes. Notes: Nominated for Worst Couple Razzie for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for an Oscar for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.)

Also starring Robert Duvall

Budget/Gross: $46 million / $10,382,407

(A giant bomb. Oddly released the same weekend as two other high profile box office bombs (Jade and Strange Days) resulting in this NYTimes article. The Scarlet Letter is the 96st highest grossing Romantic Dramas ever. Number 95? You guessed it, Here on Earth.)

#96 for the Romantic Drama genre

romanticdrama_96

(As mentioned it is right near Here on Earth in the charts. This is actually the third of this genre we’ve watched along with Random Hearts and The Choice. A little snippet from the first of those: Wow, look at that mid-2000’s collapse! I think it has to do with a couple bombs in a row, but it could easily be that some other genre was sapping things up. Everyone knows that the trough there is the true heyday of bad movies! The dizzying heights we live in now I think is the result of micro-budget film companies. But it is hard to tell. This movie comes right in that initial wave as well. What we know now: There might be a collapse of the genre again. Hard to tell. If I were to guess we’ll be seeing a return to around 15K theaters for the genre moving forward. Looking at ’09-’12 and ’92-’96 that just feels like where the genre wants to be. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Rotten Tomatoes: 14% (5/35). No consensus, but here’s the Netflix synopsis for funsies: In this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, Puritan settler Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) is accused of adultery in a Massachusetts settlement in the 1660s. Although she’s attracted to the town’s pastor (Gary Oldman), the two resist temptation. But only a whiff of scandal is enough for the town’s morality police to sentence Prynne to live as an outcast and wear a shameful scarlet A for adultery.

(Yeah, straight panned. I’m not sure what Netflix is talking about though. In the trailer we clearly see Moore carrying a baby to her public shaming… where’d the baby come from if they resist temptation? A baby is a little bit more than a whiff of scandal. I almost feel like we should bring Netflix synopsis back. They are wrong half the time on the very basic plot of these films.)

Poster – The Skloglet Letter (B-)

scarlet_letter

(Sexy much? I like the coloring (though could have been slightly redder) and the symmetry. Not feeling the dark portion at the bottom. Would prefer a more interesting and creative way of commingling the text and images.)

Tagline(s) – When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all. (C-)

(I really should have given this worse. When it’s this long, everyone loses. What saved it a bit was the cadence and the creativity. Way too long though.)

Keyword(s) – adultery; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.8 Skyline (2010); 75.6 Left Behind (I) (2014); 64.9 The Boy Next Door (2015); 62.4 Postal (2007); 58.4 My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006); 57.0 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 56.4 Body of Evidence (1993); 54.7 The Canyons (2013); 51.3 The Big Bounce (2004); 50.4 The Dilemma (2011);

(That is a nice list. Indeed, adultery plays a major role in: Sci Fi, Christian, Dramatic, Erotic Thrillers, and Comedies. And that is just the ones we’ve seen. The human condition.)

Notes – Listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in “The Official Razzie® Movie Guide”.

Three original scores were written for this film. The ones by Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein were rejected. The one used was by John Barry. (these types of fact amuse me)

Meg Ryan lobbied hard for the part of Hester Prynne, but lost out. Sharon Stone was also considered.

Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Anthony Hopkins were all considered for the male lead.

Won one Razzie for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for 6 more (Picture/Actress/Supporting Actor/Couple/Director/Screenplay)

Seventh Son Recap

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. Seventh Son? More like God It’s Dumb. And it was. If you didn’t already know Seventh Son is adapted from a book that is literally for 8 year olds. And yet I read it. Would I go so far as to say I enjoyed it? Not really. It is so short I could almost (almost) see myself reading all 11 (or 12 or whatever) of them if I didn’t value time or money, but naw. No interest. And yet, once again, here we are with the source material influencing how I feel about a movie. Not much this time though, because …

  • This movie is horrible regardless. A bizarre mix between In the Name of the King A Dungeon Siege Tale, Season of the Witch and Dungeons and Dragons the movie is a perfect storm in the fantasy drama. Bad sets/CGI, bad acting and bad writing. A triple threat like that combined with the fact that these kinds of movies are geared towards people who like Renaissance Fairs it is a literal embarrassment. Like … I wonder what it is like to be on the set of a fantasy movie like this? How isn’t everyone just cringing and asking themselves how they ended up wearing silly hats and speaking in faux British accents? I don’t get it.
  • This movie should be called Cloaks, Hats and Staffs. There are a lot of them. Maybe Distractingly Overdramatic Swelling Music. Or Please, Stop Jeff Bridges. No One Wants To Hear Your Mumble Mouth Thing Anymore, We Can’t Understand You And You Are One More RIPD Away From Johnny Depp Territory. Long title.
  • Also, I got just a taste of Elektra in there (just a whiff). They have a merry band of transmogrifying baddies running around like idiots who are just way too easy to defeat in the end. Like in Elektra. Anyone? So only Jamie knows what I’m talking about?
  • Complete waste of a cast. The main guy is from Big Wedding (one of the worst BMTs ever, no joke), and then it has two pretty impressive leads in Bridges and Moore who thoroughly embarrass themselves. Thoroughly. Not a good look.
  • Also it was boring. Excruciatingly so. With that out of the way, let’s briefly touch on the book.
  • We are just one upping ourselves with the bad adaptations. It is a childs book so when they drop an F-bomb in there I was pretty stunned. They also took the main (and pretty much only) trait of the … spook sounds pretty racist, but it is his occupation, so I’m going to roll with it. The main trait of the spook is he doesn’t burn witches. In the movie it is literally all he does. He gets pretty angry with the main character because he’s not burning enough witches. A good book character is now a total bad guy in the movie. And a weird trait of the love interest (pointy shoes) shows up once in a very bizarre comment … I don’t know. This was the worst adaptation I have ever seen now. It doesn’t even make sense. It is totally different.
  • Why is Kit Harrington in this for 3 minutes and why does he have an American accent? The only thing I can thing is he was like “I’d like to practice my American accent. I’ll be in your dumb movie for a second if you’ll let me practice a bit”.
  • I’ll leave it at that. Um. I think I have enough to produce a Quote Me!: “The movie is a perfect storm in the fantasy drama … impressive leads in Bridges and Moore” – Patrick Smadbeck, Bad Movie Twins Entertainment. Sigh. Sounds about right.

Reboot, Sequel, Prequel? A Prequel would be pretty funny. Just a whole movie about Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore dating. A romantic comedy even. It would be called Burning Love. It’s the hilarious misadventures of a fire-happy spook (doesn’t get any easier to say with levity everyone, still weirded out by that little American-British racist misalignment, there’s a reason the title was changed from the Spook’s Apprentice in America) who falls head over heels for the witch he has been pursuing. Meanwhile little does he know that Mother Malkin and her sister Bony Lizzie have a bet to see who can bed (and behead) the witch hunter first. Misadventures with magic abound until Bridges finds out about the bet and Mother Malkin realizes she’s fallen in love with him! What an odd couple! The tagline will be: This January, Witches Love Fire!

My God, it is terrible. My first gut instinct of What a Witch! sounds better. I’m leaving it though.Back to you Jamie!

Jamie

That movie was straight dog poo in my face.

The prequel is great… and I’d give that second tagline an A+. Perfecto. Alright, so I kinda shirked my duties for actually recapping the film cause I knew that Patrick had a nice long recap for everyone to sink their teeth into. To briefly sum up my feelings, the book was OK in terms of what you can expect from a Harry Potter type book written for like 8-10 year olds. I would read more if I got the ebooks for free, but otherwise won’t read any more in the near future. As for the film, I thought it was an embarrassment. Seriously, straight dog poo. Awful. Dreadful. Really bad adaptation. Really bad production quality. It looked mostly like In the name of the King mixed with King Richard’s Fair. Perfect for BMT. So perfect in fact that is provided one of the longest MonoSklogs in recent memory. I call it Mi Bruja [EDITOR NOTE: Due to potential copyright issue we do not publish the MonoSklogs online, we do apologize]. A solid 2 and a half minutes of pure mumbly-bumblies from Jeff Bridges. I can just imagine the sound guys on the film being like “Damn it. We need to get Jeff back in here for another ADR session. I can’t make heads or tails of what he’s saying.” This is also my favorite type of MonoSklog, where it seems like there are pauses for another character to throw a random, terrible line out like “I’m sorry.” or “What happened?” and he looks like he’s about to say it and then… Jeff Bridges just keeps on talking. Keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Cheaper by the Dozen Preview

Alright, well we are cruising through our Now a Major Motion Picture cycle and I’m loving it. Getting into a groove on finishing these books. This week we’re doing a movie that I really didn’t know was based on a book. Cheaper by the Dozen starring Steve Martin. Apparently it’s based on a memoir of a prominent engineering duo who had 12 children and were pretty quirky. They made a 1950 movie out of it and then remade it in 2003. A pleasant surprise was that the book is only 200 pages long, so I’m already done with it and moving onto the next book. Seemingly takes place in Chicago, so not an addition for the map (but what really is at this point). Let’s go!

Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) – BMeTric: 39.7

CheaperbytheDozen_BMeT

CheaperbytheDozen_RV

(This graph says: this film is mediocre and we know it is mediocre through and through. Still, too high of a rating to be truly amazing. The BMeTric is all popularity, it is a mediocre-popular film.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Martin and Hunt are happy, harried parents of 12 kids until a major move and career changes (a football coaching job at his alma mater for him, an extended book-promotion tour for her) throw the family asunder. Cute family comedy, with predictable slapstick moments, is strengthened by Martin and Hunt’s performances as genuinely loving parents. Although officially a remake, it has nothing to do with the 1950 film or the book that inspired it. Ashton Kutcher appears unbilled. Followed by a sequel.

(Whaaaaa? 3 Stars, Leonard? This rating got me and Patrick discussing about what other films we’ve watched that Leonard gave 3 stars. The last one? Welcome to Mooseport. Isn’t that the most appropriate duo? Cheaper by the Dozen and Welcome to Mooseport. They’re Old Dad Movies and Leonard loves it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b44tHAFX8JQ

(Oh no. I am not feeling that. And that has nothing to do with the book. I guess I’ll just have to sit back and enjoy some classic Steve Martin antics. He certainly seems to give it his all.)

Directors – Shawn Levy – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; This Is Where I Leave You; Real Steel; Night at the Museum; Date Night; Night at the Museum 2; Big Fat Liar; Future BMT: Just Married; The Pink Panther; The Internship; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Graduated from Yale at the age of 20. Directed Steve Martin in two remakes: this and The Pink Panther.)

Writers – Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (novel) (as Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr.) – (BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: They were the writers of the original book and two of the real life children the story is based on.)

Craig Titley (screen story) – (Known For: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; See Spot Run; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: He was taught guitar at the age of 11 by Didjits founder Rick Sims and played in bands with several of the members of that group.)

Sam Harper (screenplay) – (Known For: Rio; Open Season; Future BMT: Just Married; Rookie of the Year; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Son of a notable ad man, he actually worked as the editor of the advertising industry trade publication Advertising Age.)

Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (screenplay) – (Known For: Toy Story; Future BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Garfield; Garfield 2; Evan Almighty; Money Talks; Goodbye Lover; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Writing partners. Nominated for an Oscar for the Toy Story screenplay.)

Actors – Steve Martin – (Known For: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Home; The Prince of Egypt; Little Shop of Horrors; Parenthood; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Father of the Bride; It’s Complicated; ¡Three Amigos!; The Jerk; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; The Man with Two Brains; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Roxanne; Baby Mama; The Big Year; Bowfinger; The Muppet Movie; Father of the Bride Part II; My Blue Heaven; Future BMT: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; The Pink Panther; The Pink Panther 2; The Out-of-Towners; Bringing Down the House; Mixed Nuts; Sgt. Bilko; Christmas with the Coopers; Novocaine; HouseSitter; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for The Pink Panther 2 in 2010; Notes: World famous comedian and bluegrass banjo player.)

Bonnie Hunt – (Known For: Cars 3; Zootropolis; The Green Mile; Cars; Jumanji; Toy Story 3; Monsters, Inc.; Jerry Maguire; Rain Man; A Bug’s Life; Monsters University; Only You; Dave; Return to Me; I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With; Loggerheads; Future BMT: Beethoven’s 2nd; Beethoven; Cars 2; Kissing a Fool; Getting Away with Murder; Now and Then; BMT: Random Hearts; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: She was in Second City with Mike Myers.)

Hilary Duff – (Known For: The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Playing by Heart; Flock of Dudes; Human Nature; Provinces of Night; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Perfect Man; War, Inc.; A Cinderella Story; Raise Your Voice; Stay Cool; BMT: Material Girls; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; What Goes Up; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2005 for A Cinderella Story, and Raise Your Voice; in 2006 for Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and The Perfect Man; and in 2007 for Material Girls; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for Material Girls in 2007; Notes: Famous singer turned actor, and has her own Barbie Doll)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $138,614,544 (Worldwide: $190,212,113)

(A huge box office hit. Kinda surprised by that, but 2003 was a more innocent time. Enough to get a sequel though, and for a comedy that is an impressive take.)

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

cheaperbythedozen_daddyfishoutofwater

(You probably wouldn’t get the top two (Despicable Me 1&2) but after that you get a couple classics (Three Men and a Baby and Big Daddy) before hitting this one. For those curious, there are 37 major releases under that category. The lowest grossing? Another classic: Dutch. Right after the big boom in the subgenre which is all but dead.)

#5 for the Family – Remake genre

cheaperbythedozen_familyremake

(It had a resurgence last year, and will continue with the new Jungle Book and the sequel to the one last year. again, this came early in a resurgence of the subgenre, which then basically died off. Remakes always come in waves. Around other smash hits like Doctor Dolittle)

#3 for the Comedy Remake genre

cheaperbythedozen_comedyremake

(Remakes. Come. In. Waves. Last year’s big hit was … gulp … Ghostbusters. I have a feeling Hollywood is prepping its new IP source. At some point they’ll mine the 90s for anything that could do with a good remaking and see if that holds. I would watch Hook … maybe.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (28/118): In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity.

(I got nothing to work with in this consensus. I give this RT consensus 1/4 stars.)

Poster – Skloger by the Dozen (C-)

cheaper_by_the_dozen_xlg

(That is horrific. Holy lord, that is an awful poster. I hate the mostly white, terrible coloring. It really ruins everything about this. The good thing is that the wallet ploy is actually a pretty clever way of getting the whole cast on the poster. Boosts the final score a bit.)

Tagline(s) – This Christmas the more… the scarier! (F)

(I always go with the tagline on the poster as the official one, which in this case is too bad. It’s straight awful. But trust me, none of the other ones were any good either.)

Keyword(s) – new job; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 75.4 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 72.8 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); 71.2 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 60.2 Underdog (2007); 58.3 Deck the Halls (2006); 52.8 Blonde Ambition (2007); 52.2 Lay the Favorite (2012); 51.6 Just My Luck (2006);

(What is this keyword? Ridiculous. We will watch Look Who’s Talking Now and Too at some point I would think. Maybe as a one-two combo for animal actors. Otherwise this is a terrible marathon and I hate it.)

Notes – Mel Gibson was considered for the role of Tom Baker. (whaaaaaaa?)

Although this film is based on that same book that inspired the 1950 film (Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)), the only element it retains from the original is the idea of there being 12 children in one family. Even the names of the characters are changed. (well I guess it won’t be important that we read the book then)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Ashton Kutcher)

Fifty Shades of Grey Preview

Moving forward, we have made it to the Girls’ Night Out portion of the cycle. But what chick flick could we possibly do based on a book. Jeez Louise, like nothing springs to mind. Literally no bondage-based film released last Valentine’s Day. Oh wait! It was sitting right there the whole time: Fifty Shades of Grey. Obviously. Now, of course, you must realize that by doing this film in this section requires that at least one of us reads this inane, Twlight fan fiction book before watching this week. Are we willing to do so? You bet your ass we are. Let’s get this going!

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) – BMeTric: 90.3 (Generated on December 12, 2017)

FiftyShadesofGrey_BMeT

FiftyShadesofGrey_RV

(Yeah people didn’t like this immediately. Basically 90 is about as high as you can get as far as the BMeTric is concerned. Why? Well … you need some headroom. Imagine a film with 200 thousand votes but a 2.0 on IMDb. That would be very very close to 100. Like 10 million votes and a flat 1.0 would be 100. It is just a cumulative distribution function. It ain’t rocket science.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – In the annals of sexually-charged event cinema, ”Fifty Shades of Grey” barely lights a candle let alone combusts with unbridled forbidden passion. Nothing comes close to Michael Douglas and Glenn Close humping on the kitchen sink in “Fatal Attraction” or Marlon Brando’s inventive use of butter withMaria Schneider in “The Last Tango in Paris.” Even those ejaculating dolphin fountains in “Showgirls” were steamier than what shows up in this tempered version of E.L. James’ S&M rewrite of “Beauty and the Beast.”

(So I got three movies to add to my Netflix queue. This is essentially what I heard about the film. That it was a stylish adaptation that ramped down the sex… and that got all the fans hot and bothered (in a bad way). Two stars sounds about right in that case.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA

(This runs like a horror film. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to think he’s super evil or not until the end where she’s all like “enlighten me then… and by enlighten, I mean a little penis in vagina”. Then it’s pretty clear.)

Directors – Sam Taylor-Johnson – (Known For: Nowhere Boy; Future BMT: Destricted; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Very well regarded photographer. We should actually be calling her Dame Sam Taylor-Johnson as she was damed (?… is that right?) by the Queen for her work in the arts.)

Writers – Kelly Marcel (screenplay by) – (Known For: Saving Mr. Banks; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Daughter of Terry Marcel, a director with a filmography that looks perfect for BMT. Hawk the Slayer, anyone?)

E.L. James (novel) – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Notes: The author. She ultimately got total control of the series in the end. The second and third films are even written by her husband. She must be mega-rich.)

Actors – Dakota Johnson – (Known For: The Social Network; 21 Jump Street; Black Mass; How to Be Single; A Bigger Splash; The Five-Year Engagement; For Ellen; Future BMT: Anarchy: Ride or Die; Date and Switch; Goats; Crazy in Alabama; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Beastly; Need for Speed; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Combo for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Both could provide BMT films for us… that would be a fun cycle. A Family Affair, where we use an acting family to get different movies for each member. I’ll have to think about that.)

Jamie Dornan – (Known For: Anthropoid; Marie Antoinette; The Siege of Jadotville; The 9th Life of Louis Drax; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Could literally be me and Patrick’s triplet. He looks that similar to us. Now, let’s see if anyone notices this “note”. Probably not, cause no one reads this.)

Jennifer Ehle – (Known For: Detroit; The King’s Speech; Zero Dark Thirty; Contagion; The Adjustment Bureau; RoboCop; A Quiet Passion; The Fundamentals of Caring; The Ides of March; Spooks: The Greater Good; A Little Chaos; Sunshine; Wilde; Black or White; Little Men; The Greatest; Paradise Road; Advantageous; Possession; Backbeat; Future BMT: The Forger; Pride and Glory; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Notes: Daughter of Rosemary Ehle who played Aunt May. She won a Tony in 2000 for The Real Thing beating out her aforementioned mother!)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $166,167,230 (Worldwide: $571,006,128)

(Obviously a box office smash success. Not sure there was any chance it wouldn’t be. Isn’t it kinda sad though that a company can take a property that fans love, adapt it exactly without any interesting changes, and then watch as people file in and out of the theater shrugging their shoulders and saying “Meh, hope the next one is better. Can’t wait to see it.” Rinse, recycle, repeat.)

#4 for the Romantic Drama genre

fiftyshadesofgrey_romanticdrama

(Generated on December 12, 2017. Came right at another peak of romantic dramas. I wonder why they collapsed so thoroughly in the mid-2000s? Just like a total rejection of the genre. But it’s back baby! Probably due to the realization that women audiences exist.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (66/256)While creatively better endowed than its print counterpart, Fifty Shades of Grey is a less than satisfying experience on the screen.

(“Better endowed” blech. I hate when a RT consensus tries to be more clever than it needs to be. “Less than satisfying” come on. Also, how many of the reviewers actually read the book to make that comparison? I bet not a single one of them actually read the book. Not a single one.)

Poster – Fifty Sklogs of Grey (C+)

fifty_shades_of_grey_ver4

(Grey’s not my favorite tone to use for a poster, but what were they going to do? Better than keeping the colored tones of the people. Don’t like the text and the picture is photogenic, but not interesting or aesthetically pleasing. Could have been a C- if I was in a worse mood.)

Tagline(s) – Lose control (B+)

(Very odd. I wanted to give this a bad grade, but in reality it’s pretty good for fans of the book. Like it kinda represents both Anastasia and Christian’s characters in the book. She loses control, he loses control… just different types of control (internal vs. external). It’s as concise as possible and actually somewhat clever for the above reasons. Could have been a bit more informative for those that aren’t super familiar with the material, but otherwise pretty nice.)

Keyword(s) – female nudity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 92.3 Date Movie (2006); 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 88.5 House of the Dead (2003); 88.4 The Room (2003); 87.3 BloodRayne (2005); 84.4 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 84.3 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.2 Movie 43 (2013)83.3 Rollerball (2002);

(By the way, there are something like 60,000 films with the tag on IMDb. Thanks IMDb. And yet, it doesn’t have all of the films (like Batman & Robin is missing … because it is a film for children with no nudity). There are some loads of crap though right?)

Notes – Angelina Jolie was offered the chance to direct, but she declined.

Each cast member learned their lines in 5 days. (guffaw)

The first draft of the script by writer Kelly Marcel included way more sex and was much more sexually explicit than the final version. In fact, she wanted it to be NC-17, along with one of the film’s producers Dana Brunetti. However, Universal executives shot down any such plans and the script was considerably toned down both in the number of sex scenes and the explicitness of the sex by two subsequent re-writes. The studio would only approve an R rated film as they had bought the rights for $5 million dollars and with a budget of $40 million dollars, they did not want to turn away a large portion of their audience which would be the case if they released an NC-17 film. (classic)

Considered to be the second major motion picture based on fan-fiction. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) was the first. (whaaaaaaaa?)

The pool scene, in Dr. Grey’s mansion, the boat house is the same as the one used in Elektra (for some reason I really enjoy that)

In the Fifty Shades trilogy books, the phrase “my inner goddess” is mentioned 115 times by Anastasia’s inner monologue. This is how she often refers to herself – e.g. “my inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five-year old”. The movie does not mention or utilize Anastasia’s “inner goddess” at all. (thank God)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (The Weeknd, Belly, DaHeala, Stephan Moccio)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jamie Dornan)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Dakota Johnson)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Kelly Marcel)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Sam Taylor-Johnson)

Bless the Child Preview

Alright, well this week we made a terrible mistake. Not that we chose a bad film for our Horror/Thriller week (in fact it is the perfectly chosen Bless the Child starring a BMT favorite Kim Basinger), but the book is 550 pages long! Like super, duper long! It took me forever to read. I just finished it this afternoon in fact. Starting to get worried I might not have time to finish the next book on the docket (my life is pretty tough guys). But I can’t worry about that now. I gotta get to Bless the Child. Oddly, this was always in the back of my mind for BMT. Not just because it is one of the worst reviewed films in history, but also there was a time that I thought it might take place in Vermont for some portion of the film… which would have obviously trumped A Change of Seasons for mapl.de.map. Unfortunately, after doing some research I figured that it’s unlikely that Basinger’s character even makes it to Vermont… but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s go!

Bless the Child (2000) – BMeTric: 49.8 (Generated on December 12, 2017)

BlesstheChild_BMeT

BlesstheChild_RV

(I’m surprised at how high the BMeTric is given only 11 thousand votes. But then again, most films don’t get ten thousand votes I suppose. And a 5.0 rating is awful. Pretty consistent rating through time, which suggests it is just as bad as it was perceived at the time.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Basinger has raised her addict sister’s daughter to the age of six; when she shows signs of spiritual powers, the child is sought by millionaire Sewell, who’s involved in a series of child killings. Smits is the detective on the case. Religious horror thriller veers wildly from the promising to the ludicrous, and is never remotely convincing. Based on the novel by Cathy Cash Spellman.

(Ludicrous is the name of the game here at BMT. Why do you think he’s called LudiChris Klein? Glad we got a pretty poor rating from Leonard. Hard to keep trotting out films and have him let us down by giving them mediocre reviews.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM7wV9KCAwc

(Yeeeeesssssss, yeeeesssssssssss. The power. It feels good. That looks like straight dog poo and I love it. Some creepy practical effects on those demons, but let’s hope they end up being super silly when watching the film.)

Directors – Chuck Russell – (Known For: The Mask; The Scorpion King; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; The Blob; Future BMT: I Am Wrath; Eraser; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: Hasn’t made a film in more than a decade, but apparently has one in post right now. It’s called I Am Wrath, stars John Travolta, and I would be severely disappointed if it wasn’t a BMT film… more likely it doesn’t get a theatrical release.)

Writers – Cathy Cash Spellman (novel) – (BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: The writer of the book. I think this book was just buying hook-line-and-sinker into the weird satanist panic of the time. Otherwise I can’t find much about her.)

Thomas Rickman (screenplay) (as Tom Rickman) – (Known For: Coal Miner’s Daughter; Hooper; Everybody’s All-American; The Laughing Policeman; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: Won an Oscar for the screenplay for Coal Miner’s Daughter.)

Clifford Green and Ellen Green (screenplay) – (Known For: SpaceCamp; Future BMT: Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend; The Seventh Sign; Three Wishes; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: Married writing partners. Clifford is into space apparently (they wrote Space Camp after all), even agreeing to send his DNA into space as part of the Immortality Drive.)

Actors – Kim Basinger – (Known For: 8 Mile; The Nice Guys; Batman; L.A. Confidential; 9½ Weeks; Never Say Never Again; Cellular; The Natural; The Door in the Floor; Wayne’s World 2; Final Analysis; People I Know; Fool for Love; Nadine; Future BMT: Cool World; The Informers; My Stepmother Is an Alien; Ready to Wear; While She Was Out; The Getaway; The Real McCoy; Blind Date; The Sentinel; The Man Who Loved Women; Even Money; Third Person; Charlie St. Cloud; The 11th Hour; The Burning Plain; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Bless the Child; No Mercy; I Dreamed of Africa; The Marrying Man; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 1987 for Nine 1/2 Weeks; in 1992 for The Marrying Man; in 1993 for Cool World, and Final Analysis; in 1995 for The Getaway; and in 2001 for Bless the Child, and I Dreamed of Africa; Notes: A BMT hall of famer basically. I secretly love her. We managed to do back-to-back Basinger by accident here. She isn’t in Fifty Shades of Grey, but she’s in the sequel(s).)

Jimmy Smits – (Known For: Rogue One; Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith; The Jane Austen Book Club; Running Scared; Who We Are Now; My Family; Mother and Child; Old Gringo; Vital Signs; Future BMT: The Million Dollar Hotel; Switch; The Believers; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: I know him as the main antagonist in Dexter season 3. Which was the terrible season in the first four. After four it falls off a cliff anyways, so whatever.)

Rufus Sewell – (Known For: The Holiday; A Knight’s Tale; Hercules; The Illusionist; Dark City; Hamlet; Paris, je t’aime; Dangerous Beauty; Amazing Grace; Carrington; The Sea; Vinyan; Blinky Bill the Movie; Twenty-One; A Man of No Importance; Future BMT: Extreme Ops; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; The Legend of Zorro; The Tourist; All Things to All Men; I’ll Follow You Down; Downloading Nancy; Tristan + Isolde; Hotel Noir; The Very Thought of You; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Bless the Child; Notes: British, grew up in Twickenham which houses the big Rugby ground in London.)

Budget/Gross – $65 million / Domestic: $29,381,494 (Worldwide: $40,443,010)

(Clearly a bomb. The budget doesn’t even make much sense… where would $65 million go for a film like this?… Dear God! Please say to sadly misguided attempts at CGI in scenes that don’t need them (judging from the rats in the trailer, I would say yes). It is the 66th highest grossing Supernatural Horror right behind BMT film Ghost Ship (with the most ship) and future BMT The Fog.)

#147 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

blessthechild_rratedhorror

(The slow increase in audiences coming out for R-rated films maybe? You can kind of even see the uptick at the end which saw It just absolutely smashing it this year.)

#73 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

blessthechild_supernaturalhorror

(Blair Witch and The Sixth Sense blew the genre out of the water and since then the releases have been pouring in. Hasn’t hurt the per-theater take that much which is probably why they keep on making more and more.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (3/112)Bless the Child squanders its talented cast on a plot that’s more likely to inspire unintentional laughs than shivers.

(One of the worst reviewed films in history, given the number of reviews it garnered. I would say the phrase “talented cast” is being a bit generous from the get go. Unintentional laughs would be certainly welcome.)

Poster – Bless the Sklog (A)

bless_the_child

(I’m going to be perfectly honest, I really dig this poster. Look at it. Nice color contrast, good use of the shape of a cross, Basinger is portrayed prominently but in a clever way, and all the words are placed well in the frame. I like it.)

Tagline(s) – Mankind’s last hope just turned six. (B+)

(The tagline is kinda the definition of a tagline. It’s short and sweet, gives us some insight into the tension in the film, and holds some cleverness in the paradox it presents. “So why isn’t it an A+?” says everyone. It’s just so god damn cliche. I feel like I’ve seen this tagline a million times… still, can’t give it anything less than a B+ cause it is pretty much what we’re looking or here on Jamie’s Taglines and Such)

Keyword(s) – fbi; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.6 I Know Who Killed Me (2007)78.7 Torque (2004); 77.1 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002); 76.6 Taxi (I) (2004); 75.3 Death Note (2017); 73.6 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); 72.5 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 71.7 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 68.5 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 66.9 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009);

(Nice. A very cool variety there actually. Oh Big Momma, I am so glad you just smash it in this regard. None of the others (besides a rewatch of Ballistic) are really on our radar at the moment.)

Notes – The line, “The devil’s greatest trick was convincing man that he didn’t exist,” is reminiscent of a similar line in another movie of the same genre, End of Days (1999), in which Father Kotak (Rod Steiger) says: “Satan’s greatest trick was convincing man that he didn’t exist”. It is also similar to The Usual Suspects (1995), where the line is, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing man that he didn’t exist”. In fact, that idea goes back to Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867): “La plus belle des ruses du Diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas!” (English: “The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” (I’m always down for a bit of a literature lesson in the notes)

The bridge where the car “accident” takes place, is actually the Blue Water Bridge between Point Edward, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. It was being “twinned” at the time, so the whole bridge was closed down for repairs, and was available for uninterrupted filming. The scenery shots of New York City were then placed in the background, but people who grew up there, recognize the shores as being Point Edward and Port Huron, respectively, not New York City.

The subway station where the attack on Meg takes place is a “ghost” station on the Toronto subway that is used frequently as a stand in for New York City subways. The city’s film office wanted to leave it set up as a New York City station, but the Toronto Fire Department nixed that idea. The station is below the Bay station on the Bloor line, on the track connecting the Bloor and Yonge lines. At one time, trains went from one line to the other, thus the station, but the practice was discontinued because of switching problems. (There is also a “ghost” station beneath the Queen Street station. It was roughed in 1954 for a planned Queen Street subway which never was built.)

In the original script, a character is deliberately pushed off a subway platform. This had to be changed to an accidental fall before the Toronto Transit Commission would allow filming on its property.

When the candles in the cathedral ignite together, the camera pulls back and Maggie’s shirt can be seen blowing, as if the candles were in fact being blown out, and film was run backwards. (I do like things like this, the technical details of filmmaking)

“Ego fum papa” roughly translates as “I am the Pope”.

According to a March 1, 1999 Variety magazine article, in the script as originally written Cody was Maggie’s autistic granddaughter who was abandoned by her drug-addicted mother. Since Kim Basinger was the mother of a young daughter in real-life, she seemed too young to play a grandmother, so her character was changed to the child’s aunt. (Yup)

Based on the novel of the same name by Cathy Cash Spellman.

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Kim Basinger)

Queen of the Damned Preview

NOTE: This preview was generated on August 11, 2018. Much of the content was generated in May of 2014, but it has been edited and updated where appropriate.

The reason this preview was generate so long after the initial watch was because it came at special request from someone planning on watching this film for a Halloween double feature. The post introducing the double feature can be seen here. Cheers!

Queen of the Damned was followed by a direct-to-DVD sequel Vampires in Delaware where a family of vampires have a surprisingly fun and educational vacation in the great state of Delaware. They have loads of fun learning about DuPont Co’s origins as a manufacturer of gunpowder and the fact that they are vampires plays no role in the plot of the film. At least … I wish that was what happened. Let’s go!

Queen of the Damned (2002) – BMeTric: 55.0

QueenoftheDamned_BMeT

QueenoftheDamned_RV

(I find the rating shockingly low to be honest, and the dip between 2004 and 2007 is very strange indeed. Possibly because the people who would have been fans at the time took a while to get online? It is truly perplexing, a very odd rating/vote plot.)

Leonard Maltin –  2.5 starsVampire Lestat awakens after a long deep sleep and goes public in the world of rock music, where he seem to blend in perfectly! But his posturing angers the man who “made” him, intrigues a young woman who’s drawn to his world, and lines him up as the perfect mate for the queen of the undead (played by pop-music star Aaliyah, who died before the film’s release). Dopey but amusing. Based on one of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles novels.

(Wow, I’m not sure how something that’s dopey but amusing gets 2.5 stars when it’s supposed to be a supernatural horror-type film. Would seem to be an insult. That’s all I really have to say about this… so I’ll just make a quick remark about Leonard’s choice to use two descriptors for Lestat’s sleep. It was both long and deep? Glad I knew that before watching the film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gu9HtN05sc

(Well this is interesting for sure. I love Aaliyah’s “accent” and the effects look like trash. Both of these are exciting prospects from a BMT point of view. Still not totally sure what the plot is. Evil vampire rocker? Is that basically it? Sounds absurd.)

Directors – Michael Rymer – (Known For: Face to Face; Angel Baby; Future BMT: Perfume; In Too Deep; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: After completing film school at USC he attended a two-year acting school where he claims he learned more about filmmaking than in all his years studying at film schools.)

Writers – Anne Rice (novels) – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; The Young Messiah; Future BMT: Exit to Eden; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Rice distanced herself from the film, and has stated that she feels the filmmakers “mutilated” her work in adapting the novel.)

Scott Abbott (screenplay) – (BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Seemingly was a big-time TV Movie writer. Got his break to write this and then hasn’t really had any film credits since. He did, however, release a novel two years ago and wrote the Rosemary’s Baby TV miniseries adaption that airs tonight… seriously, it airs Sunday, May 11th, 2014.)

Michael Petroni (screenplay) – (Known For: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Book Thief; The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys; Future BMT: The Rite; Backtrack; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Started out as a comedian in Australia appearing on the show DAAS Kapital before moving to the United States to study screenwriting.)

Actors – Aaliyah – (BMT: Queen of the Damned; Romeo Must Die; Notes: This movie was released posthumously. She had also been cast and started filming for a major role in the two Matrix sequels. She was subsequently replaced by Nona Gaye and all her scenes that she had completed were reshot.)

Stuart Townsend – (Known For: Shade; Shooting Fish; Under the Skin; About Adam; Wonderland; Simon Magus; Future BMT: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Trapped; Chaos Theory; Head in the Clouds; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Æon Flux; Notes: Was originally cast as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but was replaced after a few days of shooting after realizing that he looked too young for the role.)

Marguerite Moreau – (Known For: Mighty Joe; Runaway Jury; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Wag the Dog; Easy; Caroline and Jackie; Easier with Practice; Douchebag; Future BMT: Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; D3: The Mighty Ducks; L!fe Happens; D2: The Mighty Ducks; The Mighty Ducks; Wet Hot American Summer; BMT: Queen of the Damned; Notes: Transitioned into television mostly after being a younger actor in The Mighty Ducks franchise. Now has been on both Wet Hot American Summer series for Netflix.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $30,336,800 (Worldwide: $45,479,110)

(Not the worst that is could have been, but by no means a winner. Especially when compared to Interview with a Vampire, which made over $200 million. I guess everyone’s hope that Stuart Townsend would be the next Tom Cruise would have to be tempered after this showing.)

#144 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

queenofthedamned_rratedhorror

(Right near Ghost Ship with the Most Ship! The lowest BMT (as of August 2018) is Alone in the Dark, and the highest is (sadly) I Know What You Did Last Summer. I find the dip a few years ago supremely weird. Everyone hates PG-13 horror, so I don’t really get it. The people who love horror films are 14-year-olds and they obvs want that R-rating that they can finally get into. Give it to them!)

#28 for the Vampire genre

queenofthedamned_vampire

(The only Vampire movie we’ve ever seen for BMT (and this was written in August of 2018, although mere weeks before we will have watched Vampire Academy, which is #44, thoroughly trounced by even this). Twilight is obviously the highlight here. These things really did just boom with Twilight and then *poof* … disappeared like a vampire in the daytime (in some interpretations of vampires).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (22/130): A muddled and campy MTV-styled vampire movie with lots of eye candy and bad accents.

(MTV-styled vampires? Doesn’t it tell you how times have changed that just 6 short years later Twilight came out and no one even thought to call them MTV-styled. Also, I can only assume the “bad accent” refers to Aaliyah’s accent of mysterious origin. It will be fantastic.)

Poster – Queen of the Sklogs (C+)

queen_of_the_damned

(Things I liked about this poster: The color scheme, and Aaliyah in general. Things I didn’t like in this poster: Stuart Townsend looks like crap and is creeping all up on my girl Aaliyah, and the font used on the poster is garbage (although perhaps it is just the smokey smudging). My initial impression was that it was much better than I expected, but I ended up downgrading it a couple of times as I stared at it. But above average I think.)

Tagline(s) – The Mother Of All Vampires (B+)

(I kind of like the play on words, but I kind of hate how pop-y it sounds. As they say, a little MTV-vampire for me in the end. But clever enough that I think it deserves a top grade)

Keyword(s) – vampire; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.9 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.5 BloodRayne (2005); 81.7 Ultraviolet (2006); 78.0 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 69.1 Stan Helsing (2009); 69.0 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 68.1 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 63.7 Dracula 2001 (2000); 63.6 Dudley Do-Right (1999);

(The Twilight Saga is definitely interesting, since I’ve actually seen all of them, just outside of BMT. I’m actually not sure why I would do that … they are obviously BMT material. At least one of them will qualify and drag the series into things.)

Notes – The singing voice of Lestat was supplied by Jonathan Davis of Korn. However due to contractual difficulties, Davis could not sing on the soundtrack album release. The five songs written by he and Richard Gibbs for the movie were then performed on the album by Marilyn Manson, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, David Draiman of Disturbed, Wayne Static of Static-X and Jay Gordon of Orgy. Davis was still allowed to play several instruments on the album. (Whaaaa, contractual difficulties … what could that mean? To not be able to get Korn to sing on a soundtrack release.)

Aaliyah died in a plane crash shortly after principal photography was completed but had not yet actually performed any ADR redubbing for her character. Michael Rymer called in Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, to help with overdubbing her voice following her death due to their similar voices, special vocal technology was also used to make his voice sound more feminine. (That is kind of sad, but also interesting they were able to use the brother’s voice. I wouldn’t have thought that would work very well).

Aaliyah was the first actor to be cast for the film. She was enthusiastic about taking the role due to her fascination with Egyptian mythology and also being a huge fan of vampire horror fiction.

For the scenes of Lestat’s concert in Death Valley, over 3000 goths were recruited from Melbourne nightclubs and on the internet, then driven on a fleet of buses to a quarry in Werribee to act as extras. (Imagine how much you would regret ruining your rave night out during hour two of sitting in a Quarry with nothing to do)

Stuart Townsend shares his name with a character from another Anne Rice novel, “The Witching Hour”. Upon meeting Townsend, Rice handed him a copy of the book and instructed him to turn to a certain page number, whereupon was written “The Life of Stuart Townsend”. Townsend was flattered that she had written him into her new book, until she told him that she had written it eleven years prior. (Haaaaa)

Author of the novel Anne Rice considers this to be a terrible disappointment for her and for many of the readers as she believed it mutilated her own work. (Well, that’s what you get about 50% of the time when you option your work, so …)

Warner Bros. was already into its last year of owning motion picture rights to the first three Vampire Chronicles books which would then have transferred back to author ‘Anne Rice’, who could then sell the rights to another company of her choosing. Knowing what little time they had left, despite the fact they’ve had the rights and opportunity to make the latter two movies for over seven years, Warner Bros. hastily hired writers to condense the books “The Vampire Lestat” and “Queen of the Damned” into one movie with the latter being the movie title. (Yeah basically, pretty dumb idea honestly, but when you got to Wheel-of-Time-the-television-show something, you got to do it I guess)

On the casting of Stuart Townsend as Lestat, Anne Rice stated “Everything I hear about the movie is good. Warner Bros. is extremely enthusiastic. They are working very hard to make it perfect. I have no real news. Let me repeat what I mentioned in a recent message. I met Stuart Townsend, the young man who is playing Lestat and he was absolutely charming. He had Lestat’s excellent speaking voice and his feline grace. I cannot wait to see him in the film”.

Stuart Townsend took the role of Lestat after originally being cast as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) but was recast with Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting because the filmmakers realized he was too young for the role. (uh …. Yeah, which is why I kind of don’t believe the story. Makes no sense)

The architecture of Aunt Maharet’s house is based upon Angkor Wat, the stone temple located in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The film was a subject of controversy due to inspiring a real life murder shortly after the film’s theatrical release. In December 2002, Allan Menzies from West Lothian in Scotland murdered one of his friends. He claimed in court that it was Aaliyah’s character “Queen Akasha” from the film that told him to do it. (Say whaaaaaa)

Josh Hartnett, Heath Ledger, and Wes Bently were all considered to replace Tom Cruise as Lestat after he declined to reprise his role. (Harnett would have been cool)

The fact that the night club “The Admiral’s Arms” was a vampire bar “in the meat packing district” of London is an homage to the night club “Mother” which was a vampyre bar located in the meat packing district of New York City. (Is it though? … IMDb users can sometimes read a bit too much into things)

Wes Bentley was originally cast as Lestat, but he dropped out.

Singer Aimee Nash of “The Black Ryder” duo had a cameo as a vampire singer in the “Admiral’s Arms” vampire nightclub although the majority of her footage was deleted (she is still visible in the background of the nightclub scene).

Queen Akasha never actually attacks anyone by biting their neck. She either sets them on fire, rips their heart out, or bites another area of their body. (Fun facts!)

Paycheck Preview

Generated on: 2019-11-27

Paycheck (2003) – BMeTric: 24.2; Notability: 61

PaycheckIMDb_BMeT

PaycheckIMDb_RV

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Paycheck” begins with a thought-provoking idea from Philip K. Dick, exploits it for its action and plot potential, but never really develops it. By the end, the film seems to have lost enthusiasm for itself and should be scored with “Is That All There Is?” It’s like an assembly of off-the-shelf parts from techno-thrillers: the vast laboratory, the cold-blooded billionaire industrialist, the hero in a situation that he doesn’t understand, the professional security men who line up to get bumped off by the amateur computer nerd. Because the director is John Woo, we expect a chase and a martial-arts sequence, and we get them, but they’re strangely detached; they feel like exercises, not exuberations.

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=284kahCx42s/

Directors – John Woo – (Known For: Face/Off; Mission: Impossible II; Hard Target; Broken Arrow; The Killer; Red Cliff; Hard Boiled; Zhui bu; Ying hung boon sik; Dip huet gai tau; Jian yu; Ying hung boon sik II; Chung hang sei hoi; Future BMT: Windtalkers; BMT: Paycheck;)

Writers – Philip K. Dick (short story) – (Known For: Blade Runner 2049; Blade Runner; Total Recall; Minority Report; The Adjustment Bureau; A Scanner Darkly; Naechureol siti; Future BMT: Next; Impostor; Screamers; Radio Free Albemuth; BMT: Paycheck;)

Dean Georgaris (screenplay) – (Known For: The Meg; The Manchurian Candidate; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Tristan + Isolde; BMT: Paycheck;)

Actors – Ben Affleck – (Known For: Justice League; Gone Girl; Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; The Town; Triple Frontier; Good Will Hunting; Dazed and Confused; The Accountant; Argo; He’s Just Not That Into You; Shakespeare in Love; State of Play; Dogma; The Sum of All Fears; Daredevil; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Field of Dreams; School Ties; Mallrats; Chasing Amy; Future BMT: Surviving Christmas; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Reindeer Games; Suicide Squad; Man About Town; Pearl Harbor; The Third Wheel; 200 Cigarettes; Live by Night; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Smokin’ Aces; BMT: Gigli; Runner Runner; Phantoms; Paycheck; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2004 for Daredevil, Gigli, and Paycheck; Winner for Worst Screen Combo for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2017; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Gigli in 2004; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2005 for Jersey Girl, and Surviving Christmas; and in 2017 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Daredevil, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Paycheck, Pearl Harbor, and Surviving Christmas; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; and in 2005 for Jersey Girl;)

Aaron Eckhart – (Known For: Midway; The Dark Knight; Olympus Has Fallen; Erin Brockovich; Sully: Miracle on the Hudson; The Missing; Thank You for Smoking; No Reservations; Any Given Sunday; Bleed for This; The Core; The Pledge; Rabbit Hole; Conversations with Other Women; In the Company of Men; Possession; Nothing Is Private; Nurse Betty; Your Friends & Neighbors; Future BMT: The Black Dahlia; Incarnate; Love Happens; Suspect Zero; Erased; Bill; Molly; Neverwas; BMT: The Wicker Man; I, Frankenstein; Battle Los Angeles; London Has Fallen; Paycheck;)

Uma Thurman – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Nymphomaniac: Vol. I; The House That Jack Built; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Gattaca; Dangerous Liaisons; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; Beautiful Girls; The Producers; Down a Dark Hall; Henry & June; Les Misérables; My Super Ex-Girlfriend; Prime; Mad Dog and Glory; Final Analysis; Sweet and Lowdown; Future BMT: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; Johnny Be Good; Bel Ami; The Con Is On; Motherhood; The Accidental Husband; Chelsea Walls; Jennifer Eight; The Life Before Her Eyes; Burnt; Vatel; BMT: Batman & Robin; The Avengers; Movie 43; Be Cool; Playing for Keeps; Paycheck; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for The Avengers in 1999; Nominee for Worst Actress for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Batman & Robin in 1998;)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $53,790,451 (Worldwide: $96,269,812)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (42/156)Though Dick’s short story has an intriguing premise, Woo reduces it to a lot of meaningless chases, shoot-outs, and explosions.

Poster – Sklogcheck

paycheck

Tagline(s) – Everything’s Under control

Keyword – evil corporation;

Paycheck_evil corporation

Top 10: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), Logan (2017), Ready Player One (2018), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), Escape Room (2019), Ghost in the Shell (2017), Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018), District 9 (2009), Rampage (2018), The Island (2005);

Future BMT: 54.7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 51.7 Tank Girl (1995), 47.3 Pootie Tang (2001), 47.1 Clockstoppers (2002), 46.4 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), 33.3 Saw VI (2009), 32.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), 26.9 Antitrust (2001), 24.1 Repo Men (2010), 14.7 Resident Evil (2002);

BMT: Assassin’s Creed (2016), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Max Payne (2008), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Paycheck (2003), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Fire Down Below (1997)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ben Affleck is No. 1 billed in Paycheck and No. 1 billed in Gigli, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 7 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 7 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 14. If we were to watch Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 7.

Notes – Jennings (Ben Affleck) was supposed to be a New York Mets fan (or Yankees, sources differ), but Affleck, a Boston Red Sox fan, persuaded Director John Woo to change the team to the Red Sox.

In the original story (“Paycheck” by Philip K. Dick) Jennings sends to himself very different items, and there were only seven of them. They were: “A code key. A ticket stub. A parcel receipt. A length of fine wire. Half a poker chip, broken across. A green strip of cloth. A bus token.”

John Woo originally did not want to do his trademark “Mexican Standoff” in this film, but Ben Affleck begged Woo to include the scene, having been a big fan of Woo’s films The Killer (1989) and Hard Boiled (1992).

Matt Damon was originally considered for the part of Michael Jennings, but turned it down, because it was too similar to The Bourne Identity (2002).

Michael C. Hall’s feature film debut.

Just before Michael starts his second project, he comments on the Red Sox making the World Series. Although this film was released in 2003, it is set in 2004, and accurately predicts the Red Sox making the World Series, although it incorrectly predicts that they would lose.

Among the alternate features in the DVD, is the final, wherein after Michael and Rachel get away, they pass by a pawn shop, and Michael sees the ring that the kid took off him on the bus. He gets it, and gives it to Rachel.

This was Ben Affleck’s biggest paycheck to date, earning him approximately fifteen million dollars.

In the DVD special feature about the film’s stunts, Stunt Coordinator Gregg Smrz explains that in a chase-scene crash between a car and a big rig truck, the truck was actually towing the car by use of a cable system that the special effects department fabricated. One of the chains connecting the two vehicles is noticeable during this crash sequence in the film.

In the “Making of” featurette on the DVD, John Woo says that the visual similarities in the lead character to Roger Thornhill from Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959), as well as similarities in chase scenes, et cetera, are there on purpose.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Ben Affleck, 2004)