Grown Ups Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. For this inductee we went looking for a bad movie for the people. A bad movie that the whole family could enjoy. And maybe, we’ll also get an extended commercial for KFC, or Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Hooters thrown in for good measure! That’s right, we are rewatching Grown Ups 2. The first Sandler inductee, and honestly very likely the only one. Just consider this a lifetime achievement award for his work in the 2000s. This is the updated preview for the original Grown ups. There will also be a review for the sequel and then the Hall of Fame Speech will follow to explain why we think Grown Ups 2 is Hall of Fame worthy.

Generated on: 2020-01-09

Grown Ups (2010) – BMeTric: 37.6; Notability: 39 

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(A shade under 6.0 is right where I would have expected it to be. This film seems to be beloved by people who were relatively young when it came out. It was on Netflix for years so it was probably on repeat in some households.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The direction by Dennis Dugan never overcomes the ungainly size of the cast. It’s such a challenge to keep all the characters alive that he sometimes does round-robins of reaction shots — a fatal strategy when it comes to timing. Some of the dialogue is broken down into one-shots; some of the characters spend stretches merely responding. It’s all, as I said, pleasant and good-natured, but it feels too much as if all these nice people are trying to keep the conversation going. A comedy it is, but “The Hangover” or “Death at a Funeral” (2007) it isn’t.

(Round-robin of reaction shots is exactly how I would have described this film. I completely agree with this review. It is a bizarre film involving legitimately good friends ripping on each other. I find it a bit distressing if I’m being honest.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZMyY0WuwyY/

(There is something very odd about Rob Schneider’s character in this movie. Like … did he ask to do a character? Everyone else if effectively playing themselves, or at least can dress like a normal person during the film. But he is wearing like a wig and a poncho the entire time and has an old lady wife? What a bizarre choice.)

Directors – Dennis Dugan – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Brain Donors; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Problem Child; Beverly Hills Ninja; National Security; Saving Silverman; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Grown Ups 2; The Benchwarmers; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2012 for Jack and Jill, and Just Go with It; and Nominee for Worst Director in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Notes: His ex-wife Joyce Van Patten plays the wife of Rob Schneider’s character in the film. Van Patten is 11 years older than Dugan.)

Writers – Adam Sandler (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; Future BMT: Little Nicky; The Week Of; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Sandy Wexler; Eight Crazy Nights; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; The Ridiculous 6; Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Notes: He wrote the upcoming Hubie Halloween, which honestly sounds like Ernest Scared Stupid, but starring Adam Sandler.)

Fred Wolf (written by) – (Known For: I Want Candy; Future BMT: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Without a Paddle; Joe Dirt; Black Sheep; Dirty Work; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Grown Ups; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: Was the head writer for SNL, and a director as well. He directed the BMT classic Strange Wilderness.)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Uncut Gems; Murder Mystery; The Meyerowitz Stories; The Wedding Singer; Happy Gilmore; 50 First Dates; Punch-Drunk Love; Spanglish; Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation; Hotel Transylvania; Billy Madison; Anger Management; Funny People; Hotel Transylvania 2; Reign Over Me; Top Five; Future BMT: The Animal; Little Nicky; Coneheads; The Week Of; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Sandy Wexler; Eight Crazy Nights; Mr. Deeds; The Do-Over; The Cobbler; Bulletproof; Mixed Nuts; Bedtime Stories; The Waterboy; Airheads; Shakes the Clown; Click; Big Daddy; The Longest Yard; Dirty Work; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Jack and Jill; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; Zookeeper; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; Notes: Famously threatened to make his worst movie yet if he didn’t get an Oscar nomination for his work in Uncut Gems. He didn’t get that nomination. And thus the countdown begins.)

Adam Sandler Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; and in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for The Cobbler in 2016; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy;

Salma Hayek – (Known For: From Dusk Till Dawn; The Hitman’s Bodyguard; Savages; Sausage Party; The Faculty; Here Comes the Boom; The Hummingbird Project; Traffic; Dogma; Desperado; Across the Universe; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; How to Be a Latin Lover; Frida; Tale of Tales; Muppets Most Wanted; Puss in Boots; The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!; Bandidas; Future BMT: Everly; Fled; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Lessons in Love; 54; Fools Rush In; Ask the Dust; After the Sunset; The Velocity of Gary; Septembers of Shiraz; La chispa de la vida; Four Rooms; BMT: Wild Wild West; Fair Game; Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2000 for Dogma, and Wild Wild West; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Notes: He is going to star as Ajak in the upcoming Marvel’s The Eternals.)

Kevin James – (Known For: 50 First Dates; Hitch; Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation; Hotel Transylvania; Here Comes the Boom; Hotel Transylvania 2; Monster House; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Sandy Wexler; Barnyard; True Memoirs of an International Assassin; BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Zookeeper; Pinocchio; The Dilemma; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 in 2016; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2016 for Pixels; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2008; Notes: There is an upcoming AMC show called Kevin can F— Himself, which is a play off of Kevin Can Wait, the comedy by Kevin James where they fired his sitcom wife in order to pair him up with Leah Remini again a la King of Queens.)

Budget/Gross – $80,000,000 / Domestic: $162,001,186 (Worldwide: $271,430,189)

(An absolute smash hit. Sandler was really flexing his comedy muscles with this one. This film felt a bit self-indulgent. It wouldn’t be until the second one where they really saw how little they could do (from a comedy standpoint) and still knock a hit out of the park.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (16/166): Grown Ups’ cast of comedy vets is amiable, but they’re let down by flat direction and the scattershot, lowbrow humor of a stunted script.

(Wow, that is a brutal critical reception. I’m surprised it is that low. Again, this film feels self-indulgent in that there is little effort being done, but it also kind of just feels like The Great Outdoors for another generation. Some comedy vets doing a little holiday hijinx. I’m genuinely shocked critics rebelled so clearly. Reviewer Highlight: Feels like the work of people who sat around a table for an hour or so tossing around hackneyed comic notions, then decided to slap them onto the screen and hope for the best. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklog Ups (A) 

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(I … kind of love this poster. What does it tell us? These guys are all friends, it is the summer, they are older guys reliving the past maybe doing stuff they did as kids, and it has a boatload of famous comedians. That is all I need. It isn’t all white, it isn’t a bunch of faces staring at you … why is this poster so good?)

Tagline(s) – Boys will be boys… some longer than others. (A)

(I also like this tagline! WTF. It takes a classic phrase, and introduces the twist that tells us these are adults who are going to be acting like children during this film. Short and sweet. They put more work into the poster and tagline than they did into the script for this film.)

Keyword – fourth of july

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Top 10: It (2017), Zodiac (2007), We’re the Millers (2013), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Grown Ups (2010), Steel Magnolias (1989), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Cape Fear (1991), Independence Day (1996), Hannibal (2001)

Future BMT: 57.7 The Next Best Thing (2000), 55.9 The Stepford Wives (2004), 55.7 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), 49.3 Lottery Ticket (2010), 38.2 Chasers (1994), 34.1 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009), 34.0 Mad Money (2008), 30.3 Amelia (2009), 24.2 Blown Away (1994), 18.1 Gung Ho (1986);

BMT: Grown Ups (2010), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Jonah Hex (2010), Safe Haven (2013), Tammy (2014), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Georgia Rule (2007), Here on Earth (2000)

(I love holiday films. I’m a bit skeptical of a few of these, like Mad Money, but I’m also pretty impressed about the number we have seen. It seems like maybe Fourth of July has become less of a temporal setting recently. Maybe because it is cheesy and expensive? Hard to tell if it is a real trend.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 1 billed in Grown Ups and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Maya Rudolph really was pregnant with her second child during filming of this movie.

After the movie premiered, Adam Sandler bought each of his fellow cast members (Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, and David Spade) a brand new Maserati. Rock appreciated the gift but said it made him feel like “Adam Sandler’s bitch”. (hahaha)

Adam Sandler wrote and was set to release this movie in the mid 1990s, with Chris Farley in the Kevin James role. Farley’s death in 1997 halted production plans, and the film was shelved for more than a decade. (Naw it is better when you can have all of the characters have reasonably old children)

Kevin James’ character, Eric Lamonsoff, was also mentioned in another Adam Sandler movie; The Wedding Singer (1998), as a neighbor of Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) during the scene where Robbie and Julia are negotiating prices for wedding pictures.

Studio executives were not enthused with reports that Salma Hayek would be cast in the film, and in a meeting suggested to Adam Sandler that they continue looking until they could get a “less ethnic” actress in the part. Sandler then told them he’d already offered Hayek the role and she’d accepted, adding that he would not consider re-casting the part and warned them not to bring the subject up again. (That’s pretty racist)

The “flashback” basketball game was filmed at the Huntington Avenue YMCA in Boston. It was filmed on a ninety-five-degree day in a gym with no air conditioning, and all of the extras in the stands were dressed in polyester. Adam Sandler was on-set with Dennis Dugan, and they both guided the team and the cheerleaders during the fifteen-hour shoot.

An early scene where the five male leads all sit in chairs outside the lakehouse in sunshine was actually extremely cold. External heaters were placed out of shot so the actors, who were all dressed in t-shirts and shorts, could warm themselves in between takes.

Adam Sandler’s wife Jackie makes an appearance in the movie when the guys are playing basketball near the end. She plays Tardio’s (Richie Minervini’s) wife. Their two daughters are the real daughters of Adam and Jackie Sandler. (She’s in the sequel as well)

The lake rope swing scene was added at the last second during filming. Adam Sandler told the story of how it happened to him and it was decided to include the scene in the movie. It was then decided it would be funnier if it happened to Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James).

Despite the rather idyllic summer setting at the lakehouse in Massachusetts, at some point, it rained every day during production. (Is it supposed to be Massachusetts? Is it really? I really seems to me like it should be New Hampshire, but elsewhere it suggests it is in Connecticut like in the second film)

The zipline ride seen in the waterpark sequence is a fictional creation. Health and safety regulations would never allow customers to fly over concrete. (You fucking think?)

Adam Sandler wears a different New England area college shirt or hat in nearly every scene. The colleges that Sandler can be spotted wearing are University of Connecticut (hat), University of Massachusetts (t-shirt), Harvard (t-shirt) with a University of New Hampshire t-shirt, University of Rhode Island (hat), Vermont hockey, and Boston University (sweatshirt). He is also seen wearing a Whalers Hockey t-shirt.

Director Dennis Dugan directed his ex-wife Joyce Van Patten in this movie. Just like depicted in her character Gloria’s relationship with Rob Schneider, also Van Patten is older than Dugan. Though, their age difference (eleven years) is not quite as significant as that of the movie characters.

“Water Wizz”, the water park from the film was also featured in Maya Rudolph’s other film The Way, Way Back (2013).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Rob Schneider, 2011)

Conan the Barbarian (2011) Quiz

You have battled and fought and made your body lean and sinewy, ready to cleave your enemies in two with your razor sharp sword. There is only one thing else to do, Crom demands it … it’s quiz time.

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

  1. In the beginning of the film Conan’s father sends the youths of the camp off to compete for a spot in the hunt. What is the competition?
  2. What’s more important in forging a blade, fire? Or ice?
  3. The day of his father’s death left indelible scars on Conan’s soul. But it also left slightly less metaphorical scars on his body (something he then shows to the eeeeeevil Khalar Zym to prove he was the boy destined to kill him, how convenient …). What injury was inflicted onto Conan on that fateful day?
  4. Conan frees the thief Ela-Shan from slavery, befriending him for life (convenient, perhaps his lockpicking skills will be vitally important for the climax of this film …). But why did Conan allow himself to be enslaved in the first place?
  5. Straight up … what is the plot of this film? Who is Khalar Zym, what is he looking for, and why is he looking for it?

Answers

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale 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 first 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!

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) – BMeTric: 85.7

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(Wow that started low. The way this is fading makes me wonder how much actual legs this has in the end, but there is a reason this is one of the worst reviewed films on IMDb. Other than that not much else to say, classic legendary bad movie.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Reluctant warrior Statham joins forces with a brave king (Reynolds) to battle a treacherous usurper (Lillard) and a wicked wizard (Liotta). Another video-game-inspired fiasco from the unfortunately prolific Boll. Even with a bigger budget and better actors than usual, this is a plodding patchwork of haphazardly edited action sequences. Alternate version runs 162 min.

(I will likely try and watch the (gulp) three hour cut. Jamie owns it, although on Blu-Ray I think. Regardless that cut it likely happening and I will not enjoy. Deep burn on Uwe, but that is expected since Uwe is a terrible filmmaker who has been openly ridiculed by critics for years.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Um98FZei8

(You can kind of see the ridiculousness of the fight scenes in this film from the trailer. And you can kind of see how ridiculous everyone’s costumes are. But they keep this generic-fantasy for now. Smart.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: Alone in the Dark; House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominated for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: Well known for spitting out tons of schlock. Was a critic in the 80s and seems to revel in bad reviews. He challenged a number of critics to a boxing match and won all of the matches as chronicled in Raging Boll)

Writers – Doug Taylor (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Splice; A Christmas Horror Story; They Wait; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in 2009; Notes: Canadian. He had a few interesting articles written about how he still lived in Montreal, even while working on promoting a big project like Splice. I don’t know what he’s precisely up to know, but it is an interesting glimpse into a screenwriters world. The number of projects he was working on was noted as “head-spinning” and yet he only has had four credited screenwriting jobs result in a theater release. It sounds nuts.)

Jason Rappaport and Dan Stroncak (story) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: I don’t think these guys are necessarily writing partners, but there is no info on them. I think they probably work for Uwe Boll’s production company? Would make sense to have Taylor write the script, and then have some of your own guys help with whatever Uwe wants in there.)

Chris Taylor (video game “Dungeon Siege”) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Just the video game guy. Was named the 30th most influential developer of all time in 2002. Left his company in 2016 to work on indie games)

Actors – Jason Statham – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; Snatch; Spy; Furious 6; The Italian Job; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Collateral; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Parker; Homefront; The Mechanic; The Transporter; Death Race; The Bank Job; Hummingbird; Transporter 2; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Wild Card; The One; Transporter 3; 13; Turn It Up; Killer Elite; Revolver; Mean Machine; London; BMT: Crank; Crank: High Voltage; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Ghosts of Mars; Mechanic: Resurrection; The Expendables 3; Notes: An all-star of BMT naturally. I’ve also heard great things about him over the years. Mainly that he’s hilarious and has a magnetic personality. Makes sense.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Drive; Hellboy; The Bleeder; Tangled; Alien Resurrection; Blade II; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; Kid Cannabis; Poker Night; La guerre du feu; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Conan the Barbarian; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Season of the Witch; Notes: We should watch Ice Pirates. Ron Perlman is probably most well known now for either Sons of Anarchy or Hellboy, but he’s been in a bunch of stuff obviously. Was in Del Toro’s debut Chronos in 1993 which lead to a life-long friendship.)

Ray Liotta – (Known For: Goodfellas; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Identity; Killing Them Softly; Bee Movie; Date Night; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; Heartbreakers; Youth in Revolt; Muppets Most Wanted; Narc; Something Wild; Unlawful Entry; Battle in Seattle; Observe and Report; Future BMT: Turbulence; The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Even Money; Powder Blue; Revolver; Better Living Through Chemistry; The Lonely Lady; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; Unforgettable; Slow Burn; Smokin’ Aces; Corrina, Corrina; Hannibal; Crossing Over; Pilgrim; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Wild Hogs; Notes: He is most well known for looking like he is wearing a Halloween mask of himself. Joking, but this is the first movie I watched where I was like Liotta looks a little odd these days. Hugely famous, mainly for Goodfellas, he still gets decent enough jobs. Definitely an interesting career.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $4,775,656 (Worldwide: $13,097,915)

(So, Uwe Boll had a decent racket going for a while. The way it works is detailed here, but here’s the short version: if you are a German citizen looking for a tax shelter you can set up a shell company, “finance a film” for millions of euros (immediately tax deductible), and then lease back the rights to a Hollywood studio for almost the entire amount saving millions in taxes. The key is having a German director to direct … wait a minute I know a German director by the name of Uwe! I think they closed that loophole, it is the only explanation as to why Uwe isn’t still churning out trash. This is also the definition of “sweet IP”: video games no one else wanted to make into movies … so sell it to Uwe.)

#106 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(A genre of the 2000s. Just about at the nadir of the genre though. Below Troll from 1986, and paired up with Seeker the Dark of Rising (twin film) for bringing down the gross for a time. Has held mostly steady since, but the new Harry Potters could help it along the way.)

#32 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(Literally the lowest grossing example released to more than 4 theaters! There isn’t much to the graphic except that it is small and kind of consistently made over the years. Hopefully the disaster that was Warcraft doesn’t handicap the genre too much going forward.)

#34 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This guy basically sits … well around other Uwe films. Not that many video game adaptation are super successful. They are coming hot and quick now though, so we’ll see if they can cross that $100 million threshold consistently.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/50): Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.

(Sick burns … although true. The film looks like a few episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers strung together. Considering it is through and through a German production … that might actually not be a bad analogy.)

Poster – In the Name of the Sklog: A Dungeon Sklog Tale (C+)

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(I like the color, but not much else. I can kind of give it credit for being in that high-fantasy mold. It is shockingly similar to some of the artwork for Lord of the Rings. But too much going on and not enough done with the font. I’m giving it a C+ for at least being derivative of something good, but most of the deduction is for being cheap looking to boot.)

Tagline(s) – Rise and fight (C+)

(I’ll give it credit for being short and sweet and fantasy-epic-esque. Doesn’t tell you anything, and is boring though, so I mark most of the credit off. Sorry Uwe.)

Keyword(s) – farmer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 69.8 Year One (2009); 58.0 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 57.7 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 49.3 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.0 Jeepers Creepers II (2003); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 43.7 The Giant Spider Invasion (1975); 43.7 Priest (2011);

(We will never watch Piranha 3DD, but Priest is going to happen. Farmer is prooooobably pushing it, although The Seeker and Seventh Son did genuinely have farmers in it … and the main character of this is literally “Farmer”.)

Notes – Kevin Smith and Juliette Lewis were filming Catch and Release (2006) on an adjoining set, and came to visit this set. Burt Reynolds saw them steal two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. (I believe it, but Burt Reynolds throughout these notes sounds ridiculous).

Script development took over a year. In the end, Doug Taylor re-wrote eighty percent of the script, because the original story was considered too reminiscent of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. (Amazing, what could the storyline have even been?)

Production of the computer graphics imagery in the movie was convoluted and problematic. Uwe Boll claims he had to fire several different CGI providers, who outsourced their jobs to lower-quality providers, who worked for less money. (Yup, this is why graphics in movies causes so much trouble, bullshit like this)

The “medicine” Merick gives Farmer was actually tea mixed with ketchup. Uwe Boll purposely concocted the mixture to get a disgusted reaction from Jason Statham.

During production, Uwe Boll sponsored a charity visit to the set. Guests got to see behind-the-scenes work, and proceeds were donated to a children’s hospital. Reportedly, Ray Liotta was extremely upset by it. In future interviews, he talked about how “crazy” Boll was for allowing so many spectators onto the set.

Siu-Tung Ching’s salary was higher than Uwe Boll’s. (HA!)

Jason Statham filmed many of his action scenes while nursing an injured tendon in his foot. He is noticeably impaired while running.

John Gajdecki had trouble filming many visual effects shots, especially scenes with outdoor “greenscreens”. Jan Kruse left the project, due to conflict with Gajdecki, who was eventually fired, and replaced by Doug Oddy. (These notes are ridiculous)

Some of the Krug costumes cost over ten thousand dollars each to produce. (Not a great idea)

Uwe Boll considered releasing the original cut of the film in two installments because of its length. Instead, it was edited into a theatrical release, and the Director’s Cut was released on DVD. (Smart …)

While filming an outdoor fight scene, Burt Reynolds grew overheated in his armored costume, became unconscious, and fell from the platform, on which the duel was being filmed. Reynolds claims this was the only time in his career that he had to miss a day of filming, due to sickness or injury.

Kevin Costner was offered the lead role. Uwe Boll claims Costner wasn’t interested in filming a large-scale action film, and instead offered Boll the opportunity to direct the project he was working on at the time, Mr. Brooks (2007). Boll turned it down. (WHAT, why would anyone offer Boll to director anyone?)

Claire Forlani was the last major performer to be cast. Her role had been previously offered to Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel. (Who probably just laughed into the phone for half a minute)

Though Siu-Tung Ching was the action Director, Uwe Boll personally choreographed the scene featuring Jason Statham and Ron Perlman fighting the Krug in the barn. (The one where it literally looks like Puttys from Power Rangers I think)

A day of filming was lost due to heavy fog. Some of the forest terrain and mountaintops could only be accessed via helicopter, and on a particular foggy day, Uwe Boll and part of his crew were literally stranded on a mountain for over two hours, because the helicopter wouldn’t take off.

Burt Reynolds extensively re-wrote and edited the dialogue for his death scene, creating friction with Script Supervisor Ingrid Kenning. Reynolds had never played a character who died in a film, and was adamant that the scene be something special.

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Doug Taylor)

Battlefield Earth Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to 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 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the last in the series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies (coming soon!). 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!

Battlefield Earth (2000) – BMeTric: 87.7

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(The. Consistency. Maybe the number one reason this Hall of Fame has been a resounding success for BMT is seeing this trend come to life. A film gaining tens of thousands of votes and the rating not moving an inch? Incredible. Think about it, a three on IMDb would raise the rating. The people who watch this film and rate it on IMDb pretty much give it a one every time. Ridiculous. Naturally one of the highest BMeTrics ever, and for a reason. )

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Psychlos (business-minded aliens) conquered Earth a century ago; what remains of humanity are slaves or ignorant savages. Gold-greedy Psychlo security chief Travolta educates bright human Pepper, hoping “man animals” can mine the metal for him. Big mistake … So is the movie, based on the novel by L. Ron Hubbard. Clumsy plot, misplaced satire, unbelievable coincidences and a leaden pace trample Travolta’s weird but amusing performance.

(Is he wrong about the year? They conquered Earth a thousand years ago (it is the saga of the year 3000 after all). I love weird by amusing performances, and yeah, this is a bomb. Strange the direction isn’t mentioned in the long list of issues with the film.)

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

(Short and sweet is what that always say I guess. It just teases the insanity that is Travolta’s performance. Just a taste. And the CGI looks straight garbage in this as well, so it has that going for it)

Directors – Roger Christian – (Known For: Nostradamus; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Stranded; Masterminds; Notes:  Prominent art director having won an Oscar for his work on Star Wars and nominated for his work on Alien. Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Director for Battlefield Earth. I nearly had a heart attack seeing that he directed a film called “Masterminds” and mistaking it for the 2016 release of the same name. Thought he was back with a major release.)

Writers – Corey Mandell (screenplay) – (BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screenplay for Battlefield Earth; He works at UCLA now, you can see the cred on his website http://coreymandell.net/. Given Shapiro’s story about production it is basically a guarantee that he is a scientologist and chosen for the project merely because we went to a meeting and mentioned he was a playwright to … someone. Anyone really as far as I can tell.)

J.D. Shapiro (screenplay) – (Known For: Robin Hood: Men in Tights; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screenplay for Battlefield Earth; This movie basically ended his career. He wrote an open letter to the NY Post explaining how he got involved … it was basically that he went to a Scientologist meeting to meet girls, and wrote a pitch when they found out he was a screenwriter. And that basically Travolta ruined the entire thing. Sounds like a nightmare experience for everyone.)

Ron Hubbard (novel) – (BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes: At one point I checked his bibliography to see if there was any chance his filmography would grow … uh, naw. He has 235 pieces of fiction published, but only two would be what I would call “modern”. One is Battlefield Earth. The other is Mission Earth, a 10 novel epic which was …. Not well received and was almost entirely published after his death. Probably most well known for producing the first soundtrack for a novel (Space Jazz for Battlefield Earth) … wait, that can’t be right. Oh yeah, he also founded Scientology I guess.)

Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Carrie; Savages; In a Valley of Violence; Bolt; Face/Off; Hairspray; The Thin Red Line; Saturday Night Fever; Get Shorty; Criminal Activities; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Urban Cowboy; Look Who’s Talking; Broken Arrow; Primary Colors; Blow Out; Phenomenon; Ladder 49; Lonely Hearts; A Love Song for Bobby Long; A Civil Action; BMT: Battlefield Earth (BMT); Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now; Staying Alive; Old Dogs (BMT); Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Domestic Disturbance; Be Cool (BMT); Perfect; Michael; Wild Hogs (BMT); Two of a Kind; I Am Wrath; White Man’s Burden; The Devil’s Rain; The Forger; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Swordfish (BMT); The Punisher (BMT); From Paris with Love; Basic; Notes: See below for Razzie info; What more is there to say? We’ve seen him in six BMT movies, and he has a borderline case of Liottaitis more commonly known as you-look-like-you-are-wearing-a-mask-of-yourself disease. Tarantino resurrected his career with Pulp Fiction and this movie kind of took it all away. Although he has gotten steady work including in the O.J. Simpson show.)

Travolta Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; and for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 and 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for Old Dogs; in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish; in 1986 for Perfect; and in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout;

Nominated for the Razzie Award Forest Whitaker – (Known For: Arrival; Southpaw; Out of the Furnace; Dope; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Platoon; The Butler; Panic Room; The Last Stand; Phone Booth; The Last King of Scotland; Where the Wild Things Are; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Great Debaters; The Crying Game; The Color of Money; Vision Quest; Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Phenomenon; Stakeout; Bird; Ernest & Celestine; Body Snatchers; BMT: Battlefield Earth; First Daughter; Ready to Wear; Our Family Wedding; Species; Taken 3; A Dark Truth; Repentance; Consenting Adults; Repo Men; Blown Away; Even Money; Powder Blue; A Little Trip to Heaven; Vantage Point; Light It Up; American Gun; Street Kings; Bloodsport; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth; He has a black belt in kenpo studying under a student of the late Bruce Lee. His noticeable eye condition is hereditary, and he’s considered having it corrected because it affects his vision. I wonder if it would affect his career. I would hope not.)

Barry Pepper – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; True Grit; The Green Mile; The Scorch Trials; We Were Soldiers; Kill the Messenger; 25th Hour; Snitch; Enemy of the State; Flags of Our Fathers; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada; Like Dandelion Dust; The Snow Walker; BMT: Battlefield Earth (BMT); Firestorm (BMT); Broken City; Knockaround Guys; Casino Jack; The Lone Ranger (BMT); Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth; No joke I would have guessed he was in something like six BMT films. The fact that he’s been in three is kind of shocking, his filmography is actually quite good. His early life is kind of crazy. He was born to a Canadian lumberjack and his entire family set sail in the South Pacific when he was a kid. Without entertainment the family would perform sketches and that’s how he became an actor … what?)

Budget/Gross – $73 million / Domestic: $21,471,685 (Worldwide: $29,725,663)

(Yep a complete disaster. In Going Clear I believe they mentioned the movie in some capacity, but $73 million for what was widely considered an unfilmable (and pretty terrible) Sci Fi novel starring Travolta. I mean on paper is seemed … we it seemed terrible. I don’t know what they were expecting really.)

#30 for the Controversy genre

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(I like that controversial films haven’t really been isolated to a particular time period. The list is pretty fun because it tells you why it is controversial. This one is controversial because of “Scientology”. The most recent one was the Interview. Again, cool list, boring plot.)

#76 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

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(Arrived at a peak of this genre. At down below Babylon A.D. and right above smash hit Cocoon the Return. Yeesh. Now that is a sequel we could have done. That giant peak? Star Trek, Star Wars, The Martian, Jurassic World. Crazy huge right now, and with Star Wars possibly forevermore.)

#37 for the Sci-Fi – Alien Invasion genre

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(We watched 5th Wave and Independence Day Resurgence recently in this genre. Right down near The Darkest Hour, which is pretty dire. That nadir of cash per theater is hilarious in this context. Transformers and a few others represent that big peak, so not too surprising the grenre collapsed a bit more recently.)

#43 for the Sci-Fi – Based on Book genre

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(5th Wave and Deadly Friend was watched in the last year. This is down near the Iron Giant (oof, also a famous box office bomb). Hunger Game and Divergent mainly are the big peak, but that is definitely waning. It was fueled by YA novels, and those have dried up since a few of the series just went down the toilet. 5th Wave in particular exemplifies this failure.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (4/148): Ugly, campy, and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly.

(sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. IGN gave one of the good reviews. My highlight: “Let me start out by saying that I read the book long before the movie came out and I enjoyed it.” Oooof, I’m so sorry. Because I straight up could not get through that book. The only Top Critic reviews was from the San Francisco Chronicle with this nice insight: “Travolta, who is the producer as well as star, had wanted to make a movie of Hubbard’s book for at least 15 years. There was only one catch: His career was in the tank. But since “Pulp Fiction” jump-started his professional life in 1994 and he followed up with a string of hits, including “Get Shorty,” “Face/Off” and “The General’s Daughter,” he has the leverage to bring this movie off.” Yup, and it promptly put his career back in the tank. No joke, his only super profitable live-action role after this was Wild Hogs.)

Poster – Battlefield Sklog (C-)

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(I kind of like the color (for all its washed out blues), but man does that look cheap. And it is like a love story to Travolta with it basically being his giant face. The book’s cover:

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is kind of hilariously throw back, and I kind of wish something like that with Barry Pepper could have been produced. Would have been a good nod.)

Tagline(s) – Prepare For Battle (B)

(Kind of like it. It gives a good indication of the movie once combined with the poster. Aliens have or will invade. Earth is the battlefield. Prepare for the battle [you will watch]. It isn’t super great, short and nothing special. But not terrible.)

Keyword(s) – bad acting; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 78.7 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 78.1 The Room (2003); 75.7 Dungeons & Dragons (2000); 75.6 Troll 2 (1990); 74.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 74.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 57.9 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 57.0 Hobgoblins (1988); 55.1 Spawn (1997);

(SPAWN. That is just a ridiculous movie to end up on this particular list. All the others are basically legends in their own rights, but Spawn? How odd. Maybe people revile Johnny Legs as the Clown even more than I remember? I feel like that is a movie we need to watch.)

Notes – Forest Whitaker expressed his regret for participating in this movie. (Well I will express my regret for watching this film … twice)

The film’s cinematographer has gone on record as saying that the overuse of colour filters and Dutch Angles wasn’t his idea, and that he was given the smallest lighting budget he had ever worked with. (ha! Duuuuuuutch angles. Right there, can’t wait already)

Barry Pepper said that had he known he was going to win Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzies, he would have shown up to accept his award in person. (He should have known. Maybe he thought Whitaker had it in the bag though?)

The investor, Intertainment, sued producer Franchise Pictures for fraud. Franchise claimed the budget was $75 million instead of the actual budget of $44 million. Franchise Pictures were sentenced to pay Intertainment $121.7 million in damages and went bankrupt. Intertainment only financed the film because it came as a package deal with The Art of War (2000) and The Whole Nine Yards (2000). (Wowzers, makes a bit of sense. Incredible story. I thought maybe Franchise was a Scientology thing, but naw. Legit action film company and they didn’t go bankrupt until maybe five years after Battlefield Earth came out too. A Sound of Thunder was a film that ended up having to be release with half complete CGI because Franchise went bankrupt. I won’t bore you with all of the BMT films they made, but the list is looooooong.)

The original plans called for a sequel to be produced, which would be based on second half of the novel by L. Ron Hubbard. These plans were scrapped due to the poor critical and public reaction to this film. (Second half?! This film is based on no more than 30% of the book. So that is bullshit. Although, then again, from about 30-50% the book is a complete waste of time)

John Travolta referred to this film as “like Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) but better” and “the Schindler’s List (1993) of science fiction films” during publicity. (ugh, was he on drugs?)

Listed among the Top Ten Best Bad Films ever made in “The Official Razzie Movie Guide”, by Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson. (Fair probably)

John Travolta initially offered the director’s seat to Quentin Tarantino, who declined. (Who didn’t return his call perhaps)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst ‘Drama’ of Our First 25 Years

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Barry Pepper)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roger Christian)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Corey Mandell, J.D. Shapiro)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Forest Whitaker)

The Wicker Man Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to 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 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the second 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!

The Wicker Man (2006) – BMeTric: 83.4

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(I feel like the Rating plot is pretty interesting. While the number of votes has been increasing steadily you’d usually expect the rating to increase over time (merely regression to the mean, most people would usually not have a particularly strong opinion about The Wicker Man). But this doesn’t, it has been around 3.6 (incredibly low) for years. Perhaps that is what it means to be a “cult bad movie” though? A movie that people who do have strong opinions about movies purposefully seek out and give a 1 on IMDb to. It wouldn’t be surprising honestly. Note that Old Dogs, which is not a cult bad movie, is rated much higher and probably does have a bit of regression to the mean happening, so it is plausible. The BMeTric is also impressively high.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Cop travels to an isolated island after receiving word from his ex that her child has disappeared and finds the place populated by a quietly tyrannical cult of women. Interesting (if misogynistic) reimagining of the 1973 film’s concept is poorly executed: a mysterious, building dread has been replaced with the obvious presence of evil that the hero is too dumb to figure out. Cage is sometimes hilariously hammy; only Burstyn, chillingly warm and civilized as the cult’s leader, emerges unscathed. LaBute adapted Anthony Shaffer’s original screenplay.

(Cage is sometimes hilariously hammy? Uhhhhh… watch the film again Leonard. Should just be called Hilariously Hammy Cage.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8tHgGncPA0

(They don’t make them like they used to. They actually did a pretty good job of putting together even the most hilarious parts of the film into a competent trailer. Unfortunately they still made it look like a Y2K era horror film. In other words, not good.)

Directors – Neil LaBute – (Known For: Death at a Funeral; Lakeview Terrace; The Shape of Things; Possession; Some Velvet Morning; Nurse Betty; In the Company of Men; Your Friends & Neighbors; Stars in Shorts; BMT: The Wicker Man; Dirty Weekend; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Screenplay for The Wicker Man, and Anthony Shaffer. Accomplished playwright as well. Created, directed, and wrote a TV series last year called Billy & Billie… maybe I should check it out.)

Writers – Neil LaBute (screenplay) (as Neil Labute) – (Known For: The Shape of Things; Some Girl(s); Possession; Some Velvet Morning; In the Company of Men; Your Friends & Neighbors; Stars in Shorts; BMT: The Wicker Man; Dirty Weekend; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Screenplay for The Wicker Man, and Anthony Shaffer. My favorite part of his IMDb bio that it opens with, “Acclaimed and highly discussed filmmaker Neil LaBute[…]” Heh, highly discussed.)

Anthony Shaffer (1973 screenplay) – (Known For: Death on the Nile; The Wicker Man; Sommersby; Evil Under the Sun; Frenzy; Sleuth; BMT: The Wicker Man; Sleuth; Notes: Writer of the original. Died in 2001 at age 75 from a heart attack. Identical twin brother (what, what!) of Peter Schaffer, who wrote the play and film adaptations for Amadeus.)

Actors – Nicolas Cage – (Known For: Snowden; The Family Man; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; The Croods; Dog Eat Dog; Kick-Ass; National Treasure; The Rock; The Trust; Con Air; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Face/Off; Grindhouse; Lord of War; Drive Angry; Moonstruck; Leaving Las Vegas; Matchstick Men; Adaptation.; Raising Arizona; The Frozen Ground; Wild at Heart; Joe; City of Angels; Rumble Fish; Peggy Sue Got Married; Valley Girl; Bringing Out the Dead; Astro Boy; Snake Eyes; The Weather Man; World Trade Center; Bad Lieutenant; Birdy; The Cotton Club; Vampire’s Kiss; BMT: The Wicker Man; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Left Behind; Ghost Rider; G-Force; Tokarev; Season of the Witch; Outcast; Trespass; Dying of the Light; Bangkok Dangerous; Stolen; Pay the Ghost; Wings of the Apache; The Runner; Zandalee; Deadfall; Amos & Andrew; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Windtalkers; Knowing; Next; Army of One; Trapped in Paradise; Justice; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; Sonny; Gone in Sixty Seconds; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; 8MM; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2015 for Worst Actor for Left Behind, in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice, in 2012 for Worst Actor for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass, in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next, and in 2007 for The Wicker Man; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Screen Couple for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass, and in 2007 for The Wicker Man. How doesn’t he win one of those awards? Whatever. Not much more needed to say about our main man Nic Cage. Apparently up to play Reagan in an upcoming film. I say do it, bro. Do it.)

Ellen Burstyn – (Known For: Interstellar; Requiem for a Dream; The Age of Adaline; The Exorcist; Red Dragon; The Fountain; Wiener-Dog; Draft Day; Omoide no Mânî; When a Man Loves a Woman; W.; The Last Picture Show; The Calling; Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; The Baby-Sitters Club; How to Make an American Quilt; Playing by Heart; The Yards; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Lovely, Still; Another Happy Day; Same Time, Next Year; BMT: The Wicker Man; Main Street; Dying Young; Notes: Nominated for six Oscars, winning one for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Is the reason why Emmy nominations require an actor to appear in at least 5% of a project to be eligible after she was nominated for appearing in a TV Movie Mrs. Harris for a grand total of 14 seconds due to name recognition.)

Leelee Sobieski – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; Public Enemies; Deep Impact; Never Been Kissed; Roadkill; Max; My First Mister; Walk All Over Me; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; BMT: The Wicker Man; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Jungle 2 Jungle; Branded; Here on Earth; 88 Minutes; The Glass House; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Supporting Actress for 88 Minutes, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. From what I understand she’s essentially retired from acting to raise her children and has no intention of returning. Noooooooooooooooooooo!)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $23,649,127 (Worldwide: $38,755,073)

(That is rough. But perhaps this was all part of the brilliant black comedy homage to the original, which also didn’t fair well in the theaters. Yeah, that’s the ticket. People only think it did poorly at the box office. In reality LaBute and Cage are geniuses that purposefully made sure it failed to properly honor the original.)

#40 for the Horror Remake genre

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(Right at the peak, classic BMT. It is kind of amazing, you can see that they made a few (probably the good ones) and that kicked off the 2005-2010 gold rush. I’m surprised the genre collapsed considering it pulled in decent cash ($12K per theater for 2000 theater is $24 million, more than enough considering horror films tend towards low budget). My guess? They ran out of remakes to make. Maybe in like 20 years it’ll change again when the remake to The Conjuring and Annabelle are thrown out there.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (16/106): Puzzlingly misguided, Neil LaBute’s update The Wicker Man struggles against unintentional comedy and fails.

(This matches my perception of the film, which is that if you replace Nic Cage with Patrick Wilson, or someone equally white and innocuous, you have a reasonably creepy film that is forgotten at this point. The only thing actually puzzling about The Wicker Man is Nic Cage single handedly tearing it apart.)

Poster – The Wicker Sklog (B+)

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(I’m actually feeling this poster. I don’t love how prominent the picture of the little girl is on the poster, but everything else is well done and artistic.)

Tagline(s) – Some Sacrifices Must Be Made (B)

(Oh ho ho ho… get it? Sacrifices!… He’s being sacrificed in a giant wicker man. Nailed it! This is actually pretty clever, but doesn’t really take enough from the plot to get my full-throated support. The more I think about it, the more I don’t like it, so I better just go ahead and grade it.)

Keyword(s) – feminism; Top Ten by BMeTric: 83.4 The Wicker Man (2006); 52.5 Ghostbusters (2016); 44.7 Le divorce (2003); 43.1 The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962); 43.0 In the Cut (2003); 37.9 The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004); 34.8 G.I. Jane (1997); 29.3 The Single Moms Club (2014); 28.4 The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986); 27.8 Girls Against Boys (2012);

(Ha! Somehow I knew Ghostbusters would make an appearance. That BMeTric is an embarrassment and tells you loads about IMDb and its users, but whatever. We almost watched The Clan of the Cave Bear as a 1986 film adapted from a book, but I didn’t like the idea of reading a historical fiction book that probably had little to do with the eventual movie.)

Notes – There is a “Missing” sign in the police station with a photo of Edward Woodward’s character from The Wicker Man (1973). (Super fun fact!)

Robin Hardy, a writer and the director of the original film, and Christopher Lee, who played Summerisle in the original film, were both critical of the remake. Hardy had his name removed from the film’s credits as he did not wish to be associated with it.

Not screened for critics. (I did wonder whether they knew just how bad it was when they released it. These two notes answer that question.)

The film is dedicated to late musician Johnny Ramone, who introduced Nicolas Cage to Robin Hardy’s original The Wicker Man (1973). (These notes are insane)

Nicolas Cage objected to the criticism that the film was unintentionally funny, saying that he and Neil LaBute knowingly made the picture an absurdist black comedy and that it should have been seen and judged as such. (I do not believe this, mostly because it’s all well and good to make an intentionally bad film for laughs, but I doubt LaBute would use a remake of the cult classic The Wicker Man to do that.)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Nicolas Cage)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Nicolas Cage)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Neil LaBute, Anthony Shaffer)

(Oddly underappreciated at the time by the Razzies. Lost every category to either Basic Instinct 2 or Little Man. While that isn’t totally ridiculous, The Wicker Man is clearly now the most celebrated film of the three)

Old Dogs Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to 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 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the first 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!

Old Dogs (2009) – BMeTric: 44.4

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(That is a giant and sustained jump. Some may be surprised that a sub-50 BMeTric film would make it to the hall of fame (oh, only me?), but I would guess it being someone anonymous in bad movie circles lends itself to a slightly deflated vote count. Otherwise everything is pretty mundane by the looks of it, nothing to interesting here.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Hoped-for sparks from a teaming Travolta and Williams never materialize as the pair play business partners whose big Japanese deal is disrupted when they unexpectedly inherit 7-year-old twins. The stars seem to be having a better time than the audience. Only the youngest kids are going to find this slapstick material (including Green’s antics with a lovesick gorilla) very funny. Notable only as the debut for Travolta’s daughter Ella Bleu and Mac’s final film appearance.

(Two stars?! This is the kind of harmless nothing movie Leonard wouldn’t mind. I still don’t quite understand two stars though, the movie is basically incomprehensible and terrible. How does that get two stars?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhY8AP806tU

(My God, this movie doesn’t have a storyline! How incredibly cut up and weird that is. Of course they appear to have a 20 minute foray into a camp filled with caricatures, otherwise, how in the world would they punch up the script?)

Directors – Walt Becker – (BMT: Old Dogs; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Wild Hogs (BMT); Van Wilder: Party Liaison (Seen it); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Director for Old Dogs. Apparently his trademark (according to IMDb) is having characters sing I’m All Out of Love … Mostly works in television now including the one-season show Glory Daze.)

Writers – David Diamond (written by) – (Known For: The Family Man; Evolution; BMT: When in Rome (BMT); Old Dogs (BMT); Notes: Amazing, I’ve completed David Diamond’s filmography. The only information I can find on him is he collaborated with Weissman)

David Weissman (written by) – (Known For: The Family Man; Evolution; BMT: When in Rome (BMT); Old Dogs (BMT); Notes: Same here, how very odd, there is almost no information about these people. I would guess they are mostly producers now working for a studio on comedies. Amazingly if you look at variety you come up with this fun story. That … sounds suspiciously like Old Dogs. A raucous buddy comedy announced in 2006 to be released by Walt Disney? Most def.)

Actors – Robin Williams – (Known For: Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Jumanji; Aladdin; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Insomnia; Mrs. Doubtfire; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; The Birdcage; The Butler; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; What Dreams May Come; Awakenings; One Hour Photo; Good Morning, Vietnam; Popeye; Robots; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Fisher King; Happy Feet; Hamlet; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; World’s Greatest Dad; Boulevard; The World According to Garp; Happy Feet Two; Death to Smoochy; BMT: Flubber (seen it); Toys (seen it); License to Wed; Old Dogs; Nine Months; RV: Runaway Vacation; Fathers’ Day; The Big Wedding (BMT); Jack (seen it); Club Paradise; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; A Merry Christmas Miracle; Absolutely Anything; Man of the Year; The Final Cut; The Best of Times; The Survivors; The Big White; Noel; Hook (seen it); Patch Adams (seen it); Jakob the Liar; Bicentennial Man (seen it); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actor for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy; Obviously a legend and sadly recently took his own life. He was a staple of my childhood and also a brilliant and classically trained actor. There isn’t much more to say.)

John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Savages; Hairspray; Carrie; Face/Off; The Thin Red Line; In a Valley of Violence; Bolt; Saturday Night Fever; Criminal Activities; Look Who’s Talking; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Phenomenon; Broken Arrow; Lonely Hearts; Urban Cowboy; Get Shorty; Blow Out; Ladder 49; Primary Colors; A Civil Action; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now; Staying Alive; Old Dogs; Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Michael; Domestic Disturbance; Be Cool; Perfect; Wild Hogs; Two of a Kind; I Am Wrath; White Man’s Burden; The Devil’s Rain; The Forger; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Swordfish; The Punisher; From Paris with Love; Basic; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 and 1990 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for Old Dogs and in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish, and in 1986 for Perfect, and in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout; A staple of BMT. This should be obvious though considering he is in two different Hall of Fame inductees. Look at that Razzie cred!)

Also stars Seth Green (Somewhat amazingly this was only his second BMT along with the other Travolta classic Be Cool)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $49,492,060 (Worldwide: $96,753,696)

(How did this move make so much money. Why would anyone overseas see this film? That is flabbergasting to say the least)

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

daddyfishoutofwater_22

(That is below Kicking and Screaming which is just about all you need to know about that. Oddly enough the last movie Box Office Mojo classified in this category was in 2013, which is a tad bit odd. Also listed for recent BMT film Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (which makes no sense, he has twelve children, how is he a fish out of water?). Anywho, this managed to get released literally in the nadir of a genre, impressive.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (5/108): Its cast tries hard, but Old Dogs is a predictable, nearly witless attempt at physical comedy and moral uplift that misses the mark on both counts.

(5% is obviously extraordinarily low. Thinking about it and seeing the trailer I can certainly believe that the cast works hard. The screenwriters and director on the other hand …)

Poster – Old Sklogs (F)

old_dogs

(I hate this poster. It is boring. It has no color or life to it. It suggests nothing about the film. Why not call it Old Dads? Honestly? Why ever suggest this movie is about dogs at all? They even put the dog front and center in the poster. I just don’t get it. I would love for someone to explain the logic, because I don’t get it.)

Tagline(s) – Sit. Stay. Play Dad. (A-)

(Besides being cheesy this is quite an excellent tagline. Plays into the title obviously, but also suggests a bit about the plot (him having to be a dad unexpectedly). I honestly wonder if the tagline itself inspired the title, because I can’t really think on why it is called Old Dogs … because there is an old dog in it … was the old dog a metaphor for something? I’m blowing my own mind over here, but I’ll save you the bother and not mention it)

Keyword(s) – twin; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.9 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 67.1 The Spirit (2008); 65.0 The Unborn (2009); 58.6 Seed of Chucky (2004); 57.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 55.1 New York Minute (I) (2004); 55.0 House of Wax (2005); 51.0 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 48.5 The Ten (2007); 48.2 Scary Movie 3 (2003);

(Oh yeah, my favorite keyword obviously. We’ve seen most of the amazing ones I think. Like the Spirit I think only has it because of clones (or something). The Seeker and I Know Who Killed Me are BMT classics though.)

Notes – The film’s release date was postponed three times. First, due to Bernie Mac’s untimely death. The second time was for the death of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son, Jett Travolta. The final time was because Robin Williams had a health scare that required surgery. All of the postponement ultimately caused the movie to be released more than a year after the original, intended release date, finally releasing on November 25, 2009. (Yes, this was something I vaguely knew before watching the film as well. It is funny to think that us “previewing” films did kind of start before the emails and recaps did, just because this movie in particular has an interesting backstory to it).

John Travolta and Robin Williams were close friends in real life.

Bernie Mac’s last released film. Soul Men (2008) was released first, but was the last film he made.

The film was originally 107 minutes long and adult-oriented with an R-rating being disturbed through Disney’s company Touchstone Pictures. After the test screening went poorly, Disney decided to distribute the film through Walt Disney Pictures and aim it toward children, cutting the film by 19 minutes and removing all adult jokes out so that it would be more acceptable for children. (Yes, this is also a rumor I had heard after watching the film. It does feel that way, although it makes you wonder how they did that when the focus of the film always had to be 60-year-old first time fathers. There was also rumors that the Japan storyline for Seth Green was at one point much larger and more detailed, although seeing as it was filmed in Connecticut that seems a little more unlikely).

The film is dedicated to both Bernie Mac and Jett Travolta, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s eldest son who died unexpectedly earlier in 2009.

Although Kelly Preston is married to John Travolta, in this film she is paired with Robin Williams.

Majority of production, including most of Tokyo scenes (except for the Tokyo airport and Tokyo street scenes that were shot in New York City) were done in Connecticut, thanks to the 30% Film/TV production tax incentive that the State offered at that time. There was no overseas location shoot in this film. (See. I find it unlikely that they could have pulled off an “expanded” Japan storyline without actually filming in Japan for at least some exteriors)

One of the retouched pictures of Travolta and Williams, is actually from the shooting of Carrie (1976). Nancy Allen was replaced by Williams inside the car.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Walt Becker)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (John Travolta)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

All About Steve Preview

Generated on: 2019-12-04

All About Steve (2009) – BMeTric: 68.4; Notability: 44

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RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – The screenplay by Kim Barker requires Bullock to behave in an essentially disturbing way that began to wear on me. It begins as merely peculiar, moves on to miscalculation and becomes seriously annoying. One of its most unfortunate elements is seeing Bullock so stranded and helpless in would-be comic frenzy. An actress should never, ever, be asked to run beside a van in red disco boots for more than about half a block, and then only if her child is being kidnapped.

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGpne6wPBPY/

Directors – Phil Traill – (Known For: Chalet Girl; BMT: All About Steve; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for All About Steve in 2010;)

Writers – Kim Barker (written by) – (BMT: All About Steve; License to Wed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for All About Steve in 2010;)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Ocean’s Eight; Bird Box; A Time to Kill; Gravity; Crash; While You Were Sleeping; Speed; The Proposal; The Prince of Egypt; Miss Congeniality; Minions; The Heat; Two Weeks Notice; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Forces of Nature; The Thing Called Love; Infamous; The Vanishing; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Future BMT: Premonition; The Net; Stolen Hearts; Love Potion No. 9; 28 Days; Hope Floats; Gun Shy; Murder by Numbers; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; Practical Magic; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; In Love and War; Demolition Man; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man in 1994;)

Bradley Cooper – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Guardians of the Galaxy; Avengers: Infinity War; The Mule; A Star Is Born; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Wedding Crashers; American Hustle; The Hangover; American Sniper; Silver Linings Playbook; Hit and Run; Limitless; He’s Just Not That Into You; The Place Beyond the Pines; The A-Team; War Dogs; 10 Cloverfield Lane; Yes Man; Joy; Future BMT: The Comebacks; Aloha; Serena; The Hangover Part III; Case 39; New York, I Love You; The Hangover Part II; Burnt; Wet Hot American Summer; BMT: All About Steve; Failure to Launch; Valentine’s Day; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010;)

Thomas Haden Church – (Known For: The Peanut Butter Falcon; Tombstone; John Carter; Spider-Man 3; Easy A; Idiocracy; George of the Jungle; Over the Hedge; Killer Joe; Sideways; We Bought a Zoo; Spanglish; Charlotte’s Web; Heaven Is for Real; Imagine That; Crash Pad; Smart People; The Specials; Lucky Them; Another Happy Day; Future BMT: Aliens in the Attic; Free Money; Daddy’s Home; One Night Stand; Don McKay; The Badge; Max; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; BMT: All About Steve; Monkeybone; Hellboy; 3000 Miles to Graceland;)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $33,862,903 (Worldwide: $40,105,542)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (9/139)All About Steve is an oddly creepy, sour film, featuring a heroine so desperate and peculiar that audiences may be more likely to pity than root for her.

Poster – Sklog About Steve

all_about_steve

Keyword – cross country;

AllAboutSteve_cross country

Top 10: The Book of Eli (2010), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Up in the Air (2009), Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), Need for Speed (2014), Road Trip (2000), The Devil’s Rejects (2005), The Wizard (1989), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993), Turbo (2013);

Future BMT: 53.3 Johnson Family Vacation (2004), 43.9 Identity Thief (2013), 36.8 The Guilt Trip (2012), 36.7 Cannonball Fever (1989), 31.3 Father Hood (1993), 23.2 The Wizard (1989), 11.3 Josh and S.A.M. (1993), 10.6 Bicentennial Man (1999), 8.1 Radio Flyer (1992);

BMT: Need for Speed (2014), Crossroads (2002), All About Steve (2009)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sandra Bullock is No. 1 billed in All About Steve and No. 3 billed in Demolition Man, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 14. If we were to watch Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Sandra Bullock won the Golden Raspberry (“Razzie”) Award for Worst Actress for this film, and appeared at the event to claim her prize, becoming only the second actress to accept the award in person, after Halle Berry in 2005. Bullock brought a wagon full of DVDs of the film for the three hundred attendees, and stated she believed most voters had not actually watched the film and voted for her just to see if she would appear at the ceremony. She asked them to watch or re-watch the film, and if the audience changed their minds and decided she was not the “Worst Actress”, Bullock promised to come to the ceremony next year, return her award, and buy drinks for everybody.

When Mary is soaking in the tub, the song in the background is sung by Helga Bullock, Sandra’s mother.

Sandra Bullock was in 3 movies released in 2009: “The Proposal” (she was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress), “The Blind Side” (she was nominated and won the Academy Award for Best Actress), and “All About Steve” (she was nominated and won the Razzie for Worst Actress and along with Bradley Cooper nominated for and won Worst Couple). As a result with the Razzie one night and Academy Awards the following night, she became the first performer to win an Academy Award and a Razzie Award in the same year.

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2006 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

Shot in 2007.

In the movie poster, the umbrella is red and white but in the movie the umbrella is blue and white.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sandra Bullock, 2010)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Phil Traill, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Kim Barker, 2010)

Paycheck Preview

Generated on: 2019-11-27

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

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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)

Kangaroo Jack Preview

Generated on: 2019-11-24

Kangaroo Jack (2003) – BMeTric: 74.2; Notability: 41

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Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Lifelong odd-couple pals are ordered (by O’Connell’s mob-boss stepfather) to deliver an envelope of money to Australia – but a kangaroo makes off with the cash. Juvenile comedy has a terrible script, but kids may still respond to the amiable leads and the Australian setting. Don’t blink or you’ll miss Dyan Cannon in the opening flashback as O’Connell’s mother. Followed by an animated direct-to-video sequel.

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

Directors – David McNally – (Future BMT: Coyote Ugly; BMT: Kangaroo Jack;)

Writers – Steve Bing (story & screenplay) – (Future BMT: Missing in Action; BMT: Kangaroo Jack;)

Barry O’Brien (story) – (Known For: Hannah Montana: The Movie; BMT: Kangaroo Jack;)

Scott Rosenberg (screenplay) – (Known For: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Con Air; High Fidelity; Beautiful Girls; Future BMT: Disturbing Behavior; Impostor; Venom; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Gone in Sixty Seconds;)

Actors – Anthony Anderson – (Known For: The Departed; Transformers; Scream 4; Ferdinand; The Star; Life; Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; Me, Myself & Irene; Hustle & Flow; Barbershop; Beats; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Hoodwinked; The Big Year; Small Town Crime; The Town That Dreaded Sundown; Two Can Play That Game; Liberty Heights; A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures; Bound; Future BMT: Urban Legends: Final Cut; Scary Movie 4; Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London; The Back-up Plan; Malibu’s Most Wanted; Scary Movie 3; King’s Ransom; My Baby’s Daddy; See Spot Run; 3 Strikes; Arthur et les Minimoys; Goats; Kingdom Come; Trippin’; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Big Momma’s House; Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Kangaroo Jack in 2004;)

Jerry O’Connell – (Known For: Stand by Me; Jerry Maguire; Scream 2; Piranha 3D; Veronica Mars; Satanic Panic; Space Station 76; The Alibi; Future BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Obsessed; Wish Upon; Yours, Mine & Ours; Tomcats; Room 6; Mission to Mars; Joe’s Apartment; Body Shots; Baby on Board; The New Guy; Man About Town; Calendar Girl; The Lookalike; Can’t Hardly Wait; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Kangaroo Jack;)

Estella Warren – (Known For: Planet of the Apes; The Cooler; Future BMT: Perfume; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Driven; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 2002 for Driven, and Planet of the Apes;)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $66,934,963 (Worldwide: $88,929,111)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (9/115)The humor is gratingly dumb, and Kangaroo Jack contains too much violence and sexual innuendo for a family movie.

Poster – Kangaroo Sklog

kangaroo_jack

Tagline(s) – He stole the money… and he’s not giving it back.

Keyword – animal character name in title;

KangarooJack_animal character name in title

Top 10: Kong: Skull Island (2017), Finding Nemo (2003), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Finding Dory (2016), Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), Free Willy (1993), Turner & Hooch (1989), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Horton Hears a Who! (2008), The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005);

Future BMT: 63.6 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), 54.5 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995), 37.2 See Spot Run (2001), 9.9 Benji: Off the Leash! (2004);

BMT: Kangaroo Jack (2003), Garfield 2 (2006), Garfield (2004);

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Anthony Anderson is No. 2 billed in Kangaroo Jack and No. 4 billed in Exit Wounds, which also stars Isaiah Washington (No. 3 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 5 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 2 + 4 + 3 + 5 + 2 + 3 = 19. If we were to watch Kingdom Come we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Inspired by an urban legend about a pair of Boston college students on break in Australia. While driving through the Outback, they accidentally hit a kangaroo with their Land Rover. Thinking they had killed it, they got out and placed the driver’s Boston Red Sox jacket on the kangaroo to take a picture before moving on. However, the kangaroo was merely unconscious, and awoke in the midst of the photo-taking. It broke free and took off across the Outback, still wearing the Sox jacket…along with the keys to the Land Rover in the pocket.

Trailers for the movie emphasized the tacked-on “talking kangaroo” scene, which gave audiences a false impression that this was a family film involving a talking kangaroo. Posters also emphasized the kangaroo. The misleading publicity is often credited with the film’s achieving the #1 box office spot on opening weekend; industry observers said later that if the film had been more honestly portrayed as what it was, as a gangster comedy with fairly adult humor, it probably would have failed. The film had dismal reviews from critics and considerable backlash from audiences who felt they had been tricked. There was a direct-to-DVD sequel that was more in line with what was promised by trailers, as it was an animated family comedy.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer added a scene where the title kangaroo talks after seeing the success of the Disney release Snow Dogs (2002), which used a similar plot device.

Jerry O’Connell had to wear extensions for re-shoot scenes since he cut his hair short once initial filming was over. You can clearly see (if you look closely) an awkwardness to his hair in particular scenes.

The original working title for Kangaroo Jack was “Down and Under”.

According to the DVD special feature: “Behind the gas”. The hardest scene to create sound for were the farting camels. So the sound designers have tried many failed attempts to create farting sounds they tried Whoopie cushions, blowing in jello cups, armpit farts, all the way down to using their mouths. In sheer desperation the sound designers ate bean burritos, tacos, beans and drank milk, so the sound would come naturally.

When the boys first arrive in the bar, they are discussing their plans beside the telephone, and Louis says to Charlie, “Damn Skippy”, which is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a world famous Australian television series, Skippy (1967), which is about a kangaroo that is raised by a family, who manage the local national park. Skippy is also a world famous brand of Peanut Butter, with a Kangaroo logo

Bill Hunter (Blue), previously starred alongside Terrance Stamp in “Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert” (1994), Terrance Stamp, had originally portrayed General Zod, in “Superman 2” (1980), and MIchael Shannon (Frankie), revived the character of General Zod, in “Man Of Steel” (2013), alongside Russell Crowe, who’s acting career debuted, alongside Bill Hunter in “Spyforce” (1972)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Christopher Walken, 2004)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Anthony Anderson, 2004)

Ghost Rider Preview

Generated on: 2019-11-18

Ghost Rider (2007) – BMeTric: 62.5; Notability: 57

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Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –Daredevil motorcyclist makes a deal with the Devil (Fonda) in order to save his father’s life, then tries to adjust to living a cursed existence. In time he finds his true identity as a cycle vigilante who rides engulfed in flames, his head a burning skull! Adaptation of the Marvel comic book set out West might have been better if it didn’t take so long to spell out the premise and get up a head of steam.

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1hZNHPVVAQ/

Directors – Mark Steven Johnson – (Known For: Daredevil; Finding Steve McQueen; Simon Birch; Future BMT: Killing Season; BMT: Ghost Rider; When in Rome;)

Writers – Mark Steven Johnson (screenplay & screen story) – (Known For: Christopher Robin; Daredevil; Grumpy Old Men; Simon Birch; Future BMT: Jack Frost; Big Bully; Grumpier Old Men; BMT: Elektra; Ghost Rider;)

Actors – Nicolas Cage – (Known For: Color Out of Space; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; The Rock; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Mandy; Kick-Ass; The Frozen Ground; Face/Off; Snowden; National Treasure; Leaving Las Vegas; Con Air; The Family Man; Wild at Heart; Lord of War; The Croods; Adaptation.; Raising Arizona; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Future BMT: G-Force; Outcast; Dying of the Light; Tokarev; 211; Pay the Ghost; Stolen; Southern Fury; Between Worlds; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; Looking Glass; Wings of the Apache; The Runner; The Humanity Bureau; Inconceivable; Army of One; Zandalee; Deadfall; Amos & Andrew; Windtalkers; A Score to Settle; Knowing; Next; Trapped in Paradise; Sonny; Running with the Devil; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; 8MM; Primal; Christmas Carol: The Movie; BMT: The Wicker Man; Left Behind; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Ghost Rider; Trespass; Drive Angry; Season of the Witch; Bangkok Dangerous; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Justice; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Wicker Man; in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next; in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass; in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice; and in 2015 for Left Behind; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Snowden in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2007 for The Wicker Man; and in 2012 for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass;)

Eva Mendes – (Known For: Training Day; The Place Beyond the Pines; The Other Guys; Fast & Furious 5; Hitch; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; We Own the Night; Bad Lieutenant; Last Night; Holy Motors; Out of Time; Stuck on You; Live!; The Wendell Baker Story; Future BMT: The Spirit; Urban Legends: Final Cut; Lost River; Trust the Man; Girl in Progress; All About the Benjamins; Cleaner; A Night at the Roxbury; BMT: Ghost Rider; The Women; Exit Wounds; 2 Fast 2 Furious; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for The Women in 2009;)

Sam Elliott – (Known For: Lady and the Tramp; The Golden Compass; A Star Is Born; The Big Lebowski; Tombstone; Up in the Air; The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot; We Were Soldiers; Hulk; Mask; The Good Dinosaur; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Thank You for Smoking; Gettysburg; Draft Day; Prancer; The Hero; The Company You Keep; Rush; Future BMT: Frogs; Barnyard; The Big Bang; Fatal Beauty; Sibling Rivalry; BMT: Marmaduke; Did You Hear About the Morgans?; Ghost Rider; Road House;)

Budget/Gross – $110,000,000 / Domestic: $115,802,596 (Worldwide: $228,738,393)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (37/140)Ghost Rider is a sour mix of morose, glum histrionics amidst jokey puns and hammy dialogue.

Poster – Sklog Rider

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Tagline(s) – Long ago he made a deal to save someone he loved. ()

Keyword – daredevil;

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Top 10: Point Break (2015), Hot Rod (2007), xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017), Ghost Rider (2007), xXx (2002), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), Into the Storm (2014), Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991), Navy Seals (1990);

Future BMT: 55.5 Point Break (2015), 55.4 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), 41.3 Terminal Velocity (1994), 40.5 Navy Seals (1990), 8.7 Nitro Circus: The Movie (2012);

BMT: Ghost Rider (2007), Into the Storm (2014), Rollerball (2002)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 8) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Nicolas Cage is No. 1 billed in Ghost Rider and No. 1 billed in The Wicker Man, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 8. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Nicolas Cage had to have his Ghost Rider tattoo covered with make-up to play Johnny Blaze.

Nicolas Cage’s computer generated skull was made from a three dimensional x-ray taken of his actual skull.

Nicolas Cage is an avid fan of the Marvel comic, and lobbied furiously to play the part of Ghost Rider.

One of the few Marvel Comic-based movies in which Stan Lee did not appear. He had absolutely no involvement in the creation of the original Ghost Rider.

According to an interview he gave to the New York Times in 2010, this movie was made during the middle of Wes Bentley’s decade-long, extremely serious addiction to cocaine and heroin. He said in that interview that he only accepted any movie roles during that time so that he would have money to buy enough drugs.

Nicolas Cage’s hairpiece required three hours to apply every day.

Rumors persist that Nicolas Cage’s abs in the movie were CGI, but writer and director Mark Steven Johnson refutes this on his DVD audio commentary.

The head-on shot showing Johnny Blaze crashing his motorcycle on landing after jumping a long line of trucks is identical to the famous shot of Evel Knievel’s crash after a spectacular jump at Caesar’s Palace on December 31, 1967.

The Caretaker/Carter Slade Ghost Rider character is a tribute to the original Marvel Comics Ghost Rider, now called The Phantom Rider to avoid confusion. However, the character in the comics is a regular human who wears a white costume and rides a white painted horse, both covered with phosphorous for a glowing effect.

Writer and director Mark Steven Johnson put forward his own money to make an action sequence in which Ghost Rider battles a helicopter.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Nicolas Cage, 2008)