Lock Up Preview

To celebrate the inception of the new calendar we will be ending the year with a Stallone Day! So, Happy Stallone Day! There won’t be a Stallone day for several years so relish it. As usual we would like for the film to not only star Sylvester Stallone, but to also lead nicely into the first cycle of the 2016 calendar. We have discussed and debated it and decided that the first cycle will be called Aaaiiiirrrrbbbbbaaallllll! and will be movies that feature (or hopefully star) former or active professional athletes. Without further ado, the first Stallone Day in history will be the 1989 classic Lock Up which features Sly Stallone as Frank Leone and Frank McRae in the role of Eclipse. McRae appeared in 6 games for the Chicago Bears in 1967. Let’s go!

Lock Up (1989) – BMeTric: 15.4

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(Not bad for a 1989 film. Still not super high. I believe this has a bit of cult popularity associated with it playing on cable through the 1990’s. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the score was slightly deflated. Patrick’s Note: It most certainly is. The rating in 2004 was 5.4, it is now 6.3 on IMDB. It has clearly dropped significantly recently.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – With six months to go on his sentence, convict Stallone gets abducted from his country-club cell and transported to a hellhole run by old Hun-like adversary Sutherland. Missing are Linda Blair, John Vernon, a lesbian guard, and 15 gratuitous showers; you do get a body-shop montage backed by Ides of March’s ”Vehicle.” Bottom of the world, ma.

(Hun-like? What a weird thing to say. Guess Leonard really wanted to figure out the most tasteful way of saying that Sutherland is like a Nazi in the film. Then the whole review goes off the rails. I had to look up what the second sentence means. I guess he’s making a reference to the exploitation film Chained Heat. Finally, I have no idea why he makes a White Heat reference at the end. Maybe the end of the film is similar to the end of that film? Bar none the weirdest Maltin review I’ve ever read.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mRBoP0HBaE

(Uh… yes please. That looks amazing. It’s like a full movie of just the prison escape scenes from Tango & Cash.)

Director(s) – John Flynn – (Known For: Rolling Thunder; Best Seller; BMT: Lock Up; Out for Justice; Brainscan; Notes: Died in 2007, and was in the Coast Guard. Studied journalism at UCLA under the tutelage of Alex Haley, the author of Roots.)

Writer(s) – Richard Smith (written by) – (BMT: Lock Up; Notes: Recently passed away. He apparently did some work on a couple of the James Bond films and wrote a novel published in 2010)

Henry Rosenbaum (written by) – (Known For: ; BMT: Lock Up; The Dunwich Horror; Hanky Panky; Notes: Nothing of interest about him. Weird.)

Jeb Stuart (written by) – (Known For: Die Hard; The Fugitive; Next of Kin; Vital Signs; Blood Done Sign My Name; Hart’s War; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; Lock Up; Just Cause; Fire Down Below; Leviathan; Switchback; Notes: Wrote an early draft of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Rocky; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Escape Plan; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; Rocky II; Rocky IV; Antz; Demolition Man; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Bullet to the Head; Nighthawks; Creed; Death Race 2000; Spy Kids 3-D – Game Over; Shade; Victory; F.I.S.T. BMT: The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Judge Dredd; Rocky V; Tango & Cash; Assassins; Daylight; The Specialist; Cobra; Grudge Match; Over the Top; Driven; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Lock Up; Get Carter; Oscar; Rhinestone; Zookeeper; Rambo; D-Tox. Notes: Won for Worst Actor, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); Rambo III (1988); Cobra (1986); Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rocky IV (1985); Rhinestone (1984). Nominated for Worst Actor, Bullet to the Head (2012), Escape Plan (2013), Grudge Match (2013); Get Carter (2000); Daylight(1996); Assassins (1995), Judge Dredd (1995); The Specialist (1994); Get Carter (2000); Oscar (1991); Rocky V (1990); Lock Up (1989), Tango & Cash (1989); Over the Top (1987); Cobra (1986). Won for Worst Supporting Actor, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Driven (2001); An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997). Won for Worst Actor of the Century. Won for Worst Actor of the Decade (1980’s). Geez Louise. And that’s just for acting.)

Budget/Gross: $24 million / $22,099,847

(A definitive bomb for Stallone. This was smack in the middle of a disastrous run of films for him so he might have just started to wear out his welcome. After First Blood in 1982 he followed with Staying Alive, Rhinestone, Rambo II, Rocky IV, Cobra, Over the Top, Rambo III, Lock Up, Tango & Cash, Rocky V, Oscar, and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Oof.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% (2/12), No consensus yet.

(Never trust the RT on a movie this old (like Weekend at Bernie’s is a downright mediocre film according to RT). It’s nice that it’s low, but the Razzie recognition, Leonard Maltin review, and BMeTric are more important in this case.)

Poster – Black and White

LockUpPoster.jpg

(Looks pretty cheap but I guess the artistic take is nice. I’ve seen this same poster with red coloring on the letters and/or sky, which I like a bit more. But this seems official.)

Tagline(s) – How much can a man take…before he gives back? (D+)

How many times can a man be pushed to the wall…before he goes over it? (C-)

Stallone…behind bars? Not for long. (Hah)

He is only six months away from freedom. But a warden obsessed with revenge wants to take his future away. (D)

(I usually just grade the tagline that is found on the poster (which I consider official), but there isn’t one on the main poster and these are too good not to grade. They are all either too long or bonkers insane. The first and second use super weird phrasing to make their point. The third is hilarious… I can hear Stallone saying those words. The fourth is classic 70’s/80’s tagline.)

Notes – The cast includes real inmates of Rahway State Prison which is also known as East Jersey State Prison as it is located in Rahway, New Jersey, USA. A number of the prisoners appear as extras and background artists in the movie. (This is the prison I taught at in New Jersey. It’s got a very distinctive look. I wonder if I’ll recognize some of the places they show.)

The movie was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards at the 10th annual ceremony including Worst Picture, Worst Actor – Sylvester Stallone and Worst Supporting Actor – Donald Sutherland, but the film failed to take home a Razzie in any category.

First starring role of actor Tom Sizemore.

Actor Frank McRae, who participates in the football game sequence, had actually played gridiron as an NFL (National Football League) defensive tackle during the 1967 season playing six games for the Chicago Bears. (There it is).

Danny Trejo: As a gang member of Chink’s gang. (Keep a lookout)

Ridiculous Six Preview

Alright, so for the week of Christmas Patrick and I wanted to give all our loyal readers a real treat. That’s right! Ridiculous Six! I’m sure all of you were gnashing your teeth waiting to find out whether BMT would in fact watch Ridiculous Six. On one hand it is a terribly reviewed film starring Adam Sandler. What more could we ask for? On the other it did not release to theaters as it was part of Sandler’s new deal with Netflix. Usually this is a near-automatic disqualification. In the end our BMeTric told us that this was not a film to miss so we decided to watch it. Without further ado: Ridiculous Six. Let’s go!


The Ridiculous 6 (2015) – BMeTric: 37.2 (at the time), 54.7 (February 18, 2016)

Ridiculous6_BMeT

(This was rather high considering it has been out on Netflix for only 20 days or so, and now it has entered rarefied air, a 50+ BMeTric. It should probably stay around here, without a DVD release it does seem to be plateauing. Note: plot generated February 18, 2016).

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – Little did I know how bad it would be. The combined –isms of a script in which a Native American character is named “Beaver Breath” are overwhelmingly unfunny enough, but it’s really only one aspect of the monumental failure on display in a film that is almost bafflingly bad.

(Bafflingly bad is all we can hope for. Like Ghosts of Mars, Silent Hill 2, or Color of Night. Simple bafflement on what we are seeing on the screen.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUp7Qgimn38

(That is incomprehensible. Methinks they give no indication of a plot in the trailer because the movie in fact does not have one.)

Director(s) – Frank Coraci – (Known For: The Wedding Singer; BMT: Click (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Blended (seen it); Here Comes the Boom; Around the World in 80 Days (seen it); Zookeeper (seen it); The Ridiculous 6; Notes: Ha, the second film of his we’ve done in the last few weeks with Around the World in 80 Days. Can complete his BMT filmography with Here Come the Boom.)

Writer(s) – Tim Herlihy – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; The Wedding Singer; Billy Madison; BMT: Just Go with It (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Mr. Deeds (seen it); Grown Ups 2 (seen it); Little Nicky (seen it); Bedtime Stories; Pixels (Seen it); The Ridiculous 6; Notes: Can complete his BMT filmography with Bedtime Stories. He was the college roommate of Adam Sandler and had a perfect LSAT score according to IMDB. Nominated for Worst Screenplay: Grown Ups 2 (2013), Little Nicky (2000), Big Daddy (1999))

Adam Sandler – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; BMT: Grown Ups( seen it); Just Go with It (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Grown Ups 2 (seen it); Little Nicky (seen it); Pixels (seen it); Jack and Jill (seen it); Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (seen it); The Ridiculous 6; You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (seen it); Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (seen it); Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, Blended (2014), Grown Ups 2 (2013), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Eight Crazy Nights (2002), Mr. Deeds (2002), Little Nicky (2000), The Waterboy (1998), Bulletproof (1996), Happy Gilmore (1996); Won for Worst Actor, That’s My Boy (2012), Jack and Jill (2011), Just Go with It (2011), Big Daddy (1999); Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Grown Ups 2 (2013), Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011), Little Nicky (2000), Big Daddy (1999); Won for Worst Screenplay, Jack and Jill (2011).)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; BMT: Grown Ups (seen it); Just Go with It (seen it); The Waterboy (seen it); Grown Ups 2 (seen it); Little Nicky (seen it); Pixels (seen it); Jack and Jill (seen it); Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (seen it); The Ridiculous 6; You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (seen it); Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (seen it); Notes: IMDB notes that his characters often have a penchant for “brand name foods” like Snack Pack. This sounds suspiciously like product placement.)

Budget/Gross: N/A / N/A (N/A Worldwide)

(Yup, released directly as a Netflix original. This caused massive confusion in the Razzie circles (fine, it was like three people) because you need to have a release to qualify for the awards, similar to the rule with the Oscars. Indeed, Ridiculous Six was not nominated for a single award.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 0% (0/25), Every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest, The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.

(Rough. But also confusing. The fact that this only garnered 25 reviews is weird to me. It is so easy to access you would think blogs and newspapers would be falling all over themselves to write some snarky review about the first terrible Netflix original. If I was a one to suggest conspiracy I would say this smacks to strong-arming by those who dislike the VOD model.)

Poster – Seven Samurai-esque

The-Ridiculous-6-poster.jpg

(I kind of weirdly like this. The structure is kind of unique (most Seven Samurai based movies go for the horizontal arrangement), I like the color scheme, and it tells you the most important part of this film: we’ve got a fuck ton of people in this. The only issue I have is the weird “age” artifacts (wrinkles at the top, the font, etc.) seem kind of haphazardly added after the fact.)

Tagline(s) – None

(Blasphemy. Let’s make up a few. Here’s the useless one “They’re Ridiculous”. Here’s one that sounds good but is meaningless “Conspicuously Ridiculous”. And here’s one that is too long, “They’re father has just been captured. Time to band together for a good old fashioned rescue!”. And here’s my attempt, “Six outlaws. One father. Too Ridiculous”)

Notes – In April 2015, it was reported that about a dozen Native American actors and actresses walked off the set over objections to their portrayal in the movie. More specifically, they were allegedly offended by inaccuracies in costumes and character names (such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra). Netflix responded by saying that the film is a broad satire of Western movies and their stereotypes, and that “[it] has ‘ridiculous’ in the title for a reason”. In the end, the stories turned out to be exaggerated as only four actors out of a group of 150 extras had left the set. (Classic)

The movie was initially to be produced by Sony Pictures, and then Paramount Pictures, but both studios passed on the project. Warner Bros was in an advanced state of negotiations, but after Adam Sandler signed a four-picture deal with Netflix, they also dropped the project. Some of the alleged reasons included Sandler’s recent streak of box office bombs (including That’s My Boy (2012), Blended (2014) and Men, Women & Children (2014)), the box office failure of the similarly Western-themed comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), as well as fear that Sandler’s Netflix contract would put the movie on hold for too long. Finally, Netflix stepped in and picked up the movie as part of Sandler’s contract. (Huh, didn’t know there was a whole story to this guy. I was just thinking about how weird it was to make this when A Million Ways to Die in the West bombed so badly).

Keywords – american indian stereotype; racial joke; racial stereotype; native american stereotype;

(I’m sorry, I just was cracking up with these IMDB keywords)

 

Color of Night Preview

Alright, so we were in a bit of a quandary this week. I honestly had always penciled in the new Adam Sandler film, The Ridiculous Six, for this week as it was released for streaming on Netflix on Friday. But as the date neared no reviews came out for the film. None. I don’t think there was an embargo or anything, it’s just that this is our first experience with a true, blue full-streaming release of a film of major interest. Unlike something like Beasts of No Nation, which did the whole film festival circuit, no one saw this film prior to December 11th. So we really had no idea what the critical consensus on the film was. Couple this with our own internal conflict on whether a non-theatrical release should even be considered for BMT and we were at a loss. So we decided to do what any self respecting source for all things bad movies would do: we did not watch Ridiculous Six. We are staying in wait-and-see mode with the film. Unlike the Razzies we can’t possibly pass judgement until we can feel fairly confident that our metrics tell us that the film is truly deserving in both popularity and terribleness for BMT. And since imdb voting has only just opened, the BMeTric has not ripened yet. So instead asked ourselves if there was a film in the BMT universe that had always piqued our interest. This obviously led to the Bruce Willis classic Color of Night. It’s a natural choice. Ready to see Bruce Willis’ dong? Let’s go!

Color of Night (1994) – BMeTric: 47.3

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(I included the votes/rating plot because it shows something curious, the trend (which I see a lot) whereby the rating is positively correlated with the number of votes a movie has received. But hey, you might say, this is interesting, is it generally true? No, the number of votes has steadily increased over time, but the average rating across IMDB is pretty stable in general. But this specific trend seems like it might be common to older (below average) movies. Considering Color of Night is a garbage movie from 1994, I found the BMeTric value a pleasant surprise. Kind of where you’d expect it to be.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Ludicrous thriller in which weirded-out therapist Willis (whose patient has just committed suicide before his eyes) heads to L.A. for a breather; he immediately finds himself immersed in a murder mystery, and involved with mysterious March. Much-publicized sex scene aren’t very sexy; the garnered hype for the editing of Willis’ full frontal nudity to earn an R rating. Also on video in an “R-rated director’s cut,” with 17m. of extra footage, including more of Bruce-in-the-buff and some sexy scenes with Warren and March.

(First, the semi-colon work in this review is top notch. Second, I love that the movie is rated R and then had an “R-rated” director’s cut. I hope I can find that. For some reason I feel like not going to the absolute extreme of full-frontal Bruce Willis nudity would somehow be a failure. Also, BOMB ratings are really rare for us, so that’s a treat.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-9odZGDREc

(Wow. That is like a trailer I would cut up in my free time. It isn’t actually the real storyline (just as an example Scott Bakula is his therapist friend, not a patient) and the entire thing just looks crazy. Looks more like a standard thriller rather than an erotic thriller. Old school.)

Director(s) – Richard Rush – (Known For: The Stunt Man. BMT: Color of Night; Freebie and the Bean; Hells Angels on Wheels; Getting Straight. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Color of Night (1994). He walked away from filmmaking after Color of Night.)

Writer(s) – Billy Ray (story, screenplay) – (Known For: The Hunger Games; Captain Phillips; State of Play; Volcano; Breach; Hart’s War; Shattered Glass; Secret in Their Eyes. BMT: Flightplan; Color of Night; Suspect Zero. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Color of Night (1994). Nominated for an Oscar for Captain Phillips. Married to Stacy Sherman who wrote the BMT film One for the Money starring Katherine Heigl.)

Matthew Chapman (screenplay) – (Known For: Runaway Jury; Reaching for the Moon. BMT: Color of Night; The Ledge; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Consenting Adults. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Color of Night (1994).)

Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: Sin City; Die Hard; Looper; The Sixth Sense; The Fifth Element; Pulp Fiction; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Die Hard 2; Unbreakable; Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys), among many others. BMT: Armageddon; Surrogates; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Hostage; Tears of the Sun; The Jackal; Cop Out; Mercury Rising; Hudson Hawk (Wri); Color of Night; A Good Day To Die Hard. Notes: Won for Worst Actor, Armageddon (1998), Mercury Rising (1998), The Siege (1998); Nominated for Worst Actor, Color of Night (1994), North (1994), Hudson Hawk (1991); Won for Worst Screenplay, Hudson Hawk (1991). I sometimes find it strange how prevalent he is to the world of bad movies, although no recognition by the Razzies for nearly 20 years now.)

Jane March – (BMT: Color of Night; Clash of the Titans; Tarzan and the Lost City; Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula; Will; My Last Five Girlfriends; The Lover (L’amant); Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress, Color of Night (1994). This was her second film. She was around 20 at the time of filming, Bruce Willis was almost 40)

Budget/Gross: $40 million / $19,726,050

(Wow, quite the bomb. The only surprising thing is that is cost $40 million dollars to make. At the time I’m not sure how you legitimatize that budget, although arguably you are talking about a film hoping to be Basic Instinct which made nearly $400 million only two years prior.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (10/46), No consensus

(How isn’t there a consensus with 46 reviews? Here you go, this is free: pretentious in its psychobabble nonsense, confusing, and strangely unsexy erotic thriller. Reading the reviews at the time is actually rather interesting, Bruce Willis’ career was considered to be in serious danger because North and Color of Night came out in the same year.)

Poster – So Goddamned Sexy (D)

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(Wow, I hate this. Just weird Bruce Willis/Jane March sexy faces without any information about the film at all. Completely useless, too dark, boring.)

Tagline(s) – Love can be murder (D)

In the heat of desire, love can turn to deception. Nothing is what it seems when day turns into night. (F)

Five Suspects. Two Lovers. One Killer. Nothing is what it seems… except murder. (C)

(I don’t like any of these. Love can be murder sounds like a tagline, but it is meaningless. It just says “hey, I’m an erotic thriller”. The next is the same but just really long and the “day turns to night” is trite bullshit. The last one has the kind of cadence I want to see, but again, nothing is what is seems except murder kind of kills it. Chop that off into a shorter “Five suspects. Two lovers. One killer” and I think you got a solid tagline.)

Notes – Although this film was a box office flop, this film did very well in home video market; according to Billboard magazine, this film was even one of the Top 20 most-rented films in 1995. (gross yet hilarious)

Jane March planned to require the filmmakers to alter some of the film’s nude scenes, but she eventually didn’t do so because her working experience on the film was very happy. (Good for you Jane March. You have nothing to be ashamed of)

Jane March stated that she “wasn’t at all comfortable with the nudity” in the film. (Honestly, it is unnecessarily extreme. You could cut almost all of it out and it is the same movie).

Razzie Awards 1995, Won for Worst Picture

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Original Song.

The Gunman Preview

Alright, so this week we continue our wait on Fantastic Four. You may be asking “But Jamie, didn’t you say that Fantastic Four would be out around now? What’s going on? This isn’t some elaborate ruse like the 8th episode recap of the Vineyard where you continually claim that Fantastic Four is up next, but it never actually happens, right? We can only take so much. I still don’t know what happened to Meathead and Small Fry! Did they find love?! Did Other Girl ever actually have a relevant plot?!” Don’t worry guys, we swear it’s coming. It’s just that with the complex VOD release schedules it’s hard to tell when things are coming out for streaming purchase vs. rental or if they come out on disc before that or several weeks after. I guarantee, though, that it’ll be done by Christmas. It will be disappointing if I have to purchase Fantastic Four on Vudu as a Christmas present for my bro all in the name of watching the film for BMT… but if it must be done, it must be done. For now we’re just collecting the best of the best (READ: worst of the worst) to try to make sure we cover some of the more plausible BMT releases of the year prior to Razzie nomination season. This week we are hitting up The Gunman starring Sean Penn. Because when Taken came out who didn’t think, ‘Yeah, it’s OK… but what if it starred Sean Penn?’ Let’s go!

The Gunman (2015) – BMeTric: 28.0 (at the time), 28.6 (February 20, 2016)

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(It seems, given the new Jan/Feb data points, like the BMeTric has settled into a more expected trajectory. Probably plateauing just a shade under 30, but above average nonetheless. The Gunman being a stalwart in the Netflix streaming library is probably helping to keep the votes rolling in.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – It lurches from one banal scene after another before settling into a third act that forces Penn to appear in some of the silliest scenes of his career —and when I say that, bear in mind that I once paid cash to see “Shanghai Surprise” during its brief theatrical release.

(Huh, that synopsis doesn’t sound much like a 2 star film. Seems like he didn’t want to go too hard on Penn. Don’t have much more to say about this.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zww7VgaUhyk

(Besides the inherent ridiculousness of Sean Penn as an action star (given his acting history) I kinda dug this. All-star cast. The thing I would fear is that it is crazy confusing.)

Director(s) – Pierre Morel – (Known For: Taken; District B13. BMT: From Paris with Love; The Gunman; Notes: Known as a cinematographer for The Transporter. He was attached as a director of a new Dune adaptation before the project was scrapped.)

Writer(s) – Don MacPherson (screenplay) – (Known For: Absolute Beginners. BMT: The Avengers; The Gunman; Crossing the Line. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, The Avengers (1998))

Pete Travis (screenplay) – (BMT: The Gunman. Notes: Mostly known as a director. Directed potential BMT film Vantage Point.)

Sean Penn (screenplay) – (Known For: Into the Wild; The Indian Runner; The Crossing Guard. BMT: The Gunman. Notes: Now I think I understand why this film exists and why Sean Penn is in it. I bet he really, really liked the novel (old, French, existentialist crime fiction… that sounds right up Sean Penn’s alley) and signed on to the film and just looovvved doing some rewrites on it and stuff.)

Jean-Patrick Manchette wrote the novel “The Prone Gunman” that this is based on.

Actors – Sean Penn – (Known For: Mystic River; 21 Grams; Milk; The Game; Carlito’s Way; The Tree of Life; The Interpreter; Dead Man Walking; The Thin Red Line; Sweet and Lowdown; The Assassination of Richard Nixon; Fair Game; Casualties of War; State of Grace; Bad Boys; At Close Range; Colors; The Falcon and the Snowman; Before Night Falls; Taps; U-Turn; The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty; Fast Times At Ridgemont High. BMT: I Am Sam; Gangster Squad; The Gunman; The Weight of Water; Shanghai Surprise; All The King’s Men. Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, Shanghai Surprise (1986). Won Oscars for Milk and Mystic River. Nominated for Oscars for Sweet and Lowdown, I Am Sam, and Dead Man Walking.)

also stars Idris Elba and Jasmine Trinca

Budget/Gross: $40 million / $10,664,749 ($10,664,749 Worldwide)

(Egad, you read that right. Second week in a row with a massive bomb. This opened as the 37th worst 2500+ release, just 5 spots back from Unfinished Business. Funny that it didn’t get a foreign release at all since this was actually a France-U.S. joint production)

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% (24/149), With an uninspired plot and rote set pieces that are overshadowed by its star’s physique, The Gunman proves a muddled misfire in the rapidly aging Over-50 Action Hero genre.

(“… overshadowed by its star’s physique.” Ha! This can be taken in two totally different ways. How I originally read it was that Sean Penn’s dad bod was so dad bod that you couldn’t tear your eyes away from its dad bodishness. However a picture like this from the set:

SeanPennBod.jpg

make me think that the implication is that his sleek physique was so on fleek (God, I’m the worst) that you didn’t even care about the boring plot or set pieces. Either way is good for BMT.)

Poster – Sean Badass (B+)

TheGunman.jpg

(I actually really dig this poster. I like the dark theme to it contrasting with the scarlet red. Original font. Nice symmetry. Not sure I would like it as much if there was a different main actor. I think Sean Penn’s “natural” neon orange skin tone really pops here and completes the poster.)

Tagline – Armed with the truth (C)

(This is pretty mediocre. Gives me just enough hint at the plot. Gives me just enough cleverness. Gives me just enough brevity. But nothing is actually good in any regard.)

Notes – Although the film was produced by veteran action producer Joel Silver, Silver was removed from the editing room after one visit and the final cut of the film was supervised by actor Sean Penn and director Pierre Morel. (Odd note. He’s a producer… does he generally do editing on the films he produces? I would love it if there ended up being a Silver Cut of the film released to DVD.)

Javier Bardem was reportedly paid US $5 million dollars for his supporting role in the film. (These are the facts we love to get here at BMT HQ. Interesting.)

Based on the novel The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette. (Yeah it is. Unfortunately neither me nor Patrick will get around to reading it before recapping. Rats.)

Unfinished Business Preview

We are basically running willy nilly through these last few weeks of 2015, grabbing whatever bad movies are left from this year. This week is technically the Razzies category itself, so we looked at the films left over and chose what we thought gave the best shot of hitting one that might show up on the Razzies ballot (Editor Note from the future: It didn’t!). That, of course, means we’ll be watching Unfinished Business starring Vince Vaughn. This probably won the award for the film my wife least wanted to watch this year. She thought it just looked gross. I also thought it looked pretty gross. Great. Let’s go!

Unfinished Business (2015) – BMeTric: 38.3(At the Time), 39.5 (February 23, 2016)

UnfinishedBusiness_BMeT

(Look at dem curves. You can see the exact jumps corresponding to the theatrical and DVD releases. Seems like this will have a little relaxation from here, but as of now it has a pretty solid score. One of the highest (non-horror) films left from 2015 for us, and ever creeping closer to a 40+ BMeTric. Note: Plot generated on February 23, 2016.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Screenwriter Steve Conrad has written some very good films about middle-aged male panic, most memorably “The Weatherman,” but in “Unfinished Business”, scenes just sit there. Nothing happens.

(Wow. That final, nihilistic statement couldn’t chill my heart more. I don’t think there is anything I hate more than a film where nothing actually happens… looking at you Grown Ups. Ugh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bM5vyZBQFA

(See? Just looks a little gross. Does seem like there are some stakes here though. So how could nothing happen? Gotta close that deal!)

Director(s) – Ken Scott – (Known For: Starbuck. BMT: Delivery Man; Unfinished Business. Notes: It has been announced that he will direct the sequel to The Shining, called Doctor Sleep.)

Writer(s)Steve Conrad – (Known For: Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; The Weatherman; Pursuit of Happyness; The Promotion; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. BMT: Unfinished Business. Notes: Sold Wrestling Ernest Hemingway at the age of 19. It was based on a short story he wrote for a creative writing class he took in college. Didn’t get another script produced for eleven years.)

Actors – Vince Vaughn – (Known For: Dodgeball; Wedding Crashers; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Cell; Into the Wild; Old School; The Lost World; Swingers; Starsky & Hutch; Return to Paradise; Clay Pigeons; Made; Thumbsucker; Rudy. BMT: The Internship; The Break-Up; Couples Retreat; Delivery Man; Four Christmases; The Dilemma; Fred Claus; Be Cool; Psycho; Unfinished Business; Domestic Disturbance; The Watch. Notes: I’ve seen a lot of these! Never nominated for a Razzie. This could be the year.)

Also stars Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco

Budget/Gross: $35 million / $10,219,501 ($14,431,253 Worldwide)

(Massive bomb. One of the worst of the year. Comes in as the 31st worst opening weekend for 2500+ theater release, a couple behind BMT favorite Bats. Opened at #10 in the box office. Yeesh.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 11% (10/90), Unfocused and unfunny, Unfinished Business lives down to its title with a slipshod screenplay and poorly directed performances that would have been better left unreleased.

(Better left unreleased! Bite your tongue. Do you know what kind of films don’t get released? Theodore Rex types of films. D-Tox type of films. Only the worst of the worst of the worst aren’t even released to try to recoup some of the budget.)

Poster – Weird Blocks and Colors (F)

unfinished_business

(I hate this poster. I hate the block separation of characters. I hate all the colors. I hate how it doesn’t even try to make it hard on Patrick when he spoofs it (Sklog Brothers, each section is a brother, I call Franco))

Tagline(s) – Best business trip ever (F)

(Wow, what a bad poster/tagline combo. That is just lazy. Not clever. Not interesting. I hate it.)

Notes – Originally titled Business Trip (Unfortunately this is slightly better than the nonsensical Unfinished Business).

While the characters made several references to Portland for business and home in St. Louis, all of the US scenes were filmed in Boston. Boston is never mentioned in the movie. (God I love settings in films. Like, why Portland? Editor’s Note: This turned out to be Portland, Maine! Dear God! Why? A veritable mystery.)

Around the World in 80 Days Preview

This week we are mired in the worst releases of 2015 as we wait for Razzie noms to be released and our long awaited switch to the Stallonian calendar to take effect. We no longer have any genres to adhere to (remember, we are waiting to use the Action selection to pick Fantastic Four when it gets released) so we are left with the more random categories of Razzies, Chain Reaction, and Scattegories. We decided to mix things up this week by using the Chain Reaction wild card. Why is it a wild card? Well our devoted fans will remember that the last Chain Reaction film was the major blockbuster What Goes Up starring Steve Coogan. It’s a small film with a small cast that didn’t really have the reach necessary to guarantee a 2015 connection worthy of BMT. So instead of forcing some small time film through the pipeline, we will take a little break from our Razzie tour and jump into the 2004 family adventure Around the World in 80 Days starring Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan. Wild card! Now Steven Coogan aficionados may be decrying our snub of his classic Marmaduke, but don’t worry, Marmaduke will have its day. There are reasons we picked Around the World in 80 Days. Reasons that will become clear far in the future (like 6 weeks). For now, let’s go!

Around the World in 80 Days (2004) – BMeTric: 33.8

AroundTheWorld_BMeT

(I’m very pleasantly surprised with this metric. It makes me curious as to whether it has gone up over time (impossible to tell with this plot, although I would tentatively say it hasn’t). Mostly it’s because the reviews at the time of release weren’t super low. Maybe it’s the opposite of a cult classic. People look back on it and are like ‘yeesh.’ Getting me excited. Note: Plot generated on February 23, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Absentminded Victorian inventor Phileas Fogg embarks on a global journey with a fugitive from justice (Chan) as his valet. Stumblebum remake of the Jules Verne saga is devoid of wit, and with so many CG effects shows no evidence of globetrotting in spite of having used several international locations. The 1956 had cameos by the likes of Sinatra and Dietrich; this one gives us Schwarzenegger in a funny wig.

(Stumblebum?! That’s my middle name. Jamie Stumblebum Smadbeck. I’m all about Stumblebum remakes. All in!)

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

(When Sugar Ray’s Fly started blasting I threw up all over myself. No longer all in! Not in!)

Director(s) – Frank Coraci – (Known For: The Wedding Singer; BMT: Click; The Waterboy; Blended; Here Comes the Boom; Around the World in 80 Days; Zookeeper. Notes: I need to see Here Comes the Boom stat. Gotta be that Coraci completist. Has somehow escaped Razzie nomination.)

Writer(s) – David N. Titcher (screenplay) – (BMT: Around the World in 80 Days; Notes: Only feature. He is probably best known as the writer of the Noah Wyle TV movie franchise The Librarian.)

David Benullo (screenplay) – (BMT: Around the World in 80 Days. Notes: Only American feature. He interestingly has written a couple Bollywood features.)

David Goldstein (screenplay) – (BMT: Around the World in 80 Days. Notes: There is literally nothing to find out about this guy so I’ll make something up. This is actually my pen name. Yep. That’s right. I wrote Around the World in 80 Days my sophomore year of high school. After having it come out to disastrous box office returns I was too ashamed to tell anyone about it.)

Actors – Jackie Chan – (Known For: Kung Fu Panda; Rush Hour; Rush Hour 2; Shanghai Noon; The Forbidden Kingdom; Shanghai Knights; The Karate Kid; Kung Fu Panda 2; Supercop; Enter the Dragon; The Legend of Drunken Master; Rumble in the Bronx; Police Story. BMT: Rush Hour 3; Around the World in 80 Days; The Tuxedo; The Spy Next Door; The Medallion; The Protector; The Cannonball Run; Cannonball Run II; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn. Notes: Funny note on his wiki. Says that he is not a fan of the Rush Hour series despite the incredible success it had. He says he didn’t like the stunts in the films and doesn’t understand American humor. Don’t worry, Jackie. We no longer think Chris Tucker is funny either.)

Steve Coogan – (Known For: Hot Fuzz; Philomena; Tropic Thunder; Despicable Me 2; 24 Hour Party People; The Other Guys; Night at the Museum; The Trip; Hamlet 2; Ruby Sparks; Our Idiot Brother; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Minions; In the Loop; The Trip To Italy; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian; Alan Partridge. BMT: Around the World in 80 Days; Marmaduke; What Goes Up. Notes: Just published an autobiography called Easily Distracted. Seeing as I’m a library enthusiast I might have to look and see if that’s available at the always wonderful Rochester Public Library.)

Budget/Gross: $110 million / $24,008,137 ($72,178,895 Worldwide)

(Let that sink in. I wasn’t fully aware of just how disastrous the release of this film was, but oooo mama. That is rough. Opened at 9th (!) in the box office with the 129th worst opening for a 2500+ release film. Just ahead of BMT film The Big Wedding.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 31% (40/127), Hit-and-miss family fare that bares only the slightest resemblance to Verne’s novel.

(See, the reviews seem just mediocre. 31% is pretty high for us and the consensus hints at the idea that at the time of release people just thought ‘meh’ about it. Now, in retrospect, they probably look back and are like ‘what a stumblebum production.’)

Poster – Giant Golden Letters (F)

around_the_world_in_eighty_days
(Oh god. That is awful. First, the title font, while hilariously impossible for Patrick to spoof, is jarring. Second, look at dem colors. Third, Steve Coogan must have been pissed that when it was all said and done this film was marketed entirely as a Jackie Chan vehicle.)

Tagline(s) – The race begins: June 16. (Blech)

(This is easily the most common tagline you see on the posters and it is no good. It’s just too lazy. I just like to see people try to be clever. No fun when they don’t even try.)

Notes – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last film before being elected governor of California. (Fantastic)

With a box office loss of around $80 million, this film is considered the biggest independently released flop in film history (it was made by an independent group under Disney). (Yeah it was made by the Walden Group which specializes in Christian family films like the Narnia films. This isn’t a Christian film, but wholesome enough).

Will Forte’s feature film debut. (Wow!)

Razzie Awards 2005, Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger; Nominated for Worst Remake or Sequel.

The Gallows Preview

It was a bit of a tricky week for deciding which movie we were going to watch. The only genres we have left (besides the more random Razzie, Scattegories, and Chain Reaction) are Action and Horror/Thriller. Since we are looking forward to the release of Fantastic Four for the action section of this cycle, we were left with Horror/Thriller. Which is hardly thrilling in this case since those films are rarely taken seriously in the Razzie competition. In a lot of ways we will be merely treading water since we can’t hope to guess which film in the genre will be nominated. So we felt like we should just make sure to do the one that seemed like the shittiest. With that in mind, this week we are watching The Gallows. I found the trailer for this film so horrifying(ly bad) that I nearly insisted that we see this film in theaters for BMT. Didn’t work though, cause Patrick lives in a second world country across the pond that only had it in theaters for a week (To think! A modern country in this day and age only getting The Gallows for 7 days! How do they expect you to live over there, Patrick?). We would have had to be really on the ball. So instead we see it now! Let’s go!

The Gallows (2015) – BMeTric: 49.5 (At the Time), 53.6 (February 24, 2016)

TheGallows_BMeT

(This metric is really high! Love it. Something to keep in mind with the new BMeTric is that lots of these terrible found footage films get some really solid numbers and yet won’t get Razzie nominations. More an aspect of the Razzies than the quality of the metric. It basically has to do with horror having a great cult audience following. So the bad ones still get watched and rated a ton. It makes almost no sense to me. Editor’s Note: Plot generated on February 24, 2016)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star – … so incredibly dumb that it is almost, but never quite, scary to behold.

(Nice concise blurb I could grab from the review. Essentially what the review says it that genre has been dominated this year by some terrible wide release horror films (Poltergeist remake, Lazarus Effect, etc.) which still look like masterpieces in comparison to The Gallows. I’m all for incredibly dumb, though. Getting me excited.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_8OKImO2pc

(Absurd. Just absurd. I don’t really know how to reconcile the whole serial killer aspect with the supernatural bullshit that happens in the film (the lockers being the prime example). Everything just looks cheap and goes for cheap scares. I hate it already.)

Director(s) – Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing – (BMT: The Gallows. Notes: Travis Cluff is boring so both notes about Lofing. He actually has a very rare genetic disorder which results in him having abnormal skeletal structure. If you see pictures of him he looks very short and that’s because of this disorder.)

Writer(s) – Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing (written by) – (BMT: The Gallows. Notes: It says on Lofing’s imdb that he set four American powerlifting records. I thought it was some joke that maybe he put on there. Nope. He actually did. Interesting.)

Actors – Cassidy Gifford – (BMT: The Gallows; God’s Not Dead. Notes: Daughter of Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford.)

Also stars Pfeifer Brown and Ryan Shoos

Budget/Gross: $100,000 / $22,764,410 ($38,164,410 Worldwide)

(I have to take a knee right here. Jesus… Blumhouse just cleans up on these things. Basically they have figured a way to game the system. Buy or finance a bunch of microbudget horror films. Some will hit big and make up for the minuscule losses they see with their failures. Further a couple sequels can be made with the successes to magnify their gains. They also did something interesting this year with Jem and the Holograms where they seemed to try to leverage its minor cult interest against the low amount needed to purchase the rights to the film adaption. Didn’t work great that time.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 15% (14/90), Narratively contrived and visually a mess, The Gallows sends viewers on a shaky tumble to the bottom of the found-footage horror barrel.

(The… the… bottom? *gasp* I had presumed we had reached the bottom during one of the last several terrible found footage films we’ve endured. If this is worse than any of those we are in for a bumpy ride.)

Poster – Bomb Red (A)

gallows

(I love this poster. The red coloring perfused through everything. The text format. It’s like a work of art. Almost makes me want to put in on the map for Nebraska. Would look so nice.)

Tagline(s) – Every School Has Its Spirit (D)

(I feel like this is trying to trick me into liking it. As I’ve said on occasion: this looks like a tagline, sounds like a tagline, but I assure you, it is not a tagline. It is a strange twist on the phrase “school spirit” that just is wrong in every way. It hurts my brain. I hate it.)

Notes – The co-writer/director Travis Cluff was a contestant in season 2 of Wipeout (“Super Shorts”) and won. (hahaha, where was this on his imdb trivia page? Only on the trivia for the film.)

Certain exteriors were accomplished in Lofing’s hometown of Beatrice, Nebraska, the setting for the film. However, “The Gallows” was shot primarily in and around Fresno, California. (You know we love settings)