Rings Recap

Jamie

Samara is back, Jack! Holt is off to college leaving behind his girlfriend Julia. When he stops answering her calls she races to campus to find that he’s watched the Ring video for a research project. She saves his life by watching his copy, but realizes too late that the video is mutated and can’t be copied. Can they unravel this new mystery before it’s too late? Find out in… Rings.

What?! When a Very Cool Professor (we know he’s rad because he smokes weed and sleeps with his students… uh… cool?) stumbles upon the Samara tape at a flea market he begins research into the effects of the tape. Some time later we are introduce to Holt and Julia. They are super in love and whispering sweet nothings to each other before Holt heads away to college. They keep in touch diligently until Holt straight up ghosts her one day shortly before she is meant to visit. That ain’t cool, Holt! She rushes to campus and finds that he’s been caught up in the Very Cool Professor’s project! Oh no! After witnessing the death of another subject in the experiment, Julia takes matters into her own hands and watches Holt’s copy to save his life. It’s all cool says the Very Cool Professor, but when he tries to make a copy for Julia it turns out the video is mutated and rendered unreproducible. Decidedly uncool, Very Cool Professor! Analysis of the new scenes all point to Sacrament Valley, the town where Samara was ultimately buried. When Holt and Julia go there they find a near ghost town filled only with sadness. In their explorations Holt and Julia discover that this town was where Samara’s mother Evelyn was from and that she was impregnated by the town priest and kept captive in a secret room under the church. Creepy. Unfortunately for them that very priest is still there and attempts to murder them before his secret is out. Just before he kills them, Samara pulls the ol’ switcheroo and crawls out of a phone to kill him instead. All seems well until at the very end we get a Spoiler Alert where it turns out that Sarama has possessed Julia and is spreading the Ring virus to all corners of the world. THE END.

Why?! Like the first Ring film this asks the question of how far one is willing to go for love. After Holt is roped into the video experiment, Julia makes the choice to save his life by watching a copy of his video. She took on that risk for love and honestly it didn’t work out. Should have let that dumbo die. After that their motivation is to help Samara find peace in the hopes that it cures Julia. Unfortunately that doesn’t work out because she’s pure evil. People keep making this mistake. Stop helping Samara! She is clearly a hate-filled demon that cannot be trusted.

What?! This film seems particularly focused on the effectiveness of Apple products to communicate to your long-distance beau, copy death videos for the viewing pleasure of your next victim, light up a creepy underground dungeon, or bring Samara wherever you go so she can kill the homicidal priest that’s trapped you in his house. Makes you wonder if they actually paid for this because it makes their products out to be horror devices.

Who?! God do I wish there was a Planchet in this film. Would have loved a chubby best friend cracking jokes about Samara as she crawled towards him. Since we don’t I just want to use this space to give a round of applause for writer Akiva Goldsman. What. A. Year. This, Transformers: The Last Knight, and The Dark Tower. It’s glorious.

Where?! Most of the film takes place in Washington state. First in Spokane, where Holt goes to college, and then in the made up town of Sacrament Valley, where Samara is from. I bump this up to a B for how Washington has played a big role in the entire Ring series.

When?! A true favorite of mine for a Secret Holiday Film Alert! Julia and Holt are going to see each other six weeks after he leaves for college. That’s when he has a long weekend for, that’s right, Columbus Day! In fact when Holt ghosts her we see a series of texts of her trying to reach him spanning from October 6-8, meaning that major events in this film take place on the all important date of October 9th. Boom. That’s a B+ because it’s amazing.

This film started off in the way that I kind of hoped The Ring Two would have gone: the release of the tape being part of dark web culture and researched by rogue scientists. It’s a great story. Unfortunately they abandon it almost immediately to rehash the mystery surrounding Samara’s past. Seems to be a trend in the story. Stick your toe into something different and then quickly retreat back into the thriller-mystery convention that made the first film a hit. I’m always up for some more lore when it comes to franchises, just wish it wasn’t so lame and bleak. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Golden Boy became the Golden Dud after he botched the sequel to the megahit (and his baby) The Ring. Meanwhile, everyone else is just copying his game with this supernatural horror shit. The Golden Boy is going he back in the game! Show these children what is what! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read The Ring Two recap. Meanwhile, let’s get into it!

The Good (BMulTiverse Theory) – I’m glad they got some closure on the story of Samara. It would seem like with the final rebirth of Samara here they can leave the video behind and start, if they so choose, to explore more about the demon itself. I kind of hope they do it. The story itself isn’t terrible, it is just unfortunate it was done in such a trite way in movies that didn’t live up to the original’s promise. Since I’m going to do a remake in the Bad section this week let’s explore another BMulTiverse Theory. I honestly believe if The Ring had been made about 10 years later this would be The Conjuring. The Conjuring has had three films, but then a spin-off series (Annabelle) and two more spin-offs in production (The Nun and The Crooked Man). The Ring could have gone deep into the origins of Samara, and then started to explore other demonic beings that have, in their own way, touched the world, exploiting are growing dependence on technology to make their power grow. The Ring was too far ahead of its time and instead ushered in an era of bad J Horror adaptations instead, many of which I’m sure we will discuss in the future.

The Bad (Crimes Against BMT-anity) – The acting is pretty rough. They toss out a fairly interesting story (a scientist studying Samara’s abilities) in yet another Janus Device (see The Ring Two recap for the definition) whereby the movie is almost perfectly split in twain: First the discovery of the college experimentation with Samara, and then a road trip to Samara’s mother’s home town. In this case I think the back half is weakest, partially because it seems like they kind of copying Don’t Breathe’s blind-man-hunting-you-down-in-a-darkened-house routine. The biggest Crime Against BMT-anity in this film is definitely the lost opportunity in exploring Samara’s powers. The rumor is that they were hoping to create a whole Ring Cinematic Universe, and the scientist would have been a perfect jumping off point. Almost like a Stephen King thinner idea Samara represents the potential to discovering a demonic power unknown to this world. And when they drill down into that power it unleashes a pandora’s box of other demon. Johnny Galecki is a pretty big name, and could have been that evil Crichton-esque Mad Scientist and a constant to the series, insistent that the pursuit of knowledge (and by extension fame) is so pure that even death and destruction can be ignored in the face of it. It would have been an interesting twist if they had a place to go with it. Hmmm, this is almost a remake in an of itself, and could have gone into the good part as well. Maybe I need to watch more supernatural horror. I would have thought someone would have gone after the thinner idea from Stephen King books. It is a great idea, it is just that Stephen King adaptations are usually terrible.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – Like The Ring Two the legs can go on for days because The Ring likely marks a point in which BMT will start to look at a watch J Horror a bit more. Finally, we do have a bit of street cred because I can find a … it looks like a blog, but it is mentioned here. Unlike some of the recent films we’ve done I am confident Rings, being the descendant of a well respected horror film, will get some play in worst-of lists.

In this case we did have a bit of a Homework Sklog-signment in the original The Ring. I loved The Ring on second viewing. The movie isn’t really scary per se, but the investigative aspect of it is really interesting. They keep the mythos tight, don’t fall into a trap of over-explanation, and have a great twist ending (Naomi Watts you doofus, why’d you help Samara!). Others don’t agree apparently, both Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert gave The Ring Two a better review than The Ring (I think the same scores even, 2 and 2.5 stars for the original and sequel respectively). I disagree, but I also think it depends on how many scares you require in your horror films. I would tend to punish non-scary horror films, but here I think the investigative-thriller is a fine look for the first film. It is far bigger crime that the second does half the investigation and is just as not-scary, in my opinion. Such is life. I still haven’t seen Ringu unfortunately, but I’m certainly looking forward to that. It is unlikely I’ll read the books (because they are weird as fuck apparently), or see the Japanese sequels (because they are terrible apparently). So Ringu will complete The Ring lore for me for now.

I’ll leave it there. Cheerios

The Sklogs

The Ring Two Recap

Jamie

Samara is back, Jack! Following the events of the first film, Rachel and Aiden Keller move to Oregon to start anew. It’s not long though before the rapidly spreading video virus finds them again and Aiden is possessed by Samara hoping to regain a physical form. Can Rachel battle to save her son and put Samara to rest before it’s too late? Find out in… The Ring Two.

What?! We pick up about 6 months after the events of the first film. Rachel and Aiden have moved to a small Oregon town where Rachel takes over as editor of the local paper. Everything seems to be going well until a report comes in about a disturbing death of a local teen. It sounds eerily similar to Samara’s MO, which Rachel confirms by going to the scene of the crime. Oh no! She’s found them! The next night Aiden dreams of Samara and is totes possessed by her. When Aiden starts to show serious health concerns related to demonic possession (naturally), Rachel seeks to help of her coworker, who immediately is like “WTF, mate. Get this kid to a hospital. And put some more shrimp on the barbie.” Rachel refuses, but when Samara tricks her into almost killing Aiden, her coworker is like “I didn’t sign up for this shit,” and takes control of the situation (or so he thinks). Realizing that she needs to go figure out another piece of the Samara puzzle she finds Samara’s mother, Evelyn, in a psychiatric hospital and is told to listen to Aiden if she wants him to survive. Returning to Astoria she finds that Aiden has violently escaped the hospital and killed her coworker. In her sleep she dreams that Aiden tells her to drown him and so she drugs him and places him in the bathtub after which Samara leaves his body. Hoping to destroy her once and for all she follows Samara to her TV home and locks her back in her well. THE END.

Why?! I mean, Samara is pure evil so we don’t need to delve too deep into her motivations. It would be fun if they were more mundane (Samara just wants that big promotion at work!), but alas she’s just pure evil. As for Rachel she just wants to escape Samara. When that turns out to be impossible, though, she decides that she must trap Samara for good instead.

What?! While there isn’t much product placement in this (probably some cars and stuff), I did find a moment in the very beginning somewhat amusing. The opening deals with the teenager who dies in Astoria trying to convince an unsuspecting girl to watch his copy of the tape. He kinda makes it seem like he’s into her and the whole situation is a date and as part of his seductive dance he asks if she wants a drink. Of course she does, the hottest guy in school seems into her. Duh. Out he pops from the kitchen with what I swear is a SoBe… bad move, dude. SoBe tastes like trash. She was probably already looking for the exits before you even broached the subject of the death video.

Who?! There isn’t really something to go here. No Planchet and no credits of note. So let’s do a short meditation on who Samara is as a monster. In this film we basically get the whole backstory: her mother claimed to be impregnated by a water demon and when the child is born Samara never cries and steadily drives her mother insane. Samara is adopted and continues to drive everyone around her insane with terrible visions. She never sleeps and these visions never stop until Samara is thrown down a well and sealed inside. This limits her influence until Rachel frees her in The Ring allowing her the freedom to attempt to possess Aiden. It really is a solid backstory, particularly the idea that the demon Samara never sleeps and the child she possessed is forever asleep within. I think both Patrick and I would have liked to see them play with that “water demon” idea of it at some point (and also opens a possibility for ultimate closure). But through three entries it’s kept fairly vague.

Where?! I love this setting as it so specifically narrows in on a random town in Oregon that actually exists. Rachel and Aiden move just over the Washington border into Astoria. It’s actually a well known filming location acting also as the setting for The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop. This is a B+, but the whole series borders on an A because of how entrenched in the Northwest it all is.

When?! This is almost a secret holiday film as we get to see some commercials for Memorial Day on TV. That can only really be used for a bound, though, as they are all preparing for an upcoming long weekend without being more specific. We also see a prescription fill date for May 5th so that gives up a nice three week window to work with. Had to work for it. C-.

The first part of this film is horrific. Everything looks cheap and shitty and took a step towards One Missed Call rather than keep up with the slick appearance of the Gore Verbinski original. This culminates in a 20 minute flea market scene that was only horrifying in how dull and terrible it all was. Then a weird thing happens. The film shifts into the well-worn child possession territory and almost immediately becomes much better. There are lots of films ruined by the end (the classic being that the entire film was a dream or something equally dumb), but ruined by the beginning is much rarer. Could it be that we found one of these gems? Maybe. Still a pretty significant step back from the original in almost every way, not just in the beginning. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You are the brilliant mind who brought J-Horror to the American masses. They. Went. Bananas. And you made the big bucks. What’s next for the Golden Boy (that’s what your coworkers call you)? Well … I mean, let’s just make that thing again right? There’s like a sequel and a book and everything, this should be easy … right? Golden Boy! Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel / Prequel / Remake) – The second half of this movie is kind of alright if you like The Ring. It is very similar. A investigative journalist needs to go investigating and encounters a spooooooky ghost. She barely knows what she’s doing and mostly causes trouble until she doesn’t (hooray!). That is the same as the first movie. And if you like thriller investigative films they both work shockingly well in that regard. So let’s imagine a Remake where the beginning of this film isn’t a complete pile of garbage. At the end of the first film Naomi Watts, Rachel, had just helped Samara (whoops) and presumably murdered someone to save her son. Honestly I think you pick up where you left off. She’s discovered the secret to saving oneself from Samara’s wrath, but there is an open question as to how to end Samara once and for all. Her method of saving herself is revealed to the world by Beth, Noah’s live-in girlfriend, which ultimately leads to an ever multiplying virus of tapes spreading across Washington. Rachel chases down as many of them as possible, but the desperate victims start to fight her influenced by the growing power of Samara. Realizing it is too late to stop the spread Rachel goes for the source, the convent that Samara (with demon in tow) was conceived and born. Can Rachel stop Samara? Or will Rachel, like a doofus, end up helping Samara achieve her ultimate desire: to be reborn again into another human vessel?

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The first half of this film is garbage, but you knew that already. They never bother to address one of the weirdest mysteries of the entire series: why does this little girl demon live on a video tape? What are the rules even all about? Given it can be summed up as “it was an allegory for how technology is slowly killing us all” I think they basically gave that little mystery a pass (beyond perhaps that was her way of passing her “visions” to people far from her well-prison). The movie isn’t scary, although that is kind of expected given the first one wasn’t scary either. And finally, despite liking the second half of the film, it is pretty derivative of many films that came before it. It is basically a run of the mill child gets possessed by a demon tale. For the Sklog-cabulary Quiz I think I’ll note an interesting aspect of both the second and third Rings series which I’ll call:

The Janus Device (n.) – A plot device which acts to split a film into two disparate entities. Each half of the film can be viewed almost independently, often with distinct tones, settings, and plots.

In BMT the most famous Janus Device was from The Guardian where Ashton Kutcher’s graduation from the Coast Guard Academy perfectly splits the film into two parts. The first part sees Kutcher (aka Goldfish) butting heads with Kevin Costner among the sultry Louisiana bayou. The second half sees Kutcher (aka Speedboat) best of pals with Costner among the freezing waters of Kodiak, Alaska. Here you see basically a bunch of throwaway jump scares until Watts son lands in the hospital sick with possession. From there it kicks right back into The Ring territory, complete with changing the setting from Astoria, Oregon back to Seattle, Washington. The movie was clearly just over written by several different crews.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I think this has got legs that go on for days my friends. I am officially a fan of J Horror. I was to watch more and get to know them. And I think I’ll try my very best to get BMT to give that to me. Stay tuned. As far as street cred, well it did get two nomination at both the Golden Schmoes (Worst Film and Biggest Disappointment) and the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards (Worst Sequel and Least Scary Horror Film). But as far as I can tell this kind of flew under the critical radar. I think it is great, whatever.

I’ll leave that there because this one is already enormous. I’ll cover The Ring in more detail in the recap for Rings.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rings Preview

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

Rings (2017) – BMeTric: 71.8

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(The rating plot is demented. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people get about things like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb (rich coming from us I suppose since half of the preview is scraping and analyzing data from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Kick-ass VOD bump there though, and an incredible number of votes as usual.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  More wearying than frightening, “Rings” is a total non-starter that may well win the weekend box-office derby (if only because of the weak competition) but which will be blessedly forgotten by most of those who see it after seven days—a month tops.

(Clever closing line. The writer admits he isn’t exactly the biggest fan of the series itself, calling the previous installments “silly”. He also closes with a somewhat strange recommendation of another movie (The Autopsy of Jane Doe which, oddly, stars Brian Cox who was in the original The Ring). This intrigues me though. I’m curious as to what I will think of the series as a whole now. I feel like it hugely depends on what you want in horror films. Are you looking for spooky scares? Or is it enough to get some deaths with an interesting story / mythos surrounding the baddie? Very interested now.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFB4eZSVgBE

(Alright that looks like straight garbage. It looks (1) not scary, (2) like it just butchers the interesting mythology of the franchise, and (3) is poorly made. Kind of sad they decided to go with a totally different storyline (basically). Like, why even make it then?)

Directors – F. Javier Gutiérrez – (BMT: Rings; Notes: He is rumored to be attached to a Conjuring spin-off The Crooked Man. This is his only major release, although he directed a feature called Before the Fall. One and Done? It is at least close. He’ll get another shot though.)

Writers – David Loucka (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: The Dream Team; Future BMT: House at the End of the Street; Eddie; Dream House; BMT: Rings; Notes: Eddie and Rings … two peas in a pod? Nothing much about him besides the weird fact that he went from writing comedies to basically exclusively horror films over his career.)

Jacob Estes (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Mean Creek; The Details; Nearing Grace; BMT: Rings; Notes: Broke onto the scene as the writer-director of Mean Creek, which is quite good. Stars BMT favorite Josh Peck as well.)

Akiva Goldsman (screenplay by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; A Time to Kill; Batman Forever; I, Robot; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Batman & Robin; Lost in Space; Transformers: The Last Knight; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Rings; The 5th Wave; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: He won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. Incredibly successful as a screenwriter he broke onto the scene in 1991 after selling a script called Indian Summer (nope, not that Indian Summer, this one was never made). He’s directed a few things as well, including a few episodes of the new Star Trek series Discovery.)

Kôji Suzuki (based on the novel “The Ring” by) – (Known For: The Ring; Dark Water; Ring; Dark Water; Sadako vs. Kayako; Future BMT: The Ring 2; Ringu 2; BMT: Rings; Notes: The Ring writer. Ringu 2 looks like we could legit do it for BMT even (0% on Rotten Tomatoes on 13 reviews), but I don’t think we’ll venture into many foreign films any time soon.)

Actors – Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz – (Known For: Revenge; BMT: Rings; Notes: An Italian model turned actress this is, I think, her first big Hollywood film.)

Alex Roe – (BMT: Rings; The 5th Wave; Notes: A British actor. Interestingly The 5th Wave was written by Akiva Goldsman which I’m sure helped him get this role as well.)

Johnny Galecki – (Known For: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Hancock; Bean; The Opposite of Sex; Prancer; Happy Endings; Bounce; The Master Cleanse; Chrystal; Playing Mona Lisa; Bookies; Future BMT: A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon; In Time; CBGB; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Rings; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Until this very moment I did not realize the star of The Big Bang Theory also had a major role in Roseanne. Like … a huge role. This guy has very interesting career, including a shockingly successful movie career. I just find that a tad bit strange.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $27,793,018 (Worldwide: $83,080,890)

(Disastrous given the reputation and take of the original. I think I’m going to mark that down as a true blue bomb.)

#75 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

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(Right around another very disappointing sequel to a solid horror film (Sinister 2), the supernatural horror genre has been booming for years now. The Conjuring and Sinister kickstarted the recent influx I think, and it is by far the most lucrative and popular kind of horror these days. Basically ghost stories, it is a bit disappointing that this is the only type of horror that gets play. I would say maybe It would change things a bit … but It is really supernatural horror itself, so if anything it reinforced things even more.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (7/99): Rings may offer ardent fans of the franchise a few threadbare thrills, but for everyone else, it may feel like an endless loop of muddled mythology and rehashed plot points.

(sub 10% is very impressive. Muddled mythology is the name of the game considering the reviews for the previous installment. Wait, did people catch over-explain-itis? I do love over-explaining garbage.)

Poster – Sklogs (C)

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(For real? You went from simple and consistent to a mishmash of garbage. The color is still a nice consistent icy blue and the font is somewhat unique, but otherwise blah.)

Tagline(s) – Evil is reborn (C-)

(To generic to make an impression but also too generic to really offend me. Slightly below a C average.)

Keyword(s) – sequel; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 91.4 Son of the Mask (2005); 90.4 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 89.3 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.0 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.3 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003); 86.0 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 85.8 The Avengers (1998); 85.6 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987);

(We should really be doing much better with these to be honest. Sequels are such a well of terribleness. I wonder why The Avengers is listed though, that is an adaptation, not a sequel.)

Notes – According to special makeup effects designer on the film, Arjen Tuiten, it took about 6 and a half hours to complete Samara’s makeup and her costume featured a water rig under the dress that allowed the character to constantly drip water.

Before starring as Samara in this film, Bonnie Morgan was also featured in The Ring 2 (2005) as Samara in the well crawling sequence, though she was uncredited.

Strongly rumored to be a prequel to the previous films until F. Javier Gutiérrez himself denied it on Twitter, confirming it would be a sequel taking place in the present.

Originally set for release in November 2015, the film was pushed back several times due to studio delays. It was finally released in February 2017 in most territories, almost two years after initial shooting occurred. (Ooof, not great)

Although Naomi Watts’ character from the first two films, Rachel Keller, is never mentioned by name, her name appears underneath one of the icons on Gabriel’s computer in a brief shot.

Both Naomi Watts, and David Dorfman who played Rachel and Aidan in the first two films respectively, do not return for this sequel. (That is obvious, and also a bad sign)

This is the first film in the series that the makeup effects were not done by Rick Baker, who had the previous two. Rick retired from the industry in early 2015 and left his studio, Cinovation, to his protégée Arjen Tuiten, who had worked with him on Maleficent. While Rick had no involvement with this project, some of his crew, who had worked on the previous two with him, worked on this film with Arjen at his studio now called R-E-N.

Was filmed in Atlanta. (As are all films these days no?)

Young Evelyn, played by Kayli Carter, was previously played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Ring 2 (2005), though her scenes were cut aside from a brief appearance.

Producers Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes, J.C. Spink, Chris Bender, makeup effects artists Bill Sturgeon and Bart Mixon, and stunt coordinator Keith Campbell are the only people to have worked on all three films in the Ring series.

Bonnie Morgan, who plays Samara, stated that to bring the character to life, it took over 45 special makeup appliances, including the wig and special contact lenses.

In the over one year delay in this film’s theatrical release since October 2015, nearly 20 minutes of footage was altered and deleted which significantly altered some plot elements. Some of these deleted scenes can still be seen in the film’s handful of trailers. Most of this footage was included as deleted scenes on the Blu-ray and DVD save for a few like the ring scar on Julia’s back, which was also a promotional poster for the film. (That bodes absolutely terribly)

Special makeup effects artist Rick Baker filmed cameo for the film as a flea market vendor that haggles with Johnny Galecki’s character at the beginning. Ultimately his dialogue was cut, but he can still be seen briefly in the opening sequence when the camera pans past his character. Baker was the lead effects artist on the first two films.

Both Aimee Teegarden and Zach Roerig previously starred in ‘Friday Night Lights’. (Teegarden is in this?! I figured she was just going to do television at this point, I haven’t seen her in a movie in years? Ever?)

Toward the middle of the film (41:14 mark), Gabriel (Galecki) is seen pouring himself some whiskey. The whiskey he pours is Templeton Rye, a small batch rye made in Templeton, Iowa. (Cool, what are these notes. These are so weird. Do I now need to drink this whiskey because of BMT. Like some demented bad movie liquor cabinet?)

Vincent D’Onofrio plays a character who was blinded by himself years earlier. He also plays villain Wilson Fisk in Daredevil (2015), wherein the title character himself is blind because of a childhood accident. (Cool? I don’t get why that is relevant)

The translation of the Braille mark on Julia’s hand is clearly spoiled in the trailer when Burke states, “The mark on your hand means rebirth.” A line never spoken in the actual film. (Ha)

The plane Samara crashes at the beginning of the film was heading for Seattle. Seattle is where The Ring (2002) took place.

The Ring Two Preview

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

The Ring Two (2005) – BMeTric: 53.6

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

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

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

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbHRP43ocWQ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#20 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

ring2_supernaturalhorror

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

#5 for the Horror Remake genre

ring2_horrorremake

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

#7 for the Remake – Asian genre

ring2_asianremake

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

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

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

Poster – The Sklog Two (B+)

ring_two_ver2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Recap

Jamie

Jack Sparrow is back… uh… Jack. We find him destitute and drunk on the island of Saint Martin when the son of Will Turner, Henry, comes a-knocking looking to free his father with the power of the Trident of Poseidon. Will they outrun some nasty ghost pirates and nab the Trident before it’s too late? Find out in… Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

What?! Henry Turner is dead set on freeing his father, Will Turner, from his eternal curse aboard The Flying Dutchman by obtaining the powerful Trident of Poseidon. Knowing that Jack Sparrow is his only hope he heads on a quest to find him. On his way there he is part of a crew that crosses paths with a Spanish pirate hunter, Salazar, trapped in Devil’s Triangle. In exchange for his life, Henry is tasked with delivering a message of revenge to Jack Sparrow (what a coincidence! You’re looking for him too?). Once on Saint Martin, Henry crosses paths with Carina Smyth who is also searching for the trident (what a coincidence! You’re looking for that too?). At the same time Salazar is freed after Jack drunkenly throws his compass away (this is getting confusing with all these coincidences). Shortly thereafter both Carina and Jack are sentenced to death. Freeing them with the help of Jack’s crew, Henry and the gang set out for the Trident. While searching for Jack, Salazar encounters Barbossa who promises to help him find Jack. They converge near a small island where our heroes and Barbossa manage to escape to land. Once there Barbossa makes a new alliance with Jack to help him find the Trident and they join together on the Black Pearl. The race to the Trident is on! Our heroes find the secret Trident island and open a path in the ocean to their prize. A fight with Salazar ensues at the end of which they break the Trident, thus breaking all curses across the land. Escaping to their ship they leave Salazar to die at the ocean’s depths. We end with Henry reuniting with his father Will, freed from his curse forever. My god is that unnecessarily complex. THE END.  

Why?! Henry Turner wants to save his dear old dad, Will, and Carina wants to help him because… huh… not sure actually. She just wanted to follow the stars on the map left to her by her daddio. I guess she thought they would somehow lead her to him… which in the end it did (Spoiler Alert: He’s Barbossa). As for Jack, he is mostly a drunk in this film, hoping only to escape death. While more of a subplot in this film, Jack’s objective of eternal life is something that ties together most of the films. In particular it ties in Davy Jones as the ultimate villain of the franchise: the evil pirate who has the eternal life that Jack so desires. This is what leads me to believe that there will be at least one more film in the franchise. The obvious end to to the Jack Sparrow saga is his place on The Black Pearl as the eternal shepherd of the underworld through a final battle to destroy Davy Jones and his Locker for good.

What?! Now here is a classic MacGuffin. From the start we are told that the Trident of Poseidon can break any curse. How? Why? Don’t worry about it. Just know that it is an object that both good and evil will strive for in the hopes of gaining ultimate power. It’s a funny MacGuffin too in that its power is released only in its destruction, so the first time we see it is also the last.

Who?! While Keith Richards has played Jack Sparrow’s father in the 3rd and 4th Pirates of the Caribbean films, he does not show up here. Instead Paul McCartney randomly cameos as Jack’s uncle, throwing a few jokes his way in prison. Cool.

Where?! The Caribbean, duh. In fact the setting for a large portion of the film was specified this time. Jack is stuck and rumored dead on the island of Saint Martin. Once they leave that island though the setting is basically just the open sea and secret islands. C.

When?! All the films at least can be framed in reference to each other. Henry Turner is 21 years old in this film and thus 21 years after the third film (at the end of which he was conceived). The fourth film is claimed to be 16 years after the third film, placing this film in 1756 give or take a couple years. This is fun, but it’s still a D-.

We have done a whole bunch of franchises over the last year (and I would venture a guess that 2018 may turn into the year of the franchises as we had a blast doing them) and you can’t help but find the aspects of each of them that made them hits in the first place. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome, we come to love our captors. Pirates of the Caribbean is no different. I came to enjoy the spectacular CGI, even more spectacular stunts, and the humor that Jack Sparrow brought to the table, even when the storylines started to make very little sense and the films ballooned to nearly three hours. So when the fourth took much of that away and then the fifth really only brought the CGI back up to snuff (Jack is reduced to a caricature of himself, constantly yelping in surprise as he has nothing more clever to say) I was pretty disappointed. But it didn’t slake my thirst for an adequate conclusion to the series. I know they can do it. I need to see Jack Sparrow ride off into the sunset at the helm of The Black Pearl having been granted eternal life. It’s the only real way this ends. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Six years ago you made a terrible mistake. Succumbing to peer pressure you allowed Johnny Depp to make yet another Pirates of the Caribbean film, much to the world’s chagrine. Since then the thirst has been silent, waiting in the darkness. Then … a small voice says in the back of your head: “Make another one. It’ll be great. Savvy?” Ugh, I hate you, you think … but, yes, I savvy indeed. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – This comes across as much more of a Pirates of the Caribbean film than the fourth. It was fun and at least had a spirited direction compared to some of the other sequels. Resolving the Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley storyline at least allows the series to pass into a slumber if they didn’t feel the need to complete a second trilogy. I think though I’ll outline what I could imagine a sixth film to be in a Sequel. Basically, at the end of this film all pirate curses have been broken, but apparently magic still exists (it appears Jack Sparrow’s compass still operates, pointing to the owner’s desire). In the sequel the compass brings Jack Sparrow back to Shipwreck Cove to hold another Brethren Court with Elizabeth Swann (who remains the Pirate King) and Carina Smyth (who inherited the captaincy of the Caspian Sea from her father Captain Barbossa). The problem? Magic in this world is dying, a consequence of the breaking of Poseidon’s Trident, and without magic the pirate’s domination of the sea is in peril. Jack Sparrow, harboring his long-held desire for immortality, offers to find the hidden merman city which, according to legend, is ruled by Triton, the son of Poseidon. Knowing that where Gods live there is the possibility of immortality Jack sails deep into the Amazon where the secret city is to be found. Can Jack Sparrow discover the secret to save Pirate magic before it is too late? Pirates of the Caribbean: The Forsaken Mermen.

The Bad (Crimes Against BMT-anity) – The story in this case as one of the weaker in the series, it was never really clear what anyone was doing. While I like Javier Bardem, his bad guy was also a little weird and shoehorned into the whole mythology (although I liked seeing young Jack). And, sorry, but Brenton Thwaites is the new Jai Courtney, there is something uncharismatic about him where he could be replaced by almost anyone and the movie wouldn’t suffer a bit. It was the same in Gods of Egypt. Get your money though Thwaites. In this short Crimes Against BMT-anity I thought I would just note how humorless the whole Pirates franchise managed to becomes during its run. The first film was (and still is) fantastic, but mainly because of how funny and wacky the whole world and especially Jack Sparrow was. By this installment? Barbossa is a garbage human, Jack is a mopey asshole, and the once exciting life of a pirate looks to be rather … drab and, honestly, sad. Hopefully they can finish off the series with a bang. If not that go for broke and get some catastrophic 0% or something. Do it … do it.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I still don’t think there is much legacy here unless there is a complete garbage pile of a sixth film. It was a fascinating look at big budget franchises, something we kind of tended to avoid prior to this year (outside of something like Transformers which demanded to be addressed), so perhaps it’ll change BMT temporarily and we will hit a few of those now. Street cred is basically impossible to analyze until the end of the year. A few of the lists I’ve found ignored this guy, and besides Depp I don’t really see it getting noticed … maybe sequel / remake, but nothing big. I’ll go under the radar.

And I don’t think I have anything else to report. I did not revisit the franchise, I started right back up with the fourth, so I can’t really do a review there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Recap

Jamie

Years after the vanquishing of Davy Jones, our famed anti-hero Jack Sparrow finds himself on the trail of the Fountain of Youth. In an untrustworthy alliance with the infamous Blackbeard he is being chased by the Spanish and by Barbossa, now in the service of the King. Will they get the treasure before it’s too late? Find out in… Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

What?! We open in England where Jack is in search of a ship to get him back on track to search for the famed Fountain of Youth. He finds that he’s not the only one currently in search of the treasure, as Barbossa, now a profiteer for England, and the Spanish are also in pursuit. Hearing rumors of another pirate posing as Jack Sparrow he comes across a former beau, Angelica, who captures him. Once on board he realizes that his has been taken prisoner in service of Blackbeard, famed psychopath and dear ol’ dad to Angelica. Oh no! Much like characters in an old school adventure game of the past, Jack and Blackbeard need to collect a number of specific items to make the MacGuffin… er… Fountain of Youth work. These include several other MacGuffins, including a mermaid’s tears and some silver chalices. Once they collect these in a series of exciting misadventures and arrive at the Fountain, it turns into an outright brawl between Blackbeard and Barbossa’s crews. This brawl is ended by the arrival of the Spanish who promptly destroy the Fountain as sinful. In a final act of revenge Barbossa mortally wounds both Blackbeard and Angelica. With only one dose of the Fountain left to save either father or daughter, Jack tricks Blackbeard knowing that his selfish ways would doom him and save Angelica. Upon his death everyone is happy because he sucked. THE END.

Why?! This is easily the most straightforward of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and as a result the motivations are also fairly straightforward. Blackbeard wants to cheat his recently foretold death by drinking from the Fountain of Youth, Barbossa wants to kill Blackbeard for sweet revenge, and the Spanish want to destroy the Fountain. So the race is on! As for our hero Jack Sparrow, his motivation doesn’t change much in the series. He’s happy as long as he is sailing the open seas on his beloved Black Pearl, but there is always an undercurrent of a desire for immortality. That’s basically the premise of the first three films: how can Jack Sparrow sail the open seas for eternity? It’s hinted that that’s the reason he wants to get to the Fountain, but this all falls apart once the climactic melee ensues. This motivation is why I’m pretty sure there will be at least a sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film.

What?! Each entry in the series seems to ratchet up the MacGuffin level one more notch. By the time they get the fourth one we have a film based entirely on finding the Fountain of Youth that needs several other objects to work. While an ideal MacGuffin is something we don’t know or need to know the actual function of (we obviously know how the reason the Fountain is important in this case), this is still a great set of MacGuffins.

Who?! Have to give a shout out to Author Tim Powers (one of the fathers of Steampunk) who got a “Suggested by” credit for this film on the basis of his pirate adventure novel On Stranger Tides. Apparently the book was a major influence on the Monkey Island games as well. Funny story is that when Disney approached Powers about optioning the book for the fourth film he was surprised because he had thought they had already lifted elements from it for the first film.

Where?! Is the entire Pirates of the Caribbean series an A+? I say no, not precise enough. Like saying Here on Earth is an A+. On top of that they are never specific as to where in the Caribbean they are most of the time. Booo. I deem this a C- only because they are specifically in England at the start.

When?! I’m not going to be able to put an exact date on this, but it is interesting that this film give a basic time frame for the entire series. Takes place during the reigns of King Ferdinand of Spain, King George II, Prime Minister Henry Pelham, and Lord John Carteret. Sets it between 1751 and 1754. That’s a tight D- and funny because the wikipedia page says it takes place in 1750. Read yo history wikipedia. I would place it in 1751.

To finish up the recap I’ll just mention that the first film in the series not to feature Gore Verbinski at the helm really took a step back technologically and overall stuntwork. If there were three things I looked for in a Pirates of the Caribbean film it was cutting edge visual technology, some jokes from our charismatic lead Jack Sparrow, and grand and complex stunts. This basically went backwards on all three. Not great.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Johnny Depp has been calling you day in and day out. Constantly. You don’t want to do it, but you know one thing: Johnny Depp wants his money, and he wants it now. So I guess we’re making a fourth one. Get the giant set piece assembled, we get to deal with this thing again. Let’s go!

The Good (BMulTiverse Theories) – Something about this series gets me every time. I don’t understand it. They all start the same (a giant set piece action scene with Johnny Depp flying around with tons of practical effects), they get more and more ridiculous, Depp is a caricature at this point … but I like it. Something about it entertains me in a different way than Transformers (which at this point just annoys me). I like Penelope Cruz, and I forgot how much Jack Sparrow doesn’t really annoy me (it is perplexing given how other characters, like Mortdecai, are very similar and extremely grating). I didn’t mind the movie, I actually quite liked how they scaled the story back compared to the second and third film. I’m going to introduce a new game here called the BMulTiverse Theory. Similar to Sklognalogy, this looks into a different film and re-imagines what might have been given a different sequence of events. In this case the Pirates franchise reminds me of what I imagine a modern day Indiana Jones would have looked like. Sprawling sets with elaborate practical effects. Magical realism, a charming lead, all presented as a period piece. We’d be sitting at five or six Indiana Jones right now, the stories getting more and more ridiculous. Trust me, it would be the same, and we’d all be complaining about how trite the character of Indiana Jones is at this point.

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The film is far too long. I love Ian McShane, but Blackbeard failed to bring any of the charm or interest that a villain needs in this series. The entire thing seemed very linear, almost comically McGuffin-esque. Half the characters only speak in order to explain things about the Fountain of Youth as all of the characters directly and unyieldingly march toward this inevitable goal. Let’s try out a new Sklog-cabulary Quiz. For Pirates of the Caribbean I think I’ll note something that is also present in the aforementioned Indiana Jones series, the:

Rube Goldberg Action Sequence – (n.) An action sequence that accomplishes by complex means what seemingly could be done simply.

A mark of the Pirates franchise in which Johnny Depp flies across chandeliers or sword fights on a giant wheel, it is really impressive when done correctly. It actually isn’t really a bad movie trope since you need a crazy amount of money to pull it off, but it is something the sticks out about the Pirates franchise.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – On Stranger Tides won’t really have any legacy, although the franchise as a whole could have a place if a sixth is made. A double trilogy where the second trilogy was torn apart by critics would be rather fun. This actually does have a bit of street cred. It is listed as the 20th worst film of the year here. Otherwise it kind of falls to the wayside in a very very impressive bad movie year. It is the year of Jack and Jill, but just look at the razzies that year. Very impressive lists all around.

I’ll leave it there because we have a whole other recap to get to.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Preview

We hit two of the major action bombs this year for BMT Live! in The Mummy and Geostorm. This left us with a few of the lesser options available for this week. What we ended up landing on might come as a bit of a shock, but with a newly found love of franchises it shouldn’t. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with the final two installments (the only two that qualify), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales… wait, is that actually the name of the latest one? Wow, that is not good. The latest entry came this year, six years after the last installment, and while I would have assumed it was a bomb (I barely remember it came out), it still made $800 million worldwide. Feed those international audiences what they want, Disney, and what they want is Johnny Depp. Ugh. Let’s go! er … wait one second … we’re forgetting something. Oh yeah, this is our 400th BMT ever! Why did we choose such an anonymous film as our 400th? Well, the Calendar kiiiiind of handcuffs us these days. The rules are rather strict. The sacrifices we make for BMT. Let’s go!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) – BMeTric: 14.6

PiratesoftheCaribbeanDeadMenTellNoTales_BMeT

PiratesoftheCaribbeanDeadMenTellNoTales_RV

(This might as well be identical to On Stranger Tides’ plot to be honest. Tumbling its way down to 6.6 as we speak. I assume it will dip a tad bit further (6.5 or 6.4), but it’ll sit around there. People love their Pirates movies. And to be honest, after watching the fourth, I can kind of see why. There is something charming about the silliness, the costumes, and the Rube-Goldberg-esque action scenes on gigantic set pieces. Something very much reminiscent of something like Indiana Jones.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  The most ridiculous though satisfying sequence involves Sparrow’s entrance that could double as a metaphor for the entire movie. A new bank is being celebrated on the isle of Saint Martin and the ceremony revolves around a giant safe. Once opened, Jack is found inside taking a nap atop stacks of money as well as someone’s wife. He apparently was supposed to pull off a robbery and ends up accidentally stealing the entire building instead. Alas, once the pursuit runs its course, most of the riches have been emptied out onto the streets. Those who go to see “Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales” might just recognize that hollow feeling as they leave the theater.

(Shots fired. There is something about these series which does scream “diminishing returns”. Something about the character of Sparrow and charming as he can be, that really overstays its welcome after the third or fourth movie. I’m not sure what you do about it though. It isn’t like switch to Mark Whalberg helped anything with Transformers.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrGyD4kHTSE

(Still seems like fun. What is wrong with me? Why do I watch that and think “huh, these films are fun, I kind of want to watch that”. I now it is going to be like 4 hours long. I know ultimately it is going to be set-piece action scenes held together by exposition and Depp being a weirdo. Stop making them so I can stop watching them!)

Directors – Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg – (Known For: Kon-Tiki; Bandidas; Max Manus: Man of War; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Childhood friends from Norway, this appears to be the last film they are directing as a directorial team. Sandberg is apparently working on a bio-pic about the Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen. Rønning is working on a Sci-fi film called Origin, and Maleficent 2.)

Writers – Jeff Nathanson (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; The Terminal; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Rush Hour 2; Tower Heist; The Last Shot; Future BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Rush Hour 3; New York, I Love You; BMT:Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Currently writing the new live-action Lion King adaptation. He is apparently famous for being uncredited on a ton of scripts, including Twister for example.)

Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott (story by & based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Shrek; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Treasure Planet; Small Soldiers; The Mask of Zorro; The Road to El Dorado; Deja Vu; Future BMT: Godzilla; The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; BMT: The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: These guys again. They wrote on the fourth installment as well. They got an Oscar nomination for Shrek.)

Stuart Beattie (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Collateral; 30 Days of Night; Australia; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Future BMT:G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Derailed; BMT: I, Frankenstein; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: One of the original screenwriters. He is currently writing a spec script for a Halo adaption.)

Jay Wolpert (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; The Count of Monte Cristo; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Future BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: One of the original screenwriters. He at one point wrote eight episodes of the 90s talk show Into the Night with Rick Dees.)

Actors – Johnny Depp – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Edward Scissorhands; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Sleepy Hollow; Platoon; Black Mass; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; 21 Jump Street; Blow; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Alice in Wonderland; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Into the Woods; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Finding Neverland; Corpse Bride; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Yoga Hosers; The Astronaut’s Wife; Private Resort; The Tourist; Dark Shadows; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Nick of Time; The Man Who Cried; The Libertine; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Brave; BMT:Jack and Jill; Mortdecai; Transcendence; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Mortdecai in 2016; Nominated for Worst Actor for The Lone Ranger in 2014; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2017; Notes: Once again, kind of just easier to go with recent news. In this case, following his divorce from Amber Heard, Depp seems to have started shedding his Los Angeles penthouses. He sold his fifth and final recently. I imagine it is in part because of the financial difficulties he’s found himself in. That sweet Harry Potter money will get some of that back though.)

Geoffrey Rush – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Finding Nemo; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; The King’s Speech; Shakespeare in Love; Munich; Deception; Minions; Frida; Elizabeth; The Book Thief; Mystery Men; Quills; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; Les Misérables; Final Portrait; The Daughter; Holding the Man; Candy; Future BMT: Green Lantern; House on Haunted Hill; The Warrior’s Way; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Elizabeth: The Golden Age; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Australian actor who won an Oscar for King’s Speech. He says he is done with Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after this one.)

Javier Bardem – (Known For: Mother!; No Country for Old Men; Skyfall; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Collateral; To the Wonder; Jamon Jamon; Biutiful; The Sea Inside; Before Night Falls; Live Flesh; The Dancer Upstairs; Tacones lejanos; Los lunes al sol; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Eat Pray Love; The Last Face; Autómata; Love in the Time of Cholera; Perdita Durango; Sin noticias de Dios; BMT: The Gunman; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Also an Oscar winner (for No Country For Old Men). Married to Penelope Cruz who oddly starred in the previous installment.)

Budget/Gross – $230 million / Domestic: $172,558,876 (Worldwide: $794,775,567)

(Obviously underwhelming for the brand I would think. Worldwide it still has some pull, but sub-billion worldwide, and below the reported budget domestic is not great, even if a lot of films would be perfectly satisfied with that performance.)

#15 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(This is the same as in the fourth Pirates preview, but here you can kind of see that this film was at least part of the resurgence of the genre this year. I think people like costumes and action that takes place at least tangentially in our world. Kind of a faux-historical adventure fiction. And every so often if you wish hard enough you get a Planchet bumbling down the stairwell in A Three Musketeers film. Sigh, there are not enough Planchets in the world.)

#95 for the IMAX (Feature-length) genre

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(IMAX is interesting because it really doesn’t seem like it will stop. I would assume most every theater will eventually do something to at least have the capability, because the money that comes in per theater isn’t dropping while the theaters per year is obviously still growing tremendously.)

#5 for the Swashbuckler genre

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(Also obviously not a real genre. It might as well be called Pirates of the Caribbean, Zorro, and the Three Musketeers, because those are the main players here.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (69/234): Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales proves that neither a change in directors nor an undead Javier Bardem is enough to drain this sinking franchise’s murky bilge.

(Actually higher than I remembered, this is very close to the response to the fourth film. While I didn’t love the fourth film, I was surprised by how much watching it didn’t bother me. Often tired franchise just get on my nerves after a while (*cough* Transformers *cough*), but this changed the pace enough that I kind of liked it. I’m wondering whether they went a little too much back to the well with Knightley and Bloom returning … I guess I’ll see.)

Poster – Sklog-rates of the Caribbean: Dead Sklogs Tell No Tales (B-)

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(Considerably better than the other one. Focuses on the characters and gives an undersea blue tone to everything. I can forgive the clutter from the zombie sharks and random ship image in the background.)

Tagline(s) – All pirates must die. (D)

(Not sure where this comes from. Not from the poster. Maybe from some other promotional material where you don’t have to produce something very good. I hope so because this is not very good.)

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

(Again the same as in the previous preview. I find it interesting to two types of Pirates represented here as well. I think Six Days and Seven Nights, Double Impact, Cyborg, Virus, and DOA: Dead or Alive might be “modern” pirates. And the rest I think are Pirates of the Caribbean kind of caricatures. Funny that it is basically exactly 50-50.)

Notes – The severed heads in the guillotine basket are of the film directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. (Probably cost a cool million dollars)

The joke Jack Sparrow’s uncle tells Jack is the same joke Al Pacino told Johnny Depp during production of Donnie Brasco: “A skeleton walks into a bar, orders a beer and a mop… “

Although this movie was initially claimed to be the last one in the series, a sixth installment was announced after its release. (Hmm, I wonder if it will happen. I think the double trilogy would feel right, and it would give them an opportunity to let Depp go out with a bang with the character. I guess we’ll see)

The film was being produced as Johnny Depp was going through a bitter divorce from his wife Amber Heard. He was chronically late to the set, to the point where it ate into the schedule as the set often came to a halt for hours at a time. It got to the point where a production assistant was hired just to wait outside Depp’s house and announce that he was awake when they saw the lights inside come on.

At two hours and nine minutes long, this has been the shortest running time of all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. (hooooraaaaay)

Christoph Waltz was originally cast in the role of Captain Brand, but dropped out due to other work commitments. Javier Bardem was then given the role, but the name was changed from Brand to Salazar to sound more Mediterranean to accompany Bardem’s Spanish descent. Bardem and Waltz both previously played villains in Daniel Craig James Bond films. Bardem in Skyfall (2012), and Waltz in Spectre (2015).

After failing to return for Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Disney reached back out to Martin Klebba (Marty), Lee Arenberg (Pintel), Makenzie Crook (Raghetti), David Bailie (Cotton), Angus Barnett (Mullroy) and Giles New (Murtogg) to return for Pirates of the Caribbean Dead’s Men Tell No Tales. Only Martin Klebba, Angus Barnett and Giles New were able to make it work within his schedule.

In an interview, Orlando Bloom said this movie will be a soft reboot of the previous installments. (I … don’t think that happened? I could be mistaken, that sounds crazy)

Paul McCartney is seen singing a song “Maggie Mae”. It is an old drinking song of the sea from Liverpool and featured on The Beatles “Let it Be” Album. On the album, the song was sung by John Lennon. (whaaaaaaaaaa?)

To prevent fans from interfering with the production, secret filming locations used the production name of “Herschel”.

In a flashback scene of Captain Salazar, one of his crew members recognizes a ship as Bonnet’s ship called “Royal James”. Stede Bonnet was a real life pirate that was active from December of 1717 to December of 1718 before being hanged in Charles Town for piracy and also worked closely with Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard.

With a release six years after its predecessor, marks the largest gap between the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Javier Bardem’s wife Penélope Cruz starred in the previous installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).

Salazar’s face was full makeup that took Javier Bardem three hours to put on, but the hair was all CG. To achieve this, Bardem’s hair was pulled back and a makeup artist added marking dots on his face, which tracked the motion of his head in post production.

During filming, Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard breached Australia’s strict bio-security laws when they failed to declare their two dogs to the Australian Customs Service when they flew by private jet into Queensland, where filming was taken place. Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document. In April 2016, Heard appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, stating that she was sleep deprived and made a mistake. The two bio-security charges were dropped, and she was placed on a one-month good behavior bond, paying a $1,000 fine for producing a false document. Heard and Depp also released a video in which they apologized for their behavior and urged people to adhere to the bio-security laws. Australian newspaper The Guardian called the case the “highest profile criminal quarantine case” in Australian history. (Dummies. As a person who has gone through the nightmare that is importing a dog into the UK I am deeply offended by this act of gross entitlement)

The father of Captain Jack Sparrow was played by a Rolling Stone (Keith Richards) and in this film, the uncle of Captain Jack Sparrow is played by a Beatle (Paul McCartney). (Alright, this annoys me. Mainly because Keith Richards are atrocious as his father in the fourth film. I bet McCartney is also terrible)

In the flashback scene, we see Jack is on a ship called the Wicked Wench. This is actually the Black Pearl, it gets renamed when Davy Jones brings it back from the depths, after it’s set ablaze, in the book Pirates of the Caribbean The Price of Freedom, making the book Canon. (THE BOOK IS CANON!)

The film’s action takes place in 1755. During the third act, Barbossa said that it has been five years since Blackbeard shrunk The Black Pearl in the bottle. The producers have said that the previous installment, On Stranger Tides, takes place in 1750. This also means that Henry is 21 years of age, given that he is 12 during the prologue, two years after the post-credits scene of At World’s End. (You listening Jamie? We got some setting possibly)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Preview

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

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

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

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

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

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR_9A-cUEJc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#44 for the 3D genre

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

#7 for the Adventure – Period genre

piratesofthecaribbean4_adventureperiod

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

#5 for the Treasure Hunt genre

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

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

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

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

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

Tagline(s) – None (FFFFFFFF)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baywatch Recap

Jamie

Mitch Buchannon is a lifeguard extraordinaire protecting all Emerald Bay visitors from harm. When a ruthless businesswoman moves in hoping to privatize the beach and sell illicit drugs, Mitch and his crew aim to stop her. Can they bring down the baddie and learn valuable life lessons at the same time? Find out in… Baywatch.

How?! Mitch Buchannon runs the beach at Emerald Bay like a boss and everyone loves him for it. When a ruthless businesswoman moves in on the beach hoping to privatize it Mitch becomes suspicious. What is she up to and does the recent influx of street drugs have anything to do with her? He’s dead set on finding out. At the same time his crew is looking for three new members and after some political maneuvering disgraced olympian Matt Brody is thrust onto the team despite his sour attitude and general douchiness. After several high-profile bodies wash up on the beach, local officials blame Mitch and his obsession with the businesswoman which they say has driven him to distraction. Despite a large amount of circumstantial evidence they have uncovered he is replaced by Matt Brody as head lifeguard. This plan backfires though as Matt turns out to have learned the meaning of family and teamwork (the underlying theme of every Dwayne Johnson film) and continued Mitch’s detective work. This culminates in a climactic fight aboard a fireworks barge where they are able to blow the evil businesswoman to smithereens and uncover the larger conspiracy involving the corrupt local officials. If this doesn’t sound at all like the plot of a comedy it’s because it isn’t. It’s an action film that they turned into a comedy… or at least tried. THE END.

Why?! The Rock is an interesting actor in that I think he’s often used as a charisma machine to fill roles with little or no underlying motivations or character depth. He is simply an empty vessel filled with honor and truth. His greatest weakness always seems to be that he cares too much about honor and truth (also my greatest weakness, per any job interview I might have). Baywatch is no different. He just wants to stop the bad guy and keep the beach safe because he is a perfect, upstanding citizen of Emerald Bay. The more interesting character is actually Efron’s character. He suuuuuuucks. He care only about getting drunk and being lauded for his olympics feats of the past. This only changes once he is able to learn a thing or two about life and love from Mitch. Once he does his motivation is also all about truth and justice.

What?! This film is an absolute onslaught of product placements. First we have a TAG Heuer watch play a vital role in the plot of the film. It’s such a good watch that an upstanding local politician is persuaded to break the law just to get his hands on it. Then we have The Rock relegated to working in a Sprint store after losing his job at the beach. Like seriously. Here’s a picture of The Rock rocking a Sprint shirt in the movie:

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Shameless. But I think my favorite was when Zac Efron, showing that he’s too cool for school, sits out the lifeguard tryouts sipping on a delicious Mike’s Hard Lemonade… when I first saw it I thought it was going to be played for a joke. Then it wasn’t and I realized that he was just hanging and drinking it unironically. Unironically!!!!!

Who?! There are a number of cameos in the film, most prominently former Baywatch stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Their cameos are done pretty well compared to something like the new Ghostbusters film where they make no sense. Much like the rest of the film they serve a singular purpose: to poke fun at the premise of the original Baywatch.

Where?! By all accounts this takes place in Emerald Bay, Florida. I didn’t necessarily notice anything to confirm this while watching the film, but there are a bunch of pictures online with the lifeguard boat with “Broward County” prominently displayed. So that does it. C.

When?! Another case where I bet if you had a really high resolution of a film then you would be able to get an exact date. In particular there is a close up of a land deed that I’m sure has the date on it, but the DVD resolution makes it impossible to figure out. It’s an F, nothing else to be done about it.

Despite everything horrible about this film I actually expected worse. It had some amusing moments, played the action well, and the leads are dopes but you want them to succeed. It is super lame, just not as lame as I thought it would be. One big question this raised, though, was how we are still at the point where several jokes in a major motion picture are based entirely on the concept of gay panic? A whole scene devoted to the hilariousness of convincing a man to touch a guy’s balls? Really? An ending where Efron is shocked and horrified to find that he is getting CPR from The Rock? He is saving your life using the medical standard in resuscitation. Why are you yelling in terror as a result? Will we ever be beyond this? Seems like the answer might be no. Can’t wait to be further baffled in this area by CHiPs, which I’ve heard is even worse. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You’re a producer looking wistfully at the office memo concerning the cast party for 22 Jump Street. No, you are not invited, and yes you are pissed about this. What can you do though? Wait! Sweet IP! Of course, you just need some of that sweet IP. We got Baywatch right? That show was ridiculous. Nailed it. Cast party with The Rock incoming, what could go wrong? Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Honestly, the film is kind of fun. They are right there on the cusp of being okay I think, just needed to not hire literally seven writers to write the thing and they would have been fine. The action scenes are on point and by far the best part of this film. I was practically on charisma overload with The Rock and Efron. And they didn’t gross me out too much with the portrayal of women, which was a pleasant surprise. I want a Remake with a twist: give me a tv show! Make it a kind of half-serious melodrama action thing. Use the template of Riverdale, brand it as a kind of self-serious (but still secretly ironic) crime serial that takes place on the beach, and try your best to kind of knowingly build up something fun. It is a difficult maneuver, but I think that is where this movie shined. If it had pumped the brakes a bit on the comedy (which was the worst part of the film) it might have had something kind of Fast and the Furious like fun. But I acknowledge that it is a tough ask.

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The character of Ronnie which was supposed to kind of be an audience stand-in who lampshades the rest of the ridiculousness, but he is really the one thing that stands in the way of this film just going for being an action film instead of an action-comedy. The comedy bits are the worst part of the film. Part stupid dick-jokes, part gay panic, basically nothing works. And the root cause of this I think is Ronnie who, acting as straight man, makes everything comedic in comparison. Ronnie also serves as the “hacker” solving all of the problems right at the end, which it itself a crime. Really the only unforgivable bit of all of those is the gay panic. It is dumb this is still a thing in comedies in 2017. I’m introducing a new game for the bad section which is where I coin a term for a bad movie trope. Perhaps coin is inaccurate, I don’t actually check to see if the term is coined elsewhere, but it should highlight a bad movie idea of some kind anyways. This week for the Sklog-cabulary Quiz we have

Deus Ex Hackina (n.) – an unexpected computer hacking power saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a terrible movie.

It is basically what I described above, it is when a character is endowed with a special “hacking” ability that allows him or her to solve everyone’s problems all at once right at the end. Otherwise known as “Ronnie from Baywatch”, who manages to not only gather a ton of incriminating evidence to prove the baddies are bad, but they also foil their getaway by (not joking) hacking a fireworks display. Geostorm actually gives a decent example as well in the character of Dana played by Zazi Beetz, and I’m sure there are countless other examples.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – As usual these are a little tough for recent films. For legacy I think this has none unless an (unlikely) sequel is made. We might look back fondly at Ronnie as the origin of our thoughts on Deus Ex Hackina events though (much like Planchet from The Three Musketeers represents the idea of a tangential character whose sole purpose is to be made fun of by the main characters) For the street cred it has a bit because it can be grouped with future-BMT CHiPs as kind of a weird situation in which people started to reboot television shows again. But of that pair CHiPs is going to be the one people look at as more terrible.

I think that’s it. Nothing to report as far as homework is concern, I chose not to watch any of the original Baywatch television show in prep. I’ll see if I decide to watch any CHiPs in a few months. I probably won’t.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Baywatch Preview

The official transition to the Worst of 2017 cycle we start with comedy. In an interesting coincidence we also had one of the worst reviewed comedies of the year released this very week in Daddy’s Home 2 (currently at 16%), but it was not released concurrently in the US and UK. Bummer. So we stuck with our original plan as it was quite the doozy in its own right. That’s right! We’re watching the Dwayne Johnson/Zac Efron vehicle Baywatch. Following the wild success of 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street we were treated to not one, but two unnecessary adaptations of niche 80s/90s shows in Baywatch and CHiPs. Both turned out poorly. Now we get to find out just how poorly Baywatch turned out. Let’s go!

Baywatch (2017) – BMeTric: 46.5

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(I kind of love this ratings graph. So you can see it starting high (people who haven’t seen the film but like the idea of the film chiming in like dummies) and then dropping once people actually start seeing it. But that overcorrects a bit, as more and more of the “fans” see it corrects back up. But the interesting bit is that once it drops on VOD the rating goes down again. The mean IMDb rating is somewhere around 6.0 so it basically corrected back to what will ultimately be around its eventual rating of slightly below-average. I just find that fascinating. It is hard to find films that really teeter on the edge of good/bad. To get 70K votes in a few months as well? I’m always stunned by how “popular” current movies are, they get so many more votes than even popular films from the 90s.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  [The movie] features long periods of too-sincere homilies about teamwork, weirdly gratuitous brutality (one innocuous character is subjected to a grotesquely grisly death) and an extended corpse-penis joke which, in the dishonorable tradition of “Dirty Grandpa,” subjects a character played by Zac Efron to humiliation in a way that’s not even stealthily homophobic. On the plus side, the movie has a pervading air of crass amiability about it—it’s almost like a two-hour end-credits gag reel. (Nevertheless, it contains an end credits gag reel.) But as I said, if you saw the trailer, you got the best the movie has to offer.

(Hmmmm. So let me get this straight. Two films based on older television series (CHiPs being the other) were released the same year and both were overtly homophobic? The gay panic riddles the CHiPs trailer. They seem to have hidden it well here with Baywatch. Which makes it all the more disappointing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ5tqzw841s

(See this actually doesn’t look bad. It at least tries to do what the original did. They at least avoided what CHiPs did which was overtly use three or four gay panic scenes in the advertising. It was to the point where I thought the movie might have been called Gay Panic: The Movie. But I was shocked by the reviews because this trailer looks decent.)

Directors – Seth Gordon – (Known For: Horrible Bosses; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Identity Thief; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Director of acclaimed documentary King of Kong. Parlayed that into several feature films and a whole mess of television shows, most recently The Goldbergs.)

Writers – Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (Known For: Soul Surfer; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Also the creators of the Hulk Hogan television series Thunder in Paradise, so basically legends.)

Gregory J. Bonann (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (BMT: Baywatch; Notes: See above. Legend.)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (story by) – (Known For: Guess Who; Future BMT: I Spy; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; Baywatch; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Norbit in 2008; Notes: BMT faves. Just got a pilot picked up with the following synopsis: hard as nail female CIA agent gets partners with self-absorbed male agent trained to use sex and seduction to keep America safe… … Bad TV Tuesday, anyone?)

Thomas Lennon  and Robert Ben Garant (story by) – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; Herbie Fully Loaded; Future BMT: Balls of Fury; Hell Baby; Reno 911!: Miami; Let’s Go to Prison; BMT: Taxi; Baywatch; The Pacifier; Notes: Prolific screenwriters who even wrote a whole book on how best to sell-out in Hollywood. Part of The State and Reno 911!)

Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay by) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; BMT: Friday the 13th; Baywatch; Notes: This finishes their filmography having just watched the Friday the 13th films they wrote. Writing the upcoming Aladdin film, so they are on the rise.)

Actors – Dwayne Johnson – (Known For: Moana; Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; San Andreas; Furious 6; The Other Guys; Central Intelligence; Hercules; Faster; Fast & Furious 5; The Mummy Returns; Pain & Gain; Get Smart; The Scorpion King; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Snitch; Welcome to the Jungle; Race to Witch Mountain; Gridiron Gang; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Jem and the Holograms; Southland Tales; You Again; Reno 911!: Miami; Planet 51; Walking Tall; The Game Plan; BMT: Doom; Baywatch; Be Cool; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Doom in 2006; Notes: Still known widely by his WWE monicker The Rock. He is amazingly one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood now. What he’s got charisma in spades.)

Zac Efron – (Known For: The Disaster Artist; Bad Neighbours 2; Hairspray; Bad Neighbours; 17 Again; The Lorax; We Are Your Friends; The Paperboy; Parkland; High School Musical 3: Senior Year; Liberal Arts; At Any Price; Me and Orson Welles; Future BMT: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates; That Awkward Moment; The Lucky One; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; BMT: Baywatch; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Notes: Broke out with the High School Musical Series. Has struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism during his career, but appears to be clean now.)

Alexandra Daddario – (Known For: San Andreas; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; The Squid and the Whale; Bereavement; Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Layover; The House; Hall Pass; Burying the Ex; The Babysitters; The Hottest State; BMT: Baywatch; The Choice; Notes: Made her acting debut on All My Children. I recognize her more from her various television roles than her movie work.)

Budget/Gross – $69 million / Domestic: $58,060,186 (Worldwide: $177,856,751)

(Not super great domestically, but potentially okay overall. We won’t be seeing Baywatch 2 though. They were obviously expecting a 21 Jump Street level take which is closer to $140/$200 million. Not even close.)

#35 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(This is just above the Tom Hanks classic Dragnet. They kind of blew it in 2002 / 2003 by somehow released 11 buddy action films in those two years and audiences rebelled. This included things like future BMT Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. It has come back over the past ten years, and is a steady genre releasing three films this year … all terrible.)

#47 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(Ah I remember that boom (it included the recently watched Beverly Hillbillies). I feel like I’m continually surprised at how many films are made that are based on television shows. Near Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Otherwise known as the worst one.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (38/201): Baywatch takes its source material’s jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original’s campy charm — and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.

(Which is basically what 21 Jump Street did right. They took the ridiculous thing (cops going undercover in a high school) and took it to its logical conclusion (everyone basically doesn’t believe they are actually high school students). Here it doesn’t seem like they took the original’s hook (attractive people in skimpy outfits solve crimes for some reason on a beach) and took it anywhere at all. And that’s a shame.)

Poster – Sklogwatch (C+)

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(A poster is a delicate thing. You want it to be artistic, tell a story, and sell a product. This seems singularly focused on the last point. The Rock and some hotties (looking at you Efron) are here to save the day and capture your heart. Let’s throw their pics on the poster and put a weird giant wave behind them. That’s about it. That being said, great font game guys. That ‘A’ with the lifeguard station is bomb. I’m putting you above average just for that.)

Tagline(s) – Beaches ain’t ready (D)

(Ohhhh nooooooo. This is like 7 levels too high, guys. Reel it back in. I know the entire movie is based on making something so stupid that it might go all the way around and become good again but this is unfortunate. While this secretly might be a very good tagline. I can do nothing but hate it. Sorry.)

Keyword(s) – lifeguard; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.2 Piranha 3DD (2012); 61.7 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004); 54.3 Lovewrecked (2005); 52.9 Aquamarine (2006); 51.3 Sand Sharks (2012); 47.5 Bait (III) (2012); 46.5 Baywatch (2017); 36.7 The To Do List (2013); 34.7 Joe Dirt (2001); 33.5 The Lifeguard (2013);

(Oooo, I like that it isn’t the top. Most of these are kind of crap though. Like Piranha 3DD and Joe Dirt I don’t think will be done in our lifetimes (perhaps our grandchildren will do it on a throwback week for the BMT News Network, BMTNN). The only safe bet is Cody Banks to be honest.)

Notes – Zac Efron gave Dwayne Johnson all the names to call him in the movie, like One Direction. (This sounds like something Zac Efron would say but isn’t true)

In an interview, Priyanka Chopra said that the role of the main antagonist was written for a man, but the director changed the role and the script upon meeting her. (This sounds like something Priyanka Chopra would say but isn’t true)

After scathing reviews poured in from critics and fans alike, Dwayne Johnson tweeted that the film wasn’t made for critics. (This sounds like something Dwayne Johnson would say but isn’t true)

Nina Dobrev, Ashley Benson, Alexandra Shipp, Shelley Hennig, Bianca A. Santos, and Denyse Tontz were considered for the role of Summer. (Nina Dobrev! Of Flatliners and XxX: The Return of Xander Cage fame?)

Robert Ben Garant was going to write and direct the film.

Jeremy Garelick was set to write and direct the film. (love me some alternate directors)

Pamela Anderson also performs a cameo at the very movie’s end but, like the original Mitch Buchanon appearance, all is spoiled from the beginning since their names are listed at the initial credits. (Ha. That’s pretty stupid.)

Cameo…David Hasselhoff appears in a scene with this “Mitch” where they interact and call each other “Mitch”.