Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Preview

“Ghosts shmosts,” scoffs Poe, walking boldly into the forest. “Yeah, ghosts… uh.. Shmosts,” says Rich hesitantly and both he and Kilgorn cling to each other as then more slowly creep their way forward. The forest is dark and their breath comes out in white puffs. When did it become so cold? “Poe?” Rich whispers urgently. Suddenly they bump into the back of Poe. Rich begins to explain how he and Kilgorn weren’t scared, per se, it’s just that with the forest being so cold they felt like they needed to stay close for warmth. But Poe doesn’t even react to the totally believable story (and why shouldn’t he believe it? It’s true), instead he stands frozen with a look of horror on his face. Shakily he raises a hand and mouths through lips white with terror, “gh-gh-gh-ghost.” Egad! For in front of them is indeed a ghost of a terrifyingly huge lady. Oh woe is he who grapples with such a monstrous phantom. Rich and Poe are ready to put their famous quick twitch muscles to the test when suddenly the ghost speaks, “Hellur.” Rich and Poe chuckle and even Kilgorn is amused because, as he says, “the ghost said hellur when saying hello.” Suddenly they are at ease, as if they’ve been reunited with an old friend, “Hellur to you, too,” says Rich but the ghost just looks cross and starts to lay into them about their general behavior. Daaaaang, this ghost got sass. Just as it’s finishing a story about prostituting themselves and running from the fuzz back in the day Poe is able to quickly interject and ask about Nic Cage’s Journal (all rights reserved) and the Great Nut. The ghost recoils and crosses herself. “We don’t speak about the Book of Shadows in these woods.” That’s right! We are watching the follow-up to the 1999 smash hit The Blair Witch Project which was turned around so fast that they couldn’t even figure out whether they wanted to try to capture the magic or do something totally new. By all accounts they instead made a garbled mess that destroyed what could have been a franchise. Nice one. Let’s go!

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) – BMeTric: 83.7; Notability: 29 

(Holy crap, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a film so slowly creep downward over time! That is really a new one. Like people just became more convinced of it over time that this was a generic piece of trash. The notability is also off the chart. That is huge for a found footage horror film I think … I suppose because everyone involved in the original became famous afterwards.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “The Blair Witch Project” was perhaps one of a kind. Its success made a sequel inevitable, but this is not the sequel, I suspect, anyone much wanted. The opening scenes–the documentary showing the townspeople affected by the first film–is a more promising approach, because instead of trying to cover similar ground, it goes outside the first film and makes its own stand.

(This review is a bit better and more forgiving than I would have expected. In the context of the original, everything I’ve read is that it is just a regular horror film, so maybe this review is more right than the general consensus. Should the film be compared to the original? Maybe not, maybe it is fine to be fine on its own merits.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WtrIgbvsWU/

(Forget everything you’ve heard … like if you’ve heard this film is a generic piece of garbage, just go ahead and forget that … like it might not be, right? This does look like garbage though, what a perplexing decision.)

Directors – Joe Berlinger – (Known For: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2001; Notes: Famous documentary filmmaker for the Paradise Lost series about the West Memphis Three. Won an Emmy for the first one, nominated for an Emmy for the second, and nominated for an Oscar for the third.)

Writers – Daniel Myrick (characters) – (Known For: The Blair Witch Project; Skyman; Future BMT: The Objective; BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2001; Notes: Developed the lore and screenplay for the original film in 1994 (which is when the original film was set) directly out of film school.)

Eduardo Sánchez (characters) – (Known For: The Blair Witch Project; Lovely Molly; Future BMT: Exists; BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2001; Notes: Born in Cuba. Reportedly him and Myrick were paid $4 million as a result of the success of the original film.)

Dick Beebe (written by) – (Future BMT: House on Haunted Hill; BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2001; Notes: His last film credit. He created the television series The Lazarus Man starring Robert Urich, which appears to be notable because TNT cancelled it because Urich was diagnosed with cancer and there was a lawsuit filed concerning the scandal.)

Joe Berlinger (written by) – (BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2001; Notes: This is the only non-fiction film he has a writing credit on.)

Actors – Jeffrey Donovan – (Known For: Honest Thief; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; Sicario; Changeling; Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Sleepers; Shot Caller; Hitch; J. Edgar; Villains; LBJ; Wonder Woman: Bloodlines; Come Early Morning; Believe in Me; Future BMT: Lucy in the Sky; Vegas Vacation; Extinction; Bait; BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Notes: Has a black belt in Shotokan karate. Probably most notable as the main character in Burn Notice.)

Stephen Barker Turner – (BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; Notes: Seems to have mostly done one off episodes in his career, including single episodes of Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The trifecta!!)

Erica Leerhsen – (Known For: Magic in the Moonlight; Anything Else; Hollywood Ending; Little Athens; BMT: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: Seems like she’s mostly stopped acting at this point. Had a recurring role on The Guardian in the early 2000s.)

Budget/Gross – $15,000,000 / Domestic: $26,437,094 (Worldwide: $47,737,094)

(Obviously not what they would have been expecting. But also not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It probably turned a profit just because the budget was small.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (15/108): This sequel to Blair Witch Project is all formula and no creativity, mechanically borrowing elements from the original and other horror movies.

(There it is. Yeah this is the consensus I heard. That it is just another horror film. Given that I’ll be watching the original directly before I suppose I will actually find out. Reviewer Highlight: Even formula-slasher-pic fans are likely to find this hectic, unfocused effort a letdown. – Dennis Harvey, Variety)

Poster – Blair Witch Too

(I like the font and I kinda like the boldness of the tree ring motif of the whole thing. I just think it looks a little cheap. Like I look at it and go “that’s not a good movie” so if that’s what they were going for then I guess it’s a success. B.)

Tagline(s) – Evil Doesn’t Die. (C)

(I don’t see a tagline on the poster which is a ding, but this one is on imdb so I’ll go with it. I guess I kinda like the vibe and the shortness of it, but a little generic.)

Keyword – supernatural horror

Top 10: Sinister (2012), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Doctor Sleep (2019), The Conjuring (2013), Poltergeist (1982), Insidious (2010), The Lost Boys (1987), Final Destination (2000), The Sixth Sense (1999), Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

Future BMT: 77.9 Boogeyman (2005), 76.2 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 64.3 The Darkness (2016), 64.1 The Grudge 2 (2006), 64.1 The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), 61.9 Poltergeist III (1988), 61.6 Soul Survivors (2001), 61.0 Legion (2010), 60.9 Darkness Falls (2003);

BMT: The Haunting (1999), Ghost Ship (2002), Silent Hill (2006), Hellboy (2019), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Rings (2017), Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000), The Fog (2005), The Ring 2 (2005), An American Haunting (2005), Troll (1986), One Missed Call (2008), The Gallows (2015), The Devil Inside (2012), Bless the Child (2000)

(I think it is fairly obvious Blair Witch Project helped kick off the big boom in the 2000s. And man they were huuuuuge in the 00s. I bet the drop more recently is just that they started not involving as many famous names as they did in the 2000s.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Erica Leerhsen is No. 3 billed in Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and No. 3 billed in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), which also stars Jessica Biel (No. 1 billed) who is in Valentine’s Day (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 1 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Next we can get the HoE Number down to 18.

Notes – Unhappy with Joe Berlinger’s version of the film, Artisan opted to re-shoot certain scenes to add more “traditional” horror movie elements and re-cut the movie to make it more commercial. Berlinger repeatedly states on the DVD commentary that he doesn’t like the changes that were made and that they ruin the ambiguous tone of the plot.

Artisan Entertainment, who distributed the original movie, was keen to produce a sequel quickly, to take advantage of its predecessor’s popularity. However, Haxan Films, the producers of the first film (which included original directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez), weren’t comfortable working on a sequel so quickly, and preferred to wait until the hype had diminished a bit. Artisan (who had the rights) then decided to produce the sequel without Haxan Films. Myrick and Sanchez were given an executive producers credit, but both men later stated that they had very little creative input, and disliked the final film.

The film was to originally open with Frank Sinatra’s song “Witchcraft” to give off a lighter atmosphere before the plot unfolded but Artisan Entertainment forced Berlinger to instead include Marilyn Manson’s “Disposable Teens” for the opening scene for a punk rock feel instead. (The soundtrack is an abomination BTW)

When the tour group picks up Kim Diamond in the cemetery, she is lying on a tomb marked “Treacle.” According to the companion mockumentary Curse of the Blair Witch (1999), Eileen Treacle was one of the Blair Witch’s alleged victims who was drowned in a creek in Burkittsville in August 1825.

When Erica Leerhsen had originally auditioned for Kim Director’s role, she went to the audition with short blonde hair and as director Joe Berlinger described “completely Gothed-out”, but ultimately was given the supporting role of “Erica”. It was Joe Berlinger who decided to make her a longhaired redhead.

In the scene in which Jeffrey is sitting at a table in the madhouse and the camera moves towards him you can see an old s/w photograph hanging on the wall. This is a photo of Kyle Brody, the 8th kid kidnapped by Rustin Parr and the only one who wasn’t killed by him. Kyle Brody was the main witness in the Rustin Parr trial and he described how the children were killed. He spent most of his life in a madhouse. So the madhouse in which Jeffrey lives could be exactly the one in which Kyle Brody spent his life. As the photo shows Kyle Brody as a grown-up, it was shot in the madhouse, too.

The symbols referred to as “The Witches Alphabet” are actually Norse runic symbols known as The Elder Futhaark.

One of the Symbols written on the walls of the Rustin Parr Ruins, the one that looks like ‘Þ’, is the Celtic Symbol Thorn. The Bringer of Death (Somewhat famous in horror circles because the Cult of Thorn because a big part of the Halloween franchise and a reason Michael Myers is effectively immortal in the original series).

In the dream when the baby is submerged in the water, watch the lower right-hand side of the screen. You’ll see the shadow of a stickman emerge and come higher into the frame.

Unlike its predecessor, this film is not presented in a found footage format. It is also the only film in the series not filmed in found footage as Blair Witch (2016), the third film, is presented in this format.

Joe Berlinger: appears as Burkittsville resident “Joe” during the documentary opening sequence.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (Bill Carraro, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joe Berlinger, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez, Dick Beebe, Joe Berlinger, 2001)

Boo! A Madea Halloween Recap

Jamie

Boo! Get ready for some kooky spooky action up in hellur. When Madea is called to watch her rambunctious niece she gets in the middle of a frat’s big Halloween party and soon finds herself in the brunt of their hijinks. Can she stop the frat and teach everyone a lesson before it’s too late? Find out in Boo! A Madea Halloween.

How?! Brian has a big business trip planned right on Halloween and is dismayed to find his unruly teenage daughter Tiffany is dead set on two things: attending a frat party for which she is clearly under age and NOT being watched by anyone. No way. Brian knows what to do. He calls Madea into action who shows up trailing her group of crazy characters. They take up residence in the house but are almost immediately duped when they find Tiffany has snuck out to the party. While she is having a load of fun she’s horrified to see Madea and her pals crash the party and get all up in the business. They are all thrown out and Madea knows exactly what to do: call in the popo (anonymously of course, Madea is a criminal after all). The police arrive, Tiffany is sent home (none too soon either as the frat kids have discovered she’s only 17) and they begin to plot their revenge. The gang of elderly nogoodniks begins to have all kinds of spooky things happen to them and they do not like it. They flee the house and are accosted by loads of ghosts and ghouls and it’s real scary. But soon they come to find out about the frat’s scheme and start a scheme of their own. Forcing Brian home to deal with his daughter he finally gets her to understand the idea of rules and consequences only to have the police arrive and take her into custody in connection to the disappearance of her best friend. The police also arrive at the frat house and find Tiffany’s friend dead in the basement. Oh no! All the girls and the frat kids are loaded onto a bus to be transported to jail and they are real scared… but soon realize that they’ve all been set up by Brian and Madea with the help of Brian’s cop friends. THE END. Or is it? (it isn’t! There’s gonna be more!)

Why?! Why is the wrong question for a Madea film. Or perhaps it’s the perfect question because every film is essentially the same once you see through all the ten minute rambling conversations Madea has with people. Madea is throwing down hard truths for everyone and they best learn them because otherwise shit’s gonna get real. Ya dig?

Who?! I can’t help but love me a little mid-film music video. In fact if I was given the title of film czar I would require all films to have a music video interlude and the world would be better for it. Here Tyga gets up on stage at this random frat Halloween party and performs Rack City much to the chagrin/delight of Madea and her friends. It’s an A+ and I don’t even give grades for this section.

What?! Since Tyga took the previous spot I think it’s important to mention here that in a lot of ways this film was an advertisement for numerous YouTube/Vine/TikTok/Probably some other things I don’t know teenybopper stars of the future. Perry was pretty open about them being cast in order to make the franchise hipper and newer. So a younger audience could delight at the branded stars they know, while getting to know their new best friend: Madea. 

Where?! As is the case with most Perry films I know this was shot in Atlanta, but not sure it’s ever made clear that the film actually takes place there. It would certainly be a large city as Brian is a federal prosecutor, but that’s pretty much all we get as far as I remember. I still think it’s Atlanta so a D for now.

When?! Finally get an A+ Settings Alert as the title so appropriately tells us that this takes place on Halloween. As Patrick mentioned, though, not a single ghost or supernatural being in the whole thing. I would have liked at least for a ghost to show up at the end even if it was a not scary Casper type ghost. Just for a quick laugh about how not Halloween the film is in general. A+.

Wow. Sometimes you just need a film to come around after years of inuring ourselves to bad movies to remind us of what it’s like to be alive. Madea can do that when you start watching a scene and there are just piles and piles of Madea jokes being thrown your way and honestly you can’t tell if there is even a movie there or whether the entire thing will just be jokes on jokes forever and ever. And then ten minutes will pass and they’ll still be talking about the same broken down car that Madea was doing drugs in or something back in the day or explaining how Brian is a piece of shit or whatever and you’re mind won’t even be blown because your mind no longer exists. That’s Madea and I think I enjoyed the experience even if the film itself is really bad. If I had to give out a positive it would be Joe, Tyler Perry’s third character in the film, who is an old man and is actually kinda funny sometimes. I dug him. He was cool. If I had to pick out something bad it would be the numerous jokes about beating children, which would shock me except it seemed in line with everything else in the film. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Boo! A Madea is Seeing Some Ghosts for Real, but She Doesn’t Take Guff from Ghosts so it isn’t a Big Deal I Say Boo to You Ghost, Boo! I think that is the full title of the film. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – So I think it is important to recognize something with this film. Going into the film we’ve seen a bunch of Tyler Perry films, and most are terrible (Alex Cross, Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, etc.), but I distinctly and bizarrely remembered vaguely enjoying Madea Christmas. The thing is? It isn’t really true. Looking back we were merely surprised we did not loath it. The film is still very much in your face with the religious messaging, and that’s fine since that is pretty explicitly the purpose of the film. But … weirdly just by thinking I enjoyed Madea Christmas made me really really not enjoy this film. The preview itself isn’t much to go on because the preview effectively says: this film stars Tyler Perry as Madea, which we already knew. What were my expectations? So a few things popped out about the film. First, that it stars a bunch of YouTube personalities, so terrible acting was definitely on the table. Second, it is definitely NOT an actual ghost film, so I was definitely going to be disappointed.

The Good – I think I am able to step back from Madea as a concept, understand that most of the film just isn’t messaging to me, and go about judging the film on something at least a bit closer to its merits. I think Tyler Perry is a wizard when it comes to film financing, and there is a reason he is very close to being a billionaire (he likely will be in the next few years). The film can, on very rare occasions, have amusing quips. And despite all of the characters being incredibly mean spirited and grating … I can also get why people find them amusing in their own right. To be clear, I don’t actually enjoy anything I watched in the film, but I don’t begrudge the fact that Tyler Perry’s audience does or that Tyler Perry is able to make movies that cater to that audience. Best Bit: Some amusing quips.

The Bad – The whole storyline with the father-daughter relationship is so bizarre that there is a 15 minute conversation about how Tyler Perry’s character’s father beat him so badly he was in intensive care at the hospital and it is played like “man, your daughter is bad news, you should probably beat her to an inch of her life, haha.” That for real is a message in the film. The relationship with Tyler Perry’s character’s ex-wife is also such that the film feels misogynistic, even though I believe that Tyler Perry sees it as a “weak willed man” joke rather than a “harpie ex-wife” joke. The film has no ghosts and for that I say boo! I say boo! to Boo! A Madea Halloween. I wanted Madea screaming about how she has warrants to actual ghosts, not the police! Whatever. The rest of the film is mostly 15 minute long segments of Tyler Perry having really bad improv sessions with himself. It almost makes you tear your hair out as they beat yet another unfunny joke into the ground for 10 minutes straight. This movie is not good and is, in fact, probably the worst of the three Madea films we have watched thus far. Fatal Flaw: Incredibly long sequences of not funny improvisation between various forms of Tyler Perry.

The BMT – I’m certainly getting more comfortable watching films that I’m not really the intended audience for. I could see a future where we have watched all of the Madea films (a truly dire future indeed). That being said, for the most part Madea films are the kind of films we try to avoid (like Saving Christmas for example). Films that are just low hanging fruit for people to dunk on because Tyler Perry wanted to make a cool $50 million on a 6 day shoot. But really … is there anything wrong with wanting to make $50 million on a 6 day film shoot? I don’t think so. Did it meet my expectations? No! But by that I mean yes, because I think in my heart I knew I secretly wanted to silently scream in horror as it dawned on me that there weren’t going to be actual ghosts in this film. I have to say … there better be ghosts in Boo 2! Otherwise, I riot.

Roast-radamus – I think Hattie Love absolutely qualifies as a Planchet (Who?). Her sole purpose appears to be to sit and take shit from Joe and Madea. Obviously this is a Not-so-secret Holiday Film (When?) for being rather explicitly about Halloween and the various shenanigans that young people get into on that day. And I think Worst Twist (How?) gets in there for the not very subtle (and cruel) joke Tyler Perry plays on his daughter and the frat brothers, tricking them into thinking they (checks notes) accidentally murdered someone and are going to jail for the rest of their lives … hilarious. Definitely closest to a Bad.

StreetCreditReport.com – I think it is quite odd that the film didn’t make any of the major lists in 2016, but I imagine this is because it must have come out in October? … But I’m pretty sure Saving Christmas dominated the lists in its year, so I’m less than convinced that is actually the case. There is this rather amusing list here, which looks at all of the Madea films. Pretty heartening to see Boo! coming in just under Madea Christmas. I think that is 100% right in retrospect. Christmas was saved a little bit, oddly, by Larry the Cable Guy who I remember just being a charming pleasant foil to the brash Madea. There is no such foil in Boo! unfortunately.

I’m going to have to skip the You Just Got Schooled section today. I think I would have maybe watched Hubie Halloween, but for a variety of reasons I really just don’t have time for that. So I’ll have to leave it there, I wrote a lot in the other sections anyways. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Boo! A Madea Halloween Quiz

Oh boy. So here’s what happened, I was hanging with my foul-mouthed granny Madea (you know how she is, all foul-mouthed and hilarious), when up popped a scary clown who said Boo! (A Madea Halloween). Well I stumbled back, bopped my head, and now I can’t remember a thing! Can you remember what happened in Boo! A Madea Halloween?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We open with Madea handing out Halloween candy outside her home in (presumably) Atlanta with Aunt Bam, when Joe and Hattie arrive. What are they dressed as?

2) Asked to come out and watch her, Tiffany needs to get Madea and these other old people out of her house stat! How does she go about convincing the babysitters to go to bed?

3) Tiffany ends up just sneaking out the back to go to a nearby frat party, and is then followed by Madea and her crew. Madea, Hattie, and Aunt Bam are then thrown out of the party. Why?

4) Madea, as revenge on the frat brothers, calls the police to get the party shut down (noice). But the tables are turned and the frat brothers start to prank the old people right back! There were four distinct pranks they pulled on the old people. Name them.

5) Finally, Brian comes home and decides to teach these tricky frat brothers a lesson they’ll never forget: he makes them think they are all going to prison. For what crime?

Answers

Boo! A Madea Halloween Preview

“The great nut?” Rich scoffs incredulously, “you serious?” He insists to Poe that this is all absurd. Yes, it’s true, that tiny cute squirrel scroll was rather specific in how they were meant to cure “the Great One,” and indeed that aptly describes our boy Cage, but I mean… this is all vague scroll nonsense… right? But Poe isn’t so sure. Looking around he mutters, “the great nut… the… great nut,” when suddenly a burly man on a horse rides up and rears gallantly into the sky. “Did I hear you mutter something about the great nut?” he says happily, “oh boy! I knew today would be a wonderful day where I could help someone! It felt a bit like… oh, I don’t know.” He scratches his head happily. “Destiny?” Rich hesitantly offers. “Yes! Like destiny. Oh boy! This’ll be fun and we’ll be BFFs forever. My name is Kilgorn from Abelstar and I had a dream about the great nut. Isn’t that fun?!” He’s bursting with glee. Rich and Poe shuffle their feet awkwardly for a moment before filling the silence with a soft affirmative. It will be fun. “I know! Hooray! Follow me! My dream told me to ride this way” and with that Kilgorn begins to ride off through the woods. Rich and Poe look at each other and sigh. “Maybe Nic Cage can tough it out without Nic Cage’s Journal (all rights reserved)?” Poe suggests but they both sigh again and start following their new BFFF Kilgorn. Up ahead they see him stopped at the edge of a wood. He’s quaking with fear and grabs Rich and Poe close against his bare, greasy chest. “This was also in my dream… or more like my nightmare,” he says, voice quavering, and then points into the woods, “gh-gh-gh-ghosts.” That’s right! We’re doing a special BMT Live (ish (not really)) by breaking out of the cycle in order to grab a festive Halloween edition of BMT. Gotta hit up some sweet Madea action with Boo! A Madea Halloween. I’m not sure where we stand on Madea given our up and down experience with the franchise, so maybe this’ll help us figure that out. Let’s go!

Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016) – BMeTric: 52.6; Notability: 17 

(Honestly? That is really impressive. You’d think the legion that is Perry’s fanbase who maybe do a halfway decent job at defending the rating. But then again, they would undoubtedly have to counter a brigade of racists who tend to deflate any black lead film. Still a bit surprising at how low the score is. As is the notability, but it was filmed in six days, so there are only so many famous people you could get involved.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – At 103 minutes, this film has way too much dead weight. Scenes are repeated over and over, and some of the acting would not cut it in a school play. But in the rare moments when “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween” is firing on all cylinders, it displays a cleverness which hints that, with more time and a few more iterations of the script, this might have been a good movie. For the most part, the film has a rushed, haphazard quality that makes it feel like a selfish cash grab by its creator. But I know better; Perry’s love for his audience radiates off the screen and is returned just as powerfully by his fans. The real problem isn’t that he’s preaching to a built-in choir, it’s that the choir too easily forgives cinematic trespasses like this. That’s the Christian thing to do, I suppose, but I’m going to be a heathen here. Madea would understand.

(Interesting. The entire review is actually pretty fascinating, as is Tyler Perry and his creation Madea. A character created essentially for someone who is the opposite for myself. I try hard not to presume much about what we are watching because of that. We’ve seen two other Madea films, and this is poised to be the worst one we’ve seen.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sPHseSGr9Q/

(Oh boy. Part of that actually looks kind of funny. The idea of random characters being in various horror films is just amusing. Like, imagine 23 Jump Street just being those characters in Friday the 13th or something? That’s a funny idea. Also Bella Thorne is in this film? That’s wild.)

Directors – Tyler Perry – (Known For: Why Did I Get Married?; I Can Do Bad All by Myself; The Family That Preys; Future BMT: Madea Goes to Jail; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Meet the Browns; Madea’s Witness Protection; Madea’s Big Happy Family; Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; Nobody’s Fool; Madea’s Family Reunion; A Madea Family Funeral; Good Deeds; A Fall from Grace; Acrimony; Daddy’s Little Girls; For Colored Girls; BMT: Boo! A Madea Halloween; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; A Madea Christmas; The Single Moms Club; Notes: Notably started out writing while living in his car. He parlayed a single play into a playhouse, and then a multimedia empire. He is estimated to now be worth nearly $1 billion, and will likely cross that threshold relatively soon as he makes $80 million a year himself from a deal with CBS.)

Tyler Perry Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2014 for A Madea Christmas; and in 2018 for Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; Nominee for Worst Director in 2013 for Good Deeds, and Madea’s Witness Protection; in 2014 for A Madea Christmas, and Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; and in 2017 for Boo! A Madea Halloween; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for A Madea Family Funeral in 2020; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Combo for A Madea Christmas in 2014; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2013 for Alex Cross, and Good Deeds; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Combo for Boo! A Madea Halloween in 2017; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Madea’s Witness Protection in 2013; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween in 2018;

Writers – Tyler Perry (written by) – (Known For: Why Did I Get Married?; I Can Do Bad All by Myself; The Family That Preys; Future BMT: Madea Goes to Jail; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Meet the Browns; Madea’s Witness Protection; Madea’s Big Happy Family; Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; Nobody’s Fool; Madea’s Family Reunion; A Madea Family Funeral; Good Deeds; A Fall from Grace; Acrimony; Daddy’s Little Girls; For Colored Girls; BMT: Boo! A Madea Halloween; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; A Madea Christmas; The Single Moms Club; Diary of a Mad Black Woman; Notes: I think he currently has maybe six television shows on the air. He has produced nearly 1000 episodes of television in general, which also likely make an enormous amount of money for streaming rights alone.)

Actors – Tyler Perry – (Known For: Gone Girl; Star Trek; Vice; Why Did I Get Married?; I Can Do Bad All by Myself; The Family That Preys; The Star; Future BMT: Madea Goes to Jail; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Meet the Browns; Madea’s Witness Protection; Madea’s Big Happy Family; Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; Madea’s Family Reunion; A Madea Family Funeral; Good Deeds; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows; A Fall from Grace; Brain on Fire; BMT: Alex Cross; Boo! A Madea Halloween; A Madea Christmas; The Single Moms Club; Diary of a Mad Black Woman; Notes: He has received multiple lifetime achievement awards for his achievements in television and movie production, including the 2020 Governor’s Award from the Primetime Emmys.)

Cassi Davis – (Known For: School Daze; Future BMT: Madea’s Big Happy Family; Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; Madea’s Family Reunion; A Madea Family Funeral; Daddy’s Little Girls; BMT: Boo! A Madea Halloween; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for A Madea Family Funeral in 2020; Notes: Almost entirely known for the roles of Aunt Bam (various Tyler Perry films), Ellen Payne (House of Payne) and also appeared as a voice in The PJs prior to that.)

Patrice Lovely – (Future BMT: Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; A Madea Family Funeral; BMT: Boo! A Madea Halloween; Notes: Was the ringmaster for the UniverSoul Circus for years prior to acting with Perry on stage as Hattie.)

Budget/Gross – $20,000,000 / Domestic: $73,206,343 (Worldwide: $74,827,344)

(Given it was filmed in 6 days I’m going to guess that $18 million of that goes directly into Tyler Perry’s pocket. $1 million is for the crew and sets. $1 million for all of the other actors. And then Tyler Perry likely makes another $35 million straight cash. I bet he makes like $50 million dollars when he releases a movie … my god!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (8/43): Boo! A Madea Halloween won’t win Tyler Perry’s long-running franchise many new converts — but at nine films and counting, it hardly needs to.

(Shockingly high critic score now that I look at it. Looking through it the good reviews seem like a mix of “the least religious and thus most tolerable of the Madea films” and “Madea fans will like it.” Reviewer Highlight: Madea remains a distinctive, weirdly compelling character. Maybe someday Perry will make a good comedy for her. – Jesse Hassenger, AV Club)

Poster – Happy Hellurween

(I like my title actually. But this poster makes sense. It’s selling Madea, it’s got some sweet font, etc. I guess I’d like it if they were a bit more stylish in bringing in more orange. A little amateurish in that way. But still good. B.)

Tagline(s) – Trick or treat, fools. (B+)

(This is solid. You could have also used my Happy Hellur-ween. But don’t worry about it, not a big deal. This is catchy and I think it works quite well. Gives you the attitude of the film in a short and sweet package.)

Keyword – halloween

Top 10: Hocus Pocus (1993), The Addams Family (1991), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Karate Kid (1984), Addams Family Values (1993), Halloween (2018), Casper (1995), House of 1000 Corpses (2003), Zodiac (2007)

Future BMT: 92.3 Son of the Mask (2005), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 63.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 60.7 Skinwalkers (2006), 58.9 Pet Sematary II (1992), 57.7 The Next Best Thing (2000);

BMT: Thir13en Ghosts (2001), The Predator (2018), Batman Forever (1995), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Made of Honour (2008), Deadly Friend (1986), Town & Country (2001)

(The Predator is a real deal Halloween film. The others I can’t really remember … Deadly Friend is I think, I think I remember someone smashing a pumpkin. Oh yeah, and Warren Beatty is dressed as someone in Town & Country, wild. The notability plot is somewhat inexplicable … maybe just holiday films in general have become smaller affairs with horror films dominating Halloween and blockbusters dominating Christmas? I would believe it I suppose.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tyler Perry is No. 1 billed in Boo! A Madea Halloween and No. 1 billed in Alex Cross, which also stars Jean Reno (No. 3 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 5 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 1 + 2 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Shot in six days.

Tyler Perry says the idea was conceived after watching the film Top Five (2014). In that film, Chris Rock’s character enters a movie theater and sees movie goers lined up for a fictional Tyler Perry movie about Madea fighting ghosts in a haunted house. That movie was also called “Boo!”

The film netted $74 million between domestic and international runs and $72 million of that was domestic. Having only a six-day shooting schedule, it made roughly $12.3 million per day of shooting.

YouTubers Liza Koshy, known by her fans as “little brown girl,” Mike Tornabene, a.k.a. “Dom Mazzeti,” Yousef Erakat, a.k.a. “FouseyTUBE,” YouTubers Kian Lawley and J.C. Caylen all have roles in the film (I combined a bunch of notes here. I wonder if this was a move to pull in a built in audience, or whether this was just because YouTubers are incredibly cheap actors …)

In the scene where BJ walks through the living room, the actor is holding the iPad of the film’s script supervisor which happened to have a PDF of the script on the screen as the prop was improvised as cameras started rolling on the scene.

While both Bam and Hattie call Madea by her given name, Bam also calls her ‘Dea’, and Hattie calls her ‘Ma’.

The first film in the franchise to feature Hattie and the second film in the franchise to feature Aunt Bam.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Tyler Perry, 2017)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Tyler Perry, 2017)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Tyler Perry, 2017)

Red Sonja Recap

Jamie

After her family is killed by the eeevil Queen Gedren, Red Sonja trains to become the warrior destined to kill her. Unfortunately, Gedren has gotten her hands on the Talisman and it’s world destroying power. With the help of her friends Falkon, Tarn, and Cona… I mean, Kalidor, can she stop Gedren before it’s too late? Find out in… Red Sonja.

How?! It was Red Sonja’s destiny to destroy Gedren after she was bestowed with the powers of a warrior by a wizard… you tuned out yet? All you need to know is Gedren was hot for Red Sonja and she was like “no thanks” so Gedren killed her family and thought she killed but, nope, she just made her all the more powerful. Later Gedren steals The Talisman (bum bum bum) from its protectors after they determine it’s too powerful and must be destroyed. Fortunately one escapes and finds Cona… I mean, Kalidor, and tells him to go get Red Sonja. Sonja is a super badass now after years of training and is informed that Gedren has The Talisman (bum bum bum) and she must go after it. She spurns Kalidor’s offer of help and sets off on her own. In the ruins of a city she finds a petulant young prince Tarn and his servant Falkon. She sizes them up as pretty lame and continues on her way. She comes to a gate owned by Lord Brytag, who demands she pleasure him and she’s like “definitely not” and kills him in battle. With the help of Kalidor (who is kinda growing on her) she escapes through the gate and continues on towards Berkubane (I could be making this all up and you wouldn’t know). On the way she rescues Prince Tarn and Falkon and are trapped in a cave by Gedren. There she unleashes a Killing Machine on them and it’s looking pretty dire except that Kalidor swoops in looking fly and helps them defeat it. When they finally get to Gedren’s castle they all split up and methodically kill everyone. Confronting Gedren in a climactic battle, Red Sonja shows that she is the ultimate warrior and kills her and destroys the talisman. Escaping the collapsing castle, the whole gang moves on to their next great adventure (and maybe a little smooching too). THE END.

Why?! Did you not hear me? Gedren has The GD TALISMAN!! It’s a talisman… it’s got great power. Duh. So get off my back cause that’s pretty cereal and needs Red Sonja and our Conan knockoff characters to be pretty focused on it. Oh and Gedren wants to control… or maybe just destroy the world? Even her cronies are like “yo, she’s getting a bit crazy with this talisman business.”

Who?! We got a bunch of options here. Obviously Arnold is a former athlete and Ernie Reyes Jr. and Pat Roach dabbled in professional kickboxing and wrestling, respectively. Pat Roach is probably the most interesting as he was nicknamed “Judo” and “Bomber” and held the European Championship at one time.

What?! MacGuffin alert up in here. The Talisman has all dem powers. It can make lightning and earthquakes and basically destroys everything using the power of light. And not even like a whole bunch of light. Just fill a room with candles and The Talisman is off the hook. Image what it could do nowadays with new light technology. Fuggetaboutit. Alas, Red Sonja destroyed it.

Where?! Where? Where?! In the general vicinity of Hyrkania, Hilidor, Hablock and Berkubane. And no, those are not places I made up on the spot (OK fine, I did make up one of those). It does seem like some of those were made up for the film, but others were seen throughout the series. Still, this is a solid Fictional setting, which is always appreciated here at BMTHQ.

When?! It’s the Hyborian Age from Robert E. Howard. Scholars place it roughly from 30,000-10,000 B.C. (seriously, they do) although I think that’s all balderdash. It clearly exists in a time outside of history and to attempt to place it in reality is a fool’s errand. Also that would be like a D at best if it was supposed to be real.   

Not gonna lie, I kinda enjoyed watching this movie. It’s real silly, sure, but I can dig me a little sword and sorcery action and this delivered on both swords and sorcery. Obviously the weakest point, and why you can’t really seriously consider this anything but a disastrous movie, is the acting. It is not good, to put it kindly. But still, this ain’t no Sorceress and is more than just boring or anything like that. Our boy Arnold even battles a mechanical brute, so I feel like we’re getting some fun in there. I don’t know, I feel like I would be pretty satisfied if every bad movie we watched was on the level of this. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are well on our way to finishing up all of the Conan films. Just a technicality left: Kull the Conqueror which was, by all accounts, originally a Conan film. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The trailer makes this look very much like Conan the Destroyer which was a terrible cheap looking trash film. So until further notice I have to imagine this is the same thing. Everything will hinge on exactly how bad the effects are. Because what really sank Conan the Destroyer was the room of mirrors fight against the wizard Thoth-Amon, once you see that nothing can redeem the film. What were my expectations? The wizard Thoth-Amon fight version two. I have little hope this was anything but a cash grab on that sweet IP with just the laziest possibly execution.

The Good – Watching these old sword and sorcery films is always fun in their own may. The dumb looking puppets. The bad wizard effects. The beautiful Italian vistas. This film is no different. I also think I liked this film more than Conan the Destroyer, which came across as more of a cheap cash grab. This film seemed like it was actually trying to do something. And finally while Brigitte Nielsen was bad I expected her to be terrible, so she actually exceeded expectations. Best Bit: Beautiful Italian vistas.

The Bad – The film. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a Dino De Laurentiis film from the 80s is terrible, but here we are. The effects are bad, the plot is stupid and predictable. I don’t really know what else to say. While I like Arnold his appearance as a totally different character also threw the entire film off kilter. I was sure he was going to eventually reveal that he is, in fact, King Conan, and this was, in fact, a third Conan film for real. But nope. Just really odd decisions, but that’s what happens when you create a movie to cash in on a trend I suppose. Fatal Flaw: Bad acting and effects.

The BMT – If not for the fact that we are going to eventually watch all of the Conan films for BMT I actually doubt we would have watched this film just because it is small and cheap and doesn’t bring much to the BMT table. I do enjoy being able to rank them though: Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Conan the Destroyer, Conan the Barbarian (2011). Easy peasy. Did it meet my expectations? It was slightly better. Throughout the film the effects (with the exception of the mechanical sea serpent I think) weren’t as bad as Thoth-Amon. But it was a cash grab on that sweet IP.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Prince Tarn and Falkarn are something. At times Falkarn seems like a Planchet. At others Tarn it. Sometimes they are a bumbling odd couple. I’m going to give it a Planchet (Who?) in general though. Definitely a huuuuuge MagGuffin (Why?) for the Talisman the … thing that created the world and … uh, it going to undo it? Closest to a Bad film in my opinion.

StreetCreditReport.com – This film was big enough at the time to be spoofed 5 years later on on In Living Color! That’s fun, and naturally Jim Carey is amazing. The Hanna Barbarians joke is still solid. … Honestly that’s it though, there isn’t much actual identifiable cred. I was considering doing some analysis of our various cred metrics (BMeTric, a new critic analysis I’m working on, and Notability), but it doesn’t quite feel like we are there yet. Maybe next week.

You Just Got Schooled – Once again this week I had a delightful cartoon to fall back on as far as schooling myself. Conan the Adventurer was a 1992 animated television series produced by Sunbow Entertainment who did many of the Hasbro productions in the 80s (like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Jem and the Holograms) and was later bought by Sony. I, again, only watched the first episode was created a markedly different origin story for Conan compared to either the original pulp novels (where he is a barbarian wandering around, not much to it) or the movies (where his family is massacred). That is a bit dark for a kids’ television series, so here his family is turned to stone, and he wields a sword made from shooting stars against the evil lizard people (who are I think aliens? That is what it sounded like to me). The show is pretty amusing in how terrible it is at points, specifically the incredibly annoying pet phoenix Needle. And the character of Conan is not a barbarian at all! Rather he is an extremely kind (almost naive) young warrior just trying to save his family (aw shucks!). I vaguely like the ideas with the lizard people from another dimension, but I kind of wish it didn’t involve Conan. Conan could be a cool cartoon given the extensive comic book history he has, but probably not a children’s cartoon. C-. Not a good adaptation in the end.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Red Sonja Quiz

Oh boy. So hear me out. I was battling Red Sonja in order to win her heart (you see, any woman I bed must defeat me in battle first … you know what the explanation is boring, nevermind), when she bopped me on the head and now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Red Sonja?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) After her entire family is murdered Red Sonja is left for dead. A god appears before her and grants her super powers. What powers?

2) Years later a group of faithful women congregated for a ceremony around the mystical Talisman. What is the intention of that ceremony?

3) The ceremony is rudely interrupted by Queen Gedren who steals the talisman. Escaping the massacre is Varna, who enlists Kalidor to find Sonja for her. How is she related to Sonja?

4) Sonja decides she must confront Queen Gedren and destroy the Talisman before it destroys the world. While on this journey she stumbles onto Falkon and Prince Tarn. Why was Prince Tarn’s city destroyed?

5) In the end Sonja defeats Gendren and destroys the Talisman leaving the evil queen’s castle in ruins. How does Gendren die?

Answers

Red Sonja Preview

“How… how are we talking to you?” Rich asks the small squirrel that has appeared in front of them. “Destiny,” it whispers in importance, dancing excitedly on its tiny feet, “it is foretold in the ancient scroll. Come.” Its eyes are shining and it hurries off, occasionally turning back and beckoning them forth. Rich and Poe shrug their shoulders. What’s one more adventure? Besides, Nic Cage needs saving and this, however bizarre, is their best lead. Upon arriving at the squirrel’s tree they see that word has already spread, for hundreds of squirrels are there chattering amongst themselves. A gray, wizened squirrel waddles up with a little tiny knobbly cane and it’s all very sweet and Rich and Poe both think it’s very cute. “It has been foretold,” the old squirrel wheezes, “in the ancient scroll,” it continues pulling out the cutest, tiniest scroll and unrolling it. Thank god they don’t have to read it themselves because it’s so little and tiny and they’d need tiny cute glasses to read it, which the old squirrel has. He clears his throat and reads, “It is foretold in this ancient scroll that there will come a time where the great one will fall ill and a pair of twins will arrive to seek out the cure. The Great Nut that will be broken and through its shattering will clear the bowels of humanity.” The bad movie twins frown. “And with a mighty expulsion of putrid air and waste, which is foretold in this scroll, the world will be empty and the movement satisfactory.” The old squirrel hacks and coughs with the effort of speaking and really this whole thing is a little less cute once it’s all laid out like that. Recovering, it squeaks out a final, “Destiny,” before waving them away. That’s right! We’re watching the Conan the Barbarian adjacent sword and sandals film Red Sonja starring a new-on-the-scene Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold (but not playing Conan for some reason). Let’s see if 35 years have aged this fantasy action film into a fine wine. Let’s go!

Red Sonja (1985) – BMeTric: 60.0; Notability: 33 

(Surprisingly low. I guess I’m not surprised it has been rising with the number of votes though. I feel like these cheesy 80s properties are ripe for cult status. Very high notability given though considering it looks like garbage.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Spectacularly silly sword-and-sorcery saga with female lead, based on pulp writings of Robert E. Howard (of Conan fame). Might amuse juvenile viewers, but only point of interest for adults is deciding who gives the worse performance, Nielsen or villainess Bergman. Schwarzenegger has a brief guest spot.

(I don’t think Arnold’s guest sport is all that brief. I think he’s in like half the film. This feels like a review that was written much closer to the time of the film’s release. Somewhat interesting that he gave the same score to Conan the Destroyer, which was a genuinely terrible film from what I can recall.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUHsZEo4I24/

(They basically go all out on “THIS IS A CONAN FILM” … but he’s Lord Kalidor don’t worry about it. Man they really don’t make films like this anymore. It is basically a pulp novel come to life!)

Directors – Richard Fleischer – (Known For: Soylent Green; Tora! Tora! Tora!; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Fantastic Voyage; The Vikings; 10 Rillington Place; Compulsion; Mr. Majestyk; The Boston Strangler; Barabbas; See No Evil; The Last Run; The Narrow Margin; Violent Saturday; Future BMT: Amityville 3-D; The Jazz Singer; Doctor Dolittle; Mandingo; Million Dollar Mystery; The Incredible Sarah; BMT: Red Sonja; Conan the Destroyer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for The Jazz Singer in 1981; Notes: )

Writers – Robert E. Howard (based on the character created by) – (Known For: Conan the Barbarian; Solomon Kane; Future BMT: Kull the Conqueror; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Red Sonja; Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Sadly killed himself on the night his mother died when he was 30 years old. Was friends with H. P. Lovecraft and one of the Lovecraft Circle.)

Clive Exton (written by) – (Known For: 10 Rillington Place; Isadora; Future BMT: The Awakening; BMT: Red Sonja; Notes: His last major motion picture. He wrote 21 episodes of Poirot, which is great and I highly recommend.)

George MacDonald Fraser (written by) – (Known For: Octopussy; The Three Musketeers; The Four Musketeers; The Return of the Musketeers; BMT: Red Sonja; Notes: Created Harry Flashman, the bully of Tom Brown’s School Days. The character appeared in the film Royal Flash starring Malcolm McDowell.)

Roy Thomas (comic book) (uncredited) – (Known For: Logan; Fire and Ice; BMT: Red Sonja; Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Wrote for a bunch of comic companies, but probably most notably Marvel. Credited on Morbius, and Captain Marvel among many others because of that. Wrote three sword and sorcery films in 1983, 1984, and 1985.)

Barry Windsor-Smith (comic book) (uncredited) – (BMT: Red Sonja; Notes: Notably wrote on the Weapon X storyline for Marvel comics in addition to the Conan the Barbarian comics.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: Terminator: Dark Fate; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; The Terminator; Total Recall; Commando; Predator; Dave; True Lies; Kindergarten Cop; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Conan the Barbarian; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Escape Plan; The Running Man; Twins; Welcome to the Jungle; The Last Stand; The 6th Day; Maggie; Future BMT: Hercules in New York; Junior; Collateral Damage; Jingle All The Way; End of Days; Cactus Jack; The Iron Mask; Eraser; Terminator Genisys; Last Action Hero; The Kid & I; BMT: Batman & Robin; Red Sonja; Raw Deal; Sabotage; Around the World in 80 Days; Conan the Destroyer; The Expendables 3; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1983 for Conan the Barbarian; in 1994 for Last Action Hero; in 2000 for End of Days; and in 2001 for The 6th Day; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1998 for Batman & Robin; in 2001 for The 6th Day; in 2005 for Around the World in 80 Days; and in 2015 for The Expendables 3; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The 6th Day in 2001; Notes: A little odd he gets top billing in the film. Anyhoo, he just had heart surgery, but is in recovery and feeling “fantastic”. Arnold is the best.)

Brigitte Nielsen – (Known For: Creed II; Beverly Hills Cop II; Future BMT: Rocky IV; BMT: Red Sonja; Cobra; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst New Star for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst New Star for Red Sonja in 1986; and Nominee for Worst Actress in 1986 for Red Sonja; in 1987 for Cobra; and in 1990 for Bye Bye Baby; Notes: Famously was engaged to Sly Stallone during Rocky IV and then married soon after. She’s famously 6’1’’ which is part of the reason they approached her for this film.)

Sandahl Bergman – (Known For: Conan the Barbarian; All That Jazz; Airplane II: The Sequel; Hell Comes to Frogtown; Future BMT: Xanadu; The Singing Detective; Mame; BMT: Red Sonja; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Red Sonja in 1986; Notes: Oddly, much like Arnold, she played two different characters in this and the original Conan the Barbarian. Apparently she was originally asked to play Sonja … I wonder with Arnold and her in the two leading roles whether they would have more explicitly suggested they were Conan and Valerie.)

Budget/Gross – $17.9 million / Domestic: $6,948,633 (Worldwide: $6,951,415)

(Yeah that’s a disaster. I’m not sure I believe the nearly $20 million budget though, but perhaps that explains why they pumped the brakes on King Conan, the third film that was eventually turned into Kull the Conqueror … oh yeah I forgot we have a final Conan film to watch!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (4/26): Dull, poorly directed, and badly miscast, Red Sonja is an uninspired conclusion to Schwarzenegger’s barbarian trilogy.

(Most reviews appear to lament how miscast Nielsen is, and how if she were the least bit charming or funny the film would end up being a light romp. Instead it is a deathly serious disaster. Reviewer Highlight: Red Sonja returns to those olden days when women were women and the menfolk stood around with funny hats on until called forth to be whacked at. – Variety)

Poster – Red Skloga

(Yes. … … oh you want more? This fits a mold that makes my brain happy and I wish I could go back in time, ask for a large poster for my room, and hang it there because it’s cool. It feels like the cover of a book I’d read and it would be kinda terrible but also I’d like reading it. So I don’t even think I can give an unbiased opinion on this so I’ll rate it J. Stands for “Jamie likes this.”)

Tagline(s) – A woman and a warrior that became a legend. (C-)

(Bringing me down to Earth. I can judge this without bias and I don’t like it because it’s bad. It’s too long and doesn’t flow. It isn’t clever and is kinda vague.)

Keyword – sword and sorcery

Top 10: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Troy (2004), Dune (1984), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Princess Bride (1987), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), 300 (2006), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Stardust (2007)

Future BMT: 65.9 Highlander: Endgame (2000), 53.2 The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990), 50.6 Your Highness (2011), 49.7 The Last Legion (2007), 46.9 Kull the Conqueror (1997), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 44.4 Wrath of the Titans (2012), 42.9 Hercules (1983), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 34.4 Il mondo di Yor (1983);

BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), Hellboy (2019), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), The Last Airbender (2010), Conan the Barbarian (2011), Masters of the Universe (1987), Seventh Son (2014), The 13th Warrior (1999), Eragon (2006), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Red Sonja (1985), Season of the Witch (2011), Dungeons & Dragons (2000), In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994)

(I mean … I wouldn’t count the Harry Potter films personally. But certainly the genre had a moment with Lord of the Rings in the early 00s. And now they are having a big moment on television with Game of Thrones and now the upcoming Wheel of Time (which I hope is good), a reboot of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and things like The Witcher. NeverEnding Story II is a wild one from the BMT list.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Arnold Schwarzenegger is No. 1 billed in Red Sonja and No. 4 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character was originally intended to be a reprisal of Conan, star of the comic book in which Red Sonja first appeared, but the film did not have the rights to this name. An unofficial explanation endorsed by fans is that Kalidor is one of Conan’s “traveling names,” a common feature of multi-national mythical/legendary heroes such as Zeus (a.k.a. Jupiter) and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf (a.k.a. Mithrandir). (Oh, I just thought they were trying to get that Conan sheen while not having to deal with it being a Conan movie explicitly. Weird they didn’t have the rights)

Arnold Schwarzenegger eschews this movie as one of his worst, yet he (laughingly) claims that it’s an excellent disciplinary tool for his children. “I tell them, if they get on my bad side, they’ll be forced to watch Red Sonja (1985) ten times in a row. It must be working, because none of my kids has ever given me much trouble.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger signed up for a glorified cameo, as a favor to producer Dino De Laurentiis. Much to his surprise, he was on the set for four weeks, three weeks longer than expected. He discovered after watching a rough cut of the movie that his role had been expanded to co-star, thanks to crafty angles and multiple cameras. Soon after, Schwarzenegger decided to terminate his 10-year contract with De Laurentiss. (Ha! See I knew the Maltin note was kind of wrong. He’s in like half the movie.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen had an affair during filming. (Future wife of Sly … I wonder if there is any bad blood about that stuff)

Sigourney Weaver was considered for Red Sonja. (That would have been amazing)

It is commonly believed that Robert E. Howard created the character of Red Sonja in one of his Conan short stories. He actually created Red Sonya, who appeared in “Shadow of the Vulture,” a story set in 16th-century Turkey with no Conan connections. She was the namesake of the famous “Red Sonja” who first appeared in a Conan comic book written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith.

A remake was announced in 2009, with Robert Rodriguez directing and Rose McGowan to star as Red Sonja. When Conan the Barbarian (2011) failed at the box office, Rodriguez and McGowan backed out of the project. As of 2015, the remake is in development hell. (… but Rose McGowan was the bad guy in the 2011 Conan film … I don’t get it)

Sandahl Bergman was initially cast as the title character. She decided to portray Queen Gedren to help avoid typecasting. (Poor decision, would have been cooler with the Conan connection there)

It took Dino De Laurentiis almost a year to find an actress “Amazonian” enough to play the title character. Eight weeks before production was set to begin, he saw Brigitte Nielsen on the cover of a fashion magazine. The 21-year-old native of Helsingør, Denmark, in Milan for a modeling job, soon found herself on a plane heading for Rome and a successful screen test.

On a 2015 episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, soap opera actress Eileen Davidson revealed that she auditioned for the role and was actually runner-up to Brigitte Nielsen.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Brigitte Nielsen, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Brigitte Nielsen, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Sandahl Bergman, 1986)

Dolittle Recap

Jamie

Ready to walk with the animals, talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals? Good cause Dolittle is back on the scene trying to save the Queen of England from a mysterious illness with the help of the magical Fruit of Eden. Can he get the fruit, stop the eeevil Dr. Mudfly, and make some friends along the way before it’s too late? Find out in… Dolittle.

How?! Dr. Dolittle is just a sad sack living all alone in his mansion when his life is turned upside down by Tommy, a down on his luck kid who wants to be his apprentice. Helping bring back the spark to Dolittle’s life (which hasn’t been the same since the death of his lady love, Lily), he agrees to help Lady Rose save Queen Victoria from a mysterious illness. How? The magical Fruit of Eden of course. One problem. The fruit’s location is unknown except for in Lily’s diary, which is kept by her terrifying father King Rassouli, the king of the thieves. Fun. Heading out, Doolittle at first tries to keep Tommy out of the danger of the adventure, but he is too plucky and persistent and soon is friends with all the animals and a veritable animal expert. On their way they are attacked by the evil Dr. Mudfly, a rival of Dolittle who is trying to save the Queen himself for the glory. Fortunately, with the help of Tommy, they are able to escape and arrive at the island of the thieves. He and Tommy attempt to infiltrate the Rassouli’s fortress, but are caught and Dolittle is sentenced to death by tiger. Getting word to their animal friends, Dolittle is saved by their friendship and courage. Awww. Unfortunately, after stealing back the diary, Mudfly ambushes them and snatches it away, sinking their boat in the process. Boo. Rassouli, realizing the love that Dolittle had for his daughter, decides to give them a boat in order to get the diary back. Using some whales to follow Mudfly, they are able to make it to the mysterious island of the Fruit of Eden, where they encounter the dragon who guards it. Mudfly is dispatched by the dragon, but Dolittle is able to figure out that really it’s just got a rumbly in its tumbly and performs a manual disimpaction of its bowels (this is real). Satisfied with its newly emptied bowels, the dragon lets Dolittle take the Fruit of Eden. Back in England he is able to save the Queen just in time and reveal that she was actually poisoned (gasp!) by one of her advisors. Dolittle and Tommy then live their days treating animals and adventuring. THE END. 

Why?! I guess I haven’t mentioned it yet, but the backstory is that for his services to the crown Dolittle was granted a manor of some kind by the Queen “for life.” He didn’t understand that this meant the Queen’s life, so saving her life is not just for God and country, it’s also so that he doesn’t lose his home (and more specifically the place where his animal friends live happily). Tommy on the other hands just wants to be happy by being an animal doctor cause he loves animals. It’s sweet.

Who?! Good film for the sheer number of famous people who are doing at times very minor voice work. The most notable for this purpose is Selena Gomez who plays a random giraffe that I barely remember doing much in the film really. She’s best friends with a fox voiced by Marion Cotillard. Interesting pairing. Jessie Buckley also plays Queen Victoria, which I would say is a rare depiction in BMT except we just saw her in Holmes & Watson not that long ago.

What?! Classic MacGuffin in this one with the Fruit of Eden. Ah yes, a mysterious illness, we need the Fruit of Eden that can cure anything for vague reasons. Where is it? It’s a mystery, just like the mysterious illness and mysterious way the fruit works. Also, we don’t know how to get it once we find it… that’s also a mystery. But trust me, you’ll love it once we have it.

Where?! You can really only point to England here as the rest of the film takes place on the high seas or on imaginary islands. But England does have a nice role as we spend some time waiting on the ill Queen amidst Victorian England and on occasion espy one of the famous landmarks. B+.

When?! Online it claims this took place in 1819, which seems impossible since he is supposed to save Queen Victoria, who was born that year. It makes more sense if it lines up with the novel The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle, which took place in 1839. Dolittle getting his manor and Lily’s death would have to be relatively recent in that case, but not out of the question. The weirdest part is that they randomly show a solar eclipse occurring in London right before the final scene of the film… which doesn’t line up with any real event. Not sure why it’s even in the film. D-.

Mixed feelings on this one as the film is sweet and the animals kinda fun and kooky. Mudfly and some of the animals are also written in an oddly absurdist way that was funnier than the film probably deserved. Not really sure what Robby D was doing with his accent (I think he was doing Welsh), and he dominated the screen at times and not in a good way, but still understandable up to a point. That point is about halfway through the film when things just fall apart. By the time they reach the island of the Fruit of Eden there seemed to be so many reshoots or something that the film became legit hard to follow. Like they are about to be killed by a dragon who randomly flops over and Dolittle is like “oh I get it you are sad and that means your guts are all twisted up,” and then the dragon farts and stuff and they get the fruit… fo real. So… I guess if you don’t mind ⅔ of a watchable kids comedy and ⅓ gastrointestinal instructional video then you are in luck. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Despite the covid related audible to “anniversary films”, the cycle will also purport to watch the qualifying 2020 films (of which there are sadly few). And so, given that it is probably the biggest bomb of the year, Dolittle was a must. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I mentioned it several times in the preview, but I had mostly forgotten about all of the production troubles this film very publicly had. And then watching the trailer, woof, it is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen! Being a kids’ film it could have been merely dull, but there was abundant evidence that we’d at least see an abomination of uneditable garbage on screen. So that’s fun. What were my expectations? A chopped to shit pile of disparate film clips masquerading as a film.

The Good – There are moments during the film where you are looking at it and thinking “wow … this is really beautiful.” As a light and fluffy diversion for young kids it could have even been rather successful as it leans very charmingly into its bright-and-colorful palette. And a couple of the performances are even rather fun, most notably Michael Sheen as the bad doctor trying to stop Dolittle for various reasons, and Jason Mantzoukas who is a delight as a kind of dumb dragonfly. Best Bit: Probably Michael Sheen. 

The Bad – It is an uneditable pile of garbage, that bit is very true. But probably the worst bits of the film are just the performances in general. I don’t want to harp too much on the kid actors (Harry Collett and Carmel Laniado) who obviously do their best, but I just have no idea what Robert Downey Jr. was thinking with his mopey odd-ball interpretation of Dr. Dolittle. His generally morose unkempt version of the character is a complete distraction for the entire first act. Probably the biggest crime I think is the lackluster use of the pirate island ruled by King Rassouli (Antonio Banderas) … they build an entire Hook-like world up, and then barely show us any of it (probably because they were editing together a film from a totally different film). It was really distressing. Fatal Flaw: Horrible version of Dolittle by Robert Downey Jr.

The BMT – I don’t necessarily think I’ll remember this film much in the coming years. Neither will anyone else I imagine. They’ll never make a sequel, people will forget about it, and then another Dr. Dolittle will come out in a decade, and we’ll probably also watch that for BMT because it turns out most Dr. Dolittle films aren’t very good it seems. Are we going to still be doing BMT in a decade? Don’t make me get all existential about this, let’s assume so. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, it actually exceeded them in a way. It is far far more apparent that the film was constructed from various unconnected scenes that I can remember ever seeing. Doesn’t mean the film is any good as a bad movie though. It isn’t.

Roast-radamus – I’ll throw a little shoutout for Setting as a Character (Where?) for England, where, in order to knock Dolittle out of his rut, the queen herself must be threatened! Absolutely incredible MacGuffin (Why?) for the mysterious fruit of the Eden tree, guarded by a dragon on the island of Dolittle’s late wife’s birth, which just so happens to be the only known cure for deadly nightshade. That’s some MacGuffin! This will qualify mostly in the Live! category, although it is closest to BMT otherwise.

StreetCreditReport.com – These are obviously impossible to do for films that came out this year. But if you snoop about you’ll find plenty of articles about how Robert Downey Jr. pulls a full suit of armor and some bagpipes out of a dragon’s anus, and then you’ll realize why critics were somewhat distressed while watching this film. Given the severe lack of qualifying films in the year of covid, Dolittle will reign supreme as the worst of the year. This is a virtual certainty.

You Just Got Schooled! – Staring into the abyss that is the prospect of (re)watching the 1967 Dolittle film, I was distraught. It isn’t that I disliked the film, I had just seen it before and it is a brutal two and a half hours. But luckily there was a cartoon made right afterwards! Made in 1970, Dr. Dolittle was made by DePatie–Freleng Enterprises who notably created The Pink Panther. Also notable is that the series tends not to be released to home video because of a pretty racist band of racial stereotypes … er, pirates. Also apparently because the cricket band is thought to promote drug use? Yeah I don’t buy that second one, but the show is pretty racist, that one is true. I just watched the first episode. Amazingly they have the same (Oscar winning) song as the theme for the show. And also oddly the show appears to be a musical as well (that’s why there is a cricket band). Mostly it is a pretty light affair with a very clear formula: the pirates want to have the ability to talk to animals to control the high seas, and Dr. Dolittle barely notices their escapades as he tries to help the various animals of the world. Never show this to children though … you know, because of the racism. D, just generic kind of blah stuff with a generous dose of racism to really sink that score.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Dolittle Quiz

Oh boy, this is embarrassing. So I was on my way to see the queen on an important matter, riding my ostrich (natch) when I slipped and bopped my head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Dolittle?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we are shown the tragic love story of Dr. Dolittle. How does Dr. Dolittle’s lady love tragically die?

2) We are also introduced to Tommy Stubbins who is bringing a hurt animal by. What animal and how was it injured?

3) In the end Dolittle must go and see the queen for a very important reason indeed. Why does he have to go see the queen?

4) Two of the animals that Dolittle has have peculiar quirks, specifically a polar bear and a gorilla. What are their quirks?

5) Finally (and yeah I’m basically skipping the entire third act here, sue me) Dolittle and friends set sail to go and steel back his late wife’s journal. Who has the journal?

Answers

Dolittle Preview

As the chamber melts away, the craggy dry peaks of The Waste shine through the blistering walls. John Travolta screams in rage as a tower of melting rocks fall on top of him and Rich and Poe hear his final plea, “never forget meeeeeeee.” Together, as brothers, Rich and Poe step out into the light to their freedom. Just then they hear a weak voice behind them, “Bad Movie Twins.” They turn and see the badly burned face and upper torso of Nic Cage sticking out of the melting ruin. There is a twinkle in his eyes and a smile plays through a painful grimace. “I always knew you two would save the world… together,” he whispers, putting out a shaky hand. Rich and Poe take it. “You… you knew the whole time, didn’t you?” they ask. It must be, even though if you really think through it it probably doesn’t make much sense. “Of course,” he croaks, “I knew the only way to stop him was to get you two in the game… and now… you must help me… I’m gravely injured… there is only one cure for my condition… it’s all explained… in… *gasp*… journal… *cough*… and…” and with that he faints. Rich and Poe are badly shaken. They wonder what could possibly be in Nic Cage’s Journal (all rights reserved) that could bring someone back from so close to death. More importantly they wonder how they are going to find something they didn’t even know existed before now. “You looking for that journal?” they hear from a tiny voice. They look around but don’t see anyone. “No, down here,” it says again and when they look down they gasp in astonishment. Looks like this is the start of another wondrous bad movie twins adventure. That’s right! We are starting right in on another adventure as we do one of the only essential BMT films of 2020. What was shaping up to be a stellar BMT year was thrown by Covid, but not before delivering Robbie D. Jr. and Dolittle into our laps. Let’s walk the walk and talk the talk with the animals. Let’s go!

Dolittle (2020) – BMeTric: 44.3; Notability: 60 

(Ha, that early rating. If that isn’t some sort of proof that there are attempts to manipulate online polls early in a film’s release, then I’m not sure what is. I mean … why would early viewers of this films be like “yes! 7 out of 10, nailed it” when every indication is that the film is an unmitigated disaster. A notability of 60 is absolutely huge though, I suppose that’s what happens when you have a giant ensemble cast of famous actors providing voices.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – It’s hard to know what, exactly, went wrong here. The concept is fine, even the adaptation is fine: eccentric doctor who can talk to animals goes on a series of madcap adventures! Sure! Nothing wrong with that! Hugh Lofting’s popular children’s book series, published in regular intervals during the 1920s and ’30s (with a couple of books of previously uncollected stories appearing posthumously), has been adapted many times before, for film, for television, animated, live action, etc. The “property” has been its own little franchise for a century now. But “Dolittle,” with Robert Downey Jr. in the eponymous role, is a wild whirlwind of a mess, without any coherence, without even a guiding principle. … “Dolittle”‘s post-production was troubled and turbulent, with other directors brought in to do last-minute surgery (if you believe the reports), and three weeks’ worth of re-shoots. That speaks to pretty severe problems. The release date was pushed back for months (usually an ominous sign). None of this would matter, though, if the confusion didn’t show so clearly on the screen.

(You know, right up until I read this review I had kind of forgotten about that. I knew about the infamous dragon fart scene at the end. But I forgot that mostly the film was slammed by critics for being so obviously edited from a pile of disjointed scenes and a complete mess of a production. Should be interesting if, indeed, it is as wildly obvious that is suggested by this review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEf412bSPLs/

(Oh my god, I forgot about the co-opted song … one of the worst examples of it I think. It is too bad Robert Downey Jr. does the weird accent, because without it and the horrible song choice the film merely looks like a shiny kids’ movie. With those two elements though you kind of know it is going to be a disaster.)

Directors – Stephen Gaghan – (Known For: Syriana; Gold; Future BMT: Abandon; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Directed one of the James Bond Heineken commercials. The partnership is somewhat notable in that Heineken has effectively paid the entirety of the production cost of several of the films, so hundreds of millions of dollars. Heineken claims that their internal numbers suggest the deal has netted them billions in extra revenue. Win win I suppose.)

Writers – Stephen Gaghan (screenplay by) – (Known For: Traffic; Syriana; Havoc; Future BMT: Abandon; The Alamo; Rules of Engagement; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Won an Oscar for writing for his work on Traffic.)

Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (screenplay by) – (Known For: Magic Camp; Most Likely to Murder; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Were writers for How I Met Your Mother most notably I think. Are tapped to write Rookie of the Year (which I assume is a remake of the 90s classic) and a live-action Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers film.)

Thomas Shepherd (screen story by) – (BMT: Dolittle; Notes: He has no notable credits and such a generic name as to make it impossible to search for information on him … I’m going to guess he’s like 20 and was given a first pass at the screenplay before handing it over to the writing team above.)

Hugh Lofting (character created by) – (Known For: Doctor Dolittle; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Doctor Dolittle; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Doctor Dolittle was created as part of illustrated letters to his children from the trenches of World War I. Moved to Connecticut after the war.)

Actors – Robert Downey Jr. – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Zodiac; Avengers: Infinity War; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Sherlock Holmes; Avengers Assemble; Iron Man; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Captain America: Civil War; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; Iron Man Three; Iron Man 2; Tropic Thunder; The Incredible Hulk; Weird Science; Chef; Natural Born Killers; The Judge; Back to School; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Future BMT: The Shaggy Dog; Johnny Be Good; Black and White; Gothika; In Dreams; Air America; The Singing Detective; Lucky You; One Night Stand; Friends & Lovers; Girls Just Want to Have Fun; Hugo Pool; Up the Academy; Eros; Due Date; U.S. Marshals; Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus; Tuff Turf; Moving In; Too Much Sun; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars (Tropic Thunder and Chaplin). Has played Iron Man for over a decade. This was his first non-Tony Stark role since 2014.)

Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Spy Kids; The Skin I Live In; The Mask of Zorro; Frida; The Laundromat; Philadelphia; Pain and Glory; Haywire; Shrek 2; Femme Fatale; Knight of Cups; Shrek the Third; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Desperado; Ruby Sparks; Acts of Vengeance; Shrek Forever After; Puss in Boots; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Future BMT: Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World; Machete Kills; The Other Man; Never Talk to Strangers; Play It to the Bone; Gun Shy; The Body; The Big Bang; The Legend of Zorro; Two Much; Thick as Thieves; Automata; Original Sin; Of Love and Shadows; Assassins; Justin and the Knights of Valour; Imagining Argentina; Four Rooms; Black Gold; Life Itself; The House of the Spirits; The Music of Silence; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Dolittle; The Expendables 3; The 13th Warrior; Notes: Was married to Melanie Griffith for nearly 20 years. Was a famous actor in Spain before transitioning to Hollywood in the early 90s.)

Michael Sheen – (Known For: Nocturnal Animals; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Alice in Wonderland; Tron; Apostle; Midnight in Paris; Blood Diamond; How to Build a Girl; Far from the Madding Crowd; Frost/Nixon; Kill the Messenger; The Queen; The Four Feathers; Brad’s Status; Wilde; The Damned United; Bright Young Things; Othello; Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer; Resistance; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Slaughterhouse Rulez; Admission; Home Again; Laws of Attraction; Mary Reilly; The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; My Last Five Girlfriends; Underworld: Evolution; Jesus Henry Christ; Passengers; Underworld; Kingdom of Heaven; Music Within; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Dolittle; Timeline; Notes: Welsh. He played Motzart on Broadway around 2000 which is when his career took off. Has also found television success with Masters of Sex.)

Budget/Gross – $175,000,000 / Domestic: $77,047,065 (Worldwide: $245,229,088)

(I mean … terrible, a huge bomb if you believe that budget. But not the biggest bomb in the world, and not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Maybe benefited from being one of the only films to be released majorly to theaters in 2020.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (31/227): Dolittle may be enough to entertain very young viewers, but they deserve better than this rote adaptation’s jumbled story and stale humor.

(All of the reviews are about the reshoots. Everything from how you can tell the story is cut up into a mish mash of ideas, to how Robert Downey Jr. never seems to be facing the camera when he speaks with all of this lines seemingly re-recorded. Reviewer Highlight: It really is horribly inert, and every time Downey opens his mouth to say something unintelligible, the film dies a bit more. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)

Poster – Dr. Skloglittle

(I don’t love it mostly because it’s just a lot going on. I like an artistic theme, a color scheme, a triple beam lyrical dream… you know? But it’s got some nice font and the layout is good. So not terrible either. B-)

Tagline(s) – He’s just not a people person. (A-)

(This is certainly clever and all that. Just always a little weird to have a tagline like this where you probably have to be considerably older than the audience to even understand what’s going on with it. It’s a strange concept to think that an adult would look at the poster, chuckle at the tagline, and then when they take their kids to the movies they look and say “maybe Dolittle… it had a fun tagline.”  But again, clever, short, and a play on the plot. Overall pretty good.)

Keyword – live action and animation

Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Casper (1995), Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), Jurassic Park (1993), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lion King (2019), Maleficent (2014)

Future BMT: 76.5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 64.0 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), 60.0 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), 54.5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015), 53.6 The Smurfs (2011), 53.3 The Smurfs 2 (2013), 49.0 Hop (2011), 46.7 Men in Black: International (2019);

BMT: Dolittle (2020), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Pixels (2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Kangaroo Jack (2003), Cool World (1992), Eragon (2006)

(Ascendant in the 90s, a little too much in the 00s, and now just settled as a normal part of all levels of filmmaking. That’s how I interpret that plot. The Scooby-Doo films are probably the big ones we are missing from the BMT list.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Antonio Banderas is No. 2 billed in Dolittle and No. 1 billed in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, which also stars Talisa Soto (No. 5 billed) who is in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (No. 2 billed), which also stars Robin Shou (No. 1 billed) who is in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li (No. 6 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 21. If we were to watch Assassins, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Originally titled “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.” It was shortened in August 2019.

Robert Downey, Jr. based his character on Dr. William Price, an eccentric Welshman. Dr. Price is now a revered historical figure in Wales – there’s even a statue of him in his hometown of Llantrisant.

This is Robert Downey Jr.’s first non-Iron Man role since The Judge (2014).

This movie was originally going to be released on May 24, 2019 by Universal Pictures, but was moved to April 12, 2019 to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). It was later pushed back again to January 17, 2020.

When the movie rights went up for auction, several studios went to bid before Universal Pictures got the rights. Amongst them were Sony and Twentieth Century Fox, with the latter having previously produced three theatrical movies based on the Dr. Dolittle series.

The cast includes five Oscar winners: Rami Malek, Jim Broadbent, Dame Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, and Marion Cotillard; and four Oscar nominees: Robert Downey, Jr., Antonio Banderas, Ralph Fiennes, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Originally, Randy Newman was the first choice to score this movie, seeing how his uncle Lionel Newman had involvement with Doctor Dolittle (1967).

To differentiate from his earlier British characters, Robert Downey, Jr. decided to use what he described as a “passable” Welsh accent for his version of Dr. Dolittle.

Universal Pictures drafted in Seth Rogen as a consultant during pre-production when the studio executives realized that re-shoots would be necessary.

The name of Rassouli, the King of Pirates is a likely reference to Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni. Known as Raisuli to most English speakers, he was a leader of the Jebala tribal confederacy in Morocco at the turn of the twentieth century. While regarded by foreigners and the Moroccan government as a brigand, some Moroccans, especially amongst the Jebala, considered him a heroic figure, fighting a repressive, corrupt government, while others considered him a thief. He was considered by many as “The last of the Barbary Pirates” though Barbary Coast piracy had ended by the middle of the nineteenth century. A fictionalized version of him was played by Sir Sean Connery in The Wind and the Lion (1975).

In Doctor Dolittle (1967), Chee-Chee was Judy the Chimpanzee.