Perfect Stranger Recap

Jamie

Rowena Price is an investigative journalist looking to take down her next big fish. That comes in the form of Harrison Hill, the man she presumes killed her friend (or does she?). Using her technological wizard friend and her undercover skillz, can she stop Harrison Hill (or perhaps herself?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Perfect Stranger.

How?! Rowena Price is an investigative reporter extraordinaire. She just loves breaking stories and taking names. But when her latest target gets away using his influence with her newspaper, she quits in disgust. A new big story is right on the horizon, though, when her childhood friend, Grace, shows up and reveals a steamy fling with big time ad man Harrison Hill. Rowena isn’t super interested until Grace turns up dead and Harrison isn’t even on the police’s radar. Using the mad hacking skillz of her friend Miles, she infiltrates Harrison’s company as a temp and catches his eye immediately. She also starts chatting with him via a dark web chat service and begins to compile evidence. Rowena plays hard to get, but uses Harrison’s attraction to her to attempt to hack his computer. When he walks in and accuses her of being a spy, she plays it off like she was leaving an innocent note. Harrison doesn’t totally believe her but like… she’s Halle Berry. Come on! So he says “fine, let’s go on a date,” at which he discovers text messages that totally blow her cover. Enraged, Harrison confronts her, but controls his anger and lets her go. While she’s still trying to figure out how to finish the story, Miles goes to the company himself and discovers the key to getting the police to look into Harrison. Meanwhile, Rowena discovers that Miles is a total creep, but that’s not important yet. In the end they are able to get the police to arrest Harrison and discover enough evidence to get him convicted. In the end, though, it’s revealed in a shocking twist that Rowena actually killed Grace and then set up the whole story because Grace had been blackmailing her. Miles figures this out and attempts to blackmail her too, but she kills him and we end wondering whether this terrible person will be arrested or not, but we also don’t care because we are so thrilled by the amazing twist or whatever. THE END.

Why?! The motivation in the film is the reason why reviewers were irritated with it. Like, Rowena kills Grace because she stole her boyfriend and was blackmailing her and stuff… and she totally gets away with it. Miles didn’t suspect her, Grace’s family didn’t suspect her, her boyfriend didn’t suspect her, and the police didn’t suspect her. Not a single person of importance suspected her. And yet she goes out of her way to do a deep, deep, deep investigation into the murder in order to frame Harrison Hill, a man she has never met, for a murder that no one actually thinks she did. And all while doing this she allows for Miles to figure out that she was the murderer, leading her to have to murder him and try to cover that up too. It’s… not great.

Who?! I agree with Patrick’s assessment that Ribisi’s character is a Planchet. He’s pining over Rowena while she doesn’t give him the time of day (despite being an elite hacker that does most of the heavy lifting in the investigation). He turns out to be a total creep, but before that he was a lamester Planchet for sure. We also have a cameo by Heidi Klum and per usual one of Bruce Willis’ daughters makes an appearance, this time Emma Heming Willis plays Donna.

What?! Finally we have some product placement to talk about! Much like in The Intruder, we are blessed with a main character who’s a rising star (or already risen star) in the advertising world. We see him charming high society at a Victoria’s Secret party for which Rowena stuffed an uncountable number of signature bags. We also see him putting the Heineken team at ease during a meeting (and this seemed to work on Rowena as she also drinks Heineken throughout the film). In fact, why even have the whole muddled murder plot? I am here for all this product placement.

Where?! Very solid NYC film. It even seemed like it focused on the advertising world in part because of the setting. ‘A modern day Mad Men!” say the Bad Movie Twins. “Marketing like you’ve never seen it before!” they rave while slam dunking Hienekens in our Reebok pumps at the big Victoria’s Secret show. A-. 

When?! There actually are a couple scenes with exact dates on them. Not sure they are all entirely consistent, but the one that’s very clear is a website with a number of news articles all dated 2/22/2006 and a date in the corner indicating that that’s the current date. That’s good enough for me and also makes it pretty clear we ain’t dealing with any secret holidays or anything. Booooo. C+.

Blah. Just blah. A boring film about terrible people being terrible and boring. Even the twist was kinda boring. Sure it turned out that the hero was actually the villain (as I expected), but I was also kinda hoping Grace would turn out to be a ghost. Alas, can’t win ‘em all. I really do think the issue with the motivation is what makes this so infuriating. Like… why? Why would she investigate the murder that she committed? There are some potential reasons, but most of them are dumb and I won’t even go into them. I really wish they just revealed that everything she ever did was a frame job. That her entire career was based on committing crimes, framing people for them, and then collecting Pulitzer Prizes for the revealing investigative reports she writes about the crimes she committed. In fact, I just copyrighted that. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would called it What a Twist! Because that’s what the movie is about. The twist at the end. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I think I was hoping this would be a return to form for the classic BMT erotic thriller. The Color of Night was an amazing BMT back in the day. And the genre is so scarce and fleeting to find another one (starring Willis no less) is quite fun. What were my expectations? Some gross erotic thriller action. Sock it to me! Pretend that like … pouring wax on one another is the pinnacle of sensuality put to film.

The Good – If you wanted to point at an erotic thriller that does a good job of explaining the reality of an erotic thriller look no further: these people wouldn’t all be suave rich people having sex with each other. They would be a bunch of gross people and then maybe a rich person exploiting them while a bunch of sex happens. That’s what this film really feels like. Berry is a woman who was molested as a young girl, and whose friend seems to have been murdered by a rich dude. And Ribisi is a straight up alcoholic and obsessed with Berry to a profoundly depressing extent. That is what an actual erotic thriller looks like. And I’ll have to give the movie a bit of credit for that.

The Bad – The movie is sooooooooo boring. For a while I was wondering whether the film was just really really confusing. But I think it is the opposite. The movie is so boring that my mind was wandering during whatever exposition they were giving me, and I became confused later on. Even when it was trying to be like a cat-and-mouse chasing of a murderer type film there is nothing actually of interest. All of the grossness of the characters I mentioned in the good section is also bad … because it makes me not care the Ribisi is going to either be a serial killer or get killed at the end. I just don’t care about these people … that isn’t a good thing.

The BMT – Naw, this pales so much in comparison to the early 90s thrillers that I can’t even be bothered to care about this film in the end. It is very little narratively going for it, and in the end I think this will get lost in the BMT shuffle. Did it meet my expectations? Nope. I wanted just a fraction of that sweet erotic thriller schlock, and it game be less than nothing. It gave me a gross, boring mess. No me gusta, get that outta here.

Roast-radamus – In its own weird gross way I do think Ribisi could be considered a Planchet (Who?). His entire arc in the film is just being dunked on over and over and then killed. Because the film focuses on an ad executive you know there is going to be some insane Product Placement (What?). In this case we have a gigantic party with Victoria’s Secret, and a subplot involving Reebok. Both great. A very Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York complete with riverside murder scenes, subways, and obviously too expensive apartments floating on subprime mortgage money. And then we are at the Worst Twist (How?) with them revealing it was our hero all along! Even after it looks like she got away with it, she didn’t, such is like. The film is so boring it has an outside shot at Bad I think in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – I’m not surprised this doesn’t have much cred. It is most notable for being boring and having an in your face awful twist. Also 2007 was one of the worst years in film as far as the sheer number of awful films being produced, so it can be forgive. It should get some credit for being a very-late-to-the-game erotic (ish) thriller at the very least.

You Just Got Schooled – For this one I ended up kind of accidentally discovering that The Last Boy Scout was the last time Bruce Willis and Halle Berry worked together prior to Perfect Stranger. I have to say, I loved it. It was a solid mix of 90s action with just enough sweaty noir to make everything kind of loose and fun. I thought both Willis and Wayans were amazing in this and I’m shocker they didn’t at least try to make a sequel, although I would have to assume it was Willis who decided he didn’t want to. The opening scene is still nuts, but it pretty quickly settled into great Willis/Wayans banter throughout. A. Legitimately, one of the most enjoyable homework assignments I’ve done for BMT.

Cheerios,

The sklogs

Perfect Stranger Quiz

Oh boy. Last thing I remember I was hanging out with my super suave boss, the next we’re recreationally taking some drugs straight to the eyeball and I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Perfect Stranger?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film Halle Berry is working on a kick ass new story. What is the story about?

2) Berry’s friend approaches her that night about a bit of light blackmail. Unfortunately, she dies that very night. By what method is she killed?

3) Berry, to crack the case, decides to infiltrate the company of ad exec Bruce Willis. What two products do we see them advertising for during the worse of the film?

4) In the end it turns out that Berry killed her friend and began framing Willis for it. Why?

5) Meanwhile, ultra-creepster Giovanni Ribisi, has unraveled the thread. What does he want in return for his silence?

Answers

Perfect Stranger Preview

The Cool Girls stroll on up to the table and look disdainfully at Rich and Poe, “Who are these total nerd babies, Steve?” the leader asks before snidely remarking to Rich and Poe, “Where are your nerd diapers and baby glasses, nerd babies?” But Steve steps in and reminds her that for their scheme to work they needed a couple more bodies, “Besides, Adestria, these nerds are cool. Right, nerd baby mates?” he says winking at them. Rich and Poe are starting to get a bad feeling about this. What scheme is he talking about? Just then, Steve steps up on a table and calls for quiet. The cafeteria hushes. “Attention,” he announces, “We already run this school and now it’s time to take it over for real,” and with that he snaps his fingers and all the kids rise up as one. My god, Rich and Poe think, it’s like Turbulence (the 1997 smash hit) up in here and they best make sure this plane don’t crash. Not to mention that things will go from bad to worse if their cover is blown. Suddenly a group of kids bring a teacher to the cool girls and push her to the ground, “We caught one, Adestria. What should we do with her?” But Adestria waves them away, “just get rid of her. I don’t care.” Panicked at the implication, Rich and Poe step in, “Uh, we’ll do it,” Poe says quickly. “Yeah, you can trust us to take care of it,” Rich adds. Adestria looks suspiciously at them but Steve reassures her once again, “They’re cool… They’re just a couple of nerds,” he insists. “But how can you trust these perfect strangers,” she whispers. Steve looks at them and nods, “Because they are my perfect nerd baby strangers.” That’s right! I’m ready to replace my couch cushions because those edges are about to be worn out. We are (finally, IMO) watching the star-studded, thrill-a-minute Perfect Stranger starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis. It’s probably best known in the bad movie world for having a terrible twist ending. Which can only mean that the hero is in fact the villain. The second worst twist of all time (just after the entire film being a dream). This is my guess before watching the film, but it’s almost certainly correct. It never fails to infuriate. Let’s go!

Perfect Stranger (2007) – BMeTric: 41.2; Notability: 33 

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(The BMeTric is a lot higher than I would have thought, mainly because the number of votes is way higher than you would thought. The more I add these notabilities in here the more I realize having a score above 50 is really a truly rare thing. We should savor those more than we have previously I think.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Muckraking undercover reporter Berry, frustrated by a setback on a major story, takes on a more personal investigation after a girlhood friend a hers is murdered. Her high-tech pal Ribisi helps trace emails that point to high-profile ad exec Willis as a likely suspect, so Berry gets a job working for him, hoping to get close. She does. Slick thriller gets sicker as it goes along, leading up to a revelation you can’t see coming – because it doesn’t make much sense.

(Literally everything about this film is about how bad the last twist is lol. Which is why we chose it in the end. Kind of perfect … stranger.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGH5w7cXGl8/

(It looks very techno-erotic-thriller-y. It is going to be interesting to watch another erotic thriller starring Bruce Willis that was made what? 15 years after The Color of Night? That’s pretty funny.)

Directors – James Foley – (Known For: Fear; Glengarry Glen Ross; At Close Range; Confidence: After Dark; The Corruptor; After Dark, My Sweet; Two Bits; Future BMT: Who’s That Girl; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Perfect Stranger; The Chamber; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1988 for Who’s That Girl; in 2018 for Fifty Shades Darker; and in 2019 for Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: Originally a music video director, he was tapped for the second and third Fifty Shades films after E. L. James negotiated closer control over the writing and production of the series.)

Writers – Todd Komarnicki (screenplay) – (Known For: The Professor and the Madman; Sully: Miracle on the Hudson; BMT: Perfect Stranger; Notes: Was the voice of the Wheaton athletics during his time there.)

Jon Bokenkamp (story) – (Known For: The Call; Future BMT: Taking Lives; BMT: Perfect Stranger; Notes: Creator of the television series The Blacklist which he’s been executive producer for over 100 episodes.)

Actors – Halle Berry – (Known For: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; X-Men; Cloud Atlas; Die Another Day; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; Robots; Monster’s Ball; Jungle Fever; The Call; The Last Boy Scout; Executive Decision; Boomerang; Losing Isaiah; Bulworth; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Things We Lost in the Fire; Future BMT: The Flintstones; Dark Tide; B*A*P*S; Gothika; Kidnap; Father Hood; Kings; The Rich Man’s Wife; Race the Sun; Strictly Business; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Catwoman; Movie 43; New Year’s Eve; Perfect Stranger; Swordfish; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Catwoman in 2005; Nominee for Worst Actress in 2014 for Movie 43, and The Call; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Catwoman in 2005; Notes: She was the first African-American to win Best Actress for her work in Monster’s Ball. She was first runner up in Miss USA as well.)

Bruce Willis – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Motherless Brooklyn; Sin City; Split; Looper; Die Hard; Twelve Monkeys; The Fifth Element; Moonrise Kingdom; The Sixth Sense; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; RED; Die Hard 4.0; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Unbreakable; Ocean’s Twelve; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; The Expendables; Grindhouse; Planet Terror; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; Vice; The Cold Light of Day; The Prince; Extraction; Lay the Favorite; Precious Cargo; Breakfast of Champions; Reprisal; First Kill; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Cop Out; The Bombing; Acts of Violence; Marauders; Fire with Fire; Striking Distance; Rock the Kasbah; Rugrats Go Wild; The Story of Us; 10 Minutes Gone; Blind Date; Billy Bathgate; Loaded Weapon 1; Surrogates; Sunset; The Jackal; Last Man Standing; Tears of the Sun; Hostage; Glass; Grand Champion; Four Rooms; BMT: North; A Good Day to Die Hard; Color of Night; The Whole Ten Yards; Perfect Stranger; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Hudson Hawk; Mercury Rising; Death Wish; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Winner for Worst Actor in 1999 for Armageddon, Mercury Rising, and The Siege; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1992 for Hudson Hawk; in 1995 for Color of Night, and North; and in 2019 for Death Wish; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Glass in 2020; Notes: Seemed like he was going to maybe have a little comeback with Glass, but that didn’t do too well. Does a ton of straight-to-VOD stuff, like Nic Cage, and is notoriously difficult to work with it is said.)

Giovanni Ribisi – (Known For: Avatar; Saving Private Ryan; Lost in Translation; Ted; The Bad Batch; The Virgin Suicides; That Thing You Do!; Cold Mountain; Public Enemies; Lost Highway; Ted 2; Selma; The Gift; Boiler Room; Contraband; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Results; SubUrbia; Heaven; The Dead Girl; Future BMT: The Mod Squad; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Masked and Anonymous; Flight of the Phoenix; I Love Your Work; Basic; The Big White; All the Rage; 10th & Wolf; The Other Sister; Middle Men; BMT: Perfect Stranger; The Postman; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gangster Squad; Notes: His entire family, including his twin sister, is involved in show business. He became famous as Phoebe’s half-brother on Friends.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $23,984,949 (Worldwide: $73,534,117)

(That isn’t so great. I wonder how much of that is just Willis’ paycheck. The domestic take is awful, but it is merely a $20 million or so hit once you add in worldwide.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (14/142): Despite the presence of Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, Perfect Stranger is too convoluted to work, and features a twist ending that’s irritating and superfluous. It’s a techno-thriller without thrills.

(Again, most of the time all of the reviews are just hung up on the ending. This ending better be just the worst thing you’ve ever seen. Reviewer Highlight: That’s right, it’s a techno thriller that treats the already clichéd topic of Web abuse with an idiotic sense of discovery. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.)

Poster – Perfect Stranger 2: Even More Perfect (A-)

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(I have a sneaking suspicion this poster has little to do with the actual plot of the film, but I’ll let this slide because I think it’s actually kind of cool and interesting. Better font and I’d be raving about it.)

Tagline(s) – How Far Would You Go To Keep A Secret? (D)

(Wait a sec… is this a second rhetorical question tagline in a row? Turbulence had one and then this one too. We really have stumbled onto something potentially interesting to look into. They went a little long and cliche for this, though. Like this could be a tagline for like twenty different terrible films. Thus it is terrible.)

Keyword – erotic thriller

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Top 10: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Basic Instinct (1992), Original Sin (2001), Fatal Attraction (1987), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Wild Things (1998), Unfaithful (2002), Indecent Proposal (1993), Body Double (1984), Sliver (1993)

Future BMT: 60.3 Sliver (1993), 49.4 In the Cut (2003), 39.2 Diabolique (1996), 37.8 Never Talk to Strangers (1995), 35.6 Indecent Proposal (1993), 32.4 The Crush (1993), 28.9 Original Sin (2001), 28.0 Deception (2008), 23.2 Goodbye Lover (1998), 18.1 Whispers in the Dark (1992);

BMT: Basic Instinct 2 (2006), Color of Night (1994), Body of Evidence (1992), Perfect Stranger (2007), Jade (1995), Twisted (2004)

(You can see the early 90s boom, and for real the genre fell off a cliff. I don’t think it’ll ever recover. It is a genre of a time when the US became somewhat accepting of sex in film, but didn’t respect itself enough to care about the kind of sex it was showing in film. I think that makes sense.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Giovanni Ribisi is No. 3 billed in Perfect Stranger and No. 2 billed in Gone in 60 Seconds, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – The filmmakers filmed three different endings to the film, each with a different character as the killer. (ha!)

The film’s original setting was New Orleans. During pre-production, Hurricane Katrina struck; the script was quickly rewritten to take place in New York City.

Miles’ phone number (seen when Hill reads the text message on Ro’s mobile phone in the restaurant) is shown as 917-867-5309–a nod to Tommy Heath’s classic rock hit “867-5309/Jenny”, which repeats the phone number (sans area code) in the refrain.

As Rowena enters World Trade Center building Seven (26:15), where Hill’s agency is located, Larry Silverstein the actual owner of the entire WTC complex make a cameo appearance at the security desk.

Miles says that it will take Ro three minutes and fourteen seconds to download the spyware, “but that’s an approximation.” 3.14 is an approximation of pi. (That’s dumb)

The film includes extensive product placement for Sony Vaio, Reebok, Heineken, and Victoria’s Secret. (Sweet, the Victoria’s Secret one is off the chain).

Heidi Klum: The Victoria’s Secret Angel that introduces Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis) at the Victoria’s Secret party.

Turbulence Recap

Jamie

Ryan Weaver is a newly recaught serial killer being flown back to Los Angeles for trial. During the flight, one of the other prisoners escapes, resulting in the deaths of both pilots. Now a flight attendant, Teri, is the only thing that stands in the way of the maniac crashing the plane. Can she stop the bad guy and land the plane before it’s too late? Find out in… Turbulence.

How?! Ryan Weaver is a serial killer (or is he? (He is… just look at him)) who is being flown back to LA for trial after being recaught. Taking advantage of a Christmas Eve flight that is nearly empty, the marshals load him onto the plane with another prisoner, making the flight crew nervous. Teri, one of the flight attendants, is at first intrigued by Weaver, who comes across as charming (but also super duper Ray Liotta creepy) and not at all what she expects a serial killer to be like (besides his general serial killer vibe). It becomes only more confusing when the other prisoner is able to escape and take everyone hostage, but is ultimately subdued and killed by Weaver (but also it’s not confusing because Ray Liotta is a madman and obviously is playing a serial killer). As this has all happened, both pilots have ended up dead, leaving Weaver in charge and Teri the only one trying to stop the plane from crashing. Unfortunately, they are heading straight for a megastorm (oh no!) and things are looking pretty dire. Realizing that Teri is trying to save the plane and ruin his plan of having it crash into some populated area (interesting plan), Weaver lures her out of the cockpit and tries to scare her into submission. But he didn’t count on her grit and smarts cause she uses Weaver’s obvious attraction to her against him and is able to knock him down for the count and retreat back to the cockpit. At this point they are through the storm (really not much of a role in the film) and Teri is able to get the autopilot set for landing. Just then, though, Weaver destroys the autopilot and sets the plane back on a crash course (oh no!). Teri is able to barely save the plane and turn it around and begs for one more shot at saving their lives before being shot down. But Weaver has other plans as he busts into the cockpit and they have a final climactic fight, ending with Teri shooting Weaver. Getting back to the cockpit, Teri reengages the emergency autopilot and brings the plane in safely. THE END.

Why?! Survival, for the most part. Alternatively, Weaver’s motivations are all over the place. He’s a serial killer on death row so he’s really not trying to survive. He more seems annoyed that the detective who caught him was able to get a conviction by planting evidence. And even then mostly because that’s a blow to his ego. He wants everyone to know that he was in fact too smart to be caught by ethical means and is then hoping to crash the plane so that he can go out with a bang and show everyone how smart he is and how the detective didn’t win. It’s nuts, but also kinda refreshing for the insane person in a film to truly act insane. I guess that’s the benefit of casting Ray Liotta. He nails acting insane.

Who?! There honestly isn’t much for this section, but the captain of the plane is played by J. Kenneth Campbell. That would not be notable in any way other than his face is now burned into my brain because he plays a character, Flint Lukash, in the film Operation Delta Force 2: Mayday and it is the greatest acting performance of all time. In fact, don’t watch Turbulence. Watch that film instead. He is a mad man.

What?! Being on an airplane there are a number of products thrown about. Some Minute Maid orange juice clutched in terror, a Heineken ordered in jest, a Ford attached to the wheel of the plane (naturally). The Ford is even commented on in the script. Quite the achievement for a product placement. I also did want to note that the airline in the film is a fake one called TCA (Trans Continental Airlines). That would be totally uninteresting except that the former manager of the Backstreet Boys, Lou Perlman, used that company name as the front for his Ponzi scheme. Now at the time that the film was being made the Ponzi scheme was active, but not yet uncovered, so just a really weird coincidence.

Where?! There is a whole cycle we could do for film set on different modes of transportation or in a location that is not specific to a place in the world. Here this is truly a “plane movie” and boy is it ever. It also technically takes place in New York at the beginning and LA at the end. It’s very solid and very important to the plot. A.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert! And this one is a doozy. This film takes place on a Christmas Eve flight. You might be like, oh that’s fun, they mention that it’s Christmas Eve. No they don’t just mention Christmas Eve. This film IS Christmas Eve. Liotta is caught while out buying a Christmas present for his next victim. The plane is so decked out with Christmas decorations that it legit seems like a hazard of some sort. It’s a Wonderful Life is playing on the plane in the background of multiple scenes. It’s an A… It’s just an A.

This film is pure schlock. Probably the funniest thing about it is that the script seems to be written from the perspective that the audience is not supposed to know whether Weaver did it or not. There are hints that he may have been framed, the flight attendants chatter about how he seems so charming, and he’s nice and polite up to the point of seemingly saving the plane from the other, clearly evil prisoner. One problem… they cast Ray Liotta, creepiest man alive, to play Weaver. You have to chuckle when Liotta, innocently chatting up the flight attendants, comes across not as a charming, possibly framed man, but as a Ray Liotta crazy maniac. It’s almost like he read the script, got bored, skipped to the end and was like “crazy and creepy as fuck, got it” and then played it that way for the entire film. It’s genuinely funny. Add on top one of the most insane not-so-secret holiday films of our generation and I think it’s a pretty solid BMT. It is more entertaining than it actually deserved to be despite botching pretty much every aspect of the film, but maybe that’s what a BMT film is all about. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this film I would call it Frequent Flayer. Get it? He’s a serial killer on a plane. Should we just call it Serial Killer on a Plane? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I knew basically nothing about this film before watching it. I was returning from a trip and watched it before completing the preview. So I kind of knew it starred Liotta and that it was an airplane thriller. That’s it. I was in for a wild (turbulent? Nope that isn’t a phrase) ride. What were my expectations? I guess I kind of hoped it tracked along with Con Air? Like a knock off Con Air. It came out around the same time so that made sense to me.

The Good – Hooooooooooooo boy, if you like insane performances there is nothing better than Liotta in this guy. Also, there is a “twist” in the beginning where they do a very small and short-lived head fake to make the viewer think “hey, maybe Liotta is a good guy.” That head fake is hilarious and so obviously a fake that it kind of makes the whole first act work. Without it and you’re left waiting for Liotta to break free of his chains (and all time and space and logic) and start chewing the plane apart like a gremlin in The Twilight Zone.

The Bad – Basically the rest of the film. Liotta’s performance actually belongs here because it is ludicrous. It might be one of the craziest villain performances ever. No one has ever gone more over the top than this. They throw a bunch of subplots against the wall to add drama to the film, but none of them work because they hinge on everyone in the film making terribly dumb decisions. If the main character had merely decided it was more important to stay in the cockpit and lock Liotta in the main portion of the plane, then most of the rest of the film could have been avoided quite easily I think. The film is also basically plotless … a serial killer gets on a plane and is trying to crash it. That’s it. Finally, they assemble a whole rag tag group of passengers in the beginning of the film … and then lock them in a back room 30 minutes in, never to be seen again. Presumably it is because they realized they couldn’t have Liotta kill them all, but they also couldn’t figure out how they wouldn’t overpower him once they realized he intended on crashing the plane? The whole film is insane!

The BMT – I think I’m a bit higher on this one than Jamie, but that is fine. Maybe it is because I watched it while actually on a plane (which was interesting … didn’t really bother me). It definitely gets me jazzed to develop an odd-setting-as-a-character cycle which breaks the mold of the normal state/country settings we are used to. Did it meet my expectations? I suppose since I didn’t have many expectations it had to. I should have been prepared for Liotta, but somehow I wasn’t. And he exceeded my expectations. It was like In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale all over again!

Roast-radamus – I’m going to throw out a minor Product Placement (What?) for Ford, which gave us the car that nearly takes out heroic plane down. Is this a Setting as a Character (Where?) for a plane in general? I think so. The plane is kind of a character. And boy does Ray Liotta go to town on our boy. It is definitely an excellent Secret Holiday Film (When?) because you know you can’t have a Die Hard Scenario unless it is set during Christmas. I also have to mention the kind of interesting Worst Twist (How?) as they initially seem to play up a “Liotta is innocent” like in The Fugitive, but then it becomes abundantly clear he is a psycho. I think it is a real twist despite the fact that they ignore it in the trailers for the film. And I think this has a decent shot at BMT as well solely due to Liotta’s b-b-b-b-b-bonkers performance.

StreetCreditReport.com – Surprisingly no cred really. You would think this of all things would get more play as it contrasts with Con Air and Air Force One around the same time. WatchMojo, which I think is run by IMDb, gave it honorable mentions for both best hijacking films, and best airplane crashes … boooooooo. I genuinely think this could be in the top 5 worst airplane films, and it might be one of the craziest serial killer performances by Liotta. So take that mainstream media, you missed out on this one.

You Just Got Schooled – So there are two straight-to-video sequels to this film, but I obviously wouldn’t watch either of those so … psych! I watched the second one, Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying. In this installment a class of people with a fear of flying, upon graduation, take a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles to celebrate. Little do they know there is a deadly toxin on board and a terrorist itching to use it! The film stars Tom Berenger most notably as the ground control operator trying to help bring the plane back to Seattle safely. The film is not that bad from a tv movie perspective. Usually tv movies are just boring and sad. This threw every hijacked plane twist at the wall and hoped something would stick, which was actually pretty entertaining. Combine that with a lead actor with stage combat training (who clearly insisted on using it), and a mysterious carton of milk Berenger drank throughout the film, and you have a winner in my book. I did not watch the third one though, Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal. But I didn’t need to as I had already seen it reviewed on Red Letter Media and had very little interest in experiencing the film for myself:

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Turbulence Quiz

Well yeah, I was on this airplane and there was maybe a serial killer? But then there was some super scary turbulence, I hit my head, and I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Turbulence?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What is the serial killer name that the media gives to Liotta’s character?

2) What crime did the other criminal, played by Brendan Gleeson, commit that got him put onto the Con Air? Oh was … that not the name they gave this flight?

3) Early in the flight both pilots are killed. How did each of them die?

4) How many people, in total, die during this ill-fated Con Air? Wait … for real, that isn’t what this movie is called? The name seems just so a propos!

5) The flight almost lands initially, but has to pull up at the last second. Why, and how did they solve the issue?

Answers

Turbulence Preview

“Look around, mates, this here is a jungle. The wild west. The outback. And I’m the king. So stick with me and you’ll be fine,” Alligator Steve says, pointing out all the different cliques on display in the middle school’s cafeteria. There are nerds, jocks, artistes, clowns, unicyclers, bare-knuckle boxers, demolition experts, animal wranglers, etc. Just the classics. But Steve is the coolest tween around and he’s somehow taken Rich and Poe under his wing. Thank god, because they were about to get pounded for being such uggo nerds (for real). As they sit down for lunch, Rich and Poe ponder the purpose of this quest. Are they just supposed to spend the rest of their lives in this nerd purgatory? Fat chance, thinks Rich, secretly flexing his muscles, there must be something more to all this. Returning to the conversation, Rich listens closely as Steve details exactly why this is the raddest and baddest middle school around. “The kids run the school, plain and simple. The teachers try to rein us in, but we just give em the ‘tude and it’s all icy, diglet my zoom?” Rich and Poe smile and nod, for they understand the latest lingo all the kids are using. So are they meant to bring order to the chaos, The Substitute style? That sure would be a test, considering this school doesn’t play by the rules that they’ve come to know and hate. Suddenly Alligator nudges them. “And here’s your next lesson, mates.” At that the cafeteria doors bust open and a clique of “cool girls” stroll in. It’s clear they don’t have time for nobody, let alone Rich and Poe: nerd alert central. But they are heading straight for their table and Steve whispers, “Get ready, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.” That’s right! We’re watching Turbulence. Like a lot of Action films, this followed the age old formula of Die Hard: trap a bunch of people somewhere with a terrorist/criminal and let them battle without the help of the authorities. This also has the added benefit of starring Ray Liotta before he became the Actor Who Looks Like He’s Wearing a Ray Liotta Mask (AWLLHWRLM, rolls off the tongue) and is a film that no one remembers exists. Killing three birds with one airplane. Let’s go!

Turbulence (1997) – BMeTric: 51.6; Notability: 46 

TurbulenceIMDb_BMeT

TurbulenceIMDb_RV

(If this reached 5.0 that is absurd. This film is so obviously a terrible version of Con Air so like … how does anyone watch this and think “that was okay.” It is obviously not okay. If Nic Cage isn’t in the film then that is not okay!)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – There are more questions. Like, if a 747 sheers off the roof of a high-rise restaurant, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if a 747 plows through an outdoor billboard, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if it sweeps all the cars off the roof of a parking garage, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if it gets a truck caught in its landing gear, what would happen then? (“It’s a Ford!” a sharp-eyed observer says, in a line that–for once–I don’t think represents product placement.) Oh, yes, there are many moments I will long remember from “Turbulence.” But one stands out. After Lauren Holly outsmarts and outfights the berserk killer and pilots the plane through a Level 6 storm, the FBI guy still doubts she can land it. “She’s only a stewardess,” he says. To which the female air traffic controller standing next to him snaps, “She’s a . . . flight attendant!”

(This review is amazing. I love you Ebert. All great questions. And the answer for the most part is: yes, it would crash. About fifteen times the plane would have crashed. One hundred percent.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arr-4RGgJvU/

(I actually like the really unique start to the trailer. BTW, the reveal that Liotta is actually a bad guy is kind of a mini-twist in the beginning which they don’t even bother with (for good reason, it would be impossible to cut a trailer for the film which doesn’t feature Liotta maniacally chewing the scenery). Finally, the heavy metal soundtrack kind of previews the eventual third entry to the series which I will semi-review in my recap, so stay tuned.)

Directors – Robert Butler – (Known For: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes; Now You See Him, Now You Don’t; The Barefoot Executive; BMT: Turbulence; Notes: Hugely involved in a few television series like Remington Steele which he directed and consulted for. He also directed the pilot for the original Star Trek. This was his last feature film.)

Writers – Jonathan Brett (written by) – (Known For: The Boynton Beach Bereavement Club; BMT: Turbulence; Notes: Produced She-Devil somewhat randomly. Also nominated for an Oscar for a short film, The Dutch Master.)

Actors – Ray Liotta – (Known For: Marriage Story; Goodfellas; Identity; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Cop Land; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Killing Them Softly; Heartbreakers; Bee Movie; Something Wild; Date Night; Kill the Messenger; Muppets Most Wanted; Youth in Revolt; Observe and Report; Narc; No Escape; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Go with Me; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Revolver; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; The Lonely Lady; Slow Burn; Even Money; Powder Blue; Better Living Through Chemistry; Unforgettable; Smokin’ Aces; Hannibal; Corrina, Corrina; Crossing Over; Flock of Dudes; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Turbulence; Wild Hogs; Notes: BMT Legend, his face looks like he is wearing a mask of his own face. He has a very crazy ad campaign for Chantix happening at the moment, which The Onion riffed on here.)

Lauren Holly – (Known For: Spirited Away; Dumb and Dumber; What Women Want; February; Sabrina; Any Given Sunday; Beautiful Girls; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Tammy’s Always Dying; Field of Lost Shoes; Entropy; Future BMT: Down Periscope; How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town; Live Wire; A Smile Like Yours; After the Ball; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; No Looking Back; Band of the Hand; BMT: Turbulence; Crank 2: High Voltage; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1998 for A Smile Like Yours, and Turbulence; Notes: Married to Jim Carey for a year. Co-starred opposite of Mark Harmon in the early seasons of NCIS.)

Brendan Gleeson – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; 28 Days Later…; Troy; Edge of Tomorrow; Braveheart; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Gangs of New York; In Bruges; In the Heart of the Sea; Cold Mountain; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Village; Mission: Impossible II; Beowulf; Paddington 2; Frankie; Safe House; Green Zone; Future BMT: The Smurfs 2; The Raven; Live by Night; Country of My Skull; The Tiger’s Tail; BMT: Turbulence; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Irish. An accomplished fiddle player, he played in Michael Collins and Cold Mountain.)

Budget/Gross – $55,000,000 / Domestic: $11,538,235 (Worldwide: $11,538,235)

(That is catastrophic. For reference Con Air has a budget of around $75 million and made over $200 million. So this had roughly the same budget and made … 20x as much money. It is rough.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (3/18)

(Oooo I get to make one. Expensive but not expensive looking. Little more than a series of cliches strung together. Reviewer Highlight: Fasten your seat belts, folks. It’s going to be a cliche-cluttered ride. – Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today)

Poster – Ray Liotta’s Magical Plane Ride (B-)

turbulence

(That is terrible, but also kind of great. It’s creative in how it’s framed and with some sweet font. The big letters at the top are a terrible idea, but so bold you have to give it to them. This poster is like two decades late… feels like it’s for Avalanche or something.)

Tagline(s) – Can You Survive The Ride? (C)

(The ride… the ride… hmmmm. That doesn’t sound right. But fine, it does its job and kinda makes me think that there is a whole other category of tagline. The rhetorical question. A little generic though. Fits the theme of an old school disaster film, but it’s just not giving me much.)

Keyword – die hard scenario

Turbulence_die hard scenario

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), The Magnificent Seven (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Leon (1994), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), 13 Hours (2016), World War Z (2013)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 62.1 Half Past Dead (2002), 55.1 Knock Off (1998), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 49.7 Collateral Damage (2002), 47.7 Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), 46.7 Cop Out (2010), 46.6 Solo (1996), 44.6 Metro (1997), 44.5 The Purge (2013);

BMT: Angel Has Fallen (2019), The Expendables 3 (2014), Along Came a Spider (2001), London Has Fallen (2016), Doom (2005), Need for Speed (2014), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Red Dawn (2012), Swordfish (2001), Tango & Cash (1989), Soldier (1998), Max Payne (2008), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Skyline (2010), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Daylight (1996), Mercury Rising (1998), Firewall (2006), Getaway (2013), xXx²: The Next Level (2005), Alex Cross (2012), 88 Minutes (2007), On Deadly Ground (1994), Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), Fire Down Below (1997), Black Dog (1998), Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002), Turbulence (1997), Firestorm (1998), Extreme Ops (2002)

(The graph looks like what you would expect. This is a second-banana die hard scenario. And the genre came to a crescendo around 2000, and then briefly died. Interesting that people don’t seem to running it these days, but maybe it is just overplayed. Under Siege 2 is def the best one that we haven’t seen. And my god, we’ve seen so many of them!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ray Liotta is No. 1 billed in Turbulence and No. 3 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 9. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Despite its box-office failure when of its release, the movie managed to get two direct-to-video sequels due to the film’s good performance as being one of the most rented films of that year. (Ohhhhhh yeah, Red Letter Media reviewed the third one which straight up looks like an abomination)

MGM pulled trailers from theaters and temporarily suspended its marketing campaign after the crash of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996.

The airliner used in the movie (N614FF) was a Tower Air Boeing 747-246B. The fictional TCA livery seen is very similar to Japan Air Lines’ livery but minus the Tsurumaru Crane Bird on the tail.

Was scheduled to be released in theaters for the 1996 holiday season, in tandem with the film’s Christmas setting, but was delayed to January 1997.

Catherine Hicks and Lauren Holly are talking about serial killers as the plane is loading. Hicks says “did you ever see Bundy, he was a charmer, Mark Harmon played him”. Holly later went on to star opposite Mark Harmon in NCIS. (Damn, I was going to add this trivia to IMDb! I got that one organically while watching the film. And in no way is that depressing)

The toy store in the movie in reality is a bookstore on the Main Street in Clinton, New Jersey, USA. There is a toy store on Main Street but it is in an alley and director Robert Butler didn’t like the exterior of the building. The bookstore’s front window was decorated with toys for the week of filming.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Lauren Holly, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property (1998)

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles Recap

Jamie

Crocodile Dundee is back, Jack! And boy is he family friendly. When Sue gets a job offer in LA, Mick sees an opportunity to educate their young son in the ways of the world. But he’s soon thrust into the middle of the action when Sue starts investigating a dangerous story. Can Mick stop the bad guys before it’s too late? Find out in… Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.

How?! We return to the adventures of Crocodile Dundee and are greeted with a picture of domestic bliss. Sue and Mick now have a child and enjoy their lives in Australia. There’s really only one problem: Mick doesn’t want to get married. But they’ve come to terms with that in a lot of ways too. When Sue gets a call about temporarily taking over the LA office of her father’s newspaper she is hesitant, but Mick suggests they go for it so that their son, Mikey, can experience the big city, just like he did so many years ago. They make the trip and boy is he already a fish out of water. He’s picking up skunks because he doesn’t know what they are, he’s interacting with Mike Tyson doing some meditation, etc. etc. It sure is a series of wacky hijinks. When Sue gets on the trail of some criminal activity being committed by a small film studio, Mick offers up his services to infiltrate the set. There he immediately ingratiates himself to the crew with his skillz with the animalz. With the steady job he’s able to find out that something funny is happening with a series of paintings being used on the set of their latest picture. It sure seems like they are smuggling priceless paintings into the country using the film as a ruse. But that can’t be, those paintings have been destroyed (or have they?!). In his attempt to get the final evidence against the studio, Mick, Sue, and his friend Jacko (oh yeah, he was also there), are chased by the studio head and his thugs. But never count out Mick, who uses some of the on-set animals to scare the baddies into submission. Because of the danger, Mick realizes how much he loves Sue and their life and so he proposes and they get married. THE END.

Why?! There is certainly a reason for the more family oriented turn in the series. Mick and Sue are happily together and have a life and a kid. The film is less about Mick and Sue’s adjustments to the other’s world and more about teaching their son about the world that his mother comes from… or at least that’s the motivation until Investigative Reporter Sue is hot on the case of some criminal activity. The baddies just want money and that money comes in the form of smuggled paintings thought to have been destroyed in a bombing in war-torn Yugoslavia (naturally).

Who?! I mean, there is a whole scene of Paul Hogan meditating with Mike Tyson and it’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand it and I don’t wish to understand it. George Hamilton also makes a cameo and then there are a couple newscasters that play themselves, which is amusing and something to think about for future cycles.

What?! This is a no-brainer as there is an entire scene devoted to Crocodile Dundee showing off America’s great cuisine to his friend Jacko by driving him through a Wendy’s drive-thru. This joke is mentioned in a lot of places as one of the few that actually hit, which is impressive for product placement. And because the placement is so gratuitous there were actually articles written about it in major newspapers like the New York Times. It’s incredible.

Where?! A+ setting alert! We have Croc D. We have LA. We have Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. There is also a significant part at the beginning and end that are set in Australia, so we’re looking at an LA sandwich with Australia bread. Delicious. A+.

When?! I’ve been on a roll in not finding when these films are set. There is a possibility that we could maybe find something in the news reports that are shown. But I don’t think so. Otherwise all we know is that it takes place during the school year. Not great. I guess it’s a D-… we know the bare minimum.

I mean… the film is kinda sad if you think of it as an actual entry in the series. But it’s really more like something like Ace Ventura Jr., where they take a property and make it family-friendly and send it straight-to-video (except this is a major release and all the main actors return for their roles). It is not even that the film is necessarily horrible or anything, it is actually a reasonable family comedy, but it probably belonged on video. It really does feel like Paul Hogan willed this film into existence because he needed an influx of that sweet, sweet Croc D moolah. At this point the most interesting thing about the film is that fantasy sports expert Matthew Berry wrote it and has talked about that experience on some podcasts and a few times on his website and ESPN. It is an interesting story and informs some of what you see with the series as a whole, particularly regarding Paul Hogan’s process and the reason why a film like this even exists in the first place. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would call it Crocodile Dundee: A Crocodile Out of Water. Just so you know that this time Dundee is going to be out of his element. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This guy has always been on our radar. What it looks like is the ultimate logical conclusion to the fish out of water story. A notable fish out of water at his fishiest and at his most out of water. It just screams: We’re going to make Crocodile Dundee feel uncomfortable about things, and its the early 2000s, so some of those things are probably gay panic. It is a pretty exciting time. What were my expectations? Just that. I admit, watching the trailer the movie came across different than I expected. Specifically, I kind of didn’t remember he had a kid in this one, nor that his Australian friend came with him. Regardless if Dundee seems out of water I’ll be pretty happy.

The Good – Paul Hogan is very charming. It isn’t surprising he became a star for a hot second in the 80s (it also isn’t that surprising he faded quickly, Dundee kind of seems like he’s playing himself to an extent, or like a character he developed and played for a long time, like Jim Varney and Ernest). It really is a super sweet family film. The film is mostly about Dundee being a great father and supporting his family while trying to find a place in the world. He does in the end (with a wink and a nod) as, effectively, an LA private detective.

The Bad – The fact that they immediately go back to the “weird not-crocodile-hunting and not-romantic-comedy story” well is pretty nuts. It is the main reason the second film doesn’t work, and they go straight back to that well making Crocodile Dundee a private detective almost immediately. Oh he’s also magic and can talk to animals. Everyone thinks his giant knife is cool instead of terrifying (which is what it actually is). And indeed, they make several jokes about either Crocodile Dundee being gay or our Australian bumpkins being shocked by being exposed to gay people. The whole thing just plays out as a kind of … well I’ll just reuse the phrase logical conclusion. It is the logical and inevitable conclusion to the Crocodile Dundee Saga.

The BMT – It might actually be the best / most obvious bad fish-out-of-water film ever made. It is also a great third-film-way-after-the-sequel film. It is a great Los Angeles film. It has a lot going for it. I wish the film was cheesier and less of a heartfelt family comedy … but what can you do. Did it meet my expectations? It kind of fell short. I expected it to be a lot crazier, but it ended up being less crazy than the second one. I still can’t quite get over how they thought the logical sequel storyline for Crocodile Dundee was international drug conspiracy … Somehow the third film’s storyline concerning an international art smuggling operation ends up feeling sane in comparison.

Roast-radamus – Is he actually a Planchet (Who?) or something else? I think Jacko, the Australian bumpkin who seems to have been introduced to the movie being Crocodile Dundee was somehow too cosmopolitan, qualifies nicely, despite them kind of being very kind to him. This time there is a slam dunk Product Placement (What?) with Dundee and Jacko going through a Wendy’s drive through and showing down on some delicious burgers. Also an A+ Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles which is very very Los Angeles in the film. Beyond that I don’t think it’ll be looked at for anything else.

StreetCreditReport.com – There aren’t many lists from 2001 for some reason … I would have thought by then a bunch of places would have started making them. Regardless it didn’t get onto anything I’ve found. It doesn’t really seem to be referenced anywhere. Any of the categories I listed above I think would do well to include the film on a short list. Worst fish-out-of-water, worst delayed trilogy-completing film, worst A+ setting film. The film is absurd, but they pull out a pretty decent trick. Despite looking like it is going to be just the worst thing you’ve ever seen, instead it manages to wrap itself in a pretty cute story about a family forging their own way. It doesn’t make it good, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously we have to do a review for the original film, so here goes! I watched Crocodile Dundee a few years ago and I remember being pleasantly surprised. The fact that Dundee is kind of suggested to be a fraudster and poacher was a refreshing way to introduce the character. Instead of being some glorious “native” character that teaches the hero about life and love, he’s a charmingly backwards guy with an unknown (and possibly sinister) past. It develops into a genuinely good romantic comedy, and it is no wonder it ended up being the film that triggered the somewhat brief star turn for Hogan in Hollywood. B+. If only they kept that original spirit up for the sequel instead of falling back into more common Hollywood tropes. Jamie’s right. They should have had the sequel focus on Dundee trying (and failing) to find a job in New York City. After a blow up with Sue he goes back to his land in Australia. After some drama, Sue realizes the moral of the story: It is unkind to ask Dundee to change so much to fit into New York City life, and maybe there is a middle ground for their life together. Smash cut to sue making big city deals in her office, but that (what a twist) zoom out to reveal the office is in the middle of the outback. Boom. Don’t make a third.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Crocodile Dundee II Recap

Jamie

Crocodile Dundee is back, Jack! And boy is he still having trouble adjusting to life in the Big Apple. When Sue gets caught up in a dangerous story about Colombian drug traffickers, it’s up to Mick to save her and save the day. Can he stop the bad guys with his powers of the Australian outback? Find out in… Crocodile Dundee II.

How?! Crocodile Dundee is living it up in NYC. But it’s not all that fun just hanging out. It’s time to get a job and boy howdy is that a hoot. That is until Sue’s ex-husband/journalist gets her embroiled in a dangerous expose about a murderous Colombian drug lord. Oh no! When Sue is kidnapped, it’s up to ol’ Croc D (as the kids call him) to jump into the fray with the help of some bee-boppin’ teen troublemakers. He’s able to snag Sue back and escape to the Australian bush. On his territory the drug lord is at a disadvantage and Crocodile Dundee makes them look silly at every turn. He’s able to slowly pick apart their crew until they take them all out and Sue and everyone is safe. Long live, Crocodile Dundee! Wait… is this seriously all this movie is about? Let me look back on my notes… yup. This is literally the entire plot of the film. THE END.

Why?! Hmmm, well this is more like a situation than a real motivation. Crocodile Dundee and Sue would have probably just kept on living their lives if it wasn’t for the pesky Colombian drug lord. It’s almost like they wrote a film where the entire motivation was Crocodile Dundee wanting to get a job, but then realized that that’s more like an SNL sketch and not a real movie. So then they added in the life or death stakes of international drug smuggling (naturally).

Who?! It’s always funny to find all the different types of people to feature for this category. We highlighted Nobel Prize winning characters for god’s sake. But I rarely highlight the kid actors in a film. Usually it’s not particularly notable. Here, though, there are a few kids that Crocodile Dundee shows off to and one of them is Tatyana Ali. It was her first role ever and she didn’t appear in another feature film until… Kiss the Girls! Woooooaaahhhhhh.

What?! There isn’t much to say for this. When Crocodile Dundee shows off his patented Croc D Never-Miss Throw, he uses the classic red and white can of a delicious coke. Not only do the colors pop on the screen, but it’s refreshing too. But not a super great entry for this one… that has to wait for the third film. Hoooo weeeee.

Where?! All the Crocodile Dundee films are pretty good for setting. The first was a fish out of water tale of an Australian man from the bush being dropped in NYC. Now he’s gotten his feet in NYC, but must save Sue by bringing the Colombian drug lord to the bush. So now the drug lord is the fish out of water… and Crocodile Dundee is the dynamite. A

When?! Oh, I don’t know. It feels like the summer. He’s out fishing in the Hudson and the like. But I don’t think it was made very clear. It’s like Croc D (as the kids call him) exists outside of time. He’s just ambling through his day dealing with whatever animals cross his path.

There are definitely some positives for the film. Like Sue and Croc D (as the kids call him) still have that sexy charm that we know and love. He’s also still funny being the laid-back tough Australian. But the plot really lacked and they didn’t really know what to do for the sequel other than just retread a tired 80’s plot. It’s almost more like a TV pilot than an actual movie. It also doesn’t help that there are some truly bonkers potentially offensive jokes sprinkled throughout. But then again, I think it was the same case with the first film (and spoiler alert, the third film). I still don’t think the film is that bad considering the characters are still the same. But also nothing to write home about… or even write much about in a recap. This has got to be some record for brevity in a BMT post. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would call it Crocodile Dundee: Back to the Bush. Just so you’re like “whoa, I’m so happy they are going back to Australia!” You know? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This has been a long time coming. I watched Crocodile Dundee ages ago and, no surprise, I loved it. A surprisingly good film. You’d think it would be kind of cheesy and dumb, but nope. Rather heartfelt stuff. Obviously the third one is the premier BMT prospect, but maybe this one could be bad as well? We’d just have to watch and see. What were my expectations? More of the same I suppose. It is the most plausible explanation, once the shine of the originality of the first film wears off what you are left with is just a boring retread.

The Good – The last maybe 30 minutes of this film is actually quite charming and fun. It is nice seeing Crocodile Dundee in his element owning big city losers in the outback. A little odd to say considering the entire film franchise is based around the concept of a fish out of water. The character is just more fun when he’s in water, what can I say? While the acting can get a bit dicey, I thought the bad guy was pretty good. He exudes a very menacing calmness that combines with his obvious arrogance well. And I think Hogan and Kozlowski have as good of chemistry as ever.

The Bad – The story is just like … a different story with Crocodile Dundee inserted into it? The original was literally just a romantic comedy between the two leads taking place in Australia and New York City (in a reverse of this film). But here, seemingly unable to think about what to do with Dundee, they just decide to involve him in an international drug smuggling conspiracy. Why? Hogan complained in interviews about how he didn’t want Dundee to just become James Bond, but then why did you write the first sequel as basically a knockoff James Bond?! It is truly bizarre and almost sinks the entire film. The middle bit is very weird as well involving a very nice man named Leroy Brown, and a comic Warriors-esque gang of youths. Oh and the inevitable homophobic joke that also pokes fun at suicide.

The BMT – This film is a lot better of a BMT that I would have expected. The entire storyline is insane. Like … why is Crocodile Dundee battling a drug kingpin again? Weird choice. It’ll be overshadowed by the third film for sure, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them. I expected a boring retread, and instead I got an insane international drug kingpin story! There are just enough weird bits (the gang in particular in the middle of the film out of nowhere) to sustain the film until you get to Australia. Once you get to Australia the film actually is kind of good.

Roast-radamus –  I think there is a pretty strong Setting as  a Character (Where?) for New York City and Australia. The double team is actually pretty great, and they make rural Australia seem a lot more welcoming and beautiful than a lot of Americans probably think. I do think there is a minor Product Placement (What?). No, not for Australia. Well, not directly. All three films seem to be subtle commercials for Fosters (it’s Australian for beer don’t you know?). There is a pretty awesome MacGuffin (Why?) involving pictures of the drug kingpin literally murdering a man in the open. The entire plot of the film hinges on Dundee getting involved in that nonsense. It’ll be closest to Good but I don’t think it’ll get there. As I said, it is actually a pretty good BMT because it is so weird at times.

StreetCreditReport.com – Sorry Crocodile Dundee II, you got no cred! At least, I don’t think this film was particularly poorly regarded at the time, just kind of meh. All of the cred comes from the third film at this point. Without the third film I bet we would have watched the two Crocodile Dundee films, thought the second wasn’t that bad, and wondered why a third wasn’t made. It is the second worst Crocodile Dundee film, so it has that going for it.

You Just Got Schooled – I’m going to skip this bit because no joke no one in this film seems to be in a non-qualifying film to watch. Check out the Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles recap to read my review of the original film.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles Quiz

G’day mate! Give me a Fosters, mate. It’s Australian for beer. And I’ve been drinking so much Fosters, that I’ve managed to forget what happened in this movie. Do you remember what happened in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does the Dundee family move to Los Angeles?

2) What is so suspicious about the production company that Sue ultimately sets out to complete a story about?

3) What does Mike Tyson teach Mick and Michael Dundee in the park?

4) Why is Crocodile Dundee such a good detective (according to Crocodile Dundee)?

5) What is ultimately the racket that the production company is running behind the scenes? How are they making their illegal cash monies?

Answers

Crocodile Dundee II Quiz

G’day mate! Put some more shrimp on the barbie. I’ve been on holidays for so long in NYC that I’ve sadly forgotten what happened in this movie. Do you remember what happened in Crocodile Dundee II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What are the three tracks that Dundee tests the children in the playground on?

2) Why is the drug lord kidnapping / chasing Dundee and his boo?

3) What argument does Dundee use to convince the hardcore teenage gang to help him storm the druglords Long Island castle?

4) Roughly how large is Dundee’s land claim in the Australian bush, and what useful thing can you find on it?

5) Who shoots who in the final standoff between Dundee and the drug kingpin?

Answers