Wicker Park Recap

Jamie

There is a paradox in my life. On the one hand I am constantly watching films (both good and bad), while others in my household pretty much never watch a movie. For example, my doggy seems totally uninterested in the art of cinema (what a rube). So when I find a film that piques the interest of those nearest and dearest to my heart I jump at the opportunity. Wicker Park was one such film. The result is that I actually watched Wicker Park in the not too distant past. My conclusion then is pretty much my conclusion now (and I’ll save that for the end), but a sneak peak is what one of the members of my household thought: “great soundtrack.” It’s true, classic early 2000’s soundtrack that coincided with the greatest soundtrack run of our lifetimes: The OC. The other member had a different view: “I’m a dog, I don’t understand music, but Matthew Lillard was surprisingly charming.”  Astute point, Sprinkles.

Quick recap, Matt has returned to Chicago to work for his (soon to be) fiance’s family’s advertising firm. We learn that a couple years ago he left Chicago heartbroken after the loss of his one true love: Lisa. Matt is given a big break by being sent to China to close a big deal, but just before he is set to leave he thinks he catches a glimpse of Lisa. He decides to delay his trip in order to find his true love. Thus begins the most suspenseful aspect of the film: the will he, won’t he… travel to China to close the deal. Come on, man! You can find Lisa when you get back. It’s like… a big deal for your company! If you’re not going to go, just tell them so they can send someone else to close it… gah! Sorry… I was just really worried about the deal. He left a lot of people hanging (I presume). Don’t be a dick. Anyway, with the help of his friend Luke he is able to find the apartment where “Lisa” is staying but finds a different girl there instead. Unbeknownst to him, this “Lisa” is actually an actress named Alex who is dating Luke (by coincidence?). In flashbacks we see that she was a good friend of Lisa who was secretly obsessed with Matt. So when Matt asks Lisa to move to NYC with him and Lisa balks (for reasons unknown) and coincidentally also gets a crazy urgent request to move to Europe it results in Alex playing a dastardly game of telephone where she deceives both of them into believing the other wronged them. In the present day, Matt sleeps with Alex (who he thinks is Lisa (but not that Lisa)), but almost immediately starts to get suspicious. In the meantime the real Lisa realizes that Matt is looking for her and tries her best to get him to meet her in… you know where. Ultimately Matt revelased Alex’s deception, chases Lisa to the airport, and they smooch right after he brushes away his GF and is all like “uh, I didn’t even go to China cause I suck.” THE END.

Confused? It’s actually not all that confusing because it’s actually just very silly. A lot of silly coincidences occur that keep Lisa and Matt apart. Like, think about the chances that Alex ends up dating Luke just when Lisa has returned to NYC and Matt runs into his old friend and starts hanging out with him? Or that Lisa has to leave for Europe within the hour just when Matt has asked her to move in with him? This is Coincidences: The Movie. The stakes also seemed very low. Just a bunch of silly people duping each other in mostly harmless ways and then everything working out. Acting was good though and the soundtrack is great. I do wish they made more films like this, but I’d suggest adding some thrills.

Very quick Hot Take Clam Bake. Josh Hartnett is the villain of the film. You had one job, man. Your future brother-in-law gave you the big job of closing the China deal. You are a low confidence weenie, but he believes in you. He honestly sounds like a great future bro-in-law and you could have a beautiful professional and personal relationship with him. But no, you totally leave him hanging. At least have the common decency to let someone (anyone!) know. Does it say something about me that this was the most stressful and memorable aspect of the film for me? I couldn’t stop thinking about that meeting and this idiot’s complete lack of professionalism. Lisa probably drops him like a hot potato once she finds out about the China Fiasco. She would probably be horrified by his behavior. Hot Take Temperature: Smoky Adobo.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Wicker Park? More like Sick and Dark, amirite? Remember when you could make a film about sad people walking around Chicago for two hours and then just end a film in the cheesiest possible way? Those were the days. Let’s go!

  • Two movies in a row where if someone asked me “should I watch this movie” I would scream “hellllllllllllls naw.” These films are bad (per se), that would make me recommend them (natch). They are just in the middle and kind of nothing.
  • And this is the king of the nothing film. There once was a time long ago where independent cinema became infatuated with stories that roamed across a city filled with greys and browns. Tired of that corporate humdrum the protagonists searched for the dream girl who could unlock the arteeeeest within them and allow them to live that bohemian lifestyle they truly aspire for.
  • Or something like that. The films, in reality, tended to wax poet about nothing for 90 minutes, and this is no exception.
  • I will say that I found this film to be anxiety inducing. Harnett misses not one but possibly three flights to China? He’s missing meetings. People are calling him. People are surprised he is there (and not, you know … in China). I can’t even imagine what is happening at Faceless Corporate Media HQ. “We missed what meeting? But we sent Harnett. Get Harnett on the horn now! Oh no, something horrible must have happened to Harnett, call the hospitals.” Meanwhile, Harnett is just sleeping in random hotel rooms trying to avoid his fiance and narrowly missing his ex. The movie might as well be called Patrick’s Anxiety Nightmare. Harnett goes to a play and misses his third flight to China! Why are you going to a play?! Go to China you lunatic! People are relying on you! You made a whole sales pitch about … something I’m sure was important. All a waste. What a shame.
  • I suppose the only interesting thing about it is the twisty twistiness. They did feel the need to layer coincidence upon coincidence upon coincidence until the whole story fell apart around Rose Byrne and her unrequited love.
  • And then as mentioned you get the cheesy ending where (presumably) Hartnett and his lady love live a poor bohemian lifestyle in the Wicker Park area of Chicago.
  • I thought Hartnett, as usual, was solid. If you are into these kinds of movies (and/or live in the year 2000) I can see why it could be a three out of four star affair. Which is what Ebert gave it. There is a compelling argument there. But not really my cup of tea overall.
  • A natural A+ Setting (Where?) for Wicker Park in Chicago. And a decent case for Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Rose Byrne was behind all of the bad things in Harnett’s life. Closest to Bad just because it is boring, but I could entertain an argument for something else (although I’d never watch this film again, so it better be a good argument).

Hear all about the sequel to Wicker Park: Wicker Park 2: Huangpu Park. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wicker Park Quiz

Oh man. So get this, I was wandering around Wicker Park (natch) looking for my long lost lady love, when I just slipped on some ice (Chicago winter amirite?) and bopped myself on the head. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Wicker Park?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film our hero Josh Harnett is going to a biiiiiig meeting for his company. At the conclusion of that meeting he is to set off for what country to close The Big Deal?

2) But oh ho, he is waylaid by the faintest glimpse of his old lady love from ChiTown, Lisa. What item does she drop that convinces him that she is the same Lisa he knew from oh so long ago?

3) Flashback time! How did he and Lisa meet?

4) After missing ooooooooooooooooh twenty flights and probably ruining his career, Harnett meets “Lisa” at her apartment. Who is she really?

5) So give me the whole run down, what happened to Lisa back in the day and who are all these people?

Bonus Question: In the mid credits scene we see a happy Harnett working where?

Answers

Wicker Park Preview

Nine months. Nine loooong months helping past Patrick care for his giant family, while also being careful it’s never revealed. Jamie and Patrick have had to live in a crawl space in the house surviving on only Flaming Hot Cheetos and Michelob Ultra (to keep their slim figures). They swap out so past Patrick is able to focus on his work-life balance. When the day of the European backpacking trip approaches they are pretty proud of themselves. The mental torture they have undergone for nine looong months will finally pay off cause past Patrick will finally let them know that… “Yeah, I think we’re still going to go. It seems like fun and Jamie has been really looking forward to it. But thanks.” What thuuuuuu… The Bad Movie Twins are aghast. They attempt to grab past Patrick by the collar and shake some sense into him, but they forget that he has rock hard muscles and lighting reflexes just like them… cause he is them. Shit. “Well now what?” Jamie asks, as they watch past Jamie and Patrick prepare for the trip. But it seems obvious to Patrick, they’ll just have to bide their time. Following them on the backpacking trip they relive some of their fondest memories. Snowmen in Norway and dog poo in The Netherlands. The X-treme hike in the Alps and then an even more X-treme tour of Chernobyl. Jamie rubs his neck where the mutant bit him and they laugh at how he transformed into an evil mutant until Patrick reminded him of who he was. Finally in Monte Carlo they have arrived at the moment of truth and they see the G-Men who first got them on the trail of the Dongle walking through Wicker Park towards past Patrick and Jamie’s hotel. Time to act. That’s right! We’re watching Wicker Park starring BMT faves Josh Hartnett and Matthew Lillard. And no, there isn’t a Wicker Park in Monte Carlo. I’m just a very professional writer. Let’s go!

 Wicker Park (2004) – BMeTric: 10.3; Notability: 25

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 36.0%; Notability: top 33.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 27.8%; Higher BMeT: Catwoman, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, You Got Served, Torque, Taxi, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Soul Plane, Seed of Chucky, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Garfield, Thunderbirds, Envy, Godsend, Fat Albert, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, New York Minute, Exorcist: The Beginning, First Daughter, and 70 more; Higher Notability: Shark Tale, Catwoman, The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing, King Arthur, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Alexander, After the Sunset, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Blade: Trinity, The Stepford Wives, She Hate Me, Fat Albert, Alien vs. Predator, Man on Fire, Meet the Fockers, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Around the World in 80 Days, Raising Helen, The Phantom of the Opera, and 63 more; Lower RT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Twisted, The Whole Ten Yards, Godsend, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie – Pyramid of Light, The Cookout, Christmas with the Kranks, Johnson Family Vacation, My Baby’s Daddy, Envy, Surviving Christmas, First Daughter, Catwoman, Taxi, House of D, Exorcist: The Beginning, New York Minute, Employee of the Month, A Cinderella Story, Against the Ropes, and 47 more; Notes: That IMDb score … is absurd. It is nearly at 7.0! I’m not joking when I say that might actually be the highest IMDb scores ever for BMT. I have to check this … A Walk to Remember (7.3), A Dog’s Purpose (7.2), Rambo (2008) (7.0), The Guardian (2006) (6.9), Crank (6.9), Vanilla Sky (6.9). Fun fact: Crank and Vanilla Sky don’t qualify, it predates us being quite as dogmatic about Rotten Tomatoes scores.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Once we understand the principle (if not the details) of the plot, “Wicker Park” works because the actors invest their scenes with what is, under the circumstances, astonishing emotional realism. There’s a scene between Josh Hartnett and Rose Byrne during which so much is said, and left unsaid, that we feel real sympathy for both characters. There’s an emotional craziness to the way the Hartnett character misses his plane to China and starts skulking around Chicago/Montreal like a sleuth. There’s an open innocence to the way Matthew Lillard’s character fails to realize he is about to become an innocent bystander. And Diane Kruger, whose Lisa is subjected to logical whiplash by the plot, always seems to know when it is and how she should feel. Now that’s acting.

(Amazing. This is a real rarity. A film that was just dunked on by (most) critics, but somehow also seems to be at least liked by a reasonably sized audience. Really weird.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFo0u-nXbGk/

(Wait wait wait wait wait … that’s the official trailer? Like an actual trailer people involved with the film put out? This isn’t a parody of like, what if Wicker Park was a thriller? Because it isn’t. You would be forgiven for thinking it is after watching that trailer, but it isn’t. It is a drama about a sad person wandering around Chicago thinking about the girl who got away. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) thrilling about this film. Truly and profoundly bizarre.)

DirectorsPaul McGuigan – ( Known For: Lucky Number Slevin; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Gangster No. 1; The Reckoning; The Acid House; Future BMT: Push; Victor Frankenstein; BMT: Wicker Park; Notes: Scottish. Was nominated for an Emmy for directing A Scandal In Belgravia, an episode of Sherlock.)

WritersGilles Mimouni – ( Known For: The Apartment; BMT: Wicker Park; Notes: Wrote the original. Was scheduled to direct an English-language film called The Pretender in 2001, but it fell through due to compensation and budgetary disputes.)

Brandon Boyce – ( Known For: Bad Samaritan; Apt Pupil; Venom; BMT: Wicker Park; Notes: Wrote two episodes of the new miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven which is supposed to be good.)

ActorsJosh Hartnett – ( Known For: Wrath of Man; Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre; Sin City; Black Hawk Down; The Virgin Suicides; The Faculty; Ida Red; 30 Days of Night; Lucky Number Slevin; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Most Wanted; The Ottoman Lieutenant; O; Blow Dry; 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain; Wild Horses; Bunraku; She’s Missing; Valley of the Gods; Resurrecting the Champ; Future BMT: Pearl Harbor; The Black Dahlia; 40 Days and 40 Nights; BMT: Wicker Park; Hollywood Homicide; Here on Earth; Town & Country; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: Y’all remember Josh Hartnett right? He’s making a bit of a comeback, but for a bit he exited Hollywood to chill in his home state of Minnesota. He’s been doing a lot of television.)

Diane Kruger – ( Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Troy; National Treasure; Mr. Nobody; Unknown; Fathers & Daughters; The Infiltrator; In the Fade; The Operative; Joyeux Noel; Farewell, My Queen; Special Forces; Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy; Maryland; The Hunting Party; A Perfect Plan; Sky; Copying Beethoven; Anything for Her; Goodbye Bafana; Future BMT: The 355; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Welcome to Marwen; BMT: Wicker Park; The Host; Notes: German. Was originally a ballerina (which explains I imagine why the character is a dancer in this, or why she was cast in this), but then an injury ended that career and started her into modeling which (as it does) led into acting.)

Matthew Lillard – ( Known For: Scream; Scream; Trouble with the Curve; She’s All That; Scream 2; He’s All That; The Descendants; SLC Punk!; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Serial Mom; Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms; Without Limits; The Groomsmen; Bloodsucking Bastards; Return to Nim’s Island; What Love Is; Love’s Labour’s Lost; Dead Man’s Curve; Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas; Endless Bummer; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Without a Paddle; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Perfect Score; Mad Love; BMT: Thir13en Ghosts; Hackers; Wicker Park; Summer Catch; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Senseless; Wing Commander; Notes: The most sidekickening character actor of all time. But more recently he’s had a few notable character actor roles. In particular in The Descendents and in the new Twin Peaks sequel series.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $13,001,257 (Worldwide: $21,741,598)

(That is bad. But it is probably bad because the movie is a slow moving drama about sad people.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (36/135): Implausible coincidences and an overly convoluted structure make the movie hard to follow or believe.

(Hard to follow? Hardly. Believe? Seems immaterial. Uninteresting would be more like it, and yet loved by some. Interesting. It feels very very indie cinema for sure.)

Reviewer Highlight: It’s a sad day indeed when a movie’s most memorable performance belongs to Scooby Doo’s Matthew Lillard. – Jeannette Catsoulis, Las Vegas Mercury

Poster – Snickers Park

(I know I shouldn’t like this, but it’s like poster candy for me. They are taking something bad and doing everything right. It’s shaded yellow so the color scheme isn’t ruined by the pictures of people. We get cool and unique font. The only crime is the framing, which is all over the place. Oh and the fact that it’s all meaningless. But I forgive this, because it’s hard to explain what the film is actually about even after you’ve seen it. B-)

Tagline(s) – Passion never dies. (D)

(Blessedly short, but what is this nonsense? This isn’t Ghost starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. No one dies in this film. No one dies at all. I feel like the poster/tagline combination is setting up a murder mystery it can’t deliver on.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), Nine Months (1995), The Big Wedding (2013), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Vanilla Sky (2001), Wicker Park (2004)

Best Options (senseless): 10.3 Wicker Park (2004), 8.9 The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

(We really only had one option here. The Thirteenth floor is an oddity because it is based on a German … television movie maybe? It was on the table. Luckily this is indeed very much based on a French film and stars Matthew Lillard of Senseless fame.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 4) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Josh Hartnett is No. 1 billed in Wicker Park and No. 3 billed in Here on Earth, => (1 + 3) = 4. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The restaurant where Matthew overhears Lisa talking on the telephone is called “Bellucci”. Monica Bellucci was the female lead in the French original The Apartment (1996), of which this film is a remake.

Josh Hartnett signed on after Paul Walker was forced to drop out due to complications with the filming of 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003).

This is the second movie in 2004 to feature both Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne in central female roles. The other movie was Troy, released 4 months earlier.

When Lisa (Diane Kruger) is in the Lady Dragon shoe store, the black heels with the red soles she tries on are Christian Louboutins.

This is a remake of the French film The Apartment (1996). One of the reasons it was most likely changed to the title it holds now is that its distributor, MGM, already owns an American film of the same name- a Best Picture Oscar winner, at that- The Apartment (1960), which they inherited from their purchase of United Artists.

Nine Months Quiz

Oh wow, so get this. My girlfriend of five years is preggers (oh no! Wait … no, that isn’t the right reaction, hooray!), and guess what that means? That’s right, I fainted in a hilarious fashion. But it also means I bopped my head and now can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Nine Months?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The movie stars Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore and they have an idyllic life. What are their respective jobs?

2) Ruh-roh, Julianne Moore is pregnant! And woe is Hugh Grant because he’s going to have to give up everything he loves! What are the two main things that aren’t “baby safe” that must be cut from his life, much to his chagrin?

3) Welp, Hugh really screwed the pooch now! He’s being kicked out of the house by his (former?) fiance Julianne. Why?

4) Oh I forgot about Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack. They have like a million kids. But what is the one thing Tom Arnold is hoping for with the next one?

5) In the end Hugh is racing to the hospital. Who, ultimately, ends up at the hospital with them?

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene we’re a year in the future and the little baby boy is growing up. But Julianne has another thing to announce. What is it?

Answers

Nine Months Preview

Jamie and Patrick watch in bemusement as Kyle tries the eleventh combination to get into the loft he clearly doesn’t own. The past versions of themselves seem mostly bored by the display. “Who is this bozo?” past Jamie mouths to past Patrick. Sweat begins to pour down Kyle’s brow. He puts his fake gun down just for a moment to wipe the moisture from his eye and past Jamie and Patrick take the opportunity to pounce. They disarm him with their catlike reflexes and snap a pair of nunchucks against his neck. “Who are you working for?” they scream in unison. Jamie and Patrick sigh and reveal themselves, the implication of time travel be damned. As they walk out they try to calm their younger selves. While they still have the rock hard abs of youth, much improved dance skills through years of practice, and can twin chop with the best of them, they also know their jean shorts are fitting a little snugger than in their salad days. “Don’t hurt him. We put Kyle up to it. He’s just a kind-hearted man not made for deception.” Kyle exhales in relief while their past selves blanche at the sight of not two Bad Movie Twins, but four? Whu-whu-whuuuuu? Jamie and Patrick quickly fill them in on what has happened. Normally their story would be impossible to believe, but their very existence is proof enough. “But Patrick needs this vacation,” Jamie mutters in frustration, “What are we supposed to do just let BMT die?” They all gasp at the thought. No, but Patrick has a compromise, “What if we help out, Multiplicity style, and maybe by the time the vacation rolls around you’ll be refreshed and won’t need it. It couldn’t be that long, right?… right?” That’s right! We’re watching the Hugh Grant comedy classic Nine Months. You know, the film where a giant baby man-child complains incessantly about how his girlfriend is pregnant. Sounds like a barrel of laughs. Let’s go! 

Nine Months (1995) – BMeTric: 47.1; Notability: 47

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 6.0%; Notability: top 8.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 18.1%; Higher BMeT: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn, Fair Game, Jury Duty, Congo, Batman Forever, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Theodore Rex, Tank Girl, The Babysitter, Judge Dredd, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo, Judge Dredd, Cutthroat Island, Virtuosity, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Showgirls, Tank Girl, Four Rooms, Stuart Saves His Family, Jefferson in Paris, Panther, Steal Big Steal Little, Assassins, Jade, Money Train, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Hackers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Canadian Bacon; Lower RT: The Big Green, National Lampoon’s Senior Trip, Theodore Rex, Jury Duty, Delta of Venus, Top Dog, The Walking Dead, Born to Be Wild, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, The Hunted, It Takes Two, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Bushwhacked, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Fair Game, Vampire in Brooklyn, Canadian Bacon, The Scarlet Letter, Four Rooms, Jade, and 22 more; Notes: A 5.5 on IMDb seems about right. The Notability on this thing is off the chain. Mid-60s comedies man, Robin Williams is in this for like 7 total minutes. Incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Much attention has been focused on “Nine Months” because it’s the movie that Hugh Grant was in the process of publicizing when he suddenly found himself receiving all too much publicity for the wrong reasons. The film’s box-office performance will be closely analyzed for clues about whether Grant’s career will be affected by the recent scandal. My guess is that the film, left to itself, would have performed only moderately at the box office, so if it does any better than that, the scandal can only have helped.

(Ha! I honestly forgot about all that. His career did take a dip IIRC, but he has since easily bounced back and we all now wistfully look back on the days when merely soliciting prostitutes was all you had to worry about with your film stars.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVmOU8HPf_E/

(Looks dumb. I remember this trailer though, specifically I remember Hugh Grant getting hit in the face by the kid on the swing set.)

DirectorsChris Columbus – ( Known For: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Home Alone; Mrs. Doubtfire; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Adventures in Babysitting; Stepmom; Rent; The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two; Only the Lonely; Future BMT: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; Bicentennial Man; Heartbreak Hotel; BMT: Pixels; I Love You, Beth Cooper; Nine Months; Notes: He produced The Help, which was nominated for Best Picture. Started as a writer with things like Gremlins and Goonies, and then broke into directing a bit later. Wrote a television show called Galaxy High School.)

WritersPatrick Braoudé – ( Known For: Love & Confusions; Neuf mois; Second Life; BMT: Nine Months; Notes: Wrote the original French film. He is also an actor in France, and was in The 15:17 to Paris as President Hollande.)

Chris Columbus – ( Known For: The Goonies; Gremlins; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Young Sherlock Holmes; The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two; Only the Lonely; Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland; Future BMT: Reckless; Heartbreak Hotel; BMT: Nine Months; Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: He has wild writing credits, like for The Goonies II video game, and a French TV Movie called Madame Doubtfire which aired in France.)

ActorsHugh Grant – ( Known For: The Gentlemen; Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre; Love Actually; Notting Hill; Sense and Sensibility; Paddington 2; The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; Cloud Atlas; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Bitter Moon; About a Boy; The Remains of the Day; Maurice; Florence Foster Jenkins; Two Weeks Notice; Music and Lyrics; Sirens; The Lair of the White Worm; Mickey Blue Eyes; Future BMT: American Dreamz; BMT: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Did You Hear About the Morgans?; Nine Months; Notes: Was nominated for two Emmys, for A Very British Scandal and The Undoing. I’m a bit surprised he didn’t get anything really for About a Boy (not even a BAFTA nomination).)

Julianne Moore – ( Known For: Boogie Nights; The Big Lebowski; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Magnolia; Don Jon; The Fugitive; Children of Men; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; The Hand that Rocks the Cradle; The Woman in the Window; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; Carrie; Chloe; Non-Stop; The Hours; Evolution; When You Finish Saving the World; Still Alice; Future BMT: Dear Evan Hansen; Hannibal; Eagle Eye; Next; Assassins; Psycho; Suburbicon; The Forgotten; Laws of Attraction; The Ladies Man; Freedomland; Roommates; The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag; BMT: Seventh Son; Body of Evidence; Nine Months; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Seventh Son in 2016; Notes: Was on As the World Turns from 1985 to 1988 and did a return cameo in 2010. Was nominated for five Oscars (Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, The Hours, Far from Heaven, Still Alive) and finally won for Still Alice.)

Tom Arnold – ( Known For: True Lies; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Good Mourning; Hit and Run; Kicking & Screaming; Bigger; Good Dick; Animal Factory; Hero; Gardens of the Night; Happy Endings; Dumbbells; Pride; Mr. 3000; The Skeptic; Barely Legal; Hansel & Gretel; The Great Buck Howard; Homo Erectus; Cloud 9; Future BMT: Coneheads; Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Soul Plane; Undercover Blues; Carpool; McHale’s Navy; Big Bully; Rebound; The Final Season; The Stupids; Madea’s Witness Protection; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Cradle 2 the Grave; Exit Wounds; Nine Months; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 1997 for Big Bully, Bio-Dome, Carpool, and The Stupids; Notes: He was a huge star for a while in the late 80s / early 90s (and famously married to Roseanne). He now does a lot of smaller films, but I’m most intrigued by his recurring guest role as Elvis Bertrand on NCIS: New Orleans.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $69,684,532 (Worldwide: $138,510,230)

(This seems like a huge hit. More domestic than Four Weddings and a Funeral. More international than My Best Friend’s Wedding. Both of those I feel like were considered decent enough successes of the era.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (8/32): Nine Months finds writer-director Chris Columbus playing to his worst comedic instincts — and relying far too heavily on the trademark tics of his miscast leading man.

(This sounds about right, and maybe is the opposite of Fathers’ Day? There they just transplanted the French jokes onto Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. It sounds like here they make a Hugh Grant version of the original. Neither seemed like they came out amazingly.)

Reviewer Highlight: [Nine Months] threatens to turn an interesting actor into a self-parodying commodity. – David Ansen, Newsweek

Poster – Ten Months

(I feel like the general framing and color scheme of the poster to be not my cup of tea. But despite all that, and the disastrous font, I think this is a clever poster. Maybe it’s the ridiculously goofy grin on Hugh Grant. Enough to launch it up to a C.)

Tagline(s) – Ready or Not. (B)

(Not clever, but concise and gives us exactly what we need to know without spelling it out. Honestly this poster is a masterclass in communication. They have basically shown and told you nothing, but implicitly you understand everything that the movie is about.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), Nine Months (1995), The Big Wedding (2013), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Vanilla Sky (2001)

Best Options (Romance): 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 39.8 Intersection (1994), 37.9 My Father the Hero (1994), 37.9 Nine (2009), 32.3 Original Sin (2001), 29.7 The Woman in Red (1984), 24.4 The Man Who Loved Women (1983), 10.3 Wicker Park (2004)

(Smash that top pick. None of the others seem interesting except probably My Father the Hero which … woof, I feel like late Depardieu in American comedies might be a dark time. Reading his wikipedia he sounds a bit like Steven Seagal.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Hugh Grant is No. 1 billed in Nine Months and No. 1 billed in Did You Hear About the Morgans?, which also stars Sam Elliott (No. 4 billed) who is in Ghost Rider (No. 3 billed) 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) => (1 + 1) + (4 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (5 + 1) = 17. If we were to watch American Dreamz we can get the HoE Number down to 9.

Notes – Grant’s arrest in Los Angeles (June 27, 1995), and his subsequent appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, two days before the release of this movie, not only boosted the box-office take, despite unfavorable reviews, it also catapulted Leno’s ratings over and above rival David Letterman’s for the very first time.

After reading the script, Robin Williams originally wanted to play the Barney-like dinosaur. He later opted to play the doctor.

Marks Hugh Grant’s first Hollywood feature film.

Robin Williams filmed his small supporting performance in this film at the same time Jumanji (1995) was being filmed.

Before Chris Columbus worked with Robin Williams on Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), he had seen him in comedy clubs in Los Angeles, where he was blown away by his energy. He thought he was one of the most impressive minds in comedy.

As Sam rushes Rebecca to the hospital, they pass a movie theater showing “Home Alone VII.” Home Alone (1990) was also directed by Chris Columbus.

Reportedly, Hans Zimmer composed the theme before the shooting started. It is also said that the score is inspired by the birth of Zimmer’s daughter.

Three of director Chris Columbus’ children appear in this movie. Eleanor Columbus plays a little girl in ballet class, Brendan Columbus plays a little boy on the beach, and Violet Columbus plays the baby in the toy store.

Based on a 1994 French comedy, Neuf mois, which means, “nine months.”

Hugh Grant, though in praise of his director and co-stars, was very critical and regretful of his performance in this film. He claimed he ruined it by ‘grotesquely over-acting,’ a result of his attempt to up his game due to the panic and pressure of being paid much more money than what he had been getting prior to his Hollywood debut. Grant has been eternally apologetic to all involved ever since.

Hugh Grant admitted that he and Julianne Moore did not get along during the production.

Writer-director Chris Columbus’ first choice for the role of Marty Dwyer was Jeff Daniels. However comic actor Tom Arnold had an agreement with 20th Century Fox the studio behind this film that he was allowed to star in another movie of his choice that they produced due to his success in the Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster True Lies (1994) the previous year. This deal was offered by Fox to Arnold as an apology because they originally did not want the comedian starring in that film due to his messy divorce at the time from his ex-wife Roseanne Barr. However James Cameron the director of True Lies insisted on Arnold’s casting or he would take his movie to another studio so Fox approved Arnold as to not lose the movie because they were sure they had a hit. Critics and audiences who disliked Arnold at the time and were critical of his work and personal life all agreed he gave a very good performance in True Lies, and because of the positive reception of his performance as well as of the film in general Arnold was allowed to do one more movie for Fox and he chose this film because he felt it would be a huge hit with Columbus directing due to the directors previous successes with the first two Home Alone movies and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

The Loft Recap

Jamie

If I had made a list of top 10 films we missed for BMT, The Loft would have been high up on it. Why? Exactly. Why, indeed. Why did they make a cliche thriller filled with TV actors? The promos for the film must have felt like a Jets-Bills game from the mid-2000’s. Marsden! Urban! Battle of the titans on Thursday Night Football. And to think Eric Stonestreet was in the middle of his Modern Family streak when he did this. Arguably he’s the biggest name in the film. Besides our boy Wentworth Miller. He’s a star in our eyes.

To recap, Karl Urban is a real piece of trash who happens to also be the hottest architect in New Orleans. He’s got a great group of friends, so why not share a creepy sex loft with them? Right? I mean, it’s only logical. His friends are mostly like “uh, what?” but inexplicably they all eventually agree that is makes sense to split this loft like a bunch of sex criminals. Obviously one day they find a dead woman there and they’re all like “what thuuuuu…” They point fingers at one another and we find out through flashbacks that they really are just garbage cans dressed in human clothes. One of them had an affair and now is a real saddo. The other fell in love with a prostitute and is a real saddo. The third is a big drug addict and is a real saddo. The fourth was already a saddo. The fifth was Karl Urban and wait a second! He’s not a saddo at all! In fact he seems quite satisfied with his weird sex condo! He must be the criminal! Doesn’t help that Wentworth Miller taped them all in the apartment like a creep and caught Urban sleeping with everyone they loved. Well that settles it, he killed the woman (almost forgot about her) and so let’s frame him for the murder he definitely committed. But wait, Marsen is a little suspicious. Some of this isn’t adding up. So he goes back to the loft and confronts to saddest saddo of them all (who’d ever suspect?!), Wentworth Miller. Turns out he was so sad that he decided to kill the girl and frame Urban cause… uh… Urban was the only thing that stood in the way of him being with the woman… who he just killed. Anyway, he then jumps from the balcony and six months later everyone is like “that was crazy, right?” THE END.

So yeah, the whole movie is trashy. It’s fun in a ridiculous way. Nothing totally makes sense in how a few of them get away with what would at the very least be obstruction of justice and at worst be a failed attempt to frame their friend for a murder he didn’t commit. And it’s that throw-caution-to-the-wind, who cares if it makes sense attitude that really puts this over the top in terms of BMT thrills and chills. Most films fall flat by overthinking things and ultimately overexplaining their convoluted noir-lite plot into mundanity. This gloriously underthinks its noir-ultra plot into BMT-ity.

Hot Take Clam Bake! The entire premise of the film is false! It’s set up like having a primo sex loft is every trash philanderers dream. No seedy motel receipts, they say. No fake work trips or calls from people wondering if they want you to drop off the handcuffs you left at their place, they explain. Everything your garbage heart desires is there at… The Loft. But guess what is even more suspicious than all that? Going fivesies on a high end loft in the 46th largest city in the United States. What’s that gonna run each of them? Ten grand? Ah yeah, sure is far less suspicious than a $125 hotel room for the zero nights you are actually going to cheat on your wives. This isn’t even a hot take. This whole film is an ice cold take. Hot Take Temperature: Salt & Vinegar.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Loft? More like The Daft! Amirite? Hey guys, want to all get in on this sweet f-shack plan I got going. Don’t worry, it is in my incredibly conspicuous apartment building complete with a balcony overlooking the French Quarter of New Orleans. No? Let’s go!

  • The plan is even more ludicrous than it sounds, and the motivation for Urban is completely impenetrable. He’s an incredibly rich architect who seemingly gets all of his “friends” in on an f-shack. But he, like, owns the place? So are they going five ways on the mortgage? The HOA fees? And these four other people, that money isn’t being noticed by any of their wives? Them disappearing randomly doesn’t arouse any suspicion? No one, not once, happens to notice Urban hanging on the balcony of that apartment and then later one of his friends (with a woman) and puts two and two together? Are they just like not using that balcony? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
  • I put friends in quotes because one of the people is the half-criminal half-brother of one guy. Another is a borderline alcoholic who can’t keep his shit together. So … again, why are these the people you are choosing for your f-shack timeshare?
  • The only thing that really makes sense is that Urban gets off on control, and the most extreme version of that is controlling his friends in a pact in which they’re all committing adultery, but also Urban is having sex with their wives or girlfriends or sisters and stuff in the same bed? But given what we see about him, his f-shack timeshare would have been put to much much better use as a transaction with the other high flying philanderers of the city. He truly is Icarus, flying too close to the sun with his weirdo plans.
  • And then in the end only one person goes to prison for the murder? Yeah, not buying it. I have a feeling this is a “lost in translation” moment, but the four conspirators who seemingly fake-frame Urban (although Wentworth Miller secretly plans on for-real-framing him) ultimately kill someone. I’m pretty sure that in the end all four could be held responsible for negligent homicide as part of a felony murder (although reading up on it it is possible that that wouldn’t apply since they didn’t commit any other felony / that felony didn’t explicitly involve danger to life? It is possible this is also not the case in Louisiana). There are ways around it, but I just can’t imagine that once Marsden admitted to trying to frame Urban for murder and ultimately a woman dies in the process of that crime, that only the person who actually directly killed the woman would face serious consequences. That doesn’t seem right, but it is possible … I think I need to write into a law podcast to see what they think.
  • I do kind of like the Setting as a Character (Where?) for New Orleans since it is more subtle than one would think, but is made explicit at one point in the film in which Marsden passes a sign pointing the way to the French Quarter. And a definite Worst Twist (How?) for ultimately it all being a frame up planned by Wentworth Miller that went horribly wrong. This is such a BMT film it is insane, we had an hours long discussion about how ludicrous this film is.

Read about the sneaky sequel The Loft 2: Penthouse in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Loft Quiz

Oh man, so I went on this sweet f-shack timeshare thing with my buddies and it is great. Well, until we found a dead body in the apartment! I fainted then and there, so I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in The Loft?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Karl Urban is a brilliant architect and inventor of the revolutionary f-shack timeshare idea. And all he wants to do is share this idea with his friends (awwwwwwww). But he has a deep dark secret that makes his friends turn against him. What is it?

2) Wentworth Miller is a brilliant … something. He seems to allow people to think he’s in love with Vincent, but in reality he harbors a deep dark secret about what he uses the timeshare for. What is it?

3) Marty Landry is clearly an alcoholic and also … confused as to why any of these people are friends with him I assume. Anyways, he also harbors a secret about how he’s been using the loft. What is it?

4) Phillip is generally a criminal I suppose, and the newest member of the happily married club. But you guessed it, he harbors a deep dark secret. What is it?

5) The only one left is Marsdan, but he doesn’t really seem to harbor any secrets (at least ones that he knows about). So instead explain what actually happened with the murdered woman.

Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene there is a knock at the door of the titular loft. Knock knock. Who’s there?

Answers

The Loft Preview

“Good night’s rest? What am I missing?” Kyle says as Jamie and Patrick walk him into a costume store. We see a Pretty Woman style montage of him trying out different outfits, but each time they shake their heads. Sure Kyle is pulling off the Little Bo Peep costume, but it’s not quite right. When Kyle comes out of the changing room in a detective costume, though, Jamie and Patrick immediately high five. “The plan can’t fail,” Jamie assures Kyle, “Where is the best place to get a good night’s rest where babies aren’t allowed? In Jail. And then Patrick will be free to snooze away any thought of an extended vacation in Europe. Just bust in, say he’s under arrest and bring him back here.” Kyle nods his head, but he’s already visibly shaking. “Stage fright,” whispers Patrick with a note of concern, but Jamie puts a hand up to stop him. Kyle can and will do this.

An hour later they are back up on their perch above a fully functioning mock jail being manned by LePumice and Ty. Looking through their binoculars they see Kyle prepare to enter BMTHQ. He busts in, fake gun held high. “Freeze you dirtbags,” he yells, “You mofos are def under arrest for being dirty dirtbags. At least Patrick is. The one named Patrick.” He’s totally messing it up. “We gotta get down there and stop him,” Patrick says, but before they can make it down, they see Kyle leading them both out of the office. “Come with me, perps. Get ready for your perp walk. We’re going to my loft. That’s where I take criminals because I’m a dirty cop who doesn’t play by rules.” Jamie and Patrick shake their heads in horror and both ask the obvious question, “What loft?” That’s right, we’re watching The Loft. It’s a film that everyone remembers. You know the one. It’s based on a Belgian film… stars a bunch of TV actors… yeah, that one. But most importantly it brings us one step closer to being Wentworth Miller completionists (the ultimate goal of BMT). Let’s go!

The Loft (2014) – BMeTric: 23.4; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 28.0%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 8.9%; Higher BMeT: Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules, Ouija, God’s Not Dead, Devil’s Due, The Pyramid, A Haunted House 2, Tammy, Sex Tape, I, Frankenstein, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Behaving Badly, Outcast, Dying of the Light, Annabelle, Everly, Annie, Vampire Academy, Pompeii, Addicted, and 50 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Transcendence, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Dracula Untold, Dumb and Dumber To, The Monuments Men, Annie, Seventh Son, Winter’s Tale, Think Like a Man Too, Horrible Bosses 2, Need for Speed, The Expendables 3, Men, Women & Children, Ride Along, The Nut Job, Vampire Academy, Pompeii, and 13 more; Lower RT: Behaving Badly, Left Behind, Cam2Cam, Outcast, I, Frankenstein, The Legend of Hercules, Ouija, Some Kind of Beautiful, Addicted, A Haunted House 2, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, The Cobbler, Search Party, Dying of the Light, God’s Not Dead, The Best of Me, No Good Deed, Seventh Son, Winter’s Tale, Taken 3, and 2 more; Notes: I had to go and check the archive results, but indeed, there was a few aberrations here, I think because IMDb started to lose the thread a bit about when this film actually was coming out. My guess is that the very high rating is from people thinking they were rating one of the originals. The eventually rating of 6.3 is waaaaaaaaaay too high for this film. I don’t really get it, but I also don’t have an explanation.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – In preparing to review the new thriller “The Loft,” I was surprised to discover that not only is it a remake of a 2008 film that was an enormous hit in its native Belgium, it was previously remade in the Netherlands in 2010–indeed, the film’s director, Erik van Looy, not only helmed the original but also worked on the Dutch version as well. I am not surprised by the fact that this story has been told three times in such a short period of time–hey, the beloved classic “The Maltese Falcon” was actually the third cinematic go-around for that tale in less than a decade. No, what surprises me is that I would have thought that by this third stab at this particular narrative, all of the implausibilities and idiocies would have been ironed out. Alas, this long-delayed would-be erotic thriller is a shabby bore that promises viewers any number of kinky thrills and then proceeds to deflate those expectations.

(Yup, that sounds right. Having now seen the film I’m inclined to agree, it is shocking that this is the tale that is being told the third time around. Although it is impossible watch the original, so I also wonder whether the set up is the same across all of the films, but the resolution is somewhat dependant on the director or something.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IZJAra4gLc/

(Oooooo looks intense. Urban! Miller! Marsden! What a cast. What a mystery! Yeah I’m joking this looks like garbage.)

DirectorsErik Van Looy – ( Known For: Loft; The Memory of a Killer; Shades; Ad Fundum; BMT: The Loft; Notes: He directed the original Flemish production. He is also the host of The Smartest Person in the World, a very famous game show in Belgium.)

WritersBart De Pauw – ( Known For: Loft; Loft; BMT: The Loft; Notes: The Flemish writer, he does exclusively Belgian productions, and gets credit from writing the original.)

Wesley Strick – ( Known For: Cape Fear; Arachnophobia; Wolf; Return to Paradise; Final Analysis; True Believer; Love Is the Drug; Future BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Saint; The Glass House; BMT: Doom; The Loft; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Final Analysis in 1993; Notes: Was in the band The Commotion in the 80s, and according to IMDb was the first person to write a script for Scorsese and be allowed to stay on set.)

ActorsKarl Urban – ( Known For: The Sea Beast; Thor: Ragnarok; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; Star Trek; Dredd; Star Trek Beyond; RED; Star Trek Into Darkness; Riddick; The Bourne Supremacy; Pete’s Dragon; And Soon the Darkness; Bent; Acts of Vengeance; Hangman; The Price of Milk; Out of the Blue; Truth About Demons; Future BMT: The Chronicles of Riddick; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; BMT: Doom; Ghost Ship; The Loft; Priest; Pathfinder; Notes: Urban is a legend in BMT circles. He has a particular style of acting which when used well (The Boys) hits just the right note, but when used poorly (Priest) is at least very amusing. He’s from New Zealand.)

James Marsden – ( Known For: Sonic the Hedgehog 2; The Notebook; Sonic the Hedgehog; X-Men; X-Men: Days of Future Past; 27 Dresses; X-Men: The Last Stand; Hairspray; Enchanted; X2: X-Men United; Zoolander; Superman Returns; Sex Drive; 2 Guns; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road; Straw Dogs; My Little Pony: A New Generation; The Boss Baby: Family Business; The Butler; Future BMT: The Best of Me; Disturbing Behavior; Sugar & Spice; Hop; Gossip; Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; BMT: The Loft; Unfinished Business; Notes: He’s just got that American boy look doesn’t he? He’s from Oklahoma and apparently lost out on the role in Primal Fear to Edward Norton.)

Wentworth Miller – ( Known For: The Human Stain; Blood Creek; Future BMT: Underworld; Resident Evil: Afterlife; BMT: The Loft; Stealth; Notes: You know Wentworth Miller … right? He’s from Prison Break and … other things, but mostly Prison Break. He’s actually pretty deep into the DC Arrowverse stuff as he’s in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow with his Prison Break co-star Dominic Purcell.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $6,002,684 (Worldwide: $11,020,402)

(I don’t know why this would cost $14 million (the cast maybe, I suppose they did have to pay three reasonably famous people), but that is a bad take. I imagine they were looking for $30 million on the nose as a small thriller.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (6/42): Populated with characters as unpleasant as its sleazy storyline, The Loft is uninhabitable for all but the least demanding erotic thriller fans.

(Yup, the storyline certainly hasn’t aged well, and it’s only been 8 years. I suppose that is either the point (that any of these terrible people could be a murderer), or it was lost in translation a bit from something one might describe as being “more European”.)

Reviewer Highlight: The Loft is a film that can’t decide what it wants. It’s a male fantasy, and a cautionary tale. It’s sleazy in concept, and timid in execution. It punishes its protagonists for their transgressions, then lets them off the hook. – Katie Rife, AV Club

Poster – The Best Bro Condo

(It is a very striking poster with some nice razzmatazz to go with the purple color. Looks just a bit like a cheap thriller you’d find at the airport, but still… I like how bold they decided to go. B+.)

Tagline(s) – The right place to do wrong (B)

(I like the thought and effort. Not sure what it really has to do with the film, though, as it’s clearly the wrong place to do wrong. They all seem quite upset by the wrong thing that has happened there, so how could it be right? Dumb.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), The Big Wedding (2013), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Vanilla Sky (2001)

Best Options (Thriller): 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 34.2 The Tourist (2010), 32.9 Memory (2022), 23.4 The Loft (2014), 8.9 The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

(Why would we do such a low BMeTric film? Well, The Loft has long been on our radar. Since it is a film that came out during the BMT Era I distinctly remember it coming out and being like “that looks like garbage”. Et voila! It only took 8 years, but we finally managed to hit up The Loft.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Karl Urban is No. 1 billed in The Loft and No. 2 billed in Priest, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 1 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed) which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Matthias Schoenaerts played a lead role in the Belgian original Loft (2008) and is the only actor cast to reprise his role.

Filmed in June and July 2011, but not released until January 2015.

This is Matthias Schoenaerts’ first English-language role.

Patrick Wilson was originally cast as Vincent Stevens, but dropped out due to his commitment to his TV show. He was replaced by Karl Urban.

This will be the second remake of the original Loft (2008), after a Dutch remake (Loft (2010)) was produced. It will also be the third time that director Erik Van Looy is involved: he directed the Belgian original, and temporarily took over the direction duties from Antoinette Beumer for the first remake when she had an accident.

The building you see in the opening and ending scenes is real : it’s 930 Poydras in New Orleans. All the interior scenes were shot in a Belgian studio near Brussels.

When he’s not making movies, director Erik van Looy presents one of the most popular quiz shows on Belgian TV.

Eric Stonestreet is an alum of Kansas State University, where James Marsden’s father teaches.

Sleepless Recap

Jamie

I vividly remember when the Sleepless trailer came out. Why? Because I recall thinking, “are they releasing that to theaters?” I also remember thinking, “boy, that’s a lot of Las Vegas crammed into a single trailer.” So obviously, being obsessive about film settings I was already all in on Sleepless. Even though it felt like a Netflix film or something, I was a bit thrilled that it was getting a wide release. Like 21 Bridges, I just enjoy these types of small thrillers. So the more they can come out and do reasonably well, the more likely another one will come down the pike. Alas, this didn’t do all that well, but at least it (allegedly) existed. And I gotta say, this easily cleared that standard. I can confirm, Sleepless is a film that exists. Mission accomplished.

To recap, Jamie Foxx is a real crooked cop. He’s stealing drugs. He’s killing people. He’s a real bad dude, for sure. Except, wait, he’s also tracking all the drug dealers in Las Vegas in his empty apartment? I’m intrigued. When it turns out that the drugs he stole were actually destined for the biggest and most ruthless drug dealer in the city he’s a little concerned. He’s even more concerned when his son is kidnapped and held for ransom. Gathering up all the drugs, he attempts to deliver it back to the bad guys. Kind of like, “whoopsies” and hope things go OK. But they don’t. That’s because Internal Affairs is tracking him and stole back the drugs. Double whoopsies. Jamie Foxx is able to trick the drug dealers for a little bit, but soon realizes that one of the IA agents is the real corrupt cop. Foxx is able to escape with his son and, after being cornered by the drug dealers, ends up killing them in a bloody shootout (duh). With a last gasp effort he is able to alert the clean IA agent of the dastardly deeds of her partner. The day is saved, the good guys survive, and Vegas is still… Sleepless.

I didn’t mind this film in a throwaway thriller kind of way. Which I think puts it a peg above a normal BMT film. There are certainly things to critique. Like large portions of the plot are driven forwards by coincidence and incompetence on the part of Foxx. The film could have ended any number of times if he just didn’t do something real boneheaded. You could maybe chalk it up to him ultimately wanting to catch/kill the real insane baddie, but… uh… then he’s a pretty awful dad. The ultimate bad dad cop dad. But beyond that it has some fun stuff going on and doesn’t waste time. 

Hot Take Clam Bake up in here. Jamie Foxx 100% percent does not get his family back. Sure he and his ex-wife are having a moment. He just brought down the biggest drug lord in Vegas, saved their son, all while looking dope. Some feelings are boiling back to the surface. Maybe the next day Jamie Foxx drops by and they have a pleasant brunch as a family. But Gabrielle Union’s girlfriends aren’t gonna let that fly. He was undercover for years? What kind of husband and father does that? Was he even thinking of the effect that might have on them? He pretty much ruined his son’s life and almost got him killed. Guess who didn’t do that? Dave. Dave’s been the rock of the family. Dave did everything right. Sure, maybe Dave’s job as an accountant isn’t flashy, but he’s a pretty damn good accountant, ayight. And so a couple weeks later Jamie Foxx is back on the job, feeling like supercop and sniffing around the latest homicide. By the time he looks up Gabrielle Union is posting pics on Insta from Hawaii with Dave. Sorry, bro. You snooze, you lose. Hot Take Temperature: Teriyaki.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Sleepless? Not if you watch this movie you aren’t! Haha, got you. The title just walks right into that one. Let’s go!

  • The film’s biggest crime is that it is rote. Which is the opposite of the original. So it is weird that they took all the interesting ambiguity out of the French film and instead thought “but what if we like … told people what was actually happening explicitly. Then could we set up for a bad sequel idea that will never happen?”
  • Yeah, they set up for a sequel in which the big bad drug dealer dad comes back to Vegas and guess whaaaaaaaat? He’s got the DEA on the payroll. I bet that is going to cause some issues for our boy Foxx … if the sequel ever happened that is. Instead we have a bizarre happy ending in which (presumably) the nice new fiance of Foxx’s ex is dumped unceremoniously because Foxx is now out of deep cover. Horrible.
  • Foxx is good in it, but both Mulroney and McNairy seem seriously miscast. Mulroney doesn’t seem sleazy (you should see the French version, sleaze up the wazoo on that guy) and McNairy doesn’t seem threatening.
  • I might as well just go into why the original is so good. In the original there is no hint that maybe the main character is undercover. Throughout the film it is only mentioned once, when the main character off hand mentions it to the female internal affairs office, but at the time it does actually seem like he might just be lying to get her off his back for a second. In the end he helps her, but that might be just to protect his family. I do ultimately think that he was undercover, but it isn’t wild to think that he wasn’t, that was a lie, and in the end you are in fact watching a bad person get trapped and then do anything to save his family (to the point of potentially getting killed). The film ends with him going to the hospital, and it is unknown whether he survives. It is frenetic and intense and throughout, again, you don’t know whether this person is just the best of a group of bad people or an undercover police officer trying to resolve a complicated situation.
  • This film throws that directly into the trash and decided to make Taken.
  • An incredibly sweaty Setting as a Character (Where?) for Vegas, which honestly is a bit too shiny for what the original was going for, a decrepit Atlantic City would have made more sense, but whatever. Borderline MacGuffin (Why?) for the bad of drugs, but I’ve kind of given up on the idea that a MacGuffin needs to be mysterious, so I think this counts. And horrible Worst Twist (How?) candidate for the sequel tease concerning corrupt DEA agents talking to drug dealers. I think this is closest to BMT, it is an amusing and entertaining watch, but cheesy and dumb at the same time, I liked watching it, but it is definitely a bad film.

Read about the sequel Sleepless 2: Good Night’s Rest in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Sleepless Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I was totes like stealing this drug dealer’s stuff, when he ripped off my mask and bopped me right on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Sleepless?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does Scoot McNairy need the 20 kilos of cocaine from Dermot Mulroney?

2) For his part in the above issue with the cocaine what part of his cousin’s body does Scoot McNairy cut off?

3) In the beginning of the film Monaghan is just coming back from leave. Why was she on leave?

4) The middle part of the film is mostly Foxx running around trying to avoid the bad guys. But for a bit the bad guys are off his back. How does Foxx briefly trick the drug dealers into leaving?

5) At the end everything comes together. Why was Foxx undercover in the end?

Bonus Question: Uh oh, in the mid-credits scene there’s a call for Foxx in the hospital. Who could it be?

Answers