Slender Man Recap

Jamie

A group of teenage girls watch a video describing how to summon the Slender Man and (surprise surprise) accidentally summon Slender Man. Soon one of them is missing, another insane, and the remaining two are trying their damndest to stop the madness. Will they be able to stop the Slender Man before it’s too late? Find out in… Slender Man.

How?! A group of teenage girls stumble upon an online video claiming to summon a demon called Slender Man. Why do they click it? Because some guys they know claimed they were also summoning this Slender Fellow. Cool. They click the video and more or less watch The Ring starring Naomi Watts. Super spooked they decide not to talk about it ever again… that is until one of the girls goes missing, another goes insane, and the other two start to see Slender Chap lurking around every corner. They get in contact with someone online in order to try to make this weird Slender Dude go away (and bring back the other girl I guess), but it kinda gets them in even deeper and roping in one of the girl’s little sister. Eventually they realize that Slender Bloke is more of an idea than a real thing (you know?) and that they really can’t defeat him… so the whole movie is kinda useless other than to serve as a parable of sorts for the dangers of the internet. You wouldn’t get it cause you’re not young and hip like us. It’s an allegory and a metaphor, you know? Anyway, the one girl decides to sacrifice herself to Slender Man to save her sister and she gets absorbed into a tree. For real. THE END.

Why?! Wow… I’m rarely stumped by one of these questions. Ok, so… Slender Man is a demon so he’s just doing it because he’s evil. Easy enough. The girls summon Slender Man because… they hear that some other people are summoning Slender Man. Then they want to stop him so they don’t die. My God. The motivations in this film are tragic.

What?! I assume that they use certain phones and computers for all Slender Man activities but it’s hard to note those kinds of things in the theater. It wasn’t hard to remember the scene where Slender Man began to reach for one of the characters but then it turned out that he was just reaching for a nice refreshing Coca-Cola. That certainly was jarring, but not unexpected. Pepsi’s gross. Slender Man don’t play that.

Who?! I fully expected half the actresses in this film to be aspiring pop stars, but I was incorrect. Instead the most interesting thing about the film is the writing credit given to Victor Surge, the username of the guy who first submitted the Slender Man art to the website SomethingAwful back in the day. By all account this guy has no interest in engaging with his creation and more or less says that he doesn’t even really use the internet much… and yet there have been no less than four feature films made about Slender Man (this one obviously being the biggest) and a full season of a television show. He keeps getting credits. Weird and wild stuff.

Where?! Patrick pointed out to me that all the where and when details are actually shown in the trailer, which is pretty amazing. This film takes place in the small town of Winsford which is apparently in MA. We get some Revolutionary War talk in the middle of the film and also a 978 area code for a character’s phone number. Other than that nothing solid. My guess is that some license plates could be seen, just not easily in the theater where I can’t analyze each frame like it’s the Zapruder film. C+.

When?! Also in the trailer is a MISSING sign for one of the girls which clearly states that she went missing on May 30th, 2018. Makes sense as it’s near the end of the school year. This is a fabulous A-. I certainly wish they mentioned how much fun they had at their Memorial Day slumber party considering that is likely the weekend on which they first watched the video. But alas, guess they didn’t want an A.

This movie is straight terrible… I’m not sure I even need to say more. It feels like an unfinished film. Something that was recut or refilmed after bad previews or to get a PG-13 rating with little regard to the fact that the plot is straight garbage and bereft of any or all motivation or development for the characters. Not to mention that you have a movie monster with no interesting characteristics, no hope of being defeated, and no connection to the physical world… so why would I care about this Slender Guy? I want Bye Bye Man weird dog and coin shit. I want to have them find out that he’s the spirit of a guy who lost his daughter in a tragic boat accident and they have to go out on the misty lake to pull up her bones from the wreckage for a final burial (only to find that she was the demon all along!). I want a real horror film antagonist. Not this half-ass demon bullshit. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! This week we watched a modern day urban legend … what’s that? No, we didn’t watch Urban Legend. Naw, this is a horror film for the technological age … what’s that? No, we’ve already seen FeardotCom. No, you know, the one with the updated boogeyman character … what’s that? Goddamnit, no, we watched The Bye Bye Man last year! Whatever, we watched Slender Man, I was talking about Slender Man. Let’s go!

The Good – Oooooof. There are some shots which are well done. You can kind of see that the director is the most competent part of this film. It manages to keep the tension cranked up to about 8/10 for the whole movie, which is far more than The Bye Bye Man could say. If it could have managed a few more scares people would have probably given it a break at least.

P’s View on the Preview – Obviously the main thing here was the comparisons to The Bye Bye Man. Back to back years you have very not-scary thin men haunting people in rural America? I mean … yes please. The only thing we were hoping for was for the Slender Man to be hilarious. Because The Bye Bye Man looked goofy. Yo looked goofy!

The Bad – He did not look sufficiently goofy. The acting throughout was terrible. No moment in the entire film was scary, not even the jump scares. This film is entirely derivative of other horror films, it is effectively The Ring Ring Man, because it is just the plot of The Ring applied using the bad guy from The Bye Bye Man. The Bye Bye Man was hilarious while this is simply a tragedy, a not-scary nothing movie. Boo! I say boo!

Get Yo Rant On – So yo, first The Bye Bye Man, and now this? Why all the hate on libraries all of a sudden. Naturally when you summon a demon you need to go to the local library to see what you can find. Under “The Bye Bye Man” there should be plenty about the weird albino drifter killing people with his dog. In Slender Man they naturally need to find a book on … demons or something, so they head to the local library. Natch. What’s this, The Super Thin Get-outta Here Man is here?! Who could have guessed it. But seriously … local libraries are struggling enough without today’s youth being afraid of accidentally seeing The Ring Me Once Man or whatever making it all spooky and stuff. Leave the local library alone horror films. End rant.

The BMT – Nope. Merely a not-Bye-Bye-Man which hurts my heart. Get out of here Slender Man you piece of not-scary garbage. Come back when you look goofy. That would have been your saving grace … like if you had a top hat and a slender dog and some like … weird rusty bike sounds plays when you were near. Now we’re cooking with fire!

Welcome to Earf – I needed a little help on this. Joey King was in Slender Man, but I didn’t remember that she was in Independence Day: Resurgence, which also stars Jeff Goldblum who was in Mortdecai with Johnny Depp, who was in Transcendence with Morgan Freeman who was the narrator of Conan the Barbarian (2011), which also starred Ron Perlman who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

Theater reView – There isn’t much Street Cred yet so I’ll let that be for now, but I do think this will be the worst horror film of the year by leagues. As for my theatrical experience … uh, remind me never to go to a Cineworld again. Now, I thought that the one in Chelsea was just an anomaly. Overly expensive and dirty. Nope, that apparently is the norm. Vue is one million times better. First, Vue usually has sweet six pound viewings all of the time. It is clean, and nice, and their kiosks work. Cineworld is garbage. The audience was appropriately muted, and the theater was fine though, nice and packed for a Tuesday night showing of Slender Man.

And that is that. We did all our homework last year by watching The Bye Bye Man, so …

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Flatliners (2017) Recap

Jamie

Looking to scientifically explore the concept of the afterlife, a medical student, Courtney, has four of her peers stop her heart and then resuscitate her. Finding that the procedure improves her mental capacity, they each in turn try the risky procedure to deadly consequences. Can they stop the game before it’s too late? Find out in… Flatliners (2017).

What?! Courtney is a star student at the University of Anonymous Medical School. However, she is haunted (figuratively) by the death of her younger sister in a car accident caused by her own distracted driving. Looking to explore the afterlife, she recruits a few of her fellow students to help her stop her heart and then resuscitate her a minute later. When the experiment is a success and Courtney seems to gain increased mental acuity and memory (straight out of Limitless) the rest of the morons are super into the idea of almost dying too. These supernatural abilities are cool for a second, but it totally turns out that they’ve opened the door to their worst sins coming to life and trying to murder them. Uh oh! After Courtney (now literally haunted by her sister) is killed by what they had assumed were hallucinations, the rest of the dumbos realize they must apologize to those they’ve wronged or suffer the same fate. Once they go through this process they are free from their hauntings and ready to focus on what’s important: scrubbing away all evidence of their involvement in Courtney’s death (that is a real fact, the film ends with them disposing of evidence in a river… not sure what moral we are meant to learn from all this). The End.

Why?! Much like the original film each character in Flatliners has their own motivation for flatlining. Courtney claims to want to make scientific history by proving the existence of the afterlife, but we get the feeling that what she really wants is to overcome the guilt associated with the death of her sister. The next to go is Jamie who simply wants to gain worldwide fame as a Dr. Oz type television personality. Seeing how Jamie and Courtney gain special abilities from the experience, Sophia wants to go next so that she won’t struggle so much in finishing med school. Finally Marlo is just super competitive and goes last. Ray is the fifth member who doesn’t actually flatline and plays the moral compass of the group looking to make sure none of them die.

What?! I’m going to settle this score once and for all. Everyone who says that this isn’t a remake but rather a sequel hasn’t done their due diligence. Yes, Kiefer Sutherland appears in a cameo, but his name is Dr. Barry Wolfson. It’s not Nelson like in the original. “But Jamie, maybe he changed his name after the horrors of the first film.” That would be a good point if it weren’t so dumb. Why would that be the case and they end up doing nothing with it? No sly wink to Courtney/the camera. No “Be careful. Reaserch can be a real killer,” delivered with a smirk  so that all the Flatlinerheads in the cinema can get amped and cheer. Nothing. Just boring old Dr. Barry Wolfson cameoing away. This film is clearly a remake.

Who?! A little case of nepotism up in here. Avery Bederman played the younger sister of Courtney in the film and just so happens to be the daughter of executive producer Michael Bederman. While I could mention that he’s quite successful and was executive producer on Best Picture winner Spotlight, I will instead highlight that he was an uncredited line producer of one of our very favorites of 2014. That’s right! Endless Looooovveeeeeeeee. I have endless love for that book/movie/movie.

Where?! It’s a rarity for us to find a film that goes out of its way to not have a setting. The Tuxedo is a famous example where they digitally scrubbed the film of NYC references following 9/11 to avoid controversy. For Flatliners (2017) I can only presume they just didn’t want to spend the money making Toronto look like Chicago (where the original was set). Instead an unrecognizable city skyline and “Great State” license plates told us all we needed to know: welcome to the great state of Americana, where we bleed red, white, and blue and eat hot dog pie. F.

When?! Temporal settings are hard as it is, even when you have a DVD to pause. In the theater? Forget about it. It might be there, but I’ll have to wait until it’s out on DVD so I can never watch it again probably. F.

My theatrical experience was quite different from BMT Live’s of the past. That’s because my showing was absolutely packed (shocking, I know). I went on a Friday and it was filled to the brim with teenyboppers jockeying for seats next to potential beaus. Despite this, a few of them must have been paying attention because they actually chuckled at the jokes, jumped at some of the scares, and seemed to have a bit of fun. I did not. I had assumed the film was a slim 85 minutes when I entered the theater, but realized an hour in that that was an impossibility. How did you make a 110 minute long ABC television pilot of a film? How and why? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! While reflecting on the remake of Flatliners I liked to imagine the conversation Kiefer had with the writer of this film prior to signing on. Am I playing the same character? Maybe. Well, do I have the same name? Maybe. But are we shooting a scene where I’m the character from the first movie? Probably, but we’ll see if we edit it out in the end … any other questions, Kiefer? Nope, sounds chill. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake; Homework Sklog-signment) – The story is as interesting as ever, and the cast is fine (specifically Luna, Page, and, after a bit of a false start, Clemons). If the original didn’t exist it would be a forgettable albeit still terrible supernatural horror film. Nothing more. Which I guess is a positive. Since this is already a remake might as well get the review of Flatliners (1990) out of the way: I dug the Gothic look a ton, and the cast was incredible (even if the acting wasn’t always). I loved the idea … right up until they were getting haunted by spooky ghosts. There is a better story concerning doctors exploring life after death, which I guess is why Flatliners is more on the cult side of cult classics. And … why they really needed to do something new for this remake. A group of doctors one-upping themselves. Going further. Getting addicted. Breaking down psychologically, and the one that dreamt it up (and dreamt of fame) finally snapping when he realizes he’ll have to share the spotlight with those he considers less than him. Go true blue low-budget mad scientist. At least then you’d bulletproof against it being a bomb, and you don’t devolve into the supernatural (at least, when you don’t have anything new or interesting to say).

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – The supernatural part of the story is the weakest and ends up handcuffing the film into a trite jump-scare horror that is honestly not scary, not interesting, and no fun. There is also a major divergence from the original in which the doctors go a little limitless (although The Fly is what came to mind initially) after flatlining. Bullshit, people would have noticed they were geniuses after dying for a minute. A recent Sklognalogy is Godsend. Although there at least you get that awesome mad scientist character in DeNiro. Here, Page ended up dying halfway through, and wasn’t even the same kind of unhinged madman that Kiefer eventually morphed into in the original.

The BMT (Legacy; StreetCreditReport.com) – This is the second year in a row August didn’t serve up a serviceable Summer Live, but we did wait it out to get something with a truly dire Rotten Tomatoes score. We’ll see about the legacy. I think it depends on the Razzies, and it has a better chance than Mechanic Resurrection did last year of snagging a few. I think the 4% Rotten Tomatoes score speaks for itself for street cred, but there won’t be worst-of lists for a while to confirm. I’m on the edge of my seat!

I already did the Homework Sklog-signment, but I might as well give a little BMT Live Theater Review! I watched at the Cineworld on Fulham Road and, wow, what an absolutel shithole. No offense, but it is just kind of getting run down, and I have a feeling it will close soon. The Fulham Broadway Vue is way better, not to mention the enormous (and posh) Westfield Vue. Anyways, there was a surprising number of people, mostly older, one who just couldn’t figure out how not to eat popcorn ridiculously loudly. No audience reaction at all. Which for a purported horror film is not the best I think. The only really remarkable thing though is that there were (count em!) 30 minutes of commercials and trailers before the film. Mostly commercials. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten angry about that, but it was just way too many. I could have left my house after the movie started and easily got there before the movie actually started. No fun … maybe I’m getting old.

Cheerios, 

the Sklogs

Fifty Shades Darker Recap

Jamie

What?! After their “dramatic” break-up in the first film, Christian Grey realizes that he can’t live without Anastasia Steele. Promising to give up his S&M lifestyle they get back together. Can they make it work? Find out in… Fifty Shades Darker… seriously, that’s all this is about.

Why?! Mostly it’s because Christian Grey is a broken, lonely man who needs to learn to love and he feels like Anastasia Steele is the first thing in his life that truly gives him that opportunity. As for Anastasia it’s oddly about taking control of her life and becoming more assertive about what she wants personally and professionally in part by giving into her desires with Christian (bit of a contradiction, no?). By setting her ground rules and allowing herself to do what she wants, she unshackles herself from societal norms and flies fr… blech… sorry, I just puked all over myself.

How?! Imagine just watching a couple people dating for two hours. That’s this movie. They just go on dates and stuff. Incredibly dramatic things happen to them (she almost gets raped, he is involved in a helicopter crash, she is held at gunpoint by a crazy former lover of Christian’s) and yet five seconds after these things happen they are forgotten and we continue to watch them argue casually over wine. There was a moment where they were having dinner where I actually thought, “Imagine if this never ended? That I had to sit here watching these two boring people go to dinner over and over again.” A cold shiver ran down my spine. That’s how mundane it all was. So yeah… that’s “how” it all went down. Oh, and they got engaged in the end. That was the climax (sigh, I feel like I can’t even celebrate that pun). Thank God the music was dope.

Who?! Ha! Just thinking about a version of this film that included a Planchet is amusing to me. Like if Christian Grey’s chauffeur Taylor was some chubby, bumbling fool that is the brunt of Christian’s constant chiding. That would be cool. As it is, there is no Planchet. So just gonna shout out my girl Kim Basinger. It’s a crime her role is so small this time around, but I heard it’s bigger in 2018’s future BMT film Fifty Shades Freed. Things are looking up for 2018!

Where?! If you didn’t know (but who doesn’t at this point) these books started as Twilight fan fiction. Accordingly, this film takes place in Seattle, Washington. Most notable Anastasia works at SIP, Seattle Independent Press. Also, the Space Needle is basically a character in the film given how many times we see it in establishing shots. B

When?! The major downside of BMT Live! is the inability to try to figure out exactly when the film takes place by analyzing the film frame-by-frame Zapruder-style. One would think that it’s immediately following the last film. It’s implied that they actually didn’t break up for all that long, so probably June right after graduating. This is supported by E.L. James’ assertion that Christian’s birthday is June 18th (perhaps detailed specifically in the book?), so basically they broke up for two weeks, she started her job, and then like two weeks later they got back together and got engaged. The thing that really shoots this in the foot is that you can see Christmas decorations on store windows when they’re walking around Seattle. Come on, guys. Think about the poor children trying to piece this timeline together. Think of the children! D-

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Fifty Shades Darker?! More like Fifty More Movies please! Not really, one more movie exactly please (I feel strangely sad when movie series get cut short, plus the third is already filmed). We had a night at the movies. Was it an entertaining girls night (and Patrick!) night on the town!? Or was it so awkward I wondered if I perhaps had stumbled into a British comedy series?! Spoiler alert: I’ve never been so uncomfortable in my life. Let’s go!

  • The Good – The music was jamalaming. The film makes you think … more on that later. Dakota Johnson is a fine actress and does an admirable job. I don’t exactly remember the first movie, I know it happened to me but almost no details beyond that there was a sex contract, but I do know the sex scenes in this one came a lot faster and furiouser which I’m sure satisfied many of the target audience in attendance in my sparsely populated theater.
  • The Bad – Dornan is straight awful. Kim Basinger was given way too little to do (I nearly forgot she was in this). Oh, and literally nothing happens in the film. Basically she dumped his ass in the first film, and he comes back being like “You’re so plain I love you so much, I need you, I’m a billionaire” and then they date for a while. There is a stalker but that is dispatched quickly. Anastasia’s boss goes from zero to rape in 1.5 seconds, which was alarming. And Dornan get paid to look like a complete asshole for two hours. All in all it was a perplexing and yet fascinating time.
  • The BMT – Yes. I’m actually pretty sure this is the worst film of the year. I think it is. It is polished, it looks great, it has some decent acting here and there, but it is also boring, and yet consistently and often humorously terrible. I feel like I need to watch this film again, which makes me uncomfortable to my core. If that isn’t a 80+ BMeTric I’m not sure what is. I’m drawn to it like a fly into an electric fly zapper.

Oh my favorite of all the games: BMT Live! Theater Experience. So basically my plan of action for this film was to show up 15 after the official showtime to ensure the theater is dark, and sit near the exit. Great plan in theory. What actually happened was that the theater was still quite bright when I then very conspicuously entered and sat approximately 40 feet from everyone else. Also, since I was right near the exit anyone who entered after me would go around this little wall and kind of come face-to-face with creeper #1 sitting there like a creeper. Once the movie kicked off the rowdiness was sadly kept to a minimum, but I did indeed manage to bolt out of the theater and around the corner before, I think, anyone else even had a chance to get their things. It is the small victories I savor. This was bar-none the most awkward theater experience of my life. As I sat there it was almost a religious experience. A pariah, alone and consuming delights not meant for me. Reacting with disgust, but was it meant to evoke lust or joy? I would not know, for I was not the intended audience. This is something I do love with BMT in a bizarre way, particularly with Madea films. Watching something not meant for me. Wondering if what I was experiencing was intended in any way by the creators. In this case, I don’t think so, this was one for the ladies. Get yo movies, ladies. BMT Live!

Cheerios, 

The Sklogs

Keeping Up With the Joneses Recap

Jamie

I went into the theater for Keeping Up with the Joneses thinking the worst. It would be like Unfinished Business where you hate everyone and the jokes are lame or offensive. I can say that I was wrong. The jokes weren’t offensive in the least (their lameness is a different story) and the characters were at least sympathetic enough that you could sit and enjoy their story. Unfortunately the script was half-baked. Maybe they pushed it out the door too quickly or rewrote it one too many times, but the pacing was way off for what is purportedly a comedy/action film. To the point where a major car chase scene occurs and it plays out like an episode of Chuck (nailed that relevant reference!). Does this all add to a 21% on RT? I don’t think so since I actually liked the characters and somewhat enjoyed watching their story. But, who cares? This is definitely not getting a Razzie nomination, emirite? ….

Keeping Up with the Joneses is a film that could have gotten away with not having a setting since it is set in an innocuous small-ish US city. It almost seems out of sheer laziness that this film ended up being explicitly set in Atlanta, Georgia. This is as ‘meh’ a physical location case as we can get for Settings 101: Fire Engine says “Atlanta”, Georgia license plates, and small ‘Atlanta’ signs next to a hotel and company. Cool story, bro. Straight up C, obviously. Could have been Nashville or Kansas City or Salt Lake City, etc. But since they filmed in Atlanta, why not? As for the temporal setting we know that the entire film is set in a two week span in June. Not only do we see Galifianakis’ kids sent off to summer camp in the beginning (implying June), but a big cookout in the middle of the film is called “Junetoberfest.” Oh yeah, and the film opens with a house exploding and Zach Galifianakis telling us that his neighborhood was “the safest place to be until two week earlier.” So clearly June… probably 2015. While an exact date is not provided to us directly, we do catch a glimpse of an alarm clock that appears to say that the date is June 13th (hard to tell since I can’t pause and rewind a film in theaters). Given that the day when we see the clock is probably Saturday, then we have a soft date of June 13th, 2015 that the film centers around. That also sounds like a C. While both settings are pretty mediocre this does further my conviction that you can probably figure out the setting of almost every film. Given how easily I’ve been able to discern location and (almost) exact date for every film we’ve watched I’m convinced that somewhere out there is a “missing” Delaware film that no one knows is actually set in Delaware. Someday I will find it… someday.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Keeping Up With the Joneses?! More like Making Me Weep and Moan(ses)! We went to the theater to see Boo! A Madea Halloween, but instead got served a big helping of overdone spy spoof. Why-o-why-o can’t the UK have Madea saying “hellur” to me big screen style? We may never know. Let’s get into Keeping Up With the Joneses:

  • The Good – The characters were actually shockingly likeable. A total about face from most recent bad comedies. The storyline was surprisingly fresh considering there have been something like four spy spoofs out in the past year or so. Galifianakis has his moments.
  • The Bad – Places said Hamm did okay, but I found him, Gadot, and Fisher all about the same level of blah. The script reeks of punch up and yet still is surprisingly low on laughs. I got three chuckles and one decent laugh, and the decent laugh was because I was watching in a theater in London and they make fun of British people’s teeth at one point. By the way, terribly old school joke which, again, reeked of punch up. The story is extremely straightforward and they still manage to fall into the voiceover-flashback-to-two-weeks-earlier trope which is just so classically bad comedy.
  • The BMT – Nope. This film is destined to be forgotten and will likely garner zero Razzie noms (unless they throw Gadot a nom in combination with Batman v Superman which I could sadly see, I hate combo noms). It is a lot better than its rottentomatoes score suggests (lower than Tammy which is laughable). It is like a ten most likely and I anticipate its rating will increase as people watch on VOD in the coming months and its BMeTric will reflect it by staying steady around 10.

Let’s get a quick Theater Review in because it was kind of boring. Why? Because I think I literally sat in the same theater as I did for The Mechanic: Resurrection. The gigantic Vue in Westfield was swamped with early Thursday showings for Doctor Strange, but there was still a few people in my theater. They blocked off an enormous section of the theater for “VIP” seats (I ain’t paying for that!) which is I guess a trend where they force you to sit literally on the screen or in the back row unless you pay them extra money. Whatever. There were a few talkers early, but they settled down and I thought the response from the audience was appropriately muted with sparse laugher when a particularly decent joke landed. Good showing all around.

Oh oh oh yeah. And a very quick Product Sklog-ment brought to you by McDonald’s. Da-da-da-da-da, we’re lovin’ it! Because this movie had a few impressive ones in there. Every computer was a Dell, but mainly the gigantic Mercedes logos everywhere. And Mercedes already has obnoxiously large logos. This is how movies like this make money, the chase scene was basically an extended commercial for the car brand. I’ll take my leave there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mechanic: Resurrection Recap

Jamie

This week we watched Mechanic: Resurrection in theaters for BMT: Live! A tradition whereby the bad movie twins attempt to find movies that have even remotely similar US and UK release dates. I’m going to take it upon myself to put this film into context with the original Mechanic and the 2011 remake. I’ll let Patrick do most (but not all) of the talking about Mechanic: Resurrection. The original film starring Charles Bronson was very similar to Get Carter. He is an old school gangster that gets a little caught up with some personal feelings, which puts him on the wrong side of his boss (in this case he takes a shine to his hitman mentor’s son and decides he wants to train him to be his replacement, which doesn’t make his boss very happy). In the end they decide to take him out and he is killed (but not before killing everyone that got in his way). That’s almost exactly Get Carter, but not quite as good. With the 2011 remake they shifted from a subdued thriller to a straight action. As a result, Statham and Ben Foster had to bumble and stumble their way through every job. They botch everything. Of course this is what happens when you want to make a hitman thriller into a straight action. They have to fuck up every job so that their only escape is through massive stunts and violence. It was shit. It’s actually super surprising that it got >50% on RT. I would have pegged it at high 30’s. Almost every change made from the original was a mistake and there was some rididididiculous writing on display (I could write a whole blog post on the medical jargon employed in the film, for it was absurd). So nowhere to go but up, right? Wrong. I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to say that a film we’ve watched is truly awful. Mechanic: Resurrection is truly awful. It’s like the makers watched last year’s horrendous Hitman: Agent 47 and looked around and said, “Shit… they’ve cracked the code. Perfection,” and browsed through whatever properties they owned so they could create the exact same film for this year. It was nonsense. The funniest thing about all this: the remake actually got the plot right this time! Instead of just having the hitman screw up in order to create action they had him cajoled into doing sloppy and near-impossible mission in order to save a loved one. That actually makes more sense, and yet it was still a pile of trash.

God damn do I love Settings 101. Once again we got a great settings film in Mechanic: Resurrection. It also was one of the more difficult films to assess of our recent fare. On the face of it Mechanic: Resurrection is a classic B settings film. Everywhere you go you are told explicitly through intertitle where exactly you are in the world. So you are never confused as we jump from Brazil to Thailand to Malaysia to Australia to Bulgaria. But as you can see from that list this is essentially a roadtrip film (what Patrick termed the globetrotter film). Do I consider it set in Australia? Thailand? Bulgaria? If we were making a mapl.de.map is this penalized because it doesn’t spend a lot of time in a singular location? After much gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes we came to the conclusion that this would not be a penalty. Here they are clear enough and the locations used well enough that this earns a solid B+ in Settings 101. It’s all about how clear the location is and how much it factors into the plot. For the record I would push for the film to count towards Bulgaria. I feel like it was the most solid location of the five. Australia has an argument as does Thailand, but that would be my vote (I’m sure you all were wondering).

Patrick

‘Ello everyone? Mechanic: Resurrection? I’m going a little NYPost back splash on you: The Mechanic Should Have Stayed Dead! Buuuuurned. It was BMT Live! So far I would say we’ve been remarkably successful with our in theater choices, did the streak continue? Let me put it this way … I have OPINIONS! Let’s hear them.

  • The Good – Who can’t resist a little Statham charm, and a little gratuitous Jessica Alba butt that makes you feel a bit dirty, you know? Considering the overall quality of the film some of the shots they managed to get are impressive. One more word: globetrotting. C’mon, everyone loves some great views.
  • The Bad – Nearly everything. I’ll speak a bit more on the theater experience below, but this is as close as I’ve ever come to walking out of a film. Five minutes in I thought “seriously … what the fuck is this?”. Usually bad movies are skilled people with good intentions when everything goes wrong. This, somehow, came across as watching people bad at their job do it badly. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say the budget just didn’t match the aspirations. Amateurish is the word to describe the film. Expository would describe the script. Literally, there is a whole thirty minutes with pure monologues which sound like this: “Crain and I grew up as child soldiers trained in the East End. I escaped, and he’s never forgiven me for it.” First, seriously, c’mon, my workmates got a kick out of the mere idea of child soldiers trained in the East End, it is ludicrous. Second, how didn’t this come up in the first movie? This mysterious past didn’t come across in the slightest until literally right now. Alba’s backstory was equally ridiculous and is just deadpanned to the camera for a minute straight. Tommy Lee Jones is a gunrunner with a heart of gold! While mind you, still controlling the entirety of the European and South American arms trades, as if only “the little guy” needs guns in those parts of the world. I could go on for days, and I have. I literally whispered to myself “is this the worst movie I’ve ever seen?” Of course it isn’t, it isn’t even the worst movie I’ve seen in theaters, but while watching it it certainly seemed like the nadir of something.
  • The BMT – I would watch this movie a thousand times over. If there is any good in the world this movie will ultimately break 50 on the BMeTric and enter the pantheon. But I fear it will go the way of Hitman: Agent 47, forgotten and forgiven for all the hurt and pain it had caused. For shame.

As promised a little note on the Theater Sklog-sperience: This was my first venture to the Westfield mall in Shepherd’s Bush and the Vue there is fantastic. Great seat, courteous audience, awful awful (awful) movie. As I walked there I reflected on the fact that Hitman films just … kind of suck. You have a superman of a “good” guy, and the only way the kills are action-y in reality is if the person screws them up. The original Mechanic did a good job combatting both of those pitfalls and yet still was kind of boring (it’s like Get Carter, but I liked Get Carter more). The remake has Ben Foster literally screw everything up twice just so we could get some action. Not a good look. Even walking there I knew I wasn’t going to have a great time.

I’ll leave it there because I’ve written a lot. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Warcraft Recap

Jamie

Before Patrick gets his say on this I’m going to go ahead and address the odd dichotomy between fan and critic reactions to Warcraft. I honestly think they’re both kinda wrong about this. The critics are being a bit harsh in criticizing the fact that straight gobbledegook is sprayed at your face for over two hours and you’re expected to understand what is happening. Welcome to fantasy. They are playing at a disadvantage and trying to establish something for future entries in the series. Besides it looked great, so sit back and relax and don’t worry so much. But I’m not one to buy into the whole “the film did what it set out to do.” That’s bullshit, a bad film is a bad film. So at the same time the fans need to understand that at some point you have to stop forgiving bad films for being bad just because they never set out to be particularly good. Just because Warcraft didn’t want to have a real plot (you know, one with a beginning, middle, and end rather than just a long middle) and its pacing problem were not their fault, doesn’t mean it’s better than it actually is. It’s a mediocre film. BMT? I’m not so sure, but it was pretty fun to watch for BMT.

For my game I think I’ll Sklogify the cast. I think the most obvious recasting would have been Nic Cage as the wizard Medivh. I would also consider Ray Liotta, but he already did evil wizard in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. I think Kellen Lutz would play our main action star Anduin Lothar, Selena Gomez as the orc(ish) warrior (although I would also love to see Fergie in the role), and Neal McDonough as the King (LudaChris Klein is a good option here too, but Neal is a little more regal with his striking ice blue eyes. Billy Zane is on line 8 if everyone else turns us down). For the main Orc, Durotan, I think I’ll go with Alex Pettyfer, but besides that the orcs can be played by unknowns since you don’t really see who they are. We just really need that main orc to be as wooden as possible and we know Pettyfer can deliver. Finally for the already woefully miscast young wizard you have to go with Taylor Lautner (make a bad thing worse). God, Taylor Lautner and Selena Gomez in the same movie. Be still my heart. I think that film is properly Sklogified.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Warcraft?! More like Warcrap! We went live for this one, let’s get into it!

  • The Good – The first 30 minutes of this movie had me thinking I was seeing a true blue amazing fantasy tale. The 3D and CGI was pretty stunning throughout. The main plotline has been making me think “hey, I could watch a few more of these movies, this is kind of fun”. It really is a beautiful film.
  • The Bad – The plot is also completely scattershot. They jump from place to place and confuse the viewer consistently for the entire middle part of the film. I could never see myself sitting down and watching the film again, it would be too boring. The wizard character is a complete miscast, it is as if I dressed up for a Renaissance fair and ended up in the movie, that is how ridiculously misplaced he seemed at all times. The final third is a complete incomprehensible mess.
  • The BMT – It won’t ever be BMT and that’s because its IMDb rating will never drop below 7.0, that is a fact. I loved it as a Live! because it is really divisive, but it shall remain around the worst BMT we’ve ever done (and likely the highest rated BMT film on IMDb forever more). I would think this would be a 25 though, average. It is honestly around where critics should have rated this, 30-40, slightly more forgiving. The sub-30 this movie got is kind of absurd, but so is the IMDb score. It is an enigma.

Let’s see. I’m having a hell of a time trying to figure out a good game for this one actually. So I’m going special BMT Live: Theater Experience edition. I viewed this movie at the Fulham Road Cineworld in London. At the time the showings were already getting a bit sparse, usually one per day per theater, and exclusively 3D. I grabbed the earliest showing I could find (9:10PM blah) and bought an absurdly priced ticket (you also buy the glasses here, 16 pounds). There were more people than normal in my BMT Live showing, around a dozen or so. And the couple behind me decided to talk throughout the previews in French (?, couldn’t tell) and were (I think) cracking open beers as well. But everything quieted down for the movie and I had an unusually pleasant viewing experience. I was pretty proud of myself: despite not really knowing what was happening at times I remained awake and alert throughout. This was also the fourth movie in a row where no one was in the theater when I arrived five minutes before it started, which I guess is common when you book specific seats? I don’t know. I rate the experience a B+, there was a weird overhead light that bothered me throughout, but otherwise a delightful time.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs