Cannonball Run II Preview

As we enter the bar to put our names in for the high stakes karaoke competition, Patrick and I get a glimpse of the crowd and can see in their eyes that they want a sexy show. Time to pull out all the stops! We fit ourselves into the snuggest jean shorts we can find and show off the goods. Despite our jorts-limited range of motion, the crowd is pleased by the sensual and yet classy dance routine/karaoke masterpiece we perform in perfect unison. Never before has John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland” rung so true. With chests heaving and jorts soaked with sweat, we exit the stage to raucous applause. The next singer approaches the stage only to have garbage and rotten vegetables thrown at them. “Jamie and Patrick! Jamie and Patrick!” The crowd chants in ecstasy. We return to the stage and perform a three hour encore show. We are showered with record deals, but the big road race awaits and we have no time for overnight success. The emcee of the show approaches and hands us the prize: a golden microphone and enough money for one way tickets back to the States. We look longingly at the stage, but know that this dream will fade, but the friendship we’ve forged fighting to save the world from the Obsidian Dongle, that… is forever. We board the plane and arrive in Delaware just in time for The No Rulez Road Race where rulez are decidedly not coolz. That’s right! We’ve got another double feature this week as we partake in the classic The Cannonball Run series of films. This is part of the chain reaction going from Underclassman. We’re using Cheech Marin to get from that film to Cannonball Run II as he was *check notes* “Tire Store Employee (Uncredited)”… … … hmmmm, stay tuned next week to find out if we have to mend this chain because it sounds like he’s not even in Cannonball Run II. Great. Let’s go!

Cannonball Run II (1984) – BMeTric: 54.8

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(If The CannonBall run rises in such a way that it floats about the transition point from good-to-bad, this is just on the other side, managing to rise up enough to become a significant bad movie choice. Given it was released in the early 80s this is actually a pretty solid achievement.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sequel to the 1981 box-office hit looks like someone’s bad home movies. Amateurish action comedy with tons of tacky guest-star cameos. What a waste! Final film roles for Martin and Sinatra.

(That last bit is a bit sad. The entire thing is also amusing in that is can be summed up as: this is barely a movie. Coincidentally, that is our most common criticism of films like this, that they are barely-movies and I don’t really know why we watch them.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vT8_gg7VU8

(Joe Theismann! Anyways, this looks like complete garbage as you would expect. Although, I do enjoy that they put Burt Reynolds’ terrible fake laugh into the trailer. It is an important part of his character in these films I feel like.)

Directors – Hal Needham – (Known For: Smokey and the Bandit; Hooper; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Megaforce; Stroker Ace; Cactus Jack; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1983 for Megaforce; in 1984 for Stroker Ace; and in 1985 for Cannonball Run II; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: His run in the early 80s (aided and abetted by Burt Reynolds apparently) is astounding as his Razzie nominations (back when that meant something goddamnit!) indicate.)

Writers – Brock Yates (characters creator) – (Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Notes: Wrote the original screenplay and created the actual Cannonball Run race. It is interesting he doesn’t have a credit on Speed Zone which is often referred to as Cannonball Run III.)

Hal Needham (written by) – (Known For: Smokey and the Bandit; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Megaforce; Stroker Ace; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1983 for Megaforce; in 1984 for Stroker Ace; and in 1985 for Cannonball Run II; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: He wrote four television (prequel) movies for Smokey and the Bandit. They claim to all have been released in 1994 … so perhaps some sort of vague mini-series.)

Albert S. Ruddy (written by) – (Known For: The Mean Machine; Cloud 9; Future BMT: Bad Girls; Megaforce; The Longest Yard; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: Huge producer. He created Hogan’s Heroes and Walker, Texas Ranger as well.)

Harvey Miller (written by) – (Known For: Private Benjamin; Future BMT: Protocol; Getting Away with Murder; BMT: Cannonball Run II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: A famous comedy writer he was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Private Benjamin)

Actors – Burt Reynolds – (Known For: Boogie Nights; Deliverance; Smokey and the Bandit; Bean; Dog Years; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; All Dogs Go to Heaven; The Player; The Mean Machine; Hooper; Sharky’s Machine; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask; White Lightning; Silent Movie; The End; Semi-Tough; Citizen Ruth; Hustle; Best Friends; Switching Channels; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; Smokey and the Bandit Part 3; Cop & ½; Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Delgo; Without a Paddle; City Heat; Stroker Ace; Hotel; Deal; Meet Wally Sparks; The Crew; Rent-a-Cop; The Man Who Loved Women; The Longest Yard; Gator; Physical Evidence; Malone; At Long Last Love; Heat; Stick; Mystery, Alaska; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Striptease; Driven; Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Trigger Happy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Cop & ½ in 1994; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1985 for Cannonball Run II, and City Heat; and in 1989 for Rent-a-Cop, and Switching Channels; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1997 for Striptease; in 2002 for Driven; in 2006 for The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Longest Yard; and in 2009 for Deal, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; Notes: Y’all know Burt Reynolds. He at one point owned a USFL team (the Tampa Bay Bandits) and ran a NASCAR Winston Cup team with Hal Needham (Mach 1 Racing).)

Dom DeLuise – (Known For: Blazing Saddles; Spaceballs; Robin Hood: Men in Tights; History of the World: Part I; Johnny Dangerously; The Secret of NIMH; Oliver & Company; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; An American Tail; All Dogs Go to Heaven; The Muppet Movie; An American Tail: Fievel Goes West; Fail-Safe; Silent Movie; The End; The Twelve Chairs; The Glass Bottom Boat; The Cheap Detective; Fatso; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; The Silence of the Hams; Loose Cannons; A Troll in Central Park; Haunted Honeymoon; All Dogs Go to Heaven 2; Wholly Moses!; Happily Ever After; Sextette; Girl Play; The World’s Greatest Lover; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Haunted Honeymoon in 1987; Notes: Had three sons who all became regular television actors one shows like 21 Jump Street, seaQuest DSV, The Wizards of Waverly Place, and 3rd Rock From the Sun.)

Dean Martin – (Known For: Robin and the 7 Hoods; Airport; Some Came Running; Ocean’s Eleven; The Sons of Katie Elder; Rio Bravo; The Young Lions; Kiss Me, Stupid; Road to Bali; Artists and Models; Bells Are Ringing; Come Blow Your Horn; Toys in the Attic; The Caddy; Scared Stiff; Future BMT: 4 for Texas; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Notes: One of the original Rat Pack, the three main members (Sinatra, Davis, and Martin) all appear in this film.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $28,078,073

(One-third of the gross of the original which … isn’t great. So not surprised they didn’t go for a third.)

#21 for the Car Racing genre

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(Lower than Need for Speed and Driven! The only BMT film which grossed less in Redline, ooooooooooooooof. Died in the 90s, resurrected by The Fast and the Furious among other things.)

#89 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(Around Duece Bigelow: European Gigolo. The Highest grossing film we’ve ever seen in this genre is Grown Ups 2. We are still in the process of coming down from a heady high in this genre, we’ll see in the next few years if we rebound. The fact that the only real comedy sequel this year had to be Kickstarted (Super Troopers 2) probably doesn’t bode super well.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (2/15): No consensus yet.

(I’ll just have to make a consensus: An anachronistic, lazy, laugh-free embarrassment. Are you waiting for a punchline? That’s it, this film is garbage. Reviewer Highlight: Cannonball Run II is one of the laziest insults to the intelligence of moviegoers that I can remember. – Roger Ebert)

Poster – The No Rulez Race II: Even Less Rulez (A-)

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(Despite the number of things happening on the poster, I think this kind of works. Nicely balanced, nice yellow adventure film coloring, and some font to boot. Pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – The popcorn is in the lobby. The nuts are on the screen. (A+++++++++++)

(Ahahahahahahaha. Can something be so wrong that it’s right? My god do I love this tagline. When/if Patrick and I write a fake movie about the bad movie twins and their underwater adventure to save the world this will 100% be the tagline. Copyright laws be damned!)

Keyword(s) – chase; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.7 Catwoman (2004); 94.6 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.5 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 89.0 The Last Airbender (2010); 88.7 House of the Dead (2003); 86.0 The Avengers (1998); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.8 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011);

(Smashing chase films. Not even a joke. Just House of the Dead … can we bear another Uwe Boll film?)

Notes – Frank Sinatra’s cameo was his final acting role in a theatrical film, though he would make one final appearance in the television movie Young at Heart (1995). All his other appearances from here on would be in documentaries and retrospectives. (Not a super great conclusion to a career … playing yourself in Cannonball Run II)

Sir Roger Moore later regretted his decision to turn down a role in this film, after finding out Frank Sinatra was appearing. In his autobiography, he states of this, “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but too few to mention.”

Final of the 1970s to 1980s action car stunt comedies for Burt Reynolds. These films included the Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run film franchises, as well as Stroker Ace (1983) and Hooper (1978). (Box office bomb did it in I assume)

As this movie features Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Shirley MacLaine, it is arguably the final ever “Rat Pack” movie (original Rat Pack members Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford are not in this film). For this movie, it was the final film for Martin and Sinatra. (Don’t call it that …)

Final “Cannonball Run” movie for all of the cast except Jamie Farr, who appeared in the third movie, Cannonball Fever (1989). (I had to look this up … this is called Speed Zone, and is not related to the other films I don’t think)

Jackie Chan appeared as part of a contractual obligation to Warner Brothers. (Ah that makes sense)

Bobby Berosini’s orangutan and Tony Danza appeared in Going Ape! (1981). (Oh …. That makes sense)

Hal Needham, on the first film’s commentary, talked about how Frank Sinatra showed up very early on the set of this film to get his parts shot, and then left before the other actors even showed up. If you watch closely during the office scene, Sinatra is never on film with the other actors. A few times his back is shown with the other characters facing him, but this is a double. (WHAAAAAAAAT)

Burt Reynolds said in 1982, a couple of years before this picture, that he wasn’t going to make any more “car chase” movies. (Then he was shown the big bucks)

On certain original Beta video covers, it stated this movie was the debut of the monster truck Bigfoot in a motion picture, cashing in on the popularity of the truck in the mid 1980s. It’s not true, as Bigfoot first appeared in Take This Job and Shove It (1981). (LOL)

Aside from playing Victor Prinzim, Dom DeLuise also played mob boss Don Cannelloni, who behaves and speaks similar to The Godfather (1972)’s main character, Don Corleone. DeLuise played a similar character in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), a film directed by his long time collaborator Mel Brooks. He also played a similar character in The Godson (1998). (Yeah, it is the same as in Robin Hood, I recognized that)

Frank Sinatra was not happy with the movie, asking how his character was supposed to win the Cannonball Run after joining it on its final leg. He was under the impression it was a race where the first person across the finish line was the winner, and no one explained you clock in at the start, and clock off at the end. (Wait … did he win? They suggested Tony Danza and the ape did I thought)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Albert S. Ruddy, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Burt Reynolds, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Shirley MacLaine, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Sammy Davis Jr., 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Susan Anton, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Marilu Henner, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Hal Needham, 1985)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Harvey Miller, Hal Needham, Albert S. Ruddy, 1985)

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The Cannonball Run Preview

NOTE: This is a BONUS BMT this week in preparation for Cannonball Run II. To read up on the continued adventures of the Bad Movie Twins see the Cannonball Run II preview.

The Cannonball Run (1981) – BMeTric: 24.4

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(It is kind of amazing that there was only five thousand votes for a 1981 smash hit film in 2004 or whatever. Very consistent BMeTric, so basically it is rising just one might expect for a crap film slowly gaining votes over time.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Just what civilization needs – more Reynolds car-chase silliness, inspired by the same cross-country road race depicted in The Gumball Rally and Cannonball. Pretty unendurable, despite unusual cast; rumor has it that the one responsible for casting Dino and Sammy as priests is still doing his Hail Marys. Followed by a sequel.

(Hell yeah this was followed by a sequel. I’m quite shocked this is supposed to be so bad. I had it pegged as a not-funny but very successful minor comedy of the 80s more famous for spawning an infamous sequel than anything else. And it seems that actually both are reviled for mostly the same reasons.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2hGFN8NlLQ

(Oh shit they put the fox cartoon at the front of the trailer! Jeez lousie! Farrah Fawcett is looking … a little cold in the early part of that trailer. Terrible trailer, primarily because it muddles the entire plot of the film in my opinion. You obviously can’t fly … like, any transcontinental flight would have crushed those goobers. Just nonsense. Crazy cast, and I’m actually rather surprised that Jackie Chan gets a shout out in the trailer (although this is likely a home video trailer, not theatrical, so it could have been after he was already famous))

Directors – Hal Needham – (Known For: Smokey and the Bandit; Hooper; Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Megaforce; Stroker Ace; Cactus Jack; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1983 for Megaforce; in 1984 for Stroker Ace; and in 1985 for Cannonball Run II; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Cannonball Run II in 1985; Notes: Was primarily a stuntman and is well known for training a new generation of stuntmen and pushing for recognition for their work in film. There is a sad tale to the film though.)

Writers – Brock Yates (written by) – (Future BMT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; BMT: Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Notes: The creator of the actual Cannon Ball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. The ambulance in the film was the actual car he drove in the first race.)

Actors – Burt Reynolds – (Known For: Boogie Nights; Deliverance; Smokey and the Bandit; Bean; Dog Years; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; All Dogs Go to Heaven; The Player; The Mean Machine; Hooper; Sharky’s Machine; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask; White Lightning; Silent Movie; The End; Semi-Tough; Citizen Ruth; Hustle; Best Friends; Switching Channels; Future BMT: The Dukes of Hazzard; Smokey and the Bandit Part 3; Cop & ½; Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Delgo; Without a Paddle; City Heat; Stroker Ace; Hotel; Deal; Meet Wally Sparks; The Crew; Rent-a-Cop; The Man Who Loved Women; The Longest Yard; Gator; Physical Evidence; Malone; At Long Last Love; Heat; Stick; Mystery, Alaska; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Striptease; Driven; Cannonball Run II; The Cannonball Run; Trigger Happy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Cop & ½ in 1994; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1985 for Cannonball Run II, and City Heat; and in 1989 for Rent-a-Cop, and Switching Channels; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1997 for Striptease; in 2002 for Driven; in 2006 for The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Longest Yard; and in 2009 for Deal, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; Notes: Y’all know Burt Reynolds. Rolling Stone recently called him the last Good Ol’ Boy Movie Star.)

Roger Moore – (Known For: Live and Let Die; Moonraker; For Your Eyes Only; The Spy Who Loved Me; Octopussy; The Man with the Golden Gun; The Wild Geese; The Last Time I Saw Paris; Shout at the Devil; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; Boat Trip; Curse of the Pink Panther; The Quest; The Saint; A View to a Kill; North Sea Hijack; BMT: Spice World; The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Spice World in 1999; Notes: James Bond times seven. A possibly-BMT film The Spy Who Dumped Me comes out this week, an obvious reference to one of his classic works listed above. Interesting that only one of his seven films qualifies … some of them are truly dire.)

Farrah Fawcett – (Known For: Logan’s Run; Dr. T & the Women; The Apostle; Extremities; See You in the Morning; Future BMT: Man of the House; Saturn 3; The Cookout; Myra Breckinridge; BMT: The Cannonball Run; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Saturn 3 in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Cannonball Run in 1982; Notes: Was married to Lee Majors and appears on television with him on numerous occasions in the 70s. Broke out as a star with Charlie’s Angels in the late 70s.)

Budget/Gross – $16–18 million / Domestic: $72,179,579

(Huge. Top ten film of the year and obviously made a ton. Amazing to be able to make a film with that many stars, that many stunts, and across the US for that little I feel like. What a steal.)

#14 for the Car Racing genre

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(This genre all but died in the 90s although I can’t tell you why (tastes change perhaps, much like the slashed went into a slumber in the 90s?). It is now booming with the Fast and the Furious franchise, which coincidentally are the highest grossing BMT films we’ve see from this genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (9/31): No consensus yet.

(The consensus is essentially: They made a terrible bad film, escapism in its purest form … which in a way I guess is fine given it made boatloads of cash. Reviewer Highlight: The Cannonball Run is an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition. – Roger Ebert)

Poster – The No Rulez Race (B-)

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(If you look ahead to the Cannonball Run II tagline and poster it’s a bit of a surprise that they did so much better with both those things the second time around. Perhaps they had a little less shame and just went for it when they got to the sequel. This all looks a little restrained, but still artistic.)

Tagline(s) – You’ll root for them all…but you’ll never guess who wins. (D)

(Blah. I actually straight up don’t like this one. Boring. Check out Cannonball Run II for one of the all-time classic taglines. This could not and does not match up.)

Keyword(s) – competition; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 83.5 Rollerball (2002); 81.9 You Got Served (2004); 77.6 The Starving Games (2013); 75.0 Daddy Day Camp (2007); 72.8 Driven (2001); 69.7 Recep Ivedik 4 (2014); 68.9 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 68.8 Herbie Fully Loaded (2005); 55.9 Snow Dogs (2002);

(I want to get served so badly. All of these are pretty great, we’ll sweep these up easily over the next few years I imagine.)

Notes – Jackie Chan makes one of his first U.S. film appearance. Inspired by Hal Needham’s notion of including bloopers during the closing credits, Chan began a tradition of doing the same in most of his movies, from this point onward.

The movie was originally planned as an action film starring Steve McQueen. After McQueen’s death, the lead went to Burt Reynolds, and the film became a comedy. (Oh … uh, that’s too bad, on both counts)

The ambulance used in the movie, is the actual ambulance that Hal Needham and Brock Yates souped up and raced in the real Cannonball Run. It had been modified with a HEMI engine, that made it go up to one hundred forty-five miles per hour (two hundred thirty-three kilometers per hour), and was equipped with four gas filler holes, so that the required ninety gallons (three hundred forty-one liters) could be pumped quickly. Needham and Yates didn’t win the race (the transmission blew in Palm Springs, California) so Needham kept it in storage for several years, until the time came to make this film. After the movie, he gave it to a church charity, which raised a good deal of money auctioning it off. (That is amazing)

Burt Reynolds became the highest paid actor in cinema history up to that point, for this movie, making five million dollars for four weeks work. (Good for him! Good for him!)

The producers asked the Governor of Georgia, if the crew could shut down the center of a small town, so that a plane could land in the middle of it. The police blocked off the section, in which the plane was to land, and a barrier can be seen in the background. (I mean … yeah you can, it is super amateurish)

To get material for this movie, Brock Yates ran the final Cannonball in 1979. The move cost him his editorial position at Car and Driver Magazine, which has since been reinstated. (Oh wow … that is crazy)

Legendary odds-maker Jimmy the Greek had a cameo in this movie, where he did a scene with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Jimmy and Dean grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, and were friends since childhood.

The short sequence in the beginning of the film, which involved two animated cars wrecking the 20th Century Fox logo, was created by Hal Needham, who did a similar one for another studio when releasing Smokey and the Bandit (1977). At first, Fox didn’t appreciate the notion of wrecking their logo, but soon found it would be appealing to audiences if it were left in.

Hal Needham and Producer Albert S. Ruddy liked the chemistry of Terry Bradshaw and Mel Tillis so much, that after this film, they tried to sell a pilot to ABC featuring their characters. The head of the network loved the idea, but the day before the meeting was to be held to discuss it, the head of the network was fired, and the project was cancelled. (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

Burt Reynolds said of the film, “I did that film for all the wrong reasons. I never liked it. I did it to help out a friend of mine, Hal Needham, and I also felt it was immoral to turn down that kind of money. I suppose I sold out, so I couldn’t really object to what people wrote about me.” (Good on you Burt. Good on you)

In one of the earlier scenes in the movie, J.J. McClure (Burt Reynolds) said “Could get a black Trans Am”, and then answers himself, “Naw, that’s been done.” This is a reference to Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), which starred Reynolds, and were directed by Hal Needham, who directed this film. DeLuise co-starred with Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (1980). (I hate this kind of stuff, but for such a light hearted comedy it makes sense)

Vehicles used in the film: J.J. and Victor are driving a 1978 Dodge Sportsman. Seymour is driving a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Blake and Fenderbaum are driving a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS. Terry and Mel are driving a 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna. Marcie and Jill are driving a 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S. The Japanese team is driving a 1980 Subaru DL. The Sheik is driving a 1976 Rolls-Royce Shadow 1. Mad Dog and Batman are driving a 1980 GMC C-35 Pickup. Brad and Shakey are driving a Harley-Davidson Sportster. When Mr. Foyt shows up at the hotel, he’s driving a 1972 Volvo 142. At the opening, Victor is driving a 1973 Honda Civic. The plane that J.J. and Victor are flying is a Maule M 5-235 Lunar Rocket. During the first appearance of Captain Chaos, he and J.J. are driving a 1969 Porsche 911. (I love it)

The moustache worn by Burt Reynolds in this movie was subsequently auctioned for the charity, UNICEF. The auction was held in Geneva, Switzerland, and the winning bid was twenty-five thousand dollars. The identity of the winning bidder was kept secret for many years. In an interview in 2012, the guitarist of the British rock band Queen, Brian May, revealed the winning bidder was Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. (So it was a fake mustache … or did they like … shave it off and put it on some tape or something)

NOTE: There was a note about this incident here, which I’ve replaced with a link to this article instead. (Super sad. Two years later the disaster on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie would happen. And while still much safer, accidents like what happened on one of the recent Transformers films, still happen)

The names of the characters of Jill and Marcy are never mentioned in this film. In Cannonball Run II (1984), both actresses were replaced, and were called Jill and Marcy, which has been a matter of debate for many years, as to if Jill and Marcy from Cannonball Run II (1984) are even supposed to be the same characters from this movie, or if it’s just to give the original two characters a name for crediting on movie media sites. (They are the same characters. It would be ludicrous if that weren’t the case)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Farrah Fawcett, 1982)

Speed 2: Cruise Control Preview

We sit on our perch, chilling with the night security guard, Ed, while he protects the Ivory Socket. We discuss at length his hopes and dreams. His passions, his loves and his greatest fears. He asks if we would like a cracker. Ed, you devil, you always know just what would hit the spot. As we munch on our crackers Ed asks us when we plan to steal the Socket. We freeze… cracker crumbs spilling down out parrot costumes. How did he know? Of course, he always knew (the devil), for we are full grown adult humans in parrot costumes. But he enjoyed our company and thought he’d delay our arrest for as long as he could. Today was supposed to be the day he finally turned us in, but he just can’t. We’ve changed his life (and honestly, Ed has changed ours too). He hands us the Ivory Socket and tells us to go, throwing rocks at us to goad us on. “I never even liked you stupid birds!” He screams with tears streaming down his face and we squawk our way out of the Royal Library. When we attempt to use the Socket to destroy the Dongle we find it’s port jammed with a note. “Before you make two pieces one, a sacred liquid must be found. Venture to the isle of sun, and find it deep within the ground.” Wait… another MacGuffin? Or is the Socket still the only MacGuffin and the sacred liquid is like… part of it that helps power it? Regardless, the riddle is trash (suspiciously so, hmmmmmm) and obviously points to the Isla del Sol in Bolivia. Time to catch a boat and get some R&R on a relaxing cruise where nothing super crazy should happen along the way. That’s right! We’re watching Speed 2: Cruise Control. This is one of the most critically reviled sequels in film history with an well deserved place on our Calendar. We’ve obviously seen it before, but probably not since its release so I remember almost none of it. Let’s go!

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) – BMeTric: 89.5

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(Notorious, but I think it gets a bit of a pass as an action film with a charming and still-loved lead in Bullock. It’ll rise steadily with more votes, although I’m not sure it’ll ever actually get to 4.0 … I mean, it would need people to give it a 5/10 at least … are people giving Speed 2 ratings of 5 or above? That would be crazy.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Mind-numbingly stupid action yarn opens with a chase scene that makes no sense, and never improves. Bullock (whose character here is especially annoying) agrees to go on a Caribbean cruise with boyfriend Patric, an L.A.P.D. officer. When a madman Dafoe takes control of the ship, Patric feels it’s his duty to try and stop him. Did anyone read the script before signing on for this one?

(Keanu Reeves did. That’s why he then skipped out on it. The director had to do it, and I think Bullock was at an early point in here career where she still needed the job/money. Patric … well this kind of derailed whatever career he had I think, so yeah, he should have thought this guy through.)

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

(My word. Loud, choppy cuts, one liners out the wazoo. C’mon now, this is going to be amazing. Dafoe is also just completely ridiculous as well. Get hyped.)

Directors – Jan de Bont – (Known For: Twister; Speed; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; The Haunting; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1998 for Speed 2: Cruise Control; and in 2000 for The Haunting; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: There is very little explanation as to why he basically retired after Lara Croft 2. He was a cinematographer for years before becoming, briefly, one of the most in demand action directors of the late 90s.)

Writers – Graham Yost (characters) – (Known For: Speed; Broken Arrow; The Last Castle; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Hard Rain; Notes: Writes and produces television now. Only credited because he wrote the original Speed screenplay.)

Jan de Bont (story) – (BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1998 for Speed 2: Cruise Control; and in 2000 for The Haunting; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: The only film he has a story credit for, presumably because it is based off of a dream he had (? Read the notes below).)

Randall McCormick (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Titan A.E.; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: This was his first screenplay after getting the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.)

Jeff Nathanson (screenplay) – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; The Terminal; Rush Hour 2; Tower Heist; The Last Shot; Future BMT: Rush Hour 3; New York, I Love You; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Apparently was an uncredited screenwriter on Twister (also directed by de Bont) along with Joss Whedon, which I imagine is how he got attached to this film. Is somewhat famous for uncredited rewrites of many notable projects.)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Ocean’s Eight; The Proposal; Gravity; Crash; Minions; The Heat; Miss Congeniality; Speed; While You Were Sleeping; The Prince of Egypt; A Time to Kill; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Two Weeks Notice; Forces of Nature; The Vanishing; The Thing Called Love; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Infamous; Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Future BMT: Premonition; Love Potion No. 9; The Net; Stolen Hearts; Hope Floats; 28 Days; Murder by Numbers; Gun Shy; Practical Magic; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; In Love and War; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; Demolition Man; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man in 1994; Notes: She’s opened up recently about sexism and other tough subjects in Hollywood. But she does give a good shout out to de Bont whom she credits with giving her her big break when no one else would.)

Jason Patric – (Known For: The Yellow Birds; The Lost Boys; Sleepers; The Losers; My Sister’s Keeper; In the Valley of Elah; Rush; Narc; Geronimo: An American Legend; The Confines; Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound; Your Friends & Neighbors; After Dark, My Sweet; The Journey of August King; Keyhole; Expired; Three Days of Rain; Future BMT: The Prince; Cavemen; The Outsider; The Alamo; Downloading Nancy; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Solarbabies; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Was a sort of child actor in things like Solarbabies. His father was nominated for an Oscar for The Exorcist.)

Willem Dafoe – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; John Wick; Finding Nemo; Spider-Man 3; The Florida Project; What Happened to Monday; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Spider-Man; Finding Dory; American Psycho; Platoon; The Fault in our Stars; Inside Man; Spider-Man 2; Death Note; John Carter; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The Aviator; Antichrist; The English Patient; Future BMT: New Rose Hotel; Anamorph; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; The Great Wall; Tomorrow You’re Gone; Flight of the Intruder; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; Fireflies in the Garden; Lulu on the Bridge; A Family Man; Adam Resurrected; The Reckoning; Miral; Odd Thomas; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; xXx²: The Next Level; Body of Evidence; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Body of Evidence in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: He’s playing the villain in the upcoming Aquaman film. There are tons of rumors about him as the Joker as well, although that obviously seems pretty unlikely … since he’s the villain in Aquaman.)

Budget/Gross – $110 million (official) $135–160 million (estimated) / Domestic: $48,608,066 (Worldwide: $164,508,066)

(That is pretty catastrophic. Ultimately that is likely in the $30-50 million write off range if my admittedly amateur box office math works correctly. Although, this movie was a pretty long time ago so who knows how this all worked back then.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (2/69): Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.

(One of the worst reviewed films ever I would presume, 3% is quite low. Given the first has a RT score above 95% this also certainly qualifies as one of the worst sequels of all time (if not the worst sequel ever made). Reviewer Highlight: An ear-splitting amusement-park attraction posing as a movie. – Jamie Bernard, New York Daily News)

Poster – Speed 2: Sklog Control (D)

speed_two_cruise_control

(Wow. A true tragedy nearly on the level of 1998’s The Avengers, which has become my watermark for how bad a poster can be. Look at those two electric colors and… like, rain or something across everything. Truly misguided. Does have unique font though and it’s not super cluttered like some posters can be, so just above the bottom of the barrel.)

Tagline(s) – Rush hour hits the water. (D+)

(Ha! For some reason this is very amusing to me. The idea that this would deal with some kind of boat traffic or whatever. It’s got fine construction, but is just so stupid that it’s funny.)

Keyword(s) – time bomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.5 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 85.4 Spice World (1997); 83.6 RoboCop 3 (1993); 78.9 Torque (2004); 78.0 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 70.3 On Deadly Ground (1994); 68.2 Double Team (1997); 64.4 Fair Game (1995);

(Awesome. We do have to go back and smash Street Fighter at one point. We stupidly didn’t do it when we did Legend of Chun Li or again when we inducted that into the Hall of Fame. Although that would have required a outside of the box Bonus, which we’ve never done … this is some pretty niche BMT behind the scenes talk)

Movie Stub – Speed 2: Cruise Control (GA-class) – Look at this beauty. There isn’t much in the talk page, although there is a pretty thorough review commentary which I plan on looking at as some point. No specific public notes on improvements, nor do I think it needs any, so I’ll leave it be for now.

Notes – The original script was intended to be the third film in the “Die Hard” series. After the success of the first film though, the script was reworked into a Speed sequel instead. (Huh. Vengeance is a much better idea for that (and Vengeance’s script was supposed to be a Lethal Weapon sequel)).

In a 2000 interview, Sandra Bullock jokingly referred to this movie as “the biggest piece of crap ever made.” (Not really, but it isn’t great)

Gary Oldman turned down the role of the villain, and instead chose to make Air Force One (1997). (Great choice)

Although the movie was close to being universally panned by film critics, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were among the very few critics to give the movie a positive review. Before his death, Ebert stated that this was the review he had to defend more than any other he had written, and that it was the one most often cited as an example of him being a poor film critic. (Ebert was a rare critic who could make a convincing argument for “it’s good for what it is”. It worked for him because he rarely deployed it for really dire films and also didn’t tend to bump films up that much using the excuse. It is understandable he’d be criticized here though, it is quite a leap to call this movie anything but garbage IMO)

Keanu Reeves turned down the movie to go on tour with his band Dogstar. (FAKE NEWS. According to Keanu. See the note below)

Matthew McConaughey was one of the male stars considered once Keanu Reeves bailed. (Would have been 1000x better. Sorry Jason)

Sandra Bullock’s character Annie was not given a last name at all in Speed (1994). movie. Here, it is revealed to be Porter. (Coooool)

Sandra Bullock agreed to star in this film in order to get financing for her pet project Hope Floats (1998). (Get yo money Sandra)

Jason Patric only agreed to make the film contingent on some major script changes being made. However, when he eventually arrived onset three months later, he found that the script hadn’t changed at all and he was contractually obligated to make the film. He found the whole experience to be thoroughly miserable and depressing. (Awwwww)

Susan Barnes plays Constance in this film. In the first Speed film, she plays the frozen-in-fear female executive who is the last one out of the perilous elevator. In this film, her character is seen calmly sitting down smoking while being trapped among others in a life-threatening situation. This may allude to her character’s survival from the first film. She is one of four people to appear in both films. (Nooooooo)

Jon Bon Jovi, ‘Patrick Muldoon’, and Christian Slater were also considered for the male lead. (Jon Bon Jovi might have worked, especially if they recast Bullock as well)

The oil tanker bears the name “Eindhoven”, the Dutch hometown of director Jan de Bont. (ooooo fun fact)

The device labeled “Fiber Optic Converter” used by the hacker is really a mechanical KVM switch (a device used to operate several PCs with one set of keyboard, mouse and monitor). (Who knows these kinds of things?)

Keanu Reeves passed on the role to star in the horror film The Devil’s Advocate (1997), which was filmed at the same time as Speed 2, and subsequently toured with his band, Dogstar. Reeves said that Fox was “furious” with his decision and released “propaganda” against him, falsely claiming that he turned down the role to tour with his band.

The sequence where the Seabourn Legend rams into port was, at the time, the most expensive stunt ever filmed, accounting for $25,000,000 of the film’s $110,000,000 budget. (holy shit)

Director Jan de Bont initially felt that Speed (1994) had no sequel potential, but he was contractually obliged to direct a sequel when it was green-lit after the success of the first movie. Many ideas were pitched, including a plane which cannot ascend above a certain altitude without exploding. Finally, de Bont used an idea of his own after he had recurrent nightmares about a cruise ship crashing into an island. (Oooof. The airplane idea is much better. Should have also recast once Keanu dropped, would have made it a bit more believable maybe.)

When Annie is retaking her driving test at the end of the film, a bus identical to the one in the original Speed passes by on the highway. Annie notes to her instructor about the bus “going way too fast”.

When the oil tanker explodes, what looks like a cow can be seen flying out with the rest of the debris from the tanker, possibly a reference to the flying cow from Twister (1996). (Noooooooo)

A total of 3 different ships were used in this film: Seaborn Legend (actual cruise liner; used for most exterior shots of the ship) “Bridge Ship” (Sturgeon Atlantic freighter ship built with a false hull and bridge; used for bridge scenes and the boat crashes in the marina) “Rail Ship” (false hull built on an underwater rail; used for the island crash finale scene). All other shots of the ship were complete computer graphic effects. (Super interesting. This is what I live for)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sandra Bullock, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Willem Dafoe, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson, Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (1998)

Little Man Preview

Having taken the studio note to heart regarding our script for Rich & Poe, we write a 25-minute climactic sex scene between Rich and a cartoon. This proves the key to wild success as the film opens to a boffo $450 million box office haul with headlines across the world exclaiming “Film features man having sex with cartoon!” We return triumphantly to purchase the Obsidian Dongle back from the beautiful Bosnian warlord and once it’s back in our possession we feel the Dongle’s power. It must be destroyed. We head to our local public library to research how we might accomplish such a feat and stumble across an ancient scroll. It reads: “The fated twins are ones that hold, the power to the Dongle’s fate. Only those most brave and bold, can find the Dongle’s ivory mate.” Of course! Like the Bad Movie Twins themselves, the Dongle is one of a pair. There is a yin to its yang. An Ivory Socket to its Obsidian Dongle! All of a sudden a little old library lady appears “Ah yes, the Ivory Socket. Legend says it is in Thailand hidden within the Royal Library, guarded by the ancient Order of the Librarians. But be careful Bad Movie Twins, only those pure of heart can use the power of the Ivory Socket to destroy the Obsidian Dongle.” With that the librarian is gone. “How convenient, that librarian sure knew a lot about us and what we were looking for … welp, let’s go!” We head to Thailand to case the joint and overhear the night security guard explain how much he would enjoy a parrot friend to keep him company while guarding the relic. Time to dust off our parrot costumes and put these bird-like features to good use, because we’re going undercover. That’s right! We’re watching Little Man, the Wayans brothers’ follow-up to White Chicks about a very tiny thief pretending to be a baby… you had me at “follow-up to White Chicks.” Let’s go!

Little Man (2006) – BMeTric: 80.2

Littleman_BMeT

Littleman_RV

(You know … the rise here shouldn’t surprise me, but it kind of does. This is a notoriously bad film. A film that people should be seeking out and watching because it is bad. And so the terrible sub-4.0 rating should have stuck I think. After 2008 even it has increased by over a full rating though. It is a little strange. Out of the norm for such a terrible film I feel like. 80+ BMeTric though, can’t argue with that.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Diminutive criminal drops a stolen diamond in a woman’s purse and is forced to disguise himself as a baby left on her doorstep to get it back. Idiotic gags involving breastfeeding, anal thermometers, and dirty diapers ensue. A running joke in which “the baby” molests unsuspecting women is particularly offensive. The three Wayans who wrote this admit they were inspired by the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Baby Bugs Bunny” – which is funnier (and shorter). See also the Our Gang comedy “Free Eats.” Rob Schneider appears unbilled.

(I swear to god if this gets anything other that a BOMB by Leonard … oh thank god. The only surprising and interesting thing about this review is how casually he drops the Our Gang reference … might have to check that out now. Ah sheeeet, it’s free online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh3rqi2NkC4)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9STUnqrE_c

(The music in this film is going to be off the chain. Oh and the number of sexual assault and rape joke in THE TRAILER … this is like Norbit levels of uncomfortable. I know it.)

Directors – Keenen Ivory Wayans – (Known For: Scary Movie; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Future BMT: Scary Movie 2; A Low Down Dirty Shame; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Man in 2007; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: We’ve seen Scary Movie 2 actually (it just didn’t get a write up), which means we’ve almost completed the Keenen Ivory Wayans BMT slate.)

Writers – Keenen Ivory Wayans (written by) – (Known For: I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Hollywood Shuffle; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Most Wanted; A Low Down Dirty Shame; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Man in 2007; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: The eldest of the ten Wayans siblings. The Wayans brothers are probably most famous for In Living Color, which now does comedy tours as well.)

Shawn Wayans (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Scary Movie 3; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; and Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: It seems like he’s basically retired (beyond deejaying, see below). As a matter of fact his entire family is semi-retired outside of television it feels like. It is weird to think his nephew Damon Wayans Jr. is probably the most famous Wayans at this point.)

Marlon Wayans (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Scary Movie 3; Naked; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Little Man; Fifty Shades of Black; A Haunted House 2; A Haunted House; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: Most of his recent work is in television and specifically on Netflix. The film Naked and his new series Marlon. I have seen neither.)

Actors – Shawn Wayans – (Known For: Scary Movie; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 2; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; and Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: Apparently he deejays now … at least all of the most recent news articles about him are about a set he did in Fort Myers.)

Marlon Wayans – (Known For: Requiem for a Dream; Scary Movie; The Heat; The Ladykillers; Above the Rim; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 2; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Naked; Mo’ Money; Senseless; The Sixth Man; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Norbit; Dungeons & Dragons; Little Man; Fifty Shades of Black; Marmaduke; A Haunted House 2; A Haunted House; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: There isn’t much news about him weirdly, beyond being mentioned as being extremely nice in one article I found.)

Kerry Washington – (Known For: Cars 3; Django Unchained; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Save the Last Dance; Ray; The Last King of Scotland; The Human Stain; Lakeview Terrace; The Details; The Dead Girl; Mother and Child; Life Is Hot in Cracktown; Our Song; Night Catches Us; Future BMT: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Bad Company; I Think I Love My Wife; She Hate Me; Against the Ropes; Peeples; Miracle at St. Anna; For Colored Girls; BMT: Little Man; A Thousand Words; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Notes: Much more famous now for the show Scandal. Has a somewhat notable anecdote about being taught to dance by Jennifer Lopez in the Bronx back in the day.)

Budget/Gross – $64 million / Domestic: $58,645,052 (Worldwide: $101,595,121)

(That’s honestly pretty solid, and it is a little weird more of these types of comedies weren’t produced afterwards. Plausibly with Norbit coming out in 2007 and kind of destroying similarly styled comedies for a while the Wayans just couldn’t get things greenlit? Also,these might have been the first things studios cut to save money during the financial crisis as well.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (11/91): Another gimmicky comedy from the Wayans brothers, Little Man comes with the requisite raunchiness, but forgot to bring the laughs.

(I can’t believe this isn’t below 10%. This movie looks atrocious and just as unpleasant as something like Norbit (not to draw such comparisons, it is mainly the flippancy in which serious subjects like spousal abuse and sexual assault are treating the Norbit and, seemingly, Little Man respectively). Reviewer Highlight: It’s a concept, not a movie. – JM Tyree, Time Out.)

Poster – Little Sklog (D)

little_man

(These are the types of posters I hate. Dominant white background and prominent characters (what I call human-colors… which is just a mishmash of skin tones and clothing). However, I have to appreciate the fact that this poster is almost a parody of posters… something that would be seen in Funny People or something to make fun of how stupid and derivative mass-market films can get.)

Tagline(s) – Big things come in small packages. (C-)

(While this is a totally reasonable tagline, it is also something that I would have made up as an example of the most cliched, least interesting tagline possible. So congrats on that I guess.)

Keyword(s) – dumb police; Top Ten by BMeTric: 80.2 Little Man (2006); 55.1 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997); 51.4 Bride of Chucky (1998); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 39.2 That Darn Cat (1997); 36.1 Summer’s Blood (2009); 34.8 Friday After Next (2002); 33.0 P2 (2007); 20.7 Arachnophobia (1990); 20.2 Gruesome (2006);

(Ha! I can’t believe we’ve only seen one “dumb police” film. You can kind of tell the keyword is sparsely populated (with the lowest BMeTric being 20, it should be up in the 40s for something like this), but I’m going to leave it because it is hilarious.)

Movie Stub – Little Man (Start-class) – I liked the plot summary here, short and sweet. I personally think this is much closer to C-class than it seems, and perhaps it hasn’t been reviewed recently? I did add a reference for the DVD release date, so I eliminated one of the public notices requesting changes, so I’ve done my part. C-class here we come! I assume, I’m still not very sure how that all works.

Notes – The scenes with Calvin were filmed twice: once with dwarf actors Linden Porco and Gabriel Pimentel together with the other actors, and once with Marlon Wayans alone wearing a green bodysuit against a green screen. In post-production, Porco’s and Pimental’s heads were replaced with Marlon’s. Their bodies were also painted brown in order to match Marlon’s face. (Yeah … that is the only way they could do that so it makes sense. Fun fact I guess)

Percy’s song Butcher Shop is based on 50 Cent’s song Candy Shop they also use the same beat (WHAT)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Rob Schneider, 2010)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, 2007)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Shawn Wayans, Kerry Washington, Marlon Wayans, 2007)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off (2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Rob Schneider, 2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Keenen Ivory Wayans, 2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Keenen Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, 2007)

Underclassman Preview

Pacing the room and slamming Mountain Dew, Patrick and I brainstorm our barnburner of a film. Chris Klein has already signed on and our mind is on action (and plenty of it, you betta believe). However, when we open the door for our old bag of a stenographer we are taken aback. She’s no old bag at all! Quite the contrary! Did the company not see where we wrote “old bag” in the comment section? Oh well, being consummate professionals we get right to work. She’s efficient and hardworking and together we make quick work of the script. We shake hands with her and provide a glowing review to her temp agency. We offer each other some honest feedback for future improvement. Where boundaries may have been crossed in the name of romance, instead a beautiful professional relationship built on mutual respect had bloomed. After she departs we look at the script. It reads Rich & Poe and boy howdy do these hard-boiled detectives get into some deep undercover action in this action flick. That’s right! We’re watching Underclassman, the Nick Cannon 21 Jump Street knock-off where he’s a cop that has to infiltrate a high school. No doubt we’re gonna have some sweet inappropriate jokes about underage girls and teachers sleeping with students. Can’t wait. Let’s go!

Underclassman (2005) – BMeTric: 51.1

Underclassman_BMeT

Underclassman_RV

(Wow that started amazingly low. Its creeped up to where I think maybe it should be (mid-4.0s, which is basically really fucking bad … but not so bad you’d have heard of it for being bad). Kind of amazing how hated it is though, I would have imagined this would have just gotten forgotten. Maybe because it was released just as IMDb was coming into their own? You can even see this plot starts basically right when the movie was released which is pretty stunning for a 2005 release. Look at the first scrape!)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Pause here for a Jack Webb “uh-huh”: Instead of being canned when he precipitates half a mile’s worth of car-chase damage, barely-literate cop Cannon is assigned to pose incognito as a student at a swanky prep school that’s been victimized by a car-theft ring. Few clichés are missed, including Cannon’s inevitable yen for the campus Spanish instructor (Sanchez). Script is in serious stupor, as if it has spent a month in a locked room with some of Cheech’s old stash.

(Jack Webb was in Dragnet which Leonard is kind of cryptically referencing. This is a very weird review, especially the end. I think Leonard just hates lazy cliché ridden garbage? There is almost no reason this is a BOMB considering some of the other passes he tends to dole out for simple nonsense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB3rqT7X4Bw

(Ooooof, that looks absolutely terrible. Terrible race jokes. Terrible sex-with-the-teacher insinuations. Terrible sports scenes. Oh wait, did I say terrible? I meant I am very excited for this film.)

Directors – Marcos Siega – (Future BMT: Chaos Theory; Pretty Persuasion; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: He’s pretty exclusively a television producer/director. He directed a ton of The Following, Dexter, and Vampire Diaries among others. He’s also made quite a few television movies as well.)

Writers – Brent Goldberg (story & screenplay) and David Wagner (story) (as David T. Wagner & screenplay) (as David T. Wagner) – (Known For: The Girl Next Door; Future BMT: Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; My Baby’s Daddy; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: These guys killed it in the early 2000s. They really dropped off the radar in 2005 though, here’s an interview concerning their collaboration from 2004.)

Nick Cannon (story) – (BMT: Underclassman; Notes: He actually has a ton of writing credits, but they are either on concert/music projects or the movies he’s been involved with don’t have enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I wish there was a way to know the level of involvement with the “story” Nick Cannon had though.)

Actors – Nick Cannon – (Known For: Chi-Raq; Monster House; Drumline; Bobby; Shall We Dance; Roll Bounce; The Killing Room; King of the Dancehall; American Son; Future BMT: Garfield; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; Whatever It Takes; Goal II: Living the Dream; Men in Black II; Even Money; Weapons; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: Was married to Mariah Carey for eight years, they had a pair of twins (heyyyyyoooo) in 2011.)

Shawn Ashmore – (Known For: X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men; X-Men: The Last Stand; X-Men 2; The Ruins; Mother’s Day; Frozen; Strike!; Mariachi Gringo; Future BMT: The Day; Hatchet II; Acts of Violence; Breaking the Girls; The Quiet; BMT: Underclassman; Notes: Played the Iceman in X-Men. Has a twin brother who has mostly been on television, including five episodes of Veronica Mars.)

Kelly Hu – (Known For: X-Men 2; The Scorpion King; The Doors; Strange Days; Americanese; Future BMT: Surf Ninjas; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Wo zhi nv ren xin; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Underclassman; Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: Was a Miss Teen USA, born in Hawaii.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $5,655,459 (Worldwide: $5,879,555)

(A complete and utter disaster. Kind of a wonder they released it at all. It was apparently delayed from 2004, so they certainly could have pushed it out onto cable. Although … I suppose the movie does skew a bit old for the Nick Cannon demographic. What a strange strange movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (5/83): Despite the appealing presence of Nick Cannon, Underclassman is a shopworn Beverly Hills Cop/ 21 Jump Street knockoff.

(Single digits baby. Nearly one hundred reviews as well, which is nothing to sniff at. That time, around 2005, was a weird time huh? Uwe Boll films, and Nick Cannon in actual movies. Wild. Reviewer Highlight: Almost comically unambitious, Underclassman seldom tries to be funny, and never even attempts to be original. – Nathan Rabin, AV Club)

Poster – UnderSklogins (D)

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(I find it incredibly weird that he’s holding his gun like that in the poster… he’s like casually pointing it at the audience. Put that away! You’re scaring the children! I kid because I love… how terrible this all is. Woof.)

Tagline(s) – A Comedy About Upholding The Law And Disturbing The Peace (C-)

Get Ready To Be Schooled (A-)

(Both are on the poster, both are getting judged. First one is terrible. Too long and self-referential like it’s from the old days or something. “A Comedy About…” really? Just do the joke you’re aiming for. Upholding the law and disturbing the peace… Underclassman. Boom. Easy. Second one is better. Clever, hints at the plot, short and sweet. I like it.)

Keyword(s) – undercover; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.3 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 82.2 Barb Wire (1996); 81.1 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992); 74.9 Taxi (I) (2004); 73.6 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 71.8 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 70.4 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 70.3 On Deadly Ground (1994); 67.8 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006); 65.5 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005);

(Big Momma Like Father Like Son best be there. We’ll probably hit all of these, although the Cable Guy movies will get a bit dicey. There are some things that kind of make you wonder “why am I doing this?” and I have a feeling watching the Larry the Cable Guy movies would be one of those things. Although, I have to admit … he was fine in Madea Christmas, so what do I know?)

Movie Stub – Underclassman (Start-class) – So when I got to this webpage the critical reception and box office response was jammed together. Also the entire thing sounded “non-encyclopedia” and it was suggested that the entire article be rewritten. I wouldn’t go so far, it had the proper structure, it was just a little loosey goosey with the lingo. Finally, I expanded the plot summary to a comfortable 410 words, and re-submitted the article for review. Viola, now that is a start-class wiki page! Actually, I think it is borderline C-class according to the quality guidelines, although some notes about production I think would be needed to put it over the top.

Notes – Originally set for a US theatrical release in 2004. Then two massive waves of layoffs were sustained at Miramax and Dimension, and the infamous Disney and Miramax split reached its height. This film thus remained in the Miramax vaults unreleased during this time of uncertainty. When the Disney and Miramax divorce was finally completed, numerous films under the Miramax and Dimension label were finally released theatrically. (I do love production issues, usually explains a lot)

The scene where Trey shoots Murdock and eventually tackles an undercover DEA agent which results in him explaining that Murdock can’t be a murder suspect because he was out of town on that date is extremely reminiscent of an exact same scene from Point Break (1991) where Tom Sizemore is the DEA agent. (fun fact?)

Alone in the Dark Preview

Ruffles, our beloved dog lawyer, has been kidnapped by the assassin Aitch and Patrick and I are crushed. We end up going on a weeklong bender in beautiful Vancouver fighting anyone and everyone that gets in our way. Alone except for the booze, we are approached by an NCIS: New Orleans agent who looks suspiciously like mega-star Scott Bakula from the smash television hit Quantum Leap. “Hi, I’m Scott Bakula,” he says and offers us a deal. He will tell us where Ruffles is in exchange for help on a matter of national security. We know what that means: g-g-g-g-g-ghosts! In the end we relent… for Ruffles. When we go to where Ruffles is being held we are ambushed by the cops. Fortunately, Aitch swoops in with some wire-fu and explosions galore and frees us. Turns out Aitch is a lady assassin and is on our side after all. What a twist! She was actually keeping Ruffles safe from mega-star Scott Bakula. But wait, it turns out she’s not a “she” but in fact mega-star Scott Bakula himself! What a double twist! He peels off his Mission Impossible facemask as we look on in shock. “What are you doing here? You betrayed us,” we say. “Did I,” he says softly, “Or did I save you… sons?” What a triple twist! We hug mega-star Scott Bakula and know that there is one final thing to do before we start setting up that production company. “Still need some help fighting those g-g-g-g-g-ghosts, Dad?” To which he responds with a wink, “Hope you’re not afraid of the dark.” That’s right! We’re watching Alone in the Dark. When we watched In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale all those years ago we promised ourselves we would never watch another Uwe Boll movie. Mostly because he doesn’t make real movies, but rather financial scheme disguised as movies. But promises are meant to be broken, especially when we are looking for a producer that also produced that HoFer ItNotK:ADST… which pretty much limits us to Uwe Boll films. Well fuck us, right? Let’s go!

Alone in the Dark (2005) – BMeTric: 90.2

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(Legendary naturally. To just sit cold at 2.3 is just nuts. Would be one of the highest BMeTric films if people bothered to watch it. If that vote count doubled (and I’m not sure the rating would go up even if it did) it would exceed Meet the Spartans.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Paranormal investigator Slater tangles with a mad scientist in this unintelligible time-waster based on an Atari video game. The opening crawl is dopey and overlong; what follows is mind-numbingly awful. Casting Reid as an anthropologist is like assigning Curly Howard the role of neurosurgeon.

(Kind of an unnecessary dig at Tara Reid there. That was the obvious intention of the casting, to make it somewhat of a joke in and of itself. I’m glad I get an overlong and awful opening crawl though, I’ll revel in that a bit before my brain starts to scream.)

Trailer – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369226/videoplayer/vi4088725785?ref_=tt_ov_vi

(If you get this far the video above that is embedded is just a teaser, the link itself though is to IMDb which has the full trailer (youtube for some reason doesn’t). The CGI looks like complete garbage, the dialogue and action look terrible and blessedly ludicrous. It is pretty sweet I think.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: Alone in the Dark; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominee for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: He literally makes tax shelter films. He is quoted as saying “Maybe you know it, but it’s not so easy to finance movies in total. The reason I am able to do these kind of movies is I have a tax shelter fund in Germany, and if you invest in a movie in Germany you get basically 50% back from the government.” This though can’t actually be one because it was filmed in Canada which violates the agreement.)

Writers – Elan Mastai (written by) – (Known For: What If; Future BMT: The Samaritan; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Notes: Just wrote his debut novel All Our Wrong Todays which is about time travel and seems to have gotten pretty excellent reviews actually.)

Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer (written by) – (BMT: Alone in the Dark; Notes: They have written several Uwe Boll films, although mostly the later ones which didn’t get real releases. Here is an article about the production.)

Actors – Christian Slater – (Known For: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I; True Romance; Heathers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; The Wife; Zoolander; The Name of the Rose; Bullet to the Head; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Legend of Billie Jean; Broken Arrow; Very Bad Things; King Cobra; Bobby; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; La Cordillera; Pump Up the Volume; Untamed Heart; Future BMT: Hot Tub Time Machine 2; Soldiers of Fortune; Stranded; Playback; Sofia; The Ten Commandments; Hard Ca$h; Slipstream; Windtalkers; Igor; True Deception; Kuffs; Masked and Anonymous; Jimmy Hollywood; The Wizard; Mobsters; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Mindhunters; Bed of Roses; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Gleaming the Cube; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Hard Rain; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1992 for Mobsters, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Notes: Got his break in Heathers, and has been working consistently to a degree since. He’s now a part of the hit television program Mr. Robot.)

Tara Reid – (Known For: American Pie; The Big Lebowski; Cruel Intentions; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Josie and the Pussycats; Dr. T & the Women; Future BMT: My Boss’s Daughter; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Urban Legend; Body Shots; Just Visiting; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Alone in the Dark in 2006; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for My Boss’s Daughter in 2004; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Just Married in 2004; Notes: Somewhat of a punchline these days unfortunately. An example of how quickly one’s career can crater when you don’t guard against taking on poor projects. Her starring turn in Sharknado kind of revitalized her career a bit, although perhaps ironically.)

Stephen Dorff – (Known For: Public Enemies; Blade; The Iceman; Zoolander; World Trade Center; Somewhere; The Gate; Felon; Cecil B. DeMented; I Shot Andy Warhol; Blood and Wine; Backbeat; The Motel Life; Brake; City of Industry; The Deal; Nanking; Zaytoun; Entropy; Future BMT: Cold Creek Manor; Leatherface; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; Space Truckers; American Hero; Immortals; Steal; Deuces Wild; Shadowboxer; Tomorrow You’re Gone; Jackals; Botched; S.F.W.; Judgment Night; Den of Lions; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Feardotcom; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Notes: Will play a prominent role in HBO’s True Detective Season 3.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $5,178,569 (Worldwide: $10,442,808)

(Funny enough I had a whole thing written about how this film made money from tax breaks … but it probably actually couldn’t because it was filmed in Canada, not Germany. Which means … as crazy as it sounds, someone decided to make Alone in the Dark with actual financing. Naturally it was a complete bomb … congrats.)

#65 for the Creature Feature genre

aloneinthedark_creaturefeature

(There is a fascination with the creature feature, and there always has been I suppose. Jaws busted it out in the blockbuster, and then with CGI things like Anaconda made them huge in the late 90s. Alien, King Kong, Godzilla, Jurassic World … it really isn’t ever going to stop. A Sound of Thunder and Critters 2 made less money than this piece of garbage, think on that for a hot second.)

#332 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

aloneinthedark_rratedhorror

(This is having a moment naturally, although it is interesting that it isn’t doing exceptionally well financially. By which I mean: with IT and Get Out’s success I would have thought that the dollar per theater number would have just been huge. But really it seems like it has just returned to the position it was in in the late-90s weirdly. At least on average.)

#35 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

aloneinthedark_videogameadaptation

(They really have been trying to make this a thing since it all began. It has actually ticked up a bit on the return recently, and the reviews are coming in … but then again, Marvel/Star Wars/ Disney just kind of consume everything as well, so I don’t really see much room for giant video game franchises. Maybe they’ll end up on television though which could actually be quite cool now that I think about it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 1% (1/120): Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it’s good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter.

(This is arguably the second worst reviewed film of all time. It kind of depends on how you define things. Our last movie, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever has less review (116), but all bad. The former BMT thriller Twisted has more reviews (136) but two are good. One missed call also has a perfect 0% with only 80 reviews as well. So depending on how you calculate things I think there is a strong argument this is the second worst reviewed film of all time.)

Poster – Alone in the Sklog (C+)

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(While cheap looking and with totally uninteresting font and color scheme, it’s not as bad as I would have expected. It also has some artistic touch that makes it a bit more interesting that it probably should be.)

Tagline(s) – Evil awakens. (D)

(Blah. Really hard to have an original and interesting two word tagline to a film. This is neither of those.)

Keyword(s) – battle; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.6 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.7 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.6 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 86.5 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007);

(Given that I’ve seen Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (in theaters …) I am kind of one away from completing this list … that is pretty impressive. For the keyword battle!)

Notes – The lengthy opening text crawl was added after numerous test audience members said they were confused by the plot. (As I assume most such terrible beginnings are made)

After execs read the green draft of the shooting script, the film got an additional $10 million. Uwe Boll poured the money into special effects. (After they saw how real this tax shelter of a film was some rich German decided to evade several million more dollars worth of taxes … that is literally how this probably worked).

Was named worst film of 2005 by the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. (One of the last ones)

Every piece of body armor worn by the various extra foot soldiers during major battle scenes is paintball body protection made by JT USA. (Sigh)

Uwe Boll wanted Christian Bale and Jessica Alba for the leads. (I’m sure he wanted many a thing in this pipe dream of a film)

One of the two films that received an “F” CinemaScore from audiences upon their release in 2005, along with Wolf Creek (2005). (That is actually pretty awesome. Wolf Creek doesn’t even qualify)

Nuclear Blast spend $30,000 on the soundtrack rights to promote their bands.

Uwe Boll stated on various occasions that he regretted having Tara Reid in the film. (I’m sure she regretted being in the film)

The song that can be heard during the shooting sequence is “Ghost” by Mnemic.

Uwe Boll changed the ending from the original script to make a more ambiguous note.

A love scene between Christian Slater and Tara Reid featuring the song “Seven Seconds” by Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry can be seen in the extended version. (Nooooooooo, I best be getting the extended version)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Tara Reid)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Preview

As world famous bad movie scientists, we obviously have a high powered lawyer on retainer to fix the many jams we find ourselves in. Unfortunately he’s far too busy cleaning up our latest scandal to help up set up the BMT Productions, LLC. “No probs, bro,” we say and hop right onto LawyerHelpPleaseAndThankYou.net to find a new lawyer the old fashioned way. We obvs crush it on the message boards and soon snare a lawyer who says she will do it for free (and she sounds pretty cute to boot). When she shows up though we are shocked to find that she’s no lady… she’s a dog! And our country club is no dogs allowed (gulp). But we’re in a jam and we need this LLC quick or else the Obsidian Dongle is doomed. We just got to get it done, dog lawyer or no. Surprisingly, our journey with Ruffles is marked by startling personal growth. Patrick’s rambunctious children realize their Dad can still be pretty cool sometimes and Jamie finally learns to live and love again. Ruffles has changed our lives and become this man’s… best friend. Just as we are about to sign the final papers for the company an assassin jumps through the window and knocks us out cold. When we awaken Ruffles is gone and all that’s left is a note that says “I’ve taken your dog lawyer to Vancouver. Follow if you dare. Signed, Aitch.” While this seemingly makes no sense and veers wildly away from our original plan of creating a film company, we only have one choice. The fate of Ruffles is in our hands. That’s right! We’re watching Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (Produced by Elie Samaha who also produced Battlefield Earth). This is the worst reviewed film of all time and is one that Patrick and I have both seen before (I’ve actually seen it a few times). However recently we decided that we’re going to revisit such gems and give them the full BMT treatment. This one deserves it. Let’s go!

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) – BMeTric: 77.2

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(Stock still baby. No regression = super ultra everyone-agrees-this-is-garbage film. Which makes sense considering this is the worst reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes in history.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Idiotic action film boasts what may be the worst movie title ever coined. Banderas plays an ex-FBI agent still mourning the death of his wife after seven years; his former boss recruits him for a kidnapping case by telling him his wife is still alive, and the kidnapper can lead him to her. But even that sliver of logic dissolves as the story unfolds. Only devotees of cars exploding into fireballs will find any value here.

(If this got anything other than a BOMB my head would have exploded. I remember this movie not making a lick of sense. There is a crazy bus scene, but I don’t remember an inordinate number of car explosions. I think the people who would find value in it are more likely to be wire-fu completionists. I’m loving that semi-colon in the middle of the review as well, you always give your audience what they want Leonard, I love it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tme_SdRv2gk

(A microdevice! Oh no! Two main things. First, them dropping what is the worst like in the film (“I told her you just got beat up by a girl”) and blowing their load with the kind of sweet overhead shot of the guy falling off of the building is just premo marketing. They also give away the plot of the film, like beginning to end. I’ll give them this: the trailer looked a lot better than the actual film is.)

Directors – Wych Kaosayananda – (BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: The son of a Thai diplomat he broke out with Fah in 1998, which had the largest budget for any Thai film to that point. Ballistic basically destroyed his career in the US, although in interviews he chaulks many of the issues it has up to its disastrous production.)

Writers – Alan B. McElroy (written by) (as Alan McElroy) – (Known For: Wrong Turn; Future BMT: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings; Tekken; Spawn; Thr3e; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; The Perfect Guy; Rapid Fire; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Marine; Left Behind; Notes: Interestingly in interviews the director claims the script was heavily rewritten by Peter Lenkov without credit. Amazing career focusing heavily on horror. He was probably in the last wave of people who literally just up and moved to Hollywood with a single script in hand and was hired onto the Columbia screenwriting program based off of that.)

Extra Note: Peter Lenkov wrote Son in Law and Demolition Man. He mainly does tv now, and is notably the writer of the original R.I.P.D. comic book!

Actors – Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Shrek 2; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Shrek the Third; Spy Kids; Shrek Forever After; Bullet Head; The Mask of Zorro; Frida; Acts of Vengeance; Desperado; Knight of Cups; La piel que habito; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Philadelphia; Black Butterfly; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; The 33; Puss in Boots; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Future BMT: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D; Machete Kills; Play It to the Bone; Never Talk to Strangers; The Other Man; The Legend of Zorro; The Body; The Big Bang; Original Sin; Two Much; Gun Shy; Autómata; Assassins; Of Love and Shadows; Justin and the Knights of Valour; The 13th Warrior; Four Rooms; Imagining Argentina; Black Gold; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Expendables 3; Notes: Most notable as the bee in those Nasonex ads (j/k). Zorro, Puss in Boots, Spy Kids, Expendables. You know Antonio Banderas! Spanish actor who successfully crossed over into American films.)

Lucy Liu – (Known For: Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Chicago; Kung Fu Panda 3; Jerry Maguire; Charlie’s Angels; Kung Fu Panda; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Lucky Number Slevin; Kung Fu Panda 2; Payback; Detachment; The Man with the Iron Fists; Shanghai Noon; TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings; Kaguyahime no monogatari; True Crime; Gridlock’d; Cypher; City of Industry; Future BMT: Code Name: The Cleaner; Rise; Play It to the Bone; Domino; Hotel; The Trouble with Bliss; Molly; Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: American, she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese however. Has played Watson on the long running television series Elementary.)

Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Piñero; Spike of Bensonhurst; Future BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Spy Hard; Mortal Kombat; The Sunchaser; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Notes: Basically retired from acting after this film. Not because of the film, she happened to marry Benjamin Bratt and have her first child around the same time … but I like to think her experiences on Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever helped her decide.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $14,307,963 (Worldwide: $19,924,033)

(There is a note below claiming this is the biggest bomb ever, which is obviously false. Yes, $70 million is a lot, but I’m pretty sure at this point films that have cost of $100 million have ended up not being released. It is impossible for this to be the worst ever I think. But this is catastrophic stuff, the whole budget is a write off at that point.)

#20 for the Action – Wire-Fu genre

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(Amazing. It really was in that in between period when you could spend the money on this stuff, and when it probably was all replaced with CGI instead. Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave, The Tuxedo, Bulletproof Monk, The Medallion … we’ve seen a lot of these films. A very funny genre with a delightful mix of amazing and trash films as well.)

#64 for the Action Heroine genre

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(A bit ahead of the curve there which is interesting, especially considering none of the other combinations in the notes had the character played by a woman. The genre is obviously booming now. Fun fact: We’ve seen the lowest grossing movie on this list, Barb Wire, which is indeed barely a movie.)

#89 for the Spy genre

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(Right in the thick of the peak. The huge dive is, I think, because Pierce Brosnan was James Bond for the last time then (in a terrible movie), so it kind of put a damper on the genre which was kind of subsequently taken over by Bourne for a bit.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/116): A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.

(From what I remember, this sounds about right. Noteworthy, still, for being the only movie with over 100 reviews all of which were rotten. I don’t think this will ever be broken in the age of ironic viewing and good-for-what-it-is-itis. Which I guess makes this all the more amazing. Reviewer Highlight: Ballistic is a generic blur of metallic blue and fireball orange set to the contrapuntal sounds of throbbing techno and eardrum-puncturing noise. – Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Sklog-llistic: Rich vs. Poe (B+)

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(I like this poster, but I don’t love this poster and I’m not totally sure why. It’s got everything: blue tone, unique font, nice enough framing. I guess it just doesn’t tell a story to me. Like if I saw this poster would I want to go see it? Nope.)

Tagline(s) – Your most dangerous enemies are the friends you’ve double-crossed. (D)

(Lol, wot? They talk about this film being a convoluted mess. Same goes for the tagline. Also, I don’t think this has anything to do with the actual plot of this film.)

Keyword(s) – fbi; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.7 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 78.8 Torque (2004); 77.2 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002); 76.0 Death Note (2017); 74.8 Taxi (I) (2004); 73.7 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); 71.9 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 70.3 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 68.7 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 67.1 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009);

(Death Note doesn’t count (Netflix original), but the rest of those I am down for. I’m surprised Speed 2 doesn’t have this keyword. It definitely has a higher BMeTric than 67.)

Notes – The film is #1 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of “The 100 Worst Reviewed Movies of All Time”. (Indeed, I believe it is the only film with over one hundred reviews that are all rotten)

The film grossed less than 30% of its budget at the box office, making it one of the biggest box-office failures in film history. (Weeeeellllllll, not sure I believe that one)

Agent Sever was originally written to be played by a man. The film’s original stars were Wesley Snipes and Jet Li, then Vin Diesel and Sylvester Stallone. (I would have watched any of these three versions)

While filming a large-scale action scene that involved explosives, a detonation occurred too close to Antonio Banderas, who escaped with minor burns. (Scary)

The 2001 Game Boy Advance game “Ecks vs. Sever” was actually based on an early script draft for this film, not the other way around. The game’s producers later made a sequel to that game that was based on the finished version of this movie. (Apparently the one based off of the script is quite good as well. The one based on the movie is less well regarded)

According to director Wych Kaosayananda, co-star Antonio Banderas suggested Lucy Liu come on for the role of Sever after having previously worked with her on Play It to the Bone (1999). When the director had earlier read the script, he felt that it was rather similar to the films The Killer (1989) and Leon the Professional (1994), while actually visualizing that Chou-Yun Fat and Jean Reno could be perfect square-off leads. Franchise Pictures didn’t find either Fat and Reno financially viable though. (… Wait, Chow-Yun Fat and Jean Reno were too expensive … that’s weird. I wonder if it has to do with where they were filming)

The film started in the 1980s as a spec script by Alan McElroy, titled ‘Legion’, then ‘Gunner’. Vestron Pictures tried to make the movie in 1988, with Dwight H. Little directing and Dolph Lundgren starring, but Charles W. Fries didn’t want to do it. (Jesus, there are like seventeen version of this film billed as X vs Y, and all of them sound pretty amusing to be honest)

Roger Ebert included the film on his “Most Hated” list. (No doubt)

Some critics, bloggers and other movie viewers have compared this film to War (2007) due to it containing a similar storyline (disgruntled federal agent figuring out a conspiracy), people varying on the action scenes being exciting or not, both films being advertised as a versus film only for both lead stars to square off briefly on-screen and due to overwhelming dislike with both films. (Another film we have to watch)

“After casting, the real challenges started. We were going to shoot everything in Bangkok while we retouched the script to fit the location. Then the notes came in, and I won’t get into the details but there are only two things anyone needs to know about the changes that were made by request from the studio. One: In the original draft, Sever kidnaps Ecks’ son, and the whole time, the boy is basically kept in a kid-sized glass box just big enough for him to sit in, placed on top of a kilo of C4. That was changed. Two: There was no other motivation for the characters. It was all about family. Gant “kills” Ecks and takes his wife, Vinn, and their son, with both believing each other to be dead. Meanwhile, Sever wants revenge for the death of her family at the hands of Gant and his men. So, believing it was Gant’s son, she kidnaps him and Ecks springs into action. It was all about love and family and nothing else. The nano technology included in the final draft had nothing to do with what I wanted for the story. Granted, we had a fantastic writer. Franchise Pictures brought Peter Lenkov to rewrite Alan McElroy’s script and he did a great job with the instructions he was given. Yes, there were changes made that watered it down to my chagrin, but it was as satisfactory as it needed to be at the time and everybody was on board. Then, tragedy struck in September 2001 and we had to relocate from Bangkok to Vancouver for safety reasons. Those moving expenses ended up in cutting more action scenes out, but thankfully our terrific crew made things feel much easier.” (Wych Kaosayananda on changes made to the film) (Yeah, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising the production was a mess. To be honest, it sounds like 9/11 had a bigger impact that any of the production notes. I understand he wasn’t something different, but it doesn’t really sound like making a note of “don’t put a kid in a glass box on some C4” is that big of a deal)

“Well, I’ll try to explain this as best as I can: I did my first cut which as I understood it was just that-my first cut which was the script as shot and fine tuned. There were scenes I wasn’t sure of, but liked. And we also tested the movie; One scene in particular lost the audience and the experience wasn’t very good. It was a little heavy on melodrama, and I own that. I loved the scene, but also was afraid it wouldn’t work and could easily be cheesy. But again, I honestly felt that was what the tests were for, and I was wrong. We didn’t score well and based on that test, two producers who I was already having issues with for various reasons basically just took over the movie. I found out as I was on my way to the editing room two days after the test screening and just a day after having a big meeting with Warner Bros. executives and marketing people, who were terrific by the way. By the time I got to the edit suites, my editor was Caroline Ross, a wonderful person and a great editor, was also fired and replaced, after all those hours and weeks I spent with her. And I wasn’t too pleased to say the least. So, after consulting with my agents at CAA, it was decided it was best to just walk away quietly and they’d focus on getting my next job. I still had a great relationship with the executives at Warner Bros. I had things in development with Fox 2000 and RKO and we’d just move on. The problem was, I couldn’t. I’d shot an old school actioner in 2002 with the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt as my template. My DP and I had specific needs to be met with the way we shot it, especially when it came to all the action scenes I choreographed while working with Joel Kramer – one the best stunt coordinators in his field. But despite our best efforts, the movie was butchered to the point where certain shots were flipped because the edit no longer made sense. And yes, this also affected the sequencing and pacing of the action – it was horrible to watch. Just so you know, I had only ever seen the theatrical cut once with no audio, during the colour grade with Julio, my DP. At the premier I waited until the movie had been playing for thirty minutes before taking my seat. I did this because I knew the movie was bad. I pretty much hyperventilated for the whole evening.” (Wych Kaosayananda on producer’s interference with the film and his reaction with how it turned out) (Jesus. So the note is a bit confusing, possibly because of a language barrier. But, it seems like he couldn’t walk away because some of the action scenes were specifically templated a certain way, and without him they would have been butchered and nothing would have made sense and it would have besmirched his good name. Whoooooowwwweeeeeee)

Talisa Soto’s last acting role for 7 years until she appeared in La Mission (2009).

Part of Rotten Tomatoe’s Bottom 10 films that were poorly rated. The other nine are One Missed Call (2008), Pinocchio (2002), King’s Ransom (2005), National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers (2004) Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004), Strange Wilderness (2008), 3 Strikes (2000), Redline (2007) and Witless Protection (2008). (This will be our sixth, although this list is quite out of date. I can’t find an updated list)

Despite making several “bad movies of all time” lists, this film has never been nominated nor won any Razzie awards. (It was too unknown to be poked fun at … that isn’t a compliment)

The possibly only good review recorded to dare by a professional critic (yet wasn’t recorded on Rotten Tomatoes’ site) was a review for the Daily Herald by film critic Jean Carey. It was recorded on Sept. 20, 2002 and the headline was ” ‘Ballistic’ a great time at the movies.” (Ha, there is a whole article on this. So it looks like it isn’t on Rotten Tomatoes because the editor wrote it, not the movie critic, and they basically “covered” it with a new terrible review when they realized what they had done. Amazing stuff)