King Kong Lives Preview

This week we really get down in the muck for Horror/Thriller. That’s because we are doing the sequel to the 1976 King Kong remake, King Kong Lives. Never heard of it? You shouldn’t have. It is well known for having some of the most horrendous special effects of the age. It also sounds like a B-movie straight-to-video release and yet still got a wide theatrical release (1000+ theaters). We’re really only doing this because it is a major part of the Razzie book as one of the most enjoyable bad movies of all time. Hard to pass up on those credentials for a 1986 film when we’re doing a cycle restricted to just that year. Guess we’ll get to find out whether it’s truly enjoyable or if this is just another White Comanche (shudder). Let’s go!

King Kong Lives (1986) – BMeTric: 40.7

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(Finally something interesting in these plots! First, what happened in 2006? All of a sudden there is a weird uptick in the votes. And then twice the vote count goes down! My theory? These events are more common with “confused” movie titles. Here there are a multitude of King Kong titles available and they every so often try to make sure there aren’t mistaken votes. Tenuous, but it is weird that the event seems so rare (remember the Bratz effect) and with no real rhyme or reason. Still, seems odd for IMDb to do, and confusing for this movie in particular, there is no way bots are trolling a random movie from a defunct production company. It is absurd.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dino De Laurentiis sequel gives the ape a mate with everything he loves: She’s tall, statuesque, with great mossy teeth. The Army tried to kill them (naturally), but not before the finale that actually rips off the final scene in Spartacus. Desperate.

(And with one single word Leonard effectively eviscerates this film. Desperate. As we know from Raw Deal De Laurentiis was desperate at the time. This is the second Dino De Laurentiis film in a row, and the studio declared bankruptcy basically right after these colossal failures. This actually makes me a bit more enamored with the 1986 bad movie catalogue. There is an underlying theme of the pre-blockbuster studio system going through a tiny death as executives like De Laurentiis desperately try to sell films that feel more comfortable in the 70s to audiences whose minds are being blown by Return of the Jedi)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0HvmgZfbl8

(I mean … what is this? Seriously? Again, three years after Return of the Jedi! People went from lightsaber battles to a King Kong sequel which looks like it uses effects from the 60s. The entire trailer is complete and utter trash as well. This movie is going to be a distinct non-pleasure to watch I think.)

Directors – John Guillermin – (Known For: King Kong; The Towering Inferno; Death on the Nile; Shaft in Africa; BMT: King Kong Lives; Sheena; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1985 for Worst Director for Sheena. Accomplished Action-Adventure filmmaker who was also well known for being incredibly difficult to work with. I will say that out of everything in King Kong (1976) the direction was probably the best part of the film, the sets were rather incredible to behold. No wonder he basically fell out of favor with the rise of digital effects though.)

Writers – Steven Pressfield (screenplay & story) – (Known For: The Legend of Bagger Vance; Above the Law; BMT: King Kong Lives; Freejack; Notes: Notable author, specifically The Legend of Bagger Vance, and screenwriter. He is particularly notable for his non-fiction and fiction work in military history as his father was in the Navy and he was a Marine for a time. Was homeless as he struggled to get Bagger Vance published early in his career.)

Ronald Shusett (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Alien; Aliens; Prometheus; Total Recall; Alien: Resurrection; Alien³; Above the Law; Dead & Buried; BMT: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; King Kong Lives; Freejack; Total Recall (2015); The Final Terror; Notes: Famous for his work with Dan O’Bannon in Science Fiction he helped write Alien and Total Recall. He moved into producer roles in the 90s and now basically produces B-level horror for a living.)

Edgar Wallace (Known For: King Kong (multiple); Notes: Made the character of King Kong in a script he penned for RKO Studios. Was incredibly prolific, but all of his films are from pre-1940 and King Kong is his only major lasting character.)

Merian C. Cooper (character) – (Known For: King Kong (multiple); Mighty Joe Young (multiple) BMT: King Kong Lives; Notes: Co-inventor of the Cinerama technique he is probably most famous for creating King Kong and Mighty Joe Young. Edgar Wallace penned the script, but Cooper allegedly had a dream imagining a giant gorilla attacking New York. I assume the final product is basically both Wallace and Cooper’s ideas smushed together.)

Actors – Brian Kerwin – (Known For: The Help; 27 Dresses; Murphy’s Romance; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; BMT: King Kong Lives; Jack; Getting Away with Murder; Notes: He has an amazingly varied career bouncing from extensive work in theater, to film, to daytime tv (where he won a daytime emmy).)

Linda Hamilton – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; The Terminator; BMT: King Kong Lives; Children of the Corn; Dante’s Peak; Shadow Conspiracy; Black Moon Rising; Terminator Salvation; Notes: Obviously the original Sarah Conners from the Terminator franchise. It is kind of incredible how poorly her career went outside of that franchise. Was notably married to James Cameron for a time, and revealed that she suffers from Bipolar Disorder. She mainly does television now in guest spots.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $4,711,220 (N/A)

(Obviously a complete unmitigated disaster. I assumed as much since this was probably a major contributing factor in De Laurentiis filing for bankruptcy. It also seems ludicrous to me, based on the trailer, that this films would cost $18 million, but whatever.)

#63 for the Creature Feature genre

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(Seen for Critters 2: The Main Course (#66) where we said: The creature feature is a staple of classic horror, but I think it kind of rose to prominence again after Jurassic Park (in case you were wondering what that gigantic peak around ’93 was). Since then it comes and goes in waves, but will probably rise again with Jurassic World killing it at the box office. King Kong may add to it soon as well. King Kong Lives certainly contributed to BMT sooner than I expected.)

#22 for the Remake – Sequel to a Remake genre

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(This was also seen for Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (#8) where we said: My God, those waves! They just get bigger and bigger. Presumably the troughs are where they release the original remake. I think ‘05 to ‘10 might end up going down in history as an anomaly in bad movie history, just prior to the tentpole movies crowding the release schedule and VOD becoming a real option, a true heyday of traditional bad movie watching. Another dying genre it looks like, possibly because these sequels are now more regularly being released by alternative means. Funny that King Kong Lives appears to be one of the first sequel to a remake ever! Groundbreaking.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/9): No consensus yet.

(Time to make a consensus which unfortunately would go a little like this: This movie is boring. Period. Oof, this is looking more dire by the minute. This is literally all Ebert mentions in his review, that the actors look bored and the movie is boring.)

Poster – King Sklog Lives (A)

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(I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt and say that the old school look is intentional. In which case I really do like the poster. I might even love it. It is energetic, and kind of cool, and the artistic styling is just fun. A very cool idea and surprising to see from a film made in 1986. There are a few other posters (on rotten tomatoes for example) which are straight terrible, but I’m going to go with this one.)

Tagline(s) – The Legendary Kong is Back! (C-)

America’s Biggest Hero is back…and He is not happy. (F)

(Okay, the first guy is standard and just boring, but hard to complain about it. The second … honestly why is King Kong considered America’s Biggest Hero? How is he a hero? In the 1976 film what did he do that was heroic? Nothing. That tagline is ridiculous.)

Keyword(s) – ape; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.1 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 83.6 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 68.1 The Flintstones (1994); 57.6 Congo (1995); 40.7 King Kong Lives (1986); 38.8 Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973); 29.6 King Kong (1976); 24.7 Speed Racer (2008); 22.7 Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970); 21.3 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972);

(Hey, after watching this film and all of the planet of the apes we’ll have watched all of the top “ape” keyword films. Not a terrible list, but also not amazing. I can’t remember why Dragonball would have ape listed. Or Scary Movie 5. Or Flintstones …. This list is weird.)

Notes – Peter Michael Goetz’s cheque for post release royalties came to 3 cents. He has it stapled to the film poster in his house, having never cashed it. (Ha, see these are the more lighthearted notes I like)

Peter Weller was offered a part in this film; but he opted to play the title role in RoboCop (1987) instead. (good choice)

Writer Steven Pressfield mentions “King Kong Lives” as a live-changing, validating failure in his book ‘The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.’ This was his first professional writing job after 17 years of trying. After the movie bombed, he realized he had become a professional. He hadn’t yet had a success, but “had had a real failure.” (very cool, Pressfield seems like he has a cool story)

This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John WIlson’s book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. (This guide is garbage and I think that probably none of these films are enjoyable beyond thinking “oh wow King Kong looks like crap in this …. Cool”. Hard to sustain enjoyment of a bad movie based on something like that)

As of 2015, it remains as the last theatrical film directed by John Guillermin. (Wow, that is pretty amazing. It does look old school)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Carlo Rambaldi)

The Golden Child Preview

This week we pick up in the 1986 cycle where we left off: at the beginning. In choosing a comedy film for the week we basically had two choices: the very straightforward comedy that we know is trash but was a small release no one really remembers exists (Club Paradise starring Robin Williams) OR one of the blockbuster releases of the year starring one of the megastars of the decade, but which isn’t quite a straightforward comedy and isn’t quite as poorly reviewed (The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy). While we would typically pick the forgotten gem, we figured since we are doing this in commemoration of the year of our birth we should try to hit the major releases that may have defined the year for bad movie watchers. So without further ado we are watching The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy. Shaping up to be quite the BMT year for Murphy. Already seen him in Harlem Nights and Norbit got elected to the Hall of Fame. Congrats. Let’s go!

The Golden Child (1986) – BMeTric: 29.6

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(That’s what I like to see. Kind of a rare BMeTric profile in that it sits perfectly on an inflection such that the regression to the mean pushes it up and then back down over the past 15 years. And yet all of that said … a fairly straightforward graph.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Top candidate for worst megahit of all time. A “perfect” child (Reate) is kidnapped despite his magical powers; as foretold by an ancient oracle, only Murphy can rescue him. Lewis is more wooden than most ex-models; entire reels go by with nary a chuckle. A box-office smash – but have you ever met anyone who liked it?

(That was rough. I think we’ll see a few BOMBs in this cycle. Leonard seems to really dislike the classically terrible film. Quality semi-colon game by Leonard as usual, but grim prognosis for the movie. Sounds boring. Gulp.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pd0-Je3XDQ

(Nope. Not jazzed. But that is just a “Eddie Murphy is in this!” trailer. As Leonard said this is right on the tails of Beverly Hills Cop, so they were really going for a similar vibe. The attitude does feel the same, but I can also see that the humor doesn’t seem quite right. It seems like a stretch.)

Directors – Michael Ritchie – (Known For: Downhill Racer; The Bad News Bears; Fletch; The Candidate; The Couch Trip; Prime Cut; The Island; Midnight Sting; Semi-Tough; Smile; The Fantasticks; BMT: Cops and Robbersons; The Golden Child; The Scout; A Simple Wish; Fletch Lives; Wildcats; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1981 for Worst Director for The Island. Huh I’ve never heard of The Island. Known initially for his sports movies, he moved into comedies in the late 80s. Described as “consistently inconsistent” by critics struggling to describe what seems, to me, to be a weirdly varied filmography. He died in 2001.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child; Notes:  Just One of the Guys! I can’t believe that isn’t BMT. Interestingly both Feldman and Ritchie went to Harvard. Worked as a script doctor before his big break with Just One of the Guys. Virus was his last film, but he’s been involved with the writer’s guild for years.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Coming to America; Shrek; Shrek 2; Mulan; Beverly Hills Cop; Trading Places; Shrek the Third; Dreamgirls; Tower Heist; Shrek Forever After; The Nutty Professor; Beverly Hills Cop II; Life; Boomerang; 48 Hrs.; Doctor Dolittle; Bowfinger; Dr. Dolittle 2; Imagine That; BMT: Norbit; Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Pluto Nash; Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child; A Thousand Words; The Distinguished Gentleman; Harlem Nights; Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, and Showtime; Won the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress for Norbit; Won the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Actor for A Thousand Words, in 2010 for Imagine That, in 2009 for Meet Dave, and 2003 for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, and Showtime; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Norbit; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Screen Couple for Meet Dave, in 2008 for Norbit, and in 2003 for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, and Showtime; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Director for Harlem Nights Notes: As we said mere months ago for Harlem Nights “Major movie star and stand-up comic. One of the most prominent BMT actors of our age”. Mr. Church came out to lackluster reviews recently, although Murphy was widely lauded for his effective dramatic turn.)

Also stars J.L. Reate – (The titular Golden Child. She was literally only in this movie … filmography complete!) and Charles Dance – (Famous for Game of Thrones now. Has never been in a BMT film and doesn’t seem like he is in any others …. but he was in the Australian movie Patrick! Sadly the remake, not the 1978 classic.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $79,817,937 (N/A)

(As Leonard said this was a huge box office success at the time, the eighth biggest film of the year. But it was considered a disappointment by the studio which was hoping for something more along the lines of the $200+ million take of Beverly Hills Cop)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (5/19): No consensus yet.

(No consensus!? But that just won’t do. I’ll make one: A precursor to Murphy’s turn towards family-friendly fare, The Golden Child is too lightweight and silly. While amusing at times, it isn’t enough to save what is ultimately a bore. Blah, even I think it is boring and I haven’t even seen the movie yet!)

Poster – The Sklog-en Child (A)

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(I … love this poster. Just feels like the 80s. I find it beautiful. And there is no way to mock it! Replacing those letters would be painful. The only critique personally is that it is very Eddie Murphy in your face. But then again, that was the point of the movie.)

Tagline(s) – Eddie Murphy Is The Chosen One (C)

(Blah. And The Chosen One is meaningless outside of the movie’s context. This tagline could just be “Eddie Murphy is in this movie!” and it would be just as effective in my opinion. It is boring, but serviceable. Especially combined with that bomb poster.)

Keyword(s) – child; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.3 Troll 2 (1990); 71.7 Baby Geniuses (1999); 64.4 Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992); 62.4 Saving Christmas (2014); 56.1 Poltergeist III (1988); 53.2 A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989); 53.1 Cold Creek Manor (2003); 50.0 Wild Orchid (1989); 49.4 Suburban Commando (1991); 47.8 Halloween 5 (1989);

(What a weird list and weird keyword. Just child … although appropriate for Golden Child I suppose. I am looking forward to Suburban Commando. Do you think we can do a Hulkamania cycle? Maybe if we open to all wrestlers and got a loosey goosey with the rules.)

Notes – Although the Golden Child is referred to as a boy throughout the film, J.L. Reate is actually a girl.

Originally intended as a serious adventure drama with Mel Gibson in the lead role. After Gibson turned the film down and Eddie Murphy replaced him, the script was rewritten as a partial comedy. (You’d think since this so frequently gets mentioned in movie disaster post-mortems that it would be avoided … but maybe it happens so often to great success that the benefits outweigh the pitfalls. Who knows)

On the return flight from Nepal, Eddie Murphy starts to sing with the music on the headphones on the plane. The third line/gibberish he sings is, “Eddie Murphy is a cool man.”

Eddie Murphy turned down a role in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) in order to make this film. (Saaaaaaaaay what. Although I can see it. He would probably help Kirk and Spock get to the aquarium to see the whales to boisterous laughs. Sigh. What could have been.

John Barry was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to compose, produce, and record a complete score. However, Barry was taken off the project after creative differences and reaction to test screenings . Although Michel Colombier completed the score, a few cues by Barry remain in the film, and one, “Wisdom of the Ages”, was released on the original soundtrack LP. As of the present, the entirety of both Barry’s largely unused music and Colombier’s final theatrical version score have been issued on a limited edition 3-CD soundtrack by Capitol/La-La Land Records. (I know what Jamie is getting for Christmas)

In the dream, when Chandler meets Sardo, Fu and “The Fat dude” and Sardo carves the dagger on Chandler’s arm, the set is the same used in the last few seasons of Webster (1983) (Ha!)

Bonfire of the Vanities Preview

On the precipice of finishing the Now A Major Motion Picture cycle, we of course chose the longest book in the world for the Razzie section. That’s right, we’re watching The Bonfire of the Vanities starring Tom Hanks and BMT Legend Bruce Willis. The film was based on the Tom Wolfe classic of the same name, which comes in at a weighty 630 pages (oof). Luckily I started in on the behemoth weeks ago. This has been on my BMT future prospects list since almost the beginning of time, mostly because I couldn’t believe that there was a Hanks-Willis collaboration that bombed so badly. It was nominated for five Razzies (Picture, Screenplay, Director, Actress, and Supporting Actress) and an entire book was written about its troubled production (look at that street cred!). I did not get a chance to read that book… yet. Let’s go!

The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) – BMeTric: 39.5

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(Beautiful. Regression to the mean is there, as the votes rise the rating rises as well. But also there is no 2011 inflection point, why? I believe it is because this movie is kind of perfectly “average”. It isn’t popular by any means, but it also isn’t unpopular, probably because of the book it has a built in audience. Make the BMeTric plot interesting as well, where it reaches a pretty strong plateau.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Appallingly heavy-handed “comedy” about a cocky Wall Street wheeler-dealer whose well-insulated life begins to crumble when his wife learns he’s fooling around, and he and his paramour are involved in a hit-and-run accident. With all the power – and nuance – of Tom Wolfe’s novel removed, and all the characters turned into caricatures (racist and otherwise), what’s left is a pointless charade, and a pitiful waste of money and talent.

(Racist caricatures? Pitiful waste of talent? Nearly endless sentence to start what is in reality a fairly banal review for a rare BOMB from Leonard. All point to this being an enigma, a bizarre unfortunate twisting of BMT in general. Uh oh … I feel like my brain is already melting and I’m not even watching this nonsense movie…)

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

(Wow, this is a truly classic trailer. Heavy voiceover and film clips of characters seemingly responding to the voiceover. It’s almost like a short film. That being said, this trailer doesn’t tell me much about what the film is supposed to be about or what the conflict will be. It comes across as, well… a pointless charade.)

Directors – Brian De Palma – (Known For: Scarface; Mission: Impossible; The Untouchables; Carrie; Carlito’s Way; Dressed to Kill; Body Double; The Fury; Casualties of War; Blow Out; Femme Fatale; Snake Eyes; Obsession; BMT: The Black Dahlia; Mission to Mars; Passion; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Wise Guys; Notes: Actually went to Columbia University for Physics, but after graduating decided to pursue filmmaking and enrolled in a theater graduate program. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Director for Mission to Mars, 1991 for Bonfire of the Vanities, 1985 for Body Double, 1984 for Scarface, and 1981 for Dressed to Kill.)

Writers – Michael Cristofer (screenplay) – (Known For: The Witches of Eastwick; Casanova; Falling in Love; Mr. Jones; BMT: The Bonfire of the Vanities; Original Sin; Notes: Probably best known for winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony for The Shadow Box. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1991 for Worst Screenplay for The Bonfire of the Vanities)

Tom Wolfe (novel) – (Known For: The Right Stuff; BMT: The Bonfire of the Vanities; Almost Heroes; Notes: Acclaimed novelist. I presume his credit for Almost Heroes is a case of mistaken identity, but it is hard to prove. Not mentioned on his wikipedia page, so I’m leaning towards it being not true. Funniest thing is that it’s mentioned in books and shit… presumably because the author saw the “fact” on imdb.)

Actors – Tom Hanks – (Known For: A Hologram for the King; Forrest Gump; Saving Private Ryan; Bridge of Spies; The Green Mile; Cast Away; Cloud Atlas; Catch Me If You Can; Cars; Toy Story; Captain Phillips; Charlie Wilson’s War; Toy Story 3; You’ve Got Mail; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Road to Perdition; Apollo 13; A League of Their Own; Splash; The Terminal; Saving Mr. Banks; Big; Toy Story 2; Philadelphia; The ‘Burbs; Sleepless in Seattle; That Thing You Do!; Turner & Hooch; The Simpsons Movie; The Money Pit; The Polar Express; The Ladykillers; Bachelor Party; Dragnet; Joe Versus the Volcano; The Great Buck Howard; Nothing in Common; Volunteers; The Man with One Red Shoe; Punchline; BMT: The Bonfire of the Vanities; Larry Crowne; He Knows You’re Alone; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; Notes:  With someone this famous you almost just have to link to some current news. Check out the Instagram selfie posted by wife Rita Wilson, cause why not?)

Bruce Willis – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Sin City; The Fifth Element; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; The Sixth Sense; Looper; Die Hard; Moonrise Kingdom; Alpha Dog; RED 2; RED; Twelve Monkeys; Ocean’s Twelve; Unbreakable; The Expendables; Die Hard 4.0; The Expendables 2; Grindhouse; Die Hard 2; Lucky Number Slevin; The Last Boy Scout; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Planet Terror; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; The Cold Light of Day; Vice; A Good Day to Die Hard; North; The Prince; Color of Night; Lay the Favorite; Breakfast of Champions; The Whole Ten Yards; Extraction; Cop Out; The Bonfire of the Vanities; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Hudson Hawk; Perfect Stranger; Fire with Fire; Striking Distance; Precious Cargo; Rock the Kasbah; The Story of Us; Blind Date; Mercury Rising; Marauders; Loaded Weapon 1; Surrogates; The Jackal; Sunset; Last Man Standing; Armageddon; Hostage; Tears of the Sun; Notes:  Again, too famous. Recently got sued for his acting fee on an unfinished film. Kind of incredible story. Paid him $8 million dollars and then shut down cause they couldn’t pay the crew! Won the Razzie Award in 1999 for Worst Actor for Armageddon, Mercury Rising, and The Siege; Won the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Actor for Color of Night, and North and in 1992 for Hudson Hawk.)

Also stars Melanie Griffith.

Budget/Gross – $47 million / Domestic: $15,691,192 (N/A)

(Oooooooof what a disaster. No wonder this is so well known in bad movie circles. $47 million seems like a ton for a comedy book adaptation, I wonder what the thought process there was as well.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (8/51): No consensus yet.

(RT must be busy. Fifty-one reviews for a 1990 film is incredible! Must be diving through the newspaper archives. Good for them. My consensus guess would be: Solid acting performances by Willis and Hanks can’t save this satirical dud from going up in flames.)

Poster – Sklogfire of the Vanities (B+)

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(I like that it has a color theme and the classic symmetry. I particularly like the story that it tells with the city seeming to being on fire and consuming the actors above. The “bonfire” if you will. Could have been done in an artsier way, though. Lacks some aesthetic. Interesting thing about this poster though? If you saw this poster in a theater what time period would you think the film takes place? I would certainly not guess the 80’s.)

Tagline(s) – Take one Wall Street tycoon, his Fifth Avenue mistress, a reporter hungry for fame, and make the wrong turn in The Bronx…then sit back and watch the sparks fly. (F)

(That is super old school. Before they mastered the art of the tagline. Horrendously long. Unacceptable.)

Keyword(s) – accident; Top Ten by BMeTric: 80.2 The Love Guru (2008); 63.1 Zoolander 2 (2016); 61.2 Ghost Rider (2007); 59.3 God’s Not Dead (2014); 58.1 Doom (2005); 57.3 Daredevil (2003); 54.8 Hot Pursuit (2015); 54.1 Cool World (1992); 51.1 Sorority Row (2009); 49.5 The Mangler (1995);

(You might ask yourself: what does this keyword even mean? I don’t know. In Zoolander 2 they were in a crazy massive car crash at one point. In Doom a disease or something is released into a Mars facility. In Daredevil he gets sprayed with toxic superhero chemicals. Solid list regardless though. Reminds me that we have to do Cool World at some point.)

Notes – Alan Arkin was replaced by Morgan Freeman when it was decided to change the judge’s ethnicity from Jewish to African-American in order to moderate criticism of the film’s racial politics. (Kind of a funny choice. If you make a film adaptation that is a satirical take on the racial politics of 80’s New York City and you get criticized for the racial politics… then you probably aren’t doing satire right.)

Steve Martin was the original choice to play Sherman McCoy by original director Mike Nichols. Nichols left the project and was replaced by Brian De Palma who also wanted Martin for the role but the producers disagreed and wanted Tom Hanks cast instead. (Martin is an odd choice for the role. Hanks fits the part naturally much better.)

Actresses considered for the role eventually played by Melanie Griffith include Lena Olin, Lolita Davidovich, and Uma Thurman, (who tested for the part and actually came close to getting it.) Brian De Palma preferred Thurman to Melanie Griffith, but Tom Hanks reportedly felt uncomfortable over Thurman’s relative inexperience and persuaded the director against her casting. (Lena Olin better fits the role physically, actually. But Griffith was good.)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Brian De Palma)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Melanie Griffith)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kim Cattrall)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Brian De Palma)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Michael Cristofer)

Fair Game Preview

We are finishing up our first BMT Calendar cycle and boy what a success it was! The Calendar in a way represents the worst of the worst, so every week we had some gangbuster film on tap. Don’t be fooled though, the Calendar also hides days of the year where no truly spectacular critical flop ever was released. So like the mapl.de.map that came before it, the calendar will eventually descend into sadness and disarray (hooray). But we don’t live for the future. We live for the now! And now we are officially transitioning to my favorite cycle that we’ve done. It’s time for another Now a Major Motion Picture cycle! In this cycle all the films have to be based on a book (which I will also read cause I’m insane). We start off with the classic Fair Game starring Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin. It’s based on a small dime store thriller released in Britain as A Running Duck, which was released in the US under the title Fair Game, was adapted into the Sly Stallone BMT film Cobra, rereleased in the US under the title A Running Duck (Now Filmed as Cobra), adapted into Fair Game, and released under the title Fair Game. It was an absolute terror to find through my local public library, but that’s a story for next time. For now, let’s go!

Fair Game (1995) – BMeTric: 56.1

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(Only somewhat interesting for the fact that its rating over the last 10 years went down a bit and then up. Just a somewhat abnormal trend. Kind of crazy this movie I would have literally never heard of if not for BMT (and a movie we might not have done if not for book cycles being such a smash hit) has a 50+ BMeTric. The pull of Crawford in a rare acting role must elevate it beyond its expectations.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Totally pre-fab action thriller that almost looks as if producer Joel Silver is trying to satirize himself. Miami lawyer Crawford survives the requisite amount of firepower and fireballs during her pursuit by former KGB operatives. Baldwin is the cop trying to keep them both alive. Arguably the worst movie of 1995. In her acting debut, supermodel Crawford makes a good jogger.

(Acting debut!? Loving it! A very rare BOMB from Maltin, although his review is hardly scathing. The worst he says is what? That it is a pre-fab action thriller? People basically satirizing themselves is a new theme for BMT. I’m looking at you Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC3npzqwXcs

(That is a perfect BMT trailer. We have Billy Baldwin in his heyday looking sweet, whatever it is Cindy Crawford is doing and calling it acting, a mustachioed Shooter McGavin, explosions, more explosions, and even more explosions. Woooooo! Let’s do this! I’m excited! The night’s still young! Woooooo!)

Directors – Andrew Sipes – (BMT: Fair Game; Notes: One and done! One and done! A sparsely cited television writer prior to his break. He quit Hollywood in 1997 and is now a tech entrepreneur having founded eCasablanca, MyPermitting, OurHistree, and Our Stay. The latter two companies are certainly still functioning.)

Writers – Paula Gosling (novel) – (BMT: Fair Game; Cobra; Notes: Hilariously based on the same single book A Running Duck. And after both films they re-released the book under difference titles Otherwise a very successful crime novelist. )

Charlie Fletcher (screenplay) – (BMT: Fair Game; Mean Machine; Notes: Okay this guy’s filmography is amazing. He wrote Mean Machine in 2001 which is described as “A soccer star jailed for assault leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards.” … That’s the plot of The Longest Yard with soccer (and it is literally described as an adaptation of The Longest Yard on wikipedia!). He is now best known for writing the YA trilogy Stoneheart)

Actors – William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Flatliners; Born on the Fourth of July; Backdraft; The Squid and the Whale; Internal Affairs; Bulworth; Aftermath; Noise; Three of Hearts; Adrift in Manhattan; BMT: Virus; Fair Game; Sliver; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst Actor for Sliver. Shockingly low number of BMT films in his filmography, although he has been mostly VOD/Direct-to-DVD for a long while.)

Cindy Crawford – (BMT: Fair Game; 54; The Simian Line; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1996 for Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, and Worst New Star for Fair Game. One of the most famous supermodels in history, also famous for the Pepsi Superbowl commercial in 1992 and was the wife of Richard Gere for a few years. Valedictorian of her high school class she got a scholarship to study Chemical Engineering (what what) at Northwestern, but dropped out to pursue modelling after one quarter.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million (estimated) / Domestic: $11,534,477

(Oooooof. We’ve been on quite the streak of box office bombs. That could explain a bit the popularity of this film relative to my expectations. People love a good box-office bomb. The bombs of the 80s and 90s particularly can be somewhat legendary for sinking studios (who couldn’t absorb failures as well as they can today seemingly). Cutthroat Island (which we still need to watch) comes to mind, which sunk Carolco pictures. Coincidentally Basic Instinct was also made by Carolco.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (3/24) No consensus, so bonus Ebert review snippet: Works as a thriller for anyone who lives entirely in the present. Those with longer memories will find the film grows increasingly funny as it rolls along.

(What Ebert is tactfully trying to say with the line, “Works as a thriller for anyone who lives entirely in the present,” is that it works for dumb people… you might like it if you’re dumb. If you are not dumb though you will merely find it funny… because of how dumb it is.)

Poster – Sklog Game (D)

fair_game

(Nope, I do not like this. I don’t like when people (and all their mish-mash of colors) are the focus of a poster, the font here is not interesting or unique, and the tagline is hilariously long. I guess it has OK blocking… or something.)

Tagline(s) – He’s a cop on the edge. She’s a woman with a dangerous secret. They’ve been targeted by the Russian Mob, and now they’re both… (D)

(Fair Game… to finish the tagline for you. Way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too long, but doesn’t get an F because I didn’t feel like giving it an F. So there.)

Keywords – russian top 10 BMeTric examples: 82.5 Street Fighter (1994), 78.0 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), 57.8 Tekken (2010), 57.5 Virus (1999), 57.1 A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), 56.1 Fair Game (1995), 52.7 Jupiter Ascending (2015), 51.7 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 49.1 Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (2006), 49.1 Red Dawn (2012)

(The Pacifier and Mortdecai were also close to cracking this sweet top ten. This will be our fifth seen in the top ten, and Superman 4 and Virus in particular will definitely be on the docket in future BMTs. I have no idea what actually makes any of these things “russian”. Like … I guess Zangief makes Street Fighter get the “Russian” keyword?)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Cindy Crawford)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (William Baldwin, Cindy Crawford)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Cindy Crawford)

Notes – The Paula Gosling novel the movie is based on was previously the basis for the 1986 movie Cobra (1986) with Sylvester Stallone.

Julianne Moore and Geena Davis were originally considered for the role of Kate McQueen.

Brooke Shields and Drew Barrymore were each offered the role of Kate McQueen, but both turned down the part.

Originally set in San Francisco, changed to Miami to suit Sylvester Stallone, who subsequently left the project. (Ha, no fucking way. Was Sylvester Stallone attached to both adaptations of the book A Running Duck?! I want to live in that universe please)

Salma Hayek only took her part in the film after insisting that she rewrite it (good idea!)

Down to You Preview

Alrighty girls, time to settle down with your boo and bust out that bottle of wine, because this week is a romantic … comedy? Drama? I actually can’t tell. Teen Romance. There it is, that is a genre, right? Anywho, BMT legend Freddie Prinze Jr., teen star legend Julia Stiles, and a one-off writer-director once got together and made what is apparently a truly baffling movie. There is a story here, I know there is!

Down to You (2000) – BMeTric: 46.7

DownToYou_BMeT

(Nice. Looking like it will just stay a shade under 50 BMeT for all of time. Congrats Down to You, you did it! Otherwise a pretty standard chart at this point. I am genuinely surprised at how high the BMeT is though, 45+ is still incredible.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Prinza and Stiles futilely try chumming us up by speaking directly into the camera, explaining how their once-idyllic college romance went bust (though not as bust as the movie). Somehow, this manages to find room for subplots about a TV cooking show (hosted by Winkler as Prinze’s dad) and a buddy who dabbles as an adult-movie entrepreneur with a kind of bohemian/intellectual porn actress. Numbingly inept comedy.

(Holy cow Maltin, BRUTAL. Buzzed right past passive aggressive and slid face first into straight-up aggressive! This movie is straight busted. The irony is just dripping off of that “somehow”, dirty. And the closer. So succinct and just soul destroying. I’m obsessed with this review for some reason, he just murders this film.)

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

(That looks like the 90s alright. Really just sickly sweet stuff. Cannot wait to sit down with my boo and watch that. I hope they get together in the end!)

Directors – Kris Isacsson – (BMT: Down to You; Notes: see below)

Writers – Kris Isacsson (written by) – (BMT: Down to You; Notes: one-time director and writer? Uh, yes please. He is also an anomaly in that I can find very very little information about him. I think I found his twitter (~100 tweets, mostly retweets) and his instagram (~100 posts, nothing interesting). I don’t really know what happened to him. He did a few tv movies up through 2008, but nothing else on IMDb. There is a story here … [Jamie’s Note: Here’s a little bit of his background. Also here is a link to the short film he did that won a Sundance award.])

Actors – Freddie Prinze Jr. – (Known For: The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Scooby-Doo; Wing Commander (BMT); Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; Summer Catch; Down to You; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Boys and Girls; Head Over Heels; She’s All That; Delgo; Notes: Best buds with BMT darling Matthew Lillard (in my dreams). Only son of late comedian Freddie Prinze. Now more known for his voice acting work, and was heavily involved with WWE for years. Nominated Razzie Award 2003 Worst Supporting Actor Scooby-Doo)

Julia Stiles – (Known For: 10 Things I Hate About You; Silver Linings Playbook; The Bourne Identity; The Bourne Ultimatum; The Bourne Supremacy; Save the Last Dance; O; Closed Circuit; State and Main; Hamlet; It’s a Disaster; Edmond; I Love You, I Love You Not; The Business of Strangers; BMT: Down to You; The Omen; A Guy Thing; The Prince and Me (BMT); Out of the Dark; Girl Most Likely; The Devil’s Own; Misconduct; Mona Lisa Smile; Notes: We saw her last in Prince and Me. Her filmography is incredible considering she hasn’t been a leading lady for years. A former vegan.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $20,069,008 (Worldwide: $24,419,914 Worldwide)

#28 for Teen Romance (right above another Prinze gem, Summer Catch)

(Ooooooooof. First, how could this movie cost that much? I guess maybe the NYC setting and actors? And yes, this was actually shot in NYC according to IMDb. I suppose you expect a Prinze/Stiles film to do better, but first time writer-director? There is a story here, I feel it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (2/59): Down to You is ruined by a bland, by-the-numbers plot and an awful script.

(That is a spectacularly low score. Also, everything about this film screams “This person had no idea how to write or direct a film and yet was somehow given total control”. The question is why and how? My guess … we’ll never know.)

Poster – Hideous Purple Background (D-)

DownToYou

(I have a confession to make: I hate this poster. I hate how they are just kind of cut into it. I hate the background color and pattern. I hate the font and how easy it would be for me to change this into Down to Sklog with me and my dog Tolstoy hugging (and no, I didn’t do it … I was too busy, otherwise you’d be looking at my fake poster right this minute). Why isn’t it an F? Because I like Prinze and Stiles, so there.)

Tagline(s) – A new comedy about giving first love a second chance. (B-)

(Above average, you heard me right. First love. Second chance. I hate the “new comedy” bit, but I like the idea. And hey, as far as taglines goes there are far far far far far worse. Change that to “Sometimes first love needs a second chance” and you got a solid B.)

Notes – First time that Shawn Hatosy and Julia Stiles worked together. Later they would both join the cast of Dexter during Season 5. (cooooooooooool)

Maximum Overdrive Preview

Alright, for this week’s film we continue on our cycle of one-and-done directors with horror/thriller. While the previous entries in the category typically involve an actor taking a stab at directing, or a commercial/music video/television director getting a shot, this film is one of the few examples where a novelist was given the chance to adapt his own work. That’s right, we are watching Maximum Overdrive! Perhaps emboldened by Clive Barker’s success with Hellraiser, Stephen King decided he really, really, really wanted to direct this adaptation. Then afterwards he decided that he really, really, really didn’t want to ever direct again. Let’s go!

Maximum Overdrive (1986) – BMeTric: 40.8

MaximumOverdrive_BMeT

(While fairly standard I am kind of startled by how rapidly this movie’s rating has risen. You can kind of see it here, but the rating has risen from 4.3 in 2007 to 5.4 now! How?! This is a weird trend I see a lot and I think it is because as the “population” of IMDb increases less discerning people (or at least people less willing to just rip a movie apart) join up. Still weird. But 40+ for a film from 1986? Uh, yes please)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Customers and employees at an interstate truck stop are terrorized by the trucks themselves, which have come to demonic life as a part of a global rebellion of machines. Novelist King, making his directorial debut, said he set out to create a junk movie, nothing more… but he made it stupid and boring. Remade as a 1997 cable movie, TRUCKS.

(I searched high and low but can’t seem to find the source for where King implied he set out to create a junk film. I can only presume that it was in some interview lost to time because it is referenced ad nauseum when talking about the film. Patrick and I will have to draw straws to determine who is going to go out of their way to watch the 1997 TV movie.)

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

(Is this some sort of sick joke? Stephen King was hopped up on coke while making this film? You don’t say.)

Director(s) – Stephen King – (BMT: Maximum Overdrive; Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Maximum Overdrive (1986). World famous author. ‘It’ is one of my favorites books. I love it.)

Writer(s) – Stephen King (film by, written for the screen by) – (Known For: The Shining; 1408; The Running Man; Pet Sematary; Christine; Creepshow; Cujo; Salem’s Lot; Stephen King’s ‘The Langoliers’; Stephen King’s ‘Storm of the Century’; Stephen King’s ‘Silver Bullet’; Stephen King’s ‘Cat’s Eye’; BMT: Dreamcatcher; Maximum Overdrive; Creepshow 2; Stephen King’s A Good Marriage; Stephen King’s ‘Thinner’; Stephen King’s ‘Sleepwalkers’; Stephen King’s ‘Graveyard Shift’; Notes: Famous author. Has said the only adaptation of his work he remembers hating is Kubrick’s The Shining. This hatred led to him making his own TV movie adaptation of the film.)

Actors – Emilio Estevez – (Known For: The Breakfast Club; Young Guns; Bobby; St. Elmo’s Fire; Repo Man; The Way; Mission: Impossible; The Outsiders; BMT: The Mighty Ducks; D2: The Mighty Ducks; Maximum Overdrive; D3: The Mighty Ducks; Men at Work; Freejack; Young Guns II; National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1; Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, Maximum Overdrive (1986). Has not acted in a significant role since 2010’s The Way. Now more focused on directing.)

Budget/Gross: $10 million / $7,433,663

(I heard it was supposed to be a spring film, but King needed a break or something so they moved the release date to July in exchange for him doing a lot of promotion… which didn’t help and it failed miserably. Not the worst release ever for a major Stephen King adaptation… 4th actualy. The worst two are the Mangler and future BMT pick Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% (2/12), No consensus.

(Old films never have a huge number of reviews, although RT is getting better at collecting them. I’ll write a consensus: King’s directorial debut proves that if you want something done right, you better not do it yourself.)

Poster – Jeez Louise! (F)

maximumOverdrive

(Holy Moly! That is listed as the theatrical poster! Did Stephen King also make that himself? That is startling.)

Tagline(s) – Stephen King’s masterpiece of terror directed by the master himself. (F)

(There are lots of taglines associated with the theater release/VHS/laserdisc/DVD over the years. I just use the one that’s on the original poster. Obviously it is trash. Nothing more to say.)

Notes – In the movie trailer, Stephen King said he decided to direct the film himself after writing several because he wanted to see Stephen King done right. “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.” When asked why he hasn’t directed a movie since “Maximum Overdrive”, Stephen King responded “Just watch Maximum Overdrive.” (perfect one and done for real)

Stephen King, being a former cocaine addict, later admitted that he was “coked out of my mind” the entire time he was making this picture and often didn’t know what he was doing. He remarked that he’d like to try directing again someday, this time sober. (This is what I like to hear Stephen. I’m willing to bet a solid portion of weird ass movies from the 80s have a similar origin story)

An accident occurred on July 31, 1985 during shooting in a suburb of Wilmington, North Carolina where a radio-controlled lawnmower used in a scene went out of control and struck a block of wood used as a camera support, shooting out wood splinters which injured the director of photography Armando Nannuzzi; as a result, he lost his right eye. Nannuzzi sued Stephen King on February 18, 1987 for $18 million in damages. The suit was settled out of court. (Yeah, there is a bit of a sad tale there. Obviously losing an eye is not ideal for a director of photography).

The Tuxedo Preview

Moving onto this week’s film, we were on a quest for a comedy film where the director never directed anything before or since it’s release. This actually turned out to be pretty tough for the genre. Not sure why. Perhaps it’s just more common for comedy directors to be given second or third chances at directing. Who knows. Regardless, we ended up finding the Jackie Chan classic The Tuxedo to fit into the cycle, which was directed by Kevin Donovan, a director known mostly for commercial directing. I’m excited for a little martial arts action comedy adventure. Let’s go!

The Tuxedo (2002) – BMeTric: 52.0

TheTuxedo_BMeT

(I am stunned this ended up with this high of a rating! A BMeTric of 50+ is incredible high echelon stuff. Knowing the medallion though I can see it. It has been dropping a bit recently, probably (this is my current theory) because people who watched the film as children (you love everything when you are a child, see Hook and Hackers in my case) are now older and rating things online. I bet there are more than a few people who are like “The Tuxedo is bad?!??!”)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5/4 stars – The movie is silly beyond comprehension, and even if it weren’t silly, it would still be beyond comprehension.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Dreadful concoction casts Chan as a cabbie-turned-chauffeur who must take the place of his new boss, a dashing government spy; when he dons the secret agent’s tuxedo, he acquires superhuman skills. Boneheaded movie replaces (or augments) Chan’s dazzling martial arts skills with special effects; what’s more, the script’s t&a “humor” is a poor fit for the ever likeable star. Hewitt is incredibly obnoxious as Jackie’s new partner. Bob Balaban appears unbilled.

(Lots to unpack here. Leonard certainly has a lot to say. Love his excessive use of semicolons. Classic Len. Also love the shade he’s throwing at the script through the use of quotation marks around “humor.” Finally, he singles out Hewitt for being incredibly obnoxious. Is it possible that she’s more obnoxious than Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour series? If so, bravo.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHAOLihH58s

(This is late 90’s, early 2000s candy for my brain. I’m so excited. I think my two favorite things from the trailer are the “shake_booty” option on the tux… which is wonderfully awful and the fact that the tux is Devlin’s “2 billion dollar secret.” Haha, what? Why that amount of money? Is the cost of production an important plot point?)

Director(s) – Kevin Donovan – (BMT: The Tuxedo; Notes: An internationally recognized commercial and music video director. Was attached to direct Beverly Hills Chihauhau, but dropped out due to creative differences.)

Writer(s) – Michael Leeson (screenplay) – (Known For: The War of the Roses; What Planet Are You From?; BMT: The Tuxedo; The Survivors; Notes: A prolific and renowned tv writer he has been nominated (and won) several Emmys and was nominated for a BAFTA and Academy Award. Wrote for the Cosby Show)

Michael J. Wilson (story, screenplay) – (Known For: Ice Age; BMT: Shark Tale; The Tuxedo; Notes: Mostly a kids film writer as far as credits, I wouldn’t be surprised is he was a script doctor.)

Matt Manfredi  and Phil Hay (story) – (Known For: Crazy/Beautiful; The Invitation; BMT: Clash of the Titans; R.I.P.D. (BMT); Ride Along; The Tuxedo; Ride Along 2; Aeon Flux; Notes: Look at that filmography! They kind of got their break with The Tuxedo and that have really come up from there. Ride Along in particular was a huge success. This movie was a patchwork operation though, for sure.)

Actors – Jackie Chan – (Known For: Kung Fu Panda; Rush Hour; Rush Hour 2; Shanghai Noon; The Forbidden Kingdom; Shanghai Knights; The Karate Kid; Kung Fu Panda 2; Rumble in the Bronx; Enter the Dragon; Kung Fu Panda 3; Supercop 2; The Legend of Drunken Master; Supercop; Police Story 2; Police Story; Operation Condor; New Police Story; BMT: Rush Hour 3 (seen it); Around the World in 80 Days (BMT); The Tuxedo; The Spy Next Door; The Medallion (BMT); Police Story: Lockdown; The Protector; The Cannonball Run; Cannonball Run II; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Notes: Has the potential to be a BMT darling of sorts. The Medallion was a great BMT, so we are excited for this and Spy Next Door in particular. His movies often feature fight scene using props, cheeky slapstick humor, and a series of during-credits outtakes)

Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; The Audrey Hepburn Story; The Hunchback of Notre Dame II; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; Garfield – The Movie; Notes: Probably best known for her television work (Party of Five for example). Married to Brian Hallisay (only BMT film: Jessabelle), and according to IMDb is a huge fan of the Glasgow Celtic Football Club.)

Budget/Gross: $60 million / $50,547,998 ($104,391,623 Worldwide)

(That is quite the budget. At the time Chan was huge though. Rush Hour (30 million budget ballooning to 140 million by the time Rush Hour 3 came about), Shanghai Noon (55 million budget), and this each came out 2 years apart from each other (1998, 2000 and 2002). I think they were looking for their next franchise to insert him into. Shanghai Knights and Rush Hour 3 subsequently kind of stopped Chan’s career progressing in its tracks. This movie didn’t help, 100 million worldwide, yikes!)

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (30/138), Chan is as charming as ever, but his talents are squandered by special effects and bad writing.

(I feel like this consensus from RT could have also been used for Around the World in 80 Days. Like Chan was charming, but the writing was shit and he didn’t get to do his usual stunt magic.)

Poster – Ooooo, look at that font, sexy (D)

tuxedo_ver3

(I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really do not like that background mix of colors. Makes it look like garbage. Only good thing I can say about it is the font for the title is bomb (Patrick Note: While staring transfixed by this poster I exclaimed “The font on The Tuxedo is … incredible!” Twin time). I would love to see Patrick try to spoof that shit.)

Tagline(s) – He’s Not Looking For Trouble… He’s Wearing It. (B)

Class. Action. Suit. (A…. mazing)

(I generally stick to just the tagline on the poster, but the second one here is just too good. The one from the poster is surprisingly decent. Just a little wordy. Otherwise fairly clever and tells me a bit about the film. The second one is ridiculous. Like what does “Class action suit” have to do with anything? It makes me laugh. I’m laughing at it right now.)

Notes – When Jimmy goes through Mr. Devlin’s address book looking for “Walter Strider”, he finds phone numbers for Claudia Schiffer, Norman Schwarzkopf, Stephen Sondheim, and George M. Steinbrenner III (first names added). All of the numbers have special characters inserted to ensure that they are not real numbers that people might try to call. (Literally the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard)

The “high tech” sniper rifle featured in the movie, is really a scoped competition air rifle from Steyr. Nothing is done to hide this fact, the gun is in its original state. (get me the internet movie firearms database stat! It’s a real thing and, yes, this note is specifically made here)

At the premiere there was a chimp in a suit and hat. (What, why?)

Bill Murray: Can be seen in the final gallery scene as a customer. (WTF, that is kind of hilarious)

Color of Night Preview

Alright, so we were in a bit of a quandary this week. I honestly had always penciled in the new Adam Sandler film, The Ridiculous Six, for this week as it was released for streaming on Netflix on Friday. But as the date neared no reviews came out for the film. None. I don’t think there was an embargo or anything, it’s just that this is our first experience with a true, blue full-streaming release of a film of major interest. Unlike something like Beasts of No Nation, which did the whole film festival circuit, no one saw this film prior to December 11th. So we really had no idea what the critical consensus on the film was. Couple this with our own internal conflict on whether a non-theatrical release should even be considered for BMT and we were at a loss. So we decided to do what any self respecting source for all things bad movies would do: we did not watch Ridiculous Six. We are staying in wait-and-see mode with the film. Unlike the Razzies we can’t possibly pass judgement until we can feel fairly confident that our metrics tell us that the film is truly deserving in both popularity and terribleness for BMT. And since imdb voting has only just opened, the BMeTric has not ripened yet. So instead asked ourselves if there was a film in the BMT universe that had always piqued our interest. This obviously led to the Bruce Willis classic Color of Night. It’s a natural choice. Ready to see Bruce Willis’ dong? Let’s go!

Color of Night (1994) – BMeTric: 47.3

ColorOfNight_BMeT.pngColorOfNight_RV.png

(I included the votes/rating plot because it shows something curious, the trend (which I see a lot) whereby the rating is positively correlated with the number of votes a movie has received. But hey, you might say, this is interesting, is it generally true? No, the number of votes has steadily increased over time, but the average rating across IMDB is pretty stable in general. But this specific trend seems like it might be common to older (below average) movies. Considering Color of Night is a garbage movie from 1994, I found the BMeTric value a pleasant surprise. Kind of where you’d expect it to be.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Ludicrous thriller in which weirded-out therapist Willis (whose patient has just committed suicide before his eyes) heads to L.A. for a breather; he immediately finds himself immersed in a murder mystery, and involved with mysterious March. Much-publicized sex scene aren’t very sexy; the garnered hype for the editing of Willis’ full frontal nudity to earn an R rating. Also on video in an “R-rated director’s cut,” with 17m. of extra footage, including more of Bruce-in-the-buff and some sexy scenes with Warren and March.

(First, the semi-colon work in this review is top notch. Second, I love that the movie is rated R and then had an “R-rated” director’s cut. I hope I can find that. For some reason I feel like not going to the absolute extreme of full-frontal Bruce Willis nudity would somehow be a failure. Also, BOMB ratings are really rare for us, so that’s a treat.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-9odZGDREc

(Wow. That is like a trailer I would cut up in my free time. It isn’t actually the real storyline (just as an example Scott Bakula is his therapist friend, not a patient) and the entire thing just looks crazy. Looks more like a standard thriller rather than an erotic thriller. Old school.)

Director(s) – Richard Rush – (Known For: The Stunt Man. BMT: Color of Night; Freebie and the Bean; Hells Angels on Wheels; Getting Straight. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Color of Night (1994). He walked away from filmmaking after Color of Night.)

Writer(s) – Billy Ray (story, screenplay) – (Known For: The Hunger Games; Captain Phillips; State of Play; Volcano; Breach; Hart’s War; Shattered Glass; Secret in Their Eyes. BMT: Flightplan; Color of Night; Suspect Zero. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Color of Night (1994). Nominated for an Oscar for Captain Phillips. Married to Stacy Sherman who wrote the BMT film One for the Money starring Katherine Heigl.)

Matthew Chapman (screenplay) – (Known For: Runaway Jury; Reaching for the Moon. BMT: Color of Night; The Ledge; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Consenting Adults. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Color of Night (1994).)

Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: Sin City; Die Hard; Looper; The Sixth Sense; The Fifth Element; Pulp Fiction; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Die Hard 2; Unbreakable; Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys), among many others. BMT: Armageddon; Surrogates; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Hostage; Tears of the Sun; The Jackal; Cop Out; Mercury Rising; Hudson Hawk (Wri); Color of Night; A Good Day To Die Hard. Notes: Won for Worst Actor, Armageddon (1998), Mercury Rising (1998), The Siege (1998); Nominated for Worst Actor, Color of Night (1994), North (1994), Hudson Hawk (1991); Won for Worst Screenplay, Hudson Hawk (1991). I sometimes find it strange how prevalent he is to the world of bad movies, although no recognition by the Razzies for nearly 20 years now.)

Jane March – (BMT: Color of Night; Clash of the Titans; Tarzan and the Lost City; Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula; Will; My Last Five Girlfriends; The Lover (L’amant); Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress, Color of Night (1994). This was her second film. She was around 20 at the time of filming, Bruce Willis was almost 40)

Budget/Gross: $40 million / $19,726,050

(Wow, quite the bomb. The only surprising thing is that is cost $40 million dollars to make. At the time I’m not sure how you legitimatize that budget, although arguably you are talking about a film hoping to be Basic Instinct which made nearly $400 million only two years prior.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 21% (10/46), No consensus

(How isn’t there a consensus with 46 reviews? Here you go, this is free: pretentious in its psychobabble nonsense, confusing, and strangely unsexy erotic thriller. Reading the reviews at the time is actually rather interesting, Bruce Willis’ career was considered to be in serious danger because North and Color of Night came out in the same year.)

Poster – So Goddamned Sexy (D)

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(Wow, I hate this. Just weird Bruce Willis/Jane March sexy faces without any information about the film at all. Completely useless, too dark, boring.)

Tagline(s) – Love can be murder (D)

In the heat of desire, love can turn to deception. Nothing is what it seems when day turns into night. (F)

Five Suspects. Two Lovers. One Killer. Nothing is what it seems… except murder. (C)

(I don’t like any of these. Love can be murder sounds like a tagline, but it is meaningless. It just says “hey, I’m an erotic thriller”. The next is the same but just really long and the “day turns to night” is trite bullshit. The last one has the kind of cadence I want to see, but again, nothing is what is seems except murder kind of kills it. Chop that off into a shorter “Five suspects. Two lovers. One killer” and I think you got a solid tagline.)

Notes – Although this film was a box office flop, this film did very well in home video market; according to Billboard magazine, this film was even one of the Top 20 most-rented films in 1995. (gross yet hilarious)

Jane March planned to require the filmmakers to alter some of the film’s nude scenes, but she eventually didn’t do so because her working experience on the film was very happy. (Good for you Jane March. You have nothing to be ashamed of)

Jane March stated that she “wasn’t at all comfortable with the nudity” in the film. (Honestly, it is unnecessarily extreme. You could cut almost all of it out and it is the same movie).

Razzie Awards 1995, Won for Worst Picture

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Original Song.

Scarlet Letter Preview

Alright, so this week is And the Loser is… where we watch a past Razzie winner or nominee. There were two obvious choices here to fit our Now a Major Motion Picture meta-theme. The first was The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers. If we weren’t having so much fun actually reading the books, that would have been selected I’m sure. Instead we are watching the 1995 classic The Scarlet Letter starring Gary Oldman and Demi Moore. The only things I knew about the film going into this is that it’s a travesty of an adaptation (particularly given that the book is a classic) and people make fun of Gary Oldman’s penis in reference to this film… which means we are going to see an Oldman’s penis. Great. Let’s go!

The Scarlet Letter (1995) – BMeTric: 43.3 (November 23, 2016)

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(Solid score for a 90’s film, definitely in the above-average BMeTric. Nice regression to the mean in the rating as well. Basically people don’t actually think it is better, it is just more likely that a film will closer to the mean rating (of around 6) as more and more reviews come in. Otherwise standard. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Hokey adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel throws in everything from witch hunts to Indian attacks to a controversial happy ending — all to no avail. Moore is woefully miscast as Hester Prynne (though she sure fills a Puritan frock). Oldman gives a histrionic performance, while Duvall is simply incomprehensible. “Erotic” love scenes are especially embarrassing, in soft focus with phallic candles and a chirpy Disney bird (credited as Rudy the Robin) who sings for sexual freedom!

(Wait, Indian attacks? Witch hunts? What is happening. Am I reading the review for the wrong movie? I do love “simply incomprehensible” actors. If they made it nowadays that role would be played by Jeff Bridges… or still Robert Duvall somehow… Is there actually a Disney bird? I feel like this review is asking more questions than it’s answering for me. No wonder it’s a BOMB.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtZetd_jOo8

(Holy fuck. That… that… that is not the plot of The Scarlet Letter. They made a prequel-adaptation monster. Why call it The Scarlet Letter even? It’s not even the plot of the story. It does give me an idea though: how about an Anna Karenina adaptation, but instead of focusing on Anna, let’s focus on Vronsky. And instead of dealing with that pesky (and boring!) affair with Anna, let’s mostly detail Vronksy’s trials and tribulations in learning the electric guitar. Boom! Netflix!)

Director(s) – Roland Joffé – (Known For: The Mission; The Killing Fields; City of Joy; Fat Man and Little Boy. BMT: Captivity; The Scarlet Letter; Vatel; There Be Dragons; Goodbye Lover; The Lovers. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Captivity (2007); Won for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for Worst Director for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Directing Oscars for The Killing Fields and The Mission. Father of future BMT director Rowan Joffe.)

Writer(s) – Douglas Day Stewart (screenplay) – (Known For: An Officer and a Gentleman; Vision Quest; Flight of the Navigator. BMT: The Blue Lagoon; The Scarlet Letter; Thief Of Hearts. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Screenplay Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman. His name sounds like the name someone would use in a scandalous tell-all if they didn’t want to get sued for libel by Daniel Day-Lewis.)

Actors – Demi Moore – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle; Ghost; Mr. Brooks; G.I. Jane; A Few Good Men; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Flawless; Disclosure; The Joneses; Margin Call; Mortal Thoughts; St. Elmo’s Fire; We’re No Angels; One Crazy Summer; Deconstructing Harry. BMT: Striptease; Indecent Proposal; LOL; The Juror; The Scarlet Letter; Half Light; The Seventh Sign; The Butcher’s Wife; Now and Then; Passion of Mind; Nothing but Trouble. Notes: Nominated for 7 Razzie awards. Won for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (Supporting Actress), G.I. Jane (Actress), The Juror (Actress), Striptease (Actress/Couple), The Scarlet Letter (Actress/Couple). Nominated for Passion of Mind (Actress), Indecent Proposal (Actress), The Butcher’s Wife (Actress), Nothing but Trouble (Actress). Probably one of the most prolific BMT actresses, but we haven’t done too many of her films yet.)

Gary Oldman – (Known For: Batman series; Air Force One; The Fifth Element; The Book of Eli; RoboCop; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Harry Potter Series; True Romance; Sid & Nancy; JFK; The Contender; Bram Stoker’s Dracula. BMT: Hannibal; Red Riding Hood; The Unborn; Lost in Space; Paranoia; Planet 51; The Scarlet Letter; Child 44; Tiptoes. Notes: Nominated for Worst Couple Razzie for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for an Oscar for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.)

Also starring Robert Duvall

Budget/Gross: $46 million / $10,382,407

(A giant bomb. Oddly released the same weekend as two other high profile box office bombs (Jade and Strange Days) resulting in this NYTimes article. The Scarlet Letter is the 96st highest grossing Romantic Dramas ever. Number 95? You guessed it, Here on Earth.)

#96 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(As mentioned it is right near Here on Earth in the charts. This is actually the third of this genre we’ve watched along with Random Hearts and The Choice. A little snippet from the first of those: Wow, look at that mid-2000’s collapse! I think it has to do with a couple bombs in a row, but it could easily be that some other genre was sapping things up. Everyone knows that the trough there is the true heyday of bad movies! The dizzying heights we live in now I think is the result of micro-budget film companies. But it is hard to tell. This movie comes right in that initial wave as well. What we know now: There might be a collapse of the genre again. Hard to tell. If I were to guess we’ll be seeing a return to around 15K theaters for the genre moving forward. Looking at ’09-’12 and ’92-’96 that just feels like where the genre wants to be. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Rotten Tomatoes: 14% (5/35). No consensus, but here’s the Netflix synopsis for funsies: In this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, Puritan settler Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) is accused of adultery in a Massachusetts settlement in the 1660s. Although she’s attracted to the town’s pastor (Gary Oldman), the two resist temptation. But only a whiff of scandal is enough for the town’s morality police to sentence Prynne to live as an outcast and wear a shameful scarlet A for adultery.

(Yeah, straight panned. I’m not sure what Netflix is talking about though. In the trailer we clearly see Moore carrying a baby to her public shaming… where’d the baby come from if they resist temptation? A baby is a little bit more than a whiff of scandal. I almost feel like we should bring Netflix synopsis back. They are wrong half the time on the very basic plot of these films.)

Poster – The Skloglet Letter (B-)

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(Sexy much? I like the coloring (though could have been slightly redder) and the symmetry. Not feeling the dark portion at the bottom. Would prefer a more interesting and creative way of commingling the text and images.)

Tagline(s) – When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all. (C-)

(I really should have given this worse. When it’s this long, everyone loses. What saved it a bit was the cadence and the creativity. Way too long though.)

Keyword(s) – adultery; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.8 Skyline (2010); 75.6 Left Behind (I) (2014); 64.9 The Boy Next Door (2015); 62.4 Postal (2007); 58.4 My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006); 57.0 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 56.4 Body of Evidence (1993); 54.7 The Canyons (2013); 51.3 The Big Bounce (2004); 50.4 The Dilemma (2011);

(That is a nice list. Indeed, adultery plays a major role in: Sci Fi, Christian, Dramatic, Erotic Thrillers, and Comedies. And that is just the ones we’ve seen. The human condition.)

Notes – Listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in “The Official Razzie® Movie Guide”.

Three original scores were written for this film. The ones by Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein were rejected. The one used was by John Barry. (these types of fact amuse me)

Meg Ryan lobbied hard for the part of Hester Prynne, but lost out. Sharon Stone was also considered.

Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Anthony Hopkins were all considered for the male lead.

Won one Razzie for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for 6 more (Picture/Actress/Supporting Actor/Couple/Director/Screenplay)