Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid Preview

NOTE: This is a BONUS film watched in conjunction with Anaconda. I’ve reprinted The Adventures of the Bad Movie Twins installment from the preview here:

Finally Patrick and I get a chance for a little R&R while travelling to Bolivia via cruise ship. We pay no mind to the man arguing over his lost bagpipes and hit the pool like a couple of relaxed dudez. That’s weird, though, that same guy seems to have no interest in the nouveau-Scottish ska band rocking out on board. How suspicious. Suddenly the cruise ship lurches and we are told to evacuate the ship. Patrick’s spidey senses are a-tingling, though. Was that Bagpipes McGee he saw running the opposite way from the designated evacuation route? We better set him straight. When we confront him he reveals that he is in fact a maniacal eco-terrorist who hid a bunch of bombs inside his bagpipes. He’s hell bent on turning the cruise liner into a pirate war ship capable to disrupting the world’s shipping lanes that are the source of so much of our world’s pollution. Also he got bit by a whale as a child and contracted a whale-specific chronic blood condition that requires the use of diamonds to clean his blood… because there are also diamonds on the cruise ship so that’s also part of the plan. We quickly tire of his exposition so we give him a patented Twin Chop to the neck and save the day (“This was supposed to be our vacation!” we say with a sly smirk). Bagpipes McGee is taken away by the Sea Police (all rights reserved) and we continue on our way to Bolivia with the sweet dulcet tones of Reggae music pleasing our ears. “This is great!” I say to Patrick. “Yeah, super relaxing!” he says, “The only thing that could ruin this trip is if we encounter one or both of my greatest fears: snakes and rare flowers.” That’s right! We’re doing a double dose this week as we knock out both theatrical releases in the Anaconda franchise. Anaconda is a classic bad film and smash hit released in 1997. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid was released seven years later and was neither of those things. Let’s go!

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) – BMeTric: 69.2

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(Twenty thousand votes is absolutely astonishing. And no one hates horror films like horror fans so naturally this just does incredibly with the BMeTric.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  The original Anaconda had Jennifer Lopez tied up to Ice Cube and a snake-regurgitated Jon Voight; in this sequel, we have Chestnut getting woozy after a rare spider gives him a 151-proof bite. Still, that’s an apparent occupational hazard for anyone trekking the Borneo jungle seeking a fountain-of-youth plant right near the spot where snakes converge for mating season. There’s a jolt or two to satisfy diehards.

(Uh oh … would I be considered a die hard at this point? Maybe, I do prefer horror films with jolts rather than not, so I guess I’m a diehard. Solid semicolon work as always Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtBq5lox-1Q

(Lol this looks like complete trash. I do kind of like the Jaws theme joke. Since all creature features are inherently knock offs of Jaws in one way or another poking fun at it is kind of funny at least.)

Directors – Dwight H. Little – (Known For: Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison; Future BMT: Tekken; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Marked for Death; Murder at 1600; The Phantom of the Opera; Rapid Fire; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Notes: Has been doing television almost exclusively for years including many episodes of Bones.)

Writers – Hans Bauer (1997 screenplay & story) – (Known For: Titan A.E.; Future BMT: Highwaymen; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Anaconda; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Anaconda in 1998; Notes: He wrote the original. Additionally, he is a photographer and has has been involved in multiple group and one-man shows in LA)

Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. (1997 screenplay & story) – (Known For: Top Gun; Dick Tracy; Turner & Hooch; The Secret of My Succe$s; Legal Eagles; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Anaconda; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Anaconda in 1998; Notes: See the Anaconda preview for info on these guys. They only have a credit because they wrote Anaconda)

John Claflin (screenplay) – (Future BMT: Inhale; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Fool’s Gold; Notes: I can find nothing about him beyond that he worked with Zelman on an unproduced horror film called The Watch in 2004 and then they didn’t seem to work together since.)

Daniel Zelman (screenplay) – (BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Fool’s Gold; Notes: Worked with Claflin until it looks like this film, since Zelman has gone on to create Damages and Bloodline in the television world.)

Michael Miner (screenplay) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); Future BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: Claims to be a technophobe and has a second career as a large format landscape photographer.)

Edward Neumeier (screenplay) (as Ed Neumeier) – (Known For: Starship Troopers; RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: He wrote the original screenplay for Starship Troopers when it was called Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine … good title change. It was not originally attached to the Starship Troopers book at all.)

Actors – Morris Chestnut – (Known For: Girls Trip; Boyz n the Hood; G.I. Jane; The Last Boy Scout; Like Mike; The Call; Think Like a Man; Higher Learning; The Best Man Holiday; Ladder 49; Confidence: After Dark; The Best Man; The Brothers; Two Can Play That Game; Scenes of the Crime; Future BMT: Half Past Dead; The Cave; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Identity Thief; The Perfect Holiday; When the Bough Breaks; The Perfect Guy; Breakin’ All the Rules; Heist; The Game Plan; Kick-Ass 2; Not Easily Broken; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Notes: Most famous for winning the 1998 Madden Bowl. Has recently been on television including the title role in Rosewood.)

KaDee Strickland – (Known For: The Sixth Sense; American Gangster; Girl, Interrupted; Something’s Gotta Give; The Perfect Catch; Anything Else; The Family That Preys; Diamond Men; Future BMT: The Stepford Wives; The Grudge; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Notes: Starred in over one hundred episodes of Private Practice.)

Eugene Byrd – (Known For: Sleepers; 8 Mile; Dead Man; Julia; One Point O; Easier with Practice; Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God… Be Back by Five; Future BMT: Whiteboyz; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Notes: Starred in Bones and was a voice in Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures as well. All three of these actors are primarily television actors.)

Budget/Gross – $20–25 million / Domestic: $32,238,923 (Worldwide: $70,992,898)

(Hmmmmm. Given the stated budget it isn’t superb, but also isn’t a complete disaster.)

#40 for the Creature Feature genre

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(The Anaconda films are the eleventh and twelfth creature feature we’ve seen for BMT. I think Bats is my favorite one I’ve seen.)

#10 for the Horror – Terror in the Water genre

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(As I mentioned in the Anaconda preview this plot is just weird. I’m probably most excited to watch Deepstar Six on the list, it is an older film that is pretty notorious for being terrible.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (30/118): A cheesy monster B-movie.

(Higher than one would expect. On a side note after looking at the Rotten Tomatoes page … I have a feeling the actors above are kind of just randomly chosen. At least the main guy in all of the pictures is not one of those three people I don’t think. Reviewer Highlight: This movie looks like it was no fun to make. It certainly was no fun to watch. – Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper)

Poster – Sklogs Don’t Mess With No Snakes 2: The Hunt for a MacGuffin (C)

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(Not nearly as good as the previous one, but not the worst in my opinion. Green tone with the snake skin is a good idea… it’s just the skull is nonsense and thus makes the whole poster kind of nonsense and boring.)

Tagline(s) – The hunters will become the hunted. (C)

(Not sure where this tagline came from. The poster doesn’t have one so maybe the DVD (?). Too cliched to really hit the marks. It’s short and sweet and has some rhythm, but you can’t get too many points by just spouting off a common phrase.)

Keyword(s) – blood; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.5 Disaster Movie (2008); 93.8 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 91.0 Gigli (2003); 90.9 The Room (2003); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 88.8 Vampires Suck (2010); 88.7 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 87.5 BloodRayne (2005);

(I think any film that has people with blood in them will get this keyword I guess. What a dumb keyword. Who are these people who just added blood to every film on IMDb one day?)

Movie Stub – Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (Start class) – Shockingly detailed … and still a Start class? I’m 95% sure that wikipedia doesn’t really have a real review process. I think given that I can basically edit anything on wikipedia at will at this point that I could just declare this C-class and be done with it. So tempting.

Notes – The First Hollywood movie to have its premiere in Fiji. (fun fact)

Nerida Tyson-Chew’s score was nominated for Best Soundtrack Album at the 2005 Screen Music Awards (Australia). (WHAT)

When they captured the stone spider, the character mentions it first as “laba-laba batu”, the Indonesian for “stone spider”.

The character of Cole played by Eugene Byrd mentions a documentary crew who were also hunted by Anacondas which the other characters dismiss as a story, this is in fact a reference to the film ‘Anaconda’, the first film in the series which stars Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube. (Lame as shit)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2005) (I cannot believe this was actually nominated! That is crazy!)

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Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Recap

Before the recap take the quiz and prove you are the foremost thinker in Deuce Bigalow Sciences!

Jamie

When Deuce Bigalow destroys an expensive aquarium while housesitting for an high-end, homicidal gigolo he’s in quite the pickle. Can he enter the gigolo game and earn the cash necessary to repair the aquarium (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

How?! Deuce Bigalow just got fired from his job at the aquarium and has had to put his hopes and dreams on hold. Shortly thereafter, though, he’s asked by a mysterious and dangerous gigolo to apartment sit for him while he’s away. Deuce sees it as an opportunity to live out his wildest fantasies but almost immediately knocks over a very expensive fish tank. Facing certain death at the hands of the gigolo, he enters the gigolo game hoping to earn enough cash to fix the tank. A local pimp, TJ, notices the presence of a new gigolo and takes Deuce under his wing. With the help of TJ, Deuce is able to get some dates with women with particular characteristics. There is a tall lady. There is a fat lady. There is a narcoleptic lady. There is a Tourettes lady. Basically think of the first bunch of entries of an SNL sketch. You can even hear the theme song: “He was babysitting for a gigolo and knocked over a fish tank… oh no! He’s Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” In the end the moral is that Deuce is actually a good guy and not sleeping with any of these women, but rather helping them with their self esteem and confidence. In the process he meets the love of his life Kate. Yay! But she breaks up with him after finding out that he’s a gigolo. On no! But then she gets back together with him and helps him fix up the apartment. Yay! But all this doesn’t matter because the gigolo still wants to kill him (?). Oh no! But then they fight and the gigolo gets arrested and Deuce and Kate get married. Yay! THE END.

Why?! Oh, sweet summer child, no. Let’s not plumb the depth of a Happy Madison picture for motivation. Deuce Bigalow merely is. He wants only to be and to love. Technically money ends up being the main motivation for him since he needs to that stave off the homicidal gigolo hell bent on killing him, but that is just because they needed something to be the (very thin) plot of this film.

What?! Interestingly both this film and its sequel are oddly bereft of any and all product placement, which is different for an Adam Sandler production. I presume this is because most companies actually paid Happy Madison not to be featured in the film. So may as well just give a shout out to the bowling date Deuce takes the narcoleptic lady on. Mark it down as a bowling movie in preparation for my new bowling movie podcast, Right Up Your Alley.

Who?! Radio personality Big Boy plays the large lady Flusia that Deuce goes on a date with. It’s actually a pretty solid performance all things considered. Norm MacDonald also has an uncredited but memorable cameo in the film.

Where?! LA, baby. Deucey dreams of living it up on the beach, but instead just cleans the aquariums and ponds of those apartments. LA certainly isn’t a required setting like it was for Bucky Larson, but it’s prominent. B.

When?! I literally have no idea. It could be figured out from the baseball game that Deuce attends with the lady with Tourettes… but I’m not that crazy… yet. F.

I think I disliked this film more than Patrick did. I could certainly see liking parts of this film as a teenager, but now it feels very Bucky Larson-y to me. A ridiculous idiot meant to evoke sympathy by being mostly harmless and naive. The story is just sooo thin and contrived. It is probably the clearest example of what people might mean when they say a film is an SNL sketch stretched to feature length. That is exactly what this is. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello Everyone! There was the briefest of moments in the late-90s / early 2000’s in which Happy Madison productions held a stable of comedic talent ready to deploy the instant the ink was dry on their latest killer script. But with A-list talent there will inevitably be a B-list as well, and thus Rob Schneider sauntered into our lives. Let’s get into it!

The Good – … well Jamie might disagree, but this film comes across as mostly harmless. While offensive (especially the tall lady just getting insults slung at her in the street), the primary story of Deuce getting women to believe their beautiful (no maaaatter what they saaaaay (that’s me singing)) is actually somewhat charming. Even if it takes a while to get there and creates a garbage character of Deuce Bigalow in the process.

P’s View on the Preview – Here I will try and describe my mindset going into the film and what I was interested in getting out of it or seeing, to give a kind of connection between the good and the bad. We’ve seen a lot of Happy Madison productions in BMT, but this is the first one ever made and predates their truly dire offerings (Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star and Strange Wilderness) by about a decade. I was very interested to see whether the tone was much different than many of the others or whether this would predict Bucky Larson with a B-list Happy Madison player creating a Z-list Adam Sandler film. On the good side of things I do think the tone changes, Deuce’s story is almost genuinely heart warming. But …

The Bad – Honestly a film like this ages like a warm gallon of milk. Deuce Bigalow is a terrible person who objectifies and ogles women. The character also barely makes sense: Is sex all he thinks about, or is he a fish-lover with a heart of gold? Is he basically a virgin, or some amazing sex God? It is very hot and cold. The B-story involving a crazy cop looking to take gigolo’s down which culminates in a very strange court scene which is then just kind of thrown away.

Sklognalysis – I kind of was thinking on Strange Wilderness and Bucky Larson and came to two conclusions. First, even though I like Steve Zahn more than Rob Schneider, I appreciate Deuce Bigalow more than the actors in Strange Wilderness mainly because all of the characters in that film were just really dumb and annoying. Here at least Deuce has that heart of gold which makes you think “wait a second, am I learning to love over here or what?!” Whereas Bucky Larson has kind of that same character, but everything in the movie is now taken to an extreme that ten years of arrested development has afforded the Happy Madison productions. If Deuce Bigalow was made now it would be direct-to-netflix and Rob Schneider would have been having sex with random women throughout the film. I think I liked Deuce Bigalow more than either of those other films because Deuce seemed to come from a more innocent cinematic time.

The BMT – Well … I guess you’ll see the legacy in the European Gigolo recap. Once we complete the Happy Madison productions filmography there will also obviously be a hearty debate about the general merits of those films as well.

StreetCreditReport.com – I have to admit, and this isn’t actually that surprising, there is no street cred. I can literally find no mention of this film on bad movie lists, even from people who mentioned like 20 bad films from 1999. But that isn’t a big deal, this is a bonus film after all. The sequel is all the cred this guy needs.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Preview

We are Sklogpacking right across Europe and there is literally no other choice for the comedy entry in the cycle than the film for this week. Based on historical evidence this will either be an underrated comedy that he hold close to our hearts… or it will literally be the worst thing we’ve ever seen. That’s right! We’re watching Deuce Bigelow European Gigolo. Obviously watching this critically reviled sequel will involve a bonus viewing of the first film (generally thought to be bad, but at least better than the second film). The sequel took Rob Schneider to beautiful Amsterdam to attempt to figure out who was out killing Male Gigolos across Europe. If it can at least not be a lazy sack of shit then it should come out on top of Strange Wilderness… I’m not holding out hope. Also a reminder that we now have the European mapl.de.map up on the website if you want to check it out. Let’s go!

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) – BMeTric: 42.5

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(Actually … nothing super interesting here IMO. Inflection at 2011, increasing rating as votes increase, 50K is right around where I expect, and so is the BMeTric. We’ve done it guys, we’ve analyzed bad movie IMDb plots so thoroughly that they are rote.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Professional fish-tank cleaner breaks an expensive tank, and in order to pay for it becomes a gigolo. (Why not?) Potty humor and outlandish situations abound, but Schneider’s character is surprisingly likeable in this silly comedy. Marlo Thomas appears unbilled. Followed by a sequel.

(Oh … we know it was followed by a sequel. This is basically my attitude about the film going into it. It kind of has that Happy Gilmore / Billy Madison vibe to it. Innocuous enough if you can accept the very silly and immature humor. It is not really surprising it would end up with 2.5 stars from Maltin who seems fairly accepting of films just being films even without deeper meaning necessarily.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk_19DT6y9Y

(I love how they kind of had to show the gigolo (Antoine) hanging from the ceiling so that the way Deuce destroys the apartment with the same apparatus wouldn’t be confusing. This is also an incredibly long trailer, the entire part in the beginning with the killer Koi is completely useless. But, it also looks harmless enough.)

Directors – Mike Mitchell – (Known For: Trolls; Shrek Forever After; Sky High; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Surviving Christmas; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Notes: His two brothers launched an animation studio, which is probably why he mostly directs animated features at this point. That studio has gone bankrupt twice, and it doesn’t seem like he worked for them at all.)

Writers – Harris Goldberg (written by) – (Future BMT: I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Without a Paddle; BMT: The Master of Disguise; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Notes: He at one point was the number two ranked tennis player in Canada, and played John McEnroe in the Canada Open.)

Rob Schneider (written by) – (Future BMT: The Animal; The Hot Chick; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Notes: I cannot wait until we complete Rob Schneider’s writing credits. It seems like he started on SNL as a writer and converted to a player when Sandler and the rest of his crew joined in 1990.)

Actors – Rob Schneider – (Known For: 50 First Dates; Big Daddy; Muppets from Space; Future BMT: Littleman; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Animal; Norm of the North; Little Nicky; Knock Off; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; InAPPropriate Comedy; Eight Crazy Nights; Sandy Wexler; Surf Ninjas; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; You May Not Kiss the Bride; The Adventures of Pinocchio; The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Down Periscope; Big Stan; Click; The Longest Yard; Necessary Roughness; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; The Beverly Hillbillies; Judge Dredd; The Benchwarmers; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Around the World in 80 Days; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for Littleman, and The Benchwarmers; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2011 for Grown Ups; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Grandma’s Boy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Little Nicky, Littleman, The Animal, The Benchwarmers, and The Hot Chick; Notes: SNL alum and frequent collaborator with Happy Madison productions. He is currently on tour with Sandler doing comedy is seems, which is interesting.)

William Forsythe – (Known For: Once Upon a Time in America; The Rock; Dick Tracy; The Devil’s Rejects; Raising Arizona; The Substitute; American Me; Patty Hearst; Cloak & Dagger; City by the Sea; Extreme Prejudice; Hell’s Kitchen; The Waterdance; Lethal Vengeance; Weeds; Palookaville; Future BMT: Freedomland; Virtuosity; Hard Ca$h; Halloween; Out for Justice; Career Opportunities; Blue Streak; The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag; Loosies; Dead Bang; War on the Range; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead; BMT: Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Firestorm; 88 Minutes; Stone Cold; Notes: By far the best note about him is that he co-starred with two NFL players in his career, Brian Bosworth in Stone Cold and Howie Long in Firestorm … we’ve seen both of those movies!)

Eddie Griffin – (Known For: The Last Boy Scout; Undercover Brother; Jason’s Lyric; Brain Donors; The Wendell Baker Story; Future BMT: Date Movie; The Mod Squad; Coneheads; Scary Movie 3; The Meteor Man; House Party 3; My Baby’s Daddy; American Hero; The New Guy; Double Take; Armageddon; Foolish; The Walking Dead; BMT: Norbit; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Redline; Pinocchio; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Notes: Enrolled as a biological engineering major at the University of Miami, but dropped out to pursue comedy. Is ranked as a top 100 best stand-up performers in history by Comedy Central.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $65,538,755 (Worldwide: $92,938,755)

(Not bad. Pretty promising for a non-Sandler Sandler film I would think. I mean, if you are using a second-rate lead you’d kind of expect a second-rate return, and that is more than enough to legitimize the sequel I would think.)

#28 for the Comedy – R-Rated Youth genre

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(Always an interesting category, mainly because it is a little confusing that Neighbors is on there but not the sequel … although I think it might be because the second was considered to be less of a frat house theme. Unclear. Anyways, two things, after the 80s boom died down the genre was somewhat relegated to direct-to-DVD. American Pie ushered in a new era, and then even after that Superbad / Knocked Up resulted in a second boom. The genre, I think, is once again relegated to VOD, although given teens still go to the movies a ton, some next-gen filmmaker will hit that feeling of going to high school in the early-2010s at some point. It’ll happen.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (17/75): According to critics, Deuce Bigalow is just too dumb and filled with old, tired gags.

(Considering this is Rotten Tomatoes perhaps the “According to critics” part is a bit redundant. Like … who else would it be according to? This consensus could be made about 80% of the Happy Madison productions.)

Poster – Deuce Gigosklog (A-)

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(I think this is a very clever poster. Artistically presents the entire premise of the film… ignoring the fact that the premise is incredibly thin. Some interesting font would have pushed to this A+ maybe.)

Tagline(s) – He’s not very good looking. But when the lights go out…he’s still not very good looking. (D+)

(This is a very long joke and probably not well used as a tagline. Gotta do better with a comedy film.)

Keyword(s) – male objectification; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 88.7 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.2 Crossroads (I) (2002); 81.0 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 77.0 Fifty Shades Darker (2017); 75.4 Fifty Shades of Black (2016); 74.3 Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005); 73.7 Psycho (1998); 73.3 Zoolander 2 (2016); 72.2 Going Overboard (1989);

(We are coming for you Crossroads. Although I don’t really recall that film being particularly objectifying of men. At least … not in the same way as Deuce Bigalow is. Hmmm … this is making me explore my biases and I’m growing as a person. Thanks Deuce Bigalow: Make Gigolo.)

Notes – Rob Schneider’s mother Pilar Schneider appears in the film as the woman he mistakes for his date in the Japanese restaurant. (Yeah, I think Rob Schneider is half Asian, which is a kind of ludicrous explanation for why he played an offensive stereotype in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry).

In the scene where Deuce is walking with the tall woman and the phrase “freak” is shouted, the speaker of that line is actually Adam Sandler. Other than being a producer, it’s his only “credit” in the film. (Ugh)

The person who played the cookie girl was Rob Schneider’s daughter, Elle King. She would later go on to perform “Ex’s and Oh’s”, a song that received moderate airplay. At the time she was named Elle Tanner Schneider. (What the fuck, that song is pretty famous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uLI6BnVh6w )

Even though Norm MacDonald was not in the official credits, he was given credit in a roundabout way at the end of the movie. A clip was shown of him as a bartender saying that Norm MacDonald only worked one day on the movie.

The exterior of the house that Deuce Bigelow is leaving with the giant woman is the same as the one used on the TV show Charmed (1998). (FUN FACT)

The first movie from Happy Madison Productions.

Although spelled differently, the name “Berguita” (Kate’s roommate) is a Spanish slang word for “little penis”, this being referred several times by William Forsythe’s character

When Deuce first meets Antoine and sees his weapon collection, Deuce says, “I collect Canadian quarters . . . I got about six of them”. After his first “job” when he goes to the bar, his bill totals $11.50. He gives the bartender (an uncredited Norm MacDonald) “Ten, and six quarters”, presumably his Canadian quarter collection and the total take from his first “job”. (Yeah I did notice this, but also expected Norm to say that those were Canadian and wouldn’t be accepted).

The game that Deuce and Ruth are attending was between the Anaheim Angels and Cleveland Indians. (I love this stuff. Mapping out the “facts” about a movie. I but you could pin down an exact-ish date using this, the entire film takes place in a three week span in which the Angles and Indians plays in Anaheim).

The girl in the pet shop was also in Sorority Boys and unknowingly shows her breasts through a wet shirt in that film as well. (Jesus Christ, I’m done)

Batman Forever Recap

Jamie

While Batman struggles to guide a young orphan, Dick Grayson, whose parents deaths he feels responsible for, Two-Face terrorizes Gotham and a new nemesis, The Riddler, rises. Can he stop the baddies before it’s too late? Find out in… Batman Forever.

How?! Let me set the scene: Batman is still the coolest cat in Gotham. He’s slaying it with a smoking hot Dr. Chase Meridian (both as Bruce Wayne and as Batman) and torching Two-Face daily. Unfortunately even the worst bad guys get lucky and Two-Face is able to kill Dick Grayson’s family in a botched bombing attempt. So while Bruce Wayne takes in and struggles to connect with the loner orphan who reminds him so much of himself, he allows for a much more competent bad guy, The Riddler, to rise. Using Two-Face’s criminal enterprise (he’s otherwise useless), The Riddler is able to take over Gotham through the sale of a 3D TV type technology which is wildly popular (in what is the least realistic aspect of the film). This technology not only turns the denizens of Gotham into mindless consumer zombies (not sure I’m picking up on this metaphor, wish it was a little heavier) but supplements the smarts of The Riddler, making him the smartest man in the world. After deducing that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same The Riddler kidnaps Chase and baits Batman (and his new sidekick Robin) into a final showdown… which Batman immediately wins. Oh and Two-Face dies in an embarrassing way because his character is an embarrassment. The End.

Why?! Batman exists because of his parents’ deaths. Same with Robin. Plain and simple. They are out for justice. Two-Face wants to kill Batman because he didn’t prevent acid from being thrown into his face… which seems a little vain. I understand that it’s not fair that Batman didn’t save you but you gotta deal with it man. The Riddler wants to kill Bruce Wayne because he dismissed him as a crazed lunatic when he worked at Wayne Enterprises… granted Wayne was correct about that, but still.

What?! The original Batman franchise is notable for stepping as close to product placement without actually getting all the way there. Case in point, in the beginning of Batman Forever Batman tells a concerned Alfred that he’ll “get drive thru” for dinner. I waited with bated breath to see the Batmobile zoom through a McDonalds drive thru and snag a greasy bag of snacks. Instead… nothing happened. I could have sworn that I remembered Batman zooming through a drive thru. Turns out that was tied into an actual commercial that aired on television and not in the film itself. Didn’t want to soil the Batman brand I guess.

Where?! Gotham, duh. See: recap of Batman & Robin. It’ll tell you all you need to know. F.

When?! You would think this would be an F, since almost everything is obscured in this series, but it’s actually a Secret Holiday Film Alert! That’s right! This film takes place on and around Halloween as evidenced by The Riddler and Two-Face ambushing Alfred wearing Halloween costumes and pretending to be trick-or-treaters.

This entire series is much worse than I remembered it being. Two-Face is pretty easily the worst character in the entire series and it really dives deep into the camp with The Riddler given that the rest of the film is played straight. But while the highs didn’t seem as high as maybe I used to think as a kid, the lows also didn’t seem as low. The entire Burton directed/produced series took Batman to an extreme that I don’t think aged particularly well, but also can be appreciated for the ambition and vision that it had. Just doesn’t work anymore.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! This year we have decided to hit up some of the old faves from our youth to really give them the proper BMT treatment. Batman Forever has it all, Jim Carrey with ridiculous orange hair, Jim Carrey in a sparkly green jumpsuit, Jim Carrey in a sparkly silver jumpsuit … honestly, Jim Carrey off-the-wall performance was really the only thing I remembered about this film. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Pop Quiz Hot Shot!) – I liked Kilmer in this, it was kind of shocking trying to evaluate all of the Batmans across the series. They were all actually kind of good in their own way and for what they were asked to do. At least Carrey’s performance is insane, otherwise Tommy Lee Jones’ horrible Two-Face would have dragged to movie completely down. There is a lot to like in this movie, I think it is actually not that much worse than Burton’s two films despite what critics say. Mainly it is just that the Burton-Schumacher Batmans as a whole are quite a bit worse than I remembered them being. Trying out a new segment called Pop Quiz Hot Shot! which will posit a few questions, try and play along at home!

  1. Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase Meridian (great name) gives Bruce Wayne a dream doll that is meant to protect his dreams. From which country did this doll come from?
  2. Throughout the movie Bruce Wayne is haunted by the memory of his parents’ wake in which he sees a leather bound book sitting atop a table in Wayne Manor. What book is this and/or what writings did it contain?
  3. Throughout the film you see Two-Face toss his famous coin into the air. What is displayed on both sides of this coin?
  4. Prior to becoming Robin, Dick Greyson discovers the batcave is hidden behind a locked door near the main staircase in Wayne Manor. What did Alfred claim was behind this door earlier in the film?
  5. While trying to decide on his super-villain persona Edward Nigma rejects four possibilities before settling on The Riddler. Name any of these four options.

If you watched the film recently I think the first four questions are possible. The fifth is tough and is the only one I probably wouldn’t have gotten myself. Check below to see how you did!

The Bad (Too Sklog; Didn’t Watch) – The movie is just kind of written sloppily, the plan by The Riddler and Two-Face is probably the best scheme in any of the four Burton-Schumacher Batman films, but it manages to basically make no sense because of how it is presented. Two-Face is a horribly designed villain played lazily by Jones. In trying to brighten up the dingy Gotham in the Burton films Schumacher loses some of the charm of the series (even though I do think he made the series more fun in the process). Somehow the worst final fight of a series which had exactly zero satisfying villain fight scenes. Another new segment! In Too Sklog; Didn’t Watch I’ll try and highlight a single portion of the film that really embodies what makes this a great bad movie. For Batman Forever it is definitely the scene where Two-Face meets The Riddler:

Watch these five minutes of film … it tells you everything about what makes this film both ludicrously entertaining, and just complete garbage at the same time.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I don’t think this has legacy beyond maybe being a great example of the fleeting nature of BMT. This film wasn’t BMT qualified a month ago, and now it is, this is legit the first time I’ve seen that happen for sure for a film that wasn’t just released. Batman Forever somehow escaped street cred, although that is likely because, as this list points out, it is so disposable people barely remember it. Jones makes a list for worst performances by good actors though. And let’s just say, some people didn’t give Forever as much slack as I did in this rewatch.

I’ll leave a small Adaptations Grade here: oddly, among all of the Burton-Schumacher Batman films this is probably the best adaptation. First, unlike the Burton films Batman isn’t running around violating his one rule and killing people. Second, it gets that dingy gothic look while also being garish and colorized when it needs to for the villains. For this one I think I would give it a B. I’ll leave the homework assignment for the Batman & Robin recap.

The answers to this week’s quiz are: (1) Malaysia; (2) His father’s journal, Bruce Wayne was upset knowing his father would never write in it again; (3) The statue of liberty’s head, scratched out on one side; (4) The silverware closet; (5) The Puzzler, The Gamester, Captain Kill, and Question Mark Man.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Ring Two Recap

Jamie

Samara is back, Jack! Following the events of the first film, Rachel and Aiden Keller move to Oregon to start anew. It’s not long though before the rapidly spreading video virus finds them again and Aiden is possessed by Samara hoping to regain a physical form. Can Rachel battle to save her son and put Samara to rest before it’s too late? Find out in… The Ring Two.

What?! We pick up about 6 months after the events of the first film. Rachel and Aiden have moved to a small Oregon town where Rachel takes over as editor of the local paper. Everything seems to be going well until a report comes in about a disturbing death of a local teen. It sounds eerily similar to Samara’s MO, which Rachel confirms by going to the scene of the crime. Oh no! She’s found them! The next night Aiden dreams of Samara and is totes possessed by her. When Aiden starts to show serious health concerns related to demonic possession (naturally), Rachel seeks to help of her coworker, who immediately is like “WTF, mate. Get this kid to a hospital. And put some more shrimp on the barbie.” Rachel refuses, but when Samara tricks her into almost killing Aiden, her coworker is like “I didn’t sign up for this shit,” and takes control of the situation (or so he thinks). Realizing that she needs to go figure out another piece of the Samara puzzle she finds Samara’s mother, Evelyn, in a psychiatric hospital and is told to listen to Aiden if she wants him to survive. Returning to Astoria she finds that Aiden has violently escaped the hospital and killed her coworker. In her sleep she dreams that Aiden tells her to drown him and so she drugs him and places him in the bathtub after which Samara leaves his body. Hoping to destroy her once and for all she follows Samara to her TV home and locks her back in her well. THE END.

Why?! I mean, Samara is pure evil so we don’t need to delve too deep into her motivations. It would be fun if they were more mundane (Samara just wants that big promotion at work!), but alas she’s just pure evil. As for Rachel she just wants to escape Samara. When that turns out to be impossible, though, she decides that she must trap Samara for good instead.

What?! While there isn’t much product placement in this (probably some cars and stuff), I did find a moment in the very beginning somewhat amusing. The opening deals with the teenager who dies in Astoria trying to convince an unsuspecting girl to watch his copy of the tape. He kinda makes it seem like he’s into her and the whole situation is a date and as part of his seductive dance he asks if she wants a drink. Of course she does, the hottest guy in school seems into her. Duh. Out he pops from the kitchen with what I swear is a SoBe… bad move, dude. SoBe tastes like trash. She was probably already looking for the exits before you even broached the subject of the death video.

Who?! There isn’t really something to go here. No Planchet and no credits of note. So let’s do a short meditation on who Samara is as a monster. In this film we basically get the whole backstory: her mother claimed to be impregnated by a water demon and when the child is born Samara never cries and steadily drives her mother insane. Samara is adopted and continues to drive everyone around her insane with terrible visions. She never sleeps and these visions never stop until Samara is thrown down a well and sealed inside. This limits her influence until Rachel frees her in The Ring allowing her the freedom to attempt to possess Aiden. It really is a solid backstory, particularly the idea that the demon Samara never sleeps and the child she possessed is forever asleep within. I think both Patrick and I would have liked to see them play with that “water demon” idea of it at some point (and also opens a possibility for ultimate closure). But through three entries it’s kept fairly vague.

Where?! I love this setting as it so specifically narrows in on a random town in Oregon that actually exists. Rachel and Aiden move just over the Washington border into Astoria. It’s actually a well known filming location acting also as the setting for The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop. This is a B+, but the whole series borders on an A because of how entrenched in the Northwest it all is.

When?! This is almost a secret holiday film as we get to see some commercials for Memorial Day on TV. That can only really be used for a bound, though, as they are all preparing for an upcoming long weekend without being more specific. We also see a prescription fill date for May 5th so that gives up a nice three week window to work with. Had to work for it. C-.

The first part of this film is horrific. Everything looks cheap and shitty and took a step towards One Missed Call rather than keep up with the slick appearance of the Gore Verbinski original. This culminates in a 20 minute flea market scene that was only horrifying in how dull and terrible it all was. Then a weird thing happens. The film shifts into the well-worn child possession territory and almost immediately becomes much better. There are lots of films ruined by the end (the classic being that the entire film was a dream or something equally dumb), but ruined by the beginning is much rarer. Could it be that we found one of these gems? Maybe. Still a pretty significant step back from the original in almost every way, not just in the beginning. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You are the brilliant mind who brought J-Horror to the American masses. They. Went. Bananas. And you made the big bucks. What’s next for the Golden Boy (that’s what your coworkers call you)? Well … I mean, let’s just make that thing again right? There’s like a sequel and a book and everything, this should be easy … right? Golden Boy! Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel / Prequel / Remake) – The second half of this movie is kind of alright if you like The Ring. It is very similar. A investigative journalist needs to go investigating and encounters a spooooooky ghost. She barely knows what she’s doing and mostly causes trouble until she doesn’t (hooray!). That is the same as the first movie. And if you like thriller investigative films they both work shockingly well in that regard. So let’s imagine a Remake where the beginning of this film isn’t a complete pile of garbage. At the end of the first film Naomi Watts, Rachel, had just helped Samara (whoops) and presumably murdered someone to save her son. Honestly I think you pick up where you left off. She’s discovered the secret to saving oneself from Samara’s wrath, but there is an open question as to how to end Samara once and for all. Her method of saving herself is revealed to the world by Beth, Noah’s live-in girlfriend, which ultimately leads to an ever multiplying virus of tapes spreading across Washington. Rachel chases down as many of them as possible, but the desperate victims start to fight her influenced by the growing power of Samara. Realizing it is too late to stop the spread Rachel goes for the source, the convent that Samara (with demon in tow) was conceived and born. Can Rachel stop Samara? Or will Rachel, like a doofus, end up helping Samara achieve her ultimate desire: to be reborn again into another human vessel?

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The first half of this film is garbage, but you knew that already. They never bother to address one of the weirdest mysteries of the entire series: why does this little girl demon live on a video tape? What are the rules even all about? Given it can be summed up as “it was an allegory for how technology is slowly killing us all” I think they basically gave that little mystery a pass (beyond perhaps that was her way of passing her “visions” to people far from her well-prison). The movie isn’t scary, although that is kind of expected given the first one wasn’t scary either. And finally, despite liking the second half of the film, it is pretty derivative of many films that came before it. It is basically a run of the mill child gets possessed by a demon tale. For the Sklog-cabulary Quiz I think I’ll note an interesting aspect of both the second and third Rings series which I’ll call:

The Janus Device (n.) – A plot device which acts to split a film into two disparate entities. Each half of the film can be viewed almost independently, often with distinct tones, settings, and plots.

In BMT the most famous Janus Device was from The Guardian where Ashton Kutcher’s graduation from the Coast Guard Academy perfectly splits the film into two parts. The first part sees Kutcher (aka Goldfish) butting heads with Kevin Costner among the sultry Louisiana bayou. The second half sees Kutcher (aka Speedboat) best of pals with Costner among the freezing waters of Kodiak, Alaska. Here you see basically a bunch of throwaway jump scares until Watts son lands in the hospital sick with possession. From there it kicks right back into The Ring territory, complete with changing the setting from Astoria, Oregon back to Seattle, Washington. The movie was clearly just over written by several different crews.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I think this has got legs that go on for days my friends. I am officially a fan of J Horror. I was to watch more and get to know them. And I think I’ll try my very best to get BMT to give that to me. Stay tuned. As far as street cred, well it did get two nomination at both the Golden Schmoes (Worst Film and Biggest Disappointment) and the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards (Worst Sequel and Least Scary Horror Film). But as far as I can tell this kind of flew under the critical radar. I think it is great, whatever.

I’ll leave that there because this one is already enormous. I’ll cover The Ring in more detail in the recap for Rings.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Ring Two Preview

You would think that we’ve endured enough punishment after pushing our way through the 4th and 5th entries in a film franchise whose entries routinely run far past two hours. You would be wrong. Enter the horror entry for the 2017 Cycle. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled third entry of the Rings franchise, simply called Rings. This film not only includes a well reviewed first entry (The Ring) and a BMT qualifying second entry (The Ring Two), but also many other adaptations and version made in different countries (including a Japanese original that the series is closely adapted from). So we got a lot to work with and at the very least two films to watch. We never learn. It’ll be truly a Thanksgiving miracle when I get through these films. Happy TGivs (as the kids call it) and let’s go!

The Ring Two (2005) – BMeTric: 53.6

TheRingTwo_BMeT

TheRingTwo_RV

(That is actually a lot more votes than I would think, although I always underestimate how popular horror films are (and this is a sequel to an incredibly famous film to boot). The rating suggests it is bad, but, again, horror fans are a little odd in this sense. I think a “popular” horror film does tend to have a lower rating on average. This is something I would like to explore more next year in my analyses, so hopefully I’ll get some data to actually prove the suppositions I’ve held for a while now.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Fleeing Seattle for the small town of Astoria, Oregon, Watts discovers that the coldhearted ghost of a loveless child is still after her and her son, as well as anyone else hanging around. Slow and overlong, but often delivers the spooky goods, and director Nakata – who made the Japanese Ringu – uses misty Pacific Northwest locations well. Entire cast is good, especially young Dorfman, but not everything makes sense. This is not a remake of the Japanese sequel to Ringu.

(Want to hear something crazy? Leonard gave this one better reviews than the original. Which is shocking because having just rewatched the original I thought it was brilliant. I figured maybe since he apparently likes when the “spooky goods” are delivered it would be because The Ring is indeed quite light on scares (or spooky goods of any kind actually). But nope, it apparently is because it is overlong … despite the second being longer than the first. This officially intrigues me. Being a relative novice concerning JHorror this should be a decent example of something that is kind of inbetween two sensibilities I think. I guess we’ll see.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbHRP43ocWQ

(That does seem spookier than the original. This seems almost like a Jaws / Jaws 2 kind of relationship. In the original Ring you see very little of Samara by design. The film plays out as an investigative journalism movie more than anything else (interestingly). But obviously there is no reason to play a sequel that way as well, so you go for the creepier direct ghost story. I can see how they could fall into the over-explaining trap though, because they seem like they are muddling the rather simple mythos.)

Directors – Hideo Nakata – (Known For: Ring; Dark Water; Kaosu; Future BMT: Chatroom; Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Director of the original Ring film (Dark Water is also a adaptation of a book by the same author). I think this is his only attempt at making a film in the US.)

Writers – Ehren Kruger (written by) – (Known For: Ghost in the Shell; The Ring; Arlington Road; Future BMT: Scream 3; Blood and Chocolate; Reindeer Games; The Brothers Grimm; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Impostor; The Skeleton Key; BMT: The Ring 2; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; and Nominated for Worst Screenplay in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; Notes: Awarded a Nicholl Fellowship after writing Arlington Road. Wrote uncredited on Scream 4.)

Kôji Suzuki (novel) (as Koji Suzuki) – (Known For: The Ring; Dark Water; Ring; Dark Water; Sadako vs. Kayako; Future BMT: Rings; Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Most famous for the Ring trilogy (Ring, Spiral and Loop). Dark Water is a short story collection.)

Hiroshi Takahashi (1998 film Ringu) – (Known For: The Ring; Ring; Future BMT: Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: I cannot find anything about this guy on the internet. Just a small wiki stub referring him to vaguely as “J-Horror”.)

Actors – Naomi Watts – (Known For: The Glass Castle; Mulholland Drive; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Ring; While We’re Young; Lo imposible; Funny Games; King Kong; Demolition; Eastern Promises; 21 Grams; J. Edgar; The Bleeder; St. Vincent; Inland Empire; The Painted Veil; The International; Fair Game; Ned Kelly; I Heart Huckabees; Future BMT: Shut In; Le divorce; Tank Girl; Allegiant; Down; Dream House; The Sea of Trees; Insurgent; Adoration; 3 Generations; The Book of Henry; Stay; BMT: Movie 43; The Ring 2; Diana; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2014 for Diana, and Movie 43; and in 2017 for Allegiant, and Shut In; Notes: Most famous for being the honorary president of Welsh Alliance Division I football club Glantraeth F.C. Was fantastic in the new season of Twin Peaks.)

David Dorfman – (Known For: The Ring; Galaxy Quest; Bounce; Panic; 100 Mile Rule; Future BMT: Drillbit Taylor; The Singing Detective; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Graduates from UCLA at the age of 17 and Harvard Law at the age of 21. Impressive stuff.)

Sissy Spacek – (Known For: The Help; Carrie; JFK; Hot Rod; Tuck Everlasting; 3 Women; Badlands; The Straight Story; Blast from the Past; North Country; In the Bedroom; Missing; Coal Miner’s Daughter; The Man with Two Brains; Get Low; Affliction; Nine Lives; A Home at the End of the World; Prime Cut; Crimes of the Heart; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Gray Matters; Deadfall; The Mommy Market; BMT: An American Haunting; The Ring 2; Notes: Won an Oscar for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Her daughter is Shuyler Fisk who you might recognize as the female lead in Orange Country with Jack Black and Colin Hanks.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $76,231,249 (Worldwide: $161,451,538)

(That seems solid for a horror film. They might have expected more considering what The Ring did ($130 million domestic), but it isn’t crazy that Ring 2 still sits pretty high up on these horror related lists on box office mojo.)

#20 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

ring2_supernaturalhorror

(This genre is a-boomin’ these days fueled by the recent hits in Sinister and The Conjuring (and the offshoots from that). There are a ton of stinker in there too (like Rings!), and I think it is starting to react a bit of a saturation point. I wonder if we’ll see a true collapse though. People must love ghost stories, because this has been a giant horror genre for almost 20 years now and it looks to be as popular as ever.)

#5 for the Horror Remake genre

ring2_horrorremake

(The peak from ‘05 to ‘10 is just too good to pass up, it was the golden age of bad movies for a reason. I imagine it’ll come back, but studios seem pretty satisfied with making “sequels” and soft-reboots more than remakes at this point. I think the fact that they couldn’t get any of the Friday the 13th / Halloween / Nightmare on Elm Street / Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes to catch hold made them put other remakes on hold. I think the new Halloween even has become a sequel at this point. It’ll be back. It always comes back.)

#7 for the Remake – Asian genre

ring2_asianremake

(There were actually several other plots I could have put here, but, like this, most of them just looked like smaller versions of the horror remake plot from above. This one is interesting because you can see how the Ring itself jumpstarted a very short lived craze. The issue is I think that a lot of the original J Horror films from Japan are … not great. Like One Missed Call. And once they burned through the relatively few good options they were left with garbage. Godzilla is that big peak in ‘15 by the way.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (36/184): Ring Two serves up horror cliches, and not even Hideo Nakata, the director of the movies from which this one is based, can save the movie from a dull screenplay full of absurdities.

(The bad reviews seem to note how perplexing the script is and how many leaps of logic are made. Ebert himself specifically notes that you cannot discern the rules surrounding the things that are supposed to scare you. 20% is pretty terrible though.)

Poster – The Sklog Two (B+)

ring_two_ver2

(It’s got its style and tells a story. The color scheme is at least consistent and the font is original. This has everything I ask for in a poster, in a simplistic kind of way.)

Tagline(s) – Fear comes full circle. (D+)

(Oh Jeez Louise. That is unfortunate… why did you put that in my brain. Concise but pretty much nonsense and straight-up silly.)

Keyword(s) – videotape; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.9 Feardotcom (2002); 75.7 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012); 65.3 Captivity (2007); 63.3 Body of Evidence (1993); 61.3 Blair Witch (2016); 59.8 Seed (2006); 58.9 The Fly II (1989); 54.7 Down to You (2000); 53.6 The Ring 2 (2005); 51.1 Scary Movie 3 (2003);

(Wow, some great stuff there. I’m stunned Blair Witch II isn’t there, and I have to at some point see The Fly II considering the original is both a great classic sci-fi and an example of practical effects not exactly working out so hot. Goldblum just looks hilarious by the end of the film.)

Notes – During the shooting of a carnival scene, locals mistook the set for an actual carnival and wandered in. They were included as extras in the film.

Even with three artists, Daveigh Chase’s (Samara’s) make-up took over five hours to complete.

According to the production notes, there were bizarre incidents on set of life imitating art. On the seventh day, the production office was discovered to have flooded overnight, the result of a burst water pipe. Water is a strong theme in the film. In response, Director Hideo Nakata requested a Japanese purification ceremony be carried out by a Shinto minister, but the strange incidents continued. While on-location, a swarm of bees descended on the prop truck, prompting the immediate evacuation of the department, before the bees left as quickly as they had arrived. For no apparent reason, a five-gallon water jug burst open in the production office kitchen, once again flooding the same room that had flooded earlier. One morning on the Universal lot, a Set Decorator stepped out of the parking garage to discover an antlered buck charging across the asphalt in her direction. Though deer are a regular occurrence in the hills, the similarity to the deer attack in the film is uncanny. (Indeed, y’all don’t sound like crazy people at all)

Copies of the “Cursed Tape” were dropped in public places as a form of promotion. After about five minutes of footage, the viewer is directed to the movie’s website. (Weird, and I don’t like that at all)

When Rachel takes the pills and puts them on the sandwich for Aidan, she crushes the pills into a powder. The medicine bottle has a label that can be seen with the name Tony Bonaventura, who is the Property Master for the film.

There is a reference to a “Dr. Koji” by the psychiatrist. This is a nod to the original writer of the Ring books, Kôji Suzuki.

When Naomi Watts and her son go to the outdoor Astoria Antique Fair Swap Meet, Watts picks through a bunch of used VHS tapes at a vendor’s stand – and all the movies are DreamWorks titles, such as Old School (2003), and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004). (Gross, all of these notes are dumb and just weird studio crap)

In the scene following the tape burning, when Rachel gets Aiden out of bed, after finding him “soaked and freezing”, after having a nightmare, we can see that the wet part of his bed is ring-shaped.

Feature film debut of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, though she only appears in the unrated version.

Hideo Nakata, was the director of the original film Ring (1998) of which this film’s predecessor is a remake. (Which makes it all the more bizarre this turned out terribly. Although, it is pretty rare for directors from Asian studio hubs like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong to make a successful jump to Hollywood).

Ryan Merriman, Emily VanCamp, and Kelly Stables all previously appeared in the video short Rings (2005) which served as a prequel to this film.

Contrary to popular belief, this film is not a remake of either Ringu (1998) or Ringu 2 (1999), and follows it’s own unique storyline, as a direct sequel to The Ring (2002).

Hideo Nakata’s directorial debut in America. (I’m not going to count this as a one-and-done, although I don’t think he’s directed an American feature since)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Recap

Jamie

Years after the vanquishing of Davy Jones, our famed anti-hero Jack Sparrow finds himself on the trail of the Fountain of Youth. In an untrustworthy alliance with the infamous Blackbeard he is being chased by the Spanish and by Barbossa, now in the service of the King. Will they get the treasure before it’s too late? Find out in… Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

What?! We open in England where Jack is in search of a ship to get him back on track to search for the famed Fountain of Youth. He finds that he’s not the only one currently in search of the treasure, as Barbossa, now a profiteer for England, and the Spanish are also in pursuit. Hearing rumors of another pirate posing as Jack Sparrow he comes across a former beau, Angelica, who captures him. Once on board he realizes that his has been taken prisoner in service of Blackbeard, famed psychopath and dear ol’ dad to Angelica. Oh no! Much like characters in an old school adventure game of the past, Jack and Blackbeard need to collect a number of specific items to make the MacGuffin… er… Fountain of Youth work. These include several other MacGuffins, including a mermaid’s tears and some silver chalices. Once they collect these in a series of exciting misadventures and arrive at the Fountain, it turns into an outright brawl between Blackbeard and Barbossa’s crews. This brawl is ended by the arrival of the Spanish who promptly destroy the Fountain as sinful. In a final act of revenge Barbossa mortally wounds both Blackbeard and Angelica. With only one dose of the Fountain left to save either father or daughter, Jack tricks Blackbeard knowing that his selfish ways would doom him and save Angelica. Upon his death everyone is happy because he sucked. THE END.

Why?! This is easily the most straightforward of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and as a result the motivations are also fairly straightforward. Blackbeard wants to cheat his recently foretold death by drinking from the Fountain of Youth, Barbossa wants to kill Blackbeard for sweet revenge, and the Spanish want to destroy the Fountain. So the race is on! As for our hero Jack Sparrow, his motivation doesn’t change much in the series. He’s happy as long as he is sailing the open seas on his beloved Black Pearl, but there is always an undercurrent of a desire for immortality. That’s basically the premise of the first three films: how can Jack Sparrow sail the open seas for eternity? It’s hinted that that’s the reason he wants to get to the Fountain, but this all falls apart once the climactic melee ensues. This motivation is why I’m pretty sure there will be at least a sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film.

What?! Each entry in the series seems to ratchet up the MacGuffin level one more notch. By the time they get the fourth one we have a film based entirely on finding the Fountain of Youth that needs several other objects to work. While an ideal MacGuffin is something we don’t know or need to know the actual function of (we obviously know how the reason the Fountain is important in this case), this is still a great set of MacGuffins.

Who?! Have to give a shout out to Author Tim Powers (one of the fathers of Steampunk) who got a “Suggested by” credit for this film on the basis of his pirate adventure novel On Stranger Tides. Apparently the book was a major influence on the Monkey Island games as well. Funny story is that when Disney approached Powers about optioning the book for the fourth film he was surprised because he had thought they had already lifted elements from it for the first film.

Where?! Is the entire Pirates of the Caribbean series an A+? I say no, not precise enough. Like saying Here on Earth is an A+. On top of that they are never specific as to where in the Caribbean they are most of the time. Booo. I deem this a C- only because they are specifically in England at the start.

When?! I’m not going to be able to put an exact date on this, but it is interesting that this film give a basic time frame for the entire series. Takes place during the reigns of King Ferdinand of Spain, King George II, Prime Minister Henry Pelham, and Lord John Carteret. Sets it between 1751 and 1754. That’s a tight D- and funny because the wikipedia page says it takes place in 1750. Read yo history wikipedia. I would place it in 1751.

To finish up the recap I’ll just mention that the first film in the series not to feature Gore Verbinski at the helm really took a step back technologically and overall stuntwork. If there were three things I looked for in a Pirates of the Caribbean film it was cutting edge visual technology, some jokes from our charismatic lead Jack Sparrow, and grand and complex stunts. This basically went backwards on all three. Not great.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Johnny Depp has been calling you day in and day out. Constantly. You don’t want to do it, but you know one thing: Johnny Depp wants his money, and he wants it now. So I guess we’re making a fourth one. Get the giant set piece assembled, we get to deal with this thing again. Let’s go!

The Good (BMulTiverse Theories) – Something about this series gets me every time. I don’t understand it. They all start the same (a giant set piece action scene with Johnny Depp flying around with tons of practical effects), they get more and more ridiculous, Depp is a caricature at this point … but I like it. Something about it entertains me in a different way than Transformers (which at this point just annoys me). I like Penelope Cruz, and I forgot how much Jack Sparrow doesn’t really annoy me (it is perplexing given how other characters, like Mortdecai, are very similar and extremely grating). I didn’t mind the movie, I actually quite liked how they scaled the story back compared to the second and third film. I’m going to introduce a new game here called the BMulTiverse Theory. Similar to Sklognalogy, this looks into a different film and re-imagines what might have been given a different sequence of events. In this case the Pirates franchise reminds me of what I imagine a modern day Indiana Jones would have looked like. Sprawling sets with elaborate practical effects. Magical realism, a charming lead, all presented as a period piece. We’d be sitting at five or six Indiana Jones right now, the stories getting more and more ridiculous. Trust me, it would be the same, and we’d all be complaining about how trite the character of Indiana Jones is at this point.

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The film is far too long. I love Ian McShane, but Blackbeard failed to bring any of the charm or interest that a villain needs in this series. The entire thing seemed very linear, almost comically McGuffin-esque. Half the characters only speak in order to explain things about the Fountain of Youth as all of the characters directly and unyieldingly march toward this inevitable goal. Let’s try out a new Sklog-cabulary Quiz. For Pirates of the Caribbean I think I’ll note something that is also present in the aforementioned Indiana Jones series, the:

Rube Goldberg Action Sequence – (n.) An action sequence that accomplishes by complex means what seemingly could be done simply.

A mark of the Pirates franchise in which Johnny Depp flies across chandeliers or sword fights on a giant wheel, it is really impressive when done correctly. It actually isn’t really a bad movie trope since you need a crazy amount of money to pull it off, but it is something the sticks out about the Pirates franchise.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – On Stranger Tides won’t really have any legacy, although the franchise as a whole could have a place if a sixth is made. A double trilogy where the second trilogy was torn apart by critics would be rather fun. This actually does have a bit of street cred. It is listed as the 20th worst film of the year here. Otherwise it kind of falls to the wayside in a very very impressive bad movie year. It is the year of Jack and Jill, but just look at the razzies that year. Very impressive lists all around.

I’ll leave it there because we have a whole other recap to get to.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs