Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Preview

It’s baaaaaaa-aaaaaaack. That’s right! We’re watching some more of our favorite horror franchise: Friday the 13th. Last cycle we had to endure the fifth in the series, which was so bad that it almost destroyed my taste for all things Jason Vorhees… almost. For the StreetCreditReport.com cycle we have to jump to the eighth film in the franchise, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which often makes it to the top of the worst of the series lists. This is reflected in the RT score with a solid 2/22 (8%). This of course means that we have non-BMT homework for Part VI: Jason Lives (which is often considered one of the best in the series; 52% RT) and a BMT qualifying bonus film Part VII: The New Blood (30% RT) which we’ll present here first. We’re going to do it guys. We’re going to watch the entire series in a single year! Let’s go!

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) – BMeTric: 50.7

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(I find the rating plot in particular quite interesting. The film has transitioned from a purely bad-ratings film to a Popular Below Average film in the later years. This is more than regression to the mean to me, this is legitimately people going back and actually thinking this movie is better than the previous generation considered it (in my opinion). And it looks like it isn’t slowing, it is plausible that this movie will cross into average territory soon. Weird and wild stuff.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Makeup expert Buechler fails to inject much life into this endless series. Pretty, blonde Lincoln foolishly travels to Crystal Lake (with her mom and her shrink) where her talent for telekinesis beings the monstrous Jason back from his watery grave.

(He did not watch this film. This “review” is basically just regurgitates the plot and then bounces. I guess he calls it lifeless, but there is nothing else there. Whatever, as long as this film is better than number five I’ll be pretty okay with it. That isn’t such a tall order is it?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Hm9RNGo8A

(This is… not what I want out of my Friday the 13th films. Yeah, I guess it’s cool that Jason kinda meets his match with a telekinetic girl, but I’m in for the kills and the trills. Not Jason being pummeled left and right. Also, it seems like they might show us the final kill right in the trailer.)

Directors – John Carl Buechler – (BMT: Troll; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1988 for Worst Visual Effects for The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Started out in makeup and made his way to directing. Still does some work in visual effects and makeup to this day.)

Writers – Daryl Haney (written by) – (Known For: Masque of the Red Death; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Fascination; Notes: Pitched the film as Jason vs. Carrie. Fired after his agent attempted to get him a significant raise. The script was finished by an uncredited rewriter.)

Manuel Fidello (written by) – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Notes: Clear pseudonym. Rumor is that this was a notable writer who didn’t want his name attached in any official capacity. Surprisingly all these years later no one has come out and said “Oh yeah, that was me actually.”)

Sean S. Cunningham and Victor Miller (characters) (uncredited) – (Their only credits are essentially all of the Friday the 13th films. We’ve discussed notes concerning them during previews for the previous films in the series)

Actors – Lar Park-Lincoln – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; House II: The Second Story; Notes: Has worked in the industry for nearly 40 years, she even has a book Get Started Not Scammed to help young actors getting into the industry. She did quite a bit of television as well, including the tv series based off of Nightmare on Elm Street.)

Kevin Spirtas – (Known For: Daredevil; Apt Pupil; Defying Gravity; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Notes: Was Hugh Jackman’s understudy for The Boy from Oz he has also been on numerous soap operas throughout his career.)

Susan Blu – (Known For: Cars; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Transformers: The Movie; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Notes: Born in St. Paul MN, holla! She is a prolific voice actor, but appears to mainly be doing voice direction at this points. Makes sense as she is nearly 70 years old at this point. She was almost cast to voice Arcee in Transformers (she voiced her in the animated series), but was replaced at the last minute.)

Budget/Gross – $2.8 million / Domestic: $19,170,001

(Still going strong. It blows my mind that they never bothered to up the ante and get real actors and a real director and a real budget, but I guess when your profit is 1000% you don’t really care all that much.)

#45 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(I’ve been ignoring the plot for the most part since we’ve seen this all before. Right around Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (considered one of the only good late-additions to the three horror mega franchises) and Halloween 4 (which I can personally say is a travesty). All of these films came at a time when slasher was getting a lot of play in theaters, but just as the box office per theater was a tumbling as well, which was probably a precursor to the brief collapse around 1995 of the genre as a whole)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (6/20): No consensus yet.

(Oooo I get to make one up: Overtly pointless, and intentionally antagonistic to hardcore fans. The New Blood might have tried to cross Carrie with a slasher film, but ends up looking like it needs a whole new injection of new blood to salvage the waning franchise. Woof, that was fun to write.)

Poster – Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Sklog (B+)

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(One thing to be said about the series is that they generally delivered when it came to the poster. Great (and artistic) spacing/symmetry in this one. Bold black-white-red coloring and classic font. Seems like they are misleading the audience a bit though. The title and art would suggest that the girl is “Jason” in this one… which we know is not true. Pretty good though.)

Tagline(s) – On Friday the 13th, Jason is back. But this time, someone’s waiting (B-)

(And where they have failed to deliver is the taglines. This one isn’t bad from a cadence point of view. Mildly clever and hints at the plot (notably different from what the poster itself suggests). But just way too long.)

Keyword(s) – serial murderer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.2 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 69.0 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 66.7 Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985); 50.7 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988); 47.6 Friday the 13th (2009); 41.2 Freddy vs. Jason (2003); 41.1 Friday the 13th Part III (1982); 40.8 Prom Night (1980); 33.8 Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986); 33.0 Borderland (2007);

(Friday the 13th not surprisingly is quite prevalent. I do like it when the movie we are doing is features. I’ll just have to watch Prom Night on my own I guess, it actually doesn’t qualify for BMT with 42% … maybe a few more DVD reviews will trickle in someday.)

Notes – This film was originally intended to bring Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger together onscreen for the first time. But when Paramount Pictures (at that time was holding the rights to the “Friday the 13th” film series) and New Line Cinema (who holds the rights to the “Nightmare On Elm Street” series) couldn’t agree behind the scenes, the script was rewritten to pit Jason up against the telekinetic Tina Shepard instead. (Ooooooooof. They eventually use that storyline in Freddy v Jason naturally, but still a pretty rough plan B)

Kane Hodder did all his own Jason stunts in this film, including falling through the stairway, and having the porch roof fall on his head.

Kerry Noonan, who played Paula in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986), read for the role of Tina, when she thought the title was “Birthday Bash.” She quickly realized that it was a Friday the 13th film and confessed that she’d starred in the last movie, so John Carl Buechler decided not to cast her. (Ha! Yet again just basically tiptoeing around having continuity between films)

Director John Carl Buechler has publicly fumed many times over the years about the number of edits required by the MPAA to avoid an “X” rating. The film had to be submitted nine times to the Motion Picture Association of America before being granted an “R” rating, and it stands as arguably the most heavily censored entry in the ‘Friday the 13th’ series. (Huh, methinks we’ll get some nudity in the film)

Director John Carl Buechler stated that he clashed with associate producer Barbara Sachs continuously over many ideas that he had for the film. This included showing Jason unmasked for quite a bit of the movie. She vetoed the idea, but he ended up going behind her back and filming it anyway. He also stated that the final sequence of Tina’s father coming out of the water was to be more elaborate and feature full prosthetics and a life size dummy. That sequence was completely over ruled and he ended up filming what he considers an inferior version of the sequence. (Huh, that end sequence sounds a bit like a travesty to me …)

John Carl Buechler was so impressed with Kane Hodder when he ate live worms on the set of Prison (1987), that he pushed for Paramount Pictures to let him cast Hodder in the role of Jason. If it had not been for Buechler’s persistence, the role of Jason Voorhees would have been reprised by C.J. Graham. (I kind of want to watch Prison now …)

In the documentary Friday the 13th Chronicles (2004) included with the Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set, the director John Carl Buechler stated that Jason spent 10 years chained and inert before the main action of this movie. (Very interesting. That, I think, make this movie set in the future! I would have to check when the first in intended to take place, but if it is around 1980 then this movie would take place in 1990 at least)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Recap

Jamie

What?! Jason is back, Jack! That’s right, we left Jason with an axe in his head and presumed dead. JK! He doesn’t die that easily. Instead he stalks right back out into the woods to slaughter another group of unlucky teens out for a romp in a rented cabin. Can they stop Jason before it’s too late? Find out in… Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

Why?! Jason will kill. Teens will have drug fueled sex-romps in the woods. It’s the way of the world. You can’t explain that, you can only accept it. There is one interesting little twist they throw in here with one of the major characters being a relative of a character killed in the second film. He’s in the woods expressly for the purpose of hunting down and killing Jason. It’s actually a cool little twist.

How?! After the events of the third film, Jason is sent to the morgue but turns out to not actually be dead… somehow. He awakens and kills a couple people before heading back out into his natural habitat. At the same time a bunch of teenagers are out for a fun week in the woods at a cabin they’ve rented next door to a family. Jason obviously targets this group of crazy teens and systematically takes them out. Only when he turns his attention to the family next door does he find that he’s met his match. Just as Jason is about to kill the daughter Trish, her brother Tommy Jarvis, a young boy obsessed with movie magic, dons a “young Jason” disguise and distracts Jason long enough for Trish to knock him out. Knowing that that’s not enough to kill Jason, Tommy proceeds to literally hack Jason’s head off making sure that he never returns again… for at least one film.

Who?! This entry definitely has the most interesting cast with Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman having roles. My favorite factoid, though, involves the song that Crispin dances to in the cabin called Love is a Lie by Lion:

 The song was literally the debut by the band. They had never released an EP or album and had formed less than a year before. It almost seems like they were formed to produce songs for film because the next thing they recorded was the theme song for the Transformers movie:

Fantastic.

Where?! Second of the series to be filmed in California and not the Northeast, but still takes place near Crystal Lake in New Jersey. Same grade as before. C-

When?! This is a continuing story so since the timing is super unclear from the first three entries in the series, it is similarly obscure here. The notable thing about this entry is that it establishes that Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees, was killed in 1979 (an event in the first film)… which so screwed up the overall timeline that fans have had to make up weird theories for why she still could have been killed in 1980 (usually it’s that the townspeople didn’t want the grave to become tourist attraction so they put a different date on the gravestone to throw off the scent)… they really were the worst at making sure this made any sense. C-

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Friday the 13th The Final Chapter? More like Friday the 13th The Banal Chapter, amirite? Heyoooooo. We’re chugging away through a staple of the horror genre, a franchise with nearly as many installments as the number in its name, surely the sequels can’t all be bad … surely. Let’s get into it!

  • The Good – This feels like the conclusion to the series, and a solid conclusion it could have been. At this point they should have spun it off into a television series (which they did, but after the 6th installment). A few good things in this one. Apparently people complain about it (because of the screwed up timeline it creates), but I like the idea of the Jason hunter because it suggests he specifically looks for groups of partying teenagers to kill. Tickles that little bit of love for the lore I have (same thing about how the finale for each of the first six movies occur during a storm, as if Jason draws power from water itself, the mode of his demise). Out of the first three sequels I thought this one was ultimately the best.
  • The Bad – It gives into the tropes a bit too much. I’m not sure if this or Elm Street gave us the if-you-do-drugs-or-have-sex-you-die trope first and when it was recognized / done intentionally, but this takes it a bit to its logical conclusion. The kills felt weaker than in previous installments perhaps. The suggestion that Corey Feldman made those masks is ludicrous. And the “young Jason” disguise he puts on is equally ludicrous. He just shaves his head!
  • The BMT – The legacy of this film will be that it is the best of the worst of the herd of (early) sequels for a horror mega-franchise which should give us some of the more ridiculous BMT films we’ve ever done. It suggests what could have been (a button on a series that would have honestly been quite the cult classic if they let well enough alone). Horror films get overblown BMeTrics, and that is basically what happened here, the 20 is in actually more like a 10. One of the better examples of the early 80s horror sequels in my opinion.

Let’s do a Remake because they are after all remaking the series again. So if we ended up in the same place (Jason assumed dead lying in the morgue, two separate survivors presumably lying in a psychiatric ward nearby). I would show Jason escaping the hospital and then jump forward a few years. Tommy Jarvis and his family live on the other side of Camp Crystal Lake. People know the legend, but the weekend massacre beginning on Friday the 13th years ago is little more than ghost stories to much of the town. Driving in for a drug-fueled sexy weekend is a group of teenage party goers who have picked up a hitchhiker, a young man who just so happens to be going their way. When they arrive and unpack he disappears into the woods … and that’s when the murders begin again. The teenagers throw a party and Tommy’s older sister (and a very uncomfortable Tommy) are there to kick off the summer with some fun. As the kids get picked off one by one they wonder, is that hitchhiker responsible? A sick copy-cat come to celebrate the anniversary of the Voorhees murders? Venturing into the forest Tommy discovers than quite the contrary: the hitchhiker is the brother of one of the lone survivors of Jason’s two day rampage. Armed with the knowledge that Jason, the boy who died as teenagers boozed it up on Lake Crystal Lake in 1958, couldn’t allow such a situation to occur again, the hitchhiker is a hunter ready for revenge.

I was tempted to make the ending be Tommy drowning in the lake and his sister having to choose: kill the monster or save her brother? But leaving Jason alive after number 4 seems like a cop out (I think at some point someone has to kill Jason or else it gets a tad bit tired), and having Tommy drown and “become” Jason (or whatever) it pretty stupid. So I would end it roughly the same way. Tommy is the lone survivor after killing Jason.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Preview

While we had looked forward to watching Hansel & Gretel for years, the horror/thriller entry in the punctuation film cycle is one that we’ve been looking forward to for a whole 2 months. That’s right! We are returning to Crystal Lake to hit up the fourth and fifth in the Friday the 13th series, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. These count as the coveted “:” entry in the cycle, which could have been any number of films. We had so much fun watching the first three entries in the sequel cycle that we couldn’t resist returning to the well for some more. At this rate we’ll be watching Jason X in no time. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) – BMeTric: 28.4

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(I do think this movie is benefiting from some reflection by the horror community. Perhaps it is a sense that it was the third installment to start where the previous left off and thus could be viewed as putting an appropriate button on the series. Specifically that the last three were a trilogy of the murderous rampage of Jason one weekend in New Jersey. And that nice little trilogy kind of ruined by the later installments, which can now mostly be ignored after what? Fifteen plus years since the last of this run of the character? I don’t know, that rise to near 6.0 IMDb score isn’t what I would personally call natural, it is more than regression to the mean.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Why bother with a new script? Jason finally gets his — except that (title notwithstanding) the door is left open for yet another sequel!

(Ha! Leonard Maltin notoriously hates horror films, and for the initial three films the claim to fame was low budget, high body count, and inventive kills. Not exactly up his alley. But a BOMB is always fun.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBme5lOcZF4

(That is pretty spoilerific I must say. Gives away at least a bit of what? Like 6 of the kills? Suggests Jason dies, indicates who kills him, etc. But back then you’d see this like once and then see the movie a few weeks later so who’d remember. Kind of like the voiceover and the idea though.)

Directors – Joseph Zito – (Known For: The Prowler; BMT: Red Scorpion; Missing in Action; Invasion USA; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Known for working with Chuck Norris and being heavily influential in the slasher genre with The Prowler (1975, so quite early). But most interesting to me? He did a year of pre-production on a live action Spider-Man that never came to be. Here’s a teaser trailer:

)

Writers – Victor Miller, Ron Kurz, Sean S. Cunningham (character creator) – (I’m going to just put this at the top. We’ve already covered these guys and they’re going to show up in every subsequent preview as well. Just go look at Part II or III if you want fun facts. They wrote the first film and are credited for the character exclusively after that)

Martin Kitrosser (character creator) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Last time I mentioned he was a long time script supervisor who worked with Tarantino on his films. He wrote Part III and has character credits on The Final Chapter and A New Beginning. His directorial debut was the fifth Silent Night Deadly Night movie.)

Carol Watson (character creator) – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Hard to find info given her generic name, but I do know she is a credited screenwriter for the second Meatballs movie (which doesn’t qualify for BMT unfortunately))

Barney Cohen (screenplay) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Speaking of that 1986 Spider Man film! This guy was one of the screenwriters for that! He suggested that Doctor Octopus be called Doc Ock, have an assistant named Weiner, get bitten by a spider and claim to be the true Spider-Man, and that Weiner was Uncle Ben’s killer. Oh, and Doc Ock says “okey-dokey” throughout the script. Best IMDb note ever.)

Bruce Hidemi Sakow (story) – (BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: A veteran screenwriter whose IMDb claims he’s sold fifteen scripts with four ultimately being produced. Basically Zito must have had complete control of this project because Sakow wrote one of his other projects Quarantine (which appears to have never been made) and apparently personally hired him to write this movie.)

Actors – Erich Anderson – (Known For: Unfaithful; Officer Downe; Without Limits; Bat*21; The Glass Shield; Infinity; Special; Auggie Rose; BMT: Missing in Action; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Nightwatch; Notes: A character actor across television and film. He really has very little as far as things I know on his resume … besides Murder, She Wrote. In another life I would be a person who blogs every episode of Murder, She Wrote. That blog is live! The most recent post was about three weeks ago.)

Judie Aronson – (Known For: Weird Science; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Lisa Picard Is Famous; BMT: American Ninja; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Hannibal; Notes: She got hypothermia while filming a scene in a lake for this movie. The stuntman playing Jason threatened to quit over the incident. Both the fourth and fifth films appear to have issues with the directing it would seem.)

Peter Barton – (Known For: Hell Night; BMT: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Notes: Named one of the 10 sexiest guys in soaps by Playgirl. Might have to check out his turn in the revival of 60’s detective series Burke’s Law.)

Budget/Gross – $2.6 million / Domestic: $32,980,880 (N/A)

(Free money. Get yo free money. I wonder when the run will end. This is basically the fourth in a row where the return on investment was probably like 1000%, but at some point that has to end otherwise they would have just kept doing it right?)

#28 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(The plot is somewhat uninteresting because we’ve obviously seen this plot twice before for the other two Friday the 13ths we did for BMT. This is the beginning of the end for the series as this made less than its predecessor and no Jason movie (until they added the far more popular Freddy Kruger to the mix) made more than Friday the 13th Part III after. Kind of insane to think about actually)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (6/24): No consensus yet.

(I do love me some consensus making: Retroactively becoming a joke the fourth installment is shockingly coherent in context. It doesn’t mean it is good, and the subsequent flogging of the series reflects poorly on what could have been a clean ending to the series. Most reviews are from around now, so it really is colored by modern attitudes towards the franchise. But people seem fairly positive about the movie in its context, it just … wasn’t the final chapter.)

Poster – Friday the Sklogteenth: The Final Chapter (F)

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(Oh blah. They went from shockingly artistic for the first three films to “just throw some words on a page. People will come and watch anyway.” The font and the stark red on black would normally score points, but not with this.)

Tagline(s) – Three Times Before You Have Felt The Terror, Known The Madness, Lived The Horror. But This Is The One You’ve Been Screaming For. (F)

Friday April 13th is Jason’s Unlucky Day (A-)

(The first one is hardly a tagline except that they actually put that monstrosity on a poster! Gross. The second is actually pretty clever. Short, sweet, and clever. Hints that Jason will die. Only thing working against it is that it uses the release date in the title… slightly meta as it is clear that the story doesn’t take place on that date.)

Keyword(s) – morgue; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.6 The Fog (2005); 73.9 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007); 73.6 One Missed Call (2008); 72.9 Striptease (1996); 72.2 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 69.2 Feardotcom (2002); 60.9 Black Christmas (2006); 56.6 Double Dragon (1994); 53.4 The Transporter Refueled (2015); 51.2 Rage (2014);

(Oooo digging this list. The Fog is amazing. One Missed Call is apparently legendary. Good mix of recent and different genres from the 90’s. Morgues man, I don’t remember it in Striptease, but whatevs.)

Notes – The strange dance which Jimbo performs at the party was contributed by actor, Crispin Glover, and was based on the eccentric way he actually danced in clubs. On the set, he was dancing to “Back in Black” by AC/DC, as the scene was filmed. In the film, an edited version of “Love Is a Lie”, by Lion, was dubbed into the scene. (Ooooo I love this fun fact. This reminds me of the Giovanni Ribisi dance from Tes and Million Ways to Die in the West)

Director Joseph Zito was opposed to using clips from previous installments at the beginning of the film. (Good on you Zito. Probably one of the weaker traits of the series is the way they kind of force-stitched everything together and wasted a whole chunk of time replaying a movie people probably already watched)

The video which Axel watches is called Aerobicise (1982), and stars Darcy DeMoss, who went on to play Nikki in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. (Also a great fun fact. I’m going to go ahead and muse about the shared Friday the 13th universe for a while)

During filming, Kimberly Beck, who plays Trish, experienced strange occurrences, including a man watching her while she ran in the park and strange phone calls at all hours. This stopped when production was over. (Actresses being stalked seemed to be a sinister running issue with this series. The actress from the first film was stalked and had to quit the series as well)

The nurse’s name tag reads “R. Morgan, RN,” an homage to actress Robbi Morgan, who played Annie in Friday the 13th (1980).

Corey Feldman was legitimately terrified during the window shot. As per series tradition, Jason was played by yet another stuntman in The Final Chapter, this time Ted White, a seasoned veteran of 40 years who had doubled for John Wayne and Clark Cable. He did not like Corey Feldman, calling him the “meanest goddamn little kid” he’d ever dealt with. When it came time to film the famous scene near the end when Jason reaches through a broken window to pull Tommy out of a house White got to act out his frustration. They had worked out the timing of when White would grab Feldman beforehand, but during filming White waited a couple of beats to the point that Feldman assumed the stunt had gone wrong. So, just as he let his guard down White grabbed him exactly as you see in the film, meaning Feldman’s screams of horror were completely authentic. (I didn’t like this note very much, but I left it in because of the “meanest little kid” thing which I find interesting. Maybe at some point we’ll do a famous child actors rotation and hit up Feldman’s other classic Meatballs 4)

This is the only film in the series to shoot new footage using sets and locations from a previous film. The beginning takes place on the set of Friday the 13th Part III (1982), before moving to a new location.

Baby Geniuses Recap

Jamie

What?! A multinational baby product company, BabyCo, has started experimenting on babies to discover advanced learning techniques. As a control they’ve separated twins, Sly and Whit, to prove the method works. Using his superhuman strength and smarts, Sly is able to escape the lab, leading to the recapture of Whit by mistake. Will the switcheroo be discovered in time to free the babies and bring BabyCo down? Find out in… Baby Geniuses!

Why?! Alright, I know that little synopsis may sound confusing (particularly as a plot to a kid’s film and not a surrealist horror film). Don’t worry, it’s even more confusing when you actually watch it. On the face of it there is a pretty clear reason why BabyCo is flaunting bioethical mores and engaging in baby experimentation: they hope to develop a learning technique so great that everyone will jump at the chance to pay big money to get their kid enrolled. Muddling all this, though, is the fact that both BabyCo and Whit’s father, Dan, are also obsessed with learning the ancient baby language, which purportedly holds all the secrets to the meaning of life (and conveniently explains why all babies secretly talk like adults). I guess BabyCo hopes to use the “babytalk” language to further develop the Kinder method. As for the babies, they’re motivation seems to be freedom and bringing the separated twins back together. Unrightfully separating twins is of course the greatest crime known to man, one that the Atlantic Ocean is guilty of as we speak. Fuck you, Ocean.

How?! Like any good scientist, BabyCo’s chief researcher, Dr. Heep, set up a controlled experiment with twins Sly and Whit so as to definitively prove the Kinder Method is superior to other learning methods. Unfortunately the method works too well (or maybe Sly and Whit are just naturally too smart, it’s never made all that clear) and Sly breaks free to run about town. Coincidentally they corner Sly at the very moment that he and Whit encounter each other for the first time and Whit is taken back to the lab by mistake. Uh oh! Once BabyCo realizes the mistake they know that their little Mengele-like twin experimentation will be discovered and come to an end, so they start to pack it up to jet off to Lichtenstein (this is really the plot). Acting quickly, Sly and Whit organize their baby troops, hypnotize some weak-minded adult helpers, and take down the whole enterprise, all the while spouting odd anachronistic adult-themed jokes delivered by ADR. This very well might be one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

Who?! Twin film alert! Have to mark it for next year’s Smaddies Baddies. As for Planchets, I have to highlight Kyle Howard’s Dickie (self nicknamed Icepick). He is a teenager who is given a job at Whit’s parent’s daycare as a favor to his parents, given that he can’t hold down any other job (and doesn’t appear to want to). He spends the entire film dressed in bizarre costumes (including a gigantic hoop nose ring) trying to get fired. No dice, though, as he ends up playing a part in saving the babies… which I guess means he cares or something.

Where?! Very nicely takes place in Pasadena, where BabyCo is headquartered. Mentioned outright in the beginning and supported to the very end as the LAPD race to BabyCo HQ to save the day. The Bobbins’ place seems to be somewhere in the LA suburbs not too far away. Pretty solid C+.

When?! Xmas film, alert! When Sly escapes the lab he ends up making it to a mall, where he spends the night. It is very clearly decked out in Christmas decorations, with a mall Santa and everything. We also get a clear “Merry Christmas” from one of the mall security guards. Perfection. B+.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Baby Geniuses? More like Sweet Baby Jesuses! Amirite? We watched a kid’s film literally starring babies. Totally our wheelhouse. Not the antithesis of everything BMT holds desr. What could go wrong … it isn’t like it could ruin my life, right? Right, obviously, baby geniuses didn’t ruin my life, that’s absurd, but it wasn’t very good. Let’s go!

  • The Good – You’d be surprised by how okay the story actually is. It is silly, and it doesn’t make much sense, but if you squint and let it wash over you like a summer rain it isn’t the most unpleasant. My wife actually watched this movie a bit growing up and had fond memories of it. So credit where credit is due. This is probably up there with Master of Disguise now as BMT films where people I know were kind of flabbergasted that the movie was bad. Also, I don’t know how they get babies to act. At times I was just confounded as to how they got them to do certain things. It is incredible. The supporting acting appears bad, but they are also super committed and I kind of loved that.
  • The Bad – Shoddily made. Number one. All the way down to a rented limousine having a tail light out. I would assume a feature film shoot wouldn’t be so tight on budget or schedule that they could request a not-broken limo to be sent, but not in Baby Geniuses. It looks like a movie made in 1993 but it was made in 1999. The finale was creepy enough I didn’t really know how children would watch it without becoming scared for life. Obviously it is really stupid and none of the jokes land.
  • The BMT – Yes, but lower than it is and mainly just because the idea of the movie is really stupid (or at least transparently pandering to very young kids who they knew just wouldn’t care) and the movie shoddily made. But it is like a 50. You can imagine people liking this film. It is possible. Why does this sound like praise? Read my Superbabies Baby Geniuses 2 recap to find out! The legacy of this film will be that it is a great Twin Film, and part of probably the worst film franchise in history.

I’m going Sequel Prequel Remake here and going for a Prequel. I’m much more interested in Peter MacNicol’s character of Dan Bobbins than anyone else. Why is he special in that he can understand baby talk a bit? He suggests it is in the back of his mind, just out of reach. The prequel will explore the extraordinary events of his babyhood that lead to the incomplete crossing-over and residual retention of baby talk. LSD experiments by a young and radical Dr. Heeb related to MKUltra (although you’d have to accept that Heeb is much older (70’s or even 80’s) or MacNicol’s is much younger (30s) than the actors who played them in Baby Geniuses were at the time), drawing a connection between Kane and BabyCo in the process, a manipulation to draw Dan and Robin together to allow Heeb to continue his research through Dan. It’s got it all! Baby Geniuses: Origins, coming this fall to Netflix. Totally, definitely getting picked up by Netflix.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Baby Geniuses Preview

With the first BMT Live! of the year behind us, we continue onto the Razzies entry of the Squeakuels cycle… or I should say what was the Razzies entry. That’s right. Minor shake-up for 2017 is that this entry in the cycle is now the Challenges entry. This still includes Razzies as we continue to try to cover as many nominees as possible, but it also includes any BMT challenges we may come up with. For the moment that is just the Calendar, but the Periodic Table of Smellements and a world mapl.de.map would also fall into the cycle once we officially put them on the website. So without further ado we start this new entry off with a couple of films that are both on the Calendar. Give it up for the worst reviewed film series in history and the only set of films to both appear on the IMDb Bottom 100. That’s right, we are subjecting ourselves to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Lord help up. Let’s go!

Baby Geniuses (1999) – BMeTric: 72.1 (#66 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(Just shockingly low. It does seem like it wants to go up, but obviously also legendary because it really has stayed pretty consistent over the nearly 15 years this graph covers. This movie would also probably be a poster boy for why I need to figure out how to “backdate” the BMeTric. I would assume for the most part that Baby Geniuses increases in votes proportionally to the rest of IMDb. So you would assume the BMeTric should really stay the same over time. But it is based off of average votes for a movie today, so it’ll just rise over time. Such is life at the moment.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Unless you want to see walking, talking toddlers hypnotizing DeLuise into picking his nose, steer clear of this almost history-making comedy clinker about power-mad child psychologist Turner, who’s raising three bright babies in her lab. Technically shoddy and recipient of some of the decade’s worst reviews (though people did go see it). If these kids are such geniuses, why can’t they spark even a single laugh?

(Cooooooold bloooooded. That’s is just body-shot-body-shot-upper-cut Leonard, taking the industry down. History making boys, that’s why we do it. That’s why we play the game. If you are going to watch a kids’ movie, at least make sure it is historically bad, right? I’m getting all amped, nothing can push me off this mountain.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgjvh4_h_lQ

(Aaaaaand, I’m out. This does look shoddy enough though that it has an outside chance of being bemusing to the point of interest. Like, I do wonder which computer graphics company developed the tech for the moving babies and whatnot, some of that did look more impressive that I expected.)

Directors – Bob Clark – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Black Christmas; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; Murder by Decree; Dead of Night; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Rhinestone; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Director for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1985 for Rhinestone; Once hit a royal flush on a video poker machine on the Strip and won over $80 thousand on a two dollar bet.)

Writers – Steven Paul (story) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Was a playwright at the age of 12. Well known as a producer, he produced things like Ghost Rider and the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film. He loves ghosts.)

Francisca Matos and Robert Grasmere (story) – (BMT: Baby Geniuses; Notes: Matos basically became the writing partner of Grasmere, and while they have been attached to a number of projects this is the only significant one produced. Grasmere has had a far more impressive visual effects career including films like Demolition Man, The Core, and Toys (and yeah, I chose the worst of the bunch, it is a very impressive list).)

Bob Clark (screenplay) – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Porky’s Revenge; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes: The last feature film he wrote, although he directed more than he wrote through his career.)

Greg Michael (screenplay) – (BMT: Baby Geniuses; Notes: Was the second unit director for a murderer’s row of 2000s action films: the entire Mummy series, The Time Machine, The Tuxedo, Van Helsing, G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra! Has never really made the jump to director, although he is attached to a film called Wild Heart that was just announced.)

Actors – Kathleen Turner – (Known For: Marley & Me; The Virgin Suicides; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Romancing the Stone; Body Heat; Monster House; Nurse 3-D; Peggy Sue Got Married; The Jewel of the Nile; The War of the Roses; Serial Mom; Prizzi’s Honor; The Accidental Tourist; The Man with Two Brains; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Dumb and Dumber To; V.I. Warshawski; A Simple Wish; Beautiful; Undercover Blues; Notes: A devoted activist for Planned Parenthood for years including becoming a chairperson. Obtained a reputation for being difficult to work with later in her career.)

Christopher Lloyd – (Known For: Back to the Future; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Back to the Future Part II; Clue; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; I Am Not a Serial Killer; Back to the Future Part III; The Addams Family; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Anastasia; Piranha 3D; Addams Family Values; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Man on the Moon; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; The Postman Always Rings Twice; The Tale of Despereaux; Mr. Mum; Goin’ South; Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road; The Dream Team; DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp; Eight Men Out; BMT: Piranha 3DD; Baby Geniuses; Suburban Commando; My Favorite Martian; Dennis; Love, Wedding, Marriage; Fly Me to the Moon; A Million Ways to Die in the West; The Pagemaster; Angels in the Outfield; Camp Nowhere; Hey Arnold! The Movie; Notes: Is the uncle of Sam Lloyd known for his role as the lawyer on scrubs. What more is there to say? Has been in some of my favorite movies from my childhood.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: The Ghost; Police Academy; Sex and the City; Big Trouble in Little China; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Ice Princess; Masquerade; The Return of the Musketeers; BMT: Crossroads; Sex and the City 2; Baby Geniuses; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Mannequin; 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2011 for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1991 for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities; I can’t find anything about their relationship, but she appeared in four Bob Clark films: Tribute, Turk 182!, Porky’s, and Baby Geniuses! She is British, but her accent is Canadian where she grew up. She is an avid supporter of Liverpool F.C.)

Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $27,250,736 (Worldwide: $36,450,736)

(Wow, not bad all things considered. I’m pretty shocked by the foreign number. It doesn’t really make sense to release to foreign markets, although (and I don’t really know how this movie is constructed, so take this with a grain of salt), if they are merely putting voices over without manipulating the mouths too much it might have been a fairly trivial dub which could have made it worth it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/44): Flat direction and actors who look embarrassed to be onscreen make Baby Geniuses worse than the premise suggests.

(The rogue good review states: “With the recent popularity of baby-themed shows, this film has perfect timing. Younger patrons will be drawn into the fantasy, while the humor is sufficient to keep adults interested.” I had to look it up, but indeed, the show Baby Bob came out mere months before this review (June, 2002), bizarrely three years after the movie came out! Which also means Baby Geniuses held a 0% on rotten tomatoes for three years before losing it.)

Poster – Baby Sklogses (C+)

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(The positive is that the symmetry is pretty good. Everything else is not great. Font is uninteresting and the coloring is not great. It does get the message across, though, with that baby wearing glasses.)

Tagline(s) – Think innocent. Think helpless. Think again. (I am dumber because of this.)

Naps are history. (Seriously. What is going on?)

(What in the fuck are these? The first one is like someone from a different country that didn’t speak english was forced to study taglines for a year and come up with one for this film. The second one is like an actual baby came up with it. Dear God. Those are rough.)

Keyword(s) – baby; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.0 Date Movie (2006); 83.9 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 82.8 Son of the Mask (2005); 74.1 Junior (1994); 72.2 Baby Geniuses (1999); 71.4 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 70.2 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 66.1 The Animal (2001); 64.7 Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992); 63.4 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013);

(Wow, so there are a few movies there we’ve seen (Junior, Look Who’s Talking Too, The Animal … a few times, Honey I Blew Up the Kid) but only one we’ve done for BMT. That is a new rule by the way. We’ve stopped considering movies “watched” unless we’ve done them for BMT. So a while to go in the baby top 10 … which is a weird mix of the expected and just weird films.)

Notes – The amusement park is the one at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, NV. (Circus Smircus?! We were (kind of) just there!)

Kathleen Turner, who plays Dr. Elena Kinder, and Christopher Lloyd, who plays Dr. Heep, also co-starred in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), in which they played Jessica Rabbit and Judge Doom.

The last theatrically-released film of Dom DeLuise (although several later films he made were never publicly released). (Kind of a thing isn’t it? Terrible movies being the last release. I wonder if it is because things like voices and kids films are less demanding so actors who ultimately die of a terminal illness just end up in those roles as they approach their death. Sorry to muse about the subject, but I do find it interesting)

Dr. Elena Kinder’s surname is derived from the German word for children.

The combination for Sly’s alarm system at the beginning of the film is “1673.” (This is the kind of shit we’re supposed to do. Like me having my ATM pin be 1673 … it isn’t by the way, but that would be pretty weird right?)

The film is included on the film critic Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list. (These two films are hitting a bunch of marks)

Species Recap

Jamie

What?! The US government has secretly combined human and alien DNA to create a hybrid named Sil. After realizing her danger they attempt to kill her only to have her escape to Los Angeles. Can they destroy her before she finds a mate and her DNA spreads like an unstoppable virus?! Find out in… Species.

Why?! Sil is a mating machine. She literally has a single thing in mind: find the ideal mate, get naked, get it on, and kill anyone that gets in her way. The agents chasing her (an all-star cast of Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger, Forest Whitaker, and Alfred Molina) also only have one thing in mind: kill Sil… and also get it on with each other and anyone else that might come along (it’s an erotic thriller after all). That’s it though. The species films are amazing in their single-mindedness.

How?! Once Sil escapes, the team of agents get to work. These are the bounty hunter Press Lennox (a real name written down in a script), Dr. Baker who kinda runs the show on the science side, a useless anthropologist, and Forest Whitaker’s empath, who is a super useful psychic-type who feel deeply about everything (including exactly where Sil is at all times… phew, how lucky). They track her from murder to murder until Sil, learning from avid TV watching (much like a President of the United States I know), fakes her own death and throws them off. Shortly thereafter the unsuspecting (and still useless) anthropologist is seduced by the alien-in-disguise (i.e. a wig) and inadvertently impregnates her (you are so useless!). Fortunately, Whitaker feels her presence in the hotel room and they chase her to a series of tar pits deep under the hotel (conveniently made accessible by the 1994 earthquake). Sil is able to give birth, but she and her baby are almost immediately thrown into a flaming pool of tar, destroying all of their terrible alien DNA… or did it? It’s actually a pretty tight plot as far as horror-scifi-erotic-thrillers go.

Who?! The comic relief is certainly Alfred Molina, however it’s tough to consider him a Planchet. He’s more like the 4th (and least important) Musketeer. He’s also useless, a horndog, and majorly fucks up at the end to almost destroy the Earth. So boo on him.

Where?! Beautiful settings film. The film very clearly starts in Utah, the location of the top secret lab that created Sil. She then catches a train through Salt Lake City and onwards to Los Angeles, where most of the film takes place. This plays on a common theme in film and TV: that taboos are so acceptable in the dangerous world of LA that even a killer alien seductress would hardly make a splash there. B

When?! Near the beginning we are told that in 1993 the alien DNA was sent to earth. You would think that would be it… that is until Sil is hit by a car and hospitalized. Against all rules and regulations of HIPPA we get a full on glimpse of her hospital file and find that Sil was admitted on April 24, 1995. Exact date (although I think it would have to be confirmed with a Blu-Ray copy of the film as it’s hard to make out for sure). Props to the props guy who even had her name as “Jane Doe” in the file. Very thorough. B-

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Species? More like Cease Please! AMIRITE!?!? Woof, I need to catch my breath there, that kick ass rhyme was a bit too much for me. What do you get when you cross the Sci-Fi / Horror wonder of Alien with literally softcore pornography? The rare and wondrous world of the Erotic-Sci-Fi-Horror genre. Shhhh, don’t scare it away, let’s get into it:

  • The Good – I kind of dug The Fugitive crossed with Alien feel of the storyline here. Speaking of which the story is surprisingly coherent: Sil is good at two things. Killing and reproducing. Anyone who gets in the way of her reproducing is gonna get killed. Easy peasy. Gets going fast and goes at a good clip.
  • The Bad – The CGI, woooooof. Not a good choice. I think that might be what held the series back a bit. The alien puppet/CGI in the first two films never fascinates you like the xenomorph or predator does. Not surprisingly Sil’s acting is subpar. And Whitaker’s character, even though I kind of love it, sticks out like a sore thumb (they bring in a biologist, sociologist, manhunter and … a psychic? Like, are we now required to believe this empath stuff is real?). Terrible twist ending where in the end a rat is infested by the alien DNA. Based on what we have just seen on screen this situation would inevitably lead to the end of the world as we know it.
  • The BMT – No, I kind of dug this film. The twist at the end kind of ruins things, and it is silly, but again, totally into The Fugitive crossed with Alien idea. I would give it a 10. Definitively below average and basically underrated by its rotten tomatoes score in my opinion.

I’m thinking Sequel Prequel Remake, but in this case I’m thinking television show. A true crossover between The Fugitive and X-Files. Almost a Men In Black project. You got Press Lennox as the manhunter, Dr. Laura Baker the xenobiologist, Dr. Stephen Arden the sociologist, and Dan Smithson the hyper-observant human lie-detector, all directed by Xavier Fitch the mysterious director of the secret government agency entrusted with hunting down and neutralizing alien threats against Earth. Season 1: The assembly of the team in order to hunt down Sil, the human-alien hybrid developed after a transmission from space is decoded and orders followed. Finale has Sil getting killed, cliffhanger is the development of Eve, the friendly and almost unstoppable clone of Sil. Season 2, Eve is on the team and a new alien threat in the form of national hero and infected astronaut Patrick Ross emerges. This develops into hunting down the offspring he leaves behind in a cross country rampage culminating in the mutual destruction of Eve and Patrick. Later seasons further explore the landscape of these evil alien species, who now know humans as an opposing sinister force on the cusp of long-distance space travel, and the attempt to survive the ensuing galactic war. Species: The Series! Coming this … fall or something on … Netflix or something.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Are We There Yet? Preview

Onwards and upwards to Chain Reaction. After painting ourselves into a corner last year we finally fully extricated ourselves from the mess by landing on Ride Along 2. This cycle we get to move from that to the Are We There Yet? Series through Ice Cube. While this is not the worst reviewed set of films in history (that would obviously go to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 with a shocking 2% and 0% RT scores, respectively), this is pretty spectacular in its own right with 11% and 8% RT scores for the two films. Also, it has the strange distinction of having the first film be totally original and then having the second film be a remake of the Cary Grant film Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House (that was in turn based on a book which itself was expanded from a short story). Sometimes you can’t make this shit up. Let’s go! To start the road trip extravaganza:

Are We There Yet? (2005) – BMeTric: 62.5

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(There are two interesting things in these graphs. First, I’m genuinely surprised at how high the BMeTric is. I would have assumed a film with a sequel wouldn’t have been a complete catastrophe. Second, if you ignore the initial uptick the rating is pretty stable over the years and at a surprisingly low 4.2(ish). All signs point to this being a simply terrible film. Can’t wait.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  If you wait long enough, just about anything can happen, including Ice Cube turning into Fred MacMurray. Actor Cube isn’t the problem here, but a stale premise is: the child-hating owner of a sports memorabilia store transports two headstrong kids over a long, disaster-prone trip to Vancouver, all to help hottie-mama Lond out of a scheduling ham while getting into her good graces. Before turning in this box-office success, director Levant did Problem Child 2 and Snow Dogs. Forewarned is forearmed.

(So much to unpack here. (1) Forewarned is forearmed? I honestly had never heard the phrase until now and it just seems so strangely out of place to me. And yet looking it up it dates to at least the 16th century and has been used throughout the years and has a quite literal meaning. (2) Calling out the director specifically for Problem Child 2, who do you think you are Leonard … me? (3) Name dropping Fred MacMurray in a review of an Ice Cube family comedy. All bold moves. Something just makes me love this entire review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn7IPP2bc5c

(Wow the music. I will say this though: this is a straight kids movie, why are we watching this and how are we going to judge it. Also the Paul Bunyan Ax would have seriously injured Ice Cube)

Directors – Brian Levant – (BMT: The Flintstones; The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; Are We There Yet?; Problem Child 2; Snow Dogs; Jingle All the Way; The Spy Next Door; Beethoven; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst Director for Jingle All the Way; Notable television writer starting his career on the Jeffersons and writing for other huge shows like Happy Days. He wrote Sklog childhood staple Problem Child 2. Egad, imagine doing that for BMT?! Gross.)

Writers – Steven Gary Banks and Claudia Grazioso (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Notes: Writing duo. Not much about them … but their not-a-movie Family Dude seems to morph into Just Go With It, no? Just in Hawaii with Adam Sandler instead of Montana. That is kind of nuts, they must have landed Sandler and then cut Banks and Grazioso free. As a matter of fact I wonder if they were thinking of Just Go With It as the third Are We There Yet? movie starring Ice Cube as well. Would have had to be a different character though, he doesn’t need to pretend to have a family. But perhaps it was supposed to be Cube’s next PG film and he bailed in favor of better projects.)

David Stem (screenplay) – (Known For: Shrek 2; Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; The Rugrats Movie; Rugrats in Paris; BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Are We There Yet?; The Smurfs (BMT); The Smurfs 2 (BMT); Clockstoppers; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Daddy Day Camp; The next two have also been writing partners since 1992. These guys worked on the Nickelodeon classic Roundhouse! Be still my beating heart. Is in the process of writing the sequel to Enchanted with Amy Adams.)

David N. Weiss (screenplay) – (Known For: Shrek 2; All Dogs Go to Heaven; Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; The Rugrats Movie; Rugrats in Paris; BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Are We There Yet?; The Smurfs (BMT); The Smurfs 2 (BMT); Clockstoppers; Rock-A-Doodle; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Daddy Day Camp; Before he teamed up with Sterm this guy wrote All Dogs Go to Heaven and Rock-A-Doodle. I’m star struck over here. He’s written several children’s books and both Weiss and Stern were nominated for an Emmy as part of the writing team behind Rugrats.)

Actors – Ice Cube – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; 21 Jump Street; Friday; The Book of Life; 22 Jump Street; Boyz n the Hood; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Three Kings; Barbershop; Rampart; Higher Learning; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Trespass; The Glass Shield; The Longshots; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union (BMT); Anaconda; Torque (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); Are We There Yet?; First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Ride Along 2 (BMT); Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Dangerous Ground; Ride Along (BMT); Next Friday; The Players Club; Notes: Slowly creeping up the ladder of BMT legends. Obviously most famous for being part of NWA and in my opinion he has made an incredible transition to acting. Seeing xXx 3 as non-BMT makes me sick to my stomach. Disgusting.)

Nia Long – (Known For: Friday; Keanu; Boyz n the Hood; Boiler Room; Alfie; Soul Food; The Best Man; The Best Man Holiday; Lemon; Roxanne Roxanne; The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2 (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Big Momma’s House (BMT); Made in America; Premonition; The Single Moms Club (BMT); Held Up; Stigmata; Notes:  Against all odds these two movies will be the second and third Nia Long movies we’ve watched in this cycle alone! If only she had appeared in Big Momma Like Father Like Son. The younger half-sister of comedian Sommore)

Also stars Aleisha Allen (who was in School of Rock)

Budget/Gross – $32 million / Domestic: $82,674,398 (Worldwide: $97,918,663)

(That is a pretty significant success so not shocking they made a sequel. Anything near $100 million is quite good for a comedy.)

#10 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(This comes in right above a recent BMT (Cheaper by the Dozen) and far above Hall of Fame inductee Old Dogs. Naturally right at the peak of as genre which may or may not attempt a comeback soon. The fact that zero films have been placed in this genre on Box Office Mojo since 2013 makes me think the odds aren’t good.)

#10 for the Comedy – Road Trip genre

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(I love it! I feel like we haven’t seen a “novel” trend in one of these in a while. Here the genre was put to quite the long term test from around 2000-2010. Given how there was an intense burst with Dumb and Dumber in 1995 and then the genre slowly climbed its was back to reasonable box office returns, I’m surprised by the lull in 2010. If I were to guess it is, like many other things, a genre that kind of got pushed to the side as tentpoles were being hastily assembled. It is nice to see that it has recovered and has not been relegated to VOD forevermore … although recent ones have not been great including the sequel to the aforementioned Dumb and Dumberer. This came in near the reviled Tammy. BMT classic Wild Hogs came in number one, where’s my sequel?!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (13/116): This supposed family comedy staring [sic] the usually blameless Ice Cube and Nia Long has provoked most critics to write, “Is it over yet?”

(Hilarious type in the consensus. Not actually as uncommon as you would think. For an initial movie in a two part series that score is very very low. Supposed comedy is a little concerning. Sounds … boring.)

Poster – Are We Sklog Yet? (C-)

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(There is a whole class of posters that a similar to this that I just hate, hate, hate. Too much empty space and not enough stylization of the characters on the poster. Here the font is OK and the visual tells me a story so not a total loss. For the record: it would still be really easy to make Are We Sklog Yet?)

Tagline(s) – 24 hours. 350 miles. His girlfriend’s kids. What could possibly go wrong? (D-)

(That is for real the tagline for this film and it is terrifying. Like the worst. Can’t give it an F though cause it does give me some tantalizing details about the plot. What could possibly go wrong indeed.)

Keyword(s) – car fire; Top Ten by BMeTric: 62.5 Are We There Yet? (2005); 62.3 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013); 59.9 Cell (I) (2016); 56.7 The 5th Wave (2016); 55.7 Spring Breakers (2012); 53.2 Cold Creek Manor (2003); 49.9 Point Break (2015); 46.1 Sleepwalkers (1992); 42.1 The Black Dahlia (2006); 41.6 Southland Tales (2006);

(Thinking about it I can’t wait to watch Southland Tales. Somehow that has just flown under the radar for years. Otherwise a sparse list with the 5th Wave seeming particularly weak … kind of amazing it is near 60 BMeTric at the moment)

Notes – Ice Cube’s first PG-rated movie. (And I think this series is his only foray into that genre. Prob will stay that way I would think)

Actor Ice Cube stated on Late Night with Conan O’Brien (1993) that this film was originally intended as an Adam Sandler vehicle. (Jeez, that makes a ton of sense)

Despite the film’s title, “Are We There Yet?” is only said once in the film. (Small blessings)

Kevin said his mom (Nia Long) thinks Nick is better looking than Taye Diggs. Nia Long and Taye Diggs played love interests in The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday. (fun facts)

When Nick is asked what Suzanne’s kids names are, he answers ‘Theo and Rudy [Huxtable]’ from The Cosby Show (1984). (ooooof that joke has not aged well to say the least)