Mortal Kombat Recap

Jamie

MORTAL KOMBAT! Our heroes, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage hold the key to Earthrealm’s victory over Outworld in the ultimate tournament of champions. Can they beat Outworld and prevent the conquering of Earth (and maybe get a girl), before it’s too late? Find out in… Mortal Kombat.

How?! Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage all have reasons to fight. These reasons are exploited to get them embroiled in a fighting tournament that will decide the fate of Earth. That’s because Shang Tsung and his Outworld warriors have assembled in an attempt to beat Earthrealm for the 10th time in a row. If they succeed then Earth will be taken over by Outworld and let me tell you… it won’t be pretty. At the tournament Raiden, the God of Thunder and protector of Earth, tries to teach our crew the necessary lessons that will help them succeed. Unfortunately Sonya is too hell bent on revenge, Johnny too obsessed with proving himself, and Liu Kang too focused on fighting Shang Tsung himself that it all seems lost. It’s only when they realize the true reason to fight (the fate of Earth and that’s some pretty serious stuff) that they can live up to their destiny. Johnny challenges Goro, a monster fighter with all kinds of muscles and arms and shit, and is able to beat him, but Shang Tsung seizes on the agreement on the fight to challenge Sonya and take her to Outworld as his captive. Hoping to have her forfeit the fight and thus lose the tournament he is sorely disappointed when our boy Liu shows up and is like “I challenge you, man” and they karate chop each other a whole bunch until Shang is thrown onto some spikes. Our best friends return to Earth victors and are like “nothing bad will happen now.” But then the sky opens up and a terrible voice is heard declaring the premise for a sequel, which is that the entire movie you watched didn’t matter at all. THE END.

Why?! Very clear motivations all around here. Shang Tsung wants to take over Earth because it’s got all this vibrant life and he wants to squeeze it dry. Raiden just wants to help Earth defend itself. Liu Kang wants revenge for his brother, Sonya Blade wants revenge for her dead partner, and Johnny Cage wants to prove to everyone that he ain’t no showbiz fake but a true martial arts master.

Who?! Surprisingly boring in this regard. Not a whole bunch of the typical tropes we look for in this category are found in this film. The best we got was a cameo by video game creator Ed Boon who got a credit as the voice of Scorpion in the film (as he is also credited in the video games). Technically speaking he is the longest running voice artist in video game history having voiced Scorpion in every iteration of the game.

What?! All kinds of gobbledegook in this film from Earthrealm to Outworld to the Shokan prince Goro. Unfortunately they are aren’t fighting for the Staff of Taijin or something, just the fate of the world. Boring. It is more or less a product in and of itself, since it’s an adaptation of a video game (and one of the most successful product placement films of all time).

Where?! We get a few scenes in Hong Kong and in China (presumably, given that Liu Kang is from a Shaolin Monastery). The film is primarily set in Shang Tsung’s island, though. Found between Earthrealm and Outworld, the island falls staunchly in the “other” category of settings. While specific, I have to give it a N/A as it is fake.

When?! This was a hard one, but very important for the sake of the series. The second film picks up right where the first left off so if we could nail this down here then we are gold for that one too. It’s hard, though, since the series exists outside of space and time for the most part. The best clue we have is a “Johnny Cage A Fake” issue of the Examiner which seems to have been released in the first week of August, 1994. The person reading it implies that this is probably somewhat recent so it’s not bad guess. Hard to read though and a little shaky. C+.

I actually was surprised at how much I didn’t mind large parts of this film. One of those silly tournament films that basically write themselves, but it also has some humor and a gigantic animatronic Goro monster that is impressive and interesting to look at. However, the computer graphics are a complete mess and why I can’t really say this is not that bad. It took some balls to do, but they are objectively terrible and the scenes where they are used (and there are a lot of them) are actually hard to watch.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da-da da-da da-da da-da-da-da, da da da da da! MORTAL KOMBAT! Video game films are universally terrible … welp, there it is. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – So I don’t think I saw this in theaters, but I certainly saw it when I was a young boy. I did not remember that Christopher Lambert was in it, and it is pretty crazy this was a very early Paul W. S. Anderson film. Other than that this was really about watching what was (kind of sadly) the best reviewed video game film until Angry Birds in 2016 …

The Good – The matte paintings, Goro’s animatronics, some of the fighting action all are exactly what you want from the film. It somehow is, as the critics said, appropriately cheesy in that regard. Our three main actors’ banter and companionship were believable and fun. Lambert is somewhat amusing as well. The tournament structure lends itself to a pretty interesting mystery story that is extremely easy to follow.

The Bad – The CGI. Woof. This is actually pretty close to A Sound of Thunder (except, you know … a decade earlier). Reptile and Scorpion’s hook/chain things look just awful. So awful in fact that it probably makes Goro look better in comparison. The ending is pretty rough as well, they should have let the story breathe with the happy ending instead of immediately jumping into Mortal Kombat II.

The BMT – No, this isn’t BMT. This should have, in reality, gotten maybe like a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, maybe a bit higher. I don’t think it is quite into “it’s not that bad” territory because of the CGI, but if they had skipped that I would have thought maybe. You kind of have to be a no-fun-having misanthrope to not at least understand why people think this film is genuinely good.

Roast-radamus – A new game! Here I’ll try and place the film we just saw into one of the Smaddies Baddies categories for end of the year awards. A truly self-fulfilling prophecy for Roast-radamus. For Mortal Kombat I think there are two options. First you could consider it for the Worst Twist (How?) Razzie for daring to make the end of the film just be the Emperor of Outworld deciding to invade Earth. More realistically this sneaks into The Good category for being a movie that wasn’t that bad. Hopefully we have better options than Mortal Kombat though.

StreetCreditReport.com – There isn’t much here as far as street credit, you’d probably be able to more easily find lists where this film is considered one of the best video game films, or an underrated action film. I did find this crazy thing. I agree kind of with their assessment, but Goro was also easily better than the terrible CGI, so they are wrong there. Since I won’t be using it in the sequel recap I’ll also point out that they are far far too kind to Annihilation (spoiler alert).

You Just Got Schooled – This week I watched the pilot episode for the 1998 live action Mortal Kombat television series, Mortal Kombat: Conquest. It premiered on October 3, 1998. The opening sequence in particular follows the game format so closely that is was, dare I say, interesting? After that though is kind of meaders about and the actions of and towards the female characters are problematic on multiple levels. The pilot is extremely long, the series looks like genuine shit, and the acting is an abomination, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, it is crap … but not a bad adaptation for brief moments. It was produced directly to syndication and eventually picked up by TNT to run after WCW Monday Nitro. It apparently was popular, but cost too much and only lasted a season. As an adaption I’ll give it a surprising B- mostly downgraded for lack of quality and Kombat, as a show maybe a D+, it was pretty brutal to get through but better than something like Highlander (narrowly).

One down, one terrible sequel to go. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Mortal Kombat Quiz

Are you ready for Mortal Pop Quiz Hot Shot! You best be, Fight!

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) There are three main fighters of concern fighting to save Earth from the Outworld Trashpeople (that’s their team name, I think I heard it one time), Johnny Cage, Lui Kang, and Sonya Blade. Why are they in the tournament?

2) There are six main baddies on the Trashpeople side, Goro, Shang Tsung, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, and Kane (Trashpeople are stacked!). Name their powahs!

3) What is the political structure of Outworld, from what you can glean from the movie at least?

4) Why does Shang Tsung want to kidnap Sonya?

5) Ultimately why does Kitana help our heroes defeat Shang Tsung and thus prevent Outworld from taking over Earth?

Answers

Mortal Kombat Preview

If you are looking for the Adventures of The Bad Movie Twins they continue on the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation preview. That’s right! This week we’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat (1995) – BMeTric: 40.0

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(It’ll be above 6.0 on IMDb soon. The BMeTric is shocking high I think. I was honestly under the impression that Mortal Kombat was the first non-qualifying video game film ever. For some reason I thought it had managed near 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nope. Legitimately every single video game film ever qualified until Tomb Raider of last year! WTF. Watch out for May, because I have a feeling Detective Pikachu might be our first fresh video game film ever made.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Shou, Ashby, and Wilson are among those kompeting in a martial arts tournament with nothing less than the fate of Earth in the balance. Elaborate special effects and impressive set design are helpless against a weak story, uneven akting, and komikally thin karakters. Mostly one fight after another, as you might expect from a movie based on a video game. Followed by a sequel.

(Boo, Leonard got to it first, how am I supposed to add superfluous k’s to things once the joke has been done? For a 1.5 star review it is actually pretty mild. At least, you can kind of see how it ended up getting kind of reasonable reviews: set design.)

Trailer –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHIfHL5UgFs/

(That set design though. For real though, Christopher Lambert, what you allowing them to do to your hair? And the CGI for real looks absolutely awful. The series of action shots with their names being whispered beneath them. MORTAL KOMBAT!!!! I’m in!)

Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; Event Horizon; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Notes: A BMT fave married to a likely future BMT fave Milla Jovovich… we just haven’t seen enough of her films I don’t think, but she has a lot.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Is technically credited for having the record for the longest working video game voice role since he has voiced Scorpion in all the games and this film.)

John Tobias (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: The character Noob Saibot is an anagram of his and Ed Boon’s names.)

Kevin Droney (written by) – (BMT: Wing Commander; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Wrote on The Highlander TV series. He also wrote a book called Le Missionnaire in the 80’s but it was only released in France… so I guess we have to learn French now.)

Actors – Christopher Lambert – (Known For: Highlander; Hail, Caesar!; Bel Canto; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Fortress; Subway; White Material; To Kill a Priest; Future BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Beowulf; Fortress 2; Southland Tales; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; The Sicilian; Loaded Weapon 1; Gunmen; Knight Moves; Resurrection; The Hunted; Electric Slide; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Who would have thought we’d watch two Lambert films so close together. Married to Diane Lane for several years.)

Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Apparently trained Milla Jovovich for her role in the Resident Evil franchise.)

Linden Ashby – (Known For: Iron Man Three; Wyatt Earp; The Joneses; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Future BMT: Prom Night; Resident Evil: Extinction; 8 Seconds; BMT: Mortal Kombat; Notes: Replaced Brandon Lee in Mortal Kombat after his sudden death in 1993.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $70,454,098 (Worldwide: $122,195,920)

(Obviously a huge success. Literally just turn around and green light the sequel, definitely can’t be a total joke catastrophe after this success right?)

#11 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Rush Hour 1, 2, and 3 are three of the top 4 on the list. But this is surprisingly good for a BMT film, only being beaten by The Last Airbender. Came as the genre was waning a bit in the 90s, right before Jackie Chan and The Matrix breathed new life into it.)

#6 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This is our 15th BMT film I think. This was a true early days of the genre, prior to it struggling to land any kind of hit in the 2000s. Really has kicked up a notch since 2015 in both large theatrical releases and gross. Possibly bodes well for the future.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (12/32): Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.

(Appropriately cheesy? These is no such thing. The reviews are quite interesting. Most of the big print critics gave it tepidly good reviews. Reviewer Highlight: The most intriguing is a glassy-eyed follower whose right hand shoots out a hissing reptile that can extend itself for miles. Exotic creatures like these make watching Mortal Kombat feel like being in a high-tech fun house. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklog Fight (C)

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(This is basically as mediocre a poster as you can get. It’s short and sweet but clearly riding on the known property that is the symbol. A little weird they chose to move away from the video game font/color scheme and make both much more boring.)

Tagline(s) – Nothing In This World Has Prepared You For This (C-)

(So I guess this is a play on the fact that it take place literally out of this world? I’m not in love with it. Long. Repeats the word this, which make it hard to think about. And only vaguely informative. Everything about the poster and tagline says “don’t ruin this for the video game fans out there… just do as little as possible.”)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.4 Far Cry (2008); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999);

(Getting there. Far Cry and BloodRayne don’t technically qualify, but I bet we could get one of them in via Bring a Friend fairly soon. Super Mario Bros. might very literally be one of the biggest bad movies we still haven’t watched for BMT. I’ve seen it in real life dozens of times, just not for BMT.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 2 billed in Mortal Kombat and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is also in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ed Boon, co-creator of the original video game Mortal Kombat (1992), starred as the voice of Scorpion.

Brandon Lee was said to have been originally cast as Johnny Cage, but died before production began. (Sad stuff)

Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage to do Street Fighter (1994). The character in the games was originally based on him. (I mean, fine choice. There probably should have been a terrible Street Fighter sequel as well)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras performed all her own stunts (refusing to use a double), including the fight scenes. She dislocated her shoulder during one scene, but they were able to fix it on set, without any recurrence. (I love Wilson-Sampras fun facts)

The film’s soundtrack went platinum in less than two weeks.

At around 6 minutes, Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of the Mortal Kombat series, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage’s first scene. However scheduling conflicts forced him to back out. Nonetheless, the “director” character in this scene does resemble Spielberg, which is most likely a reference to this. (Ha!)

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers’ first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game.

Chris Casamassa was hired to work as a stunt ninja. At the audition the producers were so impressed that he got the part of Scorpion. (I mean … you have a character whose face is covered 100% of the time. Don’t you usually hire stunt men for that? It feels like a Darth Maul or Snake-Eyes situation)

At around 1 hour 12 minutes, when Reptile in his chameleon creature form takes over the body of an Outworld statue and rises as a green ninja, you can hear, very quietly, a voice say “Reptile”. This is the voice of Shao Kahn, and was sampled directly from Mortal Kombat II (1993).

Christopher Lambert also voiced Rayden in the French dubbed version of the film.

Originally the character of Kano was Japanese-American. However, Ed Boon and John Tobias were so impressed with how Trevor Goddard portrayed him that they retconned Kano’s history in future games to make him Australian, which they thought was Goddard’s nationality. They later learned that, although Goddard gave Kano an Australian accent, Goddard himself was actually born in England but had claimed to be of Australian descent. (What the hell is this fact?)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras had read and auditioned for the part of Sonya Blade several times, but due to the long casting process, she chose to do Billy Madison (1995) instead. Christina Applegate was also considered for the role but Cameron Diaz was cast after the producers saw dailies of her from The Mask (1994). However, Diaz broke her wrist during training, just before filming. Fortunately, filming on Billy Madison had just wrapped, making Wilson available again. She happily took the role, even if it meant that she had to be flown to the set the next day, and had to train for the big fight scenes in between shooting the rest of the movie.

The locations in Thailand were so remote they were only accessible by boat. Cast, crew and equipment had to be transported by long canoes. An outhouse was built in a secluded area near the set so that the crew didn’t have to make constant trips to and from the mainland. (That’s how you get those vistas baby!)

Robin Shou originally turned down the opportunity to audition for the movie, assuming that he’d be cast as a stereotypical Asian villain. He reconsidered at the advice of his agent. (And the rest is history I guess? Not that Shou became some mega star after I suppose)

The coined phrase “Flawless Victory” (a match where the victor sustains no attacks from their opponent) was used regarding four matches in the film. However only two of the matches meet the criteria: Sub-Zero’s first match against a henchmen and Johnny Cage’s match against Goro. (Nerd! You are such a nerd!)

Robin Shou said that in the original script he “was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don’t want to add romance to it. They cut it out.” (Smart move. Probably part of the reason it got reasonable reviews)

Steve James was to have played Jax but died a year before production on the film began. Gregory McKinney, who replaced James, died in 1998. Both actors died at the age of 41. (That’s nuts. Steve James died of pancreatic cancer, but I can’t find anything about McKinney surprisingly)

According to the film, the Outworld fighters have won nine straight victories of Mortal Kombat and only need one more in order to take over Earth. Given that the tenth tournament takes place in 1995, this means that the Earth-realm had been participating since 1725 (considering the battle taking place once a generation means every 30 years). (That’s a bad losing streak. I don’t necessarily hate Outworld, I just find it boring that they win all of the time you know?)

Gary Daniels, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp were considered for the role of Johnny Cage. (Gary Daniels? Who told you that? Gary Daniels in a fake moustache?)

Michael Jai White was slated to play the role of Jax. Ultimately, he left in order to do Tyson (1995). He would eventually end up portraying Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Neither of those are real films though, you know?)

A music video was created for the KMFDM single “Juke Joint Jezebel” and featured clips of fight scenes from the movie, but it was pulled by MTV due to complaints about its violent content. (Oh you mean this thing?)

Quickly after the movie’s box office success, director Paul W.S. Anderson was asked by New Line Cinema to helm a sequel, but he had set his mind to doing something completely different, and accepted the offer to do Event Horizon (1997) instead.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson nicknamed Bridgette Wilson-Sampras “RoboBabe”. (That’s weird and offensive … I choose not to believe it for now)

Included in the movie novelization was a detailed opening scene of an unsuccessful joint mission of arresting Black Dragon members by the Special Forces and an international task force, which culminates in Kano killing the task force’s lieutenant who is designated therein as Sonya’s murdered partner. (I have a policy that the instant a novelization is mentioned I’m out)

Universal Soldier Preview

This film will we watched as a BONUS to go along with Universal Soldier: The Return. Go to that preview to read the ongoing adventures of The Bad Movie Twins.

Universal Soldier (1992) – BMeTric: 32.9

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(Nearly reached 50 for a second there. Just following along the normal vote-rating trajector up to 6.0. It is a bit surprising it didn’t stall out, but then again, these types of films feel very ironic and ageless it seems. So I would guess the further away from the time in which it was unironically made, the easier it is for people to give it a good review.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Van Damme and Lundgren – well, it’s not exactly Tracy and March in Inherit the Wind. Hunks are well cast as rival cyborgs (in a runaway government experiment, natch) whose human components hated each other during Vietnam. Has the requisite number of explosions. The director slyly keeps the grocery store Muzak going during Lundgren’s one big emoting scene – right after he eats raw meat from a bin. Followed by three “official” sequels and two DVD spinoffs.

(First, Leonard Maltin said “natch” in a review, which is excellent. Second, the Inherit the Wind name drop is sublime. If this review weren’t so long winded I would say it was one of my favorites of his.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7TFssY9ZF0

(That actually seems pretty rad I have to be honest. Just some hunky dudes shooting guns and slaying ladies. 1992 was a simpler time.)

Directors – Roland Emmerich – (Known For: The Day After Tomorrow; Independence Day; Stargate; The Patriot; White House Down; Anonymous; Future BMT: Godzilla; Stonewall; BMT: 10,000 BC; Independence Day: Resurgence; 2012; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence in 2017; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Godzilla in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: German. Notably a campaigner for gay rights, global warming, and human rights. He is openly gay.)

Writers – Richard Rothstein (story) – (Known For: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Universal Soldier; Notes: Died in 2018. He retired right after Universal Soldier came out it appears, only receiving things like story or character credits from that point onwards.)

Christopher Leitch (story) – (Known For: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Universal Soldier; Notes: Directed a number of television episodes in the late 2000s, but appears to have retired in 2010.)

Dean Devlin (screenplay) – (Known For: Independence Day; Stargate; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Future BMT: Godzilla; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Independence Day: Resurgence; Geostorm; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; and in 2017 for Independence Day: Resurgence; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: A very interesting career as an actor turned writer turned producer turned director! He directed Geostorm in addition to writing it.)

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Kung Fu Panda 3; Kung Fu Panda 2; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Hard Target; Kickboxer; Kickboxer: Vengeance; Sudden Death; Timecop; Breakin’; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Cyborg; Knock Off; Welcome to the Jungle; The Order; Double Impact; Legionnaire; Maximum Risk; Replicant; Inferno; Missing in Action; The Quest; Nowhere to Run; Pound of Flesh; Black Water; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Last Action Hero; Bloodsport; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Y’all know Jean-Claude. The crazy person he portrayed in Bloodsport accused him of not actually being good at martial arts. This, however, is unlikely considering Van Damme had a martial arts career.)

Dolph Lundgren – (Known For: Aquaman; Creed II; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Hail, Caesar!; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Don’t Kill It; Future BMT: Masters of the Universe; Red Scorpion; The Punisher; Black Water; Skin Trade; The Peacekeeper; Showdown in Little Tokyo; A View to a Kill; Dark Angel; Small Apartments; Rocky IV; BMT: Johnny Mnemonic; Universal Soldier; The Expendables 3; Notes: Notable partially for being a karate champion, and having a Masters in Chemical Engineering. He earned a Fulbright scholarship to attend MIT, but decided to become an actor instead.)

Ally Walker – (Known For: While You Were Sleeping; Singles; Happy, Texas; Wonderful World; Future BMT: Kazaam; Bed of Roses; Steal Big Steal Little; BMT: Universal Soldier; Notes: Started out on the soap Santa Barbara. Has had a long successful career in television including Taxi Brooklyn!)

Budget/Gross – $23 million / Domestic: $36,299,898

(Decent I think. At least, not a financial catastrophe. I’m not surprised the next one went straight-to-DVD though. I imagine that was a decision made based on quality, not finances.)

#32 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(This genre really did just tumble down recently. Likely it is getting sucked into VOD and not getting actual releases. This came out right as the genre started to see significantly less gross per theater which is likely the reason the sequels went to DVD. Sadly the highest earning BMT film is The Last Airbender.)

#35 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Robocops and Transformers everywhere! Oh, and Deadly Friend. This came out at a kind of peak of robot films, and since then it has mainly been touch and go. I would guess every year there is some enormous Terminator, or Transformers film, but not very many smaller releases to fill the gaps.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (7/28): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make a consensus: wholly derivative, the audience is just as likely to laugh at as cheer at the repetitive action sequences. Reviewer Highlight: Though the idea is dumb enough to be fun, director Roland Emmerich does the Terminator thing without much style, and the two stars bash into each other but never connect. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Poster – Oh no! Robots! (C+)

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(I like the idea but it needs a bit more brightness. Font is terrible and what’s with the circle? Just OK.)

Tagline(s) – The future has a bad attitude. (D+)

Almost human…Almost perfect…Almost under control. (A+)

(It’s like the guy who made the tagline never even watched the film! It’s set in present day! But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant the “future of weaponry.” Still bad. The second one is just god damned beautiful. It’s perfection. This is what I want out of a tagline.)

Keyword(s) – soldier; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.3 Epic Movie (2007); 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.2 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.8 Fantastic Four (2015); 82.7 The Legend of Hercules (2014);

(Very nice. We should clean up this very soon. You would think this is just a who’s who of the worst films ever … but I actually genuinely think of soldiers in all of these films. The word is just kind of overly broad.)

Notes – (at around 18 mins) The young couple that Luc reacts to at the Hoover Dam incident are actually the same young couple in the beginning in Vietnam. (I saw that in the trailer, fun)

The production script presented a much darker depiction of the U.S. Military than what eventually ends up on the screen. In the screenplay the Colonel in charge of the Unisol project orders Dolph Lundgren’s character to ruthlessly kill off all the civilian witnesses to his pursuit of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character. The Colonel also informs the head scientist that the terrorists at the dam were not terrorists at all, but mercenaries hired by the army to provide fake justification for the Universal Soldier program. In the finished film, these scenes are omitted so the witnesses are left unharmed and the gunmen killed by the Unisols at the dam were genuine terrorists. The Colonel and his men are actually heroic figures with a real and valid mission who just want their multi-million dollar Unisol back. Whereas military villains were de rigeur in the post Vietnam 1970s and well into the 80s, by the time of filming the reputation of the U.S. Military was at an all time high following the first Gulf War so it was considered unlikely that the audience would accept them being shown in such a poor light. (Huh cool I guess)

Though they’re all supposed to be American, the Universal Soldiers are played by a Belgian (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a Swede (Dolph Lundgren), and a German (Ralf Moeller). (Their accents are a bit off …)

The last film to be recorded in CDS, an early digital sound format. In the following year of the film’s release, sound technicians had developed DTS. This sound format was apparently of higher audio quality than CDS and has been used in most movie theaters ever since.

The Grand Canyon bus chase was re-edited years later as library footage into Fred Olen Ray’s Critical Mass (2001) produced by Andrew Stevens’ Phoenician Entertainment (a company that specialized in shooting low budget action films around stock footage). (Fun fact)

The small patch worn on the left breast of many of the UniSols is a U.S. Army Air Assault Badge, signifying that the wearer is a graduate of the Air Assault School. (Some guy on the internet knows his patches)

The first screenplay was initially called “Crystal Knights”.

Ralf Moeller and Dolph Lundgren co-starred together in Universal Soldier (1992). Years later, both actors auditioned for the role of Hagen in Gladiator (2000), with Lundgren losing it due to Ridley Scott being unimpressed by his acting and Moeller winning the role. (Damn you Ridley Scott!)

The film takes place in 1969 and 1994. (Good to know)

[NOTE: There is an inordinate number of notes having to do with weapons and weapon accoutrements … I’ve left one in so you can see what I mean]

The highly specialized load bearing equipment worn by the UniSols was custom made by Eagle Industries for the film, including the thigh holster for the Desert Eagle .357 magnum (which also held 2 extra magazines and a Cold Steel Magnum Tanto), the shoulder holster harness for the H&K; MP5K sub-machine guns and the H&K; P9S pistol, extra magazines and grenades. On the opposite thigh, the UniSols are carrying collapsible PR-24 batons.

Police Academy Recap

Jamie

When our hero Mahoney is given a choice between jail and entering the Police Academy he is dead set on flunking out as quickly as possible. When that is made impossible he is dead set on having as much fun and raising as much hell as possible. Can he have a super fun time before it’s too late? Find out in… Police Academy.

How?! Alright so that really isn’t the plot of this film. Really what happens is that The City has a new mayor who wants to bring down crime and part of that plan is to open up the police academy to all comers (and not just white straight macho males). The police don’t like this. They don’t want women or minorities being police officers and lament the days of yore where they couldn’t be (it’s all obviously very offensive). The police decide to force these misfits out of the academy by making their lives a living hell and forcing them to quit. Enter Mahoney. He is a slacker extraordinaire who specializes in razzing authority. When he has another run in with the law he is given the choice between jail and the academy. He obviously says yes to that dress and enters the police academy with the aim of getting kicked out (fat chance). The rest of the film is the zany antics of these kooky recruits as they run amok on campus and the police officer try to get them to quit. Too bad because these recruits have got guts and won’t give up because they legit want to be officers. Even Mahoney at a certain point realizes that he kinda like his pals and the potential love interest he has met there. Maybe he actually does want to be a police officer after all. Just at that moment though he ends up getting kicked out at the same time that a major riot breaks out downtown and the recruits are sent in as part of the peace keeping crew. Mistakenly sent to the heart of the riot Mahoney and a similarly dishonored recruit Hightower end up playing the heroes and are able to stop the ringleader of the riot. They end up graduating top of the class and gearing up for their First Assignment. THE END.

Why?! There is actually a very clear motivation in this film, which surprised me. Most of the characters truly want to be police officers and have finally been given this chance by the new mayor’s policy. The police officers mostly want to see these recruits quit because they don’t look or sound like the police officers of yesteryear (catch up with the times, bro). These two motivations are the driving force of a lot of the film. But really our main character is Mahoney and he doesn’t care about any of that. He floats around life with a smile on his face just looking to not be too serious and perhaps smooch with a lady here and there. When something gets in the way of his slacker lifestyle he tries to get out of it and quick by pranking people. His only clear motivating factor is to avoid jail and it’s only at the end of the film that he finally realizes that in fact he just might like this police business after all, thus setting up six sequels (duh).

Who?! The most obvious thing is that former NFL star Bubba Smith is one of the main characters in the film and is actually pretty good. Otherwise there are a couple uncredited things on IMDb that are throwing me for a loop. I saw that it was claimed that John Hawkes was in this film in an uncredited part and I was like “I don’t believe you.” But indeed there he was driving a truck and laughing like a maniac. Wow.

What?! Given that the sequel was chock full of product placement it’s a bit of a surprise that the first is not. When they do get the opportunity to get their party on about halfway through the film though the choice is obviously a refreshing Miller High Life. And that stays consistent in the second one as well, so that pretty much turns it around for me. I’m just really into narrative consistency. So now I guess I like Police Academy.

Where?! It’s been a while since we had one but this is purposefully no set anywhere. It is set in The City. None of the license plates have state names on them and it was all filmed in Canada so there isn’t even a place in the US you could say it looks like. There is a weird aspect to the sequel, but I’ll get to that in the other post. F

When?! You think this would be specified by the location would be totally hidden. What I think we’ll come to learn is that the Police Academy series exists outside of space and time. You can never pin down when for time is a flat circle for the police academy. It just is and will ever be. Over and over and over for all eternity.

This film was just as incredibly offensive as pretty much every 80’s comedy is at this point. A number of the established police officers are outspoken racists and sexists. The film is rife with gay panic. Even our hero Mahoney throws around a few homophobic slurs here and there. A major plot point is that the head of the academy mistakenly gets a blowjob from a prostitute hiding within a podium while he’s giving a speech (for real). It’s already crazy but then when he looks back at the podium Mahoney pops out and he goes into a tailspin. The thought that he received a mistaken blowjob from Mahoney makes this otherwise dumb and loveable character insist that they figure out some way to kick him out of the academy. It’s a bizarre and long gay panic joke. Anyway the only redeeming thing you could say about the humor was that generally the bad qualities are confined to the antagonists. The recruits are all colors and creeds after all, so they are pretty much fully tolerant of each other. Still, though, Mahoney does come off poorly as he spies on ladies in the shower and sexually harrasses a fellow cadet. Always strange to watch an 80’s comedy now. Other than I laughed a couple times and I can see why at the time some people liked it I guess. Funny enough it reminded me a lot of the film CHIPS… except that was made today and boy did it not work anymore. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Remember when the mayor allowed anyone into the police academy and we all became gross misogynists and homophobes? No? Well in the alternative universe of Police Academy we did apparently. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – When I told my father-in-law I was watching this film he was somewhat aghast. Because in his estimation Police Academy was on the same level of Airplane! The reviews disagree obviously, but it is definitely interesting. Bill Clinton apparently loves all of these films. Growing up things like Spaceballs (58% on Rotten Tomatoes) and Robin Hood Men in Tights (43% on Rotten Tomatoes) were films I watched multiple times a year, so it has to just be the times we live in. I guess I was ready to see why Police Academy because such a hit in that it spawned 6 sequels.

The Good – Guttenberg is very charming in the film, to the point where despite him being an objectively terrible person you still kind of like him. The ensemble cast is put together well and is well used top to bottom it feels like, they all serve a somewhat interesting purpose in the original film. This is less of an Airplane! and more of a discount-Stripes in reality. If you like Stripes, then this is a pretty good version of that type of movie I think. I also secretly love how Guttenberg plays to blowjob gag … you’d have to watch the movie to know what I mean, but that part holds up surprisingly well.

The Bad – My god, the homophobia, the misogyny. I know I shouldn’t be shocked, but it is shocking. Guttenberg sexually harasses and (possibly) assaults ladies throughout the film (but they love it don’t they? You salty dog you), everyone just cannot believe that there are gay clubs in Big City USA (and if you don’t watch out the big burly gay men will dance with you! The horror, the horror). It is on occasion played for a solid laugh, but mostly is just really dated and gross. The main issue otherwise is that the film just doesn’t seem to really have a plot. It is a cut rate Stripes. A bunch of jokers go to the Police Academy, shenanigans etc. etc., they are semi booted from the program, they have a big (somewhat self-inflicted) adventure where they become heroes. It just doesn’t have nearly the comedic chops to pull it off (and Stripes nearly doesn’t, the third act is an honest to god catastrophe!).

You Just Got Schooled – Did you know that they made two Police Academy television shows? Did you know you can watch the pilot for the 1997 live action one on YouTube complete with commercials? My main takeaway: Commercials from 1997 were wild, and also I watched too much television when I was like 10 because I remember every single one of these commercials (literally). Oh the show? Not shockingly terrible. I’m not surprised it got cancelled, but it isn’t actually as brutal as you might think. It is silly, but also kind of funny if you aren’t too concerned with it having any kind of continued story … well, except for the entire pilot hinging on the cadets beating a motorcycle gang in a ice hockey game. It is an hour long, the acting all sucks, the gags all suck, and the writing sucks. It is shocking what people would put on television in the 90s. This is 1997! Let’s just say it isn’t exactly competing with Frasier and Seinfeld for the Comedy awards.

The BMT – Of all of the franchises we could do, this is the one I think that is the most important. In the 80s there were plenty of franchises that were driven into the ground. The most notorious were horror franchises, like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. But comedy film franchises usually don’t grow so large. The Earnest films and Beethoven films are kids films and thus logically transition nicely to straight-to-DVD. The only equivalent I can think of is the American Pie franchise in the 2000s. Even then, it is beyond crazy that Guttenberg in particular is in the first six of these films! They were cash cows and everyone knew it and have openly stated that that is why they acted in them. It is kind of fantastic.

Welcome to Earf – Kim Cattrall is in both Police Academy and Bonfire of the Vanities with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator of Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – While not actually in the list Police Academy gets a shoutout in this 10 worst list of 1984, which suggests it is a possible borderline honorable mention. Its real claim to fame is as a franchise where it basically redefined what a “franchise” meant. The fact that it is on that list which is obviously heavily skewed towards recent films still mentioned it at number three says everything you need to know about how important Police Academy is as a bad franchise.

Still got one more of these to do. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Police Academy Preview

This film was watched as a BONUS along with Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. Look for that preview for the continued adventures of the Bad Movie Twins.

Police Academy (1984) – BMeTric: 14.4

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(Wow dropped from a 30 BMeTric to a sub-15 which is crazy. Why are people all of a sudden thinking this film is funny? Guttenberg is charming perhaps, but genuinely funny? I find it hard to believe.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Generally good-natured comedy (with typical ‘80s doses of sexism and tastelessness) about a group of weirdos and misfits who enroll in big-city police academy. Winslow’s comic sound effects are perfect antidote for slow spots in script. Followed by far too many sequels, a TV series, and an animated TV series.

(I think this is generally the accepted belief. Winslow and Guttenberg are both serviceable with Winslow’s machine gun sound effect stealing the show at times. Glad he shouted out the sexism and junk, it is fine that that was what the 80’s was like, but we can acknowledge that that shit ain’t funny anymore. Amazing homophobia though as well, gay panic up the wazoo.)

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

(That is basically it. A series of 80s slapstick vignettes with no real discernible story. Have fun.)

Directors – Hugh Wilson – (Known For: The First Wives Club; Blast from the Past; Guarding Tess; Future BMT: Burglar; BMT: Dudley Do-Right; Police Academy; Notes: Just passed away this last year. Won a Primetime Emmy for writing a show he produced called Frank’s Place.)

Writers – Neal Israel (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; BMT: Police Academy; Notes: Previously married to Amy Heckerling who directed European Vacation, Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Look Who’s Talking Etc.)

Pat Proft (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Hot Shots!; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Brain Donors; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy; Notes: Actually wrote The Star Wars Holiday Special. Wow.)

Hugh Wilson (screenplay) – (Known For: Blast from the Past; Guarding Tess; Future BMT: Stroker Ace; Burglar; Down Periscope; BMT: Dudley Do-Right; Police Academy; Notes: There is a claim on IMDb that he has a screenplay that is going to be produced that is about the first police force assembled in the Middle Ages with an alternate title of Police Academy: 1123… chew on that.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Home for the Holidays; Cocoon; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Amazon Women on the Moon; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Affluenza; Surrender; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy; Notes: The Gutes. IMDb says he turned down the lead in Big and Ghostbusters. Classic Gutes.)

G.W. Bailey – (Known For: Goodfellas; Runaway; Short Circuit; Home on the Range; Q & A; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Mannequin; Burglar; Warning Sign; BMT: Police Academy; Notes: High school classmates of Janis Joplin and Jimmy Johnson.)

Kim Cattrall – (Known For: Big Trouble in Little China; Sex and the City; The Ghost; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Ice Princess; Masquerade; The Return of the Musketeers; Rosebud; Above Suspicion; Meet Monica Velour; Ticket to Heaven; Midnight Crossing; Future BMT:Sex and the City 2; Mannequin; 15 Minutes; Porky’s; Unforgettable; Turk 182; Live Nude Girls; BMT: Crossroads; Baby Geniuses; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Police Academy; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for Sex and the City 2 in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1991; Notes: Do yourself a favor and read her IMDb trivia because it’s bonkers. I’ll just note that it claims she was one of the last actresses to work on a studio contract. Which is a little nuts.)

Budget/Gross – $4.1 million / Domestic: $81,198,894

(Jesus, hugh hit obviously. No wonder they kept going back to the well time and time and time and time and time and time and time again.)

#6 for the Comedy – Bumbling genre

policeacademy_bumblingcomedy

(This thing beats out modern Kevin James films like Paul Blart 2! That is crazy! It was made in 1984, once you adjust for inflation this must be one of the highest grossing bumbling comedies ever!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (7/18): No consensus yet.

(Juuuuust on the border. It actually just fell below the threshold after they added the Roger Ebert review in April. Given it was a pure 0-star Thumbs Down I suppose it is appropriate it finally gets its due. Reviewer Highlight: Now comes without any doubt the absolute pits of this genre, the least funny movie that could possibly have been inspired by Airplane! or any other movie. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Sklog Skool (C)

police_academy

(I do not like this. Not because I don’t like the animated stylings or anything (see my assessment of the sequel’s poster) but because I don’t like the white border, none of the police officers are really even doing anything interesting, and the amount of text is not good. The font is at least somewhat unique.)

Tagline(s) – The new police recruits. Call them slobs. Call them jerks. Call them gross. – Just don’t call them when you’re in trouble. (C)

What an institution! (B-)

(Obviously the first is just too long to give a decent grade. Can’t do it. But I like the repeat of “call” and it ends on a clever note. The second isn’t the most clever, but it is short and sweet with a slight double entendre. So best of the bunch.)

Keyword(s) – big breasts; Top Ten by BMeTric: 57.4 Derailed (2002); 53.7 Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986); 46.6 Three – III (I) (2005); 38.0 Sheena (1984); 37.7 Flesh Gordon (1974); 28.6 Gor (1987); 28.0 Greta – Haus ohne Männer (1977); 26.4 Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders (1990); 26.1 American Assassin (2017); 25.8 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982);

(Fun fact: Police Academy 3 doesn’t even qualify … yet. At some point they’ll add some extra review to move it down again. I actually assume that in about 3 years the BMeTric for Police Academy 3 will plummet, given that is what is happening to all the other Police Academy films.)

Notes – Director Hugh Wilson stated that when it came time to film the driving scene with Hightower at 4:30 a.m., the actor originally cast as the angry driver was found passed out drunk in the trailer, so Hugh himself ended up playing the role of the angry driver, into whom Hightower crashes.

In addition to playing Jones, Michael Winslow also supplied the voice for all public address announcements heard at the academy. (Fun Fact)

Producer Paul Maslansky got the idea for this movie during the production of The Right Stuff (1983). A group of police cadets arrived to help with crowd control for the filming of a street scene. When the cadets piled out of the buses to take their posts, they were diverse; men, women, tall, short, black, Asian. They did their jobs so terribly, that Maslansky found it humorous, asking the sergeant, “Are these all going to be future San Francisco’s finest?” The sergeant told him “We have to take anyone who applies into the academy for training–but we can flunk them out in two weeks.” It started Maslansky thinking, “What if they don’t want to be flunked out? What if some guy or girl wants to stay in?” That night, Paul wrote a two-page treatment and gave it to executive producer Alan Ladd Jr., who loved the idea and agreed to develop the movie. (That is pretty awesome. Basically how old Hollywood used to work, just randos writing treatments and making boatloads of cash.)

The location used as the Academy campus was known as the Mimico Lunatic Asylum or variations thereof until 1911, and Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital from 1964 to 1979. It was acquired by Humber College in 1991, after being mainly used as a site for filmmaking between 1979 and 1991. It is now a renovated and active educational institution. (Fun Fact)

In the DVD “Making of” documentary, Marion Ramsey says she came up with Hooks’ voice by reading the description of her character in the script, and recalling the time she met Michael Jackson. The voice is a parody of Jackson. She also recalls that in the moment where Hooks exclaims “Don’t move, Dirtbag!” the sound techs were used to recording the “meek” voice and were surprised when she said the line so loud. (Huh, that is actually a lot more thought that I thought would have went into it)

The “shoe polish on the megaphone” originated from a prank played on British Director Michael Winner on the set of one of his movies. Hugh Wilson decided to use the gag, after he heard the story from a crew member. (Coooooool)

This is one of few films, to which Roger Ebert gave zero stars, but it was also a very rare zero-star review where Ebert didn’t castigate the film for being depraved or immoral or diseased (something he had made a point of doing in most zero-star reviews, such as those for “Caligula”, “I Spit on your Grave”, and “Death Wish II”. He just said it was a would-be comedy that not only had zero laughs but didn’t even try to make the audience laugh. (Ha)

Marion Ramsey was asked to wear a fat suit for her role as Hooks, with the idea that Hooks’ boot camp training would have rendered her slim by the end of the film. Due to time constraints, the scene showing Hooks after her weight loss was removed from the final cut. By the time work on the sequel began, producers changed their minds, opting instead to have Marion remain wearing the fat suit, in order to garner audience sympathy for her character. A brief shot of “slim” Hooks remains in the film, however, as a close-up of Marion without the fat suit is seen during the graduates’ march at the end of the film. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?)

The only Police Academy movie that was given an R-rating, and also the most successful of the franchise at the box office.

The term “Tackleberry” has become a standard in the private security industry to denote an officer who is inordinately fond of firearms and other high-tech equipment. (Ha makes sense)

According to the cast and filmmaker commentary, it was Producer Alan Ladd, Jr. who came up with the idea of having Mahoney be the recipient of the “podium gag” at the end, after watching dailies of Lassard’s podium scene. (A very strange scene indeed)

Steve Guttenberg mentions in his biography, “The Guttenberg Bible”, that Donovan Scott filmed home-movies during filming. According to Guttenberg, there is a “very funny, touching, and unreleased documentary that he made of the shoot.”

Steve Guttenberg said of Mahoney in a 1984 interview, “I think he’s a party guy. He doesn’t really know what he is going to do with his life. But it is kind of hard to talk about him because he is not exactly a deep character. I really hate when actors get interviewed, and they have just starred in The Love Boat (1977) or something, and they go on for a month about motivation and character analysis. Police Academy set out to be light entertainment, and that is what it is.” (Boom. Roasted losers. Guttenberg is a gross but charming character which is probably the best part of the first two films)

Fackler’s wife riding the hood of her spouse’s car, to prohibit him from joining the police academy, (with Mrs. Fackler ultimately catapulted with an abrupt stop) was the start of a comedic tradition with the film series: The Parody On A Parody. Like so many gags, this one would be “recycled” for Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986): Now, with Fackler riding the hood of his car to prevent Mrs. Fackler from joining the Force; complete with the couple being spotted from the interior of a limousine, as well as a hubcap coming off of the car as it backed out of the driveway. (Ooooof. Parody of a parody is terrible)

In the party scene, Tackleberry is seen to play the saxophone. In real-life, David Graf actually was an accomplished saxophone player. (There is no other reason he would)

This film is regularly played on television in the United Kingdom, during the Christmas period. The film’s only Christmas reference is the tune heard during Hooks’ driving test; “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. (HA, Secret holiday film?)

The role of Commandant Eric Lassard was also written with Leslie Nielsen in mind. (Uh you can tell)falign

Garfield Recap

Jamie

Garfield is living it up with his owner Jon, eating lasagna and hating mondays. When Jon unexpectedly comes home with a new dog, Odie, Garfield is none too happy and aims to get rid of him. This ultimately leads to Odie going missing and falling into the clutches of the evil Happy Chapman. Can Garfield get Odie back before it’s too late? Find out in… Garfield: The Movie.

How?! Garfield and Jon are best friends even though Garfield is always making snide comments about what a loser Jon is. In another trip to the vet designed on wooing Jon’s crush, Liz, he misinterprets what he thinks is a request for a date and mistakenly adopts a dog, Odie. Oh no! Jon once again shows that he is a loving, caring owner of animals and seamlessly integrates Odie into his family, but Garfield is less than thrilled. He pushes Odie, smacks Odie, and embarrasses him in a dance-off in order to show dominance. This of course only leads to Odie winning a big dog show when he dances his little heart out to Hey Mama by the Black Eyed Peas (obviously). A judge at the show, the evil Happy Chapman, wants to use Odie to spring to fame, but Jon is having none of it. Soon thereafter though Garfield tricks Odie into running away and Happy is able to get his clutches on him as a result. Garfield kind of realizes that he was an asshole and goes to rescue Odie in Anonymous City. In a thrilling climax Garfield is able to stop Happy from taking Odie on a train to NYC and they all dance together as one big family. THE END.

Why?! I actually admire Garfield for keeping this story simple (and at a slim 80 minutes). No Garfield isn’t discovered by a Hollywood agent and whisked off to the fast-living ways of LA. No he doesn’t have to foil some jewel thieves trying to steal a diamond he accidentally ate. He just doesn’t like Odie (classic) and wants to get rid of him. When he succeeds at this, though, he realizes that what he did wasn’t right and aims to correct it.

What?! There are piles and piles of product placements in this film. The biggest is pretty easily Petco, which is the only one that plays a role in the pot. Not only does Jon come home loaded to the gills with solid Petco products when he adopts Odie, but the big dog show is also sponsored by the company. God there are so many more, though. A true smorgasbord.

Who?! Secret Twin Film! Yay! It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally we rack another one up for the good guys. Or I guess in this case the bad guys since the twins in question are the evil Happy Chapman and his news broadcaster twin brother. Also have to point out that if we had never seen Be Cool, where the Black Eyed Peas give a performance as part of the plot of the film, we would definitely have used this film to get Apl.de.ap for the map. All the members of the Black Eyed Peas are seen on TV showing a music video for Hey Mama. Fantastic.

Where?! Normally I would just say that this takes place in a purposefully unidentified Midwestern city that is likely a stand in for Indiana (given the origins of the comic), give it a D- for at least specifying the Midwest during a news broadcast and leave it at that. However, I do have to note that Wikipedia and many other places online seem to insist that this film takes place in LA. While it was obviously filmed in LA (duh), it very clearly states in the film that this is set in the Midwest. Two very different things. I just don’t know how such slanderous lies start on the internet.

When?! Ha, you think they’re going to specify a date in a film that goes out of its way not to identify where it takes place. No way. This is an F and I dare anyone to try to prove me wrong… seriously, if anyone else wants to close-watch Garfield and find when it takes place that would be helpful.

This movie is actually pretty much as good as one can expect from such a film. Sure it has dancing animals and lame product placement, but it’s also only 80 minutes long and stays pretty true to the snark of Garfield as a character. I could imagine having to go see this with my child and actually coming out not minding it all that much. While it is similarly derivative to Marmaduke, it more or less doesn’t fall into many of the same trappings that that film did. I give it a hardy “meh.” Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Garfield is a big old fat cat and Jon Arbuckle is his anti-body shaming owner. Will Jon get the lady? Will Garfield eat some lasagna? Will Stephen Tobolowsky’s eeeeeeevil plan to make Odie famous get foiled? I mean … yeah, we watched a kids’ film. Let’s get into it!

The Good – When they say a kids’ film is innocuous the movie they have in mind is Garfield. They introduce the character in his element, they focus the movie on Odie’s origin story (which fans have been clamoring for for years …) and really don’t venture out of Garfield’s Midwestern box. Good move. The actors are all game, and shockingly Garfield’s CGI looked fine most of the time IMO. It looks terrible when he dances obviously, but when he’s walking around he looks surprisingly good compared to what I expected.

Ps View on the Preview – In the preview I couldn’t help myself in wondering why Murray was even in the film. Sure, Lorenzo Music is dead and sounds a lot like Murray, but replacing voice actors is a somewhat trivial thing and it was still somewhat of a wonder that they decided they needed a big name when the Garfield character already had a distinct voice. But … I think Murray brought a lot to the role. His warmth, charm, humor whatever you want to call it, something about it worked really well. This ain’t a Owen Wilson in Marmaduke situation.

The Bad – I kind of still wish they had downgraded Garfield’s voice and upgraded Meyer, who is probably a weaker part of the film. The story is just on the cusp of being too light. Any and all dancing sequences are just awful and they are almost relentless, the entire story concerning Odie involves the animals dancing. I don’t really have other complaints about the film. Even the B story (Jon in love with the vet) is straight from the comics, and Tobolowsky’s eeeeevil twin (twin film!) is just low-level enough to work as an antagonist to a literal cat.

Get Yo Rant On – To be frank I don’t really think I have a rant this week. This film doesn’t really have one. I’ll just quickly note here that this franchise is probably one of the last good examples of the cartoon character thing where you can tell they have strings pulling boxes, or blankets around, and Breckin Meyer has to pretend to pet Garfield and stuff. It looks real bad. Like you can kind of see the seams of the film. If you watch something like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone you can see it too (BTW not a very good film, kind of weirdly old fashioned for the time it was made).

The BMT – Nope, but mainly because the film is too good. The 15% on Rotten Tomatoes must reflect the times more than anything else, because it is shockingly low. It’ll go hand in hand with the sequel, which is a kind of logical conclusion to the fish-out-of-water comic strip adaptation, but the first one I think can merely be thought of as better than one would expect.

Welcome to Earf – Jennifer Love Hewitt was in Garfield and I Know What You Did Last Summer with Freddie Prinze Jr. who was in Wing Commander with Matthew Lillard who was in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Probably the most cred you can find for the film comes from the anecdote about Bill Murray not realizing it wasn’t a Joel Coen film (it is a Joel Cohen film). Otherwise it usually gets on lists concerning movies based on cartoons, or bad CGI. But I stand by my point: at times Garfield looks surprisingly good all things considered, it only kind of looks bad when you reflect back on it or freeze the film.

We’ll save the A Talking Cat!?! chat for the sequels’ recap.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs