In Love and War Preview

As Jamie contemplates what to do about The Predator, the creature suddenly looks up and engages its invisibility shield. Damn it, it must has smelled this decaying shark corpse Jamie has been carrying around. Looking around, Jamie spies a skateboard and a backwards baseball cap that must have belonged to a previous victim of the whale and is soon jetting around doing all kinds of ollies and kickflips or whatever. Unfortunately, as is often the case, Jamie is a little too focused on hot dogging and being rad and takes a tumble while attempting a fakie bigspin heelflip. The Predator approaches with laser aimed to kill and Jamie expresses sadness that he was never able to avenge Patrick by killing the Little Old Librarian that brought him to this point. Suddenly The Predator cocks his head in confusion. It speaks some alien language that is translated by the robotics on its wrist. “Did you say Little Old Librarian?” Jamie nods his head yes and the Predator raises his fist in triumph. “The greatest of all prey. Finally I… no, we… shall defeat it,” putting out his hand to pull Jamie to his feet. He blasts a hole in the side of the whale and heaving the decaying corpse of Frang to his should he looks directly into the camera and dramatically says, “Let’s blow this joint. We got a war to fight… bro.” Jamie suddenly has a tingling sensation in his belly and there’s only one thing that could mean: a bromance is a-brewin’. That’s right! This week we are watching In Love and War, that film that everyone remembers and loves starring Chris O’Donnell and Sandra Bullock. It’s based on the true love story of Ernest Hemingway that was the inspiration for a couple of his books. Sounds thrilling. Let’s go!

Hey dummies, expecting a story about Patrick fighting some weird bug or something? Naw, he’s unconscious for this bit. But don’t worry, we are also watching Liz and Dick this week. The Lifetime Original film starring Lindsay Lohan was supposed to be a way for her to slowly reenter the world of acting. Instead everyone just made fun of it and then forgot about it completely. Let’s go!

In Love and War (1996) – BMeTric: 22.3

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(This is something I noticed in previous posts but … Something happened in 2014 with IMDb. I should investigate it honestly. But on exactly January 1, 2014, ratings in general jumped significantly upwards. This is no different. As a matter of fact the rating of the film doesn’t really rise besides that giant 0.3 rating jump on New Years’ Day, 2014. Very much worthy of an investigation I think.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Lumbering catastrophe chronicles Ernest Hemingway’s WWI love affair with Red Cross nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, eight years his senior and the inspiration for the character Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms. Miscast O’Donnell might actually be more credible playing Ernest Borgnine, and the leads have no chemistry. The film leans on what used to be called “scenic values” like a bookie who’s been stiffed.

(“scenic values” …. So, vistas? I think he’s talking about vistas here which is a huge plus for me obviously. Two things. First, the turn of phrase at the end is just bonkers, pump the breaks on that guy Leonard, the bookie ref makes no sense. Second, the casual dropping of Ernest Borgnine, as if I’m supposed to know what that is is ridiculous … I think it is supposed to be a ridiculous suggestion, but it is so far beyond me I just don’t know anymore. This review is astonishing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVEUGM3Scck

(This is a very old school trailer. If I were to field a guess as to why this film was rejected by critics: It was considered very old fashioned having been directed by a 70-year-old Richard Attenborough, and stars two actors who, I think, are only “good” in very specifically designed roles in Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell. Syrupy sweet nonsense.)

Directors – Richard Attenborough – (Known For: Gandhi; A Bridge Too Far; Chaplin; Cry Freedom; Magic; Shadowlands; Oh! What a Lovely War; Young Winston; Future BMT: Chorus Line; Grey Owl; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Most famous as John Hammond in Jurassic Park I think at this point, although he won the Best Director Oscar for Gandhi, beating out none other than Steven Spielberg for E.T.)

Writers – Henry S. Villard (book) – (BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Became a good friend to Hemingway in Italy during the time the book took place. Joined the US Foreign Service helping to plan the invasion of North Africa in the Second World War, and was the liason to the Free French Forces for the US. Held a multitude of different ambassadorships over the years and lived to the age of 95.)

James Nagel (book) – (BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Co-author to the original book, although I couldn’t find much more about him. Mainlys seems to have produced collections of short stories.)

Allan Scott (screen story & screenplay) – (Known For: The Witches; Don’t Look Now; D.A.R.Y.L.; The Preacher’s Wife; Castaway; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Took over the chairmanship and chief executive position of Macallan-Glenlivet in the late 70s and ran the company until 1996 at which point its market cap had increased 200 fold during his tenure.)

Dimitri Villard (screen story) – (Future BMT: Once Bitten; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Given he founded Jet Set Records, apparently one of the more successful rhythm & blues labels of the era, and established one of the earliest pay television channels in California, he seems to have made movies once becoming rather wealthy. Mostly worked in the 80s, with this film being one of the rare exceptions.)

Clancy Sigal (screenplay) – (Known For: Frida; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Was blacklisted in the 1950s and ended up moving to the UK to work there for decades.)

Anna Hamilton Phelan (screenplay) – (Known For: Girl, Interrupted; Mask; Gorillas in the Mist; Future BMT: Amelia; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Wrote Mask while at Emerson. Ultimately moved to New York City to try acting while continuing to write screenplays, Mask was her only credited acting film role.)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Ocean’s Eight; Gravity; The Proposal; Crash; A Time to Kill; Two Weeks Notice; Speed; Minions; The Heat; The Prince of Egypt; Miss Congeniality; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; While You Were Sleeping; Forces of Nature; The Vanishing; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; The Thing Called Love; Infamous; Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Future BMT: Premonition; Love Potion No. 9; The Net; Stolen Hearts; Hope Floats; 28 Days; Murder by Numbers; Gun Shy; Practical Magic; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; BMT:Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; In Love and War; Demolition Man; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man in 1994; Notes: Just sold her LA home for around $3 million. Won the Best Actress award in 2010 for The Blind Side.)

Chris O’Donnell – (Known For: Scent of a Woman; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; School Ties; Vertical Limit; Kinsey; Blue Sky; Circle of Friends; A Little Help; Kit Kittredge: An American Girl; Cookie’s Fortune; Men Don’t Leave; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; The Bachelor; Mad Love; 29 Palms; The Three Musketeers; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Max Payne; The Chamber; In Love and War; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Three Musketeers in 1994; Notes: Somehow has probably become most famous as a television star having been in over 200 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.)

Mackenzie Astin – (Known For: Wyatt Earp; The Last Days of Disco; Iron Will; Moments of Clarity; Dream for an Insomniac; Future BMT: How to Deal; The Evening Star; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie; In Love and War; Notes: Younger brother to Sean Astin of Rudy and Lord of the Rings fame.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $14,481,231 (Worldwide: $25,372,294)

(I think any way you cut this this wasn’t a huge film. Especially given the note reporting Bullock’s salary as $11 million. That alone suggests this was a pretty big bomb.)

#88 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(This might as well be called Fifty Shades Genre. I have no idea why it died in the early 2000s, but the genre is back and kicking ass again. Midnight Sun is an intriguing one from this year as well.)

#5 for the War – World War I genre

(These films kind of inexplicable come in waves. This is the first bad World War I film we’ve watched. And in general, especially with Wonder Woman just having come out, World War I is having a moment.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (3/27): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make a consensus: At its best with stunning still shots and musical score, but lacking in excitement and acting. Somewhat expected from a lightweight romantic drama unfortunately. Reviewer Highlight: Boring and artificial – Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World)

Poster – In Love and Sklog (C-)

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(Surprising that such a poster would make it to the final copy. Just a screenshot from the film with some lame font text over it. Whatever. Not offensive really, but far from good.)

Tagline(s) – In war they found each other…In each other they found love… (B)

(A little long but I’m picking up what they’re putting down. I’m just a little worried that I think this is original because I haven’t seen taglines exactly like it before… when in reality there are a bunch of taglines out there just like it. If there are I can’t find them.)

Keyword(s) – driver; Top Ten by BMeTric: 64.0 The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005); 63.4 Cosmopolis (2012); 56.3 The Transporter Refueled (2015); 50.8 Precious Cargo (2016); 45.8 Johnny Mnemonic (1995); 45.1 Darkness (2002); 41.7 Kaal (2005); 39.6 Would You Rather (2012); 38.4 Overdrive (2017); 36.2 Cannonball Fever (1989);

(Driver? Well I’m excited to eventually watch Cannonball Fever, that should be a complete shitshow of a film with some of my favorite comedic actors of the time at least.)

Notes – This movie’s closing epilogue states: “Agnes von Kurowsky’s long and distinguished career with the American Red Cross continued until the end of World War II. She remained unmarried until she was 36 and lived to be 92. Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1954. One of his great novels, A FAREWELL TO ARMS, was inspired by his experiences in Italy during World War One. He married four times and took his own life in 1961.” (Good to have it written out I guess…)

Several scenes were filmed in or near the Italian village Vittorio Veneto, including the battle scenes. Many of the extras playing the soldiers in the movie were airmen from nearby Aviano Air Base that volunteered to star in the movie.

Sandra Bullock researched her role of Agnes Von Kurowsky by reading her dairies that she kept during the war and reading the love letters between her and Ernest Hemingway.

Agnes Von Kurowsky was the inspiration for the character Catherine Barkley in a Farwell To Arms. (Makes sense)

In real life Agnes Von Kurowsky and Ernst Hemingway never saw each other again after the war. (Fun fact?)

Sandra Bullock was paid $11 million for her role in the film. (That seems … why does that seem unlikely? I guess they wanted the sweet Speed bump)

This film’s opening prologue states: “This film is based on a true story . . . NORTHERN ITALY 1918. Here, during the final year of World War One, Italy was defending itself alone against a massive Austrian invasion. America was one of Italy’s allies but the US Army was already fully committed in France. So President Wilson sent in teams of Red Cross doctors and nurses to boost Italian morale and help care for the wounded. Young men across America responded to the President’s call for further volunteers to drive red Cross ambulances and work in the front line canteens.”

The film takes place from July 1918 to June 1919.

Henry Villard’s own son was the driving force behind getting the film made.

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Cannonball Run II Preview

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

Cannonball Run II (1984) – BMeTric: 54.8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#21 for the Car Racing genre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speed 2: Cruise Control Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poster – Speed 2: Sklog Control (D)

speed_two_cruise_control

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cool World Preview

After seeing Rich get accused of vigilante murder (again), Poe quickly pulls out a small evidence notebook to reveal that he is also a vigilante cop (what a twist!). Secretly we know this is all a frame job and they just need to stick together so they can take down their ultimate foe. They go on trial and are thrown in the slammer (again). Luckily, being Rich and Poe, they escape like the badasses they are, punching people in the throats and faces along the way. They track their arch nemesis back to a secret iron smelting plant/cocaine factory/headquarters and find that it is none other than Helmut Gruber! He’s alive! Gruber leads them on a chase through a house of mirrors. There appears to be twenty Grubers… who do they shoot? Wrong question, who don’t they shoot? They blow him to pieces with their dual miniguns and with dead doll eyes set the factory ablaze, evidence and all. They high five a whole bunch and are reinstated to the force no questions asked. THE END … [fade from imagination script world] … We nervously sit across of a high powered studio executive, the script to Rich & Poe in his hands. We’ve been waiting for hours while he’s read it in a single sitting. “Jamie and Patrick. This script is a true masterpiece. I love it more than my children. Just one thing.” We hold our breath. “I think we need to change this ending… what if, and hear me out… what if we have Rich and Poe fuck a cartoon” That’s right! We’re watching Cool World. It’s the classic tale of boy meets cartoon girl, boy has sex with a cartoon. Straight from the deranged mind of Frank Mancuso Jr., the producer of I Know Who Killed Me, this is like Who Framed Roger Rabbit except super weird and a guy has sex with a cartoon. This also officially transitions to the Calendar cycle of the year where we try to knock a few more dates off that challenge. Let’s go!

Cool World (1992) – BMeTric: 61.4

CoolWorld_BMeT

CoolWorld_RV

(Makes sense it would slowly increase. It sounds like something that animation fans would kind of grow to respect over time despite its problems at the time of release. Even pulling punches on hard-R and ending up at PG-13 can be forgiven given when it was released.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Pointless live-action / animation feature from Bakashi, who’s covered this ground before, much more successfully. Ex-con comic-book artist Byrne discovers his cartoon creations are real, and live in a parallel universe called Cool World. After sexy “doodle” Holli (Basinger) has sex with Byrne, she becomes human and escapes to the real world, with detective Pitt in tow. Too serious to be fun, too goofy to take seriously; lead characters unlikable and unappealing. Looks like a Roger Corman version of Roger Rabbit.

(Such a long review. Too serious to be fun and too goofy to be serious sounds exactly like I expected. Sounds ludicrous.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kJAVgY8DMk

(Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trailer that seemingly walks through the entire plot of a film so precisely… and boy does it seem really weird and yet super boring.)

Directors – Ralph Bakshi – (Known For: The Lord of the Rings; Fritz the Cat; Wizards; American Pop; Heavy Traffic; BMT: Cool World; Notes: Considered one of the greatest animators of all time.)

Writers – Michael Grais and Mark Victor (written by) – (Known For: Poltergeist; Future BMT: Poltergeist; Poltergeist II: The Other Side; Marked for Death; BMT: Cool World; Notes: Grais co-wrote Poltergeist with Steven Spielberg which basically influenced the rest of these two guys’ careers. Surprisingly little about them online though.)

Actors – Gabriel Byrne – (Known For: Hereditary; The Usual Suspects; Excalibur; Little Women; Enemy of the State; Miller’s Crossing; Assault on Precinct 13; Dead Man; Mad to Be Normal; The 33; Point of No Return; Vanity Fair; Louder Than Bombs; Spider; Gothic; Carrie Pilby; A Dangerous Woman; Shade; P.S.; No Pay, Nudity; Future BMT: Vampire Academy; End of Days; The Bridge of San Luis Rey; The Keep; Stigmata; Hello Again; The End of Violence; All Things to All Men; The Man in the Iron Mask; Quest for Camelot; Trial by Jury; Siesta; BMT: Cool World; Ghost Ship; Trigger Happy; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2000 for End of Days, and Stigmata; Notes: Irish. Is notable for only starting acting when he was 29, far later than most actors.)

Kim Basinger – (Known For: The Nice Guys; L.A. Confidential; Batman; 8 Mile; Nine 1/2 Weeks; Wayne’s World 2; Never Say Never Again; The Natural; The Door in the Floor; Cellular; Final Analysis; People I Know; Nadine; Fool for Love; Future BMT: The Informers; Prêt-à-Porter; My Stepmother Is an Alien; While She Was Out; The Getaway; The Real McCoy; Blind Date; The Sentinel; The Man Who Loved Women; Even Money; Third Person; I Am Here; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; The Burning Plain; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Cool World; Bless the Child; No Mercy; I Dreamed of Africa; The Marrying Man; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Fifty Shades Darker in 2018; and Nominee for Worst Actress in 1987 for Nine 1/2 Weeks; in 1992 for The Marrying Man; in 1993 for Cool World, and Final Analysis; in 1995 for The Getaway; and in 2001 for Bless the Child, and I Dreamed of Africa; Notes: Kimmy B! I missed her in Fifty Shades Freed. Her daughter Ireland is a model now.)

Brad Pitt – (Known For: Deadpool 2; Ocean’s Eleven; Inglourious Basterds; Fight Club; Se7en; Ocean’s Thirteen; Ocean’s Twelve; Troy; Fury; 12 Years a Slave; The Big Short; Snatch; World War Z; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Twelve Monkeys; Megamind; True Romance; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Allied; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Full Frontal; By the Sea; Cutting Class; The Devil’s Own; The Favour; Johnny Suede; BMT: Cool World; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Notes: Basically just in the new recently for his high profile divorce proceedings involving Angelina Jolie, they have five children together which … complicates things.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $14,110,589

(Complete bomb, but honestly that is expected. It is a Roger Rabbit knockoff and a terrible one at that.)

#222 for the Animation genre

coolworld_animation

(Shockingly only the fourth animated film we’ve seen (The Emoji Movie, Escape From Planet Earth, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, Doogal). I believe the big jumps are introductions of new technology (CG in the mid-90s), and the various phases of those technologies. Recently, I think the jump is the complete takeover of cheap animation by CG leaving basically no traditionally animated features being released.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/46): Cool World throws a small handful of visual sparks, but they aren’t enough to distract from the screenplay’s thin characters and scattered plot.

(I did not realize how low this rating was. That is pretty stunning. Review Highlight: A realm with precious little humor and zero pathos, to be admired only for its considerable technical achievements. – Brian Lowry, Variety … at least it is a technical achievement.)

Poster – Sklog World (C)

cool_world_ver2

(Brad Pitt looks so out of place on this poster… which is probably foreshadowing to how the effect will work in the actual film. Doesn’t even have good framing with the toons even. OK coloring and some kooky toon font rescues it a bit.)

Tagline(s) – Holli would if she could …and she will (C-)

(A little play on the character’s name and her ambitions to seduce a human… which we wouldn’t know because it’s not based on some known property. So it kinda just ends up being a meaningless play on words.)

Keyword(s) – profanity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.8 Troll 2 (1990); 71.5 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015); 68.1 Vice (2015); 65.8 Problem Child 2 (1991); 64.4 Stealth (2005); 63.7 Body of Evidence (1993); 63.1 Ben & Arthur (2002); 61.9 Blair Witch (2016); 61.4 Cool World (1992); 61.1 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017);

(Problem Child 2? It is rated PG-13 and basically made for like … 13-year-olds. Why would it get a profanity keyword. You’d think you’d save that for like … specifically profane movies.)

Movie Stub – Cool World – Rated GA-Class – GA is very high by the way, likely because of the pretty big sections on the production, release, and reception. Reception is actually often noted as a blind spot for film wikipedia pages. I’m not sure what they tend to look for, I guess a few choice soundbites from bit critics, but almost all C/B-class pages mention that the reception section is lacking. To me this is a perfect wiki page for the film, and I would hope that all BMT films could aspire to the svelte plot summary and expansive notes.

Notes – Ralph Bakshi was almost fired and sued by Frank Mancuso Jr. for punching him in the nose after he told him this film was being changed.

Ralph Bakshi wanted Brad Pitt to play Jack Deebs. Brad said he wanted the same, but Paramount Pictures disagreed.

As a publicity stunt, Paramount Pictures placed a huge cut-out of Holli Would on the D of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Although they did not have to pay any fees, the studio still had to make a donation of $27,000 to the sign’s maintenance fund, another $27,000 to the Rebuild L.A. fund (this was just after the L.A. riots), and the cost of two park rangers to guard the sign 24 hours a day. However, the publicity stunt angered local residents who picketed and demanded that the cut-out be taken down. (ha, fun fact)

Since the characters were simply created from scratch, the directors thought this to be appropriate to parody both popular Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon characters. A few examples would be the medium used for the rabbits, the old bald man and their own version of Geppetto and Pinnochio in a larger character’s stomach, or Daffy Duck’s face seen in a building on the movie.

In Ralph Bakshi’s original script, Holli Would was named Debbie Dallas, after the porn film Debbie Does Dallas (1978). (Kind of gross)

The movie was originally sold as a “hard-R” animated/live action horror film. The original concept art that Ralph Bakshi used to pitch the film was significantly more disturbing than what ultimately ended up onscreen, and had character designs stylistically similar to those found in Frank Miller’s “Sin City”. Once Kim Basinger became attached, she and the studio became ambivalent about the kind of reaction the movie would generate, resulting in the studio deciding to “soften” the picture to a PG-rated dark comedy (though the ratings board ultimately gave this a PG-13). (Ambivalent seems like the wrong work, to change things so dramatically one would have to be concerned about the negative buzz the picture could generate).

In the press release for the film, the studio tried to sell the movie both as a down-and-dirty Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and as a technical achievement in creating a multiplane effect using live-action and animation. The claims were somewhat foolhardy as Roger’s adult situations better served its plot and Roger had scores of technical breakthroughs in its attempt to seamlessly combine live-action and animation. (Alright, calm down IMDb trivia writer. I agree, but no need to throw Roger Rabbit’s “scores” of technical breakthroughs in their faces)

Ralph Bakshi originally wanted Drew Barrymore to play the sultry Holli Would. (Oooof, that would have been weird … did they decide that was a bad idea before or after they realized she was 17 at the time? …)

The character of Nails the Spider is borrowed from Bakshi’s own Christmas in Tattertown character Sidney the Spider. Charlie Adler provides the voices for both characters.

As of 2017, this is Ralph Bakshi’s last film, though he does intend to return to filmmaking soon, after being annoyed by every major animated film being made with computer animation. (He’s going to be annoyed for a long time sadly)

Despite the film’s less than stellar performance, its soundtrack gained critical acclaim and popularity which consists of electronic dance and rock songs by David Bowie, Moby, Neil Tennant and Mark Isham, the film’s composer.

The song, “Disappointed” by Electronic, appeared on the film’s soundtrack before this appeared on any of the band’s own albums. In 2006, this was finally released on the band’s compilation album, “Get the Message – The Best of Electronic”. (WHAT that is crazy)

During a meeting mid-production, Kim Basinger told Ralph Bakshi and Frank Mancuso Jr. that this would be wonderful if she could show this movie to sick children in hospitals. Bakshi replied “Kim, I think that’s wonderful, but you’ve got the wrong guy to do that with. Why didn’t you tell me that on the way in? How are you telling me that halfway through the picture?” Mancuso reportedly agreed with Basinger that this was a good idea. (This I assume was the incident that Bakshi punched Mancuso in the nose over. I love that this is the producer of I Know Who Killed Me as well.)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Kim Basinger, 1993)

Conan the Barbarian (2011) Preview

Rich and Poe are hardboiled detectives ready to crack heads and flush crime down the drain (if it wasn’t for all the bureaucratic bullshit at the LAPD). Poe is only 10 days away from retirement and Rich doesn’t play by anyone’s rules so when they are called into the chief’s office and told that they must infiltrate a middle school in downtown LA they want to say no way. Unfortunately they know that despite being nearly 40-years-old they are the only ones hip to what the kids are up to and capable of doing the job. Tossing on backwards caps and some Reebok pumps they skateboard their way into school as a couple of dope tweens. They need to infiltrate the 7th grade Dungeons & Dragons club which is suspected to be a front for dealing a new synthetic drug on the market called DeezNuts. “D&D!” says Rich, “man, that sounds like rulez.” But Poe reminds him that in school, rulez=coolz. True dat. They get dressed in some major nerd attire and enter the world of swords and sorcery as they take the guise of Sorsaron the Barbarian and the powerful Mage, Brawln. Together they infiltrate the gang and start up the campaign that will take these drug-dealing preteens downtown. That’s right! We’re watching the remake of Conan the Barbarian. We already watched Conan the Destroyer for BMT so this will complete the complete Conan set… until the next remake comes out. This was produced by Boaz Davidson, who also produced the Nic Cage classic and BMT HoFer The Wicker Man… man, this guy loves making shitty remakes. Let’s go!

Conan the Barbarian (2011) – BMeTric: 60.7

ConantheBarbarian_BMeT

ConantheBarbarian_RV

(Wow, beautiful curve right there. This is a set it and forget it definitely below average film. Like … a kind of film you can enjoy depending (sub 5.0 is where it starts to get dicey), but also not even close to the average (which is around 6.2))

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Raised by a fearless tribal leader, Conan seeks revenge on the rival who brought death and destruction to his father and community. While on his quest he meets a woman who is being hunted by the same evildoers for her “pure blood.” New look at Robert E. Howard’s pulp-fiction hero may not be intellectually stimulating, but it’s never dull, with great action scenes, visual effects, and two formidable villains: warlord Lang and McGowan, as his sorceress daughter. Extremely violent.

(For the record he gave this the same review as the original, which honestly could very well be fair. The “extremely violent” part at the end is pretty amusing. It doesn’t really get me excited for the film, but it doesn’t make me worried either. Just kind of meh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1iJZIMddpM

(This soundtrack makes me worried. Kind of right there in the thick of the 300 fad of washed out colors which is just now dying ten years later. It looks terrible, but I will withhold judgment. A Conan film is always about the representation of Conan in my opinion. Momoa looks terrible in the trailer, but we’ll see.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: He was a very prolific music video director up until 2000. Notably a friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he almost directed End of Days.)

Writers – Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (written by) – (Future BMT: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; Sahara; BMT: A Sound of Thunder; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Not much information on these guys. They are adapting Mandrake the Magician though, which should be … frankly it sounds like a terrible idea.)

Sean Hood (written by) – (Known For: Cube 2: Hypercube; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Started his career as a set dresser on Twin Peaks. Is known for horror and swords-and-sandals films.)

Robert E. Howard (character of Conan) – (Known For: Conan the Barbarian; Solomon Kane; Future BMT: Red Sonja; Kull the Conqueror; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Wrote the Conan pulp novels in the 1930s. They are interesting and short, reading either the introduction (which is super weird) or one of the novels involving Belit the pirate queen is well worth the time I think.)

Actors – Jason Momoa – (Known For: Justice League; Braven; The Bad Batch; Bullet to the Head; Road to Paloma; Future BMT: Johnson Family Vacation; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Wolves; Sugar Mountain; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Wrestler turned actor who played Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Drive; Tangled; Hellboy; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Alien: Resurrection; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; Blade II; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; La guerre du feu; The Bleeder; 13 Sins; Cronos; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Conan the Barbarian; Season of the Witch; Notes: Bad movie legend. He announced his intention to run for U.S. President in 2020.)

Rose McGowan – (Known For: Scream; Death Proof; Planet Terror; Grindhouse; Machete; Class of 1999; The Doom Generation; Going All the Way; Fifty Dead Men Walking; Future BMT: Bio-Dome; The Black Dahlia; Ready to Rumble; Jawbreaker; California Man; Paranormal: White Noise; Nowhere; Southie; BMT: Monkeybone; Conan the Barbarian; Phantoms; Notes: Has been in the news a ton recently due to her high-profile battle with Harvey Weinstein over accusations of rape and legal settlements. Probably most famous as a television actress in Charmed.)

Budget/Gross – $90 million / Domestic: $21,295,021 (Worldwide: $48,795,021)

(Wow, catastrophic. Makes sense they scraped plans for the sequel then. That is just astonishingly bad.)

#76 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(People do love their fantasy don’t they? As crazy as it sounds the highest ranked BMT film is The Last Airbender of all things. Disney and Harry Potter have dominated the releases.)

#46 for the Revenge genre

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(Kind of gross, but the genre is waning which is … good I think. Revenge isn’t particularly great for anyone usually, right? Need for Speed was the highest ranked BMT film here. This earned less than that crazy Ben-Hur remake!)

#20 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(The plot is a little enigmatic, but I guess you could say these come in waves and we are moving out of a wave at the moment. Warcraft is the most recent film listed which seems crazy, but I also am hard pressed to name another Sword and Sorcery in the meantime … kind of sad, it is a fun genre I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (34/145): While its relentless, gory violence is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books, Conan the Barbarian forsakes three-dimensional characters, dialogue, and acting in favor of unnecessary 3D effects.

(I don’t get this consensus. More faithful to the books? The 1982 film is extremely gory and violent. And it wasn’t really the character building that made it great … it very much took the pulp approach to the series. So I don’t really understand the point. Whatever. Reviewer Highlight: Rent the original instead. – Tom Huddleston, Time Out)

Poster – Conan the Sklogarian (C)

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(Oh boy. This is like the artistic version of the legendary Avengers poster. Weird two-color gradient is no bueno and there is just way too much going on. That being said this actually looks somewhat artistic with some nice font and symmetry. Lands back in the middle.)

Tagline(s) – Enter An Age Undreamed Of (D)

(Heh. No thanks.)

Keyword(s) – sword and sandal; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 82.6 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 76.6 Hercules in New York (1970); 64.7 Eragon (2006); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 54.1 Vercingétorix (2001); 53.9 Gods of Egypt (2016); 53.7 Season of the Witch (2011); 52.2 Caligula (1979);

(Vercingetorix is called Druids in the United States and looks … awful. It looks kind of like the cheap Asterix films. Hercules and Caligula are classics though, pre-1980 and a 50+ BMeTric is pretty nuts. And then we’ll have truly mastered the sword and sandal epic … but who are we kidding The Legend of Hercules is the best of the bunch.)

Movie Stub – Conan the Barbarian (2011 film) (C-class) – There is a small note about expanding the critical reception, but it is already quite good. I’m not sure why whomever put that there put it as a public display instead as a plea on the talk page to be honest. Otherwise this looks like a very well maintained page will little (beyond perhaps editing the plot a bit after watching) for me to offer. Good example of the “(YEAR film)” title requirement on wikipedia, because the name is the same as (1) The character from the original pulp novels, and (2) The original 1982 adaptation.

Notes – Jason Momoa enrolled in an intense six-week training program at a stunt and martial arts academy in Los Angeles for his part, while still finalizing negotiations for the film.

Jason Momoa is by his own admission afraid of horses, so all his horse riding scenes had to either be faked or filmed with doubles. (hahaha, this is like the thing about how Gary Busey is allergic to horse saliva and has a rider in his contracts that prohibits them from being on set)

Rachel Nichols had a body double for her sex scene. (As I assume most ladies do)

Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the role of Corin, Conan’s father, but declined. Schwarzenegger played Conan in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982), of which this film is a remake. (eeeeh, is it a remake though? Or is it a separate adaptation of the pulp novels. I guess we’ll see if the story is the same … because if it is then yeah, it’s a remake)

Jason Momoa and Rachel Nichols would later be offered the roles of Drax the Destroyer and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Both turned the roles down, and Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana, respectively, took them. (huh I wonder why Momoa turns down Drax. Maybe he was already in discussion for Aquaman)

Dolph Lundgren, then Mickey Rourke, were in talks to play Corin, Conan’s father, but Rourke turned it down to do Immortals (2011) before Ron Perlman was cast. (Oh, that reminds me, we need to watch Immortals)

After production on the film was completed, Jason Momoa (Conan) went on to star as Khal Drogo in the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011). Nonso Anozie, who played Conan’s shipmate Artus, would star as Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the second season of the series.

Ron Perlman, who plays Conan’s father Corin, previously voiced Conan himself in the video game Conan (2007) and the unreleased animated film “Conan: Red Nails”. (Oh … that’s a fun fact)

Kellan Lutz and Jared Padalecki were considered for the lead, which eventually went to Jason Momoa. (Noooooooo, my boy Lutz could have been Conan? And they didn’t just throw money at him?!)

The film was originally rumored to be a remake of the original Conan the Barbarian (1982). It was revealed that the film was not a remake, but a reboot, and it had been intended to be more true to the original stories by Robert E. Howard. (I knew it!)

The ship “Hornet” is a fairly accurate replica of a seventeenth or eighteenth century Chinese junk, especially with its three square sails. (Oh perhaps … only due to its three square sails? I’m skeptical about this IMDb reviewers ship authentication creds)

A “Conan” sequel was abandoned when this film did poorly at the box-office. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Conan in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982), announced he was to return in the role of Conan, which he last played in 1984, in a long-awaited second sequel “The Legend of Conan”, which will be a direct sequel to the 1982 film. (Wait … it wouldn’t be a sequel to Conan the Destroyer? Also this isn’t happening. Also, I think Conan the Conqueror was the most recent rumored title)

While pre-production, Conan was a temporary title for the film, until it was changed to Conan 3D. Finally, early in December 2010, the title was definitely changed to Conan the Barbarian, as was titled the 1982 film. (Conan 3D is such a bad name)

Underclassman Preview

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

Underclassman (2005) – BMeTric: 51.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poster – UnderSklogins (D)

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

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

Get Ready To Be Schooled (A-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex & Emma Preview

Nothing like New Orleans in the Spring for a relaxing gh-gh-gh-ghost hunting trip with our newly discovered father, mega-star Scott Bakula. He takes us to the spooky abandoned gold mine where he knows the ghosts reside, but we immediately notice something odd about the walls. We touch them lightly with our fingertips… the walls are wet. Uh oh! Are they wet with the blood of the victims of the spooky ghosts?! We look a little closer… no, it’s just paint. Odd. We push on the wall and the entire cave is revealed to be a set built by mega-star Scott Bakula. “But why Dad? Why deceive us again in this cheap looking garbage ruse?” We bellow, with tears streaming down our faces. “Why? For the sweet cash monies of tax breaks. I needed you for the production of this German financed garbage film and now it’s all ruined. I’m not even your father. Bwahahahaha,” he laughs maniacally. The man is clearly deranged. Suddenly a demon monster arises from the broken set and tears Bakula apart. Woah! What a twist! While we are shocked and traumatized by the experience of seeing our fake dad (and favorite TV police detective) torn limb from limb, we also get an idea. Can’t we just write a garbage German film and make boatloads of cash off those sweet tax breaks? It’s the perfect plan to get the Obsidian Dongle back! But we only have thirty days! While I send Patrick off for a load of delicious Mountain Dew to get our creative juices flowing and fuel our X-treme writing skillz, I call up the local papers and put out a want ad for a stenographer. Hope she’s an old bag because we have no time for romance. That’s right! We’re watching that film that everyone knows Alex & Emma. Produced by Alan Greisman, the producer of Texas Rangers, this Rob Reiner film is the Girls Night Out entry in the cycle and by all accounts a total snoozefest. Hooray. Can’t wait to snooze my way through it. Let’s go!

Alex & Emma (2003) – BMeTric: 36.1

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(Below average. Trending up with the number of votes as one would expect. I am quite surprised to see how low the rating is and thus how high the BMeTric is. This seemed like the type of film where it would only be watched by huge Rob Reiner-heads and get like a 6.3 on IMDb just as a routine. Perhaps there is something here …)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Anemic romantic comedy about a novelist who has 30 days to complete a manuscript and his budding relationship with the stenographer he hires to help him do the job. She also turns up, in various guises, as we see his fantasy vision of the story — set in the 1920s — unfold. The two leads are OK, but the big laughs never come. Inspired, believe it or not, by real-life experiences of Feodor Dostoyevsky while he was writing the Gambler.

(Uuuuuuugh this film sounds so boring. Like straight up … fantasy versions with Kate Hudson and just … I’m not looking forward to this boring ass film. Are we sure we aren’t supposed to be watching Kate & Leopold?)

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

(Aha I remember the “are you out of your mind” from the beginning from back in the day. Let’s see. Bumping 00s soundtrack misplaced in what is effectively half of a period piece. Some charismatic leads who perhaps lack a bit of chemistry. And what’s that, do I spy with my little eye a Dasani water bottle in Kate Hudson’s hand? Hopefully this saves us from a bit of the boredom.)

Directors – Rob Reiner – (Known For: The Princess Bride; Stand by Me; A Few Good Men; Misery; Flipped; When Harry Met Sally…; The Bucket List; This Is Spinal Tap; The American President; LBJ; The Sure Thing; Ghosts from the Past; Future BMT: The Story of Us; And So It Goes; Being Charlie; BMT: North; Rumor Has It…; Alex & Emma; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for North in 1995; Notes: Y’all know Rob Reiner. But did you know that Tom Cruise once ordered a pig delivered to him at the Carlyle? Fun facts.)

Writers – Jeremy Leven (written by) – (Known For: The Notebook; Real Steel; The Legend of Bagger Vance; My Sister’s Keeper; Don Juan DeMarco; Crazy as Hell; Future BMT: Creator; BMT: Alex & Emma; Notes: A long and winding entertainment career including creating The Proposition, a satirical play that ran for 10 years in Cambridge, MA and off-Broadway.)

Actors – Luke Wilson – (Known For: Measure of a Man; 3:10 to Yuma; Legally Blonde; Idiocracy; Scream 2; Brad’s Status; The Royal Tenenbaums; Charlie’s Angels; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; Old School; Rushmore; Concussion; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Death at a Funeral; Bottle Rocket; Blades of Glory; The Family Stone; Rock Dog; My Super Ex-Girlfriend; The Skeleton Twins; Future BMT: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde; Soul Survivors; Blonde Ambition; Home Fries; Meeting Evil; Hoot; Playing It Cool; The Third Wheel; Masked and Anonymous; Bongwater; Dog Park; Blue Streak; Outlaws and Angels; Best Men; Middle Men; Henry Poole Is Here; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Around the World in 80 Days; Alex & Emma; Notes: Y’all know Luke Wilson. But did you know he was involved in a car accident with the golfer Bill Haas las February? Not as fun facts, a man died in that accident.)

Kate Hudson – (Known For: Almost Famous; Deepwater Horizon; Marshall; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Kung Fu Panda 3; Wish I Was Here; The Killer Inside Me; The Reluctant Fundamentalist; The Four Feathers; Dr. T & the Women; About Adam; Future BMT: Le divorce; You, Me and Dupree; Good People; Nine; Rock the Kasbah; My Best Friend’s Girl; Raising Helen; 200 Cigarettes; Gossip; A Little Bit of Heaven; The Skeleton Key; BMT: Bride Wars; Fool’s Gold; Mother’s Day; Alex & Emma; Something Borrowed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2009 for Fool’s Gold, and My Best Friend’s Girl; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Mother’s Day in 2017; Notes: Daughter of Goldie Hawn and currently expecting her third child with her boyfriend Danny Fujikawa.)

David Paymer – (Known For: Ocean’s Thirteen; Bad Teacher; Drag Me to Hell; Payback; Amistad; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; The Five-Year Engagement; The American President; No Way Out; Airplane II: The Sequel; City Slickers; Get Shorty; Mighty Joe; The Hurricane; Night of the Creeps; Nixon; Quiz Show; Heart and Souls; In Good Company; Lemon; Future BMT: Twixt; Perfect; City Slickers: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; Carpool; Bait; The Sixth Man; Crazy People; Unforgettable; BMT: Howard: A New Breed of Hero; No Holds Barred; Chill Factor; Alex & Emma; Notes: He was in the pilot for St. Elsewhere as Dr. Wayne Fiscus, but was replaced by Howie Mandel when the series was picked up.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $14,218,698 (Worldwide: $15,368,897)

(Holy shit that is a disaster. It made $1 million outside of the US. Gigantic bomb. It isn’t like rom coms tend to make a ton, but egad!)

#229 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(In the heydey of the romcom boom, so I guess the box office return is even worse than I thought. We just watched the number one romcom BMT film by box office, Bringing Down the House. I think I’ll have to build my tool to pick out BMT films from these lists, I really want to know what the lowest is now!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (15/138): A dull and unfunny comedy where the leads fail to generate any sparks.

(Oh … oh no. Dull and unfunny. Reviewer Highlight: The perfect date movie for pseudo-literary half-wits. – Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News. … Oh no.)

Poster – Sklogin’ it Up, Writing Style USA (C-)

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(If you can’t tell I was having some trouble coming up with an adequate play on the title featuring “Sklog.” So instead I went for the obvious alternative. Not enough good stuff and way too much of everything else. No offensive, but not good either.)

Tagline(s) – Is it love… or are they just imagining things? (B)

(This will likely be my reaction to the film. Ay-o. Spoiler alert, I’ll be imagining things. I kinda like this as a whole. Clever play on the premise. Although it is a tad long and doesn’t have any flow. Still better than average.)

Keyword(s) – writer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.7 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 55.8 Eegah (1962); 55.5 The Stepford Wives (2004); 53.7 The Ring 2 (2005); 53.7 Full Frontal (2002); 52.4 Twixt (2011); 51.7 I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016); 51.7 Le divorce (2003); 51.6 Breakfast of Champions (1999); 51.0 Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999);

(Le divorce was one of the movies I considered for the mapstreet’s map alright! cycle from last month. Kind of surprising how few of these we’ve seen given the high BMeTrics. Eegah stars the giant guy from Happy Gilmore.)

Notes – The plot is loosely based on the life of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author of “Crime and Punishment”. He had promised to complete a new novel by a certain date, but one month before the deadline he hadn’t written anything. After a recommendation, he hired a stenographer named Anna, who helped him complete “The Gambler” in 26 days. The plot of “The Gambler”, which is based off of one of the author’s own experiences, is about a tutor named Alexei who falls in love with Polina, who toys with him. Dostoyevsky and Anna fell in love during the writing process. They later married and had 4 children. (WHAAAAAAAAAAAT)

The German version of the film replaces the Germans-such-as-Adolf Hitler gag with Russians-such-as-Joseph Stalin.

After Alex and Emma ride on a boat, they go out for a walk. A flash is visible as they walk. It was a paparazzo taking a picture. (oh gross)

The bio on the back of Alex’s first book reads, “Alex Sheldon has worked for many years in the Boston area. He is currently not married and lives very much alone.” (HA, Boston though, nice hint)

Despite what Emma believes, Ylva actually is a Swedish name. It means ‘female wolf’.

This movie became well know among fans of comedian Artie Lange after his interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. Lange was describing taking heroin for the very first time in a hotel room. Lange said “when people ask me why is heroin addictive, this is my answer: the movie on the TV was Alex & Emma with Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson, and I never turned it off.” (oh that’s depressing. That isn’t fun. Heroin is ruining his life still! He plays a major part in the Crashing on HBO and is still relapsing and getting arrested!)