Batman & Robin Preview

Big week highlighting one of the few changes the BMT Board of Directors (BMTBD) proposed for the year. That was to try to bring in some of the many major bad movies that we had watched prior to BMT and as a result never gave the full BMT treatment. Originally such films were totally excluded from consideration. No more! So for the SciFi/Fantasy/Other category of the adaptation cycle we went straight for the crown jewel. That’s right! We’re bringing the single highest scoring BMeTric film of all time, the critically reviled superhero film Batman & Robin. We obviously watched this as kids and probably didn’t even think it was all that bad (we were like 11, so I’m not sure I had ever watched a film and thought it was bad). Let’s see if it holds up (holds down?) on a rewatch. Also have to note that Batman Forever qualifies (RT 39%) so it will be included as a bonus. Let’s go!

Batman & Robin (1997) – BMeTric: 94.5

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(That, boys and girls, is the highest BMeTric in existence. Nearly 200K IMDb votes and a sub-4 rating, it is incredibly, almost impossibly, poorly rated. Let it sink in.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Batman #4 spotlights two colorful villains, Schwarzenegger’s lusty Mr. Freeze and Thurman’s deliciously nasty Poison Ivy, who (for different reasons) want to destroy Gotham City, but even their antics can’t sustain an overlong, episodic film in which the “story” often makes no sense. Clooney is OK but unremarkable as Bruce Wayne/Batman, ditto for Silverstone as the new Batgirl. The action and effects are loud, gargantuan, and ultimately numbing.

(He gave a better review to this one compared to Batman Returns! Incredible. Maltin doesn’t like “dark” things, at least that is what he complains about with the early Burton films. Hell, he gave The Dark Knight two stars! He thought Batman & Robin was better than The Dark Knight. Because of “colorful” villains basically.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RBXypX4qWI

(How did Uma Thurman end up doing this and The Avengers? The trailer is actually pretty cool. It looks like a cartoon, sure, but there isn’t really a good reason that that is a bad thing. Gotham looks cool. Arnold seems like he could work as an intimidating villain. I don’t know. I kind of expected the trailer to be garbage, but it isn’t really garbage, it is surprisingly compelling I think.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: Flatliners; The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; St. Elmo’s Fire; Falling Down; Phone Booth; The Client; Flawless; Tigerland; Town Creek; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Bad Company; Dying Young; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; 8MM; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: In a recent Vice article, Schumacher said “Look, I apologize,” Schumacher told me in a phone interview last week. “I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that.” Good times.)

Writers – Bob Kane (Batman characters) – (Known For: Justice League; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Batman Begins; The LEGO Batman Movie; Batman; Batman Returns; The LEGO Movie; Batman: The Killing Joke; Batman: The Movie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Catwoman; Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Notes: The creator the Batman Character. There are a ton of articles about Bob Kane and his relationship with Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman. Let’s just say it isn’t a super happy tale, although Finger is getting more credit now than he did in his time.)

Akiva Goldsman (written by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Lost in Space; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Batman & Robin; Rings; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; Batman Forever; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: There is only so much to say right? He is currently overseeing the Ology book series adaptation with other heavy hitters like Michael Chabon on his staff.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: True Lies; Kindergarten Cop; Total Recall; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Killing Gunther; Predator; The Terminator; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Aftermath; Conan the Barbarian; The Expendables 2; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; The Running Man; Commando; Welcome to the Jungle; The Last Stand; Maggie; The 6th Day; Red Heat; Future BMT: Hercules in New York; Junior; Red Sonja; Jingle All the Way; Collateral Damage; End of Days; Twins; Cactus Jack; Eraser; Last Action Hero; Terminator Genisys; The Kid & I; BMT: Batman & Robin; Raw Deal; Sabotage; Around the World in 80 Days; Conan the Destroyer; The Expendables 3; Notes: Former governor of California his marriage to Maria Shriver famously fell apart when it was reported he had fathered a child with their former housekeeper. I didn’t realize it, but the child is 20-years-old and goes to Pepperdine.)

George Clooney – (Known For: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond; Ocean’s Eleven; From Dusk Till Dawn; Gravity; Hail, Caesar!; The Men Who Stare at Goats; The Thin Red Line; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Burn After Reading; Ocean’s Thirteen; Up in the Air; Ocean’s Twelve; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Spy Kids; The Descendants; Money Monster; The American; Michael Clayton; Out of Sight; The Perfect Storm; Future BMT: Return of the Killer Tomatoes!; The Monuments Men; The Good German; BMT: Batman & Robin; Notes: Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, he’s found love with his wife Amal. And guess what? They had twins! A son and a daughter, so fraternal, but still, that’s pretty good.)

Chris O’Donnell – (Known For: Scent of a Woman; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Kinsey; Vertical Limit; School Ties; Blue Sky; Circle of Friends; Kit Kittredge: An American Girl; A Little Help; Cookie’s Fortune; Men Don’t Leave; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; The Bachelor; Mad Love; 29 Palms; In Love and War; The Three Musketeers; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Max Payne; The Chamber; Notes: He’s one of the guys whose career was potentially derailed by this disaster. But he seems like he’s doing okay having starred in all 168 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles. I saw the pilot and him and LL Cool J tear it up, so there we go.)

Budget/Gross – $125 million / Domestic: $107,325,195 (Worldwide: $238,207,122)

(An absolute disaster at the time. Movies like this are more common these days, but at the time the budget was mind-blowing, so not making it back at the domestic box-office was crazy. I’m sure they made a mint on toy sales though.)

#64 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

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(The same as above. The largest two we’ve seen for BMT are Fantastic Four and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies … did we watch those for BMT? I think we saw the first one for BMT, but not the second. Which is weird, because I’ve definitely actually seen the second. I must have watched it on a plane.)

#61 for the Superhero genre

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(There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said about the genre in the Batman Forever preview. Let’s just say that we’ve had a few gems in our time watching the dregs of Superhero films. You remember Elektra? You remember that piece of garbage? We need to watch a few of these too, like Blankman. Blankman is crazy.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (9/86): Joel Schumacher’s tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that’s too jokey to care much for.

(Hmmm, kind of surprising it isn’t below 10%. I do like the consensus though, I think it very much rings true with what can go wrong with the jokey superhero paradigm. It works fine for Marvel, but this is the logical conclusion of the style and it can get ugly.)

Poster – Sklogman and Sklogin’ (D-)

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(This is horrific. This is where you can take the Batman Forever poster (good) and make what seems to be mild changes and dive straight into F territory. Too many colors and too much going on. That being said still has the font… so maybe just narrowly missing that The Avengers F level… barely.)

Tagline(s) – Strength. Courage. Honor. And loyalty. On June 20, it ALL comes together… (D)

(It’s like a child wrote this. I really don’t like it… the more I look at it the more I hate it and I better just grade it before I give it an F.)

Keyword(s) – bat; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 72.5 Are We Done Yet? (2007); 67.8 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 65.9 Bodyguard (2011); 64.5 Bats (1999); 63.6 Dracula 2000 (2000); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 55.4 Batman Forever (1995); 49.5 The Order (2003); 41.3 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994);

(I modified this one a bit, but I do like the ultimate list … I wonder is any of these guys are concerning like a baseball bat? Not an animal bat. City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold is the greatest title for a film of all time as well.)

Notes – Most of the scenes with Batgirl, played by actress Alicia Silverstone, were cut out because Silverstone had gained a few pounds during production and the wardrobe team had to refit her costume. When the press discovered the news, they slammed Silverstone’s weight gain and mocked the actress for being “too fat” to fit into her costume. As a result, director Joel Schumacher publicly defended Silverstone during interviews and press meetings, joking “What is this girl’s big sin – that she ate some pizza?” When the press continued to taunt Silverstone’s weight gain, mostly from female journalists, Schumacher again intervened and lashed out at the reporters that taunted her. Schumacher went on record about the weight gain to one magazine by saying: “”It was horrible. I thought it was very cruel. She was a teenager who gained a few pounds – like all of us do at certain times. I would confront female journalists and I’d say, ‘With so many young people suffering from anorexia and bulimia, why are you crucifying this girl?'” Alicia Silverstone Batgirl in this movie is the only time Batgirl was ever shown on screen for a live action Batman movie. (Huh. Makes Schumacher sound like a decent dude. That story kind of sucks)

Due to the difficulty and large amount of time it took to remove the Batman suit, George Clooney reportedly urinated in his suit on at least one occasion. (Jesus Christ these notes)

George Clooney has been known to refund people who saw this film. (I would rather watch the film with him in his house. That would be an experience. I don’t need money back)

In later interviews, director Joel Schumacher would blame studio pressure to make the film more “toyetic” (i.e., a showcase for marketable toys and games), and in a “making-of” documentary on the DVD, apologized to disappointed fans.

Final film of wrestler Jeep Swenson (Bane), who died two months after the film’s release. (Oh no, that is awful. Died of heart failure at 40.).

Joel Schumacher had several meetings with Warner Bros. to get them to reconsider letting him do another Batman movie. Schumacher wanted to take the film back to its darker roots and make a “Batman: Year One” movie. Schumacher wanted to cast Kurt Russell as a young Commissioner Gordon and would have had Selina Kyle as a young, beautiful African-American woman living in the ghetto. However, Warner Bros. decided not to rehire Schumacher and the Batman film franchise remained in development limbo for years until Batman Begins (2005). (Probably a fine decision all things considered. Schumacher would have been poison regardless)

Last Batman film viewed by Batman creator Bob Kane. He would die one year after the release of this film. This is also the last film which Kane worked as project consultant.

Mr. Freeze says 27 “ice puns” throughout the movie. (This is why we watch bad movies)

Voted as the #1 in Empire magazine’s “50 Worst Movies Ever” (February 2010). (Streeeeeeeeet credit report dot coooooooom)

In the evidence room at the prison where Freeze is held and before Bane breaks in, both the Riddler’s and Two-Face’s outfits can be seen. (Noice)

In an interview the cast members were asked what item from filming they would like to take home with them. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would be taking Mr. Freeze’s armor home, Uma Thurman said that she wanted Ivy’s floral throne, and Elle Macpherson said that she just wanted a cap or something with the “Batman & Robin” logo before anyone else. When asked, George Clooney said he wanted Elle Macpherson. (ha … kind of creepy though)

After filming was completed, Arnold Schwarzenegger went in for heart surgery. Because studios were anxious about insuring Schwarzenegger in one of their action movies, he couldn’t get work again until End of Days (1999). (Huh, didn’t know that. Interesting story.)

The only film in the original series in which Tim Burton had no involvement during the development stages (he directed Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and worked as producer in Batman Returns and Batman Forever (1995)).

After the poor reception of Batman & Robin, several Batman projects were considered to substitute for the next Batman movie. One was a direct sequel, Batman Unchained written by Mark Protosevich. The second was an adaptation of the graphic novel, Batman: Year One. The last was a live-action adaptation of Batman of the Future (1999). None of those projects came to fruition, instead the franchise was rebooted with Batman Begins (2005). (These notes are really good)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is reputed to have earned $25 million for playing Mr. Freeze.

Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to reprise the role of Conan for “Conan the Conqueror”, which was rewritten as Kull the Conqueror (1997), to star as Mr. Freeze in the film. (Too bad. That film would have probably been terrible)

The Oxbridge Academy, Barbara’s fictional university in England, is really a combination of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Oxbridge is used jokingly in American pop culture to refer to any British college graduate. (British people to refer to the two colleges as such. It is often a boon to hire an “Oxbridge” graduate)

Uma Thurman and Elle MacPherson both went on to have children by Arpad Busson who refused to marry either of them. (Wow, I’ll leave that as the last note. Keep it classy IMDb note makers)

Awards

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Peter Macgregor-Scott)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Chris O’Donnell)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joel Schumacher)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Akiva Goldsman)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Billy Corgan)

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Texas Rangers Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the fourth in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Texas Rangers (2001) – BMeTric: 35.0

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(I secretly kind of love this graph. So 5.0 is distinctly below average. Not in the 4’s where you’d know that something is truly amiss, but still low. It stays there. Stuck, as more and more people watch and agree: This movie is very much below average but not … like horrible. No regression to the mean because this movie is already at its mean: 5.0 through and through and forever. Solid like a rock.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Young man joins the recently formed Texas Rangers to avenge the death of his family and becomes an aide to the unit’s enigmatic leader (McDermott). Beautifully mounted widescreen Western isn’t bad, but its story is superficial and derivative. Of the young stars, Van Der Beek fares best, while Molina has fun as a sneering villain. This sat on the shelf for almost two years.

(Right up until the end I was getting a bit scared there. But sitting on the shelf for two years? You think they let a 2.5 / 4 star film sit on the shelf for two years? Luckily we’ve seen this and know Leonard is being forgiving, but still, pretty strong endorsement from Leonard for a genuine stinker here.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTwLLnBbot0

(THE MUSIC. Just amazing. Running through that cast list in the end as well, just making my heart pound. I. Am. Into. It.)

Directors – Steve Miner – (Known For: Warlock; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Lake Placid; House; Forever Young; Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken; Future BMT: Big Bully; Soul Man; My Father the Hero; BMT: Friday the 13th Part III; Texas Rangers; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Wow… I actually had no idea that one of the directors of Friday the 13th also did Texas Rangers. What’s even funnier is that he directed Soul Man, one of the most obviously racist major film releases in history.)

Writers – George Durham (book) – (BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: Wait… this is based on a book?)

Scott Busby (written by) – (BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: Now works as a communications consultant through his company The Busby Group.)

Martin Copeland (written by) – (Future BMT: The Heavenly Kid; BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: Mostly teaches now. Has a PhD from UCLA and teaches there as part of the Writers’ Program.)

Actors – James Van Der Beek – (Known For: Downsizing; Scary Movie; Castle in the Sky; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Varsity Blues; The Rules of Attraction; Angus; I Love You, I Love You Not; Future BMT: The Big Bang; Stolen; Standing Still; BMT: Texas Rangers; Notes: You know who this guy is. Interesting thing I learned from imdb is that he was apparently paid $3 million for Texas Rangers. It earned one-fifth a Van Der Beek at the box office.)

Rachael Leigh Cook – (Known For: Josie and the Pussycats; Nancy Drew; The Baby-Sitters Club; 11:14; All I Wanna Do; The House of Yes; Living Out Loud; The Big Empty; Bookies; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Blonde Ambition; She’s All That; Carpool; Tom and Huck; Descent; Antitrust; 29 Palms; The Lodger; Scorched; The Family Tree; My First Wedding; Blow Dry; Stateside; BMT: Get Carter; Texas Rangers; Notes: Married to future BMT actor Daniel Gillies who has a starring role in Captivity, one of the worst reviewed films in the torture porn subgenre.)

Ashton Kutcher – (Known For: No Strings Attached; A Lot Like Love; Open Season; Guess Who; Bobby; Future BMT: My Boss’s Daughter; Annie; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Just Married; Reindeer Games; Spread; What Happens in Vegas; Coming Soon; BMT: Down to You; Killers; Valentine’s Day; New Year’s Eve; Cheaper by the Dozen; Jobs; Texas Rangers; The Guardian; Notes: Underrated BMT talent and all around bad actor. Now married to Mila Kunis and living the life.)

Budget/Gross – $38 million / Domestic: $623,374 (Worldwide: $623,374)

(Yeah, so they essentially pulled this from release. Despite being made for so much they only put it out in 402 theaters for 17 days. Smacks of a contractual requirement.)

#66 for the Western genre

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(Kind of a messy plot, but you can kind of see the genre surge back to life in the early 90s (e.g. Dances with Wolves), and not it is having a bit of a 2010s surge as well. People like westerns, and I want to like them more, but I often find them plodding. I need to put in the work though. Do the homework. I’ll get there.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/49): As far as westerns go, Texas Rangers is strictly mediocre stuff.

(I feel like RT is underselling a 2% scoring film. There has to be something profoundly wrong with a film to score that low. Certainly the case here.)

Poster – Texas Sklogs (A-)

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(I actually think this poster is great. Nice symmetry and color (including the shading of the actors). Slight negative on font, which is OK but not perfect.)

Tagline(s) – Count Your Bullets. (D)

(Uh………………. Wot? I know I’m the boy who cried nonsense with a lot of this BMT stuff but this is nonsense.)

Keyword(s) – texas; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.2 Crossroads (I) (2002); 83.3 Rollerball (2002); 81.7 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 68.5 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013); 64.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 63.1 North (1994); 62.4 Ghost Rider (2007); 61.3 Ishtar (1987); 54.0 The Return (I) (2006); 53.0 View from the Top (2003);

(Crossroads! We’ll watch that (again … for the third or fourth time in our lives). Dr. T comes up in a lot of these lists somehow, but alas, it does not qualify. Maybe someday we’ll have an also rans section where we can watch high BMeTric films outside of the scope of BMT.)

Notes – James Van Der Beek had never ridden a horse prior to this movie. (You don’t say)

The film was in development for many, many years. In its earliest stages, it was planned as a directorial project for Sam Peckinpah.

Unused score composed by Marco Beltrami

Joshua Jackson was considered for the role of Lincoln Rogers Dunnison. (They should just remake this movie with all the actors from Dawson’s Creek taking turns in the leading role. An avant garde artistic masterpiece.)

88 Minutes Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the third in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

88 Minutes (2007) – BMeTric: 37.1

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(Wow, I think this is a first. It regressed down from what appears to be roughly above-average rating on IMDb. No wonder its BMeTric is so low. I cannot believe it has over fifty thousand votes and a rating of around 6.0, that is truly mind-boggling.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dreadful thriller about a forensic psychiatrist (and professor) who’s received an all-too-palpable death threat from a man he helped send to Death Row (McDonough). Lumbering, heavyhanded theatrics and clumsy attempts at suspense make this a total waste of time.

(aaaaaaaaaye I see what you did there Leonard. 88 minutes … a waste of time. I got you. This is what I live for though. Heavyhanded theatrics. If anything says good-bad thriller or drama it is heavyhanded theatrics. I want dolly zooms all over my film, I want rending of clothes, chewing of scenery. You’ve given me everything I need to know Leonard … this is why 88 minutes is great (from what I recall).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUCd805JDJk

(The bird’s nest they tricked Al Pacino into wearing on his head is absurd. Tick tock doc. Tick tock! Getting me amped. He got a guuuuuuuun ….)

Directors – Jon Avnet – (Known For: Fried Green Tomatoes; Future BMT: Righteous Kill; Up Close & Personal; Red Corner; The War; BMT: 88 Minutes; Notes: Not sure if this ended his feature directing career, but it was the last film he directed. He produces and directs a lot of television. His filmography is tripping me out, he does a lot of scripted television for his own channel WIGS previously funded by YouTube and digital exclusive, so a lot of his credits are shows I’ve legit never heard of with giant stars in them. Like this.)

Writers – Gary Scott Thompson (written by) – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Furious 6; Fast & Furious 7; Fast 5; Future BMT: Hollow Man; BMT: The Fast and the Furious; 2 Fast 2 Furious; 88 Minutes; Fast & Furious; Notes: If you can’t tell he wrote the original Fast and The Furious (the rest are character credits). He also created the show Las Vegas, and wrote the show Taxi Brooklyn (the American show based on the French film Taxi which was remade into the Fallon and BMT classic Taxi!))

Actors – Al Pacino – (Known For: The Godfather; Heat; The Godfather: Part II; Scarface; The Devil’s Advocate; The Godfather: Part III; Insomnia; Ocean’s Thirteen; Donnie Brasco; Scent of a Woman; Glengarry Glen Ross; Dog Day Afternoon; Danny Collins; Dick Tracy; Carlito’s Way; The Insider; Any Given Sunday; Serpico; Cruising; Dabka; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Misconduct; Revolution; Righteous Kill; Two for the Money; Stand Up Guys; Bobby Deerfield; BMT: Jack and Jill; Gigli; 88 Minutes; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Nominated for Worst Actor in 1986 for Revolution; and in 2009 for 88 Minutes, and Righteous Kill; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Gigli in 2004; Notes: Y’all know Al Pacino. Let’s go with a nice BMT themed fun fact for him: for a bit he was in both the best rated film on IMDb (The Godfather) and the worst rated film on IMDb (Gigli).)

Alicia Witt – (Known For: Dune; Two Weeks Notice; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Last Holiday; The Upside of Anger; Cecil B. DeMented; Citizen Ruth; Liebestraum; Bodies, Rest & Motion; Fun; Playing Mona Lisa; Future BMT: Urban Legend; Peep World; Bongwater; Four Rooms; BMT: Vanilla Sky; A Madea Christmas; 88 Minutes; Notes: Born in Worcester, MA. She is also a rather accomplished pianist and has gone on tour with Ben Folds and others.)

Leelee Sobieski – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; Public Enemies; Deep Impact; Never Been Kissed; Roadkill; Max; Walk All Over Me; My First Mister; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Future BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Branded; The Glass House; Finding Bliss; BMT: The Wicker Man (HoF); In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (HoF); Here on Earth; 88 Minutes (HoF); Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress in 2009 for 88 Minutes, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Her filmography is a lot more impressive that I would imagine considering she will have been in four of the first fifteen BMT Hall of Fame films. I think she’s taken a bit of time off from acting as she is now a mother of two. Was previously married to Matthew Davis who is best known as the jerk boyfriend of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $17,213,467 (Worldwide: $32,593,385)

(Bombtastic. Stunning that they’d spend $30 million on a weird thriller starring Pacino, but he had a bit more … clout at the time I think. Just not good.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (6/122): 88 Minutes is a shockingly inept psychological thriller that expertly squanders the talent at hand.

(“Talent” … Pacino. You are referring to Pacino. I love Leelee and McDonough, but they are BMT all stars. To put in another way: This will be, along with In the Name of the King A Dungeon Siege Tale, Leelee Sobieski’s third Hall of Fame BMT film (Wicker Man is the other). And along with I Know Who Killed Me this is also McDonough’s third (Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li is the other). That is amazing. So the cast might not be the tops … all I’m saying.)

Poster – Eighty-Sklog Minutes (C-)

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(I actually kind of hate this poster. The stylization comes across as cheap and half-assed. The red letters are kind of embossed in a weird way as well. We’ve had posters similar to this before and we came to the same conclusion: it looks cheap.)

Tagline(s) – Jack Gramm has 88 minutes to solve a murder. His own. (D)

(I also kind of hate this. It repeats the title (strike one). It is kind of expectedly inevitable, in that of course the “twist” on the tagline is that it is his own murder (strike two). And I don’t even like the name of the main character. I can’t even figure out why I hate all those things so much. I gave a little bump from an F because it at least tells me something about the movie.)

Keyword(s) – serial killer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.0 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 78.9 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 78.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 78.2 Feardotcom (2002); 76.8 The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994); 76.2 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 74.1 Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005); 73.9 Species II (1998); 73.5 Psycho (1998); 72.9 Zoolander 2 (2016);

(I wonder if the Deuce Bigalow 2 note is a spoiler … is that part of the storyline or a one off joke. I’m intrigued. Otherwise we’ll likely watch all of those .. maybe not Psycho unless we are rolling through a remake cycle of something. Nice list though, those are some real bad horror / thriller films. Shout out to fellow Hall of Fame inductee I Know Who Killed Me.)

Notes – The film runs in “real time” meaning that at the moment Jack Gramm is first told he has only 88 minutes to live, the remaining running time of the motion picture until the identity of the person who set Gramm up is exactly 88 minutes. (yiiiiiiissssss. From what I recall they don’t make a big deal out of this, it was just kind of a fun trick)

The movie trailer of the film reveals parts of scenes that failed to reach the final cut, most obvious of which were flashbacks of the trial convicting Jon Foster. (I wish this movie was called 888 minutes so I could just live inside of it. Let’s get a tv series going, call me Netflix)

Was scheduled for release in 2005 but the release date was pushed back numerous times. (awesome)

Jon Avnet replaced James Foley as director. (Probably at the last minutes, and I thank him for it)

Filmed on campus at the University of British Columbia and in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Al Pacino)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Strange Wilderness Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the second in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Strange Wilderness (2008) – BMeTric: 48.8

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(So I’m going to dub this trajectory the Teenage Boy Arc. Basically I think what happens is that the only people who want to watch this film when it is difficult to get are people who like this brand of terrible humor. Then once people can watch the film and it is featured on rental sites it drops. And now the only people who watch the film are, again, teenage boys who watch stoner comedies unironically. Not to shit on an entire class of people, but I was a teenage boy, and I had terrible taste in comedy. Just terrible.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Painfully unfunny farce about producers of a ratings-challenged wildlife TV series who desperately seek Bigfoot in the wilds of Ecuador. You can’t help feeling embarrassed or Zahn, as the clueless host, when a wild turkey chomps on his private parts and won’t let go. Shelved for nearly two years before a fleeting theatrical run.

(I forgot it was shelved for years before it was released. The rumor is that Paramount stripped their name off of the film entirely. After watching the movie again the turkey scene is the worst thing I’ve ever seen, so if you are reading this preview before watching the film … enjoy.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKyowLXH8sk

(Yeah, seems about right. That trailer has more of a direction and storyline than the actual film by the way. It is far far less coherent when they try to stretch this out to 90 minutes.)

Directors – Fred Wolf – (Known For: The House Bunny; BMT: Strange Wilderness; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: Both of the movies he directed came out in 2008 and he has been doing straight-to-video and shorts since. He is slated to have an Alec Baldwin film, Drunk Parents, out next year though.)

Writers – Peter Gaulke (written by) – (Known For: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Future BMT: Black Knight; The Babymakers; BMT: Say It Isn’t So; Strange Wilderness; Notes: I wouldn’t call him the writing partner of Wolf necessarily, but he was a staff writer on SNL at the same time as Wolf and is writing Drunk Parents with Wolf slated for later this year.)

Fred Wolf (written by) – (Known For: I Want Candy; Future BMT: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Joe Dirt; Without a Paddle; Black Sheep; Dirty Work; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Grown Ups; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: He was a staff writer for SNL during Sandler’s stint which was his big break. After all of those guys got fired he was asked back to be the head writer and featured player. I can only find one clip with him in it though, a short Weekend Update piece.)

Actors – Steve Zahn – (Known For: War for the Planet of the Apes; Captain Fantastic; Dallas Buyers Club; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; You’ve Got Mail; The Good Dinosaur; That Thing You Do!; Out of Sight; Lean on Pete; Roadkill; Stuart Little; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Rescue Dawn; A Perfect Getaway; Crimson Tide; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules; Bandidas; Reality Bites; Knights of Badassdom; Stuart Little 2; Future BMT: Daddy Day Care; National Security; Chicken Little; Saving Silverman; Sahara; Race the Sun; Chelsea Walls; Employee of the Month; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Strange Wilderness; Escape from Planet Earth; Notes: Was born and raised in Minnesota, and trained for stage acting in Boston. He met his wife while they were touring with a production of Bye Bye Birdie. Cool life story.)

Allen Covert – (Known For: Hotel Transylvania 2; Happy Gilmore; 50 First Dates; Big Daddy; Hotel Transylvania; The Wedding Singer; The House Bunny; Never Been Kissed; Anger Management; Future BMT: Little Nicky; Eight Crazy Nights; Sandy Wexler; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; Bulletproof; The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; The Longest Yard; Heavy Weights; Grandma’s Boy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Pixels; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star in 2012; Notes: Often vaguely seen as a sidekick to Adam Sandler’s characters in his various films. He had a string of writing credits which appears to have ended with Bucky Larson and Jack and Jill.)

Justin Long – (Known For: Jeepers Creepers; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Idiocracy; Die Hard 4.0; He’s Just Not That Into You; 10 Years; Galaxy Quest; Tusk; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Drag Me to Hell; Veronica Mars; Herbie Fully Loaded; Funny People; Youth in Revolt; Comet; Going the Distance; Frank & Lola; The Conspirator; For a Good Time, Call…; Future BMT: Crossroads; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Yoga Hosers; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Jeepers Creepers II; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; Alpha and Omega; The Break-Up; Serious Moonlight; Planet 51; Trauma; Ghost Team; Accepted; The Lookalike; Best Man Down; Literally, Right Before Aaron; Waiting…; BMT: Movie 43; Old Dogs; Strange Wilderness; Notes: Pretty famous comedic actor, who might still be most well known as the Mac Guy from the Apple ads featuring John Hodgman. His BMT filmography is … formidable.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $6,575,282 (Worldwide: $6,964,734)

(Just no money. Like nothing. An absolute catastrophe. No wonder the director couldn’t really get anything done for a while.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/45): Strange Wilderness is a laugh-free comedy that’s both aimless and overly crass.

(Laugh free. Aimless. Overly crass. Yeah, that is just about how I remember this film. One of the worst reviewed films ever made. Excellent.)

Poster – Sklog Wilderness (C-)

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(So the poster is a hard-F. Like unforgivably ugly … but the boldness of the color choice is almost interesting in itself. And then the font on the title is actually quite good. Like the silhouette. Something about it gets it close to average I think.)

Tagline(s) – This ain’t March of the Penguins. (B)

(Like it actually. Pretty descriptive idea. Bump it down because it is aging quite poorly and will only get worse as time goes on.)

Keyword(s) – bigfoot; Top Ten by BMeTric: 55.3 Eegah (1962); 48.8 Strange Wilderness (2008); 44.5 Willow Creek (2013); 43.3 The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II (1984); 39.1 Exists (2014); 36.2 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011); 32.6 Harry and the Hendersons (1987); 31.3 Abominable (2006); 29.9 Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012); 27.4 The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972);

(Huh, some of those are pretty big! I didn’t realize it until now, but Harry and the Hendersons was originally released as Bigfoot and the Hendersons in the UK.)

Notes – During the clip of the zebra being eaten by the vultures, the zebra “responds” to the birds with “oh my god, oh my god…” is actually a clip taken from the movie “Super Troopers”. It is Paul Soter when his character is “flashing” Marisa Coughlan outside of the police station while on the phone with her. (I think I actually caught that)

“Strange Wilderness” began its life in the 1990’s as a series of independently produced short videos by former “Saturday Night Live” writers Fred Wolf and Peter Gaulke. “They started out as little parodies of wildlife shows,” explains writer and producer Gaulke. “Fred and I went out and shot them with the help of John Burrud, who actually has a real-life wildlife show. His father Bill used to host ‘Animal World’ and other travel and nature shows back in the ’60s. So John helped us produce these little shorts which we eventually got onto Comedy Central.” (Ugh, that’s embarrassing. Reminds me of how Friedberg and Seltzer kind of got their start because Rick Friedberg made a cheesy golf instructional video with Leslie Nielsen)

The two main characters are named after the film’s screenwriters.

Some of the clips used when the TV executive proves that Strange Wilderness is too inappropriate are clips from the Faces of Death series. For example, Man on fire with Jesus music, Man being attacked by an alligator, and Pygmy footage) (I didn’t know this was a thing and I don’t really like that I now know that is a thing … but maybe I’m somehow better because I know this thing? It is a confusing time for me)

Max Payne Preview

Alright so we’ve covered an adaptation of a tech product and a TV show. Time to get down to real business because this week for our Action entry is the always reliable video game adaptation. There have been numerous adaptations over the years and none (NONE!) have actually achieved a fresh RT score. In fact, it’s incredibly rare for a video game adaptation to escape qualification for BMT (Angry Birds being the most recent). So we had a lot to choose from and went for a film that’s been on our BMT radar for years. That’s right! We’re nabbing the Mark Wahlberg classic Max Payne. There was a moment in time where it looked like Wahlberg’s career might be headed to a dark place. Just two years after getting an Oscar nomination for The Departed he did The Happening and Max Payne in the same year! Incredible. Of course he rallied and is now one of the biggest movie stars on the planet so good for him. Keep making those Transformers for us. Let’s go!

Max Payne (2008) – BMeTric: 54.5

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(Always a good sign when the rating is unchanged for years on end effectively. And that’s a lotta votes. Definitely a popular below average rated film if I’ve ever seen one.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  A Dirty Harry-like homicide cop (Wahlberg) seeks revenge against the killers of his loved ones. Good-looking film falls flat dramatically. There’s plenty of gore, though it’s not graphic enough to earn this an R rating. Based on a popular video game.

(Loving the hyphen game as usual from Leonard. The visual style certainly looks unique, along the lines of Sin City and 300. That can be hit or miss, and is certainly isn’t particularly popular at the moment.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2jAEoBz6RY

(Oooooof the voice over start. And jesus this could not be more stylized with the music and the visual design. I remember the visual of the guy getting pulled out of the building from when this trailer came out … I was unimpressed then. The trailer kind of makes the film look like crap.)

Directors – John Moore – (Future BMT: The Omen; I.T.; Flight of the Phoenix; Behind Enemy Lines; BMT: A Good Day to Die Hard; Max Payne; Notes: Irish. He started in commercials and got his big break after creating the launch add for the Sega Dreamcast (RIP). It was apparently “so visually impressive” that they offered him a $40 million action film. While I don’t buy that, I do love commercial directors making films.)

Writers – Beau Thorne (screenplay) – (BMT: Max Payne; Notes: What are the odds of two Beaus involved in the same movie, I wonder if him and Beau Bridges hung out. He is apparently best friends with Bryan Bertino a writer-producer of horror films.)

Sam Lake (video game by Remedy Entertainment and 3-D Realms Entertainment) – (BMT: Max Payne; Notes: Finnish, he wrote the screenplay for many Remedy Entertainment video games around that time as he is good friends with the founder Petri Järvilehto. His real name is Sami Järvi, Järvi is Finnish for Lake.)

Actors – Mark Wahlberg – (Known For: All the Money in the World; The Departed; Deepwater Horizon; Patriots Day; Ted 2; Boogie Nights; Ted; Shooter; Planet of the Apes; Lone Survivor; The Italian Job; The Other Guys; Pain & Gain; 2 Guns; The Fighter; Four Brothers; Rock Star; Date Night; Three Kings; The Basketball Diaries; Future BMT: The Truth About Charlie; Daddy’s Home; Mojave; Broken City; Fear; Renaissance Man; Daddy’s Home 2; Entourage; The Lovely Bones; BMT: The Happening; Transformers: The Last Knight; Max Payne; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Notes: Bomb, just watched him in yet another Transformers film. We need to get our hands on his fitness documentary Creating Form… Focus… Fitness, the Marky Mark Workout from 1993. That shit is def bananas.)

Mila Kunis – (Known For: Bad Moms; Black Swan; Ted; Friends with Benefits; Oz the Great and Powerful; The Book of Eli; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Date Night; Blood Ties; Get Over It; Extract; Piranha; Future BMT: Annie; Krippendorf’s Tribe; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; Moving McAllister; A Bad Moms Christmas; The Color of Time; Third Person; BMT: Jupiter Ascending; Max Payne; Notes: Married to Ashton Kutcher now. She had to lie about her age in order to get her big break in That 70s Show, which she started on when she was 15 (gross). In the first episode Kutcher (who was 20) was making out with a 15-year-old on camera … g-g-g-gross)

Beau Bridges – (Known For: The Mountain Between Us; Jerry Maguire; The Descendants; Charlotte’s Web; The Ballad of Jack and Rose; Hit and Run; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya; From Up on Poppy Hill; The Fabulous Baker Boys; Eden; The Hotel New Hampshire; Norma Rae; The Landlord; Heart Like a Wheel; Force of Evil; The Incident; The Runner Stumbles; For Love of Ivy; Gaily, Gaily; Hammersmith Is Out; Future BMT: Sidekicks; Village of the Giants; The Good German; The Wizard; RocketMan; Spinning Into Butter; Two-Minute Warning; Rushlights; BMT: Max Payne; Notes: The older brother of actor Jeff Bridges. He is nearly 80. Fun facts about this dude: he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1969. He is only 5’ 10’’ but played basketball for UCLA in probably like 1959. His father is Lloyd Bridges from Airplane!)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $40,689,393 (Worldwide: $85,416,905)

(That isn’t great, considering it is an action film you would hope you’d get to $100 million at least. The domestic total also isn’t very impressive, especially at the time. But I also wouldn’t necessarily call it a bomb. One Bud Light ad and you’re good to go.)

#16 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(During the 2000s they were trying so hard to make video game films a thing. They’ve never really done well though. Famously, there has never been a “fresh” video game adaptation on Rotten Tomatoes. We’ve seen Warcraft, Silent Hill, Silent Hill: Revelations, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Need for Speed, Hitman, Hitman: Agent 47, Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, Doom, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Wing Commander, … YIKES.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (21/134): While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection.

(Yiiiiiiiiiiis. Over direction and illogical plots are my jam. A very impressive critical bomb, probably among the worst of the major released in 2008. Finally getting that street cred going.)

Poster – Max Sklog (B)

Camp C Eng (Page 1)

(Give it props for bold choices, most of them good. Feels a little empty and amateurish, but maybe just because it’s different than most posters. Also never a huge fan of black as a primary color, but better than white.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F——)

(Oh fuck you, Max Payne. You too good for a tagline? Is that what it is? I’m sure you could have whipped up an OK pun on the name Payne.)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.1 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.6 House of the Dead (2003); 88.5 Street Fighter (1994); 87.4 BloodRayne (2005); 86.4 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 85.8 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 83.9 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.0 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 72.6 Far Cry (2008); 69.6 Wing Commander (1999);

(Just because we refuse to do all of the Uwe Boll films, we kind of get screwed here. BTW, check out last week’s Hall of Fame inductee: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale! It is straight garbage juice.)

Notes – The game designers at 3D-Realms were apparently unimpressed by the motion picture adaptation. (literally no game design stoudio has ever been impressed with a film adaptation)

The extra scene after the end credits was supposed to set the stage for a sequel. But due to the film’s poor performance at the box-office, 20th Century Fox decided to abandon plans for a sequel.

James McCaffrey, the voice of Max Payne in the video game franchise, makes a cameo as the FBI Agent that Lieutenant Jim Bravura introduces to the “real” police officer. He also shows up near the end of the film, asking if Bravura is alright, before calling in Division One over the radio. (cool)

Due to the PG-13 rating that the studio wanted, John Moore filmed two versions of the two biggest action sequences in the film, a) The Aesir Swat Building Shoot-out, and b) Max Payne’s attack on the Aesir building starting from the parking garage scene. John Moore filmed a version with impact squibs (seen in the PG-13 cut) and one with bloody wound squibs. Moore also stated that the parking garage scene during the filming of using the blood wound squibs was “one of the bloodiest shootouts he has ever filmed”.

In the film, Valkyries are shown as male. In Norse Mythology, all Valkyries are female. They are also referred to as “Odin’s Girls” for the same reason. (What is this? A fourth grade Norse Mythology Unit?)

Early in the film, Max beats up three thugs in the Roscoe Street subway station. This fictitious station is the setting of one of the first levels in the video game, where DEA Agent Alex Balder (upon whom the film’s Detective Alex Balder is based) is murdered.

Mark Wahlberg reportedly never played the video game, as he didn’t want to become addicted, and felt the script connected him to the story enough. (We have something in common then)

Very little of the movie was actually shot on greenscreen. Instead, Director John Moore opted to shoot in Toronto during the night, in order to add extra reality to his actors’ reactions.

The name of the club is RAGLAN AND BROCK. Some of the letters are burned out and it makes the sign look like it reads RAG NA ROCK. (Cool Norse mythology shit)

Olga Kurylenko’s second movie based on a video game. The first was Hitman (2007). (Noice)

Voted online as “One of the worst movies ever made”.(Not so noice)

Max keeps most of the stuff from his old house in a shipping container at a place called Gognitti’s Self-Storage. The place is named after Mafia Lieutenant Vinnie Gognitti, one of the video game’s minor villains.

The trailer for Max Payne is seen playing on a television in the background of Ari Gold’s office in Entourage (2004) – a show produced by Mark Wahlberg. (Gross)

John Moore has said that he tried to please fan requests as much and frequently as possible. (Almost always a mistake)

In the post-credits scene, as Max Payne walks into the bar, a marquee across the street reading “Forgotten Rebels” and “The 3Tards” is visible. Visual Effects Supervisor Jeff Campbell is the guitarist for the punk band Forgotten Rebels. “The 3Tards” is a shout-out to the fellow Ontario-born punk band (both have played shows together, including during post-production of “Max Payne”). (The 3tards is one of the worst names for a band I’ve ever seen)

This is the second video game adaptation Olga Kurylenko appears in, the other being Hitman (2007). Coincidentally they both feature former Prison Break (2005) actors as antagonists. (Everyone knows I love me some Prison Break)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mark Wahlberg)

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the first in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) – BMeTric: 85.7

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(Wow that started low. The way this is fading makes me wonder how much actual legs this has in the end, but there is a reason this is one of the worst reviewed films on IMDb. Other than that not much else to say, classic legendary bad movie.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Reluctant warrior Statham joins forces with a brave king (Reynolds) to battle a treacherous usurper (Lillard) and a wicked wizard (Liotta). Another video-game-inspired fiasco from the unfortunately prolific Boll. Even with a bigger budget and better actors than usual, this is a plodding patchwork of haphazardly edited action sequences. Alternate version runs 162 min.

(I will likely try and watch the (gulp) three hour cut. Jamie owns it, although on Blu-Ray I think. Regardless that cut it likely happening and I will not enjoy. Deep burn on Uwe, but that is expected since Uwe is a terrible filmmaker who has been openly ridiculed by critics for years.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Um98FZei8

(You can kind of see the ridiculousness of the fight scenes in this film from the trailer. And you can kind of see how ridiculous everyone’s costumes are. But they keep this generic-fantasy for now. Smart.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: Alone in the Dark; House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominated for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: Well known for spitting out tons of schlock. Was a critic in the 80s and seems to revel in bad reviews. He challenged a number of critics to a boxing match and won all of the matches as chronicled in Raging Boll)

Writers – Doug Taylor (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Splice; A Christmas Horror Story; They Wait; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in 2009; Notes: Canadian. He had a few interesting articles written about how he still lived in Montreal, even while working on promoting a big project like Splice. I don’t know what he’s precisely up to know, but it is an interesting glimpse into a screenwriters world. The number of projects he was working on was noted as “head-spinning” and yet he only has had four credited screenwriting jobs result in a theater release. It sounds nuts.)

Jason Rappaport and Dan Stroncak (story) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: I don’t think these guys are necessarily writing partners, but there is no info on them. I think they probably work for Uwe Boll’s production company? Would make sense to have Taylor write the script, and then have some of your own guys help with whatever Uwe wants in there.)

Chris Taylor (video game “Dungeon Siege”) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Just the video game guy. Was named the 30th most influential developer of all time in 2002. Left his company in 2016 to work on indie games)

Actors – Jason Statham – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; Snatch; Spy; Furious 6; The Italian Job; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Collateral; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Parker; Homefront; The Mechanic; The Transporter; Death Race; The Bank Job; Hummingbird; Transporter 2; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Wild Card; The One; Transporter 3; 13; Turn It Up; Killer Elite; Revolver; Mean Machine; London; BMT: Crank; Crank: High Voltage; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Ghosts of Mars; Mechanic: Resurrection; The Expendables 3; Notes: An all-star of BMT naturally. I’ve also heard great things about him over the years. Mainly that he’s hilarious and has a magnetic personality. Makes sense.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Drive; Hellboy; The Bleeder; Tangled; Alien Resurrection; Blade II; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; Kid Cannabis; Poker Night; La guerre du feu; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Conan the Barbarian; 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; Season of the Witch; Notes: We should watch Ice Pirates. Ron Perlman is probably most well known now for either Sons of Anarchy or Hellboy, but he’s been in a bunch of stuff obviously. Was in Del Toro’s debut Chronos in 1993 which lead to a life-long friendship.)

Ray Liotta – (Known For: Goodfellas; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Identity; Killing Them Softly; Bee Movie; Date Night; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; Heartbreakers; Youth in Revolt; Muppets Most Wanted; Narc; Something Wild; Unlawful Entry; Battle in Seattle; Observe and Report; Future BMT: Turbulence; The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Even Money; Powder Blue; Revolver; Better Living Through Chemistry; The Lonely Lady; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; Unforgettable; Slow Burn; Smokin’ Aces; Corrina, Corrina; Hannibal; Crossing Over; Pilgrim; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Wild Hogs; Notes: He is most well known for looking like he is wearing a Halloween mask of himself. Joking, but this is the first movie I watched where I was like Liotta looks a little odd these days. Hugely famous, mainly for Goodfellas, he still gets decent enough jobs. Definitely an interesting career.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $4,775,656 (Worldwide: $13,097,915)

(So, Uwe Boll had a decent racket going for a while. The way it works is detailed here, but here’s the short version: if you are a German citizen looking for a tax shelter you can set up a shell company, “finance a film” for millions of euros (immediately tax deductible), and then lease back the rights to a Hollywood studio for almost the entire amount saving millions in taxes. The key is having a German director to direct … wait a minute I know a German director by the name of Uwe! I think they closed that loophole, it is the only explanation as to why Uwe isn’t still churning out trash. This is also the definition of “sweet IP”: video games no one else wanted to make into movies … so sell it to Uwe.)

#106 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(A genre of the 2000s. Just about at the nadir of the genre though. Below Troll from 1986, and paired up with Seeker the Dark of Rising (twin film) for bringing down the gross for a time. Has held mostly steady since, but the new Harry Potters could help it along the way.)

#32 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(Literally the lowest grossing example released to more than 4 theaters! There isn’t much to the graphic except that it is small and kind of consistently made over the years. Hopefully the disaster that was Warcraft doesn’t handicap the genre too much going forward.)

#34 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This guy basically sits … well around other Uwe films. Not that many video game adaptation are super successful. They are coming hot and quick now though, so we’ll see if they can cross that $100 million threshold consistently.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/50): Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.

(Sick burns … although true. The film looks like a few episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers strung together. Considering it is through and through a German production … that might actually not be a bad analogy.)

Poster – In the Name of the Sklog: A Dungeon Sklog Tale (C+)

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(I like the color, but not much else. I can kind of give it credit for being in that high-fantasy mold. It is shockingly similar to some of the artwork for Lord of the Rings. But too much going on and not enough done with the font. I’m giving it a C+ for at least being derivative of something good, but most of the deduction is for being cheap looking to boot.)

Tagline(s) – Rise and fight (C+)

(I’ll give it credit for being short and sweet and fantasy-epic-esque. Doesn’t tell you anything, and is boring though, so I mark most of the credit off. Sorry Uwe.)

Keyword(s) – farmer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 69.8 Year One (2009); 58.0 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 57.7 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 49.3 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.0 Jeepers Creepers II (2003); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 43.7 The Giant Spider Invasion (1975); 43.7 Priest (2011);

(We will never watch Piranha 3DD, but Priest is going to happen. Farmer is prooooobably pushing it, although The Seeker and Seventh Son did genuinely have farmers in it … and the main character of this is literally “Farmer”.)

Notes – Kevin Smith and Juliette Lewis were filming Catch and Release (2006) on an adjoining set, and came to visit this set. Burt Reynolds saw them steal two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. (I believe it, but Burt Reynolds throughout these notes sounds ridiculous).

Script development took over a year. In the end, Doug Taylor re-wrote eighty percent of the script, because the original story was considered too reminiscent of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. (Amazing, what could the storyline have even been?)

Production of the computer graphics imagery in the movie was convoluted and problematic. Uwe Boll claims he had to fire several different CGI providers, who outsourced their jobs to lower-quality providers, who worked for less money. (Yup, this is why graphics in movies causes so much trouble, bullshit like this)

The “medicine” Merick gives Farmer was actually tea mixed with ketchup. Uwe Boll purposely concocted the mixture to get a disgusted reaction from Jason Statham.

During production, Uwe Boll sponsored a charity visit to the set. Guests got to see behind-the-scenes work, and proceeds were donated to a children’s hospital. Reportedly, Ray Liotta was extremely upset by it. In future interviews, he talked about how “crazy” Boll was for allowing so many spectators onto the set.

Siu-Tung Ching’s salary was higher than Uwe Boll’s. (HA!)

Jason Statham filmed many of his action scenes while nursing an injured tendon in his foot. He is noticeably impaired while running.

John Gajdecki had trouble filming many visual effects shots, especially scenes with outdoor “greenscreens”. Jan Kruse left the project, due to conflict with Gajdecki, who was eventually fired, and replaced by Doug Oddy. (These notes are ridiculous)

Some of the Krug costumes cost over ten thousand dollars each to produce. (Not a great idea)

Uwe Boll considered releasing the original cut of the film in two installments because of its length. Instead, it was edited into a theatrical release, and the Director’s Cut was released on DVD. (Smart …)

While filming an outdoor fight scene, Burt Reynolds grew overheated in his armored costume, became unconscious, and fell from the platform, on which the duel was being filmed. Reynolds claims this was the only time in his career that he had to miss a day of filming, due to sickness or injury.

Kevin Costner was offered the lead role. Uwe Boll claims Costner wasn’t interested in filming a large-scale action film, and instead offered Boll the opportunity to direct the project he was working on at the time, Mr. Brooks (2007). Boll turned it down. (WHAT, why would anyone offer Boll to director anyone?)

Claire Forlani was the last major performer to be cast. Her role had been previously offered to Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel. (Who probably just laughed into the phone for half a minute)

Though Siu-Tung Ching was the action Director, Uwe Boll personally choreographed the scene featuring Jason Statham and Ron Perlman fighting the Krug in the barn. (The one where it literally looks like Puttys from Power Rangers I think)

A day of filming was lost due to heavy fog. Some of the forest terrain and mountaintops could only be accessed via helicopter, and on a particular foggy day, Uwe Boll and part of his crew were literally stranded on a mountain for over two hours, because the helicopter wouldn’t take off.

Burt Reynolds extensively re-wrote and edited the dialogue for his death scene, creating friction with Script Supervisor Ingrid Kenning. Reynolds had never played a character who died in a film, and was adamant that the scene be something special.

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Doug Taylor)

CHIPS Preview

As we officially enter the first cycle of 2018 we will still collect several of the major BMT releases of 2017 that we missed along the way. With that in mind the comedy entry for the cycle was notable for two reasons: it was somehow not the only tongue-in-cheek adaptation of a classic television show released in 2017 (Baywatch being the other) and it had our least favorite trailer of the entire year. That’s right! We’re finally watching CHIPS, based on the television CHiPs, about a couple of bumbling highway cops taking down some baddies while also panicking about their own sexuality. At least that’s what I gathered from the trailer. I’m not looking forward to this. Let’s go!

CHIPS (2017) – BMeTric: 29.5

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(Perfect theater-VOD sequence there, complete with matching regression to the mean. Looks like the rating has settled though. 6.0 seems high to me, but what do I know?)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars –  The action comedy “CHiPS” is a buddy film about overcompensating characters that seems to have also been made by overcompensating comedians, often devolving into the same chauvinism and homophobia that star/writer/director Dax Shepard half-heartedly mocks.

(Oh yeah. Wait until you see the trailer. There hasn’t been this much gay panic since we watched The Medallion. There is a fine line between making light of things and reinforcing things. You have to be quite good to pull it off these days.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IfqqUTW-i4

(Oh boy. Just as I remember it. Not one, but TWO different gay panic scenes where Peña’s character cannot handle the thought of getting close to Dax in his underwear. And how did they both end up up the trailer? You’re trying to put your best foot forward… for the love of God tell me this isn’t your best foot. I might have to shut this whole thing down if your other foot is worse.)

Directors – Dax Shepard – (Known For: Hit and Run; BMT: CHIPS; Notes: Mainly an actor, he started doing smaller directing roles more recently, including an episode of Parenthood which he starred in.)

Writers – Rick Rosner (based on the television series created by) – (BMT: CHIPS; Notes: One of the creators of the original television series. Not much about him. Doesn’t help that he shares a name with another Rick Rosner who is … kind of a lunatic. I haven’t listened to the podcast, but the synopsis gives a decent argument for his lunacy.)

Dax Shepard (written by) – (Known For: Hit and Run; BMT: CHIPS; Notes: He is writing a … reboot (?) of the Scooby-Doo movies set to 2020. Also set to direct it would seem. Not sure how the performance of this film affects that.)

Actors – Michael Peña – (Known For: The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Fury; The Martian; Ant-Man; End of Watch; American Hustle; My Little Pony: The Movie; Million Dollar Baby; Shooter; Crash; Babel; Turbo; War on Everyone; Tower Heist; The Lincoln Lawyer; Everything Must Go; 30 Minutes or Less; Observe and Report; The Good Doctor; World Trade Center; Future BMT: The Vatican Tapes; Vacation; Lions for Lambs; The Calcium Kid; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gangster Squad; Collateral Beauty; BMT: Battle Los Angeles; CHIPS; Notes: He’s struck it big recently with Ant-Man and American Hustle, but he’s been around since the mid-90s doing television work. One of his first gigs was on Homicide, the show that is a kind of precursor to The Wire and introduced the world to John Munch (played by Richard Belzer) who has apparently appeared in 10 different shows!)

Dax Shepard – (Known For: Zathura: A Space Adventure; Idiocracy; This Is Where I Leave You; The Judge; Veronica Mars; Hit and Run; Baby Mama; The Freebie; Future BMT: The Comebacks; The Boss; Employee of the Month; Without a Paddle; Smother; Let’s Go to Prison; BMT: Old Dogs; When in Rome; Cheaper by the Dozen; CHIPS; Notes: Trained with The Groundlings and after 8 years of auditioning got his first paid role on Punk’d.)

Vincent D’Onofrio – (Known For: Jurassic World; The Magnificent Seven; Full Metal Jacket; Men in Black; Escape Plan; Adventures in Babysitting; Sinister; The Cell; Mystic Pizza; The Judge; Ed Wood; Strange Days; JFK; Run All Night; Chained; The Player; Brooklyn’s Finest; Cadillac Records; Kill the Irishman; The Salton Sea; Future BMT: The Break-Up; Feeling Minnesota; Fire with Fire; Ass Backwards; Dying Young; Pawn Shop Chronicles; Impostor; Chelsea Walls; Don’t Go in the Woods; Little New York; The Velocity of Gary; Charlie Countryman; Broken Horses; The Winner; The Blood of Heroes; In Dubious Battle; BMT: Rings; CHIPS; Stuart Saves His Family; Notes: Probably, weirdly, most famous for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the third best Law & Order series. Well known for being rather intensely method. Plays Wilson Fisk in Daredevil as well.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $18,600,152 (Worldwide: $26,800,152)

(Wow, colossal bomb. Not surprising. Have to be honest, not too worried about 80s TV remakes being abandoned. Some can be fun, but most just seem to be … sad.)

#68 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Oooooooo do these come in waves. Tango & Cash, Another 48 Hrs., The Tuxedo, RIPD, among many many others. The respite was brief it seems with CHIPS, Baywatch and The Hitman’s Bodyguard all coming out this year.)

#74 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(This movie ended up near Flipper … Flipper! Joins Beverly Hillbillies, Baywatch, and The Avengers are least among BMT films. The genre had its heyday in the 90s, but still, against all odds, is super strong throughout this century. Seems like this might reverse though with the recent strong tv trend, a good movie ends up building its universe out on the small screen with a television adaptation. A Lord of the Rings adaptation is already in the works.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (18/103): CHiPS abandons the endearing innocence of its source material, using the titular cop show’s premise as a setup for aggressively lowbrow gags that prove only mildly arresting at best.

(Alright … People need to decide how CHiPs is spelled. I feel like it is spelled like the show, but the poster clearly writes the entire title with capital letters, and RogerEbert.com and many critics leave the S capitalized? Oh the consensus, yeah, this seems unpleasantly low-brow.)

Poster – SKLOGS (B)

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(Have to give some props to that font. My God, it’s beautiful. Symmetry is good and color just barely adequate. Other than that there is way too much going on. Tough on the eyes. This could have been amazing if you just kept it simple, CHIPS.)

Tagline(s) – Chip Happens (F-)

(This is actually making me feel a little sick… what did I do to deserve this CHIPS? It’s like they knew I would have to look at it and wanted to hurt me. Well whatever it is I did, I’m sorry. OK? Sorry for all of us.)

Keyword(s) – male frontal nudity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 76.4 Fifty Shades Darker (2017); 65.2 Rape Me (2000); 64.2 The Canyons (2013); 64.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 60.1 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005); 59.5 9 Songs (2004); 58.8 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015); 58.0 Srpski film (2010); 57.4 Boxing Helena (1993);

(Dr. T & the Women doesn’t actually qualify. We’ve also weirdly seen Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and The Canyons. We used to watch a lot more bad movies in our free time … I don’t think either deserves a rewatch to be honest.)

Notes – Dax Shepard did most of his own stunts, including the stoppie during the training test.

After the trailer debuted, a rumor stated that Erik Estrada, star of the original CHiPs (1977), blasted the trailer as “pure trash”. Estrada later tweeted he never said that, and said, “Just watched the CHIPS trailer and laughed. Dax Shepard and Michael Peña are great. Cool stunts too.” (Ugh. With something like this the former stars saying it is good or bad isn’t really saying anything. Like … he’s in the movie! Why would he shit on it?)

Dax Shepard originally envisioned the film to be a big budget take with a PG-13 rating but due to budget cuts after signing on, he chose to make the film with an R-rating. (So … cheap nudity and cursing?)

Dax Shepard initially wanted Brad Pitt to play the villain. (I originally wanted Daniel Day Lewis to be the other Bad Movie Twin, couldn’t make it work)

In real life, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are married with kids. (Duh. We all know and love their Samsung commercials, obvs.)

On the second day of filming, Dax Shepard performed his nude scene, when Ponch throws him in the bathtub (his genitalia was censored). (Second day seems a bit early)

Erik Estrada: The actor who played Ponch in the TV show appears here as the paramedic who treats Ponch and Jon in the final scene.