The King’s Daughter Preview

Patrick’s beautiful mind has created a most beautiful simulation. Kyle and Jamie meet in billions of different ways. Some are hilarious, others somber dramas of loss and ennui. In one, Jamie has been turned into a rabbit. At one point, Patrick is brought to tears as he witnesses Jamie live a full life of love, dying in the arms of his beloved on his 101st birthday. Through his tears he witnesses over and over again the solution to their problem. He scribbles down a full list of instructions for Kyle. He presses the piece of paper into his tiny hand and tells him everything he needs to know and bids him adieu. With that he sits down with the pile of scripts waiting on Stallone’s desk… he’s got all the time in the world, so he can really craft a masterpiece.

Kyle’s eyes gleam as he looks at Patrick’s kick ass Pontiac Trans Am. “He literally never stopped talking about this car. Just a giant gear head for sure,” Jamie says, shaking his head. Kyle nods. It was true. If there was one thing everyone knew about Partick it was that he was a giant gear head. “Hello, Frank,” the car says, startling Jamie. When did the car start talking? “So he’s just Frank, not Jamie?” Kyle asks anxiously. The car says nothing and Kyle turns to Jamie sadly. He picks up a bunch of pebbles and starts pelting Jamie with them. “Get out of here, you idiot,” he yells, tears streaming down his face. “You spider… you stupid head.” Jamie is scared by this turn of events. Not knowing what else to do he begins to sing Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer again and Kyle stops. He wipes his eyes. “It really is you,” he smiles.

That’s right! We are nearing the end of our 2022 journey heading into the current year cycle. They really did have all the time in the world crafting one of the more bizarre releases of the year in The King’s Daughter. Filming began in 2014 for this film and so obviously all that time created a beautiful BMT diamond for us to gaze upon. We ended up pairing this film with Spiderhead. Probably the biggest non-theatrical release of the year below 40% RT. I kinda thought it looked good. Let’s go!

The King’s Daughter (2022) – BMeTric: 34.1; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 9.2%; Notability: top 4.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Moonfall, Firestarter, They/Them, Morbius, Me Time, Blacklight, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, Senior Year, The Invitation, The 355, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World Dominion, Samaritan, Persuasion, and 3 more; Higher Notability: Jurassic World Dominion, Black Adam, Pinocchio, Morbius, Amsterdam, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto; Lower RT: Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, After Ever Happy, Me Time, Blacklight, Firestarter, Morbius, Paradise Highway, Home Team; Notes: Good stuff. Blacklight, Firestarter, and After Ever Happy are on the docket, so well start cleaning up the lower RT ones for sure. The BMeT seems to be dominated as usual by very bad streaming films.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “The King’s Daughter” has been kicking around as a potential project ever since the book on which it is based, Vonda McIntyre’s novel The Moon and the Sun, was published in 1997 (winning the Nebula over a little-known book called Game of Thrones). It’s not hard to see why this story would have so much appeal. There is a strong female central character, and the book blends together historical fact and supernatural-fantasy, using the Versailles court of Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” as backdrop. Jim Henson Pictures expressed interest in the story, as did Disney. Natalie Portman was attached at one point in the early aughts. None of it came to anything, although the property continued to change hands. The only reason this background matters is that “The King’s Daughter,” directed by Sean McNamara, released on this day in the year 2022, was actually shot in 2014, and slated for a 2015 release. To call this a “new release” is to stretch the truth into absurdity.

(This really is one of the more bizarre releases in recent memory. As they ask in the review: who is this for? For what purpose is this released to theaters? Was it just that in January 2022 there was a gap in the schedule with covid still around and so the production studio took a flier on something with almost nothing to lose? It seems that way. Maybe the rare case in which something was released widely because of the pandemic instead of in spite of it.)

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

(Nonsensical. Just disparate things edited together with a pop music soundtrack. Exciting stuff.)

DirectorsSean McNamara – ( Known For: Soul Surfer; The Miracle Season; Spare Parts; 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain; Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite; Field of Lost Shoes; P.U.N.K.S.; Aliens Stole My Body; Treehouse Hostage; Mighty Oak; Cody the Robosapien; Space Warriors; The Legend of Galgameth; Race to Space; Future BMT: Raise Your Voice; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Bratz; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for producing That’s So Raven. His filmography is bonkers. He directed things like the straight-to-video sequels to Baby Geniuses. No wonder this film looks the way it does.)

WritersBarry Berman – ( Known For: Benny & Joon; Future BMT: The Adventures of Pinocchio; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Strange career. I think it is probable that he wrote his version of the screenplay in the early 2000s when the book was first optioned, since his last feature film was made in 2000 previously.)

James Schamus – ( Known For: Hulk; Lust, Caution; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm; Eat Drink Man Woman; Ride with the Devil; Indignation; Taking Woodstock; The Wedding Banquet; Pushing Hands; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars, two for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and one for producing Brokeback Mountain. Well known for his collaborations with Ang Lee.)

Vonda N. McIntyre – (BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Odd one. She’s the writer of the book which won the Nebula Prize in 1997. Odd because she doesn’t have a TMDb profile at all, so it screws up all my algorithms. Get on that TMDb!)

ActorsPierce Brosnan – ( Known For: GoldenEye; The World Is Not Enough; Mars Attacks!; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Mamma Mia!; The Mirror Crack’d; Cinderella; The World’s End; Tomorrow Never Dies; Die Another Day; Mrs. Doubtfire; The Foreigner; Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; No Escape; The Thomas Crown Affair; The Ghost Writer; The Misfits; The Only Living Boy in New York; False Positive; Future BMT: Black Adam; Remember Me; Dante’s Peak; The November Man; After the Sunset; Laws of Attraction; I Don’t Know How She Does It; Love Affair; BMT: The King’s Daughter; The Lawnmower Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Mamma Mia! in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The World Is Not Enough in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Brosnan. Famously couldn’t play James Bond due to commitments to Remington Steel (and possibly odd contract conditions like not being able to wear a tuxedo outside of Remington Steel). But then they want back to him in the 90s when working on Goldeneye.)

Kaya Scodelario – ( Known For: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Maze Runner; Moon; Crawl; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Don’t Make Me Go; Wuthering Heights; Now Is Good; Spike Island; Tiger House; The Truth About Emanuel; Shank; Twenty8k; Future BMT: Clash of the Titans; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; The King’s Daughter; Notes: In 2014 when this was shot she would have been shooting Maze Runner and just coming off of Skins. So the casting makes a bit more sense in that context instead of her current status as the lead in a defunct Resident Evil franchise.)

William Hurt – ( Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Robin Hood; The Incredible Hulk; Black Widow; Captain America: Civil War; Into the Wild; The Village; Body Heat; A History of Violence; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Good Shepherd; Dark City; Altered States; The Big Chill; Mr. Brooks; Eyewitness; Tuck Everlasting; Broadcast News; Syriana; Future BMT: Vantage Point; Michael; Trial by Jury; BMT: The King’s Daughter; The Host; Lost in Space; Winter’s Tale; Notes: Died in March. Was nominated for Best Actor three years in a row (1986 he won for Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1987 he was nominated for Children of a Lesser God, and 1988 he was nominated for Broadcast News). Also nominated for Supporting Actor in 2006 for A History of Violence. Nominated twice for Emmys as well.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $1,758,963 (Worldwide: $2,204,327)

(My god. Again, why even bother to release this? Was it a clause in a contract or something. There is no way it makes more money than dumping it on streaming right? Or do studios get paid by theaters to play movies or something? It makes no sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (13/65): A muddled mess that was clearly tinkered with in post-production to little avail, The King’s Daughter is a royal disappointment.

(Tinkered?! The first 30 minutes of this film are an editor’s nightmare. Clearly just 40 disparate 3 minute long scenes strung together to try and build up an otherwise non-existent story. That isn’t tinkering. That’s an abomination.)

Reviewer Highlight: The King’s Daughter might be more fascinating than the movie itself, which has its moments of campy delights but is eventually sunk by the meandering story, some over-the-top performances and underwhelming special effects. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Poster – The King’s Sklogger

(Look at Brosnan’s flowing locks! The poster certainly tells a story. Just not one I want to look at. I guess I like the gold font on the blue background. C+.)

Tagline(s) – A King. His Daughter. A Hidden World. (C-)

(This tagline is telling us things already explained by the title of the movie. It’s got the structure of a tagline, but somehow really doesn’t work.)

Keyword(s) – past

Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

Future BMT: 88.7 BloodRayne (2005), 73.0 The Unborn (2009), 70.5 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.2 Black Christmas (2006), 67.4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 66.0 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.6 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.8 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 56.8 Robin Hood (2018), 55.1 Annabelle (2014), 54.9 The Quiet Ones (2014), 54.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 53.8 Spy Hard (1996), 53.2 Porky’s Revenge (1985), 52.4 2016: Obama’s America (2012), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 51.6 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983), 50.3 Halloween Kills (2021), 50.2 The Last Legion (2007)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Apollo 18 (2011), Ishtar (1987), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Pinocchio (2002), The Nun (2018), Bolero (1984), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), House of Wax (2005), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Dolittle (2020), Timeline (2003), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Ben-Hur (2016), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), The King’s Daughter (2022), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Universal Soldier (1992), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Identical (2014), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Best Options (year2022): 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 34.2 The King’s Daughter (2022), 20.6 Amsterdam (2022), 7.3 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

(There really wasn’t much to choose from here. I promise you, we would have never watched this film if not for the fact that it was the only bad film released in 2022 set in the past.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kaya Scodelario is No. 2 billed in The King’s Daughter and No. 1 billed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which also stars Neal McDonough (No. 7 billed) who is in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (No. 3 billed) which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (2 + 1) + (7 + 3) + (2 + 2) = 17. If we were to watch Laws of Attraction, and Next we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Filmed in 2014, it remained unreleased until 2022.

The film was partly filmed in the Palace of Versailles, which included a huge dance sequence filmed inside the Hall of Mirrors. They had to film it at night, when the tourists weren’t around, and struggled to finish it up by 5:30 a.m.

Filming wrapped in May 2014 and a release date was set for April 2015. However a series of events starting with the studios lack of enthusiasm with the cut they were originally presented with followed by Fan Bingbing getting into trouble with the Chinese authorities for non payment of taxes had impeded this film’s release. As the film featured a then major star in Chinese cinema and Chinese investors stumped up 50% of the budget, her income tax issues and the negative publicity in China effectively killed her career there and with it any chance of a lucrative Chinese release. With Pierce Brosnan as the only international star in the cast and without a major studio to back the release campaign the film sat on the shelf for nearly eight years.

Benjamin Walker (Yves De La Croix) is married to Kaya Scodelario (Marie-Josephe D’Alember).

The final film of his to be released while William Hurt was alive, however, it was far from the final film he shot as it was shot 8 years prior to its release and Hurt’s death.

The second time Julie Andrews narrated a film, as she narrated Enchanted (2007).

The 1997 source novel by Vonda N. McIntyre: ”The Moon & the Sun”, was awarded the Nebula Award for Best Sci-fi Novel, besting the George R.R. Martin novel which would generate the Game of Thrones (2011) series.

The film rights for the source Vonda N. McIntyre novel ”The Moon & the Sun” were purchased in 1999 by Jim Henson Productions, with Broadway director Christopher Renshaw was announced as making his cinematic debut. Henson associate Bill Mechanic reportedly brought the project with him to Disney who signed Mechanic as a producer in 2001 and a 2002 start date with Natalie Portman as star was announced, but did not eventuate.

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1492: Conquest of Paradise Preview

Patrick puts on his glasses, but then remembers that he’s Stallone and has perfect 20/20 vision, naturally. His beautiful mind goes into overdrive and his fingers dance over the keyboard of the Apple IIe that Kyle had set up in his room. With only BASIC available and 64Kb of memory at his disposal, what he is doing is anything but basic. It’s a full blown Jamie simulation. “Hello, Patrick. So glad we can be together again,” the simulation says and the breath catches in Patrick’s throat. It’s perfect. “How can we tell if you are you?” he asks the simulation which cryptically answers “try me.” Patrick thinks long and hard and eventually has an idea. He sets up millions of situations where Jamie and Kyle meet. Try him, they will. He puts the cursor over the program he’s entitled “ConquestOfParadise.exe” and takes a deep breath. Here goes nothing.

“Welcome to the hurt locker,” Kyle says as he pulls off the blindfold he’s had Jamie wear for the trip. Jamie’s knees are quaking at the thought of his worst nightmare, but when his eyes refocus he is surprised to see they’ve arrived at the hottest waterpark in town, The River of Death. It’s 24/7/365 lazy river action at The River of Death. Kyle shrugs and admits it was all a ruse. “Let’s have some fun today… maybe that’ll loosen things up in the ol’ noggin’”. Off they rush and have quite the day. Lazy River Amazon, Lazy River Nile, Lazy River Hudson. By the end of the Danube they are Lazy River pooped. “Oh wait, now I remember what I was thinking,” Jamie says as they walk out of the park. Kyle was right, the stress of time travel really was messing with his head. “His car.”

That’s right! We are conquesting some paradise by watching the Christopher Columbus epic we know and love, 1942: Conquest of Paradise… or at least one of the Christopher Columbus epics we know and love. I’ve never really thought about watching this film, but with Ridley Scott directing it’s worth it. Pairing that up with another film with a year in the title, we are watching Knight Rider 2000. I also never really thought about watching this film, but I’m not sure why. It sounds amazing. Let’s go!

1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) – BMeTric: 19.5; Notability: 50

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 19.6%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 21.1%; Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Body of Evidence, Cool World, Pet Sematary II, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, Toys, The Lawnmower Man, Sleepwalkers, 3 Ninjas, Sidekicks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Beethoven, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Evil Toons, Ladybugs, Dr. Giggles, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Encino Man, and 29 more; Higher Notability: Toys, Cool World, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Newsies, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, The Bodyguard, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Innocent Blood, Universal Soldier; Lower RT: Once Upon a Crime…, Live Wire, Folks!, Frozen Assets, Love Crimes, Year of the Comet, Cool World, Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Body of Evidence, Claire of the Moon, Passed Away, Ladybugs, Mr. Baseball, Mom and Dad Save the World, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, and 28 more; Notes: Surprisingly high Notability there, for a historical epic starring Depardieu at least. Otherwise not a super amount of cred.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Still, in its own way and up to a certain point, “1492” is a satisfactory film. Depardieu lends it gravity, the supporting performances are convincing, the locations are realistic, and we are inspired to reflect that it did indeed take a certain nerve to sail off into nowhere just because an orange was round.

(Ebert liked this one as well?! That’s a stunner. I would definitely have thought sheer boredom would have doomed it for him. I can’t imagine it is “good for what it is” in any capacity.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmnLrzG2zKw/

(Is this a real trailer? This film gets a weird hip hop beat trailer, and a “ONE MAN” voiceover. That is insane.)

DirectorsRidley Scott – ( Known For: Gladiator; Alien; House of Gucci; The Last Duel; Robin Hood; Blade Runner; Prometheus; Legend; Thelma & Louise; The Martian; Alien: Covenant; Black Hawk Down; American Gangster; G.I. Jane; Body of Lies; All the Money in the World; Black Rain; Matchstick Men; The Duellists; White Squall; Future BMT: Hannibal; Kingdom of Heaven; Exodus: Gods and Kings; The Counselor; A Good Year; BMT: 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Notes: Nominated for four Oscars (The Martian, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, and Thelma & Louise). His brother Tony Scott was also a big name director.)

WritersRose Bosch – ( Known For: The Roundup; My Summer in Provence; Bimboland; BMT: 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Notes: Wow, so she is Spanish and came across Columbus’ correspondences while in Seville as a reporter. The film was then created specifically to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas. That’s a crazy story.)

ActorsGérard Depardieu – ( Known For: Life of Pi; Going Places; Hamlet; Last Holiday; Lost Illusions; Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra; La Vie en Rose; 1900; Paris, je t’aime; Maigret; Cyrano de Bergerac; Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar; Green Card; Nathalie…; Let the Sunshine In; How Much Do You Love Me?; Mesrine: Killer Instinct; Jean de Florette; Asterix at the Olympic Games; City of Ghosts; Future BMT: The Man in the Iron Mask; 102 Dalmatians; My Father the Hero; BMT: 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Babylon A.D.; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Cyrano de Bergerac. That was 1990, so this film really is just coming on the heels of that when his cred is sky high with American audiences. It should be said that he’s said in interviews that he has raped people and that things were different in the 80s or whatever. It is pretty nuts. Read his wiki if you are curious.)

Armand Assante – ( Known For: American Gangster; The Road to El Dorado; Smile; Private Benjamin; Little Darlings; Prophecy; The Lords of Flatbush; Dead Man Down; Hoffa; Q&A; Paradise Alley; When Nietzsche Wept; The Match; The Mambo Kings; I, the Jury; Funny Money; Diamond Cartel; The Neighborhood; Chicago Overcoat; The Line; Future BMT: Two for the Money; Unfaithfully Yours; Trial by Jury; BMT: Striptease; Judge Dredd; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Fatal Instinct; The Marrying Man; Notes: Won an Emmy for Gotti (playing Gotti) and was nominated for Jack the Ripper as well. He’s one of those actors who was huge in the 90s and then just dropped right off into straight-to-video in the 00s almost immediately.)

Sigourney Weaver – ( Known For: Avatar; Ghostbusters; Ghostbusters: Afterlife; The Good House; Alien; The Cabin in the Woods; Aliens; Call Jane; Ghostbusters: Answer the Call; Ghostbusters II; The Village; WALL·E; Holes; Alien³; Galaxy Quest; Alien: Resurrection; Master Gardener; Working Girl; Paul; Annie Hall; Future BMT: Exodus: Gods and Kings; Chappie; You Again; Vantage Point; The Cold Light of Day; Happily N’Ever After; Deal of the Century; BMT: 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Abduction; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars (Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, and Aliens). The first two were in the same year too. She’s playing like a kid in the next Avatar? It is insanity.)

Budget/Gross – $47,000,000 / Domestic: $7,191,399 (Worldwide: $7,191,399)

(What a disaster. What a complete disaster. But how? How is a realistic film about Columbus making like $100 million?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (7/22): Historically inaccurate and dramatically inert, Ridley Scott’s retelling of Christopher Columbus’ exploits is an epic without grandeur or insight.

(Yeah for a film that wants to be gritty and realistic the stories about them just making stuff up is kind of wild in the end.)

Reviewer Highlight: This $50 million spectacle must be one of the least entertaining epic films ever made. – David Ansen, Newsweek

Poster – 1492: Close Enough

(I like the vibrant colors, but the whole poster seems like a bunch of nonsense. Just like a due with a sword running through some water and some terrible font. C+.)

Tagline(s) – Centuries before the exploration of space, there was another voyage into the unknown. (F is for Funny)

(Wooooooah. Legendary. It’s like a little short story. Really crazy this is the tagline. I like to extend this analogy out a little. It’s like Topher Columbus going around to the US government and being like “Yo, I think Mars is way closer than the math says, let me try to get there.” And then him flying to the moon and being like “Wooooah, I found Mars!” Make that the tagline.)

Keyword(s) – past

Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

Future BMT: 88.7 BloodRayne (2005), 73.0 The Unborn (2009), 70.4 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.2 Black Christmas (2006), 67.4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 66.0 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.6 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.8 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 56.8 Robin Hood (2018), 55.1 Annabelle (2014), 54.9 The Quiet Ones (2014), 54.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 53.8 Spy Hard (1996), 53.2 Porky’s Revenge (1985), 52.4 2016: Obama’s America (2012), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 51.6 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983), 50.2 Halloween Kills (2021), 50.2 The Last Legion (2007)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Apollo 18 (2011), Ishtar (1987), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), The Nun (2018), Pinocchio (2002), Bolero (1984), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), House of Wax (2005), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Dolittle (2020), Timeline (2003), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Ben-Hur (2016), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Universal Soldier (1992), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Identical (2014), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Best Options (year-in-title): 19.5 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

(The best option sub cycle thing is kind of fake. That is, I knew I wanted to do films with a year in the title (aka an A+ film set in the past), but I also knew the option of 1492 already existed. The eventual choice of Knight Rider 2000 was with the knowledge that we obviously also had good straight-to-video / tv movie options for films set in the future as well.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Armand Assante is No. 2 billed in 1492: Conquest of Paradise and No. 3 billed in Judge Dredd, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 14. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – The replicas of Columbus’ ships used in the film were built in Spain between 1990 and 1992. In 1992 they sailed the route of Columbus’ first voyage to commemorate to 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. Today they are exhibited in Palos de la Frontera, Spain, and they are visited by approximately 200.000 people each year.

Hans Zimmer was originally chosen to compose the music for the film until Sir Ridley Scott decided to approach Vangelis.

Screenwriter Rose Bosch got the idea for the project when she discovered millions of untranslated parchments while researching an article on Columbus. After joining forces with a French film executive, she finally found an interested director in Sir Ridley Scott, who had always wanted to make a movie about Columbus. Scott agreed to direct the film on one condition: Columbus must be played by Gérard Depardieu. Depardieu was contacted, and eager to take the part.

The film was released in France on October 12, 1992, 500 years to the day after Christopher Columbus’ expedition made landfall in the Caribbean and landed on the island of Guanahani. This was the first land in the New World sighted and visited by Columbus.

The film shot for 16 weeks.

The original title was simply “Columbus”.

This project was concurrently developed with Alexander and Ilya Salkind’s Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) to be released on time for the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage. The Salkinds’ first choice for director for their film was Sir Ridley Scott. Four months after rejecting their offer, Scott started working on a rival “Christopher Columbus” project which ultimately became 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992). As a consequence of this, the Salkinds unsuccessfully tried to sue Scott for stealing their idea. They were forced to drop their lawsuit when it was proved that “1492”s producer Alain Goldman and writer Roselyne Bosch’s first proposal of a Christopher Columbus project predated theirs.

Ben-Hur (2016) Preview

Patrick walks through campus deep in thought. Where do you go when you are Sly Stallone in 1989? He said ‘school’ so that’s where he went. People point and gawk at the sad lonely walk of a Sly Stallone. A crowd forms and soon he’s surrounded by looky loos. “Sly! Flex for us,” one shouts. “Yo, Adrian! Where’s Adrian?” another chides playfully. In a sudden panic he tries to escape the taunts, but he can’t break through. He cocks back his arm, ready to use his age-appropriate muscles crafted from years of exercise and eating well. Before he can pulverize an innocent fan he feels a tiny hand on his arm and a quiet voice asking “Sly, sir, may I get an autograph?” He looks down to see a child, no more than three or four. He’s dressed in the colors of the college, ready to root on his favorite team, “Gladiators” splashed across his chest. Patrick’s eyes widen. “Kyle?” he gasps.

Jamie walks through campus deep in thought. Frankie Jr. is popping b-gum (as the kids now call it) and strutting around the school. “Yo, pops, you’re cramping my style.” Jamie just murmurs sorry and continues to think. If he’s here, where is Patrick? Who is Patrick? He looks around in panic, suddenly gripped by paranoia. Who is anyone? He grabs a nearby student and screams, “Who are you?” much to the horror of Frankie Jr. He feels a hand on his shoulder and turns around, his arm cocked back, old skin drooping down from years of hard living. The principal stands in front of him, an old man with gray hair and beard. He’s dressed in the colors of the school, “The New Gladiators” splashes across his chest. Jamie’s eyes widen. “Kyle?” he gasps.

That’s right! It’s a double gladiator week as we catch the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur and pair it with an Italian sci-fi picture, The New Gladiators. Remaking Ben-Hur was always a mistake. It’s also appropriate we catch at least one Italian film in this cycle as they played such a big role in the type of future/action genre of the times. Let’s go!

Ben-Hur (2016) – BMeTric: 41.2; Notability: 61

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 16.4%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 20.4%; Higher BMeT: Fifty Shades of Black, Zoolander 2, Cell, The Forest, Exposed, Yoga Hosers, Meet the Blacks, Cabin Fever, Max Steel, The Darkness, Dark Crimes, Blair Witch, Independence Day: Resurgence, The 5th Wave, Urge, Shut In, Boo! A Madea Halloween, Gods of Egypt, Get a Job, The Assignment, and 21 more; Higher Notability: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Zoolander 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Brothers Grimsby, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Warcraft, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Allegiant, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Ice Age: Collision Course; Lower RT: Cabin Fever, Dark Crimes, Term Life, Urge, Max Steel, Amateur Night, The Darkness, Fifty Shades of Black, Shut In, Misconduct, Mother’s Day, Exposed, The Do-Over, Get a Job, I.T., Dirty Grandpa, The Forest, Cell, Allegiant, The Choice, and 30 more; Notes: The notability is off the hook here. It’s 2016, so obviously there are going to be huge ones coming out around then, but it is near The Huntsman sequel? That’s big.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Does the movie radically re-arrange both its source material and that material’s most famous adaptation? It sure as hell does. But I doubt that many contemporary viewers consider either of those as holy writ. This is a “Ben-Hur” of and for its time, but also a little better than its time, it turns out. I’m not qualified to say whether it’s an effective delivery system for its Christian message, but I think I can credibly pronounce it a good popcorn movie.

(My God. One of the big pluses for this film according to this review is: it’s shorter than the previous 4 hour epic. Alright. For the record I liked the previous adaptation. It is long, but has some really interesting stuff in it. Somehow I still doubt this stands up.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLJdzky63BA/

(Wow, the hard rock soundtrack is an interesting take. Also, absolutely nothing about Jesus in the whole trailer? Just hard core chariot action? I would be down if that were the case. Unfortunately, it is not.)

DirectorsTimur Bekmambetov – ( Known For: Wanted; Profile; Night Watch; Day Watch; V2. Escape from Hell; The Arena; The Irony of Fate 2; Yolki 5; Six Degrees of Celebration; Yolki 1914; Peshawar Waltz; Future BMT: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; BMT: Ben-Hur; Notes: He was born in what is now Kazakhstan. Night Watch and Day Watch are a series about vampires that made him famous.)

WritersLew Wallace – ( Known For: Ben-Hur; Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ; BMT: Ben-Hur; Notes: He’s the author of the original book. He died in 1905. He was also the governor of the New Mexico Territory and later minister to Turkey besides being an author.)

Keith R. Clarke – ( Known For: The Way Back; BMT: Ben-Hur; Notes: Not much about him. He has an upcoming movie which sounds like Catch-22 but concerning redeployment to Afghanistan.)

John Ridley – ( Known For: 12 Years a Slave; Three Kings; U Turn; Needle in a Timestack; Red Tails; Undercover Brother; Jimi: All Is by My Side; Cold Around the Heart; BMT: Ben-Hur; Notes: He won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave. He wrote a draft for Beverly Hills Cop 4 which apparently was rejected.)

ActorsJack Huston – ( Known For: House of Gucci; The Irishman; American Hustle; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Hail, Caesar!; Their Finest; Antebellum; Above Suspicion; Kill Your Darlings; Outlander; Factory Girl; Earthquake Bird; Shrink; Night Train to Lisbon; Shrooms; The Yellow Birds; Boogie Woogie; Not Fade Away; Mr. Nice; Future BMT: The Longest Ride; BMT: Ben-Hur; Notes: For a while I was convinced this was Jack Heston, as in a stunt cast to cast Charlton Heston’s son. Nope, this is Anjelica Huston’s nephew and thus John Huston’s grandson. Heston does have a son, he directed the box office bomb Alaska.)

Toby Kebbell – ( Known For: RocknRolla; Kong: Skull Island; War for the Planet of the Apes; Match Point; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Gold; Dead Man’s Shoes; A Monster Calls; War Horse; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Destroyer; Control; The East; The Conspirator; Chéri; The Angel; The Hurricane Heist; Held for Ransom; Wilderness; Becoming; Future BMT: Alexander; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; The Counselor; Wrath of the Titans; BMT: Fantastic Four; Warcraft; Bloodshot; Ben-Hur; Notes: He’s English and was nominated as a Rising Star at the BAFTAs.)

Rodrigo Santoro – ( Known For: 300; Love Actually; Focus; 300: Rise of an Empire; Rio; Project Power; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; 7 Prisoners; The Last Stand; Rio 2; I Love You Phillip Morris; The 33; Jane Got a Gun; Pele: Birth of a Legend; Redbelt; Carandiru; There Be Dragons; Rio, I Love You; Last Call; Monica and Friends: Bonds; Future BMT: Post Grad; BMT: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Ben-Hur; Notes: From Brazil, and most notable for his role in Westworld. He also was the voice of Stuart Little in the Brazilian dubbed version of both movies.)

Budget/Gross – $100,000,000 / Domestic: $26,410,477 (Worldwide: $94,061,311)

(My god, what a bomb. I’m telling you, they should have got James Cameron to do it. That would have been the way to make a Ben-Hur film.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (47/191): How do you fight an idea? By filming a remake that has too few of its own, and tries to cover it up with choppy editing and CGI.

(Jamie had to point out to me that “how do you fight an idea” is a big part of the previous Ben-Hur film. I’ve seen that film. But I didn’t remember the quote. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus hitting that up hard in a tongue in cheek manner is weird, but at least now it makes sense to my brain instead of sounding like actual gibberish.)

Reviewer Highlight: Very rarely does it try to impress us, or overwhelm us, shock us, move us. – K. Austin Collins, The Ringer

Poster – Jesus: The Movie

(It’s an exciting picture from the film, but not exactly poster material. Nice font, though. Comes out just about even. C.)

Tagline(s) – Brother against brother. Slave against empire. (B)

(I can’t fault it for passing up the rule of three. Would have gotten pretty long if you tried to add another one. But needs something more to get to the next level. “Crime against God” doesn’t work, but that’s the kind of clever third entry they could have tried. Just merely good as it is.)

Keyword(s) – past

Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

Future BMT: 88.6 BloodRayne (2005), 72.9 The Unborn (2009), 70.3 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 69.7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 65.8 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.5 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.7 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 59.0 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Ishtar (1987), The Nun (2018), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), Pinocchio (2002), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), House of Wax (2005), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Timeline (2003), Dolittle (2020), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Ben-Hur (2016), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Universal Soldier (1992), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), The Identical (2014), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Best Options (Action): 88.6 BloodRayne (2005), 69.7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 64.5 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 56.7 Robin Hood (2018), 53.7 Spy Hard (1996), 50.1 The Last Legion (2007), 48.2 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008), 48.0 Alexander (2004), 47.9 King Solomon’s Mines (1985), 47.7 The Dark Tower (2017), 47.1 Bad Girls (1994), 45.9 Samson (2018), 45.5 Operation Dumbo Drop (1995), 45.3 Red Scorpion (1988), 44.6 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), 43.6 Top Dog (1995), 43.5 Missing in Action (1984), 43.3 The Kitchen (2019), 43.2 Iron Eagle (1986), 42.5 Pan (2015), 41.3 Ben-Hur (2016), 40.9 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.3 End of Days (1999), 40.2 The Delta Force (1986), (and many more)

(We went far down here, but actually really like … look at the options. The only other one I could have maybe went for was the other notorious bomb, Alexander. There are just so many films sent in the past that are terrible.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Morgan Freeman is No. 4 billed in Ben-Hur and No. 1 billed in Kiss the Girls, which also stars Ashley Judd (No. 2 billed) who is in The Identical (No. 2 billed) which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (4 + 1) + (2 + 2) + (3 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 18. If we were to watch Just Getting Started we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Director Timur Bekmambetov insisted that the chariot circus be built for real, and be realized with as little computer graphics imagery as possible. He felt it was absolutely necessary to make the chariot race look and feel realistic.

This version of the story is 87 minutes shorter than the previous version, Ben-Hur (1959).

Timur Bekmambetov explained the film’s adaptation in an interview with “Collider”: “When we say ‘original “Ben-Hur”,’ we have to be very concrete about which original version we are talking about. There were two big-screen versions made, in 1925 [Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)] and 1959 [Ben-Hur (1959)]. These are the two most famous ones. There was also a Broadway stage version at the beginning of the 20th century. There have been a lot of television versions. The Ben-Hur story reminds me of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Hamlet’ and any story written by [Anton Chekhov]. It is timeless, so every new generation wants to go back to it in order to adapt it for the new world. The screen version made in 1959 runs for four hours, and there [are] only a small number of people who can actually stay through the whole movie. It is about people different from us. And it’s normal, because people used to be different. The audience was different, too, as well as the cinema language the film was made in. The 1959 movie was about revenge, not about forgiveness. For me that was the main problem, as I think that the novel is mainly about forgiveness, about the fact that a human being learned how to forgive. I got so excited about the project when I read John Ridley’s script. I understood that John’s vision of the story has so much light to it, and that he shares the same thoughts about certain morals as I do. We talked with him about our modern world, which actually reminds me very much of a huge Roman Empire. In the Roman Empire the most important values were pride, rivalry, power, strength, the dictatorship of power and self-love. This kind of world does not have any prospects today. Humanity has to learn how to love and forgive. This would be our only solution.”

The film was originally set for release on February 26, 2016. In October 2015 it was pushed back to August 12, 2016.

Oscar Preview

“This is your original sin,” Mikey says, staring daggers at Jamie and Patrick. “You have to pick it up,” he continues, “pick it up so I can finally end this.” It would seem the chase has finally driven Mikey mad. Jamie and Patrick rack their brains. If they don’t pick it up Mikey will surely shoot them anyways. Perhaps their only chance is to hope their lightning quick reflexes can turn the tables on him at the last moment. Sweat drips down their abs as they reach for the Dongle. Suddenly the door bursts open and Kyle and the past bad movie twins rush in. “Not so fast!” screams Kyle. Mikey seems momentarily flummoxed. “But… but the Gram told me you were in Greece!” he cries in disbelief. Kyle shrugs slyly. “Greece is for the birds,” he says, trying out a new catchphrase where he declared various things are “for the birds.” This further flummoxes Mikey. With a double flummox in place Jamie and Patrick see their chance and grab for the Dongle. But just as they grasp it in their hands they realize that it’s not just two hands on the Dongle… it’s four! Jamie and Patrick stare at their past selves simultaneously in possession of the Dongle. They turn to look at Mikey, whose eyes widen in horror. Kyle, realizing that maybe the Dongle is decidedly not for the birds, quickly grabs for the Dongle as well just as the world disappears in a flash of brilliant white. Rubbing his eyes, Kyle looks around. He is now alone in the apartment, Mikey having been disintegrated by the temporal paradox experienced by the Dongle and the twins… gone. He looks down at the Dongle in his hand and knows they are still alive… somewhere… somewhen? That’s right! We are transitioning to the climactic penultimate cycle of the year with the recent tradition of running a Bring a Friend cycle. This year it’ll be films set in the past paired with nonqualifying films set in the future. Get ready for some postapocalyptic bullshit. To start we are going for a classic Sly Stallone vehicle, Oscar, paired with Arena, a very fun looking alien boxing movie. Let’s go!

Oscar (1991) – BMeTric: 17.2; Notability: 47

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 23.2%; Notability: top 4.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Cool as Ice, Problem Child 2, Critters 3, Child’s Play 3, Nothing But Trouble, Suburban Commando, Return to the Blue Lagoon, Mannequin: On the Move, Kickboxer 2: The Road Back, Double Impact, King Ralph, Zandalee, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, Hudson Hawk, V.I. Warshawski, House Party 2, The Butcher’s Wife, Curly Sue, Drop Dead Fred, and 38 more; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Rock-A-Doodle, Flight of the Intruder, Life Stinks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Out for Justice, The Marrying Man, Necessary Roughness, The Five Heartbeats; Lower RT: Return to the Blue Lagoon, Critters 3, The Super, Run, Cool as Ice, Another You, Mobsters, All I Want for Christmas, Problem Child 2, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred; Notes: The IMDb rating of 6.5 is crazy high. The European Remake cycle has been wild with some of these. For a 1991 comedy the notability is pretty high.

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Stallone is surprisingly enjoyable in a comic change-of-pace, playing 1930s gangster Angelo “Snaps” Provolone, who’s trying to go straight, despite the domestic and financial chaos that surrounds him. Farcical comedy, complete with mistaken identities and slamming doors, offers showcases for Palminteri as Snaps’ henchman, Curry as a priggish speech teacher, Bracken as a stuttering stoolie, and Shearer and Ferrero as the Finuccis but never quite takes wing. Based on a French play, filmed before in 1967 with Louis de Funes.

(Surprisingly solid review by Leonard. Although, I suppose it isn’t that surprising once you consider that Maltin is a sucker for old Hollywood in many regards. It does seem like something he would ultimately appreciate.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbfVZBsgC4s/ 

(Huh, kind of an odd trailer. Since that is only one of three or four plots floating around in this film. The actual plot is that Snaps is trying to go straight, but everything in his life (on this particular day) seems to be trying to stop him from doing so. His daughter’s potential marriage is just one of those things.)

DirectorsJohn Landis – ( Known For: National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Blues Brothers; Coming to America; Trading Places; An American Werewolf in London; Three Amigos!; Twilight Zone: The Movie; The Kentucky Fried Movie; Blues Brothers 2000; Amazon Women on the Moon; Into the Night; Burke and Hare; Schlock; Susan’s Plan; Future BMT: Spies Like Us; Innocent Blood; The Stupids; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Oscar; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for Beverly Hills Cop III; and in 1997 for The Stupids; Notes: He won an Emmy for Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project. Probably, sadly, most notable for directing the segment of The Twilight Zone Movie where several people were killed in a helicopter stunt.)

WritersClaude Magnier – ( Known For: Oscar; Jo; Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?; Oskar; BMT: Oscar; Notes: A playwright, he wrote the play which both the French original and this are based on.)

Michael Barrie – ( Known For: Bad Boys; Amazon Women on the Moon; …All the Marbles; BMT: Oscar; Notes: The writing partner with Mulholland. He is not in the film though.)

Jim Mulholland – ( Known For: Bad Boys; Amazon Women on the Moon; …All the Marbles; BMT: Oscar; Notes: He actually plays the titular Oscar who is only seen for a moment at the end of the film. He has 20 Emmy nominations, for The Tonight Show and The Late Show. Amazingly, they never won.)

ActorsSylvester Stallone – ( Known For: The Suicide Squad; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Rocky; The Expendables; First Blood; Cliffhanger; The Expendables 2; Creed; Rocky III; Cop Land; Creed II; Escape Plan; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky Balboa; Death Race 2000; Eye See You; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Antz; Escape Plan 2: Hades; Future BMT: Rocky IV; Staying Alive; Rocky V; Assassins; Ratchet & Clank; BMT: The Expendables 3; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Demolition Man; Cobra; Over the Top; Tango & Cash; Rambo III; The Specialist; Judge Dredd; Daylight; Oscar; Lock Up; Driven; Get Carter; Zookeeper; Grudge Match; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Rhinestone; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Cobra, Cobra, Lock Up, Lock Up, Over the Top, Over the Top, Rambo III, Rambo III, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone, Rocky IV, and Tango & Cash; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; in 2002 for Driven; and in 2020 for Rambo: Last Blood; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; and in 2020 for Rambo: Last Blood; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Rambo: Last Blood in 2020; Notes: He has a television show coming out, which I think is crazy. Tulsa King.)

Ornella Muti – ( Known For: Flash Gordon; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; To Rome with Love; Appassionata; The Last Woman; Storie di ordinaria follia; Oasis of Fear; Swann in Love; La stanza del vescovo; Romanzo popolare; The Girl from Trieste; Hotel; Death of a Corrupt Man; Madly in Love; Il bisbetico domato; La moglie più bella; First Love; Magical Nights; Love & Money; Viva Italia!; Future BMT: Once Upon a Crime…; BMT: Oscar; Notes: Italian. She was voted the most beautiful woman in the world in 1994 in a poll.)

Peter Riegert – ( Known For: National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Mask; Traffic; We Bought a Zoo; Local Hero; Pie in the Sky; American Pastoral; At Middleton; Crossing Delancey; A Shock to the System; A Man in Love; Movie Madness; Infinity; Americathon; Coldblooded; Passed Away; Passion of Mind; That’s Adequate; The Object of Beauty; Chilly Scenes of Winter; BMT: Oscar; Notes: Was nominated for an Oscar for a short film By Courier, and for an Emmy for Barbarians at the Gate. Still working, a recent notable role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $23,562,716 (Worldwide: $23,562,716)

(Yeah, this is considered a catastrophic bomb for a reason. That is a very bad performance indeed. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t release the film into France and Italy though. I think they could have gotten a bit from both places. This is very French humor at the time.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (2/17)

(Oh, I get to make a consensus: Stallone isn’t funny. That’s the be all and end all of the reviews on that page really.)

Reviewer Highlight: Sylvester Stallone isn’t completely without a sense of humor (he showed a comic instinct in Rocky), but the last place he belongs is at the center of a classically structured farce – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Poster – Sklogster

(This is a very funny poster. Artistic in an old timey way. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense. They make it seem like the film is a race against time. But not really… it just happens to be the day of a big meeting for “Snaps” Provolone. Font is meh, but overall aesthetic is good. B-.)

Tagline(s) – In crime and comedy, timing is everything. (C)

 Gangster “Snaps” Provolone has until noon to become an honest man. (D-)

(I feel like they were almost there with a timing is everything riff. It would have been better if it was just that, really. But adding more words they take away some of the punch. The second is bad. Like that’s just a phrase about what the movie is about (kind of)… like would appear in the Leonard Maltin book or something.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994), 39.8 Intersection (1994)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), Nine Months (1995), The Big Wedding (2013), Brick Mansions (2014), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Original Sin (2001), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Oscar (1991), Vanilla Sky (2001), Wicker Park (2004)

Best Options (past): 21.7 The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), 17.2 Oscar (1991), 15.6 Jakob the Liar (1999), 8.9 The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

(Obviously the transition is going to be a tough ask, and yet there were four movies which were remakes of European films and also set in the past? I think The Thirteenth Floor might be a tough one though, I think it is only like “virtually” in the past or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Oscar and No. 1 billed in The Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 9. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – At the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1991 which went to Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone in his tribute to Douglas recalled the filming of the scene where he hits Stallone in the face. After a swing and miss, Stallone jokingly told Douglas to slap him hard. “Let me have your best”, whereupon Douglas proceeded to beat Stallone silly. Stallone said “I learned the hard way: never spar with Spartacus.”

One night, after filming wrapped, a fire destroyed several sets, many of the actors’ trailers (among them Tim Curry’s), all of the costumes, and twenty-one valuable vintage cars. Production was halted for two weeks while they were remaking all of the costumes. A Universal security guard hired to guard the cars later admitted to setting the fire.

Appearing as the title character Oscar, this is Jim Mulholland’s only movie.

In the early 1980s, this movie was originally proposed as another project for director John Landis and John Belushi, who was pencilled in for the Angelo “Snaps” Provolone role. The project was abandoned once Belushi died, but resuscitated later, this time with Sylvester Stallone in the lead.

This movie was based on the 1958 French play “Oscar” by Claude Magnier.

Kirk Douglas and Sylvester Stallone had only appeared in one movie together previously, and it had not been a happy experience. Douglas had started out as Colonel Trautman in First Blood (1982), but quit after a dispute over whether Rambo should live or die at the end. It was not an amicable departure.

The name of the horse on which one of Snaps’ henchmen places a bet is High Hat, the name of the horse ridden by Harpo Marx in A Day at the Races (1937).

When Anthony Rossano C.P.A. (Vincent Spano) first appears at Angelo “Snaps” Provolone’s (Sylvester Stallone’s) door, Aldo (Peter Riegert) says “it’s Little Anthony” he looks behind him “and his Imperial”. Little Anthony and the Imperials was a rock band in the 1950s.

Snaps and his men quip that they were last in Chicago on Valentine’s Day, most likely referring to the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The poster is an homage to the iconic scene from Safety Last! (1923).

The film takes place in 1931.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (John Landis, 1992)

Wicker Park Preview

Nine months. Nine loooong months helping past Patrick care for his giant family, while also being careful it’s never revealed. Jamie and Patrick have had to live in a crawl space in the house surviving on only Flaming Hot Cheetos and Michelob Ultra (to keep their slim figures). They swap out so past Patrick is able to focus on his work-life balance. When the day of the European backpacking trip approaches they are pretty proud of themselves. The mental torture they have undergone for nine looong months will finally pay off cause past Patrick will finally let them know that… “Yeah, I think we’re still going to go. It seems like fun and Jamie has been really looking forward to it. But thanks.” What thuuuuuu… The Bad Movie Twins are aghast. They attempt to grab past Patrick by the collar and shake some sense into him, but they forget that he has rock hard muscles and lighting reflexes just like them… cause he is them. Shit. “Well now what?” Jamie asks, as they watch past Jamie and Patrick prepare for the trip. But it seems obvious to Patrick, they’ll just have to bide their time. Following them on the backpacking trip they relive some of their fondest memories. Snowmen in Norway and dog poo in The Netherlands. The X-treme hike in the Alps and then an even more X-treme tour of Chernobyl. Jamie rubs his neck where the mutant bit him and they laugh at how he transformed into an evil mutant until Patrick reminded him of who he was. Finally in Monte Carlo they have arrived at the moment of truth and they see the G-Men who first got them on the trail of the Dongle walking through Wicker Park towards past Patrick and Jamie’s hotel. Time to act. That’s right! We’re watching Wicker Park starring BMT faves Josh Hartnett and Matthew Lillard. And no, there isn’t a Wicker Park in Monte Carlo. I’m just a very professional writer. Let’s go!

 Wicker Park (2004) – BMeTric: 10.3; Notability: 25

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 36.0%; Notability: top 33.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 27.8%; Higher BMeT: Catwoman, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, You Got Served, Torque, Taxi, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Soul Plane, Seed of Chucky, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Garfield, Thunderbirds, Envy, Godsend, Fat Albert, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, New York Minute, Exorcist: The Beginning, First Daughter, and 70 more; Higher Notability: Shark Tale, Catwoman, The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing, King Arthur, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Alexander, After the Sunset, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Blade: Trinity, The Stepford Wives, She Hate Me, Fat Albert, Alien vs. Predator, Man on Fire, Meet the Fockers, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Around the World in 80 Days, Raising Helen, The Phantom of the Opera, and 63 more; Lower RT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Twisted, The Whole Ten Yards, Godsend, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie – Pyramid of Light, The Cookout, Christmas with the Kranks, Johnson Family Vacation, My Baby’s Daddy, Envy, Surviving Christmas, First Daughter, Catwoman, Taxi, House of D, Exorcist: The Beginning, New York Minute, Employee of the Month, A Cinderella Story, Against the Ropes, and 47 more; Notes: That IMDb score … is absurd. It is nearly at 7.0! I’m not joking when I say that might actually be the highest IMDb scores ever for BMT. I have to check this … A Walk to Remember (7.3), A Dog’s Purpose (7.2), Rambo (2008) (7.0), The Guardian (2006) (6.9), Crank (6.9), Vanilla Sky (6.9). Fun fact: Crank and Vanilla Sky don’t qualify, it predates us being quite as dogmatic about Rotten Tomatoes scores.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – Once we understand the principle (if not the details) of the plot, “Wicker Park” works because the actors invest their scenes with what is, under the circumstances, astonishing emotional realism. There’s a scene between Josh Hartnett and Rose Byrne during which so much is said, and left unsaid, that we feel real sympathy for both characters. There’s an emotional craziness to the way the Hartnett character misses his plane to China and starts skulking around Chicago/Montreal like a sleuth. There’s an open innocence to the way Matthew Lillard’s character fails to realize he is about to become an innocent bystander. And Diane Kruger, whose Lisa is subjected to logical whiplash by the plot, always seems to know when it is and how she should feel. Now that’s acting.

(Amazing. This is a real rarity. A film that was just dunked on by (most) critics, but somehow also seems to be at least liked by a reasonably sized audience. Really weird.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFo0u-nXbGk/

(Wait wait wait wait wait … that’s the official trailer? Like an actual trailer people involved with the film put out? This isn’t a parody of like, what if Wicker Park was a thriller? Because it isn’t. You would be forgiven for thinking it is after watching that trailer, but it isn’t. It is a drama about a sad person wandering around Chicago thinking about the girl who got away. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) thrilling about this film. Truly and profoundly bizarre.)

DirectorsPaul McGuigan – ( Known For: Lucky Number Slevin; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Gangster No. 1; The Reckoning; The Acid House; Future BMT: Push; Victor Frankenstein; BMT: Wicker Park; Notes: Scottish. Was nominated for an Emmy for directing A Scandal In Belgravia, an episode of Sherlock.)

WritersGilles Mimouni – ( Known For: The Apartment; BMT: Wicker Park; Notes: Wrote the original. Was scheduled to direct an English-language film called The Pretender in 2001, but it fell through due to compensation and budgetary disputes.)

Brandon Boyce – ( Known For: Bad Samaritan; Apt Pupil; Venom; BMT: Wicker Park; Notes: Wrote two episodes of the new miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven which is supposed to be good.)

ActorsJosh Hartnett – ( Known For: Wrath of Man; Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre; Sin City; Black Hawk Down; The Virgin Suicides; The Faculty; Ida Red; 30 Days of Night; Lucky Number Slevin; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Most Wanted; The Ottoman Lieutenant; O; Blow Dry; 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain; Wild Horses; Bunraku; She’s Missing; Valley of the Gods; Resurrecting the Champ; Future BMT: Pearl Harbor; The Black Dahlia; 40 Days and 40 Nights; BMT: Wicker Park; Hollywood Homicide; Here on Earth; Town & Country; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: Y’all remember Josh Hartnett right? He’s making a bit of a comeback, but for a bit he exited Hollywood to chill in his home state of Minnesota. He’s been doing a lot of television.)

Diane Kruger – ( Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Troy; National Treasure; Mr. Nobody; Unknown; Fathers & Daughters; The Infiltrator; In the Fade; The Operative; Joyeux Noel; Farewell, My Queen; Special Forces; Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy; Maryland; The Hunting Party; A Perfect Plan; Sky; Copying Beethoven; Anything for Her; Goodbye Bafana; Future BMT: The 355; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Welcome to Marwen; BMT: Wicker Park; The Host; Notes: German. Was originally a ballerina (which explains I imagine why the character is a dancer in this, or why she was cast in this), but then an injury ended that career and started her into modeling which (as it does) led into acting.)

Matthew Lillard – ( Known For: Scream; Scream; Trouble with the Curve; She’s All That; Scream 2; He’s All That; The Descendants; SLC Punk!; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Serial Mom; Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms; Without Limits; The Groomsmen; Bloodsucking Bastards; Return to Nim’s Island; What Love Is; Love’s Labour’s Lost; Dead Man’s Curve; Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas; Endless Bummer; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Without a Paddle; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Perfect Score; Mad Love; BMT: Thir13en Ghosts; Hackers; Wicker Park; Summer Catch; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Senseless; Wing Commander; Notes: The most sidekickening character actor of all time. But more recently he’s had a few notable character actor roles. In particular in The Descendents and in the new Twin Peaks sequel series.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $13,001,257 (Worldwide: $21,741,598)

(That is bad. But it is probably bad because the movie is a slow moving drama about sad people.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (36/135): Implausible coincidences and an overly convoluted structure make the movie hard to follow or believe.

(Hard to follow? Hardly. Believe? Seems immaterial. Uninteresting would be more like it, and yet loved by some. Interesting. It feels very very indie cinema for sure.)

Reviewer Highlight: It’s a sad day indeed when a movie’s most memorable performance belongs to Scooby Doo’s Matthew Lillard. – Jeannette Catsoulis, Las Vegas Mercury

Poster – Snickers Park

(I know I shouldn’t like this, but it’s like poster candy for me. They are taking something bad and doing everything right. It’s shaded yellow so the color scheme isn’t ruined by the pictures of people. We get cool and unique font. The only crime is the framing, which is all over the place. Oh and the fact that it’s all meaningless. But I forgive this, because it’s hard to explain what the film is actually about even after you’ve seen it. B-)

Tagline(s) – Passion never dies. (D)

(Blessedly short, but what is this nonsense? This isn’t Ghost starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. No one dies in this film. No one dies at all. I feel like the poster/tagline combination is setting up a murder mystery it can’t deliver on.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), Nine Months (1995), The Big Wedding (2013), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Vanilla Sky (2001), Wicker Park (2004)

Best Options (senseless): 10.3 Wicker Park (2004), 8.9 The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

(We really only had one option here. The Thirteenth floor is an oddity because it is based on a German … television movie maybe? It was on the table. Luckily this is indeed very much based on a French film and stars Matthew Lillard of Senseless fame.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 4) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Josh Hartnett is No. 1 billed in Wicker Park and No. 3 billed in Here on Earth, => (1 + 3) = 4. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The restaurant where Matthew overhears Lisa talking on the telephone is called “Bellucci”. Monica Bellucci was the female lead in the French original The Apartment (1996), of which this film is a remake.

Josh Hartnett signed on after Paul Walker was forced to drop out due to complications with the filming of 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003).

This is the second movie in 2004 to feature both Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne in central female roles. The other movie was Troy, released 4 months earlier.

When Lisa (Diane Kruger) is in the Lady Dragon shoe store, the black heels with the red soles she tries on are Christian Louboutins.

This is a remake of the French film The Apartment (1996). One of the reasons it was most likely changed to the title it holds now is that its distributor, MGM, already owns an American film of the same name- a Best Picture Oscar winner, at that- The Apartment (1960), which they inherited from their purchase of United Artists.

The Loft Preview

“Good night’s rest? What am I missing?” Kyle says as Jamie and Patrick walk him into a costume store. We see a Pretty Woman style montage of him trying out different outfits, but each time they shake their heads. Sure Kyle is pulling off the Little Bo Peep costume, but it’s not quite right. When Kyle comes out of the changing room in a detective costume, though, Jamie and Patrick immediately high five. “The plan can’t fail,” Jamie assures Kyle, “Where is the best place to get a good night’s rest where babies aren’t allowed? In Jail. And then Patrick will be free to snooze away any thought of an extended vacation in Europe. Just bust in, say he’s under arrest and bring him back here.” Kyle nods his head, but he’s already visibly shaking. “Stage fright,” whispers Patrick with a note of concern, but Jamie puts a hand up to stop him. Kyle can and will do this.

An hour later they are back up on their perch above a fully functioning mock jail being manned by LePumice and Ty. Looking through their binoculars they see Kyle prepare to enter BMTHQ. He busts in, fake gun held high. “Freeze you dirtbags,” he yells, “You mofos are def under arrest for being dirty dirtbags. At least Patrick is. The one named Patrick.” He’s totally messing it up. “We gotta get down there and stop him,” Patrick says, but before they can make it down, they see Kyle leading them both out of the office. “Come with me, perps. Get ready for your perp walk. We’re going to my loft. That’s where I take criminals because I’m a dirty cop who doesn’t play by rules.” Jamie and Patrick shake their heads in horror and both ask the obvious question, “What loft?” That’s right, we’re watching The Loft. It’s a film that everyone remembers. You know the one. It’s based on a Belgian film… stars a bunch of TV actors… yeah, that one. But most importantly it brings us one step closer to being Wentworth Miller completionists (the ultimate goal of BMT). Let’s go!

The Loft (2014) – BMeTric: 23.4; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 28.0%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 8.9%; Higher BMeT: Left Behind, The Legend of Hercules, Ouija, God’s Not Dead, Devil’s Due, The Pyramid, A Haunted House 2, Tammy, Sex Tape, I, Frankenstein, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Behaving Badly, Outcast, Dying of the Light, Annabelle, Everly, Annie, Vampire Academy, Pompeii, Addicted, and 50 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Transcendence, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Dracula Untold, Dumb and Dumber To, The Monuments Men, Annie, Seventh Son, Winter’s Tale, Think Like a Man Too, Horrible Bosses 2, Need for Speed, The Expendables 3, Men, Women & Children, Ride Along, The Nut Job, Vampire Academy, Pompeii, and 13 more; Lower RT: Behaving Badly, Left Behind, Cam2Cam, Outcast, I, Frankenstein, The Legend of Hercules, Ouija, Some Kind of Beautiful, Addicted, A Haunted House 2, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, The Cobbler, Search Party, Dying of the Light, God’s Not Dead, The Best of Me, No Good Deed, Seventh Son, Winter’s Tale, Taken 3, and 2 more; Notes: I had to go and check the archive results, but indeed, there was a few aberrations here, I think because IMDb started to lose the thread a bit about when this film actually was coming out. My guess is that the very high rating is from people thinking they were rating one of the originals. The eventually rating of 6.3 is waaaaaaaaaay too high for this film. I don’t really get it, but I also don’t have an explanation.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – In preparing to review the new thriller “The Loft,” I was surprised to discover that not only is it a remake of a 2008 film that was an enormous hit in its native Belgium, it was previously remade in the Netherlands in 2010–indeed, the film’s director, Erik van Looy, not only helmed the original but also worked on the Dutch version as well. I am not surprised by the fact that this story has been told three times in such a short period of time–hey, the beloved classic “The Maltese Falcon” was actually the third cinematic go-around for that tale in less than a decade. No, what surprises me is that I would have thought that by this third stab at this particular narrative, all of the implausibilities and idiocies would have been ironed out. Alas, this long-delayed would-be erotic thriller is a shabby bore that promises viewers any number of kinky thrills and then proceeds to deflate those expectations.

(Yup, that sounds right. Having now seen the film I’m inclined to agree, it is shocking that this is the tale that is being told the third time around. Although it is impossible watch the original, so I also wonder whether the set up is the same across all of the films, but the resolution is somewhat dependant on the director or something.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IZJAra4gLc/

(Oooooo looks intense. Urban! Miller! Marsden! What a cast. What a mystery! Yeah I’m joking this looks like garbage.)

DirectorsErik Van Looy – ( Known For: Loft; The Memory of a Killer; Shades; Ad Fundum; BMT: The Loft; Notes: He directed the original Flemish production. He is also the host of The Smartest Person in the World, a very famous game show in Belgium.)

WritersBart De Pauw – ( Known For: Loft; Loft; BMT: The Loft; Notes: The Flemish writer, he does exclusively Belgian productions, and gets credit from writing the original.)

Wesley Strick – ( Known For: Cape Fear; Arachnophobia; Wolf; Return to Paradise; Final Analysis; True Believer; Love Is the Drug; Future BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Saint; The Glass House; BMT: Doom; The Loft; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Final Analysis in 1993; Notes: Was in the band The Commotion in the 80s, and according to IMDb was the first person to write a script for Scorsese and be allowed to stay on set.)

ActorsKarl Urban – ( Known For: The Sea Beast; Thor: Ragnarok; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; Star Trek; Dredd; Star Trek Beyond; RED; Star Trek Into Darkness; Riddick; The Bourne Supremacy; Pete’s Dragon; And Soon the Darkness; Bent; Acts of Vengeance; Hangman; The Price of Milk; Out of the Blue; Truth About Demons; Future BMT: The Chronicles of Riddick; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; BMT: Doom; Ghost Ship; The Loft; Priest; Pathfinder; Notes: Urban is a legend in BMT circles. He has a particular style of acting which when used well (The Boys) hits just the right note, but when used poorly (Priest) is at least very amusing. He’s from New Zealand.)

James Marsden – ( Known For: Sonic the Hedgehog 2; The Notebook; Sonic the Hedgehog; X-Men; X-Men: Days of Future Past; 27 Dresses; X-Men: The Last Stand; Hairspray; Enchanted; X2: X-Men United; Zoolander; Superman Returns; Sex Drive; 2 Guns; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road; Straw Dogs; My Little Pony: A New Generation; The Boss Baby: Family Business; The Butler; Future BMT: The Best of Me; Disturbing Behavior; Sugar & Spice; Hop; Gossip; Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; BMT: The Loft; Unfinished Business; Notes: He’s just got that American boy look doesn’t he? He’s from Oklahoma and apparently lost out on the role in Primal Fear to Edward Norton.)

Wentworth Miller – ( Known For: The Human Stain; Blood Creek; Future BMT: Underworld; Resident Evil: Afterlife; BMT: The Loft; Stealth; Notes: You know Wentworth Miller … right? He’s from Prison Break and … other things, but mostly Prison Break. He’s actually pretty deep into the DC Arrowverse stuff as he’s in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow with his Prison Break co-star Dominic Purcell.)

Budget/Gross – $14 million / Domestic: $6,002,684 (Worldwide: $11,020,402)

(I don’t know why this would cost $14 million (the cast maybe, I suppose they did have to pay three reasonably famous people), but that is a bad take. I imagine they were looking for $30 million on the nose as a small thriller.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (6/42): Populated with characters as unpleasant as its sleazy storyline, The Loft is uninhabitable for all but the least demanding erotic thriller fans.

(Yup, the storyline certainly hasn’t aged well, and it’s only been 8 years. I suppose that is either the point (that any of these terrible people could be a murderer), or it was lost in translation a bit from something one might describe as being “more European”.)

Reviewer Highlight: The Loft is a film that can’t decide what it wants. It’s a male fantasy, and a cautionary tale. It’s sleazy in concept, and timid in execution. It punishes its protagonists for their transgressions, then lets them off the hook. – Katie Rife, AV Club

Poster – The Best Bro Condo

(It is a very striking poster with some nice razzmatazz to go with the purple color. Looks just a bit like a cheap thriller you’d find at the airport, but still… I like how bold they decided to go. B+.)

Tagline(s) – The right place to do wrong (B)

(I like the thought and effort. Not sure what it really has to do with the film, though, as it’s clearly the wrong place to do wrong. They all seem quite upset by the wrong thing that has happened there, so how could it be right? Dumb.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), The Big Wedding (2013), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), The Loft (2014), Vanilla Sky (2001)

Best Options (Thriller): 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 34.2 The Tourist (2010), 32.9 Memory (2022), 23.4 The Loft (2014), 8.9 The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

(Why would we do such a low BMeTric film? Well, The Loft has long been on our radar. Since it is a film that came out during the BMT Era I distinctly remember it coming out and being like “that looks like garbage”. Et voila! It only took 8 years, but we finally managed to hit up The Loft.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Karl Urban is No. 1 billed in The Loft and No. 2 billed in Priest, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 1 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed) which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Matthias Schoenaerts played a lead role in the Belgian original Loft (2008) and is the only actor cast to reprise his role.

Filmed in June and July 2011, but not released until January 2015.

This is Matthias Schoenaerts’ first English-language role.

Patrick Wilson was originally cast as Vincent Stevens, but dropped out due to his commitment to his TV show. He was replaced by Karl Urban.

This will be the second remake of the original Loft (2008), after a Dutch remake (Loft (2010)) was produced. It will also be the third time that director Erik Van Looy is involved: he directed the Belgian original, and temporarily took over the direction duties from Antoinette Beumer for the first remake when she had an accident.

The building you see in the opening and ending scenes is real : it’s 930 Poydras in New Orleans. All the interior scenes were shot in a Belgian studio near Brussels.

When he’s not making movies, director Erik van Looy presents one of the most popular quiz shows on Belgian TV.

Eric Stonestreet is an alum of Kansas State University, where James Marsden’s father teaches.

Sleepless Preview

Another sleepless night, Patrick drags himself into the BMTHQ offices. “You look like trash barrels, my man,” chides Jamie, Reebok Pumps kicked up on his desk. Patrick smiles. “Six kids will do that to yah. This latest one seems determined to make sure I don’t sleep ever again.” He yawns and looks down pensively. “Jamie… do you ever wonder if there is more to life than bad movies?” Jamie is shocked and frankly disturbed by this line of thinking. But how to delicately head off where this conversation is heading? “You wanna fight about it?” he blurts out much to Patrick’s frustration. “You wanna fight about it, bro?” he repeats, ripping off his denim t-shirt for emphasis. Patrick shakes his head. This is exactly what he had been afraid of. The company was on solid footing, their worldwide fame unshakeable. But every time he even broached the subject of a little time off Jamie would end up screaming at him shirtless. He turns away shaking his head in dismay. Realizing he perhaps crossed the line this time, Jamie offers a compromise. “Hey man, you know, we could always cut down dance class to three half days a week… and, uh, maybe we could go on that European backpacking trip you always wanted to go on.” At that Patrick perks up.

“Oh, no no no,” Patrick mutters from his perch far up on the roof of the building next door to BMTHQ. “They’ve already agreed to go on the trip.” Jamie and Patrick are back in 2017, the genesis of the European backpacking trip that first brought them into contact with the Obsidian Dongle. “You really did look like shit,” Jamie says chuckling as he peers through the binoculars. “Maybe you just needed a good night’s rest.” A lightbulb goes off. That’s right! We hit up another remake of a French film with Sleepless starring Jamie Foxx. It’s got a grade A Las Vegas setting and a grade C everything else. Let’s go!

Sleepless (2017) – BMeTric: 43.0; Notability: 25

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 13.2%; Notability: top 18.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 14.5%; Higher BMeT: The Emoji Movie, Fifty Shades Darker, Death Note, Jeepers Creepers III, Rings, The Bye Bye Man, Snatched, The Snowman, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Layover, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Leatherface, Amityville: The Awakening, Flatliners, Geostorm, Wish Upon, The Circle, The Mummy, Unforgettable, Baywatch, and 13 more; Higher Notability: Transformers: The Last Knight, Justice League, Sandy Wexler, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Mummy, The Emoji Movie, Geostorm, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Current War, Bright, Tulip Fever, Suburbicon, American Assassin, Baywatch, The Dark Tower, CHIPS, Fifty Shades Darker, Pitch Perfect 3, The House, The Snowman, and 26 more; Lower RT: The Layover, Naked, Flatliners, Hangman, The Emoji Movie, The Snowman, Rings, Tulip Fever, Fifty Shades Darker, The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, First Kill, The Dark Tower, The Circle, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Space Between Us, Jeepers Creepers III, Father Figures, Baywatch, Geostorm, and 15 more; Notes: I would say that Amityville: The Awakening is the most intriguing of the Higher BMeT films. It is a bit of a blind spot that I’ve never seen a single Amityville film, and there are a bajillion (mostly non-qualifying) films at this point.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Sleepless” is one of those movies that needed to be a lot better or a lot worse to make much of an impression. This story of a Las Vegas police officer trying to recover his kidnapped son from bad guys is frustratingly not-terrible. The action sequences, the characterizations, the performances, all could have come together to form a dandy example of what used to be a called a B-movie: a genre film that doesn’t have much money to play with but compensates with ingenuity and style. And yet “Sleepless” somehow quite never gets to that level. Its rare moments of quality only make the rest of the movie—a mishmash of conspiratorial plotting and close-quarters fistfights and gunfights—seem lamer. As directed by Baran bo Odar (2010’s “The Silence”) and scripted by “World Trade Center” writer Andrea Berloff, this remake of the 2011 French film “Sleepless Night” is funny sometimes but not funny enough, exciting sometimes but never exciting enough, and inherently emotional (mainly due to the hero’s anguished desire to save his son) yet never willing to run with the emotionalism and turn into a full-blown action melodrama.

(I feel like if Ebert wrote this he might have been slightly more dour about it. He loved his “good for what it is” films, but this is “bad for what it is” and that is when you really need to destroy a film. Anyways, he also wouldn’t have used the word “lamer” I feel like.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA7JW9Zj2-g/

(Wowza is that intense. Here’s the thing, in the original Sleepless they barely indicate that the cop is undercover. It is more like they suggest it as a possibility and then leave it up to the viewer to decide whether it is believable. Here? It is a giant part of the trailer! That’s crazy. This just looks like a generic action film at this point.)

DirectorsBaran bo Odar – ( Known For: Who Am I; The Silence; BMT: Sleepless; Notes: He directed the German television show Dark! Bar none one of the greatest sci-fi television shows ever created. It is great.)

WritersAndrea Berloff – ( Known For: Straight Outta Compton; Blood Father; World Trade Center; Future BMT: The Kitchen; BMT: Sleepless; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Straight Outta Compton.)

Frédéric Jardin – ( Known For: Thoongaavanam; Sleepless Night; Cravate club; BMT: Sleepless; Notes: He wrote and directed the original film, Sleepless Night. His father was a major French screenwriter in the 60s.)

Nicolas Saada – ( Known For: Sleepless Night; My Golden Days; Taj Mahal; En jouant ‘Dans la compagnie des hommes’; BMT: Sleepless; Notes: French, and has a credit here for helping to write Sleepless Night.)

Olivier Douyère – ( Known For: Sleepless Night; Secret Agents; Scènes de crimes; BMT: Sleepless; Notes: Same, has a credit for Sleepless Night, which was also his last actual credit on IMDb. There is nothing else about him.)

ActorsJamie Foxx – ( Known For: Spider-Man: No Way Home; Django Unchained; Collateral; Baby Driver; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; Soul; Miami Vice; Horrible Bosses; White House Down; Just Mercy; Rio; Jarhead; Project Power; Ray; Any Given Sunday; Rio 2; Dreamgirls; Ali; The Kingdom; I’m Still Here; Future BMT: Law Abiding Citizen; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Robin Hood; Annie; Due Date; Horrible Bosses 2; The Players Club; Booty Call; Bait; Held Up; Breakin’ All the Rules; BMT: Valentine’s Day; Stealth; Sleepless; Toys; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Robin Hood in 2019; Notes: He was nominated for two oscars in 2005 for Ray and Collateral and won for Ray. His birth name is Eric Bishop. He just had a film come out called Day Shift.)

Michelle Monaghan – ( Known For: Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Constantine; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Unfaithful; Mission: Impossible III; Gone Baby Gone; The Bourne Supremacy; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Source Code; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Black Site; The Craft: Legacy; Patriots Day; Every Breath You Take; North Country; Machine Gun Preacher; Somewhere; The Vanishing of Sidney Hall; Playing It Cool; Nanny; Future BMT: The Best of Me; The Heartbreak Kid; Due Date; Eagle Eye; It Runs in the Family; BMT: Pixels; Made of Honor; Sleepless; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Pixels in 2016; Notes: Still going strong. Her “big” movie this year is Blacksite which also stars BMT superstar Jai Courtney.)

Dermot Mulroney – ( Known For: Along for the Ride; Zodiac; Stoker; Gone in the Night; Young Guns; Burn After Reading; August: Osage County; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Careful What You Wish For; The Grey; Agent Game; Insidious: Chapter 3; Deadly Illusions; J. Edgar; Copycat; About Schmidt; The Family Stone; Point of No Return; The Thing Called Love; Jolene; Future BMT: Career Opportunities; Angels in the Outfield; Umma; The Mountain Between Us; The Wedding Date; Bad Girls; Must Love Dogs; Sunset; Goodbye Lover; BMT: Dirty Grandpa; Abduction; Georgia Rule; Jobs; Sleepless; Notes: It feels like he actually might mainly be famous for being the titular best friend in My Best Friend’s Wedding. He was in a film called Cats and I was like what?! But nope, different film called Cats somehow.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $20,783,704 (Worldwide: $32,917,353)

(Yeah not what you want. This is the type of film which if it was any good would have done maybe $60 million at the box office, but then it would have done big business late on television and streaming. And that sequel they teased would have also definitely been made.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (15/61): Sleepless wastes a talented cast — and solid source material — on a tired crime drama whose clichés rapidly outnumber its thrills.

(Sounds about right. It does seem like a very cliche “sweaty” crime thriller. It seems impossible to be comfortable running around in trousers in Las Vegas. Unless you are in a casino all day which I guess Jamie Foxx is.)

Reviewer Highlight: We get muttering and glowering from Mr. Foxx, a story that can’t manage enough twists to tie a shoelace, and set pieces that have been done better in other movies. – A.O. Scott, New York Times

Poster – Sheeples

(Striking. I gotta say I kinda dig it for a “big star” style poster. Stylish up top and then pops at the bottom with Las Vegas lights. Couple quibbles. The font is horrific of course. Also, the glove he’s wearing is distracting. B.)

Tagline(s) – Don’t judge a cop by his cover. (A+++)

(Ooooooohhhhhhh shit. Clear out the way cause Sleepless is driving down the lane for a windmill dunk. With no regard for human life. This is what I live for! Don’t judge a cop by his cover. I have chills. My word.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), The Big Wedding (2013), Sleepless (2017), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), Vanilla Sky (2001)

Best Options (Action): 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Sleepless (2017), 41.2 Clash of the Titans (2010), 34.2 The Tourist (2010), 32.9 Memory (2022), 21.6 The Jackal (1997), 20.6 Three Fugitives (1989)

(So we aren’t doing Catch That Kid, which would have been a good choice in general. But we are doing Brick Mansions soon, it ended up being a very rare future-set European remake. Cruising along. It is kind of amazing we aren’t doing Eye of the Beholder this cycle (we were very close, but chose a different thriller.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jamie Foxx is No. 1 billed in Sleepless and No. 2 billed in Toys, which also stars LL Cool J (No. 6 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 2 billed) which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (1 + 2) + (6 + 2) + (1 + 2) = 14. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – In an interview on 5/23/17 The Howard Stern Show SiriusXm. Howard Stern asks Jamie which film of his is hardest for him to watch. Jamie recognizes that (Sleepless 2017) as the hardest film for him to watch. Jamie Fox: “Sleepless was a motherfu**a.”

Remake of the French-Belgian movie Sleepless Night (2011) (“Sleepless Night”).

English-language debut of Swiss director Baran bo Odar.

Fathers’ Day Preview

“I don’t understand, what did we do?” Jamie says, scratching his head, “You just crushed the two Time Cops that were about to kill us.” Lou Cash is startled, but when he looks down to see the crushed remains of the Time Cops he waves it off as irrelevant. “Fiddle-faddle. You were about to do a sick twin forward flip and knock the guns out of their hands anyway. The point is you made it here, exactly when and where I landed my fully functional deconvolution machine.” Jamie and Patrick and the gang shrug and high five. Jamie and Patrick have been known to kick guns out of their enemies’ hands with twin forward flips from time to time. So it tracks. But just before they all pile into the time machine Patrick stops and turns back to Lou Cash. Something is bothering him. “Lou Cash… how did you know to come here?” Lou Cash shakes his head. “My dear boy, it’s because I was one of the Time Cops and I have the scar to prove it.” He pulls up his sleeve and there is a perfect twin kick scar on his wrist. Now something is really bothering Jamie, “But then didn’t you just crush yourself?” Lou Cash looks back at the crushed Time Cops and shrugs. “Guess I did.” Jamie looks concerned, “And that’s not a problem?” Lou Cash thinks for a second, looks down at his hand, which has now started to fade, and agrees that it probably is a problem. As he disappears he lets out one last “Never forget meeeeee.” Finally piling into the time machine, a somber mood now hanging in the air, both Jamie and Patrick gasp when they see the date punched into the console: Father’s Day, 2017. That’s right! We’re watching the very appropriately punctuated Fathers’ Day from 1997 starring Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. It’s based on a French film and something must have been… lost in translation. Let’s go!

Fathers’ Day (1997) – BMeTric: 49.7; Notability: 62

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 8.8%; Notability: top 3.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 21.6%; Higher BMeT: Batman & Robin, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Home Alone 3, Steel, Anaconda, Mr. Magoo, Double Team, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Chairman of the Board, Spawn, Flubber, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves!, An American Werewolf in Paris, Jungle 2 Jungle, Fire Down Below, Turbulence, Gone Fishin’, McHale’s Navy, The Pest, and 2 more; Higher Notability: Batman & Robin, The Saint, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Dante’s Peak, The Jackal, Flubber, The Postman, Spawn; Lower RT: Fall, Plump Fiction, The Blackout, McHale’s Navy, Shadow Conspiracy, Gone Fishin’, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, The Pest, Speed 2: Cruise Control, ‘Til There Was You, An American Werewolf in Paris, Mr. Magoo, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, Dangerous Ground, The Postman, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, Keys to Tulsa, Double Team, How to Be a Player, Steel, and 31 more; Notes: Really impressive numbers for a comedy. So many high Notability films left from 1997. The Saint is a pretty exciting one, I think that it is a sneaky good film.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  When her 16-year-old son runs away, a desperate Kinski tells each of two ex-lovers that he’s the real father, hoping that this will spur one of them to find the boy. The two men – a genuine odd couple – wind up working together on this daunting task. Lackluster remake of Francis Veber’s Les Comperes gets whatever mileage it has from the two comic stars’ personalities … but the boy is extremely dislikable, and a subplot with his stepfather (Greenwood) is a complete misfire.

(Man, does Greenwood play a Bad Dad again in this film? He plays a Good Dad in Here on Earth, but he’s definitely a Bad Dad in Endless Love. So he’s a Mixed Dad Bag.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsQfKt08Xlk/

(The montage with Williams looks horrible. And yup, there is Sugar Ray front and center. Makes me want to go see this movie, probably for the wrong reasons though.)

DirectorsIvan Reitman – ( Known For: Ghostbusters; No Strings Attached; Kindergarten Cop; Meatballs; Evolution; Ghostbusters II; Twins; Stripes; Draft Day; Dave; Cannibal Girls; Legal Eagles; Foxy Lady; Future BMT: Six Days Seven Nights; Junior; My Super Ex-Girlfriend; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Notes: Died just this year. Was nominated for an Oscar for Up in the Air, and for an Emmy for the television movie The Late Shift.)

WritersFrancis Veber – ( Known For: The Valet; The Birdcage; Dinner for Schmucks; The Valet; The Man with One Red Shoe; Le Dîner de Cons; La Cage aux Folles; Buddy Buddy; The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe; Ruby & Quentin; The Closet; La Chèvre; Partners; The Fugitives; Le Magnifique; The Toy; Hold-Up; The ComDads; The Jaguar; A Pain in the Ass; Future BMT: The Toy; My Father the Hero; Three Fugitives; Pure Luck; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Notes: Was nominated for an Oscar for La Cage aux folles. He has had 12 of his films remade as American films. That’s what I like to see for this cycle!)

Lowell Ganz – ( Known For: A League of Their Own; Robots; Splash; Parenthood; City Slickers; Night Shift; Fever Pitch; Multiplicity; Edtv; Forget Paris; Mr. Saturday Night; Future BMT: Where the Heart Is; Tooth Fairy; Spies Like Us; Gung Ho; Vibes; Greedy; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Splash. Basically his entire family is in entertainment (his three children, brother, and two cousins). His son created Santa Clara Diet.)

Babaloo Mandel – ( Known For: A League of Their Own; Robots; Splash; Parenthood; City Slickers; Night Shift; Fever Pitch; Multiplicity; Edtv; Forget Paris; Mr. Saturday Night; Future BMT: Where the Heart Is; Tooth Fairy; Spies Like Us; Gung Ho; Vibes; Greedy; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones in 1995; Notes: Writing partner of Ganz. They are going to get some play soon since the A League of Their Own television series is coming out.)

ActorsRobin Williams – ( Known For: Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Jumanji; Aladdin; One Hour Photo; Mrs. Doubtfire; To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar; The Birdcage; Night at the Museum; Robots; Popeye; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Good Morning, Vietnam; Awakenings; Insomnia; The Butler; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Dead Again; What Dreams May Come; Future BMT: Hook; Jack; RV; Patch Adams; August Rush; Bicentennial Man; Flubber; Nine Months; The Night Listener; Man of the Year; The Best of Times; Club Paradise; The Survivors; Jakob the Liar; BMT: The Big Wedding; Fathers’ Day; Old Dogs; Toys; License to Wed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2000 for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy in 2003; Notes: Nominated for three Best Actor Oscars, ended up winning for Supporting actor in Good Will Hunting. Also nominated for 9 Emmys and won twice. Died in 2014.)

Billy Crystal – ( Known For: The Princess Bride; Cars; When Harry Met Sally…; Monsters, Inc.; Howl’s Moving Castle; This Is Spinal Tap; Monsters University; City Slickers; Analyze This; Here Today; Hamlet; I’m Still Here; Throw Momma from the Train; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; Running Scared; Deconstructing Harry; Forget Paris; Mr. Saturday Night; Standing Up, Falling Down; Untogether; Future BMT: Parental Guidance; Tooth Fairy; America’s Sweethearts; Analyze That; The Comedian; My Giant; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Remake or Sequel for City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold in 1995; Notes: If I’m counting right he’s been nominated for 23 Emmys and won six times. Naturally a few of those times were for hosting the Oscars, which he was famous for in the early 90s. He is 74 years old.)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – ( Known For: Black Widow; A Bug’s Life; Onward; Christmas Vacation; Enough Said; Hannah and Her Sisters; Deconstructing Harry; Future BMT: Planes; Downhill; Soul Man; Jack the Bear; BMT: Fathers’ Day; Troll; North; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Fathers’ Day in 1998; Notes: Was nominated for 27 Emmys and won 11 times, mostly for acting/writing in Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep, her three major television hits. Her father is a billionaire, and by extension so is she, but she hasn’t done so poorly for herself.)

Budget/Gross – $85 million / Domestic: $28,598,376 (Worldwide: $28,598,376)

(Terrible. It is a little confusing as to how this film could have cost so much, but then again, a chunk of it takes place are a genuine Sugar Ray concert, so it is possible that filming in Reno and throwing a giant fake concert with a real band could have contributed to the inflated budget. Also, just look at the cast and crew, every single one was nominated or won an Emmy or Oscar, so they really didn’t hold back in putting this film together.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (15/61): A maudlin misfire, Father’s Day manages the difficult task of making Billy Crystal and Robin Williams woefully unfunny.

(So I can lend some insight here having watched both the original and remake at this point. So the issue was they just reused most of the jokes from the original without really thinking through adapting the movie to the two leads. The film is immediately funnier if you just let Billy Crystal be Billy Crystal and Robin Williams be Robin Williams. Instead they aren’t.)

Reviewer Highlight: Add to these problems the fact that Fathers’ Day is a comedy starring two reputedly hilarious people who don’t make you laugh once, and you have a movie that would be great if everything about it weren’t terrible. – Keith Phipps, AV Club

Poster – Baldurs’ Gate

(Oh deary me, no. If this were a film about two friends, one a buttoned up family man with three kids and the other a man child who just knocked up his girlfriend, who go on a road trip so that Billy Crystal can help Robin Williams prepare to be a father (but perhaps learn a little bit more about themselves than they bargained for) then this poster makes sense. Otherwise it’s just a big red flag. Nice font though. C-.)

Tagline(s) – All she said was “My son is yours.” Unfortunately, she said it to both of them. (D)

(Yes, that’s the plot of the film. Unfortunately it’s not a tagline.)

Keyword(s) – European Remake

Top 10: 12 Monkeys (1995), The Italian Job (2003), Insomnia (2002), Scent of a Woman (1992), Clash of the Titans (2010), Some Like It Hot (1959), Vanilla Sky (2001), True Lies (1994), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Tourist (2010)

Future BMT: 54.5 Eye of the Beholder (1999), 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.2 The Omen (2006), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 44.4 Brick Mansions (2014), 43.1 Diabolique (1996), 43.1 Sleepless (2017), 43.0 Village of the Damned (1995), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007)

BMT: The Wicker Man (2006), Taxi (2004), The Haunting (1999), Get Carter (2000), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Pathfinder (2007), Fathers’ Day (1997), The Big Wedding (2013), The Blue Lagoon (1980), School for Scoundrels (2006), Blame It on Rio (1984), Vanilla Sky (2001)

Best Options (Comedy): 54.0 Downhill (2020), 49.5 Fathers’ Day (1997), 47.1 Nine Months (1995), 44.8 Catch That Kid (2004), 41.8 I Think I Love My Wife (2007), 41.2 Mixed Nuts (1994), 37.9 My Father the Hero (1994), 36.8 Just Visiting (2001), 34.6 Mad Money (2008), 31.4 The Toy (1982), 29.7 The Woman in Red (1984), 26.3 Pure Luck (1991), 24.4 The Man Who Loved Women (1983), 22.5 Once Upon a Crime… (1992), 20.7 The Associate (1996), 20.6 Three Fugitives (1989), 17.2 Oscar (1991)

(So yeah, Downhill was available, but I’ve heard mostly mixed things about it instead of it actually being bad. I’m a bit shocked at how few we’ve done in the end. Looking through the ones we have done I mostly haven’t seen the original. I saw the original Haunting, Get Carter, and Jungle 2 Jungle. I think that is it. Lots of British remakes in there as well, whereas in this cycle we are mostly doing French films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Greenwood is No. 6 billed in Fathers’ Day and No. 6 billed in Here on Earth, => (6 + 6) = 12. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – As a cross-promotion, Warner Brothers had Robin Williams and Billy Crystal make guest appearances in Friends (1994). (It is the one with the ultimate fighting championship, I remember this actually, they take the spot in the cafe that the titular friends usually occupy for a scene)

The concert was filmed at a park in Los Angeles. The scene took three days to film, and involved playing the same song over and over for all three days. To show the energy of the crowd, the extras had to cheer and “rock” to the music. On the first day everyone was up, yelling, jumping and punching their fists in the air, but by day three, most were too tired to even lift their arms, and many just remained seated.

During the filming of the concert scene, Robin Williams took a break and walked into the bleachers, where he entertained the extras who gathered around him.

Before appearing in this film, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal were already a well-known comedy duo, thanks to their work on HBO’s Comic Relief. The original French film, on which this is based, The ComDads (1983), also features a well-known comedy team: Pierre Richard and Gérard Depardieu.

Billy Crystal’s character hates mimes in this movie. In This is Spinal Tap (1984), he played a mime (who was also in charge of other mimes).

One of two 1997 films to star Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the other being Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry (1997).

While shooting the scene in which Dale and Jack remove Scott’s shoes and socks, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal discovered that Charlie Hofheimer was extremely ticklish on the soles of his feet. Robin Williams and Billy Crystal could not resist tickling Charlie Hofheimer’s bare feet, and they continually ruined the scene by tickling him. Charlie could not handle the tickling and wanted to quit. Ivan Reitman had to talk him into staying so that they could finally shoot the scene.

The apartment where Dale (Robin Williams) lives in San Francisco is the same one used in Mrs Doubtfire (1993).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 1998)

School for Scoundrels (2006) Preview

Jamie, Patrick and the rest of the team backflip their way into the Fortress. Halfway through his third backflip, however, Patrick notices something is off. “Stop! Stop backflipping!” he yells and once everyone is reoriented they notice the same thing. The halls of the school building are completely empty. Their steps ring out in the empty hallways until they finally reach a set of heavy steel doors. Jamie and Patrick fling them open, instantly bathes in an eerie blue light emanating from the doorway. They gasp. They find themselves in the ethereal beauty of a submarine pen. A submarine pen? On the grounds of the school? But why? Suddenly they begin to hear the cracking sounds of slow clapping and from behind the submarine emerges Jamie and Patrick themselves. But it can’t be, can it? “No, my sweet Bad Movie Twins, you haven’t been betrayed by yourselves. We have won!” the Jamie double cackles, before they both pull off their latex masks. Jamie and Patrick aren’t surprised to see it’s actually two Mikey Time Cops. The Time Cops pull their guns and laugh maniacally, but Jamie and Patrick just smirk. “Sure, sure, you’re gonna shoot,” Patrick says before they both theatrically motion for one of them to kick the other in the testicles. And yet nothing happens. “Oh shit,” Jamie mutters, “are you both bad Mikey Time Cops?” They nod, confused as to what else they would be. This looks like the end for our heroes. But wait! Suddenly there is a loud pop and from a hole in the sky a large machine falls and crushes the bad Mikey’s. Out from the steaming time machine walks Lou Cash. “You did it you scoundrels!” he screams, much to the delight and confusion of everyone there. That’s right! We are watching School for Scoundrels as a transition to the next cycle: Films adapted from European films a.k.a. Merde. We got so very close to getting a roster of all French films, but could resist a couple out of the box. So let’s sit back and enjoy School for Scoundrels adapted from the 1960 British film, School for Scoundrels. Let’s go! 

School for Scoundrels (2006) – BMeTric: 33.2; Notability: 55

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 24.8%; Notability: top 8.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 27.1%; Higher BMeT: Date Movie, The Wicker Man, Ultraviolet, Pledge This!, Little Man, Basic Instinct 2, Material Girls, Zoom, Big Momma’s House 2, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Black Christmas, The Marine, The Shaggy Dog, DOA: Dead or Alive, Pulse, Phat Girlz, Eragon, Scary Movie 4, The Grudge 2, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, and 42 more; Higher Notability: Poseidon, The Wild, The Da Vinci Code, Eragon, Scary Movie 4, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Happily N’Ever After, Click, The Pink Panther, Smokin’ Aces, The Guardian, The Black Dahlia, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Zoom, The Shaggy Dog, A Good Year, Lady in the Water, Factory Girl, All the King’s Men; Lower RT: The Contract, Kiss Me Again, Karla, Pledge This!, Material Girls, Happily N’Ever After, The Covenant, Zoom, Big Momma’s House 2, Deck the Halls, Basic Instinct 2, Date Movie, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, Gray Matters, Ultraviolet, When a Stranger Calls, See No Evil, Annapolis, Stay Alive, Pulse, and 47 more; Notes: Way higher IMDb rating that I expected, but sticking nicely below/around 6.0. The Notability is off the chain though! Solid for a comedy.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Nerdy guy who lets people step all over him is recruited by a mysterious entrepreneur who runs a class for worms in need of turning. But our would-be hero isn’t prepared for his “teacher” to start playing dirty tricks on him. Most contemporary comedies are too crude for our taste, but this one is terminally bland and never takes off as it repeatedly promises to do. Remake of the 1960 British comedy.

(Interesting. I think if this is made today it is probably very heartfelt, while also being crude (but in a way that teaches the hero that it is worth it not to be, you know?). I am surprised though, I would have figured this was just the right year to have a horrible no-good remake of a film like School for Scoundrels that aged horribly.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh-nQKB8fwg/

(A hard r in the trailer itself really is a bold move. The mid-00s were a wild time. Also the film looks aggressively not funny.)

DirectorsTodd Phillips – ( Known For: Joker; The Hangover; War Dogs; Road Trip; Old School; Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Hangover Part II; Due Date; The Hangover Part III; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Apparently he originally directed Borat, but quit due to creative differences with Cohen.)

WritersTodd Phillips – ( Known For: Joker; War Dogs; Road Trip; Old School; Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; Starsky & Hutch; Future BMT: The Hangover Part II; Due Date; The Hangover Part III; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Nominated for four Oscars, three for Joker, and one for the original Borat.)

Scot Armstrong – ( Known For: Road Trip; Old School; Starsky & Hutch; Search Party; Future BMT: The Heartbreak Kid; The Hangover Part II; Semi-Pro; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote some sort of remake of Problem Child? There isn’t even a poster on IMDb, so I can’t even make fun of that.)

Hal E. Chester – ( Known For: Curse of the Demon; School for Scoundrels; The Weapon; Crashout; Joe Palooka, Champ; Gentleman Joe Palooka; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote the original. Was uncredited here, which is interesting since he was somehow still alive when this was made! He was 85 years old.)

Patricia Moyes – ( Known For: School for Scoundrels; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Irish, and similarly wrote the original. Died in 2000, so didn’t get to see this made.)

Stephen Potter – ( Known For: School for Scoundrels; The Shipbuilders; BMT: School for Scoundrels; Notes: Wrote the original novels that the original film was based on. Obviously wasn’t alive for this film, he would have been 106. That would have been a trick. He died in 1969.)

ActorsBilly Bob Thornton – ( Known For: Tombstone; Love Actually; Princess Mononoke; Blood In, Blood Out; Monster’s Ball; Friday Night Lights; Sling Blade; The Judge; Puss in Boots; Dead Man; The Informers; A Simple Plan; The Baytown Outlaws; U Turn; Faster; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Bad Santa; Intolerable Cruelty; Parkland; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Future BMT: London Fields; Indecent Proposal; Entourage; Eagle Eye; Our Brand Is Crisis; The Alamo; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Armageddon; Going Overboard; On Deadly Ground; School for Scoundrels; Mr. Woodcock; Notes: From Arkansas, won an Oscar for writing Sling Blade. Has been married six times, including to Angelina Jolie famously.)

Jon Heder – ( Known For: Napoleon Dynamite; Just Like Heaven; Blades of Glory; Monster House; Surf’s Up; Reality; The Sasquatch Gang; Walt Before Mickey; Mama’s Boy; For Ellen; Life Happens; Christmas Eve; Ghost Team; Weepah Way for Now; Bling; Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit; The Tiger Hunter; Unexpected Race; The Little Penguin Pororo’s Racing Adventure; Moving McAllister; BMT: The Benchwarmers; When in Rome; School for Scoundrels; Notes: Became famous for Napoleon Dynamite. Does a lot of voice acting these days.)

Jacinda Barrett – ( Known For: The Last Kiss; Hide and Seek; Middle Men; New York, I Love You; The Human Stain; The Namesake; Ladder 49; Campfire Tales; Ripley Under Ground; Seven in Heaven; Matching Jack; So B. It; BMT: Poseidon; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Urban Legends: Final Cut; School for Scoundrels; Notes: From Australia, and was on the fourth season of The Real World, which took place in London. Hasn’t done much since the show Bloodline ended in 2017.)

Budget/Gross – $35,000,000 / Domestic: $17,807,569 (Worldwide: $24,470,583)

(Not great at all. And given the absurdly stacked comedy cast this film sports, that budget makes perfect sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (36/138): School for Scoundrels squanders its talented cast with a formulaic, unfocused attempt at a romantic comedy that’s neither romantic nor funny.

(A talented cast indeed. Just watch the trailer. David Cross, Paul Sheer, Matt Walsh, etc.! It is crazy good.)

Reviewer Highlight: It feels as if director Phillips was scrounging desperately for morsels with comic potential and came up empty-handed. – Claudia Puig, USA Today

Poster – Howls for Hooligans

(Wow, that’s a bad poster. Like F level bad. Funny cause that’s not typically the poster I think of for the film, but sometimes it’s difficult to figure what was really used to advertise. There are so many words. But fine, the font has a little vim and vigor so it’s a D.)

Tagline(s) – Too nice? Too honest? Too you? Help is on the way. (B)

(It’s too long, but otherwise it’s actually not bad in concept. Like it’s got a rule of three in there. Also it is a little clever curveball. All good things and then saying don’t worry, this asshole will help you. Just needed to figure out a way to tighten it up and make it flow.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.6 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.5 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 77.0 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 59.0 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Boys and Girls (2000), Texas Rangers (2001), Reindeer Games (2000), Halloween (2007), School for Scoundrels (2006), Fortress (1992), Senseless (1998), Impostor (2001), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (European Remake): 33.2 School for Scoundrels (2006)

(Oh yeah! The only one available baby! Indeed we had to move School for Scoundrels from the comedy spot because it needed to be here. It is a bit insane just how many Dimension films we have left. We could almost make a whole new cycle from it … might be missing a romance. Unclear.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Clarke Duncan is No. 5 billed in School for Scoundrels and No. 4 billed in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (5 + 4) + (2 + 2) = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ben Stiller’s cameo was shot in two days in California because he was unable to fly to New York for filming, due to a scheduling conflict.

Director Todd Phillips first offered the lead role to Howard Stern (Phillips is a big Stern fan), but Stern had to turn it down because he was about to leave terrestrial radio for satellite radio and did not have the time to film a movie. The role eventually went to Billy Bob Thornton.

Diego (Horatio Sanz) says, “Things are going to change, I can feel it,” quoting Beck’s song, “Loser.”

Aziz Ansari’s unnamed character’s only dialogue is a short scene with fellow classmate Ernie (Jon Glaser). The two actors would later have major roles in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” as Tom Haverford and Councilman Jeremy Jamm respectively.

To date, this is Todd Phillips’s only movie that isn’t distributed by DreamWorks or Warner Bros.

Dr. P’s rules “From the Bar to your Bed” are: Be dangerous, it’s cool. No compliments, *ever*. Always get the girl alone. Wherever you are, the place is lame! Relate to her. Lie, lie, and lie some more. (Gross)

Fortress Preview

“No, no, no, this is a mistake,” Jamie pleads as Kyle approaches with a glint in his eye suggesting he’s ready to pound some dweebs. “Who are you?” he yells, gripping Jamie by the collar. “Stop it, Kyle,” Patrick says calmly, “Think of everything you’ve gone through? When you were tracking our path through time, what did you find?” Kyle’s grip loosens as he remembers. “It was… better. You were making things better,” he says, breathing heavily. “That’s right,” Jamie continues, rubbing his neck and taking a step back, “and if we were these other twins, or whatever, why would we have come here? They are clearly hiding. Whoever these other twins are, they are the imposters. We are the Bad Movie Twins.” Kyle nods and they share a triple bro hug. Tears streaming down their faces they turn to Rachel and ask that she show them exactly what they are dealing with. An hour later, wearing the patented BMT black canadian tuxedos they designed for just such a situation (and they never leave home without them), they peer over a small hill at the lakeside Hallston Academy compound. Rachel wasn’t kidding. Armed guards, search lights, barbed wire, oil slicks, tacks, guard dogs, robot guard dogs, laser drones, half-cyborg bears, several hornet nests filled with specially trained hornets, several other hornet nests filled with regular hornets, you name it. “This isn’t a compound, this is a gosh darn fortress,” Jamie mutters, “And you know what a fortress needs?” Kyle, Patrick and Jamie all say it at once and without an ounce of irony: “Teamwork, yeah!” Searching the town, they not only find LePumice and Ty, they also conveniently find a couple more black jeans suits. With that Jamie pulls out one of his classic catchphrases, “Fortress schmortress.” That’s right, we’re watching another Christopher Lambert classic in Fortress. A high-tech futuristic prison that Lambert has to escape from? Say no more. Seriously shut your mouth, I’m busy watching this high-tech prison movie. Oh, I guess we do have to mention that we are pairing this with the amazing looking Lambert vehicle Beowulf. Fun fact, this was the first english language film adaptation of Beowulf. For real. Let’s go!

Fortress (1992) – BMeTric: 33.1; Notability: 22

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 10.0%; Notability: top 21.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.4%; Higher BMeT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Body of Evidence, Cool World, Pet Sematary II, Toys, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, 3 Ninjas, The Lawnmower Man, Sleepwalkers, Sidekicks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Beethoven, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Evil Toons, Ladybugs, Dr. Giggles, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Encino Man, and 5 more; Higher Notability: Toys, Cool World, Newsies, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Freejack, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, The Bodyguard, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Innocent Blood, Universal Soldier, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, This Is My Life, Encino Man, The Mighty Ducks, Radio Flyer, The Distinguished Gentleman, Kuffs, Mom and Dad Save the World, Man Trouble, and 34 more; Lower RT: Once Upon a Crime…, Folks!, Year of the Comet, Live Wire, Love Crimes, Frozen Assets, Cool World, Man Trouble, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them, Body of Evidence, Mom and Dad Save the World, Claire of the Moon, Passed Away, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Ladybugs, Mr. Baseball, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, and 41 more; Notes: Ah that’s more like it. After a few crazy high Notability films in a row, 22 is just about what I would expect for this. Just a little push to get this to 6.0 and it’ll basically be “average”.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Husband and wife flee futuristic society (which forbids them from having a second child) because she is pregnant again. They’re captured and sent to a high-tech maximum security prison run by the sadistic warden. (Is there another kind?) Intriguing premise is sabotaged by weak acting and a weaker script. Incredible international success resulted in a sequel.

(Yeah I could see that. All of the notes are about how everything was looking promising and awesome for a bit, and then all of the money disappeared and you got a borderline straight-to-video release in the end.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U6oLx3xy8s/

(Ha, halfway to hell. God I love cheesy sci-fi nonsense. Combine that with a future prison filled with robots? Forget about it. Leonard Maltin is a fool, this movie must be great!)

DirectorsStuart Gordon – ( Known For: Re-Animator; From Beyond; Dagon; Dolls; Space Truckers; The Pit and the Pendulum; Robot Jox; Edmond; King of the Ants; Stuck; The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit; BMT: Fortress; Notes: Well known for producing H. P. Lovecraft adaptations on a small budget. He is known for casting Jeffrey Combs in films, and this is no exception.)

WritersTroy Neighbors – ( Known For: Fortress 2: Re-Entry; BMT: Fortress; Notes: He was the casting director for Enemy Mine. He gets character credits for the sequel, so I assume he wrote the original script.)

Steven Feinberg – ( Known For: Fortress 2: Re-Entry; BMT: Fortress; Notes: His biography claims he produced Moonrise Kingdom, but IMDb suggests he got a “grateful acknowledgment”. He has a crazy number of “grateful acknowledgement”s. He’s still getting them. He has a “thanks” for Hocus Pocus 2 coming out this year.)

David Venable – ( BMT: Fortress; Notes: He’s written a few TV Movies, but otherwise this is his only feature film. He wrote a single episode of SeaQuest 2032.)

Terry Curtis Fox – ( BMT: Fortress; Notes: Almost exclusively wrote for television including JAG, Stargate SG-1, and Diagnosis Murder.)

ActorsChristopher Lambert – ( Known For: Highlander; Hail, Caesar!; Southland Tales; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Resurrection; Subway; Beowulf; The Sicilian; Knight Moves; Bel Canto; Sobibor; White Material; Fortress 2: Re-Entry; Un + Une; Why Me?; Nirvana; Druids; North Star; The Point Men; Future BMT: Loaded Weapon 1; The Hunted; Gunmen; BMT: Mortal Kombat; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Fortress; Highlander: Endgame; Highlander: The Final Dimension; Notes: Lambert is French, although born in America and raised in Switzerland as his father was a diplomat. By all accounts a great guy, at least on the set of Mortal Kombat, and still acting with 10 projects in a state of production.)

Loryn Locklin – ( Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Denial; Future BMT: Taking Care of Business; BMT: Fortress; Notes: She was on JAG for six years, after which is seems like she retired.)

Kurtwood Smith – ( Known For: A Time to Kill; Girl, Interrupted; Dead Poets Society; RoboCop; Deep Impact; To Die For; Turbo; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Broken Arrow; Hitchcock; Boxing Helena; Cedar Rapids; Last of the Dogmen; Heart and Souls; Amityville: The Awakening; Quick Change; El Camino Christmas; Citizen Ruth; Prefontaine; Shadows and Fog; Future BMT: Firestarter; The Crush; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Staying Alive; Oscar; BMT: Rambo III; Fortress; Notes: Most people probably know him for either That 70s Show or RoboCop. He’s in That 90s Show as well, which is coming out soon.)

Budget/Gross – $8,000,000 / Domestic: $6,739,141 (Worldwide: $6,739,141)

(Sources claim that it did well internationally, but I guess I don’t really trust Box Office Mojo prior to around 2000 completely. Could also just mean it did well on television and home video though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (6/16)

(Fact: I don’t think this is qualifying in a year or so. I think someone will give it a good review and then eventually it’ll settle at like 44% or something and never get close again. The consensus is basically: Fun with a unique look the problem with the movie is just that it is kind of a bummer.)

Reviewer Highlight: Even the requisite gore is sub-par, so it’s not even neat when some poor sap explodes and his entrails whiz by. Perhaps Gordon should go back to mining H.P. Lovecraft’s territory. – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

Poster – Fortress Schmortress

(Hahaha. Nope. That could honestly be the poster for any Christopher Lambert film. I’m not even really sure what they were trying to do. At least it has a color scheme and the gradient on the font is OK. C-.)

Tagline(s) – In the year 2017 one corporation is building a fortress for the ultimate takeover… your mind. (F)

(What thuuuuu. I don’t know what any of that means or really what it has to do with the film Fortress. They are not doing that. They are building a fortress as a prison.)

Keyword(s) – dimension

Top 10: Sin City (2005), Spectre (2015), The Others (2001), Scream (1996), Equilibrium (2002), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Mist (2007), Death Proof (2007), 1408 (2007), Scary Movie (2000)

Future BMT: 86.6 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), 82.8 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), 77.5 Who’s Your Caddy? (2007), 77.0 Superhero Movie (2008), 70.1 Black Christmas (2006), 68.6 Pulse (2006), 66.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 64.9 Scary Movie 4 (2006), 61.8 Cursed (2005), 59.0 Apollo 18 (2011)

BMT: Scary Movie V (2013), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), Halloween II (2009), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), My Boss’s Daughter (2003), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Dracula 2000 (2000), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998), Phantoms (1998), Boys and Girls (2000), Texas Rangers (2001), Reindeer Games (2000), Halloween (2007), Fortress (1992), Senseless (1998), Impostor (2001), Mindhunters (2004)

Best Options (Christopher Lambert): 33.0 Fortress (1992), 30.5 Gunmen (1993)

(Phew. Not that Gunman looks terrible, it looks pretty amusing. We chose this first and then went for Lambert’s best non-theatrical release for Dimension. There aren’t that many people who made multiple Dimension films and less that made both theatrical and non-theatrical, so this was pretty limiting. Very excited for Fortress though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Christopher Lambert is No. 1 billed in Fortress and No. 5 billed in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 5) + (1 + 1) + (5 + 1) = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – According to an interview with director Stuart Gordon, Arnold Schwarzenegger was to star as John Brennick since Arnold was a big fan of Re-Animator (1985) in which Arnold’s stunt-double, Peter Kent was a cast member. Stuart Gordon: “…it was Arnold Schwarzenegger that got me the job and it was because of Re-Animator. We used Arnold’s body-double in Re-Animator. The first reanimated corpse is a guy named Peter Kent, Arnold’s double. He’s got those big muscles. He got Arnold to see Re-Animator and Arnold liked it so much that he had a screening of it in his home, inviting all of these people, including producer John Davis. John had the rights to Fortress and Arnold was going to do it. For some reason, I’m not sure why, Arnold finally decided that he wasn’t going to do the movie and dropped out. They had a big budget, probably like 60 million, 70 million dollars, which was a huge budget in those days. Now it sounds small. [laughs] Anyway, he dropped out and the budget went down. They cut the budget to about 15 million dollars.”

The film takes place in 2017.

Due to the fact that star Christopher Lambert had worked on several large scale productions, he was hired by the film’s producers as a consultant and oversaw filming.

Filmed at Warner Brothers Movie World in Queensland, Australia.

The film performed very strongly internationally, especially in Europe where Christopher Lambert is a bigger name, and in Australia, where it was filmed. The film also enjoyed a long and profitable afterlife on VHS.

Zed-10, the artificial intelligence running the prison, is voiced by Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, wife of director Stuart Gordon.

Although the film opened strong in the US on its opening weekend, Dimension Films found their movie losing screens when a wave of new releases in the next coming weeks took over most of the multiplexes.

Stuart Gordon was set to direct Body Snatchers (1993) when he got Arnold Schwarzenegger and producer John Davis’s offer to direct Fortress instead. Gordon accepted, although Schwarzenegger would eventually drop out.

A television series based on this film was briefly considered: the “Fortress” television series would continue on from this film and would follow John and Karen as they are pursued by the Men-Tel Corporation and they raise their baby son Danny. It became a sequel instead, Fortress 2: Re-Entry (2000).