Wild Wild West Preview

When Patrick and Jamie arrive in beautiful Delaware City for the big No Rulez Race they are dismayed to find that their teammate, noted speedster and comic superstar Cheech Marin, has totally ditched them. On top of that he broke the chain on their rad three person tandem bicycle that they were going to use to power their way to victory. They hold the pieces of chain in their hands and vow to mend it, but it’s too late and they still got a race to win. In a stroke of genius they decide to split up into two different teams to give themselves a better chance to win and go off in search of a zany gimmick that will lead to victory.

As Jamie walks down the boardwalk he’s nearly run over by a rollerblader looking super sweet. “Watch where you’re going!” He yells and tries to get a police officer’s attention but he is waved off. Just then he gets an idea: no one stops a rollerblader because they are just too cool. What better way to win the No Rulez Race than to do the thing furthest from rulez: rollerblading. He straps on his blades, jumps into his jorts, and skates his way across America bippin’ and boppin’ to sweet tunez. Other teams totes sabotage each other, but no one minds the dude just blading along. Nearly 1 month later he finally blades his way towards the finish line. Every other competitor has broken down weeks ago, but his blades keep on a-going. He looks to his right…

As Patrick stumbles his way out of the nearest tavern he’s nearly run over by a rollerblader looking like a total asshole. “Hey, watch it bub!” He shouts drunkenly and in a stupor. He’s taken the loss of their three-person tandem bicycle hard and has only found solace in the cool refreshing taste of Zima. He is generally terrible at everything now and decides to give up on life. What better way to show the world that you’ve given up than to strap on some blades and attempt to skate your way across America. Nearly a month later and trailing empty Zima bottles the entire way, Patrick approaches the finish line. Every other competitor has broken down, but Patrick has continued ever forwards, his eyes glazed with hate for the world that has abandoned him and his three-person tandem bicycle. He looks to his left…

… they are shocked to see each other right alongside! Patrick’s legs akimbo, he looks terrible. Like some knock-off terrible version of Jamie’s golden rollerblading god. Yet they finish at the exact same time because they are the best twins ever and demand their prize. The organizer reveals that the prize was supposed to be a golden microphone but he lost it months ago in Bolivia. “Like this one?” They ask, pulling out their karaoke prize. “Yup, guess you had it the whole time and this whole adventure was pretty much useless and not worth going through.” Knowing just what to do we sing together with perfect pitch and the microphone opens to reveal another riddle. Good god. “To the desert you must go, and find the final piece you need. A robot spider is your foe, defeat it with your twinzo speed.” That’s right! We’re watching the only major BMT film with a giant robotic spider, Wild Wild West. A true classic of the BMT genre, I remembering seeing it when it came out in theaters with a packed crowd. I was of an age where films were mostly good and never bad, but I do remember feeling that this one was a very strange film. BTW, the reason Cheech Marin abandoned us in this story is he was used as a Chain Reaction but didn’t actually appear in the film at all. IMDb totally screwed us. Anyway, we’ll mend the chain next week. Let’s go!

Wild Wild West (1999) – BMeTric: 71.5

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(Very stable around 70+ which is in “legendary” territory. Basically the rating is rising as one would expect with the number of votes coming in. This kind of trend is pretty common with really terrible films that came out before Rotten Tomatoes pages started getting archived. You can’t see the start of the graph basically, but by 2004ish it had already been established as one of the worst films ever made.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Rehash of 1960s TV series finds special agents James West (Smith) and inventor Artemus Gordon (Kline) on a special mission for President Grant to capture nefarious bad guy Arliss Loveless (Branagh). Overstuffed with visual gimmickry, but leaden in every way. You can hear the banter landing with a thud every few minutes.

(Sounds about right. Everything you read about this film suggests Will Smith was a major miscast. Is seems to forced a film that should have been westers-sci-fi into a more comedic style. And by doing so things get leaden as Maltin says.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It89i3W-v4s

(Wow. Well, the first half of that trailer actually looked kind of fun. If I was around 13 years old in 1999 and saw that on television I might be excited to see it in theater (hehe … gulp). The second half looks genuinely terrible though, just kind of a mess of bad CGI mostly.)

Directors – Barry Sonnenfeld – (Known For: The Addams Family; Men in Black; Men in Black 3; Addams Family Values; Get Shorty; Big Trouble; Future BMT: R.V.: Runaway Vacation; Men in Black II; The Concierge; BMT: Wild Wild West; Nine Lives; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Has directed for over 20 years. Recently directed ten episodes of the Series of Unfortunate Events television series.)

Writers – Jim Thomas and John Thomas (story) – (Known For: Predator; Predators; Executive Decision; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; Predator 2; BMT: AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem; Wild Wild West; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; Behind Enemy Lines; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: They haven’t done much credited work, mainly they get story credits for the various Predator adaptations and sequels. Jim Thomas did an article in Empire looking back at Predator though, so they are still kicking around it seems.)

S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock (screenplay) – (Known For: Tremors; Short Circuit; *batteries not included; Heart and Souls; Future BMT: Ghost Dad; Short Circuit 2; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Claimed their original script was more serious and tried to get their names taken off of the credits. Helped found Stampede Entertainment which made the first four films in the Tremors franchise.)

Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman (screenplay) – (Known For: Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Shrek the Third; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Doc Hollywood; Last Holiday; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2001; Notes: Comedy writers presumably brought in to punch up the script after they decided to go the comedy route with this film. Their credited work is punctuated with large gaps in working, and I can’t really find much additional information on them.)

Actors – Will Smith – (Known For: Independence Day; I Am Legend; Men in Black; Focus; The Pursuit of Happyness; Men in Black 3; Bad Boys; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Hancock; I, Robot; Hitch; Enemy of the State; Concussion; Ali; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Six Degrees of Separation; Where the Day Takes You; Future BMT: Made in America; Shark Tale; Suicide Squad; Men in Black II; Bright; Bad Boys II; Collateral Beauty; BMT: After Earth; Wild Wild West; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Y’all know Will Smith. Once a rapper, a television phenom in Fresh Prince, now … he’s bungee jumping over the Grand Canyon on Youtube for his 50th birthday.)

Kevin Kline – (Known For: Beauty and the Beast; No Strings Attached; The Big Chill; A Fish Called Wanda; Definitely, Maybe; Sophie’s Choice; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Road to El Dorado; Silverado; Ricki and the Flash; Chaplin; Last Vegas; Cry Freedom; Life as a House; Dave; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Grand Canyon; In & Out; The Conspirator; French Kiss; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Darling Companion; The January Man; Consenting Adults; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; The Last of Robin Hood; As You Like It; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Kevin Kline. His daughter is the musician Frankie Cosmos.)

Kenneth Branagh – (Known For: Avengers: Infinity War; Dunkirk; Murder on the Orient Express; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Valkyrie; The Boat That Rocked; The Road to El Dorado; My Week with Marilyn; Much Ado About Nothing; Hamlet; Dead Again; Chariots of Fire; Swing Kids; Henry V; Rabbit-Proof Fence; Mindhorn; Celebrity; Othello; Five Children and It; Future BMT: Frankenstein; Sleuth; BMT: Wild Wild West; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: He had a very obscure uncredited cameo in Avengers: Infinity War. Naturally, he is huge in the Shakespeare scene in London, I saw him in Winter’s Tale … it was fantastic.)

Budget/Gross – $170 million / Domestic: $113,804,681 (Worldwide: $222,104,681)

(Some places argue it made back its money overseas. False, this was a write off of probably $100 million from the pure accounting perspective. But it likely made its money back with advertising and tie-ins surrounding the release.)

#17 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Barely beaten by the first Ride Along for the highest grossing qualifier we’ve seen, although Men in Black II is actually the most successful qualifying example available (same director as Wild Wild West!). The genre got blown out in the early 90s, but has recovered since.)

#20 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(The Pirates franchise crushes this one for bad films, and the Three Musketeers (Plaaaaanchet) from 2011 is my favorite. I have a feeling with CGI and 3D printing technology that period films are going to see a boom in the near future and it becomes easier and cheaper to create. I guess we’ll see though. You can definitely see CGI helping the genre come into its own in the late 90s.)

#17 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(This is our seventh, and this is by far the most successful bad adaptation we’ve seen, and the most successful qualifying film ever. This kind of marks the end of a giant boom of adaptations. They come out more regularly now (Baywatch and CHiPs are recent examples), but they were just churning them out in the late 90s)

#6 for the Western genre

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(Peak of the western genre actually, highest grossing qualifying film in the genre. The genre is coming back in style in a major way as well after dying in the late-90s. We’ve seen six westerns now, my favorite being (Hall of Fame) Texas Rangers. Although Jonah Hex is also pretty hilarious.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (22/131): Bombastic, manic, and largely laugh-free, Wild Wild West is a bizarre misfire in which greater care was lavished upon the special effects than on the script.

(The argument in the notes seems to be that the script was overwritten once they got Will Smith (mis)cast in order to make it a comedy. Then they didn’t even do that right and had to do a bunch of reshoots to add even more comedy in because audiences didn’t understand why the movie wasn’t really funny. It sounds like a complete disaster. Reviewer Highlight – The elaborate special effects are like watching money burn on the screen – Roger Ebert)

Poster – Wild Wild Sklog (F! F! F!)

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(Whhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Holy shit. Move over The Avengers (1998) there is a new sheriff in town. That has got to be hands down the worst poster I have ever seen for a major motion picture release.)

Tagline(s) – It’s a whole new west. July ’99. (:D)

(Lol, yes please put this on the poster. Make sure you have that year on there in case someone is confused and thinks the movie might come out in July 2000 or July 2001. This smacks of someone being like “this is truly an event people. When children across America hang this on their walls they want to remember exactly when it came out.”)

Keyword(s) – utah; Top Ten by BMeTric: 71.5 Wild Wild West (1999); 55.3 Point Break (2015); 48.6 R.V.: Runaway Vacation (2006); 25.1 Idle Hands (1999); 24.6 Resident Evil: Extinction (2007); 23.9 My 5 Wives (2000); 23.3 Duets (2000); 22.6 Pride and Prejudice (2003); 20.3 The Mountain Between Us (2017); 18.8 Love Me Like You Do (2014);

(I wouldn’t really call Wild Wild West a Utah film unfortunately. The climax takes place there, but the film is kind of roadtrippy in how it moves around. Starts in West Virginia, moves to Washington D.C., goes to New Orleans (for an extended segment), and then they railroad it to Utah pretty directly. But it definitely takes place across a number of different settings. Still, pretty surprising we’ve not seen any of the others on this list.)

Notes – Will Smith turned down the lead role in The Matrix (1999) to star in this movie, being a fan of the television series. He later said this was the worst decision he made in his career. (It was. Although you can’t really say Keanu somehow because I giant star after The Matrix, and Will Smith was slightly more famous than him at that point … but Wild Wild West definitely quickened the pace of Will Smith’s box office downfall)

The film underwent costly re-shoots in an attempt to inject some humor after it was found that test audiences weren’t sure if it was supposed to be a comedy. (It shouldn’t have been)

Though a box-office failure in the U.S. (it managed to turn a profit overseas), it’s commonly joked that the only reason the film earned any money at all is because unaccompanied minors would buy tickets to this film, then use them to sneak into screenings of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and American Pie (1999). (HA)

Will Smith said that he knew the movie wasn’t any good and he was embarrassed when it earned almost fifty million dollars in its opening weekend. Years later, Smith apologized publicly to Robert Conrad (star of the original television series) and said now that he was older and more experienced, he understood Conrad’s anger and criticism of the film version, as well as Conrad’s refusal to make a cameo appearance in it. (Conrad should have had more input, although maybe he just was opposed to any movie being made)

When Kenneth Branagh was in an articulated metal platform as Dr. Loveless, he actually was seated in the device in a kneeling position. He would have to get up every few minutes and walk around to get the circulation back in his legs, as they would constantly go numb from being in that position for an extended period of time.

When this film swept the 20th Annual Razzie Awards, winning five statuettes including Worst Picture, Robert Conrad, who played James West in the original 1960s television series, accepted three of the awards in person, as his way of expressing his low opinion of what had been done with his source material. (HA, good on Robert Conrad)

Robert Conrad was initially approached by Barry Sonnenfeld to make a cameo appearance as President Ulysses S. Grant. He turned down the offer after reading the script, due to what he felt was its poor quality and lack of loyalty for the original series, on which it was based. (YOU SHOULD HAVE DEMANDED TO BE SCRIPT SUPERVISOR)

The characters of “Spike Guy” and “Knife Guy” were added to the movie and inserted into the climax after test audiences found the heroes fighting only Loveless’ beauties to be very odd. (Ahahahahahahhaha these notes are gold)

Mel Gibson was set to star as James West, and Richard Donner (who had directed three episodes of The Wild Wild West (1965)) was set to direct, with a script by Shane Black, back when Warner Bros. announced the plans to make the movie in 1992. However, they both dropped out and went on to do Maverick (1994). After Gibson dropped out, Tom Cruise was attached to star, before dropping out to star in Mission: Impossible (1996). (Wow, what a journey this had to the screen. Maverick is better … although still a very odd Western)

Belle was originally cast with, and filmed with British actress Phina Oruche. Reportedly, the chemistry needed for the bathtub love scene wasn’t there. The scene was recast and re-shot with Garcelle Beauvais. However, Oruche was not told, and found out she was no longer in the film at the premiere in Los Angeles. (Oh no!)

Kevin Smith has said that the giant spider was producer Jon Peters’ idea for the later-abandoned “Superman Lives” project with Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton. (Yup, a very famous story on podcasts. The entire thing sound so absurd as to be … extremely plausible)

Barry Sonnenfeld, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek, Will Smith, and in fact half the staff at Warner Bros. hate this film. Hayek in particular thought she was being underused, while Kline considered himself too good of an actor for the finished product. (Kline is too good of an actor for the finished product. So is Branagh actually)

This is the second movie in which Kevin Kline plays both the President of the United States and the man impersonating the President. The first was Dave (1993). (That didn’t even occur to me as I watched the film)

When Will Smith asked his mother what she thought of the film, she replied “You’ve done better, baby”. (Oh no! These notes are amazing)

There was a recurring villain on the television series named Dr. Loveless, but he was a dwarf rather than an amputee, and his first name was Miguelito, not Arliss. (Huh, fun fact)

Ted Levine grew up watching the original television series. Levine said he enjoyed working on the film, but because there were so many writers revising the script, there was no center, causing the story to be all over the place. He attributed that to the film’s failure, as well as Will Smith’s miscasting. (Uh … fair)

According to screenwriters S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, their original script was rewritten almost entirely from their draft. The duo, who have worked on several films together, claimed their script was heavily rewritten by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, with further rewrites by an uncredited Jim Kouf, in an attempt to add more action and comedy to a script that was a mostly serious, dialog-driven mystery western. Entire additions, such as the villain, most of the jokes and action scenes, and the entire 3rd act involving the giant spider, were new without their input. Wilson and Braddock tried to get their names taken off from the film after seeing the final product, and they have since refused to work with a major studio because of the experience. (Yeah, the first script sounds much better sadly. Although I’m not sure how much I buy it, Maddock himself claims he tends to drive scripts towards comedy, but perhaps they mean it would be more like Tremors and less like … this.)

At an official 150 million dollars (unofficial 170 million dollars) it stands as the most expensive movie produced by Warner Bros. and the most expensive movie released in 1999.

In 1997, writer Gilbert Ralston sued Warner Bros. over the upcoming motion picture based on the series. Ralston helped create The Wild Wild West (1965) television series, and scripted the pilot episode, The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Inferno (1965). In a deposition, Ralston explained that in 1964 he was approached by producer Michael Garrison who ‘”said he had an idea for a series, good commercial idea, and wanted to know if I could glue the idea of a western hero and a James Bond type together in the same show.” Ralston said he then created the Civil War characters, the format, the story outline and nine drafts of the script that was the basis for the television series. It was his idea, for example, to have a secret agent named Jim West who would perform secret missions for a bumbling Ulysses S. Grant. Ralston’s experience brought to light a common Hollywood practice of the 1950s and 1960s, when television writers, who helped create popular series, allowed producers or studios to take credit for a show, thus cheating the writers out of millions of dollars in royalties. Ralston died in 1999, before his suit was settled. Warner Bros. ended up paying his family between 600,000 and 1.5 million dollars. (Hollywood accounting at its best. Go get your money Ralston)

The locomotive in the film (#25 William Mason) was previously used in The Great Locomotive Chase (1956). “Chase” also featured Virginia & Truckee Railroad #22 “Inyo”, which was used in The Wild Wild West television series. (Train facts! Awesome)

The sequences on both Artemus Gordon’s and Dr. Loveless’ trains interiors were shot on sets at Warner Bros. The train exteriors were shot in Idaho on the Camas Prairie Railroad. The Wanderer is portrayed by the Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 No. 25, one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the U.S. Built in 1856 at the Mason Machine Works in Taunton, Massachusetts, it was later renamed The “William Mason” in honor of its manufacturer. During pre-production the engine was sent to the steam shops at the Strasburg Railroad for restoration and repainting. The locomotive is brought out for the B&O; Train Museum in Baltimore’s “Steam Days”. (Tauton Mass. what what)

In the movie, the Central Pacific’s Jupiter was played by the J.W. Bowker (Virginia & Truckee #21). Now displayed at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California. The Union Pacific’s 119 was played by the Reno (Virginia & Truckee #11). Now displayed at Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, Arizona. (I. Love. Train facts!)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Kevin Kline, Will Smith, 2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Barry Sonnenfeld, 2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jim Thomas, John Thomas, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, 2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Stevie Wonder, Kool Moe Dee, Will Smith, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Kline, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek, 2000)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kevin Kline, 2000)

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I Spy Preview

While relaxing on the sun-soaked beaches of Monte Carlo, we are finally enjoying the fruits of their long backpacking trip through Europe. My open wound inflicted by the mutants is starting to burn and I have a taste for blood, but let’s not tell Patrick that (Why spoil the vacation?). While I contemplate my newly developed bloodlust, we are approached by a couple of G-Men that look like they mean business. “We have an urgent matter of national security. The President needs you to infiltrate the top secret meeting of high level terrorists in Budapest.” “Why us?” We ask. The G-Men smirk. “Because it’s known that the terrorist organizer is a huge fan of your website and work. He won’t be able to resist letting you into the party.” We both look at each other and know what has to be done, “We are not doing that. That sounds real dangerous.” But after they offer us $10 million dollars we find ourselves hiking to Budapest as newly minted agents of the United States government. That’s right! We’re watching I Spy this week. The Eddie Murphy/Owen Wilson vehicle is the Chain Reaction entry in the cycle jumping from Marmaduke through Owen Wilson. I think everyone forgot this film existed, which is almost a requirement of a BMT film. Let’s go!

I Spy (2002) – BMeTric: 51.3

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(Very nice. Since I, Spy came out relatively long ago (relative to the internet archive at least) the most interesting thing to look at was probably whether the rating was still trending towards the mean with extra votes … not. This is a below-average film through and through. Nothing super special (sub-5.0), but decidedly below average.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In-name-only reincarnation of the smart 1960s TV show (which starred Robert Culp and Bill Cosby). Here, Wilson is an inept NSA operative who uses socky prizefighter Murphy as his cover to locate a secret weapon in Budapest. An object lesson in bad screenwriting, with an incoherent story and characters that make no sense; only the occasional comic riffs by Murphy and Wilson keep this from a complete disaster.

(TIL the difference between “object lesson” and “abject lesson”, good to know. Great semi-colon game by Leonard (as usual). I’m quite excited to see the “inept” NSA operative. These says that trope has been replaced by the bumbling pro. See: Brooklyn 99 where the very un-serious Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) seems bumbling, but is in fact an excellent detective. So will be nice to harken back to the bumbling fool paradigm.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma53Kps06cM

 

(Hmmm … even the trailer looks dull. I kind of like the style though. Murphy really did have a strange sort of arrogant charm back in the day, and despite the early 2000s terrible styles it still kind of looks cool in a weird way. The CGI looks dumb though.)

Directors – Betty Thomas – (Known For: Private Parts; The Brady Bunch Movie; Doctor Dolittle; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; John Tucker Must Die; 28 Days; BMT: I Spy; Notes: Part of Second City she was a regular on Hill Street Blues back in the day. She’s done a bunch of television movies more recently.)

Writers – Morton S. Fine and David Friedkin (characters) (as Morton Fine) – (Known For: The Pawnbroker; BMT: I Spy; Notes: Original writers for the original show. Both have been dead for nearly 30 years.)

Marianne Wibberley and Cormac Wibberley (story & screenplay) – (Known For: National Treasure; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; The 6th Day; Future BMT: The Shaggy Dog; G-Force; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Bad Boys II; BMT: I Spy; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Notes: Married writing team. Cormac is the son of Leonard Wibberley who wrote the Mouse That Roared and its subsequent sequels two of which were made into rather cooky British films in the 60s)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (screenplay) – (Known For: Guess Who; Future BMT: The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; I Spy; Baywatch; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Norbit; and in 2018 for Baywatch; Notes: Were at one point producers and writers on Spin City. Otherwise they are on quite the recent streak of films. Good for them, go get yo money.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Mulan; Coming to America; Shrek; Shrek 2; Beverly Hills Cop; Trading Places; Tower Heist; Shrek the Third; Shrek Forever After; Life; 48 Hrs.; Dreamgirls; The Nutty Professor; Beverly Hills Cop II; Bowfinger; Doctor Dolittle; Boomerang; Imagine That; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; Beverly Hills Cop III; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; The Distinguished Gentleman; BMT: Norbit; Pluto Nash; I Spy; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child; A Thousand Words; Harlem Nights; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights in 1990; Winner for Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Norbit in 2008; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Nominee for Worst Director for Harlem Nights in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Norbit in 2008; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; in 2009 for Meet Dave; in 2010 for Imagine That; and in 2013 for A Thousand Words; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; and in 2009 for Meet Dave; Notes: Recent reports put him as the third triplet in the Twins sequel that has been announced. Hopefully Arnold’s recent health issues won’t waylay this.)

Owen Wilson – (Known For: Wonder; Cars 3; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Cars; The Royal Tenenbaums; Inherent Vice; Wedding Crashers; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; The Darjeeling Limited; Midnight in Paris; Zoolander; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Meet the Parents; Night at the Museum; Bottle Rocket; Night at the Museum 2; No Escape; Marley & Me; The Cable Guy; Future BMT: Anaconda; Breakfast of Champions; Little Fockers; How Do You Know; You, Me and Dupree; Are You Here; Drillbit Taylor; Masterminds; Hall Pass; Father Figures; Free Birds; Cars 2; Meet the Fockers; The Internship; Behind Enemy Lines; Armageddon; BMT: Zoolander 2; The Haunting; Marmaduke; I Spy; Around the World in 80 Days; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Zoolander 2 in 2017; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy; Notes: There were some question recently about why he isn’t in the new Wes Anderson film, but I never really heard the whole story. Can’t wait to see Father Figures though.)

Famke Janssen – (Known For: X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men; The Wolverine; X-Men 2; Taken; GoldenEye; X-Men: The Last Stand; The Faculty; Rounders; Lord of Illusions; Celebrity; Jack of the Red Hearts; The Wackness; Love & Sex; Made; The Gingerbread Man; City of Industry; Down the Shore; Turn the River; Noose; Future BMT: The Ten; Once Upon a Time in Venice; House on Haunted Hill; Hide and Seek; Taken 3; Deep Rising; Taken 2; Don’t Say a Word; This Is Your Death; Circus; The Chameleon; BMT: I Spy; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: She’s a big animal rights activist. She was also very critical about her character of Jean Grey being recast for the new X-Men films, annoyed by them allowing Jackman and Stewart to appear and age gracefully while tending to replace women … kind of a fair criticism to be honest.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $33,561,137 (Worldwide: $50,732,945)

(Bomb. $70 million … actually makes sense. This was right around when Murphy’s salary would have been sinking films that could have otherwise pulled in a modest return. This film should have had a $50 million budget maybe, considering the action sequences.)

#54 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Ha. Really right at the peak of the genre. The Tuxedo came out almost at the exact same time as well, along with Shanghai Knights the next year. Jackie Chan bringeth the genre up, and then it promptly crashed. Go figure. The highest grossing film we’ve seen for BMT is Another 48 hrs.)

#18 for the Comedy – Spy genre

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(They killed this genre. It also probably also didn’t help that Bond went on a hiatus in 2002. With the rise of Bourne (a less … humorous spy thriller) the comedy possibilities probably went out of the window. Get Smart and then Spy probably brought the genre back … but I think it is dead again. I just don’t really see why a spy based comedy would be interesting at the moment.)

#67 for the Spy genre

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(Again completely died with the (terrible) Die Another Day. People like the Mission Impossible films at the moment, they kind of have that ridiculous Fast & the Furious vibe to it with the charismatic Tom Cruise lending it a bit more cred than, say, Transformers in the Action genre. The Tuxedo is, amazingly, the highest grossing BMT film in the series. Although high grossing spy films don’t tend to be terrible.)

#62 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(After the initial 90s swell (with BMT classics like The Beverly Hillbillies) this has been reduced to a kind of dull background noise in the releases every year. Baywatch and CHiPs are recent examples, and The Avengers made just about the same amount of money … rough.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (21/133): Insipid and mirthless, I-Spy bares little resemblance to the TV series that inspired it.

(Big worgs Rotten Tomatoes. Mirthless is the name of the game in bad comedies though, and I’ve heard this is basically laugh free. Reviewer Highlight: As inept as big-screen remakes of The Avengers and The Wild Wild West. – Mark Rahner (Seattle Times) … fat chance, that is impossible.)

Poster – I Sklog (B+)

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(While I like the artistic spacing, font, and how they’ve used colors to wash out the “human” color palette, I find something about it a little cheap. Like I could have made this poster in my free time.)

Tagline(s) – Attitude meets espionage (B)

(Hmmmm, attitude meets espionage… is this a play on something? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to get from mashing these two words together. Seems like a potential classic, sounds-like-a-tagline tagline… that isn’t really a tagline. But it is short and sweet and does what it meant to do.)

Keyword(s) – stealth; Top Ten by BMeTric: 64.8 10,000 BC (2008); 64.4 Stealth (2005); 51.3 I Spy (2002); 47.3 American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987); 46.8 American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990); 46.6 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997); 22.1 Secret in Their Eyes (2015); 21.3 Surviving the Game (1994); 19.2 Tomorrow Never Dies (1997); 18.4 Act of Valor (2012);

(So … the entire American Ninja series? Tomorrow Never Dies, sadly, doesn’t qualify. But it would be nice to see some shitty ninja films. I feel like we still don’t do enough martial arts and western films)

Notes – At the request of director Betty Thomas, actor Darren Shahlavi lost thirty pounds so as to be the same size as Eddie Murphy during the boxing scenes. (what)

Actor-comedian Will Ferrell was the voice of American President George W. Bush when speaking to Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy) over the telephone. (That makes sense, given the SNL connection)

The original / earlier draft(s) of the movie’s screenplay had the character of Kelly Robinson, who was later cast with Eddie Murphy, as a basketball player, but due to Murphy’s film industry stature, it was decided to change the character’s sport to boxing, and the character to a boxer. However, the dialogue interchange about the Harlem Globetrotters remained in the script and the finished film. (Wow, that … seems like an oversight)

Initially, star Owen Wilson admitted he was a little nervous about performing opposite comedy legend Eddie Murphy, who was one of his comic idols. Wilson said: “This is the first time I’ve had to work with someone who is so incredible at improvisation. At first, it was difficult to keep up with Eddie. But slowly I started playing off his riffs. I don’t know if that’s what people mean by on-screen chemistry. To me it’s a feeling that you are really in a groove with what the other guy is doing.” (This is an anecdote from a late night appearance for sure)

The characters from the I Spy (1965) source TV series are reversed in this movie version. In the original television series, Kelly Robinson (not Alexander Scott) was the white guy and the athlete, while Alexander Scott was the black guy and the non-athlete. However, in both cases though, the Bill Cosby / Eddie Murphy character was a less experienced spy than the Robert Culp / Owen Wilson character.

The palace of Malcolm McDowell’s character Arnold Gundars, is actually the “Hungarian Royal Palace”, which is also sometimes known as “The Buda Castle”, it having being for centuries home to a number of generations of the royalty of Hungary. (I’ve been there)

The canine in the final scene was actually Famke Janssen’s dog who had the name of “Licorice”. (Great dog name)

Like actor Owen Wilson, actress Famke Janssen got to spar with comedy star Eddie Murphy on screen, a process Janssen, like Wilson, also found daunting at the outset. She said: “There’s a scene in which Eddie and I first meet and he just kept tossing lines at me and I kept going with it. It was really scary, but once I got used to it, a lot of fun as well.” (Whoever was filling up this notes section had just seen or read a giant profile on the film)

The acronym “BNS” stood for The Bureau of National Security. (coooool, I do love facts though)

[NOTE: There are a bunch of notes here which is basically a long profile on the production … just go read the IMDb notes or, better yet, find the source article if you want to learn about it]

In the source I Spy (1965) television series, Bill Cosby portrayed a tennis pro and, for a time, the filmmakers considered making the character of Kelly Robinson in this movie version an international tennis champion. Basketball was also considered, though producer Jenno Topping considered both sports too visually confining for the purposes of a big screen story on an international scale. It was star Eddie Murphy who suggested that his character of Kelly Robinson be a championship boxer, a sport to which he was well suited. Murphy said at the time: “I’ve done some boxing and my father was a boxer, so I already had a background in the sport.” Murphy trained in boxing for several months prior to this picture’s production. Director Betty Thomas said: “Having an actor with a natural ability for a sport was a real asset. It opened up the film in a much more exciting way than tennis or basketball. Having Eddie getting the blows and making the hits had a lot more impact than creating shots in which I would have to rely on stunt doubles.” Stunt Co-ordinator Brent Woolsey added: “Eddie was so coordinated that it made the boxing sequences much easier to execute.” (I left this in though. Pretty interesting that Murphy was boxing at the time).

Principal photography began on 12th September 2001, in Budapest, Hungary. Taking a cue from the original I Spy (1965) television series, producer Andrew G. Vajna decided that this movie version should be set in an “exotic location to create a sense of real excitement in the audience”. Vajna added: “We haven’t seen Eastern Europe used much in action films, especially Hungary. Budapest has been used in movies before, but never as Budapest. It has generally been used as a substitute for Paris or some other European capital. So for the audience it was an entirely new experience. And it just so happens that Hungary is my home.” (Awesome, I do love this fact as well. I’m learning so much about this film … why can’t all of the notes be like this actually? This is super interesting stuff).

The grounds of the Buda Castle were so extensive that the production’s first and second units were filming on either side of the castle at the same time. Producer Mario Kassar said: “It was an amazing feat. In some ways it was surprising that we didn’t trip over each other. Action is taking place on one side, and on the other [director] Betty [Thomas] is tackling all the great character stuff.” (It is enormous … did I mention I’ve been there? Oh I did? Well I went there and just wanted to say I agree with the above statement).

No stunt or acting doubles were used in the scenes where Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy) is seen boxing.

First Assistant Director Richard Graves engineered the prototype model of the Switchblade fighter plane from piecing together bits and parts from his son’s plastic jet model kits.

According to the IFC website, “the movie was originally supposed to take place in Prague [in the Czech Republic]. Instead, the movie shot on location in Budapest, Hungary, because the film’s producer, Andrew G. Vajna, lived there” and “was eager to use her hometown as the setting because she had never seen it depicted in a Hollywood movie before.” (Prague would have worked as well. It is pretty rare in films it turns out, no big bad films are explicitly set there as far as we can tell).

It was Eddie Murphy’s idea to sing Marvin Gaye’s famous song “Sexual Healing” for the romantic scene where Special Agent Alex Scott (Owen Wilson) romances Special Agent Rachel Wright (Famke Janssen). In this sequence, Murphy vocally coaches Wilson the words like in the classic story “Cyrano de Bergerac”.

The four short DVD behind the scenes documentaries about the making of this motion picture are entitled: I Spy: The Slugafest (2003); I Spy: Cloak & Camouflage (2003); I Spy: Gadgets & Gizmos (2003); and I Spy: Schematics & Blueprints (2003). (Which is where I assume all of these notes came from)

The name of the title that boxer Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy) held was “Super Middleweight Champion”. (These guys have so many facts on here)

The name of the stolen military fighter-plane which had a cloaking device was the “Switchblade”.

The name of the sporting tournament league that boxer Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy) competed in was the “Global Boxing League”.

Reportedly, the ending was re-shot Monte Carlo after test audiences stated that they wanted to know what happened to Special Agent Rachel Wright (Famke Janssen) after she betrayed both Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy) and Special Agent Alex Scott (Owen Wilson). (Perfecto. We get to literally go from Monte Carlo to Budapest).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Eddie Murphy)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Eddie Murphy, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

CHIPS Preview

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

CHIPS (2017) – BMeTric: 29.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#68 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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

#74 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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

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

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

Poster – SKLOGS (B)

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

Tagline(s) – Chip Happens (F-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baywatch Preview

The official transition to the Worst of 2017 cycle we start with comedy. In an interesting coincidence we also had one of the worst reviewed comedies of the year released this very week in Daddy’s Home 2 (currently at 16%), but it was not released concurrently in the US and UK. Bummer. So we stuck with our original plan as it was quite the doozy in its own right. That’s right! We’re watching the Dwayne Johnson/Zac Efron vehicle Baywatch. Following the wild success of 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street we were treated to not one, but two unnecessary adaptations of niche 80s/90s shows in Baywatch and CHiPs. Both turned out poorly. Now we get to find out just how poorly Baywatch turned out. Let’s go!

Baywatch (2017) – BMeTric: 46.5

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(I kind of love this ratings graph. So you can see it starting high (people who haven’t seen the film but like the idea of the film chiming in like dummies) and then dropping once people actually start seeing it. But that overcorrects a bit, as more and more of the “fans” see it corrects back up. But the interesting bit is that once it drops on VOD the rating goes down again. The mean IMDb rating is somewhere around 6.0 so it basically corrected back to what will ultimately be around its eventual rating of slightly below-average. I just find that fascinating. It is hard to find films that really teeter on the edge of good/bad. To get 70K votes in a few months as well? I’m always stunned by how “popular” current movies are, they get so many more votes than even popular films from the 90s.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  [The movie] features long periods of too-sincere homilies about teamwork, weirdly gratuitous brutality (one innocuous character is subjected to a grotesquely grisly death) and an extended corpse-penis joke which, in the dishonorable tradition of “Dirty Grandpa,” subjects a character played by Zac Efron to humiliation in a way that’s not even stealthily homophobic. On the plus side, the movie has a pervading air of crass amiability about it—it’s almost like a two-hour end-credits gag reel. (Nevertheless, it contains an end credits gag reel.) But as I said, if you saw the trailer, you got the best the movie has to offer.

(Hmmmm. So let me get this straight. Two films based on older television series (CHiPs being the other) were released the same year and both were overtly homophobic? The gay panic riddles the CHiPs trailer. They seem to have hidden it well here with Baywatch. Which makes it all the more disappointing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ5tqzw841s

(See this actually doesn’t look bad. It at least tries to do what the original did. They at least avoided what CHiPs did which was overtly use three or four gay panic scenes in the advertising. It was to the point where I thought the movie might have been called Gay Panic: The Movie. But I was shocked by the reviews because this trailer looks decent.)

Directors – Seth Gordon – (Known For: Horrible Bosses; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Identity Thief; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Director of acclaimed documentary King of Kong. Parlayed that into several feature films and a whole mess of television shows, most recently The Goldbergs.)

Writers – Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (Known For: Soul Surfer; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Also the creators of the Hulk Hogan television series Thunder in Paradise, so basically legends.)

Gregory J. Bonann (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (BMT: Baywatch; Notes: See above. Legend.)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (story by) – (Known For: Guess Who; Future BMT: I Spy; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; Baywatch; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Norbit in 2008; Notes: BMT faves. Just got a pilot picked up with the following synopsis: hard as nail female CIA agent gets partners with self-absorbed male agent trained to use sex and seduction to keep America safe… … Bad TV Tuesday, anyone?)

Thomas Lennon  and Robert Ben Garant (story by) – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; Herbie Fully Loaded; Future BMT: Balls of Fury; Hell Baby; Reno 911!: Miami; Let’s Go to Prison; BMT: Taxi; Baywatch; The Pacifier; Notes: Prolific screenwriters who even wrote a whole book on how best to sell-out in Hollywood. Part of The State and Reno 911!)

Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay by) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; BMT: Friday the 13th; Baywatch; Notes: This finishes their filmography having just watched the Friday the 13th films they wrote. Writing the upcoming Aladdin film, so they are on the rise.)

Actors – Dwayne Johnson – (Known For: Moana; Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; San Andreas; Furious 6; The Other Guys; Central Intelligence; Hercules; Faster; Fast & Furious 5; The Mummy Returns; Pain & Gain; Get Smart; The Scorpion King; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Snitch; Welcome to the Jungle; Race to Witch Mountain; Gridiron Gang; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Jem and the Holograms; Southland Tales; You Again; Reno 911!: Miami; Planet 51; Walking Tall; The Game Plan; BMT: Doom; Baywatch; Be Cool; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Doom in 2006; Notes: Still known widely by his WWE monicker The Rock. He is amazingly one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood now. What he’s got charisma in spades.)

Zac Efron – (Known For: The Disaster Artist; Bad Neighbours 2; Hairspray; Bad Neighbours; 17 Again; The Lorax; We Are Your Friends; The Paperboy; Parkland; High School Musical 3: Senior Year; Liberal Arts; At Any Price; Me and Orson Welles; Future BMT: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates; That Awkward Moment; The Lucky One; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; BMT: Baywatch; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Notes: Broke out with the High School Musical Series. Has struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism during his career, but appears to be clean now.)

Alexandra Daddario – (Known For: San Andreas; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; The Squid and the Whale; Bereavement; Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Layover; The House; Hall Pass; Burying the Ex; The Babysitters; The Hottest State; BMT: Baywatch; The Choice; Notes: Made her acting debut on All My Children. I recognize her more from her various television roles than her movie work.)

Budget/Gross – $69 million / Domestic: $58,060,186 (Worldwide: $177,856,751)

(Not super great domestically, but potentially okay overall. We won’t be seeing Baywatch 2 though. They were obviously expecting a 21 Jump Street level take which is closer to $140/$200 million. Not even close.)

#35 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(This is just above the Tom Hanks classic Dragnet. They kind of blew it in 2002 / 2003 by somehow released 11 buddy action films in those two years and audiences rebelled. This included things like future BMT Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. It has come back over the past ten years, and is a steady genre releasing three films this year … all terrible.)

#47 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(Ah I remember that boom (it included the recently watched Beverly Hillbillies). I feel like I’m continually surprised at how many films are made that are based on television shows. Near Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Otherwise known as the worst one.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (38/201): Baywatch takes its source material’s jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original’s campy charm — and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.

(Which is basically what 21 Jump Street did right. They took the ridiculous thing (cops going undercover in a high school) and took it to its logical conclusion (everyone basically doesn’t believe they are actually high school students). Here it doesn’t seem like they took the original’s hook (attractive people in skimpy outfits solve crimes for some reason on a beach) and took it anywhere at all. And that’s a shame.)

Poster – Sklogwatch (C+)

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(A poster is a delicate thing. You want it to be artistic, tell a story, and sell a product. This seems singularly focused on the last point. The Rock and some hotties (looking at you Efron) are here to save the day and capture your heart. Let’s throw their pics on the poster and put a weird giant wave behind them. That’s about it. That being said, great font game guys. That ‘A’ with the lifeguard station is bomb. I’m putting you above average just for that.)

Tagline(s) – Beaches ain’t ready (D)

(Ohhhh nooooooo. This is like 7 levels too high, guys. Reel it back in. I know the entire movie is based on making something so stupid that it might go all the way around and become good again but this is unfortunate. While this secretly might be a very good tagline. I can do nothing but hate it. Sorry.)

Keyword(s) – lifeguard; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.2 Piranha 3DD (2012); 61.7 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004); 54.3 Lovewrecked (2005); 52.9 Aquamarine (2006); 51.3 Sand Sharks (2012); 47.5 Bait (III) (2012); 46.5 Baywatch (2017); 36.7 The To Do List (2013); 34.7 Joe Dirt (2001); 33.5 The Lifeguard (2013);

(Oooo, I like that it isn’t the top. Most of these are kind of crap though. Like Piranha 3DD and Joe Dirt I don’t think will be done in our lifetimes (perhaps our grandchildren will do it on a throwback week for the BMT News Network, BMTNN). The only safe bet is Cody Banks to be honest.)

Notes – Zac Efron gave Dwayne Johnson all the names to call him in the movie, like One Direction. (This sounds like something Zac Efron would say but isn’t true)

In an interview, Priyanka Chopra said that the role of the main antagonist was written for a man, but the director changed the role and the script upon meeting her. (This sounds like something Priyanka Chopra would say but isn’t true)

After scathing reviews poured in from critics and fans alike, Dwayne Johnson tweeted that the film wasn’t made for critics. (This sounds like something Dwayne Johnson would say but isn’t true)

Nina Dobrev, Ashley Benson, Alexandra Shipp, Shelley Hennig, Bianca A. Santos, and Denyse Tontz were considered for the role of Summer. (Nina Dobrev! Of Flatliners and XxX: The Return of Xander Cage fame?)

Robert Ben Garant was going to write and direct the film.

Jeremy Garelick was set to write and direct the film. (love me some alternate directors)

Pamela Anderson also performs a cameo at the very movie’s end but, like the original Mitch Buchanon appearance, all is spoiled from the beginning since their names are listed at the initial credits. (Ha. That’s pretty stupid.)

Cameo…David Hasselhoff appears in a scene with this “Mitch” where they interact and call each other “Mitch”.

Another 48 Hrs. Preview

We’ve finally made it out of the woods that was the Squeakuel cycle. Little did we know how harrowing the journey would be and how much work it would actually take to do two movies per week for nine weeks. You live and learn, my friends. Or more likely, you live, learn, forget, and find yourself doing it again next year. And so we end this cycle and start anew with a cycle we call What the ?!&%*#. These are all films that contain punctuation in the title. Additionally we will attempt to do nine different punctuation marks through the cycle. Thrilling stuff. We start with the most important punctuation mark, the period (no offense to those who might think otherwise. Looking at you Christopher Walken). Lucky for us there was a classic disappointing sequel that contained a period. That’s right, we’re watching Another 48 Hrs., the sequel to the comedy classic 48 Hrs., for the Scattegories entry. For those keeping track this is our third Eddie Murphy film in the last year. Pretty exciting stuff. Let’s go!

Another 48 Hrs. (1990) – BMeTric: 31.4

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(Stable, right around where I would think it would be given its general reception (30ish). Has the 2011 inflection and the regression to the mean with a final perfectly below average rating of sub-6.0. The only really remarkable thing I would say is it has more votes than I would imagine for a sequel that no one seemed to want or like. I would classify this as a profile of vote dominant. In that almost all of its BMeTric comes from having more votes than most bad movies do, whereas its rating is now basically average. Note that this movie almost definitely transitions from a rating dominant (because it has only a few thousand votes in 2004) to a vote dominant movie all while maintaining basically the same BMeTric. I wonder if that is a trait of regression to the mean and the way the BMeTric is calculated. Not that would be some inside baseball shit.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Strictly-by-the-numbers rehash of 48HRS., without its spontaneity, pizzazz, or humor: Nolte is forced to turn to Murphy (who’s just been sprung from jail) to help him solve a case and save his police career. Watchable, but not terribly invigorating; mst set some sort of record, however, for breaking more panes of glass than any movie in history.

(Ooof, this review lacks pizzazz Leonard. Strong punctuation game as always (including a somewhat invigorating use of a colon early on there). At least the stars seem to reflect Maltin’s level of concern over this film, he seems like he could give or take it, a true middle-of-the-road two-of-four if I ever saw one.)

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

(Ah right at the sweet spot where Eddie Murphy scream-singing to music with headphones on was invariably funny (he also does it in the The Golden Child). The boys are back! I’m not sure if you caught that … but the boys are back. To be honest this does look a little fun. I’ll have to rewatch the original to really figure out what they screwed up.)

Directors – Walter Hill – (Known For: The Warriors; Bullet to the Head; Wild Bill (BMT); Streets of Fire; 48 Hrs.; Red Heat; Crossroads; Undisputed; Geronimo: An American Legend; The Long Riders; Johnny Handsome; The Streetfighter; Southern Comfort; The Driver; Trespass; Extreme Prejudice; BMT: Supernova; Another 48 Hrs.; Last Man Standing; Brewster’s Millions; Notes: I remember the most interesting note from Blue City was that he considers all of his films westerns, so again, I’ll look for that influence. Makes sense, Nolte is a sheriff, and Murphy is the hired gun sprung from jail to catch the bad guys.)

Writers – Roger Spottiswoode (characters) – (Known For: 48 Hrs.; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; Notes: Mostly a director known for 6th Day and (in bad movie circles) Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! Was married to Jack Palance’s daughter. 48 Hrs. is his only true writing credit which is a tad bit odd.)

Walter Hill (characters) – (Known For: Aliens; The Warriors; Alien³; Wild Bill (BMT); Streets of Fire; 48 Hrs.; Red Heat; Undisputed; The Getaway (1972); The Long Riders; The Streetfighter; Southern Comfort; The Driver; The Drowning Pool; The MacKintosh Man; Hickey & Boggs; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; The Getaway (1994); Last Man Standing; Notes: We most recently saw him with Blue City and before that Wild Bill (a rare 40% rotten tomatoes film we did to complete the Mapl.d.map). I would consider him a legend if only for The Warriors which is one of my favorite films. The fact that he is only credited for characters makes it possible that the western influence won’t be as present. Another thing to watch out for I guess, whether that influence is present in both the original and sequel.)

Larry Gross (characters & screenplay) – (Known For: Streets of Fire; 48 Hrs.; Geronimo: An American Legend; True Crime; Porto; We Don’t Live Here Anymore; This World, Then the Fireworks; Chinese Box; BMT: Another 48 Hrs.; Crime + Punishment in Suburbia; Gunshy; Notes:  Known for his collaborations with Walter Hill. On his wiki page it mentions a diary of his time on the set of 48 Hrs. And indeed, it is a ten part series on a website that barely exists anymore. I am ridiculously excited to read this.)

Steven E. de Souza (characters) – (Known For: Die Hard; The Running Man; Commando; Die Hard 2; 48 Hrs.; Ricochet; BMT: Street Fighter; The Flintstones; Knock Off; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Judge Dredd (BMT); Beverly Hills Cop III; Hudson Hawk (BMT); Another 48 Hrs.; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Bad Dreams; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk; Man, this guy is a staple of early 90’s bad movies. He began his career as a game show contestant who subsequently convinced producers to read some of his writing samples. Was known for his ability to balance action and humor.)

Eddie Murphy (story) (as Fred Braughton) – (Known For: Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop II; Boomerang; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; Another 48 Hrs. (BMT); Harlem Nights (BMT); Notes: See the Razzie info below. Almost done with his written filmography. As a matter of fact, if I watch Boomerang and Vampire in Brooklyn I would be totally done with Eddie Murphy as a writer. He actually most gets “story” credits, whereas only Harlem Nights and Norbit has him actually writing it. He was credited as Fred Braughton, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why he got credited that way.)

John Fasano (screenplay) – (BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Darkness Falls; Another 48 Hrs.; Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; Notes: Has a winding path to his somewhat modest writing career. He was the art director for special interest magazines, made posters for exploitation films, and directed IBM industrial videos before becoming a screenwriter. His entire family is in the biz, although mostly behind the camera.)

Jeb Stuart (screenplay) – (Known For: Die Hard; The Fugitive; Blood Done Sign My Name; Vital Signs; BMT: Fire Down Below (BMT); Another 48 Hrs.; Leviathan; Lock Up; Just Cause; Switchback; Notes: Pretty impressive early career, where him and de Souza wrote Die Hard as his first credit. He wrote an early draft of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull … in 1995 when it was called Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Shrek; Shrek 2; Shrek the Third; Mulan; Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop; Trading Places; Dreamgirls; Tower Heist; Shrek Forever After; Beverly Hills Cop II; 48 Hrs.; Doctor Dolittle; The Nutty Professor; Life; Dr. Dolittle 2; Bowfinger; Boomerang; Imagine That; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Pluto Nash (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child (BMT); A Thousand Words (BMT); The Distinguished Gentleman; Harlem Nights (BMT); Notes: See below for Razzie notes; There isn’t much more to say about Murphy mainly because we’ve already done this two other times within a year for Harlem Nights and the Norbit Hall of Fame celebration. Y’all know Eddie Murphy, c’mon!)

Eddie Murphy Razzie Cred – Won the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Won the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress for Norbit; Won the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Director and Screenplay for Norbit; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Actor for A Thousand Words; in 2010 for Imagine That; in 2009 for Meet Dave; and in 2003 for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, and Showtime; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Screen Couple for Meet Dave; in 2008 for Norbit; in 2003 for Showtime, I Spy, The Adventures of Pluto Nash;

Nick Nolte – (Known For: Warrior; Noah; Hulk; Tropic Thunder; The Thin Red Line; Cape Fear; Run All Night; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Hotel Rwanda; A Walk in the Woods; Over the Hedge; Parker; The Company You Keep; Paris, je t’aime; The Player; 48 Hrs.; U Turn; The Prince of Tides; Lorenzo’s Oil; New York Stories; Hateship Loveship; The Good Thief; Affliction; Down and Out in Beverly Hills; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; Zookeeper; Breakfast of Champions; I Love Trouble; Arthur; Simpatico; Another 48 Hrs.; The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; Three Fugitives; Nightwatch; Blue Chips; Notes: Was up for the role of Han Solo and turned down the role of Indiana Jones. Interesting fact: could not serve in the Vietnam War after he was convicted of selling fake draft cards.)

Also stars Brion James (Who we saw in Tango & Cash)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $80,818,974 (Worldwide: $153,518,974)

(Not a terrible take. Weirdly some reviews mention it not doing as well as the original, but actually it did make more money, although with inflation and expectations beating out an original movie made five years prior by less than two million dollars isn’t mind blowing. My guess is if it had gone above $100 million and had gotten even a merely below average reception (40-50%) there would have been a third assuming the actors were willing.)

#23 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Kind of in the thick of recent buddy cop films (like Ride Along 2). Also at the peak of 80s/early-90s buddy cop action films a year after Tango & Cash and Lethal Weapon 2. I have a feeling they were going to go the lethal weapon route if this had done well and there would have been a few of these made.)

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

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(Narrowly beat out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (The Secret of the Ooze) … oof. We’ve done a ton of these over the last year. Ride Along 2, Are We Done Yet?, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2, Big Momma’s House 2, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous … my God we are mad men.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (4/27): No consensus yet.

(Let’s make a consensus: As one reviewer put it, this is a sequel in the worst sense. Contrived, rarely funny, and basically a carbon copy of the original. Yeah, so the reviews harp on the fact that this is the same movie as the original, although some mention that if not for the existence of the original film this would actually be rather fun.)

Poster – Another 48 Skgs. (A-)

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(I really like this poster. I like the red and yellow primary colors, the balance with the car in the middle, and the classic font. I think the weakest point is the pictures of the actors and this could have been really artistic without that, but you can’t blame them.)

Tagline(s) – The Boys Are Back In Town (C)

(If you look in the notes you’ll see that the people involved in the film series were obsessed with this phrase. Shows up in like seven different aspects of the two films. Not sure why, though. A solid ‘meh.’)

Keyword(s) – biker; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.8 Batman & Robin (1997); 81.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 80.8 Vampires Suck (2010); 70.7 Grease 2 (1982); 61.3 Ghost Rider (2007); 57.3 The Sweetest Thing (2002); 54.3 The Counsellor (2013); 53.8 Batman Forever (1995); 50.2 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987); 47.4 Extraction (II) (2015);

(The only thing more unlikely than having two Cameron Diaz movies on this list is me remembering that Cameron Diaz is in The Counsellor. Pretty nice list though, we’ll have to hit up the applicable Batman movies at some point, just to get a preview in BMT, despite having seen Batman and Robin at least ten times.)

Notes – According to Brion James around 50 minutes were cut from from the final work-print until the released version. James said this in interview; “Total Recall (1990) came out a week before Another 48 Hrs. (1990) that summer, it made twenty-five million, became the number one movie in the country and the studio panicked because they had invested a lot in the 48 Hours franchise, but they felt that at well over two hours, that the movie might be too much. My stuff was in there until one week before the film opened; that is when they cut twenty-five minutes out of that movie, a week before it opened. It went from around 140 to down around 95 minutes. They said, “Cut all the behaviour, action, comedy…” I lost every major scene I had. That’s the last time I ever cared about a movie because I went to the press screening and it was like getting kicked in the stomach, seeing what is not there. I was the third lead and now I looked like a dressed extra. All the stuff that they had in the set-up, stuff in the trailer, all those scenes were gone.” (Well … that’s sad)

Character actor Frank McRae was cast as Haden, Nick Nolte’s boss, the same part he played in 48 Hrs. (1982). His part was almost completely cut from this picture. If you look closely in one of the shots in the police precinct, McRae appears on camera for a few seconds. He was uncredited for the role. (Goes hand in hand with the above note. I’ll be watching for that guy like a hawk)

Reportedly, Eddie Murphys paycheck for the first 48 Hrs. (1982) film was US $450,000 whilst Nick Nolte’s salary was US $1,000,000. For this sequel, reportedly, Nolte got US $3 million, whilst Murphy received US $7 million. (But how much did Fred Braughton get?)

Because of the sequence depicting a violent shoot-out in a hotel lobby from the first 48 Hrs. (1982) film director Walter Hill was told he would never work for Paramount again (according to the book “Walter Hill: Last Man Standing” (2004) by Patrick McGilligan). Hill did though, as he directed this sequel for the studio. (fun. fact.)

There were plans to do a third film which never materialized. (Oh, didn’t it? Considering the box office take that is actually surprising. I would guess that perhaps Murphy bailed)

Nick Nolte appears heavier in the role than usual because when shooting started, he was still carrying the weight he gained for Q & A (1990). (huh, I wonder why Nolte put on the weight, he wasn’t playing a known person. As a matter of fact … he was playing a police officer just like in this film)

When Reggie is calling his old friends to try and borrow money, one of the men he calls is named “Willie Biggs”. In the original screenplay for the first movie, Willie Biggs was the name of Reggie Hammond. Eddie Murphy requested that the name be changed because he thought it was a “generic black name.” (Good on Murphy I guess)

The “The Boys Are Back In Town” phrase was used as the main movie tagline for this movie. Similarly, the promotional blurb for the first film, 48 Hrs. (1982), started with the “The Boys Are Back In Town” wording. This was also the name of a song written specifically for that film. The track was never released when that movie came out and was never available on CD until the year 2000. For this sequel, though the original song was heard at the end of the film, the track wasn’t included on this sequel’s album either. (Whaaaaat? That’s a crazy note. I had assumed it was the line from the actual famous song with the lyrics “The boys are back in town”. Is it not? I can’t even tell, was that song written for Another 48 hrs.?! … nope, it is a different song. How strange.)

Ride Along 2 Preview

Alright, so this week we arrive back at our most misguided genre, the Chain Reaction. It was incredibly difficult jumping from 1986 to 2016. Not many actors, even big stars, are still making BMT films after 20 years. So jumping from 1986’s No Mercy to a 2016 film seemed an impossible task. Thank god for Bruce McGill. Unlike Richard Gere and Kim Basinger, McGill is still going strong, and allowed us to jump straight from No Mercy to 2016’s sequel du jour, Ride Along 2. This also means we got extra content this week as the original Ride Along is also BMT (and both DVDs have commentaries by director Tim Story). Lucky us. Let’s go!

Ride Along 2 (2016) – BMeTric: 28.8

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(Alright, like Ride Along this guy is also super stable. I love the giant drop at the end. Classic. The fans of the film give it 10’s, and then it gets a bunch of 1’s from idiots early, and then it bounces right to where it eventually lands at 5.9. Also pretty good considering its reviews. A BMeTric of 30 is solid considering it was released less than a year ago.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – This second helping of Hart’s hyper hijinks as rookie cop Ben, once more paired with Ice Cube’s glowering bulldog presence as rule-flouting veteran James, exists for the same reason that “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” does: money. Probably a good test of whether you should consider riding along with this low-rent version of “Bad Boys” meets “Rush Hour” is if you are tickled by Ben suggesting that he and James call themselves “The Brothers-in-Law.” Get it? They are brothers-in-law and they are “brothers” IN Law. OK. You can stop giggling now

(Sounds about right. But also something you could feasibly say about nearly any franchise comedy sequel. They exist for money. And if you like the jokes they are going to make you’ll like the movie. Groundbreaking. The reviewer does note that the film is more diverse which is nice.)

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

(Ha! This is basically the plot of Dirty Grandpa … not really, but weird that both start in Atlanta and go to Florida and the main character has to get back in time for his wedding while getting pulled into trouble by a relative. C’mon, that’s weird. What’s that I smell? Is that a Hollywood badass bar? I hope it is brightly lit with sparsely and even distributed dancers! I hope there is just no crowd around the bar area and getting a drink seems convenient!)

[NOTE: I just copied these notes from the Ride Along preview as these are literally all of the same people minus Jason Mantzoukas]

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; BMT: Taxi (BMT); Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  From the Taxi preview: The top grossing African-American director of all time (domestic at least, not sure about worldwide). Actually just retook the top spot from Tyler Perry with Ride Along 2. I’ll add that he has announced he is directing Humbug starring Ice Cube as a real estate mogul in a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol. Be still my beating heart.)

Writers – Greg Coolidge (screenplay & story) – (BMT: Employee of the Month; Sorority Boys; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  Not much about him online, but that is an incredible filmography. I need to see Sorority Boys at some point, just an absurd White Chicks-esque premise.)

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (screenplay) – (Known For: The Invitation; Crazy/Beautiful; BMT: The Tuxedo (BMT); Æon Flux (BMT); R.I.P.D. (BMT); Clash of the Titans; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: Legends. How does one go from Crazy/Beautiful to The Tuxedo exactly? If you want some insight this article is incredibly in depth. Turns out … you do one solid adaptation and you’ll basically be tapped for a million more. Honestly I don’t think the script was the problem with most of these movies so get yo money.)

Actors – Ice Cube – (Known For: 22 Jump Street; 21 Jump Street; Friday; The Book of Life; Boyz n the Hood; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Three Kings; Barbershop; Rampart; Higher Learning; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Trespass; The Glass Shield; The Longshots; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union (BMT); Anaconda; Torque (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); Are We There Yet?; First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Ride Along 2; Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Dangerous Ground; Ride Along; Next Friday; Notes: Cube! A legend in his own right if only for Ghosts of Mars, a secret BMT favorite. Most famous for being a primary player in NWA he has since become somewhat of a comedy staple. Started with Friday in the 90’s and then the Barbershop series in the 00’s, he’s a full blown comedian at this point. Impressive dude.)

Kevin Hart – (Known For: The Secret Life of Pets; Central Intelligence; This Is the End; The 40 Year-Old Virgin; Death at a Funeral; The Five-Year Engagement; Think Like a Man; Top Five; About Last Night; Death of a Dynasty; BMT: Epic Movie; Superhero Movie; Soul Plane; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Meet Dave; In the Mix; Scary Movie 3 (BMT); Little Fockers; Fool’s Gold (BMT); Drillbit Taylor; Along Came Polly; Think Like a Man Too; Get Hard; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Grudge Match (BMT); The Wedding Ringer (BMT); Notes: He exploded as one of the most prolific comedic actors a few years ago (and trust me, some people are not happy about that for some reason) with Ride Along, Get Hard, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2, and the Wedding Ringer coming out in the last 3 years basically.)

With Tika Sumpter again (from Madea Christmas and now Ride Along … I’m going to be honest, I’m surprised she’s in this considering this movie takes place in Florida now. They could have easily kind of just said “she’s in Atlanta, don’t worry about it” kid-from-London-Has-Fallen style. Save some cash.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $90,862,685 (Worldwide: $124,246,152)

(Definitive success if probably a disappointment considering the take of the original. Here I’ll highlight one thing. If you look through some big name multi-film series starring black actors there is a possibly-not-surprising trend. The Barbershop series has an average foreign percentage of gross of 1.6%. The Friday series has an average 2.6%. All of the Madea movies have an average of 1.1%. It is at least somewhat well known that films geared towards African American audiences basically don’t get released to foreign markets. This is probably because there is a cultural factor that is (perceived?) to not translate. Ride Along 2 though actually seems to have bucked the trend a bit taking 26.9% of its take overseas. Promising. Kevin Hart said he wanted to remove the stigma off films that are called “black films” and it seems like he is doing it.)

#19 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(Not much is going to change from the commentary from the Ride Along preview. I will say it has to be a bit disappointing to see the take slip a bit in the second installment for this genre considering how consistent Ice Cube’s other series 21 Jump Street has been. Being near Green Hornet is domestic take is not so hot.)

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

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(Unfortunately this might reveal a bit of why this film as a disappointment as it sits near Sex and the City 2 and Madea Goes to Jail on the domestic charts, oooof. We most recently saw this chart with Cheaper By the Dozen 2 where we noted these bad ones tend to come as a peak is a-tumbling. And I have a feeling we’ve crossed the rubicon and we’ll be seeing a new crop of original comedy rise so that sequels can be made a plenty in about 5 years)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (15/104): Ride Along 2 presents a cop-comedy sequel whose well-matched stars can’t break the law of diminishing returns — or lock up a script that unabashedly steals from the original.

(Ooooooof. For an original that was in itself simplistic, linear, and predictable being forced to borrow from oneself is a bit rough. They painted themselves into a corner a bit I think. What movie are they intending to parody in this case (or set of movies). Miami Vice? 2 Fast 2 Furious? For a little more absurdist take there are a million directions to go in, but I can’t really think of what they can do here except drug dealer in Miami, he’s bad, brightly lit clubs, the end.)

Poster – Sklog Along 2: Sklog-ami Vice (D)

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(They really liked that first poster apparently. This is still drab and dull, but instead of of effectively using yellow they throw in some crazy pants and a blue car… that blue car really bums me out. Such simple things can ruins so much. Sklog Along 2 anyone?)

Tagline(s) – The brothers-in-law are back. (C+)

(I’m digging this one a little more than the first Ride Along tagline. Here they keep it more concise and have a couple b’s popping. A light pun on “brothers-in-law” that doesn’t work great visually. No plot at all though, other than the fact that it is a sequel.)

Keyword(s) – drugs; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.0 Disaster Movie (2008); 75.7 LOL (2012); 72.6 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 71.3 Showgirls (1995); 67.1 Year One (2009); 65.0 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 62.5 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 59.3 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991); 59.0 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 56.0 Sliver (1993);

(… How is “drugs” a part of Jason Goes to Hell? I guess that is one of the smoke-weed-and-you-get-murdered tropes from horror franchises. Again, garbage list because the keyword is too general.)

Notes – The title “Ride 2gether” was strongly considered but they chose to remain with the original title. (This make come as a shock, but I think that is a horrible title. It isn’t close enough to actually remind you of the first smash hit film, so it would be difficult to pull off as a sequel)

In the beginning of the film Ben (Kevin Hart) is sitting in a surveillance van with “Packer” written on the side. This is named after the film’s producer Will Packer. (Fun facts are the best facts)

A “Gears of War 3” poster can be seen in Ben’s apartment when he is being asked to go to Miami. (okay)

Ashanti is seen as one of the party girls with Kevin Hart and Ken Joung at Ben’s bachelor party. (say what. That is weird. Sadly not many good notes for this film. Have to wait for those PAs to dish I guess)

Ride Along Preview

Alright, so this week we arrive back at our most misguided genre, the Chain Reaction. It was incredibly difficult jumping from 1986 to 2016. Not many actors, even big stars, are still making BMT films after 20 years. So jumping from 1986’s No Mercy to a 2016 film seemed an impossible task. Thank god for Bruce McGill. Unlike Richard Gere and Kim Basinger, McGill is still going strong, and allowed us to jump straight from No Mercy to 2016’s sequel du jour, Ride Along 2. This also means we got extra content this week as the original Ride Along is also BMT (and both DVDs have commentaries by director Tim Story). Lucky us. Let’s go!

Ride Along (2014) – BMeTric: 22.5

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(Kind of interesting BMeTric, so stable. That is unusual. Graphs like this come about when, against all odds, a movie’s rating doesn’t change and they were released after 2011 (so no potential for the 2011 bump). Except it isn’t really against all odds, 6.1 is literally the average rating on IMDb, so there is just no regression to the mean at all. Anyways, 6.0+ is more common than you think for BMT, but it is always fun to watch them … usually means that we are not the target audience. And with this movie … yeah, we aren’t the target audience.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Intermittently funny vehicle for the fast-talking comedic talent of Hart finds him playing a motor-mouthed security guard who joins tough-as-nails cop Ice Cube on a 24-hour ride-along. Object: to prove himself not only worthy of fulfilling his dream of joining the department, but also of marrying his one-day partner’s sister. Nothing we haven’t seen before in buddy-cop movies, from 48Hrs. to Lethal Weapon, yet this one is apparently striving to be a comic version of Training Day. Cube is a perfect foil for Hart, who’s amusing in short spurts – but this movie provides an overdose.

(First, that is one long review. Second, nice hyphen game as usual Leonard (I’m convinced someone on his staff has a bet going to see how many hyphens they can fit into a short review, we’ve seen this before). And third, yeah, I would have blindly guess two stars from Maltin before reading this review. This movie is going to be vaguely funny, ten minutes too long, and occasionally aggravating. And not that bad. Book it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5klp6rkHIks

(Meh. I obviously remember this trailer from when it came out and it looks meh. Does seem like they went the Training Day route which is fine. Do not like the portrayal of video games in this movie … that isn’t how they work, but whatever.)

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; BMT: Taxi (BMT); Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  From the Taxi preview: The top grossing African-American director of all time (domestic at least, not sure about worldwide). Actually just retook the top spot from Tyler Perry with Ride Along 2. I’ll add that he has announced he is directing Humbug starring Ice Cube as a real estate mogul in a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol. Be still my beating heart.)

Writers – Greg Coolidge (screenplay & story) – (BMT: Employee of the Month; Sorority Boys; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes:  Not much about him online, but that is an incredible filmography. I need to see Sorority Boys at some point, just an absurd White Chicks-esque premise.)

Jason Mantzoukas (screenplay) – (BMT: Ride Along; Notes:  WHAT. So apparently there is news reports about him getting hired to rewrite the script when it was about a hard boiled detective taking his potential brother-in-law on a ride along, but the brother was a uptight white psychiatrist. It was rewritten after though. Kind of surprised he hasn’t gotten writing credits on anything else. Obviously from The League and the How Did This Get Made podcast among many other things, but most recently seen in a major role in Dirty Grandpa. I love Jason Mantzoukas, he’s hilarious.)

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (screenplay) – (Known For: The Invitation; Crazy/Beautiful; BMT: The Tuxedo (BMT); Æon Flux (BMT); R.I.P.D. (BMT); Clash of the Titans; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: Legends. How does one go from Crazy/Beautiful to The Tuxedo exactly? If you want some insight this article is incredibly in depth. Turns out … you do one solid adaptation and you’ll basically be tapped for a million more. Honestly I don’t think the script was the problem with most of these movies so get yo money.)

Actors – Ice Cube – (Known For: 22 Jump Street; 21 Jump Street; Friday; The Book of Life; Boyz n the Hood; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Three Kings; Barbershop; Rampart; Higher Learning; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Trespass; The Glass Shield; The Longshots; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union (BMT); Anaconda; Torque (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); Are We There Yet?; First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Ride Along 2; Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Dangerous Ground; Ride Along; Next Friday; Notes: Cube! A legend in his own right if only for Ghosts of Mars, a secret BMT favorite. Most famous for being a primary player in NWA he has since become somewhat of a comedy staple. Started with Friday in the 90’s and then the Barbershop series in the 00’s, he’s a full blown comedian at this point. Impressive dude.)

Kevin Hart – (Known For: The Secret Life of Pets; Central Intelligence; This Is the End; The 40 Year-Old Virgin; Death at a Funeral; The Five-Year Engagement; Think Like a Man; Top Five; About Last Night; Death of a Dynasty; BMT: Epic Movie; Superhero Movie; Soul Plane; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Meet Dave; In the Mix; Scary Movie 3 (BMT); Little Fockers; Fool’s Gold (BMT); Drillbit Taylor; Along Came Polly; Think Like a Man Too; Get Hard; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Grudge Match (BMT); The Wedding Ringer (BMT); Notes: He exploded as one of the most prolific comedic actors a few years ago (and trust me, some people are not happy about that for some reason) with Ride Along, Get Hard, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2, and the Wedding Ringer coming out in the last 3 years basically.)

Also stars Tika Sumpter (seen in A Madea Christmas!!! So exciting)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $134,938,200 (Worldwide: $154,468,902)

(A huge hit. No wonder they made a sequel and are planning on making it a trilogy. Tim Story is box office gold for a reason. And that reason seems to be he can wrangle comedians into making something that resembles a coherent comedic feature film. And he’s friends with Ice Cube who is also an amazing comedic actor it turns out.)

#13 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

actionbuddycomedy_13

(Super successful. Between Lethal Weapon 4 and 21 Jump Street. Picking out an interesting era, 2000-2005 seems to be a little bit of a Buddy Comedy Rush. Strangely enough the common denominator is Jackie Chan, which is interesting. Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon and their sequels all came out at the tail end of the Lethal Weapon (and general buddy cop) era and may have ushered in more of a general dual lead action-comedy formula into Hollywood. A lot of the films of the subsequent era naturally plays on this: Central Intelligence, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and The Other Guys all play off of the 80s and 90s buddy comedy formula in interesting ways. And perhaps that is where this movie failed: it doesn’t play off of it, it plays into it, and chose to poke fun at the late 90s / early 00s cop dramas instead. We’ll see.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (23/124): Kevin Hart’s livewire presence gives Ride Along a shot of necessary energy, but it isn’t enough to rescue this would-be comedy from the buddy-cop doldrums.

(Too bad I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Hart, otherwise there might be some hope. I just hoping to not be bored. Can you give me that Ride Along. Give me some horrible lines and stupid characters to make fun of, please.)

Poster – Sklog Along (D+)

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(Weird. This is like the opposite of my poster philosophy, detailed in my upcoming book Posterized! The Michael Jordan Story. It’s drab and dull with meager symmetry and a simplistic font that can easily be changed to Sklog Along. Get out of here. Only plus is that I like posters that use yellow effectively.)

Tagline(s) – Propose to this cop’s sister? Rookie mistake. (C-)

(They really shoehorn the plot right in there, huh? Wish it was more clever and had better flow.)

Keyword(s) – police; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.8 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.5 Catwoman (2004); 84.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 82.7 Street Fighter (1994); 80.6 Home Alone 3 (1997); 79.3 House of the Dead (2003); 78.7 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 77.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 77.2 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.8 Inspector Gadget (1999);

(Amazing and horrible list at the same time. This list should be movies like RIPD and the like, but they are drowned out by movies “with a police officer in it”. Bull. But whatever. I’m just thankful there is a relevant keyword at all for a recently released movie. The keywords are generally trash. At least this reminds me that I really want to watch Robocop 3)

Notes – Originally the movie intended for Dwayne Johnson to play James and Ryan Reynolds to play Ben. (say whaaaaaaaat, that might have been an incredible movie)

When Ben is surrounded by the group of bikers he quotes multiple lines from Denzel Washington’s speech in Training Day (2001), such as his line about playing basketball in Pelican Bay. This is one of many references to Training Day made throughout the film. (yup, it is supposed to be kind of a comedic take on it clearly)

When Ice Cube is talking in the conference room about the 126 experience, he says “today was a good day.” He is actually quoting one of his popular songs titled “It Was A Good Day.”

Ben is considered short. Kevin Hart is only 4.5 inches shorter than Ice Cube. (ha!)

While James’ car is an unmarked police car, throughout the film, James never turns on any siren or lights (however Ben attempts to). (okay … I was hoping to end it with a fun fact, but that is just kind of dumb)