The Nun Recap

Jamie

When a nun at a remote monastery in Romania commits suicide The Vatican sends a priest and a young nun to investigate. There they find some truly evil shit going on and they are like “we better stop this.” Can they stop this before it’s too late? (no. Since The Nun is in The Conjuring 2). Find out in… The Nun.

How?! The Saint Cartha’s monastery is not a super fun place to be. That’s because an intense evil is being suppressed by the nuns there and hoooooo boy, let me tell you, it’s about to get out. When a nun there commits suicide the Vatican is like “we don’t like that” and sends Father Burke and Sister Irene there to investigate. When they get to Romania a French-Canadian villager named Frenchie, who discovered the body, leads them to the monastery and some crazy stuff starts to happen. First the French-Canadian dude almost gets killed by a crazy nun corpse. Then Father Burke is buried alive and has to be rescued by Irene. Finally, Irene is allowed to enter the monastery and learns that a demon, Valek, roams the halls. The original builder of the castle was totally into resurrecting demons but was stopped at the last minute by the Church. Since then they have kept the demon at bay until WWII damaged the monastery and released the evil. Since then the nuns have died one by one to prevent possession. When Father Burke and Frenchie reunite with Irene they realize all the nuns she’s talked to are actually dead and that they have to seal the demon’s portal before one of them is possessed and it escapes. They grab some of Jesus’s blood and totally take it down to the demon’s lair and almost die, but Irene spits some of it in its stupid demon face and it’s banished… or is it? (it’s not, because Valek is in basically all of The Conjuring movies which take place decades later). THE END.

Why?! Uh… I mean the demon is pure evil and Father Burke and Sister Irene and Frenchie all want to stop pure evil. Is there more motivation needed? I guess like Frenchie secretly wants to bone Sister Irene but it ain’t happening. Especially after he’s a totally gross possessed guy.

Who?! Usually I try to get a musician or someone playing a President or a Planchet (God willing) for this section but this film has none of those. What it does have is an IMDb Thanks credit to a certain Nikos Tsoup as a “Social Media Friend.” Looking him up he has Thanks credits for some of the biggest films of the last bunch of years like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Infinity Wars… so who is this person? I’m a pretty close watcher of credits and I didn’t even remember that there were special thanks in the film. You know why? Their weren’t. In fact, I can find little to no reference to Nikos Tsoup anywhere on the internet. It seems like maybe he’s involved in the background of social media promotion for film (maybe?) but then claims credits on all these big films as part of his job. It’s really weird and when we watch *checks Nikos Tsoup’s IMDb page* Johnny English Strikes Again you better believe I’ll be watching for his name… which won’t be there because he puts these up himself using IMDbPro or some shit.

What?! Obviously best case scenario here was the Valek could be warded off by the power and refreshment of a nice cold Coca-Cola, but alas. Not the case. I guess the closest we have to any of the normal stuff we look for is a bottle of Jesus’s blood that is used to banish Valek… which is kind of a MacGuffin though it seems like blasphemy to say so.

Where?! Really solid Romania film, although I’m guessing that the second Ghost Rider still tops this when it comes to the BMeTric scoring for a place on the map. I also like the added touch that they have a character named Frenchie that they go out of their way to say is actually French Canadian… only to make it even more weird and unlikely that he would be there. A-.

When?! I don’t think they say anything more than that this takes place in 1952. You could potentially guess a season from the weather and state of crops but why bother? Can’t we all just enjoy our lives and enjoy that this takes place specifically in 1952… in fact this almost seems like we need to start a new challenge for a BMT timeline. Rules TBD. C.

I saw The Conjuring in theaters and thought it was good and pretty scary. I personally thought Insidious was scarier, but it was a solid film. For some reason I thought The Conjuring 2 qualified for BMT so as I watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) that film I thought I was watching the greatest bad movie in history (perhaps only behind ahead-of-its-time Freddy Got Fingered). Then I looked it up and realized it got 80% on RT. Yeah, it’s good. Anyway, it made me excited to watch and see what seemingly went so wrong with this prequel. The answer was less exciting than I anticipated. They basically just made a muddled prequel with characters you didn’t really care about and an atmosphere that is more drab than anything else. They had to lose the whole “paranormal hunters” aspect of it, which took a lot of the fun out of it. Besides, we already knew from The Conjuring 2 that The Nun survives to the 70’s, so even when they are battling to defeat the demon it was presumed that it wouldn’t really be vanquished. Funny too since I actually thought The Nun character was a solid part of The Conjuring 2… but origin stories aren’t always the best way to use a character like that. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When I go on transcontinental flights the thing I always love to do is watch spooooooooky movies … not really, I find them unpleasant enough without being trapped in an unpleasant personal environment, but I was taking one for the team watching not only the The Nun, but also The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 on various plane trips this holiday season! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – In order to give it its due I’ll split up my short bonus recaps into two sections. So let’s talk about the original Conjuring. I loved this film. I liked the short introduction involving Annabelle, it was a great way to introduce the main characters and what they do, plus you get an idea of “there are hundreds of stories to explore here, this is a universe” right from the start. I loved how the story split between the struggling family and the Warrens. It had one of the most genuinely spooky moments I’ve seen recently (witch on the wardrobe). It didn’t over do it on jump scares and managed to give a solid template on how to do not only possession films, but also witch films. As far as modern horror films go this was one of the best I’ve seen personally and got me really excited for the sequel and The Nun right off the bat.

You Just Got Schooled – And as for the Conjuring 2, it was still pretty good, although here I kinda lost the thread a bit. The split method (here starting with Amityville, and then moving to the Lutz family in England) still worked really well. But I didn’t find the film as spooky. I loved the idea of Valak hiding behind the old man ghost, but The Crooked Man was kind of weak. There was a lot to like, but I just didn’t like it as much as the first. It didn’t really redefine the “demon” sub-genre like The Conjuring did the “witch” sub-genre in my mind. But still a very good “spooky” (as opposed to scary or gory) horror film in its own right. I am sufficiently excited for The Conjuring 3 and honestly am pretty game for any of the spin-off films in the universe. Easily the most consistently enjoyable horror franchise I’ve come across during my horror education over the past few years.

The Good – Finally onto The Nun. Unfortunately this is easily the weakest of the three films I watched. I did like the main actor, I thought she did a very good job (turns out that is the main character of The Conjuring’s 21-year-younger sister, which is nuts). I thought how they tied The Nun into the Conjuring universe was fine in the end, I was satisfied with the origin story they presented for Valak. There were some good horror moments, the young girl hanging herself and then attacking Frenchie comes to mind. I also like the time/place setting. It was nice to see things predate the Warrens in the timeline and continue the track record of globetrotting.

The Bad – Really weak introduction to the main characters. The possession of Daniel should have been presented as an introductory vignette to introduce us to Father Burke, instead of as a flashback. As presented we end up with about 20 minutes of introductory monologuing by honestly not-very-good actors. The Abbey seemed a little too supernatural for my liking. Given the Warren’s existence in a very real New England / England it is strange to see a legit haunted abbey with clockwork gates and other nonsense. It should have just been a regular abbey where the nuns worshipped Valak or something, defiling their vows etc. etc. And incredibly cliche horror element, just pop up scares and loud sounds, which were not featured heavily in the other two films I watched. Disappointing at the very very least.

The BMT – Oh, we’ll be watching more of the Conjuring franchise. As a matter of fact I’m much much more game to do some more franchises (like Paranormal Activity) as well, as those seemed to have redefined their respective sub-genres (found-footage), which is a sub-genre I tend to hate. And with Annabelle and multiple sequels / spin-offs in the works I think the franchise could produce more BMTs in the future as well which is fun.

Welcome to Earf – I needed some help here. You see Patrick Wilson at the end in the epilogue who was also in (I had to be reminded) Evening, which also stars Hugh Dancy, whose beautiful singing voice is heard in Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return which also had the melodious voice of Dan Aykroyd in it, who was in Nothing But Trouble with Demi Moore, who was in Striptease with Burt Reynolds, who was in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earth!

StreetCreditReport.com – It isn’t that surprising that this wouldn’t get too much play on end of the year lists, it was chosen for being from a franchise after all. I was somewhat surprised by it being featured 8th in Rolling Stone. But the criticism is real, it is incredibly recycled and cliche, which is a disappointment for a franchise which had seemed a breath of fresh air in the past half decade of horror.

I wrote a lot, but that is because I very much liked The Conjuring films I watched, and I very much look forward to watching the Annabelle spinoffs and upcoming sequel.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

The Nun Quiz

The Nun is a-comin’ to getcha guys, she’s in rural Romania but itching for that big-city London park life! She just needs a partner in crime to, you know … get all possessed and shit. Are you that vessel, do you deserve it? Well then get ready, let’s go!

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why is our friend Frenchie called Frenchie?

2) Father Burke is a mysterious figure with a dark past. One of the figures in his past is Daniel, who is Daniel?

3) Frenchie is entangled in the story because of a nun that hanged herself. What was she holding when she hanged herself, and what was it for?

4) For a while our main character Sister Irene is alone in the Abbey with spooooooooky ghosts with Father Burke trapped by a clockwork gate. How do Burke and Frenchie infiltrate the abbey?

5) Give me the whole backstory of Valak as best you can, this is an origin story after all!

Answers

The Nun Preview

“22 miles?!” Jamie exclaims, “we’ll never make it.” Patrick knows he’s probably right but they have to try to get their treasure to the masses. They sneak about the city like ninjas using the parkour knowledge they learned from Truth and Dare. Just as they reach the publishing house a man approaches at the same time. He’s wearing a thick turtleneck sweater with a pencil-thin moustache. “Damn it,” whispers Patrick, “It’s my rival, Manfred Long. He writes horror fantasy romance novels. They are totally played out. He’s a hack.” He quickly puts on a smile and slaps Manfred on the back, “Why hello, Manfred. Heading up to a meeting?” Manfred wipes his sweater, “Of course. Just going over my latest manuscript. Basically gonna change the world. Don’t worry about it.” “I’m not worried,” retorts Patrick. “I know, cause I said you shouldn’t be,” jabs Manfred. And they glare at each other. It’s tense. “Wanna hear about it?” asks Manfred. “No,” sighs Patrick, “we have a big meeting too.” But Manfred continues, “It’s a horror fantasy romance novel about a girl who falls in love with a swamp monster.” At that they freeze. Swamp monster? Shit. Jamie catches Patrick’s eye and they all start running for the publishing office at the same time. They gotta get their book out there and fast before that piece of shit Manfred Long plays out Swamp Monsters. They rush up the stairs and obviously easily outpace that hack Manfred Long. When they reach the office they throw the manuscript on the desk of Patrick’s literary agent. Huffing and puffing they look up the find Patrick’s agent holding a gun. “Excellent,” he says, “this will do nicely.” Patrick is shocked. He trusted his agent like a brother and yet he was a double agent the whole time. Manfred enters, also with a gun. Suddenly a shot rings out… and Patrick’s agent falls dead. A triple agent! My god! “Yes, excellent,” says Manfred Long, “our agent wanted this only for money. But I want it for something far greater.” The air in the room grows cold as Jamie and Patrick both whisper the name… Gigandet. That’s right! We’re transitioning to the new year! 2019! And we’re starting off hot with some Franchise-zzzz. Here we will start or finish some major BMT franchises as well as attempt to right some wrong in the BMT past. Most notably our decision to skip right past Predator II when we started in on that franchise. Gotta finish that one up. So we start it up with a major 2018 prequel The Nun which is one of several branches in The Conjuring Universe. I watched the first film in theaters and enjoyed it quite a bit so will be fun to catch up with The Conjuring 2 and The Nun. Let’s go!

The Nun (2018) – BMeTric: 49.6

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(This will be 50+ by the new year which is pretty incredible. No one rocks a bad review like horror fans who sniff any sort of cliched scare tactics. I’m still a bit surprised at how low the IMDb rating is, 5.5 is legit terrible!)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  The “Conjuring” movies—especially James Wan’s original two, and not so much the “Annabelle” prequels—stood apart from so much demon-themed horror with their well-drawn characters, strong performances and powerful emotional underpinning. “The Nun” feels like an empty thrill ride by comparison.

(Having watched the original two at this point I agree with that assessment, and this is the impression I get from the reviews as well. Tired, cliche, and totally out of sorts with the rest of the franchise. That small review of the Annabelle franchise is a bit ominous, I’ve heard good thing about Annabelle: Origins.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzD9zGcUNrw

(Make sure you watch to the end … for our stupid jump scare which everyone is going to get mad at us for. And yet … not so mad people won’t go see the film since it made bank. Go figure. Fine trailer I guess, although I had jump scares, they are dumb non-scares, so that is not a good sign for the film as a whole.)

Directors – Corin Hardy – (Known For: The Hallow; BMT: The Nun; Notes: Seems to work a lot in ads and stuff. Started in sculpting, prop design, and animation for film and theater and only relatively recently started to direct features.)

Writers – Gary Dauberman (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: It; Annabelle: Creation; Future BMT: Annabelle; Wolves at the Door; BMT: The Nun; Notes: Actually set to make his directorial debut with the next Annabelle film.)

James Wan (story by) – (Known For: Aquaman; The Conjuring 2; Saw; Future BMT: Saw III; Dead Silence; Insidious: Chapter 2; BMT: The Nun; Notes: He has had an amazing career and has been a part of some of the biggest franchises ever with Saw, The Conjuring, Furious 7, and most recently Aquaman.)

Actors – Demián Bichir – (Known For: The Hateful Eight; Alien: Covenant; Savages; The Heat; Che: Part One; Lowriders; Dom Hemingway; A Better Life; Foreverland; 7:19; Future BMT: Solo; Machete Kills; Good Kids; Perdita Durango; Sin noticias de Dios; BMT: The Nun; Notes: Wait… he was in the film Solo?! Jesus.)

Taissa Farmiga – (Known For: The Mule; The Bling Ring; The Long Dumb Road; The Final Girls; In a Valley of Violence; 6 Years; What They Had; Rules Don’t Apply; Higher Ground; At Middleton; Future BMT: Mindscape; Jamesy Boy; BMT: The Nun; Notes: Sister of Vera Farmiga who plays a major role in The Conjuring series. Her sister is 21 years older than her.)

Jonas Bloquet – (Known For: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets; Elle; Orpheline; Future BMT: 3 Days to Kill; The Family; BMT: The Nun; Notes: Actually from Belgium and not French Canadian like this film makes him out to be.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $117,450,119 (Worldwide: $365,550,119)

(A roaring success which at this point is inevitable. Once hooked horror fans will come back again and again for more. They will gladly shit on the film online if it isn’t to their tastes, but I have no doubt The Nun 2 will make a ton of money as well. You have to spit in their face or produce a number of bombs in a row to get betrayed once that first hit is made it seems. Which is great in my opinion, the horror genre is one of the most interesting and fresh genres around I think.)

#4 for the Horror – Period genre

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(You’d think this would be better given the witch sub-genre almost by definition should be a period piece, but not even 10 of them have made over $100 million which is terrible. I guess it is at least 10 since for some reason The Conjuring 2 isn’t there when it is, in fact, a period horror film. Which means at least four of the top ten are Conjuring films which is nuts.)

#7 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

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(From I Know What You Did Last Summer to Alone in the Dark we’ve seen a ton of these films at this point. The genre has never been stronger with It and (arguably) Get Out flexing their muscles last year and things like The Nun making a ton of cash as well.)

#9 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

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(Nothing can beat The Bye Bye Man in my heart, but that is pretty good for a very strong genre. It hasn’t been this strong since the turn of the millennium for supernatural horror, and having watched The Conjuring, it is kind of amazing that a genre which has been hitting home runs since the seventies can still bring fresh takes and rake in cash. Something that things like slashers can never seem to get the hang of (although a few have come around in the last few years like Happy Death Day).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (45/171): The Nun boasts strong performances, spooky atmospherics, and a couple decent set-pieces, but its sins include inconsistent logic and narrative slackness.

(Wait a second… inconsistent logic and narrative slackness is enough for a 26% on RT. This actually sounds more like “we loved the previous two entries in the series and this didn’t measure up so fuck it.”)

Poster – Evil Twin Nun Time (A-)

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(I like this poster quite a bit. Nice balance in the visual and the font is good. Clever as well given the premise of the film. Just wish it was a little better with some coloring. Need to tie it all together.)

Tagline(s) – Witness the Darkest Chapter in The Conjuring Universe (F)

(Boooooooo. They need to pray for forgiveness for this tagline… ayo.)

Keyword(s) – spin off; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.3 Elektra (2005); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999); 67.8 Supergirl (1984); 64.5 Tekken (2010); 62.6 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014); 59.4 The Mod Squad (1999); 54.6 Annabelle (I) (2014); 51.1 The Scorpion King (2002); 49.6 The Nun (2018); 47.4 MacGruber (2010);

(Oooooo Supergirl is going to be a super weird film for sure. And there is Annabelle and Paranormal Activity as well which are inevitably going to have to be done. Bantastic.)

Notes – The film was shot entirely in Romania. (Yeah it was)

The events take place before Annabelle: Creation (2017), making it the first movie (chronologically) in the film series. Although the opening scenes of Annabelle: Creation take place before The Nun, the rest occurs afterwards.

Taissa Farmiga, who played Sister Irene in this film, is the younger sister of Vera Farmiga in real life, who played Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016). The Demon Nun, played by Bonnie Aarons, also appeared in The Conjuring 2 (2016) and had a brief cameo in Annabelle: Creation (2017). Though the sisters’ characters are not at all related to each other, they are both devout Catholics with clairvoyant abilities.

This was Valak’s third appearance after The Conjuring 2 (2016) and Annabelle: Creation (2017). Although Valak did not appear in The Conjuring (2013), the scary premonition that Lorraine Warren had in that film was about Valak, as later revealed in Conjuring 2.

After the “Demon Nun” from The Conjuring 2 (2016) proved to be a popular horror antagonist, a spin-off focusing on the character was green-lit, making her the second character from the franchise to get her own feature after Annabelle (2014). The Crooked Man from Conjuring 2 will be the third in The Crooked Man. (Maybe. I guess since The Nun smashed it they will go forward with it, but it kind of sounds like a terrible idea, The Crooked Man is by far the weakest demon character of the three IMO)

Despite the Conjuring and its sequel being based on true events, this film is not based on any real historical events and is entirely fictional

An advertisement for the film was pulled from the video sharing site YouTube, as many users complained that the five second clip featuring a startling jumpscare was “too scary.” Administrators thus removed the ad and apologized, claiming that it was not their intention to publish content that may potentially “offend” or “shock” viewers. (And afterwards people were still seeing it apparently and super pissed. It is basically just a crazy jump scare which shouldn’t be pulled on unsuspecting people)

The film was originally set to hit cinemas in mid-July of 2018 but was pushed back closer to Halloween season on September 7, in hopes of doing as successful at the box office as It (2017) did last year, which smashed records and earned more than USD $700M. (It didn’t do quite that well, but it did do very well).

At the end of The Nun, a scene from The Conjuring (2013) is shown where Ed & Lorraine are performing an exorcism on Maurice. This scene links the Maurice from that video as being the same Maurice from The Nun, but they edited the scene to fit into the narrative of The Nun: they edited in Jonas Bloquet into the exorcism scene, as he used to be played by a different actor (Christof Veillon); they added in dialogue of Ed saying “they called him Frenchie”, so as to make a better connection. (Uh yeah … you can tell. It was pretty weak to be honest).

Valak is mentioned by name only once, when Father Burke looks into the abbey’s history. Everyone else refers to it as “the evil” or “the demon”.

The name Valak can be found in the upside pentagram all in uppercase. (I guess … Valac was a thing before these films, and spelled with a C, so that seems like a coincidence.)

Mile 22 Recap

Jamie

CIA operative James Silva is totally smart. Way smarter than anyone else so when the US government needs someone to escort a highly valuable source out of an unstable country in order to locate some radioactive material they know who to call. Can Silva and his team find the material before it’s too late? Find out in… Mile 22.

How?! James Silva leads a team of total assholes/badasses. They don’t have time for character development, they’re a little busy saving the world. You OK with that? No? Then fuck you. His team leads a raid on a secret Russian spy bunker where they kill a whole bunch of people including a young guy who’s ominously like “you’ll regret this,” and Silva is like “I regret nothing… ever… because I have no emotions.” Anyway in the process they lose critical information on locating a dangerous radioactive material. Months later they are still trying to find that material and one of the team’s sources seems to totally bone them with a false lead. This dude shows up and claims that everything he has said is correct and if they get him out of the country he’ll give them the location of the rest of the material. He shows them proof that he knows where the material is and then proves that he’s pretty important by showing off some ninja moves against a couple of assassins. They decide to move him and need to get him 22 miles to the nearest airbase. You know what happens next. That’s right, they are compromised and their caravan is attacked. They then head to a safe house that is also compromised and they are attacked. They head into an apartment building which is compromised and they are attacked and the source demonstrates his loyalty by helping them escape. Finally they blow up everyone and crush their enemies only to find out that the source is a triple agent! Oh no, what a twist! He is actually working for Russia who wanted to nail Silva’s team for the death of that young guy that Silva killed who was also the son of a general. We end on a cliffhanger where Silva is all alone and he’s like “I’ll 100% kill you, triple agent, in the sequel. No need to resolve anything here.” THE END.

Why?! For a film predicated on the idea that you don’t know who to trust or what is real in this cat and mouse game of CIA trickery it sure does airmail a couple of things. We get an extended opening where Silva is shown killing a young man who utters the ominous prediction that he will regret his actions. Are we then supposed to forget this happened for the rest of the film? Because (surprise, surprise) this turns out to be the ENTIRE MOTIVATION for the enemy in the film. Yeah, duh. You may be wondering what Silva’s motivation is in the film. Simple: he has no motivation because he is a crazy obsessive who just screams and swears at everyone all the time.

Who?! God imagine if this film had a Planchet. Just some super helpful chubby dude that Silva spends the movie yelling at and calling an idiot. What I wouldn’t give. But obviously the main thing is that this is the second Ronda Rousey film we’ve done for BMT after Expendables 3. Soon to be three when we watch the Entourage film.

What?! As noted in a number of reviews for this film it has one of the weirdest product placements I can remember. One of the members of the team is a divorced mom and is shown using a shared custody app called OurFamilyWizard. I had assumed it was fake since they even made up the country they were in but nope. Real thing. Don’t ask me why this was featured so prominently. And I can’t imagine they paid for it since the character spends the whole movie talking about how much she hates it.

Where?! Opens in the United States and ends with some brief scenes in Colombia, but spends a vast majority of the film in the fictional country of Indocarr. I loved how specific they were with this fictional country that I think we’ll eventually do a cycle where we travel from fictional country to fictional country. Not sure there are enough of them, but we can find out. Incomplete.

When?! We can see on the surveillance cameras that Silva’s team uses that it’s 9/6/2018. There was some question of whether month or day comes first, but considering this is equipment used by a US black ops force I would guess that it’s indeed September. Nice exact date, although not super obvious or anything. B.

I actually somewhat enjoyed Mile 22. I guess I can understand why people were made uncomfortable by the semi right wing undertones of the film (similar to how the television show 24 just wouldn’t work the same way today as it did in the early 2000’s). But this is no Death Wish who’s foundation is built on the positives of vigilante justice and veiled racism. It’s fantasy spy shit with characters who have a license to kill. I liked the action, I liked how shockingly short it was, and I liked the balls to 100% without a doubt set up a sequel. There is literally no resolution to the story. They dared audiences not to gobble this up and ask for more (and they did not). They really misjudged the appetite in today’s world for this kind of stuff. Anyway, I think the film is a fine suspense action film despite an intensely unlikeable main character and a final “twist” airmailed from miles away. Though, I can understand the difficulty for the reviewers who have to review films that have morals they do not agree with. Much like every show on CBS this proposes a world where national security justifies any amount of violence and criminal actions. If you don’t agree with that are you supposed to ignore it… seems impossible. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Mark Wahlberg is a totally badass foul-mouthed off-the-radar agent who is super good at (1) his job and (2) being totally duped by Russia … wait a second! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Naturally I couldn’t get that RogerEbert.com review out of my head. Is is just jingoistic nonsense? It is downright gun-loving super violence? Is it just the film we’ll point to where Peter Berg started to direct straight-to-VOD Seagal films? It did take this from “ho hum, another Mark Wahlberg film” territory, to “wait a goddamn second am I about to watch alt-right propaganda?” which was I guess … interesting.

The Good – Almost nothing. If martial arts and gratuitous violence is your thing then go for it, this movie was made for you. But, it is not my thing and I hated basically every moment of this film. So let’s just skip to the next section.

The Bad – Almost everything! So am I supposed to think Mark Wahlberg is good at his job? Because if he isn’t I’m not sure why everyone puts up with his garbage ‘tude to be honest. He’s a stone cold asshole. And I think I’m supposed to think he’s good at his job … but then he is totally duped by Comrade Martial Arts? It all felt like a “whoops, our movie feels like a shitty Seagal film, well what about we make a little twist?”, but is kind of fails because the twist completely sacrifices the invincibility of the Wahlberg character, which is the only trait that would make him remotely tolerable! I’m going to say it: dog poo in my face. Probably specifically for me, but I found the film intolerable from start to finish.

You Just Got Schooled – Looking over the list of fictional countries (as Jamie points out this film takes place in Indocarr, a fictional country not yet on this list) it is interesting that we have seemingly not watched a single BMT film set in a fictional country. Now, this is unlikely, but possible. Interestingly for Expendables (not BMT, only Expendables 3 is BMT qualifying) we did visit the island nation of Vilena (also weirdly not on the list). But hey wait a minute … Expendables 3 has some sort of involvement with the government of Azmenistan … which isn’t as place. This list is hoooooorseshiiiiiit.

The BMT – Berg and Wahlberg films I think are now on the radar for future projects, just like Wahlberg comedies are all pretty terrible these days. It adds nicely to the repertoire of gun-loving action films as well, which is always an interesting sub-genre/culture to explore for me.

Welcome to Earf – Ronda Rousey is in Mile 22 and Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Genuinely I am shocked that I can’t find 22 Miles on any worst of lists. I think in retrospect it might get some play because of the big names, although now looking at Jamie’s review perhaps people just tolerated it more than me? It also has an almost zero percent chance at a Razzie since it isn’t even on the shortlist (and write-ins never work). I would smash Wahlberg for Worst Actor and Berg for Worst Director if I was still a voting member, but I am not.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Mile 22 Quiz

Do you love guns and Mark Wahlberg? Hell yeah I do, well strap on your sidearm, it is time to foil some international hi-jinx!

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) When the crew attacks the Russian safe house they need a little distraction from their best thespian crew members. What do these skilled actoooooors pretend to be doing near the house?

2) Now in Indocarr everyone is super duper chill and definitely not being total dicks to each other and their families. What does Wahlberg’s right hand woman Alice do to get herself locked out of MyFamilyWizard while talking to her ex-husband. Bonus if you can remember why they were fighting in the first place!

3) Now when the double (or triple …) agent comes to give himself up at the American embassy he is handcuffed for a little physical. This obvs gives us a cool martial arts scene, but before that how does Mr. Martial Arts figure out that the doctor is actually an assassin sent to kill him?

4) The double (or triple …) agent has brought a fancy schmancy drive with him which will tell Mark Wahlberg all about the very-bad-stuff the very-bad-people have stuck into the country! Buuuut there is a trick to it! What is it? And the trick isn’t that it was written by a woman like one character very confusingly insinuates.

5) Now they are on the move (fun!) and their Malkovichian super squad is assembled across the globe. What little figures does Malkovich keep in the room they set up right up until, uh oh, they are all killed because Mark Wahlberg is a dummy.

Answers

Mile 22 Preview

Jamie and Patrick argue over the twist ending for their YA novel, The Platonic Solids Series Part 1: Outside the Box. They know they’ve transformed Briggs’ has-been crime novel into a totally lit YA banger for the gucci crowd, but they need the ending to really pop. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has been forced to conform due to a rash of deaths caused by kids not conforming. They all live in small, boxy apartments when they turn 18 and they get assigned a job. But Jewel is different. She wants to conform but like… can’t. And when she gets assigned a blank card on job day the government comes for her. Oh no! Leaving her box she finds safety in a small army of revolutionaries just like her… but still totally different. They want her to lead, but she can’t, right? She’s just little ol’ Jewel. And she definitely can’t have two smoking hot dudes totally into her for all the right reasons, right? WRONG, because it turns out she’s got all the right moves! Also one of those dudes is a swamp monster. Anyway, Jamie definitely wants Gregor (the non-swamp monster) to turn out to be the son of the Job Decider thus tearing the revolution apart and bringing home astute points about prejudice and individualism. But Patrick is Team Kelton (the swamp monster) and loves the danger he brings to the story, so he wants Jewel and Kelton to succumb to their desires only for him to lose control and kill Gregor’s sister. Suddenly they look at each other. “Why not both?” And with their twin brain powers combined they finish their masterpiece and set up nicely for a trilogy. “It will be my greatest book yet,” Patrick says with tears in his eyes. Suddenly he turns serious. “Jamie, we must succeed. There are spies everywhere, but we cannot fail in getting this book to my publisher.” Shaking, Jamie asks how far they must get this most valuable asset to safety. That’s right! We’re watching Mile 22 starring America, babbbby. It’s about a bunch of badasses doing badass things… honestly I have no idea what this is about. It seems like just an excuse for Wahlberg to shoot and punch things. I’m in. Let’s go!

Mile 22 (2018) – BMeTric: 27.5

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(Staying steady at 6.1 which isn’t exactly average (for big movies it is decidedly below average), but I consider anything below 6.5 to be borderline. This is boosted by being pretty popular given it was released less than a year ago.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars –  The action is intercut with shots of Wahlberg in a suit and tie, speaking in a conference room, talking about “chaos” and how none of you know what the word “collusion” really means. It seems that in the aftermath of this mission, Jimmy decided to try and compete with Jordan Peterson’s YouTube videos. No, that’s not it. … Also interesting is that Malkovich is compelled to trot out an old H.L. Mencken quote about raising the black flag and slitting throats, which is also the motto of well-known pseudonymous right-wing blogger. … So the movie often felt to me like “The Gauntlet” as rewritten by a Breitbart News bot. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But what if I were? I guess I’d hear about it in comments.

(Wait … what the fuck? Did we just stumble into Death Wish 2? I know I shouldn’t be surprised that what amounts to action gun porn might also tend towards right-wing talking points, but what is this reviewer talking about exactly? And he gave it 2.5 out of 4! He basically says: this might dog whistle a bunch of alt-right bullshit, but eh … above average [NOTE: As a note below indicates, the quote is in the book Friday Night Lights, and thus is likely where Peter Berg got it from. Although not a great look to put it in your movie in 2018 IMO]. What is happening? Anyways, hopefully it is just kind of “yeah the show 24 goes out of its way to defend torture and sometimes feels like propaganda but … it is pretty rad.” Or the reviewer is making a joke … it does kind of read like he just hated the film for personally reasons and wants to make his distaste abundantly clear while admitting it is an average film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJU6S5KOsNI

(Huh, I think this is just the second Ronda Rousey film we’ve seen for BMT after Expendables 3. But quite the shock to see her in this. I think I’m going to hate this film. Him saying “I get shit done” while being portrayed as a badass psycho makes my skin crawl.)

Directors – Peter Berg – (Known For: Deepwater Horizon; Lone Survivor; Patriots Day; Hancock; Friday Night Lights; The Kingdom; Welcome to the Jungle; Very Bad Things; BMT: Battleship; Mile 22; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Battleship in 2013; Notes: Quite a good track record all things considered. Was actually a pretty big actor back in the day starring in Fire in the Sky and was on Chicago Hope for four years. Still acts, he’s the Dolphins coach in seven episodes of Ballers.)

Writers – Lea Carpenter (screenplay by & story by) – (BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Wrote her first book, Eleven Days, on a dare. Seems like she currently works for the New York Public Library.)

Graham Roland (story by) – (BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Wrote the recent Jack Ryan television series in addition to on other television series like Lost. A former Marine.)

Actors – Mark Wahlberg – (Known For: Instant Family; The Departed; Boogie Nights; Shooter; All the Money in the World; The Other Guys; Ted; Deepwater Horizon; Lone Survivor; The Fighter; Patriots Day; Pain & Gain; 2 Guns; Four Brothers; The Italian Job; Rock Star; Ted 2; Planet of the Apes; The Basketball Diaries; The Gambler; Future BMT: The Truth About Charlie; Daddy’s Home Two; Mojave; Daddy’s Home; Broken City; Fear; Renaissance Man; Entourage; The Lovely Bones; BMT: The Happening; Transformers: The Last Knight; Max Payne; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Mile 22; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2009 for Max Payne, and The Happening; and in 2018 for Daddy’s Home Two, and Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: A subtle BMT all-star. Marky Mark back in the day, Entourage is somewhat based on his life moving to LA and becoming a mega-star. Ridiculously successful person.)

Lauren Cohan – (Known For: Casanova; Future BMT: Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; All Eyez on Me; The Boy; Collection; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Probably most well known for The Walking Dead where she appeared in 113 episodes. Was born in New Jersey, but lived in England most of her life and has a British accent.)

Iko Uwais – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; The Night Comes for Us; The Raid; Beyond Skyline; Serbuan maut 2: Berandal; Headshot; Man of Tai Chi; BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Star of The Raid, he maybe played pro soccer in Jakarta … it is hard to tell whether he was a professional or not.)

Budget/Gross – $35–60 million / Domestic: $36,108,758 (Worldwide: $66,308,758)

(Very not good. Looking through his recent box office performances the big ones tend to be either comedies like Daddy’s Home, or Transformers films, so I imagine there will come a time where Wahlberg features will cease to be. Unless he turns out another hit in the next few years)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (39/168): Mile 22 lets the bullets fly — and not much else — in a thrill-deficient action thriller whose title proves sadly fitting for a film that feels close to a marathon endurance test.

(No. Not thrill deficient! Anything but that. I want it to actually be just too much thrills. 0%: Too much thrills, I was too thrilled, I hated it. That would be the perfect score. The reviewers seem to agree it is super confusing which might be fun. Reviewer Highlight: …gruesome, action-packed, explosion-filled and [a] convoluted mess… – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Pixel Art: The Movie (B)

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(I wish it wasn’t so drab, but it gives me a lot of what I want. Stylized font, overall balance and feng shui, and telling me what it’s all about (Wahlberg with a gun). I just need more of that red to pull it all together.)

Tagline(s) – Option 1: Diplomacy. Option 2: Military. Meet Option 3. (C+)

(Wow. That really doesn’t flow at all. You can see why they wanted to make it work, pretty well sums up the film in a clever way, but it doesn’t sound right in my brain. I think all the words don’t match correctly with what they are trying to say. Like shouldn’t it be diplomacy vs. war or force… not military? Also is “option” even the right word? Kinda implies that they are all on the table at once rather than attempted in succession. Finally the word “meet” sounds a little cute for a lethal military force… Everything is right about this tagline in the worst possible way.)

Keyword(s) – hand grenade; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.9 Son of the Mask (2005); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.8 Street Fighter (1994); 84.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 84.4 Movie 43 (2013); 82.6 Barb Wire (1996); 73.3 Far Cry (2008); 71.0 The Spirit (2008);

(Son of Mask has a hand grenade in it? … Cool I guess. The rest of these films are garbage except for maybe The Spirit which I’ve seen part of and is honestly one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. We have to do that one at some point, it is so bad.)

Notes – On March 28, 2017 at CinemaCon, Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg announced that they were planning Mile 22 (2018) to become a trilogy, describing “an action franchise at STX Entertainment.” (I imagine that isn’t happening anymore. It didn’t do as well as it needed to do I don’t think)

On February 5, 2018, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos showed up during filming in one of the locations in Colombia. Director Peter Berg even had President Santos try to shoot one of the action sequence of the film.

Mark Wahlberg’s character stated, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” The quote is attributable to English author George Orwell.

The script was written with Mark Wahlberg in mind. (It is Peter Berg after all)

During Dougie’s last stand, Bishop quotes “A Man Must Sometimes Spit On His Hands, Raise The Black Flag, And Begin Slicing Throats”. This is from the 1990 book Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger, which Peter Berg adapted into the 2004 film and 2006 TV series. The quote, from Mencken’s 1919 Prejudices (First Series), is in full: “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” (Oh … Why is the Roger Ebert reviewer concerned about this then? If it is directly from a previously-adapted book-to-film by Berg?)

At approximately 24 min, a shot shows “Moscow, Russia” and a view of an airport. The latitude/longitude indicated are roughly that of the Kremlin. The presumably Russian airfield is actually Long Beach Airport (LGB) There are 3 C-17s in the center of the shot and 2 JetBlue A320/A321 aircraft in the upper right. In the upper left is the moored Farmers Insurance airship. The airship, with an actual name of Eureka, was operated by Airship Ventures, which shut down in 2012. The airship was disassembled and returned to the manufacturer shortly thereafter. This suggests that the shot is stock footage from 2008 – 2012, depending on when Farmers was using the particular livery on the airship in the scene (there were several). Lastly, the footage runs in reverse (note the direction the vehicles are driving) to make the shot pan back rather than forward. (Holy shit. Facts!)

Some of the sentences heard from the screams of the antagonists are in Bahasa Indonesian, a national language of Indonesian Republic. The movie setting is “Indokarr,” a fictional analog of Indonesia. (Wait … it is set in a fictional country … but why?)

The film was pushed back two weeks from its original release date of August 3, 2018 to August 17, 2018. (That isn’t being pushed back. That is tactically moving your movie out of the path of other films I would think. Either trying to get on the other side of The Meg, or clearing out of The Spy Who Dumped Me which could be thought of as having a similar spy theme)

The Darkest Minds Recap

Jamie

After an illness sweeps the nation killing most children and leaving the survivors with a distinct set of superpowers, camps are set up to contain them. Despite being one of the most powerful of these mutant kids, Ruby is able to escape the camps. Will she be able to survive, find others like her, and perhaps fall in love before it’s too late? Find out in… The Darkest Minds.

How?! Ruby is just your typical kid… oh you know, besides being a super powerful Orange that can control minds and basically is too powerful to be allowed to live. That’s because after a children-targeted plague swept the Earth all surviving kids ended up with either super smart powers (Green), telekinetic powers (Blue), electrical powers (Gold), mind control powers (Orange), or fire powers (Red). The last two are killed and the rest are sent to camps. Luckily Ruby is able to trick the bad guys and pretends to be a Green until years later when her secret is discovered and she has to be smuggled out of the camp. On the outside she becomes wary of the adults that claim to want to help her and instead takes up with a group of escapees. They are on the road hoping to evade capture and find a mythical camp where similar survivors are able to live peacefully. While Ruby comes to accept that she’ll never see her parents again, they are able to track down where the camp is. Once there Ruby is recognized as one of only two surviving Oranges along with their leader, the son of the President, Clancy. After being taken under his wing everything is pretty great for Ruby until Clancy is revealed to be a power-hungry garbage person. Just when she tries to escape with her friends the military invades the camp (with the help of Clancy Garbageman over there) and they have an all out battle that Ruby wins. Realizing that she needs help to fight Clancy Garbageman she runs to a child army and in the process her friends are hurt, lost, or driven away. But she’s not crying about it (you are!) and she’s ready to lead in the sequel that is 100% being made. THE END.

Why?! For the main characters it’s survival plain and simple. But also survival on their own terms. They don’t want to live in camps, they don’t want to work for an anti-government resistance, and eventually they come to realize they don’t want to be in the survivor’s camp either. They just want to be able to cruise the countryside together in their Nissan minivan. As for the antagonist, it’s mostly revenge. His dear Papa President more or less tortured him after he gained his powers so now he want to take revenge on everyone by ruling the world with an iron fist or something.

Who?! Hail to the Chief. President Gray has taken office. I know there will be an argument whether President Gray should immediately be succeeded by President Gray Jr. in the BMT Hall of Presidents. But I would argue that he clearly installed himself as a dictator and that at that moment the Presidency became a mockery and that just won’t be tolerated. Also quick shout out to Mandy Moore, musician-turned-actress extraordinaire.

What?! Interestingly many reviewers took umbrage at the particularly noticeable product placement for a Nissan mini-van in this film. I actually didn’t notice it because it seemed to me like they were kind of making fun of how not cool the van they drove around in was. Although thinking about it, the defining feature or the van was its super reliability and they all cried when they had to leave the dear van behind. So yeah, I guess when they make a joke about giving a piece of product placement a Viking funeral then they may have stepped a bit too far.

Where?! We spend a large majority of the film in Virginia. In fact it might have been the whole movie for all we know. The beginning and end are both definitely in Virginia. The middle part is more like a road trip film about a gang of besties cruising about in their Nissan mini-van. B.

When?! Somehow a film set in the future after an epidemic doesn’t really even try to give you a year or time that the film is set. Looking very closely at the scan that Ruby is given at the camp I think it reads that her date of birth is October 23, 2004 or at least something close to that. Since we open around her birthday we can assume that this is more or less the date at the start. She then spends the next six years in the camp. Just guessing I think it makes sense that she is ten at the start and 16 for the main part of the film. Placing the film in the year 2020… but this is more or less guesswork. I just wanted to show off that I close read that brain scan. C-.

This movie is a good example of the logical conclusion to the postapocalyptic YA series trend we saw in Hollywood. Everything is vague but also spelled out as if for dumb people (if you are a Blue your eyes glow blue when you use your powers. How convenient for the viewer). All our main characters are good as can be and everyone else is on a gradient of badness. Our chaste main characters totally want to get together but are kept apart by circumstances. Etc. etc. etc. It’s not a good movie, particularly at the beginning and the end, which is straight up laughable. But there is a bit in the center where they are road tripping around as a group of four that I actually kind of dug. They were all likeable and I would have liked that to be the story. A much longer search for the camp only to arrive and find it destroyed by the military or something… but alas, tied to a book series they’ll never finish. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Y’all still like dystopian YA novels right? That’s still a thing and not a genre that will produce two enormous bombs in 2018, right? WRONG. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Around when Mortal Engines became possibly the biggest bomb of the year, here we are watching the old news dystopian YA adaptation disaster. What jabronis! Anyways, I was just hoping the film wouldn’t be aggressively boring. I have to admit … I really wanted to know what made her different. Because protagonists of YA novels have to be different. I can’t help myself, I needed to know!

The Good – Some of the effects look cool. The kid actors aren’t … the worst thing I’ve ever seen. The underlying story is shockingly dark. Like the characters are straight killing people. And not really in self-defense at times … like they just kill people. That part I didn’t really like, but at least it feels a bit different than Hunger Games or Divergent where killing was always given a virtuous excuse.

The Bad – Oh the rest of this film is a catastrophe though. Cliche, boring, a terrible “twist”, a dumb conclusion that sets up for a franchise that will never be. The acting is still terrible, even if it isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen. The entire beginning is just exposition trying to explain the nonsense world. And the biggest crime? She wasn’t even special. She’s just one of two “oranges” that aren’t captive in the world. This is a dumb film that makes you feel dumb with its dumbness.

The BMT – I think the notoriety will depend on how dystopian YA adaptations go from here. I imagine they will try again with something like Netflix soon, as they are quite keen on that demographic, the young teen group which consumes the new horror and romance films they are churning out. If so then maybe this will be one of the last we watch in a year end cycle and this is could be notable? … Otherwise nothing I will forget this movie presently.

You Just Got Schooled – Since this is based on a book I naturally did not bother to read it. Seriously … I never would. I read the entire Divergent series and regret it to this day. But I did go through the full series’ synopses just for you, so let’s blast through some highlights! (1) This book runs much like this movie, but in the end they go to a camp of oranges and ended up escaping and calling on the league after Chubs gets shot. (2) I can’t make heads or tails about this, but something about the President’s son trying to destroy his mother’s research about a cure for their condition. It sounds like Hunger Games Book 3. (3) Jesus Christ, how is there no information about these books. Basically they are now finding out about the cause of the powers they receive and trying to take down the corrupt government … I think. Wowza! What a disaster! They don’t get cured by the way, there is a sequel called Darkest Legacy which follows a different character and everyone still has powers it seems. You’re welcome world.

Welcome to Earf – Mandy Moore starred in The Darkest Minds and Because I Said So with Diane Keaton, who was in Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, who was in Righteous Kill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – As I previously mentioned: We have real lists now! From the AV Club, Variety, and Rolling Stone. This is the first top 10 from the AV Club since we watched Fifty Shades Freed, so that’s fun. Otherwise surprisingly overlooked. Might get a bit more play now that Mortal Engines is an official box office disaster, it could be groups with that eventually in updated lists in a month.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs