Bulletproof (1996) Quiz

Oh man. So I was undercover (because I’m a cop, did I never mention that?) and my best friend / prime suspect got a tad bit angry with me and accidentally shot me in the head! Obviously, I don’t remember a thing now. Do you remember what happened in Bulletproof (1996)?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we see Moses and Keats getting themselves in a bit of trouble? What kind of trouble and how do they get out of it?

2) A year later and on the run Moses is caught in Arizona. How was he caught?

3) The bad guys catch up to our heroes three times during the film. Where and how did they know they were there?

4) Why does Keats leave the precinct with Moses and why does he punch his boss in the face?

5) What are they looking for at James Caan’s house?

Bonus Question: Does Moses ever make it back to LA?

Answers

Bulletproof (1996) Preview

“Welcome to Raccoon City!” exclaims, Lou, the head of the Raccoon City Apartment Complex Welcoming Committee (RCACWC). He smiles at both Jamie and Patrick and then frowns a little at Kyle. “Uh, is he OK? You look a little green around the gills.” Kyle shrugs and Jamie and Patrick explain that he’s just a little love sick. “No need to worry. It’s not some big time zombie virus.” At that they all laugh and laugh and laugh. “But seriously, Mr. Cash, we need a little help. We need a little adventure. We just sit around this apartment all day and our heads are spinning. Can the RCACWC help?” Lou Cash smirks, reminiscing about the last great adventure he had. “The year was 1998,” he begins and proceeds to launch into a very long story about his days on the police force and a time that he had to investigate an old rich person’s house. “Were there ghosts?” Jamie asks out of nowhere. “Uh, no,” Lou responds confused and Kyle yawns in disappointment. Reading the room, Lou speeds through the latter half of his story, “and so you see, adventure is what you make of it and perhaps… it’s been staring you in the face this whole time.” He smiles and waits expectedly. But Jamie, Patrick and Kyle are now in the mood for ghosts and are already plucking their copy of Ghost off the shelf. Perhaps the rare combination of Patrick Swayze’s guide to love and a high stakes thrill-a-minute money laundering plot line will solve all of their problems. Lou is left forgotten at the door. He throws his hands up in exasperation and pulls a gun out of his pocket. “He’s got a gun!” screams Jamie. They wanted adventure and now Lou Cash is delivering. That’s right! We are going back 25 years to pick up an early Adam Sandler. It’s an old school buddy cop(ish) storyline with a Sandler/Wayans flair. Let’s hope its just as offensive as I think it might be. Let’s go!

Bulletproof (1996) – BMeTric: 37.4; Notability: 40

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 15.2%; Notability: top 17.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.3%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Ed, The Crow: City of Angels, Hellraiser: Bloodline, The Stupids, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy II, Solo, The Glimmer Man, Eddie, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Maximum Risk, Jingle All the Way, Bordello of Blood, and 18 more; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Jingle All the Way, Spy Hard, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Mulholland Falls, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Eye for an Eye, The Crow: City of Angels, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Larger Than Life, Joe’s Apartment, and 23 more; Lower RT: Big Bully, The Dentist, Ed, Ripe, Bio-Dome, Kazaam, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard; Notes: I do like it when films remind me that IMDb did something in 2014 on the new year to make some films’ ratings jump a ridiculous degree. Anyways, you can tell we still have a ton of work to do on 1996 when we have Bio-Dome and Big Bully sitting on the table.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A racial inversion of 48HRS. without the redeeming craft. Undercover cop Wayans teams up with Sandler, the crook he’s trying to bust. Their fortunes and ambitions are unified – often acrimoniously – by a vindictive drug kingpin/car dealer played by a pitifully hammy Caan. Once great cinematographer Dickerson squanders his talent here directing a sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick. A catastrophe of continuity to boot.

(First, I’ve never seen a review go so hard on continuity in a film. But “sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick” is one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. Honestly, I think a lot of action films these days are getting pretty close to that as well. Shoot someone in the face and sprinkle in some quips, boys.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfzAGAQvsz8/

(The guitar licks at the end!! It looks really terrible. Quips by Sandler, way too much punching, and just seems like a worse version of Midnight Run.)

DirectorsErnest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Ambushed; Double Play; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Surviving the Game; Bones; BMT: Bulletproof; Never Die Alone; Notes: Worked as the cinematographer for Spike Lee for his early films, whom he bet at Howard University.)

WritersJoe Gayton – ( Known For: Faster; Uncommon Valor; Sweet Jane; Shout; Warm Summer Rain; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: His brother is also a screenwriter, they both wrote on Hell on Wheels and have written a few movies together.)

Lewis Colick – ( Known For: October Sky; Unlawful Entry; Ladder 49; Ghosts of Mississippi; Beyond the Sea; The Dirt Bike Kid; Future BMT: Charlie St. Cloud; Judgment Night; Domestic Disturbance; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: He wrote a ton of films in the 80s and 90s. His last film was in 2010, but he is attached to both the Flaming Hot Cheetos movie and the Chicken Soup for the Soul film.)

ActorsDamon Wayans – ( Known For: Last Action Hero; Beverly Hills Cop; The Last Boy Scout; Roxanne; Earth Girls Are Easy; Colors; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Bamboozled; Hollywood Shuffle; Punchline; The Great White Hype; Farce of the Penguins; Future BMT: Major Payne; Look Who’s Talking Too; Celtic Pride; Blankman; Mo’ Money; Marci X; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: As part of In Living Color he was nominated for three Emmys. His family is filled with comedians including his three brothers and his son.)

Adam Sandler – ( Known For: Uncut Gems; Punch-Drunk Love; The Wedding Singer; Murder Mystery; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation; Anger Management; The Do-Over; Reign Over Me; Funny People; The Meyerowitz Stories; Hotel Transylvania 2; Spanglish; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: The Longest Yard; Eight Crazy Nights; Mixed Nuts; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; Click; Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Mr. Deeds; Airheads; Men, Women & Children; The Animal; Bedtime Stories; Dirty Work; BMT: That’s My Boy; Grown Ups; Just Go with It; Grown Ups 2; Blended; Pixels; Little Nicky; The Ridiculous 6; Jack and Jill; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Zookeeper; Going Overboard; Bulletproof; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Notes: Our 15th Sandler film for BMT and we have 15 to go … my god, he’s made so many. Someday Sandler, someday we will complete your filmography!)

James Caan – ( Known For: Elf; The Godfather; The Godfather: Part II; Misery; Santa’s Slay; A Bridge Too Far; Dick Tracy; Dogville; Queen Bees; Get Smart; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; 1941; Bottle Rocket; Detachment; Thief; El Dorado; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; The Yards; Middle Men; The Tale of The Princess Kaguya; BMT: That’s My Boy; Eraser; Bulletproof; Notes: Played football for Michigan State and is the father of Scott Caan. Was apparently on the professional rodeo circuit for nine years.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $21,576,954 (Worldwide: $22,611,954)

(That seems okay for 1998. You’d want more, but that doesn’t seem too catastrophic as Sandler at the time must have been relatively cheap.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/39): In addition to its ability to deflect gunfire, Bulletproof proves sadly impervious to humor, logic, or worthwhile viewing.

(Shots fired. That seems to be the general gist of things. That it is just a preposterous story with negative laughs.)

Reviewer Highlight: The film’s action elements are so preposterous that the sequence of events seems almost improvised. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

Poster – Bulletproof to the Head

(Classic poster. I can even imagine walking by it in the hallway of a theater. That’s mostly what it has going for it cause the color scheme is nonexistent and the font boring. I think the framing is the most interesting aspect. Looking down that long desert highway. C.)

Tagline(s) – Tough cop. Hostile witness. (C-)

(Yeah and? I’m not sure if this is a play on something and I’m missing it? Just seems like they are pointing out that one is a tough cop and the other is a hostile witness, which is indeed the plot of the film. Doesn’t offend my senses though.)

Keyword(s) – undercover-cop

Top 10: Baby Driver (2017), Spiral (2021), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Sin City (2005), Memento (2000), Batman Begins (2005), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Future BMT: 59.8 The Mod Squad (1999), 54.2 Spiral (2021), 49.3 Showtime (2002), 46.9 Cop Out (2010), 45.3 Tomcats (2001), 41.5 Boiling Point (1993), 41.0 Brick Mansions (2014), 38.1 Fled (1996), 37.7 Action Jackson (1988), 36.5 Death Warrant (1990)

BMT: The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Gangster Squad (2013), Ride Along (2014), Hard to Kill (1990), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Exit to Eden (1994), Exit Wounds (2001), Ride Along 2 (2016), Stone Cold (1991), Bulletproof (1996), No Mercy (1986)

Matches: Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), City of Lies (2018), Street Kings (2008), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Undercover Brother (2002), Exit to Eden (1994), Nighthawks (1981), Rush (1991), Superfast! (2015), Bulletproof (1996), The Mod Squad (1999), Renegades (1989), Ten Violent Women (1982), Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite (1999), The Proposal (2001), Jill Rips (2000), Lowball (1996), Strapped for Danger II: Undercover Vice (2020), Narx (2011), Black Lightning (2008)

(Done a bunch of these now. Given we are about to watch another JCVD film I’m pretty excited to eventually watch Death Warrant.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 2 billed in Bulletproof and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – James Caan said of working with the leads, “playing the heavy between these two clowns took a lot of serious concentration.”

Colton’s mansion is the same one used in Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Damon Wayans had a minor role in that film as the server who gave Eddie Murphy the bananas.

Director Ernest R. Dickerson was very critical about the movie, saying the movie was “castrated” because of the producers.

When Damon Wayans hosted Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1994, Adam Sandler had an idea to do an action movie together. A year later, he sent Wayans the script for this film.

James Woods was originally chosen to play Frank Colton. He had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Ghosts of Mississippi (1996).

Producer Robert Simonds knew Damon Wayans could be a leading man after seeing The Last Boy Scout (1991). “That’s what we needed, a leading man who could get the laughs when he had to.”

Ernest R. Dickerson said that film was trying to be 48 Hrs. (1982) for the 1990s.

Body Count: 26.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 1997)

Head Over Heels Recap

Jamie

Amanda falls too hard and too fast. When her latest relationship fizzles she finds an apartment with a group of supermodels and meets a local fashion exec, Jim. At first she thinks he might be a murderer, then just a liar, and it’s revealed he’s an undercover FBI agent and she’s in mortal danger! Can she help him stop the baddies before it’s too late? Find out in… Head Over Heels.

How?! Amanda gets weak at the knees at the merest hint of love at first sight. Generally this has steered her wrong as her latest beau is caught cheating. Out on love, and out of an apartment, she finds a new place with a group of kooky supermodels. She meets a neighbor across the street, Jim, who is pretty hunky (in a Freddie Prinze Jr. kind of way) and spies on him from her adjacent apartment window. After a big party she is shocked to see what appears to be Jim murdering a lady. That’s no good. She calls the police and tries to confront him, but ultimately ends up going out with him and deciding he’s an OK dude (despite the possibility that he murdered a lady). Things are going great until the body of the lady that she thinks Jim murdered is reported discovered in the newspaper. She goes to confront Jim at his place of work only to find that he’s actually an undercover FBI agent investigating a fashion company as a front for the Russian mob. And worse, the head honcho had already become suspicious of Amanda and scoped out her apartment and roommates. They are all in danger! They are captured by the mob and it seems to spell certain doom for them, but luckily the roommate supermodels use their feminine wiles and fashion sense to not only seduce and subdue their guard, but reveal that the mob is smuggling diamonds through fancy fashion wear. They race to a local fashion show to confront the head of the mob and take him down. Amanda is pretty down on the fact that Jim (real name Bob) is such a liar, but after a little while they get back together and totally smooch. THE END.

Why?! Good question. Love, like usual. Amanda just wants to make sure the latest guy she’s into isn’t a murderer. Jim wants to solve the big case around the Russian mob using a fashion company to launder money through illegally imported diamonds. So pretty rad motivations for him… just a bit misplaced in this romantic comedy where it literally comes out of nowhere.

Who?! The models in the film are actually models, so that’s mildly interesting. Also fun to see Timothy Olyphant show up in a very small part as Amanda’s cheating boyfriend. But really the star of the show is our animal actor Tanner, playing Hamlet the Great Dane. At least according to wikipedia. Even imdb doesn’t have that, so not sure where they are getting that information.

What?! I don’t think product placements in this film were super great. A camera here, general NYC advertisements there. There is an interesting prop in the film, which is the painting that Amanda is restoring. Apparently it is a severely damaged Titian’s The Bacchanal of the Andrians (which her boss calls a piece of crap). Funny because she then paints Freddie Prinze Jr’s face into it. Hope you asked the Prado if that was OK.

Where?! Good example to add to the NYC as a character film list. Amanda works at the Met restoring art and so that plays a role…. And now that I think of it, that’s really it. Wow. Obviously the presence of three supermodels would somewhat limit which city they are in as well, but still. As I watched the film I was always thinking “Ah, NYC.” Yet overall, not much city in there, except as background. B+. 

When?! This was a fun one. Amanda is wondering what happened to the girl she thought Jim killed. It was never reported in the newspaper and no body was found. But then, uh oh! A body is found, screaming from the September 4th issue of the New York Post. It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice, clear, not obvious setting. B.

This is a really weird movie. I actually feel like the main actors are fine and the love story is cute enough in the small moments. Everything else, though, is extreme. The supermodels are extreme and play like a slapstick comedy (which I guess this ultimately kinda was). The film shifts from Amanda interested in Jim, thinking Jim is a murderer, dating Jim after thinking he’s not a murderer, and finally launches into the third act where Jim is an undercover cop and they are in peril while solving a major crime. Amanda works as an art restorer at the Met surrounded by her lesbian bestie and three old ladies that rattle off jokes like a comedy trio. It really feels like a film primarily from the female perspective written by a bunch of dudes. And surprise, it is. I have fun watching this kind of stuff, but not sure other people will. Patrick?

Patrick

Hello everybody! Oh, what’s that, my new fake American accent! How does it sound? Good, or did I bottle it? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Now this is a film I had never heard of until we watched it. A Freddie Prinze Jr. film I had never heard of?! Indeed, as shocking as it seems it is true. The trailer for this seems wild. Some of them seriously suggest FPJ is a serial killer! Others make it clear he is, in fact, an FBI agent or spy or something. Boring. I wanted him to be a serial killer. What were my expectations? Oddly the reviews were halfway decent. So my expectations are a film with a nugget of a good idea which falls apart in the second half.

The Good – I really liked Monica Potter in the film. And I liked the idea that people genuinely start to think she’s a supermodel because she is, in fact, very beautiful, but also hanging around with other supermodels. It just works somehow. FPJ is not a good actor, but he is, as usual, very charming. And it is stunning how late into the film they reveal the (very obvious) twist, which I also appreciate. Best Bit: Monica Potter I think.

The Bad – The second half does really fall apart, especially with back-to-back supermodels getting farted on / shit poured on them. Not the best jokes. The twist is very obvious, and also there are moments where it veers into the nonsensical (FPJ is going to a completely dark baseball field in Central Park to coach Little League? How isn’t there already practice happening, and how late is this practice?). Fatal Flaw: The second half of the film starts running out of clever things to do.

The BMT – Besides getting us ever closer to the FPJ complete filmography this is not one for the BMT Hall of Fame. It is actually a little too good I think, especially in the first half. But otherwise, like most comedies, it just ends up being forgettable and a little too crude in the second half. Did it meet my expectations? I’m not sure I would have agreed with the critics of my own accord, but I do understand why the first half is considered okay by a bunch of critics. It is certainly better than the second half.

Roast-radamus – Fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for NYC all the way down to Monica Potter having the same job as Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters II (Right? Wasn’t she also a restorer at the what amounts to The Met?). And a solid Worst Twist (How?) for the very very obvious reveal that FPJ is an FBI agent. I think this is closest to Good.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – You have to do a Sequel right? It is five years later, Amanda and Jim have a kid, and they live in France where Amanda restores art at the Louvre. Jim works in the U.S. Embassy … or so Amanda thinks. One night, some men enter their apartment, and Amanda and Jim narrowly escape, and Jim has to reveal that actually he’s a CIA agent and it looks like his cover has been blown. They have to get to Rome ASAP to get extracted. What luck though, the supermodels are in France for a show and off to Milan next. Disguising Amanda as a supermodel, again, and Jim as their manager they first get into some hijinx in the Alps and then cross over to Milan, where the bad guys catch up to them and seriously ruin the show! A high speed chase through the streets of Rome, Amanda shows off some of her spy skillz she picked up. “Where did you learn that?!” Jim says, “I thought it might come in handy someday if you ever got back into the spy game,” she retorts (wink). In the end they are extracted, and Jim apologizes and asks where to next. “How about Moscow, I hear their museum is looking for a restoration expert.” FPJ with the knowing look in the camera, a smooch, boom. Head Over Heels 2: Super Spies.

I’m back baby! … I’m just going to keep on saying Cheerios, sorry not sorry,

The Sklogs

Head Over Heels Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I was pretending to be a supermodel (natch, I’m hot AF), but I tripped on my super high heels and fell … head over heels, and bopped my head on the catwalk. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Head Over Heels?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning our hero Amanda is looking for a place to live. Why?

2) Our hero also works at The Met restoring art. And her boss has a huuuuuge job for her. What does he want her to do?

3) We’re getting a meet cute up in here. How do Jim and Amanda meet? What does Jim do?

4) Amanda thinks she sees her new almost-boyfriend, Jim, kill a woman. What was he actually doing?

5) What plot does Jim and Amanda discover the bad guys were up to in the end?

Bonus Question: So, what happens to all of the supermodels after Jim and Amanda go off to live their wonderful lives together?

Answers

Head Over Heels Preview

Jamie and Patrick quake in fear as they prepare to face the devil himself on the other side of the door to their apartment. They should have anticipated this problem. With the power that the Dongle possesses, no wonder even the devil wants to get his claws on it. Jamie swings the door wide and Patrick leaps forth with a silver cross in one hand and spraying holy water with the other. Hardscrabble reporter Lindsey Appleton sputters, drenched in holy water. “What the hell, guys? My pants suit is ruined. And here I was bringing you a six pack of delicious Coca-Cola to jazz up another night of protecting the Dongle!” Kyle quickly enters with an apology and shakes his head sadly as he escorts Lindsey and the delicious Coca-Cola to the other room. Jamie is aghast. “Delicious Coca-Cola, Patrick? Soft pretzels? Kyle is having the time of his life at our expense because you simply can’t accept that the Dongle is safe even for a moment.” Patrick stares at the cityscape spread out in front of him. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps he just needed to relax about the whole Dongle business and get back to living his life. “I’m sorry, Jamie. We may not have delicious Coca-Cola or soft pretzels at our fingertips, but we always have this,” and with that he holds up their well worn Here on Earth DVD. Jamie smiles and breaks out the popping corn. But before those kernels can get a-poppin’, Kyle reappears. Blushing, he asks them to apologize to Lindsey and invite her back. “It’s just that… tonight was gonna be a big night for me and Rachel. I’m talking L-O-V-E and I need some advice.” Jamie and Patrick nod and sit him down in front of HoE just in time. That’s right! It’s not HoE (unfortunately) but it’s a Freddie Prinze Jr. joint, so nothing to sniff at. It’s the 20 year anniversary of the release of Head Over Heels… you know, the one where Freddie Prinze Jr. smirks and is a really good guy even though he looks like he should be a really terrible guy? Yeah, that one. Let’s go!

Head Over Heels (2001) – BMeTric: 40.1; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 14.8%; Notability: top 19.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Valentine, Monkeybone, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Musketeer, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Say It Isn’t So, The Order, Summer Catch, The Wash, and 17 more; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Joe Dirt, The Animal, and 29 more; Lower RT: The Order, Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; Notes: Man, we have a ton of really bad 2001 films left don’t we. Mid-5.0 on IMDb is pretty high, much higher than I would have expected for this.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Head Over Heels” opens with 15 funny minutes and then goes dead in the water. It’s like they sent home the first team of screenwriters and brought in Beavis and Butt-Head. The movie starts out with sharp wit and edgy zingers, switches them off and turns to bathroom humor. And not funny bathroom humor, but painfully phony gas-passing noises, followed by a plumbing emergency that buries three supermodels in a putrid delivery from where the sun don’t shine. It’s as if the production was a fight to the death between bright people with a sense of humor, and cretins who think the audience is as stupid as they are. …It isn’t funny when innocent bystanders are humiliated. It’s funny when they humiliate themselves. For example, “Head Over Heels” would be funny if it were about the people making this movie.

(Huh, that is a lot different than I expected. A solid first 15 minutes? Bathroom humor? None of the trailer really suggests this at all. Very interesting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrnGD7JN2KE

(Wow, a very brief Olyphant cameo. The story seems insane. So I assume the story is one of two things. First, he’s a secret agent or cop or something and that is why he is “murdering” people. Second, it is a mafia story basically, and he’s trying to extract himself from that world and having difficulties. I’m on tenterhooks as to which it is.)

DirectorsMark Waters – ( Known For: Mean Girls; He’s All That; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Magic Camp; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Bad Santa 2; BMT: Vampire Academy; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Head Over Heels; Notes: Married to actress Dina Spybey-Waters and the brother of writer Daniel Waters. I’ll say it again: give these three a chance to write/direct/star in a film. I want to see it!)

WritersJohn J. Strauss – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Free Birds; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Produced a lot of television these days, including Mozart in the Jungle. Writing a Chinese film called Noodles at the moment.)

Ed Decter – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Most recently created the show Shadowhunters. Also was the director for The New Guy.)

David Kidd and Ron Burch – ( Known For: Ferdinand; Future BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Best Original Song for The Closer starring Tom Selleck. The song was called You Don’t Know Jack. They also wrote the Dinotrux television show.)

ActorsMonica Potter – ( Known For: Con Air; Saw; The Last House on the Left; Without Limits; I’m with Lucy; Lower Learning; A Cool, Dry Place; The Very Thought of You; Heaven or Vegas; Future BMT: Patch Adams; Bulletproof; BMT: Along Came a Spider; Head Over Heels; Notes: It is claimed that her father invented the first flame-resistant car wax. She’s from Cleveland, and now mostly does television like Wisdom of the Crowd.)

Freddie Prinze Jr. – ( Known For: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; She’s All That; The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Jack and Jill vs. the World; The Reef; New York City Serenade; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Boys and Girls; Happily N’Ever After; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Summer Catch; Down to You; Head Over Heels; Wing Commander; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: Does a ton of voice work these days (including as Kanan Jarrus in Star Wars which is why he’s credited in the ninth film). You of course know him as the best friend of Matthew Lillard.)

Shalom Harlow – ( Known For: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Kate & Leopold; In & Out; The Salton Sea; Game 6; Melinda and Melinda; I Love Your Work; Happy Here and Now; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Head Over Heels; Notes: Apparently a huge model, she was worth about $10 million in 1998.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $10,424,470 (Worldwide: $13,127,022)

(Wow, that is catastrophic! Really really bad stuff. And not even on a particularly high budget either.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (9/89): Head Over Heels is being blasted by critics as a huge mess. The plot and jokes are idiotic, while the toilet humor is gratuitous and more gross than funny.

(There it is again! The trailer is very deceptive. It wants to present itself as a witty romantic comedy mostly surrounding the fashion world. But apparently it is just all gross out humor? Bizarre.)

Reviewer Highlight: With each rewrite, it seems, things grew fouler, duller and more idiotic. – Rita Kempley, Washington Post

Poster – Freddie Prinze Jr’s Love Patrol

(Woof. And not just because they give Freddie’s doggie a outsized place on the poster. This is ahead of its time in that it mimics what would become the classic Diane Keaton style of poster. The poster separated into strips of space, no consistent color scheme, and bad font. The Full Keaton. D)

Tagline(s) – Four supermodel roommates. One regular girl. The guy next door doesn’t stand a chance. (D)

Unleash your inner model. (C)

(That second one is really digging deep for a movie that theoretically no one would have seen when they first read the tagline. It’s wordplay on the relatively minor detail about Freddie Prinze Jr. having a large dog that he can’t control. I kinda love it for how nonsensical it is. The first one is somehow worse just for length and the fact that it is not clever in the least.)

Keyword(s) – roommate

Top 10: After (2019), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Anna (2019), Pitch Perfect (2012), La La Land (2016), School of Rock (2003), I, Tonya (2017), Pretty Woman (1990), The Terminator (1984)

Future BMT: 71.2 Supergirl (1984), 54.3 The Green Inferno (2013), 51.9 Loser (2000), 50.7 Abandon (2002), 47.8 The Wash (2001), 46.4 On the Line (2001), 45.7 Monster-in-Law (2005), 44.4 Boys and Girls (2000), 43.6 Life of the Party (2018), 37.4 If Lucy Fell (1996)

BMT: After (2019), Police Academy (1984), Burlesque (2010), Vampire Academy (2014), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Urban Legend (1998), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Failure to Launch (2006), Little Nicky (2000), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Made of Honor (2008), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Prince and Me (2004), Table 19 (2017), Chairman of the Board (1997), Head Over Heels (2001)

Matches: La La Land (2016), Rent (2005), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Spenser Confidential (2020), Big Daddy (1999), Three Men and a Baby (1987), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Tootsie (1982), Grandma’s Boy (2006), Single White Female (1992), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Class (1983), Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Failure to Launch (2006), Reign Over Me (2007), Life of the Party (2018), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Starry Eyes (2014), A Million Little Pieces (2018), Prozac Nation (2001), Loser (2000), Going the Distance (2010), Loverboy (1989), Poison Ivy II (1996), Someone Like You (2001), The Wash (2001), Annapolis (2006), Premium Rush (2012), Dead Man on Campus (1998), Jenny’s Wedding (2015), Smiley Face (2007), Chairman of the Board (1997), The Guilty (2000), Kaboom (2010), Head Over Heels (2001), For a Good Time, Call… (2012), … and more

(There weren’t any good keywords from the plot it seemed. I went with this. I’m excited for Monster-in-Law mostly I think. The exact match with Rent is fun.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Freddie Prinze Jr. is No. 2 billed in Head Over Heels and No. 1 billed in Wing Commander, which also stars Matthew Lillard (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 6 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 6) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Patch Adams, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Amanda’s character has symptoms of Stendhal Syndrome, a condition where seeing a beautiful piece of art or something particularly pleasing to the eye can cause symptoms including dizziness and fainting.

Shalom Harlow has said that she used to live in an environment much like the one Jade, Roxanna, Candi, Holly, and Amanda live in.

Claire Danes was originally set to play the lead role of Amanda Pierce, but dropped out at the last moment. Monica Potter, who’d already been signed on for a smaller role, was moved into Amanda’s part as a result.

Freddie Prinze Jr. was the 1st choice for the role of Jim Winston, with it written for him.

Shalom Harlow, Sarah O’Hare and Tomiko Fraser were real-life models, before getting cast in this film.

Mark Waters used classic films such as “The Philadelphia Story” and “His Girl Friday” as templates for the story.

The film was shot in Vancouver and New York, with the former serving as the substitute for famous New York landmarks such as Stanley Park for Central Park, and their aquarium which had rare Beluga whales.

The Unholy Recap

Jamie

Gerry Fenn is a formally famous journalist reduced to reporting on fake supernatural new stories. But one story starts to seem a bit… to real. A young deaf girl has been cured by visions of “Mary” and quickly gains followers through other miraculous healings. The church is all in, but Fenn is suspicious. Can he stop “Mary” before it’s too late? Find out in… The Unholy.

How?! Gerry Fenn was a crazy famous reporter. So crazy famous that he got caught up in writing fake stories to chase that fame. Flash forward a few years and he’s a down-and-out drunk working for a hoax news site on commission. When his latest story falls through he’s pretty angry, but coincidentally finds a strange kern doll in the field he’s in. It’s real creepy so naturally he smashes it so that he can make up a supernatural story to sell. Later that night he finds a girl out in the field where the doll had been. She’s Alice, the niece of the local priest and is deaf and mute… or at least was. Suddenly with visions of the Virgin Mary she can speak! She starts preaching the word of Mary and Fenn is right in the middle of the action. He’s the only one she trusts cause he truly believes. He saw the miracles with his own eyes. Meanwhile Alice’s uncle is suspicious and after doing some research is attacked and killed by a demonic presence. His death is ruled a suicide, but Fenn knows otherwise. Suddenly the one that Alice trusts most is having his own doubts. When Alice suggests a giant, widely televised sermon to preach the word of Mary, Fenn knows time is running out. He sneaks into the church and discovers the truth. Mary isn’t the Virgin Mary at all. She’s just some rando Mary who happened to be in leagues with the Devil. El Diablo! He rushes to the sermon just in time to convince everyone to have doubts about Mary. You see he made it all up cause he’s a liar and he’s done it before. Everyone is like yeah that makes sense. Suddenly Mary explodes onto the scene and is ready to roast Fenn but Alice sacrifices herself for him, killing Mary in the process. Fenn begs God to save Alice and indeed he does. It’s a miracle. God exists. THE END.

Why?! Well Mary is evil. Fen is a big ol’ liar trying to make it back to the top of the journalism game. This story is a bit opportunistic for him, but ultimately he sees the error of his ways. I think that’s really about it. Horror films are usually pretty straightforward this way.

Who?! Always fun to discuss a horror film’s monster in this section, particularly when we can anticipate the UCU (Unholy Cinematic Universe) rolling out over the next few decades. Mary Elnor is our devil witch and she is nicely spooky with real creepy claws and a mask nailed to her face. She was portrayed by Marina Mazepa, who was apparently a contortionist on America’s Got Talent. Makes sense cause you gotta contort if you are in leagues with the devil. It’s the rule.

What?! Jeffery Dean Morgan’s Sony camera that he totes around and records everything with actually gets some play in reviews from this film. I think people are just shocked to see a reporter using a camera to film their interviews and are like “no way.” But I feel like that’s pretty realistic. What is he gonna have? A camera man following his around? He’s freelance.

Where?! It’s made pretty clear that this is set in the boonies of Western MA. Always fun when they make up a fake place too. Here they are living it up in Banfield, Massachusetts. Nice. That is a legitimately real sounding place. And somehow also not a real town anywhere in America. Cool. I would have called the place Codchester just for laughs.

When?! They don’t make a clear statement on when everything is set, even though they show a full Wikipedia page written up for the event! The only hint we really get is that a magazine cover detailing one of the miracle healings appears to be the Spring 2019 issue. And since everyone is all bundled up in MA you can imagine it is pretty early Spring. Maybe March. C.

Sigh. No one will remember this film. I wonder if it even would have been a major release without a studio needing something to fill an early slot as theaters opened back up. It’s really a cheap looking film that holds very few scares. Not entirely their fault, as I understand it, since they were struggling with some intense covid limitations for the entirety of filming. The concept is OK… the idea of a demonic presence taking on the guise of the Virgin Mary and luring unsuspecting souls into devil worship. But it can’t really pull it off. One fun thing is that Cary Elwes shows up as a Boston priest who has the deepest Boston accent possible… and by Boston accent I mean whatever it is that is coming out of Elwes’ mouth. It’s some funny shit. Patrick?

Patrick

Hallo iedereen! I’m in Amsterdam on my way to America (so no more ‘ellos unfortunately, as I’ll be slipping back into my (now fake) American accent). We’ve got (uh)holy visions all up in here. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – There was some debate about which horror film to do from this year. It was basically between this and Separation. On the one hand Separation has a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes (my god!). On the other, The Unholy was a far bigger film with actual actors in it. Tough to choose, but we went with The Unholy. I was stunned to realize it was based on a book. More on that later. What were my expectations? Rote religious “horror” with maybe jump scares? That is what the reviews all say. That if you’ve seen a few religious horror films you will have already watched this film.

The Good – From a storyline perspective it is really interesting. I’m actually not that bothered by the lack of scares (even the jump scares are lame), and the rote storytelling. I actually found it all pretty interesting as a simple dramatic story. There really isn’t that much more to say. The story is really thin. I guess maybe the set design was also impressive. The final set piece with the Mass in the tent seemed well done. For a horror film with an incredibly low body count (3) and no scares, it didn’t seem all that bad. Best Bit: The underlying story is at least somewhat interesting.

The Bad – Here’s the thing, the book was written in 1983. A time where, presumably, there was a lot more simple acceptance of religious ideals, or at least almost everyone would have grown up with some religious education. A cynical ambitious journalist accidentally stumbling onto genuine miracles and demons in 2021 though? I feel like they could have hit the point home a bit more that Gerry Fenn never believed it to be true, and just how stunned and scared he is to realize that not only was he not merely propagating a hoax, but instead genuinely party to a demonic presence. I think Gerry is far too quick to be like “sweet I saw a miracle, this is going to be awesome for my career!” That is my biggest critique from a story perspective. The other glaring thing is that Cary Elwes’s Boston accent is absurd. At times a bad Boston accent, at times straight up Irish, and at times New York. Horrible. Fatal Flaw: I think it failed to update the core story for the nearly 40 year gap between the book’s publication and movie’s production which makes it ring false.

The BMT – Throw it on the pile of other religious horror I guess. I think this is one of the better ones, but I also have no doubt that I will never think of or watch this film again. Maybe one claim to fame could be that it is an adaptation of a book by a pretty famous horror writer from England I had never heard of. So if I end up reading a few of his books that could be a fun origin story for that. Did it meet my expectations? It actually didn’t even really have that many jump scares. I will say that to suggest having seen other religious horror is to have seen this film is a bit unfair. This seems a bit OG in that regard since it is an adaptation, and the fundamental “twist” is far more interesting than I think they give it credit for.

Roast-radamus – A very nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for Western Massachusetts (presumably, I guess it could be anywhere in Massachusetts, but I think it must be Western Mass). And I’ll lob out a Worst Twist (How?) for just how they muddle things with “Mary” and the Virgin Mary and all that. Is it a twist? Debatable, but I’ll toss it out there. I think this is closest to Good maybe.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – The Prequel is always the way to go with bad horror films. Made a bad Ouija movie? Well, let’s go back to the 70s and it’ll be weirdly good. Made a bad Annabelle film? Well, what about if we did the origin story we should have done in the first place? Works every time, by which I mean it worked the two times I remember. The origin story here is about Mary obviously. You twist it on its head a bit right? She’s a devout Christian in Puritan Massachusetts, but then is assaulted by the townspeople of Banfield and left for dead. Rescued by a witch she is consumed with the desire for revenge, and uses her knowledge of the divine to corrupt them, kill them, and ultimately condemn their souls to torture within her Dark Realm. Her revenge complete, an innocent attempts to bring her back to the light, for God is capable of all forgiveness, but Mary refuses, vowing to consume the blighted Earth and destroy God himself with her resulting power. Venturing into Mary’s Dark Realm, our hero saves the town priest who is able to kill Mary and trap her soul in a Kern Baby. See, you got a little anti-hero for Mary, but then ultimately she becomes too far gone. The Unholy: Original Sin would be the name there. The third film takes place after the first and would be about Alice learning that Father Hagan’s soul is trapped in the Dark Realm and she too has to venture forth to battle Mary once more to save him in The Unholy: Dark Realm.

You Just Got Schooled – We’re back babyyyyyyyy! I could have read the book the film was based on (Shrine), but instead I read James Herbert’s first (and very short) novel The Rats. Immediately very fun in that you get a lot of descriptions of run down 1970s East London. The story is also pretty fun just because it is pretty similar to Night Shift by Stephen King in some ways, which was written in 1970 it seems. Herbert also made a book called The Fog which is also just about poisonous fog creeping into a town. The point I’m making is that these original books seem to be very archetypal, stories which are more campfire tales projected onto a particular setting / characters. And there is something fun about seeing a period of horror literature that was still publishing shorts and installments into magazines like Cavelier and Penthouse. The book itself is a bit odd. Very disjointed because it doesn’t tend to really follow the main character much for a good chunk of the book. Instead, it is more just showing bits of East London and rats attacking. It is also a bit odd because it is speaking on the degraded nature of East London from a time long enough ago that it is hardly recognizable. East London is still “grimy” maybe, but it is also pretty hipster and multicultural now. Anyways, fun short book anyways, if a bit rote. B.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Unholy Quiz

So I was hanging around this dumb field in western Massachusetts when I found this creepy doll. I, of course, obliterated it for fun, and now I’m seeing this creepy lady around. That’s the last thing I remember, I’m losing time, I think I have brain damage. Do you remember what happened in The Unholy?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We meet unscrupulous reporter Gerry Feen (Jeffery Dean Morgan) as he heads out to Western Mass (presumably) … for what reason?

2) Obviously that’s a bust, but he discovers something there. What does he discover, what does he think it is, and what terrible mistake does he make?

3) What did Gerry Fenn do in his past that made his persona non grata at the Boston Examiner, and now with his big scoop what position does he want from them?

4) Oh yeah, there is a religious story going on here. Miracles are a happenin’ and people think they are from the Virgin Mary. Name the three miracles witnessed by the townspeople.

5) How does Father Hagan figure out who Mary really is, and who is Mary really?

Bonus Question: At the end of the film Gerry Fenn is out of journalism for good, but what does he end up doing afterwards?

Answers

The Unholy Preview

Jamie and Patrick stand ready for the influx of ninja as Kyle slowly opens the door, fearing for his own safety and wondering what could have happened to lovely Rachel and her lovely pretzels. The door swings open and Jamie and Patrick’s twin chop stops short. Rachel looks between them wide eyed. “What’s going on guys, who wants some piping hot pretzels?” Kyle quickly shuttles her to his room. “Don’t mind these jokesters, Rachel. They definitely didn’t think you were a pack of Dongle obsessed ninjas,” he says while staring daggers at them. Jamie shakes his head and puts his hands on his hips. “My word, what’s going on, Patrick? We almost twin chopped Rachel’s head off and all because you thought she was a pack of Dongle obsessed ninjas. The only pack I saw was the six pack of salty delicious soft pretzels she was carrying. And guess what? I’m not thinking we’re getting any pretzels tonight.” Jamie is clearly peeved. Patrick just shakes his head in wonder. “I don’t understand. We have this Dongle and yet what are we protecting it from? If I was our mortal enemy I would have exploited our pretzel obsession with ninjas. It’s almost like no one cares… you know?” He flops sadly into the couch. “What is this all for? Our lives used to be so exciting and yet now we just sit here, our Dongle in our hands.” Suddenly there is another knock at the door and they hear hardscrabble reporter Lindsey Appleton ask to come in. “My god!” Patrick says excitedly. “What, is she also a ninja?” Jamie asks, but Patrick shakes his head and through a series of intricate hand signals he explains that she is in fact the devil himself in disguise. That’s right! We are watching the major 2021 motion picture The Unholy. ‘What?’ you ask. Only the biggest theatrical release of last April. It’s about a reporter and the devil or something. Who cares? Let’s go!

The Unholy (2021) – BMeTric: 52.4; Notability: 15

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 14.1%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, Home Sweet Home Alone, The Kissing Booth 3, The Misfits, Spiral, Great White; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom and Jerry, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Red Notice, Snake Eyes, Sweet Girl, Cherry, Dear Evan Hansen, The Starling, Thunder Force, The Birthday Cake, Reminiscence, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Breaking News in Yuba County, and 13 more; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Cosmic Sin, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, Home Sweet Home Alone, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, Sweet Girl, The Starling, Every Breath You Take, Senior Moment, Thunder Force, and 8 more; Notes: So hard to tell with this year-of releases. BMeTric is very high though. And low-5.0 on IMDb is formidable.

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Disgraced journalist Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), investigating an incident of “cattle mutilation” in a small Massachusetts town, trips over another bigger story, when a deaf teenage girl sees the Virgin Mary in the trunk of the scariest-looking tree on the planet. Quivering with religious ecstasy, she performs a couple of miracle cures, and when word gets out—thanks to Fenn’s stories—her small town turns into a modern-day Lourdes. But is the Virgin Mary who she says she is? Based on James Herbert’s 1983 novel Shrine, “The Unholy” is fairly standard religious horror, just in time for Good Friday. It has some excellent jump-scares, but overall there’s something rote about the execution, bits that feel sketched-in as opposed to filled out, and a surface-level interest in the main theme of Herbert’s novel: what happens when the unholy masks itself as holy? The local priest says, “Wherever God goes, the unholy follows.” You got that right. The devil doesn’t strut into town cackling with evil glee. The devil is a smooth-talking charmer. “The Unholy” is not designed to be deep, but since glimmers of depth are present, the lack of follow-up makes this a disappointing watch. “The Unholy” misses a lot of opportunities to build out not just this idea, but all of them.

(That is a very long paragraph to effectively say: a rote religious horror film we’ve now seen dozens of times. I’m more interested in reading the book now though.)

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

(Oh boy, the little teaser bit at the beginning looks awful. And the rest indeed seems very generic.)

DirectorsEvan Spiliotopoulos – ( BMT: The Unholy; Notes: He’s written a ton of films (including this one). This is his first directorial effort, so he is obviously looking to expand things out.)

WritersEvan Spiliotopoulos – ( Known For: Beauty and the Beast; Charlie’s Angels; Hercules; Battle for Terra; Pooh’s Heffalump Movie; The Blue Elephant; Art Heist; Future BMT: The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Jungle Book 2; BMT: Snake Eyes; The Unholy; Notes: Wait … he wrote Snake Eyes and The Unholy this year?! Busy bee.)

James Herbert – ( Known For: Haunted; The Survivor; Deadly Eyes; Future BMT: Fluke; BMT: The Unholy; Notes: Evidently a staple of British horror writings, he has a bunch of novels from the 70s and 80s which are notable enough to get their own wikipedia page. I think I’m going to read The Rats, his first book and the first in a trilogy of horror books he wrote.)

ActorsJeffrey Dean Morgan – ( Known For: Watchmen; Rampage; The Losers; Solace; The Salvation; The Postcard Killings; The Resident; They Came Together; Heist; The Accidental Husband; Texas Killing Fields; Taking Woodstock; Shanghai; Desierto; Walkaway Joe; Peace, Love & Misunderstanding; The Courier; Six: The Mark Unleashed; Live!; Dead & Breakfast; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Fred Claus; P.S. I Love You; The Possession; BMT: The Unholy; Jonah Hex; Red Dawn; Notes: Oh you mean Denny from Grey’s Anatomy. He’s a character actor of sorts, but now a television star with his turn as the bad-guy-turned-good-guy Negan on The Walking Dead.)

Cricket Brown – ( BMT: The Unholy; Notes: Acted almost entirely in short films prior to this, including Wake Up by Olivia Wilde.)

William Sadler – ( Known For: The Shawshank Redemption; Iron Man Three; The Green Mile; The Mist; Bill & Ted Face the Music; The Highwaymen; Die Hard 2; The Hot Spot; Rush; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Kinsey; Freaked; The Duel; Project X; Freeheld; Trespass; Being Flynn; Hanky Panky; Greetings from Tim Buckley; Freedom; Future BMT: Eagle Eye; Machete Kills; Disturbing Behavior; The Grudge; August Rush; Man on a Ledge; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Bordello of Blood; RocketMan; BMT: The Unholy; Hard to Kill; K-9; Solo; Notes: The Unholy, Hard to Kill, and K-9 were all this year. Truly the Year of Sadler. He played Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey in a Tony Award winning production of Biloxi Blues.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $15,530,440 (Worldwide: $30,830,440)

(Looks okay maybe. Especially considering the pandemic. I imagine they would be looking for like $50 million)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (15/57): Rarely scary and often dull, The Unholy falls back on the same tired tropes that have already been done to death by countless other religious horror movies.

(Nooooooo, not dull. The rest seem more reasonable. I do imagine this is just a run of the mill religious horror film.)

Reviewer Highlight: The Unholy has the stately aura (and endless speechifying) of a sermon, but it’s really a creaky nothing of a B-movie, like a chintzy Halloween exhibit set up inside an old church. – A.A. Dowd, AV Club

Poster – The Totally Unholy

(I like that it’s artistic and how everything is framed. Adequate font to boot. Biggest critique is that it seems a little unpolished. Almost like fan art or something. A little too much going on maybe. I don’t know. Still pretty good. B.)

Tagline(s) – Be careful who you pray to. (B+)

(I kinda like this. Simple changes lend a level of cleverness to it. It’s quick and concise and gives us an idea of what’s going on. A little clunky, though. Could it have just been ‘Be careful what you pray for’? Maybe they took it a step too far and now it sounds a little off.)

Keyword(s) – miracle

Top 10: Blade Runner 2049 (2017), The Princess Bride (1987), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), The Green Mile (1999), Children of Men (2006), Watchmen (2009), The Unholy (2021), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Passion of the Christ (2004), Awakenings (1990)

Future BMT: 55.0 Evan Almighty (2007), 44.5 The Reaping (2007), 41.2 Ben-Hur (2016), 41.1 Michael (1996), 30.8 Arthur and the Invisibles (2006), 25.2 Miracle at St. Anna (2008), 24.6 Angels in the Outfield (1994), 20.9 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999), 20.2 Do You Believe? (2015), 9.3 The Nativity Story (2006)

BMT: The Unholy (2021), A Walk to Remember (2002), Winter’s Tale (2014), Going Overboard (1989), Solarbabies (1986)

Matches: Children of Men (2006), The Unholy (2021), The Prince of Egypt (1998), Winter’s Tale (2014), Miracles from Heaven (2016), Breakthrough (2019), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), The Christmas Candle (2013), The Cokeville Miracle (2015), Henry Poole Is Here (2008), Leap of Faith (1992), A Christmas Tree Miracle (2013), Miracle on Christmas (2020), The Reason (2020), 17 Miracles (2011), Touch (1997), Picking Up the Pieces (2000), Joshua (2002), Miracle at Sage Creek (2005), The Third Miracle (1999), A Karate Christmas Miracle (2019), The Visitation (2006), Julie Walking Home (2002), The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd (2000), A Lobster Tale (2006), Taliesin Jones (2000), Runaway Hearts (2015), The Final Patient (2005)

(What happened in 2005 to make religious films bounce up so much I wonder. Passion of the Christ proving that religious themed films have power? That seems like it. And man, I don’t look forward to watching Evan Almighty eventually.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Cary Elwes is No. 3 billed in The Unholy and No. 3 billed in Kiss the Girls, which also stars Ashley Judd (No. 2 billed) who is in The Identical (No. 2 billed) which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 3) + (2 + 2) + (3 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 19. If we were to watch P.S. I Love You, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – Based on the classic gothic horror novel by master of the genre the late James Herbert.

The publicity/marketing campaign for “The Unholy” utilized preeminent Parapsychologist Christopher Chacon to promote its release. As one of the world’s foremost authorities on supernatural/occult and metaphysical phenomena, Chacon has investigated and researched thousands of cases around the world of miracles and divine-intervention phenomena, as well as thousands of possessions and supernatural infestations, having worked with the Roman Catholic Church as well as every religious/spiritual belief-system.

In Spain the movie was titled “Ruega por nosotros” (Pray for us), referencing the “Ave María” (“Hail Mary” in English), a Christian prayer about the Virgin Mary: -Spanish: “Dios te salve María, llena eres de gracia. El Señor es contigo. Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén”. -English: “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen”.

The movie mentions Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugore. (1) On February 11, 1858 in Lourdes, France, a 14 year old girl named Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a lady had talked with her from a cave close to her home in Massabielle. Due to the different apparitions and miracles in Lourdes, on July 3, 1876, Pope Pius IX officially granted a Canonical Coronation to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. (2) On May 13, 1917 in Fatima, a town belonging Ourém, Portugal, three children — the siblings Francisco, Jacinta and Lucía do Santos — claimed to have witnessed the appearance of the Virgin Mary, who talked them and gave the oldest sister, Lucía, three prophecies (known as the Three Secrets of Fatima). Diverse miracles happened where the three children had seen her, such as a dancing sun and miraculous healing, and a sanctuary was built in that place. In 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta in 2000, after their premature deaths in 1919 and 1920. (3) On June 24, 1981 in Medjugorje (now Bosnia and Herzegovina, then SFR Yugoslavia), six teenagers named Ivan Dragicevic, Ivanka Ivankovic, Jakov Colo, Marija Pavlovic, Mirjana Dragicevic and Vicka Ivankovic — the oldest of whom were 16 — claimed to have received messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary, causing strong controversy among the anti-Catholic regime in Eastern Europe at that time (the USSR was opposed to any demonstrations of religious faith). In time, all three places became places of pilgrimage, even for the later Popes of Rome, receiving several million visitors each year, with further healing and miracles continuing to this day.

The movie ends with a quotation: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s. clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” It is from Matthew 7:15.

Snake Eyes (2021) Recap

Jamie

Snake Eyes is rebooted, Jack! This time he’s all young and hip and not yet totally anonymous. Hell bent on exacting revenge for the death of his father, Snake Eyes finds himself mixed up in a conflict within an ancient Japanese clan.. And Cobra… and GI Joe’s for sure. Can he get revenge and stop them all before it’s too late? Find out in… Snake Eyes (2021).

How?! Snake Eyes has so much angst. That’s cause he watched his father die at the hands of a man known as Snake Eyes. Now he’s taken on that moniker and he’s ready to… well basically be sad. It’s been a hardscrabble life for young Snake Eyes, who gets recruited by the Yakuza after showing off his fighting skillz as a MMA fighter. But when a fellow worker, Tommy, is revealed to be a traitor Snake Eyes can’t stand to murder him in cold blood and instead helps him escape. For his trouble he is rewarded with Tommy’s loyalty. Turns out Tommy is actually the heir to a big time Japanese clan and wants Snake Eyes initiated into the clan. Everyone is like, what this dope? And also they are super suspicious. Turns out they are all right because (spoiler alert!) it was all a ruse and Snake Eyes is still working for the Yakuza in exchange for information about his father’s murderer. The Yakuza big boss, Kenta, is working with Cobra and ultimately wants what he believes is his: the clan’s MacGuffin, the Jewel of the Sun. Snake Eyes is like, whatever, fine, just get me my father’s murderer and proceeds to pass the first two initiation tasks for the clan (which honestly seemed not that hard, I could probably have done them). But the third task is all about some big ass snakes that can sense when someone isn’t pure of heart (now that’s more like it!), Snake Eyes fails and is expelled. But he’s learned enough as he’s able to return and steal the Jewel of the Sun. In exchange he is delivered his father’s murderer, but ultimately relizes that friendship > bloodlust (aww) and heads back to the clan to help them fend off Kenta. Now armed with the Jewel, Kenta is formidable, but with the help of a GI Joe they are able to get the Jewel back. Tommy attempts to use the jewel against Kenta, but Snake Eyes is the one to defeat him by luring him into the big ass snake pit (yeah!). Tommy is exiled for trying to use the Jewel and vows revenge against Snake Eyes, while Snake Eyes is recruited to the Joes. THE END.

Why?! Big ol’ MacGuffin Alert. Not often do you get a classic of the genre. In this case the Jewel of the Sun is an uber powerful weapon that everyone wants. So powerful that the clan can never use it, it must only protect it. This turns out to be simply the ability to shoot flames at people. So like a flamethrower? Sure I could see that being pretty great in feudal Japan, but like… really anyone can have a flamethrower nowadays. Anyway, Snake Eyes wants revenge and the bad guys want power.

Who?! Gotta love a pro wrestling acting debut. Mojo Rawley appears briefly as Snake Eyes’ opponent in a street fight. He’s actually had a pretty good career in the WWE. He also had a cup of coffee with a couple NFL teams as well, which would get him called a “Former Professional Football Player” on The Bachelorette, so that’s good enough for me.

What?! I talk about the MacGuffin, but more as an object of desire and less about an object in itself. It’s an orange glowing piece of rock that acts as a flamethrower for those that wield it. The story we are told is that the sun goddess sent it down to Earth as a test and that the clan was tasked with protecting it and specifically to never use it. So… it’s a meteorite… like in Super Mario Bros.?

Where?! We get a bunch of real rad intertitles telling us where we are, but we are primarily in Japan (with a brief moment in Los Angeles). I would say that it’s a pretty good Japan setting given that it’s steeped in Japanese lore. But it also mostly takes place in a fake dojo and so doesn’t have the feel of Tokyo or anyplace real. So just a B.

When?! Hmmm. Usually I can venture a guess here, but this is a weird one. It has the feeling of taking place outside of time and it could probably be anytime. This is almost certainly an F. I highly doubt there is actually any indication of when this takes place because there isn’t a need to… it’s just a dumb film with a bunch of dumb fake stuff happening in a fake place at a fake time. The end.

You’d think that after already trying to start up a GI Joe Cinematic Universe (GIJCU) and more or less falling on their faces with some pretty dumbo paint-by-numbers actioners earlier in the decade that people would have learned their lesson. Apparently not cause this is a straight up mid 2000’s dumbo action film centered around a 1990’s MacGuffin. All of it is dumb and (even worse) pretty boring. That’s not mentioning a nice, glaring example of a BMT classic. My guy Henry Golding can’t hold down an American accent to save himself. It just ain’t happening and they needed to quickly pull a JCVD and say he was American but had an accent for some reason. Anyway, I was pretty shocked to find myself decidedly not entertained by this movie and instead walked away scratching my head about how it ended up somehow overrated. It’s actually a bit upsetting. One thing I’ve learned over the years of BMT is to embrace the beauty of the franchise. The story you can build across movies, even if it’s all kinda stupid. I would hope this continues and we see more… but also they have to do a bit better than this. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We got a backdoor pilot for a GI Joe reboot! We got ninjas! We got a film which is about just one GI Joe, but before he actually got to do anything interesting with the GI Joe’s … Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – One of the rare 2021 films to get a wide release and bad reviews, we just had to save it for the end of the year run down. I didn’t really know much about the film going in. I didn’t even really know if it had anything to do with GI Joe. Which was fun. What were my expectations? I guess shiny garbage. Is this second dying? Isn’t every bad movie that comes out now just shiny garbage? I can’t really tell there have been so few in the last 2 years.

The Good – I liked the actors. All of them I think did a very good job with the material given. And a lot of the action is pretty cool (except for one aspect of it, which I’ll get to in the Bad section). But honestly, that is it. Nothing else in this movie is worth the time spent watching it. Not a single think. Best Bit: The actors are charming enough that I hope to see all them in other stuff in the future.

The Bad – The film is nonsense. Pure, utter nonsense. Such nonsense that I’m tempted to call the whole thing dog poo in my face … but can I go so far? It feels like that should be reserved for really unredeemable piles of trash. This ain’t that, because the actors are fine and the action is kind of cool. Speaking of which, wire-fu man. Also looks like trash. The action looks so good when it is hand to hand stuff, and all of a sudden people are jumping twenty feet in the air and everything looks ridiculous. Didn’t even need the speed-up suits from the first GI Joe film. Fatal Flaw: The film makes no sense and that makes my brain angry and my heart sad. 

The BMT – It is weird to watch a disjointed franchise going through multiple reimaginings in BMT, but I think we might get there with GI Joe. If they ever decide to make a drastically different version of GI Joe again we’d have watched multiple reboots of a property mostly live in BMT. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah. Yes, it is shiny garbage, but this is more than that. This is truly a bad film. And really what more can I ask for in the end.

Roast-radamus – A very good Product Placement (What?) right in the nick of time, with Storm Shadow sipping on some Johnny Walker Black (the most eeeevil of all the Johnny Walker whiskies) during the mid-credits scene. A great international Setting as a Character (Where?) for Japan which is a surprisingly rare setting for bad movies. And a fabulous MacGuffin (Why?) for the glowing orange gem which, it turns out, lights people on fire. Closest to BMT I think, being mostly redeemed through its connection to GI Joe and all of the baggage that entails.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I mean, a prequel is pretty lame. I think it is time to bring back our old friend, the BMT Crossover Episode. Snake Eyes has almost died a few times now, so Sasha Petrosevitch sends out his elite Half Past Dead Investigative Unit (HPDIU) to see if he qualifies for Half Past Dead duty (and you bettah belieb he does). You better watch out because the Half Past Dead crew now has a ninja on board. “I ain’t Aikido, but it’ll do,” Sasha smirks. “That sounds like a challenge.” says Snake Eyes. Aikido versus … karate I assume? I don’t know martial arts very well, but it’s obviously a draw. “You done well kid,” Sasha says with his eyes. The first mission? We have a little issue with a Cobra offshoot called Asp which is trying to resurrect Donny Johnson’s essence into a robot body (remember this is GI Joe, so literally anything is possible). Sasha and Snake Eyes ain’t having that. In the end with a Aikido-karate fusion, they destroy Robo-Chestnut in the nick of time and save the day. GI Joe: Half Past Dead: Ninja Resurrection.

A few more and You Just Got Schooled will be back with a vengeance! Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Snake Eyes (2021) Quiz

Oh man, so here’s the thing. I’m a pretty sweet ninja, but then this bad guy with a ‘tude popped out an bopped me on the head and I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Snake Eyes (2021)?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the docks at the beginning of the film Snake Eyes has a job with Kenta’s yakuza gang. What is his job?

2) After saving Tommy’s life at the docks, Tommy brings him back to his home in Japan. What is Tommy’s relationship with Kenta and why did they have a falling out?

3) In reality Snake Eyes is working for Kenta. To do what, and what does he get in return?

4) To get in with the Arashikage clan Snake Eyes must pass three tests. What are the three tests?

5) In the end Snake Eyes becomes a good guy, and Tommy becomes Storm Shadow. Why is Tommy expelled / why does he quit the clan?

Bonus Question: In the super secret end of credits scene only available for special customers, what was Snake Eyes first mission revealed to be?

Answers