Little Nicky Recap

Jamie

Nicky is the son of Satan and not so keen on taking over Hell. So he’s thrilled when his father announces he’s not retired. Unfortunately Nicky’s evil brothers don’t take it so well and break out of Hell to take over Earth. Can Nicky get them back before Hell freezes over and his father dies (and perhaps also get the girl) before it’s too late. Find out in… Little Nicky.

How?! Little Nicky just likes to rock out in Hell without all that evil mumbo jumbo. So when his father, Satan, decides not to retire he’s pretty thrilled. Particularly since his brothers, Cassius and Adrian, are pure evil and would have made his life a living hell (nailed it). Furious, they storm out of Hell to take over Earth as their own kingdom of evil. Unfortunately, Hell freezes over as a result and without souls Satan begins to die. Nicky is tasked with going up and capturing his brothers and bringing them back. Queue a long montage of Nicky acclimating to Earth and dying over and over again. In the process he finds all kinds of friends: a talking demon bulldog sent to help him, two satanists who are super into Satan and all that jazz, his dorky actor roommate, and the lovely Valerie. Despite the best efforts of his brothers to derail his plans, destroy his relationship with Valerie, and take over Earth, the evil within Nicky wins the day by taking down Cassius at a Globetrotters gain. Adrian responds by turning the whole city against Nicky, which ultimately leads to his arrest. But with the help of a few friends he is able to escape and lure Adrian into a trap. Unfortunately, Adrian isn’t just any foe and after a tussle Nicky sacrifices himself for Valerie. This sacrifice sends Nicky to Heaven where he meets his Mom. That’s right. He’s half good-half evil. He’s given a special orb as a weapon and returns to Earth to confront Adrian, who has taken over both Hell and Earth. They have an all-out, Popeyes fueled fight then ends with Nicky smashing the orb and revealing the ultimate weapon: Ozzy Osbourne, who captures Adrian. All is well back in Hell and Satan lets Nicky return to Earth to start a life with Valerie. THE END.

Why?! I believe the idea is that Nicky is part good and part evil… in other words, he’s human. By venturing up to Earth he realizes that that’s the place he belongs. So stopping his brothers isn’t just about saving his father, it’s about saving Earth… his home. Little twist at the end, too, where Nicky’s satanist friends are ultimately happier in Hell than on Earth. I wonder if they would eventually become the new satan(s) since Hell is where they belong? Did I just go deep on Little Nicky?

Who?! Sandler dominated these sections like young Shaq in the paint. This is just a posterizing jam here as the cameo game is pretty much on par with peak Sandler. Henry Winkler, Ozzy Osbourne, Regis, Bill Walton, Dan Marino (who weirdly went uncredited for the cameo), and then Carl Weathers playing Chubbs from Happy Gilmore. Kinda like how Brendan Fraser just kept playing Link from Encino Man over and over.

What?! This is where Sandler brings down the backboard and they have to spend a half hour putting up a new one. Probably should have just made his name Popeye, gave him a googly eye, and then have him fall in love with Popeyes because he thinks they make it just for him. That’s how major the Popeyes product placement is. Hit an A grade of product placement that will be an A+ once I come out with the BMT cut of the film titled Little Popeye. I don’t even have to mention all the other product placement, which pales in comparison (but would probably be a high point of any other BMT film).

Where?! Hell and NYC. I was trying to think of what other BMT films have Hell as a setting and Monkeybone is the first one that comes to mind, but I think that was set in Limbo technically. This might be the best one we’ve watched. Pretty good NYC film as well, but it does make we wonder where this would have been set later in Happy Madison history… does he emerge from Hell in a Cancun resort? A-.

When?! Oh I don’t know. I think it’s the summer because it’s kind of a joke that Nicky is always freezing and wearing a big coat. I usually say that I think any movie probably has something in it to pin down an exact date but… I don’t really think that would be the case here. Everything is fake. Every newspaper, tv spot, everything… maybe you could narrow it down based on advertisements around the city. But who has time for that? F.

If you want to appreciate the wonder and magic of the cinema then look no further than Little Nicky… because you realize while partaking in the film that at some point, somewhere a group of very important studio people sat around watching Adam Sandler put on a crazy annoying voice and smash Popeyes Chicken and had to think “it’s what the people want.” Cause I can’t imagine they fully understood what they were making. They just saw green and Sandler was (and is) a green machine. It’s actually pretty beautiful. A creator given full control to bring what they feel is funny fully realized to screen. The amount of set design and costumes and hair and makeup and props that went into making this real… it’s amazing. It exists and that’s a pretty crazy accomplishment, so I kinda love it for that… what’s that? What did I actually think about the movie? Didn’t care for it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! *Take a big bite of Popeye’s chicken while watching Little Nicky* This movie is the shiznit! *openly weeps* Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Adam Sandler films. Up until more recently we were mostly resigned to only really watching the more recent ones because we didn’t want to watch films we had already seen for BMT. Well, that is no more, so it is time to go back to what people might consider his “imperial” period, where he could do no wrong … until he did for basically the rest of his career (as far as comedies go). I think this is probably his first major miss, and it is a doozy. What were my expectations? I knew I would hate this film, because even when I was the target audience I hated this film. It isn’t funny, and Sandler is grating as the character of Nicky … so yeah, that’s what I expected.

The Good – Uh …. Well, if you are into the Happy Madison universe to some degree this is not the worst choice in the universe. Allan Covert is decent, and the set pieces (as far as Sandler comedies are concerned) are truly second to none. As a matter of fact a lot of the characters in the film could be decent, but the issue is they are usually saddled with either childish fart/homophobic/violent humor, or they are exclusively interacting with Nicky (the worse character in film history maybe, at least one of the more annoying), or both. Keitel, for example, could be decent except every few scenes he’s obligated to shove a pineapple up Hitler’s ass and it is like “ugh, this again?” Best Bit: Set pieces.

The Bad – Nearly everything else. The humor is everything that ultimately is wrong with early Sandler cranked up to 11. Homophobic humor at every turn. The solution to life’s problems being to punch someone in the face (and often the act of punching someone in the face represents growth somehow). And fill in the cracks with fart jokes, and for some reason demons with high squeaky voices. I’m not exactly sure how this film functions. It is like Sandler just gave $100 million to set designers, and then came back and improved the rest in a long weekend. It is a really really weird film. Fatal Flaw: Outdated garbage humor, and the most annoying character in film history.

The BMT – I mean, if I had to choose a single qualifying Sandler film as the BMT representative for him this is the leader in the clubhouse. And I am skeptical something like Eight Crazy Nights can stage the comeback. If Nicky was even a little less annoying as a character this film would at least be interesting to marvel at, because it really is just a production on an epic scale (especially for a comedy). It is Hollywood at its most self-indulgent. In the end it is mostly just a surreal experience. On the one hand I never want to watch this film ever again … and yet there is something deeply alluring about just how bad it is. Did it meet my expectations? More than I could imagine. It is maybe the least funny and most annoying comedy ever created. Congrats Little Nicky.

Roast-radamus – Genuine Planchet (Who?) for Covert as Nicky’s roommate in New York. His function does seem to be just to be dunked on by the Satan worshippers and to be called gay as a joke. Perhaps the greatest Product Placement (What?) in any Sandler film for Popeye’s, which is a huuuuuuuuuge part of the film. Nickey eats it at least three times, and the end scene features a giant anthropomorphic bucket of Popeye’s which walks around and the demons are obsessed with it. And quite a good Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City which is featured in all of its weird glory. Definitely a contender for BMT I think, typically I would have went with bad, but this is so so weird it transcends badness and becomes BMT.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Easy, a Prequel. Get a young Keitel look-alike in there, and a young Dangerfield look-alike in there, and reveal that Little Nicky’s journey on Earth isn’t entirely without precedent. When Nicky’s grandfather was set to retire he too had concerns over whether Keitel was ready to take over the throne. But when a rogue fallen angel appears in Middle Ages Britain leading a brutal raving army of criminals, Keitel is sent to Earth to sort it out before God gets wind of the encroachment in their DMZ (Earth). Learning to love and live again, Keitel defeats the angel in a joust and gets the maiden. In the end, God appears (played by …. let’s go with Chris Rock) and reveals that he knew about the encroachment all along, but knew that Keitel would have the heart to save the day without needing to escalate tensions between heaven and hell. He suggests they have a mixer sometime, and then winks at the camera. Everyone cheers. 

You Just Got Schooled – As part of the movie tie-in cycle we are mostly sticking to films which have either hit singles released as part of the film soundtrack, or video game licenses. Well, there was certainly a doozy of a video game for Little Nicky on the Game Boy Color. One of the last games made for the obsolete system (as the Advance had just come out), it is a basic platformer. A small twist is that it doesn’t have a saving mechanism, but instead relies on a set of passwords. This mechanism is combined with only having 5-7 lives during the course of the game, and being brutally slow at times as the Nicky sprite can only sprint when charged up with heat. There is some good fun here and there, the different movement mechanisms they built into the game are fun, and the ratchet-like advancement meant that beating the 24 levels was somewhat of an inevitability. And beat it I did, it probably took me about 6 hours. The final fight is actually quite good. Amusingly, as the manual is unavailable online, the game is pretty difficult to beat without seeing the film! That’s the kind of tie-in you love to see. C+. As a platformer it is probably one of the worst you can play. But I’ll throw in the plus for being a pretty entertaining diversion. I wish more weirdo video game tie-ins like this existed.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Little Nicky Quiz

So get this, I was a devil in a cooky version of hell where shit jokes thought up by 13-year-olds is the pinnacle of humor. But then the two garbage brothers left and things got nuts! And then I got bopped on the head by a big beast-man thing and can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Little Nicky?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At the beginning of the film the fires of hells freeze over. Why, and what does Little Nicky have to do to unfreeze Hell? What are the consequences if he doesn’t?

2) Who are the brothers disguised as initially?

3) Where does Nicky capture Cassius, and how does he trick him into the magic flask?

4) How does Nicky get Adrian back to Hell?

5) Who is Nicky’s mother and how did she meet the Devil, and what power does that mean Nicky has?

Bonus Question: When is the next time Nicky sees his mother?

Answers

Little Nicky Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and Rachel sit around the apartment racking their brains. What could they possibly do to stop the cyborgs’ plans? The cyborgs have the Dongle and will blast them to hell once their plan comes to fruition and Rich & Poe are dead. “What do the kids like these days? Once you’ve hooked the kids they won’t dare give the film bad reviews. Voila, Rich & Poe don’t die,” queries Patrick. Jamie ponders for a moment and being hip with the kidz he suggests a warm Rich themed blanket and a delicious cup of Poe brand tea, “the perfect combination. Just like Rich & Poe are the perfect combination of bad guy stopping power.” Patrick holds up his hand in exasperation. He gets it. “What about muscle shirts and muscle milk,” he brainstorms, “muscle everything cause Rich & Poe are all about muscles.” Jamie nods but then stops when he sees Rachel shaking her head in disgust. “Bopping tunes?” throws out Jamie, which gets the OK from Rachel. Not to be outdone Patrick throws out the unparalleled experience of Rich & Poe: The Video Game: VR: Legends Never Die. Now Rachel is intrigued. Jamie fleshes out his thoughts with a wiki-wild-wild-west banging hook and an internet shattering music video which mixes Thriller with TikTok or whatever shit kids are doing now. Rachel stops them and lays it out: “what about both?” and Jamie and Patrick’s mouths fall open. “The FMV Rich & Poe: The Music Video Game VR Experience: Legends Never Die starring Jason Derulo,” The say together and high five. Game changer. It’s going to be a lot of work, though, as Patrick takes the brunt of the coding and Jamie dives right back into the Rich & Poe book to make sure the tie-in is tight. “Welcome to hell,” says Patrick. That’s right, we go from some banging tunes right into an unparalleled video game experience with the Adam Sandler classic Little Nicky. What? You didn’t know that Little Nicky had a video game? Well it did and Patrick beat it. Deal with it. Let’s go!

Little Nicky (2000) – BMeTric: 57.7; Notability: 85

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.8%; Notability: top 2.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 20.3% Higher BMeT: Battlefield Earth, Dungeons & Dragons, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Highlander: Endgame, 102 Dalmatians, Big Momma’s House, Supernova; Lower RT: The in Crowd, Battlefield Earth, Bless the Child, Lost Souls, Turn It Up, The Skulls, Urban Legends: Final Cut, Dungeons & Dragons, Supernova, I Dreamed of Africa, Ed Gein, Screwed, The Ladies’ Man, The Watcher, Boricua’s Bond, Highlander: Endgame, Boys and Girls, Get Carter, Hanging Up, Whipped and 22 more; Notes: That is an incredibly high Notability, especially for a comedy. This is the pinnacle for Sandler clearly, the moment where, coming off of Big Daddy, he seemingly could do no wrong … until he did.

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars – All of this is kinda fun, and some of it more than that. I can see how “Little Nicky” could have worked, It’s just that Sandler, at the center, is a distraction; he steals scenes, and we want him to give them back. He’s 35 now. I know you can play an adolescent all of your life (consider Jerry Lewis), but isn’t it time for us to see the real Adam Sandler? When I met him, I thought to myself, this guy has movie star potential.

(Little Nicky is definitely the moment where it seemed like Sandler regressed from what I remember. Big Daddy showed a level of growth for the man-child character from Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison … but then Little Nicky is like he was trying to go back to that lazy silliness instead of keeping an emotional core to the films or progressing. Amazing that Ebert gave it 2.5 stars!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0jhAYDiFwo/

(My god, even the trailer is awful. Also, it is really weird that they couldn’t or wouldn’t make a trailer that showed the actual storyline of the film. It makes it seem like the brothers go after Nicky to bring him back to Hell, but it is the exact opposite, Nicky is going after his brothers to bring them back to Hell. Weird.)

Directors – Steven Brill – (Known For: Hubie Halloween; Walk of Shame; The Do-Over; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: Drillbit Taylor; Mr. Deeds; Without a Paddle; Heavyweights; BMT: Movie 43; Little Nicky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Movie 43 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: Was a comedy partner with Marc Maron in college. Is a consistent director for Happy Madison films through the current Netflix contract.)

Writers – Tim Herlihy (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; The Wedding Singer; Future BMT: Mr. Deeds; Bedtime Stories; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; and in 2016 for Pixels; Notes: Adam Sandler’s college roommate and, obviously, co-writer. Worked on Saturday Night Live with Sandler as well.)

Adam Sandler (written by) – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Eight Crazy Nights; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Going Overboard; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; Notes: Y’all know Adam Sandler. It is the 25th anniversary of Happy Gilmore, so there are a bunch of news stories about the potential for a Happy Gilmore sequel … that seems unlikely.)

Steven Brill (written by) – (Known For: Walk of Shame; Future BMT: D3: The Mighty Ducks; Ready to Rumble; D2: The Mighty Ducks; The Mighty Ducks; Heavyweights; BMT: Little Nicky; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Movie 43 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: This was basically the last film he wrote for Happy Madison. I assume he moved into a more exclusive Director / Producer role afterwards.)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Uncut Gems; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Billy Madison; Murder Mystery; The Wedding Singer; Hotel Transylvania; Punch-Drunk Love; The Do-Over; Anger Management; Hotel Transylvania 3; The Meyerowitz Stories; Spanglish; Funny People; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Reign Over Me; Future BMT: Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Eight Crazy Nights; Mr. Deeds; Mixed Nuts; Bulletproof; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; The Waterboy; Click; Big Daddy; The Longest Yard; Dirty Work; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Jack and Jill; Going Overboard; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Ridiculous 6; Zookeeper; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2; Pixels; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; 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; and in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for The Cobbler in 2016; 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: Was Nominated for a Golden Globe for Punch-Drunk Love. I’m surprised he didn’t get one for Uncut Gems as well. Next year he has what appears to be another serious role in Hustle, about a washed up basketball coach who discovers a prospect in China. Could be interesting.)

Patricia Arquette – (Known For: True Romance; Toy Story 4; Holes; Boyhood; Uncle Buck; Lost Highway; Ed Wood; Bringing Out the Dead; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; Holy Matrimony; Otherhood; The Indian Runner; Flirting with Disaster; Fast Food Nation; Nightwatch; Human Nature; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; Girl in Progress; Prayer of the Rollerboys; Future BMT: Stigmata; Goodbye Lover; Beyond Rangoon; BMT: Little Nicky; Tiptoes; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Little Nicky in 2001; Notes: Won an Oscar for Boyhood in 2015. From the Arquette acting family, and was married to Nicolas Cage for six years.)

Harvey Keitel – (Known For: Inglourious Basterds; Pulp Fiction; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Taxi Driver; The Irishman; Red Dragon; Isle of Dogs; Reservoir Dogs; From Dusk Till Dawn; Moonrise Kingdom; National Treasure; Thelma & Louise; Get Shorty; The Piano; Youth; The Two Jakes; Fatima; Sister Act; The Last Temptation of Christ; Future BMT: Little Fockers; Arthur and the Invisibles; The January Man; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Little Nicky; Be Cool; Rising Sun; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Last Temptation of Christ in 1989; Notes: We just say him in Rising Sun. Let’s just see what he’s got on the docket for next year: He’s playing Meyer Lansky about the  National Crime Syndicate.)

Budget/Gross – $85,000,000 / Domestic: $39,464,775 (Worldwide: $58,292,295)

(Oh that’s a disaster. I’m pretty sure Sandler has something like ten comedies which made over $100 million, so this was seems like it must have been a serious come down. The three films surrounding this were $160 million, $80 million, and $130 million domestic … so yeah, this was a terrible showing for Sandler.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (25/115): Despite the presence of a large, talented cast, the jokes in Little Nicky are dumb, tasteless, and not that funny, and Adam Sandler’s character is grating to watch.

(Yeah, basically all of the reviews boil down to: Sandler has never been more annoying, thanks, I hate it. Reviewer Highlight: Where’s Sandler in all this? Lost in gimmicks that smack of desperation. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Poster – Little Snickers

(Woof. And I’m not just saying that cause there is a dog on the poster. There are… a lot of colors on that mess. And yet a shocking amount of empty space. I’ll give a minor point for the font, which is not totally generic. But I also have to say that the off-center bench is a real problem. It messes with your head. Why not even that sucker out? D.)

Tagline(s) – If Your Father Was The Devil And Your Mother Was An Angel, You’d Be Messed Up Too. (Spoiler Alert!)

Be unafraid. Be very unafraid. (C+)

(Double tagline poster. The first one is far too long and a real spoiler alert. It’s kind of supposed to be a surprise who Nicky’s mom is and they just say it. The second one is fine I guess, in that it actually is a tagline. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue though.)

Keyword – hell

Top 10: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Love Actually (2003), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), As Above, So Below (2014), 2012 (2009), Hercules (1997), Constantine (2005), Inferno (2016), Hellboy (2019), Little Nicky (2000)

Future BMT: 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 63.2 The Haunted Mansion (2003), 57.1 The Lazarus Effect (2015), 56.9 A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), 56.1 Spawn (1997), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 35.8 Hideaway (1995), 27.5 Inferno (2016), 26.6 As Above, So Below (2014), 21.6 The Shack (2017);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Hellboy (2019), Little Nicky (2000), Event Horizon (1997), Doom (2005), Silent Hill (2006), The Golden Child (1986), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

(Hmmm, I wonder why there is potentially less of a prevalence of “hell” as a concept in film. Could be something with appealing more widely to a global market. I can’t wait to watch the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I love watching just a ton of horror films all in a row.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 1 billed in Little Nicky 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) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – When Jon Lovitz was on the celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999) in 2000, he promoted this movie, and mentioned some of the co-stars. Interestingly, host Regis Philbin has an uncredited cameo as himself, but never mentioned to Jon Lovitz or the audience that he’s in the same movie. (Ha! He’s also a boss in the Game Boy Color game. Stay tuned for my review of that in the Recap)

Adam Sandler’s real life dog, named Meatball, is the son of the dog that played Mr. Beefy in this movie. Meatball was Adam Sandler’s best man at his wedding.

Carl Weathers reprised his role of “Chubbs” from Happy Gilmore (1996), though he is not credited for the role a second time.

This is the fourth Adam Sandler film to have a love interest with the initials “V. V.,” with Patricia Arquette as Valerie Veran. The first was Billy Madison (1995) (Veronica Vaughn); the second was Happy Gilmore (1996) (Virginia Venet); and the third was The Waterboy (1998) (Vicki Valencourt).

Dana Carvey (Referee) broke his ankle while filming the Harlem Globetrotters basketball game scene, and ended up on crutches. (What!)

Adam Sandler’s wife Jackie plays the redheaded angel Jenna.

Harvey Keitel replaced Dustin Hoffman in the role of Satan.

During the closing credits, flashes of the character’s whereabouts are explained. When they explain Nicky’s mom (Reese Witherspoon), a picture still of her is shown saying “Mom immediately fell in love with her new aerobics instructor, Chris Farley.” Giving a tribute to Chris, who died three years before the film, in 1997. The aerobics reference is referring to his classic skit on Saturday Night Live (1975) that will always be hilariously remembered. Adam, and the rest of the Saturday Night Live (1975) gang, were great friends with Farley.

Adam Sandler expressed in one of his songs that this movie was his father’s favorite film featuring Adam.

When Adrian (Rhys Ifans) makes Nicky (Adam Sandler) get hit by the bus, the blood spatter on John (Jonathan Loughran) and Peter’s (Peter Dante’s) shirt says “666”.

When Nicky makes the basket at the basketball game, you can see “666” on the shot clock above the hoop.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Rob Schneider, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Steven Brill, 2001)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Steven Brill, 2001)

Dangerous Minds Recap

Jamie

Louanne Johnson is recently divorced and looking for work. She finds it teaching a class of low-income students. Through teaching poetry and boosting their confidence in themselves, she helps them find a voice. But can she help them in the classroom and get them off the streets before it’s too late? Find out in… Dangerous Minds.

How?! Louanne Johnson is fresh off a divorce and looking for a new start. Through a friend she gets hooked up with a job at Parkmont. Little does she know that she got the full time position mostly because they were having trouble filling it due to the low-income students in the class. But Louanne Johnson, former marine, doesn’t back down from the challenge and slowly earns the attention of the students by first teaching them karate, then rewarding them with treats, and finally speaking to them in the language of music and poetry. Soon she is building their confidence with new methods of grading and positive feedback and is reaping the rewards of finding some truly talented students amongst the group. However, all is not well. Her star student Callie is pregnant and is being pressured by the school to leave in order to attend a school geared more towards raising kids than schoolwork. Two other students are pulled out of school when their grandmother finds out they are studying poetry instead of learning something that might help them make money. Finally, Emelio, a troubled student, is threatened by a drug dealer and hides out with Louanne before trying to tell the principal of the school what’s happening. But when the principal turns him away he ends up getting shot and this sends Louanne into a tailspin. She decides to quit, but on the last day of school all the students band together and tell her how much she means to them. She ends up deciding to stay and everyone is happy. Hip hip hooray. THE END.

Why?! I mean… it’s not really a cynical movie, so that’s a positive. The motivation is teaching children and trying to make sure they have opportunities in life. While the focus is on the white teacher to the film’s detriment, it at least dispenses with any personal issues and all her thought, motivation, and strife comes from wanting to help the students.

Who?! This one is easy. Raymond and Richard Grant play Durrell and Lionel Benton, star pupils who are pulled out of school much to the dismay of LouAnne. They are actually twins (Twin Film Alert) and comprise the rap duo DJ Twinz. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah. That sound you hear is me listening to some DJ Twinz right now.

What?! Besides being a stellar advertisement for education and love (awww) it’s also got a pretty good advertisement for butterfingers as that is the candy of choice that LouAnne throws around as a reward for correct answers. Although I prefer the sweet taste of karate and expensive French dinners, the other rewards she uses in the film.

Where?! This is very much an LA film, which is fine, but also not necessarily always the most exciting since so many films are set there. This at least seems to have a reason. The real LouAnne Johnson taught in the LA area and more specifically there is an underlying commentary about the fact that the kids are being bussed in from a lower income neighborhood, only to be shuttled into a class where they are ignored (that is until LouAnne shows up). B+.

When?! This takes place over a school year more or less. We don’t really get much holiday  talk or anything like that, and LouAnne is clearly a replacement teacher, so it’s possible that she took over in the new year and we see from Jan-June or something. Doesn’t really matter, this is basically a road trip through time. No specific timing. C.

It is perfectly possible to make an entertaining and engaging tale of helping high risk youths and still totally miss the mark. Beyond being just a cliche of the white savior trope, I think there is a real fundamental lack of familiarity with the world that is being portrayed that hamstrings the film from the jump. I would assume LouAnne Johnson’s book probably does a better job (I couldn’t get my hands on a copy in time to read it), but the film completely glosses over some of the most poignant and heartbreaking aspects of the children’s stories in favor of surface level stereotypes and instead spends an inordinate amount of time on the trials and tribulations of the white teacher. It’s hard to say anything more than that. Despite the good songs, engaging filmmaking, and good acting by Pfeiffer… this is not a good film. Just not in the typical BMT way of being a bad film. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! This week it was Louanne Johnson’s Dangerous Minds versus the Bad movie Twins beautiful minds. Friday night fights! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – We’ve just been living in a gangster’s paradise. I think the legacy of the film is entirely tied up with maybe the most successful song-movie tie-in in history? Maybe a Will Smith song or The Bodyguard narrowly beats it out, but the Coolio track is basically I know (or need to know) about this movie. What were my expectations? Well, Ebert spelled it out in his review: white savior nonsense. If that is the biggest complaint I fear there won’t be much to like in the film.

The Good – Fear not, there were quite a few good things with this film. Like with Rising Sun it feels pretty gross to be like “well, besides the racism, the film was pretty good!” … but I guess here goes? The film is basically that classic Stand and Deliver or Lean on Me story. The visionary teacher comes in and gets these kids to learn (and learns a thing or two him/herself!), everyone cheers or the teacher gets fired, it depends on how cynical they want to be about the American education system. And you can do worse, Pfeiffer is solid in the lead role and it does a good job avoiding an unnecessary romance angle for her character. Best Bit: Pfeiffer.

The Bad – The biggest issue is probably Courtney B. Vance’s character. I’m not sure if it was his choice or explicitly laid out in the script or what, but his character might as well be named Feckless Principal. He ends up being some sort of cartoon metaphor for how “rules” and a lack of compassion have poisoned the American education system … or something. We’ll get to the issue with the portrayal of the education system i.e. “if only teachers cared more”. But then, yeah, this film is top-to-bottom a white savior tale. That really shouldn’t be dismissed. Fatal Flaw: White savior tale.

The BMT – This is a classic addition to the BMT Discography (not a section on the website …. yet) with Coolio’s jamming tune remaining a highlight of the trailer for this film. I choose to remember this film within the lens of Coolio’s track alone. Would I watch it again? I would, especially in some bizarre “Badass Teacher”-mersion podcast me and Jamie are now definitely starting. Did it meet my expectations? It was actually a bit better than I expected. I think, outside of the Vance character and the white savior nonsense, the film is pretty entertaining and an easy watch. I was kind of expecting The Substitute, but it was basically just Lean on Me.

Roast-radamus – A minor Product Placement (What?) for Louanne tossing around Butterfingers (as Bob Dylan once said: No one better lay a finger on my Butterfinger) among other candy bars. And Setting as a Character (Where?) for the explicit setting in Palo Alto. Definitely closest to Good, although I hope that something better crops up.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Easy, a sequel. This is about Louanne’s daughter, who herself has just gotten out of the Marines and is going back to her mother’s old stomping grounds in Palo Alto. And hooooooooooooooooo doggy she has a whole other crop of issues to deal with with her children. Cyberbullying, sexting, like … I don’t know, like meeting people on the internet? My point is that this ain’t her momma’s high school, she now has techmologies to deal with, and she is ill-prepared. So when an elite North Korean hacker starts trying to hack the election via the school’s servers, she has to assemble her ragtag group of students together to unleash their viruses, hack the Gibson, and take down Ellingson Mineral. HACK THE PLANET! We can workshop the ending, but rest assured, right at that 80 minute mark Michelle Pfeiffer busts that door down and says “Miss me boys and girls?” and the whole theater cheers. Dangerous Minds 2: Cyberwar.

You Just Got Schooled – We’re back baby! A real BMT Homework section because Dangerous Minds was also a television show! Starring Annie Potts, the first episode kind of follows the storyline from the movie, except the students in the television show are far less disruptive, and the things Louanne is teaching are just normal high school English curriculum. The first episode mainly focuses on Of Mice and Men for example. The show got cancelled after a season, which isn’t too surprising since it wasn’t very good. The biggest issue I had with it was it really cranked up that “if only American educators cared you know?” attitude to 11. Louanne is buying people books, paying for a nursery for another student, letting people stay in her enormous house … in the first episode she probably spends like $1000 of her own money on her students. And the other teachers are like “yeah, if we can all just chip in we can really make a difference!” No! These are the things the school and local government should be dealing with, not rogue teachers with, evidently, a fortune to distribute to the needy. It feels like it ends up with the moral being “yeah, the issue with the education system isn’t class sizes or underfunding … it is probably that most of the teachers don’t give a shit!” D. An interesting watch, but the movie is better and, against all odds, less preachy.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Dangerous Minds Quiz

Oh man, so here I was trying to teach these beautiful minds in a high school in Bad News U.S.A. when a fight breaks out! I got in the middle, natch, but I got sucker punched in the head and now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Dangerous Minds?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What does Louanne want to be a teacher in Palo Alto?

2) What is the first thing she teaches her young students?

3) Hal is helping Louanne out with teaching and got her the job. How did Hal know her before the start of the movie?

4) Why is Louanne getting a divorce?

5) Why did Emilio get shot?

Bonus Question: What Coolio song is most like a Bob Dylan song? Whoever gives me the right answer gets a free ice cream cone.

Answers

Dangerous Minds Preview

As they sit and watch the beautiful sunset, Patrick and Jamie wonder about the plans of their cyborg doppelgangers. Perhaps there never was a plan, just random clues they followed to a dead end. Sipping their delicious mimosas, they aren’t sure they cared. When a *ding* rings out from the direction of the elevator all three of their heads swing that way. Beads of sweat form on their brows as they hear the soft sobbing from Rachel. Saboteur! But anger softens to sympathy as Rachel explains that her family was kidnapped by the cyborg fiends. Her family will live in exchange for luring them here. The final *ding* from the elevator sounds and the doors swing open. They gasp. It’s… it’s them. Aside from the glowing red eyes and robot limbs they are the Bad Movie Twins. “Bad Movie Twins,” they chuckle in deep robot voices, “at last, you have returned. And to what? Failure? Despair? To witness the deaths of your beloved Rich & Poe,” they spit out in disgust. Jamie and Patrick quake in fear. Death is surely next, but as the robots approach a smirk appears on their cyborg lips. “No… no, we won’t kill you.” they say, still smiling. Then with lightning fast robot speed they search Patrick and snatch the Obsidian Dongle from his pocket. “Not before you witness our grand plan come to fruition. You will watch Rich & Poe die, then you shall die. Bwahahahahaha,” they laugh violently as they stagger out of the apartment. “All a trap and we fell into it,” mumbles Jamie softly, but Patrick shakes his head firmly. It can’t be over. Not when they still live. “Come on,” Patrick says, “they may have taken the Dongle, but they left us with our most dangerous weapon… our minds.” That’s right! We are transitioning to the next cycle of the year: Cross Promotion Mania. Originally conceived as a hit song tie in cycle, we ended up expanding it to video games when we realized that that would make for a better overall cycle. But it didn’t change our first pick: Dangerous Minds, featuring Gangsta’s Paradise. Based on the book My Posse Don’t Do Homework by LouAnne Johnson. Let’s go!

Dangerous Minds (1995) – BMeTric: 15.8; Notability: 40 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 43.2%; Notability: top 28.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.8% Higher BMeT: Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Fair Game, Batman Forever, Congo, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Tank Girl, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, The Babysitter, Judge Dredd, Nine Months, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Operation Dumbo Drop, Jade, The Scarlet Letter, Johnny Mnemonic, Man of the House, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, and 33 more; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo, Judge Dredd, Virtuosity, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Showgirls, Four Rooms, Stuart Saves His Family, Assassins, Panther, Money Train, Tank Girl, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Jade, Jefferson in Paris, Hackers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Canadian Bacon, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Nine Months, and 4 more; Lower RT: A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, It Takes Two, The Hunted, The Tie That Binds, Vampire in Brooklyn, Bushwhacked, The Pebble and the Penguin, Fair Game, Johnny Mnemonic, The Scarlet Letter, Four Rooms, Three Wishes, Jade, Canadian Bacon, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Houseguest, Man of the House, Reckless, Two Much and 22 more; Notes: That is a shockingly high IMDb rating … I guess maybe that’s what you get when the only thing really notable about a film is the incredible rap single used in its advertisements.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Dangerous Minds” tells another one of those uplifting parables in which the dedicated teacher takes on a schoolroom full of rebellious malcontents, and wins them over with an unorthodox approach. Movies like this are inevitably “based on a real story.” Maybe they tell you that because otherwise you’d think they were pure fantasy.

(This review is really really worth reading. The end of it speaks to why critics, I think, wholesale rejected the film. The film is made about an urban school, but for a suburban audience. It is a really good review that succinctly explains why the film fails the book and the audience.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA-5nLQCmW8/

(Oh shit, the goddamn song kicking in got me amped! And then I just remembered this is a run of the mill white savior “these kids just need a fair shot!” type drama. But I haven’t seem many of those, so bring it on.)

Directors – John N. Smith – (Known For: A Cool, Dry Place; Love & Savagery; Train of Dreams; Geraldine’s Fortune; Sitting in Limbo; Welcome to Canada; The Masculine Mystique; BMT: Dangerous Minds; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for the short First Winter. Canadian, seemed to have retired in 2009.)

Writers – LouAnne Johnson (book) – (BMT: Dangerous Minds; Notes: Basically her only other credit is the Dangerous Minds television show which came out in 1996 and ran for 17 episodes.)

Ronald Bass (screenplay) – (Known For: Rain Man; My Best Friend’s Wedding; What Dreams May Come; Stepmom; Before We Go; When a Man Loves a Woman; Waiting to Exhale; The Joy Luck Club; How Stella Got Her Groove Back; Black Widow; Gardens of Stone; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Passion of Mind; Mozart and the Whale; La boda de mi mejor amigo; Space Warriors; Code Name: Emerald; The Lazarus Child; Future BMT: Amelia; Entrapment; Snow Falling on Cedars; BMT: Sleeping with the Enemy; Dangerous Minds; Notes: Won an Oscar for Rain Man. He appeared to have done a ton of uncredited rewrites in the 90s (including things like a Spielberg film), and was also a creator on the aforementioned Dangerous Minds television show.)

Actors – Michelle Pfeiffer – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Scarface; Stardust; Mother!; Murder on the Orient Express; French Exit; Batman Returns; Hairspray; The Age of Innocence; The Prince of Egypt; What Lies Beneath; Dangerous Liaisons; One Fine Day; The Witches of Eastwick; Wolf; Tequila Sunrise; Ladyhawke; White Oleander; Amazon Women on the Moon; Future BMT: Grease 2; The Story of Us; Dark Shadows; The Family; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; Up Close & Personal; Maleficent: Mistress of Evil; Into the Night; I Am Sam; BMT: New Year’s Eve; A Thousand Acres; Dangerous Minds; Notes: Nominated three times for an Oscar, for Love Field, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Dangerous Liasons. Her sister Dedee Pfeiffer is also an actress.)

George Dzundza – (Known For: Basic Instinct; The Deer Hunter; Crimson Tide; No Way Out; The Beast of War; White Hunter Black Heart; City by the Sea; No Man’s Land; The Happy Hooker; Adam and Eve; Streamers; Impulse; The Chosen One; Trading Favors; Massage Parlor Murders!; Honor Bound; Future BMT: That Darn Cat; The Butcher’s Wife; Instinct; BMT: Species II; No Mercy; Dangerous Minds; Notes: I know him mostly for one of his rare television roles, he was one of the two main cops during the first season or two of Law & Order. He’s very much a “that guy” in that he’s almost exclusively known for character parts, not starring roles.)

Courtney B. Vance – (Known For: Project Power; Isle of Dogs; The Hunt for Red October; Holy Matrimony; Final Destination 5; The Photograph; Space Cowboys; Office Christmas Party; Ben Is Back; The Divide; Hamburger Hill; D-Tox; Uncorked; Nothing But the Truth; The Preacher’s Wife; The Adventures of Huck Finn; The Last Supper; Beyond the Law; Hurricane Season; Cookie’s Fortune; Future BMT: Joyful Noise; Terminator Genisys; Extraordinary Measures; Panther; BMT: The Mummy; Dangerous Minds; Notes: Blew up a few years ago for his performance as Johnnie Cochran in American Crime Story (which he won an Emmy for). Went to Harvard.)

Budget/Gross – $23 million / Domestic: $84,919,401 (Worldwide: $179,519,401)

(Huuuuuge success. According to the notes, it was released under Pfeiffer’s production company which ended up giving her the ability to start producing her own projects afterwards. So that’s nice.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (12/41): Rife with stereotypes that undermine its good intentions, Dangerous Minds is too blind to see that the ones it hurts are the audience.

(Yep, that is basically what Ebert said. Again, read his review, it is well worth it. Reviewer Highlight: The tale screenwriter Ronald Bass came up with, and the way director John N. Smith tells it, is stereotypical, predictable and simplified to the point of meaninglessness. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Dangerous Sklogs

(Overall, I don’t mind this, mostly because if I saw it in a theater I’d be interested in it, which is the point. Doesn’t tell me much, though, and the color scheme isn’t cohesive. So merely not the worst. C.)

Tagline(s) – She Broke The Rules… And Changed Their Lives. ()

(Looks like the main poster didn’t have a tagline, so this must be an alternate. You can tell as the poster is better off without it. The cadence is OK and does sum up the film in a way. But not clever or short enough to break out from the middle. C+.)

Keyword – urban setting

Top 10: Coming to America (1988), Birds of Prey (2020), Inception (2010), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight (2008), Black Panther (2018), Seven (1995), Back to the Future (1985), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Future BMT: 78.6 Superhero Movie (2008), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 63.9 Underdog (2007), 63.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 61.9 Poltergeist III (1988), 54.3 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005), 50.6 My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), 50.2 The Wild (2006), 44.1 B*A*P*S (1997), 43.0 I Love Trouble (1994);

BMT: RoboCop 2 (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Predator 2 (1990), The Happening (2008), Shaft (2019), Death Wish (2018), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Catwoman (2004), Superman III (1983), RoboCop 3 (1993), Red Dawn (2012), Dangerous Minds (1995), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Punisher: War Zone (2008), The Specialist (1994), Alex Cross (2012), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), New York Minute (2004), Max Payne (2008), Daylight (1996), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Exit Wounds (2001), Dragon Wars (2007), Knock Off (1998), Never Die Alone (2004)

(Not very many good keywords here, so I kind of wanted to see if there was any rise in big films set in cities during the crime panic of the late-80s / early-90s … there wasn’t. Even the Future BMT list is pretty lame. Sorry, this one is one me, I blew it.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Neville is No. 5 billed in Dangerous Minds and No. 7 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 7 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch The Story of Us, Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Michelle Pfeiffer was pregnant during production. Although shot out of sequence like most films, it becomes apparent when methods are used to hide the actress’ stomach. Methods such as long skirts and bulky sweaters along with scenes where Pfeiffer is shown carrying large objects were used.

Originally entitled “My Posse Don’t Do Homework”, the name of the book from which this true story was taken. (Huh, terrible name)

Released under Michelle Pfeiffer’s production company, the movie’s success bolstered Pfeiffer’s reputation as an actress/producer.

Andy Garcia’s scenes as Louanne’s love interest were filmed but cut.

A running gag involves confusion between two lyrical men of words: Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan. The similarity between the two names is not coincidental, as the latter adopted his performance name as a tribute to the former.

The actor who played Emelio, Wade Dominguez, died 3 years after the 1995 film was released ( in 1998 ) of respiratory failure.

One of the last films worked on by producer Don Simpson. He helped pick songs for the film soundtrack.

“This Is The Life”, is a song that features on the film’s original soundtrack, and is performed by ‘Wendy And Lisa’ In the 1980’s, both of these artists were from Prince’s band ‘The Revolution’, and even acted alongside him, in his movie, “Purple Rain”. If you listen carefully to the music for “This is The Life” and “Purple Rain”, you will notice, that they both have exactly the same music in their intro.

The real Emilio Ramírez wasn’t murdered, he graduated high school spent four years in the Marine Corps and is alive and well living in California with his wife and two children.