Virus Preview

As Jamie heads out of the apartment he almost bumps into a delivery man carrying a large wooden box. After he drops it off, Jamie waits a moment before asking the obvious question… “what’s that?” Patrick looks up confused. “Oh… you mean the box? I got a safe to keep the Obsidian Dongle in but now… you know… we don’t have it anymore.” Jamie nods. Makes sense. No need to investigate further or even think about that box. It’s obviously nothing that anybody needs to worry about. With that clearly unimportant event out of the way Jamie heads downtown whistling Starring Jason Derulo. It sure is catchy. As he approaches WARR, their local pirate radio station, he is shocked to find a “Closed” sign up in the window. Whaa-whaaa-whaaaaaa? Quickly snatching the transistor radio out of his pocket he tunes it to the station and hears only static. What the heck is going on? He walks down the street getting odd glances from everyone he sees. But really he should be giving them weird glances. Seems a bit warm to be wearing face masks. When he arrives at the second most popular local pirate radio station WGRG the owner is just locking up. “Oh thank god,” Jamie says relieved, “I have a hot new track that needs to drop fast for the latest FMV VR video game craze for the gucci crowd.” The owner understands all this perfectly but informs him that because of the virus he’ll have to send it via email. “Virus?” Jamie asks and the man snorts. “What have you been living under a rock?” Jamie, insulted, is about to inform him that no, he just happened to be saving the world for the last year (thank you very much) when everything clicks into place. A pandemic! That’s right! We’re appropriately watching Virus starring Jamie Lee Curtis. She considers it the worst film she’s made and so I’ve been pretty excited to catch it one of these days. It also had what is widely considered a terrible video game associated with that, so Patrick can have fun with that. Let’s go!

Virus (1999) – BMeTric: 60.1; Notability: 44

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 31.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.4% Higher BMeT: Baby Geniuses, Inspector Gadget, Universal Soldier: The Return, Wild Wild West, Wing Commander, The Haunting, Dudley Do-Right, Bats, The Rage: Carrie 2; Higher Notability: Wild Wild West, Inspector Gadget, The 13th Warrior, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Haunting, Idle Hands, End of Days, Joan of Arc, My Favorite Martian, The Out-of-Towners, Random Hearts, Crazy in Alabama, Double Jeopardy, Instinct, Stigmata, The Bone Collector, In Too Deep, Entrapment, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, The General’s Daughter, and 4 more; Lower RT: Baby Geniuses, The Mod Squad, Universal Soldier: The Return, The Omega Code, The Bachelor, Eye of the Beholder, Wing Commander, Chill Factor, Body Shots, End of Days, My Favorite Martian; Notes: Really solid, the IMDb rating is absurdly low. We’ve almost seen all of those Higher BMeT films. Inspector Gadget and The Rage: Carrie 2 are the only non-BMT … which is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – The last half hour of the movie is almost unseeable. In dark dimness, various human and other figures race around in a lot of water and flashlight beams, and there is much screaming. Occasionally an eye, a limb, or a bloody face emerges from the gloom. Many instructions are shouted. If you can explain to me the exact function of that rocket tube that turns up at the end, I will be sincerely grateful. If you can explain how anyone could survive that function, I will be amazed. The last shot is an homage to “The African Queen,” a movie I earnestly recommend instead of this one.

(I might just have to go ahead and watch The African Queen. Although I’ll watch both … I don’t need to make a choice or anything. I don’t look forward to watching this film in broad daylight on my old dim television and being like “THIS DIRECTOR IS AN IDIOT!” when it is actually mostly me watching it like an insane person.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEFf78HegJg/

(Oh shit is that a ghost ship with the most ship? Blast from the past with Mir as well, which fell back to Earth in 2001 (a mere two years later). Really went for the “return of the scream queen” ending there with a clear jump scare a la Alien as well.)

Directors – John Bruno – (Known For: Heavy Metal; BMT: Virus; Notes: Nominated for 6 Academy Awards for special effects (and won for The Abyss). Notable for working closely with James Cameron, this was his only live action full length directorial effort.)

Writers – Chuck Pfarrer (creator: Dark Horse Comic Book series: “Virus” & screenplay) – (Known For: Darkman; Hard Target; Future BMT: Red Planet; Navy Seals; The Jackal; BMT: Barb Wire; Virus; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Barb Wire in 1997; Notes: He was a Navy SEAL, the details of which are written in his autobiography Warrior Soul.)

Dennis Feldman (screenplay) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; Real Men; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child; Notes: Brother of Randy Feldman who wrote Tango & Cash, and son of the producer Phil Feldman. Went to both Harvard and Yale.)

Actors – Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Knives Out; Trading Places; True Lies; Halloween; Halloween; Escape from New York; My Girl; Freaky Friday; A Fish Called Wanda; The Fog; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Terror Train; Forever Young; Veronica Mars; From Up on Poppy Hill; Prom Night; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Blue Steel; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; My Girl 2; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; Halloween II; BMT: Virus; Christmas with the Kranks; Perfect; Notes: The original Scream Queen. The daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, she is also married to Christopher Guest. She’s been nominated for a Primetime Emmy (Nicholas’ Gift) and won two Golden Globes (True Lies and Anything but Love).)

Donald Sutherland – (Known For: The Hunger Games; Pride & Prejudice; National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; A Time to Kill; Ad Astra; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; Horrible Bosses; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; M.A.S.H.; The Italian Job; Cold Mountain; JFK; Klute; Lord of War; Fallen; Backdraft; Outbreak; Deception; Ordinary People; Future BMT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Art of War; Shadow Conspiracy; The Eagle; The Puppet Masters; Instinct; Catholic Boys; BMT: Virus; An American Haunting; Fool’s Gold; Lock Up; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Lock Up in 1990; Notes: Father of Kiefer Sutherland. Won an Emmy (Citizen X) and two Golden Globes (Citizen X and Path to War). Was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2018. Is set to feature in Roland Emmerich’s action film Moonfall.)

William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Backdraft; Born on the Fourth of July; Internal Affairs; The Squid and the Whale; Flatliners; Bulworth; Aftermath; Curdled; Maximum Impact; Three of Hearts; You Stupid Man; Adrift in Manhattan; The Broken Key; Noise; Park; Relative Values; Jock; Say Nothing; Dino Time; BMT: Virus; Sliver; Fair Game; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Sliver in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game in 1996; Notes: Incredible flex by us clearing out Billy’s qualifying films within a few weeks of each other. Both him and Stephen Baldwin were Calvin Klein models prior to pursuing acting.)

Budget/Gross – $75,000,000 / Domestic: $14,036,005 (Worldwide: $30,657,854)

(Disaster, but I don’t know what they would have thought it would be otherwise? It is based on an obscure Dark Horse comic … but they were expecting what? $150 million. Insane.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (6/49): Despite its great special effects, this movie’s predictability greatly undermines its intensity.

(Oooo, I’m excited for some “good” effects from the late 90s. Reviewer Highlight: A derivative sci-fi shocker that isn’t likely to spark much interest beyond its target audience of undemanding genre fans. – Joe Leydon, Variety)

Poster – Alien Shock Wave v2.0

(I like the colors, the framing and really all the visuals. If I was walking in a theater the only thing that would stop me from being pretty excited for some dumb fun it Billy Baldwin’s face. Replace him with Gerard Butler and we’d be cooking with gas. It’s also pretty amazing that they put the giant robot face up there as if it’s a star of the film. B)

Tagline(s) – Life on earth is in for a shock. (B)

(I can’t tell if I love this or hate this. The fact that I laughed out loud when I read it is probably not a great sign for the actual quality of the tagline though. “In for a shock” seems a bit mild for how life on earth would react to an electricity-borne virus that creates killer robots. Beyond how funny it is it certainly is short, clever, and hints at the plot. So still gets an OK score. The tagline combined with the giant robot head makes for one of the more unintentionally funny posters I can remember..)

Keyword – virus

Top 10: The Matrix (1999), American Psycho (2000), Iron Man Three (2013), Logan (2017), The Maze Runner (2014), Dawn of the Dead (2004), I Am Legend (2007), Contagion (2011), Alien: Covenant (2017), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Future BMT: 65.6 Pulse (2006), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 50.1 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), 40.8 Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), 39.4 The Forsaken (2001), 39.0 Jigsaw (2017), 36.1 The Invasion (2007), 35.0 The Relic (1997), 27.6 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), 27.5 Inferno (2016);

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), The Happening (2008), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Paycheck (2003), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Darkest Minds (2018), Species II (1998), Virus (1999)

(Huh … I guess you would argue ‘puters really went mainstream in ‘95 then. Kind of amazing just how much of an inflection that is. It was pretty much immediately from 0 to HACK THE PLANET! on that graph. Can’t wait to just smash all six of the Resident Evil films at some point.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jamie Lee Curtis is No. 1 billed in Virus and No. 2 billed in Christmas with the Kranks, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Because of the ship being mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet, on the border of Isle of Wight County and city of Newport News, the ship was covered in rust and disrepair when the filming started. For the movie, one side of the ship was painted and dressed up, leaving the other half in poor condition. Hence, only one side of the ship was ever filmed on camera for the movie.

The “Goliath” robot was approximately 9 ft tall and weighed an estimated 4000 lbs. The special effects company hired to create Goliath had only three-and-a-half months to produce the robot from the initial drawings to the finished product.

In an IGN.com interview, Jamie Lee Curtis said the following about Virus (1999): “Rob Reiner, for his 40th birthday, had a bad show business party where everybody brought show business clips. Rob’s was playing a hippie on Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) singing ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’. Virus (1999) is so bad that it’s shocking. That would be the all time piece of shit. It’s just dreadful. That’s the only good reason to be in bad movies. Then when your friends have [bad] movies you can say ‘Ahhhh, I’ve got the best one. I’m bringing Virus (1999).'” (Incredible, but I highly doubt Virus is going to blow my mind in how bad it is)

Jamie Lee Curtis has admitted to hating this film, calling it “the worst movie ever made”. She added that she lobbied hard to have the director fired and replaced by Steve Miner, who she had made Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) with. However, he wasn’t available, as he was working on Dawson’s Creek (1998)).

The lyrics of the Russian march heard during the end credits are actually the names of various cast and crew members pronounced backward.

John Bruno was about to start work on the visual effects for Titanic (1997) when the offer came through to direct his first feature.

In 1999, prolific French video game developer Cryo (also known as Cryo Interactive Entertainment) released on PlayStation “Virus: It is Aware”, their action/horror third person shooter tie-in video game that was very loosely based on this movie. The game immediately fell into obscurity. (Oh did it, because I think I’m playing it this weekend …)

Originally set for a Summer 1998 release, the film’s release was eventually pushed to January of 1999.

Chuck Pfarrer explained in an interview that the comic book was based on the script that he wrote in the early-’90s. Because of the special effects that the script called for, it was impossible to make the script into a movie at that time, and he handed it to Dark Horse Comics who published it in 1995. Several years later, when special effects technology had caught up, Pfarrer revised the original script. (Oh interesting, I wonder if I can get my hands on a copy of the comic)

In the beginning when the Captain (Donald Sutherland) is aiming a pistol at Baldwin he is holding a British Webley .455 caliber. It was the standard sidearm of the British army from 1897-1963.

Director John Bruno is a visual effects artist known for his frequent collaborations with director James Cameron.

Cutthroat Island Recap

Jamie

Morgan Adams is a mighty pirate cut from a different cloth. When her eeevil uncle vows to find the family treasure by any means necessary, she decides to beat him to it with the help of sexy rogue William Shaw. Can she stop her uncle, find the treasure, earn the trust of her crew (and perhaps get the guy) before it’s too late? Find out in… Cutthroat Island.

How?! Morgan Adams has quite the dastardly reputation in the Caribbean. Already a fugitive from the law, she finds herself in even more hot water when her father is captured by her evil uncle Dawg Brown. Rather than give him the secret of Cutthroat Island, her father chooses to give up his own life in exchange for giving a piece of the treasure map to Morgan. Now on the run, she gets the begrudging acceptance of her father’s crew and sets sail to Port Royal to find a translator for the map. In Port Royal, dashing rogue William Shaw has also found himself in hot water having lied and swindled ladies across the isles. Now a prisoner, Morgan buys him at auction, but not before the authorities recognize her and a major shootout ensues. Across the island they catch up with Morgan’s other uncle, but before they can get the second piece of the map Dawg appears. A fight ensues, Morgan is shot and in the chaos William is able to find and keep hidden the map piece. Shaw, who has claimed he is a doctor, treats Morgan’s wounds and perchance a romantic spark is lit. But before long Dawg is in hot pursuit and they only barely keep them at bay by navigating through dangerous seas. During the storm Morgan finds William attempting to use the map for his own devices and has him locked away, meanwhile the crew revolts and sends Morgan and her loyal crew off in a tiny liferaft. Miraculously they survive and wake up to find themselves at Cutthroat Island itself. On the island they are dismayed to find that Dawg and her former crew have teamed up and also surprised when they find that William is there and has stolen the last piece of the map from Dawg! With all the pieces in hand William and Morgan find the treasure, but are found by Dawg who forces them to jump from a cliff. William survives and is taken captive, while Morgan sneaks aboard her old ship and takes it back. A big ol’ climactic fight ensues on the high seas resulting in Dawg getting killed by a cannon and William and Morgan recovering the treasure. They then smooch and such and set out on another adventure. THE END (or is it? (it is.))

Why?! As Vinny D would say: fambly. Geena Davis comes from a family of pirates who’s patriarch (her grandfather) found and hid the family treasure on Cutthroat Island. Only the whole family could together find the treasure… you know, as long as the crazy evil one doesn’t kill all of them first. So the rest is obvious. Gotta stop that crazy evil one from ruining the fambly plan.

Who?! Renny Harlin appears in the film uncredited, which isn’t all that exciting. What is exciting is that Thor the dog appears CREDITED in the role of Pirate Dog. He had already appeared in a prior Renny Harlin film, Cliffhanger, so they must have had a good rapport. Finster appears uncredited as Morgan’s monkey, which is a travesty as the role was pretty big. He is better known for his star role as the titular monkey in Monkey Trouble.

What?! Whether you think of it as four separate MacGuffins or a single MacGuffin broken into four pieces, this is a pretty good one as the entire plot focuses around getting all the pieces together. It’s also a little unclear why the treasure was hidden in the first place. Maybe to wait out the authorities. But the family had all the pieces the entire time and never cared to get together and get it until Dawg started his own quest? It doesn’t make much sense. I found this to be a little more interesting than the thousands of props for sale online, which honestly probably ended up there because the studio sold it all off trying to make a buck.

Where?! The Caribbean and primarily Jamaica. It got me thinking about mapl.de.map. There have always been some vague parameters on what would “win” the spot on the map for a particular location. Is it how prominently the setting factors into the film or is it the grade (A+ location in title wins). This makes me think the answer is the former. Would rather have a film that best represents the location take the spot. B.

When?! I could probably write a bunch on this, but I think this might be an A film. I’ll keep it short, but they tell us explicitly that the year is 1668. Why? Because at the time Jamaica had just changed from Spanish to British rule, and let’s just say the Spanish weren’t happy about it. As a result the British, aiming to keep control of the island, supported piracy to fend off the Spanish. The island then descended into lawlessness from 1660-1670 after which a treaty was signed and the piracy was reined in. Interesting.

I certainly understand the reviews for the film. It took a big swashbuckling adventure and just filled it with explosions and were like “that’s fun, right?” The complete lack of humor is glaring considering that was a big part of what made Pirates of the Caribbean such a success. They would even say lines that almost sounded like jokes, but I assure you they were not. Just kinda bland explosions most of the time. All that being said, it was still a rollicking adventure if that’s simply all that you were looking for. It also took some shots for the gender reversal with Morgan as swashbuckling captain and Shaw as gentleman in distress, but I actually thought that was deftly done. Matthew Modine plays the pretty boy liar who slithers his way out of trouble with his smile well and Geena Davis was very winning. So I disagree with that. Overall some good and bad things and not the total disaster I maybe would have thought given the reputation it earned at the box office. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Well, shiver me timbers. It is time to raise the Jolly Roger and ogle that 90’s heartthrob … Matthew Modine? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – One of the most notorious box office bombs in history. All of the reviews seem to suggest it is … good? It does seem odd that swashbuckling adventures just were terrible in the 90s, so bad, in fact, that people thought pirate films were just done until Disney breathed new life into it half a decade later. What were my expectations? A good movie I guess. Which I don’t often say. It seemed plausible that the movie was actually pretty good, but it was just a box office catastrophe never seen before.

The Good – So … I wouldn’t call the movie good, which I’ll get to. But Geena Davis was solid, and the film is, indeed, a pretty fun adventure film. Like something like The Three Musketeers (the 90s one) maybe. The main set peces of Port Royal, the bar in Spittlefield, and the final naval battle are all incredible as well. You can definitely see where most of the money went in this financial disaster. And if you watched Masters of the Universe and thought “Man, I wish Frank Langella was allowed to really go over the top, he’s so restrained as Skeletor!”, well, then this is the movie for you. Best Bit: The set pieces.

The Bad – Unfortunately the action looks like absolute garbage. I might be being a bit harsh, but like The Three Musketeers (the 90s one) there is something about 90s films where swashbuckling action looks ultra cheesy and terrible. Something about cannonballs resulting in giant Hollywood explosions just doesn’t sit right. And something about the lackluster sword fighting in this film only serves to remind me how incredible Pirates of the Caribbean really is. And unfortunately Modine constantly feels like a second or third choice for the role, no matter how much good effort he puts in. Fatal Flaw: Bad action for how much money it costs.

The BMT – I don’t know … I kind of dug this movie. If you can excuse that it doesn’t look as polished as Pirates of the Caribbean and the action is kind of lame even compared to other swashbucklers from arond the same time, then there is a pretty entertaining pirate story sitting in there. And Geena Davis and Frank Langella are a solid good/bad team. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, for the most part. I would have thought the movie would look better, but I can excuse that to get my swashbuckler on.

Roast-radamus – There is a halfway decent Planchet (Who?) for Captain Trotter who Ainslee just dunks on the entire film for being a dummy. Obviously a fantastic Setting as a Character (Where?) for Jamaica which, oddly, this film is rarely mentioned as being set there, but a good 50% of the film is very much explicitly in various parts of Jamaica. And then a solid MacGuffin (Why?) for the secret three part treasure map of Cutthroat Island, which isn’t on any maps! This film is very much closest to Good despite looking like garbage and having garbage action because, honestly, who hates a swashbuckling adventure story?

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – The obvious one is Sequel since they tease a sequel at the end of the film. Flashforward a few decades and Morgan Adams and William Shaw are married and ruling the roost in Madagascar as pirates extraordinaire! Suddenly, who shows up but their old enemy Dawg’s former first mate, uh … Pound Grisham (Dawg & Pound, get it? That’s the prequel I’m setting up). And who does he have as a prisoner, but Mordachai’s grandson, William Adams. Pound wants Morgan to help him to sail across the Indian Ocean and attack the great eastern pirate stronghold of … let’s go with Gao. Little does she know that this is all a ruse set up by William and Pound to attack her Madagascar fortress himself as her back is turned. Racing back to Madagascar things are bleak as it looks to be too late, but who is coming around the corner but Bowen (Christopher Masterson), and Mr. Glasspool, and all the other Caribbean pirates who now have their own crews. In the final battle blood proves thicker than gold (it makes sense, don’t think about it) and William switches sides to defeat Pound and save Morgan and Shaw’s skins. Looking to the half dozen pirate empires that rallied to her aid, Morgan openly wonders if there is any place that could stand in their way … could she, for example, rule Jamaica like Dawg once hoped? Smash cut to To Be Continued … Cutthroat Island: Escape 2 Africa. After would be Dawg & Pound: Tales from Cutthroat Island. And the third is Cutthroat Island: Black Harry’s Revenge.

You Just Got Schooled – This week’s film had another video game tie-in! Cutthroat Island for the SNES is a pretty basic brawler (think Final Fight) with a notoriously bad minecart level as level number 2. I played about an hour of this, but decided I should probably return to it after playing some brawlers. I never liked brawlers as I never had the patience to “solve” how to beat all of the different characters and things just devolved into button mashing. With this game that definitely happened, although I did eventually get to the point where I was able to get through levels 1 and 2 quite consistently. With only 10 levels there is a possibility I’ll finish this game sometime in the future. For now though I’ll have to give it a D. It is bad for a brawler, and apparently (who can tell these days) looks like garbage even for an SNES game of the time. I’ll get back to you about whether I’ve finished it sometime in the next decade.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Cutthroat Island Quiz

Man, wild story. I was looking for buried treasure on an uncharted Caribbean island, when I fell off a cliff and really bonked my head when I hit the water. I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Cutthroat Island?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where was the final piece of the treasure map hidden at the beginning of the film? Who has the other two pieces? 

2) What profession does Shaw, played by Matthew Modine, claim to be at the party where he is arrested for theft? Why do the pirates, led by Morgan Adams, break him free?

3) Where did Morgan’s uncle hide the second piece of the map?

4) How do they ultimately get the third piece of the map, the one Dawg carries around throughout the film?

5) Where is the treasure hidden on Cutthroat Island?

Bonus Question: What ultimately happened to Cutthroat Island?

Answers

Cutthroat Island Preview

“It’s gonna be a hell of a lot of work, I mean,” Patrick clarifies as he starts in on a pretty sweet boolean array. Jamie’s head is spinning. “Rabbit. Flu shot. Somebody talk to me,” he exclaims in exasperation. The coding jargon Patrick is throwing around is more suited to a haxxor than little ol’ Jamie. Rachel pats him on the shoulder and suggests that he just work on the rocking tune. No need to say more as Jamie whips out his harmonica, gives it a quick toot, and begins to warm up his angelic voice with a series of complicated and largely unnecessary vocal exercises. The scene is electric. Patrick on one side, his eyes glazing over like dolls eyes as he spits hot fire on the k’board. Jamie on the other, a VR headset strapped to his head and he composes in 3D-4K. “It’s a game about a couple of underdogs who come from behind to save the universe,” Patrick says, coding in their gritty origin story. “Yeah, underdogs with abs for days and it opens with the titular song, Starring Jason Derulo: Just a couple of jokesters living in the bayou making ends meet busking on the street, starring Jason Derulo. Brothers in arms, armed to the teeth, justice and truth are all that they seek, starring Jason Derulo,” Jamie croons, tears in his eyes. “Nice half rhyme,” comments Patrick as his code springs to life. Patrick is in the zone, guided by the lyrical picture that Jamie has painted about the legendary lives of Rich & Poe (who definitely didn’t die). He waves Jamie away. “Go down the street to the local pirate radio stations and start getting some underground buzz going for this game. I got some 1337 coding to do.” Jamie shrugs, “shiver me timbers.” That’s right! We’re watching the notable box office bomb, Cutthroat Island, which had a tie-in video game that was critically panned. It barely qualifies for BMT, but it doesn’t feel that way as the production was such a disaster that a studio collapsed. Should be fun. Let’s go!

Cutthroat Island (1995) – BMeTric: 38.7; Notability: 72

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.0%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 33.5% Higher BMeT: Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Batman Forever, Congo, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, 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, Virtuosity, Money Train, and 1 more; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo; Lower RT: A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, It Takes Two, The Hunted, The Tie That Binds, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Pebble and the Penguin, Bushwhacked, Johnny Mnemonic, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Scarlet Letter, Four Rooms, Three Wishes, Jade, Canadian Bacon, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Houseguest, Man of the House, Reckless, Rough Magic, Two Much and 42 more; Notes: A higher BMeTric than I would have thought considering it is mostly known for being a giant flop as opposed to an actual bad movie. Hugh Notability again! I do love hitting up those Notability films. We’ve seen the other higher ones from 1995 as well it looks like.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – This is, in short, a satisfactory movie – but it doesn’t transcend its genre, and it’s not surprising or astonishing. I saw it because that was my job and, having seen it, I grant its skill, and award it three stars on that basis. But unless you’re really into pirate movies, it’s not a necessary film. Sorry.

(An incredible score from Ebert, coming off the top rope. So let me get this straight … if I like swashbuckling adventure then I’ll like this film. Alright then … it sounds like a good movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV5JD490ZL4

(Oh boy, the 1812 Overture is something else in that trailer. What a very very strange choice. It comes across as cartoonish and cliche, right? Even the trailer looks cheap as far as swashbuckling action is concerned. I guess that’s to be expected when your production company is teetering on bankruptcy.)

Directors – Renny Harlin – (Known For: Cliffhanger; Die Hard 2; Deep Blue Sea; The Long Kiss Goodnight; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; The Dyatlov Pass Incident; Cleaner; Skiptrace; Prison; 5 Days of War; Bodies at Rest; Gu jian qi tan zhi liu yue zhao ming; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; 12 Rounds; Mindhunters; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Driven; The Covenant; Cutthroat Island; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; in 1996 for Cutthroat Island; in 2002 for Driven; in 2005 for Exorcist: The Beginning; and in 2015 for The Legend of Hercules; Notes: Just inducted his film The Legend of Hercules into the BMT Hall of Fame. Has an extramarital affair with his assistant which resulted in his son Luke and subsequent divorce.)

Writers – Michael Frost Beckner (story) – (Known For: Spy Game; Sniper: Ultimate Kill; Prince Valiant; Future BMT: Sniper; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Only gets credited for the many straight-to-video Sniper sequels as far as films are concerned, but does some television work, most recently the mini-series To Appomattox.)

James Gorman (story) – (BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Produced Sniper, so I would guess he’s a writing partner of Beckner to a degree. His only writing credit, but he produced a few things like Gunman starring Christopher Lambert and Mario Van Peebles, who would then both star in Highlander III a year later.)

Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon (story) – (Known For: Stand by Me; Starman; Mr. Brooks; Made in Heaven; A Man, a Woman and a Bank; Future BMT: Kuffs; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated as a team for an Oscar for Stand by Me. They haven’t written anything since 2007.)

Robert King (screenplay) – (Known For: Vertical Limit; The Nest; Under the Boardwalk; Bloodfist; Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge; Dragon Fire; Future BMT: Speechless; Clean Slate; Red Corner; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated for four Emmys for The Good Wife. His career started with cheap horror and bad martial arts films, but he has a few big budget films made in the late 90s.)

Marc Norman (screenplay) – (Known For: Shakespeare in Love; The Killer Elite; Breakout; The Aviator; Oklahoma Crude; Zandy’s Bride; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. Wrote a single episode of the original Mission: Impossible in 1970.)

Actors – Geena Davis – (Known For: Ava; Beetlejuice; Thelma & Louise; A League of Their Own; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Tootsie; Stuart Little; Earth Girls Are Easy; When Marnie Was There; Fletch; Quick Change; Stuart Little 2; In a World…; The Accidental Tourist; Marjorie Prime; Accidental Hero; Don’t Talk to Irene; Angie; Me Him Her; Accidents Happen; Future BMT: Transylvania 6-5000; Speechless; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Was married to Renny Harlin at the time. Won an Oscar for the accidental tourist, and was nominated for Thelma & Louise. Is an Olympic level archer.)

Matthew Modine – (Known For: Wrong Turn; The Dark Knight Rises; Full Metal Jacket; Breaking News in Yuba County; Notting Hill; Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Any Given Sunday; 47 Meters Down; Vision Quest; Transporter 2; Short Cuts; Pacific Heights; Married to the Mob; Memphis Belle; Speed Kills; Backtrace; The Hotel New Hampshire; Birdy; Army of One; Foster Boy; Future BMT: The Divorce; Mrs. Soffel; Gross Anatomy; Fluke; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Jobs; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Probably most notable recently for his supporting role in Stranger Things. Both his son and daughter are in the industry. Ruby Modine in particular was in 20 episodes of Shameless. Boman modine is a director.)

Frank Langella – (Known For: The Trial of the Chicago 7; Red Dragon; Captain Fantastic; Lolita; Superman Returns; All Good Things; Noah; Unknown; The Ninth Gate; Small Soldiers; Draft Day; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Muppets Most Wanted; Good Night, and Good Luck.; The Box; Frost/Nixon; Dave; 5 to 7; The Tale of Despereaux; Grace of Monaco; Future BMT: Junior; Eddie; Brainscan; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Sweet November; BMT: Body of Evidence; Masters of the Universe; Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Frost/Nixon. Was a stage actor, and somewhat notable for taking some specifically weird roles, like Skeleor (in absurd makeup) in The Masters of the Universe.)

Budget/Gross – $98,000,000 / Domestic: $10,017,322 (Worldwide: $10,017,322)

(Yeah it is a notorious catastrophe. I actually think it was considered the biggest financial loss for a motion picture in history for quite a while. It managed to sink a genre (pirate films, until Pirates of the Caribbean) and a production house (Carolco Pictures).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (15/40): Cutthroat Island may aspire towards the earnest thrills of classic swashbucklers, but a distinct lack of charm and stilted script make this adventure a joyless hodgepodge of the pirate genre’s flotsam and jetsam.

(I mean, I don’t really see that many pirate films so I have a district feeling I might just like this one. I can’t say I’m going to scoff at it being like “so trite, I’ve see it all before. Blah.” Because I haven’t … I’ve pretty much just seen Pirates of the Caribbean. Reviewer Highlight: In this $90m revisionist swashbuckler, we get Geena Davis doing the all-action honours, and a hotchpotch script that seems to think pirate movies are so funny in themselves the need for more humour is superfluous. – Trevor Johnston, Time Out)

Poster – Pirates of the Cutthroat Island

(I love this. I would unironically hang this on my wall… alright, there would be a bit of irony involved. But still. Font! Framing! Color scheme! Adventure galore! It’s got it all. A.)

Tagline(s) – The Course Has Been Set. There Is No Turning Back. Prepare Your Weapons. Summon Your Courage. Discover the Adventure of a Lifetime! (F)

(As usual, this travesty of a tagline is not featured on the actually good poster. You know why? Because they knew this was absolute shit and wouldn’t let it get near that poster.)

Keyword – pirate

Top 10: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Goonies (1985), Aquaman (2018), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Princess Bride (1987), Hook (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Moana (2016)

Future BMT: 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 59.6 Virus (1999), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 39.4 Six Days Seven Nights (1998), 35.5 Playmobil: The Movie (2019), 35.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 31.2 The Ice Pirates (1984), 29.8 The Pirate Movie (1982);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Expendables 3 (2014), Rambo (2008), Epic Movie (2007), Cyborg (1989), Cutthroat Island (1995), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Double Impact (1991)

(Nothing says pirate like Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m excited for Virus, which we are actually watching next! So that’s fun. Swashbuckling pirates to space pirates I presume.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matthew Modine is No. 2 billed in Cutthroat Island and No. 1 billed in Bye Bye Love, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 5 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch The Art of War, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Oliver Reed was originally cast as Mordechai Fingers. He was fired after getting in a bar fight and mooning at Geena Davis.

Matthew Modine described Oliver Reed – “I’d heard these stories about Oliver Reed I think it is all bunk. Oliver was a gentleman. Sure, he had a reputation as a man who enjoyed a drink. But only off set. His reputation as an actor is stellar. Professional. I stand by that. God rest his soul.”

Morgan Adams’s flag was flown by “Calico” Jack Rackham, one of the only Caribbean pirates to have women on his crew (Anne Bonny and Mary Read). He later turned his ship over to them.

Dawg Brown’s flag is the oldest known “Jolly Roger” flag, flown by Captain Emmanuel Wynne.

According to “The Guinness Book of Records”, this film is the biggest financial loss ever. It cost $115 million to make, and made $10 million at the box office, a loss of $105 million.

Several years later, Matthew Modine explained some of the reasons why the film’s costs spiraled out-of-control. Among other things, dozens of cases of V8 juice were shipped out to Malta, expressly for Renny Harlin and Geena Davis. An entire room of V8 was left towards the end of the shoot, so it was served to everybody. Every scene had three cameras in constant use, resulting in yards and yards of film used for every shot.

When Renny Harlin fired the chief camera operator following a dispute, more than two dozen crew members quit.

Michael Douglas originally agreed to do the film on two conditions: filming had to start immediately because he was only available for a limited time, and his character had to have the same amount of screen time as Geena Davis. Douglas eventually pulled out, claiming that Davis’s role was expanded at his character’s expense. Davis wanted to quit when Douglas did, but she was contractually obligated to finish the film. After Douglas quit, Renny Harlin was so preoccupied with trying to find a male lead that set construction and script work were done without his input. Harlin didn’t like what he saw when shooting was set to begin, leading to massive, expensive rebuilding and rewriting.

Renny Harlin is famous for pushing actors to do their own stunts whenever possible. While promoting the film, Geena Davis appeared on talk shows with clips of her doing stunts over and over (including one take where she fell out of the window too soon, rolled down the roof and under the carriage) and explained the bruises and injuries she sustained while filming. (Jesus, that botched stunt sounds terrifying)

Carolco Pictures, which financed the film, filed for bankruptcy six weeks before it reached theaters.

At the time, Renny Harlin was dating Geena Davis, who was known for light comedies. He convinced Mario Kassar to cast Davis as the lead, sure it would turn her into an action-adventure star. The couple married prior to production, and affectionately called the movie their ‘honeymoon’.

Renny Harlin spent $1 million of his own money to rewrite the script. Carolco was in so much debt that they couldn’t afford it.

Frank Langella considers Dawg to be one of his three favourite roles (the other two are Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2008) and Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)), because he got to not only be a pirate, but a scenery-chewing over-the-top bad guy pirate.

Carolco Pictures had finished pre-production on another mega production at the time, called ‘Crusade’, to be directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Filming was slated to begin, but the movie was canceled at the last moment, when Carolco could not finance two blockbusters at the same time. They opted to do this film, which was supposed to have been less costly, but which later went massively over budget, and put the already ailing studio further in debt. Verhoeven went on to make Showgirls (1995) instead, largely as a favor to Mario Kassar in an attempt to save Carolco from financial downfall. After both Cutthroat Island and Showgirls bombed at the box office, the studio was bankrupted, and Crusade was shelved indefinitely.

One of a number of pirate movies made between the mid 1970s and mid 1990s which were a flop at the box-office. The other films were Pirates (1987), Yellowbeard (1983), Scarlet Buccaneer (1976), Savage Islands (1983), The Pirate Movie (1982). (None of those are big films. The actual closest to a big budget Pirate film in the 80s/90s is probably Hook)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Renny Harlin, 1996)

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.