10,000 BC Recap

Jamie

Let me transport you back 12,000 years to a time where movies were super boring. That’s right! We watched 10,000 BC. Let’s get into the details.

What?! After most of his prehistoric tribe is captured and taken as slaves by an advanced civilization, D’Leh follows in pursuit in an attempt to rescue his lady love Evolet. Will he rescue Evolet (and more importantly live up to a legend) before it’s too late? Find out in… 10,000 BC!

Why?! In the grand scheme of the plot there are three different reasons for the pursuit. Most obviously it is to rescue the tribe since the remaining tribesmen won’t survive without enough hunters. The second is to rescue Evolet specifically since she is, according to legend, a major cog in the tribe’s future. Without her it is feared that the legend will not come to be. Finally, for D’Leh himself it is because he is in love with Evolet and wants to get her back so he can get laid and paid (classic motivation, really). As for the advanced civilization doing the capturing, all they want is more slaves to build their sweet pyramids.

How?! Early in the film we see Evolet arrive as a child to the tribe. She has blue eyes and their priest determines that she is the future wife of a legendary warrior who will save them when their main food source, mastodons, runs scarce. D’Leh sees Evolet and is instantly smitten. As they grow up they grow to love each other, but no one really thinks D’Leh is the warrior of legend and worthy of her hand (even D’Leh). After the tribe is attacked and captured, including Evolet, D’Leh puts his big boy pants on and goes in pursuit of the attackers, following them across mountains, jungle, and desert. As he travels the many civilizations they encounter determine that D’Leh is their legendary hero and he builds a mighty army. Once he tracks the attackers to the hub of their advanced civilization he uses this army to dispatch their leader. At the very last moment Evolet is killed, only to be Deus Ex Machina-ed back to life. Phew! That was close. They return home, bringing with them new farming techniques that allow for the extended survival of their tribe just as the legend foretold.

Who?! There is literally no humor in this film at all so there is no Planchet. There is a pretty good cameo by Omar Sharif as the narrator of the film (and boy, the narration doesn’t quit). Most important though I need to throw out an Animal Friend Alert for this film. After D’Leh rescues a sabertooth tiger from drowning he is rewarded by the tiger becoming his friend, adding to his legend. They also did this in After Earth with a giant bird and gotta say, still doesn’t work.

Where?! The advanced civilization in this film is almost certainly Egypt. Not only are they building a pyramid and the sphinx in scenes, but the alternate ending that I watched on the DVD makes it pretty clear that the pyramid is the Khafre pyramid. Additionally, D’Leh follows the North Star to get to the civilization, while the tribe’s attackers took boats up a river (the Nile). I would say this safely suggests that the tribe in the film lives somewhere in the Ethiopian Highlands (supported by the fact that the Semien Mountains in that region is the only place where snow regularly falls in Africa and there is a bunch of snow in the film) and they were following The Nile. Boom. Solid sleuthing.

When?! 10,000 BC, duh. That’s an A+ setting even if you can’t get any more specific. Besides, during the film a tribe travels from Ethiopia to Egypt. Likely took a really long time.

That’s way more details than you needed for this snoozefest. A couple solid aspects regarding the tiger friend, but not much else. But I’ll leave that up to Patrick. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! 10,000 BC? I certainly feels like I watching that film for thousands of years! Zing! Roland Emmerich is every so often asked to convert tens of millions of dollars into an impressive looking film. A good film? Well … let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – If there was anything good to say about this film it is that the ultimate villain (a god-like figure building a pyramid in the desert) had some interesting ideas woven into his lore. He’s a weirdo no one is allowed to look at (for no other reason that maybe they’d figure out he was an old man? … unclear. Either that or he was albino … ), they seem to have come from Atlantis. I was kind of digging that a bit. So Prequel duh. Let’s get into 10,000 BC: The Fall of Atlantis. We meet our god like villain when he was, spoiler, a slave in Atlantis! He leads a rebellion and in the process destroys the machinery keeping the sinking continent above the ocean surface. Could be fun … unless.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – I left you waiting there, … unless the movie was so boring you just didn’t even care about the solid CGI and ultra-polished directoral work. The actors might as well have had no faces they were all charisma sinks, the oppressive voice over basically build a story out of nothing, and I just didn’t care about this stupid hero’s journey we were being slowly spoonfed. The sin is sloth, it made me feel like a waste of life watching his borefest. And no one could even be bothered to punch that script up. Boo! I had such high hopes 10,000 BC, such high hopes for you.

The BMT: Legacy – If anything this is a movie I will look back on as a weird missed opportunity. It is like a better looking Pathfinder, but has none of the absurd actors that entertain you throughout. Instead you have faceless nobodies, a voiceover supplying plot details, and a sagging middle where the protagonist just puts an army together. Maybe it could break out as an example of bad historical details? Like there are domesticated horses 6000 years before they should exist, and man-eating birds in a place that definitely is not New Zealand (among many other things). But I feel like that is it. I specifically don’t want to slog my way through another 2 hours of that I can tell you that much. Blah.

Hmmm, I feel like this needs something else now … Ah, how about a Street Credit Report (dot com)! I thought up this as a kind of extension of the BMT: Legacy. But while that is focused on what the movie meant to BMT, this focuses a bit more on perhaps a more global perception. And interestingly … this appears on a lot less worst of lists that I would expect. But Joe Neumaier has it as his worst film of 2008 for the NY Daily News. It is number 8 on this blog, NME.com. And probably most noteworthy Richard Roeper has it as his number 4. Solid cred I think (phew). It is also blowing my mind that this movie came out the same year as Love Guru … that was one of our first films (#3 in fact). Anywho, cheerios,

The Sklogs

10,000 BC Preview

Well this does it for the punctuation cycle. Only one more punctuation mark to hit and it’s a simple one (the comma). We are officially transitioning to a cycle we’ve been looking forward to all year. We call it StreetCreditReports.com as we are aiming to hit nine films that garnered the coveted <10% on RT to continue to up our bad movie street cred. It’s particularly rare for such a rating to be achieved. In fact, I believe only two major films so far this year have achieved the feat: Fifty Shades Darker (BMT Live) and the Rings sequel. So to start it off we are doing a film that has literally been on our BMT potential list for years. I remember debating whether we should watch it back when I lived in Princeton. That was two moves ago and the website was naught but a sparkle in our collective eyes. That’s right! We’re watching 10,000 B.C. I feel like this could be Pathfinder but even more ridiculous. Be still my heart and let’s try to keep expectations low. Let’s go!

10,000 BC (2008) – BMeTric: 65.4

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(This guy just smashed the BMeTric immediately. Heartening. People just went “no!” and the movie just crashed and burned. As I said last week, usually films start strong and drop like a stone … I told you that’s how it actually works. This is also a ridiculously popular film. This is a Very Popular Bad Film. If it didn’t get like 100K votes this would be a normal like 40 BMeTric film, the votes though give it that boost. A BMeTric of 60+ promises a lot though. It better deliver.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tale of prehistoric life follows a small group who leave their tribe of mammoth hunters in an effort to rescue others captured by slavers. This leads them to a pre-Egyptian city of ruthless pyramid-builders and much adventure. Earnest, well produced on rugged locations with occasionally good effect, but for the most part as ludicrous as other films of this type. Features cinema’s first superfluous saber-toothed tiger.

(“Films of this type” I think refers to Emmerich films. Honestly, sounds like a pretty fun film even though I know it is terrible. Can’t wait to see the tiger though. So many notes about it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw7ow4AmPc8

(Ooooof the “AD” at the end! But that wasn’t the important bit of the trailer. That’s right … what a kick ass dumb solo they got going to end it! Does it work? Not totally. But still gave me an interesting trailer which honestly looks like Michael Bay meets Apocalypto … so like a good movie is a serious director was making it, but instead we have Roland Emmerich. So …)

Directors – Roland Emmerich – (Known For: Independence Day; The Day After Tomorrow; The Patriot; Stargate; White House Down; Anonymous; BMT: 10,000 BC; Godzilla; Independence Day: Resurgence (BMT); 2012 (BMT); Universal Soldier; Stonewall; Notes:  Nominated in 2017 for the Razzie Award for Worst Director and Screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence; and for Worst Director and Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; As an openly gay director he says he’s encountered homophobia in Hollywood, but as a director it hasn’t particularly hampered his career.)

Writers – Roland Emmerich (written by) – (Known For: Independence Day; The Day After Tomorrow; Stargate; BMT: 10,000 BC; Godzilla; Independence Day: Resurgence (BMT); 2012 (BMT); Notes: His sister Ute Emmerich is a producer on most (if not all) of his films. He has also written most of the films he’s directed.)

Harald Kloser (written by) – (BMT: 10,000 BC; 2012; Notes: Has composed the music for many of Emmerich’s films and that comprises most of his filmography. He’s flipped to (also) screenwriting later in his career and is also attached to Emmerich’s next film Moonfall.)

Actors – Camilla Belle – (Known For: The Lost World: Jurassic Park; A Little Princess; The Ballad of Jack and Rose; The American Side; À Deriva; BMT: 10,000 BC; The Patriot; When a Stranger Calls; Poison Ivy 2; Diablo; From Prada to Nada; Push; Cavemen; Practical Magic; Father of Invention; The Invisible Circus; The Quiet; Breakaway; Notes: Born a week before us. Her mother is Brazilian and despite being born and raised in Los Angeles grew up speaking portuguese. I’m going to be honest … I can’t for the life of me think of a movie where I would specifically have recognized her from.)

Steven Strait – (Known For: Sky High; Stop-Loss; City Island; BMT: 10,000 BC; The Covenant (BMT); Undiscovered; Notes: In the new (apparently quite good) sci-fi series The Expanse. We saw him in The Covenant which is probably his biggest role outside of 10,000 BC. Hasn’t had a big movie role in a while.)

Marco Khan – (Known For: The Promise; Iron Man; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Camp X-Ray; Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World; BMT: 10,000 BC; God’s Not Dead; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; 2012 (BMT); 15 Minutes; Click; Notes: Born in Tehran and educated in Italy he has been all over the place in his life, including owning and operating Italian restaurants for 12 years before getting into the entertainment industry.)

Budget/Gross – $105 million / Domestic: $94,784,201 (Worldwide: $269,784,201)

(That isn’t bad. Obviously you want more than $100 million, but these days that would be looked at as a pretty solid international success. Emmerich looks like he rarely does sequels so there wouldn’t have been any risk of that, but I can kind of see why he keeps getting money.)

#23 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(Fun plot. Period adventure films looks like it became hugely popular in the 2000s. Interestingly coincides with the gold rush of bad movies. Perhaps it is because such films became easier to produce around that time (with the ability to basically synthesize anything you want from costumes to fiberglass cars, etc.)? I think it’ll stick around though. Just look at something like Kong Island. That works really well as a period film, hearkening back to the time of pulp novel adventure (a la Indiana Jones). This sits near The Mummy 3 (ooof), and follows up the amazing recent addition of Hansel and Gretel! Let’s do it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (12/145): With attention strictly paid to style instead of substance, or historical accuracy, 10,000 B.C. is a visually impressive but narratively flimsy epic.

(I’m down, I have no problem with this. The only thing I’m getting worried about is that none of this is getting me very excited. Basically I think what is going to happen is we’ll watch this film and just kind of go “oh yeah, that wasn’t very good, but also innocuous”. I hope I am wrong because this is a movie I was looking forward to for a while now.)

Poster – Sklog Thousand BC (D+)

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(There are better posters than this one floating around out there, but I tend to default to the imdb poster and this is it. Horrible spacing, horrible symmetry, and no base coloring. Don’t like it much at all. Mediocre, but still OK font on the title. Little shout out to the release date which is provided with an “AD” at the end. Solid work on that at least, art department.)

Tagline(s) – It takes a hero to change the world (F)

(Hahahaha. What? That’s the best you could do? This might be the most cliche tagline we’ve ever had. This may as well be the default tagline for any film that comes out and the studio gets to opt whether to come up with something (anything!) better than it.)

Keyword(s) – hunter; Top Ten by BMeTric: 83.9 Jaws 3-D (1983); 75.3 Anaconda (1997); 70.8 A Sound of Thunder (2005); 70.1 Year One (2009); 68.5 Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004); 65.4 10,000 BC (2008); 65.3 Eragon (2006); 60.0 Congo (1995); 57.5 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 54.3 Killers (2010);

(I LOVE THIS LIST. We’ve seen basically all of these films. Just need to smash both Anacondas (we’ve seen the first, but not for BMT … in theaters as eleven-year-olds). And then the last one will happen when we destroy one of the worst movies ever made Jaws: The Revenge starring Michael Caine’s paycheck.)

Notes – (at around 1h 10 mins) The film includes a glimpse of a map showing Atlantis off the coast of Spain. It’s a reference to Plato’s theory that the construction techniques used in Egypt were imported from the ancient lost civilization of Atlantis. (Were there even maps back then? … looked it up, that answer it is very unlikely anyone would have a map sophisticated enough to depict an island off the coast of Spain)

This film features some alleged historical controversies, including construction of the great pyramids 12,000 years ago (almost 7,500 years earlier), the existence of the Ben-Ben stone (the pyramidion stone missing from the top of the Khafre pyramid), the correlation between the position of the pyramids and the stars from the Orion constellation (associated by the Egyptians with the god Osiris), the Sphinx with a head of a lion allegedly correlated with the Leo constellation rising to the east (at the same time that Orion is in conjunction with the Giza pyramid complex), and the possible nonhuman origins of the first kings of Egypt. (fun facts)

D’Leh refers to one star as “the one that never moves.” That would be the North Star, which appears stationary in the northern night sky. In 10,000 BC the North Star was Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky. It would’ve been very obvious in the dark sky. (hmmm … it never really occurred to me that the North Star would change, but it is so obvious now that I read this note)

D’Leh is “Held”, the German word for “hero”, backwards. Roland Emmerich chose the name as an Easter egg.(gross)

The constellation called the ‘sign of the warrior’ is actually Orion. It also played a key role in deciphering ancient signs in Stargate (1994).

(at around 40 mins) The computer-generated wet saber-tooth tiger was created by Double Negative. Creating it required combining several of the most challenging elements of visual effects: fur, wet fur, water, and creature animation.

Release prints were delivered to some theaters under the false title “King Dinosurs” (sic).

Not screened for critics; only a 20-minute excerpt was shown to journalists. (Not shocking)

That’s My Boy Recap

Jamie

What?! Donny Berger is a has-been celebrity famous for a lurid affair with his middle school math teacher that produced a love child. Finding himself on the verge of prison for tax evasion, Donny must reconnect with his estranged son just days before his son’s wedding in order to somehow come up with the cash. Will he get the cash and more importantly reconnect with his son before it’s too late? Find out in… That’s My Boy.

Why?! As is the case with all Sandler films it wears its motivations on its sleeves. The cash that Donny must come up with to avoid jail is the MacGuffin of sorts. It forces him to try to reconnect with his son conveniently at a time when his son, Han Solo, is getting married and in the news. I say it’s a MacGuffin “of sorts” because once Donny shows up at the wedding weekend that plot is barely mentioned again until the very end of the film. Donny is having so much fun slumming it with some rich sexual deviants that he seems to forget all about the cash he needs. As for the antagonist of the film, Han Solo’s fiance, she is simply a classic gold digger. Wanting to marry Todd and set herself up for a life of riches even though she doesn’t really love him and cheats on him all the time. Donny to the rescue.

How?! Once Donny shows up at the wedding he he first tries to scam Han Solo into earning him some quick cash by filming a television special. When Han Solo refuses he settles in for the weekend pretending to be Han Solo’s best friend and winning the love and adoration of the bride’s family. Unable to get rid of Donny, Han Solo slowly but surely embraces his estranged dad as they go one increasingly disgusting adventures together. Eventually Han Solo figures out the scam for cash that Donny was running and he boots him out of the wedding only to have Donny discover that Han Solo’s fiance is cheating on Han Solo with her brother. You read that right. That’s the actual storyline. Of course Donny swoops into the wedding, reveals the secret incest, and saves the day. The end.

Who?! I don’t think you could honestly write about this film without talking about the extended Vanilla Ice cameo. He is TERRIBLE. He’s not even playing a character. Just a slight caricature of himself. Still TERRIBLE. Additionally, we have former NFL coach Rex Ryan show up as a Boston super fan accountant. He is also TERRIBLE. Finally, gotta love films within films and we are given a couple scenes from the Donny Berger TV movie starring Ian Ziering as Donny Berger. Good stuff.

Where?! Great settings film. Donny is from Massachusetts and still lives in Massachusetts and Han Solo is getting married on Cape Cod. Mentioned all the time. Only thing that could have made it better was if it was set on Martha’s Vineyard. B.

When?! A little debate here and some suspicion that they changed the temporal setting in post. No debate at all that this is a SECRET HOLIDAY FILM ALERT. There is a wedding announcement paper that shows that Han Solo’s wedding is part of the “Memorial Weekend Weddings” edition. Also mentioned verbally later. Online there are some assertions that it takes place during Patriots Day Weekend. Understandable confusion since a marathon plays a role at the end of the film. It would seem that it may have been edited to match the release weekend as when they talk about the marathon there are several odd edits that suggest that it was indeed referred to as the Boston Marathon at some point. Solid B+ despite the change. Would have been an extra level holiday film if they used Patriots Day though.

Not sure if you could tell, but I got a kick writing Han Solo as one of the characters. Did it as many times as I could. Let’s throw it to Patrick for some BMT straight talk. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! That’s My Boy? More like Oh Boy! Amirite or amirite … right? Adam Sandler is comedy (and box office) gold, and this is in no ways based solely on my film preferences from when I was 13 years old … what could go wrong!? Let’s get into it.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – This is honestly the most successful Sandler film I’ve seen in awhile. Personally, I can often find things to like in Sandler films (In Blended I thought Barrymore and Sandler continued to have amazing chemistry, and Aniston is charming as always in Let’s Go With It). This is the first one in a while where I thought Sandler himself (goofy voice and all) did an okay job. Sequelize then brother! Let’s fast forward to, you guessed it, Donny Berger and Miss McGarricle’s wedding day which is naturally going to be broadcast live on VH1. But guess who’s here to ruin the show? Donny’s other son and Todd’s half-brother, Luke Skywalker Berger! Can Todd save the day just like Donny did for him? That’s My Boy: Dream Wedding … get it? That was the name of Nick and Vanessa’s reality wedding on TLC … whatever, amazing deep cut.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – So what was wrong with the film? Boring sagging middle, cursing for the sake of cursing, the usual unnecessary violence, and a terrible ending to the film (perplexing really). And as usual with Sandler films the sin is Greed: he can’t get enough of that sweet product placement you know (in this case Rolling Rock). I’m tempted by Sloth (the jokes are indeed lazy, Vanilla Ice merely acting terribly is supposed to be a joke I think and is meant to sustain a whole chunk of the finale). Predictably unfunny unfortunately.

The BMT: Legacy – This will become merely a footnote in our quest to complete Sandler’s filmography I think. Unlike the last two films we watched, this one isn’t BMT material more because it is slightly too good, and when it is bad it is just kind of loud-swearing bad. Like a 20 I think on the BMeTric scale, definitely bad, but you can kind of get away with liking it and it is not so boring I wouldn’t sit down and watch it again (especially because Samberg is great as usual).

A very very quick Sklognalysis at this point just to, again, mention the other routine feature of Sandler films besides blatant product placement. That’s right! Unnecessary celebrity (usually sports) cameos! In this case an amazingly brutal cameo by Rex Ryan as a Boston-area lawyer helping Sandler out with his legal troubles. Terrible at acting and basically given one job: pretend to like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. It’s not him that’s bad, to be clear, it is the material. Oh and Dan Patrick is in it as well, but he always is. Booooo!

Cheerios, 

The Sklogs

That’s My Boy Preview

Lately we’ve been using the Games category to try to tally some of the BMT Calendar that will likely never end. However, with only two punctuation marks remaining we looked back towards the Razzie Award winners to get the apostrophe. That’s right! We’re watching That’s My Boy, one of the few unwatched Adam Sandler films that also happens to be nominated for seven Razzies, winning two (Screenplay and Actor). I recall thinking the film looked like it might be good as it followed some of Sandler’s worst efforts (Grown Ups, Just Go With It, and Jack and Jill). Alas, it continued a downward spiral that is still arguably continuing through his multi-film deal with Netflix. It’s been a long time coming, so let’s get right into it. Let’s go!

That’s My Boy (2012) – BMeTric: 47.5

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(What a twist! That is the opposite trend you usually see. Usually things start really high (from hardcore fans) and drop like a stone I feel like. Basically, people don’t like Sandler (shocking) and the passionate IMDb voters seem to just rock this film. It recovers really quickly. Regardless, nearly 50 BMeTric. This is a Very Popular Below Average film. Which for a comedy gives me a good feeling.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – A middle school student and his teacher have an intimate relationship resulting in pregnancy, incarceration, and (years later) a unique father-son relationship. Formulaic Sandler vehicle is filled to the brim with sight gags, inside jokes, absurd, raunchy, and racist humor. This is either a guilty pleasure, if you find it funny, or a miserable experience otherwise.

(There is something odd about Sandler films (I loved The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, and Billy Madison growing up) rewatching them with today’s sensibilities. The main observation is just how much people kick the crap out of each other and it is celebrated. A notorious example being I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry where Kevin James repeatedly assaults people and everyone acts as if he’s a stand up guy. Racism is also obviously on the table (never forget Rob Schneider playing an Asian stereotype in the same movie) and I am sure I will not fall in the guilty pleasure camp at this stage of my life.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPV2L2CGWdQ

(Man, Sandler loves his sports figure cameos (I see you Rex Ryan) and his product placement. His product placement is legendary, I can’t wait. The tattoo joke is solid, although as the youngest hedge fund managers in NYC you’d think he would at least start in on some laser removal.)

Directors – Sean Anders – (Known For: Sex Drive; Never Been Thawed; BMT: That’s My Boy; Daddy’s Home; Horrible Bosses 2; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Director for That’s My Boy; This is the only movie he directed that he didn’t also write. It seems like Sex Drive is what launched his career based on this variety article (mentioning a movie that I think never came out). I can’t find much else about him.)

Writers – David Caspe (written by) – (BMT: That’s My Boy; Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Screenplay for That’s My Boy; In the notes it mentioned this movie was on the 2009 Blacklist. It isn’t surprising that a movie from the Blacklist ended up as a mess, but it is heartening that this movie didn’t destroy this guy’s career, he’s the developer of the cult comedy Happy Endings and has been all over television since this movie debuted.)

Actors – Adam Sandler – (Known For: Big Daddy; Happy Gilmore; The Wedding Singer; Hotel Transylvania 2; 50 First Dates; Hotel Transylvania; Anger Management; Billy Madison; Reign Over Me; Punch-Drunk Love; Spanglish; Funny People; Top Five; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: Jack and Jill (BMT); Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; The Animal; The Ridiculous 6 (BMT); Zookeeper (BMT); Coneheads; Little Nicky; Grown Ups 2 (BMT); You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Pixels (BMT); That’s My Boy; Eight Crazy Nights; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; Mixed Nuts; The Do-Over; The Cobbler; Bulletproof; Grown Ups (BMT); I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (BMT); The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; Shakes the Clown; Click; Just Go with It (BMT); The Longest Yard; Blended; Dirty Work; Men, Women & Children; Notes: Sandler’s filmography is interesting because we’ve seen him in eight BMT films, and almost all of them as the leading character! He just signed a new four picture deal with Netflix, so things like the Do-Over and Ridiculous 6 should be coming fast and furious. At some point the Razzies will have to either allow Netflix Originals, or we might have seen the last of Razzie Nominated Sandler (look at that cred!))

Sandler Razzie Cred – (Won: for Worst Actor in 2013 for That’s My Boy; in 2012 for Jack and Jill, and Just Go with It; and in 2000 for Big Daddy; for Worst Actress, Screenplay, and Screen Couple in 2012 for Jack and Jill; Nominated: for Worst Actor in 2016 for The Cobbler, and Pixels; in 2015 for Blended; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2001 for Little Nicky;in 1999 for The Waterboy; and in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; for Worst Screenplay in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star;in 2001 for Little Nicky; and in 2000 for Big Daddy; for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for The Cobbler; in 2013 for That’s My Boy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry)

Andy Samberg – (Known For: Storks; Bad Neighbours; Friends with Benefits; Hotel Transylvania 2; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; Hotel Transylvania; I Love You, Man; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Hot Rod; The To Do List; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; Brigsby Bear; Celeste & Jesse Forever; BMT: Space Chimps; Grown Ups 2 (BMT); That’s My Boy; The Watch; What’s Your Number?; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple in 2013 for That’s My Boy; I’ve loved Samberg all the way back to his Lonely Island days, I even remember the day he was announced as a cast member for SNL and being rather excited. I love him in Brooklyn 99 as well. I refuse to say bad things about him!)

Leighton Meester – (Known For: The Judge; Date Night; Going the Distance; Life Partners; Like Sunday, Like Rain; BMT: The Roommate (BMT); That’s My Boy; Monte Carlo; The Oranges; Hangman’s Curse; Country Strong; The Beautiful Ordinary; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Gossip Girl represent! She started acting in Florida while living with her grandparents when her mother was serving jail time for involvement in a drug-smuggling ring! I would guess the first thing I remember her from was Entourage when she was just 18 years old.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $36,931,089 (Worldwide: $57,719,093)

(What does this movie cost $70 million. The budgets for Adam Sandler films are some of the great mysteries of the universe. At the time this was a rare bomb for Sandler, and ultimately a trend. Blended didn’t do much better and after that kids’ films and sequels were his only real hits.)

#23 for the Wedding genre

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(Standard stuff, a nice little oscillation there a bit, but otherwise Wedding movies have always been big and seem like good bang for the buck too. Below License to Wed is indeed not great. There appears to be one big Wedding comedy a year … makes sense, people are always getting married.)

#27 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(Came out right on a rise. We have watched so many of these films. The Are We There Yet? series and Old Dogs in particular recently. This comes in right around Delivery Man, and oddly that movie (which came out in 2013) is the last one listed for the genre on box office mojo. Has the genre died? Doesn’t really make sense, it was still making bank when they all disappeared. Stop slacking box office mojo.)

#21 for the Slacker / Stoner genre

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(Below 30 Minutes or Less is reeeeeally not great. Right at the peak of slacker/stoner genre it would seem. I want to make an argument about Democratic and Republican presidents, but the trough in 2005 just doesn’t work with the narrative. I’ll just end with mentioning Inherent Vice is the last one listed there … how weird.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (23/113): While it does represent a new foray into raunch for the normally PG-13 Sandler, That’s My Boy finds him repeating himself to diminishing effect – and dragging Andy Samberg down with him.

(Noooooooo don’t drag Samberg down too. I’ve actually never really liked gross out comedies. They … well, gross me out. I have a soft spot for Sandler though weirdly, a guy who I think gets a lot of flack for doing a really good job making movies people like to watch (the horror!). I’ll give it a shot. Open mind time.)

Poster – That’s My Sklog (B-)

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(First, so easy to change the title. Second, I kind of like it, very bright and colorful, symmetric. My main complaint is that it is just kind of a picture of two people, not much else going on. At least there isn’t just a big swath of sky behind them.)

Tagline(s) – The story of a child… and his son. (D)

(Stupid. Yeah, I get it. Tells you nothing about how their relationship is unique (the son is only 12 years younger than the father and he is the product of teacher-student rape), or why I care.)

Keyword(s) – teacher student relationship; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.0 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 78.3 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 77.7 Jason X (2001); 72.6 Elektra (2005); 71.4 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 69.0 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 68.5 Cell (I) (2016); 67.7 Supergirl (1984); 65.1 God’s Not Dead (2014); 64.9 Jennifer’s Body (2009);

(Jason X? What does that really even mean? What does Elektra really mean? Or Dragonball Z? This list is a lie! Or at least That’s My Boy goes a little beyond what they mean I think.)

Notes – When Andy Samberg actually got married he invited Adam Sandler to the wedding who showed up as his character in this movie, outfit and all. (I wouldn’t like that, not one bit. Although I guess comedians’ weddings are probably a bit different)

Eva Amurri Martino plays the younger version of her real-life mother Susan Sarandon. (Holy shit! I was going to say they did a really good job finding a young person to look like Susan Sarandon in the movie!)

Adam Sandler is only 12 years older than Andy Samberg, who plays his son in this movie, which makes perfect sense since Sandler’s character fathered him as a child. (A rare temporal consistency)

The film was originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA due to its explicit sexual content, making the film’s Adam Sandler’s only attempt at an NC-17 rated film. The film was later re-rated R on appeal. (I’m sure Sandler did not intend it to be rated NC-17)

Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy, Robert Smigel, David Wain and Ken Marino all did uncredited rewrites of the script. (Some State guys in there which is fun)

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year. (Nice to see its critical and financial failure didn’t effect the main screenwriter)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler); and for Worst Screenplay (David Caspe)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture; Worst Director (Sean Anders); for Worst Supporting Actor (Nick Swardson and Vanilla Ice); for Worst Screen Couple; and for Worst Screen Ensemble

D-War: Dragon Wars Recap

Jamie

Hoooo boy! Fitting that the week that me and Patrick are traveling the beautiful countryside of Wales (official national animal: the dragon) is also the week that we are recapping a South Korean garbagefest focused on dragons. While we didn’t see any dragons on our hike (just millions of sheep and several very friendly (unfriendly?) cows), we got our fill from D-War. Let’s get into it.

What?! Five hundred years ago an Imugi (proto-dragon) was chosen to receive a Yeouiju (in the form of a young woman) and ascend to heaven to become a dragon, but was prevented from doing so through the devious acts of an evil Imugi. Five hundred years later these Imugi reemerge to fight over a new Yeouiju, Sarah, and only a local newscaster, Ethan, can protect her. Will he be able to deliver Sarah to the good Imugi before it’s too late? Find out in… D-War: Dragon Wars!

Why?! That all sounded like nonsense, right? Good. That’s because it is entirely entrenched in Korean folklore (if it were told through the lens of a SyFy Original Movie). As a result the characters’ motivations are pretty straightforward. Ethan is destined from childhood to protect the Yeouiju, Sarah. They aren’t totally aware of their destiny until the Imugi emerge from the Earth and suddenly they feel like there is something bigger that they are a part of. Eventually they understand that they are meant to keep Sarah out of the clutches of the evil Imugi long enough for the chosen Imugi to defeat him and take the Yeouiju for himself. It is implied that if the evil Imugi were to get Sarah he would ascend to heaven and destroy the Earth. Long story short: this film is basically a story told from the perspective of a MacGuffin.

How?! While reporting a news story about a major disaster in LA, Ethan recognizes a scale-like object in the earth. He remembers something strange that happened to him as a child where an old man claimed he was destined to protect a girl at a time when a good and evil Imugi would battle for ascendence to heaven. Using what he recalls from this meeting he tracks down the girl and they begin to run from the evil Imugi that seems set on finding and killing them. The rest of the movie is them running to a spot, sitting and talking for a little bit, and then running away again when the Imugi appears. Finally they are caught and the Yeouiju within Sarah is revealed, only to have the good dragon swoop in and kill the evil dragon. Knowing that the only way the battle will truly end is through her sacrifice, Sarah allows herself to be taken by the good dragon and Ethan walks away… like literally everyone disappears except Ethan and he walks slowly away into a weird wasteland desert while the credits roll. Bizarre.

Who?! I guess I’ll give a little shout out to Craig Robinson, who had a sizeable role in the film as Bruce. My favorite part was when they get in a fight and he appears to die only for ADR to chime in with “Come on, Bruce, get in the car.” “Go on without me, but I’ll be OK.” Then for the character to reappear several scenes later as if nothing happened. I’m fairly certain the director had no idea what he was doing. The editor probably hated every minute he had to work on this.

Where?! Los Angeles is very clearly the setting. It’s said a million, trillion times and a big fight occurs on the tallest building in the city. Still not central to the plot so a nice B+.

When?! This is the harder one. It is certainly set in 2007 as they go out of their way to have a flashback set in 1507 and say that the events of the film take place five hundred years later. After that, though, they pretty obviously obscured the exact date. They had a perfect opportunity to present it and cut away at the last moment. I’d give it a D+.

Not sure those details actually help understand a mostly incomprehensible film.

Patrick

Helo Pawb! That’s right, the Bad Movie Twins are reunited in Wales this week. Are we appreciating the pristine beauty of the rolling sheep-speckled countryside? Nay, we are watching Dragon Wars: D-War of course! More like F-War amirite? What do you get when you cross the first major South Korean release in the United States in decades with a literal crazy person as director? Some cray CGI dragons in your face that’s what! Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Remake it for sure. Why? Because the only thing that really worked in this film is that the CGI was indeed pretty solid for the time it came out, and you could kind of just get away with updating that and you’d have a similarly styled movie. Kaiju are having a moment, so let’s build the dragon master into the King Kong / Godzilla universe and get the party started! Godzilla and the Celestial Dragon versus Buraki?! Who wouldn’t want to see that? Me for one. This is a terrible idea. Unless Craig Robinson returns … he was actually great in the movie.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – So when you have a movie where the storyline makes no sense, the acting (outside of Craig Robinson) was terrible, and it is directed by a person who really would have rather just filmed a 40-minute fight scene between CGI monsters what can you really point to as the culprit. Greed? American producers thinking the South Korean formula for success could so easily be translated to the US market? Sloth? The unwillingness to check or control any aspect of the film to ensure something comprehensible was made? Nay! Pride. The director defines this movie. He is the beginning, middle, and end as to why this movie was terrible, since he was the writer as well. He could only be delusional, that is the only way this movie is made the way it was for $70 million and nothing be done about it.

The BMT: Legacy – Almost nothing. This movie is incredibly boring and I don’t really think there is many redeeming qualities ultimately. I would almost definitely never watch it again. A ten BMeTric, low for sure. Its legacy is that it is a giant foreign produced movie that tanked. Unlike something like Pinnochio it doesn’t even have the benefit of being horrifying, it is merely like Birdemic: a delusional person made a movie and it wasn’t so incredibly bad it became wonderful like The Room, it just remained incredibly bad. That’s about it, nothing special. Sorry D-War.

I do think I’ll leave it there for the week. No homework or analysis to be done (sadly) for the film. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

D-War: Dragon Wars Preview

Oh how cycles fly. We are coming up on the end of the punctuation cycle with only a couple options left. The rarest of the remaining choices is the hyphen/dash and lucky for us the SciFi/Fantasy entry provides a perfect film for that. That’s right, we’re (finally) watching D-War: Dragon Wars! This 2007 film is famous for its huge budget for a South Korean film (estimated at the time of the DVD release to be upwards of $100 million US) and its major release in the US market (over 2000 theaters). Despite a huge box office success in Korea and optimism for the US release, it ultimately bombed and was critically ridiculed. I remember hearing that it may be one of the worst films of all time, but hard to tell what its actual legacy is (because people have mostly forgotten about it). If our new and improved BMeTric has anything to say about it, we’re in for a wild ride! Let’s go!

D-War: Dragon Wars (2007) – BMeTric: 79.9

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(Ha! That drop is hilarious. I guess maybe people were super into this guy in South Korea and it opening first in South Korea I assume. The BMeTric is gaudy, basically right at 80. That is the 98th percentile! Pretty impressive stuff for what is essentially a foreign film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  With a reported budget of $70 million, South Korea’s biggest production ever is a dopey B monster movie elevated (only slightly) by some impressive effects. What story there is revolves around a 500-year-old battle that is being reborn in contemporary L.A., where a young boy is imbued with the spirit of an ancient warrior in order to take on dreaded serpentlike creatures. There’s some fun in watching a flying Korean zoo take hold of the town, but that’s about it.

(Wait… that’s the plot of this film? It sounds like a kids movie. Like Eragon or something. Everything you read about this film suggests that the effects are impressive enough to take a terrible film and make it watchable. It’s got a lot to live up to.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kgzOCLJ_HI

(That seriously looks like three different films. A kids film, a monster/action film, and a comedy film. All signs point to rididididididiculous. Also, about those effects… let’s just say I hope those were preliminary before they finalized them for theatrical release.)

Directors – Hyung-rae Shim – (BMT: Dragon Wars; Notes: Apparently this dude is a wildly popular South Korean comedian, but everything he’s in that’s crossed the Pacific has fallen flat so he’s unknown here.)

Writers – Hyung-rae Shim (written by) – (BMT: Dragon Wars; Notes: He seemingly didn’t pay his employees at his studio for a while and that was a big story in Korea, but then last year there was a report that China was funding a D-War sequel. So maybe he’s back, baby!)

Actors – Jason Behr – (Known For: Pleasantville; The Shipping News; BMT: Dragon Wars; Skinwalkers; The Grudge; Notes: Probably best known as a main character on Roswell. Hasn’t really acted much since he and his wife had a kid in 2013.)

Amanda Brooks – (BMT: Dragon Wars; The Canyons; My Best Friend’s Girl; Flightplan; Notes: Daughter of the songwriter of the titular song of You Light Up My Life. Critically panned and yet that song made the AFI’s list of top film songs of all time.)

Robert Forster – (Known For: The Case for Christ; Mulholland Drive; The Descendants; Jackie Brown; Olympus Has Fallen; Lucky Number Slevin; Me, Myself & Irene; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; The Black Hole; Middle Men; Like Mike; BMT: Dragon Wars; Psycho; Supernova; Rise; Survivor; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Firewall; The Delta Force; London Has Fallen; Autómata; Cleaner; Notes: Longtime character actor. Nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar for Jackie Brown.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $10,977,721 (Worldwide: $75,108,998)

(That budget is not real. This was the initial budget. They went way over during production on the CGI and at the time of theatrical release it’s been estimated at closer to $75 million (before additional DVD CGI work pushed that even higher). This was at best a break-even affair and a huge disappointment in the US market.)

#12 for the Dragon – Focal Point of Movie genre

(Uninteresting plot so I’ll leave that alone. Dead last in this non-genre is something special. Below 1981’s Dragonslayer. Amazing.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (10/35): Dragon Wars’ special effects can’t make up for an unfocused script and stale acting.

(… Am I looking at the same special effects. They look like only slightly better A Sound of Thundaaaaah CGI. By which I mean it all looks like garbage. I guess I’ll see. Maybe it will look better in glorious 4K. Joking though, I’m watching this in like 480p, probably stream it on my phone on airplane WiFi to get that real grainy quality I like.)

Poster – S-War: Sklog Wars (D+)

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(Daaaang! Check out that Dutch angle. Even the title is angled. It’s also a little busy for my taste and the color scheme is pretty drab. The one positive is the unique font that would make S-War: Sklog Wars a tough photoshop.)

Tagline(s) – They’ve made our world their battleground (C-)

(This begs the question: where exactly are the dragons coming from? Apparently they are from a different world since they’re making our world their battleground. Please, please, please say they’re aliens.)

Keyword(s) – korean; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.9 Dragon Wars (2007); 78.3 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 51.2 The Truth About Charlie (2002); 51.0 The Hot Chick (2002); 42.0 G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013); 39.9 Mafia! (1998); 33.2 The Gambler (III) (2014); 29.6 Best of the Best II (1993); 25.8 Ape (1976); 23.4 Lucy (I) (2014);

(Ha! APE. That is the movie that appears on the cover of The Official Razzie Movie Guide. That would be a nice one to do in some ill-conceived pre-1980 cycle. Don’t tempt me, it is a terrible idea. Hilarious list though.)

Notes – This marked the first Korean production in nearly three decades to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. (… I wonder if it was the last one. The Host and Snowpiercer come to mind, but they didn’t get over 500 theaters widest)

The music associated with Muraki and his army makes extensive use of the “Dies irae” melody, a medieval chant traditionally used in ceremonies for the dead and, since the nineteenth century, in contexts evoking the macabre and supernatural.

The leader of the ‘Artox Army’ is actually speaking in English, as evidenced by his mouth movements, although it is significantly garbled. (These are words. They certainly sound like a fun fact even if I don’t really know what they mean)

Wagons East! Recap

Jamie

What?! After a group of settlers realize that the Wild West is super lame they all decide to head back East. Led by a former doctor, Phil, and a wagon master with a secret, Harlow, they strike out eastward much to the chagrin of some city fat cats who will do anything to stop them. Will they evade the traps set by the fat cats and make it back home? Find out in… Wagons East!

Why?! As mentioned above, the settlers have all come to the conclusion that the West sucks balls for one reason or another. It is the entire motivation for the plot of this film. Once they set out, others realize that quitting is OK and the eastward trek goes viral. This spooks a bunch of railroad tycoons and land developers who are about to get a major investment in railroad construction if they can achieve a high enough population in the West. They determine that they must stop the wagons, and thus the trend, by any means necessary in order to preserve the investment.

How?! While all the settlers hate the West, they also don’t want to be seen as quitters. A series of good omens and the arrival of a wagon master, albeit a drunk one, convinces them that quitting is OK and they set out on the trail. The businessmen looking to stop the wagon train first hire a local gunslinger to do the deed, but the wagons evade his traps by pure dumb luck. Even when the wagon train has their own bad luck, such as stumbling into a Native American war camp, they come out unscathed due to the common sense in their quest. The film basically proceeds like this, with more traps evaded and bad luck turning fortuitous. In the climactic scene, the US Cavalry is called in and Harlow challenges the leader to a fight. He wins and the wagon train proceeds without hindrance to St. Louis. If that sounds dumb and boring then you’re not far off.

Who?! No Planchet or cameos/musicians/athletes/presidents in this one. There is a notable character that went uncredited. That’s J.P. Moreland, the land developer that is trying to stop the wagon train. He’s played by Gailard Sartain (what a name!), who we know from most of the Ernest films and television show (usually as the character “Chuck,” although as “Jake (Chef #1)” in Ernest Goes to Camp). Presumably this is a case where he realized how bad the film was and chose to go uncredited, as his part is fairly significant.

Where?! Interesting settings film. We are shown in the beginning that Prosperity is located in the New Mexico Territory. From there they travel vaguely East until arriving in St. Louis. Pretty good all things considered. Not sure I’d count this as a setting that is vital to the plot though… The West isn’t really exact enough and it could have been set in Colorado or Arizona. B-

When?! I usually fear films set in the past or future. They are often satisfied with simply saying “Hey, we’re in the past/future!” and leaving it at that. Wagons East! is fortunately not one of those cases. We get some nice reference years to try to nail down the date. We are told that Phil is a former surgeon in the war. This is presumably the Civil War, so we can place the film sometime after 1865. Later we are told that Harlow led the Donner Party “about 20 years ago.” The Donner Party set out in May 1846, so makes sense that we are looking at about 1866-1867. As for the time of year, I get to set off a little Secret Holiday Film Alert! That’s because while the film is mostly vague on exactly when the wagon train is travelling, we are shown explicitly that they arrive at St. Louis on July 4th! Happy 4th of Jooooo-ly, everybody! B+

Now that you know the ins and outs of all that makes up Wagons East! we can dive into the BMT-ness of the film.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Wagons East!! More like Ragged Least! A parody starring classic comedians and slamming a genre cresting at the peak of its power? What could go wrong? Actually … seriously, what went wrong? Let’s get into it! Oh … and I’m trying something new. A twist to The Good, The Bad, The BMT. Basically they will now function as three minigames. Usually these will be the three that follow. After that, if there was a Homework Sklog-signment or other thing to discuss it will go there, otherwise it will be these three games. Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Somewhere buried under the overlong unfunny mess of a production is a simple idea: Westerns are peaking in popularity after a lengthy period without releases in the 80s (Dances With Wolves and Unforgiven won best picture two and four years prior), so it is time to skewer them like Blazing Saddles did before! In that vein I think you could get away with a Reboot. But how you ask? Westerns aren’t really having a moment anymore. Ah, but it wouldn’t be a parody of Westerns … it is a parody of reboots! Complete with CGI Candy teaser at the end! Is that gross and weird or bizarrely brilliant, skewering the resurrection of characters played by now deceased actors in a reboot of one of the worst films ever? There is nothing to salvage here is the point, but like the reported (and abandoned) Men in Black / 21 Jump Street cross-over film, skewering the idea of bullshit crossovers, reboots, and origin stories is in.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Here I will try and identify the sin committed to create this film. Greed? Did they want that sweet Western boom money? Pride? In their hubris did they think they knew Westerns so well it would be easy to nail the genre? No … sloth. Produced by a company going out of business they hired people ill-suited for the job resulting in a movie containing almost no humor. Too lazy to rewrite or edit the movie makes no sense. Richard Lewis phones it in, literally wearing an 80’s NYC comedian blazer and mullet. They don’t even bother to give Candy a character (Ebert nailed that in his review). Top to bottom just terrible.

The BMT: Legacy – This movie is too boring to be good, like a ten in the BMeTric. The legacy of this film though is interesting. It is a rarity, a parody of Westerns. Alongside Blazing Saddles, and A Million Ways to Die in the West it comes along only so often. Parodies themselves are somewhat rare. The legacy is that this is literally the worst example of an extremely niche genre. And as such it will always have a place in BMT lore. Even if I never want to watch it again and it makes me sad. It has a place, it is a warning.

I’ll close with a short Sklognalysis as well. Mainly because it is astonishing to me that parody westerns managed to come out exactly 20 years apart right as the genre was cresting. In 1974 Blazing Saddles came out after the glut of Westerns in the late-60s. In 1994 Wagons East in response to things like Dances With Wolves. And in 2014 came A Million Ways To Die in the West. There always seems to be one. So what can we expect in 2034 I wonder. Mull on that.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wagons East! Preview

This week we continue our quest to not screw ourselves over in the Chain Reaction category. We always seem like we paint ourselves into a corner only to miraculously escape (and then repaint ourselves into a corner immediately after). This week is no different as we found ourselves with few options coming from Are We Done Yet? featuring a pretty thin cast. Throwing caution to the wind we went ahead and used John C. McGinley to jump to one of the worst reviewed films of all time, John Candy’s last film Wagons East! Candy died a few days before filming was wrapped and it’s not known for much else besides being terrible. We used it for the exclamation point entry in the punctuation cycle, although there is a bit of controversy over whether that’s the true stylization of the title. Whatever. That’s what it is on the poster and DVD box. Good enough for me. Let’s go!

Wagons East! (1994) – BMeTric: 34.7

WagonsEast_BMeT

WagonsEast_RV

(I declare this a little known terrible film. The BMeTric almost entirely comes from the fact that the rating is aggressively low. I’m also suspecting now that this is not going to be a classic BMT gem … the rating just meanders up with the number of votes. I’m getting a mighty bad feeling about this movie.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – The loss of John Candy is made all the more poignant because “Wagons East!” is the last film he completed. It is possible he never appeared in a worse one. The producers claim he finished all his key scenes before his unexpected death on the location, but that’s hard to believe, because his character is an undefined, vague figure, and isn’t even required to be funny most of the time. That’s easy in this film, which is one of the least amusing comedies I’ve ever seen, right down there with “Clifford.”

(I had to include the Clifford bit because Clifford really is a wild ride and movie we should watch at some point. That feeling that this movie is just going to be boring and is going to make me sad is getting stronger. I’ll have to rock a little showing of The Great Outdoors and reminisce.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2exnr6xTIzM

(Hooooooo, boy. That looks like some rough stuff. Hopefully they were keeping all the good stuff for the big screen, but somehow I doubt it.)

Directors – Peter Markle – (Known For: Bat*21; BMT: Wagons East; Youngblood; Notes: He wrote Youngblood a story inspired … wait for it … from his experiences playing professional ice hockey including three years for the US National Team. Say what?! His stats, he went to Yale, played for the Rochester Mustangs, and indeed played for the national team. He didn’t play in the 1972 Olympics it looks like, although he is listed on the roster for the 1970 world championships. I love this note … so much.)

Writers – Matthew Carlson (screenplay) – (BMT: Wagons East; Notes: A pretty impressive television resume including The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle. There isn’t much else about him, this was his only feature it seems.)

Jerry Abrahamson (story) – (BMT: Wagons East; Notes: There is literally nothing about this guy on the internet. I wonder if it is a made up name … IMDb I think only knows “uncredited” or pen names because people eventually reveal it in interviews and stuff. I bet it was Markle … I’m only half joking.)

Actors – John Candy – (Known For: Home Alone; The Blues Brothers; Spaceballs; Vacation; JFK; Little Shop of Horrors; Splash; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Stripes; Cool Runnings; Heavy Metal; Uncle Buck; The Great Outdoors; The Rescuers Down Under; BMT: Nothing But Trouble (BMT); Wagons East; Hot to Trot; Cannonball Fever; Armed and Dangerous; 1941; Who’s Harry Crumb?; Rookie of the Year; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Career Opportunities; Summer Rental; Once Upon a Crime…; Brewster’s Millions; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actress for Nothing But Trouble. Sigh. I loved Candy as a kid. Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Cool Runnings, Stripes, Spaceballs, Home Alone …. Just a staple of my childhood. I remember being devastated when he died and always I thought I would watch his last film. But it was apparently terrible and I never got around to it. As I said .. sigh.)

Richard Lewis – (Known For: Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Leaving Las Vegas; She’s Funny That Way; Vamps; Drunks; BMT: Wagons East; Hugo Pool; Once Upon a Crime…; Notes: Lewis is great in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Otherwise I only really knew him from Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)

Also stars John C. McGinley – (Our eighth McGinley BMT! Highlander II: The Quickening; Are We Done Yet?; On Deadly Ground; Alex Cross; Get Carter; Wild Hogs; And most recently Car 54, Where Are You?)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $4,412,297

(This is somehow far more than I would have expected. Obviously way too little since the undisclosed budget has to be more than $2 million.)

#50 for the Western genre

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(They sure did follow the money huh? I guess that is the time to make a spoof film, but the western genre kind of went into the dark ages right after this and has only now just recovered. And … my God … how did this movie make more than The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford?! We don’t do many westerns, our last was Wild Bill.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/29): Wagons East! is a witless, toothless satire of Westerns that falls far below the standard set by Blazing Saddles, and is notable only for being John Candy’s final screen performance.

(Oh that is right. One of the worst films ever reviews on rotten tomatoes. It is quite rare to get more than 25 reviews and stay perfect at 0%. Witless and toothless sounds like unfunny and boring. Ugh.)

Poster – Sklogans East! (C+)

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(I’m not a huge fan of the coloring or framing, but it also doesn’t go against the philosophy… just not the best. A little too busy and the font isn’t super original. A little above “meh.”)

Tagline(s) – They came, they saw, they changed their minds. (A+)

(Classic. This is pretty much exactly what I would want in a tagline. It’s a clever take on a classic phrase, it’s not too long, original, and give a hint on the plot of the film: a group of people who came out west have decided it blows and want to go back East. Shockingly perfect.)

Keyword(s) – title spoken by character; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.7 Catwoman (2004); 85.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 83.5 The Wicker Man (2006); 81.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 81.3 Norbit (2007); 81.1 Movie 43 (2013); 80.5 The Love Guru (2008); 78.9 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 77.6 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 76.7 The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009);

(Nice list. We are going to see Manos: Hands of Fate soon enough I think. Super Mario Bros. is a film we’ve seen … a few times, so it’ll be a special day when we revisit the film with our BMT hats on. And yeah … I plan on never watching The Human Centipede, screw that.)

Notes – John Candy died during filming. His few remaining scenes were either not filmed, or were filmed using a stand-in, then re-written not to involve him. His second bar sequence re-uses footage from his earlier bar sequence. (Jeez. There are similar stories for Gladiator and very recently the Fast & Furious series. Amazing that they can do it)

John Candy didn’t want to make the film, but was contractually obliged to do it. (sucks, very similar to Theodore Rex in that way. I wonder if 1995 marked a high point in actor unfriendly contracts, seems interesting that two high profile bombs like Theodore Rex and Wagons East were made under duress)

Ends with “Dedicated to the memory of John Candy”.

Carolco’s last film to be distributed by TriStar Pictures. (They made Cutthroat Island the next year and went bankrupt. Also seems like a common theme, companies desperately trying to make films while stumbling their way into bankruptcy).

Rumor Has It … Recap

Jamie

What?! Sarah is in the middle of a crisis regarding her career, relationship, and alienation from her family. When it’s inadvertently revealed that her mother may have briefly run off with another man prior to her marrying her father, Sarah seeks out this man, Beau, for some answers. Will she find the answers she seeks? Find out in… Rumor Has It…!

Why?! Sarah is seeking answers, plain and simple. She doesn’t connect with her tennis-playing, slow-driving, Pasadena-living family and this alienation drives a deep dissatisfaction with her job and relationship with her fiance Jeff (played by Mark Ruffalo, who was actually great). It seems like answering a simple question will solve all these problems: how does she fit in with her family?… and you know what? It does. Once she figures it out she basically does a 180 and loves everything (even though her job does sound like shit).

How?! Now to the meat of the whole thing. While the basic synopsis and motivation of Sarah stand on their own as the basis of a film, the plot relies heavily on the idea that the characters are the inspiration for the 1963 book The Graduate. Sarah’s grandmother is supposed to be Mrs. Robinson and her mother, like in the book, ran off with a aimless young man prior to her wedding (but unlike the book, ran back and married Sarah’s father). It is bizarre. Anyway, when Sarah finds this out while attending her sister’s wedding she thinks that perhaps Beau is her real father. It would explain the alienation she had from her family and perhaps give her a path in life that she didn’t have before. That turns out to not be true as Beau can’t have children of his own. Oh well, better have sex with the guy I thought was my father a second ago! This, of course, also doesn’t solve her existential crisis and she runs back to her family in Pasadena. Only there, amongst those she thought she was so different from, does she realize what she needs most in life: her fiance Jeff. The one person who seems to be able to put up with her bullshit. Racing back to NYC she MonoSklogs her way to his heart and wins the day.

Who?! Not a huge amount going on in the Who category. In fact if you watch the film it’s pretty interesting how many scenes are just the two main actors dialoguing in isolation. We do get a cameo in the film by none other than BMT regular Kathy Bates. She shows up as crazy “Aunt” Mitsy who helps Aniston figure out who Beau is. She only appears in one scene and went uncredited for the film (presumably as a favor to Rob Reiner, but that’s pure speculation). She basically just gets drunk and explains stuff to us. Classic Bates.

Where?! Pretty good settings film. Opens with Sarah and Jeff flying from New York to the primary setting in Pasadena. We get numerous sights and sounds of LA, jokes directed at Pasadena, and long discussions lamenting the loss of the Rams to St. Louis (hilarious in retrospect). Sarah then flies to San Fran, over to Napa, and back to Pasadena only the finish the film in New York. Sometimes it’s amazing just how specific they get with this shit. B+.

When?! Ah, the crown jewel of Rumor Has It… As mentioned in the preview, this film is a period piece. Presumably because of the ages of the characters in reference to the book The Graduate, they needed to set this film in 1997. This is clear by the conspicuous VHS tapes and pay/car phones being used. Fortunately, we also get an exact date. When Sarah first goes to confront Beau about her mother’s affair she does so at a tech conference in San Francisco. As she walks in we see a sign for the conference letting us know that it is January 18, 1997. A truly unexpected A-. Exact date that plays a minor role in the plot.

Those are all the details of a decidedly bizarre film, let’s find out if it was BMT weird.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Rumor Has It …? More like Bummer Isn’t It …? Zing. Making a pseudo-sequel to quite literally one of the greatest films of all time as a lightweight farce starring Jennifer Aniston? What could have gone wrong?! Let’s get into it before I type more questions marks!

  • The Good – Ruffalo and Jenkins. Some of the side actors. The settings were beautiful and you can kind of see why Reiner was a likely emergency director when the screenwriter had to drop out (or was fired …) because it looks polished as well. At times I felt like I could watch Aniston and Costner just live their fake lives for hours (kind of like This if s 40), although that feeling was hardly sustained.
  • The Bad – Make a pseudo-sequel to a beloved film is a bad idea on its face. It just begs a comparison that can never be lived up to. The legnths they go to to hammer in the timeline and make everything work is exhausting (There is about 40 different ages and dates spewed out all to make the ages of the main players make sense, it is distracting). No pay off.
  • The BMT – The legacy of this film will be that it is totally colored and overshadowed by a predecessor. And they did it intentionally! I would never watch this one again though, and I couldn’t even really recommend it. It is only fascinating as a one-two punch with The Graduate with a heavy dose of morbid curiosity. With that I deem it a in the bottom 10% of bad movies, below where we expect to be with a solid choice.

I’m going to report a bit on some Homework Sklog-signment. That’s right, I re-watched the Graduate literally hours before consuming this film. First, an amazing film. Mainly the writing, and a pretty incredible performance by Hoffman in the lead (although Nichols directing was also breathtaking as well). Second, I’m glad I did it because the movie is heavily referenced in Rumor Has It … (including pointing out the fact that it is Dreyfuss’ first film, something I missed. Look at Rumor Has It …, a regular IMDb fact page over here). Third, it makes Rumor Has It … look desperate and like a big piece of shit in comparison. Thanks The Graduate! I guess if anything Rumor Has It … might make you revisit a great film. Also, and you might have noticed over the years that I love ellipses, but this might be the most ellipses I’ve ever written in an email … thanks Rumor Has it … … thanks.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rumor Has It… Preview

I can’t pretend like we’ve been looking forward to watching this film for years because we haven’t. We are simply watching it because it is one of the few examples of a film that employs the rare “…” in the actual title. And since we are trying to hit up nine different punctuation marks in titles we definitely need an ellipsis. That’s right! We’re watching Rumor Has It…! This is of course the sequel to The Graduate… kinda. Not the real sequel (because there actually was a book called Home School that was a sequel to the novel The Graduate), but just a film that suggests that certain characters are the “real” life inspirations for the characters in the original novel that then got adapted into the film. That’s basically the entirety of the plot and it sounds like the worst. Let’s go!

Rumor Has It… (2005) – BMeTric: 43.3

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RumorHasIt_RV

(Huh. I declare this a popular below-average film. But look at how it sustains itself at 5.5 … very interesting, kind of like it is a truly terrible movie, no regression to the mean. But I’m not sure I’ve seen such a profile for a slightly below average film yet. It really shot out to a pretty impressive 40 BMeTric as well. All around a pleasant surprise.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  While home for her sister’s wedding, Aniston becomes convinced that her late mother, grandmother MacLaine, and future techno-magnate Costner inspired the Charles Webb novel that became The Graduate. Premise is icky (Aniston goes on a fling with a guy she initially thought was her father!) without being pointed. MacLaine gives it a shot with acerbic but unfunny rejoinders. If The Graduate didn’t still “live,” this would be pretty close to grave robbing.

(Now this is a movie Leonard watched. I could kind of predict his attitude: hates it for playing off a far more more interesting and successful film, but probably likes MacLaine in general and so resists writing the whole thing off. From what I remember that ickiness comes through even in the trailer, so I’m not really sure what they were thinking there.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMmamhnHZo4

(Oooof. Let’s just pour out a little bit in recognition that Adele’s song Rumor Has It would have been ALL OVER this trailer if this came out now. Also, Ruffalo playing the shy kind of weird guy … I forgot that used to kind of be this thing. He’s been the Hulk for so long it is hard to even process. The trailer is a throwback for a movie whose ultimate crime was that it feels like it should have come out in 1995)

Directors – Rob Reiner – (Known For: The Princess Bride; Stand by Me; This Is Spinal Tap; A Few Good Men; Misery; The Bucket List; Flipped; When Harry Met Sally…; The American President; LBJ; BMT: North (BMT); Rumor Has It…; Alex & Emma; The Story of Us; And So It Goes; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Director for North; I like Reiner, primarily because I could watch the first five movies on that list any day of the week, almost the epitome of the movies I started watching just as I was “getting into” film and starting to look to the immediate past. His next film has to do with journalists investigating the claim the Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in the lead up to the Iraq War … yeah, he’s somewhat of a political activist.)

Writers – Ted Griffin (written by) (as T.M. Griffin) – (Known For: Ocean’s Eleven; Tower Heist; Matchstick Men; Ravenous; Best Laid Plans; BMT: Killers (BMT); Rumor Has It…; Solace; Notes:  Not in the trivia: Reiner replaced Ted Griffin twelve days into principal photography. Can’t tell why, but Griffin never really directed a feature, so perhaps he realized he was in over his head.)

Actors – Jennifer Aniston – (Known For: Office Christmas Party; Storks; Office Space; We’re the Millers; The Iron Giant; Horrible Bosses; He’s Just Not That Into You; Marley & Me; Bruce Almighty; Cake; Wanderlust; The Switch; She’s Funny That Way; Life of Crime; Rock Star; The Good Girl; She’s the One; BMT: Leprechaun (BMT); Mac and Me (BMT); The Bounty Hunter (BMT); Rumor Has It…; Love Happens; The Break-Up; Mother’s Day (BMT); Along Came Polly; ‘Til There Was You; Horrible Bosses 2; Just Go with It (BMT); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2011 for Worst Actress for The Switch, and The Bounty Hunter; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Screen Couple for Just Go with It, and in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst New Star; Obviously most well known for Friends. Her father, John Aniston, has been on Days of Our Lives since 1986 and has appeared in nearly 2500 episodes.)

Mark Ruffalo – (Known For: Avengers: Age of Ultron; Spotlight; Avengers Assemble; Shutter Island; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Zodiac; Now You See Me; Iron Man Three; Begin Again; Collateral; Foxcatcher; 13 Going on 30; The Last Castle; Where the Wild Things Are; Date Night; Margaret; You Can Count on Me; The Kids Are All Right; Just Like Heaven; Thanks for Sharing; The Brothers Bloom; Infinitely Polar Bear; Blindness; BMT: View from the Top; Rumor Has It…; In the Cut; The Dentist; 54; Windtalkers; All the King’s Men; Now You See Me 2; Notes:  Was to appear in Signs instead of Joaquin Phoenix, but he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to drop out. It was benign and after brain surgery he was fine.)

Shirley MacLaine – (Known For: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; Steel Magnolias; Being There; Terms of Endearment; The Apartment; Ocean’s Eleven; Bernie; In Her Shoes; Postcards from the Edge; Artists and Models; Around the World in Eighty Days; Two Mules for Sister Sara; The Trouble with Harry; Defending Your Life; The Children’s Hour; Irma la Douce; The Turning Point; Some Came Running; Guarding Tess; BMT: Bewitched; Cannonball Run II; Rumor Has It…; Valentine’s Day (BMT); A Smile Like Yours; The Evening Star; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1985 for Worst Actress for Cannonball Run II; Brother of Warren Beatty. Too much about her to even figure out what to say, but we’ll see her in Cannonball Run II for sure.)

Budget/Gross – $70 million / Domestic: $43,000,262 (Worldwide: $88,933,562)

#6 on the Worst Openings – Saturated chart

(Pretty rough stuff. Number six worst opening is nuts, just a little better than Hoot! … HOOT! We’ve seen the number 9 and 10 on the list, and Victor Frankenstein will be in the mix soon enough.)

#99 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(right above Mannequin. Norbit was the most recent one I’ve (re)watched at a dominating 29th. Romantic comedy really hit a peak from 2000-2010, and since then it has kind of dropped off the map. Perhaps previously it was the be-all-end-all of movies geared towards women? And now with the surge in alternatives romantic comedies are the first to get relegated to VOD? Plausible.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (22/111): This riff on The Graduate has a solid cast, but is too lightweight to fully register.

(Solid cast, so not just Leonard seems to think so. The number of reviews is impressive. This was a big release on the year and it just crashed and burned. I suppose the note about changing directors at the last minute makes it all make a bit of sense though.)

Poster – Rumor Sklogs It … (D-)

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(No bueno. Why is there sky in the background? Why is there so much white? Why is the spacing so weird? Why is any of this like this? Only good thing is that they at least tried a little bit on the font… otherwise this is a masterclass on what not to do.)

Tagline(s) – Based on a true rumor. (D)

(Hahaha. Rumor Has It… Based on a true rumor. It really has a nice ring to it. Amateur hour up in here. At least it’s short.)

Keyword(s) – biological father; Top Ten by BMeTric: 48.6 The Ten (2007); 43.3 Rumor Has It… (2005); 25.1 Daddy’s Home (2015); 19.9 The Fifth Estate (2013); 18.7 Dance with Me (1998); 18.2 Duets (2000); 17.9 Mamma Mia! (2008); 16.6 Delivery Man (2013); 10.9 Potiche (2010); 9.6 Dirty Girl (2010);

(None! None of the keywords were particularly good. At least this one had Mama Mia! This keyword should just be called Mama Mia!-esque.)

Notes – Early in the film’s pre-production stages, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft were strongly considered for the roles of Beau Burroughs and Katherine Richelieu. But when Bancroft died and Hoffman had filming commitments for several other projects, the roles were given to Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine. (Oh shit, that would have actually have been cool … for ten minutes and then once the novelty wore off the movie would be just as big of a disaster)

Shirley MacLaine was originally offered the role of Elaine in The Graduate (1967), but turned it down.

Along with President Bill Clinton and Fidel Castro, the picture on the far left is Beau (Kevin Costner) with Rob Reiner (the director). Hugh M. Hefner was originally supposed to be pictured, but Hefner objected at the last minute; Reiner was added in digitally. (Ha)

The Huttinger family house is the same house from Father of the Bride (1991). (fun fact)

The film takes place in 1997. (A period piece!!!! Yes. I hope this is incredibly obvious for no reason)

With only a 35-year age difference between them, Shirley MacLaine was really too young to be playing the grandmother of Jennifer Aniston. (True, Aniston’s father is roughly the same age as MacLaine)