Men in Black II Recap

Jamie

This movie is good. Patrick?

Oh right, I should probably elaborate. This is the same movie as the first Men in Black, which is a good film. On rewatch I found the first film to be a lot weirder than I remembered. There was a strain of 90’s indie film in it mixed with the broad Will Smith action and Danny Elfman score. D’Onofrio is nuts and it’s not at all what you would expect from a Will Smith vehicle after Independence Day. I probably shouldn’t have worked a la Wild Wild West, but it did and we got a second film.

That second film is basically them finally getting the gang together after five years and running it back. Not exactly a way to get reviewers on your good side. But as far as I can tell that is pretty much the only reason this qualified for BMT. They looked at the film and said “we expect more from you Men in Black II.” It’s all expectations at this point. That is unless they got really hung up on Johnny Knoxville getting a role that was just too substantial for his talents at the time. He needed a bit more time to warm up and was pretty annoying. You could also nitpick the plot, but really you could probably say that about the first film too. Men in Black is all MacGuffins and aliens. So to all of a sudden be like “your MacGuffin and alien plot isn’t well thought out,” seems like a weak critique.

I feel like I’m going too strong on this. I’m not a big time MIB 2 fan or something. I’m not staking my reputation on this film. I’m not even sure what will happen come Smaddies Baddies time. I think my problem is that I was surprised to even see MIB 2 on the list of qualifying films. It’s right on the boundary. Usually those borderline films come out as just that: borderline BMT. This doesn’t even really feel borderline. Should have been a 50-60% RT score probably. It offends my BMT senses that we watched it.

I think if I were to do an in depth Wrong Analysis (patent pending) for this film I would go all in on the second film actually being better than the first. Here is my evidence:

  • Much improved special effects. You can accomplish a lot in five years, particularly when the five years run from 1997-2002 and special effects are making leaps and bounds by the day. But it’s not just the CGI I’m talking about. Even the puppet work is better. Case in point are the worms. They play a minor role in the first film, but by the time we are part of a smash hit they are all over the film and doing some real cool practical effects to bring them alive.
  • The best scene in the movie. Aliens in the locker is all you need to know. It’s great and nothing in any of the films beats it. So how can this be bad when that is so good?
  • They imply Tommy Lee Jones had sex with an alien. Strike that. They didn’t even really imply it. It seems pretty clear that Tommy Lee Jones had a love child with an alien.
  • It’s the same move as MIB with better effects, the best scene in the franchise, and the implication that Tommy Lee Jones is getting down with aliums on the regular. Case closed.

But that analysis is probably wrong. Patrick?

Patrick 

‘Ello everyone! Men in Black II? More like Men in Black Too … like as well. Because it is the same movie as the first one. Whatever, let’s go!

  • Much sillier than the first film I can see why it got relatively poor reviews.
  • BUT I also watched the first film, and while fun it is basically an exercise in how something novel can blind you to how poorly put together it is. Both films feel a bit like they are barely held together by Will Smith’s charisma alone.
  • Bar none this has the funniest scene in the entire franchise with the little weirdo aliens in the locker. The ending is the best part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sd10CHAP8
  • This film suffers most in just feeling like a fun movie (J and K following clues around New York) bookended by the barest of all possible introductions and endings. The movie literally opens with an intentionally shoddy fake tv show (which they play again later to better effect) and then a really poorly done introduction to Serleena in Central Park. And then the film ends with a half-assed battle in MIBHQ stretched out to the twist ending.
  • And ultimately isn’t that the issue? They actually did have a MIB television show. I forgot about it, but they had a decently long running animated program (53 episodes). But the film feels like a television show that would exist now. A comedic version of The X-Files. Forcing it into a $100+ million budget blockbuster mold seems ultimately like a waste. And too bad, because you obviously can’t do anything with the original cast, and MIB: International was a colossal bomb, so they are kind of stuck.
  • Although it is a little funny to say that considering the Men in Black comic has six issues … total. Like there were only ever six issues of this property. If they work at it they could get more feature films than issues of the original source material. Bring back the MIB/21 Jump Street crossover! You know that would have been amazing.
  • There was a lot of product placement I’m sure, but my favorite Product Placement (What?) was when Rosario Dawson is asked to go get a whole mess of Mountain Dew from the basement (Do the Dew!). Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for New York City which they use to excellent effect. Really incredible MacGuffin (Why?) work on the Light of Zartha. Which then rolls right into a Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Dawson herself is the Light of Zartha. Closest to Good, the film is undeniably fun to watch.

No sequel in the quiz this week, but I do outline my mid-credits scene / short film involving J going on a hot date. Check it out. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Men in Black II Quiz

Oh man. So I definitely saw this alien running around NYC and then some Men in Black as well … but then, I guess I didn’t because they pointed a flashy thing at me and now I can’t remember a thing. Bummer. Do you remember what happened in Men in Black II?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Our bad guy, Serleena, is actually like an itty bitty plant thing. Why does she then become the supermodel-esque Lara Flynn Boyle?

2) They need K back Jack! Why?

3) K’s having a hard time remembering stuff (for some reason), so they need to de-neuralize him. We see two de-neuralizers in the film. Where are they and what is the explanation for there being multiple versions of them?

4) Hey, K’s got his memory back. One problem … he still can’t remember anything. What clues does he leave himself that leads him to remember what’s up?

5) What alien power does Rosario Dawson have, on full display as she floats off to her home planet?

Bonus Question: In the after credits scene we see Will Smith preparing to go somewhere. Where?

Answers

Men in Black II Preview

Jamie, Patrick, and LePumice lounge poolside in Vegas. Just one stop on the tour couldn’t do any harm. Besides, LePumice brought his time machine along disguised as a vintage 2003 PT Cruiser, so they can jet at a moment’s notice back to the present. “Suns out, sipping drinks with the bros, our PT Cruiser is looking sweet (duh). Cheers!” Jamie says, luxuriating. Nothing could spoil this day, for sure. Suddenly, Mikey Myers (of Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes fame) comes hurrying over. “Vegas, we have a problem,” he says and they all laugh because that’s his catchphrase. But this time he’s serious. “I… uh… just came from the gift shop. Not to freak anyone out, but… uh… I was there.” They laugh again. Silly Mikey, of course he was there because he just said… Patrick shoots up looking startled. “Shit, shit,” Jamie says, picking up the vibe. Future Mikey Myers has found them and is ready to settle the score. Mikey Myers starts to leave with them, but Jamie and Patrick stop him. With hands on his shoulders they tell him how proud they are. By the end of the beautiful speech tears are streaming down all their faces. “We obviously want you to help us, Mikey, but you have a gift.” They turn away ashamed, knowing deep down that selfishly they don’t want Mikey to come because this tour is the key to their Bad Movie Twins empire. LePumice taps his watch, indicating that it’s time to get their PT Cruise on, but as they head away from the pool they stop short at the sight of Future Mikey, dressed in the standard issue black suit of the time cops. They turn back and are aghast at the sight of another Future Mikey. “What thuuuuu…” Jamie says dumbly. That’s right! We’re going classic with Men in Black II. Hard to remember that this film was a critical failure at the time, but it did qualify. Good enough for us and our neverending Chain Reaction which takes us from Walking Tall to Men in Black II through Johnny Knoxville. Let’s go!

Men in Black II (2002) – BMeTric: 31.1; Notability: 129

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 22.4%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 35.3%; Higher BMeT: Crossroads, Rollerball, Halloween: Resurrection, The Master of Disguise, Feardotcom, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Boat Trip, Half Past Dead, The Sweetest Thing, Derailed, Scooby-Doo, Queen of the Damned, Swimfan, Maid in Manhattan, They, Full Frontal, The Truth About Charlie, Snow Dogs, The Tuxedo, and 36 more; Lower RT: Killing Me Softly, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Derailed, Hansel & Gretel, State Property, Ritual, Try Seventeen, Hard Cash, The Master of Disguise, Deuces Wild, Feardotcom, Half Past Dead, Rollerball, Darkness, Serving Sara, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, New Best Friend, Boat Trip, The New Guy, Dragonfly, and 64 more; Notes: Notability off the damn chart! See this is what I’m talking about. A 100+ Notability BMT qualifier? They literally barely exist!

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – Some sequels continue a story. Others repeat it. ”Men in Black II” creates a new threat for the MIB, but recycles the same premise, which is that mankind can defeat an alien invasion by assigning agents in Ray-Bans to shoot them into goo. This is a movie that fans of the original might enjoy in a diluted sort of way, but there is no need for it–except, of course, to take another haul at the box office, where the 1997 movie grossed nearly $600 million.

(Yeah, I do kind of remember the film was just kind of the same except with J and K just swapped since K lost his memory at the end of the first film. So that makes a lot of sense.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4NJHqoojOU/

(Yeah … odd trailer. You don’t see any of the actual bad guys from the movie. One good thing is they don’t spoil the big joke of the movie, so that’s nice. Still, how many aliens did you see in that trailer? Just the worms basically. Weird choice.)

DirectorsBarry Sonnenfeld – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; The Addams Family; Get Shorty; Addams Family Values; Big Trouble; Future BMT: RV; For Love or Money; BMT: Wild Wild West; Men in Black II; Nine Lives; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Wild Wild West in 2000; Notes: Won an Emmy for Pushing Daisies. He is directing television, specifically episodes of Schmigadoon! for which he is also a producer.)

WritersLowell Cunningham – ( Known For: Men in Black; Men in Black 3; Future BMT: Men in Black: International; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: Writer of the original comics which was published by Aircel Comics (which was later bought out by Malibu Comics which in turn was also bought out by Marvel Comics). There were, amazingly, only six issues ever published.)

Robert Gordon – ( Known For: Galaxy Quest; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Addicted to Love; Future BMT: Wonder Park; BMT: Men in Black II; Notes: He is tapped to write the upcoming Galaxy Quest TV movie … sequel? Remake? Hard to tell.)

Barry Fanaro – ( Known For: Kingpin; Future BMT: The Crew; BMT: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Men in Black II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2008; Notes: Was the executive producer and writer on The Golden Girls for its first four seasons for which he won four Emmys. He has apparently written five movies since 2009 which have been options, none of which, evidently, have ultimately been produced.)

ActorsTommy Lee Jones – ( Known For: No Country for Old Men; Captain America: The First Avenger; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Ad Astra; Jason Bourne; Lincoln; Men in Black 3; Natural Born Killers; JFK; Love Story; Small Soldiers; Under Siege; The Comeback Trail; Space Cowboys; Wander; In the Electric Mist; The Client; Volcano; The Homesman; Future BMT: U.S. Marshals; Criminal; Double Jeopardy; The Family; Blown Away; The Hunted; Man of the House; Rules of Engagement; Just Getting Started; Nate and Hayes; BMT: Batman Forever; Men in Black II; Mechanic: Resurrection; Fire Birds; Notes: Went to Harvard where he was roommates with Al Gore and was part of the undefeated 1968 football team.)

Will Smith – ( Known For: King Richard; Independence Day; Men in Black; Bad Boys for Life; I Am Legend; Enemy of the State; Aladdin; The Pursuit of Happyness; Ali; Bad Boys; Focus; Hancock; Men in Black 3; Bright; I, Robot; Hitch; Six Degrees of Separation; Concussion; Spies in Disguise; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Gemini Man; Shark Tale; Bad Boys II; Seven Pounds; Collateral Beauty; Made in America; BMT: Wild Wild West; After Earth; Men in Black II; Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh … well, you know Will Smith, Oscar Winner for King Richard. He somewhat notably (I’m not sure you would have heard this) was suspended from the Academy for slapping Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars. Little known fact.)

Rip Torn – ( Known For: Men in Black; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Hercules; Men in Black 3; Marie Antoinette; The Insider; Bee Movie; The Beastmaster; Wonder Boys; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Legend of Awesomest Maximus; King of Kings; Airplane II: The Sequel; Coma; Defending Your Life; Sweet Bird of Youth; How to Make an American Quilt; A Face in the Crowd; Canadian Bacon; Extreme Prejudice; Future BMT: Zoom; Down Periscope; Summer Rental; Senseless; City Heat; BMT: Men in Black II; Yours, Mine & Ours; Freddy Got Fingered; RoboCop 3; Welcome to Mooseport; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Freddy Got Fingered in 2002; Notes: Died in 2019. Somewhat sadly/amusingly he was arrested for robbing a bank, but in reality he was drunk and, since his residence was in the same building, he broke in merely thinking it was where he lived.)

Budget/Gross – $140,000,000 / Domestic: $193,735,288 (Worldwide: $445,135,288)

(Yeah maybe not what you want domestically after the first made about $50 million more and overall the first made over $100 million more. Still a decent blockbuster though. I imagine TLJ was the big sticking point since they eventually wrote him out of the series.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (76/197): Lacking the freshness of the first movie, MIB 2 recycles elements from its predecessor with mixed results.

(Yeah, there it is. Still a bit stunning at the drop from the prior installment. I just watched the original, it ain’t that good. And I imagine MIB II isn’t thaaaaaat much worse.)

Reviewer Highlight: After five years, the chemistry has curdled. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Poster – The Notorious MIB

(I like the stark black and white. Funny they brought back the weird egg chairs from the first one for this poster. It is certainly a distinctive scene, but not notable and I don’t think they ever show up again. Good font. Good poster. A-.)

Tagline(s) – Back in Black. (C-)

(I can’t be too hard on it. It’s short and honestly that’s where my mind would go too. Hard to shake the similarity between the words Black and Back and so I would be stuck making something like this too. Still, just not very good.)

Keyword(s) – alien

Top 10: Dune (2021), Eternals (2021), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Don’t Look Up (2021), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (2016), The Suicide Squad (2021), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 71.5 Supergirl (1984), 66.3 Max Steel (2016), 65.4 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 63.4 Meet Dave (2008), 61.1 Space Chimps (2008), 59.0 Suburban Commando (1991), 58.9 Apollo 18 (2011), 55.8 The Stupids (1996), 54.5 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Battleship (2012), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Pixels (2015), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Predator (2018), Species (1995), After Earth (2013), Men in Black II (2002), I Am Number Four (2011), Howard the Duck (1986), Jupiter Ascending (2015), Lost in Space (1998), Dragonball Evolution (2009), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Masters of the Universe (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Mac and Me (1988), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Battlefield Earth (2000), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Host (2013), Doom (2005), Dreamcatcher (2003), Skyline (2010), The Darkest Hour (2011), The Space Between Us (2017), Species II (1998), Alone in the Dark (2005), Virus (1999), Critters 2 (1988), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Escape from Planet Earth (2012), Wing Commander (1999), Meatballs Part II (1984)

Matches: Eternals (2021), The Fifth Element (1997), Venom (2018), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Man of Steel (2013), The Avengers (2012), Starship Troopers (1997), Captain Marvel (2019), Aliens (1986), Arrival (2016), Annihilation (2018), The Tomorrow War (2021), Transformers (2007), Independence Day (1996), A Quiet Place Part II (2020), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), The 5th Wave (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Cosmic Sin (2021), Green Lantern (2011), Oblivion (2013), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Thing (1982), War of the Worlds (2005), Mars Attacks! (1996), They Live (1988), Ender’s Game (2013), Men in Black: International (2019), The Faculty (1998), Galaxy Quest (1999), Megamind (2010), Power Rangers (2017), Men in Black 3 (2012), Krull (1983), Pixels (2015), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), The Watch (2012), Alien 3 (1992), Paul (2011), Riddick (2013), Lilo & Stitch (2002), We Can Be Heroes (2020), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Species (1995), Slither (2006), Men in Black II (2002), The Abyss (1989), Treasure Planet (2002), Alien: Resurrection (1997), I Am Number Four (2011), Predators (2010), Cocoon (1985), … (an many more)

(So many alien films. And I suppose amusingly since we did What Happens in Vegas last week that first movie in the Future BMT section (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas) also technically takes place in Vegas! The alien is the Great Gazoo, obviously the thing you want to bring to the Flintstones movie franchise is the huge mistake they introduced in like season 7 right before they got canceled. That makes sense.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tommy Lee Jones is No. 2 billed in Men in Black II and No. 3 billed in Mechanic: Resurrection, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – The original pug from Men in Black (1997) was used to play Frank again, but since the pug was now seven years old, they used makeup to hide the gray fur around its nose.

J’s line on the “driver airbag” (“Actually it came with a black dude, but he kept getting pulled over.”) was improvised by Will Smith. The producers liked it so much it even made the theatrical trailer.

Famke Janssen was originally cast as Serleena, and even completed some of the filming, but was forced to drop out of the project due to a death in her family. Lara Flynn Boyle was then cast in her place.

The extra head attached to Scrad is called a ‘symbiote,’ and was first developed in Men in Black: The Series (1997). It is the most obvious development of the animated series to be carried over into the movies.

Linda Fiorentino was originally intended to reprise her role as Agent L, before eventually being dropped from the script.

The children of the cast/crew make an appearance in the film: the little girl at the post office who wants to buy Rugrats (1991) stamps is Barry Sonnenfeld’s daughter Chloe Sonnenfeld.Tommy Lee Jones’s daughter appears in the film as the little girl in the apartment where J, K, and the worms acquire weaponry. and the two children who look up as the MiB car flies overhead are Will Smith’s kids.

Reputedly Jack Nicholson insisted on the casting of Lara Flynn Boyle. Sony were keen to get Nicholson for their Adam Sandler comedy “Anger Management”, and Flynn Boyle was Nicholson’s girlfriend at the time.

The beatboxing alien in the post office is played by the rapper Biz Markie, who also has a recurring role on the kid’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! also showing off his beatboxing talents

Barry Sonnenfeld took issue with the producers wanting to focus on the love story between Agent J and Laura: “I learned on Wild Wild West (1999) that audiences didn’t want to see Will Smith as the straight man. And until Tommy Lee Jones comes back into the movie, by definition, Will’s the straight man.”

The locker that holds the tiny aliens who worship K is numbered C18, the same number of the locker used in the film Get Shorty (1995) that contains the “dirty” money. Both films were directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

Though Linda Fiorentino’s character was prepped to co-anchor in the sequel alongside Will Smith, it has been reported that Tommy Lee Jones only agreed to return under the direct stipulation that Fiorentino wasn’t invited back.

Fire Island Lighthouse, New York, serves as a stand-in for the Truro, Massachusetts, Post Office.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Lara Flynn Boyle, 2003)

What Happens in Vegas Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the future, because What Happens in Vegas should have been named What Happens when Skynet Writes a Rom Com Script. Thank you. It is as generic a Rom Com as you’ll find anywhere, so rife with cliche that it made me wonder whether it was the film that launched a thousand listicles about generic Rom Coms. Just to recount a few of the many tropes. Diaz has the visually distinct job of working the floor of the Stock Exchange; both Diaz and Kutcher have hilarious best friends (and Zach Galifianakis is added later just for funsies); the very unlikely meet cute happens when Diaz and Kutcher are mistakenly booked into the same room at Vegas; we can’t just have Diaz and Kutcher drunkenly marry each other, they have to also win a big Vegas jackpot, go to court to split the winnings, and get sentenced to “try to make their marriage work” at therapy; they hate each other; or do they?; they don’t, in fact they love each other. The end. I think the only thing it really lacked was Diaz and Kutcher finding out that their respective best friends who hate each other in fact love each other and have been sleeping together. Or wait… did that happen? I can’t remember because all the cliches are mixing around in my head.

After that long paragraph you probably think I hated this film. Not true. I thought the film was quite dumb, but there is also a reason why all this stuff has worked over and over again for decades. It is enjoyable to watch two charming people fall in love. Also a bit refreshing that they are never actively bad people. In fact they are generally pleasant people and you really do start rooting for them to be with each other. Why not? They are hot and pleasant. Be hot and pleasant together.

I’m gonna do a quick game I just made up called What Would I Change. So what would I change? Fine, you don’t want Diaz and Kutcher’s best friends to fall in love? I get it, they are more fun as frenemies and in a weird way it would be like cousins kissing. Just too similar. But what about expanding Galifianakis’ role? It already seemed like they originally got him for a scene but then liked him so much they had him show up a couple more times. So let’s just make him Kutcher’s roommate. Plays nicely as a way for Kutcher to originally try to sabotage the marriage. He refuses to kick out his deadbeat roommate even after Diaz moves in. What does Diaz do in response? She gets a third roommate and has her move into Kutcher’s woodworking studio. Uh oh! But egad, the weirdo she gets to sabotage the marriage falls for Galifianakis and soon they sit down Diaz and Kutcher to tell them they have to move out because they need their own space for their love to grow. Awwwww. 

All in all not a bad film. Just a dumb one. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What Happens in Vegas? More like That Film was a D+! Remember back, young children, to an age where romantic comedies were released to theaters with the thinnest of tissue thin plots. Let’s go!

  • Wait … is this movie good? Why is it that this cycle in particular seems to be giving us oh so many at-least-okay films? I have a theory (I know you want to hear it). The cycle is very very specific. We are requiring a film to star a notable rapper and we aren’t allowing ourselves to double up. And when you get that specific (our old M.O. really) you end up having to choose a lot of borderline films. Et voila! Les films, ils sont bons!
  • In reality the film has a stacked supporting cast (Zach Galifianakis, Lake Bell, and Rob Corrdry) who are all laugh-out-loud funny at different moments. And Diaz, as usual, is a charmer. I don’t think Kutcher’s man-child schtick works here, but I get what he’s going for and the concluding scene is genuinely emotional.
  • Is it the funniest film I’ve ever seen? No. But I laughed a few times. That is above average for BMT. One laugh is like … an okay BMT film. More than one is a genuine anomaly.
  • Oh, and the films premise. Dare I say that it works? A light coincidence in our leads being booked into the same room in Vegas. And just merely-odd that the wacky Dennis Miller decides that these two people just must stay married for six months.
  • Enough about what worked in this film. Let’s leave it on a sour note. The entire middle of this film is a pretty unnecessary sequence of the two leads very half-heartedly trying to get the other to botch the marriage. It never even gets close to working. They should have definitely thought of a better way to punch that up.
  • Hey an A+ Product Placement (What?) for Vegas! It really is a giant advertisement for it at one point. And hey, an A+ Setting (Where?) for Vegas! Although the film mostly takes place in NYC. Ooooooh, and a great MacGuffin (Why?) for the $3 million waiting for those who can merely live in holy matrimony for six months. Closest to Good easily, the film is kind of funny, especially Corrdry.

One again, check out my sequel idea (What Happens in Vegas 2: Baby Boom) in the Quiz. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

What Happens in Vegas Quiz

Oh man, guess what? I go suuuuuuuper drunk in Vegas and … what? No I’m already married. I was just going to say I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in What Happens in Vegas?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The heroes of our story just have a no good terrible week prior to heading off to Sin City. What happens to both of them that makes them want to get away?

2) In Vegas how do Diaz and Kutcher meet that results in them having a craaaaaazy time in Vegas?

3) How much money do the two (now married) lovebirds win at the slots in Vegas which causes a bit of an issue with them getting an annulment back in NYC?

4) Over the next six months they both try and make each other’s lives hell. Specifically though they try and get the other to cheat on them since that is easiest. What things do each of them do to achieve this goal?

5) How many lighthouses are there 30 miles east of the city according to Ashton Kutcher? Which one was Cameron Diaz waiting at?

Bonus Question: After a nice bloopie reel the movie reopens on Vegas to a flashback to the night Diaz and Kutcher got married. What else happened that night?

Answers

What Happens in Vegas Preview

“Ninubus! Not I, not you, but us. The living vampiiiire,” croons little Mikey Myers. Jamie and Patrick are stunned. Here they are with years of professional dance experience under their belts and yet they can only attempt to follow Mikey sinuous dance moves that have left the arena in an exultant trance. Is this why he was such a big fan of the band? He too dreamed of fame on the big stage? They all pile down the stairs to the green room after the show, sweat coursing rivulets down their glistening chests. “My god, Mikey!” screams teen heartthrob Jamie. Tears are brimming in his bloodshot eyes and teen heartthrob Patrick is already weeping. “It was beautiful,” he mutters, “I now understand art. You are art.” Ty and Parsons are already deep into writing the next album in the corner, having been inspired by Mikey’s majestic tunes. “Gee,” Mikey says embarrassed, “I was just being me. You really think I can join?” Teen heartthrob Jamie and Patrick chuckle and shake their heads. “No, we’re done with this life. We’re thinking more of a manager role in the next iteration of the band. We have an idea for a website and we need just a little more capital to get it off the ground.” They wink at each other and Jamie and Patrick know exactly what that website might be. Ty and Parsons come over and each put an arm around Mikey’s shoulder. “We’re also thinking of a name change. What do you think about Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes?” Mikey blushes again, “Geeee.” Looks like Jamie and Patrick’s work here is done, but before they go teen heartthrob Jamie and Patrick ask them if they might want to stay on. At least for the next stop on the tour. That’s right! We’re watching What Happens in Vegas. It’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl are forced by the court system to try to work it all out (for love). Classic. Let’s go! 

What Happens in Vegas (2008) – BMeTric: 30.7; Notability: 43

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 24.0%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.1%; Higher BMeT: Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, The Hottie & the Nottie, The Love Guru, Prom Night, One Missed Call, Superhero Movie, The Spirit, Zombie Strippers!, The Happening, College Road Trip, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, 10,000 BC, An American Carol, Meet Dave, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, College, Space Chimps, First Sunday, Witless Protection, and 40 more; Higher Notability: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Eagle Eye, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, New York, I Love You, Miracle at St. Anna, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Meet Dave, Jumper, Bedtime Stories, Drillbit Taylor, Semi-Pro, An American Carol, The Love Guru, The Happening, Superhero Movie, Seven Pounds, Made of Honor, 10,000 BC, Four Christmases, Max Payne, and 13 more; Lower RT: One Missed Call, House, Surfer, Dude, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Strange Wilderness, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Witless Protection, College, The Accidental Husband, The Hottie & the Nottie, Babylon A.D., Prom Night, Bangkok Dangerous, 10,000 BC, Shutter, Hell Ride, Fool’s Gold, Deception, First Sunday, and 34 more; Notes: Clawing its way back to 6.0 which isn’t so bad. Not so bad at all. The Notability is pretty high I think for a comedy, probably a testament to the stacked cast.

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Super-organized Diaz, dumped by her fiance, and irresponsible Jutcher, fired by his father from the family business, both seek escape in Las Vegas – and wind up married to one another after a drunken evening. But dissolving the union becomes a challenge when a judge orders them to live together for six months. About what you’d expect, especially as the duo engage in dirty tricks, but as the film goes on it becomes more benign and entertaining – boosted by the two stars’ engaging personalities.

(Sounds about right. I think most bad reviews seem to be very focused on how trite the whole concept is and how the film really brings nothing new to the table.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsO3PfQiXy8/

(Man they should have left out the judge part of it. Without that the film kind of makes sense. With it it ends up just teetering off the edge of a farce. What kind of judge would want to deal with some annulment nonsense 6 months later? It doesn’t make sense, just split the money and annul the marriage, simple.)

DirectorsTom Vaughan – ( Known For: Starter for 10; Some Kind of Beautiful; Extraordinary Measures; So Undercover; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; Notes: He’s been doing a lot of television, like The Flight Attendant recently. He had a very brief foray into features.)

WritersDana Fox – ( Known For: The Lost City; Cruella; How to Be Single; Isn’t It Romantic; The Wedding Date; Future BMT: Couples Retreat; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; Notes: Apparently she was tapped to punch up Knight and Day because of this film, recommended by Diaz herself, but she didn’t receive credit.)

ActorsCameron Diaz – ( Known For: Shrek; Shrek 2; Gangs of New York; Shrek the Third; The Mask; Minority Report; There’s Something About Mary; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Being John Malkovich; Shrek Forever After; The Holiday; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Charlie’s Angels; Knight and Day; Bad Teacher; Annie; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; In Her Shoes; The Box; Any Given Sunday; Future BMT: Sex Tape; The Other Woman; The Counselor; Slackers; BMT: Vanilla Sky; The Sweetest Thing; What Happens in Vegas; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2015 for Sex Tape, and The Other Woman; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for What Happens in Vegas in 2009; Nominee for Worst Actress for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Annie in 2015; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Sex Tape in 2015; Notes: Y’all know Diaz. Famously broke her nose surfing and that is why she got a nose job. She stopped acting in 2014 to pursue health science ventures.)

Ashton Kutcher – ( Known For: No Strings Attached; Annie; Spread; Guess Who; Open Season; A Lot Like Love; Coming Soon; Bobby; Personal Effects; Future BMT: The Butterfly Effect; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Just Married; Reindeer Games; My Boss’s Daughter; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Killers; New Year’s Eve; Valentine’s Day; What Happens in Vegas; The Guardian; Jobs; Down to You; Texas Rangers; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2011 for Killers, and Valentine’s Day; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2004 for Cheaper by the Dozen, Just Married, and My Boss’s Daughter; and in 2014 for Jobs; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for What Happens in Vegas in 2009; Notes: He’s pretty much stopped acting interestingly. I think it is because he’s a genuinely successful venture capitalist maybe? That and he’s started a family with Mila Kunis.)

Rob Corddry – ( Known For: The Way Way Back; Hot Tub Time Machine; Old School; Pain & Gain; Blades of Glory; Warm Bodies; Semi-Pro; Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; The Layover; W.; Shimmer Lake; Office Christmas Party; Arthur and the Invisibles; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; Muppets Most Wanted; How to Be a Latin Lover; Hot Tub Time Machine 2; The Winning Season; Butter; In a World…; Future BMT: Sex Tape; The Heartbreak Kid; BMT: Failure to Launch; What Happens in Vegas; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Escape from Planet Earth; Unaccompanied Minors; Notes: Still working. He was one of the more notable Daily Show correspondents back in that show’s true heyday. Won four Emmys for Children’s Hospital.)

Budget/Gross – $35,000,000 / Domestic: $80,277,646 (Worldwide: $219,375,562)

(That is solid as a rock. Which I suppose maybe explains why Kutcher and Diaz remained staples of the rom coms of that era.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (34/133): What Happens in Vegas has a few laughs, but mostly settles for derivative romantic comedy conventions and receives little help from a pair of unlikable leads.

(A few laughs? So a few more than most bad comedies? So … it’s a okay comedy? A bad comedy has like … one laugh. An okay one a handful. What or we, just picking laughs off the laugh tree?)

Reviewer Highlight: We all know what happens in Vegas — and we know, without having to watch it, what happens in this movie. – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Poster – What Sklogs in Vegas

(Noooooo. The dreaded white background and lack of color scheme. It’s horrible. Get it out of here… funny font, though. So appreciate that. D)

Tagline(s) – Get Lucky. (B-)

(Meh. Playing on Vegas, which you kinda have to do. Even though it’s not the point of the film, it’s still the point of the film… you know? A little clever, I guess.)

Keyword(s) – newlywed or las-vegas

Top 10: Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Shrek 2 (2004), Beetlejuice (1988), True Romance (1993), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Identity (2003), Groundhog Day (1993), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Disturbia (2007)

Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 69.0 Showgirls (1995), 56.1 Shutter (2008), 39.9 The Heartbreak Kid (2007), 38.6 Play It to the Bone (1999), 36.1 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), 35.0 Vegas Vacation (1997), 32.7 Indecent Proposal (1993), 31.3 Lucky You (2007), 18.6 Awake (2007)

BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), Maximum Overdrive (1986), What Happens in Vegas (2008), Over the Top (1987), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

Matches: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), What Happens in Vegas (2008), The Heartbreak Kid (2007), 13 Cameras (2015), Best Man Down (2012), Broken Vows (2014), Arthur Newman (2012), Lovely Molly (2011), Carnage (1984), Honeymoon Horror (1982), Prisoners of Inertia (1989), 21 (2008), The Hangover (2009), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Con Air (1997), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Showgirls (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Indecent Proposal (1993), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Smokin’ Aces (2006), Mars Attacks! (1996), Vegas Vacation (1997), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Wild Card (2015), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Bugsy (1991), The Cooler (2003), Last Vegas (2013), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015), One from the Heart (1981), The Trust (2016), Lucky You (2007), Play It to the Bone (1999), Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), Station to Station (2021), Delusion (1991), Weedjies: Halloweed Night (2019), Diamonds and Guns (2008), Three Corners of Deception (2021), Las Vegas Vietnam: The Movie (2019), The Garlock Incident (2012), Deadly Rhapsody (2001), Desert Steel (1994), Ride Me (1994), Sawgrass (2019)

(C-c-c-c-c-c-combo keyword. Look at that sweet one. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which movies are newlywed movies and which Vegas movies. Is Rock Vegas the same as Las Vegas? I’m skeptical.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rob Corddry is No. 3 billed in What Happens in Vegas and No. 3 billed in Escape from Planet Earth, which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 3) + (2 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Annie, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Diaz and Kutcher stated in a post-production interview that they were actually drunk during the wedding scene in order to make it look realistic and their erratic behavior caused the scene to be filmed multiple times. An video of the outtakes was available online, but Fox blocked it due to copyright infringement.

According to Rob Corddry, Ashton Kutcher slapped him in the face during his audition even though it was not scripted.

Joy’s party trick was performed by Cameron Diaz in another movie – Charlie’s Angel’s: Full Throttle during the recovery of the Halo rings.

The lobby of their hotel is the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The view from their room places them in the northern most part of the building with a view of the Paris and Caesars Palace.

Rob Corddry’s character is a lawyer who mentions community college early on in the film. A year later, Corddry would go on to play a lawyer again in the NBC sitcom Community, set in a community college.

The nameplate of the divorce judge in the court reads “Honor the whopper” (Hon. R. D. Whopper)

In a flashback in a scene during end credits, the protagonists are shown getting married in Las Vegas. In an additional scene, we see Tipper (Lake Bell) punching Mason (Jason Sudeikis) in the groin.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Cameron Diaz, 2009)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, 2009)

Bones (2001) Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the Bones Zone where I’m prepared to talk about all things Bones. So let’s get going. Fact number 1: *checks notes* Bones is a film that I watched. And thank you, that’s all I got. I have already forgotten the details of Bones but it’s a fun enough cheapo horror film. Definitely different than the typical fare given the concept. A bunch of musicians buy a house that unbeknownst to them was where a numbers runner, Jimmy Bones, was murdered. They try to open a nightclub there and inadvertently raise Bones from the dead and he goes around killing those that wronged him in the past and then other people to gain his evil strength. You see? Definitely different. It just didn’t really have the means to make it actually good.

For example, there are a number of cheapo horror films that I love. Night of the Demons, Pumpkinhead, Basket Case, etc. What made those stand out? They are highly original and also actually creepy. They use whatever means they have available to bring the horror to life. This is certainly a unique viewpoint for a horror film, but seems more inspired by Halloween 5 or something. It also had some of the worst old person makeup that I can remember. Which is a pretty big deal when you are in a genre that is known for some dope special effects. Like how can you even think about being in the same genre as something like The Thing while just caking a guy in plaster and saying that he’s old now? Anyway, it’s by no means a bad movie, but also not a cult classic like I was led to believe by some very reputable sources (read: wikipedia). But maybe I’m being a little too harsh because I like watching horror films and was kinda excited for this one. 

So I said this was a pretty original film and that’s true as you don’t get a blaxploitation inspired horror film every day, but that’s not the only thing that clearly inspired this film. I love weird connections so I thought I’d detail the obvious, the maybe not so obvious, and the awesome inspirations for this film:

The Obvious –  Amityville Horror. This is a haunted house film at heart but this takes it even a step further in the visual look of the house involved. Amityville Horror made a lot out of the general creepy, face-like house heavily used in its poster. Guess what this house looked like? 

The Maybe Not So Obvious – Hellraiser. This was actually the first film that came to mind as I watched it. We have an evil spirit that gains strength as people are murdered and his ghost/dog consumes the flesh and blood. You even see him come back to like in a very similar way, from skeleton on up.

The Awesome – I’ve always loved the idea of weird, unexpected adaptations. Add this to the pile cause this junk is Julius Caesar. We have Bones ruling the roost until he is betrayed by his supposed friends and stabbed to death. We even have Bones’ gf trying to persuade him not to go to the meeting due to a premonition, just like in the play. And just like in this film Julius Caesar came back to life and murdered everyone in a nightclub… right?

Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Bones (2001)? Wait … 2001? Were we not doing all 12 seasons of the television series Bones from 2005 starring Emily Deschanel as the titular Bones? I watched 245 episodes of David Boreanaz for nothing?! Let’s get into it!

  • Naw I was joking, I’ve never seen an episode of the show Bones … although given by love for Psych, Muder She Wrote, and other cheesy murder mystery shows I’m sure I would love it.
  • Bones, what is there to say about Bones … literally what is there to say? The film is somewhat of an enigma. A Blaxploitation-style Haunted House movie. Can you name another film like it? The closest I can really get is something like Candyman where they took urban legend themed slashers into housing projects.
  • Snoop Dogg is a terrible actor, but I can forgive him for that since he isn’t an actor. I liked Pam Greer.
  • Oh, the film does have bar none the worst makeup I’ve ever seen. The anti-Norbit. You have to see this shit, there is a character where they are trying to age him up, but instead of just putting some white hair on his temples they decide to put him in a terrible fat suit … it is a very distracting and perplexing decision.
  • Perplexing is also how I would describe the main character’s decision to buy a decrepit building and make it into a nightclub and, seemingly, open that night club within a month of buying a decrepit building full of rats. The party looked kind of fun I suppose, although they were just serving pizza on paper plates and stuff? Odd choice for a night club. Then again, I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a real nightclub. Is that a thing? Just ordering a mess of za to the club?
  • Man, turns out I had a lot to say about Bones, except I barely talked about it still somehow. A run of the mill haunted house film with some bad looking 70s flashbacks concerning crack flooding into American cities. I’m not at all surprised it got terrible reviews since it is a bad horror film.
  • I’m honestly at a bit of a loss for any superlatives I could throw its way, because it isn’t really set anywhere, and the people aren’t really looking for anything (except a good time at a party house). Closest to Bad, just for its terrible fat suit and makeup on the police officer.

I’m going to leave it there. Look for the sequel plan in the Quiz as usual. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Bones (2001) Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I bought a decrepit old building which was haunted by a spooky ghost. Obviously, while I was throwing my huge rager in my borderline-condemned fire hazard of a building he popped out and just bopped me on the head! Now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Bones (2001)?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film some real jabronis come into the “bad part of town” to get something. What were they looking to buy (before getting killed by Bones)?

2) Bones can turn into an animal, what animal?

3) Why does Patrick buy the old decrepit building, what is his job and his friends/brothers jobs?

4) So … back in the 70s who killed Bones and why?

5) And who is Bones wreaking vengeance on when he returns (before being vanquished by Patrick and Pam Grier) and why?

Bonus Question: In a mid-credits scene Cynthia has a dream. Who does she dream of and what is she told?

Answers

Bones (2001) Preview

LePumice pushes the cart full of acid washed denim toward the main gates of the stadium. Sweat is beading on his forehead and he whispers quietly to the hidden Jamie and Patrick, “You guys sure this is going to work?” Patrick assures him that it will. They know PaJama ParTy’s biggest weakness was their shopaholism. “We were what the kids call ‘clothes horses.’ We had to have a metric ton of denim freshly acid washed for every show,” Patrick recalls fondly. As they get closer they hear a gruff voice. “You there, stop, what do you think you’re doing?” LePumice looks on the verge of bolting but stands his ground. A security guard looks suspiciously at the crate of denim. “Aren’t you going to take this other crate, too? Or are you just gonna leave it for me?” The guard points at another nearby crate. Phew. “Wait a second,” the guard says, suspicion aglow once again in his eyes, “This is a mighty large amount of freshly acid washed denim for just one show, isn’t it? They usually only need half this much.” Patrick and Jamie hold their breath in anticipation. What will LePumice come up with? “Right… uh, but it’s pretty steamy out here tonight so they are anticipating they’ll be sweating through double the number of jorts.” They let out a collective breath. Clever. And indeed the guard dabs his head and agrees that they don’t make jorts like they used to. Once inside LePumice hurries to the nearby wardrobe room before his legs give out. Patrick leaps out of the crate, but before he reaches the door Jamie stops him. “Wait, something… something is off,” he thinks for a moment, “I don’t know what it is, but something is different. I can feel it in my bones.” That’s right! We are watching Bones! (“What’s that?” all our loyal readers say at once) You don’t know what that is? Why it’s the cult classic Snoop Dogg horror film from the early 2000s… … … you know what it really doesn’t matter. We’re watching it anyway. Let’s go!

Bones (2001) – BMeTric: 56.5; Notability: 29

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 6.4%; Notability: top 28.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 23.0%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Valentine, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Monkeybone, The Musketeer, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Wedding Planner, Bones; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, The One, Town & Country, The Affair of the Necklace, Scary Movie 2, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Texas Rangers, Joe Dirt, and 52 more; Lower RT: Nobody’s Baby, Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Joe Dirt, Head Over Heels, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, Freddy Got Fingered, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, The Musketeer, Perfume, Double Take, Valentine, and 35 more; Notes: Actually a really solid BMeTric and Notability for a film I basically never heard of. Probably a testament to the BMeTric where you can find sub-5.0 films with <10K votes and it registers so high. Just saying.

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tow young suburban brothers (in both senses) buy a dilapidated ghetto brownstone in hopes of turning it into a trendy nightspot … but their entrepreneur father is panicked about the house’s sinister history and his own participation in the 1979 slaying of its original owner (Dogg), who’s now a ghost. If grossness makes you giggle, this speedy junk has a few grotesque jolts, plus the sight of still-shapely Grier to keep your own dad’s heart beating adequately.

(“Who’s now a ghost”? I’m in. Just such a funny line. If you remove just that bit you would never know that Snoop Dogg is even really in the film, it would just sound like an odd murder mystery or true crime thriller or something.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z8Srxaoi48/

(Oh boy, the style of this film is something else. It also is mind blowing that this trailer from 2001 is in 4:3 format. It is an interesting haunted house idea, feels like they were trying to go for Candyman but just went a bit cheap.)

DirectorsErnest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Double Play; Ambushed; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Surviving the Game; Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; BMT: Bulletproof; Bones; Never Die Alone; Notes: A frequent Cinematographer for Spike Lee, he was the first African-American member of the American Society of Cinematographers.)

WritersAdam Simon – ( Known For: Books of Blood; Brain Dead; Carnosaur; BMT: The Haunting in Connecticut; Bones; Notes: In writing Shadowman which is about a possessed Jazz musician based on a Valiant Comics character, which is kind of cool.)

Tim Metcalfe – ( Known For: Revenge of the Nerds; Kalifornia; Fright Night Part 2; Higher Ground; Three for the Road; Killer: A Journal of Murder; Iron Maze; Future BMT: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise; Million Dollar Mystery; BMT: The Haunting in Connecticut; Bones; Notes: Most of his credits have to do with writing the original Revenge of the Nerds film. He evidently because Simon’s writing partner later on, and hasn’t written anything since 2011.)

ActorsSnoop Dogg – ( Known For: Training Day; Pitch Perfect 2; The Addams Family; The Beach Bum; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; Starsky & Hutch; Baby Boy; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run; Dolemite Is My Name; Turbo; Future World; Trouble; Arthur et la vengeance de Maltazard; The Big Bang; Mac & Devin Go to High School; Pauly Shore Is Dead; Hood of Horror; Ride; Falling Up; Singh Is King; Future BMT: The Addams Family 2; Half Baked; Malibu’s Most Wanted; Arthur and the Invisibles; Soul Plane; Racing Stripes; Meet the Blacks; The Wash; I Got the Hook Up; Caught Up; BMT: Scary Movie V; Bones; Notes: Y’all know Snoop Dogg. Killed it at the Superbowl this year and notably (and briefly) changed his name to Snoop Lion at one point.)

Pam Grier – ( Known For: Jackie Brown; Mars Attacks!; The Vindicator; Escape from L.A.; Holy Smoke; The Man with the Iron Fists; Foxy Brown; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Above the Law; Something Wicked This Way Comes; Coffy; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; The Package; Class of 1999; The Big Bird Cage; The Arena; The Big Doll House; ‘Sheba, Baby’; Just Wright; Women in Cages; Future BMT: Jawbreaker; Snow Day; Larry Crowne; Poms; Posse; The Allnighter; In Too Deep; BMT: Ghosts of Mars; The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Bones; Notes: Was a major blaxploitation actress of the 70s, and then famously starred in Jackie Brown a homage to that era. Was diagnosed with cancer in 1988, but survived.)

Michael T. Weiss – ( Known For: Ordinary People; Freeway; Jeffrey; Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby; Confessions of an Action Star; Until the Night; Iowa; Net Worth; BMT: Sex and the City 2; Bones; Notes: Mostly does voice work these days and apparently is a personal trainer to other actors as well.)

Budget/Gross – $16,000,000 / Domestic: $7,316,658 (Worldwide: $8,378,853)

(Disastrous, but I’m also highly skeptical of that budget. It seems unlikely they forked over $15 million+ for a haunted house film starring notable non-actor Snoop Dogg.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (18/71): Slow to start, the sleek looking Bones is more silly than scary.

(At least it is sleek looking though. That seems somewhat promising.)

Reviewer Highlight: A garish, grotesque slab of silliness drowned in bloody visual effects overkill with an end result that is more horrible than horrific. – Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter

Poster – Boners

(I dig it. I think the only odd thing about it is that they treat Snoop Dogg like he’s a) the star of the film and b) the equivalent of Kevin Costner in star power. But the color is nice, the font is cool and sure, Snoop Dogg is the draw here. B+)

Tagline(s) – This Halloween, unleash the Dogg. (C+)

(I guess a play on unleash the hounds. That’s a phrase, right? Or is it release the hounds? I’m not sure it matters because this is a weird tagline. Short and going for something, but not good.)

Keyword(s) – blaxploitation

Top 10: Django Unchained (2012), Black Panther (2018), Jackie Brown (1997), Candyman (2021), Boyz n the Hood (1991), Black and Blue (2019), Straight Outta Compton (2015), Black Snake Moan (2006), The Last Dragon (1985), The First Purge (2018)

Future BMT: 48.5 Pootie Tang (2001), 42.6 Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003), 37.8 Action Jackson (1988), 29.1 Waist Deep (2006), 25.3 Breakin’ (1984)

BMT: Shaft (2019), Alex Cross (2012), Proud Mary (2018), Steel (1997), Bones (2001), Never Die Alone (2004)

Matches: Dolemite Is My Name (2019), I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), The Hebrew Hammer (2003), Naked Acts (1996), Willa Mae, the Church Lady Vampire Slayer (2009)

(Interesting that it pretty much died after the mid-90s right after on of the better examples of blaxploitation homage in Jackie Brown. Alex Cross isn’t blaxploitation though, so I’m also a bit skeptical of the keyword in general.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Pam Grier is No. 2 billed in Bones and No. 5 billed in Ghosts of Mars, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 5) + (3 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – This was the first time where Snoop Dogg and Pam Grier collaborated together on film – they have done music videos since 1993.

Snoop Dogg and Pam Grier play lovers who are supposed to be the same age. In reality, Grier was born in 1949 and Snoop Dogg was born in 1971 (a 22-year age difference).

Ernest Dickerson’s original cut was structured more like a classical horror movie. The movie was meant to be slow build but the studio wanted a more modern approach.

Mindhunters Quiz

Oh man, so get this. I was on my normal Spring retreat with my FBI serial killer profiler buddies, when I was guzzling some drugged coffee and fell asleep. I don’t remember a thing now! Do you remember what happened in Mindhunters?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) In the beginning of the film we see two of our profilers enter a super creepy house. How do they know this is the house they are looking for, and why do they go in without backup?

2) LL Cool J is a detective who is going to observe the exercise on the island. Where does he work and why is he going along? 

3) What is the MO of the fictional (?) killer The Puppeteer? And how does Christian Slater die? 

4) There are a few more deaths. How did they occur? As many as you can.

5) It gets a bit confusing now, but who was the killer and why?

Bonus Question: In a mid-credits tease for a sequel we see Sara Moore back home recovering from her ordeals when she receives a call. From whom?

Answers