Norbit Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the fourth in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Norbit (2007) – BMeTric: 81.2

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(Sweet 2011 inflection. It is definitely a strong trend. Yet again, despite thousands and thousands of votes coming it the movie’s rating doesn’t regress to the mean. It is generally unusual, but three out of the four Hall of Fame movies exhibit this unusual trend. Old Dogs was the only exception which is also very interesting. I suppose as a fairly innocuous family comedy it managed to evade the bad movie cultists that surround the more popular fair.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – As in Coming to America and the Nutty Professor vehicles Murphy plays several characters: Norbit a meek young man brought up by Chinese restaurant owner Mr. Wong and stuck in a terrifying marriage with the hideously overweight Rasputia. All three are in search of a script. Murphy shows his comedic range but is let down by the material, which includes all of the fat jokes the writers (including Murphy his brother Charles) could come up with. Prophetic ad line for the movie asked, “Have You Ever Made a Really Bad Mistake?”

(I like the idea of Murphy getting all pissed about the writers failing to live up to his comic genius and then realizing that he wrote the movie. I’m also genuinely shocked Mr. Wong’s mind-blowing racism isn’t mentioned alongside the (seemingly) unlimited store of fat jokes the Murphy brothers could muster. I’m skeptical Leonard watched this film … this review is low on detes. I’m onto you Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmSZJ17ppEQ

(So she punches him in the face and she throws him through a window in the trailer. This trailer is aggressive, it is in your face. They use that song Don’t Cha by the Pussy Cat Dolls like five times. I don’t like the trailer, it hints that it might be the worst thing you’ve ever seen … but it does manage to hide the fact that the movie is more horror film than comedy. So congrats.)

Directors – Brian Robbins – (Known For: Varsity Blues; BMT: Norbit (BMT); The Shaggy Dog; Meet Dave; Ready to Rumble; Good Burger; The Perfect Score; A Thousand Words (BMT); Hard Ball; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Director for Norbit; Good Burger?! Say What? He was a main character on the show Head of the Class appearing in all 114 episodes. He got his start directing with Kenan & Kel and Good Burger, and many Murphy projects. He is also an extremely accomplished producer in both television and streaming services.)

Writers – Eddie Murphy (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop II; Boomerang; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; Another 48 Hrs.; Harlem Nights (BMT); Notes: See below for Razzie Notes; He doesn’t write as many of his starring roles than I personally would have expected. He didn’t seem very enthused about directing with Harlem Nights, so maybe he’d rather riff on screen and doesn’t really care to write? He hadn’t done it in years before Norbit (1995 was his last feature prior to Norbit in 2007).)

Charlie Murphy (screenplay & story) (as Charles Murphy) – (BMT: Norbit (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Norbit; Funny he was going by Charles Murphy … perhaps this suggests the screenplay was written long before the movie came out? Chappelle’s Show was in 2003-2006, and at that point he would have been far more well known as Charlie Murphy. Perhaps he got credited from an original draft written years before. It also perhaps resolves the curiosity that Eddie Murphy seemingly didn’t write a movie for all those years … huh, this movie was probably written in like 2000 wasn’t it?)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (screenplay) – (Known For: Guess Who; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; I Spy; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Norbit; The writers for the upcoming Baywatch adaptation (the trailer looks pretty funny). These guys’ filmography make me a bit skeptical, but maybe they are punch-up artists? … I was just thinking that maybe they are like Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon … who it turns out also wrote Baywatch. Two other dudes got final credit. Yeah, Baywatch clearly fired those two writing teams during production. Wow.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Shrek; Shrek 2; Shrek the Third; Mulan; Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop; Trading Places; Dreamgirls; Tower Heist; Shrek Forever After; Beverly Hills Cop II; 48 Hrs.; Doctor Dolittle; The Nutty Professor; Life; Dr. Dolittle 2; Bowfinger; Boomerang; Imagine That; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Pluto Nash (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child (BMT); A Thousand Words (BMT); The Distinguished Gentleman; Harlem Nights (BMT); Notes: See below for Razzie notes; There isn’t much more to say about Murphy. He is both a legend in his own right, and a BMT legend. Since maybe 2000 his legacy has been marred by poorly reviewed films, bitterness, and poor public relations. The thing recently I remember was his awkward appearance at the SNL 40 celebrations.)

Thandie Newton – (Known For: Crash; RocknRolla; The Pursuit of Happyness; Mission: Impossible II; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; W.; Run Fatboy Run; Beloved; Vanishing on 7th Street; BMT: Norbit (BMT); The Truth About Charlie; 2012 (BMT); Good Deeds; For Colored Girls; Jefferson in Paris; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; The Young Americans; The Chronicles of Riddick; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actress for Mission: Impossible II; Actually has an incredible filmography, including the recent HBO smash hit Westworld. Grew up in England and her accent limited her early work. She is vegan, and was even named the Sexiest Vegan of 2014!)

Terry Crews – (seen in Scary Movie 5, The Ridiculous 6, White Chicks, The Benchwarmers, Gamer, The Single Moms Club, The Expendables 3, Blended … that’s more than Neil McDonough!)

Eddie Murphy Razzie Cred – Won the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Won the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress for Norbit; Won the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Director and Screenplay for Norbit; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Actor for A Thousand Words; in 2010 for Imagine That; in 2009 for Meet Dave; and in 2003 for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, and Showtime; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Screen Couple for Meet Dave; in 2008 for Norbit; in 2003 for Showtime, I Spy, The Adventures of Pluto Nash;

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $95,673,607 (Worldwide: $159,313,561)

(That’s actually not that bad. Looking through his boxofficemojo he had had bombs before, and I remember comments surrounding The Haunted Mansion, Daddy Day Care, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash concerning his turn in quality. But I also remember that it wasn’t really until Meet Dave that faith was completely lost. That completely bombed and it was then three years before Tower Heist was supposed to get him back into the comedy game. We’ll see about the new Beverly Hills Cop I suppose.)

#11 for the Comedy – Fat Suit genre

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(Better than Big Momma’s House 2 and Big Momma Like Father Like Son. Only a shade below the original Big Momma’s House as well. Obviously a major player in the genre, Eddie Murphy was a trailblazer with the Nutty Professor franchise. Is it crazy to say that this movie marked the end of the Fat Suit Era of Hollywood? I can think of two reasons why. First, the genre is garbage. Second, they can kind of pull it off with cheaper CGI it seems (see Central Intelligence).)

#29 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(Man … the romcom genre kind of sucks. No joke, there are like 300 films in this list and the 31st is Sex in the City 2. Gross. Once again this graphic is interesting. Such a major genre you can kind of see Hollywood grow through the 90s and reach saturation in about 2000 and then it just holds steady. Nothing really causes the fall. The movies just seem to consistently not make money. Thinking of a 2000 theater release $24K per theater is $50 million dollars. Since the 80’s only 80 or so movies have broken that mark, and only 28 broke $100 million. Plus I’m sure, given the cultural restrictions on romance in particular, these movies perform quite poorly if at all overseas. My guess is that, yet again, this is a genre destined for VOD release going forward.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (11/123): Coming off his Oscar-nominated performance in Dreamgirls, the talented-but-inconsistent Eddie Murphy plays three roles in Norbit, a cruel, crass, stereotype-filled comedy that’s more depressing than funny.

(Less than 10% on rotten tomatoes is incredible. Cruel (yep), crass (yep), stereo-type filled (yep) those are the things I remember about this film on my first viewing. It made me feel gross and it seems like 91% of critics also felt gross while watching it.)

Poster – Bore-it … get it? (C+)

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(I know Jamie would be hating on this poster because it is basically just white. I actually think it does an adequate job at highlighting literally the only thing you want from this movie: Eddie Murphy as a big ol’ fat girl. I gave it b-b-b-b-bonus points because of how they squeezed the title. Very hard to spoof if I wanted to.)

Tagline(s) – Have You Ever Made A Really Big Mistake? (C-)

(I was going to give this an F, but then I envisioned Rasputia on th eposter and thought, ah, big mistake. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it, and it makes sense for them movie. So I merely declared this below average.)

Keyword(s) – orphan; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.6 Epic Movie (2007); 86.3 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 83.6 Fantastic Four (2015); 81.5 Alone in the Dark (2005); 81.2 Norbit (2007); 78.0 The Room (2003); 77.5 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 74.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 73.8 Superhero Movie (2008); 64.3 The Next Karate Kid (1994);

(Huh, interesting list. I’m shocked the Next Karate Kid is so loathed actually. I never did get around to that. Besides that Alone in the Dark is the only other must see, although a 70+ horror film in Prom Night does hold some allure.)

Notes – One scene shows Rasputia watching a talk show with a paternity test theme. Eddie Murphy endured a paternity scandal before the film’s theatrical run, involving Spice Girl Melanie Brown. A DNA test confirmed the actor was the baby’s father.

The set used in the film is the same one that “Gilmore Girls” (2010) used as Stars Hollow in their 7 season run. (awesome. I’ll have to look out for that on my watch of Gilmore Girls)

The car wash scene is a parody of a TV ad featuring Paris Hilton. (oh alright, that’s didn’t hold up)

For security purposes, early prints were shipped under the title ‘Jupiter’, an apparent allusion to Eddie Murphy’s film Pluto Nash (2002). (fun facts)

This is the second film that Cuba Gooding Jr. played in, that starred Eddie Murphy playing multiple characters. The first film was Coming To America (1988), he had a small non- speaking role, as boy in barber shop chair.

WatchMOJO lists Norbit number 10 on its top worst comedy movies list. (Number 10?! Let me see this fucking list: Norbit, Chairman of the Board (BMT), Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (Seen it), Little Nicky (Seen it), Freddy Got Fingered (BMT), It’s Pat. Son of Mask, Master of Disguise (BMT), Bio-Dome (Seen it), Jack and Jill (BMT). Alright … that’s a pretty legit list.)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup (Rick Baker, Kazuhiro Tsuji)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Eddie Murphy)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Eddie Murphy)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Eddie Murphy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Brian Robbins)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Eddie Murphy, Charlie Murphy, Jay Scherick, David Ronn)

RoboCop 3 Recap

Jamie

Trying to catch up. No probs. Just gonna kick the shit out of this email just like RoboCop does with the bad guys. Woooooo.

What?! RoboCop is back and looking good. Almost as if a totally new actor took over the role. OmniCorp is trying to clear Detroit to make way for Delta City (still), but has to move all the poor people out before it can happen. Can our beloved cyborg hero stop the unjust evictions before the entire city is left as rubble? RoboCop 3!

Why?! As always OmniCorp is trying to build Delta City. This time though there is added motivation as OmniCorp is in deep shit and is getting bought out by a Japanese company. The merger will save the company from complete collapse, but hinges on OCP clearing out Detroit in time to start construction on Delta City. RoboCop’s motivation changed this time… jk! Still the same: Chew bubblegum. Run out of bubble gum. Kick ass. Also, he wants some sweet, sweet retribution for the unfortunate death of his partner, Nancy Allen, who really didn’t want to be in this film (but still wanted to get paid for filming a death scene).

How?! Since OCP has proven to be super inept at building all but one crime fighting cyborg they are just using a group of British(?) mercenaries to clear the city. Unfortunately a band of rebels are making their lives a living hell. They also make a terrible mistake by killing RoboCop’s partner, which leads him to join the rebels in their fight. In the end it’s OCP on one side and the police and rebels on the other. Guess who wins? You’re right! The one with the cyborg killing machine with a shiny new jetpack (a.k.a. shiny new action figure accessory). In the end RoboCop defeats OCP (and a random Japanese cyborg that is 5000x better than RoboCop but still loses) and the city is given independence by the Japanese company. It really wraps up the whole saga in a neat little bow.

Who?! While he wasn’t really comic relief, Bradley Whitford makes an appearance as an OCP executive. Clearly he was honing his Eric Gordon character for Billy Madison because he basically plays the same person. He was the best. In fact, there are a lot of things you can say about RoboCop 3 but it has a pretty dope TV actor cast.

Where?! How many times do we have to say it. RoboCop is Detroit. Detroit is RoboCop. Shouldn’t even have called it Delta City in the film. It’s RoboCop City. Because he owns it. A-

When?! As noted for RoboCop 2, the creator of RoboCop has continually said that the year is the “near future” for the first film and true to form the sequels also seemed to take this approach. Very little about the year the film takes place is provided. We know from the first two that this is in the general vicinity of the late 80’s and early 90’s. More fun is the fact that RoboCop 3 represents the first of the year’s random Xmas films! Yay! This film very clearly takes place around Christmas. Not only are there Christmas decorations EVERYWHERE, but the parents of one of the characters are killed at the beginning of the film and their day of death is shown as December 7th. Perhaps with a very close watch a year could be gleaned like in the first one, but I couldn’t find it. Despite that, this is probably my favorite temporal setting of the three films. C+

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! RoboCop 3? More like RoboCrap-py!!!! (Wow, that just falls right out of it huh?). I watched both RoboCop and RoboCop 2 on a ten hour flight to Vegas (just as the director intended the movie to be consumed, via iPad). Would my gamble of watching the third on the return flight instead of sleeping pay off? Nope, busted. Let’s get into it!

  • The Good – Woof. I’m surprised by how much Robert John Burke looked like Peter Weller once the mask was on. I was happy to see the returning actors as well. This series isn’t something to scoff at, it could have been serious business if it was handled properly.
  • The Bad – Basically everything. The story makes little sense. None of the characters are particularly believable or motivations made clear. The finale is horrible, ditching the bread-and-butter practical effects for a special effect ending that just looks like garbage. RoboCop comes across as much less likeable in this installment. Less robotic somehow.
  • The BMT – This one, yes. For sure. I can kind of see why it is reviled. I would probably put it around 40. If there were more sequels I bet that is where it ends up to be honest. Being the only really bad installment of an iconic series has its downsides.

Here I will go Sequel. They tried and failed to do the remake. Time to go RoboCop 4. Let’s cast, yes the 69 year-old retired PhD, Peter Weller again as the now old RoboCop. Of course he ages! He has a human … face or whatever. He’s too old for this shit, but when Detroit comes under fire by a series of, what appears to be, terrorist attacks, the officers of the Metro West go into the basement and dust off the, now, behind the times relic. Recruiting youthful hackers from a rambunctious gang they retrofit RoboCop with some new toys, and soon he is fit as a fiddle, directive free, and ready to kick some terrorist ass. Can the obsolete become cutting edge? Could the remnants of OmniCorp, scattered to the wind oh so long ago, somehow be connected to this new attack on old Detroit? Can RoboCop find … love? RoboCop 4 (no subtitle, get out of here!), coming next June!

I would watch it. Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

RoboCop 2 Recap

Jamie

What?! RoboCop is back, Jack! And ready to attack the smack that’s taking over the streets. That’s right! There’s a new drug in town, Nuke, and while the (non-cyborg) police are on strike, no one’s there to stop its rise. OmniCorps aims to use the crisis to launch Delta City with a updated version of RoboCop to patrol the streets. Just hope RoboCop 2 isn’t some insane cyborg killing machine (hint: he is). RoboCop 2!

Why?! The entire aim of the film is for OmniCorp to gain control of Detroit and built Delta City. It’s funny because that’s basically the motivation of all the RoboCop films. They can’t seem to get the goddamned city built. RoboCop’s motivation is the same as well: Kick ass. Take names. Not necessarily in that order.

How?! In the original RoboCop OmmiCorp signed a contract with Detroit to take over the police department and privatize it. Turns out that contract had a clause whereby OminCorp could foreclose on the entire city if it defaulted on the contract. Uh oh! So OmniCorp’s entire plan is to undermine Detroit’s credit, wait for the city to default, stop paying the cops, allow crime to run rampant while they’re on strike, and call it a loss to justify knocking it all down to build Delta City. And the plan would have worked too if it wasn’t for that damned RoboCop. Seriously. They needed more RoboCops to patrol the streets of their shiny new city but couldn’t figure out the secret sauce that made the first one work so well. This time around they try using a newly captured Nuke kingpin as the brain for the robot and feeding his addiction as a means of control. Not a great idea as it goes beserk at the sight of Nuke and RoboCop has to save everyone (obvs). Unfortunately, they decided not to write in how RoboCop beating up a robot in any way solves the city’s financial crisis. We can only presume OmniCorp still ended up owning the city after everyone stopped high fiving and the credits rolled.

Who?! No true Planchet here, but I want to give a shout out to Belinda Bauer, an Australian actress with an unknowable accent. I really couldn’t tell if she was supposed to be American in this film or what. It was one of the worst (read: best) accents we’ve had in a while. Also Willard E. Pugh consumed any and all scenery as the bonkers Mayor of Detroit. Enjoy:

Where?! Detroit, duh. It’s fucking RoboCop. There’s a reason the city is going to have a statue dedicated to him (if the artist ever finishes making it). It’s really the only thing they didn’t mess up with the sequels and remake. In this world there is nothing that can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and RoboCop being set in Detroit. A-.

When?! According to the writer it is set in the “near future” but there is a clear January 1986 calendar in the precinct. There is some evidence presented online about it being set in 2044, but it’s from the book so noncanonical. I prefer the calendar. The month being January also lines up with the fact that the scientists are seen celebrating New Years in the three month span during which RoboCop is built. Why bring up the first film? Because at the Delta City presentation at the end of the second film the president of OCP says that “about a year ago we gave you RoboCop.” From that perspective we can presume that it’s either late 1986 or early 1987. Not incredibly specific but we got something. C-.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! RoboCop 2? More like RoboSlop! Boo! (ohhhhh yeah). We watched the sequel to one of my favorite movies (with some of the best practical effects in the biz), could it hold up to such praise? Nope! Let’s get into it!

  • The Good – Their hearts are in the right place. They tried to make a good follow up. To an extent the story is solid, and it does an okay job of taking a new subject (drugs) and running with it. And the practical effects seem pretty okay.
  • The Bad – The villains are not good enough to carry what is a ludicrous story. In the first the villains are just bad people. They fill that supervillain mold from Cobra but also in an interesting manner (with Kurtwood Smith looking as natural in a suit in OmniCorp headquarters as in a trenchcoat blowing Peter Weller’s hand off). In the second, Cain is just kind of a weirdo. They had an interesting villain (Gabriel Damon) in a pre-teen psycho, but waste him in an overly sentimental and brief stint at the top. The entire middle makes you wonder “what is the point?” after much is made of rewriting RoboCop’s directives, only to have him reverse the damage in a matter of seconds.
  • The BMT – Naw. At best it is borderline. As I said, the film isn’t terrible. Just heavy handed, with bad villains, and a precursor too good to live up to. It is interesting to read stuff about the series. It does seem like they were desperate to make RoboCop a franchise. Just never really came together properly.

Hmmmm. Tough to figure out games when I usually do sequels and prequels … this movie already has both. I think I’m going to make up a new game. This I’m going to call Sklog-light. It is something from the movie just watched which perfectly exemplifies something from my recap. This time I’ll flesh out something in the recap which perhaps was not expounded upon enough: RoboCop 2 is heavy-handed. At the end of the film OmniCorp is presenting RoboCop 2 (the evil Cain as a cyborg monster) and we catch a nice glimpse of their new flags:

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… snazzy. Those couldn’t possibly be alluding to anything. They probably aren’t a crazy Godwin’s Law directly in the viewer’s face. We get it RoboCop 2 writers … OmniCorp is a fascist corporate-government hybrid. Could have toned down the flag. I assume Hitler existed in the RoboCop universe. For a company who seems obsessed with public relations this seems … like a snafu.

I got a whole other recap to write! Plus we are a bit behind. So I’ll leave it there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

RoboCop 3 Preview

Jeez, these squeakuels are long. Almost as bad as a book cycle. JK, book cycles are the worst. Anyway, this week we move onto the Action entry of the cycle and it seemed fitting that we would hit one of the worst reviewed action sequels of all time. That’s right, we’re not only watching RoboCop 2 but the much abhorred follow-up RoboCop 3! Another two-for-one this week. The first one is a classic satire of capitalism, so I can’t wait to see how RoboCop three shits all over that. Let’s go!

RoboCop 3 (1993) – BMeTric: 77.3

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(Oh snap. Yeah, this is supposed to be a terrible film. Juxtaposing this with Robocop 2 it is kind of nuts the start difference. Basically this is half as popular, but a whopping 1.7 IMDb lower! A sub-4.0 for a movie this old is definitely a big worst-of-all-time kind of contender.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – When the evil corporation OCP uses a policelike group to force impoverished Detroit citizens out of their homes, RoboCop (Burke) leaves the force and joins the rebellion. The script (by Frank Miller and the director) is smug but crude; though it lacks the first sequel’s violence, it’s also short on spectacle. Filmed in 1991.

(Maltin … are you for reals? You liked RoboCop 3 more than 2? Very interesting. (1) Awesome semi-colon work. (2) The fun facts flying in from Maltin, filmed in 1991? Very good. Too bad it all sounds like you could distill this review into one word: boring)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOdELisKpP4

(“I thought your damned ninja was supposed to take care of RoboCop for me” Oh God. Yeah, you can see how this guy went off the rails. It is kind of amazing that that is a Frank Miller plot right there. I really don’t see how that trailer made a movie that Leonard Maltin liked more than RoboCop 2. I can’t really see it.)

Directors – Fred Dekker – (Known For: The Monster Squad; Night of the Creeps; BMT: RoboCop 3; Notes: An avid comic book fan, monster movie buff, and film nerd as described on his IMDb. He went to college with Shane Black and is now involved in his new Predator remake. He only ever directed movies he wrote and this was his last.)

Writers – Edward Neumeier (characters) – (Known For: Starship Troopers; RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); Starship Troopers 3: Marauder; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: Basically all of his credits are based on the original RoboCop (which is is credited for characters in all but the first) and Starship Troopers (which he was very much involved with, he even directed the third). It appears that he declined the vice-presidency of Universal to make RoboCop and that is how he met Verhoeven and got involved with Starship Troopers.)

Michael Miner (characters) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: For a guy who wrote RoboCop and directed Lawnmower Man 2 and Anacondas 2 this guy has nothing about him! I found this variety article about him making a movie names Marathon … yeah that movie never got made.)

Frank Miller (story & screenplay) – (Known For: 300; Sin City; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; 300: Rise of an Empire; BMT: RoboCop 3; Elektra; The Spirit; RoboCop 2; Notes: Most well known as a comic book writer it kind of shocks me he wrote a movie so long ago. He wrote this guy in 1993 and then nothing else until 2005 over ten years later. But he killed it in comics. This movie is closer to his script, which is a plus.)

Fred Dekker (screenplay) – (Known For: The Monster Squad; House; Night of the Creeps; Ricochet; BMT: RoboCop 3; House II: The Second Story; Teen Agent; Notes: Besides what was written above there isn’t too much to say about this guy unfortunately.)

Actors – Nancy Allen – (Known For: Carrie; RoboCop; Out of Sight; Dressed to Kill; The Last Detail; Blow Out; The Philadelphia Experiment; Strange Invaders; I Wanna Hold Your Hand; BMT: RoboCop 3; Poltergeist III; RoboCop 2; 1941; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1981 for Worst Actress for Dressed to Kill. Her first film role was in Stephen King’s Carrie directed by Brian De Palma. She would marry De Palma three years later, and then divorce five years after that. During their marriage she exclusively appeared in his films, and supposedly their divorce interfered quite substantially with her career (although it didn’t stop her from landing and nailed this role in the RoboCop franchise).)

Robert John Burke – (Known For: Tombstone; Limitless; 2 Guns; True Story; Munich; Safe; Cop Land; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Connie and Carla; Heaven & Earth; Brooklyn’s Finest; Good Night, and Good Luck.; Rambling Rose; Ned Rifle; A Far Off Place; The Chosen; The Unbelievable Truth; Flirt; Simple Men; First Love, Last Rites; BMT: RoboCop 3; Fast Track; Fled; Thinner; Hide and Seek; If Lucy Fell; State Property; The Oh in Ohio; Miracle at St. Anna; Notes:  I personally know him as Ed Tucker from IA in Law and Order SVU. He’s been mostly a television actor (Chuck Bass’ father in Gossip Girl what what?!) despite having quite an extensive feature filmography.)

Also stars John Castle – (A ton of television work, including a 2007 episode of Midsomer Murder. I eat Murder She Wrote and Midsomer Murders for breakfast, so I cannot wait to watch that episode.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $10,696,210 (N/A)

($22 million budget! My God. At least it was less than the previous film. No wonder it looks terrible though. And yeah, huge bomb. Orion was going under as this film was shot so there is a whiff of desperate throw-anything-at-the-wall IP chasing surrounding this film. Like with De Laurentiis it did not work.)

#36 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(And while RoboCop 2 came right at the beginning of what I will call the Terminator 2 peak in this genre, this came as it unceremoniously died. Number 36 puts it right around Deadly Friend! Extremely unimpressive stuff.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/30): No consensus yet.

(Hooray, I secretly love making consensuses: Downscaling the gore along with the budget, RoboCop 3 tries for a more family friendly affair. Losing the brilliant satire of the original (and gaining some good old fashioned Japan bashing), this is little more than a mindless actioner marking the end of a promising franchise. This paints a more expected picture of the franchise. The reviews of the time seemed to forgive the second film, but declare this the end of the RoboCops.)

Poster – RoboSklog 3 (D) 

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(I initially liked this poster. Then I looked at it some more. First, the double RoboCop. Second the weird white halo around RoboCop. Then the ghostly city in the background. And finally the dreary dark blue coloring. And I realized it … I actually hated this poster.)

Tagline(s) – Chaos… Corruption… Civil War… (B+)

(Short. Sweet alliteration. Simple. Probably too simple to be an A, I don’t really know why this would be the plot of RoboCop 3, but I still like it.)

Keyword(s) – ninja; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.0 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 79.0 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 77.3 RoboCop 3 (1993); 70.1 The Master of Disguise (2002); 69.4 Elektra (2005); 64.1 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 62.1 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987); 59.5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); 58.1 Tekken (2010); 57.9 Highlander: Endgame (2000);

(Wait wait wait ………. The fourth police academy movie has a ninja in it? Yes please. We do need to do the second Mortal Kombat for BMT. We saw it in theaters (!) when we were young, but it deserves a preview and full recap as adult bad movie connoisseurs.)

Notes – Was filmed in 1991, but was not released until end of 1993 due to production company Orion going bankrupt. (The is like the fourth movie we’ve watched in the last 6 months made by a production company going bankrupt)

Peter Weller refused to reprise his Robocop role due to scheduling conflicts with Naked Lunch (1991). (Good choice)

Filmed in Atlanta, most of the abandoned buildings seen in the film were slated for demolition to make way for facilities for the 1996 Olympics. (huh, that is kind of amazing actually)

The RoboCop suit worn in the movie was originally built for RoboCop 2 (1990). Since Robert John Burke is taller than Peter Weller, he complained that wearing it was painful after a short time.

Nancy Allen (Ofc. Ann Lewis), Robert DoQui (Sgt. Reed), Felton Perry (OCP’s Johnson), Mario Machado (Newsanchor Casey Wong) and Angie Bolling (Murphy’s wife) are the only actors to appear in all three RoboCop movies. (Good stuff, Allen had huge roles in all three, pretty impressive)

Unlike the first two movies, this one did not receive a novelization. (too bad, maybe someone can poke Frank Miller for a sweet graphic novelization)

RoboCop 2 Preview

Jeez, these squeakuels are long. Almost as bad as a book cycle. JK, book cycles are the worst. Anyway, this week we move onto the Action entry of the cycle and it seemed fitting that we would hit one of the worst reviewed action sequels of all time. That’s right, we’re not only watching RoboCop 2 but the much abhorred follow-up RoboCop 3! Another two-for-one this week. The first one is a classic satire of capitalism, so I can’t wait to see how RoboCop three shits all over that. First up, the BONUS film. Let’s go!

RoboCop 2 (1990) – BMeTric: 38.5

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(Interesting from a theoretical perspective: Basically the votes has increased dramatically and by virtue of regression to the mean the rating has steadily increased as well. All the while this has somehow come out perfectly balanced such that the BMeTric has barely changed at all. Kind of cool considering the movie has a halfway decent BMeTric (somewhere around where Razzie nominees typically sit, top 10-20 worst films of the year.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Appallingly (and unnecessarily) mean, ugly sequel in which coldblooded corporation czar O’Herlihy and drug kingpin Noonan threaten to end Robo’s existence — while the laboratory whizzes cook up a bigger, “better” cyborg cop to take his place. Offensively violent and humorless. Phil Tippett’s stop-motion animation is the film’s only asset.

(Wow, that is an incredibly step down from Robocop. I can see ugly for sure, but I’m surprised by humorless. I vaguely remember this film from my childhood, specifically that a guy ends up with his brain in a jar and a weird CGI face.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxumzn82V9s

(I usually don’t complain about such things but … they do actually just give away arguably the main twist of the film (that Kane, the drug guy becomes RoboCop 2). I’m also shocked Gabriel Damon didn’t make an appearance since he is a gigantic part of the film. It just kind of looks terrible (although you do kind of see the money in the trailer, it is a much grander story than the first in that way at least))

Directors – Irvin Kershner – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back; Never Say Never Again; Eyes of Laura Mars; The Return of a Man Called Horse; One Born Every Minute; BMT: RoboCop 2; Notes: … Why did I think Kershner had way more terrible movies than that. Interesting guy having been a surprise pick for Episode V, but not much else in his career.)

Writers – Edward Neumeier (characters) – (Known For: Starship Troopers; RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); Starship Troopers 3: Marauder; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: Basically all of his credits are based on the original RoboCop (which is is credited for characters in all but the first) and Starship Troopers (which he was very much involved with, he even directed the third). It appears that he declined the vice-presidency of Universal to make RoboCop and that is how he met Verhoeven and got involved with Starship Troopers.)

Michael Miner (characters) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: For a guy who wrote RoboCop and directed Lawnmower Man 2 and Anacondas 2 this guy has nothing about him! I found this variety article about him making a movie names Marathon … yeah that movie never got made.)

Frank Miller (story & screenplay) – (Known For: 300; Sin City; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; 300: Rise of an Empire; BMT: RoboCop 3; Elektra; The Spirit; RoboCop 2; Notes: Most well known as a comic book writer it kind of shocks me he wrote a movie so long ago. He wrote this guy in 1990 and the third in 1993 and then nothing else until 2005 over ten years later. Apparently this movie is nothing like the script he wrote … makes you wonder how they convinced him to write the third.)

Walon Green (screenplay) – (Known For: WarGames; Dinosaur; The Wild Bunch; Wages of Fear; The Border; The Hi-Lo Country; Crusoe; BMT: RoboCop 2; Solarbabies; Eraser; Notes: Just recently watched his magnum opus Solarbabies (apparently he was the “big shot” writer Mel Brooks got to write a first draft before handing over complete control to Metrov, the real genius behind that film). Pretty solid filmography he is mostly known as a documentary filmmaker.)

Actors – Peter Weller – (Known For: Star Trek Into Darkness; RoboCop; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Naked Lunch; Mighty Aphrodite; Al di là delle nuvole; Cat Chaser; Shoot the Moon; Shakedown; Ivans Xtc; The New Age; BMT: The Sin Eater; RoboCop 2; Undiscovered; Leviathan; Repentance; Skin Trade; Screamers; Notes: That’s Dr. Peter Weller to you, he was awarded his Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance Art from UCLA in 2014. Most well known for RoboCop (naturally), but The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonza in Across the 8th Dimension as well. I have a weird fondness for his villainous turn on 24 personally.)

Belinda Bauer – (Known For: UHF; Winter Kills; BMT: Poison Ivy 2; RoboCop 2; Flashdance; Notes: Retired from acting now, she is a psychologist. From Australia, and was in Sklog Childhood Movie Hall of Fame … as a mud wrestler? How strange.)

Also stars John Glover – (Who was in the legendary Batman & Robin)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $45,681,173 (N/A)

(Not great. Makes one wonder why a third was considered. We might be hitting a little Laurentiis mirror here. Where Dino De Laurentiis was going to declare bankruptcy so he made one last desperate attempt at releasing a movie for all of the IP he owned … and they were all trash and basically sunk 1986 as a year for bad movies. In this case the third movie was made two years later while Orion was starting to go under, and might have just been a desperate last effort at saving the company.)

#25 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Actually made about the same as Robocop (just with a much larger budget). Actually funny that is it right at a start to a boom that was exemplified by Terminator 2. Also previous BMT Deadly Friend is on the list at 39. Terminator: Genisys may have killed the boom we’ve been seeing recently, although there is nothing like yet another Transformers movie to provide a shot in the arm for a genre like this.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (11/34): No consensus yet.

(Uh oh, looks like someone needs a consensus: Half-baked and unfinished, RoboCop 2 is gruesome and humorous at turns, but without impact. Basically it feels like RoboCop 2 was an unfinished idea with the ironic-gore peppered in without thought. Sounds fine to me honestly.)

Poster – RoboSklog 2 (C+)

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(Considering that the original RoboCop poster is brilliant, it is hard not to be harsh with the grading. I think this poster is a pretty boring kind of sad example of just a giant picture of a face. The reflection of the primary bad guy of the film could have maybe saved the poster a bit, but I still think it is pretty bac=d)

Tagline(s) – He’s back to protect the innocents. (C+)

(I don’t really like the tagline. It doesn’t flow with the innocents part. And the reference (RoboCop Primary Directive #2 is to protect the innocent) isn’t so well known to really register. It barely registered with me and I literally watched three RoboCop movies in three days.)

Keyword(s) – drugs; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.1 Disaster Movie (2008); 75.8 LOL (2012); 72.7 Basic Instinct 2 (2006); 71.4 Showgirls (1995); 67.1 Year One (2009); 65.1 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 62.6 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 59.4 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991); 59.1 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 56.1 Sliver (1993);

(Kind of an amazing list in a few ways. First, I’m kind of stunned at how bad Year One is on this list. I mean, I fell asleep during that movie and really didn’t like it, but getting even close to 70 alongside something like Showgirls is ridiculous. We do need to see LOL don’t we? We do. I don’t want to. Maybe when we do another Merde (foreign films adapted into American films) we’ll get to it. We need to do more classic horror franchises as well.)

Notes – Although the producers loved Frank Miller’s original version of the script, they quickly realized it was unfilmable as written. The final screen version was heavily rewritten and bears only a superficial resemblance to Miller’s story. In 2003, Miller’s screenplay was adapted into a comic book series titled, appropriately, “Frank Miller’s RoboCop”. (Again, it makes me shocked they managed to get him back for the third film)

After the success of RoboCop (1987), director Paul Verhoeven and the original screenwriters Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner were immediately approached for a sequel by the studio. According to Verhoeven, he didn’t want to make the kind of sequel that the studio had in mind. He felt going forward so quickly with their ideas would make it feel like he was attempting to cash in on the first film, and he only wanted to do a follow-up if it was original and innovative. Neumeier and Miner had already presented a very rough outline called “RoboCop: Corporate Wars”. In this draft, RoboCop was to be shot and pulverized to metallic dust by a cannon in the very beginning. He would be resurrected 25 years later in an even more dystopian future, where he becomes a pawn in the struggle between an all-powerful corporation, the government and an impoverished population and even at one point having a love interest with a Neruobrain to humanize Robocop even more. The studio liked this idea, but the writers did not want to continue working on script due to personal interests associated with the writers strike. Verhoeven also did not support the project, having gone to shoot “Total Recall” for big money, while agreeing to all conditions of the producers and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gave the director only three hours for making decision from the beginning of reading the script. Ultimately Verhoeven felt if the studio kept patient his idea for the sequel was far more superior.In the end, the film was shot on a new script by Frank Miller & Walon Green, but the plot also has lines from the original script and early drafts for the first movie that were never filmed. (I like the background to this, the movie business of the 80’s just sounds kind of nuts with studios going under and strikes and money (and cocaine) free flowing.)

The point-of-view shots from RoboCop show an interface based on MS-DOS . The villain Cain has the Apple based OS.interface with a skull instead of the Apple logo. (ha!)

In the scene where RoboCop was being reprogrammed by Dr. Faxx, the following hex numbers scroll quickly up the screen: “50 45 54 45 20 4B 55 52 41 4E 20 49 53 20 41 20 47 52 45 41 54 20 47 55 59”. Converted to ASCII text, it reads: “PETE KURAN IS A GREAT GUY”. Peter Kuran was the special effects photographer. (That’s just weird. Fun fact!)

A directive which is only seen briefly in the scene where they are having trouble uploading the new directives into RoboCop is ‘Directive 262: Avoid Orion Meetings’. Orion Pictures was the production and distribution company of RoboCop 2 (1990). (Fun. Fact)

Big Momma: Like Father Like Son Recap

Jamie

What?! Big Momma’s back! Uh… again! Malcolm Turner is once again the FBI’s #1 cop. While staking-out a big time mobster, Malcolm is surprised by his stepson Trent, who witnesses a murder. Oh no! What are they going to do? Go deep undercover at the Georgia Girl’s School for the Arts, that’s what! Can they hide out long enough to find the evidence they need to put the mobster behind bars? Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.

Why?! McGuffin alert! While Malcolm is tracking the mobster the audience is made aware that an important thumb drive with important information that’s really important is importantly hidden somewhere important. So when he and his son have to go underground they go to where the thumb drive was hidden (the Georgia Girl’s School for the Arts). It’s a race against time as they attempt to find the drive before the mobsters catch up. Trent also has a B storyline motivation of his own (besides staying alive) in trying to get his music career off the ground, but he first needs to convince his disapproving father than it makes sense to skip college to pursue his dream. But of course that kind of goes to the wayside when they MIGHT DIE.

How?! McGuffins are funny in this way as they really help streamline the motivation. Their importance is so inherent that the ‘how’ revolves around it and hilarity ensues. A big part of the conflict though is that while Big Momma is playing the den mother (and thus isn’t fully trusted by the girls), it turns out that Trent, playing one of the students in drag, is able to ingratiate himself and get more information. Oh how the roles have been reversed. Unfortunately this also leads to Trent falling in love with one of the students! Uh oh! Before it all blows up in their faces they are able to find the drive (hidden in the school’s cherished music box) and subdue the mobsters. And while Malcolm ultimately does gives his blessing to Trent’s music career, it turns out that Trent learned more than just how to survive a mob hit at the Girl’s School. He also learned the value of a good education.

Who?! I wouldn’t say there was a great Planchet in the film, so instead I’ll give a little shoutout to the hoops the filmmakers went through when faced with Nia Long passing on her role as Sherry for this installment. After finding out that Trent got into Duke we get a scene of Malcolm trying to contact Sherry at the spa she’s staying at. No dice though. Apparently the spa is a no cell phone, no contact spa and she’s going to be in isolation for the next few days. Oh really? How very convenient to Nia Long’s schedule. Weirdly there is absolutely no mention of the other child that Malcolm and Sherry had at the end of the second film. Either the child is staying at Big Momma’s for the weekend, is off at boarding school, or there is a very sad underlying story that is never mentioned but Malcolm silently endures every day.

Where?! After switching the film setting to LA for the second film they jump right back to the original setting of Georgia for the final installment. It’s actually a super solid setting as they make clear that Malcolm works at the Atlanta FBI unit and then, of course, they hide out at the Georgia Girl’s School for the Arts. Prefecto. B.

When?! I actually don’t think there was an exact time spelled out. Certainly in the Spring, since Trent gets an acceptance letter from Duke at the beginning of the film. Would guess we’re talking about the beginning of April, but still not clear. D.

You got the dets, now get the truth.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Big Momma Like Father Like Son? More like Big Momma, This Franchise is Done! We completed the Big Momma Saga, could anything live up to the heady heights of the first? The second didn’t, but three times the charm right? Nope! Let’s get into it.

  • The Good – The rapping/music in the film is pretty solid. Somewhere deep within this film is another film not starring Big Momma that is actually halfway decent. The story is a lot tighter than you would think considering. I really liked Faizon Love.
  • The Bad – The fat suit got worse again! His/Her face looks just terrible. Just terrible. Moving Big Momma to an all girls school is just again moving the character to another setting. It doesn’t feel like a Big Momma movie, it just feels like another movie with Big Momma as the main character … you know? The third movie probably has the lowest of lows for the franchise with a simply awful Cleveland Shuffle twist ending.
  • The BMT – Again, not 60+, but 40 maybe. Above average. In the discussion for worst of the year it came out, but not stand out. Disappointing though. I would not be excited for Big Momma’s House Party now, I would just be skeptical that Martin Lawrence could even pull off something resembling entertainment within the bounds of this franchise. This franchise I fear is dead.

Sigh. We’ll end with a new-ish game (more like it is just a mix of Remake and Sklogification): Sklog Casting, where I recast the film to try and fix some of its flaws. In this case this movie feels like another movie, like how Big Momma’s House 2 is just the Pacifier with Big Momma. It’s just that the movie this one is based on hasn’t been made yet. So let’s do it: Ice Cube is an FBI agent who, along with his son, witness a mob hit and go undercover in an all-girls performing arts school. These girls have real talent, but Ice Cube and his son (both in drag) can teach them a thing or two about spitting hot fire. This time we go full musical with a very entertaining mix of classic pop with hip hop. It would be a solid movie (Leonard Maltin suggests as much in his review for Like Father Like Son), and c’mon … Cube in drag? C’mon.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Big Momma’s House 2 Recap

Jamie

What?! Big Momma is back! Just when it seemed like Malcolm Turner had settled down and was out of the game for good, he’s drawn back in for one last case. The main suspect is in need of a nanny and you know what that means! In order to catch the crooks, Big Momma gotta take care of the cooking, cleaning, and three darling kids. Big Momma time!

Why?! The bad guys are aiming to create a computer virus that would allow access to all the high-level intelligence systems in the nation. This program will be sold to the highest bidder (hint: it’s not a good guy). Malcolm needs to stop them, but that’s not all. He’s about to be a new father and needs one last thrill before settling into his life as a desk-jockey, suburbanite. If there’s one thing Big Momma is, it’s full of thrills.

How?! While Malcolm is forbidden from taking part in the mission, he goes over the heads of his superiors and learns that the suspected computer virus creator is looking for a new nanny. Disguised as Big Momma he proves once again that he’s the best agent they have and gets the job. It’s just what Big Momma do. At first he’s like fuck these kids, fuck this house, and fuck their tiny Mexican dog that watches telenovelas and drinks tequila (not joking). But, just like in Nine Lives, he soon comes to realize that the only true way to succeed is to stop trying so hard to be a good agent and just focus on being the best goddamn nanny the family has ever had. Once he does that he stops the bad guys in the nick of time. Phew!

Who?! Ugh! Worst. Planchet. Ever. Zachary Levi is ostensibly the comic relief in this film, but I assure you he is not. I’ve never wanted a character to disappear more than him in this film. Everything he said or did was unnecessary and unfunny. Should have just replaced him with another Big Momma… Note to self: make film with two Big Mommas. Oh wait, they already did and we watched it! Hooray!

Where?! Los Angeles, baby. We even get a couple intertitles telling us when we’re at the “Los Angeles FBI” and the “Orange County FBI.” With some beach scenes to boot, that’s good for an easy B.

When?! Never? And yet… always? That’s all you can presume from what is shown to the viewer. I literally scoured every frame for a hint as to when it took place. I stopped only when I found myself trying to decipher a scrap of newspaper flying through a frame. My conclusion? The piece of paper belonged to The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans paper, which is where Big Momma’s House 2 was filmed but not set. Don’t know why the family had old issues of The Times-Picayune lying around their Los Angeles house. Kinda shatters my suspension of disbelief and movie magic. We can make a broad statement that it’s at the end of the school year, right before summer. But that’s about it. D-.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Big Momma’s House 2? More like The Pacifier starring Vin “Big Momma” Diesel. Oh so long ago we watched the original Big Momma’s House, and it was glorious. Could the sequel stand up? Nope. Let’s go!

  • The Good – The storyline is at least somewhat more believable that the first. The kid actors are rather impressive: Chloe Grace Moretz? Kat Denning? Pretty solid picks. I have a weird soft spot for Big Momma … I don’t know why, but I do find the character heartwarming in a weird way.
  • The Bad – I think the fat suit got worse since the first one, something with the face seems to just get worse with each passing film. They really really didn’t give Nia Long enough to do, it is like Ride Along all over again, very talented actresses left to either spoil the guy’s fun or be eye candy. The biggest crime though … the story doesn’t feel original or like a Big Momma story. It feels like The Pacifier with Big Momma dropped into it. Kind of like Die Hard 5, which was just a generic action movie in Russia story with John McClane dropped into it. I guess I don’t really know what else to do with Big Momma except turn her into Ernest (oooo she’s going to camp now!), but it came across as soulless and thus less enjoyable.
  • The BMT – I don’t think it is a 60+ BMeTric. That is legendary. It is like a 40. It is a bad movie. It looks bad. It has a lot of bad jokes and isn’t once funny. But it needs a hook to make the leap. In the first one the hook was that Martin Lawrence literally tricked people who knew who Big Momma was that this ludicrous melted candle of a fat suit was a real person (the White Chicks disease: they-look-like-monsters-itis). This had nothing to really get it to where it needed to be. Too bad.

It has been a while since I “fixed” (aka Sklogified) a movie. Do you know what else was missing from this film? Paul Giamatti, whose character just disappeared from the sequel. My fix? Get a young guy in as a replacement. He’s obsessed with Big Momma. He’s been improving the suit. When Big Momma is hired as a nanny who has too many tasks to complete within a day what does Lawrence do? Gets his young FBI protegee in to clean the entire house while Big Momma is out or asleep. Oh oh oh oh oh … As Jamie said, Two Big Mommas! The young gun has his own suit and they use it to allow Lawrence to go out on assignment while the young guy has to pretend (terribly) that he’s the real Big Momma! Think Too-da-loo scene from Mrs. Doubtfire, that is the level of trickery that this young guy has to go through during the film. The movie immediately makes more sense too. Like, Lawrence becomes the nanny and then just complains incessantly about doing house work … it’s your fucking job. This way you avoid that weird aside as well. Boom. Fixed. 100% on RT, Oscar for Lawrence, you’re welcome.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Big Momma Like Father Like Son Preview

We are starting up the Squeakuels category with one of the most hotly anticipated BMTs that I can remember. We watched the first entry in the trilogy in 2015 and are taking this opportunity to finish the series. That’s right! We’re watching Big Momma’s House 2 and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son! You really can’t go wrong here. Especially considering Big Momma’s House already gave us one of the best MonoSklogs in history. It’s… it’s… beautiful. Let’s go!

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011) – BMeTric: 63.9

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(Absolutely incredible. I don’t know if there are two sequels which are as close as these two are. Also the amount films like this increase in rating over time is also very impressive. Sub-3.0 is ridiculous, and now it is a much more reasonable 4.4 after 6 years. Also, fun fact: This movie came out three weeks after BMT started. If only BMT Live! had existed all those long years ago. Sigh.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Lawrence dons fat suit and female attire once again in second sequel to Big Momma’s House. This time, Lawrence’s cross-dressing FBI agent goes undercover with his similarly disguised teenaged son (Jackson) to find evidence incriminating a Russian mobster hidden somewhere on campus of an Atlanta girl’s high school for performing arts. Frantic slapstick and action-comedy flourishes may please some fans, but a couple of spirited song-and-dance sequences indicate that this might have worked better as — no kidding! — a musical.

(It beat the second one!!! That last line is horrifying. Imagine if Big Momma’s House 3 inexplicably just became a musical? It just doesn’t make sense. What a nonsense idea Leonard. You know what is also a nonsense idea? That incriminating evidence against a Russian mobster would be found at an elite Atlanta all-girls school … but that’s why we play the game.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3J29PNvIhY

(Oh wow. Let’s hit my highlights: (1) The son looks like a monster. Should have also gone major fat suit for him. (2) They are continuing to suggest Big Momma can be totally nude and no one would bat an eye. It is like Paul Giamatti works on it in his spare time because in the first movie it was for sure just nude colored padding underneath. (3) This looks exactly like a classic “we need comedy here … he takes ballet I guess” kind of movie. Just random stuff popped in. (4) The bad guy looks and appears to be ridididiculous. I can not wait.)

Directors – John Whitesell – (BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Deck the Halls; Malibu’s Most Wanted; See Spot Run; Thunderstruck; Calendar Girl; Notes: Veteran TV director nominated for a Primetime Emmy for The John Larroquette Show.)

Writers – Matt Fogel (screenplay) (as Matthew Fogel & story) (as Matthew Fogel) – (BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Notes: Not very much on him. He worked on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs where he with Phil Lord and Chris Miller and sold the Prince Charming script. I assume that is no longer happening since Cinderella itself is made last year.)

Don Rhymer (story) – (Known For: The Santa Clause 2; Rio 2; Rio; Surf’s Up; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House; Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London; Deck the Halls; The Honeymooners; Carpool; Notes: Sadly died at the age of 51 from cancer right when he was hitting his stride with Surf’s Up, Rio, and Rio 2.)

Darryl Quarles (characters) – (BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Black Knight; Big Momma’s House; Notes: Maintains a website and seems to run the lecture circuit and sell scripts. I find it very interesting how many people ended up involved in all three movies.)

Actors – Martin Lawrence – (Known For: Bad Boys; Do the Right Thing; Life; Death at a Funeral; Open Season; House Party; Boomerang; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Black Knight; College Road Trip; Big Momma’s House; Rebound; National Security; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Wild Hogs; House Party 2; Blue Streak; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate; Bad Boys II; Nothing to Lose; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Actress for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. Was a Golden Gloves contender in boxing as a youth but broke his eye socket and had to quit.)

Brandon T. Jackson – (Known For: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; This Christmas; Tropic Thunder; 8 Mile; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Ali; Roll Bounce; Operation: Endgame; BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Tooth Fairy; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Lottery Ticket; Get a Job; Thunderstruck; Big Stan; Fast & Furious; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Supporting Actress for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. Graduated from the same high school as Justin Bartha. Now that’s a fun fact.)

Also stars Jessica Lucas (From Pompeii!)

Budget/Gross – $32 million / Domestic: $37,915,414 (Worldwide: $82,686,066)

(Just like the Fat Suit and Cross Dressing genres you can see this franchise die with each addition. They, I assume, must have seen the writing on the wall and cancelled the inevitable Big Momma’s House Party where Big Momma has to save her Brooklyn housing development from being sold to Fatty Katsman the eeeeevil real estate developer … I should have saved that little gem for sequel prequel remake in the recap, that’s gold.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (3/60): Unnecessary, unfunny, and generally unwelcome, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son offers more of the same for fans of Martin Lawrence’s perplexingly popular series.

(1% less than its predecessor. Perplexingly popular is our jam. Unwelcome? You mean the world isn’t made up of people watching films ironically? Go figure.)

Poster – Big Momma Like Father Like Sklog (D)

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(Seriously, what is with Big Momma just hanging out in front of sky? Makes me wonder if it’s just a default background for a lot of films and I’ve just not noticed it before. They somehow got worse since the last one. Colors are now less consistent. There are greens, yellows, browns, blues, reds, and whites everywhere. awful.)

Tagline(s) – Momma’s got back-up. (C)

(Not the worst but stretching a bit in the cleverness department. Going for a little “baby’s got back,” play, but didn’t quite land it. Meh.)

Keyword(s) – fbi agent; Top Ten by BMeTric: 71.0 Torque (2004); 66.7 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 63.9 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 63.6 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009); 61.3 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 60.8 Mr. Magoo (1997); 58.0 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 56.5 Fair Game (1995); 53.6 Half Past Dead (2002); 51.8 Corky Romano (2001);

(Amaaaaazing list. Like aliens, it looks like FBI agents = sweet BMT film. All of those films should be seen for BMT. All would be incredible. Don’t worry, 3 Ninjas would be watched during a Hulk Hogan Hulkamania BMT Bonanza Movie Ultra-Marathon)

Notes – Nia Long declined to reprise her role as “Sherry” from the first two films. (Ha! Sounds like a plan Nia)

Brandon T. Jackson, who plays Trent, was actually a 26 year old man portraying a 17 year old boy at the time. He took over the role from Jascha Washington who appeared in the first two films. (Normal age defying Hollywood stuff. I honestly didn’t realize his son was the son of Nia Long from the first film)

Big Momma’s House 2 Preview

We are starting up the Squeakuels category with one of the most hotly anticipated BMTs that I can remember. We watched the first entry in the trilogy in 2015 and are taking this opportunity to finish the series. That’s right! We’re watching Big Momma’s House 2 and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son! You really can’t go wrong here. Especially considering Big Momma’s House already gave us one of the best MonoSklogs in history. It’s… it’s… beautiful. Let’s go!

Big Momma’s House 2 (2006) – BMeTric: 66.7

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(Fun fact: Big Momma’s House is the film that helped me discover the weird inflection in the 2011 IMDb vote plots. I saw the inflection while plotting votes for Big Momma’s House, but then realized (tragically) that Big Momma Like Father Like Son came out in 2011 and so it took like four more tests to make sure the bump wasn’t just related to sequels. Obviously 50+ BMeTric is an amazing benchmark, and we are hitting two in the same week! Squeakuel Please!!)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  FBI agent Lawrence again dons a fat suit and transforms himself into the title character; here, he poses as a nanny to spy on the alleged designer of a deadly computer worm. Gratuitous sequel is an uneasy mixture of stale humor and goopy sentiment.

(This plot is already 1000x more realistic than the first one, where we had to convince ourselves it was possible that a man dressed in a fat suit could dupe an entire town into believing he was Big Momma… including her own grandchild. The main hesitance I have is that this sounds almost identical to the plot of The Pacifier, which wasn’t nearly as solid a BMT as the first Big Momma’s.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RkSH3iCZDs

(Wow… just wow. There are a number crimes committed in this trailer that would put Martin Lawrence’s character on a sexual predator list. Also, his Big Momma costume has gotten so good at this point that he would have to spend hours every morning in makeup to apply it. He seemingly can traipse about in the nude and no one notices anything amiss.)

Directors – John Whitesell – (BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Deck the Halls; Malibu’s Most Wanted; See Spot Run; Thunderstruck; Calendar Girl; Notes: Comes from a family of Hollywood heavyweights, including his brother Patrick Whitesell who is co-CEO of WME with Ari Emanuel.)

Writers – Don Rhymer (written by) – (Known For: The Santa Clause 2; Rio 2; Rio; Surf’s Up; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House; Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London; Deck the Halls; The Honeymooners; Carpool; Notes: Interestingly is credited with ‘script revisions’ on Black Knight, the other Darryl Quarles film. So was a big part of bringing all of Quarles’ credits to screen in the end.)

Darryl Quarles (characters) – (BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Black Knight; Big Momma’s House; Notes: This dude was big for a minute with Big Momma’s House and Black Knight being made back-to-back. Just a character credit for this one though.)

Actors – Martin Lawrence – (Known For: Bad Boys; Do the Right Thing; Life; Death at a Funeral; Open Season; House Party; Boomerang; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Black Knight; College Road Trip; Big Momma’s House (BMT) Rebound; National Security; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Wild Hogs (BMT); House Party 2; Blue Streak; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate; Bad Boys II; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Actress for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. Kind of amazed he has only been nominated once. I grew up seeing him on Martin, but probably best known for things like Bad Boys. Has had a long history with over working (including collapsing while jogging in a fat suit in preparation for the original Big Momma’s House) resulting in several high profile hospitalizations and arrests.)

Emily Procter – (Known For: Jerry Maguire; Leaving Las Vegas; Barry Munday; The Big Tease; Guinevere; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Body Shots; Notes: A major star (over 200 episodes) of CSI Miami she has a shockingly small feature filmography. She sings in a 1980s cover band (formerly called White Lightning, it is now called Motion). Unfortunately I can’t seem to find their touring schedule online.)

Nia Long – (Known For: Keanu; Friday; Boyz n the Hood; The Best Man Holiday; Boiler Room; The Best Man; Alfie; Soul Food; Love Jones; The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy; Baadasssss!; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2; Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Big Momma’s House; Made in America; Premonition; The Single Moms Club; Held Up; Stigmata; Notes: Most famous for Pringles Mom’s Club. Just joshing. Nothing too interesting outside of standard personal stuff, but her next project appears to be starring in a remake of the 1988 film Beaches alongside Idina Menzel.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $70,165,972 (Worldwide: $138,259,062)

(A phenomenon! It really it very impressive how much money this movie made, although I would think they were hoping to crack $100 million like the original. Still, no wonder a third movie was made.)

#43 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(Recent viewings include Paul Blart 2 and Ride Along 2. I do love these plots because, and this will become more obvious in the next few weeks I think, previous plots suggest that sequels come in waves. I’ve said previously that it is like Hollywood must replenish their store of bad sequels. We are approaching a fall. It has just occurred to me that the Bad Movie Golden Age of 2005-2010 came during a sequel drought … perhaps truly inspired garbage films can only be made after being unshackled from money grabbing sequels. One can hope.)

#6 for the Cross Dressing / Gender Bending genre: Movies where it’s at the forefront, excluding animation and documentaries.

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(Oh shit! Right at the peak of the cross-dressing-ploitation phase of Hollywood (I presume … is my history of Hollywood off?). More seriously, nearly a quarter of all 40 movies listed here were made in 2004-2006 … which is astonishing. Having dropped financially from the heady heights of …. well, Mrs. Doubtfire I guess. But still, I assume this genre will go extinct. And honestly? I don’t see why it shouldn’t.)

#16 for the Comedy – Fat Suit genre

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(Everything about these charts is incredible. Yet another peak! One-third of all fat suit movies were made between 2004 and 2006. What is happening in this world!? This genre is also dying, the financial picture looks dire. You can basically plot a straight line down to zero on that plot.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (4/71): Unfunny and unoriginal. In other words, a perfect piece of evidence for opponents of pointless movie sequels.

(Ooooof, sub-10% is stunning. And there is no way the third installment does significantly better either, so we are likely doubling up on sub-10% films this week. This has the faint whiff of White Chicks to me. Like … you know they’re going to basically make the fact that people pretending to be other people doesn’t work the way they portray it kind of part of the joke. Remember … how the White Chicks looked like horror film monsters and no one noticed? Like that.)

Poster – Big Momma’s Sklog 2 (D+)

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(Not a fan. What is even the framing in this poster? Just Big Momma standing in front of… sky? Is she on a cliff? Font is easy (Big Momma Sklog 2) and doesn’t tell me a story. Boo on all fronts. Nothing truly ugly, but nothing good either.)

Tagline(s) – The Momma of all Comedies is Back. (D+)

(Gross. Both the poster and tagline are just lazy. I hate these types of taglines. Unacceptable Big Momma’s House 2. We need more than this from you.)

Keyword(s) – undercover; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.1 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 72.4 Barb Wire (1996); 70.6 Taxi (I) (2004); 69.1 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989); 66.7 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 63.9 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 62.5 On Deadly Ground (1994); 61.3 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 60.0 Big Momma’s House (2000); 57.8 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006);

(Besides the last one it is an impressive list. Speaking of Squeakuels if we just shined off Miss Congeniality and Police Academy (ugh) we would have basically shined off of this incredible list.)

Notes – Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel & Nicholas Stoller provided uncredited rewrites to Don Rhymer’s script. (You know, I expected more better notes from this movie. Where are the notes about the producers trying to get Giamatti back or something?)

Independence Day: Resurgence Recap

Jamie

First post of the new year and we get to dive into a holiday classic. Happy New Year everyone and Happy Fourth of Joooool-eye!

What?! It’s been twenty years since Independence Day and the War of 1996. Humans have used alien technology to make immeasurable advances, but nothing could have prepared them for the next invasion. Will this next generation of fighters not go quietly into the night, not vanish without a fight, live on, and survive to celebrate humanity’s… Independence Day: Resurgence!

Why?! You may be wondering why the aliens are back just twenty years later after getting their alien butts handed to them. Turns out before Will Smith totally rocked them they were able to send out a distress signal to the super mother ship. They’re coming back for vengeance and to sap on our planet’s sweet, sweet molten core. This vengeance comes in the form of a 3000 mile long ship that is so large it totally fucks everything up with its gravity. The motivation for the humans is even simpler: survival.

How?! The aliens’ plan is to take us out, eat our planet’s core, and leave it an empty husk for the interstellar vultures. The humans’ plan is more complicated. That’s because on our own we are straight up screwed. Fortunately there is a rebel alien species that also received the distress signal and comes to our rescue. After first blowing its ship to smithereens (oops) we are able to salvage the powerful alien entity from the wreckage (in the form of a giant white orb). This orb is feared by the enemy aliens as it represents a much more advanced species capable of taking them downtown charlie brown (in the galactic sense). Teamed up with our ally we are able to lure the alien queen from the safety of the mothership and stop the drilling of our core. For this is the only way to safely set up the third film in the trilogy that everyone is obviously clamouring for (though lately Emmerich doesn’t seem super confident in it happening).

Who?! I had an existential crisis about the Who category recently. I started to think that there just weren’t enough Planchet-type characters in this world and I might need to take it in a different direction. Independence Day: Resurgence was a philosophical salve for that wound. I counted no less than five separate Planchets. We had Floyd (a nerdy auditor or something), Dikembe Umbuntu (a kooky African warlord), Papa Levinson (Jeff Goldblum’s extra Jewish father), Dr. Okun and his life partner (back from the dead and faaabbbbbuulllous), and my personal favorite Charlie Miller (BFFs with Liam Hemsworth’s character and a truly classic Planchet). The Who category is back baby! A+++ effort by the writers (one of which was one of the Planchets, Floyd!)

Where?! Kind of a hard question. If you had to pick one location it would be Area 51 in Nevada. Most time was spent there and the best fight scene took place nearby. However, we also have to give a shout out to the Moon, central Africa, and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, all of which hosted key scenes of the film. Kind of an amazing set of locations. B+ effort using intertitles and everything.

When?! A+ alert! Took place on Independence Day, 2016. Straight up getting it in the title. NBD.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Independence Day: Resurgence? More like …. Resplendent Day 2? Independence Day Boo? I feel like my brain is broken, this is like the fourth week in a row with wizzeak puns. Anywho, we watched a sequel to a beloved Sci Fi adventure from 1996, how could it possibly live up to the expectations? We’ll let’s see:

  • The Good – I thought this movie was … surprisingly cogent. It was surprisingly entertaining. The Independence Day stalwarts are still pretty good actors. And the direction was pretty solid. The movie was average in literally every possible regard. Which is surprising. A ton of people think this movie is the worst of the year. For me it was just shy of not that bad.
  • The Bad – The use of Goldblum’s father (Judd Hirsch) was atrocious. His story makes no sense (am I wrong or do they suggest he drove literally across the country in a school bus through the film? [NOTE: I was wrong, he was in LA and he was struck by the wave caused by the giant ship’s gravity, not the ship landing]) and could also have been completely cut from the film with no impact. Same goes for the Russian drillers. The young actors are all either anonymous or terrible. The story is ludicrous in a couple different way, but most obviously in that it requires several enormous exposition dumps in order to clear up the plot debris that floats alongside the gravity of the 3000 mile alien ship.
  • The BMT – And yet I was entertained. I would gladly watch a third. I would gladly watch a well made show (don’t half ass some NBC thing, but like Showtime or HBO or something? I’d go for it). I do not personally think this is a BMT film. People think this might be the worst of the year! I find that nuts. This is like a 10 tops for me.

The Sci-Fi glory that is this movie inspired me to bring back a rare game: Sklogbusters our scientific mythbusting segment vaguely started for the movie Bats and their giant cave cooling refrigeration unit. In this segment we ask: What do the aliens want with the core and does it make sense that it was their goal in the first one anyways? The key question is: Does it actually contain enough energy to really matter for a ship that size (a 3000 mile long disc)?

To start some back of the envelope calculations (BMT does not guarantee the accuracy of these figures). Let’s assume it is a perfect disc and that it is 8:1 diameter to thickness (because). We also know it is hollow inside, so let’s say it has a hull thickness equivalent to a battleship, and the density of transparent aluminum (Star Trek references all up in here) and you get a mass of about 4 * 10^17 kg I think. Ignoring almost all physics let’s just use 62 MJ / kg as the energy needed to get the spaceship back off of the earth and away from the planet. Using the heat capacity here magma has a heat capacity of 41 J / mol / K, and the core is about 5000 K. Iron is 0.056 kg/mol so each kg of Fe would provide about 4 MJ.

And that is where the figure doesn’t really add up for assuming the core is being used to propel the spaceship back off of the Earth. You need 62 MJ / kg to get each kg of fuel off of the planet, but the heat only provides 4 MJ and the radiation isn’t much at all. Which leads to only one conclusion: fuel is not the reason for the sweet sweet core sucking power of the aliens. Perhaps with wormhole technology travelling the universe is trivial. And perhaps it is, instead, the iron itself they want. They wanted the core to “grow their technology” and for energy. Why not to build dyson spheres? Would make the most sense since they appear to have cold fusion in this universe. I think there is only one moral to this story: questioning and interrogating garbage Sci-Fi science is a waste of time, because I am forced to declare this myth plausible since the technological advances of the alien race appear to be so advanced as to be unknowable. Sigh.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs