The 13th Warrior Preview

Patrick and Jamie are transported to the Top Hat Land, the land of the Top Hat Man. Their tale of how they met, battled, earned a grudging respect for, and ultimately became good friends with the Top Hat Man is a really exciting tale full of adventure and good humor. Maybe someday you’ll get to hear it… it’s really great. Too bad this is a different story. They walk into Top Hat Man’s kitchen where he is doing his morning sudoku over a warm cup of the blood of innocents. He looks at us with surprise. ‘Oh hi, guys. I didn’t expect you. You need something?” Boy howdy, do they. “I need to escape the horrorscape that I’m trapped in before I am destroyed by the many terrors I’m encountering,” says Patrick. “And I need to totally own this vampire in a dance-off,” says Jamie. The Top Hat Man ponders while consuming one of his recently captured souls of the damned. “Hmmm, I’m only a simple all-powerful demon my guys. I think I can maybe do one of those things. Which should I do?” When Patrick open his mouth to ask for rescue from his dire situation he is quickly interrupted by Jamie, “I want to learn the Top Hat Dance to put this piece of shit Vampiro to shame.” Patrick winks out of existence. When the Top Hat Man finishes the Top Hat Dance Jamie realized it’s not that much different than the patented Twin Dance he and Patrick have mastered. “Seems pretty obvious in retrospect, Top Hat Man. Guess I didn’t really need your help in the end. But nice seeing you.” Jamie winks out of existence.

Back in Dracula School, Jamie pulls out all the stops in performing his sensual yet classy dance routine. Vampiro is stunned. He falls to his knees and stammers, “Just as the Viking legend foretold…” That’s right! This week we’re watching The 13th Warrior. It is the classic story of a Middle Eastern emissary caught up in a Viking war that we know and love. It was well known at the time of release for being totally recut and reshot after test audiences responded poorly to it. It ended up sitting on the shelf for almost a year before finally being released in 1999. Let’s go!

Back in the alleyway set Patrick reappears. Now that he thinks about it he kind of wishes he had also asked to learn the Top Hat Dance, although he doubted it was better than their patented Twin Dance anyways. Nearby Sticks and Stones, unaware that he has returned, are finishing the end of a heated conversation. “Gosh dern it! We lost him! If our corrupt police captain who wrapped us up in all of that corruption with that corrupt city official finds out, that’s it! No more corruption money for us, Sticks and Stones, the most corrupt cops in the Z-Movie Multiverse.” At that moment Sticks notices Patrick. “He’s back” he growls, “how much of that did you hear?” That’s right, we’re also watching Edison (Force). Known either as simply Edison or Edison Force, this star-studded film (featuring Morgan Freeman, Justin Timberlake, and *cough* Kevin Spacey) was shelved for one year before being quietly released as a direct-to-DVD feature. Let’s go!

The 13th Warrior (1999) – BMeTric: 16.6

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(Wowza that 2011 inflection! It is so steep there! I think this kind of confirms one of the original theories I had about all of this. The 13th Warrior is exactly the type of film people outside of the US would end up voting a ton on. So it is very likely that is why the vote count increased so dramatically at that time.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  In ancient times, exiled Arabian nobleman Banderas travels with some Norsemen to their homelands, there to face possibly supernatural nighttime marauders, who eat their victims. Sturdy, action-packed adventure with horror overtones, realistic but in the heroic tradition, shot on spectacular Canadian locations. Based on Michael Crichton’s novel Eaters of the Dead, itself inspired by true travel writings and the medieval tale of Beowulf.

(A true rarity. Two and a half stars is pretty common in my opinion, Leonard Maltin is pretty gentle with a lot of reviews. But three stars points to this being possibly genuinely enjoyable. Maybe he just loves the visuals more than he hates the muddled story.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui7GUCzlBTM

 

(I. Am. Getting. Amped. Although you can totally see why this is considered a complete mess of a production, so … I guess we’ve got that going for us. It isn’t surprising that the critics tend to say it looks nice, but is thin on plot. This trailer proves that: it looked nice, but hey, guess what, you don’t need a plot in a trailer.)

Directors – John McTiernan – (Known For: Predator; The Hunt for Red October; Die Hard; The Thomas Crown Affair; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Future BMT: Medicine Man; Last Action Hero; Nomads; Basic; BMT: Rollerball; The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Known for including unsubtitled foreign language dialogue in his films. Born into the biz, but basically retired after Basic.)

Michael Crichton – (Known For: Runaway; Westworld; Coma; The First Great Train Robbery; Future BMT: Physical Evidence; Looker; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Twister in 1997; Notes: Basically stopped directing after the 80s. This is literally his only credit after 1989 for directing and it is via uncredited reshoots. Just nuts.)

Writers – Michael Crichton (novel) – (Known For: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Jurassic World; Jurassic Park; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Twister; Jurassic Park III; Runaway; Westworld; Disclosure; Coma; The First Great Train Robbery; The Andromeda Strain; The Terminal Man; Future BMT: Congo; Sphere; Rising Sun; Looker; BMT: Timeline; The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Twister in 1997; Notes: Probably my favorite thing about Crichton is his kind of obvious hatred of scientists (at the very least his penchant for making them pure evil). They always know what is best, but their hubris ends up nearly destroying the world. What disasters!)

William Wisher (screenplay) – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; The Terminator; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; I.T.; Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist; BMT: Judge Dredd; The 13th Warrior; Notes: Had bit parts in both Terminators and The Abyss … so probably knows James Cameron quite well.)

Warren Lewis (screenplay) – (Known For: Black Rain; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Notes: He is credited as contributing to the 1969 film Latitude Zero. This seems extremely unlikely as it is 20 years prior to his other credits and would make him 70 years old at the very very least. But I can’t find additional information on his birthdate or age anywhere.)

Actors – Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Shrek 2; Shrek Forever After; Shrek the Third; Spy Kids; Philadelphia; Desperado; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; Knight of Cups; The Mask of Zorro; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Acts of Vengeance; Frida; La piel que habito; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; The 33; Bullet Head; Puss in Boots; Black Butterfly; Future BMT: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D; Machete Kills; Play It to the Bone; Never Talk to Strangers; The Other Man; The Legend of Zorro; The Body; The Big Bang; Original Sin; Gun Shy; Two Much; Autómata; Assassins; Of Love and Shadows; Justin and the Knights of Valour; Four Rooms; Imagining Argentina; Black Gold; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; The Expendables 3; The 13th Warrior; Notes: Was married to Melanie Griffith for nearly 20 years. He looked pretty swanky with his new GF at the Starlite Gala though.)

Diane Venora – (Known For: Heat; Romeo + Juliet; The Insider; The Cotton Club; True Crime; F/X; Ironweed; The Substitute; Hamlet; Wolfen; Bird; The Young Girl and the Monsoon; Looking for an Echo; Future BMT: Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; All Good Things; The Jackal; Surviving Picasso; Stateside; Three Wishes; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Notes: Originally a theater actor. She even was reportedly fired from the show Thunder Alley because she was playing the part like she was on Broadway.)

Dennis Storhøi – (Known For: Zwei Leben; BMT: The 13th Warrior; Notes: Norwegian actor. Nearly all of his credits are productions in Norway. It is hard to tell, but it is possible this was his one foray into an American production.)

Budget/Gross – $85–160 million / Domestic: $32,698,899 (Worldwide: $61,698,899)

(Yeah the budget numbers are all over the place according to the IMDb notes. It is probably in the $115 million range prior to marketing. Regardless one of the largest bombs in history.)

#51 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(Only narrowly beats out The Three Musketeers (2011) which is … embarrassing. Had a bit of a lull, but it is kind of struggling to reassert itself. Kong: Skull Island and The Jungle Book suggest that there is still an audience for something like this … if it is attached to a known quantity.)

#15 for the Medieval Times genre

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(Our highest grossing. In kind of a lull now. Possibly because of things like Game of Thrones eating away a bit at its audience? Didn’t help that that King Arthur film bombed hard.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (29/88): Atmospheric, great sets and costumes, but thin plot.

(Thanks Rotten Tomatoes, Jesus. Could you maybe give me less to work with here. So basically … eye candy with literally nothing behind it? Whatever, this movie is going to be boring I bet. Reviewer Highlight – With a budget said to be more than $100 million, it displays a lot of cash on the screen, but little thought. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – The Umpteeth Bore-ior (B-)

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(Did a little NYPost with that one. Not the best of the posters, but it’s what’s on IMDb so I default to that. I kind of like the spacing and all the pieces to this one including some font work. Should have played up the orange tones. Give it a little fire.)

Tagline(s) – Defy fear (C+)

An Ordinary Man…An Extraordinary Journey! (F)

(Two versions of the poster exist with these two different taglines. They should have burned one of them… I’ll let you guess which one. Defy fear is fine (although almost a tongue twister to say and mostly nonsense). The second one is… not good.)

Keyword(s) – arab; Top Ten by BMeTric: 62.5 Bitch Slap (2009); 61.7 Ishtar (1987); 54.9 Cannonball Run II (1984); 53.6 Best Defense (1984); 49.7 The Sin Eater (2003); 46.3 Legionnaire (1998); 44.3 American Dreamz (2006); 41.3 2012 (I) (2009); 38.8 Bad Kids Go to Hell (2012); 38.7 The Delta Force (1986);

(Oooooof what a keyword. Anyways, All of these sound awful and I want to see none of them. I also am unsure what 2012 has to do with arabs. Ishtar is fine, but Cannonball Run II is straight up racist. This keyword is bonkers.)

Notes – In accordance with the book, John McTiernan’s version of the Wendol’s mother was an old woman, which was filmed with veteran actress Susan Willis. When Michael Crichton took over and did the reshoots, it was decided that brutally killing off an old lady did not reflect very well on the heroes. Crichton decided after the fact to make her younger, sleeker and tougher. In the final released film, Wendol’s mother is played by actress Kristen Cloke (uncredited), but the final credits still list Susan Willis as the Wendol’s mother (although she is nowhere to be seen in the final cut). (This movie seems like a gem …)

Graeme Revell had composed a complete original score when the movie was slated to be released as “Eaters of the Dead” in 1998. But after the film was deemed unwatchable during test screenings, Michael Crichton took over the project and rejected Revell’s original score and brought in Jerry Goldsmith to rescore the film, renamed “The 13th Warrior.” (Unwatchable …)

Although rumors persist that ‘The 13th Warrior’ was one of the most expensive movie flops ever with a budget of $160m (the figure given on the-numbers.com for its combined production and marketing costs), the producers claimed that the actual cost of the film before marketing was $90m. In the U.S. The 13th Warrior grossed $32,698,900 and only $61,702,600 worldwide. (So a giant bomb, got it)

The film omits an explanation of who the “mist monsters” actually are. In the novel, author Michael Crichton reveals they were the descendants of the Neanderthals.

One of the Viking ships used in the movie is now to be found in the Norwegian pavilion in the EPCOT-center, Walt Disney World, where it is used as a playground for kids. The Disney-company is also the owner of Touchstone Pictures that made the movie. (Fun fact)

Since Michael Crichton published his novel “Eaters of the Dead” in 1976, the basis of this film, it has become regarded as one of the most notorious hoaxes in Librarianship Circles. The Ahmad Tusi Manuscript that Crichton referenced in his bibliography as being the source of this story, is completely made up. The name of the translator Fraus Dolus is in fact two Latin words meaning both ‘hoax’ and ‘fraud’. The University of Oslo, where this manuscript is supposed to be kept, have (since the book was published), on an annual basis had to send out letters telling enquirers that they have been the victim of a hoax. (That’s pretty good, have to give Crichton credit there, that is hilarious)

Adapting “Beowulf” for his novel and then for this movie, Michael Crichton changed some of the original names for ones that sounded similar: Beowulf is here named Buliwyf, Hygelac becomes Hyglak, the Grendel transformed into the Wendol, etc. (So yeah … this is just Beowulf?)

Originally titled ‘Eaters of the Dead’, the film went through several re-edits after test audiences did not react well to the initial cut. After re-shooting several key scenes with Michael Crichton taking over as director, the title was changed to ‘The 13th Warrior’. The budget, which was originally around $85 million, reportedly soared to more than $110-115 million before principal photography wrapped. With all of the re-shoots and promotional expenses, the total cost of the film was a rumored $160 million. (Wow. That is nuts)

When Ibn Fahdlan (Banderas) and Melchisidek (Sharif) enters the tent at the beginning of the movie the latter speaks Greek which eventually leads to a conversation with the viking Herger (Storhoi). Melchisidek speaks Greek, and though Herger obviously understands Greek he responds in Latin which Melchisidek fortunately understands.Though it is not stated why a Northman could understand both Latin and Greek as there were no official connection between Scandinavia and Byzantine in the 10th century, the logical assumption would be that Herger learned the languages due to him taking part in the viking raids/travels into modern day Russia (where the first scenes are filmed) and from there south into what was then the Byzantine Empire. The dominant language of the Byzantium realm was Greek with Latin as a second language. The vikings made at least one attempt at conquering the capital of the Byzantium Empire. (Whaaaaaaa, there are like a thousand notes like this on IMDb each one more confusing than the last)

Was filmed two years before its eventual release date, which had been pushed back several times. (And that is why we are watching it, for reals)

The idea of 13 warriors is taken from Scandinavian myths regarding the danish king Hrolf Kraki (Pole-Ladder). The legend goes that Hrolf Kraki had an entourage of 12 warriors (like Buliwyf in the film) and in some versions, one of them is Bödvar Bjarki, a hero who shares parallels with the hero Beowulf. Some scholars has suggested that the story of Bödvar Bjarki is simply another version of the story of Beowulf. (Very interesting stuff)

In John McTiernan’s original cut there was no final duel between Bulywyf and the leader of the Wendol. (Huh, then why add it in?)

Director Stuart Gordon first optioned the rights from Michael Crichton’s book in the early 1990s and generated a lot of interest in the project, before ‘Martha Coolidge’ (QV) got interested before John McTiernan was ultimately actually hired to direct it. (Sounds like a real prize …)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Preview

We hit two of the major action bombs this year for BMT Live! in The Mummy and Geostorm. This left us with a few of the lesser options available for this week. What we ended up landing on might come as a bit of a shock, but with a newly found love of franchises it shouldn’t. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with the final two installments (the only two that qualify), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales… wait, is that actually the name of the latest one? Wow, that is not good. The latest entry came this year, six years after the last installment, and while I would have assumed it was a bomb (I barely remember it came out), it still made $800 million worldwide. Feed those international audiences what they want, Disney, and what they want is Johnny Depp. Ugh. Let’s go! er … wait one second … we’re forgetting something. Oh yeah, this is our 400th BMT ever! Why did we choose such an anonymous film as our 400th? Well, the Calendar kiiiiind of handcuffs us these days. The rules are rather strict. The sacrifices we make for BMT. Let’s go!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) – BMeTric: 14.6

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(This might as well be identical to On Stranger Tides’ plot to be honest. Tumbling its way down to 6.6 as we speak. I assume it will dip a tad bit further (6.5 or 6.4), but it’ll sit around there. People love their Pirates movies. And to be honest, after watching the fourth, I can kind of see why. There is something charming about the silliness, the costumes, and the Rube-Goldberg-esque action scenes on gigantic set pieces. Something very much reminiscent of something like Indiana Jones.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  The most ridiculous though satisfying sequence involves Sparrow’s entrance that could double as a metaphor for the entire movie. A new bank is being celebrated on the isle of Saint Martin and the ceremony revolves around a giant safe. Once opened, Jack is found inside taking a nap atop stacks of money as well as someone’s wife. He apparently was supposed to pull off a robbery and ends up accidentally stealing the entire building instead. Alas, once the pursuit runs its course, most of the riches have been emptied out onto the streets. Those who go to see “Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales” might just recognize that hollow feeling as they leave the theater.

(Shots fired. There is something about these series which does scream “diminishing returns”. Something about the character of Sparrow and charming as he can be, that really overstays its welcome after the third or fourth movie. I’m not sure what you do about it though. It isn’t like switch to Mark Whalberg helped anything with Transformers.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrGyD4kHTSE

(Still seems like fun. What is wrong with me? Why do I watch that and think “huh, these films are fun, I kind of want to watch that”. I now it is going to be like 4 hours long. I know ultimately it is going to be set-piece action scenes held together by exposition and Depp being a weirdo. Stop making them so I can stop watching them!)

Directors – Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg – (Known For: Kon-Tiki; Bandidas; Max Manus: Man of War; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Childhood friends from Norway, this appears to be the last film they are directing as a directorial team. Sandberg is apparently working on a bio-pic about the Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen. Rønning is working on a Sci-fi film called Origin, and Maleficent 2.)

Writers – Jeff Nathanson (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; The Terminal; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Rush Hour 2; Tower Heist; The Last Shot; Future BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Rush Hour 3; New York, I Love You; BMT:Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Currently writing the new live-action Lion King adaptation. He is apparently famous for being uncredited on a ton of scripts, including Twister for example.)

Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott (story by & based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Shrek; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Treasure Planet; Small Soldiers; The Mask of Zorro; The Road to El Dorado; Deja Vu; Future BMT: Godzilla; The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; BMT: The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: These guys again. They wrote on the fourth installment as well. They got an Oscar nomination for Shrek.)

Stuart Beattie (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Collateral; 30 Days of Night; Australia; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Future BMT:G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Derailed; BMT: I, Frankenstein; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: One of the original screenwriters. He is currently writing a spec script for a Halo adaption.)

Jay Wolpert (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; The Count of Monte Cristo; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Future BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: One of the original screenwriters. He at one point wrote eight episodes of the 90s talk show Into the Night with Rick Dees.)

Actors – Johnny Depp – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Edward Scissorhands; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Sleepy Hollow; Platoon; Black Mass; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; 21 Jump Street; Blow; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Alice in Wonderland; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Into the Woods; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Finding Neverland; Corpse Bride; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Yoga Hosers; The Astronaut’s Wife; Private Resort; The Tourist; Dark Shadows; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Nick of Time; The Man Who Cried; The Libertine; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Brave; BMT:Jack and Jill; Mortdecai; Transcendence; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Mortdecai in 2016; Nominated for Worst Actor for The Lone Ranger in 2014; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2017; Notes: Once again, kind of just easier to go with recent news. In this case, following his divorce from Amber Heard, Depp seems to have started shedding his Los Angeles penthouses. He sold his fifth and final recently. I imagine it is in part because of the financial difficulties he’s found himself in. That sweet Harry Potter money will get some of that back though.)

Geoffrey Rush – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Finding Nemo; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; The King’s Speech; Shakespeare in Love; Munich; Deception; Minions; Frida; Elizabeth; The Book Thief; Mystery Men; Quills; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; Les Misérables; Final Portrait; The Daughter; Holding the Man; Candy; Future BMT: Green Lantern; House on Haunted Hill; The Warrior’s Way; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Elizabeth: The Golden Age; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Australian actor who won an Oscar for King’s Speech. He says he is done with Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after this one.)

Javier Bardem – (Known For: Mother!; No Country for Old Men; Skyfall; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Collateral; To the Wonder; Jamon Jamon; Biutiful; The Sea Inside; Before Night Falls; Live Flesh; The Dancer Upstairs; Tacones lejanos; Los lunes al sol; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Eat Pray Love; The Last Face; Autómata; Love in the Time of Cholera; Perdita Durango; Sin noticias de Dios; BMT: The Gunman; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Also an Oscar winner (for No Country For Old Men). Married to Penelope Cruz who oddly starred in the previous installment.)

Budget/Gross – $230 million / Domestic: $172,558,876 (Worldwide: $794,775,567)

(Obviously underwhelming for the brand I would think. Worldwide it still has some pull, but sub-billion worldwide, and below the reported budget domestic is not great, even if a lot of films would be perfectly satisfied with that performance.)

#15 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(This is the same as in the fourth Pirates preview, but here you can kind of see that this film was at least part of the resurgence of the genre this year. I think people like costumes and action that takes place at least tangentially in our world. Kind of a faux-historical adventure fiction. And every so often if you wish hard enough you get a Planchet bumbling down the stairwell in A Three Musketeers film. Sigh, there are not enough Planchets in the world.)

#95 for the IMAX (Feature-length) genre

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(IMAX is interesting because it really doesn’t seem like it will stop. I would assume most every theater will eventually do something to at least have the capability, because the money that comes in per theater isn’t dropping while the theaters per year is obviously still growing tremendously.)

#5 for the Swashbuckler genre

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(Also obviously not a real genre. It might as well be called Pirates of the Caribbean, Zorro, and the Three Musketeers, because those are the main players here.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (69/234): Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales proves that neither a change in directors nor an undead Javier Bardem is enough to drain this sinking franchise’s murky bilge.

(Actually higher than I remembered, this is very close to the response to the fourth film. While I didn’t love the fourth film, I was surprised by how much watching it didn’t bother me. Often tired franchise just get on my nerves after a while (*cough* Transformers *cough*), but this changed the pace enough that I kind of liked it. I’m wondering whether they went a little too much back to the well with Knightley and Bloom returning … I guess I’ll see.)

Poster – Sklog-rates of the Caribbean: Dead Sklogs Tell No Tales (B-)

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(Considerably better than the other one. Focuses on the characters and gives an undersea blue tone to everything. I can forgive the clutter from the zombie sharks and random ship image in the background.)

Tagline(s) – All pirates must die. (D)

(Not sure where this comes from. Not from the poster. Maybe from some other promotional material where you don’t have to produce something very good. I hope so because this is not very good.)

Keyword(s) – pirate; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 68.7 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 65.3 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 63.5 The Phantom (1996); 61.5 Virus (1999); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 59.6 Cyborg (1989); 46.2 Double Impact (1991); 40.9 Cutthroat Island (1995); 39.2 Six Days Seven Nights (1998);

(Again the same as in the previous preview. I find it interesting to two types of Pirates represented here as well. I think Six Days and Seven Nights, Double Impact, Cyborg, Virus, and DOA: Dead or Alive might be “modern” pirates. And the rest I think are Pirates of the Caribbean kind of caricatures. Funny that it is basically exactly 50-50.)

Notes – The severed heads in the guillotine basket are of the film directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. (Probably cost a cool million dollars)

The joke Jack Sparrow’s uncle tells Jack is the same joke Al Pacino told Johnny Depp during production of Donnie Brasco: “A skeleton walks into a bar, orders a beer and a mop… “

Although this movie was initially claimed to be the last one in the series, a sixth installment was announced after its release. (Hmm, I wonder if it will happen. I think the double trilogy would feel right, and it would give them an opportunity to let Depp go out with a bang with the character. I guess we’ll see)

The film was being produced as Johnny Depp was going through a bitter divorce from his wife Amber Heard. He was chronically late to the set, to the point where it ate into the schedule as the set often came to a halt for hours at a time. It got to the point where a production assistant was hired just to wait outside Depp’s house and announce that he was awake when they saw the lights inside come on.

At two hours and nine minutes long, this has been the shortest running time of all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. (hooooraaaaay)

Christoph Waltz was originally cast in the role of Captain Brand, but dropped out due to other work commitments. Javier Bardem was then given the role, but the name was changed from Brand to Salazar to sound more Mediterranean to accompany Bardem’s Spanish descent. Bardem and Waltz both previously played villains in Daniel Craig James Bond films. Bardem in Skyfall (2012), and Waltz in Spectre (2015).

After failing to return for Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Disney reached back out to Martin Klebba (Marty), Lee Arenberg (Pintel), Makenzie Crook (Raghetti), David Bailie (Cotton), Angus Barnett (Mullroy) and Giles New (Murtogg) to return for Pirates of the Caribbean Dead’s Men Tell No Tales. Only Martin Klebba, Angus Barnett and Giles New were able to make it work within his schedule.

In an interview, Orlando Bloom said this movie will be a soft reboot of the previous installments. (I … don’t think that happened? I could be mistaken, that sounds crazy)

Paul McCartney is seen singing a song “Maggie Mae”. It is an old drinking song of the sea from Liverpool and featured on The Beatles “Let it Be” Album. On the album, the song was sung by John Lennon. (whaaaaaaaaaa?)

To prevent fans from interfering with the production, secret filming locations used the production name of “Herschel”.

In a flashback scene of Captain Salazar, one of his crew members recognizes a ship as Bonnet’s ship called “Royal James”. Stede Bonnet was a real life pirate that was active from December of 1717 to December of 1718 before being hanged in Charles Town for piracy and also worked closely with Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard.

With a release six years after its predecessor, marks the largest gap between the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Javier Bardem’s wife Penélope Cruz starred in the previous installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).

Salazar’s face was full makeup that took Javier Bardem three hours to put on, but the hair was all CG. To achieve this, Bardem’s hair was pulled back and a makeup artist added marking dots on his face, which tracked the motion of his head in post production.

During filming, Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard breached Australia’s strict bio-security laws when they failed to declare their two dogs to the Australian Customs Service when they flew by private jet into Queensland, where filming was taken place. Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document. In April 2016, Heard appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, stating that she was sleep deprived and made a mistake. The two bio-security charges were dropped, and she was placed on a one-month good behavior bond, paying a $1,000 fine for producing a false document. Heard and Depp also released a video in which they apologized for their behavior and urged people to adhere to the bio-security laws. Australian newspaper The Guardian called the case the “highest profile criminal quarantine case” in Australian history. (Dummies. As a person who has gone through the nightmare that is importing a dog into the UK I am deeply offended by this act of gross entitlement)

The father of Captain Jack Sparrow was played by a Rolling Stone (Keith Richards) and in this film, the uncle of Captain Jack Sparrow is played by a Beatle (Paul McCartney). (Alright, this annoys me. Mainly because Keith Richards are atrocious as his father in the fourth film. I bet McCartney is also terrible)

In the flashback scene, we see Jack is on a ship called the Wicked Wench. This is actually the Black Pearl, it gets renamed when Davy Jones brings it back from the depths, after it’s set ablaze, in the book Pirates of the Caribbean The Price of Freedom, making the book Canon. (THE BOOK IS CANON!)

The film’s action takes place in 1755. During the third act, Barbossa said that it has been five years since Blackbeard shrunk The Black Pearl in the bottle. The producers have said that the previous installment, On Stranger Tides, takes place in 1750. This also means that Henry is 21 years of age, given that he is 12 during the prologue, two years after the post-credits scene of At World’s End. (You listening Jamie? We got some setting possibly)

Epic Movie Preview

My gawwwd! Is that Friedberg and Seltzer’s music? That’s right! We’re taking this Street Credit Report (dot com) cycle and punching ourselves in the face by watching one of the many ridiculously awful spoof films made by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. In this case we decided on Epic Movie because it’s not quite as small as some of the later films (former Obama aide Kal Penn is in it after all). For its street cred it stands at a brutal 2% on RT and #42 on the lowest rated films on imdb. However, it surprisingly wasn’t nominated for a Worst Picture Razzie in 2007, so perhaps it won’t totally destroy our will to live. Sigh. Who am I kidding? The Razzies don’t know shit. God help us and see you on the other side. Let’s go!

Epic Movie (2007) – BMeTric: 95.9 (#42 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(That’s it though, right? That steady sub-3.0. It doesn’t rise up, it didn’t drop down at any point. Ten years ago this came out and people were like “this is trash”. And throughout the years others heard that this movie was awful and they watched it and said “this is trash”. It is why this movie is probably legendary. I mean … legendary in that it will be just brutally unfunny and annoying. But legendary nonetheless.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Four siblings find themselves meandering through lame slapstick parodies of recent epic movies and other obvious pop-culture targets. Typically tedious, unfunny hack job, with an array of cameo appearances including Crispin Glover, who (as a perverted, sadistic Willy Wonka) provides the film with its only moments of admittedly sordid energy. Kevin Hart appears uncredited.

(Secret Kevin Hart film, I like it. We’ve probably technically watched something like six Hart films at this point (although Scary Movie 3 and 4 are not actually recorded in the archive … oops). This will be and sounds like trash. I will watch out for Crispin Glover though, that could be fun.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=SN&feature=plcp&hl=fr&v=AZKIr7r6Op4

(Uggggggh. I remember when this trailer came out. What really does it for me is that the last joke of the entire trailer, where Superman is shot in the eye, is just horrible. It involves an actor I don’t know with such a throwaway garbage joke. The cast is pretty solid ultimately, and they should have kind of just focused on that I think … I don’t know, it looks horrible.)

Directors – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – (BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Best Night Ever; Notes: Even their wikipedia says they make “parody movies that have received extremely unfavorable reviews”! They started directing after years of selling scripts that never got made (upwards of 40 they claim). Friedberg’s father (Rick Friedberg) gave them the in by introducing them to Leslie Nielson when making Bad Golf Made Easier)

Writers – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Spy Hard; Scary Movie 3; Best Night Ever; Notes: Their spec script called Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween was accepted after Spy Hard and reworked into Scary Movie. Sounds like the title to this film, weird that it wasn’t written by these two then.)

Friedberg and Seltzer Razzie Street Cred – Nominated in 2011 for the Razzie Award for Worst Director and Screenplay for Vampires Suck; and in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; in 2008 just for Worst Screenplay for Epic Movie

Actors – Kal Penn – (Known For: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle; Superman Returns; Speech & Debate; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; A Lot Like Love; A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas; The Namesake; BMT: Epic Movie; Son of the Mask; Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; Deck the Halls; Malibu’s Most Wanted; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; The Girl in the Photographs; Man About Town; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; Notes: I remember him first from Van Wilder, and then Harold and Kumar, and finally House. He worked for the Obama administration and now is on the show Designated Survivor as the White House Press Secretary.)

Jennifer Coolidge – (Known For: American Pie; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Legally Blonde; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Zoolander; Robots; American Wedding; Best in Show; Mascots; Bad Lieutenant; Trial and Error; A Mighty Wind; BMT: Epic Movie; Date Movie; Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Pootie Tang; Down to Earth; A Cinderella Story; Igor; A Night at the Roxbury; Click; Austenland; Gentlemen Broncos; Notes: Has been in a few Christopher Guest movies. Otherwise I basically only know her from American Pie where she played Stifler’s Mom, and Legally Blond. An alumnus of The Groundlings.)

Fred Willard – (Known For: Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; WALL·E; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; This Is Spinal Tap; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Monster House; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; American Wedding; Best in Show; Youth in Revolt; Roxanne; Silver Streak; Mascots; Planes: Fire & Rescue; I Could Never Be Your Woman; A Mighty Wind; Waiting for Guffman; BMT: Epic Movie; Date Movie; Fifty Shades of Black; The Wedding Planner; Love Wrecked; Chicken Little; Idle Hands; How High; Movie Madness; Harold; Notes: Again, very notable for his work with Christopher Guest, but also a titan of comedy in general I would say. He was part of The Second City. Makes me think a good cycle would be something like The Second Shitty … amirite? Movies involving The Second City alums.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $39,739,367 (Worldwide: $86,865,564)

(That’s solid. No wonder they’d go on to make two (!) spoof movies in 2008. At the time it must have seemed like they could just print money with these things. This garbage genre is somewhat saturated now though and I think must mainly go to VOD. I guess we’ll see with the next plot.)

#17 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

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(Just below A Haunted House seems okay. Obviously Fifty Shades of Black was the most recent big release. Kind of puts this haul in perspective, Fifty Shades sits at number 48 with only $11 million return, oof. This literally is the start of the genre saturation (as I guessed), and indeed the genre is straight dying. People lament the death of the spoof genre, but its been dead since the 80s. Scary Movie was an aberration. If only more things like Wet Hot American Summer existed, sigh.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/64): A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.

(Yup. Sounds about right. I’ll have to just psych myself into “everything is funny” mode for this. I remember watching InAPPropriate Comedy. This can’t be worse than that. I will survive.)

Poster – Epic Sklog? (U)

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(Ho-ly shit. That’s a U for Unacceptable. I do not accept that this is a poster that someone made for a film released to over a thousand theaters.)

Tagline(s) – We Know It’s Big. We Measured. (What the FFFFFFFFFFFFuuuu…)

(This is worse than the poster! Why are you doing this to us? What did we ever do to you?)

Keyword(s) – orphan; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 93.0 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 86.0 Norbit (2007); 85.5 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.5 The Room (2003); 83.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 81.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 77.9 Superhero Movie (2008); 71.4 The Next Karate Kid (1994);

(Ooooo The Next Karate Kid would be a nice one to do. Finally have an excuse to watch the third one too. I like this list because, I think, all of them nicely fit the keyword which is not always the case. Also, logging a 71.4 BMeTric as the tenth makes the list guaranteed to be amazing.)

Notes – Jayma Mays and Adam Campbell met on the set of the film, and they married in October 2007. (cool)

This film was not screened for critics. (Of course it wasn’t. It would be the biggest upset in film history if they screened this for critics)

The rest of the notes basically just explains all of the things this movie parodies … we get it, Glover impersonated Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)