Sanctum Preview

“Woooooo,” scream the gang as they ride Bessy the Giant Alligator through the sewers of the school. There aren’t any rules against water polo playing alligators and there aren’t any rules against having fun either. Suddenly they drop into a dank sanctum deep underground with a wondrous swirling pool of water in the middle. “The portal,” Poe whispers, beholding a link between universes and the object of their quest. “How… how do we destroy it?” asks Rich, but Adrestia sushes him and points to Rich’s chest, “The Devil’s Key. It was inside of you the whole time.” Rad. They all link hands, Rich and Poe readying to destroy the portal, but before they do a slow, sharp crack of applause rings out and sends chills down their spines. Nic Cage and the hooded gamemaster stand behind them. “Excellent,” Nic Cage says with a smile, “you quelled the riots with your silly book. But I’m curious, how did you know that the book would help uncover the larger conspiracy? That the students, inspired by chaste love, would then turn over the football coach for distributing steroids?” Rich and Poe look at each other. The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All… of course. “Yes, very curious indeed,” the game master adds shaking with fury, “and what are you doing here?” Thinking fast Rich and Poe explain that they were just looking for a place to dispose of all those bad steroids. “While rulez are coolz, everyone knows drugz are totally not coolz.” They fist bump and hold their breath. “Excellent,” says Nic Cage beaming. “Now we’re ready for the third challenge,” he says, “and remember, sometimes a good setting can go a long way.” “Oui, de Paris avec amour,” the hooded gamemaster says and kicks Rich and Poe into the portal. That’s right! We’re watching Sanctum. That film that everyone remembers. It’s a perfect transition to the next cycle as not only is it an example of a Deus Ex Machina (according to the internet), but takes place in Papua New Guinea of all places. That fits nicely with the globe-trotting mapl.de.map adventure that is the third leg of our battle for the universe. This time, though, anywhere and anything goes as we try to get some truly ludicrous settings. Let’s go!

Sanctum (2011) – BMeTric: 35.2; Notability: 21 

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(Ha the 9.7 … I suppose the early views were by underwater filmmaking fanatics? It ended up just under 6 it looks like which is about what I would expect. The notability is a bit higher that I would expect, but then again I bet a bunch of those are famous underwater stuntmen and filmmaking technicians, so perhaps it is understandable. Hard to make an underwater film without people who are good at making underwater films.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  “Sanctum” tells the story of a terrifying adventure in an incompetent way. Some of it is exciting, the ending is involving, and all of it is a poster child for the horrors of 3-D used badly. The film is being heavily marketed as a “James Cameron Production,” but if this were a “James Cameron Film,” I suspect it would have fewer flaws and the use of 3-D would be much improved.

(Big oof. If you look below at the people involved … yeah, it kind of seems like the review nails it on the head. It is very much a story of Cameron asking an underwater filmmaker to make a movie his friend wrote using Australian Soap Opera stars … not really what you want.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBik92hLhAY/

(So dramatic! Probably doesn’t help that I have a long standing fear of deep water … I remember when this came out and thought “yeah, nope, I’m not watching that.” But the siren song of BMT beckons, I must watch to appear the BMT gods.)

Directors – Alister Grierson – (Known For: Kokoda: 39th Battalion; BMT: Sanctum; Notes: Apparently was offered the job while visiting the set of Avatar. I assume Cameron knew him based on his experience with underwater filmmaking.)

Writers – John Garvin (written by) – (BMT: Sanctum; Notes: Was apparently brought on due to his experience with underwater filmmaking.)

Andrew Wight (written by & story) – (BMT: Sanctum; Notes: An accomplished diver, he has been involved in a ton of underwater documentaries. The story is based on an event that happened to him. He sadly died in a helicopter crash in 2012.)

Actors – Rhys Wakefield – (Known For: Bliss; After the Dark; Broken Hill; Shadow Walkers; Nobody Walks; The Black Balloon; Paint It Black; Future BMT: The Purge; War on the Range; Bootmen; BMT: Sanctum; Endless Love; Notes: Started on Home and Away, an Australian Soap Opera. He was in over 300 episodes.)

Allison Cratchley – (BMT: Sanctum; Notes: Australian. She was featured heavily on All Saints, which is a medical drama, and that same Soap Opera Home and Away.)

Christopher James Baker – (Known For: The Purge: Election Year; Serendipity; Ned Kelly; Nim’s Island; Appropriate Behaviour; Kokoda: 39th Battalion; Future BMT: The Condemned; The Duel; Renaissance Man; The Great Raid; BMT: Kangaroo Jack; Sanctum; Notes: Ultimately he’s got a ton of work in television (along with a bunch of bit parts in the movies listed above). He’s going to be featured consistently in the upcoming Stargirl, and was in 7 episodes of Ozark.)

Budget/Gross – $30,000,000 / Domestic: $23,209,310 (Worldwide: $108,609,310)

(Whooooooooo doggy, that is actually kind of a success. I’m actually willing to bet there was no attempt at a follow-up in any capacity because of Cameron. I can imagine him seeing the project as an interesting challenge and then just walking away after it was completed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (50/167): Sanctum is beautifully photographed, and it makes better use of 3-D technology than most, but that doesn’t make up for its ham-handed script and lifeless cast.

(This all seems incredibly consistent. A beautiful film with cardboard cutouts as a cast and a terrible script written by someone who isn’t a screenwriter … what did you expect? Reviewer Highlight: Sometimes the sets look like, well, Styrofoam. So do the actors. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.)

Poster – Sanctum? Damn Near Drowned ‘Em

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(This is actually an exciting poster. You got cave diving and an interesting layout, with nice color and at least a little playfulness with the font. Overall I enjoy this. It’s nicely made. A; Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I didn’t really work too hard on the face this time, just kind of popped it in and colored it. The thing I really proud about it mimicking the font pretty well. It makes me think I might have the skillz to mimic basically any font in the future, which is rather helpful when I want to just write some ridiculous title onto a poster.)

Tagline(s) – The only way out is down (A)

(I also enjoy this tagline. It’s an unexpected twist and kinda gives you a sense of the film itself. Makes your breath catch a little to think that you would be diving and you think of the disorientation of having to dive further and further down to make your way out. I like it.)

Keyword – scuba diving

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Top 10: Inception (2010), Licence to Kill (1989), Never Say Never Again (1983), Finding Nemo (2003), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Charlie’s Angels (2000), Fool’s Gold (2008), The Italian Job (2003), Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2018), The Abyss (1989)

Future BMT: 63.0 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), 59.1 The Cave (2005), 55.1 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 38.2 Masterminds (2016), 33.6 Along Came Polly (2004), 33.2 Sahara (2005), 22.8 After the Sunset (2004), 18.4 Act of Valor (2012);

BMT: Fool’s Gold (2008), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), Ghost Ship (2002), Jaws 3-D (1983), Sanctum (2011), The Medallion (2003)

(Let’s see. Free Will 2 seems exciting, I very much want to watch that for some reason. Pretty consistent over the years. I wonder if the drop off has to do with HD documentaries becoming more available, and also travel itself getting cheaper over time. So that wide release films featuring diving are no longer needed nor seen as a novelty.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Richard Roxburgh is No. 2 billed in Sanctum and No. 5 billed in Stealth, which also stars Jessica Biel (No. 2 billed) who is in Valentine’s Day (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 1 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch King Arthur, and Killer Elite we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Ioan Gruffudd performed his own base jump stunt, which he described as his favorite part of the shoot. (That is extremely dangerous. So dangerous in fact that I don’t really believe it)

Ioan Gruffudd was the only member of the cast to be a fully qualified diver before the film began shooting. (Oh, so maybe he was already kind of qualified to base jump?)

In an unfortunate coincidence, Agnes Milowka, one of the film’s diving doubles, drowned after running out of air shortly after the film was released. (I have a feeling a bunch of the cave diving stunt people had their lives cut short)

Having trained in a diving center to prepare for his role, Richard Roxburgh claimed that the hardest thing to master was the rebreather, which he described as “fantastic in theory, but a torture in real life”.

Richard Roxburgh said that despite the on-set security, he feared for his life several times during the shoot.

The film used a tank containing seven million liters of water for its underwater scenes.

Originally the production seriously considered shooting in real underground caves. However, the practicalities of lugging all the equipment into such tight, confined spaces – not to mention the freezing cold temperatures of the water within the caves – soon precluded that.

At one point Richard Roxburgh asked the art department if they could lighten the load of the pack that he has to carry for most of the film. The next morning they presented him with the reduced weight pack, telling him that they’d managed to take 2 kgs off the total weight. Of course, they hadn’t bothered doing anything at all but Roxburgh was convinced that they had.

All the underwater sequences were shot in a large water tank at the Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, Australia.

As of March 2011, the 10th biggest grossing Australian film at the international box office. (That is an absurd fact)

Production designer Nicholas McCallum built the caves in concrete, so that they wouldn’t move while the actors were climbing them, and so that they could be reused for underwater scenes. Once scenes with one setting were wrapped, the cave parts would be put in a water tank for the diving scenes.

Director Alister Grierson and cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin had no experience with 3D prior to working on this film. Thus, they had learn how to light the scenes, use the stereoscopic space and manipulate the cameras from scratch.

Production designer Nicholas McCallum built a 14 meter high underwater fall for the film, which propelled 20000 liters of water per minute.

Universal and Relativity paid $12 million for the rights to distribute the film internationally.

Director Alister Grierson contracted pneumonia during the shoot.

The cave itself was based on the Cheve/Chaco/etc expeditions in the Yucatan, and the father character was based on Bill Stone, the caver/diver who was instrumental in those expeditions as well as in the invention of the re-breather.

John Garvin was chosen as co-writer by James Cameron and Andrew Wight due to his considerable experience as an accomplished diver. Moreover, Garvin wrote the role of Jim Sergeant with himself in mind, hoping Alister Grierson would let him play it.

To complement the tank shoot, the production headed into the wild. Caver and producer Andrew Wight said: “We also filmed in real caves in South Australia’s cave-diving region around Mount Gambier. Filming in the limestone, water-filled caves added a scale and an authenticity to the tank shoot at the studio.”

Based on the true story of co-writer Andrew Wight. He once went cave diving under the Nullarbor plain with fourteen other people. An unexpected storm made the cave’s entrance collapse and they spent two days looking for another way out. Unlike in the film however, a rescue was organized and everybody survived. Wight told his frequent collaborator and fellow diving enthusiast James Cameron the story in 2006, who decided they should get a director and make a film about it. (Jesus, that’s pretty scary)

Point Break (2015) Preview

“A clue,” Poe says looking closely at the branches of the wicker man, “these aren’t branches at all!” Rich reaches over and breaks him off a piece of the wicker man is stunned to find that Poe is right, “These are pages from tattered books. My god, we’ll be cinders in no time!” But Poe sees this as an opportunity. Calculating the weight of a paper wicker man and it’s probable center of mass and accounting for the fact that it’s burning from the bottom up he guesstimates that with just a quick heave-ho of him and Rich’s well-toned bodies, crafted by years of professional dance, they should topple free and back flip their way to freedom (like they have done so many times before as their alter egos, the Bad Movie Twins). Just before they are to put their plan into action Rich stops Poe and points to what awaits them outside the wicker man. Poe is aghast, “a cliff! What a dastardly tournament indeed. How are we to escape a fiery wicker man and survive the subsequent fall from a cliff. Impossible.” But Rich corrects him, “Nothing is impossible, my dear Poe, just wildly improbable. And while this cliff jump is improbable, it hardly impossible. Don’t you remember what I did before I became a Bad Movie Twin/detective?” Rich prompts Poe. “You were a successful novelist of YA novels,” Poe answers and while true Rich reminds him that even before that he was an extreme sports artist. “That’s how I got this rad scar,” he says pointing to the previously unmentioned enormous scar that adorns his torso. Ah yes, how could Poe forget. Time to get extreme. With that they lovingly craft a hang glider from pieces of the wicker man, slam some Mountain Dew, and get ready to do the dew. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching the ill-advised remake of the action classic Point Break, Point Break (2015). It stars… people that are way less famous than Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze aka The Swayze. We missed it when it came out (for the same reason as Holmes & Watson actually, released around Xmas) but we won’t miss it this time. Let’s go!   

Point Break (2015) – BMeTric: 55.7; Notability: 51 

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(That rating is actually pretty high in my opinion. I would have thought die hard fans would have ruined the rating long ago. It has stayed stock still for years now though, which is usually a good sign. It means people still hate it today, there is something innately bad about the film that crosses generations.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – The idea of remaking “Point Break” was not necessarily a bad idea, I suppose, but whatever charms that film might have had, they are utterly lost on the people behind this embarrassment. Instead, their game plan appears to have been to take a familiar title, throw in a bunch of random action sequences that seem more interested in aping the lunacies of the “Fast & Furious” franchise than Bigelow’s visual poetry and toss it out into a crowded marketplace without any advance screenings (hence the lateness of this review)[.] …The original film, you might recall, was released with the tag line “100% Pure Adrenaline!” This version misses that mark by about 97.5%.

(Fast & Furious is a really good comparison. As a matter of fact there could be an argument that all they really needed to do was make one more (Point Five) set in like Argentina and they could have crossed into the ironically good territory. Too late now though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvFAm4kYCo/

(Bigger and badder. The is one of the fundamental arguments against things like The Fast and the Furious franchise’s progression: everything doesn’t need to be bigger and badder. If you wanted to remake Point Break, why not just remake Point Break?)

Directors – Ericson Core – (Known For: Togo; Invincible; BMT: Point Break; Notes: He’s the cinematographer for the film as well (and was on The Fast and the Furious as well).)

Writers – Kurt Wimmer (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Salt; Equilibrium; The Thomas Crown Affair; The Recruit; Future BMT: Sphere; Total Recall; Street Kings; BMT: Ultraviolet; Point Break; Notes: Apparently invented “gun kata”, a fictional martial arts discipline used in Equilibrium and Ultraviolet. Nicknamed The Wimmer.)

Rick King (story & 1991 story) – (Known For: Point Break; BMT: Point Break; Notes: Was writing some television through the 2000s, but seems to have maybe retired from credited writing. Had a few smaller films prior to Point Break, but pretty close to a one hit wonder writer.)

W. Peter Iliff (story & 1991 screenplay & 1991 story) – (Known For: Point Break; Varsity Blues; Patriot Games; Under Suspicion; BMT: Point Break; Notes: Basically didn’t work throughout the 2000s, but made a short (Trump’s America) recently and now maybe has two movies in production.)

Actors – Edgar Ramírez – (Known For: The Girl on the Train; Zero Dark Thirty; The Bourne Ultimatum; Joy; Gold; Hands of Stone; Wasp Network; Che: Part One; La quietud; The Liberator; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Wrath of the Titans; Domino; Deliver Us from Evil; Bright; Vantage Point; Time Out; BMT: Point Break; Notes: Played Gianni Versace in American Crime Story. Became famous on the Venezuelan soap opera Cosita Rica appearing in over 270 episodes.)

Luke Bracey – (Known For: Hacksaw Ridge; Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan; Me Him Her; Future BMT: The November Man; Lucky Day; The Best of Me; BMT: Point Break; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Monte Carlo; Notes: Huh, he also became famous on a soap, Home and Away which was broadcast in Australia. He appeared in 224 episodes.)

Ray Winstone – (Known For: The Departed; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Hugo; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Snow White and the Huntsman; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Noah; Cold Mountain; Rango; Beowulf; Sexy Beast; Edge of Darkness; The Proposition; Quadrophenia; Scum; The Sweeney; Ripley’s Game; The War Zone; Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains; The Legend of Barney Thomson; Future BMT: The Queen’s Corgi; King of Thieves; 13; Reckless; London Boulevard; King Arthur; Breaking and Entering; Elfie Hopkins; Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Cats; Point Break; Fool’s Gold; The Gunman; Notes: Nominated for two BAFTAs, one in 1979 as a newcomer, and then for Nil by Mouth as a lead actor. Was the schoolboy boxing champion of England three times and represented England internationally twice.)

Budget/Gross – $105,000,000 / Domestic: $28,782,481 (Worldwide: $133,718,711)

(That isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The domestic take is shocking, as is the budget, but over $100 million worldwide is pretty solid for a movie with a bunch of nobodies in the cast.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (12/108): Loaded with dazzling action but bereft of purpose, the Point Break remake will be remembered as the first film to make audiences pine for the simultaneous presences of Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey.

(False, I always pine for the presence of Gary Busey. Keanu ain’t a bad bonus. Reviewer Highlight: Boldly reimagining Kathryn Bigelow’s cult favorite as a movie where absolutely nobody seems to be having any fun, the new Point Break drops the original’s Zen-like balance of macho mysticism and camp in favor of dour humorlessness. – Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club)

Poster – XXX: We’re Bank Robbers Now (D)

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(I remember hating this poster when the film was coming out and I still hate it. It’s just not good. Looks like an advertisement for a travel agency or something. The original is beautiful.)

Tagline(s) – The only law that matters is gravity (Whatever is better than A+)

Find your breaking point (D)

(Nooooooooo. If only that first one was on the poster. My face actually melted as I read it. My god, it’s beautiful. Hey everyone! Come see this great tagline they didn’t use. They used this almost hilariously bad one instead. So you went with “Point Break… Find your breaking point” as the tagline?… alright.)

Keyword – surfing

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Top 10: Point Break (1991), Baywatch (2017), Beautiful Boy (2018), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Die Another Day (2002), Pearl Harbor (2001), Jumper (2008), Despicable Me (2010), The Shallows (2016), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008); 

Future BMT: 68.3 The Shaggy Dog (2006), 44.3 Surf Ninjas (1993), 37.1 Meet the Deedles (1998), 34.5 Without a Paddle (2004), 31.0 Pearl Harbor (2001), 20.3 The Allnighter (1987), 18.4 Act of Valor (2012), 16.6 Airborne (1993), 5.8 Chasing Mavericks (2012); 

BMT: Baywatch (2017), Jumper (2008), Point Break (2015), The Gunman (2015), Failure to Launch (2006)

(Surfing is one of those keywords which is applied to any film with even a moment of surf action, but this is actually pretty good. And now I’m really really rethinking these plots. I don’t doubt that “surfing” movies are becoming less popular over time, the early 2000s were the time of Extreme Doritos and Mountain Dew, and since then surfing is just an interesting hobby to have. But it is plausible that 2000s films also just get keywords much much more often. But maybe it is okay as long as we are aware of the issue.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Teresa Palmer is No. 3 billed in Point Break and No. 3 billed in I Am Number Four, which also stars Alex Pettyfer (No. 1 billed) who is in Endless Love (2014) (No. 1 billed), which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 6 = 17. If we were to watch Feeling Minnesota, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – While shooting second unit footage at the Jaws surf break in Maui, the crew was fortunate enough to catch one of the largest wave breaks of the last decade, being ridden by the world’s top big wave surfers.

In the original 1991 film, James Le Gros played Roach, one of the ex-Presidents; in the remake he plays an assistant director of the FBI. (Fun)

The Angel Falls sequence is an expensive one, with a structure that cost upwards of $500K to build. It consisted of a platform that was approximately the size of a football field just beneath the summit of the falls where the crew set up camp so as not to disrupt the environment by making camp on the ground. Kosove likened the shoot at Angel Falls to a “full-scale military operation”.

Teresa Palmer did most of her own stunts, despite this being her first acting job after she gave birth to her son Bohdi. (Wait … she named her son Bohdi, like the name of the character in Point Break?)

The wingsuit scene that takes place early in the film, was all choreographed and flown in real life. Taking place at “the crack” in Walenstadt, Switzerland, the sequence is edited together of multiple jumps, all flown by some of the best wingsuit pilots in the world: Jon DeVore, Michael Swanson, Julian Boulle & Noah Banson were doing the formations flying, while Jhonathan Florez & James Boole were flying just next to them as camera-guys. (this sequence was supervised by Jeb Corliss) The crew spent a period of 3½ weeks in Switzerland, and the wingsuit pilots did the jump more than 60 times to get the right shots.

Some of the world’s best athletes worked on this film, including Jeb Corliss, whom Kosove cited as being “the greatest wing suit athlete in the world”. Legendary surfers Laird Hamilton and Sebastian Zietz, and pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist were also involved & also pro rock climber Chris Sharma. (Cool)

Gerard Butler was the first person cast. He was cast as Bodhi but later dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. (Noooooooooo)

The film takes place over the period of about a month, and took close to a year to shoot. It was shot in over 10 countries and 4 continents. Point Break (2015) uses physical locations as much as possible, and the producers tried to be judicious when implementing green screens or VFX. (Roooooooooooad triiiiiiiiiiip)

Luke Bracey won the role of Johnny Utah after an extensive audition process, and he got the part due to the fact that he seemed “real” and unaffected, according to Kosove. An added bonus was the fact that Bracey has been surfing and playing rugby since childhood.

The closing credits last for 13 minutes 30 seconds. (I’ll just go ahead and skip those … unless they are so long because of multiple extended dance sequences and bloopie reels. Then I’m watching it multiple times)

Core also acts as cinematographer, a fact that actress Teresa Palmer called “a gift because he is so involved in every single aspect of this film.”

Director Ericson Core worked as the director of photography on The Fast and the Furious, a film very similar to Point Break (1991).

The Ozaki 8 as seen on the chalkboard in the FBI headquarters are as follows: -1. Emerging Force – Navigate the Inga Falls Rapids (Democratic Republic of the Congo) -2. Birth of Sky – Base jump from a high location (Everest, Tibet). -3. Awakening Earth – Penetrate the ground in the Cave of Swallows after skydive (San Luis Potosi, Mexico). -4. Life of Water – Surf giant ocean waves about 20-30 meters high (Biarritz, France). -5. Life of Wind – Fly with a wingsuit after jumping from the top of a mountain (Churfirsten Mountain Range, Switzerland). -6. Life of Ice – Snowboard from the top of an ice mountain to the mountainside (Aosta Valley, Italy). -7. Master of Six Lives – Climb the stone wall of a grand waterfall without using security measures (Angel Falls, Venezuela). -8. Act of Ultimate Trust – Jump off the waterfall after climbing it (Angel Falls, Venezuela).

Extreme Ops Preview

Wild success on our first official trek of the cycle. It was a tough hike from Norway to The Netherlands, but well worth it as we arrived in Amsterdam to the sweet stench of dog poo. But our time in this dog poo location was only too brief and we must pack up our stuff and take a literal hike to the mighty Alps. That’s right! We’re watching Extreme Ops, the extreme sports action thriller set in Austria. Wiener schnitzel and Edelweiss awaits our arrival, but one can only hope that we are instead served up another steaming pile of dog poo instead… have I said dog poo enough times? Let’s go!

Extreme Ops (2002) – BMeTric: 46.5

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(The fact that this keeps climbing up probably means it isn’t legendarily bad. But it is pretty stunning that the film opened as low as it did. Below 4.0 for a film that should only really be watched by the people it was designed to please? That is pretty nuts.)

Leonard Maltin – 2  stars –  Ho-hum actioner in which a wild-and-crazy film crew, shooting a commercial in the Austrian Alps, tangles with a Serbian war criminal in hiding. The genetic snowboarding/skiing/kayaking sequences look as it they’ve been lifted from a sports video.

(Jesus, drop the mic a bit more Leonard. This movie is boring and the scenes with actual extreme sports look boring too! That is what it boils down to, and yet two stars? That might be the most stunning part of all. That Leonard Maltin seemingly didn’t mind Extreme Ops.)

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

(It starts looking like a horror film? And the terrorism parts looks crazy, I have a hard time believing that is actually how it ultimately looks like, because the minicam footage looks like cinema quality. It also looked like they just gave up the end of the film with the helicopter blowing up … like how wouldn’t that be the end of the film?)

Directors – Christian Duguay – (Known For: Un sac de billes; The Assignment; Belle et Sébastien, l’aventure continue; Future BMT: The Art of War; Live Wire; Screamers; BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: Canadian, started his career as a camera operator across commercials and documentaries and film. He’s more recently done a string of French films.)

Writers – Timothy Scott Bogart (story) – (Known For: The I Inside; BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: He started a production company, Boardwalk Entertainment Group, at some point around 2013, but there is very little information about the productions they have done.)

Mark Mullin (story) – (BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: The note from variety shows that he was at some point attached to an Untitled Smokejumpers Project. That is literally a fake movie from Entourage, Smokejumpers. Vinny and the director get into such a big fight they end up cancelling the production entirely.)

Michael Zaidan (screenplay) – (BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: Again, not much about him, but you can read the Variety blurb which describes, presumably, this film, originally entitled The Extremists apparently.)

Actors – Rufus Sewell – (Known For: Hercules; Dark City; A Knight’s Tale; The Holiday; The Illusionist; Hamlet; Paris, je t’aime; Dangerous Beauty; Amazing Grace; Carrington; Blinky Bill; The Sea; Vinyan; A Man of No Importance; Twenty-One; Future BMT: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; The Legend of Zorro; The Tourist; All Things to All Men; I’ll Follow You Down; Downloading Nancy; Tristan + Isolde; Hotel Noir; Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Bless the Child; Extreme Ops; Notes: Son of the animator who did the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds segment from Yellow Submarine. Raised in Twickenham with an impressive London theatre resume.)

Devon Sawa – (Known For: Casper; Little Giants; SLC Punk!; The Guilty; 388 Arletta Avenue; A Cool, Dry Place; Future BMT: Slackers; Life on the Line; Idle Hands; Wild America; Final Destination; Now and Then; BMT: Extreme Ops; Notes: Kind of came from a Hollywood family, his mother was a production designer. Did all of his own stunts in Extreme Ops.)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras – (Known For: Billy Madison; Shopgirl; Higher Learning; Nixon; Unhook the Stars; Future BMT: The Wedding Planner; House on Haunted Hill; Mortal Kombat; Just Visiting; The Suburbans; Beautiful; Last Action Hero; Love Stinks; The Real Blonde; BMT: Extreme Ops; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Married to Pete Sampras obviously. At one point you could get the (terrible) 150-1 odds that their first son Christian would win Wimbledon … I’m not even sure he plays tennis so that would have been a waste of money.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $4,842,259 (Worldwide: $10,959,475)

(A complete disaster, although I’m a bit skeptical of the budget. It feels like one of those things where the more they report the larger the tax break from Austria or wherever this was actually filmed. I have a hard time believing they managed to sink $40 million into this for reals.)

#20 for the Sports – Extreme genre

extremeops_extremesports

(Oh my right at the peak. xXx: State of the Union, Out Cold, Rollerball were previous BMT films. There really was a moment though. xXx, this, and Blue Crush all came out in the same year. I do think this is exactly the type of niche genre that, like movies made for car or gun fanatics, inevitably made more sense to release to VOD.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (5/67): The various stunts in Extreme Ops don’t compensate for the inane storyline and bad dialogue.

(All. day. Long. I love inane storyline and bad dialogue, so I watch this all day. Reviewer Highlight: The impossible plot and laugh-out-loud dialogue would have been tolerable if the tricks were impressive. – Christy Lemire, Associated Press.)

Poster – Extreme Sklogs (B+)

extreme_ops

(I actually dig this poster. Bold blue with an artistic bent to presenting the extreme sports the film is meant to promote. Also nice unique font. Not perfect, but pretty… rad.)

Tagline(s) – Fear is a trigger (F)

(I literally don’t know what this means. Does this actually have something to do with fear being a trigger… like this is a trigger warning that they will be afraid and have trouble watching the film. I seriously don’t understand.)

Keyword(s) – time bomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.1 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.4 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.5 Street Fighter (1994); 85.2 Spice World (1997); 83.5 RoboCop 3 (1993); 78.8 Torque (2004); 77.9 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 70.2 On Deadly Ground (1994); 68.0 Double Team (1997); 64.2 Fair Game (1995);

(Fun fact: having watched the movie, there isn’t a time bomb in it. So good job random IMDb user, you completely botched that one. And that is why I don’t totally trust IMDb keywords. It was probably inserted by some guy who was like, “wait, there was a time bomb in this right … totes, otherwise why would I think this is so gnarly”. WRONG)

Notes – The closing credits begin with ‘To Werner’ – Werner Koenig had died in an avalanche in 2000 while location scouting for this movie. (Oh wow, that is terrible)