After Preview

Adam Banks is horrified by the latest demands by Jamie and Patrick. “They are monsters,” he whispers in shock, “I can handle them being proud of what they’ve made. But this is just greed. We need something on them, Rod. Some scandal that will let us fire them.” With that he orders Rod back to the set with a scandalous new member of the cast.

Jamie looks deep into the eyes of Leighton Vanderschmidt, cast opposite him as the Ghost of Christmas War. Apparently when Banks heard about the demand for a ghost he insisted that Leighton be cast, which was fine by them… she is by all accounts boffo box office. The spooky character is meant to evoke the fleeting nature of life and love, but Jamie isn’t yet sure the message is getting through. Mostly they’ve just done a whole bunch of kung fu and made out. Nice. Looking around Jamie starts to think that perhaps it is getting through because everyone on set looks truly horrified. Likely due to existential dread. With shooting done for the day he turns and runs directly into Patrick, who spills a half-eaten cake onto his costume. “Jeez Louise, my costume is ruined,” Jamie snaps, stamping his foot. “Here let me help with that,” Leighton chimes in. How charming. She escorts him to her trailer and proceeds to help clean up all the cake. Jamie notices just how scandalous this must look, them alone in Leighton’s trailer, him pantsless, ruined cake everywhere. Gee, he sure does hope that no one is conveniently taking pictures at this moment through the open window, because that would be quite the scandal. But he waves off the eerie feeling… he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it. That’s right! We’re watching the 2019 teen romance After, based on a book that started as One Direction fanfiction. It tells the story of a goodl girl who just can’t resist the mysterious bad boy in town (who also can’t resist her). Oooo, forbidden love. It had me at One Direction fanfiction. Let’s go!

After (2019) – BMeTric: 46.5; Notability: 18 

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(Tumbling quite nicely. Didn’t open that high as well. On a nice streak for the Notability. Shows how a lot of the bad movies you find in the late 2010s end up being those films with relatively few famous crew. Makes sense from a business perspective, throw a flier out there using a shoestring budget.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “After” opens with some narration about how certain moments in life seem to define a person, and from there, the clichés pretty much don’t stop. If there’s a defining moment in the life of Tessa Young (Josephine Langford), it’s either meeting, initially being annoyed by, falling in love with, being heart-broken by, or reuniting with Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin).

(Ha! Pretty solidly destroying the entire concept of the film there. I am not looking forward to this though. Seems like it is going to mostly be frustrating.)

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

(DRAMA. That is what they should have called the movie: Drama and Rain: The Movie. So much rain and drama. It is making me all excited, but in that special BMT kind of way.)

Directors – Jenny Gage – (BMT: After; Notes: She produced and directed a documentary called All This Panic about girls coming of age in Brooklyn. Makes sense she would be tapped for this adaptation.)

Writers – Tom Betterton (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: Gage’s husband. I’m sure this was part of some rewrites, but he seems to have worked alongside her quite closely throughout her career.)

Tamara Chestna (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: Seems to be working on a similarly themed film for Netflix called Moxie. Was an assistant to a producer (I think) on Last Holiday. Seems to have bounced around across a bunch of production studios.)

Jenny Gage (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: The director. Her and her husband probably were able to rewrite the script once she was put on board.)

Susan McMartin (screenplay by) – (Future BMT: Son in Law; BMT: After; Notes: A very successful television writer, she wrote 58 episodes of Mom and 15 episodes of Two and a Half Man along with being a producer on both shows.)

Anna Todd (novel) – (BMT: After; Notes: This film was created as a fanfiction involving One Direction. It was the first book she ever wrote.)

Actors – Josephine Langford – (Future BMT: Wish Upon; BMT: After; Notes: Younger sister of Katherine Langford who we have not seen in a BMT film yet.)

Hero Fiennes Tiffin – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Private Peaceful; Bigga Than Ben; BMT: After; Notes: Nephew of Ralph Fiennes which is why he was hired to play a young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter. Went to school nearby where I currently live in London which is amusing.)

Khadijha Red Thunder – (BMT: After; Notes: Doesn’t seem to even have a wikipedia page … well she’s slated for the sequel, so maybe she’ll get one soon. Very weird.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $12,138,565 (Worldwide: $69,497,587)

(Solid worldwide success. Much like horror films it is pretty easy for teen romances to make money since you don’t have to pay much to make them.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (6/35): Tepid and tired, After’s fun flourishes are let down by its generic story.

(Uh oh. Usually I like something like “An unmitigated disaster that is more laughable than sexy” … those are usually more entertaining. Hopefully it is indeed very laughable and not very sexy. Reviewer Highlight: The real problem with After is that it’s a lifeless slog of thinly written clichés, one that’s missing the charismatic spark of the actual One Direction boys. – Caroline Siede, AV Club)

Poster – Teen Romance Sklog-daption (2019) (A) 

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(My god, it’s beautiful. Not only is it actually a fine example of a poster (interesting font, overall color scheme, and sexy spacing to really let us know we’re in for a steamy ride), but it’s like a romance novel front cover on steroids. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.)

Tagline(s) – After Your First, Life is Never the Same. (B)

(First… love? God I hope they mean first love. But you know they’re implying virginity. I think this is fine. Could be more clever, but it has a cadence to it and it feels right.)

Keyword – high school senior

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Top 10: After (2019), Superbad (2007), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), Varsity Blues (1999), Central Intelligence (2016), The Girl Next Door (2004), 21 Jump Street (2012), Project X (2012), 17 Again (2009), The Spectacular Now (2013); 

Future BMT: 27.4 Senior Trip (1995), 17.6 Varsity Blues (1999), 15.8 Inventing the Abbotts (1997), 13.2 Tuff Turf (1985); 

BMT: After (2019), Project X (2012)

(Not much here, and honestly not many good keywords for this one yet. Project X is a very high school senior thing, but this one … aren’t they in college in After? Whatever.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Selma Blair is No. 3 billed in After and No. 3 billed in Down To You, which also stars Freddie Prinze Jr. (No. 1 billed) who is in Summer Catch (No. 1 billed), 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) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 22. If we were to watch Feeling Minnesota, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 18.

Notes – Hardin’s copy of Wuthering Heights is the copy that Anna Todd has had since she was a teenager.

Was originally a One Direction fanfiction on a website called Wattpad. (Oh my, that’s excellent)

The original After trilogy gained over 1 billion reads on Wattpad. (No!)

Josephine Langford admitted in an interview that she read the first few chapters of After on Wattpad several years before being cast as Tessa. (Oh don’t admit that! Say you tried to read it, but it was incomprehensible trash. How are we going to have seen multiple fan fiction adaptation for BMT. How did this happen?)

The rights to the film were originally sold to Paramount. However, Anna Todd wanted more freedom when it came to adapting the film. The rights were then given back and eventually sold to Aviron.

Josephine Langford only had about a week or so to prepare for her role as Tessa Young. She read the book(s) and the script while on a plane. (Cheap as ffffffff)

Before being a novel, After was a fan fiction on the website Wattpad where some of the characters’ names were based on the members of One Direction: Hardin = Harry Styles; Zed = Zayn Malik; Landon = Liam Payne; Nate = Niall Horan; Logan = Louis Tomlinson.

The full After series includes After, After We Collided, After We Fell, After Ever Happy, and Before (HA! Before takes the cake)

Fifty Shades of Grey Preview

Moving forward, we have made it to the Girls’ Night Out portion of the cycle. But what chick flick could we possibly do based on a book. Jeez Louise, like nothing springs to mind. Literally no bondage-based film released last Valentine’s Day. Oh wait! It was sitting right there the whole time: Fifty Shades of Grey. Obviously. Now, of course, you must realize that by doing this film in this section requires that at least one of us reads this inane, Twlight fan fiction book before watching this week. Are we willing to do so? You bet your ass we are. Let’s get this going!

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) – BMeTric: 90.3 (Generated on December 12, 2017)

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(Yeah people didn’t like this immediately. Basically 90 is about as high as you can get as far as the BMeTric is concerned. Why? Well … you need some headroom. Imagine a film with 200 thousand votes but a 2.0 on IMDb. That would be very very close to 100. Like 10 million votes and a flat 1.0 would be 100. It is just a cumulative distribution function. It ain’t rocket science.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – In the annals of sexually-charged event cinema, ”Fifty Shades of Grey” barely lights a candle let alone combusts with unbridled forbidden passion. Nothing comes close to Michael Douglas and Glenn Close humping on the kitchen sink in “Fatal Attraction” or Marlon Brando’s inventive use of butter withMaria Schneider in “The Last Tango in Paris.” Even those ejaculating dolphin fountains in “Showgirls” were steamier than what shows up in this tempered version of E.L. James’ S&M rewrite of “Beauty and the Beast.”

(So I got three movies to add to my Netflix queue. This is essentially what I heard about the film. That it was a stylish adaptation that ramped down the sex… and that got all the fans hot and bothered (in a bad way). Two stars sounds about right in that case.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA

(This runs like a horror film. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to think he’s super evil or not until the end where she’s all like “enlighten me then… and by enlighten, I mean a little penis in vagina”. Then it’s pretty clear.)

Directors – Sam Taylor-Johnson – (Known For: Nowhere Boy; Future BMT: Destricted; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Very well regarded photographer. We should actually be calling her Dame Sam Taylor-Johnson as she was damed (?… is that right?) by the Queen for her work in the arts.)

Writers – Kelly Marcel (screenplay by) – (Known For: Saving Mr. Banks; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Daughter of Terry Marcel, a director with a filmography that looks perfect for BMT. Hawk the Slayer, anyone?)

E.L. James (novel) – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Notes: The author. She ultimately got total control of the series in the end. The second and third films are even written by her husband. She must be mega-rich.)

Actors – Dakota Johnson – (Known For: The Social Network; 21 Jump Street; Black Mass; How to Be Single; A Bigger Splash; The Five-Year Engagement; For Ellen; Future BMT: Anarchy: Ride or Die; Date and Switch; Goats; Crazy in Alabama; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Beastly; Need for Speed; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Combo for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Both could provide BMT films for us… that would be a fun cycle. A Family Affair, where we use an acting family to get different movies for each member. I’ll have to think about that.)

Jamie Dornan – (Known For: Anthropoid; Marie Antoinette; The Siege of Jadotville; The 9th Life of Louis Drax; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Could literally be me and Patrick’s triplet. He looks that similar to us. Now, let’s see if anyone notices this “note”. Probably not, cause no one reads this.)

Jennifer Ehle – (Known For: Detroit; The King’s Speech; Zero Dark Thirty; Contagion; The Adjustment Bureau; RoboCop; A Quiet Passion; The Fundamentals of Caring; The Ides of March; Spooks: The Greater Good; A Little Chaos; Sunshine; Wilde; Black or White; Little Men; The Greatest; Paradise Road; Advantageous; Possession; Backbeat; Future BMT: The Forger; Pride and Glory; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Notes: Daughter of Rosemary Ehle who played Aunt May. She won a Tony in 2000 for The Real Thing beating out her aforementioned mother!)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $166,167,230 (Worldwide: $571,006,128)

(Obviously a box office smash success. Not sure there was any chance it wouldn’t be. Isn’t it kinda sad though that a company can take a property that fans love, adapt it exactly without any interesting changes, and then watch as people file in and out of the theater shrugging their shoulders and saying “Meh, hope the next one is better. Can’t wait to see it.” Rinse, recycle, repeat.)

#4 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(Generated on December 12, 2017. Came right at another peak of romantic dramas. I wonder why they collapsed so thoroughly in the mid-2000s? Just like a total rejection of the genre. But it’s back baby! Probably due to the realization that women audiences exist.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (66/256)While creatively better endowed than its print counterpart, Fifty Shades of Grey is a less than satisfying experience on the screen.

(“Better endowed” blech. I hate when a RT consensus tries to be more clever than it needs to be. “Less than satisfying” come on. Also, how many of the reviewers actually read the book to make that comparison? I bet not a single one of them actually read the book. Not a single one.)

Poster – Fifty Sklogs of Grey (C+)

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(Grey’s not my favorite tone to use for a poster, but what were they going to do? Better than keeping the colored tones of the people. Don’t like the text and the picture is photogenic, but not interesting or aesthetically pleasing. Could have been a C- if I was in a worse mood.)

Tagline(s) – Lose control (B+)

(Very odd. I wanted to give this a bad grade, but in reality it’s pretty good for fans of the book. Like it kinda represents both Anastasia and Christian’s characters in the book. She loses control, he loses control… just different types of control (internal vs. external). It’s as concise as possible and actually somewhat clever for the above reasons. Could have been a bit more informative for those that aren’t super familiar with the material, but otherwise pretty nice.)

Keyword(s) – female nudity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 92.3 Date Movie (2006); 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 88.5 House of the Dead (2003); 88.4 The Room (2003); 87.3 BloodRayne (2005); 84.4 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 84.3 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.2 Movie 43 (2013)83.3 Rollerball (2002);

(By the way, there are something like 60,000 films with the tag on IMDb. Thanks IMDb. And yet, it doesn’t have all of the films (like Batman & Robin is missing … because it is a film for children with no nudity). There are some loads of crap though right?)

Notes – Angelina Jolie was offered the chance to direct, but she declined.

Each cast member learned their lines in 5 days. (guffaw)

The first draft of the script by writer Kelly Marcel included way more sex and was much more sexually explicit than the final version. In fact, she wanted it to be NC-17, along with one of the film’s producers Dana Brunetti. However, Universal executives shot down any such plans and the script was considerably toned down both in the number of sex scenes and the explicitness of the sex by two subsequent re-writes. The studio would only approve an R rated film as they had bought the rights for $5 million dollars and with a budget of $40 million dollars, they did not want to turn away a large portion of their audience which would be the case if they released an NC-17 film. (classic)

Considered to be the second major motion picture based on fan-fiction. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) was the first. (whaaaaaaaa?)

The pool scene, in Dr. Grey’s mansion, the boat house is the same as the one used in Elektra (for some reason I really enjoy that)

In the Fifty Shades trilogy books, the phrase “my inner goddess” is mentioned 115 times by Anastasia’s inner monologue. This is how she often refers to herself – e.g. “my inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five-year old”. The movie does not mention or utilize Anastasia’s “inner goddess” at all. (thank God)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (The Weeknd, Belly, DaHeala, Stephan Moccio)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jamie Dornan)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Dakota Johnson)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Kelly Marcel)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Sam Taylor-Johnson)