In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the first in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) – BMeTric: 85.7



(Wow that started low. The way this is fading makes me wonder how much actual legs this has in the end, but there is a reason this is one of the worst reviewed films on IMDb. Other than that not much else to say, classic legendary bad movie.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Reluctant warrior Statham joins forces with a brave king (Reynolds) to battle a treacherous usurper (Lillard) and a wicked wizard (Liotta). Another video-game-inspired fiasco from the unfortunately prolific Boll. Even with a bigger budget and better actors than usual, this is a plodding patchwork of haphazardly edited action sequences. Alternate version runs 162 min.

(I will likely try and watch the (gulp) three hour cut. Jamie owns it, although on Blu-Ray I think. Regardless that cut it likely happening and I will not enjoy. Deep burn on Uwe, but that is expected since Uwe is a terrible filmmaker who has been openly ridiculed by critics for years.)

Trailer –

(You can kind of see the ridiculousness of the fight scenes in this film from the trailer. And you can kind of see how ridiculous everyone’s costumes are. But they keep this generic-fantasy for now. Smart.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: Alone in the Dark; House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominated for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: Well known for spitting out tons of schlock. Was a critic in the 80s and seems to revel in bad reviews. He challenged a number of critics to a boxing match and won all of the matches as chronicled in Raging Boll)

Writers – Doug Taylor (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Splice; A Christmas Horror Story; They Wait; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in 2009; Notes: Canadian. He had a few interesting articles written about how he still lived in Montreal, even while working on promoting a big project like Splice. I don’t know what he’s precisely up to know, but it is an interesting glimpse into a screenwriters world. The number of projects he was working on was noted as “head-spinning” and yet he only has had four credited screenwriting jobs result in a theater release. It sounds nuts.)

Jason Rappaport and Dan Stroncak (story) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: I don’t think these guys are necessarily writing partners, but there is no info on them. I think they probably work for Uwe Boll’s production company? Would make sense to have Taylor write the script, and then have some of your own guys help with whatever Uwe wants in there.)

Chris Taylor (video game “Dungeon Siege”) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Just the video game guy. Was named the 30th most influential developer of all time in 2002. Left his company in 2016 to work on indie games)

Actors – Jason Statham – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; Snatch; Spy; Furious 6; The Italian Job; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Collateral; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Parker; Homefront; The Mechanic; The Transporter; Death Race; The Bank Job; Hummingbird; Transporter 2; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Wild Card; The One; Transporter 3; 13; Turn It Up; Killer Elite; Revolver; Mean Machine; London; BMT: Crank; Crank: High Voltage; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Ghosts of Mars; Mechanic: Resurrection; The Expendables 3; Notes: An all-star of BMT naturally. I’ve also heard great things about him over the years. Mainly that he’s hilarious and has a magnetic personality. Makes sense.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Drive; Hellboy; The Bleeder; Tangled; Alien Resurrection; Blade II; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; Kid Cannabis; Poker Night; La guerre du feu; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Conan the Barbarian; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Season of the Witch; Notes: We should watch Ice Pirates. Ron Perlman is probably most well known now for either Sons of Anarchy or Hellboy, but he’s been in a bunch of stuff obviously. Was in Del Toro’s debut Chronos in 1993 which lead to a life-long friendship.)

Ray Liotta – (Known For: Goodfellas; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Identity; Killing Them Softly; Bee Movie; Date Night; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; Heartbreakers; Youth in Revolt; Muppets Most Wanted; Narc; Something Wild; Unlawful Entry; Battle in Seattle; Observe and Report; Future BMT: Turbulence; The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Even Money; Powder Blue; Revolver; Better Living Through Chemistry; The Lonely Lady; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; Unforgettable; Slow Burn; Smokin’ Aces; Corrina, Corrina; Hannibal; Crossing Over; Pilgrim; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Wild Hogs; Notes: He is most well known for looking like he is wearing a Halloween mask of himself. Joking, but this is the first movie I watched where I was like Liotta looks a little odd these days. Hugely famous, mainly for Goodfellas, he still gets decent enough jobs. Definitely an interesting career.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $4,775,656 (Worldwide: $13,097,915)

(So, Uwe Boll had a decent racket going for a while. The way it works is detailed here, but here’s the short version: if you are a German citizen looking for a tax shelter you can set up a shell company, “finance a film” for millions of euros (immediately tax deductible), and then lease back the rights to a Hollywood studio for almost the entire amount saving millions in taxes. The key is having a German director to direct … wait a minute I know a German director by the name of Uwe! I think they closed that loophole, it is the only explanation as to why Uwe isn’t still churning out trash. This is also the definition of “sweet IP”: video games no one else wanted to make into movies … so sell it to Uwe.)

#106 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre


(A genre of the 2000s. Just about at the nadir of the genre though. Below Troll from 1986, and paired up with Seeker the Dark of Rising (twin film) for bringing down the gross for a time. Has held mostly steady since, but the new Harry Potters could help it along the way.)

#32 for the Sword and Sorcery genre


(Literally the lowest grossing example released to more than 4 theaters! There isn’t much to the graphic except that it is small and kind of consistently made over the years. Hopefully the disaster that was Warcraft doesn’t handicap the genre too much going forward.)

#34 for the Video Game Adaptation genre


(This guy basically sits … well around other Uwe films. Not that many video game adaptation are super successful. They are coming hot and quick now though, so we’ll see if they can cross that $100 million threshold consistently.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/50): Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.

(Sick burns … although true. The film looks like a few episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers strung together. Considering it is through and through a German production … that might actually not be a bad analogy.)

Poster – In the Name of the Sklog: A Dungeon Sklog Tale (C+)


(I like the color, but not much else. I can kind of give it credit for being in that high-fantasy mold. It is shockingly similar to some of the artwork for Lord of the Rings. But too much going on and not enough done with the font. I’m giving it a C+ for at least being derivative of something good, but most of the deduction is for being cheap looking to boot.)

Tagline(s) – Rise and fight (C+)

(I’ll give it credit for being short and sweet and fantasy-epic-esque. Doesn’t tell you anything, and is boring though, so I mark most of the credit off. Sorry Uwe.)

Keyword(s) – farmer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 69.8 Year One (2009); 58.0 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 57.7 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 49.3 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.0 Jeepers Creepers II (2003); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 43.7 The Giant Spider Invasion (1975); 43.7 Priest (2011);

(We will never watch Piranha 3DD, but Priest is going to happen. Farmer is prooooobably pushing it, although The Seeker and Seventh Son did genuinely have farmers in it … and the main character of this is literally “Farmer”.)

Notes – Kevin Smith and Juliette Lewis were filming Catch and Release (2006) on an adjoining set, and came to visit this set. Burt Reynolds saw them steal two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. (I believe it, but Burt Reynolds throughout these notes sounds ridiculous).

Script development took over a year. In the end, Doug Taylor re-wrote eighty percent of the script, because the original story was considered too reminiscent of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. (Amazing, what could the storyline have even been?)

Production of the computer graphics imagery in the movie was convoluted and problematic. Uwe Boll claims he had to fire several different CGI providers, who outsourced their jobs to lower-quality providers, who worked for less money. (Yup, this is why graphics in movies causes so much trouble, bullshit like this)

The “medicine” Merick gives Farmer was actually tea mixed with ketchup. Uwe Boll purposely concocted the mixture to get a disgusted reaction from Jason Statham.

During production, Uwe Boll sponsored a charity visit to the set. Guests got to see behind-the-scenes work, and proceeds were donated to a children’s hospital. Reportedly, Ray Liotta was extremely upset by it. In future interviews, he talked about how “crazy” Boll was for allowing so many spectators onto the set.

Siu-Tung Ching’s salary was higher than Uwe Boll’s. (HA!)

Jason Statham filmed many of his action scenes while nursing an injured tendon in his foot. He is noticeably impaired while running.

John Gajdecki had trouble filming many visual effects shots, especially scenes with outdoor “greenscreens”. Jan Kruse left the project, due to conflict with Gajdecki, who was eventually fired, and replaced by Doug Oddy. (These notes are ridiculous)

Some of the Krug costumes cost over ten thousand dollars each to produce. (Not a great idea)

Uwe Boll considered releasing the original cut of the film in two installments because of its length. Instead, it was edited into a theatrical release, and the Director’s Cut was released on DVD. (Smart …)

While filming an outdoor fight scene, Burt Reynolds grew overheated in his armored costume, became unconscious, and fell from the platform, on which the duel was being filmed. Reynolds claims this was the only time in his career that he had to miss a day of filming, due to sickness or injury.

Kevin Costner was offered the lead role. Uwe Boll claims Costner wasn’t interested in filming a large-scale action film, and instead offered Boll the opportunity to direct the project he was working on at the time, Mr. Brooks (2007). Boll turned it down. (WHAT, why would anyone offer Boll to director anyone?)

Claire Forlani was the last major performer to be cast. Her role had been previously offered to Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel. (Who probably just laughed into the phone for half a minute)

Though Siu-Tung Ching was the action Director, Uwe Boll personally choreographed the scene featuring Jason Statham and Ron Perlman fighting the Krug in the barn. (The one where it literally looks like Puttys from Power Rangers I think)

A day of filming was lost due to heavy fog. Some of the forest terrain and mountaintops could only be accessed via helicopter, and on a particular foggy day, Uwe Boll and part of his crew were literally stranded on a mountain for over two hours, because the helicopter wouldn’t take off.

Burt Reynolds extensively re-wrote and edited the dialogue for his death scene, creating friction with Script Supervisor Ingrid Kenning. Reynolds had never played a character who died in a film, and was adamant that the scene be something special.

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Doug Taylor)


Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Preview

Originally it seemed obvious that when we hit the “foreign film” entry in the Bring a Friend that we would watch our beloved Nic Cage in Outcast, the Chinese film he did with our less beloved Hayden Christensen. However as we did more research it was clear that the film was an American production looking to break into the Chinese market and probably would have gotten an American release if, you know, it wasn’t so terrible. Seemed to fit better as a straight-to-DVD. So instead we went all in and chose a film that was a 100% foreign release with no American audience in mind and linked it up with a very traditional American rom com release. That’s right! We’re watch Ghosts of Girlfriends PAsterix at the Olympic Games. We all know Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: stars Matthew McConaughey, he plays a giant doucher with a heart of gold, and got solidly terrible reviews. Classic. As for Asterix at the Olympic Games, it’s unlikely anyone has heard of it. I read some articles about it back when it was released because it was a shock to the French cinema. It was the third in a series of films in which the second entry, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a historically gigantic box office smash and critical darling. So obviously the third film was hotly anticipated… and landed with a thud. Everyone hated this film in France and it went on to win the French equivalent to the Razzie award for worst picture. Seemed like a perfect test to see if the language of bad film is universal. Let’s go!

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) – BMeTric: 39.4



(Huh … Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I feel like I haven’t noticed movies’ IMDb votes tailing off as time goes by. I actually kind of assumed as new users replaced old the number of new votes for a film would kind of just, paradoxically, rise. But apparently it does tail off. Or … maybe this movie is of a certain breed. A movie slowly being forgotten. One of those forgotten films of the 00s that young BMTers will be marvelling over in 2037 … one can dream.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tepid reimagining of A Christmas Carol as a romantic comedy, with McConaughey typecast as a roguish lothario who’s encouraged to change his charming-wastrel ways while visited by various apparitions – including his late playboy uncle (scene stealer Douglas) – the night before his brother’s wedding. Game actors aren’t helped by flat cinematography (even Garner, as McConaughey’s once and future sweetie, looks drab) and predictable writing.

(Sounds boring. But I’m liking the shots at the cinematography. Niche. I think as long as you go in not expecting much you can probably get out untraumatized. At least, that’s how it sounds to me.)

Trailer –

(Emma Stone looks like fun there. Always loving Breckin Meyer. I guess this is what Leonard Maltin meant by “game cast”. Also it seems like it plays right into a bunch of romantic comedy tropes, like the last 30 minutes of Made of Honor, so that could be fun to stare aghast at.)

Directors – Mark Waters – (Known For: Mean Girls; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Vampire Academy; Head Over Heels; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Brother of the screenwriter Daniel Waters for Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Heathers, and Hudson Hawk! Also married to an actress (Dina Spybey-Waters) who seems fairly accomplished in television.)

Writers – Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (written by) – (Known For: Bad Moms; The Hangover; Office Christmas Party; Future BMT: Rebound; Four Christmases; The Hangover Part III; 21 & Over; The Change-Up; Full of It; The Hangover Part II; Flypaper; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: They created and wrote for the show Mixology which at one point became quite famous for being terrible! Notably have provided many uncredited rewrites, including for the BMT film Mr. Woodcock.)

Actors – Matthew McConaughey – (Known For: Sing; Interstellar; Gold; The Wolf of Wall Street; Dazed and Confused; Tropic Thunder; Kubo and the Two Strings; Dallas Buyers Club; Magic Mike; Mud; Free State of Jones; Contact; A Time to Kill; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Reign of Fire; The Lincoln Lawyer; Frailty; Amistad; Bernie; We Are Marshall; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Wedding Planner; Surfer, Dude; Sahara; Paparazzi; The Dark Tower; Larger Than Life; My Boyfriend’s Back; Angels in the Outfield; The Sea of Trees; Two for the Money; BMT: Failure to Launch; Fool’s Gold; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Tiptoes; Notes: Enjoying continued late-career success dubbed The McConaissance. He broke onto the scene with Dazed and Confused (which is was subsequently type-cast for, and later embraced), and is an ardent supporter of the Texas Longhorns football team.)

Jennifer Garner – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Juno; Dallas Buyers Club; Daredevil; Wakefield; 13 Going on 30; Miracles from Heaven; The Invention of Lying; Draft Day; Danny Collins; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Kingdom; Deconstructing Harry; Washington Square; Future BMT: Mr. Magoo; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Arthur; Pearl Harbor; Catch and Release; Butter; The Odd Life of Timothy Green; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Elektra; Nine Lives; Valentine’s Day; Mother’s Day; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Recently separated from her husband of over ten years, Ben Affleck. Born in Texas she was raised in West Virginia, a fact that occasionally comes up in her acting roles (her call sign in Alias was The Mountaineer at one point, for example).)

Emma Stone – (Known For: Battle of the Sexes; La La Land; The Help; Superbad; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Amazing Spider-Man 2; The Amazing Spider-Man; The House Bunny; Zombieland; Easy A; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; The Interview; Friends with Benefits; Irrational Man; The Croods; The Rocker; Magic in the Moonlight; Future BMT: Marmaduke; Aloha; Gangster Squad; Unlikely Hero; BMT: Movie 43; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Broke out after her role in Superbad she has become one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood as well as winning the Oscar for Best Actress for La La Land last year.)

Budget/Gross – $37.5 million / Domestic: $55,250,026 (Worldwide: $102,223,269)

(Rough domestic total. Would have expected at least a bit more, 75-100 million if it were a success. Probably not really room for a sequel anyways. Thinking about it, I wonder how many romantic comedies leave room for a sequel … they all kind of end the same way right?)

#3 for the Romantic Comedy – Fantasy genre


(What a very strange (and consistently created) genre. Her was the last one listed, so … again, either dead or forgotten by the Box Office Mojo staff.)

#16 for the Romantic Fantasy genre


(Combined with the previous plot the romantic fantasy really did peak in 2009! I wonder if it is because it is cheap, or because they are light hearted fun … either way it does seem interesting that it would crest right after the financial collapse. Both make sense. These are still killing it though, with Beauty and the Beast and certainly other live-action Disney adaptations to come.)

#10 for the Womanizer / Cad / Player genre


(This genre booming in the early 2000s is just … exactly what you would expect. The genre certainly has gone out of style … can’t say I miss it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (37/140): A retread of A Christmas Carol, featuring Matthew McConaughey in a retread of his Dazed and Confused role, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm.

(I don’t believe you. It is impossible for a film starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone, and Michael Douglas to not be incredibly charming. Originality and humor on the other hand I can totally believe.)

Poster – Ghosts of Sklogfriends Past (C-)


(Certainly tells a story and has a central color to focus everything around, but busy and has terrible font. Slightly underwhelming mixed bag.)

Tagline(s) – You can’t always run from your past (D+)

(I always thought that the phrase “running from your past” implied that you can’t actually do it… it’s not something that you can get away from… because it’s your past… an abstraction that cannot be changed or erase and will eventually “catch up with you.” Anyway, what I’m saying is I don’t understand this tagline as it seems meaningless. Besides, it sounds weird that they’re repeating the word “past” in the title and tagline.)

Keyword(s) – wedding; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 80.8 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 79.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000); 76.5 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000); 72.8 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 70.3 Devil’s Due (2014); 68.4 Supergirl (1984); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 67.8 Double Team (1997);

(Ha! I think Sex and the City 2 is the big one there (although … is there a wedding? I can’t remember. There is in the first one). Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas was once proposed as a Nevada based movie for the … we nixed that, but the thought still kind of tickles me. Suggesting Rock Vegas is in fact in Nevada.)

Notes – This is the second time that Christa B. Allen has played the younger version of a character played by Jennifer Garner. The first was in 13 Going on 30 (2004).

Originally set up at Walt Disney Pictures with Ben Affleck attached to play the lead character, and Kevin Smith to direct. Production was to begin in the fall of 2003, but budgetary concerns and the failure of Gigli (2003) forced the studio to cancel the film one month prior to shooting. Ironically, when the film did get made years later, Affleck’s wife Jennifer Garner appeared in it. And the role Affleck was supposed to play, was instead played by his Dazed and Confused (1993) co-star, Matthew McConaughey. (Doesn’t feeeeel like irony. More of just a fun coincidence. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t expect Jennifer Garner to get attached to a movie her now ex-husband was set to star in from years prior.)

When Ben Affleck was attached to the project, offers went out to Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson for the part of Uncle Wayne.

Based on the novel A Christmas Carol in Prose, 1843, by Charles Dickens. (You don’t say)

When going back to his late teens, Connor winds up in Kripke’s basement. Kripke’s basement is where, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), John Connor said he first made out with Kate Brewster only a few days before the T-2 arrived, both Connor’s name and the locale being homage to the Terminator series.

Released in Germany as “Night of the Ex-Girlfriends”

Director Mark Waters installed a ping-pong table at both Crane Estate and Elm Bank Reservation, where the present-day wedding scenes were filmed, and would regularly challenge Micah Sherman, Albert M. Chan, and Michael Anastasia, who play the groomsmen. (Fun facts)

The first of two films to feature Jennifer Garner and Matthew McConaughey. The second was Dallas Buyers Club (2013).

Anne Archer and Michael Douglas have also been in Fatal Attraction (1987) together, although they do not have scenes together in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009).

In the movie they play the song nothing but a good time by Poison a song that was later sung in the movie Rock of Ages (2012) a movie that stars Catherine Zeta-Jones wife of Michael Douglas who co-starred in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009). (Wait … and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has 23 letters, the number 23!!!!!!!!!)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Preview

Ooooooooooooooh boy. Guys… it’s happening. Every once in awhile we do a film that has been on our docket for so long that it seems like not doing it is a running joke. Not today! That’s right! We’re watching Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters! I remember when this came out. BMT was just a baby (with far fewer beautiful rules and regulation) and I was stoked to watch it. But the stars never seemed to align. Alas. But now with our punctuation cycle and trying to hit nine different punctuation marks it seemed primed that we would require the use of an ampersand. Welcome to the show Hansel & Gretel! If only your ill-conceived sequel wasn’t scrapped for 2016 it would have come sooner. I… can… not… wait. Let’s go!

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) – BMeTric: 27.1



(For you hard-core fans out there you must just be screaming! What about all the Hall of Fame talk, Patrick, whereby films whose rating didn’t change in the face of increased votes are somehow special. Welp … amazingly this film is so overpoweringly average that it doesn’t really regress to the mean, it is already there the entire time! A BMeTric of 25 is about average too, and look at that plot. I kind of love it.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hansel and Gretel, of the famous fairy tale, are now all grown up and seeking revenge for the murder of their parents by becoming bounty hunters, out to kill witches wherever they find them. Renner and Arterton are lost in the fireworks of this ridiculous movie, which is just another excuse to bring out big guns and pyrotechnics. (It’s never explained how this pair are packing such modern-day weapons.) Why does Hollywood want to destroy all of our childhood memories?

(I want to get lost in the fireworks! Bring the guns and the pyrotechnics. They also don’t explain where the witches came from Leonard. And whose fond childhood memories is about the nightmare that is Grimm’s fairytales? I have a lot of problems with this review, although I’m mostly joshing around here. I’m mostly bitter that Maltin yet again is stingy with his BOMB ratings, give the people what they want Leonard!)

Trailer –

(I’m getting a heavy Seventh Son vibe on this one. My favorite line from it is Renner saying “I don’t think we’re hunting witches.” Uh, what?… there are like 5000 witches in that trailer. I’m pretty sure you’re hunting witches.)

Directors – Tommy Wirkola – (Known For: Dead Snow; Dead Snow 2; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Norwegian. Has a completed directing project called What Happened to Monday? starring Noomi Rapace, although there is very little information about it outside of variety stories from four years ago.)

Writers – Tommy Wirkola (written by) – (Known For: Dead Snow; Dead Snow 2; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: He is attached to a project called Irredeemable as the writer based on a comic book series, but hasn’t done anything major outside of the Dead Snow series in a while. Might have to check out Irredeemable, sounds interesting.)

Actors – Jeremy Renner – (Known For: Arrival; Captain America: Civil War; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Avengers Assemble; American Hustle; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Thor; The Hurt Locker; The Town; Wind River; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; The Bourne Legacy; 28 Weeks Later; S.W.A.T.; Lords of Dogtown; Kill the Messenger; North Country; BMT: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Senior Trip; A Little Trip to Heaven; Notes: I feel like I’ve heard a variety a weird things about Renner … but specifics escape me. His filmography is impressively lacking in BMT worthy movies. Renovated homes with fellow actor Kristoffer Winters.)

Gemma Arterton – (Known For: The Girl with All the Gifts; The Boat That Rocked; RocknRolla; Quantum of Solace; 100 Streets; Their Finest; The Voices; Byzantium; Tamara Drewe; Orpheline; The Disappearance of Alice Creed; Gemma Bovery; Song for Marion; A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures; BMT: Runner Runner; Clash of the Titans; St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold; St. Trinian’s; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; Notes:  British, burst onto the scene when she beat out 1500 other women for a role in Quantum of Solace. My favorite IMDb note: A lifelong fan of karaoke, Gemma once worked as a singer in a south London ‘gangster bar’ where she was frequently instructed to sing “My Heart Will Go On” whenever things got out of hand with the rowdy patrons. … I need to find that bar! I bet it is some posh bullshit.)

Also stars Peter Stormare – (I know his from the smash hit Prison Break … but real people would know him from things like Fargo, Minority Report, and most importantly Armageddon. His BMT library is impressive, but we’ve only seen him in The Tuxedo)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $55,703,475 (Worldwide: $226,349,749)

(Kind of a weird smash hit. The formula I’ve always heard it double the budget and use 50% of domestic and 25% of foreign and you’ll be close (don’t quote me on any of that though). So $25 + $113 = $130 million ish versus a $100 break even. They made money … why did this film always seem like a disaster then and why did the director never get another shot?)

#34 for the Adventure – Period genre


(Right below the classic Knight’s Tale. The plot is super weird. The number of theaters taking in films like this was so consistent from the 90s and then all of a sudden the money starts to tumble until, boom, the genre collapses. I kind of assume it has to do with the cost of such a production. Period pieces need costumes, and locations need to be dressed, etc. etc. Maybe making a comeback with Tarzan and King Kong though? Plausible.)

#49 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre


(Just below Sklog childhood classic Willow! Gods of Egypt and Warcraft are recent additions to the genre and BMT. With Harry Potter and more fantastic Marvel movies coming out this genre is on the rise it would seem, although it seems nisely settled at a nice level that looked like a cool $100 million was in reach for most releases. Are the Icarus, flying too close to the sun on their wings of Fantasy Live Action films? We’ll see.)

#4 for the Witch genre

(I’m not going to give the plot because it is useless. I wanted to mainly point out that this being #4 on a genre list means this isn’t a real genre. Other shocks: It is just below the Bewitched remake starring Will Ferrell and only a shade above Hocus Pocus. Take a deep breath, that’s the smell of a non-genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (19/130): Alternately bloody and silly, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters fails as both a fantasy adventure and as a parody of same.

(Ha. I kind of love when reviewers get all weird about violence in films like this. I mean, it makes sense, I think a lot of people would expect this to be a little more comedy than action. But for a movie described on wikipedia as an American-German dark fantasy action horror comedy film I’m sure I’ll get what I’m expecting … which is the Applebee’s menu of movies (Mike Lombardi fans know what I’m talking about, that menu that has so much stuff you know none of it could possibly be good, boom roasted).)

Poster – Jamie & Patrick: Sklog Hunters (C-)


(I like the bold red color splashed on the rest of the neutral backdrop and I love the original font. Dutch angle is a mistake and the characters are way too prominent. Takes away from the other artistic aspects and ruins it. Also, there is an alternate poster that Patrick figured out was a perfect play on a Rorschach inkblot. To this day I don’t think anyone else has made the connection. In a day where it seems everything has already been done or said on the internet this still is a totally original thought by The Sklogs. You’re welcome.)

Tagline(s) – Classic Tale New Twist (C-)

(Ehhhhh, kinda fits with my criteria. Short, got some cadence and cleverness, and gives a slight hint at a plot. However, it’s getting a bit meta for me… like just acknowledging that this is a classic tale and now they are witch hunters. Not loving it.)

Keyword(s) – bounty hunter; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.5 Barb Wire (1996); 68.3 Jonah Hex (2010); 65.3 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 61.3 Ghost Rider (2007); 53.0 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 49.9 Suburban Commando (1991); 48.6 One for the Money (2012); 47.8 The Bounty Hunter (I) (2010); 42.5 Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014); 40.3 Identity Thief (2013);

(Oooooooo, can’t wait to see Jason Goes to Hell. Why would this be on the bounty hunter list. So many questions! Solid list top to bottom, but wouldn’t really work for a marathon, too similar across the board, all action, no genre mix … I was going to say, what about those romantic bounty hunter movies, but that is literally what One for the Money and the Bounty Hunter are, blah.)

Notes – Hansel is diabetic, as a result of his experience in the gingerbread house as a child. In the original script, Gretel was also supposed to have an eating disorder, as a result of the same trauma, but this was not included in the movie. (Ugh, just the worst. It is like something I would write and think was very clever in high school … no offense)

Originally scheduled for release in March 2012, the movie was delayed for ten months to accommodate Jeremy Renner’s appearances in Avengers Assemble (2012) and The Bourne Legacy (2012), and to give director Tommy Wirkola time to shoot a post-credits scene. (That super sweet after credits scene. Kind of nuts to think this was released basically just after The Avengers …. It feels like this came out so long ago)

Director Tommy Wirkola got the idea to create the film, based on the adult lives of Hansel and Gretel in 2007, while at film school in Australia. After being discovered by Gary Sanchez Productions, Wirkola pitched the idea at a meeting with Paramount Pictures and won a contract. (Will Ferrell why? You could have stopped this).

Despite portraying brother and sister of close ages, Jeremy Renner (Hansel) is actually fifteen years older than Gemma Arterton (Gretel). (Ugh, classic Hollywood)

The movie’s cast featured two former Bond Girls,Famke Janssen from GoldenEye (1995) and Gemma Arterton from Quantum of Solace (2008), where the movies were made and released around thirteen years apart in the James Bond film franchise. (ooooo fun fact)

In an interview with Famke Janssen at Cannes 2011, she stated that she took the role as the head witch in this movie because she had to pay off her mortgage. Janssen has stated multiple times that since 2007, she was prepping her writing/directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby (2011), where funding and distribution had gone through hard times, partly due to the 2008 economic crisis. She also had not done much acting in that period of time. (ha, get yo money Famke)

The text of the newspaper clippings, used in the opening credits, is from Alexander Roberts’ 1616 “A Treatise on Witchcraft.” (We will end with that ultra-fun fact)

Seventh Son Preview

Alright, so this week is our SciFi/Fantasy. Super excited for this one as one of the worst films released this year happened to be a Fantasy film based on a book. That is of course Seventh Son. It’s based on a children’s series out of England, which is good cause that means the books are super short. I believe the movie is either set in a made-up kingdom or England (a bit redundant there… slammed), so not adding to the map. For those interested, this weeks BMT hashtag is #SeventhSonDayFunDay (pretty proud of that one). Let’s go!

Seventh Son (2015) – 50.1 (generated on June 1, 2017)



(The drop feels like it is quite common for film based on written material with fans who will give the film a good review regardless. Fun that it hasn’t moved at all in the past 3 years, suggests it has sustained its level of terribleness and will have a long BMT shelf life. Generated on June 1, 2017.)

Netflix Synopsis – In the 18th century, apprentice exorcist Tom Ward is the lynchpin in a battle between good and evil when imprisoned witch Mother Malkin escapes. This chilling tale is based on the first installment in Joseph Delaney’s “Wardstone Chronicles” trilogy.

(No Leonard Maltin review so I trotted out an oldie but a goodie with the Netflix synopsis. I particularly like this one because of two things: 1. “chilling tale”? This is based on a book series for 10-year-olds. I doubt it’s all that chilling. 2. the book series is not a trilogy. There are 12 of them (they come cheaper by the dozen, you know. Thank you. Thank you). Classic, Netflix. Getting the facts wrong right off the bat.)

Trailer –

(I was going to praise the trailer for not making it look too ridiculous, until the second half went bonkers insane. This honestly looks like garbage. I’m getting a real Dungeons & Dragons/In the Name of the King/Season of the Witch vibe here (god, we watched a lot of those types of movies))

Director(s) – Sergey Bodrov– (Known For: Prisoner of the Mountains; Mongol; East/West. BMT: Seventh Son; Running Free; Nomad. Notes: He actually has a whole mess more movies, but most of them are in Russian. His son was an actor and directed a film before being tragically killed in an avalanche while directing his second film in Russia.)

Writer(s) – Matt Greenberg(screen story) – (Known For: 1408; Reign of Fire; Halloween H2.; BMT: Seventh Son; The Prophecy II. Notes: Almost exclusively a horror writer. Connected to a remake of Pet Semetary and a Beowulf television series.)

Charles Leavitt (screenplay) – (Known For: Blood Diamond; K-PAX; The Express; The Mighty; BMT: Seventh Son; The Sunchaser; Notes: His debut was Sunchaser which has one of the funniest posters I’ve ever seen. Look at that tagline too!)

Steven Knight (screenplay) – (Known For: Eastern Promises; Locke; The Hundred-Foot Journey; Dirty Pretty Things; Amazing Grace; Closed Circuit; Pawn Sacrifice; World War Z; Redemption. BMT: Seventh SonNotes: Nominated for an Oscar for Dirty Pretty Things. Crazy that he’s even connected with this film.)

Actors – Ben Barnes– (Known For: Dorian Gray; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; Stardust.  BMT: Seventh Son; The Words; The Big Wedding (BMT) Notes: Was in the short-lived boy band Hyrise which performed at Eurovision:

Bwahahahaha. I actually kinda liked it.)

Jeff Bridges – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; Iron Man; True Grit; TRON; K-PAX; Arlington Road; Crazy Heart; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Starman; The Fisher King; Seabiscuit; Surf’s Up; King Kong; The Vanishing; White Squall; The Fabulous Baker Boys; Fearless; The Last Picture Show; The Door in the Floor; Tucker: The Man and His Dream; Against All Odds; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; The Contender; Cutter’s Way; Heaven’s Gate; Tron Legacy. BMT: The Giver; R.I.P.D. (BMT); Seventh Son; Wild Bill; Blown Away; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; Stick It; Tideland; The Open Road. Notes: And that’s just a portion of his filmography. Nominated for 6 Oscars, winning for Crazy Horse. Son of famous actor Lloyd Bridges.)

Also stars Julianne Moore

Budget/Gross: $95 million / $17,223,265 ($110,623,265 Worldwide)

(Not a case where the worldwide makes up for the domestic run. That is atrocious. 113th worst opening for a 2500+ theater release. Right next to BMT films The Marine, 3000 Miles to Graceland, and Winter’s Tale. Good company.)

#80 for the Live Action (Fantasy) genre


(Oooooo, right when 2000 hit everyone was like, hey, we have lots of cheap CGI … so want to make something that looks ridiculous? This comes in right above Krull. You heard that right, Krull. So … yeah not great. The genre is a booming, and this movie marked the start of the most recent gold rush. Go get your money movie producers.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 12% (13/106), Critics Consensus: Seventh Son squanders an excellent cast and some strange storyline ingredients, leaving audiences with one disappointingly dull fantasy adventure.

(Disappointingly dull? I hear that about this email every week (burned, me). Also, not sure when “strange storyline ingredients” became something that you could squander. I feel like that could go both ways. Like is it Jupiter Ascending strange storyline ingredients? Or Being John Malkovich strange storyline ingredients?)

Poster – Seventh Sklog (C-)


(What a strange poster. I’m not sure what I’m even looking at. A big ol’ red moon looking like Mars with a skull on it. Strange, jarring colors too. I gotta give it some props for being so unique, but still not great and it makes Julianne Moore look like one of the heroes.)

Tagline(s) – When darkness falls, the son will rise (Is there something higher than an A+?)

(Finally, a movie gets it. Puns on puns in tight packages. This tagline is ridiculous, but I love it.)

Keyword(s) – witch; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.8 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 84.8 Troll 2 (1990); 80.9 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000); 75.7 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012); 71.6 Bewitched (2005); 67.8 Supergirl (1984); 65.4 10,000 BC (2008); 62.4 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008); 62.4 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014); 61.3 Conan the Barbarian (2011);

(Shocked we have seen so few. Not even a little Last Witch Hunter? I guess since we generally avoid hitting up too many terrible horror films we tend to avoid most Witch films.)

Notes – Based on book one of Joseph Delany’ ” The Wardstone chronicles” series, “The Spook’s Apprentice.”

Dianna Agron, Imogen Poots and Felicity Jones tested for the lead role after Jennifer Lawrence dropped out (wait… let’s go back to when Jennifer Lawrence was in this movie).

Initially set to be released in theaters in January of 2014 but due to production delays the film was pushed back to 2015 (the full story is that the company in charge of CGI went bankrupt before completing work on the film. The production company had to float them $5 million just to keep them open long enough to finish the work on the film.)

After Alex Pettyfer bowed out from the project, Shiloh Fernandez, Sam Claflin, Caleb Landry Jones and James Frecheville tested for the lead role. (wait… let’s go back to when my boy Alex Pettyfer was in this movie).