Big Momma’s House Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. For this week we are revisiting one of the quintessential 2000s cross-dressing comedies. You guessed it, Big Momma’s in the house! It’s actually her house if I recall correctly. So get ready for some karate / basketball / farting action. This is the updated preview, the Hall of Fame Speech will follow to explain why we think this film is Hall of Fame worthy.

Generated on: 2020-01-11

Big Momma’s House (2000) – BMeTric: 60.3; Notability: 42 

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(Shockingly low, but it is also hard to admit you like this film. Considering the makeup work is objectively bad though I think it is about right. 60+ BMeTric is quite amazing, good job Big Momma’s House.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Any movie that employs an oven mitt and a plumber’s friend in a childbirth scene cannot be all bad, and I laughed a lot during “Big Momma’s House.” I also spent a certain amount of time staring at the screen in disbelief. While it’s true that comedy can redeem bad taste, it’s can be appalling when bad taste thinks it is being redeemed by comedy, and is wrong. The movie’s opening toilet scene, featuring the biggest evacuation since we pulled out of Vietnam, is a grisly example.

(Yeah this sounds about right considering what I remember. Basically it is really really stupid, but somewhat chamingly begnin and good-hearted. That you can kind of like it if you don’t pay attention too much.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njhwlzuPXv4/

(This might as well be called “2000s cross-dressing comedy”. Babies, basketball, karate, self-defense classes, surprise parties, and boob jokes. It is literally everything you didn’t ask for.)

Directors – Raja Gosnell – (Known For: Never been Kissed; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Future BMT: Home Alone 3; Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Yours, Mine & Ours; BMT: Big Momma’s House; Show Dogs; Notes: Was an editor for years and years prior to directing Home Alone 3. Is currently tapped to direct yet-another Santa origin story.)

Writers – Darryl Quarles (story & screenplay) – (Future BMT: Black Knight; BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House 2; Big Momma’s House; Notes: I have to imagine it was his original script that was adapted since he gets only character credits on the later films and didn’t write much else. Was a producer on Fresh Prince.)

Don Rhymer (screenplay) – (Known For: The Santa Clause 2; Rio; Ferdinand; Surf’s Up; Rio 2; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London; The Honeymooners; Deck the Halls; Carpool; BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House 2; Big Momma’s House; Notes: Started writing on Coach back in the day, and now basically writes animated kids’ films.)

Actors – Martin Lawrence – (Known For: Bad Boys; The Beach Bum; Do the Right Thing; Death at a Funeral; Life; Open Season; Boomerang; House Party; Future BMT: College Road Trip; Black Knight; Rebound; National Security; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; House Party 2; Blue Streak; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate; Bad Boys II; Nothing to Lose; BMT: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; Big Momma’s House 2; Big Momma’s House; Wild Hogs; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son in 2012; Notes: He’s back jack! In Bad Boys For Life, which turns out is a smash hit. He almost died while preparing for this role while jogging in a plastic suit in the summer.)

Nia Long – (Known For: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged; Friday; Boyz n the Hood; Keanu; The Best Man Holiday; Alfie; Boiler Room; The Best Man; Soul Food; Lemon; Roxanne Roxanne; The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy; Love Jones; How to Get the Man’s Foot Outta Your Ass; Mooz-Lum; Future BMT: Made in America; Premonition; Held Up; Stigmata; In Too Deep; Gospel Hill; BMT: Are We Done Yet?; Big Momma’s House 2; Are We There Yet?; Big Momma’s House; The Single Moms Club; Notes: Has been on television more recently with stints on both Empire and NCIS: Los Angeles.)

Paul Giamatti – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; Saving Mr. Banks; 12 Years a Slave; Planet of the Apes; Donnie Brasco; The Truman Show; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; San Andreas; Straight Outta Compton; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Robots; Rock of Ages; Doctor Dolittle; Turbo; The Illusionist; Love & Mercy; Sideways; Sabrina; Private Life; Man on the Moon; Future BMT: Fred Claus; Morgan; Ratchet & Clank; Romeo & Juliet; The Nanny Diaries; The Hangover Part II; Duets; Before and After; The Catcher Was a Spy; Pretty Bird; BMT: Big Momma’s House; Lady in the Water; Paycheck; Notes: A very accomplished actor. Has starred in the show Billions for the last few years.)

Budget/Gross – $30,000,000 / Domestic: $117,559,438 (Worldwide: $173,959,438)

(That’s a huge hit. It is quite amazing the cast they were able to rope into films like this back in the day because even rote comedies could pull in $100 million at the drop of a hat. Not surprising they went right back to that well and made a trilogy in the end.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (24/81): Big Momma’s House is funny in some parts, but it is essentially a one-joke movie.

(I wouldn’t want it any other way. Sometimes in your life you need one-note comedies. The type of comedy which feels like it was a 2 minute SNL clip stretched out to a film. Reviewer Highlight: The whole project works so hard at creating funny situations that Lawrence gets no chance to be funny as himself. – Robin Rauzi, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Big Momma’s Sklog (B-) 

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(I actually like the turned back pose, it keeps the ludicrousness of Big Momma’s face a secret for the film. I don’t like how it fades to white for the title and credits though, I feel like there is a better way to do that. Solid font work though.)

Tagline(s) – This FBI agent is going undercover… and he’s concealing more than a weapon. (C+)

(Indicates a bit of the plot, but let’s not stoop to dick jokes. It isn’t that he’s a lady, it’s that he’s an old lady. They should have played a bit off of that as well.)

Keyword – gender disguise

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Top 10: Coco (2017), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Willow (1988), Mulan (1998), The Danish Girl (2015), White Chicks (2004), Shakespeare in Love (1998), She’s the Man (2006), Tootsie (1982), Jack and Jill (2011); 

Future BMT: 76.5 Junior (1994), 49.8 Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), 29.3 Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989), 19.8 The Associate (1996), 19.8 Three Fugitives (1989); 

BMT: White Chicks (2004), Jack and Jill (2011), Tango & Cash (1989), Big Momma’s House (2000), Color of Night (1994), Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005)

(My god … we’ve watched so many of them. I am excited for Junior. And Willow is obviously the best number one you could ask for. I love the uniform distribution on the plot, legit just a timeless classic.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Martin Lawrence is No. 1 billed in Big Momma’s House and No. 3 billed in Wild Hogs, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch In Too Deep we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Screenwriter Darryl Quarles came up with the idea for the name “Big Momma” because it was what the neighborhood kids used to call his own real life mother.

Martin Lawrence got in a three day coma from jogging in sweaters with 100 degree weather August 1999 in preparation for this movie.

Nia Long was in talks to join the cast of Charlie’s Angels (2000). She was persuaded to join this film when she was sent a big bunch of roses with the attached note “Come to us where you’ll be the only angel”.

The final scenes required some inventive shooting of Nia Long as the actress was pregnant and had to be shot only from the neck up. (Good for her I suppose)

For any physically active scenes, Martin Lawrence’s fat suit had built-in cooling tubes to help the actor.

Although set in Georgia, the entire film was shot in California. (Aw that is annoying. It is so easy to film in Georgia this days … do we need a reboot?)

That’s a body double in the scene where Ella Mitchell disrobes in the bathroom.

Ella Mitchell is a renowned Broadway actress who’s noted for her superb singing voice. That is Mitchell’s real voice in the film’s final scene where she belts out “Oh Happy Day”.

While Martin Lawrence spends most of the film encased in latex, Ella Mitchell also required some make-up. Her nose wasn’t as big as Lawrence’s so that had to be augmented to make the similarity between the two “women” more believable.

An animated opening was partially completed before it was scrapped. (… Didn’t they do that in the second one. I could be misremembering, but I feel like there was an animated Big Momma opening for that one)

Big Momma Like Father Like Son Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also stars Jessica Lucas (From Pompeii!)

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

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

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

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

Poster – Big Momma Like Father Like Sklog (D)

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

Tagline(s) – Momma’s got back-up. (C)

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

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

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

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

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

Big Momma’s House 2 Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#16 for the Comedy – Fat Suit genre

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

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

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

Poster – Big Momma’s Sklog 2 (D+)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bless the Child Preview

Alright, well this week we made a terrible mistake. Not that we chose a bad film for our Horror/Thriller week (in fact it is the perfectly chosen Bless the Child starring a BMT favorite Kim Basinger), but the book is 550 pages long! Like super, duper long! It took me forever to read. I just finished it this afternoon in fact. Starting to get worried I might not have time to finish the next book on the docket (my life is pretty tough guys). But I can’t worry about that now. I gotta get to Bless the Child. Oddly, this was always in the back of my mind for BMT. Not just because it is one of the worst reviewed films in history, but also there was a time that I thought it might take place in Vermont for some portion of the film… which would have obviously trumped A Change of Seasons for mapl.de.map. Unfortunately, after doing some research I figured that it’s unlikely that Basinger’s character even makes it to Vermont… but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s go!

Bless the Child (2000) – BMeTric: 49.8 (Generated on December 12, 2017)

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(I’m surprised at how high the BMeTric is given only 11 thousand votes. But then again, most films don’t get ten thousand votes I suppose. And a 5.0 rating is awful. Pretty consistent rating through time, which suggests it is just as bad as it was perceived at the time.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Basinger has raised her addict sister’s daughter to the age of six; when she shows signs of spiritual powers, the child is sought by millionaire Sewell, who’s involved in a series of child killings. Smits is the detective on the case. Religious horror thriller veers wildly from the promising to the ludicrous, and is never remotely convincing. Based on the novel by Cathy Cash Spellman.

(Ludicrous is the name of the game here at BMT. Why do you think he’s called LudiChris Klein? Glad we got a pretty poor rating from Leonard. Hard to keep trotting out films and have him let us down by giving them mediocre reviews.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM7wV9KCAwc

(Yeeeeesssssss, yeeeesssssssssss. The power. It feels good. That looks like straight dog poo and I love it. Some creepy practical effects on those demons, but let’s hope they end up being super silly when watching the film.)

Directors – Chuck Russell – (Known For: The Mask; The Scorpion King; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; The Blob; Future BMT: I Am Wrath; Eraser; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: Hasn’t made a film in more than a decade, but apparently has one in post right now. It’s called I Am Wrath, stars John Travolta, and I would be severely disappointed if it wasn’t a BMT film… more likely it doesn’t get a theatrical release.)

Writers – Cathy Cash Spellman (novel) – (BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: The writer of the book. I think this book was just buying hook-line-and-sinker into the weird satanist panic of the time. Otherwise I can’t find much about her.)

Thomas Rickman (screenplay) (as Tom Rickman) – (Known For: Coal Miner’s Daughter; Hooper; Everybody’s All-American; The Laughing Policeman; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: Won an Oscar for the screenplay for Coal Miner’s Daughter.)

Clifford Green and Ellen Green (screenplay) – (Known For: SpaceCamp; Future BMT: Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend; The Seventh Sign; Three Wishes; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: Married writing partners. Clifford is into space apparently (they wrote Space Camp after all), even agreeing to send his DNA into space as part of the Immortality Drive.)

Actors – Kim Basinger – (Known For: 8 Mile; The Nice Guys; Batman; L.A. Confidential; 9½ Weeks; Never Say Never Again; Cellular; The Natural; The Door in the Floor; Wayne’s World 2; Final Analysis; People I Know; Fool for Love; Nadine; Future BMT: Cool World; The Informers; My Stepmother Is an Alien; Ready to Wear; While She Was Out; The Getaway; The Real McCoy; Blind Date; The Sentinel; The Man Who Loved Women; Even Money; Third Person; Charlie St. Cloud; The 11th Hour; The Burning Plain; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Bless the Child; No Mercy; I Dreamed of Africa; The Marrying Man; Grudge Match; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 1987 for Nine 1/2 Weeks; in 1992 for The Marrying Man; in 1993 for Cool World, and Final Analysis; in 1995 for The Getaway; and in 2001 for Bless the Child, and I Dreamed of Africa; Notes: A BMT hall of famer basically. I secretly love her. We managed to do back-to-back Basinger by accident here. She isn’t in Fifty Shades of Grey, but she’s in the sequel(s).)

Jimmy Smits – (Known For: Rogue One; Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith; The Jane Austen Book Club; Running Scared; Who We Are Now; My Family; Mother and Child; Old Gringo; Vital Signs; Future BMT: The Million Dollar Hotel; Switch; The Believers; BMT: Bless the Child; Notes: I know him as the main antagonist in Dexter season 3. Which was the terrible season in the first four. After four it falls off a cliff anyways, so whatever.)

Rufus Sewell – (Known For: The Holiday; A Knight’s Tale; Hercules; The Illusionist; Dark City; Hamlet; Paris, je t’aime; Dangerous Beauty; Amazing Grace; Carrington; The Sea; Vinyan; Blinky Bill the Movie; Twenty-One; A Man of No Importance; Future BMT: Extreme Ops; 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; The Very Thought of You; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Bless the Child; Notes: British, grew up in Twickenham which houses the big Rugby ground in London.)

Budget/Gross – $65 million / Domestic: $29,381,494 (Worldwide: $40,443,010)

(Clearly a bomb. The budget doesn’t even make much sense… where would $65 million go for a film like this?… Dear God! Please say to sadly misguided attempts at CGI in scenes that don’t need them (judging from the rats in the trailer, I would say yes). It is the 66th highest grossing Supernatural Horror right behind BMT film Ghost Ship (with the most ship) and future BMT The Fog.)

#147 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

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(The slow increase in audiences coming out for R-rated films maybe? You can kind of even see the uptick at the end which saw It just absolutely smashing it this year.)

#73 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

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(Blair Witch and The Sixth Sense blew the genre out of the water and since then the releases have been pouring in. Hasn’t hurt the per-theater take that much which is probably why they keep on making more and more.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (3/112)Bless the Child squanders its talented cast on a plot that’s more likely to inspire unintentional laughs than shivers.

(One of the worst reviewed films in history, given the number of reviews it garnered. I would say the phrase “talented cast” is being a bit generous from the get go. Unintentional laughs would be certainly welcome.)

Poster – Bless the Sklog (A)

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(I’m going to be perfectly honest, I really dig this poster. Look at it. Nice color contrast, good use of the shape of a cross, Basinger is portrayed prominently but in a clever way, and all the words are placed well in the frame. I like it.)

Tagline(s) – Mankind’s last hope just turned six. (B+)

(The tagline is kinda the definition of a tagline. It’s short and sweet, gives us some insight into the tension in the film, and holds some cleverness in the paradox it presents. “So why isn’t it an A+?” says everyone. It’s just so god damn cliche. I feel like I’ve seen this tagline a million times… still, can’t give it anything less than a B+ cause it is pretty much what we’re looking or here on Jamie’s Taglines and Such)

Keyword(s) – fbi; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.6 I Know Who Killed Me (2007)78.7 Torque (2004); 77.1 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002); 76.6 Taxi (I) (2004); 75.3 Death Note (2017); 73.6 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); 72.5 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 71.7 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 68.5 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998); 66.9 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009);

(Nice. A very cool variety there actually. Oh Big Momma, I am so glad you just smash it in this regard. None of the others (besides a rewatch of Ballistic) are really on our radar at the moment.)

Notes – The line, “The devil’s greatest trick was convincing man that he didn’t exist,” is reminiscent of a similar line in another movie of the same genre, End of Days (1999), in which Father Kotak (Rod Steiger) says: “Satan’s greatest trick was convincing man that he didn’t exist”. It is also similar to The Usual Suspects (1995), where the line is, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing man that he didn’t exist”. In fact, that idea goes back to Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867): “La plus belle des ruses du Diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas!” (English: “The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” (I’m always down for a bit of a literature lesson in the notes)

The bridge where the car “accident” takes place, is actually the Blue Water Bridge between Point Edward, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. It was being “twinned” at the time, so the whole bridge was closed down for repairs, and was available for uninterrupted filming. The scenery shots of New York City were then placed in the background, but people who grew up there, recognize the shores as being Point Edward and Port Huron, respectively, not New York City.

The subway station where the attack on Meg takes place is a “ghost” station on the Toronto subway that is used frequently as a stand in for New York City subways. The city’s film office wanted to leave it set up as a New York City station, but the Toronto Fire Department nixed that idea. The station is below the Bay station on the Bloor line, on the track connecting the Bloor and Yonge lines. At one time, trains went from one line to the other, thus the station, but the practice was discontinued because of switching problems. (There is also a “ghost” station beneath the Queen Street station. It was roughed in 1954 for a planned Queen Street subway which never was built.)

In the original script, a character is deliberately pushed off a subway platform. This had to be changed to an accidental fall before the Toronto Transit Commission would allow filming on its property.

When the candles in the cathedral ignite together, the camera pulls back and Maggie’s shirt can be seen blowing, as if the candles were in fact being blown out, and film was run backwards. (I do like things like this, the technical details of filmmaking)

“Ego fum papa” roughly translates as “I am the Pope”.

According to a March 1, 1999 Variety magazine article, in the script as originally written Cody was Maggie’s autistic granddaughter who was abandoned by her drug-addicted mother. Since Kim Basinger was the mother of a young daughter in real-life, she seemed too young to play a grandmother, so her character was changed to the child’s aunt. (Yup)

Based on the novel of the same name by Cathy Cash Spellman.

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Kim Basinger)