Jamie and Patrick stand backstage at America is Very Good. They stand awkwardly amongst the rest of the contestants. It feels like everyone is staring at them… probably because they are. It’s not every day that multiple EGOT winners show up wanting to compete on America’s third most popular talent show. The creator of the show assumed it was some elaborate joke, probably as part of a reboot of the Punk’d franchise. It took them ages to convince him that he wasn’t being Punk’d and that close personal friend Ashton Kutcher wasn’t hiding anywhere nearby. “Let’s just go out there, blow their socks off, prove to everyone we’re good now, and get out of here,” Jamie says nervously. The invitation seemed perfect when they first found it on the street, but now it’s seeming a little too good to be true. In his nervousness Jamie leans around the curtain to get a glimpse at the crowd. “Oh shit,” he mumbles and Patrick rushes over to take a look himself. “What thuuuu…” Patrick says in disbelief. There sitting at the judges table is none other than Paul Blart himself, Kevin James. What are the chances? Suddenly Kevin James, American icon, looks directly at them and mouths “I got you, Bad Movie Twins.” Jamie and Patrick are shocked and dismayed. Not only are they not going to prove to the world that they are very good, but they are about to be Punk’d on national television by Kevin James. “What are we going to do?” Jamie wails in dismay. Patrick shakes him back to his senses. “You know exactly what we’re going to do,” Patrick says, eyes narrowing, “we’re going to dance… we’re going to dance and we’re going to win and Kevin James can just stick it where the crawdads sing.” That’s right! We are watching smash box office hit Where the Crawdads Sing. Based on one of the hottest selling books of all time, the film clearly has its audience and that audience now includes us. Let’s go!
Where the Crawdads Sing (2022) – BMeTric: 7.5; Notability: 27
StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 14.0%; Notability: top 5.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.7%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Halloween Ends, Firestarter, Moonfall, Morbius, Blacklight, Pinocchio, Me Time, Spiderhead, Deep Water, The Invitation, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World: Dominion, Senior Year, Blackout, The 355, White Elephant, Samaritan, and 15 more; Higher Notability: Black Adam, Jurassic World: Dominion, Pinocchio, Amsterdam, Morbius, Disenchanted, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, Spiderhead, Don’t Worry Darling, The 355; Lower RT: After Ever Happy, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Me Time, Poker Face, Blacklight, Firestarter, White Elephant, Morbius, Prey for the Devil, The Last Manhunt, Blackout, The Bubble, The Man from Toronto, Senior Year, On the Line, The 355, The Invitation, Pinocchio, Memory, Jurassic World: Dominion, and 3 more; Notes: This is the one. We always do a “fairly well received by audiences” film and this is the one. Buckle up.
RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The cicadas buzz and the moss drips and the sunset casts a golden shimmer on the water every single evening. But while “Where the Crawdads Sing” is rich in atmosphere, it’s sorely lacking in actual substance or suspense.
(Interesting. The trailer does look beautiful. And I also watched a few makings of docs that came on the DVD and the production seemed really well put together. Kind of sad it didn’t hit with critics at all.)
(Pretty good trailer. I’m a sucker for courtroom dramas. I didn’t really know that it was a courtroom drama now that I think about it.)
Directors – Olivia Newman – ( Known For: First Match; BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; Notes: Man, directors’ resumes I feel like are getting weird. She directed episodes of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and FBI. Just weird and wild stuff.)
Writers – Delia Owens – ( BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; Notes: She wrote the book. There is a whole thing about a case in Zambia involving poachers and a murder and her husband and stepson. I’ll leave you to look it up yourself.)
Lucy Alibar – ( Known For: Beasts of the Southern Wild; Troop Zero; BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; Notes: She was nominated for an Oscar for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Otherwise there isn’t much else about her online.)
Actors – Daisy Edgar-Jones – ( Known For: Fresh; Pond Life; BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; Notes: She is British, and her father is a television executive. She’s been in a lot of television, mainly Cold Feet, Under the Banner of Heaven, and War of the Worlds.)
Taylor John Smith – ( Known For: The Outpost; Shadow in the Cloud; You Get Me; Insidious: Chapter 3; Martyrs; Some Kind of Beautiful; Almost Friends; Wolves; BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; Blacklight; Hunter Killer; Notes: American, he’s an up and coming young film actor, although he was in Sharp Objects with Amy Adams.)
Harris Dickinson – ( Known For: Triangle of Sadness; See How They Run; The King’s Man; Beach Rats; The Souvenir: Part II; Matthias & Maxime; Postcards from London; Future BMT: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil; BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; The Darkest Minds; Notes: Also British. He was in a bunch of films this year, with Triangle of Sadness being the most critically acclaimed.)
Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $90,230,760 (Worldwide: $140,230,760)
(That is enormous. Yeah, it is a bit weird it was so dumped on by critics because multiple people have recommended it to me as being quite good.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (72/210): Daisy Edgar-Jones gives it her all, but Where the Crawdads Sing is ultimately unable to distill its source material into a tonally coherent drama.
(Hmmmmmmm, that feels like an odd consensus. A tonally coherent drama? I don’t really know what that means.)
Reviewer Highlight: Everything feels both fussy and perfunctory, and not a bit of it real. – Danny Leigh, Financial Times
Poster – Where the Sklogdads Sing
(I’m a bit confused by the poster, but I do like effort and this gets an E for effort. Font could be better, and a more cohesive theme, but overall it’s fine. C.)
Tagline(s) – Secrets are Buried Just Beneath the Surface (B)
(Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I’m not sure this makes a whole lot of sense. Still, it does what it came to do and in a clever way. So gotta give it its due. I just need to stop reading it or I’ll realize it’s just a bunch of nonsense.)
Keyword(s) – year 2022
Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), Bullet Train (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Adam Project (2022), The Northman (2022)
Future BMT: 65.8 Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022), 64.8 Halloween Ends (2022), 63.9 Firestarter (2022), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 50.5 Umma (2022), 45.9 The 355 (2022), 44.3 Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), 38.5 Memory (2022), 28.2 Amsterdam (2022), 19.2 Black Adam (2022)
BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), Blacklight (2022), The Invitation (2022), After Ever Happy (2022), Prey for the Devil (2022), The King’s Daughter (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)
Best Options (Romance): 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022)
(Yeah … I don’t see how this isn’t a Romance but whatever. It is a courtroom drama I suppose, but underlying the whole thing is a romance. A bona fide romance.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: David Strathairn is No. 6 billed in Where the Crawdads Sing and No. 4 billed in Twisted, which also stars Ashley Judd (No. 1 billed) who is in The Identical (No. 2 billed) which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (6 + 4) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 22. If we were to watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and The Bone Collector we can get the HoE Number down to 17.
Notes – The song that Chase sings to Kya in bed is “Long Black Veil,” a 1959 Lefty Frizzell folk ballad about a man who refuses to give an alibi when charged for a murder he didn’t commit.
Daisy Edgar-Jones (Kya) auditioned with a self-recorded tape she filmed on the set of her series War of the Worlds (2019).
The British Daisy Edgar-Jones had to work closely with dialect coach Francie Brown in order to master the southern American accent for her role as Kya.
Based on the bestselling novel by Delia Owens.
Features the original song “Carolina” written and performed by Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift insisted on writing the song “Carolina” for the film, only after she learned that actress Daisy Edgar-Jones and Reese Witherspoon (as producer) were both involved.
Since the production was ongoing during the pandemic, most of the cast and crew didn’t actually get to ‘see’ each other until the end of the shoot after the masks came off.
The trailer for this film was released on producer Reese Witherspoon’s birthday, March 22.
Delia Owens: The author of the novel is seen in the courtroom sitting on the front row behind Tom when Patti is testifying about Chase’s shell necklace.