Monte Carlo Preview

After escaping the mutants of the Greater Chernobyl area (and allowing for the necessary time to mourn the loss of the seven other random European X-treme tourists) Patrick and I decide that we gotta get this backpacking trip back on track. Time to finally get some rest and relaxation in Monaco that we so sorely need. Emphasis on the sore considering the intense pain, chills and open wounds I’ve been experiencing since I was bitten by that mutant (shh, don’t tell Patrick I don’t want him to worry). That’s right! We’re watching the Selena Gomez classic Monte Carlo! While this may not be the worst reviewed film of all time it was certainly hated by those that vote on imdb (read: young white men), so the BMeTric score is inordinately high. Don’t matter much to us since it qualifies and a Selena Gomez film is always welcome into BMT. Let’s go!

Monte Carlo (2011) – BMeTric: 37.2

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(Well known plot I’m going to call … the Built-in Fanbase Plot. Don’t worry, I’ll promptly forget it in a week and coin a new term. Basically big Selena Gomez fans (I assume) would rate this a 6.5. People who love (to rate) movies (on the internet like weirdos) though would give it closer to a 5.1. And then once general audiences get a hold of it it is generally moving up to between the two, 5.8. It should roughly stick there, this plot screams “average movie” and 6.0 would be where I would expect such a thing.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Three girls from a small town in Texas spend their savings on a dream trip to Paris. Once there, the girls discover that one of them (Gomez) looks just like a British socialite and use her mistaken identity to their advantage. Cast is attractive and likeable but the story is predictable … and dull. Although its target audience may not notice the poor editing and plot development, this still should have been a better movie. Loosely based on the novel Headhunters by Jules Bass.

(Actually rather harsh of Leonard, I would have thought he would go easy on a movie like this since he is definitely not the target audience as he points out. Dull is a bad word here. Kids’ movies are usually dull which is why we banished them from BMT back in the day (we realized our mistake more recently though). Hopefully as huge Selena Gomez fans we’ll be able to see past the poor editing though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxm_bVVhbr8

(“Cordelia gets to play hooky for a few days” … if this line is accurate and they actually agree to swap placed with the British Selena Gomez then this is just Prince and the Pauper, so why make it a Headhunters adaptation? If not then what are they talking about? I’m more confused coming out of the trailer than going in.)

Directors – Thomas Bezucha – (Known For: The Family Stone; Big Eden; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: His last name is pronounced “bazooka”. He used to be a fashion design with Ralph Lauren.)

Writers – Thomas Bezucha (screenplay) – (Known For: The Family Stone; Big Eden; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Has a special thanks on The Way Way Back, probably because he did some initial legwork in getting the script ready to be shot. This article explains it a bit if you search his name.)

April Blair (screenplay) – (BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Mainly a television writer and producer now, including having a writing credit on Sklog favorite Heart of Dixie!)

Maria Maggenti (screenplay) – (Known For: Before I Fall; The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love; Puccini for Beginners; Future BMT: The Love Letter; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: He is attached to an announced Dirty Dancing remake. Guess where it takes place … obviously Peru! Wait what?! And yeah, it is really a remake of the classic Swayze film that takes place in Peru, barf.)

Kelly Bowe (screen story) – (BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: She also wrote Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous starring Jessica Simpson … she has a thing about singers turns actors it would seem.)

Jules Bass (novel) – (BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Go back and watch the trailer … if this is Prince and The Pauper then this credit is nuts. This Jules Bass novel is not Prince and The Pauper. I am officially intrigued by this “adaptation”.)

Actors – Selena Gomez – (Known For: The Big Short; Spring Breakers; Bad Neighbours 2; Hotel Transylvania; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Fundamentals of Caring; Horton Hears a Who!; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; The Muppets; Ramona and Beezus; Rudderless; Future BMT: Behaving Badly; Aftershock; Arthur and the Great Adventure; Arthur 3: la guerre des deux mondes; In Dubious Battle; BMT: Getaway; Monte Carlo; Notes: Just rewatched Getaway, where she is amazing (obvs). She apparently holds 10 Guiness Book of World Records.)

Leighton Meester – (Known For: The Judge; Date Night; Going the Distance; Life Partners; Like Sunday, Like Rain; Future BMT: Hangman’s Curse; The Oranges; Country Strong; The Beautiful Ordinary; BMT: The Roommate; That’s My Boy; Monte Carlo; Notes: From Gossip Girl (so obviously amazing). Like Selena Gomez she has extended beyond acting with a few different singles in the early 2010s.)

Katie Cassidy – (Known For: Taken; The Scribbler; The Lost; Live!; Future BMT: Black Christmas; A Nightmare on Elm Street; When a Stranger Calls; Click; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Plays Laurel on the show Arrow. I know this because … well people seem to have an unreasonable amount of hatred for her. I say unreasonable because any non-zero amount of hatred for a character in a CW superhero show is unreasonable.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $23,186,769 (Worldwide: $39,667,665)

(Not too shabby. Won’t be knocking down doors trying to get Monte Carlo 2 made, but with DVD / cable tie-ins I would imagine they made off fine with the film.)

#34 for the Comedy – High School genre

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(I remember this genre growing up because around 1998 there was a question about where all of the coming of age films went. Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off … the 80s were jam packed with the Hughes films. Can’t Hardly Wait was a breath of fresh air in 1998, and then there was another heyday. So either this current dip is all part of the genre recharging … or more likely they are going straight to VOD at this point.)

#170 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(Perhaps The Big Sick will reignite the genre, but more likely, again, this is a small indie genre or a VOD type deal at this point. Which will make things a bit harder for our Girls Night Out category. But then again … that category is a bit sexist anyways. Our most recently made entry is Blended … man we don’t really watch recent Romantic Comedies.)

#18 for the Summer Girl Power genre

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(These are rare, and … of a type. Material Girls and Bratz are the two films we’ve seen in the genre. The list kind of claims that they just went extinct almost two years ago though. Couldn’t really say why though … but most likely summer tentpoles chased them to earlier in the year.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (36/92): Although it has its charming moments, Monte Carlo is mostly silly, predictable stuff that never pushes beyond the boundaries of formula.

(Juuuuuuuuuuuuust squeaking in there. Which is probably a good sign. Means it is at the very least tolerable as a film. Maybe won’t scratch that Bad Movie Twins Itch, but also won’t put me to sleep hopefully.)

Poster – Monte Car-Sklog (C-)

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(Oooff that’s a rough Sklog incorporation into the title. I like the balance of the poster, but everything else is tough. No clear color, basic font, and too much going on. I feel like I might be going easy on it, but it’s not offensive either.)

Tagline(s) – She’s having the time of someone else’s life. (B)

(Certainly tells us what’s up and is a clever-ish play on a common phrase. A little long for my tastes but does the job.)

Keyword(s) – tied feet; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 63.7 The Phantom (1996); 60.8 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009); 58.7 The Snowman (2017); 57.3 Witless Protection (2008); 56.7 Glen or Glenda (1953); 56.4 Knock Off (1998); 53.4 Sinister 2 (2015); 51.5 Charlie’s Angels (2000); 51.3 Bride of Chucky (1998);

(… What? I need more Billy Zane in my life, but sadly The Phantom doesn’t qualify. The number of very hated films which were kind of reasonably well liked by critics is pretty stunning. Like Popeye. It has a 59% on RT and a 5.2 (which is terrible) on IMDb. I watched some clips of Popeye just to remind myself … woof, it is pretty rough to be honest.)

Notes – Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts were originally the stars of the film, but the producers decided to shoot the film with a younger cast. Kidman also remained on board as a producer. (And then she played Grace Kelly in the also BMT qualifying Grace of Monaco).

Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy, two of the film’s stars, previously worked together on The CW drama, Gossip Girl (2007) (2007).

The production spent four days filming in Paris and two weeks filming in Monaco. The rest of the filming took place in Hungary, with Budapest doubling for Paris and Monte Carlo. Raleigh Studios Budapest was used to substitute for Monte Carlo’s Hotel de Paris for the filming. (Good for Budapest?)

Meg’s first and middle names are the names of two princesses from the English house of Tudor.

It seems unusual, but “Meg” seems to be a nickname derived from the middle name of the character. Her full name, seen in the passport on her arrival in France, is Mary Margaret Kelly. (Huh, that is some great close watching by this IMDb user. This is Bad Movie Twins stuff).

As seen on their passports, the full names of girls are Grace Ann Bennett, Emma Danielle Perkins and Mary Margaret Kelly. (Yiiiiiiissssss, these are the notes I come for)

The first name of Selena Gomez’s character is “Grace” and the last name of Leighton Meester’s character is “Kelly”. Academy-Award winning American actress, Grace Kelly, became Princess consort of Monaco in 1955 when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. In addition to this, Monte Carlo is located in Monaco, and in Gossip Girl (2007), which starred Leighton Meester, her character married the Prince of Monaco. (WHAT? Spoiler for Gossip Girl, but … Blair Waldorf marries the Prince of Monaco in Gossip Girl? That’s cray cray).

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The Women (2008) Preview

Usually I start off the preview for a film by talking about how excited I am to watch it. Not this time! For the Girls Night Out section we jumped to an adaptation of a play. While we had a number of terrible musicals to choose from we at the BMT Media Empire HQ are always looking to buck trends. That’s right! We’re watching The Women… you know, that dramedy you definitely know came out starring Meg Ryan and an ensemble of women living it up in the Greater New York City Area. It’s based on the 1936 play by Clare Booth Luce, which ran on Broadway for a number of years and has been revived and adapted for the screen many times over. This is the latest such adaptation and the critics were less than thrilled. I’m less than thrilled to watch it. Thank god it’s only… 2 hours long! Gah! Let’s go!

The Women (2008) – BMeTric: 58.9

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(This movie actually has a bit more votes than I would expect, and the number seems to just keep on growing. That initial rise is somewhat interesting, why would the early viewers hate on this movie so? Especially when the thousands of viewers that voted subsequently seem to agree with is about a ~5/10 film. I’m going to go ahead a assume it is a case of Early Viewers Are Fans syndrome, and that they tend towards hating what fails to meet expectations. But … who would have expectations about The Women? God … I hope this isn’t a The Internet Hates Things Aimed At Women thing. I really do.)

Roger Ebert – 3 stars –  “The Women” isn’t a great movie, but how could it be? Too many characters and too much melodrama for that, and the comedy has to be somewhat muted to make the characters semi-believable. But as a well-crafted, well-written and well-acted entertainment, it drew me in and got its job done.

(Wowza, is that two in a row? Very interesting take ultimately. I think he admired the actresses so much (as almost pitch perfect for the movie they were creating) he got a little blinded that the movie was in fact (as he even admits) just not good. We’ll see though. Maybe we’ve discovered a hidden gem.)

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

(I have to say… that didn’t look like the most boring thing in the world for one reason: literally everyone in the trailer is a woman. Even the extras and shit. It’s actually amazing and might make the film at least visually interesting to look at.)

Directors – Diane English – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Effectively her one-and-done directorial project. There is another movie called Timbuktu but it seems like it was never released.)

Writers – Diane English (screenplay) – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Well known as a writer for Murphy Brown. The Women was her only writing gig after that series went off the air. But guess what? There is going to be a new season of Murphy Brown (with Candice Bergen) this year, 20 years after its last season!)

Clare Boothe Luce (play) – (Known For: The Women; BMT: The Women; Notes: Was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy under Dwight D. Eisenhower.)

Anita Loos (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; The Women; San Francisco; Babes in Arms; Strange Cargo; BMT: The Women; Notes: An early screenwriter in Hollywood (her first screenplay was for a Griffith film in 1912). Her brother created the Blue Cross health insurance company.)

Jane Murfin (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Pride and Prejudice; The Women; Come and Get It; BMT: The Women; Notes: She brought Strongheart the dog, Hollywood’s first canine film star, to the U.S. in the 20s.)

Actors – Meg Ryan – (Known For: Top Gun; You’ve Got Mail; Anastasia; When Harry Met Sally…; Sleepless in Seattle; Innerspace; The Doors; In the Land of Women; Kate & Leopold; Addicted to Love; City of Angels; Proof of Life; Courage Under Fire; French Kiss; When a Man Loves a Woman; Restoration; Joe Versus the Volcano; The Presidio; I.Q.; Flesh and Bone; Future BMT: Hanging Up; Amityville 3-D; In the Cut; Against the Ropes; Serious Moonlight; Armed and Dangerous; Ithaca; BMT: The Women; Notes: Mostly known for co-starring with Tom Hanks as love interests in three separate movies: Sleepless in Seattle, Joe Versus the Volcano, and You’ve Got Mail. She was married to Dennis Quaid for about 10 years.)

Eva Mendes – (Known For: Training Day; The Place Beyond the Pines; Fast & Furious 5; The Other Guys; Hitch; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Stuck on You; Last Night; Out of Time; We Own the Night; Holy Motors; Bad Lieutenant; The Wendell Baker Story; Live!; Future BMT: The Spirit; Urban Legends: Final Cut; Exit Wounds; Lost River; Trust the Man; All About the Benjamins; Girl in Progress; Cleaner; A Night at the Roxbury; BMT: Ghost Rider; The Women; 2 Fast 2 Furious; Notes: Cuban-American, she’s the only one in her family to have been born in the U.S., her three siblings were born in Cuba.)

Annette Bening – (Known For: American Beauty; 20th Century Women; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Mars Attacks!; Open Range; Rules Don’t Apply; The American President; The Great Outdoors; Ruby Sparks; The Kids Are All Right; Danny Collins; The Grifters; Bugsy; The Siege; Valmont; Regarding Henry; Postcards from the Edge; Ginger & Rosa; Richard III; What Planet Are You From?; Future BMT: In Dreams; Girl Most Likely; Running with Scissors; Love Affair; BMT: The Women; Notes: She was the original choice for Catwoman in Batman Returns, but had to drop out when she became pregnant. She’s been married to Warren Beatty for nearly 30 years.)

Budget/Gross – $16 million / $26,902,075 ($50,007,546 Worldwide)

(Eh, below what it probably expected. For a film like this you’d kind of want to double those numbers I would think. Not a bomb, but not really raking in much cash … unless The Women talk over their problems with a refreshing ice-cold Bud Light at one point that is.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (19/146): The Women is a toothless remake of the 1939 classic, lacking the charm, wit and compelling protagonists of the original.

(Again, thank you RT. I guess this consensus is old enough to actually be useful. This is a brutal score for a film like this. I can only assume it is disastrously boring, which doesn’t bode well for me staying awake watching it on a plane. Reviewer Highlight: One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.” – Richard Schickel, Time Magazine)

Poster – The Sklogettes (F)

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(Nooooooooooooooooo. Why does this keep happening. Look at all the people! Look at the basic white color of it. Dear god, look at the spacing. Even the font is shit.)

Tagline(s) – It’s all about… (F)

(Lol. Wot? I mean I get it… it’s all about The Women but still… lol. Wot?)

Keyword(s) – divorce; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.9 Kazaam (1996); 78.8 Striptease (1996); 77.7 Bratz (2007); 64.2 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 63.1 North (1994); 63.1 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993); 63.1 Ben & Arthur (2002); 62.1 Sliver (1993); 58.9 Mr. Woodcock (2007); 58.9 The Women (I) (2008);

(Oh shit, Kazaam. I’ve seen this movie (well, the first half of it …) so many times. Dr. T weirdly doesn’t qualify for BMT actually, so looks like we’ll never complete this list. My favorite movie with divorce? Why not Mrs. Doubtfire, great stuff.)

Notes – Tanya the manicurist (Debi Mazar) talks about meeting Madonna. Mazar and Madonna are long-time friends; Mazar appeared in four Madonna music videos: “True Blue” and “Papa Don’t Preach” (1986), “Deeper and Deeper” (1992) and “Music” (2000).

Like the 1939 version, the film has an all-female cast. (noice)

While the project was being put together in Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan were set to star. The production stalled because Roberts and Ryan ended up wanting the same role.

The painting in the restaurant scene features Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith.

In The Women (1939) the only scene in color was the fashion show sequence. In this version the fashion show begins with all-black and white clothes, and the scene before it takes place in a black-and-white room.

In the late 1970’s a remake of the 1939 classic was proposed to star Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Faye Dunaway, but it was not made. (That sounds like this could have been fun)

Blythe Danner, Marisa Tomei, Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston, Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock were all in the running for various parts in the film.

For scenes planned on being shot in the Boston Public Library, it was suggested that all the portraits and busts of men to be replaced with those of women. However, the scene was never shot. (Excuuuuuuse me? You talking ‘bout the Boston Public Library? Why would you not shoot that?)

There is an abundance of the use of the color green, from the color of the sets, props, costumes, in almost every scene throughout the movie. In the final fashion show, except for the models, almost every guest is wearing green.

Candice Bergen previously played Meg Ryan’s mother in Rich and Famous (1981).

Edie’s (Debra Messing) daughters are called January, April, May and June. The last three are the names of Daisy Duck’s nieces (counterparts to Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie).

Before development was put on hold in 2006, Annette Bening and Uma Thurman were rumored to have been considered for the roles of Mary Haines and Crystal Allen respectively. Also Lisa Kudrow and Anne Hathaway were in talks for the roles of Mirian Aarons and Peggy Day, but the roles were cut out of the final script.

According to Diane English, the project was in development, from the first draft to the final green light, for fifteen years. (Jesus. No wonder it ended up being a mess)

The original Broadway production opened on 7 September 1937 and had 666 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. (666? How does that happen I wonder. I would think with how superstitious theater operators are that they would have avoided it)

“The Women’s” screenwriter Anita Loos who wrote this film’s original 1939 screenplay, started her writing career in 1912 with her first full film screenplay The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) starring Lillian Gish for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. which is still in existence today. After writing many scripts for Biograph, Loos went on to write such other films such as Saratoga (1937), Another Thin Man (1939), San Francisco (1936), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

Except for the newly-born baby boy in the final scene, there are no male characters in the entire film, not even the extras in wide shots. (That is actually quite cool)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Preview

Let keep the Bring a Friend magic flowing right into the action genre. We took the opportunity to grab a classic of the BMT action subgenre of video game films, while also grabbing a horrifically reviewed TV Movie of 2017. That’s right! We’re watching Lara Croft: Tomb RaiDirty Dancing (2017). Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was wildly successful as far as video game adaptations go, so I think people would be surprised to find just how poorly reviewed the film actually was. It’s crazy we haven’t already seen it. As for the Dirty Dancing TV remake, I heard only horrendous things about it. Hard to remake a classic from the 80’s with a total nobody in the iconic Swayze role and Abigail Breslin as Baby. Doomed from the start. Hopefully it’s a trainwreck and not just a snoozefest. Let’s go!

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) – BMeTric: 40.8

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(So last week Jamie asked me why, if we were to assume xXx: Return of Xander Cage and xXx were somewhat equivalent, The Return of Xander Cage has a 5.2 on IMDb, but xXx has a 5.8. Voila! If you map the 50 thousand votes The Return of Xander Cage has thus far received, and the 150 thousand vote xXx received since 2002, it is well within the realm of possibility that regression to the mean could get The Return of Xander Cage up near the original. Oh, Lara Croft? Lots and lots of votes, slightly below average, likely to be just as ludicrous as xXx or The Return of Xander Cage, so we got that going for us.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Jolie plays the sexy British archeologist-adventurer who follows her late father’s instructions to find – and destroy – both pieces of an ancient relic that can control time. Perhaps the dullest action-adventure film ever made, with flat writing and performances (save for Jolie) and lifeless direction, sparked now and them by some flashy set pieces. Voight, Jolie’s real-life father, plays Croft’s dad. BAsed on a popular computer game. To quote a character in the film itself, “Enough of this twaddle!”. Followed by a sequel.

(Oh, yeah it is followed by a sequel. One which will be addressed at some point in time. Both Ebert and Leonard both kind of had “old man” responses to this film, much to the chagrin of some online communities it would seem. Probably doesn’t help that Ebert never really lived down the whole video-games-as-art debacle. These films having gotten >20% on Rotten Tomatoes each actually end up as one of the more successful video game franchise adaptions … amazing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnNBqNb3taw

(That looks not great. But … no that looks not great. Like Bulletproof Monk, all wire work and ridiculousness. I think the thing I’m looking most forward to is the CGI. That robot monster and the statues look absolutely dire.)

Directors – Simon West – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Con Air; The Mechanic; Future BMT: When a Stranger Calls; Stolen; Wild Card; The General’s Daughter; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: He turned down Black Hawk Down to direct this movie. From the UK, he started his career in commercials, the most notable is probably this guy for Budweiser.)

Writers – Sara B. Cooper (story) – (BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: She appears to be a big name in television writing and production (for things like Continuum and House), so was probably brought in as a script doctor.)

Mike Werb (story) – (Known For: The Mask; Face/Off; Curious George; Future BMT: Firehouse Dog; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: He’s done one thing or another throughout his career, but has mostly stuck to television recently. Was involved with the adaptation of Stretch Armstrong, but that project never saw the light of day.)

Michael Colleary (story) – (Known For: Face/Off; Future BMT: Death Wish V: The Face of Death; Firehouse Dog; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Long time writing partner of Werb starting with Face/Off.)

Simon West (adaptation) – (BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: It is his only credit. Makes a bit of sense, he dropped Black Hawk Down for this, so it would make sense they would give him complete control over the script in the end.)

Patrick Massett (screenplay) – (Known For: Gold; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Primarily a television writer, but also an actor back in the day. Including a part in a Warf-centric two parter (Reunion and Sins of the Father) of Star Trek The Next Generation. Classic episodes guys.)

John Zinman (screenplay) – (Known For: Gold; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Writing partner of Massett it would seem. Both nominated as part of a Friday Nights Lights nomination for the Emmys. He doesn’t have the acting cred, but he does appear as a minor writing credit on an early draft of Deep Blue Sea, so he’s got that going for him.)

Actors – Angelina Jolie – (Known For: Maleficent; Wanted; The Good Shepherd; Girl, Interrupted; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Kung Fu Panda 3; Salt; Kung Fu Panda; Beowulf; Changeling; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Kung Fu Panda 2; Playing by Heart; A Mighty Heart; Pushing Tin; Hell’s Kitchen; Future BMT: Alexander; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; By the Sea; Life or Something Like It; The Tourist; Shark Tale; Original Sin; Playing God; Taking Lives; Hackers; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Foxfire; Beyond Borders; The Bone Collector; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2002 for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Original Sin; in 2003 for Life or Something Like It; in 2004 for Beyond Borders, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and in 2005 for Alexander, and Taking Lives; Notes: Recently got a divorce from Brad Pitt, with whom she had three biological children (along with him adopting her three adopted children). She has more recently been directing films.)

Jon Voight – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Heat; Holes; Tropic Thunder; Transformers; Deliverance; Mission: Impossible; National Treasure; Enemy of the State; Zoolander; The Manchurian Candidate; Catch-22; The Rainmaker; Midnight Cowboy; Varsity Blues; Ali; Coming Home; U Turn; Runaway Train; Glory Road; Future BMT: Anaconda; Big Fat Important Movie; Four Christmases; Pearl Harbor; Most Wanted; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pride and Glory; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Bratz; Getaway; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; September Dawn; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Anaconda in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in 1998 for Most Wanted, and U Turn; in 2005 for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; and in 2008 for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn, and Transformers; Notes: Angelina Jolie’s real life father, although he was somewhat famously estranged from his children until their mother’s death.)

Iain Glen – (Known For: My Cousin Rachel; Eye in the Sky; The Iron Lady; Harry Brown; Gorillas in the Mist; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; The Bad Education Movie; Mountains of the Moon; Song for a Raggy Boy; Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution; Future BMT: The Last Legion; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Darkness; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Resident Evil: Extinction; Beautiful Creatures; Kick-Ass 2; The Young Americans; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Quite famous now for portraying Game of Thrones roguishly handsome Jorah (the Explorer) Mormont.)

Budget/Gross – $115 million / Domestic: $131,168,070 (Worldwide: $274,703,340)

(A reasonable success, and no surprise they quickly moved a sequel into production. I won’t say any spoilers concerning a plot three spots down, but let’s just say video game adaptations don’t usually make this much money.)

#11 for the Action Heroine genre

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(Between two Divergents, not bad. They tried to make this happen around 2005 with Elektra, and Ultraviolet, and Aeon Flux. Didn’t happen. More recently though the releases and box office takes have gone off like a shot. Solid stuff.)

#9 for the Treasure Hunt genre

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(Below National Treasure, so not the highest grossing Jon Voight treasure hunting film … I wonder why the genre basically died recently. I wonder if it has to do with treasure hunting just not being a part of superhero films? Or if during uneasy economic times people just don’t want to watch assholes look around for treasure? Hard to tell. I would argue the recent Mummy though had enough treasure hunting elements to count though.)

#1 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This came at a boom of video game adaptations, but it never sparked the necessary fire, almost definitely because none of the films were critically acclaimed. Unbelievable that only two films have broken the one hundred million mark domestically. A ton of these are Uwe Boll films, so basically fake films made for tax breaks.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (31/157): Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can’t save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.

(This is quite a common sentiment. Basically that she’s either fine or good in the role. But basically the movie is nonsense, like all video game adaptation (so far) have been.)

Poster – Lara Sklog: Tomb Raider (C+)

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(Much like The Mummy poster from earlier this year, the poster basically just screams Angelina Jolie: The Movie. Like the grey-blue tone overall and benefits from the video game’s font, but otherwise not particularly interesting.)

Tagline(s) – Born into Wealth. Groomed by the Elite. Trained for Combat. (C-)

(I don’t know where this tagline came from since there isn’t one on the poster. It’s like they read my book about taglines from the future and tried to make one that fit everything I like… and yet somehow I don’t like it. It’s feels like a mad lib. Just filling in the blanks with random words.)

Keyword(s) – tomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 66.3 The Pyramid (2014); 63.4 Dracula 2001 (2000); 61.7 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008); 54.8 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997); 53.5 Gods of Egypt (2016); 52.6 Venom (2005); 50.6 Mortuary (I) (2005); 50.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (2004); 50.5 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010);

(Oh yeah, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer had a tomb. The rest of these movies though, yikes! I would think I Know Who Killed Me would qualify, so I can only assume this is a case of missing links.)

Notes – When Lara starts smashing the clock with a hammer, Hillary (the butler) uses a silver tray to protect his face. This is a reference to the games in which -while exploring Croft Manor- the player can shoot at the butler who then also uses the tray he’s carrying around to protect himself. (So most of these claimed references are pushing it … but this one is actually quite nice).

Lara Croft’s father is played by Angelina Jolie’s real life father, actor Jon Voight.

Highest grossing action film with a woman in lead role. Second is Aliens (1986). (Definitely no longer true, the Hunger Games films gross about as much as this film did domestically in their opening weekends)

Lara Croft is English and Alex West is American. However, the actress Angelina Jolie who plays Croft is American and Daniel Craig, the actor who plays West, is English. (Yeah, Daniel Craig sounds super weird with his phony American accent since he’s become famous)

In the video game, Lara Croft is a 36DD. Angelina Jolie is naturally a 36C, and was padded to a 36D for the movie, as it was felt that padding to the original character size would be too unrealistic. (Creepy facts dudes)

This film marks the first time in more than three decades that a Hollywood production has been filmed in Cambodia, the previous film being Lord Jim (1965).

Lara has been given several gadgets in the film which are specific nods at certain gameplay features (of the Tomb Raider game and games in general) – among them the reloader belt or back pack (allowing her to reload her guns very quickly and without fidgeting about with clips or bullets) and the back pack itself (which almost mysteriously “swallows” any item moved close to its bottom or side by Lara, like the first half of the Triangle).

The makers at first envisioned the scenes ultimately shot in Cambodia taking place at the Great Wall of China. When schedule didn’t allow for this to happen, the alternative was to build the Great Wall in Scotland. Ultimately, they opted for the stone temples of Cambodia instead.

Apart from normal jumping, the only moves Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) does in the movie which can also be done in the games is the jump over the living statue and rolls in the air. This can be done in the Playstation game by pressing forward and square, then circle while in the air.

Lara’s training robot is named Simon, after the director Simon West.

Angelina Jolie was extremely hesitant towards wearing Lara’s famous short shorts that she wears in the games and the opening fight scene with Simon, however she eventually agreed because she knew it would make the fans of the character happy.

Lara Croft uses an Ericsson Bluetooth Headset and an Ericsson R310 mobile phone. (So many of these facts are literally just the objects in the movie. You have no idea how many very specific gun identifications I had to delete from this like. Gun IMDb is a thing, and this movie must … attract the kinds of people who post to that).

Angelina Jolie took drug tests to test her mental well being during filming due to concern about the rumors of drug use and her relationship with Billy Bob Thornton. (weird!)

Executive producer Stuart Baird did uncredited re-editing work on this film and Mission: Impossible II (2000) for Paramount in exchange for the job of directing Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). (Ha! Nemesis is supposed to be by far the worst Star Trek film so …)

Stephen Herek was originally supposed to direct, but he dropped out to make Rock Star (2001) instead. (eeeeeh, about the same)

The rather odd looking record player, shown for a brief second, when she is doing her bungee ballet, in her house is a Clear, Audio Master Reference Table. It comes all Gold plated, And Retails for $27,000 U.S.D. (See, other people are as weird about movie things as we are about settings).

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Angelina Jolie)

Species II Preview

There had been some thought that this week might be time for a BMT Live! Rings came out to absolutely horrifying reviews (see what I did there?) and we had to think quick on whether we should act. The answer: not until we see the reviews for Fifty Shades Darker. It would be irresponsible to let it go by without giving it a chance at BMT Live! glory. It deserves it. So instead we head into SciFi/Fantasy and get to do a set of films that I’ve been eyeing for awhile. That’s right, we’re watching Species and Species II. These films promise three things: nudity, a scene where someone kisses someone else and their tongue bursts through the back of their skull, and… uh… nudity again. So basically I’m super duper duper excited. Let’s go!

Species II (1998) – BMeTric: 67.3

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(Again we see the 2011 inflection and regression to the mean as the votes increase. Unlike its predecessor this one is considered definitively bad. As I said in the Species preview these plots are all starting to look the same to me, so I’m categorizing them. For Species II I’m going to call it: Poorly Rated, but Perplexingly Popular. In this case a sub-5 rating is definitively terrible, but we still see a high number of votes (I think … I think I’m going to automate this now that I think about it).)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – The first man on Mars gets infested with alien DNA, and begins raping women who immediately, and fatally, give birth. Elsewhere, scientists have recreated the half-alien woman from the first film, hoping she’ll be nice this time. Compared to this clunker, the first looks like a collaboration between Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury.

(Well, I’ll set aside the atrocious last line there. This plot sounds bonkers. Like … the first part! This will be at least the third film in which someone gets infected by a disease on Mars. And like Doom and Ghosts of Mars before it may it be a ridiculous nonsense movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE-Amil6oQc

(Also seems pretty rad … but also definitely a step down from the last one. That storyline is indeed just as bonkers as Leonard seemed to suggest. So he wasn’t exaggerating there. I having a feeling the erotic horror sci-fi genre might not attract the best and brightest you know? …)

Directors – Peter Medak – (Known For: The Changeling; The Krays; Zorro: The Gay Blade; The Ruling Class; Let Him Have It; BMT: Species II; Romeo Is Bleeding; Notes: Has had a very long career in Hollywood starting in the late 50’s. His best known film has got to be The Ruling Class for which Peter O’Toole received an Oscar nomination for Actor.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species (BMT); The Golden Child (BMT); Notes: Just a character credit on this one. I find it amusing that he also wrote Virus, which Jamie Lee Curtis considers her worst film.)

Chris Brancato (written by) – (Known For: Hoodlum; BMT: Species II; Notes: He is the creator of the Netflix show Narcos… say what?)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); The Whole Ten Yards; Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Species (BMT); Steal; Deception; Dog Park; Notes: Uh… I already had to make a note for the first Species so… she’s Canadian and part Native American. Fun stuff, right?)

Michael Madsen – (Known For: The Hateful Eight; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Reservoir Dogs; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Sin City; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Die Another Day; WarGames; Wyatt Earp; Thelma & Louise; Donnie Brasco; The Doors; Free Willy; The Natural; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: BloodRayne; Species II; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Hell Ride; House; Species (BMT); Notes: Brother of BMT legend Virginia Madsen.)

Marg Helgenberger – (Known For: Erin Brockovich; Bad Boys; Mr. Brooks; Always; In Good Company; My Fellow Americans; BMT: Species II; Fire Down Below (BMT); Species (BMT); The Cowboy Way; Notes: Won an Emmy for her role in the Vietnam War drama China Beach.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $19,221,939 (N/A)

(Wowzer. I would genuinely believe it if this was the worst original-to-sequel ratio for a major release ever. The original made basically six times more that its sequel and they were released to roughly the same number of cinemas. Astonishing.)

#47 for the Creature Feature genre

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(Ooooof right near Shark Night 3D. I feel like 1998 is a significant year where the studio system completed its transition from the blockbuster 80’s era through slow experimentation with CGI and effects. From 2000-2010 we would enter a true golden age where bad movies flowed like wine. Here though an Erotic SciFi Horror sequel was made and released to 2500 theaters. Think about that.)

#29 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(That peak though. This sadly clocks in right around Apollo 18 which undoubtable cost maybe $40 to make. But it came right at a true peak of the genre. It has been an up and down experience since, but the Species franchise could have stood alongside the second tier of the genre (Underworld and Resident Evil) if not for flaming out and pushing out two direct-to-video sequels instead of waiting on a better opportunity.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (3/33): No consensus yet.

(Another consensus to make: A totally unnecessary sequel which amps up the silliness without adding any brains to the equation. Nearly exploitative in its gratuity. As EW puts it: “By now, if you’ve seen one set of slimy phallic tentacles shooting out of someone’s back during orgasm, you’ve seen ’em all.” Sounds like a plan EW.)

Poster – Mating Skloging Begins (C-)

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(I like the color tone and the font (again), but there is a bit much going on now. What are all the sparkles everywhere? Stars and… a bunch of lines like in a western blot… because DNA or something?)

Tagline(s) – Mating season begins… (C-)

(Meh. It’s short and certainly tells you what this one is all about: some aliens going to the bone zone. Rad. But nothing clever about it.)

Keyword(s) – sex scene; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.8 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 78.6 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 72.7 Jason X (2001); 71.4 Showgirls (1995); 67.3 Species II (1998); 65.3 The Boy Next Door (2015); 63.8 Knock Knock (I) (2015); 62.6 All About Steve (2009); 62.0 Jennifer’s Body (2009); 59.1 Captivity (2007);

(Pretty amazing list. Wish something like Color of Night could sneak in though, those classic 80’s/90’s erotic thrillers deserve a place on the list, some representative.)

Notes – Though showing Eve in a black leather outfit on some of the posters and DVD-Covers, she never actually wears it in the film.

Shortest of all four Species movies. (small blessings …)

EVE stands for Extraterrestrial Vulnerability Experiment. (Egad)

Most of the nude scenes, such as the debutantes having sex with Patrick or the strip-club sequence, were shortened in the final version of the movie. The full scenes can be seen in the DVD extra features. (No wonder someone stole the DVD from the Minnesota public library system)

Natasha Henstridge is on the miller lite cut out in the grocery store when they are hunting her. (nooooooooooo. Never a good idea. I hope the cut out says “Great taste, less filling, out of this world.” Get it? Cause she’s a famous alien.)

Species Preview

There had been some thought that this week might be time for a BMT Live! Rings came out to absolutely horrifying reviews (see what I did there?) and we had to think quick on whether we should act. The answer: not until we see the reviews for Fifty Shades Darker. It would be irresponsible to let it go by without giving it a chance at BMT Live! glory. It deserves it. So instead we head into SciFi/Fantasy and get to do a set of films that I’ve been eyeing for awhile. That’s right, we’re watching Species and Species II. These films promise three things: nudity, a scene where someone kisses someone else and their tongue bursts through the back of their skull, and… uh… nudity again. So basically I’m super duper duper excited. Let’s go!

Species (1995) – BMeTric: 34.9

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(This plot basically shows the 2011 inflection and regression to the mean. The BMeTric is amazingly consistent through time (35 basically). Hey, since these plot are getting a little boring I’m going to start a new series with this. This is to put movies into groups based on what I see. The first group, for Species, is: Below Average and Perplexingly Popular. Basically this movie ultimate doesn’t seem too bad (rating of 5.8), but the sheer number of votes (nearly 60 thousand) gives an impressive BMeTric overall.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – DNA-tampering scientists at a Utah facility ultimately get theirs after creating a murderous creature, complete with tentacles, who’s packages like a blond centerfold. Fast and not without entertainment value, but don’t look at yourself in the mirror too closely if you end up defending it. Direction is somewhat sturdier than the script, which has its share of (we think) unintentional howlers.

(I mean, I’m all about unintentional howlers Leonard, you know me. Films with the horrible villain-scientists are the best though. Like Bats I hope these guys are real megalomaniacal assholes.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbaYnTLuX7U

(Alright, that looks pretty rad. Pretty old school though. Just a short rundown of the movie: Contact, communication, experiment, termination, escape, pursuit, mutation, confrontation, outcome unknown. Species! Yeah …. That sounds about right, and I’m on board!)

Directors – Roger Donaldson – (Known For: The Bank Job; The Recruit; The Bounty; Thirteen Days; No Way Out; The World’s Fastest Indian; Cadillac Man; White Sands; Smash Palace; BMT: Dante’s Peak; Cocktail (BMT); Species; The Getaway; Justice; The November Man; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1989 for Worst Director for Cocktail. His son Chris represented New Zealand in the 100 meter sprint in 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Now that’s a fun fact.)

Writers – Dennis Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child (BMT); Notes: Brother of Randy Feldman who wrote Tango & Cash and son of producer Phil Feldman.)

Actors – Natasha Henstridge – (Known For: The Whole Nine Yards; Bounce; BMT: Species II; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); The Whole Ten Yards; Maximum Risk; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; Species; Steal; Deception; Dog Park; Notes: According to an interview she gave in Empire she turned down roles in both Independence Day and Men In Black after reading the scripts and thinking, “What is this shit?”)

Michael Madsen – (Known For: The Hateful Eight; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Reservoir Dogs; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Sin City; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Die Another Day; WarGames; Wyatt Earp; Thelma & Louise; Donnie Brasco; The Doors; Free Willy; The Natural; Pauly Shore Is Dead; BMT: BloodRayne; Species II; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4 (BMT); Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Hell Ride; House; Species; Notes: A published poet (he has released eight books of poetry) and photographer.)

Ben Kingsley – (Known For: The Jungle Book; Schindler’s List; Shutter Island; Hugo; Knight of Cups; Iron Man Three; Ender’s Game; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Lucky Number Slevin; The Walk; The Dictator; Gandhi; Eliza Graves; Tuck Everlasting; Sexy Beast; The Boxtrolls; Life; Sneakers; Oliver Twist; The Triumph of Love; Robot Overlords; Dave; House of Sand and Fog; Searching for Bobby Fischer; Learning to Drive; Bugsy; Transsiberian; BMT: The Love Guru (BMT); BloodRayne; A Sound of Thunder (BMT); Thunderbirds; The Last Legion; Species; War, Inc.; The Ten Commandments; Exodus: Gods and Kings; Suspect Zero; Slipstream; Rules of Engagement; Self/less; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Supporting Actor for The Love Guru, War, Inc., and The Wackness; and in 2007 for BloodRayne. Nominated for four Oscars, winning one for Gandhi.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $60,074,103 (Worldwide: $113,374,103)

(Of course, otherwise there is no chance this is franchised. Just thinking of the storyline I don’t think they would even think of this these days. It almost comes across as exploitation, and with erotic thrillers being basically a totally defunct genre I don’t really see it. Erotic Sci-Fi Horror … how’d this make $100 million?!)

#17 for the Creature Feature genre

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(Ooooo right on the cusp of a giant surge. Obviously this was fueled by Jurassic Park (not this one, but creature features). Critters 2 and King Kong Lives are recent BMT examples, and recently the genre is back with Jurassic World and Godzilla. The new King Kong should continue that trend if it gets good reviews.)

#10 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(Ahead of its time! And since about 1995 it has been a pretty consistently released genre. It just doesn’t make a ton of money. I mean, Species is the 10th highest grossing film ever! It is at quite the nadir at the moment, but things like Predator and Alien should sustain it for at least a while longer. It isn’t totally VOD yet!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (12/35): No consensus yet.

(Ooooo I love giving consensuses: A smart take on schlocky sci-fi horror which ultimately devolves into soft-core pornography with a clunky premise. My favorite part of a review is from Ebert himself where he describes the alien as a: “[d]isgusting, slimy morph-creatures with rows of evil teeth, whose greatest cultural achievement is jumping out at people from behind things.” I don’t like jump scares either Ebert.)

Poster – Our Sklog is Up (B+)

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(While it is cheesy in a lot of ways, it is also epic. Really raw image with great font, nice balance, and coloring. Looks like a knockoff of the Alien poster. Still good though.)

Tagline(s) – Two decades ago scientists sent a message to space. This… is the reply. (B)

(Too long and detailed (we need to know that it was two decades ago?), but I like the suspense. Got some cleverness in too with the ellipses.)

Keyword(s) – interspecies sex; Top Ten by BMeTric: 67.3 Howard The Duck (1986); 46.7 Caligula (1979); 35.9 Decoys (2004); 35.8 Splice (2009); 34.9 Species (1995); 22.9 Ta paidia tou Diavolou (1976); 20.1 The Dunwich Horror (1970); 18.5 Une vraie jeune fille (1976); 17.2 The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974); 17.0 The Beast Within (1982);

(This is real everyone. This is the real top keyword for this movie on IMDb, yet again proving that IMDb keywords are useless … also false! Howard the Duck never has sex with a human. Liars! This list is a house of lies!)

Notes – During the production, MGM opted not to shoot the “nightmare train” sequence to keep costs down. H.R. Giger was not willing to accept that, however, so he spent $100,000 of his own money to finance the sequence.

For the scene in which Sil is ‘born’ from the cocoon, the train set was built upside down. Natasha Henstridge, totally naked and covered in KY Jelly lubricant, was pushed through the cocoon, and the shot was flipped upside down afterwards, to achieve the effect of her falling out.

Xavier (Ben Kingsley) Fitch says that the alien signal was received by the Arecibo radio telescope exactly nineteen years after an outbound message was transmitted. Since the transmissions traveled at the speed of light, that means that the alien solar system is approximately nine light-years from Earth. There are two stars which are likely candidates, Sirius and Luyten 726-8A. (now these are the fun facts I like to see)

Fitch’s comment that they made Sil female to be more docile is an in-joke that belies his ignorance. In every predatory species known, the female is always more aggressive. (I don’t believe this is true)

Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger were allowed to improvise their sex scene.

SIL is actually S1L, the medical cell in the lab where the DNA was grown.

An early draft of the script had the young Sil calmly killing a friendly cab driver. In an effort to keep the audience’s sympathy for her character (and to make the murder of the porter more shocking) the scene was changed to Sil killing a tramp in self defense after he attempts to attack her. (There was another BMT film like this, where there clearly was just no kills by the “bad” protagonist for almost the entire movie … but I can’t remember what it was, although I do remember it was a terrible idea.)

When Sil watches TV at the motel, she flips through different channels and they all show various things she will do later in the film. Like having sex, changing her hair, showing off her body, etc. (coooooool)

Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to 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 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the third 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!

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) – BMeTric: 70.2

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(I think this plot is a good argument as to Street Fighter’s lasting bad movie cred. A 3.7 is a comically low IMDb score, a score that, if this was a mere below-average or middling bad movie would have steadily crept higher as the thousands of votes flowed in since 2010. But it has basically just stayed constant around 3.8 since then. As I argued in The Wicker Man preview, it is the staying power that I think could be the defining feature of a good-bad movie. It is a movie people seek out, watch, and universally agree is garbage. And we have another one here. And of course 70+ BMeTric is nothing to dismiss.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Pointless new film version of the popular video game series finds pretty martial arts-trained Asian-American Chin-Li (Kreuk) spurred into action in Bangkok after her father is kidnapped. Sher uses all her wiles to snuff out the main bad guy, local crime lord McDonough, and his henchmen, led by the imposing Duncan. The 1987 game inspired a 1994 version which is Citizen Kane compared to this inept action vehicle, where even the centerpiece fight sequences are lamely choreographed and hopelessly contrived. When Interpol agent Klein yells, “Bomb! Get out now!” it would be wise to heed his advice.

(Doesn’t he say that at the end of the movie Leonard? Too little too late I would assume. Yeah, oddly a somewhat rare BOMB from Leonard within our Hall of Fame so far. I might not go so far to say the 1994 movie is that much better, but this one does stick out as a complete mess when I think about it. So maybe a cheesy Van Damme barely-movie is better than that. Solid hyphen game early by Leonard as well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EctFEyCMDL0

(Wow, that was actually really good. Basically as good a trailer as I could have possibly expected for this film. Makes it out like it’s going to be non-stop action street fights between characters you love. I was jazzed by the end. Am I sure this is a terrible film? Looks great.)

Directors – Andrzej Bartkowiak – (BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Doom; Exit Wounds; Cradle 2 the Grave; Romeo Must Die; Notes: It just occurred to me that if you take Exit Wounds (DMX), Cradle 2 the Grave (DMX, Jet Li), and Romeo Must Die (Jet Li) you get a nice little chain reaction. I wish Jet Li and Seagal had been in a movie. We’ve seen Doom and Romeo Must Die, but finishing his filmography is a must. He is more well known as a cinematographer and his collaborations with Sidney Lumet.)

Writers – Justin Marks (screenplay) – (Known For: The Jungle Book; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Notes: Kind of fascinating career just because he wrote Street Fighter for release in 2009, and then didn’t write another feature until 2016 with The Jungle Book. He now is well on his way, with Jungle Book 2, Top Gun 2, Shadow of the Colossus (video game adaptation), and FBP Federal Bureau of Physics (comic book adaptation) in production. I’d be willing to bet three of those will be BMT or borderline, can you guess which ones? I am stunned this movie had a single credited writer.)

Actors – Kristin Kreuk – (Known For: EuroTrip; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Ecstasy; Notes: One of her first roles was as the ex-girlfriend Fiona in EuroTrip, otherwise she’s stuck to mostly television (like Smallville). She is Canadian and has a purple belt in karate.)

Neal McDonough – (Known For: Greater; Captain America: The First Avenger; Minority Report; RED 2; Star Trek: First Contact; Flags of Our Fathers; Darkman; Ravenous; Traitor; BMT: I Know Who Killed Me (BMT); Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (BMT); Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (BMT); Fire Down Below (BMT); Timeline (BMT); The Hitcher; 88 Minutes (BMT); Angels in the Outfield; Walking Tall; Telling You; The Last Time; Three Wishes; The Guardian (BMT); Notes: BMT legend having been in seven BMT films in our first six years, pretty good rate. He’s from Barnstable, Massachusetts of all places! Studied in London. I’m loving this guy, do your thing Neal.)

Michael Clarke Duncan – (Known For: The Green Mile; Planet of the Apes; Sin City; The Island; Kung Fu Panda; Friday; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Daredevil; The Scorpion King; The Whole Nine Yards; The Last Mimzy; Cats & Dogs; Bulworth; Redemption Road; BMT: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; Green Lantern; Breakfast of Champions; Racing Stripes; D.E.B.S.; Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; The Underground Comedy Movie; See Spot Run; Delgo; Slipstream; School for Scoundrels; A Night at the Roxbury; The Players Club; Armageddon; The Slammin’ Salmon; Brother Bear; Notes: Sadly died a few years ago from complications related to a heart attack. My favorite note from his IMDb page: On July 12, 1979, during the Disco Demolition Night fiasco at Comiskey park, Duncan ran onto the field and slid into third base. Ha!)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $8,742,261 (Worldwide: $12,764,201)

(A complete and utter disaster. If that budget is correct this would probably be one of the biggest bombs of that year, and only is saved a bit from being a legend by “only” having a $50 million dollar budget. To be frank I don’t really believe that, at least some of it has to be exaggeration for tax reasons.)

#95 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(This plot is actually kind of sad. Initial thoughts: The 90s boom is basically people like Seagal and Van Damme. Then there was a little dip before Jackie Chan ushered in another foreign / comedy boom for the genre. This came right in the final gasp there with Rush Hour 3 and Transporter 3 kind of having the genre die off. Now … is it possible that martial arts has been relegated to VOD? Are we entering an era of whole genres being shunned from theatrical release in favor of tentpoles? It makes me a bit sad, but then again I can’t think of a situation in which I would personally go and see a martial arts film in theaters. Crouching Tiger might literally have been the only one I’ve ever seen in theaters to be honest. This movie is below Dragonball: Evolution on that chart … I’ll let that be a closing statement of sorts.)

#63 for the Action Heroine genre

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(THIS MOVIE IS BELOW CUTTHROAT ISLAND ON THAT CHART. That movie literally destroyed a production company! That giant peak around 2005: Lara Croft 2, Underworld, Catwoman, Elektra, Miss Congeniality 2, Charlie’s Angels 2, Resident Evil 2, Blade 3, Domino, Aeon Flux, Underworld 2, Ultraviolet, Resident Evil 3 … that’s a lot of terrible movies. And note how little money they made on average! And naturally since 2010 the action heroine has been a huge seller for Hollywood. I wish I could say this movie blazed a trail … but it didn’t. It merely allowed Hollywood to get the garbage juice out of its system before getting serious.)

#31 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(We saw Warcraft this year, and Hitman Agent 47 the year before among several BMT video game adaptations. Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li sits right above Alone in the Dark the Uwe Bol classic … so not great. Video game adaptations still make less than the martial arts genre of the 90’s, which is unimpressive to say the least. Naturally they are looking to have that change over the next few years you would imagine, but this multi-bomb year probably didn’t help matters. Five video game adaptations came out this year, that is the most ever according to this chart. Someday there will be a successful video game adaptation. It will happen.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (3/54): The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li a perfectly forgettable video game adaptation.

(Less than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes is extremely impressive. Doing it with over 50 reviews is incredible. I wonder who they are talking about when they say miscast performers … I’m so sorry Chris Klein. So so sorry.)

Poster – Sklog Fighter: Legend of Jamie (D)

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(That is unfortunate. A truly ridiculous color scheme and spacing. Glad we at least get a unique font that would make it hard to create Sklog Fighter: The Legend of Jamie.)

Tagline(s) – Some fight for power. Some fight for us. (B)

(Hmmm. My brain is telling me that I should like this, but my heart is telling me that this is terrible and sounds like garbage. Definitely has the cadence, brevity, and a bit of the plot. I think it’s OK. My heart is disappointed in me.)

Keyword(s) – gangster; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.6 Catwoman (2004); 85.8 Gunday (2014); 82.7 Gigli (2003); 81.8 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 78.6 The Avengers (1998); 77.5 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 77.3 RoboCop 3 (1993); 72.8 Striptease (1996); 70.5 Grease 2 (1982); 70.2 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009);

(Well since we aren’t ever doing Gunday we will complete this genre with Grease 2 which has to be done at some point. Solid list obviously, but I assume a few films might be a stretch. There was around 1200 films that claim a gangster keyword (around that). All of these vaguely make sense, but was there really a “gangster” in The Avengers for example? Questionable.)

Notes – Back in 2003, Jean-Claude Van Damme was working on a sequel to the original Street Fighter movie titled “Street Fighter II”, for Universal. Several cast members had been hired to join him in the sequel, including his Universal Soldier co-star Dolph Lundgren in an unrevealed role, Australian actress Holly Valance would have replaced Kylie Minogue as Cammy White, and Damian Chapa would have reprised his role as Ken Masters. Byron Mann was also reportedly in talks to return as Ryu Hoshi. However, after a few years of trying to get the sequel off the ground, the project never materialized and any plans for a sequel were scrapped in favor of this movie. (Would have also been terrible. People try to have nostalgia for the original, but in reality it is also terrible and a sequel without Raul Julia wouldn’t have been much better)

A potential sequel with Ryu and Ken was planned but was cancelled due of the poor box office performances of the film. (Jesus)

This movie only has 7 world warriors taken from Capcom’s “Fighting Game of 2008” titled Street Fighter IV (originally, the game has 25 characters) with the legendary world warrior from Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams [1995] (also know as Street Fighter Zero in Japan, Asia, South America and Australia) known as Charlie Nash being a special guest to this movie rather than reusing the hybrid-character “Carlos Blanka” from Universal Pictures’s Street Fighter [1994], The world warriors that made their appearances are: Chun Li, Gen, Crimson “Maya” Viper, Rose, Balrog, Vega, Master Bison and Charlie Nash. The world warriors that are absent are: Ryu (who is mentioned by Gen once), Ken Masters, Major Guile (who is replaced by Charlie Nash), Blanka, Edmund Honda, Zangief, Dhalsim, Sagat, Cammy White, Fei Long, Akuma, Dan Hibiki, Sakura Kasugano, Able, El Fuerte, Rufus, Gouken and Seth. (All solid information, thanks IMDb)