The Game Plan Preview

Rumors of a giant robot spiders generally travel fast and in little time Patrick and Jamie are hot on its trail. They bicker over the extensive number of MacGuffins they’ve had to collect, almost as if some invisible hand has guided them from task to task. They know that this just has to be the final step, for what else could they be missing? As they round the next corner they see the small cave that an old prospector pointed them to. They take a step towards it but without warning the protective giant robot spider is upon them. They do battle, hoping only to survive. Even with twin powers combined it seems that they are no match for the robotic beast. Finally it turns its laser beam eyes upon them. This is it! It’s the end for our heroes. Patrick suddenly remembers the Obsidian Dongle in his hand and turns it towards the spider as it shoots. The laser beam is absorbed and he feels the Dongle pulsate with energy. The spider cocks its robot head in confusion, but only for a moment as Patrick then blasts it away with the power of the Dongle. “My God,” they say with looks of horror on their faces. It’s a power too great for mankind to possess and they know in that moment that their quest has been righteous. They enter the cave expecting the next MacGuffin or a new riddle, but instead find a small child. She looks upon Jamie and speaks, “Father?” Jamie is confused, but deep down he knows the fact is true. But how can a child… his child… be the key to destroying the Dongle? How can a child be a MacGuffin? That’s right! We’re watching The Game Plan. In an effort to repair the Chain Reaction that Cannonball Run II destroyed we are shifting that film over to the Game section of the cycle (as a Razzie award nominee) and jumping to The Game Plan starring The Rock through Roselyn Sanchez. Phew. What a mess. Thanks IMDb. Let’s go!

The Game Plan (2007) – BMeTric: 25.9

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(Quite a low BMeTric compared to other recent films. The interesting thing actually is how the rating just stalls. Been around 6.2 forever, which is basically exactly average for wide release films since 1980. No one will ever see it as anything more or less than that: average.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Egocentric superstar quarterback (Johnson) becomes a better person – and a better player – after he spends quality time with the 8-year-old daughter (Pettis) he never knew he had. Predictable mix of rib-tickling and heart-tugging elements; this family-friendly comedy sticks close to the rulebook for movies about self-absorbed workaholics suddenly saddled with parental responsibilities.

(First, no way The Rock is a quarterback. Middle Linebacker for sure. Second, love the hyphen and semicolon game here, strong stuff. Finally, “sticks close to the rulebook”? I’m not mad Leonard, I’m just disappointed.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okZ4S4yjvlw

(I had to look it up: apparently you can just put a person’s name on a birth certificate. If you do so knowing the information is false you can be charged with a crime. But in this film I imagine the mother was fairly certain The Rock was the father, so I guess s’all good. That trailer? It was fine. Looks like a kid’s film.)

Directors – Andy Fickman – (Known For: She’s the Man; Race to Witch Mountain; Future BMT: You Again; Parental Guidance; BMT: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2; The Game Plan; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 in 2016; Notes: Is now mainly a producer and has directed over 40 episodes of Kevin James’ show Kevin Can Wait.)

Writers – Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price (screenplay & story) – (Future BMT: Fallen; BMT: The Game Plan; Notes: Both Price and Millard were lawyers. The only difference in their credits is Price wrote for the reality show The Mole, which was a fantastic show.)

Audrey Wells (story) – (Known For: Under the Tuscan Sun; George of the Jungle; Shall We Dance; The Kid; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Guinevere; BMT: The Game Plan; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Busted into the biz as an assistant for novelist and screenwriter Alan Sharp who wrote Rob Roy and Night Moves among other things.)

Actors – Dwayne Johnson – (Known For: Skyscraper; Rampage; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Moana; Fast & Furious 8; Get Smart; Fast & Furious 7; Central Intelligence; Hercules; San Andreas; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Furious 6; The Other Guys; Fast & Furious 5; The Mummy Returns; Pain & Gain; Race to Witch Mountain; Welcome to the Jungle; Snitch; The Scorpion King; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Jem and the Holograms; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Southland Tales; You Again; Reno 911!: Miami; Planet 51; Walking Tall; BMT: Doom; Baywatch; Be Cool; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Game Plan; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Doom in 2006; Notes: Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? According to news reports he’s cooking the acceptance of animal abuse … by taking his family to an aquarium apparently. Y’all looney animal right activists, aquariums are fun, save the hate for Sea World.)

Kyra Sedgwick – (Known For: The Edge of Seventeen; Born on the Fourth of July; Submission; Secondhand Lions; Kill Your Darlings; The Possession; Singles; Phenomenon; Murder in the First; The Woodsman; Heart and Souls; Cop Car; The Last Act; Time Out of Mind; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Critical Care; Personal Velocity: Three Portraits; What’s Cooking?; Future BMT: Something to Talk About; Collection; Loverboy; Big Sky; Man on a Ledge; Tai-Pan; Kansas; BMT: Gamer; The Game Plan; Notes: The Closer. Personally I love her more at Wuntch in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Wuntch time is over! She’s married to Kevin Bacon.)

Madison Pettis – (Known For: Horton Hears a Who!; That’s What I Am; Future BMT: Do You Believe?; BMT: The Game Plan; Notes: Had a few leading roles in television including a number of voice parts. She is now twenty, and I believe attends Tisch.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $90,648,202 (Worldwide: $147,880,543)

(Huge hit. But probably not something The Rock wanted to continue as he transformed himself into movie star Dwayne Johnson. Also I feel like these types of films rarely get sequels, what with children growing up and stuff.)

#9 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(Ah a classic. Cheaper by the Dozen is the most successful one we’ve watched, but it is juuuust beat by Big Daddy which currently has a 39.8% on Rotten Tomatoes, it wasn’t qualifying for the last ten years (!), a bad review was added in March. For some reason there hasn’t been films added to this list in five years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (29/101): Despite The Rock’s abundant charisma, The Game Plan is just another run-of-the-mill Disney comedy.

(Hmmmm, does not bode well for us. Likely boring, inncuous, laugh-free, heart warming, and hard to hate. Like the Pacifier. Reviewer Highlight: Having tamed one muscled man-child (Vin Diesel in The Pacifier), Disney sets its sights on The Rock. – Scott Brown, Entertainment Weekly (see))

Poster – The Sklog Plan (D+)

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(A very Disney poster. As you all know I hate posters that are predominantly white in color tone. Feels very empty and messy. Mediocre font and the balance is all off anyway. Weird and generally bad poster here. I do like the poses that the football players in the background are making to show their displeasure at the situation. They all be like “say whaaaaaaa? You got a whaaaaaaa?”)

Tagline(s) – Joe Kingman had the perfect game plan to win the championship… but first, he has to tackle one little problem. (D)

(Hahahahaha. No. It is egregious and insane that that entire thing actually appeared on the poster. No thanks. Give it a D for the puns, but otherwise useless.)

Keyword(s) – tween girl; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.1 Grease 2 (1982); 75.0 Daddy Day Camp (2007); 55.1 The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990); 52.2 Annie (2014); 48.4 Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005); 45.8 Unaccompanied Minors (2006); 39.1 Blue Crush (2002); 38.9 Ladybugs (1992); 36.3 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003); 34.7 Monkey Trouble (1994);

(I cannot wait to see Neverending Story II again, it is just a bonkers film. He’s like loving his memory and shit. I’ve seen Annie (2014) … in theaters … why did I watch that in theaters if it wasn’t for this? I guess The Razzies maybe? Blah.)

Notes – Dwayne Johnson said he came up with the idea for his character to be such a huge Elvis fan, and suggested the idea to the writers, who loved it and added it to the script. Johnson later said that when they asked how he came up with the idea, Johnson responded that he is Elvis’ biggest fan, and much of the Elvis memorabilia his character owns actually belongs to Johnson. (Fun facts. I have a feeling we are going to get a ton of fun facts. This screams: The Rock went on a three week press tour for this film)

Dwayne Johnson has said that this film will be the last film in which he will be credited as “The Rock”. (That makes sense. I’m like 50-50 whether I refer to him as Dwayne Johnson or The Rock at this point, although not to other people I guess)

Two bulldogs, named Tubbs and Tank, shared the role of Spike. (I love dog facts, Tubbs is on IMDb but this is his only credited role)

Dwayne Johnson’s character, Joe Kingman, suffers a separated shoulder that temporarily knocks him out of the big game. In real life, The Rock actually did suffer a season-ending shoulder separation while playing defensive tackle as a freshman at the University of Miami. (Fun fact)

Production was pushed back by several months after Dwayne Johnson suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon injury during a football practice session. (Oh shit. You aren’t getting any younger Dwayne, got to chill on those stunts I guess)

The scene in which “Joe Kingman” (Dwayne Johnson) runs the whole way through the city to the hospital carrying his daughter Peyton resembles Dustin Hoffman doing the same for his son in the movie Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). Also a movie about a father raising a child on his own. (Honestly … I think that is just something stressful fathers could relate to, that helplessness and duty that comes with being a father)

Originally the script called for the football team to be the New England Patriots, but negotiating with the NFL became difficult for producers so they made up the team name instead. (Gross)

The Rebels and New York Dukes stand in for the NFL’s New England Patriots and New York Giants. In the film, the Rebels play the Dukes in the last game of the regular season, and later in the League’s Championship game. The movie was released during the 2007 NFL regular season, and in that season the Patriots played the Giants in both the last game of the Regular season and in Super Bowl XLII (2008). (You know what? Let’s not think about that game)

The football referees were from the Association of New England Football Officials (What’s up with New England being all over this film?)

Air Bud: Golden Receiver Preview

There are a number of Bring a Friend films that we really went out of our way to accommodate. This week is one of those. When it came to the category of Kids films we really wanted to watch something that was a major release, but we would never ever ever ever watch. Not something like Son of Mask, Marmaduke, or the recently watched Baby Geniuses films, where they transcend the “Never Watch Kids Films” BMT rule, but rather a run-of-the-will children’s film that happened to be terrible. So you know what that means. That’s right! We’re watching Clan of the Cave BeAir Bud: Golden Receiver! There is literally a 0% chance that we would have ever watch Air Bud 2. Wouldn’t have happened without Bring a Friend. The same could almost be said about the BMT film that brought it along. Clan of the Cave Bear is a 1986 adaptation of a 1980 historical fiction book set in the Paleolithic era. I has come up before for BMT, but more seriously as an entry for a book-to-film cycle, since the book was a worldwide success and spawned five sequels. I’ve always been curious to read it and now’s my chance. The film ended up being a gigantic box office flop, so hopefully it can live down to that hype. Let’s go!

Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998) – BMeTric: 44.8

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(This really really has that 2011 inflection, although not very many votes at all. And I’ve never seen that U-shape before on the rating, at least not so far after the release. Why it goes down from 2004 to 2007 is beyond me, a true mystery. I smell a little forensic research perhaps: Why did the IMDb rating for Air Bud 2 drop to 4.0 in 2007?!)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Title canine catches pigskins rather than shoots hoops. He and his young owner (Zegers, the lone cast member from the original) join the school football team – plus, a pair of Boris and Natasha-like villains plot to abduct the pooch for their traveling circus. Predictable but harmless fun. Followed by several direct-to-video sequels.

(Predictable but harmless fun, the reason why the Bad Movie Twins no longer watch kids’ films (until now!). I’m sure this will be a non-stop thrill ride … given that the film has a sub-5 on IMDb it is kind of weird Leonard gives it such a break. It is no doubt a stone cold terrible film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBFhdl17YJ0

(Probably the most incredible use of Tubthumping I’ve ever seen. And honestly, the director probably regretted having the kid call the dog the “new wide receptor” instead of the new wide receiver. Seems like just a dumb error instead of a dumb joke. The whole trailer kind of blows my mind honestly.)

Directors – Richard Martin – (BMT: Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: An experimental filmmaker, he is the son of Dick Martin who was a comedian in the 60s appearing on things like Match Game.)

Writers – Kevin DiCicco (character “Air Bud”) – (Known For: Air Bud; BMT: Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: Air Bud’s trainer, who found him as a stray and trained him in a variety of sports. He made a franchise out of the character of Air Buddy he created which featured on America’s Funniest Home Videos initially.)

Paul Tamasy (characters & written by) – (Known For: Patriots Day; The Finest Hours; The Fighter; Air Bud; BMT: Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: Despite being nominated for an academy award for The Fighter, there is very little information about this guy. Air Bud was his first gig, so likely just something he did to break into Hollywood.)

Aaron Mendelsohn (characters & written by) – (Known For: Air Bud; BMT: Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: Born in Alaska, he has been heavily involved with the Writer’s Guild over the past ten years.)

Actors – Kevin Zegers – (Known For: Aftermath; Wrong Turn; Dawn of the Dead; In the Mouth of Madness; Frozen; It’s a Boy Girl Thing; The Jane Austen Book Club; Air Bud; Transamerica; Gardens of the Night; Fifty Dead Men Walking; The Stone Angel; Future BMT: Zoom; The Colony; The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; MVP: Most Valuable Primate; Life with Mikey; The Curse of Downers Grove; BMT: Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: I don’t know how this guy survived being a child actor starring in four Air Bud films and MVP: Most Valuable Primate. But he has had an impressive recent career on television including an extended stint on Gossip Girl.)

Cynthia Stevenson – (Known For: Jennifer’s Body; Happiness; The Player; Home for the Holidays; Forget Paris; Tiger Eyes; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London; Agent Cody Banks; Case 39; Full of It; Live Nude Girls; BMT: I Love You, Beth Cooper; Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: She did six Air Bud movies! She’s been all over television and movies for years. The Air Bud movies make sense considering they are show in Canada and both her and Zegers are in fact Canadian.)

Tim Conway – (Known For: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water; The Apple Dumpling Gang; The Shaggy D.A.; The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again; Future BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Cannonball Run II; Dear God; BMT: Air Bud: Golden Receiver; Notes: He got third billed? He’s the announcer for the final State Championship game at the end so …)

Budget/Gross – $11 million / Domestic: $10,224,116

(Not great. Why does an Air Bud movie cost $11 million to make I wonder? These small mysteries surround this film. Probably made mad cash on DVD purchases and rentals though, that is a shockingly large amount of money, especially in 1998.)

#42 for the Dog genre

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(Not too far ahead of Fluke … not a good look. What I see from this graph is that everyone loves dogs. I kind of love this plot because there is almost a specific trough when Air Bud 2 is released. As if the American people collectively said: No, unacceptable.)

#36 for the Family – Animal (Live action) genre

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(Below Monkey Trouble which isn’t a great look. I would have guessed Babe was the start to the big 90s boom, but I actually think it is Beethoven, Homeward Bound and Free Willy in ‘92/’93. I have other more unfounded theories about the genre in general, specifically that this was when home video took off and family focused entertainment became a big deal, and animal training was still super cheap.)

#30 for the Sports – Football genre

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(Below Little Giants which isn’t a great look. Football films come in waves, although I couldn’t say why. Perhaps there is a natural rhythm to American audience’s tastes in sports films? Couldn’t say. Last big one was Concussion unfortunately (for the sport, I would assume interest overall is waning with a decline in general))

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (6/29): No consensus yet.

(Let’s make one: A shadow of the original, this lazy sequel is predictable and poorly written, even if it is an innocuous family-focused affair. Some of those are from the time even, like Ebert’s, which is somewhat surprising.)

Poster – Sklog Bud: Golden Receiver (C-)

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(The lower quality makes it a bit tough to judge, but I like the symmetry (even if it suggests, against all odds, that Buddy is the star center for the Timberwolves). Otherwise, just a bright colorful kids’ movie poster, what is there to say?)

Tagline(s) – Just dog it. (F)

(NOPE)

Keyword(s) – russian; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.4 Street Fighter (1994); 86.2 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 83.2 Rollerball (2002); 65.0 Fair Game (1995); 64.1 Tekken (2010); 61.4 Virus (1999); 59.3 xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017); 58.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015); 58.8 A Good Day to Die Hard (2013); 58.6 Jupiter Ascending (2015);

(Sadly we have basically already done Street Fighter outside of the scope of BMT. We did Legend of Chun Li (Hall of Fame inductee) in our first year and back then BMT was like the wild west. We weren’t reading books, doing homework, or anything! A true disaster. So we have both seen Street Fighter fairly recently, so it is unlikely to earn a spot in the rotation anytime soon. So many bad movies, so little time, you know?)

Notes – Six dogs played Bud.

Movie is in memory of “Buddy” who starred in “Air Bud” as a dog who played basketball.