A Dog’s Purpose Preview

Alright, well for all our faithful fans who were worried about the treacherous route we took through the Chain Reaction this year this is the main event. Last cycle we sunk all the way back to 1983 for Jaws 3-D and now we pop back 34 years later to the Dennis Quaid sad-fest A Dog’s Purpose. Probably not at the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to 2017 BMT films, but it is a qualifier and set us up nicely for next year’s chain. It also was for a brief time the most hated film in America when it was alleged that the film engaged in animal cruelty on set. This was ultimately proved incorrect, but it was enough to get the US premiere cancelled. Then everyone forgot about it. I cannot wait to bawl my eyes out watching a dog die over and over again. Sound like a blast. Let’s go!

A Dog’s Purpose (2017) – BMeTric: 9.9

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(I straight up have never seen anything like this before. You can even see that the rating started at literally 1.0, everyone gave it a one. There were actually several days in which the rating was 1.0, but then they shut the page down again because people were piling on (I assume). It then makes its long slow trek to 7.0! This could be the highest rated film we’ve ever done (it isn’t, but it is darn close). Truly bizarre.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  This movie has its moments—no movie with such an adorable array of pooches could not, plus Mr. Quaid, who in addition to being movie-star handsome is also a pretty good actor, sells his fifteen or so onscreen minutes. But the tonal weirdness and the philosophical fallacies and the general level of treacle did not sit very well with me. Then again, I have to admit I’m really more of a cat person

(The reviews for this film as obviously off because they were made literally days … weeks? after the abuse scandal broke. There is a question of whether any abuse happened in the end. But I’m sure I’ll have the same reaction: a little sickly sweet, but overall okay … if I didn’t have my doubts about the intentions of the film. I am much more of a dog person though, so …)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jLOOCADTGs

(I just got diabetes from that trailer. Sickly sweet. And I know I’m going to cry too. I’m not going to like this one at all.)

Directors – Lasse Hallström – (Known For: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Chocolat; The Hundred-Foot Journey; Casanova; The Cider House Rules; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; An Unfinished Life; The Shipping News; My Life as a Dog; The Hoax; Once Around; Future BMT: Something to Talk About; Dear John; BMT: Safe Haven; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Swedish. Was nominated for Best Director in 1988, notable as the first time the Best Director category was all non-Americans.)

Writers – W. Bruce Cameron (screenplay & based on the novel by) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: The writer of the original book. He is in the process of adapting the sequel as well, A Dog’s Way Home.)

Cathryn Michon (screenplay) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has been working with Cameron for his last few movies (Cook Off! and Muffin Top: A Musical). Prior to that she worked mostly on television, so possibly she met him when he worked on 8 Simple Rules.)

Audrey Wells (screenplay) – (Known For: Under the Tuscan Sun; George of the Jungle; The Kid; Shall We Dance; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Guinevere; Future BMT: The Game Plan; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Seems to be a Kids’ Film and Romantic Comedy writer. She also directed Under the Tuscan Sun, which was her only major directorial effort.)

Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky (screenplay) – (Known For: Monsters vs. Aliens; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Infinitely Polar Bear; The Rocker; The Polka King; Future BMT: Seeing Other People; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: You knew there had to be a writing team when there are five writers attached. Wolodarsky producer and wrote for the Simpsons. Forbes produced and wrote for The Larry Sanders Show.)

Actors – Josh Gad – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Beauty and the Beast; Frozen; Marshall; Angry Birds; Love & Other Drugs; Thanks for Sharing; The Rocker; Wish I Was Here; Future BMT: Marmaduke; The Internship; Ice Age: Continental Drift; 21; Crossing Over; BMT: Pixels; Jobs; The Wedding Ringer; A Dog’s Purpose; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in 2016 for Pixels, and The Wedding Ringer; Notes: Probably in the news recently because of the 25 minute long “short” starring Olaf the snowman that was playing in front of Coco. Also was the star of The Book of Mormon in its original Broadway run in 2011.)

Dennis Quaid – (Known For: The Parent Trap; The Day After Tomorrow; Stripes; The Right Stuff; Traffic; Footloose; The Rookie; Innerspace; Any Given Sunday; Soul Surfer; DragonHeart; Wyatt Earp; Frequency; Enemy Mine; Breaking Away; Dreamscape; Truth; Far from Heaven; Postcards from the Edge; Suspect; Future BMT: Legion; Cold Creek Manor; Yours, Mine & Ours; Beneath the Darkness; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Horsemen; Something to Talk About; Flight of the Phoenix; The Alamo; Caveman; Undercover Blues; Vantage Point; Switchback; Wilder Napalm; Pandorum; All Night Long; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Movie 43; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Playing for Keeps; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has a band called The Sharks, is a five-handicap golfer, and has a pilot’s license. This video makes his band seem … well, I’m sure they have their fans.)

Peggy Lipton – (Known For: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; True Identity; Future BMT: The Postman; Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects; BMT: When in Rome; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: She was in the original and recent revival of Twin Peaks. Is the mother of Rashida Jones as well, who played Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $64,321,890 (Worldwide: $196,200,124)

(Despite the controversy this was a giant success … how strange. For whatever reason I thought this completely bombed after it was torn apart for allegedly abusing dogs. It is weird to think that this would have been a much bigger deal only a year later. It this happened now this shit wouldn’t have even made it to theaters I think.)

#18 for the Controversy genre

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(There were a few from this year here as well, the funniest being The Great Wall for “white-washing”. Controversy films make a chunk of change it turns out. I don’t want to say “outrage culture”, but they’ve gotten a lot more popular since 2000 … just saying.)

#12 for the Dog genre

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(Everyone loves doggies! Well … they like them less since 2010 it seems. Do you know which dog movie came out in 2010? That’s right, Marmaduke. Coincidence? Yuuuuuuup. Anyways, this comes in around 102 Dalmatians, which kind of tells you all you need to know.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (43/130): A Dog’s Purpose offers an awkward blend of sugary sentiment and canine suffering that tugs at animal-loving audiences’ heartstrings with shameless abandon.

(I will almost certainly be crying during this film. If not, then it has failed because I’m a softy. Hopefully it won’t pull at my heartstrings any harder than Bing Bong did in Inside Out… I might melt.)

Poster – A Sklog’s Purpose (B+)

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(Obviously great color and unique framing. Terrible font. Really bad choice. But otherwise I like what they decided to do here. Tells me everything I need to know.)

Tagline(s) – Every dog happens for a reason. (C+)

(Every dog happens… every dog… happens. Huh, that is really not rolling off the tongue. It’s short and gets at the idea of the film, but not super clever and weird phrasing. It seems like they should have been able to do better.)

Keyword(s) – reincarnation; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 80.5 Dragon Wars (2007); 65.1 The Haunted Mansion (2003); 58.6 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 54.0 The Return (I) (2006); 52.9 Lost Souls (2000); 51.4 Jack Frost (1998); 51.3 Tank Girl (1995); 50.3 Mannequin: On the Move (1991);

(Give me a little Fluuuuuuke … wait? No Fluke? I guess not that many people watched Fluke. Fair, but I think the story will have some passing similarities, so I’m still glad I watched Fluuuuuuke.)

Notes – Prior to theatrical release, controversy arose when behind-the-scenes footage surfaced and appeared to show a distressed dog being forcibly submerged into turbulent pool water during filming. As a result of the leaked footage, the filmmakers chose to cancel the U.S. premiere. However, it was announced on February 4, 2017 by the American Humane Association that the footage was misleadingly edited and no abuse had taken place. (I totally forgot about that. Wow.)

Bradley Cooper was originally slated to provide the voice of the titular dog; however, he was ultimately replaced with Josh Gad. (I love this fact. Would it have been the same script?… seems like wildly different choices).

The Maya segment of the film differs from the events in the book. In the book, Maya is a K9 officer who takes over handling Ellie after her first handler Jakob (Carlos in the film) is shot and injured by a kidnapper. In the movie, it is Ellie who is shot – fatally – by the kidnapper, then reincarnated as Tino the Corgi and adopted by Maya, a college student. (Damn, I forgot this was based on a book. I don’t think either of us will end up reading it. Are we losing our edge?).

Dennis Quaid plays adult Ethan, who was once starting quarterback with a full scholarship but was injured. In Everybody’s All-American (1988), Quaid played a star high school quarterback no longer playing. In Any Given Sunday (1999) he played a quarterback past his prime trying to relive his days. (We get it, Dennis Quaid. You love sports).

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Rings Preview

You would think that we’ve endured enough punishment after pushing our way through the 4th and 5th entries in a film franchise whose entries routinely run far past two hours. You would be wrong. Enter the horror entry for the 2017 Cycle. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled third entry of the Rings franchise, simply called Rings. This film not only includes a well reviewed first entry (The Ring) and a BMT qualifying second entry (The Ring Two), but also many other adaptations and version made in different countries (including a Japanese original that the series is closely adapted from). So we got a lot to work with and at the very least two films to watch. We never learn. It’ll be truly a Thanksgiving miracle when I get through these films. Happy TGivs (as the kids call it) and let’s go!

Rings (2017) – BMeTric: 71.8

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(The rating plot is demented. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people get about things like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb (rich coming from us I suppose since half of the preview is scraping and analyzing data from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Kick-ass VOD bump there though, and an incredible number of votes as usual.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  More wearying than frightening, “Rings” is a total non-starter that may well win the weekend box-office derby (if only because of the weak competition) but which will be blessedly forgotten by most of those who see it after seven days—a month tops.

(Clever closing line. The writer admits he isn’t exactly the biggest fan of the series itself, calling the previous installments “silly”. He also closes with a somewhat strange recommendation of another movie (The Autopsy of Jane Doe which, oddly, stars Brian Cox who was in the original The Ring). This intrigues me though. I’m curious as to what I will think of the series as a whole now. I feel like it hugely depends on what you want in horror films. Are you looking for spooky scares? Or is it enough to get some deaths with an interesting story / mythos surrounding the baddie? Very interested now.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFB4eZSVgBE

(Alright that looks like straight garbage. It looks (1) not scary, (2) like it just butchers the interesting mythology of the franchise, and (3) is poorly made. Kind of sad they decided to go with a totally different storyline (basically). Like, why even make it then?)

Directors – F. Javier Gutiérrez – (BMT: Rings; Notes: He is rumored to be attached to a Conjuring spin-off The Crooked Man. This is his only major release, although he directed a feature called Before the Fall. One and Done? It is at least close. He’ll get another shot though.)

Writers – David Loucka (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: The Dream Team; Future BMT: House at the End of the Street; Eddie; Dream House; BMT: Rings; Notes: Eddie and Rings … two peas in a pod? Nothing much about him besides the weird fact that he went from writing comedies to basically exclusively horror films over his career.)

Jacob Estes (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Mean Creek; The Details; Nearing Grace; BMT: Rings; Notes: Broke onto the scene as the writer-director of Mean Creek, which is quite good. Stars BMT favorite Josh Peck as well.)

Akiva Goldsman (screenplay by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; A Time to Kill; Batman Forever; I, Robot; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Batman & Robin; Lost in Space; Transformers: The Last Knight; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Rings; The 5th Wave; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: He won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. Incredibly successful as a screenwriter he broke onto the scene in 1991 after selling a script called Indian Summer (nope, not that Indian Summer, this one was never made). He’s directed a few things as well, including a few episodes of the new Star Trek series Discovery.)

Kôji Suzuki (based on the novel “The Ring” by) – (Known For: The Ring; Dark Water; Ring; Dark Water; Sadako vs. Kayako; Future BMT: The Ring 2; Ringu 2; BMT: Rings; Notes: The Ring writer. Ringu 2 looks like we could legit do it for BMT even (0% on Rotten Tomatoes on 13 reviews), but I don’t think we’ll venture into many foreign films any time soon.)

Actors – Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz – (Known For: Revenge; BMT: Rings; Notes: An Italian model turned actress this is, I think, her first big Hollywood film.)

Alex Roe – (BMT: Rings; The 5th Wave; Notes: A British actor. Interestingly The 5th Wave was written by Akiva Goldsman which I’m sure helped him get this role as well.)

Johnny Galecki – (Known For: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Hancock; Bean; The Opposite of Sex; Prancer; Happy Endings; Bounce; The Master Cleanse; Chrystal; Playing Mona Lisa; Bookies; Future BMT: A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon; In Time; CBGB; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Rings; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Until this very moment I did not realize the star of The Big Bang Theory also had a major role in Roseanne. Like … a huge role. This guy has very interesting career, including a shockingly successful movie career. I just find that a tad bit strange.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $27,793,018 (Worldwide: $83,080,890)

(Disastrous given the reputation and take of the original. I think I’m going to mark that down as a true blue bomb.)

#75 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

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(Right around another very disappointing sequel to a solid horror film (Sinister 2), the supernatural horror genre has been booming for years now. The Conjuring and Sinister kickstarted the recent influx I think, and it is by far the most lucrative and popular kind of horror these days. Basically ghost stories, it is a bit disappointing that this is the only type of horror that gets play. I would say maybe It would change things a bit … but It is really supernatural horror itself, so if anything it reinforced things even more.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (7/99): Rings may offer ardent fans of the franchise a few threadbare thrills, but for everyone else, it may feel like an endless loop of muddled mythology and rehashed plot points.

(sub 10% is very impressive. Muddled mythology is the name of the game considering the reviews for the previous installment. Wait, did people catch over-explain-itis? I do love over-explaining garbage.)

Poster – Sklogs (C)

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(For real? You went from simple and consistent to a mishmash of garbage. The color is still a nice consistent icy blue and the font is somewhat unique, but otherwise blah.)

Tagline(s) – Evil is reborn (C-)

(To generic to make an impression but also too generic to really offend me. Slightly below a C average.)

Keyword(s) – sequel; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 91.4 Son of the Mask (2005); 90.4 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 89.3 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.0 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.3 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003); 86.0 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 85.8 The Avengers (1998); 85.6 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987);

(We should really be doing much better with these to be honest. Sequels are such a well of terribleness. I wonder why The Avengers is listed though, that is an adaptation, not a sequel.)

Notes – According to special makeup effects designer on the film, Arjen Tuiten, it took about 6 and a half hours to complete Samara’s makeup and her costume featured a water rig under the dress that allowed the character to constantly drip water.

Before starring as Samara in this film, Bonnie Morgan was also featured in The Ring 2 (2005) as Samara in the well crawling sequence, though she was uncredited.

Strongly rumored to be a prequel to the previous films until F. Javier Gutiérrez himself denied it on Twitter, confirming it would be a sequel taking place in the present.

Originally set for release in November 2015, the film was pushed back several times due to studio delays. It was finally released in February 2017 in most territories, almost two years after initial shooting occurred. (Ooof, not great)

Although Naomi Watts’ character from the first two films, Rachel Keller, is never mentioned by name, her name appears underneath one of the icons on Gabriel’s computer in a brief shot.

Both Naomi Watts, and David Dorfman who played Rachel and Aidan in the first two films respectively, do not return for this sequel. (That is obvious, and also a bad sign)

This is the first film in the series that the makeup effects were not done by Rick Baker, who had the previous two. Rick retired from the industry in early 2015 and left his studio, Cinovation, to his protégée Arjen Tuiten, who had worked with him on Maleficent. While Rick had no involvement with this project, some of his crew, who had worked on the previous two with him, worked on this film with Arjen at his studio now called R-E-N.

Was filmed in Atlanta. (As are all films these days no?)

Young Evelyn, played by Kayli Carter, was previously played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Ring 2 (2005), though her scenes were cut aside from a brief appearance.

Producers Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes, J.C. Spink, Chris Bender, makeup effects artists Bill Sturgeon and Bart Mixon, and stunt coordinator Keith Campbell are the only people to have worked on all three films in the Ring series.

Bonnie Morgan, who plays Samara, stated that to bring the character to life, it took over 45 special makeup appliances, including the wig and special contact lenses.

In the over one year delay in this film’s theatrical release since October 2015, nearly 20 minutes of footage was altered and deleted which significantly altered some plot elements. Some of these deleted scenes can still be seen in the film’s handful of trailers. Most of this footage was included as deleted scenes on the Blu-ray and DVD save for a few like the ring scar on Julia’s back, which was also a promotional poster for the film. (That bodes absolutely terribly)

Special makeup effects artist Rick Baker filmed cameo for the film as a flea market vendor that haggles with Johnny Galecki’s character at the beginning. Ultimately his dialogue was cut, but he can still be seen briefly in the opening sequence when the camera pans past his character. Baker was the lead effects artist on the first two films.

Both Aimee Teegarden and Zach Roerig previously starred in ‘Friday Night Lights’. (Teegarden is in this?! I figured she was just going to do television at this point, I haven’t seen her in a movie in years? Ever?)

Toward the middle of the film (41:14 mark), Gabriel (Galecki) is seen pouring himself some whiskey. The whiskey he pours is Templeton Rye, a small batch rye made in Templeton, Iowa. (Cool, what are these notes. These are so weird. Do I now need to drink this whiskey because of BMT. Like some demented bad movie liquor cabinet?)

Vincent D’Onofrio plays a character who was blinded by himself years earlier. He also plays villain Wilson Fisk in Daredevil (2015), wherein the title character himself is blind because of a childhood accident. (Cool? I don’t get why that is relevant)

The translation of the Braille mark on Julia’s hand is clearly spoiled in the trailer when Burke states, “The mark on your hand means rebirth.” A line never spoken in the actual film. (Ha)

The plane Samara crashes at the beginning of the film was heading for Seattle. Seattle is where The Ring (2002) took place.

The Ring Two Preview

You would think that we’ve endured enough punishment after pushing our way through the 4th and 5th entries in a film franchise whose entries routinely run far past two hours. You would be wrong. Enter the horror entry for the 2017 Cycle. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled third entry of the Rings franchise, simply called Rings. This film not only includes a well reviewed first entry (The Ring) and a BMT qualifying second entry (The Ring Two), but also many other adaptations and version made in different countries (including a Japanese original that the series is closely adapted from). So we got a lot to work with and at the very least two films to watch. We never learn. It’ll be truly a Thanksgiving miracle when I get through these films. Happy TGivs (as the kids call it) and let’s go!

The Ring Two (2005) – BMeTric: 53.6

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(That is actually a lot more votes than I would think, although I always underestimate how popular horror films are (and this is a sequel to an incredibly famous film to boot). The rating suggests it is bad, but, again, horror fans are a little odd in this sense. I think a “popular” horror film does tend to have a lower rating on average. This is something I would like to explore more next year in my analyses, so hopefully I’ll get some data to actually prove the suppositions I’ve held for a while now.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Fleeing Seattle for the small town of Astoria, Oregon, Watts discovers that the coldhearted ghost of a loveless child is still after her and her son, as well as anyone else hanging around. Slow and overlong, but often delivers the spooky goods, and director Nakata – who made the Japanese Ringu – uses misty Pacific Northwest locations well. Entire cast is good, especially young Dorfman, but not everything makes sense. This is not a remake of the Japanese sequel to Ringu.

(Want to hear something crazy? Leonard gave this one better reviews than the original. Which is shocking because having just rewatched the original I thought it was brilliant. I figured maybe since he apparently likes when the “spooky goods” are delivered it would be because The Ring is indeed quite light on scares (or spooky goods of any kind actually). But nope, it apparently is because it is overlong … despite the second being longer than the first. This officially intrigues me. Being a relative novice concerning JHorror this should be a decent example of something that is kind of inbetween two sensibilities I think. I guess we’ll see.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbHRP43ocWQ

(That does seem spookier than the original. This seems almost like a Jaws / Jaws 2 kind of relationship. In the original Ring you see very little of Samara by design. The film plays out as an investigative journalism movie more than anything else (interestingly). But obviously there is no reason to play a sequel that way as well, so you go for the creepier direct ghost story. I can see how they could fall into the over-explaining trap though, because they seem like they are muddling the rather simple mythos.)

Directors – Hideo Nakata – (Known For: Ring; Dark Water; Kaosu; Future BMT: Chatroom; Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Director of the original Ring film (Dark Water is also a adaptation of a book by the same author). I think this is his only attempt at making a film in the US.)

Writers – Ehren Kruger (written by) – (Known For: Ghost in the Shell; The Ring; Arlington Road; Future BMT: Scream 3; Blood and Chocolate; Reindeer Games; The Brothers Grimm; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Impostor; The Skeleton Key; BMT: The Ring 2; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; and Nominated for Worst Screenplay in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; Notes: Awarded a Nicholl Fellowship after writing Arlington Road. Wrote uncredited on Scream 4.)

Kôji Suzuki (novel) (as Koji Suzuki) – (Known For: The Ring; Dark Water; Ring; Dark Water; Sadako vs. Kayako; Future BMT: Rings; Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Most famous for the Ring trilogy (Ring, Spiral and Loop). Dark Water is a short story collection.)

Hiroshi Takahashi (1998 film Ringu) – (Known For: The Ring; Ring; Future BMT: Ringu 2; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: I cannot find anything about this guy on the internet. Just a small wiki stub referring him to vaguely as “J-Horror”.)

Actors – Naomi Watts – (Known For: The Glass Castle; Mulholland Drive; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Ring; While We’re Young; Lo imposible; Funny Games; King Kong; Demolition; Eastern Promises; 21 Grams; J. Edgar; The Bleeder; St. Vincent; Inland Empire; The Painted Veil; The International; Fair Game; Ned Kelly; I Heart Huckabees; Future BMT: Shut In; Le divorce; Tank Girl; Allegiant; Down; Dream House; The Sea of Trees; Insurgent; Adoration; 3 Generations; The Book of Henry; Stay; BMT: Movie 43; The Ring 2; Diana; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2014 for Diana, and Movie 43; and in 2017 for Allegiant, and Shut In; Notes: Most famous for being the honorary president of Welsh Alliance Division I football club Glantraeth F.C. Was fantastic in the new season of Twin Peaks.)

David Dorfman – (Known For: The Ring; Galaxy Quest; Bounce; Panic; 100 Mile Rule; Future BMT: Drillbit Taylor; The Singing Detective; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: The Ring 2; Notes: Graduates from UCLA at the age of 17 and Harvard Law at the age of 21. Impressive stuff.)

Sissy Spacek – (Known For: The Help; Carrie; JFK; Hot Rod; Tuck Everlasting; 3 Women; Badlands; The Straight Story; Blast from the Past; North Country; In the Bedroom; Missing; Coal Miner’s Daughter; The Man with Two Brains; Get Low; Affliction; Nine Lives; A Home at the End of the World; Prime Cut; Crimes of the Heart; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Gray Matters; Deadfall; The Mommy Market; BMT: An American Haunting; The Ring 2; Notes: Won an Oscar for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Her daughter is Shuyler Fisk who you might recognize as the female lead in Orange Country with Jack Black and Colin Hanks.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $76,231,249 (Worldwide: $161,451,538)

(That seems solid for a horror film. They might have expected more considering what The Ring did ($130 million domestic), but it isn’t crazy that Ring 2 still sits pretty high up on these horror related lists on box office mojo.)

#20 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

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(This genre is a-boomin’ these days fueled by the recent hits in Sinister and The Conjuring (and the offshoots from that). There are a ton of stinker in there too (like Rings!), and I think it is starting to react a bit of a saturation point. I wonder if we’ll see a true collapse though. People must love ghost stories, because this has been a giant horror genre for almost 20 years now and it looks to be as popular as ever.)

#5 for the Horror Remake genre

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(The peak from ‘05 to ‘10 is just too good to pass up, it was the golden age of bad movies for a reason. I imagine it’ll come back, but studios seem pretty satisfied with making “sequels” and soft-reboots more than remakes at this point. I think the fact that they couldn’t get any of the Friday the 13th / Halloween / Nightmare on Elm Street / Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes to catch hold made them put other remakes on hold. I think the new Halloween even has become a sequel at this point. It’ll be back. It always comes back.)

#7 for the Remake – Asian genre

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(There were actually several other plots I could have put here, but, like this, most of them just looked like smaller versions of the horror remake plot from above. This one is interesting because you can see how the Ring itself jumpstarted a very short lived craze. The issue is I think that a lot of the original J Horror films from Japan are … not great. Like One Missed Call. And once they burned through the relatively few good options they were left with garbage. Godzilla is that big peak in ‘15 by the way.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (36/184): Ring Two serves up horror cliches, and not even Hideo Nakata, the director of the movies from which this one is based, can save the movie from a dull screenplay full of absurdities.

(The bad reviews seem to note how perplexing the script is and how many leaps of logic are made. Ebert himself specifically notes that you cannot discern the rules surrounding the things that are supposed to scare you. 20% is pretty terrible though.)

Poster – The Sklog Two (B+)

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(It’s got its style and tells a story. The color scheme is at least consistent and the font is original. This has everything I ask for in a poster, in a simplistic kind of way.)

Tagline(s) – Fear comes full circle. (D+)

(Oh Jeez Louise. That is unfortunate… why did you put that in my brain. Concise but pretty much nonsense and straight-up silly.)

Keyword(s) – videotape; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.9 Feardotcom (2002); 75.7 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012); 65.3 Captivity (2007); 63.3 Body of Evidence (1993); 61.3 Blair Witch (2016); 59.8 Seed (2006); 58.9 The Fly II (1989); 54.7 Down to You (2000); 53.6 The Ring 2 (2005); 51.1 Scary Movie 3 (2003);

(Wow, some great stuff there. I’m stunned Blair Witch II isn’t there, and I have to at some point see The Fly II considering the original is both a great classic sci-fi and an example of practical effects not exactly working out so hot. Goldblum just looks hilarious by the end of the film.)

Notes – During the shooting of a carnival scene, locals mistook the set for an actual carnival and wandered in. They were included as extras in the film.

Even with three artists, Daveigh Chase’s (Samara’s) make-up took over five hours to complete.

According to the production notes, there were bizarre incidents on set of life imitating art. On the seventh day, the production office was discovered to have flooded overnight, the result of a burst water pipe. Water is a strong theme in the film. In response, Director Hideo Nakata requested a Japanese purification ceremony be carried out by a Shinto minister, but the strange incidents continued. While on-location, a swarm of bees descended on the prop truck, prompting the immediate evacuation of the department, before the bees left as quickly as they had arrived. For no apparent reason, a five-gallon water jug burst open in the production office kitchen, once again flooding the same room that had flooded earlier. One morning on the Universal lot, a Set Decorator stepped out of the parking garage to discover an antlered buck charging across the asphalt in her direction. Though deer are a regular occurrence in the hills, the similarity to the deer attack in the film is uncanny. (Indeed, y’all don’t sound like crazy people at all)

Copies of the “Cursed Tape” were dropped in public places as a form of promotion. After about five minutes of footage, the viewer is directed to the movie’s website. (Weird, and I don’t like that at all)

When Rachel takes the pills and puts them on the sandwich for Aidan, she crushes the pills into a powder. The medicine bottle has a label that can be seen with the name Tony Bonaventura, who is the Property Master for the film.

There is a reference to a “Dr. Koji” by the psychiatrist. This is a nod to the original writer of the Ring books, Kôji Suzuki.

When Naomi Watts and her son go to the outdoor Astoria Antique Fair Swap Meet, Watts picks through a bunch of used VHS tapes at a vendor’s stand – and all the movies are DreamWorks titles, such as Old School (2003), and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004). (Gross, all of these notes are dumb and just weird studio crap)

In the scene following the tape burning, when Rachel gets Aiden out of bed, after finding him “soaked and freezing”, after having a nightmare, we can see that the wet part of his bed is ring-shaped.

Feature film debut of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, though she only appears in the unrated version.

Hideo Nakata, was the director of the original film Ring (1998) of which this film’s predecessor is a remake. (Which makes it all the more bizarre this turned out terribly. Although, it is pretty rare for directors from Asian studio hubs like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong to make a successful jump to Hollywood).

Ryan Merriman, Emily VanCamp, and Kelly Stables all previously appeared in the video short Rings (2005) which served as a prequel to this film.

Contrary to popular belief, this film is not a remake of either Ringu (1998) or Ringu 2 (1999), and follows it’s own unique storyline, as a direct sequel to The Ring (2002).

Hideo Nakata’s directorial debut in America. (I’m not going to count this as a one-and-done, although I don’t think he’s directed an American feature since)

Flatliners (2017) Preview

Our keen BMT instincts had us eyeing Flatliners since May for a potential Fall BMT Live! We needed something to bridge the gap between The Mummy and (hopefully) the weather disaster film Geostorm and it just didn’t seem possible that a remake of a 1990 cult classic that no one was asking for could possibly be good. Boy were we right. Taking a break from our Bring a Friend cycle we will be heading to the theater for some BMT fun. Coming into this weekend it stands as the worst reviewed major release of the year (2% on RT compared to 6% for the Rings sequel) and is everything that nobody was hoping it would be. Destined to be forgotten to the sands of time, but not to BMT, let’s get ourselves geared up for a sci fi/horror romp. We haven’t lived until we’ve died, babbbbbyyyyyyy! Let’s go!

Flatliners (2017) – BMeTric: 15.0 (October 1, 2017)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  This sort of movie can be more frustrating than a maliciously terrible or blunderingly incompetent film because at each step you can tell that everyone involved in the production sincerely believed in the material, both as raucous entertainment and as a tale of moral growth. But when the best you can say about a movie is that it means well, that’s proof that it’s not working on any level that matters.

(Just to be clear … this is a film which got 35 bad reviews in a row and sits at 2%. It is likely to be the worst reviewed film of a year that includes The Emoji Movie. Apparently a movie that merely “means well” is a movie everyone can rally behind and give uniformly bad reviews to.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1S52y5ZVlY

(I can’t tell if it is a good choice to go full horror or not. I do know that I don’t think this is a particularly interesting choice for a remake to Flatliners. Whether it is an IP grab or a legitimate choice to remake what is kind of a forgotten film of the 90s is yet to be scene, but it feels like an IP grab. Which probably means safe garbage-y horror.)

Directors – Niels Arden Oplev – (Known For: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Drømmen; Future BMT: Dead Man Down; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Danish, and that is naturally the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, not the American remake. He’s worked on several American television shows since including directing an episode of Mr. Robot.)

Writers – Peter Filardi (story by) – (Known For: Flatliners; The Craft; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: He is from a family of screenwriters including his brother and wife. Oddly hasn’t written all that much though, although he was attached to some sort of supernatural project a few years ago.)

Ben Ripley (screenplay by) – (Known For: Source Code; The Choir; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Ha, he wrote the direct-to-video sequels to Species as his first jobs for Fox! He somewhat hit it big with Source Code (his original idea) and is attached to the sequel that is in production.)

Actors – Ellen Page – (Known For: Inception; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Juno; X-Men: The Last Stand; Mercy; Hard Candy; Into the Forest; Super; The Cured; To Rome with Love; My Life as a Courgette; Whip It; Tallulah; The East; Freeheld; Smart People; Window Horses; Mouth to Mouth; The Stone Angel; Marion Bridge; Future BMT: Touchy Feely; The Tracey Fragments; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: Vegan and well-known LGBT advocate having come out as gay a few years ago. In a relationship with professional surfer Samantha Jones.)

Diego Luna – (Known For: The Bad Batch; Rogue One; Elysium; Blood Father; Y Tu Mamá También; Open Range; The Terminal; The Book of Life; Frida; Milk; Contraband; Before Night Falls; Casa de mi Padre; Mister Lonely; Criminal; Rudo y Cursi; Nicotina; Future BMT: Vampires: Los Muertos; Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights; BMT: Flatliners; Notes: A mexican actor appearing in numerous mexican films and some telenovelas. He’s started producing with his company Canana Films.)

Nina Dobrev – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Chloe; The Final Girls; Away from Her; Fugitive Pieces; How She Move; Future BMT: Barely Lethal; Let’s Be Cops; BMT: The Roommate; Flatliners; Notes: Bulgarian, although she grew up in Canada. She starred in Vampire Diaries, and has started to make the shift to major features including Bring a Friend film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $2,150,000 (Worldwide: $5,250,000) (October 1, 2017)

(That budget is … respectable actually. It won’t make it back (it is a colossal bomb already), but this now seems like a kind of shot in the dark to try and get some cheap nostalgia cash instead of a poorly thought out use of sweeeeeeeet IP.)

#58 for the Horror Remake genre (October 1, 2017)

flatliners_rratedhorror

(Can’t really remake horror films without horror films to remake I guess. The boom in the late-00s suggest this is a very nice genre for bad movies. It seemed like it was surging again, but nay, this was the first placed in the genre in nearly two years. And it is not making much money at the moment, soooooo probably won’t help matters)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/47): Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.

(It falls flat? Really? Anyways, this is probably the worst reviewed film of the year. At least up there, sub-5% is extremely rare. I figured this film was going to be terrible because it is a terrible idea (not the killing themselves part, the part where they remake Flatliners), but I never really imagined it would get quite this bad reviews.)

Poster – Sklogliners (A-)

flatliners

(This poster is good. Seems a bit more like an art piece than a poster, but still good. Only wish the majority of the poster wasn’t so dull colorwise.)

Tagline(s) – You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Died (A)

(I would say this is a near perfect tagline. It is short, plays on a common phrase, and hints at the plot. Check marks all around. The only concern I have is that I’m not sure it captures the tone of the film, which seems to be a sci fi/horror. But hard to tell without having seen the film.)

Keyword(s) – medical student; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.0 Jason X (2001); 65.4 Valentine (2001); 54.2 Annabelle (I) (2014); 44.3 Unrest (I) (2006); 35.7 The Ruins (2008); 33.7 The Prince & Me (2004); 31.3 Victor Frankenstein (2015); 30.1 Wrong Turn (I) (2003); 29.9 Pathology (2008); 28.0 The Taking (2014);

(Awesome. Victor Frankenstein is one of those films we should have just watched and then never got around to it. I don’t think it even got any Razzie nods, which is also super weird. From everything I heard it is as bad as I, Frankenstein.)

Notes – Sequel to Flatliners (1990) which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt and William Baldwin.

With Kiefer Sutherland returning as Nelson, the same character he played in the 1990 version of the movie, makes this a sequel rather than a remake.

This movie is NOT a sequel to the 1990 movie. It is a remake, a re-imagining, or a version of the previous movie and has no other connection to it at all. Although Kiefer Sutherland appears in both versions, he plays two different characters. (See above … this production sounds very clear and coherent)

Ellen Page also voiced and motion captured the lead character Jodie Holmes from the 2013 video game Beyond: Two Souls (2013). The game explores the “infraworld” which is analogous to the world after death where the souls reside. Ellen Page’s character in the game also experiences supernatural activities and communicates with entities from the “other side.”

Avery Bederman, the daughter of one of the executive producers of the film, Michael Bederman, has a small role in this movie.

One Missed Call (2008) Preview

We’ve made it! We’ve hit the transition from <10% RT films to our new cycle! Hooray! Our journey isn’t done yet, but the clear waters of the Calendar cycle are cleansing our palates and bringing us BMT strength. But it wouldn’t be the StreetCreditReport.com cycle without a last punch to the nuts. We’re watching one of the worst reviewed films of all time, the January 4th entry on the Calendar (and you know that’s a good date for BMT), and one of the classics in bad horror. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled One Missed Call. Based on the Japanese film on the same name (which was in turn based on a book), it was one of the last big J-Horror remakes released during the mid-2000s boom. It garnered the super rare 0% on RT on a startling 80 reviews. Only Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever can compare. Let’s go!

One Missed Call (2008) – BMeTric: 80.7

OneMissedCall_BMeT

OneMissedCall_RV

(I know it is quite hard to stay sub-4.0 on IMDb, but my motto has become that the mark of a truly bad movie is that it won’t regress in the face of increased popularity. Basically everyone who watches the film ultimately kind of agrees that it is trash, there is no effect of a wider audience being more lenient. So this plot makes me wonder if One Missed Call deserves the legendary anticipation we have endowed it with. The film has the second most reviews for a movie with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, so its reputation precedes itself. But this still makes me a bit skeptical.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  What if you received a message on your cell phone from your future self, with the date and time of your death? No need to stay awake at nights wondering, as this film lets you know how some college students deal with just such a predicament. Another Americanized remake of a Japanese horror film (Takashi Miike’s Chakushin Ari) with a good cast wasted. So bad that the title invites pithy putdowns; it’s just too easy.

(Put yo money where your mouth is Leonard, I want to hear those pithy putdowns! I can imagine the NY Post headline (something like They Missed!), but I’m kind of hardpressed to think of any super good ones. One Missed Movie? Terrible. He has to be talking about the “miss” part of it, but my mind keeps coming back to “hard miss” which is at the very least a somewhat niche phrasing. The beginning of this review is just a very long winded description of the movie … which always seems to me like Leonard doesn’t like horror films and just decided to skip this one. He does seem very adamant that the film is bad though, so maybe he did watch it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1F7hJNsi5M

(That trailer looks like a shot for shot remake of the original Japanese … with maybe a bit of Final Destination thrown in. Can’t wait for it to be aggressively not spooky-scary as well. The trailer doesn’t help itself by having the weird sound effects on the writing, just grating all around.)

Directors – Eric Valette – (Known For: La proie; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: French filmmaker, so most of his films were never released widely in the US. Does a lot of French television including the Transporter series. I might have to check that out, I bet that could be pretty cool and help me learn French.)

Writers – Andrew Klavan (screenplay) – (Known For: True Crime; A Shock to the System; Future BMT: Don’t Say a Word; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A novelist and a screenwriter he could have the unique distinction of having a BMT credit for a screenplay he wrote adapting a book (One Missed Call based on Chakushin Ari) and a credit for a novel (Don’t Say a Word) which he didn’t adapt.)

Yasushi Akimoto (novel) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: He is a music producer who has created some of Japan’s biggest “idol” groups including AKB48. He is the best selling lyricist in Japan with his songs exceeding $100 million in sales.)

Minako Daira (screenplay) (as Miwako Daira) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: What a strange filmography, just all of the One Missed Call movies. I wonder if she was the a representative for Yasushi Akimoto when adapting his book into films? Nothing about her online.)

Actors – Edward Burns – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; The Holiday; Friends with Kids; 27 Dresses; She’s the One; Confidence: After Dark; The Brothers McMullen; Sidewalks of New York; The Groomsmen; The Fitzgerald Family Christmas; Newlyweds; Future BMT: Life or Something Like It; Echelon Conspiracy; 15 Minutes; Man on a Ledge; Ash Wednesday; No Looking Back; BMT: One Missed Call; A Sound of Thunder; Alex Cross; Notes: Ooooo, it’s a sound of thundah. The star of that classic, and now often a micro-budget director, he sponsored a screenwriting contest through the company Scripped for a crowdsourced screenplay. As this was done in 2012 … I’m not sure it will ever actually happen.)

Shannyn Sossamon – (Known For: A Knight’s Tale; The Holiday; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Rules of Attraction; Wristcutters: A Love Story; The End of Love; Life Is Hot in Cracktown; Road to Nowhere; Future BMT: Sinister 2; The Sin Eater; 40 Days and 40 Nights; The Day; Our Family Wedding; Undiscovered; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: Sister of singer Jenny Lee Lindberg, and was a part of her band Warpaint before leaving to focus on acting. She studies dance in Los Angeles as well.)

Ana Claudia Talancón – (Known For: Fast Food Nation; El crimen del padre Amaro; Alone with Her; Sueño; The Dry Land; Future BMT: Love in the Time of Cholera; Enter the Dangerous Mind; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A Mexican actress and model. Nearly all of her credits are in Mexican cinema.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $26,890,041 (Worldwide: $45,847,751)

(Pretty solid bomb domestic, but maybe a return worldwide. Hard to tell. The budget seems inflated though, $20 million is quite high for a horror film like this. They were probably trying for some of that sweet Ring money which made about five times as much.)

#76 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

onemissedcall_supernaturalhorror

(Awesome graph. After dying off in the late 90s (the horror bust perhaps?) it came back with a vengeance with The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project in 1999. The return is still going strong, where the screens these films are getting go up and up and yet the average per screen take is just about level. Although … that might change with Rings and The Bye Bye Man being among this year’s crop. With Right around last year’s The Forest.)

#35 for the Horror Remake genre

onemissedcall_horrorremake

(Comes right at the peak. I think we also have a bit more insight into maybe why the 00s are the Golden Age: remakes? This peak kind of perfectly covers the biggest years from around 2005-2010. The Ring kicked off the J-Horror remakes in 2002, but there hasn’t been a remake since 2015 according to Box Office Mojo. They’ll go back to the well eventually, I’m sure of it. This comes in several spots below The Fog … not a good look.)

#15 for the Remake – Asian genre

onemissedcall_asianremake

(Same as above basically, big right after The Ring, but basically died off as original (micro budget) horror came back into style. With VOD likely being a big destination for horror in the future I would doubt budgets would allow for expensive IP buys, but who knows? This comes definitely below future BMT The Eye starring Jessica Alba.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/80): One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.

(uh oh, I’ll do a little on-the-fly translation for you: “This movie is not-scary and boring”. Just great. It apparently is so boring everyone just totally agreed and gave it a bad review. Please be wrong Cynical Patrick, please.)

Poster – One Missed Sklog (C+)

one_missed_call

(I don’t love the poster (particularly the cheesy screaming mouths for eyes), but it doesn’t do a lot wrong either. Coloring is fine and spacing is good. Could have been more creative with the font. Slightly better than average.)

Tagline(s) – What will it sound like when you die? (B-)

(Well… hopefully it’ll sound like I’m dying peacefully surrounded by loved ones… … … Oh, was that a rhetorical question?)

Keyword(s) – death; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 95.6 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.3 Batman & Robin (1997); 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.2 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.9 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.0 The Wicker Man (2006); 88.0 House of the Dead (2003); 87.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966);

(This is just the list of the worst films according to the BMeTric. Death as a keyword is legit on something like 10000 films.)

Notes – Guillermo del Toro was offered the chance to direct, but turned it down to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). (Good choice … well, maybe this movie would be better, but I liked Hellboy II)

Not screened for critics. (They just thought the critics would be too spooky scared I bet)

While in preparation for the film, director Eric Valette never watched the original Japanese version Chakushin ari (2003), and asked the actors not to watch it either. (… I don’t believe you. The trailer contains like a dozen identical situations as the original film. “But Patrick, maybe they adapted the book instead”. Bullshit, the book has never been translated to English. This stinks Mr. Valette, stinks of deception)

Out of 79 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, none of of them have been positive resulting in an abysmal 0% rating as of 2015. Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film the Mouldy Tomato award for the worst reviewed film of 2008 as a result. (Yes, this is why we are doing this)

On August 2006 Ed Harris and Gabriel Byrne were both cast in undisclosed roles for the film but both dropped out due to unknown circumstances. (Maybe they read the script. Zing)

Rotten Tomatoes declared the film to be the second worst film of the 2000’s, coming behind Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002). (Which has 0% and over 100 reviews. We’ll watch it (again) eventually. It is a very strange movie. Nothing has made less sense than Ballistic did to me when I watched it)

The project was filmed in 2006 and was scheduled to be released on August 24, 2007. The film, however, was later pushed back to January 4, 2008. (Probably when people watched it. Also, a horror film in August, terrible idea. Should have been slated for October).

Was the last Japanese horror remake to be theatrically released ever since the trend started with The Ring (2002) and ended with this film in 2008. (Wow, I genuinely didn’t realize that. That is awesome. I wonder how many J-Horror remakes were released in that time.)

The 508 area code is from South Eastern, Massachusetts. (Promising settings lead, thanks IMDb)

Every single character in this film is seen using a Boost Mobile flip phone. (gross).

Hitman Preview

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This entire preview was generated on November 14, 2016. I apologize for any mind-bending anachronisms that may inadvertently occur while reading this]

Hitman (2007) – BMeTric: 20.6 (November 14, 2016)

hitman_bmet

hitman_rv

(Classic regression to the mean, solid 2011 inflection. If you recall that comes about for popular movies. And look at the number of votes! Very impressive Hitman. Bravo. It is kind of crazy how flat the entire BMeTric plot is, but I kind of comes from being only borderline bad from an IMDb rating perspective)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Every bit as visually flashy and dramatically sketchy as you would expect a video-game-inspired action-adventure to be. Still, some genuinely rousing run-and-gun sequences – enhanced with rapid-fire editing, slo-mo flourishes, and very loud music – generate interest as prolifically lethal buut increasingly self-doubting Agent 47 (Olyphant), a bald-pated, bar-code-tattooed assassin, dashes about Russia after being betrayed by his employers.

(Alright, I think that Leonard might have been attempting to win a bet here concerning exactly how many hyphens he could put into a single review. An even dozen. Congrats. Either way, seems like a solidly drab romp through Russia, exciting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJhNzHyq-IE

(While I kind of dig the quiet and contemplative style with the music, it doesn’t really get me jazzed up for the movie, and it certainly, I think, misleads about the eventual product shown in theaters. If a movie that relfected that trailer was produced I’m not sure people would have been pissed. And people were piiiiiiiiiissed.)

Directors – Xavier Gens – (Known For: Frontière(s); BMT: The ABCs of Death; The Divide; Hitman; Notes: French director. Rumor has it that the studio did not like the extreme level of violence presented in his original cut of the film and effectively fired him. They hired outside help to edit the film and conduct reshoots while Gens was out of the country. Interesting stuff. I’m skeptical because an unrated version exists which is by all accounts just as bad as the theatrical cut, but maybe that was still heavily edited. Got to wait for that director’s cut.)

Writers – Skip Woods (written by) – (Known For: The A-Team; BMT: A Good Day to Die Hard (BMT); Hitman: Agent 47 (BMT); Sabotage (BMT); Hitman; Swordfish (BMT); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (BMT); Thursday; Notes: Wow Skip Woods, just wow. How he’s avoided a Razzie nom among all of that trash is beyond me. In addition to writing he also owns a tactical weapons consultancy firm which inspired him to become an action movie writer in the first place.)

Actors – Timothy Olyphant – (Known For: Snowden; This Is Where I Leave You; The Girl Next Door; Scream 2; Die Hard 4.0; Go; Rango; The Crazies; A Perfect Getaway; Rock Star; Stop-Loss; The Broken Hearts Club: BMT: Dreamcatcher; Head Over Heels; Elektra Luxx; Mother’s Day; I Am Number Four; A Man Apart; Catch and Release; Hitman; The First Wives Club; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Notes: Probably most well known for Deadwood. He is apparently a keen tennis player and huge LA sports fan.)

Dougray Scott – (Known For: Mission: Impossible II; London Town; My Week with Marilyn; Deep Impact; EverAfter; Enigma; Dark Water; Last Passenger; Ripley’s Game; Twin Town; Princess Caraboo; New Town Killers; BMT: The Vatican Tapes; Taken 3; The Truth About Love; Hitman; Notes: Maybe most well known for famously turning down the role as Wolverine due to conflicts with Mission: Impossible II. Some fans maintain his build made more sense at the time, but I would doubt anyone would argue that now.)

Also Stars Olga Kurylenko

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $39,687,694 (Worldwide: $99,965,792)

(Solid hit, enough to warrent a sequel at least. Way more than I would expect, although with a setting in Russia and a French director I imagine the European cut was probably pretty solid.)

[See Hitman Agent 47 Preview for additional box office notes]

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (14/101): Hitman features the unfortunate combination of excessive violence, incoherent plot, and inane dialogue.

(Check. Check. Check. Alright Jamie, pack it in, this one will do. Sounds perfect to me, not sure why any of that is a problem …)

Poster – Sklogman (B+)

hitman_ver2_xlg

(I like it. Jamie would probably say all the black hurts it by making it bland, but I think it is appropriate for the video game it is adapting. There was a better poster actually, but this is the one I remember from when it came out.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F)

(Boo no tagline. I’ll make one up: You’ll never see him coming. Boom. Not the best maybe, but at least it is something. Better than nothing.)

Keyword(s) – hitman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.5 The Avengers (1998); 70.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 66.2 Kangaroo Jack (2003); 62.9 Abduction (I) (2011); 60.3 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 58.9 The Crow: City of Angels (1996); 58.0 Tekken (2010); 57.4 Daredevil (2003); 52.8 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 52.8 Alex Cross (2012);

(That is a sick list bro. Bro … sick list. I would also gladly watch the other … except for Tekken. That is not a real movie. Look it up, not a real movie. For reals.)

Notes – While Dougray Scott often pulls a cigarette out, he never actually manages to light one. (fun fact)

During the restaurant sequence, the scene in which Nika (Olga Kurylenko) talks about owning a squirrel/chipmunk when she was young was actually true for the actress, and the scene was improvised during filming. (ugh, terrible. I hate that. Not a fun fact. A decidedly un-fun fact)

The scene where Agent 47 sits atop the roof, sniper in hand and red lettering behind him is taken directly from artwork from the game, as is the scene between 47 and Yuri in the bathtub, including the rubber duck. (I remember that scene from literally the only time I played that game, weird)

When Agent 47 jumps through the hotel window into the kid’s room, they’re playing Hitman: Blood Money (2006) for the PlayStation 2. (They’re playing through “Death of a Showman”, the training level.) (HORRIBLE, I’M OUT!)