In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we 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 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the first 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!

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) – BMeTric: 85.7

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(Wow that started low. The way this is fading makes me wonder how much actual legs this has in the end, but there is a reason this is one of the worst reviewed films on IMDb. Other than that not much else to say, classic legendary bad movie.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Reluctant warrior Statham joins forces with a brave king (Reynolds) to battle a treacherous usurper (Lillard) and a wicked wizard (Liotta). Another video-game-inspired fiasco from the unfortunately prolific Boll. Even with a bigger budget and better actors than usual, this is a plodding patchwork of haphazardly edited action sequences. Alternate version runs 162 min.

(I will likely try and watch the (gulp) three hour cut. Jamie owns it, although on Blu-Ray I think. Regardless that cut it likely happening and I will not enjoy. Deep burn on Uwe, but that is expected since Uwe is a terrible filmmaker who has been openly ridiculed by critics for years.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Um98FZei8

(You can kind of see the ridiculousness of the fight scenes in this film from the trailer. And you can kind of see how ridiculous everyone’s costumes are. But they keep this generic-fantasy for now. Smart.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: Alone in the Dark; House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominated for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: Well known for spitting out tons of schlock. Was a critic in the 80s and seems to revel in bad reviews. He challenged a number of critics to a boxing match and won all of the matches as chronicled in Raging Boll)

Writers – Doug Taylor (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Splice; A Christmas Horror Story; They Wait; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in 2009; Notes: Canadian. He had a few interesting articles written about how he still lived in Montreal, even while working on promoting a big project like Splice. I don’t know what he’s precisely up to know, but it is an interesting glimpse into a screenwriters world. The number of projects he was working on was noted as “head-spinning” and yet he only has had four credited screenwriting jobs result in a theater release. It sounds nuts.)

Jason Rappaport and Dan Stroncak (story) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: I don’t think these guys are necessarily writing partners, but there is no info on them. I think they probably work for Uwe Boll’s production company? Would make sense to have Taylor write the script, and then have some of your own guys help with whatever Uwe wants in there.)

Chris Taylor (video game “Dungeon Siege”) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Just the video game guy. Was named the 30th most influential developer of all time in 2002. Left his company in 2016 to work on indie games)

Actors – Jason Statham – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; Snatch; Spy; Furious 6; The Italian Job; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Collateral; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Parker; Homefront; The Mechanic; The Transporter; Death Race; The Bank Job; Hummingbird; Transporter 2; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Wild Card; The One; Transporter 3; 13; Turn It Up; Killer Elite; Revolver; Mean Machine; London; BMT: Crank; Crank: High Voltage; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Ghosts of Mars; Mechanic: Resurrection; The Expendables 3; Notes: An all-star of BMT naturally. I’ve also heard great things about him over the years. Mainly that he’s hilarious and has a magnetic personality. Makes sense.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Drive; Hellboy; The Bleeder; Tangled; Alien Resurrection; Blade II; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; Kid Cannabis; Poker Night; La guerre du feu; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Conan the Barbarian; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Season of the Witch; Notes: We should watch Ice Pirates. Ron Perlman is probably most well known now for either Sons of Anarchy or Hellboy, but he’s been in a bunch of stuff obviously. Was in Del Toro’s debut Chronos in 1993 which lead to a life-long friendship.)

Ray Liotta – (Known For: Goodfellas; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Identity; Killing Them Softly; Bee Movie; Date Night; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; Heartbreakers; Youth in Revolt; Muppets Most Wanted; Narc; Something Wild; Unlawful Entry; Battle in Seattle; Observe and Report; Future BMT: Turbulence; The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Even Money; Powder Blue; Revolver; Better Living Through Chemistry; The Lonely Lady; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; Unforgettable; Slow Burn; Smokin’ Aces; Corrina, Corrina; Hannibal; Crossing Over; Pilgrim; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Wild Hogs; Notes: He is most well known for looking like he is wearing a Halloween mask of himself. Joking, but this is the first movie I watched where I was like Liotta looks a little odd these days. Hugely famous, mainly for Goodfellas, he still gets decent enough jobs. Definitely an interesting career.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $4,775,656 (Worldwide: $13,097,915)

(So, Uwe Boll had a decent racket going for a while. The way it works is detailed here, but here’s the short version: if you are a German citizen looking for a tax shelter you can set up a shell company, “finance a film” for millions of euros (immediately tax deductible), and then lease back the rights to a Hollywood studio for almost the entire amount saving millions in taxes. The key is having a German director to direct … wait a minute I know a German director by the name of Uwe! I think they closed that loophole, it is the only explanation as to why Uwe isn’t still churning out trash. This is also the definition of “sweet IP”: video games no one else wanted to make into movies … so sell it to Uwe.)

#106 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(A genre of the 2000s. Just about at the nadir of the genre though. Below Troll from 1986, and paired up with Seeker the Dark of Rising (twin film) for bringing down the gross for a time. Has held mostly steady since, but the new Harry Potters could help it along the way.)

#32 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(Literally the lowest grossing example released to more than 4 theaters! There isn’t much to the graphic except that it is small and kind of consistently made over the years. Hopefully the disaster that was Warcraft doesn’t handicap the genre too much going forward.)

#34 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This guy basically sits … well around other Uwe films. Not that many video game adaptation are super successful. They are coming hot and quick now though, so we’ll see if they can cross that $100 million threshold consistently.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/50): Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.

(Sick burns … although true. The film looks like a few episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers strung together. Considering it is through and through a German production … that might actually not be a bad analogy.)

Poster – In the Name of the Sklog: A Dungeon Sklog Tale (C+)

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(I like the color, but not much else. I can kind of give it credit for being in that high-fantasy mold. It is shockingly similar to some of the artwork for Lord of the Rings. But too much going on and not enough done with the font. I’m giving it a C+ for at least being derivative of something good, but most of the deduction is for being cheap looking to boot.)

Tagline(s) – Rise and fight (C+)

(I’ll give it credit for being short and sweet and fantasy-epic-esque. Doesn’t tell you anything, and is boring though, so I mark most of the credit off. Sorry Uwe.)

Keyword(s) – farmer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 69.8 Year One (2009); 58.0 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 57.7 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 49.3 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.0 Jeepers Creepers II (2003); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 43.7 The Giant Spider Invasion (1975); 43.7 Priest (2011);

(We will never watch Piranha 3DD, but Priest is going to happen. Farmer is prooooobably pushing it, although The Seeker and Seventh Son did genuinely have farmers in it … and the main character of this is literally “Farmer”.)

Notes – Kevin Smith and Juliette Lewis were filming Catch and Release (2006) on an adjoining set, and came to visit this set. Burt Reynolds saw them steal two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. (I believe it, but Burt Reynolds throughout these notes sounds ridiculous).

Script development took over a year. In the end, Doug Taylor re-wrote eighty percent of the script, because the original story was considered too reminiscent of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. (Amazing, what could the storyline have even been?)

Production of the computer graphics imagery in the movie was convoluted and problematic. Uwe Boll claims he had to fire several different CGI providers, who outsourced their jobs to lower-quality providers, who worked for less money. (Yup, this is why graphics in movies causes so much trouble, bullshit like this)

The “medicine” Merick gives Farmer was actually tea mixed with ketchup. Uwe Boll purposely concocted the mixture to get a disgusted reaction from Jason Statham.

During production, Uwe Boll sponsored a charity visit to the set. Guests got to see behind-the-scenes work, and proceeds were donated to a children’s hospital. Reportedly, Ray Liotta was extremely upset by it. In future interviews, he talked about how “crazy” Boll was for allowing so many spectators onto the set.

Siu-Tung Ching’s salary was higher than Uwe Boll’s. (HA!)

Jason Statham filmed many of his action scenes while nursing an injured tendon in his foot. He is noticeably impaired while running.

John Gajdecki had trouble filming many visual effects shots, especially scenes with outdoor “greenscreens”. Jan Kruse left the project, due to conflict with Gajdecki, who was eventually fired, and replaced by Doug Oddy. (These notes are ridiculous)

Some of the Krug costumes cost over ten thousand dollars each to produce. (Not a great idea)

Uwe Boll considered releasing the original cut of the film in two installments because of its length. Instead, it was edited into a theatrical release, and the Director’s Cut was released on DVD. (Smart …)

While filming an outdoor fight scene, Burt Reynolds grew overheated in his armored costume, became unconscious, and fell from the platform, on which the duel was being filmed. Reynolds claims this was the only time in his career that he had to miss a day of filming, due to sickness or injury.

Kevin Costner was offered the lead role. Uwe Boll claims Costner wasn’t interested in filming a large-scale action film, and instead offered Boll the opportunity to direct the project he was working on at the time, Mr. Brooks (2007). Boll turned it down. (WHAT, why would anyone offer Boll to director anyone?)

Claire Forlani was the last major performer to be cast. Her role had been previously offered to Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel. (Who probably just laughed into the phone for half a minute)

Though Siu-Tung Ching was the action Director, Uwe Boll personally choreographed the scene featuring Jason Statham and Ron Perlman fighting the Krug in the barn. (The one where it literally looks like Puttys from Power Rangers I think)

A day of filming was lost due to heavy fog. Some of the forest terrain and mountaintops could only be accessed via helicopter, and on a particular foggy day, Uwe Boll and part of his crew were literally stranded on a mountain for over two hours, because the helicopter wouldn’t take off.

Burt Reynolds extensively re-wrote and edited the dialogue for his death scene, creating friction with Script Supervisor Ingrid Kenning. Reynolds had never played a character who died in a film, and was adamant that the scene be something special.

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Doug Taylor)

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Hall of Fame Speech #5: Battlefield Earth

Brief note before we start: last July we got together and worked out a first class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly six years since we started BMT and the films we had seen more than five years ago, in some cases, deserved a rewatch and reassessment. This is the last in the series of Hall of Fame speeches we made leading up to the fourth (sixth?) Smaddies Baddies. You can find all of the previews in our archive and Hall of Fame Speeches for the five films in the Smaddies Baddies section of the website. The final speech is for John Travolta’s ultimate adaptation of the L. Ron Hubbard classic Sci Fi epic, Battlefield Earth. The intention is to reminisce a bit about what we remember about the film, what we think of it now, and why it deserved a special place in BMT history. Enjoy!

Hall of Fame Induction Speech for Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth? More like General Appeal Dearth (c’mon now!). I rewatched what many consider the worst movie ever made in Battlefield Earth. Last week I claimed it to be, probably, the most famous and rewarding bad movie we’ve seen. This movie isn’t nominated because it is the most BMT film, or the worst film, it is because it was made by the Church of Scientology and was hewn from a one-thousand page book that was called unfilmable. It has something that lurks deep within BMT and comes out only on rare occasions (and almost never with big budgets): A mad man wants a movie to be made, and he is going to make it no matter what! And that is what makes Battlefield Earth so special, it is to big budgets as The Room is to independent films.

First, let’s get into what I remembered from oh so long ago:

  • I remembered that the most striking thing about the movie was the directing. This was prior to the previews and recaps and the website, so I was compelled to look up the director after watching the film and, upon learning that he was a second unit director on some Star Wars films, everything kind of clicked. He does the same weird fades and wipe transitions. Perhaps that is the legacy of Battlefield Earth for BMT: it is probably the first real example where learning about the film prior to watching enhanced the viewing. And I think that is a solid reason for it to be in the Hall of Fame. Prior to the second viewing I was still learning stuff about the craziness that was this production!
  • I also remembered that the director constantly used Dutch angles. Dutch angles are used in a few bad movies, but this one was insane. And I remember thinking “I can’t wait until I see more movies with this kind of insane direction”. And with the wealth of bad movie information I now have at my disposal … it really isn’t as common as I had thought and hoped at the time. Again, a solid legacy for the film, for years I would call out Dutch angles whenever I saw them, which it turned out was rather rarely.
  • As far as the acting was concerned: I remember being very enamored with Barry Pepper and somewhat obsessed with how this guy ended up as the lead in this film. Travolta’s performance slaps you in the face. Given Wicker Man we were hitting some classic performances and this one stands tall among the best of the bunch. And for some reason I thought Whitaker could not care less about this film (during the second viewing that is false though, the guy kills it! He’s hilarious).
  • And finally I would always remember it as a precursor to the settings obsession of BMT it was blowing my mind that the movie/book was set in Denver for unknowable reasons. I figured it was from the book, but wouldn’t know until I (gulp) read the book … or at least most of it.

At the time I distinctly remember

thinking “oh yeah, so this is what a truly and profoundly terrible movie is like”. Over the years that attitude wouldn’t really change, and the movie will enter the Hall of Fame at the top of the class for incompetent directing, the pinnacle of Dutch angles, and the beginning of the BMT film previews (although not in real written form just yet).

To recap the second viewing I will, once again, go with my classic Good/Bad/BMT:
I need to include a short review of the book which I’m still in the process of reading (I started it in November … so you get the idea at how much I eventually disliked it). The first 30% of the book is what the movie is actually based on, and honestly I thought that 30% was quite good and I got through it at quite a good clip. From about 30%-50% might be the worst and most worthless book I’ve ever read. It might as well have been about nothing. I’m up to around 65% and it is getting okay again. Weird review, but never read this book. It is an exercise in writing totally-accurate Sci Fi and just isn’t very fun. All that being said: this movie is an okay adaptation of that first 30%, and it is probably the reason the script was able to be written and filmed at all. It is also shocking to realize that when Travolta says things like “crap-brain” that all comes from the book. I have a theory guys: Hubbard was kind of a crazy weirdo.

I’ll leave you with this: In the first six months of BMT we watched some very terrible films because we had basically all of the bad movie filmography to choose from. This always stuck out as the most wide appeal bad movie we ever watched bar none. It is a classic for a reason, and there is a reason it is one of the very rare big budget films on the IMDb bottom 100. Sometimes you just have to admit when greatness is great. And Battlefield Earth is a great bad movie.

Hall of Fame Speech #4: Norbit

Brief note before we start: last July we got together and worked out a first class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly six years since we started BMT and the films we had seen more than five years ago, in some cases, deserved a rewatch and reassessment. Over the next two weeks leading up to the fourth (sixth?) Smaddies Baddies we’ll bring you previews and Hall of Fame Speeches for the five films chosen. This is the fourth, for the raucous Eddie Murphy comedy magnum opus, Norbit. The intention is to reminisce a bit about what we remember about the film, what we think of it now, and why it deserved a special place in BMT history. Enjoy!

Hall of Fame Induction Speech for Norbit

Helllllluuuuuuur everyone! I rewatched the movie (gulp) Norbit this week. Norbit was, for me, top of the class for the BMT Hall of Fame. Not because it was the most BMT film (Street Fighter of Chun Li takes that award). It isn’t the most famous and rewarding bad movie (that is probably Battlefield Earth). Rather, Norbit is, bar none in my opinion, the worst film we have ever ever done for BMT. Stunning! How can this be? Just hear about what I remember about this film (not what I gleaned from subsequent viewing, oh no … this is what I remember from a single viewing nearly six years ago):

  • I remember the extremely racist chinese character played by Eddie Murphy. The character is mind-bending. It is genuinely shocking to see the character get into a film. It makes you think about how much creative control Murphy must have still had at the time. He was still able to churn out $100 million dollar comedies, and it did come out about a year after Dreamgirls. I think, upon reflection using all of the accrued BMT knowledge I have, one of the major reasons this movie is Hall of Fame was it is a nearly perfect example of what happens when you hand over complete control to a single (crazy?) person, and this character exemplifies it.
  • I remember actually literally being sick to my stomach in the middle of this film. You are watching a man in a seriously abusive relationship. Physically and emotionally abusive. If Rasputia was a man and Norbit was a women this would be a horror film. I don’t feel the need nor do I think it is my place to comment on social issues in the context of BMT, but in all seriousness I wonder how Eddie Murphy (and Charlie Murphy and the other two screenwriters) thought this was funny. Was the script really old and Murphy punched it up and updated it a bit after getting a greenlight from Dreamgirls? It is perplexing to me, and sadly I know I will never get an answer to that question (indeed, the DVD does not have a commentary with any of the writers that could have illuminated the mysteries of this film).
  • I remember being blown away from the makeup. Compare this to Big Momma’s House: There is no contest. I’ll be paying close attention to the faces in this film. There is a reason this film was nominated for an Oscar for makeup.
  • I remember the beach scene. Mostly because I had, at that point, been exposed to BMT favorite Madea only once by then. In the show Meet the Browns she shows up to teach one of the children good manners. The conversation went something like this:
    Madea: Now say helluurrrr
    Child: Hello!
    Madea: No! You got to say it fancy when you are speaking to an adult, say it like this: Helllluuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrr

    This is significant because in the beach scene Eddie Murphy as Rasputia says things in the exact same manner. For me this was kind of a mind blowing moment. One of those meta out-of-body moments where all of a sudden it hit me: I am not the audience for this film! Something deep within the shared culture of Eddie Murphy and Tyler Perry came a common impersonation of what I assume is someone acting like what they think a “proper” southern lady sounds like. This is part of the reason I genuinely love Madea films (and Tyler Perry films in general). I think there is something to watching movies not made for you and to sometimes allowing subjectivity to be a part of reviewing Hollywood films.

Hoooooooweeeeee I’m telling you, this film stuck to my bones. I’m happy it came up so early in BMT, because comedies are a tricky genre, and to have a few really impressive ones perform early was probably instrumental in keeping us going with our strict genre rotation.

So how did the film hold up? You know what … let’s do this recap style:

  • The Good – This movie is better than I remembered! Norbit himself is actually a solid character well acted by Murphy. The film is also heartwarming at times, how much the town seems to love Norbit indicates in a strange way that a much better movie could have maybe been made. Really star studded cast.
  • The Bad – I felt physically ill again in the middle of the film. Rasputia is a monster. In one of the first scenes with Norbit as an adult he tries to merely say that he didn’t mess with his wife’s car seat and she punches him in the face. She throws him through a window. She runs down a dog and then says she only regrets that she didn’t kill it. She pushes a speaker onto Norbit and puts him in the hospital. The kicker? When mad with jealousy of Norbit’s childhood friend Kate she indicates that if he talks to her again she’ll throw industrial acid in Kate’s face … empty threat? She literally melts a potato with industrial acid. The film isn’t funny, it is a testament to domestic abuse and how we dismiss it because of misguided perception that men can’t be weak and women can’t be physically abusive. I have to say this as well: Mr. Wong was just as racist as I remembered. He says (and I quote): “We got a brack one this time!” … He said brack … with an r instead of an l. It’s in the trailer! He is illogically obsessed with whaling. He is awkward, and unnecessary, and yeah … he’s a fucking racist caricature, and awful. If this character didn’t exist I might have been able to look past Rasputia antics as a misguided idea of comedy … but the one two punch is hard to move past without feeling bad about yourself.
  • The BMT – Yes. This movie is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen and is easily a 70+ BMT. Did you read the above two paragraphs, get out of here.

This movie was better than I remember, but that isn’t saying much at all. The story is fine, the acting is at worst below average, and I thought Murphy as Rasputia and Norbit was quite good. But the jokes are top to bottom awful. Spouted by unpleasant people doing sickening things. I’ve written a lot, but I will say this as a final thought: Through all six years of BMT I still maintain this is the worst film I’ve seen, and a rewatch did nothing to dissuade me of that feeling. That feeling of being literally ill while watching a film is hard to replicate. And that is why Norbit belongs in the Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Speech #3: Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li

Brief note before we start: last July we got together and worked out a first class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly six years since we started BMT and the films we had seen more than five years ago, in some cases, deserved a rewatch and reassessment. Over the next two weeks leading up to the fourth (sixth?) Smaddies Baddies we’ll bring you previews and Hall of Fame Speeches for the five films chosen. This is the third, for the action (and Chris Klein) packed martial arts masterpiece, Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li. The intention is to reminisce a bit about what we remember about the film, what we think of it now, and why it deserved a special place in BMT history. Enjoy!

Hall of Fame Induction Speech for Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li

From the first batch of HoF films, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is probably the one that best represents BMT. This is simply because it is the film furthest from what bad movie aficionados typically look for in a top film. If you follow bad movie sites and podcasts, this film is rarely mentioned and when it is it is largely dismissed. Part of that is the lack of true BMT star power. While Battlefield Earth has Travolta, The Wicker Man has Cage, Norbit has Eddie Murphy and Old Dogs has a devastating Travolta/Robin Williams one-two punch, SF:TLoCL merely provides a solid dose of Chris Klein (a BMT fave, but hardly top-tier Hollywood royalty). But for us it hit a magical spot that reverberated through the BMTverse for years.

So what did I remember about the film from my last viewing 5 years ago:

  • The film is about Chun-Li aiming to take down M. Bison because… something, something, something. Chris Klein is also there as Charlie Nash, an interpol agent with one-liners for days, who is also going after M. Bison because… well I presume he must be a criminal if Interpol is after him. In the end Bison is taken down because he wanted to bring his daughter to Bangkok… which doesn’t seem illegal at all in retrospect. I really don’t remember much about the plot to be honest.
  • I mostly just remember Nash’s super rad one-liners. Much like Nic Cage with The Wicker Man, The Legend of Chun-Li had a Chris Klein supercut of his lines circulate in the years following its release because they are so ludicrous. I think it’s only gotten funnier over the years:
  • Additionally, while this was an introduction to our beloved Chris Klein (this, Rollerball, Say It Isn’t So, and Here on Earth), it also introduced BMT to Neal McDonough (this, Timeline, The Guardian, I Know Who Killed Me, 88 Minutes, Fire Down Below, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2) and The Black Eyed Peas (namesake of mapl.de.map). Without Taboo playing Vega in this film there likely wouldn’t have been a mapl.de.map. Or at least it would have been named something different.

The first major thing to discuss regarding the rewatch of this film is just how ridiculous it is that this was released to theaters. The film is flat out poorly made. It looks a bit like a SyFy film with B-list actors, shoddy effects, and plot line that takes a lot of suspension of disbelief (mostly the disbelief that it was actually a real film). I guess this is probably why so many people are dismissive of the film. It doesn’t have the looks or actors of some of the biggest flubs, but also doesn’t go to the extreme of a The Room or Birdemic. It’s just in the middle where people merely ask, “Wait, was this really released to theaters?” The answer is yes, over a thousand of them. Why? Because this film cost… wait for it… … … $50 million to make so they kinda had to release it. This had to be some kind of financial scam. It makes absolutely no sense. This looks like a $10 million picture at most. Where did the money go?! Follow the money!

The second thing to note is that Chris Klein delivers. It is pure joy when he is on the screen. The most unfortunate thing about the film is that he is the third biggest character after Bison and Chun-Li, so doesn’t get as much screen time as one would hope. But boy does he put in the BMT work. Beyond his lines my favorite thing I rediscovered about the film is just how bad of a cop his character is. He constantly screws everything up. The best scene is when he and fellow cop Moon Bloodgood are supposed to be following Balrog and he inexplicably takes the opportunity to totally make out with Bloodgood (rad). While doing that Balrog switches cars and they lose him… all because he wanted to cop a feel. It’s pretty great. Without Chun-Li he would have just fucked around for a few days and not solved a single thing.

Finally, I had really forgotten how ridiculous the entire plot is. Back then we had a hard and fast rule to not focus on the plot, but in the age of close-watching that is no longer the case. Listen to this: We have M. Bison, a ruthless criminal slumlord, who takes Chun-Li’s father hostage. Years later Chun-Li goes to Bangkok to join forces with the Order of the Web and take revenge on Bison. Learning that Bison is importing something called the White Rose, Chun-Li goes to stop him (presuming it’s something illicit and could bring down his enterprise if he’s caught shipping it in). After the White Rose arrives it’s discovered that it’s Bison’s daughter, who he imbued with his conscience in a satanic exercise during her birth. She is the yang to his yin, basically. Chun-Li then murders him. Wait, what?! I don’t understand. I get that Bison is a criminal that should be brought to justice, but the White Rose is totally tangential to that. She could have went to his house and fought him literally any time… why wait for the White Rose to even appear? It was set up as if it was some major illegal shipment that they would nail him for and in the process fight him, but instead it turned out to be mostly legal (if they had her papers in order). But instead of waiting for another chance they then follow him to his compound and go ahead and kill him in the most gruesome way possible (Chun-Li quite literally kicks Bison’s head 180 degrees around to the other side of his body). It’s one of the best worst plotlines I can remember. The White Rose is a classic McGuffin and McGuffins are already lazy, but this one is even half-assed. A half-assed McGuffin!

Overall, this will stand as the most BMT of the first batch of HoFers. A film that is beloved by us, but by no one else. At a time when we were still somewhat beholden to a couple bad movie sources, this was an important separation. Something that was truly our own to love and cherish. I was happy to find that many of the things that we loved at the time continue to hold up today and many of the things we hold dear in today’s BMT world (close watching the motivation of the characters, settings, etc.) would be gangbusters as well. Fun watch and really, really, really, really, really, really, really not a good film.

Jamie out.

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)

Hall of Fame Speech #2: The Wicker Man

Brief note before we start: last July we got together and worked out a first class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly six years since we started BMT and the films we had seen more than five years ago, in some cases, deserved a rewatch and reassessment. Over the next four weeks leading up to the fourth (sixth?) Smaddies Baddies we’ll bring you previews and Hall of Fame Speeches for the five films chosen. This is the second, for the spooky cult-bad-movie smash hit The Wicker Man starring Nick Cage. The intention is to reminisce a bit about what we remember about the film, what we think of it now, and why it deserved a special place in BMT history. Enjoy!

Hall of Fame Induction Speech for The Wicker Man

Ah, The Wicker Man. When people first learn about BMT upon meeting either me or Patrick (which is usually within five minutes) there is a high likelihood that the first question they have is “Have you seen the The Wicker Man?” It’s almost universally beloved. Primarily this is because it is Nic Cage at his craziest, but also because it defines what makes a bad film great for so many people: easily digestible pieces that stick in your mind. You can tell someone, “You gotta see Wicker Man,” and many different moments distributed throughout the film will deliver on your promise of a good time. While that’s not necessarily what defines many of the top BMT films (e.g. Here on Earth), The Wicker Man represents one of the very best of a certain type of bad movie.

As will be the case with all the BMT HoF films, it’s been five years since we watched this film. So let’s go through what I remember from that first viewing:

  • This film involves Nic Cage traveling to an island off the coast of Washington run by a bunch of women and bees. He has come to find a lost child and the inhabitants of the island seem determined to do everything to get in his way.
  • The film stuck in my mind as more of a series of crazy events rather than a coherent story.
  • The moment I most vividly recall from the film is Nic Cage waking up from a dream within a dream. It might still be the hardest I’ve laughed at a BMT film. It’s the craziest editing/storytelling choice we’ve seen, only rivalled by the triple flashback of Ghosts of Mars.
  • Besides that you have Nic Cage dressing up like a bear and punching women in the face and getting bees poured all over him.
  • In fact the whole storyline itself is kind of lost in those moments. I can only presume given the title of the film that Nic Cage dies at the end by being burned in a giant wicker man, but I honestly don’t remember as it was such a minor part of my original experience.

What I was most interested in seeing upon rewatching the film was how the original book may have influenced the remake. Since we watched The Wicker Man so early in BMT’s history there was never a thought of reading the original story. So obviously for the rewatch there was never a thought of not reading the original story. There was a part of me that hoped some of the craziest aspects of The Wicker Man came from that book. That somehow I’d be reading the story and everything would make sense in how we arrived at the remake from the original. Alas, it was not meant to be. The book certainly influenced the original film, but nothing more from the source made it further into the remake. The remake is through and through a remake of the original film. Nothing more.

But when I say “nothing more,” I of course mean, “nothing more than Nic Cage’s magnum opus.” It is astonishing to watch and there is little wonder that this film has captured the hearts and minds of those that follow bad movies closely. Replace Nic Cage with any other actor and the film is assuredly forgotten. He is an acting tornado, tearing into every scene with abandon. At times you wonder if the shock expressed on other actors’ faces is less the reacting to the odd aspects of the plot, and more a product of them watching Nic Cage leave no scenery unchewed. Further, all the scenes that I remember vividly continue to deliver today. The bear punching scene, the bee scene, and the still hilarious dream-within-a-dream scene. They are all still some of the funniest scenes we’ve seen to date. It confirmed for me that it is nothing less than top of the line in popular bad movies: a film that delivers on what it promises over and over again.

I say “popular” because I believe that the film will end up standing out amongst the other great works in the HoF as being more beholden than others on a singular aspect of the film: Nic Cage. Many bad bad films are beholden in this way (e.g. White Comanche and William Shatner playing a pair of White/Native American twins) and we’ve strived in BMT to look at the balance of a film rather than what might be perceived as a gimmick. But The Wicker Man earns its place near the top of BMT HoF despite this because it exemplifies the very best of that category.

Old Dogs 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. This is the first 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!

Old Dogs (2009) – BMeTric: 44.4

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(That is a giant and sustained jump. Some may be surprised that a sub-50 BMeTric film would make it to the hall of fame (oh, only me?), but I would guess it being someone anonymous in bad movie circles lends itself to a slightly deflated vote count. Otherwise everything is pretty mundane by the looks of it, nothing to interesting here.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Hoped-for sparks from a teaming Travolta and Williams never materialize as the pair play business partners whose big Japanese deal is disrupted when they unexpectedly inherit 7-year-old twins. The stars seem to be having a better time than the audience. Only the youngest kids are going to find this slapstick material (including Green’s antics with a lovesick gorilla) very funny. Notable only as the debut for Travolta’s daughter Ella Bleu and Mac’s final film appearance.

(Two stars?! This is the kind of harmless nothing movie Leonard wouldn’t mind. I still don’t quite understand two stars though, the movie is basically incomprehensible and terrible. How does that get two stars?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhY8AP806tU

(My God, this movie doesn’t have a storyline! How incredibly cut up and weird that is. Of course they appear to have a 20 minute foray into a camp filled with caricatures, otherwise, how in the world would they punch up the script?)

Directors – Walt Becker – (BMT: Old Dogs; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Wild Hogs (BMT); Van Wilder: Party Liaison (Seen it); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Director for Old Dogs. Apparently his trademark (according to IMDb) is having characters sing I’m All Out of Love … Mostly works in television now including the one-season show Glory Daze.)

Writers – David Diamond (written by) – (Known For: The Family Man; Evolution; BMT: When in Rome (BMT); Old Dogs (BMT); Notes: Amazing, I’ve completed David Diamond’s filmography. The only information I can find on him is he collaborated with Weissman)

David Weissman (written by) – (Known For: The Family Man; Evolution; BMT: When in Rome (BMT); Old Dogs (BMT); Notes: Same here, how very odd, there is almost no information about these people. I would guess they are mostly producers now working for a studio on comedies. Amazingly if you look at variety you come up with this fun story. That … sounds suspiciously like Old Dogs. A raucous buddy comedy announced in 2006 to be released by Walt Disney? Most def.)

Actors – Robin Williams – (Known For: Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Jumanji; Aladdin; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Insomnia; Mrs. Doubtfire; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; The Birdcage; The Butler; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; What Dreams May Come; Awakenings; One Hour Photo; Good Morning, Vietnam; Popeye; Robots; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Fisher King; Happy Feet; Hamlet; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; World’s Greatest Dad; Boulevard; The World According to Garp; Happy Feet Two; Death to Smoochy; BMT: Flubber (seen it); Toys (seen it); License to Wed; Old Dogs; Nine Months; RV: Runaway Vacation; Fathers’ Day; The Big Wedding (BMT); Jack (seen it); Club Paradise; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; A Merry Christmas Miracle; Absolutely Anything; Man of the Year; The Final Cut; The Best of Times; The Survivors; The Big White; Noel; Hook (seen it); Patch Adams (seen it); Jakob the Liar; Bicentennial Man (seen it); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actor for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy; Obviously a legend and sadly recently took his own life. He was a staple of my childhood and also a brilliant and classically trained actor. There isn’t much more to say.)

John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Savages; Hairspray; Carrie; Face/Off; The Thin Red Line; In a Valley of Violence; Bolt; Saturday Night Fever; Criminal Activities; Look Who’s Talking; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Phenomenon; Broken Arrow; Lonely Hearts; Urban Cowboy; Get Shorty; Blow Out; Ladder 49; Primary Colors; A Civil Action; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now; Staying Alive; Old Dogs; Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Michael; Domestic Disturbance; Be Cool; Perfect; Wild Hogs; Two of a Kind; I Am Wrath; White Man’s Burden; The Devil’s Rain; The Forger; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Swordfish; The Punisher; From Paris with Love; Basic; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 and 1990 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for Old Dogs and in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish, and in 1986 for Perfect, and in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout; A staple of BMT. This should be obvious though considering he is in two different Hall of Fame inductees. Look at that Razzie cred!)

Also stars Seth Green (Somewhat amazingly this was only his second BMT along with the other Travolta classic Be Cool)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $49,492,060 (Worldwide: $96,753,696)

(How did this move make so much money. Why would anyone overseas see this film? That is flabbergasting to say the least)

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

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(That is below Kicking and Screaming which is just about all you need to know about that. Oddly enough the last movie Box Office Mojo classified in this category was in 2013, which is a tad bit odd. Also listed for recent BMT film Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (which makes no sense, he has twelve children, how is he a fish out of water?). Anywho, this managed to get released literally in the nadir of a genre, impressive.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (5/108): Its cast tries hard, but Old Dogs is a predictable, nearly witless attempt at physical comedy and moral uplift that misses the mark on both counts.

(5% is obviously extraordinarily low. Thinking about it and seeing the trailer I can certainly believe that the cast works hard. The screenwriters and director on the other hand …)

Poster – Old Sklogs (F)

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(I hate this poster. It is boring. It has no color or life to it. It suggests nothing about the film. Why not call it Old Dads? Honestly? Why ever suggest this movie is about dogs at all? They even put the dog front and center in the poster. I just don’t get it. I would love for someone to explain the logic, because I don’t get it.)

Tagline(s) – Sit. Stay. Play Dad. (A-)

(Besides being cheesy this is quite an excellent tagline. Plays into the title obviously, but also suggests a bit about the plot (him having to be a dad unexpectedly). I honestly wonder if the tagline itself inspired the title, because I can’t really think on why it is called Old Dogs … because there is an old dog in it … was the old dog a metaphor for something? I’m blowing my own mind over here, but I’ll save you the bother and not mention it)

Keyword(s) – twin; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.9 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 67.1 The Spirit (2008); 65.0 The Unborn (2009); 58.6 Seed of Chucky (2004); 57.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 55.1 New York Minute (I) (2004); 55.0 House of Wax (2005); 51.0 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 48.5 The Ten (2007); 48.2 Scary Movie 3 (2003);

(Oh yeah, my favorite keyword obviously. We’ve seen most of the amazing ones I think. Like the Spirit I think only has it because of clones (or something). The Seeker and I Know Who Killed Me are BMT classics though.)

Notes – The film’s release date was postponed three times. First, due to Bernie Mac’s untimely death. The second time was for the death of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son, Jett Travolta. The final time was because Robin Williams had a health scare that required surgery. All of the postponement ultimately caused the movie to be released more than a year after the original, intended release date, finally releasing on November 25, 2009. (Yes, this was something I vaguely knew before watching the film as well. It is funny to think that us “previewing” films did kind of start before the emails and recaps did, just because this movie in particular has an interesting backstory to it).

John Travolta and Robin Williams were close friends in real life.

Bernie Mac’s last released film. Soul Men (2008) was released first, but was the last film he made.

The film was originally 107 minutes long and adult-oriented with an R-rating being disturbed through Disney’s company Touchstone Pictures. After the test screening went poorly, Disney decided to distribute the film through Walt Disney Pictures and aim it toward children, cutting the film by 19 minutes and removing all adult jokes out so that it would be more acceptable for children. (Yes, this is also a rumor I had heard after watching the film. It does feel that way, although it makes you wonder how they did that when the focus of the film always had to be 60-year-old first time fathers. There was also rumors that the Japan storyline for Seth Green was at one point much larger and more detailed, although seeing as it was filmed in Connecticut that seems a little more unlikely).

The film is dedicated to both Bernie Mac and Jett Travolta, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s eldest son who died unexpectedly earlier in 2009.

Although Kelly Preston is married to John Travolta, in this film she is paired with Robin Williams.

Majority of production, including most of Tokyo scenes (except for the Tokyo airport and Tokyo street scenes that were shot in New York City) were done in Connecticut, thanks to the 30% Film/TV production tax incentive that the State offered at that time. There was no overseas location shoot in this film. (See. I find it unlikely that they could have pulled off an “expanded” Japan storyline without actually filming in Japan for at least some exteriors)

One of the retouched pictures of Travolta and Williams, is actually from the shooting of Carrie (1976). Nancy Allen was replaced by Williams inside the car.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Walt Becker)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (John Travolta)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture