Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas Preview

See the Christmas with the Kranks preview for a description of all of the different movies we are doing for the Bring a Friend cycle! Some of the bonus films will be BMT (by our qualifications: <40% on Rotten Tomatoes, big box office release, released after 1980), some won’t. This week, our film is for sure qualified! Here’s what I wrote about this “friend” in particular:

Christian FilmsThese get major releases, but usually aren’t our bag. A liiiiiiittle holier than thou. Unless you’re Madea, then I love you. Saving Christmas here we come!

True to form, we’re mashing up Saving Christmas with the Kranks! Saving Christmas is by all accounts not a real film, but rather a 79 minute Youtube response video to the made up “War on Christmas.” We actually told ourselves we would NEVER watch it and yet here we are. Bring a Friend was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Ho ho ho, everyone. Let’s go!

Saving Christmas (2014) – BMeTric: 74.9

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(Consistent. A good sign. Even after the hubbub (instigated by Cameron himself like an idiot) it has maintained its ridiculously low rating. Otherwise only surprising because of how many votes it has to be honest, considering it barely was released to theaters.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  Doing nothing but preaching to the converted—literally and badly to boot—”Saving Christmas” is a terrible movie regardless of one’s eschatological mindset. And while it may not be the worst Christmas-related movie ever (a title I believe is still held by the vile “Christmas with the Kranks”), it certainly does the genre no favors. However, if watching shoddily filmed presentations of shoddily constructed arguments justifying a self-absorbed perspective is the kind of thing that strikes your fancy, then it may indeed be up your alley after all.

(Shout out to Christmas with the Kranks!! What what. Amazing. Time for a little lesson: eschatological (adj.) – The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. Pushing it brother. Spoiler alert, it is not up my alley, and I’m prob not going to be a huge fan. But I’m ready and willing to expand my horizons.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqG1Hafyhhk

(Barf. The two people in the car are the director, Darren Doane, and Kirk Cameron. I’m genuinely curious how long the dance sequence lasts. By all accounts this movie, based on actual content, is like 40 minutes long, so I will be disappointed if that dance sequence isn’t a bloated five minutes minimum.)

Directors – Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Check out his wikipedia to see it incredible list of music video jobs. He’s directed a few small direct-to-video and bargain bin movies in the past, but otherwise is a hard right Christian documentary filmmaker.)

Writers – Darren Doane (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Hervey and Doane wrote the documentary Free Speech Apocalypse together. Is BMT objective? Should it be? From what I have seen about both these people they seem like disingenuous fanatic evangelicals to me, and that will color my viewing of this film. My research makes me question whether we should be watching this film … but I suppose that is the point of the bring a friend cycle in a way. I’ll leave both of these guys’ biographies there.)

Cheston Hervey (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Worked with Doane on Free Speech Apocalypse, helped write this, and was an extra in Saving Christmas as well.)

Actors – Kirk Cameron – (Known For: Fireproof; Future BMT: The Best of Times; BMT: Saving Christmas; Left Behind: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: I kind of wish he was just known as a funny kid actor from Growing Pains. Instead he’s known for making evangelical christian films. Married to fellow Growing Pains star Chelsea Noble)

Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Mentioned above. This movie sounds suspiciously like a Doane vehicle through and through. I wonder why it is called Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.)

Bridgette Cameron – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Kirk Cameron’s sister.)

Budget/Gross – $500,000 / Domestic: $2,783,970

(Ugh. Legit success. This is how films like this (and I would put any film aimed at a niche audience in this camp) get made: you start will a small budget and smash it with your audience in intensely focused marketing. In this case you focus on church groups. Literal preaching to the choir.)

#50 for the Christian genre

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(This was the 59th biggest release for a film of this kind. I suppose it is interesting that while the average gross for the films isn’t great recently, that even with the massive explosion of films in the genre they didn’t drop too much. A good sign … maybe. It does seem like a genre which might be getting more niche as the years pass.)

#48 for the Christmas genre

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(Wow. Looks like it came right before a new boom. There were three during the last two Christmases, so one would assume there will be a few this year. The only obvious one on the schedule though is Bad Mom’s Christmas … gross. Anywho, this made no money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/13): No consensus yet.

(I’ll just paste a review that seems the most appropriate: Virtually everything about this production feels thrown together. In other words: you aren’t good at your job Doane. You had one job and you made a big old piece of shit instead.)

Poster – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Sklogmas (D-)

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(Messy, and Kirk Cameron’s arrogant smirk can shove it. But it is higher quality than you’d expect from a $500K film. Plus they put love and care into the font, hard to sklogify that. That saves it from an F. Dutch angles on the title though Kirk? C’mon, you’re better than that.)

Tagline(s) – Put Christ Back in Christmas (F)

(B-b-b-b-b-but cadence, and whatnot! Doesn’t matter, this is literally just the catchphrase for the War on Christmas nonsense. They didn’t make it for this movie, and it deserves no credit. Do you know what I say about that? Put the Sklog back in Sklogmas, that’s what I have to say.)

Keyword(s) – christmas; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.1 Jack and Jill (I) (2011); 87.8 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 83.1 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 74.9 Saving Christmas (2014); 74.4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009); 70.8 Getaway (2013); 69.6 Setup (I) (2011); 68.9 Are We There Yet? (2005);

(I would watch Getaway a million times instead of everything else on this list. Although Jack and Jill will be an interesting rewatch eventually I think.)

Notes – Kirk Cameron responded to the film’s negative reviews by pleading to his fans on his Facebook page: “Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes. All of you who love Saving Christmas – go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see. If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!” This actually resulted in a severe backlash against the film, in which Internet users traveled to the Rotten Tomatoes page and condemned the film. Cameron later blamed this action on “haters and atheists”. (Both are dumb, but I guess he started it. I won’t cry a river over Saving Christmas’ “cheap” rating is all I’m saying)

Made on a budget of $500,000.

“VeggieTales” creator Phil Vischer was asked to submit an opening segment to this film, but respectfully declined. (cooool)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kirk Cameron)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Darren Doane, Cheston Hervey)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Kirk Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Bridgette Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Darren Doane)

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Christmas with the Kranks Preview

Time has truly flown with the calendar cycle as we are already at the end of the line. Time for transition time! This is where the last film in the cycle has to overlap with the next film in the cycle. In this case the film has to both appear on our Calendar and also… drumroll… bring an atypical BMT film along for the BMT ride. What does that mean? Well it is truly our most convoluted and confusing cycle we’ve ever done, which obviously means we love it. Basically there are several types of terrible films that we typically don’t watch for BMT. To help understanding these types of films Patrick has prepared a handy guide:

  • Missed Opportunity – Juuuust barely over 40%. So critics thought you were so bad you’re good, or good for what you are? Critics are also idiots and your movie is in actuality terrible.
  • Kids’ Films – You probably sold the movie as a romp that both 5 year olds and parents alike can laugh at. In reality you made a fake movie with fake money and overlaid ADR farts on top. Good job, is that what they teach in film school?
  • TV Movie – We obviously don’t watch shit SyFy originals, get that junk out of here (until now!)
  • Mockbuster – You want to trick me into watching your dumb ass intentionally bad shit? … fine, but only this once
  • Christian Films – These get major releases, but usually aren’t our bag. A liiiiiiittle holier than thou. Unless you’re Madea, then I love you. Saving Christmas here we come!
  • Straight-To-DVD – You couldn’t even get your shit together to get released to a theater? 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain got released to theaters! What are you doing with your life?
  • Foreign – You got some big names to run around on a Taiwanese production for a week, you’ve unlocked the key! Pay celebrities money to sell their souls.
  • pre-1980s – Everyone knows prior to the blockbuster era the bad movie landscape was dominated by hacks, if we wanted low-hanging fruit we’d go and make fun of community theater productions.
  • Bargain Bin – There was a time when terrible films were found like buried treasure in the bargain bins of local blockbusters. That time has passed… until now.

So how do we bring one of these terrible films along? Mash-up the titles of course. Using this first entry as an example we are starting with the Christian Films and mashing it up with a film from the Calendar. That’s right! We’re watching Saving Christmas with the Kranks. A mash-up of the Kirk Cameron barely-a-movie garbagefest, Saving Christmas, and what is likely the worst major Christmas release of all time, Christmas with the Kranks. It’s a Christmas miracle in August! Look at how nicely the titles flow into each other. Hooray. Saving Christmas is by all accounts not a real film, but rather a 79 minute Youtube response video to the made up “War on Christmas.” We actually told ourselves we would NEVER watch it and yet here we are. Bring a Friend was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Ho ho ho, everyone. Let’s go!

Christmas with the Kranks (2004) – BMeTric: 55.5

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(Impressively low rating. I always like holiday films because you get that extra bump. That bump on the ‘06 mark might seem like a DVD release bump, but it isn’t. It is a bump around Christmas 2005 when a number of people saw it over the holidays. Solid stuff. This is a lower number of votes than I expected, I assumed a family film like this would be hugely popular regardless of quality. Go figure.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Noxious holiday movie in which suburbanites Luther and Nora Krank, whose daughter has joined the Peace Corps, decide to forgo celebrating Christmas and take a Caribbean cruise – which, according to their outrages neighbors, is positively un-American. Alleged comedy pays homage to mediocrity, crass consumerism, and love-it-or-leave-it conformity. Screenplay by Chris Columbus, based on John Grisham’s novel Skipping Christmas.

(Noxious! People hate this film. “Pays homage to mediocrity” is a great line by the way, and probably could be used to describe 25% of BMT films ultimately. I would say this is likely to be boring … except people hate it so much that in reviews for Saving Christmas (made 10 years later) people still mention Christmas with the Kranks as the worst Christmas movie ever made! Get me amped, no joke.)

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

(It certainly is getting me in the spirit! I hope the soundtrack is exactly that in the film, just wall to wall Christmas music. Was this a last gasp of Tim Allen the movie star? He had Wild Hogs, but that was kind of explicitly “look at all these older actors!” wasn’t it? He did do a great Dad with a capital D back in the day.)

Directors – Joe Roth – (Future BMT: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise; Freedomland; America’s Sweethearts; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: Mainly a producer now, notably on the xXx franchise. Was married to the daughter of Samuel Arkoff titan of horror production pre-1980. Part owner of the Seattle Sounders F.C.)

Writers – John Grisham (novel) – (Known For: The Firm; A Time to Kill; The Rainmaker; The Client; The Pelican Brief; Runaway Jury; The Gingerbread Man; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; The Chamber; Notes: His first novel was A Time to Kill written while he was serving in the Mississippi State House of Representatives. Was a practicing lawyer for 10 years, but has been writing full time for over 20 years now.)

Chris Columbus (screenplay) – (Known For: The Goonies; Gremlins; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Young Sherlock Holmes; Only the Lonely; Future BMT: Nine Months; Heartbreak Hotel; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: The director of both Home Alones and the first two Harry Potter movies, he was well established for working with kid actors. Gremlins was his first optioned script, which he rewrote in Steven Spielberg’s bungalow)

Actors – Tim Allen – (Known For: Cars; Toy Story; Toy Story 3; Galaxy Quest; Toy Story 2; Big Trouble; The Santa Clause; Redbelt; The Santa Clause 2; Future BMT: Zoom; The Shaggy Dog; The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Jungle 2 Jungle; Joe Somebody; For Richer or Poorer; Crazy on the Outside; Meet Wally Sparks; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Wild Hogs; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, The Shaggy Dog, and Zoom; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2007; Notes: Most famous for Home Improvement, but have been a well-established television mega-star for over twenty-five years now. Went to jail for two years for drug dealing before turning to stand-up comedy.)

Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Halloween; Trading Places; True Lies; My Girl; Escape from New York; Freaky Friday; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; A Fish Called Wanda; The Fog; Veronica Mars; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Prom Night; The Tailor of Panama; Forever Young; From Up on Poppy Hill; Blue Steel; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Spare Parts; Fierce Creatures; Homegrown; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Virus; My Girl 2; Perfect; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; Terror Train; Halloween II; Queens Logic; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Notes: The original Scream Queen! She is the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, and married to Christopher Guest. Launched her horror career with arguably the best slasher of them all: Halloween.)

Dan Aykroyd – (Known For: Ghostbusters; Ghostbusters; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; The Blues Brothers; Ghostbusters II; Trading Places; Casper; My Girl; 50 First Dates; Grosse Pointe Blank; Twilight Zone: The Movie; Chaplin; Tommy Boy; Antz; Driving Miss Daisy; Evolution; The Great Outdoors; The Campaign; Blues Brothers 2000; Sneakers; Future BMT: Crossroads; Coneheads; Exit to Eden; My Stepmother Is an Alien; Loser; My Girl 2; Celtic Pride; Feeling Minnesota; Loose Cannons; War, Inc.; Sgt. Bilko; 1941; Pearl Harbor; Canadian Bacon; She’s Having a Baby; Spies Like Us; Getting Away with Murder; Diamonds; BMT: Caddyshack II; Tammy; North; Nothing But Trouble; Christmas with the Kranks; Pixels; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Supporting Actor in 1989 for Caddyshack II; and in 1992 for Nothing But Trouble; Nominated for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Nothing But Trouble in 1992; Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Exit to Eden in 1995; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for North in 1995; Notes: Not much to say about him. Recently was in the news for trashing Paul Feig for the recent Ghostbuster remake, which Aykroyd himself cameoed in.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $73,780,539 (Worldwide: $96,572,480)

(Not fantastic, but also not terrible. Won’t get you a sequel though. I’m willing to bet holiday films tend to do okay, just because people want to see them around the holidays and you can usually take your family to them.)

#12 for the Christmas genre

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(These movies certainly make money regardless of quality. Fred Claus made $75 million? Bizarre. The plot is a bit messy, but it is interesting that holiday films seem to go in waves. I wonder if they buy up scripts like this and just make them until there are none left and no one wants to watch them anymore, and then they just wait out the slow periods. Either that or the peaks correspond with the bad movie booms … Seems like we might be in a boom period if that was the case. I’m skeptical.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (7/131): A mirthless movie as fresh as last year’s fruit cake, Christmas with the Kranks is a coarse, garish comedy that promotes conformity.

(ugh, some awful writing there. Garish is what I’ve been hearing about it. Basically it promotes consumerism and is in general just kind of sickening. Conformity is right, as Maltin said, it kind of has a love-it-or-leave-it vibe going on.)

Poster – Christmas with the Sklogs (F)

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(That so very easily can be modified to be Christmas with the Sklogs, but why would we? It looks like straight trash. No bueno.)

Tagline(s) – Their Christmas will turn the town upside down! (C-)

No! Ho! Ho! (Nope.)

(Weird. The first tagline seems more like a riff on the poster… not really on the film itself. Get it? Tim Allen is upside down in the poster. The second is from an alternate poster and I kept it because it is truly a wonder to behold.)

Keyword(s) – christmas eve; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 67.3 Black Christmas (2006); 58.3 Deck the Halls (2006); 55.5 Christmas with the Kranks (2004); 51.2 Jack Frost (1998); 50.2 Santa Claus (1959); 46.5 The Traveler (I) (2010); 45.3 Unaccompanied Minors (2006); 44.4 Bad Teacher (2011); 44.2 While She Was Out (2008);

(Oh wow. Solid list of movies I’ve mostly never seen. We’ll be doing Deck the Halls eventually, I think it is on the calendar.)

Notes – The title of the John Grisham book on which the film is based is “Skipping Christmas”. It wasn’t used for the film to avoid confusion with another Christmas-themed film, Surviving Christmas (2004). (and eventually Saving Christmas, obviously)

The swimsuits the models are wearing in the advertisement for the cruise the Kranks are taking are the same ones Luther and Nora wear when they go tanning in the mall. (ha, love prop master 101 notes)

During filming, it was reported that the cast and crew had ingested over 10 pounds of fake snow. (gross)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd had previously starred in Trading Places, My Girl, and My Girl 2 together. They play neighbors in Christmas With the Kranks rather than love interests as they have in their previous movies.

When the Kranks are watching Vic Frohmeyer through the window, Luther says to Nora, “So you’re saying Frohmeyer has a problem with our skipping Christmas? Who’s he gonna call?” Dan Aykroyd, who plays Frohmeyer, also starred in the film “Ghostbusters” for which “Who Ya Gonna Call” was a line from the movies theme song. (Half the notes are about the dumb references in this film by the way. I deleted like four of the more unnecessary ones)

Tom Poston’s final film

Emmet Walsh and Tom Poston were both recurring actors on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement (1991).

When Nora drops the ham in the shopping center parking lot and the truck runs over it and she screams, you can hear the theme song from “Halloween”. (This reference on the other hand I approve of)

Lots of deleted and alternate footage appears in the movie’s trailer (included in the “Previews” section on the DVD). Some examples are: A book being opened to a photo of the Krank family.Nora Krank taking a photo of her husband and daughter outside their house.Luther Krank with a device in his mouth, obviously sitting in a dentist’s chair to get his teeth whitened and/or fixed.Luther Krank driving home with the skimpy tree on the roof of his car getting heckled by another motorist.A different cruise advertisement in the travel agency’s window.Luther Krank showing his botox-injected face in the hospital. (We only see it for the first time in the scene afterwards where he’s eating with his wife.)The shot of Blair Krank saying goodbye to her parents at the airport doesn’t have a screen credit over it as it does in the actual film. (cooool)

The $75 tree bought from the scouts is not tied to the car when Luther arrives at his house. (props)

Ally Sheedy was considered for the role of Nora Krank (Huh, that could have been interesting. I feel like I don’t see Sheedy in stuff that often)

When the power goes out, Luther asks Vic if he knows anybody at Con Ed. In Ghostbusters II (1989), Dan Aykroyd who plays Vic, and the other Ghostbusters pretend to be from Con Ed to dig a big hole in the middle of the street. (Also kind of a cool ref)

Julie Gonzalo, who plays Blair Krank, and Jamie Lee Curtis also star together in Freaky Friday (2003) in which Gonzalo plays the nemesis of Curtis’s daughter.

During the scene when Tim Allen is stuck hanging from his roof, you can see one of the fireman get hit in the face with the ladder. (goofs and bloops, loving it)

The Frosty prop used the film belonged to Tim Allen’s father and was brought overseas with him. He hung it at the Reichstag during the Fall of Berlin.It is a family heirloom and has made cameo appearances. Films in which Frosty makes an appearance include: Saving Private Ryan, Inglorious Bastards, Santa Clause 2, Dunston Checks In, Fury, Saw, Avengers II, The Pacifier, Frozen, every Fast and the Furious film, and all of the Exorcist films. (Got to end it there. That is super cool)

Mother’s Day Preview

This week we get to enjoy the worst reviewed romantic film of the year (as long as you don’t count Fifty Shades of Black). That would be the Garry Marshall film Mother’s Day, which garnered truly horrifying reviews (7% on 133 reviews, woof). This also represents our first completed BMTrilogy: New Years’ Eve, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day is the Garry Marshall holiday ensemble cast trilogy, and they now represent three separate BMT weeks. Of the five hundred famous actors in the film I’m most looking forward to seeing BMT fave Timothy Olyphant. His fourth BMT film! That actually seems a bit low. He feels like an old BMT friend. Let’s go!

Mother’s Day (2016) – BMeTric: 32.2

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(I do not know what the archive wouldn’t have anything prior to the release dat … but whatever. Standard, kind of boring. I’ll have to think up something else to do with these if this trend continues. I feel like there just isn’t much interesting in these graphs recently.)

Leonard Maltin – 0.5 stars –  Do you like films that are so wildly overstuffed with characters and subplots that the finale requires a child’s life-threatening asthma attack, a karaoke-related injury and a recalcitrant vending machine to bring two characters together at last? Are you okay with movies that feature characters who are unabashedly racist, so long as they are wacky racists? Have you lain awake late at night wondering what Julia Roberts might look like if she happened to be sporting Moe Howard’s hairdo? If so, then “Mother’s Day” may just be the movie for you.

(It feels like Garry Marshall was pretty in-tune to 2016. Unabashedly racist, wacky people are pretty popular with 46.2% of the US population.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BPr217zLps

(Right off the bat we get a “Hello, Atlanta!” It’s like they know the key to my heart. Also, just to point out, this film was cast, set, and filmed in one of the biggest African-American majority cities in the nation and there is nary a single Black person in the cast. Oh, wait! There is a Black grocery clerk… so… you’re all good, Hollywood. Never change.)

Directors – Garry Marshall – (Known For: Pretty Woman; The Princess Diaries; Overboard; Runaway Bride; Frankie and Johnny; Nothing in Common; The Flamingo Kid; BMT: Exit to Eden; Valentine’s Day (BMT); New Year’s Eve (BMT); The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement; Mother’s Day; Georgia Rule (BMT); Raising Helen; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Director for New Year’s Eve; Most famous for creating Happy Days. His entire family are directors, Penny Marshall (sister) and Scott Marshall (son) for example.)

Writers – Anya Kochoff (screenplay) (as Anya Kochoff Romano) – (BMT: Monster-in-Law; Mother’s Day; Notes: Oddly she’s the younger sister of Kristina Kell who appeared as a State Trooper in the BMT classic Nothing But Trouble and was a contestant on Survivor.)

Matthew Walker (screenplay) (as Matt Walker & story) (as Matt Walker) – (BMT: Mother’s Day; Notes: Even weirder, this dude is primarily an actor (I recently saw him as Spitz in Halloween 5), and has collaborated with Garry Marshall on 6 films since 2004)

Tom Hines (screenplay & story) – (BMT: Mother’s Day; Notes:  While he has limited credits he clearly has been heavily involved with Marshall’s recent projects. He had a bit part with The Princess Diaries, but was probably an assistant or producer of some kind. And he is directing and writing a documentary focused on Marshall in the next few years)

Lily Hollander (story) – (BMT: Mother’s Day; Notes:  She has literally nothing else on her IMDb or on the internet. A mystery. I look forward to rediscovering her in some other weird movie in like 3 years.)

Garry Marshall (story) – (Known For: Nothing in Common; The Flamingo Kid; BMT: Mother’s Day; The Other Sister; Notes: I find it insane that he decided to write the third movie in this series at the age of 80 after not getting a screenwriting credit for 17 years. It boggles my mind. But maybe it is a technical thing, he just happened to do enogh work on this one they had to do it.)

Actors – Jennifer Aniston – (Known For: Storks; We’re the Millers; Office Space; Horrible Bosses; He’s Just Not That Into You; The Switch; The Iron Giant; Wanderlust; Bruce Almighty; Cake; Marley & Me; Friends with Money; Rock Star; The Good Girl; Life of Crime; The Object of My Affection; She’s the One; Picture Perfect; BMT: Leprechaun (BMT); The Bounty Hunter (BMT); Rumor Has It…; The Break-Up; Love Happens; Along Came Polly; Mother’s Day; ‘Til There Was You; Horrible Bosses 2; Just Go with It (BMT); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2011 for Worst Actress for The Switch, and The Bounty Hunter; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Screen Couple for Just Go with It, and in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst New Star for She’s the One; A veritable BMT star. Bounty Hunter is an amazing terrible Romance. I still maintain that The Break-up is one of the most unpleasant and terrible movies I’ve ever seen.)

Kate Hudson – (Known For: Deepwater Horizon; Kung Fu Panda 3; Almost Famous; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Wish I Was Here; The Killer Inside Me; The Four Feathers; The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Dr. T & the Women; BMT: Bride Wars (BMT); Le divorce; You, Me and Dupree; Fool’s Gold (BMT); Good People; Nine; Mother’s Day; Something Borrowed (BMT); Alex & Emma; My Best Friend’s Girl; Rock the Kasbah; Raising Helen; 200 Cigarettes; Gossip; A Little Bit of Heaven; The Skeleton Key; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Actress for Fool’s Gold, and My Best Friend’s Girl. Somewhat of a secret BMT star as well. Obviously most well known for founding the athletic brand Fabletics.)

Julia Roberts – (Known For: Money Monster; Pretty Woman; Ocean’s Eleven; Erin Brockovich; Notting Hill; Charlie Wilson’s War; Closer; Ocean’s Twelve; August: Osage County; Steel Magnolias; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White; Mystic Pizza; Charlotte’s Web; Stepmom; and many more; BMT: Full Frontal; Prêt-à-Porter; Valentine’s Day (BMT); Love, Wedding, Marriage; Eat Pray Love; I Love Trouble; America’s Sweethearts; Mother’s Day; Something to Talk About; Mary Reilly; Larry Crowne; Sleeping with the Enemy; Dying Young; Secret in Their Eyes; Mona Lisa Smile; Hook; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst Actress for Mary Reilly; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actress for Hook. Oh Hook, amazingly controversial (I love it, but it is terrible). We need to start working through her BMT filmography, it is gigantic.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $32,492,859 (Worldwide: $32,492,859)

#21 on the Worst Openings – Super Saturated Adjusted chart

(Pretty bad, but honestly they made a horrible release decision here. Mother’s Day is a thing in Europe, it is just on a different day. And yet it was released in the UK like two months later. It was released too, and no, it didn’t make $0 dollars, so that must be a mistake. Regardless this was a bomb, this was like Hitman: Agent 47)

#12 for the Mother genre

mother_12

(Weird that this genre would collapse in the late 2000s. Otherwise it has been pretty consistent. Looking throgh the actual list there were zero last year and only two this year, which is rather small, so whatever this genre is is again a little out of fashion.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (9/133): Arguably well-intended yet thoroughly misguided, Mother’s Day is the cinematic equivalent of a last-minute gift that only underscores its embarrassing lack of effort.

(This is kind of a strange overview considering (1) This was Marshall’s first screenwriting credit in 17 years and (2) the movie came out within 3 months of his death. Last-minute gift indeed. I do wonder whether whatever health issues he may have been having influenced the production at all. Seems extreme to direct/write/produce a huge ensemble peace at the age of 80.)

Poster – Mother’s Sklog (C-)

mothers_day

(I don’t hate it, but it doesn’t really say mother’s day. Is that what the flowers in the center supposed to be. I feel like I hate them, but they are also the only interesting thing in the poster. Otherwise it is just a few faces and stupid simple title and a white background.)

Tagline(s) – Celebrate the one day that connects us all (D)

Come celebrate the mother of all holidays (F)

(The “mother of all holidays” is horrific. The first one it just kind of stupid. What about Father’s Day? Is this something people say about Mother’s Day?)

Keyword(s) – holiday in title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 62.9 Saving Christmas (2014); 49.8 Christmas with the Kranks (2004); 43.2 I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009); 40.7 Four Christmases (2008); 40.1 Valentine’s Day (I) (2010); 32.3 Mother’s Day (2016); 29.6 I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998); 29.4 A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (2014); 19.3 Christmas in Wonderland (2007); 18.9 A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011);

(Is this what Garry Marshall discovered before making this trilogy? This also makes me think we need to do a full blown Holiday cycle at some point. Get Boo! A Madea Halloween and a bunch of others. Sci Fi would be the hardest? IS there an action film with a holiday in the title? Too bad we are doing Independence Day 2 in this cycle, it is kind of perfect.)

Notes – Julia Roberts’ three children (Hazel, Phinneas and Henry) all appear in the film.

Julia Roberts earned $3 million for four days work. (gross)

There is a reference to Pretty Woman (1990) when Hector Elizondo tells Julia Roberts that she finally figured out the salad fork as she’s eating in the train station cafe. (Also not fun. I suppose some huge GarryHeads will be all over the reference)

The wig Julia Roberts wears is the wig she wore in the movie Notting Hill (1999) for a scene about a space movie. She mentioned it in an interview on the Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003), May 2016. She even said she was ”recycling”. (fun fact. I love fun facts)

The film is Julia Roberts’ fourth collaboration with director Garry Marshall, the first three being Pretty Woman (1990), Runaway Bride (1999) and Valentine’s Day (2010).

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis fifth movie together. They also acted together in The Bounty Hunter (2010), Horrible Bosses (2011) , We’re the Millers (2013), and Horrible Bosses 2 (2014). (Wow, sometimes I wonder how something like that happens. Is it producers kind of pushing them together and saying it is a money maker? Do the actors like working together and suggest each other for parts? Do they have the same agent who likes to kill two birds with one stone? Fascinating stuff)