Jungle 2 Jungle Preview

Rich looks on in horror at the scene unfolding on the video screen near his hiding place aboard the space shuttle. Dark Gruber, the spider monster, laughs maniacally at his puny human captives. He looks primed to destroy Poe, his granny, Jade, and the astronaut Jim McBrawn. At the same time, Assassinbot 3000 prowls the corridors of the space shuttle looking to complete its primary task: destroy Rich. Did Poe not get his message about the importance of family? Or maybe he never realized what was so obviously staring at him in the face. Welp, it’s all up to him now as Dark Gruber looks pretty crude, rude and full of ‘tude (as the kids say) and he better communicate to Poe before it’s too late. Leaping from his hiding place, Rich begins to tussle with the Assassinbot 3000. His shirt is ripped off in the process, but not before he is able to grab some vital tubing. Ripping it free he’s covered with a spray of robot grease leaving his well-toned muscles glistening. They grapple for 30-40 minutes and each second weakens Rich further. Thinking quick he backflips his way around the robot’s laser beams to grab an ice cold Mountain Dew. With his batteries fully charged, Rich is able to land a high octane punch right in Assassinbot’s circuit box, disabling it. Rushing to the shuttle’s communication system he screams into the video feed, “Poe! Poe! It’s about family! It was always about family” Poe looks up, quaking under the stare of Dark Gruber and his uncontrollable spider rage. “Family?… but it’s just me and Granny.” Suddenly the astronaut Jim McBrawn steps up, “No, Poe… Rich is right. It’s time you knew the truth… I’m… I’m your son.” What a twist! That’s right! We are watching the Tim Allen classic Jungle 2 Jungle. I remember this film from my youth but obviously didn’t remember that Siskel clocked this in as his worst of 1997. Ebert’s for that year? The Year of the Horse. The film we all know and love. Let’s go!

Meanwhile… two hooded figures emerge from the jungle surrounding Ecumenopolis to gaze upon their final destination. They crack their knuckles as prepare their disguises. Simple father and son wasteland farmers looking to sell their wares in the BMTverse. That’s right! We’re also watching Little Indian, Big City, the French original from which Jungle 2 Jungle was adapted. Interestingly that film was Ebert’s worst of 1996… back to back champs! What a pairing for Bring a Friend. This also was a film that was not available on DVD with the original English dubbing. So I did the unthinkable. I bought that VHS and had a friend burn it. Don’t look at me, I’m hideous. Let’s go!

Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) – BMeTric: 55.3 

Jungle2JungleIMDb_BMeT

Jungle2JungleIMDb_RV

(Wow that is a really low IMDb score. I find it odd that people would go online to just rail on this 1997 kids film … but humans are a strange creature.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Very likable, if predictable, Disney comedy about a career-obsessed New Yorker who goes to the Amazon to get final divorce papers signed by his ex-wife and comes back with a son he never knew he had. The boy’s jungle instincts are no match for life in Manhattan – though he does manage to score some points along the way. Good laughs throughout this family-oriented feature, a remake of the French hit Little Indian, Big City.

(Wow, this stands in stark contract to his 1.5 star review of Little Indian, Big City which he called a “[d]opey French kiddie comedy.” I seems like a difference in comedic tastes. Some people like seeing not-very-good French actors fall down, and some people don’t.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uQm7SOJymg/

(Wowza, that looks … pretty much like the French original. What? Yeah I’ve already watched the French original, wanna fight about it?)

Directors – John Pasquin – (Known For: The Santa Clause; Future BMT: Joe Somebody; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: Frequent collaborator with Tim Allen. Filmed 74 episodes of Last Man Standing.)

Writers – Hervé Palud (earlier screenplay Un indien dans la ville) – (Future BMT: Un indien dans la ville; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: The original’s director as well. He was the one that insisted the original be dubbed for its American release because he wanted to get people to go see it and he didn’t think people wanted to read subtitles. His son directed future BMT The Eye.)

Thierry Lhermitte (earlier screenplay Un indien dans la ville) – (Future BMT: Un indien dans la ville; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: The main actor in the original as well, and one of France’s most famous actors apparently.)

Jean-Marie Pallardy (earlier screenplay Un indien dans la ville) – (Future BMT: Un indien dans la ville; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: A former male model and soft-core porn director. Credited as Boris Pradley, or Igor Aptekman, or Edward John Francis, or his own name. I don’t know why.)

Philippe Bruneau (earlier screenplay Un indien dans la ville) – (Future BMT: Un indien dans la ville; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: His two children are actors. He died in 2012.)

Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon (screenplay) – (Known For: Stand by Me; Mr. Brooks; Starman; Made in Heaven; Future BMT: Cutthroat Island; Kuffs; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: Struggled to get original screenplays produced after producing a bunch of rewrites and remakes (of this is one). Mr. Brooks revitalized their career a bit.)

Actors – Tim Allen – (Known For: Toy Story 4; Toy Story; Toy Story 3; Toy Story 2; Cars; Galaxy Quest; The Santa Clause; Big Trouble; El Camino Christmas; Redbelt; The Santa Clause 2; Future BMT: Zoom; The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; The Shaggy Dog; Joe Somebody; For Richer or Poorer; Crazy on the Outside; Meet Wally Sparks; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Christmas with the Kranks; Wild Hogs; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2007 for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, The Shaggy Dog, and Zoom; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2007; Notes: Notably was arrested for drug trafficking (and spent two years in prison) way back in the say in Detroit. Turned his life around and became a famous movie star.)

Martin Short – (Known For: Inherent Vice; Mars Attacks!; Father of the Bride; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Treasure Planet; The Prince of Egypt; Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; ¡Three Amigos!; Get Over It; Kaze tachinu; Innerspace; Father of the Bride Part II; Frankenweenie; Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; The Big Picture; Mumford; Cross My Heart; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Captain Ron; Clifford; A Simple Wish; Pure Luck; The Pebble and the Penguin; We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story; Three Fugitives; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2007; Notes: Martin Short is hilarious. Him as Jiminy Glick was some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen, and he seems genuinely nice.)

JoBeth Williams – (Known For: Poltergeist; Kramer vs. Kramer; Wyatt Earp; The Big Chill; The Perfect Catch; Stir Crazy; The Big Year; The Dogs of War; In the Land of Women; Teachers; TiMER; Desert Bloom; Barracuda; Just Write; Future BMT: Poltergeist II: The Other Side; Switch; Dutch; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Jungle 2 Jungle; Notes: John Pasquin’s wife. Apparently turned down the role of Murphy Brown. The character was apparently created with her in mind.)

Budget/Gross – $32 million / Domestic: $59,927,618

(Actually decent return. I’m a little surprised they didn’t eventually make Jungle 3 Jungle.)

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

jungle2jungle_daddyfishoutofwater

(I love fish out of water parents. Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Pacifier, The Game Plan, Are We There Yet?, Old Dogs are all honestly classics. This appears to pre-date the big 2000s boom. Maybe Home Improvement itself was kind of a precursor to the “silly dad” sitcom trope.)

#17 for the Family – Remake genre

jungle2jungle_familyremake

(I just love how remakes come in waves. This was right in the first boom. The second being in the Golden Age of Bad Movies, the 2000s.)

#8 for the Remake – French genre

jungle2jungle_frenchremake

(Ha! It is at the literal peak of … French remakes? The Birdcage, True Lies … sounds about right. This is only our second we’ve done after Taxi.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (8/42)

(I’ll write a consensus: Banal, and only mildly amusing. A pretty dumb Tim Allen comedy. Reviewer Highlight: Roughly half of Tim Allen’s latest comedy is hilarious-stupid, and the rest is monotonous-stupid. – Kevin McManus, Washington Post)

Poster – Jingle 2 Jangle (C)

jungle_two_jungle_ver2

(I do respect these types of posters as they fully admit that the film is based entirely on one premise: Tim Allen is involved in the jungle! There is nothing else you need to know. If you are not buying a ticket based on that then the film offers nothing else that could convince you. That being said it’s not a great poster, but I enjoy the fun font on the “2”. On that alone I will elevate it to the middle.)

Tagline(s) – Get a little savage. (F)

(Oh boy… that’s insulting. I would like to think they would have known better, but I think I forget exactly how much was allowed to fly not that long ago. I have to give it an F because… you know… it’s racist.)

Keyword(s) – jungle; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.6 Anaconda (1997); 74.9 After Earth (2013); 72.9 The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996); 72.1 A Sound of Thunder (2005); 70.2 Tees Maar Khan (2010); 69.7 Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004); 65.2 Thunderbirds (2004); 64.9 10,000 BC (2008); 64.0 The Phantom (1996); 60.3 xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017);

(I’m excited for Island of Dr. Moreau. I feel like it is aging like a fine wine. Tees Maar Khan is never happening, you can’t make me.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 7) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Leelee Sobieski is No. 6 billed in Jungle 2 Jungle and No. 1 billed in Here on Earth => 6 + 1 = 7. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – An entire day’s worth of film was lost when it was believed to have been accidentally left in a New York City taxicab. The film was never recovered.

An American remake of the successful French movie Un indien dans la ville (1994) (An Indian In The City). The plot follows the original fairly closely, except that the original was set in Paris rather than New York, and Mimi-Siku climbed the Eiffel Tower rather than the Statue of Liberty.

After shooting Charlotte’s cat with the dart, Michael exclaims “Oh no!” in the same grunting manner as Tim Allen’s character, Tim Taylor, in Home Improvement (1991).

In addition to relocating from Paris to New York, the character Mimi-Siku was made much older than the preteen in the French version. This was largely due to Americans’ general discomfort with young love, under the explanation that “a teenager can get into more trouble.” Additionally, despite American Mimi-Siku’s having lived in the wild, there’s less difference in the skin tones of the two male leads than in the original French film. This was done to emphasize their kinship.

The book Mimi-Siku is reading aloud at the end is “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London.

Feature film debut of Leelee Sobieski.

Allen and Short would later star together in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006).

When Michael, Richard and Mimi-Siku are visiting Jovanovich after they ring the doorbell, Jovanovich yells “Open damn door!” then he says “Chort vozmi!”, which in Russian literally translates to “The devil take it!”

At one point, when Mimi walks outside along a ledge at Charlotte’s office, a man exclaims: “He’s doing a Fay Wray!” This is in reference to the actress Fay Wray, whom was the lead in the 1933 movie King Kong. She was carried to the top of the Empire State Building by King Kong.

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Taxi Preview

Alright, this week we transition fully to the Calendar rotation and start in with a comedy. The Calendar is pretty good for BMT street cred, as each film is more or less the worst film released on the day in question. Because of this there is a chance that we will be able to watch a number of 70+ BMeTric films (which is an amazing score). So starting it off right, we dive into the 70.2 BMeTric rated film Taxi starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. This is the worst film released on October 6th. Other notable films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Employee of the Month, and Assassins. All solid BMT, but not 70.2 BMeTric solid.

Taxi (2004) – BMeTric: 70.2

Taxi_BMeT

(Boom. Right out the gate a disaster. Barely sticking above that 70 threshold though. Really depends on the rating now (those fits and starts in the trajectory are it jumping between ratings). I was genuinely shocked at this btw. I didn’t really imagine that this film could be this reviled, I barely remember it exists on the good day.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hotshot cabbie teams up with an incompetent hot-dog cop in this weak action-comedy. Latifah and Fallon are strangers-turned-buddies out to catch a team of bank robbers (who happen to look like supermodels). Not a good showcase for the Queen or for former Saturday Night Live member Fallon. Produced by Luc Besson, based on the 1998 French film of the same name, which he wrote and coproduced. Extended version runs 112m.

(Leonard is a little familiar with Latifah, just calling her “the Queen.” Weird. I don’t really recall that being a common thing people called her. I do like the pairing of “hotshot” and “hot-dog” that Leonard uses here. Could be used for most every buddy-cop film.)

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

(Huh. Having already watched the French version of this film I can tell you that about 30% of the scenes they showed are from the climax of the film. Including three that are from the very last stunt where they catch the bad guys. Oh shit, spoiler alert. Guess I shouldn’t have revealed that Fallon and Latifah catch them at the end. My bad. Now you won’t be surprised.)

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Barbershop; Think Like a Man; BMT: Taxi; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Notes: The top grossing African-American director of all time (domestic at least, not sure about worldwide). Actually just retook the top spot from Tyler Perry with Ride Along 2.)

Writers – Luc Besson (earlier screenplay) – (Known For: Lucy; Léon: The Professional; The Fifth Element; Taken; The Transporter; Point of No Return; Transporter 2; La Femme Nikita; The Big Blue; Unleashed; District B13; District 13: Ultimatum; BMT: Taxi; The Transporter Refueled; Brick Mansions; Taken 3; Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard; Transporter 3; Lockout; Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds; Arthur and the Invisibles; 3 Days to Kill; Taken 2; The Family; Fanfan; Colombiana; The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc; From Paris with Love; Revolver; Notes: Very influential French filmmaker. Founder of EuropaCorp, a major studio in France.)

Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (screenplay) – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian; Herbie Fully Loaded; BMT:Taxi; Balls of Fury; The Pacifier; Hell Baby; Jessabelle; Reno 911!: Miami; Let’s Go to Prison; Notes: Never nominated for a Razzie, which is a bit of a surprise. Seems lately that Garant has been writing more independent of Lennon. Perhaps because Lennon is busy with the CBS show The Odd Couple. Or should I say the CBS smash-hit The Odd Couple.)

Jim Kouf (screenplay) – (Known For: Rush Hour; National Treasure; Gang Related; Stakeout; BMT: Taxi; Snow Dogs; Operation Dumbo Drop; Another Stakeout; Class; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Notes: Recently in the news after a Puerto Rican film Vasos de Papel was pulled from theaters for being a blatant copy of a film he wrote called Secret Admirer.)

Actors – Queen Latifah – (Known For: Miracles from Heaven; 22 Jump Street; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Hairspray; Chicago; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Stranger Than Fiction; Ice Age: The Meltdown; The Secret Life of Bees; Juice; Jungle Fever; Bringing Out the Dead; Last Holiday; Set It Off; Brown Sugar; Just Wright; BMT: Taxi; The Dilemma; Scary Movie 3; Pinocchio; Bringing Down the House; Valentine’s Day; The Country Bears; Beauty Shop; The Cookout; The Perfect Holiday; Sphere; House Party 2; Mad Money; What Happens in Vegas; Joyful Noise; Ice Age: Continental Drift; The Bone Collector; Notes: Rapper/hip-hop artist/singer/actress. Has won a Grammy, Emmy, and nominated for an Oscar (Chicago). She’s set up pretty well for potentially completing an EGOT before her career is over.)

Jimmy Fallon – (Known For: Jurassic World; Almost Famous; Whip It; Fever Pitch; Anything Else; BMT: Taxi; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Doogal; Jem and the Holograms; Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard; Get Hard; Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds; Arthur and the Invisibles; Factory Girl; Notes: Who would have thought that over a decade after making this film together, Gisele would go on The Tonight Show and teach Jimmy how to walk the runway? I wonder if they reminisced about Taxi backstage.)

With a rare appearance from Gisele Bündchen!

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $36,611,066 (Worldwide: $68,895,435 Worldwide)

#14 for the Remake – French genre

(There really aren’t any bad movies on the list besides this one. The more interesting thing is just how far down this is. Below 1989 Three Fugitives? Yeeeeeesh. Wasn’t even really a bomb either, but they must have been planning on more than $36 million domestic)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (11/105): Silly and unfunny remake of a French movie of the same name.

(Wow. RT got real serious on this one. Those are certainly the facts of the matter.)

Poster – Taxi Tilt (C-)

taxi

(Likes: Bright yellow base, integration of the title into the scene (clever), and actually provides a lot of visual info about the plot in the scene. Dislikes: Tilt, terrible font and block coloring for all the words on the poster, too basic/not artistic, and the weird foggy background is… not good. Almost a D+, but juuussssst better than that.)

Tagline(s) – He’s armed, but she’s dangerous. (A)

(Out of nowhere Taxi hits on a nearly perfect tagline. Short and sweet? Yup. Clever in some way? Yup. Gives an idea of the plot? Yup. Three for three.)

Notes – Ingrid Vandebosch, one of the female robbers in this film, is married to Jeff Gordon, who has an uncredited cameo in this film. (Athlete film!)

Kevin Bray was originally set to direct, but dropped out. (director of potential BMT films Walking Tall and All About the Benjamins)