Snake Eyes (2021) Preview

Patrick and Jamie stare in horror at the Tom & Jerry adaption created by Manfred Long. “My god Tom, I didn’t think you’d turn out to be a swamp monster,” K-la, Tom’s robotic love interest states woodenly, “Or so sexy,” she finishes and they both groan. They quietly sneak out of the theater flashing a quick thumbs up to Manfred who beams in pride. “Well at least we saved Rich and Poe and the world and all that,” Jamie says shrugging, “but Manfred really is a piece of shit hack. I mean… he’s still on that swamp monster stuff?” Patrick nods and Kyle joins them. “Man that was great,” Kyle raves, munching on some popcorn, “a swamp monster! Who could have guessed? And boy the bar mitzvah storyline had me on the edge of my seat. I can’t believe we left early before the reading from the Torah. I mean, do you think Ben was able to learn his Hebrew with all the swamp monster Tom and Jerry chaos?” Patrick rolls his eyes and beelines it to the subway. Back at their shared apartment Patrick and Jamie contemplate their lives. They stare at the safe they’ve had installed in the wall and wonder if they’ll ever find peace. With such great power comes great responsibility, Patrick thinks, having a wholly original thought. Suddenly the doorbell rings and Patrick and Jamie look at each other and then back at the safe. Kyle hurries past them. “That must be Rachel. We’re gonna watch Tom and Jerry. Manfred gave me a bootleg copy.” Before he opens the door, though, Patrick stops him. He touches the door and silently shakes his head. Through a series of hand motions he makes clear to Jamie that it’s not Rachel at all… it’s ninjas! That’s right! We’re watching Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. Full of ninjas and definitely dumb, this film almost didn’t qualify for BMT and that would have been ludicrous. But it did and so here we are ready to watch some sweet sweet G.I. Joe action. Let’s go!

Snake Eyes (2021) – BMeTric: 48.3; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 5.6%; Notability: top 2.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 21.1%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Kissing Booth 3, The Misfits, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, Tom & Jerry: The Movie, The Unholy, Things Heard & Seen, Outside the Wire; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom & Jerry: The Movie, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Rogue Hostage, The Devil Below, Cosmic Sin, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, The Starling, Sweet Girl, Every Breath You Take, Senior Moment, and 25 more; Notes: Not a particularly interesting graph, but dropped, and below 6.0 is good. The notability is incredibly low … maybe because they used a lot of stunt actors with masks / foreign actors? That is interesting for a large action film.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – How is it possible that the American ninja/spy movie “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins” is more dreary than goofy? Isn’t this an origin story for an action figure whose signature attributes are his cool extreme sports outfit (complete with black visored bike helmet), his lack of speech (he’s a mute), and his cool sword?

(Ooooooooh yeah, he is supposed to not say anything! Amazing that they just kind of toss that out for the film. Dreary sounds bad.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd2sm63Xwfw/

(“The origin story we’ve all been waiting for” … have we? Have we been waiting for a Snake Eyes origin story? The film does look pretty dreary, but quality action.)

DirectorsRobert Schwentke – ( Known For: RED; The Captain; Tattoo; Eierdiebe; Future BMT: Allegiant; Insurgent; The Time Traveler’s Wife; Flightplan; BMT: Snake Eyes; R.I.P.D.; Notes: German. He didn’t intend on working in Hollywood, but ended up moving when he had difficulty financing his third film in Germany.)

WritersEvan Spiliotopoulos – ( Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Beauty and the Beast; Hercules; Pooh’s Heffalump Movie; Battle for Terra; Art Heist; The Blue Elephant; Future BMT: The Unholy; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Jungle Book 2; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Seems to be an adaptation guru of some kind. He’s done sequels to beloved Disney properties, reboots of the same, adaptations of toy lines, etc. He appears to be who you call it when you need something extended and big budget.)

Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse – ( Known For: Rebecca; Seberg; The Aftermath; Race; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Shrapnel has two brothers, one who directs, and the other who acts (triple threat family! Give them a movie to all do together). They appear to be in charge of the GI Joe property at the moment as they are writing the sequel.)

ActorsHenry Golding – ( Known For: The Gentlemen; Last Christmas; Crazy Rich Asians; A Simple Favour; Monsoon; Gold Diggers; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Half English and half Malaysian. Was a model before becoming a BBC television host, and now is an actual actor.)

Andrew Koji – ( Known For: Furious 6; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: English, although he trained as a stunt man in Japan prior to working on acting full time. Does a ton of television work, including starring in Warrior.)

Haruka Abe – ( Known For: Cruella; About Time; Late Shift; The Knife That Killed Me; Future BMT: 47 Ronin; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Born in Japan, she split her childhood between Tokyo, New York City, and London. She is the speaking voice of Noodle from the virtual band Gorillaz.)

Budget/Gross – $88–110 million / Domestic: $28,264,325 (Worldwide: $36,964,325)

(Well … uh, pandemic I guess? I don’t think it would have made a ton of money in the end, but I don’t think it would have been quite so disastrous looking in normal times.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 36% (51/140): Far from silent and not particularly deadly, Snake Eyes serves as a step up for the G.I. Joe franchise, thanks in no small part to Henry Golding’s work in the title role.

(Hmmm, so people seem to generally think the cast did well which is interesting.)

Reviewer Highlight: And on the seventh day, God ended his work and rested. Because even for him, enduring this whole endlessly puerile blockbuster mishegas one more time was, if He was being honest, divinely exhausting. – David Fear, Rolling Stone

Poster – Tomax and Xamot: G.I. Joe Origins

(Fine, it’s a cool poster. So what? There are a lot of bad movies with cool posters. But really, nice font, nice subtle red theme, and artistic in how it conveys the idea of the film. A.)

Tagline(s) – A legendary warrior. His epic origin story. (C-)

(Meh, good poster but this tagline is a bit bland. I don’t like the word “epic” here either. Almost sounds like they are trying to make it real cool for the kids.)

Keyword(s) – ninja

Top 10: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Snake Eyes (2021), Mortal Kombat (2021), Ready Player One (2018), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), Batman Begins (2005), Sin City (2005), Mulan (2020), Licence to Kill (1989)

Future BMT: 67.0 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 55.4 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994), 54.3 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), 51.9 Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), 49.5 3 Ninja Kids (1992), 49.2 Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), 47.7 Dumb and Dumber To (2014), 46.5 The Pest (1997), 44.2 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), 43.7 Surf Ninjas (1993)

BMT: Snake Eyes (2021), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Mortal Kombat (1995), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Elektra (2005), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), RoboCop 3 (1993), The Medallion (2003), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), The Master of Disguise (2002), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Gymkata (1985)

Matches: Snake Eyes (2021), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (1990), The VelociPastor (2018), Ninja Assassin (2009), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), 3 Ninja Kids (1992), TMNT (2007), Surf Ninjas (1993), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017), L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998), Ninja III: The Domination (1984), Ninja (2009), Enter the Ninja (1981), 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998), American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987), Shogun Assassin (1980), The Octagon (1980), Revenge of the Ninja (1983), Recess: School’s Out (2001), Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013), Miami Connection (1987), 3 Ninjas: Knuckle Up (1993), American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990), American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989), … (and a lot more)

(People love ninja films. Is it just me or are ninja films getting better reviews recently … I guess all films are getting better reviews though. I’m excited to smash out Beverly Hills Ninja at some point. That film is hilarious. Nothing will convince me otherwise.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 27) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Iko Uwais is No. 8 billed in Snake Eyes and No. 3 billed in Mile 22, which also stars Mark Wahlberg (No. 1 billed) who is in The Happening (No. 1 billed) which also stars John Leguizamo (No. 3 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 4 billed) which also stars Al Pacino (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (8 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 4) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 27. If we were to watch The Lovely Bones, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 26.

Notes – The movie is a reboot of the G.I. Joe property on film, and intended to be part of a shared universe of features based on Hasbro properties with G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, ROM: Spaceknight and Micronauts.

Andrew Koji hated the two G. I. Joe films in a interview saying “I thought about playing that character [Storm Shadow] because I didn’t like the first two films. I can say that. I’m allowed to not like a film. So, I was hesitant, at first, to even accept that. That’s a big studio film and my first role in a big studio film, so I was very hesitant because I didn’t have that trust in Hollywood to do that. What Warrior taught me and the voice that it gave me helped my work on Storm Shadow. I don’t wanna play a character with a six-pack. I wanted him to be human and flawed. He’s going through stuff. For me, when I saw the first G.I. Joe films, I was like, ‘I don’t wanna do that. That’s not the kind of thing I wanna do.'”

Asian-American writer Larry Hama, who was instrumental in developing the character of Snake Eyes, addressed the movie’s race-swapping issue with the casting of Asian actor Henry Golding: “Some people are saying that casting Golding ‘fixes’ the character of Snake-Eyes, but I disagree. I had wanted to keep him ambiguous until HASBRO introduced Storm Shadow as the only Asian character and made him a bad guy. I decided to ‘fix’ that by delving into his background and gradually turning him into a good guy. This is why Snake-Eyes is a white guy.”

Tommy’s grandmother Sen (Eri Ishida) is based on Obake Obaasan (“Demon Granny”), Storm Shadow’s aunt in the comics.

The first time Snake Eyes is depicted as a talking character. In the previous two films, he was a silent with no speaking roles.

The film originally replaced G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant release date of March 27, 2020 but was later pushed back to October 16, 2020 which was the original release date for Micronauts but was postponed to October 22, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it was later moved up to July 23, 2021.

Snake-Eyes is changed from a Caucasian character seen from the comics, animated series, and both of the live action films to a mixed race character due to actor Henry Golding who’s both English and Malaysian.

The electric motorcycles the characters are riding throughout the movie are heavily modified Energica Eva Ribelle.

Larry Hama gave his blessing to the movie, even the changes it makes to the source material.

RoboCop 3 Preview

Jeez, these squeakuels are long. Almost as bad as a book cycle. JK, book cycles are the worst. Anyway, this week we move onto the Action entry of the cycle and it seemed fitting that we would hit one of the worst reviewed action sequels of all time. That’s right, we’re not only watching RoboCop 2 but the much abhorred follow-up RoboCop 3! Another two-for-one this week. The first one is a classic satire of capitalism, so I can’t wait to see how RoboCop three shits all over that. Let’s go!

RoboCop 3 (1993) – BMeTric: 77.3

robocop3_bmet

robocop3_rv

(Oh snap. Yeah, this is supposed to be a terrible film. Juxtaposing this with Robocop 2 it is kind of nuts the start difference. Basically this is half as popular, but a whopping 1.7 IMDb lower! A sub-4.0 for a movie this old is definitely a big worst-of-all-time kind of contender.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – When the evil corporation OCP uses a policelike group to force impoverished Detroit citizens out of their homes, RoboCop (Burke) leaves the force and joins the rebellion. The script (by Frank Miller and the director) is smug but crude; though it lacks the first sequel’s violence, it’s also short on spectacle. Filmed in 1991.

(Maltin … are you for reals? You liked RoboCop 3 more than 2? Very interesting. (1) Awesome semi-colon work. (2) The fun facts flying in from Maltin, filmed in 1991? Very good. Too bad it all sounds like you could distill this review into one word: boring)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOdELisKpP4

(“I thought your damned ninja was supposed to take care of RoboCop for me” Oh God. Yeah, you can see how this guy went off the rails. It is kind of amazing that that is a Frank Miller plot right there. I really don’t see how that trailer made a movie that Leonard Maltin liked more than RoboCop 2. I can’t really see it.)

Directors – Fred Dekker – (Known For: The Monster Squad; Night of the Creeps; BMT: RoboCop 3; Notes: An avid comic book fan, monster movie buff, and film nerd as described on his IMDb. He went to college with Shane Black and is now involved in his new Predator remake. He only ever directed movies he wrote and this was his last.)

Writers – Edward Neumeier (characters) – (Known For: Starship Troopers; RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); Starship Troopers 3: Marauder; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; RoboCop 2; Notes: Basically all of his credits are based on the original RoboCop (which is is credited for characters in all but the first) and Starship Troopers (which he was very much involved with, he even directed the third). It appears that he declined the vice-presidency of Universal to make RoboCop and that is how he met Verhoeven and got involved with Starship Troopers.)

Michael Miner (characters) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop (2014); BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: For a guy who wrote RoboCop and directed Lawnmower Man 2 and Anacondas 2 this guy has nothing about him! I found this variety article about him making a movie names Marathon … yeah that movie never got made.)

Frank Miller (story & screenplay) – (Known For: 300; Sin City; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; 300: Rise of an Empire; BMT: RoboCop 3; Elektra; The Spirit; RoboCop 2; Notes: Most well known as a comic book writer it kind of shocks me he wrote a movie so long ago. He wrote this guy in 1993 and then nothing else until 2005 over ten years later. But he killed it in comics. This movie is closer to his script, which is a plus.)

Fred Dekker (screenplay) – (Known For: The Monster Squad; House; Night of the Creeps; Ricochet; BMT: RoboCop 3; House II: The Second Story; Teen Agent; Notes: Besides what was written above there isn’t too much to say about this guy unfortunately.)

Actors – Nancy Allen – (Known For: Carrie; RoboCop; Out of Sight; Dressed to Kill; The Last Detail; Blow Out; The Philadelphia Experiment; Strange Invaders; I Wanna Hold Your Hand; BMT: RoboCop 3; Poltergeist III; RoboCop 2; 1941; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1981 for Worst Actress for Dressed to Kill. Her first film role was in Stephen King’s Carrie directed by Brian De Palma. She would marry De Palma three years later, and then divorce five years after that. During their marriage she exclusively appeared in his films, and supposedly their divorce interfered quite substantially with her career (although it didn’t stop her from landing and nailed this role in the RoboCop franchise).)

Robert John Burke – (Known For: Tombstone; Limitless; 2 Guns; True Story; Munich; Safe; Cop Land; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Connie and Carla; Heaven & Earth; Brooklyn’s Finest; Good Night, and Good Luck.; Rambling Rose; Ned Rifle; A Far Off Place; The Chosen; The Unbelievable Truth; Flirt; Simple Men; First Love, Last Rites; BMT: RoboCop 3; Fast Track; Fled; Thinner; Hide and Seek; If Lucy Fell; State Property; The Oh in Ohio; Miracle at St. Anna; Notes:  I personally know him as Ed Tucker from IA in Law and Order SVU. He’s been mostly a television actor (Chuck Bass’ father in Gossip Girl what what?!) despite having quite an extensive feature filmography.)

Also stars John Castle – (A ton of television work, including a 2007 episode of Midsomer Murder. I eat Murder She Wrote and Midsomer Murders for breakfast, so I cannot wait to watch that episode.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $10,696,210 (N/A)

($22 million budget! My God. At least it was less than the previous film. No wonder it looks terrible though. And yeah, huge bomb. Orion was going under as this film was shot so there is a whiff of desperate throw-anything-at-the-wall IP chasing surrounding this film. Like with De Laurentiis it did not work.)

#36 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(And while RoboCop 2 came right at the beginning of what I will call the Terminator 2 peak in this genre, this came as it unceremoniously died. Number 36 puts it right around Deadly Friend! Extremely unimpressive stuff.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/30): No consensus yet.

(Hooray, I secretly love making consensuses: Downscaling the gore along with the budget, RoboCop 3 tries for a more family friendly affair. Losing the brilliant satire of the original (and gaining some good old fashioned Japan bashing), this is little more than a mindless actioner marking the end of a promising franchise. This paints a more expected picture of the franchise. The reviews of the time seemed to forgive the second film, but declare this the end of the RoboCops.)

Poster – RoboSklog 3 (D) 

robocop_three_ver2

(I initially liked this poster. Then I looked at it some more. First, the double RoboCop. Second the weird white halo around RoboCop. Then the ghostly city in the background. And finally the dreary dark blue coloring. And I realized it … I actually hated this poster.)

Tagline(s) – Chaos… Corruption… Civil War… (B+)

(Short. Sweet alliteration. Simple. Probably too simple to be an A, I don’t really know why this would be the plot of RoboCop 3, but I still like it.)

Keyword(s) – ninja; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.0 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 79.0 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 77.3 RoboCop 3 (1993); 70.1 The Master of Disguise (2002); 69.4 Elektra (2005); 64.1 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 62.1 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987); 59.5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); 58.1 Tekken (2010); 57.9 Highlander: Endgame (2000);

(Wait wait wait ………. The fourth police academy movie has a ninja in it? Yes please. We do need to do the second Mortal Kombat for BMT. We saw it in theaters (!) when we were young, but it deserves a preview and full recap as adult bad movie connoisseurs.)

Notes – Was filmed in 1991, but was not released until end of 1993 due to production company Orion going bankrupt. (The is like the fourth movie we’ve watched in the last 6 months made by a production company going bankrupt)

Peter Weller refused to reprise his Robocop role due to scheduling conflicts with Naked Lunch (1991). (Good choice)

Filmed in Atlanta, most of the abandoned buildings seen in the film were slated for demolition to make way for facilities for the 1996 Olympics. (huh, that is kind of amazing actually)

The RoboCop suit worn in the movie was originally built for RoboCop 2 (1990). Since Robert John Burke is taller than Peter Weller, he complained that wearing it was painful after a short time.

Nancy Allen (Ofc. Ann Lewis), Robert DoQui (Sgt. Reed), Felton Perry (OCP’s Johnson), Mario Machado (Newsanchor Casey Wong) and Angie Bolling (Murphy’s wife) are the only actors to appear in all three RoboCop movies. (Good stuff, Allen had huge roles in all three, pretty impressive)

Unlike the first two movies, this one did not receive a novelization. (too bad, maybe someone can poke Frank Miller for a sweet graphic novelization)