Rambo: First Blood Part II Preview

“This how you got there?” the gangster squad says looking into the prison tunnel where Jamie and Patrick first got to the BMTverse and met Nic Cage, “didn’t peg you for a criminal.” Patrick just shrugs somberly. He can’t stop thinking about Sticks and Stones. A dangerous pair for him and Jamie together, let alone on their own. “Well we better get down there before they find us,” Patrick says, but the gangsters put a hand on his shoulder. “Woah there, big guy, you don’t think we’d let you go down there alone. Who knows who or what is waiting for you on the other side. We got you a guide. Someone who knows the terrain, someone who spent some time as a prisoner in the BMTverse. He’ll help you get down there and find you brother and if he don’t we’ll kill him,” they laugh as they grasp Patrick’s hand. “Thanks,” Patrick replies, realizing that these gangsters are his friends. Ever since he and Jamie made it big on the Rich and Poe series he had forgotten what it was like to have a friend and he smiles. Just then his guide emerges from the tunnel “You ready to go?” he growls and Patrick is stunned. “Woah! Sly? What are you doing in the BMTverse? You don’t belong there. You’re the best! The best!” But the man shakes his head. “No, the name’s Rambo. And I’ve spent my fair share of time in the BMTverse,” he says looking into the distance, “You better believe it.” As Patrick attempts once again to enter the tunnel he’s even more shocked to see three more Rambos emerge from the tunnel of varying ages. “You better believe it,” they all growl in unison. That’s right! The third BMT Live! Of the year is upon us and it’s an extra special Rambo extravaganza. We waited with bated breath for Rambo: Last Blood to officially qualify and once it did we realized that Rambo: FIrst Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo, and Rambo: Last Blood all qualify for BMT. Ohhhhhhhhh boy. Let’s go!

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) – BMeTric: 19.1 

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(Amazingly, low 5’s is actually really rather low. That is a genuine people-think-this-movie-is-bad rating. And then it rises all the way to mid-6’s which is a genuine average score. I think this is a rare film where public sentiment has officially shifted towards irony. To be ironically bad is to be good, whatever that is worth I suppose.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Comic-book action saga of one-man army who goes to Cambodia in search of American MIAs and finds he’s been duped by Uncle Sam. Never boring but incredibly dumb; if one were to take it seriously, it would also be offensive, as it exploits real-life frustrations of MIA families and Vietnam vets. 

(Oh snap, Leonard spitting fire at Rambo. I do like the sound of never boring, but yeah … I think Rambo goes a bit off the rails right after it immediately abandons the PTSD-focused storyline of the original. But I’m ready for some ‘splosions.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQGJAIYtWD4/

(The initial muscle shot is sooooooo good. It is actually how they start the Rambo transformation scenes in the cartoon Rambo: Freedom Force. And what a soundtrack, obviously just filled with baggers. I’m amped, let’s go!)

Directors – George P. Cosmatos – (Known For: Tombstone; Of Unknown Origin; Future BMT: Shadow Conspiracy; Leviathan; The Cassandra Crossing; BMT: Cobra; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Notes: His son, Panos Cosmatos, is also a director. He directed Mandy with Nic Cage.)

Writers – David Morrell (based on characters created by) – (Known For: First Blood; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: He has a character credit on the porn parody Rambone XXX: A DreamZone Parody.)

Kevin Jarre (story by) – (Known For: Tombstone; The Mummy; Glory; Future BMT: The Devil’s Own; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Notes: Son of Brian Kelly who starred in Flipper. Was adopted by composer Maurice Jarre.)

Sylvester Stallone (screenplay by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Homefront; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Paradise Alley; F.I.S.T; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky V; Rocky IV; BMT: Driven; Rhinestone; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: His staunch refusal to allow Rocky to move forward without him starring apparently inspired Paul Reubens to hold out for Tim Burton with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.)

James Cameron (screenplay by) – (Known For: Alita: Battle Angel; Titanic; The Terminator; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Avatar; Aliens; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; True Lies; The Abyss; Strange Days; Future BMT: Piranha Part Two: The Spawning; Terminator Genisys; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Notes: Has been working on his Avatar sequels for years now. The second one is supposed to involve a lot of underwater filming.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: First Blood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Rocky II; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Antz; Bullet to the Head; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Demolition Man; Notes: The big news story of the week is that apparently he tried and failed to seduce Princess Diana in 1993 as a party thrown by Elton John.)

Sylvester Stallone Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999;

Richard Crenna – (Known For: First Blood; Body Heat; Sabrina; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Wait Until Dark; The Sand Pebbles; The Flamingo Kid; Marooned; Breakheart Pass; Un flic; Table for Five; Future BMT: Death Ship; Leviathan; Wrongfully Accused; Summer Rental; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Jonathan Livingston Seagull; BMT: Jade; Rambo III; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Trautman was supposed to be in the fourth film, btu Crenna died of heart failure in 2003.)

Charles Napier – (Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; The Blues Brothers; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Philadelphia; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Lords of Dogtown; The Manchurian Candidate; The Cable Guy; Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Supervixens; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; Beloved; Married to the Mob; Something Wild; The Grifters; Swing Shift; Melvin and Howard; Maniac Cop 2; Miami Blues; Original Gangstas; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Jury Duty; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Annapolis; Loaded Weapon 1; The Kid & I; Last Embrace; BMT: Steel; Ernest Goes to Jail; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Notes: He apparently played in two Kentucky high school state basketball championships, and was in the Air Force.)

Budget/Gross – $25.5 million / Domestic: $150,415,432 (Worldwide: $300,400,432)

(That is a huge success. Sylvester Stallone and early 80s action really was something to behold at the time. It must have been wild to see him just slowly descend into madness.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 37% (15/41):

(Do I have to write a consensus? With a mixed message, and Stallone-as-caricature instead of character it is easy to see this as a bad movie … but then why do I like it so much? Reviewer Highlight: So powerful and intoxicating is this kind of movie hero that when we see him operating in a flaw-riddled movie like ”Rambo” we realize that heroic action can override almost any script. – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune.)

Poster – Poe: First Sklog Part II (A – I mean.. It’s amazing and there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind…. Sure the font isn’t very good…. OK and the spacing is real weird with the large border… and why are there so many words?… what’s with the fire?… and particularly the tiny Rambo next to the title? OK, nevermind. This is bonkers. C.)

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(Patrick’s Shallow Fake: The hardest bit here was getting the lighting right on the face. I tried to add it post, but nothing looked as good as just shining a lamp on my face while taking a selfie. This is what I would call a “full poster” where I altered everything to fit a new “fake” movie starring myself as Poe.)

Tagline(s) – They sent him on a mission and set him up to fail. But they made one mistake. They forgot they were dealing with Rambo. (C-)

(This is actually a funny tagline, right? Almost a spoof. I also love the idea that they “forgot” they were dealing with Rambo… as if he’s world famous. He starts the movie in a prison. Too long. Not clever. But hilarious.)

Keyword(s) – propaganda; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.2 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 70.0 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008); 60.6 Tell Your Children (1936); 50.7 Teeth (I) (2007); 49.3 2016: Obama’s America (2012); 46.0 Li hai le, wo de guo (2018); 43.7 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016); 40.3 Rambo III (1988); 39.1 Iron Eagle (1986); 34.7 The Clonus Horror (1979);

(Ha! Sounds about right. Kind of amazing Rambo III even makes the list. Let’s see, Iron Eagle will be watched (the entire series). I’ve seen Neighbors 2 … I don’t see how that is propaganda. This does remind me we have to finish off the Police Academy series at some point.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Rambo: First Blood Part II and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Co-writer James Cameron claims that he only wrote the first draft of the script, and that Sylvester Stallone made many changes to it. Cameron had originally paired Rambo with a humorous sidekick, and had fleshed out the prisoners of war with elaborate backstories that were to be revealed over the course of the film. However, Stallone reportedly didn’t like that the sidekick got all the cool dialogue, and also scrapped most of the POW’s backstories to the point where Cameron claimed that “they might as well have gotten to the jungle to pick up a six-pack of beer”. When the film was released, the political content of the movie was considered controversial, with many feeling that the Vietnam War was altered to look and sound heroic. Cameron commented that he only wrote the action, and that Stallone wrote the politics. (Sounds about right)

At the time of filming (1985), there were close to 2,500 Vietnam vets still Missing-In-Action.

The only film in the Rambo series to be nominated for an Oscar. (Wow. The original is quite good, so that is surprising)

The original title was First Blood II, but Sylvester Stallone decided he wanted the series to be named after the lead character, just like the Rocky series. So he re-titled it “Rambo: First Blood Part II” so he could name the third film Rambo III (1988) instead of First Blood III. (Sounds about right)

To prepare for this role, Sylvester Stallone did eight months of training for four hours a day. He also took SWAT combat, archery and survival courses.

James Cameron’s original screenplay began with Colonel Trautman finding Rambo in a psychiatric hospital instead of a prison. The psychiatric hospital concept was instead depicted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). (Awesome idea. James Cameron is a national treasure)

Dolph Lundgren was initially signed as the Russian Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky (played by Steven Berkoff), when Sylvester Stallone realized that it was the same man who was going to be in Rocky IV (1985), so they paid off the contract.

James Cameron wrote a treatment/screenplay not only for this film, but at the same time also for Aliens (1986) as well as additional drafts for The Terminator (1984) while production on the latter was being delayed. He worked at a different desk on each script to keep the projects separated.

Sylvester Stallone said of the first draft: “I think that James Cameron is a brilliant talent, but I thought the politics were important, such as a right-wing stance coming from Trautman and his nemesis, Murdock, contrasted by Rambo’s obvious neutrality, which I believe is explained in Rambo’s final speech. I realize his speech at the end may have caused millions of viewers to burst veins in their eyeballs by rolling them excessively, but the sentiment stated was conveyed to me by many veterans…. [Also] in his original draft it took nearly 30-40 pages to have any action initiated and Rambo was partnered with a tech-y sidekick. So it was more than just politics that were put into the script. There was also a simpler story line. If James Cameron says anything more than that, then he realizes he’s now doing the backstroke badly in a pool of lies”. (Okay … literally parroting speeches by veterans isn’t actually “neutral”, at least I don’t think so. No offense meant, but I think this is precisely why people like James Cameron thought the politics were a little off. Stallone is a brilliant writer for action, especially in the 80s where he literally rewrote the genre, but his dialogue and vision for his protagonists are straight up bad. End rant.)

Rambo’s stats, as given in the film: “Rambo, John J., born 7/6/47 Bowie, Arizona of Indian-German descent. Joined army 8/6/64. Accepted, Special Forces specialization, light weapons, cross-trained as medic. Helicopter and language qualified, 59 confirmed kills, two Silver Stars, four Bronze, four Purple Hearts, Distinguished Service Cross, Medal of Honor.”

According to the documentary We Get to Win This Time (2002), the producers considered teaming up Sylvester Stallone with his Staying Alive (1983) protégé John Travolta (who was once considered to play Rambo himself in the first film) as Rambo’s young partner in rescuing the American POWs. Stallone nixed this idea when he decided it would be better to make the film a solo project. (That documentary sounds awful. What an awful title)

First film to appear in 2,000+ U.S. theaters. (That’s cool)

Despite its anti-government stance, the film had a big fan in then-President Ronald Reagan. (I don’t think it is really anti-government. It is anti-anti-war governments basically, or like … against an imaginary strawman version of people who “lost the Vietnam War”)

Lieutenant Colonol Padovsky is the only villain to have any lines in English. (Extremely good choice)

In the movie, John Rambo’s birthday is July 6, 1947. Sylvester Stallone’s birthday is July 6, 1946, exactly 1 year earlier. (He made himself one year younger)

When Sylvester Stallone ranked his preference of the Rambo films on the UK chat show Graham Norton, he ranked this one 4th, his least favorite, as it was “like a cartoon”. (That is interesting, I think it is the best actual action film of the bunch)

All of the shots of the military base were done on a Mexican Air Force airstrip. The logos have been painted over or obscured, and the real crew always have their backs toward the camera or are far enough away from the camera so no one would notice.

In scenes where arrows are being shot, they are attached with wire so they land in the right spot without hurting anyone. (Ah the same thing magicians do)

Remarkably this film has a great deal of foundation in fact. In the early 1980s US Delta Force commandos prepared for a possible mission to rescue US prisoners of war held in Southeast Asia just as they do under Colonel Trautman. However their efforts were stymied by Colonel Bo Gritz, like John Rambo a much decorated former Green Beret and Vietnam War veteran, who launched his own abortive attempts to stage a private rescue raid. A subsequent government inquiry headed by Senators/Vietnam veterans Bob Smith, John Kerry and John McCain (himself a former POW who was held and tortured for 5 years) concluded there were no prisoners left behind and vilified individuals perpetuating the idea as attempting to defraud desperate families. (Lol … so basically explicitly shitting on the entire idea of this film)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Fred J. Brown, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Buzz Feitshans, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Sylvester Stallone, James Cameron, Kevin Jarre, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Frank Stallone, Peter Schless, Jerry Goldsmith, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Julia Nickson, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (George P. Cosmatos, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Julia Nickson, 1986)

Daylight Preview

Jacked in and jacked up, Rich and Poe zoom about cyberspace looking for the FangTime2000 virus. Soon a group of lawnmower men come into view and Rich and Poe use their cyberlasers to take them out, with a little kungfu to boot. As they get the final lawnmower man into a devastating headlock Gruber zooms into view, “Rich and Poe, my my, aren’t we the clever ones. Figure out my plan and stop the lawnmower men, all without getting killed… until now.” He’s got a gun! Could this be the end, could Gruber actually win? “Gruber, there’s always one thing you underestimate about us,” Rich says as Gruber sneers at him. Poe nods back at Rich, “the power of friendship.” Gruber laughs at the absurdity of friendship in the face of his gun. But suddenly a beam of light bursts from his chest. As his body is sucked of life it’s revealed that Brock, Bryce, and Blaze have unleashed the virus on him. They all come together for a big bro-hug and freeze frame on their smiling faces. THE END.

Jamie finishes the script with tears in his eyes. It’s his magnum opus… a true piece of shit. Patrick enters the room, “well, I have to hand it to you. That script is real bad. And I asked the studio whether they would agree to our terms and they said yes. There is no way that this film is anything but a disaster.” Jamie is surprised, “They agreed to our terms?… all of them?” and Patrick nods. The film will be released at midnight, January 1st playing as a required 6-hour double feature with the Sly Stallone classic Daylight. “Huh,” says Jamie. He’s starting to get a bad feeling about this. That’s right! We’re transitioning to the next cycle in the year which is the hotly anticipated Bring A Friend cycle. This year we’ve decided to highlight some of the major stars in Hollywood and their… less successful siblings. So starting it off with Sly Stallone in Daylight (also featuring Renoly Santiago aka Phreak from Hackers) paired with The Roller Blade Seven starring his brother Frank. This friend is actually a film I’ve been aware of since my grad school days, but only now pulled the trigger on getting it. Hope it lives up to the hype. Let’s go!

Daylight (1996) – BMeTric: 35.7 

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(Rather interesting how much is has regressed over the years. Seemed to stick to a low 5’s value for a few years there, and now it is almost 6.0. If it ever hits that it’ll look like a genuine good movie! That’s be weird.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Good old-fashioned disaster movie, built on a formulaic foundation. Stallone is a disgraced Emergency Medical Services worker who springs into action when a huge explosion cripples a tunnel under N.Y.C.’s Hudson River, with a handful of survivors inside. Great stunts and special effects. That’s Sly’s son Sage as a cocky young scam artist being taken to prison.

(Wow. That is a decent review. It kind of makes me interested in watching this film again. Weirdly Jamie claims he’s never seen this, but I swear I’ve seen this film multiple times. So it’ll be interesting to see if he suddenly remembers bits and pieces of this film during the rewatch.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRWIfCpxNK4/

(Oh boy the deep voiced “there was a time” guy. That set looks bomb by the way. The movie looks dumb as shit. But that set? It looks bomb.)

Directors – Rob Cohen – (Known For: DragonHeart; xXx; The Hurricane Heist; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Future BMT: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; The Skulls; BMT: The Boy Next Door; Stealth; Alex Cross; Daylight; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: Has directed over 150 commercial spots in his career. He graduated from Harvard University.)

Writers – Leslie Bohem (written by) – (Known For: Twenty Bucks; Future BMT: The Darkest Hour; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Nowhere to Run; Tracers; Dante’s Peak; House III: The Horror Show; The Alamo; BMT: Daylight; Notes: Played bass for the 80’s bands Gleaming Spires and the Sparks.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; First Blood; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables; Escape Plan; Rocky III; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky II; The Expendables 2; Cliffhanger; Bullet to the Head; Antz; Cop Land; Nighthawks; Death Race 2000; Escape to Victory; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Rambo III; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Get Carter; Rhinestone; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Cobra, Cobra, Lock Up, Lock Up, Over the Top, Over the Top, Rambo III, Rambo III, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rhinestone, Rocky IV, and Tango & Cash; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; Notes: His daughter Sistine Rose Stallone just acted in her first feature film! 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. I was kind of hoping it would end up at BMT, but it ended up being too goo.)

Amy Brenneman – (Known For: Heat; Casper; Fear; A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Jane Austen Book Club; City of Angels; Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her; Words and Pictures; The Face of Love; Mother and Child; Nine Lives; Your Friends & Neighbors; Off the Map; Future BMT: The Suburbans; Downloading Nancy; BMT: 88 Minutes; Daylight; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Most famous for starring in the television show Judging Amy. She also played a character named Amy in an episode of Murder She Wrote.)

Viggo Mortensen – (Known For: Green Book; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Captain Fantastic; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; The Road; Witness; Carlito’s Way; Eastern Promises; A History of Violence; A Perfect Murder; Crimson Tide; G.I. Jane; A Dangerous Method; On the Road; The Prophecy; The Two Faces of January; Appaloosa; The Portrait of a Lady; Hidalgo; Future BMT: Psycho; Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Boiling Point; 28 Days; Fresh Horses; The Passion of Darkly Noon; The Young Americans; Good; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Todos tenemos un plan; BMT: Daylight; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars for Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic, and Green Book.)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $33,023,469 (Worldwide: $159,212,469)

(A pretty big underperformance. You can psych yourself into the worldwide gross, but that domestic take is pitiful.)

#29 for the Disaster genre

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(Our eleventh disaster film right around Geostorm. Came out during the big disaster film peak. We were in a new peak for a bit up through 2016, but I think we’ve kind of coming out of it (as long as you don’t count creature features like Godzilla or some superhero films))

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (10/40): The opening’s got a great fiery explosion and Stallone puts in another earnest, sympathetic performance, but all else in Daylight feels designed to annoy the audience into submission.

(Some of these reviews are killer. Just dunking on Stallone left and right. Reviewer Highlight: “Daylight” is the cinematic equivalent of a golden oldies station, where you never encounter anything you haven’t grown to love over the years. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – SklogLight (B)

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(I find the title and poster of this film confusing. Clearly people are trapped in an underwater tunnel… so like… what’s the daylight that we’re seeing? Particularly given the implication of the tagline. Anyway, font is boring but the coloring is fun. And nice spacing and artistic quality.)

Tagline(s) – Hold your breath (C)

(This is pretty boring and still somewhat confusing. Are they holding their breath because the tunnel is sealed and they’re running out of oxygen? Wouldn’t that take a while? The tunnel is gigantic. Or are they swimming because the tunnel is filling up with water? Then where is the daylight? I’m still not sure what this film is about.)

Keyword(s) – underwater scene; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 89.0 House of the Dead (2003); 88.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 87.8 BloodRayne (2005); 85.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 78.9 Jason X (2001); 78.0 Shark Night 3D (2011); 75.4 Elektra (2005); 73.0 Anaconda (1997); 72.2 A Sound of Thunder (2005);

(Noice. Just have to get on our trashy horror films / bad creature features and we’ll be done. A fantastic list though and I do believe all of these films have an underwater scene.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Amy Brenneman is No. 2 billed in Daylight and No. 4 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights. (As good a reason as any I suppose)

Sylvester Stallone was paid 17.5 million dollars to appear in this film.

Sylvester Stallone said this would be his last action film because he was getting too old for the genre. (That didn’t work out)

Rob Cohen originally wanted Nicolas Cage to play Kit Latura. Universal execs felt he was more of a “character actor”, and Sylvester Stallone was more commercially viable. (FALSE)

Sylvester Stallone’s son, Sage Stallone, plays Vincent.

The tunnel sequences were filmed in Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, on a set a third of a mile long. Cinecitta was chosen as the main studio set because of its enormous floodable sound stages. (Cool)

Whilst shooting in Rome, Sylvester Stallone insisted on staying at the luxurious Excelsior Hotel which charged 3,600 dollars a night. The Rome shoot lasted 3 months. (Lol well you do you Sly)

Before he was cast in Daylight, Sylvester Stallone was involved in another two movie projects. One was an action disaster thriller titled “No Safe Haven”, and he was going to play disgraced ex marine who visits his mother on Martha’s Vineyard at the same time when president and his family are there on vacation. But then the militia-like cult shows up and the members of it take over entire island, but president manages to escape and he and marine then join up to fight against cult members and save his family, and entire film would take place during large hurricane. Despite Universal studio spending $300,000 on buying the script after six hours long bidding war with other studios for it, “No Safe Haven” was cancelled very early in pre-production.The second project Stallone was involved in was another action thriller titled “High Roller”. Written by screenwriter J.F. Lawton, who wrote Steven Seagal’s action hit Under Siege (1992), High Roller was described as “Die Hard in a casino”, and it was about ex-hitman who has to fight against mobsters and his former boss inside huge Las Vegas casino which they took over and kidnapped the owner, and not only that he has to save the owner but he and some down on his luck gambler who got involved into entire thing by accident also must protect casino owner’s daughter from mobsters.The script for the film was sold for $1 million against $2.5 million in mid 1995 to Savoy Pictures studio who were in financial problems, which is why they disagreed with Stallone’s $20 million contract to star in the film, so he went on to make Daylight while they cancelled High Roller which, following the bankruptcy of their studio, was never again attempted to be made into a film, even though various studios tried to buy the rights for it in 1996 after Savoy Pictures went bankrupt. (MV Alert! I’m leaving it all in, it is just too interesting)

All the vehicles were shipped to Italy for filming in Rome. An on-set advisor was on hand to authenticate everything, including the paperwork on some of the office desks. (Fun facts)

Max Allan Collins wrote a novelization of the film. (I know what I’m getting Jamie for Christmas this year)

Both Daylight and Dante’s Peak were written by Leslie Bohem. In both movies, the audience is lead to believe the dog has died after it disappears, but in both films the dog reappears later and ultimately survives. (Good, I hate it when dogs die)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Richard L. Anderson, David A. Whittaker, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bruce Roberts, 1997)

Armageddon Preview

Rich and Elvira the tree monster nanny are smooching hard. It’s real sexy and steamy and inappropriate to describe the scandalous nature of their forbidden love. Oh how forbidden! What a mismatched pair! What a indecent proposal! What a fatal attraction! What a… uh… wild orchid! In between bouts of steamy make-out sessions Elivira reveals that her real name is Jade and that Elivira is just a front that Gruber convinced her to put on to further his dastardly plan. “But what’s the plan?” asks Rich, taking a break from their sensual lovemaking. But Jade doesn’t know. “Well there’s only one way to find out.” Jade protests, but Rich quiets her with a kiss. “Nothing can stop us when we’re together,” and off they go to deliver him into Gruber’s hands. As they enter the arcade, it’s empty. Were they gone for so long totally frenching? Suddenly Gruber spins around in a chair, “well, well, well Rich. How nice of you to join us. Seems like you and Elvira have been having quite the time… or should I say… Jade?” Gruber already knows! Rich rips off his shirt ready to pound on Gruber, but he puts up his finger, “Not in front of your best friend and his little old granny.” Suddenly a panel in the wall spins around revealing Poe and his granny hanging suspended above a tank of electric eels. “You bastard,” Rich says through clenched teeth, “What do you want from us?” Gruber laughs, “Always so slow. Perhaps this will give you a clue.” With that another wall panel spins. “My god, it’s Jim McBrawn, renowned astronaut and sex symbol,” Rich exclaims. Gruber laughs again, “That’s right and you’re going to impersonate him and help me… hold the moon ransom!” That’s right! We’re watching one of the greatest movies ever made, Armageddon. You’re probably like, “bro, you even watch bad movies. That shit can’t possibly qualify.” Oh but it does. By the slimmest of margins. And that’s the first mistake, because leave an opening for us to watch Armageddon and we’re gonna slither in like a couple of greased up snakes at a county fair. Hooooooo weeeeeeeeeeeeeee… anyway, this indeed was Ebert’s worst film of 1998 while Siskel gave his award to none other than Patch Adams. All I gotta say is I’m much more excited to watch Armageddon than I would be to watch Patch Adams. Let’s go!

Armageddon (1998) – BMeTric: 14.8

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(Wow, the BMeTric just collapsed. Probably appropriate. Armageddon is ridiculously fun. I’ve seen it like 15 times. It is a little shocking just how much the critics hated the film. But that’s an opportunity for us to watch a good film for BMT)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Opens with a bang, and sets up an exciting (it improbable) story about NASA and the U.S. government turning to a veteran oil-well driller and his motley team to save humanity by flying to an asteroid and planting a nuclear bomb. After a while it becomes so routine, so predictable, and so redundant that all the fun is drained away.

(Hard disagree, but two stars sounds about right. It is a perfectly even film. On the one hand it is fun as hell and so so sincere. On the other it is just such a logical conclusion to 80s/90s action films that, as Leonard says, you can predict what is going to happen at every moment.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vizwnpbwO0w/

(I love it. “You have twelve days” … why? Why not just do it in 10 or 11? Why? Then you’d just have however long you want to complete the mission instead of literally (spoiler alert) blowing up the asteroid with one second to spare.)

Directors – Michael Bay – (Known For: Transformers; The Rock; Bad Boys; 13 Hours; Pain & Gain; Future BMT: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Pearl Harbor; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Bad Boys II; The Island; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2010 for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; and Nominee for Worst Director in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; and in 2018 for Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Loves English Mastiffs, and produces a bunch of horror films like the Friday the 13th reboot.)

Writers – Jonathan Hensleigh (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Jumanji; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Kill the Irishman; A Far Off Place; Future BMT: Next; The Saint; The Punisher; BMT: Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Armageddon in 1999; Notes: )

J.J. Abrams (screenplay) – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Super 8; Mission: Impossible III; Joy Ride; Forever Young; Regarding Henry; Future BMT: Gone Fishin’; Filofax; BMT: Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Armageddon in 1999; Notes: His father is Gerald William Abrams a television producer from the 80s. His sister is also a screenwriter.)

Tony Gilroy (adaptation) – (Known For: Rogue One; The Devil’s Advocate; The Bourne Identity; The Negotiator; The Bourne Supremacy; The Bourne Legacy; The Bourne Ultimatum; Dolores Claiborne; State of Play; Michael Clayton; The Cutting Edge; Duplicity; Extreme Measures; Future BMT: The Great Wall; Bait; Proof of Life; BMT: Armageddon; Notes: Has two brothers. Tony Gilroy is a very accomplished editor. And Dan Gilroy is also a writer (and married to Rene Russo).)

Shane Salerno (adaptation) – (Known For: Savages; Shaft; BMT: AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem; Armageddon; Notes: Was just 21 when he began writing on NYPD Blue. He is apparently writing Avatar 3.)

Robert Roy Pool (story) – (Known For: Outbreak; The Big Town; BMT: Armageddon; Notes: A little unclear what he’s been up to for the last 20 years, but worked with Laurence Dworet, a doctor, on writing the Outbreak screenplay.)

Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Pulp Fiction; Split; Unbreakable; The Sixth Sense; The Fifth Element; Die Hard; Sin City; RED; Looper; Twelve Monkeys; RED 2; Moonrise Kingdom; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Die Hard 4.0; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Ocean’s Twelve; Planet Terror; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Too; Vice; The Cold Light of Day; The Prince; Extraction; Lay the Favorite; Precious Cargo; Breakfast of Champions; First Kill; Cop Out; Reprisal; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Marauders; Acts of Violence; Fire with Fire; Perfect Stranger; Striking Distance; Rock the Kasbah; The Story of Us; Blind Date; Rugrats Go Wild; Mercury Rising; Loaded Weapon 1; Billy Bathgate; Surrogates; Sunset; The Jackal; Last Man Standing; Tears of the Sun; Hostage; Grand Champion; Glass; Four Rooms; BMT: North; A Good Day to Die Hard; Color of Night; The Whole Ten Yards; The Bonfire of the Vanities; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Hudson Hawk; Death Wish; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Winner for Worst Actor in 1999 for Armageddon, Mercury Rising, and The Siege; and Nominee for Worst Actor in 1992 for Hudson Hawk; in 1995 for Color of Night, and North; and in 2019 for Death Wish; Notes: Y’all know Bruce Willis. Famously married to Demi Moore for years, now married to model Emma Heming Willis.)

Billy Bob Thornton – (Known For: Tombstone; Love Actually; The Judge; Monster’s Ball; Princess Mononoke; Faster; Bound by Honor; Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Sling Blade; Intolerable Cruelty; Dead Man; Puss in Boots; Friday Night Lights; The Man Who Wasn’t There; A Simple Plan; U Turn; Bad Santa; Bandits; Bad News Bears; Parkland; Future BMT: The Informers; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Bad Santa 2; Into the Grizzly Maze; London Fields; Indecent Proposal; School for Scoundrels; Waking Up in Reno; The Alamo; Our Brand Is Crisis; South of Heaven, West of Hell; Cut Bank; Eagle Eye; The Baytown Outlaws; Entourage; Levity; The Winner; The Badge; Jayne Mansfield’s Car; BMT: On Deadly Ground; Mr. Woodcock; Armageddon; Notes: Y’all know Billy Bob. All the news on google is about his band which I think is called Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters … I would have thought it was just The Boxmasters, but given the ‘t’ isn’t capitalized it has to include his full name.)

Ben Affleck – (Known For: Triple Frontier; Justice League; Gone Girl; Dazed and Confused; The Accountant; Good Will Hunting; Argo; The Town; He’s Just Not That Into You; Field of Dreams; Daredevil; Dogma; Shakespeare in Love; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; The Company Men; Chasing Amy; Clerks II; Mallrats; State of Play; The Sum of All Fears; Future BMT: Surviving Christmas; Runner Runner; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Reindeer Games; Suicide Squad; Man About Town; Pearl Harbor; 200 Cigarettes; The Third Wheel; Live by Night; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Smokin’ Aces; BMT: Gigli; Phantoms; Paycheck; Armageddon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2004 for Daredevil, Gigli, and Paycheck; Winner for Worst Screen Combo for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2017; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Gigli in 2004; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; in 2005 for Jersey Girl, and Surviving Christmas; and in 2017 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for Daredevil, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Paycheck, Pearl Harbor, and Surviving Christmas; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; and in 2005 for Jersey Girl; Notes: His next film Torrance sounds suspiciously like Hardball with Keanu Reeves. Had a giant Netflix success with Triple Frontier recently.)

Budget/Gross – $140 million / Domestic: $201,578,182 (Worldwide: $553,709,788)

(These days that would be an underperformance, but that is kind of okay in the end. Bay’s biggest success until the Transformer franchise, so I think this was basically the ceiling for the type of action film Bay was producing around that time.)

#7 for the Disaster genre

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(Absolute pinnacle of the genre in 1998. It tried to make a comeback recently, I think because people tend to like disaster stuff when things are going well in the US. Seems like that is waning now though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (45/120): Lovely to look at but about as intelligent as the asteroid that serves as the movie’s antagonist, Armageddon slickly sums up the cinematic legacies of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.

(Basically nails it. Prior to the re-watch I decided this film was the logical conclusion to Top Gun and disaster films smushed together. Reviewer Highlight: It’s strictly a side issue whether mankind will survive colliding with an asteroid the size of Texas; the real question is whether Liv Tyler, who plays Bruce Willis’s daughter, gets to keep her boyfriend. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader)

Poster – Sklogageddon (A-)

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(It’s actually beautiful. Well spaced. I like the orange color, which is both the color of fire and Michael Bay as a whole. A little on the fence whether the font is good or not… you can barely see that it’s unique because of the fire. But it is unique.)

Tagline(s) – For Love. For Honor. For Mankind. (A)

(Yes, yes, and yes. That tagline is nearly perfect. Maybe add a dash of wit and you’d be up at the top. I also feel like it would be a good advertising scheme. Like, “For Love. For Honor. For Mankind… Four Loko.” Nailed it.)

Keyword(s) – asteroid; Top Ten by BMeTric: 74.8 After Earth (2013); 52.0 Green Lantern (2011); 48.3 Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007); 46.5 Space Station 76 (2014); 41.9 Meteor (1979); 41.6 Ice Age: Collision Course (2016); 38.4 Galaxina (1980); 38.4 The Phantom Planet (1961); 34.8 The Green Slime (1968); 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009);

(Wow, how haven’t we seen more of these? Well, I guess I’ve seen Green Lantern and all of the Transformers. I’m excited for Fantastic 4 2 though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Clarke Duncan is No. 8 billed in Armageddon and No. 4 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 8 + 4 + 2 + 2 = 16. If we were to watch Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 9.

Notes – N.A.S.A. shows this film during their management training program. New managers are given the task of trying to spot as many errors as possible. At least one hundred sixty-eight have been found. (Makes sense, I can’t help but laugh that they decided to have both space shuttles blast off at the same time)

Regarding the film’s premise, Ben Affleck asked Director Michael Bay, “Wouldn’t it be easier for N.A.S.A. to train astronauts how to drill rather than training drillers to be astronauts?” Bay told Affleck to shut up. Besides, the reasoning behind sending drillers, rather than training astronauts, is explained in the movie. (Straight from the notorious audio commentary. To be fair to Ben he acknowledges that it is explained in the movie … that explanation was “my guys are the best” which is equally ridiculous. I don’t doubt the scene was added to the script precisely because it was glaringly obvious that that was the better solution)

Steve Buscemi claimed that the role of Rockhound was pitched to him as a heroic geologist, which he eagerly accepted, wanting a change from the lowlifes, as whom he had been typecast. He noted that after he had been cast in the role, Rockhound’s sleazy characteristics were written into the script. (Great. Out of everything this aspect ages the worst. They suggest he’s a rapist basically so …)

Rockhound’s line about sitting on a million pounds of fuel in a rocket built by the lowest bidder is a variation of an actual radio transmission by Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, just prior to lift-off. (Cool)

Because of the patriotic nature of the script, and the success of using Top Gun (1986) as recruitment material, the producers persuaded N.A.S.A. to allow Director Michael Bay and company to shoot in the normally restricted space agency. This included the neutral buoyancy lab, a sixty-five-million-gallon, forty-foot-deep pool used to train astronauts for weightlessness, and the use of two ten-million-dollar space suits. The crew was also allowed to shoot in the historic launch pad that went out of service after the Apollo 1 disaster, and parts of the movie were filmed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. (Yup. Works really well it turns out)

Michael Bay had the actors write their list of demands on the papers from which Bruce Willis read.

The shuttle launches were filmed for real. Disney (Touchstone Pictures) was allowed to put cameras (about sixteen of them) all over the place. The camera on the launch pad was shaken so hard (25G) that all the screws fell out of the lens, and it had to be returned to Panavision in a box of pieces (which they put back together).

The film crew was also allowed to shoot sequences at the top of a real launch pad, with an actual space shuttle docked to it. The only condition was that they not step into the shuttle itself. Ben Affleck admitted to stepping inside the orbiter for a brief moment, before N.A.S.A. technicians ordered him out of the spacecraft. (Maybe for contamination reasons, but that’s hilarious)

Bruce Willis has said that he did not care for Michael Bay’s directing style, and he refuses to work with him again. (ha!)

When asked why he did this film, Steve Buscemi replied, “I wanted a bigger house”.

Bruce Willis came to the film after he decided a comedy he was filming called “Broadway Brawler” could not be salvaged, and sought a way to exit the project. Disney’s then-head Joe Roth worked out a deal where Willis would star in Armageddon and two future films for the studio, and in exchange, Disney would absorb the failed project’s costs as an advance against his initial salary. The two films Willis later made under this deal were The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000). (I love these silly stories from Hollywood, what a weird business)

Michael Clarke Duncan improvised the line, “Come and get Papa Bear!” This later became one of the actor’s nicknames.

Despite playing one of the principal characters, Michael Clarke Duncan’s name does not appear in the opening credits.

Michael Bay thinks Armageddon is his worst film. “I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in sixteen weeks”, he told The Miami Herald in 2013. “It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could.” (Yeah, it is definitely the weakest part. The asteroid looks ridiculous, and the movie suffers a bit. Plus the time jumps are crazy. They’ll be like “Hey can we do this in two hours?” and then literally two seconds later “We only have ten minutes left!” It is really jarring)

Billy Bob Thornton told Michael Bay that his backstory for Truman was that he was on track to join N.A.S.A. as an astronaut, but suffered crippling nerve damage as a young man, and was only able to serve as an administrator. Bay loved the idea, and had a scene written that refers to this by showing a metal brace on Truman’s leg.

During the filming of this movie, the cast and crew worked around nineteen billion dollars worth of equipment, including a real oil rig and real space shuttle.

According to the Criterion Collection commentary, many of the errors found in the film were acknowledged by the director, and known even during filming and production and were left in deliberately (such as fire in space). Michael Bay said, “It’s a movie and not many people know about it”, so they were kept in for entertainment value.

Billy Bob Thornton has admitted to doing this film for the money and often jokes about acting in it. He has, however, called it “not THAT bad”. (It isn’t that bad)

By the time of its release, this was the Walt Disney Company’s highest-grossing live-action film (without adjustment for inflation). (Oh so times have changed)

The convenient existence of a fault plane passing right through the asteroid is not unrealistic. Several asteroids are now believed to be “contact binaries”, each apparently consisting of two separate lumps of rock that are just sitting on each other.

The original script did not include the romantic subplot between A.J. (Ben Affleck) and Grace (Liv Tyler), and instead had more emphasis on Truman. It was added after the success of Titanic (1997) with teenage girls. Most of the romantic scenes were written by Scott Rosenberg and were filmed late in production. (WHAT, that’s crazy. I think it works though, Liv Tyler’s scenes with Affleck and Willis is a touch of humanity the movie needs as cheesy as it all is)

Michael Bay said in a magazine interview that the solution in the movie for dealing with the asteroid was very clever, but not realistic, but that one idea for countering the threat was in line with actual N.A.S.A. research (anti-gravity systems). He also said that a problem with a film like this, was that it would make Americans erroneously think that if a situation like the movie actually occurred, then there was anything that could be done about it. (Yeah we’d all be dead. That being said, we would have known about the asteroid waaaaaay before that. We would have known about the errant comet and its path through the asteroid belt years before it ever happened, as if we wouldn’t track a comet flying through our solar system)

Stanley Anderson, who played the U.S. President, also played the U.S. President in The Rock (1996). (I love fake presidents)

Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the role of Harry Stamper. (Wow, what a movie that would be … that is blowing my mind)

Scott Rosenberg, Robert Towne, and Ann Biderman all did uncredited work on the screenplay. J.J. Abrams’ original contribution was also going to be uncredited, but Michael Bay liked it so much, that Abrams was brought back for additional dialogue work, and ended up sharing a Story credit with Shane Salerno.

Ben Affleck has practically disowned the movie, even repeatedly making fun of it on the commentary.

Bruce Willis was given a second trailer that housed a full working gym, at an estimated cost of one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars. It was reportedly never used. (HA, go get yo’ money Bruce)

Lawrence Tierney repeatedly turned down the part of Harry’s father, until he was offered a substantial pay raise. (……… he is uncredited in the film … but that must have been cut. I don’t recall a scene with Harry’s father)

DIRECTOR CAMEO (Michael Bay): As a N.A.S.A. scientist. Shown after Carl asks to name the asteroid Dottie. (I noticed this real time during the watch. It is super quick)

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #40. (It’s in the Criterion Collection?)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Sound (Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Keith A. Wester, 1999)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (George Watters II, 1999)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects (Richard R. Hoover, Pat McClung, John Frazier, 1999)

Nominee for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song (Diane Warren, 1999)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Bruce Willis, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd, Michael Bay, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Liv Tyler, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Michael Bay, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Hensleigh, J.J. Abrams, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Diane Warren, 1999)

Clan of the Cave Bear Preview

There are a number of Bring a Friend films that we really went out of our way to accommodate. This week is one of those. When it came to the category of Kids films we really wanted to watch something that was a major release, but we would never ever ever ever watch. Not something like Son of Mask, Marmaduke, or the recently watched Baby Geniuses films, where they transcend the “Never Watch Kids Films” BMT rule, but rather a run-of-the-will children’s film that happened to be terrible. So you know what that means. That’s right! We’re watching Clan of the Cave BeAir Bud: Golden Receiver! There is literally a 0% chance that we would have ever watch Air Bud 2. Wouldn’t have happened without Bring a Friend. The same could almost be said about the BMT film that brought it along. Clan of the Cave Bear is a 1986 adaptation of a 1980 historical fiction book set in the Paleolithic era. I has come up before for BMT, but more seriously as an entry for a book-to-film cycle, since the book was a worldwide success and spawned five sequels. I’ve always been curious to read it and now’s my chance. The film ended up being a gigantic box office flop, so hopefully it can live down to that hype. Let’s go!

The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986) – BMeTric: 34.1

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(Those are some wild swings in rating for a movie this old. And both films this week have an astonishingly low number of votes. But a 5 IMDb rating is solidly low, so I am expecting a lot.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  World’s first feminist caveman movie, minus the anthropological detail of Jean Auel’s popular book. Hannah is perfectly cast as outsider who joins band of nomadic Neanderthals, but the story (such as it is) is alternatively boring and unintentionally funny. Subtitles translate cave people’s primitive tongue. Screenplay by John Sayles.

(Unintentionally funny good. Boring bad. But I have a feeling this is going to be mostly boring.)

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

(IT’S A BOOK! REMEMBER THAT BOOK? That is basically what this trailer says. No, I don’t remember it, and this movie looks boring and weird … a combination that weirdly is getting me a bit excited to be honest.)

Directors – Michael Chapman – (Known For: All the Right Moves; BMT: The Clan of the Cave Bear; Notes: A well known cinematographer, for which he was nominated for two Oscars, for The Fugitive and Raging Bull.)

Writers – Jean M. Auel (novel) – (BMT: The Clan of the Cave Bear; Notes: A children’s book novelist who at one point worked as a circuit board designer for Tektronix, a company that has been making things like oscilloscopes since the 1940s! They tried to make a TV series out of Clan of the Cave Bear recently, but it never got off the ground)

John Sayles (screenplay) – (Known For: The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Howling; Battle Beyond the Stars; Piranha; Lone Star; Alligator; Eight Men Out; Matewan; The Secret of Roan Inish; The Brother from Another Planet; Sunshine State; The Challenge; Go for Sisters; Piranha; Passion Fish; Baby It’s You; Honeydripper; Limbo; Amigo; Return of the Secaucus Seven; BMT: The Clan of the Cave Bear; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for Lone Star and Passion Fish. His filmography speaks for itself. He was a factory worker who submitted short stories to magazines on the side which were eventually turned into a novel, Pride of the Bimbos. He got a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and used that to transition to a well respected screenwriter. An amazing story.)

Actors – Daryl Hannah – (Known For: Blade Runner; Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Kill Bill: Vol. 2; Splash; Wall Street; Steel Magnolias; Grumpy Old Men; I Am Michael; Roxanne; The Fury; Crimes and Misdemeanours; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Gingerbread Man; The Big Empty; Legal Eagles; At Play in the Fields of the Lord; Northfork; Casa de los babys; Silver City; Wildflowers; Future BMT: My Favorite Martian; Memoirs of an Invisible Man; Two Much; High Spirits; Keeping Up with the Steins; The Little Rascals; The Final Terror; Summer Lovers; The Hot Flashes; Dancing at the Blue Iguana; Crazy People; The Real Blonde; The Tie That Binds; Grumpier Old Men; Vice; BMT: The Clan of the Cave Bear; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Supporting Actress for Wall Street in 1988; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress in 1989 for High Spirits; and in 1997 for Two Much; Notes: An ardent environmentalist, she has been very politically active in the last ten years. She was also at one point in a relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr.)

Pamela Reed – (Known For: Kindergarten Cop; The Right Stuff; Bean; Proof of Life; The Long Riders; Outside In; Eyewitness; Cadillac Man; Bob Roberts; Melvin and Howard; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Future BMT: Junior; Young Doctors in Love; The Best of Times; BMT: The Clan of the Cave Bear; Notes: She played Leslie Knope’s mother on Parks and Recreation. She has done a lot of television work recently, on Jericho, United States of Tara, and NCIS: Los Angeles, among others.)

James Remar – (Known For: Django Unchained; X: First Class; The Girl Next Door; Ratatouille; The Warriors; RED; What Lies Beneath; Pineapple Express; Horns; February; 48 Hrs.; Cruising; The Phantom; The Cotton Club; Drugstore Cowboy; Miracle on 34th Street; The Long Riders; White Fang; The Dream Team; Future BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Psycho; The Unborn; The Quest; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; Blade: Trinity; Duplex; Fatal Instinct; Persecuted; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Rent-a-Cop; Renaissance Man; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; BMT: Wild Bill; Judge Dredd; 2 Fast 2 Furious; The Clan of the Cave Bear; Notes: He can still be seen in Aliens as he was originally cast as Hicks, but had to drop out after they had filmed a scene that was too expensive to reshoot. Attended Newton North High School in Massachusetts (what what).)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $1,953,732

(Oh God no, that is awful. I feel like 1986 was just a terrible year for films as a few studios were struggling to make money and throwing anything and everything at the wall hoping it would stick. This might not be much different. Although at least one of the production companies survived this disaster.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (1/10): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make one: Boooooooooring, and worse than the book …. So read the book. Ebert’s original review from the time has a few nice zingers. My favorite being: “If modern men came from beginnings like this, why did they even bother to develop civilization, since they already possessed its most wretched excesses?”)

Poster – The Clan of the Sklog Bear (A-)

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(Artistic poster with some unique font. Like the stark red on white. It’s solid. Funny thing is that this is also the cover of the DVD and I was told that it looked like a horror film… which I guess is kind of true. Could be an image of a monster.)

Tagline(s) – At The Dawn Of Mankind, A Woman Led The Way. (A)

(This is an all around solid tagline. Clever juxtaposition of Mankind and Woman (and the implications of that), hints at the plot, and just short enough. Near perfect.)

Keyword(s) – neanderthal; Top Ten by BMeTric: 71.6 The Flintstones (1994); 34.1 The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986); 24.0 Eliminators (1986); 21.2 Dieu est grand, je suis toute petite (2001); 16.6 Terror! Il castello delle donne maledette (1974); 16.4 Iceman (1984); 13.9 Dinosaurus! (1960); 12.2 Ironmaster (1983); 10.6 Monster on the Campus (1958); 5.8 Ao: The Last Hunter (2010);

(Ridiculous list. Only the top two are real. Like … Encino Man doesn’t count? Because that def has a higher BMeTric. I’m getting more and more concerned with the quality of these keywords as time goes on.)

Notes – Based on the first novel in the bookseries Earth’s Children by author Jean M. Auel.

A planned back-to-back sequel never made it into production.

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Makeup (Michael Westmore, Michèle Burke)

Norbit 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 fourth 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!

Norbit (2007) – BMeTric: 81.2

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(Sweet 2011 inflection. It is definitely a strong trend. Yet again, despite thousands and thousands of votes coming it the movie’s rating doesn’t regress to the mean. It is generally unusual, but three out of the four Hall of Fame movies exhibit this unusual trend. Old Dogs was the only exception which is also very interesting. I suppose as a fairly innocuous family comedy it managed to evade the bad movie cultists that surround the more popular fair.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – As in Coming to America and the Nutty Professor vehicles Murphy plays several characters: Norbit a meek young man brought up by Chinese restaurant owner Mr. Wong and stuck in a terrifying marriage with the hideously overweight Rasputia. All three are in search of a script. Murphy shows his comedic range but is let down by the material, which includes all of the fat jokes the writers (including Murphy his brother Charles) could come up with. Prophetic ad line for the movie asked, “Have You Ever Made a Really Bad Mistake?”

(I like the idea of Murphy getting all pissed about the writers failing to live up to his comic genius and then realizing that he wrote the movie. I’m also genuinely shocked Mr. Wong’s mind-blowing racism isn’t mentioned alongside the (seemingly) unlimited store of fat jokes the Murphy brothers could muster. I’m skeptical Leonard watched this film … this review is low on detes. I’m onto you Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmSZJ17ppEQ

(So she punches him in the face and she throws him through a window in the trailer. This trailer is aggressive, it is in your face. They use that song Don’t Cha by the Pussy Cat Dolls like five times. I don’t like the trailer, it hints that it might be the worst thing you’ve ever seen … but it does manage to hide the fact that the movie is more horror film than comedy. So congrats.)

Directors – Brian Robbins – (Known For: Varsity Blues; BMT: Norbit (BMT); The Shaggy Dog; Meet Dave; Ready to Rumble; Good Burger; The Perfect Score; A Thousand Words (BMT); Hard Ball; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Director for Norbit; Good Burger?! Say What? He was a main character on the show Head of the Class appearing in all 114 episodes. He got his start directing with Kenan & Kel and Good Burger, and many Murphy projects. He is also an extremely accomplished producer in both television and streaming services.)

Writers – Eddie Murphy (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop II; Boomerang; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; Another 48 Hrs.; Harlem Nights (BMT); Notes: See below for Razzie Notes; He doesn’t write as many of his starring roles than I personally would have expected. He didn’t seem very enthused about directing with Harlem Nights, so maybe he’d rather riff on screen and doesn’t really care to write? He hadn’t done it in years before Norbit (1995 was his last feature prior to Norbit in 2007).)

Charlie Murphy (screenplay & story) (as Charles Murphy) – (BMT: Norbit (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Norbit; Funny he was going by Charles Murphy … perhaps this suggests the screenplay was written long before the movie came out? Chappelle’s Show was in 2003-2006, and at that point he would have been far more well known as Charlie Murphy. Perhaps he got credited from an original draft written years before. It also perhaps resolves the curiosity that Eddie Murphy seemingly didn’t write a movie for all those years … huh, this movie was probably written in like 2000 wasn’t it?)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (screenplay) – (Known For: Guess Who; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; I Spy; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Norbit; The writers for the upcoming Baywatch adaptation (the trailer looks pretty funny). These guys’ filmography make me a bit skeptical, but maybe they are punch-up artists? … I was just thinking that maybe they are like Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon … who it turns out also wrote Baywatch. Two other dudes got final credit. Yeah, Baywatch clearly fired those two writing teams during production. Wow.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Shrek; Shrek 2; Shrek the Third; Mulan; Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop; Trading Places; Dreamgirls; Tower Heist; Shrek Forever After; Beverly Hills Cop II; 48 Hrs.; Doctor Dolittle; The Nutty Professor; Life; Dr. Dolittle 2; Bowfinger; Boomerang; Imagine That; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Pluto Nash (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child (BMT); A Thousand Words (BMT); The Distinguished Gentleman; Harlem Nights (BMT); Notes: See below for Razzie notes; There isn’t much more to say about Murphy. He is both a legend in his own right, and a BMT legend. Since maybe 2000 his legacy has been marred by poorly reviewed films, bitterness, and poor public relations. The thing recently I remember was his awkward appearance at the SNL 40 celebrations.)

Thandie Newton – (Known For: Crash; RocknRolla; The Pursuit of Happyness; Mission: Impossible II; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; W.; Run Fatboy Run; Beloved; Vanishing on 7th Street; BMT: Norbit (BMT); The Truth About Charlie; 2012 (BMT); Good Deeds; For Colored Girls; Jefferson in Paris; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; The Young Americans; The Chronicles of Riddick; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actress for Mission: Impossible II; Actually has an incredible filmography, including the recent HBO smash hit Westworld. Grew up in England and her accent limited her early work. She is vegan, and was even named the Sexiest Vegan of 2014!)

Terry Crews – (seen in Scary Movie 5, The Ridiculous 6, White Chicks, The Benchwarmers, Gamer, The Single Moms Club, The Expendables 3, Blended … that’s more than Neil McDonough!)

Eddie Murphy Razzie Cred – Won the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Won the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress for Norbit; Won the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Director and Screenplay for Norbit; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2013 for Worst Actor for A Thousand Words; in 2010 for Imagine That; in 2009 for Meet Dave; and in 2003 for The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, and Showtime; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Screen Couple for Meet Dave; in 2008 for Norbit; in 2003 for Showtime, I Spy, The Adventures of Pluto Nash;

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $95,673,607 (Worldwide: $159,313,561)

(That’s actually not that bad. Looking through his boxofficemojo he had had bombs before, and I remember comments surrounding The Haunted Mansion, Daddy Day Care, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash concerning his turn in quality. But I also remember that it wasn’t really until Meet Dave that faith was completely lost. That completely bombed and it was then three years before Tower Heist was supposed to get him back into the comedy game. We’ll see about the new Beverly Hills Cop I suppose.)

#11 for the Comedy – Fat Suit genre

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(Better than Big Momma’s House 2 and Big Momma Like Father Like Son. Only a shade below the original Big Momma’s House as well. Obviously a major player in the genre, Eddie Murphy was a trailblazer with the Nutty Professor franchise. Is it crazy to say that this movie marked the end of the Fat Suit Era of Hollywood? I can think of two reasons why. First, the genre is garbage. Second, they can kind of pull it off with cheaper CGI it seems (see Central Intelligence).)

#29 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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(Man … the romcom genre kind of sucks. No joke, there are like 300 films in this list and the 31st is Sex in the City 2. Gross. Once again this graphic is interesting. Such a major genre you can kind of see Hollywood grow through the 90s and reach saturation in about 2000 and then it just holds steady. Nothing really causes the fall. The movies just seem to consistently not make money. Thinking of a 2000 theater release $24K per theater is $50 million dollars. Since the 80’s only 80 or so movies have broken that mark, and only 28 broke $100 million. Plus I’m sure, given the cultural restrictions on romance in particular, these movies perform quite poorly if at all overseas. My guess is that, yet again, this is a genre destined for VOD release going forward.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (11/123): Coming off his Oscar-nominated performance in Dreamgirls, the talented-but-inconsistent Eddie Murphy plays three roles in Norbit, a cruel, crass, stereotype-filled comedy that’s more depressing than funny.

(Less than 10% on rotten tomatoes is incredible. Cruel (yep), crass (yep), stereo-type filled (yep) those are the things I remember about this film on my first viewing. It made me feel gross and it seems like 91% of critics also felt gross while watching it.)

Poster – Bore-it … get it? (C+)

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(I know Jamie would be hating on this poster because it is basically just white. I actually think it does an adequate job at highlighting literally the only thing you want from this movie: Eddie Murphy as a big ol’ fat girl. I gave it b-b-b-b-bonus points because of how they squeezed the title. Very hard to spoof if I wanted to.)

Tagline(s) – Have You Ever Made A Really Big Mistake? (C-)

(I was going to give this an F, but then I envisioned Rasputia on th eposter and thought, ah, big mistake. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it, and it makes sense for them movie. So I merely declared this below average.)

Keyword(s) – orphan; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.6 Epic Movie (2007); 86.3 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 83.6 Fantastic Four (2015); 81.5 Alone in the Dark (2005); 81.2 Norbit (2007); 78.0 The Room (2003); 77.5 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 74.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 73.8 Superhero Movie (2008); 64.3 The Next Karate Kid (1994);

(Huh, interesting list. I’m shocked the Next Karate Kid is so loathed actually. I never did get around to that. Besides that Alone in the Dark is the only other must see, although a 70+ horror film in Prom Night does hold some allure.)

Notes – One scene shows Rasputia watching a talk show with a paternity test theme. Eddie Murphy endured a paternity scandal before the film’s theatrical run, involving Spice Girl Melanie Brown. A DNA test confirmed the actor was the baby’s father.

The set used in the film is the same one that “Gilmore Girls” (2010) used as Stars Hollow in their 7 season run. (awesome. I’ll have to look out for that on my watch of Gilmore Girls)

The car wash scene is a parody of a TV ad featuring Paris Hilton. (oh alright, that’s didn’t hold up)

For security purposes, early prints were shipped under the title ‘Jupiter’, an apparent allusion to Eddie Murphy’s film Pluto Nash (2002). (fun facts)

This is the second film that Cuba Gooding Jr. played in, that starred Eddie Murphy playing multiple characters. The first film was Coming To America (1988), he had a small non- speaking role, as boy in barber shop chair.

WatchMOJO lists Norbit number 10 on its top worst comedy movies list. (Number 10?! Let me see this fucking list: Norbit, Chairman of the Board (BMT), Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (Seen it), Little Nicky (Seen it), Freddy Got Fingered (BMT), It’s Pat. Son of Mask, Master of Disguise (BMT), Bio-Dome (Seen it), Jack and Jill (BMT). Alright … that’s a pretty legit list.)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup (Rick Baker, Kazuhiro Tsuji)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Eddie Murphy)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Eddie Murphy)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Eddie Murphy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Brian Robbins)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Eddie Murphy, Charlie Murphy, Jay Scherick, David Ronn)

Harlem Nights Preview

Alright, so this week we move onto our Razzie category. We needed a Razzie nominee with a one-and-done director and what better one to do than Eddie Murphy’s only directorial effort, Harlem Nights. In 1989, with Robert Townsend and Spike Lee, there was a bit of a black directing renaissance going on in Hollywood. Eddie Murphy was the it guy and was given the chance to direct a film. He wanted to work with his heroes, so he cast Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx and they cooked up Harlem Nights. Sounds pretty cool and this has definitely got a bit of a cult following over the years, so don’t be surprised if we come back saying some good (or at least alright) things about it. Let’s go!

Harlem Nights (1989) – BMeTric: 23.5

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(Yet another weird example of a movie going from “really bad” about 10 years ago (4.8 rating on IMDb) to “mediocre to good” now (5.9 on IMDb). I have to admit, I don’t totally get the migration, but I assume it is just a general IMDb trend, the more people you have voting the higher the average rating tends to be. If this trend keeps up this will end up not even really registering for BMT at all, it if gets to 6.2 it will be near to 15 or so with the BMeTric. Vaguely interesting stuff guys.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Proprietor of an after-hours club in 1930s Harlem (Pryor) and his adopted son (Murphy) try standing up to a white mobster determined to cut in on their take of put them out of business. Murphy’s debut as a writer-director is skimpily scripted and completely devoid of energy. Even pryor’s effortless charisma can’t breathe much life into this one.

(That sounds about right. Not good, but not off-the-rails bad… two stars. Not sounding like the best BMT film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En27DgNW0nY

(Huh. A super understated trailer for what is apparently a super understated movie. I’m starting to get the feeling … oh yeah I’m there, I have a bad feeling this movie is “bad” because it is aggressively and unrelentingly boring. I hope I’m wrong.)

Directors – Eddie Murphy – (BMT: Harlem Nights; Notes: Only directorial effort of his career. His quote about directing: “It was a question of wearing too many hats, and as a result, everything was half-assed. All my peers were directing: Keenan [Ivory Wayans], and Robert [Townsend] and Spike [Lee]. I was like ‘Shit,’ I’m the big cat on the block; let me see what it’s like to direct. So I just did it. I didn’t dig it.”)

Writers – Eddie Murphy (written by) – (Known For: Coming to America; Beverly Hills Cop II; Boomerang; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; Another 48 Hrs.; Harlem Nights; Notes: Involved in a well publicized lawsuit, Buchwald v. Paramount, involving the Coming to America screenplay. Murphy’s treatment for the script was alleged to be stolen from a screenplay written by Art Buchwald and the trial ended up being settled. Written about in the book Fatal Subtraction.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Coming to America; Shrek; Mulan; Shrek 2; Trading Places; Beverly Hills Cop; Shrek the Third; Shrek Forever After; Tower Heist; Dreamgirls; Life; 48 Hrs.; The Nutty Professor; Doctor Dolittle; Beverly Hills Cop II; Dr. Dolittle 2; Bowfinger; Boomerang; Imagine That; BMT: Norbit (BMT); Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (Seen it); The Adventures of Pluto Nash (BMT); Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man (Seen it); I Spy (Seen it); Beverly Hills Cop III; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child; A Thousand Words (BMT); The Distinguished Gentleman; Harlem Nights; Notes: Major movie star and stand-up comic. One of the most prominent BMT actors of our age.)

Eddie Murphy Razzie Notes – Won 2010 Worst Actor of the Decade; Won 2008 Worst Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress Norbit, 1990 Worst Screenplay Harlem Nights; Nominated 2013 Worst Actor A Thousand Words, 2010 Worst Actor Imagine That, 2009 Worst Actor Meet Dave, 2003 Worst Actor The Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, Showtime, 1990 Worst Director Harlem Nights, 2008 Worst Screenplay Norbit, 2009 Worst Screen Couple Meet Dave, 2008 Worst Screen Couple Norbit, 2003 Worst Screen Couple with Robert De Niro (Showtime) and Owen Wilson (I Spy).

Also stars Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $60,864,870

(Quite a big hit, although not nearly the hit that the producers anticipated (if stories are to be believed). The more famous story from its release is a couple of shooting that occurred in and around theaters during its release. Led to the first metal detectors installed in theaters.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (3/14): No consensus yet.

(Too old for a consensus, so I’ll make one up: Great cast and sharp 1930’s look, can’t make up for the bizarrely unfunny script by first-time-director Murphy. Maybe stick to acting.)

Poster – Classic (A)

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(It’s just classic. I would hang this on my wall. I feel like all the art aspects of this film were off the chain.)

Tagline(s) – They’re up to something big. (D)

(Does this mean something? I’m confused. Is this a film where Eddie Murphy is made into a 50-foot monster through the reverse use of a shrinking ray? Are Murphy, Pryor, and Foxx tasked with transporting an Elephant somewhere? It only doesn’t get an F because it doesn’t offend my senses.)

Notes – In the autobiography, “Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences (1997)”, Richard Pryor states that he ” . . . never connected with Eddie [Murphy]. People talked about how my work had influenced Eddie, and perhaps it did. But I always thought Eddie’s comedy was mean. I used to say, “Eddie, be a little nice” and that would piss him off . . . I finished [Harlem Nights (1989)] thinking that Eddie didn’t like me”.

By his own admission, Eddie Murphy felt that he didn’t dedicate enough thought or care to the directing of his debut. He was more concerned at the time with figuring out where the next party was going to be.

Awards – Oscar Nominated for Best Costume Design (Joe I. Tompkins)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Eddie Murphy)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Eddie Murphy)