The Beverly Hillbillies Recap

Jamie

Jed Clampett strikes oil and strikes out for Beverly Hills in pursuit of a wife to help tame his tomboy daughter. Surrounded by sycophants and con men looking to take advantage of his country naivete, can they be stopped before it’s too late? Find out in… The Beverly Hillbillies.

How?! It’s the classic fish-out-of-water story updated for a modern time. Jed Clampett is out hunting for dinner in rural Arkansas when a stray bullet strikes a giant oil reserve. Selling his land for billions he hoofs it to Beverly Hills with Grannie, Jethro, and Elly May in tow in order to find a wife to help Elly May become a proper young lady (she currently spends her time wrasling bears and the like). Upon arriving they are taken under the wing of the head of the bank, Mr. Drysdale, and his associate Miss Jane Hathaway. Unbeknownst to them, though, a skeezy employee of the bank, Woodrow, and his money-grubbing girlfriend, Laura, plan to trick the country bumpkins into handing over their fortune. Disguised as a French etiquette teacher, Laura infiltrates the family and cozies up to Jed. While the Clampett clan generally charm all those that come across their simple, kind ways, it all seems headed for naught as Jed announces that he will indeed marry Laura. On the day of the wedding Miss Jane and Grannie discover the dastardly plot and at the last moment stop the wedding. The End. The film is also that abrupt in concluding.

Why?! The original TV show was a bit light on motivation. They move to Beverly Hills in order just to take advantage of their new wealth since it seemed like the right thing to do. In the film they solidify this a bit by detailing a fear of Jed’s that his daughter is growing up rough in rural Arkansas without a mother. By moving to ritzy Beverly Hills he hopes to find a sophisticated wife who can teach Elly May to be a proper lady. As for Mr. Drysdale, he’s a sycophant that hopes only to keep Jed’s money in his bank (although he and Miss Jane are pretty nice to the Clampetts nonetheless). Laura and Woodrow are the bad guys that only aim to steal money that is not theirs. Played by Rob Schneider, Woodrow is terribly unfunny and easily the worst part of a pretty silly film.

What?! I was fearing that we wouldn’t get a decent product placement in the entire film and I would be forced to use a conspicuously placed bottle of Shasta soda for this entry (the horror). That is until Jed’s glamorous birthday party when Juthro, shown to be a huge eater in several different scenes (character development!), can’t stand the snobby food. Starving and eager for a decent meal he orders a six-foot sub from Subway! Not joking, it’s a commercial within a film.

Who?! While Zsa Zsa Gabor appears very briefly in a police lineup (for no discernable reason) and the original Jed Clampett himself, Buddy Ebsen, appears as Barnaby Jones, I have to give this section to the queen Dolly Parton. Not only does she sings a full rendition of If You Ain’t Got Love and Happy Birthday, but she wrangled a higher billing than Rob Schneider and Dabney Coleman for a single scene. Good on ya!

Where?! Love the original setting of Arkansas. Fairly brief, but specific. The main setting though sets off a serious A+ Settings Alert! Beverly Hills is essential to the plot and in the title. Can’t beat a satisfyingly A+ setting.

When?! Patrick and I discussed this at length. With some sleuthing it would seem that the film takes place over a 6 month period starting from February 1993, with the wedding taking place on the 10th of August of that year. This is all based on a calendar on Barnaby Jones’ desk and a couple of magazine people read (we are crazy people). Most B- setting that I can remember.

I actually didn’t totally mind this film. Just as silly as something like Dudley Do-Right, but with some characters I liked and I thought the Clampett actors did an admirable job conveying the sweet innocence of the family without becoming insulting… or at least too insulting. Rob Schneider never fails to be terrible though. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The Beverly Hillbillies? More like the Beverly Fail-billies? That’s a toughy. Jed Clampett just fell ass backwards into a billion dollars and wants to find his daughter a new mother … that’s it. That’s the story, let’s get into it.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I like the actors (although I don’t think anyone comes across as decent besides, maybe, Lea Thompson). And the movie is kind of harmless in an oh-shucks kind of way. I would Remake it obviously. Because there is nothing better than remaking a remake of a 1960s television show. I think I would use it as a launching point for a new show, so cast the show and start it with a Beverly Hillbillies movie (hey, why not?) which tells the tale of Jed Clampett falling backwards into $10 billion (inflation, amirite?) and all of a sudden rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elites. Run it like a faux-soap opera, a kind of pseudo-drama comedy. Not the OC, more like a light-hearted Twin Peaks season 1. Is there a show like that? I feel like if there isn’t there should be, and why not use that sweet IP to do it?

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – When I initially watched this movie I thought it was merely boring and harmless. There was silly sound effects, and a ludicrous story about a wedding and a Swiss bank account. But the longer I ruminate the more I dislike it. It is like a two episode arc of a television show premiere. It adds nothing and I can’t quite figure out why it exists. I’ve subsequently seen a few critics say roughly the same thing (see Ebert’s review below), so it was as obvious at the time as well. It just seems so pointless, which is somehow worse than just making a terrible movie in the first place! The Sklognalogy I think has to be Car 54 Where are You? but at the same time, at least that movie decided to do something interesting with that property. Maybe Dudley Do-Right though … I can barely remember that worthless film.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – No legacy. This film is just along for the ride with other early-90s tv adaptations. I hope to forget it almost immediately. In StreetCreditReport.com the episode of Siskel & Ebert The Beverly Hillbillies was Siskel’s worst tv remake of the year!! Funny enough Ebert chose Coneheads even though he destroys this film in his own review. I’m not surprised, the film is more of a disappointment and boring, not aggressively bad like Super Mario Bros. Buys a bit into my big-targets theory of bad movie criticism: a movie might be objectively better than other films coming out in the same year, but if you have a big target (here, it is the fact that it is based on a beloved classic property), then you’ll get disproportionately slammed when things turn out poorly.

I wish I could say I watched some original Beverly Hillbillies in prep … but I didn’t really see the point. I watched an episode of Car 54 Where Are You? and just kind of realized shows from that era don’t really have arcs, and remakes tend to not stray too far from the general tone anyways. They barely have characters. Meh, that is what I say to you Beverly Hillbillies.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace Recap

Jamie

Superman is back, Jack! This time he’s looking to eliminate all nuclear weapons, but finds Lex Luthor standing in his way. Can he stop him before it’s too late? Find out in… Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

How?! Superman is back and feeling real down about the state of world affairs. Everyone is super stressed about the threat of nuclear war and he figures that if anyone can be expected to bring it to an end it should be him (talk about a boring plot). In the meantime Lex Luthor escapes prison and comes up with a devious plan to create a Nuclear supervillian by stowing some super DNA on one of the nuclear weapons Superman is throwing into the sun. This ridiculous plan works (of course) and Nuclear Man is born. When Superman attempts to do battle with this new foe he ends up being poisoned by his intense radiation and has to use his last Kryptonian energy module to heal himself. Once recovered he battles Nuclear Man in space and again looks like a total dope when Nuclear Man easily pummels him into the surface of the moon. Fortunately he frees himself, pushes the moon into a solar eclipse (draining Nuclear Man of his sweet, sweet sun power), and destroys him. This synopsis of course ignores the major and mostly inconsequential plot line where the Daily Planet is bought by a Rupert Murdoch-like tabloid newspaper mogul and his daughter falls in love with Clark… cause that was even more boring than the nuclear weapons plot.

Why?! Most superhero films (and every other film in the Superman series) has the superhero take on a supervillian hell bent on world domination or gaining extreme wealth. It’s very reactionary: bad guy shows up, Superman stops him. This film on the other hand has Superman with an explicit motivation: he wants to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Because he chooses to use his power to influence humanity’s course he leaves himself open to have this plan exploited and of course Lex Luthor (still just wanting world domination and excessive riches) does just that. Very different than the rest of the series.

What?! This didn’t have nearly as much product placement as the first three films in the series. I did like the prominent Pepsi cooler visible in the Daily Planet office and that Lenny was clearly a rad teenager as demonstrated by the NES he messed around with.

Who?! There is a true art to a Planchet and Superman IV delivered. A classic Planchet is a guy just trying to do good but is basically ridiculous and everyone constantly makes fun of him. Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor’s nephew Lenny fits that bill to a T. Look at this asshole! He’s ridiculous and Lex Luthor constantly reminds him of that fact. Perfect Planchet.

Where?! This entry in the series is almost entirely set in Metropolis. As mentioned in the Superman III recap it’s amazing that in all my years of bad movie settings research I never stumbled across the fact that in the DC canon Metropolis is located in none other than our arch nemesis Delaware. This would be amazing and earth shattering if it were ever explicitly mentioned in the film. As it is it’s just a D-.

When?! Didn’t get so lucky on the temporal setting for this one. Nary a close-up of a newspaper or check to be found (although it seemed like they got mighty close a couple of times). F.

Creepy Superman saved Superman III from being a boring mess. Nothing was around to do the same for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. But let’s throw it to Patrick for his thoughts. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? More like Super Lame Bore: Puts Me to Sleep! Hey, that wasn’t bad, and is actually very apropos. What do you get when you cross a movie studio desperate for a hit with a writer-star who seems like he might be a little light on the “writer” in that combo? You get a sequel that legit destroyed a franchise for 20 years. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – I think there is a kernel of a good movie here, because the idea is okay. Beyond that the movie is a bore, none of the actors seem to have bothered to care about it, so let’s explore that a bit in a Remake! So the kernel is the idea of Superman as the good American boy. He gets a letter from a child saying innocently: “Hey Superman, why don’t you get rid of the nukes?” and he thinks to himself “Well, golly, why not? Let’s give it a shot”. In this though it would explore the futility of disarming the world in the face of those intent on defying him. He spends time deflecting nukes, capturing them, and running global diplomacy, he loses sight of the little guy as Metropolis slips into a crime wave. The ultimate result is him having to trust the President to take care of the geopolitical game while he fights against a ruthless Metropolis crime lord. The result is the world staring into the face of nuclear disaster without Superman willing to get in the way, and the resulting peaceful disarming. More serious tone, but again, an idea of Superman finding his place among humanity: he isn’t a global peacekeeper or a policeman, he’s just there to protect the little guy from danger (big and small). And when humanity realizes that, they change a bit to take the load off of Superman so that he can continue to help the little guy as much as possible. But … less boring and cheesy than I’ve managed to make it sound.

The Bad (Sklognaology) – It is boring (aggressively so). Hackman does not give a shit, and Lex seems a bit out of place as a weird gun runner in this film. He gains a Planchet sidekick who is … terrible and absurd is the only way to describe him. He’s like a mall rat or something, it is weird. And Nuclear Man might be the worst thing I’ve ever seen as a bad guy. I had to think long and hard about this one and I think the analogy might be Fast & Furious (that’s the fourth one for those playing at home). Just blah. Overwrought, hitting some of the same old notes, but also really terrible if you take the time to think about it. Decent analogy I think.

BMT: Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com – This will get mentioned on occasion for having an amazing Planchet for sure. As far as fourth installments and franchise killers as well. Decent legs, but in the face of Creepy Superman it really will mainly be mentioned as the one after Creepy Superman. And as with Superman III this mostly gets mentioned as a bad superhero film as opposed to a terrible film in general. It gets a cover photo for the top 10 worst superhero sequels. But beyond Razzie nods there is very little else to mention for street credit.

Because Superman III was a bonus and I had already seen Superman and Superman II (multiple times) over the years, there isn’t much I can say concerning the homework in this film. So I’ll leave it there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hot to Trot Recap

Jamie

Who would have thought that watching an entire cycle of films that received the rare <10% RT score would result in us getting dog poo shoved ever so slowly into our faces over and over again? That’s our BMT life. Let’s go!

What?! After the death of his mother, Fred Chaney needs to prove to his asshole stepdad that he can handle the family biz. Fortunately his mother has bequeathed him a talking horse with a nose for stock trading. Can he amass a fortune, get the lady, and shove it in his stepdad’s face before it’s too late? Find out in… Hot to Trot.

How?! Comedy business storyline alert! As is the case with most 80’s comedies, this film concerns our main characters lust for success and money in the world of finance. Fred’s mother dies, leaving him with half an investment company and one talking horse named Don. He’s a deadbeat loser, so naturally his asshole of a stepdad wants to buy him out of his stake in the company, but Fred hates his stupid face so decides to stay on out of spite. By sheer luck, Don overhears some important business tips around the stables and Fred is soon raking in the dough and living it up (with Don) in a penthouse apartment. His luck soon runs out, though, when one of Don’s tips comes up a dud and he loses everything. With only Don to his name (weird that he still “owns” Don even though he’s basically his friend and talks with him all day), he stakes it all on a big horse race. Riding Don to victory as the unlikeliest of jockey’s, Fred finally gives his stepdad the comeuppance he deserves. As for Don, his storyline is a sad affair concerned mostly with loneliness and wanderlust. As for our storyline while watching this film, it was also a sad affair concerned only with sadness and dog poo in our faces.

Why?! Technically Fred’s goals are two-fold. He primarily wants to prove that he’s not the black sheep bozo that his stepdad assumes he is (and he certainly is in actuality). There is a secondary romantic goal of getting with Allison, a coworker at the office, but that is a pretty weak romantic storyline. As for Don, he’s just looking for three simple things: a friend, a nice filly to make baby talking horses with, and all the TaB he can guzzle. The final race provides an answer to all these goals. If they win they get rich (to buy TaB, probably), Fred gets the girl, and Fred wins all of his stepdad’s horses, including the filly of Don’s dreams. How convenient! I guess that’s why they made a documentary about it since it was such a crazy convenient storyline.

Who?! We’ve been on a roll with uncredited appearances (and in a major slump on Planchets) and this film is no different. Appearing unbilled as the voice of Don’s dad is Mickey himself, Burgess Meredith. Pretty big role to go unbilled (three major scenes), but just a voice so maybe didn’t think a terrible talking horse film was worth the billing in the end. I like to imagine he was really good friends with Bobcat Goldthwait and did him a solid.

Where?! California setting. Lots of license plates and California living. Most notably though is the climactic horse race, the El Segundo Stakes, set outside LA. Pushes it from a C+ to a B-.

When?! There is no clear temporal setting for this film. There were a couple glimpses of newspapers and computer screen, but all were prop constructions. No dates to be seen. The only conjecture we can make is on the date of the El Segundo Stakes. There is a race by that name that seems to run in the third week of May, but it is so small that I can’t tell if it even existed in the 80’s or is always run in May. So that’s pretty weak. D+.

Let’s see what Patrick thought of this dog poo. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Hot to Trot? More like Dog Poo In My Face! Or Should I say Horse Poo In My Face!? Amirite? John Candy voices a stock-tip giving, best-bud of a party animal in this hilarious comedy showcasing the one of a kind talents of Bobcat Goldthwait! What could possibly go wrong! Oh yeah, I already told you, it was like dog poo being pushed slow motion into my face, let’s get into it:

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Some of the performances, like Virginia Madsen, were okay which is only more confusing as to how they got them in this movie in the first place. Besides that literally nothing. But we obviously are going to go Sequel! Here we see mega-billionaire Fred Chaney who, with the help of Don the talking horse, has skyrocketed to the top of the financial world. But Don is concerned after finding some discrepancies in the company’s books … could Fred be stealing from his clients and friends? Paranoid, and afraid, Don seeks out Allison Rowe to help unravel the mystery of Fred Chaney. Is he the man they thought he was, or could he be a crook … even a killer? Hot to Trot 2: Money Never Sleeps. “A tense thriller … although the talking horse deflates it a bit” says the New York Times.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Where to start? Everything about the talking horse and the lore surrounding it is cheesy and awful and not funny. The direction is bonkers, there are parts which legit look like they filled out the film with stock footage. The writing is awful, bouncing between a kind of weird talking horse financial comedy and a surreal odd couple situation (with a talking horse). It is aimless, and at times boring, aggravating, annoying, and predictable all wrapped up in one. It is legitimately one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. The sin is Greed. And that is only because stupidity isn’t a sin. Why they thought they could just make easy money with this bit of schlock is beyond me.

The BMT: Legacy – Boy oh boy, this film is awe inspiring in how bad it is, a rarity even. This could go down as one of the worst earnest 80s films we’ll ever watch. We’ve probably seen worse actual films (Can’t Stop the Music comes to mind), and I’ve certainly seen other terrible films quality-wise, but this is somehow indicative of the legacy of the 80s. Like Maximum Overdrive it is cocaine distilled, a heady hubris-driven idea of doing whatever you want and expecting it to come up heads every time. It is special, and deserves to be in any conversation about terrible 80s films, especially in a BMT context. It is nearly beyond words … so naturally I wasted a ton of them trying to explain it. This movie is like smoke, ungraspable and ephemeral. Enjoy it while you can.

Boom, and shine that off with a little StreetCreditReport.com! Interestingly Hot to Trot doesn’t get a lot of love as a bad movie. It is the 3rd worst talking animal film ever though, but then gets 23rd on a list concerning all of the 80s. That guy is a random guy from Tampa Bay, but we have seen 5 of his top 10 (Cobra, Rhinestone, Ishtar, Over the Top, and Gymkata) … I’m sticking to my guns, this easily gets into my top 10. Anyways, I think why this doesn’t get more notice is because no one remembers. This list seems to suggest that is plausible. That is what Bad Movie Twins give you though, the unpopular opinions. You heard it here first … Hot to Trot is a bad movie.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

10,000 BC Recap

Jamie

Let me transport you back 12,000 years to a time where movies were super boring. That’s right! We watched 10,000 BC. Let’s get into the details.

What?! After most of his prehistoric tribe is captured and taken as slaves by an advanced civilization, D’Leh follows in pursuit in an attempt to rescue his lady love Evolet. Will he rescue Evolet (and more importantly live up to a legend) before it’s too late? Find out in… 10,000 BC!

Why?! In the grand scheme of the plot there are three different reasons for the pursuit. Most obviously it is to rescue the tribe since the remaining tribesmen won’t survive without enough hunters. The second is to rescue Evolet specifically since she is, according to legend, a major cog in the tribe’s future. Without her it is feared that the legend will not come to be. Finally, for D’Leh himself it is because he is in love with Evolet and wants to get her back so he can get laid and paid (classic motivation, really). As for the advanced civilization doing the capturing, all they want is more slaves to build their sweet pyramids.

How?! Early in the film we see Evolet arrive as a child to the tribe. She has blue eyes and their priest determines that she is the future wife of a legendary warrior who will save them when their main food source, mastodons, runs scarce. D’Leh sees Evolet and is instantly smitten. As they grow up they grow to love each other, but no one really thinks D’Leh is the warrior of legend and worthy of her hand (even D’Leh). After the tribe is attacked and captured, including Evolet, D’Leh puts his big boy pants on and goes in pursuit of the attackers, following them across mountains, jungle, and desert. As he travels the many civilizations they encounter determine that D’Leh is their legendary hero and he builds a mighty army. Once he tracks the attackers to the hub of their advanced civilization he uses this army to dispatch their leader. At the very last moment Evolet is killed, only to be Deus Ex Machina-ed back to life. Phew! That was close. They return home, bringing with them new farming techniques that allow for the extended survival of their tribe just as the legend foretold.

Who?! There is literally no humor in this film at all so there is no Planchet. There is a pretty good cameo by Omar Sharif as the narrator of the film (and boy, the narration doesn’t quit). Most important though I need to throw out an Animal Friend Alert for this film. After D’Leh rescues a sabertooth tiger from drowning he is rewarded by the tiger becoming his friend, adding to his legend. They also did this in After Earth with a giant bird and gotta say, still doesn’t work.

Where?! The advanced civilization in this film is almost certainly Egypt. Not only are they building a pyramid and the sphinx in scenes, but the alternate ending that I watched on the DVD makes it pretty clear that the pyramid is the Khafre pyramid. Additionally, D’Leh follows the North Star to get to the civilization, while the tribe’s attackers took boats up a river (the Nile). I would say this safely suggests that the tribe in the film lives somewhere in the Ethiopian Highlands (supported by the fact that the Semien Mountains in that region is the only place where snow regularly falls in Africa and there is a bunch of snow in the film) and they were following The Nile. Boom. Solid sleuthing.

When?! 10,000 BC, duh. That’s an A+ setting even if you can’t get any more specific. Besides, during the film a tribe travels from Ethiopia to Egypt. Likely took a really long time.

That’s way more details than you needed for this snoozefest. A couple solid aspects regarding the tiger friend, but not much else. But I’ll leave that up to Patrick. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! 10,000 BC? I certainly feels like I watching that film for thousands of years! Zing! Roland Emmerich is every so often asked to convert tens of millions of dollars into an impressive looking film. A good film? Well … let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – If there was anything good to say about this film it is that the ultimate villain (a god-like figure building a pyramid in the desert) had some interesting ideas woven into his lore. He’s a weirdo no one is allowed to look at (for no other reason that maybe they’d figure out he was an old man? … unclear. Either that or he was albino … ), they seem to have come from Atlantis. I was kind of digging that a bit. So Prequel duh. Let’s get into 10,000 BC: The Fall of Atlantis. We meet our god like villain when he was, spoiler, a slave in Atlantis! He leads a rebellion and in the process destroys the machinery keeping the sinking continent above the ocean surface. Could be fun … unless.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – I left you waiting there, … unless the movie was so boring you just didn’t even care about the solid CGI and ultra-polished directoral work. The actors might as well have had no faces they were all charisma sinks, the oppressive voice over basically build a story out of nothing, and I just didn’t care about this stupid hero’s journey we were being slowly spoonfed. The sin is sloth, it made me feel like a waste of life watching his borefest. And no one could even be bothered to punch that script up. Boo! I had such high hopes 10,000 BC, such high hopes for you.

The BMT: Legacy – If anything this is a movie I will look back on as a weird missed opportunity. It is like a better looking Pathfinder, but has none of the absurd actors that entertain you throughout. Instead you have faceless nobodies, a voiceover supplying plot details, and a sagging middle where the protagonist just puts an army together. Maybe it could break out as an example of bad historical details? Like there are domesticated horses 6000 years before they should exist, and man-eating birds in a place that definitely is not New Zealand (among many other things). But I feel like that is it. I specifically don’t want to slog my way through another 2 hours of that I can tell you that much. Blah.

Hmmm, I feel like this needs something else now … Ah, how about a Street Credit Report (dot com)! I thought up this as a kind of extension of the BMT: Legacy. But while that is focused on what the movie meant to BMT, this focuses a bit more on perhaps a more global perception. And interestingly … this appears on a lot less worst of lists that I would expect. But Joe Neumaier has it as his worst film of 2008 for the NY Daily News. It is number 8 on this blog, NME.com. And probably most noteworthy Richard Roeper has it as his number 4. Solid cred I think (phew). It is also blowing my mind that this movie came out the same year as Love Guru … that was one of our first films (#3 in fact). Anywho, cheerios,

The Sklogs

D-War: Dragon Wars Recap

Jamie

Hoooo boy! Fitting that the week that me and Patrick are traveling the beautiful countryside of Wales (official national animal: the dragon) is also the week that we are recapping a South Korean garbagefest focused on dragons. While we didn’t see any dragons on our hike (just millions of sheep and several very friendly (unfriendly?) cows), we got our fill from D-War. Let’s get into it.

What?! Five hundred years ago an Imugi (proto-dragon) was chosen to receive a Yeouiju (in the form of a young woman) and ascend to heaven to become a dragon, but was prevented from doing so through the devious acts of an evil Imugi. Five hundred years later these Imugi reemerge to fight over a new Yeouiju, Sarah, and only a local newscaster, Ethan, can protect her. Will he be able to deliver Sarah to the good Imugi before it’s too late? Find out in… D-War: Dragon Wars!

Why?! That all sounded like nonsense, right? Good. That’s because it is entirely entrenched in Korean folklore (if it were told through the lens of a SyFy Original Movie). As a result the characters’ motivations are pretty straightforward. Ethan is destined from childhood to protect the Yeouiju, Sarah. They aren’t totally aware of their destiny until the Imugi emerge from the Earth and suddenly they feel like there is something bigger that they are a part of. Eventually they understand that they are meant to keep Sarah out of the clutches of the evil Imugi long enough for the chosen Imugi to defeat him and take the Yeouiju for himself. It is implied that if the evil Imugi were to get Sarah he would ascend to heaven and destroy the Earth. Long story short: this film is basically a story told from the perspective of a MacGuffin.

How?! While reporting a news story about a major disaster in LA, Ethan recognizes a scale-like object in the earth. He remembers something strange that happened to him as a child where an old man claimed he was destined to protect a girl at a time when a good and evil Imugi would battle for ascendence to heaven. Using what he recalls from this meeting he tracks down the girl and they begin to run from the evil Imugi that seems set on finding and killing them. The rest of the movie is them running to a spot, sitting and talking for a little bit, and then running away again when the Imugi appears. Finally they are caught and the Yeouiju within Sarah is revealed, only to have the good dragon swoop in and kill the evil dragon. Knowing that the only way the battle will truly end is through her sacrifice, Sarah allows herself to be taken by the good dragon and Ethan walks away… like literally everyone disappears except Ethan and he walks slowly away into a weird wasteland desert while the credits roll. Bizarre.

Who?! I guess I’ll give a little shout out to Craig Robinson, who had a sizeable role in the film as Bruce. My favorite part was when they get in a fight and he appears to die only for ADR to chime in with “Come on, Bruce, get in the car.” “Go on without me, but I’ll be OK.” Then for the character to reappear several scenes later as if nothing happened. I’m fairly certain the director had no idea what he was doing. The editor probably hated every minute he had to work on this.

Where?! Los Angeles is very clearly the setting. It’s said a million, trillion times and a big fight occurs on the tallest building in the city. Still not central to the plot so a nice B+.

When?! This is the harder one. It is certainly set in 2007 as they go out of their way to have a flashback set in 1507 and say that the events of the film take place five hundred years later. After that, though, they pretty obviously obscured the exact date. They had a perfect opportunity to present it and cut away at the last moment. I’d give it a D+.

Not sure those details actually help understand a mostly incomprehensible film.

Patrick

Helo Pawb! That’s right, the Bad Movie Twins are reunited in Wales this week. Are we appreciating the pristine beauty of the rolling sheep-speckled countryside? Nay, we are watching Dragon Wars: D-War of course! More like F-War amirite? What do you get when you cross the first major South Korean release in the United States in decades with a literal crazy person as director? Some cray CGI dragons in your face that’s what! Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Remake it for sure. Why? Because the only thing that really worked in this film is that the CGI was indeed pretty solid for the time it came out, and you could kind of just get away with updating that and you’d have a similarly styled movie. Kaiju are having a moment, so let’s build the dragon master into the King Kong / Godzilla universe and get the party started! Godzilla and the Celestial Dragon versus Buraki?! Who wouldn’t want to see that? Me for one. This is a terrible idea. Unless Craig Robinson returns … he was actually great in the movie.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – So when you have a movie where the storyline makes no sense, the acting (outside of Craig Robinson) was terrible, and it is directed by a person who really would have rather just filmed a 40-minute fight scene between CGI monsters what can you really point to as the culprit. Greed? American producers thinking the South Korean formula for success could so easily be translated to the US market? Sloth? The unwillingness to check or control any aspect of the film to ensure something comprehensible was made? Nay! Pride. The director defines this movie. He is the beginning, middle, and end as to why this movie was terrible, since he was the writer as well. He could only be delusional, that is the only way this movie is made the way it was for $70 million and nothing be done about it.

The BMT: Legacy – Almost nothing. This movie is incredibly boring and I don’t really think there is many redeeming qualities ultimately. I would almost definitely never watch it again. A ten BMeTric, low for sure. Its legacy is that it is a giant foreign produced movie that tanked. Unlike something like Pinnochio it doesn’t even have the benefit of being horrifying, it is merely like Birdemic: a delusional person made a movie and it wasn’t so incredibly bad it became wonderful like The Room, it just remained incredibly bad. That’s about it, nothing special. Sorry D-War.

I do think I’ll leave it there for the week. No homework or analysis to be done (sadly) for the film. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wagons East! Recap

Jamie

What?! After a group of settlers realize that the Wild West is super lame they all decide to head back East. Led by a former doctor, Phil, and a wagon master with a secret, Harlow, they strike out eastward much to the chagrin of some city fat cats who will do anything to stop them. Will they evade the traps set by the fat cats and make it back home? Find out in… Wagons East!

Why?! As mentioned above, the settlers have all come to the conclusion that the West sucks balls for one reason or another. It is the entire motivation for the plot of this film. Once they set out, others realize that quitting is OK and the eastward trek goes viral. This spooks a bunch of railroad tycoons and land developers who are about to get a major investment in railroad construction if they can achieve a high enough population in the West. They determine that they must stop the wagons, and thus the trend, by any means necessary in order to preserve the investment.

How?! While all the settlers hate the West, they also don’t want to be seen as quitters. A series of good omens and the arrival of a wagon master, albeit a drunk one, convinces them that quitting is OK and they set out on the trail. The businessmen looking to stop the wagon train first hire a local gunslinger to do the deed, but the wagons evade his traps by pure dumb luck. Even when the wagon train has their own bad luck, such as stumbling into a Native American war camp, they come out unscathed due to the common sense in their quest. The film basically proceeds like this, with more traps evaded and bad luck turning fortuitous. In the climactic scene, the US Cavalry is called in and Harlow challenges the leader to a fight. He wins and the wagon train proceeds without hindrance to St. Louis. If that sounds dumb and boring then you’re not far off.

Who?! No Planchet or cameos/musicians/athletes/presidents in this one. There is a notable character that went uncredited. That’s J.P. Moreland, the land developer that is trying to stop the wagon train. He’s played by Gailard Sartain (what a name!), who we know from most of the Ernest films and television show (usually as the character “Chuck,” although as “Jake (Chef #1)” in Ernest Goes to Camp). Presumably this is a case where he realized how bad the film was and chose to go uncredited, as his part is fairly significant.

Where?! Interesting settings film. We are shown in the beginning that Prosperity is located in the New Mexico Territory. From there they travel vaguely East until arriving in St. Louis. Pretty good all things considered. Not sure I’d count this as a setting that is vital to the plot though… The West isn’t really exact enough and it could have been set in Colorado or Arizona. B-

When?! I usually fear films set in the past or future. They are often satisfied with simply saying “Hey, we’re in the past/future!” and leaving it at that. Wagons East! is fortunately not one of those cases. We get some nice reference years to try to nail down the date. We are told that Phil is a former surgeon in the war. This is presumably the Civil War, so we can place the film sometime after 1865. Later we are told that Harlow led the Donner Party “about 20 years ago.” The Donner Party set out in May 1846, so makes sense that we are looking at about 1866-1867. As for the time of year, I get to set off a little Secret Holiday Film Alert! That’s because while the film is mostly vague on exactly when the wagon train is travelling, we are shown explicitly that they arrive at St. Louis on July 4th! Happy 4th of Jooooo-ly, everybody! B+

Now that you know the ins and outs of all that makes up Wagons East! we can dive into the BMT-ness of the film.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Wagons East!! More like Ragged Least! A parody starring classic comedians and slamming a genre cresting at the peak of its power? What could go wrong? Actually … seriously, what went wrong? Let’s get into it! Oh … and I’m trying something new. A twist to The Good, The Bad, The BMT. Basically they will now function as three minigames. Usually these will be the three that follow. After that, if there was a Homework Sklog-signment or other thing to discuss it will go there, otherwise it will be these three games. Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Somewhere buried under the overlong unfunny mess of a production is a simple idea: Westerns are peaking in popularity after a lengthy period without releases in the 80s (Dances With Wolves and Unforgiven won best picture two and four years prior), so it is time to skewer them like Blazing Saddles did before! In that vein I think you could get away with a Reboot. But how you ask? Westerns aren’t really having a moment anymore. Ah, but it wouldn’t be a parody of Westerns … it is a parody of reboots! Complete with CGI Candy teaser at the end! Is that gross and weird or bizarrely brilliant, skewering the resurrection of characters played by now deceased actors in a reboot of one of the worst films ever? There is nothing to salvage here is the point, but like the reported (and abandoned) Men in Black / 21 Jump Street cross-over film, skewering the idea of bullshit crossovers, reboots, and origin stories is in.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Here I will try and identify the sin committed to create this film. Greed? Did they want that sweet Western boom money? Pride? In their hubris did they think they knew Westerns so well it would be easy to nail the genre? No … sloth. Produced by a company going out of business they hired people ill-suited for the job resulting in a movie containing almost no humor. Too lazy to rewrite or edit the movie makes no sense. Richard Lewis phones it in, literally wearing an 80’s NYC comedian blazer and mullet. They don’t even bother to give Candy a character (Ebert nailed that in his review). Top to bottom just terrible.

The BMT: Legacy – This movie is too boring to be good, like a ten in the BMeTric. The legacy of this film though is interesting. It is a rarity, a parody of Westerns. Alongside Blazing Saddles, and A Million Ways to Die in the West it comes along only so often. Parodies themselves are somewhat rare. The legacy is that this is literally the worst example of an extremely niche genre. And as such it will always have a place in BMT lore. Even if I never want to watch it again and it makes me sad. It has a place, it is a warning.

I’ll close with a short Sklognalysis as well. Mainly because it is astonishing to me that parody westerns managed to come out exactly 20 years apart right as the genre was cresting. In 1974 Blazing Saddles came out after the glut of Westerns in the late-60s. In 1994 Wagons East in response to things like Dances With Wolves. And in 2014 came A Million Ways To Die in the West. There always seems to be one. So what can we expect in 2034 I wonder. Mull on that.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rumor Has It … Recap

Jamie

What?! Sarah is in the middle of a crisis regarding her career, relationship, and alienation from her family. When it’s inadvertently revealed that her mother may have briefly run off with another man prior to her marrying her father, Sarah seeks out this man, Beau, for some answers. Will she find the answers she seeks? Find out in… Rumor Has It…!

Why?! Sarah is seeking answers, plain and simple. She doesn’t connect with her tennis-playing, slow-driving, Pasadena-living family and this alienation drives a deep dissatisfaction with her job and relationship with her fiance Jeff (played by Mark Ruffalo, who was actually great). It seems like answering a simple question will solve all these problems: how does she fit in with her family?… and you know what? It does. Once she figures it out she basically does a 180 and loves everything (even though her job does sound like shit).

How?! Now to the meat of the whole thing. While the basic synopsis and motivation of Sarah stand on their own as the basis of a film, the plot relies heavily on the idea that the characters are the inspiration for the 1963 book The Graduate. Sarah’s grandmother is supposed to be Mrs. Robinson and her mother, like in the book, ran off with a aimless young man prior to her wedding (but unlike the book, ran back and married Sarah’s father). It is bizarre. Anyway, when Sarah finds this out while attending her sister’s wedding she thinks that perhaps Beau is her real father. It would explain the alienation she had from her family and perhaps give her a path in life that she didn’t have before. That turns out to not be true as Beau can’t have children of his own. Oh well, better have sex with the guy I thought was my father a second ago! This, of course, also doesn’t solve her existential crisis and she runs back to her family in Pasadena. Only there, amongst those she thought she was so different from, does she realize what she needs most in life: her fiance Jeff. The one person who seems to be able to put up with her bullshit. Racing back to NYC she MonoSklogs her way to his heart and wins the day.

Who?! Not a huge amount going on in the Who category. In fact if you watch the film it’s pretty interesting how many scenes are just the two main actors dialoguing in isolation. We do get a cameo in the film by none other than BMT regular Kathy Bates. She shows up as crazy “Aunt” Mitsy who helps Aniston figure out who Beau is. She only appears in one scene and went uncredited for the film (presumably as a favor to Rob Reiner, but that’s pure speculation). She basically just gets drunk and explains stuff to us. Classic Bates.

Where?! Pretty good settings film. Opens with Sarah and Jeff flying from New York to the primary setting in Pasadena. We get numerous sights and sounds of LA, jokes directed at Pasadena, and long discussions lamenting the loss of the Rams to St. Louis (hilarious in retrospect). Sarah then flies to San Fran, over to Napa, and back to Pasadena only the finish the film in New York. Sometimes it’s amazing just how specific they get with this shit. B+.

When?! Ah, the crown jewel of Rumor Has It… As mentioned in the preview, this film is a period piece. Presumably because of the ages of the characters in reference to the book The Graduate, they needed to set this film in 1997. This is clear by the conspicuous VHS tapes and pay/car phones being used. Fortunately, we also get an exact date. When Sarah first goes to confront Beau about her mother’s affair she does so at a tech conference in San Francisco. As she walks in we see a sign for the conference letting us know that it is January 18, 1997. A truly unexpected A-. Exact date that plays a minor role in the plot.

Those are all the details of a decidedly bizarre film, let’s find out if it was BMT weird.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Rumor Has It …? More like Bummer Isn’t It …? Zing. Making a pseudo-sequel to quite literally one of the greatest films of all time as a lightweight farce starring Jennifer Aniston? What could have gone wrong?! Let’s get into it before I type more questions marks!

  • The Good – Ruffalo and Jenkins. Some of the side actors. The settings were beautiful and you can kind of see why Reiner was a likely emergency director when the screenwriter had to drop out (or was fired …) because it looks polished as well. At times I felt like I could watch Aniston and Costner just live their fake lives for hours (kind of like This if s 40), although that feeling was hardly sustained.
  • The Bad – Make a pseudo-sequel to a beloved film is a bad idea on its face. It just begs a comparison that can never be lived up to. The legnths they go to to hammer in the timeline and make everything work is exhausting (There is about 40 different ages and dates spewed out all to make the ages of the main players make sense, it is distracting). No pay off.
  • The BMT – The legacy of this film will be that it is totally colored and overshadowed by a predecessor. And they did it intentionally! I would never watch this one again though, and I couldn’t even really recommend it. It is only fascinating as a one-two punch with The Graduate with a heavy dose of morbid curiosity. With that I deem it a in the bottom 10% of bad movies, below where we expect to be with a solid choice.

I’m going to report a bit on some Homework Sklog-signment. That’s right, I re-watched the Graduate literally hours before consuming this film. First, an amazing film. Mainly the writing, and a pretty incredible performance by Hoffman in the lead (although Nichols directing was also breathtaking as well). Second, I’m glad I did it because the movie is heavily referenced in Rumor Has It … (including pointing out the fact that it is Dreyfuss’ first film, something I missed. Look at Rumor Has It …, a regular IMDb fact page over here). Third, it makes Rumor Has It … look desperate and like a big piece of shit in comparison. Thanks The Graduate! I guess if anything Rumor Has It … might make you revisit a great film. Also, and you might have noticed over the years that I love ellipses, but this might be the most ellipses I’ve ever written in an email … thanks Rumor Has it … … thanks.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs