Bye Bye Love Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit glumly backstage at the Academy Awards juggling their newly won Oscars. 2 Rich 2 Poe: Reclamation was a smash hit, obviously, and hailed as ushering in a new age of post-irony filmmaking. Even their ruse to premier the film on an acre of newly razed Amazonian rainforest was taken as a commentary on how art is contributing to climate change through its unwillingness to engage in the political discourse leading to the President signing a new carbon reduction law at the premiere. “And it still might have been OK if you hadn’t knocked down that tree and discovered a cure for cancer,” sighs Patrick looking sadly at his Nobel Prize for Medicine, “they couldn’t help but give us good reviews after that.” Jamie scoffs angrily, “well you just can’t admit that you botched this whole thing. You should have listened to me in the first place. We needed robots and computer technobabble galore.” Patrick tugs uncomfortably at his cable-knit sweater, “well alright, Mr. Roboto, why don’t you take the lead on the next one. God knows they’ll let us write it. Just make sure it’s shit, alright?” Jamie smiles at the challenge, “oh it will be total garbage.” With that he pulls out a mini-recorder and begins an extemporaneous dictation of the entire script, “Title: Rich and Po3: Dark Web 3D. We open in Bulgaria…”

We pan over broken shards of glass and come upon a battered Rich. Christmas lights twinkle in the background as he struggles to reach for a picture of his beloved Jade and their toddler, Junior. He gasps in pain as he hugs the picture to his chest, “Bye bye,” he stammers… “bye bye… love.” That’s right! We’re continuing our journey through the films of Hackers actors by jumping to a little known film called Bye Bye Love starring Paul Reiser, Matthew Modine, Randy Quaid, and Wendell Pierce (aka Agent Dick Gill) in a minor role. Why’d we pick this film? When McDonald’s may as well be listed as part of the cast we don’t really have a choice. Let’s go!

Bye Bye Love (1995) – BMeTric: 16.6 



(That blip … seems real? Here is the dip, and here is the date after. Probably purging fake votes … then again, why would there be fake votes for Bye Bye Love? So maybe … some database error? Regardless, weird and wild stuff. Actually a classic 2014 increase there. Something happened in 2014, precisely on New Years’ Day I think. It’s weird.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Mediocre seriocomedy about three dads, devoted to their kids, trying to make their way through divorcehood. Some sincere moments and occasional comic insights are washed away in a sea of sappiness. Garofalo, as Quaid’s hilarious date from hell, almost makes the film worth watching.

(I’m not even going to pretend that seriocomedy is a real thing Leonard. I refuse. Just call it a goddamned dramedy like a normal person. And no mention of McDonald’s and how delicious it is? Ridiculous.)

Trailer –

(There appears to be what? Like five different scenes in McDonald’s? You can even tell by the trailer alone that it was bought and paid for by McDonald’s!)

Directors – Sam Weisman – (Known For: George of the Jungle; Future BMT: The Out-of-Towners; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; D2: The Mighty Ducks; BMT: Bye Bye Love; Notes: Long time television director, he briefly produced family comedies in the mid-90s. Brother of producer David Weisman.)

Writers – Gary David Goldberg (written by) – (Known For: Dad; Future BMT: Must Love Dogs; BMT: Bye Bye Love; Notes: Created Spin City, and Family Ties among many other television shows.)

Brad Hall (written by) – (BMT: Bye Bye Love; Notes: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s husband. On SNL from 1982 to 1984.)

Actors – Matthew Modine – (Known For: The Dark Knight Rises; Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Full Metal Jacket; Notting Hill; 47 Meters Down; Transporter 2; Any Given Sunday; Vision Quest; Birdy; Short Cuts; Memphis Belle; Pacific Heights; Married to the Mob; The Hotel New Hampshire; The Hippopotamus; The Confirmation; Wind; Go Go Tales; Une vie de chat; Baby It’s You; Future BMT: Le divorce; Cutthroat Island; Army of One; Backtrace; Girl in Progress; The Blackout; The Real Blonde; Family Weekend; Gross Anatomy; Equinox; Mrs. Soffel; BMT: Jobs; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Launched back into prominence with Stranger Things. I mostly knew him from the Jiminy Glick joke about two of his kids being named Matthew and Modine.)

Randy Quaid – (Known For: Independence Day; Brokeback Mountain; National Lampoon’s Vacation; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Midnight Express; The Last Picture Show; Kingpin; The Last Detail; Freaked; Paper Moon; Parents; The Long Riders; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; What’s Up, Doc?; Home on the Range; The Missouri Breaks; Foxes; Quick Change; Moving; No Man’s Land; Future BMT: Major League II; Not Another Teen Movie; Vegas Vacation; Days of Thunder; The Wraith; Heartbeeps; Last Dance; The Slugger’s Wife; Breakout; BMT: Pluto Nash; Caddyshack II; Hard Rain; Grind; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Has become a weird crazy person recently, involving extradition and revoked passports and squatting in Canada. Lives in Vermont now.)

Paul Reiser – (Known For: Aliens; Whiplash; The Spy Who Dumped Me; Beverly Hills Cop; The Little Hours; Funny People; Life After Beth; Beverly Hills Cop II; Concussion; Behind the Candelabra; War on Everyone; Diner; Joshy; Cross My Heart; Miles; The Thing About My Folks; Future BMT: The Darkness; The Story of Us; One Night at McCool’s; I Do… Until I Don’t; Crazy People; The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; BMT: The Marrying Man; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Also, crazily, in Stranger Things. Most notable for his starring turn in Mad About You with Helen Hunt.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $12,096,673

(I still don’t understand … how does a film like this make over $10 million? Regardless, apparently the entire production was funded by McDonald’s so they probably didn’t care.)

#244 for the Romantic Comedy genre


(Only First Daughter, Town & Country, and Say It Isn’t So made less for BMT films. The genre is making a shocking comeback. Right when it looked like it would be permanently relegated to Netflix and VOD in general)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (4/21):

(I’ll just have to make a consensus: Effective for some, but essentially just an extended McDonald’s advertisement. Reviewer Highlight: The angst of dating, the struggle with children, and the joys of McDonalds. – Scott Weinberg,

Poster – Bye Bye Sklog (D-)


(A real tried and true favorite here. Just pile a bunch of humans up and that’ll look good (hint: it doesn’t) and then when you realize you don’t have enough human garbage to cover your poster just throw some sky on there because… why not? There’s sky everywhere. Why not in the poster? Also I’m not even going to try on the font, just to really insult you.)

Tagline(s) – Donny, Dave and Vic are best friends. They have everything in common … ex-wives, new girlfriends, and the kids for the weekend. (F)

(My god. Is this a novel? I grew a beard while reading this. What is it even saying? Are they just telling us the basic premise of the movie? Is this supposed to entice us? Just a million words in tiny font on the poster telling us to gear up for a depressing tale of divorce. I hate this.)

Keyword(s) – product placement; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.6 Date Movie (2006); 91.2 Gigli (2003); 90.4 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.2 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.6 Left Behind (I) (2014); 87.6 Crossroads (I) (2002); 87.2 The Love Guru (2008); 86.4 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 86.0 The Cat in the Hat (2003);

(You know what … I’m going to leave it. Just because this is just such an incredible product placement. This is just kind of a pointless keyword since everything has product placement of some kind.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Amy Brenneman is No. 5 billed in Bye Bye Love and No. 4 billed in 88 Minutes, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 13. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ed Flanders’ final project.

Janeane Garofalo would later go on to play Paul Reiser’s adult daughter Mabel on the series finale of Mad About You.

Amber Benson, Eliza Dushku, and Lindsay Crouse went on to star in Buffy the Vampire Slayer the TV show together as Tara, Faith and Prof. Maggie Walsh.

In 1995, both this film and Houseguest (1995) featured extensive McDonald’s product placement, but neither film was accompanied by a promotional tie-in with the fast-food restaurant. (I could have sworn there were Bye Bye Love Happy Meals with little toy Matthew Modines … perhaps just a wonderful dream)

Lucille is wearing a different earring in each ear when on her date with Vic.

Matthew Modine and Paul Reiser later starred on Stranger Things (2016), with both appearing in the second season. While they do not share screen time, both actors’ characters are connected to the series’ Hawkins National Laboratory. (Huh)


Baywatch Recap


Mitch Buchannon is a lifeguard extraordinaire protecting all Emerald Bay visitors from harm. When a ruthless businesswoman moves in hoping to privatize the beach and sell illicit drugs, Mitch and his crew aim to stop her. Can they bring down the baddie and learn valuable life lessons at the same time? Find out in… Baywatch.

How?! Mitch Buchannon runs the beach at Emerald Bay like a boss and everyone loves him for it. When a ruthless businesswoman moves in on the beach hoping to privatize it Mitch becomes suspicious. What is she up to and does the recent influx of street drugs have anything to do with her? He’s dead set on finding out. At the same time his crew is looking for three new members and after some political maneuvering disgraced olympian Matt Brody is thrust onto the team despite his sour attitude and general douchiness. After several high-profile bodies wash up on the beach, local officials blame Mitch and his obsession with the businesswoman which they say has driven him to distraction. Despite a large amount of circumstantial evidence they have uncovered he is replaced by Matt Brody as head lifeguard. This plan backfires though as Matt turns out to have learned the meaning of family and teamwork (the underlying theme of every Dwayne Johnson film) and continued Mitch’s detective work. This culminates in a climactic fight aboard a fireworks barge where they are able to blow the evil businesswoman to smithereens and uncover the larger conspiracy involving the corrupt local officials. If this doesn’t sound at all like the plot of a comedy it’s because it isn’t. It’s an action film that they turned into a comedy… or at least tried. THE END.

Why?! The Rock is an interesting actor in that I think he’s often used as a charisma machine to fill roles with little or no underlying motivations or character depth. He is simply an empty vessel filled with honor and truth. His greatest weakness always seems to be that he cares too much about honor and truth (also my greatest weakness, per any job interview I might have). Baywatch is no different. He just wants to stop the bad guy and keep the beach safe because he is a perfect, upstanding citizen of Emerald Bay. The more interesting character is actually Efron’s character. He suuuuuuucks. He care only about getting drunk and being lauded for his olympics feats of the past. This only changes once he is able to learn a thing or two about life and love from Mitch. Once he does his motivation is also all about truth and justice.

What?! This film is an absolute onslaught of product placements. First we have a TAG Heuer watch play a vital role in the plot of the film. It’s such a good watch that an upstanding local politician is persuaded to break the law just to get his hands on it. Then we have The Rock relegated to working in a Sprint store after losing his job at the beach. Like seriously. Here’s a picture of The Rock rocking a Sprint shirt in the movie:


Shameless. But I think my favorite was when Zac Efron, showing that he’s too cool for school, sits out the lifeguard tryouts sipping on a delicious Mike’s Hard Lemonade… when I first saw it I thought it was going to be played for a joke. Then it wasn’t and I realized that he was just hanging and drinking it unironically. Unironically!!!!!

Who?! There are a number of cameos in the film, most prominently former Baywatch stars David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Their cameos are done pretty well compared to something like the new Ghostbusters film where they make no sense. Much like the rest of the film they serve a singular purpose: to poke fun at the premise of the original Baywatch.

Where?! By all accounts this takes place in Emerald Bay, Florida. I didn’t necessarily notice anything to confirm this while watching the film, but there are a bunch of pictures online with the lifeguard boat with “Broward County” prominently displayed. So that does it. C.

When?! Another case where I bet if you had a really high resolution of a film then you would be able to get an exact date. In particular there is a close up of a land deed that I’m sure has the date on it, but the DVD resolution makes it impossible to figure out. It’s an F, nothing else to be done about it.

Despite everything horrible about this film I actually expected worse. It had some amusing moments, played the action well, and the leads are dopes but you want them to succeed. It is super lame, just not as lame as I thought it would be. One big question this raised, though, was how we are still at the point where several jokes in a major motion picture are based entirely on the concept of gay panic? A whole scene devoted to the hilariousness of convincing a man to touch a guy’s balls? Really? An ending where Efron is shocked and horrified to find that he is getting CPR from The Rock? He is saving your life using the medical standard in resuscitation. Why are you yelling in terror as a result? Will we ever be beyond this? Seems like the answer might be no. Can’t wait to be further baffled in this area by CHiPs, which I’ve heard is even worse. Patrick?


‘Ello everyone! You’re a producer looking wistfully at the office memo concerning the cast party for 22 Jump Street. No, you are not invited, and yes you are pissed about this. What can you do though? Wait! Sweet IP! Of course, you just need some of that sweet IP. We got Baywatch right? That show was ridiculous. Nailed it. Cast party with The Rock incoming, what could go wrong? Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Honestly, the film is kind of fun. They are right there on the cusp of being okay I think, just needed to not hire literally seven writers to write the thing and they would have been fine. The action scenes are on point and by far the best part of this film. I was practically on charisma overload with The Rock and Efron. And they didn’t gross me out too much with the portrayal of women, which was a pleasant surprise. I want a Remake with a twist: give me a tv show! Make it a kind of half-serious melodrama action thing. Use the template of Riverdale, brand it as a kind of self-serious (but still secretly ironic) crime serial that takes place on the beach, and try your best to kind of knowingly build up something fun. It is a difficult maneuver, but I think that is where this movie shined. If it had pumped the brakes a bit on the comedy (which was the worst part of the film) it might have had something kind of Fast and the Furious like fun. But I acknowledge that it is a tough ask.

The Bad (Sklog-cabulary Quiz) – The character of Ronnie which was supposed to kind of be an audience stand-in who lampshades the rest of the ridiculousness, but he is really the one thing that stands in the way of this film just going for being an action film instead of an action-comedy. The comedy bits are the worst part of the film. Part stupid dick-jokes, part gay panic, basically nothing works. And the root cause of this I think is Ronnie who, acting as straight man, makes everything comedic in comparison. Ronnie also serves as the “hacker” solving all of the problems right at the end, which it itself a crime. Really the only unforgivable bit of all of those is the gay panic. It is dumb this is still a thing in comedies in 2017. I’m introducing a new game for the bad section which is where I coin a term for a bad movie trope. Perhaps coin is inaccurate, I don’t actually check to see if the term is coined elsewhere, but it should highlight a bad movie idea of some kind anyways. This week for the Sklog-cabulary Quiz we have

Deus Ex Hackina (n.) – an unexpected computer hacking power saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a terrible movie.

It is basically what I described above, it is when a character is endowed with a special “hacking” ability that allows him or her to solve everyone’s problems all at once right at the end. Otherwise known as “Ronnie from Baywatch”, who manages to not only gather a ton of incriminating evidence to prove the baddies are bad, but they also foil their getaway by (not joking) hacking a fireworks display. Geostorm actually gives a decent example as well in the character of Dana played by Zazi Beetz, and I’m sure there are countless other examples.

The BMT (Legacy / – As usual these are a little tough for recent films. For legacy I think this has none unless an (unlikely) sequel is made. We might look back fondly at Ronnie as the origin of our thoughts on Deus Ex Hackina events though (much like Planchet from The Three Musketeers represents the idea of a tangential character whose sole purpose is to be made fun of by the main characters) For the street cred it has a bit because it can be grouped with future-BMT CHiPs as kind of a weird situation in which people started to reboot television shows again. But of that pair CHiPs is going to be the one people look at as more terrible.

I think that’s it. Nothing to report as far as homework is concern, I chose not to watch any of the original Baywatch television show in prep. I’ll see if I decide to watch any CHiPs in a few months. I probably won’t.


The Sklogs

Are We There Yet? Recap


What?! Nick Persons is a pure playa living it up in Portland until one day he falls hard for Suzanne, a single mom of two kids whose sole mission in life is to scare off their mother’s potential suitors. When Nick is asked to bring the kids to Vancouver for New Years, he sees an opportunity to get a little closer to her. Can he survive the trip with her two brats and get the girl? Find out in… Are We There Yet?!

Why?! Nick’s motivations are quite pure: he’s in love with Suzanne. For real, he’s like the sweetest dude ever. He drives her to work, takes her to the airport, helps her grocery shop, etc. All while accepting that he might end up deep in the friendzone. And so the motivation for driving her kids to Vancouver is all in the name of love. The kids’ motivation for making the trip a living nightmare (for Nick and the viewer) is also love… for their biological father. Unfortunately he turns out to be a giant doucher.

How?! Well, at first the trip should be super easy. Just fly the kids to Vancouver. A couple hours and boom, Nick’s heading to a baller New Year’s Eve kiss with the woman of his dreams. But things are never so easy in Hollywood. The son, Kevin, brings a corkscrew to the airport and gets them kicked off their flight. Then he has to go to the bathroom and generally fucks around until they miss their train (and seemingly lose all their luggage, though that’s never mentioned again). Finally they just decide to drive, where the kids proceed to destroy his car (for real, it eventually blows up), get him chased by truckers as a potential kidnapper, and delay them so badly that Suzanne is ready to call the cops. In the end, he’s just a good dude though, so despite all the ups and downs Suzanne realizes he’s the man for her. Hooray?

Who?! Super obvious planchet here: the animated Satchel Paige bobblehead that Nick carries everywhere and talks to. You read that right. That is an actual thing in this film. He is voiced by Tracey Morgan and, against all odds, was not scrapped during rewrites.

Where?! There should be a special Smaddies Baddies just for a film that is so perfectly and inexplicably set in a random place in the world. In this case this is set hard in Portland, Oregon. You might be like, “wait, an Ice Cube film set in Portland?” Yup, even the writers were surprised. At one point Nick jokes about how he obviously wasn’t born there, but rather moved there to play minor league baseball before settling down after an injury. They had to explain why it was set there because otherwise it would have been too crazy! A nice secondary setting in Vancouver. B+

When?! Even the temporal setting was random and yet perfect. It’s a holiday film! Nick is driving the kids to a New Year’s Eve event that their mother is working at in Vancouver. Deep down I kinda wish this was a Thanksgiving film, though. I feel like those are rarer. B.


‘Ello everyone! Are We There Yet? More like Is It Done Yet? Amirite? There come a time in an actor’s life where they are now believable as a father figure in a family comedy. For Ice Cube that time was 2005. Was it a family friendly laugh riot? Not really. Let’s go!

  • The Good – I do think Ice Cube is a charming and accomplished actor and he manages to reasonably sustain the movie at times. The kid actors are also a lot better than one would expect. I’m always down for a little road trip comedy, kind of a rare thing these days.
  • The Bad – Yet again Nia Long is relegated to the role of fretting actress on the side, spending most of the movie holding one-sided conversations in Vancouver, this is a trend. The plot is ludicrous and requires one of the worst excuses to prevent Ice Cube from simply taking a short plane trip from Portland to Vancouver instead of driving. The movie feels like a series of vignettes as opposed to a cohesive movie. This movie has one of the more ridiculous excuses for a song and dance number I’ve ever seen just to get the young girl to sing a bit. The sequences in Portland in retrospect also seem tacked on and unnecessary.
  • The BMT – All in all I think the movie overshot its rotten tomatoes score. To get an 11% you need to be simply awful. This movie isn’t that awful. If you buy into it and enjoy seeing Ice Cube yell about damage to his precious new car over and over (and over) again, they you’ll probably think it isn’t so bad. I would say maybe a 25 BMeTric, middle of the pack.

I can’t really think of a good game here so I’m going to do a tiny Product Sklog-ment brought to you by McDonald’s. Da-da-da-da-da, we’re lovin’ it! In this case, if there was ever a Planchet in this film, it would be Ice Cube’s precious Lincoln Navigator. He buys it at the beginning of the film and he does not want children playing in it. But despite all his attempts the car is dented, it is stained, it is run off of the road destroying all four tires, and ultimately one of the kid vomits all over the interior and a final wreck results in it lighting on fire and exploding. As the magically bobblehead voiced by Tracy Morgan (and mysteriously missing from the sequel) says: “[His] insurance premiums are going to go through the roof!”, Classic. But this is one of the most in your face full-blown advertisements we’ve seen in a movie in a long while. Sandler-esque.


The Sklogs

Keeping Up With the Joneses Recap


I went into the theater for Keeping Up with the Joneses thinking the worst. It would be like Unfinished Business where you hate everyone and the jokes are lame or offensive. I can say that I was wrong. The jokes weren’t offensive in the least (their lameness is a different story) and the characters were at least sympathetic enough that you could sit and enjoy their story. Unfortunately the script was half-baked. Maybe they pushed it out the door too quickly or rewrote it one too many times, but the pacing was way off for what is purportedly a comedy/action film. To the point where a major car chase scene occurs and it plays out like an episode of Chuck (nailed that relevant reference!). Does this all add to a 21% on RT? I don’t think so since I actually liked the characters and somewhat enjoyed watching their story. But, who cares? This is definitely not getting a Razzie nomination, emirite? ….

Keeping Up with the Joneses is a film that could have gotten away with not having a setting since it is set in an innocuous small-ish US city. It almost seems out of sheer laziness that this film ended up being explicitly set in Atlanta, Georgia. This is as ‘meh’ a physical location case as we can get for Settings 101: Fire Engine says “Atlanta”, Georgia license plates, and small ‘Atlanta’ signs next to a hotel and company. Cool story, bro. Straight up C, obviously. Could have been Nashville or Kansas City or Salt Lake City, etc. But since they filmed in Atlanta, why not? As for the temporal setting we know that the entire film is set in a two week span in June. Not only do we see Galifianakis’ kids sent off to summer camp in the beginning (implying June), but a big cookout in the middle of the film is called “Junetoberfest.” Oh yeah, and the film opens with a house exploding and Zach Galifianakis telling us that his neighborhood was “the safest place to be until two week earlier.” So clearly June… probably 2015. While an exact date is not provided to us directly, we do catch a glimpse of an alarm clock that appears to say that the date is June 13th (hard to tell since I can’t pause and rewind a film in theaters). Given that the day when we see the clock is probably Saturday, then we have a soft date of June 13th, 2015 that the film centers around. That also sounds like a C. While both settings are pretty mediocre this does further my conviction that you can probably figure out the setting of almost every film. Given how easily I’ve been able to discern location and (almost) exact date for every film we’ve watched I’m convinced that somewhere out there is a “missing” Delaware film that no one knows is actually set in Delaware. Someday I will find it… someday.


‘Ello everyone! Keeping Up With the Joneses?! More like Making Me Weep and Moan(ses)! We went to the theater to see Boo! A Madea Halloween, but instead got served a big helping of overdone spy spoof. Why-o-why-o can’t the UK have Madea saying “hellur” to me big screen style? We may never know. Let’s get into Keeping Up With the Joneses:

  • The Good – The characters were actually shockingly likeable. A total about face from most recent bad comedies. The storyline was surprisingly fresh considering there have been something like four spy spoofs out in the past year or so. Galifianakis has his moments.
  • The Bad – Places said Hamm did okay, but I found him, Gadot, and Fisher all about the same level of blah. The script reeks of punch up and yet still is surprisingly low on laughs. I got three chuckles and one decent laugh, and the decent laugh was because I was watching in a theater in London and they make fun of British people’s teeth at one point. By the way, terribly old school joke which, again, reeked of punch up. The story is extremely straightforward and they still manage to fall into the voiceover-flashback-to-two-weeks-earlier trope which is just so classically bad comedy.
  • The BMT – Nope. This film is destined to be forgotten and will likely garner zero Razzie noms (unless they throw Gadot a nom in combination with Batman v Superman which I could sadly see, I hate combo noms). It is a lot better than its rottentomatoes score suggests (lower than Tammy which is laughable). It is like a ten most likely and I anticipate its rating will increase as people watch on VOD in the coming months and its BMeTric will reflect it by staying steady around 10.

Let’s get a quick Theater Review in because it was kind of boring. Why? Because I think I literally sat in the same theater as I did for The Mechanic: Resurrection. The gigantic Vue in Westfield was swamped with early Thursday showings for Doctor Strange, but there was still a few people in my theater. They blocked off an enormous section of the theater for “VIP” seats (I ain’t paying for that!) which is I guess a trend where they force you to sit literally on the screen or in the back row unless you pay them extra money. Whatever. There were a few talkers early, but they settled down and I thought the response from the audience was appropriately muted with sparse laugher when a particularly decent joke landed. Good showing all around.

Oh oh oh yeah. And a very quick Product Sklog-ment brought to you by McDonald’s. Da-da-da-da-da, we’re lovin’ it! Because this movie had a few impressive ones in there. Every computer was a Dell, but mainly the gigantic Mercedes logos everywhere. And Mercedes already has obnoxiously large logos. This is how movies like this make money, the chase scene was basically an extended commercial for the car brand. I’ll take my leave there.


The Sklogs

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Recap


In an alternate world I’d be sitting here telling you that The Day the Earth Stood Still was actually not that bad. Keanu was a great Klaatu (that sounds made up), the CGI was really solid (so solid that it kinda got me excited for Dr. Strange being made by the same director), and the plethora of good television actors was fun. But it’s not an alternate world. Since Patrick and I are ardent consumers of all things bad movie related, I obviously watched the original film and read the original short story on which it’s based. Guess what both those had? Really good twist endings and meditations on the nature of the human race. What did this one have? A terrible ending and a meaningless, meandering plot. That’s the thing. When I groan audibly during the ending of a film it kinda ruins its chances of being Not that Bad.™ And when the original film is a stark christian allegory on the decline of morality in the atomic age, and the new one has an entire scene set in a McDonald’s in central NJ… well.

You know what I was loving in this film though?! The fabulous Settings 101 display that The Day the Earth Stood Still put on. They reset the original film in New Jersey/New York as Klaatu wants to meet with the world leaders at the UN. That’s satisfying enough for a nice easy C grade in the class. A main setting of the film is talked about by the characters. But wait, The Day the Earth Stood Still wasn’t done yet. We are then told via insert titles (meta-acknowledgment!) where almost every scene of action occurs in NY/NJ! And I’m serious, like every scene is like “OUTSIDE NEWARK, NJ.” It happens like ten times. Amazing work. You’re in B range. TDtESS must be done now? Not a chance. At one point Klaatu has to be picked up by Connelly at Newark fucking Penn Station. They are going out of their way to include settings in the plot! Straight up A- all over the place. They can’t do any better than this, right? Wrong. In the climax of the film, as nanobots are eating their way through the New Jersey (as they should), the film goes out of its way to show the nanobots devour MetLife stadium in The Meadowlands (as they should). A major New Jersey landmark getting destroyed in the climax! That’s an A folks! Only way it can get to A+ is if they titled it The Day New Jersey Stood Still… but alas. Can’t win them all (unless you’re London Has Fallen).


‘Ello everyone! The Day the Earth Stood Still? More like the Hour my Brain Stood Still! Booooooooooooooooooooooooom. We watched a remake of some classic Sci Fi, so what is the worst that could possibly happen? … let’s get into it.

  • The Good – If this wasn’t a remake I would have said the story was at least somewhat interesting. The CGI was pretty incredible for the time. The cast for the most part handles their parts pretty well.
  • The Bad – Not surprisingly Jaden was a pretty bad part, but mostly because his character was totally unlikeable. But mainly the black mark upon this movie was that it was adapted from a classic. Without the previous movie as a touchstone this is like Day After Tomorrow, a movie whose fault lies in its heavy handedness. Instead it felt a bit closer to the new Red Dawn, just not a good idea in the face of inevitable comparison to a classic. Makes me want to watch the new Point Break?
  • The BMT – I guess. I’m honestly a tad bit surprised at how many votes this movie got, and 40 I guess feel a bit too high. I would say more like 30 ish at best. Might even go a little lower, below average even. The effects were alright, and you really have to stretch to find things that make you go “I’ve got to show this to somebody!”.

This movie is also a fine addition to the how-much-product-placement-can-you-sell-before-it-is-a-parody-of-itself pantheon. The original (table sized) Windows Surface, some watch, and an LG phone were pretty noticeable. But holy shit, right in the middle of the movie they might as well have had Keanu shout “I’m feeling hungry, but a kind of hunger that sticks, where do you Earth people go for high quality sustenance?” and Jaden and Connelly look at each other and say “Sound like someone needs a Mac-ers run!”. What followed was essentially the Mac and Me McDonald’s Dance Sequence:

 And then at the end Keanu could have walked towards his space ship, turned around to look at Jaden, given a Terminator 2 thumbs up and said “Da-da-da-da-da … I’m lovin’ it!”. I’m only being mostly hyperbolic. The irony of McDonalds, one of the largest corporations and producers of garbage in the world, being on prominent display in an unabashedly pro-environment film is also hilarious (although I’m thinking that might have been the point, McDonalds trying to show they are working with environmentalists across the board at the time). Anyways, this was, bar none, the highlight of what was otherwise a nuisance of a reboot, I do love me some in your face marketing.

The assessment of product placement is a long standing tradition with us, so it needs a name. Product Sklog-ment brought to you by McDonald’s. Da-da-da-da-da, we’re lovin’ it! It’s got a good ring to it.