Mercury Rising Preview

Patrick and the Rambos climb through the air vents of The Square. The Rambos bodies are well-greased and gleaming as they slip and slide their way around. “Here,” the eldest grunts pointing through an opening and Patrick gasps as he sees Jamie being carried by Vampiro and some scantily clad ladies. Patrick puts on his glasses to take a closer look and confirms that they are some bodacious babes. Patrick looks to the Rambos for help but they’re already moving. They drop into an area filled with glass cages. The Rambos start knocking on a few of the cages. “My god,” Patrick whispers, “The Baldwins.” Stephen, William, and Daniel Baldwin peer out from deep in their cages but they don’t recognize those names. They are Brian McCafferty, J. J. Hendricks, and Weed. Patrick is truly through the looking glass on this one. “Where?” grunts the youngest Rambo and the Baldwins look on with fear. Weed’s teeth chatter as he points to the ground, “Here.” Suddenly the door opens.

Buford Vampiro and his Beach Bunnies lead the way with Jamie in tow. Things were already looking dire, but they get even worse when Sticks and Stones join them with… Alec Baldwin? But he introduces himself as Kudrow. Jamie shakes his head. They all seem agitated about Patrick, but Sticks and Stones insist that he’s somewhere here and they could use Jamie as a trap. Not likely, Jamie thinks as he flexes his biceps. They enter a room full of glass cells and Jamie is left alone. He sees even more Baldwins around… he must be in some kind of Baldwin jail. Jamie smiles. Do you know what’s better than waiting for Patrick to save him from jail… waiting for Patrick to save him from jail with a whole mess of Baldwins. That’s right! We are going into a Baldwin extravaganza for the Bring A Friend entry in the Bring A Friend cycle. We are partaking in the classic thriller Mercury Rising. Big time thriller for Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin and I’m pretty excited because it’s about puzzles and we’re puzzle maniacs. As for the friends we tried to pick the worst of the worst from the other Baldwin bros. We settled on the truly terrible looking Dead Weekend for Stephen, Fallout (about space ships) for Daniel, and Backdraft 2 (yes they made a sequel) for William. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Let’s go!

Mercury Rising (1998) – BMeTric: 29.4 

MercuryRisingIMDb_BMeT

MercuryRisingIMDb_RV

(I remember when this came out. I don’t remember it being particularly poorly received … and 6.1 is pretty high for a 30 BMeTric film. 60K votes! That’s a lot.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  An autistic nine-year-old boy innocently cracks a top-secret government code; cold-eyed bureaucrat Baldwin orders him killed, while over-the-hill FBI agent Willis tried to protect him. Except for the boy’s autism, a routine suspense thriller, but well made and interesting throughout. Willis’s standard action hero character shows a softer side here, while Baldwin plays out-and-out heavy.

(Sounds like kind of a boring rote thriller, but with maybe a boring performance by Willis and an insane performance by Baldwin … which is basically all I could ask for.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-L7Gbh4u0I/

(Yeah looks potentially pretty boring. BUT … I do like both Willis and Baldwin, especially in 1998, so sock it to me. Let’s do it.)

Directors – Harold Becker – (Known For: Sea of Love; Taps; Malice; Vision Quest; The Onion Field; City Hall; The Big Town; The Black Marble; The Boost; Future BMT: Domestic Disturbance; BMT: Mercury Rising; Notes: He started out as a still photographer, and was mainly a commercial and documentary filmmaker through the 70s. Most of his feature films were made in the 80s. He’s 90 years old.)

Writers – Ryne Douglas Pearson (novel) – (Future BMT: Knowing; BMT: Mercury Rising; Notes: Apparently Art Jefferson, the character Bruce Willis plays, is part of a series he wrote. Mercury Rising is the fourth Art Jefferson book.)

Lawrence Konner (screenplay) – (Known For: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Planet of the Apes; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; The Legend of Billie Jean; The Jewel of the Nile; Mighty Joe Young; Flicka; Future BMT: Desperate Hours; The Concierge; Mona Lisa Smile; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; The Beverly Hillbillies; Mercury Rising; Notes: Wrote on The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire as he’s mostly done television work since around 2000.)

Mark Rosenthal (screenplay) – (Known For: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Planet of the Apes; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; The Legend of Billie Jean; The Jewel of the Nile; Mighty Joe Young; Flicka; Future BMT: Desperate Hours; The Concierge; Mona Lisa Smile; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; The Beverly Hillbillies; Mercury Rising; Notes: He’s the long time writing partner of Konner, although he hasn’t done the same amount of television work, and mainly seems to work with Konner on features.)

Actors – Bruce Willis – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Motherless Brooklyn; Split; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; The Fifth Element; The Sixth Sense; Sin City; Die Hard; Twelve Monkeys; Unbreakable; RED; Looper; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Moonrise Kingdom; Ocean’s Twelve; The Expendables; RED 2; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; Die Hard 4.0; 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; Reprisal; Cop Out; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Acts of Violence; The Bombing; Marauders; Fire with Fire; Perfect Stranger; Striking Distance; Rock the Kasbah; Rugrats Go Wild; The Story of Us; Blind Date; Billy Bathgate; Loaded Weapon 1; Surrogates; Sunset; The Jackal; Last Man Standing; Tears of the Sun; Hostage; Glass; Grand Champion; Four Rooms; 10 Minutes Gone; BMT: North; A Good Day to Die Hard; Color of Night; The Whole Ten Yards; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Hudson Hawk; Mercury Rising; 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: Apparently Ashton Kutcher (who married Willis’ ex Demi Moore) apparently was convinced his then-girlfriend January Jones had an affair with Willis on the set of Bandits in 2001 … they have a really weird relationship.)

Miko Hughes – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Pet Sematary; Apollo 13; Kindergarten Cop; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: Spawn; Clockstoppers; Cops and Robbersons; BMT: Baby Geniuses; Mercury Rising; Notes: Still vaguely makes appearances, but not many. He was the son of a gynocologist in Kindergarten Cop who says a bunch of inappropriate stuff and has acted since he was 22 months old.)

Alec Baldwin – (Known For: Beetlejuice; A Star Is Born; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; Motherless Brooklyn; The Departed; BlacKkKlansman; The Aviator; Notting Hill; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; The Hunt for Red October; The Good Shepherd; The Royal Tenenbaums; My Sister’s Keeper; Rock of Ages; The Boss Baby; Concussion; Glengarry Glen Ross; Blue Jasmine; Rise of the Guardians; Working Girl; Future BMT: Aloha; Thomas and the Magic Railroad; Andròn: The Black Labyrinth; Hick; Along Came Polly; The Juror; My Best Friend’s Girl; The Getaway; Fun with Dick and Jane; Pearl Harbor; The Shadow; Running with Scissors; Heaven’s Prisoners; Elizabethtown; Blind; BMT: The Cat in the Hat; Pluto Nash; Mercury Rising; The Marrying Man; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Cat in the Hat in 2004; Notes: He is going to have his sixth child soon. He had one child, Ireland, with Kim Bassinger, and now will have five children with his second wife.)

Budget/Gross – $60 million / Domestic: $32,935,289 (Worldwide: $93,107,289)

(That is pretty rough given the budget, an out and out disaster financially.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (6/35)

(I’ll have to make a consensus! Here goes: Boring without much action between the two leads. Only a scenery chewing heel-turn by Alec Baldwin saves this from complete disaster. Reviewer Highlight: If a 9-year-old kid can break your code, don’t kill the kid, kill the programmers. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Mercury Sklogging (B+)

mercury_rising

(Gah! If only they had some interesting font. Otherwise I think this is what we’re looking for. We got the stars of the film presented in an artistic way with a bold color scheme… maybe a little hint at what the film was about would also help. Not bad though. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think this is the best one I’ve done. The color on the face isn’t quite right, and neither is my eyeline. Great fake tagline from Jamie though. A-)

Tagline(s) – Someone knows too much. (D)

(Terrible. So vague. Almost sounds like they did it as a joke but then forgot to replace it before printing the poster. At least it’s short.)

Keyword(s) – autistic child; Top Ten by BMeTric: 64.0 The Darkness (I) (2016); 29.4 Mercury Rising (1998); 24.4 Dear John (I) (2010); 16.1 Silent Fall (1994); 15.6 Redwoods (2009); 10.6 Triangle (2009); 9.6 Hurry Sundown (1967); 8.6 Tully (2018); 6.8 X+Y (2014); 6.1 El faro de las orcas (2016);

(It is plausible this is the best example of this keyword ever made! I’ve never seen The Darkness though, so maybe an autistic child is a major part of that film as well … Wait, doesn’t Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close feature an autistic child?)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Bruce Willis is No. 1 billed in Mercury Rising and No. 1 billed in The Whole Ten Yards, which also stars Natasha Henstridge (No. 4 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 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 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 10.

Notes – Actor Miko Hughes spent time with many autistic children at a special school to understand how to portray an autistic child. Bennett Leventhal, head of the child psychiatry department at the University of Chicago, spent six weeks before the shoot tutoring Hughes at a school for autistic children. Leventhal, a big doctor on autism, complimented Hughes at the film’s premiere and said “Even I believed you.”. (Good for him, it was a much more unknown thing at the time I feel like)

The plot bears a striking resemblance to a real event in history as reported by Bruce Watson on DailyFinance’s Website on 24 December 2009: ‘…In December 1955, Sears Roebuck ran a newspaper ad with what they claimed was Santa’s direct number. Unfortunately, the phone number they offered was one digit off; instead of Sears, it linked to a top secret line at CONAD, the Continental Air Defense Command. When Colonel Harry Shoup, the command’s director of operations, answered the phone, he expected to hear about a missile strike against the US. Instead, he got a little kid who wanted to talk to Santa. Although the conversation ended with the child crying and Shoup fuming, the Colonel eventually came around and began giving the children updates on Santa’s travels through the night sky. The following year, CONAD offered a new, non-secret, phone number that children could call. In 1958, when CONAD became NORAD, the new command continued the tradition…’ (Holy shit, I’ve heard of that! That is a crazy origin story if it is true)

Alec Baldwin appeared in this film due to a contractual obligation to Universal Pictures. Baldwin had previously backed out of a film for Universal and signed an agreement promising the studio another film. Years later, this film was presented to him and he did it to avoid further litigation.

The wine that Art opens in Kudrow’s basement is Chateau Petrus from Pomerol (identifiable by the red seal at the bottom left corner of the label), is probably the most expensive Bordeaux red wine, and contrary to what Art said in the movie, even young Petrus costs much more than 75 dollars per bottle. (Fun fact)

This movie marks the second time Bruce Willis has battled a soldier believed to have died years before the events of the movie take place. The first was “Die Hard 2” (1990).

Chad Lindberg, who plays James, would go on to appear in The Fast and the Furious (2001), another movie from Universal Pictures, three years after this movie was released. Also, like his character in this movie, Lindberg’s character in The Fast and the Furious, Jesse, also gets killed. (Ha!)

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

The Circle Preview

With his cadre of Rambos leading the way, Patrick enters the BMTverse. He breathes in the dull, uninspiring air and a part of him knows it’s home. The old rickety Rambo crouches down, his knees giving off loud popping noises, and tastes the earth. “Your brother, he’s been here.” The young spry Rambo with the sad eyes tastes a different spot, “another was with him. The man in black.” At that the older garbage Rabmo hisses, “Vampiro.” Patrick steps forward, “Which way did they head?!” At that the youngest of the Rambos replies bluntly, “No.” But Patrick pleads “I need to get to him before it’s too late. Please!” The Rambos nod, “OK.” At that they head off. From the few monosyllabic statements the Rambos make Patrick is able to glean that Vampiro is a Dracula who has been sucking the BMTverse dry in some mysterious scheme and that Jamie is in grave danger. “So what is the scheme Vampiro has set up?” Patrick asks, and immediately the Rambos point to a large building dominating the skyline of New Angeles. The sign reads, “The Square.” Patrick doesn’t want to say anything but to him The Square looks pretty hip. That’s right! We’re watching the 2017 classic The Circle starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks about a big ol’ company that totally spies on you. Sound the Ointment Alarm, cause this movie is topical. Let’s go!

Meanwhile, the man in black backflips from his skateboard and and grabs Jamie by the throat. He squints at him, “You really don’t remember me, do you?” Jamie looks closer and notices the sharp Dracula teeth of the Dracula that turned him into a Dracula at Dracula School a year ago. “Vampiro,” he wheezes. “Let him be, baby,” a young sexy voice says from behind Vampiro and four beautiful bodacious beach bunnies come out from the steam. “Sticks and Stone will not be happy if you kill him, Vampiro,” the sexiest of them coos. “Call me Buford, baby,” He replies. That’s right! We’re going for the only Jim Hanks vehicle in history, Buford’s Beach Bunnies. Tom Hanks’ bro plays the titular Buford being titillated by the titular Beach Bunnies. It should be a hoot and in no way sad probably. Let’s go!

The Circle (2017) – BMeTric: 56.8 

TheCircleIMDb_BMeT

TheCircleIMDb_RV

(Ooooooo for a film like this low-5s is incredibly incredibly low, that is promising. And very consistent across the years as well. Interesting.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  When the story turns into something akin to a nightmarish cousin of “The Truman Show” or “Network,” or the kid sister of Cronenbeg’s “ExistenZ,” you want it to get bigger, wilder, more outrageous, more frightening, and it’s too nice and reasonable and conscientious to do that. The result feels undernourished in just about every way, although Hanks’s performance, John Boyega’s brief role as a founding programmer, and a couple of frightening action sequences break through the tedium.

(Yeah I would have expected it to go very broad in the end … it is pretty concerning that it doesn’t. Like what is this movie about then?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUlr8Am4zQ0/

(Watching that trailer and I’m thinking Firewall starring Harrison Ford. Reading the review above it … and I’m getting whiffs of The Space Between Us. Which is concerning because that movie was boring.)

Directors – James Ponsoldt – (Known For: The Spectacular Now; The End of the Tour; Smashed; Off the Black; BMT: The Circle; Notes: Went to Yale, and then got a Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia.)

Writers – James Ponsoldt (screenplay by) – (Known For: Smashed; Off the Black; BMT: The Circle; Notes: Is writing and directing a film about “wild animals in Los Angeles” called Wild City.)

Dave Eggers (screenplay by & based on the novel by) – (Known For: Where the Wild Things Are; A Hologram for the King; Promised Land; Away We Go; BMT: The Circle; Notes: Actually an amazing story concerning his parents both dying when he was a young man, and he dropped out of school to raise his youngest brother who was 8 at the time. It became the subject of his fictionalized memoir, the acclaimed A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.)

Actors – Emma Watson – (Known For: Beauty and the Beast; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; This Is the End; Noah; My Week with Marilyn; The Bling Ring; The Tale of Despereaux; Future BMT: Regression; BMT: The Circle; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for The Circle in 2018; Notes: She’s going to be in Little Woman later this year, obviously most famous for her roles in the Harry Potter films where she played Hermoine.)

Tom Hanks – (Known For: Toy Story 4; A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood; Forrest Gump; The Green Mile; Saving Private Ryan; Catch Me If You Can; Toy Story; Toy Story 3; Cloud Atlas; Sleepless in Seattle; Cast Away; Cars; Road to Perdition; Toy Story 2; Sully: Miracle on the Hudson; The Post; Apollo 13; Bridge of Spies; Saving Mr. Banks; Big; Future BMT: He Knows You’re Alone; Larry Crowne; Inferno; Ithaca; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: The Circle; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Notes: Ya’ll know Tom Hanks! He’s getting Oscar buzz for his role as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.)

John Boyega – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Detroit; Attack the Block; Half of a Yellow Sun; Imperial Dreams; Junkhearts; BMT: The Circle; Notes: British. You can hear his natural sccent in Attack the Block.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $20,497,844 (Worldwide: $20,497,844)

(Hmmmm, given the budget that isn’t actually that bad I suppose, but it is a box office disappointment. Their Netflix distribution may have made a bit more of that back since. I’m a little surprised it could be made for so little.)

#55 for the Young-Adult Book Adaptations genre

thecircle2017_yaadaptations

(Our 8th BMT film of this genre. Came right as these types of films stopped making money. Weirdly, not even close to the worst box office we’ve seen beating out The Darkest Minds, Midnight Sun, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, and Vampire Academy)

#52 on the Worst Openings – Super Saturated chart

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (20/135): The Circle assembles an impressive cast, but this digitally driven thriller spins aimlessly in its half-hearted exploration of timely themes.

(Yeah that sounds about right. Float through something significant, but straddle the fence and make it as milquetoast as possible. This is indeed what I expect. Reviewer Highlight: The Circle is a big honking sloppy mess of a movie, one that flops around so aimlessly that it’s baffling so many intelligent people had a hand in making it. – Will Leitch, The New Republic)

Poster – Corporate Sklog-vallience (C+)

circle_ver2

(It’s artsy in the framing and the color is fine. Font makes me sad. At least make the C in Circle be the company’s logo. Not just block bullshit.)

Tagline(s) – Knowing is good. Knowing everything is better. (A-)

(Do you know what’s better than a billion dollars? A gazillion dollars. While I don’t support the message of the tagline I can still recognize that it’s a good tagline.)

Keyword(s) – video surveillance; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.3 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 79.5 The Devil Inside (2012); 67.8 College Road Trip (2008); 65.7 Captivity (2007); 65.5 Pulse (I) (2006); 60.4 Maid in Manhattan (2002); 60.2 Sliver (1993); 56.8 The Circle (I) (2017); 52.5 Everly (2014); 52.2 Bangkok Dangerous (2008);

(This is a pretty interesting keyword. Like is that really what Halloween: Resurrection has? College Road Trip? This seems to be one of the rare ones where it is a central theme to the film.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tom Hanks is No. 2 billed in The Circle and No. 1 billed in Bonfire of the Vanities, which also stars Bruce Willis (No. 2 billed) who is in The Whole Ten Yards (No. 1 billed), which also stars Natasha Henstridge (No. 4 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 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) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Angels & Demons, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Bill Paxton died before the film’s release. Glenne Headly, who played his wife in the film, died the same year after the film’s release. (What? I knew Pacton died, but I didn’t realize Glenne Headly died.)

Re-shoots took place four months before release, aimed at making Emma Watson’s character more appealing, but test audience reactions were even worse than previous test screenings. (Jesus THAT was their attempt at making her MORE appealing? She’s insane in the movie)

The scene where Annie video calls Mae was shot by Karen Gillan’s crew while they were filming Gillan’s feature film; The Party’s Just Beginning (2018) in Scotland. (Wow that is interesting)

In the U.K. this film did not get a cinema release but went straight to streaming service Netflix. (Yeah I noticed)

The logo of The Circle was created before the Uber redesign, despite them looking very similar.

The lead role of Mae was first offered to Alicia Vikander, which according to her, was one of three roles offered simultaneously, alongside the roles of Maria in Assassin’s Creed (2016) and Heather in Jason Bourne (2016). Due to fan factor, she opted to do Bourne, thus the producers moving on to casting second choice Emma Watson.

Received a “D+” CinemaScore, which is quite rare. [Variety 2017] (Not surprised)

This is the second time that Tom Hanks has a role in an adaptation of a novel by Dave Eggers. The first was A Hologram for the King (2016). (Never heard of it)

The auditorium scenes were filmed at Citrus Community College’s Haugh Performing Arts Center in Glendora, California.

Opening bridge shot is Dumbarton Bridge in Northern California near Silicon Valley. Fake image of the Circle building located on the Coyote Point recreation park.

The ending was changed significantly for the film adaptation. In the novel, Mae, fully believing in The Circle’s goals and mantras, betrays Ty in his attempt to bring down the company and he is effectively silenced. (WHAT?! THAT IS CRAZY)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Emma Watson, 2018)

Rambo III 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 III (1988) – BMeTric: 40.3 

RamboIIIIMDb_BMeT

RamboIIIIMDb_RV

(Wowza. I actually think this is going to go the same way as Rambo II! This is going to eventually be considered (ironically) good by general audiences, but somehow critics think it is worse than ever. Go figure.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  A definite improvement over part II, this one remains firmly footed in the genre of Idiot Action Movies, as our brawny hero goes behind Russian-dominated battle lines in Afghanistan to rescue his friend and former superior (Crenna) from a prison fortress. Lots of explosions to keep things lively – and some (unintentionally?) hilarious dialogue too. Followed 20 years later by Rambo.

(Kind of amazing that he thinks the third is the best. That actually is the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, but online I’ve seen the opposite, that most fans of Rambo seem to think the third is the only truly terrible one of the bunch.)

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

(WHO IS THIS JOHN RAMBO? Him exploding the helicopter (and them putting that in the trailer) is some of the craziest shit I’ve ever scene. This looks so dumb.)

Directors – Peter MacDonald – (Future BMT: Legionnaire; Mo’ Money; BMT: Rambo III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Appears to be a wildly successful second unit director, including for Guardians of the Galaxy and three Harry Potter films.)

Writers – David Morrell (characters) – (Known For: First Blood; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: He wrote a single episode of one television series. He wrote Habitat in the series Monsters, a horror anthology show.)

Sylvester Stallone (written by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; The Expendables; Creed; The Expendables 2; Rocky Balboa; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Homefront; 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: Is producing an Action/Drama television show with Dolph Lendgren called The International. It has a pilot order at CBS.)

Sheldon Lettich (written by) – (Future BMT: Legionnaire; Double Impact; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Russkies; Max; Bloodsport; BMT: Rambo III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Became a very successful director through Jean-Claude Van Damme. He apparently discovered Mark Dacascos.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; The Expendables; Creed; The Expendables 2; Rocky Balboa; Escape Plan; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Escape to Victory; Rocky II; Cop Land; Bullet to the Head; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Death Race 2000; Antz; The Lords of Flatbush; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; Escape Plan 3; D-Tox; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; Rambo: Last Blood; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Notes: Was part owner of Planet Hollywood back in the day. Unlike the Hard Rock Cafe it eventually went out of business.)

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; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Body Heat; Sabrina; Wait Until Dark; The Sand Pebbles; The Flamingo Kid; Marooned; Un flic; Breakheart Pass; Table for Five; Future BMT: Death Ship; Leviathan; Wrongfully Accused; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Summer Rental; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Jonathan Livingston Seagull; BMT: Jade; Rambo III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Won an Emmy for his starring role in the television movie The Rape of Richard Beck.)

Marc de Jonge – (Known For: Empire of the Sun; Future BMT: Un indien dans la ville; BMT: Rambo III; Notes: Died in a crazy accident in which, after forgetting the keys to his apartment, he attempted to scale the building and fell to his death.)

Budget/Gross – $58–63 million / Domestic: $53,715,611 (Worldwide: $189,015,611)

(Again, a smash hit worldwide. I would actually say this is kind of the start to Rambo being much more of an international sensation than a domestic hit. The budgets tend to be recouped via strong international numbers.)

#25 for the Travelogue – Middle East genre

rambo3_middleeast

(Not surprisingly the Middle East wasn’t much of a Hollywood setting prior to 2001, the late 80s was kind of a small initially bump. It is now a pretty consistent staple for, presumably, action films.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (13/34): Rambo III finds its justice-dispensing hero far from the thoughtful drama that marked the franchise’s beginning — and just as far from quality action thriller entertainment.

(Online the general consensus seems to be that Rambo III is the worst of the sequels. Ironically that is the only one that didn’t qualify for BMT up until recently, so at the time I would imagine critics generally disagreed. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. Stallone has by now made Rambo parody-proof, since the character is every bit as laughable as he is grandiose; that’s part of the fun. – Janet Maslin, New York Times)

Poster – Poe III (C-)

rambo_iii

(Oh boy… that’s really the poster? That might be the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. This is what happens when the poster is just the star and nothing else. Probably had whoever making it like “what else should I put on the poster?” and everyone was like who cares… just Stallone and so they threw a bunch of garbage on it.)

Tagline(s) – The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it’s to save his friend. (A+)

(Pretty much perfect. Hard to be more concise than this for a three part tagline like this so I’ll let that slide. Just really nice.)

Keyword(s) – navajo indian; Top Ten by BMeTric: 60.6 Skinwalkers (2006); 40.3 Rambo III (1988); 29.4 Windtalkers (2002); 23.0 Room 237 (I) (2012); 19.9 The Trial of Billy Jack (1974); 19.1 Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985); 17.0 Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory (1990); 16.3 Nightwing (1979); 16.3 Stay Away, Joe (1968); 14.2 Billy Jack (1971);

(Multiple Billy Jack films? These are *checks notes* apparently a series of films starring Tom Laughlin from the 70s? How quaint.)

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 III 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 – Sylvester Stallone asked for a Gulfstream jet (cost: twelve million dollars) as part of his pay for the film. He got one.

With its 63 million dollar budget, this was the most expensive film ever made at the time of its release. (Wow)

The last Rambo film to star Richard Crenna as Colonel Sam Trautman. He passed away on January 17, 2003, before a fourth film could be made. The fourth film, Rambo (2008), was dedicated to his memory. (Wouldn’t have made sense for him to be in it anyways)

Director Peter MacDonald stated in the DVD commentary that for the scenes involving Rambo and Colonel Trautman inside the Monks’ Temple, the temple itself was a real temple in Thailand undergoing renovation at the time of filming. Also, many of the Monk extras were in fact real Monks from that very temple who were paid to appear as extras for those scenes (along with additional extras who were merely dressed as Monks for the scene).

Original director Russell Mulcahy was replaced after two weeks of filming by Peter MacDonald due to creative differences. Three cinematographers also left. (This sounds like Stallone actually directed this film …)

Working title was Full Circle: First Blood Part III (Oof)

Five years later, Richard Crenna parodied his role in the spoof Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993). Just like Colonel Trautman, his character personally sought out the main protagonist (played by Charlie Sheen) in a location somewhere in Southeast Asia to ask for help, and was also captured by the enemies forces, this time the Iraqis. (Cool)

One scene has Rambo playing a game on horseback. In reality, Sylvester Stallone has been riding horses since childhood and even competed in his first polo match at age eleven. (But … why can Rambo ride horses as well as these guys? Riddle me that. I guess he just like rode a lot in Arizona, but he’s been living in Thailand for years at this point)

Extra dialogue was filmed but cut from the scene where Griggs informs Rambo of Trautman’s capture and then tells Rambo that he is really sorry. In the deleted footage, Griggs firmly tells Rambo about the impossibilities of sending a rescue force in after Rambo asks why he won’t do anything about it. Some of this deleted dialogue however can be seen in the trailer. (I think this is back in the remastered edition)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1989)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Buzz Feitshans, 1989)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Richard Crenna, 1989)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Peter MacDonald, 1989)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Sylvester Stallone, Sheldon Lettich, 1989)

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 

RamboFirstBloodPartIIIMDb_BMeT

RamboFirstBloodPartIIIMDb_RV

(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.)

rambo_first_blood_part_ii

(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)

Perfect Preview

As Patrick completes his sensual solo twin dance within the confines of the semi he notices that the evil lady has tears in her eyes. He stops and wipes them from her face, “what’s wrong?” he asks, “isn’t this sensual dance to your liking?” But she shakes her head. “It’s great, but… but it’s like watching Hall without Oates, you know?… it’s just not that smooth Hall & Oates sound.” Patrick nods, “No, you’re right. So wise. This is a dance I used to do with my brother… but it’s not the same without him. I’m sorry.” She shushes him with a finger to his lips. “No,” she says, “I’m the one who should be apologizing. I’ve helped put a beautiful bald eagle into a cage. A cage where you can’t spread your wings. And now I need to set you free.” With that she opens the back of the truck, still speeding along. “Now fly, my beautiful bird. Find your Oates,” and with a swift quick Patrick is sent rolling along the highway. Bloodied and gravely injured Patrick comes to a stop on the side of the road. “Perfect,” he whispers from his broken face, congratulating himself on a job well done. That’s right! We are watching Perfect starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s a film about a journalist and aerobics instructor falling in love to the rhythm and dance of sexy aerobics. Hooooooo weeeeee, gonna be sexy. Let’s go!

“Rad!” Jamie yells in glee zooming about on his souped up hang glider with the man in black. “Is that New Angeles?” Jamie yells and the man in black nods. He points to the tallest building in the skyline and tells Jamie that it’s too dangerous to fly too close. They’ll have to go around. But that’s all that Jamie needs to here as he zooms away laughing, this bozo doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. He’s gonna take these hang gliders to the limit. But the man in black just smirks in satisfaction. That’s right! We’re also watching To The Limit starring Joey Travolta and Anna Nicole Smith. Yes, this is not only Travolta’s brother, but also a woman who goes by a three-part name is the co-star. Spooky stuff. Oh, this is about some mob or assassin shit. I don’t know. Looks real dumb. Let’s go!

Perfect (1985) – BMeTric: 43.5 

PerfectIMDb_BMeT

PerfectIMDb_RV

(Still really low. How did this get made did this film as a live show in 2015. I don’t see much evidence of a bump in extra votes, but perhaps that is the reason it is climbing in the ratings a bit … but probably not, that seems like classic regression to the mean.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Rolling Stone reporter Travolta is writing an exposé of L.A. health clubs but finds himself attracted to aerobics instructor Curtis, whom he’s about the trash in print. A smug, overlong, misguided, miscast movie, with hints of intelligent intentions; written by Bridges and reporter Aaron Latham. Real-life Rolling Stones editor Wenner plays himself. Wait till you hear John and Jamie Lee expound on Emersonian values!

(I. Can’t. Wait. To hear Travolta talk about Emersonian values! Great semi-colon game as usual, plus an actual genuine accent on exposé. I’m loving it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd7tVAIOWjI/

(Dance Tunes the movie! I’m excited to see all these hot bods. Hip Thrust the movie. Scream While Exercising the movie. I’m so amped.)

Directors – James Bridges – (Known For: Urban Cowboy; The China Syndrome; Bright Lights, Big City; The Paper Chase; BMT: Perfect; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Perfect in 1986; Notes: He died of cancer in 1993. Started out writing screenplays including one for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.)

Writers – Aaron Latham (story “Looking for Mr. Goodbody – Health Clubs: The New Singles Bars” & screenplay) – (Known For: Urban Cowboy; The Program; BMT: Perfect; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Perfect in 1986; Notes: He wrote the article, Mr. Goodbody, for Rolling Stone that inspired the film. Weirdly he also wrote an article that inspire Urban Cowboy.)

James Bridges (screenplay) – (Known For: Urban Cowboy; The China Syndrome; Colossus: The Forbin Project; The Paper Chase; White Hunter Black Heart; BMT: Perfect; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Perfect in 1986; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for his writing for The China Syndrome and The Paper Chase.)

Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Carrie; The Taking of Pelham 123; The Thin Red Line; Face/Off; Savages; Hairspray; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Saturday Night Fever; Bolt; Urban Cowboy; Broken Arrow; Blow Out; In a Valley of Violence; Get Shorty; Look Who’s Talking; Ladder 49; Phenomenon; Lonely Hearts; Future BMT: Look Who’s Talking Now; Look Who’s Talking Too; Staying Alive; Gotti; Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Domestic Disturbance; I Am Wrath; Michael; Two of a Kind; Eye for an Eye; Life on the Line; White Man’s Burden; The Forger; The Devil’s Rain; The Fanatic; The General’s Daughter; The Punisher; Mad City; From Paris with Love; Trading Paint; Basic; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Old Dogs; Be Cool; Perfect; Wild Hogs; Swordfish; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth in 2001; Winner for Worst Actor for Lucky Numbers in 2001; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind; in 1986 for Perfect; in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish; in 2010 for Old Dogs; and in 2019 for Gotti; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout in 1992; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Gotti in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for Perfect, Staying Alive, The Experts, and Two of a Kind; and in 2010 for Battlefield Earth, Domestic Disturbance, Lucky Numbers, Old Dogs, and Swordfish; Notes: On a very not good run as of late in his career. I think he’s been in something like 5 films in a row with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes prior to the release of The Fanatic later this year (18% on Rotten Tomatoes).)

Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Knives Out; Halloween; Halloween; Trading Places; Veronica Mars; My Girl; True Lies; Escape from New York; A Fish Called Wanda; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Freaky Friday; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; The Fog; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Forever Young; Prom Night; The Tailor of Panama; From Up on Poppy Hill; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Blue Steel; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; Virus; My Girl 2; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; Terror Train; Halloween II; Queens Logic; BMT: Christmas with the Kranks; Perfect; Notes: One of the original Scream Queens. The daughter of Tony Curtis of Some Like it Hot fame.)

Jann Wenner – (Known For: Almost Famous; Jerry Maguire; Future BMT: Perfect; Notes: The actual co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine. He effectively plays himself in this film.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $12,918,858

(That is very very not good. Who would have thought a weird movie about a journalist creating a hard hitting story about (checks notes) … gyms / dating? Well who would have thought that wouldn’t be a smash hit … these guys apparently.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (3/16)

(Let’s do a consensus: Smug and manipulative. Ends up as a muddled mess that comes across as unintentionally hilarious more than anything else. Reviewer Highlight: Perfect is too superficially knowing to be a camp classic, but it’s an unintentionally hilarious mixture of muddled moralizing and all-too-contemporary self-promotion. – Vincent Canby, New York Times)

Poster – Perfecto (C+)

perfect

(I think it’s clever and that’s something. Slightly embarrassing… but clever. Usually I’d say too many words, but makes some sense here. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think the lighting / color on my face in the fake poster is off, but if you don’t have the actual poster right next to it it looks better. I decided just to do some swaps instead of making up new headlines because fonts are hard. Stay tuned for more shallow fakes!)

Tagline(s) – Reporter Adam Lawrence ignites two hot stories. One leads to love. The other could lead to jail. (C+)

The perfection of the body and the senses mean RHYTHM! JOHN TRAVOLTA and JAMIE LEE CURTIS in a one-hundred-thousand-volt Dance Ecstasy! (A++++)

(From the poster it’s clear the first one is the actual tagline. Too long, but it has some flow. I have no idea where the second one comes from but I love it so much that I kept it.)

Keyword(s) – aerobics; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.5 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 49.1 Repossessed (1990); 43.5 Perfect (1985); 41.1 C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud (1989); 38.9 Club Dread (2004); 37.8 Private Resort (1985); 35.0 Meatballs Part II (1984); 31.7 Armed and Dangerous (1986); 29.1 Blood Diner (1987); 27.6 Legally Blonde (2001);

(Wow, really? We got to get that sweat going! We are slacking on our workout films.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Travolta is No. 1 billed in Perfect and No. 2 billed in Wild Hogs, which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 5 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 3 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Based on the famous Sports Connection (a giant up-scale athletic facility in West Los Angeles that also contains a restaurant and bar), which was known in the late 1970s and 1980s for its singles scene. (Weird!)

Jamie Lee Curtis trained for several months before shooting began. All the scenes that show her leading classes were filmed first, with the narrative and dramatic sequences shot next. The last sequence filmed was the closing credits workout. It is noticeable that Curtis had lost 10 pounds of muscle since the workout scenes had been filmed. She also filmed a music video with Jermaine Jackson to promote the movie. (Ah interesting. That makes a ton of sense actually)

This film is listed among The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. (Terrible book … but having watched it now he ain’t wrong)

Even though the film was a major box-office failure and temporarily derailed John Travolta’s A-list career, he claims he doesn’t regret doing it, mostly due to his friendships with the cast and the chance to work again with James Bridges. (So it really was about the friends he made along the way … huh)

Debut cinema movie of Rolling Stone magazine’s then real editor, publisher, and co-founder Jann Wenner who portrayed Rolling Stone magazine editor-in-chief Mark Roth in the film. Wenner said: “I think the film shows Rolling Stone as it really is. I think that the movie will explain Rolling Stone to a lot of people who may have misconceptions about what it is. The magazine covers a lot of arenas in addition to music-politics, cultural affairs, sociology, movies”. Wenner was actually cast in “Perfect” following a full screen test opposite actor John Travolta. How realistic did Wenner find the film? Wenner reported: “Dead-on accurate. There are naturally some liberties taken, but Jim’s movies are all somewhat journalistic in that they look at a scene and report it accurately. Jim [James Bridges] would frequently ask me, ‘Would you really do something like this?’ or ‘Would the magazine really do something like that?’.” (He is absolutely awful in the film, but so are a ton of people so I guess it didn’t make much of a difference)

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis was eager to be in the movie: Curtis once explained: “I’m an athletic person, a minor sort of closet jock. Whenever I would take an exercise class, I would imagine myself giving one. But while I was certainly intrigued by the story, I was mostly excited about working with these people”. (Good enough reason)

The “Linda” character is based on Leslie Borkin aka Leslie Suzanne Borkin (now known as Leslie Suzan) who was referenced in a June 9, 1983 article from Rolling Stone magazine and was portrayed as a “sleaze.” The production notes for the film describe the “Linda” character as “one of the more promiscuous women at the Sports Connection” health club.

John Travolta and Marilu Henner were in a relationship at the time this movie was released. The picture was the first of two that the former couple have made together, the other being Chains of Gold (1990). (Fun)

Quentin Tarantino in a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone magazine said that this film was “greatly under-appreciated due to Curtis’ very tight performance”. Tarantino worked with John Travolta on 1994’s Pulp Fiction (1994). (I can’t tell if he’s saying that it is a good or bad performance … tight as in “effectively to the point” like a tight script? Or tight as in nervous? She’s honestly the best actor in the entire film so hopefully the latter)

The cover page of the main edition of Rolling Stone magazine in the movie that related to the film’s fitness center story had the same cover photo and headline “Looking for Mr. Goodbody – Health Clubs: The New Singles Bars” as the real-life one used as an inspiration for the movie. The two are practically the same, bar the byline for the writers, Adam Lawrence (played by actor John Travolta) in the fake one, and Aaron Latham (Rolling Stone journalist and the film’s screenwriter) in the real one, which was published in real life on June 9, 1983, two years before this film came out.

After this film, John Travolta would not appear in another one for four years, until The Experts (1989) and Look Who’s Talking (1989). (Interesting)

According to trade paper Variety, John Travolta’s character “is a semi-autobiographical version of writer Aaron Latham, who based the script on a searing story he originally wrote for Rolling Stone”. (Ugh)

The newspaper photo of Jamie Lee Curtis’ character with her swim coach is from Love Letters (1983). (Oh, fun!)

The movie’s screenwriter Aaron Latham said of this picture: “Part of the film is about what’s wrong with journalism”. Latham wrote “Perfect” with director James Bridges, based in part upon articles Latham had written for Rolling Stone magazine. And indeed, the reporter in the film approaches his health club piece with a lack of objectivity, having more interest in getting his story than in how it affects his subjects. Latham added: “But the other half of the story is about what’s right about journalism”. (Nonsense)

Since it was impractical to shoot the film’s Rolling Stone sequences at the magazine’s headquarters in New York, an almost identical, two-story duplicate of those offices was built on a pair of sound stages at Laird International Studios in Los Angeles.

“Sports Connection” health club scenes were filmed in the actual real-life “Sports Connection” fitness center in West Los Angeles.

Like the two earlier John Travolta pictures, Urban Cowboy (1980) and Saturday Night Fever (1977), this Travolta movie’s screenplay was based on a magazine article. These earlier film’s source magazine articles were called “The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy” and “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” respectively. For Perfect (1985), the source material article was entitled “Looking for Mr. Goodbody – Health Clubs: The New Singles Bars”. (What the fuck? There was actually a time when Travolta was in like three straight films adapted from magazine articles. What a bizarre and, frankly, terrible idea)

The “Looking for Mr. Goodbody” title of the Rolling Stone article in the film’s story referenced the earlier 1977 Mr. Goodbar (1977), based on the Judith Rossner novel which was about the singles bar scene, whereas this film is about the singles health club scene. (Hmmm, do I need to read a book)

On the media aspects of the movie’s storyline, screenwriter Aaron Latham offered: “Back in the 1930s and 1940s, you had this stream of newspaper writers who came to Hollywood and made these wonderful old newspaper movies. Well, there’s a ’40s newspaper drama embedded in this 1980s movie, only now he’s a magazine reporter covering health clubs. But nonetheless, it’s the story about a reporter who falls in love with his subject”. (Ugh, just a terrible idea. You can make the film about a magazine writer … just don’t make it about yourself as some noble magazine writer)

The movie’s “Perfect” title logo was designed in the same fashion as the font typeface of the cover masthead of magazine ‘Rolling Stone”. (I love font facts, that’s a fact)

The approach that director James Bridges suggested to writer Aaron Latham, was to make the Rolling Stone journalist the central character in the movie. The film, which Bridges went on to produce and direct from the screenplay he wrote with Latham, then was sculptured to take a look at both contemporary journalism and modern sexual mores. (Bad move Bridges, I think it makes it feel pretentious)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Marilu Henner, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Aaron Latham, James Bridges, 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 

DaylightIMDb_BMeT

DaylightIMDb_RV

(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

daylight_disaster

(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)

daylight

(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)

Medicine Man Preview

“My son?” Poe gasps as he gazes upon Jim McBrawn. Now that he’s looking closer he can see his own features reflected back at him and the features of… “my God, Teri,” he whispers. He looks up at Rich who nods. With that Poe and Jim McBrawn embrace, “I’ve missed so much,” Poe says with tears in his eyes. “There’s… there’s still time,” Jim McBrawn says, eyes glistening as he pulls out a baseball mitt. We see them play some catch. We see Poe teach Jim how to ride a bike. We see them team up to karate chop Dark Gruber into submission. With his dying breath he gasps, “you… you defeated me. I never thought you would discover my only weakness… the power of love.” No time to gloat, though, Rich needs their help. They hop onto the computer system and dual hack their way into the shuttle’s mainframe. “Rich, the shuttle is compromised. You’ll never make it back… unless.” They hack some more and discover that the shuttle has an onboard helicopter-submarine. “Rich,” Poe says, “you think you can drive this thing?” With that Rich smiles, “I can drive anything.” With that he begins an uncontrolled descent to Earth. Only through fancy maneuvers and Tokyo drifts is he able to aim the helicopter-submarine for the New Orleans aquarium. Putting on the reverse thrusters just at the right moment he is able to crash dive his way into the penguin tank and comes out unscathed. Worldwide heroes, Rich and Poe stand contemplatively, looking into the distance. “I think I kinda like this,” Poe says, “I might just unretire… partner?” But Rich shakes his head and looks back at Jade. “Nah, I think it’s time for a change myself. Jade and I are getting married… but I’ll give you a ring if I ever need any help… partner.” And with that they clasp their hands. THE END

Jamie and Patrick look at each other. The script is horrible. But a part of them is still worried. “We need something to make sure people hate this… you thinking what I’m thinking?” And Jamie nods, “let’s destroy some rain forest.” That’s right! We’re transitioning from Siskel and Ebert’s worst of the year into a cycle centered around Hackers. The cycle will feature actors from the film Hackers and starts with Medicine Man which features Lorraine Bracco. It was also one of Ebert’s worst of 1992. Let’s go!

Medicine Man (1992) – BMeTric: 28.3 

MedicineManIMDb_BMeT

MedicineManIMDb_RV

(Standard regression to the mean thee. And I think that is likely just because the film is mostly forgotten? Who in the world besides absolute lunatics is like “man, I want to see Medicine Man starring Sean Connery and Lorraine Bracco, I haven’t seen that in years!”?)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Connery plays a research scientist, sequestered in the Brazilian rain forest, who’s found the cure for cancer – but can’t duplicate it. Bracco is his brainy superior from the U.S. who’s come to check up on him. Connery carried this movie singlehandedly, and as usual he’s commanding to watch, but the film is weak, and Bracco’s abrasive performance (and poorly written character) practically sinks it.

(There are a lot of weird choices here. Not conjoining “rain forest”, and not splitting singlehandedly in some way in particular just seems odd. Connery carried this review, the odd spelling / grammar choices almost sink it (heyoooooooooo, love you Leonard).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQs9NrHc7qo/

(Ooooo looks exciting. I’m not joking. I’m actually pretty excited to watch this weird film.)

Directors – John McTiernan – (Known For: Die Hard; Predator; The Hunt for Red October; Die Hard: With a Vengeance; The Thomas Crown Affair; Future BMT: Nomads; Last Action Hero; Basic; BMT: Rollerball; Medicine Man; The 13th Warrior; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: We’ve been kind of all up in John McTiernan recently with Jamie doing a submarine podcast (Submersion) and specifically The Hunt for Red October, and watching the Predator remake last year. And why not: notable for going to prison for a year for illegal wiretapping.)

Writers – Tom Schulman (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Dead Poets Society; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; What About Bob?; Future BMT: Holy Man; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; Second Sight; BMT: Welcome to Mooseport; Medicine Man; Notes: Won an Oscar for Dead Poets Society, it was his former teacher, Sam Pickering, that was the inspiration for Robin William’s character.)

Sally Robinson (screenplay) – (Known For: A Far Off Place; BMT: Medicine Man; Notes: Mostly known for television work. Appears to have retired to some degree in 2014.)

Actors – Sean Connery – (Known For: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; The Longest Day; Highlander; The Rock; The Hunt for Red October; The Untouchables; A Bridge Too Far; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Goldfinger; Thunderball; The Name of the Rose; Dr. No; Murder on the Orient Express; Never Say Never Again; Diamonds Are Forever; From Russia with Love; You Only Live Twice; DragonHeart; Time Bandits; Zardoz; Future BMT: Meteor; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Family Business; Rising Sun; A Good Man in Africa; Entrapment; Just Cause; The Man with the Deadly Lens; Sir Billi; BMT: The Avengers; Highlander II: The Quickening; Medicine Man; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Avengers in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Entrapment in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Sean Connery. Former Mr. Universe turned actor, he is nearly 90 years old.)

Lorraine Bracco – (Known For: Goodfellas; The Basketball Diaries; Sea of Love; Riding in Cars with Boys; Someone to Watch Over Me; The Dream Team; The Pick-up Artist; Being Human; Sing; Death of a Dynasty; Future BMT: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; Switch; Hackers; Traces of Red; BMT: Medicine Man; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1993 for Medicine Man, and Traces of Red; Notes: Was married to Edward James Olmos for years. She moved to France to become a model at 20, and was once asked to pose nude for Salvador Dali (she refused).)

José Wilker – (Known For: O Homem do Ano; BMT: Medicine Man; Notes: An extremely accomplished Brazilian actor who is often cast in Soap Operas and brought in to comment on film festivals in his home country. I like when they snap up actors like this for American films when opportunity arises.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $45,500,797

(Not nearly as bad as you would think … like how did Medicine Man manage to make $45 million again? That makes no sense to me.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (4/21)

(Noice, let’s make one: Great vistas, fine Connery, awful Bracco. A weak rip off of Indiana Jones. Reviewer Highlight: If this had been some dumb adventure movie, it would probably have been terrific. Alas, it is a “relationship” movie, told along lines of timeworn weariness, and since that is not bad enough, it also throws in several Serious Issues for the characters to discuss. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Romancing the Sklog (C-)

medicine_man

(Oh boy. I mean, that actually makes me sad. I can’t even imagine who this is meant to entice. Nice font though… unique font goes a long way for me.)

Tagline(s) – He turned his back on civilization. Only to discover he had the power to save it. (C-)

(Too long but has a small amount of cleverness mixed with plot. But are we sure this is the plot of the film? Isn’t more that he turned his back on civilization because he has the power to save it? The curse of having already watched the film.)

Keyword(s) – deforestation; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.3 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 52.9 The Green Inferno (2013); 37.5 Fire on the Amazon (1993); 37.1 Forest Warrior (1996); 34.4 The Hallow (2015); 32.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016); 32.8 The Green Berets (1968); 28.3 Medicine Man (1992); 23.8 Rio 2 (2014); 21.3 The Lorax (2012);

(Amazing this film is on this list. And amazing we haven’t seen any of the other films! Although I’m seen TMNT 2. Fire on the Amazon looks ridiculous … doesn’t qualify.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sean Connery is No. 1 billed in Medicine Man and No. 2 billed in Highlander 2: The Quickening, which also stars Virginia Madsen (No. 3 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 3 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 16. If we were to watch Rising Sun, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Sir Sean Connery’s hairstyle in this movie was based upon Composer Jerry Goldsmith’s well-known ponytail. Meeting him at a cocktail party, Connery started the conversation by saying, “I want your hair.” Goldsmith replied, “You can’t have it, it’s mine.” Connery, and even the producers, felt Goldsmith’s “pulled back ponytail” fit the character of Robert Campbell very well. (Noice)

Lorraine Bracco turned down the role of Catwoman/Selina Kyle in Batman Returns (1992) to do this movie. (Well … good, Michelle Pfeiffer is the greatest character ever put to screen in a Batman film. Fact.)

Sir Sean Connery’s salary for this movie was ten million dollars.

While promoting the movie on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Sir Sean Connery stated that he would start each day playing a round of golf. He carried his own club and played at such a pace that the younger cast and crew members playing with him could not keep up. (His own “club” … I hope that isn’t a mistake and Sean Connery literally plays golf using a single club. Probably what? A five iron?)

This script became the subject of a heated bidding war when it was simply titled “The Stand”.

Tom Schulman was paid three million dollars for his script.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Lorraine Bracco, 1993)