Blame it on Rio Preview

Bessy the Alligator deposits Rich and Poe on the sandy shores of the island paradise before swimming merrily about the lagoon. “It’s so blue!” exclaims Poe in wonder. “So natural and beautiful and not creepy at all, just like Steve said!” shout Rich in glee. They frolic naked about the island, wild and free. Suddenly a beautiful girl peeks out from behind a tree. “Why hello young lady,” says Rich, extending a hand to the girl. Her name is Rio and she was shipwrecked here long ago and is ignorant about the world. Thus begins an entirely platonic mentorship between Rich, Poe, and Rio. They teach her the important things in life, like how to navigate the tricky politics of the male-dominated world of police work and a patented Twin Chop. Rio shows them the sources of water, an ancient abandoned sacrifice location, and how to fish. “Excellent, all very useful,” they say as they help Rio steady the glock she’s using for target practice. Time passes and they come to consider Rio like a daughter. She’s growing up so fast and while they worry about the danger of her pursuing her dream to become a detective, they can’t help but swell with pride. Just then a rustling in the bushes startles them and they realize that they had nearly forgotten about Steve, Bessy, and the civil war on the mainland! Has it finally arrived? Instead a couple of old farts stumble out of the woods and into camp. Their eyes twinkle at the sight of Rio, now a young beautiful lady. “Hoo hoo, who’s this?” they chortle. After Rio introduces herself they nudge Rich and Poe, “guess we can always blame it on Rio, right?” Rich and Poe scowl… a war is about to begin after all. That’s right! We’re watching Blame it on Rio as a connection from Glimmer Man in our never ending chain of BMT films. This is a 1984 Michael Caine picture about an old man who gets caught up in an affair with his best friend’s seventeen year old daughter. No, I’m not kidding. That’s actually what this movie is about. It sounds terrible and upsetting. Let’s go!

Blame It on Rio (1984) – BMeTric: 28.8; Notability: 22 

(Shockingly high IMDb rating given the subject matter. The notability is about what I would expect … like 20+ means it was a movie likely released to theaters it seems like. So it is kind of the minimum number of people to have a film released to theaters.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Caine has a fling with his best friend’s sexy teenage daughter while vacationing in Rio de Janeiro. Caine’s terrific, Johnson is voluptuous, Demi is obviously intimidated in topless beach scenes, and the script is kind of a sniggering TV sitcom, with a heavy-handed music score of too-familiar records. Written by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart. Remake of the French film One Wild Moment.

(Hmmm can I watch One Wild Moment … I hope so. I am skeptical Caine is “terrific”, but he gets to what I was thinking the film was going to be like. A television film that stumbled its way into theaters. It sounds gross by the way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZOTSkgIP80/

(Wow. First, that trailer legit has bare breasts in it which seems crazy. Second, that is just a sequence of random scenes and jokes from the film, and then at the end it just says “I mean … come and look at beautiful shots of Rio I guess? There is probably naked ladies, and it is vaguely funny.” Really doesn’t get into the creepiness of the whole thing, you barely know that the two girls are their children!)

Directors – Stanley Donen – (Known For: Singin’ in the Rain; Charade; Funny Face; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Bedazzled; Two for the Road; Arabesque; On the Town; What Lola Wants; Indiscreet; Wedding Bells; The Pajama Game; The Grass Is Greener; It’s Always Fair Weather; Kismet; Staircase; Future BMT: Saturn 3; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Saturn 3 and Blame it on Rio went back to back and it basically ended the slow wind down of his career.)

Writers – Charlie Peters (screenplay) – (Known For: Ruth & Alex; My One and Only; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Krippendorf’s Tribe; My Father the Hero; Her Alibi; Music from Another Room; BMT: Hot to Trot; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: He was hired on to Columbia in a program developed to garner good PR For Columbia which was dealing with the David Begelman embezzlement scandal at the time.)

Larry Gelbart (screenplay) – (Known For: Tootsie; Bedazzled; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Thrill of It All; The Wrong Box; Neighbors; Oh, God!; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Created M*A*S*H. He was nominated for two Oscars, for Tootsie and Oh God!)

Claude Berri (based on an original screenplay by) (uncredited) – (Known For: Jean de Florette; Manon des Sources; Germinal; Ensemble, c’est tout; Une femme de ménage; Le vieil homme et l’enfant; Uranus; Lucie Aubrac; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Mostly a producer, and wrote a bunch of French films throughout the 70s and 80s. He also won an oscar for a short film.)

Actors – Michael Caine – (Known For: The Dark Knight; Inception; Interstellar; The Dark Knight Rises; The Prestige; Dunkirk; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Batman Begins; Secondhand Lions; Now You See Me; The Eagle Has Landed; Children of Men; Get Carter; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; A Bridge Too Far; Youth; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Miss Congeniality; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Going in Style; Future BMT: Bewitched; The Swarm; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Sherlock Gnomes; King of Thieves; Dear Dictator; Cars 2; The Hand; Now You See Me 2; Sleuth; Mr. Destiny; The Statement; Around the Bend; Surrender; Water; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; On Deadly Ground; Get Carter; The Last Witch Hunter; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1981 for Dressed to Kill, and The Island; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London and took his name from The Caine Mutiny.)

Michelle Johnson – (Known For: Death Becomes Her; Far and Away; Waxwork; Future BMT: Dr. Giggles; Gung Ho; BMT: The Glimmer Man; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Blame It on Rio in 1985; Notes: She was born in Alaska and starred in a series of non-theatrical films mostly in the late-80s and early-90s. She was Model of the Year in 1982.)

Demi Moore – (Known For: A Few Good Men; Ghost; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; One Crazy Summer; Rough Night; Margin Call; G.I. Jane; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Disclosure; Mr. Brooks; The Joneses; About Last Night…; Bobby; Deconstructing Harry; Flawless; Beavis and Butt-Head Do America; Forsaken; We’re No Angels; Love Sonia; Future BMT: LOL; The Juror; The Butcher’s Wife; Indecent Proposal; The Seventh Sign; Corporate Animals; Very Good Girls; Half Light; Bunraku; Young Doctors in Love; Passion of Mind; Wild Oats; Blind; Happy Tears; Now and Then; BMT: Striptease; Nothing But Trouble; The Scarlet Letter; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 1997 for Striptease, and The Juror; and in 1998 for G.I. Jane; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1992 for Nothing But Trouble, and The Butcher’s Wife; in 1994 for Indecent Proposal; in 1996 for The Scarlet Letter; and in 2001 for Passion of Mind; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: Somewhat notably is quarantining with her children, husband … and ex-husband Bruce Willis? In a series of bizarre photos Bruce Willis is creeping in the background. Turns out that Bruce Willis’ wife and kid were supposed to be there as well, but got trapped in isolation due to unforeseen circumstances. Was also married to Ashton Kutcher for a time.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $18,644,570 (Worldwide: $18,644,570)

(Also amazingly high … what it up with like The Blue Lagoon and films like this pulling in $20+ million takes? It just seems so weird. Probably cost a mint to make, this is Michael Caine’s “I want to buy a house, what garbage film can I be in this year?” peak.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/24): It isn’t clear who is most culpable for this creepy comedy’s sheer wrongness, but its smarmy laughs and uncomfortable romance will leave audiences feeling guilty long afterward.

(Hahahahahah, yes this is what I expected when this film was chosen. It should be hidden from the world, never to be seen again … right after we watch it I guess. Reviewer Highlight: This movie is clearly intended to appeal to the prurient interests of dirty old men of all ages. – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Aging Poorly

(What was happening with posters. Do you want me to sit and read it? Because I won’t. If you want to show me a girl in a bikini, just show me a girl in a bikini. Why the other 1000 things on the poster? Also why is the girl looking in a mirror. Someone needs to write an essay about this poster. D)

Tagline(s) – You can blame the night, blame the wine, blame the moon in her eyes, but when all else fails . . . you’d better . . . Blame it on Rio! (C)

(This is upsetting on a moral level. Slightly less upsetting on a tagline level. I mean, it’s got features of a tagline despite being like twelve words too long.)

Keyword – rio de janeiro brazil

Top 10: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Charlie’s Angels (2019), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), The Incredible Hulk (2008), 2012 (2009), Geostorm (2017), Fast & Furious 5 (2011), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), The Money Pit (1986), Cars 2 (2011)

Future BMT: 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 70.3 Mr. Magoo (1997), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 44.4 Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990), 30.6 Cars 2 (2011);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Geostorm (2017), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Blame It on Rio (1984), Driven (2001)

(The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is so bad, and indeed has a decent part in Rio. I’m intrigued by Magoo. Magoo is probably so so bad. Rio really had a moment in the 2010’s … well I guess just Twilight came out then.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Demi Moore is No. 4 billed in Blame It on Rio and No. 1 billed in Striptease, which also stars Burt Reynolds (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 5 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 1 + 2 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – According to contemporary news stories, special parental consent was required in order to allow the nude scenes featuring Michelle Johnson, as she was not yet eighteen at the time they were filmed. Publicity for this movie also stated that Johnson was around two months out of high school when she was cast. (Oh no no no no no no no no no no no no no)

The theatrical movie poster, featuring the rear view of a girl in a “Brazilian cut” bikini caused such a stir that an altered, airbrushed version of the same poster with a less revealing bikini was issued. (Oh God, no no no no no no no no)

Director Stanley Donen has referred to the production of this movie in Brazil as being “horrendous”. Donen has said that principal photography was marred by excessive bureaucratic requirements for personal information for the cast and crew; endless rainfall falling on days, in which the forecast said otherwise; and the late, and even non-arrival of goods, products, and services.

Yvette Mimieux and her then-husband, Stanley Donen, saw the original French movie In a Wild Moment (1977) — aka Un moment d’égarement — in Santa Monica, California, and decided that they wanted to remake it, and quickly optioned the property for an American version, which became this movie. In 2015 a French remake called Un moment d’égarement was released.

According to Allmovie, “(film) critics aptly noticed (Michael) Caine’s apparent discomfort throughout the film”. (Hahahahaha)

Final theatrical movie directed by Stanley Donen.

Michelle Johnson said during a 1984 interview that it wasn’t until after she was cast that she learned her role involved total nudity. “My parents were a bit concerned about it and I was too,” she said. “I always wanted to have a career (in film) and I wanted to make the right moves at the right time. So we read the script and we talked to Stanley to find out exactly what his intentions were for the film. My parents looked into Stanley’s reputation and seemed satisfied because he makes such quality films.” Johnson said she was incredibly nervous the first time she took her clothes off and stood around naked in front of the cast and mostly male crew. It was like hundreds of eyes were all staring at her exposed body. But once the camera started rolling, she was fine. “When I was being Jennifer, when I was really focused in on that character, I wasn’t aware that I was topless or completely naked in those scenes. That was the last thing on my mind because I was so focused. But the minute Stanley said “cut’ I was immediately aware that I was standing in front of 20 or 30 people with no clothes on and I picked up a robe and ran to my room.”

In her memoir Inside Out, Demi Moore reveals that she ended up in bed with a member of the crew one night. “Peter, a young guy who was running the second unit camera on the movie” is assumed to be Peter Lyons Collister. (This is the weirdest note I’ve read on IMDb I think)

This movie was released seven years after the original French movie, In a Wild Moment (1977). According to Randy Lofficier’s 1998 article “REMAKE… AMERICAN STYLE: American Writers Discuss the Writing and Crediting Process for Remakes of Foreign Films”, this remake “does not identify the French film and its writer, Claude Berri.”

Michelle Johnson said she didn’t even know who Michael Caine was when she was invited to audition. “This was so embarrassing,” she said in an interview when the film was released. “.So I called a friend who’s older than me. She goes to movies a lot. And she said, “Oh, that’s that Kung Fu guy.’ She was getting him mixed up with David Carradine. I immediately went out and saw “Alfie’ and “The Man Who would be King” and “Sleuth.’ I was very nervous at the audition, especially after seeing those movies.”

Sir Michael Caine performs a Greek Chorus role in this movie, which intermittently cuts to him talking to the audience from a studio shot with a gray wall background, explaining the twists and turns of the movie’s storyline. (Whaaaaaaaaaaa)

Director Stanley Donen said in a 1984 interview that he originally wanted an experienced actress for the role of Jennifer. He was looking for a young girl who was beautiful, lively, energetic and extroverted, but couldn’t find one that satisfied him who was willing to go nude. So he started auditioning new inexperienced actresses and he found Michelle Johnson. Even though she was a model, he thought it may be difficult convincing her and her parents that she would have to do nude scenes. But he said they were all fine with it. “Girls, you know, if they’re attractive, most of them are not at all unhappy about being topless,” he reasoned. “They are quite beautiful and they like to be admired.” (Oh no no no no no no no)

Demi Moore turned down the role of Lucy Lane in Supergirl (1984) to appear on this film. (I mean … uh, good choice?)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Michelle Johnson, 1985)

Return to the Blue Lagoon Preview

“Oy, mates!” screams Alligator Steve as he hops down from Bessy and greets Rich and Poe. Apparently, in the scuffle with the gamemasters he also fell through the portal and ended up back in his homeland. “All for the best,” he says with a wink. He watches in amusement as Tiniman’s army moves quickly away through the fire desert. With a slap on the back he invites Rich and Poe back to his village where they partake in some traditional shrimp on the barbie and hear the legend of their giant alligator friends. It’s all very exciting and interesting. “Do you think, Steve,” Poe asks, “that maybe we are supposed to help you win this war? That that’s the purpose of this part of the game?” But Steve isn’t so sure. The gamemasters seemed mighty suspicious of their behavior back at the school. “War is war, mates. You don’t want any part of it. Take Bessie and head out to the islands,” he says pointing to some beautiful tropical islands off the coast. “No will find you there. You will live a beautiful natural life full of natural beauty and wonder. It’ll be a magical time that everyone will be interested in because of how beautiful it is. And perchance you will find love there with the beautiful natural denizens of the island and it will be beautiful and natural and not creepy because how could something so beautiful and natural be creepy, right?” …. right. They try to convince him that they don’t need Bessie, but Steve is insistent that he’ll be alright. There’s a reason they call him Lil’ Bessie, mighty warrior. Just before they leave Rich and Poe look back at Steve one more time and ask hesitantly, “so this definitely isn’t a weird, creepy place, right?” That’s right! We’re watching the double feature of The Blue Lagoon and The Return to the Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields and Milla Jovovich, respectively. Panned at the time by critics for a variety of reasons they’ve mostly been remembered as films about nude young people falling in love on an island… which isn’t a great look. They are both set on an undiscovered island in the Pacific, which was good enough for us. Let’s go!

Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991) – BMeTric: 50.6; Notability: 21 

(Wait, this one also has that same 2012-2014 inflection. Looking through other films it really doesn’t seem that common. Just wait for this theory: The Blue Lagoon: Awakening, the totally unrelated third film made by Lifetime … came out in 2012. So when that came out people went and watched the whole series, and rated the film. That is blowing my mind.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  The two-year-old son of Lagoon 1’s deceased parents is rescued by a ship carrying a widow and her year-old daughter; circumstances (read: cholera) force the trio onto another tropical island, so the kids can eventually partake in PG-13 prurience.

(There are so many amazing things in this review. Calling it “Lagoon 1” with the number 1 is amazing. The semi-colon quickly followed by “read: cholera” … there is just something so charmingly quirky and shrunk down about the entire review. The BOMB designation is shockingly rare, so that’s super fun.)

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

(Hahahahahahahahah it was the first film to explore natural love? More like it was the first film to show 20 minutes of uninterrupted underwater dick shots. Oh gosh, “I’ve become one” they put that in the trailer? Out of innocence comes the most sensual love of all? Yiiiiiiikes. Guys, this one might be a doozy.)

Directors – William A. Graham – (Future BMT: Change of Habit; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: Was a prolific television director in the 70s and 80s, getting nominated for an Emmy for a television movie about Jim Jones. Was in the Navy and an avid sailor, which is maybe why he was tapped for this.)

Writers – Henry De Vere Stacpoole (book) – (Future BMT: The Blue Lagoon; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Notes: Was able to retire after the success of The Blue Lagoon and write fiction full time. He occasionally wrote under the name Tyler De Saix.)

Leslie Stevens (screenplay) – (Known For: The War Lord; The Left Handed Gun; Incubus; Future BMT: Sheena; Gordy; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Sheena; and in 1992 for Return to the Blue Lagoon; Notes: A Navy brat, he ended up writing for Broadway. Created the late 90s revival of The Outer Limits before dying in 1998.)

Actors – Brian Krause – (Future BMT: Sleepwalkers; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: He starred in the Bandit series of television movies which act as a prequel to Smokey and the Bandit. Cristopher Atkins  (the star of the original Blue Lagoon) was in the first of those films. He played a main role in the series Charmed in the late 90s.)

Milla Jovovich – (Known For: The Fifth Element; Dazed and Confused; Zoolander; Paradise Hills; He Got Game; A Perfect Getaway; Chaplin; Stone; The Claim; Dummy; Future BMT: Future World; Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Survivor; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Two Moon Junction; The Fourth Kind; No Good Deed; The Million Dollar Hotel; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Kuffs; Resident Evil: Extinction; Bringing Up Bobby; Joan of Arc; A Warrior’s Tail; Dirty Girl; Shock and Awe; Resident Evil; BMT: Ultraviolet; Zoolander 2; Hellboy; Return to the Blue Lagoon; The Three Musketeers; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2000 for Joan of Arc; and in 2013 for Resident Evil: Retribution; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Fifth Element in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: Her daughter Ever Anderson was just cast as Wendy in the new Peter Pan film.)

Lisa Pelikan – (Known For: Circle; Julia; Swing Shift; It’s My Party; Future BMT: Ghoulies; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; Notes: Was at one point married to Bruce Davison (the Senator from X-Men), and has going to be a dancer, but a surgery cut her career short and she went into acting.)

Budget/Gross – $11,000,000 / Domestic: $2,807,854 (Worldwide: $2,807,854)

(Somehow a huge bomb! I guess back in 1980 people were much more willing to watch a film of this style. And then this one came out and was roughly the same 12 years later … and people just had zero interest.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/30): Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.

(A zero percent is really really rare. I think this summary might have missed a bit of the point of why it was universally derided: this is the same as the previous film, but as a big dose of cynicism as it is (at least perceived to be) a cash grab. Reviewer Highlight: The sincere idiocy of this film really has to be seen to be appreciated — not that I think there is any need for you to see, or appreciate, it. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Return to the Creepy Sexy Lagoon

(Much better than the first film’s poster. I like the orange sunset tones and Brian Krause’s face nicely conveys the plot of the film: bad acting. Wish the font was better and maybe this would have jumped past mediocre. B-. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: There we go, I love when I really get to color my face a crazy color. I have to assume there is a way to do this while keeping the whites very whit (like Jovovich’s eyes and teeth) … probably a filter. I think my pale complexion would end up registering as “tooth colored”.)

Tagline(s) – The story of natural love continues… (D)

Alone… wild… untamed… (B+)

(Hahahaha, that second tagline is quite hilarious. There certainly would be some things wild and untamed on that island… I’m talking about their hair… I’m saying they’d be wildly ungroomed… Anyway, the first tagline is stupid. The second one is actually OK… you know, if it actually had anything to do with the chaste, totally not wild love story of this franchise.)

Keyword – tropical island

Top 10: Jurassic Park (1993), Moana (2016), Jurassic World (2015), Cast Away (2000), Serenity (2019), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Beach (2000), Ice Age (2002), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

Future BMT: 39.0 Club Dread (2004), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 14.7 The Beach (2000);

BMT: Serenity (2019), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

(Small keyword obviously. The Beach is the big one. BTW you can notice it more here, but yeah, The Blue Lagoon technically doesn’t qualify for BMT because technically there is no confirmation that it was released to 600+ theaters in the US. But it also made like $60 million apparently, so it was definitely a wide release. But it means it won’t show up in any analysis.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Milla Jovovich is No. 1 billed in Return to the Blue Lagoon and No. 1 billed in Ultraviolet, which also stars Cameron Bright (No. 2 billed) who is in Godsend (No. 4 billed), which also stars Rebecca Romijn (No. 2 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 3 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 16. If we were to watch Joan of Arc, Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Milla Jovovich said that this is the worst movie she has ever done.

First starring role of Milla Jovovich.

Milla Jovovich said of this movie, “I think that the idea of falling in love on a deep and spiritual level without the distractions of the material world will always be appealing.”

When she was 13, during her days as a teenage fashion model, Milla Jovovich had been hailed by critics as “The New Brooke Shields .” Shields played Emmeline Lestrange in The Blue Lagoon (1980), to which this film is a sequel.

On Taveuni Island in Fiji, production designer Jon Dowding began work on the movie’s main set pieces 60 days before the cameras began rolling. Having served as the art director on The Blue Lagoon (1980), Dowding welcomed the opportunity to expand and improve upon his work from the earlier film. Both Dowding and his wife, wardrobe designer Aphrodite Kondos, drew extensively upon the cultures of Oceania for the design elements of the film. Dowding said, “In addition to the rich cultural influences of Fiji, Australian aborigines, New Guinea, Micronesia, Melanesia, the Marquesas and Easter Islands, we made every attempt to use raw materials found on Taveuni in the construction of the props, sets and costumes”.

Although it was touted as a sequel to The Blue Lagoon (1980), many reviewers criticized it as more of a remake than a sequel.

Nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards at the 12th annual ceremony in 1991. It was nominated for Worst Picture and Worst Director –both for William A. Graham; Worst Screenplay–Leslie Stevens; and two for Worst New Star–one each for Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause. It didn’t win in any category.

Taveuni in Fiji, the only land mass in the world that the international date line runs through, proved in the end to be a challenging but rewarding filming location of singular beauty. Cast and crew alike traveled countless miles on the island’s only thoroughfare, bouncing along an unpaved dirt road with harrowing curves to reach filming sites. Equipment was hauled in on stretchers through thick jungles and brought in on barges through dangerous coral reefs for some of the less accessible locations.

The novel this film is based on, “The Garden of God” by Henry De Vere Stacpoole , was published in 1925. (Oh … so it is based on a sequel of some sort? I figured it was literally a vague sequel to the adaptation of Stacpoole’s novel)

Final film of director William A. Graham. (… final feature film)

Filmed on Taveuni, one of 300 islands in the Fiji archipelago. With an average of 400 inches of rain a year, Taveuni is usually overgrown with magnificent greenery and is rightly referred to as Fiji’s “Garden Island”.

The production team was concerned about preserving the island’s ecological balance during the making of the movie. When they expressed concerns that a mile-long path that had to be cut through thick jungle vegetation–to get equipment to one of the more difficult locations–might harm the local ecology, the chief of the local village assured them that it would grow back within a matter of months. (That’s pretty cool)

The movie’s opening prologue states: “The South Pacific Ocean 1897. Fifteen years before our story begins, two children were shipwrecked on an uncharted island. The little boy and girl grew up alone in this lost paradise. As man and woman, they discovered a pure and natural love. In time, a child was born. But in a tragic accident, they were driven out to sea away from their island. Drifting for days, they believed that their lives and the life of their baby were at an end. Then a passing vessel drew near . . . “. (Yup that is the original movie)

Despite scenes of nudity and near nudity involving Milla Jovovich, the film was advertised as a “family-friendly” movie. (Gross! I do not enjoy that at all!)

Takes place in 1897 and 1912. (Okay, I wonder if they explicitly indicate that date for when they were rescued in the first film)

With the commencement of filming in June 1990–which is the dead of winter in Fiji–nature began to become a major “player” in the production. Director William A. Graham said, “When we first visited the island in early 1990, the weather was perfect. As soon as we began filming, we quickly learned why Taveuni is called the ‘Garden Island’. It rained for two weeks straight, which would certainly account for the lush tropical foliage.” Despite the adversity of working under less-than-ideal conditions at first, Graham remained undaunted and came out of it with his sense of humor intact: “The reason you have a 70-day shooting schedule on a film like this, as opposed to 40 to 50 days, is that you attempt to anticipate the unpredictability of nature. While we didn’t get the puffy clouds and blue waters everyone expected initially, the island presented us with a whole other kind of beauty. Nature exerted an undeniable force in the making of this movie, which the film journalists will probably give me credit for. I can see it now: William A. Graham wisely avoided the clichéd postcard look of paradise’.”.

While based on the novel sequel, “The Garden of God” the only thing “Return to the Blue Lagoon” shares with that book is the very opening where Richard and Emmeline are dead and the baby is rescued by the crew. In fact, in the novel, Arthur Lestrange himself decides to stay on the island with Baby Paddy (called Dick M) and dies while taking a walk, his body never being found. (That’s morbid)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (William A. Graham, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (William A. Graham, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Leslie Stevens, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Milla Jovovich, 1992)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Brian Krause, 1992)

The Blue Lagoon Preview

“Oy, mates!” screams Alligator Steve as he hops down from Bessy and greets Rich and Poe. Apparently, in the scuffle with the gamemasters he also fell through the portal and ended up back in his homeland. “All for the best,” he says with a wink. He watches in amusement as Tiniman’s army moves quickly away through the fire desert. With a slap on the back he invites Rich and Poe back to his village where they partake in some traditional shrimp on the barbie and hear the legend of their giant alligator friends. It’s all very exciting and interesting. “Do you think, Steve,” Poe asks, “that maybe we are supposed to help you win this war? That that’s the purpose of this part of the game?” But Steve isn’t so sure. The gamemasters seemed mighty suspicious of their behavior back at the school. “War is war, mates. You don’t want any part of it. Take Bessie and head out to the islands,” he says pointing to some beautiful tropical islands off the coast. “No will find you there. You will live a beautiful natural life full of natural beauty and wonder. It’ll be a magical time that everyone will be interested in because of how beautiful it is. And perchance you will find love there with the beautiful natural denizens of the island and it will be beautiful and natural and not creepy because how could something so beautiful and natural be creepy, right?” …. right. They try to convince him that they don’t need Bessie, but Steve is insistent that he’ll be alright. There’s a reason they call him Lil’ Bessie, mighty warrior. Just before they leave Rich and Poe look back at Steve one more time and ask hesitantly, “so this definitely isn’t a weird, creepy place, right?” That’s right! We’re watching the double feature of The Blue Lagoon and The Return to the Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields and Milla Jovovich, respectively. Panned at the time by critics for a variety of reasons they’ve mostly been remembered as films about nude young people falling in love on an island… which isn’t a great look. They are both set on an undiscovered island in the Pacific, which was good enough for us. Let’s go!

The Blue Lagoon (1980) – BMeTric: 39.0; Notability: 17 

(Huh … I can’t really think of setting something like this with 2012-2014 shooting up and then levelling off after. I can’t really explain that. The rating is really a lot higher than I would have expected … I would have thought this would be in the low 5.0s at highest. So maybe a good sign for it being at least vaguely interesting?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Remake of the 1949 film is little more than softcore cinema for the heavy-petting set, as two children become sexually aware of each other after being shipwrecked on an island for several years. Nestor Almendros’ photography can’t save it. Followed over a decade later by Return to the Blue Lagoon.

(Yes this seems like a fair review. The entire series just seems like an exercise in seeing how far some people could go to making a film where teenagers have sex on screen … turns out it isn’t very far, they (blessedly) show very little throughout the series in the end.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nC0EdXk_2g/

(Lol the VHS tracking. That legit seems like Rochelle, Rochelle, an erotic journey from Moscow to Minsk … but in real life. Wait … I think I have a totally different perspective on this film now. It could be my Rochelle, Rochelle.)

Directors – Randal Kleiser – (Known For: Grease; Flight of the Navigator; Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; White Fang; It’s My Party; Getting It Right; Future BMT: Lovewrecked; Big Top Pee-wee; Summer Lovers; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Notes: A television director in the 70s his career took off after he landed Grease. He was nominated for an Emmy for The Gathering in 1978 starring Ed Asner.)

Writers – Henry De Vere Stacpoole (based on the novel by) – (Future BMT: Return to the Blue Lagoon; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Born in 1863 he was a ship’s surgeon for forty years and was considered an expert in the South Pacific where his novels tended to take place.)

Douglas Day Stewart (screenplay by) – (Known For: An Officer and a Gentleman; Future BMT: Thief of Hearts; BMT: The Scarlet Letter; The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: An Officer and a Gentleman (for which he was nominated for an Oscar) was based on his life. I think The Scarlet Letter killed his career as he hasn’t really written anything since.)

Actors – Brooke Shields – (Known For: The Other Guys; Pretty Baby; Hannah Montana: The Movie; The Midnight Meat Train; Freeway; Alice, Sweet Alice; Chalet Girl; Freaked; The Muppets Take Manhattan; Daisy Winters; King of the Gypsies; Future BMT: The Bachelor; Black and White; Cannonball Fever; The Hot Flashes; BMT: Furry Vengeance; Endless Love; The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress for The Blue Lagoon in 1981; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Sahara in 1985; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Speed Zone in 1990; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1982 for Endless Love; and in 1985 for Sahara; Nominee for Worst Actress of the Century in 2000 for Endless Love, Sahara, and The Blue Lagoon; and Nominee for Worst Actress of the Decade in 1990 for Cannonball Fever, Endless Love, Sahara, and The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Notably was 14 during filming and they had to use a body double extensively during the film. Was mainly famous as a model, and was briefly married to Andre Agassi. Also starred in as the titular Susan in Suddenly Susan for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes.)

Christopher Atkins – (Known For: It’s My Party; 13th Child; Future BMT: The Pirate Movie; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for A Night in Heaven in 1984; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Listen to Me in 1990; Nominee for Worst Actor for The Pirate Movie in 1983; Nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990 for A Night in Heaven, A Night in Heaven, Listen to Me, Listen to Me, The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon, The Pirate Movie, and The Pirate Movie; and Nominee for Worst New Star of the Decade in 1990 for A Night in Heaven, A Night in Heaven, Listen to Me, Listen to Me, The Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon, The Pirate Movie, and The Pirate Movie; Notes: His first film role, he became a TV movie star in the 90s, and was in the third Blue Lagoon film.)

Leo McKern – (Known For: The Omen; Ladyhawke; A Man for All Seasons; Omen II: Damien; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Ryan’s Daughter; Help!; The Mouse That Roared; The Day the Earth Caught Fire; X the Unknown; The Shoes of the Fisherman; Molokai; King & Country; Children of the Damned; BMT: The Blue Lagoon; Notes: Australian, he had an incredibly long career, although he stopped taking roles in the 90s and died in 2002. He was Rumpole in the British television program Rumpole of the Bailey from 1978 to 1992.)

Budget/Gross – $4.5 million / Domestic: $58,853,106 (Worldwide: $58,853,106)

(That is a giant success. Such a big success I’m actually skeptical of that number … it kind of makes no sense when I think about it. $60 million? To watch a boring film about people lost on an island? And then you don’t make a sequel for 12 years? I’m not really buying it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (2/22): A piece of lovely dreck, The Blue Lagoon is a naughty fantasy that’s also too chaste to be truly entertaining.

(All of the reviews are really along those lines. That we should be ashamed of ourselves for wanting to see the ultra-sexual version promised … but that ultimately you end up being equally disappointed that we got the opposite of that. Reviewer Highlight: The Blue Lagoon is the dumbest movie of the year. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – The Creepy Sexy Lagoon

(My god, what mad man would look at that poster and be like “yup, nailed it. I gotta see that film. It is both horrible aesthetically and practically. Were they aiming to put the entire novel on the poster hoping that huge Blue Lagoon fans would come a-running? This is nonsense. D-. Getting a bump from whatever that terrible font is. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I feel like I shouldn’t bleach my hair and get a perm. The font was actually quite fun to recreate if a little arduous. This poster is bonkers, but easier to mock than you would think.)

Tagline(s) – A story of natural love. (C-)

(Having already watched the film, I find this tagline curious. It really does seem like they want to lure people in under the guise of titillation. And yet the film is so tame that I can’t really imagine that was actually the purpose. Not offensive though… not structurally as a tagline, at least.)

Keyword – shipwreck

Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Titanic (1997), Dunkirk (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Midway (2019), Aquaman (2018), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Life of Pi (2012)

Future BMT: 68.1 The Darkest Hour (2011), 56.0 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 33.9 Shark Tale (2004), 33.1 Leviathan (1989), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 27.7 Insurgent (2015), 22.8 After the Sunset (2004);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Point Break (2015), Ghost Ship (2002), Fool’s Gold (2008), Godzilla (1998), Pompeii (2014), Lost in Space (1998)

(Titanic is the big on there, but then Cast Away is in 2000, so really it had a moment from maybe 1997 to 2005 or whatever. We are actually watching The Darkest Hour coming up, so that’s exciting.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Brooke Shields is No. 1 billed in The Blue Lagoon and No. 3 billed in Furry Vengeance, which also stars Brendan Fraser (No. 1 billed) who is in Escape from Planet Earth (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 4 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 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 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – After seeing the movie, John Gibbons, a herpetologist (reptile scientist) at the University of the South Pacific, realized that the iguanas that appeared in the film were a distinct species that had never been seen or documented by scientists before. Afterward, he visited Nanuya Levu, the Fiji island where the movie was made, and named the species the Fiji Crested Iguana.

Most of the nude scenes depicting Emmeline Lestrange include a body double. Brooke Shields always had to have her hair glued to her chest for the other scenes. (Makes sense considering the next note…)

Brooke Shields was only 14 when the movie was made.

Brooke Shields’ original body double broke her back. Her replacement was originally hired to catch or train dolphins; she was the right body type, so she was used as a nude double. (She broke her back? That … is crazy)

It was the director’s original concept to have the two grown characters play the entire film in the nude, which scared off many actors (including Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was the first choice for the female lead). After Leigh passed on the project, the producers offered Diane Lane and Willie Aames the film after screen-testing them together in Mexico, where Lane was shooting a Western, but the pair discussed the nudity together after the crew left and called a few days later to say they wouldn’t do the film, either. With shooting set to begin in a matter of days, the desperate director agreed to let Shields make the film predominantly clothed, with a body double employed for the nude scenes. With that settled, the casting director returned to the thousands of audition tapes they had made over the course of a year, and decided Christopher Atkins would be all right if he permed his hair to look more savage. (Ha … I mean the only amusing note is that he had to have his hair permed)

The double for Christopher Atkins was initially one of the seaplane pilots flying staff and crew from the Fiji mainland to the island where the movie was shot. He did most of the nude scenes with Brooke Shields’ double as well as a few of the minor stunts.

Although the movie had a lukewarm reception in the US and was disliked by a great many critics, it is a highly popular nostalgic movie in countries like Romania and Hungary, as well as in Brazil, and is frequently rerun on television. (Huh, was it just kind of cheap movie they could run on television?)

Carrie Fisher turned down the role of Emmeline Lestrange due to her commitment with Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). (Good)

Sean Penn lost out to Christopher Atkins on the final day of auditions for the role of Richard Lestrange. (Ugh … good)

This was the ninth most popular film of 1980 at the US and Canadian box offices. (Which is why it was definitely a wide release film, despite there not being any data on how many theaters it was released to)

The novel on which the film is based was inspired by the classic French novel “Paul et Virginie” (1788), by Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. (Huh, so it is a movie based on a book that was also based on a different book?)

This film is listed among the 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book “The Official Razzie Movie Guide”. (That book is a rough read let me tell you, just really poorly put together)

Christopher Atkins claimed that after this movie came out, every role he was offered contained a nude scene that “wanted to show off” his buttocks. (HA)

Included on Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list. (Makes sense)

In the US the film was given an “R” rating, and in the UK it was given the AA rating before getting a 15 certificate upon its VHS release for its graphic nudity and sexual content. However, when it was released in New Zealand, it was given the R13 rating, which was changed to PG when it was released on VHS. It was also given the PG rating in Australia.

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Cinematography (Néstor Almendros, 1981)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Brooke Shields, 1981)

Ed Preview

Steve, Adrestia and Rich stand in a circle. Rich details the prophecy read to him by Brawln and Sorsaron about the portal that he and Poe must close to stop the gamemaster’s ultimate plan. “But then when we got here there was so much chaos that we more or less forgot. Our only idea was to quell the riots with a new salacious entry in the The Platonics Solids Series.” At that Adrestia and Steve look up shocked, “No,” they exclaim, “we need the riots as a distraction!” But before he can run to stop Poe and Det. Halloway, they come around the corner smiling from ear-to-ear. They smooch tenderly before showing off the last copy of The Platonic Solids Series Part II: Love on the Blocks. “Shit,” wails Steve in despair, “this book is lit. The gucci crowd is gonna love it!” Rich and Poe are despondent. Will this mean they’ll miss their only chance to close the portal? “We don’t have time to explore all the parts of this campus,” Poe thinks out loud. “No one could,” Rich follows. Suddenly everyone looks at Steve. “Or at least no person,” Poe says excitedly. Steve looks confused and then a light sparkles in his eye. “I get what you’re putting down,” and with that he gives a shrill whistle. A monstrous alligator bursts out of a nearby sewer in terrifying fashion, but Steve calmly pats it on the head and starts to speak softly, “They don’t call me Alligator Steve for nothing, mates. Perfect cover as there aren’t any rules against alligators playing middle school water polo.” With that he looks into Bessy’s eyes. “Remember, mate. Middle school,” and Bessy responds with a growl that sounds startlingly like “Extreme friendship.” That’s right! We’re taking a dive into the world of animal films by watching a classic of the animals-play-sports genre: Ed, starring Matt LeBlanc. It’s just a simple tale of a small town boy trying to make it to the big leagues… and also a chimpanzee is on the team.

The man stares into the mirror at his face. A robot arm comes up and prods the new flesh. Nearby another man marvels at his robot legs. “Heh heh… Just call me MVP,” he says. “Most Valuable Prosthetics,” the other replies and they cackle with glee. That’s right! As a Bring a Friend companion we are going to rot our brains by consuming MVP: Most Valuable Primate… at least it isn’t Most Vertical or Extreme Primate. Not sure I could have handled that shit. Let’s go!

Ed (1996) – BMeTric: 65.4; Notability: 30 

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(Holy crap that rating is so low. Completely makes up for the fact that less than 10K people have bothered to rate it on IMDb. And the Notability of 30 is kind of crazy. Possibly it is due to a bunch of baseball people being involved in various parts of the production and cameos and stuff? Who knows. This seems like a legendarily bad kids film though.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Nervous pitcher getting his big break on a minor-league baseball team becomes roommate with the club’s new third baseman: a full-grown chimpanzee. Uninspired vehicle for Friends star LeBlanc (and Hollywood debut for award-winning documentary director Couturie). Strikes out as a warm family comedy, though younger viewers may be amused.

(Sounds about right. It is bizarre just how big the film seems given just how dull the storyline seems. Something was really happening in the mid-90s. It seems like a bunch of production companies were flailing about with different niche genres to try and make money.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InqDF8ImCgU/

(Man I remember this trailer! Let’s see, I was like 10 at the time. I remember seeing the film, but I imagine I just caught it randomly on cable at some point after. But who knows, we were decent Friends fans so we might have rented it. I also remember the ice cream scene being disgusting.)

Directors – Bill Couturié – (BMT: Ed; Notes: A documentary filmmaker of some acclaim, winning the oscar in 1989 for best documentary about the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Him and Ken Richards I think might be partners of some kind as they’ve done multiple documentaries together.)

Writers – Ken Richards (story) – (BMT: Ed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Ed in 1997; Notes: Has only done documentaries besides getting credited for this. He has a few about the life of a soldier in war from both wars in Iraq.)

Janus Cercone (story) – (Known For: Leap of Faith; BMT: Ed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Ed in 1997; Notes: He wrote the book for the Leap of Faith musical adaptation as well.)

David Mickey Evans (screenplay) (as David M. Evans) – (Known For: The Sandlot Kids; BMT: Ed; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Ed in 1997; Notes: He’s uncredited as the writer of Radio Flyer, but he apparently wrote it initially and sold it for over a million dollars. He also sold The Sandlot for a lot, and has written the sequels as well.)

Actors – Matt LeBlanc – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Future BMT: All the Queen’s Men; Lovesick; BMT: Ed; Lost in Space; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star in 1997 for Ed, Mother, She’s the One, and The Pallbearer; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Ed in 1997; Notes: You know him as Joey from Friends. I know him as Don West in Lost in Space. The first of two major film roles he would have, he mostly has always done television including Episodes.)

Jayne Brook – (Known For: Kindergarten Cop; Gattaca; Future BMT: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead; Last Dance; Clean Slate; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Ed; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Also mostly television including a major role in Star Trek: Discovery. She did bit parts mostly, this was her only starring role.)

Jim Caviezal – (Known For: The Passion of the Christ; The Rock; The Count of Monte Cristo; Escape Plan; The Thin Red Line; Wyatt Earp; Deja Vu; My Own Private Idaho; Frequency; G.I. Jane; The Ballad of Lefty Brown; Paul, Apostle of Christ; Ride with the Devil; The Stoning of Soraya M.; Midnight Sting; Transit; Future BMT: Ed; Angel Eyes; Long Weekend; Highwaymen; Outlander; The Final Cut; Blue Chips; High Crimes; Unknown; When the Game Stands Tall; Savannah; Notes: Has maintained that his star has faded partially due to his strong religious beliefs (part of why he took the role of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ). He was a genuine movie star from around 2000-2010, but now he kind of seems to do religious films mostly.)

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $4,422,380 (Worldwide: $4,422,380)

(How could that budget possibly be right? I guess the animatronic chimpanzee would be pretty expensive … but for real could that possibly be right? That is more than Air Bud made. There has to be some nonsense accounting in there, there is no way anyone thinks Ed is going to make like $50 million.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/16)

(Wow! A true blue zero-percenter! We haven’t seen one of those in years. Let’s write a consensus: Will only amuse the under-10 year old crowd, otherwise it is an unadventurous bore. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. LeBlanc … is so blank that the only impression he makes is of having teeth that are very large and unnaturally white. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Ape-mazing!: The Jack Cooper Story (C)

ed

(There’s something beautiful and yet sad about this poster. I want to paint it and then destroy the painting. Seriously, though, there is something actually artistic in how things are spaced in the poster and some nice red theme… those two things claw it back to a C rating. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I think I’m getting a bit better at putting my face into poor quality posters. The poor quality also helped in that I didn’t have to worry too much about removing that giant Ed title and getting the grass “just right”.)

Tagline(s) – Minor league. Major friendship. (A+)

(Probably one of the best taglines I’ve come across. I mean… it’s near perfection. The only critique is that you don’t necessarily get a sense that it’s about a chimpanzee, but who cares? Major friendship? Sign me up.)

Keyword – baseball movie

Ed_baseball movie

Top 10: Major League (1989), Moneyball (2011), A League of Their Own (1992), The Sandlot Kids (1993), The Natural (1984), Rookie of the Year (1993), The Perfect Catch (2005), Field of Dreams (1989), Bull Durham (1988), The Rookie (2002)

Future BMT: 50.7 Major League: Back to the Minors (1998), 34.7 The Fan (1996), 32.7 The Scout (1994), 29.1 Rookie of the Year (1993), 27.0 Angels in the Outfield (1994), 23.9 Mr. Baseball (1992), 21.5 Little Big League (1994), 18.6 The Slugger’s Wife (1985), 6.7 The Final Season (2007);

BMT: The Benchwarmers (2006), Ed (1996)

(Oh wow, only our second one. Honestly the weirdest bit is how consistent baseball movies have always been. They’ve completely disappeared recently … but maybe all sports movies have moved to VOD? I’m trying to think of the last baseball or football movie I’ve seen go to theaters. That was the Affleck basketball movie. It does seem like maybe “sports” movies are getting to be smaller affairs. I’m excited to watch The Fan and Mr. Baseball since I haven’t seen those before.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matt LeBlanc is No. 1 billed in Ed and No. 3 billed in Lost in Space, which also stars Heather Graham (No. 5 billed) who is in Say It Isn’t So (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 3 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc’s co-star from Friends (1994), was considered for the lead role. (He ended up being a movie star for a bit in the late 90s and early 00s. He genuinely had never starred in a wide release film until Fools Rush In in 1997, so he might have actually done it if he got it)

Ed watches an episode of Friends (1994), the show that made Matt LeBlanc a star. The scene he watches features Marcel, the pet monkey of one of the characters.

Ed, the chimp, is actually “just a guy in a suit” (according to Matt Leblanc), with a mechanically controlled head. That head made so much noise that all the dialogue in the scenes which included the “chimp” had to be re-dubbed in post-production.

Texas Rangers second baseman Mark McLemore, long time friend of Matt LeBlanc, spent time during off season teaching LeBlanc how to look and play like a major league baseball player.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Rosalie Swedlin, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Matt LeBlanc, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (David Mickey Evans, Ken Richards, Janus Cercone, 1997)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, 1997)

Masters of the Universe Preview

“Down!” Adrestia shouts as she tackles Rich to the ground. A shot rings out and a window shatters. “Go!” Rich barks and with that they are out the door. They see a man disappear around the corner of the school, but before Rich can pull out his patented Twin Speed, Adrestia is off like a flash. Rich is stunned. Thinking fast, he stops at the nearest soda machine for the unrivaled energy and refreshment of a delicious Mountain Dew. Doing the Dew, Rich is able to catch up to Adrestia just in time to help take down the fleeing shooter. “Nice running,” says Rich and before he can even ask Adrestia points to her legs. Robot legs, of course. At that they unmask the suspect to reveal none other than Alligator Steve! “Of course, it only makes sense it was you all long,” says Rich, but Steve protests and pulls out a badge, “Det. O’Malley, Mate. I swear I wasn’t trying to kill you. I was trying to save my world.” Rich is confused. Save his world? From the gamemaster? And Steve nods. “The gamemaster is pulling all the strings. The rogue cops, the riots, everything. It’s all to stop you from completing the task. And if we don’t stop you he’ll destroy my home… my fambly,” he finishes, descending into a low, emotional growl. Suddenly Steve looks up and his eyes are shining, “but now I see… what’s inside of you. It’s not just my home that is at stake is it?” And Rich shakes his head. With that Steve pulls himself up from the ground and extends his hand, “Crikey, then I’m in… let’s go save the whole universe, Mate.” That’s right! We’re going back in time to our youth to watch the classic action figure turned cartoon turned major motion picture, Masters of the Universe. We are using this as the MacGuffin entry of the cycle as The Cosmic Key is an all-timer when it comes to unexplainable, mostly magical objects of power in cinematic history. So get ready to blast out some sweet synth notes as we jam out to Masters of the Universe. Let’s go!

Masters of the Universe (1987) – BMeTric: 50.1; Notability: 53 

MastersoftheUniverseIMDb_BMeT

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(Huh, I wonder why it increased so much in the early 2000s … unclear. Very nice how low it is and is staying. I’ve seen pieces of this film before, at the very least it looks like complete crap.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  He-Man (Lundgren) comes to Earth seeking a key that controls the power of the universe, stolen by cosmic crub Skeletor (unrecognizable Langella); somehow two teen puppy-lovers get involved. Elaborate comic book nonsense (which has had another life in kiddie animation) is dumb but inoffensive.

(I love dumb but inoffensive. That “somehow” is doing some heavy lifting, and can basically be used to describe any ridiculous sci-fi / action B-story issue. Like Pearl Harbor: “Somehow a love triangle becomes the focus of the film.”)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF20B8p4F08/

(Wow, Skeletor’s costume looks even worse than I remembered. Truly horrific. Reminds me of Howard the Duck and The Garbage Pail Kids’ Movie. That level of shooting incredibly far over their budget/technological capabilities at the time.)

Directors – Gary Goddard – (BMT: Masters of the Universe; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Tarzan the Ape Man in 1982; Notes: He founded Landmark Entertainment Group for which he directed many of the biggest theme park videos (T-2 3D, Jurassic Park intro, etc.))

Writers – David Odell (written by) – (Known For: The Dark Crystal; Future BMT: Supergirl; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Notes: He wrote on the Muppet Show in the 80s and wrote on a few other Muppet things over the years. He seems to have effectively retired in 1990.)

Stephen Tolkin (rewrite) (uncredited) – (Future BMT: Captain America; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Notes: Mostly wrote for television. His brother, Michael, was nominated for an Oscar for The Player, and his father was an Emmy nominated comedy write from the 50s all the way into the 80s.)

Gary Goddard (rewrite) (uncredited) – (Future BMT: Tarzan the Ape Man; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Tarzan the Ape Man in 1982; Notes: He created a Captain Power television program prior to Masters of the Universe which he wrote on. It was canceled after one season.)

Actors – Dolph Lundgren – (Known For: Aquaman; Creed II; Hail, Caesar!; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Don’t Kill It; Future BMT: Red Scorpion; The Punisher; Black Water; Skin Trade; The Peacekeeper; Showdown in Little Tokyo; Dark Angel; A View to a Kill; Small Apartments; Rocky IV; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Johnny Mnemonic; Universal Soldier; The Expendables 3; Notes: A world class kickboxer, he also has an advanced degree in Chemical Engineering. Apparently he still does some work with his brother who is a scientist.)

Frank Langella – (Known For: Captain Fantastic; Lolita; Red Dragon; Noah; The Ninth Gate; Superman Returns; Unknown; Small Soldiers; Muppets Most Wanted; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Draft Day; Frost/Nixon; Dave; The Box; Good Night, and Good Luck.; 5 to 7; The Tale of Despereaux; Robot & Frank; Dracula; The Prophet; Future BMT: Junior; Eddie; Cutthroat Island; Grace of Monaco; And God Created Woman; All Good Things; Bad Company; Brainscan; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Sweet November; The Caller; BMT: Body of Evidence; Masters of the Universe; Notes: Started out as an acclaimed Broadway actor, winning a Tony for his role in Seascape in 1975. Nominated for an Oscar for Frost/Nixon.)

Meg Foster – (Known For: Overlord; They Live; 31; The Lords of Salem; The Emerald Forest; Blind Fury; The Osterman Weekend; Ticket to Heaven; The Minus Man; Relentless; Future BMT: Jeepers Creepers 3; Leviathan; Best of the Best II; Stepfather II; BMT: Masters of the Universe; Notes: We’ve actually seen her before in a Friend of BMT, Future Kick. She starred in that film. She had quite the straight-to-video career in the early 90s.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $17,336,370 (Worldwide: $17,336,370)

(An unmitigated disaster that apparently helped Cannon Films to go under. So that, maybe, is a net positive? I kid, but for real every Cannon film I’ve seen looks like garbage, so I wasn’t surprised to hear they produced this movie.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (4/23): Masters of the Universe is a slapdash adaptation of the He-Man mythos that can’t overcome its cynical lack of raison d’etre, no matter how admirably Frank Langella throws himself into the role of Skeletor.

(I just love the stories about Langella in this. He either hated working on this or loved it. He either thought everything was trash or he loved it. Mixed signals from everyone. It’s going to sound obvious but I think he may have done this movie for one reason: $$$. Reviewer Highlight: The result is a colossal bore. – Variety)

Poster – Masters of the MacGuffinverse (C+)

masters_of_the_universe

(This poster is really telling a story… and it’s not a great one. It seems like if I were a huge fan of Masters of the Universe I would probably be like “just please don’t make it the case that He-Man and the gang are transported to Earth for some reason.” Then I would see the poster and be like “well, Shit.” Spacing is bad and too much going on, but some nice on-brand font and general blue tone. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: I was going for speed in this case, and I came in at just around 60-70 minutes. Which is quite good. It took me about 50 minutes for the words, and then the face went pretty quickly. Not the best face I’ve done, but again, this one was for speed and I think looks pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – A battle fought in the stars, now… comes to Earth. (D)

(Lol, what? If you think about the synopsis of the cartoon, all events take place in a relatively small kingdom of Eternia. So when was the battle fought in the stars? They aren’t in spaceships or anything. This feels very much like “let’s get those Star Wars butts in the seats,” and I don’t appreciate that.)

Keyword – based on toy

MastersoftheUniverse_based on toy

Top 10: The Lego Batman Movie (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Trolls (2016), Bumblebee (2018), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Transformers (2007), The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), The Lego Movie (2014), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), UglyDolls (2019)

Future BMT: 65.0 Max Steel (2016), 57.1 Jem and the Holograms (2015), 41.0 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), 37.4 UglyDolls (2019), 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), 27.9 Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), 2.6 Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985);

BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Masters of the Universe (1987), Bratz (2007), Ouija (2014)

(Amazing. Basically bad production companies like Cannon producing schlock in the 80s. After those companies went under the big production houses knew better in the 90s. And then Transformers changed the game again in the 2000s. Looks to be slowing in the last decade. A lot of the future BMT I’ve actually already seen, although I am excited for Max Steel and Jem and the Holograms.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Dolph Lundgren is No. 1 billed in Masters of the Universe and No. 8 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 + 8 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Zoom we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The Throne Room set of Castle Grayskull was originally two large, adjoining sound stages. The wall between the sets was knocked down to make one gigantic sound stage. At that time, this was the largest set Hollywood had seen in over 40 years.

Frank Langella went on record in an interview stating that playing Skeletor was one of his favorite roles. His young son was a huge fan and was running around the house shouting “By the power of Grayskull,” so he took the role for him. He wrote some of his own lines, like: “Tell me about the loneliness of good, He-Man. Is it equal to the loneliness of evil?”

Anthony De Longis trained Dolph Lundgren in the use of a sword. He also choreographed the sword fight between He-Man and Blade and the climatic duel between He-Man and Skeletor. De Longis also played Skeletor during the final fight, instead of Frank Langella.

Mattel, the toy company that produced the original He-Man toys, ran a contest where the winner would get a role in the new He-Man movie. The production was under a great deal of pressure to finish in time and under budget, so director Gary Goddard had to squeeze the contest winner into the shoot. The winner, Richard Szponder, is Pigboy, who hands Skeletor his staff when he returns from Earth. He was even listed in the ending credits. (Ha, funny)

Dolph Lundgren said in a French magazine that working on this film was “a nightmare”. The shooting schedule was five months, including two months of night shooting. He said he was approached to do a sequel during shooting, and he turned down the offer. However in an interview with the IO9 website promoting The Expendables (2010), Lundgren said he would return to appear in a new “Masters of the Universe” movie, as either a cameo or He-Man.

A script for the sequel, to be titled “Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg” was written. It followed He-Man, who returned to Earth to battle Skeletor, who had left Earth a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The film was to feature Trap Jaw and She-Ra, and Albert Pyun was hired to direct. Because the film bombed at the box office, Mattel and Cannon decided to cancel production on the sequel. Pyun rewrote the script, which became Cyborg (1989).

Mattel, which owned and produced the “Masters of the Universe” toyline, mandated early in production that He-Man could not kill anyone on screen. That’s why Skeletor’s troops are robots. (Basically the same thing with Disney properties now. They always kill like … clones and robots, or mindless aliens or something)

Meg Foster said that she based her character on Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. In the film’s beginning, she is a pantomime villainess but obviously deeply in love with Skeletor. As the storyline progresses, she gradually comes to realise that he does not truly care for her. In the end, she abandons him to his fate, her withdrawal of her forces leads to his eventual defeat. In Foster’s opinion, the character progresses from evildoer to scorned woman to tragic heroine.

A total of three working Cosmic Key props were built for the film, each personally constructed by Richard Edlund. The props were extremely fragile and broke down easily, so a special team of prop technicians had to be on hand at all times to repair damage during filming. As of 2012, they are valued at $6,000 each.

Because of financial difficulties, Cannon Cinema made a decision to discontinue all filming three days before its scheduled end, leaving the movie in a quandary. All the climactic scenes were completed bar the final battle and resolution between He-Man and Skeletor. After two months, the Cannon Cinema executives allowed director Gary Goddard to film the ending in a complete, albeit rushed manner.

Production designer William Stout took an existing fast food stand in Lake View Terrace and transformed this into “Robby’s Ribs ‘n’ Chicken” where Julie Winston works. According to Stout, the same fast food place was later the site of the infamous Rodney King beating. (That is a wild fact)

At the 1987 Cannes Festival press conference, producer Menahem Golan announced that lead actor Dolph Lundgren was set to reprise his role as He-Man and that he had already signed on for two more movies. However, Lundgren refused to reprise his role when he was offered it while filming Red Scorpion (1988) and went on record in a 1989 interview with Comics Scene magazine that he felt playing He-Man was his “lowest point as an actor”. His role was recast with surfer Laird Hamilton but the “Masters of the Universe” sequel ultimately never happened. (Wild, that guy ended up not really acting in anything)

The character Gwildor was created to replace Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). (Obviously)

The original budget of $17 million increased to $22 million and this became Cannon Films’ most expensive film.

During production, Gary Goddard developed Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1987) which premiered on American television the same year as the release of Masters of the Universe (1987). (Uh …. Do I watch that then? No, surely I watch some of the He-man cartoon instead …)

In the official “Masters of the Universe” comic book adaptation, an alternate ending is used that was written for the movie but never filmed. In the comic, after the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Man-At-Arms comes from the depths of Castle Grayskull carrying a NASA and United States flag. The NASA flag has “Starfinder 5. July 10, 2221” written on it, revealing that the first humans on Eternia were actually from a future American space mission. (WHAAAAAA)

Cannon Films originally had plans to make a Spider-Man movie but opted instead to take the money and split it in two for two other films: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and Masters of the Universe. The plan was to take the profits from both movies and make a large-budget Spider-Man movie. Both movies bombed at the box-office and the Cannon-produced Spider-Man movie never materialized.

Gary Goddard came up with the idea of Skeletor in a bottomless pit filled with bubbling red water at the very end of the film. After filming the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor which took one day to shoot. Gary Goddard told Frank Langella his idea for the very end of the film and that Frank Langella approved. Boss Studios prepared a vat of bubbling red liquid and Gary Goddard walked Frank Langella in full costume and make up to the vat of bubbling liquid and told him that “You get there in full make up and costume and you pop up and says “I’LL BE BACK!”. And they got the shot and this was the last shot of the day.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Billy Barty, 1988)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Preview

As Rich and Poe walk down the hallway with the teacher, Ms. Halloway, they wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. If this was a The Substitute scenario they should be bashing skulls and taking names by now. “Maybe we’re missing a crime… a murder to solve?” Poe ponders. Ah, a The Substitute 2: School’s Out scenario… definitely possible, Rich agrees. “You know we can stop this ruse, right?” Ms. Halloway says behind them. They slowly turn and attempt to sputter out an excuse, but Ms. Halloway just smirks and flips open a badge. “Det. Halloway, BMTPD. You boys are a little late to the party.” What a twist! But how could she have seen through their bulletproof nerd alert disguises. “Well, you are both forty years old,” she explains, “and as a cop it was easy to connect the dots from there.” Clever girl. “I’ve been working undercover on the case for two years and you two stroll in and nearly blow the whole thing on day one. Lucky for you I know these kids and I know what they want.” Rich and Poe’s hearts leap, perhaps this is the break they need. “Love.” Rich is deflated. Love is lame. What about bashing skulls? What about patented Twin Chops, backflips, and abs. Pffff. Love. But Poe’s eyes are shining and he steps closer to Ms. Halloway. “What if I told you I know a little something about that.” He steps even closer. “You ever heard of a book called The Platonic Solids Series Part I: Outside the Box?” he asks breathily, inches from Ms. Halloways quivering lips. “It’s… it’s my favorite book,” she replies in a whisper, her bosom heaving and breath bated in anticipation. And with that they begin to make out… hard. That’s right! We are finally dipping our toes in the mother of all teen love triangle romances with the second Twilight film The Twilight Saga: New Moon. This is also one of only two qualifying films. So we are leaving the series hanging, but hopefully not for long. I’m ready for the steamy vampire-werewolf romance extravaganza. Let’s go!

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) – BMeTric: 78.1; Notability: 63 

TheTwilightSagaNewMoonIMDb_BMeT

TheTwilightSagaNewMoonIMDb_RV

(Quite intriguing how low that is. I assume that is mostly because of the demographics of the people who vote on IMDb. I remember this movie mostly just being boring. That doesn’t feel sub-5.0 to be, but we’ll see.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – The characters in this movie should be arrested for loitering with intent to moan. Never have teenagers been in greater need of a jump-start. Granted some of them are more than 100 years old, but still: their charisma is by Madame Tussaud.

(Ooooooo, so maybe it is just so boring that it ends up being really really terrible! Because one star is really really low as well. This is precisely how I remember this.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNi-ebCWXos/

(Oh, I love you so much Bella. Oh, I love you so much Edward. Let’s die together, that would be super romantical wouldn’t it? Oh … that’s my impression of Twilight. Nailed it.)

Directors – Chris Weitz – (Known For: American Pie; The Golden Compass; Operation Finale; About a Boy; A Better Life; Future BMT: Down to Earth; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for About a Boy. Apparently he was uncredited on American Pie, presumably because he was just helping his older brother to direct it.)

Writers – Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay) – (Known For: Twilight; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Step Up; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2010 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon; in 2011 for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; in 2012 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Notes: Wrote the entire series. A legend of television, she produced and wrote on Melrose Place, The O.C., and Dexter among many many others.)

Stephenie Meyer (novel) – (Known For: Twilight; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; The Host; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in 2013; Notes: Wrote the novels. Apparently the idea for the storyline came to her in a dream, the idea of a vampire being in love with a human woman while thirsting for her blood.)

Actors – Kristen Stewart – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Underwater; Twilight; Into the Wild; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Snow White and the Huntsman; Zathura: A Space Adventure; American Ultra; Panic Room; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Adventureland; Still Alice; Cafe Society; The Runaways; On the Road; Personal Shopper; Certain Women; Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; J.T. LeRoy; Clouds of Sils Maria; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Cold Creek Manor; The Messengers; Catch That Kid; Equals; Seberg; Cell K-11; Anesthesia; Fierce People; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Jumper; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2013 for Snow White and the Huntsman, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in 2012; Nominee for Worst Actress for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2011; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2010 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Notes: Notably had an affair with the director Rupert Sanders, which caused her initial breakup with Robert Pattinson. She is bisexual and has mostly been in relationships with women recently.)

Robert Pattinson – (Known For: The Lighthouse; The King; Good Time; Twilight; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Lost City of Z; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; High Life; Waiting for the Barbarians; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Vanity Fair; Water for Elephants; The Rover; Maps to the Stars; Cosmopolis; Damsel; Life; The Childhood of a Leader; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Bel Ami; Queen of the Desert; Little Ashes; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for Remember Me, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2010; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2012 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; and in 2013 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Notes: He is going to be The Batman. During his entire Twilight period he would have amusing interviews where he would appear bemused about the various odd storylines from the film, look them up.)

Taylor Lautner – (Known For: Twilight; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Future BMT: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Tracers; Run the Tide; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; The Ridiculous 6; Abduction; Grown Ups 2; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Valentine’s Day; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in 2013; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and Valentine’s Day; and in 2012 for Abduction, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2010 for The Twilight Saga: New Moon; and in 2012 for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Notes: Been moving more into prestige television recently, specifically was in Cuckoo for the past several years.)

Budget/Gross – $50,000,000 / Domestic: $297,816,253 (Worldwide: $711,020,081)

(Obviously, a huge success. One of the most successful series in cinema history. Single-handedly made vampires a huge thing again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 28% (64/227): The Twilight Saga’s second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.

(This is what I remember. Just Bella moping about depressed for an hour and a half. Reviewer Highlight: The boys preen while the girl sulks. And pouts. And sulks. And pouts. – Richard Roeper, RichardRoeper.com)

Poster – The Platonic Solids Series Part 2: Love on the Blocks (C)

twilight_saga_new_moon

(Gonna be honest. I don’t really like that. The colors are drab and otherwise just the usually human mess. Some OK font, but even the spacing seems off. Like there is too much space around them.)

Tagline(s) – The Next Chapter Begins (F)

(Blah, boo. Give me something more than that. I spent more time thinking up the “Love on the Blocks” subtitle for the fake second book of our fake teen romance series.)

Keyword – vampire

TheTwilightSagaNewMoon_vampire

Top 10: Doctor Sleep (2019), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Twilight (2008), The Lost Boys (1987), I Am Legend (2007), Hellboy (2019), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Future BMT: 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 87.9 BloodRayne (2005), 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 51.1 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010), 48.6 Sleepwalkers (1992), 43.9 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), 43.8 Priest (2011), 42.2 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 41.8 Bordello of Blood (1996), 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003);

BMT: Hellboy (2019), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Vampire Academy (2014), Queen of the Damned (2002), Dracula 2001 (2000), Ultraviolet (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Dudley Do-Right (1999)

(The crescendo is right after the Twilight books hit it big, they were trying to capture that fanaticism. It has, naturally, kind of slip away recently as one would expect. I’m excited for … Priest. That has been on the docket for years.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Taylor Lautner is No. 3 billed in The Twilight Saga: New Moon and No. 2 billed in Ridiculous Six, which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 15. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Just before Jacob almost kisses Bella, he says “Kwop kilawtley”, which means “stay with me forever” in Quileute.

Each member of the wolf pack had to have papers proving their Native descent. Chaske Spencer is Lakota (Sioux), Bronson Pelletier is Cree-Metis, Alex Meraz is Purepecha (Tarasco), Kiowa Gordon is Hualapai, and Tyson Houseman, who was discovered at an open casting call, is Cree.

After months of speculation and rumors, director Chris Weitz and the novel’s author, Stephenie Meyer, confirmed on her official website that Taylor Lautner would be reprising his role as Jacob Black. It was doubted as the filmmakers feared he would not be able to become fit enough in time. However, he was given the go-ahead after gaining 26 pounds of muscle.

Summit Entertainment greenlit this sequel one day after Twilight (2008) had opened in theaters.

The Italian sequences were shot over a period of 4 days. Red was deliberately kept out of the color palette until the Italian sequences.

While Carlisle is cleaning Bella’s wounds after the party, when he burns the blood-soaked gauze, the gauze forms the flower that is present on the New Moon book cover.

When Michael Sheen was cast as Aro, he had no clue of who the character is nor what are his characteristics. He learned as much as he could including the character’s back story from his daughter Lily Mo Sheen who is a fan of the series.

Contrary to scheduling conflict claims, Catherine Hardwicke turned down directing this film because the release date set by Summit (exactly one year after the first film’s release) would not allow her to have enough time to work on the script. With Hardwicke out, the studio scrambled in looking for a replacement director until producer Wyck Godfrey had to turn to his friend Chris Weitz who eventually agreed to do the film.

“New Moon” is Robert Pattinson’s favorite book in the Twilight series.

Ashley Greene wore a different wig than the one she wore in Twilight (2008), to portray Alice Cullen. She also cut her hair quite short so that it could fit under the wig.

A vampire’s diet is revealed by the color of the eyes – the Cullens feast only on animal blood and therefore have topaz eyes, whereas the Nomads and the Volturi have red eyes indicating they feast upon human blood.

The town of Voltera was chosen because of its uncanny resemblance to the Italian town described in Stephenie Meyer’s novel. The only difference was that its main square lacked a fountain which production designer David Brisbin duly had built from wood.

Every song that appears in the film and on the soundtrack is original and written specifically for the film.

The film is included on Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Robert Pattinson, 2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2010)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Melissa Rosenberg, 2010)

Turbulence Preview

“Look around, mates, this here is a jungle. The wild west. The outback. And I’m the king. So stick with me and you’ll be fine,” Alligator Steve says, pointing out all the different cliques on display in the middle school’s cafeteria. There are nerds, jocks, artistes, clowns, unicyclers, bare-knuckle boxers, demolition experts, animal wranglers, etc. Just the classics. But Steve is the coolest tween around and he’s somehow taken Rich and Poe under his wing. Thank god, because they were about to get pounded for being such uggo nerds (for real). As they sit down for lunch, Rich and Poe ponder the purpose of this quest. Are they just supposed to spend the rest of their lives in this nerd purgatory? Fat chance, thinks Rich, secretly flexing his muscles, there must be something more to all this. Returning to the conversation, Rich listens closely as Steve details exactly why this is the raddest and baddest middle school around. “The kids run the school, plain and simple. The teachers try to rein us in, but we just give em the ‘tude and it’s all icy, diglet my zoom?” Rich and Poe smile and nod, for they understand the latest lingo all the kids are using. So are they meant to bring order to the chaos, The Substitute style? That sure would be a test, considering this school doesn’t play by the rules that they’ve come to know and hate. Suddenly Alligator nudges them. “And here’s your next lesson, mates.” At that the cafeteria doors bust open and a clique of “cool girls” stroll in. It’s clear they don’t have time for nobody, let alone Rich and Poe: nerd alert central. But they are heading straight for their table and Steve whispers, “Get ready, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.” That’s right! We’re watching Turbulence. Like a lot of Action films, this followed the age old formula of Die Hard: trap a bunch of people somewhere with a terrorist/criminal and let them battle without the help of the authorities. This also has the added benefit of starring Ray Liotta before he became the Actor Who Looks Like He’s Wearing a Ray Liotta Mask (AWLLHWRLM, rolls off the tongue) and is a film that no one remembers exists. Killing three birds with one airplane. Let’s go!

Turbulence (1997) – BMeTric: 51.6; Notability: 46 

TurbulenceIMDb_BMeT

TurbulenceIMDb_RV

(If this reached 5.0 that is absurd. This film is so obviously a terrible version of Con Air so like … how does anyone watch this and think “that was okay.” It is obviously not okay. If Nic Cage isn’t in the film then that is not okay!)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – There are more questions. Like, if a 747 sheers off the roof of a high-rise restaurant, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if a 747 plows through an outdoor billboard, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if it sweeps all the cars off the roof of a parking garage, wouldn’t that cause it to crash? Like, if it gets a truck caught in its landing gear, what would happen then? (“It’s a Ford!” a sharp-eyed observer says, in a line that–for once–I don’t think represents product placement.) Oh, yes, there are many moments I will long remember from “Turbulence.” But one stands out. After Lauren Holly outsmarts and outfights the berserk killer and pilots the plane through a Level 6 storm, the FBI guy still doubts she can land it. “She’s only a stewardess,” he says. To which the female air traffic controller standing next to him snaps, “She’s a . . . flight attendant!”

(This review is amazing. I love you Ebert. All great questions. And the answer for the most part is: yes, it would crash. About fifteen times the plane would have crashed. One hundred percent.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arr-4RGgJvU/

(I actually like the really unique start to the trailer. BTW, the reveal that Liotta is actually a bad guy is kind of a mini-twist in the beginning which they don’t even bother with (for good reason, it would be impossible to cut a trailer for the film which doesn’t feature Liotta maniacally chewing the scenery). Finally, the heavy metal soundtrack kind of previews the eventual third entry to the series which I will semi-review in my recap, so stay tuned.)

Directors – Robert Butler – (Known For: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes; Now You See Him, Now You Don’t; The Barefoot Executive; BMT: Turbulence; Notes: Hugely involved in a few television series like Remington Steele which he directed and consulted for. He also directed the pilot for the original Star Trek. This was his last feature film.)

Writers – Jonathan Brett (written by) – (Known For: The Boynton Beach Bereavement Club; BMT: Turbulence; Notes: Produced She-Devil somewhat randomly. Also nominated for an Oscar for a short film, The Dutch Master.)

Actors – Ray Liotta – (Known For: Marriage Story; Goodfellas; Identity; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Cop Land; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Killing Them Softly; Heartbreakers; Bee Movie; Something Wild; Date Night; Kill the Messenger; Muppets Most Wanted; Youth in Revolt; Observe and Report; Narc; No Escape; Future BMT: The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Go with Me; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Revolver; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; The Lonely Lady; Slow Burn; Even Money; Powder Blue; Better Living Through Chemistry; Unforgettable; Smokin’ Aces; Hannibal; Corrina, Corrina; Crossing Over; Flock of Dudes; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Turbulence; Wild Hogs; Notes: BMT Legend, his face looks like he is wearing a mask of his own face. He has a very crazy ad campaign for Chantix happening at the moment, which The Onion riffed on here.)

Lauren Holly – (Known For: Spirited Away; Dumb and Dumber; What Women Want; February; Sabrina; Any Given Sunday; Beautiful Girls; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Tammy’s Always Dying; Field of Lost Shoes; Entropy; Future BMT: Down Periscope; How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town; Live Wire; A Smile Like Yours; After the Ball; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; No Looking Back; Band of the Hand; BMT: Turbulence; Crank 2: High Voltage; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1998 for A Smile Like Yours, and Turbulence; Notes: Married to Jim Carey for a year. Co-starred opposite of Mark Harmon in the early seasons of NCIS.)

Brendan Gleeson – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; 28 Days Later…; Troy; Edge of Tomorrow; Braveheart; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Gangs of New York; In Bruges; In the Heart of the Sea; Cold Mountain; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Village; Mission: Impossible II; Beowulf; Paddington 2; Frankie; Safe House; Green Zone; Future BMT: The Smurfs 2; The Raven; Live by Night; Country of My Skull; The Tiger’s Tail; BMT: Turbulence; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Irish. An accomplished fiddle player, he played in Michael Collins and Cold Mountain.)

Budget/Gross – $55,000,000 / Domestic: $11,538,235 (Worldwide: $11,538,235)

(That is catastrophic. For reference Con Air has a budget of around $75 million and made over $200 million. So this had roughly the same budget and made … 20x as much money. It is rough.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (3/18)

(Oooo I get to make one. Expensive but not expensive looking. Little more than a series of cliches strung together. Reviewer Highlight: Fasten your seat belts, folks. It’s going to be a cliche-cluttered ride. – Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today)

Poster – Ray Liotta’s Magical Plane Ride (B-)

turbulence

(That is terrible, but also kind of great. It’s creative in how it’s framed and with some sweet font. The big letters at the top are a terrible idea, but so bold you have to give it to them. This poster is like two decades late… feels like it’s for Avalanche or something.)

Tagline(s) – Can You Survive The Ride? (C)

(The ride… the ride… hmmmm. That doesn’t sound right. But fine, it does its job and kinda makes me think that there is a whole other category of tagline. The rhetorical question. A little generic though. Fits the theme of an old school disaster film, but it’s just not giving me much.)

Keyword – die hard scenario

Turbulence_die hard scenario

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), The Magnificent Seven (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Leon (1994), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), 13 Hours (2016), World War Z (2013)

Future BMT: 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 62.1 Half Past Dead (2002), 55.1 Knock Off (1998), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 49.7 Collateral Damage (2002), 47.7 Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), 46.7 Cop Out (2010), 46.6 Solo (1996), 44.6 Metro (1997), 44.5 The Purge (2013);

BMT: Angel Has Fallen (2019), The Expendables 3 (2014), Along Came a Spider (2001), London Has Fallen (2016), Doom (2005), Need for Speed (2014), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Red Dawn (2012), Swordfish (2001), Tango & Cash (1989), Soldier (1998), Max Payne (2008), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Skyline (2010), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Daylight (1996), Mercury Rising (1998), Firewall (2006), Getaway (2013), xXx²: The Next Level (2005), Alex Cross (2012), 88 Minutes (2007), On Deadly Ground (1994), Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), Fire Down Below (1997), Black Dog (1998), Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002), Turbulence (1997), Firestorm (1998), Extreme Ops (2002)

(The graph looks like what you would expect. This is a second-banana die hard scenario. And the genre came to a crescendo around 2000, and then briefly died. Interesting that people don’t seem to running it these days, but maybe it is just overplayed. Under Siege 2 is def the best one that we haven’t seen. And my god, we’ve seen so many of them!)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 9) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Ray Liotta is No. 1 billed in Turbulence and No. 3 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 9. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Despite its box-office failure when of its release, the movie managed to get two direct-to-video sequels due to the film’s good performance as being one of the most rented films of that year. (Ohhhhhh yeah, Red Letter Media reviewed the third one which straight up looks like an abomination)

MGM pulled trailers from theaters and temporarily suspended its marketing campaign after the crash of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996.

The airliner used in the movie (N614FF) was a Tower Air Boeing 747-246B. The fictional TCA livery seen is very similar to Japan Air Lines’ livery but minus the Tsurumaru Crane Bird on the tail.

Was scheduled to be released in theaters for the 1996 holiday season, in tandem with the film’s Christmas setting, but was delayed to January 1997.

Catherine Hicks and Lauren Holly are talking about serial killers as the plane is loading. Hicks says “did you ever see Bundy, he was a charmer, Mark Harmon played him”. Holly later went on to star opposite Mark Harmon in NCIS. (Damn, I was going to add this trivia to IMDb! I got that one organically while watching the film. And in no way is that depressing)

The toy store in the movie in reality is a bookstore on the Main Street in Clinton, New Jersey, USA. There is a toy store on Main Street but it is in an alley and director Robert Butler didn’t like the exterior of the building. The bookstore’s front window was decorated with toys for the week of filming.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Lauren Holly, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property (1998)

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles Preview

As Rich and Poe wingsuit their way to the school they look themselves over and realize just what an odd pair they make. Rich, a brash bro with baditude. Poe, a stock broker type with glasses for days. One the number cruncher, the other using instinct to get out of jams. Both warriors of justice and yet so different. They sure do hate rulez, but in different and equally cool ways. Boy howdy are they an odd couple. When they land, Nic Cage and the eeevil Gamemaster are waiting. “Most curious,” says the evil Gamemaster, suspicious at the totally bodacious way in which they completed the task. But they shrug, no biggie. “Unfortunately your test has just begun,” says Nic Cage. The new task is about the dangers of complex thought. “Clear your minds. For often the simplest idea is the most profound.” The evil Gamemaster nods, “And remember, you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” With that they are gone and Rich and Poe look at their clothing. My god, they’re hideous. “We can’t go to school like this,” wails Rich, “We are total nerd alerts. Look at my glasses! Look at these ink stains!” He is despondent, but Poe knows they have to go forward. They should be poppin’ b-gum and baggin’ some cargo shorts as they skateboard their way to tween culture dominance, but there must be a reason for all this. As they nervously walk in, all the dope tweens are staring at the new dweebs in town. “Yo, fresh fish,” says one and Rich and Poe flinch as a hand grasps their shoulders, “Hey mates, you fellas look like a coupla fish outta water, oi? Come on, I’ll show you around and maybe we can toss a few shrimp on the barbie at lunch.” That’s right! We’re finally taking the dive and watching the sequels to a true fish-out-of-water classic, Crocodile Dundee II and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Both were reviled by critics and it’s an apt time to watch them because there may or may not be another one on the BMT horizon. Let’s go!

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001) – BMeTric: 63.7; Notability: 39 

CrocodileDundeeinLosAngelesIMDb_BMeT

CrocodileDundeeinLosAngelesIMDb_RV

(I think this one is going to be legendary. That is really holding firm significantly below 5.0, which is a very very low score. Should be an abomination. I can’t wait. Notability is actually higher that I would expect, although the early 2000s is right when they were throwing a ton of cash at comedies to hit that $100 million mark.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The movie is pokey and the jokes amble onscreen, squat down on their haunches and draw diagrams of themselves in the dust. But enough Croc-bashing. Truth in journalism compels me to report that “Crocodile Dundee” is at least genial family entertainment, quite possibly of interest to younger audiences and entirely lacking in the vomitous content of such other current films as “See Spot Run,” “Joe Dirt” and “Freddy Got Fingered.” Since the studios are advertising those excremental exercises in places where kids develop a desire to see them, it is good, after they see “Spy Kids,” to have an innocent and harmless entertainment like “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” as another choice. It may not be brilliant, but who would you rather your kids took as a role model: Crocodile Dundee, David Spade or Tom Green? It is a melancholy milestone in our society when parents pray, “Please, God, let my child grow up to admire a crocodile rassler,” but there you have it.

(An interesting take to be honest. His Rotten Tomatoes blurb is mostly that it is just dull. But I can see that argument, that it is mostly just fine, two stars. That sounds right to be honest.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpJ0y6qIsps/

(Classic, The Clapper jokes. That trailer is insane. A much more like … kids comedy it seems like? He’s just cruising around with a kid solving crime or something? Who is the dude he’s with as well, that character isn’t really in the early films. Truly bizarre stuff.)

Directors – Simon Wincer – (Known For: Free Willy; Quigley Down Under; The Phantom; D.A.R.Y.L.; The Lighthorsemen; Harlequin; Phar Lap; The Young Black Stallion; Future BMT: Operation Dumbo Drop; Lightning Jack; Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Notes: A television director since the early 70s, he only broke into movies in the 80s and 90s. He directed the Lonesome Dove mini-series.)

Writers – Paul Hogan (characters) – (Known For: Crocodile Dundee; Future BMT: Lightning Jack; Almost an Angel; BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Crocodile Dundee II; Notes: Was named Australian of the Year in 1985.)

Matt Berry (written by) (as Matthew Berry) – (BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Notes: A prolific television producer and writer including writing for Roseanne, Married … with Children, and Desperate Housewives. Now obviously best known for fantasy sports.)

Eric Abrams (written by) – (BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Notes: Similarly wrote on Married … with Children. Berry and him were writing partners and have told some interesting stories about how they ended up involved with the film and the unpleasant experiences they had.)

Actors – Paul Hogan – (Known For: Crocodile Dundee; Charlie & Boots; I Now Pronounce You Vince and Ralph; Future BMT: Flipper; Lightning Jack; Almost an Angel; BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Crocodile Dundee II; Notes: He had a comedy show called the Paul Hogan Show which … looks like it ran for like a decade, but it is hard to tell because there are only five episodes listed on IMDb. I feels like something akin to the Ernest P. Worrell shows, very public-access-y)

Linda Kozlowski – (Known For: Crocodile Dundee; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Almost an Angel; BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Crocodile Dundee II; Notes: Was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in Crocodile Dundee.)

Jere Burns – (Known For: The Incredibles 2; Funhouse Massacre; Future BMT: Game Over, Man!; Prom; My Giant; Greedy; Wired; BMT: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; Notes: Seems to be an fitness fanatic competing in marathons, triathlons, and a multitude of extreme sports to some degree.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $25,635,682 (Worldwide: $39,438,674)

(That seems unlikely to be a good take. It just seems like Hogan himself would have cost a bit to lure into reprising the role. But who knows with the budget information missing.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (9/80): A sequel as unnecessary as it is belated, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles lacks virtually all of the easygoing humor and charm that delighted fans of the original.

(The review seems like it can be boiled down to: This is exactly what you would expect and that is too bad. Reviewer Highlight: The punchlines are as tired as Hogan looks braying ‘g’day’ between scenes of stunt doubles getting some exercise. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sklogodile Dundee in Los Angeles (F)

crocodile_dundee_in_los_angeles

(Heeeelllllll nooooooo. Nope. No. No. Nope. I don’t give a shit about that font. The poster is shockingly bad. In the competition with The Avengers (1998) for worst all-time maybe.)

Tagline(s) – He heard there was wildlife in L.A. He didn’t know how wild. (F)

(What?! This is the craziest poster/tagline combination in a while. This is amazing nonsense.)

Keyword – fish out of water

CrocodileDundeeinLosAngeles_fish out of water

Top 10: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Aquaman (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Wonder Woman (2017), True Romance (1993), Back to the Future (1985), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Future BMT: 73.1 Bio-Dome (1996), 69.8 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 68.7 Gulliver’s Travels (2010), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 65.4 Black Knight (2001), 62.9 Fat Albert (2004), 58.1 Corky Romano (2001), 57.5 Little Nicky (2000), 56.9 Suburban Commando (1991);

BMT: Road House (1989), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Timeline (2003), Rambo III (1988), Safe Haven (2013), The Pacifier (2005), The 13th Warrior (1999), Made of Honour (2008), Howard the Duck (1986), Universal Soldier (1992), Mortdecai (2015), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Queen of the Damned (2002), Jason X (2001), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), New in Town (2009), The Golden Child (1986), Old Dogs (2009), Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009), Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Are We There Yet? (2005), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Rhinestone (1984), Ishtar (1987)

(He is such a goddamned fish out of water! Man we’ve watched a lot of these. I think the one I am most looking forward to is Suburban Commando (in whatever capacity that qualified). It is somewhat notable that this is, indeed, a rather non-notable film in general.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 44) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Paul Rodríguez is No. 10 billed in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles and No. 14 billed in The Curse of La Llorona, which also stars Linda Cardellini (No. 1 billed) who is in Hunter Killer (No. 6 billed), which also stars Gary Oldman (No. 2 billed) who is in Lost in Space (No. 1 billed), which also stars Heather Graham (No. 5 billed) who is in Say It Isn’t So (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 10 + 14 + 1 + 6 + 2 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 44. If we were to watch Lightning Jack, and Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – One early idea for a third Crocodile Dundee film was to have Mick Dundee team up with Eddie Murphy’s character Axel Foley from the Beverly Hills Cop (1984) films in a crossover film. (Sounds like something thought up between doing two lines of coke)

Paul Hogan had requested sole writing credit on the film for his rewrite but the Writers Guild of America awarded the credit solely to Matthew Berry and Eric Abrams, the writers of the initial script.

Paul Hogan had stated in an interview that there wasn’t going to be a 3rd “Crocodile Dundee” film and had felt that the story of Mick Dundee had been finished and that he isn’t James Bond and he doesn’t go all over the world solving crimes. (That is exactly what the second film was! But wait … like it didn’t need to be. You wrote the movies man)

Mick Dundee drives a Subaru Outback, the same car that actor Paul Hogan had been the spokesman for. (Of course he does)

A spin-off that centered around Mikey Dundee, Mick and Sues’s son was not considered due to the film bombing at the Box Office. (I knew it! It did bomb)

Alec Wilson appears in this film as an apparent, long time friend of Mick’s from Australia. He also appeared in Crocodile Dundee II (1988) as the local hired goon named ‘Denning’, who worked alongside the drug lords helping them to track down Mick and Sue in the Australian outback.

Producer/performer Anthony Begonia is in the Venice beach scene as an angry volleyball player in the background.

Features the final musical score composed by Basil Poledouris for a theatrical film.

An early draft of the script contained a cameo role for Hugh Hefner as himself.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2002)

Tango & Cash Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. Tango & Cash (or is it Rich & Poe?) check off all the boxes: Sly Stallone, Sly Stallone, and Sly Stallone. This is the preview for the film, a Hall of Fame induction speech will follow immediately afterwards. Enjoy!

Generated on: 2020-01-13

Tango & Cash (1989) – BMeTric: 21.3; Notability: 68 

TangoCashIMDb_BMeT

TangoCashIMDb_RV

(The rating is actually a bit lower than I would have expected. This is a really really fun film, and a film I’ve seen mentioned online as being underrated. So I would have kind of expected it to me close to 7.0 to be honest. I guess it helps that the movie is just a bit too strange (especially near the end) for people to get entirely on board? Love the notability though. This was probably just after Stallone’s Imperial Phase (to borrow a term from music) which is maybe 1983 to 1988, but it is close.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Rumored $55 million budget must have gone for male hairstyling in congenitally derivative narc caper about two competitive cops who take on M.r Big. Surprisingly tolerable, though, with a nifty prison break sequence and a pleasingly relaxed Stallone.

(A pleasingly relaxed review by Leonard. Odd use of the word congenitally to be honest, but genuinely an interesting take on the movie as it was probably written at the time of release. I’m sure that is part of the reason the movie is merely borderline BMT, critics probably like “meh, fun”.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwzkxI6b9Go/

(This is an incredibly bad trailer for conveying what the movie is about. It’s an incredibly good trailer in that it condenses all the truly insane shit from the film into a short clip that genuinely makes me excited to watch it.)

Directors – Andrey Konchalovskiy – (Known For: Runaway Train; Shy People; Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s’éteint et que le film commence; Ray; The Inner Circle; Belye nochi pochtalyona Alekseya Tryapitsyna; Dom durakov; Future BMT: The Nutcracker in 3D; Homer and Eddie; BMT: Tango & Cash; Notes: Fired from the film by the ever erratic producer Jon Peters who was famous for the Superman/Wild Wild West giant mechanical spider story. He won an Emmy for the miniseries The Odyssey.)

Albert Magnoli – (Known For: Purple Rain; BMT: American Anthem; Tango & Cash; Notes: Brought in to finish the film. For a time he was Prince’s manager.)

Writers – Randy Feldman (written by) – (Known For: Hell Night; Future BMT: Metro; Nowhere to Run; La chispa de la vida; BMT: Tango & Cash; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Tango & Cash in 1990; Notes: Brother of Dennis Feldman, who wrote BMT films Species II and The Golden Child, along with a number of future BMT films.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; First Blood; The Expendables; Creed; Escape Plan; Rocky Balboa; Cliffhanger; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Rocky II; Cop Land; Bullet to the Head; Antz; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Escape to Victory; 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; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Rambo III; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Rambo: Last Blood; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Demolition Man; Rambo; 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: I mean, come on.)

Kurt Russell – (Known For: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Forrest Gump; The Hateful Eight; The Christmas Chronicles; Fast & Furious 8; The Thing; Fast & Furious 7; Tombstone; Deepwater Horizon; Death Proof; Bone Tomahawk; Sky High; Stargate; Big Trouble in Little China; Executive Decision; Escape from New York; Grindhouse; Overboard; Future BMT: Captain Ron; The Best of Times; Crypto; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; It Happened at the World’s Fair; BMT: Poseidon; Soldier; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Tango & Cash; Vanilla Sky; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Tango & Cash in 1990; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for 3000 Miles to Graceland in 2002; Notes: Double come on. It’s Kurt!)

Teri Hatcher – (Known For: Tomorrow Never Dies; Spy Kids; Coraline; 2 Days in the Valley; Planes: Fire & Rescue; Soapdish; The Big Picture; Resurrecting the Champ; Future BMT: Planes; Heaven’s Prisoners; Straight Talk; Madness in the Method; BMT: Tango & Cash; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 1997 for 2 Days in the Valley, and Heaven’s Prisoners; Notes: Probably best known for TV work, winning a Golden Globe for Desperate Housewives. Also was a 49ers cheerleader.)

Budget/Gross – $55 million / Domestic: $63,408,614 (Worldwide: $63,408,614)

(Modest hit. A little strange in that you have a film with two megastars, that was modestly popular at the time of its release, and yet usually when I mention this film to people my age they’ve never heard of it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (14/45): Brutally violent and punishingly dull, this cookie-cutter buddy cop thriller isn’t even fun enough to reach “so bad it’s good” status.

(Punishingly dull! Punishingly dull?! That’s just flat wrong. Not, cookie-cutter buddy cop thriller… that… that’s true. I will contend it’s clearly so bad that it’s good and Rottentomatoes should amend that consensus. Reviewer Highlight: The jokes seem lame and the rivalry fraudulent, as the two boys play with their big guns. – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune)

Poster – Rich & Poe (D)

tango_and_cash

(The literal Rich & Poe poster. I even have a coffee cup with that image on it. Ironically it’s a really bad poster. Kinda violates all my rules. Patrick’s Shallow Fake: Probably my best fake movie poster ever. I got the graininess just right, and started to actually manipulate things in the image (like the glasses, which are just modified directly off of the picture of Stallone). Could have done better with the font I suppose.)

Tagline(s) – Two of L.A.’s top rival cops are going to have to work together… Even if it kills them. (C-)

(Egad, that’s long. It’s not even that clever when you think about it. They went for a double entendre, but it only really makes sense in one meaning. Also bad.)

Keyword – buddy movie

Tango&Cash_buddy movie

Top 10: Green Book (2018), The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019), Hall Pass (2011), The Other Guys (2010), Bad Boys (1995), Central Intelligence (2016), Men in Black (1997), Ice Age (2002), Hot Fuzz (2007), 21 Jump Street (2012)

Future BMT: 49.8 Gone Fishin’ (1997), 44.7 National Security (2003), 42.2 Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), 40.4 Hall Pass (2011), 39.7 Pink Cadillac (1989), 33.2 Sahara (2005), 31.9 Armed and Dangerous (1986), 27.9 Men in Black II (2002), 27.5 Rush Hour 3 (2007), 16.9 Bad Boys II (2003);

BMT: Wild Wild West (1999), Tango & Cash (1989), Double Team (1997), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Hot to Trot (1988)

(This genre is really dying. It is kind of amazing. I’m very excited for all of the films that are coming up. They are almost universally great bad movies.)

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 Tango & Cash 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 Siege 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 – When Tango and Cash escape from the prison, Cash turns to Tango and asks if he stopped “for coffee and a Danish.” Tango says, “I hate Danish,” an in-joke referring to Sylvester Stallone’s recent divorce from Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen. (oof)

The glasses Sylvester Stallone wears early in the film are his own, not props. He usually wears contact lenses in his films. The lenses show that he is very near-sighted in one eye, less so in the other. Plus, he has astigmatism.

Director Andrey Konchalovskiy was replaced toward the end of principal photography by Albert Magnoli. In his book of memoirs, Konchalovsky says that the reason he was fired was because he wanted to give the film a more serious tone than the producers wanted, and as such, his relationship with Producer Jon Peters became untenable. Konchalovsky, however, has nothing but praise for Sylvester Stallone, who he states was a constant voice of reason on the set.

When Brion James was originally hired to play Requin, it was a very small role with only two lines. In an effort to give the character something that would make him stand out, James decided to speak in a horrible “cockney” accent. Sylvester Stallone loved it, and re-wrote the script to give Requin a much bigger role. (Jesus, Imperial Phase for real)

The scene where Tango faces an oncoming truck with nothing but a gun was borrowed from Ging chaat goo si (1985), where Jackie Chan performed the stunt. As a “response”, Chan would later reference the make shift zip-line prison escape moment in this film in a scene early in the third installment of the Police Story series, Ging chaat goo si III: Chiu kup ging chaat (1992) (Oh, fun)

Patrick Swayze was originally cast as Cash, but he dropped out to star in Road House (1989). (Good choice, although I feel like Tango & Cash would have benefited from his more serious attitude)

Kurt Russell was originally considered and offered the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987), but he turned it down, and it went to Mel Gibson, with whom he worked on Tequila Sunrise (1988). His character in this film is loosely based on Riggs.

While filming the scene in which the back of the SUV catches fire, the flames would not go out when filming was over. Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone were caught in a cross draft. Stallone was so close to the fire that his hair was singed in places.

Years later, Sylvester Stallone offered the role of “Mr. Church” to Kurt Russell in The Expendables (2010). Russell declined the role, which was then accepted by Bruce Willis.

A total of four different people directed the film. Andrey Konchalovskiy, who was fired after about three months of filming by Jon Peters, Sylvester Stallone, after the movie went over-budget and schedule (but not by his fault), Executive Producer Peter MacDonald, who was also the Second Unit Director, then took over directing on the movie for some time (a year earlier MacDonald had to step in as a director for Stallone’s previous movie Rambo III (1988) after the original director was fired by Stallone), then Albert Magnoli was hired as the new director to finish the movie (but even after principal photography was finished, he caused two more weeks of further delays after he decided to re-shoot some parts of the movie), and Stallone was also directing the movie behind the scenes (something he was known for, especially during the 80s). None of them however had any control over the editing of the movie. Instead, Warner Bros. hired expert editor Stuart Baird to re-edit the movie after they expressed strong dislike for the initial rough cut. Baird hired another editor Hubert de La Bouillerie to help out when Warner Bros. kept complaining on every different cut of the movie that was edited, which almost caused for release date to be pushed way further than planned.In the end, the movie was finally approved for theatrical release by Warner Bros., and it ended up being shipped to theaters only a week after its original release date, as “wet prints” – an industry term meaning that the movie was just barely completed before its release date.

One of the monster trucks at the quarry scene towards the end is the famous Bigfoot truck. Although it’s painted different colors than its trademark blue color, and does not feature any Bigfoot decals, it was confirmed that it is in fact Bigfoot by owner of the original monster truck Bob Chandler.

Originally, the part of Katherine, Tango’s sister was to be played by Daphne Ashbrook. She was not supposed to be Tango’s biological sister; possibly an adopted sister, or a foster child his parents took in. But, when they decided to make her his actual sister, they re-cast the role with Teri Hatcher, who slightly resembles Stallone. (I love that they give a shit about the actors looking the same, who cares?)

The tank-like SUV seen in the film (with a windshield shape resembling a 1990s-era Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan) was built from a 1988 Chevrolet K2500 truck. At the time of the film’s release, the vehicle resembled a GM concept (a 1987 Chevrolet Blazer XT-1) which was planned as a crossover-like SUV which was powered with a Chevrolet 4.3L V6 – the engine block and cylinder heads were cast in aluminum alloy. GM did not proceed with the Blazer XT-1 but its styling cues were used with the W-body “Dustbuster” minivans (Lumina, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Trans Sport).

Jack Palance jokingly showed his displeasure about filming this movie while on the tonight show with Jay Leno. He said that when he first got the script he was really excited about doing the movie since he had three nice scenes with Sylvester Stallone, but as soon as filming started all his scenes with Stallone were cut, and he didn’t even see Stallone throughout the entire movie. (That’s kind of sad)

Shortly after this film was released, there was a very lethal “brand” of heroin being sold in The Bronx, New York, NY. It was named “Tango & Cash”. This was stamped on the bags the drugs were contained in. So many addicts overdosed (and died), the NYPD was driving around neighborhoods using loudspeakers to tell people not to use this particular “brand” of heroin. This was reported on all the flagship network TV stations there as well.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kurt Russell, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Randy Feldman, 1990)

After Earth Preview

Brief note before we start: last July we got together yet again and worked out a fourth class to be inducted into the Smaddies Baddies BMT Hall of Fame. It has been nearly a decade since we started BMT and as usual the films from more than five years ago might just deserve a rewatch, a reassessment, and a recap. The previews and speeches will be released leading up to the seventh (ninth?) Smaddies Baddies for the five films chosen. After Earth is this generation’s Battlefield Earth… you know if John Travolta had used Battlefield Earth as a way to insult his children. This is a preview, the hall of fame induction speech will immediately follow. Enjoy!

Generated on: 2020-01-12

After Earth (2013) – BMeTric: 74.9; Notability: 46 

AfterEarthIMDb_BMeT

AfterEarthIMDb_RV

(Exactly the rating I would expect, high fours is just right. The notability is much lower than you would think. I wonder if films starring huge actors tend to have lover notability even if the production is big. Since salaries have to be adjusted to accommodate the star.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.5 stars – “After Earth” is a lovely surprise. This film from producer-costar Will Smith and director M. Night Shyamalan, about a father and son marooned on a hostile future earth, is a moral tale disguised as a sci-fi blockbuster. It’s no classic, but it’s a special movie: spectacular and wise. … “After Earth” carries itself with confidence because it knows what it wants to say, and how to say it. The asteroid storm appears suddenly, as if willed into being by Poseidon stirring a cauldron with his trident. The design of the spaceship would make Odysseus feel at home: the ribs of its hull seem to be made of wood and bone. The skyscrapers on Nova Prime are built from triangular wedges that suggest a schooner’s sails. The warriors fight with blades. Ursa is Latin for bear. Kitai’s leap from a high cliff is a leap of faith. His name is Japanese for “hope.” This movie is a fable. Fables teach.

(Insane review! But I have to respect the legacy of Roger Ebert. He always had an interesting take on blockbusters and films being “good for what they are” and this review for his site basically does just that here. He liked the movie for what it is, ignoring things it didn’t necessarily need to be (well acted with a good story).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r9IXze_tPM/

(Looks pretty cool when you put it that way. But we know better, because we’ve seen the glory of this movie. We’ve seen Jaden Smith becoming best friends with a bird.)

Directors – M. Night Shyamalan – (Known For: Split; The Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Village; The Visit; Wide Awake; Future BMT: Glass; BMT: The Last Airbender; After Earth; The Happening; Lady in the Water; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Last Airbender in 2011; Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Supporting Actor for Lady in the Water in 2007; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Happening in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Lady in the Water in 2007; Notes: Has started producing television, which honestly is where I would expect him to end up in a few years. I could see him doing something like Star Trek where you just throw big idea sci-fi at the screen with a medium-to-good hit rate. That genuinely seems missing from television these days.)

Writers – Gary Whitta (screenplay) – (Known For: Rogue One; The Book of Eli; BMT: After Earth; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Was an editor of PC Gamer for years.)

M. Night Shyamalan (screenplay) – (Known For: Split; The Sixth Sense; Unbreakable; Signs; The Village; The Visit; Stuart Little; Devil; Wide Awake; Future BMT: Glass; BMT: The Last Airbender; After Earth; The Happening; Lady in the Water; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Last Airbender in 2011; Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Supporting Actor for Lady in the Water in 2007; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for The Happening in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Lady in the Water in 2007; Notes: The Sixth Sense is one of the most recent films that appear on the AFI Top 100.)

Will Smith (story) – (BMT: After Earth; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Created the television show All of Us which is nearly all of his writing credits. This is his only feature film credit. Otherwise he has a single story credit for an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.)

Actors – Jaden Smith – (Known For: The Pursuit of Happyness; The Karate Kid; Skate Kitchen; BMT: After Earth; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Notes: Noted weirdo, and I say that with total affection. He made waves a few years ago with his word-salad ramblings on social media. A rapper who claims he doesn’t see gender … or something like that.)

David Denman – (Known For: Brightburn; Logan Lucky; Power Rangers; 13 Hours; The Replacements; The Gift; Big Fish; Fair Game; Puzzle; The Nines; Smart People; Take; Beneath the Harvest Sky; Future BMT: When a Stranger Calls; Shutter; The Singing Detective; Fanboys; Men, Women & Children; BMT: After Earth; Jobs; Out Cold; Notes: You’d recognize him as Roy from The Office. He went to Juilliard with Alan Tudyk.)

Will Smith – (Known For: Spies in Disguise; Aladdin; Bad Boys; Men in Black; Independence Day; Men in Black 3; I Am Legend; The Pursuit of Happyness; Hitch; Focus; Hancock; I, Robot; Enemy of the State; Concussion; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Ali; Six Degrees of Separation; The Legend of Bagger Vance; Where the Day Takes You; Future BMT: Student of the Year 2; Made in America; Gemini Man; Suicide Squad; Shark Tale; Men in Black II; Bright; Bad Boys II; Collateral Beauty; BMT: After Earth; Wild Wild West; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for After Earth in 2014; Winner for Worst Original Song, and Worst Screen Couple for Wild Wild West in 2000; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for After Earth in 2014; Notes: He is playing Serena and Venus Williams’ father in the upcoming biopic.)

Budget/Gross – $130,000,000 / Domestic: $60,522,097 (Worldwide: $243,611,982)

(Pretty close to doing fine(ish). If the budget was $100 it would be roughly break even. It is … basically Birds of Prey? A bit more expensive to make, and a little less domestic take.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (23/203): After Earth is a dull, ploddingly paced exercise in sentimental sci-fi — and the latest setback for director M. Night Shyamalan’s once-promising career.

(Awwww that’s actually a really sad consensus. Feels filled with resignation, as if there was no other way this film could have been. I suppose in this case Rotten Tomatoes is right. Reviewer Highlight: Mr. Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are producers on “After Earth,” which suggests that there was no one on the production who could really say no to him. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times)

Poster – After Earf (C+)

after_earth

(Real father-son motif there, which is nice and helps me think this was all some tragic mistake and not something that Will Smith orchestrated to embarrass his son. Nice font too. I would have liked more of the blue-green in the color scheme and the construction works for a star vehicle, but doesn’t give any sense of what you are in for. It’s alright.)

Tagline(s) – Danger is real. Fear is a choice. (A-)

(A little on the nose, but works for the film. Particularly before you watch it. It grows on you the more you read it I think. Could have been a little cleverer I think, but that’s about it.)

Keyword – stranded

AfterEarth_stranded

Top 10: Dunkirk (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Kong: Skull Island (2017), The Martian (2015), Constantine (2005), Star Trek Beyond (2016), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Prometheus (2012), Cast Away (2000), Blockers (2018)

Future BMT: 62.4 The Hills Have Eyes II (2007), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 55.0 Coneheads (1993), 42.0 Red Planet (2000), 39.4 The Forsaken (2001), 39.4 Six Days Seven Nights (1998), 31.0 Rugrats Go Wild (2003), 28.9 Flight of the Phoenix (2004), 20.6 Last Man Standing (1996), 20.3 The Amazing Panda Adventure (1995);

BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Jumper (2008), Soldier (1998), After Earth (2013), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

(This seems to go in waves. Which is pretty cool. Perhaps like Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. This keyword is closest to Wasteland, and the idea is that the tastes of generations cycle between the three ideas. Fighting against zombies, exploration through space, and surviving a post-apocalyptic wasteland.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Will Smith is No. 2 billed in After Earth and No. 1 billed in Wild Wild West, which also stars M. Emmet Walsh (No. 5 billed) who is in Christmas with the Kranks (No. 4 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Although not credited on the finished film, co-writer/producer Will Smith was responsible for much of the movie’s direction. While M. Night Shyamalan was primarily in charge of the blocking (composition of shots, placement of the camera) and the visual aspects of the film (color and design), it was Will Smith who personally coached Jaden Smith in his performance and dictated the development of the story and the on-screen action. After both the story and acting were heavily criticized, Shyamalan decided to take the blame.

The original cut was 130 minutes long, and included more backstory on the decline of Earth and the formation of Nova Prime. However, the film was vastly re-edited after performing poorly at test screenings, and any actors playing Nova Primates were either reduced to extras or cut out entirely. The deleted footage will likely never be seen, as M. Night Shyamalan is satisfied with the theatrical cut.

The original idea for the film was a father and son on a camping trip. After the car they are traveling in careens off the road, the son makes his way through the forest to find help for the father. Realizing that the idea had greater potential, producer Will Smith and screenwriter Gary Whitta decided to adapt the basic survival concept into a much larger science-fiction project. (The original sounds better)

Will Smith, who had wanted to work with M. Night Shyamalan for several years but was unable to find a suitable project, personally hired him to direct. This became the first time in twenty years that Shyamalan accepted a project based on someone else’s screenplay, and the first film in Shyamalan’s career where he does not appear on screen.

Producer/co-writer Will Smith envisioned “After Earth” as a multi-platform franchise, including books, graphic novels, and interactive video games, which would all inform on and add to the ideas and concepts already developed in the finished film.

In a 2019 lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Shyamalan publicly disowned his films The Last Airbender (2010) and After Earth (2013), calling them “junk movies.” He added: “I did a couple huge, big-budget CGI movies. There has always been this inexorable pull to join the group; a constant seduction in the form of whatever you want to tally, in the form of money, or safety, ease, not getting criticized. I did these movies, and I rightfully got crushed, because they said, ‘You don’t believe in yourself, you don’t believe in your own voice, and in you don’t believe in your values.’ I felt really lost. It just didn’t work. There’s probably something Darwinian about all this.”

Eisner Award-winning comic writer Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and Robert Greenberger produced a 300-page “bible” covering the history of mankind, from their decision to leave Earth to the events depicted in the finished film. It was intended to serve as a resource for all kinds of ancillary materials in the After Earth (2013) franchise.

When Kristofer Hivju showed up on set, he got into a discussion with the make-up department, who wanted to cut his characteristic long hair and beard. Hivju was against it, and was even supported by Jaden Smith, but eventually lost out. To make matters worse, most of his role was eventually deleted from the final cut.

A series of spin-off novels, sub-titled “Ghost Stories”, have been planned to promote the movie, but are also intended to flesh out the concepts in the film itself. The titles of these books include ‘Innocence’, Peace, ‘Hunted’ and ‘A Perfect Beast.’ All books are written by writers Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and Robert Greenberger, with illustrations by Benito Lobel.

Second time that real-life father and son Will Smith and Jaden Smith play father and son on screen. The first time was in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006).

The film takes place in 3071.

M. Night Shyamalan’s first digital film. The first feature film shot with Sony’s F65 digital camera.

The original screenplay was written by Gary Whitta based on an idea by Will Smith. In pre-production, M. Night Shyamalan did a few drafts of the screenplay to familiarize himself with the material, before passing it over to Stephen Gaghan, who stayed on as the chief screenwriter during production. Mark Boal, writer of The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), also worked on the script.

To promote the movie, Harper Collins and Insight Editions published ‘After Earth: United Ranger Corps Survival Manual’ and ‘After Earth: Kitai’s Journal.’

Kristofer Hivju, Lincoln Lewis, and Isabelle Fuhrman had major supporting roles in the original cut though the majority of their scenes were deleted during post-production (In the theatrical cut Hivju has one scene, Lewis has one line, and only the back of Fuhrman’s head is visible in one shot – though her face can be seen in the trailer).

The word “ursa” is the Latin for “female bear”. The protagonist’s name Kitai is the Russian for “China”.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jaden Smith, 2014)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Will Smith, 2014)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Jaden Smith, Will Smith, 2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (M. Night Shyamalan, 2014)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Gary Whitta, M. Night Shyamalan, Will Smith, 2014)