Epic Movie Preview

My gawwwd! Is that Friedberg and Seltzer’s music? That’s right! We’re taking this Street Credit Report (dot com) cycle and punching ourselves in the face by watching one of the many ridiculously awful spoof films made by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. In this case we decided on Epic Movie because it’s not quite as small as some of the later films (former Obama aide Kal Penn is in it after all). For its street cred it stands at a brutal 2% on RT and #42 on the lowest rated films on imdb. However, it surprisingly wasn’t nominated for a Worst Picture Razzie in 2007, so perhaps it won’t totally destroy our will to live. Sigh. Who am I kidding? The Razzies don’t know shit. God help us and see you on the other side. Let’s go!

Epic Movie (2007) – BMeTric: 95.9 (#42 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(That’s it though, right? That steady sub-3.0. It doesn’t rise up, it didn’t drop down at any point. Ten years ago this came out and people were like “this is trash”. And throughout the years others heard that this movie was awful and they watched it and said “this is trash”. It is why this movie is probably legendary. I mean … legendary in that it will be just brutally unfunny and annoying. But legendary nonetheless.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Four siblings find themselves meandering through lame slapstick parodies of recent epic movies and other obvious pop-culture targets. Typically tedious, unfunny hack job, with an array of cameo appearances including Crispin Glover, who (as a perverted, sadistic Willy Wonka) provides the film with its only moments of admittedly sordid energy. Kevin Hart appears uncredited.

(Secret Kevin Hart film, I like it. We’ve probably technically watched something like six Hart films at this point (although Scary Movie 3 and 4 are not actually recorded in the archive … oops). This will be and sounds like trash. I will watch out for Crispin Glover though, that could be fun.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=SN&feature=plcp&hl=fr&v=AZKIr7r6Op4

(Uggggggh. I remember when this trailer came out. What really does it for me is that the last joke of the entire trailer, where Superman is shot in the eye, is just horrible. It involves an actor I don’t know with such a throwaway garbage joke. The cast is pretty solid ultimately, and they should have kind of just focused on that I think … I don’t know, it looks horrible.)

Directors – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – (BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Best Night Ever; Notes: Even their wikipedia says they make “parody movies that have received extremely unfavorable reviews”! They started directing after years of selling scripts that never got made (upwards of 40 they claim). Friedberg’s father (Rick Friedberg) gave them the in by introducing them to Leslie Nielson when making Bad Golf Made Easier)

Writers – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Spy Hard; Scary Movie 3; Best Night Ever; Notes: Their spec script called Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween was accepted after Spy Hard and reworked into Scary Movie. Sounds like the title to this film, weird that it wasn’t written by these two then.)

Friedberg and Seltzer Razzie Street Cred – Nominated in 2011 for the Razzie Award for Worst Director and Screenplay for Vampires Suck; and in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; in 2008 just for Worst Screenplay for Epic Movie

Actors – Kal Penn – (Known For: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle; Superman Returns; Speech & Debate; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; A Lot Like Love; A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas; The Namesake; BMT: Epic Movie; Son of the Mask; Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; Deck the Halls; Malibu’s Most Wanted; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; The Girl in the Photographs; Man About Town; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; Notes: I remember him first from Van Wilder, and then Harold and Kumar, and finally House. He worked for the Obama administration and now is on the show Designated Survivor as the White House Press Secretary.)

Jennifer Coolidge – (Known For: American Pie; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Legally Blonde; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Zoolander; Robots; American Wedding; Best in Show; Mascots; Bad Lieutenant; Trial and Error; A Mighty Wind; BMT: Epic Movie; Date Movie; Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Pootie Tang; Down to Earth; A Cinderella Story; Igor; A Night at the Roxbury; Click; Austenland; Gentlemen Broncos; Notes: Has been in a few Christopher Guest movies. Otherwise I basically only know her from American Pie where she played Stifler’s Mom, and Legally Blond. An alumnus of The Groundlings.)

Fred Willard – (Known For: Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; WALL·E; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; This Is Spinal Tap; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Monster House; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; American Wedding; Best in Show; Youth in Revolt; Roxanne; Silver Streak; Mascots; Planes: Fire & Rescue; I Could Never Be Your Woman; A Mighty Wind; Waiting for Guffman; BMT: Epic Movie; Date Movie; Fifty Shades of Black; The Wedding Planner; Love Wrecked; Chicken Little; Idle Hands; How High; Movie Madness; Harold; Notes: Again, very notable for his work with Christopher Guest, but also a titan of comedy in general I would say. He was part of The Second City. Makes me think a good cycle would be something like The Second Shitty … amirite? Movies involving The Second City alums.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $39,739,367 (Worldwide: $86,865,564)

(That’s solid. No wonder they’d go on to make two (!) spoof movies in 2008. At the time it must have seemed like they could just print money with these things. This garbage genre is somewhat saturated now though and I think must mainly go to VOD. I guess we’ll see with the next plot.)

#17 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

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(Just below A Haunted House seems okay. Obviously Fifty Shades of Black was the most recent big release. Kind of puts this haul in perspective, Fifty Shades sits at number 48 with only $11 million return, oof. This literally is the start of the genre saturation (as I guessed), and indeed the genre is straight dying. People lament the death of the spoof genre, but its been dead since the 80s. Scary Movie was an aberration. If only more things like Wet Hot American Summer existed, sigh.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/64): A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.

(Yup. Sounds about right. I’ll have to just psych myself into “everything is funny” mode for this. I remember watching InAPPropriate Comedy. This can’t be worse than that. I will survive.)

Poster – Epic Sklog? (U)

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(Ho-ly shit. That’s a U for Unacceptable. I do not accept that this is a poster that someone made for a film released to over a thousand theaters.)

Tagline(s) – We Know It’s Big. We Measured. (What the FFFFFFFFFFFFuuuu…)

(This is worse than the poster! Why are you doing this to us? What did we ever do to you?)

Keyword(s) – orphan; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 93.0 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 86.0 Norbit (2007); 85.5 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.5 The Room (2003); 83.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 81.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 77.9 Superhero Movie (2008); 71.4 The Next Karate Kid (1994);

(Ooooo The Next Karate Kid would be a nice one to do. Finally have an excuse to watch the third one too. I like this list because, I think, all of them nicely fit the keyword which is not always the case. Also, logging a 71.4 BMeTric as the tenth makes the list guaranteed to be amazing.)

Notes – Jayma Mays and Adam Campbell met on the set of the film, and they married in October 2007. (cool)

This film was not screened for critics. (Of course it wasn’t. It would be the biggest upset in film history if they screened this for critics)

The rest of the notes basically just explains all of the things this movie parodies … we get it, Glover impersonated Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

Car 54, Where Are You? Preview

The big question as we head into the comedy entry of the What the ?!&%*# cycle is what punctuation mark we’ll go for next? It’s a question that we’re going to answer with a question. That’s right, we’re watching Car 54, Where Are You? (the crowd boos vociferously as they realize that we’re not watching Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot). Hold on! Sly Stallone flicks are like gold. You don’t throw gold around willy-nilly. Need to save it for when it’s truly needed. Anywho, the most interesting thing about this film is that it was nearly impossible to find. It is not free or rentable on any streaming service and is not available from Netflix DVD. I was lucky enough to find that there was a single copy in the MN Public Library system up in Mountain Iron, MN (real name, real place. Pop. 2886). Once it arrived in the mail I could see that the DVD was absolutely pristine. I might in fact be the only person to ever watch this film. It’s like they ordered it new just for me. Thank you, local public library system. I love you. Let’s go!

Car 54, Where Are You? (1994) – BMeTric: 42.1

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(A classic extreme rating example of these types of plots where despite only having a few thousand votes it still manages an impressive 40+ based solely on its sub-3.0 rating. Kind of cool that you can see the BMeTric go through the inflection. Also like any good street cred BMT film the rating stays solidly low despite increased votes suggesting only bad movie aficionados are watching and reviewing the film at this point.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  This retread of the hilarious 1960s TV show about N.Y.C. cops with a hefty Keystone quotient is a woefully embarrassing assemblage of gags that would bring up the read in Police Academy. O’Donnell (her screen debut), Drescher, and Piven acquit themselves well, under the circumstances. Despite presence of Al Lewis – reprising his Schnauzer role from the original Nat Hiken series – this turkey sat on the shelf after completion in 1991.

(Not a BOMB! Not a BOMB! Not a BOMB! And oh wow, I forgot this is a rare example of very delayed wide release films. Leonard tips his hand a bit that he is an old man by doting on the original. I’ve seen clips and it is funny I suppose, but I wouldn’t laugh out loud as you would imagine. This should be an experience though. Makes me truly wonder where the half star comes from … from the actors who acquit themselves well I suppose.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh2_IWz50jM

(From the people who didn’t bring you Lethal Weapon?… that film came out seven years before this one. Weird. Otherwise this just looks like a cheap comedy almost in the same vein as Weekend at Bernies. Looks boring.)

Directors – Bill Fishman – (Known For: Tapeheads; My Dinner with Jimi; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: Mainly a music video director this was a rare foray into features. His videography is impressive, and it isn’t too surprising he was chosen considering the movie was apparently initially supposed to be a musical (see notes below).)

Writers – Nat Hiken (television series) – (BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Sgt. Bilko; Notes: He died in 1968 so years before two of his shows (Car 54 and the Phil Silvers Show which became Sgt. Bilko) became movies. Well known as a songwriter as well.)

Erik Tarloff (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Cheetah; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes:  Chiefly a television writer in the 70s and 80s this marked the end of his Hollywood writing career. He is married to Laura Tyson who was chief economic advisor to the Clinton Administration, and his brother-in-law is Alan D’Andrea a cancer researcher at Harvard Medical School.)

Ebbe Roe Smith (screenplay) – (Known For: Falling Down; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: He wrote Falling Down solo which is kind of nuts. Mostly an actor all the way up to today where he’ll appear on occasion on Portlandia as characters such as Swinger Husband.)

Peter McCarthy (screenplay) – (Known For: Tapeheads; Floundering; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: Not much on him. On variety his news is dominated by his directoral debut Floundering which was released to some acclaim at Sundance with a cast including John Cusack, Ethan Hawke, and Jeremy Piven)

Peter Crabbe (screenplay) – (BMT: McHale’s Navy; Car 54, Where Are You?; Notes: Almost nothing to say about this guy beyond that it appears he parlayed his involvement in this film into another 60s television adaptation McHale’s Navy, so congrats to him for that.)

Actors – David Johansen – (Known For: Married to the Mob; Scrooged; A Very Murray Christmas; Cats Don’t Dance; Glass Chin; Naked in New York; The Tic Code; Candy Mountain; BMT: Mr. Nanny; Car 54, Where Are You?; Freejack; 200 Cigarettes; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Notes: Started the bands New York Dolls and David Johansen Group in addition to touring under as the character Buster Poindexter producing a total of twelve albums across the three acts. He appeared on SNL six times as Buster Poindexter, and has a surprisingly extensive acting career considering he’s first and foremost a singer.)

John C. McGinley – (Known For: The Belko Experiment; Se7en; The Rock; Platoon; Point Break; Office Space; Identity; 42; Any Given Sunday; Wall Street; Born on the Fourth of July; World Trade Center; Set It Off; Nixon; Kid Cannabis; Shadow Makers; Talk Radio; Mother’s Boys; A Midnight Clear; The Discoverers; Mother; Shakedown; Article 99; Sweet Liberty; Crazy as Hell; Johns; BMT: Highlander II: The Quickening (BMT); The Animal; Are We Done Yet? (BMT); On Deadly Ground (BMT); Alex Cross (BMT); Get Carter (BMT); Summer Catch; Stealing Harvard; Car 54, Where Are You?; Get a Job; Wagons East; Wild Hogs (BMT); Three to Tango; Surviving the Game; Hear No Evil; Nothing to Lose; Truth or Consequences, N.M.; Notes: Our seventh McGinley film and we could easily get to ten if we wanted to by adding The Animal, Wagons East!, and Summer Catch. He was on the celebrity version of American Gladiators in 1994.)

Fran Drescher – (Known For: This Is Spinal Tap; Hotel Transylvania; Hotel Transylvania 2; Saturday Night Fever; Ragtime; UHF; Cadillac Man; Doctor Detroit; The Big Picture; BMT: Car 54, Where Are You?; Jack; The Beautician and the Beast; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Actress for The Beautician and the Beast. Well known for her distinctive voice. I knew her best as Pamela Finklestein from UHF growing up. But her work on TV’s The Nanny is probably her claim to fame.)

Budget/Gross – $10.7 million / Domestic: $1,238,080 (N/A)

(Obviously brutal, but what else would you imagine considering this is a film based on a 60’s television show, it was shelved for three years, and by all accounts was cut to shit. For the number of theaters it was released to (over 600) this is also a ridiculously low number. $2K per theater is just insane.)

#85 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(I feel like I shouldn’t be, and yet I am surprised by how many films are based on television shows these days and how successful they are. Probably in no small part due to things like Star Trek. This was on the leading edge of a boom that then settled into a more consistent value overall, and is literally the lowest grossing wide release on the list.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/16): No consensus yet.

(Obviously of special note because it is one of maybe 70 films with 15+ reviews and 0% on rotten tomatoes. I shall make a consensus: Simply not funny and only of note as an example of a truly terrible film. As one reviewer said: If you paid money to see this you are stupid. Coooooold Bloooooooded.)

Poster – Sklog 54, Where Are You? (C+)

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(This also seems very 80’s… like the Meatballs poster or something. OK blue and yellow color. OK font. Interesting sketch style. Ultimately too busy to really get a great grade, but not bad.)

Tagline(s) – An Arresting Comedy (D)

(Cliche pun alert. This is more suitable for a review of the film by a time-strapped and not very creative film critic. Nothing more to say. It’s not worth the effort as they clearly didn’t expend any.)

Keyword(s) – number in title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.9 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 87.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 84.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 83.7 Fantastic Four (2015); 81.1 Movie 43 (2013); 78.6 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 77.4 RoboCop 3 (1993); 76.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 76.0 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991); 74.4 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959);

(We’ve done a few of these, although that isn’t surprising considering something on the order of 5000 films on IMDb have this tag (so basically it has to be real bad to get on the list in the first place). You might be saying “hey wait a minute, Battlefield Earth doesn’t have a number in the title. Bullshit”. But it is also known as Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 which is the title of the book. I wouldn’t necessarily call that official though.)

Notes – John C. McGinley worked on this film and Article 99 (1992) at the same time. He would work on this film Monday to Wednesday and the other film Thursday to Friday. (That seems like it suggested that one or both films were going to be terrible …)

Al Lewis and Nipsey Russell were in the original Car 54, Where Are You? (1961) TV series, playing Officer Leo Schnauser and Officer Dave Anderson, respectively. Here they play the same characters years older, as if this film were a sequel to the original series, rather than the updated and (otherwise) recast remake that it is. (As if the film was a sequel. What a weird choice).

According to a recent interview with John C. McGinley (AV Club’s Random Roles- April 2013), the film was original shot as a musical with full musical numbers. After editing, only two musical numbers remained. McGinley was unsure of why specifically the numbers were cut or by whom, but McGinley mused that he found the film in its’ present form an incoherent mess. (wait …. What? Wait wait wait. This movie is a musical. Wait … what?)

During Gunther Toody’s dream sequence he is wearing the same uniform that was worn by his character in the original show. (fun. fact.)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Rosie O’Donnell)

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 Preview

With the first BMT Live! of the year behind us, we continue onto the Razzies entry of the Squeakuels cycle… or I should say what was the Razzies entry. That’s right. Minor shake-up for 2017 is that this entry in the cycle is now the Challenges entry. This still includes Razzies as we continue to try to cover as many nominees as possible, but it also includes any BMT challenges we may come up with. For the moment that is just the Calendar, but the Periodic Table of Smellements and a world mapl.de.map would also fall into the cycle once we officially put them on the website. So without further ado we start this new entry off with a couple of films that are both on the Calendar. Give it up for the worst reviewed film series in history and the only set of films to both appear on the IMDb Bottom 100. That’s right, we are subjecting ourselves to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Lord help up. Let’s go!

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004) – BMeTric: 76.1 (#3 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(Interestingly has more IMDb votes than its predecessor (if you are going to bother voting why not for both? Or do you think *gasp* … they didn’t watch the original before the sequel?!). Below 2.0 is obviously incredible, it is the reason this film is an insane #3 on the bottom 100 list! The lowest we had gone before was #15 with From Justin to Kelly. The Baby Geniuses Franchise will represent our 10th and 11th movies on the list, and unfortunately we’d be hard pressed to find nine qualifying movies to make that a cycle. Maybe we’ll try … but probably not.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sequel to Baby Geniuses casts Voight as a media mogul out to brainwash children via a tot-aimed TV network. He wants to use them to take over the world, but a band of tykes catches on and sets out to stop him. Gimmick has kids speaking to each other, thanks to creepy computer generated lip movement. Crude humor makes this not just bad but insulting.

(Whoop their ass Leonard! Seriously, I do think this is a strong contender for the worst franchise in history. Leonard is pretty conservative about BOMB ratings and both earned it, the movies have one good review out of 89! I even think both will have their own flavor of terrible. In the first I think it will be that it will just look shoddily made with the old school peanut-butter-esque mouth movements, where this, as I expected, uses the creepy CGI mouths now. This must have been pioneering in that respect, but in the last ten years it has become easy and cheap enough to do in even the worst direct-to-VOD sequels. Things like Santa Paws 2.)

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

(Oh …. Oh my God. Voight has a German accent and appears to be wearing a very Nazi-esque uniform at one point. I was very skeptical of the IMDb note claiming he based the character off Mengele, but … I mean, it certainly is a lot more possible than I initially thought! The CGI looks hilariously terrible, I might actually find this movie kind of interesting to watch. Like, how does this happen? How do you even go about directing a film like this?)

Directors – Bob Clark – (Known For: A Christmas Story; Black Christmas; Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; Murder by Decree; Dead of Night; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Rhinestone; Porky’s II: The Next Day; Loose Cannons; Porky’s; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Director for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1985 for Rhinestone; Directed Black Christmas which is widely considered one of the first films in the slasher genre.)

Writers – Steven Paul (story) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Baby Geniuses; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; … He’s the manager for Bob Clark and Jon Voight which explains the cast and crew I suppose. In 1979 he was reported as the world’s youngest ever film producer at 20 years old.)

Gregory Poppen (screenplay) – (BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Screenplay for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Wrote an incredible number of Awards shows including seven straight ESPYs from 2002 to 2009.)

Actors – Jon Voight – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Heat; Transformers; Tropic Thunder; Varsity Blues; Deliverance; U Turn; Mission: Impossible; National Treasure; Zoolander; Holes; The Manchurian Candidate; Enemy of the State; Midnight Cowboy; The Rainmaker; Ali; Rosewood; Glory Road; Catch-22; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Anaconda; Bratz; Getaway; An American Carol; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Four Christmases; Pearl Harbor; Most Wanted; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; September Dawn; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1998 for Worst Actor and Screen Couple for Anaconda; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Supporting Actor for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn, and Transformers; And in 2005 for for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; And in 1998 for Most Wanted, and U Turn; Father of Angelina Jolie, although they were estranged for years apparently. Is devoutly religious and a well known conservative (which explains An American Carol at least …))

Scott Baio – (Known For: Bugsy Malone; Foxes; The Bread, My Sweet; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Cursed; Zapped!; Notes: In 1997 he was rumored to have died in a car accident. Not only had he not died, he hadn’t been in an accident in the first place and it is unknown how the rumor got started. More well known for his television work in Charles in Charge, Happy Days (and the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi), and Arrested Development.)

Vanessa Angel – (Known For: Kingpin; King of New York; Bread and Roses; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Hall Pass; The Perfect Score; Kissing a Fool; Spies Like Us; Sleep with Me; Notes: I will always remember her as the computer generated Lisa from the Weird Science television series, a staple of the Sklogs’ childhood.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $9,219,388 (Worldwide: $9,448,644)

(An absolute disaster. The budget is probably a bit inflated, because I don’t really see why it would get a $20 million dollar budget and cast Baio in a major role. I suppose they were hoping to slightly increase the $36 million take of the original?)

#105 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

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(Oooof, on the second page with Caddyshack II and Teen Wolf Too! Of the films below it I could see us eventually doing Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Mannequin Two: On the Move, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Rise of Taj, Meatballs II, and Teen Wolf Too eventually. A veritable bounty awaits. Naturally this came during the BMT gold rush from 2000-2010, the Golden Decade as I just started calling it. It would all come a-tumbling down presumably due to Hollywood’s hubris, but we have been on the rise again. A boy can dream …)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/45): A startling lack of taste pervades Superbabies, a sequel offering further proof that bad jokes still aren’t funny when coming from the mouths of babes.

(Noice. Always solid to hit up a 0%-er on rotten tomatoes. There are only 16 films with 25+ reviews on rotten tomatoes and the perfect(ly terrible) score. See here. Sorting by the number of reviews this is fifth on the list and with One Missed Call and a rewatch of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever we’d have the top five there done. A sadly sparse list as far as qualifiers are concerned, but there are some future gems like Redline. This is the 12th film we’ve seen from that list (I think … the list is pretty long so I just skimmed it).)

Poster – Superbabies: Baby Sklogses 2 (D-) 

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(Wow, lot to unpack with this one… this is horrendously bad. Even with good spacing, unique font, and a blue tone to the whole film I cannot help but puke all over myself when looking at this travesty. Are those drone helicopters in the corners? Is there a bouncy ball-human hybrid? What are the ghostly objects in the background? I hate this. [EDITOR NOTE: By the way, having watched the movie, these are all random babies, they aren’t the four main characters of the film … what the fuck baby geniuses?])

Tagline(s) – Meet the new generation of superheroes (A-)

Don’t drive, crawl! (Ugh.)

(It’s almost incredible to say, but that first tagline is nearly perfect. It’s a play on the dual meaning of “new” to give a hint at the premise of the film. It’s also just short enough. Some small tweaks and we might have had an A+ on our hands. The second one makes me sad.)

Keyword(s) – science experiment; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 38.6 Allegiant (2016); 35.8 Splice (2009); 35.8 Cutting Class (1989); 28.3 Gekijô-ban poketto monsutâ – Myûtsû no gyakushû (1998); 28.0 Morgan (2016); 20.1 The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971); 15.8 The Experiment (2010); 15.7 The Last Mimzy (2007); 15.3 The Killer Eye (1999);

(We’ve seen none! Morgan looked like trash, I saw the trailer for that before Keeping Up With the Joneses in October. I actually don’t think we are going to get to any of the others. Just not very many good-bad science experiment bases films I guess.)

Notes – Jon Voight reportedly based the role of Kane on descriptions of Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor that performed grotesque experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. (Alright well … initially I had a kind of condemning note here angry at IMDb for not purging what appeared to be a clearly false note made by some jokester. But having now watched the trailer this seems, uh, slightly more plausible. May God have mercy on our souls.)

Last film directed by Bob Clark. He died in a car accident in April 2007. (Pretty sad story if you bother to look it up, … glad we’re ending on that note, anyone ready for a kids film?)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Bob Clark)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Steven Paul, Gregory Poppen)

Battlefield Earth Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the last in the series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies (coming soon!). A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Battlefield Earth (2000) – BMeTric: 87.7

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(The. Consistency. Maybe the number one reason this Hall of Fame has been a resounding success for BMT is seeing this trend come to life. A film gaining tens of thousands of votes and the rating not moving an inch? Incredible. Think about it, a three on IMDb would raise the rating. The people who watch this film and rate it on IMDb pretty much give it a one every time. Ridiculous. Naturally one of the highest BMeTrics ever, and for a reason. )

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Psychlos (business-minded aliens) conquered Earth a century ago; what remains of humanity are slaves or ignorant savages. Gold-greedy Psychlo security chief Travolta educates bright human Pepper, hoping “man animals” can mine the metal for him. Big mistake … So is the movie, based on the novel by L. Ron Hubbard. Clumsy plot, misplaced satire, unbelievable coincidences and a leaden pace trample Travolta’s weird but amusing performance.

(Is he wrong about the year? They conquered Earth a thousand years ago (it is the saga of the year 3000 after all). I love weird by amusing performances, and yeah, this is a bomb. Strange the direction isn’t mentioned in the long list of issues with the film.)

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

(Short and sweet is what that always say I guess. It just teases the insanity that is Travolta’s performance. Just a taste. And the CGI looks straight garbage in this as well, so it has that going for it)

Directors – Roger Christian – (Known For: Nostradamus; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Stranded; Masterminds; Notes:  Prominent art director having won an Oscar for his work on Star Wars and nominated for his work on Alien. Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Director for Battlefield Earth. I nearly had a heart attack seeing that he directed a film called “Masterminds” and mistaking it for the 2016 release of the same name. Thought he was back with a major release.)

Writers – Corey Mandell (screenplay) – (BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screenplay for Battlefield Earth; He works at UCLA now, you can see the cred on his website http://coreymandell.net/. Given Shapiro’s story about production it is basically a guarantee that he is a scientologist and chosen for the project merely because we went to a meeting and mentioned he was a playwright to … someone. Anyone really as far as I can tell.)

J.D. Shapiro (screenplay) – (Known For: Robin Hood: Men in Tights; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screenplay for Battlefield Earth; This movie basically ended his career. He wrote an open letter to the NY Post explaining how he got involved … it was basically that he went to a Scientologist meeting to meet girls, and wrote a pitch when they found out he was a screenwriter. And that basically Travolta ruined the entire thing. Sounds like a nightmare experience for everyone.)

Ron Hubbard (novel) – (BMT: Battlefield Earth; Notes: At one point I checked his bibliography to see if there was any chance his filmography would grow … uh, naw. He has 235 pieces of fiction published, but only two would be what I would call “modern”. One is Battlefield Earth. The other is Mission Earth, a 10 novel epic which was …. Not well received and was almost entirely published after his death. Probably most well known for producing the first soundtrack for a novel (Space Jazz for Battlefield Earth) … wait, that can’t be right. Oh yeah, he also founded Scientology I guess.)

Actors – John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Carrie; Savages; In a Valley of Violence; Bolt; Face/Off; Hairspray; The Thin Red Line; Saturday Night Fever; Get Shorty; Criminal Activities; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Urban Cowboy; Look Who’s Talking; Broken Arrow; Primary Colors; Blow Out; Phenomenon; Ladder 49; Lonely Hearts; A Love Song for Bobby Long; A Civil Action; BMT: Battlefield Earth (BMT); Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now; Staying Alive; Old Dogs (BMT); Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Domestic Disturbance; Be Cool (BMT); Perfect; Michael; Wild Hogs (BMT); Two of a Kind; I Am Wrath; White Man’s Burden; The Devil’s Rain; The Forger; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Swordfish (BMT); The Punisher (BMT); From Paris with Love; Basic; Notes: See below for Razzie info; What more is there to say? We’ve seen him in six BMT movies, and he has a borderline case of Liottaitis more commonly known as you-look-like-you-are-wearing-a-mask-of-yourself disease. Tarantino resurrected his career with Pulp Fiction and this movie kind of took it all away. Although he has gotten steady work including in the O.J. Simpson show.)

Travolta Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; and for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 and 2010 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for Old Dogs; in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish; in 1986 for Perfect; and in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout;

Nominated for the Razzie Award Forest Whitaker – (Known For: Arrival; Southpaw; Out of the Furnace; Dope; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Platoon; The Butler; Panic Room; The Last Stand; Phone Booth; The Last King of Scotland; Where the Wild Things Are; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Great Debaters; The Crying Game; The Color of Money; Vision Quest; Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai; Mr. Holland’s Opus; Phenomenon; Stakeout; Bird; Ernest & Celestine; Body Snatchers; BMT: Battlefield Earth; First Daughter; Ready to Wear; Our Family Wedding; Species; Taken 3; A Dark Truth; Repentance; Consenting Adults; Repo Men; Blown Away; Even Money; Powder Blue; A Little Trip to Heaven; Vantage Point; Light It Up; American Gun; Street Kings; Bloodsport; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth; He has a black belt in kenpo studying under a student of the late Bruce Lee. His noticeable eye condition is hereditary, and he’s considered having it corrected because it affects his vision. I wonder if it would affect his career. I would hope not.)

Barry Pepper – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; True Grit; The Green Mile; The Scorch Trials; We Were Soldiers; Kill the Messenger; 25th Hour; Snitch; Enemy of the State; Flags of Our Fathers; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada; Like Dandelion Dust; The Snow Walker; BMT: Battlefield Earth (BMT); Firestorm (BMT); Broken City; Knockaround Guys; Casino Jack; The Lone Ranger (BMT); Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Supporting Actor for Battlefield Earth; No joke I would have guessed he was in something like six BMT films. The fact that he’s been in three is kind of shocking, his filmography is actually quite good. His early life is kind of crazy. He was born to a Canadian lumberjack and his entire family set sail in the South Pacific when he was a kid. Without entertainment the family would perform sketches and that’s how he became an actor … what?)

Budget/Gross – $73 million / Domestic: $21,471,685 (Worldwide: $29,725,663)

(Yep a complete disaster. In Going Clear I believe they mentioned the movie in some capacity, but $73 million for what was widely considered an unfilmable (and pretty terrible) Sci Fi novel starring Travolta. I mean on paper is seemed … we it seemed terrible. I don’t know what they were expecting really.)

#30 for the Controversy genre

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(I like that controversial films haven’t really been isolated to a particular time period. The list is pretty fun because it tells you why it is controversial. This one is controversial because of “Scientology”. The most recent one was the Interview. Again, cool list, boring plot.)

#76 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

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(Arrived at a peak of this genre. At down below Babylon A.D. and right above smash hit Cocoon the Return. Yeesh. Now that is a sequel we could have done. That giant peak? Star Trek, Star Wars, The Martian, Jurassic World. Crazy huge right now, and with Star Wars possibly forevermore.)

#37 for the Sci-Fi – Alien Invasion genre

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(We watched 5th Wave and Independence Day Resurgence recently in this genre. Right down near The Darkest Hour, which is pretty dire. That nadir of cash per theater is hilarious in this context. Transformers and a few others represent that big peak, so not too surprising the grenre collapsed a bit more recently.)

#43 for the Sci-Fi – Based on Book genre

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(5th Wave and Deadly Friend was watched in the last year. This is down near the Iron Giant (oof, also a famous box office bomb). Hunger Game and Divergent mainly are the big peak, but that is definitely waning. It was fueled by YA novels, and those have dried up since a few of the series just went down the toilet. 5th Wave in particular exemplifies this failure.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (4/148): Ugly, campy, and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly.

(sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. IGN gave one of the good reviews. My highlight: “Let me start out by saying that I read the book long before the movie came out and I enjoyed it.” Oooof, I’m so sorry. Because I straight up could not get through that book. The only Top Critic reviews was from the San Francisco Chronicle with this nice insight: “Travolta, who is the producer as well as star, had wanted to make a movie of Hubbard’s book for at least 15 years. There was only one catch: His career was in the tank. But since “Pulp Fiction” jump-started his professional life in 1994 and he followed up with a string of hits, including “Get Shorty,” “Face/Off” and “The General’s Daughter,” he has the leverage to bring this movie off.” Yup, and it promptly put his career back in the tank. No joke, his only super profitable live-action role after this was Wild Hogs.)

Poster – Battlefield Sklog (C-)

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(I kind of like the color (for all its washed out blues), but man does that look cheap. And it is like a love story to Travolta with it basically being his giant face. The book’s cover:

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is kind of hilariously throw back, and I kind of wish something like that with Barry Pepper could have been produced. Would have been a good nod.)

Tagline(s) – Prepare For Battle (B)

(Kind of like it. It gives a good indication of the movie once combined with the poster. Aliens have or will invade. Earth is the battlefield. Prepare for the battle [you will watch]. It isn’t super great, short and nothing special. But not terrible.)

Keyword(s) – bad acting; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 78.7 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 78.1 The Room (2003); 75.7 Dungeons & Dragons (2000); 75.6 Troll 2 (1990); 74.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 74.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 57.9 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 57.0 Hobgoblins (1988); 55.1 Spawn (1997);

(SPAWN. That is just a ridiculous movie to end up on this particular list. All the others are basically legends in their own rights, but Spawn? How odd. Maybe people revile Johnny Legs as the Clown even more than I remember? I feel like that is a movie we need to watch.)

Notes – Forest Whitaker expressed his regret for participating in this movie. (Well I will express my regret for watching this film … twice)

The film’s cinematographer has gone on record as saying that the overuse of colour filters and Dutch Angles wasn’t his idea, and that he was given the smallest lighting budget he had ever worked with. (ha! Duuuuuuutch angles. Right there, can’t wait already)

Barry Pepper said that had he known he was going to win Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzies, he would have shown up to accept his award in person. (He should have known. Maybe he thought Whitaker had it in the bag though?)

The investor, Intertainment, sued producer Franchise Pictures for fraud. Franchise claimed the budget was $75 million instead of the actual budget of $44 million. Franchise Pictures were sentenced to pay Intertainment $121.7 million in damages and went bankrupt. Intertainment only financed the film because it came as a package deal with The Art of War (2000) and The Whole Nine Yards (2000). (Wowzers, makes a bit of sense. Incredible story. I thought maybe Franchise was a Scientology thing, but naw. Legit action film company and they didn’t go bankrupt until maybe five years after Battlefield Earth came out too. A Sound of Thunder was a film that ended up having to be release with half complete CGI because Franchise went bankrupt. I won’t bore you with all of the BMT films they made, but the list is looooooong.)

The original plans called for a sequel to be produced, which would be based on second half of the novel by L. Ron Hubbard. These plans were scrapped due to the poor critical and public reaction to this film. (Second half?! This film is based on no more than 30% of the book. So that is bullshit. Although, then again, from about 30-50% the book is a complete waste of time)

John Travolta referred to this film as “like Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) but better” and “the Schindler’s List (1993) of science fiction films” during publicity. (ugh, was he on drugs?)

Listed among the Top Ten Best Bad Films ever made in “The Official Razzie Movie Guide”, by Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson. (Fair probably)

John Travolta initially offered the director’s seat to Quentin Tarantino, who declined. (Who didn’t return his call perhaps)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst ‘Drama’ of Our First 25 Years

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (John Travolta)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Barry Pepper)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roger Christian)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Corey Mandell, J.D. Shapiro)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Forest Whitaker)

Norbit Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the fourth in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Norbit (2007) – BMeTric: 81.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#11 for the Comedy – Fat Suit genre

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

#29 for the Romantic Comedy genre

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

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

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

Poster – Bore-it … get it? (C+)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Eddie Murphy)

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

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

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

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

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

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

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

The Wicker Man Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the second in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

The Wicker Man (2006) – BMeTric: 83.4

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(I feel like the Rating plot is pretty interesting. While the number of votes has been increasing steadily you’d usually expect the rating to increase over time (merely regression to the mean, most people would usually not have a particularly strong opinion about The Wicker Man). But this doesn’t, it has been around 3.6 (incredibly low) for years. Perhaps that is what it means to be a “cult bad movie” though? A movie that people who do have strong opinions about movies purposefully seek out and give a 1 on IMDb to. It wouldn’t be surprising honestly. Note that Old Dogs, which is not a cult bad movie, is rated much higher and probably does have a bit of regression to the mean happening, so it is plausible. The BMeTric is also impressively high.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – Cop travels to an isolated island after receiving word from his ex that her child has disappeared and finds the place populated by a quietly tyrannical cult of women. Interesting (if misogynistic) reimagining of the 1973 film’s concept is poorly executed: a mysterious, building dread has been replaced with the obvious presence of evil that the hero is too dumb to figure out. Cage is sometimes hilariously hammy; only Burstyn, chillingly warm and civilized as the cult’s leader, emerges unscathed. LaBute adapted Anthony Shaffer’s original screenplay.

(Cage is sometimes hilariously hammy? Uhhhhh… watch the film again Leonard. Should just be called Hilariously Hammy Cage.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8tHgGncPA0

(They don’t make them like they used to. They actually did a pretty good job of putting together even the most hilarious parts of the film into a competent trailer. Unfortunately they still made it look like a Y2K era horror film. In other words, not good.)

Directors – Neil LaBute – (Known For: Death at a Funeral; Lakeview Terrace; The Shape of Things; Possession; Some Velvet Morning; Nurse Betty; In the Company of Men; Your Friends & Neighbors; Stars in Shorts; BMT: The Wicker Man; Dirty Weekend; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Screenplay for The Wicker Man, and Anthony Shaffer. Accomplished playwright as well. Created, directed, and wrote a TV series last year called Billy & Billie… maybe I should check it out.)

Writers – Neil LaBute (screenplay) (as Neil Labute) – (Known For: The Shape of Things; Some Girl(s); Possession; Some Velvet Morning; In the Company of Men; Your Friends & Neighbors; Stars in Shorts; BMT: The Wicker Man; Dirty Weekend; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2007 for Worst Screenplay for The Wicker Man, and Anthony Shaffer. My favorite part of his IMDb bio that it opens with, “Acclaimed and highly discussed filmmaker Neil LaBute[…]” Heh, highly discussed.)

Anthony Shaffer (1973 screenplay) – (Known For: Death on the Nile; The Wicker Man; Sommersby; Evil Under the Sun; Frenzy; Sleuth; BMT: The Wicker Man; Sleuth; Notes: Writer of the original. Died in 2001 at age 75 from a heart attack. Identical twin brother (what, what!) of Peter Schaffer, who wrote the play and film adaptations for Amadeus.)

Actors – Nicolas Cage – (Known For: Snowden; The Family Man; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; The Croods; Dog Eat Dog; Kick-Ass; National Treasure; The Rock; The Trust; Con Air; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Face/Off; Grindhouse; Lord of War; Drive Angry; Moonstruck; Leaving Las Vegas; Matchstick Men; Adaptation.; Raising Arizona; The Frozen Ground; Wild at Heart; Joe; City of Angels; Rumble Fish; Peggy Sue Got Married; Valley Girl; Bringing Out the Dead; Astro Boy; Snake Eyes; The Weather Man; World Trade Center; Bad Lieutenant; Birdy; The Cotton Club; Vampire’s Kiss; BMT: The Wicker Man; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Left Behind; Ghost Rider; G-Force; Tokarev; Season of the Witch; Outcast; Trespass; Dying of the Light; Bangkok Dangerous; Stolen; Pay the Ghost; Wings of the Apache; The Runner; Zandalee; Deadfall; Amos & Andrew; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Windtalkers; Knowing; Next; Army of One; Trapped in Paradise; Justice; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; Sonny; Gone in Sixty Seconds; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; 8MM; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2015 for Worst Actor for Left Behind, in 2013 for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Seeking Justice, in 2012 for Worst Actor for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass, in 2008 for Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Next, and in 2007 for The Wicker Man; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2012 for Worst Screen Couple for Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Trespass, and in 2007 for The Wicker Man. How doesn’t he win one of those awards? Whatever. Not much more needed to say about our main man Nic Cage. Apparently up to play Reagan in an upcoming film. I say do it, bro. Do it.)

Ellen Burstyn – (Known For: Interstellar; Requiem for a Dream; The Age of Adaline; The Exorcist; Red Dragon; The Fountain; Wiener-Dog; Draft Day; Omoide no Mânî; When a Man Loves a Woman; W.; The Last Picture Show; The Calling; Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; The Baby-Sitters Club; How to Make an American Quilt; Playing by Heart; The Yards; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Lovely, Still; Another Happy Day; Same Time, Next Year; BMT: The Wicker Man; Main Street; Dying Young; Notes: Nominated for six Oscars, winning one for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Is the reason why Emmy nominations require an actor to appear in at least 5% of a project to be eligible after she was nominated for appearing in a TV Movie Mrs. Harris for a grand total of 14 seconds due to name recognition.)

Leelee Sobieski – (Known For: Eyes Wide Shut; Public Enemies; Deep Impact; Never Been Kissed; Roadkill; Max; My First Mister; Walk All Over Me; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; BMT: The Wicker Man; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Jungle 2 Jungle; Branded; Here on Earth; 88 Minutes; The Glass House; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2009 for Worst Supporting Actress for 88 Minutes, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. From what I understand she’s essentially retired from acting to raise her children and has no intention of returning. Noooooooooooooooooooo!)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $23,649,127 (Worldwide: $38,755,073)

(That is rough. But perhaps this was all part of the brilliant black comedy homage to the original, which also didn’t fair well in the theaters. Yeah, that’s the ticket. People only think it did poorly at the box office. In reality LaBute and Cage are geniuses that purposefully made sure it failed to properly honor the original.)

#40 for the Horror Remake genre

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(Right at the peak, classic BMT. It is kind of amazing, you can see that they made a few (probably the good ones) and that kicked off the 2005-2010 gold rush. I’m surprised the genre collapsed considering it pulled in decent cash ($12K per theater for 2000 theater is $24 million, more than enough considering horror films tend towards low budget). My guess? They ran out of remakes to make. Maybe in like 20 years it’ll change again when the remake to The Conjuring and Annabelle are thrown out there.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (16/106): Puzzlingly misguided, Neil LaBute’s update The Wicker Man struggles against unintentional comedy and fails.

(This matches my perception of the film, which is that if you replace Nic Cage with Patrick Wilson, or someone equally white and innocuous, you have a reasonably creepy film that is forgotten at this point. The only thing actually puzzling about The Wicker Man is Nic Cage single handedly tearing it apart.)

Poster – The Wicker Sklog (B+)

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(I’m actually feeling this poster. I don’t love how prominent the picture of the little girl is on the poster, but everything else is well done and artistic.)

Tagline(s) – Some Sacrifices Must Be Made (B)

(Oh ho ho ho… get it? Sacrifices!… He’s being sacrificed in a giant wicker man. Nailed it! This is actually pretty clever, but doesn’t really take enough from the plot to get my full-throated support. The more I think about it, the more I don’t like it, so I better just go ahead and grade it.)

Keyword(s) – feminism; Top Ten by BMeTric: 83.4 The Wicker Man (2006); 52.5 Ghostbusters (2016); 44.7 Le divorce (2003); 43.1 The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962); 43.0 In the Cut (2003); 37.9 The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004); 34.8 G.I. Jane (1997); 29.3 The Single Moms Club (2014); 28.4 The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986); 27.8 Girls Against Boys (2012);

(Ha! Somehow I knew Ghostbusters would make an appearance. That BMeTric is an embarrassment and tells you loads about IMDb and its users, but whatever. We almost watched The Clan of the Cave Bear as a 1986 film adapted from a book, but I didn’t like the idea of reading a historical fiction book that probably had little to do with the eventual movie.)

Notes – There is a “Missing” sign in the police station with a photo of Edward Woodward’s character from The Wicker Man (1973). (Super fun fact!)

Robin Hardy, a writer and the director of the original film, and Christopher Lee, who played Summerisle in the original film, were both critical of the remake. Hardy had his name removed from the film’s credits as he did not wish to be associated with it.

Not screened for critics. (I did wonder whether they knew just how bad it was when they released it. These two notes answer that question.)

The film is dedicated to late musician Johnny Ramone, who introduced Nicolas Cage to Robin Hardy’s original The Wicker Man (1973). (These notes are insane)

Nicolas Cage objected to the criticism that the film was unintentionally funny, saying that he and Neil LaBute knowingly made the picture an absurdist black comedy and that it should have been seen and judged as such. (I do not believe this, mostly because it’s all well and good to make an intentionally bad film for laughs, but I doubt LaBute would use a remake of the cult classic The Wicker Man to do that.)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Nicolas Cage)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Nicolas Cage)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Neil LaBute, Anthony Shaffer)

(Oddly underappreciated at the time by the Razzies. Lost every category to either Basic Instinct 2 or Little Man. While that isn’t totally ridiculous, The Wicker Man is clearly now the most celebrated film of the three)

Old Dogs Preview

A small note prior to this post: Last July we decided to take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie. This is the first in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Old Dogs (2009) – BMeTric: 44.4

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(That is a giant and sustained jump. Some may be surprised that a sub-50 BMeTric film would make it to the hall of fame (oh, only me?), but I would guess it being someone anonymous in bad movie circles lends itself to a slightly deflated vote count. Otherwise everything is pretty mundane by the looks of it, nothing to interesting here.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Hoped-for sparks from a teaming Travolta and Williams never materialize as the pair play business partners whose big Japanese deal is disrupted when they unexpectedly inherit 7-year-old twins. The stars seem to be having a better time than the audience. Only the youngest kids are going to find this slapstick material (including Green’s antics with a lovesick gorilla) very funny. Notable only as the debut for Travolta’s daughter Ella Bleu and Mac’s final film appearance.

(Two stars?! This is the kind of harmless nothing movie Leonard wouldn’t mind. I still don’t quite understand two stars though, the movie is basically incomprehensible and terrible. How does that get two stars?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhY8AP806tU

(My God, this movie doesn’t have a storyline! How incredibly cut up and weird that is. Of course they appear to have a 20 minute foray into a camp filled with caricatures, otherwise, how in the world would they punch up the script?)

Directors – Walt Becker – (BMT: Old Dogs; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Wild Hogs (BMT); Van Wilder: Party Liaison (Seen it); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Director for Old Dogs. Apparently his trademark (according to IMDb) is having characters sing I’m All Out of Love … Mostly works in television now including the one-season show Glory Daze.)

Writers – David Diamond (written by) – (Known For: The Family Man; Evolution; BMT: When in Rome (BMT); Old Dogs (BMT); Notes: Amazing, I’ve completed David Diamond’s filmography. The only information I can find on him is he collaborated with Weissman)

David Weissman (written by) – (Known For: The Family Man; Evolution; BMT: When in Rome (BMT); Old Dogs (BMT); Notes: Same here, how very odd, there is almost no information about these people. I would guess they are mostly producers now working for a studio on comedies. Amazingly if you look at variety you come up with this fun story. That … sounds suspiciously like Old Dogs. A raucous buddy comedy announced in 2006 to be released by Walt Disney? Most def.)

Actors – Robin Williams – (Known For: Good Will Hunting; Dead Poets Society; Jumanji; Aladdin; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Insomnia; Mrs. Doubtfire; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; The Birdcage; The Butler; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; What Dreams May Come; Awakenings; One Hour Photo; Good Morning, Vietnam; Popeye; Robots; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Fisher King; Happy Feet; Hamlet; The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; World’s Greatest Dad; Boulevard; The World According to Garp; Happy Feet Two; Death to Smoochy; BMT: Flubber (seen it); Toys (seen it); License to Wed; Old Dogs; Nine Months; RV: Runaway Vacation; Fathers’ Day; The Big Wedding (BMT); Jack (seen it); Club Paradise; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; A Merry Christmas Miracle; Absolutely Anything; Man of the Year; The Final Cut; The Best of Times; The Survivors; The Big White; Noel; Hook (seen it); Patch Adams (seen it); Jakob the Liar; Bicentennial Man (seen it); Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actor for Bicentennial Man, and Jakob the Liar; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Supporting Actor for Death to Smoochy; Obviously a legend and sadly recently took his own life. He was a staple of my childhood and also a brilliant and classically trained actor. There isn’t much more to say.)

John Travolta – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Grease; Savages; Hairspray; Carrie; Face/Off; The Thin Red Line; In a Valley of Violence; Bolt; Saturday Night Fever; Criminal Activities; Look Who’s Talking; The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Phenomenon; Broken Arrow; Lonely Hearts; Urban Cowboy; Get Shorty; Blow Out; Ladder 49; Primary Colors; A Civil Action; BMT: Battlefield Earth; Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now; Staying Alive; Old Dogs; Killing Season; Lucky Numbers; Michael; Domestic Disturbance; Be Cool; Perfect; Wild Hogs; Two of a Kind; I Am Wrath; White Man’s Burden; The Devil’s Rain; The Forger; The General’s Daughter; Mad City; Swordfish; The Punisher; From Paris with Love; Basic; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for Battlefield Earth, and Lucky Numbers; Won the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screen Couple for Battlefield Earth; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 and 1990 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Actor for Old Dogs and in 2002 for Domestic Disturbance, and Swordfish, and in 1986 for Perfect, and in 1984 for Staying Alive, and Two of a Kind; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1992 for Worst Supporting Actor for Shout; A staple of BMT. This should be obvious though considering he is in two different Hall of Fame inductees. Look at that Razzie cred!)

Also stars Seth Green (Somewhat amazingly this was only his second BMT along with the other Travolta classic Be Cool)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $49,492,060 (Worldwide: $96,753,696)

(How did this move make so much money. Why would anyone overseas see this film? That is flabbergasting to say the least)

#22 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(That is below Kicking and Screaming which is just about all you need to know about that. Oddly enough the last movie Box Office Mojo classified in this category was in 2013, which is a tad bit odd. Also listed for recent BMT film Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (which makes no sense, he has twelve children, how is he a fish out of water?). Anywho, this managed to get released literally in the nadir of a genre, impressive.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 5% (5/108): Its cast tries hard, but Old Dogs is a predictable, nearly witless attempt at physical comedy and moral uplift that misses the mark on both counts.

(5% is obviously extraordinarily low. Thinking about it and seeing the trailer I can certainly believe that the cast works hard. The screenwriters and director on the other hand …)

Poster – Old Sklogs (F)

old_dogs

(I hate this poster. It is boring. It has no color or life to it. It suggests nothing about the film. Why not call it Old Dads? Honestly? Why ever suggest this movie is about dogs at all? They even put the dog front and center in the poster. I just don’t get it. I would love for someone to explain the logic, because I don’t get it.)

Tagline(s) – Sit. Stay. Play Dad. (A-)

(Besides being cheesy this is quite an excellent tagline. Plays into the title obviously, but also suggests a bit about the plot (him having to be a dad unexpectedly). I honestly wonder if the tagline itself inspired the title, because I can’t really think on why it is called Old Dogs … because there is an old dog in it … was the old dog a metaphor for something? I’m blowing my own mind over here, but I’ll save you the bother and not mention it)

Keyword(s) – twin; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.9 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 67.1 The Spirit (2008); 65.0 The Unborn (2009); 58.6 Seed of Chucky (2004); 57.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 55.1 New York Minute (I) (2004); 55.0 House of Wax (2005); 51.0 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 48.5 The Ten (2007); 48.2 Scary Movie 3 (2003);

(Oh yeah, my favorite keyword obviously. We’ve seen most of the amazing ones I think. Like the Spirit I think only has it because of clones (or something). The Seeker and I Know Who Killed Me are BMT classics though.)

Notes – The film’s release date was postponed three times. First, due to Bernie Mac’s untimely death. The second time was for the death of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son, Jett Travolta. The final time was because Robin Williams had a health scare that required surgery. All of the postponement ultimately caused the movie to be released more than a year after the original, intended release date, finally releasing on November 25, 2009. (Yes, this was something I vaguely knew before watching the film as well. It is funny to think that us “previewing” films did kind of start before the emails and recaps did, just because this movie in particular has an interesting backstory to it).

John Travolta and Robin Williams were close friends in real life.

Bernie Mac’s last released film. Soul Men (2008) was released first, but was the last film he made.

The film was originally 107 minutes long and adult-oriented with an R-rating being disturbed through Disney’s company Touchstone Pictures. After the test screening went poorly, Disney decided to distribute the film through Walt Disney Pictures and aim it toward children, cutting the film by 19 minutes and removing all adult jokes out so that it would be more acceptable for children. (Yes, this is also a rumor I had heard after watching the film. It does feel that way, although it makes you wonder how they did that when the focus of the film always had to be 60-year-old first time fathers. There was also rumors that the Japan storyline for Seth Green was at one point much larger and more detailed, although seeing as it was filmed in Connecticut that seems a little more unlikely).

The film is dedicated to both Bernie Mac and Jett Travolta, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s eldest son who died unexpectedly earlier in 2009.

Although Kelly Preston is married to John Travolta, in this film she is paired with Robin Williams.

Majority of production, including most of Tokyo scenes (except for the Tokyo airport and Tokyo street scenes that were shot in New York City) were done in Connecticut, thanks to the 30% Film/TV production tax incentive that the State offered at that time. There was no overseas location shoot in this film. (See. I find it unlikely that they could have pulled off an “expanded” Japan storyline without actually filming in Japan for at least some exteriors)

One of the retouched pictures of Travolta and Williams, is actually from the shooting of Carrie (1976). Nancy Allen was replaced by Williams inside the car.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (John Travolta)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Walt Becker)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (John Travolta)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture