In Love and War Preview

As Jamie contemplates what to do about The Predator, the creature suddenly looks up and engages its invisibility shield. Damn it, it must has smelled this decaying shark corpse Jamie has been carrying around. Looking around, Jamie spies a skateboard and a backwards baseball cap that must have belonged to a previous victim of the whale and is soon jetting around doing all kinds of ollies and kickflips or whatever. Unfortunately, as is often the case, Jamie is a little too focused on hot dogging and being rad and takes a tumble while attempting a fakie bigspin heelflip. The Predator approaches with laser aimed to kill and Jamie expresses sadness that he was never able to avenge Patrick by killing the Little Old Librarian that brought him to this point. Suddenly The Predator cocks his head in confusion. It speaks some alien language that is translated by the robotics on its wrist. “Did you say Little Old Librarian?” Jamie nods his head yes and the Predator raises his fist in triumph. “The greatest of all prey. Finally I… no, we… shall defeat it,” putting out his hand to pull Jamie to his feet. He blasts a hole in the side of the whale and heaving the decaying corpse of Frang to his should he looks directly into the camera and dramatically says, “Let’s blow this joint. We got a war to fight… bro.” Jamie suddenly has a tingling sensation in his belly and there’s only one thing that could mean: a bromance is a-brewin’. That’s right! This week we are watching In Love and War, that film that everyone remembers and loves starring Chris O’Donnell and Sandra Bullock. It’s based on the true love story of Ernest Hemingway that was the inspiration for a couple of his books. Sounds thrilling. Let’s go!

Hey dummies, expecting a story about Patrick fighting some weird bug or something? Naw, he’s unconscious for this bit. But don’t worry, we are also watching Liz and Dick this week. The Lifetime Original film starring Lindsay Lohan was supposed to be a way for her to slowly reenter the world of acting. Instead everyone just made fun of it and then forgot about it completely. Let’s go!

In Love and War (1996) – BMeTric: 22.3

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(This is something I noticed in previous posts but … Something happened in 2014 with IMDb. I should investigate it honestly. But on exactly January 1, 2014, ratings in general jumped significantly upwards. This is no different. As a matter of fact the rating of the film doesn’t really rise besides that giant 0.3 rating jump on New Years’ Day, 2014. Very much worthy of an investigation I think.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Lumbering catastrophe chronicles Ernest Hemingway’s WWI love affair with Red Cross nurse Agnes von Kurowsky, eight years his senior and the inspiration for the character Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms. Miscast O’Donnell might actually be more credible playing Ernest Borgnine, and the leads have no chemistry. The film leans on what used to be called “scenic values” like a bookie who’s been stiffed.

(“scenic values” …. So, vistas? I think he’s talking about vistas here which is a huge plus for me obviously. Two things. First, the turn of phrase at the end is just bonkers, pump the breaks on that guy Leonard, the bookie ref makes no sense. Second, the casual dropping of Ernest Borgnine, as if I’m supposed to know what that is is ridiculous … I think it is supposed to be a ridiculous suggestion, but it is so far beyond me I just don’t know anymore. This review is astonishing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVEUGM3Scck

(This is a very old school trailer. If I were to field a guess as to why this film was rejected by critics: It was considered very old fashioned having been directed by a 70-year-old Richard Attenborough, and stars two actors who, I think, are only “good” in very specifically designed roles in Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell. Syrupy sweet nonsense.)

Directors – Richard Attenborough – (Known For: Gandhi; A Bridge Too Far; Chaplin; Cry Freedom; Magic; Shadowlands; Oh! What a Lovely War; Young Winston; Future BMT: Chorus Line; Grey Owl; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Most famous as John Hammond in Jurassic Park I think at this point, although he won the Best Director Oscar for Gandhi, beating out none other than Steven Spielberg for E.T.)

Writers – Henry S. Villard (book) – (BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Became a good friend to Hemingway in Italy during the time the book took place. Joined the US Foreign Service helping to plan the invasion of North Africa in the Second World War, and was the liason to the Free French Forces for the US. Held a multitude of different ambassadorships over the years and lived to the age of 95.)

James Nagel (book) – (BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Co-author to the original book, although I couldn’t find much more about him. Mainlys seems to have produced collections of short stories.)

Allan Scott (screen story & screenplay) – (Known For: The Witches; Don’t Look Now; D.A.R.Y.L.; The Preacher’s Wife; Castaway; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Took over the chairmanship and chief executive position of Macallan-Glenlivet in the late 70s and ran the company until 1996 at which point its market cap had increased 200 fold during his tenure.)

Dimitri Villard (screen story) – (Future BMT: Once Bitten; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Given he founded Jet Set Records, apparently one of the more successful rhythm & blues labels of the era, and established one of the earliest pay television channels in California, he seems to have made movies once becoming rather wealthy. Mostly worked in the 80s, with this film being one of the rare exceptions.)

Clancy Sigal (screenplay) – (Known For: Frida; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Was blacklisted in the 1950s and ended up moving to the UK to work there for decades.)

Anna Hamilton Phelan (screenplay) – (Known For: Girl, Interrupted; Mask; Gorillas in the Mist; Future BMT: Amelia; BMT: In Love and War; Notes: Wrote Mask while at Emerson. Ultimately moved to New York City to try acting while continuing to write screenplays, Mask was her only credited acting film role.)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Ocean’s Eight; Gravity; The Proposal; Crash; A Time to Kill; Two Weeks Notice; Speed; Minions; The Heat; The Prince of Egypt; Miss Congeniality; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; While You Were Sleeping; Forces of Nature; The Vanishing; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; The Thing Called Love; Infamous; Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Future BMT: Premonition; Love Potion No. 9; The Net; Stolen Hearts; Hope Floats; 28 Days; Murder by Numbers; Gun Shy; Practical Magic; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; BMT:Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; In Love and War; Demolition Man; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man in 1994; Notes: Just sold her LA home for around $3 million. Won the Best Actress award in 2010 for The Blind Side.)

Chris O’Donnell – (Known For: Scent of a Woman; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; School Ties; Vertical Limit; Kinsey; Blue Sky; Circle of Friends; A Little Help; Kit Kittredge: An American Girl; Cookie’s Fortune; Men Don’t Leave; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; The Bachelor; Mad Love; 29 Palms; The Three Musketeers; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Max Payne; The Chamber; In Love and War; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for The Three Musketeers in 1994; Notes: Somehow has probably become most famous as a television star having been in over 200 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.)

Mackenzie Astin – (Known For: Wyatt Earp; The Last Days of Disco; Iron Will; Moments of Clarity; Dream for an Insomniac; Future BMT: How to Deal; The Evening Star; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie; In Love and War; Notes: Younger brother to Sean Astin of Rudy and Lord of the Rings fame.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $14,481,231 (Worldwide: $25,372,294)

(I think any way you cut this this wasn’t a huge film. Especially given the note reporting Bullock’s salary as $11 million. That alone suggests this was a pretty big bomb.)

#88 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(This might as well be called Fifty Shades Genre. I have no idea why it died in the early 2000s, but the genre is back and kicking ass again. Midnight Sun is an intriguing one from this year as well.)

#5 for the War – World War I genre

(These films kind of inexplicable come in waves. This is the first bad World War I film we’ve watched. And in general, especially with Wonder Woman just having come out, World War I is having a moment.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (3/27): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make a consensus: At its best with stunning still shots and musical score, but lacking in excitement and acting. Somewhat expected from a lightweight romantic drama unfortunately. Reviewer Highlight: Boring and artificial – Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World)

Poster – In Love and Sklog (C-)

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(Surprising that such a poster would make it to the final copy. Just a screenshot from the film with some lame font text over it. Whatever. Not offensive really, but far from good.)

Tagline(s) – In war they found each other…In each other they found love… (B)

(A little long but I’m picking up what they’re putting down. I’m just a little worried that I think this is original because I haven’t seen taglines exactly like it before… when in reality there are a bunch of taglines out there just like it. If there are I can’t find them.)

Keyword(s) – driver; Top Ten by BMeTric: 64.0 The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005); 63.4 Cosmopolis (2012); 56.3 The Transporter Refueled (2015); 50.8 Precious Cargo (2016); 45.8 Johnny Mnemonic (1995); 45.1 Darkness (2002); 41.7 Kaal (2005); 39.6 Would You Rather (2012); 38.4 Overdrive (2017); 36.2 Cannonball Fever (1989);

(Driver? Well I’m excited to eventually watch Cannonball Fever, that should be a complete shitshow of a film with some of my favorite comedic actors of the time at least.)

Notes – This movie’s closing epilogue states: “Agnes von Kurowsky’s long and distinguished career with the American Red Cross continued until the end of World War II. She remained unmarried until she was 36 and lived to be 92. Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1954. One of his great novels, A FAREWELL TO ARMS, was inspired by his experiences in Italy during World War One. He married four times and took his own life in 1961.” (Good to have it written out I guess…)

Several scenes were filmed in or near the Italian village Vittorio Veneto, including the battle scenes. Many of the extras playing the soldiers in the movie were airmen from nearby Aviano Air Base that volunteered to star in the movie.

Sandra Bullock researched her role of Agnes Von Kurowsky by reading her dairies that she kept during the war and reading the love letters between her and Ernest Hemingway.

Agnes Von Kurowsky was the inspiration for the character Catherine Barkley in a Farwell To Arms. (Makes sense)

In real life Agnes Von Kurowsky and Ernst Hemingway never saw each other again after the war. (Fun fact?)

Sandra Bullock was paid $11 million for her role in the film. (That seems … why does that seem unlikely? I guess they wanted the sweet Speed bump)

This film’s opening prologue states: “This film is based on a true story . . . NORTHERN ITALY 1918. Here, during the final year of World War One, Italy was defending itself alone against a massive Austrian invasion. America was one of Italy’s allies but the US Army was already fully committed in France. So President Wilson sent in teams of Red Cross doctors and nurses to boost Italian morale and help care for the wounded. Young men across America responded to the President’s call for further volunteers to drive red Cross ambulances and work in the front line canteens.”

The film takes place from July 1918 to June 1919.

Henry Villard’s own son was the driving force behind getting the film made.

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Fifty Shades Freed Preview

Perhaps you thought the embarrassment of last year would save us from this year. But no, it is our solemn duty. That’s right! It’s the first BMT Live! of the year and we are finishing the Fifty Shades series with a theatrical viewing of Fifty Shades Freed. Fifty Shades Darker was hands down the worst theater experience of my life and I’m truly dreading this final chapter. Pray for my soul and pray that I’m not viewed as some deviant as I sneak my way in and out of this film after buying tickets to Peter Rabbit or something. Sigh. Let’s go!

Fifty Shades Freed (2018) – BMeTric: 54.1

(Given that this film was only just released I’ll forgo the plots. The original is at 4.1 with 200K votes, the second at 4.6 with 66K, and the third is currently at 4.3 and 10K votes. So I have a theory that the second film is considered better than the first because of the soundtrack, which is kind of shockingly good. I’m very excited to see what they do with the soundtrack for the conclusion to the series.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars –  The problem with the “Fifty Shades” franchise—if it can be called a franchise—is not so much its portrait of a controlling man manipulating his lover past her comfort zone, although earlier installments feature such scenes. The problem is there’s not enough sex and too much … everything else.

(Preach sister! It is a very strange mark of the series that it lacks a certain … how do you say? Uh … softcore pornography that I believe was the main draw of the book series. I wouldn’t know, I read exactly 10 pages of the first book before my mind rejected it and I threw it in the garbage (well … returned it to the library anyways))

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJCc5HRPxYA

(So yeah … so you see all those car chases and the stalker and kidnapping and etc. etc. … that’s what the review is talking about. The film gets all caught up in the “exciting” stuff, it sometimes forgets what most people want is to mainly to see Dornan’s dong. Take a note from Color of Night and give the people what they want!)

Directors – James Foley – (Known For: Glengarry Glen Ross; At Close Range; Confidence: After Dark; The Corruptor; After Dark, My Sweet; Two Bits; Future BMT: Who’s That Girl; Perfect Stranger; Fear; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; The Chamber; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director in 1988 for Who’s That Girl; and in 2018 for Fifty Shades Darker; Notes: A major player in the 80s and 90s he’s been doing a lot of television more recently. Started as a director for Madonna shorts, and ultimately was the best man to Sean Penn when he married her.)

Writers – Niall Leonard (screenplay by) – (BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: E.L James’ husband. He’s been a (mostly television) writer since the 80s including multiple episodes of Monarch of the Glen. He was put in primary control of the script in order to get the second and third film on track under the singular vision of James.)

E.L. James (based on the novel by) – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: A bestselling author, her story is amazing. Twilight fanfiction to making $100 million in a year.)

Actors – Dakota Johnson – (Known For: The Social Network; How to Be Single; 21 Jump Street; Black Mass; A Bigger Splash; The Five-Year Engagement; For Ellen; Future BMT: Anarchy: Ride or Die; Date and Switch; Goats; Crazy in Alabama; Chloe & Theo; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Beastly; Need for Speed; Notes: According to The Sun Dakota Johnson got into shape for these films by doing hot yoga. Also, she has said that her parents have never seen any of these movies.)

Jamie Dornan – (Known For: Marie Antoinette; Anthropoid; The Siege of Jadotville; Future BMT: The 9th Life of Louis Drax; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Notes: Has recently ruled himself out of starring in any other Fifty Shades films in the future. There aren’t any other books, but maybe he’s worried they are going to Harry Potter this stuff.)

Eric Johnson – (Known For: Legends of the Fall; Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed; The Work and the Glory II: American Zion; Expiration Date; BMT: Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed; Texas Rangers; Notes: Canadian, broke big with Smallville and more recently with The Knick. Continuing his television work he’s joining the sixth season of Vikings.)

Budget/Gross – $55 million / Domestic: $38,560,195 (Worldwide: $135,060,195)

(This is going to smash it. This isn’t even its full strength Valentine’s Day! It made back its budget worldwide already. It is smashing it.)

#49 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(Hmmm, so a theory on why the genre totally collapsed in the early 2000s, Spiderman came out and Hollywood was making money hand over fist, so they put anything that didn’t pull down cash on the backburner. Then they discovered, shockingly, that women spend money too, and the genre has found a new life producing Nicholas Sparks books and things like Fifty Shades. We’ll see what they do now that Fifty Shades is almost definitely over. Previous BMT: Fifty Shades Series, Safe Haven, The Lake House, Random Hearts, Endless Love, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Choice, Here on Earth, The Scarlet Letter)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (15/118): Fifty Shades Freed brings its titillating trilogy to a clumsy conclusion, making for a film franchise that adds up to a distinctly dissatisfying ménage à trois.

(Every time. Clumsy conclusion, good conclusion … who cares? I’m just here to sit awkwardly in a theater and feel uncomfortable for two hours. Do you know what I don’t appreciate? The clumsy use of titillating and ménage à trois in this review Rotten Tomatoes … for shame.)

Poster – Fifty Shades Sklogged (B)

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(This is fine and stylish. I think every entry has been a massive disappointment in the font department, but such is life. Also really a perfect poster for Patrick to photoshop his face onto. Get a smug Sklog Wagon look to the camera on this one and we got gold.)

Tagline(s) – Don’t miss the climax (B)

(This is clever and short, so I have to give it props there. However it is particularly vague on what we are to expect from the plot of the film. So just above average.)

Keyword(s) – wedding ceremony; Top Ten by BMeTric: 68.1 Superman III (1983); 54.1 Fifty Shades Freed (2018); 53.6 Say It Isn’t So (2001); 50.4 Bride Wars (2009); 48.6 Stealing Harvard (2002); 47.2 MacGruber (2010); 47.0 Tomcats (2001); 45.5 When in Rome (2010); 44.3 The Big Wedding (2013); 43.8 Our Family Wedding (2010);

(Oooo I’m loving this list! Although MacGruber is great, so … forget about that one. But Tomcats should definitely be on the radar.)

Notes – Scenes were being filmed in Nice, France at the same time of the Nice terror attacks in July 2016. (Depressing)

There was talk that Jamie Dornan wouldn’t reprise his role as Christian Grey but those rumors were put to rest as of February 25th 2015 when his agent stated he was devoted to the sequels. (Yeah, this is a note for the previous film, they filmed the second and third together … these notes are weird)

Some of the filming was done at Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan’s home. (What?)

Third and final chapter of the Fifty Shades trilogy. (For now, don’t short sell yourself. You can make a fourth, no matter what Dornan thinks)

Dakota Johnson’s fourth consecutive movie to debut on Valentine’s Day weekend. The first was Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), the second was How to Be Single (2016), and the third was Fifty Shades Darker (2017). (Holy shit that is crazy)

Second Dakota Johnson movie to have a Hailee Steinfeld song in its soundtrack. The first was How to Be Single (2016), which also starred Steinfeld’s Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) co-star, Rebel Wilson.

To create Gia Matteo, Arielle Kebbel chose red well-manicured nails to represent the elegant control of her character. As seen on The IMDb Show (2017). (WHAT? You reporting notes from your own goddamned fake show now IMDb? Get out of here! These notes are travesties).

Scarlet Letter Preview

Alright, so this week is And the Loser is… where we watch a past Razzie winner or nominee. There were two obvious choices here to fit our Now a Major Motion Picture meta-theme. The first was The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers. If we weren’t having so much fun actually reading the books, that would have been selected I’m sure. Instead we are watching the 1995 classic The Scarlet Letter starring Gary Oldman and Demi Moore. The only things I knew about the film going into this is that it’s a travesty of an adaptation (particularly given that the book is a classic) and people make fun of Gary Oldman’s penis in reference to this film… which means we are going to see an Oldman’s penis. Great. Let’s go!

The Scarlet Letter (1995) – BMeTric: 43.3 (November 23, 2016)

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(Solid score for a 90’s film, definitely in the above-average BMeTric. Nice regression to the mean in the rating as well. Basically people don’t actually think it is better, it is just more likely that a film will closer to the mean rating (of around 6) as more and more reviews come in. Otherwise standard. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Hokey adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel throws in everything from witch hunts to Indian attacks to a controversial happy ending — all to no avail. Moore is woefully miscast as Hester Prynne (though she sure fills a Puritan frock). Oldman gives a histrionic performance, while Duvall is simply incomprehensible. “Erotic” love scenes are especially embarrassing, in soft focus with phallic candles and a chirpy Disney bird (credited as Rudy the Robin) who sings for sexual freedom!

(Wait, Indian attacks? Witch hunts? What is happening. Am I reading the review for the wrong movie? I do love “simply incomprehensible” actors. If they made it nowadays that role would be played by Jeff Bridges… or still Robert Duvall somehow… Is there actually a Disney bird? I feel like this review is asking more questions than it’s answering for me. No wonder it’s a BOMB.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtZetd_jOo8

(Holy fuck. That… that… that is not the plot of The Scarlet Letter. They made a prequel-adaptation monster. Why call it The Scarlet Letter even? It’s not even the plot of the story. It does give me an idea though: how about an Anna Karenina adaptation, but instead of focusing on Anna, let’s focus on Vronsky. And instead of dealing with that pesky (and boring!) affair with Anna, let’s mostly detail Vronksy’s trials and tribulations in learning the electric guitar. Boom! Netflix!)

Director(s) – Roland Joffé – (Known For: The Mission; The Killing Fields; City of Joy; Fat Man and Little Boy. BMT: Captivity; The Scarlet Letter; Vatel; There Be Dragons; Goodbye Lover; The Lovers. Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Captivity (2007); Won for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for Worst Director for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Directing Oscars for The Killing Fields and The Mission. Father of future BMT director Rowan Joffe.)

Writer(s) – Douglas Day Stewart (screenplay) – (Known For: An Officer and a Gentleman; Vision Quest; Flight of the Navigator. BMT: The Blue Lagoon; The Scarlet Letter; Thief Of Hearts. Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for Screenplay Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman. His name sounds like the name someone would use in a scandalous tell-all if they didn’t want to get sued for libel by Daniel Day-Lewis.)

Actors – Demi Moore – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle; Ghost; Mr. Brooks; G.I. Jane; A Few Good Men; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Flawless; Disclosure; The Joneses; Margin Call; Mortal Thoughts; St. Elmo’s Fire; We’re No Angels; One Crazy Summer; Deconstructing Harry. BMT: Striptease; Indecent Proposal; LOL; The Juror; The Scarlet Letter; Half Light; The Seventh Sign; The Butcher’s Wife; Now and Then; Passion of Mind; Nothing but Trouble. Notes: Nominated for 7 Razzie awards. Won for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (Supporting Actress), G.I. Jane (Actress), The Juror (Actress), Striptease (Actress/Couple), The Scarlet Letter (Actress/Couple). Nominated for Passion of Mind (Actress), Indecent Proposal (Actress), The Butcher’s Wife (Actress), Nothing but Trouble (Actress). Probably one of the most prolific BMT actresses, but we haven’t done too many of her films yet.)

Gary Oldman – (Known For: Batman series; Air Force One; The Fifth Element; The Book of Eli; RoboCop; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Harry Potter Series; True Romance; Sid & Nancy; JFK; The Contender; Bram Stoker’s Dracula. BMT: Hannibal; Red Riding Hood; The Unborn; Lost in Space; Paranoia; Planet 51; The Scarlet Letter; Child 44; Tiptoes. Notes: Nominated for Worst Couple Razzie for The Scarlet Letter (1995). Nominated for an Oscar for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.)

Also starring Robert Duvall

Budget/Gross: $46 million / $10,382,407

(A giant bomb. Oddly released the same weekend as two other high profile box office bombs (Jade and Strange Days) resulting in this NYTimes article. The Scarlet Letter is the 96st highest grossing Romantic Dramas ever. Number 95? You guessed it, Here on Earth.)

#96 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(As mentioned it is right near Here on Earth in the charts. This is actually the third of this genre we’ve watched along with Random Hearts and The Choice. A little snippet from the first of those: Wow, look at that mid-2000’s collapse! I think it has to do with a couple bombs in a row, but it could easily be that some other genre was sapping things up. Everyone knows that the trough there is the true heyday of bad movies! The dizzying heights we live in now I think is the result of micro-budget film companies. But it is hard to tell. This movie comes right in that initial wave as well. What we know now: There might be a collapse of the genre again. Hard to tell. If I were to guess we’ll be seeing a return to around 15K theaters for the genre moving forward. Looking at ’09-’12 and ’92-’96 that just feels like where the genre wants to be. Generated on November 23, 2016)

Rotten Tomatoes: 14% (5/35). No consensus, but here’s the Netflix synopsis for funsies: In this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, Puritan settler Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) is accused of adultery in a Massachusetts settlement in the 1660s. Although she’s attracted to the town’s pastor (Gary Oldman), the two resist temptation. But only a whiff of scandal is enough for the town’s morality police to sentence Prynne to live as an outcast and wear a shameful scarlet A for adultery.

(Yeah, straight panned. I’m not sure what Netflix is talking about though. In the trailer we clearly see Moore carrying a baby to her public shaming… where’d the baby come from if they resist temptation? A baby is a little bit more than a whiff of scandal. I almost feel like we should bring Netflix synopsis back. They are wrong half the time on the very basic plot of these films.)

Poster – The Skloglet Letter (B-)

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(Sexy much? I like the coloring (though could have been slightly redder) and the symmetry. Not feeling the dark portion at the bottom. Would prefer a more interesting and creative way of commingling the text and images.)

Tagline(s) – When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all. (C-)

(I really should have given this worse. When it’s this long, everyone loses. What saved it a bit was the cadence and the creativity. Way too long though.)

Keyword(s) – adultery; Top Ten by BMeTric: 78.8 Skyline (2010); 75.6 Left Behind (I) (2014); 64.9 The Boy Next Door (2015); 62.4 Postal (2007); 58.4 My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006); 57.0 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 56.4 Body of Evidence (1993); 54.7 The Canyons (2013); 51.3 The Big Bounce (2004); 50.4 The Dilemma (2011);

(That is a nice list. Indeed, adultery plays a major role in: Sci Fi, Christian, Dramatic, Erotic Thrillers, and Comedies. And that is just the ones we’ve seen. The human condition.)

Notes – Listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in “The Official Razzie® Movie Guide”.

Three original scores were written for this film. The ones by Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein were rejected. The one used was by John Barry. (these types of fact amuse me)

Meg Ryan lobbied hard for the part of Hester Prynne, but lost out. Sharon Stone was also considered.

Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Anthony Hopkins were all considered for the male lead.

Won one Razzie for Worst Remake or Sequel, Nominated for 6 more (Picture/Actress/Supporting Actor/Couple/Director/Screenplay)

Fifty Shades of Grey Preview

Moving forward, we have made it to the Girls’ Night Out portion of the cycle. But what chick flick could we possibly do based on a book. Jeez Louise, like nothing springs to mind. Literally no bondage-based film released last Valentine’s Day. Oh wait! It was sitting right there the whole time: Fifty Shades of Grey. Obviously. Now, of course, you must realize that by doing this film in this section requires that at least one of us reads this inane, Twlight fan fiction book before watching this week. Are we willing to do so? You bet your ass we are. Let’s get this going!

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) – BMeTric: 90.3 (Generated on December 12, 2017)

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(Yeah people didn’t like this immediately. Basically 90 is about as high as you can get as far as the BMeTric is concerned. Why? Well … you need some headroom. Imagine a film with 200 thousand votes but a 2.0 on IMDb. That would be very very close to 100. Like 10 million votes and a flat 1.0 would be 100. It is just a cumulative distribution function. It ain’t rocket science.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars – In the annals of sexually-charged event cinema, ”Fifty Shades of Grey” barely lights a candle let alone combusts with unbridled forbidden passion. Nothing comes close to Michael Douglas and Glenn Close humping on the kitchen sink in “Fatal Attraction” or Marlon Brando’s inventive use of butter withMaria Schneider in “The Last Tango in Paris.” Even those ejaculating dolphin fountains in “Showgirls” were steamier than what shows up in this tempered version of E.L. James’ S&M rewrite of “Beauty and the Beast.”

(So I got three movies to add to my Netflix queue. This is essentially what I heard about the film. That it was a stylish adaptation that ramped down the sex… and that got all the fans hot and bothered (in a bad way). Two stars sounds about right in that case.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZWFDs0LxA

(This runs like a horror film. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to think he’s super evil or not until the end where she’s all like “enlighten me then… and by enlighten, I mean a little penis in vagina”. Then it’s pretty clear.)

Directors – Sam Taylor-Johnson – (Known For: Nowhere Boy; Future BMT: Destricted; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Very well regarded photographer. We should actually be calling her Dame Sam Taylor-Johnson as she was damed (?… is that right?) by the Queen for her work in the arts.)

Writers – Kelly Marcel (screenplay by) – (Known For: Saving Mr. Banks; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Daughter of Terry Marcel, a director with a filmography that looks perfect for BMT. Hawk the Slayer, anyone?)

E.L. James (novel) – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Notes: The author. She ultimately got total control of the series in the end. The second and third films are even written by her husband. She must be mega-rich.)

Actors – Dakota Johnson – (Known For: The Social Network; 21 Jump Street; Black Mass; How to Be Single; A Bigger Splash; The Five-Year Engagement; For Ellen; Future BMT: Anarchy: Ride or Die; Date and Switch; Goats; Crazy in Alabama; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Beastly; Need for Speed; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Combo for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Both could provide BMT films for us… that would be a fun cycle. A Family Affair, where we use an acting family to get different movies for each member. I’ll have to think about that.)

Jamie Dornan – (Known For: Anthropoid; Marie Antoinette; The Siege of Jadotville; The 9th Life of Louis Drax; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Fifty Shades of Grey in 2016; Notes: Could literally be me and Patrick’s triplet. He looks that similar to us. Now, let’s see if anyone notices this “note”. Probably not, cause no one reads this.)

Jennifer Ehle – (Known For: Detroit; The King’s Speech; Zero Dark Thirty; Contagion; The Adjustment Bureau; RoboCop; A Quiet Passion; The Fundamentals of Caring; The Ides of March; Spooks: The Greater Good; A Little Chaos; Sunshine; Wilde; Black or White; Little Men; The Greatest; Paradise Road; Advantageous; Possession; Backbeat; Future BMT: The Forger; Pride and Glory; BMT: Fifty Shades of Grey; Notes: Daughter of Rosemary Ehle who played Aunt May. She won a Tony in 2000 for The Real Thing beating out her aforementioned mother!)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $166,167,230 (Worldwide: $571,006,128)

(Obviously a box office smash success. Not sure there was any chance it wouldn’t be. Isn’t it kinda sad though that a company can take a property that fans love, adapt it exactly without any interesting changes, and then watch as people file in and out of the theater shrugging their shoulders and saying “Meh, hope the next one is better. Can’t wait to see it.” Rinse, recycle, repeat.)

#4 for the Romantic Drama genre

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(Generated on December 12, 2017. Came right at another peak of romantic dramas. I wonder why they collapsed so thoroughly in the mid-2000s? Just like a total rejection of the genre. But it’s back baby! Probably due to the realization that women audiences exist.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (66/256)While creatively better endowed than its print counterpart, Fifty Shades of Grey is a less than satisfying experience on the screen.

(“Better endowed” blech. I hate when a RT consensus tries to be more clever than it needs to be. “Less than satisfying” come on. Also, how many of the reviewers actually read the book to make that comparison? I bet not a single one of them actually read the book. Not a single one.)

Poster – Fifty Sklogs of Grey (C+)

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(Grey’s not my favorite tone to use for a poster, but what were they going to do? Better than keeping the colored tones of the people. Don’t like the text and the picture is photogenic, but not interesting or aesthetically pleasing. Could have been a C- if I was in a worse mood.)

Tagline(s) – Lose control (B+)

(Very odd. I wanted to give this a bad grade, but in reality it’s pretty good for fans of the book. Like it kinda represents both Anastasia and Christian’s characters in the book. She loses control, he loses control… just different types of control (internal vs. external). It’s as concise as possible and actually somewhat clever for the above reasons. Could have been a bit more informative for those that aren’t super familiar with the material, but otherwise pretty nice.)

Keyword(s) – female nudity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 92.3 Date Movie (2006); 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 88.5 House of the Dead (2003); 88.4 The Room (2003); 87.3 BloodRayne (2005); 84.4 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 84.3 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.2 Movie 43 (2013)83.3 Rollerball (2002);

(By the way, there are something like 60,000 films with the tag on IMDb. Thanks IMDb. And yet, it doesn’t have all of the films (like Batman & Robin is missing … because it is a film for children with no nudity). There are some loads of crap though right?)

Notes – Angelina Jolie was offered the chance to direct, but she declined.

Each cast member learned their lines in 5 days. (guffaw)

The first draft of the script by writer Kelly Marcel included way more sex and was much more sexually explicit than the final version. In fact, she wanted it to be NC-17, along with one of the film’s producers Dana Brunetti. However, Universal executives shot down any such plans and the script was considerably toned down both in the number of sex scenes and the explicitness of the sex by two subsequent re-writes. The studio would only approve an R rated film as they had bought the rights for $5 million dollars and with a budget of $40 million dollars, they did not want to turn away a large portion of their audience which would be the case if they released an NC-17 film. (classic)

Considered to be the second major motion picture based on fan-fiction. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) was the first. (whaaaaaaaa?)

The pool scene, in Dr. Grey’s mansion, the boat house is the same as the one used in Elektra (for some reason I really enjoy that)

In the Fifty Shades trilogy books, the phrase “my inner goddess” is mentioned 115 times by Anastasia’s inner monologue. This is how she often refers to herself – e.g. “my inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five-year old”. The movie does not mention or utilize Anastasia’s “inner goddess” at all. (thank God)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (The Weeknd, Belly, DaHeala, Stephan Moccio)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Jamie Dornan)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Dakota Johnson)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Kelly Marcel)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Sam Taylor-Johnson)