Shaft (2019) Preview

Adam Banks, the producer of the latest Rich and Poe film, sits sweating as he watches Jamie and Patrick rant and rave around his office. Having already relented in allowing them to star in the film, he is shocked to hear that they now want to do their own stunts too. These stunts involve jumping between two helicopter cruise ships hovering over the blue waters of the French Riviera and Banks just isn’t sure he can insure it. He’s also not sure helicopter cruise ships exists. “Then invent one,” Jamie screams, “how much did our last film make?” He remarks with crossed arms waiting silently for a response. Banks mumbles the well known 2.3 billion dollar figure. “Then use is,” Jamie snidely remarks. There have been grumblings at the studio that this is some elaborate scheme set up by the auteurs to get out of there 20 film contract early, but Banks isn’t so sure. It seems to him that they have simply gone insane. Finally he relents and orders the helicopter cruise ships to be constructed. Once Jamie and Patrick are safely on the corporate jet back to the French Riviera he buzzes his secretary to set up a meeting ASAP. A few hours later Banks sits with a man dressed in dark glasses and a leather duster. “Rod, I need your help. I’ve got a delicate matter that needs some… discretion.” The man smiles, “Well Banks, you know that there’s only one thing I do better than discretion,” Banks nods and Rod finishes, “Sex is what I’m referring to.” And Banks nods again, “great well, really just discretion needed on this one.” At that they rise and shake hands. “You know, Rod, you really are one bad mother…” But Rod interrupts him “shut you’re fucking mouth.” That’s right! We are watching the 2019 entry in the Shaft saga that we were all scrambling for. Everywhere we went all we heard was “gee whiz I sure do hope we get a Shaft for a new generation.” Well we asked, they delivered in a neat BMT package. Gives us a chance to watch the original and the Samuel L. Jackson 2000 entry to get uptodate on the franchise, which is exciting. Let’s go!

Shaft (2019) – BMeTric: 19.6; Notability: 31

ShaftIMDb_BMeT

ShaftIMDb_RV

(Genuinely strange. Usually things go the other way. Usually fans of the film come in hot with above average ratings during the initial theatrical run, and then it drops afterwards. This time people seeing it in theaters seem to hate it, but then it has stood steady at a pretty above average 6.4. I don’t really know what to make of that. Probably just need to wait a little longer for things to clarify.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars –  This movie is “ruin your childhood” bad, right down to the hideous auto-tuned end credits song they chose to use instead of the original “Theme From Shaft.” I say this flick Shaft is a bad movie. Shut yo’ mouth.

(Somehow this review is a lot kinder than I imagined it would be. Most reviews can be boiled down to “Ok, Boomer”. Mainly because whole scenes are (apparently) devoted to women lusting over Shaft shooting a bunch of people and making fun of Millenials … so just ruining your childhood seems like a step up in that context.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD41XdWcmbY/

(Sigh. So I know someone who’s seen this and he describes it as Boomer Humor. Now, I don’t hold prejudices against any movie. I’m happy to watch any film no matter how far from the intended audience I am. As Shaft says, I’m an equal opportunity stare-in-stony-silence-at-not-funny-films … person. But so far that guy seems right, so this is going to be one long film. Sigh.)

Directors – Tim Story – (Known For: Think Like a Man; Barbershop; Future BMT: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Think Like a Man Too; BMT: Taxi; Ride Along 2; Ride Along; Shaft; Notes: He kind of has an amazing career. Everything from small indie films, to giant comic book blockbusters, and now he’s attached to Tom & Jerry, Ride Along 3, and Monopoly in the next few years! I look forward to watching many Tim Story films for the next decade to come.)

Writers – Kenya Barris (written by) – (Known For: Girls Trip; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; BMT: Shaft; Notes: Childhood friend of Tyra Banks, he created the whole Black-ish series.)

Alex Barnow (written by) – (BMT: Shaft; Notes: A television writer almost exclusively. He wrote for a ton of shows including Family Guy and The Goldbergs.)

Ernest Tidyman (based upon the character John Shaft from the novel by) – (Known For: Shaft; The French Connection; High Plains Drifter; Shaft; Shaft in Africa; Shaft’s Big Score!; BMT: Shaft; Notes: I … did not realize it was a book series. He wrote seven Shaft novels between 1970 and 1975.)

Actors – Samuel L. Jackson – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Spider-Man: Far from Home; Pulp Fiction; Avengers: Infinity War; Captain Marvel; Goodfellas; Jurassic Park; Inglourious Basterds; Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace; Django Unchained; Kong: Skull Island; The Hateful Eight; Coming to America; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; Avengers Assemble; Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones; Unbreakable; Future BMT: Cell; The Spirit; Freedomland; Kite; Barely Lethal; Meeting Evil; Oldboy; Reasonable Doubt; Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Home of the Brave; The Samaritan; No Good Deed; Sphere; Amos & Andrew; Cleaner; The Legend of Tarzan; Loaded Weapon 1; Zambezia; The Exterminator; The 51st State; Rules of Engagement; Johnny Suede; Basic; Strictly Business; Glass; Country of My Skull; One Eight Seven; Life Itself; Gospel Hill; BMT: xXx²: The Next Level; Twisted; Jumper; Shaft; Notes: Still going strong at 70. He’s only a little younger than Richard Roundtree who plays his father in the film. He’s starring in a film called The Banker this year as well which will get a limited theatrical release in December.)

Jessie T. Usher – (Known For: Almost Christmas; Beautiful Boy; Future BMT: InAPPropriate Comedy; When the Game Stands Tall; BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence; Shaft; Notes: Kind of came up with guest spots in television, and then broke out with Independence Day: Resurgence. Also starred in the critically acclaimed The Boys television show this year.)

Richard Roundtree – (Known For: Seven; What Men Want; Brick; George of the Jungle; Shaft; Speed Racer; Shaft; Maniac Cop; Q; Shaft in Africa; Original Gangstas; Shaft’s Big Score!; Man Friday; Once Upon a Time… When We Were Colored; Future BMT: Boat Trip; Corky Romano; City Heat; Earthquake; Antitrust; Inchon; BMT: Steel; Theodore Rex; Shaft; Notes: There was a Shaft television “show” from 1973-1974 as well which he starred in. In actuality they were seven television movies, which is rather intriguing.)

Budget/Gross – $30–35 million / Domestic: $21,360,215 (Worldwide: $21,360,215)

(That isn’t good. But it released internationally on Netflix which was probably worth a few million … I don’t know, I’m not in the business. I guess I’m saying this probably lost money, but just not that much.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (38/119): Decades removed from the original, this multi-generational Shaft struggles to keep its characters interesting — or anything other than uncomfortably outdated.

(“Uncomfortably outdated”. That right there is 100% the reason we are watching this film. I am very intrigued by the reactions people have had to this film, it is all over the place. Reviewer Highlight: Ultimately, the only truly retro thing about this weirdly reactionary potboiler is its politics. – Keith Watson, Slate Magazine)

Poster – One Bad Mothersklogger (B)

shaft

(I like how artistic it is down the font and coloring. A little weird that they are apparently introducing a new generation of shaft but he’s pushed all the way off to the side. I also deduct it some points for an inordinate amount of whitespace. Looks odd.)

Tagline(s) – More Shaft than you can handle. (B+)

(I do appreciate a dick joke, particularly when used to advertise a multimillion dollar product. Really elevating the medium of dick jokes. Otherwise it is fine… better than average.)

Keyword – surname as title

Shaft_surname as title

Top 10: Hook (1991), Shaft (2019), Tolkien (2019), Constantine (2005), Snowden (2016), Lincoln (2012), Rambo (2008), Winchester (2018), Zoolander (2001), Salt (2010);

 Future BMT: 47.2 Winchester (2018), 34.1 Sgt. Bilko (1996), 22.6 Youngblood (1986), 14.7 Hook (1991); 

BMT: Shaft (2019), Rambo (2008), Gigli (2003), Jobs (2013)

(Nothing super big pops out in the graph, but the keyword kind of tickled me. I did it for Rambo as well, but not with the new expanded keywords section. Shocking that there are only eight examples. You can’t even make a cycle yet, but you are actually shockingly close if the Transitions and Chain Reaction films lined up.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Samuel L. Jackson is No. 1 billed in Shaft and No. 3 billed in Jumper, which also stars Michael Rooker (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 4 billed) => 1 + 3 + 5 + 4 = 13. If we were to watch Amos & Andrew we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – There is only a 6 year age difference between Richard Roundtree (Shaft I) and Samuel L. Jackson (Shaft II). This is humorously acknowledged in the film when Roundtree rhetorically asks, “How come you look 20 years older than my gray ass?”

This film will be released on Netflix streaming services internationally.

In Shaft (2000), Richard Roundtree’s John Shaft I was referred to as John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson)’s uncle. In the 2019 movie, John Shaft I is John Shaft II’s father.

At one point in the film Samuel L. Jackson tells his son that he got a real Super Bowl ring from L.T., referring to former NFL player Lawrence Taylor. This is also likely a reference to the previous Shaft (2000) in which Taylor appeared, although he was not playing himself but an actual character in the film.

At the time of the film’s release the main three actors ages are as follows: Roundtree 76, Jackson 70, and Usher 27.

In 2019, as the trailer made clear, all three generations of the family members named John Shaft exist in the Warner Bros-New Line Cinema-Netflix sequel confusingly also entitled “Shaft”. Further to add confusion, with three lead characters sharing the same name, from the original MGM version, the family tree relationships are broken down as; Richard Rountree as (uncle/great-uncle) John Shaft, Samuel L Jackson as (nephew/father) John Shaft (Senior/II from RR version), and Usher as (great-nephew/son) John Shaft (Junior/II from SLJ version/III from RR version).

Rambo: Last Blood Preview

“This how you got there?” the gangster squad says looking into the prison tunnel where Jamie and Patrick first got to the BMTverse and met Nic Cage, “didn’t peg you for a criminal.” Patrick just shrugs somberly. He can’t stop thinking about Sticks and Stones. A dangerous pair for him and Jamie together, let alone on their own. “Well we better get down there before they find us,” Patrick says, but the gangsters put a hand on his shoulder. “Woah there, big guy, you don’t think we’d let you go down there alone. Who knows who or what is waiting for you on the other side. We got you a guide. Someone who knows the terrain, someone who spent some time as a prisoner in the BMTverse. He’ll help you get down there and find you brother and if he don’t we’ll kill him,” they laugh as they grasp Patrick’s hand. “Thanks,” Patrick replies, realizing that these gangsters are his friends. Ever since he and Jamie made it big on the Rich and Poe series he had forgotten what it was like to have a friend and he smiles. Just then his guide emerges from the tunnel “You ready to go?” he growls and Patrick is stunned. “Woah! Sly? What are you doing in the BMTverse? You don’t belong there. You’re the best! The best!” But the man shakes his head. “No, the name’s Rambo. And I’ve spent my fair share of time in the BMTverse,” he says looking into the distance, “You better believe it.” As Patrick attempts once again to enter the tunnel he’s even more shocked to see three more Rambos emerge from the tunnel of varying ages. “You better believe it,” they all growl in unison. That’s right! The third BMT Live! Of the year is upon us and it’s an extra special Rambo extravaganza. We waited with bated breath for Rambo: Last Blood to officially qualify and once it did we realized that Rambo: FIrst Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo, and Rambo: Last Blood all qualify for BMT. Ohhhhhhhhh boy. Let’s go!

Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – BMeTric: 2.8 

(I don’t tend to post the graphs for films that literally came out. There won’t really be a fair assessment of this film for years to drown out the massive influx of Stallone-heads which are currently giving it 7/10 on IMDb. I would imagine it’ll settle in the mid-6 range though.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  Pretty much a rip-off through and through (it clocks in at just under 90 minutes, at least 10 of those dedicated to an end credits sequence featuring highlights from all the previous films, including the one that just concluded), “Rambo: Last Blood” is junk from start to finish.

(Oooof. The guy is quite down on it. I didn’t want to spoil my experience, but basically hoped Rambo would get an appropriate send off in the sequel to 2008’s Rambo … and now he kind of hopes Stallone does another one to give it another shot.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPuhNtG47M0/

(Actually a really good trailer. Gives you just enough to tell that’ll you’ll get all the gore you want in a Home-Alone-esque final sequence, and suggests a bit you’ll get closure for the character. All of that makes sense.)

Directors – Adrian Grunberg – (Known For: How I Spent My Summer Vacation; BMT: Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Mostly a second unit director for things like Apocalypto and Jack Reacher 2 … I’m starting to see a trend with these Rambo films where it is almost like Stallone himself might be directed them alongside the second unit directors he hires …)

Writers – Matthew Cirulnick (screenplay by) – (Known For: Paid in Full; BMT: Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Wrote a few television shows prior to this. Now has two more in production including Run Away with Me which seems to have Amber Heard attached.)

Sylvester Stallone (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Homefront; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Paradise Alley; F.I.S.T; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky V; Rocky IV; BMT: Driven; Rhinestone; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Has five children. We saw Sage in Daylight. Sistine is a model / actress.)

Dan Gordon (story by) – (Known For: Wyatt Earp; The Hurricane; Murder in the First; The Assignment; Future BMT: Surf Ninjas; Passenger 57; The Celestine Prophecy; Let There Be Light; Gotcha!; BMT: Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Served as a captain in the Isreali Defence Force during their war with Lebanon.)

David Morrell (based on the character created by) – (Known For: First Blood; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: While Rambo is by far his most famous series, he has a few others including the Abelard Sanction series.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: First Blood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Rocky II; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Antz; Bullet to the Head; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Was married to Brigitte Nielsen for two years.)

Sylvester Stallone Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999; 

Paz Vega – (Known For: Sex and Lucía; Kill the Messenger; Spanglish; Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; Talk to Her; Acts of Vengeance; Los amantes pasajeros; Novo; 10 Items or Less; La vida inmoral de la pareja ideal; El otro lado de la cama; Angels of Evil; Sobreviviré; Future BMT: The Spirit; All Roads Lead to Rome; Grace of Monaco; Not Forgotten; Cat Run; Burning Palms; Fade to Black; BMT: Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Born in Spain, her father was a bullfighter and her sister is a Flamenco dancer)

Yvette Monreal – (Known For: Lowriders; BMT: Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Is going to feature in the upcoming DC television series Stargirl.)

Budget/Gross – < $50 million / N/A

(I think the expectation is for this to make $100 million. That is about what the fourth made and it was declared a success. I don’t really get that, the math doesn’t really make much sense to me, but perhaps it is because they go for a cheaper limited showtime run because of the gore or something? It is unclear. It might make it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (25/81): Like the sequels that preceded it, Rambo: Last Blood is content to indulge in bloody violence at the expense of its main character’s once-poignant story.

(Somehow this ended up being one of the worst reviewed of the entire series, which is pretty surprising considering how much people slam Rambo III online. Reviewer Highlight: “Rambo: Last Blood” features what’s easily the most violent movie scene of the year. It’s awesome. – Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post)

Poster – Poe: Last Sklog (B-)

rambo_v_ver3

(I like a little more color on my posters, but this does have a pop and the font is just barely unique. Got some artistic flair. Amazing that all the way through the series we get Stallone centric posters every time. Even when he’s like a million years old and is starting to look like a monster.)

Tagline(s) – N/A (F)

(I don’t see these taglines on the poster… which is generally how I judge which one to grade. So I’m gonna give this an F and leave it. I’m sure some taglines were used in trailers and stuff but who has the time?)

Keyword(s) – fifth part; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.2 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 71.2 Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988); 69.1 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013); 68.2 Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015); 67.9 Seed of Chucky (2004); 61.6 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017); 59.9 A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989); 58.9 A Good Day to Die Hard (2013); 58.1 Rocky V (1990); 55.6 Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989);

(I mean … yeah, I’m going to watch all of these films for BMT at some point. Makes me think we need to do more series. These all seem like they would be super fun.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Rambo: Last Blood and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – On December 6, 2018, Stallone stated that this would be the last “Rambo” film, saying that his character would “finally find what he assumes to be peace.” However, at Cannes 2019, Stallone stated that he would continue to play the character of John Rambo, should “Rambo: Last Blood” prove to be successful. (Noooooooo)

Stallone stated on his personal Instagram account : “Great day! We got our HARD R rating today! What’s coming is going to be unlike anything you have ever seen…” (Gross)

The plot to this movie was intended for Rambo (2008) but changed. It was also partially used for Homefront (2013) with Jason Statham. (Which, yeah, Stallone wrote)

The first Rambo movie that Sylvester Stallone doesn’t have long hair as in the previous films. (Good choice, although I kind of secretly wish in the fourth he had a glorious flowing mullet and everyone could be like “wow, old school” and he could be like “are these out of fashion or something? I’ve been living in Thailand for like two decades wrangling snakes by myself.”)

At 89 minutes, this is the shortest film in the ‘Rambo’ series. (Glory glory)

Rambo (2008) Preview

“This how you got there?” the gangster squad says looking into the prison tunnel where Jamie and Patrick first got to the BMTverse and met Nic Cage, “didn’t peg you for a criminal.” Patrick just shrugs somberly. He can’t stop thinking about Sticks and Stones. A dangerous pair for him and Jamie together, let alone on their own. “Well we better get down there before they find us,” Patrick says, but the gangsters put a hand on his shoulder. “Woah there, big guy, you don’t think we’d let you go down there alone. Who knows who or what is waiting for you on the other side. We got you a guide. Someone who knows the terrain, someone who spent some time as a prisoner in the BMTverse. He’ll help you get down there and find you brother and if he don’t we’ll kill him,” they laugh as they grasp Patrick’s hand. “Thanks,” Patrick replies, realizing that these gangsters are his friends. Ever since he and Jamie made it big on the Rich and Poe series he had forgotten what it was like to have a friend and he smiles. Just then his guide emerges from the tunnel “You ready to go?” he growls and Patrick is stunned. “Woah! Sly? What are you doing in the BMTverse? You don’t belong there. You’re the best! The best!” But the man shakes his head. “No, the name’s Rambo. And I’ve spent my fair share of time in the BMTverse,” he says looking into the distance, “You better believe it.” As Patrick attempts once again to enter the tunnel he’s even more shocked to see three more Rambos emerge from the tunnel of varying ages. “You better believe it,” they all growl in unison. That’s right! The third BMT Live! Of the year is upon us and it’s an extra special Rambo extravaganza. We waited with bated breath for Rambo: Last Blood to officially qualify and once it did we realized that Rambo: FIrst Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo, and Rambo: Last Blood all qualify for BMT. Ohhhhhhhhh boy. Let’s go!

Rambo (2008) – BMeTric: 9.3 

RamboIMDb_BMeT

RamboIMDb_RV

(It is kind of stunning to see the rating so high here. I’m going to be honest, I’ve heard nothing but bad things about this film. That it is gore for the sake of gore and just not in the spirit of the Rambos that preceded it. I guess I’ll see.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Stallone is a bit long in the tooth to be reprising his Rambo character, but here he is in the series’ fourth installment (and first in two decades). This time around, everybody’s favorite whacked-out Vietnam veteran-action hero emerges from a peaceful retirement in Thailand to rescue come captured missionaries and doctors in Myanmar (Burma). Needlessly bloody and unintentionally laughable. Stallone also co-scripted.

(This is literally the only thing I’ve ever heard about this film, that it is needlessly bloody. So much so that it makes you feel gross … I don’t like feeling gross so I’m not looking forward to this.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CRjdwRYQbU/

(Them not showing Julie Benz basically at all in this trailer is insane. She’s basically the entire motivation for the film. Looks dumb though, like … this trailer is the same regardless of whether this was even released to theaters. Looks like a straight-to-video Van Damme film sequel basically.)

Directors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; Rocky III; Rocky II; Paradise Alley; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky IV; BMT: Rambo; Notes: Stallone has all but confirmed Expendables 4 in recent interviews, although it seems doubtful Schwarzeneggar will return.)

Writers – Art Monterastelli (written by) – (Future BMT: The Hunted; BMT: Rambo; Notes: He was a television writer for decades, and then reeled off three features right at the end of his career. This is his last writing credit.)

Sylvester Stallone (written by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Homefront; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Paradise Alley; F.I.S.T; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky V; Rocky IV; BMT: Driven; Rhinestone; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Apparently is a strong supporter of gun control despite being a well known conservative)

David Morrell (character) – (Known For: First Blood; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Born in Canada he became an American citizen in 1993)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: First Blood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Rocky II; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Antz; Bullet to the Head; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Apparently he broke his neck while filming The Expendables, and was in intensive care for four days after asking Dolph Lendgren to punch him as hard as he could in the chest.)

Sylvester Stallone Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999;

Julie Benz – (Known For: As Good as It Gets; Circle; Due occhi diabolici; The Brothers; Future BMT: Jawbreaker; Saw V; Havenhurst; Life on the Line; Supremacy; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Black Sheep; Inventing the Abbotts; Answers to Nothing; BMT: Punisher: War Zone; Rambo; Notes: You would know her as Rita from Dexter. She competed in the 1988 US Ice Dancing Championship, placing third. Her older brother and sister represented the US internationally in the sport.)

Matthew Marsden – (Known For: Black Hawk Down; Bounty Killer; Shiner; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Tamara; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Resident Evil: Extinction; The Young Americans; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Atlas Shrugged: Part I; Rambo; Notes: An avid superbike racer having been taught by Ron Haslam, and has a black belt in Taekwondo.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $42,754,105 (Worldwide: $113,244,290)

(This is apparently considered a big enough success to suggest at the time that a fifth film would be made. I don’t really see how that could be, it seems by any account this would be a net-zero film roughly. But there maybe is some strange accounting for a hard-R film starring Stallone which means the production gets more money from foreign ticket sales.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (56/149): Sylvester Stallone knows how to stage action sequences, but the movie’s uneven pacing and excessive violence (even for the franchise) is more nauseating than entertaining.

(Much more borderline that I remembered it. I do remember that this was just considered gross when it came out which made me immediately have no interest in it. Reviewer Highlight: Well-shot and well-edited violence porn. – Mike Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Poe (2008) (B+)

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(I like the green tone and finally they have a unique font. Not loving the close up on the face. Makes the poster a little jarring, but probably the best of the bunch.)

Tagline(s) – Live for nothing, or die for something. (C)

(This would grade higher if it wasn’t so cliched. This happens sometimes where you get a tagline that sounds super great, but then you realize that it could apply to 50% of all movies ever. So hard to grade.)

Keyword(s) – surname as title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.2 Gigli (2003); 60.7 Seed (2006); 47.9 Winchester (2018); 47.5 MacGruber (2010); 44.4 Blueberry (2004); 38.3 Stratton (2017); 36.5 Jobs (2013); 36.0 Shaft (2000); 34.2 Sgt. Bilko (1996); 33.1 Dahmer (2002);

(I kind of love this list. We’ll be watching Shaft this year I think. And Sgt. Bilko will be fun to revisit some time. But what’s this? … MacGruber is one of the best films ever made so I don’t really get that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Rambo and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Rambo was banned in Myanmar (formally Burma), and bootlegs are a hot item. Burmese Freedom Fighters have even adopted dialogue from the movie as battle cries, most notably “Live for nothing, or die for something.” Sylvester Stallone said “That, to me, is one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had in film.” (Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh)

Sylvester Stallone specifically wanted the film to be set in the midst of the most brutal ongoing global conflict that was basically ignored by the public and media. After ruling out established (and well-known) conflicts in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, Stallone talked to international experts who told him about the Burmese junta’s mass murder of the Karen people. He then set the movie’s storyline in the middle of this genocide. (No comment)

Rambo’s knife in this film is a primitively built golok made out of a slab of metal as opposed to his expertly crafted survival knives in the other films. Sylvester Stallone actually stayed up all night filming the scene of him forging the knife like you see in the film, although due to time constrictions, he had to do it all at once without cooling the blade. They went through about seven pairs of heat protective gloves due to this. Sly claims after making the knife, he had a rather warm handshake.

Maung Maung Khin, who played the Burmese dictator Tint, fought for the Karen Rebels in real life. He was afraid his family would be murdered if he took this role, but he took it anyway.

Originally, Rambo was supposed to hold the M2 .50-cal. machine gun in his hands and fire it, but when fully assembled the weapon weighed 120 pounds. Sylvester Stallone was still capable of holding and firing it, but it was too cumbersome for quick movements, so it was mounted on the back of a Jeep instead. (It would also be absurd that he could hold onto it while it is shooting actual bullets)

When asked what his take on the film was, First Blood writer David Morrell said:”I’m happy to report that overall I’m pleased. The level of violence might not be for everyone, but it has a serious intent. This is the first time that the tone of my novel First Blood has been used in any of the movies. It’s spot-on in terms of how I imagined the character – angry, burned-out, and filled with self-disgust because Rambo hates what he is and yet knows it’s the only thing he does well. … I think some elements could have been done better, [but] I think this film deserves a solid three stars”. (Wait … wait … he agrees with the direction Stallone took the character? This is giving me a ton to think about)

The first Rambo film where Rambo works with a team, rather than going solo. (Rambo: The Expendables)

Sylvester Stallone described the Burmese River as “the most difficult terrain I’ve ever had to navigate, including Cliffhanger (1993).”

On the first day of shooting, Sylvester Stallone tore part of his quadriceps running through the jungle. (He looks so slow running through the forest, I swear to god they sped up some of the footage)

This was the first non-“Rocky” film that Sylvester Stallone directed since Staying Alive (1983). (Huh that is interesting)

Rambo III Preview

“This how you got there?” the gangster squad says looking into the prison tunnel where Jamie and Patrick first got to the BMTverse and met Nic Cage, “didn’t peg you for a criminal.” Patrick just shrugs somberly. He can’t stop thinking about Sticks and Stones. A dangerous pair for him and Jamie together, let alone on their own. “Well we better get down there before they find us,” Patrick says, but the gangsters put a hand on his shoulder. “Woah there, big guy, you don’t think we’d let you go down there alone. Who knows who or what is waiting for you on the other side. We got you a guide. Someone who knows the terrain, someone who spent some time as a prisoner in the BMTverse. He’ll help you get down there and find you brother and if he don’t we’ll kill him,” they laugh as they grasp Patrick’s hand. “Thanks,” Patrick replies, realizing that these gangsters are his friends. Ever since he and Jamie made it big on the Rich and Poe series he had forgotten what it was like to have a friend and he smiles. Just then his guide emerges from the tunnel “You ready to go?” he growls and Patrick is stunned. “Woah! Sly? What are you doing in the BMTverse? You don’t belong there. You’re the best! The best!” But the man shakes his head. “No, the name’s Rambo. And I’ve spent my fair share of time in the BMTverse,” he says looking into the distance, “You better believe it.” As Patrick attempts once again to enter the tunnel he’s even more shocked to see three more Rambos emerge from the tunnel of varying ages. “You better believe it,” they all growl in unison. That’s right! The third BMT Live! Of the year is upon us and it’s an extra special Rambo extravaganza. We waited with bated breath for Rambo: Last Blood to officially qualify and once it did we realized that Rambo: FIrst Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo, and Rambo: Last Blood all qualify for BMT. Ohhhhhhhhh boy. Let’s go!

Rambo III (1988) – BMeTric: 40.3 

RamboIIIIMDb_BMeT

RamboIIIIMDb_RV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sylvester Stallone (written by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; The Expendables; Creed; The Expendables 2; Rocky Balboa; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Homefront; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Paradise Alley; F.I.S.T; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky V; Rocky IV; BMT: Driven; Rhinestone; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Is producing an Action/Drama television show with Dolph Lendgren called The International. It has a pilot order at CBS.)

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

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

Sylvester Stallone Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999;

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

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

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

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

#25 for the Travelogue – Middle East genre

rambo3_middleeast

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

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

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

Poster – Poe III (C-)

rambo_iii

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Rambo III and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rambo: First Blood Part II Preview

“This how you got there?” the gangster squad says looking into the prison tunnel where Jamie and Patrick first got to the BMTverse and met Nic Cage, “didn’t peg you for a criminal.” Patrick just shrugs somberly. He can’t stop thinking about Sticks and Stones. A dangerous pair for him and Jamie together, let alone on their own. “Well we better get down there before they find us,” Patrick says, but the gangsters put a hand on his shoulder. “Woah there, big guy, you don’t think we’d let you go down there alone. Who knows who or what is waiting for you on the other side. We got you a guide. Someone who knows the terrain, someone who spent some time as a prisoner in the BMTverse. He’ll help you get down there and find you brother and if he don’t we’ll kill him,” they laugh as they grasp Patrick’s hand. “Thanks,” Patrick replies, realizing that these gangsters are his friends. Ever since he and Jamie made it big on the Rich and Poe series he had forgotten what it was like to have a friend and he smiles. Just then his guide emerges from the tunnel “You ready to go?” he growls and Patrick is stunned. “Woah! Sly? What are you doing in the BMTverse? You don’t belong there. You’re the best! The best!” But the man shakes his head. “No, the name’s Rambo. And I’ve spent my fair share of time in the BMTverse,” he says looking into the distance, “You better believe it.” As Patrick attempts once again to enter the tunnel he’s even more shocked to see three more Rambos emerge from the tunnel of varying ages. “You better believe it,” they all growl in unison. That’s right! The third BMT Live! Of the year is upon us and it’s an extra special Rambo extravaganza. We waited with bated breath for Rambo: Last Blood to officially qualify and once it did we realized that Rambo: FIrst Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo, and Rambo: Last Blood all qualify for BMT. Ohhhhhhhhh boy. Let’s go!

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) – BMeTric: 19.1 

RamboFirstBloodPartIIIMDb_BMeT

RamboFirstBloodPartIIIMDb_RV

(Amazingly, low 5’s is actually really rather low. That is a genuine people-think-this-movie-is-bad rating. And then it rises all the way to mid-6’s which is a genuine average score. I think this is a rare film where public sentiment has officially shifted towards irony. To be ironically bad is to be good, whatever that is worth I suppose.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Comic-book action saga of one-man army who goes to Cambodia in search of American MIAs and finds he’s been duped by Uncle Sam. Never boring but incredibly dumb; if one were to take it seriously, it would also be offensive, as it exploits real-life frustrations of MIA families and Vietnam vets. 

(Oh snap, Leonard spitting fire at Rambo. I do like the sound of never boring, but yeah … I think Rambo goes a bit off the rails right after it immediately abandons the PTSD-focused storyline of the original. But I’m ready for some ‘splosions.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQGJAIYtWD4/

(The initial muscle shot is sooooooo good. It is actually how they start the Rambo transformation scenes in the cartoon Rambo: Freedom Force. And what a soundtrack, obviously just filled with baggers. I’m amped, let’s go!)

Directors – George P. Cosmatos – (Known For: Tombstone; Of Unknown Origin; Future BMT: Shadow Conspiracy; Leviathan; The Cassandra Crossing; BMT: Cobra; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Notes: His son, Panos Cosmatos, is also a director. He directed Mandy with Nic Cage.)

Writers – David Morrell (based on characters created by) – (Known For: First Blood; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: He has a character credit on the porn parody Rambone XXX: A DreamZone Parody.)

Kevin Jarre (story by) – (Known For: Tombstone; The Mummy; Glory; Future BMT: The Devil’s Own; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Notes: Son of Brian Kelly who starred in Flipper. Was adopted by composer Maurice Jarre.)

Sylvester Stallone (screenplay by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Homefront; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Paradise Alley; F.I.S.T; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky V; Rocky IV; BMT: Driven; Rhinestone; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: His staunch refusal to allow Rocky to move forward without him starring apparently inspired Paul Reubens to hold out for Tim Burton with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.)

James Cameron (screenplay by) – (Known For: Alita: Battle Angel; Titanic; The Terminator; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Avatar; Aliens; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; True Lies; The Abyss; Strange Days; Future BMT: Piranha Part Two: The Spawning; Terminator Genisys; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Notes: Has been working on his Avatar sequels for years now. The second one is supposed to involve a lot of underwater filming.)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: First Blood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Rocky II; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Antz; Bullet to the Head; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Demolition Man; Notes: The big news story of the week is that apparently he tried and failed to seduce Princess Diana in 1993 as a party thrown by Elton John.)

Sylvester Stallone Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999;

Richard Crenna – (Known For: First Blood; Body Heat; Sabrina; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Wait Until Dark; The Sand Pebbles; The Flamingo Kid; Marooned; Breakheart Pass; Un flic; Table for Five; Future BMT: Death Ship; Leviathan; Wrongfully Accused; Summer Rental; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Jonathan Livingston Seagull; BMT: Jade; Rambo III; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Trautman was supposed to be in the fourth film, btu Crenna died of heart failure in 2003.)

Charles Napier – (Known For: The Silence of the Lambs; The Blues Brothers; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Philadelphia; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Lords of Dogtown; The Manchurian Candidate; The Cable Guy; Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Supervixens; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; Beloved; Married to the Mob; Something Wild; The Grifters; Swing Shift; Melvin and Howard; Maniac Cop 2; Miami Blues; Original Gangstas; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Jury Duty; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Annapolis; Loaded Weapon 1; The Kid & I; Last Embrace; BMT: Steel; Ernest Goes to Jail; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Notes: He apparently played in two Kentucky high school state basketball championships, and was in the Air Force.)

Budget/Gross – $25.5 million / Domestic: $150,415,432 (Worldwide: $300,400,432)

(That is a huge success. Sylvester Stallone and early 80s action really was something to behold at the time. It must have been wild to see him just slowly descend into madness.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 37% (15/41):

(Do I have to write a consensus? With a mixed message, and Stallone-as-caricature instead of character it is easy to see this as a bad movie … but then why do I like it so much? Reviewer Highlight: So powerful and intoxicating is this kind of movie hero that when we see him operating in a flaw-riddled movie like ”Rambo” we realize that heroic action can override almost any script. – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune.)

Poster – Poe: First Sklog Part II (A – I mean.. It’s amazing and there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind…. Sure the font isn’t very good…. OK and the spacing is real weird with the large border… and why are there so many words?… what’s with the fire?… and particularly the tiny Rambo next to the title? OK, nevermind. This is bonkers. C.)

rambo_first_blood_part_ii

(Patrick’s Shallow Fake: The hardest bit here was getting the lighting right on the face. I tried to add it post, but nothing looked as good as just shining a lamp on my face while taking a selfie. This is what I would call a “full poster” where I altered everything to fit a new “fake” movie starring myself as Poe.)

Tagline(s) – They sent him on a mission and set him up to fail. But they made one mistake. They forgot they were dealing with Rambo. (C-)

(This is actually a funny tagline, right? Almost a spoof. I also love the idea that they “forgot” they were dealing with Rambo… as if he’s world famous. He starts the movie in a prison. Too long. Not clever. But hilarious.)

Keyword(s) – propaganda; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.2 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 70.0 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008); 60.6 Tell Your Children (1936); 50.7 Teeth (I) (2007); 49.3 2016: Obama’s America (2012); 46.0 Li hai le, wo de guo (2018); 43.7 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016); 40.3 Rambo III (1988); 39.1 Iron Eagle (1986); 34.7 The Clonus Horror (1979);

(Ha! Sounds about right. Kind of amazing Rambo III even makes the list. Let’s see, Iron Eagle will be watched (the entire series). I’ve seen Neighbors 2 … I don’t see how that is propaganda. This does remind me we have to finish off the Police Academy series at some point.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Rambo: First Blood Part II and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Co-writer James Cameron claims that he only wrote the first draft of the script, and that Sylvester Stallone made many changes to it. Cameron had originally paired Rambo with a humorous sidekick, and had fleshed out the prisoners of war with elaborate backstories that were to be revealed over the course of the film. However, Stallone reportedly didn’t like that the sidekick got all the cool dialogue, and also scrapped most of the POW’s backstories to the point where Cameron claimed that “they might as well have gotten to the jungle to pick up a six-pack of beer”. When the film was released, the political content of the movie was considered controversial, with many feeling that the Vietnam War was altered to look and sound heroic. Cameron commented that he only wrote the action, and that Stallone wrote the politics. (Sounds about right)

At the time of filming (1985), there were close to 2,500 Vietnam vets still Missing-In-Action.

The only film in the Rambo series to be nominated for an Oscar. (Wow. The original is quite good, so that is surprising)

The original title was First Blood II, but Sylvester Stallone decided he wanted the series to be named after the lead character, just like the Rocky series. So he re-titled it “Rambo: First Blood Part II” so he could name the third film Rambo III (1988) instead of First Blood III. (Sounds about right)

To prepare for this role, Sylvester Stallone did eight months of training for four hours a day. He also took SWAT combat, archery and survival courses.

James Cameron’s original screenplay began with Colonel Trautman finding Rambo in a psychiatric hospital instead of a prison. The psychiatric hospital concept was instead depicted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). (Awesome idea. James Cameron is a national treasure)

Dolph Lundgren was initially signed as the Russian Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky (played by Steven Berkoff), when Sylvester Stallone realized that it was the same man who was going to be in Rocky IV (1985), so they paid off the contract.

James Cameron wrote a treatment/screenplay not only for this film, but at the same time also for Aliens (1986) as well as additional drafts for The Terminator (1984) while production on the latter was being delayed. He worked at a different desk on each script to keep the projects separated.

Sylvester Stallone said of the first draft: “I think that James Cameron is a brilliant talent, but I thought the politics were important, such as a right-wing stance coming from Trautman and his nemesis, Murdock, contrasted by Rambo’s obvious neutrality, which I believe is explained in Rambo’s final speech. I realize his speech at the end may have caused millions of viewers to burst veins in their eyeballs by rolling them excessively, but the sentiment stated was conveyed to me by many veterans…. [Also] in his original draft it took nearly 30-40 pages to have any action initiated and Rambo was partnered with a tech-y sidekick. So it was more than just politics that were put into the script. There was also a simpler story line. If James Cameron says anything more than that, then he realizes he’s now doing the backstroke badly in a pool of lies”. (Okay … literally parroting speeches by veterans isn’t actually “neutral”, at least I don’t think so. No offense meant, but I think this is precisely why people like James Cameron thought the politics were a little off. Stallone is a brilliant writer for action, especially in the 80s where he literally rewrote the genre, but his dialogue and vision for his protagonists are straight up bad. End rant.)

Rambo’s stats, as given in the film: “Rambo, John J., born 7/6/47 Bowie, Arizona of Indian-German descent. Joined army 8/6/64. Accepted, Special Forces specialization, light weapons, cross-trained as medic. Helicopter and language qualified, 59 confirmed kills, two Silver Stars, four Bronze, four Purple Hearts, Distinguished Service Cross, Medal of Honor.”

According to the documentary We Get to Win This Time (2002), the producers considered teaming up Sylvester Stallone with his Staying Alive (1983) protégé John Travolta (who was once considered to play Rambo himself in the first film) as Rambo’s young partner in rescuing the American POWs. Stallone nixed this idea when he decided it would be better to make the film a solo project. (That documentary sounds awful. What an awful title)

First film to appear in 2,000+ U.S. theaters. (That’s cool)

Despite its anti-government stance, the film had a big fan in then-President Ronald Reagan. (I don’t think it is really anti-government. It is anti-anti-war governments basically, or like … against an imaginary strawman version of people who “lost the Vietnam War”)

Lieutenant Colonol Padovsky is the only villain to have any lines in English. (Extremely good choice)

In the movie, John Rambo’s birthday is July 6, 1947. Sylvester Stallone’s birthday is July 6, 1946, exactly 1 year earlier. (He made himself one year younger)

When Sylvester Stallone ranked his preference of the Rambo films on the UK chat show Graham Norton, he ranked this one 4th, his least favorite, as it was “like a cartoon”. (That is interesting, I think it is the best actual action film of the bunch)

All of the shots of the military base were done on a Mexican Air Force airstrip. The logos have been painted over or obscured, and the real crew always have their backs toward the camera or are far enough away from the camera so no one would notice.

In scenes where arrows are being shot, they are attached with wire so they land in the right spot without hurting anyone. (Ah the same thing magicians do)

Remarkably this film has a great deal of foundation in fact. In the early 1980s US Delta Force commandos prepared for a possible mission to rescue US prisoners of war held in Southeast Asia just as they do under Colonel Trautman. However their efforts were stymied by Colonel Bo Gritz, like John Rambo a much decorated former Green Beret and Vietnam War veteran, who launched his own abortive attempts to stage a private rescue raid. A subsequent government inquiry headed by Senators/Vietnam veterans Bob Smith, John Kerry and John McCain (himself a former POW who was held and tortured for 5 years) concluded there were no prisoners left behind and vilified individuals perpetuating the idea as attempting to defraud desperate families. (Lol … so basically explicitly shitting on the entire idea of this film)

Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Fred J. Brown, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Buzz Feitshans, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Sylvester Stallone, James Cameron, Kevin Jarre, 1986)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Frank Stallone, Peter Schless, Jerry Goldsmith, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Julia Nickson, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (George P. Cosmatos, 1986)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Julia Nickson, 1986)

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace Preview

Meanwhile… Poe and Brock are getting psyched for the big championship game. Suddenly Poe watches in alarm as the lawnmower men around the field stop in unison, their eyes suddenly glassy and unseeing. “Lawnmower Men,” Poe whispers while Brock stares on in shock. “Lawnmower Men? It can’t be. They… they are just silly legends used to scare kids.” But no, they are real and something has brought them out of their slumber. Poe suddenly realizes what it is and turns to Brock, “It’s Rich. He needs my help.” One of the other players begins to protest, but Brock stops them, “If you need my help, you have my bat, bro.” And they seal the deal with a Predator Handshake. That’s right! In celebration of the 500th BMT film (say what?!) we are also watching The Lawnmower Man and Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. The sequel has been on my bad movie bucket list forever because it actually seems impossible that it got released to theaters. But it did and we couldn’t have asked for a better pairing for this celebration than the hacking computer technobabble extravaganza of Hackers and the Lawnmower Man franchise. Let’s go! 

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996) – BMeTric: 67.2 

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(Holy shit! That is really low. How does it only have 67 BMeTric? I guess 8000 votes it really really low, which is itself rather astonishing. This is blowing my mind.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Moron-turned-genius Jobe is back, still intent on ruling the world from cyberspace. This involves ruthless billionaire Conway, reclusive computer expert Bergin, docter Pouget, and young O’Brien, returning from the original film. The plot is both complicated and simpleminded, and aimed primarily at teenage computer fans – but the standardized Blade Runner future, routine action, and only intermittent computer graphics will likely leave them as disinterested as everyone else. Aka: Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe’s War.

(WHAT? This got a better review than the first one? Well I am now intrigued. Also this review is somehow longer than the review for the first one, which was already an epic that is uncharacteristic of Leonard. Of all the movies to become verbose over, the Lawnmower Man franchise?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MubmJ2jwvOM/

(To think, these two trailers came from a Stephen King short story that really doesn’t have much to do with either storyline. This thing is wild and reminds me of Highlander 2: The Quickening. Gloriously cheap sci-fi nonsense. Sock it to me.)

Directors – Farhad Mann – (BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: Mostly a television and commercial director, it kind of suggests he developed Max Headroom, although he’s only credited as the director of the pilot.)

Writers – Farhad Mann (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: Appears to mostly director British Crime procedurals like Murdoch Mysteries.)

Michael Miner (story) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: Wait one second … we finished Miner’s filmography? That is awesome. A self-described technophobe.)

Actors – Patrick Bergin – (Known For: Patriot Games; Free Fire; Ella Enchanted; Map of the Human Heart; Mountains of the Moon; The Boys from County Clare; Silent Grace; Future BMT: Eye of the Beholder; Sleeping with the Enemy; The Invisible Circus; Love Crimes; Age of Kill; The Wee Man; Strength and Honour; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: A former math teacher in Ireland, he also had a top 10 hit song in Ireland called The Knacker. I’m sorry, but that is awful.)

Matt Frewer – (Known For: Watchmen; Hercules; 50/50; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Dawn of the Dead; The BFG; The Meaning of Life; The Fourth Protocol; A Home at the End of the World; Twenty Bucks; Weirdsville; Foreverland; Future BMT:Supergirl; Riding the Bullet; Cannonball Fever; Senior Trip; Going the Distance; Spies Like Us; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Ishtar; Pixels; Notes: A significant voice and television actor now. He’s Big Russ in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (the neighbor) and also interestly enough was Max Headroom, which makes sense considering the director.)

Austin O’Brien – (Known For: Apollo 13; The Baby-Sitters Club; Future BMT: My Girl 2; The Lawnmower Man; Last Action Hero; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Mostly a child actor. He was in the (non-qualifying) Prehysteria!)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $2,409,225

(Aaaaaaand, there is it. Play stupid games, win … a catastrophic box office bomb. There is an important lesson here: when you make a sequel hot garbage sometimes people don’t want to go see it no matter how rad it is.)

#18 for the Virtual Reality genre

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(YES, three for three! We went from having seen two films to having seen five in this category. Wait a second, I have to check something … there are nine total qualified films, of which we will have actually only seen four after this because Vanilla Sky is a rare non-qualifying film we did for BMT once. Still almost halfway through the genre now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (1/9)

(I’ll have to make a consensus … Oh, wait, there are only two reviews with actual snippets and it seems like Rotten Tomatoes’ full review links are broken, so I can’t make one. Weirdly one of the two Top Critics was the only good review basically saying the special effects were okay. Reviewer Highlight: Mowing the lawn might be more involving than watching this subpar sci-fi sequel, which manages to be complicated and witless at the same time. – Andy Seller, USA Today)

Poster – The Lawnmower Man 2: Inspired by The Lawnmower Man: Inspired by Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man (C-)

lawnmower_man_two_beyond_cyberspace

(Wow. So they just reused the same poster but made it even sillier (and removed Stephen King’s name, obviously). What could you possibly think this film was about if you didn’t already know?! Downgraded because it’s a blatant rip off.)

Tagline(s) – God made him simple. Science made him a god. Now, he wants revenge. (F)

(Oh for God’s sake. At this point they should have just stopped making the film. Unacceptable.)

Keyword(s) – psychotronic film; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 92.2 Son of the Mask (2005); 91.1 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 89.8 The Wicker Man (2006); 89.2 Vampires Suck (2010); 89.2 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 89.0 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 86.5 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987);

(Psychotonic – denoting or relating to a genre of films that typically have a science fiction, horror, or fantasy theme and were made on a low budget. That does seem to fit. Vampires Suck doesn’t really though, and neither does Son of Mask. Battlefield Earth had an enormous budget.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 26) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matt Frewer is No. 2 billed in Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace and No. 10 billed in Ishtar, which also stars Warren Beatty (No. 1 billed) who is in Town & Country (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 9 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 2 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 9 + 3 = 26. If we were to watch Eye of the Beholder, The Island, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Director Farhad Mann found himself locked out of the editing room by the producers who wanted a film which would appeal more to their target demographic – teenage boys. (shiiiiiiiit)

Austin O’Brien is the only returning cast member from the first film. (Oooooof. A regular Atlas Shrugged up in here)

Although the film was set in the future, the cast donated their old 80s computers for the set in order to save money in the budget. (What? That is bizarre)

The 1993 VHS tape of the widescreen version of the first film had an announcement screen that read “Look out for Lawnmower Man 2: Mindfire” in 1994. This obviously never happened, and the film appeared 2 years later with a different title. (Huh, that is kind of fun. It also has a different name in Europe, Jobe’s War.)

Beverly Hills Cop III Preview

The figure standing in front of Jamie and Patrick pulls back his hood. “Nic Cage?” Patrick exclaims. The figure looks contemplatively upon them. “Perhaps. I am and have always been. That is a name I have used to touch humanity. One of many.” He winks and pulls out a $5 bill. “Woah, you were also Abraham Lincoln?!” Jamie says in awe. Nic Cage shrugs his shoulders as if to say “Don’t worry about it.” He turns serious, “I have brought you here to tell you that the fate of the world is in your hands. A great tournament is upon us, one in which one of the realms of this world has the opportunity to conquer Earth. And let me tell you, that would not be very cool.” Jamie nods his head, “We can do it. I know we can win for you… for Earth.” Nic Cage steps back, “You misunderstand. That is not your fate. Rich and Poe. They are the true champions. You must find them.” Jamie and Patrick are totally confused. Rich and Poe? The titular police officers of their smash blockbuster hit? Are their own ninja skillz not enough, they wonder with concern, but Patrick gathers himself and nods. “We’ll do it. We will find these warriors and help them save the world.” Nic Cage smiles briefly before teleporting away. Jamie angrily turns to Patrick. “Bro, we can do this. We are the champions. Look at these muscles, bro.” Jamie flexes but Patrick waves him off. “There is more to this. I can feel it inside. We must find Rich and Poe… if they even exist.” Jamie scoffs, “So what do we know about Rich and Poe? They like Parkour and dogs.” Now it’s Patrick’s turn to scoff, “That describes literally everyone. We wrote them as cops right?”. Jamie turns to looks at the blasted landscape. “Well, I guess we better start walking if we hope to find the nearest police station.” That’s right! We are watching Beverly Hills Cop III. On the wikipedia page Murphy’s lack of effort, how boring the film is, and the fact that this marked the beginning of the end of Murphy’s career (debatable) are the reasons given for why it should be considered amongst the worst of all time. This was not enough because it was rejected. Let’s find out if we reject it as well. Let’s go!

Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) – BMeTric: 49.7

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(It might just make it back to 50 BMeTric. It is very unusual for a film to claw its way back from around 60, usually they kind of float around 50 and never quite make it. Seems like the rating has settles around 5.5 and it is just dependent on more votes coming in. It is very weird that people would watch this and be like 6/10 for sure. I don’t think it is supposed to be good at all.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Detroiter Murphy goes back to L.A., site of a theme park whose in-house security cops have hatched a counterfeiting ring – right under the nose of the sweet old gramps figure (Young) who’s nominally in charge. Fast pace and inspired setting can’t camouflage the bankruptcy of the concept. Gags are subordinate to action here – which, given the gags, may not have been such a bad idea. As usual, Landis features a number of prominent directors (including George Lucas, Joe Dante, Martha Coolidge, Arthur Hiller, Ray Harryhausen, Peter Medak, George Schaefer, Barbet Schroeder, and John Singleton) in cameo roles. Pinochet makes a welcome return from the original Cop movie as Serge.

(I might not have needed a full list of cameos. That sounds like a Zoolander 2 situation, but I haven’t heard much about that being the actual problem with the film elsewhere. He gave it a better review than the second one, which I’ve seen and thought was awful.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUjD5uKWxcg/

(Oh shit that song though gets me amped. Like honestly … that’s a pretty good trailer. The amusement park setting seems fun, the action seems fun, Murphy seems fun. I can’t wait to see why this is a catastrophe.)

Directors – John Landis – (Known For: Coming to America; The Blues Brothers; Animal House; Trading Places; An American Werewolf in London; The Kentucky Fried Movie; Twilight Zone: The Movie; ¡Three Amigos!; Blues Brothers 2000; Amazon Women on the Moon; Schlock; Future BMT: The Stupids; Burke and Hare; Spies Like Us; Innocent Blood; Oscar; Into the Night; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for Beverly Hills Cop III; and in 1997 for The Stupids; Notes: His career was marred by the on-set deaths of Vic Morrow, Myca Dinh Le, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen in a special effects accident during filming of The Twilight Zone: The Movie. His son, Max Landis, is a screenwriter.)

Writers – Danilo Bach (character) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Someone to Watch Over Me; Future BMT: April Fool’s Day; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: Very little about him available. This is just a character credit, he just wrote the first film, and he’s definitely retired at this point.)

Daniel Petrie Jr. (character) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Turner & Hooch; The Big Easy; Deadly Pursuit; Future BMT: In the Army Now; Toy Soldiers; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: He father was a big time director in the 60s, and his brother Donald is a big time director now. Literally his whole family is in the biz.)

Steven E. de Souza (written by) – (Known For: Die Hard; Die Hard 2; Commando; The Running Man; 48 Hrs.; Ricochet; The Return of Captain Invincible; Future BMT: Street Fighter; The Flintstones; Knock Off; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Jumpin’ Jack Flash; Bad Dreams; BMT: Judge Dredd; Beverly Hills Cop III; Hudson Hawk; Another 48 Hrs.; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Hudson Hawk in 1992; Notes: Somewhat well known as the director of Street Fighter as well, which was his only major directorial effort.)

Actors – Eddie Murphy – (Known For: Mulan; Coming to America; Trading Places; Shrek; Shrek 2; Boomerang; Beverly Hills Cop; Shrek the Third; Shrek Forever After; The Nutty Professor; Dreamgirls; 48 Hrs.; Tower Heist; Life; Beverly Hills Cop II; Doctor Dolittle; Bowfinger; Imagine That; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Vampire in Brooklyn; The Haunted Mansion; Meet Dave; Holy Man; Showtime; Daddy Day Care; Metro; The Distinguished Gentleman; BMT: Norbit; Pluto Nash; I Spy; Beverly Hills Cop III; Another 48 Hrs.; The Golden Child; A Thousand Words; Harlem Nights; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for Harlem Nights in 1990; Winner for Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress for Norbit in 2008; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010 for I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Nominee for Worst Director for Harlem Nights in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple for Norbit in 2008; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; in 2009 for Meet Dave; in 2010 for Imagine That; and in 2013 for A Thousand Words; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2003 for I Spy, Showtime, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash; and in 2009 for Meet Dave; Notes: Y’all know Eddie Murphy. Rumor is that the sequel to Coming to America is starting production soon for a 2020 release.)

Judge Reinhold – (Known For: Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Gremlins; Beverly Hills Cop; Stripes; Beverly Hills Cop II; Ruthless People; The Santa Clause; The Santa Clause 2; Vice Versa; Homegrown; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Rosalie Goes Shopping; Checking Out; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Zandalee; Swing Vote; Head Office; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: His birthname is Edward, he was nicknamed Judge by his father as a baby.)

Hector Elizondo – (Known For: Pretty Woman; The Lego Batman Movie; The Princess Diaries; Overboard; The Book of Life; Runaway Bride; American Gigolo; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three; Frankie and Johnny; Nothing in Common; The Flamingo Kid; Go for Sisters; Cuba; Being Human; The Landlord; Tortilla Soup; The Fan; Entropy; Pocket Money; Frankie and Johnny Are Married; Future BMT: Exit to Eden; Turbulence; Getting Even with Dad; The Princess Diaries 2; Private Resort; The Celestine Prophecy; Leviathan; Raising Helen; Dear God; Young Doctors in Love; How High; Necessary Roughness; Love in the Time of Cholera; The Other Sister; Filofax; Born to Win; BMT: Beverly Hills Cop III; Valentine’s Day; New Year’s Eve; Mother’s Day; Georgia Rule; Notes: His star-turning role in Pretty Women was only available because Al Pacino turned it down.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $42,614,912 (Worldwide: $119,208,989)

(That … is fine actually. A little surprising. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but the film is supposed to be so bad I had figured it had stopped the franchise in its tracks.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (5/50): No consensus yet.

(Really really bad for a beloved franchise. I’ll try and make a consensus: A joyless, cynical, simply awful final outing for a beloved franchise. Reviewer Highlight: It’s one of the most cynically engineered sequels ever. – Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – I’m a Cop! (D+)

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(This is of course the logical conclusion to a trilogy of posters. By the end it’s just the star looking at you saying “come watch me be whatever this poster tells you I am.” I could have done without the weird rollercoaster and it feels a little amateurish given it’s a massively popular franchise. But kept the font and not a total disaster.)

Tagline(s) – In for the ride of his life! (B+)

(Is this really about an amusement park or something? Why would they make this? This sounds awful. I guess this tagline performs its task… it is short, plays off the rollercoaster aspect of the plot, and is somewhat clever. But it is giving me anxiety thinking of all the people who were working on a Beverly Hills Cop film set in an amusement park and making posters and taglines related to amusement parks when that’s a terrible idea.)

Keyword(s) – woman with a gun; Top Ten by BMeTric: 69.5 Postal (2007); 60.8 Legion (2010); 60.7 Ishtar (1987); 56.5 Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986); 54.7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012); 53.7 Killers (2010); 53.6 Pandemic (2016); 53.0 Spy Hard (1996); 52.8 Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010); 49.7 Beverly Hills Cop III (1994);

(Ugh Nude Nuns with Big Guns. Gross.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Eddie Murphy is No. 1 billed in Beverly Hills Cop III and No. 1 billed in Harlem Nights, which also stars Richard Pryor (No. 2 billed) who is in Superman III (No. 2 billed), which also stars Annette O’Toole (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 7 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 7 = 18. If we were to watch Showtime, and Killer Elite we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – As Axel Foley jumps onto the Spider ride at Wonder World, the man that he jumps in front of was George Lucas. (Coooooool)

Production was temporarily shut down to allow the Paramount top brass the chance to get to grips with the film’s spiraling budget. Originally estimated at fifty-five million dollars, it was soon in excess of seventy million dollars. Of that budget, fifteen million dollars was Eddie Murphy’s paycheck. (Oof, so yeah … not really a financial success then.)

Initially, the plot for this film would’ve concerned Foley, Rosewood, and Taggart (John Ashton) going to London to rescue Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox), who was being held hostage by terrorists during a International Police Convention. However, numerous problems, such as scripting issues and the budget, caused pre-production to drag out to the point that John Aston and Ronny Cox had to drop out, due to obligations to other pending film projects. (Awww international sequels are the worst, and thus that would have been the best)

The Alien Attack ride that Janice (Theresa Randle) demonstrates to Axel when he first comes to Wonder World, is actually the Earthquake section of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios in Hollywood. The alien robots are the Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica (1978)) from a section of the old Universal Tour “Battle Of Galactica”. (WHAT)

In an interview with The A.V. Club in 2009, Bronson Pinchot claimed that Eddie Murphy “was really depressed” at the time the movie was being filmed, claiming that Murphy was low-spirited and had a low energy level. He was depressed that most of his most recent star vehicles had either underperformed or bombed. (Yeah, this is a year before Vampire in Brooklyn which really tanked his career. Ebert says on his program that at that point he should have done a few small parts with a great director … instead he bounced back with The Nutty Professor which sent his career in a whole other direction before cratering)

In a 2005 interview, John Landis claimed that Eddie Murphy worked against the comedy of the film by deliberately not being funny. Landis said that the film “was a very strange experience”.

The Annihilator 2000 shown off by Serge at the security convention is actually a dressed up 5.56mm Colt M16, with extras. (Gun facts)

Among the rejected ideas for “Beverly Hills Cop III” included a Robert Towne screenplay idea (one in which Axel Foley has to deal with his celebrity cop status), a scenario teaming Eddie Murphy with Sir Sean Connery as a Scotland Yard detective, and another Axel Foley-in-London idea, where his Scotland Yard counterpart would have been played by John Cleese. The last story would have involved a British gangster loosely based on the real-life Kray brothers, who was captured in Detroit and transported to London by Paul Reiser’s Jeffrey, and Axel would have gone overseas after the gangster’s henchmen broke him out of custody and murdered Jeffrey. This concept was scrapped, because producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer decided it was too close to the storyline of Black Rain (1989). (All sound terrible to be honest, although Connery would have been bonkers)

Disney Composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who wrote the Wonder World song for the movie, both filmed cameos. Robert was among the old men discussing the murder at the bar, but Richard’s cameo as the Grand Marshal of the Wonder World parade was cut out.

Eddie Murphy said he thought “Beverly Hills Cop III was infinitely better than Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).” He then later claimed during an interview in 2006 on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) that he felt the third film was “atrocious” and such a disgrace that “the character was kind of banished for a while (from Hollywood).” He said he felt the third film did not reveal enough of the “edginess” of Axel that was present in the first two films. He also said he hopes to return the edgy qualities to the character when he reprises the role next time, and is going to pay more attention to the development of the project, and its quality. (Hmmmm actually makes me more interested in a Beverly Hills Cop IV)

One idea for the film came from Brandon Tartikoff who suggested a crossover film, with Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee, but the idea was rejected by Eddie Murphy. (WHAT)

The Land of the Dinosaurs ride is the closed ride called Kingdom of the Dinosaurs from Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.

The location of Wonder World according to Rosewood’s map is in Encino, California. (Got to keep an eye out for that)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (Robert Rehme, Mace Neufeld, 1995)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (John Landis, 1995)