A Walk to Remember Preview

“Wait wait wait,” Rich yells to the centaur as he gets dangerously close to cutting their tree free of the cliff. Just as Rich and Poe lament the end of their adventure, they hear a tiny voice, “Wait Sorsaron, let’s hear them out.” A tiny man in a robe appears next to Sorsaron, “Well?” he asks expectantly. Thinking quickly, Rich and Poe lay it all on the line. “Help us and you save the world,” they say solemnly. The centaur’s eyes softens, “Brawln, throw down a rope.” As they walk, Brawln and Sorsaron explain their gritty origin story. Such a mismatched pair! One a barbarian, the other a diminutive mage, they were brought together by fate under a blood wolf moon only to be captured by the evil gamemaster that is helping run the tournament. With each word, Rich and Poe can’t help but have a sense of deja vu. Have they heard this story before? It sounds suspiciously like an adventure they’ve already had except… worse. “We don’t care about this world,” explains Sorsaron, “but combine your earnestness with your muscled physiques and I had my first hope that perhaps you can defeat the gamemaster… even if the chances are still so slight.” Rich and Poe are deflated, it’s starting to sound like they have just as little idea about the well worn path as they do. But when they mention their task, Brawln and Sorsaron look startled. “The school,” Brawln mutters and at that Rich and Poe press them for more details. What and where is this school? “You must complete a task for us first,” Sorsaron insists. Rich and Poe look at each other and then agree. “Where to?” they ask and Brawl points across the desert. Well this should be a walk to remember. That’s right! We are watching teen drama A Walk to Remember. And before you riot and scream blasphemy against its inclusion in BMT just remember, we don’t make the rules… or I guess, we do technically make the rules, but by all metrics this did not get good reviews. So, tough. Deal with it. It’s based on a Nicholas Sparks book and was part of his rise to Hollywood prominence in the 2000’s. Let’s go!

A Walk to Remember (2002) – BMeTric: 4.5; Notability: 22 

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(This might genuinely be the highest rated film (according to IMDb) that we’ve ever done. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a bit of crying this week.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – “A Walk to Remember” is a love story so sweet, sincere and positive that it sneaks past the defenses built up in this age of irony. It tells the story of a romance between two 18-year-olds that is summarized when the boy tells the girl’s doubtful father: “Jamie has faith in me. She makes me want to be different. Better.” After all of the vulgar crudities of the typical modern teenage movie, here is one that looks closely, pays attention, sees that not all teenagers are as cretinous as Hollywood portrays them.

(See! Roger Ebert loves it! How is it possible it got such bad reviews? I have a theory: With things like Dawson’s Creek and The OC and 90210 kind smashing television from the late 90s to the early 2000s people were just burnt out on melodramatic teen dramas. And so even the good versions of it, like this, got dunked on by mainstream critics. Prove me wrong!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq02sBe5xko/

(Landon Carter is a bad boy. And then he meets a good girl. And he wears headphones, and looks super cool. And they’ll fall in love, and everything is super sweet and awesome. But then he’s like “I’m too cool”, but then he’s like “I love you”.)

Directors – Adam Shankman – (Known For: What Men Want; Hairspray; Rock of Ages; Future BMT: The Wedding Planner; Bedtime Stories; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; The Pacifier; Bringing Down the House; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Got into Juilliard for dance without ever having taken a formal dancing course, and then started as a choreographer. He clearly has a relationship with Steve Martin, whom he directed in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Bringing Down the House. He also helped organize the 82nd Academy Awards which Martin hosted.)

Writers – Nicholas Sparks (novel) – (Known For: The Notebook; Future BMT: The Last Song; Nights in Rodanthe; Message in a Bottle; Dear John; The Lucky One; The Best of Me; BMT: The Choice; Safe Haven; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Apparently he still holds a Track and Field record at Notre Dame. He tends to write Christian-themed romance novels centered around tragedy.)

Karen Janszen (screenplay) – (Known For: Dolphin Tale; Dolphin Tale 2; The MatchMaker; Gracie; Digging to China; Duma; Future BMT: Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; BMT: A Walk to Remember; Notes: Created the recent television show Mars.)

Actors – Mandy Moore – (Known For: Midway; Tangled; Ralph Breaks the Internet; The Princess Diaries; 47 Meters Down; Saved!; Dr. Dolittle 2; Romance & Cigarettes; Dedication; Future BMT: Southland Tales; Love, Wedding, Marriage; Racing Stripes; American Dreamz; Swinging with the Finkels; How to Deal; Chasing Liberty; Try Seventeen; Hotel Noir; BMT: License to Wed; Because I Said So; The Darkest Minds; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Was already a famous singer by the time this movie came out. Played herself on a season-long arc on Entourage as well.)

Shane West – (Known For: Get Over It; Awakening the Zodiac; Here Alone; Liberty Heights; What We Do Is Secret; Future BMT: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Whatever It Takes; Echelon Conspiracy; The Lodger; BMT: Dracula 2001; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Is in a band called Jonny Was (which was Average Jo when this film came out, they have a song on the soundtrack). Played Bane on the television show Gotham.)

Peter Coyote – (Known For: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; Erin Brockovich; Bitter Moon; Femme Fatale; Good Kill; The Legend of Billie Jean; Southern Comfort; Jagged Edge; Cross Creek; Outrageous Fortune; Kika; Resurrecting the Champ; The Hebrew Hammer; Northfork; Heartbreakers; Bon voyage; Suddenly Naked; Here; La rançon de la gloire; Future BMT: Sphere; Moonlight and Valentino; Unforgettable; A Little Trip to Heaven; Patch Adams; BMT: Random Hearts; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Changed his name to Coyote because he took drugs once, hallucinated that he was a coyote, and then saw a coyote later and someone convinced him it was a sign. That is straight from his Wikipedia page.)

Budget/Gross – $11,800,000 / Domestic: $41,281,092 (Worldwide: $47,494,916)

(That is a decent hit. Honestly I’m a bit surprised it is that low. I would have expected a bit more from the movie that I think obviously kicked off the Sparks craze.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (28/103): Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy.

(Sounds about right, that is certainly part of why I’ve never seen the film. Comes across as syrupy sweet. Reviewer Highlight: Just because A Walk to Remember is shrewd enough to activate girlish tear ducts doesn’t mean it’s good enough for our girls. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – A Sklog to Remember (B)

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(You have to admit that this is effective. If people are looking for some romance in their lives then this seems like a solid advertising scheme, with some soft colors and love in the air. Hate the font though. That would have helped immensely.)

Tagline(s) – She didn’t belong. She was misunderstood. And she would change him forever. (B)

It all comes down to who’s by your side (D)

(The first has the elements you want but just doesn’t get there in a reasonable amount of time. It’s nice though so it still gets a good score. The second one is a little confusing. First, why does the poster need two taglines? Second, what does this have to do with this movie? Third, this is a simple statement without even a sense of cleverness. It’s bad.)

Keyword – high school girl

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Top 10: Lady Bird (2017), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Mean Girls (2004), The Breakfast Club (1985), Superbad (2007), Old School (2003), The Craft (1996), A Walk to Remember (2002), Never been Kissed (1999); 

Future BMT: 33.2 Drive Me Crazy (1999); 

BMT: A Walk to Remember (2002), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), The Gallows (2015)

(This has inspired me to update this section to take on multiple keywords. Like I want to just lump in all of the keywords to give the impression of “high school teen rom dram” you know? And probably do something like take the top 200-300 only so that it is a bit more manageable to generate. Makes me excited. EDITOR’s NOTE: Box Office Mojo appears to be blocking me from getting information, which is their prerogative. But I should be able to update this section to focus on the notability anyways, so I’m ultimately fine with it. Stay tuned)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Mandy Moore is No. 1 billed in A Walk to Remember and No. 2 billed in Because I Said So, which also stars Diane Keaton (No. 1 billed) who is in The Big Wedding (No. 2 billed), which also stars Robert De Niro (No. 1 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 4 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – This movie was filmed in only thirty-nine days, despite the fact that they only had Mandy Moore for ten hours a day because she was still a minor. (Wow, that is actually impressive)

Shane West loved the car he had in the movie so much that he actually bought the car; the price was only $5,000. (Nice, that’s cool)

Much of the movie’s soundtrack includes music from the band Switchfoot, who, at the time, were really only recognized in their native San Diego and in Contemporary Christian music circles. Mandy Moore was a huge fan of the band and had a great deal of influence in their participation on the film. When they were approached to do the film, however, the members really had no idea who Moore was and were not familiar with her music (despite her status as a pop star with several hits on the charts). Once they came on board, they contributed four existing tracks to the soundtrack. In addition, lead singer Jon Foreman recorded a duet with Mandy Moore, “Someday We’ll Know.” Moore also sings a version of the Switchfoot song “Only Hope” during the play in the film. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??)

The inspiration for Jamie Sullivan’s character and some of the events in the book/movie are from Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis (whom the book and movie are dedicated to).

The pictures of Jamie, on the mantle of the fireplace in the Sullivan house, are real pictures of Mandy Moore when she was a little girl.

The movie was shot in North Carolina; many of the sets were from the TV show Dawson’s Creek (1998), particularly the school, the hospital and Landon’s home. (NOICE)

The second film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and the first to be rated PG.

Juwanna Mann Preview

This week is Juwanna Mann. I vaguely remember this film coming out and being appalled. Didn’t seem to make sense that anyone, anywhere thought it was a good idea and I was like 14. This makes it perfect for the comedy entry in the Aiiirrrrbbbaaallllll! cycle. In Juwanna Mann we have a plethora of active (at the time) NBA talent featured. Rasheed Wallace? Vlade Divac? Dikembe Mutombo? Yes, yes, and yes. Ball don’t lie, baby. Ball don’t lie. For those keeping track, Juwanna Mann is indeed part of the (366) Days of Bummer. June 21st in the books. Yay! Let’s go!


Juwanna Mann (2002) – BMeTric: 37.4

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(This trajectory makes sense because the movie came out in 2002, so the number of votes were still in the initial rise a few years later presumably. Despite a rather drastic increase in the IMDB rating (4.0 to 4.5 in the last three years, why?), the score has settled in quite nicely at around 40, which is what I would expect I think.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – Egocentric basketball star torpedoes his own career and no one in the NBA will hire him – until he disguises himself as a woman and joins a female team. Naturally, he’s attracted to one of his colleagues – and predictably, he suffers a crisis of conscience as the experience turns him into a better man. This is Tootsie light – or is it tootsie dark? Similarities to that classic comedy are superficial at best. Several real-life sports figures appear as themselves.

(That “tootsie dark” joke is a little passé Leonard. I would say he should scrap that one in future editions but there are no more future editions. Too late. “Several real-life sports figures appear as themselves” is the most important takeaway from all this.)

Trailer – https://youtu.be/LfGnspMWpUY

(Woah. That starts off with some really bad jokes. Like the stamp joke seems to belong in a spoof and not a film that purports to be set in a real world. And then he’s dancing with some twins and he yells “I got to rethink cloning.” I love the use of the word “rethink” in that joke. The implication being that Jamal has thought long and hard about the biomedical ethics of the process… but then these hot twins got him all confused! After that I blacked out and didn’t get to see the rest of the trailer. I presume it’s pretty much the same as Big Momma’s House.)

Director(s) – Jesse Vaughan – (BMT: Juwanna Mann; Notes: A 27-time emmy award winner (mostly news and sports) before directing his one and only feature film in Juwanna Mann)

Writer(s) – Bradley Allenstein (written by) – (BMT: Who’s Your Caddy?; Juwanna Mann; Notes: This entire thing is fascinating. Here’s an article about Juwanna Mann. Basically it seems like Vaughan got attached because Allenstein knew Steve Oedekerk, who worked on In Living Color with Vaughan. I have a feeling they were attempting to do this on the cheap hoping for a fast and decent return.)

Actors – Miguel A. Núñez Jr. – (Known For: The Return of the Living Dead; Life; Lethal Weapon 3; Black Dynamite; BMT: Juwanna Mann; Scooby-Doo; Street Fighter (seen it); The Adventures of Pluto Nash (seen it); Meet Dave; Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (seen it); Leprechaun 4: In Space (seen it); Notes:  Was at one time a telemarketer for the Lakers. Was cut out of Lethal Weapon where he had a fight scene with Mel Gibson.)

Budget/Gross: $15,600,000 / $13,670,733 ($13,802,599 Worldwide)

(So close to breaking even! Surprisingly there is little of interest in the actual release numbers. Not the worst release ever, but not very good.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 9% (8/83), With its tired premise, Juwanna Mann’s jokes fall flat.

(This is the saddest RT consensus I’ve ever seen. Couldn’t even get up enough to throw a cheesy pun at us? Unless “fall flat” is a play on words… is it? I don’t think it is… but is it? Nah… or maybe… nah.)

Poster – Double Basketball Photoshop Nightmare

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(This may be the worst poster we have had since we started including it in the email. Dear God. Everything I hate is included in this one. Avert your eyes, it’s hideous. Why is he standing on a giant basketball? Why is everyone perched upon the title like clipart? Why isn’t Juwanna Man in the center of the poster? Is it because his head would hit the bottom two names? WHY ARE THERE SEVEN PEOPLE LISTED ON THIS POSTER?! I’M LOSING MY MIND)

Tagline(s) – The only way he can stay pro, is to play (like) a girl. (F)

(Oh my God! Could this film from concept to advertising campaign represent the nadir of filmmaking? I can’t even read this with a straight face. It is awful. Was this film a tax scam or something?)

Notes – Kevin Pollak has said that when he signed on to the film, Will Smith was set to star. (haha, in what universe do you live Kevin Pollak?)

Tyra Banks was originally cast as Michelle Langford. (alrighty then)

Chris Tucker turned down the lead role. (good for you Chris Tucker)

Found a full section on this film in the book “Sports Heroines on Film.” Spoiler Alert! Gives away the fact that Juwanna Mann gives an impassioned speech to his teammates in the film! Which is like an anti-spoiler. Makes me even more excited.