10,000 BC Recap

Jamie

Let me transport you back 12,000 years to a time where movies were super boring. That’s right! We watched 10,000 BC. Let’s get into the details.

What?! After most of his prehistoric tribe is captured and taken as slaves by an advanced civilization, D’Leh follows in pursuit in an attempt to rescue his lady love Evolet. Will he rescue Evolet (and more importantly live up to a legend) before it’s too late? Find out in… 10,000 BC!

Why?! In the grand scheme of the plot there are three different reasons for the pursuit. Most obviously it is to rescue the tribe since the remaining tribesmen won’t survive without enough hunters. The second is to rescue Evolet specifically since she is, according to legend, a major cog in the tribe’s future. Without her it is feared that the legend will not come to be. Finally, for D’Leh himself it is because he is in love with Evolet and wants to get her back so he can get laid and paid (classic motivation, really). As for the advanced civilization doing the capturing, all they want is more slaves to build their sweet pyramids.

How?! Early in the film we see Evolet arrive as a child to the tribe. She has blue eyes and their priest determines that she is the future wife of a legendary warrior who will save them when their main food source, mastodons, runs scarce. D’Leh sees Evolet and is instantly smitten. As they grow up they grow to love each other, but no one really thinks D’Leh is the warrior of legend and worthy of her hand (even D’Leh). After the tribe is attacked and captured, including Evolet, D’Leh puts his big boy pants on and goes in pursuit of the attackers, following them across mountains, jungle, and desert. As he travels the many civilizations they encounter determine that D’Leh is their legendary hero and he builds a mighty army. Once he tracks the attackers to the hub of their advanced civilization he uses this army to dispatch their leader. At the very last moment Evolet is killed, only to be Deus Ex Machina-ed back to life. Phew! That was close. They return home, bringing with them new farming techniques that allow for the extended survival of their tribe just as the legend foretold.

Who?! There is literally no humor in this film at all so there is no Planchet. There is a pretty good cameo by Omar Sharif as the narrator of the film (and boy, the narration doesn’t quit). Most important though I need to throw out an Animal Friend Alert for this film. After D’Leh rescues a sabertooth tiger from drowning he is rewarded by the tiger becoming his friend, adding to his legend. They also did this in After Earth with a giant bird and gotta say, still doesn’t work.

Where?! The advanced civilization in this film is almost certainly Egypt. Not only are they building a pyramid and the sphinx in scenes, but the alternate ending that I watched on the DVD makes it pretty clear that the pyramid is the Khafre pyramid. Additionally, D’Leh follows the North Star to get to the civilization, while the tribe’s attackers took boats up a river (the Nile). I would say this safely suggests that the tribe in the film lives somewhere in the Ethiopian Highlands (supported by the fact that the Semien Mountains in that region is the only place where snow regularly falls in Africa and there is a bunch of snow in the film) and they were following The Nile. Boom. Solid sleuthing.

When?! 10,000 BC, duh. That’s an A+ setting even if you can’t get any more specific. Besides, during the film a tribe travels from Ethiopia to Egypt. Likely took a really long time.

That’s way more details than you needed for this snoozefest. A couple solid aspects regarding the tiger friend, but not much else. But I’ll leave that up to Patrick. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! 10,000 BC? I certainly feels like I watching that film for thousands of years! Zing! Roland Emmerich is every so often asked to convert tens of millions of dollars into an impressive looking film. A good film? Well … let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – If there was anything good to say about this film it is that the ultimate villain (a god-like figure building a pyramid in the desert) had some interesting ideas woven into his lore. He’s a weirdo no one is allowed to look at (for no other reason that maybe they’d figure out he was an old man? … unclear. Either that or he was albino … ), they seem to have come from Atlantis. I was kind of digging that a bit. So Prequel duh. Let’s get into 10,000 BC: The Fall of Atlantis. We meet our god like villain when he was, spoiler, a slave in Atlantis! He leads a rebellion and in the process destroys the machinery keeping the sinking continent above the ocean surface. Could be fun … unless.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – I left you waiting there, … unless the movie was so boring you just didn’t even care about the solid CGI and ultra-polished directoral work. The actors might as well have had no faces they were all charisma sinks, the oppressive voice over basically build a story out of nothing, and I just didn’t care about this stupid hero’s journey we were being slowly spoonfed. The sin is sloth, it made me feel like a waste of life watching his borefest. And no one could even be bothered to punch that script up. Boo! I had such high hopes 10,000 BC, such high hopes for you.

The BMT: Legacy – If anything this is a movie I will look back on as a weird missed opportunity. It is like a better looking Pathfinder, but has none of the absurd actors that entertain you throughout. Instead you have faceless nobodies, a voiceover supplying plot details, and a sagging middle where the protagonist just puts an army together. Maybe it could break out as an example of bad historical details? Like there are domesticated horses 6000 years before they should exist, and man-eating birds in a place that definitely is not New Zealand (among many other things). But I feel like that is it. I specifically don’t want to slog my way through another 2 hours of that I can tell you that much. Blah.

Hmmm, I feel like this needs something else now … Ah, how about a Street Credit Report (dot com)! I thought up this as a kind of extension of the BMT: Legacy. But while that is focused on what the movie meant to BMT, this focuses a bit more on perhaps a more global perception. And interestingly … this appears on a lot less worst of lists that I would expect. But Joe Neumaier has it as his worst film of 2008 for the NY Daily News. It is number 8 on this blog, NME.com. And probably most noteworthy Richard Roeper has it as his number 4. Solid cred I think (phew). It is also blowing my mind that this movie came out the same year as Love Guru … that was one of our first films (#3 in fact). Anywho, cheerios,

The Sklogs

That’s My Boy Recap

Jamie

What?! Donny Berger is a has-been celebrity famous for a lurid affair with his middle school math teacher that produced a love child. Finding himself on the verge of prison for tax evasion, Donny must reconnect with his estranged son just days before his son’s wedding in order to somehow come up with the cash. Will he get the cash and more importantly reconnect with his son before it’s too late? Find out in… That’s My Boy.

Why?! As is the case with all Sandler films it wears its motivations on its sleeves. The cash that Donny must come up with to avoid jail is the MacGuffin of sorts. It forces him to try to reconnect with his son conveniently at a time when his son, Han Solo, is getting married and in the news. I say it’s a MacGuffin “of sorts” because once Donny shows up at the wedding weekend that plot is barely mentioned again until the very end of the film. Donny is having so much fun slumming it with some rich sexual deviants that he seems to forget all about the cash he needs. As for the antagonist of the film, Han Solo’s fiance, she is simply a classic gold digger. Wanting to marry Todd and set herself up for a life of riches even though she doesn’t really love him and cheats on him all the time. Donny to the rescue.

How?! Once Donny shows up at the wedding he he first tries to scam Han Solo into earning him some quick cash by filming a television special. When Han Solo refuses he settles in for the weekend pretending to be Han Solo’s best friend and winning the love and adoration of the bride’s family. Unable to get rid of Donny, Han Solo slowly but surely embraces his estranged dad as they go one increasingly disgusting adventures together. Eventually Han Solo figures out the scam for cash that Donny was running and he boots him out of the wedding only to have Donny discover that Han Solo’s fiance is cheating on Han Solo with her brother. You read that right. That’s the actual storyline. Of course Donny swoops into the wedding, reveals the secret incest, and saves the day. The end.

Who?! I don’t think you could honestly write about this film without talking about the extended Vanilla Ice cameo. He is TERRIBLE. He’s not even playing a character. Just a slight caricature of himself. Still TERRIBLE. Additionally, we have former NFL coach Rex Ryan show up as a Boston super fan accountant. He is also TERRIBLE. Finally, gotta love films within films and we are given a couple scenes from the Donny Berger TV movie starring Ian Ziering as Donny Berger. Good stuff.

Where?! Great settings film. Donny is from Massachusetts and still lives in Massachusetts and Han Solo is getting married on Cape Cod. Mentioned all the time. Only thing that could have made it better was if it was set on Martha’s Vineyard. B.

When?! A little debate here and some suspicion that they changed the temporal setting in post. No debate at all that this is a SECRET HOLIDAY FILM ALERT. There is a wedding announcement paper that shows that Han Solo’s wedding is part of the “Memorial Weekend Weddings” edition. Also mentioned verbally later. Online there are some assertions that it takes place during Patriots Day Weekend. Understandable confusion since a marathon plays a role at the end of the film. It would seem that it may have been edited to match the release weekend as when they talk about the marathon there are several odd edits that suggest that it was indeed referred to as the Boston Marathon at some point. Solid B+ despite the change. Would have been an extra level holiday film if they used Patriots Day though.

Not sure if you could tell, but I got a kick writing Han Solo as one of the characters. Did it as many times as I could. Let’s throw it to Patrick for some BMT straight talk. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! That’s My Boy? More like Oh Boy! Amirite or amirite … right? Adam Sandler is comedy (and box office) gold, and this is in no ways based solely on my film preferences from when I was 13 years old … what could go wrong!? Let’s get into it.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – This is honestly the most successful Sandler film I’ve seen in awhile. Personally, I can often find things to like in Sandler films (In Blended I thought Barrymore and Sandler continued to have amazing chemistry, and Aniston is charming as always in Let’s Go With It). This is the first one in a while where I thought Sandler himself (goofy voice and all) did an okay job. Sequelize then brother! Let’s fast forward to, you guessed it, Donny Berger and Miss McGarricle’s wedding day which is naturally going to be broadcast live on VH1. But guess who’s here to ruin the show? Donny’s other son and Todd’s half-brother, Luke Skywalker Berger! Can Todd save the day just like Donny did for him? That’s My Boy: Dream Wedding … get it? That was the name of Nick and Vanessa’s reality wedding on TLC … whatever, amazing deep cut.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – So what was wrong with the film? Boring sagging middle, cursing for the sake of cursing, the usual unnecessary violence, and a terrible ending to the film (perplexing really). And as usual with Sandler films the sin is Greed: he can’t get enough of that sweet product placement you know (in this case Rolling Rock). I’m tempted by Sloth (the jokes are indeed lazy, Vanilla Ice merely acting terribly is supposed to be a joke I think and is meant to sustain a whole chunk of the finale). Predictably unfunny unfortunately.

The BMT: Legacy – This will become merely a footnote in our quest to complete Sandler’s filmography I think. Unlike the last two films we watched, this one isn’t BMT material more because it is slightly too good, and when it is bad it is just kind of loud-swearing bad. Like a 20 I think on the BMeTric scale, definitely bad, but you can kind of get away with liking it and it is not so boring I wouldn’t sit down and watch it again (especially because Samberg is great as usual).

A very very quick Sklognalysis at this point just to, again, mention the other routine feature of Sandler films besides blatant product placement. That’s right! Unnecessary celebrity (usually sports) cameos! In this case an amazingly brutal cameo by Rex Ryan as a Boston-area lawyer helping Sandler out with his legal troubles. Terrible at acting and basically given one job: pretend to like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. It’s not him that’s bad, to be clear, it is the material. Oh and Dan Patrick is in it as well, but he always is. Booooo!

Cheerios, 

The Sklogs

D-War: Dragon Wars Recap

Jamie

Hoooo boy! Fitting that the week that me and Patrick are traveling the beautiful countryside of Wales (official national animal: the dragon) is also the week that we are recapping a South Korean garbagefest focused on dragons. While we didn’t see any dragons on our hike (just millions of sheep and several very friendly (unfriendly?) cows), we got our fill from D-War. Let’s get into it.

What?! Five hundred years ago an Imugi (proto-dragon) was chosen to receive a Yeouiju (in the form of a young woman) and ascend to heaven to become a dragon, but was prevented from doing so through the devious acts of an evil Imugi. Five hundred years later these Imugi reemerge to fight over a new Yeouiju, Sarah, and only a local newscaster, Ethan, can protect her. Will he be able to deliver Sarah to the good Imugi before it’s too late? Find out in… D-War: Dragon Wars!

Why?! That all sounded like nonsense, right? Good. That’s because it is entirely entrenched in Korean folklore (if it were told through the lens of a SyFy Original Movie). As a result the characters’ motivations are pretty straightforward. Ethan is destined from childhood to protect the Yeouiju, Sarah. They aren’t totally aware of their destiny until the Imugi emerge from the Earth and suddenly they feel like there is something bigger that they are a part of. Eventually they understand that they are meant to keep Sarah out of the clutches of the evil Imugi long enough for the chosen Imugi to defeat him and take the Yeouiju for himself. It is implied that if the evil Imugi were to get Sarah he would ascend to heaven and destroy the Earth. Long story short: this film is basically a story told from the perspective of a MacGuffin.

How?! While reporting a news story about a major disaster in LA, Ethan recognizes a scale-like object in the earth. He remembers something strange that happened to him as a child where an old man claimed he was destined to protect a girl at a time when a good and evil Imugi would battle for ascendence to heaven. Using what he recalls from this meeting he tracks down the girl and they begin to run from the evil Imugi that seems set on finding and killing them. The rest of the movie is them running to a spot, sitting and talking for a little bit, and then running away again when the Imugi appears. Finally they are caught and the Yeouiju within Sarah is revealed, only to have the good dragon swoop in and kill the evil dragon. Knowing that the only way the battle will truly end is through her sacrifice, Sarah allows herself to be taken by the good dragon and Ethan walks away… like literally everyone disappears except Ethan and he walks slowly away into a weird wasteland desert while the credits roll. Bizarre.

Who?! I guess I’ll give a little shout out to Craig Robinson, who had a sizeable role in the film as Bruce. My favorite part was when they get in a fight and he appears to die only for ADR to chime in with “Come on, Bruce, get in the car.” “Go on without me, but I’ll be OK.” Then for the character to reappear several scenes later as if nothing happened. I’m fairly certain the director had no idea what he was doing. The editor probably hated every minute he had to work on this.

Where?! Los Angeles is very clearly the setting. It’s said a million, trillion times and a big fight occurs on the tallest building in the city. Still not central to the plot so a nice B+.

When?! This is the harder one. It is certainly set in 2007 as they go out of their way to have a flashback set in 1507 and say that the events of the film take place five hundred years later. After that, though, they pretty obviously obscured the exact date. They had a perfect opportunity to present it and cut away at the last moment. I’d give it a D+.

Not sure those details actually help understand a mostly incomprehensible film.

Patrick

Helo Pawb! That’s right, the Bad Movie Twins are reunited in Wales this week. Are we appreciating the pristine beauty of the rolling sheep-speckled countryside? Nay, we are watching Dragon Wars: D-War of course! More like F-War amirite? What do you get when you cross the first major South Korean release in the United States in decades with a literal crazy person as director? Some cray CGI dragons in your face that’s what! Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Remake it for sure. Why? Because the only thing that really worked in this film is that the CGI was indeed pretty solid for the time it came out, and you could kind of just get away with updating that and you’d have a similarly styled movie. Kaiju are having a moment, so let’s build the dragon master into the King Kong / Godzilla universe and get the party started! Godzilla and the Celestial Dragon versus Buraki?! Who wouldn’t want to see that? Me for one. This is a terrible idea. Unless Craig Robinson returns … he was actually great in the movie.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – So when you have a movie where the storyline makes no sense, the acting (outside of Craig Robinson) was terrible, and it is directed by a person who really would have rather just filmed a 40-minute fight scene between CGI monsters what can you really point to as the culprit. Greed? American producers thinking the South Korean formula for success could so easily be translated to the US market? Sloth? The unwillingness to check or control any aspect of the film to ensure something comprehensible was made? Nay! Pride. The director defines this movie. He is the beginning, middle, and end as to why this movie was terrible, since he was the writer as well. He could only be delusional, that is the only way this movie is made the way it was for $70 million and nothing be done about it.

The BMT: Legacy – Almost nothing. This movie is incredibly boring and I don’t really think there is many redeeming qualities ultimately. I would almost definitely never watch it again. A ten BMeTric, low for sure. Its legacy is that it is a giant foreign produced movie that tanked. Unlike something like Pinnochio it doesn’t even have the benefit of being horrifying, it is merely like Birdemic: a delusional person made a movie and it wasn’t so incredibly bad it became wonderful like The Room, it just remained incredibly bad. That’s about it, nothing special. Sorry D-War.

I do think I’ll leave it there for the week. No homework or analysis to be done (sadly) for the film. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Wagons East! Recap

Jamie

What?! After a group of settlers realize that the Wild West is super lame they all decide to head back East. Led by a former doctor, Phil, and a wagon master with a secret, Harlow, they strike out eastward much to the chagrin of some city fat cats who will do anything to stop them. Will they evade the traps set by the fat cats and make it back home? Find out in… Wagons East!

Why?! As mentioned above, the settlers have all come to the conclusion that the West sucks balls for one reason or another. It is the entire motivation for the plot of this film. Once they set out, others realize that quitting is OK and the eastward trek goes viral. This spooks a bunch of railroad tycoons and land developers who are about to get a major investment in railroad construction if they can achieve a high enough population in the West. They determine that they must stop the wagons, and thus the trend, by any means necessary in order to preserve the investment.

How?! While all the settlers hate the West, they also don’t want to be seen as quitters. A series of good omens and the arrival of a wagon master, albeit a drunk one, convinces them that quitting is OK and they set out on the trail. The businessmen looking to stop the wagon train first hire a local gunslinger to do the deed, but the wagons evade his traps by pure dumb luck. Even when the wagon train has their own bad luck, such as stumbling into a Native American war camp, they come out unscathed due to the common sense in their quest. The film basically proceeds like this, with more traps evaded and bad luck turning fortuitous. In the climactic scene, the US Cavalry is called in and Harlow challenges the leader to a fight. He wins and the wagon train proceeds without hindrance to St. Louis. If that sounds dumb and boring then you’re not far off.

Who?! No Planchet or cameos/musicians/athletes/presidents in this one. There is a notable character that went uncredited. That’s J.P. Moreland, the land developer that is trying to stop the wagon train. He’s played by Gailard Sartain (what a name!), who we know from most of the Ernest films and television show (usually as the character “Chuck,” although as “Jake (Chef #1)” in Ernest Goes to Camp). Presumably this is a case where he realized how bad the film was and chose to go uncredited, as his part is fairly significant.

Where?! Interesting settings film. We are shown in the beginning that Prosperity is located in the New Mexico Territory. From there they travel vaguely East until arriving in St. Louis. Pretty good all things considered. Not sure I’d count this as a setting that is vital to the plot though… The West isn’t really exact enough and it could have been set in Colorado or Arizona. B-

When?! I usually fear films set in the past or future. They are often satisfied with simply saying “Hey, we’re in the past/future!” and leaving it at that. Wagons East! is fortunately not one of those cases. We get some nice reference years to try to nail down the date. We are told that Phil is a former surgeon in the war. This is presumably the Civil War, so we can place the film sometime after 1865. Later we are told that Harlow led the Donner Party “about 20 years ago.” The Donner Party set out in May 1846, so makes sense that we are looking at about 1866-1867. As for the time of year, I get to set off a little Secret Holiday Film Alert! That’s because while the film is mostly vague on exactly when the wagon train is travelling, we are shown explicitly that they arrive at St. Louis on July 4th! Happy 4th of Jooooo-ly, everybody! B+

Now that you know the ins and outs of all that makes up Wagons East! we can dive into the BMT-ness of the film.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Wagons East!! More like Ragged Least! A parody starring classic comedians and slamming a genre cresting at the peak of its power? What could go wrong? Actually … seriously, what went wrong? Let’s get into it! Oh … and I’m trying something new. A twist to The Good, The Bad, The BMT. Basically they will now function as three minigames. Usually these will be the three that follow. After that, if there was a Homework Sklog-signment or other thing to discuss it will go there, otherwise it will be these three games. Let’s go!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Somewhere buried under the overlong unfunny mess of a production is a simple idea: Westerns are peaking in popularity after a lengthy period without releases in the 80s (Dances With Wolves and Unforgiven won best picture two and four years prior), so it is time to skewer them like Blazing Saddles did before! In that vein I think you could get away with a Reboot. But how you ask? Westerns aren’t really having a moment anymore. Ah, but it wouldn’t be a parody of Westerns … it is a parody of reboots! Complete with CGI Candy teaser at the end! Is that gross and weird or bizarrely brilliant, skewering the resurrection of characters played by now deceased actors in a reboot of one of the worst films ever? There is nothing to salvage here is the point, but like the reported (and abandoned) Men in Black / 21 Jump Street cross-over film, skewering the idea of bullshit crossovers, reboots, and origin stories is in.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Here I will try and identify the sin committed to create this film. Greed? Did they want that sweet Western boom money? Pride? In their hubris did they think they knew Westerns so well it would be easy to nail the genre? No … sloth. Produced by a company going out of business they hired people ill-suited for the job resulting in a movie containing almost no humor. Too lazy to rewrite or edit the movie makes no sense. Richard Lewis phones it in, literally wearing an 80’s NYC comedian blazer and mullet. They don’t even bother to give Candy a character (Ebert nailed that in his review). Top to bottom just terrible.

The BMT: Legacy – This movie is too boring to be good, like a ten in the BMeTric. The legacy of this film though is interesting. It is a rarity, a parody of Westerns. Alongside Blazing Saddles, and A Million Ways to Die in the West it comes along only so often. Parodies themselves are somewhat rare. The legacy is that this is literally the worst example of an extremely niche genre. And as such it will always have a place in BMT lore. Even if I never want to watch it again and it makes me sad. It has a place, it is a warning.

I’ll close with a short Sklognalysis as well. Mainly because it is astonishing to me that parody westerns managed to come out exactly 20 years apart right as the genre was cresting. In 1974 Blazing Saddles came out after the glut of Westerns in the late-60s. In 1994 Wagons East in response to things like Dances With Wolves. And in 2014 came A Million Ways To Die in the West. There always seems to be one. So what can we expect in 2034 I wonder. Mull on that.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs