The Country Bears Recap

 

If you think you are the world’s number one Country Bears groupie, then you need to get on this quiz. Jamie, naturally got 100% so … good luck.

Jamie

Beary feels like he just doesn’t belong and so runs away to find his place in the world with the help of his heroes The Country Bears. Will he be able to get the band back together, save Country Bear Hall, and discover the meaning of life before it’s too late? Find out in… The Country Bears.

How?! Beary Barrington seems just a little different. That’s because he’s a bear and his family are humans. Thinking that he might fit in better elsewhere he runs away to get advice from those he identified most with: The Country Bears. They are of course a band of animatro… I mean, totally real bears who used to be one of the biggest bands in the world. After mauling several civilians to death (one can only presume), Beary arrives at Country Bear Hall to find that it is about to be demolished by the evil Reed Thimple. Oh no! Beary suggests that the band get back together and tots put on a huge concert to earn the necessary funds to save the hall. A series of misadventures and oddly placed dance and music numbers ensue, culminating in the band reuniting, but getting in a big fight and deciding not to play the concert. A distraught Beary realizes that the being a family doesn’t mean you have to look alike, but that it’s the love that’s inside that counts. Awwwww. Rushing back home he is greeted not only by his loving family but also The Country Bears who have been inspired by his courage to play the big concert after all. Double awwww. Just at that moment though the country bear bus (and several members of the band) are kidnapped by Reed Thimple. This lasts approximately five seconds before Beary and his family bust them out, rush over to Country Bear Hall, and put on the big (clearly overpriced) concert to earn the $20000 they needed. THE END.

Why?! Like many kids’ films this is primarily about feeling different but realizing that that’s OK. Beary wants to feel like he belongs somewhere, most importantly with his family. Only once he gets a taste of human flesh (probably) and sees that even a band (which seems so tight knit) might have their problems does he realize that fitting in is more about love than looks. Everyone else just wants to get paid and laid. They are a world famous band after all. The Country Bears hooking up with groupies is probably on the extended DVD.

What?! Is this a product placement for itself? Like was this not supposed to get people all jazzed about the Country Bear Jamboree and want to see them up close and personal? If this was a major blockbuster a la Pirate of the Caribbean would we have Country Bear World instead of Harry Potter World? Also funny reading up on the attraction and realizing there are literally like a thousand bears in the show. We really only got the… bear minimum (AY-OH).

Who?! Big Al is like a Planchet, but awesome and everyone loves him. He talks real slow, loves his grass, and puts one over on those that mean to do harm to The Country Bears. Love you, Big Al. More importantly there are like a trillion musician cameos in this film. The most prominent of those are Jennifer Paige and Krystal, who both get solo songs to sing (and were apparently never heard from again). Elton John, Willie Nelson, Don Henley, etc. etc. etc. all appear as themselves in a Making the Music type documentary shown at the beginning and end of the film.

Where?! Tennessee, baby! It’s pretty obviously TN, but I had trouble proving it for most of the movie. Luckily there was a close-up of a license plate and some police officer uniforms that confirmed it. C+.

When?! My best guess here is September 2001. This is based on a table calendar on a desk in an office store (so not an exact science). For obvious reasons I would expect that the events of the film took place in the beginning of the month… unless 9/11 didn’t happen in the human-bear world that the film took place in… which is real weird to think about. C+.

I was actually a little surprised how much I didn’t mind this film while at the same time realizing that it is bonkers insane. The entire film takes place in a world where humans and talking bears coexist and everyone just understands and accepts this. Bears are just sprinkled here and there throughout the world. If this weren’t a kids’ film I would say there might have been some allegory to race in America, but no… right?… wait… right? Once you get past that it’s pretty much a harmless kids’ film with some pretty elaborate song and dance numbers performed by C-list musicians. Real weird but not totally bad. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Sometimes, when you feel like you just don’t belong, there is only one thing to do … watch a kids movie about how to feel like you belong. Spoiler alert: it turns out you belonged the whole time! Thanks, Country Bears! Let’s go!

The Good (Sklognalysis) – The movie is extremely linear, which makes it pleasant enough at times. Basically Beary Barrington doesn’t feel like he belongs with his human family, so he goes to live with his heros the Country Bears, who he helps to save Country Bear Hall … the end. Literally that is the entire movie. And if you were to make this movie, maybe you could make it better, but at least they can say you couldn’t streamline it any more than they did. They got some decently solid comedic actors to be in this. I wanted to pop a little Sklognalysis here mainly because we here at BMTHQ started to turn around a bit on watching kids’ movies for BMT. This is mainly because of the B-story in these movies, like the hostile corporate takeover in Nine Lives, which are endlessly fascinating, why would a kid want to watch that? Well, here you see a kids film without a B-story at all. It is so linear that they couldn’t even really squeeze in a short section where Mr. Barrington is whistleblowing on his logging company or whatever. Is this good? I think so, it kind of reminds me of Air Bud, where even the B-story (Air Bud’s original owner comes and tries to get Buddy back) is really a part of the A-story, and makes for a more pleasant and clear watching experience. But it certainly makes the movie less fun as well. So kind of a mixed bag. We’ll keep you up to date on our evolving kids’ movie thoughts.

The Bad (Sklog-quel) – The musical acts are not the worst musical acts I’ve seen in a movie. … Er, well … beside one:

My god, is it weird that I’m only mainly concerned about where the guitar player came from? The animatronics are disquietingly creepy (as one reviewer put it). Walken as the bad guy is just weird, and leads to some poor directorial decision making (like the triple take smashing of a model Country Bear Hall:

which is just weird). Diedrich Bader pulls double duty, but his live action performance in particular is very not good. For the Sklog-quel I think I want a remake. Basically, the suggestion that the bears kind of inexplicably just live in the real world (and people seem to think they are indistinguishable from humans?) is very problematic for me. Let’s see a movie where the bears kind of live in the woods in a secret community. Make Tobolowsky the manager in a logging company and Walken his eeeeevil boss who wants nothing more than to destroy the Country Bears home. The concert is more of a coming out party, to make the world aware of the Bears, and the main character is merely Tobolowsky’s (human) son who discovers and decides to help them save their home. I’m just imagining the Ewok Village of a set they would have built for this and am enamored with the idea. Would it suddenly make the movie much better? Maybe, maybe not. But for me it extracts one of the more perplexing choices they decide to make, which is having the Country Bears just kind of … around.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – The legacy I think is all part of BMT coming home to one of its original genres, the kids’ movie. If kids’ movies continue to grow in popularity with the Bad Movie Twins, then so shall the legacy of trailblazers like The Country Bears. The StreetCreditReport.com is also pretty solid. Mentioned in at least a few worst of lists in a year marked by some truly dire options like Ballistic Ecks vs Sever. It is mostly dismissed as a kids movie, but still finds some play here and there.

Now how is it as an adaptation … actually quite good. All things considered what do you do with The Country Bears? You make a big animatronic romp. And given that requirement they dish in spades, I mean … there are a ton of animatronics. I think I give it a B+. If it was actually a good movie you’d be seeing Pirates level of adaptation grades there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Fifty Shades Freed Recap

 

If you’ve seen the movie, take the quiz. How much do you know about billionaire playboy Christian Grey?

Jamie

Anastasia and Christian are totes married and ready to settle down except a pesky stalker, a pregnancy, and the inability to be sane keep getting in the way. Can they figure out their marriage and dispose of the stalker before it’s too late? Find out in… Fifty Shades Freed.

How?! We are all jazzed for the wedding of the century. Anastasia and Christian are tying the knot and ready to not share each other with anyone ever again (who needs friends and family? Amirite?). Whisked away to France for a little smooching under the sun the honeymoon is ruined (ruined!) when Christian is informed that Eric, the skeevy ex-boss of Anastasia, has broken into his company and stolen documents. Uh oh! But you know what will pick you up? A little house hunting and doing well at your job that you totally earned through hard work and skill. Let’s do that for like a half hour. Only when Christian leaves for NYC and Anastasia gets attacked by Eric do things really pick up in the film… what’s that? No it doesn’t? Oh right, let’s go on vacation to Aspen for another half hour of the film. Just a little hiking in a luxury locale. Cool, cool, cool, cool. But after that totally dealing with this Debbie Downer Eric character… still not yet? Anastasia’s pregnant and Christian is none too pleased with that. He gets all drunk and sulky because he doesn’t want to share Anastasia with his baby. She’ll love the baby more than she loves him (as is a totally normal thing to worry about). Only as this drama really comes to a head do we find that Eric has kidnapped Christian’s sister Mia. While Anastasia gets the ransom money and attempts to convince Christian that she just needs it because he’s a monster that she has to leave, Christian understands intuitively that something must be up. They (finally) converge on Eric and totally shoot him and everyone is safe and the baby is born and there lives are great and well adjusted because they are normal people, don’t worry about it. THE END.

Why?! A question as old as time: what are the motivations of the characters in the Fifty Shades series. It’s obviously love (although a love I cannot understand). She can’t resist him, he can’t resist her. Everything that is done in the film is done for that love, even Christian’s crazy reasons why he doesn’t want to have a baby. There are a lot of reasons to be apprehensive about having a baby, but him being primarily concerned that he doesn’t want to share Anastasia with a baby is… fucking nuts. As for the antagonist, Eric, he grew up with Christian in foster care and I guess decided that he should have had Christian’s life and it drives him insane?… honestly the whole book/film seemed poorly thought through… which I guess was a good thing for us.

What?! It was hard to pick up on any product placement other than the fact that the film may as well have been called Audis Make Me Horny: The Movie. Allowing Anastasia to drive an Audi is the greatest gift Christian ever gives Anastasia… but that’s not hard because he’s basically a monster the rest of the time.

Who?! It would be the best if there was a Planchet in this films… a fat assistant that they make fun of all day. But alas. I also wish that someone played the President in this. Like Anastasia and Christian roll up to a plane and she’s like “Is this yours?” and Christian is like “No, it’s his.” and points to the President and it’s Air Force One. But instead I can only point out that Rita Ora has appeared in all of these films and is primarily a musician.

Where?! Seattle, baby! They leaned into the setting hard and I applaud it for that. I just which they spent a bit more time in the Space Needle, or on a ferry, or at Seattle Grace Hospital. As it is it could have been set in LA or San Fran without missing a beat. B.

When?! I’m gonna be honest. Since I streamed this film the quality was so low that I could not make out the date in the spots where I would usually find it. For example, cell phone screens were all fuzzy… and all in Spanish. F (for now).

This is straight trash that I couldn’t even bring myself to watch in theaters. I was so terrified by the thought of having to shadily sneak my way in and out like a pervert that I just streamed it on my magical dream machine from the comfort of my home. Is it worse than Fifty Shades Darker? In a lot of ways yes: it’s pretty easily the tamest of the bunch when it comes to being the erotic romance/thriller it hoped to be. I other ways no: Anastasia was a lot stronger in this one and at least something happened with the whole Eric situation. Overall this whole series is pretty much the ideal scenario for BMT. Much like Transformers it was a can’t miss entry. There was literally no way it could get good reviews. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Two years ago we were shaded. Last year we went darker. This year we are free. We watched a heart-wrenching documentary on spousal abuse called Fifty Shades Freed. Anastasia, I’ll distract Christian, you destroy your phone and get out of Seattle! We are going to get through this together. Let’s go!

The Good (Sklogcabulary Quiz) – Anastasia Steele as a character shows good growth through the series, and in this she is a fine young woman just looking to fix a broken young man. The soundtrack, as usual, was bumping. The film at the very least pumped up the excitement for the finale. This is a more personal Sklocabulary Quiz this week:

The Full Tril-Oh-Geez (n.) – A trilogy where each film was watched for BMT during its year of release.

Unfortunately the Golden Tril-Oh-Geez has yet to be done. That is where we watch each leg in theaters. We sadly watched the original Fifty Shades of Grey a few months after its release in 2015. Perhaps our destiny is for BMT to end with a Golden Tril-Oh-Geez … well not today! We live to see another Thursday.

The Bad (Sklog-quel) – Christian Grey is as much of an abusive garbage man as he always is. While they pumped up the excitement, the film is basically incomprehensible and the somehow still boring. The sex scenes are the worst part of the film, which is obviously unacceptable. The film will make you say “Whaaaaaaat?” at least three times. The Sklog-quel I would like to see is obviously the prequel concerning the corruption of teenaged Christian Grey by Elena Lincoln. The main reason is that I’m obsessed with the idea of them casting someone to specifically play a young Kimmy B (that’s what we call Kim Basinger). I would also obviously throw $20 million at Dornan just to see if he’d be willing to play a 17-year-old version of himself. He is 35, he can do it, he’s got the range. You know you want it … you know the world wants it.

The BMT (Reviewer Highlight) – Ah the legacy. The legend of Fifty Shades will live on in BMT lore. It comprises an unreasonable number of our Live viewings, and in a way BMT grew up with it. It is also a modern interpretation of the early-90s erotic thriller, which Jamie and I have a strange affection for. The StreetCreditReport will come in bunches, but in time. Let me just leave you with another Reviewer Highlight: Might as well be called “So I Married a Sociopath.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service.

Shockingly we somehow managed to find a film that was both in theaters and an adaptation of a book. Well, I read exactly ten pages of the first book before falling into a weeks long coma. I will not give it an adaptation grade, but I am sure it is an F. Spoiler … I couldn’t bring myself to go to the theater for this one, it was too embarrassing. I watched it by myself because my wife refused to watch it with me. Not only do I not blame her, I’m proud of her.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs