Meet the Spartans Preview

Fresh off our hike to Spain, Patrick and I are captured by the Absterlutely FerSher Industries goons and thrust into the Amnimals machine. Turns out it was all a ruse (what a twist!) and they didn’t want to help us get the Obsidian Dongle at all! Instead they wanted to hook our super big brains (nbd) into the machine to triangulate the location of the Dongle and grab it for themselves so they can control the world (told you the Obsidian Dongle was rad). “No way!” we say. Time to double cross and grab the Dongle right back. They didn’t count on our ninja skillz as we totally karate chop them in the wrist and get all up in that Dongle business. However, upon fleeing using our jet packs the goons reverse the Amnimals machine to brain drain us! Oh no! We are becoming extra dumb dumbs! As we crash land in Greece we know deep down what we must do with the Obsidian Dongle but keep getting distracted by the dumbest things possible. That’s right! We’re watching Meet the Spartans. Almost certainly one of the dumbest things we’ll ever watch this is also the highest BMeTric scoring films left for BMT and obviously appears on the BMT Calendar. Perfect for our Challenges entry in the cycle. We’ve avoided it for too long. Let’s go!

Meet the Spartans (2008) – BMeTric: 95.9

MeettheSpartans_BMeT

MeettheSpartans_RV

(Even this gets a little bit of that sweet sweet regression to the mean. Given that there are now nearly 100K votes on IMDb I guess it isn’t a surprise that they aren’t all ones and twos. It must get a few threes thrown to it once in a while. This is just a shade below Epic Movie as the worst (best?) BMeTric of all time.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  The creators of Date Movie and Epic Movie concocted this moronic, product-placement-laden spoof of the homoeroticism of 300, aimed at adolescent boys. Plot involves King Leonidas of Sparta (Maguire) and his self-adoring, scantily clad warriors as they battle the Persians. Oodles of pop-cultural references are complete duds. Unrated version runs 87m.

(That run time pleases me, as does the kick ass hyphen game from Leonard, and that this is the second BOMB of the cycle. Funny enough looking around I think this is only the second BOMB in something like eight months, although that is slightly less clear. He is certainly precious with them.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY-zJtYYolo

(Oooooof the Britney Spears part. That actress plays like four or five different parts and was in over one hundred MadTv episodes (that makes so much sense …). The film looks aggressively dumb and not funny. Why? Why are we doing this?)

Directors – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – (Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Best Night Ever; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Epic Movie; in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; Notes: Over a year ago it was rumored that they were working on a Star Wars spoof … I kind of hope it happens. It does have an IMDb page. So I think the title will ultimately change, seems way too close to the movies that Craig Moss produces like this and this.)

Writers – Jason Friedberg  and Aaron Seltzer (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Spy Hard; Scary Movie 3; Best Night Ever; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Epic Movie; in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; Notes: Recently they’ve been brought up on multiple sites to slam Ready Player One. The comparison is mainly about the sheer amount of product placement they use.)

Actors – Sean Maguire – (Known For: Waterland; The Dukes; BMT: Meet the Spartans; Notes: After this film he turned down Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, a British show, because he wanted to be taken more seriously. He reconsidered at the behest of his agent. He played Robin Hood in Once Upon a Time.)

Kevin Sorbo – (Known For: Soul Surfer; Let There Be Light; Future BMT: God’s Not Dead; Bitch Slap; Big Fat Important Movie; Kull the Conqueror; The Kings of Mykonos; BMT: Meet the Spartans; Notes: Hercules. Raised in Minnesota he’s done a number of Christian films recently. He claims he isn’t overly religious, although he endorsed Donald Trump for president saying that “Jesus would have voted for Trump”.)

Carmen Electra – (Known For: Scary Movie; Starsky & Hutch; Get Over It; Mr 3000; I Want Candy; Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Pledge This!; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4; Dirty Love; Good Burger; Bedtime Stories; Uptown Girls; Christmas in Wonderland; Full of It; Perfume; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 2007 for Date Movie, and Scary Movie 4; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2005 for Starsky & Hutch; in 2006 for Dirty Love; in 2008 for Epic Movie; and in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; Notes: I knew her mostly from MTV’s Singled Out, but her career is nuts. Fronted for a rap group in LA until being discovered by Prince, then toured with him as his opening act. Ended up getting her big break on Baywatch.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $38,233,676 (Worldwide: $84,646,831)

(Solid return. Not a surprise they produced a sequel. Oh, what’s that, you think they didn’t make a sequel? Well, at one point a wikipedia page existed for Meet the Spartans 2, which now redirects to Disaster Movie. It is almost definite that they realized that making fun of 300 didn’t work any more so they transitioned the planned sequel into something more fresh. Still, not surprising that they continued on their merry way with the franchise.)

#20 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

meetthespartans_spoof

(This came at a peak for the Friedberg / Seltzer brand of spoof. Subsequently the genre has well and truly died I think. Fifty Shades of Black was the last real example and it made so little money I don’t think the Wayans brothers are going to do anymore. It really depends on how you define things like Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Then again, that didn’t make much money either. Given the success of the Wet Hot American Summer television series, I wonder if we’ll see a few more TV examples in the coming years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/48): A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.

(Amazing. That one good review basically says “don’t expect much and this isn’t literally the worst thing you’ve ever seen” .. Reviewer Highlight: What’s the point of making a parody that’s dumber than the stuff it parodies? – Gene Seymour, Newsday)

Poster – Meet the Sklogans (F)

meet_the_spartans

(Designed like a heat seeking missile aimed at me not wanting to watch this movie. Nope. Pass.)

Tagline(s) – The Bigger the Hit, The Harder They Fall (C+)

(Oh geez. This is on the level of “From the producers of..” type self-referential taglines that I don’t like. Doesn’t tell me much about the film other than that it is a spoof… which everyone knows. Though it is at least a little clever, so climbs out of the basement.)

Keyword(s) – greece; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 82.6 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 51.0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003); 49.0 Mortdecai (2015); 48.7 Hercules Reborn (2014); 47.8 Alexander (2004); 41.1 Clash of the Titans (2010); 40.8 Wrath of the Titans (2012); 40.5 Hercules (1983); 40.2 Ben-Hur (2016);

(Sigh nothing will ever beat it. It will be stuck on the Mapstreet’s Map Alright! Sklogpacking Across Europe forever and ever. Good news is Alexander will be amazing to watch I think.)

Notes – Not screened for critics. (duh)

The entire movie was shot in a week. (WHAT)

The film led Sean McGuire to be cast as the title character of the short-lived fantasy comedy series “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire”, which was discontinued after 1 season due to it’s mixed reviews.

The narrator introduces Xerxes as looking like the fat guy from Borat, he’s played by Ken Davitian who played the fat guy in Borat.

To date (2011), one of two movies written and directed by both Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, not to have the word “movie” in the title. The other is Vampires Suck (2010).

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

Advertisement

Fifty Shades of Black Preview

See the preview for Blue City to see an in depth explanation of the Black and Clue Bicycle Transition. This is the second leg and first BONUS of the year (something that was far more typical years back and something that will likely make a comeback real soon …). We are going spoof comedy, and this time we spoof previous BMT film Fifty Shades of Grey! Let’s go!

Fifty Shades of Black (2016) – BMeTric: 59.7

fiftyshadesofblack_bmet

fiftyshadesofblack_rv

(The number two movie for the year according to the BMeTric after Zoolander 2. Very impressive graphic and extremely consistent rating. Always relaxes me to see such consistency, love it.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  But I will say this for “Fifty Shades of Black”: It made me laugh more often than I did in “Dirty Grandpa.” That is to say, I laughed more than once. And you really can’t ask for more than that in January.

(Really tough to pull out a quote for this guy. But the gist: This movie is terrible, but there is method to the madness in a way and when you cut through it it does give you a few hearty chuckles, which is better than most terrible comedies. So there’s that. Take that for what you will because the guy who basically liked it still gave it only a half star above the lowest review possible … so yeah.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1pOTTcdRO8

(Some funny stuff in there. Probably all of the funny bits actually. Pretty solid trailer though right? Really good side-by-side with the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer I feel like. That’s impressive. What more could you ask for out of a trailer? Can you tell I’m nervous about how boring and terrible this film is going to be.)

Directors – Michael Tiddes – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Black; A Haunted House; A Haunted House 2; Notes: Looks like he got in with the Wayans after executive producing Dance Flick (which was written by them). His only credits are these three films right in a row, and his next film looks to be one of the first non-spoof comedies for Marlon Wayans (as the star, the last was probably Littleman) in a while called Naked.)

Writers – Marlon Wayans (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; BMT: Littleman; Scary Movie 4; Fifty Shades of Black; Scary Movie 2; Dance Flick; A Haunted House; A Haunted House 2; White Chicks; Scary Movie 3; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2010 for Worst Supporting Actor for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Won for Worst Actor and Screen Couple, Littleman (2006), Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Littleman (2006), Nominated for Worst Actress, Screen Couple and Screenplay: White Chicks (2004). Ahhhh. Well, what is there to say that we didn’t say for White Chicks. The guy is pretty prolific and can turn a profit on a buck. This looked to be a flop, but he has a strong network of comedians around him, enough to challenge (and win seemingly) the Scary Movie franchise for modern spoof movies.)

Rick Alvarez (written by) – (BMT: Fifty Shades of Black; A Haunted House; A Haunted House 2; Notes: Not much about this guy online, but he is also writing Marlon Wayans’ next project Naked. I would assume he is Marlon Wayans writing partner of sorts.)

Actors – Marlon Wayans – (Known For: Requiem for a Dream; Scary Movie; The Heat; The Ladykillers; Above the Rim; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; BMT: Norbit; Dungeons & Dragons; Littleman; Fifty Shades of Black; Scary Movie 2; Dance Flick; Marmaduke; A Haunted House; A Haunted House 2; White Chicks; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Mo’ Money; The Sixth Man; Senseless; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; Notes: Again what more is there to say. Here’s to hoping him and Shawn get back together for another White Chicks-esque comedy soon.)

Kali Hawk – (Known For: Bridesmaids; Get Him to the Greek; Celebrity; BMT: Fifty Shades of Black; Couples Retreat; Peeples; The Perfect Match; Answers to Nothing; Notes: I knew her to some extent from the television show New Girl where she played Shelby. A comedian she performed for Last Comic Standing and was cast in the pilot for a reboot of In Living Color which did not go to series (which explains how she became involved with this project I suppose))

Also stars Fred Willard who has been in a multitude of spoof movies over the years.

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $11,686,940 (Worldwide: $21,164,799)

(That seems … okay. Not great, but considering its budget okay. But one of the worst for Marlon Wayans ever. It is actually amazing: you can almost predict his success with the spoof movies. Scary Movie: $140 domestic; Scary Movie 2: $70 million domestic; Haunted House: $40 million domestic; Haunted House 2: $17 million domestic; Fifty Shades of Black: $11 million domestic. Basically just halve it each time. Amazing.)

#48 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

spoof_48

(Right near #50 Dracula Dead and Loving It which was Mel Brooks’ last spoof movie. The spoof genre had a pretty sustained run from 1990 to 2005 and then there is just boom time (with much less money …) for a brief period and now we are kind of back to 1980s levels. That boom is when Friedburg and Seltzer re-entered the spoof game. They wrote the first Scary Movie and then Zucker (who continued the series) and them competed for that brief period until the genre flamed out. A similar thing happened recently with the Wayans who basically killed off the Scary Movie franchise with A Haunted House. The spoof genre is an interesting beast because so many people have fond memories of it, and almost all of those fond memories are from the 80s like Airplane! Perhaps we could see a re-emergence of the idea in a few years now that the three big groups aren’t likely to try and enter the game and suck all of the available funding. We’ll see.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (3/43): Wildly erratic even for a spoof movie, Fifty Shades of Black bears the unfortunate distinction of offering fewer laughs than the unintentionally funny film it’s trying to lampoon.

(Haha, wow. Well, it might be boring, but like A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2 I’m sure it’ll end up being slightly underrated in the end. Critics never give the needed leeway with the inherent hit-or-miss comedy that comes out of what might as well be improv. Kind of like SNL skits turned into movies. They aren’t really good, but they are never as bad as the reviews suggest, you just need to roll with the misses.)

Poster – Fifty Sklogs of Sklog (B+)

fifty_shades_of_black_ver2

(Woah! Scandalous. It’s actually a really good poster. Look at the symmetry. Look at the bold red background. Which they didn’t put so many characters on it and the font could be a little less boring. But still quite well done. If you look at the notes or are a fan of James Bond you might know that this is also a spoof of the poster for For Your Eyes Only with Roger Moore.)

Tagline(s) – Once you go black, you never go gray. (A)

Way shadier than gray. (C)

(The second one doesn’t really work. Yes it gives a hint of plot and it’s concise. But otherwise not clever in the least. I think the first one is great. Clever, got some cadance, kinda spoofs Fifty Shades of Grey in itself. It’s damn good.)

Keyword(s) – reference to ryan gosling; Top Ten by BMeTric: 59.9 Fifty Shades of Black (2016); 19.6 Maps to the Stars (2014); 14.0 Vaterfreuden (2014); 1.0 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014);

(Well … that was a crap as I expected it to be. How is that the number one keyword. Ridiculous IMDb, ridiculous)

Notes – The poster of the cast between a woman’s legs is a spoof of the iconic poster for the Roger Moore Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981). Jane Seymour starred in Roger Moore’s first Bond film Live and Let Die (1973). (Yup)

This is King Bach’s (Andrew Bachelor) second movie. His first being We Are Your Friends (2015). (Ooooof another incredibly poorly received film)

This film also does a parody about the artist, The Weeknd, who has a song in Fifty Shades of Grey. In this movie he goes by Weekday and looks like the artist The Weeknd.

Unlike A Haunted House and its sequel, this film follows very close to the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. (Bullshit. Haunted House was Paranormal Activity and Haunted House 2 followed Sinister as well. All of the Scary Movies follow specific movies as well. Bullshit.)