Dark Phoenix Preview

As Rich does his best to battle Assassinbot 3000 in space, Poe is forced to watch on a big screen by Gruber, who screams in delight, “Bwahaha. I have finally won. You all will die. Except for you, Poe. You will be forced to watch it all.” Suddenly Jade is by his side and whispers softly to him something about family and to always be himself. Rich’s last words, apparently. Odd. He tries to decipher what it could mean. Be himself… be… HIMSELF! Of course. His time machine! “Granny, you still have my seventh grade science project?” he whispers to her. She nods silently that she does. Freeing a hand, he reaches for her otherwise innocent looking keychain, which in fact was a time machine dongle that he never quite got working. He manages to tap into the mainframe and bypass the firewall in order to overclock the CPU and reroute power to the tiny dongle. A time bubble forms behind the distracted Gruber and a monstrous hooded figure emerges. “Are… are you me?” Poe stammers. The figure takes off his hood and is revealed to be a spider monster. “But how… why am I a spider monster?” The spider monster responds, “all the monstrous things that Gruber forces you to watch. It turns you into this.” Poe is still a little confused, “I become a spider monster?” The spider monster nods his head. Well alright. The spider monster frees them all from their ropes and Poe and him perform a patented spider chop to Gruber’s neck rendering him unconscious. “Thanks, Spider Monster Me,” says Poe, but his joy is crushed as the spider monster looms over him and begins to laugh. “Bwahahaha, I was never you, Poe. I was Spider Monster Gruber this entire time! You have still failed. I have only risen from the puny human ashes to become my true, dark self. Dark Gruber!” That’s right! After a long winter and spring nearly bereft of bad films it’s been a veritable smorgasbord lately. This includes some very big failures of some very big franchises. So we are taking the plunge and really putting a huge burden on ourselves by watching the latest (last?) installment of the X-Men prequels live and in theaters! X-Men: Dark Phoenix is one of only two X-Men films that qualifies for BMT (the other being X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and comes with three previous installments of which I saw just one. So I got some work ahead of me. You better be worth it Dark Phoenix. Let’s go!

Dark Phoenix (2019) – BMeTric: 30.0

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(A flat six sounds correct as the initial rating. I think this means the BMeTric is going to fall quite a bit over time. The rating usually goes up as general audiences rate the film, so I assume it’ll go to like .. 6.2 or something.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Everyone seems to agree that this X-venture is the last cinematic one for a long time. Fox is being rolled into the Marvel empire and we probably won’t see Professor X, Magneto, or even Wolverine for years. By then, everyone will have forgotten “Dark Phoenix.” Heck, that will happen by the end of the month. After all, nobody cares anymore.

(Ha! Basically: why does this movie exist anymore? And I have to say, that basically agrees with my perception in the lead up to the film as well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWbMckU3AOQ/

(Pretty good trailer to be honest. As people online pointed out, it is a bit spoilie, in that you can pretty much guess what happens to Jennifer Lawrence and when given the brief bits shown in the trailer, but I do think that is a pretty compelling trailer indicating that Dark Phoenix is what causes humanity to close ranks somewhat against the X-Men and for the school to become as isolated as it seems in the original film.)

Directors – Simon Kinberg – (BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Fantastic Four in 2016; Notes: He developed the new Twilight Zone. He also directed one of the episodes. That was his only other directorial effort prior to this film.)

Writers – John Byrne and Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum (story “The Dark Phoenix Saga”) – (BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: They wrote the original Marvel run that the film is based on.)

Simon Kinberg (written by) – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men: The Last Stand; Sherlock Holmes; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; BMT: Fantastic Four; xXx²: The Next Level; Jumper; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; This Means War; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Fantastic Four in 2016; Notes: He wrote all of the other films in this New Class series, and he was given the shot to close it out. He’s writing the new Logan’s Run film.)

Jack Kirby (comic book created by) – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; X-Men: Apocalypse; Avengers: Infinity War; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok; X: First Class; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Black Panther; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Captain America: Civil War; Captain America: The First Avenger; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Iron Man; Thor; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Ant-Man; The Incredible Hulk; Iron Man Three; Thor: The Dark World; Future BMT: Captain America; The Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Justice League; BMT: Fantastic Four; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Him and Lee basically built Marvel up to what it is now. He fought in WWII and almost lost his legs to frostbite.)

Stan Lee (comic book created by) – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; X-Men: Apocalypse; Avengers: Infinity War; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok; X: First Class; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Black Panther; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Iron Man; Thor; Doctor Strange; Spider-Man; Ant-Man; The Incredible Hulk; Iron Man Three; Thor: The Dark World; Iron Man 2; Future BMT: The Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; BMT: Fantastic Four; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Died rather recently after a lot of rumors concerning elder abuse, and other unsavory issues surrounding his failing health. Would cameo in most Marvel films.)

Actors – James McAvoy – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Deadpool 2; X: First Class; Split; Atomic Blonde; Wanted; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Atonement; Filth; The Last King of Scotland; Trance; Penelope; Gnomeo & Juliet; Starter for 10; Becoming Jane; Wimbledon; Muppets Most Wanted; Bright Young Things; The Conspirator; Future BMT: Sherlock Gnomes; Swimming Pool – Der Tod feiert mit; Submergence; Victor Frankenstein; Glass; BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: He grew up in Glasgow and is a fan of Celtic.)

Michael Fassbender – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X: First Class; Inglourious Basterds; 300; Alien: Covenant; Prometheus; 12 Years a Slave; Shame; Jane Eyre; Steve Jobs; The Light Between Oceans; Eden Lake; Centurion; Song to Song; Macbeth; Hunger; A Dangerous Method; Slow West; Haywire; Future BMT: The Counsellor; BMT: Jonah Hex; The Snowman; Assassin’s Creed; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Ate nuts, berries, and sardines as a diet in order to lose 33 pounds for Hunger.)

Jennifer Lawrence – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X: First Class; The Hunger Games; Red Sparrow; Mother!; American Hustle; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; Silver Linings Playbook; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; Joy; Winter’s Bone; Like Crazy; The Beaver; The Poker House; Future BMT: Serena; House at the End of the Street; Garden Party; The Burning Plain; BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Mother! in 2018; Notes: Is the third youngest best actress nominee ever at 20 years old for Winter’s Bone, which is a fantastic film.)

Budget/Gross – $200 million / Domestic: $39,190,534 (Worldwide: $142,934,155)

(This is a gigantic bomb. Even worldwide this is going to lose around $100 million if you calculate the net in the traditional manner (needing two times the budget). The nail in the coffin for this iteration of X-Men.)

#119 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

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(Around Judge Dredd at the moment (and it really isn’t going to get much better to be honest). This is our 22nd comic book film. It is obviously huge right now.)

#97 for the Superhero genre

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(Our 17th superhero film. Right now this is around Catwoman. It’ll be a bit better than that … maybe like the new Fantastic Four maybe. Again, huge right now, so it makes sense the film is our right now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (67/290): Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc — with deeply disappointing results.

(Yep, meaningless, emotionless, and dull is what all the reviews say. Which is not what you want. Reviewer Highlight: “Logan” is the proper finale to the “X-Men” film series. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”… is so disappointing that it doesn’t deserve that honor. – Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com)

Poster – Sklog Phoenix (D-)

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(I don’t want to be too harsh, but this is trash. Why are there so many colors? It’s like all the colors that ever existed are on this poster. Gross. Almost an F… just needs to be a tad stupider to really hit the bottom.)

Tagline(s) – The Phoenix will rise. (C-)

(I mean, I guess this is fine for fans of the series. If you are excited for the Dark Phoenix storyline this could get you all jazzed up… but otherwise it’s pretty blah.)

Keyword(s) – mutant; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.3 Epic Movie (2007); 88.0 Street Fighter (1994); 87.8 BloodRayne (2005); 84.8 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 83.7 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 78.4 Superhero Movie (2008); 73.2 Cell (I) (2016); 72.9 The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996); 72.1 A Sound of Thunder (2005); 68.2 The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961);

(Another week, another reminded that I’ve seen Street Fighter like 4 times, but never for BMT. Which is ridiculous. The Island of Dr. Moreau is easily going to be the best of that batch.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Fassbender is No. 3 billed in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and No. 1 billed in The Snowman, which also stars Val Kilmer (No. 4 billed) who is in Batman Forever (No. 1 billed), which also stars Tommy Lee Jones (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 3 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 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) => 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Glass, Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Hans Zimmer decided to retire from composing superhero movies after having worked on scores for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, but Simon Kinberg convinced him to work on this film.

The film takes place in 1992, the year the X-Men comics were relaunched with new costume designs and a new cartoon show, X-Men (1992). (Period piece!!!!!!)

This will be the first X-Men film to not feature or reference either Logan/Wolverine or the actor that portrays him, Hugh Jackman. This is because Jackman retired from the role, which he portrayed since X-Men (2000). He was briefly featured in Deadpool 2 (2018) through reused and stock footage from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

Mystique and Magneto were not originally intended to appear as Jennifer Lawrence implied in several interviews that she was done with playing Mystique, though she said in an interview that she had a change of heart as she didn’t want fans to be confused if her character got the ‘Chuck Cunningham Syndrome treatment’. (I’ve never heard of that, but it is great)

Directorial debut for writer Simon Kinberg.

Was originally scheduled for a November 2nd, 2018 release, but due to 20th Century Fox wanting reshoots in March 2018, the film was delayed by 3 months to February 15th, 2019, and then another 4 months to June 7th, 2019. (It would have been better off in February. Rumor is that the original story was the same as Captain Marvel, and the delays meant they had to re-cut it on the fly to differentiate itself)

Director Simon Kinberg has stated that he cut a good deal of the original storyline of the Dark Phoenix to focus more on ending the storyline that originally began in X: First Class (2011) and focus more on Jean’s character for the film. As such the elements of the Hellfire Club and the alien race known Shi’ar and their Shi’ar Empire from the original comic book storyline were removed from the film adaption to cut down on unnecessary sub-plots. Members of the Hellfire Club such as Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost previously appeared in X: First Class (2011).

Simon Kinberg took influence from Logan (2017) in making the film less stylish and more natural.

Simon Kinberg describes the land of Genosha as Magneto’s Israel: “It’s a land built for mutants, a homeland where they can be safe and self-sufficient.” In keeping with Magneto’s Jewish heritage, Israel is the land where the Hebrews founded and made their home after being set free from Egypt. (That’s pretty great)

In her role as Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence is now actually older than Rebecca Romijn was when she originated the role in the first film of the franchise. (fun)

The film released before Fox’s other X-Men Universe film, The New Mutants (2020). Unlike Dark Phoenix’s original release date where the film was to release 7 months after The New Mutants’s original April 6th, 2018 release date. (I’m skeptical New Mutants is coming out)

The third act was originally going to take place in space. After re-shoots were completed, it was changed to a sequence where the X-Men are kidnapped and taken aboard a military train. (Yes, I think this is the Captain Marvel thing. I think they wanted something that was similar to some sequence in Captain Marvel, but had to change it)

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Hellboy (2019) Preview

Patrick and Jamie look through binoculars at their prey. Santa is happily carving a toy for a child amongst his elf friends in the BMTverse’s North Pole. Poor bastard. Jamie leans back, “I’m not even sure why you’re here,” he says and Patrick squints at him in confusion. Jamie shrugs and snaps into a slim jim, “I mean, I was the one that told the troll I would do him a favor. Not you.” Patrick smiles and sends Jamie to start on a Santa trap. Patrick needs time to think. Hours pass, sweat drips down his brow, but Patrick can’t think of a way to save Santa. In his calm he withdraws deep within himself and finds a light. Reaching for it he suddenly has access to a great power. “I need something to save Santa,” he thinks and a large amount of silk from the rare Siberian Silkworm winks into existence. Thinking quick he used his twin powers to construct a flawless (but highly illegal) Santa costume and dons the disguise. Looking up he is horrified to see Jamie having completed an elaborate tiger trap and Santa bumbling his way towards it. Using his preternatural speed, Patrick is able to tackle both he and the real Santa into the trap. The troll comes cackling forward, but is confused by the appearance of two Santas. Who should he shoot?! He points his gun back and forth and the hesitation is enough for Jamie to trip the troll right back into the tiger trap. Hooray! With the troll dispatched, Jamie, Patrick, and Santa sit around the fire with some delicious Coca-Colas. Patrick is distracted by the discovery of the great power within, but Jamie is ready for some magical tales of wonder. “Santa, where did you come from?” he asks and Santa smiles a jolly smile. “Oh ho ho ho, that’s an interesting story, my boy. Well, I guess it started when I was born… IN HELL.” Bum bum bum. That’s right! It’s the first BMT Live! of the year after a … frankly it was a shockingly light bad movie winter season. Here’s to watching an unnecessary reboot and to a hopefully bumper crop of bad movies in the spring season. Let’s go!

Hellboy (2019) – BMeTric: 42.5

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(That rating actually look right. I think it’ll perk up a bit in three months once non-Hellboy fans get a hold of it, they won’t care about some of the most nitty-gritty issues with the film as related to the comic or the Del Toro versions.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Individually, Harbour might have a humorous moment or two with his co-stars, but decreasingly so as the movie staggers toward its messy, cacophonous end. And it just will … not … end. After an overlong two-hour running time, “Hellboy” suggests optimistically that it’s the start of its own franchise, but it will probably end up stuck in purgatory instead.

(Long and boring! Noooooooo. I don’t want to see a long and boring film in theaters! But I must. You guys owe me.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt5g5_1cKVk/

(The “Sorry, my bad” joke in the beginning is obvious and dumb. And the reset looks … loud and incoherent? I have a feeling the soundtrack is an abomination.)

Directors – Neil Marshall – (Known For: The Descent; Dog Soldiers; Doomsday; Centurion; Tales of Halloween; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Most famous for directing some of the most notable Game of Thrones episodes (Blackwater, and The Watchers on the Wall).)

Writers – Andrew Cosby (screenplay by) – (BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Created the television series Eureka. Created BOOM! Studios which is a comic book publisher.)

Mike Mignola (based on the Dark Horse Comic Book “Hellboy” created by) – (Known For: Hellboy; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Batman: Gotham by Gaslight; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Created the comic. Apparently he handed off the spin off series (B.P.R.D.) which has recently ended. I don’t think there is a current active Hellboy series, although it is unclear.)

Actors – David Harbour – (Known For: Brokeback Mountain; The Equalizer; War of the Worlds; Quantum of Solace; Revolutionary Road; A Walk Among the Tombstones; The Green Hornet; End of Watch; Black Mass; State of Play; Snitch; Kinsey; X/Y; Parkland; The Convincer; Future BMT: Sleepless; Suicide Squad; Every Day; Awake; W.E.; Knife Fight; Between Us; BMT: Hellboy; Notes: Been around for a while obviously as a character actor, but has rose to a new level of fame as one of the stars of Stranger Things.)

Milla Jovovich – (Known For: The Fifth Element; Dazed and Confused; Zoolander; Chaplin; Paradise Hills; A Perfect Getaway; He Got Game; Stone; The Claim; Dummy; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Future World; Return to the Blue Lagoon; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Survivor; Two Moon Junction; Resident Evil: Afterlife; The Fourth Kind; No Good Deed; The Million Dollar Hotel; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Kuffs; Resident Evil: Extinction; Joan of Arc; Bringing Up Bobby; Shock and Awe; A Warrior’s Tail; Resident Evil; Dirty Girl; BMT: Ultraviolet; Zoolander 2; Hellboy; The Three Musketeers; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2000 for Joan of Arc; and in 2013 for Resident Evil: Retribution; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Fifth Element in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1992; Notes: A bad movie all-star! Her recent big budget fair has mostly been via collaboration with her husband Paul W. S. Anderson who directed four of the six Resident Evil films.)

Ian McShane – (Known For: John Wick; John Wick: Chapter 2; Snow White and the Huntsman; Hercules; Coraline; Jack the Giant Slayer; The Golden Compass; Kung Fu Panda; Shrek the Third; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Death Race; Sexy Beast; Battle of Britain; We Are Marshall; Scoop; Performance; Cuban Fury; Bilal: A New Breed of Hero; The Last of Sheila; Nine Lives; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Hollow Point; Grimsby; Case 39; Pottersville; Hot Rod; BMT: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Hellboy; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: He’s been all over the place, but his cameo in Game of Thrones and starring role in Deadwood before that suggests he’s really but more famous on the small screen in the later career,)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $19,676,271 (Worldwide: $19,676,271)

(This is going to be a huge disaster, especially with Avengers: Endgame coming out in a week. Completely screwed and might kill the film franchise. Interestingly the comic series apparently came to a disastrous end just this week … so Hellboy legit might be completely dead as a media item which is crazy.)

#136 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

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(This I think will end up near R.I.P.D. which is crazily mid-table for BMT in this sub-genre. Obviously Marvel/Disney has been dominating this recently with Black Panther having an insane $700 million domestically.)

#109 for the Superhero genre

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(I guess this is different than the previous one … it is obviously taking off recently with the recent Marvel/Disney succuesses.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (25/174): Bereft of the imaginative flair that made earlier Hellboys so enjoyable, this soulless reboot suggests Dante may have left a tenth circle out of his Inferno.

(The reviews are eviscerating basically calling the film a big void filled with action set pieces. This is an astonishingly low percentage, might just end up being the lowest score for a big budget film for the year. Reviewer Highlight: Watching the “Hellboy” reboot is like eating a rice cake – you don’t feel bad afterward, but at the same time you’re not entirely sure you really experienced anything at all. – Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com)

Poster – Hellsklog (C+)

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(Points for the font done in an interesting way (behind the horns, like a physical thing in the poster), deduction for kind of having a flat color, we get it he’s the devil. I think much like what the critics said about the film, it is mostly blah, but I’ll give it a little bump because I think it looks more cool that silly which I guess is what you want.)

Tagline(s) – Give Evil Hell (C-)

(I don’t think I like it. It doesn’t tell you anything, and it is definitely the “clever” product that came out of a writers’ room. But it does have that kernel of cleverness, so I won’t just give it an F.)

Keyword(s) – based on comic; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 71.0 The Spirit (2008); 69.7 Steel (1997); 65.9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); 62.0 Virus (1999); 61.7 Monkeybone (2001); 61.5 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017); 59.5 Red Sonja (1985); 59.3 Spawn (1997);

(Smashing it. I’ve seen The Spirit, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned in this section before. That film is completely incomprehensible garbage.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Milla Jovovich is No. 2 billed in Hellboy and No. 1 billed in Ultraviolet, which also stars Cameron Bright (No. 2 billed) who is in Godsend (No. 4 billed), which also stars Rebecca Romijn (No. 2 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 3 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 17. If we were to watch Joan of Arc, Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – In mid 2012, Ron Perlman once again endured the 4-hour makeup routine required to transform him into Hellboy – not for a sequel or other acting job but to fulfill the Make-A-Wish request of a six-year-old boy named Zachary who has leukemia. Creature effects house Spectral Motion, who had worked on the two previous Hellboy films, applied Perlman’s Hellboy makeup (and later, also made up Zachary as Hellboy as well), so that Zachary could spend the day hanging out with his favorite superhero. Guillermo del Toro was so touched by this event that it inspired him to start production on Hellboy 3. However, the project was announced to be cancelled and this reboot’s development started soon after.

Following the success that Deadpool had in getting the movie made through social media, Ron Perlman tweeted a proposal that if #HellboyIII started trending that a third Hellboy film might finally get funds to be made.

In February 2017 Guillermo Del Toro stated “Spoke with all parties. Must report that 100% the sequel will not happen.” (I think these first three completely exemplify the weird relationship between the Hellboy franchise and its audience. It never really made money, but the hardcore fans believe in their hearts it would if given the chance. Spoiler alert … it wouldn’t, that film will never be made)

The VFXperts cite the Mike Mignola comics as a visual influence on the film’s creatures, and sought to avoid reference to the Guillermo del Toro films. Joel Harlow explained that as monsters, “their look is entirely nonhuman and very frightening, it’s a glimpse into a world of beings that do not follow the anatomical laws of anything on Earth.”

Mike Mignola takes a more direct involvement in the production of this film than he did on the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy films. According to him, the idea with this one was to downplay the superhero elements in the film and stay closer to the darker tone of the graphic novels, making a much more horror-oriented entry into the franchise. (Interesting. Recipe for a disaster, puts too much power into a single person to go ahead an F it up)

On August 21, 2017, Ed Skrein was cast as Major Ben Daimio in the film. However, upon discovering that Daimio was portrayed in the comic books as a Japanese-American character, Skrein announced a week later that he was pulling out to allow an actor of Asian heritage to be cast instead.Skrein’s decision marked the first time a white actor had left a high-profile role after such criticism according to The Hollywood Reporter. (First, bullet dodged for him. Second, I completely forgot about this, what a terrible look)

The movie originally began production as the second sequel to 2004’s Hellboy after The Golden Army, but Creative Differences led to Del Toro and Perlman both leaving, thus causing a long hiatus until it was decided to reboot following the rise of R-rated superhero movies. (There is no way they would have made a third film quickly, The Golden Army didn’t make that much money and Del Toro probably didn’t want to rein in the budget)

The movie’s title was Hellboy: The Blood Queen initially, before reverting to simply Hellboy. (I like the original better)

Hellboy claims he is a Capricorn. According to the comic, he was born in October 5, which makes him a Libra. (BOOOOOOOOOOO)

Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy films, was offered a cameo but was unable to participate due to commitments to Star Trek: Discovery (2017). (He’s great in Discovery)

Levin interrupted Marshall frequently in front of the crew as Marshall tried to rehearse actors, sometimes giving them different directions than the director. Singer’s attorney disputed that: “In fact, Mr. Levin would speak to Neil Marshall after rehearsals and discuss issues with him at that time.” (Sounds pleasant)

Harbour repeatedly walked off set, refusing Marshall’s requests for more takes. Singer responded for Levin: “My client has no recollection of that ever happening. To the contrary, David Harbour gave everything he was asked of and more during filming.” (Sounds pleasant)

The script was re-written throughout the production. One said those doing the rewriting included actors Harbour and co-star Ian McShane. Singer responded: “Only a few scenes were rewritten during production, and neither David Harbour nor Ian McShane did any rewriting of the screenplay at all. Rewriting certain scenes of a movie during production is customary in the entertainment industry, including by actors, producers, writers and directors.” (Sounds fucking pleasant)

Batman & Robin Preview

Big week highlighting one of the few changes the BMT Board of Directors (BMTBD) proposed for the year. That was to try to bring in some of the many major bad movies that we had watched prior to BMT and as a result never gave the full BMT treatment. Originally such films were totally excluded from consideration. No more! So for the SciFi/Fantasy/Other category of the adaptation cycle we went straight for the crown jewel. That’s right! We’re bringing the single highest scoring BMeTric film of all time, the critically reviled superhero film Batman & Robin. We obviously watched this as kids and probably didn’t even think it was all that bad (we were like 11, so I’m not sure I had ever watched a film and thought it was bad). Let’s see if it holds up (holds down?) on a rewatch. Also have to note that Batman Forever qualifies (RT 39%) so it will be included as a bonus. Let’s go!

Batman & Robin (1997) – BMeTric: 94.5

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(That, boys and girls, is the highest BMeTric in existence. Nearly 200K IMDb votes and a sub-4 rating, it is incredibly, almost impossibly, poorly rated. Let it sink in.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Batman #4 spotlights two colorful villains, Schwarzenegger’s lusty Mr. Freeze and Thurman’s deliciously nasty Poison Ivy, who (for different reasons) want to destroy Gotham City, but even their antics can’t sustain an overlong, episodic film in which the “story” often makes no sense. Clooney is OK but unremarkable as Bruce Wayne/Batman, ditto for Silverstone as the new Batgirl. The action and effects are loud, gargantuan, and ultimately numbing.

(He gave a better review to this one compared to Batman Returns! Incredible. Maltin doesn’t like “dark” things, at least that is what he complains about with the early Burton films. Hell, he gave The Dark Knight two stars! He thought Batman & Robin was better than The Dark Knight. Because of “colorful” villains basically.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RBXypX4qWI

(How did Uma Thurman end up doing this and The Avengers? The trailer is actually pretty cool. It looks like a cartoon, sure, but there isn’t really a good reason that that is a bad thing. Gotham looks cool. Arnold seems like he could work as an intimidating villain. I don’t know. I kind of expected the trailer to be garbage, but it isn’t really garbage, it is surprisingly compelling I think.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: Flatliners; The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; St. Elmo’s Fire; Falling Down; Phone Booth; The Client; Flawless; Tigerland; Town Creek; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Bad Company; Dying Young; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; 8MM; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: In a recent Vice article, Schumacher said “Look, I apologize,” Schumacher told me in a phone interview last week. “I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that.” Good times.)

Writers – Bob Kane (Batman characters) – (Known For: Justice League; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Batman Begins; The LEGO Batman Movie; Batman; Batman Returns; The LEGO Movie; Batman: The Killing Joke; Batman: The Movie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Catwoman; Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Notes: The creator the Batman Character. There are a ton of articles about Bob Kane and his relationship with Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman. Let’s just say it isn’t a super happy tale, although Finger is getting more credit now than he did in his time.)

Akiva Goldsman (written by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Lost in Space; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Batman & Robin; Rings; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; Batman Forever; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: There is only so much to say right? He is currently overseeing the Ology book series adaptation with other heavy hitters like Michael Chabon on his staff.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: True Lies; Kindergarten Cop; Total Recall; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Killing Gunther; Predator; The Terminator; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Aftermath; Conan the Barbarian; The Expendables 2; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; The Running Man; Commando; Welcome to the Jungle; The Last Stand; Maggie; The 6th Day; Red Heat; Future BMT: Hercules in New York; Junior; Red Sonja; Jingle All the Way; Collateral Damage; End of Days; Twins; Cactus Jack; Eraser; Last Action Hero; Terminator Genisys; The Kid & I; BMT: Batman & Robin; Raw Deal; Sabotage; Around the World in 80 Days; Conan the Destroyer; The Expendables 3; Notes: Former governor of California his marriage to Maria Shriver famously fell apart when it was reported he had fathered a child with their former housekeeper. I didn’t realize it, but the child is 20-years-old and goes to Pepperdine.)

George Clooney – (Known For: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond; Ocean’s Eleven; From Dusk Till Dawn; Gravity; Hail, Caesar!; The Men Who Stare at Goats; The Thin Red Line; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Burn After Reading; Ocean’s Thirteen; Up in the Air; Ocean’s Twelve; Fantastic Mr. Fox; Spy Kids; The Descendants; Money Monster; The American; Michael Clayton; Out of Sight; The Perfect Storm; Future BMT: Return of the Killer Tomatoes!; The Monuments Men; The Good German; BMT: Batman & Robin; Notes: Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, he’s found love with his wife Amal. And guess what? They had twins! A son and a daughter, so fraternal, but still, that’s pretty good.)

Chris O’Donnell – (Known For: Scent of a Woman; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Kinsey; Vertical Limit; School Ties; Blue Sky; Circle of Friends; Kit Kittredge: An American Girl; A Little Help; Cookie’s Fortune; Men Don’t Leave; Future BMT: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; The Bachelor; Mad Love; 29 Palms; In Love and War; The Three Musketeers; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Max Payne; The Chamber; Notes: He’s one of the guys whose career was potentially derailed by this disaster. But he seems like he’s doing okay having starred in all 168 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles. I saw the pilot and him and LL Cool J tear it up, so there we go.)

Budget/Gross – $125 million / Domestic: $107,325,195 (Worldwide: $238,207,122)

(An absolute disaster at the time. Movies like this are more common these days, but at the time the budget was mind-blowing, so not making it back at the domestic box-office was crazy. I’m sure they made a mint on toy sales though.)

#64 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

batmanrobin_comicbookadaptation

(The same as above. The largest two we’ve seen for BMT are Fantastic Four and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies … did we watch those for BMT? I think we saw the first one for BMT, but not the second. Which is weird, because I’ve definitely actually seen the second. I must have watched it on a plane.)

#61 for the Superhero genre

batmanrobin_superhero

(There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said about the genre in the Batman Forever preview. Let’s just say that we’ve had a few gems in our time watching the dregs of Superhero films. You remember Elektra? You remember that piece of garbage? We need to watch a few of these too, like Blankman. Blankman is crazy.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (9/86): Joel Schumacher’s tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that’s too jokey to care much for.

(Hmmm, kind of surprising it isn’t below 10%. I do like the consensus though, I think it very much rings true with what can go wrong with the jokey superhero paradigm. It works fine for Marvel, but this is the logical conclusion of the style and it can get ugly.)

Poster – Sklogman and Sklogin’ (D-)

batman_and_robin_ver9

(This is horrific. This is where you can take the Batman Forever poster (good) and make what seems to be mild changes and dive straight into F territory. Too many colors and too much going on. That being said still has the font… so maybe just narrowly missing that The Avengers F level… barely.)

Tagline(s) – Strength. Courage. Honor. And loyalty. On June 20, it ALL comes together… (D)

(It’s like a child wrote this. I really don’t like it… the more I look at it the more I hate it and I better just grade it before I give it an F.)

Keyword(s) – bat; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 72.5 Are We Done Yet? (2007); 67.8 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 65.9 Bodyguard (2011); 64.5 Bats (1999); 63.6 Dracula 2000 (2000); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 55.4 Batman Forever (1995); 49.5 The Order (2003); 41.3 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994);

(I modified this one a bit, but I do like the ultimate list … I wonder is any of these guys are concerning like a baseball bat? Not an animal bat. City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold is the greatest title for a film of all time as well.)

Notes – Most of the scenes with Batgirl, played by actress Alicia Silverstone, were cut out because Silverstone had gained a few pounds during production and the wardrobe team had to refit her costume. When the press discovered the news, they slammed Silverstone’s weight gain and mocked the actress for being “too fat” to fit into her costume. As a result, director Joel Schumacher publicly defended Silverstone during interviews and press meetings, joking “What is this girl’s big sin – that she ate some pizza?” When the press continued to taunt Silverstone’s weight gain, mostly from female journalists, Schumacher again intervened and lashed out at the reporters that taunted her. Schumacher went on record about the weight gain to one magazine by saying: “”It was horrible. I thought it was very cruel. She was a teenager who gained a few pounds – like all of us do at certain times. I would confront female journalists and I’d say, ‘With so many young people suffering from anorexia and bulimia, why are you crucifying this girl?'” Alicia Silverstone Batgirl in this movie is the only time Batgirl was ever shown on screen for a live action Batman movie. (Huh. Makes Schumacher sound like a decent dude. That story kind of sucks)

Due to the difficulty and large amount of time it took to remove the Batman suit, George Clooney reportedly urinated in his suit on at least one occasion. (Jesus Christ these notes)

George Clooney has been known to refund people who saw this film. (I would rather watch the film with him in his house. That would be an experience. I don’t need money back)

In later interviews, director Joel Schumacher would blame studio pressure to make the film more “toyetic” (i.e., a showcase for marketable toys and games), and in a “making-of” documentary on the DVD, apologized to disappointed fans.

Final film of wrestler Jeep Swenson (Bane), who died two months after the film’s release. (Oh no, that is awful. Died of heart failure at 40.).

Joel Schumacher had several meetings with Warner Bros. to get them to reconsider letting him do another Batman movie. Schumacher wanted to take the film back to its darker roots and make a “Batman: Year One” movie. Schumacher wanted to cast Kurt Russell as a young Commissioner Gordon and would have had Selina Kyle as a young, beautiful African-American woman living in the ghetto. However, Warner Bros. decided not to rehire Schumacher and the Batman film franchise remained in development limbo for years until Batman Begins (2005). (Probably a fine decision all things considered. Schumacher would have been poison regardless)

Last Batman film viewed by Batman creator Bob Kane. He would die one year after the release of this film. This is also the last film which Kane worked as project consultant.

Mr. Freeze says 27 “ice puns” throughout the movie. (This is why we watch bad movies)

Voted as the #1 in Empire magazine’s “50 Worst Movies Ever” (February 2010). (Streeeeeeeeet credit report dot coooooooom)

In the evidence room at the prison where Freeze is held and before Bane breaks in, both the Riddler’s and Two-Face’s outfits can be seen. (Noice)

In an interview the cast members were asked what item from filming they would like to take home with them. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would be taking Mr. Freeze’s armor home, Uma Thurman said that she wanted Ivy’s floral throne, and Elle Macpherson said that she just wanted a cap or something with the “Batman & Robin” logo before anyone else. When asked, George Clooney said he wanted Elle Macpherson. (ha … kind of creepy though)

After filming was completed, Arnold Schwarzenegger went in for heart surgery. Because studios were anxious about insuring Schwarzenegger in one of their action movies, he couldn’t get work again until End of Days (1999). (Huh, didn’t know that. Interesting story.)

The only film in the original series in which Tim Burton had no involvement during the development stages (he directed Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and worked as producer in Batman Returns and Batman Forever (1995)).

After the poor reception of Batman & Robin, several Batman projects were considered to substitute for the next Batman movie. One was a direct sequel, Batman Unchained written by Mark Protosevich. The second was an adaptation of the graphic novel, Batman: Year One. The last was a live-action adaptation of Batman of the Future (1999). None of those projects came to fruition, instead the franchise was rebooted with Batman Begins (2005). (These notes are really good)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is reputed to have earned $25 million for playing Mr. Freeze.

Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to reprise the role of Conan for “Conan the Conqueror”, which was rewritten as Kull the Conqueror (1997), to star as Mr. Freeze in the film. (Too bad. That film would have probably been terrible)

The Oxbridge Academy, Barbara’s fictional university in England, is really a combination of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Oxbridge is used jokingly in American pop culture to refer to any British college graduate. (British people to refer to the two colleges as such. It is often a boon to hire an “Oxbridge” graduate)

Uma Thurman and Elle MacPherson both went on to have children by Arpad Busson who refused to marry either of them. (Wow, I’ll leave that as the last note. Keep it classy IMDb note makers)

Awards

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Peter Macgregor-Scott)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Chris O’Donnell)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Joel Schumacher)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Akiva Goldsman)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Billy Corgan)

Batman Forever Preview

Big week highlighting one of the few changes the BMT Board of Directors (BMTBD) proposed for the year. That was to try to bring in some of the many major bad movies that we had watched prior to BMT and as a result never gave the full BMT treatment. Originally such films were totally excluded from consideration. No more! So for the SciFi/Fantasy/Other category of the adaptation cycle we went straight for the crown jewel. That’s right! We’re bringing the single highest scoring BMeTric film of all time, the critically reviled superhero film Batman & Robin. We obviously watched this as kids and probably didn’t even think it was all that bad (we were like 11, so I’m not sure I had ever watched a film and thought it was bad). Let’s see if it holds up (holds down?) on a rewatch. But first we have some homework to do! That’s right, Batman Forever qualifies (RT 39%) so it will be included as a bonus here. Let’s go!

Batman Forever (1995) – BMeTric: 55.4

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(Sacre Bleu! That … it is so beautiful. It is the most steady unwavering below average IMDb ratings I’ve ever seen. It is pristine. Shhhhh, don’t scare it away, just appreciate that you get to appreciate it.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Kilmer makes the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne his own in this well-written sequel in which the Caped Crusader battles Two-Face (Jones) and The Riddler (Carrey) while attempting – at least for a while – to resist the advances of a sexy psychologist (Kidman). He also acquires a partner in O’Donnell (as Robin), and it’s this aspect of the film – the character relationships – that give it solidity. The loud, razzle-dazzle special effects are overkill. Ed Begley, Jr., appears unbilled.

(Wow, that is a pretty solid review. Better than most that’s for sure. I’m not sure “well-written” is how I would describe the film from what I recall, but this does get me a bit more excited about the whole affair.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROLvjRB4E_Q

(Besides how over-the-top both of the villains looks that trailer is actually quite good. It even makes the whole Robin introduction make a bit more sense: Batman is fighting two villains and thus needs a partner … makes sense to me.)

Directors – Joel Schumacher – (Known For: Flatliners; The Lost Boys; A Time to Kill; St. Elmo’s Fire; Falling Down; Phone Booth; The Client; Flawless; Tigerland; Town Creek; Veronica Guerin; Cousins; Future BMT: Bad Company; Dying Young; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; 8MM; BMT: Batman & Robin; Batman Forever; Trespass; The Number 23; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Batman & Robin in 1998; Notes: Started his career with the Brat Pack and then adapting Grisham novels. Has been openly gay throughout his career.)

Writers – Bob Kane (characters) – (Known For: Justice League; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises; Batman Begins; The LEGO Batman Movie; Batman; Batman Returns; The LEGO Movie; Batman: The Killing Joke; Batman: The Movie; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders; Future BMT: Suicide Squad; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Batman & Robin; Catwoman; Batman Forever; Notes: Original creator of Batman. Died in 1998 having acted as a consultant on all of the Burton/Schumacher Batman films.)

Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Batman Forever; Pompeii; Notes: Married screenwriting team. They wrote the first pass with Robin Williams in mind which was subsequently re-written by Goldsman.)

Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Lost in Space; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Batman & Robin; Rings; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; Batman Forever; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: Incredible career which we touched on in several previews already. Is an executive producer on the upcoming Dark Tower television series … good luck.)

Actors – Val Kilmer – (Known For: Heat; Top Gun; True Romance; Song to Song; Tombstone; Willow; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Deja Vu; The Prince of Egypt; The Doors; Top Secret!; Real Genius; Palo Alto; Felon; Kill the Irishman; MacGruber; Bad Lieutenant; The Missing; The Ghost and the Darkness; Pollock; Future BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; The Snowman; Twixt; Alexander; The Traveler; Red Planet; Planes; 5 Days of War; Hard Ca$h; Delgo; The Real McCoy; At First Sight; Masked and Anonymous; The Saint; Mindhunters; Wonderland; 10th & Wolf; Stateside; Summer Love; BMT: The Love Guru; Batman Forever; Notes: His health reports are quite strange. It seems like he had throat cancer which is why he didn’t do any films for two years. He was back this year with The Snowman … but tabloids are still pushing stories about his cancer spreading to his brain and being terminal? Just super weird stuff. He at one point denied having cancer and then said “I’ve had a healing of cancer” … what?)

Tommy Lee Jones – (Known For: No Country for Old Men; Captain America: The First Avenger; Lincoln; Jason Bourne; Men in Black; The Fugitive; Natural Born Killers; Men in Black 3; JFK; Space Cowboys; Small Soldiers; The Homesman; Love Story; Under Siege; In the Valley of Elah; The Client; The Company Men; Blue Sky; The Missing; Volcano; Future BMT: Man of the House; Wings of the Apache; The Hunted; Men in Black II; Black Moon Rising; The Family; Blown Away; Criminal; Double Jeopardy; Rules of Engagement; U.S. Marshals; Just Getting Started; Emperor; BMT: Batman Forever; Mechanic: Resurrection; Notes: Famously the college roommate of Al Gore. Also played Offensive Guard on the undefeated Harvard football team that played in the famous 29-29 game.)

Jim Carrey – (Known For: The Truman Show; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; The Bad Batch; Dumb and Dumber; Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Mask; Bruce Almighty; Man on the Moon; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Liar Liar; Yes Man; Me, Myself & Irene; Earth Girls Are Easy; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; The Cable Guy; I Love You Phillip Morris; A Christmas Carol; Peggy Sue Got Married; Horton Hears a Who!; Future BMT: Dumb and Dumber To; Pink Cadillac; Once Bitten; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone; Fun with Dick and Jane; Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls; Kick-Ass 2; BMT: Batman Forever; The Number 23; Notes: One of the many breakout stars of the television show In Living Color and went on to be one of the most famous comedic actors in the world. Despite winning two Golden Globes he has never even been nominated for an Oscar. Also noted crazy person.)

Budget/Gross – $100 million / Domestic: $184,031,112 (Worldwide: $336,529,144)

(Basically nothing by today’s standards. Kind of amazing, but the first Burton one was the highest grossing of the three. Forever actually did better than Returns.)

#39 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

batmanforever_comicbookadaptation

(Basically Superman and Batman kicked off a chain of comic book films that peaked in 1995 and then collapsed. Spiderman rejuvenated the genre which is now averaging 64 thousand theaters a year … considering you kind of max out at 4K theaters, or roughly 16 comic book movies in a calendar year at one point. Steel and Barb Wire are kind of the lowest of the lows for the genre)

#38 for the Superhero genre

batmanforever_superhero

(Same as above although it is kind of interesting to see that we are at a peak for superhero films, but not for comic book movies. Makes sense, the set of comic book movies almost entirely contains the set of superhero films.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (24/61): Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.

(This actually went from 40% flat to just a shade below this year! Rotten Tomatoes scores change unfortunately. The extra review was a short review from CNN in 1995, it just hadn’t been recovered yet. We had to jump at the chance to do the film though, one more good review and it won’t qualify.)

Poster – Sklogman Forever (B)

batman_forever_ver7

(I wish they had done more to tone down the colors brought in by the different characters so that there was a little consistency, but otherwise this is a well laid out poster that gives us everything we need to see without going overboard. Font is even given a unique spin. I like it.)

Tagline(s) – Courage now, truth always…. (B-)

(Apparently this is from the trailer and ended with “Batman Forever.” Which may or may not be obvious. It’s a good cadence and sounds like a tagline, but dips a little into the generic zone. Also I like my taglines on the poser. Just a preference.)

Keyword(s) – partner; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 68.0 Double Team (1997); 67.8 Vampire in Brooklyn (1995); 61.4 Exposed (III) (2016); 58.2 Alex Cross (2012); 55.4 Batman Forever (1995); 54.6 Jungle 2 Jungle (1997); 51.1 The Mummy (2017); 51.0 Twisted (I) (2004); 50.9 Scream 3 (2000);

(Interesting. We need to watch Vampire in Brooklyn for sure, tick off another Murphy film. This is somewhat of an enigmatic one though, basically all cop / batman films … so what does partner in Jungle 2 Jungle mean?)

Notes – According to Jim Carrey, he did not get along with Tommy Lee Jones, who told him that he hated him and his films. (Sounds about right)

Jim Carrey’s original idea – to shave a question mark into his scalp – had to be scratched as he was due in court to finalize his divorce. (Jeez, that is a dark reason)

While Tim Burton was still slated to direct the film, Micky Dolenz was considered to play The Riddler. After Burton dropped out, Robin Williams was offered the role by Warner Brothers, but refused due to being bitter about being used as “bait” to lure Jack Nicholson to commit to play the Joker in Batman (1989).

Michelle Pfeiffer was considered to reprise her role as Catwoman.

In the first Batman (1989), District Attorney Harvey Dent was played by Billy Dee Williams. Williams accepted the role with the knowledge and expectation that Dent would eventually become Two-Face. He reportedly had a clause put into his contract, reserving the role for him in any sequels, which Warner Bros. had to buy out, so they could cast Tommy Lee Jones. Williams would eventually voice the character in The Lego Batman Movie (2017). (Huh, I guess I understand wanting a bigger name in there, but that would have been pretty fun maybe)

Dick Grayson suggests “Nightwing” for a hero name. This was the name used by the adult Dick Grayson in the comic books.

Before deciding not to don the cape and cowl for a third time, Michael Keaton met with Joel Schumacher and declined to join the project after deciding that he did not like the direction in which Schumacher was looking to take the franchise. In the brief time that Tim Burton was still considering doing a third Batman film, Riddler was the only villain that he planned on using. The idea of using Two-Face did not come up until Schumacher joined the project.

While learning to twirl a cane, Jim Carrey reportedly broke around a dozen prop canes and some of his trailer furniture.

The Batmobile was usually driven by stunt drivers, but Chris O’Donnell insisted on driving it himself in the joyride scene. He crashed it into a curb, and dented a fender. (nice)

Val Kilmer and Joel Schumacher clashed during filming. Schumacher described Kilmer as “childish and impossible”. According to Schumacher, Kilmer refused to talk to him for two weeks.

Val Kilmer and Jim Carrey became good friends during filming. They bonded over the deaths of their fathers.

Tommy Lee Jones was Joel Schumacher’s first choice for the role of Two-Face after working with him in The Client (1994). Jones accepted the role because his son Austin, eleven at the time, said Two-Face was his favorite character.

Joel Schumacher’s decision to put nipples and enlarged codpieces on the Bat-costumes, as well as an earring on Robin caused controversy – it even bothered Batman creator Bob Kane. Schumacher said he wanted the costumes to have an anatomic look, while the earring was supposed to make Robin more hip. He also claimed that the basis for the Batman and Robin suits came from statues of the gods of ancient Greece. (Joel Schumacher everyone!)

Robin’s costume is not the classic costume of the comics that Dick Grayson wore, but it is based on the costume worn by the third Robin, Tim Drake. This costume was introduced in 1990, and it is rumored that Tim Burton had a hand in designing it.

So heavy was his Batsuit, that Val Kilmer lost five pounds filming the opening fight scene alone. (NOPE, that fact is fake. FAKE)

Will Shortz, “puzzlemaster” on National Public Radio and editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, created the Riddler’s riddles. (Wow)

Tim Burton said “I always hated those titles like Batman Forever. That sounds like a tattoo that somebody would get when they’re on drugs or something. Or something some kid would write in the yearbook to somebody else. I have high problems with some of those titles.” It is rumored that Burton was considering the title Batman Continues while he was still slated to direct.

For the scene where Chase Meridian is visited by Batman on her balcony at night, Nicole Kidman was not wearing any clothing underneath the white silk sheet, with which she was covering herself. (But why?)

William Baldwin was reported to be considered for the role of Batman. Other names considered for the part before Val Kilmer was cast included Daniel Day-Lewis, Kurt Russell, Alec Baldwin, Ethan Hawke, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hanks, and Johnny Depp. (TOM HANKS)

Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord was a stunt double for Chris O’Donnell. (That is BMT legend Mitch Gaylord to you)

Joel Schumacher said in an interview about Val Kilmer “Val did me two great favors when I wanted him to be Batman, he said yes. Then he created a situation which allowed me not to have him play Batman again, they were both happy, happy instances for which I will always be grateful”. (Cooooooold bloooooooded)

Unlike the two Tim Burton Batman films, this is not scored by Danny Elfman. Also, unlike those two, this film features original songs performed by multiple artists. The trailers for this film and Batman & Robin (1997) feature Elfman’s score from Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), however. (Oh I didn’t know that)

The handgun Two-Face uses throughout the movie is a chrome plated Benelli mp95e. (gun facts, a staple of any good IMDb trivia section)

Awards – Nominated for the Oscar for Best Cinematography (Stephen Goldblatt)

Nominated for the Oscar for Best Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Frank A. Montaño, Michael Herbick, Petur Hliddal)

Nominated for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (John Leveque, Bruce Stambler)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bono)

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Preview

Oooooooooo boy. Exciting times at BMT HQ. The next set of films nail two (that’s right, two!) different dates on the BMT calendar! “Egad! How is that possible? My life is shattered by the revelation. I love reading this email and perusing the BMT website and didn’t see this coming!” cry our ever-growing crowd of adoring fans. It’s very possible when you have a hot piece of IP like Superman. Even after releasing the critically reviled Superman III, Hollywood still decided to go DJ Khaled on us and bring us ANOTHER ONE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. These films hit the blockbuster months of June and July and are some of the classics of the major motion picture bust. Let’s go!

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) – BMeTric: 86.1

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(Just like with number three this just goes up and up. And wow, that rating is just astonishingly low. The regression to the mean suggests it isn’t so funny people are going out of their way to watch and hate it, but that is just such a bad rating, it is amazing. Probably one of the worst superhero films ever.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Superman does his bit for world peace by ridding the globe of nuclear weapons – which inspires Lex Luthor to become a black-market arms profiteer. He also challenges Superman by creating Nuclear Man. Disappointing fantasy adventure is pretty ordinary, with a second-rate special effects. Sincere performances help a lot. Reeve receives co-story credit on this one (along with 2nd unit directing).

(This plot sounds like a mess. Kind of interesting Leonard gives the fourth a better review than the third, but he is often lenient for merely lightweight or boring films. Whereas the third sounds like it rejects the Superman for a clashing and annoying alternative … this movie is going to be boring.)

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

(Wow. It just looks cheap. It has a cheap message, heavy handed and lame. Nuclear Man? This is two years after Rocky defeated Ivan Drago and, by the transitive property, the Soviet Union. And they give us this shit?)

Directors – Sidney J. Furie – (Known For: The Entity; Lady Sings the Blues; The Ipcress File; Future BMT: Ladybugs; My 5 Wives; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for The Jazz Singer in 1981; Notes: Martin Scorsese put the Entity at number four on his list of scariest horror films.)

Writers – Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman) – (Known For: The LEGO Batman Movie; Man of Steel; Superman Returns; Superman; The Iron Giant; Superman II; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: These are credits for creating the original Superman strip.)

Christopher Reeve (story) – (BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: I wouldn’t be surprised if his somewhat notorious involvement in the writing of the two widely panned Superman films waylaid his career somewhat. Numerous stories come out of both productions claiming he was rather difficult to work with)

Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Planet of the Apes; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; The Legend of Billie Jean; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Mighty Joe; The Jewel of the Nile; Flicka; Future BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Desperate Hours; Mercury Rising; The Concierge; Mona Lisa Smile; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: They have worked together for over 30 years! Originally worked in television they were paired on the cult hit The Legend of Billie Jean.)

Actors – Christopher Reeve – (Known For: Superman; The Remains of the Day; Superman II; Somewhere in Time; Noises Off…; Deathtrap; Gray Lady Down; Street Smart; Above Suspicion; Switching Channels; The Bostonians; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Speechless; Monsignor; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: After his horse-riding accident that left him a quadriplegic in 1995 him and his wife founded a center devoted to helping paralyzed individuals live independently.)

Gene Hackman – (Known For: Young Frankenstein; Wyatt Earp; Unforgiven; Superman; The Birdcage; The Royal Tenenbaums; Enemy of the State; The Replacements; A Bridge Too Far; The Firm; Bonnie and Clyde; The French Connection; Get Shorty; Mississippi Burning; Antz; The Poseidon Adventure; Crimson Tide; The Conversation; Heartbreakers; The Quick and the Dead; Future BMT: Loose Cannons; Two of a Kind; Behind Enemy Lines; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Welcome to Mooseport; The Chamber; Notes: I love Gene Hackman. During out last film I noted that a lot of people assume his is dead because he retired from acting after Welcome to Mooseport. At 87 though I don’t know if he will release another book.)

Margot Kidder – (Known For: Superman; Maverick; Superman II; Black Christmas; Sisters; Delirious; The Great Waldo Pepper; Chicago, Chicago; The Annihilation of Fish; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Halloween II; The Amityville Horror; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: As mentioned in the Superman III preview, her career was put on hold a bit due to mental health issues in the 1990s. As far as recent films, I’m actually rather interested in seeing her in Halloween II (the remake). I loved the original Halloween, and the rest of the series is somewhat notoriously bad, but it’ll fun to see Kidder in a more recent role.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $15,681,020

(Terrible. And no wonder this filled the franchise for around 15 years. So bad it apparently killed their live action Spiderman idea for over 10 years as well.)

#125 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre and #100 for the Superhero genre

superman4_superhero

(This time I’ll only show the Superhero plot. This is below The Phantom … rough stuff. That big peak is Batman, and like with Comic Book Adaptations it basically ticks up with Spiderman in 2000 and then Avengers a decade later.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (5/42): The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.

(Ooooooof. So … boring. Not funny-bad like number three … just boring. Blah. At least we have number three to revel in.)

Poster – SuperSklog IV: The Quest for Cheese (B-)

superman_iv

(A lot going on here, but still nicely artistic as far as posters go. Look at the perspective. Again, wish they had a more consistent color scheme, but can’t complain too much.)

Tagline(s) – Nuclear Power. In the best hands, it is dangerous. In the hands of Lex Luthor, it is pure evil. This is Superman’s greatest battle. And it is for all of us. (F)

(Now this one actually hurts me. This tagline is my kryptonite.)

Keyword(s) – volcanic eruption; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.1 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 72.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011); 68.2 Supergirl (1984); 59.6 Congo (1995); 50.5 Pompeii (I) (2014); 49.0 The Wild (2006); 48.5 Robot Monster (1953); 47.3 King Solomon’s Mines (1985); 41.3 2012 (I) (2009); 40.8 Wrath of the Titans (2012);

(Hehe, So Alvin and the Chipmunks have to deal with a volcano when they get Chipwrecked. Also great that Superman IV and Supergirl both made the cut. Some of these are amazing! Like, does anyone remember the The Wild!? Just bonkers.)

Notes – Christopher Reeve publicly regretted his involvement in the film. He stated, “Superman IV was a catastrophe from start to finish. That failure was a huge blow to my career.” (…. you wrote the movie)

According to Margot Kidder, she and Christopher Reeve did not get along during filming. Kidder states that Reeve’s ego was inflated because he co-wrote the story. (Yeah. I’ve heard other interviews which suggested a bit of the same from the beginning of the series as the hot young guy chosen to play Superman)

Wes Craven was set to direct, but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve. (What?)

The failure of this film at the box office prompted The Cannon Group Inc., to cancel a planned production of “Spider-Man”. (That would have been a hilarious disaster. Considering the effects in the superman films)

The movie’s original budget was 36 million dollars. Just before filming was to begin, The Cannon Group, Inc., which was experiencing financial problems, slashed the budget to seventeen million dollars. As a result, the filmmakers cut corners, by doing things like re-using special effects. (Makes sense … again considering the effects)

When the film was cut from 134 minutes to 90 minutes, the producers considered using the deleted footage as the groundwork for a fifth film. (Holy shit, that’s a big cut!)

When Nuclear Man was being developed, Christopher Reeve was approached to play that part as Superman’s polar opposite, or a darker version of Bizarro.

Christopher Reeve agreed to play Superman for the fourth time if the studio financed his project, Street Smart (1987). (Cool. Ended up with good reviews too)

The vast majority of the external scenes were filmed in and around Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus couldn’t afford to shoot in New York City. (London, hoooooooollllla)

Nuclear Man only has eleven lines. (Ha, a wonder he didn’t get third billing like Kidder in number 3)

A scene cut out of the U.S. theatrical version featured Superman saving a group of Soviet Generals from a nuclear missile in Moscow. The scene appears on the video release, but not on the DVD. (fun fact)

Much of the special effects crew that worked on the first three films and Supergirl (1984) were hired during pre-production, but eventually left following salary disputes. (that makes sense)

In the original screenplay, by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, Nuclear Man was able to change shape, and expand in size. (cool idea actually)

The Cannon Group, Inc., thinking that they had a potential blockbuster on their hands, cut the two-hour-plus film down to a lean ninety minutes, so that theater owners could have more screenings per day, and potentially make more money that would eventually filter back to the studio. (Wow, a slight miscalculation there…)

This is the only Superman film from the Christopher Reeve era where Clark Kent changes to Superman in a phone booth. The Superman films made since this film have not featured this signature scene yet. (THAT IS A FUN FACT)

An enlarged Daily Planet front page hanging in the Daily Planet building’s lobby reads “Superman Saves Chemical Plant from Fire.” Superman did save a chemical plant from a fire in Superman III (1983). (Cool I guess. He did)

The Cannon Group, Inc. was in severe financial trouble by the mid 80s. They bought the rights to Superman, hoping the film would save them. The finished picture ended up being another costly failure. (We’ve watched a ton of films that basically bankrupted studios)

The music track used in the deleted scenes featuring Clive Mantle as the Nuclear Man prototype, is actually the theme tune for the British children’s television show Bric-A-Brac (1980). (What?! I’m loving these facts!)

Before Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) was released, The Cannon Group, Inc. began planning a fifth film, directed by Albert Pyun. When Cannon went bankrupt, Superman’s film rights reverted to Ilya Salkind and Alexander Salkind. Ilya wrote a story for a fifth film with Cary Bates and Mark Jones, in which Superman died, and was resurrected in the bottled city Kandor. It was not an adaptation of the famous “Death and Return of Superman” storyline, which it predated by about two years. (Kind of cool idea. A lot of people attached to this disaster of a film had “cool” ideas that went anywhere)

Robert Beatty (U.S. President) previously played the Tanker Commander in Superman III (1983). (A always love fictional president facts)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Harrison Ellenshaw, John Evans)

Superman III Preview

Oooooooooo boy. Exciting times at BMT HQ. The next set of films nail two (that’s right, two!) different dates on the BMT calendar! “Egad! How is that possible? My life is shattered by the revelation. I love reading this email and perusing the BMT website and didn’t see this coming!” cry our ever-growing crowd of adoring fans. It’s very possible when you have a hot piece of IP like Superman. Even after releasing the critically reviled Superman III, Hollywood still decided to go DJ Khaled on us and bring us ANOTHER ONE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. These films hit the blockbuster months of June and July and are some of the classics of the major motion picture bust. Let’s go!

Superman III (1983) – BMeTric: 67.9

SupermanIII_BMeT

SupermanIII_RV

(With some fits and starts this has got a serious BMeTric going now. This has had a pretty solidly low and steady sub-5 rating for years and years now, which I think suggests it will be quite low. Very possibly entertainingly bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Appalling sequel trashes everything that Superman is all about for the sake of cheap laughs and a costarring role for Richard Pryor, as a computer operator who unwittingly gives villainous Vaughn a chance to conquer the Man of Steel. Director Lestor’s opening slapstick ballet is a funny set-piece, but doesn’t belong in this movie.

(A movie not-funny comedic take on Superman? I’m in. Being a huge fan of things like Brewster’s Millions with Pryor, which is of the same era, I can already envision what this will feel like, and just how unabashedly not-Superman that seems like it would be is weirdly charming. In a bad movie sort of way.)

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

(Ha! That looks so dumb. Sigh. Richard Pryor just seems so out of place. Maybe it could have worked a bit with someone else as the computer operator and pull back a bit on the comedy, but this looks like a travesty.)

Directors – Richard Lester – (Known For: Superman II; A Hard Day’s Night; The Three Musketeers; Help!; Robin and Marian; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Four Musketeers; How I Won the War; The Return of the Musketeers; Petulia; Cuba; The Ritz; The Knack …and How to Get It; The Mouse on the Moon; It’s Trad, Dad!; BMT: Superman III; Notes: Huge director in the 1960s he is considered by some to be the father of the music video with his two Beatles films (A Hard Day’s Night and Help!) having a similar frenetic style to the videos made a generation later on MTV.)

Writers – Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman) – (Known For: The LEGO Batman Movie; Man of Steel; Superman Returns; Superman; The Iron Giant; Superman II; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: They made Superman originally which is obviously where all of these credits come from.)

David Newman (screenplay) – (Known For: Superman; Bonnie and Clyde; Superman II; What’s Up, Doc?; Bad Company; Still of the Night; There Was a Crooked Man…; Future BMT: Sheena; Santa Claus: The Movie; BMT: Superman III; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Sheena in 1985; Notes: He was at one point the editor of Esquire magazine, this was before he made a major turn to screenwriting.)

Leslie Newman (screenplay) – (Known For: Superman; Superman II; Future BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; BMT: Superman III; Notes: Also a cookbook author writing Feasts: Menus for Home-Cooked Celebrations. She was married to David Newman until his death in the early 2000s.)

Actors – Christopher Reeve – (Known For: Superman; The Remains of the Day; Superman II; Somewhere in Time; Noises Off…; Deathtrap; Gray Lady Down; Street Smart; Above Suspicion; Switching Channels; The Bostonians; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Speechless; Monsignor; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: Sadly he might be equally well-known for playing Superman and for subsequently becoming a quadriplegic following a horse riding accident.)

Richard Pryor – (Known For: Lost Highway; Silver Streak; Stir Crazy; The Muppet Movie; Car Wash; Lady Sings the Blues; California Suite; Blue Collar; Uptown Saturday Night; Wild in the Streets; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; Future BMT: The Wiz; The Toy; Another You; Brewster’s Millions; See No Evil, Hear No Evil; BMT: Superman III; Harlem Nights; Mad Dog Time; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Superman III in 1984; Notes: Widely considered perhaps the best stand up comedian ever. He had a very up-and-down life battling depression and drug addiction. This film was only three years after he, as he says, tried to kill himself via self-immolation, although family members maintain it was due to drug-induced psychosis. Sad nonetheless, Brewster’s Millions was a staple of my childhood.)

Margot Kidder – (Known For: Superman; Maverick; Superman II; Black Christmas; Sisters; Delirious; The Great Waldo Pepper; Chicago, Chicago; The Annihilation of Fish; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Halloween II; The Amityville Horror; BMT:Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: She also has a somewhat sad story involving mental illness, although it would seem she has since recovered and become an advocate for mental wellness. She was an avid political activist as well and has an incredible number of film and television credits to her name. She was briefly married to John Heard.)

Budget/Gross – $39 million / Domestic: $59,950,623

(Not too too bad. No wonder they made a third. I bet they were thinking “alright, if we correct a few of the issues from the dud we’ll be back to printing money in no time!”.)

#84 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre and #72 for the Superhero genre

superman3_comicbookadaptation

(I’m only showing Comic Book because these two were roughly the same. Kind of amazing that these have legit been on a roll since basically 2000 (Spiderman). There really isn’t a hiccup there, even though you could think that there would be. I guess you had Spiderman, and then X-Men, and then Marvel. This is near Hellboy … which isn’t too bad actually.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (11/43): When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

(Sounds just about right. Such a classic third-installment problem too. A different problem, but sounds a little like Spiderman 3 even. In that one they ended up with too many villains and the director went a little too heavy with the silliness … yeah roughly the same.)

Poster – SuperSklog III (B)

superman_iii

(Love everything about it but the color scheme. Wish we had a dominant color to work with. Besides that, though, it’s artistic in a classic way.)

Tagline(s) – If the world’s most powerful computer can control even Superman…no one on earth is safe. (D)

(Nope. Unacceptable. Breaks every BMT rule of tagline quality. Only gets a D because it doesn’t make me ill to read it. I’m not angry, just disappointed.)

Keyword(s) – computer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.1 Epic Movie (2007); 94.4 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.9 Alone in the Dark (2005); 85.8 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 84.5 The Fog (2005); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 81.4 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 79.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 78.7 Feardotcom (2002);

(Amazing list. I would def watch this in basically the worst 24 hours of my life. I also don’t believe The Fog has anything to do with “computers”, but I would certainly watch it again to find out!)

Notes – In his autobiography, Richard Pryor admitted that he thought the screenplay for this movie was terrible, and he only accepted the role because he was offered five million dollars for it.

The first time Christopher Reeve had top billing in a Superman movie. In the first Superman (1978) film, he was behind Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman; for Superman (1980) he was behind Hackman.

Richard Donner originally planned for Tom Mankiewicz to direct the film, as he written outlines for two more Superman films. But after he was fired from Superman II (1980), Mankiewicz could no longer be involved with the franchise.

According to Ilya Salkind, an earlier version of the script included the comic book villains Brainiac and Mr. Mxyzptlk teaming up, and Superman meeting his cousin, Supergirl, which would lead to the potential Supergirl spin-off. The character of Mister Mxyzptlk was going to be in the film, with Dudley Moore in the role.

Christopher Reeve threatened not to return for this film, in protest of the treatment of Richard Donner, and also because he hated the script. With the film already in pre-production, the producers scrambled to find an actor to play Superman. John Travolta was approached, but declined. Jeff Bridges and Kurt Russell were also considered, but were also not interested. Finally, with filming a few days away from beginning, the Salkinds settled on Tony Danza in the role of Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman. Richard Lester was mortified with the casting of Danza, and pleaded for Reeve to return. Reeve eventually agreed, under the condition that he could make numerous changes to the script. The producers agreed, and Christopher Reeve reprised his role as Superman. (whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat)

The original title was “Superman vs. Superman”. The producers of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) threatened a lawsuit, refusing to believe the Salkinds’ explanation that it was intended as a play on various “Superman vs…” comic stories. Eventually Pierre Spengler suggested that “Superman III” would be a more sensible title anyway, and the issue was dropped. (That is a horrible title anyway)

Christopher Reeve was not happy with the film, and, as with the fourth, often expressed in later interviews that he hated how this film turned out. The experience and final product was so bad, that he initially swore off ever playing the role again, only to be persuaded to make Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) in exchange for more input on the script. (Oh dear… so it came out worse)

According to the writers, the original choice to play Ross Webster was Alan Alda. They wanted an actor who could be ruthless without losing any charm. Executive Producer Ilya Salkind said in the DVD commentary, that his choice was Frank Langella. Langella later starred as Perry White in Superman Returns (2006).

The ski slope outside Ross Webster’s penthouse took three months to build at Pinewood Studios, and seventeen tons of salt was used as snow. (I wonder how much that cost)

When Gus lists his “impossible” program, it’s a series of PRINT statements. (classic)

Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally set to star as Lana Lang, but turned down the role, because she was too young. (That’s crazy. Would have been her fourth film)

The shot of the subway train entering a tunnel during the shutdown scene is actually stock footage from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). (Ha)

Noel Neill: Lois Lane from Adventures of Superman (1952) can be seen as an old woman on the dais in Smallville, just after Superman receives the key to the city. (fun fact)

Richard Pryor’s character steals money from his company by collecting fractions of a cent from other accounts and collecting them in his personal account. In computer crime terminology, it’s called the “salami technique.” (I call it the Da Vinci virus)

Filmed in Calgary, Alberta, home of Canada’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. It includes multiple KFC references: the Metropolis computer school payroll is handed out by a man in a Sanders-style goatee, Gus walks past a Smallville display with Kentucky Colonel outfits, Gus drags the intoxicated Brad past a closet whose open door shows a bag hanging full of KFC items, and Gus uses a “chicken in the bucket” recipe to explain to Ross why Kryptonite doesn’t kill Superman. (uhhhhhh, yes please)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Richard Pryor)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Musical Score (Giorgio Moroder)