In Love and War Recap

Jamie

Young Ernest Hemingway is injured while serving in the Red Cross during World War I. He ends up falling in love with the nurse caring for him, but their love seems destined to fail. Will he single handedly win WWI (no) and get the girl? Find out in In Love and War.

How?! Young Ernest Hemingway suuuuckks. He’s a young, whiny asshole who also rescues someone in Italy and gets shot in the leg in the process. While generally whining about everything, his nurse Agnes is a hero and saves his leg from amputation. He returns the favor by following her around, pestering her, claiming that she must love him, and touching her clothes and shit even though she tells him to stop. Eventually they go out on a date and he acts like a complete idiot and she more or less is like “maybe I’ll actually think about marrying this wildly successful Italian doctor that is super into me instead of you.” He gets all mopey and she ends up leaving to help closer to the front line. When he hears he’ll be shipping home Ernest goes to the line to see her one last time and despite being a complete buffoon they dance and have sex (not necessarily in that order). They totally promise that they will love each other forever, but there’s still that sexy italian doctor coming around whispering sweet nothings in her ear. Agnes breaks it off with Ernest, but while considering the doctor’s proposal has a change of heart and returns to the States. She makes one final attempt at reconciling with Ernest, but he’s too proud and is like “no, I don’t even like you. Whatever. I’m not crying. YOU’RE CRYING!” and she leaves. Ah, a love story for the ages. The End.

Why?! Well obviously love. Duh. In reality this is a story of two young people who are in pursuit of something that they can’t quite put their finger on. Perhaps it’s adventure, or maybe trying to find a direction in life other than what seems destined (marriage, becoming a doctor, or whatever), but regardless they collide at the worst possible moment for making their love work. He is immature, but sure of their love, and she is mature enough to be cynical about what their love could mean. In the end it explodes and messes them both up. Anyway, I think I wrote more seriously than this film is worth but Ernest Hemingway does seem fascinating despite being a whiny asshole.

What?! It was a strange twist when they revealed that Hemingway had to find an ancient magical relic called the Horn of Venice in order to gain the love of Agnes. JK, lolz. Not much in this one for MacGuffins, Plot Devices, or Product Placements. Really the closest we have is a multitude of endings whereby Hemingway and Agnes keep seeing each other in Italy and America. In reality she broke it off with him and they never saw him ever again. So that’s kind of like a plot device… if deviating from reality is a plot device.

Who?! Dedicated to Henry S. Villard who wrote the book and is portrayed by BMT fave Mackenzie Astin. Why is he a fave? Because he portrayed the main character Dodger in Garbage Pail Kids. We were so inspired that Patrick wrote a whole gritty reboot for the GPKU entitled Dodger that was… disturbing. It’s also fun because Villard in the film is kind of like a Planchet. He’s mostly dismissed and made fun of by Hemingway despite apparently being his good friend.

Where?! Venice, baby! Or at least thereabouts for almost the entire film. We get some really nice shots of the city and it plays a major role in the true(ish) love story of Agnes so indispensable. I gotta give it a solid A-.

When?! WWI, baby! Interestingly there is a pretty incredible dearth of WWI films in modern day. Totally overshadowed by WWII, which gets one or two every year. I guess it’s something like Slender Man vs. Friday the 13th. One has a bad guy you can’t get enough of and they keep pumping them out. The other is just a vague notion that is hard to convey concretely without getting bogged down narratively. Sorry WWI, you the Slender Man of wars. A.

This movie is fine. Makes me want to read some Hemingway and marvel at the fact that this film came out in the mid-90’s pretty much right when these types of films stopped being made. At this point it plays like a TV Movie for the BBC and I let it wash over me as such. The only major critique was that it ended at least five separate times… could have done with the first couple and that’s about it. As for Liz & Dick, I find it amazing that it was written about so extensively online as if it was the worst thing that has ever happened. First of all, ever watch the SyFy network? Second of all, the outcry at Lindsay Lohan’s performance seems totally unwarranted. Sure, I would guess that a film critic might be knowledgeable enough about film history to know that her vaguely transatlantic accent doesn’t actually match Elizabeth Taylor’s accent at all but guess who doesn’t know that? Me. She wasn’t even the worst actor in the movie and she showed off a little by squeezing out some tears here and there. It was fine. We’re fine. BMT’s fine. I SAID IT’S FINE! Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! World War I was a war of attrition with countries attempting to wait out supply lines and ammunition in fortified trenches for years on end. In Love and War attempts to do the same, waiting out my patience for what feels like years on end. Let’s get into it!

The Good – The vistas as usual. The story itself is somewhat interesting. It is almost one of those stories that seems so crazy that it couldn’t be true. A rare World War I film, and even rarer given it covers an aspect of that war that itself it basically never covered, the Italian front against Austria. O’Donnell would be good as a kind-of stunt cast given he embodies youthful naivety perfectly, although it becomes problematic I think in the grand scheme of things. Did I mention the vistas?

P’s View on the Preview – The thing that most critics seemed to cite is the incredibly, almost impossibly, bad chemistry between the leads. What I became somewhat interested in was Richard Attenborough, who beat out Spielberg for Best Director with Gandhi in 1982, acted in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park in 1993, and then directed this film two years prior to Spielberg creating one of the best war films ever in Saving Private Ryan. This is probably considered his worst directorial effort of his career which is notable.

The Bad – A bore. Not only because the war scenes don’t look particularly good or interesting, but because the story itself just kind of meanders around and then ends at least three times before finally closing out. Sandra Bullock is a particular weak spot playing opposite of an appropriately youthful and naive O’Donnell, although neither seem to be very good actors in the end. A waste of what is ultimately a pretty fascinating story.

You Just Got Schooled – To put it mildly there isn’t much to learn about this film without actually reading the book it is based on (whoops, sorry not sorry). Instead I think I’ll look at a little World War I analysis. Using the IMDb keyword there are eight films which qualify for BMT. Of those, only two are actually set on the battlefields of World War I, this and Flyboys starring James Franco. The Ottoman Lieutenant (starring Josh Hartnett) could also qualify, although it was only released to 200 theaters. Of those three In Love and War is actually the highest qualifying World War I film! Box Office Mojo agrees with this analysis, Flyboys and In Love and War are the only bad major releases based in World War I. As a matter of fact, the only other major releases since 1980 in the Box Office Mojo genre are Wonder Woman and War Horse. Which is astonishing. I think this will change soon. Wonder Woman has reignited interest in the genre, as will the upcoming Peter Jackson documentary.

The BMT – I doubt I will even remember this film by the time next week rolls around. It’ll maybe crop up if we ever watch another World War I film though. That is something I suppose. But no, it is very much not BMT material in the end.

Welcome to Earf – Alright, so Chris O’Donnell was in this and Batman & Robin as the titular Robin, which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger who was in Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was also in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – None. I even tried to look up the worst World War I films, and the one that was put above In Love and War is this guy, which is so small it has less than one thousand votes on IMDb and doesn’t even seem that bad. Given its Rotten Tomatoes rating and the fact that Leonard Maltin gave it a BOMB, it is impressive how under the radar the film is.

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we watched the Lifetime Original film Liz and Dick. Staring Lindsay Lohan and … some guy, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the film was … a Lifetime Original. As a matter of fact, it seems like it was better than I would have expected from such a film. Lohan is okay, and it is a bit surprising she doesn’t get any work acting anymore, she’s fine for roles like this honestly (which probably means she’s still a pain to deal with). The story is interesting, although the film itself felt like it was four hours long, which is a major downside. I’m going to give this a D+ as a friend. It needs to be done because of Lohan, but it is so unrepresentative of what I want in a Lifetime Original (drama up the wazoo), that I have to punish it severely. It is kind of just a special case which after you watch it you’ll think “yup … that was Lindsay Lohan in a Lifetime Original film … cool.” Not worth it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

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The Predator Recap

Jamie

A former military sniper find himself embroiled in a galactic battle when a Predator crash lands near his black ops site. Things go from bad to worse when the battle follows him back home to where his young, autistic son lives. Can he defeat the Predator, protect his family, and save mankind before it’s too late? Find out in… The Predator.

How?! We open with a Predator crash landing in Mexico near where our hero, Quinn, is taking part in a black ops mission. He briefly does battle before escaping with some of the Predator technology, which he sends back home (into the unsuspecting hands of his autistic son, Rory). He is then taken by the US government to be questioned and eventually shipped off to a psychiatric ward with a bunch of other soldiers being held as insane by the US government. In the meantime the Predator has been taken to a top secret lab to be studied but awakens and destroys the lab. The prisoners on the bus escape and drive away to try to make sure Quinn’s family isn’t now the target of an escaped Predator. Arriving at the home of his estranged wife, Quinn finds that Rory has been totally deciphering the alien tech and has taken it out for a little spin on Halloween. This activates a homing beacon on the tech and leads to an even bigger Ultimate Predator to show up which is there to kill the first Predator (you following this? Me neither). It easily does so and our heroes escape only to be captured by the US government. They use Rory to find the crashed Predator ship and everyone converges on that location. Unfortunately the Ultimate Predator is like “Nope, I’m gonna blow it up and kill everyone,” and it does. The Ultimate Predator then shockingly (what a twist!) reveals that Rory’s autism actually represents the next step in human evolution and is the ultimate warrior for mankind. It take Rory captive to use in biological experimentation and starts to fly away, but Quinn being a badass jump on his ship and totes kills it and stuff. We then get a little sneak peak at the sequels when it’s revealed that the first Predator actually brought a weapon for mankind to use and it’s a super lame Predator suit that is going to suck for real. This may all sound fine to you but think of the massive coincidence that had to occur in this case: the Predator had to crash land on top of a US military sniper in the Mexican wilderness allowing for him to obtain alien technology to send back to his autistic son who happens to be the ultimate warrior and only human on Earth that can decipher the alien technology. That’s some straight magic destiny shit.

Why?! There actually is a lot more motivation that the original Predator where more or less the alien is a game hunter in it for the thrill of the hunt. This time the original Predator heads to Earth in hopes of delivering a weapon to help in the upcoming battle against the rest of the Predators. You see, climate change is making Earth hotter and thus more habitable for Predators. They’re gonna live here now, but I guess this original Predator is more accepting and doesn’t like this for some reason. So it brings a Predator suit that apparently will defeat climate change (the real bad guys in this whole scenario). So I guess it like… runs entirely on clean energy or something? They can’t possibly expect one man in a robot suit to fight an entire invading force of Predators, right?… RIGHT?

What?! The robot suit revealed at the end of the film is a perfect MacGuffin. Literally no one actually knows what it is and yet the government, our hero, and the Ultimate Predator are fighting and killing to get the thing as it mysteriously represents the only hope for mankind. For a moment in the theater I thought the box containing the MacGuffin would open and reveal a brief shot of the cryogenically frozen body of Arnold and that he would turn out to be the ultimate warrior that is the only hope for mankind and would come back to star in the sequel. I was crushed when it was a stupid robot suit.

Who?! There seems to be only one Easter Egg in the film in that Jake Busey plays the scientist studying the Predator, Sean Keyes. He is the son of Peter Keyes, the scientist in Predator 2 played by Busey’s real life father Gary Busey. We of course have never watched Predator 2 because we are dumb, but rest assured it will be watched for BMT (and soon, spoiler alert).

Where?! This was a point of contention. The film obviously starts in Mexico and proceeds to Chattanooga, TN. From there people only drive or take helicopter trips to further locations so I presumed they either stayed in TN or crossed the border into Georgia. Patrick noted that most cars had Georgia license plates and some promotional material boasted about how the production team mocked up a school in Vancouver to look like a school in Macon, Georgia so we can be pretty safe to assume it takes place there, but not particularly noticeable. It’s always hard for these BMT Live films. B-.

When?! This was much more obvious as part of the plot is that Rory is able to take the alien tech out and about because it’s Halloween and everyone is dressed up. A really perfect Secret Holiday film. One of the best of the year. A-.

This is a lizard brain fun movie. I sat in the theater and was more or less fine with being there and watching this new addition to the Predator lore. It’s only on thinking back on the film that it starts to fall apart. The film is built on crazy coincidence, cliche, and childish humor. It’s like an early 2000’s action film mixed with a youtube video. It kinda sucks but you also don’t mind wasting your time watching it… like a youtube video. I guess what I’m saying is that it has the value of a youtube video… and that’s good but also terrible. Get it? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Some people say that terrible movies are the next evolutionary step in great filmmaking … wait, that doesn’t make a lick of sense, what am I talking about? Oh yeah, the main plot point in The Predator. Let’s go!

The Good – The film at the very least attempts to advance the Predator franchise into interesting territory, with the ultimate conclusion being galactic war (funny enough … the exact same plan floated to resurrect the Independence Day franchise). Looking back at the original Predator you can tell Shane Black had an idea about the “band of soldiers” that haven’t really been replicated in other installments of the franchise, something that felt necessary, one valiant attempt. The action was, at times, decent, specifically the lab escape scene. Olivia Munn was fine, not great, but fine. The kid actor was far less annoying than you would think. The main villain was charming as well, kind of making fun of the machismo so many critics referenced in the good reviews.

P’s View on the Preview – Ah, we watched this film very closely and I think we can take credit for willing it below 40% ultimately. It started as fresh, well above 60% after the initial wave of reviews. When I first generated the preview it even had a different consensus written that made it out to be a fine addition to the franchise. They’ve since replaced it with one a bit more down on the whole thing. Ultimately, like Warcraft, this is mostly looking at one of the bigger releases of the year that ended up being bad and seeing what we think.

The Bad – Aggressively and proudly crude for the sake of being crude, which I thought came across as juvenile and annoying, and makes the film seem like a standard R-rated action-comedy. No charisma from the lead, bad acting across the board, specifically I thought Thomas Jane put together a flimsy, obvious, and generally annoying character. Keegan-Michael Key was only barely tolerable as well. The rest of the band of brothers was entirely forgettable, beyond Trevante Rhodes who was okay. The jingoist attitude towards soldiers was unbecoming and unnecessary. The main story (Predator trying to evolve using autism, the next evolution in humankind) is an atrocity and has been appropriately maligned by critics and fans alike. And finally, it jumps around way too much, you are all over the place, and not for a particularly good reason. There is so many small things wrong with this film it ultimately sinks under the weight of criticism. It is basically like: there is a little something for everyone to hate.

You Just Got Schooled – Initially for this film I wanted to rewatch Predator, but I’m kind of saving that for another time. Instead for homework I decided to watch the Red Letter Media re:View of Predator. For the most part this gives a general look at what made Predator a very good 80s action film: a limited story in a unique location with a charismatic lead and a tendency to go over the top with violence and crudeness. The new one? Basically tries to pretend that that last bit was the most important. It was not. The most important is the first: limit the story. Predator, Predators, and Predator 2 (to an extent) all focused on a very simple story: the predator has come a-hunting, y’all better get the f’ outta here! Why we end up jumping locations is beyond me. I’m looking forward to see if the RLM guys do an actual review of The Predator, because I imagine they’ll be quite disappointed in the “Shane Black Predator” given their views of the original.

The BMT – I think this was, weirdly, a once-in-a-lifetime event. The Predator was one of the bigger action films slated for the autumn, people were skeptical of the trailers but still seemed excited, and the crude R-rated action-comedies (don’t pretend it is anything else) tend to get apologized for for being good for what they are (and aren’t) trying to do. But somehow it sunk like a stone and ended up probably being the biggest action BMT of the year. Reminiscent of Independence Day 2, which was equally forgettable. Probably one of the more interesting Live’s we’ve done and gives a good reason for the BMT Lives to exist I think.

Welcome to Earf – Alright, so Olivia Munn is in The Predator and Mortdecai with Johnny Depp, who was in Transcendence with Morgan Freeman, who was the narrator for Conan the Barbarian (2011) with Ron Perlman, who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earth!

StreetCreditReport.com – Just like with other Lives there isn’t much to say here, but I would expect the screenplay would get some nods for worst written film. Given the stellar track record of Shane Black as a director, he’ll also be a huge target for worst directed film. Overall, the film is big enough I would expected it’ll sneak into the bottom of a few worst of lists by the end of the year, overall the year has been pretty sparse regardless.

BMT Live Theater Review – After my terrible experience at Cineworld for Slender Man, I returned to my precious Vue. £7 showings all day every day, clean, and … well, they also had 30 minutes of adverts (as they say in foggy London town) prior to the show, but at least I can kind of think to myself “hey, the movie only cost £7 which for London is a steal”. Almost no one was in the showing, no one laughed at the many juvenile and crass jokes, and everything was appropriately muted … basically it is what you would expect from a terrible action film. Went to a late show, and then just stewed getting angrier and and angrier as I wandered home. C+, just what you would hope from a showing, but nothing hilarious to make it stand out either.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Jaws: The Revenge Recap

Jamie

Jaws is back, Jack! And ready for a little revenge. When another shark related tragedy hits her family, Ellen Brody goes a little crazy thinking that she is the target of a vast shark conspiracy. Escaping to The Bahamas she is shocked to find the giant shark there waiting for her. Can she stop this voodoo shark conspiracy before it’s too late? Find out in… Jaws: The Revenge.

How?! Ellen Brody is still living it up on Amity Island. Her husband Martin has passed from a heart attack and her son Michael is off getting a PhD. But Sean is still there living a peaceful life as a police officer. Just a quiet life on the island during Christmas… PSYCH!! He is fucking eaten by a shark!!!! Ellen is now convinced that these sharks are out to get her. First Martin (who I guess had a heart attack obsessing over the shark?) and now Sean. All the evidence we need. Realizing his mom is going a little nuts Michael has her come spend the holidays in the Bahamas with his family. When they get down there she meets an older gentleman Hoagie and they start a romance. They have a nice peaceful Christmas in the Caribbean and not much goes on… PSYCH!!! A fucking shark shows up!!!! The shark is following them!!!! It eats a bunch of people and the Brody’s are all freaked out because this shark is totally voodoo conspiracy after them!!!! In a last ditch effort to rid the world of these giant sharks, Michael and his mom go out on a sailboat, shoot the shark with a electrode thing, and shock the shit out of it until it explodes/gets impaled by the ship. Finally they are happy because they don’t have to worry about any more sharks… or do they? (they don’t because this killed the series). THE END.

Why?! Ha, well the shark is apparently motivated by revenge. It’s actually a little confusing whether you are supposed to come to agree with that assessment. Sure this one family keeps on getting attacked by sharks but there is no actual explanation for why this family of sharks would follow them all over the world. It’s nonsense. The actual explanation is fleshed out in the novelization where a voodoo woman with a vendetta against the Brody’s curses them to forever be hunted by these sharks… which is straight Halloween Parts 4-6 Curse of Thorn bullshit. Also it makes these sharks more or less the evil pawn of a much more evil voodoo lady who never gets a comeuppance. Which is actually kind of sad for both the Brody’s and the shark.

What?! They were probably two movies away from having Ellen Brody stab the shark with The Knife of Power while reciting verses from the Necronomicon. In this film they just used the power of Miller Lite to drain their worries about a voodoo-powered shark out for revenge.

Who?! We get a bunch of fantastic special thanks in this. There are a couple Bahamas related people and Dr. John McCosker, an ichthyologist who obviously advised the production. But most notable was this Special Thanks:

Jaws credits

Thank you very much Selectmen of Edgartown, indeed.

Where?! We open on Amity Island a.k.a. Edgartown, MA, but quickly transition to The Bahamas. I like the choice if only for how weird and random it is and the Caribbean is used to good effect. A-.

When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert! This takes place right at Christmas time. Why? No idea. I guess because they had to film in the winter and so they figured ‘Why not?’ Perhaps it’s a metaphor for the resurrection of the shark who died for our sins… three times. Anyway, very specific and factors into the plot, but not in a particularly important way. A-.

Let’s get one thing straight: this movie is incredibly stupid. Like extra dumb and not surprisingly I think people came to believe that the series could no longer continue without getting dumber. This is probably correct. Jaws 5: It’s Back! would not have been good. However, given our expectation for the film I think it’s surprisingly coherent. I kinda liked the Michael Caine scenes and some of the family stuff (even though it all seemed totally misplaced in the film) and you could kinda go along for the ride without much issue. But again: extra dumb dumb stupid. As for Birdemic: Shock and Terror I had actually already seen it. It was the film that made me officially decide that these were not the films we wanted to be doing for BMT. I remember watching it and finding it mostly excruciating and frustrating to watch. This viewing didn’t necessarily change that assessment. I will say that I’ve come to appreciate these incredibly low budget bad films because they often are the creation of quirky singular viewpoints. So you get a glimpse into someone’s mind. Like in Birdmic you clearly see that the creator’s background in software sales and passion for climate change is a big part of his life and thought process (and thus the crazy film he made). And that’s interesting… to a point. Patrick?  

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Jaws is back jack and with a voodoo twist (presumably, I’m just guessing) … that’s right, Jaws, a shark, is now consciously hunting the Brody clan. And in no way is that ridiculous. Let’s go!

The Good – Far more entertaining than you would think for a film that is purportedly one of the worst films ever made … or at least one of the worst sequels. Lorraine Gary is a delight. Caine is just hilarious in how much he doesn’t give a shit. Nice underwater … I’m going to call them vistas, sue me. The conch tagging scenes were beautiful.

P’s View on the Preview – This film is considered to be one of the worst sequels ever made. The reviews suggest it just looks like garbage and makes no sense. Going in I was certainly the most interested in the revenge story though. Is Jaws actually taking revenge? Do they try and explain it? If they don’t they why do they think Jaws is seeking revenge? Do they acknowledge the fact that in the three (fine, two canonical) films the shark always dies? So many questions and so little expectation!

The Bad – NONE OF MY QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED. I really wished they had gone completely Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers on us, but alas, they do something even worse: they just kind of allude to shark vengeance and offer no explanation. Add to that the shark looking like crap, most of the actors being not great, and the writing being a mess and you can see why the film is reviled. And yet I kept coming back to the Leonard Maltin review … something about this film is very watchable.

You Just Got Schooled – I’m going to do a two-fer youtube video here. First, witness the original uncut ending of Jaws: The Revenge! Two major things changed between the original theatrical ending and the European (and subsequent home video) released. First, Jaws is merely killed by Ellen slamming a boat into it (wizzeak). Second, and you can’t notice it in the video, but Jake (Mario Van Peebles) dies in this version. The shark … looks atrocious. Which brings me to: A recent video in which the VFX is tastefully redone! I actually think it looks quite good. Good enough at least that you might not have cared that it was spitting in the eye of the original. I’m actually quite liking this entry to my recaps and I think I’ll continue to find “homework” to recap each week.

The BMT – I think I’ll remember this film for it giving me an epiphany: creature features are eminently watchable. Combine some sort of animal attacking people with a halfway decent directorial effort and there is almost nothing you can do to make me think the film isn’t at least watchable. Jaws: The Revenge? Why not? Anaconda? YUP. Bats? Fine, there is a limit, that movie is pretty rough. I guess the point is that Jaws remains the primary creature feature franchise, even years after it died, and that’s saying something.

Welcome to Earf – Michael Caine is in this and Get Carter (2000) with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – As mentioned above, this is legitimated considered on the worst sequels ever made. People happily mention it in 1987 worst of lists, where it takes a nice place next to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (another crazy number four in a series). It was also so bad it was at one point added to the worst films wiki (although it was removed). This was a must see eventually considering its Razzie cred alone, but it is very famous for being a terrible sequel. Only took us about 450 films to get to it.

Bring a Friend – This week we watched Birdemic: Shock and Terror for the Bring a Friend cycle as another creature feature. Fun fact: the movie was filmed in Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco where I just so happened to have gone for a wedding two months ago! Like legit … I saw the double decker bus and passed by the cafe in the beginning of the film. As for the film: the birds look so ridiculous you can’t help but be delighted by them. Sure the movie is mostly boring, kind of gross, and weirdly obsessed about global warming (to no satisfying conclusion), but the birds themselves are kind of enough to sustain 60% of the film. If Teen Witch is a solid A, and A Talking Cat?! is a C-, this is somewhere in between. I’m going to give it a B- I think. It isn’t nearly entertaining enough to sustain the runtime, but I understand the allure of the film are far as entertainingly bad films. I could maybe be convinced to watch the film again with a bunch of people.

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

The 13th Warrior Recap

Jamie

Ahmad Ibn Fadlan is an ambassador from Baghdad who gets caught up in a Viking quest to defend a town under attack from mysterious monsters. Can he stop the monsters (and get (with) the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… The 13th Warrior.

How?! Ahmad Ibn Fadlan is a totally rad emissary for Baghdad, exiled because he was just too sexy and the ladies loved cool Ahmad. On his journey as an ambassador he meets up with a bunch of even radder Vikings who are informed that they must help a king whose lands are being attacked by mysterious monsters. They are also told that a stranger, a thirteenth warrior, must join their group if they hope to succeed. Obviously Ahmad is chosen because he’s rad and ladies love him. They go to the Viking manor and find evidence that the rumors are true and the town is being attacked by a mysterious force that eats their victims. They prepare for battle, but after a brief skirmish they realize they’ll have to do more to survive and they start to put up barricades. Meanwhile the ladies still love cool Ahmad. After a large nighttime battle with the monstrous force they again realize that they’ll have to do better to survive as their group is dwindling (the ladies still love Ahmad to this point). They go to an oracle and are told to take out the enemy Queen in her lair and kill their leader who possesses the Horns of Power. They proceed to go there and do so, but the leader of the Vikings is poisoned. In his dying effort he is able to defeat the final forces and crush that dude and his Horns of Power. Everyone is sad but also happy and Ahmad forgets about the ladies that loved him and heads back home. This may in fact be my worst ever synopsis. I have only the movie to blame. THE END.

Why?! Ahmad really just gets caught up in all of this, but eventually you get the sense that he kind of digs the Viking lifestyle of fighting and drinking and, pardon my French, making sweet, sweet love to Viking queens. He always like “No, I can’t do that for God or whatever,” but then he does… because he’s a Viking at heart.

What?! Before each battle Ahmad slams a couple Coors Lights and when the Vikings asks how that’s OK with his religion he exclaims “It is mere water to quench my thirst.” Seriously though I thought this section would be trouble until a prophecy at the end reveals that in order to conquer the bad guys they must defeat the leader who wears the Horns of Power. While perhaps not a MacGuffin in the truest sense of the word, it is definitely awesome in every other sense of the word.

Who?! There are two interesting credits here. The first is Dr. Leroy Perry, a sports chiropractor who got a special thanks on the film. He is apparently a big deal LA chiropractor and likely entered this production after Banderas sustained a back injury early in filming. For a while there he was part of a number of films, but IMDb doesn’t have any credits after this one. The second is that Michael Crichton ended up doing uncredited reshoots on the film and is listed as an director on IMDb. This is the reason that the film was not released for over a year after filming as Crichton had final cut rights and didn’t like McTiernan’s version (which also tested poorly). So he did his own reshoots and that’s what we ended up seeing. This also may explain why the film is so close to the book (which is nearly unfilmable) as it appears that Crichton had a lot of control on production.

Where?! The whole setting can only really be gleaned from the book/historical person that the story fictionalizes. So we can presume this takes place in modern day Russia… but it’s kinda lame. D

When?!  One can assume that this takes place in the 10th century because Banderas’ character is based on a real person who wrote about the culture of Vikings in his travels. The whole story was concocted as a reimagining of the Beowulf mythos as a twisting of the true tale of a Viking battle. But of course no one in the film is like “Yo, it’s the 10th century, bro. Viking time.” D

This film is really interesting… but no matter how much I wanted to say that it was underrated and actually good I couldn’t make myself do it. Why? Because it’s kinda boring and they botched the big action pieces that could have taken it to another level. I actually listened to the audiobook for the novel that this was based on and it is shockingly similar. That would be fine except that as I listened to it the only thing I could think was “This could be a really great film as long as they made major changes and really amped up the action scenes.” Guess what? They didn’t. And in the end it pretty much matched the book. Interesting as a concept, but boring as a film. Matched with it was Edison Force starring our boys LL Cool J and Justin Timberlake. JT in particular gives the worst performance I’ve actually seen put to film and the entire film seems like a less successful 88 Minutes or Righteous Kill (if that can be believed). It is a terrible film and also kinda funny to watch at times if only for JT embarrassing himself. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever just want to go on a relaxing holiday up north, a little sauna, a few laughs, but then get hooked into a battle against some cannibals with magic horns of power?! Me neither, but Ahmad Ibn Fadlan did, let’s go!

The Good – Let’s get this out of the way: I dug this movie. And not in an ironic way. If this was cleaned up a bit and was made in like 1980 I think it might have been kind of good in the Conan the Barbarian kind of way. But it was instead made in 1999, and is not cleanly made. So it is merely a somewhat tolerable film in the medieval genre, that is really the best you can say about it. Beautiful though.

Ps View on the Preview – The director of this film is actually really interesting. Made Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt for the Red October back-to-back-to-back. He was a true legend, someone that is still mentioned as “hey, maybe he could still make something great if given the chance.” But he perjured himself to the FBI and went to prison and now no one seems to want to touch him with a ten foot pole. And by all accounts this film was a complete mess with audiences and cut / shot to shit by Michael Crichton. It is bananas, and the only reason this is even on BMT’s radar.

The Bad – And it is cut to shit. The movie is at turns kind of boring and extremely confusing. It is beautiful, but that only really gets you so far. It helped immensely that I brushed up on my Beowulf so I could pick up what they were … just kind of throwing willy nilly at the screen. I also had to watch the film in pieces. It really doesn’t grab you. And this is coming from a person who said he dug the film. Yikes.

Get Yo Rant On! – It is tough to think on something to rant about here … how about the gall of Michael Crichton to think he could make Beowulf interesting (his words not mine, that is literally why he wrote the book, as a kind of dare to make the story interesting to modern audiences). I can’t speak to whether the book was successful … but the movie is pretty boring, so probably not very successful there. I still bet you could make the story interesting though … like set it on an alien planet and make Grendal an actual alien monster or something? I’ll take my payment for this idea in Bitcoin, thanks.

The BMT – Naw, this isn’t a BMT film at all … but I could probably watch it again. For the vistas! I love vistas and this movie has them in spades. But it is nowhere near as bad as a BMT film should be. It is one of the better actual films we’ve seen for BMT in the last year easily … which I guess is terrible?

Welcome to Earf – Antonio Banderas is in The 13th Warrior and Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone who was in The Zookeeper with Adam Sandler who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – The only mention I found in an actual worst of list was it being mentioned as being … not that bad. But it is easily found on worst flops lists. Like this one. That is basically why it is famous after all.

Bring a Friend – This week we watched Edison as part of the bring a friend cycle. And unfortunately the only thing you can really say about it is that it is generic. Sure Justin Timberlake’s acting is straight up hilarious in the film. And some of the directorial choices are kind of off the wall. But if you’ve seen any number of cheesy corrupt cop dramas you’ve seen this movie. There is no twist, or mystery, no killers like in Righteous Kill to keep things interesting. It is just m’boy Justin T cracking the case with good journalism and taking down some fratty F.R.A.T. bros. No biggie. As far as bring a friend is concerned though I would give is a D+. It is hard to fault the film for its mere existence, but why does it exist? Why did I watch this? I will never watch it again, and would never recommend it to anyone. The extra few points is because JT’s acting is amusing on occasion. If you like guns though there is a good shoot’em up right in the beginning. Watch the first 10 minutes and then turn it off.

I did not read the book.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Slender Man Recap

Jamie

A group of teenage girls watch a video describing how to summon the Slender Man and (surprise surprise) accidentally summon Slender Man. Soon one of them is missing, another insane, and the remaining two are trying their damndest to stop the madness. Will they be able to stop the Slender Man before it’s too late? Find out in… Slender Man.

How?! A group of teenage girls stumble upon an online video claiming to summon a demon called Slender Man. Why do they click it? Because some guys they know claimed they were also summoning this Slender Fellow. Cool. They click the video and more or less watch The Ring starring Naomi Watts. Super spooked they decide not to talk about it ever again… that is until one of the girls goes missing, another goes insane, and the other two start to see Slender Chap lurking around every corner. They get in contact with someone online in order to try to make this weird Slender Dude go away (and bring back the other girl I guess), but it kinda gets them in even deeper and roping in one of the girl’s little sister. Eventually they realize that Slender Bloke is more of an idea than a real thing (you know?) and that they really can’t defeat him… so the whole movie is kinda useless other than to serve as a parable of sorts for the dangers of the internet. You wouldn’t get it cause you’re not young and hip like us. It’s an allegory and a metaphor, you know? Anyway, the one girl decides to sacrifice herself to Slender Man to save her sister and she gets absorbed into a tree. For real. THE END.

Why?! Wow… I’m rarely stumped by one of these questions. Ok, so… Slender Man is a demon so he’s just doing it because he’s evil. Easy enough. The girls summon Slender Man because… they hear that some other people are summoning Slender Man. Then they want to stop him so they don’t die. My God. The motivations in this film are tragic.

What?! I assume that they use certain phones and computers for all Slender Man activities but it’s hard to note those kinds of things in the theater. It wasn’t hard to remember the scene where Slender Man began to reach for one of the characters but then it turned out that he was just reaching for a nice refreshing Coca-Cola. That certainly was jarring, but not unexpected. Pepsi’s gross. Slender Man don’t play that.

Who?! I fully expected half the actresses in this film to be aspiring pop stars, but I was incorrect. Instead the most interesting thing about the film is the writing credit given to Victor Surge, the username of the guy who first submitted the Slender Man art to the website SomethingAwful back in the day. By all account this guy has no interest in engaging with his creation and more or less says that he doesn’t even really use the internet much… and yet there have been no less than four feature films made about Slender Man (this one obviously being the biggest) and a full season of a television show. He keeps getting credits. Weird and wild stuff.

Where?! Patrick pointed out to me that all the where and when details are actually shown in the trailer, which is pretty amazing. This film takes place in the small town of Winsford which is apparently in MA. We get some Revolutionary War talk in the middle of the film and also a 978 area code for a character’s phone number. Other than that nothing solid. My guess is that some license plates could be seen, just not easily in the theater where I can’t analyze each frame like it’s the Zapruder film. C+.

When?! Also in the trailer is a MISSING sign for one of the girls which clearly states that she went missing on May 30th, 2018. Makes sense as it’s near the end of the school year. This is a fabulous A-. I certainly wish they mentioned how much fun they had at their Memorial Day slumber party considering that is likely the weekend on which they first watched the video. But alas, guess they didn’t want an A.

This movie is straight terrible… I’m not sure I even need to say more. It feels like an unfinished film. Something that was recut or refilmed after bad previews or to get a PG-13 rating with little regard to the fact that the plot is straight garbage and bereft of any or all motivation or development for the characters. Not to mention that you have a movie monster with no interesting characteristics, no hope of being defeated, and no connection to the physical world… so why would I care about this Slender Guy? I want Bye Bye Man weird dog and coin shit. I want to have them find out that he’s the spirit of a guy who lost his daughter in a tragic boat accident and they have to go out on the misty lake to pull up her bones from the wreckage for a final burial (only to find that she was the demon all along!). I want a real horror film antagonist. Not this half-ass demon bullshit. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! This week we watched a modern day urban legend … what’s that? No, we didn’t watch Urban Legend. Naw, this is a horror film for the technological age … what’s that? No, we’ve already seen FeardotCom. No, you know, the one with the updated boogeyman character … what’s that? Goddamnit, no, we watched The Bye Bye Man last year! Whatever, we watched Slender Man, I was talking about Slender Man. Let’s go!

The Good – Oooooof. There are some shots which are well done. You can kind of see that the director is the most competent part of this film. It manages to keep the tension cranked up to about 8/10 for the whole movie, which is far more than The Bye Bye Man could say. If it could have managed a few more scares people would have probably given it a break at least.

P’s View on the Preview – Obviously the main thing here was the comparisons to The Bye Bye Man. Back to back years you have very not-scary thin men haunting people in rural America? I mean … yes please. The only thing we were hoping for was for the Slender Man to be hilarious. Because The Bye Bye Man looked goofy. Yo looked goofy!

The Bad – He did not look sufficiently goofy. The acting throughout was terrible. No moment in the entire film was scary, not even the jump scares. This film is entirely derivative of other horror films, it is effectively The Ring Ring Man, because it is just the plot of The Ring applied using the bad guy from The Bye Bye Man. The Bye Bye Man was hilarious while this is simply a tragedy, a not-scary nothing movie. Boo! I say boo!

Get Yo Rant On – So yo, first The Bye Bye Man, and now this? Why all the hate on libraries all of a sudden. Naturally when you summon a demon you need to go to the local library to see what you can find. Under “The Bye Bye Man” there should be plenty about the weird albino drifter killing people with his dog. In Slender Man they naturally need to find a book on … demons or something, so they head to the local library. Natch. What’s this, The Super Thin Get-outta Here Man is here?! Who could have guessed it. But seriously … local libraries are struggling enough without today’s youth being afraid of accidentally seeing The Ring Me Once Man or whatever making it all spooky and stuff. Leave the local library alone horror films. End rant.

The BMT – Nope. Merely a not-Bye-Bye-Man which hurts my heart. Get out of here Slender Man you piece of not-scary garbage. Come back when you look goofy. That would have been your saving grace … like if you had a top hat and a slender dog and some like … weird rusty bike sounds plays when you were near. Now we’re cooking with fire!

Welcome to Earf – I needed a little help on this. Joey King was in Slender Man, but I didn’t remember that she was in Independence Day: Resurgence, which also stars Jeff Goldblum who was in Mortdecai with Johnny Depp, who was in Transcendence with Morgan Freeman who was the narrator of Conan the Barbarian (2011), which also starred Ron Perlman who was in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!

Theater reView – There isn’t much Street Cred yet so I’ll let that be for now, but I do think this will be the worst horror film of the year by leagues. As for my theatrical experience … uh, remind me never to go to a Cineworld again. Now, I thought that the one in Chelsea was just an anomaly. Overly expensive and dirty. Nope, that apparently is the norm. Vue is one million times better. First, Vue usually has sweet six pound viewings all of the time. It is clean, and nice, and their kiosks work. Cineworld is garbage. The audience was appropriately muted, and the theater was fine though, nice and packed for a Tuesday night showing of Slender Man.

And that is that. We did all our homework last year by watching The Bye Bye Man, so …

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Recap

Jamie

Garfield is back, Jack! And boy howdy does he get into some trouble when he ends up in England swapped with an identical fancy Lord cat, Prince. Will Jon be able to get Garfield back (and maybe disrupt the bad guy’s dastardly plot (and get the girl)) before it’s too late? Find out in… Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.

How?! When Garfield finds that Jon is preparing to propose to Liz he does everything in his power to stop it. When Liz is unexpectedly sent off to England to give a speech at a big symposium, Jon decides to be all romantic and surprise her there with a ring. Unbeknownst to him Garfield and Odie tag along in his luggage. At the same time a cat that looks exactly like Garfield named Prince inherits a manor instead of the expected heir, Dargis. Upset that he won’t be able to turn the place into a booming spa business, Dargis throws the cat in a river (seriously). When Garfield gets lost he is picked up by the caretaker of the manor, mistaking him for Prince and vice versa when Jon does the same with Prince. They both learn to love their situations with newfound appreciation of lasagna and dancing and shit. When Prince finally makes it back to the manor he teams up with Garfield to take down Dargis. Jon, Liz, Prince, and Garfield storm Dargis’ meeting with the manor’s lawyers only to have Dargis take Liz hostage… which ends fine when Dargis gets his dick chomped by a dog (yup). Jon then proposes to Liz, thus setting up the squeakuel where Jon and Liz are about to have a baby, which freaks out Garfield and Liz’s cat, Arlene. They attempt to throw a monkey wrench into their babymaking plans, but ultimately find that they love their expanding family all the same with the surprise twist when Arlene has kittens. That’s all made up. THE END.

Why?! Garfield’s main motivation is to disrupt Jon’s plans to propose to Liz. He seems to think that Jon getting married will result in him taking a secondary role in Jon’s heart and thus is scared. As for the antagonist, he just needs to get Prince out of the way so he can inherit the manor and turn it into the moneymaking luxury spa he’s always wanted. While it would seem like he should just wait a decade for the damn cat to die of natural causes, I think they imply that money was tight and this might be his only chance… I think. I may have made that up in my head because there is no reason to not just continue to freeload and wait for the cat to die.

What?! No major product placement and no MacGuffins. Instead I looked around to see if there was any interesting connection between this film and other films. Indeed I was surprised and delighted to find that somehow this has the exact same plot as Beethoven’s 4th starring Judge Reinhold (and a St. Bernard). This is why we’re here. To make sure you know this.

Who?! Twin Film Alert? Are Prince and Garfield twins? I mean they are certainly optical twins (in that they look exactly like each other) but I’m not sure it would be contended that they are actually genetic twins… perhaps relatives of some sort lost to time. Still, I think it’s fun that an argument can be made that both the Garfield films are twin films.

Where?! England, duh. And it is certainly central to the plot given not only the sights and sounds of London that we are provided with, but the fact that the Peerages of England plays a vital role in the plot. Gotta give this an A. Just the notch below calling this Garfield: A British Invasion or something.

When?! I. Do. Not. Know. God… why do you have to keep asking when Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties takes place. I don’t know, OK? Is that OK by you? Seriously, I didn’t really check when this took place and am definitely not going back through to see what I can find. Deary me, no. F.

Now this is the derivative piece of garbage that I kind of expected from the first one. Just putting Garfield in a different country with a twist on a classic (cliche?) tale and them eating beef pie and stuff. It is just not good. It also seemed like in the end they maybe got tired and stopped writing plot, because the latter part of the film is just littered with montages that are more or less meaningless. Still only 80 minutes though so that’s good. As for A Talking Cat!?!, a chill went down my spine when I started this film. I’m a little confused as to why and how the film actually exists. Was it a bet? It is straight up the level of filmmaking of high school productions. It was weird and unpleasant but I could see it being really fun to watch in a group because of how weird and unpleasant it is. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever read Garfield and think “I wish this could be more like the literary classics of my youth!” Well guess what? If you just lift (oh so subtly) the plot of The Prince and the Pauper it can be! And we get Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. What does the classic Mark Twain novel to do with the classic Dickens novel? Well … nothing. Let’s go!

The Good – An absolutely devastating pun in the title. Again, I actually don’t think Garfield’s CGI looks too bad considering he (and Prince) are constantly surrounded by actual animals. Sweet London vistas.

Ps View on the Preview – After the innocuousness of the first film, this one … looked like they Marmaduked it. You see, in Marmaduke, instead of just telling children the story of Marmaduke (who, it would seem, lived in Kansas in the original strip) they instead started the film by having Marmaduke move to Los Angeles. This distracted from what is important (Marmaduke is a giant dog, and his unmanageable size gives his owner a headache!) and instead created a false story about Marmaduke trying to fit in in a new place. Going in I was poised to hate it.

The Bad – I felt that critics were a bit too harsh on the original Garfield which, in retrospect, served as a fine transition for a classic comic character to live action. It kept the movie isolated to the familiar Garfield world. The sequel throws all of that goodwill in the trash and goes straight for the oh-so-simple fish-out-of-water story as expected. You straight Marmaduked it, son! Every single thing that my mind was able to gloss over in the previous installment all of a sudden came into stark and horrific detail once Garfield is asked to interact with the unfamiliar. Everyone is a non-character with little to no depth … which is glaringly obvious once they are placed into real life London (and … really fake just-outside-of-London). Garfield becomes merely a joyless kids’ comedy. Poor show chaps, poor show.

Get Yo Rant On – Alright Jon Arbuckle you piece of garbage. You illegally imported two animals into the UK. I don’t think Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is going to believe your excuse of “my cat snuck into my bag and I didn’t notice”. And then, once there, you just basically let them run free? Is that hotel dog friendly? Did you even inform the cleaning staff that you had animals in the room and that they should be cautious when entering? You didn’t feel the need to pop a do not disturb sign on the door so they wouldn’t open it? And you lose your cat (and honestly, more importantly, your dog, which may contain parasites that could be ecologically devastating to the British dog population … you seriously are just unconcerned about heartworm you goddamn asshole?). Goddamnit, Jon! Get your life together! End rant.

The BMT – This can be filed under kids’ film with Marmaduke. I still don’t really like watching them, they are mostly dull, but I do appreciate the variety of kids’ films out there. You have the ridiculous B-plots. The fish-out-of-water fare. The just goofy for the sake of being goofy stuff. There is a kind of fun variety, and mostly the good ones are just heart warming and amusing enough to pass. This is in the fish-out-of-water field, and if you want to get more specific a fish-out-of-water sequel. I did manage to find a good version of this tale: Babe: Pig in the City, where they took the famous Babe and put him right out of that water.

Welcome to Earf – Jennifer Love Hewitt was also in Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and I Know What You Did Last Summer with Freddie Prinze Jr. who was in Wing Commander with Matthew Lillard who was in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf (again)!

StreetCreditReport.com – Kind of shockingly I can’t find any lists with this on it. It did get nominated for two low-level Razzies which is cred enough I guess. It also bred this thing, which is a pretty standard experiment at this point (although I typically hear of it concerning someone watching the same film every week/day for a year). My favorite part is the guy ultimately marking out the general themes of The Prince and The Pauper. Why yes, this is a satirical take of “it’s the clothes that make the man” more or less.

Bring a Friend – This week we watched A Talking Cat!?! as part of the Bring a Friend cycle. Ultimately the film is one of the loosest interpretation of what a film can be that I’ve seen. The initial fright you experience realizing what you’ve gotten yourself into is somewhat amusing, and the third act is just ridiculous enough to warrant the cult status. The film is in no way entertaining though, mostly just pointless and dull. I could believe that one needs an audience to really appreciate it, or that the viewing experience ages a bit once you know how to pick up the odd beats the film is laying down. And I use the term film loosely. I think I want to give it a C-. This is basically the bare minimum I would expect from a cult bad film, and is borderline boring trash, saved only by the soothing monotonous line reading of Eric Roberts as Duffy the Cat. Mark it down based on the initial terrible impression the film gave.

Now you might ask: did you read The Prince and The Pauper? … Nope.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Garfield Recap

Jamie

Garfield is living it up with his owner Jon, eating lasagna and hating mondays. When Jon unexpectedly comes home with a new dog, Odie, Garfield is none too happy and aims to get rid of him. This ultimately leads to Odie going missing and falling into the clutches of the evil Happy Chapman. Can Garfield get Odie back before it’s too late? Find out in… Garfield: The Movie.

How?! Garfield and Jon are best friends even though Garfield is always making snide comments about what a loser Jon is. In another trip to the vet designed on wooing Jon’s crush, Liz, he misinterprets what he thinks is a request for a date and mistakenly adopts a dog, Odie. Oh no! Jon once again shows that he is a loving, caring owner of animals and seamlessly integrates Odie into his family, but Garfield is less than thrilled. He pushes Odie, smacks Odie, and embarrasses him in a dance-off in order to show dominance. This of course only leads to Odie winning a big dog show when he dances his little heart out to Hey Mama by the Black Eyed Peas (obviously). A judge at the show, the evil Happy Chapman, wants to use Odie to spring to fame, but Jon is having none of it. Soon thereafter though Garfield tricks Odie into running away and Happy is able to get his clutches on him as a result. Garfield kind of realizes that he was an asshole and goes to rescue Odie in Anonymous City. In a thrilling climax Garfield is able to stop Happy from taking Odie on a train to NYC and they all dance together as one big family. THE END.

Why?! I actually admire Garfield for keeping this story simple (and at a slim 80 minutes). No Garfield isn’t discovered by a Hollywood agent and whisked off to the fast-living ways of LA. No he doesn’t have to foil some jewel thieves trying to steal a diamond he accidentally ate. He just doesn’t like Odie (classic) and wants to get rid of him. When he succeeds at this, though, he realizes that what he did wasn’t right and aims to correct it.

What?! There are piles and piles of product placements in this film. The biggest is pretty easily Petco, which is the only one that plays a role in the pot. Not only does Jon come home loaded to the gills with solid Petco products when he adopts Odie, but the big dog show is also sponsored by the company. God there are so many more, though. A true smorgasbord.

Who?! Secret Twin Film! Yay! It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally we rack another one up for the good guys. Or I guess in this case the bad guys since the twins in question are the evil Happy Chapman and his news broadcaster twin brother. Also have to point out that if we had never seen Be Cool, where the Black Eyed Peas give a performance as part of the plot of the film, we would definitely have used this film to get Apl.de.ap for the map. All the members of the Black Eyed Peas are seen on TV showing a music video for Hey Mama. Fantastic.

Where?! Normally I would just say that this takes place in a purposefully unidentified Midwestern city that is likely a stand in for Indiana (given the origins of the comic), give it a D- for at least specifying the Midwest during a news broadcast and leave it at that. However, I do have to note that Wikipedia and many other places online seem to insist that this film takes place in LA. While it was obviously filmed in LA (duh), it very clearly states in the film that this is set in the Midwest. Two very different things. I just don’t know how such slanderous lies start on the internet.

When?! Ha, you think they’re going to specify a date in a film that goes out of its way not to identify where it takes place. No way. This is an F and I dare anyone to try to prove me wrong… seriously, if anyone else wants to close-watch Garfield and find when it takes place that would be helpful.

This movie is actually pretty much as good as one can expect from such a film. Sure it has dancing animals and lame product placement, but it’s also only 80 minutes long and stays pretty true to the snark of Garfield as a character. I could imagine having to go see this with my child and actually coming out not minding it all that much. While it is similarly derivative to Marmaduke, it more or less doesn’t fall into many of the same trappings that that film did. I give it a hardy “meh.” Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Garfield is a big old fat cat and Jon Arbuckle is his anti-body shaming owner. Will Jon get the lady? Will Garfield eat some lasagna? Will Stephen Tobolowsky’s eeeeeeevil plan to make Odie famous get foiled? I mean … yeah, we watched a kids’ film. Let’s get into it!

The Good – When they say a kids’ film is innocuous the movie they have in mind is Garfield. They introduce the character in his element, they focus the movie on Odie’s origin story (which fans have been clamoring for for years …) and really don’t venture out of Garfield’s Midwestern box. Good move. The actors are all game, and shockingly Garfield’s CGI looked fine most of the time IMO. It looks terrible when he dances obviously, but when he’s walking around he looks surprisingly good compared to what I expected.

Ps View on the Preview – In the preview I couldn’t help myself in wondering why Murray was even in the film. Sure, Lorenzo Music is dead and sounds a lot like Murray, but replacing voice actors is a somewhat trivial thing and it was still somewhat of a wonder that they decided they needed a big name when the Garfield character already had a distinct voice. But … I think Murray brought a lot to the role. His warmth, charm, humor whatever you want to call it, something about it worked really well. This ain’t a Owen Wilson in Marmaduke situation.

The Bad – I kind of still wish they had downgraded Garfield’s voice and upgraded Meyer, who is probably a weaker part of the film. The story is just on the cusp of being too light. Any and all dancing sequences are just awful and they are almost relentless, the entire story concerning Odie involves the animals dancing. I don’t really have other complaints about the film. Even the B story (Jon in love with the vet) is straight from the comics, and Tobolowsky’s eeeeevil twin (twin film!) is just low-level enough to work as an antagonist to a literal cat.

Get Yo Rant On – To be frank I don’t really think I have a rant this week. This film doesn’t really have one. I’ll just quickly note here that this franchise is probably one of the last good examples of the cartoon character thing where you can tell they have strings pulling boxes, or blankets around, and Breckin Meyer has to pretend to pet Garfield and stuff. It looks real bad. Like you can kind of see the seams of the film. If you watch something like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone you can see it too (BTW not a very good film, kind of weirdly old fashioned for the time it was made).

The BMT – Nope, but mainly because the film is too good. The 15% on Rotten Tomatoes must reflect the times more than anything else, because it is shockingly low. It’ll go hand in hand with the sequel, which is a kind of logical conclusion to the fish-out-of-water comic strip adaptation, but the first one I think can merely be thought of as better than one would expect.

Welcome to Earf – Jennifer Love Hewitt was in Garfield and I Know What You Did Last Summer with Freddie Prinze Jr. who was in Wing Commander with Matthew Lillard who was in In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth! Welcome to Earf!

StreetCreditReport.com – Probably the most cred you can find for the film comes from the anecdote about Bill Murray not realizing it wasn’t a Joel Coen film (it is a Joel Cohen film). Otherwise it usually gets on lists concerning movies based on cartoons, or bad CGI. But I stand by my point: at times Garfield looks surprisingly good all things considered, it only kind of looks bad when you reflect back on it or freeze the film.

We’ll save the A Talking Cat!?! chat for the sequels’ recap.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs