Midnight Sun Recap

Jamie

Afflicted with a disease that doesn’t allow her to leave her house during the day, Katie Price has mooned over the boy down the street, Charlie, from afar. When they finally meet they fall madly in love. Katie chooses to withhold her condition from him leading to an accident that worsens it. Can their love survive her inevitable death before… er… it’s too late? Find out in Midnight Sun.

How?! Katie Price lives in seclusion in her house with only her super cool dad and… also super cool best friend for company. You see, she has a rare disorder called XP that makes any contact with sunlight potentially deadly. Growing up she watched the boy next door skateboard around and be super rad and she’d be all like “man, he’ll never like a diseased albeit super hot girl like me. Aw shucks.” On the night of high school graduation she ventures out to play music at the train station by moonlight. Unbeknownst to her, Charlie, her crush, is having an existential crisis right at that moment as he contemplates the recent loss of his swim scholarship following an injury. He’s all like “aw shucks, life must mean more than this small town.” As he mopes about he finds Katie and is instantly smitten. She runs away at the shock of seeing her crush, but a forgotten songbook and Katie’s super cool friend conspire to bring them together again. All of a sudden Katie is going on dates and totes macking on Charlie, her crush! What a dream! When her best friend and dad are both like “maybe tell him you might die if you end up in the sun.” She delays for fear he might run away. They hang out all summer and Charlie help Katie overcome her fear of playing in public and Katie helps Charlie start swimming again and just when they bone on the beach (it’s implied) they stay up all night talking post-coitus (it’s implied!) and Katie end up being exposed to the sun. She’s totally gonna die (for real) and she doesn’t want to put Charlie through that, but he totally loves her and they keep on dating and recording songs and watching Charlie swim until she does indeed die. At the end of the summer Charlie leaves to join his college swim team and as he leaves he hears a song that he helped Katie record become a smash hit on the radio. You know, that last part does seem a bit silly when you write it out. THE END.

Why?! Love, duh. For real, the movie is a story of how love, no matter how brief, makes you a better person. Katie and Charlie are lost at the moment they meet. She lives a nice life, but has never gotten to experience the world, while he is trying to figure out his place in the world. They help each other overcome their difficulties and finally feel whole and able to move forward with life… you know, until she dies.

Who?! I could sit here and talk about Patrick Schwarzenegger and his weird way that he speaks. But instead I’ll highlight a couple songs from Bella Thorne’s upcoming debut studio album. Oh didn’t know she was an actress/singer? Guess you haven’t heard Bitch I’m Bella Thorne

or Pussy Mine

Can we re-edit Midnight Sun so they record Pussy Mine at the end and that’s the song Charlie and Katie’s dad are freaking out about when it comes on the radio?

What?! There actually was a prominent product placement in the film in the scene where Katie is singing at the train station to the delight of train riders young and old. A child comes up and you think he’s gonna give her some money… oh ho, you’d be wrong. She’s getting a bag of delicious peanut M&M’s.

Where?! We get a nice jaunt into Seattle via train to really hammer home the message there are dear, ill-fated love birds reside in a beautiful coastal Washington State town. I feel like It needs to get a B+ simply because you see the Space Needle and Katie’s dad makes sure that Charlie is a Seahawks fan before he takes Katie out on a date. B+

When?! I feel like I need to mark out certain types of seasonal films. Like this is a “summer film.” It details the life of Katie and Charlie in the summer after their high school graduation as they learn the live, sing, swim, and bone on the beach (it’s implied). There are obviously winter, fall, and spring films as well. Also what would be termed “school year” films. C

This movie is fine. I actually had a fairly pleasant time watching it even though I knew exactly what was going to happen at all times. Seems like something that could have had a lot of success on a streaming service, but it went to theaters and somehow that was worse for it. All that being said, Patrick Schwarzenegger very well might be the worst actor we’ve seen in a film. He’s young and he can figure it out, but he needs to decide what look he wants. Does he want the look of “pretty boy with a weird smile that talks weird” a.k.a. the Tom Brady? Cause that’s where he is right now. I’d suggest maybe focusing on action as the strong silent type… who never smiles. Also you can’t think too hard about the film or else it falls apart pretty quickly. We live in a world where Katie has lived in the same town for 18 years and can venture outside at night and yet she never interacts with anyone in town except her dad and best friend. She never went up to Seattle (a short train ride away) or saw a concert (even though she loves music and wants to be a musician) even though both those things are possible to do at night. It’s just… a little unbelievable. Finally, do we really need another film where (it’s implied) that sex=death… we already have the Twilight Saga. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Midnight Sun is about the inevitability of death and how gross it is to exploit a real disease just to create a dumb teen rom-dram. But no joke I still cried a little. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Three things I’m interested in. First, the soundtrack. The girl is supposed to be a musician, so one would hope they but in the effort on the soundtrack. Second, the only striking thing in the preview really was the acting which seems atrocious. I need to see how little Schwarzenegger does. And finally, I’m banking on her dying at the end and that is why she is on the boat in the preview.

The Good – I’m not crying you’re crying you … crying rom-dram loving dummy. For reals though like maybe I’m getting old but I was like “Rob Riggle you gave her a great life, go out there and live!” at the end. The music is solid, especially Charlie’s Song which is actually good enough you can believe it would go viral. The two leads (oh we’ll get to them in the bad section) were at least as awkward as I think they were going for. I kind of wish the film didn’t center around a disease, but if you ignore that I’m honestly not sure what else people want from a teen rom dram. We all want another Breakfast Club, but are things like A Walk to Remember really so bad? Seriously, is it? I’ve never seen it.

The Bad – The acting is dire. Like … really dire stuff. It is rough. Of course it is schmaltzy garbage, but (and I’ll say this once) it is fine. What is the big deal? I now totally understand the RogerEbert.com review, like, 2.5 stars, yeah makes sense. The main thing is, when you look at the preview section above, I easily guessed the film’s entire plot from the end of the trailer. That’s a problem. The other really bad part: Our romantic lead Chris brings chinese food onto a train and is just chowing away. Disgusting. You disgust me. That would smell so bad.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally, the main thing we are all curious about is Patrick Schwarzenegger’s acting ability (only me and Jamie? … whatever). So I went right to the source, the pinnacle of American art: the music video. Patrick was in the Ariana Grande music video Right There (featuring Big Sean)

 And honestly … I’m desperate to see him attempt a foreign accent. There is something about him which makes me think it would be a disaster. He looks and acts precisely how he looks and acts in Midnight Sun merely confirming that this is how he looks and acts normally. Unfortunately … he’s not the best actor. I’m trying to be diplomatic about it, but I really don’t think he’s a good actor currently. He’s 25 though, plenty of time to grow into some roles.

The BMT – I want to watch more romantic dramas. I feel like if I have a larger stable of experience to draw from I could sit here and tell you ten things that are wrong with it. Instead I’m like half crying and thinking “this ain’t so bad”. It’s a problem I had with horror (since remedied) and I think we tend to go with comedies in this category not surprisingly. I hope this experience makes us look to these types of films more often. Which is kind of crazy to say since Here on Earth is basically the number one best BMT of all time. I think Waiting For Forever ruined our experiences with the genre.

Welcome to Earf – Again, we’ve been going through a rough patch. I used the preview to remind myself that we’ve seen Rob Riggle now both in this and in The Killers with Ashton Kutcher, who was also in The Guardian with Neal McDonough, who was also in Street Fight: Legend of Chun Li with Chris Klein, who was also in Here on Earf! Wow, I forgot about Neal McDonough. That connects a bunch as well, even Zookeeper (via Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)!

StreetCreditReport.com – There is one respectable list with this one on there and honestly … the criticism is real. I think I’m a little kinder because I’m just generally fine with the grossest aspect of the film (the exploitation of a real disease in a ludicrous manner), but probably because publicizing a disease is usually a good thing. But I understand the criticism. I have a feeling it will be forgotten in the real year-end lists though. It has 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has some genuinely fine reviews like the aforementioned RogerEbert.com review from the preview.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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Truth or Dare Recap

Jamie

A bunch of dum-dums travel to Mexico to party it up one last time (literally). They end up playing a game of Truth or Dare in a spooky abandoned mission (naturally) and awaken a demon that uses the game to torment and eventually kill them one by one. Can they stop the demon before it’s too late? Find out in… Truth or Dare.

How?! I feel like I’ve written this one several times before. A bunch of (kinda douchey) friends are spending one last Spring Break in Mexico drinking and partying. Near the end of their time there they are invited out to a sketchy abandoned mission by a sketchy guy for sketchy reasons, but they follow him there (duh). He asks them to play truth or dare and they oblige because they are dumb. Turns out that he was using them to get more people involved in a demonic game of truth or dare run by a demon trickster. This demon trickster proceeds to torment them by having them reveal their deepest darkest secrets to each other or attempt death defying dares. When one refuses or is unsuccessful they are possessed and kill themselves. Weirdly, a lot of the truths and/or dares actually seem like they are helping the characters. Like they finally confront things in their lives that they’ve so far refused to confront. Like one guy has been scared to come out to his dad but the demon forces him to and he actually seems better for it. More true to himself. Kinda a good guy demon sometimes. Anyway, in the end they track down the source of the demon and find a way out of the game. But the demon is too tricky and smart and outwits them at the last moment. Our final girls are doomed but in a shocking twist (what a twist!) they post a video on YouTube inviting the whole world into the game thus dooming a significant number of people to death. Cooooool. THE END.

Why?! The motivations are where I think they could have played with the concept a little more. Like they have a bunch of people, most of who are objectively terrible, that get caught up in a game of terror with no other motivations other than to survive. Instead of having cartoonish misogynist Ronnie turn out to be a sensitive good guy… he is slaughtered in the first thirty minutes for laughs. Instead of having the fake prescription writing future med student learn the errors of his ways… he is also slaughtered. Instead of the two main characters knowing that while they’ll likely die as part of this game they actually were able to finally be fully truthful with each other after years of hiding their secrets away… they use the internet to turn the world to chaos (presumably). In the end it’s because the trickster demon of course doesn’t want to help them, he not some demon therapist trying to have them communicate better with each other or anything, but at the very least they could have acknowledged that that is kinda what the demon was doing. He helps a kid come out as gay to his homophobic dad for god’s sake!

Who?! I do want to discuss Ronnie a little bit. He’s not a true Planchet as his motivations are not pure (he is clearly a fratty horndog), but he does seem to just want to hang out with our terrible group of main characters and they’re like “gross, Ronnie.” There was opportunity to use him in a more creative way rather than as an obvious first kill… like why couldn’t the main character be dared to hook up with Ronnie but then find he’s actually a good dude and it’s all an act? Nope. Just killed off after his 1000th joke about wanting to bone some hot chick with big bazongas or whatever.

What?! The use of SnapChat, Facebook, YouTube, etc. throughout the film isn’t product placement perse. Seems more like a little signaling to let youngsters know that the writers “get it” and aren’t a couple fuddy-duddy old people. In particular when the main character says that she uses YouTube for videos about her volunteer work and SnapChat if just for fun. Classic. And yes, I used the term “fuddy-duddy” to signal to all the octogenarians that read BMT that I “get it.”

Where?! A nice balance of Mexico and California. They seem to go to the made-up Westlake University in the LA area as evidenced by the quick trips to Mexico, CA license plates, and bars and restaurants located in that area. While obvious it’s not super necessary to the plot. B+.

When?! Obviously around Spring Break, but we are no treated to an exact date. Weirdly our main characters are lured into playing the game by a previous group of players desperate to try to save themselves. It’s clear from some articles we see in the film though that this previous group was playing around June 4th. So we are either expected to believe that they have been continuing to play for almost a year or whatever school these dum-dums go to has Spring Break in the middle of June. I choose neither. They probably just screwed up the timing when making the props or whatever. C+.

I was actually really surprised at how bad this film was. Felt very Rings or Ouija to me and that’s not what you typically get from Blumhouse. They are supposed to deliver high concept horror/thriller, but this literally seems like the lowest, most cliched concept with a terrible script to boot. Patrick pointed out to me that rewrites aren’t generally in the cards for the budgets that Blumhouse are after but… I mean… at some point you have to, right? This was really bad. At moments you could get whiffs of Happy Death Day (which similarly had the main characters be damaged and somewhat unlikeable), but then it would disappear like a mirage. Is it better than Slender Man… eeesh. Probably. But barely and that’s not a good look. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! What do you get when you cross Rings with Final Destination? Apparently a really dumb film with a terrible ending … let’s get into it!

The Good – The film looks okay. The concept is also at least original to a degree, with a kind of trickster demon being the crux of the whole thing. It is just Rings, so originality is really only superficial ultimately. I liked the actors even if they were terrible. And I still think I like Blumhouse. I think the concepts they bring to horror and the way they make them is fantastic for the genre and, honestly, I hope that similar things can be done with other flagging genres. Like rom coms, or original sci fi, or fantasy, see what you can do with a small budget and small television actors and see if there is any interest. Although the issue will likely be that horror audiences are dependable, you almost always get at least $10 million from teenagers no matter how bad the film is.

P’s View on the Preview – Everything pointed towards this being a boring PG-13 horror film. The only thing that made me a bit curious was why they added new rules to the game. In the preview it was suggested that you have to do a dare after two truths in a row. That isn’t real. That isn’t a real rule! That is just some made up bullshit to make sure the people in the film didn’t find the most obvious loophole to the stupidest game of all time. I was hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t. Sigh.

The Bad – This film is not scary, is mostly boring, and the hook is silly to the point of just making my laugh (like The Bye Bye Man). The entire film is predicated on the assumption that no one gives a shit that a handful of people who all know each other are killing themselves and dying and shit. Number one thing people would assume it that these people are all on some crazy drugs, they wouldn’t be running around solving mysteries. The action doesn’t start quick enough, the acting is bad, all of these people are horrible people I don’t care about who make poor decisions and are dumb. If not for the ending I would have just said the film was shiny nonsense like Flatliners, but the ending might be one of the worst shoulder shrugs of an ending I’ve ever seen. It pushes it right into Bye Bye Man level nonsense. Like … I hate this movie? Wait … is this dog poo in my face at the last second three pointer!?

You Just Got Schooled – Do you know what would be fun? Looking through the wiki page on the game Truth or Dare in general. First we have this bonkers 1986 straight-to-video feature. WTF, the writer-director was 18 when it was made! There are also films of the same name in 2011, 2013, and 2017 which is pretty incredible. The game itself seems to date to at least 1712 described thusly: “A Christmas game, in which the commander bids his subjects to answer a question which is asked. If the subject refuses or fails to satisfy the commander, he must pay a forfeit [follow a command] or have his face smutted [dirtied].” It also is similar to the ancient Greek game basilinda where a king would tell him subjects what acts to perform. Fun. Facts.

The BMT – This probably enters the worst endings hall of fame for me personally. Somehow the ending to Rings worked, whereas this just feels like a cop out. I’ll probably also note this as a bigger version of what we saw in The Call starring Halle Berry where the ending flies so totally in the face of how a character acts throughout the film that is it jarring and weird. Otherwise is just stands alongside Slender Man and Bye Bye Man and the like. Supernatural horror churns out a ton of films (five qualifying films this year alone) so it isn’t a surprise we collect them like pokemon.

Welcome to Earf – There was a zero percent chance I was getting any connections without looking up at least the first step. The number one best option would have been The Canyons starring Lindsay Lohan and (for reals, third billed) Nolan Funk … which I’ve seen, but it wasn’t released to enough theaters to count for BMT. So I’ll have to fall back to Sam Lerner who played our first hapless victim Ronnie, and was a child actor in the Jack Black classic Envy with Ben Stiller, who was in Zoolander 2 with Owen Wilson, who was in I, Spy with Eddie Murphy, who was in Norbit with Terry Crews, who was in Blended 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 – Interestingly the cred is a little thin here. It is obviously mentioned in review-based worst of lists (like this one), but elsewhere it seems to be ignored. There are individual reviews lamenting it as one of the worst of the year though. I certainly think it is. But some people seem to disagree about the ending in particular. I think that up until that ending they had a chance to be an Ouija with a decent prequel. Now? Trash.

This film is pretty bad, and now I’ve seen seven films from this year. From worst to best I think I would currently put them at: (1) Fifty Shades Freed (2) Show Dogs (3) Truth or Dare (4) Slender Man (5) Death Wish (6) The Predator (7) Hunter Killer. Stay tuned for an updated list.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Death Wish (2018) Recap

Jamie

When Dr. Paul Kersey’s wife is killed and daughter seriously injured in a botched robbery he becomes obsessed by the idea of getting justice in a world filled with injustice. He buys all kinds of guns and starts killing people. Will the police be able to stop this madman before it’s too late?… wait, that’s not what this is about!?! Find out in… Death Wish.

How?! Dr. Paul Kersey has the perfect life, the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, and the perfect deadbeat red herring of a brother. They are all having a perfect time not fighting or killing people until one day a botched robbery leaves his wife dead and daughter in a coma. With his sense of justice broken, Paul gets a gun by illicit means and begins to practice using it. One day he ventures into a bad part of town and upon witnessing a crime in progress proceeds to murder a couple of people. We are meant to wonder whether these people perhaps deserved to be murdered by an armed vigilante (hint: no). Anyway, high off satisfying his bloodlust, Paul continues to look for opportunities to kill people. He eventually finds another target in a drug dealer named the Ice Cream Man and the legend of Paul’s anonymous persona The Grim Reaper grows. Apparently though, Paul was actually just using those people as target practice (cool) because he then stumbles upon a clue that leads him to those responsible for the destruction of his family and that immediately becomes his primary focus. He proceeds to murder all of those people, but is injured in trying to kill the ringleader, Knox. Just at that moment his daughter awakens from her coma so he knows he’ll have to stop killing people without remorse. So he sets up the bad guys for one final climactic battle and blows them all away with legally purchased firearms. The police come and are like “Cool beans, bro.” THE END.

Why?! Paul wants revenge plain and simple. But since he doesn’t know who harmed his family he takes out his vengeance on those that he can find. Unlike the original this is all thrown away when he gets the opportunity to kill those that are responsible for the crime against his family. It’s made pretty clear, pretty quickly that he will stop once he gets his true vengeance.

Who?! Several prominent radio hosts appear in this film to demonstrate “serious arguments” about the merits of a serial killer roaming the streets of Chicago. A real life Dexter is prowling about and Sway and Mancow have to sit there and be like “But like, isn’t this serial killer good because he kills bad dudes or something?” Obviously Mancow was actually defending that idea because he is trash while Sway chose to go uncredited.

What?! Watches come up often in BMT action films, usually to identify someone on surveillance video (Exit Wounds), identify that someone is corrupt (Baywatch), or just to look super rad (The Expendables series). So when Bruce Willis had a couple watches stolen in this film I was like *product placement alert*. I turned out to be wrong though as I didn’t realize that by being in so many action films Bruce Willis has himself turned into a watch fanatic. So those two watches? A Rolex Yacht-Master and Panerai Radiomir straight out of his personal collection. Wowzer.

Where?! ChiTown, baby. Obviously this film uses the tragic gun violence in Chicago to further its pro-vigilante narrative, which is great. On a positive note they go out of their way to give a super exact address for Paul’s house: 20 Dorset Rd., Evanston, IL. A.

When?! We also get an Exact Date Alert for this guy as Paul gets a look at the murder board in the office of the detective working his wife’s case. They spell out explicitly that the murder occured on 26th of April, 2017 at 8:36 PM and so all events are centered around that. A.

This movie is obviously bad and not because it is a poorly made film. Sure the acting is some rough stuff most of the time, but the film itself is polished and adeptly made. It’s bad because it has a terrible message made for terrible people. The original film is actually more shocking in how explicitly it plays with the idea of an upper-class white professional being confronted by a world of crime that has generally not touched him in his life. We get a picture of a broken man whose only pleasure in life is the notoriety he gets from lashing out at the anonymous criminals who wrecked his family because he knows he will never see true justice. You get a sense that he assumes he will die in this pursuit, but when confronted with arrest instead he gives it up. In the new film this is all thrown away. Yes, Bruce Willis is lashing out, but in a much more “white knight” type of way. For example, he finds the Ice Cream Man because a young patient of his has been hurt by him. In the end even this is thrown away for a more cliched storyline where Bruce Willis hunts down those responsible for the original crime. While this is supposed to make it all the more palatable for a viewer it made it worse in my view because it seemed like they were trying to make me be like “yeah, vigilantes are good.” They aren’t. Sorry. Also it’s necessarily built on a pyramid of coincidences that cheapened whatever terrible message they were going for. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Bruce Willis wishes for only one thing. Well … fine, first he wishes for an easy paycheck that requires little to no acting. But a close second comes “death”. He’s got that death wish bro. Let’s get into it!

The Good – It ended up being a little kinder to the main character about his motivations (nearly all of the people he killed had something to do with his wife’s murder) in this current film. It is obvious when they do it, but they also manage to do an okay job with head faking you with the brother, and also explaining how Willis avoids detection by the police.

P’s View on the Preview – What else could you possibly care about with this film? I needed to see how weirdly pro-vigilante it ended up being and whether it was just wink-wink pro-gun, or blatant with catering to that audience. I will never begrudge whatever film tastes people have, and if that is seeing over-the-hill action stars shooting large guns at people then so be it. But that plus vigilante worship was going to be a one way ticket to me disliking this movie. So that’s all I really cared about.

The Bad – The film comes across as far more pro-vigilante than the original. The original you can kind of see he’s a monster who gets off on it. He doesn’t even bother to try and figure out who hurt his family. He kind of just dumps his daughter in a hospital eventually to go blow randos away. In this one he’s killing people he knows hurt his family and the public and police are both kind of rooting for him. It is weird shit. Bruce Willis just sleepwalks through the entire film as one would expect. None of the bad guys have motivations beyond “I want to kill innocent people for money please.” Like … a smash and grab B & E crew would typically just run when people come home, not wait around to get themselves a murder conviction. But whatever.

You Just Got Schooled – Hey a real one. So I did watch the original Death Wish which was … still weird. The background as I understand it is very similar to Dirty Harry. The original concept was meant to condemn a universal evil (vigilantism for Death Wish, cops working outside the rules with Dirty Harry), but ultimately either because of interference or general mismanagement both muddle things enough that audiences were like “these guys are awesome!” In both cases the creators were horrified and wrote a sequel directly condemning the actions. With Magnum Force (Dirty Harry 2) it is pretty explicit: the dirty cops are the bad guys, they are Dirty Harry but without the charm or protagonist shield. I think you have to get it: working outside the rules makes everyone less safe not more. As for Death Wish 2, the book makes it pretty obvious in exactly the same way (the main character has to hunt down a copycat vigilante to stop the madness), but apparently the films just ignore that and eventually Charles Bronson is blowing up gangbangers with bazookas … so lesson not learned. Did I like the original Death Wish? I thought it was interesting, like I thought the original Mechanic was interesting. But I’m not sold on Bronson. He comes across as an old school Seagal basically, you can’t believe they exist in the world without people constantly exclaiming “Who is this weirdo?!” Still excited to watch the rest of the series though.

The BMT – Ehhhh, I love that it has opened the door for the entire Death Wish series. Charles Bronson is one of those old school actors which seems influential in how someone like Steven Seagal eventually shaped his career. But would 2018 Death Wish stand on its own? Only in a gross way. I would have preferred to pair it with Peppermint, but that hadn’t been released to DVD at the time of viewing. Then I would have emphatically gushed about its influences on BMT as the first ever non-series BONUS ever. Instead I will will it from my brain and forget I ever watched it.

Welcome to Earf – A shockingly tough one, I had to remind myself that Bruce Willis was in both Death Wish and A Bonfire of the Vanities with Morgan Freeman, who narrated Conan the Barbarian with Ron Perlman, who starred 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 – It makes lists based on critic score at least. And it does get some major cred from the mere fact that is was notoriously poorly timed, as noted here. And a film like this could have passed under the radar is not for that I think. But because of the terrible timing it managed to get number five on Kermode’s midseason list which is pretty impressive. It’s got the cred we love to see.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Show Dogs Recap

Jamie

Frank and Max boy are a odd police pairing. That’s because one is a human and the other is a *gulp* dog?! WHAAA?! That’s right, and they’re on the trail of a stolen panda straight into a super prestigious dog show. Can they steal the show and nab the bad guys before it’s too late? Fine out in… Show Dogs.

How?! Max is NYPD and Frank is FBI. But that’s not the only thing different about them. That’s because Max is a police dog who talks (kinda) and Frank is a human who can’t stand dogs. Gaaahhhh! So when they’re paired up to recover a stolen panda from an exclusive dog show they are like “No way.” But then they realize as they try to navigate a world foreign to both of them that they need each other to solve the case. They soon realize that the bad guys are targeting the Best in Show winner to sell on the black market (along with that panda) and know that they will need to win the big one to keep on the trail. By tricks and wily street smarts they are able to make it to the best in show competition, only to have the sexy female dog lead (and boy is she a sexy dog… which makes like three sexy dog films we’ve watched recently… bizarre) win instead. In a mad dash they track her and the bad guys to an airplane where they take them all out and win the day. THE END.

Why?! It’s more about finding love and acceptance in this world both professionally and personally, you know? For real, Max has spent his life as a macho but lonely police dog that doesn’t need a human “best friend’s” help. He’s a good cop in his own right, but ends up finding that teamwork makes the dream work (I just made that up, myself. A Jamie original). Frank seems more like a bozo that doesn’t like dogs but then finds that he does and also that he like the dog grooming lady… honestly his character is much more shallow than the dog characters. The bad guys just want some sweet cash.

Who?! Luda! That’s right, Ludacris is the voice of the titular show dag, Max. Another Singer-turned-actor, Jordin Sparks, is the sexy dog Daisy. Shaq plays a dog that actually makes a joke about being Shaq. Hilarious. There is also a Planchet-type dog that follows Max around voiced by Gabriel Iglesias who at this point seems to have become a voice actor… seriously, it’s pretty much every credit he’s had for the last few years.

What?! This is a walking, talking, (woofing?) advertisement for Las Vegas including a scene where people seem totally not confused by a couple of dogs out on a date ziplining around the city. How did they pay for that? Or was it some cruel joke played by some evil zipline employees on two unsuspecting (but surprisingly game) dogs?

Where?! As stated above this is not only very specifically set in Las Vegas but it inexplicably shares the exact same plot as the original Miss Congeniality (whose sequel was also set in Las Vegas). This film lives and breathes Vegas. I could give it an honorary A+ since Show Dogs is clearly a play on Showgirls and so it’s basically in the title. But it’s not, so it’s an A.

When?! Exact Date Alert!… kinda! This film is a rare case of messed up props indicating two distinct dates for when the film takes place. Signs can be seen around the dog show stating that it is taking place July 13-16. However at the end (immediately following the end of the show) the bad guy gets a mug shot which says he was arrested on September 18th, 2017. Are we to believe that he was arrested two months later while still showing fresh injuries from the tiger attack/plane crash/fist fight that happened on July 16th? I can only suspend my disbelief so much!!!! B.

Short version of the review: this film runs like someone is writing it in real time. There was moments where a dog would be like ‘I need your help.” and another dog would be like “you don’t have the passion for dog shows, so no.” and then the first dog would be like “come on! I need your help.” and the other dog would be like “you just might have what it takes.” I had to rewind these segments to make sure I didn’t miss something. I didn’t. Perhaps they just filmed a bunch of dogs and had people improvise on top of the footage for a while. So like a dog would walk somewhere and they would make up a reason why, but then it would walk back so they would reverse course and start something new. I’ve convinced myself. This is what happened (hint: this is probably not what happened). Anyway, this film looks like it was made as a parody trailer for part of a larger, funnier film and… basically that’s what the entire film ends up like. It’s trash for children. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We watched Show Dogs. Yup … that’s right, we sat down, and we watched the film Show Dogs. It went through my eyes and bored deep into my brain pushing out precious memories, presumably of my friends and family. May God have mercy on my soul. Let’s get into it.

The Good – I like doggies. Doggies are often cute. And I’m sure these doggies had a ton of fun playing around with the other doggies and doing doggie things. I enjoy it when bad films are in Las Vegas because Las Vegas is a ludicrous place filled with ludicrous things and you can just imagine the entire production crew getting smashed every night and also having a ton of fun.

P’s View on the Preview – This is widely considered to be the worst film of the year (see below), and really the only thing of interest for me was about the talking dogs. Could the humans hear the dogs? The trailer made it actually rather unclear (surprisingly). How would the CGI look? How much would Will Arnett care about anything that is happening around him? All fascinating questions!

The Bad – The CGI often looked fine, but also on occasion looked terrible. The humans couldn’t hear the dogs, although the suggestion that the dogs had human level intelligence begged all sorts of other questions. Could they vote? Are they being kept as slaves of some kind? It made the ending very disturbing as the lady dog is basically almost sold into sex slavery. Speaking on that some more: sexy dog alert. Why?! Why do they do this to us? Why must there be romantic subplots in films about dogs or any animals at all? Honestly, I’m imploring them to stop this as soon as possible. Will Arnett was fine, even if he did have a very weird accent in the film and seemed very bored.

You Just Got Schooled – I might as well take the opportunity (again) to point out that this is a rare film that was edited while it was still in theaters. You see, they may have (just a bit, totally accidentally) used a child molestation grooming technique as a joke in the film. I’m not joking. Basically, one of the main barriers Max has to get past in the group stage (!) is to allow this to happen (despite his protests) by going to a zen place. Fun fact: that entire group stage scene must have been replaced with the agility contest, which is an incredibly misplaced and strange scene. That explains it. I bet the agility course was a separate “for fun” event they then recut into a part of the actual competition defying all sense and logic. Finally, the puzzle that is Show Dogs is clicking into place.

The BMT – A few years ago I think we hesitate on this one. I think now it definitely had to be done, and I think the more kids films I do the more I get the hang of the amusing tropes they have. Like sexy animals. Like … I think we’ve watched three films with sexy dogs this year. It is weird. Just … so weird.

Welcome to Earf – There are quite a few paths from this film. The easiest is via Shaquille O’Neal who played a sheepdog named Karma who was also in Grown Ups 2 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 – Here, here, and number one (!) here. I disagree with the assessment provided, I don’t think it the leading candidate for the Razzie. I think Fifty Shades Freed will get the nod as a kind of Return of the King special Oscar deal. Still, cred up the wazoo.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Hunter Killer Recap

Jamie

When an American submarine sinks and the Russian President is taken hostage in a military coup a new submarine captain Joe Glass is sent to take part in a daring rescue. Will he be able to quell the rebellion and prevent a nuclear war before it’s too late? Find out in… Hunter Killer.

How?! Up in the Barents Sea, American and Russian subs are mysteriously sunk. In a *wink* *wink* coincidence the Russian President is traveling to a naval base sparking a national security crisis in the US. In response, another submarine, the USS Arkansas with its totally green greasemonkey captain Joe Glass, is sent to investigate. He’s all like “thank God I got my lucky coin or else I might be in trouble,” and he flips the coin and smiles at the camera. Simultaneously the US sends in a Special Ops team to check out the naval base and generally waste our time because we don’t care about that storyline. Anyway, when the USS Arkansas gets to the sunk US submarine they find everyone dead, but they hear survivors on the Russian sub. Before they can get them though they are attacked by another Russian sub and only survive through some nifty maneuvers and some help from a lucky coin. With the foe dispatched they are able to rescue the Russian submariners and find that it includes a very prominent Russian captain. Meanwhile, it turns out that there is a coup afoot at the naval base and a totally evil Defense Minister wants to start a war. Uh oh! In order to prevent this tragedy the USS Arkansas is ordered to the naval base to try to rescue the Russian President. Good thing they have that Russian captain on board because otherwise the mission is impossible. Anyway, the Special Ops team goes in guns blazing (obviously) and get the Russian President. They run real fast like Americans and get him into the submarine. As they cruise away, though, they are found by a Russian destroyer and things are looking grim. If only they had someone on board that the Russians loved and respected. Enter the Russian captain and President who are like “please don’t blow us up,” and the destroyer is like “fine.” The Russian Defense Minister is like, “not fine” and shoots giant ballistic missiles at the submarine, but the destroyer somehow knocks them out of the sky and blows up the naval base… which is totally unbelievable until you remember that Captain Glass has that lucky coin. It can do anything. Everyone hugs at the end and each country and their people have new found respect for each other. THE END.

Why?! There isn’t really a why to a lot of the movie. At least on the American side of things. I guess duty to one’s country? The crux of the film is a vast Russian conspiracy aimed at installing the Defense Minister as a de facto dictator. They set up a Russian sub to blow up in the vicinity of an American sub (making it look like an attack) and then attack and destroy the American sub as retaliation. At the same time they sequester the Russian President and start giving order (under the guise that the President is in fact giving the orders himself from the naval base). Once war occurs the Defense Minister will take the reins.

Who?! Obviously musician Common is one of the main actors in the film and that’s great. I’d also like to congratulate President Dover on her election as President of the United States of BMT. It feels like the right time for a change of administration. Finally two people involved in the film died before its release. Michael Nyqvist (who played the Russian Captain Andropov) and a producer John Thompson both died of cancer. Sad.

What?! I was really hoping that Butler’s lucky coin would be used as some kind of Chekov’s lucky coin. Like he gets cornered and distracts someone by flipping it or it stops a bullet or something equally cliche. Alas, it wasn’t to be. It was almost a red herring in how much they built up the lucky coin but he just kind of flips it a few times and it doesn’t even do anything magical. Come on, I want you to use it to plug a hole in the submarine or something.

Where?! A mix of Washington D.C. and Russia (or at least the waters around Russia). Very clear and nicely spelled out with some intertitles. I also want to point out that there was a brief Seal Team training scene in Tajikistan. I would have assumed this would be the only chance for us to get that location but apparently the film Spies Like Us is even more prominently set there. B+.

When?! Always hard in theaters to catch an exact date like this. It might be there (could have even been obviously displayed in the intertitles), but I didn’t catch it and I’ll have to figure it out when I buy the movie on DVD and watch it until the disc wears out. F.

This is a movie for dumb people but sometimes people want to be dumb even if you aren’t dumb, but in fact are big-brain smart people… you know? It has everything I want out of a submarine film: leaks, crush depth, fish in the water, wrenches, people getting crushed by torpedoes, depth charges (in modern day!), long speeches by a submarine captain, a submarine sitting on the ocean floor, a lucky coin, a military coup, things on fire, and a mini sub (babbyyyyyyyy). It is very much like me from the future wrote this fim… wait, did I come from the future and write this film? Anyway, I thought this movie was stupid silly fun that fit perfectly in that 35% RT range (but probably should have been higher?). I unabashedly enjoyed my experience. Oh and it seem like a ripoff of a little known Gary Busey film called Steel Sharks which is weird. And I’m being serious. This film is very similar to that film somehow. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone. I hunt and I kill bad movies for fun and for reals. I need a hunter killer up in here, let’s get into this BMT Live!!

The Good – The sub action is actually quite good, and comprises enough of the film to make me wonder “wait … did I just like this film” as I left the theater.. I don’t have the vast experiences with sub movies like Jamie, but I found myself extremely entertained in the back half of the film. I agree with most reviews that say this harkens back to some of the late-80s / early-90s idea of what an action film should be. Very self-contained and successful in its limited scope. I liked a good number of the actors involved, even if Gary Oldman did just yell incoherently 95% of the time. I was 100% sure he was going to be a twist bad guy, then he wasn’t, which was a pleasant surprise.

P’s View on the Preview – I had to scramble to get the preview settled, but I became interested partly in the director, who is kind of a strange choice in that he doesn’t seem to have made a big budget US film before. Besides that I’m all about the sub action. The less time I’m on the sub doing sub things the less happy I am.

The Bad – The entire extraction team subplot was pointless. They could have, effectively, done the same thing with a Hollywood satellite handwave and a team from Butler’s sub. Everything was coming up Gerard to a ridiculous degree. He basically flipped 20 coins and they all came up heads, and when people looked at him and were like “how did you know?” he just did a little Michael Jordan shoulder shrug and was like “I didn’t” (but you kind of know he did). You never felt much weight to his decisions because he always made the correct one and it worked out for him flawlessly. To that end basically no one died on the sub which meant there was no drama. And the politics of the film felt off, like originally it was very anti-Russia, but they cut it to go the opposite way to make it semi-pro-Russia realizing the original cut would feel too overtly political.

You Just Got Schooled – I couldn’t find a funny review of the film to watch or anything. But I did find this funny video of Gerard Butler explaining Scottish slang. Seems like a nice guy. But … does anyone else think he has a little bit of a Blake Bortles moonface going? He probably just lays off the beer for a month prior to any role he takes where he needs to actually look … not like Blake Bortles. Actually, have they ever considered having Gerard Butler play Blake Bortles in a biopic?

The BMT – Every Gerard Butler bad movie is a jewel to be treasured in BMT. I have no animosity towards the man, it is just that his action films are often just trite shadows of other action films. And thus they are very often excellent to watch for BMT. The BMeTric is going to go up, that is inevitable, so it’ll be a fine addition, despite the Rotten Tomatoes score being a little higher than we expected.

Welcome to Earf – Michael Nyqvist is both in Hunter Killer and Abduction starring Taylor Lautner, who was in The Ridiculous Six starring 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!! For the record, Butler is also pretty easy as he was in London Has Fallen with Morgan Freeman who has been part of a cycle before.

StreetCreditReport.com – Amazingly there are a few lists that already include this film. Here and here. Otherwise this probably is most famous for being delayed quite a few times. And then again for being the yearly Gerard Butler film that comes out in October and is not very good.

BMT Live Theater Review – I do love my Vue now. I ventured off to the Westfield Vue in Shepherd’s Bush for this viewing and much to my chagrin it cost me 13 pounds. Bah, where is my 5 pound showing Vue?! Anyways, I managed to catch, I think, the third to last showing in London for the film, but there were more people there than I expect. The tension was palpable, with some of the crowd even gasping in shock at some of the more tense moments. Imagine if I actually watched one of these films with like … people in the theater. What a shock that would be. B experience, docked for me not managing to get my 5 pound Monday on, and for lack of a crowd dampening the mood.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The 15:17 to Paris Recap

Jamie

Lifelong friends Spencer, Alek, and Anthony have spent their lives trying to find where they fit and best follow their sense of right. When they end up on a train targeted by a terrorist they will have to find their courage within. Can they stop the tragedy before it’s too late? Find out in… real life when this happened… but also The 15:17 to Paris.

How?! This is gonna be a hard one to write about because on the one hand it details a truly courageous act of bravery by a few young men and on the other hand it’s a film experiment that is at times the worst thing I’ve ever seen put to screen. Perhaps on the level with the Atlas Shrugged films. Anyway, the story is very straightforward, Spencer, Alek, and Anthony meet as kids in Sacramento and become good friends. They are outsiders fascinated by the military and serving the country. Despite moving away from each other they keep in touch throughout their life. Spencer and Alek join the military and both have somewhat underwhelming experiences. While Spencer is medically rejected for special forces, ending up instead in a support branch of the Air Force, Alek enlists in the Oregon National Guard and is mired in Afghanistan. Hoping to see a little of the world on break they travel to Europe with Anthony and travel from Italy to Germany to Amsterdam and eventually grab a train to Paris (I forget which one). On the train a terrorist attempts to take control but the three friends (along with a couple other passengers) tackle and subdue the assailant. They are heroes. THE END.

Why?! Why was the film made? Oh, no. The motivations of the characters. Right. Uh… it’s just life, man. Seriously, the film does a pretty good job of feeling pretty true to life. It’s doesn’t shirk over the fact that Spencer hoped to be a search and rescue ranger in the Air Force, but didn’t medically make the cut. It shows both his frustrations along with Alek’s in feeling like the military didn’t live up to what they imagined it would be. This does a good job of framing the final scene for exactly what it was, an act of bravery that easily could have resulted in their deaths.

Who?! Obviously one of the defining features of this film is that many of the real life people involved portrayed themselves… to mixed results. There was a funny rumor that Clint Eastwood asked France if the actual terrorist could portray himself which cannot possibly be true. So you heard it here first: the internet sometimes lies.

What?! This is actually a hard category given how true to life (almost cinema-verite) style this film is. There is a small moment later in the film where the two main characters make fun of a tiny Coke can on the train which is probably less product placement than Clint Eastwood asking them what they remember from the first part of the train ride and them saying “uh, we made fun of a tiny Coke can and fell asleep.”

Where?! This is actually an interesting entry given that the film was partially chosen as an A+ setting film. In reality Paris is in the title but they never actually reach Paris (until the end when they get military honors from the French President). It is actually mostly set in Sacramento and then Italy is the main setting for their actual road trip. So I’m downgrading it. B+

When?! Ha! Also interesting since 15:17 is a weird exact time in the title. Not the traditional A+ setting for this either.  Since it’s based on a real event there is technically a brief moment in the film where you know the date and exact time at which things are happening, which is kinda amazing. It deserves it. A+

This film is more or less a mixture of a Christian and experimental film that somehow was released to theaters for reason that are… actually readily apparent. It was directed by Clint Eastwood. For the first twenty minutes I had to seriously consider whether this was the worst film I had ever seen. I had to turn it off twice and take breaks to get through it. Once we got to when the main characters were grown up it got a bit better. The acting was still pretty rough (the main guy Spencer was actually surprisingly OK) but it felt brutally honest and I appreciated that. The ending was actually pretty crazy with how close they come to death and having to recreate that must have been really hard. Anyway, it’s bad and only worth watching if you are interested in seeing a (failed) experiment in filmmaking. As for Hard Ticket to Hawaii, I can 100% see why this is a beloved Z-movie series by Andy Sidaris. It is over the top and pretty much hits every cliche of 80’s/90’s action all in one neat package. We got crazy clothes, crazy frisbee and skateboard scenes (what the kids want), crazy boobs everywhere (what the kids want), giant explosions (what the kids want), etc. etc. etc. It does seem to toe the line between inadvertently hilarious and purposefully so. That always makes it tough, but kudos to them if they did purposefully make a bad film… because it’s certainly hard to tell. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Sometimes I wonder, hey, why can’t I get a job that will allow me to mess around and pay me millions of dollars to flush $30 million dollars down the toilet. Well if you’re Clint Eastwood you can! Let’s go!

The Good – I do think there is a place for films like this. I actually felt a bit embarrassed in watching it, because it felt like I was making fun of some good hearted story and people and actors and ideals somehow. None of the multitude of problems with the film reflect on the actual values on screen. People should be able to have and appreciate art that reflects their wholesome all-American flag-waving values. The final third of the film picks up and I can kind of see why Eastwood made the film and decided to make it like this. It is an interesting story as well, although maybe more interesting as a book rather than a movie.

P’s View on the Preview – Is there any doubt at all what everyone would be curious about going into this film? Can these people act? Would this experiment Eastwood cooked up work? If not for that you would kind of just have a not very interesting idea for a drama if I’m going to be frank. Otherwise it was going to be vaguely interesting to see what parts of the lives of these three people we would see, and whether Eastwood would pull a fake-baby-in-American-Sniper on us or something.

The Bad – Whhhhhoooooooooo doggy, these people can’t act. And the stunner? The worst part of the movie is the beginning when nearly everyone was actual established (cough, television, cough) actors! The first third of the film is a travesty. The middle is a whole lotta nothing, and then the end is fine if the people could act (but they can’t). Also, if this wasn’t made by Clint Eastwood it would (1) have a budget of $1 and (2) be a straight up Christian film released to 400 theaters. The grand experiment was a failure, despite all the potential good the film might have going for it in the end.

The BMT – Yeah I think it has to be, and perhaps it’ll get us to venture into the drama sphere more. While bad dramas tend to be dull, there was a lot of meat on this bone to pick apart. And it certainly took me out of my bad movie comfort zone. Something to think about.

Welcome to Earf – Judy Greer was in The 15:17 to Paris and Marmaduke with Owen Wilson, who was in I, Spy with Eddie Murphy, who was in Norbit with Terry Crews, who was in Blended 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 Earth!

StreetCreditReport.com – Uh, what is the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah UP THE WAZOOOO! Here and here and here and here. People hated this film. It actually legit had to be done. How many bad dramas do we really get? I mean … considering we don’t really watch those low budget Christian films or VOD Nicholas Sparks knock-offs. Not many I tells ya!

Bring a Friend Analysis – Ah, the final friend of the cycle was Hard Ticket to Hawaii. This film is fun as hell. The stars are playboy playmates (wowza!) and they are extremely game for some silly shenanigans in Hawaii. Made by Andy Sidaris, the film is probably the closest we’ve gotten to the classic Room or Troll 2 territory. Actually it is probably really close to Troll 2. The issue I think I ultimately had was I had a hard time determining whether Sidaris was serious or not. The ending of the film certainly made me think he wasn’t (a giant terribly fake snake comes out of a toilet and they blast it with a bazooka), which is an obvious problem. You can’t make intentional bad films … but holy crap this gets close. A solid A- with an option to bump it to an A if I watch some other Sidaris films and realize that he is for reals.

You Just Got Schooled – I can’t think of something to do for 15:17 to Paris … but what about Hard Ticket to Hawaii! Maybe we can answer this question now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAVNlXUqaqI

Welp … yeah they are serious. For reals. “I’ll be a very sorry feminist” wowza! “A trained ape can make a movie” Phew! They compared their films to the Louvre! They don’t seem to be as delusional as someone like Tommy Wiseau or Claudio Fragasso, but they do seem very serious … fine I’ll give it an A!!! I’ve been convinced!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

 

Exit Wounds Recap

Jamie

Orin Boyd is a Detroit police officer sent to the beat after one too many police brutality complains (coooool). He starts to have run-ins with crime lord Latrell Walker, but soon realizes that it’s actually a group of corrupt cops he has to worry about. Will he be able to stop the bad guys (and perhaps get a new best friend) before it’s too late? Find out in… Exit Wounds.

How?! Orin Boyd don’t take guff from nobody, plays by his own rules, and is a lone wolf unwilling to compromise in taking down the bad guys. When he saves the Vice President from a major terrorist assassination attempt he is demoted and sent to the 15th precinct (ugh, the 15th. The worst, right?). Read that again… there is a major assassination plot against the VP that is pretty much successful except Boyd rides up and saves the VP and kills the bad guys… and this is a problem. Anyway, when he gets to the 15th he ends up breaking up a drug deal which turns out to be a sting operation (or is it?) and immediately butts heads with the big dogs in the department. Despite another demotion he starts hot on the trail of Latrell Walker, the guy involved in the drug deal. He tracks Latrell back to a meeting at the local jail with his brother and finds out that he isn’t a criminal at all but a computer genius who is independently collecting evidence against the cadre of corrupt cops. These cops attempt to kill Boyd, but he escapes, strikes a deal with Latrell to help take them down, and meets with his boss to tell her what’s up. At this meeting they are attacked and his boss is killed so Boyd decides it’s time to take out all those MFers out. They go to a warehouse for The Big Deal where everything goes wrong and there are several double crosses (what a twist!). They fight it out with karate, all the bad guys are killed, Latrell gives them all the evidence, and his brother is freed. THE END.

Why?! Boyd operates under the common film cop matra that all is fair in taking down the bad guys. We literally see a meeting where his boss laments the multiple police brutality complaints he has gotten in the last year and the fact that he ignores the law in the line of duty… that ain’t good, bro. Latrell’s motivations are more interesting, although still pretty simple. His brother was framed for a large drug deal gone wrong when the crooked cops involved needed a fall guy. Latrell, being a dotcom billionaire computer genius, pays for a new identity and gets involved with these cops in order to exonerate his bro. The cops want to make money because they are tired of all the bad guys getting rich while they toil away and don’t get rich… this is also a very common crooked cop trope which we recently saw in The Underclassman.

Who?! Anthony Anderson’s character T.K. is a pretty solid example of a Planchet. He is kinda chubby, well-meaning, helps out his bro and what does he get in return: near constant ridicule. Also an unexpected Secret Twin Film with a cameo by The Tiger Twins as a couple of twin street thugs. Interestingly they choose not to use their twin powers to easily dispatch Seagal. How kind. Finally, on a sad note, this is one of a number of films we’ve come across marred by a major stunt accident. In this case Chris Lamon was killed during a stunt where he was supposed to roll out of a speeding van. Something went wrong and he ended up dying and another stunt man got a concussion. These stories always make me sad.

What?! Big shoutout to a primo example of a Hollywood badass bar run by T.K. It’s bright, it’s got girls dancing in cages, it looks like it was built in a bank, it’s everything. There is also a bunch of product placement (Latrell is identified in a video by his fancy TAG watch, Boyd’s new partner has trouble getting his nice refreshing afternoon pepsi when he’s first introduced, etc.). But my personal favorite thing in the film was probably the first and only Chekov’s Industrial Paper Cutter. We are briefly shown a very large paper cutter in a warehouse where the climax of the film is certain to take place and I thought, “Someone is fighting with that paper cutter like it’s a samurai sword.” Correct on all counts. Perfect.

Where?! Detroit through and through (although filmed in Canada). The film even opens with the Vice President of the US welcoming everyone to Detroit in a speech he’s giving… you know before Seagal saves him from a crazy huge assassination attempt that legitimately involved a couple dozen armed assailants. B+.

When?! Prepare yourself, because this is the greatest time setting of all time. While tracking DMX, Seagal finds a county jail pass in the garbage that explicitly says that DMX visited his brother on 9/9/01… two days prior to the events of the majority of the film. Let that sink in. The film takes place on September 11, 2001… and no one notices in the Detroit Police Department. Seagal certainly wouldn’t have had the time to track down corrupt cops in the wake of the most significant terrorist attack in US history. Gotta be an alternate timeline. B-.

Exit Wounds is silly and a lot of fun to watch. Steven Seagal is straight-up ridiculous and it’s crazy that all the way up to 2000 he was considered an actual actor that you would put in a major motion picture. His character continually makes light of police brutality and is legit a bad guy (except that all the other cops are much worse). He’s more like a workaday, punch-in punch-out kind of bad person. It’s funny too because from the start DMX is a much more likable and good person, to the point where when it is shockingly revealed that he is actually a good person I was totally unsurprised. It was obvious, but perhaps not as obvious in 2000?… or maybe it was just very poorly written. Hard to tell. Anyway, a little dumb fun for BMT can go a long way. As for Samurai Cop, I was definitely getting a distinct The Room vibe from it. There is crazy art on the wall that’s super distracting, offices that are supposed to be hospitals, terrible sound issues, crazy reaction shots by a plethora of terrible actors, boobs everywhere, lots of dick jokes (on a positive note), and a strain of racism that after watching a number of Z-movies for this cycle seems more or less standard. It’s kooky to the point where I actually started to wonder whether The Room was inspired by it or some kind of parody… but then I remembered that Tommy Wiseau is a crazy person and so that’s almost definitely not the case. Anyway, it was super weird. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Steven Seagal plays a badass cop who likes to beat people up and teaches us a valuable lesson: violence is awesome. DMX is a tech billionaire just looking for justice. It is the buddy cop pair you’ve been waiting for! Let’s go!

The Good – Seagal is a lot more normal than one would expect … like he seems like an actor, not a fake person wearing a Steven Seagal suit. The twists and turns are on occasion interesting (like Seagal’s boss getting killed in a car crash is shocking and brutal). The entire story isn’t as gross as you would expect. By the early 2000s I actually expected Seagal already going full blown “the only people who watch these films just want to see me literally blow someone’s head off with a gun so … there we go”. It is not, frankly it is pretty much about police corruption with a dash of “this guy just wants to do right and just can’t catch a break”. Which … is fine I guess.

P’s View on the Preview – Steven Seagal baby. We rarely watch JCVD or Seagal films. Partially because anything after … well Exit Wounds really, is 100% going to be trash. This is the last Seagal film released to theaters, which is astonishing given it made like $80 million, so I was ready to realize why they dropped him like a sack of potatoes.

The Bad – The more I think about the film the more I realize that it is profoundly terrible. Seagal’s character is ridiculous, basically someone who loves to beat the shit out of people, and people love to love him for beating the shit out of people. The story really makes no sense, with DMX being some tech billionaire pretending to … commit horrible felonies to prove cops are corrupt? Great plan bozo. The final fight is just straight bonkers. And the cast makes me upset. Seagal is a Russian shill. DMX went to prison for tax fraud. Isaiah Washington is likely a bigot. Anthony Anderson proooobably raped some people. And Tom Arnold … is weirdly the best of the bunch. WTF bros!?

You Just Got Schooled – There isn’t much about this film as far as online footprint is concerned. So let’s do a little analysis. There are 173 films listed under Martial Arts on Box Office Mojo. Of those 59 films officially qualify by having <40% on Rotten Tomatoes for an astonishing 34% rate. That isn’t the whole story though, there are only 105 wide releases, of which 55 (!) qualify, that’s over 50% of wide release martial arts films! That is nuts. For Seagal he has an interesting career. He made a few terrible films in the early 90s before hitting it semi-big with Under Siege. He then released a terrible film every year from 1994 to 1998, only releasing Executive Decision in 1996 as a good film. He was evidently forced into a break before releasing a flurry of films in the early 2000s (including Exit Wounds). Since then he only recently started to get his straight-to-VOD garbage reviewed again, but that is almost as a fat-seagal irony at this point. Known for his aikido, rumors fly of his actual martial arts acumen, but everyone generally agrees concerning his films: they are garbage. Like most of the martial arts films in general.

The BMT – I think we are working through Seagal films. I don’t think there is much more to say about it. There are certainly better Seagal BMTs. And in general his films don’t really need to be watched. This was fine. I was fine with it. I was just fine with it! Stop asking jeez.

Welcome to Earf – Steven Seagal is in On Deadly Ground with Michael Caine, who is in Get Carter with Sly Stallone, who is in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who is in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who is in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!!!!

StreetCreditReport.com – So it certainly is not considered his best … otherwise this doesn’t even come up. The previous link even mentions how indeed no one ever remembers this film which is also not well regarded. And yet this film made $80 million worldwide. … $80 million.

Bring a Friend Analysis – For this friend we watched another martial arts cop film, Samurai Cop. Fact, Samurai Cop is strangely entertaining. Fact, Samurai Cop is genuinely racist and disgustingly misogynistic. Fact, it looks like crap. And yet … weirdly entertaining. It actually kind of hits all of the boxes, it just isn’t really consistently entertaining to get the full A, but a clean A-. It is weird enough to be entertaining. But not unpleasant enough to make me want to never watch it again. Just lags a bit near the end. I’ve been very very impressed with our slate of friends this cycle. I think we’ve have mostly A’s and B’s … those are films we are willing to watch again! That is crazy. These films are barely there, and yet I would show them to friends. That’s saying something.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs