Heartbeeps Recap

Jamie

Val and Aqua are a couple of robots designed for everyday life. He’s a business robot while she’s a social robot and there is an instant attraction. They escape from the robot factory for an excursion and build a son, all while getting pursued by a police robot. Can they escape the police robot (and perhaps find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Heartbeeps.

How?! This is gonna be a tough one. This is basically just a story of a boy and girl robot, Val and Aqua. Boy robot meets girl robot and the rest is history. No, I’m serious. That’s the movie. They go out to look at some trees (along with crazy uncle robot Catskil) and this sets off all kinds of alarms at the robot factory and triggers a police robot to begin pursuit. Meanwhile, Val and Aqua build a son robot, Phil, and go on their merry way. They look for batteries here and there. They hide from the police robot here and there. They see a bear. They end up in a dump. Etc. etc. etc. Crazy kooky robot adventures. Once they realize that they may not have enough battery to make it back to the robot factory they begin to panic because they realize that no one knows about Phil. They worry that they may not be able to alert the factory to his existence, in which case they could have their memories wiped and Phil would be all alone! Oh no! Catskil gives up his battery to him, but it’s all for naught as Val and Aqua shut down and are taken back to the factory without Phil. Fortunately love prevails! Hooray! Because no matter how many times they wipe their memory and fix them Val and Aqua end up back in for repairs. Eventually they are dumped… which was the plan all along! They live out their days in the dump with their friends and a new little robot baby. It’s really a story of domestic bliss… with robots. THE END.

Why?! Other than serving as a very basic story of the purpose of life through the model of a couple of robots, I’m not really sure of the point of the movie. Perhaps we are supposed to look at Val and Aqua at the end of the film and realize “hey, wait a second. I just watched a whole movie about a couple of robots and forgot that they weren’t human… so what does that mean about being human?”… maybe. It’s really just a story of love.

Who?! Every once in a while there is a weird credit here that is hard to believe is true. I think maybe it’s a mistake on IMDb. That’s the case here as Jerry Garcia (yes, that Jerry Garcia) is credited as the voice of Phil. Seeing as Phil speaks in a series of beeps and boops, it’s hard to imagine Jerry Garcia doing that unless he was a close personal friend of someone… and that apparently was the case. Garcia and the director Allan Arkush were buddies back then and I guess Garcia played all those beeps and boops using a guitar or something. I guess that’s also why Garcia is credited on the score for Deathsport. Wild.

What?! I may as well use this part to point out that this film was actually nominated for an Academy Award for makeup. Much like Norbit, sometimes even really bad films are just amazing in some way. Stan Winston did a really good job with making Andy Kaufman look like a robot. Uncanny at times. Eventually Winston did win his only Oscar for makeup a decade later for Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Where?! I’m not sure it’s made explicit where this is set. It seems like somewhere in Northern California probably, and that would be in line with where someone might write a robot factory to be set. The real problem is that the robots really don’t consider much about the world. They mostly just internalize their immediate situation. So they aren’t really talking about what state they may be in. F.

When?! Certainly in the near future, but a lot of stuff is pretty much the same as now (except now with robots). It’s far enough in the future that people are already lamenting the loss of the more primitive robots with simple purposes like driving forklifts and stuff for more intricate social and performative robots. Almost like someone reminiscing about when “a phone was just a phone” or something. D-.

This movie is hilariously bad. If I wanted to show someone a film to demonstrate the weird and wild (and really boring) films that we end up watching for BMT I could use this one. It is really slow, really boring, really bad, really not funny, really not anything. It’s strange that it even exists given that other than an actually good opening credits scene (scored by John Williams) it immediately starts in on a stretch of 70 minutes of… nothing. No scene that you would look at and understand what they were even trying to do. It’s almost like it was made begrudgingly. Like, “Fine, I’ll make this Andy Kaufman film,” and then after each take the director is just screaming at a producer, “Are you happy now? I’m making the film.” Truly a baffling venture. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever get that need. That need for a poorly received art film from the early 80s? Me neither, but we ended up watching one. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This film is oddly legendary. But not in a good way. I think Jamie put is best using the word begrudging. The director seemed to begrudgingly make the film. And critics and bad move scholars alike begrudgingly put it onto worst-of lists. Everytime it came up while filling in cycles, I always had to remind myself that the film, indeed, qualifies for BMT. It looks like a film from the 70s, and certainly looks like the kind of film that was accidentally released to 300 theaters. But nope, it is a wide release film, it is real, and we had to eventually watch it. What were my expectations? To be bored out of my mind. All of the reviewers seemed bored. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be the first person in history to think Heartbeeps was an entertaining good-bad film.

The Good – There is a moment right in the beginning of the film where you think “wait … do I like this film?” and right before you scream “YES, I am a genius, this movie is secretly amazing,” the sheer boredom of the film makes your mind melt and it is ruined. I will say some of the “future” stuff is pretty fun, like the bags of Coke and Coors. And obviously the makeup is a pretty incredible achievement, it looks super crazy, but in a good way. The kind of makeup where you genuinely wonder how it was done. Read the IMDb notes if you want to know. Best bit: The makeup.

The Bad – Perhaps the most boring film ever made? As I said, it is an arthouse film masquerading as a real film that you would release to theaters. Andy Kaufman genuinely seems like he doesn’t know what he is doing. There isn’t really even a plot line. So it is an arthouse film in which you’d hear years later than everyone booed and walked out of the theater. There isn’t much to really say about it … it is a super weird and terrible film. Full stop, do not recommend. Fatal flaw: Ridiculously boring.

The BMT – Hellllllllllllls no. This film sucks. I’ll forget I watched it in a week, and then it’s only possible legacy in BMT lore is merely that it won the Smaddies Baddie for worst BMT film of the year. At least we’ll eventually be able to say that we watched every bad robot film ever made … presumably, in like 20 years. Did it meet my expectations? I guess so. I mean, I did say I expected to be bored out of my mind. And here I am explaining for the third time in this recap how bored I was watching this film … so yeah, I expected this to be a terrible BMT and it was. Why did we watch this film again?

Roast-radamas – Some great Product Placement (What?) with the technicians searching for our robot heroes drinking delicious and refreshing Coors throughout the film. Also they drink some futuristic Coke-in-a-bag. And you know what? I’m going to give it a pity MacGuffin (Why?) for the power of love! That’s right, our robots are striking out to discover and understand love and domestic bliss. How quaint. This might be a leader for Bad movie of the year, but only time will tell.

StreetCreditReport.com – Somehow it didn’t make Siskel and Ebert’s worst-of list for 1981. I figured that was the most likely place to find some actual cred. Luckily, just about any list of worst ever film robots will include Val, Andy Kaufman’s robot character. Just as an example, here it gets number two. That and this being an extremely rare Andy Kaufman led feature film is likely why I knew about this film at all prior to watching it.

You Just Got Schooled – There was luckily a natural schooling session with this film, namely the Allan Arkush classic Rock ‘n’ Roll High School which was constantly on Comedy Central when I was growing up. Turns out it is actually really well reviewed, and watching it the film is really fun. Having The Ramones in the film is a little odd, especially because the main character is a little … odd looking, he isn’t exactly a classic Hollywood leading man. But P.J. Soles is great in it, the music is great, and it is a decent spoof film to boot. Interestingly the principal (Mary Woronov) and music teacher (Paul Bartel) have been in a few Arkush films including Heartbeeps, they were who of the people at the party the robots crash. So it ended up being a decent glimpse both into how some comedy films were made in that era, and a cool precursor to Heartbeeps. B+, a fun if rough around the edges 70s spoof film. If you’re looking to recapture that feeling of watching random movies on cable you could do a lot worse.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Event Horizon Recap

Jamie

Captain Miller and his space rescue team of the Lewis and Clark are sent to check out a distress signal from a long disappeared experimental ship, Event Horizon. All is not right with the ship or with Dr. Billy Weir, the scientist who helped design it. Can they stop the eeeeevil ghost ship and save themselves before it’s too late? Find out in… Event Horizon.

How?! Just before going on leave, Captain Miller and the crew of the Lewis and Clark are told to get ready to go to Neptune. They are joined by Dr. Billy Weir and informed that they are going to check out a distress signal from the long lost Event Horizon, an experimental ship meant to test out a new wormhole drive. How does he know? He designed it. Bum bum bum. Once there, it quickly becomes clear that the ship is real spookified and all kinds of terrible things have happened. They want to get out of there ASAP, but an energy pulse from the experimental gravity drive damages the ship. Dr. Weir insists that the drive is perfectly safe, but soon everyone on the ship is seeing and experiencing images of their darkest fears and terrible memories. They start to die one by one at the hands of these visions and Weir goes further and further off the deep end. Turns out the gravity drive didn’t create the artificial black hole to a location far off in space after all… it created a portal to HELL. Bum bum bum! And Weir is completely in its control! Just when they are on the verge of getting their ship repaired and Miller is set to blow up the Event Horizon, Weir is able to sabotage the plan and trap them. Miller is able to blast him out into space and in a last ditch effort blows apart the Event Horizon sending the gravity drive back through a black hole and leaving the remaining survivors floating in stasis through space. Days later they are rescued and are safe (or are they? (I think they are (are they?))) THE END.

Why?! Interesting… I guess the motivation for the good guys is first professionalism. It’s their job so they are going to check out the Event Horizon. Then it’s just survival. As for the eeeevil in the ship… well, it’s evil and pure chaos. It does distill down just how classic horror this really is. That’s been the trend, survival for the good guys and evil for the bad guys. Not particularly interesting.

Who?! Just a small factoid for this section. For whatever reason they note in the credits that Andrew Kevin Walker was a “script doctor (uncredited)” on the film. It’s an interesting note given that there must be thousands of script doctors who have worked on films and don’t get that uncredited credit… so is it just because it was known from an interview or something? How do we even know it’s true? Little known fact, I was a script doctor on Cloud Atlas. Yup. Your move IMDb.

What?! Event Horizon is the perfect film for selling props. Distinct visual effects and large set pieces with a lot of moving parts. Can I dress up as one of the characters? For as little as 10,000 pounds I can. Can I get a piece of the gravity drive? Yup. And that’s really the big one here. It’s almost a MacGuffin. Dr. Weir wants to possess it, Miller wants to destroy it, we don’t know how it works really but we know it’s pretty damn powerful.

Where?! We don’t get a single scene on Earth. Even before setting off for Neptune we only see Dr. Weir waking up on a space station somewhere. This is a true blue (literally) Neptune film. Can we get the whole solar system. We obviously have Earth, Mars, and Jupiter (ascending). And now Neptune. Really we might have hit the limit right there. A-. Very important to the plot, but really couldn’t it have been a different planet.When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.

When?! 2047. All told specifically in a series of intertitles. There are even a few more facts given for context. Like 2015 is when the moon is colonized. Breaking news, I guess. You would have thought that President Obama would have made a bigger deal about that on the way out. It is the only major release set in that year… although the sequel to Iron Sky is as well (but that was hardly a major release). A. For all the context given.

I kinda dug this movie. It’s got fun atmosphere and was using CGI to some effect given that it was 1997. I can certainly understand the criticisms. It was much more of a Hellraiser ripoff than I thought it would be. Particularly near the end. And while creepy at times it wasn’t really all that scary. Definitely stronger first half than second half, but didn’t peter out as much as I thought it would and I enjoyed the spectacle more than I typically do. Guess I’m a sucker for some sci-fi thrills and chills. The only thing that rankles a little bit is that this had a definite whiff of anti-science, where in the pursuit of space travel scientists have pushed too far and have arrogantly flown too close to the realm of God and thus released hell. This is a little pointed too as the scientist is the one insisting that the Gravity Drive is perfectly safe all while clawing his own eyes out. Not looking so hot in this day and age. Patrick?

Patrick 

‘Ello everyone! Somehow, this is the fourth sci-fi film we’ve watched for BMT which involved demons in space. Ghosts of Mars, Doom, and Hellraiser: Bloodline. Against all odds, this hard sci-fi cult classic is closest to Hellraiser. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Growing up being spooky scared of horror films, there had been a few films on my watch list periphery which never got touched because, it turned out, they were horror films. Event Horizon seeeeems like it is just a regular sci-fi film about black holes, but in reality it was a horror film, so I never watched it. Then I realized it qualifies for BMT, and, even better, was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson who makes a whole lotta bad movies. So here we are, finally watching his follow up to Mortal Kombat. What were my expectations? I … don’t know. I guess I imagined it would be cheesy like Mortal Kombat, but all of the reviews online suggest it was just too gory for the era. I don’t like gory horror films, but if that was its biggest issue then … maybe it isn’t bad anymore? I guess we’d see.

The Good – Ultra cool designs. The Event Horizon in particular is an amazingly designed sci-fi ship, and perfectly explains why the film is a cult classic in the first place. The haunted-house-in-space concept works really well here. This is maybe the best possible example of that niche genre as I could imagine. And a bunch of the actors are great as well, Laurence Fishburne in particular. Finally, while I disagree with some of the lore choices here, I appreciate the direction they went with the question of what is beyond the black hole in the Event Horizon’s engine. Best Bit: Ship design.

The Bad – Mainly I’ll just say the lore falls a bit short. The main reason for this is that it unfortunately comes across as a Hellraiser rip-off. Sam Neill’s descent into Hell and as an extension of the Event Horizon is effectively the same as Dr. Phillip Channard in Hellraiser II. Both desire their destiny, and run towards their demise with open arms. And it is no coincidence that the Event Horizon engine and the Lament Configuration share some design choices. I think it is a testament to this film that this was really the only complaint I had about it. If Event Horizon comes out a decade earlier and Hellraiser didn’t exist, would we have seen multiple Event Horizon sequels? I think it is possible. Fatal flaw: Derivative.

The BMT – It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad! I couldn’t even bring myself to mention the gore in the good or bad parts of the recap. I just don’t think it was ultra-gory, or at least not enough to note. The film itself though is quite entertaining, and it works really really well as a haunted house in space (I haven’t seen another more successful version of that in fact, the terrible Hellraiser: Bloodlines is closest maybe). I liked it, even if it feels like it borrows a tad too much from the superior Hellraiser lore. Did it meet my expectations? I didn’t really have expectations, but that didn’t matter because I think this is not a bad movie in the first place. So no matter my bad movie expectations, this didn’t meet it, since it is a good movie.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Once again, as will be usual with this cycle the Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) is off the chain. The setting is literally a character (the Event Horizon), but space is always an excellent setting. And the film is set in the kind-of-near-future of 2047 must have seemed super realistic at the time, 50 years to making trips to Neptune. I like this for MacGuffin (Why?) in that the entire film is focused on finding and recovering the mysterious Event Horizon. And I think this has a decent shot for Good in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – I don’t think it is that surprising this film doesn’t show up on many lists, specifically because gore seems to be the main critic complaint and that doesn’t really translate to “worst film of the year” material. I did find a list for worst horror films set in space where it is number 11. Which I think it fair, worse than something like Alien: Covenant, but better than Alien: Resurrection. I don’t even think this is the worst black hole centric films! The Black Hole I think is genuinely worse, and I liked The Black Hole.

You Just got Schooled – Here I think I had a few choices, just because Event Horizon apparently draws a lot from classic sci-fi like The Forbidden Planet (which I believe I’ve seen before). I went with Disney’s 1979 box office flop The Black Hole though. And I have to say, it was really good. It looks pretty old school, with clearly just-people-in-costumes versions of robots. But overall it fits in nicely with Event Horizon. Both films deal with the egomaniac who has created the ability to go through black holes, and the exploration of his ship which holds dark secrets within. Whereas Event Horizon draws on The Haunting to become a haunted house film, The Black Hole ends up drawing on something like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with our heroes trapped aboard an incredible craft with Dr. Hans Reinhardt and his army of automatons. It is a pretty impressive space adventure, even if it would appear dated side-by-side with Star Wars (which had come out two years prior). And the cast is pretty sweet with Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, and Ernest Borgnine to name a few. B+. Not the nicest film to look at from that time period, but a cool space film and an apt non-horror film to watch alongside Event Horizon.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Musketeer Recap

Jamie

D’Artagnan is back, Jack! And boy is he ready to karate chop you in the neck. Coming to Paris to become a Musketeer, our boy Lil D is shocked to find them in disarray. But that doesn’t stop him from doing one for all and all for one. Can he stop the eeeeevil Cardinal Richelieu and his henchman before it’s too late? Find out in… The Musketeer.

How?! D’Artagnan is just a young boy when he witnesses his parents’ deaths at the hands of Cardinal Richelieu’s henchman Febre. Trained by his father’s loyal friend Planchet (yeeeaaaaah boy) Lil D grows up to be a backflipin’, rope swingin’, ladder climbin’, barrel rolling swordsman extraordinaire. Arriving in Paris ready to become a Musketeer he finds the group disbanded and Aramis, Porthos and Athos bitter men ready to give it all up. But Lil D says nay! Not in the face of a nefarious scheme by Cardinal Richelieu to kickstart a war between France and England. And not in the face of a beautiful young woman, Francesca, who he wants to woo with his daring deeds. He convinces them to help free the imprisoned head of the Musketeers and take him to safety. Then, catching wind of a scheme to attack the King of France and the English dignitary Buckingham to show the weakness of the throne, he recruits them to help kung fu the King and Queen to safety. Hoping to keep peace, d’Artagnan is recruited to organize a meeting between the Queen and Buckingham only to be betrayed and the Queen, Francesca and Buckingham are kidnapped. In a stirring climax, LilD4Life jumps all over some ropes and ladders and owns Febre like he’s never been owned and saves the day. Cardinal Richelieu is actually relieves, as the scheme had gotten quite out of hand, but our man Lil D ain’t having it and basically implies he better watch his back. Then he and Francesca smooch a whoooooole bunch. THE END

Why?! Uh, for all and for one? Duh. Specifically, all for one and one for all. Truly for the honor of the throne and for the honor of d’Artagnan’s legacy and his daddio and even the King of France who kinda sucks. The bad guys just want power… but they can’t handle it… they can’t handle the power because it’s a corrupting force and only someone pure of heart and mind and with abs for days like d’Artagnan can resist it.

Who?! I always do like noting when nonfictional or fictional Kings and other important historical figures are shown in film. This obviously has a huge number. It’s also funny to think how a figure like Louis XIII, who would likely have rarely been seen in films, would end up being portrayed over and over again due to The Three Musketeers. And probably in many of them, this included, the role is fairly minor. Here he was portrayed by Daniel Mesguich… you know. That guy.

What?! I mean, obviously this adaptation takes the bold step of changing the main Musketeer slogan to One for All and All for a Refreshing Coca-Cola to which they all cheers some classic Coke’s and play beach volleyball. But I mean, that’s hardly a product placement. That’s just life. And honestly we’re about 15 years too late to pick up props online for this guy. So just take solace in the fact that the full Cardinal getup from the 2011 classic is going for $10,000.

Where?! France for days. In fact I’d be hard pressed to find another film that was more French than this film. From Paris with Love starring John Travolta, sure, but that barely qualifies. Oh wait, I got it. The Three Musketeers starring Planchet… God, what a great adaptation. No wonder we’re going back to Paul W. S. Anderson next week. A.When?! The beginning is similar to the classic Three Musketeers storyline in that d’Artagnan is going to Paris to join the Musketeers at the time that Caridinal Richelieu is trying to stoke war between France and England. This would place this film in 1625. Although they don’t make this clear in the film I don’t think. They just say the events take place 14 years after d’Artagnan’s parents were killed which is unhelpful. D.

When?! The beginning is similar to the classic Three Musketeers storyline in that d’Artagnan is going to Paris to join the Musketeers at the time that Caridinal Richelieu is trying to stoke war between France and England. This would place this film in 1625. Although they don’t make this clear in the film I don’t think. They just say the events take place 14 years after d’Artagnan’s parents were killed which is unhelpful. D.

This movie is shockingly boring for a film that is based entirely on the premise “Three Musketeers but with some martial arts.” It’s actually pretty well made and all that, but everything is real dark and they seemed to have trouble editing it together in the end so it feels pretty choppy. Also Justin Chambers was just not ready to carry a film and he is unfortunately quite bad. Not great for someone who is in approximately 100% of the film, especially when I think Roth and Rae are both pretty good. Overall, I just wish it was a little more over the top. As it is, it’s merely a subpar adaptation of The Three Musketeers with some fun fight scenes and some bad filmmaking and acting. Also, they needed more Planchet. Disappointing really. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The legendary literary badass d’Artagnan has had maybe like … 400 films made about him. But this ain’t your dad’s d’Artagnan. This time he’s attached to wires and doing kung fu. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I was very excited for this film. The trailer is one of the craziest things you’ll ever watch. It seems like a normal Three Musketeers film … but then the wire-fu parkour magic starts. It is almost immediately obvious that it was a bad idea, but we could never really figure out a way to fit it into BMT … until now! What were my expectations? Just the craziest thing you’ll ever see. Anything less would be a disappointment. I want The Three Musketeers starring Jackie Chan basically, I want them to throw out everything that makes the Three Musketeers the Three Musketeers and just make them martial arts masters!

The Good – The film is shot beautifully … if you ignore the fact that it was clearly too dark. If you cut out the Hong Kong fight choreography this would actually be a pretty okay (if poorly acted) Three Musketeers film. Somehow the direction ends up being both the strength and weakness of the film. A strength in that the set design and general look are really interesting. A weakness because I think it ends up being structurally a mess, which by all accounts was the director’s fault. Best bit: Set design.

The Bad – Let’s start with the acting. I have nothing against Justin Chambers and the rest of the main actors in the film, but overall it does come across as a tv movie because of the people involved. The action scenes are too much and too little at the same time. They are too stylized and jarring if you only have a few of them, which I think is what happened here. If you are going to go that big and shocking, you should just go balls to the wall and have every scene be an action scene. Finally, the story is just boring and confusing. It may have worked better using a very simple story and focusing a lot more on the action element. Fatal flaw: Action scenes are too much, and occur too infrequently.

The BMT – Sadly I think this will go down as a near miss for BMT. A “oh, what could have been!”. In an alternative universe this film is wall to wall parkour with people dressed as musketeers! But alas, within the film there is hiding a dimly lit earnest telling of the story of d’Artagnan. Somehow, against all odds, the 2013 Three Musketeers film (complete with Planchet) is actually a much better BMT in my estimation. Did it meet my expectations? Oh you couldn’t tell from that? No. It certainly is a pretty bad movie, mostly due to the acting and falling short in the action set pieces. But it should have been oh, so much more.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Naturally this is a great Setting as a Character (Where?) and Period Piece (When?) for the clear 17th century Paris setting. Otherwise there isn’t much there, and it is closest to being a Bad film in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – It is a bit surprising maybe, but the bad movie lists weren’t really happening in 2001. I don’t know why really, but whatever. This is probably the second worst Musketeer film though. I would call it the worst, but if you look anywhere all critics consider the 2011 film to be the worst (and I generally agree). Still, that combined with the bizarre genre mash-up is street cred enough.

You Just got Schooled – I was very much looking forward to this because I ended up figuring out that there have been multiple Three Musketeers cartoons throughout history. First, I watched the Hanna Barbera version which debuted as part of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. Released in 1968, this seems like an odd time for Hanna Barbera, after their big hits in The Flintstones and The Jetsons ended in the mid-60s, but before Scooby-Doo which would premiere a year later in 1969. I ended up watching the first episode of Banana Splits (which had an Arabian Knights cartoon and weird live-action cliffhanger-based shorts called Danger Island) and the Three Musketeers part of the second episode. The Banana Splits are brutally unfunny characters meant to entertain 5-year-olds (maybe). Meanwhile both Arabian Knights and Danger Island are genuinely racist garbage. So against all odds the cheaply made and boring Three Musketeers ended up being the best bit from that. D-, very little to recommend from this Hanna Barbera catastrophe. Additionally, I watched the first episode of The Three Musketeers anime (Anime Sanjūshi) from 1987. Directed by the guy who would end up directing all of the pokemon anime, it shows. It very much reminds me of the pokemon show in that it is probably too boring to sustain a binge watch, but was entertaining enough that maybe I’ll end up watching another one eventually. B-. I kind of fell into a rabbit whole with animation recently. The history of animation I think is endlessly fascinating. So being able to watch two not-very-good old-school Musketeers animated shows was a delight, even if neither ended up being particularly good.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Black Knight Recap

Jamie

Jamal Walker is living his life in LA when he’s unexpectedly transported back to the Middle Ages. There he finds himself in the middle of a rebellion and at odds with the King and his eeevil minions. Can he save his own hide, take down the King and get back to the present (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Black Knight.

How?! Jamal Walker is not serious. So when the medieval theme park he works at is threatened by a cooler, newer one he’s ready to jump ship and keep things flowing. That is until he falls into the moat and wakes up in the actual Middle Ages. Uh oh! At first he is mistaken for a messenger from France, while a lady of the castle is convinced that he is part of the rebellion hoping to reinstate the rightful queen to the throne that the eeevil King Leo stole with the help of his eeevil henchman Percival. He is treated to a feast where he busts some moves and smooches the princess only to inadvertently ruin a rebel assassination attempt much to the frustration of Victoria. As a reward Jamal is made a knight and everything goes swimmingly… that is until he is caught in bed with the princess. Uh oh! The marriage prospects of the princess ruined Jamal is set to be executed. Just before his execution he is rescued by a disgraced knight, Sir Knolte, at the behest of Victoria. At the rebel camp he is ready to get back to LA and heads for the moat, but ends up having a change of heart and returns to camp to find it in ruins and the rebel force decimated. Jamal musters up all the leadership he has and rouses the rebels for a fight and leads them into battle. Jamal himself is able to turn the tide posing as the Black Knight and ends up in direct contact with Percival. With the help of his friends (awww) he is able to win and the Queen is returned to the throne. Huzzah. Officially knighted he wants Victoria to return to LA with him but accidentally falls through time alone. With a new lease on life he turns the theme park around and makes serious strides in his professional life. Someone who looks a lot like Victoria *wink* even agrees to a date. Nice. He then inexplicably falls back through time to Ancient Rome… weird. THE END.

Why?! This is interesting only insofar as the setup for everything is so flimsy. Clearly meant to get Jamal to the Middle Ages as quickly and with as few questions asked (or answered) as possible. I wasn’t even sure what lesson Jamal was supposed to be learning by going back in time (there always has to be a lesson). Eventually you realize that he didn’t take life, his job, etc. seriously enough. Only by having to lead a revolt against the unrightful and eeeevil king is he able to learn the value of community and leadership and thus return to LA and take ownership and responsibility at his job (and quickly rise in the ranks as a result). Good for him.

Who?! We always note when we have a new President in a film. Here we have a new reigning King and then Queen of England. King Leo is the antagonist of the film. Interesting, since Leo wasn’t a common name for British Kings. Common in Armenia and like… The Kings of Leon, right? The Queen who takes back the throne at the end of the film is just credited as The Queen. Also weird that they reign from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere England apparently. Not much of a kingdom really.

What?! There is a bit of actual product placement at the front of the film and then Jamal is often making references to culture and stuff when he’s in the Middle Ages. But nothing that is necessary for the plot. It’s not like he fails miserably at inspiring the rebels only to realize that perhaps if he gave them a sip of a delicious, refreshing and yes, inspiring Coca-Cola, that they would rise to the occasion… in fact, note to self…

Where?! This is set in England. That is the extent of it. It doesn’t look like England, it doesn’t feel like England. It probably seems more like a Medieval Times than any part of Medieval England. Really the only way we know for sure that it’s in England is that they keep talking about Normandy and making fun of France. A-.

When?! We actually get an (approximate (likely (probably))) exact date on this guy. Confused and afraid, Jamal asks earnestly what the date is. It’s of course Sunday the 5th, silly. And he breathes a sigh of relief… oh… not 2001 (which presumably is August 5th, 2001… the only 5th that year that falls on a Sunday). It’s Sunday the 5th, 1328 (presumably September 5th, 1328… the only 5th that falls on a Sunday other than December and I mean, it wasn’t nearly cold enough for that). So yup, he left LA on August 5th, 2001 and landed in England on September 5th, 1328… case closed. A-.

At the start of the film I was pretty sure I was in for a rough night. The set up for him falling through time is nonexistent. It’s like they just wrote “Jamal ends up in the Middle Ages” on a sheet of paper and handed it to Martin Lawrence. It’s actually a wonder to see him make his way through full scenes without anything of substance to say or do. But once we were there and Jamal is both confused by his surroundings and employing all his people skills to simply survive, it’s actually a somewhat touching and amusing film. He is concerned for people who seem like they are unwell and covered in dirt. He’s titillated by all the ladies at the castle who seem to be there to serve him. And he’s enticed by the opportunities of knighthood after living without much opportunity in LA. It all unravels (and so does the film), but for a moment I was actually enjoying myself quite a bit. With as much grace as they started the film they ended it and it all crashed down in a terrible Monosklog, a kinda boring battle, and then a heartwarming ending. If only they didn’t have to have a beginning, middle, and end… if they could just have one long Martin Lawrence middle then they might have had something. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Man, the sequel to Big Momma’s House is WILD. I mean … Big Momma isn’t even in it! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Growing up on A Kid in King Arthur’s Court playing on television and I know that the film is likely to just be silly. But then I remember Big Momma’s House and how disjointed it is, and White Chicks and how … insance that film is, or Norbit and how unpleasant that film is and … there is an outside shot this film is absolutely awful in really weird ways. Only one way to find out though. What were my expectations? I’m hoping it is a disjointed delight like Big Momma’s, but I feel that it is going to be like A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (also qualified by the way).

The Good – The film is far more charming than it has any right to be. I think it is a testament to Martin Lawrence, who had transferred all of his manic energy from his stand-up and Martin directly into the Jamal character. I also personally appreciate how quickly they cut to the chase. There isn’t a huge amount of bookends to the film. It is like 10 minutes at the beginning setting up Jamal just kind of not caring about giving back to society, and then 5 minutes at the end to show how he changes. Easy peasy. The film isn’t funny, but it has a giant dance scene, so that’s fun. Best Bit – Martin Lawrence.

The Bad – The sheer number of sex and dick jokes in the film. It ends up just being too much. Jamal is stuck in like 1300s England, at risk of dying at any moment … but all he wants to do is smash that chambermaid and needle the king’s daughter about her sex life. The big monologue in the film (complete with outdated-at-the-time Rodney King reference) is really really bad. It ends up doing the opposite of the big monologue in Big Momma’s House, sinking the film, instead of tying it up in a big BMT Hall of Fame bow. The film isn’t funny, and ends up being unabashedly trite. Fatal Flaw – Too reliant on sex jokes.

The BMT – The film is ultimately too good to be on the same level as Big Momma’s House. It is also too linear, we very rarely get to see Jamal like … go and learn to joust, and then go and learn to sword fight, and then to the maypole or whatever. My point is, everything that allowed Big Momma’s House to transcend it’s reason for being and become a Hall of Fame BMT film is absent from this film. It was also absent from the other Big Momma films. It really is something quite special for comedies. This is just less than. Did it meet my expectations? No, in that it didn’t manage to roll into Big Momma territory, but yes in that that is what I expected. It is probably the same as A Kid in King Arthur’s Court or any of the number of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court adaptations.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Definitely a good Setting as a Character (Where?) film for England in general, and on a similar note a great Period Piece (When?) for taking place on an exact date in 1328. I don’t think there are good arguments for any of the others. There is a mysterious pendant, but that wouldn’t really qualify as anything unless Jamal had it taken from him the instant he was transported back in time, and then spent the entire film trying to get the inexplicably magically pendant back. I think it has the best shot at Good for the main superlatives.

StreetCreditReport.com – 2001 was a weird year because there weren’t really any lists of bad movies that year. I’m actually not sure if it predated the trend of online worst-of lists or what. I do think this is probably the best of the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court films, although it is likely one of the worst time travel comedies ever made. It mostly has cred for catching Martin Lawrence right around his Imperial Period. This might actually mark the turning point in Lawrence’s film career where his projects wouldn’t be immediately greenlit.

You Just Got Schooled – Now, I could have watched A Knight in Camelot starring Whoopi Goldberg, but I have plenty of time (and other films) I could do that with. It had occurred to me that despite seeing Martin a number of times somewhat randomly on Fox (and rerunning on cable channels) I had never really sat down and watched an episode. So I watched the pilot … it’s incredible. First, the show is actually quite good I think. Lawrence is manic and funny, and you can immediately see why he became a movie star in the late 90s/early 00s using the exact same formula. Second, Big Momma is in the show! Well, she isn’t fat, but Martin plays a number of characters in the show (interesting, considering it is a multi-camera sitcom filmed in front of a studio audience (I assume, it looks like it), including his own mother who has exactly the same mannerisms as Big Momma. The whole thing is a revelation in a way. Tisha Campbell is by far the best part of the show though, funny and a perfect foil to Martin’s silliness. I watched the pilot for Mad About You a few years ago and had a similar reaction, but it always surprises me how distinct sitcoms were in the 90s. In my mind they all kind of blend together, but naturally they all have their distinct hooks (in this case Lawrence playing multiple characters, and his trademark energy). A. I’m really liking going back and watching some of these old shows in the course of BMT.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Recap

Jamie

Totally filthy dancing is back, Jack! And this time it’s hot hot hot in Havana. When all-american girl (and total nerd) Katey is plopped in the middle of Havana on the eve of the Cuban Revolution she starts to feel the heat with Javier, a local who works at the hotel. Can she dance her heart out (and get the guy) before it’s too late? Find out in… Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

How?! Katey is a total nerd alert ready to crush it at college. That is until her dad gets a job in Cuba and they have to move during her senior year. Lame. Or is it? That’s because she pretty quickly catches the eye of a pretty rad dude. Unfortunately he turns out to be a total jerk. But she isn’t crying over spilled jerk (nailed it) cause she’s more into the waiter at the hotel, Javier, anyway. He’s nice and hard-working and moves to the groove like no one she’s ever seen (and that includes her ballroom champion parents). But nothing is going right because Javier is fired for hanging out with her! Oh no! Being poor and all he has to turn to a life of crime to support his family. Darn. But wait! What about the big dance competition where the winners get to go to America? Hooray! Training in secret (and with the help of her secret weapon, old Patrick Swayze) Katey and Javier dance their hearts out and to the shock and awe of all that know her (particularly her own parents) they make it to the finals on New Year’s Eve. Despite the angst this all creates, everyone learns to live and love again just in time for Katey and Javier to win the competition, right? Wrong! That’s because the Cuban Revolution literally happens in the middle of their routine. Katey is all like “Hooray! Viva la revolution!” but Javier knows what’s up and makes her realize that despite the fact that they’ll have to separate because of this international event, they will always have love and they will always have dance and they will always have the filthy steamy dirty memories of their dance. THE END. 

Why?! Love and dance, duh. But seriously, it’s weird, because Katey’s purpose is just like love and happiness. She’s trying to find herself as teens are wont to do and she finds that the rhythm of the beat evokes something stronger than all those nerd books ever did. But Javier is dealing with some shit. He’s trying to feed his family because his dad was killed by the government for sympathizing with the revolutionaries. So the idea of winning a dance contest and going to America is pretty sweet at first, but after the revolution not as much. It’s pretty intense and serious while Katey just goes back to America with her rich family afterwards… they are operating in two totally different worlds.

Who?! Obvs the big one is The Swayz cameo. He appears only for a bit and comes off a little differently in the role of old man briefly encouraging a young woman to dance while covered in sweat. Rather than in the original where he was an old man constantly encouraging a young woman to dance while covered in sweat. We also have a big performance by Mya during the main dance scene that kinda counts as a musician turned actress.

What?! Generally speaking I anticipate a difficult time for this section in the upcoming cycle. Past and Future films aren’t necessarily focused on delivering timely product placements. This one is slightly different in that at the time there was some press regarding a pretty intense integrated marketing campaign by Revlon. There are some appropriately silly names for the different shades of nail polish and the like… Pink Cha-Cha-Cha. Ooof.

Where?! A+ Setting Alert. They say Havana Nights and they mean Havana Nights. There is actually no moment that doesn’t take place in Havana. No scene of them moving from America. No nothing. Havana all day and all night, dancing to the rhythm of the city… Havana. A+. Weird part was that I knew this was actually shot in Puerto Rico. How? Because I recognized some of the locations from the Keanu Reeves film Replicas.

When?! Somewhere in that same city on the same night of the big dance competition is Michael Corleone. That too depicted the fall of the Batista regime on December 31st, 1958. I think the question on everyone’s mind is who wore the Cuban Revolution best? The Godfather Part II or Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Scientists contend we may never know. Those scientists? Us. A.

There is a charm to this film. The dancing is quite steamy and I really did find myself rooting for the characters to find happiness with each other through dance. If that sounds cheesy that’s because it is. The entire thing is a cheesefest. So while it’s not a particularly good movie (it probably had more of a place on ABC Family) you can’t help but find yourself lulled into a sense of comfort by the cheese. That is until it all explodes at the end with the Cuban Revolution. Why they even felt the need to set the film in 1958 (somehow making this a prequel to the original film) with a nonsensical cameo by The Swayz (let’s call him the estranged father of Swayze’s character from the original) is almost beyond explanation. Just set it in current day Miami and you got everything you need. Namely sweaty steamy dirty filthy dancing. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When’s a sequel not a sequel? When it is a low-key remake where the original star appears as a different character? Whatever, I still call it Dirty Dancing 2. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – After watching both Dirty Dancing films (both? What, you don’t remember the ABC original remake? It was really really bad) we somehow sidestepped the sequel-remake set in Cuba. A period piece and destination sequel? Yes please. I went into this with little knowledge about the film beyond that Patrick Swayze appears in a cameo. What were my expectations? I think this was supposed to be one of the worst sequels ever made. Anything less than a complete catastrophe would be a disappointment.

The Good – The dancing (besides being wholly inappropriate for a 50s teenager to partake in … wait, am I getting old?) is indeed hot and sexy. While you can kind of tell Diego Luna and Romola Garai were just taught how to dance right before filming, the dancing at times is still pretty cool. And unlike the original Dirty Dancing film they replace the somewhat uncomfortable central relationship (how old was Patrick Swayze supposed to be again?) and abortion story, with a charming innocence of Luna and a backdrop of the Cuban Revolution. While the movie is a shadow of the original, I take that trade ten times out of ten. Best Bit – The dancing is better than one would expect.

The Bad – The movie is a television movie pretending to be a theatrical feature. From involving a ton of television actors, to trying to build a teaching moment around the Cuban Revolution, and overall just exuding innocence. If the original was as chaste as this film is, I’m not sure it is as big of a cult film as it is. The main actress is pretty rough, slipping into a pretty obvious British accent on occasion. Finally, I don’t know whether this is a good-bad thing or just a bad thing, but the final scene in which our protagonist is flabbergasted that Luna wants to stay in Cuba after the revolution is great. It is both extremely real concerning the naivety of a teenager, and extremely hilarious in just how dumb she seems. Fatal Flaw – Television film.

The BMT – We’ve now watched all of the Dirty Dancing films! USA! USA! So including Lifetime/ABC originals I’ve managed to complete both Dirty Dancing and The Blue Lagoon in the last few months. My self-learning is getting out of control! I think for Cuba and remake-sequels this film will always have a place in the history of BMT. What more could you want. Did it meet my expectations? Nope, I truly expected this film to be a catastrophe. For some reason I thought this film was going to be like … ultra-sexy early-00s weirdness? But it is actually (much like The Blue Lagoon) the exact opposite of that, bizarrely chaste given the material. I kind of want the gross too-sexy version, but maybe we’ll find that in one of the many Step Up sequels in the future.

Roastra-damus – Who What Where When Why How – Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Cuba. Indeed, it is a double dose of Cuba and the temporal setting in that the climax of the film takes place during the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959. But that also makes it a Secret Holiday Film (When?) as the original dance competition takes place on Christmas Eve 1958 (at least around then), and the final round of the competition is on New Years’ Eve, and the night in which the Cuban Revolution kicked off. I do think those are the only superlatives it has a chance on. Bet chance on Good in the end.

StreetCreditReport.com – Ended up being named a top 25 worst Sequel ever which is pretty solid cred. Which speaks to the film’s cred in general. It is a not-really-sequel to a pretty beloved cult film. No matter how okay the film was, there was always going to be an impression that it was a disaster. Possibly the worst film set in Cuba ever made? But yeah, as is typically for certain years, the official cred is a little difficult to find.

You Just Got Schooled – Naturally, after watching Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, I was itching to see some more sexy dancing in Cuba. And Michael Mann’s Miami Vice bizarrely fits the bill perfectly. Despite the fact that I find cops-worship films pretty distasteful, there is something incredibly alluring about this film. I think it is because, despite being pretty trashy, the main characters still exude a weird charm. And the vistas and boats are beautiful, and everyone is just pouring sweat throughout the film … it is so fake-real that I can’t look away. Pretty long, and the characters mumble all of their lines, but I still couldn’t help but like it. I don’t know why! Is my brain broken? As promised Colin Ferrell and Gong Li go to Havana to get a Mojito and dance the night away. Ultimately, I think Miami Vice shows why Mann’s career stalled in the mid-00s, and predicts the failure of Public Enemies three years later. B-. Liked it, but I don’t know why.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Whiteout Recap

Jamie

Carrie Stetko is a US Marshall assigned to an Antarctic scientific base. She’s ready to retire after serving out her time in the remote outpost, but just before the base closes for the winter she is confronted by a murder. Soon everyone is a suspect and a storm is closing in. Can she solve the case and take down the bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Whiteout.

How?! Carrie Stetko is a US Marshall whose heart is just not in it since a tragic incident earlier in her career. She has isolated herself by taking an assignment in Antarctica, but with another dark winter (and inopportune major storm) on the horizon, she’s decided to retire. That is until a dead body (literally) falls out of the sky. Tracking down where this body came from she starts to piece together a crazy situation involving a remote research outpost and long missing Soviet diamonds. As she gets closer, with the help of a dashing UN security agent and a pilot, a killer starts after her trying to make sure the diamonds get on the last plane out of Antarctica and she doesn’t! She’s nearly stabbed, shot, and trapped in a plane buried in the snow, but this all only brings out the best in Carrie. It may be freezing outside, but suddenly she’s got the burning desire to solve crimes and take down the baddies. This all culminates in the capture and killing of one of the other pilots. But something doesn’t sit right when it turns out that that pilot unknowingly was trying to escape with a jar full of jellybeans instead of diamonds. Saboteur! There must be a co-conspirator. Look no further than Carrie’s own friend, Dr. Fury. He admits to the crime and decides to end his own life by walking into the storm rather than be arrested. Flash forward to where Carrie has rescinded her resignation and is ready for some new assignments. Am I smelling a sequel? (hint: I’m not). THE END.

Why?! There is a little juice to Carrie’s motivation (besides crushing crime and subduing criminals left and right). That’s because she lacks confidence and belief in herself ever since her partner betrayed her and she was forced to shoot him in the line of duty. So really she’s searching for herself and solving this crime is a way to prove to herself that she’s still got it. As for Dr. Fury, well he has a classic bad guy motivation. After years of low pay and a shit assignment in Antarctica he sees the diamonds as a way to finally get his in this unjust world. Unfortunately he didn’t account for the mega-sleuthing abilities of Carrie Stetko.

Who?! There really isn’t much to note for this so I will mostly just note my surprise that Gabriel Macht played a UN security agent in the film. Back in the 80’s and 90’s the UN showed up in a lot of action films as a global body of incredible power, often dictating exactly how the world is to respond to an international disaster. Which is funny. Case in point, Street Fighter where JCVD plays Guile, no longer in the Air Force but rather part of the U.N… OK, fine, he’s part of the A.N., but it’s the same thing. Get off my back.

What?! There is a lot of food talk in this film given that the people at the base can’t ever leave, so variety seems limited. I’m sure there are some interesting products throughout the film along those lines, but the only one I remember is the fact that when they crack open the case that’s supposed to contain the diamonds they just find a bunch of what are clearly Jelly Belly’s. They really should have had one of the characters pick one up, pop it in their mouth and then spit it out and say with a grimace “black licorice.” Would have really brought it home.

Where?! Antarctica, baby, with a little flashback to Miami. If we were to make a mapl.de.map for BMT films that truly embodied a location then I think this might beat out AvP. AvP being set in Antarctica is just some weird shit. This, though, is ‘Artica (as the kids call it) through and through. In fact… this probably should have been called Antarctica and gotten the full A+. Missed opportunity. A.When?! Interesting exact date on this guy. Kate Beckinsale hacks into the mainframe and checks some flight logs for the day she thinks the original body would have been dumped (which have been *gasp* erased). The day in question? Right around Valentine’s Day! Is this a Super Secret Holiday Film Alert? Seems so. Although a previous scene suggests that it might be early March (which kinda makes more sense for when the researchers would have to leave the base for the winter) so methinks that not everyone was on the same page for this one. B.

When?! Interesting exact date on this guy. Kate Beckinsale hacks into the mainframe and checks some flight logs for the day she thinks the original body would have been dumped (which have been *gasp* erased). The day in question? Right around Valentine’s Day! Is this a Super Secret Holiday Film Alert? Seems so. Although a previous scene suggests that it might be early March (which kinda makes more sense for when the researchers would have to leave the base for the winter) so methinks that not everyone was on the same page for this one. B.

I swear when I started this film my mind began to chant “It’s not that bad” in hot anticipation. I was digging the vibe and I was ready for them to bring it home in a freezing hot climax that would knock the socks off of BMT. Unfortunately they couldn’t do it and it fell apart in the face of a ludicrously predictable ending. I was ready to forgive the consistently terrible acting as long as it could land the finale. Alas, it was not to be. That stumble alone kinda took it right into nomansland when it comes to BMT. It’s good enough to imagine throwing on the TV, but bad enough that I would never recommend it to someone. And not really BMT in any way (unless people find it funny to know who the killer is about 1/6th of the way through a film). As for Black Eagle, I was really surprised at how competent the otherwise poorly regarded martial arts film was. Usually those types of films can end up quite boring when they fall flat. And the IMDb score certainly made me think that it would. But I really didn’t mind watching it at all. Add in a genuinely interesting (and dare I say good?) bad guy role for Jean Claude Van Damme and I think I actually would recommend the film to people. JCVD should have been a bad guy more often. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When you want those thrillz, but you also need those chillz, but like, in a cooooool Antarctica way, who you gonna call? That’s right, super cool (literally) U.S. Marshal Kate Beckinsale. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – As a rare film set in Antarctica this was always on our radar. Otherwise I literally knew nothing about it going in which was fun. I could have guessed it was about thrills and chills as a murderer strikes in Antarctica, but I couldn’t have named anything about it. As a matter of fact I was pretty shocked to learn they were legit at the actual South Pole! That’s fun. What were my expectations? Thrillz. In reality my expectations were that it was going to be a generic thriller. It turns out that screenwriters exhausted all possibilities for thrillers by 2002 … that’s a joke, but sometimes it feels that way.

The Good – The setting does, in fact, work wonders for the film. Ends up being super spooky, and allows for real danger in the simple act of investigation. That is something taken for granted in a normal crime thriller, the hero who has enough brains and gumption to solve the case. Here, you have to have brains, gumption, and a healthy dose of self-preservation. That’s pretty cool. Spoilies, but it is also rather excellent that they took the risk to have the protagonist lose two of her fingers to frostbite in the film. It left a solid sense of the consequences hanging over the murders that Beckinsale gets saddled with on her last day at the South Pole (she’s about to retire! Amazing that that trope is actually used here). Best Bit – Antarctica setting.

The Bad – This film is an incredibly generic thriller. If not for that I think I might have gone with it being a true It’s-Not-That-Bad BMT film. A psychologically broken woman about to quit the force catches one last case, the masked murderer hunts her in an effort to hide his crimes, it turns out a good friend was involved the whole time. Yeah, that might be the storyline in about a dozen major films, and countless cheesy police procedurals by 2004. It completely sinks the film since understandably the entire thing becomes hopelessly predictable. There are only ever two possible suspects! At least some of this is likely because it is based on a graphic novel, but that isn’t really an excuse. Fatal Flaw – Generic.

The BMT – I think the only real record this will have in the history of BMT is that it is set in Antarctica. But to be honest, if this ended up being on randomly when I was chilling with some friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon or something? Yeah, maybe I leave it on? It is pretty fun in the end, kind of like the first Alex Cross film (Kiss the Girls), the performances and setting is just good enough to be really fun I think. Did it meet my expectations? Sadly I suppose, yes. It was as generic as one would have expected. Which is too bad because it isn’t nearly as bad as one might think, a normal generic thriller.

Roast-radamus – Definitely a strong Product Placement (What?) with the cold weather gear being used. In particular there are plenty of Northface all over this film. Huuuuuuuge Setting as a Character (Where?) for Antarctica. In some ways you could argue the real murderer was Mother Nature and the continent of Antarctica … one could argue that. Great Super Secret Holiday Film (When?) for Valentine’s Day! There is a shot where it pretty clearly indicates that it is either February 14th or 15th in 2007 (if the days are to be believed). Had to be intentional. Solid MacGuffin (Why?) in that there is a whole preamble set during the Cold War concerning a mysterious downed Russian airplane, which ultimately results in a bounty of diamonds that kicks off the murders. And finally a very bad Worst Twist (How?) for the “reveal” that the murderer’s accomplice is none other (and inevitably) Beckinsale’s doctor friend played by Tom Skerritt. That is an incredible set of superlatives, and I think it has an okay shot at the Good award as well in my opinion.

StreetCreditReport.com – Interesting this is very much not the worst film set in Antarctica as I would say Alien vs. Predator takes that crown … while looking that up it has occurred to be that Alien vs. Predator also came out in 2004. That’s pretty weird. Antarctica ended up having a major thriller and horror film set there in 2004. I wonder if that was the moment that people realized they could do an entire film in CGI for the backgrounds, and thus setting a film in Antarctica became feasible. Also weird because both were based on graphic novels, although it seems like the Alien vs. Predator comics weren’t set in Antarctica. Anyways, not much cred, just an amazing coincidence.

Bring a Friend Analysis – In a white/black motif, we watched Black Eagle alongside Whiteout this week. One of the first Van Damme films. So early in his career he was still playing the bad guy (Bloodsport was released about a month prior to this which obviously made him into a leading man). I’m genuinely shocked at the reception for this film. It isn’t good by any measure, but it has like a 3.8 on IMDb which is incredibly low. I thought Van Damme was actually really good in the film. And the storyline, in real James Bond spy convolution, is complicated, and yet this terrible direct-to-video film manages to keep the events relatively coherent. The cons for the film are basically that Shō Kosugi has a lot of trouble with English. It could have used a dub I think. I don’t think it is a good film, but I think for a martial arts spy film … it’s better than Gymkata right?! So I don’t really get the rating. The film is a bit too boring to recommend beyond for those looking to complete Van Damme’s filmography. C+, a bit too boring, but is a fine martial arts spy film I think.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Darkest Hour (2011) Recap

Jamie

Sean and Ben are aspiring tech bros traveling to Moscow to sell their new social media app. Unfortunately while getting their tech stolen there is also an alien invasion and they must fight for their lives (along with a few other lucky survivors). Can they learn how to beat the seemingly invincible aliens (and maybe find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… The Darkest Hour.

How?! Sean and Ben are totes ready to expand their big new social media travel app (that hopefully will also help them snag some chicks… tight) to Russia. Despite having a fully functional app with actual users, they still manage to get their app entirely stolen by the Russian company somehow. Despondent they head to a rad Moscow bar where they meet up with some hot chicks, Natalie and Anne, using their (or not, I guess) app. Drinking their worries away, they have a great time until some glowy orange things start to descend from the sky. Everyone is like, ‘cooool’, that is until the glowy things start disintegrating people. Hiding for several days, they manage to evade the initial onslaught along with the Swedish dude who stole their app (what a coincidence!). Creeping around Moscow they come to realize that the aliens are totally invisible (except that they make electrical equipment go wild when their energy field touches them) and can’t see through glass. This knowledge allows them to make it to the American embassy where they realize that there has been a global invasion and a submarine rescue is planned for survivors. At that point they start getting picked off one-by-one as they meet up with a crazy inventor survivor, who has a theory on how to kill the aliums, and start to make their way to the submarine. They get rescued by a survivalist militia who agree to help them. On the way Ben is killed and Natalie is separated from the group. Sean begs for help to save her and with the help of the submariners are able to figure out how to start killing the aliens. In a climactic battle they are able to take out a number of the baddies and save Natalie. The survivalists vow to use the knowledge in the new war against the aliens and Sean and Natalie head off into the sunset on their submarine dream machine. THE END.

Why?! Survival, duh. Per usual, the motivation of the good guys is so pure that it’s almost boring. More interesting is the motivation for why the aliens have invaded Earth. In this case it’s the well-worn idea that the aliens need Earth for its sweet sweet natural resources and humans are just an extraneous nuisance that must be exterminated. Not so fast, Aliums! You underestimate the human race.

Who?! As the beginning of Crimson Tide tells us, one of the most powerful men in the world is a submarine captain. It certainly seems like this film had one such powerful man, however it’s a little hard to tell from the credits who that is. I think perhaps the character was given the name Anton Batkin? Really need to make this more clear… I mean… he’s a pretty powerful man.

What?! Add this to the list of Faraday cage related films we’ve watched (looking at you, Transcendence). On top of that there was also a whole article about how 2011 was the year of the tourism product placement where it seemed like every film released was set in a new and interesting location. But really the real winner of this film was the oft forgotten Hollywood Badass Bar. We don’t get to talk about it much but these bars are far too bright, far too quiet, and super “cool” in a “girls dancing in a cage” kind of way. And this one had a really nice example.

Where?! Russia for days. It’s funny to see that article about tourism product placement because most of what I learned about Russia from this film is that people steal your sweet IP, you mostly just meet other Americans, and aliums fall from the sky. Not the most ringing of endorsements in my opinion. A.

When?! I have no idea. I wonder if there is more indication of when this took place than I think, just because I really wasn’t paying attention. Def not Xmas, no matter what the tagline led us to believe, though. They would have been freezing if that were the case. So tagline, you lied. F… for now.

It’s hard to really like a film whose main character seems like a terrible person and never really acknowledges that fact… he just kinda wins and gets the girl and that’s fine because obviously it’s better that he beats the aliums. But it also seems like a little carry over from a time when tech bros were all the rage and, well, that hasn’t aged well as of late. Add on top that the CGI only held up as long as the aliens were virtually invisible (not a great sign) and we were looking at what felt like a prequel… or sequel… or concurrent-quel to Skyline that was similarly interesting to watch in a trainwreck kind of way. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! When some baaaaaaaad ‘tricity comes down from the clouds in Moscow, whatchu gonna do? Run to that submarine, you know it! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – For real we’ve almost done this film like ten times in BMT history. It was one of the worst reviewed films of 2011, the year we started BMT, but prior to when we like … spent money on watching recent films or even really organized things in a coherent fashion. And it almost got bumped again. But finally, we’re going to watch this film about … aliens I think. They’re bad electricity or something. At the time I remember being rather confused about it. What were my expectations? I was hoping for a crap Independence Day knock off and not much more. Set Independence Day in Russia and that’s what I hoped this film was.

The Good – Parts of this film play like a video game. They get a microwave gun, and can freeze the enemies with it. They can then use water to chain the freeze mechanism across multiple aliens, etc. It is precisely the kind of thing you’d see in a video game … makes you wonder why they didn’t just do that? Have they? They could actually try and do the opposite. Make the good video game after the terrible movie adaptation. That would be a new one. Other than that the setting is pretty fun all things considered. And there is a submarine which is always very very fun. Cool gadgets and a submarine? That’s a bit more than I expected from the film. Best Bit – The alien design.

The Bad – Absolutely terrible CGI. Despite a cool and innovative alien design, it suffers from some of the worst CGI you’ll see in a BMT film and that is saying something. Emile Hirsch has a redemption arc in the film that is fully undeserved. It is made abundantly clear that he’s flakey and kind of a dick. Instead of holding a mirror up to him to show his previous attitude as dangerous, it instead decides to double down by revealing that he’s actually a genius and just the right kind of street smart to get their group through the mess they are in … wha? If you can ignore how cheap the film looks, then that is really what sinks it, especially once they kill off multiple much better characters. Fatal Flaw – Deplorable main character.

The BMT – We had to eventually do this film. It came out at a perfect time for BMT, less than a year after we started, we had matured our formula a bit … and yet we just didn’t do it. Well we finally have. And it’ll stand in a pantheon for some of the worst alien invasion films we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a few), and some of the worst CGI we’ve seen as well. Plus I don’t think it’ll get supplanted as a worst Russia-set film anytime soon. That’s some sweet BMTness right there. Did it meet my expectations? It kind of did. I was surprised that the alien design didn’t suck more, but it more than made up for it by spending maybe $10 dollars on CGI to bring that vision to life. So yeah, really just dumb enough for me to find enjoyable.

Roast-radamus – Definitely some solid Product Placement (What?) with McDonald’s getting featured multiple times while panning over a devastated Moscow. Obviously a good Setting as a Character (Where?) for Russia in general, and Moscow specifically. There are multiple references to “Welcome to Russia” and the Russian attitude. I think there is an okay argument for the single-minded pursuit of getting to the submarine as a kind of MacGuffin (Why?) in the context of the film.

StreetCreditReport.com – This one isn’t really mentioned anywhere. Probably because it was kind of buried in early early 2012. Once you get into that January releases you won’t make the lists which will be compiled in mid-December. Besides that I’m a bit shocked no one seemed to put it on a list of worst alien invasion films. It certainly feels like one of the worst alien invasion films ever made.

You Just Got Schooled – I was quite pleased with myself here in that I was racking my brain trying to think of an equivalent “good” version of this film. I finally settled on The War of the Worlds from 1953, and it turned out to basically be a perfect analogue. Weird aliens descend suddenly on Earth, humanity is overrun in the face of what appears to be impenetrable alien defenses, humanity solves the issue … fine in this case, spoiler, it turns out the aliens can’t live on Earth due to not having immunity to any of our diseases (apropos indeed!). If you like the pacing of 50s films this is one of the better ones I’ve seen. The entire thing operates as a thought experiment on how scientists and the military might respond to an attack from an unknown and formidable opponent. A-, would highly recommend especially if you’ve seen the Spielberg version, but again, it has 50s pacing and effects.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Blame it on Rio Recap

Jamie

Blame it on Riiioooooooo. When his wife leaves him on the cusp of a vacation to Rio with his business partner, Matthew Hollis is crestfallen. But not enough to stop him from having a brief love affair with his friend’s teenage daughter. Uh oh! Can he explain himself (answer: no), blame it on Rio, and get his wife back before it’s too late? Find out in… Blame it on Rio.

How?! Matthew Hollis is ready to go on a beautiful vacation to Rio with his wife, daughter, best friend Victor, and his seventeen year old daughter Jennifer. They just need to have a little fun seeing as Victor’s in the middle of a nasty divorce. On the verge of the trip Matthew is shocked to find that his wife has booked a separate vacation in order to think their marriage over. Devastated, he heads to Rio in a somber mood. While Victor is dead-set on sowing his wild oats in this paradise, Matthew finds every excuse to get out of it. This results in him spending time with Jennifer at a wedding during which they end up having sex. Disgusted with himself he tells Jennifer that is was a giant mistake, but she reveals that she’s in love with him and continues to make advances toward him which Matthew is somehow unable to resist (maybe he’s really dumb… that’s the kindest way I can interpret this). He tries every way to try to hide/end the love affair with Jennifer eventually culminating in Jennifer telling her father about an older lover who has broken her heart. Enraged, Victor recruits Matthew to help find this terrible pervert. Just when this sham is about to result in violence against an innocent man, Matthew reveals that he is in fact the terrible pervert. Shamed, Matthew and Victor plan to end their vacation when Matthew’s wife shows up. She is shocked by the revelation, but also inadvertently reveals her own affair with Victor! Jennifer attempts to kill herself (with birth control pills, guffaw) and everyone is really sad… until Jennifer shows up with a more age-appropriate lover and they all look at each other and laugh and laugh and laugh and decide to go back to the status quo. THE END.

Why?! When trying to describe the motivations of the characters of this film you can only conclude that the entire venture is morally bankrupt. While Matthew is certainly portrayed as dopey and weak-willed, Jennifer is alternately portrayed as manipulative and mentally unstable. This puts even more blame on Matthew for taking advantage of Jennifer, but the film does nothing to put this point across. Instead it slowly turns Matthew into a sympathetic figure, driven to the affair by his own wife’s affair combined with his inability to resist Jennifer’s advances. It is unpleasant.

Who?! Probably the most bizarre aspect of the film is the music. It is off the hook. Check out the title song. Now you’re probably all like, ‘what a weird song,’ and be done with it. But how about this little factoid: the female singer? Lisa Roberts Gillan… Julia Roberts’ older sister. This would have been just a few years before Julia broke out in Hollywood, which makes sense as Lisa’s only a couple years older than her.

What?! In what is probably the only fairly amusing aspect of the film, Matthew’s own teenage daughter is left to her own devices as he carries on an affair with Jennifer. She is shown escalating her risky behavior from staying out a bit too late to hang gliding off a cliff. So I deem this a Secret Sports Film and a great entry in the hang gliding film canon. Harold and Kumar is obviously high on the list along with Escape from LA… in fact I think this calls for a 10-episode podcast series.

Where?! Rio, baby! This is truly a maximum A+ setting given the fact that the location is the entire crux of the plot. I mean, if you couldn’t blame all the criminal things you do on Rio then how could they have even possibly conceived of such a film? Not possible. It hits rarified air along with films like, oh, I don’t know. Manhattan. Just pulling that one out of thin air.

When?! I don’t recall a specific time that this takes place. Let me google “best time to vacation in Rio.” Hmmm, it suggests that between December and March is prime time to hit the beach… well, they hit the beach so let’s pencil that in. It also says around that year-around the samba beats are irresistible. So that’s not super helpful. Hmmm, I’m tempted for an A, but I think an F is the best I can give this.

It’s hard to describe Blame it on Rio without feeling like you are taking part in something unseemly. Every aspect seems to be geared towards portraying Matthew as the unwitting prey of seventeen-year-old Jennifer’s web of sexual intrigue. He is presented as redeemable and is in fact redeemed from the viewpoint of the film by the end. It gives vibes of Lolita, which have been interpreted in similar ways over the years, and yet here they seem to have crystalized that sentiment and not left it up for interpretation. For that I can understand why even in the moment critics were appalled. Add on top that the film is cheesy (particularly the music, which can only be appreciated somewhat ironically), lacking any interesting plot and any positive aspects of the film can never, ever make up for the plot itself. It is bad and I would never recommend anyone watch it. Let it continue to fade into time until it disappears. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Blame it on Rio? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This was a weird one. I think the allure of the film overall is the A+ setting (which promised vistas of many kinds … get it? I’m talking about boobs). But also that the storyline of this film is obviously quite distasteful. A 50-year-old Michael Caine is hooking up with his friend’s teenaged daughter? Greeeeeeeeeeat. If not for Chain Reaction we might have just sidestepped this one for all of time … but here we are instead. What are my Expectations? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes pretty much sums that up. For real I just kind of assumed this was going to be gross. Much less chaste than The Blue Lagoons.

The Good – Weirdly, I kind of agree with Maltin in that Caine is quite good in the film. I thought this was a film where Caine just phoned it in, but no, we would be nominated for Educating Rita only weeks after this was released. The acting is pretty good overall. So are the vistas, the setting is pretty great in the end. Are there still bedroom farces these days? Seems like they morphed into erotic thrillers in the 90s. And then later there were things like This is 40, and The Break Up, which is more dramatic and about life in general. Teen sex romps are maybe the closest, and those kind of died and morphed into things like The Kissing Booth. Sexy comedies are a weird animal, I should probably watch a few of the classic French examples at some point. Best Bit – Caine.

The Bad – I think the moment the phrase “this aged poorly” was invented right after someone watched this film. It is basically an exercise in jumping through hoops trying to legitimatize a 50 year old having sex (multiple times … over and over) with his friend’s 17 year old daughter. It is gross. It doesn’t feel like the film is sex positive, it feels like it is painting something problematic with a veneer of “she wants it” and it makes me very unforgettable and I hated watching this film. There isn’t actually anything else that makes the movie bad, that’s it. It is completely torpedoed by the premise. It feels like both of the female leads are uncomfortable in the topless scenes, which makes the statements made by the director surrounding the release pretty gross as well. Fatal Flaw – Gross premise.

The BMT – Ooooof. I can’t wait to forget this film entirely. While I think eventually I’ll look into Bedroom Farces a bit more, and I’m definitely getting more interested in 60s and 70s French cinema (which I think this is really reflective of that, as the original film was from the 70s). But otherwise I don’t think I’ll really remember this as a BMT film at all. Did it meet my expectations? Unlike The Blue Lagoon this did live up to the promise of being super outdated and gross as was expected. So yes, in that way I suppose it did meet my expectations.

Roast-radamus – Who What Where When Why How – Definite Setting as a Character (Where?). Both an A+ setting and, quite literally, you are intended to blame all of the gross misadventures on the character of “Rio” so … yeah fits the bill. Perhaps a small Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Bologna and Caine’s wife are having an affair? Definitely a huge contender for Bad though in the end, perhaps leading at the turn.

StreetCreditReport.com – I can’t find any lists with this on it. I think it is an example of a studio burying it in the winter. Perhaps back in the day that used to work, because almost all of the lists I found (like the Siskel and Ebert episode) seem to focus almost exclusively on films that came out in that summer (which also appears to have been notorious for being a particularly bad summer for movies? Hard to tell). Anyways, the only real cred is a Razzie nomination for Michelle Johnson for Worst New Star … and its gross premise of course. Probably the worst film set in Rio? I think it is a pretty decent bet.

You Just Got Schooled – Speaking of Educating Rita. Released just a few months prior to Blame it on Rio, it was Caine’s third Best Actor nomination, and seemed well deserved. Both him and Julie Walters are great in the film. You can feel how it was intended to be blocked as a play set solely in Caine’s character’s Trinity office. I loved seeing the 80s Dublin, but it does seem like it could have been more effective using the original structure of the play. In a way the statement is ironic considering there is a whole discussion within the film about how one puts on a play using a story originally intended for radio. Anyways, I loved the film, and the idea of wanting to not necessarily sing a “better tune”, but a “different tune” in life is pleasantly thought provoking. A. I won’t give it a plus, because my brain is broken and I thought the film was maybe a bit too long.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Return to the Blue Lagoon Recap

Jamie

Lilli and Richard are a couple of crazy kids marooned on a tropical island. Fending for themselves they grow up together and eventually (beautifully, magically, truly, madly, and deeply) fall in love and start boning. Will they get rescued and ruin their perfect tropical utopia… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… The Return to the Blue Lagoon.

How?! Picking up right where we left off in the last movie, Richard, Em and little Paddy are found in their drifting boat by a passing ship. Em and Richard have finished their mortal journey, but the child is alive. Hooray. Brought on board everything is wonderful… psych! This ship is totes filled with cholera and the kid is left with a mother and her child Lilli adrift in a small boat with a nasty sailor. Kicking that jokester to the curb, the mom and kids sail their way to the beautiful, natural blue lagoon and start living it up in the fun tree house from the first film. Growing up together they are super into god and each other and surviving. The mom dies of pneumonia and through the years Lilli and Richard grow up together and Lilli is into Richard and Richard is into Lilli, but they don’t know how to express that. Being all macho he’s like, whatever I’ll even go to the other side of the island where we aren’t supposed to go. There he sees the religious rituals of the visiting natives (thank god, we’ll finally get that resolution from the first film) and Lilli is super worried. Returning to camp they make up and make out and their natural love blossoms and it’s beautiful. They get married (obvs) and bone for the next couple months, but then are surprised when a passing ship stops in for fresh water. The captain is intrigued by the half educated, half ignorant kids and the captain’s daughter is intrigued by Richard’s sweet muscles and one of the sailors is intrigued by pearls and shiny objects. This all culminates in jealousy by Lilli and an attempted assault by the sailor, which Richard fends off. They ultimately decline the rescue and have a baby and live happily ever after. THE END.

Why?! Why is the sky blue? Why does the sun shine? Why is life? All these things just are. Like this film. It just is and Lilli and Richard are just meant to bone naturally and beautifully for all eternity. Forever and ever. Amen.

Who?! Going back to the well. Young Richard is played by none other than Garette Henson… who? WHO?! That’s Guy Germaine from the Mighty Ducks. The very Guy who is dating Connie Moreau. He’s a legend. Interestingly the very same year he portrayed a young Richard in this film he also portrayed the young Tom Kimball (aka the President) in 1990’s Captain America. This dude had beautiful natural love on an island with Milla Jovovich, dated Connie Moreau for Team USA/The Mighty Ducks, and was president. My lord.

What?! It’s crazy in this one when that case of cold, refreshing Coca-Cola washes up on shore and Richard takes a sip and says “Our love isn’t the only natural, beautiful thing on this island any more.” It’s crazy. Besides that though, we still don’t get any damned resolution with those natives. They even get a bit kinder in this one, no longer practicing human sacrifice and pleasantly interacting with Richard. Time must have softened them.

Where?! South Pacific for days. They are even a little clearer in this one talking about how weird it is that the island is not on a map. All this despite the fact that it’s a source of fresh water in the Pacific. I think perhaps the implication is that those pesky natives are killing all the people who stop in there (although we’ve never seen that in all the people that have visited)… or perhaps this is all some big religious allegory and it’s purgatory and Lost ripped this movie off. Who knows.

When?! This one at least gives up an intertitle in the beginning to let us know that we are in the year 1897 and the previous film took place in 1882-1897. Phew. That also means that by the time it got to the end of this film it was what? 1912… maybe a little later. Bros, World War I is about to start. Just stay there and wait it out. But maybe when WWII is going full tilt and you’re like 50 it might be time to jet. C.

It’s no accident that the synopsis of this film is more or less the same shit sandwiched between slightly different slices of bread. I was shocked at just how dire a SECOND viewing of what is essentially the same story would feel to me. Milla Jovovich was beautiful, but she was super unpolished (even sporting a slight Russian accent at this point) and Brian Krause was somehow worse! They even managed to make an already super dumb love story dumber by tying it closer to the Christian concepts only hinted at in the first one. It was hard to imagine that I would come out of this film (which had a much more interesting beginning and end than the first film) thinking it was worse than The Blue Lagoon, but I did. This film was terrible. It served no purpose and we should not have watched it. Thank god next week we have *checks notes* Blame it on Rio… my god. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Do you know what I thought when I left the Blue Lagoon? When can I Return to the Blue Lagoon?! Because it was great, I mean, the vistas! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Ah there we are. The sequel is much more well known I think for being a catastrophe. Also somewhat notably a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with 30 reviews (that is 15th most reviews for a 0% film, that is pretty nuts). So at the very least I had high expectations for this film being terrible. What were my expectations? I wanted just absolutely terrible acting combined with basically the same ludicrous (and pretty grossly exploitative) storyline as the first. Please, just make it a garbage fire. Please.

The Good – I think the last act is slightly more effective than in the first film. Nothing happened in the first film. At least here one of the two interesting things happen: either the heroes meet the natives of the island, or meet people from civilization again. They went with the latter, and it was fine. It is mostly what you would hope it would be from that perspective. Then, once again, the vistas are solid, you can’t go wrong with Fiji as a filming location. Otherwise it is pretty incompetant top to bottom.

The Bad – The acting is crazy crazy bad. You can kind of forgive Jovovich, she very clearly still has a vaguely Eastern European accent. It isn’t thick or anything, but there is just a twang with how she says some words where you can tell she had a slight accent she was trying to cover. Brian Krause though was really really bad, and it sinks the middle bit of the film. The religious undertones to this film are off the chain. You can argue the first film is some vague allegory to the Garden of Eden. Here, they literally stop, and juuuuust before they have sex for the first time, they both agree they should get married. It makes sense in the context of the story maybe, but it is just so weird in the context of what you expect going into the film. Nothing says “natural love” like … Victorian religious undertones? The inevitability of them remaining on the island due to the threat of rape by the sailors is also quite distateful I think. Also the film is just plain boring. Like the first one.

The BMT – The biggest crime this film commits is being boring. I think maybe if I watched it again out of context maybe I’d get why the Razzies and other bad movie sources think the film is amusing. It is mostly boring, with the film just feeling like a television movie and incompetently made throughout. Its biggest claim I think will come from when we complete the 0% on Rotten Tomatoes list. Did it meet my expectations? No. It is catastrophically made, and pretty gross in my opinion. But it is too boring to be a true garbage fire. It is like a garbage fire where there isn’t any actual flames. You know the garbage is on fire, and soon enough it’ll be a smoking ruin. But the fire itself is boring and just … smells like garbage. Nailed that analogy, 10/10 perfect landing.

Roast-radamus – Once again a nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for the fictional (Fijian?) island of Palm Island. It is a character, with its own personality across both films. This is a definite Secret Holiday Film (When?) as a very vital section of the film takes place during Easter and features an Easter egg hunt. I think I’ll leave it there. There is an outside shot at Bad for this one maybe, but I bet we’ll get better ones in the back half of the year.

StreetCreditReport.com – This film was indeed featured on Ebert’s list of worst films of 1991, so immediately there is a ton of cred there. It also obviously has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, truly rarified air. It is a sequel to a terrible film, and was nominated for five Razzies. It has a ton of cred, and that isn’t even considering that it might be the worst shipwreck film ever made … wait. No. The Island of Dr. Moreau exists. Whatever, it is like top three.

You Just Got Schooled – You might be sitting there thinking to yourself “there is no way Patrick would actually watch the third totally unrelated Lifetime original Blue Lagoon film, right?” WRONG. That’s right, I watched Blue Lagoon: The Awakening. You might think this has very little connection to BMT, but it actually stars Brenton Thwaites who is the legit star of Gods of Egypt and the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which is pretty crazy. The film has almost no connection to Blue Lagoon itself though, although they had to have filmed it with that in mind because the one and only Christopher Atkins, star of the original Blue Lagoon, plays a huuuuuuge role in the film as the lost students’ teacher. The storyline is basically just a teen rom com about two high school students who accidentally get stranded on a Caribbean island (for three months!!) … and that’s it. I mean, they have sex and stuff. And they talk about love and life, loss and hope. We grow together, and learn to never give up! Jeez guys, I’m not crying, you’re crying. F. This movie is awful and I hated every moment I wasted watching it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

The Blue Lagoon Recap

Jamie

Em and Richard are a couple of crazy kids marooned on a tropical island. Fending for themselves they grow up together and eventually (beautifully, magically, truly, madly, and deeply) fall in love and start boning. Will they get rescued and ruin their perfect tropical utopia… uh… before it’s too late? Find out in… The Blue Lagoon.

How?! Em and Richard are on a trip to San Fran to start a new life with Richard’s father (Em’s uncle… just to be clear). Or are they? That’s because the ship catches fire and they are stranded on a deserted tropical island that is somehow not on any maps… which is never explained… like a lot of things in this film. With only the ship’s cook, Paddy, for company they learn to survive and live peacefully on the island until one night when Paddy swims off drunk and turns up dead. Sadly they take the boat and find a secluded blue lagoon to start anew. Growing up together they are pretty rambunctious, but also learning about themselves and life and love and the world and everything and it’s beautiful and natural. Richard is kinda crushing on Em and Em is kinda crushing on Richard, but their love is so natural that they aren’t sure what to do about it. That is until Em is almost killed when she steps on a poisonous fish and Richard nurses her back to health. From that point their natural and beautiful love blossoms all while they contemplate the existence of other people on the island and the concept of rescue from their beautiful love paradise. A short time later things start changing for Em and she ends up having a baby. They happily raise the youngster and everything is beautiful and natural and even when a ship arrives bearing their father/uncle looking for them they look at the ugly, unnatural thing and walk away. Happy to continue their life they go off to another part of the island, but end up drifting away and losing their oars. Cornered by a shark and facing certain death they sadly all eat poisonous berries and wait for sweet relief. A ship eventually arrives and finds them and when they check if they are alive they say yes, but sleeping… but they are probably dead (or are they?). They are. THE END.

Why?! Why do the birds sing? Why do bees make honey? Why are there so many creepy films like this? There just are and this film just is. Em and Richard simply live and through their natural, beautiful lives a natural, beautiful love blossoms and they naturally and beautifully bone. Ya dig?

Who?! It’s occasionally interesting to look at the child actors in a film. But only occasionally, as often they aren’t in much besides the film on hand. Here we have several youngsters portraying younger version of the main cast. Interestingly the young Brooke Shields/Em is portrayed by Elva Josephine who also appeared in a couple other possible BMT films. I say possible because early 80’s films can be tricky to figure out whether they were even poorly reviewed… like is Author! Author! a BMT film? Impossible to tell.

What?! Hard to do anything typical for this section so I’ll just highlight the fact that this film is rife with dropped plot lines. Like there is a whole setup for the tiny island they are on to be occasionally visited by natives of another island in order to pray to a god and perform human sacrifice. This, of course, never comes to any climax. No confrontation. No resolution as to how or why or where these natives are coming from. Nothing. That’s just solid storytelling.

Where?! We ended up determining that this was allowed for the Exotic Setting cycle primarily because Oceania would be quite bare if we didn’t start making up new places for the mapl.de.map. So welcome to the Creepy Sexy Blue Lagoon. It’s located somewhere off of South America in the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the creepy, sexy fun. B, but only because while the setting is obviously vital, it’s not very specific by design.

When?! Somehow the most interesting part of this film was trying to figure out when this all took place. Patrick did some research and it seemed to line up with sometime in the late 1800’s. Then the second film goes ahead and lets us know that the shipwreck at the beginning of this film takes place in 1882 and covers 15 years from then till 1897. Good to know for my year-by-year film timeline where I try to get film set in every year for all eternity. D-

I guess I expected worse. Is that possible? I thought this would be extremely uncomfortable viewing given the reputation of the film, but it just turned out to be merely boring. It really does serve the stated purpose: chaste, “natural” love of two people who know nothing but the island they grew up on (arguably less than that). Basically the Adam and Eve story down to them eating from forbidden/poisonous fruit at the end. And despite casting a 14-year-old Brooke Shields, you could see all the camera tricks they were using to switch out body doubles for particular scenes. It’s biggest crime is the overall portrayal of love itself, which is so wildly dumb and unrealistic that you wonder if people were insane in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s hard to imagine who this film was for. Certainly not me. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ooooooooo, Natural Loooooooooooooorve. That’s sung to the same turn as Endless Love. Don’t worry about it. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – I think these two films have always been on the radar for us. This is somewhat notable as one of the original Razzie films, and for the way they had to film due to Brooke Shields being 14 at the time. This is also technically one of the first non-qualifying BMT films we’ve done in years and years. It doesn’t technically qualify because there is no official record of how many theaters it was released to. Rest assured though, the film allegedly made over $50 million, so there is absolutely no way it wasn’t a wide release if that is true. So we’ve ruled that it counts at BMTHQ, two votes to zero, a unanimous decision. What were my expectations? I mean, I guess I hoped it was going to be merely boring. I feared that it was going to be a super creepy and exploitative film with a half naked 14-year-old model running around.

The Good – If you don’t mind the slow late-60s / early-70s style pacing to the film, then you could probably sustain yourself on the vistas alone. It is a beautiful film no matter how you cut it. I liked some of the characters, like Paddy. And overall the storyline was a fairly realistic version of what they could have done. There is a version of this movie that descends into madness, with cannibal natives and pirates and all kinds of stuff. They resist that and keep the film laser focused on *gulp* … Natural Love.

The Bad – The film is sooooooooo boring. Nothing happens in this film. It is a whole lotta montages, and fishing, and walking through jungles, and rowing. A bunch of animal reaction shots and vistas. That’s it. The two leads are awful, although Shields could be forgiven, and by all accounts became a serviceable actress in the 90s. The Natural Love story ages extremely poorly … there was a time when things like this and Endless Love and other films show you some weirdo version of “young love” and I just don’t get it. It could not come across as creepier. Ultimately the film is merely okay (if boring) and then just craps out right in the end when they just … float off into nothingness to die? Great. At least we get a wild eyed Mr. Feeny at times, floating about looking for his long lost son Richard.

The BMT – I think this has a poor legacy in the end. Mainly because the sequel has loads more cred. If this actually explicitly said it was set in like Fiji, it would have immediately had a ton of Setting longevity. Instead it has to be set on an uninhabited island only vaguely near Fiji (if you believe the book). I think I prefer ultimately to remember Return to the Blue Lagoon over this one. Did it meet my expectations? I think so. It was boring, and wasn’t so creepy I felt like I was committing some sort of crime. I’ll call that a win. It certainly could have gone the other way quite easily.

Roast-radamus – Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for the uninhabited and unidentified Palm Island where both films take place. You really get to know these places by the end of things, you know? And why not, let’s give it a Worst Twist (How?) for the family drifting slowly off to sea, deciding to kill themselves, and then in an incredible coincidence getting saved (? Turns out not to be the case in the sequel, but whatever) right at the last minute by Mr. Feeny. And I think this has an okay shot at Bad if anything for being boring.

StreetCreditReport.com – There is no way you can really find lists for films from 1980. But the cred comes from the film winning the first ever Worst Actress Razzie for Shields. If this came out a few years later I don’t think she wins, instead she would have gotten the not-yet-developed-and-now-defunct Worst New Star, but whatever. It is probably one of the worst shipwreck films as well … the issue with all of this is that no matter how much cred you want to get it, Return to the Blue Lagoon will always beat it out!

You Just Got Schooled – There have been several adaptations of The Blue Lagoon over the years, and luckily The Blue Lagoon from 1949 is available on YouTube. This film is a wild departure from the 1980 film and original 1904 novel it seems (it appears that the 1980 is a very very faithful adaptation of the book). It takes place maybe 20 years after the setting of the novel, and there is a big interlude in the middle in which two criminals come to the island and attempt to trick Michael into getting pearls for them. The sequence is somewhat similar to the sequence in Return to the Blue Lagoon, in which outsiders come to the island and the traumatic experience dissuades out heroes from attempting escape from the island for a time. Somewhat constructed from a series of vignettes, I do think this was a slightly more successful version of the story. The religious undertones seem to serve a story of the downfall of man through the thirst for knowledge a bit better when it is slightly more explicit (all the way down to Eve causing the downfall of Adam, yikes!). It probably helps that it seems more genuine in a film from 1949 as well, as there is no possibility the movie was made just to show half naked young women running about. C+. A bit boring in the end, but an interesting contrast to the overly faithful 1980 adaptation here.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs