Super Mario Bros. Preview

“Stop!” Shouts Poe, “or my grandma will shoot.” The mailman freezes as he spots Granny toting a comically large pistol. He backs away and speeds away in his car. Poe smirks at Granny, “what am I gonna do with you, you foul-mouthed old bat?” Granny smirks back, “you’ll finish your goddamn supper and we’ll watch Murder She Wrote.” Poe shrugs, “I guess this is what I get for retiring from the force early and moving to New Orleans to help you out. But sometimes… I just want another piece of the action.” Just as he closes the door a knock rings out. Granny is pissed and raises the pistol. “No wait,” Poe says softly, “I know that knock…” Just as he suspected Rich is there leaning against the porch. “You ready for another piece of the action, partner?” Poe is already shaking his head. He’s not a police officer anymore, he gave that up. It’s against the rules. Rich laughs, “Rulez? You really did retire. That’s too bad. Too bad you and Granny will end up dead.” He turns, knowing Poe can’t leave it at that. “Oh you haven’t heard,” Rich says snidely, “Helmut Gruber escaped and he’s out for revenge.” Poe stares in disbelief. Gruber? But he’s dead… isn’t he? Apparently not. With gritted teeth Poe asks quietly, “where is he?” Rich smiles. “He’s holed up in an arcade downtown.” Poe grabs his jacket but Rich stop him, “Woah partner, we’ll be too conspicuous heading down like this.” Poe grins and soon they are dressed like a couple of dope tweens ready to infiltrate the arcade and show Gruber what’s what. “Oh and Rich?” Rich says with a sly smile, “Better bring your Granny. These tweens need adult supervision.” And with that he cocks his gun. That’s right! We are finally watching an all-timer in Super Mario Bros. This was the first major motion picture based on a video game and oh what a start it was. Not only was it adapted as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film, but it looked real dumb to boot. It’s also appropriate timing for us to watch as it looks like Pokemon Detective Pikachu officially broke the 26 year long streak of video game adaptations being rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. It stands at 63%. Baby steps. Let’s go!

Super Mario Bros. (1993) – BMeTric: 84.7

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(Ah, I actually don’t think this shows a regression. What is happening here is that the rating is basically 3.9 for the last 7 years. That jump in 2014 happens right on January 1st. And that jump is really consistent across movies (but you only notice it in really bad films I think … I can’t remember). Look back at Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. That’s a regression. This … this is sitting right at 3.9ish for like a decade. That is what I’m talking about when I say a truly bad film won’t regress to the mean.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Super, indeed! This overblown, effects-laden turkey chronicles the convoluted story of the title boys from Brooklyn (Hoskins, Leguizamo), plumber-siblings who go up against the villainous King Koopa (Hopper), a semi-human dinosaur who instigates the kidnapping of Daisy (Mathis), a princess who possesses a magical meteorite fragment. This listless film has far less appeal than the video game that inspired it.

(First, my god the hyphens! I love you Leonard. There are three hyphens in this review. Second, the review is just a description of the film and then a little “not interesting” at the end. And third … 1.5 stars? Where does the 0.5 come from. Classic Leonard. Classic.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtMZKYnLg5c/

(Oh shit the music!!!!! Is this real? They literally showed a major bit of the end of the film in that trailer? The theory surrounding trailers for films really was wild back then. It was just “anything goes as long as it generates interest”. One of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen. Bar none.)

Directors – Annabel Jankel – (Known For: Tell It to the Bees; D.O.A.; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Both Jankel and Morton were known for their music video work and for create Max Headroom. This film basically ruined their directing careers. Tell It to the Bees was Jankel’s first big directing job since Super Mario Bros. … it was in 2018.)

Rocky Morton – (Known For: D.O.A.; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Jankel and Morton got divorced in 2005. Both won Emmys for NBC’s Friday Night Videos which was basically MTV on basic cable … which apparently was a thing in the early 80s.)

Writers – Parker Bennett (written by) – (Known For: The Thief and the Cobbler; Future BMT: Mystery Date; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Was a writer and cartoonist for Playboy at one point.)

Terry Runte (written by) – (Known For: The Thief and the Cobbler; Future BMT: Mystery Date; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Apparently he has a credit for this YouTube video … which has like 24 views? Wild wild stuff.)

Ed Solomon (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black; Now You See Me; Charlie’s Angels; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; Imagine That; What Planet Are You From?; Leaving Normal; Future BMT: The In-Laws; Mom and Dad Save the World; Now You See Me 2; Levity; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Notes: Is apparently writing the new Bill and Ted as well. And was married to John Cleese’s daughter for a long while.)

Actors – Bob Hoskins – (Known For: Snow White and the Huntsman; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Brazil; Enemy at the Gates; Doomsday; Pink Floyd: The Wall; Mermaids; Paris, je t’aime; The Long Good Friday; Balto; Unleashed; The Cotton Club; Vanity Fair; Nixon; Made in Dagenham; A Christmas Carol; Inserts; Hollywoodland; Mona Lisa; Beyond the Sea; Future BMT: Son of the Mask; Maid in Manhattan; Michael; Outlaw; Live Virgin; Heart Condition; Hook; Shattered; Den of Lions; Stay; BMT: Spice World; Super Mario Bros.; Garfield 2; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Son of the Mask in 2006; Notes: Died due to complications with Parkinson’s in 2014. Claims to have never had an acting lesson in his life.)

John Leguizamo – (Known For: John Wick; John Wick: Chapter 2; Romeo + Juliet; Carlito’s Way; Chef; Moulin Rouge!; Ice Age; The Lincoln Lawyer; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; The Infiltrator; Titan A.E.; Die Hard 2; Land of the Dead; Sisters; American Ultra; Executive Decision; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Casualties of War; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Nancy; Future BMT: The Honeymooners; Spawn; The Counsellor; Collateral Damage; The Pest; Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie; Anarchy: Ride or Die; Ice Age: Collision Course; What’s the Worst That Could Happen?; The Fan; The Babysitters; The Hollow Point; Miracle at St. Anna; Out for Justice; Repo Men; Empire; Revenge; Jekyll Island; Love in the Time of Cholera; Kick-Ass 2; Ice Age: Continental Drift; Whispers in the Dark; Rage; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Spun; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; The Happening; One for the Money; Gamer; Righteous Kill; Ride Along; Notes: A noted comedian in the early 90s doing character impersonations. Has been doing mostly television recently including a role in Bloodline.)

Dennis Hopper – (Known For: Apocalypse Now; True Romance; Cool Hand Luke; Waterworld; Easy Rider; Blue Velvet; Speed; River’s Edge; Rebel Without a Cause; Hang ‘Em High; Giant; True Grit; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; The Other Side of the Wind; Land of the Dead; Rumble Fish; Black Widow; Hoosiers; The Pick-up Artist; Edtv; Future BMT: The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Big Fat Important Movie; Hell Ride; Boiling Point; Chasers; Space Truckers; Meet the Deedles; Knockaround Guys; Swing Vote; The Blackout; Memory; My Science Project; Queen of Blood; Sleepwalking; The Trip; Straight to Hell; Flashback; Search and Destroy; 10th & Wolf; BMT: Super Mario Bros.; Alpha and Omega; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Waterworld in 1996; Notes: Was a child actor, and then had a very rocky film career due to substance abuse. He created, directed, and starred in Easy Rider which is credited in ushering in the anti-establishment movement in Hollywood of the 1970s.)

Budget/Gross – $48 million / Domestic: $20,915,465

(Catastrophic. I’m actually a bit surprised it didn’t do better. You’d think a good number of video game fans would have been tricked into going to the film during the opening weekend. I would have thought it would have ended at like … $40 million maybe? On the other had it was 1993.)

#27 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Our 18th video game film, driving quickly towards a 20th film (like …4% of BMT is video game films). The genre is really booming recently. And with Detective Pikachu I think there is a distinct possibility Nintendo will end up as the driving force in upping the quality overall.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 21% (8/38): Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.

(A delightful novelty IMO. That percentage is a lot higher than I would expect for what is likely considered one of the worst films ever (although it isn’t on the wiki page interestingly enough …). Reviewer Highlight: As everyone knows, arcade-style diversions are not known for strong, original narratives or well-developed characters. In that sense, this film is worthy of its inspiration. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews)

Poster – Super Twin Time (B+)

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(I almost always default to the poster featured on IMDb, but for whatever reason they chose to use some foreign poster… I suspect because it looked so stupid that they thought it was funny? Hard to say. This was the primary theatrical poster I think and it’s actually fine. I wish it wasn’t so dark and they gave it some pop with the green and the red, but it’s nicely stylized and actually makes a very not cool thing look kinda cool with some nice spacing and font.)

Tagline(s) – This Ain’t No Game! (A)

(Clever. Good one to use on the first adaptation too as I think later on I would have thought it was a little generic and vague to constitute a good tagline. Here though I think it’s working.)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.4 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.9 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.7 BloodRayne (2005); 87.1 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.2 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.7 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.5 Far Cry (2008); 70.0 Wing Commander (1999);

(I kind of forget we haven’t officially seen Street Fighter for BMT. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen the film multiple times. We just used to not do filmes we’ve seen before for BMT. Now we do that quite frequently for good reason, so it’ll eventually come up, maybe in some ill-fated decision to watch every JCVD film ever made or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Leguizamo is No. 2 billed in Super Mario Bros. and No. 3 billed in Ride Along, which also stars Ice Cube (No. 1 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Hook, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – In his 2007 autobiography John Leguizamo states he and Bob Hoskins hated working on the film and would frequently get drunk to make it through the experience. Both men apparently knew the movie would turn out bad, so they simply tried to make the best of it. He also stated he felt one of the biggest reasons the movie turned out the way it did was because the directors wanted a more “adult” movie while the studio, considering the source material, was looking for a children’s film.

During a chase scene, Bob Hoskins broke his finger when the van’s door slammed on his hand. For the rest of the film, Hoskins is wearing a cast that was painted pink to look like a hand. (Having just watched it, I never noticed it)

Bob Hoskins didn’t know that the film he was making was based on a game, until his son asked him what he was working on. When Hoskins mentioned the film’s title, his son immediately recognized it and showed Hoskins the game on his own Nintendo.

An article in “Spy” magazine claimed that the script was being rewritten so many times during production that the actors stopped paying attention to these daily rewrites.

Although Bob Hoskins said that this is the worst film he ever made, his son Jack Hoskins is a fan of this film, praising his dad’s performance. He said that he was too young to understand the poor reviews and now that he’s old enough, he doesn’t care. He quoted on the film’s fan website “SMBArchive.com”: “If there’s anyone reading this, please understand that it’s no one’s intention to ruin the classics. One last thing; if you remember your past enjoyments, then it would definitely keep your childhood memories alive and safely locked in your head forever.”

The “De-evolution” guns seen at the end of the film are simply repainted versions of the Super Nintendo light gun accessory, the “Super Scope.” (Awesome. I’m serious … that’s awesome)

After the film bombed at the box office, Nintendo never produced any more live-action theatrical films based on their video game franchises. A “Metroid” film was put into development, but never went past pre-production. (They still haven’t. They have at least one film in production, another Super Mario film, but it is CGI I believe … which will probably work out better)

Dennis Hopper explained why he did the film – “I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time – he’s now 18 – he said, ‘Dad, I think you’re probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?’ and I said, ‘Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,’ and he said, ‘Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly.'” (Sick burn)

The Yoshi puppet was capable of making 64 separate movements due to 200 feet of cable crammed inside its 3 foot tall structure. In all, no less than 9 puppeteers were used to operate the Yoshi puppet. (Yes, it was possibly the last great puppet animatronic since the film came out the same year as Jurassic Park. The CGI afterwards likely killed the industry. There might be other good examples, the Lost World or something, but 1993 marks the point where puppets weren’t the first thought in a directors mind on how to create a lifelike fictional animal.)

An early draft of the script shows that Bowser only disguises himself as a human in his first two scenes, the Princess character is named Hildy and Bowser wants to marry her in attempt to obtain the Crown of Invincibility with which to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. Actual game enemies such as Piranha Plants and Thwomps make appearances, Toad accompanies the Mario Bros. throughout their journey as a main character, a baby dinosaur named Junior thinks Mario is his mother, Luigi gets Raccoon Power at one point, one of Bowser’s lackeys (a possible prototype for Kamek) tells Mario “Your Princess Is in Another Castle”, Mario and Luigi sing a song for Bowser, Bowser ends up falling into a pit of lava… In other words, this draft is much more faithful to the games. (Yeah … that sounds like it would be absolutely terrible though)

Dennis Hopper described the film’s production – “It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie. It was a husband and wife directing team who were both control freaks and wouldn’t talk before they made decisions. Anyway, I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over budget.”

In a 2011 interview with The Guardian, Bob Hoskins described the film’s production – “It was a f*ckin’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F*ckin’ nightmare. F*ckin’ idiots.” (These two notes are eerily consistent)

Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, stated, “[In] the end, it was a very fun project that they put a lot of effort into,” but also said, “The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself.” (… what? It is nothing like the games.)

Rocky Morton reflected on the movie in 2016 as a “harrowing” experience. He explained that he and Annabel Jankel, along with the rest of the cast, agreed to make the movie based on the script originally written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, which focused on Mario and Luigi’s complicated but loving family dynamic that they had developed in the absence of their parents. However, just a few weeks before shooting was to begin, the studio financing the film demanded significant rewrites to make the film more childlike and comedic. The final result, according to Morton, was a script that was not at all like the script that he, Jenkel, and the cast had signed on to film, and that the tone of the new script was not at all compatible with the sets, which had already been built. Morton also reflected that he felt very uneasy being put in the position of having to defend the new script. In addition, working with Dennis Hopper was “really, really hard. Really hard. I don’t think [Dennis Hopper] had a clue what was going on.” Despite describing the overall experience as humiliating, Morton is proud of the film considering the chaos created as a result of the late and unexpected script rewrites. (Hmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Allegedly due to drinking on set, John Leguizamo was hit by a car, breaking his leg. You can even see the cast in some shots of the movie. (Jesus!)

This was the first Hollywood film directly based on a specific video game property. (And it went swimmingly)

John Leguizamo was annoyed that he wasn’t allowed to ad-lib in the film.

Parker Bennett and Terry Runte submitted a script represents the early transition from the original fantasy-oriented take to the more grounded sci-fi take of the final film. They felt that the story was never funny, scary or outlandish enough, so to make it more compelling they sought to focus more on Mario and Luigi’s relationship, to develop Daisy into a more proactive character and to expand Koopa’s plot so that it would also endanger Earth. However, the pitch still contains various fantastical elements, including Mario and Luigi being icons of a “prophecy,” a magical talking book that aids them on their quest and a mushroom-infested world complete with a castle. The sci-fi concept of a parallel world inhabited by humanoid dinosaurs is essentially only retrofitted onto the fantasy story already written. (What the hell? That was the “brilliant” story everyone was gutted to see changed?)

Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were hired to direct the film, based on their work on Max Headroom (1987).

Lead creatures designer and supervisor Patrick Tatopoulos was aware of the concurrent Jurassic Park (1993) production, so consciously designed the dinosaurs more cute and cartoony with inspiration from Beetlejuice (1988).

Producers from Jurassic Park (1993) visited the set and were so impressed with the Yoshi puppet they briefly considered hiring its engineers for a second Jurassic Park creatures shop. (Yeah this is the thing I had heard, that they were still kind of figuring out whether they wanted to go animatronic for the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, but the CGI eventually won out)

Despite its box office failure and troubled production, Roland Joffé remains proud: “It’s not that I defend the movie, it’s just that, in its own extraordinary way, it was an interesting and rich artefact and has earned its place. It has strange cult status.” (This is absolutely true. It is one of the most baffling things you’ll ever watch. Just extraordinary that it exists at all)

Greg Beeman was attached to direct and development had already moved into pre-production, but the failure of Beeman’s recent Mom and Dad Save the World (1992) led to his dismissal by nervous producers. (Now that is an absolutely awful film … weirdly the carnivorous mushrooms would have been a decent idea for goombas in this film)

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Double Dragon Preview

“And that’s the story of how I cheated on my wife multiple times, destroyed my family, and continued to be a rich asshole. Now where to start concerning the mailman?” sighs Colonel Von Freed. Jamie looks grimly at Patrick. They endured his story of serial philandering for the last two hours and, considering the length of his sigh, the story of the fraudster mailman seems to be even longer. Suddenly a group of horses run by with grimy men clinging to their backs. Letters flutter about them as they watch them disappear in a cloud of dust. “Aha, the chase is afoot,” sighs the Colonel, “it’s helicopter time.” With that the Colonel snaps his fingers and a helicopter suddenly appears over the horizon. Gatling guns ablaze, the helicopter swoops towards the mailmen, who shields their eyes and scatter in every direction. One remains behind, the leader. “The choice is yours, mailman,” we say as we approach, “hand over the medallion or get another taste of our helicopter.” The mailman smiles. “Oh really, you’re gonna blow me away? I don’t think so,” he laughs, “that would be against the rules.” In shock Jamie and Patrick look at each other. What rules? Rulez=coolz and this could spell trouble. Another mailman returns and joins the first. Uncoiling the scarf from his face Jamie and Patrick gasp. Twins. They rip their sleeves off their shirts to reveal the secret tattoos of the twins engraved on their well-toned arms. “He isn’t lying, Colonel,” Jamie says. “This will not end peacefully. It’s the way of the Twins. They have challenged our twin prowess,” confirms Patrick. The mailmen scream in unison, “It’s a Double Dragon challenge, Bad Movie Twins! A fight for the medallion. A fight for destiny. A challenge that can only end with blood.” That’s right! We are watching Double Dragon, one of the many terrible video game films made in the *checks notes* ever… there has never been a good one. Apparently though the worst films of all time wiki page only has room for one video game film and that’s Alone in the Dark, which is no fun. At least this should be some fun to watch. Reading about it a bit apparently they changed the script so that Jimmy and Billy Lee weren’t twins but just brothers because the actors didn’t look enough alike. Bullshit. Just for that it should be on the worst of all time list. Let’s go!

Double Dragon (1994) – BMeTric: 66.9

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(Below 4.0 is incredible. And while climbing a bit (pretty much unavoidable when the rating is that low), for a film from the early-90s that is very impressive. Pretty close to that 75+ pantheon, although now it’ll never make it.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In the junky, gang-dominated post-earthquake “New Angeles” of 2007, martial artist brothers Dacascos and Wolf battle evil billionaire Patrick for the possession of a two-part Chinese medallion that grants mystical powers. Sometimes lively but mostly silly and tedious; based on an arcade game.

(This review is mostly silly and tedious, so take that! But honestly, this feels like Maltin fell asleep in the middle of the review. Although, then again, there is a very nice semi-colon right near the end. Love it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh9ioolJrd0

(My God the acting! AND LOOK WHO’S GOT IT! Whooooooaaaaaaaa! Man the 90s, what a time to be alive. Everything was so straight up raaaaaaad. Karate and hacking and like … video games. It is ridic. Too ridic to quit. I’m amped.)

Directors – James Yukich – (BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: He was a music video director for the most part, including directing videos for Bruno, Bruce Willis’ alter ego.)

Writers – Paul Dini (story) – (Known For: Batman Ninja; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm; Batman and Harley Quinn; BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Invented Harley Quinn for his friend Arleen Sorkin.)

Neal Shusterman (story) – (BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Quite an accomplished writer, including nine or ten different series. Also wrote a ton of How to Host a Murder games.)

Michael Davis (screenplay) – (Known For: Shoot ‘Em Up; 100 Girls; Monster Man; Future BMT: Eight Days a Week; BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Wrote the entire Prehysteria series.)

Peter Gould (screenplay) – (BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: The co-creator of Better Call Saul.)

Actors – Robert Patrick – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Wayne’s World; Bridge to Terabithia; Walk the Line; Die Hard 2; Spy Kids; Safe House; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Trouble with the Curve; The Faculty; Back Roads; Lovelace; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Flags of our Fathers; We Are Marshall; The Road Within; Ladder 49; Rosewood; Future BMT: Balls of Fury; Eye See You; Supercross; Identity Thief; Fly Me to the Moon 3D; Hellions; Eloise; All the Pretty Horses; Last Action Hero; Alien Trespass; The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond; Fire in the Sky; Gangster Squad; Jayne Mansfield’s Car; BMT: Striptease; The Marine; Double Dragon; Strange Wilderness; Firewall; Texas Rangers; Endless Love; Notes: Replaced David Duchovny in The X-Files late in the series. Famous for his role as the T-1000 in Terminator 2.)

Mark Dacascos – (Known For: Brotherhood of the Wolf; Future BMT: The Island of Dr. Moreau; Code Name: The Cleaner; Showdown in Manila; Nomad: The Warrior; BMT: Double Dragon; Cradle 2 the Grave; Notes: A martial artist. Competed in the 9th season of Dancing with the Stars.)

Scott Wolf – (Known For: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Go; White Squall; Future BMT: The Evening Star; All I Want for Christmas; BMT: Double Dragon; Notes: Most famous for his role on Party of Five. Had some success in television across the years. Has a mildly famous cousin Josh Wolf.)

Budget/Gross – $7.8 million / Domestic: $2,341,309

(Somehow a catastrophe despite basically costing nothing. Having watched the film you see all $8 million on screen, it is pretty impressive how far they stretch that.)

#116 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Beat out the previous low gross by a BMT film by … Gymkata, wowza. This came in right when martial arts film was huge, but they were progressively making less and less money. At least according to Box Office Mojo this genre is basically non-existent at this point.)

#38 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Somehow less than In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale as well! A film intentionally made to be a failure. Right at the beginning of this genre which has been trying to break through for several years now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (1/13): Double Dragon’s clever use of special effects cannot mask the film’s overly simplistic storyline and cheesy dialogue.

(A lot lower than I would expected to be honest, it felt like something you’d be like “ambitious, yet on a shoestring budget, and somehow not as bad as you would expect”. Reviewer Highlight: Even kids won’t get much of a kick out of this high-energy, low-IQ futuristic slugfest. – Brian Lowry, Variety)

Poster – Twin Time! (F… in a good way)

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(Well I know what Patrick is getting for Christmas. This is quite literally amazing. It’s taken everything I love in a poster and taken it to an extreme that makes it terrible. Love fonts? We got two of the craziest. Love bold colors? How about two jarringly bright ones? Want it to tell a story? This got shit everywhere.)

Tagline(s) – Power. Justice. Darkness. Light. (C)

Two halves of an ancient puzzle are the only hope. (D-)

(Should have just went for the first one which is fine enough. Not sure what it’s really saying, but they are words that make the film sound important. The second is nonsense and I’m not sure is even proper english.)

Keyword(s) – teenage girl; Top Ten by BMeTric: 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.9 House of the Dead (2003); 87.5 Crossroads (I) (2002); 86.3 Troll 2 (1990); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.7 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.5 Movie 43 (2013); 82.4 Prom Night (I) (2008); 80.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009);

(We only have horror films left. Horror films will tend to have teenage girls I guess, so that makes sense. We swept the non-horror films real quick though.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert Patrick is No. 1 billed in Double Dragon and No. 7 billed in Firewall, which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 1 + 7 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – In the final battle, Linda Lash (Kristina Wagner) says to Marion (Alyssa Milano), “Now who’s the boss?” Later, Marion tells Lash, “You’re lucky, generally I put people in the hospital.” Alyssa Milano starred on the television series Who’s The Boss, and Wagner was a regular on General Hospital. (AWFUL. Just awful)

A video game featuring motion captured sprites like Mortal Kombat was concepted to co-inside with the movie, having the actors of the film and their stunt doubles provide the captured images. However it was deemed it could not be completed in the same amount of time as the movie, so was scrapped. After the movies release the film studio admitted it was a stroke of luck the game didn’t go ahead. The film would later have a Japan-only, tie in, fighting game of the same name, developed by Technos Japan under the license of SNK Playmore, ported to the Neo Geo MVS and the Neo-Geo CD in 1995 as well as the PlayStation in 1996. (Yeah that sounds like a terrible idea)

The boat chase was filmed on the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio. It climaxes with an explosion which used 700 gallons of gasoline combined with 200 gallons of alcohol. Despite warnings the night before on several news channels, the explosion caused Cleveland residents to panic, leading to 210 phone calls to emergency services over ten minutes. (Wow, I wouldn’t have thought that was in Ohio, I just thought it was in a kind of isolated, industrial, run-down part of the LA coastline somewhere)

Dozens of arcade games appear in the Power Corps hideout. DOUBLE DRAGON is one of them. It’s visible when Jimmy (possessed by Kogo Shuko) tries to kick Billy but misses and shatters the game screen. (Yeah, it is terrible. It sucks)

In one scene, Kogo Shuko asks his henchmen (Huey and Lewis), “Huey, Lewis. Any news?” a reference to the band Huey Lewis and the News. (Yeah that also sucked)

According to editor Danny Retz the alley where the Lee brothers are about to face off with Abobo was shot in downtown Los Angeles. “It was used by junkies and other nefarious persons and had to be steam clean before shooting could be done.” said Danny.

The seal on Jimmy Lee’s “Retour” shirt was designed by the DECA teacher at Snohomish High School. The image in the middle of the seal is the original Snhomish High School building. (I actually did think that shirt was rad)

First-time director Jim Yukich summarized his approach to the film: “Our characters are like normal kids – three kids on an adventure, so we didn’t want to make something that kids would almost be too afraid to see. … I’d like to make it in a funnier, light-hearted vein.” (Basically the Batman & Robin approach. “You’re making a video game, it’s ridiculous, remember” was probably shouted)

The plot from the game is originally about two martial artists which is a blue-suited young man named Billy “Hammer” Lee and a red-suited twin brother Jimmy “Spike” Lee, as they fight their way into the turf of the Black Warriors gang (with Linda and Abobo as members) who assaulted and kidnapped their love interest Marian, the martial arts brothers won’t stop at nothing to rescue her. After going through skirmishes lead by Abobo and Jeff at a city slum, a factory, the woods and the gangs hideout; Billy and Jimmy reach the lair where the have a showdown with the gang’s machine gun wielding leader who is the Big Boss and they defeat him, also resulting in a conflict where Billy and Jimmy fight to the death over the determination of who will win the affections of Marian.

The characters from the game that appear in this film are: Billy Lee (1st player), Jimmy Lee (2nd player), Marian (Non-playable character), Linda (3rd enemy) and Abobo (1st boss).

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Preview

In the Z-universe’s most notorious prison, the Robotoronic Jail 3000, two prisoners blow a hole in the prison wall and walk to their freedom while sirens wail. They begin the long walk across the Wasted Land towards Ecumenopolis.

“Keep digging,” whispers Patrick as Jamie attacks the wall with a sharpened spoon. After three weeks they both know it’s time to blow this joint and they’re doing it the old fashioned way. No kung fu hacking or super powers. This is just lean muscle, a spoon, and a stone wall. Well guess what? You done lost, wall. Jamie breaks through into a large air vent and Patrick turns to their friend Kyle who was the muscle to their brains in this terrible place. “Kyle, you’ve been a true friend showing us the ropes and helping us navigate the prison world. I’ll always remember when you took a shiv for me. It’s a memory I’ll cherish.” Kyle nods. “Come with us. Help us figure out our destiny.” Just as Kyle is about to join them in the vent a large gust of winds blows the entrance closed and blows Jamie and Patrick deeper into an underground tunnel. Patrick looks up to where Kyle had been waiting, but Jamie puts a hand on his should. “He’s gone. I’m sure we’ll meet him again. We have to move forward.” Patrick grudgingly nods and looks around at where they’ve landed. It’s a fork in the road. A path to the left and a path to the right. Jamie hesitates, “We must go left, Patrick. Something seems off about the right.” But Patrick is already heading that way, drawn by some force within. Jamie follows, trying to pull him back but a steady wind starts pushing them forward until they are tumbling head over heels. They land in a world unlike Earth. The clouds overhead are gray and move unnaturally fast. A hooded figure stands in front of them. “The wind,” whispers Patrick. “It’s been trying to get us here this whole time,” responds Jamie. The hooded figure speaks. “Welcome to my world, Bad Movie Twins. Are you ready to defend Earth in the tournament of champions?” That’s right! We’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – BMeTric: 86.9

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(Sub-4.0 is incredible obviously. And that BMeTric. It it the 28th highest BMeTric for any wide release ever! That is pretty impressive. Got to tick those boxes. There are only seven above it we haven’t watched: Disaster Movie, Date Movie, Son of Mask, Vampires Suck, House of the Dead, Street Fighter, and BloodRayne.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Mind-numbing sequel rehashes battle between good and evil for the fate of mankind (yawn). OK visual effects but endless fight scenes and dreadful acting stop film dead in its tracks. Of interest only to American Gladiator fanatics and vidkids with really low attention spans. Remar’ morph from David Carradine-style kung fu sensei to turbo warrior is unintentionally hilarious.

(Vidkids? “Low” attention spans? Some real shade here. Not that the film doesn’t deserve it, I’m like 99% sure it is complete hot garbage, and I can’t wait.)

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

(Redux edit eehhhhhhhh. Hey guys watch out for all of the ninjas. This film looks like complete and utter garbage. And wait, is that the Night Slasher from BMT Hall of Fame inductee Cobra! I think it is. As if I wasn’t amped already.)

Directors – John R. Leonetti – (Future BMT: Annabelle; Wish Upon; Wolves at the Door; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Prominent cinematographer who has intermittently delved into feature directing. He is probably best known for his collaboration with James Wan on the Conjuring universe of films.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the creators and the game designer of the video game franchise. Also the voice of Scorpion.)

Lawrence Kasanoff (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: WTF. This is the Foodfight! guy. We have now completing his screenwriting filmography. But he thought making a new Pixar was easy, failed miserably, and made an extremely unpleasant animated film. Read the Alpha and Omega recap for more information.)

Joshua Wexler (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was 26 years old when we produced and got a story credit on this film! Also got a writing credit on Foodfight! Currently serves as the Chief Executive of Fun (CEF?) for Pure Imagination Studios (not joking))

John Tobias (story) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: One of the two creators of the video game. Not sure why he got a “story” credit on this one and the other creator, Ed Boon, didn’t. He is credited with most of the character development for the first set of games.)

Brent V. Friedman (screenplay) – (Known For: Ticks; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Another writer on Foodfight! He and Bryce Zabel created a show Dark Skies following the success of X-Files and he’s been mostly in TV since then.)

Bryce Zabel (screenplay) – (Known For: Atlantis: The Lost Empire; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Notes: Was once a correspondent for CNN before moving to mostly television writing. He was the Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.)

Actors – Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Has a degree in Civil Engineering and actually worked for a couple years in the field before quitting and finding his way first into stunt work and then into acting.)

Talisa Soto – (Known For: Licence to Kill; Don Juan DeMarco; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Mambo Kings; La Mission; Spike of Bensonhurst; Piñero; Future BMT: Spy Hard; The Sunchaser; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Mortal Kombat;  Notes: Married to one of our BMT faves Benjamin Bratt of Catwoman fame.)

James Remar – (Known For: Django Unchained; The Warriors; The Girl Next Door; X: First Class; Ratatouille; What Lies Beneath; RED; Pineapple Express; February; 48 Hrs.; The Phantom; Cruising; The Long Riders; Drugstore Cowboy; The Cotton Club; White Fang; Boys on the Side; Miracle on 34th Street; The Dream Team; Fear X; Future BMT: Psycho; The Unborn; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage; The Quest; Blade: Trinity; Duplex; Persecuted; Fatal Instinct; Rent-a-Cop; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Renaissance Man; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Horns; Band of the Hand; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Judge Dredd; 2 Fast 2 Furious; The Clan of the Cave Bear; Wild Bill; Notes: I know him from The Warriors and as Dexter’s dad on the television series Dexter and am shocked at how many BMT films we’ve seen him in. Interesting story is that he was originally cast as Hicks in Aliens but had to be replaced, but you can still see him in some scenes that were too expensive to reshoot.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $35,927,406 (Worldwide: $51,376,861)

(And yeah, that is super duper terrible considering the performance of the original. A complete and utter rejection of this franchise just as it began.)

#33 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Just a little below Universal Soldier there. A wonder Showtime didn’t pick it up for series after this (heyyoooooo). On the downswing of martial arts … literally right before Rush Hour and The Matrix blow it up again.)

#21 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Just a little below Hitman which is somewhat surprising honestly. I would have imagined that at least some of the other halfway decent video game films would have done better than this. Then again … I did see this film in theaters, so literal morons did spent money on it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (1/40): With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat – Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.

(So close to being one of the worst every 0% films. It would have been top ten for sure. Reviewer Highlight: Never — at least not since the first Mortal Kombat — has tedium been so loud, so full of backward flips and flying fists to the kissers of centaurs from another realm. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Poster – Sklog Fight: Liquidation (C)

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(It is the exact same poster… weird. Still bad font, but short and sweet and with a little more pizzazz color-wise. It’s just slightly better than OK this time.)

Tagline(s) – Destroy all expectations. (Lol.)

(Holy shit. Is this a joke? This is a joke, right? I mean, yes. It certainly destroyed any and all expectations people had. Particularly any expectation of another sequel.)

Keyword(s) – warrior; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.8 Catwoman (2004); 94.7 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.0 Dragonball: Evolution (2009); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.7 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.1 The Last Airbender (2010); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997);

(Come out and play. To think. Ten of the top 30 or so worst films by BMeTric have the keyword “warrior”. Useless.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 1 billed in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – A third Mortal Kombat film was going to be developed, called “Mortal Kombat: Devastation”. Christopher Lambert, Linden Ashby, Adoni Maropis, Robin Shou, Chris Casamassa, Keith Cooke, and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams were hired to be in the cast as Lord Rayden, Johnny Cage, Quan Chi, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Jax, respectively. Talisa Soto and Sandra Hess were in talks to reprise their respective roles of Princess Kitana and Lt. Sonya Blade. However, plans for a third film fell through and the film rights went to Warner Bros., which is planning a Mortal Kombat reboot. (Wait … Lambert was going to come back? I don’t believe it)

Ray Park’s first film role was as Rayden’s fight double in this movie. (Darth Maul baby)

Michael Jai White was scheduled to play as Jax, but eventually he got the lead part in Spawn (1997) instead. He would eventually portray Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Amazing to think that you could say “taking that role in Spawn was a very good move”)

For years, a third Mortal Kombat movie was being developed by New Line Cinema to atone for the poor reception to “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” mink was hired to direct, and then Russell Mulcahy was hired to replace him. Sean Catherine Derek and Lawrence Kasanoff took turns writing the script, which would have had Johnny Cage resurrected to help the heroes against Quan Chi and a resurrected Shang Tsung. However, according to cast member Chris Casamassa, who would have reprised his role as Scorpion, production was halted when Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the sets and the film ultimately never happened. (WHAT)

In the film, Jax fitted his arms with “muscle enhancers”; essentially a sort of exoskeleton that quadrupled his muscle capacity. However in the storyline for Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) (One of the shared premises for this film) Jax had his actual arms removed and fitted himself with the bionic arms.

Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana) are the only actors from the first film to reprise their roles. The other main characters are portrayed by different actors. The only other actor to return was Keith Cooke, but as a different character. In the first film, he was Reptile. Here, he portrays Sub-Zero.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras was offered to reprise the role of Sonya Blade, but then turned it down for the role of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sister in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). (Oh yeah … slashers are always a good choice a think, if only for the miniscule chance of becoming a scream queen.)

Both Deron McBee (Motaro) and Lynn ‘Red’ Williams (Jax) are former American Gladiators (1989), and they have a fight scene in this film together. (People must have been going bananas at the time)

Chris Casamassa was to reprise his role as Scorpion, but he was committed to do stunt work in Batman & Robin (1997). (Somehow a movie with a higher BMeTric, what are the odds?)

Featured in Rob Hill’s The Bad Movie Bible. (Hmmm might need to check out, read, and hate this book at some point in the future.)

Mortal Kombat Preview

If you are looking for the Adventures of The Bad Movie Twins they continue on the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation preview. That’s right! This week we’re watching Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to finish the Franchise-zzzzz cycle. These are films we saw in our childhood (obviously), but never got the full BMT treatment. They also serve as the transition to our second cycle of the year: The (Not Quite) Worst Films Ever. These are films that were at one time posted on the wikipedia page for the List of Films Considered the Worst. All such films are listed in the “Talk” section for the page. For people who don’t know the “Talk” section of wikipedia pages are where you can get a glimpse into the minds of crazy people. Let’s go!

Mortal Kombat (1995) – BMeTric: 40.0

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(It’ll be above 6.0 on IMDb soon. The BMeTric is shocking high I think. I was honestly under the impression that Mortal Kombat was the first non-qualifying video game film ever. For some reason I thought it had managed near 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nope. Legitimately every single video game film ever qualified until Tomb Raider of last year! WTF. Watch out for May, because I have a feeling Detective Pikachu might be our first fresh video game film ever made.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Shou, Ashby, and Wilson are among those kompeting in a martial arts tournament with nothing less than the fate of Earth in the balance. Elaborate special effects and impressive set design are helpless against a weak story, uneven akting, and komikally thin karakters. Mostly one fight after another, as you might expect from a movie based on a video game. Followed by a sequel.

(Boo, Leonard got to it first, how am I supposed to add superfluous k’s to things once the joke has been done? For a 1.5 star review it is actually pretty mild. At least, you can kind of see how it ended up getting kind of reasonable reviews: set design.)

Trailer –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHIfHL5UgFs/

(That set design though. For real though, Christopher Lambert, what you allowing them to do to your hair? And the CGI for real looks absolutely awful. The series of action shots with their names being whispered beneath them. MORTAL KOMBAT!!!! I’m in!)

Directors – Paul W.S. Anderson – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: Resident Evil: Retribution; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Resident Evil; Event Horizon; BMT: Pompeii; AVP: Alien vs. Predator; The Three Musketeers; Mortal Kombat; Soldier; Notes: A BMT fave married to a likely future BMT fave Milla Jovovich… we just haven’t seen enough of her films I don’t think, but she has a lot.)

Writers – Ed Boon (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Is technically credited for having the record for the longest working video game voice role since he has voiced Scorpion in all the games and this film.)

John Tobias (video games) – (BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Mortal Kombat; Notes: The character Noob Saibot is an anagram of his and Ed Boon’s names.)

Kevin Droney (written by) – (BMT: Wing Commander; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Wrote on The Highlander TV series. He also wrote a book called Le Missionnaire in the 80’s but it was only released in France… so I guess we have to learn French now.)

Actors – Christopher Lambert – (Known For: Highlander; Hail, Caesar!; Bel Canto; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Fortress; Subway; White Material; To Kill a Priest; Future BMT: Highlander: Endgame; Beowulf; Fortress 2; Southland Tales; Adrenalin: Fear the Rush; The Sicilian; Loaded Weapon 1; Gunmen; Knight Moves; Resurrection; The Hunted; Electric Slide; BMT: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Highlander II: The Quickening; Highlander III: The Sorcerer; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Who would have thought we’d watch two Lambert films so close together. Married to Diane Lane for several years.)

Robin Shou – (Known For: Death Race; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Beverly Hills Ninja; BMT: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li; Mortal Kombat; Notes: Apparently trained Milla Jovovich for her role in the Resident Evil franchise.)

Linden Ashby – (Known For: Iron Man Three; Wyatt Earp; The Joneses; Mr. & Mrs. Bridge; Future BMT: Prom Night; Resident Evil: Extinction; 8 Seconds; BMT: Mortal Kombat; Notes: Replaced Brandon Lee in Mortal Kombat after his sudden death in 1993.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $70,454,098 (Worldwide: $122,195,920)

(Obviously a huge success. Literally just turn around and green light the sequel, definitely can’t be a total joke catastrophe after this success right?)

#11 for the Action – Martial Arts genre

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(Rush Hour 1, 2, and 3 are three of the top 4 on the list. But this is surprisingly good for a BMT film, only being beaten by The Last Airbender. Came as the genre was waning a bit in the 90s, right before Jackie Chan and The Matrix breathed new life into it.)

#6 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This is our 15th BMT film I think. This was a true early days of the genre, prior to it struggling to land any kind of hit in the 2000s. Really has kicked up a notch since 2015 in both large theatrical releases and gross. Possibly bodes well for the future.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (12/32): Despite an effective otherwordly atmosphere and appropriately cheesy visuals, Mortal Kombat suffers from its poorly constructed plot, laughable dialogue, and subpar acting.

(Appropriately cheesy? These is no such thing. The reviews are quite interesting. Most of the big print critics gave it tepidly good reviews. Reviewer Highlight: The most intriguing is a glassy-eyed follower whose right hand shoots out a hissing reptile that can extend itself for miles. Exotic creatures like these make watching Mortal Kombat feel like being in a high-tech fun house. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Sklog Fight (C)

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(This is basically as mediocre a poster as you can get. It’s short and sweet but clearly riding on the known property that is the symbol. A little weird they chose to move away from the video game font/color scheme and make both much more boring.)

Tagline(s) – Nothing In This World Has Prepared You For This (C-)

(So I guess this is a play on the fact that it take place literally out of this world? I’m not in love with it. Long. Repeats the word this, which make it hard to think about. And only vaguely informative. Everything about the poster and tagline says “don’t ruin this for the video game fans out there… just do as little as possible.”)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.9 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 BloodRayne (2005); 86.9 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.7 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.6 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 73.4 Far Cry (2008); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999);

(Getting there. Far Cry and BloodRayne don’t technically qualify, but I bet we could get one of them in via Bring a Friend fairly soon. Super Mario Bros. might very literally be one of the biggest bad movies we still haven’t watched for BMT. I’ve seen it in real life dozens of times, just not for BMT.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robin Shou is No. 2 billed in Mortal Kombat and No. 6 billed in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is also in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Ed Boon, co-creator of the original video game Mortal Kombat (1992), starred as the voice of Scorpion.

Brandon Lee was said to have been originally cast as Johnny Cage, but died before production began. (Sad stuff)

Jean-Claude Van Damme turned down the role of Johnny Cage to do Street Fighter (1994). The character in the games was originally based on him. (I mean, fine choice. There probably should have been a terrible Street Fighter sequel as well)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras performed all her own stunts (refusing to use a double), including the fight scenes. She dislocated her shoulder during one scene, but they were able to fix it on set, without any recurrence. (I love Wilson-Sampras fun facts)

The film’s soundtrack went platinum in less than two weeks.

At around 6 minutes, Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of the Mortal Kombat series, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage’s first scene. However scheduling conflicts forced him to back out. Nonetheless, the “director” character in this scene does resemble Spielberg, which is most likely a reference to this. (Ha!)

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers’ first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game.

Chris Casamassa was hired to work as a stunt ninja. At the audition the producers were so impressed that he got the part of Scorpion. (I mean … you have a character whose face is covered 100% of the time. Don’t you usually hire stunt men for that? It feels like a Darth Maul or Snake-Eyes situation)

At around 1 hour 12 minutes, when Reptile in his chameleon creature form takes over the body of an Outworld statue and rises as a green ninja, you can hear, very quietly, a voice say “Reptile”. This is the voice of Shao Kahn, and was sampled directly from Mortal Kombat II (1993).

Christopher Lambert also voiced Rayden in the French dubbed version of the film.

Originally the character of Kano was Japanese-American. However, Ed Boon and John Tobias were so impressed with how Trevor Goddard portrayed him that they retconned Kano’s history in future games to make him Australian, which they thought was Goddard’s nationality. They later learned that, although Goddard gave Kano an Australian accent, Goddard himself was actually born in England but had claimed to be of Australian descent. (What the hell is this fact?)

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras had read and auditioned for the part of Sonya Blade several times, but due to the long casting process, she chose to do Billy Madison (1995) instead. Christina Applegate was also considered for the role but Cameron Diaz was cast after the producers saw dailies of her from The Mask (1994). However, Diaz broke her wrist during training, just before filming. Fortunately, filming on Billy Madison had just wrapped, making Wilson available again. She happily took the role, even if it meant that she had to be flown to the set the next day, and had to train for the big fight scenes in between shooting the rest of the movie.

The locations in Thailand were so remote they were only accessible by boat. Cast, crew and equipment had to be transported by long canoes. An outhouse was built in a secluded area near the set so that the crew didn’t have to make constant trips to and from the mainland. (That’s how you get those vistas baby!)

Robin Shou originally turned down the opportunity to audition for the movie, assuming that he’d be cast as a stereotypical Asian villain. He reconsidered at the advice of his agent. (And the rest is history I guess? Not that Shou became some mega star after I suppose)

The coined phrase “Flawless Victory” (a match where the victor sustains no attacks from their opponent) was used regarding four matches in the film. However only two of the matches meet the criteria: Sub-Zero’s first match against a henchmen and Johnny Cage’s match against Goro. (Nerd! You are such a nerd!)

Robin Shou said that in the original script he “was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don’t want to add romance to it. They cut it out.” (Smart move. Probably part of the reason it got reasonable reviews)

Steve James was to have played Jax but died a year before production on the film began. Gregory McKinney, who replaced James, died in 1998. Both actors died at the age of 41. (That’s nuts. Steve James died of pancreatic cancer, but I can’t find anything about McKinney surprisingly)

According to the film, the Outworld fighters have won nine straight victories of Mortal Kombat and only need one more in order to take over Earth. Given that the tenth tournament takes place in 1995, this means that the Earth-realm had been participating since 1725 (considering the battle taking place once a generation means every 30 years). (That’s a bad losing streak. I don’t necessarily hate Outworld, I just find it boring that they win all of the time you know?)

Gary Daniels, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp were considered for the role of Johnny Cage. (Gary Daniels? Who told you that? Gary Daniels in a fake moustache?)

Michael Jai White was slated to play the role of Jax. Ultimately, he left in order to do Tyson (1995). He would eventually end up portraying Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010) and Mortal Kombat (2011). (Neither of those are real films though, you know?)

A music video was created for the KMFDM single “Juke Joint Jezebel” and featured clips of fight scenes from the movie, but it was pulled by MTV due to complaints about its violent content. (Oh you mean this thing?)

Quickly after the movie’s box office success, director Paul W.S. Anderson was asked by New Line Cinema to helm a sequel, but he had set his mind to doing something completely different, and accepted the offer to do Event Horizon (1997) instead.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson nicknamed Bridgette Wilson-Sampras “RoboBabe”. (That’s weird and offensive … I choose not to believe it for now)

Included in the movie novelization was a detailed opening scene of an unsuccessful joint mission of arresting Black Dragon members by the Special Forces and an international task force, which culminates in Kano killing the task force’s lieutenant who is designated therein as Sonya’s murdered partner. (I have a policy that the instant a novelization is mentioned I’m out)

Alone in the Dark Preview

Ruffles, our beloved dog lawyer, has been kidnapped by the assassin Aitch and Patrick and I are crushed. We end up going on a weeklong bender in beautiful Vancouver fighting anyone and everyone that gets in our way. Alone except for the booze, we are approached by an NCIS: New Orleans agent who looks suspiciously like mega-star Scott Bakula from the smash television hit Quantum Leap. “Hi, I’m Scott Bakula,” he says and offers us a deal. He will tell us where Ruffles is in exchange for help on a matter of national security. We know what that means: g-g-g-g-g-ghosts! In the end we relent… for Ruffles. When we go to where Ruffles is being held we are ambushed by the cops. Fortunately, Aitch swoops in with some wire-fu and explosions galore and frees us. Turns out Aitch is a lady assassin and is on our side after all. What a twist! She was actually keeping Ruffles safe from mega-star Scott Bakula. But wait, it turns out she’s not a “she” but in fact mega-star Scott Bakula himself! What a double twist! He peels off his Mission Impossible facemask as we look on in shock. “What are you doing here? You betrayed us,” we say. “Did I,” he says softly, “Or did I save you… sons?” What a triple twist! We hug mega-star Scott Bakula and know that there is one final thing to do before we start setting up that production company. “Still need some help fighting those g-g-g-g-g-ghosts, Dad?” To which he responds with a wink, “Hope you’re not afraid of the dark.” That’s right! We’re watching Alone in the Dark. When we watched In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale all those years ago we promised ourselves we would never watch another Uwe Boll movie. Mostly because he doesn’t make real movies, but rather financial scheme disguised as movies. But promises are meant to be broken, especially when we are looking for a producer that also produced that HoFer ItNotK:ADST… which pretty much limits us to Uwe Boll films. Well fuck us, right? Let’s go!

Alone in the Dark (2005) – BMeTric: 90.2

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(Legendary naturally. To just sit cold at 2.3 is just nuts. Would be one of the highest BMeTric films if people bothered to watch it. If that vote count doubled (and I’m not sure the rating would go up even if it did) it would exceed Meet the Spartans.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Paranormal investigator Slater tangles with a mad scientist in this unintelligible time-waster based on an Atari video game. The opening crawl is dopey and overlong; what follows is mind-numbingly awful. Casting Reid as an anthropologist is like assigning Curly Howard the role of neurosurgeon.

(Kind of an unnecessary dig at Tara Reid there. That was the obvious intention of the casting, to make it somewhat of a joke in and of itself. I’m glad I get an overlong and awful opening crawl though, I’ll revel in that a bit before my brain starts to scream.)

Trailer – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369226/videoplayer/vi4088725785?ref_=tt_ov_vi

(If you get this far the video above that is embedded is just a teaser, the link itself though is to IMDb which has the full trailer (youtube for some reason doesn’t). The CGI looks like complete garbage, the dialogue and action look terrible and blessedly ludicrous. It is pretty sweet I think.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: Alone in the Dark; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominee for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: He literally makes tax shelter films. He is quoted as saying “Maybe you know it, but it’s not so easy to finance movies in total. The reason I am able to do these kind of movies is I have a tax shelter fund in Germany, and if you invest in a movie in Germany you get basically 50% back from the government.” This though can’t actually be one because it was filmed in Canada which violates the agreement.)

Writers – Elan Mastai (written by) – (Known For: What If; Future BMT: The Samaritan; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Notes: Just wrote his debut novel All Our Wrong Todays which is about time travel and seems to have gotten pretty excellent reviews actually.)

Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer (written by) – (BMT: Alone in the Dark; Notes: They have written several Uwe Boll films, although mostly the later ones which didn’t get real releases. Here is an article about the production.)

Actors – Christian Slater – (Known For: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I; True Romance; Heathers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; The Wife; Zoolander; The Name of the Rose; Bullet to the Head; FernGully: The Last Rainforest; The Legend of Billie Jean; Broken Arrow; Very Bad Things; King Cobra; Bobby; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; La Cordillera; Pump Up the Volume; Untamed Heart; Future BMT: Hot Tub Time Machine 2; Soldiers of Fortune; Stranded; Playback; Sofia; The Ten Commandments; Hard Ca$h; Slipstream; Windtalkers; Igor; True Deception; Kuffs; Masked and Anonymous; Jimmy Hollywood; The Wizard; Mobsters; Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; Mindhunters; Bed of Roses; Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory; Gleaming the Cube; Who Is Cletis Tout?; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Hard Rain; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1992 for Mobsters, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Notes: Got his break in Heathers, and has been working consistently to a degree since. He’s now a part of the hit television program Mr. Robot.)

Tara Reid – (Known For: American Pie; The Big Lebowski; Cruel Intentions; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Josie and the Pussycats; Dr. T & the Women; Future BMT: My Boss’s Daughter; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Urban Legend; Body Shots; Just Visiting; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Alone in the Dark in 2006; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for My Boss’s Daughter in 2004; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Just Married in 2004; Notes: Somewhat of a punchline these days unfortunately. An example of how quickly one’s career can crater when you don’t guard against taking on poor projects. Her starring turn in Sharknado kind of revitalized her career a bit, although perhaps ironically.)

Stephen Dorff – (Known For: Public Enemies; Blade; The Iceman; Zoolander; World Trade Center; Somewhere; The Gate; Felon; Cecil B. DeMented; I Shot Andy Warhol; Blood and Wine; Backbeat; The Motel Life; Brake; City of Industry; The Deal; Nanking; Zaytoun; Entropy; Future BMT: Cold Creek Manor; Leatherface; A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; Space Truckers; American Hero; Immortals; Steal; Deuces Wild; Shadowboxer; Tomorrow You’re Gone; Jackals; Botched; S.F.W.; Judgment Night; Den of Lions; BMT: Alone in the Dark; Feardotcom; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Notes: Will play a prominent role in HBO’s True Detective Season 3.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $5,178,569 (Worldwide: $10,442,808)

(Funny enough I had a whole thing written about how this film made money from tax breaks … but it probably actually couldn’t because it was filmed in Canada, not Germany. Which means … as crazy as it sounds, someone decided to make Alone in the Dark with actual financing. Naturally it was a complete bomb … congrats.)

#65 for the Creature Feature genre

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(There is a fascination with the creature feature, and there always has been I suppose. Jaws busted it out in the blockbuster, and then with CGI things like Anaconda made them huge in the late 90s. Alien, King Kong, Godzilla, Jurassic World … it really isn’t ever going to stop. A Sound of Thunder and Critters 2 made less money than this piece of garbage, think on that for a hot second.)

#332 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

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(This is having a moment naturally, although it is interesting that it isn’t doing exceptionally well financially. By which I mean: with IT and Get Out’s success I would have thought that the dollar per theater number would have just been huge. But really it seems like it has just returned to the position it was in in the late-90s weirdly. At least on average.)

#35 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(They really have been trying to make this a thing since it all began. It has actually ticked up a bit on the return recently, and the reviews are coming in … but then again, Marvel/Star Wars/ Disney just kind of consume everything as well, so I don’t really see much room for giant video game franchises. Maybe they’ll end up on television though which could actually be quite cool now that I think about it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 1% (1/120): Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it’s good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter.

(This is arguably the second worst reviewed film of all time. It kind of depends on how you define things. Our last movie, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever has less review (116), but all bad. The former BMT thriller Twisted has more reviews (136) but two are good. One missed call also has a perfect 0% with only 80 reviews as well. So depending on how you calculate things I think there is a strong argument this is the second worst reviewed film of all time.)

Poster – Alone in the Sklog (C+)

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(While cheap looking and with totally uninteresting font and color scheme, it’s not as bad as I would have expected. It also has some artistic touch that makes it a bit more interesting that it probably should be.)

Tagline(s) – Evil awakens. (D)

(Blah. Really hard to have an original and interesting two word tagline to a film. This is neither of those.)

Keyword(s) – battle; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.6 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.7 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.6 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 86.5 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007);

(Given that I’ve seen Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (in theaters …) I am kind of one away from completing this list … that is pretty impressive. For the keyword battle!)

Notes – The lengthy opening text crawl was added after numerous test audience members said they were confused by the plot. (As I assume most such terrible beginnings are made)

After execs read the green draft of the shooting script, the film got an additional $10 million. Uwe Boll poured the money into special effects. (After they saw how real this tax shelter of a film was some rich German decided to evade several million more dollars worth of taxes … that is literally how this probably worked).

Was named worst film of 2005 by the Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. (One of the last ones)

Every piece of body armor worn by the various extra foot soldiers during major battle scenes is paintball body protection made by JT USA. (Sigh)

Uwe Boll wanted Christian Bale and Jessica Alba for the leads. (I’m sure he wanted many a thing in this pipe dream of a film)

One of the two films that received an “F” CinemaScore from audiences upon their release in 2005, along with Wolf Creek (2005). (That is actually pretty awesome. Wolf Creek doesn’t even qualify)

Nuclear Blast spend $30,000 on the soundtrack rights to promote their bands.

Uwe Boll stated on various occasions that he regretted having Tara Reid in the film. (I’m sure she regretted being in the film)

The song that can be heard during the shooting sequence is “Ghost” by Mnemic.

Uwe Boll changed the ending from the original script to make a more ambiguous note.

A love scene between Christian Slater and Tara Reid featuring the song “Seven Seconds” by Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry can be seen in the extended version. (Nooooooooo, I best be getting the extended version)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Tara Reid)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Assassin’s Creed Preview

Having infiltrated the super secret terrorist HQ in Budapest under the guise of the world famous Bad Movie Twins, Patrick and I attempt to locate what we were sent to recover: the obsidian dongle (bum, bum, bum). Trust us, this technological wonder is bad news and we totes gotta get it before the bad guys do or else… something bad for sure. In a stroke of bad luck my mutant disease takes hold and I reveal myself to be a bad guy working in league with the terrorists (what a twist!). Patrick knows the real me and helps me understand that I was never a mutant at all. That to overcome the disease all I had to do was believe in myself, for the nonmutant was within me the whole time! Hooray! With me now cured and our twin powers combined we handily defeat the terrorists, but at the last moment the obsidian dongle slips through our grasps. With hope seemingly lost we are approached by a representative of Absterlutely FerSher Industries. They know the way to finally rid the world of the dongle as long as we are willing to make Spain the next stop on this crazy hike we call life. That’s right! We’re watching Assassin’s Creed for the Fantasy entry in the cycle. Set in Spain both past and future, this video game adaptation did anything but break the video game curse. Despite the high level talent and effort put forth they still ended up with shit. Bad for them, good for BMT. Let’s go!

Assassin’s Creed (2016) – BMeTric: 40.7

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(Wow, opening near 9.0 is hilarious. Dropped below 6.0 at this point which is definitely where I would have expected it as this point. Loving the VOD bump, it has been a while old friend.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Unlike the actual video game, “Assassin’s Creed” isn’t ridiculous and fun, but rather ridiculous and turgid. … there’s no way to translate the hands-on action of a video game to the silver screen, so many video game adaptations either have no plot, or get bogged down in blase set-up.

(Yup. Well … no plot is a stretch. But it is either a ton of kind of boring set up (Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li’s plot is basically all set up and no fighting for example) or really ridiculous stuff constantly (Super Mario Bros. or Silent Hill: Revelations come to mind). They have plots, they are just often boring or ridiculous with no inbetween. The more successful ones, like Silent Hill, tend to reign in the ridiculous and don’t get super bogged down in the details. Sounds like they got bogged down in the details here.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfJVoF5ko1Y

(I think it doesn’t help that a film like this just … isn’t really up my alley. Like the fight choreography looks overdone and a little tired at this point. I can kind of see the seams of the film come apart a bit and see the Prince-of-Persia-with-better-production-quality showing through. That isn’t even necessarily bad … it just doesn’t feel like the first video game film to actually be “good”. Also feels like it is going to be dark. Hate the music, but whatever. I think I hated the trailer when it came out too. I never played the games, which might also be a bit unhelpful.)

Directors – Justin Kurzel – (Known For: Macbeth; The Snowtown Murders; The Turning; BMT: Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Australian. His brother is a music composer and often works with him on projects, and he has four movies in production at this point, which is pretty crazy.)

Writers – Michael Lesslie (screenplay by) – (Known For: Macbeth; BMT: Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Both him and Kurzel worked with Fassbender on Macbeth which is why they were chosen. Next on the docket: Hamlet.)

Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (screenplay by) – (Known For: Tower Heist; Future BMT: The Transporter Refueled; Allegiant; Exodus: Gods and Kings; Accepted; BMT: New York Minute; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: They do a bit more television now, including a television movie called The French Detective. It is based on a series of “bookshots” by James Patterson … I’m officially intrigued, although when did we start called short stories “bookshots”?)

Corey May, Jade Raymond, and Patrice Désilets (based on the video game series created by) (uncredited) – (BMT: Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Hugely successful video game series with, at this point, 10 main series games (20 in total). Jade Raymond was a programmer for what I consider to be the best online trivia game ever made: Sony Online Entertainment’s Trivial Pursuit Online!)

Actors – Michael Fassbender – (Known For: Alien: Covenant; Inglourious Basterds; X-Men: Apocalypse; 300; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Prometheus; The Light Between Oceans; 12 Years a Slave; X: First Class; Steve Jobs; Shame; Song to Song; Macbeth; A Dangerous Method; Eden Lake; Jane Eyre; Centurion; Frank; Haywire; Hunger; Future BMT: The Counselor; BMT: Jonah Hex; The Snowman; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: We just saw him in The Snowman. He is apparently going out with Alicia Vikander. They are a regular video game acting couple!)

Marion Cotillard – (Known For: Inception; The Dark Knight Rises; Allied; Contagion; Midnight in Paris; Big Fish; Public Enemies; Macbeth; Rust and Bone; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; Two Days, One Night; Le Petit Prince; Les fantômes d’Ismaël; La Vie en Rose; Rock’n Roll; It’s Only the End of the World; The Immigrant; Blood Ties; A Very Long Engagement; Love Me If You Dare; Future BMT: Nine; BMT: Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Very impressive resume considering she only has one more qualified film left. Cast in the upcoming Dr. Dolittle film.)

Jeremy Irons – (Known For: Justice League; Red Sparrow; The Lion King; Beautiful Creatures; Lolita; Die Hard with a Vengeance; Their Finest; High-Rise; The Man Who Knew Infinity; The Mission; Margin Call; Stealing Beauty; Inland Empire; Casanova; Race; Appaloosa; Damage; Dead Ringers; The Merchant of Venice; Night Train to Lisbon; Future BMT: The Pink Panther 2; The Time Machine; The Man in the Iron Mask; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; La corrispondenza; BMT: Dungeons & Dragons; Eragon; Assassin’s Creed; Notes: Well established theatrical actor who grew up on the Isle of Wight. Currently, still, Alfred in the recent Batman films.)

Budget/Gross – $125 million / Domestic: $54,647,948 (Worldwide: $240,942,515)

(Not bad worldwide, although given the budget maybe a disappointment? But top 10 video game adaptation … they couldn’t have really hoped for more than $100 million domestic I would think.)

#18 for the Hitman / Assassin genre

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(Huh … I completely forgot about This Means War which juuuuust barely beats this film out for the highest grossing Hitman film we’ve seen for BMT. The giant peak is Pulp Fiction, and these days the per theater average looks a bit down. I wish Wanted qualified for BMT, that film is just god awful.)

#9 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(Naturally, perfect timing from BMT with Rampage releasing this week. Tomb Raider and Rampage this year are very likely to be the two best critically received video game films ever. They are kicking it up a notch, and given The Rock’s current hotness I imagine Rampage has a decent shot at a top three gross for the genre. Which will open the floodgates even more.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (35/192): Assassin’s Creed is arguably better made (and certainly better cast) than most video game adaptations; unfortunately, the CGI-fueled end result still is still a joylessly overplotted slog.

(Joyless doesn’t sound very fun. Other reviews call it “over-cast” which is meaningless … except I think they are going for some “joyless” pub of sorts with “overcast”? Maybe, that would be kind of bonkers and I kind of love it now. Reviewer Highlight: Assassin’s Creed mistakenly assumes that the plot is the most important element of its source material. Actually, it’s the least. – Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly (I actually agree with this, a lot of video game movies fall into the trap of trying to deliver too much fan service via the plot, when making a new story is probably the best way to go).)

Poster – Assassin’s Sklog (B-)

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(Blah, you need better coloring, bro. Embrace that blood red and wash out Fassbender’s coloring and you might have something. Like the framing and the font, but comes off bland and amateurish as it is.)

Tagline(s) – Your destiny is in your blood (B-)

(God damn! That would work amazing with the Sklog poster with “Your destiny is in your sklog.” Otherwise this is real close to not meaning anything. Probably better than it actually sounds… which is real awkward. My brain doesn’t like it.)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.1 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.6 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 87.4 BloodRayne (2005); 86.5 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 85.8 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.0 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.2 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 72.8 Far Cry (2008); 69.7 Wing Commander (1999);

(I always forget we “haven’t seen” Mario Bros. … we have. Many times. Just not for BMT yet. It’ll come up though. This is a sublime set of movies, just a murderer’s row from top to bottom.)

Notes – The film features the highest free fall performed by a stuntman in almost 35 years. The stuntman Damien Walters performed a free fall from the height of 125 feet (38 meters), which lasted almost 3 seconds with a 61 mph impact speed. (Exciting. I appreciate the effort for practical effects)

Michael Fassbender and Ariane Labed did 95% of the fights in the film themselves.

Cal’s father, Joseph is played by Brendan Gleeson and the young Joseph is played by Brian Gleeson – who is actually Brendan’s son. (Hmmmmm. I kind of prefer janky CGI honestly).

Ubisoft gave the prop makers a detailed list of every weapon ever made for the games that they could use as a guide.

The Assassins costumes took 2-3 months to make and were all hand-crafted. There are eight versions of each costume, with an entire costume team devoted to each of the Assassins. (Kind of love the detail here actually)

80% of the film, including stunts, extras and locations, were shot on camera, without using CGI.

This movie is based on a game with the same name. The actor Michael Fassbender had never played any of the nine games in the series until just before filming commenced; he didn’t even know that the games existed until he was hired by Ubisoft. (HA)

As one of the producers, Michael Fassbender lobbied to have Justin Kurzel directing the movie following their work on Macbeth (2015). Fassbender also chose Marion Cotillard to be his co-star again. (Yes, obviously, although I think they might have needed more experiences screenwriters on the job).

Marion Cotillard told French magazine Studio Ciné Live in May 2016, that when she was on the set of Mal de pierres (2016), she received a new version of the script of Assassin’s Creed and discovered that her character and by extension the film, no longer corresponded to what she had loved. So she called director Justin Kurzel and he fully agreed with her disagreements. For fifteen days, Kurzel, Michael Fassbender and Cotillard reworked the script. (Huh, and yet none of them have a writing credit which is interesting).

In the Assassin’s Creed video game series the present-day character, Desmond, has a scar on the right side of his lip. This same scar can also be seen on the assassin from the first game, Altair, as well as the assassin from Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Ezio. Coincidentally, Michael Fassbender also has a similar scar on the same side of his upper lip. (Coooooool)

The historical sequences set in 15th century Spain were shot in Spanish language. According to Justin Kurzel, they tried to do them in English first, but the decision about Spanish was too obvious and good, and it adds an exoticness and richness to the film. In the games, however, these sequences were in English, as well as all the modern-day scenes. Which was explained by the presence of built-in translator in the Animus machine.

While portraying Aguilar de Nerha, the protagonist of the past time-line, Michael Fassbender wore brown contact lenses, creating an alienating effect to the outward world and achieving the subtle difference between him and Callum Lynch, the protagonist of the present time-line. (Jeez louise. I need to curate these notes, but I kind of love them).

Michael Fassbender actively participated in the film’s post-production, including editing. (I hope he didn’t do the same with The Snowman heeeeeeeeeeeeeyooooooooo)

Kurzel didn’t want the movie to feel like a superhero film, he wanted to embrace “what it is to be human” through practical effects and parkour-intensive stunts. (Honestly … that’s a little weird. To use practical effects to make something NOT feel like something? Not sure I agree).

Originally, it was going to be 2 hours and 20 minutes. It was then shortened to only 1 hour and 48 minutes. (Wooooooof, not a ton of confidence there)

At the end of the film when the templers all meet up. The building they are in is the United Grand Lodge of England, the building is the main lodge for Freemasonry in the U.K. (That’s a fun fact).

Max Payne Preview

Alright so we’ve covered an adaptation of a tech product and a TV show. Time to get down to real business because this week for our Action entry is the always reliable video game adaptation. There have been numerous adaptations over the years and none (NONE!) have actually achieved a fresh RT score. In fact, it’s incredibly rare for a video game adaptation to escape qualification for BMT (Angry Birds being the most recent). So we had a lot to choose from and went for a film that’s been on our BMT radar for years. That’s right! We’re nabbing the Mark Wahlberg classic Max Payne. There was a moment in time where it looked like Wahlberg’s career might be headed to a dark place. Just two years after getting an Oscar nomination for The Departed he did The Happening and Max Payne in the same year! Incredible. Of course he rallied and is now one of the biggest movie stars on the planet so good for him. Keep making those Transformers for us. Let’s go!

Max Payne (2008) – BMeTric: 54.5

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(Always a good sign when the rating is unchanged for years on end effectively. And that’s a lotta votes. Definitely a popular below average rated film if I’ve ever seen one.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  A Dirty Harry-like homicide cop (Wahlberg) seeks revenge against the killers of his loved ones. Good-looking film falls flat dramatically. There’s plenty of gore, though it’s not graphic enough to earn this an R rating. Based on a popular video game.

(Loving the hyphen game as usual from Leonard. The visual style certainly looks unique, along the lines of Sin City and 300. That can be hit or miss, and is certainly isn’t particularly popular at the moment.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2jAEoBz6RY

(Oooooof the voice over start. And jesus this could not be more stylized with the music and the visual design. I remember the visual of the guy getting pulled out of the building from when this trailer came out … I was unimpressed then. The trailer kind of makes the film look like crap.)

Directors – John Moore – (Future BMT: The Omen; I.T.; Flight of the Phoenix; Behind Enemy Lines; BMT: A Good Day to Die Hard; Max Payne; Notes: Irish. He started in commercials and got his big break after creating the launch add for the Sega Dreamcast (RIP). It was apparently “so visually impressive” that they offered him a $40 million action film. While I don’t buy that, I do love commercial directors making films.)

Writers – Beau Thorne (screenplay) – (BMT: Max Payne; Notes: What are the odds of two Beaus involved in the same movie, I wonder if him and Beau Bridges hung out. He is apparently best friends with Bryan Bertino a writer-producer of horror films.)

Sam Lake (video game by Remedy Entertainment and 3-D Realms Entertainment) – (BMT: Max Payne; Notes: Finnish, he wrote the screenplay for many Remedy Entertainment video games around that time as he is good friends with the founder Petri Järvilehto. His real name is Sami Järvi, Järvi is Finnish for Lake.)

Actors – Mark Wahlberg – (Known For: All the Money in the World; The Departed; Deepwater Horizon; Patriots Day; Ted 2; Boogie Nights; Ted; Shooter; Planet of the Apes; Lone Survivor; The Italian Job; The Other Guys; Pain & Gain; 2 Guns; The Fighter; Four Brothers; Rock Star; Date Night; Three Kings; The Basketball Diaries; Future BMT: The Truth About Charlie; Daddy’s Home; Mojave; Broken City; Fear; Renaissance Man; Daddy’s Home 2; Entourage; The Lovely Bones; BMT: The Happening; Transformers: The Last Knight; Max Payne; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Notes: Bomb, just watched him in yet another Transformers film. We need to get our hands on his fitness documentary Creating Form… Focus… Fitness, the Marky Mark Workout from 1993. That shit is def bananas.)

Mila Kunis – (Known For: Bad Moms; Black Swan; Ted; Friends with Benefits; Oz the Great and Powerful; The Book of Eli; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Date Night; Blood Ties; Get Over It; Extract; Piranha; Future BMT: Annie; Krippendorf’s Tribe; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; Moving McAllister; A Bad Moms Christmas; The Color of Time; Third Person; BMT: Jupiter Ascending; Max Payne; Notes: Married to Ashton Kutcher now. She had to lie about her age in order to get her big break in That 70s Show, which she started on when she was 15 (gross). In the first episode Kutcher (who was 20) was making out with a 15-year-old on camera … g-g-g-gross)

Beau Bridges – (Known For: The Mountain Between Us; Jerry Maguire; The Descendants; Charlotte’s Web; The Ballad of Jack and Rose; Hit and Run; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya; From Up on Poppy Hill; The Fabulous Baker Boys; Eden; The Hotel New Hampshire; Norma Rae; The Landlord; Heart Like a Wheel; Force of Evil; The Incident; The Runner Stumbles; For Love of Ivy; Gaily, Gaily; Hammersmith Is Out; Future BMT: Sidekicks; Village of the Giants; The Good German; The Wizard; RocketMan; Spinning Into Butter; Two-Minute Warning; Rushlights; BMT: Max Payne; Notes: The older brother of actor Jeff Bridges. He is nearly 80. Fun facts about this dude: he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1969. He is only 5’ 10’’ but played basketball for UCLA in probably like 1959. His father is Lloyd Bridges from Airplane!)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $40,689,393 (Worldwide: $85,416,905)

(That isn’t great, considering it is an action film you would hope you’d get to $100 million at least. The domestic total also isn’t very impressive, especially at the time. But I also wouldn’t necessarily call it a bomb. One Bud Light ad and you’re good to go.)

#16 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

maxpayne_videogameadaptation

(During the 2000s they were trying so hard to make video game films a thing. They’ve never really done well though. Famously, there has never been a “fresh” video game adaptation on Rotten Tomatoes. We’ve seen Warcraft, Silent Hill, Silent Hill: Revelations, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Need for Speed, Hitman, Hitman: Agent 47, Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li, Doom, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Wing Commander, … YIKES.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (21/134): While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection.

(Yiiiiiiiiiiis. Over direction and illogical plots are my jam. A very impressive critical bomb, probably among the worst of the major released in 2008. Finally getting that street cred going.)

Poster – Max Sklog (B)

Camp C Eng (Page 1)

(Give it props for bold choices, most of them good. Feels a little empty and amateurish, but maybe just because it’s different than most posters. Also never a huge fan of black as a primary color, but better than white.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F——)

(Oh fuck you, Max Payne. You too good for a tagline? Is that what it is? I’m sure you could have whipped up an OK pun on the name Payne.)

Keyword(s) – based on video game; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.1 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.6 House of the Dead (2003); 88.5 Street Fighter (1994); 87.4 BloodRayne (2005); 86.4 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 85.8 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 83.9 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 79.0 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 72.6 Far Cry (2008); 69.6 Wing Commander (1999);

(Just because we refuse to do all of the Uwe Boll films, we kind of get screwed here. BTW, check out last week’s Hall of Fame inductee: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale! It is straight garbage juice.)

Notes – The game designers at 3D-Realms were apparently unimpressed by the motion picture adaptation. (literally no game design stoudio has ever been impressed with a film adaptation)

The extra scene after the end credits was supposed to set the stage for a sequel. But due to the film’s poor performance at the box-office, 20th Century Fox decided to abandon plans for a sequel.

James McCaffrey, the voice of Max Payne in the video game franchise, makes a cameo as the FBI Agent that Lieutenant Jim Bravura introduces to the “real” police officer. He also shows up near the end of the film, asking if Bravura is alright, before calling in Division One over the radio. (cool)

Due to the PG-13 rating that the studio wanted, John Moore filmed two versions of the two biggest action sequences in the film, a) The Aesir Swat Building Shoot-out, and b) Max Payne’s attack on the Aesir building starting from the parking garage scene. John Moore filmed a version with impact squibs (seen in the PG-13 cut) and one with bloody wound squibs. Moore also stated that the parking garage scene during the filming of using the blood wound squibs was “one of the bloodiest shootouts he has ever filmed”.

In the film, Valkyries are shown as male. In Norse Mythology, all Valkyries are female. They are also referred to as “Odin’s Girls” for the same reason. (What is this? A fourth grade Norse Mythology Unit?)

Early in the film, Max beats up three thugs in the Roscoe Street subway station. This fictitious station is the setting of one of the first levels in the video game, where DEA Agent Alex Balder (upon whom the film’s Detective Alex Balder is based) is murdered.

Mark Wahlberg reportedly never played the video game, as he didn’t want to become addicted, and felt the script connected him to the story enough. (We have something in common then)

Very little of the movie was actually shot on greenscreen. Instead, Director John Moore opted to shoot in Toronto during the night, in order to add extra reality to his actors’ reactions.

The name of the club is RAGLAN AND BROCK. Some of the letters are burned out and it makes the sign look like it reads RAG NA ROCK. (Cool Norse mythology shit)

Olga Kurylenko’s second movie based on a video game. The first was Hitman (2007). (Noice)

Voted online as “One of the worst movies ever made”.(Not so noice)

Max keeps most of the stuff from his old house in a shipping container at a place called Gognitti’s Self-Storage. The place is named after Mafia Lieutenant Vinnie Gognitti, one of the video game’s minor villains.

The trailer for Max Payne is seen playing on a television in the background of Ari Gold’s office in Entourage (2004) – a show produced by Mark Wahlberg. (Gross)

John Moore has said that he tried to please fan requests as much and frequently as possible. (Almost always a mistake)

In the post-credits scene, as Max Payne walks into the bar, a marquee across the street reading “Forgotten Rebels” and “The 3Tards” is visible. Visual Effects Supervisor Jeff Campbell is the guitarist for the punk band Forgotten Rebels. “The 3Tards” is a shout-out to the fellow Ontario-born punk band (both have played shows together, including during post-production of “Max Payne”). (The 3tards is one of the worst names for a band I’ve ever seen)

This is the second video game adaptation Olga Kurylenko appears in, the other being Hitman (2007). Coincidentally they both feature former Prison Break (2005) actors as antagonists. (Everyone knows I love me some Prison Break)

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Mark Wahlberg)