Rambo (2008) Preview

“This how you got there?” the gangster squad says looking into the prison tunnel where Jamie and Patrick first got to the BMTverse and met Nic Cage, “didn’t peg you for a criminal.” Patrick just shrugs somberly. He can’t stop thinking about Sticks and Stones. A dangerous pair for him and Jamie together, let alone on their own. “Well we better get down there before they find us,” Patrick says, but the gangsters put a hand on his shoulder. “Woah there, big guy, you don’t think we’d let you go down there alone. Who knows who or what is waiting for you on the other side. We got you a guide. Someone who knows the terrain, someone who spent some time as a prisoner in the BMTverse. He’ll help you get down there and find you brother and if he don’t we’ll kill him,” they laugh as they grasp Patrick’s hand. “Thanks,” Patrick replies, realizing that these gangsters are his friends. Ever since he and Jamie made it big on the Rich and Poe series he had forgotten what it was like to have a friend and he smiles. Just then his guide emerges from the tunnel “You ready to go?” he growls and Patrick is stunned. “Woah! Sly? What are you doing in the BMTverse? You don’t belong there. You’re the best! The best!” But the man shakes his head. “No, the name’s Rambo. And I’ve spent my fair share of time in the BMTverse,” he says looking into the distance, “You better believe it.” As Patrick attempts once again to enter the tunnel he’s even more shocked to see three more Rambos emerge from the tunnel of varying ages. “You better believe it,” they all growl in unison. That’s right! The third BMT Live! Of the year is upon us and it’s an extra special Rambo extravaganza. We waited with bated breath for Rambo: Last Blood to officially qualify and once it did we realized that Rambo: FIrst Blood Part II, Rambo III, Rambo, and Rambo: Last Blood all qualify for BMT. Ohhhhhhhhh boy. Let’s go!

Rambo (2008) – BMeTric: 9.3 

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(It is kind of stunning to see the rating so high here. I’m going to be honest, I’ve heard nothing but bad things about this film. That it is gore for the sake of gore and just not in the spirit of the Rambos that preceded it. I guess I’ll see.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Stallone is a bit long in the tooth to be reprising his Rambo character, but here he is in the series’ fourth installment (and first in two decades). This time around, everybody’s favorite whacked-out Vietnam veteran-action hero emerges from a peaceful retirement in Thailand to rescue come captured missionaries and doctors in Myanmar (Burma). Needlessly bloody and unintentionally laughable. Stallone also co-scripted.

(This is literally the only thing I’ve ever heard about this film, that it is needlessly bloody. So much so that it makes you feel gross … I don’t like feeling gross so I’m not looking forward to this.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CRjdwRYQbU/

(Them not showing Julie Benz basically at all in this trailer is insane. She’s basically the entire motivation for the film. Looks dumb though, like … this trailer is the same regardless of whether this was even released to theaters. Looks like a straight-to-video Van Damme film sequel basically.)

Directors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; Rocky III; Rocky II; Paradise Alley; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky IV; BMT: Rambo; Notes: Stallone has all but confirmed Expendables 4 in recent interviews, although it seems doubtful Schwarzeneggar will return.)

Writers – Art Monterastelli (written by) – (Future BMT: The Hunted; BMT: Rambo; Notes: He was a television writer for decades, and then reeled off three features right at the end of his career. This is his last writing credit.)

Sylvester Stallone (written by) – (Known For: First Blood; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Homefront; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Rocky II; The Lords of Flatbush; Paradise Alley; F.I.S.T; Future BMT: Staying Alive; Rocky V; Rocky IV; BMT: Driven; Rhinestone; Cobra; Over the Top; The Expendables 3; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Apparently is a strong supporter of gun control despite being a well known conservative)

David Morrell (character) – (Known For: First Blood; BMT: Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Born in Canada he became an American citizen in 1993)

Actors – Sylvester Stallone – (Known For: First Blood; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Creed II; Rocky; Creed; Escape Plan; The Expendables; Rocky Balboa; The Expendables 2; Rocky III; Cliffhanger; Cop Land; Rocky II; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Antz; Bullet to the Head; Death Race 2000; Nighthawks; Future BMT: Escape Plan II; Staying Alive; Rocky V; D-Tox; Escape Plan 3; The Specialist; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn; Avenging Angelo; Backtrace; Ratchet & Clank; Collection; Assassins; Oscar; Rocky IV; BMT: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Driven; Zookeeper; Rhinestone; Get Carter; Judge Dredd; Cobra; Over the Top; Daylight; The Expendables 3; Tango & Cash; Grudge Match; Lock Up; Demolition Man; Rambo: First Blood Part II; Rambo III; Rambo; Rambo: Last Blood; Notes: Apparently he broke his neck while filming The Expendables, and was in intensive care for four days after asking Dolph Lendgren to punch him as hard as he could in the chest.)

Sylvester Stallone Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Rocky IV in 1986; Winner for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1986; Winner for Worst Actor in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1989 for Rambo III; and in 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot; Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Spy Kids 3: Game Over in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; Winner for Worst Actor of the Decade in 1990; Nominee for Worst Director for The Expendables in 2011; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1985 for Rhinestone; in 1986 for Rocky IV; in 1987 for Cobra; in 1989 for Rambo III; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1994 for Cliffhanger; and in 2002 for Driven; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1987 for Cobra; in 1988 for Over the Top; in 1990 for Lock Up, and Tango & Cash; in 1991 for Rocky V; in 1992 for Oscar; in 1995 for The Specialist; in 1996 for Assassins, and Judge Dredd; in 1997 for Daylight; in 2001 for Get Carter; and in 2014 for Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, and Grudge Match; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Driven in 2002; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn in 1999;

Julie Benz – (Known For: As Good as It Gets; Circle; Due occhi diabolici; The Brothers; Future BMT: Jawbreaker; Saw V; Havenhurst; Life on the Line; Supremacy; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Black Sheep; Inventing the Abbotts; Answers to Nothing; BMT: Punisher: War Zone; Rambo; Notes: You would know her as Rita from Dexter. She competed in the 1988 US Ice Dancing Championship, placing third. Her older brother and sister represented the US internationally in the sport.)

Matthew Marsden – (Known For: Black Hawk Down; Bounty Killer; Shiner; Future BMT: DOA: Dead or Alive; Tamara; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Resident Evil: Extinction; The Young Americans; BMT: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Atlas Shrugged: Part I; Rambo; Notes: An avid superbike racer having been taught by Ron Haslam, and has a black belt in Taekwondo.)

Budget/Gross – $50 million / Domestic: $42,754,105 (Worldwide: $113,244,290)

(This is apparently considered a big enough success to suggest at the time that a fifth film would be made. I don’t really see how that could be, it seems by any account this would be a net-zero film roughly. But there maybe is some strange accounting for a hard-R film starring Stallone which means the production gets more money from foreign ticket sales.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (56/149): Sylvester Stallone knows how to stage action sequences, but the movie’s uneven pacing and excessive violence (even for the franchise) is more nauseating than entertaining.

(Much more borderline that I remembered it. I do remember that this was just considered gross when it came out which made me immediately have no interest in it. Reviewer Highlight: Well-shot and well-edited violence porn. – Mike Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Poe (2008) (B+)

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(I like the green tone and finally they have a unique font. Not loving the close up on the face. Makes the poster a little jarring, but probably the best of the bunch.)

Tagline(s) – Live for nothing, or die for something. (C)

(This would grade higher if it wasn’t so cliched. This happens sometimes where you get a tagline that sounds super great, but then you realize that it could apply to 50% of all movies ever. So hard to grade.)

Keyword(s) – surname as title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.2 Gigli (2003); 60.7 Seed (2006); 47.9 Winchester (2018); 47.5 MacGruber (2010); 44.4 Blueberry (2004); 38.3 Stratton (2017); 36.5 Jobs (2013); 36.0 Shaft (2000); 34.2 Sgt. Bilko (1996); 33.1 Dahmer (2002);

(I kind of love this list. We’ll be watching Shaft this year I think. And Sgt. Bilko will be fun to revisit some time. But what’s this? … MacGruber is one of the best films ever made so I don’t really get that.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sylvester Stallone is No. 1 billed in Rambo and No. 1 billed in Expendables 3, which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 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) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 10. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 8.

Notes – Rambo was banned in Myanmar (formally Burma), and bootlegs are a hot item. Burmese Freedom Fighters have even adopted dialogue from the movie as battle cries, most notably “Live for nothing, or die for something.” Sylvester Stallone said “That, to me, is one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had in film.” (Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh)

Sylvester Stallone specifically wanted the film to be set in the midst of the most brutal ongoing global conflict that was basically ignored by the public and media. After ruling out established (and well-known) conflicts in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, Stallone talked to international experts who told him about the Burmese junta’s mass murder of the Karen people. He then set the movie’s storyline in the middle of this genocide. (No comment)

Rambo’s knife in this film is a primitively built golok made out of a slab of metal as opposed to his expertly crafted survival knives in the other films. Sylvester Stallone actually stayed up all night filming the scene of him forging the knife like you see in the film, although due to time constrictions, he had to do it all at once without cooling the blade. They went through about seven pairs of heat protective gloves due to this. Sly claims after making the knife, he had a rather warm handshake.

Maung Maung Khin, who played the Burmese dictator Tint, fought for the Karen Rebels in real life. He was afraid his family would be murdered if he took this role, but he took it anyway.

Originally, Rambo was supposed to hold the M2 .50-cal. machine gun in his hands and fire it, but when fully assembled the weapon weighed 120 pounds. Sylvester Stallone was still capable of holding and firing it, but it was too cumbersome for quick movements, so it was mounted on the back of a Jeep instead. (It would also be absurd that he could hold onto it while it is shooting actual bullets)

When asked what his take on the film was, First Blood writer David Morrell said:”I’m happy to report that overall I’m pleased. The level of violence might not be for everyone, but it has a serious intent. This is the first time that the tone of my novel First Blood has been used in any of the movies. It’s spot-on in terms of how I imagined the character – angry, burned-out, and filled with self-disgust because Rambo hates what he is and yet knows it’s the only thing he does well. … I think some elements could have been done better, [but] I think this film deserves a solid three stars”. (Wait … wait … he agrees with the direction Stallone took the character? This is giving me a ton to think about)

The first Rambo film where Rambo works with a team, rather than going solo. (Rambo: The Expendables)

Sylvester Stallone described the Burmese River as “the most difficult terrain I’ve ever had to navigate, including Cliffhanger (1993).”

On the first day of shooting, Sylvester Stallone tore part of his quadriceps running through the jungle. (He looks so slow running through the forest, I swear to god they sped up some of the footage)

This was the first non-“Rocky” film that Sylvester Stallone directed since Staying Alive (1983). (Huh that is interesting)

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Preview

The Predator screams in rage once he realizes that the wolves are not real but rather holograms that it won’t be able to kill. Blasting the surrounding trees with a laser beam it runs into the trees to find and destroy those that pulled such a trick on him. Jamie is despondent at The Predator’s lack of focus. He thought The Predator would be helpful in his quest, but apparently working with a space monster driven by bloodlust is harder than he first imagined. Suddenly one of the hologram wolves walk by and boy howdy does she walk. “That’s one sexy wolf,” Jamie thinks distractedly as he heaves the rotting corpse of Frang to his shoulder and starts to follow The Predator’s trail of destruction. Clearly the creator of the holograms must be some kind of devious mastermind… to be able to create such a sexy hologram wolf. He shakes his head. Why is his mind so focused on that wolf’s walk that just won’t quit? As he ponders the sexiness of that cartoon wolf he breaks into a clearing where he is confronted by a horrifying scene of gore. The Predator screams to the heavens in the joy of the hunt. Only one of a group of people remains alive, quivering at its feet. Eyes wide with fear the man implores Jamie, “I can help you get whatever you want if you save me from this space monster.” Jamie calms The Predator with a bro hug. The man reveals that he is a space explorer sent back in time with his now dead crew. As a reward for his life he could give Jamie access to his spaceship or laser beam weapons. But Jamie doesn’t need those… he just needs something to defeat one little old librarian. That’s right! We’re watching Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I never watched any of the franchise so was somewhat unaware just how far we would have to go to get the first qualifying entry in the series. Exciting stuff, but also a shitload of homework for me. Let’s go!

Patrick, Sticks, and Stone go careening down the aisle and into the supermarket. But this ain’t no ordinary supermarket, in this one the brands come to life! What a wonderland, Patrick thinks, imagine how much fun children would have here, laughing and playing with their favorite corporate logos! Beautiful capitalism. Something deep within him starts to stir and he feels compelled to sing. “Ooooh say can you seeeeeee…” All of a sudden Sticks cuts him off, “Hey Patrick … why is this supermarket filled with racist characters?” Patrick looks around. No race, creed, or gender was left unabused in the horrorscape surrounding him. It was a mockery of the red-blooded capitalism Patrick knows and loves. The shopping cart flips and the supermarket disappears (blessedly, seriously it was disturbingly racist and, not surprisingly, filled with farts), and they find themselves on a desert set. “Gosh dern, that’s not bad Patrick. The good news is we’re on the California Desert set which should be close to the LAPD set” says Stones. “What’s the bad news?” Patrick asks hopefully. “We’re going to die of exposure if we don’t find a way out of here,” Sticks growls in reply. Just then a tow truck rolls up and the driver pops his head out, “Y’all want to see some aliens?” Shrugging our shoulders we all clamber aboard the truck and roll out into the desert. That’s right! We’re also watching the William Shatner directed film Groom Lake. Never heard of it? Neither has anyone else, let’s get into it!

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – BMeTric: 51.9

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(Honestly 5.4 is way way lower than I would expect. It is a not good film, but it isn’t complete without merit, and I would have thought fans of the series at least would see the good along with the bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  The Enterprise crew takes off on an emergency mission when an apparent madman takes over a distant planet and holds its interstellar ambassadors hostage; his motives, however, turn out to be anything by terroristic. Dramatically shakey trek starts off with the case of the cutes, and gets worse before it (finally) gets better. A weak entry in the series. Shatner’s feature-film directing debut; he also shares story credit.

(Leonard knows what I love (semi-colons). BTW this is indeed the lowest rated of all of the Trek films according to Leonard. Funny enough After this he gives every single film (literally) exactly three stars. Out of the twelves films in the 2015 book Leonard gives nine of them three stars. Only voyage home (3 1/2 stars), the motion picture (2 1/2 stars) and this don’t get that rating.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE7_pOy_jZk

(This trailer makes the film look like a comedy. It … well, after four it probably makes sense to advertise it that way, but it really isn’t. The story itself is rather serious, perhaps overly so.)

Directors – William Shatner – (BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Star Trek III: The, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Notes: One of two films he directed. I get the feeling he didn’t really like directing, and only really did it because Nimoy tried it out for three and four.)

Writers – Gene Roddenberry (creator: based on “Star Trek”) – (Known For: Star Trek Beyond; Star Trek; Star Trek into Darkness; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek: First Contact; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek: Generations; Star Trek: Insurrection; Future BMT: Star Trek: Nemesis; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Notes: Roddenberry is obviously a television legend. Married Majel Barrett who was famously Nurse Chapel in the original series, Lwaxana Troi in Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and voiced the computer in basically every series.)

William Shatner (story) – (BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Star Trek III: The, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Notes: Probably more famous for writing a ton of spoken word poetry.)

Harve Bennett (story) – (Known For: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Picture of the Decade for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Notes: Died two days before Nimoy. Was at one point attached to a Star Trek Starfleet Academy prequel series which ended up being opposed by Roddenberry and fans alike, and was never made.)

David Loughery (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Nurse 3-D; Lakeview Terrace; Dreamscape; Future BMT: Obsessed; Money Train; Passenger 57; Tom and Huck; The Three Musketeers; Flashback; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Notes: Apparently does uncredited rewrites of a bunch of Joseph Ruben’s films including the “other” WWI film The Ottoman Lieutenant starring Josh Hartnett. Small world.)

Actors – William Shatner – (Known For: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Miss Congeniality; Over the Hedge; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Judgment at Nuremberg; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Osmosis Jones; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Airplane II: The Sequel; Star Trek: Generations; Big Bad Mama; A Christmas Horror Story; Kingdom of the Spiders; Free Enterprise; Incubus; Future BMT: The Wild; Showtime; The Devil’s Rain; Loaded Weapon 1; Visiting Hours; Fanboys; BMT: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Escape from Planet Earth; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek: Generations in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Star Trek III: The, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Notes: He was a classic 60s television actor I would say, back at the time when such things were just as cheap as one would imagine. He clearly loved stage fighting and running, and many of the notes about his directorial effort suggest as much.)

Leonard Nimoy – (Known For: Star Trek; Star Trek into Darkness; Atlantis: The Lost Empire; Invasion of the Body Snatchers; The Transformers: The Movie; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Them!; The Balcony; Future BMT: Land of the Lost; The Pagemaster; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Zambezia; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Notes: Possibly the most beloved of all television characters in Mr. Spock. He appeared in the rebooted Star Trek films, but, sadly, died a few years ago.)

DeForest Kelley – (Known For: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Gunfight at the O.K. Corral; The Men; The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; House of Bamboo; Future BMT: Night of the Lepus; BMT: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1990; Notes: Doctor McCoy. Was effectively typecast as the character. Also appeared in the pilot for Star Trek The Next Generation as the 137-year-old McCoy.)

Budget/Gross – $33 million / Domestic: $52,210,049

(Not great. It isn’t that surprising then that they looked to close out the original series cast and move onto more exciting Next Generation films after the sixth film.)

#62 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

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(Shockingly only After Earth has done better for a BMT film. Most of these films are actually really really good at the top, this is no bad movie genre, it is a regular genre. The genre is booming. And I don’t think it is going to stop unless Star Trek and Star Wars actually collapses … neither of which I think is going to happen.)

#50 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(We’ve seen Wild Wild West, Baywatch, I Spy, and CHiPs just in the last year! Really getting these things going. This came in way before the big 90s boom. Which makes sense, the Star Trek films weren’t really supposed to exist. The Motion Picture was supposed to launch a new series in the 80s, but they were so lucrative they just went for it, so they really were doing something that even they didn’t seem to think would work: remaking old television series as movie franchises.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (10/45): Filled with dull action sequences and an underdeveloped storyline, this fifth Trek movie is probably the worst of the series.

(Being a big fan of Star Trek myself I’ll get into the personal rankings in the recap I think. But suffice it to say, this was the first of the films which I thought was actually genuinely terrible. Reviewer Highlight – Of all of the Star Trek movies, this is the worst. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Rich and Poe V: Space Law (A+)

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(This is just a really really really good poster. I like everything about it. Can I have this poster hanging in my room? *check if in fact he’s allowed to have this hanging in his room* I’m being told I can’t have this in my room… also I would want a better film hanging in my room. Like Here on Earth.)

Tagline(s) – Adventure and Imagination Will Meet At the Final Frontier (D)

(Ah shit. That sucks. Given that fantastic poster this is a giant disappointment.)

Keyword(s) – captain; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.0 Meet the Spartans (2008); 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 84.6 Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994); 82.7 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 78.1 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 74.8 After Earth (2013); 71.5 Wild Wild West (1999); 70.4 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 69.9 Wing Commander (1999); 68.3 Captain America (1990);

(The 1990 Captain America, now that is a terrible film which needs to be brought along with a friend at some point.)

Notes – Enterprise-D corridor sets from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) were used as Enterprise-A corridors in this film. Very few cosmetic alterations were made, so as not to interfere with filming of the television series, which was under way at the same time. (Yeah, likely the Klingon story here is a set up to the treaty in number 6 which is a necessary precursor to Next Generation. Tight. Writing.)

According to George Takei, despite studio pressure to complete the film on time, William Shatner maintained a creative and enthusiastic atmosphere on set. “I have enormous admiration for his ability to block that kind of pressure from seeping on to the set.” Moreover, Takei acknowledged, “despite our sometimes strained personal history, I found working with Bill (Shatner) as a director, to be surprisingly pleasant.” (Yeah, they didn’t like each other, apparently due to some miscommunication about Shatner not being invited to Takei’s marriage, along with Shatner generally just being a hard guy to get along with.).

Originally, Spock and McCoy were to side with Sybok. Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley objected, saying that their characters would never betray Kirk. Gene Roddenberry agreed. (Noice)

Stuntman Kenny Bates is credited with the highest descender fall in the United States, standing in for William Shatner’s fall from El Capitan.

Initially, William Shatner believed that the film would get a positive response. In the morning after the opening night, he woke Leonard Nimoy up to tell him that the Los Angeles Times had given the film a positive review. Soon after, a local television reporter also gave the film a good review, and Shatner recalled that he incorrectly “began sensing a (positive) trend”. He later agreed that the film nearly ended the film franchise, and looking back on the film called it a “failed, but glorious attempt” at a thought-provoking film, that did not come together.

William Shatner, in an interview on E! Entertainment Television, said that David Warner’s character was going to have a prop that consisted of a self-lighting cigarette. According to Shatner, they simply forgot to use it in one of the scenes, even though the prop actually worked, and cost thousands of dollars.

This film contains the first confirmed appearance of Starfleet Marines, an idea Gene Roddenberry wanted, but was unable, to include in Star Trek (1966). The officers accompanying Kirk and crew down to Nimbus III have since been said to be Marines. (coooooool)

DeForest Kelley noted the physicality required for the film and enjoyed doing things that he had not been asked to do in years. “I was very pleased to see that he (Shatner) brought it along in fine style,” he said. Kelley noted that his own ambition to direct had deserted him after seeing difficulties Leonard Nimoy faced directing the previous two Star Trek films.

Leonard Nimoy noted that this was the most physical film in the series, which reflected William Shatner’s energetic sensibility and what he enjoyed doing most on the series – “running and jumping”. (He does love running and jumping. It is incredibly apparent in the original series).

Nichelle Nichols, an accomplished singer and dancer, provided an authentic performance of the “fan dance” routine in this film; she was outraged when her vocals in the scene were later overdubbed in editing without her approval. (She was a singer, she released to albums, although it is unclear whether these are similar to how Shatner released like four spoken word poetry albums).

Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) is the real-life son-in-law of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, whose Desilu Productions company sponsored the first two seasons of Star Trek (1966). (He’s also in a rather fine episode of Murder She Wrote, Lady in the Lake.)

The Great Barrier effects were created using chemicals, which were dropped into a large water tank to create swirls and other reactions. The same technique was used to create the image of the Mutara Nebula in The Wrath of Khan. (Classic)

William Shatner scheduled the campfire scenes to be the last ones shot, after which the cast and crew had a small celebration before a traditional wrap party later.

This film takes place in 2287.

William Shatner originally wanted Sybok’s horse to be a unicorn, adding a more “mythical” approach to the character, but Gene Roddenberry disapproved of this, saying that this would turn Star Trek into a space fantasy instead of science fiction. (But …. It was a unicorn. Just like, an alien unicorn).

This is the only Star Trek movie to win (or even be nominated for) the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture.

The Sickbay set from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) is used, unaltered in the film, making this the first chronological appearance of the LCARS computer system.

Final film voyage of the complete original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Although there would be one more film featuring the original cast, Sulu is no longer a member of the Enterprise crew in the next movie, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), being Captain of the U.S.S. Excelsior. (EXCELSIOR!)

Harve Bennett was exhausted by his work on the previous three Star Trek films, and wanted to move on, feeling that he was not part of the “Star Trek” family, and that he had been mistreated by Leonard Nimoy. When William Shatner tried to convince Bennett to reconsider, the Producer insisted on a meeting at his home. After several hours of discussion Bennett agreed to return. Bennett disagreed with several elements of Shatner’s story, feeling that because no one could assuredly answer the question of God’s existence, the ending of the film would never be satisfying. Bennett also told Shatner that the film had the feeling of a tone poem, rather than an adventure story. The studio agreed with Bennett, reasoning that the subject matter could be too weighty or offensive to theatergoers. (I think it legit was supposed to be God at the end then … that is nuts).

A Bandai Nintendo Entertainment System action game was slated to be released in 1989 along with the movie. The game was canceled following the underperformance of the film at the box-office (it barely broke even). A prototype has surfaced and is circling the net as a ROM. This is notable for its many basic spelling errors (example: at one point Scotty is named “Scotto”) and lack of an ending (the game may have been incomplete at the time this was scrapped). (WHAAAAAAT)

Leonard Nimoy recalled William Shatner’s attempts to instruct him in riding a horse, although Nimoy had ridden many horses bareback when playing American Indian roles for Republic Pictures serials.

Harve Bennett blamed part of the film’s failure on the change from a traditional Thanksgiving-season opening, to the sequel-stuffed summer release period, and the diffusion of fan viewership following the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). (Don’t you dare speak ill of Next Generation)

Kirk’s line “All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” is a quote from the John Masefield poem Sea Fever. Kirk earlier recited the same line in the Star Trek episode The Ultimate Computer.

David Loughery stopped work on the script when the Writers Guild of America went on strike, and the production was further delayed when Leonard Nimoy began working on another project.

The film was produced during the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), making this the first time that a “Star Trek” film was made while a “Star Trek” television series was in production. The same would be true of every subsequent “Star Trek” film up to, and including Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

When Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are in the brig, Kirk presses a button causing a seat to emerge from the wall. This seat is evidently a toilet (with the lid down) because on the wall there’s a warning that it is not to be used while in spacedock. The giveaway here is that in the US, the restrooms on passenger trains used to have signs saying toilets were not to be used when the train is stopped at a station. This is because there were no holding tanks, and the toilet contents were simply dumped onto the tracks when it was flushed.

Gene Roddenberry was highly critical over the idea of Sybok being Spock’s half-brother. He felt this apocryphal for Sarek to have had a son with another woman prior to his marriage to Amanda. (Yeah basically. Like Michael in Discovery he should have been an adopted son. It would have ultimately lead to a beautiful sort of family for Sarek. An adopted full-Vulcan, an adopted full-human, and he own outside son, the half-vulcan-half-human … can we retcon this?)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Harve Bennett, 1990)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (William Shatner, 1990)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (William Shatner, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (DeForest Kelley, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (David Loughery, William Shatner, Harve Bennett, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade (Harve Bennett, 1990)

CHIPS Preview

As we officially enter the first cycle of 2018 we will still collect several of the major BMT releases of 2017 that we missed along the way. With that in mind the comedy entry for the cycle was notable for two reasons: it was somehow not the only tongue-in-cheek adaptation of a classic television show released in 2017 (Baywatch being the other) and it had our least favorite trailer of the entire year. That’s right! We’re finally watching CHIPS, based on the television CHiPs, about a couple of bumbling highway cops taking down some baddies while also panicking about their own sexuality. At least that’s what I gathered from the trailer. I’m not looking forward to this. Let’s go!

CHIPS (2017) – BMeTric: 29.5

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(Perfect theater-VOD sequence there, complete with matching regression to the mean. Looks like the rating has settled though. 6.0 seems high to me, but what do I know?)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars –  The action comedy “CHiPS” is a buddy film about overcompensating characters that seems to have also been made by overcompensating comedians, often devolving into the same chauvinism and homophobia that star/writer/director Dax Shepard half-heartedly mocks.

(Oh yeah. Wait until you see the trailer. There hasn’t been this much gay panic since we watched The Medallion. There is a fine line between making light of things and reinforcing things. You have to be quite good to pull it off these days.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IfqqUTW-i4

(Oh boy. Just as I remember it. Not one, but TWO different gay panic scenes where Peña’s character cannot handle the thought of getting close to Dax in his underwear. And how did they both end up up the trailer? You’re trying to put your best foot forward… for the love of God tell me this isn’t your best foot. I might have to shut this whole thing down if your other foot is worse.)

Directors – Dax Shepard – (Known For: Hit and Run; BMT: CHIPS; Notes: Mainly an actor, he started doing smaller directing roles more recently, including an episode of Parenthood which he starred in.)

Writers – Rick Rosner (based on the television series created by) – (BMT: CHIPS; Notes: One of the creators of the original television series. Not much about him. Doesn’t help that he shares a name with another Rick Rosner who is … kind of a lunatic. I haven’t listened to the podcast, but the synopsis gives a decent argument for his lunacy.)

Dax Shepard (written by) – (Known For: Hit and Run; BMT: CHIPS; Notes: He is writing a … reboot (?) of the Scooby-Doo movies set to 2020. Also set to direct it would seem. Not sure how the performance of this film affects that.)

Actors – Michael Peña – (Known For: The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Fury; The Martian; Ant-Man; End of Watch; American Hustle; My Little Pony: The Movie; Million Dollar Baby; Shooter; Crash; Babel; Turbo; War on Everyone; Tower Heist; The Lincoln Lawyer; Everything Must Go; 30 Minutes or Less; Observe and Report; The Good Doctor; World Trade Center; Future BMT: The Vatican Tapes; Vacation; Lions for Lambs; The Calcium Kid; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Gangster Squad; Collateral Beauty; BMT: Battle Los Angeles; CHIPS; Notes: He’s struck it big recently with Ant-Man and American Hustle, but he’s been around since the mid-90s doing television work. One of his first gigs was on Homicide, the show that is a kind of precursor to The Wire and introduced the world to John Munch (played by Richard Belzer) who has apparently appeared in 10 different shows!)

Dax Shepard – (Known For: Zathura: A Space Adventure; Idiocracy; This Is Where I Leave You; The Judge; Veronica Mars; Hit and Run; Baby Mama; The Freebie; Future BMT: The Comebacks; The Boss; Employee of the Month; Without a Paddle; Smother; Let’s Go to Prison; BMT: Old Dogs; When in Rome; Cheaper by the Dozen; CHIPS; Notes: Trained with The Groundlings and after 8 years of auditioning got his first paid role on Punk’d.)

Vincent D’Onofrio – (Known For: Jurassic World; The Magnificent Seven; Full Metal Jacket; Men in Black; Escape Plan; Adventures in Babysitting; Sinister; The Cell; Mystic Pizza; The Judge; Ed Wood; Strange Days; JFK; Run All Night; Chained; The Player; Brooklyn’s Finest; Cadillac Records; Kill the Irishman; The Salton Sea; Future BMT: The Break-Up; Feeling Minnesota; Fire with Fire; Ass Backwards; Dying Young; Pawn Shop Chronicles; Impostor; Chelsea Walls; Don’t Go in the Woods; Little New York; The Velocity of Gary; Charlie Countryman; Broken Horses; The Winner; The Blood of Heroes; In Dubious Battle; BMT: Rings; CHIPS; Stuart Saves His Family; Notes: Probably, weirdly, most famous for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the third best Law & Order series. Well known for being rather intensely method. Plays Wilson Fisk in Daredevil as well.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $18,600,152 (Worldwide: $26,800,152)

(Wow, colossal bomb. Not surprising. Have to be honest, not too worried about 80s TV remakes being abandoned. Some can be fun, but most just seem to be … sad.)

#68 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

chips_actionbuddycomedy

(Oooooooo do these come in waves. Tango & Cash, Another 48 Hrs., The Tuxedo, RIPD, among many many others. The respite was brief it seems with CHIPS, Baywatch and The Hitman’s Bodyguard all coming out this year.)

#74 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(This movie ended up near Flipper … Flipper! Joins Beverly Hillbillies, Baywatch, and The Avengers are least among BMT films. The genre had its heyday in the 90s, but still, against all odds, is super strong throughout this century. Seems like this might reverse though with the recent strong tv trend, a good movie ends up building its universe out on the small screen with a television adaptation. A Lord of the Rings adaptation is already in the works.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (18/103): CHiPS abandons the endearing innocence of its source material, using the titular cop show’s premise as a setup for aggressively lowbrow gags that prove only mildly arresting at best.

(Alright … People need to decide how CHiPs is spelled. I feel like it is spelled like the show, but the poster clearly writes the entire title with capital letters, and RogerEbert.com and many critics leave the S capitalized? Oh the consensus, yeah, this seems unpleasantly low-brow.)

Poster – SKLOGS (B)

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(Have to give some props to that font. My God, it’s beautiful. Symmetry is good and color just barely adequate. Other than that there is way too much going on. Tough on the eyes. This could have been amazing if you just kept it simple, CHIPS.)

Tagline(s) – Chip Happens (F-)

(This is actually making me feel a little sick… what did I do to deserve this CHIPS? It’s like they knew I would have to look at it and wanted to hurt me. Well whatever it is I did, I’m sorry. OK? Sorry for all of us.)

Keyword(s) – male frontal nudity; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 76.4 Fifty Shades Darker (2017); 65.2 Rape Me (2000); 64.2 The Canyons (2013); 64.1 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 60.1 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005); 59.5 9 Songs (2004); 58.8 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015); 58.0 Srpski film (2010); 57.4 Boxing Helena (1993);

(Dr. T & the Women doesn’t actually qualify. We’ve also weirdly seen Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and The Canyons. We used to watch a lot more bad movies in our free time … I don’t think either deserves a rewatch to be honest.)

Notes – Dax Shepard did most of his own stunts, including the stoppie during the training test.

After the trailer debuted, a rumor stated that Erik Estrada, star of the original CHiPs (1977), blasted the trailer as “pure trash”. Estrada later tweeted he never said that, and said, “Just watched the CHIPS trailer and laughed. Dax Shepard and Michael Peña are great. Cool stunts too.” (Ugh. With something like this the former stars saying it is good or bad isn’t really saying anything. Like … he’s in the movie! Why would he shit on it?)

Dax Shepard originally envisioned the film to be a big budget take with a PG-13 rating but due to budget cuts after signing on, he chose to make the film with an R-rating. (So … cheap nudity and cursing?)

Dax Shepard initially wanted Brad Pitt to play the villain. (I originally wanted Daniel Day Lewis to be the other Bad Movie Twin, couldn’t make it work)

In real life, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are married with kids. (Duh. We all know and love their Samsung commercials, obvs.)

On the second day of filming, Dax Shepard performed his nude scene, when Ponch throws him in the bathtub (his genitalia was censored). (Second day seems a bit early)

Erik Estrada: The actor who played Ponch in the TV show appears here as the paramedic who treats Ponch and Jon in the final scene.

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas Preview

See the Christmas with the Kranks preview for a description of all of the different movies we are doing for the Bring a Friend cycle! Some of the bonus films will be BMT (by our qualifications: <40% on Rotten Tomatoes, big box office release, released after 1980), some won’t. This week, our film is for sure qualified! Here’s what I wrote about this “friend” in particular:

Christian FilmsThese get major releases, but usually aren’t our bag. A liiiiiiittle holier than thou. Unless you’re Madea, then I love you. Saving Christmas here we come!

True to form, we’re mashing up Saving Christmas with the Kranks! Saving Christmas is by all accounts not a real film, but rather a 79 minute Youtube response video to the made up “War on Christmas.” We actually told ourselves we would NEVER watch it and yet here we are. Bring a Friend was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Ho ho ho, everyone. Let’s go!

Saving Christmas (2014) – BMeTric: 74.9

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(Consistent. A good sign. Even after the hubbub (instigated by Cameron himself like an idiot) it has maintained its ridiculously low rating. Otherwise only surprising because of how many votes it has to be honest, considering it barely was released to theaters.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  Doing nothing but preaching to the converted—literally and badly to boot—”Saving Christmas” is a terrible movie regardless of one’s eschatological mindset. And while it may not be the worst Christmas-related movie ever (a title I believe is still held by the vile “Christmas with the Kranks”), it certainly does the genre no favors. However, if watching shoddily filmed presentations of shoddily constructed arguments justifying a self-absorbed perspective is the kind of thing that strikes your fancy, then it may indeed be up your alley after all.

(Shout out to Christmas with the Kranks!! What what. Amazing. Time for a little lesson: eschatological (adj.) – The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. Pushing it brother. Spoiler alert, it is not up my alley, and I’m prob not going to be a huge fan. But I’m ready and willing to expand my horizons.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqG1Hafyhhk

(Barf. The two people in the car are the director, Darren Doane, and Kirk Cameron. I’m genuinely curious how long the dance sequence lasts. By all accounts this movie, based on actual content, is like 40 minutes long, so I will be disappointed if that dance sequence isn’t a bloated five minutes minimum.)

Directors – Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Check out his wikipedia to see it incredible list of music video jobs. He’s directed a few small direct-to-video and bargain bin movies in the past, but otherwise is a hard right Christian documentary filmmaker.)

Writers – Darren Doane (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Hervey and Doane wrote the documentary Free Speech Apocalypse together. Is BMT objective? Should it be? From what I have seen about both these people they seem like disingenuous fanatic evangelicals to me, and that will color my viewing of this film. My research makes me question whether we should be watching this film … but I suppose that is the point of the bring a friend cycle in a way. I’ll leave both of these guys’ biographies there.)

Cheston Hervey (written by) – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Worked with Doane on Free Speech Apocalypse, helped write this, and was an extra in Saving Christmas as well.)

Actors – Kirk Cameron – (Known For: Fireproof; Future BMT: The Best of Times; BMT: Saving Christmas; Left Behind: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: I kind of wish he was just known as a funny kid actor from Growing Pains. Instead he’s known for making evangelical christian films. Married to fellow Growing Pains star Chelsea Noble)

Darren Doane – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Saving Christmas in 2015; and Nominated for Worst Director for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Mentioned above. This movie sounds suspiciously like a Doane vehicle through and through. I wonder why it is called Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.)

Bridgette Cameron – (BMT: Saving Christmas; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for Saving Christmas in 2015; Notes: Kirk Cameron’s sister.)

Budget/Gross – $500,000 / Domestic: $2,783,970

(Ugh. Legit success. This is how films like this (and I would put any film aimed at a niche audience in this camp) get made: you start will a small budget and smash it with your audience in intensely focused marketing. In this case you focus on church groups. Literal preaching to the choir.)

#50 for the Christian genre

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(This was the 59th biggest release for a film of this kind. I suppose it is interesting that while the average gross for the films isn’t great recently, that even with the massive explosion of films in the genre they didn’t drop too much. A good sign … maybe. It does seem like a genre which might be getting more niche as the years pass.)

#48 for the Christmas genre

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(Wow. Looks like it came right before a new boom. There were three during the last two Christmases, so one would assume there will be a few this year. The only obvious one on the schedule though is Bad Mom’s Christmas … gross. Anywho, this made no money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/13): No consensus yet.

(I’ll just paste a review that seems the most appropriate: Virtually everything about this production feels thrown together. In other words: you aren’t good at your job Doane. You had one job and you made a big old piece of shit instead.)

Poster – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Sklogmas (D-)

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(Messy, and Kirk Cameron’s arrogant smirk can shove it. But it is higher quality than you’d expect from a $500K film. Plus they put love and care into the font, hard to sklogify that. That saves it from an F. Dutch angles on the title though Kirk? C’mon, you’re better than that.)

Tagline(s) – Put Christ Back in Christmas (F)

(B-b-b-b-b-but cadence, and whatnot! Doesn’t matter, this is literally just the catchphrase for the War on Christmas nonsense. They didn’t make it for this movie, and it deserves no credit. Do you know what I say about that? Put the Sklog back in Sklogmas, that’s what I have to say.)

Keyword(s) – christmas; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.1 Jack and Jill (I) (2011); 87.8 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 83.1 RoboCop 3 (1993); 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 74.9 Saving Christmas (2014); 74.4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009); 70.8 Getaway (2013); 69.6 Setup (I) (2011); 68.9 Are We There Yet? (2005);

(I would watch Getaway a million times instead of everything else on this list. Although Jack and Jill will be an interesting rewatch eventually I think.)

Notes – Kirk Cameron responded to the film’s negative reviews by pleading to his fans on his Facebook page: “Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes. All of you who love Saving Christmas – go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see. If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!” This actually resulted in a severe backlash against the film, in which Internet users traveled to the Rotten Tomatoes page and condemned the film. Cameron later blamed this action on “haters and atheists”. (Both are dumb, but I guess he started it. I won’t cry a river over Saving Christmas’ “cheap” rating is all I’m saying)

Made on a budget of $500,000.

“VeggieTales” creator Phil Vischer was asked to submit an opening segment to this film, but respectfully declined. (cooool)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kirk Cameron)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Darren Doane, Cheston Hervey)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Kirk Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Bridgette Cameron)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Darren Doane)

Pinocchio (2002) Preview

This week we move fully into the Now a Major Motion Picture cycle with the comedy entry. Since I’m required by BMT law to read each book that the film is based on, I requested that we do something real short for this entry just to make sure I don’t fall behind right off the bat. This worked out wonderfully as one of the worst reviewed films of all time just happens to be based on a 150 page children’s book. That’s right, we are watching Roberto Benigni’s much reviled adaptation of Pinocchio! Did I say that Basic Instinct 2 was a vanity project? We ain’t seen nothing yet. Let’s go!

Pinocchio (2002) – BMeTric: 47.1

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(This is another super weird rating plot! It goes down and then completely recovers over years. It doesn’t make sense. Typically for a kids movie I would say this might be the youth factor, the fanbase of a shitty movie coming of age and using nostalgia to rate things. But what kind of weirdo kid was watching Pinocchio starring Roberto Benigni? No one. It is impossible. There has to be a weird “it was a hit in Italy” thing going on. It has to be foreign audience power.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  A carved wooden puppet comes to life as a mischievous boy who can’t resist temptation of any kind. Benigni’s interpretation of the beloved 1885 story by Carlo Collodi emerges as a test of one’s tolerance for the bombastic comic actor. This was a big hit in Italy … but then, so was Mussolini. U.S. Version was cut to 100 m. and dubbed with Breckin Meyer (as Benigni) and a host of stars.

(Goddamn Leonard that film had a family! Let’s all revel in Leonard’s need to invoke Italy’s fascist past in order to deliver an adequate burn for this travesty of a movie. This was well known at the time as a disastrous American dubbing as well and somewhat inexplicable if not for Benigni’s Academy Award a few years prior.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnyD71SK-wk

(Well that’s unfortunate. Notice that they do not let anyone talk in the trailer other than to say the word “Pinocchio!” Didn’t want to reveal that it was foreign in hopes to attract more people. Didn’t work. From the trailer it also looks a bit like those Israeli live-action fairy tales we used to watch as a kid. The Frog Prince used to freak me out. Giant scary frog. But I loved them. So maybe I’ll love this.)

Directors – Roberto Benigni – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Nominated for Best Director Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Although he only sporadically works in film now he is still beloved in Italy and very active in the political scene there.)

Benigni Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Actor for Pinocchio with Breckin Meyer; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screen Couple with Nicoletta Braschi, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Pinocchio with Vincenzo Cerami; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1994 for Worst New Star for Son of the Pink Panther

Writers – Roberto Benigni (screenplay) – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Nominated for Best Screenplay Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Also a poet and songwriter.)

Vincenzo Cerami (screenplay) – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; The Tiger and the Snow; BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Longtime writer and assistant director collaborator with Benigni. Died in 2013 after a long illness. Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2003 for Worst Screenplay for Pinocchio with Roberto Benigni)

Carlo Collodi (novel) – (Known For: Pinocchio (1940); BMT: Pinocchio (2002); The Adventures of Pinocchio Notes: Wrote the original story as a serial in the 1800s. Apparently, the original ending to the tale was that Pinocchio was such a bad puppet that he hangs himself in despair. Solid.)

Brendan Donnison (English adaptation) – (BMT: Pinocchio; Notes: Super weird. This guy is primarily a casting director for ADR and voice work. In fact has a company Lyps Inc. based in the UK that is a major player in the ADR voice casting game. Makes one wonder how he is the only english adaptation credit for the film… particularly since he has no other writing credits.)

Actors – Roberto Benigni – (Known For: Life Is Beautiful; To Rome with Love; Night on Earth; Coffee and Cigarettes; Down by Law; Luna; The Monster; Johnny Stecchino; BMT: Pinocchio; Son of the Pink Panther; Notes: Won the Best Actor Oscar for Life is Beautiful. Had a brief moment of fame in American film in the early 90s ending with Son of the Pink Panther.)

Also starring Nicoletta Braschi his costar in Life is Beautiful (and real life wife)

Budget/Gross – €40 million / Domestic: $3,684,305 (Worldwide: $41,323,171)

(An absolute travesty of a US release. Still 150th on the worst openings for a 600+ theater release (it opened at #19!), but obviously earned enough in Italy to break even (probably). The rumor is that it was well received in Italy and that a lot of the negative reaction here in the US was due to odd and off-putting voiceover choices. Sounds like it may have come down with a serious case of the Doogals.)

#13 for the Toys Come to Life genre

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(Normally I wouldn’t show this, but … what is this genre? Turns out it is Chucky movies, the Toy Story series, Pinocchio adaptations, and, of course, the classic smash hit Small Soldiers. We’ll just forget about Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. There is obviously no trends in the all-important toy’s coming to life genre.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/55): Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.

(Yuuuuuup you are reading this right. This is an extremely rare 0% on RT. To name some of the BMT films with 0%: A Thousand Words, Bucky Larson Born to be a Star, The Ridiculous 6, Mac and Me, Highlander II The Quickening, and American Anthem. And guess what? Pinocchio has more actual reviews than any of them! It really is incredible.)

Poster – Sklognocchio (B+)

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(This seems to be the primary poster. I like the base color and creativity used in both the image and the title font. Kinda striking and beautiful in its simplicity. And he can get away with it due to the popularity of the source material. Needs a tagline and almost too simple to be interesting, but doesn’t assault the senses.)

Tagline(s) – None! (F)

(Unacceptable.)

Keywords – fairy; Top Ten by BMeTric: 80.7 Movie 43 (2013); 56.1 Tooth Fairy (I) (2010); 47.8 Troll (1986); 47.1 Pinocchio (2002); 32.6 Pan (2015); 29.0 Arthur and the Great Adventure (2009); 27.5 Snow White and the Huntsman (2012); 27.2 Spanish Movie (2009); 27.1 Get Over It (2001); 25.9 Return to Never Land (2002);

(Interesting list. I still need to see Pan (not BMT unfortunately). Besides that the only for sure BMT film I think would be Get Over It which looks like an absolute travesty. I need to watch that film.)

Notes – This was the most expensive production in Italian film history, with a budget of about $45 million.

This is the first film in a non-English language to be nominated for Worst Picture at the Razzie Awards.

Roberto Benigni originally conceived this project as a collaboration, with Federico Fellini directing it. When Fellini died, Benigni became its director. (wow)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Roberto Benigni, Breckin Meyer)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roberto Benigni)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni)