Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Preview

Let keep the Bring a Friend magic flowing right into the action genre. We took the opportunity to grab a classic of the BMT action subgenre of video game films, while also grabbing a horrifically reviewed TV Movie of 2017. That’s right! We’re watching Lara Croft: Tomb RaiDirty Dancing (2017). Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was wildly successful as far as video game adaptations go, so I think people would be surprised to find just how poorly reviewed the film actually was. It’s crazy we haven’t already seen it. As for the Dirty Dancing TV remake, I heard only horrendous things about it. Hard to remake a classic from the 80’s with a total nobody in the iconic Swayze role and Abigail Breslin as Baby. Doomed from the start. Hopefully it’s a trainwreck and not just a snoozefest. Let’s go!

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) – BMeTric: 40.8

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(So last week Jamie asked me why, if we were to assume xXx: Return of Xander Cage and xXx were somewhat equivalent, The Return of Xander Cage has a 5.2 on IMDb, but xXx has a 5.8. Voila! If you map the 50 thousand votes The Return of Xander Cage has thus far received, and the 150 thousand vote xXx received since 2002, it is well within the realm of possibility that regression to the mean could get The Return of Xander Cage up near the original. Oh, Lara Croft? Lots and lots of votes, slightly below average, likely to be just as ludicrous as xXx or The Return of Xander Cage, so we got that going for us.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Jolie plays the sexy British archeologist-adventurer who follows her late father’s instructions to find – and destroy – both pieces of an ancient relic that can control time. Perhaps the dullest action-adventure film ever made, with flat writing and performances (save for Jolie) and lifeless direction, sparked now and them by some flashy set pieces. Voight, Jolie’s real-life father, plays Croft’s dad. BAsed on a popular computer game. To quote a character in the film itself, “Enough of this twaddle!”. Followed by a sequel.

(Oh, yeah it is followed by a sequel. One which will be addressed at some point in time. Both Ebert and Leonard both kind of had “old man” responses to this film, much to the chagrin of some online communities it would seem. Probably doesn’t help that Ebert never really lived down the whole video-games-as-art debacle. These films having gotten >20% on Rotten Tomatoes each actually end up as one of the more successful video game franchise adaptions … amazing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnNBqNb3taw

(That looks not great. But … no that looks not great. Like Bulletproof Monk, all wire work and ridiculousness. I think the thing I’m looking most forward to is the CGI. That robot monster and the statues look absolutely dire.)

Directors – Simon West – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Con Air; The Mechanic; Future BMT: When a Stranger Calls; Stolen; Wild Card; The General’s Daughter; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: He turned down Black Hawk Down to direct this movie. From the UK, he started his career in commercials, the most notable is probably this guy for Budweiser.)

Writers – Sara B. Cooper (story) – (BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: She appears to be a big name in television writing and production (for things like Continuum and House), so was probably brought in as a script doctor.)

Mike Werb (story) – (Known For: The Mask; Face/Off; Curious George; Future BMT: Firehouse Dog; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: He’s done one thing or another throughout his career, but has mostly stuck to television recently. Was involved with the adaptation of Stretch Armstrong, but that project never saw the light of day.)

Michael Colleary (story) – (Known For: Face/Off; Future BMT: Death Wish V: The Face of Death; Firehouse Dog; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Long time writing partner of Werb starting with Face/Off.)

Simon West (adaptation) – (BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: It is his only credit. Makes a bit of sense, he dropped Black Hawk Down for this, so it would make sense they would give him complete control over the script in the end.)

Patrick Massett (screenplay) – (Known For: Gold; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Primarily a television writer, but also an actor back in the day. Including a part in a Warf-centric two parter (Reunion and Sins of the Father) of Star Trek The Next Generation. Classic episodes guys.)

John Zinman (screenplay) – (Known For: Gold; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Writing partner of Massett it would seem. Both nominated as part of a Friday Nights Lights nomination for the Emmys. He doesn’t have the acting cred, but he does appear as a minor writing credit on an early draft of Deep Blue Sea, so he’s got that going for him.)

Actors – Angelina Jolie – (Known For: Maleficent; Wanted; The Good Shepherd; Girl, Interrupted; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Kung Fu Panda 3; Salt; Kung Fu Panda; Beowulf; Changeling; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Kung Fu Panda 2; Playing by Heart; A Mighty Heart; Pushing Tin; Hell’s Kitchen; Future BMT: Alexander; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; By the Sea; Life or Something Like It; The Tourist; Shark Tale; Original Sin; Playing God; Taking Lives; Hackers; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Foxfire; Beyond Borders; The Bone Collector; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2002 for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Original Sin; in 2003 for Life or Something Like It; in 2004 for Beyond Borders, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and in 2005 for Alexander, and Taking Lives; Notes: Recently got a divorce from Brad Pitt, with whom she had three biological children (along with him adopting her three adopted children). She has more recently been directing films.)

Jon Voight – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Heat; Holes; Tropic Thunder; Transformers; Deliverance; Mission: Impossible; National Treasure; Enemy of the State; Zoolander; The Manchurian Candidate; Catch-22; The Rainmaker; Midnight Cowboy; Varsity Blues; Ali; Coming Home; U Turn; Runaway Train; Glory Road; Future BMT: Anaconda; Big Fat Important Movie; Four Christmases; Pearl Harbor; Most Wanted; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pride and Glory; BMT: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; Bratz; Getaway; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; September Dawn; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Anaconda in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in 1998 for Most Wanted, and U Turn; in 2005 for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2; and in 2008 for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn, and Transformers; Notes: Angelina Jolie’s real life father, although he was somewhat famously estranged from his children until their mother’s death.)

Iain Glen – (Known For: My Cousin Rachel; Eye in the Sky; The Iron Lady; Harry Brown; Gorillas in the Mist; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; The Bad Education Movie; Mountains of the Moon; Song for a Raggy Boy; Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution; Future BMT: The Last Legion; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter; Darkness; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Resident Evil: Extinction; Beautiful Creatures; Kick-Ass 2; The Young Americans; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Notes: Quite famous now for portraying Game of Thrones roguishly handsome Jorah (the Explorer) Mormont.)

Budget/Gross – $115 million / Domestic: $131,168,070 (Worldwide: $274,703,340)

(A reasonable success, and no surprise they quickly moved a sequel into production. I won’t say any spoilers concerning a plot three spots down, but let’s just say video game adaptations don’t usually make this much money.)

#11 for the Action Heroine genre

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(Between two Divergents, not bad. They tried to make this happen around 2005 with Elektra, and Ultraviolet, and Aeon Flux. Didn’t happen. More recently though the releases and box office takes have gone off like a shot. Solid stuff.)

#9 for the Treasure Hunt genre

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(Below National Treasure, so not the highest grossing Jon Voight treasure hunting film … I wonder why the genre basically died recently. I wonder if it has to do with treasure hunting just not being a part of superhero films? Or if during uneasy economic times people just don’t want to watch assholes look around for treasure? Hard to tell. I would argue the recent Mummy though had enough treasure hunting elements to count though.)

#1 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This came at a boom of video game adaptations, but it never sparked the necessary fire, almost definitely because none of the films were critically acclaimed. Unbelievable that only two films have broken the one hundred million mark domestically. A ton of these are Uwe Boll films, so basically fake films made for tax breaks.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (31/157): Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can’t save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.

(This is quite a common sentiment. Basically that she’s either fine or good in the role. But basically the movie is nonsense, like all video game adaptation (so far) have been.)

Poster – Lara Sklog: Tomb Raider (C+)

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(Much like The Mummy poster from earlier this year, the poster basically just screams Angelina Jolie: The Movie. Like the grey-blue tone overall and benefits from the video game’s font, but otherwise not particularly interesting.)

Tagline(s) – Born into Wealth. Groomed by the Elite. Trained for Combat. (C-)

(I don’t know where this tagline came from since there isn’t one on the poster. It’s like they read my book about taglines from the future and tried to make one that fit everything I like… and yet somehow I don’t like it. It’s feels like a mad lib. Just filling in the blanks with random words.)

Keyword(s) – tomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 66.3 The Pyramid (2014); 63.4 Dracula 2001 (2000); 61.7 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008); 54.8 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997); 53.5 Gods of Egypt (2016); 52.6 Venom (2005); 50.6 Mortuary (I) (2005); 50.5 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (2004); 50.5 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010);

(Oh yeah, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer had a tomb. The rest of these movies though, yikes! I would think I Know Who Killed Me would qualify, so I can only assume this is a case of missing links.)

Notes – When Lara starts smashing the clock with a hammer, Hillary (the butler) uses a silver tray to protect his face. This is a reference to the games in which -while exploring Croft Manor- the player can shoot at the butler who then also uses the tray he’s carrying around to protect himself. (So most of these claimed references are pushing it … but this one is actually quite nice).

Lara Croft’s father is played by Angelina Jolie’s real life father, actor Jon Voight.

Highest grossing action film with a woman in lead role. Second is Aliens (1986). (Definitely no longer true, the Hunger Games films gross about as much as this film did domestically in their opening weekends)

Lara Croft is English and Alex West is American. However, the actress Angelina Jolie who plays Croft is American and Daniel Craig, the actor who plays West, is English. (Yeah, Daniel Craig sounds super weird with his phony American accent since he’s become famous)

In the video game, Lara Croft is a 36DD. Angelina Jolie is naturally a 36C, and was padded to a 36D for the movie, as it was felt that padding to the original character size would be too unrealistic. (Creepy facts dudes)

This film marks the first time in more than three decades that a Hollywood production has been filmed in Cambodia, the previous film being Lord Jim (1965).

Lara has been given several gadgets in the film which are specific nods at certain gameplay features (of the Tomb Raider game and games in general) – among them the reloader belt or back pack (allowing her to reload her guns very quickly and without fidgeting about with clips or bullets) and the back pack itself (which almost mysteriously “swallows” any item moved close to its bottom or side by Lara, like the first half of the Triangle).

The makers at first envisioned the scenes ultimately shot in Cambodia taking place at the Great Wall of China. When schedule didn’t allow for this to happen, the alternative was to build the Great Wall in Scotland. Ultimately, they opted for the stone temples of Cambodia instead.

Apart from normal jumping, the only moves Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) does in the movie which can also be done in the games is the jump over the living statue and rolls in the air. This can be done in the Playstation game by pressing forward and square, then circle while in the air.

Lara’s training robot is named Simon, after the director Simon West.

Angelina Jolie was extremely hesitant towards wearing Lara’s famous short shorts that she wears in the games and the opening fight scene with Simon, however she eventually agreed because she knew it would make the fans of the character happy.

Lara Croft uses an Ericsson Bluetooth Headset and an Ericsson R310 mobile phone. (So many of these facts are literally just the objects in the movie. You have no idea how many very specific gun identifications I had to delete from this like. Gun IMDb is a thing, and this movie must … attract the kinds of people who post to that).

Angelina Jolie took drug tests to test her mental well being during filming due to concern about the rumors of drug use and her relationship with Billy Bob Thornton. (weird!)

Executive producer Stuart Baird did uncredited re-editing work on this film and Mission: Impossible II (2000) for Paramount in exchange for the job of directing Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). (Ha! Nemesis is supposed to be by far the worst Star Trek film so …)

Stephen Herek was originally supposed to direct, but he dropped out to make Rock Star (2001) instead. (eeeeeh, about the same)

The rather odd looking record player, shown for a brief second, when she is doing her bungee ballet, in her house is a Clear, Audio Master Reference Table. It comes all Gold plated, And Retails for $27,000 U.S.D. (See, other people are as weird about movie things as we are about settings).

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Angelina Jolie)

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Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Preview

It’s back, Jack! Right on cue we are continuing our Mini-Challenge journey through the world of Friday the 13th. It’s been an interesting time and I’ll miss the series once it’s gone, particularly since I went from actively disliking the series to fascination with the series and finally anticipation for each successive watch. There may be none more anticipated than the SciFi entry of the Calendar cycle. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Jason X. Because everyone knows that it’s a super good idea to take a struggling franchise to outer space (see: Leprechaun 4: In Space). Works like a charm. Of course this also means we’ll be doing the 9th in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as a BMT bonus in preparation for the film. Hooray! I really do love watching these totally unscary horror films. Let’s go!

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) – BMeTric: 72.7

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(That might look like regression, but that is pretty slow. I think it probably will settle solidly below 5.0. Incredible regardless. A popular bad movie. Horror films are always very popular, and tend to be below average, but the BMeTric here just goes up and up. It feels like this is stable, consistent, possibly legendarily bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series, ignores the plots of the last six or so, and opens with Jason being blown to pieces in an ambush. However, his evil spirit takes over a convenient bystander, and reborn, he heads for home to confront his (hitherto unmentioned) sister. Erratic, illogical, and pointlessly cruel; some fans liked it because of its delight in including elements from other contemporary horror movie series.

(Oooof the sister thing is an awful idea. And they don’t ignore the other movies. In fact, the task force which blows up Jason in the beginning I believe is set upon him because of the rampage he goes on while heading from NYC back to his home in New Jersey (or Connecticut or whatever). All of this is tight Leonard, don’t be slandering this series like that.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8gRu3t3OF4

(Rough trailer there. I’ll give them credits though, they didn’t give much away, just tantalizing glimpses of what the franchise had in store (specifically you could kind of see an alien looking thing which suggests a bit more supernatural / sci-fi elements than we had seen before). Cannot begrudge them.)

Directors – Adam Marcus – (Known For: Snow Days; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: At the time he was the youngest director ever hired by New Line at the age of 23. Him and his brother often appear in bit roles in the movies he directs.)

Writers – Jay Huguely (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Sadly died in 2008. Was heavily involved with Magnum P.I. back in the day.)

Adam Marcus (story) – (Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; Momentum; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: He wrote and directed most of the movies he’s been a part of. He doesn’t have many credits recently though.)

Dean Lorey (screenplay) – (Future BMT: My Boyfriend’s Back; Major Payne; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Big television guy, including writing nine episodes of Arrested Development. Was a script doctor during development in order to restructure the script.)

Actors – John D. LeMay – (Known For: The Couch Trip; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Funny enough was in the Friday the 13th television series prior to this film. Has been sticking to theater work in Hollywood more recently.)

Kari Keegan – (Known For: Jerry Maguire; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: I can find nothing about her, her role in Jerry Maguire was uncredited, and I think she quickly dropped out of the acting scene after this film.)

Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Hatchet; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Hatchet III; Prison; Digging Up the Marrow; The Rapture; California Split; Future BMT: Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: Along with Robert Englund I think Hodder is probably the second most famous horror film slasher around, and for good reason. I’ve loved his personal interpretation of the character. I’m surprised by how much he was able to add, but he does his part to make the later franchise installments a little bit tolerable.)

Budget/Gross – $3 million / Domestic: $15,935,068

(Solid return probably, but always a dwindling with this series. As the slasher genre slipped oh so silently into a slumber the money just stopped coming in.)

#52 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Only a little above Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, and Psycho III. Brutal. Slashers are interesting. This came out right in the trough between the 80s franchises  But the genre is effectively dead. I don’t think they will return. They’ve gone to the VOD world I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (4/17): No consensus yet.

(My consensus: Might work on its own as a supernatural thriller, but within context it is a true incoherent mess. From the first nine in the franchise it might just be the worst of the bunch. Certainly interesting considering number five is just horrid. The good reviews are pretty okay with the movie, but almost anything that is said is framed around how not-Jason-X the film is.)

Poster – Jason Sklogs to Hell: The Final Friday (C+)

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(Is it better than the posters from earlier in the franchise? No. Is the font good? Hell no. But do I kinda dig how bonkers insane this poster is? Yeah. Early 90’s crazy town.)

Tagline(s) – Evil has finally found a home. (F)

(This tagline intrigues me because it’s a generic piece of shit that I have no idea how it could connect to the horror franchise I’ve grown to love. How could this be?)

Keyword(s) – undead; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.2 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 77.9 Jason X (2001); 77.7 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 72.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 71.8 Zombie Strippers (2008); 69.9 Cell (I) (2016); 69.3 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989);

(Twilight and Friday the 13th. I would be down for this movie marathon, would be bonkers. Universal Soldier 2 is intriguing. Both theatrical releases got simply terrible reviews, and the second one is notable for basically relegating JCVD to direct-to-video status until Expendables 2. Interesting indeed.)

Notes – There was a comic book that bridged the gap between Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) and this film. It followed Jason after he was dipped in toxic waste in a New York City sewer, and his killing spree all the way back to Camp Crystal Lake. It also explains why the FBI has a task force specifically for Jason. (I want to read this. What is happening to me? Why am I obsessed with this franchise?)

Jason’s heart was used in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) as Monkey Man’s heart. (I don’t understand this sentence, the prop I suppose?)

(at around 54 mins) The Necronomicon found in the Voorhees house is a prop created by Tom Sullivan for The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987). Sam Raimi sent a letter asking Sullivan to forgive him for not asking permission to borrow Sullivan’s Evil Dead II (1987) props for this film. Tom Sullivan said he was not paid and would never again loan out props without granting permission. (That is deep prop master stuff)

The original title of the movie was “Friday the 13th Part IX: The Dark Heart of Jason Voorhees”. (WHAT)

There were plans for a high tech video game based on this movie. The game was created but never released. (Uh … so you are telling me this exists).

One early concept for this movie was “Jason Goes To L.A” in which two rival gangs would be fighting; when Jason would show up and start murdering them. This would force the rival gangs to band together to defeat Jason. (Cool idea, but kind of a rip off of Manhattan. That could have been part of the eight one if they were willing to pay for it)

This entry features the strongest clues as to the location of Crystal Lake. Namely, twice (once at the start, once when Steve Freeman sees the hitchhikers), a sign indicating that Crystal Lake is approximately 29 miles from Fairfield and 39 miles from Westport appears. Fairfield and Westport are both located in Connecticut. Previous films had indicated New Jersey or its environs; in part 3, a sign for Pick-It, the New Jersey state lottery, appears on the sign of a window at around 14 minutes into the film, while in part 1, Enos’ truck has New Jersey on the side, and at about 11 minutes into part 1, the gates for a cemetery also has New Jersey on it. (oh goddamit)

The film takes place in 2003. (Ha, loving it. We’ll have to see how that comes up)

There is a substantial amount of male nudity in this film as with female nudity, probably most notably in the “homoerotic shaving scene” as many fans have come to call it. The reason for this that director Adam Marcus viewed the previous “Friday the 13th” film as somewhat sexist, showing only or primarily female nudity, and thought it more acceptable to show male and female nudity in equal amounts. (Good for him Adam. It is sexist, got to give male nudity a chance to shine)

The only film in the series to be released in the 90s. (Which is probably the only interesting thing about it for me to be honest)

Sean Cunningham long since believed actors never took their cues fast enough, meaning it would take them just a couple of seconds too long to (for example) go out of a room through a door because they’d be too busy emoting. His passive aggressive solution was not to communicate more clearly to the actors but instead shoot at 22 frames per second instead of 24, thinking the increased speed would eliminate any sign of slight hesitation from the actor. This put the audio all out of whack, but he could fix that with a harmonizer. Cunningham puts this technique to the test on Deepstar Six, and liked the results enough to force Marcus to employ the method while filming Jason Goes to Hell. An unexpected though obvious consequence of filming everything at a slightly faster frame rate was that (for example) where they thought they had a 90 minute film they only actually had 80 minutes. (WTF That is incredible and bizarre and just one of the most incredibly terrible bullshit).

Conceptually, the notion of Jason’s essence being transferable came from Adam Marcus’ original story treatment. Ignoring Jason Takes Manhattan, he picked up where Part VII: The New Blood left off, i.e., Jason neutralized and trapped at the bottom of Crystal Lake. The film would open with a mystery man dredging up Jason’s body, so that an autopsy could be performed in a nearby cabin converted into a science lab. We were supposed to expect Jason to wake up and go berserk. However, as a surprise, Jason would awake only to watch his own black heart torn out by the the mystery man. This would instantly render him powerless, and the mystery man would consume the heart, thereby absorbing Jason’s “powers.” The big reveal would be the identity of the man: Elias Voorhees, Jason’s never seen, never mentioned father. It’s not clear where the story would have gone from there, but they dropped all of it except the idea of someone eating Jason’s heart, thereby taking his powers. Jason’s body-hopping via mouth-ingested parasite from that point forward, was likely ripped off from The Hidden (1987), a science fiction flick from New Line’s archive. (These notes are long, but they are incredible. Sounds like they decided to go the Halloween 6 route and completely ruin a horror franchise by over-explaining things)

Magnum P.I. writer Jay Huguely’s final draft for Jason Goes to Hell was awful and impossible to understand. Cunningham was coming up against a deadline, as in New Line needed to see the script within a couple of days or else they’d cancel the project. So, he recruited My Boyfriend’s Back writer Dean Lorey, sat with him in a room for 4 days, and wouldn’t let him leave until they had a script they could film. In the process, they basically threw out all of Huguely’s work. (My God, that is just a crazy story! The 90s were a crazy time)

After the film was released, the Wall Street Journal called it “a return to morality in cinema” because of the scene where Luke and Deborah are murdered while having sex after deciding not to use a condom. (That sentence makes me sick to my stomach. Fuck you Wall Street Journal)

The Mummy (2017) Preview

You’ve been waiting with bated breathe. You might have thought that King Arthur, Pirates, or Baywatch would have hit the mark and made it through. But no! We knew that something even worse reviewed was on the horizon… we just thought it would have been Transformers. That’s right! We’re watching our boy Tommy Cruise in the latest iteration of The Mummy for BMT Live! It’s the second of 2017 (after Fifty Shades Darker) and far less embarrassing to go see by myself. Ever since I saw it’s I, Frankenstein-esque trailers I had held out some thin hope that it might qualify. Little did I know that it would settle at a stunning and unexpected 17% on RT. Oh, I’m excited. Let’s go!

The Mummy (2017) – BMeTric: 24.4 (June 11, 2017)

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(I do love big film like this. It starts at over 8.0 … how does that happen? Who are the mega-fans of the Universal Dark Universe? With Warcraft it is a bit understandable, but this kind of suggests that a little digital manipulation has been happening by studios. That’s my thought anyways. It’ll bounce back up to around 6.0 I think, but ultimately the BMeTric will remain high because it’ll have like 100K votes. A popular below-average film through and through. NOTE: This plot was updated on August 12, 2017)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Perhaps I’m becoming jaded in my old age, but I was more amused than appalled. The Morton character is admittedly more of a callow nothingburger than any [Cruise]’s played. And given how the movie ends I’m a little disappointed that he wasn’t named Larry Talbot. But who knows, maybe he’ll be obliged to change it for the next installment. Which I am looking forward to, out of nothing but base curiosity.

(Not a too scathing review, even if it doesn’t match the awful 1.5 stars the reviewer gave it in the end. I had to look up Talbot (he’s the Wolfman), so … spoiler alert? Actually I doubt that is a spoiler since, I believe, Cruise is supposed to be a novel character that ties all of the franchises together, possibly Van Helsing (ultimately).)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjHgzkQM2Sg

(Tom Cruise loves his stunts. Two takeaways from this trailer: (1) They repeated his weird scream twice in the airplane scene and it throws me off; (2) I thought this was a terrible trailer which gives the opposite impression you would hope. Universal monsters aren’t action stars. They are supposed to be spooky scary. This trailer makes it abundantly clear they felt the need to “update” the stories to make them action films. They did not. And based on the reviews that decision seems like it didn’t work out.)

Directors – Alex Kurtzman – (Known For: People Like Us; BMT: The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; Notes: His first major directoral job … and it is meant to launch a universe. A producer and writer mostly, he stepped in after the first two directors dropped out very close to when production was meant to start.)

Writers – David Koepp (screenplay) – (Known For: Jurassic Park; Spider-Man; Mission: Impossible; War of the Worlds; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; The Lost World: Jurassic Park; Panic Room; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Carlito’s Way; Death Becomes Her; Secret Window; Premium Rush; Stir of Echoes; Snake Eyes; Ghost Town; Bad Influence; The Trigger Effect; The Paper; Apartment Zero; Future BMT: The Shadow; Inferno; Dark Angel; Toy Soldiers; Angels & Demons; BMT: The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Mission: Impossible in 1997; Notes: A titan. Born in Wisconsin and went to UCLA. Hugely influenced by Raiders of the Lost Ark, and wrote the fourth Indiana Jones installment and is currently working on the fifth.)

Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay) – (Known For: The Usual Suspects; Edge of Tomorrow; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Jack Reacher; Valkyrie; Jack the Giant Slayer; The Way of the Gun; Public Access; Future BMT: The Tourist; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Kind of incredible story: bummed around teaching in places like Perth, Australia and working as a security guard. Was childhood friends with Bryan Singer and that’s how he broke into the industry, ultimately winning an academy award for The Usual Suspects.)

Dylan Kussman (screenplay) – (BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Half of these people are semi-connected to Tom Cruise. This guy acted in Jack Reacher and is, indeed, mostly an actor. Lives in Tennessee of all places.)

Jon Spaihts (screen story by) – (Known For: Prometheus; Doctor Strange; Future BMT: The Darkest Hour; Passengers; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Interesting that he helped write Doctor Strange. Will be writing the upcoming Van Helsing movie as well. Passengers was on the 2007 Blacklist as a promising screenplay as well. He is an alum of Princeton.)

Alex Kurtzman (screen story by) – (Known For: Transformers; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness; Mission: Impossible III; The Island; Cowboys & Aliens; People Like Us; Future BMT: The Legend of Zorro; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; BMT: The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2010; Notes: Our director, who is indeed mostly a screenwriter. Well known for his collaboration with Roberto Orci, a partnership which has since dissolved, although both are producers on this movie and still work together outside of feature screenwriting.)

Jenny Lumet (screen story by) – (Known For: Rachel Getting Married; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: She has almost no credits which is interesting. Daughter of Sidney Lumet! And also was married to Bobby Cannavale for nearly ten years.)

Actors – Tom Cruise – (Known For: Top Gun; The Outsiders; Edge of Tomorrow; Tropic Thunder; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; Oblivion; Eyes Wide Shut; Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Minority Report; A Few Good Men; Knight and Day; Jack Reacher; Legend; Mission: Impossible; Mission: Impossible III; Collateral; Jerry Maguire; Magnolia; The Last Samurai; War of the Worlds; Future BMT: Days of Thunder; Losin’ It; Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Lions for Lambs; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Endless Love; Cocktail; The Mummy; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and The Specialist; and Nominated for Worst Actor in 1989 for Cocktail; and in 2006 for War of the Worlds; Notes: Noted scientologist and one of the last in a dying breed of genuine charming movie stars. There isn’t much I could tell most people about Cruise, so I’ll leave it with this: I would watch Jack Reacher all day. Fact.)

Sofia Boutella – (Known For: Atomic Blonde; Star Trek Beyond; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Tiger Raid; StreetDance 2; Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest; Future BMT: Monsters: Dark Continent; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: She has a very distinctive accent having been born in Algeria and grown up in France. She is a classically trained dancer.)

Annabelle Wallis – (Known For: X: First Class; Body of Lies; Come and Find Me; Future BMT: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; Annabelle; Sword of Vengeance; Grimsby; Mine; W.E.; BMT: The Mummy; Notes: Apparently her role in Peaky Blinders snagged her the role in this movie. Niece of the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris. We’ll see her later in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword I’m sure.)

Budget/Gross – $125 million / Domestic: $12,000,000 (Worldwide: $151,000,000)

(Obviously this only counts a few days of its run (reflective when I snagged this particular piece of information). It is doing well enough worldwide to make people pause a bit. It is an utter disaster domestically … but like Pirates of the Caribbean 5 it is looking like foreign box office is saving it a bit.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (32/186): Lacking the campy fun of the franchise’s most recent entries and failing to deliver many monster-movie thrills, The Mummy suggests a speedy unraveling for the Dark Universe.

(Brutal reviews. Reading through them they aren’t nearly as bad as that rating suggested, but the consensus does hint that it is forgettable and boring. Not great. Maybe there will be just enough monster-movie thrills? … Give me one monster-movie thrill, please.)

Poster – We Landed Tom Cruise! (C+)

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(Tom Cruise is… The Mummy. Not loving the droll colors here and Cruise is obviously a little prominent for a mummy movie. It’s basically the opposite of the Bredan Fraser poster that has a giant mummy head and pyramids on it. This one looks like a Jack Reacher film set in London. Points for font, artistry, and spacing.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters (F)

(Oh no! No! Don’t do this to me. A CEO says this at a ribbon cutting ceremony at a newly opened theme park. It’s not a tagline for an actual film.)

Keyword(s) – bare chested male; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.1 Disaster Movie (2008); 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.5 Gigli (2003); 90.3 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.1 Street Fighter (1994); 87.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 87.3 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.7 Crossroads (I) (2002); 86.4 The Love Guru (2008);

(Yeeessssss of course we are doing a full movie marathon with this keyword. Crossroads?! Street Fighter?! Fifty Shades?! Speed 2: Cruise Control?! It has got something for everyone! It’s fun for the whole family!)

Notes – It is intended to be the first installment in a possible Universal Monsters shared universe AKA “Dark Universe”.

The movie introduces Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, which will set up the character for a standalone film in Universal’s monster universe. (Maybe ill-advised. It is interesting trying to set up films based around monsters … since they aren’t heroes. I hope they aren’t marching towards a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen remake.)

The zero gravity scene took 64 takes and was shot for 2 days in a falling plane. Reportedly, a lot of the crew got nauseous during the scene and vomited, except for the main stars Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis, who were really proud of the stunt.

The Book of Amun-Ra from the previous movie-franchise is briefly seen falling down on the floor during a fight sequence. (People use this to claim the two franchises exist in the same world. They don’t … although bringing back Fraser would be kind of funny)

Sofia Boutella’s character is named Princess Ahmanet, which is similar (but not related) to Amunet, a primordial Ancient Egyptian goddess that was the consort of the deity Amun.

Javier Bardem, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Eddie Redmayne were all considered to play Dr. Henry Jekyll before Russell Crowe was cast in the role. Bardem was then cast as Frankenstein’s Monster. (Oh, I was going to say Bardem would have been a good choice. You’d have to hulkify the other two which would be a little League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as I mentioned before).

Alex Kurtzman did state that there’s no post end credit scene because that’s Marvel’s domain. (No it ain’t bro, but at the same time I don’t care)

When Jake Johnson was offered his part in the movie, he loved the idea and the opportunity to work with Tom Cruise, so he signed on immediately. However, when he read the full script and learned what stunts he was expected to do, he admitted to getting cold feet.

The film was partially filmed in London, England, with shooting taking place in July 2016. (Wooooooooooooo, settings 101 here we come)

The film’s original plot is set in Iraq and follows a Navy SEAL and his team that battle Mummies led by Ashurbanipal. (Wow, that sounds awful)

When Universal was planning their Dark Universe franchise they originally envisioned Dracula Untold (2014) as the first installment with this film being the second. That film ended with Dracula in modern day times while the Master Vampire “Let the games begin” in a very obvious set up for future installments. There was early talk about Dracula appearing in this film. However, as this film progressed it was cited as the first in the Dark Universe leaving the earlier movie to exist on its own. While Dracula director Gary Shore said he hoped the possibility that his film would join the universe was left open Mummy director Alex Kurtzman said it would not be canon. (Ha. I was wondering whether I had some homework to do … turns out nope)

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Preview

It’s baaaaaaa-aaaaaaack. That’s right! We’re watching some more of our favorite horror franchise: Friday the 13th. Last cycle we had to endure the fifth in the series, which was so bad that it almost destroyed my taste for all things Jason Vorhees… almost. For the StreetCreditReport.com cycle we have to jump to the eighth film in the franchise, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which often makes it to the top of the worst of the series lists. This is reflected in the RT score with a solid 2/22 (8%). This of course means that we have non-BMT homework for Part VI: Jason Lives (which is often considered one of the best in the series; 52% RT) and a BMT qualifying bonus film Part VII: The New Blood (30% RT) which we just previewed. We’re going to do it guys. We’re going to watch the entire series in a single year! Let’s go!

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) – BMeTric: 69.0

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(Whoa, also regression to the mean. Popular Low Rated film. That is surprising to me. I would have thought that the film would have a more of a sustained low rating … perhaps (spoiler alert) Leonard Maltin is right … maybe this movie is “better” than I am giving it credit for in my mind. By better I mean intentionally so-bad-it’s-good, which to me is just intentionally-bad-and-not-at-all-funny. Gauntlets thrown.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  The best film in the “Friday” series, imaginatively directed and written by Hedden, is still just a slasher film, though less gruesome than most. Despite the title, most of the film takes place on a cruise ship. Too long and not really for fans of the series.

(Ludicrous statement that this is the best film in the franchise. I can tell you that right now. Maybe for someone who doesn’t appreciate the horror genre at all making a movie where Jason “takes” Manhattan as some kind of joke (some kind of sick, sick tongue-in-cheek joke) could be considered a weird pinnacle, but I say nay. Leonard hints at that at the end though, so I have to give him credit for that. Perhaps he did watch this movie at the time though. Could be tipping the hand a bit that the more over-the-top comedy horror films like Leprechaun were well on their way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5fc43O3ynE 

(What. The. Fuck. So yeah, I guess they aren’t playing this exactly straight. I’m going to hate this movie aren’t I? Yeah, I think I’m just going to straight hate it. It isn’t going to have any good kills. It won’t be funny even though it thinks it is. Ugh. I already hate it. I’ve already ruined my viewing of this film.)

Directors – Rob Hedden – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; You May Not Kiss the Bride; Notes: Was a big tv movie guy back in the day it seems which is interesting. He was also offered the chance to direct a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel after this production wrapped, but was exhausted from the hectic production on this film.)

Writers – Rob Hedden (written by) – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Clockstoppers; You May Not Kiss the Bride; The Condemned; Notes: Wrote 14 episodes of MacGuyver. Also cast his sister as a waitress in this film, her only IMDb credit.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Again, he always gets credits, we’ve delved as deeply into his backstory as the internet allows.)

Actors – Jensen Daggett – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Major League: Back to the Minors; Telling You; The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them; Notes: Had a recurring role on Home Improvement as Tim “The Tool-Man” Taylor’s sister-in-law. I’m kind of obsessed with the fact that she was on Project: Alf, the tv movie that wrapped up ALF in 1996. It was terrible, I was ten at the time, and an all-around weird thing to have happened.)

Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Prison; Hatchet; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Hatchet III; BMT: Jason X; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Wishmaster; Muck; Best of the Best II; Father Hood; Out for Justice; Grind; Notes: It is so strange that this guy was also uncredited in Daredevil just like Kevin Spirtas … anyways, he played Jason and was also a long time stunt man. He appears to have parlayed his can-do and fun-loving attitude (much talked about in notes about this film) into a long slasher film career. On wikipedia it states that he is a noted Juggalo.)

Todd Caldecott – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Fear; Notes: Canadien and an herbalist, he released a book called Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life.)

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $14,343,976 (N/A)

(Slowly a-tumbling down. Probably still profitable if those numbers are accurate. It is just that now it is a 300% return instead of 1000%. So, I presume we are about to find a true-blue bomb among these micro-budget horror films)

#61 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Below Halloween III: Season of the Witch. That is basically all you need to know about that. As the franchise which managed 8 filmed in the 1980s (!) transitioned to the 90s there was something foreboding about the trends the horror genre had been taking. And realizing that the franchise would go from 8 movies in the 80s to 1 in the 90s … well, 80s horror was a special time. It is understandable people would reminisce about the fun-loving attitudes of the era.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/24): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make one: Comes across far better in retrospect, but still, the series (and this installment) is still some of the worst the genre had to offer from the era. None of these reviews are from pre-2000 so they are all looking backwards. And they are far more positive than you would expect. A few mirror Leonard’s opinion that it is the best of the bunch, but the rotten tomatoes review score (3.0/10.0) doesn’t really reflect that, so I’m still pretty skeptical.)

Poster – Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Take Sklog-hattan (D)

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(Egad! This color scheme is no bueno. Unlike the previous entries they have fully transitioned from artistic 80’s styling to tacky garbage. Still got the font, but that’s about it.)

Tagline(s) – New York has a new problem (B)

(First of all, could you be more condescending to NYC? Basically saying “check out this garbage town where everything is shit and crime is rampant… even worse now. Fuck NYC, emirite?” But that being said, it’s short, somewhat clever (“new” and “new”), and hints at the plot. Still, there is something that nags me about this one. Don’t love it even though it hits a lot of right notes.)

Keyword(s) – hockey mask; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.8 Jason X (2001); 72.2 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 69.0 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 67.6 Stan Helsing (2009); 66.7 Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985); 52.2 Eight Legged Freaks (2002); 50.7 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988); 47.6 Friday the 13th (2009); 47.5 The King of Fighters (2010); 46.3 Exit Wounds (2001);

(Friday the 13th is a lot less than I would have imagined. Exit Wounds … well I can’t wait to see the hockey mask there. This is also a pretty nice list. I mean, you wouldn’t watch all of the Friday the 13th, but still, kind of a fun variety. How nice.)

Notes – Kane Hodder says that one of the most fun parts of his tenure as Jason was the scenes in Times Square. He says that spectators were lined up and down the block watching the filming, and he didn’t want to take off the mask to destroy their illusion of Jason. He said that every once in awhile, he’d turn his head and look at them, and watch them all go crazy. (This movie sounds weirdly fun. People had fun making this)

Writer/Director Rob Hedden originally wrote more of the movie to be set in New York. He had written scenes at Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. But Paramount told him that budget would not allow him to spend that much time in New York, so he was forced to rewrite the film and spend more time on the cruise ship. Hedden says he agrees with fans who complain that not enough time is spent in New York, given the title Jason Takes Manhattan. (HA!)

(at around 1h 28 mins) In the diner, the man Jason throws into the mirror is Ken Kirzinger, who would go on to play Jason in Freddy vs. Jason (2003). Kirzinger also doubles as Jason in a few brief shots in this film. (That is a fun fact)

In the original script, when Jason makes it to the dock, a dog starts barking at him and he kicked it. Kane Hodder, who was playing Jason, felt that kicking the dog was going too far and so the scene was dropped. (It was going too far. He murders innocent children, but kicking a dog is too far. I would never condone animal abuse and I’m glad they cut it, I just find that funny)

After the disappointing results at the box-office, Paramount decided to sell the Friday the 13th film series to New Line Cinema, making “Jason Takes Manhattan” the last feature produced by Paramount, until the 2009 remake. Only three other sequels were released in between. (Cool. We shall watch them all!)

Many of the actors pointed out to themselves a plot hole earlier in the filming of the movie. They were asking how did the ship get out of Crystal Lake and into the Atlantic Ocean. But most them were just happy to be in a movie so they didn’t bring it up to the Producers or the Director. (Yeah … I was wondering how they would get from Crystal Lake to Manhattan. I guess the answer is “fuck you”)

At 1 hour and 40 minutes, this is the longest of the Friday The 13th films. (WHAT)

Epic Movie Preview

My gawwwd! Is that Friedberg and Seltzer’s music? That’s right! We’re taking this Street Credit Report (dot com) cycle and punching ourselves in the face by watching one of the many ridiculously awful spoof films made by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. In this case we decided on Epic Movie because it’s not quite as small as some of the later films (former Obama aide Kal Penn is in it after all). For its street cred it stands at a brutal 2% on RT and #42 on the lowest rated films on imdb. However, it surprisingly wasn’t nominated for a Worst Picture Razzie in 2007, so perhaps it won’t totally destroy our will to live. Sigh. Who am I kidding? The Razzies don’t know shit. God help us and see you on the other side. Let’s go!

Epic Movie (2007) – BMeTric: 95.9 (#42 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(That’s it though, right? That steady sub-3.0. It doesn’t rise up, it didn’t drop down at any point. Ten years ago this came out and people were like “this is trash”. And throughout the years others heard that this movie was awful and they watched it and said “this is trash”. It is why this movie is probably legendary. I mean … legendary in that it will be just brutally unfunny and annoying. But legendary nonetheless.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – Four siblings find themselves meandering through lame slapstick parodies of recent epic movies and other obvious pop-culture targets. Typically tedious, unfunny hack job, with an array of cameo appearances including Crispin Glover, who (as a perverted, sadistic Willy Wonka) provides the film with its only moments of admittedly sordid energy. Kevin Hart appears uncredited.

(Secret Kevin Hart film, I like it. We’ve probably technically watched something like six Hart films at this point (although Scary Movie 3 and 4 are not actually recorded in the archive … oops). This will be and sounds like trash. I will watch out for Crispin Glover though, that could be fun.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=SN&feature=plcp&hl=fr&v=AZKIr7r6Op4

(Uggggggh. I remember when this trailer came out. What really does it for me is that the last joke of the entire trailer, where Superman is shot in the eye, is just horrible. It involves an actor I don’t know with such a throwaway garbage joke. The cast is pretty solid ultimately, and they should have kind of just focused on that I think … I don’t know, it looks horrible.)

Directors – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – (BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Best Night Ever; Notes: Even their wikipedia says they make “parody movies that have received extremely unfavorable reviews”! They started directing after years of selling scripts that never got made (upwards of 40 they claim). Friedberg’s father (Rick Friedberg) gave them the in by introducing them to Leslie Nielson when making Bad Golf Made Easier)

Writers – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Spy Hard; Scary Movie 3; Best Night Ever; Notes: Their spec script called Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween was accepted after Spy Hard and reworked into Scary Movie. Sounds like the title to this film, weird that it wasn’t written by these two then.)

Friedberg and Seltzer Razzie Street Cred – Nominated in 2011 for the Razzie Award for Worst Director and Screenplay for Vampires Suck; and in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; in 2008 just for Worst Screenplay for Epic Movie

Actors – Kal Penn – (Known For: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle; Superman Returns; Speech & Debate; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; A Lot Like Love; A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas; The Namesake; BMT: Epic Movie; Son of the Mask; Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; Deck the Halls; Malibu’s Most Wanted; Love Don’t Cost a Thing; The Girl in the Photographs; Man About Town; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; Notes: I remember him first from Van Wilder, and then Harold and Kumar, and finally House. He worked for the Obama administration and now is on the show Designated Survivor as the White House Press Secretary.)

Jennifer Coolidge – (Known For: American Pie; A Series of Unfortunate Events; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Legally Blonde; American Reunion; American Pie 2; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Zoolander; Robots; American Wedding; Best in Show; Mascots; Bad Lieutenant; Trial and Error; A Mighty Wind; BMT: Epic Movie; Date Movie; Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Pootie Tang; Down to Earth; A Cinderella Story; Igor; A Night at the Roxbury; Click; Austenland; Gentlemen Broncos; Notes: Has been in a few Christopher Guest movies. Otherwise I basically only know her from American Pie where she played Stifler’s Mom, and Legally Blond. An alumnus of The Groundlings.)

Fred Willard – (Known For: Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; WALL·E; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; This Is Spinal Tap; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Monster House; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; American Wedding; Best in Show; Youth in Revolt; Roxanne; Silver Streak; Mascots; Planes: Fire & Rescue; I Could Never Be Your Woman; A Mighty Wind; Waiting for Guffman; BMT: Epic Movie; Date Movie; Fifty Shades of Black; The Wedding Planner; Love Wrecked; Chicken Little; Idle Hands; How High; Movie Madness; Harold; Notes: Again, very notable for his work with Christopher Guest, but also a titan of comedy in general I would say. He was part of The Second City. Makes me think a good cycle would be something like The Second Shitty … amirite? Movies involving The Second City alums.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $39,739,367 (Worldwide: $86,865,564)

(That’s solid. No wonder they’d go on to make two (!) spoof movies in 2008. At the time it must have seemed like they could just print money with these things. This garbage genre is somewhat saturated now though and I think must mainly go to VOD. I guess we’ll see with the next plot.)

#17 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

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(Just below A Haunted House seems okay. Obviously Fifty Shades of Black was the most recent big release. Kind of puts this haul in perspective, Fifty Shades sits at number 48 with only $11 million return, oof. This literally is the start of the genre saturation (as I guessed), and indeed the genre is straight dying. People lament the death of the spoof genre, but its been dead since the 80s. Scary Movie was an aberration. If only more things like Wet Hot American Summer existed, sigh.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/64): A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.

(Yup. Sounds about right. I’ll have to just psych myself into “everything is funny” mode for this. I remember watching InAPPropriate Comedy. This can’t be worse than that. I will survive.)

Poster – Epic Sklog? (U)

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(Ho-ly shit. That’s a U for Unacceptable. I do not accept that this is a poster that someone made for a film released to over a thousand theaters.)

Tagline(s) – We Know It’s Big. We Measured. (What the FFFFFFFFFFFFuuuu…)

(This is worse than the poster! Why are you doing this to us? What did we ever do to you?)

Keyword(s) – orphan; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 93.0 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 86.0 Norbit (2007); 85.5 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.5 The Room (2003); 83.4 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 81.1 Prom Night (I) (2008); 77.9 Superhero Movie (2008); 71.4 The Next Karate Kid (1994);

(Ooooo The Next Karate Kid would be a nice one to do. Finally have an excuse to watch the third one too. I like this list because, I think, all of them nicely fit the keyword which is not always the case. Also, logging a 71.4 BMeTric as the tenth makes the list guaranteed to be amazing.)

Notes – Jayma Mays and Adam Campbell met on the set of the film, and they married in October 2007. (cool)

This film was not screened for critics. (Of course it wasn’t. It would be the biggest upset in film history if they screened this for critics)

The rest of the notes basically just explains all of the things this movie parodies … we get it, Glover impersonated Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

10,000 BC Preview

Well this does it for the punctuation cycle. Only one more punctuation mark to hit and it’s a simple one (the comma). We are officially transitioning to a cycle we’ve been looking forward to all year. We call it StreetCreditReports.com as we are aiming to hit nine films that garnered the coveted <10% on RT to continue to up our bad movie street cred. It’s particularly rare for such a rating to be achieved. In fact, I believe only two major films so far this year have achieved the feat: Fifty Shades Darker (BMT Live) and the Rings sequel. So to start it off we are doing a film that has literally been on our BMT potential list for years. I remember debating whether we should watch it back when I lived in Princeton. That was two moves ago and the website was naught but a sparkle in our collective eyes. That’s right! We’re watching 10,000 B.C. I feel like this could be Pathfinder but even more ridiculous. Be still my heart and let’s try to keep expectations low. Let’s go!

10,000 BC (2008) – BMeTric: 65.4

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(This guy just smashed the BMeTric immediately. Heartening. People just went “no!” and the movie just crashed and burned. As I said last week, usually films start strong and drop like a stone … I told you that’s how it actually works. This is also a ridiculously popular film. This is a Very Popular Bad Film. If it didn’t get like 100K votes this would be a normal like 40 BMeTric film, the votes though give it that boost. A BMeTric of 60+ promises a lot though. It better deliver.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tale of prehistoric life follows a small group who leave their tribe of mammoth hunters in an effort to rescue others captured by slavers. This leads them to a pre-Egyptian city of ruthless pyramid-builders and much adventure. Earnest, well produced on rugged locations with occasionally good effect, but for the most part as ludicrous as other films of this type. Features cinema’s first superfluous saber-toothed tiger.

(“Films of this type” I think refers to Emmerich films. Honestly, sounds like a pretty fun film even though I know it is terrible. Can’t wait to see the tiger though. So many notes about it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw7ow4AmPc8

(Ooooof the “AD” at the end! But that wasn’t the important bit of the trailer. That’s right … what a kick ass dumb solo they got going to end it! Does it work? Not totally. But still gave me an interesting trailer which honestly looks like Michael Bay meets Apocalypto … so like a good movie is a serious director was making it, but instead we have Roland Emmerich. So …)

Directors – Roland Emmerich – (Known For: Independence Day; The Day After Tomorrow; The Patriot; Stargate; White House Down; Anonymous; BMT: 10,000 BC; Godzilla; Independence Day: Resurgence (BMT); 2012 (BMT); Universal Soldier; Stonewall; Notes:  Nominated in 2017 for the Razzie Award for Worst Director and Screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence; and for Worst Director and Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; As an openly gay director he says he’s encountered homophobia in Hollywood, but as a director it hasn’t particularly hampered his career.)

Writers – Roland Emmerich (written by) – (Known For: Independence Day; The Day After Tomorrow; Stargate; BMT: 10,000 BC; Godzilla; Independence Day: Resurgence (BMT); 2012 (BMT); Notes: His sister Ute Emmerich is a producer on most (if not all) of his films. He has also written most of the films he’s directed.)

Harald Kloser (written by) – (BMT: 10,000 BC; 2012; Notes: Has composed the music for many of Emmerich’s films and that comprises most of his filmography. He’s flipped to (also) screenwriting later in his career and is also attached to Emmerich’s next film Moonfall.)

Actors – Camilla Belle – (Known For: The Lost World: Jurassic Park; A Little Princess; The Ballad of Jack and Rose; The American Side; À Deriva; BMT: 10,000 BC; The Patriot; When a Stranger Calls; Poison Ivy 2; Diablo; From Prada to Nada; Push; Cavemen; Practical Magic; Father of Invention; The Invisible Circus; The Quiet; Breakaway; Notes: Born a week before us. Her mother is Brazilian and despite being born and raised in Los Angeles grew up speaking portuguese. I’m going to be honest … I can’t for the life of me think of a movie where I would specifically have recognized her from.)

Steven Strait – (Known For: Sky High; Stop-Loss; City Island; BMT: 10,000 BC; The Covenant (BMT); Undiscovered; Notes: In the new (apparently quite good) sci-fi series The Expanse. We saw him in The Covenant which is probably his biggest role outside of 10,000 BC. Hasn’t had a big movie role in a while.)

Marco Khan – (Known For: The Promise; Iron Man; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Camp X-Ray; Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World; BMT: 10,000 BC; God’s Not Dead; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; 2012 (BMT); 15 Minutes; Click; Notes: Born in Tehran and educated in Italy he has been all over the place in his life, including owning and operating Italian restaurants for 12 years before getting into the entertainment industry.)

Budget/Gross – $105 million / Domestic: $94,784,201 (Worldwide: $269,784,201)

(That isn’t bad. Obviously you want more than $100 million, but these days that would be looked at as a pretty solid international success. Emmerich looks like he rarely does sequels so there wouldn’t have been any risk of that, but I can kind of see why he keeps getting money.)

#23 for the Adventure – Period genre

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(Fun plot. Period adventure films looks like it became hugely popular in the 2000s. Interestingly coincides with the gold rush of bad movies. Perhaps it is because such films became easier to produce around that time (with the ability to basically synthesize anything you want from costumes to fiberglass cars, etc.)? I think it’ll stick around though. Just look at something like Kong Island. That works really well as a period film, hearkening back to the time of pulp novel adventure (a la Indiana Jones). This sits near The Mummy 3 (ooof), and follows up the amazing recent addition of Hansel and Gretel! Let’s do it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (12/145): With attention strictly paid to style instead of substance, or historical accuracy, 10,000 B.C. is a visually impressive but narratively flimsy epic.

(I’m down, I have no problem with this. The only thing I’m getting worried about is that none of this is getting me very excited. Basically I think what is going to happen is we’ll watch this film and just kind of go “oh yeah, that wasn’t very good, but also innocuous”. I hope I am wrong because this is a movie I was looking forward to for a while now.)

Poster – Sklog Thousand BC (D+)

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(There are better posters than this one floating around out there, but I tend to default to the imdb poster and this is it. Horrible spacing, horrible symmetry, and no base coloring. Don’t like it much at all. Mediocre, but still OK font on the title. Little shout out to the release date which is provided with an “AD” at the end. Solid work on that at least, art department.)

Tagline(s) – It takes a hero to change the world (F)

(Hahahaha. What? That’s the best you could do? This might be the most cliche tagline we’ve ever had. This may as well be the default tagline for any film that comes out and the studio gets to opt whether to come up with something (anything!) better than it.)

Keyword(s) – hunter; Top Ten by BMeTric: 83.9 Jaws 3-D (1983); 75.3 Anaconda (1997); 70.8 A Sound of Thunder (2005); 70.1 Year One (2009); 68.5 Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004); 65.4 10,000 BC (2008); 65.3 Eragon (2006); 60.0 Congo (1995); 57.5 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 54.3 Killers (2010);

(I LOVE THIS LIST. We’ve seen basically all of these films. Just need to smash both Anacondas (we’ve seen the first, but not for BMT … in theaters as eleven-year-olds). And then the last one will happen when we destroy one of the worst movies ever made Jaws: The Revenge starring Michael Caine’s paycheck.)

Notes – (at around 1h 10 mins) The film includes a glimpse of a map showing Atlantis off the coast of Spain. It’s a reference to Plato’s theory that the construction techniques used in Egypt were imported from the ancient lost civilization of Atlantis. (Were there even maps back then? … looked it up, that answer it is very unlikely anyone would have a map sophisticated enough to depict an island off the coast of Spain)

This film features some alleged historical controversies, including construction of the great pyramids 12,000 years ago (almost 7,500 years earlier), the existence of the Ben-Ben stone (the pyramidion stone missing from the top of the Khafre pyramid), the correlation between the position of the pyramids and the stars from the Orion constellation (associated by the Egyptians with the god Osiris), the Sphinx with a head of a lion allegedly correlated with the Leo constellation rising to the east (at the same time that Orion is in conjunction with the Giza pyramid complex), and the possible nonhuman origins of the first kings of Egypt. (fun facts)

D’Leh refers to one star as “the one that never moves.” That would be the North Star, which appears stationary in the northern night sky. In 10,000 BC the North Star was Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky. It would’ve been very obvious in the dark sky. (hmmm … it never really occurred to me that the North Star would change, but it is so obvious now that I read this note)

D’Leh is “Held”, the German word for “hero”, backwards. Roland Emmerich chose the name as an Easter egg.(gross)

The constellation called the ‘sign of the warrior’ is actually Orion. It also played a key role in deciphering ancient signs in Stargate (1994).

(at around 40 mins) The computer-generated wet saber-tooth tiger was created by Double Negative. Creating it required combining several of the most challenging elements of visual effects: fur, wet fur, water, and creature animation.

Release prints were delivered to some theaters under the false title “King Dinosurs” (sic).

Not screened for critics; only a 20-minute excerpt was shown to journalists. (Not shocking)

D-War: Dragon Wars Preview

Oh how cycles fly. We are coming up on the end of the punctuation cycle with only a couple options left. The rarest of the remaining choices is the hyphen/dash and lucky for us the SciFi/Fantasy entry provides a perfect film for that. That’s right, we’re (finally) watching D-War: Dragon Wars! This 2007 film is famous for its huge budget for a South Korean film (estimated at the time of the DVD release to be upwards of $100 million US) and its major release in the US market (over 2000 theaters). Despite a huge box office success in Korea and optimism for the US release, it ultimately bombed and was critically ridiculed. I remember hearing that it may be one of the worst films of all time, but hard to tell what its actual legacy is (because people have mostly forgotten about it). If our new and improved BMeTric has anything to say about it, we’re in for a wild ride! Let’s go!

D-War: Dragon Wars (2007) – BMeTric: 79.9

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(Ha! That drop is hilarious. I guess maybe people were super into this guy in South Korea and it opening first in South Korea I assume. The BMeTric is gaudy, basically right at 80. That is the 98th percentile! Pretty impressive stuff for what is essentially a foreign film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  With a reported budget of $70 million, South Korea’s biggest production ever is a dopey B monster movie elevated (only slightly) by some impressive effects. What story there is revolves around a 500-year-old battle that is being reborn in contemporary L.A., where a young boy is imbued with the spirit of an ancient warrior in order to take on dreaded serpentlike creatures. There’s some fun in watching a flying Korean zoo take hold of the town, but that’s about it.

(Wait… that’s the plot of this film? It sounds like a kids movie. Like Eragon or something. Everything you read about this film suggests that the effects are impressive enough to take a terrible film and make it watchable. It’s got a lot to live up to.)

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

(That seriously looks like three different films. A kids film, a monster/action film, and a comedy film. All signs point to rididididididiculous. Also, about those effects… let’s just say I hope those were preliminary before they finalized them for theatrical release.)

Directors – Hyung-rae Shim – (BMT: Dragon Wars; Notes: Apparently this dude is a wildly popular South Korean comedian, but everything he’s in that’s crossed the Pacific has fallen flat so he’s unknown here.)

Writers – Hyung-rae Shim (written by) – (BMT: Dragon Wars; Notes: He seemingly didn’t pay his employees at his studio for a while and that was a big story in Korea, but then last year there was a report that China was funding a D-War sequel. So maybe he’s back, baby!)

Actors – Jason Behr – (Known For: Pleasantville; The Shipping News; BMT: Dragon Wars; Skinwalkers; The Grudge; Notes: Probably best known as a main character on Roswell. Hasn’t really acted much since he and his wife had a kid in 2013.)

Amanda Brooks – (BMT: Dragon Wars; The Canyons; My Best Friend’s Girl; Flightplan; Notes: Daughter of the songwriter of the titular song of You Light Up My Life. Critically panned and yet that song made the AFI’s list of top film songs of all time.)

Robert Forster – (Known For: The Case for Christ; Mulholland Drive; The Descendants; Jackie Brown; Olympus Has Fallen; Lucky Number Slevin; Me, Myself & Irene; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; The Black Hole; Middle Men; Like Mike; BMT: Dragon Wars; Psycho; Supernova; Rise; Survivor; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Firewall; The Delta Force; London Has Fallen; Autómata; Cleaner; Notes: Longtime character actor. Nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar for Jackie Brown.)

Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $10,977,721 (Worldwide: $75,108,998)

(That budget is not real. This was the initial budget. They went way over during production on the CGI and at the time of theatrical release it’s been estimated at closer to $75 million (before additional DVD CGI work pushed that even higher). This was at best a break-even affair and a huge disappointment in the US market.)

#12 for the Dragon – Focal Point of Movie genre

(Uninteresting plot so I’ll leave that alone. Dead last in this non-genre is something special. Below 1981’s Dragonslayer. Amazing.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (10/35): Dragon Wars’ special effects can’t make up for an unfocused script and stale acting.

(… Am I looking at the same special effects. They look like only slightly better A Sound of Thundaaaaah CGI. By which I mean it all looks like garbage. I guess I’ll see. Maybe it will look better in glorious 4K. Joking though, I’m watching this in like 480p, probably stream it on my phone on airplane WiFi to get that real grainy quality I like.)

Poster – S-War: Sklog Wars (D+)

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(Daaaang! Check out that Dutch angle. Even the title is angled. It’s also a little busy for my taste and the color scheme is pretty drab. The one positive is the unique font that would make S-War: Sklog Wars a tough photoshop.)

Tagline(s) – They’ve made our world their battleground (C-)

(This begs the question: where exactly are the dragons coming from? Apparently they are from a different world since they’re making our world their battleground. Please, please, please say they’re aliens.)

Keyword(s) – korean; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.9 Dragon Wars (2007); 78.3 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 51.2 The Truth About Charlie (2002); 51.0 The Hot Chick (2002); 42.0 G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013); 39.9 Mafia! (1998); 33.2 The Gambler (III) (2014); 29.6 Best of the Best II (1993); 25.8 Ape (1976); 23.4 Lucy (I) (2014);

(Ha! APE. That is the movie that appears on the cover of The Official Razzie Movie Guide. That would be a nice one to do in some ill-conceived pre-1980 cycle. Don’t tempt me, it is a terrible idea. Hilarious list though.)

Notes – This marked the first Korean production in nearly three decades to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. (… I wonder if it was the last one. The Host and Snowpiercer come to mind, but they didn’t get over 500 theaters widest)

The music associated with Muraki and his army makes extensive use of the “Dies irae” melody, a medieval chant traditionally used in ceremonies for the dead and, since the nineteenth century, in contexts evoking the macabre and supernatural.

The leader of the ‘Artox Army’ is actually speaking in English, as evidenced by his mouth movements, although it is significantly garbled. (These are words. They certainly sound like a fun fact even if I don’t really know what they mean)