Speed 2: Cruise Control Preview

We sit on our perch, chilling with the night security guard, Ed, while he protects the Ivory Socket. We discuss at length his hopes and dreams. His passions, his loves and his greatest fears. He asks if we would like a cracker. Ed, you devil, you always know just what would hit the spot. As we munch on our crackers Ed asks us when we plan to steal the Socket. We freeze… cracker crumbs spilling down out parrot costumes. How did he know? Of course, he always knew (the devil), for we are full grown adult humans in parrot costumes. But he enjoyed our company and thought he’d delay our arrest for as long as he could. Today was supposed to be the day he finally turned us in, but he just can’t. We’ve changed his life (and honestly, Ed has changed ours too). He hands us the Ivory Socket and tells us to go, throwing rocks at us to goad us on. “I never even liked you stupid birds!” He screams with tears streaming down his face and we squawk our way out of the Royal Library. When we attempt to use the Socket to destroy the Dongle we find it’s port jammed with a note. “Before you make two pieces one, a sacred liquid must be found. Venture to the isle of sun, and find it deep within the ground.” Wait… another MacGuffin? Or is the Socket still the only MacGuffin and the sacred liquid is like… part of it that helps power it? Regardless, the riddle is trash (suspiciously so, hmmmmmm) and obviously points to the Isla del Sol in Bolivia. Time to catch a boat and get some R&R on a relaxing cruise where nothing super crazy should happen along the way. That’s right! We’re watching Speed 2: Cruise Control. This is one of the most critically reviled sequels in film history with an well deserved place on our Calendar. We’ve obviously seen it before, but probably not since its release so I remember almost none of it. Let’s go!

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) – BMeTric: 89.5

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(Notorious, but I think it gets a bit of a pass as an action film with a charming and still-loved lead in Bullock. It’ll rise steadily with more votes, although I’m not sure it’ll ever actually get to 4.0 … I mean, it would need people to give it a 5/10 at least … are people giving Speed 2 ratings of 5 or above? That would be crazy.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Mind-numbingly stupid action yarn opens with a chase scene that makes no sense, and never improves. Bullock (whose character here is especially annoying) agrees to go on a Caribbean cruise with boyfriend Patric, an L.A.P.D. officer. When a madman Dafoe takes control of the ship, Patric feels it’s his duty to try and stop him. Did anyone read the script before signing on for this one?

(Keanu Reeves did. That’s why he then skipped out on it. The director had to do it, and I think Bullock was at an early point in here career where she still needed the job/money. Patric … well this kind of derailed whatever career he had I think, so yeah, he should have thought this guy through.)

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

(My word. Loud, choppy cuts, one liners out the wazoo. C’mon now, this is going to be amazing. Dafoe is also just completely ridiculous as well. Get hyped.)

Directors – Jan de Bont – (Known For: Twister; Speed; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; The Haunting; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1998 for Speed 2: Cruise Control; and in 2000 for The Haunting; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: There is very little explanation as to why he basically retired after Lara Croft 2. He was a cinematographer for years before becoming, briefly, one of the most in demand action directors of the late 90s.)

Writers – Graham Yost (characters) – (Known For: Speed; Broken Arrow; The Last Castle; Future BMT: Mission to Mars; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Hard Rain; Notes: Writes and produces television now. Only credited because he wrote the original Speed screenplay.)

Jan de Bont (story) – (BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1998 for Speed 2: Cruise Control; and in 2000 for The Haunting; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: The only film he has a story credit for, presumably because it is based off of a dream he had (? Read the notes below).)

Randall McCormick (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Titan A.E.; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: This was his first screenplay after getting the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.)

Jeff Nathanson (screenplay) – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; The Terminal; Rush Hour 2; Tower Heist; The Last Shot; Future BMT: Rush Hour 3; New York, I Love You; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Apparently was an uncredited screenwriter on Twister (also directed by de Bont) along with Joss Whedon, which I imagine is how he got attached to this film. Is somewhat famous for uncredited rewrites of many notable projects.)

Actors – Sandra Bullock – (Known For: Ocean’s Eight; The Proposal; Gravity; Crash; Minions; The Heat; Miss Congeniality; Speed; While You Were Sleeping; The Prince of Egypt; A Time to Kill; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; Two Weeks Notice; Forces of Nature; The Vanishing; The Thing Called Love; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Infamous; Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Future BMT: Premonition; Love Potion No. 9; The Net; Stolen Hearts; Hope Floats; 28 Days; Murder by Numbers; Gun Shy; Practical Magic; Our Brand Is Crisis; Loverboy; In Love and War; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; All About Steve; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous; Demolition Man; The Lake House; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for All About Steve in 2010; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Demolition Man in 1994; Notes: She’s opened up recently about sexism and other tough subjects in Hollywood. But she does give a good shout out to de Bont whom she credits with giving her her big break when no one else would.)

Jason Patric – (Known For: The Yellow Birds; The Lost Boys; Sleepers; The Losers; My Sister’s Keeper; In the Valley of Elah; Rush; Narc; Geronimo: An American Legend; The Confines; Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound; Your Friends & Neighbors; After Dark, My Sweet; The Journey of August King; Keyhole; Expired; Three Days of Rain; Future BMT: The Prince; Cavemen; The Outsider; The Alamo; Downloading Nancy; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Solarbabies; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Was a sort of child actor in things like Solarbabies. His father was nominated for an Oscar for The Exorcist.)

Willem Dafoe – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; John Wick; Finding Nemo; Spider-Man 3; The Florida Project; What Happened to Monday; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Spider-Man; Finding Dory; American Psycho; Platoon; The Fault in our Stars; Inside Man; Spider-Man 2; Death Note; John Carter; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The Aviator; Antichrist; The English Patient; Future BMT: New Rose Hotel; Anamorph; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; The Great Wall; Tomorrow You’re Gone; Flight of the Intruder; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Jiminy Glick in Lalawood; Fireflies in the Garden; Lulu on the Bridge; A Family Man; Adam Resurrected; The Reckoning; Miral; Odd Thomas; BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; xXx²: The Next Level; Body of Evidence; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Body of Evidence in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: He’s playing the villain in the upcoming Aquaman film. There are tons of rumors about him as the Joker as well, although that obviously seems pretty unlikely … since he’s the villain in Aquaman.)

Budget/Gross – $110 million (official) $135–160 million (estimated) / Domestic: $48,608,066 (Worldwide: $164,508,066)

(That is pretty catastrophic. Ultimately that is likely in the $30-50 million write off range if my admittedly amateur box office math works correctly. Although, this movie was a pretty long time ago so who knows how this all worked back then.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 3% (2/69): Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.

(One of the worst reviewed films ever I would presume, 3% is quite low. Given the first has a RT score above 95% this also certainly qualifies as one of the worst sequels of all time (if not the worst sequel ever made). Reviewer Highlight: An ear-splitting amusement-park attraction posing as a movie. – Jamie Bernard, New York Daily News)

Poster – Speed 2: Sklog Control (D)

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(Wow. A true tragedy nearly on the level of 1998’s The Avengers, which has become my watermark for how bad a poster can be. Look at those two electric colors and… like, rain or something across everything. Truly misguided. Does have unique font though and it’s not super cluttered like some posters can be, so just above the bottom of the barrel.)

Tagline(s) – Rush hour hits the water. (D+)

(Ha! For some reason this is very amusing to me. The idea that this would deal with some kind of boat traffic or whatever. It’s got fine construction, but is just so stupid that it’s funny.)

Keyword(s) – time bomb; Top Ten by BMeTric: 90.2 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.5 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.6 Street Fighter (1994); 85.4 Spice World (1997); 83.6 RoboCop 3 (1993); 78.9 Torque (2004); 78.0 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 70.3 On Deadly Ground (1994); 68.2 Double Team (1997); 64.4 Fair Game (1995);

(Awesome. We do have to go back and smash Street Fighter at one point. We stupidly didn’t do it when we did Legend of Chun Li or again when we inducted that into the Hall of Fame. Although that would have required a outside of the box Bonus, which we’ve never done … this is some pretty niche BMT behind the scenes talk)

Movie Stub – Speed 2: Cruise Control (GA-class) – Look at this beauty. There isn’t much in the talk page, although there is a pretty thorough review commentary which I plan on looking at as some point. No specific public notes on improvements, nor do I think it needs any, so I’ll leave it be for now.

Notes – The original script was intended to be the third film in the “Die Hard” series. After the success of the first film though, the script was reworked into a Speed sequel instead. (Huh. Vengeance is a much better idea for that (and Vengeance’s script was supposed to be a Lethal Weapon sequel)).

In a 2000 interview, Sandra Bullock jokingly referred to this movie as “the biggest piece of crap ever made.” (Not really, but it isn’t great)

Gary Oldman turned down the role of the villain, and instead chose to make Air Force One (1997). (Great choice)

Although the movie was close to being universally panned by film critics, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were among the very few critics to give the movie a positive review. Before his death, Ebert stated that this was the review he had to defend more than any other he had written, and that it was the one most often cited as an example of him being a poor film critic. (Ebert was a rare critic who could make a convincing argument for “it’s good for what it is”. It worked for him because he rarely deployed it for really dire films and also didn’t tend to bump films up that much using the excuse. It is understandable he’d be criticized here though, it is quite a leap to call this movie anything but garbage IMO)

Keanu Reeves turned down the movie to go on tour with his band Dogstar. (FAKE NEWS. According to Keanu. See the note below)

Matthew McConaughey was one of the male stars considered once Keanu Reeves bailed. (Would have been 1000x better. Sorry Jason)

Sandra Bullock’s character Annie was not given a last name at all in Speed (1994). movie. Here, it is revealed to be Porter. (Coooool)

Sandra Bullock agreed to star in this film in order to get financing for her pet project Hope Floats (1998). (Get yo money Sandra)

Jason Patric only agreed to make the film contingent on some major script changes being made. However, when he eventually arrived onset three months later, he found that the script hadn’t changed at all and he was contractually obligated to make the film. He found the whole experience to be thoroughly miserable and depressing. (Awwwww)

Susan Barnes plays Constance in this film. In the first Speed film, she plays the frozen-in-fear female executive who is the last one out of the perilous elevator. In this film, her character is seen calmly sitting down smoking while being trapped among others in a life-threatening situation. This may allude to her character’s survival from the first film. She is one of four people to appear in both films. (Nooooooo)

Jon Bon Jovi, ‘Patrick Muldoon’, and Christian Slater were also considered for the male lead. (Jon Bon Jovi might have worked, especially if they recast Bullock as well)

The oil tanker bears the name “Eindhoven”, the Dutch hometown of director Jan de Bont. (ooooo fun fact)

The device labeled “Fiber Optic Converter” used by the hacker is really a mechanical KVM switch (a device used to operate several PCs with one set of keyboard, mouse and monitor). (Who knows these kinds of things?)

Keanu Reeves passed on the role to star in the horror film The Devil’s Advocate (1997), which was filmed at the same time as Speed 2, and subsequently toured with his band, Dogstar. Reeves said that Fox was “furious” with his decision and released “propaganda” against him, falsely claiming that he turned down the role to tour with his band.

The sequence where the Seabourn Legend rams into port was, at the time, the most expensive stunt ever filmed, accounting for $25,000,000 of the film’s $110,000,000 budget. (holy shit)

Director Jan de Bont initially felt that Speed (1994) had no sequel potential, but he was contractually obliged to direct a sequel when it was green-lit after the success of the first movie. Many ideas were pitched, including a plane which cannot ascend above a certain altitude without exploding. Finally, de Bont used an idea of his own after he had recurrent nightmares about a cruise ship crashing into an island. (Oooof. The airplane idea is much better. Should have also recast once Keanu dropped, would have made it a bit more believable maybe.)

When Annie is retaking her driving test at the end of the film, a bus identical to the one in the original Speed passes by on the highway. Annie notes to her instructor about the bus “going way too fast”.

When the oil tanker explodes, what looks like a cow can be seen flying out with the rest of the debris from the tanker, possibly a reference to the flying cow from Twister (1996). (Noooooooo)

A total of 3 different ships were used in this film: Seaborn Legend (actual cruise liner; used for most exterior shots of the ship) “Bridge Ship” (Sturgeon Atlantic freighter ship built with a false hull and bridge; used for bridge scenes and the boat crashes in the marina) “Rail Ship” (false hull built on an underwater rail; used for the island crash finale scene). All other shots of the ship were complete computer graphic effects. (Super interesting. This is what I live for)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Sandra Bullock, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Willem Dafoe, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson, Jan de Bont, 1998)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (1998)

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Little Man Preview

Having taken the studio note to heart regarding our script for Rich & Poe, we write a 25-minute climactic sex scene between Rich and a cartoon. This proves the key to wild success as the film opens to a boffo $450 million box office haul with headlines across the world exclaiming “Film features man having sex with cartoon!” We return triumphantly to purchase the Obsidian Dongle back from the beautiful Bosnian warlord and once it’s back in our possession we feel the Dongle’s power. It must be destroyed. We head to our local public library to research how we might accomplish such a feat and stumble across an ancient scroll. It reads: “The fated twins are ones that hold, the power to the Dongle’s fate. Only those most brave and bold, can find the Dongle’s ivory mate.” Of course! Like the Bad Movie Twins themselves, the Dongle is one of a pair. There is a yin to its yang. An Ivory Socket to its Obsidian Dongle! All of a sudden a little old library lady appears “Ah yes, the Ivory Socket. Legend says it is in Thailand hidden within the Royal Library, guarded by the ancient Order of the Librarians. But be careful Bad Movie Twins, only those pure of heart can use the power of the Ivory Socket to destroy the Obsidian Dongle.” With that the librarian is gone. “How convenient, that librarian sure knew a lot about us and what we were looking for … welp, let’s go!” We head to Thailand to case the joint and overhear the night security guard explain how much he would enjoy a parrot friend to keep him company while guarding the relic. Time to dust off our parrot costumes and put these bird-like features to good use, because we’re going undercover. That’s right! We’re watching Little Man, the Wayans brothers’ follow-up to White Chicks about a very tiny thief pretending to be a baby… you had me at “follow-up to White Chicks.” Let’s go!

Little Man (2006) – BMeTric: 80.2

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(You know … the rise here shouldn’t surprise me, but it kind of does. This is a notoriously bad film. A film that people should be seeking out and watching because it is bad. And so the terrible sub-4.0 rating should have stuck I think. After 2008 even it has increased by over a full rating though. It is a little strange. Out of the norm for such a terrible film I feel like. 80+ BMeTric though, can’t argue with that.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Diminutive criminal drops a stolen diamond in a woman’s purse and is forced to disguise himself as a baby left on her doorstep to get it back. Idiotic gags involving breastfeeding, anal thermometers, and dirty diapers ensue. A running joke in which “the baby” molests unsuspecting women is particularly offensive. The three Wayans who wrote this admit they were inspired by the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Baby Bugs Bunny” – which is funnier (and shorter). See also the Our Gang comedy “Free Eats.” Rob Schneider appears unbilled.

(I swear to god if this gets anything other that a BOMB by Leonard … oh thank god. The only surprising and interesting thing about this review is how casually he drops the Our Gang reference … might have to check that out now. Ah sheeeet, it’s free online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh3rqi2NkC4)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9STUnqrE_c

(The music in this film is going to be off the chain. Oh and the number of sexual assault and rape joke in THE TRAILER … this is like Norbit levels of uncomfortable. I know it.)

Directors – Keenen Ivory Wayans – (Known For: Scary Movie; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Future BMT: Scary Movie 2; A Low Down Dirty Shame; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Man in 2007; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: We’ve seen Scary Movie 2 actually (it just didn’t get a write up), which means we’ve almost completed the Keenen Ivory Wayans BMT slate.)

Writers – Keenen Ivory Wayans (written by) – (Known For: I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Hollywood Shuffle; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Most Wanted; A Low Down Dirty Shame; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Little Man in 2007; and Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: The eldest of the ten Wayans siblings. The Wayans brothers are probably most famous for In Living Color, which now does comedy tours as well.)

Shawn Wayans (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Scary Movie 3; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; and Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: It seems like he’s basically retired (beyond deejaying, see below). As a matter of fact his entire family is semi-retired outside of television it feels like. It is weird to think his nephew Damon Wayans Jr. is probably the most famous Wayans at this point.)

Marlon Wayans (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Scary Movie 3; Naked; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Little Man; Fifty Shades of Black; A Haunted House 2; A Haunted House; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: Most of his recent work is in television and specifically on Netflix. The film Naked and his new series Marlon. I have seen neither.)

Actors – Shawn Wayans – (Known For: Scary Movie; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 2; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Little Man; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; and Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; Notes: Apparently he deejays now … at least all of the most recent news articles about him are about a set he did in Fort Myers.)

Marlon Wayans – (Known For: Requiem for a Dream; Scary Movie; The Heat; The Ladykillers; Above the Rim; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Future BMT: Dance Flick; Scary Movie 2; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Naked; Mo’ Money; Senseless; The Sixth Man; Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; BMT: Norbit; Dungeons & Dragons; Little Man; Fifty Shades of Black; Marmaduke; A Haunted House 2; A Haunted House; White Chicks; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2005 for White Chicks; and in 2007 for Little Man; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for White Chicks in 2005; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: There isn’t much news about him weirdly, beyond being mentioned as being extremely nice in one article I found.)

Kerry Washington – (Known For: Cars 3; Django Unchained; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Save the Last Dance; Ray; The Last King of Scotland; The Human Stain; Lakeview Terrace; The Details; The Dead Girl; Mother and Child; Life Is Hot in Cracktown; Our Song; Night Catches Us; Future BMT: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Bad Company; I Think I Love My Wife; She Hate Me; Against the Ropes; Peeples; Miracle at St. Anna; For Colored Girls; BMT: Little Man; A Thousand Words; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Little Man in 2007; Notes: Much more famous now for the show Scandal. Has a somewhat notable anecdote about being taught to dance by Jennifer Lopez in the Bronx back in the day.)

Budget/Gross – $64 million / Domestic: $58,645,052 (Worldwide: $101,595,121)

(That’s honestly pretty solid, and it is a little weird more of these types of comedies weren’t produced afterwards. Plausibly with Norbit coming out in 2007 and kind of destroying similarly styled comedies for a while the Wayans just couldn’t get things greenlit? Also,these might have been the first things studios cut to save money during the financial crisis as well.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (11/91): Another gimmicky comedy from the Wayans brothers, Little Man comes with the requisite raunchiness, but forgot to bring the laughs.

(I can’t believe this isn’t below 10%. This movie looks atrocious and just as unpleasant as something like Norbit (not to draw such comparisons, it is mainly the flippancy in which serious subjects like spousal abuse and sexual assault are treating the Norbit and, seemingly, Little Man respectively). Reviewer Highlight: It’s a concept, not a movie. – JM Tyree, Time Out.)

Poster – Little Sklog (D)

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(These are the types of posters I hate. Dominant white background and prominent characters (what I call human-colors… which is just a mishmash of skin tones and clothing). However, I have to appreciate the fact that this poster is almost a parody of posters… something that would be seen in Funny People or something to make fun of how stupid and derivative mass-market films can get.)

Tagline(s) – Big things come in small packages. (C-)

(While this is a totally reasonable tagline, it is also something that I would have made up as an example of the most cliched, least interesting tagline possible. So congrats on that I guess.)

Keyword(s) – dumb police; Top Ten by BMeTric: 80.2 Little Man (2006); 55.1 An American Werewolf in Paris (1997); 51.4 Bride of Chucky (1998); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 39.2 That Darn Cat (1997); 36.1 Summer’s Blood (2009); 34.8 Friday After Next (2002); 33.0 P2 (2007); 20.7 Arachnophobia (1990); 20.2 Gruesome (2006);

(Ha! I can’t believe we’ve only seen one “dumb police” film. You can kind of tell the keyword is sparsely populated (with the lowest BMeTric being 20, it should be up in the 40s for something like this), but I’m going to leave it because it is hilarious.)

Movie Stub – Little Man (Start-class) – I liked the plot summary here, short and sweet. I personally think this is much closer to C-class than it seems, and perhaps it hasn’t been reviewed recently? I did add a reference for the DVD release date, so I eliminated one of the public notices requesting changes, so I’ve done my part. C-class here we come! I assume, I’m still not very sure how that all works.

Notes – The scenes with Calvin were filmed twice: once with dwarf actors Linden Porco and Gabriel Pimentel together with the other actors, and once with Marlon Wayans alone wearing a green bodysuit against a green screen. In post-production, Porco’s and Pimental’s heads were replaced with Marlon’s. Their bodies were also painted brown in order to match Marlon’s face. (Yeah … that is the only way they could do that so it makes sense. Fun fact I guess)

Percy’s song Butcher Shop is based on 50 Cent’s song Candy Shop they also use the same beat (WHAT)

Awards

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor of the Decade (Rob Schneider, 2010)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, 2007)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Shawn Wayans, Kerry Washington, Marlon Wayans, 2007)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Rip-Off (2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Rob Schneider, 2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Keenen Ivory Wayans, 2007)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Keenen Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, 2007)

Meet the Spartans Preview

Fresh off our hike to Spain, Patrick and I are captured by the Absterlutely FerSher Industries goons and thrust into the Amnimals machine. Turns out it was all a ruse (what a twist!) and they didn’t want to help us get the Obsidian Dongle at all! Instead they wanted to hook our super big brains (nbd) into the machine to triangulate the location of the Dongle and grab it for themselves so they can control the world (told you the Obsidian Dongle was rad). “No way!” we say. Time to double cross and grab the Dongle right back. They didn’t count on our ninja skillz as we totally karate chop them in the wrist and get all up in that Dongle business. However, upon fleeing using our jet packs the goons reverse the Amnimals machine to brain drain us! Oh no! We are becoming extra dumb dumbs! As we crash land in Greece we know deep down what we must do with the Obsidian Dongle but keep getting distracted by the dumbest things possible. That’s right! We’re watching Meet the Spartans. Almost certainly one of the dumbest things we’ll ever watch this is also the highest BMeTric scoring films left for BMT and obviously appears on the BMT Calendar. Perfect for our Challenges entry in the cycle. We’ve avoided it for too long. Let’s go!

Meet the Spartans (2008) – BMeTric: 95.9

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(Even this gets a little bit of that sweet sweet regression to the mean. Given that there are now nearly 100K votes on IMDb I guess it isn’t a surprise that they aren’t all ones and twos. It must get a few threes thrown to it once in a while. This is just a shade below Epic Movie as the worst (best?) BMeTric of all time.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  The creators of Date Movie and Epic Movie concocted this moronic, product-placement-laden spoof of the homoeroticism of 300, aimed at adolescent boys. Plot involves King Leonidas of Sparta (Maguire) and his self-adoring, scantily clad warriors as they battle the Persians. Oodles of pop-cultural references are complete duds. Unrated version runs 87m.

(That run time pleases me, as does the kick ass hyphen game from Leonard, and that this is the second BOMB of the cycle. Funny enough looking around I think this is only the second BOMB in something like eight months, although that is slightly less clear. He is certainly precious with them.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY-zJtYYolo

(Oooooof the Britney Spears part. That actress plays like four or five different parts and was in over one hundred MadTv episodes (that makes so much sense …). The film looks aggressively dumb and not funny. Why? Why are we doing this?)

Directors – Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer – (Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Best Night Ever; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Epic Movie; in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; Notes: Over a year ago it was rumored that they were working on a Star Wars spoof … I kind of hope it happens. It does have an IMDb page. So I think the title will ultimately change, seems way too close to the movies that Craig Moss produces like this and this.)

Writers – Jason Friedberg  and Aaron Seltzer (written by) – (Known For: Scary Movie; Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Vampires Suck; The Starving Games; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 2; Spy Hard; Scary Movie 3; Best Night Ever; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2008 for Epic Movie; in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; and in 2011 for Vampires Suck; Notes: Recently they’ve been brought up on multiple sites to slam Ready Player One. The comparison is mainly about the sheer amount of product placement they use.)

Actors – Sean Maguire – (Known For: Waterland; The Dukes; BMT: Meet the Spartans; Notes: After this film he turned down Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, a British show, because he wanted to be taken more seriously. He reconsidered at the behest of his agent. He played Robin Hood in Once Upon a Time.)

Kevin Sorbo – (Known For: Soul Surfer; Let There Be Light; Future BMT: God’s Not Dead; Bitch Slap; Big Fat Important Movie; Kull the Conqueror; The Kings of Mykonos; BMT: Meet the Spartans; Notes: Hercules. Raised in Minnesota he’s done a number of Christian films recently. He claims he isn’t overly religious, although he endorsed Donald Trump for president saying that “Jesus would have voted for Trump”.)

Carmen Electra – (Known For: Scary Movie; Starsky & Hutch; Get Over It; Mr 3000; I Want Candy; Future BMT: Disaster Movie; Date Movie; Pledge This!; My Boss’s Daughter; Scary Movie 4; Dirty Love; Good Burger; Bedtime Stories; Uptown Girls; Christmas in Wonderland; Full of It; Perfume; The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human; BMT: Epic Movie; Meet the Spartans; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 2007 for Date Movie, and Scary Movie 4; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2005 for Starsky & Hutch; in 2006 for Dirty Love; in 2008 for Epic Movie; and in 2009 for Disaster Movie, and Meet the Spartans; Notes: I knew her mostly from MTV’s Singled Out, but her career is nuts. Fronted for a rap group in LA until being discovered by Prince, then toured with him as his opening act. Ended up getting her big break on Baywatch.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $38,233,676 (Worldwide: $84,646,831)

(Solid return. Not a surprise they produced a sequel. Oh, what’s that, you think they didn’t make a sequel? Well, at one point a wikipedia page existed for Meet the Spartans 2, which now redirects to Disaster Movie. It is almost definite that they realized that making fun of 300 didn’t work any more so they transitioned the planned sequel into something more fresh. Still, not surprising that they continued on their merry way with the franchise.)

#20 for the Comedy – Spoof genre

meetthespartans_spoof

(This came at a peak for the Friedberg / Seltzer brand of spoof. Subsequently the genre has well and truly died I think. Fifty Shades of Black was the last real example and it made so little money I don’t think the Wayans brothers are going to do anymore. It really depends on how you define things like Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Then again, that didn’t make much money either. Given the success of the Wet Hot American Summer television series, I wonder if we’ll see a few more TV examples in the coming years.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/48): A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.

(Amazing. That one good review basically says “don’t expect much and this isn’t literally the worst thing you’ve ever seen” .. Reviewer Highlight: What’s the point of making a parody that’s dumber than the stuff it parodies? – Gene Seymour, Newsday)

Poster – Meet the Sklogans (F)

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(Designed like a heat seeking missile aimed at me not wanting to watch this movie. Nope. Pass.)

Tagline(s) – The Bigger the Hit, The Harder They Fall (C+)

(Oh geez. This is on the level of “From the producers of..” type self-referential taglines that I don’t like. Doesn’t tell me much about the film other than that it is a spoof… which everyone knows. Though it is at least a little clever, so climbs out of the basement.)

Keyword(s) – greece; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 82.6 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 51.0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003); 49.0 Mortdecai (2015); 48.7 Hercules Reborn (2014); 47.8 Alexander (2004); 41.1 Clash of the Titans (2010); 40.8 Wrath of the Titans (2012); 40.5 Hercules (1983); 40.2 Ben-Hur (2016);

(Sigh nothing will ever beat it. It will be stuck on the Mapstreet’s Map Alright! Sklogpacking Across Europe forever and ever. Good news is Alexander will be amazing to watch I think.)

Notes – Not screened for critics. (duh)

The entire movie was shot in a week. (WHAT)

The film led Sean McGuire to be cast as the title character of the short-lived fantasy comedy series “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire”, which was discontinued after 1 season due to it’s mixed reviews.

The narrator introduces Xerxes as looking like the fat guy from Borat, he’s played by Ken Davitian who played the fat guy in Borat.

To date (2011), one of two movies written and directed by both Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, not to have the word “movie” in the title. The other is Vampires Suck (2010).

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Carmen Electra)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer)

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

Monte Carlo Preview

After escaping the mutants of the Greater Chernobyl area (and allowing for the necessary time to mourn the loss of the seven other random European X-treme tourists) Patrick and I decide that we gotta get this backpacking trip back on track. Time to finally get some rest and relaxation in Monaco that we so sorely need. Emphasis on the sore considering the intense pain, chills and open wounds I’ve been experiencing since I was bitten by that mutant (shh, don’t tell Patrick I don’t want him to worry). That’s right! We’re watching the Selena Gomez classic Monte Carlo! While this may not be the worst reviewed film of all time it was certainly hated by those that vote on imdb (read: young white men), so the BMeTric score is inordinately high. Don’t matter much to us since it qualifies and a Selena Gomez film is always welcome into BMT. Let’s go!

Monte Carlo (2011) – BMeTric: 37.2

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(Well known plot I’m going to call … the Built-in Fanbase Plot. Don’t worry, I’ll promptly forget it in a week and coin a new term. Basically big Selena Gomez fans (I assume) would rate this a 6.5. People who love (to rate) movies (on the internet like weirdos) though would give it closer to a 5.1. And then once general audiences get a hold of it it is generally moving up to between the two, 5.8. It should roughly stick there, this plot screams “average movie” and 6.0 would be where I would expect such a thing.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Three girls from a small town in Texas spend their savings on a dream trip to Paris. Once there, the girls discover that one of them (Gomez) looks just like a British socialite and use her mistaken identity to their advantage. Cast is attractive and likeable but the story is predictable … and dull. Although its target audience may not notice the poor editing and plot development, this still should have been a better movie. Loosely based on the novel Headhunters by Jules Bass.

(Actually rather harsh of Leonard, I would have thought he would go easy on a movie like this since he is definitely not the target audience as he points out. Dull is a bad word here. Kids’ movies are usually dull which is why we banished them from BMT back in the day (we realized our mistake more recently though). Hopefully as huge Selena Gomez fans we’ll be able to see past the poor editing though.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxm_bVVhbr8

(“Cordelia gets to play hooky for a few days” … if this line is accurate and they actually agree to swap placed with the British Selena Gomez then this is just Prince and the Pauper, so why make it a Headhunters adaptation? If not then what are they talking about? I’m more confused coming out of the trailer than going in.)

Directors – Thomas Bezucha – (Known For: The Family Stone; Big Eden; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: His last name is pronounced “bazooka”. He used to be a fashion design with Ralph Lauren.)

Writers – Thomas Bezucha (screenplay) – (Known For: The Family Stone; Big Eden; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Has a special thanks on The Way Way Back, probably because he did some initial legwork in getting the script ready to be shot. This article explains it a bit if you search his name.)

April Blair (screenplay) – (BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Mainly a television writer and producer now, including having a writing credit on Sklog favorite Heart of Dixie!)

Maria Maggenti (screenplay) – (Known For: Before I Fall; The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love; Puccini for Beginners; Future BMT: The Love Letter; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: He is attached to an announced Dirty Dancing remake. Guess where it takes place … obviously Peru! Wait what?! And yeah, it is really a remake of the classic Swayze film that takes place in Peru, barf.)

Kelly Bowe (screen story) – (BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: She also wrote Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous starring Jessica Simpson … she has a thing about singers turns actors it would seem.)

Jules Bass (novel) – (BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Go back and watch the trailer … if this is Prince and The Pauper then this credit is nuts. This Jules Bass novel is not Prince and The Pauper. I am officially intrigued by this “adaptation”.)

Actors – Selena Gomez – (Known For: The Big Short; Spring Breakers; Bad Neighbours 2; Hotel Transylvania; Hotel Transylvania 2; The Fundamentals of Caring; Horton Hears a Who!; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; The Muppets; Ramona and Beezus; Rudderless; Future BMT: Behaving Badly; Aftershock; Arthur and the Great Adventure; Arthur 3: la guerre des deux mondes; In Dubious Battle; BMT: Getaway; Monte Carlo; Notes: Just rewatched Getaway, where she is amazing (obvs). She apparently holds 10 Guiness Book of World Records.)

Leighton Meester – (Known For: The Judge; Date Night; Going the Distance; Life Partners; Like Sunday, Like Rain; Future BMT: Hangman’s Curse; The Oranges; Country Strong; The Beautiful Ordinary; BMT: The Roommate; That’s My Boy; Monte Carlo; Notes: From Gossip Girl (so obviously amazing). Like Selena Gomez she has extended beyond acting with a few different singles in the early 2010s.)

Katie Cassidy – (Known For: Taken; The Scribbler; The Lost; Live!; Future BMT: Black Christmas; A Nightmare on Elm Street; When a Stranger Calls; Click; BMT: Monte Carlo; Notes: Plays Laurel on the show Arrow. I know this because … well people seem to have an unreasonable amount of hatred for her. I say unreasonable because any non-zero amount of hatred for a character in a CW superhero show is unreasonable.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $23,186,769 (Worldwide: $39,667,665)

(Not too shabby. Won’t be knocking down doors trying to get Monte Carlo 2 made, but with DVD / cable tie-ins I would imagine they made off fine with the film.)

#34 for the Comedy – High School genre

montecarlo_highschoolcomedy

(I remember this genre growing up because around 1998 there was a question about where all of the coming of age films went. Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off … the 80s were jam packed with the Hughes films. Can’t Hardly Wait was a breath of fresh air in 1998, and then there was another heyday. So either this current dip is all part of the genre recharging … or more likely they are going straight to VOD at this point.)

#170 for the Romantic Comedy genre

montecarlo_romanticcomedy

(Perhaps The Big Sick will reignite the genre, but more likely, again, this is a small indie genre or a VOD type deal at this point. Which will make things a bit harder for our Girls Night Out category. But then again … that category is a bit sexist anyways. Our most recently made entry is Blended … man we don’t really watch recent Romantic Comedies.)

#18 for the Summer Girl Power genre

montecarlo_summergirlpower

(These are rare, and … of a type. Material Girls and Bratz are the two films we’ve seen in the genre. The list kind of claims that they just went extinct almost two years ago though. Couldn’t really say why though … but most likely summer tentpoles chased them to earlier in the year.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 39% (36/92): Although it has its charming moments, Monte Carlo is mostly silly, predictable stuff that never pushes beyond the boundaries of formula.

(Juuuuuuuuuuuuust squeaking in there. Which is probably a good sign. Means it is at the very least tolerable as a film. Maybe won’t scratch that Bad Movie Twins Itch, but also won’t put me to sleep hopefully.)

Poster – Monte Car-Sklog (C-)

monte_carlo

(Oooff that’s a rough Sklog incorporation into the title. I like the balance of the poster, but everything else is tough. No clear color, basic font, and too much going on. I feel like I might be going easy on it, but it’s not offensive either.)

Tagline(s) – She’s having the time of someone else’s life. (B)

(Certainly tells us what’s up and is a clever-ish play on a common phrase. A little long for my tastes but does the job.)

Keyword(s) – tied feet; Top Ten by BMeTric: 79.1 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009); 63.7 The Phantom (1996); 60.8 Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009); 58.7 The Snowman (2017); 57.3 Witless Protection (2008); 56.7 Glen or Glenda (1953); 56.4 Knock Off (1998); 53.4 Sinister 2 (2015); 51.5 Charlie’s Angels (2000); 51.3 Bride of Chucky (1998);

(… What? I need more Billy Zane in my life, but sadly The Phantom doesn’t qualify. The number of very hated films which were kind of reasonably well liked by critics is pretty stunning. Like Popeye. It has a 59% on RT and a 5.2 (which is terrible) on IMDb. I watched some clips of Popeye just to remind myself … woof, it is pretty rough to be honest.)

Notes – Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts were originally the stars of the film, but the producers decided to shoot the film with a younger cast. Kidman also remained on board as a producer. (And then she played Grace Kelly in the also BMT qualifying Grace of Monaco).

Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy, two of the film’s stars, previously worked together on The CW drama, Gossip Girl (2007) (2007).

The production spent four days filming in Paris and two weeks filming in Monaco. The rest of the filming took place in Hungary, with Budapest doubling for Paris and Monte Carlo. Raleigh Studios Budapest was used to substitute for Monte Carlo’s Hotel de Paris for the filming. (Good for Budapest?)

Meg’s first and middle names are the names of two princesses from the English house of Tudor.

It seems unusual, but “Meg” seems to be a nickname derived from the middle name of the character. Her full name, seen in the passport on her arrival in France, is Mary Margaret Kelly. (Huh, that is some great close watching by this IMDb user. This is Bad Movie Twins stuff).

As seen on their passports, the full names of girls are Grace Ann Bennett, Emma Danielle Perkins and Mary Margaret Kelly. (Yiiiiiiissssss, these are the notes I come for)

The first name of Selena Gomez’s character is “Grace” and the last name of Leighton Meester’s character is “Kelly”. Academy-Award winning American actress, Grace Kelly, became Princess consort of Monaco in 1955 when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. In addition to this, Monte Carlo is located in Monaco, and in Gossip Girl (2007), which starred Leighton Meester, her character married the Prince of Monaco. (WHAT? Spoiler for Gossip Girl, but … Blair Waldorf marries the Prince of Monaco in Gossip Girl? That’s cray cray).

The Women (2008) Preview

Usually I start off the preview for a film by talking about how excited I am to watch it. Not this time! For the Girls Night Out section we jumped to an adaptation of a play. While we had a number of terrible musicals to choose from we at the BMT Media Empire HQ are always looking to buck trends. That’s right! We’re watching The Women… you know, that dramedy you definitely know came out starring Meg Ryan and an ensemble of women living it up in the Greater New York City Area. It’s based on the 1936 play by Clare Booth Luce, which ran on Broadway for a number of years and has been revived and adapted for the screen many times over. This is the latest such adaptation and the critics were less than thrilled. I’m less than thrilled to watch it. Thank god it’s only… 2 hours long! Gah! Let’s go!

The Women (2008) – BMeTric: 58.9

TheWomen_BMeT

TheWomen_RV

(This movie actually has a bit more votes than I would expect, and the number seems to just keep on growing. That initial rise is somewhat interesting, why would the early viewers hate on this movie so? Especially when the thousands of viewers that voted subsequently seem to agree with is about a ~5/10 film. I’m going to go ahead a assume it is a case of Early Viewers Are Fans syndrome, and that they tend towards hating what fails to meet expectations. But … who would have expectations about The Women? God … I hope this isn’t a The Internet Hates Things Aimed At Women thing. I really do.)

Roger Ebert – 3 stars –  “The Women” isn’t a great movie, but how could it be? Too many characters and too much melodrama for that, and the comedy has to be somewhat muted to make the characters semi-believable. But as a well-crafted, well-written and well-acted entertainment, it drew me in and got its job done.

(Wowza, is that two in a row? Very interesting take ultimately. I think he admired the actresses so much (as almost pitch perfect for the movie they were creating) he got a little blinded that the movie was in fact (as he even admits) just not good. We’ll see though. Maybe we’ve discovered a hidden gem.)

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

(I have to say… that didn’t look like the most boring thing in the world for one reason: literally everyone in the trailer is a woman. Even the extras and shit. It’s actually amazing and might make the film at least visually interesting to look at.)

Directors – Diane English – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Effectively her one-and-done directorial project. There is another movie called Timbuktu but it seems like it was never released.)

Writers – Diane English (screenplay) – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Well known as a writer for Murphy Brown. The Women was her only writing gig after that series went off the air. But guess what? There is going to be a new season of Murphy Brown (with Candice Bergen) this year, 20 years after its last season!)

Clare Boothe Luce (play) – (Known For: The Women; BMT: The Women; Notes: Was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy under Dwight D. Eisenhower.)

Anita Loos (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; The Women; San Francisco; Babes in Arms; Strange Cargo; BMT: The Women; Notes: An early screenwriter in Hollywood (her first screenplay was for a Griffith film in 1912). Her brother created the Blue Cross health insurance company.)

Jane Murfin (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Pride and Prejudice; The Women; Come and Get It; BMT: The Women; Notes: She brought Strongheart the dog, Hollywood’s first canine film star, to the U.S. in the 20s.)

Actors – Meg Ryan – (Known For: Top Gun; You’ve Got Mail; Anastasia; When Harry Met Sally…; Sleepless in Seattle; Innerspace; The Doors; In the Land of Women; Kate & Leopold; Addicted to Love; City of Angels; Proof of Life; Courage Under Fire; French Kiss; When a Man Loves a Woman; Restoration; Joe Versus the Volcano; The Presidio; I.Q.; Flesh and Bone; Future BMT: Hanging Up; Amityville 3-D; In the Cut; Against the Ropes; Serious Moonlight; Armed and Dangerous; Ithaca; BMT: The Women; Notes: Mostly known for co-starring with Tom Hanks as love interests in three separate movies: Sleepless in Seattle, Joe Versus the Volcano, and You’ve Got Mail. She was married to Dennis Quaid for about 10 years.)

Eva Mendes – (Known For: Training Day; The Place Beyond the Pines; Fast & Furious 5; The Other Guys; Hitch; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Stuck on You; Last Night; Out of Time; We Own the Night; Holy Motors; Bad Lieutenant; The Wendell Baker Story; Live!; Future BMT: The Spirit; Urban Legends: Final Cut; Exit Wounds; Lost River; Trust the Man; All About the Benjamins; Girl in Progress; Cleaner; A Night at the Roxbury; BMT: Ghost Rider; The Women; 2 Fast 2 Furious; Notes: Cuban-American, she’s the only one in her family to have been born in the U.S., her three siblings were born in Cuba.)

Annette Bening – (Known For: American Beauty; 20th Century Women; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Mars Attacks!; Open Range; Rules Don’t Apply; The American President; The Great Outdoors; Ruby Sparks; The Kids Are All Right; Danny Collins; The Grifters; Bugsy; The Siege; Valmont; Regarding Henry; Postcards from the Edge; Ginger & Rosa; Richard III; What Planet Are You From?; Future BMT: In Dreams; Girl Most Likely; Running with Scissors; Love Affair; BMT: The Women; Notes: She was the original choice for Catwoman in Batman Returns, but had to drop out when she became pregnant. She’s been married to Warren Beatty for nearly 30 years.)

Budget/Gross – $16 million / $26,902,075 ($50,007,546 Worldwide)

(Eh, below what it probably expected. For a film like this you’d kind of want to double those numbers I would think. Not a bomb, but not really raking in much cash … unless The Women talk over their problems with a refreshing ice-cold Bud Light at one point that is.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (19/146): The Women is a toothless remake of the 1939 classic, lacking the charm, wit and compelling protagonists of the original.

(Again, thank you RT. I guess this consensus is old enough to actually be useful. This is a brutal score for a film like this. I can only assume it is disastrously boring, which doesn’t bode well for me staying awake watching it on a plane. Reviewer Highlight: One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.” – Richard Schickel, Time Magazine)

Poster – The Sklogettes (F)

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(Nooooooooooooooooo. Why does this keep happening. Look at all the people! Look at the basic white color of it. Dear god, look at the spacing. Even the font is shit.)

Tagline(s) – It’s all about… (F)

(Lol. Wot? I mean I get it… it’s all about The Women but still… lol. Wot?)

Keyword(s) – divorce; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.9 Kazaam (1996); 78.8 Striptease (1996); 77.7 Bratz (2007); 64.2 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 63.1 North (1994); 63.1 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993); 63.1 Ben & Arthur (2002); 62.1 Sliver (1993); 58.9 Mr. Woodcock (2007); 58.9 The Women (I) (2008);

(Oh shit, Kazaam. I’ve seen this movie (well, the first half of it …) so many times. Dr. T weirdly doesn’t qualify for BMT actually, so looks like we’ll never complete this list. My favorite movie with divorce? Why not Mrs. Doubtfire, great stuff.)

Notes – Tanya the manicurist (Debi Mazar) talks about meeting Madonna. Mazar and Madonna are long-time friends; Mazar appeared in four Madonna music videos: “True Blue” and “Papa Don’t Preach” (1986), “Deeper and Deeper” (1992) and “Music” (2000).

Like the 1939 version, the film has an all-female cast. (noice)

While the project was being put together in Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan were set to star. The production stalled because Roberts and Ryan ended up wanting the same role.

The painting in the restaurant scene features Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith.

In The Women (1939) the only scene in color was the fashion show sequence. In this version the fashion show begins with all-black and white clothes, and the scene before it takes place in a black-and-white room.

In the late 1970’s a remake of the 1939 classic was proposed to star Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Faye Dunaway, but it was not made. (That sounds like this could have been fun)

Blythe Danner, Marisa Tomei, Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston, Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock were all in the running for various parts in the film.

For scenes planned on being shot in the Boston Public Library, it was suggested that all the portraits and busts of men to be replaced with those of women. However, the scene was never shot. (Excuuuuuuse me? You talking ‘bout the Boston Public Library? Why would you not shoot that?)

There is an abundance of the use of the color green, from the color of the sets, props, costumes, in almost every scene throughout the movie. In the final fashion show, except for the models, almost every guest is wearing green.

Candice Bergen previously played Meg Ryan’s mother in Rich and Famous (1981).

Edie’s (Debra Messing) daughters are called January, April, May and June. The last three are the names of Daisy Duck’s nieces (counterparts to Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie).

Before development was put on hold in 2006, Annette Bening and Uma Thurman were rumored to have been considered for the roles of Mary Haines and Crystal Allen respectively. Also Lisa Kudrow and Anne Hathaway were in talks for the roles of Mirian Aarons and Peggy Day, but the roles were cut out of the final script.

According to Diane English, the project was in development, from the first draft to the final green light, for fifteen years. (Jesus. No wonder it ended up being a mess)

The original Broadway production opened on 7 September 1937 and had 666 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. (666? How does that happen I wonder. I would think with how superstitious theater operators are that they would have avoided it)

“The Women’s” screenwriter Anita Loos who wrote this film’s original 1939 screenplay, started her writing career in 1912 with her first full film screenplay The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) starring Lillian Gish for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. which is still in existence today. After writing many scripts for Biograph, Loos went on to write such other films such as Saratoga (1937), Another Thin Man (1939), San Francisco (1936), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

Except for the newly-born baby boy in the final scene, there are no male characters in the entire film, not even the extras in wide shots. (That is actually quite cool)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan)

Ouija Preview

Oh boy. I am pretty excited for this week’s film. It’s not just because Horror/Thriller has turned into my favorite section of the cycle, but also because this film in particular looked so misguided and awful when it was released that it piqued my curiosity. That’s right! We are watching Ouija, the horror film based on the Hasbro spirit board game and one of the many horror films produced by Michael Bay over the years (he’s a noted enthusiast). Seems like an obvious choice to make an adaptation out of. It’s already about spirits and spooky ghosts so as long as it’s not totally unoriginal and terrible you should be fine. Easy, right? Wrong. Let’s go!

Ouija (2014) – BMeTric: 75.7

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Ouija_RV

(Pretty good. A film in the 4.0’s staying strong and not rising as votes are added is a very very good sign. This is a case of what I will call Arrested Regression. The film should be regressing to the mean (the mean being that of films with around the same number of votes), but it isn’t. This is because it is in actuality as terrible as it initially seemed, so people seemingly are choosing to see the film despite knowing that it is terrible.)

RogerEbert.com – 3 stars –  Though I admit 16-year old me enjoyed the hell out of “Witchboard,” I didn’t think I’d have fun at “Ouija.” But I did, and assisting me were actors who gave their paper thin teenage types a little humor and character, and the film’s look. Shot by veteran camera operator, David Emmerichs, “Ouija” is a glossy hoot, showing more flair than a throwback to the 80’s horror movie should. As a lifelong horror movie viewer, I wasn’t scared by the film, but I dug the many ways it tried to goose me.

(Wowza! Three stars?! The review reads a little oddly, admitting he basically had a soft spot for the nostalgia the film evoked, but it is an interesting take I suppose. Not very many people agree to say the least.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBLmBdn2QF8

(Classic case where the less you show the better. Definitely parts that make me think it’ll be spooky scary. But then all the parts that they actually show the ghost or have someone flossing with their mouth stitched shut is just… not.)

Directors – Stiles White – (BMT: Ouija; Notes: Started in the industry in special effects before launching his career in screenwriting with his writing partner/wife Juliet Snowden.)

Writers – Juliet Snowden (written by) – (Known For: Ouija: Origin of Evil; The Possession; Future BMT: Boogeyman; Knowing; BMT: Ouija; Notes: Married to Stiles White. Also executive producer on the film.)

Stiles White (written by) – (Known For: Ouija: Origin of Evil; The Possession; Future BMT: Boogeyman; Knowing; BMT: Ouija; Notes: Apparently they are both attached to a remake of a German film called Du Hast Es Versprochen. Hoping it works out as well as this one did.)

Actors – Olivia Cooke – (Known For: The Limehouse Golem; Thoroughbreds; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; The Signal; Katie Says Goodbye; Future BMT: The Quiet Ones; BMT: Ouija; Notes: Notably starring in the upcoming blockbuster release Ready Player One. Also in the new Amazon adaptation of Vanity Fair.)

Ana Coto – (BMT: Ouija; Notes: Really hasn’t done anything much since Ouija. Weirdly was just in a Logan Paul film released exclusively to Shudder called Can’t Take It Back which is coincidentally about putting something on the internet that you can’t take back… must not have been much of an acting stretch for Logan.)

Daren Kagasoff – (BMT: Ouija; Notes: Probably best known as one of the leads of the show The Secret Life of the American Teenager.)

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $50,856,010 (Worldwide: $103,590,271)

(Obviously a colossal hit. They all are aren’t they? These small budget horror films. It is quite the phenomenon that they can effectively print money with these types of movies.)

#39 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

ouija_supernaturalhorror

(Comes is right around The Devil Inside which isn’t a good look. Being a major money-maker for cheap horror means it has been growing in power throughout the 2000s, although it looks like maybe it is reaching its saturation point now. BMT: The Ring Series, The Devil Inside, Silent Hill, Thirteen Ghosts, Ghost Ship, The Fog, Bless the Child, The Forest, The Gallows, and  The Bye Bye Man)

#13 for the Toy Adaptation genre

ouija_toyadaptation

(They are desperately trying to make this a thing. It looks like it has so far resisted moving beyond a few big budget franchises into faller fair. I feel like this is going to stay in the realm on animated films for the most part though, they’re all adapted from cartoons basically, so Transformers is really the odd-man out, no the other way around. BMT: The Transformer series, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Bratz)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (5/79): Slowly, steadily, although no one seems to be moving it in that direction, the Ouija planchette points to NO.

(I wish someone at RT would tell them that no one wants a joke consensus. Just tell me the actual consensus of the critics, which is kinda the point of your website. This tells me nothing other than you spent too much time trying to think up something clever.)

Poster – Sklog-ja (B-)

ouija

(I can dig this. Bold choice with some interesting font. Decidedly not scary though. Literally just a ouija board… why would I be scared of that?)

Tagline(s) – Keep telling yourself it’s just a game (B)

(I think this is good. Sometimes I have to say it a few times to make sure it isn’t nonsense. But this is short enough and gives a hint of the spooky scary concept. Wish it was a bit more clever.)

Keyword(s) – ghost; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.8 The Fog (2005); 80.2 One Missed Call (2008); 78.9 Feardotcom (2002); 76.9 Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977); 75.7 Ouija (II) (2014); 73.2 Zoolander 2 (2016); 72.8 The Apparition (2012); 70.7 The Gallows (2015); 68.7 The Haunting (1999); 67.5 Pulse (I) (2006);

(We are killing this list. The Fog is by far the best one there. Although The Haunting is a pretty special viewing experience as well.)

Notes – The name can either be pronounced ‘wee-ja’ or ‘wee-gee’. Charles Kennard, founder of the company manufacturing the boards, claimed he learned the name “Ouija” from asking the board what it wanted to be called. (My god)

Far from being ancient, the Ouija Board was patented on May 28, 1890. (Well … yeah, that isn’t a surprise)

Hasbro Studios first horror film. (Probably last? Oh wait, they made (a pretty good) sequel to this film.)

According to costume designer Mary Jane Fort, the cast and crew would often take breaks between shooting and use the Ouija board to jokingly predict the box office opening weekend numbers. (Z-E-R-O D-O-L-L-A-R-S … you know what this is stupid)

The film’s tagline, “Keep telling yourself it’s just a game,” was used for several years as the advertising slogan for the Ouija board game.

Though there are many other horror movies about Ouija boards – some with the same title – this film is not officially a remake of any of them and tells its own story revolving around the titular game. (Well yeah, it is a Hasbro production)

None of the actors portraying teenagers in the film were actually in their teens. The youngest actor was Olivia Cooke who was 21 at the time of filming.

When re-shoots went underway, in the process of drastically changing Doris Zander’s backstory, two new characters were created including her sister and mother. Lin Shaye, who plays Paulina Zander, was not in the original version of the film and was cast for the re-shot footage.

The location where Laine goes to visit Paulina Zander is also known as Eichen House in MTV’s hit TV show, Teen Wolf (2011), where Shelley Hennig, who plays Debbie, stars as Malia Tate/Hale.

Although this is the first film theatrically released starring Shelley Hennig, she filmed this after completing her work on Unfriended (2014) which was previously released as Cybernatural making it her proper film debut (technically). It would be theatrically released about 6 months after the release of this film.

Some cast members are said to have experienced supernatural occurrences since the production of the film Ouija ended. It is said to be influenced by the making of the film.

In the original unaltered version of the film, Doris Zander had a much different look to her. In the original cut she took the appearance of a young girl with half of her face burnt while always carrying a doll. The re-shoots version is a rotting girl with sewn lips. (What? Changing the fundamental look, and thus backstory, of a character like that seems like an odd decision)

Erin Moriarty was cast in the film in an undisclosed role though she does not appear in the finished project. Her scenes were deleted when the film was reshot.

Another theory of where the name of the Ouija Board comes from is that it is the French and German for “Yes”: Oui-ja. The Board has Yes and No answers as well as the alphabet. (No that seems much more plausible)

Film debut of actors Ana Coto, Darren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, and (technically) Shelley Hennig.

Directorial debut of Stiles White.

Although Sarah Morris is supposed to be Laine’s younger sister in the film, in real-life the actress Ana Coto is actually 3 years older than Olivia Cooke, who plays Laine.

The first trailer for the film was released with the theatrical release of The Fault in our Stars (2014) containing alternate footage. A new trailer was released in the summer containing new scenes. In an interview, Olivia Cooke stated that about 50% of the film was reshot due to a negative reaction from test audiences, as a result Universal ordered a week’s worth of re-shoots during the summer 4 months before its theatrical release which drastically altered the original plot. The original cut contained a different assortment of footage including an alternate death scene for Debbie where she instead falls to her death instead of hanging herself (which is why the chandelier is swinging when Pete sees it because she struck it while falling) along with the most advertised scene where Sarah’s eyes roll back and she says “it’s not even real okay? It’s just a game”. Nona was also supposed to have a more prominent role in the film as it implied she becomes possessed in the promotional material. (Wow … this is going to be a mess)

Strange Wilderness Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the second in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

Strange Wilderness (2008) – BMeTric: 48.8

StrangeWilderness_BMeT

StrangeWilderness_RV

(So I’m going to dub this trajectory the Teenage Boy Arc. Basically I think what happens is that the only people who want to watch this film when it is difficult to get are people who like this brand of terrible humor. Then once people can watch the film and it is featured on rental sites it drops. And now the only people who watch the film are, again, teenage boys who watch stoner comedies unironically. Not to shit on an entire class of people, but I was a teenage boy, and I had terrible taste in comedy. Just terrible.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Painfully unfunny farce about producers of a ratings-challenged wildlife TV series who desperately seek Bigfoot in the wilds of Ecuador. You can’t help feeling embarrassed or Zahn, as the clueless host, when a wild turkey chomps on his private parts and won’t let go. Shelved for nearly two years before a fleeting theatrical run.

(I forgot it was shelved for years before it was released. The rumor is that Paramount stripped their name off of the film entirely. After watching the movie again the turkey scene is the worst thing I’ve ever seen, so if you are reading this preview before watching the film … enjoy.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKyowLXH8sk

(Yeah, seems about right. That trailer has more of a direction and storyline than the actual film by the way. It is far far less coherent when they try to stretch this out to 90 minutes.)

Directors – Fred Wolf – (Known For: The House Bunny; BMT: Strange Wilderness; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: Both of the movies he directed came out in 2008 and he has been doing straight-to-video and shorts since. He is slated to have an Alec Baldwin film, Drunk Parents, out next year though.)

Writers – Peter Gaulke (written by) – (Known For: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown; Future BMT: Black Knight; The Babymakers; BMT: Say It Isn’t So; Strange Wilderness; Notes: I wouldn’t call him the writing partner of Wolf necessarily, but he was a staff writer on SNL at the same time as Wolf and is writing Drunk Parents with Wolf slated for later this year.)

Fred Wolf (written by) – (Known For: I Want Candy; Future BMT: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star; Joe Dirt; Without a Paddle; Black Sheep; Dirty Work; BMT: Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Grown Ups; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Grown Ups 2 in 2014; Notes: He was a staff writer for SNL during Sandler’s stint which was his big break. After all of those guys got fired he was asked back to be the head writer and featured player. I can only find one clip with him in it though, a short Weekend Update piece.)

Actors – Steve Zahn – (Known For: War for the Planet of the Apes; Captain Fantastic; Dallas Buyers Club; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; You’ve Got Mail; The Good Dinosaur; That Thing You Do!; Out of Sight; Lean on Pete; Roadkill; Stuart Little; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Rescue Dawn; A Perfect Getaway; Crimson Tide; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules; Bandidas; Reality Bites; Knights of Badassdom; Stuart Little 2; Future BMT: Daddy Day Care; National Security; Chicken Little; Saving Silverman; Sahara; Race the Sun; Chelsea Walls; Employee of the Month; BMT: The Ridiculous 6; Strange Wilderness; Escape from Planet Earth; Notes: Was born and raised in Minnesota, and trained for stage acting in Boston. He met his wife while they were touring with a production of Bye Bye Birdie. Cool life story.)

Allen Covert – (Known For: Hotel Transylvania 2; Happy Gilmore; 50 First Dates; Big Daddy; Hotel Transylvania; The Wedding Singer; The House Bunny; Never Been Kissed; Anger Management; Future BMT: Little Nicky; Eight Crazy Nights; Sandy Wexler; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; Mr. Deeds; Bulletproof; The Waterboy; Bedtime Stories; Airheads; The Longest Yard; Heavy Weights; Grandma’s Boy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Paul Blart: Mall Cop; Grown Ups 2; Strange Wilderness; Pixels; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Blended; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star in 2012; Notes: Often vaguely seen as a sidekick to Adam Sandler’s characters in his various films. He had a string of writing credits which appears to have ended with Bucky Larson and Jack and Jill.)

Justin Long – (Known For: Jeepers Creepers; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Idiocracy; Die Hard 4.0; He’s Just Not That Into You; 10 Years; Galaxy Quest; Tusk; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Drag Me to Hell; Veronica Mars; Herbie Fully Loaded; Funny People; Youth in Revolt; Comet; Going the Distance; Frank & Lola; The Conspirator; For a Good Time, Call…; Future BMT: Crossroads; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Yoga Hosers; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Jeepers Creepers II; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; Alpha and Omega; The Break-Up; Serious Moonlight; Planet 51; Trauma; Ghost Team; Accepted; The Lookalike; Best Man Down; Literally, Right Before Aaron; Waiting…; BMT: Movie 43; Old Dogs; Strange Wilderness; Notes: Pretty famous comedic actor, who might still be most well known as the Mac Guy from the Apple ads featuring John Hodgman. His BMT filmography is … formidable.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $6,575,282 (Worldwide: $6,964,734)

(Just no money. Like nothing. An absolute catastrophe. No wonder the director couldn’t really get anything done for a while.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 2% (1/45): Strange Wilderness is a laugh-free comedy that’s both aimless and overly crass.

(Laugh free. Aimless. Overly crass. Yeah, that is just about how I remember this film. One of the worst reviewed films ever made. Excellent.)

Poster – Sklog Wilderness (C-)

strange_wilderness

(So the poster is a hard-F. Like unforgivably ugly … but the boldness of the color choice is almost interesting in itself. And then the font on the title is actually quite good. Like the silhouette. Something about it gets it close to average I think.)

Tagline(s) – This ain’t March of the Penguins. (B)

(Like it actually. Pretty descriptive idea. Bump it down because it is aging quite poorly and will only get worse as time goes on.)

Keyword(s) – bigfoot; Top Ten by BMeTric: 55.3 Eegah (1962); 48.8 Strange Wilderness (2008); 44.5 Willow Creek (2013); 43.3 The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II (1984); 39.1 Exists (2014); 36.2 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011); 32.6 Harry and the Hendersons (1987); 31.3 Abominable (2006); 29.9 Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012); 27.4 The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972);

(Huh, some of those are pretty big! I didn’t realize it until now, but Harry and the Hendersons was originally released as Bigfoot and the Hendersons in the UK.)

Notes – During the clip of the zebra being eaten by the vultures, the zebra “responds” to the birds with “oh my god, oh my god…” is actually a clip taken from the movie “Super Troopers”. It is Paul Soter when his character is “flashing” Marisa Coughlan outside of the police station while on the phone with her. (I think I actually caught that)

“Strange Wilderness” began its life in the 1990’s as a series of independently produced short videos by former “Saturday Night Live” writers Fred Wolf and Peter Gaulke. “They started out as little parodies of wildlife shows,” explains writer and producer Gaulke. “Fred and I went out and shot them with the help of John Burrud, who actually has a real-life wildlife show. His father Bill used to host ‘Animal World’ and other travel and nature shows back in the ’60s. So John helped us produce these little shorts which we eventually got onto Comedy Central.” (Ugh, that’s embarrassing. Reminds me of how Friedberg and Seltzer kind of got their start because Rick Friedberg made a cheesy golf instructional video with Leslie Nielsen)

The two main characters are named after the film’s screenwriters.

Some of the clips used when the TV executive proves that Strange Wilderness is too inappropriate are clips from the Faces of Death series. For example, Man on fire with Jesus music, Man being attacked by an alligator, and Pygmy footage) (I didn’t know this was a thing and I don’t really like that I now know that is a thing … but maybe I’m somehow better because I know this thing? It is a confusing time for me)