The Circle Preview

With his cadre of Rambos leading the way, Patrick enters the BMTverse. He breathes in the dull, uninspiring air and a part of him knows it’s home. The old rickety Rambo crouches down, his knees giving off loud popping noises, and tastes the earth. “Your brother, he’s been here.” The young spry Rambo with the sad eyes tastes a different spot, “another was with him. The man in black.” At that the older garbage Rabmo hisses, “Vampiro.” Patrick steps forward, “Which way did they head?!” At that the youngest of the Rambos replies bluntly, “No.” But Patrick pleads “I need to get to him before it’s too late. Please!” The Rambos nod, “OK.” At that they head off. From the few monosyllabic statements the Rambos make Patrick is able to glean that Vampiro is a Dracula who has been sucking the BMTverse dry in some mysterious scheme and that Jamie is in grave danger. “So what is the scheme Vampiro has set up?” Patrick asks, and immediately the Rambos point to a large building dominating the skyline of New Angeles. The sign reads, “The Square.” Patrick doesn’t want to say anything but to him The Square looks pretty hip. That’s right! We’re watching the 2017 classic The Circle starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks about a big ol’ company that totally spies on you. Sound the Ointment Alarm, cause this movie is topical. Let’s go!

Meanwhile, the man in black backflips from his skateboard and and grabs Jamie by the throat. He squints at him, “You really don’t remember me, do you?” Jamie looks closer and notices the sharp Dracula teeth of the Dracula that turned him into a Dracula at Dracula School a year ago. “Vampiro,” he wheezes. “Let him be, baby,” a young sexy voice says from behind Vampiro and four beautiful bodacious beach bunnies come out from the steam. “Sticks and Stone will not be happy if you kill him, Vampiro,” the sexiest of them coos. “Call me Buford, baby,” He replies. That’s right! We’re going for the only Jim Hanks vehicle in history, Buford’s Beach Bunnies. Tom Hanks’ bro plays the titular Buford being titillated by the titular Beach Bunnies. It should be a hoot and in no way sad probably. Let’s go!

The Circle (2017) – BMeTric: 56.8 

TheCircleIMDb_BMeT

TheCircleIMDb_RV

(Ooooooo for a film like this low-5s is incredibly incredibly low, that is promising. And very consistent across the years as well. Interesting.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  When the story turns into something akin to a nightmarish cousin of “The Truman Show” or “Network,” or the kid sister of Cronenbeg’s “ExistenZ,” you want it to get bigger, wilder, more outrageous, more frightening, and it’s too nice and reasonable and conscientious to do that. The result feels undernourished in just about every way, although Hanks’s performance, John Boyega’s brief role as a founding programmer, and a couple of frightening action sequences break through the tedium.

(Yeah I would have expected it to go very broad in the end … it is pretty concerning that it doesn’t. Like what is this movie about then?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUlr8Am4zQ0/

(Watching that trailer and I’m thinking Firewall starring Harrison Ford. Reading the review above it … and I’m getting whiffs of The Space Between Us. Which is concerning because that movie was boring.)

Directors – James Ponsoldt – (Known For: The Spectacular Now; The End of the Tour; Smashed; Off the Black; BMT: The Circle; Notes: Went to Yale, and then got a Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia.)

Writers – James Ponsoldt (screenplay by) – (Known For: Smashed; Off the Black; BMT: The Circle; Notes: Is writing and directing a film about “wild animals in Los Angeles” called Wild City.)

Dave Eggers (screenplay by & based on the novel by) – (Known For: Where the Wild Things Are; A Hologram for the King; Promised Land; Away We Go; BMT: The Circle; Notes: Actually an amazing story concerning his parents both dying when he was a young man, and he dropped out of school to raise his youngest brother who was 8 at the time. It became the subject of his fictionalized memoir, the acclaimed A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.)

Actors – Emma Watson – (Known For: Beauty and the Beast; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; This Is the End; Noah; My Week with Marilyn; The Bling Ring; The Tale of Despereaux; Future BMT: Regression; BMT: The Circle; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for The Circle in 2018; Notes: She’s going to be in Little Woman later this year, obviously most famous for her roles in the Harry Potter films where she played Hermoine.)

Tom Hanks – (Known For: Toy Story 4; A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood; Forrest Gump; The Green Mile; Saving Private Ryan; Catch Me If You Can; Toy Story; Toy Story 3; Cloud Atlas; Sleepless in Seattle; Cast Away; Cars; Road to Perdition; Toy Story 2; Sully: Miracle on the Hudson; The Post; Apollo 13; Bridge of Spies; Saving Mr. Banks; Big; Future BMT: He Knows You’re Alone; Larry Crowne; Inferno; Ithaca; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: The Circle; The Bonfire of the Vanities; Notes: Ya’ll know Tom Hanks! He’s getting Oscar buzz for his role as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.)

John Boyega – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi; Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Detroit; Attack the Block; Half of a Yellow Sun; Imperial Dreams; Junkhearts; BMT: The Circle; Notes: British. You can hear his natural sccent in Attack the Block.)

Budget/Gross – $18 million / Domestic: $20,497,844 (Worldwide: $20,497,844)

(Hmmmm, given the budget that isn’t actually that bad I suppose, but it is a box office disappointment. Their Netflix distribution may have made a bit more of that back since. I’m a little surprised it could be made for so little.)

#55 for the Young-Adult Book Adaptations genre

thecircle2017_yaadaptations

(Our 8th BMT film of this genre. Came right as these types of films stopped making money. Weirdly, not even close to the worst box office we’ve seen beating out The Darkest Minds, Midnight Sun, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, and Vampire Academy)

#52 on the Worst Openings – Super Saturated chart

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (20/135): The Circle assembles an impressive cast, but this digitally driven thriller spins aimlessly in its half-hearted exploration of timely themes.

(Yeah that sounds about right. Float through something significant, but straddle the fence and make it as milquetoast as possible. This is indeed what I expect. Reviewer Highlight: The Circle is a big honking sloppy mess of a movie, one that flops around so aimlessly that it’s baffling so many intelligent people had a hand in making it. – Will Leitch, The New Republic)

Poster – Corporate Sklog-vallience (C+)

circle_ver2

(It’s artsy in the framing and the color is fine. Font makes me sad. At least make the C in Circle be the company’s logo. Not just block bullshit.)

Tagline(s) – Knowing is good. Knowing everything is better. (A-)

(Do you know what’s better than a billion dollars? A gazillion dollars. While I don’t support the message of the tagline I can still recognize that it’s a good tagline.)

Keyword(s) – video surveillance; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.3 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 79.5 The Devil Inside (2012); 67.8 College Road Trip (2008); 65.7 Captivity (2007); 65.5 Pulse (I) (2006); 60.4 Maid in Manhattan (2002); 60.2 Sliver (1993); 56.8 The Circle (I) (2017); 52.5 Everly (2014); 52.2 Bangkok Dangerous (2008);

(This is a pretty interesting keyword. Like is that really what Halloween: Resurrection has? College Road Trip? This seems to be one of the rare ones where it is a central theme to the film.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Tom Hanks is No. 2 billed in The Circle and No. 1 billed in Bonfire of the Vanities, which also stars Bruce Willis (No. 2 billed) who is in The Whole Ten Yards (No. 1 billed), which also stars Natasha Henstridge (No. 4 billed) who is in Ghosts of Mars (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Angels & Demons, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Bill Paxton died before the film’s release. Glenne Headly, who played his wife in the film, died the same year after the film’s release. (What? I knew Pacton died, but I didn’t realize Glenne Headly died.)

Re-shoots took place four months before release, aimed at making Emma Watson’s character more appealing, but test audience reactions were even worse than previous test screenings. (Jesus THAT was their attempt at making her MORE appealing? She’s insane in the movie)

The scene where Annie video calls Mae was shot by Karen Gillan’s crew while they were filming Gillan’s feature film; The Party’s Just Beginning (2018) in Scotland. (Wow that is interesting)

In the U.K. this film did not get a cinema release but went straight to streaming service Netflix. (Yeah I noticed)

The logo of The Circle was created before the Uber redesign, despite them looking very similar.

The lead role of Mae was first offered to Alicia Vikander, which according to her, was one of three roles offered simultaneously, alongside the roles of Maria in Assassin’s Creed (2016) and Heather in Jason Bourne (2016). Due to fan factor, she opted to do Bourne, thus the producers moving on to casting second choice Emma Watson.

Received a “D+” CinemaScore, which is quite rare. [Variety 2017] (Not surprised)

This is the second time that Tom Hanks has a role in an adaptation of a novel by Dave Eggers. The first was A Hologram for the King (2016). (Never heard of it)

The auditorium scenes were filmed at Citrus Community College’s Haugh Performing Arts Center in Glendora, California.

Opening bridge shot is Dumbarton Bridge in Northern California near Silicon Valley. Fake image of the Circle building located on the Coyote Point recreation park.

The ending was changed significantly for the film adaptation. In the novel, Mae, fully believing in The Circle’s goals and mantras, betrays Ty in his attempt to bring down the company and he is effectively silenced. (WHAT?! THAT IS CRAZY)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Emma Watson, 2018)

Dracula 2000 Preview

“Gruber?” Rich whisper, but instead of the mad man one of the groundskeepers steps into view. Suddenly the man’s suit glows blue and a virus begins to download onto their computer. Poe and Brock rush into the room out of breath. “Stop! Rich… the groundskeepers. They are lawnmower men.” A gasp goes through the room. How could such monstrous beings be hiding right under their noses? No wonder Gruber wanted the tech so badly. A virus that controls lawnmower men would be devastating. Rich turns to his colleagues. “Now I understand. It’s so obvious. Gruber wanted us to find the virus, once we found it it activated the lawnmower men who then came and downloaded the virus from our computer. It’s all a frame job. Made to look like we released lawnmower men on the world.” My God! It’s all so clear! The lawnmower men cackle in glee as they run forwards and jack into the internet and enter cyberspace. Just then Poe has an idea. “Get me the virus file and a laptop. It’s time to get spectechular.” They all high five at his appropriate use of teen lingo. Putting on some sweet VR head gear they all get hacking and hack like they’ve never hacked before. Finally they find the garbage file and isolate the virus. “Tell me the name,” Poe yells, “we need to understand the code and then we can jack into cyberspace and take it down.” Rich reconstructs the degraded file and gasps, “It’s a money-making scheme meant to bleed the school dry of funds before escaping to the Caribbean.” It’s Poe’s turn to gasp as he understands the implications, “you don’t mean…” But Rich nods, “It’s a Dracula Virus. FangTime2000. And we’re on the hook. It’s time to jack in.” That’s right! We are going back in time to the far past of 2000 where just adding that number to a film’s name meant you were in for a wild ride. No better exemplified than with Dracula 2000, which attempted to move the well-worn property into the new millennium. We’ve been eyeing this one mostly for the opportunity to see a tiny Gerard Butler when he was just a wee lad. Jonny Lee Miller gave us the opportunity. Let’s go!

Meanwhile… having subdued the security guards using their country bumpkin disguises the two hooded figures finally remove their hoods. Gasp! It’s Sticks and Stones! The wiley Z-universe twin cops. On brand, they are up to no good and gaze upon their final destination: the BMTVerse Jackdrive. They activate the screen and up pops their BMTverse partner in crime. “We’re ready to jack in, Dr. Vampiro.” That’s right! We’re watching Dracula 3000 as the delightful pairing for the Bring a Friend cycle. This is a terrible film that makes me sad to even think about watching. Yay! Let’s go!

Dracula 2000 (2000) – BMeTric: 64.0 

Dracula2000IMDb_BMeT

Dracula2000IMDb_RV

(Extremely consistent which is a good sign. As usual I feel like what this means is that over time people are still looking at this film and thinking “this is garbage”. Sub 4.0 is really low. Promising.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Miller heads to New Orleans to save a sweet young thing from the charms of cinema’s most famous bloodsucker (Butler). Perhaps the only film in history that manages to get its producer’s name, lead character and release date all in the official title, this modern-day take on the vampire classic shows why some characters are best left in their own era. Has a few good moments and better performances than you might expect. Followed by two direct-to-video sequels.

(Oooof, no Oxford comma Leonard? That is really just too bad, I’m a huge proponent of the Oxford comma. Whatever, I don’t think Leonard watched this film, this review is too generic. A few good moments? Naw, I bet this movie is garbage. Just speculating.)

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

(My God, this looks like the rudest tudest late-90s / early 00s trash remake in history. Just spit right in the face of Dracula fans. I cannot wait, this is going to be so dumb.)

Directors – Patrick Lussier – (Known For: My Bloody Valentine; White Noise: The Light; BMT: Dracula 2000; Drive Angry; Notes: Started as a television editor, specifically on MacGyver. His son is also involved in film editing.)

Writers – Joel Soisson (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Trick or Treat; Future BMT: Piranha 3DD; Highlander: Endgame; Cam2Cam; BMT: Dracula 2000; Notes: Wrote the straight-to-video sequel Hellraiser: Hellworld. His wife Claudia Templeton often cameos in his films.)

Patrick Lussier (story) – (Future BMT: Terminator Genisys; BMT: Dracula 2000; Drive Angry; Notes: Also wrote straight-to-video sequels Dracula II: Ascension and Dracula III: Legacy. Despite the different names they are indeed sequels to this film.)

Actors – Gerard Butler – (Known For: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; 300; Den of Thieves; Olympus Has Fallen; RocknRolla; How to Train Your Dragon; The Vanishing; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Tomorrow Never Dies; Reign of Fire; Nim’s Island; Coriolanus; Beowulf & Grendel; Mrs Brown; Dear Frankie; Harrison’s Flowers; The Cherry Orchard; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Tale of the Mummy; The Ugly Truth; A Family Man; The Game of Their Lives; Machine Gun Preacher; BMT: Movie 43; Dracula 2000; Geostorm; Gods of Egypt; The Bounty Hunter; Timeline; Gamer; Playing for Keeps; London Has Fallen; Hunter Killer; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2011 for The Bounty Hunter; and in 2017 for Gods of Egypt, and London Has Fallen; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple/Worst Screen Ensemble for The Bounty Hunter in 2011; Notes: His home was apparently destroyed in the Woolsey Fire, all of the recent news is dominated by press concerning his soon-to-be-released Angel Has Fallen.)

Justine Waddell – (Known For: The Fall; Mansfield Park; Killing Bono; Future BMT: Thr3e; Anna Karenina; BMT: Dracula 2000; Notes: Daughter of Gordon Waddell former captain of the Scottish rugby union team.)

Jonny Lee Miller – (Known For: Trainspotting; T2 Trainspotting; Mansfield Park; Byzantium; Melinda and Melinda; Afterglow; Endgame; The Flying Scotsman; Future BMT: Dark Shadows; Hackers; Mindhunters; Plunkett & Macleane; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Dracula 2000; Æon Flux; Notes: Star of Hackers, he is English and dropped out of school at 17 to pursue acting.)

Budget/Gross – $54 million / Domestic: $33,022,767 (Worldwide: $47,053,625)

(Not good. I’m stunned it had a 50+ million dollar budget at this point in time. That is really high, and for what? A remake of one of the classically overdone tales in cinema history. This is like how they keep making Robin Hood films that almost always bomb / suck.)

#128 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

dracula2000_rratedhorror

(Came right at the end of an initial peak. As far as gross goes, it comes in right around Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter … which is not a very good look. That movie was the 3rd sequel of a cheap 80s horror franchise. This cost $50 million dollars.)

#25 for the Vampire genre

dracula2000_vampire

(Our fourth vampire film for BMT. This came before the Twilight boom, but I’m pretty surprised at how consistently vampire films have been made throughout history.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 18% (12/68): This retelling trys [sic] to offer a different spin on the origin of Dracula. Unfortunately, there’s nothing here audiences haven’t seen before.

(That misspelling is just incredible. And now I’m getting a bit concerned this is just going to be boring. I still have hope this will be completely trash. Reviewer Highlight: A thudding, suspense-free montage of unshocking shock effects and more severed heads than toppled during the French Revolution. – Stephen Holden, New York Times)

Poster – Spectacula 2000 (B+)

dracula_two_thousand

(I like the feel of it. The color and framing particularly. The font is less interesting, but has a kind of shine to it. Overall pretty solid stuff.)

Tagline(s) – The Most Seductive Evil of All Time Has Now Been Unleashed in Ours. (D)

(If I wanted to read this much I’d buy a book. Also this is nonsense. Just stop reading it. It’s just gonna make less and less sense.)

Keyword(s) – number in title; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 90.4 Fifty Shades of Grey (2015); 89.8 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 86.4 Troll 2 (1990); 85.9 Fantastic Four (2015); 85.9 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.6 Movie 43 (2013); 83.9 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 83.8 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011); 83.0 RoboCop 3 (1993);

(Oh shit. Well we have to watch Piranha 3DD at some point (it will be unpleasant). Human Centipede is never happening though. It is amazing how many terrible films have numbers in the title. I like the inclusion of Battlefield Earth which is sometimes subtitled “A Saga in the Year 3000”.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Gerard Butler is No. 1 billed in Dracula 2000 and No. 1 billed in The Bounty Hunter, which also stars Jennifer Aniston (No. 2 billed) who is in Just Go With It (No. 2 billed), which also stars Adam Sandler (No. 1 billed) who is in Jack and Jill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Must Love Dogs, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – The name of Van Helsing’s antique business, “Carfax Abbey” is also the name of house Dracula moves into in Bram Stoker’s book “Dracula”.

The line in the film where Jonny Lee Miller playing Simon Sheppard says, “Never, ever fuck with an antiques dealer,” was a line the actor would say on set as a joke. The director liked it and incorporated it into the scene. (Oh no!)

Dracula says, “I don’t drink… coffee,” in one scene. This is a spoof of “I never drink… wine” from Dracula (1931).

Script doctor Scott Derrickson told the story of how he got the job working on this film. Harvey Weinstein called him, saying, “I just bought this script, called, ‘Dracula 2000’.” Derrickson replied, “Oh, yeah? Is it good?” Weinstein replied, “It stinks!” Derrickson asked, “So why did you buy it?”, and Weinstein replied “Because it’s called, ‘Dracula 2000’.” Derrickson did the re-write, which Weinstein discarded. Ehren Kruger did the next rewrite. (Jesus Christ)

The typeface used on the title screen is a variation of the same typeface used on the first release of the Dracula novel in 1897. (Cool)

Nathan Fillion plays a priest in this movie. He would also go on to play Caleb, an evil Priest on the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) (Must be a young Nathan Fillion)

The doctor who screams as Dracula approaches him in the police station is named Dr. Seward, a reference to the Book. (Cool)

The character Lucy Westerman’s name is a reference to the character Lucy Westenra from Bram Stoker’s book. She is in the movie, as in the book, the best friend of the main character Mina (book)/Mary (movie). (Alright, it is starting to feel like the writers just read the book and shoehorned a bunch of shit in this thing)

Gerard Butler was given a break from filming The Cherry Orchard (1999) so that he could play Dracula in “Dracula 2000”.

Director Patrick Lussier remarked in an interview that the Father Uffizi character played by Jason Scott Lee in Dracula II: Ascension (2003) and Dracula III: Legacy (2005) was originally written into this film. (Huh, so a more direct sequel than I thought)

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace Preview

Meanwhile… Poe and Brock are getting psyched for the big championship game. Suddenly Poe watches in alarm as the lawnmower men around the field stop in unison, their eyes suddenly glassy and unseeing. “Lawnmower Men,” Poe whispers while Brock stares on in shock. “Lawnmower Men? It can’t be. They… they are just silly legends used to scare kids.” But no, they are real and something has brought them out of their slumber. Poe suddenly realizes what it is and turns to Brock, “It’s Rich. He needs my help.” One of the other players begins to protest, but Brock stops them, “If you need my help, you have my bat, bro.” And they seal the deal with a Predator Handshake. That’s right! In celebration of the 500th BMT film (say what?!) we are also watching The Lawnmower Man and Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. The sequel has been on my bad movie bucket list forever because it actually seems impossible that it got released to theaters. But it did and we couldn’t have asked for a better pairing for this celebration than the hacking computer technobabble extravaganza of Hackers and the Lawnmower Man franchise. Let’s go! 

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996) – BMeTric: 67.2 

LawnmowerMan2BeyondCyberspaceIMDb_BMeT

LawnmowerMan2BeyondCyberspaceIMDb_RV

(Holy shit! That is really low. How does it only have 67 BMeTric? I guess 8000 votes it really really low, which is itself rather astonishing. This is blowing my mind.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Moron-turned-genius Jobe is back, still intent on ruling the world from cyberspace. This involves ruthless billionaire Conway, reclusive computer expert Bergin, docter Pouget, and young O’Brien, returning from the original film. The plot is both complicated and simpleminded, and aimed primarily at teenage computer fans – but the standardized Blade Runner future, routine action, and only intermittent computer graphics will likely leave them as disinterested as everyone else. Aka: Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe’s War.

(WHAT? This got a better review than the first one? Well I am now intrigued. Also this review is somehow longer than the review for the first one, which was already an epic that is uncharacteristic of Leonard. Of all the movies to become verbose over, the Lawnmower Man franchise?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MubmJ2jwvOM/

(To think, these two trailers came from a Stephen King short story that really doesn’t have much to do with either storyline. This thing is wild and reminds me of Highlander 2: The Quickening. Gloriously cheap sci-fi nonsense. Sock it to me.)

Directors – Farhad Mann – (BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: Mostly a television and commercial director, it kind of suggests he developed Max Headroom, although he’s only credited as the director of the pilot.)

Writers – Farhad Mann (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: Appears to mostly director British Crime procedurals like Murdoch Mysteries.)

Michael Miner (story) – (Known For: RoboCop; RoboCop; BMT: RoboCop 3; Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid; Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; RoboCop 2; Notes: Wait one second … we finished Miner’s filmography? That is awesome. A self-described technophobe.)

Actors – Patrick Bergin – (Known For: Patriot Games; Free Fire; Ella Enchanted; Map of the Human Heart; Mountains of the Moon; The Boys from County Clare; Silent Grace; Future BMT: Eye of the Beholder; Sleeping with the Enemy; The Invisible Circus; Love Crimes; Age of Kill; The Wee Man; Strength and Honour; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Notes: A former math teacher in Ireland, he also had a top 10 hit song in Ireland called The Knacker. I’m sorry, but that is awful.)

Matt Frewer – (Known For: Watchmen; Hercules; 50/50; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Dawn of the Dead; The BFG; The Meaning of Life; The Fourth Protocol; A Home at the End of the World; Twenty Bucks; Weirdsville; Foreverland; Future BMT:Supergirl; Riding the Bullet; Cannonball Fever; Senior Trip; Going the Distance; Spies Like Us; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Ishtar; Pixels; Notes: A significant voice and television actor now. He’s Big Russ in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (the neighbor) and also interestly enough was Max Headroom, which makes sense considering the director.)

Austin O’Brien – (Known For: Apollo 13; The Baby-Sitters Club; Future BMT: My Girl 2; The Lawnmower Man; Last Action Hero; BMT: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Mostly a child actor. He was in the (non-qualifying) Prehysteria!)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $2,409,225

(Aaaaaaand, there is it. Play stupid games, win … a catastrophic box office bomb. There is an important lesson here: when you make a sequel hot garbage sometimes people don’t want to go see it no matter how rad it is.)

#18 for the Virtual Reality genre

lawnmowerman2_virtualreality

(YES, three for three! We went from having seen two films to having seen five in this category. Wait a second, I have to check something … there are nine total qualified films, of which we will have actually only seen four after this because Vanilla Sky is a rare non-qualifying film we did for BMT once. Still almost halfway through the genre now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (1/9)

(I’ll have to make a consensus … Oh, wait, there are only two reviews with actual snippets and it seems like Rotten Tomatoes’ full review links are broken, so I can’t make one. Weirdly one of the two Top Critics was the only good review basically saying the special effects were okay. Reviewer Highlight: Mowing the lawn might be more involving than watching this subpar sci-fi sequel, which manages to be complicated and witless at the same time. – Andy Seller, USA Today)

Poster – The Lawnmower Man 2: Inspired by The Lawnmower Man: Inspired by Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man (C-)

lawnmower_man_two_beyond_cyberspace

(Wow. So they just reused the same poster but made it even sillier (and removed Stephen King’s name, obviously). What could you possibly think this film was about if you didn’t already know?! Downgraded because it’s a blatant rip off.)

Tagline(s) – God made him simple. Science made him a god. Now, he wants revenge. (F)

(Oh for God’s sake. At this point they should have just stopped making the film. Unacceptable.)

Keyword(s) – psychotronic film; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.8 Battlefield Earth (2000); 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 92.2 Son of the Mask (2005); 91.1 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 89.8 The Wicker Man (2006); 89.2 Vampires Suck (2010); 89.2 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 89.0 House of the Dead (2003); 88.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966); 86.5 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987);

(Psychotonic – denoting or relating to a genre of films that typically have a science fiction, horror, or fantasy theme and were made on a low budget. That does seem to fit. Vampires Suck doesn’t really though, and neither does Son of Mask. Battlefield Earth had an enormous budget.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 26) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matt Frewer is No. 2 billed in Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace and No. 10 billed in Ishtar, which also stars Warren Beatty (No. 1 billed) who is in Town & Country (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 9 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 2 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 9 + 3 = 26. If we were to watch Eye of the Beholder, The Island, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Director Farhad Mann found himself locked out of the editing room by the producers who wanted a film which would appeal more to their target demographic – teenage boys. (shiiiiiiiit)

Austin O’Brien is the only returning cast member from the first film. (Oooooof. A regular Atlas Shrugged up in here)

Although the film was set in the future, the cast donated their old 80s computers for the set in order to save money in the budget. (What? That is bizarre)

The 1993 VHS tape of the widescreen version of the first film had an announcement screen that read “Look out for Lawnmower Man 2: Mindfire” in 1994. This obviously never happened, and the film appeared 2 years later with a different title. (Huh, that is kind of fun. It also has a different name in Europe, Jobe’s War.)

Dark Phoenix Preview

As Rich does his best to battle Assassinbot 3000 in space, Poe is forced to watch on a big screen by Gruber, who screams in delight, “Bwahaha. I have finally won. You all will die. Except for you, Poe. You will be forced to watch it all.” Suddenly Jade is by his side and whispers softly to him something about family and to always be himself. Rich’s last words, apparently. Odd. He tries to decipher what it could mean. Be himself… be… HIMSELF! Of course. His time machine! “Granny, you still have my seventh grade science project?” he whispers to her. She nods silently that she does. Freeing a hand, he reaches for her otherwise innocent looking keychain, which in fact was a time machine dongle that he never quite got working. He manages to tap into the mainframe and bypass the firewall in order to overclock the CPU and reroute power to the tiny dongle. A time bubble forms behind the distracted Gruber and a monstrous hooded figure emerges. “Are… are you me?” Poe stammers. The figure takes off his hood and is revealed to be a spider monster. “But how… why am I a spider monster?” The spider monster responds, “all the monstrous things that Gruber forces you to watch. It turns you into this.” Poe is still a little confused, “I become a spider monster?” The spider monster nods his head. Well alright. The spider monster frees them all from their ropes and Poe and him perform a patented spider chop to Gruber’s neck rendering him unconscious. “Thanks, Spider Monster Me,” says Poe, but his joy is crushed as the spider monster looms over him and begins to laugh. “Bwahahaha, I was never you, Poe. I was Spider Monster Gruber this entire time! You have still failed. I have only risen from the puny human ashes to become my true, dark self. Dark Gruber!” That’s right! After a long winter and spring nearly bereft of bad films it’s been a veritable smorgasbord lately. This includes some very big failures of some very big franchises. So we are taking the plunge and really putting a huge burden on ourselves by watching the latest (last?) installment of the X-Men prequels live and in theaters! X-Men: Dark Phoenix is one of only two X-Men films that qualifies for BMT (the other being X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and comes with three previous installments of which I saw just one. So I got some work ahead of me. You better be worth it Dark Phoenix. Let’s go!

Dark Phoenix (2019) – BMeTric: 30.0

DarkPhoenixIMDb_BMeT

DarkPhoenixIMDb_RV

(A flat six sounds correct as the initial rating. I think this means the BMeTric is going to fall quite a bit over time. The rating usually goes up as general audiences rate the film, so I assume it’ll go to like .. 6.2 or something.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  Everyone seems to agree that this X-venture is the last cinematic one for a long time. Fox is being rolled into the Marvel empire and we probably won’t see Professor X, Magneto, or even Wolverine for years. By then, everyone will have forgotten “Dark Phoenix.” Heck, that will happen by the end of the month. After all, nobody cares anymore.

(Ha! Basically: why does this movie exist anymore? And I have to say, that basically agrees with my perception in the lead up to the film as well.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWbMckU3AOQ/

(Pretty good trailer to be honest. As people online pointed out, it is a bit spoilie, in that you can pretty much guess what happens to Jennifer Lawrence and when given the brief bits shown in the trailer, but I do think that is a pretty compelling trailer indicating that Dark Phoenix is what causes humanity to close ranks somewhat against the X-Men and for the school to become as isolated as it seems in the original film.)

Directors – Simon Kinberg – (BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Fantastic Four in 2016; Notes: He developed the new Twilight Zone. He also directed one of the episodes. That was his only other directorial effort prior to this film.)

Writers – John Byrne and Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum (story “The Dark Phoenix Saga”) – (BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: They wrote the original Marvel run that the film is based on.)

Simon Kinberg (written by) – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X-Men: The Last Stand; Sherlock Holmes; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; BMT: Fantastic Four; xXx²: The Next Level; Jumper; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; This Means War; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Fantastic Four in 2016; Notes: He wrote all of the other films in this New Class series, and he was given the shot to close it out. He’s writing the new Logan’s Run film.)

Jack Kirby (comic book created by) – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; X-Men: Apocalypse; Avengers: Infinity War; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok; X: First Class; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Black Panther; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Captain America: Civil War; Captain America: The First Avenger; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Iron Man; Thor; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Ant-Man; The Incredible Hulk; Iron Man Three; Thor: The Dark World; Future BMT: Captain America; The Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; Justice League; BMT: Fantastic Four; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Him and Lee basically built Marvel up to what it is now. He fought in WWII and almost lost his legs to frostbite.)

Stan Lee (comic book created by) – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; X-Men: Apocalypse; Avengers: Infinity War; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok; X: First Class; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Black Panther; Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Iron Man; Thor; Doctor Strange; Spider-Man; Ant-Man; The Incredible Hulk; Iron Man Three; Thor: The Dark World; Iron Man 2; Future BMT: The Fantastic Four; Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Fantastic Four; BMT: Fantastic Four; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Died rather recently after a lot of rumors concerning elder abuse, and other unsavory issues surrounding his failing health. Would cameo in most Marvel films.)

Actors – James McAvoy – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; Deadpool 2; X: First Class; Split; Atomic Blonde; Wanted; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Atonement; Filth; The Last King of Scotland; Trance; Penelope; Gnomeo & Juliet; Starter for 10; Becoming Jane; Wimbledon; Muppets Most Wanted; Bright Young Things; The Conspirator; Future BMT: Sherlock Gnomes; Swimming Pool – Der Tod feiert mit; Submergence; Victor Frankenstein; Glass; BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: He grew up in Glasgow and is a fan of Celtic.)

Michael Fassbender – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X: First Class; Inglourious Basterds; 300; Alien: Covenant; Prometheus; 12 Years a Slave; Shame; Jane Eyre; Steve Jobs; The Light Between Oceans; Eden Lake; Centurion; Song to Song; Macbeth; Hunger; A Dangerous Method; Slow West; Haywire; Future BMT: The Counsellor; BMT: Jonah Hex; The Snowman; Assassin’s Creed; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Notes: Ate nuts, berries, and sardines as a diet in order to lose 33 pounds for Hunger.)

Jennifer Lawrence – (Known For: X-Men: Apocalypse; X-Men: Days of Future Past; X: First Class; The Hunger Games; Red Sparrow; Mother!; American Hustle; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; Silver Linings Playbook; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; Joy; Winter’s Bone; Like Crazy; The Beaver; The Poker House; Future BMT: Serena; House at the End of the Street; Garden Party; The Burning Plain; BMT: X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Mother! in 2018; Notes: Is the third youngest best actress nominee ever at 20 years old for Winter’s Bone, which is a fantastic film.)

Budget/Gross – $200 million / Domestic: $39,190,534 (Worldwide: $142,934,155)

(This is a gigantic bomb. Even worldwide this is going to lose around $100 million if you calculate the net in the traditional manner (needing two times the budget). The nail in the coffin for this iteration of X-Men.)

#119 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre

foxmarvel18b_comicbookadaptation

(Around Judge Dredd at the moment (and it really isn’t going to get much better to be honest). This is our 22nd comic book film. It is obviously huge right now.)

#97 for the Superhero genre

foxmarvel18b_superhero

(Our 17th superhero film. Right now this is around Catwoman. It’ll be a bit better than that … maybe like the new Fantastic Four maybe. Again, huge right now, so it makes sense the film is our right now.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (67/290): Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc — with deeply disappointing results.

(Yep, meaningless, emotionless, and dull is what all the reviews say. Which is not what you want. Reviewer Highlight: “Logan” is the proper finale to the “X-Men” film series. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”… is so disappointing that it doesn’t deserve that honor. – Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com)

Poster – Sklog Phoenix (D-)

dark_phoenix_ver2

(I don’t want to be too harsh, but this is trash. Why are there so many colors? It’s like all the colors that ever existed are on this poster. Gross. Almost an F… just needs to be a tad stupider to really hit the bottom.)

Tagline(s) – The Phoenix will rise. (C-)

(I mean, I guess this is fine for fans of the series. If you are excited for the Dark Phoenix storyline this could get you all jazzed up… but otherwise it’s pretty blah.)

Keyword(s) – mutant; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.3 Epic Movie (2007); 88.0 Street Fighter (1994); 87.8 BloodRayne (2005); 84.8 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 83.7 The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005); 78.4 Superhero Movie (2008); 73.2 Cell (I) (2016); 72.9 The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996); 72.1 A Sound of Thunder (2005); 68.2 The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961);

(Another week, another reminded that I’ve seen Street Fighter like 4 times, but never for BMT. Which is ridiculous. The Island of Dr. Moreau is easily going to be the best of that batch.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Michael Fassbender is No. 3 billed in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and No. 1 billed in The Snowman, which also stars Val Kilmer (No. 4 billed) who is in Batman Forever (No. 1 billed), which also stars Tommy Lee Jones (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 3 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 21. If we were to watch Glass, Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Hans Zimmer decided to retire from composing superhero movies after having worked on scores for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, but Simon Kinberg convinced him to work on this film.

The film takes place in 1992, the year the X-Men comics were relaunched with new costume designs and a new cartoon show, X-Men (1992). (Period piece!!!!!!)

This will be the first X-Men film to not feature or reference either Logan/Wolverine or the actor that portrays him, Hugh Jackman. This is because Jackman retired from the role, which he portrayed since X-Men (2000). He was briefly featured in Deadpool 2 (2018) through reused and stock footage from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

Mystique and Magneto were not originally intended to appear as Jennifer Lawrence implied in several interviews that she was done with playing Mystique, though she said in an interview that she had a change of heart as she didn’t want fans to be confused if her character got the ‘Chuck Cunningham Syndrome treatment’. (I’ve never heard of that, but it is great)

Directorial debut for writer Simon Kinberg.

Was originally scheduled for a November 2nd, 2018 release, but due to 20th Century Fox wanting reshoots in March 2018, the film was delayed by 3 months to February 15th, 2019, and then another 4 months to June 7th, 2019. (It would have been better off in February. Rumor is that the original story was the same as Captain Marvel, and the delays meant they had to re-cut it on the fly to differentiate itself)

Director Simon Kinberg has stated that he cut a good deal of the original storyline of the Dark Phoenix to focus more on ending the storyline that originally began in X: First Class (2011) and focus more on Jean’s character for the film. As such the elements of the Hellfire Club and the alien race known Shi’ar and their Shi’ar Empire from the original comic book storyline were removed from the film adaption to cut down on unnecessary sub-plots. Members of the Hellfire Club such as Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost previously appeared in X: First Class (2011).

Simon Kinberg took influence from Logan (2017) in making the film less stylish and more natural.

Simon Kinberg describes the land of Genosha as Magneto’s Israel: “It’s a land built for mutants, a homeland where they can be safe and self-sufficient.” In keeping with Magneto’s Jewish heritage, Israel is the land where the Hebrews founded and made their home after being set free from Egypt. (That’s pretty great)

In her role as Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence is now actually older than Rebecca Romijn was when she originated the role in the first film of the franchise. (fun)

The film released before Fox’s other X-Men Universe film, The New Mutants (2020). Unlike Dark Phoenix’s original release date where the film was to release 7 months after The New Mutants’s original April 6th, 2018 release date. (I’m skeptical New Mutants is coming out)

The third act was originally going to take place in space. After re-shoots were completed, it was changed to a sequence where the X-Men are kidnapped and taken aboard a military train. (Yes, I think this is the Captain Marvel thing. I think they wanted something that was similar to some sequence in Captain Marvel, but had to change it)

The Guardian (1990) Preview

Hats backward and cargo shorts a-baggin’, Rich and Poe skateboard their way to the Italiano Arcade & Pizzeria to smash on some video games and eat some ‘za. They immediately own a bunch of middle schoolers in Super Mario Bros 3 like some video game wizards and make their way to the top of the social pyramid. There are some dope tweens around, but they are by far the dopest. “Haven’t seen you two around here before. You guys sure can whiz on the j-stick,” one of the kids say, “they call me Toad, who are you?” Rich steps up, “I’m Big M and this is my bro LJ. We’d mash the ‘cade all day, but our Granny is a real lamester. You chilling me?” Toad nods and laughs while Poe tries not to cry. That’s his beloved Granny they’re talking about. Nobody calls her a lamester. Rich continues, “but maybe that’s not the worst thing, you feelz? We heard some real slippery things going on around here.” Toad looks a bit nervous, “Yeah, real canopy thang. But it’s just Elivira, the new nanny. Everyone else is icy.” Rich and Poe look at each other. Elvira? That doesn’t sound like Gruber. They looks around but Poe can’t see anyone that looks suspicious. “Rich, I don’t think this is working… Rich?” Rich is staring off into the distance. The crowds part between him and the most beautiful woman in the world. She flips her golden hair to the side and beckons to him. He floats towards her… the seductive and super creepy nanny who looks both ageless and yet thousands of years old. His mind is telling him to resist, but he has eyes only for this scary witch nanny and the creepy tree she’s sitting in. Wait, what? That’s right! You knew right from the start when I was talking about witch nannies and creepy trees that there was only one film I could be talking about. Let’s say it all together. The Guardian (1990). Of course. That film that everyone knows. Well at least one person knew about it and his name was Roger Ebert and he hated this film. In fact he said it was one of the worst he had ever seen. Good enough for us. Let’s go!

The Guardian (1990) – BMeTric: 31.9

TheGuardianIMDb_BMeT

TheGuardianIMDb_RV

(The rating feels really low for a film from the early 90s and for a film I’ve never heard of. Even after the regression that is pretty astonishing. It really must be a terrible horror film. Getting a little excited here.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Yuppie couple hires a nanny for their newborn child, but we know there’s something odd about her: she feeds babies to a tree in a nearby gully. Friedkin’s first return to horror after The Exorcist has a few good scenes, but a ludicrous story and a hormorless approach. Seagrove is very good in an almost unplayable role. Cowritten by the director from the novel The Nanny by Dan Greenburg.

(I probably knew this was based on a book and forgot to be honest. Everything in this preview is about Friedkin. He really squandered a lot of his good will by 1990 it seems. He only really directed sporadically after 1985.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbl1b664ivk/

(‘Member the Exorcist? Me too … member that thing where William Friedkin was the director … cool me too.’ I literally have no idea what this film is about or what it is beyond a horror film made by the director of the Exorcist. Should I watch the Exorcist then? It feels like a good extra homework assignment.)

Directors – William Friedkin – (Known For: The Exorcist; The French Connection; Killer Joe; To Live and Die in L.A.; Cruising; Sorcerer; Bug; The Boys in the Band; Rampage; The Brink’s Job; Future BMT: Jade; Deal of the Century; The Hunted; Blue Chips; Rules of Engagement; BMT: The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Cruising in 1981; Notes: Given he directed The Exorcist it might be surprising to know he grew up Jewish, became agnostic, and then is clearly a Christian in some capacity given recent quotes.)

Writers – Dan Greenburg (novel & screenplay) – (Future BMT: Private Lessons; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: Was married to Nora Ephron ages ago. His son was the kid in Lorenzo’s Oil.)

Stephen Volk (screenplay) – (Known For: The Awakening; Gothic; Future BMT: Octane; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: Famously wrote and directed Ghostwatch, a fake documentary which played on the BBC which confused a bunch of people who thought it was real. It was banned from replay for a decade.)

William Friedkin (screenplay) – (Known For: To Live and Die in L.A.; Cruising; Rampage; BMT: The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Cruising in 1981; Notes: Cruising was considered by many as anti-gay, and the film was protested by the gay community at the time of production)

Actors – Jenny Seagrove – (Known For: Local Hero; Another Mother’s Son; Moonlighting; Future BMT: Run for Your Wife; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: Long time partner of Bill Kenwright who is an actor and … the chairman of Everton F.C. since 2004? Still works as an actress, although not as often.)

Dwier Brown – (Known For: Field of Dreams; House; Red Dragon; Gettysburg; To Live and Die in L.A.; The Cutting Edge; Reunion; Future BMT: House II: The Second Story; Mom and Dad Save the World; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: If you’re racking your brain trying to figure out who he was in Field of Dreams, he was Kevin Costner’s father at the end.)

Carey Lowell – (Known For: Leaving Las Vegas; Licence to Kill; Sleepless in Seattle; Fierce Creatures; Future BMT: Club Paradise; Love Affair; BMT: The Guardian; Notes: You’d know her from Law & Order, she was on the order side of things, as a DA.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $17,037,887

(Probably not great … although you could make these things for less than a million around this point in time, so maybe it turned as profit.)

#233 for the Horror – R-Rated genre

guardian_rratedhorror

(It feels like this came at a peak of the genre in the late eighties. Kind of went on a bit of a hiatus after. Still having a moment now, especially with It Part 2 coming out this year, should be good for R-rated horror.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 22% (2/9): No Consensus

(Nice I get to make a consensus: Hysterically funny … wait, it was supposed to be a horror film? Reviewer Highlight: Maybe after years of banging his head against the system Friedkin decided with “The Guardian” to make a frankly commercial exploitation film. … give us a break. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – The Guardian Not Starring Kevin Costner (B+)

guardian

(Too many words and the image itself is a bit small, but I’m digging the simplicity of it and the coloring. The font isn’t the worst either. Good effort.)

Tagline(s) – Tonight, while the world is asleep… an ancient evil is about to awaken. (F)

(I literally don’t understand this… when? Tonight? Is that like… when I’m watching the movie or is the film set over a single night during which the ancient evil awakens? Neither? Cool cool cool. Just one more thing. Would it have mattered if that ancient evil awoke while everyone was awake? No? Interesting.)

Keyword(s) – baby; Top Ten by BMeTric: 92.6 Date Movie (2006); 92.1 Son of the Mask (2005); 91.0 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 84.0 Baby Geniuses (1999); 76.3 Junior (1994); 75.9 In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011); 74.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 73.9 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 70.6 The Animal (2001); 69.0 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013);

(Shit. I have to watch The Animal for a third time. Maybe Jamie will appreciate it more given it stars someone from Survivor. [Editor’s Note: I will])

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 24) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Xander Berkeley is No. 10 billed in The Guardian and No. 6 billed in Seeking Justice, which also stars Nicolas Cage (No. 1 billed) who is in The Wicker Man (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 10 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 24. If we were to watch Savage Islands we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Jenny Seagrove was unhappy with the film’s constant re-writes, and wanted to make a completely different film. She said to The Guardian in 2007: “It was about this druid nanny who became a tree. I begged Universal to make it about a real nanny who kidnaps babies. ‘No, no, we can’t do that,’ they said, ‘the thirty somethings in America won’t come and see the film.’ I said, ‘I think you’re completely wrong; this film is total fantasy, and it’s just awful.’ Two years later The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) was released, so I rang up my friend at Universal and he said, ‘Don’t. Don’t even talk about it, you were right.’ ” (haha)

Was to originally be directed by Sam Raimi, but he left the project early to direct Darkman (1990). Producers brought in William Friedkin, and the project suffered through several re-writes sending co-writer Stephen Volk into a breakdown. Friedkin eventually took over the writing duties. (oooooooooooof)

William Friedkin’s first horror movie in seventeen years since The Exorcist (1973). (Maybe a mistake)

One of only two feature films that William Friedkin wrote nothing about, positive or negative, in his memoir The Friedkin Connection (see also Deal of the Century (1983)).

A new effects crew was brought onto the scene after the initial tree failed to work mechanically. The new team constructed a tree that held 500 gallons of fake blood and detachable bark. (oh no, haha)

The delivery scene used real footage of an actual live birth. (oh no … I would just say haha here, but that would feel redundant)

The film was released three years after its source novel “The Nanny” by Dan Greenburg had been published in 1987. (Fact: I did not read this book)

The movie’s dark villain, Camilla (Jenny Seagrove), is included in the compilation film Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation (2001).

A cable television version of the film is not billed to William Friedkin, but to Alan Smithee, a generic name which is used by directors when they don’t want to be associated with a picture. This, despite the fact that Friedkin claims on the film’s audio-commentary he never heard of such a version. There are two versions of “The Guardian”: the theatrical cut, credited to Friedkin, and a modified cut, credited to Smithee. The Smithee cut has never been released on home video or DVD, and has only been shown on cable. It includes new scenes, including another scene in the hospital, different dream sequences, a scene of the nanny waking the wife up and alternate angles for other scenes. Also, the ending of the cable cut is different and omits much of the gore. (Oh wow, that is kind of cool. They cut a version and clearly didn’t ask him about it. Sounds like we can’t get it though)

Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert named the picture one of his “Most Hated Films” of all-time. (Noice, it is on his end of the year worst of list so …)

One of three movies with “The Guardian” title made during the modern era of Hollywood. This supernatural horror movie was made and released around six years after the 1984 action crime thriller The Guardian (1984) and sixteen years before the sea rescue drama The Guardian (2006). (We have now watched two for BMT. Martin Sheen’s 1984 film doesn’t have any reviews. That sounds like I have to cook up 5 fake reviews to get this onto Rotten Tomatoes …)

Troll Preview

Sergeant Godzilla roars with anger at Officer Fultz, who simply scoffs and asks if he can go. He’s got some actual bad guys to stop with lethal force and no time for pencil-pushing bullshit. “RAWR, not till you tell me why you broke all those rules last week. And who are these two bozos with you?” Fultz looks back at Jamie and Patrick, “Just some scum I caught littering in the dead zone.” Godzilla seems taken aback, “The dead zone, huh? Get outta here you rule-breaking nogoodnik and don’t let me catch you breaking any more rules.” With that Jamie and Patrick are left alone with Godzilla. “Mighty dangerous place out there in the dead zone. Wanna tell me what you were looking for besides trouble?” Knowing this might be their only shot Patrick speaks up, “A couple of your officers we hope… Rich and Poe? Do they work for you, sir?” Godzilla squints at them. For a moment recognition seems to dawn on his scaly face but then it’s gone, “No. Nobody by that name here. They sound like a couple of rule-breakers anyway. Perhaps they work over in Bridgetown. That’s the toughest precinct in these parts.” Jamie and Patrick ask if they can head that way but Godzilla seems hesitant, “It’s not exactly police friendly and you both seem like you follow the law.” Jamie and Patrick nod and think about all the coolz rulez they follow. “They won’t take kindly to either of us. But I can drop you over at an informant’s apartment and he might know something of interest. Just don’t… make a deal with him. He’s trouble.” They hop in Godzilla’s specialty police racecar and zoom on over to the apartment. When they approach the door it creaks open and a warty troll hand beckons them in. That’s right! We’re watching the 1986 cult classic Troll. Made on a shoestring budget and earning $5 million at the box office this was such an cult success that they later attempted to rebrand two different films as its sequel. Troll 2 actually is considered one of the worst films ever made and Troll 3 (originally The Crawlers) is largely forgotten. This was apparently mentioned on a list of the 50 worst films ever made, but that’s not enough to make it on the Wikipedia list so it was rejected. Let’s go!

Troll (1986) – BMeTric: 57.1

TrollIMDb_BMeT

TrollIMDb_RV

(The rating has kind of hilariously been all over the place. Around 4.0 is obviously solid though. Interesting that it has nearly 10K votes as well, heartening.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  If your idea of entertainment is seeing Sonny Bono metamorphose into an apartment of foliage, this is the movie for you. Angelic tyke is possessed by a troll, who takes over her body and starts turning the neighbors into seed pods that eventually turn into new trolls. Too close to Gremlins; some viewers may get off on hearing June Lockhart swear. Sequel: Troll II.

(Troll II isn’t a sequel to Troll. Or at least, it is a SINO, a Sequel in Name Only. And yeah Leonard … seeing Sonny Bono morph into a forest is exactly what entertains me.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7rg8C8w5ZY/

(“The weirdest, and wildest … creature of them all. That troll legit just looks like the troll from Ernest Scared Stupid … or maybe Hoggle from Labyrinth?)

Directors – John Carl Buechler – (BMT: Troll; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Visual Effects for The Garbage Pail Kids Movie in 1988; Notes: A Special Effects guy back in the heyday of 80s horror. He actually directed a number of features, most just don’t have reviews online.)

Writers – John Carl Buechler (story) (uncredited) – (BMT: Troll; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Visual Effects for The Garbage Pail Kids Movie in 1988; Notes: Awwww he was just diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer, like Alex Trebek.)

Ed Naha (written by) – (Known For: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Honey I Blew Up the Kid; Dolls; Future BMT: The Ten Commandments; BMT: Troll; Notes: He wrote two RoboCop novelizations. Pretty cheap.)

Actors – Michael Moriarty – (Known For: Pale Rider; Courage Under Fire; The Stuff; The Last Detail; Q; Bang the Drum Slowly; Shiloh; Dog Soldiers; It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive; Hickey & Boggs; Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season; Future BMT: Along Came a Spider; Neverwas; BMT: Troll; Notes: Probably most well known for Law & Order where he was the prosecutor for the first four years of the series’ run. He was eventually replaced by Sam Waterston.)

Shelley Hack – (Known For: Annie Hall; The King of Comedy; Time After Time; The Stepfather; Future BMT: House Arrest; BMT: Troll; Notes: Was a Charlie’s Angel for a season in 1979.)

Noah Hathaway – (Known For: The NeverEnding Story; Sushi Girl; Best Friends; BMT: Troll; Notes: He played Atreyu in The NeverEnding Story. He holds black belts in Tang Soo Do and Shotokan, and (at the time this sketchy IMDb bio was written) is learning American Kenpo. Hmmm, American Kenpo you say)

Budget/Gross – $700,000-1.1 million / Domestic: $5,450,815

(I mean sure. You couldn’t not make money with cheap horror films back in the day it seems.)

#113 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

troll_liveactionfantasy

(Juuuuust beats out In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale for our lowest grossing film in this genre. Right before the big Willow / Princess Bride boom in the 80s. Then everything kind of died off when people realized the effects looked like crap and were expensive. And then Highlander: Endgame changes the game in 2000 .. Joking, it was Harry Potter.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (2/8)No Consensus

(Very few reviews naturally, and surprisingly bad considering how innocuous the trailer looks. The consensus can be summed up as: Boring, insufferable, and not scary. Reviewer Highlight: Almost as scary as the Leprechaun – Kevin Fiddler, Henderson Home News)

Poster – [Placeholder Picture] (F+)

TROLL_(1986_movie_poster)

(This is so hard to distinguish what it’s trying to show that it has to have been done intentionally because they knew the troll looked dumb. It’s just like… a bad photo. A very tiny amount of credit for the font I guess.)

Tagline(s) – Apartment for Rent. Inquire Within… (D-)

(Things aren’t going well for the Troll marketing team. Is there a joke here… are we supposed to be enticed by the prospect of a Troll landlord? At least it’s short and all the words make sense when put together.)

Keyword(s) – troll; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.3 Troll 2 (1990); 57.1 Troll (1986); 54.1 Leprechaun 2 (1994); 49.5 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.0 Slackers (2002); 32.4 A Troll in Central Park (1994); 30.9 Snow White and the Huntsman (2012); 30.7 Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013); 30.1 Beowulf & Grendel (2005); 29.0 Ernest Scared Stupid (1991);

(The original keyword was “girl in a notably short outfit” for reals. How about fucking “troll”?! Who wrote this email generator … oh yeah, I did. Anyways I manually replaced it. I’ve seen … most of these kind of sadly. I don’t see how Slackers applies though … maybe they are referring to like … online trolls there?)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 25) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is No. 3 billed in Troll and No. 3 billed in North, which also stars Elijah Wood (No. 1 billed) who is in The Last Witch Hunter (No. 3 billed), which also stars Vin Diesel (No. 1 billed) who is in Babylon A. D. (No. 1 billed), which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 25. If we were to watch Fathers’ Day, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – The hero of this film is a boy named Harry Potter Junior, who is surrounded by a fantasy world of witches, wizards and magic, 11 years before J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels swept the publishing world.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ film debut.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has admitted being embarrassed by her role. In April 2013, Jay Leno showed her scene as a nymph on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.125 (2013). Louis-Dreyfus was surprised and visibly annoyed that Leno dredged up her connection to the film. (Yeah not a good look. I sometimes think about how annoying it would be if I was like “My God, Jason Statham. I loved you in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.” I imagine he would punch me square in the face).

Brad Hall and Julia Louis-Dreyfus play an on-screen couple in this film. In real life, the two were dating, and married the year following the film’s release. It remains the only live-action film in which they starred together, although both provided their voices to A Bug’s Life (1998).

Although she remained covered in the film for her transformation into the Faery, an on-set photo of Julia Louis-Dreyfus was published in the March 1986 issue of Cinefantastique Magazine in which her bare breasts were visible. (Oh no)

The movie Troll 2 (1990), despite its title, is not a sequel to this movie and also does not contain Trolls. (Yeah they are goblins from Nilbog in that one)

In John Carl Buechler’s original story treatment, Torok was a monster who was systematically killing off the inhabitants of the building slasher-movie style. Producer Charles Band wanted to create a PG-13 movie, so the story was altered and the fantasy element was created.

The picture of Galwyn in his human form (before being turned into a mushroom) that Eunice St. Clair shows Harry Potter Jr. is a caricature of the film’s director, John Carl Buechler.

As production began, Michael Moriarty complained to director John Carl Buechler that he didn’t understand his character. The day that they shot the scene in which the Potter family moves into the building, Buechler snatched a bucket hat off the head of first assistant director Mauro Sacripanti and put it on Moriarty. “I look ridiculous,” Moriarty said. “So Harry Potter is ridiculous?” A light-bulb went off and there was no further discussion of the character. (I’m ridiculous … all I needed to know m’man. Jesus, this movie)

The Ratspit puppet from “The Dungeonmaster” (aka Ragewar (1984)) is recycled.

Director John Carl Buechler had been so impressed with Noah Hathaway’s performance in “The Neverending Story” that he cast him as the lead in the film.

“Cantos Profane,” otherwise known as “The Troll Song,” was recorded prior to shooting and set the tone for the rest of Richard Band’s musical score. The characters were supposed to perform it as a full-blown production number, but due to limitations in the low-budget puppets they had to grunt along to the music. (Oh no, I’m getting whiffs of Garbage Pail Kids the Movie)

While the film is not short on hideous or disgusting creatures, Torok is the only troll to appear on screen. The other creatures are fey folk, nymphs, goblins, and other mythical beings. (Coooooool)

The role of Malcolm Mallory was explicitly written for Phil Fondacaro but director/FX man John Carl Buechler was pressured to cast Billy Barty. Originally, a fully animatronic puppet was intended to have been utilized for Torok the Troll, but Buechler scrapped his plan and sculpted a creature costume directly onto Fondacaro’s life cast, knowing that the producers wouldn’t want to pay two different actors. (The guy seems like a straight up VFX genius)

Godzilla (1998) Preview

Jamie and Patrick crawl through the wasteland, no civilization in sight. “What are we going to do, Patrick?” Jamie cries through parched lips. “We’ll never find a police station.” Patrick meditates on this possibility while looking in his backpack of supplies. Only one delicious five-dollar footlong from Subway left. They each get a half-foot and sit against a rock to snack. Without warning Jamie stands up, his eyes ablaze, and throws his remaining sandwich to the ground. “This Subway sandwich is delicious, but what’s the point? We’re going to die anyway!” Suddenly they hear a faint buzz in the distance as a police car approaches… or is it a car? As it nears they notice that it’s a rocket skateboard. Rad. The police officer hops off his board, dark visor down, and gets right up in Jamie’s face. “Littering, dirtbag? Do it again, scum, I dare you. You are a weed. And I’m a weedkiller.” Patrick tries to interrupt, but the police officer pushes him back. “You want to get blown away too, filth? Both of you are coming with me and you’re lucky to be alive.” Jamie and Patrick look at each other in shock and shrug. Guess they’ll make it to the police station after all. After a super cool ride on the police issue rocket skateboard they enter the station, loose paper blowing around their feet and dangerous looking punks attempting escape at every turn. Almost immediately they hear a loud roar from up ahead “Fultz! Get in here, you no-good, rule-breaking piece of shit!” Other police officers whistle and clap as the officer, apparently Fultz, drags Jamie and Patrick into the sergeant’s office. “You wanted to see me Sarge?” He asks, looking annoyed. When the desk chair turns Jamie and Patrick are shocked… is that… Godzilla? That’s right! We’re watching the 1998 smash hit Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick and directed by Roland Emmerich. A bit of a surprise that it is on the rejected list given that it had such anticipation and star power and is still known today as a giant critical failure. People were basically laughing at it. But perhaps it didn’t quite reach the depths of Batman & Robin. Let’s go!

Godzilla (1998) – BMeTric: 58.7

GodzillaIMDb_BMeT

GodzillaIMDb_RV

(I guess it makes sense … a little weird that it would drop to almost below 50. This film should be a classic bad movie and thus immune to regression to the mean. Then again, mid-5.0s probably makes sense. A rating in the 4s is incredibly low for a blockbuster no matter how bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Giant lizard monster moves swiftly from the Pacific to N.Y. harbor, and terrorizes the Big Apple. Biologist Broderick hooks up with mystery man Reno and his team to stop it. Giant-scale fx-driven no-brainder doesn’t make much sense, has shallow characters, and goes on too long – but still offers a surprising amount of fun. Followed by an animated series.

(Did I just hear “animated series” … I think I know what I’m doing for the You Just Got Schooled section. Anywho, quite a mild review to be honest, but also a little bit like how I remember it. I saw this in theaters almost certainly, and I remember thinking it was fine. I was 12 at the time … but still, I distinctly remember thinking it was silly but fine.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt6bMHUoE6I/

(Ooooof that Hank Azaria shot at the end. I just watched a video where he went through his filmography and he said this film was a terrible experience, that they were just soaking them with water the entire time and he got sick like four times.)

Directors – Roland Emmerich – (Known For: Stargate; The Patriot; The Day After Tomorrow; Independence Day; White House Down; Anonymous; Future BMT: Stonewall; BMT: 10,000 BC; Independence Day: Resurgence; Godzilla; 2012; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence in 2017, and for Godzilla in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: We literally just watched Universal Soldier which he directed. For all intents and purposes we’ve finished his filmography, Stonewall is too small to qualify. So good for us I guess.)

Writers – Dean Devlin (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Stargate; Independence Day; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Independence Day: Resurgence; Godzilla; Geostorm; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 1999 for Godzilla; and in 2017 for Independence Day: Resurgence; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: Good friends with Mel Gibson.)

Roland Emmerich (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Stargate; The Day After Tomorrow; Independence Day; BMT: 10,000 BC; Independence Day: Resurgence; Godzilla; 2012; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence in 2017, and for Godzilla in 1999; and Nominee for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for Independence Day in 1997; Notes: I think I mentioned this in the Universal Soldier preview as well, but he was one of the first openly gay directors in Hollywood.)

Ted Elliott (story) (credit only) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Shrek; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; The Mask of Zorro; Treasure Planet; Small Soldiers; The Road to El Dorado; Future BMT: The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; BMT: Godzilla; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: He used to spell check reviews for Roger Ebert. Collaborates with Rossio frequently.)

Terry Rossio (story) (credit only) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Shrek; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Deja Vu; The Mask of Zorro; Treasure Planet; Small Soldiers; The Road to El Dorado; Future BMT: The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; BMT: Godzilla; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: Was at one point a Machine Parts Inspector. The writing partner of Elliott for the most part, although their filmographies differ slightly.)

Actors – Matthew Broderick – (Known For: The Lion King; Manchester by the Sea; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; WarGames; Trainwreck; Glory; Bee Movie; Tower Heist; The Cable Guy; The Producers; To Dust; Ladyhawke; Rules Don’t Apply; Election; You Can Count on Me; The Tale of Despereaux; Margaret; The Freshman; Addicted to Love; The Road to Wellville; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; Deck the Halls; The Stepford Wives; Family Business; She’s Having a Baby; Dirty Weekend; Finding Amanda; Diminished Capacity; BMT: Godzilla; New Year’s Eve; Notes: He’s done a lot of random guest spots on television more recently. He’s been married to Sarah Jessica Parker for over 20 years now.)

Jean Reno – (Known For: Leon; The Promise; Mission: Impossible; Hotel Rwanda; Ronin; Flushed Away; Nikita; The Big Blue; French Kiss; L’immortel; Margaret; La ragazza nella nebbia; The Crimson Rivers; Subway; Wasabi; Armoured; Al di là delle nuvole; Comme un chef; La rafle; Future BMT: Couples Retreat; The Pink Panther; The Pink Panther 2; The Last Face; Just Visiting; Xia dao lian meng; Flyboys; The Da Vinci Code; Days and Nights; BMT: Rollerball; Godzilla; Alex Cross; Notes: One of the more notable french actors to have transitioned into an international film star. He worked with Luc Besson early in his career.)

Maria Pitillo – (Known For: True Romance; Natural Born Killers; Chaplin; She-Devil; Bright Lights, Big City; White Palace; I’ll Do Anything; Spike of Bensonhurst; Future BMT: Dear God; Wise Guys; Bye Bye Love; Frank & Jesse; BMT: Godzilla; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Godzilla in 1999; Notes: She got married in 2002 and has a daughter, so it is likely because of that that she seems semi-retired. Sang in The Lost Capone.)

Budget/Gross – $130–150 million / Domestic: $136,314,294 (Worldwide: $379,014,294)

(That seems … fine-ish. They were certainly expecting much higher, but that is kind of shockingly high for a film without a sequel. I guess how badly it was critically panned might have done it in.)

#24 for the CGI Star genre

godzilla_cgistar

(Below a Transformers or two, and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles … so this is basically the Michael Bay category. Still quite high considering it came out in 1998. People loved their CGI star in 2010.)

#11 for the Creature Feature genre

godzilla_creaturefeature

(Highest grossing creature feature we’ve seen for BMT, right at the late-90s peak. This is indeed the highest grossing bad creature feature available.)

#15 for the Disaster genre

godzilla_disaster

(Somehow beaten out by 2012 as far as BMT goes, and the highest we can get is Armageddon. An interesting genre. There was a set of exploitation films in the 60s and 70s (like Towering Inferno), which I have to say I find rather distasteful. Then as CGI blew up it came back in the late nineties, and then it surged again around 2010-15 … it certainly seems like when things are “going well” in the US people like to see some big disaster films, and when things aren’t … well then reality will suffice I suppose.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (12/75): Without compelling characters or heart, Godzilla stomps on everything that made the original (or any monster movie worth its salt) a classic.

(Yeah, a complete catastrophe considering this is a beloved cult franchise. It was supposed to break out a whole new world of remakes for Hollywood, but alas, they had to stick with garbage J-Horror adaptations instead for a bit. Reviewer Highlight: You have to absorb such a film, not consider it. But my brain rebelled, and insisted on applying logic where it was not welcome. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Sklog Does Matter (A-)

godzilla

(Kinda working for me in an old school kind of way. Needs a bit more green maybe. You could image a version of this being the poster for a 1982 Godzilla reboot, although that font is straight 90’s and I love it. Artistic, nice framing, font, and tells a story. I dig it, what can I say?)

Tagline(s) – Size Does Matter (B+)

(Short and sweet and can’t help but love a blockbuster that uses a dick joke as a tagline. I think the biggest problem for me is that it’s not really clever… just kind of using the dick joke and having that be the joke. Still, it’s working.)

Keyword(s) – giant monster; Top Ten by BMeTric: 82.2 Skyline (2010); 74.8 After Earth (2013); 64.3 Max Steel (2016); 62.3 Ghostbusters (2016); 62.3 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997); 62.0 Independence Day: Resurgence (2016); 59.9 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 58.7 Godzilla (I) (1998); 54.7 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012); 54.6 Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995);

(Wowza, there are a lot available. The Ghostbusters one is fake though, at least, it doesn’t qualify by a country mile … you know what, I’m going to bold that because I’ve seen it, so there.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 10) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jean Reno is No. 2 billed in Godzilla and No. 5 billed in Rollerball, which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 5 + 1 + 2 = 10. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Despite the less-than-expected box office performance, this film still made more money worldwide than any other American movie based on a foreign film. It held this record until Godzilla (2014) claimed it 16 years later, although accounting for inflation, this movie still made more. (Yeah it is kind of crazy. Imagine if the movie was halfway decent!)

Godzilla has only about 11 minutes of screentime. (I guess, having watched it he is still all over the film even if you aren’t seeing him)

Mayor Ebert and his assistant Gene are spoofs of the late film critics Roger Ebert and his partner Gene Siskel (who would pass away less than a year after the film’s release). This is in response to the duo giving negative reviews to Emmerich and Devlin’s earlier films Stargate (1994) and Independence Day (1996). (That’s pretty funny)

An animated series called Godzilla: The Series (1998) was made which continued the storyline of the film. In the series, Tatopoulos accidentally discovers the egg that survived the destruction of the nest. The creature hatches and imprints on Nick as its parent. (Great ….)

Toho Studios gave the American creators a 75-page dossier of what they can and cannot do with Godzilla’s character. This included the following rules: Godzilla cannot eat people, only fish, he has to have three rows of dorsal plates, no more or less than three toes on his feet and four fingers on his hand, she cannot be made to look silly, he cannot die in the movie. Almost all of these points were disregarded, and according to Patrick Tatopoulos, the only specific instructions Roland Emmerich gave him was that Godzilla should be able to run incredibly fast and that it shouldn’t resemble a dinosaur too closely. (WTF)

The lead role was written specifically for Matthew Broderick. Indeed, the actor committed to the film without reading a finished screenplay. (Kind of cool)

Dean Devlin aggressively defended the movie on internet message boards, at times telling the Godzilla fans “to hell with you” if they had a negative opinion over it. The official Godzilla message board was shut down soon thereafter due to all the heated arguing. Years later, Devlin has admitted to recognizing the movie’s faults and apologized to the fans in various interviews. (Internet forums are poison Devlin)

Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin abandoned Godzilla’s iconic atomic breath in favor of a “power breath”, where their Godzilla would simply blow objects away by exhaling a strong wind-like breath. However, news of the power breath leaked before the film’s release, which outraged fans and forced Emmerich and Devlin to make last minute changes on scenes involving the power breath, effects supervisor Volker Engel stated, “Dean and Roland wanted this monster to retain a certain menace and credibility, but Godzilla’s breath is something everyone expects to see at some point, So they came up with instances in which you would see something like the old breath, but with a kind of logic applied to it. We make the assumption that something in his breath, when it comes in contact with flame, causes combustive ignition. So you get this flame-thrower effect, which causes everything to ignite.” Creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos added, “We were creating an animal. We weren’t creating a monster.” (Actually pretty good reasoning, but completely makes sense that fans would be annoyed as well)

The number of the cabs used in the chase at the end of the movie is MN 44. Moon 44 (1990) is the title of an earlier film that was directed by Roland Emmerich and in which Dean Devlin appeared. (Fun fact)

Patrick Tatopoulos, who designed the new Godzilla, states that the creature design mixes elements of various reptiles; also, he wanted the creature to be imposing and to inspire respect. To achieve that, he was inspired from the character Shere-Kan featured in The Jungle Book (1967); the tiger had a noticeable chin and Tatopoulos applied this characteristic on his design, taking the appearance of it from what he refers to be a “Selfin Dragon.” He also gave the creature humanoid shoulders and hands, very similar to the features included in the original design. (It … actually does kind of look like a tiger chin)

Godzilla’s design is based off a marine iguana as they originated in the Galapagos which is in the South Pacific. (It isn’t in the South Pacific, it is on the equator, but yeah, you can see a marine iguana in the opening)

The tanks used in the fish feeding scenes were actually big plastic/fiberglass mock-ups that were wheeled around on big dollies. (Movie magic)

When a cross-promotional deal with Anheuser-Busch was cancelled, visual effects artists had to digitally “erase” all Budweiser labels seen on beer bottles in the film. (Ha, when product placement goes wrong)

Was meant to be the cinematic debut of actress Maria Pitillo. The movie immediately “won” her a Golden Raspberry Award as the Worst Supporting Actress and she stopped receiving movie roles some years later. (Ridiculous since the film gives her absolutely nothing to do)

Roland Emmerich wanted his Godzilla to be fast. He can run about 200 mph. (Huh, that seems … too fast)

In a 2014 interview for the British film magazine Empire, Roland Emmerich admitted that he wanted to make a disaster movie about meteors rather than a Godzilla flick. However, Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998) had already been made by the time he was done directing this movie, which frustrated him as he wanted to make one first. (Ha)

Razzie Notes

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Maria Pitillo, 1999)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Dean Devlin, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Roland Emmerich, 1999)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, 1999)