Head Over Heels Preview

Jamie and Patrick quake in fear as they prepare to face the devil himself on the other side of the door to their apartment. They should have anticipated this problem. With the power that the Dongle possesses, no wonder even the devil wants to get his claws on it. Jamie swings the door wide and Patrick leaps forth with a silver cross in one hand and spraying holy water with the other. Hardscrabble reporter Lindsey Appleton sputters, drenched in holy water. “What the hell, guys? My pants suit is ruined. And here I was bringing you a six pack of delicious Coca-Cola to jazz up another night of protecting the Dongle!” Kyle quickly enters with an apology and shakes his head sadly as he escorts Lindsey and the delicious Coca-Cola to the other room. Jamie is aghast. “Delicious Coca-Cola, Patrick? Soft pretzels? Kyle is having the time of his life at our expense because you simply can’t accept that the Dongle is safe even for a moment.” Patrick stares at the cityscape spread out in front of him. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps he just needed to relax about the whole Dongle business and get back to living his life. “I’m sorry, Jamie. We may not have delicious Coca-Cola or soft pretzels at our fingertips, but we always have this,” and with that he holds up their well worn Here on Earth DVD. Jamie smiles and breaks out the popping corn. But before those kernels can get a-poppin’, Kyle reappears. Blushing, he asks them to apologize to Lindsey and invite her back. “It’s just that… tonight was gonna be a big night for me and Rachel. I’m talking L-O-V-E and I need some advice.” Jamie and Patrick nod and sit him down in front of HoE just in time. That’s right! It’s not HoE (unfortunately) but it’s a Freddie Prinze Jr. joint, so nothing to sniff at. It’s the 20 year anniversary of the release of Head Over Heels… you know, the one where Freddie Prinze Jr. smirks and is a really good guy even though he looks like he should be a really terrible guy? Yeah, that one. Let’s go!

Head Over Heels (2001) – BMeTric: 40.1; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 14.8%; Notability: top 19.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Valentine, Monkeybone, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Musketeer, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Say It Isn’t So, The Order, Summer Catch, The Wash, and 17 more; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Joe Dirt, The Animal, and 29 more; Lower RT: The Order, Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; Notes: Man, we have a ton of really bad 2001 films left don’t we. Mid-5.0 on IMDb is pretty high, much higher than I would have expected for this.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Head Over Heels” opens with 15 funny minutes and then goes dead in the water. It’s like they sent home the first team of screenwriters and brought in Beavis and Butt-Head. The movie starts out with sharp wit and edgy zingers, switches them off and turns to bathroom humor. And not funny bathroom humor, but painfully phony gas-passing noises, followed by a plumbing emergency that buries three supermodels in a putrid delivery from where the sun don’t shine. It’s as if the production was a fight to the death between bright people with a sense of humor, and cretins who think the audience is as stupid as they are. …It isn’t funny when innocent bystanders are humiliated. It’s funny when they humiliate themselves. For example, “Head Over Heels” would be funny if it were about the people making this movie.

(Huh, that is a lot different than I expected. A solid first 15 minutes? Bathroom humor? None of the trailer really suggests this at all. Very interesting.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrnGD7JN2KE

(Wow, a very brief Olyphant cameo. The story seems insane. So I assume the story is one of two things. First, he’s a secret agent or cop or something and that is why he is “murdering” people. Second, it is a mafia story basically, and he’s trying to extract himself from that world and having difficulties. I’m on tenterhooks as to which it is.)

DirectorsMark Waters – ( Known For: Mean Girls; He’s All That; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Magic Camp; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Bad Santa 2; BMT: Vampire Academy; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Head Over Heels; Notes: Married to actress Dina Spybey-Waters and the brother of writer Daniel Waters. I’ll say it again: give these three a chance to write/direct/star in a film. I want to see it!)

WritersJohn J. Strauss – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Free Birds; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Produced a lot of television these days, including Mozart in the Jungle. Writing a Chinese film called Noodles at the moment.)

Ed Decter – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Most recently created the show Shadowhunters. Also was the director for The New Guy.)

David Kidd and Ron Burch – ( Known For: Ferdinand; Future BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Best Original Song for The Closer starring Tom Selleck. The song was called You Don’t Know Jack. They also wrote the Dinotrux television show.)

ActorsMonica Potter – ( Known For: Con Air; Saw; The Last House on the Left; Without Limits; I’m with Lucy; Lower Learning; A Cool, Dry Place; The Very Thought of You; Heaven or Vegas; Future BMT: Patch Adams; Bulletproof; BMT: Along Came a Spider; Head Over Heels; Notes: It is claimed that her father invented the first flame-resistant car wax. She’s from Cleveland, and now mostly does television like Wisdom of the Crowd.)

Freddie Prinze Jr. – ( Known For: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; She’s All That; The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Jack and Jill vs. the World; The Reef; New York City Serenade; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Boys and Girls; Happily N’Ever After; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Summer Catch; Down to You; Head Over Heels; Wing Commander; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: Does a ton of voice work these days (including as Kanan Jarrus in Star Wars which is why he’s credited in the ninth film). You of course know him as the best friend of Matthew Lillard.)

Shalom Harlow – ( Known For: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Kate & Leopold; In & Out; The Salton Sea; Game 6; Melinda and Melinda; I Love Your Work; Happy Here and Now; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Head Over Heels; Notes: Apparently a huge model, she was worth about $10 million in 1998.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $10,424,470 (Worldwide: $13,127,022)

(Wow, that is catastrophic! Really really bad stuff. And not even on a particularly high budget either.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (9/89): Head Over Heels is being blasted by critics as a huge mess. The plot and jokes are idiotic, while the toilet humor is gratuitous and more gross than funny.

(There it is again! The trailer is very deceptive. It wants to present itself as a witty romantic comedy mostly surrounding the fashion world. But apparently it is just all gross out humor? Bizarre.)

Reviewer Highlight: With each rewrite, it seems, things grew fouler, duller and more idiotic. – Rita Kempley, Washington Post

Poster – Freddie Prinze Jr’s Love Patrol

(Woof. And not just because they give Freddie’s doggie a outsized place on the poster. This is ahead of its time in that it mimics what would become the classic Diane Keaton style of poster. The poster separated into strips of space, no consistent color scheme, and bad font. The Full Keaton. D)

Tagline(s) – Four supermodel roommates. One regular girl. The guy next door doesn’t stand a chance. (D)

Unleash your inner model. (C)

(That second one is really digging deep for a movie that theoretically no one would have seen when they first read the tagline. It’s wordplay on the relatively minor detail about Freddie Prinze Jr. having a large dog that he can’t control. I kinda love it for how nonsensical it is. The first one is somehow worse just for length and the fact that it is not clever in the least.)

Keyword(s) – roommate

Top 10: After (2019), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Anna (2019), Pitch Perfect (2012), La La Land (2016), School of Rock (2003), I, Tonya (2017), Pretty Woman (1990), The Terminator (1984)

Future BMT: 71.2 Supergirl (1984), 54.3 The Green Inferno (2013), 51.9 Loser (2000), 50.7 Abandon (2002), 47.8 The Wash (2001), 46.4 On the Line (2001), 45.7 Monster-in-Law (2005), 44.4 Boys and Girls (2000), 43.6 Life of the Party (2018), 37.4 If Lucy Fell (1996)

BMT: After (2019), Police Academy (1984), Burlesque (2010), Vampire Academy (2014), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Urban Legend (1998), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Failure to Launch (2006), Little Nicky (2000), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Made of Honor (2008), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Prince and Me (2004), Table 19 (2017), Chairman of the Board (1997), Head Over Heels (2001)

Matches: La La Land (2016), Rent (2005), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Spenser Confidential (2020), Big Daddy (1999), Three Men and a Baby (1987), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Tootsie (1982), Grandma’s Boy (2006), Single White Female (1992), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Class (1983), Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Failure to Launch (2006), Reign Over Me (2007), Life of the Party (2018), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Starry Eyes (2014), A Million Little Pieces (2018), Prozac Nation (2001), Loser (2000), Going the Distance (2010), Loverboy (1989), Poison Ivy II (1996), Someone Like You (2001), The Wash (2001), Annapolis (2006), Premium Rush (2012), Dead Man on Campus (1998), Jenny’s Wedding (2015), Smiley Face (2007), Chairman of the Board (1997), The Guilty (2000), Kaboom (2010), Head Over Heels (2001), For a Good Time, Call… (2012), … and more

(There weren’t any good keywords from the plot it seemed. I went with this. I’m excited for Monster-in-Law mostly I think. The exact match with Rent is fun.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Freddie Prinze Jr. is No. 2 billed in Head Over Heels and No. 1 billed in Wing Commander, which also stars Matthew Lillard (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 6 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 6) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Patch Adams, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – Amanda’s character has symptoms of Stendhal Syndrome, a condition where seeing a beautiful piece of art or something particularly pleasing to the eye can cause symptoms including dizziness and fainting.

Shalom Harlow has said that she used to live in an environment much like the one Jade, Roxanna, Candi, Holly, and Amanda live in.

Claire Danes was originally set to play the lead role of Amanda Pierce, but dropped out at the last moment. Monica Potter, who’d already been signed on for a smaller role, was moved into Amanda’s part as a result.

Freddie Prinze Jr. was the 1st choice for the role of Jim Winston, with it written for him.

Shalom Harlow, Sarah O’Hare and Tomiko Fraser were real-life models, before getting cast in this film.

Mark Waters used classic films such as “The Philadelphia Story” and “His Girl Friday” as templates for the story.

The film was shot in Vancouver and New York, with the former serving as the substitute for famous New York landmarks such as Stanley Park for Central Park, and their aquarium which had rare Beluga whales.

Snake Eyes (2021) Preview

Patrick and Jamie stare in horror at the Tom & Jerry adaption created by Manfred Long. “My god Tom, I didn’t think you’d turn out to be a swamp monster,” K-la, Tom’s robotic love interest states woodenly, “Or so sexy,” she finishes and they both groan. They quietly sneak out of the theater flashing a quick thumbs up to Manfred who beams in pride. “Well at least we saved Rich and Poe and the world and all that,” Jamie says shrugging, “but Manfred really is a piece of shit hack. I mean… he’s still on that swamp monster stuff?” Patrick nods and Kyle joins them. “Man that was great,” Kyle raves, munching on some popcorn, “a swamp monster! Who could have guessed? And boy the bar mitzvah storyline had me on the edge of my seat. I can’t believe we left early before the reading from the Torah. I mean, do you think Ben was able to learn his Hebrew with all the swamp monster Tom and Jerry chaos?” Patrick rolls his eyes and beelines it to the subway. Back at their shared apartment Patrick and Jamie contemplate their lives. They stare at the safe they’ve had installed in the wall and wonder if they’ll ever find peace. With such great power comes great responsibility, Patrick thinks, having a wholly original thought. Suddenly the doorbell rings and Patrick and Jamie look at each other and then back at the safe. Kyle hurries past them. “That must be Rachel. We’re gonna watch Tom and Jerry. Manfred gave me a bootleg copy.” Before he opens the door, though, Patrick stops him. He touches the door and silently shakes his head. Through a series of hand motions he makes clear to Jamie that it’s not Rachel at all… it’s ninjas! That’s right! We’re watching Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. Full of ninjas and definitely dumb, this film almost didn’t qualify for BMT and that would have been ludicrous. But it did and so here we are ready to watch some sweet sweet G.I. Joe action. Let’s go!

Snake Eyes (2021) – BMeTric: 48.3; Notability: 34

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 5.6%; Notability: top 2.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 21.1%; Higher BMeT: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Thunder Force, He’s All That, Cosmic Sin, Deadly Illusions, Music, Awake, The Kissing Booth 3, The Misfits, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, Tom & Jerry: The Movie, The Unholy, Things Heard & Seen, Outside the Wire; Higher Notability: Space Jam: A New Legacy, Tom & Jerry: The Movie, Music, Chaos Walking, Infinite, The Addams Family 2, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Lower RT: After We Fell, Out of Death, Rogue Hostage, The Devil Below, Cosmic Sin, Separation, Music, Midnight in the Switchgrass, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Deadly Illusions, Infinite, Die in a Gunfight, Zone 414, The Virtuoso, The Misfits, The Starling, Sweet Girl, Every Breath You Take, Senior Moment, and 25 more; Notes: Not a particularly interesting graph, but dropped, and below 6.0 is good. The notability is incredibly low … maybe because they used a lot of stunt actors with masks / foreign actors? That is interesting for a large action film.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – How is it possible that the American ninja/spy movie “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins” is more dreary than goofy? Isn’t this an origin story for an action figure whose signature attributes are his cool extreme sports outfit (complete with black visored bike helmet), his lack of speech (he’s a mute), and his cool sword?

(Ooooooooh yeah, he is supposed to not say anything! Amazing that they just kind of toss that out for the film. Dreary sounds bad.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd2sm63Xwfw/

(“The origin story we’ve all been waiting for” … have we? Have we been waiting for a Snake Eyes origin story? The film does look pretty dreary, but quality action.)

DirectorsRobert Schwentke – ( Known For: RED; The Captain; Tattoo; Eierdiebe; Future BMT: Allegiant; Insurgent; The Time Traveler’s Wife; Flightplan; BMT: Snake Eyes; R.I.P.D.; Notes: German. He didn’t intend on working in Hollywood, but ended up moving when he had difficulty financing his third film in Germany.)

WritersEvan Spiliotopoulos – ( Known For: Charlie’s Angels; Beauty and the Beast; Hercules; Pooh’s Heffalump Movie; Battle for Terra; Art Heist; The Blue Elephant; Future BMT: The Unholy; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; The Jungle Book 2; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Seems to be an adaptation guru of some kind. He’s done sequels to beloved Disney properties, reboots of the same, adaptations of toy lines, etc. He appears to be who you call it when you need something extended and big budget.)

Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse – ( Known For: Rebecca; Seberg; The Aftermath; Race; Frankie & Alice; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Shrapnel has two brothers, one who directs, and the other who acts (triple threat family! Give them a movie to all do together). They appear to be in charge of the GI Joe property at the moment as they are writing the sequel.)

ActorsHenry Golding – ( Known For: The Gentlemen; Last Christmas; Crazy Rich Asians; A Simple Favour; Monsoon; Gold Diggers; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Half English and half Malaysian. Was a model before becoming a BBC television host, and now is an actual actor.)

Andrew Koji – ( Known For: Furious 6; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: English, although he trained as a stunt man in Japan prior to working on acting full time. Does a ton of television work, including starring in Warrior.)

Haruka Abe – ( Known For: Cruella; About Time; Late Shift; The Knife That Killed Me; Future BMT: 47 Ronin; BMT: Snake Eyes; Notes: Born in Japan, she split her childhood between Tokyo, New York City, and London. She is the speaking voice of Noodle from the virtual band Gorillaz.)

Budget/Gross – $88–110 million / Domestic: $28,264,325 (Worldwide: $36,964,325)

(Well … uh, pandemic I guess? I don’t think it would have made a ton of money in the end, but I don’t think it would have been quite so disastrous looking in normal times.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 36% (51/140): Far from silent and not particularly deadly, Snake Eyes serves as a step up for the G.I. Joe franchise, thanks in no small part to Henry Golding’s work in the title role.

(Hmmm, so people seem to generally think the cast did well which is interesting.)

Reviewer Highlight: And on the seventh day, God ended his work and rested. Because even for him, enduring this whole endlessly puerile blockbuster mishegas one more time was, if He was being honest, divinely exhausting. – David Fear, Rolling Stone

Poster – Tomax and Xamot: G.I. Joe Origins

(Fine, it’s a cool poster. So what? There are a lot of bad movies with cool posters. But really, nice font, nice subtle red theme, and artistic in how it conveys the idea of the film. A.)

Tagline(s) – A legendary warrior. His epic origin story. (C-)

(Meh, good poster but this tagline is a bit bland. I don’t like the word “epic” here either. Almost sounds like they are trying to make it real cool for the kids.)

Keyword(s) – ninja

Top 10: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Snake Eyes (2021), Mortal Kombat (2021), Ready Player One (2018), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), Batman Begins (2005), Sin City (2005), Mulan (2020), Licence to Kill (1989)

Future BMT: 67.0 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 55.4 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994), 54.3 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), 51.9 Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), 49.5 3 Ninja Kids (1992), 49.2 Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), 47.7 Dumb and Dumber To (2014), 46.5 The Pest (1997), 44.2 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), 43.7 Surf Ninjas (1993)

BMT: Snake Eyes (2021), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Mortal Kombat (1995), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Elektra (2005), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), RoboCop 3 (1993), The Medallion (2003), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), The Master of Disguise (2002), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Gymkata (1985)

Matches: Snake Eyes (2021), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (1990), The VelociPastor (2018), Ninja Assassin (2009), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), 3 Ninja Kids (1992), TMNT (2007), Surf Ninjas (1993), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017), L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998), Ninja III: The Domination (1984), Ninja (2009), Enter the Ninja (1981), 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998), American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987), Shogun Assassin (1980), The Octagon (1980), Revenge of the Ninja (1983), Recess: School’s Out (2001), Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013), Miami Connection (1987), 3 Ninjas: Knuckle Up (1993), American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990), American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989), … (and a lot more)

(People love ninja films. Is it just me or are ninja films getting better reviews recently … I guess all films are getting better reviews though. I’m excited to smash out Beverly Hills Ninja at some point. That film is hilarious. Nothing will convince me otherwise.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 27) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Iko Uwais is No. 8 billed in Snake Eyes and No. 3 billed in Mile 22, which also stars Mark Wahlberg (No. 1 billed) who is in The Happening (No. 1 billed) which also stars John Leguizamo (No. 3 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 4 billed) which also stars Al Pacino (No. 2 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) => (8 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 4) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 27. If we were to watch The Lovely Bones, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 26.

Notes – The movie is a reboot of the G.I. Joe property on film, and intended to be part of a shared universe of features based on Hasbro properties with G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, ROM: Spaceknight and Micronauts.

Andrew Koji hated the two G. I. Joe films in a interview saying “I thought about playing that character [Storm Shadow] because I didn’t like the first two films. I can say that. I’m allowed to not like a film. So, I was hesitant, at first, to even accept that. That’s a big studio film and my first role in a big studio film, so I was very hesitant because I didn’t have that trust in Hollywood to do that. What Warrior taught me and the voice that it gave me helped my work on Storm Shadow. I don’t wanna play a character with a six-pack. I wanted him to be human and flawed. He’s going through stuff. For me, when I saw the first G.I. Joe films, I was like, ‘I don’t wanna do that. That’s not the kind of thing I wanna do.'”

Asian-American writer Larry Hama, who was instrumental in developing the character of Snake Eyes, addressed the movie’s race-swapping issue with the casting of Asian actor Henry Golding: “Some people are saying that casting Golding ‘fixes’ the character of Snake-Eyes, but I disagree. I had wanted to keep him ambiguous until HASBRO introduced Storm Shadow as the only Asian character and made him a bad guy. I decided to ‘fix’ that by delving into his background and gradually turning him into a good guy. This is why Snake-Eyes is a white guy.”

Tommy’s grandmother Sen (Eri Ishida) is based on Obake Obaasan (“Demon Granny”), Storm Shadow’s aunt in the comics.

The first time Snake Eyes is depicted as a talking character. In the previous two films, he was a silent with no speaking roles.

The film originally replaced G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant release date of March 27, 2020 but was later pushed back to October 16, 2020 which was the original release date for Micronauts but was postponed to October 22, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it was later moved up to July 23, 2021.

Snake-Eyes is changed from a Caucasian character seen from the comics, animated series, and both of the live action films to a mixed race character due to actor Henry Golding who’s both English and Malaysian.

The electric motorcycles the characters are riding throughout the movie are heavily modified Energica Eva Ribelle.

Larry Hama gave his blessing to the movie, even the changes it makes to the source material.

Mannequin: on the Move Preview

Jamie and Patrick sit nervously in their limousine. Fortunately the hours worth of makeup covering Michael Myers’ chest shielded him from the brunt of the sniper’s bullet. The rest of production went off without a hitch, but even so Banks insisted they have a bodyguard for the premier. “It’s the next logical place they’ll try to take you out,” the suave bodyguard says. They watch the final cut of Rich & Poe: Legends Never Die: The Director’s Cut with mixed emotions and pat each other on the back when the crowd rises in thunderous applause. While a disaster would have stopped the cyborgs they can’t help but cherish the return of Rich and Poe. They smile as it’s announced that the Academy has met early and awarded them Best Picture. On stage, they lean into the microphone but stop, puzzled. Something is off…. Suddenly they see their bodyguard amidst the crowd. “He’s got a gun!” they scream but as a shot rings out they find themselves pushed to the side. On the ground is Kyle, their old friend from prison, having taken a bullet for them. 

A week later they sit in their apartment waiting with bated breath as the reviews for the R&P rip-off pour in. 37%… 38%… 39% and it stops. “One review and it would have topped 40% and never qualified,” Jamie says banging the giant box still taking up half the apartment. “If only we knew someone else who had a review website… that would be perfect,” Patrick says with a chuckle. Kyle, staying with them while recovering, softly says, “I do, but you probably aren’t interested in it.” He shrugs, red-faced. They look at him quizzically. “Uh,” he continues, “it’s called SMT… SexyMannequinTimes.com… we primarily review films that have sexy mannequins in them.” That’s right! We are indeed watching the premier film series for SexyMannequinTimes.com (warning: not a real website… hopefully) Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move. The mere existence is dumbfounding, but no more dumbfounding than the existence of Weekend at Bernie’s and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. This also marked the transition from sequels/franchises into big ol’ bomb town where we are only watching films that are rated BOMB in Leonard Maltin’s review book. Let’s go!

Mannequin: On the Move (1991) – BMeTric: 50.6; Notability: 21

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 3.6%; Notability: top 68.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 7.4% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Problem Child 2, Child’s Play 3, Suburban Commando, Nothing But Trouble; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Rock-A-Doodle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Driving Me Crazy, Billy Bathgate, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Married to It, and 39 more; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters, Problem Child 2, Pure Luck, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred, Another You, Oscar, Nothing But Trouble, The Hitman; Notes: See that’s more like it, a solid sub-5.0 disaster. Juuuuust managed to creep over the wonderful 50+ BMeTric mark, impressive for the early 90s.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB – This inept sequel to Mannequin makes you think the original was not so bad by comparison. Ahain, a window dresser (Ragsdale) in a department store frees the spirit of a medieval peasant (Swanson) who has been imprisoned inside a mannequin’s form for – quite logically – 1000 years. Torpor ensues.

(“Torpor ensues” is one of the better zingers I’ve seen in a short-form film review. Just the right level of disdain. They are much more explicit about this one having some sort of mystical curse involved … I’m still not entirely convinced that is the case with the first one.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1oy_TQ9tyE/

(You can immediately tell this is barely a sequel. What did they do!? Why wouldn’t you just play back the same story with two different actors? It seems so strange to all of a sudden start talking about curses and middle ages stuff for a sequel. Bizarre. I love it.)

Directors – Stewart Raffill – (Known For: Tammy and the T-Rex; Three – III; The Philadelphia Experiment; The Adventures of the Wilderness Family; Bad Girl Island; Across the Great Divide; The New Swiss Family Robinson; High Risk; Shipwreck!; Lost in Africa; Grizzly Falls; When the North Wind Blows; A Month of Sundays; The Tender Warrior; Future BMT: The Ice Pirates; Standing Ovation; BMT: Mac and Me; Mannequin: On the Move; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 1989 for Mac and Me, and Sunset; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Mac and Me in 1989; Notes: Directed multiple episodes of a television series called 18 Wheels of Justice which aired on the channel TNN in the early 00s. It had two seasons worth of episodes!)

Writers – Edward Rugoff (characters & written by) – (Known For: Double Take; Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Produced a documentary about his father’s career in independent film.)

Michael Gottlieb (characters) – (Future BMT: Mr. Nanny; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Mannequin; Notes: Produced the 1999 N64 remake of The Paperboy video game. It was not received well.)

David Isaacs and Ken Levine (written by) – (Known For: Volunteers; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Also rewrote the first film, but didn’t get credited for that one. They both wrote on M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Frasier.)

Betsy Israel (written by) – (BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Wrote an article in Playboy in August 1994 called “Going all the Way” and no, I couldn’t find it online.)

Actors – Kristy Swanson – (Known For: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Hot Shots!; Pretty in Pink; The Phantom; Higher Learning; The Chase; The Program; Highway to Hell; What If…; Ground Control; Storm Rider; Getting In; Diving In; Soul Assassin; Future BMT: Dude, Where’s My Car?; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag; Flowers in the Attic; Big Daddy; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Deadly Friend; Notes: Was the original Buffy. Apparently dated Alan Thicke when she was 17 and he was 40.)

William Ragsdale – (Known For: Fright Night; Alex Strangelove; Fright Night Part 2; Thunderstruck; Smooth Talk; What Just Happened; The Last Time; Just a Little Harmless Sex; Wonderful World; Screams of a Winter Night; Future BMT: The Reaping; Broken City; BMT: Left Behind; Big Momma’s House 2; Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Mostly does smaller television roles now, although he had a recurring role on Justified. Apparently notably for missing out on a number of big leading man roles in the 80s, including Biloxi Blues.)

Meshach Taylor – (Known For: Explorers; The Howling; Omen II: Damien; The Beast Within; House of Games; Warning Sign; Hyenas; Stony Island; Ultra Warrior; Inside Out; Friends and Family; One More Saturday Night; Jacks or Better; Future BMT: Mannequin; The Allnighter; Class Act; BMT: Mannequin: On the Move; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Designing Women. He starred in that for 152 episodes, and Dave’s World for over 90.)

Budget/Gross – $13,000,000 / Domestic: $3,752,428 (Worldwide: $3,752,428)

(Holy good god. They doubled the budget and managed to get 10x less money out of the other side! That is one of the worst bombs I’ve seen in a long time just based on that fact alone.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (3/23)

(Time to make a consensus: Dumb and cliche, the second Mannequin manages to somehow do even less that the first with its already weak concept. Reviewer Highlight: It took four writers to struggle with another idea of why a mannequin would come to life in a department store and what would happen if she did. – Variety)

Poster – Manalive: There’s a Man Alive in There

(My god they made it worse! Font is still good and still has things that are really funny. Like Hollywood, the real star of the first film, stating “yoo hoo, I’m back.” Phew, thank god. Cause I would not have watched without you. D+.)

Tagline(s) – She’s been frozen for a thousand years… now it’s time to break the ice. (C-)

(I mean, a little more clever, much longer, and pretty much exactly the same amount of info about the film. Which is to say a lot because they basically wrote a novel with this tagline. Boo.)

Keyword – time travel

Top 10: Tenet (2020), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Interstellar (2014), Back to the Future (1985), Arrival (2016), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Masters of the Universe (1987), Deadpool 2 (2018), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Future BMT: 69.1 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 62.9 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), 60.9 The Final Destination (2009), 59.5 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), 56.2 Land of the Lost (2009), 50.0 The Sin Eater (2003), 47.4 Clockstoppers (2002), 45.3 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 43.0 Freejack (1992);

BMT: Masters of the Universe (1987), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Event Horizon (1997), Assassin’s Creed (2016), Timeline (2003), Jumper (2008), Lost in Space (1998), The Lake House (2006), Paycheck (2003), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996), The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007), A Sound of Thunder (2005), Black Knight (2001)

(People love time travel, although as maybe the graph suggests it has became a bit played out on the larger stage. All of the good time travel films seem to be going to streaming (much like all of the good groundhog day films).)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: William Ragsdale is No. 2 billed in Mannequin: On the Move and No. 9 billed in Left Behind (2014), 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) => 2 + 9 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Big Daddy we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – “Mannequin: On the Move” is the actual title of this sequel. “Mannequin Two: On the Move” was the poster’s title.

The pink convertible used in this sequel is the same convertible driven by the aliens in Mac and Me (1988), also directed by Stewart Raffill. (Is it his car?)

Andrew Hill Newman also appeared in Mannequin (1987) playing a different character. (I do love when that happens)

This sequel is the last movie to be released by Gladden Entertainment.

The name of the mythical kingdom, “Hauptmann-Koenig”, is German for “Captain-King”.

During the nightclub scene, Jason does the infamous “Ronald Miller” dance, (Patrick Dempsey) made famous during the prom scene in Can’t Buy Me Love (1987). In Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Ronald gets the entire school to do this ridiculous dance along with him. In this movie, Jesse tells Jason “that’s not dancing, this is dancing” and proceeds to do a medieval dance routine. The other people on the nightclub dance floor start doing this dance along with her. (Wait … this film also has a dance scene? What is up with teen comedies and dance scenes?)

The three soldiers/bodyguards all wear genuine Corcoran jump boots as worn by American paratroopers.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Preview

Jamie and Patrick are pale and sweating. “It’s even worse than I imagined it would be,” says Jamie, gulping down the bile rising in his throat. The film set has become a horror scene with the introduction of Michael Myers. It’s unbearable to watch, with multiple crew members off puking at the mere sight of what is happening. “For the love of God, stop him,” scream the TikTok bros. They pound on Patrick’s rock hard chest in despair, but it’s futile, his eyes are glazed over like doll’s eyes as he has accepted the monster he has become. “He’s unstoppable,” says Patrick gravely. “Listen to me,” begs Jamie in a whisper, tears streaming down his face, “they have given up. Everyone is ready to play ball and make the film we want to make. We have won.” His voice breaks and he looks out on the set and wonders whether you could call something like this winning? No… the whole world has lost. But with that Patrick snaps out of it and realization dawns on his face. “Cut!” he screams to everyone’s relief and Michael Myers looks over as Patrick approaches. With a shudder Patrick pats Myers’ gross cat monster face, “thanks Mike, we…” his voice quavers, “we needed a little Cat in the Hat magic on set to,” he gulps, “bring up people’s spirits.” Mike Myers nods in appreciation and asks if there are any other scenes for him to shoot and Patrick quickly shakes his head and points him to the exit. Everyone lets out a breath as Myers turns to walk away grumbling about the 8 hours of makeup just to shoot a 4 minute scene. Just then a shot rings out and Myers’ cat chest explodes. My god! That shot was meant for Patrick! That’s right! BMT Live is back, Jack! When we saw that a squeakuel was coming out that was actually getting bad enough reviews to qualify for BMT and in theaters for both of us, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass. Here’s to hoping it’s actually a quality BMT film and not just another Keeping Up With the Jonses… that film we watched in theaters that no one remembers. Let’s go!

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021) – BMeTric: 2.7; Notability: 30

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 74.7%; Notability: top 14.3%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.2% Higher BMeT: Thunder Force, Cosmic Sin, Music, Tom & Jerry: The Movie, Awake, Outside the Wire, Things Heard & Seen, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, The Unholy, Bliss, The Woman in the Window, Vanquish, Infinite, Chaos Walking, The Marksman, Voyagers, The Virtuoso, Breaking News in Yuba County, Cherry, Separation, and 1 more; Higher Notability: Music, Tom & Jerry: The Movie, Chaos Walking, Infinite, Cherry; Lower RT: Cosmic Sin, Vanquish, Separation, Music, Breaking News in Yuba County, Axis Sally, Infinite, The Virtuoso, Thunder Force, Chaos Walking, The Woman in the Window, Voyagers, Bliss, The Unholy, Awake, Tom & Jerry: The Movie; Notes: As usual I don’t put the plots for just released films because they are uninteresting. The BMeTric is obviously also fake news to a degree. You know what? So is the Notability. This is a pretty big release. I imagine the Notability will rise a bit over the years as people in the crew become famous. All of this is fake!

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – After more than a year of pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders, audiences are eager to hit movie theaters and reunite in a dark room with a larger-than-life big screen and booming sound. As theaters slowly open up, studios are gleefully releasing titles in preparation for what is hopeful to be a profitable and exciting big summer launch. Will “Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard” kickstart the action? … Directed by Patrick Hughes, this comic book-energy spy adventure, gorgeously captured by cinematographer Terry Stacey and keenly scripted with barbed laden dialogue from Tom O’Connor, Brandon Murphy, and Phillip Murphy, is heavy on blood, guts, action, and star power. It really is time for a summer movie season again.

(Uh … what? I’m pretty amazed, the review isn’t really the normal “I get it guys, the movie is terrible … but I like it” good review from critics. This is like “this movie is a solid comedy, fight me in real life”.)

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

(Looks okay. Like the first one a bit. I’m surprised by how little plot they actually told. He is on sabbatical, Hayek find him … and explosions and torture maybe? It really gives nothing away. Britney Spears is doing some heavy lifting on getting me excited for this movie … I’m not sure it works.)

Directors – Patrick Hughes – (Known For: The Hitman’s Bodyguard; Red Hill; BMT: The Expendables 3; The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Notes: From Australia, he’s the son of actor Tim Hughes. A commercial director (for things like Xbox, BMW, etc.), he’s directing a film called The Man from Toronto which kind of just sounds like this film?)

Writers – Tom O’Connor (screenplay & based on characters created by & story) – (Known For: The Courier; The Hitman’s Bodyguard; Fire with Fire; BMT: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Notes: Somehow there is almost no information about him. Fire with Fire is one of those films where it seems like they’ve photoshopped Bruce Willis’ head onto a stunt double for the entirety of filming.)

Brandon Murphy and Phillip Murphy (screenplay) – (BMT: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Notes: I assume they are brothers … this gets even more curious, was this film actually written? These guys have almost no information about them either. They are attached to write and direct a sci-fi film involving skiing called Snow Valley maybe?)

Actors – Ryan Reynolds – (Known For: The Hitman’s Bodyguard; The Croods: A New Age; Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw; Deadpool; Deadpool 2; 6 Underground; Ted; The Proposal; Life; Safe House; Pokémon Detective Pikachu; The Croods; Adventureland; Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies; Just Friends; Buried; Definitely, Maybe; Turbo; The Voices; Future BMT: Green Lantern; Blade: Trinity; The In-Laws; The Amityville Horror; A Million Ways to Die in the West; The Change-Up; Criminal; Van Wilder: Party Liaison; Self/less; Smokin’ Aces; Waiting…; BMT: R.I.P.D.; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Notes: Y’all know Ryan Reynolds. He bought Wrexham AFC with Rob McElhenney, they are touring the U.S. this summer … I’m not joking, they bought a football club in Wales.)

Frank Grillo – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Boss Level; Captain America: Civil War; Body Brokers; Minority Report; Cosmic Sin; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Zero Dark Thirty; Warrior; Homefront; Black and Blue; The Purge: Anarchy; End of Watch; The Purge: Election Year; Jiu Jitsu; The Grey; Point Blank; Beyond Skyline; Reprisal; Future BMT: My Soul to Take; Pride and Glory; BMT: The Sweetest Thing; Gangster Squad; The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Notes: There is no way he’s actually second billed IMDb, but whatever. Was supposed to be a major character in the Marvel films … but then they killed off his character earlier than anticipated.)

Salma Hayek – (Known For: The Hitman’s Bodyguard; From Dusk Till Dawn; Bliss; Savages; Dogma; The Faculty; Sausage Party; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Traffic; Desperado; Across the Universe; Tale of Tales; Four Rooms; Frida; Here Comes the Boom; Puss in Boots; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Muppets Most Wanted; The Hummingbird Project; Future BMT: Like a Boss; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Fled; 54; Fools Rush In; How to Be a Latin Lover; After the Sunset; BMT: Wild Wild West; Fair Game; Grown Ups 2; Grown Ups; The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2000 for Dogma, and Wild Wild West; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Notes: The godmother of Robert Roriguez’s children. Her brother designs chairs.)

Budget/Gross – $30–50 million / Domestic: N/A (Worldwide: N/A)

(Obviously, it hasn’t really gotten to the point where it has an actual return. $30-$50 seems high for a comedy though, it would need to get $100 million potentially to really be a success. The original did get $75 domestic + $100 million international though, so it did make a ton of money.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 31% (15/48): Despite the charms of its ensemble, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard fails to protect the audience from repetitive and tired genre tropes.

(Isn’t repetitive and tired genre tropes kind of the point? I haven’t seen the original yet, but given the parody poster of The Bodyguard I always figured the movie was a comedic take on a very specific sub-genre. Reviewer Highlight: The impression is of a creative team laughing that they’re getting away with this again, like a group of bank robbers howling as they round the block in their getaway car, then circling back to nonchalantly knock off the same place again. – A.A. Dowd, Variety)

Poster – The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Bodyguard

(I kind of like that better as a title for the sequel. Also, I am going to surprise you by saying that I kinda like the orange on this poster. It doesn’t really make sense, but it’s better than the alternative. Everything else is lazy and terrible and I hate it. C-)

Tagline(s) – Hit me baby one more time (C+)

(That could be worse. It’s short and kinda says something about the film, although in a meta way that I generally am not keen on. The cleverness is lacking, but again… not offensive.)

Keyword – bodyguard

Top 10: Tenet (2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (1984), Titanic (1997), The Gentlemen (2019), The Dark Knight (2008), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), Inception (2010), Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), The Interpreter (2005), Baywatch (2017)

Future BMT: 82.8 Kazaam (1996), 63.5 Mr. Nanny (1993), 62.9 Fat Albert (2004), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 51.9 Blackhat (2015), 47.4 Men in Black: International (2019), 46.3 Machete Kills (2013), 44.9 The Rhythm Section (2020), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007);

BMT: Baywatch (2017), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Angel Has Fallen (2019), Geostorm (2017), Fantasy Island (2020), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Bloodshot (2020), The Expendables 3 (2014), Vampire Academy (2014), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), London Has Fallen (2016), Hunter Killer (2018), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Bodyguard (1992), Gangster Squad (2013), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), The Snowman (2017), Elektra (2005), Over the Top (1987), The Pacifier (2005), Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), Be Cool (2005), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Romeo Must Die (2000), Highlander II: The Quickening (1991), Ride Along (2014), Mortdecai (2015), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), The Musketeer (2001), The Gunman (2015), The Prince & Me (2004), Alex Cross (2012), I, Frankenstein (2014), Ride Along 2 (2016), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Exit Wounds (2001), Proud Mary (2018), First Daughter (2004), Grind (2003), I Spy (2002), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Left Behind, Pluto Nash (2002), Never Die Alone (2004)

(Mushy keyword, clearly every film has it … I’ll still say I can’t wait to rewatch Kazaam. And what could have caused the meteoric rise of bodyguard films in the 2010s?! Joking, it is just because people put keywords on films they’ve seen recently and more so since IMDb expanded their user base in 2011. We’ve been over this before.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Samuel L. Jackson is No. 2 billed in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and No. 3 billed in Jumper, which also stars Michael Rooker (No. 5 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 4 billed) => 2 + 3 + 5 + 4 = 14. If we were to watch Amos & Andrew we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The movie, like the first film, was entirely shot in Europe. This sequel was filmed in five European countries which were Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.

First ever theatrical feature film featuring both Morgan Freeman and Samuel L. Jackson. The picture is also the first time that actress Salma Hayek and actor Morgan Freeman have starred in the same film as well as being the first time also for both the acting combo of Ryan Reynolds and Antonio Banderas as well as Morgan Freeman and Ryan Reynolds.

The possibility of another sequel has been touted by the film’s director Patrick Hughes prior to the picture’s premiere in June 2021. He said of another sequel in an interview: “It dawned on me during the first film that the endlessly suffering fool who is Michael Bryce, must suffer endlessly, therefore we must endlessly make sequels. As a result, the sequel does leave things ready for another film. All we can say is that it sets Ryan up to suffer. Endlessly.”

When star Ryan Reynold’s other 2021 release ‘Free Guy’ had its American launch date moved to 13th August 2021 by the Disney studio the stateside release date of ‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ (2021) moved from its August 2021 U.S. release date to a 16th June 2021 opener in North America.

Publicity for this picture, according to an interview with director Patrick Hughes, states that the character of Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) suffers from a rare personality disorder which is known in psychiatric medicine as “batshit crazy”.

At least 150 cast and crew from The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) came back to work on the sequel.

The film stars one Oscar (Academy Award) winner – Morgan Freeman, and four nominees: Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Antonio Banderas, and Richard E. Grant.

In reviews of this oddly wordy-titled movie sequel, some critics have jokingly speculated on the title of a possible further sequel, including ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Child’s Bodyguard’, ‘The Hitman’s Ex-Wife’s Bodyguard’, ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Son’s Bodyguard’, and ‘The Hitman’s Mother-In-Law’s Agent’s Bodyguard’.

At one point, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) hits someone with a bottle of Aviation Gin. This is the brand of gin owned by Reynolds in real life.

Though the film is partially set in Greece none of the filming for the movie actually shot there.

One of the biggest ever international film productions to ever shoot in the central-southeastern European nation of Croatia.

Problem Child 2 Preview

“That’s a wrap,” Patrick calls in exasperation. Another day, another unscripted fist fight between Chris Klein and Angel. With CK now playing both Rich and Poe in this entry of the film, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who is even fighting Angel and whether they are dealing with a love triangle or love square. It all won’t matter anyway if this continues as CK is getting perilously close to leaving the film and their production deal was predicated on their star’s return to the series. “Dastardly cyborgs,” Jamie says, pounding the desk in their trailer. They’ve tried every which way to get rid of Angel, but his contract is iron clad. Besides, despite not being able to act a lick his test audience scores are through the roof. “So Angel has to appear in at least 90% of the film, right?” Jamie nods along as Patrick thumbs through Angel’s contract trying to find a loophole in the wording, “and we’re not allowed to recast,” Jamie nods again, wincing at their predicament, “but they don’t say anything about additional casting, right?” Jamie looks confused, but there is a twinkle in Patrick’s eye. The next day a chorus of boos rain down on Angel as he makes out with Leighton Vanderschmidt. He looks uncomfortable as he eyes the latest addition to the cast, Rich and Poe Jrs., the previously undisclosed twin children of Rich and Leighton Vanderschmidt’s character. Soon Angel has agreed to rewrite his part and remove the love triangle. CK is satisfied and so are Jamie and Patrick, but Adam Banks looks wary on his latest visit to set. A fart-gag laden scene is being shot and the production has taken on a distinct PG-rated vibe “Aren’t these children going to be a bit of a… problem?” That’s right, we’re taking on a couple of problem children in Problem Child 1 + 2. The first film was a staple and is probably one of the most quoted films of our childhood. The second film… was not. Let’s see if either of them hold up in any capacity. Let’s go!

Problem Child 2 (1991) – BMeTric: 60.5; Notability: 26

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.8%; Notability: top 54.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 1.4% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Rock-A-Doodle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Billy Bathgate, Driving Me Crazy, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Married to It, and 33 more; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters; Notes: There we go, sub-5.0 is much more what I expected for these films. The 60+ BMeTric is beautiful, but somehow it got better critical reviews than the first film … who knows. Mobsters is an interesting film I don’t recall ever hearing about but it seems like we should watch.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The sequel no one asked for has Ritter adopting a second demon-child, ths one female and hell-bent on giving her stepbrother a run for his money. Any parent who lets and impressionable child watch this stuff ought to have his or her head examined! Followed by a 1995 TVM sequel.

(Uh … that isn’t the plot of the film? Trixie is the daughter of Ritter’s love interest and Junior and her have a prank war for completely unrelated reasons. Is this a true blue instance of Maltin not watching the film? Or maybe he just wrote it long after. It feels like something you’d gleen from only watching the trailer or something.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmvf4Jr0AEg/

(Nope, the trailer seems fairly clear that Trixie is probably just Junior’s rival, not his step-sister (yet). How in the world did Maltin get it so wrong I wonder? Anyways, this trailer is terrible and I’m so very excited to watch this film again.)

Directors – Brian Levant – (Known For: Max 2: White House Hero; Future BMT: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; The Flintstones; Snow Dogs; The Spy Next Door; Beethoven; BMT: Are We There Yet?; Problem Child 2; Jingle All The Way; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones in 1995; and Nominee for Worst Director for Jingle All the Way in 1997; Notes: He is writing and directing and producing the new Police Academy film apparently. Directed a bunch of The New Leave it to Beaver series in the 80s.)

Writers – Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (characters & written by) – (Known For: Man on the Moon; 1408; Ed Wood; Big Eyes; Goosebumps; Dolemite Is My Name; The People vs. Larry Flynt; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; Problem Child; That Darn Cat; Screwed; BMT: Problem Child 2; Notes: Apparently they didn’t want to write the film, but were offered a ton of money to do it because the studio wanted a sequel completed a year after the release of the first film.)

Actors – John Ritter – (Known For: Sling Blade; Bride of Chucky; Bad Santa; Nowhere; Real Men; Stay Tuned; Noises Off…; They All Laughed; The Other; Tadpole; Nickelodeon; Hero at Large; Panic; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Americathon; Montana; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Hacks; Shadow of Doubt; Future BMT: Problem Child; Wholly Moses!; Skin Deep; BMT: North; Problem Child 2; Notes: Ended up married Amy Yasbeck who played his character’s love interest in both films (as two different characters).)

Michael Oliver – (Future BMT: Problem Child; BMT: Problem Child 2; Notes: Seems to work in music now. This is likely due to his half-siblings or maybe his step-father who seem to be involved in music.)

Jack Warden – (Known For: 12 Angry Men; Heaven Can Wait; The Great Muppet Caper; Sunset Blvd.; All the President’s Men; Shampoo; While You Were Sleeping; The Replacements; Death on the Nile; From Here to Eternity; Being There; The Champ; The Bachelor Party; The Verdict; Donovan’s Reef; Mighty Aphrodite; …and justice for all.; Used Cars; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Bulworth; Future BMT: Problem Child; Guilty as Sin; Dirty Work; A Dog of Flanders; BMT: Ed; Problem Child 2; Chairman of the Board; Toys; Notes: Was married to Wanda Ottoni although they apparently separated in the 70s but never got divorced, and thus were legally married for nearly 50 years at the time of his death.)

Budget/Gross – $11–15 million / Domestic: $25,104,700 (Worldwide: $32,704,700)

(Not bad, but obviously once you cut your box office in half you probably aren’t completing the trilogy (in theaters at least).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/26): Crude, rude, puerile, and pointless, Problem Child 2 represents a cynical nadir in family-marketed entertainment.

(It couldn’t possibly be a nadir since the previous film somehow got worse reviews. I’ve seen both of these films a ton in my life, and the second is loads worse so that is insane. Reviewer Highlight: I’m probably getting awfully moralistic, but couldn’t the geniuses who devise entertainment for tots have come up with something a bit more, uh, responsible? – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sklogin’ Children Too: Mo’ Problemo

(Retread of the first one with Ben in the washer instead of the cat. I thought it was pretty good for the first one, but gotta do something different to keep the score up. C+.)

Tagline(s) – This summer, Junior has a brand new friend. (D)

He’s bad. She’s worse. (B-)

(The first one doesn’t really work without the poster and the second tagline beyond already being too long. So that’s off the table. The second is better. Short and knowing what the first movie is about you get the idea. Not terribly clever though.)

Keyword – slapstick comedy

Top 10: Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The Goonies (1985), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), Iron Man (2008), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 92.3 Son of the Mask (2005), 89.4 Vampires Suck (2010), 88.2 Street Fighter (1994), 87.3 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), 83.1 Inspector Gadget (1999), 82.9 Home Alone 3 (1997), 79.3 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 78.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), 78.6 Superhero Movie (2008);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), The Lone Ranger (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Superman III (1983), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Epic Movie (2007), Wild Hogs (2007), Meet the Spartans (2008), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Hudson Hawk (1991), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Made of Honour (2008), Mortdecai (2015), Out Cold (2001), The Love Guru (2008), Old Dogs (2009), Jingle All The Way (1996), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), The Master of Disguise (2002), Harlem Nights (1989), Big Momma’s House 2 (2006), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), The Medallion (2003), Caddyshack II (1988), Problem Child 2 (1991), Miss March (2009), Furry Vengeance (2010), Are We Done Yet? (2007), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), Dudley Do-Right (1999), The Marrying Man (1991), Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

(It would peak around ‘97 and it has been a bit downhill since the mid 00s. Makes sense in a way, although who knows how scientific these numbers really are. Son of Mask is a huge one we’ve been semi-consciously avoiding.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Laraine Newman is No. 4 billed in Problem Child 2 and No. 4 billed in Perfect, which also stars John Travolta (No. 1 billed) who is in Wild Hogs (No. 2 billed), which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – During a 2014 interview on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski revealed that the studio was reluctant to rehire them, only doing so because they wanted to shoot a sequel before Michael Oliver could noticeably grow and, as the writers of the first film, could produce a script quicker than writers new to the story and characters of the franchise. Frustrated with the criticisms of Problem Child (1990), they deliberately increased the poor taste in the sequel, intending to make a Pasolini or John Waters film for children, and went so far overboard that the first cut received an R rating from the MPAA, a secret kept until their 2014 appearance on the podcast. Dubbing over Junior’s use of the term “pussy whipped” got the film a PG-13 rating on appeal but the studio was still so nervous that, at the last minute, they added the Woody Woodpecker cartoon Smoked Hams (1947) to the film’s theatrical release to reassure parents that the film was suitable for children.

In 1999, John Ritter married Amy Yasbeck in real life.

When Mrs. Dumore sees Ben in the bank, she says she plans to make him “Hubbie #7” and a bunch of pictures are shown of her previous husbands. Her other husbands are John Ritter in several costumes. (ha!)

Ben is still driving the Jeep he “borrows” from Roy in the first film when he goes to rescue Junior from the Bow Tie Killer.

Based on the landmarks the Healys pass on their road trip, it can be assumed that they’re moving from California (the first landmark is the Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, CA) to Florida (the final landmark they pass is the Booby Trap club in Orlando, FL). (I’m not sure this is true, elsewhere it indicated they were in Illinois in the first film and Oregon in the second. But we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled).

The only actor to appear in all three films and the short-lived cartoon series was Gilbert Gottfried. Jack Warden appeared in all three films, but not the cartoon.

In the original movie, while Junior is watching news clips of the Bow Tie Killer on TV, he goes into a toy box and retrieves a bowtie to wear so he can emulate his hero. The bowtie is being worn on a My Buddy doll. This is referenced in the sequel during the carnival scene, when Ben wins a My Buddy doll and gives it to Junior.

Mortville, the town that Ben and Junior move to, is a reference to a town with the same name in which the John Waters film Desperate Living is set. (Absolutely incredible ref, WTF this is a kids film?)

June Foray, who voiced the puppets in the puppet show before Trixie (Ivyann Schwan) took it over, did various cartoon voices for 60 years; in particular many Warner Brothers cartoons. She passed away in 2017 just shy of her 100th birthday.

The license plate on Ben’s car reads “JRS DAD”.

When LaWanda is reading various newspaper headlines that detail Junior’s actions in the first film, one of the headlines reads, “Union Carbide Plant Explodes.” This was not Junior’s fault, this is referencing the incident known as “The Bhopal Disaster” that occurred on December 2, 1984 at the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, where methyl isocyanate gas leaked, exposing 500,000 people. It is estimated that 16,000 died from pesticide exposure.

Problem Child Preview

“That’s a wrap,” Patrick calls in exasperation. Another day, another unscripted fist fight between Chris Klein and Angel. With CK now playing both Rich and Poe in this entry of the film, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of who is even fighting Angel and whether they are dealing with a love triangle or love square. It all won’t matter anyway if this continues as CK is getting perilously close to leaving the film and their production deal was predicated on their star’s return to the series. “Dastardly cyborgs,” Jamie says, pounding the desk in their trailer. They’ve tried every which way to get rid of Angel, but his contract is iron clad. Besides, despite not being able to act a lick his test audience scores are through the roof. “So Angel has to appear in at least 90% of the film, right?” Jamie nods along as Patrick thumbs through Angel’s contract trying to find a loophole in the wording, “and we’re not allowed to recast,” Jamie nods again, wincing at their predicament, “but they don’t say anything about additional casting, right?” Jamie looks confused, but there is a twinkle in Patrick’s eye. The next day a chorus of boos rain down on Angel as he makes out with Leighton Vanderschmidt. He looks uncomfortable as he eyes the latest addition to the cast, Rich and Poe Jrs., the previously undisclosed twin children of Rich and Leighton Vanderschmidt’s character. Soon Angel has agreed to rewrite his part and remove the love triangle. CK is satisfied and so are Jamie and Patrick, but Adam Banks looks wary on his latest visit to set. A fart-gag laden scene is being shot and the production has taken on a distinct PG-rated vibe “Aren’t these children going to be a bit of a… problem?” That’s right, we’re taking on a couple of problem children in Problem Child 1 + 2. The first film was a staple and is probably one of the most quoted films of our childhood. The second film… was not. Let’s see if either of them hold up in any capacity. Let’s go!

Problem Child (1990) – BMeTric: 48.9; Notability: 38

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 2.4%; Notability: top 32.7%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0% Higher BMeT: Rocky V, Ghost Dad, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Jetsons: The Movie, Air America, Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory, The Rookie, 3 Men and a Little Lady, Marked for Death, Rocky V, Stella, Revenge, Bird on a Wire, Ghost Dad, Another 48 Hrs., Mr. Destiny, The First Power, Desperate Hours; Notes: Impressive stuff, just shy of 50 BMeTric, and a genuine 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. If you told me this was a cult film and has like a 6.0 on IMDb I wouldn’t have been surprised. And it seems like it might genuinely be on its way there.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Botched comic twist on The Bad Seed has Ritter as an unlucky father who adopts devil-child Oliver. A promising opening leads nowhere as bad performances and crude jokes prevail. Followed by a sequel, a TV movie, and an animated TV series,

(Don’t worry, I’m already planning on partaking in the Problem Child animated series. It didn’t really occur to me that this film is based on horror/dramas of the kid-from-hell. It was always just Problem Child growing up.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxFT8zYZ3dU/

(Absolutely insane concept for a kids film. Basically, a psycho kid wreaking absolute havoc all played for laughs … but I loved it as a kid. Bizarre. I can’t wait to watch it as an adult.)

Directors – Dennis Dugan – (Known For: Happy Gilmore; Love, Weddings & Other Disasters; Brain Donors; Future BMT: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Beverly Hills Ninja; National Security; Saving Silverman; Big Daddy; BMT: Jack and Jill; Grown Ups 2; Problem Child; The Benchwarmers; Grown Ups; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Just Go with It; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director in 2012 for Jack and Jill, and Just Go with It; and Nominee for Worst Director in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Notes: Frequent collaborator of Adam Sandler. I’ve mentioned it in a note before, but his son is/was a major league baseball player with the Phillies.)

Writers – Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (written by) – (Known For: Man on the Moon; 1408; Ed Wood; Big Eyes; Goosebumps; Dolemite Is My Name; The People vs. Larry Flynt; Future BMT: Problem Child 2; Agent Cody Banks; That Darn Cat; Screwed; BMT: Problem Child; Notes: Won two Emmys for American Crime Story. Alexander started out as a music editor on small horror films, and Karaszewski wrote a biography of the Marx Brothers.)

Actors – Michael Oliver – (Future BMT: Problem Child 2; BMT: Problem Child; Notes: Was on a 2011 episode of Loveline with Gilbert Gottfried which was apparently the first time the two had talked since the filming of the second film.)

John Ritter – (Known For: Sling Blade; Bride of Chucky; Bad Santa; Nowhere; Real Men; Stay Tuned; Noises Off…; They All Laughed; The Other; Tadpole; Nickelodeon; Hero at Large; Panic; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; Americathon; Montana; I Woke Up Early the Day I Died; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Hacks; Shadow of Doubt; Future BMT: Problem Child 2; Wholly Moses!; Skin Deep; BMT: North; Problem Child; Notes: Won an Emmy for Three’s Company, but was nominated for four series in total (Hooperman, Ally McBeal, and 8 Simple Rules… for Dating my Teenage Daughter were the other three). Tragically died in 2003 due to cardiac arrest from a misdiagnosed heart defect.)

Jack Warden – (Known For: 12 Angry Men; Heaven Can Wait; The Great Muppet Caper; Sunset Blvd.; All the President’s Men; Shampoo; While You Were Sleeping; The Replacements; Death on the Nile; From Here to Eternity; Being There; The Champ; The Bachelor Party; The Verdict; Donovan’s Reef; Mighty Aphrodite; …and justice for all.; Used Cars; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Bulworth; Future BMT: Problem Child 2; Guilty as Sin; Dirty Work; A Dog of Flanders; BMT: Ed; Chairman of the Board; Toys; Problem Child; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait. Boxed under the name Johnny Costello in his youth.)

Budget/Gross – $10 million / Domestic: $53,470,891 (Worldwide: $72,270,891)

(That is a lot more money than I would have expected for this film. Like … that is a legit haul, so obviously they were going to make a sequel! I just can’t get over that they got reasonably close to being a $100 million comedy.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/29): Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that’s loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.

(I do remember it being mean-spirited, in particular just how insane the beginning is with Junior continually being returned to the orphanage. Reviewer Highlight: The rest of the kid’s tricks are too unimaginative to be much fun — though with jokes this lame you won’t have to worry as much about your children getting any bad ideas. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Sklogin’ Child

(Apparently this poster was a bit controversial in its depiction of Junior putting the cat in a washing machine, which doesn’t happen in the film. Font’s good, spacing and cartoon aspect of it is fun, only problem is the gaudy 90’s color scheme. B.)

Tagline(s) – Attila the Hun. Ivan the Terrible. Al Capone. They were all seven once. (C-)

(This is like a who’s who of the least offensive choices they could have used for the tagline… thank god. Takes far to long to get to the punchline and waters down whatever they were going for.)

Keyword – orphanage

Top 10: Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Deadpool 2 (2018), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Clifford (1994), Orphan (2009), Up (2009)

Future BMT: 50.9 The Boss (2016), 50.1 Friend Request (2016), 44.0 Fred Claus (2007), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 The Princess Diaries 2 (2004), 33.6 Suspect Zero (2004), 32.1 Clifford (1994), 28.9 Original Sin (2001), 28.8 Igor (2008), 26.9 Grimsby (2016);

BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Silent Hill (2006), The Snowman (2017), Epic Movie (2007), Zoolander 2 (2016), Problem Child (1990), Double Impact (1991), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Solarbabies (1986), Alone in the Dark (2005)

(I’m surprised by how consistent the plot it, you would think once the tropey version of orphanages went out of fashion it would vaguely die out as far as cheap laughs are concerned. My god, Clifford (1994)! Another film I’ve seen an inordinate number of times starring a bad child which comes across as crass and mean-spirited.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jack Warden is No. 2 billed in Problem Child and No. 5 billed in Toys, which also stars LL Cool J (No. 7 billed) who is in Rollerball (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 5 + 7 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 19. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Throughout the film, Ben reads several self-help books on parenting. Each book features a photo of the author on the back cover. The author photos are John Ritter in various costumes. (Nice, I like the joke)

An ad campaign for this film included “reviews” from a number of famous movie villains: “Four-star fun for the whole gang!” – Al Capone “Two thumbs up!” – Captain Hook “10 out of 10! Junior had me in stitches!” – Frankenstein “This kid gives ME nightmares!” – Freddy Krueger “Junior is a real cut-up!” – Leatherface “I wish he were MY son!” – Darth Vade r”Don’t have a cow! Just see this movie, dude!” –Bart Simpson

During a 2014 interview on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski revealed that the story was inspired by the 1988 LA Times article “An Adopted Boy–and Terror Begins.” The story is about a married couple suing an adoption agency because they were not informed that their adopted son had severe mental health issues with violent tendencies, and had been previously returned to the agency multiple times. While other writers pitched the story as a horror film in the vein of The Bad Seed (1956) or The Omen (1976), Alexander and Karaszewski thought it had potential as a comedy. They envisioned a dark, adult satire of the then-popular trend of films in which cute kids teach cynical adults how to love, as seen in Baby Boom (1987), Parenthood (1989) (directly spoofed by the film’s poster), Look Who’s Talking (1989), Uncle Buck (1989), Mr. Mum (1983), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and 3 Men and a Baby (1987). The studio insisted on turning it into a children’s film, which meant numerous reshoots and rewrites. All involved in the difficult production were disappointed, and anticipated that it would bomb. Alexander cried after the cast and crew screening. The film was a surprise hit, and Universal’s most profitable film of 1990. Alexander and Karaszewski were so embarrassed that they tried to distance themselves from the film in its immediate aftermath, which proved difficult. Studios were initially reluctant to hire them or take them seriously based on their work on such a prominent disreputable film. In later years, they eventually came to work with executives who grew up watching the film on TV airings and were excited to be meeting “the guys who wrote Problem Child.” Looking back, they still feel the film is “a mess,” but take some pride in being involved with one of the “very few [PG-rated] children’s films THAT black and THAT crazy,” adding “and it’s funny.”

According to Dennis Dugan, the test screenings were disastrous, with 70 percent of the audience walking out, verbal complaints from viewers, and a score of only 30. The studio forced two weeks of reshoots, including a retooled ending and the addition of key scenes like the girl’s birthday party.

Dennis Dugan had never directed a feature film before, so he decided to make his pitch to Universal executives a memorable one. He stood on the studio president’s coffee table and passionately proclaimed, “You’re looking at me like I’m f*cking nuts, and this is what we want. We want this kind of chaos.” Three hours later, Dugan learned he had the job.

During production, both John Ritter and Gilbert Gottfried were allowed to ad lib, making Universal complain at Dennis Dugan for shooting too much footage for Gottfried’s scenes

The poster for the movie was a spoof of the poster for Parenthood (1989). Imagine Entertainment produced both films and Dennis Dugan, who directed Problem Child, acted in both films.

Universal originally wanted John Landis to direct this film. But Landis turned it down as he had no interest in making kids movies. They then approached Joe Dante to direct after directing The ‘Burbs (1989) for them. Dante read the script and liked it. But he turned it down as he was about to work on Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

The doll that Junior takes the bow-tie from in the orphanage is a “My Buddy” doll that is missing its striped shirt and tennis shoes. When sold in stores, the doll never originally came with a bow-tie.

Dennis Dugan: as the All-American Dad who buys his son a canteen.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Gilbert Gottfried, 1991)

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Preview

Jamie and Patrick walk down a dark alley, steam spewing from the sewer grates. Patrick twirls a baton and Jamie mutters, “if I wanted to chase after aliums I would have joined the Alium Brigade,” getting a chuckle from Patrick. They stop in their tracks and look at each other in confusion. Why are they suddenly cops again? They look down at their uniforms and see the shiny nametags declaring them Det. Rich and Poe. Wait a tick, that can’t be right? They aren’t Rich and Poe… they’re trying to save Rich and Poe. And yet this dream is so real. They can smell the hot summer stench of the city. They can feel the sweat soaking through their slightly too-tight uniforms. They can hear the dusky chuckle of a nearby fiend. “Who-who’s that?” stammers Jamie. From the shadows steps a horrible fiend. Oh! He’s terrifying and oh boy… I mean, if you could see him you would def be totally scared for sure. Just check this out: “Get ready for some action, bitches,” the monster lisps as he proceeds to do a dumbo somersault into some trash cans like a dope. Jamie and Patrick shrug and help the big stupid monster up. He seems a bit embarrassed and assures them that he is definitely scary, it’s just that he hasn’t been sleeping super great. “Probably cause you’re haunting our dreams,” Patrick suggests helpfully, “so maybe stop that.” The monster shrugs in agreement. “Yeah and try this Rich and Poe Blanket and Tea set. It might help and is pretty rad.” But the monster seems ambivalent, “I don’t care for that… seems like odd branding.” 

Jamie and Patrick wake up screaming in a cold sweat. What a nightmare. They’re just glad they’re back in the real world as regular citizens. That’s right! We are catching another entry in the classic comedy series Police Academy by hitting the fourth film, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. The third film barely doesn’t qualify, which helps simplify things. Bring on the Gutes! Let’s go!

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) – BMeTric: 60.4; Notability: 54

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 1.6%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 0.0% Higher BMeT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Teen Wolf Too; Higher Notability: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Masters of the Universe, Who’s That Girl; Notes: … You know normally I would be like “whatever, 5.0 is pretty bad”, but this film has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it got a BOMB from Leonard, just look at his six word review! I would have imagined this would be much lower, even in the 3.0s. The Notability is incredibly high … I guess there are like 40 people in this super ensemble cast.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  More of the same, only worse.

(My God, Leonard! The writers had families! This series is a marvel. 2.5 stars, BOMB, 1.5 stars, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB … five of Leonard’s BOMB reviews are for this series alone. Leonard mostly follows along with critics in general, the first is the best, the third is the closest to being fine for the sequels, everything else is awful.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adlo9hJpemE/

(Looks brutal. But can we expect anything less from the late entries to this franchise? I think it is probably not great that almost no screen time is devoted to the actual Citizens on Patrol. And that is despite that fact that at least one of them is definitely in the cartoon series, so they were likely intent on carrying through popular characters across the sequels. What a weird and wild series this is.)

Directors – Jim Drake – (Future BMT: Cannonball Fever; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Speed Zone in 1990; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for directing episodes of The Golden Girls and Buffalo Bill.)

Writers – Neal Israel (characters) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Americathon; Tunnel Vision; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Helped raise Mollie Heckerling who was the biological daughter of Harold Ramis, something she details in her book Ghostbuster’s Daughter.)

Pat Proft (characters) – (Known For: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Hot Shots!; Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; Hot Shots! Part Deux; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Brain Donors; Lucky Stiff; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Van Dyke and Company, he was good friends with Zucker and wrote on basically all of their spoof films as well.)

Gene Quintano (written by) – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold; Sudden Death; El tesoro de las cuatro coronas; Funky Monkey; Comin’ at Ya!; Future BMT: Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Operation Dumbo Drop; King Solomon’s Mines; Loaded Weapon 1; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Musketeer; Notes: Was offered the directing role for this film, but turned it down. Regretting it he eventually debuted with Honeymoon Academy starring Kim Catrall which went straight to video.)

Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield (characters) (uncredited) – (Known For: Coming 2 America; Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Both were writers on SNL in the early 80s and ended up writing on a bunch of Eddie Murphy films as a result.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Cocoon; Roe v. Wade; Rifkin’s Festival; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Bigger; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Trauma Center; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Amazon Women on the Moon; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Home for the Holidays; Don’t Tell Her It’s Me; Lez Bomb; Major Movie Star; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Surrender; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: You know The Gutes! I would highly recommend his episode of Party Down, I think it probably reflects what appears to be the genuine kindness of Steve Guttenberg.)

Bubba Smith – (Known For: Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Silence of the Hams; Black Moon Rising; The Naked Truth; Full Clip; Down ‘n Dirty; The Wild Pair; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Stroker Ace; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Played in the NFL for ten years before switching to acting. Was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2011.)

Michael Winslow – (Known For: Spaceballs; Gremlins; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Nice Dreams; Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Great Buck Howard; Killing Hasselhoff; Gingerclown; Tag: The Assassination Game; Alphabet City; The Trumpet of the Swan; CHARACTERz; Think Big; Robodoc; Far Out Man; Lovelines; Buy & Cell; Underground Aces; Going Under; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Decided to pursue standup as the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects. He moved to Los Angeles and ended up winning The Gong Show twice.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $28,061,343 (Worldwide: $28,061,343)

(Just printed money. And according to some of the actors in it (Graf in particular) a decent paycheck, so I guess rest assured that that $17 million did make its way into the stars’ pockets. Is there an equivalent to this kind of stuff these days? Or was it all absorbed into like … web series or something?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/20): Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.

(Wow a 0%. Actually that isn’t nearly as impressive as you think. The first three films are fairly normal (55%, 31%, 40%) review wise … and then the last four all have 0%!! That is just … well, that is something else. Reviewer Highlight: Script is merely a collection of gags tied together by the slightest suggestion of a story. – Variety Staff)

Poster – The Gute’s Big Balloon Adventure

(I really like this. I know there are some recent comedies that have played on the tradition of comedy posters, but there isn’t anything quite like an original. Just look at those cartoon renditions of real people all doing zany things in a balloon! Look at the font! The biggest problem really is that it makes it seem like a film about hot air balloon cops, which is honestly better than the actual plot of Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol. A)

Tagline(s) – Take off with the original cast… and some new civilian recruits as they take to the streets and the skies to fight crime. (D+)

(They really are leaning on the final hot air balloon/stunt plane finale. They mostly in fact do not take to the skies. Otherwise this is an accurate and disastrously long tagline. D+. A bump for the little “take off” pun at the beginning but that’s about it.)

Keyword – police chase

Top 10: The Dark Knight (2008), Knives Out (2019), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Birds of Prey (2020), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), The Goonies (1985), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Future BMT: 73.8 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), 65.1 The Cold Light of Day (2012), 57.4 First Sunday (2008), 56.8 The Transporter Refueled (2015), 53.4 Meet the Browns (2008), 51.9 The Eye (2008), 50.8 The Watcher (2000), 49.1 Showtime (2002), 48.6 Sleepwalkers (1992), 47.5 Feel the Noise (2007);

BMT: Armageddon (1998), Angel Has Fallen (2019), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), CHIPS (2017), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Need for Speed (2014), Battleship (2012), A Walk to Remember (2002), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Swordfish (2001), R.I.P.D. (2013), The Cannonball Run (1981), Daylight (1996), The Pacifier (2005), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Ride Along (2014), Cobra (1986), Exit Wounds (2001), Paycheck (2003), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Alex Cross (2012), Getaway (2013), Kangaroo Jack (2003), Ride Along 2 (2016), Hollywood Homicide (2003), Twisted (2004), Steel (1997)

(I did wonder if it would increase over time. It does seem to be the case. I guess with things like 3D printing and fabricating fake cars and CGI it’ll eventually reach a saturation point. Police chases look cool, but there is only so many films which can have them. Our brains are going to melt when we watch Police Academy 5, 6, and 7 all in one weekend.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sharon Stone is No. 4 billed in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and No. 2 billed in The Specialist, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – The collapse of her first marriage contributed to Sharon Stone’s decision to work on this movie. Of wanting to have some fun after a difficult period in her life, she said that “hanging out with a gang of comedians, it was the best therapy.” (That’s nice)

Final appearance of the Mimico Lunatic Asylum. The iconic location was used as the Academy campus in the first, third and fourth films in the series.

Tony Hawk said this was the only job, from which he was ever fired. Most of the stunt doubles were from the Bones Brigade because their manager, former pro skateboarder Stacy Peralta, worked as a second-unit director on the film. As it turned out, Hawk was replaced as a stunt double for David Spade, because he was too tall. (Huh, he’s in the credits. That’s interesting)

Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky were brought on-board at the last minute to replace Bruce Mahler (Fackler), who was dropped from the film, due to negotiations falling apart over his pay. As a result of this, the Fackler character ended up being omitted from Police Academy: The Series (1988), and the comic book. (That is interesting, I had to look him up to remind me of who he was. He eventually returns in number six)

Film debut of David Spade. According to Steve Guttenberg’s biography, “The Guttenberg Bible”, Guttenberg took Spade under his wing during shooting in Toronto, Ontario. He also bought Spade an expensive Rolex watch. (Cool)

The last “Police Academy” movie to feature the Blue Oyster Bar. (Nooooooooooooo as gross and offensive as it was I was really hoping they’d have The Blue Oyster Bar in cyrillic when they went to Russia)

Despite the entire series’ negative critical reception, this was the only “Police Academy” movie to get a Razzie Award nomination. Brian Wilson’s “Let’s Go to Heaven in My Car” was nominated for Worst Original Song. It lost to “I Want Your Sex” from Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).

During the scene where Capt. Harris straddles the chain link fence, G.W. Bailey’s stunt double willingly took a hard fall directly onto the pavement, with no mat to protect him. (It looks like it really really hurt, I gasped when I saw it)

Steve Guttenberg’s final appearance as Mahoney, until his announced return to the franchise over three decades later in the eighth Police Academy movie. (Oh … why did I think he was in all of them except for the seventh? I might have been thinking of Graf).

A “Police Academy” spin-off titled “Commando School” was being planned at the time of this movie’s initial release, but it never made it to the production phase.

Was to be filmed immediately after Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), but production was held up by the death of that film’s director, Jerry Paris.

Tackleberry’s wife was not initially intended to appear in the film; Colleen Camp was unavailable for the initial shooting dates, which were back-to-back with those of the third film. However, the delay resulting from having to hire a new director after the death of Jerry Paris resulted in Camp being available after all, and her character was given a one-scene cameo appearance.

Two versions of the pool scene were filmed. One had Leslie Easterbrook in a wet T-shirt with her breasts exposed. In the “family friendly” version, Callahan’s T-shirt was not see-through. The latter version was used in the official trailer. (I noticed)

Around the time this movie was made, a full-motion Police Academy video game was also filmed with the original cast, for Hasbro’s NEMO console. According to developer Mark Turmell, the game was “essentially a lost Police Academy movie” which had multiple story paths that the player could choose. Unfortunately, the funding ceased when Hasbro decided not to proceed with the console. Some believe this unused footage could still potentially be made into a Police Academy interactive movie for a streaming service, if fan demand proved enough to convince Hasbro and Warner Bros. to complete the project, over three decades later. This would set a record for the longest time ever, in between a video game project’s conception and completion.

After it became clear that Jerry Paris would not be able to direct the film, screenwriter Gene Quintano was offered the chance to take over as director. He turned the offer down, not feeling confident enough in his abilities, and so Jim Drake directed it instead. On the day of the film’s premiere, Quintano told Paul Maslansky that he regretted turning down the director’s chair, and so Maslansky offered him the job of writing and directing Honeymoon Academy (1989), which this time Quintano accepted immediately.

The scene where Copeland chases Arnie and Kyle through the shopping mall was filmed at Woodbine Centre in Toronto, which is also the shopping mall where the Komodo dragon chase scene in The Freshman (1990) was filmed.

The last time we see Mahoney, Nogata, Copeland, Sweetchuck and Zed, though Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck) had a guest appearance on Police Academy: The Series (1997) as a janitor. (Oh wow, so the rest of the series I guess must be quite different)

Michael Winslow (Jones), David Graf (Tackleberry), and George Gaynes (Commandant Lassard) are the only actors who appeared in all seven “Police Academy” movies. Winslow even goes a step beyond this, as he also had a regular role on Police Academy: The Series (1997).

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher, 1988)

Cutthroat Island Preview

“It’s gonna be a hell of a lot of work, I mean,” Patrick clarifies as he starts in on a pretty sweet boolean array. Jamie’s head is spinning. “Rabbit. Flu shot. Somebody talk to me,” he exclaims in exasperation. The coding jargon Patrick is throwing around is more suited to a haxxor than little ol’ Jamie. Rachel pats him on the shoulder and suggests that he just work on the rocking tune. No need to say more as Jamie whips out his harmonica, gives it a quick toot, and begins to warm up his angelic voice with a series of complicated and largely unnecessary vocal exercises. The scene is electric. Patrick on one side, his eyes glazing over like dolls eyes as he spits hot fire on the k’board. Jamie on the other, a VR headset strapped to his head and he composes in 3D-4K. “It’s a game about a couple of underdogs who come from behind to save the universe,” Patrick says, coding in their gritty origin story. “Yeah, underdogs with abs for days and it opens with the titular song, Starring Jason Derulo: Just a couple of jokesters living in the bayou making ends meet busking on the street, starring Jason Derulo. Brothers in arms, armed to the teeth, justice and truth are all that they seek, starring Jason Derulo,” Jamie croons, tears in his eyes. “Nice half rhyme,” comments Patrick as his code springs to life. Patrick is in the zone, guided by the lyrical picture that Jamie has painted about the legendary lives of Rich & Poe (who definitely didn’t die). He waves Jamie away. “Go down the street to the local pirate radio stations and start getting some underground buzz going for this game. I got some 1337 coding to do.” Jamie shrugs, “shiver me timbers.” That’s right! We’re watching the notable box office bomb, Cutthroat Island, which had a tie-in video game that was critically panned. It barely qualifies for BMT, but it doesn’t feel that way as the production was such a disaster that a studio collapsed. Should be fun. Let’s go!

Cutthroat Island (1995) – BMeTric: 38.7; Notability: 72

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 12.0%; Notability: top 4.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 33.5% Higher BMeT: Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Batman Forever, Congo, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Tank Girl, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, The Babysitter, Judge Dredd, Nine Months, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Operation Dumbo Drop, Jade, The Scarlet Letter, Johnny Mnemonic, Man of the House, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Virtuosity, Money Train, and 1 more; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo; Lower RT: A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, It Takes Two, The Hunted, The Tie That Binds, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Pebble and the Penguin, Bushwhacked, Johnny Mnemonic, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Scarlet Letter, Four Rooms, Three Wishes, Jade, Canadian Bacon, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Houseguest, Man of the House, Reckless, Rough Magic, Two Much and 42 more; Notes: A higher BMeTric than I would have thought considering it is mostly known for being a giant flop as opposed to an actual bad movie. Hugh Notability again! I do love hitting up those Notability films. We’ve seen the other higher ones from 1995 as well it looks like.

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – This is, in short, a satisfactory movie – but it doesn’t transcend its genre, and it’s not surprising or astonishing. I saw it because that was my job and, having seen it, I grant its skill, and award it three stars on that basis. But unless you’re really into pirate movies, it’s not a necessary film. Sorry.

(An incredible score from Ebert, coming off the top rope. So let me get this straight … if I like swashbuckling adventure then I’ll like this film. Alright then … it sounds like a good movie.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV5JD490ZL4

(Oh boy, the 1812 Overture is something else in that trailer. What a very very strange choice. It comes across as cartoonish and cliche, right? Even the trailer looks cheap as far as swashbuckling action is concerned. I guess that’s to be expected when your production company is teetering on bankruptcy.)

Directors – Renny Harlin – (Known For: Cliffhanger; Die Hard 2; Deep Blue Sea; The Long Kiss Goodnight; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; The Dyatlov Pass Incident; Cleaner; Skiptrace; Prison; 5 Days of War; Bodies at Rest; Gu jian qi tan zhi liu yue zhao ming; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; 12 Rounds; Mindhunters; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Driven; The Covenant; Cutthroat Island; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; in 1996 for Cutthroat Island; in 2002 for Driven; in 2005 for Exorcist: The Beginning; and in 2015 for The Legend of Hercules; Notes: Just inducted his film The Legend of Hercules into the BMT Hall of Fame. Has an extramarital affair with his assistant which resulted in his son Luke and subsequent divorce.)

Writers – Michael Frost Beckner (story) – (Known For: Spy Game; Sniper: Ultimate Kill; Prince Valiant; Future BMT: Sniper; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Only gets credited for the many straight-to-video Sniper sequels as far as films are concerned, but does some television work, most recently the mini-series To Appomattox.)

James Gorman (story) – (BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Produced Sniper, so I would guess he’s a writing partner of Beckner to a degree. His only writing credit, but he produced a few things like Gunman starring Christopher Lambert and Mario Van Peebles, who would then both star in Highlander III a year later.)

Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon (story) – (Known For: Stand by Me; Starman; Mr. Brooks; Made in Heaven; A Man, a Woman and a Bank; Future BMT: Kuffs; BMT: Jungle 2 Jungle; Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated as a team for an Oscar for Stand by Me. They haven’t written anything since 2007.)

Robert King (screenplay) – (Known For: Vertical Limit; The Nest; Under the Boardwalk; Bloodfist; Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge; Dragon Fire; Future BMT: Speechless; Clean Slate; Red Corner; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated for four Emmys for The Good Wife. His career started with cheap horror and bad martial arts films, but he has a few big budget films made in the late 90s.)

Marc Norman (screenplay) – (Known For: Shakespeare in Love; The Killer Elite; Breakout; The Aviator; Oklahoma Crude; Zandy’s Bride; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. Wrote a single episode of the original Mission: Impossible in 1970.)

Actors – Geena Davis – (Known For: Ava; Beetlejuice; Thelma & Louise; A League of Their Own; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Tootsie; Stuart Little; Earth Girls Are Easy; When Marnie Was There; Fletch; Quick Change; Stuart Little 2; In a World…; The Accidental Tourist; Marjorie Prime; Accidental Hero; Don’t Talk to Irene; Angie; Me Him Her; Accidents Happen; Future BMT: Transylvania 6-5000; Speechless; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Notes: Was married to Renny Harlin at the time. Won an Oscar for the accidental tourist, and was nominated for Thelma & Louise. Is an Olympic level archer.)

Matthew Modine – (Known For: Wrong Turn; The Dark Knight Rises; Full Metal Jacket; Breaking News in Yuba County; Notting Hill; Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Any Given Sunday; 47 Meters Down; Vision Quest; Transporter 2; Short Cuts; Pacific Heights; Married to the Mob; Memphis Belle; Speed Kills; Backtrace; The Hotel New Hampshire; Birdy; Army of One; Foster Boy; Future BMT: The Divorce; Mrs. Soffel; Gross Anatomy; Fluke; BMT: Cutthroat Island; Jobs; Bye Bye Love; Notes: Probably most notable recently for his supporting role in Stranger Things. Both his son and daughter are in the industry. Ruby Modine in particular was in 20 episodes of Shameless. Boman modine is a director.)

Frank Langella – (Known For: The Trial of the Chicago 7; Red Dragon; Captain Fantastic; Lolita; Superman Returns; All Good Things; Noah; Unknown; The Ninth Gate; Small Soldiers; Draft Day; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Muppets Most Wanted; Good Night, and Good Luck.; The Box; Frost/Nixon; Dave; 5 to 7; The Tale of Despereaux; Grace of Monaco; Future BMT: Junior; Eddie; Brainscan; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Sweet November; BMT: Body of Evidence; Masters of the Universe; Cutthroat Island; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Frost/Nixon. Was a stage actor, and somewhat notable for taking some specifically weird roles, like Skeleor (in absurd makeup) in The Masters of the Universe.)

Budget/Gross – $98,000,000 / Domestic: $10,017,322 (Worldwide: $10,017,322)

(Yeah it is a notorious catastrophe. I actually think it was considered the biggest financial loss for a motion picture in history for quite a while. It managed to sink a genre (pirate films, until Pirates of the Caribbean) and a production house (Carolco Pictures).)

Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (15/40): Cutthroat Island may aspire towards the earnest thrills of classic swashbucklers, but a distinct lack of charm and stilted script make this adventure a joyless hodgepodge of the pirate genre’s flotsam and jetsam.

(I mean, I don’t really see that many pirate films so I have a district feeling I might just like this one. I can’t say I’m going to scoff at it being like “so trite, I’ve see it all before. Blah.” Because I haven’t … I’ve pretty much just seen Pirates of the Caribbean. Reviewer Highlight: In this $90m revisionist swashbuckler, we get Geena Davis doing the all-action honours, and a hotchpotch script that seems to think pirate movies are so funny in themselves the need for more humour is superfluous. – Trevor Johnston, Time Out)

Poster – Pirates of the Cutthroat Island

(I love this. I would unironically hang this on my wall… alright, there would be a bit of irony involved. But still. Font! Framing! Color scheme! Adventure galore! It’s got it all. A.)

Tagline(s) – The Course Has Been Set. There Is No Turning Back. Prepare Your Weapons. Summon Your Courage. Discover the Adventure of a Lifetime! (F)

(As usual, this travesty of a tagline is not featured on the actually good poster. You know why? Because they knew this was absolute shit and wouldn’t let it get near that poster.)

Keyword – pirate

Top 10: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Goonies (1985), Aquaman (2018), Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Princess Bride (1987), Hook (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Moana (2016)

Future BMT: 66.2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 59.6 Virus (1999), 42.2 Pan (2015), 39.4 Into the Blue (2005), 39.4 Six Days Seven Nights (1998), 35.5 Playmobil: The Movie (2019), 35.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), 34.0 Robinson Crusoe (2016), 31.2 The Ice Pirates (1984), 29.8 The Pirate Movie (1982);

BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Conan the Barbarian (2011), The Expendables 3 (2014), Rambo (2008), Epic Movie (2007), Cyborg (1989), Cutthroat Island (1995), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Double Impact (1991)

(Nothing says pirate like Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m excited for Virus, which we are actually watching next! So that’s fun. Swashbuckling pirates to space pirates I presume.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matthew Modine is No. 2 billed in Cutthroat Island and No. 1 billed in Bye Bye Love, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 5 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch The Art of War, Murder at 1600, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 15.

Notes – Oliver Reed was originally cast as Mordechai Fingers. He was fired after getting in a bar fight and mooning at Geena Davis.

Matthew Modine described Oliver Reed – “I’d heard these stories about Oliver Reed I think it is all bunk. Oliver was a gentleman. Sure, he had a reputation as a man who enjoyed a drink. But only off set. His reputation as an actor is stellar. Professional. I stand by that. God rest his soul.”

Morgan Adams’s flag was flown by “Calico” Jack Rackham, one of the only Caribbean pirates to have women on his crew (Anne Bonny and Mary Read). He later turned his ship over to them.

Dawg Brown’s flag is the oldest known “Jolly Roger” flag, flown by Captain Emmanuel Wynne.

According to “The Guinness Book of Records”, this film is the biggest financial loss ever. It cost $115 million to make, and made $10 million at the box office, a loss of $105 million.

Several years later, Matthew Modine explained some of the reasons why the film’s costs spiraled out-of-control. Among other things, dozens of cases of V8 juice were shipped out to Malta, expressly for Renny Harlin and Geena Davis. An entire room of V8 was left towards the end of the shoot, so it was served to everybody. Every scene had three cameras in constant use, resulting in yards and yards of film used for every shot.

When Renny Harlin fired the chief camera operator following a dispute, more than two dozen crew members quit.

Michael Douglas originally agreed to do the film on two conditions: filming had to start immediately because he was only available for a limited time, and his character had to have the same amount of screen time as Geena Davis. Douglas eventually pulled out, claiming that Davis’s role was expanded at his character’s expense. Davis wanted to quit when Douglas did, but she was contractually obligated to finish the film. After Douglas quit, Renny Harlin was so preoccupied with trying to find a male lead that set construction and script work were done without his input. Harlin didn’t like what he saw when shooting was set to begin, leading to massive, expensive rebuilding and rewriting.

Renny Harlin is famous for pushing actors to do their own stunts whenever possible. While promoting the film, Geena Davis appeared on talk shows with clips of her doing stunts over and over (including one take where she fell out of the window too soon, rolled down the roof and under the carriage) and explained the bruises and injuries she sustained while filming. (Jesus, that botched stunt sounds terrifying)

Carolco Pictures, which financed the film, filed for bankruptcy six weeks before it reached theaters.

At the time, Renny Harlin was dating Geena Davis, who was known for light comedies. He convinced Mario Kassar to cast Davis as the lead, sure it would turn her into an action-adventure star. The couple married prior to production, and affectionately called the movie their ‘honeymoon’.

Renny Harlin spent $1 million of his own money to rewrite the script. Carolco was in so much debt that they couldn’t afford it.

Frank Langella considers Dawg to be one of his three favourite roles (the other two are Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2008) and Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)), because he got to not only be a pirate, but a scenery-chewing over-the-top bad guy pirate.

Carolco Pictures had finished pre-production on another mega production at the time, called ‘Crusade’, to be directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Filming was slated to begin, but the movie was canceled at the last moment, when Carolco could not finance two blockbusters at the same time. They opted to do this film, which was supposed to have been less costly, but which later went massively over budget, and put the already ailing studio further in debt. Verhoeven went on to make Showgirls (1995) instead, largely as a favor to Mario Kassar in an attempt to save Carolco from financial downfall. After both Cutthroat Island and Showgirls bombed at the box office, the studio was bankrupted, and Crusade was shelved indefinitely.

One of a number of pirate movies made between the mid 1970s and mid 1990s which were a flop at the box-office. The other films were Pirates (1987), Yellowbeard (1983), Scarlet Buccaneer (1976), Savage Islands (1983), The Pirate Movie (1982). (None of those are big films. The actual closest to a big budget Pirate film in the 80s/90s is probably Hook)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Renny Harlin, 1996)

Dolittle Preview

As the chamber melts away, the craggy dry peaks of The Waste shine through the blistering walls. John Travolta screams in rage as a tower of melting rocks fall on top of him and Rich and Poe hear his final plea, “never forget meeeeeeee.” Together, as brothers, Rich and Poe step out into the light to their freedom. Just then they hear a weak voice behind them, “Bad Movie Twins.” They turn and see the badly burned face and upper torso of Nic Cage sticking out of the melting ruin. There is a twinkle in his eyes and a smile plays through a painful grimace. “I always knew you two would save the world… together,” he whispers, putting out a shaky hand. Rich and Poe take it. “You… you knew the whole time, didn’t you?” they ask. It must be, even though if you really think through it it probably doesn’t make much sense. “Of course,” he croaks, “I knew the only way to stop him was to get you two in the game… and now… you must help me… I’m gravely injured… there is only one cure for my condition… it’s all explained… in… *gasp*… journal… *cough*… and…” and with that he faints. Rich and Poe are badly shaken. They wonder what could possibly be in Nic Cage’s Journal (all rights reserved) that could bring someone back from so close to death. More importantly they wonder how they are going to find something they didn’t even know existed before now. “You looking for that journal?” they hear from a tiny voice. They look around but don’t see anyone. “No, down here,” it says again and when they look down they gasp in astonishment. Looks like this is the start of another wondrous bad movie twins adventure. That’s right! We are starting right in on another adventure as we do one of the only essential BMT films of 2020. What was shaping up to be a stellar BMT year was thrown by Covid, but not before delivering Robbie D. Jr. and Dolittle into our laps. Let’s walk the walk and talk the talk with the animals. Let’s go!

Dolittle (2020) – BMeTric: 44.3; Notability: 60 

(Ha, that early rating. If that isn’t some sort of proof that there are attempts to manipulate online polls early in a film’s release, then I’m not sure what is. I mean … why would early viewers of this films be like “yes! 7 out of 10, nailed it” when every indication is that the film is an unmitigated disaster. A notability of 60 is absolutely huge though, I suppose that’s what happens when you have a giant ensemble cast of famous actors providing voices.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – It’s hard to know what, exactly, went wrong here. The concept is fine, even the adaptation is fine: eccentric doctor who can talk to animals goes on a series of madcap adventures! Sure! Nothing wrong with that! Hugh Lofting’s popular children’s book series, published in regular intervals during the 1920s and ’30s (with a couple of books of previously uncollected stories appearing posthumously), has been adapted many times before, for film, for television, animated, live action, etc. The “property” has been its own little franchise for a century now. But “Dolittle,” with Robert Downey Jr. in the eponymous role, is a wild whirlwind of a mess, without any coherence, without even a guiding principle. … “Dolittle”‘s post-production was troubled and turbulent, with other directors brought in to do last-minute surgery (if you believe the reports), and three weeks’ worth of re-shoots. That speaks to pretty severe problems. The release date was pushed back for months (usually an ominous sign). None of this would matter, though, if the confusion didn’t show so clearly on the screen.

(You know, right up until I read this review I had kind of forgotten about that. I knew about the infamous dragon fart scene at the end. But I forgot that mostly the film was slammed by critics for being so obviously edited from a pile of disjointed scenes and a complete mess of a production. Should be interesting if, indeed, it is as wildly obvious that is suggested by this review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEf412bSPLs/

(Oh my god, I forgot about the co-opted song … one of the worst examples of it I think. It is too bad Robert Downey Jr. does the weird accent, because without it and the horrible song choice the film merely looks like a shiny kids’ movie. With those two elements though you kind of know it is going to be a disaster.)

Directors – Stephen Gaghan – (Known For: Syriana; Gold; Future BMT: Abandon; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Directed one of the James Bond Heineken commercials. The partnership is somewhat notable in that Heineken has effectively paid the entirety of the production cost of several of the films, so hundreds of millions of dollars. Heineken claims that their internal numbers suggest the deal has netted them billions in extra revenue. Win win I suppose.)

Writers – Stephen Gaghan (screenplay by) – (Known For: Traffic; Syriana; Havoc; Future BMT: Abandon; The Alamo; Rules of Engagement; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Won an Oscar for writing for his work on Traffic.)

Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (screenplay by) – (Known For: Magic Camp; Most Likely to Murder; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Were writers for How I Met Your Mother most notably I think. Are tapped to write Rookie of the Year (which I assume is a remake of the 90s classic) and a live-action Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers film.)

Thomas Shepherd (screen story by) – (BMT: Dolittle; Notes: He has no notable credits and such a generic name as to make it impossible to search for information on him … I’m going to guess he’s like 20 and was given a first pass at the screenplay before handing it over to the writing team above.)

Hugh Lofting (character created by) – (Known For: Doctor Dolittle; Dr. Dolittle 2; Future BMT: Doctor Dolittle; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Doctor Dolittle was created as part of illustrated letters to his children from the trenches of World War I. Moved to Connecticut after the war.)

Actors – Robert Downey Jr. – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Zodiac; Avengers: Infinity War; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Sherlock Holmes; Avengers Assemble; Iron Man; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Captain America: Civil War; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; Iron Man Three; Iron Man 2; Tropic Thunder; The Incredible Hulk; Weird Science; Chef; Natural Born Killers; The Judge; Back to School; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Future BMT: The Shaggy Dog; Johnny Be Good; Black and White; Gothika; In Dreams; Air America; The Singing Detective; Lucky You; One Night Stand; Friends & Lovers; Girls Just Want to Have Fun; Hugo Pool; Up the Academy; Eros; Due Date; U.S. Marshals; Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus; Tuff Turf; Moving In; Too Much Sun; BMT: Dolittle; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars (Tropic Thunder and Chaplin). Has played Iron Man for over a decade. This was his first non-Tony Stark role since 2014.)

Antonio Banderas – (Known For: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles; Spy Kids; The Skin I Live In; The Mask of Zorro; Frida; The Laundromat; Philadelphia; Pain and Glory; Haywire; Shrek 2; Femme Fatale; Knight of Cups; Shrek the Third; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Desperado; Ruby Sparks; Acts of Vengeance; Shrek Forever After; Puss in Boots; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Future BMT: Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World; Machete Kills; The Other Man; Never Talk to Strangers; Play It to the Bone; Gun Shy; The Body; The Big Bang; The Legend of Zorro; Two Much; Thick as Thieves; Automata; Original Sin; Of Love and Shadows; Assassins; Justin and the Knights of Valour; Imagining Argentina; Four Rooms; Black Gold; Life Itself; The House of the Spirits; The Music of Silence; BMT: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever; Dolittle; The Expendables 3; The 13th Warrior; Notes: Was married to Melanie Griffith for nearly 20 years. Was a famous actor in Spain before transitioning to Hollywood in the early 90s.)

Michael Sheen – (Known For: Nocturnal Animals; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; Alice in Wonderland; Tron; Apostle; Midnight in Paris; Blood Diamond; How to Build a Girl; Far from the Madding Crowd; Frost/Nixon; Kill the Messenger; The Queen; The Four Feathers; Brad’s Status; Wilde; The Damned United; Bright Young Things; Othello; Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer; Resistance; Future BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; Slaughterhouse Rulez; Admission; Home Again; Laws of Attraction; Mary Reilly; The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; My Last Five Girlfriends; Underworld: Evolution; Jesus Henry Christ; Passengers; Underworld; Kingdom of Heaven; Music Within; BMT: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Dolittle; Timeline; Notes: Welsh. He played Motzart on Broadway around 2000 which is when his career took off. Has also found television success with Masters of Sex.)

Budget/Gross – $175,000,000 / Domestic: $77,047,065 (Worldwide: $245,229,088)

(I mean … terrible, a huge bomb if you believe that budget. But not the biggest bomb in the world, and not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Maybe benefited from being one of the only films to be released majorly to theaters in 2020.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 14% (31/227): Dolittle may be enough to entertain very young viewers, but they deserve better than this rote adaptation’s jumbled story and stale humor.

(All of the reviews are about the reshoots. Everything from how you can tell the story is cut up into a mish mash of ideas, to how Robert Downey Jr. never seems to be facing the camera when he speaks with all of this lines seemingly re-recorded. Reviewer Highlight: It really is horribly inert, and every time Downey opens his mouth to say something unintelligible, the film dies a bit more. – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)

Poster – Dr. Skloglittle

(I don’t love it mostly because it’s just a lot going on. I like an artistic theme, a color scheme, a triple beam lyrical dream… you know? But it’s got some nice font and the layout is good. So not terrible either. B-)

Tagline(s) – He’s just not a people person. (A-)

(This is certainly clever and all that. Just always a little weird to have a tagline like this where you probably have to be considerably older than the audience to even understand what’s going on with it. It’s a strange concept to think that an adult would look at the poster, chuckle at the tagline, and then when they take their kids to the movies they look and say “maybe Dolittle… it had a fun tagline.”  But again, clever, short, and a play on the plot. Overall pretty good.)

Keyword – live action and animation

Top 10: Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Casper (1995), Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), Jurassic Park (1993), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lion King (2019), Maleficent (2014)

Future BMT: 76.5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011), 75.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), 67.3 Scooby-Doo (2002), 64.0 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), 60.0 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), 54.5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015), 53.6 The Smurfs (2011), 53.3 The Smurfs 2 (2013), 49.0 Hop (2011), 46.7 Men in Black: International (2019);

BMT: Dolittle (2020), Warcraft: The Beginning (2016), Pixels (2015), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Kangaroo Jack (2003), Cool World (1992), Eragon (2006)

(Ascendant in the 90s, a little too much in the 00s, and now just settled as a normal part of all levels of filmmaking. That’s how I interpret that plot. The Scooby-Doo films are probably the big ones we are missing from the BMT list.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 21) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Antonio Banderas is No. 2 billed in Dolittle and No. 1 billed in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, which also stars Talisa Soto (No. 5 billed) who is in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (No. 2 billed), which also stars Robin Shou (No. 1 billed) who is in Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li (No. 6 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 2 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 6 + 2 + 2 = 21. If we were to watch Assassins, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – Originally titled “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.” It was shortened in August 2019.

Robert Downey, Jr. based his character on Dr. William Price, an eccentric Welshman. Dr. Price is now a revered historical figure in Wales – there’s even a statue of him in his hometown of Llantrisant.

This is Robert Downey Jr.’s first non-Iron Man role since The Judge (2014).

This movie was originally going to be released on May 24, 2019 by Universal Pictures, but was moved to April 12, 2019 to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). It was later pushed back again to January 17, 2020.

When the movie rights went up for auction, several studios went to bid before Universal Pictures got the rights. Amongst them were Sony and Twentieth Century Fox, with the latter having previously produced three theatrical movies based on the Dr. Dolittle series.

The cast includes five Oscar winners: Rami Malek, Jim Broadbent, Dame Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, and Marion Cotillard; and four Oscar nominees: Robert Downey, Jr., Antonio Banderas, Ralph Fiennes, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Originally, Randy Newman was the first choice to score this movie, seeing how his uncle Lionel Newman had involvement with Doctor Dolittle (1967).

To differentiate from his earlier British characters, Robert Downey, Jr. decided to use what he described as a “passable” Welsh accent for his version of Dr. Dolittle.

Universal Pictures drafted in Seth Rogen as a consultant during pre-production when the studio executives realized that re-shoots would be necessary.

The name of Rassouli, the King of Pirates is a likely reference to Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni. Known as Raisuli to most English speakers, he was a leader of the Jebala tribal confederacy in Morocco at the turn of the twentieth century. While regarded by foreigners and the Moroccan government as a brigand, some Moroccans, especially amongst the Jebala, considered him a heroic figure, fighting a repressive, corrupt government, while others considered him a thief. He was considered by many as “The last of the Barbary Pirates” though Barbary Coast piracy had ended by the middle of the nineteenth century. A fictionalized version of him was played by Sir Sean Connery in The Wind and the Lion (1975).

In Doctor Dolittle (1967), Chee-Chee was Judy the Chimpanzee.

House of Wax Preview

As the gamemasters cackle and begin the unnecessarily long process of putting the two pieces of the Dongle back together, Rich begins to hear a whistle. It steadily grows louder until even the gamemasters stop and look around. A lightning strike suddenly hits the Earth. It quakes and Poe emerges from a crack. “Im… impossible,” John Travolta gasps in horror. Rich and Poe clasp hands in a Predator high five. “I’m here, brother,” Poe says, “now let’s pound some dweebs.” While Rich and Poe’s greasy abs, gleaming in the sunlight, would normally strike fear into anyone’s hearts (and in fact, even more so now as Poe emerged from the Earth entirely in the nude), the gamemasters simply smile. “Silly brothers, you have no chance against the power of the twins,” screams Travolta in crazed glee, but when he attempts to smash the pieces of the Dongle together an unseen power prevents him. “Wha wha whaaaaaa?” he says like a total dumbo. The pieces of the dongle are suddenly wrenched from his hands and float over to Rich and Poe. A look of peace is on their face as they use their new found powers to provide an anticlimactic ten minute long expository monologue directly into the gamemasters’ heads. It’s incredibly detailed and reveals formerly unknown facts about Rich and Poe’s upbringing on the bayou. It’s a tale of twins, separated at birth, one taken in by a rich family, the other a poor, but forever linked by their sense of justice and attitude towards rulez. They are and have forever been… the Bad Movie Twins. And with that they place the pieces of the Dongle together and totally pound those dweebs. The ceremonial chamber melts under the intense power of the Dongle. Looks like it’s time to blow this joint. That’s right! We are transitioning to a very special 2020 year in review cycle by watching House of Wax (2005). I’m sure you’re all like “but wait, that wasn’t made in 2020!” and you’d be right. Because of world events there just aren’t that many major motion pictures for the year. So instead we are doing what we are calling Hindsight is 2020. We are mixing together some of the films that did get released early in the year with a retrospective look at films released 5, 10, 15, etc. years ago and a few holiday films to boot. It’ll be an extravaganza the likes of which we’ll (hopefully) never see again. Let’s go!

The literary agent looks in fear at the two cyborg men. “Wh-what do you want with me?” he asks in fear and then looks down at the basket they have brought into the office, “and what’s in the basket?” he wonders aloud. “Oh, just something I think you’ll be very interested in,” the two cyborg men say before they turn and take off their stylish fedoras to reveal none other than… Sticks and Stones! Bum bum bum. That’s right! We are finishing our Bring a Friend cycle by partaking in the lesser known horror franchise Basket Case 2. It’s a little questionable just how bad some of these films are as they have niche audiences that love them, but can’t we just watch a weird horror sequel involving a tiny deformed twin in a basket in peace? Let’s go!

House of Wax (2005) – BMeTric: 58.0; Notability: 34 

(Nice, 2005 is basically the oldest a movie can be and still see the beginning of the film’s release on the internet archive it looks like. I find it interesting that it opened so low … maybe finicky horror fans slamming a not-great horror film? Maybe people trying to brigade a Paris Hilton film? Maybe back then IMDb was much more of a movie aficionado’s site. It is hard to tell, but still pleasantly low rating even today. Fun trajectory.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The Dead Teenager Movie has grown up. The characters in “House of Wax” are in their 20s and yet still repeat the fatal errors of all the “Friday the 13th” kids who checked into Camp Crystal Lake and didn’t check out. … Where the movie excels is in its special effects and set design. Graham “Grace” Walker masterminds a spectacular closing sequence in which the House of Wax literally melts down, and characters sink into stairs, fall through floors and claw through walls. There is also an eerie sequence in which a living victim is sprayed with hot wax and ends up with a finish you’d have to pay an extra four bucks for at the car wash.

(I agree with Ebert about the final scene. I saw this film long ago and that is, indeed, an impressive set piece in a way. I’m more surprised, though, that he didn’t reject the film flat out as torture porn garbage. Because it is pretty close to Hostel-level in how it revels in gore. Unpleasant in my opinion, just not my cup of tea as far as horror is concerned. This is, of course, based on my memory of watching it over 15 years ago.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DnFKwVcM10/

(Pretty standard. Having watched it a few times now I can say they are being a bit deceptive about the set up for the film. The set up is epically stupid. But it gives the right vibe: Texas Chainsaw Massacre basically.)

Directors – Jaume Collet-Serra – (Known For: Orphan; The Shallows; The Commuter; Non-Stop; Unknown; Run All Night; Future BMT: Goal II: Living the Dream; BMT: House of Wax; Notes: Tapped for Black Adam and Jungle Cruise, two upcoming Dwayne Johnson features. From Spain, and directs music videos under the mononym Juame.)

Writers – Charles Belden (story) – (Known For: House of Wax; Dracula’s Daughter; Mystery of the Wax Museum; Charlie Chan at the Opera; BMT: House of Wax; Notes: This is why I found it odd that people talk about the 1953 film as the predecessor, when this guy wrote the 1933 Mystery of the Wax Museum and gets a credit listed on IMDb on this and the 1953 film. The story is a lot closer for that film as well.)

Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (screenplay) – (Known For: The Conjuring; The Conjuring 2; Future BMT: The Turning; The Reaping; The Crucifixion; BMT: House of Wax; Whiteout; Notes: You guessed it, they are twins! They are twins that wrote a horror film about twins. They also played twins in the movie Rad starring Lori Loughlin. They are part of the writing team for the Die Hard prequel McClane.)

Actors – Chad Michael Murray – (Known For: Freaky Friday; Max Winslow and the House of Secrets; Fruitvale Station; Camp Cold Brook; Future BMT: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia; Survive the Night; Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; A Cinderella Story; Home of the Brave; Cavemen; Outlaws and Angels; BMT: Left Behind; House of Wax; A Madea Christmas; Notes: Most notable for his star turn on One Tree Hill. He never quite made it to being a movie star, but he’s done a ton of television. Apparently he was up for the Ryan Atwood role on The O.C. but turned it down to do One Tree Hill.)

Paris Hilton – (Known For: Zoolander; The Bling Ring; Snakes on a Plane; Repo! The Genetic Opera; Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!; Future BMT: The Hottie & the Nottie; Pledge This!; Raising Helen; Wonderland; BMT: The Cat in the Hat; House of Wax; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for The Hottie & the Nottie in 2009; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress in 2006 for House of Wax; and in 2009 for Repo! The Genetic Opera; and Winner for Worst Actress of the Decade in 2010 for House of Wax, Repo! The Genetic Opera, and The Hottie & the Nottie; Notes: The heiress of the Hilton fortune, but apparently has made around $300 million herself mostly through fragrance royalties overseas. Allegedly her antics caused her grandfather to donate 97% of his fortune to charity, thus costing her relatives billions in inheritance. Can’t say I’m crying a river over that, that sounds swell.)

Elisha Cuthbert – (Known For: The Girl Next Door; Love Actually; Old School; Goon: Last of the Enforcers; He Was a Quiet Man; Future BMT: Captivity; The Quiet; Just Before I Go; BMT: House of Wax; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress for Captivity in 2008; Notes: I think she’s still known for being Jack Bauer’s daughter on 24. But beyond that she also had a starring role on Happy Endings, and on Ashton Kutcher’s show The Ranch. Married to the professional hockey player Dion Phaneuf.)

Budget/Gross – $40,000,000 / Domestic: $32,064,800 (Worldwide: $68,766,121)

(Hmmmm, not great. I’m actually really surprised by this, usually horror films are money in the bank. I have two guesses. First, its word of mouth was so bad it torpedoed the release. This is most likely. Second, this is right around when things like Hostel were starting to come out and it ended up playing into a much more niche audience than the producers realized. This is maybe supported by Hostel, a film I feel is wildly successful and spawned multiple sequels, “only” made $47 million domestically. Saw II and The Ring 2 were released the same year and made far more despite being worse than Hostel … but maybe that is the sequel effect.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (41/158): Bearing little resemblance to the 1953 original, House of Wax is a formulaic but better-than-average teen slasher flick.

(I’m actually a bit surprised they even mention the original. The original really has nothing to do with this film. I don’t even really think they considered it a remake in any capacity, it just used the same name. Reviewer Highlight: Related to the 1953 Vincent Price film in name, embalming technique and Warner Bros. pedigree only, the new House of Wax is a dreary, predictable tale. – Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Time)

Poster – House of Racks on Racks

(That house is making bank on those wax sculptures fo sho. This is just a flat out good poster. Creepy and getting me intrigued. I like the subtle color scheme and the font is just enough, although I would have enjoyed them melting a little too. A)

Tagline(s) – Prey. Slay. Display. (A+)

(I mean… that’s… I’m speechless. This is the creativity I want. Stay within the tried and true formula while also surprising me. Rule of three with a rhyme scheme?! Come on. A little hint of the gory details of the plot and do it all in three words?!?! It’s a masterclass.)

Keyword – twins

Top 10: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Doctor Sleep (2019), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Great Outdoors (1988), House of Wax (2005), Lord of the Flies (1990), A Cinderella Story (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 54.9 The Back-up Plan (2010), 51.2 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 36.2 A Cinderella Story (2004), 31.0 It Takes Two (1995), 13.4 Little Women (2018);

BMT: House of Wax (2005), Double Impact (1991), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Father Figures (2017), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Jack and Jill (2011), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Pluto Nash (2002), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), The Identical (2014)

(And with that we finish our twin cycle with eleven bona fide “twins” films. A wild success if I say so myself. It Takes Two is probably the only one on the list which is definitely “twins” and we should do. A Cinderella Story is close, but it is just the step sisters that are twins in that case (and it is really hard to tell if it is real or assumed online).)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chad Michael Murray is No. 5 billed in House of Wax and No. 2 billed in Left Behind (2014), 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) => 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 = 15. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Aside from the title and the setting of a wax museum, this film has no connection to the original film House of Wax (1953) in terms of plot.

Jared Padalecki is one foot taller than co-star Elisha Cuthbert. To make herself appear taller in scenes where she and Padalecki would be filmed together, Cuthbert taped two-inch blocks of wood to the bottoms of her boots. This was only done during scenes where they would be shot from the knee and up.

Names mentioned in the script but not the film are the roadkill collector (Lester), and Carly and Nick’s last name (Jones). Chad Michael Murray (Nick), in a radio interview, was shocked to hear his character finally had a last name, and said that it was an ongoing debate on set.

The town of Ambrose was constructed in 10 weeks, and was modeled after a real town in Eritrea called Asmara. Asmara was built by the Italians in Africa during World War II in the Modern Style rather than the Deco Style, which was more popular at the time. (Whaaaaaa?)

On 26 June 2004, a sound stage being used for the film burned to the ground during a test of special-effects equipment. The fire, started by a candle, destroyed a studio at Warner Bros Movie World on Australia’s Gold Coast. One crew member was treated for burns to his arm, but no one else was injured.

Paris Hilton was actually the first to be cast for this film. The cast was then built around her. (Whaaaaaa?)

Though the film takes place in Florida, USA, the film was actually shot in Australia. (False, the film is set in Louisiana, they are coming from Florida. But whatever)

The first end credits song and one of the songs on the film’s soundtrack, “Helena” which is by the rock band, My Chemical Romance, was released about two months before the film’s release and was already a huge hit. (I love fun facts about made-for-film songs. Just bizarre how famous some songs ostensibly made for films can be over time despite the films themselves not being particularly notable)

This is Dark Castle Entertainment’s fifth film.

The film takes place in Florida. One of the filming locations of this film’s predecessor, House of Wax (1953), was Saint Augustine, Florida. (Wait … this is the second note to suggest it is in Florida. But I swear, they are travelling to Louisiana to see a Florida-LSU game? Maybe I have the direction wrong. This has to be confirmed!)

The film originally opened with a character named Jennifer (Emma Lung) stuck on an empty road with car troubles and is attacked and killed by either Bo or Vincent (this alternate opening is included as a special feature on the DVD and Blu-ray). Though this scene was scrapped, Jennifer’s presence still lingers in the film. She is the female sculpture that Vincent is working on and is later displayed with a pink dress and bouquet of flowers outside the movie theater. (WHAT? This is my exact criticism of the film. That they needed an early kill of a person you’d later see as a wax figure. Why scrap it?)

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress of the Decade (Paris Hilton, 2010)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Paris Hilton, 2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2006)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2006)