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)

Double Impact Preview

Jill McBrawn taps nervously at the table looking at Rich. He begins to try to explain but she interrupts, “it’s about the Dongle, right?” she stammers, “It’s all he was talking about all this last month. It’s like he’s been infected and the only cure is to his hand on that damn Dongle… I’m sorry” She takes a sip of water and looks away. Rich isn’t sure how far to press. He places a hand on her arm. She flinches and apologizes, “it’s just you shouldn’t be here. It’s all he talked about. ‘My father is the key,’ he would say. ‘He has the Dongle and I’ll get it from him.’” Her eyes are asking him whether it’s true, whether it’s possible, but Rich shakes his head in disbelief. As he does, his chest begins to glow, responding to the words being spoken. Just as has happened during the four trials of the gamemasters. The light gets brighter and so does Jill’s eyes. “You must give it to me, before he gets back!” she yells desperately, “you don’t understand how strong he is. The hatred, the power, he likes it. But I know him. I can keep it from him.” She puts out her hand and as she does Rich tentatively reaches towards his chest and pulls out the shard of the Dongle. Suddenly Jill jumps for it and grabs it and begins to cackle with glee and the world around them crumbles revealing the ceremonial chamber in which the Nic Cages have been toying with Rich’s mind. All an elaborate game in order to have him hand over the shard of his own volition. “You fool,” Travolta Nic Cage says, “with the Dongle and our power combined the world is doomed. Double impact, babbbby.” That’s right! We’re watching Double Impact starring JCVD for the Bring a Friend section. This is the earlier of the two JCVD twin films, so fortunately we haven’t yet exhausted our stock. Let’s go!

The dragons are quite smitten with their buddy cop beaus and have decided to keep them around Hell for eternity when suddenly Poe forgets momentarily to undo his ponytail while also wearing the glasses. “Wait… where’s Rich?” one of the dragons screeches in horror and both began to wail in heartbroken agony. I guess this is the end for Poe… except suddenly his twin protectors step. The twins are just as smitten with their new twin beaus and scoff at Poe and his equally substantial and well-oiled muscles. Stepping past them to the volcano’s edge, Poe hopes this is what he needs to do. He jumps, “I’m coommming Riiiiich.” That’s right! Since this is the Bring a Friend cycle we thought we better do something good for the Bring a Friend entry. So we took the Breen plunge and jumped full tilt into the latest Neil Breen joint called Twisted Pair. Breen plays a set of twins with special powers and that’s all you really need to know. It’s Neil Breen. If you don’t know him then look him up, he’s garnered some real bad movie cache in the last decade.. Let’s go!

Double Impact (1991) – BMeTric: 43.8; Notability: 33 

(I’m really surprised by how low the rating is for this film on IMDb. This seems like exactly the type of film which would have an ironic inflation of its score over the past ten years. But it seems to be following a normal trajectory, and is still below 6.0.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – Inspired by the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is now the No. 1 movie star in the world, the entire martial arts genre is going upmarket as fast as it can. The established names in the field, including Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jeff Speakman, are appearing in slicker productions with better scripts and sexier locations, and there are times, watching these ambitious films, when I feel a twinge of nostalgia for the bargain-basement Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee pictures, which had fewer pretensions and projected a crazed intensity. … Because the martial arts genre has had so much success recently, its stars are condemned to play only leading men. Van Damme and Seagal are always at the center of their plots. That will hurt their careers in the long run, since martial arts movies are limited by their formulas, and the heroes are supplied with almost ritualistic plot patterns. Since Seagal seems to have more talent than any of his movies has been able to use, and Van Damme also has possibilities, it’s too bad the marketplace won’t let them play supporting roles in more ambitious movies. They would make splendid villains. And we wouldn’t believe it if they couldn’t hit anything.

(This is an extremely prescient review. He basically predicts the trajectory of JCVD and Seagal’s careers to a tee and diagnoses it (correctly) as their inability to break from the mold to become supporting actors or villains in film. To hear Speakman’s name being uttered in the same breath as Seagal and Van Damme is something else entirely. It actually makes little sense, but was probably Ebert just grasping at the other martial artist who made a film in 1991, because Speakman’s one and only wide release film was The Perfect Weapon in 1991 so it really is bizarre to pick him out as a guy who wouldn’t last in film … he wasn’t even a thing in 1991 and never became a thing afterwards. Wild.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rftm3yRSD_0/

(Wow the hard guitar riffing soundtrack. Double the “Van Damage”? This is somehow everything I want, and the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It is a little odd because it feels a lot like Knock Off which would come out seven years later. Like they had a bunch of leftover Hong Kong footage lying around and decided to make that one on a lark.)

Directors – Sheldon Lettich – (Future BMT: The Order; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Only the Strong; BMT: Double Impact; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Directed a bunch of straight to video films starring Dolph Lendgren, but mostly Van Damme. Is slated to direct a few films in the upcoming year.)

Writers – Sheldon Lettich (screen story & screenplay) – (Known For: Bloodsport; Future BMT: Legionnaire; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Russkies; Max; Only the Strong; BMT: Double Impact; Rambo III; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Rambo III in 1989; Notes: Was in the Marines for four years including fighting in Vietnam. Originally a photographer prior to writing scripts.)

Jean-Claude Van Damme (screen story & screenplay) – (Known For: Kickboxer: Retaliation; Future BMT: Kickboxer: Vengeance; The Order; Kickboxer 2: The Road Back; Legionnaire; The Quest; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Kickboxer; BMT: Double Impact; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: Van Damme was the closest martial artists to get to that Sly Stallone stature, so he wrote a bunch of films in the 90s. He also directed, and used to edit a bunch of films really early in his career to punch up the action scenes. Impressive run.)

Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes (screen story) – (Known For: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Anna and the King; Back to the Beach; BMT: Double Impact; Notes: )

Actors – Jean-Claude Van Damme – (Known For: Bloodsport; Kung Fu Panda 3; The Expendables 2; Hard Target; Kung Fu Panda 2; Timecop; Sudden Death; Kickboxer: Retaliation; Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; Lukas; JCVD; Enemies Closer; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Derailed; Welcome to the Jungle; Kickboxer: Vengeance; The Order; Legionnaire; Maximum Risk; Inferno; Replicant; The Quest; Black Water; Missing in Action; Pound of Flesh; Nowhere to Run; A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave; Breakin’; Last Action Hero; Kickboxer; BMT: Universal Soldier: The Return; Double Team; Cyborg; Knock Off; Double Impact; Universal Soldier; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Double Team in 1998; and Nominee for Worst New Star for Bloodsport in 1989; Notes: We have a ton of JCVD films to do. Out of all of the martial arts stars from the 90s I think he ended up coming out looking okay. At least he isn’t a weirdo like Seagal or have tax problems. Just seems like he does a ton of straight-to-video garbage.)

Geoffrey Lewis – (Known For: The Devil’s Rejects; Maverick; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; Heaven’s Gate; High Plains Drifter; Night of the Comet; Thunderbolt and Lightfoot; The Way of the Gun; Point of No Return; 10 to Midnight; My Name Is Nobody; The Man Without a Face; Tom Horn; The Wind and the Lion; Down in the Valley; Dillinger; Bronco Billy; The Great Waldo Pepper; Wicked Little Things; Macon County Line; Future BMT: Blueberry; Pink Cadillac; The New Guy; Moving McAllister; Fletch Lives; Any Which Way You Can; Every Which Way but Loose; Lucky Lady; Only the Strong; Lust in the Dust; BMT: The Lawnmower Man; Double Impact; Tango & Cash; Notes: Received a Golden Globe nomination for a supporting role in the television series Flo (which I had never heard of). He has 10 children, at least 6 of which are in the industry including Juliette Lewis)

Alonna Shaw – (Known For: King of New York; BMT: Double Impact; Notes: Was a model prior to becoming an actress. Appears to have been retired for a while. She does not have a wikipedia which is insane … she starred in a major motion picture in 1991!!)

Budget/Gross – $15 million / Domestic: $30,102,717 (Worldwide: $30,102,717)

(Actually halfway decent. I’m not surprised it didn’t get a sequel though. I imagine it is a pain in the ass to do the whole double thing with the split screen. This is the type of film where you do it to get some media play, and then you never ever do it again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (7/20)

(Surprisingly good reviews, mostly saying that the action scenes are excellent and the film brisk. I think the good reviews tend to be more recent, whereas Ebert’s probably captured the spirit of the time a bit better: I wish it didn’t seem so pretentious and was more like older martial arts films. Reviewer Highlight: The notion of casting pretty-boy kickboxer Jean-Claude Van Damme — the Rob Lowe of the steroid set — in a double role sounded like fun. In fact, it doesn’t come to much. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – Identichop

(I’ve always called it a Twin Chop, but Identichop seems appropriate for the poster. This looks like garbage which is appropriate for the film. I actually am not sure what would have happened if I saw this poster hanging in a movie theater… fainted probably. It’s mediocre/not good in almost every way. C-)

Tagline(s) – Feel The Impact (A+ but ironically)

Twin brothers torn apart by violence. On a mission of revenge. One packs a punch. One packs a piece. Together they deliver… (A+ but not ironically)

(The second one is now the tagline for BadMovieTwins.com. Can we be sued? I don’t care. Together me and Patrick deliver the goods so it’s simply truth in advertising. I don’t love “One packs a piece” let’s work on that. Ok. “One packs a punch. One packs a lunch.” nailed it. First try. In this scenario, of course, one of us is a skinny cop and the other a jolly fat cop.)

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), House of Wax (2005), Meet the Robinsons (2007), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), The Great Outdoors (1988)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 58.2 Deck the Halls (2006), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 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: Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), Jack and Jill (2011), Double Impact (1991), Father Figures (2017), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Pluto Nash (2002), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), The Identical (2014)

(There it is, ten films with the keyword “twins”. And we have another on the docket next week, so we’ll get to 11. And I’m sure if I continued to add the keyword where appropriate it will turn out we have done like … 20 of these. I should probably put together a definitive list at some point. Maybe include twin reviews on the website or something.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jean-Claude Van Damme is No. 1 billed in Double Impact and No. 1 billed in Double Team, which also stars Mickey Rourke (No. 3 billed) who is in Get Carter (2000) (No. 4 billed), 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) => 1 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch Maximum Risk we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Van Damme wanted to play twins to help change his image. “One of them is violent and the other is not, so the audience can see the contrast in my work,” he said. “This picture has comedy, romance, a love story. So it is not all action and fighting. When I fight on screen, I blend dancing and fighting. Grace plus power is very nice.” (Actually kind of true. The Bad Damme, Alex, hits a woman in the film and everything. It is pretty nuts)

Van Damme said his real life personality was closer to Chad than Alex. “In real life I am not this cold, quiet guy who goes around kicking butt.”

Due to a strong friendship formed between the two actors on the set of Bloodsport (1988), Jean-Claude Van Damme wanted no one but Bolo Yeung to play the lead villain in this movie. (Yeah, he’s great. A martial artist body builder? I guess there are a ton of people kind of like that these days, but he just has a very interesting body shape for the time)

In 2010, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung were giving a martial art demonstration and Van Damme said hopefully one day he and Yeung will put a project together “Double Impact 2” and maybe Yeung will play a friend and not any enemy. In a 2012 interview promoting The Expendables 2 (2012), Van Damme mentioned that he would like to make another Double Impact movie with a more serious tone. During the interview, he also gave a rough idea of the plot: “Two twins one is coming back from Asia to Los Angeles to help his brother who is a con-artist and pretending to be a big Hollywood producer and he’s in trouble with the mob”. A Double Impact 2 script has been written by Van Damme and Sheldon Lettich (who co-wrote Bloodsport and Double Impact). Van Damme said “Hopefully, somebody smart enough, like an agent or a producer, can put that back together…I’m excited about it, you know?” (Hoooooooly shiiiiiiiiit. I’m down)

Director Albert Pyun was briefly approached when the project was then called ‘The Corsican Brothers’ in the late 1980s. He said on his Facebook page in 2012: “The last time I’ve spoken with JCVD was on the roof of a building across the street from Cannon on Wilshire. JCVD wanted to talk in private and he told me the story he wanted to do for his next film called “Corsican Brother” which became Double Impact I believe. JCVD asked if I would want to direct it for him. The whole idea of TWO JCVDs seemed a bit far fetched and I did not commit either way but told him I had reservations about how the twins idea would work. I told him I thought he should keep moving in the direction of a pure action star and leave the gimmick movies behind. Haven’t seen or talked to him since directly.” (Jesus Christ, why would you call it that? Were there bits about the twins being able to “feel” each other in the original script? Also Pyun was wrong. The biggest issue for JCVD was always going to be his accent. Unlike Schwarzenegger he never had the acting chops or charm to overcome it. So what is the point in not doing gimmick films?)

Freely based on Alexandre Dumas’s novel “The Corsican Brothers”, as the original working title was. It was even set to take place in France and Corsica. (What the hell are they even talking about!?)

Whiteout Preview

As the monsters descend to the beautiful (not creepy) lagoon it becomes clear that they are gigantic super soldiers from General Tiniman’s army. They are outgunned and outmatched and this is where their journey will end. They hug Rio and pat Bessy on the head. They reminisce about all the fun times they had. “Remember that time we karate chopped the President in the neck?” Rich says, “and it turned out he wasn’t even a robot,” he recalls and oh boy how they laugh. Back in the real world Rich has a wife and six wonderful children. Poe has a very solid collection of old books. But most importantly they have love. Rich and Poe nod and go in for one final Predator high five. But this isn’t a time for high fives. This is a time for hugs. With tears in their eyes, they bro hug it out. Suddenly Poe is blasted away from Rich as the beam of light shoots forth once more from his chest. Screaming in pain from the quickening he is experiencing, Rich watches in joyful horror as it destroys all the foes in front of them. No matter how advanced their super armor is, the power of love emanating from Rich’s chest destroys it. The power is so great… unstoppable. Almost as if… and in that moment Rich realizes what is happening. A chill runs down his spine. So long ago, when they destroyed the Obsidian Dongle. When they made the universe whole once more. It was never destroyed. It lay in wait, embedded in the body of Rich. It brought them to Nic Cage. It brought them to this tournament. It is the ultimate prize. They are the ultimate prize. They are fighting for themselves. And with that thought everything goes white. That’s right! We’re watching Whiteout starring Kate Beckinsale. I feel like this has always been on the horizon as there is always room for another Antarctica film in BMT. This one won’t beat out AvP and its bullshit Predator-Human collaboration, but it’ll give it a shot. Let’s go!

One man takes out several guards with his bionic karate chops while the other does a patented Robot Split and takes out several more. Their prize is so close… their revenge. “Eagle has fallen, eagle has fallen!” one of the guards screams watching in horror as the men approach. They smile and then everything goes black. That’s right! We’re bringing along Black Eagle as a friend for this one. It’s a classic martial arts film from the 80’s which also features Van Damme as a bad guy and is set in Malta! What fun. Let’s go!

Whiteout (2009) – BMeTric: 47.0; Notability: 29 

(Pretty low actually. I’m always surprised when these smallish films, films I kind of barely remember existing, seem to get pretty thoroughly trounced on IMDb. I just imagine in my mind that there would be super fans of some kind flooding the ratings … but nope, hit mid-5.0 hard and hasn’t budged in years.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Good-looking but paper-thin thriller involving U.S. marshal Beckinsale, stationed in Antarctica, who struggles to exorcise her demons while investigating some gruesome killings. Even though her character is constantly in danger, Beckinsale is always perfectly coiffed; early on, she even peels off her clothes to take a steamy shower. Only in the movies … Based on a graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber.

(Only in the movies indeed! Very interesting he gave it what I would say is a pretty decent review? Like two stars doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe there is something salvageable from it after all.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqxjF9qR5Cg/

(Pretty intense actually. Honestly the CGI looks like garbage, and it looks like a rote thriller, but the setting is interesting.)

Directors – Dominic Sena – (Known For: Kalifornia; BMT: Season of the Witch; Whiteout; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Swordfish; Notes: Won a Grammy for Best Music Video (Long Form) for the Janet Jackson song Rhythm Nation 1814. We have officially completed his BMT filmography, and I think he retired from directing in 2011.)

Writers – Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber (screenplay) – (Known For: The Meg; My Spy; RED; RED 2; BMT: Whiteout; Battleship; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Battleship in 2013; Notes: They are writing a live-action Naruto film (not a good idea). They are also tagged to write the sequel to The Meg. They are brothers.)

Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes(screenplay) – (Known For: The Conjuring; The Conjuring 2; Future BMT: House of Wax; The Turning; The Reaping; The Crucifixion; BMT: Whiteout; Notes: Twin brothers. Amazingly they wrote ten episodes of Baywatch Nights, the straight crime-drama spin off of Baywatch. They have been tapped to write the Die Hard prequel McClane. They were non-theatrical all-stars in the late-90s, and somehow transitioned back to wide releases in the 2000s.)

Greg Rucka (graphic novel) – (Known For: Wonder Woman: Bloodlines; BMT: Whiteout; Notes: Wrote Stumptown which has been adapted into a television show starring Colby Smulders. His graphic novel Queen & Country is being adapted into a film by Ridley Scott.)

Steve Lieber (graphic novel) – (BMT: Whiteout; Notes: An illustrator. He also illustrated the sequel novel Whiteout: Melt. There was supposed to be a Whiteout: Thaw, but I don’t believe it was ever released.)

Actors – Kate Beckinsale – (Known For: The Aviator; Contraband; Much Ado About Nothing; Serendipity; Eliza Graves; Vacancy; Love & Friendship; Laurel Canyon; Farming; Everybody’s Fine; The Last Days of Disco; Haunted; Snow Angels; Fragments; The Golden Bowl; Shooting Fish; Future BMT: The Disappointments Room; The Face of an Angel; Underworld: Blood Wars; Absolutely Anything; Van Helsing; Pearl Harbor; Total Recall; Click; Underworld Awakening; The Only Living Boy in New York; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans; Brokedown Palace; Underworld: Evolution; Underworld; BMT: Whiteout; Tiptoes; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Pearl Harbor in 2002; Notes: Voiced Queen Aryenn in multiple Elder Scrolls games. Had a child with Michael Sheen in 1999.)

Gabriel Macht – (Known For: Love & Other Drugs; The Good Shepherd; The Recruit; The Object of My Affection; A Love Song for Bobby Long; Grand Theft Parsons; The Adventures of Sebastian Cole; A Bag of Hammers; Future BMT: The Spirit; Simply Irresistible; Bad Company; Middle Men; BMT: Whiteout; Because I Said So; American Outlaws; Behind Enemy Lines; Notes: Most famous for his role as Harvey Specter in the show Suits. This film came out right in that brief moment where he was a genuine movie star.)

Tom Skerritt – (Known For: Top Gun; Alien; Steel Magnolias; Ted; Contact; The Dead Zone; A River Runs Through It; M.A.S.H.; Up in Smoke; Harold and Maude; SpaceCamp; Singles; Lucky; A Hologram for the King; Big Bad Mama; Smoke Signals; The Turning Point; At Middleton; Ice Castles; The Big Town; Future BMT: Poltergeist III; Poison Ivy; The Rookie; The Devil’s Rain; Beer for My Horses; Knight Moves; Tears of the Sun; The Other Sister; Fighting Back; BMT: Whiteout; Texas Rangers; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for his role in Picket Fences. This film is his last leading role in a wide release film.)

Budget/Gross – $35,000,000 / Domestic: $10,275,638 (Worldwide: $17,976,667)

(Yeah not great. The budget at least makes sense. They definitely had to build something that looked vaguely like the South Pole station. There is only so much smoke and mirrors you can pull off with blue screen and stagecraft.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (8/115): Kate Beckinsale is as lovely as ever, and does her best with the material, but moribund pacing and an uninspired plot leave Whiteout in the cold.

(The reviews kind of outline the problem with most 00s thrillers don’t they? Bad plotting, bad twists, no thrillz. It seems like there was a streak of weird thrillers based around a poorly thought out twist, or just a book (in this case a graphic novel) which doesn’t adapt well. That was the issue with the (frankly cheesy) Alex Cross books. Reviewer Highlight: Even in a whiteout, you can see the plot twists coming. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Chillz

(Artistic and does its job pretty well. While I don’t understand the font they’ve chosen, I still appreciate it. I guess the only question is whether going all in on “Kate Beckinsale vehicle” was the best move or if they should have highlighted something else. Because that’s really the only story you get. B+)

Tagline(s) – See Your Last Breath. (A-)

(Huh… I think… I think I might like this. Telling me about the danger. Telling me about the cold. Short and sweet and a little bit of a twist on the phrase “Take Your Last Breath.” I dig it. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty solid.)

Keyword – antarctica

Top 10: Watchmen (2009), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), The Thing (1982), Madagascar (2005), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Thing (2011), AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), Happy Feet (2006), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Minions (2015)

Future BMT: 64.7 Norm of the North (2016), 42.3 The Brothers Solomon (2007), 27.2 The Thing (2011), 25.6 The Pebble and the Penguin (1995);

BMT: AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), Good Luck Chuck (2007), Whiteout (2009)

(Amazing that we’ve seen three films either set in Antarctica or with plot elements concerning Antarctica. I genuinely believe such films boomed in the 00s because that was when juuuuust enough cheap CGI was available to make it look … fine, without having to set it inside or at night most of the time. Oddly, the only really good movie of the bunch is The Thing and that was made long before cheap CGI. Huh.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kate Beckinsale is No. 1 billed in Whiteout and No. 4 billed in Tiptoes, which also stars Gary Oldman (No. 1 billed) who is in Lost in Space (No. 1 billed), which also stars Heather Graham (No. 5 billed) who is in Say It Isn’t So (No. 2 billed), which also stars Chris Klein (No. 1 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => 1 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 2 = 17. If we were to watch Pearl Harbor we can get the HoE Number down to 9.

Notes – Dominic Sena is a fan of the “Whiteout” graphic novel, and when rights were acquired by Dark Castle Entertainment Sena petitioned president Joel Silver for the opportunity to direct. (Oh snap, this is based on a graphic novel? That’s … a bit surprising considering the reviews)

Warner Bros. shelved the film for about two years, according to Entertainment Weekly (Issue #1085). (Whaaaaaaaaaaa?)

Screenwriter and novelist Alexander Stuart wrote an early draft of the script, while Reese Witherspoon was still attached, following a studio-sponsored research trip to Barrow, Alaska (the northernmost point in continental North America) – which scientists said was the closest location in “feel” to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. (Could have been cool)

The British Flag in the Communications room is hanging upside down. This is an inside joke common among South Pole installations. Since they are at the bottom of the world, if you were to look at the globe proper, the flag would appear to be right side up.

Both real and fake snow were used in production. (There was too much of it at times for it to be fake I think. I have to imagine they breathed in a crazy amount of it by accident)