Transformers: The Last Knight Preview

There were a number of high profile candidates for BMT Live! this year, but as with any crowded BMT field we couldn’t get to all of them. One obvious candidate that missed out on that prime spot was the 5th in a major SciFi blockbuster series. That’s right! We’re finally watching Transformers: The Last Knight! The second in the Cade Yeager (actual name from the film) set of Transformers films. This one didn’t garner any better reviews than most of the entries in the series. Not surprising since they seem to unapologetically produce big screen gobbledegook in the hopes that everyone is so confused that they shrug their shoulders and say “Good for what is it.” But as Mother Teresa once said, “you can’t polish a turd,” so let’s just see how shiny they made this thing. Let’s go!

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) – BMeTric: 60.5

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(While the vote count is a classic (I do love it when you have enough data points to see the almost perfect asymptotic approach that occurs with a limit, i.e. theatrical release) the rating is somewhat abnormal. Usually a low rating will rise as more people see a film. Here it has fallen slightly. Maybe because in VOD more people who aren’t big fans will see it? I would expect it to rise a bit over the next few years though. It is just the nature of the game.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  Here’s where the chorus of Critic-Proof Franchises kicks in. Michael Bay made this for fans of the franchise and not the notoriously-hard-on-it critics. Diehards will ignore that I liked the first film and parts of the third and fourth films (the second is still a cinematic abomination). I get it. We love to forgive the failures of franchises we adore. Even critics do that. But even fans of this series have to take a hard look at the outright, shocking laziness of this movie—one that does the bare minimum to get butts in seats.

(Yup. I’ve been convinced that the Transformers producers have been bringing Bay back to try and get one thing: movie critics to just say “it’s good for what it is!” and then waltz to the bank for that cool billion dollar payday. Fast and the Furious does it, why can’t this? Mainly it is because the charisma of Vin Diesel and The Rock keep that franchise from seeming lazy. I do think Bay is gone from the series now and I don’t think they’ll ever reach that F&F place. Too bad for them.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgnO5fO46pE

(That song is a big old pile of shit. The movie seems entertaining if you kind of pretend this is the first or second in the series. The issue is they keep on revising when and how the transformers got here. First they followed the Allspark to Earth. Oh wait no there was The Fallen way long ago. Oh wait, they were at the moon landing. Oh wait, they were around with the dinosaurs. Oh wait, they’ve been in literally every war in human history. To hard to keep straight at this point. Should have jumped forward to after the war has torn Earth apart in the third movie and ignored the mythology crap at that point.)

Directors – Michael Bay – (Known For: 13 Hours; Transformers; The Rock; Bad Boys; Pain & Gain; Future BMT: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Pearl Harbor; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Armageddon; Bad Boys II; The Island; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Director in 2010 for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; and in 2015 for Transformers: Age of Extinction; and Nominated for Worst Director in 1999 for Armageddon; in 2002 for Pearl Harbor; and in 2012 for Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Notes: Director Hall of Famer I would guess. I’ve seen nearly all of his movies, but we have to BMTize them at some point. Bad Boys II is actually an interesting one, because people online love it for some reason. It is, in fact, a giant load of shit.)

Writers – Art Marcum  and Matt Holloway (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Iron Man; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Punisher: War Zone; Notes: Already tabbed to write the next two (ugh) Transformers films. Wrote a script for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot which was never used.)

Ken Nolan (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Only the Brave; Black Hawk Down; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: Bother of actor Matt Nolan who has kind of bumped around doing small film parts and minor television roles, although in big projects like 24. He is one of those guys who has been in Hollywood as a full time scriptwriter for over 20 years with only a few movies produced. His first spec, In Contempt, for example, was sold for over a million dollars, but never produced. He has multiple major unproduced scripts floating about Hollywood at this point.)

Akiva Goldsman (story by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; Batman Forever; I Am Legend; I, Robot; A Time to Kill; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Batman & Robin; Lost in Space; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Rings; Transformers: The Last Knight; The 5th Wave; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: We mentioned him in the Rings preview obviously. He is a gigantic screenwriter, although now a producer as well. He’s executive producing the new Star Trek series for example.)

Actors – Mark Wahlberg – (Known For: The Departed; Boogie Nights; Planet of the Apes; Lone Survivor; Deepwater Horizon; Shooter; Patriots Day; Ted 2; 2 Guns; The Other Guys; Ted; Four Brothers; The Italian Job; Rock Star; Pain & Gain; Invincible; The Fighter; Date Night; The Perfect Storm; The Basketball Diaries; Future BMT: Max Payne; The Truth About Charlie; Daddy’s Home; Mojave; Broken City; Fear; Renaissance Man; Daddy’s Home 2; Entourage; The Lovely Bones; BMT: The Happening; Transformers: The Last Knight; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor in 2009 for Max Payne, and The Happening; Notes: Basically a Hall of Famer solely from The Happening where his performance is off the chain. We have a million to go with him … brother of Donnie Wahlberg and co-owner of the Wahlberger franchise.)

Anthony Hopkins – (Known For: Thor: Ragnarok; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Thor; Thor: The Dark World; The Silence of the Lambs; Dracula; Noah; Legends of the Fall; Meet Joe Black; Fracture; Howards End; Red Dragon; The Elephant Man; Beowulf; Chaplin; Mission: Impossible II; The Mask of Zorro; RED 2; The Lion in Winter; A Bridge Too Far; Future BMT: Alexander; Freejack; Bad Company; Misconduct; The Wolfman; Slipstream; The Rite; Desperate Hours; Collide; Kidnapping Freddy Heineken; All the King’s Men; 360; Solace; Instinct; Surviving Picasso; Hannibal; The Innocent; The Trial; BMT: Transformers: The Last Knight; A Change of Seasons; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for A Change of Seasons in 1981; Notes: Obviously a giant star as well. Notably won the Oscar for Best Actor in Silence of the Lambs, a movie he appeared in for approximately 15 minutes total.)

Josh Duhamel – (Known For: Transformers; You’re Not You; Ramona and Beezus; Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!; Wrecked; Future BMT: Paradise Lost; The Romantics; Misconduct; Fire with Fire; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; CHIPS; The Institute; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Life as We Know It; Don Peyote; Lost in the Sun; This Is Your Death; Strings; BMT: Movie 43; Transformers: The Last Knight; When in Rome; New Year’s Eve; Safe Haven; Notes: I’m a big Duhamel-head after Safe Haven. Interesting like. Born in North Dakota he was a construction worker at 26 and ended up kind of falling into modelling. Ultimately that lead to acting when he was specifically asked to audition for The Picture of Dorian Grey.)

Budget/Gross – $217–260 million / Domestic: $130,168,683 (Worldwide: $605,425,157)

(Reasonably. It isn’t blowing people away anymore though. They kind of want / expect / need this to be a billion dollar franchise. But a few hundred million is also nothing to sneeze at all said and done. I assume they will complete the second trilogy. We’ll see what happens then.)

#28 for the CGI Star genre

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(You might wonder what happened in 2010 to make this so highly profitable. It was Avatar. This movie is actually quite low, around the Ang Lee Hulk film as far as domestic gross. Saved by Chine it would seem. There were also 6 films with a CGI star this year! That’s ridiculous.)

#12 for the Cyborg / Android / Robot genre

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(Three this year and this guy comes in just after I, Robot which is pretty bad. The plot is pretty uninteresting though. Films about robots have been popular from around 2005 it would seem … basically when the original Transformers came out.)

#16 for the Sci-Fi – Alien Invasion genre

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(Peaked around 2012 when The Avengers came out. This is below Chicken Little! The more I read the more I realize that domestically this was an incredible bomb! Anyways, the genre is kind of waning a bit, at least the per theater take is.)

#12 for the TV Cartoon (Live Action) genre

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(Transformers has kind of fueled the genre a bit, but Alvin and the Chipmunks is also obviously pretty dominant as well. Right behind The Flintstones … my God.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 15% (31/202): Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you’d expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise.

(Cacophonous. Cacophonous … I’m liking the sound of that in a way. Very nice. I want to see some transforming and a plot that make literally no sense. Let’s do it.)

Poster – Sklogformers: The Last Sklog (D+)

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(This poster tells me a story. That story is “your brain will explode as you try to discern what is happening on screen just like your brain is exploding trying to understand what is going on with this mess of a poster.” Why is everything in the world on this poster? At least it has some font action.)

Tagline(s) – For one world to live, the other must die. (A-)

(Nice cadance and use of live-die. Short and sweet and a little hint at the plot. Overall this is pretty good. A fun pun would have gone a long way to hitting that A+.)

Keyword(s) – based on toy; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.7 Bratz (2007); 75.6 Ouija (II) (2014); 62.1 Max Steel (2016); 60.8 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987); 60.5 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017); 53.4 Jem and the Holograms (2015); 44.8 Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014); 40.9 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009); 40.8 G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013); 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009);

(Ooooooh yeah. We almost watched Max Steel. We were really close. Ouija is almost obviously the creme de la creme for these guys. Just ridiculous that was made. Even more ridiculous that its sequel ended up being good!)

Notes – With a budget of $217 million dollars, the most expensive Transformers at the time of release. (Until the next one)

The scenes of Sir Edmund Burton visiting 10 Downing Street were filmed at the actual office of the British Prime Minister in October 2016. (This is what happens when you’re Michael Fucking Bay)

Mark Wahlberg announced this will be his last Transformers movie as Cade Yeager. He had signed a contract for three films, with the knowledge that he could be relieved earlier. (But… but… but… I was promised a second trilogy)

Director Michael Bay is a noted dog lover, and he cast Freya, a British dog with epilepsy that many homes had rejected, in the film. (I wanted to say this was an obvious PR plot but apparently it is not. Actual true story. Wow)

Writer Matt Holloway is a fan of the drama Downton Abbey (2010), and jokingly said that Jim Carter (who plays the butler Mr. Carson in the show) should voice Cogman. He was shocked when Michael Bay got Carter signed on as Cogman. (Again, this is just Bay seeing how far he can push his Bay-ness)

Michael Bay said that this will be the last Transformers film he will direct, for the moment. He is open to doing more films in the future, if he gets a good story. (A good story never stopped him before. Ay oh)

After the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), a writers’ room was setup to plan the franchise’s future beyond the main film series. Two of the ideas pitched involved the Arthurian myth and World War II respectively. Michael Bay liked them so much that he decided to incorporate them into the script for this film. (I want an entire television series just about this writer’s room. I’ll call it Michael Bay’s Writers Room)

Shia LaBeouf and Nicola Peltz appeared in this film, although it was only their portraits. (Count it! Shia LaBeouf is in this movie)

While shooting in England, Mark Wahlberg spent time at St. Aidan’s Church incognito, and made donations. No one knew anything until afterwards. Reverend Father Des McGiven said, “It’s great that we had him in for the service, and we appreciate his generosity towards our church.” (I’m not sure how to respond to this obviously pandering imdb trivia note… good for Mark Wahlberg I guess)

This film features the myth of King Arthur. Michael Bay was previously going to direct King Arthur (2004), and had worked on that film for five years, before leaving it, due to budget issues. (Michael Bay gets the budget that he wants. No questions asked).

Michael Bay originally wanted to pass on directing this film, but was persuaded to do one more by Peter Cullen. (So you’re telling me the voice actor who voices Optimus Prime for like 2 days in a sound studio convinced Bay to return… that is just clearly bullshit).

Part of the film was shot at Stonehenge. Michael Bay requested to shoot an explosion on the location, but was denied, so he had a set of Stonehenge constructed to shoot the explosion. (Wait, Michael Bay was denied something?! That… that doesn’t make sense. Michael Bay gets what Michael Bay wants and if he wants to blow up Stonehenge then you let him do it)

Peter Cullen, Reno Wilson, and Mark Ryan are the only actors to appear in all five live-action Transformers films, with Cullen as Optimus Prime, Wilson playing Frenzy, Mudflap, Brains, Mohawk, and Sqweeks, and Mark Ryan voicing Bumblebee, Jetfire, a military drone operator, Lockdown, and Bulldog. (This is actually a really good factoid. An impossible trivia question).

The filmmakers admitted that there were production difficulties in this film, which resulted in a lot of material planned and filmed, but which never made it to the film. (Give me those cut scenes and bloopies. I needs them)

Hot Rod’s French accent was Michael Bay’s idea, as he thought it would give Hot Rod a unique character. (Well I hope he’s as racist as the Mexican robots he had in previous installments.)

Ken Nolan wrote the role of Sir Edmund specifically for Sir Anthony Hopkins. (Facts like this are said too often to actually be true. Later we’re going to hear about all the actors that were up for the part of Ken Nolan)

Though this film was successful, grossing over $600 million worldwide, this is the lowest grossing film of the Transformers franchise. (They must have been so disappointed that they immediately greenlighted Transformers 6 for a 2019 release.)

This is the third Transformers film to be outgrossed by a computer animated threequel. This film was outgrossed by Despicable Me 3 (2017). The first was Transformers, (2007) which was outgrossed by Shrek the Third (2007), and the second was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), which was outgrossed by Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009). But while Transformers was $89.7 million behind Shrek the Third and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was $50.4 million behind Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, this film is over $420 million behind Despicable Me 3. (This is a really weird and interesting factoid)

This is the second Transformers installment for Stanley Tucci, who played Merlin. Previously he played Joshua Joyce in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). (Wait… what?!)

The Autobot Topspin from Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) appears in this film, but with a head akin to Leadfoot’s, and a new name, “Volleybot”. (Wait… WHAT?!)

The original cut of the movie supposedly was much longer and roughly a whole hour’s worth of footage was cut for theatrical release. (Yeesssssss, release the Director’s Cut, Bay… do it)

Despite his seeming death during Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), the police car Decepticon Barricade returns, and has apparently survived up to the events of this movie, with a completely new design, including a new vehicle mode. (Ha! I think Bay and the writers eventually realized that no one cares)

The film contains tributes to Transformers Prime (2010): Earth is revealed to be the planet-eating Transformer Unicron.Optimus briefly loses his identity. An ancient breed of Transformer, who can transform into a dragon appears (Predacons, Knights).The final battle is set in the sky, with the Decepticons trying to engage a machine that will destroy the Earth, and the Autobots fighting to stop them. (Wait… is this the actual plot of the film?! WTF!)

The Transformers’ creator is Quintessa is based on the Quintessons from Transformers (1984), but incorporates elements of Solus Prime, a female Transformer god from Transformers Prime (2010). (I like lore like this. It’s part of the issues I have with the series. They really screw with any coherent mythos associated with the series… which is kind of the entire attraction of a franchise)

In the movie, it is mentioned that Fidel Castro allows Transformers to live in peace in Cuba. Since then, Castro died on November 25, 2016, it implies that the movie was filmed before his passing, in the way that there wasn’t time to change his mention. (Ha! You done dated yo film Bay.)

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) is the first film in the live-action series to feature Bumblebees true voice. (For some reason I already knew this)

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A Dog’s Purpose Preview

Alright, well for all our faithful fans who were worried about the treacherous route we took through the Chain Reaction this year this is the main event. Last cycle we sunk all the way back to 1983 for Jaws 3-D and now we pop back 34 years later to the Dennis Quaid sad-fest A Dog’s Purpose. Probably not at the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to 2017 BMT films, but it is a qualifier and set us up nicely for next year’s chain. It also was for a brief time the most hated film in America when it was alleged that the film engaged in animal cruelty on set. This was ultimately proved incorrect, but it was enough to get the US premiere cancelled. Then everyone forgot about it. I cannot wait to bawl my eyes out watching a dog die over and over again. Sound like a blast. Let’s go!

A Dog’s Purpose (2017) – BMeTric: 9.9

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(I straight up have never seen anything like this before. You can even see that the rating started at literally 1.0, everyone gave it a one. There were actually several days in which the rating was 1.0, but then they shut the page down again because people were piling on (I assume). It then makes its long slow trek to 7.0! This could be the highest rated film we’ve ever done (it isn’t, but it is darn close). Truly bizarre.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars –  This movie has its moments—no movie with such an adorable array of pooches could not, plus Mr. Quaid, who in addition to being movie-star handsome is also a pretty good actor, sells his fifteen or so onscreen minutes. But the tonal weirdness and the philosophical fallacies and the general level of treacle did not sit very well with me. Then again, I have to admit I’m really more of a cat person

(The reviews for this film as obviously off because they were made literally days … weeks? after the abuse scandal broke. There is a question of whether any abuse happened in the end. But I’m sure I’ll have the same reaction: a little sickly sweet, but overall okay … if I didn’t have my doubts about the intentions of the film. I am much more of a dog person though, so …)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jLOOCADTGs

(I just got diabetes from that trailer. Sickly sweet. And I know I’m going to cry too. I’m not going to like this one at all.)

Directors – Lasse Hallström – (Known For: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Chocolat; The Hundred-Foot Journey; Casanova; The Cider House Rules; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; An Unfinished Life; The Shipping News; My Life as a Dog; The Hoax; Once Around; Future BMT: Something to Talk About; Dear John; BMT: Safe Haven; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Swedish. Was nominated for Best Director in 1988, notable as the first time the Best Director category was all non-Americans.)

Writers – W. Bruce Cameron (screenplay & based on the novel by) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: The writer of the original book. He is in the process of adapting the sequel as well, A Dog’s Way Home.)

Cathryn Michon (screenplay) – (BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has been working with Cameron for his last few movies (Cook Off! and Muffin Top: A Musical). Prior to that she worked mostly on television, so possibly she met him when he worked on 8 Simple Rules.)

Audrey Wells (screenplay) – (Known For: Under the Tuscan Sun; George of the Jungle; The Kid; Shall We Dance; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Guinevere; Future BMT: The Game Plan; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Seems to be a Kids’ Film and Romantic Comedy writer. She also directed Under the Tuscan Sun, which was her only major directorial effort.)

Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky (screenplay) – (Known For: Monsters vs. Aliens; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days; Infinitely Polar Bear; The Rocker; The Polka King; Future BMT: Seeing Other People; BMT: A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: You knew there had to be a writing team when there are five writers attached. Wolodarsky producer and wrote for the Simpsons. Forbes produced and wrote for The Larry Sanders Show.)

Actors – Josh Gad – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Beauty and the Beast; Frozen; Marshall; Angry Birds; Love & Other Drugs; Thanks for Sharing; The Rocker; Wish I Was Here; Future BMT: Marmaduke; The Internship; Ice Age: Continental Drift; 21; Crossing Over; BMT: Pixels; Jobs; The Wedding Ringer; A Dog’s Purpose; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in 2016 for Pixels, and The Wedding Ringer; Notes: Probably in the news recently because of the 25 minute long “short” starring Olaf the snowman that was playing in front of Coco. Also was the star of The Book of Mormon in its original Broadway run in 2011.)

Dennis Quaid – (Known For: The Parent Trap; The Day After Tomorrow; Stripes; The Right Stuff; Traffic; Footloose; The Rookie; Innerspace; Any Given Sunday; Soul Surfer; DragonHeart; Wyatt Earp; Frequency; Enemy Mine; Breaking Away; Dreamscape; Truth; Far from Heaven; Postcards from the Edge; Suspect; Future BMT: Legion; Cold Creek Manor; Yours, Mine & Ours; Beneath the Darkness; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Horsemen; Something to Talk About; Flight of the Phoenix; The Alamo; Caveman; Undercover Blues; Vantage Point; Switchback; Wilder Napalm; Pandorum; All Night Long; BMT: Jaws 3-D; Movie 43; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Playing for Keeps; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: Has a band called The Sharks, is a five-handicap golfer, and has a pilot’s license. This video makes his band seem … well, I’m sure they have their fans.)

Peggy Lipton – (Known For: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; True Identity; Future BMT: The Postman; Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects; BMT: When in Rome; A Dog’s Purpose; Notes: She was in the original and recent revival of Twin Peaks. Is the mother of Rashida Jones as well, who played Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation.)

Budget/Gross – $22 million / Domestic: $64,321,890 (Worldwide: $196,200,124)

(Despite the controversy this was a giant success … how strange. For whatever reason I thought this completely bombed after it was torn apart for allegedly abusing dogs. It is weird to think that this would have been a much bigger deal only a year later. It this happened now this shit wouldn’t have even made it to theaters I think.)

#18 for the Controversy genre

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(There were a few from this year here as well, the funniest being The Great Wall for “white-washing”. Controversy films make a chunk of change it turns out. I don’t want to say “outrage culture”, but they’ve gotten a lot more popular since 2000 … just saying.)

#12 for the Dog genre

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(Everyone loves doggies! Well … they like them less since 2010 it seems. Do you know which dog movie came out in 2010? That’s right, Marmaduke. Coincidence? Yuuuuuuup. Anyways, this comes in around 102 Dalmatians, which kind of tells you all you need to know.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (43/130): A Dog’s Purpose offers an awkward blend of sugary sentiment and canine suffering that tugs at animal-loving audiences’ heartstrings with shameless abandon.

(I will almost certainly be crying during this film. If not, then it has failed because I’m a softy. Hopefully it won’t pull at my heartstrings any harder than Bing Bong did in Inside Out… I might melt.)

Poster – A Sklog’s Purpose (B+)

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(Obviously great color and unique framing. Terrible font. Really bad choice. But otherwise I like what they decided to do here. Tells me everything I need to know.)

Tagline(s) – Every dog happens for a reason. (C+)

(Every dog happens… every dog… happens. Huh, that is really not rolling off the tongue. It’s short and gets at the idea of the film, but not super clever and weird phrasing. It seems like they should have been able to do better.)

Keyword(s) – reincarnation; Top Ten by BMeTric: 87.4 The Last Airbender (2010); 80.5 Dragon Wars (2007); 65.1 The Haunted Mansion (2003); 58.6 Jupiter Ascending (2015); 57.3 Little Nicky (2000); 54.0 The Return (I) (2006); 52.9 Lost Souls (2000); 51.4 Jack Frost (1998); 51.3 Tank Girl (1995); 50.3 Mannequin: On the Move (1991);

(Give me a little Fluuuuuuke … wait? No Fluke? I guess not that many people watched Fluke. Fair, but I think the story will have some passing similarities, so I’m still glad I watched Fluuuuuuke.)

Notes – Prior to theatrical release, controversy arose when behind-the-scenes footage surfaced and appeared to show a distressed dog being forcibly submerged into turbulent pool water during filming. As a result of the leaked footage, the filmmakers chose to cancel the U.S. premiere. However, it was announced on February 4, 2017 by the American Humane Association that the footage was misleadingly edited and no abuse had taken place. (I totally forgot about that. Wow.)

Bradley Cooper was originally slated to provide the voice of the titular dog; however, he was ultimately replaced with Josh Gad. (I love this fact. Would it have been the same script?… seems like wildly different choices).

The Maya segment of the film differs from the events in the book. In the book, Maya is a K9 officer who takes over handling Ellie after her first handler Jakob (Carlos in the film) is shot and injured by a kidnapper. In the movie, it is Ellie who is shot – fatally – by the kidnapper, then reincarnated as Tino the Corgi and adopted by Maya, a college student. (Damn, I forgot this was based on a book. I don’t think either of us will end up reading it. Are we losing our edge?).

Dennis Quaid plays adult Ethan, who was once starting quarterback with a full scholarship but was injured. In Everybody’s All-American (1988), Quaid played a star high school quarterback no longer playing. In Any Given Sunday (1999) he played a quarterback past his prime trying to relive his days. (We get it, Dennis Quaid. You love sports).

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Preview

We hit two of the major action bombs this year for BMT Live! in The Mummy and Geostorm. This left us with a few of the lesser options available for this week. What we ended up landing on might come as a bit of a shock, but with a newly found love of franchises it shouldn’t. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with the final two installments (the only two that qualify), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales… wait, is that actually the name of the latest one? Wow, that is not good. The latest entry came this year, six years after the last installment, and while I would have assumed it was a bomb (I barely remember it came out), it still made $800 million worldwide. Feed those international audiences what they want, Disney, and what they want is Johnny Depp. Ugh. Let’s go! er … wait one second … we’re forgetting something. Oh yeah, this is our 400th BMT ever! Why did we choose such an anonymous film as our 400th? Well, the Calendar kiiiiind of handcuffs us these days. The rules are rather strict. The sacrifices we make for BMT. Let’s go!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) – BMeTric: 14.6

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(This might as well be identical to On Stranger Tides’ plot to be honest. Tumbling its way down to 6.6 as we speak. I assume it will dip a tad bit further (6.5 or 6.4), but it’ll sit around there. People love their Pirates movies. And to be honest, after watching the fourth, I can kind of see why. There is something charming about the silliness, the costumes, and the Rube-Goldberg-esque action scenes on gigantic set pieces. Something very much reminiscent of something like Indiana Jones.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  The most ridiculous though satisfying sequence involves Sparrow’s entrance that could double as a metaphor for the entire movie. A new bank is being celebrated on the isle of Saint Martin and the ceremony revolves around a giant safe. Once opened, Jack is found inside taking a nap atop stacks of money as well as someone’s wife. He apparently was supposed to pull off a robbery and ends up accidentally stealing the entire building instead. Alas, once the pursuit runs its course, most of the riches have been emptied out onto the streets. Those who go to see “Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales” might just recognize that hollow feeling as they leave the theater.

(Shots fired. There is something about these series which does scream “diminishing returns”. Something about the character of Sparrow and charming as he can be, that really overstays its welcome after the third or fourth movie. I’m not sure what you do about it though. It isn’t like switch to Mark Whalberg helped anything with Transformers.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrGyD4kHTSE

(Still seems like fun. What is wrong with me? Why do I watch that and think “huh, these films are fun, I kind of want to watch that”. I now it is going to be like 4 hours long. I know ultimately it is going to be set-piece action scenes held together by exposition and Depp being a weirdo. Stop making them so I can stop watching them!)

Directors – Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg – (Known For: Kon-Tiki; Bandidas; Max Manus: Man of War; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Childhood friends from Norway, this appears to be the last film they are directing as a directorial team. Sandberg is apparently working on a bio-pic about the Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen. Rønning is working on a Sci-fi film called Origin, and Maleficent 2.)

Writers – Jeff Nathanson (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; The Terminal; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Rush Hour 2; Tower Heist; The Last Shot; Future BMT: Speed 2: Cruise Control; Rush Hour 3; New York, I Love You; BMT:Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1998; Notes: Currently writing the new live-action Lion King adaptation. He is apparently famous for being uncredited on a ton of scripts, including Twister for example.)

Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott (story by & based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Shrek; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Treasure Planet; Small Soldiers; The Mask of Zorro; The Road to El Dorado; Deja Vu; Future BMT: Godzilla; The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; BMT: The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: These guys again. They wrote on the fourth installment as well. They got an Oscar nomination for Shrek.)

Stuart Beattie (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Collateral; 30 Days of Night; Australia; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Future BMT:G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Derailed; BMT: I, Frankenstein; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: One of the original screenwriters. He is currently writing a spec script for a Halo adaption.)

Jay Wolpert (based on characters created by) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; The Count of Monte Cristo; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Future BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: One of the original screenwriters. He at one point wrote eight episodes of the 90s talk show Into the Night with Rick Dees.)

Actors – Johnny Depp – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Edward Scissorhands; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Sleepy Hollow; Platoon; Black Mass; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; 21 Jump Street; Blow; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; Alice in Wonderland; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Into the Woods; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Finding Neverland; Corpse Bride; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Yoga Hosers; The Astronaut’s Wife; Private Resort; The Tourist; Dark Shadows; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Nick of Time; The Man Who Cried; The Libertine; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Brave; BMT:Jack and Jill; Mortdecai; Transcendence; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Mortdecai in 2016; Nominated for Worst Actor for The Lone Ranger in 2014; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2017; Notes: Once again, kind of just easier to go with recent news. In this case, following his divorce from Amber Heard, Depp seems to have started shedding his Los Angeles penthouses. He sold his fifth and final recently. I imagine it is in part because of the financial difficulties he’s found himself in. That sweet Harry Potter money will get some of that back though.)

Geoffrey Rush – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Finding Nemo; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; The King’s Speech; Shakespeare in Love; Munich; Deception; Minions; Frida; Elizabeth; The Book Thief; Mystery Men; Quills; Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole; Les Misérables; Final Portrait; The Daughter; Holding the Man; Candy; Future BMT: Green Lantern; House on Haunted Hill; The Warrior’s Way; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Elizabeth: The Golden Age; BMT: Gods of Egypt; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Australian actor who won an Oscar for King’s Speech. He says he is done with Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after this one.)

Javier Bardem – (Known For: Mother!; No Country for Old Men; Skyfall; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Collateral; To the Wonder; Jamon Jamon; Biutiful; The Sea Inside; Before Night Falls; Live Flesh; The Dancer Upstairs; Tacones lejanos; Los lunes al sol; Future BMT: The Counsellor; Eat Pray Love; The Last Face; Autómata; Love in the Time of Cholera; Perdita Durango; Sin noticias de Dios; BMT: The Gunman; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Notes: Also an Oscar winner (for No Country For Old Men). Married to Penelope Cruz who oddly starred in the previous installment.)

Budget/Gross – $230 million / Domestic: $172,558,876 (Worldwide: $794,775,567)

(Obviously underwhelming for the brand I would think. Worldwide it still has some pull, but sub-billion worldwide, and below the reported budget domestic is not great, even if a lot of films would be perfectly satisfied with that performance.)

#15 for the Adventure – Period genre

potc5_adventureperiod

(This is the same as in the fourth Pirates preview, but here you can kind of see that this film was at least part of the resurgence of the genre this year. I think people like costumes and action that takes place at least tangentially in our world. Kind of a faux-historical adventure fiction. And every so often if you wish hard enough you get a Planchet bumbling down the stairwell in A Three Musketeers film. Sigh, there are not enough Planchets in the world.)

#95 for the IMAX (Feature-length) genre

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(IMAX is interesting because it really doesn’t seem like it will stop. I would assume most every theater will eventually do something to at least have the capability, because the money that comes in per theater isn’t dropping while the theaters per year is obviously still growing tremendously.)

#5 for the Swashbuckler genre

potc5_swashbuckler

(Also obviously not a real genre. It might as well be called Pirates of the Caribbean, Zorro, and the Three Musketeers, because those are the main players here.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (69/234): Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales proves that neither a change in directors nor an undead Javier Bardem is enough to drain this sinking franchise’s murky bilge.

(Actually higher than I remembered, this is very close to the response to the fourth film. While I didn’t love the fourth film, I was surprised by how much watching it didn’t bother me. Often tired franchise just get on my nerves after a while (*cough* Transformers *cough*), but this changed the pace enough that I kind of liked it. I’m wondering whether they went a little too much back to the well with Knightley and Bloom returning … I guess I’ll see.)

Poster – Sklog-rates of the Caribbean: Dead Sklogs Tell No Tales (B-)

pirates_of_the_caribbean_dead_men_tell_no_tales_ver3

(Considerably better than the other one. Focuses on the characters and gives an undersea blue tone to everything. I can forgive the clutter from the zombie sharks and random ship image in the background.)

Tagline(s) – All pirates must die. (D)

(Not sure where this comes from. Not from the poster. Maybe from some other promotional material where you don’t have to produce something very good. I hope so because this is not very good.)

Keyword(s) – pirate; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 68.7 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 65.3 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 63.5 The Phantom (1996); 61.5 Virus (1999); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 59.6 Cyborg (1989); 46.2 Double Impact (1991); 40.9 Cutthroat Island (1995); 39.2 Six Days Seven Nights (1998);

(Again the same as in the previous preview. I find it interesting to two types of Pirates represented here as well. I think Six Days and Seven Nights, Double Impact, Cyborg, Virus, and DOA: Dead or Alive might be “modern” pirates. And the rest I think are Pirates of the Caribbean kind of caricatures. Funny that it is basically exactly 50-50.)

Notes – The severed heads in the guillotine basket are of the film directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. (Probably cost a cool million dollars)

The joke Jack Sparrow’s uncle tells Jack is the same joke Al Pacino told Johnny Depp during production of Donnie Brasco: “A skeleton walks into a bar, orders a beer and a mop… “

Although this movie was initially claimed to be the last one in the series, a sixth installment was announced after its release. (Hmm, I wonder if it will happen. I think the double trilogy would feel right, and it would give them an opportunity to let Depp go out with a bang with the character. I guess we’ll see)

The film was being produced as Johnny Depp was going through a bitter divorce from his wife Amber Heard. He was chronically late to the set, to the point where it ate into the schedule as the set often came to a halt for hours at a time. It got to the point where a production assistant was hired just to wait outside Depp’s house and announce that he was awake when they saw the lights inside come on.

At two hours and nine minutes long, this has been the shortest running time of all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. (hooooraaaaay)

Christoph Waltz was originally cast in the role of Captain Brand, but dropped out due to other work commitments. Javier Bardem was then given the role, but the name was changed from Brand to Salazar to sound more Mediterranean to accompany Bardem’s Spanish descent. Bardem and Waltz both previously played villains in Daniel Craig James Bond films. Bardem in Skyfall (2012), and Waltz in Spectre (2015).

After failing to return for Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Disney reached back out to Martin Klebba (Marty), Lee Arenberg (Pintel), Makenzie Crook (Raghetti), David Bailie (Cotton), Angus Barnett (Mullroy) and Giles New (Murtogg) to return for Pirates of the Caribbean Dead’s Men Tell No Tales. Only Martin Klebba, Angus Barnett and Giles New were able to make it work within his schedule.

In an interview, Orlando Bloom said this movie will be a soft reboot of the previous installments. (I … don’t think that happened? I could be mistaken, that sounds crazy)

Paul McCartney is seen singing a song “Maggie Mae”. It is an old drinking song of the sea from Liverpool and featured on The Beatles “Let it Be” Album. On the album, the song was sung by John Lennon. (whaaaaaaaaaa?)

To prevent fans from interfering with the production, secret filming locations used the production name of “Herschel”.

In a flashback scene of Captain Salazar, one of his crew members recognizes a ship as Bonnet’s ship called “Royal James”. Stede Bonnet was a real life pirate that was active from December of 1717 to December of 1718 before being hanged in Charles Town for piracy and also worked closely with Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard.

With a release six years after its predecessor, marks the largest gap between the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Javier Bardem’s wife Penélope Cruz starred in the previous installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).

Salazar’s face was full makeup that took Javier Bardem three hours to put on, but the hair was all CG. To achieve this, Bardem’s hair was pulled back and a makeup artist added marking dots on his face, which tracked the motion of his head in post production.

During filming, Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard breached Australia’s strict bio-security laws when they failed to declare their two dogs to the Australian Customs Service when they flew by private jet into Queensland, where filming was taken place. Heard was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs into the country and one count of producing a false document. In April 2016, Heard appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to falsifying quarantine documents, stating that she was sleep deprived and made a mistake. The two bio-security charges were dropped, and she was placed on a one-month good behavior bond, paying a $1,000 fine for producing a false document. Heard and Depp also released a video in which they apologized for their behavior and urged people to adhere to the bio-security laws. Australian newspaper The Guardian called the case the “highest profile criminal quarantine case” in Australian history. (Dummies. As a person who has gone through the nightmare that is importing a dog into the UK I am deeply offended by this act of gross entitlement)

The father of Captain Jack Sparrow was played by a Rolling Stone (Keith Richards) and in this film, the uncle of Captain Jack Sparrow is played by a Beatle (Paul McCartney). (Alright, this annoys me. Mainly because Keith Richards are atrocious as his father in the fourth film. I bet McCartney is also terrible)

In the flashback scene, we see Jack is on a ship called the Wicked Wench. This is actually the Black Pearl, it gets renamed when Davy Jones brings it back from the depths, after it’s set ablaze, in the book Pirates of the Caribbean The Price of Freedom, making the book Canon. (THE BOOK IS CANON!)

The film’s action takes place in 1755. During the third act, Barbossa said that it has been five years since Blackbeard shrunk The Black Pearl in the bottle. The producers have said that the previous installment, On Stranger Tides, takes place in 1750. This also means that Henry is 21 years of age, given that he is 12 during the prologue, two years after the post-credits scene of At World’s End. (You listening Jamie? We got some setting possibly)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Preview

We hit two of the major action bombs this year for BMT Live! in The Mummy and Geostorm. This left us with a few of the lesser options available for this week. What we ended up landing on might come as a bit of a shock, but with a newly found love of franchises it shouldn’t. That’s right! We’re catching up on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with the final two installments (the only two that qualify), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales… wait, is that actually the name of the latest one? Wow, that is not good. The latest entry came this year, six years after the last installment, and while I would have assumed it was a bomb (I barely remember it came out), it still made $800 million worldwide. Feed those international audiences what they want, Disney, and what they want is Johnny Depp. Ugh. Let’s go!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – BMeTric: 17.0

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(Decidedly above average from an IMDb rating perspective. Which is a lot more impressive than I thought it would be. My perception had always been that no one likes these films anymore. But 350K votes with a 6.7ish rating is actually fine. Sits around the same place as Quantum of Solace or Armageddon.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Capt. Jack Sparrow (Depp, broader than ever) finds himself on a ship with Blackbeard (McShane) and his daughter (Cruz), which whom he has a checkered history, sailing in search of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. Meanwhile, Capt. Barbossa (Rush) is piloting his own vessel on the exact same course. Among the perils they face: a host of alluring but vicious mermaids. More of the same, with a convoluted, often incomprehensible story designed to string a series of large-scale action set pieces together. Not so much a movie as a consumer product.

(Shots fired. Honestly that was probably the pitch: “more of the same, with several large scale action pieces that we know and love. It’ll be great summer fun!” The convoluted plot is actual a surprise given that, arguably, that is where the second and third stumbled. By creating an over complicated plot they weighed down what should have otherwise been light fun with the flamboyant Depp. That is probably my biggest hesitation with that review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR_9A-cUEJc

(The only thing I remember from that trailer was the sword coming through the door. I think I must have seen it in a theater with 3D glasses on. I actually forgot this was kind of a big 3D release at the time. Looks like okay fun, although, again, I remembered not really understanding the connection to the previous movies at the time.)

Directors – Rob Marshall – (Known For: Chicago; Into the Woods; Future BMT: Nine; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: He has been nominated for six Tony awards and later an Oscar for Chicago.)

Writers – Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (screenplay & screen story & characters) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Aladdin; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Treasure Planet; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Shrek; The Mask of Zorro; Small Soldiers; The Road to El Dorado; Future BMT: Godzilla; The Legend of Zorro; The Puppet Masters; National Treasure: Book of Secrets; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for The Lone Ranger in 2014; Notes: Ted Elliot used to spell check Roger Ebert’s movie reviews, and Terry Rossio used to be a machinist. Pretty interesting.)

Stuart Beattie (characters) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; 30 Days of Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Collateral; Australia; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Future BMT: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Derailed; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: I, Frankenstein; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2010; Notes: Australian who attended the same High School as Hugh Jackman. He gets credits because he is the screenwriter for the first film.)

Jay Wolpert (characters) – (Known For: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; The Count of Monte Cristo; Future BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: Also wrote on the original, he is a producer of a number of television game shows including the New Price is Right and New Match Game.)

Tim Powers (novel) (suggestion) – (BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: Writes adventure novels with a sci-fi twist. This novel, On Stranger Tides, was the inspiration for the Monkey Island videos games, which are great, and was directly optioned for this film.)

Actors – Johnny Depp – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Sleepy Hollow; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Edward Scissorhands; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Corpse Bride; Alice in Wonderland; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Black Mass; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Blow; The Ninth Gate; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Platoon; 21 Jump Street; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Finding Neverland; Into the Woods; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Yoga Hosers; The Astronaut’s Wife; Private Resort; The Tourist; Dark Shadows; Alice Through the Looking Glass; Nick of Time; The Man Who Cried; The Libertine; The Brave; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; BMT: Jack and Jill; Mortdecai; Transcendence; The Lone Ranger; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Mortdecai in 2016; Nominated for Worst Actor for The Lone Ranger in 2014; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screen Combo for Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2017; Notes: Kind of easier just to look through recent news for such a big name actor. The biggest current news is that he is playing Grindelwald in the next Fantastic Beasts movie, which is causing quite a stir. Let’s just say he has a weird hairdo and leave it at that.)

Penélope Cruz – (Known For: Murder on the Orient Express; Blow; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; To Rome with Love; Open Your Eyes; Jamon Jamon; Volver; Bandidas; All About My Mother; Live Flesh; Los amantes pasajeros; Broken Embraces; Elegy; Don’t Move; The Hi-Lo Country; Belle Epoque; Future BMT: Sex and the City 2; G-Force; The Counsellor; Woman on Top; Gothika; Nine; Sahara; All the Pretty Horses; Waking Up in Reno; Masked and Anonymous; Grimsby; The Good Night; Fanfan; Noel; La reina de España; Head in the Clouds; Sin noticias de Dios; BMT:Vanilla Sky; Zoolander 2; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2002 for Blow, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Vanilla Sky; Notes: Married to Javier Bardem (with whom she has two children) who would appear six years later in Dead Men Tell No Tales.)

Ian McShane – (Known For: John Wick: Chapter 2; John Wick; Coraline; Hercules; The Golden Compass; Snow White and the Huntsman; Kung Fu Panda; Death Race; Shrek the Third; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Hot Rod; Jack the Giant Slayer; Sexy Beast; We Are Marshall; Scoop; Jawbone; Battle of Britain; Bilal: A New Breed of Hero; Cuban Fury; Performance; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Hollow Point; Grimsby; Case 39; BMT: The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Notes: Probably the funniest thing I’ve heard about him was his response to Game of Thrones fans being all pissy about him spoiling stuff about his (one-off) character in the show: “I was accused of giving the plot away, but I just think get a f—ing life. It’s only tits and dragons.” He has a point.)

Budget/Gross – $410.6 million / Domestic: $241,071,802 (Worldwide: $1,045,713,802)

(That budget can’t possibly be real. It is reported somehow as “gross” on wikipedia which I’ve never seen before. Probably tries to estimate marketing or something? Made a mint worldwide though, so you gotta go for the sequel if people are game. A billion isn’t something to shrug at.)

#44 for the 3D genre

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(Came right as the 3D craze his that saturation point. People have declared it dead for years, but it will live on as long as it is a “unique” experience that theaters can offer consumers. The 3D television experiment failed, so it seems like 3D will remain the domain of a theatrical experience for the foreseeable future.)

#7 for the Adventure – Period genre

piratesofthecaribbean4_adventureperiod

(Man they were creating a whole bunch of crap between 2010 and 2015. No wonder they took a breather, they nearly killed the genre. Jungle book brought it back though, plus this take isn’t too shabby at all.)

#5 for the Treasure Hunt genre

piratesofthecaribbean4_treasurehunt

(Reeks of a genre that doesn’t really exist but is just kind of floating around with random people checking it. I still believe in Box Office Mojo, but moments like this make me question whether anything they report is real, or whether it is mostly guessing from the crazy skeleton crew IMDb uses to man that janky website. The genre makes a lot of money it looks like, so that is something.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (85/262): It’s shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this Pirates runs aground on a disjointed plot and a non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences.

(Yeah, sounds about right. I’m quite excited about the shorter and leaner part though. It is crazy how long franchise films are these days.)

Poster – Sklog-rates of the Caribbean: On Skloger Tides (D+)

pirates_of_the_caribbean_on_stranger_tides_ver9

(Almost everything is wrong with this. Look at how many things are on this poster? Look at how many different colors. It’s incoherent. Small plus in the unique font.)

Tagline(s) – None (FFFFFFFF)

(Wha? That seems impossible and yet it seems to be so. Unacceptable as always.)

Keyword(s) – pirate; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 68.7 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006); 65.3 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 63.5 The Phantom (1996); 61.5 Virus (1999); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 59.6 Cyborg (1989); 46.2 Double Impact (1991); 40.9 Cutthroat Island (1995); 39.2 Six Days Seven Nights (1998);

(None of them naturally. Cutthroat Island will be done at some point. Double Impact will likely come in some strange Van Damme series we do. And, wow, I totally forgot there was a significant storyline involving pirates in Miss Congeniality 2 … just fantastic.)

Notes – While filming in London in October 2010, Johnny Depp received a letter from a local nine-year old schoolgirl, telling him her classmates needed help to “mutiny” against her teachers. He turned up with almost no warning at the school in full Sparrow outfit, but advised against mutiny. (awwwww, we need less terrible on-set stories, and more wholesome stories in BMT I think)

After Walt Disney’s chairman of 38 years, Dick Cook was fired, Johnny Depp talked to the Los Angeles Times, and said his enthusiasm for the fourth Pirates movie had reduced after Cook left the project. “There’s a fissure, a crack in my enthusiasm at the moment,” Depp said. “It was all born in that office.” One of the reasons Johnny Depp committed to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), was because he trusted Cook, who supported him while “others at the studio were less than enthusiastic about my interpretation of the character, Dick was there from the first moment. He trusted me.”

During filming in London, a Jack Sparrow impersonator just walked onto the set. The guards did not think to ask for any ID, as he looked so much like the character (Reported in the English papers).

Jerry Bruckheimer gave strict instructions to casting directors that actresses auditioning for the mermaid roles must have natural breasts. During shooting of their scenes, they were not allowed outside until dusk, in order to avoid spoiling their make-up. (haha, gross. Not that that isn’t a legitimate condition to ask concerning an actress expected to appear near-topless as a part of the character, more maybe the idea of the character trait at all … feels gross)

Penélope Cruz was pregnant throughout production, but it wasn’t noticeable until September 2010. As Penélope’s baby bump grew, it caused difficulties in wardrobe, so the producers enlisted the help of Cruz’s younger sister, Mónica Cruz. According to reports, Penélope filmed the close-up shots, while Mónica doubled for her in the long-distance scenes. (Oh, cool. Nice way to accommodate)

Johnny Depp bought new water proof jackets for five hundred crew members on the set, to protect them from the cold weather. He spent a total of 64,200 dollars from his own pocket. (Now that he’s on the verge of bankruptcy I wonder if he regrets such frivolities)

Penélope Cruz was the only choice for the role of Angelica. She agreed to the role without reading the script.

The film does make an actual reference to Blackbeard’s historical death, in which he was beheaded and then had his head hung from the bow of his own ship.

The real-life pirate Blackbeard did indeed have a ship called the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It was a vessel that he’d captured from the French Navy, and renamed.

Johnny Depp said he agreed to star in this film before “there was a script or anything.”

As Jack enters the Santiago, the camera flashes to a skeletal Ponce de León laying on a bed, surrounded by treasure. This is a reference to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland where guests see a skeletal pirate Captain laying in bed, surrounded by treasure. (Always looking for those shouts. Amusing if not the most exciting ride these days)

When making Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), the scriptwriters revealed that they placed the story in a thirty-year environment set loosely between 1720 and 1750. They also said that they did not intend the films to be entirely historically accurate. However, it was revealed that this movie takes place in 1750. (Interesting, will have to try and catch that)

The snake in the jungle scene is a king snake, and references the rhyme about coral snakes. Red on yellow kill a fellow, red on black friend of Jack.

The name of “Syrena” means mermaid in Spanish. The origin of “Syrena” is Greek, from Homer’s epic Odyssey. The songs of “syrenas” used to lure sailors to their island, where they were killed.

The only “Pirates of the Caribbean” film to not receive any Oscar nominations. (Not a surprise, although I guess you could kind of argue they always do a decent costume design job)

The film budget had to be scaled down to no more than two hundred million dollars (the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) budget was three hundred million dollars). This was mandated by studio president Rich Ross (who replaced the fired Dick Cook), in addition to the then 2008 economic slowdown in the U.S. (Jesus, $300M is absurd)

Blackbeard says that his quartermaster sees things before they happen. This is an oblique reference to the character of Fedallah in the novel Moby Dick, the source of various prophecies about the death of his Captain.

As of May 20, 2011, this installment has the second shortest run-time of the franchise, at 136 minutes. (My god, these films are monsters!)

This film is loosely based on the 1988 pirate novel “On Stranger Tides”, by Tim Powers. The novel’s protagonist is a pirate named Jack, but his character is significantly different from Jack Sparrow.

Was denied a release in China because the story line consisted of ghosts, the afterlife, and the supernatural. (As was usual, although I assume this practice is/has changed with China becoming a box office power house)

Barbossa’s ship, the Providence, was portrayed by the H.M.S. Surprise, part of the collection of ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego (www.sdmaritime.org), where it is open daily to Museum visitors. To sail the ship during the filming, Disney hired a crew from among volunteers and staff of the Maritime Museum. Surprise is a 179 foot full-rigged ship. She was built in Nova Scotia in 1970, from original Admiralty plans for the 1757 British 24-gun frigate H.M.S. Rose, for which she was originally named. The ship was purchased in 2001 by 20th Century Fox, and modified to serve as the H.M.S. Surprise, under the command of fictional Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). The Maritime Museum of San Diego purchased the ship from Fox Studios in 2004, and retained her movie name. In both of her names, the prefix “H.M.S.” (meaning Her (or His) Majesty’s Ship) is an honorary, rather than an official designation, since she does not hold a royal warrant. (Loving those factoids)

Alfred Molina was considered for the role of Blackbeard. (I love Ian McShane, but Alfred Molina would have also killed it I think, although I’m not sure Molina could have sold Blackbeard’s brutality)

The outdoor entrance to the Fountain of Youth, is the Waikapala’e Wet Cave on the north shore of Kauai. Analogous to the film’s magical watery passage to The Fountain of Youth, the cave holds a real submerged (depending on water level) passage, through which explorers can travel, in order to reach an isolated chamber known as “The Blue Room.” Some Hawaiians tell of an actual pirate treasure found hidden in “The Blue Room” by the original discoverers. The pirate treasure (if it ever existed) is gone, but the cave and chamber remain a natural treasure, still accessible to intrepid explorers.

Baywatch Preview

The official transition to the Worst of 2017 cycle we start with comedy. In an interesting coincidence we also had one of the worst reviewed comedies of the year released this very week in Daddy’s Home 2 (currently at 16%), but it was not released concurrently in the US and UK. Bummer. So we stuck with our original plan as it was quite the doozy in its own right. That’s right! We’re watching the Dwayne Johnson/Zac Efron vehicle Baywatch. Following the wild success of 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street we were treated to not one, but two unnecessary adaptations of niche 80s/90s shows in Baywatch and CHiPs. Both turned out poorly. Now we get to find out just how poorly Baywatch turned out. Let’s go!

Baywatch (2017) – BMeTric: 46.5

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(I kind of love this ratings graph. So you can see it starting high (people who haven’t seen the film but like the idea of the film chiming in like dummies) and then dropping once people actually start seeing it. But that overcorrects a bit, as more and more of the “fans” see it corrects back up. But the interesting bit is that once it drops on VOD the rating goes down again. The mean IMDb rating is somewhere around 6.0 so it basically corrected back to what will ultimately be around its eventual rating of slightly below-average. I just find that fascinating. It is hard to find films that really teeter on the edge of good/bad. To get 70K votes in a few months as well? I’m always stunned by how “popular” current movies are, they get so many more votes than even popular films from the 90s.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  [The movie] features long periods of too-sincere homilies about teamwork, weirdly gratuitous brutality (one innocuous character is subjected to a grotesquely grisly death) and an extended corpse-penis joke which, in the dishonorable tradition of “Dirty Grandpa,” subjects a character played by Zac Efron to humiliation in a way that’s not even stealthily homophobic. On the plus side, the movie has a pervading air of crass amiability about it—it’s almost like a two-hour end-credits gag reel. (Nevertheless, it contains an end credits gag reel.) But as I said, if you saw the trailer, you got the best the movie has to offer.

(Hmmmm. So let me get this straight. Two films based on older television series (CHiPs being the other) were released the same year and both were overtly homophobic? The gay panic riddles the CHiPs trailer. They seem to have hidden it well here with Baywatch. Which makes it all the more disappointing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ5tqzw841s

(See this actually doesn’t look bad. It at least tries to do what the original did. They at least avoided what CHiPs did which was overtly use three or four gay panic scenes in the advertising. It was to the point where I thought the movie might have been called Gay Panic: The Movie. But I was shocked by the reviews because this trailer looks decent.)

Directors – Seth Gordon – (Known For: Horrible Bosses; Future BMT: Four Christmases; Identity Thief; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Director of acclaimed documentary King of Kong. Parlayed that into several feature films and a whole mess of television shows, most recently The Goldbergs.)

Writers – Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (Known For: Soul Surfer; BMT: Baywatch; Notes: Also the creators of the Hulk Hogan television series Thunder in Paradise, so basically legends.)

Gregory J. Bonann (based on the series “Baywatch” created by) – (BMT: Baywatch; Notes: See above. Legend.)

Jay Scherick and David Ronn (story by) – (Known For: Guess Who; Future BMT: I Spy; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; Serving Sara; National Security; BMT: Norbit; Zookeeper; Baywatch; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Norbit in 2008; Notes: BMT faves. Just got a pilot picked up with the following synopsis: hard as nail female CIA agent gets partners with self-absorbed male agent trained to use sex and seduction to keep America safe… … Bad TV Tuesday, anyone?)

Thomas Lennon  and Robert Ben Garant (story by) – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Night at the Museum; Night at the Museum 2; Mr. Peabody & Sherman; Herbie Fully Loaded; Future BMT: Balls of Fury; Hell Baby; Reno 911!: Miami; Let’s Go to Prison; BMT: Taxi; Baywatch; The Pacifier; Notes: Prolific screenwriters who even wrote a whole book on how best to sell-out in Hollywood. Part of The State and Reno 911!)

Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay by) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; BMT: Friday the 13th; Baywatch; Notes: This finishes their filmography having just watched the Friday the 13th films they wrote. Writing the upcoming Aladdin film, so they are on the rise.)

Actors – Dwayne Johnson – (Known For: Moana; Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; San Andreas; Furious 6; The Other Guys; Central Intelligence; Hercules; Faster; Fast & Furious 5; The Mummy Returns; Pain & Gain; Get Smart; The Scorpion King; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Snitch; Welcome to the Jungle; Race to Witch Mountain; Gridiron Gang; Future BMT: Tooth Fairy; Why Did I Get Married Too?; Jem and the Holograms; Southland Tales; You Again; Reno 911!: Miami; Planet 51; Walking Tall; The Game Plan; BMT: Doom; Baywatch; Be Cool; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for Doom in 2006; Notes: Still known widely by his WWE monicker The Rock. He is amazingly one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood now. What he’s got charisma in spades.)

Zac Efron – (Known For: The Disaster Artist; Bad Neighbours 2; Hairspray; Bad Neighbours; 17 Again; The Lorax; We Are Your Friends; The Paperboy; Parkland; High School Musical 3: Senior Year; Liberal Arts; At Any Price; Me and Orson Welles; Future BMT: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates; That Awkward Moment; The Lucky One; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; BMT: Baywatch; New Year’s Eve; Dirty Grandpa; Notes: Broke out with the High School Musical Series. Has struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism during his career, but appears to be clean now.)

Alexandra Daddario – (Known For: San Andreas; Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; The Squid and the Whale; Bereavement; Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Layover; The House; Hall Pass; Burying the Ex; The Babysitters; The Hottest State; BMT: Baywatch; The Choice; Notes: Made her acting debut on All My Children. I recognize her more from her various television roles than her movie work.)

Budget/Gross – $69 million / Domestic: $58,060,186 (Worldwide: $177,856,751)

(Not super great domestically, but potentially okay overall. We won’t be seeing Baywatch 2 though. They were obviously expecting a 21 Jump Street level take which is closer to $140/$200 million. Not even close.)

#35 for the Action – Buddy Comedy genre

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(This is just above the Tom Hanks classic Dragnet. They kind of blew it in 2002 / 2003 by somehow released 11 buddy action films in those two years and audiences rebelled. This included things like future BMT Bad Company starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. It has come back over the past ten years, and is a steady genre releasing three films this year … all terrible.)

#47 for the TV Adaptation (Live Action) genre

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(Ah I remember that boom (it included the recently watched Beverly Hillbillies). I feel like I’m continually surprised at how many films are made that are based on television shows. Near Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Otherwise known as the worst one.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (38/201): Baywatch takes its source material’s jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original’s campy charm — and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.

(Which is basically what 21 Jump Street did right. They took the ridiculous thing (cops going undercover in a high school) and took it to its logical conclusion (everyone basically doesn’t believe they are actually high school students). Here it doesn’t seem like they took the original’s hook (attractive people in skimpy outfits solve crimes for some reason on a beach) and took it anywhere at all. And that’s a shame.)

Poster – Sklogwatch (C+)

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(A poster is a delicate thing. You want it to be artistic, tell a story, and sell a product. This seems singularly focused on the last point. The Rock and some hotties (looking at you Efron) are here to save the day and capture your heart. Let’s throw their pics on the poster and put a weird giant wave behind them. That’s about it. That being said, great font game guys. That ‘A’ with the lifeguard station is bomb. I’m putting you above average just for that.)

Tagline(s) – Beaches ain’t ready (D)

(Ohhhh nooooooo. This is like 7 levels too high, guys. Reel it back in. I know the entire movie is based on making something so stupid that it might go all the way around and become good again but this is unfortunate. While this secretly might be a very good tagline. I can do nothing but hate it. Sorry.)

Keyword(s) – lifeguard; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.2 Piranha 3DD (2012); 61.7 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004); 54.3 Lovewrecked (2005); 52.9 Aquamarine (2006); 51.3 Sand Sharks (2012); 47.5 Bait (III) (2012); 46.5 Baywatch (2017); 36.7 The To Do List (2013); 34.7 Joe Dirt (2001); 33.5 The Lifeguard (2013);

(Oooo, I like that it isn’t the top. Most of these are kind of crap though. Like Piranha 3DD and Joe Dirt I don’t think will be done in our lifetimes (perhaps our grandchildren will do it on a throwback week for the BMT News Network, BMTNN). The only safe bet is Cody Banks to be honest.)

Notes – Zac Efron gave Dwayne Johnson all the names to call him in the movie, like One Direction. (This sounds like something Zac Efron would say but isn’t true)

In an interview, Priyanka Chopra said that the role of the main antagonist was written for a man, but the director changed the role and the script upon meeting her. (This sounds like something Priyanka Chopra would say but isn’t true)

After scathing reviews poured in from critics and fans alike, Dwayne Johnson tweeted that the film wasn’t made for critics. (This sounds like something Dwayne Johnson would say but isn’t true)

Nina Dobrev, Ashley Benson, Alexandra Shipp, Shelley Hennig, Bianca A. Santos, and Denyse Tontz were considered for the role of Summer. (Nina Dobrev! Of Flatliners and XxX: The Return of Xander Cage fame?)

Robert Ben Garant was going to write and direct the film.

Jeremy Garelick was set to write and direct the film. (love me some alternate directors)

Pamela Anderson also performs a cameo at the very movie’s end but, like the original Mitch Buchanon appearance, all is spoiled from the beginning since their names are listed at the initial credits. (Ha. That’s pretty stupid.)

Cameo…David Hasselhoff appears in a scene with this “Mitch” where they interact and call each other “Mitch”.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Preview

Originally it seemed obvious that when we hit the “foreign film” entry in the Bring a Friend that we would watch our beloved Nic Cage in Outcast, the Chinese film he did with our less beloved Hayden Christensen. However as we did more research it was clear that the film was an American production looking to break into the Chinese market and probably would have gotten an American release if, you know, it wasn’t so terrible. Seemed to fit better as a straight-to-DVD. So instead we went all in and chose a film that was a 100% foreign release with no American audience in mind and linked it up with a very traditional American rom com release. That’s right! We’re watch Ghosts of Girlfriends PAsterix at the Olympic Games. We all know Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: stars Matthew McConaughey, he plays a giant doucher with a heart of gold, and got solidly terrible reviews. Classic. As for Asterix at the Olympic Games, it’s unlikely anyone has heard of it. I read some articles about it back when it was released because it was a shock to the French cinema. It was the third in a series of films in which the second entry, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a historically gigantic box office smash and critical darling. So obviously the third film was hotly anticipated… and landed with a thud. Everyone hated this film in France and it went on to win the French equivalent to the Razzie award for worst picture. Seemed like a perfect test to see if the language of bad film is universal. Let’s go!

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) – BMeTric: 39.4

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(Huh … Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I feel like I haven’t noticed movies’ IMDb votes tailing off as time goes by. I actually kind of assumed as new users replaced old the number of new votes for a film would kind of just, paradoxically, rise. But apparently it does tail off. Or … maybe this movie is of a certain breed. A movie slowly being forgotten. One of those forgotten films of the 00s that young BMTers will be marvelling over in 2037 … one can dream.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Tepid reimagining of A Christmas Carol as a romantic comedy, with McConaughey typecast as a roguish lothario who’s encouraged to change his charming-wastrel ways while visited by various apparitions – including his late playboy uncle (scene stealer Douglas) – the night before his brother’s wedding. Game actors aren’t helped by flat cinematography (even Garner, as McConaughey’s once and future sweetie, looks drab) and predictable writing.

(Sounds boring. But I’m liking the shots at the cinematography. Niche. I think as long as you go in not expecting much you can probably get out untraumatized. At least, that’s how it sounds to me.)

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

(Emma Stone looks like fun there. Always loving Breckin Meyer. I guess this is what Leonard Maltin meant by “game cast”. Also it seems like it plays right into a bunch of romantic comedy tropes, like the last 30 minutes of Made of Honor, so that could be fun to stare aghast at.)

Directors – Mark Waters – (Known For: Mean Girls; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Vampire Academy; Head Over Heels; Bad Santa 2; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Brother of the screenwriter Daniel Waters for Batman Returns, Demolition Man, Heathers, and Hudson Hawk! Also married to an actress (Dina Spybey-Waters) who seems fairly accomplished in television.)

Writers – Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (written by) – (Known For: Bad Moms; The Hangover; Office Christmas Party; Future BMT: Rebound; Four Christmases; The Hangover Part III; 21 & Over; The Change-Up; Full of It; The Hangover Part II; Flypaper; BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: They created and wrote for the show Mixology which at one point became quite famous for being terrible! Notably have provided many uncredited rewrites, including for the BMT film Mr. Woodcock.)

Actors – Matthew McConaughey – (Known For: Sing; Interstellar; Gold; The Wolf of Wall Street; Dazed and Confused; Tropic Thunder; Kubo and the Two Strings; Dallas Buyers Club; Magic Mike; Mud; Free State of Jones; Contact; A Time to Kill; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Reign of Fire; The Lincoln Lawyer; Frailty; Amistad; Bernie; We Are Marshall; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Wedding Planner; Surfer, Dude; Sahara; Paparazzi; The Dark Tower; Larger Than Life; My Boyfriend’s Back; Angels in the Outfield; The Sea of Trees; Two for the Money; BMT: Failure to Launch; Fool’s Gold; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Tiptoes; Notes: Enjoying continued late-career success dubbed The McConaissance. He broke onto the scene with Dazed and Confused (which is was subsequently type-cast for, and later embraced), and is an ardent supporter of the Texas Longhorns football team.)

Jennifer Garner – (Known For: Catch Me If You Can; Juno; Dallas Buyers Club; Daredevil; Wakefield; 13 Going on 30; Miracles from Heaven; The Invention of Lying; Draft Day; Danny Collins; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Kingdom; Deconstructing Harry; Washington Square; Future BMT: Mr. Magoo; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Arthur; Pearl Harbor; Catch and Release; Butter; The Odd Life of Timothy Green; Men, Women & Children; BMT: Elektra; Nine Lives; Valentine’s Day; Mother’s Day; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Recently separated from her husband of over ten years, Ben Affleck. Born in Texas she was raised in West Virginia, a fact that occasionally comes up in her acting roles (her call sign in Alias was The Mountaineer at one point, for example).)

Emma Stone – (Known For: Battle of the Sexes; La La Land; The Help; Superbad; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); The Amazing Spider-Man 2; The Amazing Spider-Man; The House Bunny; Zombieland; Easy A; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; The Interview; Friends with Benefits; Irrational Man; The Croods; The Rocker; Magic in the Moonlight; Future BMT: Marmaduke; Aloha; Gangster Squad; Unlikely Hero; BMT: Movie 43; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Notes: Broke out after her role in Superbad she has become one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood as well as winning the Oscar for Best Actress for La La Land last year.)

Budget/Gross – $37.5 million / Domestic: $55,250,026 (Worldwide: $102,223,269)

(Rough domestic total. Would have expected at least a bit more, 75-100 million if it were a success. Probably not really room for a sequel anyways. Thinking about it, I wonder how many romantic comedies leave room for a sequel … they all kind of end the same way right?)

#3 for the Romantic Comedy – Fantasy genre

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(What a very strange (and consistently created) genre. Her was the last one listed, so … again, either dead or forgotten by the Box Office Mojo staff.)

#16 for the Romantic Fantasy genre

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(Combined with the previous plot the romantic fantasy really did peak in 2009! I wonder if it is because it is cheap, or because they are light hearted fun … either way it does seem interesting that it would crest right after the financial collapse. Both make sense. These are still killing it though, with Beauty and the Beast and certainly other live-action Disney adaptations to come.)

#10 for the Womanizer / Cad / Player genre

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(This genre booming in the early 2000s is just … exactly what you would expect. The genre certainly has gone out of style … can’t say I miss it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (37/140): A retread of A Christmas Carol, featuring Matthew McConaughey in a retread of his Dazed and Confused role, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm.

(I don’t believe you. It is impossible for a film starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone, and Michael Douglas to not be incredibly charming. Originality and humor on the other hand I can totally believe.)

Poster – Ghosts of Sklogfriends Past (C-)

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(Certainly tells a story and has a central color to focus everything around, but busy and has terrible font. Slightly underwhelming mixed bag.)

Tagline(s) – You can’t always run from your past (D+)

(I always thought that the phrase “running from your past” implied that you can’t actually do it… it’s not something that you can get away from… because it’s your past… an abstraction that cannot be changed or erase and will eventually “catch up with you.” Anyway, what I’m saying is I don’t understand this tagline as it seems meaningless. Besides, it sounds weird that they’re repeating the word “past” in the title and tagline.)

Keyword(s) – wedding; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 80.8 Sex and the City 2 (2010); 79.8 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000); 76.5 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000); 72.8 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 70.3 Devil’s Due (2014); 68.4 Supergirl (1984); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 67.8 Double Team (1997);

(Ha! I think Sex and the City 2 is the big one there (although … is there a wedding? I can’t remember. There is in the first one). Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas was once proposed as a Nevada based movie for the Mapl.d.map … we nixed that, but the thought still kind of tickles me. Suggesting Rock Vegas is in fact in Nevada.)

Notes – This is the second time that Christa B. Allen has played the younger version of a character played by Jennifer Garner. The first was in 13 Going on 30 (2004).

Originally set up at Walt Disney Pictures with Ben Affleck attached to play the lead character, and Kevin Smith to direct. Production was to begin in the fall of 2003, but budgetary concerns and the failure of Gigli (2003) forced the studio to cancel the film one month prior to shooting. Ironically, when the film did get made years later, Affleck’s wife Jennifer Garner appeared in it. And the role Affleck was supposed to play, was instead played by his Dazed and Confused (1993) co-star, Matthew McConaughey. (Doesn’t feeeeel like irony. More of just a fun coincidence. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t expect Jennifer Garner to get attached to a movie her now ex-husband was set to star in from years prior.)

When Ben Affleck was attached to the project, offers went out to Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson for the part of Uncle Wayne.

Based on the novel A Christmas Carol in Prose, 1843, by Charles Dickens. (You don’t say)

When going back to his late teens, Connor winds up in Kripke’s basement. Kripke’s basement is where, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), John Connor said he first made out with Kate Brewster only a few days before the T-2 arrived, both Connor’s name and the locale being homage to the Terminator series.

Released in Germany as “Night of the Ex-Girlfriends”

Director Mark Waters installed a ping-pong table at both Crane Estate and Elm Bank Reservation, where the present-day wedding scenes were filmed, and would regularly challenge Micah Sherman, Albert M. Chan, and Michael Anastasia, who play the groomsmen. (Fun facts)

The first of two films to feature Jennifer Garner and Matthew McConaughey. The second was Dallas Buyers Club (2013).

Anne Archer and Michael Douglas have also been in Fatal Attraction (1987) together, although they do not have scenes together in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009).

In the movie they play the song nothing but a good time by Poison a song that was later sung in the movie Rock of Ages (2012) a movie that stars Catherine Zeta-Jones wife of Michael Douglas who co-starred in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009). (Wait … and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has 23 letters, the number 23!!!!!!!!!)

Friday the 13th (2009) Preview

Huge week for BMT as we finish up our adventure through the Friday the 13th series. I’m actually getting a little emotional as I relive our journey from F13 n00bs to veterans of the series and big enough fans to be legitimately disappointed when they scrapped the planned reboot this year. The 11th movie in the series, Freddy vs. Jason, pitted two of the most famous film slashers against each other and earned enough goodwill to not qualify for BMT, so that’s just a bonus this week. As for the Bring A Friend for Friday the 13th we went with Black Friday the 13th, pairing a Bargain Bin C-list Gary Daniels martial arts film, Black Friday, with the conclusion of the horror franchise. There had been some questions for as as to what qualified for “Bargain Bin,” but this certainly does: stars a C-list actions star, does not have a trailer, and was directed by the same guy who made Saving Christmas. That is legit lower than Direct-to-DVD… that’s like Might-not-ever-be-on-DVD level. But of course my local public library had a copy ready to rent (my library is amazing). All things considered I’m willing to bet watching Black Friday will be a more horrifying experience than finishing up Friday the 13th. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th (2009) – BMeTric: 46.6

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(Nice. Opened high with the horror fans hitting the ratings hard, and they it goes a-tumblin’ down to the “mean”. The idea of an average rating is actually quite fascinating. The mean rating for IMDb as a whole is something like 7.0 (weighted by number of votes). For the top 10 thousand films (by popularity) it is closer to 6.4 instead. And I think if you were to postulate a limit, the mean rating a movie would hit if it was (1) perfectly average, and (2) an infinite number of people rated it, I think it would be around 5.8 all said and done. What does it say about BMT that so many of our movies approach this 5.8 limit like clockwork? I think it tells you a bit about how bad the “average” movie is, but this could also all be horseshit. Only deep diving data-analysis can tell the tale. Stay tuned.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The 12th Friday isn’t a sequel but something like a remake of the 1st and 3rd. As before, some annoying teenagers encounter the silent, murderous Jason, who chops, stabs, and bludgeons his way through the cast, though without as much gore as in previous entries. Plodding, dull, and repetitive, this is only occasionally creepy and never scary. Yes, there’s a setup for a sequel, if anyone cares.

(Leonard loves lists. Although I do like the rhythm created by “chops, stabs and bludgeons” and “Plodding, dull, and repetitive”. Brutal takedown at the end, mainly because yeah, no one cared and Paramount cancelled the sequel mere months ago. Sigh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsVKn-MS14

(As far as a remake is concerned this is probably the best storyline available. Use the hiker looking for his sister conceit. Replace Mama Voorhees with Jason. And give a few call backs (like the bag over the head). I like the idea of him being a weirdo protecting his territory as well. I am genuinely interested in seeing how they screw it up. Although judging by how much Camp Crystal Lake there is in the trailer, they might have caught a case of over-explainitis.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: Conan the Barbarian; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: Was originally attached to End of Days as his feature directorial debut, but left due to budget issues. Was originally a commercial and music video director.)

Writers – Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; Future BMT: Baywatch; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: True blue writing partners (they even have a joint wiki page). Brought in after Wheaton (and the originally attached director) was fired, having written Freddy vs. Jason.)

Mark Wheaton (story) – (Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: He wrote for a number of film magazines prior to becoming a screenwriter despite going to school for playwriting. Writes for video games as well, and has had a few crime novels published in the past few years.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Wrote the original film.)

Actors – Jared Padalecki – (Known For: Phantom Boy; Future BMT: House of Wax; Cry_Wolf; Flight of the Phoenix; BMT: New York Minute; Friday the 13th; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: His IMDb profile is very details and weirdly focused on his high school academic achievements (like being a Presidential Scholar and an “exceptional” chess player). Played Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls.)

Amanda Righetti – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; Role Models; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: Was Hailey Nichol on The O.C.! That’s Kirsten’s little sister for those playing at home. Mainly a television actress she had major parts on The Mentalist and Colony most recently.)

Derek Mears – (Known For: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.; Predators; Signs; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Død snø 2; Hatchet III; MacGruber; Future BMT: Wild Wild West; The Haunted Mansion; The Hills Have Eyes II; Cursed; Men in Black II; Live by Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Demolitionist; Gangster Squad; BMT: Dragon Wars; Friday the 13th; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Known for his “towering height”. Makes sense he would take over as Jason. I don’t have issues with not having Hodder return in the remake, if they had planned on making it a series I think you try out a few people to find someone who can bring something new and fresh to the part.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $65,002,019 (Worldwide: $91,379,051)

(I mean, that’s a hit. $65 million is nothing to scoff at for a horror. They probably expected more, but none of these films made money, so I don’t know why they would. I am actually stunned they cancelled the sequel. The only plausible explanation is that they are rebooting it again to give it back that microbudget feel with a Blumhouse Pictures deal, but who could possibly know. Perhaps the cut they saw was so bad it would have killed the franchise forever.)

#7 for the Horror – Slasher genre

fridaythe13th09_slasher

(Second best of the remakes of classic horror franchises, beaten only by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This franchise died with the remake wave. Is there no novel ways to make a slasher? Is the genre too narrow and self-aware. Possibly. Only time will tell. Would make me sad if true, but I have to imagine someone will come up with a twist and revive it, even if the glory of practical effects fueled 80s slashers are dead and gone.)

#7 for the Horror Remake genre

fridaythe13th09_horrorremake

(You can kind of see how the slasher died at the same time the remake boom died. There aren’t really any 90s horrors worth rebooting, so possibly they are just waiting a bit before delving back into more recent films? Unclear. Horror is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, so remakes don’t seem like the are entirely wanted or needed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (42/166): Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors.

(Yeah … well I’m not sure going the other way would have worked out very well either. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to think how you could reboot a horror franchise like this without rehashing quite a bit. Any type of “innovation” I don’t think comes across as anything but gimmicky. Maybe set it after all of films (besides Jason X …) and don’t explain his resurrection? Soft reboot into Jason as a ghost story in the woods around Crystal Lake, something everyone forgot about.)

Poster – Friday the 13th (B-)

friday_the_thirteenth_ver2

(I like it! Some similarities to the original, although less artistic and more generic. Like the spacing, Jason-centric nature of it, and the coloring is dark but nice. Biggest flaw is they took a series with unique font and made it boring as shit.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to Crystal Lake (B-)

(Concise and to the point, hinting at what’s to come (hopefully): a Friday the 13th film. Not clever in the least bit though.)

Keyword(s) – camp; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.3 Troll 2 (1990); 81.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 78.4 Pledge This! (2006); 75.9 Freddy Got Fingered (2001); 69.8 Year One (2009); 64.0 Seed of Chucky (2004); 60.5 Shrooms (2007); 53.6 Exit to Eden (1994); 50.8 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987);

(Booooooo, unless … does camp mean like a camp … or like campy? Because then Batman & Robin makes sense. Seems like a mix to be honest, which would make this list an absolutely bonkers marathon.)

Notes – The first time Paramount has any association with the “Friday the 13th” series since 1989.

Producer Michael Bay walked out in the movie premiere, stating that the movie featured too much sex. (Ha! Just too much for him)

Adrienne King, star of the original 1980 film, was approached by producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller to do a cameo appearance during preproduction. A few days later, the producers called her back and told her they didn’t want anyone from the original film to appear in the remake. (This production sounds organized).

The first film in the series released by both New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures. Originally, Paramount owned the rights to the series after the original was released in 1980 but sold the rights to New Line Cinema in the early 1990’s after poor box office returns of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). New Line bought the rights to the characters of Jason Voorhees and Pamela Voorhees, the Crystal Lake name, and the trademark for the title “Friday the 13th”. All footage from the first eight films and the remake rights for the first film remained the property of Paramount. New Line Cinema released Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). When Platinum Dunes came aboard to develop the new film, they wanted the freedom to use scenarios and characters from the films still owned by Paramount. After a legal dispute, the companies decided to co-produce the 2009 film.

In this movie Jason wears both the legendary hockey mask and the burlap sac, although neither of those appeared in the original Friday the 13th (1980). (Hmmmm, that’s a lot of fan service)

With $42.2 mil, had the biggest opening weekend of a horror-remake beating out former record holder The Grudge (2004) ($39.1 mil).

The title card of the movie isn’t displayed until the end of the opening segment, nearly 25 minutes into the film, which is one of the longest prologues for a horror film ever. (Holy shit, that is ridiculous)

Tommy Jarvis, a character that appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) was at one point confirmed by producers Bradley Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes to be returning as Jason’s nemesis. (That would have actually been cool maybe, set them up in a trilogy or something to battle it out. I could have gotten behind that).

According to co-writer Damian Shannon, the character of Jason Voorhees was re-envisioned as more territorial, like a hunter, someone who doesn’t kill people at random but will defend his territory from anyone invading it, and this in the most horrible manner. Director Marcus Nispel similarly claims the film shows new aspects of Jason’s personality. Derek Mears says his portrayal of Jason as a survivalist defending his territory is partially inspired by the character of John Rambo in First Blood (1982). (That makes a lot of sense)

Despite the title, the date the events supposedly take place on, Friday the 13th, is only mentioned once. The date can be seen on a tear-away type calendar in the police station, as the officers leave to investigate towards the end of the movie.

One of the victims was originally supposed to drown due to exhaustion as Jason waited her out from the shore of the lake.

Travis Van Winkle portrayed the same character from Transformers (2007) which was directed by Michael Bay.

The film’s setting (New Jersey) is an homage to the original film being filmed in New Jersey. (Wellllll … Crystal Lake is in New Jersey so easy peasy).

Jason just randomly appearing out of thin air as in the earlier films wouldn’t fly this time around. So, they decided he traveled via a series of underground tunnels. That concept was in Mark Wheaton’s original script, but Mark Swift and Damian Shannon claimed to have never read Wheaton’s script until the film was finished, having come up with the same idea about the tunnels on their own. As for the marijuana plant farm which Jason appears to use to lure teenagers into traps, apparently no writer can claim that as their own. According to Swift and Shannon, that was actually director Marcus Nispel’s idea from early on in the development process, and it was their job to work it into the script. (Huh, that could work, but it sounds a bit too over-explainy to me).

The character of Sheriff Bracke, played by Richard Burgi, is named after author Peter Bracke, who wrote the book “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”.

Screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon wanted Jason’s body count in the film to be just 13 as an easter egg for fans. It was surprising how much work it was to kill thirteen people.” Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter pulled off the “just 13 kills” thing as well, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives writer/director Tom McLoughlin originally turned in a film featuring just 13 kills. Executive Producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. forced him to perform re-shoots to up the body count to 18. (Ha, yeah, 13 is pretty close to typical for Friday the 13th, 18 is a lot).

A follow up to 2009’s Friday the 13th was slated for release on October 13, 2017, and was all set to go into production in a matter of weeks. But in February 2017 it was announced that paramount had pulled the plug on the project. (Sigh, yep, this is why we were doing this entire thing)

The film takes place on June 13, 1980 and in 2009.

It shares screenwriters with Freddy Vs. Jason, who had previously turned down the chance to do a Freddy Vs. Jason sequel. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, as a result of the legal delays, Friday the 13th lost its original director (Jonathan Liebesman) and screenwriter (Mark Wheaton). Freddy Vs. Jason writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who had earned their first writing credit with Freddy Vs. Jason but had yet to get another script onto the screen, were brought in to replace Wheaton. Both grew up huge Jason/Freddy fans, but their Freddy Vs. Jason script was largely re-written by David S. Goyer, who went uncredited, and the far campier film that came out of that was not to their liking. Still, New Line actually offered them the chance to pitch ideas for a Freddy Vs. Jason 2, which they turned down, according to Shannon, because “we thought maybe somebody else should tackle it because we shot our wad so to speak. Every idea we had about that was in the first. I don’t know what we could have done with a second one.”

Mark Wheaton’s original pitch to New Line was to reboot the series with “a new Part V,” ignoring the original “New Beginning” and everything that happened after while featuring a prologue showing Jason Voorhees witnessing the murder of his mother. The characters who come to Crystal Lake then know of Jason as they did in Friday the 13th Parts 2, 3-D, and IV, but Voorhees is not yet supernatural as he is beginning with Part VI (or is a demon worm, or has gone to space, etc.). To further suit the needs of a reboot, Wheaton had Voorhees in first the canvas bag as he was in Part 2 only to replace it with the hockey mask halfway through the film.

The character Richie was one of a few characters to have CGI effects added into his death. Derek Mears (Jason) was holding only the handle with half the blade of the fake machete, making it look like it impaled Richie’s (Ben Feldman’s) head. The visual effects crew digitally superimposed the fake machete to look like it was a completely bladed weapon in the final film. Director Marcus Nispel usually allowed minimal use of CGI effects into his films.