I Know What You Live-Blogged Last Summer

Something I’ve wanted to do for a while now is a live-blog of a movie viewing, and when it was recently announced that a remake of  I Know WhatI_Still_Know_What_You_Did_Last_Summer You Did Last Summer was underway (I guess Hollywood finally ran out of 80s horror films to remake), it got me thinking that it’s not-so-esteemed sequel would be a perfect candidate for my first attempt. Of course it’s not really a “live” live-blog, but you know, minor details.

Anyhoo, if you feel like taking a flashback trip to the world of 1998 with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy, Freddie Prinze, Jr and a killer fisherman with a really big hook, then let’s jump right into my live-blogging of I Still Know What You Did Last Summer!

0:45  I must say – I do like the quick little pre-credits “audio flashback”

0:50 And let’s just get this out of the way – technically, the title should be  I Still Know What You Did Two Summers Ago or something to that effect.

1:10  J. Lo Hew enters the biggest, emptiest, most candle-lit church ever.

1:44  “Forgive me father, for I now have to summarize the previous movie”

2: 24  I don’t know anyone who has ever screamed themselves awake from a nightmare like J. Lo Hew here.

4:11  Whoa, pre-Gossip Girl Matthew Settle, looking REALLY young.

4:21  “The one in shower?” subtle Settle explaining the first movie’s cliffhanger ending as just a J. Lo Hew nightmare

5:17  This campus seems WAY too populated for: 1) a summer school semester; and 2) a Fourth of July weekend

6:30  Aw, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and his sexy, dumb, mouth-breather schtick – essential for a late-90s teen flick.

7:04  Seriously, there are like a bajillion students just randomly running around this campus

7:15  J. Lo Hew’s apartment is the campus version of Monica and Rachel`s apartment on Friends – SO big and in no way affordable for its residents.

8:00  Cameo appearance of Sarah Michelle Gellar on her Croaker Queen float from the first flick (after the Fisherman did her a solid by hacking off her hair into a cute bob)

8:21 First obligatory J. Lo. Hew tank top sighting

8:50  Yep, I always keep a huge butcher knife in my nightstand, too.

I Still Know J Lo9:40  Brandy learns that it’s never a good idea to go creeping through your roommate’s closet when said roommate is going through some serious PTSD (and sleeps with a huge-ass butcher knife at the ready)

12:15  “You better recognize/’Cause that’s how my species survives/You’ll never convince me otherwise” – Mekhi Phifer, Mr. Smooth Talker 1998

13:32  Fisherman in da club!

13:46  I forgot just how over-the-top the “scary music” in this flick was. Oy.

13: 54  J. Lo Hew, deftly navigating her way through a seizure-inducing strobe light effect.

14:24  Uh-oh – J. Lo Hew’s Spidey-sense is tingling…

15:16  Tank Top Sighting #2

16:10  And now for the beginning of the most convoluted slasher revenge scheme EVER – Brandy just won the “radio contest” for a trip for 4 to the Bahamas – by naming the capital of Brazil as “Rio de Janerio”.

16:35  It’s kinda sad at how confident the makers of this movie were in thinking that no one in their target audience would realize that Rio de Janerio is the wrong answer.

17:25 And here’s J. Lo Hew’s soundtrack contribution, “How Do I Deal”. Somewhere, Brandy is still counting her blessings for being able to dodge having to do a horror movie tie-in single.

20:44 FPJ and his grubby friend have just come across the second part of the convoluted slasher revenge scheme – a staged car accident.

22:22  Yee-ouch – grubby friend just got mouth-hooked.

23:45  For a dumb mouth-breather, FPJ at least had the common sense to jump out of the way of a vehicle bearing down on him (as opposed to the Charlize Theron-in-Prometheus method of running in a straight line)

25:35  “It’s the only way on or off the island” – thanks for the exposition, ferry boat captain.

26:07  Note: there are easily 40-50 people at this Bahamas resort, sun tanning, jet skiing, swimming, etc (we’ll come back to this later)

27:11  And here comes a be-dreadlocked Jack Black, who for some mysterious reason is uncredited in this movie…

30:35 “Off-season staff of 5…Fourth of July weekend…storm season begins today” Asshole hotel manager Jeffery Combs cramming a lot of exposition into his spiel.

31:25  “We won a competition!” Uh, no you didn’t, Brandy. All you did was answer a question (and incorrectly, at that).

33:10  FPJ just jumped out of his hospital window, as one does

33:25  Jennifer Esposito, strictly cashing a paycheck, but classin’ up the joint, nonetheless. By the way, it is now just a few hours after the J. Lo Hew Crew’s arrival and the resort is now DESERTED. All those other vacationers got the hell outta there real quick, y’all.

35:47  “Ooo – Karaoke, perfect!” “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” – said no one outside this movie, ever.

36:12  Like J. Lo Hew has ever had to be dragged reluctantly onstage to sing I Still Know Espo

36:42  J. Espo, giving side eye while sucking on an orange wedge, is the best thing ever.

37:22  J. Lo Hew’s song lyrics come onscreen as “I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER!” – holy crap, the karaoke machine is sentient!

39:34  You guys – young Matthew Settle is like, super-cute.

42:50  The dockhand’s punishment for not wanting to get jiggy on the mainland with pot-head Jack Black? DEATH.

45:20  And now the housekeeper just got killed. You know what that means – no more clean towels.

51:28  J. Lo Hew just found the dockhand guy gutted and hanging in her closet. Worst room service ever.

51:47  “I want off this island!” “That’s not possible. There won’t be another boat for days.” “Then I’ll call the mainland for one!” “The phones just went down three minutes ago”. Asshole hotel manager is really being an asshole.

52:30  “Four spoiled city kids who wouldn’t know a hurricane if it blew up their ass” like, a total asshole.

52:40  And right on cue – storm season has begun!

53:29  Jack Black not only has a hilariously huge grow-op in the pool house, but also a rack of deadly gardening tools conveniently displayed right next to his couch. He knew the Fisherman might want to give the ol’ hook a rest (he did, and he opted for some garden shears).

56:00  Trading a 1 carat diamond ring for $300 and a revolver – not the best return-on-investment, there FPJ.

56:10  Oh wait, he’s insisting on $300 and a loaded revolver – way to hold out for the big bucks.

56:18  Tank Top Sighting #3

57:39  First karaoke and now a gym workout? Note to self: never let Brandy plan your vacation itinerary.

1:02:10  Okay, so Brandy just found the housekeeper stuffed in a dryer, Mekhi and Matthew just found Jack Black skewered in the pool house and the Fisherman is closing in on an oblivious J. Lo Hew in her tanning bed and he…ties the lid shut, cranks the heat up and slips back out? Um, you’re doing the whole slasher thing wrong.

1:03:00  Everyone just full-on reacted like J. Lo Hew was being eaten alive by her tanning bed

1:03:49  Asshole manager just got machete’d in the head. Guess we won’t need to fill out those feedback cards now.

1:05:14  Brandy is PISSED that J. Lo Hew has been keeping her sordid slasher history to herself. LIKE IT MATTERS.

1:05:25  FPJ, popping pills on a Greyhound to Miami, as one does.

1:06:45  Jack Black had a grow-op in his room and Estes the porter has a straight-up voodoo shrine in his. I’m starting to see why this was the “off-season staff”.

1:08:10  The producers just realised J. Lo Hew was wearing a sweatshirt for two consecutive scenes. She’s now in a too-small Oxford shirt with just one button done up right below her cleavage.

1:08:50  The globe in the lobby is spinning but there’s no one around. J. Lo Hew’s Spidey-sense is tingling again as the globe comes to rest on South America and…

1:09:35  BRASILIA, BITCHES! Estes drops the bombshell that the dumbass girls gave the wrong answer for the capital of Brazil.

1:10:10 “This whole thing is a set-up!” Yeah, a ridiculously convoluted slasher revenge scheme set up.

1:11:10  FPJ, hijacking a ferry boat at gunpoint, as one does.

1:13:25  “The phone lines are down, the boats are gone and there’s no way off this island” – Brandy, providing an in-movie recap for anyone just getting back from a bathroom break.

1:15:00  Estes is trying to hightail it off the island in his secret rowboat. Damn right – every man for himself, y’all.

1:16:05  J. Espo returns – and clocks Mekhi with a rolling pin. Sweet.

1:17:10  J. Espo: “Excuse me, but this place didn’t have a murder rate until you people showed up!” Truth.

1:17:45  Mekhi: “Worst vacation ever.” *gets hooked through neck, dies*

I Still Know Brandy1:19:31  Dumb klutz Brandy just crashed through a mirrored ceiling with the Fisherman, vaulted over a balcony and fell onto the roof of a greenhouse.

1:20:53  Brandy tries to get off the roof by stepping right in the center of each pane of glass – DUMB – and then just falls ass-backwards through the roof – KLUTZ.

1:23:20  J. Lo Hew finds an axe, but decides to just give the Fisherman the stink eye instead of hacking him and then runs away.

1:24:23  All of the victim’s bodies have now been piled in the storm shelter. Not only is this slasher revenge scheme convoluted, but it involves a LOT of unnecessary heavy lifting.

1:27:02. J. Espo and Estes get shish-kebab’d, Friday the 13th  Part II-style. Dammit, now all the good actors are dead.

1:27:16  Dumb klutz Brandy has just toppled backwards through a glass display case. That’s three glass-shattering events in less than 10 minutes – she should be sliced like sushi by now.

1:27:47  Matthew Settle is (gasp!) in on the revenge scheme – and he punches J. Lo Hew! (*audience cheers*)

1:28:03  Matthew is Ben the Fisherman’s son, and his name is Will Benson. Ben’s Son. Get it? GET IT?!

1:28:28  Pistol-packing FPJ to the rescue!

1:29:01  Or not.

1:29:12  Now the Fisherman punches J. Lo Hew! (*audience cheers again*)

1:30:15  Slasher Pro-Tip:  Running at someone you are about to impale with a giant fishhook while your son is directly behind him, holding him up, may not be the wisest course of action (and it’s not, FPJ twists and Fisherman hooks his son).

1:31:00  J. Lo Hew does what FPJ couldn’t and fires a bajillion bullets into the Fisherman, sending him flying into an open grave.

1:31:59  Get to the (Coast Guard) choppa! Oh hey y’all, look – Brandy’s still alive! Phew!

1:33:10  Back on the mainland for Tank Top Sighting #4

1:34:19  FPJ, to his electric toothbrush, “I love this thing!” Never change, cute, dumb mouth-breather.

1:35:41  J. Lo Hew sits on her bed and her Spidey-sense is…too late! Fisherman grabs her from under the bed! Bye now!

END

And just to recap why this was the most convoluted slasher revenge scheme ever: Instead of just breaking into J. Lo Hew’s apartment or jumping her on campus, the Fisherman decided a better plan would be to have his son enrol in the same school as her, befriend her and Brandy over the course of the year, THEN set them up to win a trip to the Bahamas (and pay for 4 plane tickets and accommodations). THEN, set up a perfectly timed car accident scene to get rid of FPJ, and THEN quickly jet down to the Bahamas, run himself ragged killing all the resort staff and dragging their bodies around to play mind-games and torment J. Lo Hew until he finally reveals himself so he can…just kill her. Dude. You’re really doing the whole slasher thing WRONG.

(But I can’t deny that it made for a gloriously cheesy and entertaining popcorn flick).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice

When the following pairs of artistic professionals initially collaborated, they didn’t only find success, but they also managed to create landmarks in the world of pop culture. So of course it seemed only natural for them to collaborate again. Unfortunately, their subsequent projects proved just how hard it is to make lightning strike twice.

John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

The Hit: Grease (1978)

The Miss: Two of a Kind (1983) 

After the smash success of Grease (with an initial domestic gross of $159 million – at the time one of the top money-makers ever) the Twoofakindduo who immortalized the summer lovin’ Danny and Sandy reunited onscreen for another tale of romancin’ – albeit this time without the dancin’…or a sensible plot. Two of a Kind involves Travolta as would-be inventor who bungles a bank robbery and Newton-John as the teller who gives him a bag of deposit slips instead of cash and takes the loot for herself. The film then follows this upstanding duo on a series of chase scenes and musical montages while they randomly start falling for each other. Oh, and the whole thing is being observed by a gaggle of heavenly beings who have made a bet with God that if this misguided duo can reform, then he won’t wipe away mankind and start all over, like he’s been itching to do. Yup.

Needless to say, movie-goers didn’t really go for this pairing of the former Rydell High lovebirds, and critics didn’t go for the film’s nonsensical story. Two of a Kind managed to eke out $23 million at the box office before going off to celluloid heaven. (However, as with her previous flop, Xanadu, Newton-John fared much better with the music from the movie. Her rendition of the film’s lead single, “Twist of Fate” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100).

 

Wes Craven & Kevin Williamson

The Hit: Scream/Scream 2 (1996/1997)

The Miss: Cursed (2005) 

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson did the near-impossible back in 1996. Not only did their collaboration, Scream, become a mainstream hit horror movie (domestic gross: $103 million), but it also resurrected the long-dead “teen slasher” sub-genre, deconstructing and updating its tropes along with help from a witty script full of savvy characters and filmed with genuine shocks and scares. Striking while the iron was hot, the duo re-teamed for Scream 2 just one year later, and it was just as big a success as the first, pulling in $101 million.cursed_poster

Commitments to his show Dawson’s Creek kept Williamson away from working with Craven on Scream 3, but the two were still itching to collaborate once again, but this time on something different. Thus, Cursed was born – and if ever there was an apt title for a film, this was it. The movie, concerning a brother and sister (Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg) who stumble across a werewolf attack was plagued by one problem after another: production delays, script rewrites, characters being recast or just cut completely (some even after they had filmed their scenes). Mandy Moore, Skeet Ulrich, Omar Epps and Scott Foley are just some of the many actors who were originally in (or intended to be in) the film at one time or another. After more than a year’s delay, Cursed was finally released, but not without one last stumbling block. The studios wanted this film about savage werewolf attacks to come with a PG-13 rating – which is pretty much the kiss of death for any horror movie – so Craven had to go back to the editing room and comply.

When this bloodless, scare-free, jumbled mess of movie finally limped into theatres, critics killed it and movie-goers buried it. Cursed closed with a gross just shy of $20 million (or about 2/3 of what Scream 2 made in its opening weekend).

 

Brandy & Monica

The Hit: “The Boy is Mine” (1998)

The Miss: “It All Belongs To Me” (2012)                                                                                                                                                                                                          

In the summer of 1998, you couldn’t turn on a radio or channel surf past MTV and VH1 without hearing Brandy and Monica smoothlyBrandy Monica staking their claim for the same man. “The Boy is Mine” spent a staggering 13 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the biggest single of the year and eventually netting the songstresses the Grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.

So while it wasn’t surprising that they reteamed for another single, it was surprising how long it took for them to do it. 14 years after their first collaboration, the duo released “It All Belongs To Me”. Now, in the music biz, 14 years is a lifetime – heck, two lifetimes even – and the pop music scene itself is ever-changing. When “The Boy is Mine” topped the charts, Brandy and Monica were both entering the peak of their careers (it was the lead single for each artist’s second album) and most importantly, R&B and Hip Hop artists were dominating the crossover charts.

Monica BrandyCut to 2012 – with Brandy and Monica both having much lower profiles, R&B not enjoying as much crossover success as it has in the past and a song itself that was roundly dinged for being lacklustre, and the end result was pretty much “too little, too late”. “It All Belongs To Me” became a moderate hit on the R&B charts (#23) but didn’t even manage to crack the Hot 100 at all.