Tag Archives: superbabies

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

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Today’s feature is the particularly infamous bad movie Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.

The two writers on Baby Geniuses 2 were Gregory Poppen (Chilly Christmas, The Prince and The Surfer, The Million Dollar Kid) and producer Steven Paul (Baby Geniuses, Karate Dog, Never Too Young to Die).

Baby Geniuses 2 was directed by Bob Clark, who is best known for directing movies like A Christmas Story, Rhinestone, Black Christmas, and Porky’s. Baby Geniuses 2 was sadly the last film he would direct, as he died in a car wreck shortly after the film wrapped.

The editor for Baby Geniuses 2 was Stan Cole, who also cut Baby Geniuses, Rhinestone, and Black Christmas for director Bob Clark.

Aside from co-writer Steven Paul, the producers for Baby Geniuses 2 included Eric Breiman (Bratz: The Movie), Jan Fantl (Slipstream (2005), Feardotcom), Rosanne Milliken (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil), Reinhild Graber (Boat Trip, Dracula 3000), and David Marlow (Lexx).

The music for the movie was provided in part by Paul Zaza, who has also provided scores for films like My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night, Porky’s, and A Christmas Story.

The Baby Geniuses 2 makeup effects team was composed of such people as Agnieszka Echallier (In The Name of The King, Hollow Man 2), Joel Echallier (Postal, Air Buddies, Dreamcatcher, Blade: Trinity), Julianne Kaye (Jack Frost 2), and Joan Issacson (Street Smart, Jacknife).

The special effects work on Baby Geniuses 2 was done by a group including Rory Cutler (The Mangler 2, Jennifer’s Body, The Fly II), Brant McIlroy (Scary Movie, Catwoman), Vittorio Palmisani (Fido, The Chronicles of Riddick), Cara E. Anderson (Marmaduke, Trucks, The Core), CJ Wills (Miracle), and Neil Westlake (Smokin’ Aces 2, Big Nothing, The Last Mimzy).

The massive visual effects team for Baby Geniuses 2 included elements from such films as Thor, Ghost Rider, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Elysium, Into The Storm, Josie & The Pussycats, Resident Evil, Deep Blue Sea, Baby Geniuses, Spider Man 3, Jingle All The Way, Hot Fuzz, Thunderpants, Spice World, Drag Me To Hell, and Event Horizon.

The cast of Baby Geniuses 2 includes Jon Voight (Bratz: The Movie, Anaconda, Deliverance), Scott Baio (Charles in Charge), Vanessa Angel (Kingpin), Peter Wingfield (Catwoman), Justin Chatwin (Dragonball: Evolution), and Skyler Shaye (Bratz: The Movie).

babygeniusestwo2The plot of Baby Geniuses 2 follows a group of young babies who stay at a local daycare, and speak in a mysterious baby language. They tell the story of a mythical Superbaby called ‘The Kahuna’, who appears to them shortly afterwards in order to foil an evil plot unfolding under their noses. With the help of their babysitter, the babies get kidnapped by Kahuna and are taken to his Willy Wonka-esque hideout, where they are subsequently turned into superheroes. Eventually the plot ends, and everyone is supposedly happy as all of the children’s memories are wiped.

Baby Geniuses 2 has become a mainstay at the bottom of the IMDb’s Bottom 100, and has held the bottom slot on more than a few occasions. As of this writing, it is sitting at #15 in the ranking.

Baby Geniuses 2 shockingly wound up spawning multiple sequels: Baby Geniuses and The Mystery of the Crown Jewels (2013), Baby Geniuses and The Treasures of Egypt (2014), and Baby Geniuses and The Space Baby (2015). As I understand it, all of these films follow characters established in Baby Geniuses 2 rather than Baby Geniuses, which have very little relationship to each other from a plot perspective.

Baby Geniuses 2 wound up with a total of 4 Golden Raspberry nominations, which are given out as a dishonor for the worst films and performances of the year. It racked up nominations for Worst Director, Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Screenplay, but it astoundingly did not win any of them, as they were primarily taken by Catwoman and Fahrenheit 9/11.

Baby Geniuses 2 had a budget of roughly $20 million, though it grossed less than $10 million in its theatrical release, making it a significant financial failure.

The reception to Baby Geniuses 2 was overwhelmingly negative: it currently holds a 1.9 on IMDb, along with scores of 0% (critics) and 19% (audience) on the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

The bad visual effects and stunts work throughout Baby Geniuses 2 come fast and furious, and just look awful. The effects are all emphasized far too much for a movie that really didn’t require their presence at all. While the fighting scenes are laughable in their incompetence at first, that novelty dries up pretty fast as the movie drags on.

babygeniusestwo1The worst offense in this movie (in my opinion) is the dubbing work done over the babies, who were clearly directed to just randomly move their mouths. Any time you are relying on child actors you are running a big risk for your movie, but the fact that this was riding on baby actors absolutely doomed it (just like its predecessor). Unless you turn to butter at the sight of blithering babies, it is unbearable to watch.

If there is anything memorable about this movie, it is Jon Voight and his ridiculous fake accent. Voight certainly hams up his role to the max in truly bizarre fashion, but that is unfortunately hardly enough to make this movie watchable.

As far as the writing goes in the movie, there is a pathetic attempt at a plot twist that anyone over 5 could spot from a mile away. There is also a half-assed attempt to preach about how awful and lazy watching television causes people to be through the plot, while the movie is simultaneously a mind-numbingly awful movie. The dialogue is almost forgivable, given that babies are supposed to be the ones speaking for most of the film, but there are a number of instances where their vocabulary is far more advanced than it should be, throwing a wrench into any semblance of consistency in the dialogue writing. Most of the attempts at humor relate to poop and/or diapers, a topic which is retread over and over again throughout the film.

Whoopi Goldberg has a perplexing and unnecessary cameo in this movie that I still can’t quite wrap my brain around. She plays herself, and is apparently part of a network of militarized babies (or something), which makes exactly as much sense as it sounds like it does.

There is something that has bugged me ever since I first saw this movie: who was the intended audience for it supposed to be? I’m not sure if this would actually entertain children or babies, as it seems to emphasize the babies being supposedly cute more than anything else. I suppose if you are one of those people that turns to mush whenever you see a baby, this movie might actually have been made for you. In all seriousness, if watching babies be babies for an hour and a half seems like a raucous good time to you, then this movie is totally up your alley, and you should have at it.

For everyone else out there, I highly recommend not watching this movie. It is a horrible mess of a film with no redeeming qualities outside of Jon Voight, who might be worth looking up some clips of. I do suspect that there is a meta-plot to this movie about how it is actually capable of killing your brain cells, just in case you are the sort of person who wants to read too deeply into a movie about babies. However, I assume that I’m probably alone there.

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IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 1

Good news! I’m oddly wedged between being 1/5 and 1/4 of the way done with my challenge to watch through the IMDb Bottom 100! I’m going to go ahead and count it as the quarter mark of the challenge. That means that this is as good a time as any to do a recap!

Once again, as I did for Boggy Creek II, I decided to do these reviews in video form, wrongly assuming that would save time. For most of these I also wrote a short text review, so I’m going to go ahead and include those as well.

I hope you all enjoy!

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

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Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is quite horrible. Any time you are relying on child actors you are running a big risk, but the fact that this was riding on baby actors didn’t even scratch the surface of why this movie failed. The acting was obviously crap from the “leads”, I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. Voight hams it up a bit in truly bizarre fashion, but that is hardly enough to make this thing watchable. The fighting scenes are laughable in their incompetence at first, but that novelty dries up pretty fast. The effects are awful and completely jarring, and I’m still not sure why anyone felt they were necessary in this movie. This movie had no need of bad computer generation at all. Then again, there was no need for this movie at all. As far as the writing goes, this has a pathetic attempt at a twist that anyone could spot from a mile away, and the plot is pure idiocy. Everything else is exactly as mind-numbing as you would expect. None of the jokes were funny, which I don’t think I even need to point out.

If you are one of those people that turns to mush whenever you see a baby, I think this movie is actually made for you. Or rather, this movie was made because of you. More specifically and to the point, this movie is your fault, and I hate you.

In all seriousness, if watching babies be babies for an hour and a half seems like a raucous good time to you, then have at it. This movie has exactly what you want, and I’ll just go ahead and avoid being around you.

For everyone else, don’t watch this movie. It is a horrible mess of a film with no redeeming qualities outside of yet another Jon Voight villain. I think there might be a meta-plot to this movie about how it is actually capable of killing your brain cells, just in case you are the sort of person who wants to read too deeply into a movie about babies. I’m probably alone there.

Going Overboard

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Going Overboard is bad, and the whole crew knew it from the very beginning. The cinematography is horrible, but that’s what predictably happens when you try to film a movie in the cramped confines of a cruise ship. Go figure. The decision to preface the film with a blatant apology to the audience, and subsequently have Adam Sandler break character throughout the movie to further apologize for the quality of the film, must have been an attempt to get some laughs out of this thing. It didn’t work, for the record.

It is interesting to see a pre-SNL Sandler at least. He is just as bad as he always is, and can’t act in any way. No one on the cast is putting in any kind of effort anyway though, almost as if the motivation behind this movie is that they just wanted to go on a cruise and film along the way. Still, it is interesting to see Sandler at the beginning of his career…I guess.

For what it is worth, I don’t think this deserves the #8 spot on the IMDb Bottom 100. It is actually mostly watchable, but it just isn’t funny. It has plenty of technical and writing issues for sure, but they clearly weren’t working with anything to start with, and didn’t much care about putting out a quality product at any point. I’m not sure if the self-aware aspect of this movie helps it or hurts it, to tell the truth. I do know that I would still take this over a movie like “Pledge This!” absolutely any day, so there is at least that to be said for it.

I actually think that there is a potentially funny movie hidden in here somewhere, but it would just need a new director, new cast, a serious re-write, a budget, and some actual damn effort. So, pretty much an entirely different movie with the same basic premise. Like, imagine this plot with Louis CK as a cruise ship waiter who is down on his luck and dreams of doing stand up comedy, and Marc Maron or Dennis Miller featured as a washed up asshole stand-up comic on his way out, relegated to doing a cruise ship show. There is a potential movie there.

Anyway, Poseidon and Noriega both feature prominently as characters, which I don’t think any other movie can claim. So there is that I guess. I also don’t think any other Sandler movie incorporates a Panamanian hit squad with aspirations of stand up comedy, which is actually something positive to say about the rest of Sandler’s film career.

This movie ends with Adam Sandler hooking up with a demigod, and the rival comic
drowning after being tossed overboard in what is basically a stand-up comic mutiny. That sounds like the way you would end some sort of greco-roman epic, not an Adam Sandler comedy. The bizarreness of the ending coupled with the unique incompetence behind the scenes actually makes this whole mess relatively interesting, in the same way that dissecting a dramatically mutated squirrel from Chernobyl would be relatively interesting.

Manos: The Hands of Fate

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Ah, “Manos”. This movie has been covered countless times before, so there isn’t anything new to say. I actually love this movie. This is a classic B-movie, and I’ve seen it more than a few times before. There isn’t a lot of commentary to be had because I enjoy it so damn much.

If you haven’t seen this movie, it is an amazing experience. This and “Plan 9 From Outer Space” are THE essential B-movies that most people know. Interestingly, “Plan 9” is not in the bottom 100, despite them being comparable movies (a downside of the democratic ranking system of IMDb is that people will rate bad movies highly for unintentional entertainment value. Hell, I’d give “Plan 9” a 10 myself).

Torgo and the Master are iconic oddball B-movie characters, and the little girl with the bizarre adult voice-over is simultaneously unbelievable and the creepiest thing in the movie. The acting is hammy and over the top in the best possible way where it needs to be, so there is nothing to complain about there.

The story and writing are completely bogus, and barely anything makes sense throughout the film. I suggest just going with the mad tide on this one, and you’ll be just fine. Don’t try to make any of it make sense.

I sort of understand why it is all the way down towards the basement of the bottom 100, because it is a very incompetently made film. It was an honest effort to make a movie though, unlike other Bottom 100 movies (such as “Going Overboard”) that weren’t even genuine attempts to produce something. I almost feel like there should be accepted categories of bad movies to differentiate between failures and unintentionally brilliant works like “Manos”. The fact that there is so much entertainment value out of such an honestly incompetent attempt at a film makes “Manos” charming and magical in a way that only a B-movie can be.

Also, I love the “Manos” soundtrack. Seriously. I also would kill to have a re-creation of the Manos cape-thing (note that there are hands on it, those aren’t stripes).

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Birdemic: Shock and Terror

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“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” is one of the best bad movies to come out in recent years. Every aspect of the movie is done incredibly poorly, which is an amazing feat. The effects are unspeakably bad, the acting is a step below what you would find in a commercial for a local car dealership, and the sound editing might actual cause your ears to bleed. The cinematography is bad, the pacing is atrocious, and the driving/parking scenes are some of the most boring shots that have ever made it into a movie.

Despite all of these issues, the movie comes out as a genuinely enjoyable watch. There is so much wrong that it is almost the perfect showcase of how not to make a movie, which has entertainment value to it to be sure.

Not unlike the classic relationship between “Plan 9” and “Manos”, “Birdemic” is one half of a couple of films that have become the face of contemporary bad movies (the other being “The Room”). I think it is a fantastic representation of how a bad movie can have entertainment value despite countless technical failings. Just like “Manos”, this movie has the intangible charm that makes certain cinematic failures into B-movie classics. I highly recommend this movie to just about anyone as an introduction to bad movies, given you have a copy of either of the Rifftrax commentaries of the movies. Watching this straight might be a bit much for a casual movie watcher.

I’ll Part 2 up in the next few days with 4 more of the Bottom 100 movies!