On this week’s episode, we present out annual No Cursing Family Spectacular! We’re talking about A Charlie Brown Christmas in our second installment of Christmas-Tober: The Beginning of the Middle! A great time is had by all as we very tiredly discuss everything from Snoopy’s skills as a musician, to Lucy’s psychiatric qualifications, to what’s really going on at home with Pig-Pen. Also, one of us breaks the oath and drops a curse word! Takes bets on who it is, gamble with your whole family, and enjoy the episode!
On this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we watched “Thanksgiving Classic” Son In Law, and loved almost every second of Pauly Shore-ian goodness. The movie raises some important questions though that must be answered. Is Crawl actually very annoying? Would we accept him into our lives if he dated one of our daughters? Does The Great Hambino have an incestuous love for his sister? Why isn’t anyone in jail after the debacle that goes on with these characters? We do our best to answer these and many more as things go off the rails as usual.
More importantly than any of those questions if this one: Did we still enjoy flick? Well hell yeah we did! We weezed juice, we buffed the wood, we munched grindage, and we even found time in our busy lives to scope out some baby-fresh nugs and cones. Listen, we’re in our thirties, we have families, we can’t just spend all day scoping out baby-fresh nugs and cones; so when we can finally fit it in our schedules, it’s a real treat. Point is, we enjoyed ourselves the full Pauly Shore experience, and we’re all the better for it. However, there’s one thing that this movie reminded us of that we don’t appreciate: That no one gives a crap about Thanksgiving. There’s a reason that I had to quote “Thanksgiving Classic” earlier, because it’s not the kind of holiday that get’s its own classics. Everyone has things they watch on Christmas and Halloween, but no one really has any movies that they watch every Thanksgiving. We know because we asked around when we were trying to decide on something to do for our Thanksgiving episode, and people could only think of Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles , but no one watched either one every year as part of any sort of tradition. Hanukkah at least gets a prime Adam Sandler song despite getting the shaft otherwise, and Kwanzaa is still pretty new so we can give it a pass on not having a ton of “classic” film choices attached to it, but Thanksgiving just has a bunch of flicks that most people forget take place on it and a lesser Adam Sandler song. Where am I going with all this? I’m not even sure myself, but I know that Thanksgiving deserves better!
So let’s ignore the fact that T-Day is a holiday based on traditions that probably didn’t happen the way we think they did, and forget for a second that the Pilgrims jacked the natives for their land. This isn’t about the validity of the holiday itself. It’s about the celebration, and let me tell you this: In a vacuum, Thanksgiving kind of craps on the other holidays. Christmas has stressful shopping, and the fear of not getting what you want, or getting someone the wrong thing. It’s also anti-climactic if you get anything other than a pony or car every year. Hanukkah has the same problems. Halloween is only really fun when you’re a kid or when you have little kids (don’t tell me that costume parties are that great, it’s just you drunk like you always are, except now you’re dressed like Sexy Yoda or something). “But Craig, Adam Sandler told me that Hanukkah has eight crazy nights of presents!” Listen, my mother is Jewish, so I’ve celebrated many a Festival of Lights and I can confirm what every little Jewish girl and boy is thinking to themselves as they read this: If you’re not rich, Hanukkah is one, MAYBE two nights of real gifts and six to seven nights of socks and school supplies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but from a present perspective, it’s just spread out Christmas. Anyhow, Thanksgiving.
I’m not going to tell you that I like it better than Christmas, because I dig them both and I love both gifts and stuffing. I probably like Christmas a little bit more but that’s a product of the coverage. Thanksgiving gets some leaves, a bunch of sales that end up ruining retailers abilities to enjoy the day, and a good Friends episode. “Christmas Season” basically starts halfway through Thanksgiving day and lasts until New Years Eve. It has a ton of classic movies, a ton of decorations, and is celebrated for two days by most people. It’s almost unfair, and in my extremely roundabout way, that’s what I’m here to say: Give Thanksgiving a chance!! Maybe I’m swayed by my friend’s monotone, yet very logically developed argument on behalf of turkey day, or maybe I’m just a sucker for the underdog, but let’s give Thanksgiving some more media folks!
I’m going to start with the obvious: Thanksgiving has a ton of family. Family yields characters; characters yield drama and comedy. They say that character should drive plot, well Thanksgiving gatherings give you a ton of characters to drive all over the place with! Next obvious jumping off point is the food. Why aren’t there more scripts being written about Thanksgiving at Italian restaurants, or family members cooking dueling turkeys? Food and family folks!! Gatherings! It’s all right there! We don’t even have to stray too far from what has already been done. We can do more “road trip to get home for Thanksgiving Dinner” movies like Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; they work and we’ve all been there. It’s not rocket surgery folks!
Let’s hit the less obvious now and talk about Thanksgiving Eve…the second biggest drinking night of the year! I did a lot of security in a lot of bars in my day, and Thanksgiving was one of two major “Amateur Nights’’ that we dealt with. Nights where people who don’t normally drink got bombed. Nights where kids came back from college looking to show off the drinking skills that they think they’ve developed. People are partying, people are puking, people are fighting, and people are falling in love for at least the evening. There’s so much plot to be mined from this night before the Turkey is sacrificed. It’s also a major “there’s no school tomorrow” day for people who can’t yet drink, and many adventures are had by teenagers who just want to somehow match the adventures their older siblings and friends are having. Listen, a lot of things can happen of T-Day Eve; I once started a car with a damned shoe whilst stuck on the streets of Greenwich Village! Unlike Christmas, it’s a night of adventure for everyone of adventuring age, not just those of us who don’t have families to spend time with. So much can happen, so why don’t we put more of it on screen!?!?
You guys get the point, I want to see Thanksgiving on screen more, so I will dispense with my habble-babble and let you get on with listening to the show, but first…I leave you with this:
At a surprise Fall programming meeting for NBC, SuperStore star America Ferrera and newly hired Sunday Night Football correspondent/ former National Football League Punter/All around character Pat Mcafee stumble upon the time machine that we all know is hidden in the bowels of the NBC-Universal lot. Thinking that it’s some sort of flight simulator, they jump in and are sent all the way back to the first Thanksgiving where they accidentally ruin the fabled sit-down dinner between The Pilgrims and The Native Americans when they interfere with the killing of the first Turkey. This is all unbeknownst to them and they return to the present to find that Thanksgiving no longer exists and that the world is an absolutely terrible place without this magical day of food and family. The streets are riddled with angry, emaciated people; no one gathers with family for any reason, and we are ruled by a race of ultra-intelligent Robo-Turkeys. Realizing the mistake they made, the two travel back in time and save Thanksgiving! They hunt the Alpha-Turkey themselves and bring the Pilgrims and the Natives back to the table to achieve peace! For doing so, elders from both sides imbue them with magical powers and they return to the present day ready to spread love and cheer and anti-turkey sentiment year after year for the rest of all time, plus they return to a world where Native Americans weren’t screwed out of their land! Bonus! Yes folks, they’ve become Pilgrim Pat MCafee and Native America Ferrera! They’re basically like double Santa Clauses… Santas Claus…Santa Cly? Anyhow, they’re the holiday mascots Thanksgiving needs to be totally legit! Sure, Native America Ferrera is almost insensitive, but it’s a joke, so please be nice to me. Their main powers are to teach people about Native American culture, cook turkey, and fly…because flight is dope. They don’t have costumes either, it’s just them in their regular clothes, and they just show up whenever someone’s Thanksgiving is in danger. If you’re wondering why they don’t teach kids about Pilgrim culture, it’s because I don’t really know what that is and I’m too lazy to Wikipedia it. So yeah…I’m going to quit while I’m behind. Go listen to the show and pretend I wrote something intelligent about cultural relations and our need for a new big budget Jim Thorpe movie, because that dude was awesome. So yeah, stick to the Jim Thorpe thing and enjoy Son In Law!
On this weeks episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we get to revisit one of our all-time favorite movies that no one has ever heard of, but the two of us can quote all day long, Necessary Roughness. . It’s Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, Jason Bateman from Arrested Development, The Ozarks, and The Hogan Family, and Sinbad from…being Sinbad; all throwing on the pads and hitting the gridiron for some early 90s college football hijinks. It’s as dumb as it sounds, but somehow still manages to be one of our favorite sports movies, so check it out with us!
So as I said above, Necessary Roughness stars Scott Bakula, a personal favorite of ours for his work as Dr. Samuel Beckett on the amazing sci-fi/drama classic that was Quantum Leap. For the few of you who don’t know, Quantum Leap centered around Dr. Beckett’s traveling through time via “Leaping” in and out of other people’s bodies. The purpose of his travels (his leaps) was to right some sort of wrong that the person he took over could directly affect. He’d save people’s lives in Vietnam; he’d take over an African America chauffeur and make strides in the Civil Rights Movement; he’s leap into a woman and strike back against chauvinism. It was a great show, and it sometimes made it hard to believe Bakula in any other role. Not because his acting was poor, because I wasn’t (dude has talent), it was that my brain always just kind of assumed that whatever character he was playing was just Dr. Sam Beckett leaping into someone else. Is this crazy? Maybe, but it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong. So let’s live in a world where the scene when he usually goes “Oh Boy” whilst looking in the mirror (it happened on literally every episode of the show) was edited out, and Paul Blake was just another leap. Let’s live in a world where as soon as the end credits begin to roll, Beckett leaps out of Blake and moves onto his next adventure. In that world, we ask this question: Who was Sam sent to help?
(From this moment forth, let’s assume that you understand how Quantum Leap works, and that you’ve seen Necessary Roughness. That way I can stop explaining everything so much. Okay? Cool.)
The Texas State Fighting Armadillos are a damned mess, so there’s no shortage of people on and around the squad who could’ve needed Sam’s help. Let’s not forget that sometimes Sam leaped in order to help someone he barely interacted with. He was able to influence events from both up close and from afar; this makes the possibilities here nearly endless. He could’ve been sent back for any number of the following reasons:
- To teach Edison the value of hard work so that he could someday take over his father’s business and run it in a less ruthless manner. By simply forcing him to study for his test and pass, then by dragging him to victory in that one game, perhaps he taught him that life is better when you earn your victories. Edison was rich, now he was benevolent, Sam could’ve done this.
- To get Andre Krimm to come out of retirement to play one last season and get seen by an NFL scout. Krimm showed up with zero playing time in at least a few years and was able to walk into a Division 1 game and contribute. Scouts had to come calling.
- To help Featherstone become friggin’ Odell Beckham after catching that one damned ball. I mean, the guy went from being basically un-covered by anyone in the secondary to being triple covered by a corner, a safety, and linebacker. Blake’s throw changed his life.
- To get Dean Elias to quit his evil ways? He seems to have learned some sort of lesson at the end…or is at least now depressed enough to allow a stuffed armadillo cowboy to put a fake bullet in his head. For a man that seems to have some sort of university pedigree, that’s pretty low. Maybe after he’s murdered in effigy (probably not using that right, but it sounds good), he changes his life and gets a job working with inner-city youth. Maybe he teaches them Capoeira, the Brazilian art of dance-fighting? Maybe this is a secret prequel to Only The Strong. I just hope that Dr. Sam Beckett helped him find his Ba Na Na way. The one person that got that joke is laughing really hard right now…the rest of you can go screw.
- To make Rob Schneider’s character famous? Maybe calling the biggest upset in NCAA Football history gets his name out there and people are impressed with the whole “fumba-ly-a” thing. It’s not that far off from what most people from ESPN did from like 1995 til forever…except for Stuart Scott, that man was a damned national treasure and witticist for the ages. God rest his awesome soul.
- Settle the age old feud between military close-quarters combat and whatever martial art Samurai Hanson practiced? I don’t think that this is a real feud, but hey, that’s Paul Giamatti’s brother playing Sarge!
- To get Manu-Manu to finally have his moment of glory and thus win the affections of Lucy the kicker? She smooched him at the end and it was one of the main closing shots of the flick, so that makes it a strong candidate. Plus, it’s right up Dr. Beckett’s alley to bring two star-crossed lovers from different walks of life together. Although, by that logic, his reason for leaping could’ve been to bring Edison and Krimm together.
- To get Wally Rigendorf his first victory as a head coach and thus start what will surely be a hall of fame career. After all, Ed Genaro said it, he’s been ready for a long time!
I personally like the last one the best because the movie basically gives Robert Loggia’s character the second most plot and character development behind Paul Blake. Plus he goes off to find Blake in the beginning, connecting the two from the start of the story. I imagine in the original timeline, Wally got Paul to play but the team never won a game and Wally not only lost his first and what would be only chance at head coaching, but looked like a fool for bringing in Blake to begin with. His life tanked and he ended up taking that job in England.
Look folks, I don’t know for sure why Dr. Sam Beckett leaped into Paul Blake, Arm of The Armadillos, but seeing as how my life isn’t that bad these days, I’m glad that he changed whatever it is that he changed. So as I do every night after I say my prayers, let me thank Dr. Becket, wherever he may be…whenever he may be, for sacrificing his life for the rest of us. Thank you for beating Texas, thank you for saving Jackie O, and most of all, thank you for Sinbad!
On this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig, we continue ScOctober: The Reckoning with Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners. We watch one of the most WTF flicks we’ve ever done on the show and lose our minds with anger as we try to understand what the hell we’re watching! It’s a very “You got your jelly in my peanut butter! You got your peanut butter in my jelly!” situation…except instead of delicious sandwich spreads, we’re watching someone try to combine a zany Tim Burton flick with an epic Robert Zemeckis movie, with mass killings and post-mortem sexual assault! It’s a real treat for the eyes and the soul. By “treat’’ I mean “I wanted to hide under the bed and sob whilst angrily punching a Japanese love-pillow with Kickboxer-style glass fists the entire time I was watching it because I found it so confusing and so scattershot in its delivery”. Yeah as you can tell, I really dug this movie! Is it the movie’s fault though? Or was I just mislead by the marketing when I was a kiddo? The world may never know, and I will never know if I would’ve enjoyed this flick more if I didn’t think that it was a laugh-out-loud horror-comedy that would harken back to the days of Ghostbusters and Back To The Future, only to be shocked and annoyed by the ghost-rape, cult references, and complete lack of anything funny after the first fifteen minutes…did I mention the mass-killing?
Anyhow, the point is that I didn’t really enjoy this movie the first time I saw it and disliked it even more on my most recent viewing, and that might be the marketing’s fault, because you never get another chance to create and fulfill the expectations of a first viewing. This has happened to me before, more than once, with the most ready example being The Way Of The Gun.
Let’s start off by saying this: I dig the hell out of The Way Of The Gun. It’s written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Mission Impossible: Fallout, and you know, winning a friggin’ Academy Award), it’s got some sweet Benicio Del Toro action, James Caan, Taye Diggs, Juliette Lewis, and is the only reason I began to realize that Ryan Phillipe is talented. It’s also a damned poem of a movie that features cool dialogue, great music, and is all slick and tone and mood. It’s like a lesson in cool, I heart it. However, I didn’t at first, and that’s why my friends and I walked out of the theatre the first time I tried to watch it. Yeah that’s right, I walked out of a movie; something I’d never done before and I haven’t done since. I saw Master Of Disguise and The Last Jedi in the theatre and got all the way through; I was that serious, and it’s all the marketing’s fault.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the trailers that were blasted all over MTV in the weeks before its release. They featured rock music (Incubus, when I liked Incubus…like way more than anyone should like Incubus), comedy beats (Ryan Phillipe jumping into the empty fountain and getting hurt), and a ton of action. Plus, it’s a movie called The Way of The Gun, it had to be an action-comedy! It was going to be huge! I bought tickets in advance! I made my friends all come with me because it looked like literally the best thing ever!
We got the theatre and I was shocked at how empty it was. It was the old Bayside Quad on Bell Boulevard in Queens (New York), and I had expected such a small theater to be packed to the gills with people waiting to enjoy the next 48hrs, Midnight Run, or Beverly Hills Cop; the second coming of Point Break or Die Hard. Nevertheless, I munched some popcorn and waited to have my life changed.
Thirty minutes later I was walking to the car, having left an empty theater because my friends and I hadn’t signed up for this “slow burn” crap. I didn’t know what I was seeing because I was so ill-prepared for the film I was being shown. How could I appreciate something so nuanced and deliberate when I was being told I was going to watch a shoot-em-up with laugh out loud moments? I didn’t watch the movie all the way through until a couple of years later, and didn’t really fully appreciate it until a couple of years and a few re-watches after that. It was a tragedy of cinematic enjoyment, and it’s one of my strongest memories of advertising setting me up for failure…at least when it comes to movies; the toy companies were running this gambit on me for years when I was a kid; so much so that they created laws against certain types of false advertising to protect my generation from being swindled.
There’s been plenty of other instances where movie marketing tricked me into watching something for the wrong reasons. Anyone remember Find Me Guilty? It was marketed as a comedy about a whacky mobster who (*record scratch*) defends himself in court! There was going to be My Cousin Vinny style courtroom hijinks, Italian stereotypes, and a boat load of cliché jokes about pasta and meatballs and grandma’s sauce. Even the box for the DVD had Vin Diesel shrugging his shoulders at the viewer while a bunch of Mafiasos in loud suits made funny faces in the background. I rented it ready to enjoy two hours of goofy lasagna jokes, but what I got was a serious courtroom drama! I hated it! It’s got some solid reviews on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s probably not bad for what it is, but it was a terrible comedy and that’s what I signed up for. This was a legit flick with big stars too, not some Asylum Production called The Quick And The Angry about race cars, it was directed by the guy who made friggin’ Serpico! I expect some honesty in the marketing!
Unfortunately, even as trailers have become something you look up on YouTube after reading a blog post about a movie you hears about on a website a year before, video stores have ceased to exist, and DVD covers only exist in Walmarts and Amazon fulfillment centers, the trend of lying to the audience through film marketing continues. Whether it’s the thumbnail on Netflix pretending that Bruce Willis is in more than five minutes of some cop-flick that actually stars a lesser-known Wahlberg, or a trailer showing the only funny parts of Steve Carrell movie that’s actually super-depressing (I’m making these examples up, but I’m sure there’s some accidental accuracy in them), the marketing departments for most film releases could care less about giving us an accurate depiction of what movie we are getting ourselves into. Some would say that you can’t blame them because it’s their job to show us only the best from what they’re promoting. Others would say that I’m a moron who expects trailers that say “This movie sucks and you shouldn’t watch it because it’s not going to give you what you’re looking for”. I say screw all of that. If a movie sucks and someone pays you to show that it doesn’t, show me a trailer with only the good parts, sure, but show me a trailer that’s at least honest about what genre of film we’re watching. If you can only afford to have John Malkovich on set for two days, put his name on the poster, but at least put “And Featuring” before his name so I know that he’s not running the show. You don’t have to judge the quality of the movie for me, I can do that for myself, just don’t lie to me! Don’t give me false expectations, and maybe I won’t hate your movie when it doesn’t reach those expectations. Most people decide on what to watch from a check on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not doing you any favors to have bunch of negative reviews floating around because you promised comedy but delivered tragedy.
I have plenty of other gripes to make about trailers, but I will save those for another day. For now, just remember that you’re probably better off going into a movie having only read the logline and knowing if you enjoy the work of the people involved. Try it sometime, you can’t be let down if you don’t really have expectations. End Rant.
BONUS Random Train of Thought:
“The Lesser Known Wahlbergs” sounds like the name of a band that would sing the track from the trailer for a movie starring Rachel Leigh Cook and Giovanni Ribisi as teenagers who work in a supermarket and have a quirky romance during a summer power outage that traps them in the store.
I just remembered whilst writing this that in Gone In 60 Seconds there’s a character named ”Freb”. Chi McBride is also in that flick, hence the train of thought. So yeah, Freb…welcome to the early 2000s.
Also, whenever I think of the name ”McBride” I think of Marty’s boss mispronouncing his name in Back To The Future 2 and Sab Shimono trying to say “McBride Trail” in The Big Hit
We will be covering The Big Hit someday. Screw you, I love that movie.
Finally, Sab Shimono was in Gung-Ho¸and I’ve heard people say that said movie is racist. While it’s not the most culturally sensitive thing ever created, I have to argue and always will say that it’s not at all racist against its Japanese characters. Instead, at least through my current lens (30 years after the fact), I see it as more of a comment on how crappy Americans can be at allowing outsiders to assimilate into their culture. Anyhow, I dig that movie, and the final message is that we can all learn from each other, if it takes an exaggerated group of Japanese men soaking in a lake and George Wendt being an ugly American to get there…so be it.
On this week’s episode of the podcast. we go a little less retro and seek a little less nostalgia than usual as we stay in this century with 2001’s Made. One of the most underrated comedies of the first part of the century, the boys saw this bad boy in the theater and have been quoting it ever since. It often gets forgotten because it was the team of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau’s first major collaboration since Swingers. Everyone who fell in love with the duo’s shtick in the famed L.A. dating movie took one look at Made and gave up. However, the boys would argue that Made is not only just as entertaining as its predecessor, but that it’s more quotable and provides just as good of a narrative. Did Swingers have more catch-phrases? Yes. However, Made sees its lines dropped way more in the circles we all run it. We will let you decide, as we dive head first into the mystery of how many Bobby Risiglianos there really are, find out just what happened to that carpet cleaning van, and decide once and for all if we’re tired of Vince Vaughn playing Vince Vaughn in his movies. It’s Made!
On this week’s episode of the Un-Titled movie podcast with Ron & Craig, we watch 1990’s Kindergarten Cop! We’ll discuss how a kid’s movie becomes a damned bloodbath, introduce our new weekly award, and try to figure out where the hell that ferret came from! Also, our usual technical difficulties… and oh yeah: RICHARD FRIGGIN’ TYSON! Find us iTunes and Stitcher and Spotify and Twitter and Facebook and MySpace!!! One of those isn’t real!
On this week’s episode, we’re talking about the movie that the friggin’ American Bar Association voted one of the most accurate courtroom films ever! Nope, not 12 Angry Men, it’s just one angry Italian! That’s right, it’s 1992’s My Cousin Vinny! The movie that put Marisa Tomei on the map, gave us Ralph Macchio’s last stand for almost 30 years, and reminded us exactly how funny Joe Pesci really is. Also, Herman Munster! A true classic in both of our households, us two yutes had a great time talking about it, so we hope that you have a great time listening! You can also find us on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher!
On this week’s episode we talk about 1993’s The Sandlot. We get into it about how weird Small’s actually is, decide whether the other kids are good people, and figure out once and for all if Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez is the world’s greatest kid. One thing that we don’t mention is “You’re Killing Me Smalls!”, but we have a blog dropping tomorrow that explains how that happened. So, stay tuned to the blog and keep on reviewing us on iTunes, Spotify, and wherever you can get someone to listen to you about the dumb internet shows you listen to!