I don’t care what your agenda, politics, cause or reasons are. I don’t want to hear about sequels, prequels, reboots or recasts. I don’t care who’s offended, what’s offensive, or problematic, or should be cancelled.
I don’t want the following movies fucked with. Ever.
He lives in everything we love. If Chuck Berry never existed, neither would Back To The Future. Neither would you.
The Rolling Stones wouldn’t exist if Chuck Berry hadn’t. Life without the Rolling Stones is unfathomable. Nearly everyone’s parents fucked during or after Rolling Stones songs. Without them, the human race would have blinked out long ago.
Do you know what a “cold open” is? Sure you do. Every current sitcom you watch uses it. It’s when the show just begins, no fanfare, no opening titles. Right into the action, because the producers know you’ll change the channel if you have to sit through 30 seconds of the same music every week.
Congrats! You’ve done exactly what was expected of you, and nothing more.
“Cold opens” are like “cold sores”. They spread easily. Saturday Night Live has done cold opens since before you were born. You’re used to it in sitcoms. Hell, you were getting tired of the “typical sitcom theme”, anyway.
1941 is a not-very-good comedy from 1979, directed by a young Steven Spielberg. It has an all-star cast; John Belushi, Robert Stack, Slim Pickens, Ned Beatty, and Christopher Lee, just to name a few. The score, from the dependable John Williams, is rousing and bombastic, with a great send-up of Glenn Miller that plays before a “zoot-suit riot”. The movie is a farce about a small California town that descends into chaos when a Japanese sub appears off the coast, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The destruction effects, and Slim Pickens faking a forceful shit by chucking a boot in a toilet, greatly endeared 1941 to me as a boy, to the point where I drove my dad nuts with it. He knew it was a stupid, leaden bomb. I saw Dan Aykroyd with nylon hose on his head and oranges in his eyes screaming “I’m a bug”, and I lost my mind. Then I tried it myself one day, and I almost lost my eyesight. Continue reading →
In the latter half of the 1980s, just about every teenage guy wanted to be Michael J. Fox.
Kari Michaelson AND Nancy McKeon- ROWR!
He had indomitable charisma. He had charm. He even made voice-cracking kind of cool. He was likable yuppie Alex P. Keaton on NBC’s sitcom Family Ties, and spastic teen time-traveler Marty McFly in the Back To The Future trilogy of movies.
Then in 1991, after Brian DePalma’s Casualties Of War, Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s Disease. Continue reading →
Previously, I remarked upon how those of us who were children in the 1980s “knew disappointment by name”, thanks to the deluge of new toy lines leaping at us from store shelves, most of them doomed to two-year lifespans and discount-bin futures. Companies were just beginning to learn how the lack of a Saturday morning cartoon could put an ugly dent in their profits. The hunt was on for the next best gimmick, the hook that would bring in the kids and establish the next He-Man or GI Joe. Not coincidentally, those lines were also infusing gimmicks circa 1987 in a losing battle to stay on top.
Transformers, arguably the decade’s most popular toys, were expensive to produce. The supply of repainted robots that comprised the line’s first few years had run dry, leaving Hasbro no choice but to design the toys themselves, an extra step that was not only also very expensive, but resulted in the far simpler Pretenders and Firecons. Few, if any, will argue that either was a high point in quality. For the uninitiated: Firecons used the same sparking mechanism as Doc’s DeLorean from Back To The Future, and that was a Happy Meal toy. (It was recalled because “kids” could chew off a rear tire and choke on it, not because of the sparks as you might assume. I have two of the worthless things.)
So it was that in 1987 Hasbro began to try some new tricks. Here is but one example of something they threw at the wall with the greatest effort, and try as it might, it just didn’t stick. Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, I give you Air Raiders.