Welcome to a very special episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are covering a classic Chicago-centric film and to ground them and give it some historical city context and for this gigantic sleepover, they brought in the Windy City’s very own, Mighty-MightyMike Vanderbilt to lend a hand. We’re all ‘ona mission from God’ this go-around when we take on the musical phenomenon The Blues Brothers, from 1980!Having Mike Vanderbilt over is very exciting for Dion and Blake, and after a quick catch up, they all jump right in. Mike and Blake bring an added layer to the conversation as they are gigging rock and blues musicians themselves with their own bands, and they talk shop about fronting various groups and their gear preferences when performing live at various venues (Dion tries to add his input as he played the alto saxophone in 4th grade, and the drums for 4 years in elementary and middle school). The fellas then focus in on the significance of this film and the history of The Blues Brothers and Jake & Elwood, discussing their roots on Saturday Night Live, and the direction of John Landis on the 1980 film. Mike brings his unique Chicago input, giving some great context to the various locations that highlight the Windy City, making it almost a third star of the film. So, make sure you’ve got your converted 1974 Mount Prospect Dodge Monaco gassed up, your cheese whiz, and your Night Train Wine, ’cause the boys have a long ride back, as they examine another classic, on an all new fantastic Chicago-edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are exploring one of their favorite franchises -talking all things Star Trek– and taking a deep-dive into the 1991 film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country !
Blake and Dion jump right in, unpacking this huge topic- from the original series, to the feature films, and all the other elements that led to this movie, Star Trek VI , as well as utilize the fantastic novelization. They also lay out all the social and geopolitical events that were unfolding around the world at the time that played into this film (which the boys consider one of the best of the series). So watch your Romulan Ale intake, and monitor any enormous neutron radiation fields, because the lads are dissecting one of their absolute favorites in this all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(During the episodeDion and Blake excitedly referred to the great character actor Ward Bondas Wade Bond and his fabulous showWagon Trainas Wagon Trail – yes they can get overzealous at times.)
(Brock Peters was not the voice of the Kingpin on the 1994Spiderman animated series, but instead it was Roscoe Lee Browne.)
Welcome to another all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With the hot summer months upon us, J. Blake and Dion Baia have decided to cover a classic- a movie they’ve been talking about doing since year one of the podcast. This week the boys are hitting familiar territory -the gritty 1970’s- and chatting about the amazing Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw film, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, from 1974!
After having a brief discussion about “trigger warnings,” Dion and Blake jump right in and can’t gush enough about their mutual love for this seldom remembered cinema gem. They unpack the backstory of the film, the history and climate of New York City of the era and why all this is integral to the movie’s plot. They analyze the absolutely amazing cast of actors, the tight story, and they breakdown the phenomenal score by David Shire. So, grab your subway maps, your subway motorman car “keys” and your train timetables, because the fellas are taking you back to one of the greatest eras of cinema -the 1970s- and one of its best examples, right here on an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are back talking about a mega summer blockbuster that turns 25 years old this month, a film that literally changed the face of cinema with its use of DTS and Computer Generated Imagery for the better (or worse, depending on your feelings about CGI vs Practical Effects). That’s right, the boys are chatting the Michael Crichton/Steven Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park, from 1993!
Blake and Dion jump right in, discussing memories of seeing this film that glorious summer of 1993, and how incredible the visuals and audio were for cinema-goers at the time. They discuss the revolutionary Special Effects within this movie and how they evolved with the story from being robotic and stop-motion effects, to ground-breaking CGI. They cover the inception of this story from the brilliant mind of Michael Crichton, and how he was able to sell this idea to Steven Spielberg even before the book was published. They also dissect Spielberg‘s choices within the film and the moments that have now become that of cinema legend! So grab your partners, pile into the autonomous Ford Explorers, and whatever you do, don’t get out of the vehicles if there’s a power outrage, because the fellas are talking dinosaurs this week with an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
The boys are at it again this week on an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are taking on an absolute cinema classic–the Robert Zemeckis helmed masterpiece, Back to the Future from 1985!
Filled with an all-star cast on the very top of their game, Dion and Blake can’t hold in their excitement and enthusiasm for this movie, as they gush over every aspect of the production. From the script, to the effects, to the themes–everything here is top-notch. They discuss the huge “what-ifs” in this movie, like the alternate cast choices, early versions of the script, and the alternate ending. It’s all going down this week. So grab your skateboards, portable cassette players, and make sure you have enough plutonium to get back and forth again, because once they get their newly built Deloreanconversion to 88 mph…well you can guess what’ll happen this week, on an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers ! Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a popular fan request, a real favorite from their childhoods that was a blockbuster when it was released. The boys are getting their asses to Mars this week as they cover the Arnold Schwarzenegger epic, Total Recall, from 1990!
Blake and Dion jump right into it, revisiting this classic and discuss how happy they are that this movie still holds up. They compare the finished version to the original Philip K. Dick short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale as well as the differences within the novelization, and explain the long process of getting this from the page to the screen. They unpack the massive PracticalEffects in all their splendor, something that probably will never be seen in a Hollywood film like this again- along with a whole lot more. So come on down and check out another really late night meditation in an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers !
*During the podcast, actor Michael Champion was mentioned as perhaps the villain in the 1991 film The Hard Way, when it was in fact the great Stephen Lang.
Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking the Springseason off with a cult classic -a film largely forgotten by many- or gets a raw deal by those who do. But with the new Avengers: Infinite Wars coming out, the boys thought it was about time to cover this important installment in Marvel history. This week it’s they’re talking all things Captain America, from 1990.
Dion and Blake chat about growing up being avid comic book fans and how popular the medium was at the time, while reminiscing about the various comic book stores they frequented in that glorious era of their youth. They segue and discuss the history of Captain America and particularly how it related to what was really happening in the world at the time, before they get to the 1990 film. They explore the epic cast assembled and the pitfalls of trying to do a faithful adaptation of a classic character without having the budget to do so. It’s all going down on this epic, all-new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are two kids on an adventure! They’re headed up to the Goon Docks, and taking up where Chester Copperpot (aka Keenan Wynn) left off, looking for One-Eyed Willy‘s treasure as they take on an absolute cult classic, The Goonies, from 1985!
Always a huge request from listeners, this film brings it all back for Blake and Dion. They chat about the idea of all of us having a shared collective of ‘childhood memories’ consisting of bikes, skateboards, snack food and junk food, and plain fun and adventure, as they reminisce about this classic epic. They discuss this subgenre of “kids on an adventure“, and other films of the time period which shared commonalities with this template, and the various forces that came together to get The Goonies made. They analyze the superb cast and crew, and the surprising tidbits of info that may not be commonly known- (such as the dropped subplot of gorillas escaping a local zoo and stealing a golf cart and then a car, all of which was shot Second Unit by Steven Spielberg!) -among others. The boys attempt to unpack as much as they can in another enthralling, hilarious and informative edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(During the podcast while talking about the 1996 film Mulholland Falls, Dion mistakenly said John Lithgow when he meant John Malkovich– our apologies.)
Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are covering an absolute classic, a movie based on the famous novel by Richard Matheson,I am Legend , that was even cited by auteurGeorge Romero as a direct inspiration for his film Night of the Living Dead, which basically created an entire zombie horror subgenre. We are first talking about Vincent Price, and then his groundbreaking film, The Last Man on Earth, from 1964.
The boys explore this highly underrated classic and it’s influence on the entire zombie, vampire, post-apocalypticand Italian zombie genres, and also the influence of it’s legendary star, Vincent Price. They get into the original groundbreaking novel by Matheson and the differences between this version as well as the other film incarnations that followed.
But more importantly as a bonus, the boys speak exclusively with Vincent Price’s daughterVictoria Price about her new book, The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self . In their in-depth interview they discuss the inspiration that inspired the book and her journey on the road to happiness, and rediscovering joy in the world, as well as what it was like being the daughter of such an esteemed Hollywood mega-couple. And also touch on the legendary but little known industrial designer and family friend, Henry Dreyfuss.
So come on down and listen to Blake and Dion show some love to such an underrated classic, AND check out this great, exclusive interview with Victoria Price in this all new and exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another installment of Kung Fu February on Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are going back to the well, covering one of the original ‘tournament‘ films with a motion picture that not only, arguably, introduced the West–and the mainstream in general–to this style of movie, but also became a pillar for an entire genre. The boys are covering a classic and the legend who brought us this film, Bruce Lee and his masterpiece, Enter the Dragon, from 1973.
Blake and Dionalso have a real treat in-store for this week, because joining them to discuss all things martial arts is their long-time friend and film school colleague, actor and podcaster,Michael C. Maronna!
So come listen to the trio discuss and analyze all things Bruce Lee and Enter The Dragon, as they explore the incredible journey that martial arts cinema’s greatest legend took to get himself and this movie to the screen–and the lasting legacy it had on the world, that Lee never lived to see. It’s all going down on this all new and exciting, hilarious and action-packed Kung Fu February edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another exciting installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With February upon us, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to begin a new tradition- something they epically titled: Kung Fu February ! And to kick of this new series, the boys have picked a legendary and classic film, one with the amazing Jackie Chan playing the historical/semi-mythical character Wong Fei-Hong, in Drunken Master IIaka The Legend of the Drunken Master, from 1994.
The boys explore the vast martial arts genre and their mutual love for the great Jackie Chan, and the journey this amazing actor went through to become an international star, and what it took to get this film, Drunken Master II to become a reality and released not only in Asia, but globally. It’s all going down this week on an all new and action-packed edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another brand new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking a trip down memory lane, covering an epic story from a monumental television series from our collective youth. The boys are revisiting the animated classic G.I. Joe, and the 5-parter storyline that premiered Season 2 and reset the series, called “Arise, Serpentor, Arise! “, from 1986.
Blake and Dion analyze the origins and history of G.I. Joe as a toyline from Hasbro, and how with its reinvention in 1982 (with the help of Marvel Comics), became one of the biggest and most popular toy lines in history. In typical SNMS fashion, they discuss the Serpentor storyline and utilize as a cross reference, the differences in the comic book‘s story arc, to unpack how ahead of its time this and other core stories were in G.I. Joe, and how the Season 2 reset launched an entire new line of toys for us to buy. So come on and have a listen as the boys revisit a classic, on an all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
*The 1945 Robert Mitchum/Burgess Meredithfilm is titled The Story of G.I. Joe, not just G.I. Joe.
*Dion misspoke and said Lifeline when he meant Lift-Ticket,who piloted the Tomahawk helicopter.
As discussed in the podcast, Blake & Dion attended Hascon in September of 2017. Here are some photos they took of the G.I. Joe display (We apologize for the reflections in some of the pictures- we just couldn’t eliminate those pesky things; and for the framing of other pics- we were moving as quickly as we could to see all the displays! ):
Check out some original 12inch Joes from the 1960s-70sHere, here, here and here;
Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018‘s edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! For the first episode of the year, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to tackle a film that spawned an entire franchise across all forms of media, despite flopping at the box office. The boys are heading to Scotland this week as they cover the immortal classic, Highlander, from 1986.
Dion and Blake get into the backstory of this immense series that spans films, television, animation, books, comic books and audiobooks. They analyze the elements that, like catching lightning in a bottle, came together to make this epic a classic. They unpack the differences in the original screenplay and novelization, that expand the backstories of the characters in Highlander particularly that of the Kurgan. Blake and Dion discuss the fascinating idea of reading into and applying your own themes and subplots after repeated viewings, that may not be overtly apparent in the film. They also chat about the lore of this series, and the heavy themes that are layered within the story. So who was originally cast as Connor MacLeod? What elements of the movie’s mythology make this film a timeless and classic story that transcends into a entire Highlander universe? And is Dion actually a Laird? Well come on down and take a listen as There Can Be Only One, podcast for 2018, and that is the one you have before you, Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
The boys are back for their last episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers for 2017! J. Blake and Dion Baia are going back once again to that endless well that has been so plentiful for them this year, and tackling one more from 1987! This time around they’re chatting an action classic, one that kick-started an entire franchise. To answer the age-old question: what do you get when you take an unhinged cop who gets partnered up with another whose got retirement on the mind? Well you get the Richard Donner essential, Lethal Weapon, from 1987.
The guys jump right into this Christmas-centric flick by discussing the sub, subgenre of Christmas-related action movies. They chat about what the allure is of having so many of these type of genre films set within the Holiday season. They talk about screenwriter Shane Black and the original script that was even deemed “to dark” by the studio and others involved. Dion and Blake analyze the insane ‘what-if ‘ game for this go-around, looking at how different of a movie this could have been with an alternate cast, had the other actors considered, been chosen. They also look back at the other influences in cinema and within the ‘police genre’ that led Hollywood to Lethal Weapon, and how this benchmark reset the action film for the years to come. So, what 1980’s action flick do the boys think shouldhave been set at Christmas time? Was this actually the first use of a modern cellphone within a movie? And did Dion actually think once upon a time that the film’s title had to be spoken within the movie? Well everyone better make sure their Beretta‘s and Smith & Wesson‘s are cleaned and ready for use, cause the boys are taking you for one last ‘ride along’ on this last, all new 2017 holiday edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome! In the midst of holiday madness, Dion Baia & J. Blake have decided to open a gift just a tad early – a special bonus, intergalactic episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With 2017 coming to a close, the boys take a deep-dive into a 40-year-old film that forever changed popular culture, the motion picture industry, the lives of millions of people and the world – 1977’s Star Wars!
Written and directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, Star Wars-mania swept the world in the late-1970s and early-1980s and became the quintessential blockbuster and landmark film for an entire generation of movie-goers. With time working against Blake and Dion for a topic so immense, the boys get right to business, discussing how the socially and politically turbulent decades of the 1960s and 70s, as well as what was going on in Hollywood at the time, led to Star Wars becoming the ultimate cinematic phenomenon. Among the many other topics at hand, they chat about its young filmmaker, speculate as to why the film appeals universally to so many people and of course, get into the radio drama that hit the airwaves in 1981. So, what was it about the 1970s that made Star Wars so special? How did George become Hollywood’s “great and powerful” Lucas? Why didn’t anybody working on the film, besides George Lucas, take it seriously? What the heck is a “parsec” and why is Han Solo’s use of the term actually not incorrect in the film? Why can’t Darth Vader get any respect? The boys attempt to answer all of these questions and more on this particularly dense…yet only scratched the surface…edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!