Welcome back to another exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week the boys are kicking the Summer Season off with a ‘bang’, taking on an epic action extravaganza, one that has become an out-and-out classic in cinema history and for some, the complete embodiment of the 1980s action genre on a whole. Dion Baia and J. Blake are going all in with absolutely no regards as they cover the Arnold Schwarzenegger exemplum, Commando, from 1985.
The fellas are unabashed about their love for this film, and as some attribute this movie a classic only because of it’s supposedly ‘camp’ valve or consider it a ‘guilty pleasure’, Blake and Dion instead firmly put their feet down and gush about their love for this Schwarzenegger classic. There’s so much to talk about here that they carefully break the film down, scene by scene, so not to miss any fan cherished moments, performances, or legendary dialogue. They explain the background behind the making of the film, realizing very quickly that this vehicle could be called the original version of the Liam Neeson fan-favorite, Taken. They methodically and painstakingly analyze the pacing, structure, and winding journey, leading to it’s eventual climax. So… how does this film hold up after 30+ years? Is it really ‘the gold standard‘ for action films of the time, and can it actually represent that genre perfectly on a whole? And is it the apex of that trend of 80s action-hero movies? Aside from Arnold, how are the other performances? And what the heck does the legendary silent film comedic star Harold Lloyd have to do with all of this? Well, grab your favorite Kalashnikov, RPG, combat vest and some burnt cork, because the boys are taking no prisoners in this brand edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Take a look at the original trailer!
Have a look at this short documentary on Commando.
Check out this unbelievably awesome 1/6th statue of John Matrix, for sale courtesy of Sideshow collectibles.
Here’s Dion in 2013 with Cheech Marion and Tommy Chong.
Brought up in the podcast, take a look at his highly recommended 2010 documentary entitled Marwencol.
Tis the Season! The boys are back with an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion and Blake are ushering in the holidays with a classic, Invasion USA, starring the great Chuck Norris and directed by the supremely underrated Joseph Zito.
Blake and Dion discuss the burning holiday questions, like does Santa shave his beard on December 26th, or has he had to up his game because of all the high-tech toys kids have nowadays? Then they get to the film: The year is 1985 and along with movies like Commando, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Missing in Action 2: The Beginning, a low-budget Studio named Cannon releases this gem, a great example of pure, unabashed 80’s Action Escapism. Chuck is Ex CIA agent Matt Hunter and is after a terrorist who plans to destroy America, at Christmas time no less! But why has this film fallen through the cracks of time and other Christmas-themed Action movies only bring Die Hard or say Lethal Weapon to mind? Does this deserve to be up there with those classics? Is this the film that helped solidify Chuck as the ultimate bad-ass? And what did Chuck really mean to say when he signed Dion’s poster?
All those questions (hopefully) will be answered in this all new holiday edition Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(Dion mistakenly said Lebanon when he met Iran when speaking about he 1979-80 American hostage situation)
Check out the original trailer to Invasion USA
Have a look at a great Q & A with Chuck, as he discusses how he and Bruce Lee would fare today in MMA
Take a listen to the Jay Chattaway score to Invasion USA
Here’s Dion with the man, the myth, the legend, Chuck Norris
Continuing with their Wilfred Brimley double-feature, this week around Dion Baia and J. Blake take on an 1980’s classic, and a pretty remarkable film on its own right (if not downright puzzling), 1985’s Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
With a title like that, the boys are all in! Especially since Bond directing legend Guy Hamilton was brought in to helm this project. But Dion and Blake are kinda confused… Exactly what audience were the filmmakers aiming for- Kids or adults? Or was it purposefully muddled in that ’80’s sort of way? Why did it flop? Was there any blowback for a caucasian to play an asian in 1985, even though that was what the film was nominated for? And does Adam West have a cameo in it or not? And how about that ABC TV pilot from 2 years later? Well we’ve got a lot of questions, and hopefully enough answers to go around in this all new adventure that begins here, on this edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(Here is the 1987 ABC TV pilot, starring Roddy McDowall)
(Check out this overture for Remo Williams written by Craig Safan especially for the 2014 International Film Music Festival in Cordoba, Spain)
(Have a look at the 1985 TV spot for Remo)
Welcome to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia delve way into the video racks and bring out a long-forgotten classic from the early 1990’s back when long, wet mullets were in style, and we didn’t question when villains were able to acquire scores of loyal and nameless henchmen with automatic weapons. Of course we’re talking the 1993 Jean-Claude Van Damme film Hard Target, which also debuted badass Action director John Woo to the Western Hemisphere.
The “Muscles From Brussels” puts in a Grade A performance in this entry into the sub-subgenre of hunting-men-for-sport films. The boys get into the career of JCVD, and talk about his highs and lows (the controversy of his off-screen beefs with other actors and the debate about his actual martial art ability, and the fascination he has for having twins in many of his films), and the age-old burning question of everyone’s minds: it is a slyly disguised mullet or just slicked-back long hair here? Hmmm… And how awesome are Lance Henriksen and Wilfred Brimley in this movie? And what’s a Zanenabe? We got a lot going on in another exciting and highly informative episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here is the original source material for what has begot practically an entire subgenre of film, the short story The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell (which Dion mistakenly referred to as ‘The Deadliest Game” in the cast).
Check out pre-fame JCVD (in the black tank-top and short, tight biker shorts) as he busts-a-move in the 1984 film Breakin’.
Have a look at this behind the scenes making of Hard Target.
Take a gander at a link to some deleted scenes from the film.
Straight out of Hasbro, toy’s with attitude, Dion Baia and J.Blake are back for a spontaneous Part 2 of their momentous Podcast to ring in the 2015 New Year, deciding to take on the supremely unrated G.I.Joe the Movie, from 1987.
Following up Part 1 where they went head to head with the super-iconic 1986 favorite Transformers the Movie, J. Blake and Dion flip the record over and check out side B of that Marvel/Hasbro late-80’s film mash-up, screening yet another childhood classic. They dissect and analyze, while peppering historical context and lightly salt with some personal reflections regarding the film and the era it was released. Had Joe been released prior to Transformers, would Optimus Prime still have died? What would that have said then about Duke’s fate? While bringing up a third and largely unknown venture that was released and hence sealed the fate for the now defunct Sunbow Animation Studios, Dion learns for the first time on tape exactly what “Bronies” are and how the heck they relate to Autobots or Cobra. And how did this new film along with Transformers the Movie ultimately nix a theatrical release for G.I.Joe a year later? Well grab your notebooks, VCRs, and your hats because the boys are chatting up another fun one for this new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here’s an ultra rare VHS promo for G.I.Joe the Movie!
Check out a chance to win your very own Sgt. Slaughter figure! (Full disclosure, offer expires January 31st, 1987)
And do you remember all your friends having the ‘The Refrigator’ Perry toy except you?!
Finally, here is the complete, super-rare vintage 1980’s G.I.Joe commercials for the Marvel Comic books, complete with original animation done for selling the books!
In the inaugural edition of J. Blake and Dion Baia‘s new podcast Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, the boys fittingly pick the forgotten, some may even call lost and dark Marvel Comics classic, Mark Goldblatt’s The Punisher from 1989, starring Dolph Lundrgen and Lou Gossett Jr.
They go in depth about the film, discuss the era and climate it came out in, and perhaps why it was so quickly pushed to the wayside (for the right or wrong reasons) and if it truly deserved its inescapable fate. Was it as bad as we all remember? Did it do the character Frank Castle the justice he deserved? Is it actually a good film that has shades of newer movies that we now deem ‘classics’? Will we ever see such a politically incorrect film quite like this ever be produced from Marvel again? Well… come on down and have a listen and find out! (And check out some great scenes that didn’t get passed the cutting room floor.)