Dion & Blake were recently interviewed on the Filmwax Radio Podcast about their lil’ ol’ SNMS Podcast and their love for movies…and it is now up!!!
Filmwax Radio is also on iTunes and other popular podcast providers!
Dion & Blake were recently interviewed on the Filmwax Radio Podcast about their lil’ ol’ SNMS Podcast and their love for movies…and it is now up!!!
Filmwax Radio is also on iTunes and other popular podcast providers!
Welcome back to another exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are celebrating their 50th podcast (well, sort of) and what better way than to tackle a movie that has become an absolute classic in the annals of 80’s fantasy films. In the crosshairs this week is the sleepover classic, The NeverEnding Story, from 1984.
Dion and Blake jump head-on into this very nuanced, multi-layered adventure, trying to psycho-analyze this “children’s movie”, which has themes and metaphors textured within that one wouldn’t really think would be included in what was again purported to be a “children’s film” ; but heck, this was the 80s! Regardless the boys delve right in, discussing the original novel and the differences from page to screen, that eventually made author Michael Ende take his name off the feature film. They also speak about German Cinema in general, and as this was the product of West Germany, NeverEnding Story became the biggest film outside of the United States and the U.S.S.R. upon release. The fellas also chat about the blossoming technology of ‘green-screening’, and the major differences between practical effects (which were utilized in this production), versus the upcoming CGI revolution which was literally around the corner. So to the big question: how does the film hold up today? AND, is it as messed up as we all remember? What was the German’s plan to make sure this was a hit with International audiences? What role did Steven Spielberg have in the film’s production? And what surprising element was NOT in the original German cut, which actually became one of the most enduring aspects of the English-speaking version? Well grab your popcorn and soda, sit back and put your feet up and come celebrate with Blake and Dion as they answer all your questions, and unveil the 50 edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Hey all you gear-jammers, welcome back to another exciting and hilarious episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are taking a trip down South and covering a film that endeared a generation to Trans Ams, CB Radios, Trucking, and Coors Beers. We’re of course talking about the comedic essential, the 2nd film behind Star Wars in 1977, the original Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Paul Williams and Jackie Gleason.
The fellas go in depth with this beloved classic, unpacking for the listener the era this movie was released within, and set up the context for this all-star cast coming together to appear in stuntman Hal Needham‘s directorial debut film. Dion an Blake clear the air and actually spell out the details about why Coors Beer at the time wasn’t sold East of the Mississippi, and the reasons why Coors had such a short shelf life (a HUGE piece of this plot). The boys get into the nuts and bolts of the 70’s CB craze, even breaking down the various vehicles used in the movie for all those motorheads out there. How was Burt Reynolds‘ involvement integral in turning this into an A-list movie? How much of Jackie Gleason‘s dialogue was adlibbed? And what seen was entirely his idea? Why did the studio not want Sally Field? How cool is it to have singer/song writers Jerry Reed and Paul Williams in the same film together? And how does the remastering of these older film’s soundtracks into 5.1, sometimes actually muck up the original film’s sound? Well sit back and stretch out those legs because the boys are gonna put that hammer to the floor and give ’em hell, in this all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Have a gander at this brand new interview with Burt Reynolds and director Jesse Moss, whose 2016 film The Bandit documents the friendship between Reynolds and stuntman and director Hal Needham, and their journey to make Smokey and the Bandit!
Here’s episode three of television’s American Trucker, entitled Bandit and the Snowman, where the hosts retrace the 1,330 mile bootleg run from Atlanta to Texarkana and back in a replica of the movie’s star truck.
And lastly, but certainly not least, here is a long-lost and just discovered ORIGINAL teaser trailer for Smokey and the Bandit 3, whose original concept and way it was shot (and then scrapped), was having Jackie Gleason in the roles of both Sheriff Buford T. Justice AND The Bandit. Yep… that’s what we said. AND he’s an ultra rare, long-lost on-set photo of Gleason, as The Bandit.
Spring is upon us, and we here at SNMS thought we should again started re-airing the original series that paired Dion Baia with his cohort in crime, J. Blake in a string of podcasts called the Side-Cast. Originally airing on their sister site Podwits.com, the Side-Cast was the series catalyst for what became SNMS. To showcase where it all began we are reissuing this program, highlighting the anthology podcast that covered a variety of topics, so that they can not only breath a second life, but also continue what started in the Fall (with the exclusive interviews with Randy Jurgensen and with contributor and Horror enthusiast Dave H–), where brand new content is generated as an off-shoot of the regular SNMS Podcast.
Since last week’s Dick Tracy Podcast mentioned legendary make-up artist Dick Smith, and was also about a film that relied heavily on practical make-up effects, we figured why not re-air a cast solely about this legend, which also contains Blake and Dion‘s personal story of their night with Mr. Smith. We hope you enjoy.
In this very special edition of the Podwits Side Cast, Dion and contributor J. Blake celebrate the life of the “God among Gods“, SFX master, Dick Smith. They discuss his many groundbreaking achievements in cinema and touch upon the highlights of his extensive resume, bringing to light some films audiences may forget Smith was apart of. The boys then get to the gem of the cast (in their minds) and relay their personal, exciting and hilarious story of the time they spent an evening with the master himself, 15 years ago, at an event they organized!
It is truly an insightful and entertaining cast and a must for any film fan, celebrating the life and work of a great artist. Please come and have a listen!
The boys are back for yet another episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are again going way down the alley, back to a huge franchise that was revisited during their childhood. A property that because of other comic book characters getting reboots around the same time, this beloved hero was able to finally see a well-deserved adaptation, with some big-time Hollywood clout behind it. We are of course talking about Warren Beatty‘s Dick Tracy, from 1990.
This Hollywood blockbuster is another example of a film with a huge cast of A-listers, and coming off the heels of 1989’s Batman, this property (which had been in the works at the time for over 10 years), had some much-needed life breathed into a then 50+ year-old franchise. Truly being a testament to a pre-CGI world, Tracy was one of the last big-budget features which utilized the old tricks of Hollywood, like SFX, matte-painting, use of miniatures, optical printing, practical sets, practical Effects, and of course, practical make-up. And because of Disney‘s involvement, boy did this movie use all of the above devices to their absolute fullest, making this film truly be a proper swan-song for old Hollywood before CGI muscled it’s way into the field. But why did Disney ultimately take it’s name off the title? Even though this movie would not have been realized without the true diligence of Warren Beatty, was he in fact miss-casted in playing the title role of the legendary police detective? How true was this film to it’s comic strip roots and creator Chester Gould‘s vision? Well all these questions will be answered it yet another epic edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here is the 2009 TCM Leonard Maltin Dick Tracy Special which explores the history of the iconic sleuth, with Warren Beatty reprising his role as the man in yellow. And Info about the special can be found here.
Welcome back to another exciting, informative and downright hilarious episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With WrestleMania 32 coming upon us, this week Dion Baia and J. Blake have gone through their attic collection of cardboard boxes filled with old clam-shell cased VHS tapes to find an absolute sleepover classic- something, which to be frank may not go down as one of the best films in cinematic history, but a film that seized on the wrestling craze of the 1980’s and became the pinnacle of that genre. We are of course talking about the legendary Hulk Hogan vehicle, No Holds Barred, from 1989.
Boy do the fellas get back to their childhood roots with this one, as they reminisce about growing up watching all things wrestling in mid-80s: be it the Saturday Morning cartoon, the live action TV shows and events, or even playing with all the great merchandize. Blake and Dion really get into the history of wrestling to set the table, particularly once it became a huge organization headed by Vince McMahon in the 1980s and 90s, disseminating the various leagues, like WWF, WWE, WCW, and even touch upon the rare hardcore fan favorite NJPW or New Japan Pro Wrestling that many of the classic wrestlers we know and love participated in during the 1980s. They even touch upon the phenomenon of backyard wrestling in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They also explain the behind the scenes anatomy of an actual wrestling match, and the progressive journey that wrestling has taken, now being almost a male soap opera, telling telenovela-esque storylines that has lured people in for decades now. The guys also go through the Hulkster‘s career rise, culminating with him becoming probably the single most famous wrestler of all time, before getting to their main event (pun intended), No Hold Barred. Dion and Blake are the first to admit this film is horrendously beautiful, and fully embrace all the shortcomings it may have so to bask in all the movie’s inherit sleepover nostalgic splendor. How involved was Hogan and McMahon in the behind the scenes production of the film? What pay per view event did the WWF create to try to fully exploit this film’s release? Did this film actually foreshadow what would happen a decade later with Ted Turner and his creation of WCW, and luring famous wrestlers to defect from WWF? And what hilarious story does Blake have about the fella’s old friend, famous Tony Award winning Jersey Boy’s actor John Lloyd Young, while Blake lived with him in the early 2000s? Well get out your knee pads, your do-rags, (and perhaps your razor blades…) and follow the boys down memory lane for probably their purest exercise in the pantheon of Sleepover movies, on another brand new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back true believers to another exciting and enthralling episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! The boys noticed that St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner and figured they’d roll out a podcast about a long-forgotten, classic gangster film (surprisingly the first in the genre for Dion and Blake), that has its climatic scene coincide with the St. Patty’s Day Parade. Haven’t guessed it yet? This week their chatting up the Irish-American Mob film State of Grace, from 1990.
The boys reminiscence about the 1990’s era of gangster movies, and the connection this one has to that timeframe. Truly an unorthodox choice and certainly not the first on anyone’s list when remembering gangster films of that period, this video store staple boosts a very impressive cast of principle and supporting actors that makes it a truly forgotten gem that is certainly worth a visit (or revisit). Blake and Dion talk about their unbridled love for costar Gary Oldman, focusing particularly on his early body of work, which the boys feel doesn’t get its deserved do. Often cited by Oldman himself as one of his favor roles, why did this film literally come and go in the cinema? Did Martin Scorsese‘s Goodfellas (out the same year) actually have anything to do with it? Or is that just speculation? What inside stories do the boys themselves have from people they know who worked on this film and others around this time, that paints the picture of what was happening behind the scenes for the lead actors during this period? And how much foresight did this story have about the revitalization and gentrification that is currently happening in New York City, that had its roots in this film’s backdrop, Hell’s Kitchen circa 1989-90? Well get your favorite gun, leather jacket and your flasks, cause this week the lads are paying a kailee to their favorite Hell’s Kitchen public house in this edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Erin go Bragh!
Have a watch of a rare, fascinating 1997 television documentary series called The South Bank Show with this episode dedicated to Gary Oldman, where at the 26:30 mark, he speaks about his role in State of Grace
The fellas are back yet again for an all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a movie that, on the outset, looks to be your typical teen-angst drama, depicting the day-to-day trials and tribulations of young adults. But actually, it has layered within some pretty smart and frank commentary about adolescent ascension to adulthood and all the insecurities and pressure that accompany that transition. We are of course talking about the quintessential 1980’s teen film, The Breakfast Club, from 1985 written and directed by the great John Hughes.
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week’s podcast is a true epic, with the boys breaking new ground and covering their first Western. The choice for their first in the genre is a film near and dear to both Dion Baia and J. Blake‘s hearts, a momentous pick that has become a modern classic, George P. Cosmatos‘ Tombstone, from 1993.
After Blake relates a recent story about attempting to see the obscure Michael Mann film The Keep at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), the boys lay out their history with Tombstone, and setup the history of the western genre, laying out the evolution of the complexities and sophistication of themes and presentation of these stories within the film industry, through the second half of the 20th Century. Then the boys get onto the winding road that is the back story of this film, laying out the actual history of the Earps and the Cowboy Gang in the 1880’s in the city of Tombstone, and the lead up to this 1993 film being made and the extensive cast this movie boasts. How accurate was this story to the real historical events? Why was the first director Kevin Jarre (who actually penned the script) fired mere days into production? Did new director George Cosmatos actually oversee the production as credited or did one of the lead actors actually secretly direct the picture? Who was originally cast as Doc Holliday, only to be denied by the film’s distributor because of past controversy? How did the film’s rival production, Kevin Costner‘s Wyatt Earp actually help and hurt Tombstone‘s fate? Well grab your dusters, Winchester Repeaters and Colt Peacemakers, because all these convoluted stories will be explained and put into context in this all new, massive and epic installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! To celebrate the return of The X-Files to the small screen, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to go back and cover a film and character that is very close to both their hearts, which has been also cited by Mulder and Scully creator Chris Carter as a direct inspiration for his show. If you haven’t already guessed, this week the fellas are talking about the ground-breaking TV movie The Night Stalker, from 1972 starring the great Darren McGavin as the iconic Carl Kolchak.
The boys setup the podcast by giving a little backstory about the ‘TV movie” or as it was called, the “Movie of the Week“, adding some context on how popular the format was and continues to be; and the astounding precedent The Night Stalker achieved by becoming the highest viewed TV film up until that time. Dion and Blake discuss all things Kolchak and shamelessly gush about their love for Darren McGavin and the amazing character he helped bring to the screen. They also explain the story about how an unpublished manuscript by Jeff Rice was taken and adapted by legendary writer Richard Matheson and turned into the highest rated tv movie up until January 11th, 1972. So, what was it about this story that was so popular for audiences? How does the film hold up more than 44 years later? What occured that made McGavin become so disenchanted with the 1974 TV series, which eventually got cancelled after only one season? What has become the legacy of Kolchak the Night Stalker? And what was the flub during the podcast that practically stopped the recording in it’s tracks, and turned the lads into two laughing school girls? Well all those juicy questions will be answered on this awesome and exciting all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Check out this great and VERY interesting page on the official Darren McGavin and wife Kathie Browne McGavin‘s website about Kolchak the Night Stalker, giving a timeline for the series and the actor’s direct perceptive during the project, along with very candid interviews about the show.
EXCLUSIVE: Straight out of the SNMS Archive, check out this original art by Douglas Klauba for the C. J. Henderson Kolchak novel, The Lost City. Here is the finished product, as it looks with it’s titles.
EXCLUSIVE: Another work of art right out of the SNMS Archive, take a look at this original comic book page #38 from issue #2 of the 2002 run of the Kolchak comic book series, entitled Get of Belial. Here is the finished page as it looked.
We here at Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers were extremely saddened to hear about the passing of icon David Bowie, after losing his eighteen month-long battle with cancer.
Originally our plan was to open up 2016 with a podcast dedicated to our female listeners, covering a movie near and dear to the hearts of so many women who’d grown up watching and loving a 1986 film directed by Jim Henson, which if you haven’t already guessed, is Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connelly and Mr. Bowie.
It is also the 30th anniversary of the film and along with the 69th birthday of Mr. Bowie on January 8th, we thought the Henson film would be the perfect way to open the year. So J. Blake and Dion Baia recorded this podcast in the early morning hours of Sunday the 10th, and it was not until the late evening of the same day that we along with the rest of the world heard the devastating news of his passing. We immediately decided to forego our usual format and release this podcast as we recorded it, as almost a dedication to Mr. Bowie. Certainly it is a seminal body of work for both he and Mr. Henson, which has now become a cult classic that has amassed a huge fan base worldwide. We hope you enjoy this edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, and we’d like to extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Bowie’s family, friends and fans. RIP Mr. David Jones.
Take a look at this great 1986 documentary Inside the Labyrinth, showing the making of the film. (Keep a close eye out for choreographer Cheryl McFadden, later known to Star Trek NG fans as Gates McFadden!)
Please check out this highly recommended and fascinating episode from the 1989 show The Jim Henson Hour entitled Inside the Muppets, hosted by Henson himself, where he takes the audience on a rare behind the scenes trip through the Muppet shows and films.
Welcome to a very special, New Years edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers. Blake and Dion picked a classic to usher in 2016, a film very close to the hearts at SNMS, a movie that shows us that anyone can go the distance, as long as you have the drive and determination. This week, the boys are taking on Rocky, from 1976.
After Dion and Blake quickly chat the Rick Baker Gremlins clay bust they forgot to bring up in their last podcast on Gremlins, the boys try to pack as much information as they can into a 2+ hour podcast about Rocky. They kick things off by speaking about their personal love for the film, which for Blake, ranks up in his top 3. From discussing the origins of Stallone’s story and the serendipitous moment for how Sly was even able to pitch it, to his firmness to play the lead and the shoe-string budget to get the film made, was it all really like catching lightning in a bottle? Is it really a sweet, upbeat story about never giving up? Could this film be done today and have the same feel and power? Did having such a tight budget actually end up making the film better ? Was Stallone’s guiding force the lone pilot that kept the project on course, seeing the movie through to completion? Well you’ll have to listen to find out in this brand new, New Years Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome to another episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion and J. Blake are taking on another holiday classic for their Christmas viewing this season, and have decided on an iconic genre mash-up. It’s a film that really goes to show you the 1980’s was a time when you could practically market anything you wanted to children, even a dressed up Horror film parading as a cute, Christmas/Comedy that subtlety pokes fun at American and Western culture in general. Of course we’re talking about Joe Dante‘s classic, Gremlins, from 1984.
The trifecta of Chris Columbus writing, Steven Spielberg executive producing, and Dante directing, gave us one of the most interesting and fun films of the 1980s. Blake and Dion try to flesh out the back story of this love letter to Frank Capra, B-Horror films of the 1950’s, and Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes cartoons, among a slew of others, while trying to wrap their heads around some terrifying concepts layered within. How much darker was this film originally supposed to be? Does this movie really convey themes like anti-technology, as well as lament about the ignorance of Western society as a whole? Have some critics read into the film and actually injected elements of supposed racism which surprisingly, doesn’t even have to do with the culture that is presented within the story? How has the movie held up after 30+ years, as both a genre mash-up and holiday film? And is this a movie that could even be attempted in 2015 without severely changing the story itself and its primary antagonists? Well the boys are wearing their Santa hats and have their sleigh bells ringing in this all new, Christmas installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(We’d like to give a shout out to Jason Derenick for recommending Gremlins, and we’d like to apologize for not remembering his name during the podcast. Thank you!)
(When speaking about New Line Cinema, Blake mistakenly said Friday the 13th, when he was actually referring to Nightmare on Elm Street.)
Jason’s name isn’t the only thing we forgot this time around; we’d like to share straight out of the SNMS Archive, a clay Gremlin bust sculpted by Rick Baker‘s SFX team for Gremlins 2: The New Batch, something we completely forgot to bring up, and something we will touch on at the beginning of the next Podcast. Check out this bad-boy here, here, here, here, and here.
Go read the HUGELY RECOMMENDED book Outrageous Conduct, which examines the events surrounding the infamous filming of the John Landis short for Twilight Zone The Movie, where veteran actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed.
Welcome back to another all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers‘ Side-Cast. We present Part 2 of our exclusive interview with retired NYPD Homicide Detective turned actor, consultant, writer and producer Randy Jurgensen. In this episode, we segue into Randy’s fascinating career in Hollywood and his body of work in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. We go in-depth about the first film he was drafted to be an advisor and actor for, The French Connection, and how he prepped the actors to be New York City cops (back when background prep was rare). We also discuss his friendship with director William Friedkin, as well as the four plus films they would collaborate together on. He also explains his role as of one the stunt drivers in one of the greatest car chases of all time. He then goes into great detail about becoming a producer, and fighting the Screen Actor’s Guild for Larry Cohen‘s God Told Me To ; ‘stealing’ filming locations in New York City for Maniac and Viligante ; surviving the jungle and the Federales in Central America while filming Friedkin’s Sorcerer ; to fighting city hall (literally) in a small Maine town to get Stephen King‘s Thinner completed. As astounding as it is that a retired Detective was able transition into a life in Hollywood, what’s more incredible is that legends like Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Roy Scheider were vying to hang out with him, because he was the ‘real’ deal, and moreover was the lead Detective on a very publicized case at the time involving probably the most notorious cop killing in New York City’s history! Again, it’s a case where truth is stranger (and more entertaining), than fiction! So come listen to an absolutely fascinating and exclusive installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! (above picture Randy and Roy Scheider in Sorcerer, 1977; left picture is Randy in the NYC Coroner’s Office in Cruising, 1980)
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)