February 9

Drunken Master II, aka The Legend of the Drunken Master,1994

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 II aka The Legend of the Drunken Master, from 1994.

Drunken Master 2

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!

Extras!

Check out the original ending for Drunken Master 2, deemed too distasteful by American censors (and they were probably right).

Have a look at this behind-the-scenes, making-of Drunken Master 2 !

Take a look at Jackie Chan discussing Drunken Master 2.

Here’s a comparison of the Cantonese Audio to the English Audio versions, to spot some of the differences in translation.

Watch Jackie Chan teach Conan O’Brien a stunt.

March 17

Beauty and the Beast , 1991

It’s that time again… time for another exciting, thrilling and enthralling episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake have a whammy of an installment this week: a lighthearted, musical affair from a company that at the time of this film’s release, was going through a proper-resurgence themselves. And this movie marked its crowning achievement to-date for that company’s Animation Department, which broke new ground in its pioneering uses of CGI in this project… Yes, “it is a tale as old as time” as the boys explore the enchanted world of Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, from 1991.

Beauty and the Beast

The fellas jump right in and go back to the beginning, discussing everything Disney in this epic podcast: They ‘set the table’ by giving a concise timeline on Walt‘s meteoric rise to fame, from his beginnings with the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit animated shorts and the work with his good friend and genius Ub Iwerks (among others), to bringing in Carl Stalling for help creating animated musical shorts, pioneering color cartoons and his finally creating a feature-length animated film in 1937 with the ground-breaking Snow White and the Seven DwarfsBlake and Dion follow Disney‘s journey through the war years and his upswing in the 1950s, and Walt then getting side-tracked with live-action films, a new medium called television, and theme park construction. These side ventures unconsciously begin to take its toll on the animation department and with Walt‘s death in 1966 it almost becomes rudderless, culminating with the near closing of the entire animation branch in the mid 1980s. The boys then go through the renaissance in the late 80’s that brought the famed animation unit back and to the biggest cartoon film to-date, Beauty and the Beast. They go through the history of the popular fairytale with the 1946 live-action Jean Cocteau movie, even hitting on the late 80’s TV series. Dion and Blake then discuss the work it took to get Beauty and the Beast on screen, with the brand new CAPS technology that changed the face of animation, and the work by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman that gave us all those classic songs we know today. So what 1949 Disney animated film do the lads draw similarities between? What are the controversial subtexts that some academics have read into the work and what are their perceptions of the themes within Beauty? How did Walt Disney‘s brilliance in knowing his own limitations actually help in making the company such a huge success? What important character from the 1946 Cocteau film did this Disney story borrow? What character was the song Be Our Guest originally supposed to be sung to? And what famous book-turned-to-film thriller (that is a staple in every serial killer library) do the boys find similarities with this animated classic? Well grab some popcorn and your favorite sipping drink, because the boys are taking you on a musical adventure this week with this mega, Disney-filled new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

*Dion misspoke during the cast, the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman was in fact a Universal, not Disney film.

EXTRAS!

As the boys described in the podcast, here our exclusive photos taken by them at the Disney Burbank Lot of the Ub Iwerk-designed 14′ high Multi-plane camera, HERE and HERE for the game challenger, Snow White, and check out Walt and the boys HERE and HERE, using it back in the day.

Check out the boys getting a tour from Walt and Mickey themselves, HERE and HERE!

Have a look at some of the original character design sculptures that animators used as references, that were on display at the Reagan Library Disney Exhibit.

Take a look at photos HEREHERE and HERE  the boys took of the original Animation Building that’s located on the Burbank lot (personally designed by Walt), that animators drew the films from Dumbo up to The Black Cauldron within. Check out the plaque inside the building.

And HERE and HERE are the pictures the fellas took of the corner window of the Animation Building that was Walt’s office.

Here’s the original trailer to the 1946 Jean Cocteau Beauty and the Beast film, narrated by Cocteau himself.

Have a gander at this chart of the different elements of animals used to make the Beast.

As talked about in the podcast, here is the Billy Joel rendition of When You Wish Upon a Star, from the 1991 Disney album Simply Mad About the Mouse.

Check out Tom Waits‘ version of Heigh Ho (The Dwarfs Marching Song) from the 1988 Disney album Stay Awake:Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films.

February 17

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors, 1987

Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are dipping into a horror classic, one of the most iconic and famous characters within the genre and what better place to start than right in the middle of the series… that’s right, the boys are talking Freddy Krueger and specifically the 30th anniversary of A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors, from 1987.

A Nightmare on Elm St Part 3: Dream Warriors

That’s right, Blake and Dion start smack in the middle of the franchise, and after touching on the mysterious world that exists for children inside department store circular-coat racks, they jump right into the Elm Street lore; utilizing a largely forgotten Tobe Hooper directed episode of the 1988 series Freddy’s Nightmares, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series which delves deep into Freddy’s backstory, something that was still really unexplored up until that time. They jump into Dream Warriors, discussing the Wes Craven‘s involvement and the original script he submitted, then deemed too dark and subsequently changed due to the subject matter. Dion and Blake get into the controversial topics that are presented in the film, which were still very taboo to cover in the 1980s, topics like depression, self-harm and teen suicide. So, how was this installment as a sequel; did it accomplish what it needed and set out to do? As an effects-heavy film, how do these practical FX hold up nowadays? How does this stack up in relation to the other A Nightmare on Elm Street movies? And what’s Dion‘s funny story about meeting actor Robert Englund back in 2009 and the autograph he asked for? Well all these intriguing and mind-blowing questions get answered, so grab some coffee or a Red Bull, because whatever you do, you don’t want to fall asleep during this week’s all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

As discussed in the podcast, check out this rare episode of Freddy’s Nightmares, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series, that explores the child murder Freddy Krueger’s nefarious history in coming the demonic villain we know him as today.

Here are both the original Wes Craven script deemed too dark by the studio, and the one that was ultimately filmed.

Check the Dokken music video for their song Dream Warriors, for the 3rd Elm Street film.

Have a look at the original trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors.

Take a look HERE and HERE at the photos of the unused SFXs of Freddy’s head on the nurse’s body.

As discussed in the podcast, check out J. Blake‘s appearance on the WrongReel Podcast, talking about the great Buster Keaton.

Here is the photo of Dion meeting Robert Englund in 2009.

Also brought up in the cast, here is the fascinating book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Lastly, also talked about, check out the amazing PBS American Experience documentary entitled The Lobotomist, about neurologist Walter J. Freeman and his once exulted way of dealing with our mentally ill in this country, by way of transorbital lobotomies.

 

July 29

Summer Rental, 1985

Get ready because it’s time for another brand new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! We’re in the hot, sweaty and sticky days of summer, when the daily grind really starts to try the patience of most. So Blake and Dion are planning a little excursion down memory land as they pack into the family car and head for a tiny beach house that they thought was going to be cozy and isolated, but instead ends up being a 100 year old bungalow which is ten feet away to the another identical house. Have you guessed? They’re watching the 80’s summer classic, Carl Reiner‘s Summer Rental, from 1985 starring the hilarious John Candy.

Summer Rental, 1985The boys start off with another quick installment of ‘what-has-Blake-brought-back-from-his-parent’s-house-to-surprise-Dion-with? ‘ game and briefly dip into the genre of 3D, after which they get into talking about memories of summer vacations (the backseat activities that used to occupy kid’s time while getting there), summer comedies we associate with them, and then the genius of John Candy and Carl Reiner. Dion and Blake trace back the many careers the comedian, actor, writer, producer and director Carl Reiner has had through the decades. They even go as far back to Reiner and his other contemporaries main influence, Vaudeville, and give a CliffsNotes’ overview, and the comedy genre’s evolution through the subsequent broadcast mediums. They also visit the backstory — the real life incidents that became the main inspiration for this screenplay, and how each small event contained within this story setup a beautiful and hilarious onscreen crescendo. So aside from the obvious John Candy association, how does Summer Rental actually share a meaningful connection with SNMS last episode’s film, Ghostbusters? How interchangeable would one say this plot is, within not only an 80’s summer comedy, but also an early 60’s, beach, bikini/surfer flick? How great is Richard Crenna and Rip Torn in this film, and full stop? And we again have another Alan Silvestri score to talk about..! Well grab your cooler, sunscreen and swimsuits, because we’re all piling into our family station wagons and minivans, and heading to the crowded beach, in another all new summer edition episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras:

Check out the original movie trailer for Summer Rental!

Here’s the very rare Jimmy Buffett song Turning Around he did for Summer Rental!

Have a look at this great, rare television commercial!

Take a look at these original, theatrically-issued 3D glasses that Blake discovered from when he went and saw the 1991 film Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; and here are the boys trying them on and as before, Dion’s dog Babe wanting to again get in on the action.

The highly recommended book on the history of Vaudeville and it’s famous performers, mentioned in the cast is titled: No Applause ~ Just Throw Money by local New York writer and performer Trav S.D.. If you’re interested in this amazing and sadly almost forgotten influential genre, check out another book called: The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York, by Robert W. Snyder, which highlights the history of the establishment and goes into the nuts and bolts about the the conglomerates who oversaw and pioneered the industry, men we still know today because of the theater chains that still bare their name.

 

 

June 17

Dario Argento’s Deep Red, 1975

Buon Giorno dear friends, and welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are taking a trip to picturesque Italy to visit a filmmaker near and dear to both their hearts, the maestro Dario Argento. The boys tackle a film they feel is a classic and a quintessential representation of a genre that was reinvigorated within the mediterranean country, by Argento, in the 1970’s. The fellas are going back to film school with this one, covering arguably the director’s most commerically successful and popular film, Profondo Fondo or Deep Red, from 1975.

Deep Red

 

As Argento the auteur is a huge favorite here at SNMS, especially for Blake, he and Dion waste no time getting into the topic of discussion, by setting the stage and first explaining the sub-genre known as ‘giallo‘ and what are the essential elements that classically make up a giallo film. They also lay out a crucial element: what it was like engaging in the Italian cinema experience of the time; how going to the movies back then and specifically that social aspect affected how Italian films of this elk were subsequently written, and even paced.  The boys examine Argento’s career rise to a filmmaker and his Animal Trilogy of films, and review how Deep Red began his seque from ‘who-dun-it’-type stories, to eventually Supernatural and straight Horror vehicles. And how on a larger scale, he singlehandedly revitalized an entire genre within Italian cinema. Dion and Blake also cite American auteurs like John Carpenter and Brian De Palma, who vocally or even subconsciously have been influenced by the Italian maestro. They also discuss the legendary Italian progressive rock band Goblin in detail, as this was the first collaboration between band and filmmaker. So get ready as the boys take you on a trip filled with mystery, intrigue and horror, in another fabulous and informative installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

*Dion misspoke when he referenced Michael Mann‘s Manhunter, when he was actually referring to the director’s 1981 film Thief.

EXTRAS!

Check out Blake’s exclusive interview with film critic and Argento lover Alan Jones.

Here is Deep Red, remastered, in all it’s original gorgeous uncut glory, courtesy of YouTube!

Now watch the shorter, exported version of Deep Red, again courtesy of YouTube!

Take a gander at one of the original posters for Deep Red, aka Profondo Rosso, which interestingly bares a very close resemblance to Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1958 classic, Vertigo poster.

Have a look at the original Italian theatrical trailer for Profondo Rosso, aka Deep Red.

And here’s a REAL treat, watch Goblin live on Italian television circa 1975 or 1976, perform the title track to Profondo Rosso!

And to preorder J. Blake’s new book Scored to Death, click here!