June 29

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974

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!

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 poster

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!

Extras!

Please take a listen to the absolutely fabulous score by composer David Shire!

Have a look at the original trailer to this classic film!

Take a gander at these great alternate posters for the film, HERE and HERE!

As discussed in the podcast, PLEASE check out these EXCLUSIVE interviews with former NYPD Homicide Detective turned Hollywood legend Randy Jurgensen, as he discusses and lays out this era in both cinema and the country (particularly in New York City), of the late 60’s and 70’s. Must listens for any film or history fans. 

Here’s the original trailer for the 1998 television adaptation of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3!

And lastly, have a listen to the 1994 Beastie Boys song Sure Shot, where not only due the B Boys name check this week’s movie, but also give shout-outs to Dr. John, Lee Dorsey, Kojak, John Woo, Rod Carew, Lee Perry, Vaughn Bode and Cheech Wizard, and good old Ma Bell… all in one tune. Impressive.

December 22

Lethal Weapon ,1987

The boys are back for their last episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers for 2017J. 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.

Lethal Weapon Poster

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 should have 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!

Extras!

Here’s the deleted opening bar scene that was to originally intro Martin Riggs.

Check out this deleted scene of Riggs picking up a prostitute just to watch the Three Stooges with him.

Have a look at the notorious deleted sniper-at-a-school scene, that was another way of introducing Riggs.

Take a look at the original ending for Lethal Weapon.

Here’s the extended jumper scene.

Lastly, check out this original teaser trailer for Lethal Weapon, that features some scenes that did not make it into the final cut.

June 30

The Beguiled, 1971

Welcome to a special installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! The boys decided to pull an audible and slip a special edition into the regular scheduled episodes and discuss a film that both Dion Baia and J. Blake have a mutual affinity for. This week they chat about the controversial Civil War Southern-Gothic thriller, The Beguiled, starring Clint Eastwood, from 1971.

The Beguiled

Just as a reimagining of this film directed by Sophia Coppola hits theaters this week (both based off the 1966 novel entitled A Painted Devil ), Blake and Dion thought this would be a great excuse to discuss this very interesting movie from director Don Siegel and starring the aforementioned Clint Eastwood, a project that in certain respects is unlike anything out of either man’s entire catalog. Hugely controversial and a dud at the box office (largely due to the complete mis-marketing by Universal Studios) the film had fans and critics alike scratching their heads, for all the wrong reasons. Now considered a cult classic by many and a quite gutsy move at that point in each of the careers of both director Siegel and star Eastwood, this movie is unapologetic with how it deals with the male and female dynamic, and taboo topics like lust, sexuality, and even incest (to name just a view). The boys analyze all the psychological aspects layered within. They attempt to dissect the underlying adult themes and the sorted relationships these characters have in the story and the roller coaster-ride this plot takes, and it’s utterly-shocking finale, which almost turns into something one could see on an episode of Tales From the Crypt or even The Twilight Zone. Though Blake and Dion freely admit they haven’t yet seen the new Sophia Coppola reboot and in no way speculate on that film’s merit or quality, they do discuss the recent uproar Coppola has gotten from some circles due to the conscious omission in her version of an African-American slave character, and especially how the fellas think the 1971 version deals with that exact subplot. They also try to give a context to stories like these and the effects (and horrors) war has on everyone involved, both soldiers and civilians alike. So why was this such a risky endeavor for both Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel? Can this movie be considered a psychological or gothic horror film? Is this film misogynistic, as some suggest? And frankly, how messed up is this film really?! Well the boys hope to answer all these questions and find answers to many more in this special, and unique episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras:

Check out the original trailer to The Beguiled, and see the completely misshandling of the promotion of this movie by Universal.

Here is another poster for the film, which looks completely misleading to what the movie is actually about.

Discussed in the podcast, please have a gander at this article about the stunning and shocking Alexander Gardner and Mathew Brady photographs of the Civil War, which appear in the credit sequence. 

Take a look at actress Melody Thomas Scott who was one of the students at the Seminary in the film, talking about playing a now embarrassing childhood prank on Clint Eastwood during filming.

As brought up in the podcast, check out the 1962 French short film adaptation of Ambrose Bierce‘s Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge as it aired on the Twilight Zone.

And since the boys are HUGE proponents of Old Time Radio (or OTR), check out this radio adaptation of the Bierce classic, on the legendary show Suspense, which aired 7/19/59, starring Vincent Price.

April 22

Smokey and the Bandit, 1977

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.

Smokey and the Bandit

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!

EXTRAS:

For further reading on Jackie Gleason‘s forgotten but still legendary foray into music, check out this informative article penned by SNMS’ own Dion Baia, for Podwits.com

Have a look at Hal Needham talking about directing, Smokey and the Bandit.

Here’s the January 2016 Barrett-Jackson auction of the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit.

Check out Burt Reynolds explaining the backstory for the Trans Am that sold at the  2016 Barrett-Jackson Auction.

Take a look at this great 2015 video of the then and now locations for Smokey and the Bandit.

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.

Have a look at this episode of GearZ, where they showcase and drive a 1977 Bandit Pontiac Trans Am Burt Reynolds Edition car.

Watch this short little featurette called Snowman, What’s Your 20?, a CB tutorial for the terms used in the film.

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.

December 30

Rocky, 1976

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.

rocky-1

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!

Take a look at the story of getting Rocky made, as told by Sylvester Stallone himself, in Part 1 of 4. Here’s Part 2.  Here’s Part 3. And here’s Part 4.

Check out the legendary fight that Sly (used to say) was the inspiration for his story of Rocky. Here is the March 24, 1975 Championship Match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner.

Here’s really rare footage of Sylvester Stallone Choreographing the end fight with Carl Weathers.

Have a look at Sylvester Stallone & Talia Shire Introducing Rocky at the American Film Institute.

Have a listen to the incredible Bill Conti Soundtrack.

And take a look at the moment when they won the Oscar for Best Picture.

December 11

Invasion USA , 1985

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.

invasion usa
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)

EXTRAS:

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

April 24

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, 1989

The boys deliver a Special Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers this week as they go way down the alley and explore the Marvel character Daredevil‘s live-action roots (as well as The Kingpin‘s for that matter), leading them to the 1989 Bill Bixby classic, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk.

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, 1989Dion Baia and J. Blake go into an in-depth analysis of the 2nd in the post-Incredible Hulk series TV movies, which was originally supposed to serve as backdoor pilot for a potential Daredevil TV series, which also starred Lou Ferrigno, Rex Smith and lastly John Rhys-Davies as Wilson Fisk himself. And because they are tackling Daredevil’s small-screen origins, the boys include the 1994 Spiderman Animated Series two-parter from Season Three, which debued the Man Without Fear to cartoon viewers everywhere. They also discuss the resurgence in popularity that has occurred in the past fifteen or so years for the superhero film (and television show), as well as strive to showcase the genius thespian and director that was Bill Bixby, or as they affectionately call him, “the Bix“.  Come on down and enjoy a sporadic, exciting and highly informative installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(Check out this great Incredible Hulk TV Series Documentary)

(Here’s Stan Lee discussing the origins of the Incredible Hulk Television series.)

(Have a look at a great flashback of Mister Rogers visiting the Incredible Hulk set! And here’s Part 2!)

(Bill Bixby on the Arsenio Hall Show in April of 1989 to promote the Trial of the Incredible Hulk, speaking in great detail about The Courtship of Eddie’s Father)

(And please check out the final interview with Bill Bixby)

March 13

Dirty Harry, 1971

This time around Dion and Blake are talking about potentially their most controversial film for Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers to date, Don Siegel‘s classic, the original Dirty Harry, from 1971, starring Clint Eastwooddirty-harry-poster
This groundbreaking film literally paved the way for the onslaught of police genre stories on the big and small screen in the 1970’s,  and refined and set the standard for the Vigilante/Anti-Hero genre that blossomed for the next 20 years, and also spawned 4 sequels. So why the heck was this film so contentious for 1971? How did the raw violence and its graphic depiction sit with audiences at the time? How does it hold up today? Is this actually a Western in disguise? Is the film’s composer Lalo Schrifrin as underrated as it seems? Did this film quite possibly give us the action film genre as we knew it with Arnold, Sly, and Willis in the 1980’s- Wha-? Hmm… Well come on down and give us a spin on another brand-new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

*Dion erroneously referred to Frank Sinatra‘s 1967 film Tony Rome, when he actually met his 1968 film The Detective.

(Check out the 1971 San Francisco premiere of Dirty Harry!)

(Have a look at this CANCELLED 2007 Dirty Harry game for X360/Ps3, that would have taken place between the first and second film, and looked sweet as all hell! And   –Here’s the story behind it!)

(Here’s a ultra-rare promotional ad done for the film while Frank Sinatra was still being talked about for the role.)

(Check out the back cover of the novelization at the really cool early concept for Scorpio‘s ransom note!)

(Watch the trailer to see how they promoted the film)