‘Tis the Season! J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking off the Christmas season with a spectacular edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! For this holiday installment the boys are covering a genre-pioneering action-adventure epic–that’s also celebrating it’s 30th birthday this year. It’s the Bruce Willis classic, Die Hard, from 1988!
It’s been a long night (and long year) for the SNMS crew and the lads have started hitting the old holiday ‘nog a little early this sleepover night. Dion and Blake layout the history of this holiday essential, unpacking the history of how it was originally a sequel to a Frank Sinatra property, and it’s journey to becoming one of the most influential action movie’s of the 80’s. Blake also reminisces about seeing a screening of this film introduced by the late great Alan Rickman, and what he had to say when a film asked him a very specific script logic question regarding the storyline. So grab your sleigh bells, your yule tide cheer, your Berettas and most importantly your shoes, cause the guys are taking a trip to Nakatomi Plaza in this 2018 holiday edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
And thank you to this week’s sponsor, Robinhood!
Out this week, please go pick up a copy of Dion Baia‘s debut novel, Blood in the Streets, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, Target.com, Simon & Schuster, or at your favorite bookstore in paperback, ebook & audiobook!
Check out the original theatrical trailer for Die Hard, with lines no included in the final version!
Have a look at this great collection of Die Hard bloopers!
Welcome again to an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are exploring a film that turns 50 this year, a classic and a pioneer in the genre, the Steve McQueen police-thriller, Bullitt, from 1968!
Blake and Dion go way down the alley- dissecting the history of this ground-breaking movie and take a deep-dive into the man, the myth, the legend, Steve McQueen. They lay out his upbringing to give context to the legendary career and short life he led. The boys then utilize the original 1963 source novel, Mute Witness, to flesh out the background of the film. They unpack all the elements like the car chase, McQueen’s style, Peter Yates’ direction, and the Lalo Schrifrin score – all of which turned this movie into the classic it became. And the fellas reveal Dion’s surprise as well! So, grab your Ford Mustang Fastbacks, cause the boys are heading back to San Francisco on an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
For more about Dion’s new book, Blood in the Streets, have a look here!
Check out this behind-the-scenes, making of featurette for Bullitt, narrated by Steve McQueen.
Please check out this great site on the many styles worn in cinema, at BAMF Style: Iconic Style from Movies and TV.
Take a look at this GREAT Janaury 2018 commercial for the new Ford Bullitt Mustang, featuring Steve McQueen‘s granddaughter, Molly McQueen, in a great nod to the 1968 film.
Have a look at this 2005 Ford commercial for the new Bullitt Mustang, featuring Steve McQueen in a Field of Dreams kind of situation.
Here’s an article on the amazing story of the lost Ford Bullitt Mustang found in 2017 in a Mexican junkyard (the car that did a lot of the jumping, stunts, and took most of the abuse) thought to be lost forever!
Check out this article on the other lost Ford Bullitt Mustang used in the film (the one for close-ups and the car McQueen tried to buy back), and it’s story of where it’s been over the past 50 years!
Bullitt is going back into the theaters for it’s 50th birthday!
Welcome to a very special edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week actor, political commentator and professional wrestler, the incomparable Tyrus, stops by to join us for a sleepover!
After reminiscing about what it was like for a boy to grow up in the ’70s ’80s & ’90s, Tyrus and Dion Baia chat about their love for cinema, hitting specifically on Smokey and the Bandit and Jackie Gleason, Cannonball Run, Superman Returns, and the Marvel Film Universe, among others. They discuss Godzilla, He-Man, You Can’t Do That on Television, G. I. Joe, and the “latch-key” childhood era they both grew in, versus the drastic differences that kids now encounter growing up in the past two decades. They get into Tyrus‘ background and how he went from doing security for Snoop Dogg, to becoming a WWE and Impact Wrestler, and his seguing into acting (even signing on to play Suge Knight in an upcoming Biopic), and his recent position as a cohost on The Greg Gutfeld Show on the Fox News Channel.
It’s a fun, absolutely hilarious, and insightful conversation this week on an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
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!
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Dion 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)
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 Eastwood.
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)