Dion Baia and J. Blake are tackling the third film in the iconic Spielberg/Lucas series which charted the exploits of adventurer and archeologist Indiana Jones, in what was thought to be the final in a trilogy, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In typical SNMS fashion, Blake and Dion utilize the original novelization, comparing and contrasting what made it into the final cut, and what scenes and subplots were ultimately discarded and left on the cutting room floor. They also discuss the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series and Harrison Ford’s reprisal of Indy in the 1993 TV movie, Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues. Better grab a drink and put your feet up because it’s a gonna be long one, on this all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the podcast and after wrapping up the critically acclaimed 2019 Summer of Sequels, the boys figured they’d perform an encore to close out the season! And what better way to celebrate their anniversary then by exploring the iconic and legendary superhero sequel Superman II, from 1980!
Dion and Blake unpack the lengthy history of the Superman character, and do their best to lay out the timeline of lawsuits by creators Siegel and Shuster in their attempt to regain the rights to the character they created. The fellas then segue to Superman II and discuss the tension while filming the incredible sequel, and compare and contrast the different cuts of this film, juxtaposing the theatrical cut, to the television cut and the notorious Donner Cut. And Dion relays his fun Dean Cain story as well. So it’s a fun, fact-filled and lengthy, high-flying anniversary-installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(*At one point Dion accidentally referred to Sarah Douglas as Susannah Douglas– his apologies.)
Welcome to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This time around, J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking in an all new installment of Kung Fu February (minus the Kung Fu this year), and this week the boys are mountain climbing, and chatting the Clint Eastwood, Cold War/spy/espionage thriller, The Eiger Sanction, from 1975!
The fellas jump right in, discussing the original 1972 novel by the famed author Trevanian and the differences between the movie and source material. They chat about all the practical stunts Eastwood and his crew performed on the legendary Eiger mountain, back before CGI when you just had to go out and do the stunts yourself… and the many “un-P.C.” aspects to the film that don’t age so well. So grab your climbing gear, some meal bars, and your courage, because Blake and Dion are headed up the Eiger Death Bivouac in this all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome to an all new 2019 edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking off the season with a fantasy classic, a movie which has collected a huge cult following over the years. The boys are chatting the George Lucas and Ron Howard epic, Willow, from 1988!
Dion and J. Blake reminiscence about this movie gem, discussing their history with it and the other fantasy films of the era that populated the genre. They talk about George Lucas and his influence in creating the story and working hand and hand with Ron Howard, to see this project to fruition, and the giant leap in CGI Effects, courtesy of ILM and SFX legend Dennis Muren; revolutionizing the “morphing” effects which played significant roles in many blockbusters of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. So come on and take a seat, as the fellas kick off a fun, informative and hilarious brand new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are back talking about a mega summer blockbuster that turns 25 years old this month, a film that literally changed the face of cinema with its use of DTS and Computer Generated Imagery for the better (or worse, depending on your feelings about CGI vs Practical Effects). That’s right, the boys are chatting the Michael Crichton/Steven Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park, from 1993!
Blake and Dion jump right in, discussing memories of seeing this film that glorious summer of 1993, and how incredible the visuals and audio were for cinema-goers at the time. They discuss the revolutionary Special Effects within this movie and how they evolved with the story from being robotic and stop-motion effects, to ground-breaking CGI. They cover the inception of this story from the brilliant mind of Michael Crichton, and how he was able to sell this idea to Steven Spielberg even before the book was published. They also dissect Spielberg‘s choices within the film and the moments that have now become that of cinema legend! So grab your partners, pile into the autonomous Ford Explorers, and whatever you do, don’t get out of the vehicles if there’s a power outrage, because the fellas are talking dinosaurs this week with an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome! In the midst of holiday madness, Dion Baia & J. Blake have decided to open a gift just a tad early – a special bonus, intergalactic episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With 2017 coming to a close, the boys take a deep-dive into a 40-year-old film that forever changed popular culture, the motion picture industry, the lives of millions of people and the world – 1977’s Star Wars!
Written and directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, Star Wars-mania swept the world in the late-1970s and early-1980s and became the quintessential blockbuster and landmark film for an entire generation of movie-goers. With time working against Blake and Dion for a topic so immense, the boys get right to business, discussing how the socially and politically turbulent decades of the 1960s and 70s, as well as what was going on in Hollywood at the time, led to Star Wars becoming the ultimate cinematic phenomenon. Among the many other topics at hand, they chat about its young filmmaker, speculate as to why the film appeals universally to so many people and of course, get into the radio drama that hit the airwaves in 1981. So, what was it about the 1970s that made Star Wars so special? How did George become Hollywood’s “great and powerful” Lucas? Why didn’t anybody working on the film, besides George Lucas, take it seriously? What the heck is a “parsec” and why is Han Solo’s use of the term actually not incorrect in the film? Why can’t Darth Vader get any respect? The boys attempt to answer all of these questions and more on this particularly dense…yet only scratched the surface…edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week marks the third anniversary of the podcast. So to keep with the theme of other past anniversaries, Dion Baia and J. Blake are going back and celebrating the pulps– the subgenre of the serials that so many of our modern iconic characters we know and love today were born out of. And what better character epitomizes that history than the figure created to celebrate that very style in cinema, everyone’s favorite archeologist and adventurer, Indiana Jones, and the film that started it all, Raiders of the Lost Ark, from 1981!
After a brief Joe Piscopo interlude, the boys start a very deep-dive into the origins of Dr. Jones and one of the most successful franchises of all time. Taking on their first Steven Spielberg-directed movie, Blake and Dion discuss the essential genius of Spielberg as well as analyze the brilliance of George Lucas and his connection with this film, while challenging a lot of the guff by critics concerning Lucas in his years post-1977‘s Star Wars– and even encountering Spielberg detractors while in film school. The boys utilize the little known transcription of the legendary story conference between Spielberg, Lucas and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan from January of 1978 (a fabulous read for any fan or writer), which lays out Indy as a protagonist, the other supporting characters, and even the story arc for Raiders. They also discuss the 1954 Charlton Heston film Secret to the Incas, and it’s supposed connection to Indiana Jones. They get into this love-letter to those serials of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, and focus on the elements that transcend genre and the other various forms of media, as they attempt to pin down what makes this property so unique and utterly timeless. The boys get into the artwork of legendary artist Jim Steranko and his input into the look of this iconic character. They also get into Indy‘s superhero costume, even laying out the actual brand-name items that the adventurer prefers to wear. So, how much was exactly cut out of the original story and shelved only to be used in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? How much of Chuck Heston and Secret of the Incas really influenced the Indy property? What does famed artist Carl Barks and his iconic character, Scrooge McDuck, have to do with Indiana Jones? And what the heck does The Big Lebowski have to do with any of this? Well, come have a listen to our longest running podcast yet, as we “Tickle the Brim” a little and celebrate our 3rd anniversary in this all new mega-edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! *(The 1951 film that first introduced the Wilhelm scream was actually called Distant Drum, not The Distant Dream as mentioned. )
#GoingFullIndy #TickletheBrim #WettheForceps
Happy Life Day and welcome back to an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Well with Christmas time here, Dion Baia and J. Blake have decided to cover maybe their most controversial topic to date and the most anticipated event of the 1978 Holiday season: the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, that aired Friday November the 17th, of that year.
So to cut right to the chase, why is this television special so controversial for the boys at SNMS? Well probably because of the stance Blake and Dion take on this almost universally-panned time capsule from ’78. After the boys chat about last week’s podcast with guest host Mike Vanderbilt, and a dive into Dion‘s food allergies, the fellas get right into the seasonal topic at hand. They set the table and interject the context of the latter half of 1978, a year after the original Star Wars had been released and almost a year and change before the sequel Empire Strikes Back would come out in 1980. Along with a ‘variety show’ template and the majority of the original cast of 1977 film reprising their roles, we get some pretty astounding cameos by such stars as Art Carney, Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur, performances by Diahann Carroll, the rock band Jefferson Starship, and even a pint-raising song by Ms. Arthur herself. The television audience was also treated to a 9+ minute cartoon that introduced one of the most legendary Star Wars characters of all time, the mysterious bounty hunter Bobba Fett. So why is this special so universally hated by critics and fans alike? How involved was George Lucas really (especially since afterward he completely disavowed himself and completely berated the special)? Why was the aforementioned Bobba Fett introduced in cartoon form, in this holiday special anyway? Another dirty little secret, was Han Solo actually supposed to be married to a wookie?! And to get right to the most controversial question: in the context of the era, was this special really as bad as everyone likes to remember…considering what else was going on in 1978? Well it could be a very interesting podcast to say the least for some hardcore Star Wars fans, as SNMS delivers another all new, holiday edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
And speaking of rotoscoping, here is the ultra-rare and never released pre-MTV 1979 music video Tom Waits did for his song “The One that Got Away” with director John Lamb (who would go on to do American Pop with Ralph Bakshi). It was done as a test, using the pioneering ‘video rotoscope’ technology and then converted to animation, a technique that producers then brought to Bakshi to sell him on the concept for his next film, which audiences would see 2 years later in 1981, in the aforementioned, American Pop. The short ended up winning an Oscar in 1980 for Scientific and technical achievement. More information about this story can be found here.
The summer is here and with it comes the big-mega blockbusters! And as a tribute to First Responders and to Firefighters specifically (and fittingly to the NYFD who turn 150 this year), Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a classic ’70’s epic, back when Special Effects weren’t just Computer Generated Images with actors in front of green screens, but when practical effects were the norm. Oh yes, once upon a time stunt men did it all for real, detailed miniatures and matte paintings expanded our world. No one did it better than legendary producer Irwin Allen. Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers takes on arguably his quintessential film in his hugely successful series of disaster flicks… We’re of course talking about The Towering Inferno, from 1974.
Blake and Dion analyse the film within the context of the mid-70’s, in a pre-Star Wars era, where the hottest thing going at the time were disaster movies and various procedural shows on television which spawned toys, action sets and board games. The boys also consider the film in the context of a post-911 world… is the romanticism of these movies forever lost? And is there actually a longer cut of the film made for television? Is composer John Williams‘ most sought after piece of music actually in this film? How do those practical effects hold up today verse modern CGI? And did Steve McQueen actually have a lisp when pronouncing “S’s”?! Well all these questions and many more will be answered in this brand new, epic edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(Dion misspoke when referencing to the source material and said the The Glass Tower, when in fact he meant The Glass Inferno.)