Welcome to the 2020 Halloween Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are going way back to 1982, and unpacking this groundbreaking but sometimes forgotten horror movie classic, the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg extravaganza, Poltergeist ! The boys analyze the many conspiracy theories and controversaries surrounding the film, while talking about the novelization which is jammed packed with supplemental information and binary storylines that did not make the final movie cut. It’s all going down on this all new, exciting and fun installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another epic edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ 2019 Summer of Sequels! And this week Blake and Dion are covering a true epic, the 1984 Steven Spielberg / Harrison Ford classic, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom !
The boys jump right into unpacking the multiple layers of this groundbreaking installment in the Indiana Jones series. They layout the backstory infused within the novelization. Dion and Blake also discuss the surrounding events and controversy (before and after) that this film generated, and connect and analyze the similarities Temple of Doom shares with the 1939 classic, Gunga Din. Plus, they sneak in their hilarious Harrison Ford story. So grab your popcorn and Indy voodoo dolls because Anything Goes as the fellas head all the way to Asia in an all new, massive and comprehensive installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Teased at the very end of the podcast, check out this recently unearthed onset practical joke that Spielberg pulled on Harrison Ford that involved cameos from Barbara Streisand, Carrie Fisher and legendary director Irvin Kershner!
Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ 2019 Summer of Sequels! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are heading all the way back to 1990 to revisit the insanity and wackiness that is Joe Dante‘s Gremlins 2: The New Batch!
Dion and Blake reflect on how insane and off the wall this sequel was to the 1984 classic, as they analyze the backstory and novelization. They reflect on the troupe of actors within this zanny follow-up, and their undying love for thespians like John Glover. They also revisit the recent auction of Rick Baker‘s SFX memorabilia, as Blake reminisce’s about what he was bidding on, and what special piece of movie memorabilia from Gremlins 2 Blake actually won and is now in his livingroom. So, remember not to feed your friendly neighborhood podcasters after midnight, in this all new hilarious installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!! #wacktown
Welcome to Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ 2019 Summer of Sequels! To open up the season, J. Blake and Dion Baia figured they’d kick start the summer with an absolute classic, and a film that is not only considered one of the best sequels of all time, but also revolutionized the movie industry. This week the boys are talking about the James Cameron epic, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, from 1991!
Dion and Blake unpack this masterpiece and put into context, just how big of an event this was when this movie was released in 1991. They discuss the Guns N’ Roses “You Could Be Mine” music video, the Kenner Toys and trading cards, the Universal Studios Park 3D Ride, and the film’s breathtaking CGI. They also utilize the novelizations for both Terminator 2 and the original Terminator, breaking down the extra layers of story that were developed within both. So make sure you secure your Time Displacement
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are back to discuss one of the most acclaimed films of all time, by one of the most iconic filmmakers of all time, Alfred Hitchcock and his 1954 masterpiece, Rear Window.
The boys attempt to dissect this epic topic, unpacking Hitchcock‘s career and style, and the factors that played into creating one of the most well-regarded movies of his catalog. They analyze Hitch‘s genius in crafting a seminal thriller that basically takes place in one room. So grab your popcorn, your mega jolt cola and your binoculars, because Blake and Dion are inviting you to spy on their neighbors on an all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome to a very special episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are covering a classic Chicago-centric film and to ground them and give it some historical city context and for this gigantic sleepover, they brought in the Windy City’s very own, Mighty-Mighty Mike Vanderbilt to lend a hand. We’re all ‘on a mission from God’ this go-around when we take on the musical phenomenon The Blues Brothers, from 1980!Having Mike Vanderbilt over is very exciting for Dion and Blake, and after a quick catch up, they all jump right in. Mike and Blake bring an added layer to the conversation as they are gigging rock and blues musicians themselves with their own bands, and they talk shop about fronting various groups and their gear preferences when performing live at various venues (Dion tries to add his input as he played the alto saxophone in 4th grade, and the drums for 4 years in elementary and middle school). The fellas then focus in on the significance of this film and the history of The Blues Brothers and Jake & Elwood, discussing their roots on Saturday Night Live, and the direction of John Landis on the 1980 film. Mike brings his unique Chicago input, giving some great context to the various locations that highlight the Windy City, making it almost a third star of the film. So, make sure you’ve got your converted 1974 Mount Prospect Dodge Monaco gassed up, your cheese whiz, and your Night Train Wine, ’cause the boys have a long ride back, as they examine another classic, on an all new fantastic Chicago-edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Please check out Chicago‘s very own, Mike Vanderbilt on TWITTER, on FACEBOOK, at The A.V. Club where he is a writer and contributor, at The Daily Grindhouse where he is an editor, and tending bar at the Rock Island Public House!
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!
The boys are at it again this week on an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are taking on an absolute cinema classic–the Robert Zemeckis helmed masterpiece, Back to the Future from 1985!
Filled with an all-star cast on the very top of their game, Dion and Blake can’t hold in their excitement and enthusiasm for this movie, as they gush over every aspect of the production. From the script, to the effects, to the themes–everything here is top-notch. They discuss the huge “what-ifs” in this movie, like the alternate cast choices, early versions of the script, and the alternate ending. It’s all going down this week. So grab your skateboards, portable cassette players, and make sure you have enough plutonium to get back and forth again, because once they get their newly built Delorean conversion to 88 mph…well you can guess what’ll happen this week, on an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Lastly, as referenced in the podcast, if you wanna check out the early podcast episodes Blake & Dion did prior to the inception of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, check out their Side-Casts on Podwits.com.
Welcome back to another exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are two kids on an adventure! They’re headed up to the Goon Docks, and taking up where Chester Copperpot (aka Keenan Wynn) left off, looking for One-Eyed Willy‘s treasure as they take on an absolute cult classic, The Goonies, from 1985!
Always a huge request from listeners, this film brings it all back for Blake and Dion. They chat about the idea of all of us having a shared collective of ‘childhood memories’ consisting of bikes, skateboards, snack food and junk food, and plain fun and adventure, as they reminisce about this classic epic. They discuss this subgenre of “kids on an adventure“, and other films of the time period which shared commonalities with this template, and the various forces that came together to get The Goonies made. They analyze the superb cast and crew, and the surprising tidbits of info that may not be commonly known- (such as the dropped subplot of gorillas escaping a local zoo and stealing a golf cart and then a car, all of which was shot Second Unit by Steven Spielberg!) -among others. The boys attempt to unpack as much as they can in another enthralling, hilarious and informative edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(During the podcast while talking about the 1996 film Mulholland Falls, Dion mistakenly said John Lithgow when he meant John Malkovich– our apologies.)
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 week 4 of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers‘ October Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza! To bring to a close SNMS‘ month of horror, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to take on a fan favorite, particularly a cult classic for the ladies. The fellas are getting on their brooms and heading to Salem, Massachusetts, as they cover Walt Disney‘s Hocus Pocus, from 1993.
The boys get right into it by setting up the backstory of the film, and how it was originally pitched as a Disney television movie, then languished in developmental hell for ten years until it was brought in front of Bette Midler. They debate the theory of how some seasonal-themed films become cult classics, holiday staples because of repeated viewings on television and cable. They analyze the elements within the film that showcase another example of Disney tip-toeing into somewhat dark, erotic material- cleverly disguised inside a light-hearted fairytale. Dion and Blake unpack the historical context of this story, briefly summarizing about how Wiccan and Pagan religious ideologies were deemed to be akin to being in league with the devil, and the horrible witch-hunts that swept through Salem, Massachusetts, at the end of the 15th Century. They also compare the tone of Hocus Pocus to other properties at the time, like Eerie, Indiana and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. So, what is the fan speculation behind this story: going to the How and the Why of the Sanderson Sisters becoming witches? Was Leonardo DiCarprio once considered to star in this movie? Playing their own What if Game, could this film have been envisioned as a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman vehicle at the time? And are the fans finally going to see a sequel to this film, and why would Disney actually not be interested in making a sequel/reboot to this beloved property? Well, you better make sure no virgins are trespassing and lighting any candles, hide your children, and actually listen to that black cat trying to talk to you… because the boys are back with the Halloween-specific episode of SNMS‘ October Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza!
Here is the 1973 book mentioned in the podcast that digs excessively into among other things, the history of Wiccan, Pagan and Witchcraft religions, entitled The Devil and all his Works, by Dennis Wheatley.
And lastly but far from least, for more info on the 1977 John Carpenter‘s Halloween Michael Myers House that is now a museum, click here.
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
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers. This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are going “way down the alley“, to discuss a monumental film that marked a seminal event in cinema history, something that to this day has never been replicated. What is it you might ask? Well have a listen as the boys talk the film noir/live-action/animated mash-up, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, from 1988!
Dion and Blake jump right into things, reminiscing about the late 80s, discussing the time period this film was released within. Another movie highlighting the glory of the pre-CGI era, the fellas analyze the various practical methods used to bring this amazing story to the silver screen, from the hand-drawn cell animation, to the practical SFX, to the sheen ILM applied to help make the finished product look that much more ‘real’. The boys go through the 1981 Gary Wolf book the film is based on Who Censored Roger Rabbit? and the similarities and major differences in plot and tone. Blake and Dion attempt to add perspective and really underscore how amazing this project was to be able to bring together various characters from Warner Bros., Disney and Tex Avery‘s troupe at MGM– a colossal feat that still 29 years on, hasn’t again been achieved. They also discuss meeting pioneering animation Ink and Painter Martha Sigall, who personally knew icons like Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc, as well as meeting Hanna Barbara legend Bob Singer. So how dark is this film really, even though it was billed as a children’s picture? And is the book actually much darker? What is the real-life plot point in Roger Rabbit that audiences forget actually happened, and how is it somehow related to Robert Towne‘s Chinatown series? And what is Dion‘s Bob Hoskins story- did he actually carry him around on his back, Yoda-style for a day? Well get ready and make sure you take your heart medicine, because the lads are taking you on a trip into Toontown in this all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
*Dean Cundey actually directed Honey We Shrunk Ourselves, not the original Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
It’s that time once again… Welcome back to another, exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are covering a true epic, a film that was meant to return a property back to its original source material, and also reinvigorate a franchise that had been around (at the time) close to seventy-plus years. This go around the boys are taking on Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, from 1984.
Blake and Dion have a lot on their plates to get through: first laying out the backstory that legendary writer Edgar Rice Burroughs set up in his original 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes when creating the title character, and the bigger role Burroughs played as one of the original pillars in the Pulp Tradition. They give an overview of that groundbreaking genre, and explain the vast influence it still has on the entertainment we seek out today. They also discuss sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison‘s scathing review of this film Greystoke, and use that critical essay as a template in comparing this 1984 version to Burroughs’ original work, and if it is indeed appropriate to label this work “the definitive version“- is it a fair criticism? The lads also go into depth about Rick Baker‘s groundbreaking contribution to this project, and how his help specifically was the key in getting this production off the ground. But what was the reasons for having the screenwriter, Robert Towne who penned this script, sacked as director of this adaptation? What other problems did a production like this run into while trying to get this project off the ground? What exactly is the Wold Newton Family, and how is it connected here? And is Dion really a Lord ? Well come on and have a listen as the fellas match an epic movie with an epic cast as they attempt to answer all the questions in this all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
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!