Full Metal Jacket goes to war, Oz locks us up, Mononoke makes anime beautiful, and Harry Potter rises like a Phoenix – July 7-13

This week in pop culture history has a weird trio of movies as Full Metal Jacket, Brave Little Toaster, and Revenge of the Nerds 2 hit theaters. 1997 is walking on the sun with Smashmouth as Oz is locked up on HBO and theaters are graced with Contact and Princess Mononoke. 2007 is a bit more subdued as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix casts a spell on theaters as Greek gives ABC Family some edge.

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THIS WEEK’S TOPICS

1987
Movies –

Maid to Order: Ally Sheedy

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise: Robert Carradine, Courtney Thorne-Smith (no. 1 at the box office)

The Squeeze: Michael Keaton

White Water Summer: Kevin Bacon

The Brave Little Toaster

Full Metal Jacket: Matthew Modine, Vincent D’Onofrio

TV –

7/8/87 – Sweet Surrender, an NBC sitcom starring Dana Delaney, ends after six episodes

July 11 – NBC airs the Pilot to Good Morning Miss Bliss with no Saved By the Bell people, but a pre-Urkel Jaleel

7/11/87 – Werewolf debuts on FOX, a single-season 28-episode horror series about a wolfman searching for the originator of his bloodline to kill him and remove his curse

Games –

Double Dragon releases in arcades

Music –

New albums: “Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby,” his debut including “Sign Your Name”; “Faster Pussycat” self-titled debut; “Buster Poindexter” including “Hot Hot Hot” and “Paid in Full,”

And the debut of Eric B. and Rakim, featuring “I Know You Got Soul”:

1997
Music –

New albums: “Brown Album” by Primus, “Vanishing Point” by Primal Scream, “Boys on the Docks,” the first EP by Dropkick Murphys. “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy/Faith Evans still no. 1.

Movies –

4 Little Girls: Spike Lee documentary about the 1963 Birmingham, AL church bombing

Contact: Jodie Foster

A Simple Wish: Mara Wilson, Martin Short

Princess Mononoke: in Japan, rest of the world won’t get it for two years.

TV –

July 8 – MLB All-Star Game, AL 3, NL 1, first time on Fox

July 12 – Oz debuts on HBO

July 13 – Apartment 2F debuts, starred the Sklar Bros, but only remembered for Zach Galifinakis appearing

2007
Music –

New albums: “Super Taranta” by Gogol Bordello; “Our Love to Admire” by Interpol; “Zeitgeist” the first re-formed Smashing Pumpkins album; St. Vincent’s debut “Marry Me”; “The Else” by They Might Be Giants. “Umbrella” by Rihanna still no. 1.

“White People For Peace” off “New Wave” by Against Me, which Spin magazine called the best album of the year.

Movies –

Rise: Blood Hunter: Lucy Liu, Michael Chiklis

Captivity: Elisha Cuthbert

Talk to Me: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson (no. 1 at box office)

TV –

July 7 – Live Earth Concert brought together by Al Gore, meant to raise awareness and got mocked by many people, Spinal Tap reunited for it: “Big Bottom” with 15 bass players:

July 8 – Reality show cartoon parody Total Drama Island premieres in Canada

July 10 – MLB All-Star Game AL 5, NL 4

Greek debuts on ABC Family – a very non-family show about fraternity life

Games –

Project Sylpheed (360)

Sonic The Hedgehog rereleases on Xbox Live Arcade

37 thoughts on “Full Metal Jacket goes to war, Oz locks us up, Mononoke makes anime beautiful, and Harry Potter rises like a Phoenix – July 7-13

  1. Me thinks it was seeing an edited version of FMJ that thought me “Maggot and Scum” are edited versions of “Faggot and Cum” and thus a “scum bag” is a condom. Also it’s so weird that FMJ won Best Picture after Platoon the academy was on a real Nam kick I personally find both movies to be the bad kind of unpleasant unlike Private which is unpleasant but still mostly watchable.

    1. If I didn’t know any better id think that youse guys are Forrest Gump fans? That might eb the worst movie of all time like literally “Durr I’m a magic retard who’s guided the course of US history especially in music without even realizing it because I’m too retarded” like seriously fuck that movie and everyone in it to this day I hate Tom Hanks even after Castaway

  2. On the subject of Ghibli, they’ve become more affordable over the years and even Universal has been granted localisation rights. Disney basically gets the right of first refusal and tends to pass on the non-Miyazaki works so if you’re in America and want to see “When Marnie Was There” or “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” you have to give Universal your money. Best Buy and Target have sales all of the time on them with a Blu Ray usually running between 15 and 20 bucks. I’ve managed to round out my library of Ghibli films mostly just following the sales.

  3. Wow! Princess Mononkee and Brave Litte Toaster were 10 years apart, that’s just what kind of info this show brings. Growing up, The Brave Little Toaster had a scary clown scene nearly on the same level as Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and while I wasn’t afraid of clown I did have to look away or leave the room when I knew this scene was coming up. The soundtrack is DAMN GOOD though!

    Gogol Bordello sounds like if Borat meets Weird Al if there can ever be such a person, I enjoy his high energy music, but I know his voice isn’t for everybody. American Wedding is a great sort of introductory track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPfeOAhDfbM

  4. On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release that their personnel had recovered a “flying disc.” They later held a press conference saying it was a weather balloon and definitely not experimental tech to spy on the Soviets. And nobody ever thought about the fact the military implied they had recovered a flying saucer ever again.

  5. I’ll never forget seeing Mononoke Hime when it came to theaters. It was my boyfriend in high school, me, a friend, and his girlfriend. We went there on our day off on Martin Luther King Day to a theater downtown that was a hole in the wall. There were two employees at the theater, and they seemed annoyed at us that we were even there because it meant they had to work. When we got in the theater, it was me and my other 3 friends, and one LONE guy in the very back of the theater that creeped us the hell out. That being said, I loved the movie, and was so happy to see it in theaters. Hearing you guys talk about it brought back that memory, and made me glad I wasn’t the only person that watched the movie with creepy guys in theaters.

  6. Most of the Laser Time guys have taken some Japanese classes, and they still always say “Mananoke” instead of “Mononoke.’ An “o” in Japanese is always pronounced “oh.” I was in Japan around this time in 98, and there were Mononoke posters everywhere. I didn’t see it until 99, in a theater in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that had it in Japanese, for some reason. I’d seen Totoro and Nausicaa long before on VHS, and I think Mononoke reminded me that I had seen them, and that they were connected somehow. When I saw Spirited Away in Honolulu I had found out how they were all connected, and was happy to get all the Miyazaki movies when they came here on DVD. I recently rewatched all of them, and was surprised that a number of them (especially Castle in the Sky) are pretty anime-tropey, but still good. When Ponyo (not pronounced Panyo, both “os” are the same sound) came out a lot of people were calling it the new Disney movie, since Disney distributed it, but I don’t know how anyone would confuse Miyazaki anime for Disney.

  7. You bastards denied me Hot Hot Hot so I had to listen to it on Youtube. Sure it sucks but its fun cheesey.

  8. If you guys ever want to go in depth with Hip-Hop on any of the Laser time shows..beyond the goofy raps and/celeb ones..let me know.

    Paid in Full was and is an extremely important album to the culture/genre. It basically shaped complex rap beyond the call and response that was common before Rakim released this album. It placed more importance on lyricism and the emcee, whereas prior the DJ was more of the focus.

  9. Regarding Full Metal Jacket, I have always preferred the second part of the movie as kind of the correct way to view war, it shouldn’t be idolized, in fact we should walk away in horror for what humans do to one another. This movie exemplifies this best with: “How can you shoot women and children like that?!?” “Easy, you just don’t lead them as much”. Unfortunately, all people remember this movie for is the Drill Sargent one liners. My proof? That is pretty much all you guys said about this movie too. Also, when I did see this movie (roughly 15 years after it was released, I was introduced into surrealism)/

    1. All I knew about this movie was the Drill Sergeant. I had a chance to watch it completely in college and while the first half was entertaining, the second half was just carnage and basically erased the usual pop culture idea of it.

    2. I do prefer the first part, but for a good reason. I am a marine, and despite going through in a different era all of it his close to home. The first half I can look back on with a bit of fondness. It was terrible in the moment, but has a lot of happy memories in hindsight.

      The second half is just too depressing to enjoy.

  10. I was lucky enough to see Princess Mononoke on the big screen in a foreign cinema theatre in Ottawa. Blew my mind at the time and it’s still my favourite Ghibli film.

  11. Speaking of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that’s the ONE Potter movie that actually had a different screenwriter (not Steve Cloves) doing the adaptation, which is why I feel it is the most successful book-to-film translation in the entire franchise. The third movie ramped up the visuals, but a lot of the story felt very truncated and rushed. The screenplay of
    Phoenix managed to actually take the material and put it in film language, and I love it so much because of that.

  12. Oliver North being lauded as a patriot reminded me of that American Dad episode complete with song!

    Vinny D! On the pod again! And the funny thing is it was his birthday last week!

    Princess Mononoke was the second Ghibli film I ever watched and it was during a time when I got into anime. The first was My Neighbor Totoro, and I watched the Fox dub on Fox syndication. Anyway back to PM, this was a rather brutal anime when I first saw it, and I still think it is. Neil Gaiman did a fantastic job adapting the original script.

    I can’t believe I found out that Robert Zemeckis created the show “Johnny Bago” while making Forrest Gump.

    Well… that’s a lot of Lucy Liu I never expected to see.

  13. So glad to hear you guys bring up Werewolf! I loved this show! It kinda had an Incredible Hulk vibe to it. He was being hunted by a bounty hunter for skipping bail and would run into random people along the way. And anytime hes about to change, a pentagram of blood appears on his palm. The main episode I remember was him hiding out in a kids tree house trying recover some injury. He befriends the kid, whose Mother’s boyfriend is an abusive dick. He hears the boyfriend beating the family, pentagram shows up, so he goes in to try and stop him. The dick back hands him, he flies behind the couch, and, as the dick goes to hit him again, he stands up, fully wolfed out. As a 5 year old, this was the greatest thing to ever appear on TV.

  14. Both of this week’s 87 movies were huge touchstones for me. I remember Brave Little Toaster specifically for the scene where Kirby runs over his own cord. I was so traumatized by this that, for around 2 years after, whenever my mom would vacuum I’d follow her around holding the cord up to keep out from getting run over.

    As a marine, I know FMJ really demonstrates what that kind of training does to a person. Some crack, some turn out fine, and the rest will sing Mickey Mouse after a firefight. Not because we’re kids, but because that kind of juxtaposition tickles a morose sense of humor developed as a defense mechanism.

    Also, I fucking love Padrino too.

  15. You guys are right, Brave Little Toaster is WAY too dark and morose for the company that gave us a cartoon where a baby deer watches his parents get shot, or the one where a man tries to burn down Paris because a Gypsy wouldn’t fuck him, or the movie where a baby lion watches his father get trampled to death and spends the rest of his life coping with the fact that he thinks it’s his fault, or the movie where a young kid has to shoot his dog, or a movie where an old dog decides to lay down and die rather than slowing his friends down. Yea, you’re right: Brave Little Toaster is WAY to grimdark for the company that kills animals on the reg.

  16. I’m really surprised you didn’t spend more time on Padrino. I thought Chris would have a lot to say about a funny song about the Italian mafia.

  17. 2007 music was pretty darn good and interesting this week. New Wave by Against Me is not only a pretty great punk album (especially good for anything out of Gainesville), it’s notable for ending with “The Ocean,” which contained lyrics like “If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me she would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her.” This is probably the most overt reference to gender dysphoria lead singer Laura Jane Grace made before finally coming out as a transwoman in 2012 and releasing the also pretty great Transgender Dysphoria Blues in 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3isaRfr9aY

    They Might Be Giant’s The Else is the best of their seven albums recorded in the 2000s ( if you’re not keeping count, they’re up to 19 now, with the last three released in less than a year). It was co-produced by The Dust Brothers (of Paul’s Boutique and Odelay fame) and features one of the ten songs TMBG wrote for Coraline back when it was going to be a musical. The only one that survived the transition was the Other Father Song. I’m Impressed has a seriously cool video, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CccPPDe2JU

    And yeah, Gogol Bordello’s Super Taranta is probably their most accessible “gypsy punk” album, and it’s just really good. And the band is huge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWYTyfQe-o8

  18. Oh man, so happy to hear you guys play Against Me this week. Even if you don’t love their music (which I do) it’s pretty much undeniable that they’re one of the most interesting bands of the past 15-20 years.

    New Wave, which is what the track you guys played was off, and yet another great punk album from the summer of 2007, was their major label debut and a tremendous anthemic punk album. As you mentioned, Spin named it the best album of the year. What you neglected to bring up though, was the controversy surrounding it.

    Against Me started out in the mid 90s as a hardcore anarcho-folk punk band. Their first album, released in 2001, included tracks such as “Scream until you’re coughing up blood,” “the politics of starving,” and “Baby I’m an anarchist.” Them signing to a major label in 2007 was one of the biggest sell-out controversies in punk history. They were a highly political, angry, left wing band, and the fact that they signed to Warner made many fans feel betrayed. People absolutely despised them for years because of it, though today New Wave is looked at as something of a modern classic.

    In 2012, the band’s frontperson, Laura Jane Grace, came out as a transgender woman. This once again reinvented the band and the public’s perception of them. Laura has become a major figure in the trans community, and the band’s 2014 album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” put out on her own indie label, was acclaimed by both the general music and punk communities. Few bands have had as interesting an arc as Against Me in the past couple decades, and New Wave was one of the biggest steps they took. I couldn’t recommend it any more, particularly the songs “thrash unreal” and “the ocean.”

  19. White Water Summer was one of those movies that I saw over and over again on HBO just because it was on so much that it left an impact much greater than it deserved. It was one of those films you watch as a pretty young kid to try and figure out what it will be like when you are an “old” ie 14-18 which sounds mythically far away when you are 9.

    White Water Summer did just that for me. And I really did think that going on a camping trip would involve all sorts of huge risks and dangers and be super exciting the whole time like in the movie. Once again movies and TV lied to me, and when I went camping as a young kid I did not care for it as I did not engage in any wacky high jinks.

    Mind you, as an adult in his late 30’s I just got back from a six day white water rafting trip (in the summer) and it was one of the greatest vacations in my life! No wacky high jinks, just rafting and camping and having a blast outdoors, something my 9 year old self would have never understood.

  20. Ahhh, Oz. A show I watched because of the male nudity and I had no access to porn. I remember the first time I saw it, I was like, “ARE THOSE TWO MEN KISSING?!”

  21. (sorry for the triple-post; I had to listen in chunks)
    Harry Potter 5 was significant to me, because it was both the last Harry Potter movie I saw, and how I discovered that I can snore loud enough to wake myself up. When I was in college, I saw the first 4 Harry Potter movies, not because I was interested in them, but because I had a car, and my friends would buy my ticket and snacks if I drove them to the theater. HP5 was the first one that came out after I graduated, but my wife (then girlfriend) still wanted to see it opening night, so of course I went. I fell asleep, just like I had for the last 3 installments, and when I tilted my head back, I let out an most ear-piercing chainsaw snort waking myself up, embarrassing my wife, and ruining some pivotal moment for everyone, I’m sure. After that, I never had to see another Harry Potter movie again – my wife opting to see the last few with friends instead.

    They aren’t bad movies, they just never clicked with me. Also, British accents make me tired.

  22. All those bass players on stage but no ‘ All your base are belong to us’ joke. Disappointed, pre order canceled.

  23. I have a very personal 10 years ago memory as 7-7-7 was the date that I met my wife. We met at a mutual best friends house part and were immediately inseparable since. 10 years later we are married, own a house and have a 2 year old child.

    The bizarre thing was that we had both known the same person (my self for years, her for months) but never crossed paths till that night.

  24. Y’all glossing over the MLB All-Star Games made me remember a major change that was implemented in baseball in 1997: interleague play. Before ’97, the only times the American and National Leagues faced each other were at the All-Star Game and the World Series, and otherwise, never the twain did meet. Now both leagues routinely play each other in the regular season and it ain’t no thang. I believe it started in June of that year, and if I recall correctly, the first interleague game was between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants, and the Rangers won 4-3, but I didn’t look it up, so the Laser Time Incorrect Sports Fact Curse may well rear its ugly head.

    —–

    I rented Princess Mononoke from my local library one summer vacation while looking for stuff to entertain myself and my brother while my parents were at work. I don’t think I really had any awareness of what anime was at the time–I just thought it looked cool. If I had had my head screwed on a little tighter at the time, I might have figured that a public library in a town of 5,000 renting out Studio Ghibli films and the Mystery Science Theater movie had someone pretty cool working behind the scenes who could have given me a pretty righteous pop culture awakening. Anyway, Mononoke was my first Ghibli and it’s still my favorite.

  25. R.Lee Emery lives out in my neck of the woods in the Antelope Valley which is about an hour north outside of Los Angeles. Working at the movie theater out here i’d always see him and his wife every Friday morning for the newest movie playing. He’s a great guy and very personable. He also is a co-founder of a local brewery (Bravery Brewing) and even has a beer named after him called The Gunny. Want to send some up to you guys but don’t have an address and also think that maybe a tad illegal….

    Regarding Good Morning Miss Bliss, I remember watching that show on The Disney Channel where that show was first ran. Looking into it the show was produced by NBC but ran on The Disney Channel where it was cancelled after one year. (I guess old Spin and Marty episodes pulled in bigger numbers?). NBC rebooted the show the same year it was cancelled which they premiered with a thing that only could happen in the 80’s. It was an NBC Saturday morning cartoon show preview called “Who Shrunk Saturday Morning”. In it Screech shrinks Zac, Lisa, Slater and himself into the TV where they run into ALF promoting his cartoon show, the voice of Mr Miyagi promoting The Karate Kid cartoon show, John Candy (yes the real actual John Candy) promoting Camp Candy, play on a giant Nintendo Advantage controller promoting Captain N: The Game Master, and Sheman Hemsley for some reason. Don’t believe me? Take a look:

  26. Regarding your brief discussion of The Squeeze, that summer, I was a 23 year old film student attending the closest thing that could almost pass for a local film school; SMU. My boyfriend at the time was working for an ad agency that was doing local promotion for The Squeeze. When he asked for some help with one of their promotions, l, being the supportive boyfriend that I am, said, “Of course.“ Unfortunately, that help turned out to be me, in the God Damn middle of the God Damn day in God Damn Dallas in July, wandering around a local park, wearing a giant sandwich board that was made up to mimic the movie poster. To help cement the illusion that Michael Keaton was somehow strolling through a random park while simultaneously being “squeezed” between the twin towers , I also had to wear a cardboard cut-out mask, front and back, of Michael Keaton’s face. The heat was soul crushing and the cardboard mask made it difficult to breathe. This went on for several days before I finally said, “No more!“ I’m sure it was worth it as I’m certain my efforts drove in thousands of extra moviegoers to see The Squeeze. I was not one of them.

  27. Thank you for opening the 2007 segment with Against Me! Takes me back to when I first got my drivers license and would aimlessly drive around with my friends in the suburbs with this album on repeat. I also remember the single “White People for Peace” playing on the radio while I was helping out an uncle of mine renovate my grandmothers garage. He is one of my favorite people and introduced me to the comic books series Sandman and the Robotech anime through the DVDs around this same time.

    Hearing the that song just brought back a ton of memories from summer 2007 and I can’t thank you guys enough!!!

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