Mass Effect, Uncharted, Parappa, Enchanted, Anastasia, Mortal Kombat’s Second Movie, & Teen Wolf Too! – Nov 17-Nov 23

This week: in 87, we get a new Teen Wolf, while Flowers in the Attic turns a creepy book into a creepy movie. In 97, Anastasia takes on Disney while Mortal Kombat Annihilation takes on critics, Drew Carey’s brother & Rudy Guliani’s SNL performance hit TV, while Parappa raps on PS1. In 2007, Enchanted casts a spell on a game-heavy week featuring the Hitman movie, Mass Effect, and Uncharted.


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34 thoughts on “Mass Effect, Uncharted, Parappa, Enchanted, Anastasia, Mortal Kombat’s Second Movie, & Teen Wolf Too! – Nov 17-Nov 23

  1. Rock Band, I hardly knew ye. I was really into Guitar Hero when that came out, less so the sequel, but Rock Band’s inclusion of drums really had me interested when that was announced. Not willing to shell out my own money on it, I floated the idea to my dear old mother that it would make a good Christmas gift, since by then I was an adult and she was always looking for gift ideas. When Christmas came, so did Rock Band. I happily set it up in my Boston apartment and was ready to start drumming! Probably halfway through the first song, the downstairs neighbors were pounding on the ceiling. I sullenly dropped my shoulders and put the gear away. I don’t think I ever played with my drum set again, even though I’ve continued to lug it around through various moves and it currently resides in a downstairs closet. Since I now live in my own house, maybe I should finally dust that thing off and see what all the fuss was about.

    1. Doesn’t help you now obviously but if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, or if anyone else is, you can take a piece of wood and some tennis balls and make DIY sound proof pad. I live in the upstairs of a two story apartment and have my electric kit. I’ve never had any issues once I put my pad up.

      1. That’s a good idea. I did get those rubber pads that I think Mad Catz put out to dampen the actual drums, but it did nothing for the kick pedal obviously and so I never returned to it. I did play Rock Band at other people’s homes, just never my own.

  2. Night Court is one of those shows that I was too young to watch during prime time, but that was re-run endlessly after the Disney Afternoon so I saw it multiple times that way. I remember watching the later seasons first, and then when it ran out of those and started showing the first season I was confused. Who was this Sheila Gardiner person? It tuned out she was the defending attorney who appeared in the pilot and nothing else. That was really weird to me. And what about this Selma Hacker character? She was the first female bailiff but the actress who portrayed her died and the character was soon replaced by another crotchety old bailiff whose actress also died, after which they stopped casting old people for the role. I can remember piercing together Night Court-Lore as 11 or 12 year old and rushing to tell my sister when I thought I had figured it out. Spoiler alert: She did not care. I can still recall her saying, “So, are you like studying to become a Night Court expert?” to this day. It’s funny but I think that was when I first really began to understand continuity as a literally device.

  3. Flowers in the Attic, I know for a fact Wes Craven was supposed to direct it and I think the marketing tried to credit the guy writing the script to get people’s attention. Craven left since he and the producers couldn’t see eye to eye on the material which is a pity because the material does fit him. I know people want Sofia Coppola to direct a new film version of the story especially given her short film had a character obsessed with the novel and I think The Virgin Suicides referenced it.

    Anastasia I saw in theaters, I was hyped to hell for this movie as a kid. No, I didn’t mistake it for a Disney unlike most people-yes, even as a kid I figured. But yeah, I was swept up by the hype. Watched the Making of special, had a Bartok toy from Burger King and even a Sing Along tape (because Fox wanted to emulate Disney that bad) and actually, funny story about that VHS tape. It had songs from Ferngully and Once Upon a Forrest but it had a Shirley Temple song and most hilarious of all because given the film itself, it’s wildly out of place; the Puttin’ on the Ritz musical sequence from Young Frankenstein. I am not kidding. It was even how I first knew about that film.

    But as for the actual Anastasia film itself, as a kid, loved it. Looking back? Well, I like the music I’ll say this and I guess Anya herself was likeable. I mean, there’s not much to talk about with that film. It is what it is and you either like it or don’t. But on the bright side, I’ll take it over The Swan Princess, a fucking terrible Disney rip off film.

    Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, I rented it first for whatever reason when I was getting into Mortal Kombat in 2004 and that was a mistake. I did watch the first film afterwards though which is decent, I quite like it and it’s still fun (though Silent Hill is the legit best video game movie). But man Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is terrible. Like, everything about it was so inept. Terrible effects, poor acting, I don’t think the story even made any sense and it tried to cram in many characters for no reason other than for fans to recognize but they either don’t serve a purpose or just don’t do anything at all! And the film’s director, THIS was the guy they hired to direct the first Annabelle movie for The Conjuring cinematic universe? Oh my god, somebody was fucking stupid that day. Thank god the sequel got a competent director. Though I will say the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation soundtrack is awesome, better than the film.

    Funny story, I saw that The Mist and Enchanted were being released on the same day and I was on an Anti-Disney kick at the time so I was rooting for The Mist to win the box office and cursed up a storm when I saw Enchanted number one and The Mist number six. I got out of that kick, don’t worry. I like Disney! I do! Admittedly, I need to see Enchanted though I like Amy Adams and crush on her. But I did see The Mist on Showtime, which I like. Like, the crazy religious lady made me uncomfortable. I mean, the entire film was intense throughout anyway and I liked the ending. It gave it a bit of an edge like a balls to the walls tragic ending that I felt bad for Thomas Jane and still do. You know, 2007 was a good year for Stephen King film adaptations between that and 1408.

  4. So, there is a weird thing about that night of TV on Fox. My dad was coming back from Mexico that night, after doing a trip to learn about what the immigration situation was like down there. I was understandably worried about him, even though he was fine, and it was perfectly safe. But what I remember most, besides that weird coincidence with Family Guy, was, in an even weirder coincidence, the episode of King of the Hill where Cotton dies also aired that night. I’m surprised you didn’t talk about that one. He gets up on a hibachi grill, at a Japanese restaurant, and starts ranting about “Tojos”, as he is wont to do. His shoes melt on the grill, and he has a heart attack and falls down. I think the episode ends with Hank coming to terms with the fact that him and his dad never really liked each other. Also, Matt’s right, the rest of “husbands and Knives” isn’t great. It’s about Homer getting a bunch of plastic surgery to look good for Marge, and he ends up as a hulked-out monster, but the ending reveals it was all a dream.

  5. Matt asked regarding Flowers in the Attic, “Is there an expanded universe?” As a matter of fact, there is! It’s the first of five books in what is called the Dollanganger series. The first two books, Flowers in the Attic and Petals in the Wind, follow the five children. The next two, If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, also involve the children of one of the children. The final book, Garden of Shadows, is a prequel detailing how the grandmother became the cold, cruel person she is. I kinda want to read all of these now.

  6. By the way, it was actor Clayton Moore who was told to stop appearing as the character he played.

    “Although the TV show and movies had run their course, that didn’t mean Moore was done with his iconic cowboy persona. He was so in love with the character that he quit acting to become the Lone Ranger full-time. Along with a white horse he called Silver, Moore donned the black mask and silver six-gun revolvers to appear at charity events, fairs and festivals, and in paid advertisements. Everywhere he went, he always took time out to talk to youngsters about staying away from drugs, alcohol, smoking, and swearing. The crowds loved him and he was in high demand for years to come.

    But Moore’s career hit a speed bump in 1978, when Jack Wrather, who still owned the rights to the character, obtained a court order barring him from appearing in public as the Lone Ranger. The suit came because Universal Pictures felt it was time for a new take on the legendary masked man. The reboot was going to be a younger, hipper, more modern cowboy, so the last thing they wanted was a 64-year-old man traveling around the country yelling “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” Aside from the intellectual property issues, Wrather pointed out that Moore’s original contract contained a clause saying that he could not present himself as The Lone Ranger without written consent from Wrather, which Moore had never received.

    After a year-long court battle, Moore lost the right to wear the mask in 1979, a move that devastated both him and his fans. Moore was quoted as saying, “It felt like a slap in the face.”

    But while Wrather might have won in the eyes of the court, it was Moore who won in the eyes of the public. After the verdict had been handed down, Moore appeared on more than 250 talk shows, now wearing dark, wrap-around sunglasses instead of the mask. In addition, Moore claimed, “I received nearly a half-million passionate, supportive letters” from adoring fans. Perhaps the most famous moment of his post-mask career occurred in 1980, when the popular show Real People ran a story on the controversy. After a taped segment featuring interviews with fans upset over how Moore had been treated, the man himself came onto the stage for a live broadcast interview. The studio audience exploded in riotous applause that lasted so long it ate up the entire time Moore was slated to appear. The producers had to cut away to commercial before he even got the chance to thank his fans for their support.”

  7. You made two unrelated mentions of Bill Bixby and The Hulk on this week’s show and that made me look it up: we just passed the 40th anniversary of The Incredible Hulk TV show which debuted as a TV movie on November 4 ,1977. A two-part episode aired later that month, then the series proper began in March 1978 with most of the footage in the famous opening credits taken from the pilot movie. I adored the show as a kid and every time I revisit it as an adult it still holds a lot of charm. Bixby as Banner was a tremendous choice: as a former TV dad he’s gentle, intelligent, and warm — which makes his “don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” line all the more intense. Then you get the scenes with the Hulk which can be repetitive (there’s definitely a formula at work) but the transformation sequences are chilling (those contacts! that music! gets me every time) and everyone in the world of the show always reacts with horror as they should, even if Hulk rarely does anything beyond toss a couple goons around the set. It’s his EXISTENCE in that world that is incredible, not his abilities.
    I know you love clips, so here is my favorite transformation sequence from the show ever: a pay phone operator makes David angry “I DON’T HAVE 25 CENTS!!”
    ps this week’s episode covers my 11th, 21st, and 31st birthdays! thanks for everything you do, Laser Time!

  8. Being a big fan of Stephen King, and of Frank Darabont’s adaptations, I remember going to see the Mist on its opening day, opting for the early bird pricing of the first matinee showing of the day. I remember thinking it was weird when the theater started playing trailers, and they were all for upcoming kids movies. I thought that they must have loaded the wrong set of previews or something (I have no idea how the projection portion of a movie theater works, so it seemed just as good as an explanation as any other.)

    After the weird set of previews, the Feature Presentation cards went up! The entire theater was surprised to hear these words uttered:

    “According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly…”

    They had forgotten to change the entire projector package to the Mist, and instead it was filled with Jerry Seinfeld’s magnum opus. A few minutes later, an employee came in letting us know that our current showing would be cancelled. They handed out rain check tickets to us at the door and told us to take the ticket stub we had to customer service to get that one exchanged to the next showing. I didn’t get to see the Mist that day at the time I wanted, and had to waste about two hours around the mall, early morning on a Friday, but I did get a story and a free movie ticket out of it, so all and all it was a good experience.

    As for the Mist, I had read the story beforehand, and thought that the adaptation was actually pretty good. You’re right to liken it to a Twilight Zone episode (a series I also love). I do remember everyone being pissed off by the movie’s much darker, downer ending, although I didn’t think it was particularly more dark than the novella’s more open ended one.

  9. There was also a late 1990s resurgence of Australian stuff. At least with Fox Kids importing a bizarre show called “Round the Twist” or something.

  10. My dad saw The Last Emperor after all the Oscars and critical acclaim. He found it incredibly boring. It was after that point that he stopped trusting film critics and the Oscars.

  11. I have seen both MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL and THE RAINMAKER within the 2010s, and I don’t really remember a single fucking thing about either of them, besides Kevin Spacey’s southern accent and mustache, and that Matt Damon kills someone involved in the case.

    I watched Enchanted for the first time over this past summer, and I fucking loved it. Amy Adams & James Marsden are great, and it’s an excellent send-up / parody of the tropes in Disney (as you guys discussed). It’s nice to see that both of them are still doing good work ten years on, but I wish Patrick Dempsey would do anything interesting like this again.

    The first Uncharted is super playable now as part of the PS4 Nathan Drake Collection, since it’s updated to play pretty much like 2 & 3 for the most part.
    I was a little late getting to the Mass Effect party, playing it sometime around the summer after its release, but it got me hooked as soon as I started it, and so began a love affair with that series that I pray is not over because of Andromeda (which I actually liked quite a bit).

    1. And if you’re sorta interested in the idea of THE MIST I would posit that John Carpenter’s THE FOG is a much better exploration of a similar concept. That movie rocks (and is too old to be properly discussed on 30-20-10).

  12. Mortal Kombat Annihilation is basically Batman & Robin (sans Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl) as arguably my most “enjoyed” movie ever it’s SOOOOOO bad and the bad is 100% organic which is the key. Even the death of Johnny Cage didn’t sour me on the nonstop smile inducing shit show…if only there was a vidja games adjacent website that did movies on Monday nights. (That and Bad Santa would be grape December movies juz Saiyian)

  13. As a Native girl living on the Rez, I would get obsessed with any TV show or movie with a Native person in it so I watched the shit out of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation . I got to interview Litefoot, who played Nitewolf, at an event in my city. Once the camera was off, I said to him, ‘Dude, I loved you in Mortal Kombat Annihilation’ and he said ‘YOU SAW THAT?!’

  14. Anastasia is one of my wife’s favorite movies. It even ranks above most Disney movies for her – although not above Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. “At the Beginning” was the first song we danced to at our wedding, so it goes without saying that it has a very sentimental place in our household.
    I regret to inform you that Chris’ SCATHING, UNFAIR, and MEAN critiques of a beautiful 90s artifact has forced me to pull funding from his patreon, and instead invest that $5 in Matt Jay’s patreon, which I am to understand is something called “LaserTime”. Must be a coincidence.

    (Keep up the great work, guys! I love that you actually bring up Night Court and The Drew Carey Show, since I feel like those get overlooked by The Pop Culture Hive Mind.)

  15. Before “Enchanted” premiered in the cinema (my family went to see it because my younger sister was very enthusiastic), I have vague memories of a lot of the advertising seeming to downplay that it was an original story – the implication as far as I can recall was that it was going to be a kind of prototypical “Once Upon a Time” with actual Disney characters transported to the real world from their own cartoon fairy tale realm. I’m sure this is just my memory playing tricks on me, and I think it’s probably because there was one scene in the movie where Amy Adams runs into a little person in New York City and exclaims, “Grumpy!” and it featured heavily in a lot of the promotion!

    Other than the songs, the thing I most remember from “Enchanted” was how Idina Menzel and James Marsden’s characters are hooked up at the end, despite having pretty much no interaction throughout the movie, because they were the romantic leftovers after Amy Adams got together with McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy. In a movie that otherwise plays around with standard fairy tale tropes, it stuck out a bit.

    As far MK: Annihilation, there’s only two things that have stuck with me from that movie: 1. how bad the special effects looked and 2, how Shao Khan and Sindel always left a dramatic pause before they finished… … … … … their sentences.

  16. The pure serendipity of you all discussing Gary Glitter getting arrested for child porn and leading right into a John Grisham movie adaptation days him saying we might be to harsh on people who view child porn was great. I never understand the work you all through to pull these threads together. Even going as far to predict the future! Keep up the good work!

  17. I have a very recent anecdote for Rock Band. As a music major in college I thought Rock Band was rad. But at PAX West 2016, in my first year as an Enforcer we had a jam session just after hall close one night. A couple of enforcers, an exhibitor all jumped on stage looking for a fourth. Sensing my moment I jumped on stage and grabbed a guitar. I forget the song we played but it was awesome. We had probably 50 other enforcers and exhibitors who all crowded around the stage cheering us on. To this day it is one of my best PAX memories.

  18. Anti Gravity Room (s03e07 Comic Books on the Screen ) segment on The Incredible Hulk cartoon. Lou Ferrigno was even involved for some reason! This whole episode is on YouTube and well worth watching. It’s guest hosted by Kevin Smith, has an intervew with The Ultimate Warrior on his comic book, the Superman cartoon, Sliders and Tenchi Muyo in Love.

  19. Fun fact that I thought you guys might have brought up with THE MIST was that it was the story inspiration for Half Life. I loved the movie until the last few minutes. I’m ok with a downer ending, but they broke the logic of the world they had created to artificially up the depression quotient. SPOILERS They drive for presumably hours and witness this giant beast roaming that is so enormous that it doesn’t even register their presence, and then 1 minute after he kills his child the army rolls by at a crawl having eliminated the threat with people who would have come from the same starting place as our main characters (and therefore at their pace they would have had to have cleared where he had come from before he left).

  20. We’re entering the sweet spot for some of my favorite games, back when I was a full-time grad student and still had plenty of free time to play them. The timing was perfect, as finals were usually the first week back from Thanksgiving, giving me a full month before school started up again (it would be the last time I didn’t have to at least work part-time in the month off). I loved KOTOR, and this was a refinement of the formula before it started getting long in the (dragon) tooth. I’m not always the biggest fan of unskippable in-game cut-scenes, but the big reveal [spoilers from 10 years ago] that your true enemy is an ancient, giant, spaceship that has mind-controlled the guy you thought was the big-bad, is one of my favorite “holy shit” moments in gaming, ever. I know everyone who has come back to the original finds it clunky, but I love it. Just a really fun game and for me, it’s the peak Bioware game (ME2 and 3 are great, but for me, drift from the Baldur’s Gate formula).

  21. Anastasia kicks ass

    In the Dark of the Night is an all-time classic animated song.

    I have heard their is in fact a secret in St. Petersberg

    9/10 movie Boom.

    1. Links Crossbow Training > Uncharted

      I get it, Uncharted games have great cutscenes, games are dull mixes of Call of Duty campaigns and Tomb Raider

      Franchise remains so overrated

  22. Two Things 1) Chris looks amazing handling that axe, not gonna lie that was kinda hot. All that was missing is him sticking his tongue out at the camera
    2) Why are you bothering Hank in the bathroom you know how he is

  23. I remember trying to watch the Last Emperor as a 12 year old on some showing on HBO and not being able to get through it. Oddly enough the examination of the Emperors poop is the only thing I remember about that film.

  24. Even as a kid, I always wrote off Cinderella as being kind of hokey. However, I recently had the chance to rewatch it and there is a hauntingly beautiful song that I had forgotten about that Cinderella sings as she is washing the floor:

    On another note, last week you all mentioned The Howling III; I only know it about because of the scene I am linking here, which frequently gets bandied about because of the bad acting and non-sequitur dialogue:

  25. I don’t know why Matt thinks the nostalgia industry wasn’t around in 1987, when it was arguably the 1980s that *invented* the nostalgia industry, specifically for the ’50s. The Stray Cats were huge during the rockabilly revival. Grease and Happy Days were built ENTIRELY on nostalgia for the 1950s. Ronald Reagan– a movie star who peaked in the 1950s– was elected president on a platform that criticized the civil rights and women’s movements of the 1960s and 1970s and idealized the “simpler” more wholesome times before (i.e. when white men controlled everything and didn’t have to listen to dissent). The whole Marilyn Monroe/Elvis Presley kitsch industry was born in the 1980s. Spanlges, a local fast food burger place in my hometown Wichita, is entirely themed to be like an old 1950s diner, with period appropriate music playing and things like that kitschy parody of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks hanging in every restaurant; that chain opened in the 1980s!

    Even everyone’s favorite ’80s movie– Back to the Future– is largely predicated on 1950s nostalgia. The entire premise is the ’80s are gross and crime-ridden, with the implication being it’s because of the civil rights movement, and Marty has to go back to the wonderful and idyllic 1950s to capture some of that magic and fix the dilapidated present time. The whole reason Michael J. Fox was picked for the lead role is because he had already established himself on a TV show as the hip cool Reagan youth kid totally owning his silly liberal hippy parents. As much as I absolutely love Back to the Future, it’s underlying (probably unintentional) politics are conservative as fuck.

    So yeah, the nostalgia industry was not only present in the 1980s, it was BORN in the 1980s.

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