Juno, Good Will Hunting, Gil’s first Simpsons, Remote Control, and Wizards & Warriors – Dec 1-Dec 7

87 marks Bob Odenkirk’s SNL debut, Remote Control’s premiere, and Wizards and Warriors. In 97, we like them apples with Good Will Hunting and Gil’s debut on the Simpsons. 07 is indie-riffic with Juno as well as Lars and the Real Girl.


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34 thoughts on “Juno, Good Will Hunting, Gil’s first Simpsons, Remote Control, and Wizards & Warriors – Dec 1-Dec 7

  1. Fuck Gil. When I think of the downfall of The Simpsons, I don’t think of “The Principal and the Pauper” (though that episode certainly sucks, despite the claims of Bob Mackey), I think of Gil, possibly the worst ancillary character on The Simpsons who is brought back time and again and I don’t know why. He should have been a one joke character, like my namesake, not a repeating one note character. I only use the “possibly” qualifier because I’m not sure if another character has been introduced that I just have never noticed because I don’t regularly watch anymore. They even will center an entire Christmas episode around Gil in a later season which makes me hate him more, because the episode starts off in a promising way with an effective Grinch parody character before becoming a Gil slog. So I repeat, fuck Gil!

      1. But has Crazy Cat Lady had entire episodes centered around her? She strikes me as the one-note character just tossed in for an easy joke. I concede it’s a rarely effective joke. Same for Neagle. I checked out of weekly Simpsons viewing around Seasons 12 and 13.

        1. Yes, Crazy Cat Lady has had her own stories. There’s an episode where Marge finds out that she’s a hoarder and she and Lisa help CCL clean her house. Her mental health improves and she is able to talk lucidly. But Marge takes some of the CCL’s stuff herself and becomes and hoarder and then CCL has to come and help Marge to deal with her hoarding. But then CCL sees her old things and descends back into madness.

          Also, her real name is Elenor Abernathy and she has both a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a law degree from Yale. But she got burned out and started drinking and became the Crazy Cat Lady.

    1. Gotta agree with the Gil dislike. My main reason is how they’ve pretty much made him the defacto Hutz character, so much so by shoehorning him in in roles we would’ve seen Hutz in..Lawyer included. Glad he isn’t used as often anymore, but I was annoyed when he was featured more heavily

  2. Get ready to hear something like this a lot from me until Christmas has come and gone, but I have a Christmas VHS tape from 1987 and the lead-off is Mickey’s Christmas Carol. I love that short, but what’s most awesome is the NBC broadcast of it included three additional shorts plus additional artwork and voice overs for the inbetween stuff. The order goes Donald’s Snow Fight, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, and The Art of Skiing starring Goofy before going into the main event, so to speak. Lots of little clips from other shorts are in there too like Toy Tinkers, On Ice and Mickey’s Good Deed (though no shots of the black-face balloon). Really great stuff, and I basically never want to watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol any other way, despite owning several official releases of it.

    And “Eye on the Sparrow,” there’s a promo on that same VHS for it (different from the one Matt found). My sister and I will often toss that “What kind of people are you?” line at each other for a cheap laugh. I should see if I can track down a copy of it for her as a Christmas gift, We’ve seen that promo hundreds of times now, but I’ve never seen the actual movie.

    1. And sorry for the triple post, it’s what happens when I comment on the synopsis and then continue to do so as I listen, but as someone who has lived in or around Boston my entire 33 years of life and worked in that city for the past dozen, I can say I have never heard anyone refer to a burger as a burger sandwich.

      And a personal “thank you” to Chris for keeping A Cartoon Christmas on the web. I revisit that site every year and was bummed when it stopped receiving updates at Christmas time a few years ago. And I know Dave was just making a joke, but the networks have always spread the holiday specials around throughout December and sometimes even November, as documented by that same 30 year old VHS tape I mentioned in my previous comment. It’s on cable where the stuff is shown ad naseum. If anyone cares, all of the specials my mother recorded that year were off of network TV and the list of specials aired then that are no longer on network TV is: Mickey’s Christmas Carol, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and A Muppet Family Christmas (which has its own convoluted history). Surprisingly, Santa Claus is Coming to Town still gets the network treatment and Frosty is helped along by the 90’s sequel which it gets paired with every year by CBS. I shamelessly rip-off A Cartoon Christmas on my crappy free blog that can be visited by clicking on my username. Christmas posts start on the 1st of December through the 25th!

  3. Sorry to correct you, Lasertime crew, but as an avid Hip-Hop fan and Historian, Slim Shady EP WAS NOT Em’s debut in any sense of the word. His debut was Infinite, released in 1996. At this time he sounded like NY rapper AZ, so much so he actually admitted it in future interviews. Slim Shady EP was when he found his pocket and the Slim Shady persona. From here is when Dre supposedly discovers him. I say supposedly because different accounts have surfaced that it may have been an intern at Interscope. Anyway, just wanted to give you some history.

  4. I HATE Juno so much like Diablo Cody is the physical embodiment of people making “The Cake is a lie” jokes in 2009 or white people talk singing gangsta rap songs she’s Lena Dunham(shitty ass writer using white feminism to protect her from very valid criticism) pre Twitter It’s fucking worst and it kinda ruined Ellen Page’s career(and Mike Cera’s) in an odd way she’s been in really good movies like Hard Candy and Whip It(aside from the last minute hetero romance to make it less gay) yet this is what she’ll forever be know for and kinda type casted her until “prettier” indie darlings came along and took her roles. If not for X-Men DoFP and Beyond Two Souls(a game so bad it got her out of the closet to save her career) this would be the biggest waste of her talent why people keep lining up for twee yet serious indie movies is beyond me they’re neither cute or compelling much like the butt ass acoustic guitar soundtracks they always have.

  5. The Golden Compass is a terrible movie and adaption, but the “His Dark Materials Trilogy” (yes, the His is part of the title) is an interesting series that deserved better.

  6. You know, when I hear “I Had The Time of my Life”, I think of that scene from Get Out where the girl is eating fruit loops and drinking the drink separately while listening to that song while searching for other black men to target. Ahh! Real Monsters, I still enjoy. Probably among my first exposures to Horror in a way. Realty Bites, I always quote that particular episode of The Simpsons with this line:

    “Look Marge, there’s the truth and then there’s THE truth.”

    Juno I saw a couple of years ago, which I liked, been a while but I guess in a way Diablo Cody’s writing did speak to me in a way. At least, Diablo Cody’s apparent interest in Horror I connect with. Hell, she did some uncredited work on the Evil Dead remake years ago so that’s pretty cool. I did however see Diablo Cody’s only film as a director Paradise for the 52 Films by Women challenge which was alright but it suffered from “Tell, don’t show” syndrome. Like, the narration does all the talking but doesn’t show what to drive the point home. The Golden Compass, I only know about it as the film that killed New Line Cinema as an independent film studio and eventually got bought by Warner Brothers as like the studio’s genre label ala Dimension Films like they distributed The Conjuring cinematic universe, It, etc. And the final insult to injury? They turned down international rights and it did better overseas than the US and New Line suffered all the more for it so as a result, Bob Shaye left and new people took over after the WB buyout. I also know it as the one two box office bomb combo punch that starred Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman with that and The Invasion. That was like a punchline of sorts. And I also know the film suffered a lot of studio interference so that undoubtedly also bit them so hard.

    I need to see Lars and the Real Girl though, I’ve been wanting to for years. Tin Man however, I didn’t see the rest. Got bored with it an hour in or I wasn’t into the miniseries format at the time. Either way, didn’t see the rest.

  7. Dave – for a great Rainn Wilson role check out Super (also starring Ellen Page). Amazing movie.

    The Golden Compass movie was such a huge bummer. It’s such a lifeless, flat adaptation of an edgy YA book that is so focused on ticking off a laundry list of events and set pieces that it forgets to give the audience any real context, or a reason to care about any of the characters. The lead girl was so miscast – she comes across as an upper class stage school kid – totally at odds with the character of Lyra from the books, who is basically a feral street kid.

    It’s definitely one of those movies where the behind the scenes shenanigans are much more interesting than the film itself – the director has been pretty open about how compromised he was in having to remove anything that could be construed as critical of the Catholic church, and an alternative ending (one much closer the the bleak, child-murdering ending of the book) was filmed, but the studio forced the director to tack on a happy ending. This reddit thread is totally worth a read: https://www.reddit.com/r/TrueFilm/comments/1hke06/an_odd_one_for_you_the_golden_compass_looking/

    I heard a few years ago that the BBC is co-producing a new TV adaptation of the His Dark Materials books, which sounds like it could finally do the story justice, but haven’t heard anything about it since, sadly.

  8. Good Will Hunting is certainly well made and has good performances, but it really irks me for some reason. It’s not really Oscar-bait or that cliche, but it still sits on that same level for me. Despite sort of having something to say about masculinity and ignoring your potential, it still feels too much like a typical “overcoming adversity and we’re gonna target your emotions” kind of movie for me to really say it’s as good as it was reviewed.

    I feel much warmer about Juno, though. Ellen Page is great in it and it makes me wish she was the lead in more movies. THAT BEING SAID, I saw it years ago and have only become more progressive in the time since, so I might read its stance on abortion differently, and that in turn might change my opinions on the movie. As a dumb teenager when I watched it, it didn’t read as strongly pro-life as a lot of people took it, so I’m kind of curious to go back and see what I think it’s trying to say now.

  9. Actually, there was more screw-ups during the talk about “Enemy Zero”. The character, Laura, was meant to be a “Digital Actress” according to creator Kenji Eno, and that’s the only connection between “D” and “Enemy Zero”. The sequel to “D” was called “D2”, not D3. D3 is a game publishing company known for the Earth Defense Force series of games.

  10. Enemy Zero was so reliant on sound cues because of Eno’s interest in making games accessible for the sight impaired, his game Real Sound: Kaze no Regret was vasically novel for the sightless; Eno in general and Warp in specific is pretty interesting, one of the issues of Ray’s zine Scroll has a huge section about him/them if youd like to read more.

  11. What a dumb hill to die on but I would much prefer to revisit Garden State than Juno. Granted I dont want to watch either ever again.

    That dialouge always annoyed me but the soundtrack was pretty good.

  12. I remember thinking that Juno was just “okay”, but there was an exchange at the end that really got me. Ellen Page tells Michael Cera “you’re so cool without even trying” and he admits “I’m actually trying really hard”. It reminded me a lot of myself. Fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago, when my wife sincerely told me that she thought I was really cool… it was like the nicest compliment I’d ever heard.

  13. For some reason I ended up seeing “The Golden Compass” as part of a church youth group trip and I was not impressed. It had nothing to do with the philosophy of the books (which I have no strong feelings about); I’ve never read the books (and haven’t ever been interested in doing so) and I know the movie is generally regarded as a very poor adaptation, but I think there’s a lot to dislike about it on its own merits. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only reason it still has a place in my memory at all 10 years later is because it was the first movie I went to see in the cinema which I thought was bad while I was sitting watching it.

    I remember there being a distractingly large amount of telling rather than showing, most egregiously in one scene at the end when, rather than showing Daniel Craig (who’d been in prison for most of the movie) escaping from captivity, one character helpfully informs us that he bribed his guards and escaped. It’s the first and, if I’m honest, only times I can remember feeling cheated by a movie.

    Characters appear out of nowhere and have other characters react to them familiarly and the expectation seems to be that we should know who these people are and why they matter. Nicole Kidman, the arch-villain of the picture, is last seen from behind marching down a corridor saying she will chase the heroes into the next film in the series; I guess they were going for Darth Vader being knocked out into space at the end of A New Hope, but it just didn’t work at all.

    (P.S. I’m having some trouble locating the most recent Patreon episodes – can anyone advise what the most episode was?)

    1. Yep, ‘telling and not showing’ is exactly right. I remember getting a sinking feeling right at the start of the film when there is a long, tedious voiceover (I think by Craig) explaining the setup and workings of the whole film/universe. That they were unable to portray the worldbuilding stuff in a visual, cinematic way set off alarm bells that the movie was going to suck. Agree that there’s really no context at all to any of the events portrayed or much reason given to care about the characters. I think the director’s heart was in the right place, but apparently the studio forced him to cut an entire hour from the movie, so it figures.

      I highly recommend the books though – the second book The Subtle Knife in particular. They’re really quite different form anything else in the YA genre – really quite violent and challenging in terms of subject matter. I believe there is a BBC audio adaptation with a full voice cast where Terence Stamp plays the Daniel Craig part from the movie. Stamp is exactly who I imagined playing that role when I read the books.

      1. I think “Golden Compass” might almost be most interesting for kicking off (at least as far as I can remember) Hollywood’s frequently ill-fated attempts to find the next Harry Potter by optioning and adapting every big (and sometimes not so big) young adult novel property that came along in the 2000s.

        “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” did pretty well (and somehow “Maze Runner” managed to do decently) but Hollywood’s littered with the corpses of as many failed YA franchises as it is failed shared universes. You’ve got “Beautiful Creatures”, “Vampire Academy”, “Mortal Instruments”, “Ender’s Game”, “Divergent”, “Chronicles of Narnia” (first one did fine, the rest disappointed), “Bridge to Terabithia”, “Inkheart” and probably a lot more that I’m forgetting.

        I’m sure “A Handbook for Mortals” will do brilliantly, of course. :p

  14. I enjoyed the scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams improvises the whole wife farting scene. Matt Damon didn’t know it was happening before it filmed, so his reaction is genuine.

  15. Hey guys love the podcast. This episode really hit home for me when you guys talked mickeys CC. I remember seeing this when I was 6 in the theaters. Watched it the next four years on tv. Taped it and had it for a while and then my mother found the tape at a blowout sale one year. The only reason I still have a vcr. Watch it every year on Christmas eve and still tear up. Thank you for talking about it

  16. Chris was partially right about the reasons why Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN but the biggest reason is that historically the Monday night game was the biggest game of the week. The NFL decided to move the biggest game to Sunday nights and NBC got the rights that ESPN previously had for the Sunday night game. ABC decided that since Monday night was no longer going to be the biggest game of the week they couldn’t justify losing all of that primetime programming and decided to move the game from ABC to ESPN. However, because of carriage rules the NFL requires that Monday night games still be shown on broadcast TV in the home markets of the teams playing and so ABC winds up carrying a simucast of the ESPN broadcast in those markets.

  17. hooo boy I strongly dislike Juno. people should listen to the Best Show on WFMU from around Juno’s release date,, Tom was obsessed with how bad the dialogue is for like four episodes straight

  18. My headcanon for how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote _Good Will Hunting_ is the explanation Mindy Kaling (yes, _that_ Mindy Kaling) and Brenda Withers wrote into their play _Matt and Ben_: they were working on “adapting” Catcher in the Rye, basically transcribing it into a screenplay, when the script to Good Will Hunting _literally_ deus-es ex machina from the sky, their names already on it.

    It’s a great, very funny one-act play, but the best part is that both Matt and Ben are played by women, and that part isn’t even played for laughs. See it if a comedy duo starts showing it in your town!

  19. i have a story about aaron carter, and even though it happened in 2000, i can’t see that guy coming up in too many more episodes so i guess i’ll tell it now. so, i’m in 7th grade, i’m a chubby dork, and i’ve actually landed a girlfriend from another school. i went to a private school, and as far as i know, i was the only kid who had somehow landed a girlfriend from another school. it had a serious air of mystery to it, and i thought it made me super cool. this is after years of being a fat dork, with frosted tips, and constant gel in my hair. so, i wasn’t exactly pullin in the ladies. i start dating this girl, she tricks me into going to her church group a couple times, and then at a party my friend forces us into a closet to make out. that’s the sum of our relationship. but then like 2 months into our “relationship” she wins a trip on radio disney to go meet and hang out with aaron carter. this is before social media or anything, so we’d obviously go days without talking. i don’t hear from her for 2 weeks. she comes back, shows me pictures of her and aaron carter hanging out, and breaks up with me. fucking aaron carter broke up my 6th grade relationship. i finally lock down a pretty girl from another school and BAM aaron carter breaks it up.

  20. I think the show breezed by the Dunkirk scene in atonement too quickly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXTnRdMdZXA I did not actually watch the movie when it came back, but someone keyed me on that sequence long ago and it made me want to watch the rest of the movie (which was kind of a backwards misdirection of it, but holy crap that scene!).

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