Breaking Bad, The Storyteller, Savage Garden, Ted Kaczynski, Meet The Spartans – JAN 19-25

Breaking Bad premieres, Savage Garden loves us truly, madly, and deeply, and Meet the Spartans represents everything wrong with Hollywood on a new Thirty Twenty Ten!


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19 thoughts on “Breaking Bad, The Storyteller, Savage Garden, Ted Kaczynski, Meet The Spartans – JAN 19-25

  1. I loved Edguy in college. Despite its title, “Vain Glory Opera” is not an opera. Edguy is a German power metal band and I’m surprised it even showed up in your research as I don’t believe that album was released for many years outside of Europe. Edguy didn’t get better distribution until around 2001 with its album “Mandrake.” Now frontman Tobias Sammet is probably better known as the head of Avantasia, a rock-metal-opera super group that has headlined festivals like Wacken Open Air. “Vain Glory Opera” was the band’s sophmore effort and it was a big leap over their debut album, but is still one of their lesser works. The title track would have made a great outro song for here as it’s basically a rip-off of Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” “Out of Control” is probably the best track, and it used to be the band’s show-closer. It features guest vocals by Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch, a now legend in the German metal scene.

    1. On the subject of Resident Evil 2, it was definitely one of my most anticipated games of 98. I played the shit out of the demo included in the Resident Evil Director’s Cut and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the full version. It came out when I was on vacation with my family in Disney World. One day out of the week, we went to my mom’s cousin’s house for a visit and her son in law, knowing a teen would be there who would likely be bored, brought over his copy of RE2. I sat in front of the TV like an asshole all afternoon ignoring these people I hardly ever get to see and played RE2 until my parents had to pull me away. I couldn’t even wait to get home to buy it, which made no sense since we lived in tax free New Hampshire, and picked up a copy at FAO Schwartz on the last day of our vacation along with the latest EGM. That instruction manual was practically dog-eared by the time we got home I flipped through it so much. Great game, I’d beat it several times and even fell for the later EGM Akuma April Fool’s gag so I played it to the point of exhaustion. I guess I’ll have to give the remake a look whenever it arrives and see if it can capture my imagination like the original.

  2. One very minor nitpick I’d make about the Jim Henson chat: when he took the Muppets to Britain, they ended up being produced by Lew Grade (producer of many popular programmes and movies in the 1970s) and ran on ATV, which was the dominant commercial station in the country at the time, not the BBC.

    1. And one amusing piece of trivia: Storyteller was developed by none other than Anthony Minghella, who went on to win the Academy Award for Best Director for “The English Patient”.

  3. The Storyteller I saw episodes of during Home Economics in the 7th grade. Didn’t think of it much but looking back, yeah, it’s not bad really and The Storyteller is still going given the recent comics. A comic book shop I do volunteer work for has a bunch of Storyteller comics and trades. I do know the first episode I saw of the series was Sparrow was what I recall to be their own take on Cinderella. Though when the first shot was a ring, somebody in the class thought “Is this show doing Lord of the Rings?” Of course it wasn’t but yeah.

    Phantoms, yeah I firmly associate that film with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. “Affleck, you were the bomb in Phantoms, yo!” Like, I think the line is more well known than the film. Slappy and the Stinkers, I keep thinking Slappy is like a classic animal star but no, completely original so I guess Universal wanted that sweet, sweet Free Willy money. They did so earlier with resurrecting Flipper. Never saw the film but I always remember the title. By the way, there was a thriller called The Gingerbread Man? And even by Robert Altman? Reading about it, he reworked the script and used a pseudonym. It tested poorly and Polygram Films hired somebody to rework the film with Altman’s consent, he wasn’t happy and when the studio’s version tested worse, they used Altman’s version instead especially since he complained they wanted to appeal to a teen audience.

    Dawson’s Creek, I merely heard of it and know more about the parodies than watch the show. I know an episode of the Kids WB cartoon Detention mocked it, The Amanda Show mocked it, I never watched one episode of that show.

    Heath Ledger’s death, I haven’t heard about him at the time but I did find out he was The Joker in The Dark Knight. It was a huge, sad loss mind you but at the time (I was 17), I didn’t think much and it didn’t sink in until I finally watched The Dark Knight.

    Rambo I missed out sadly but I remember Meet the Spartans had a TV spot gloating it was number with a Rambo cutaway gag. But unfortunately, you guys ain’t done with Seltzerberg yet, Disaster Movie came out in August. The biggest crime Seltzerberg have done? Wasting Tony Cox’s talent. Oh and another thing about Rambo? Apparently, the proposed fifth film was going to be based on a Sci-Fi book called Hunter (I think) but it literally was going to be Rambo versus an alien.

    Oh wow, Codename: Kids Next Door. I’ve watched this show for years and yeah, it’s very weird and they even did a Christmas episode that was an all out parody of X-Men and in that same episode, there was a supervillain team that parodied The Avengers, seriously. It was glorious.

    The Land Before Time TV show, less said about that the better but yeah, never bothered and I was blindsided by some pink dinosaur that appeared right the fuck out of nowhere.

    Breaking Bad I admit I didn’t see until like part of it that one time in 2011 but I wasn’t into drama shows at the time but then the time came that I was mainly when I was watching it to prepare myself for the 2014 Godzilla reboot since it had Bryan Cranston, I was basically watching anything that was directed and featured the actors from the film at that point in time. I kept on watching the show even after I saw Godzilla because Breaking Bad is very engaging and the first episode itself, it’s funny because my reaction to the first shot of the episode was “What the? Why are there pants?” as soon as Walter’s pair of pants came flying into the show and then came a video camera confession he made so I was curious where they were going with this and given I knew the show ran for 5 seasons if this camera would be found later on by Hank. And before I did watch the show, I did become aware of the show’s popularity one Halloween when I was Jason Voorhees and walked passed two dudes in yellow hazmat suits from the show. And throughout watching, Walter White I did sympathize but then the more I watched, the more it was very clear he was the villain and really no better than somebody like Gus. It’s a very effective show among those reasons.

    And hey, watching the entire show got me prepped for Better Call Saul and that one I love just as much! ^_^

  4. When we’re talking about the Seltzer and Friedberg movies, it’s worth pointing out the prevailing conspiracy theory about the duo. They have NEVER been seen in public, never do interviews and don’t show up at premiers of their own movies. BUT, their movies do alternate with the movies of another (more famous director). Look at their names – Seltzer (salt, like SODA) and Friedberg (emphasis on the BERG). Soda-Berg. Soderbergh.

    It is a prevailing theory that these movies are what Stephen Soderbergh does during his downtime, just to have a bit of fun. I asked Soderbergh about it during a recent Reddit AMA and he just laughed it off, saying he has to make money for his OTHER pseudonyms (his cinematographer and editor are both him under other names) before making money for other people. It’s an interesting thought experiment, probably not true but just something to keep you thinking!

  5. I loved Codename: Kids Next Door. It’s more than secret agent stuff, it’s about fighting against the tyranny of adults. It’s not a “They make you do stuff you don’t like, but it’s ultimately good for you” thing. No, they’re actually malicious. They’ve crafted all sorts of inventive gadgets out of common household items (known as 2×4 Technology). The main villain is simply named “Father” (Maurice Le Marche), and his children, The Delightful Children From Down The Lane, who have a secret origin of their own.

    Great show.

  6. My favorite line from Casablanca is when the German officer asks Rick what his nationality is, and Rick responds: “I’m a drunkard.”

    But my favorite scene is the “La Marseillaise” scene, where the Nazis have to sit down in shame after being out-sung by the rest of the bar.

  7. I’m actually quite happy that “I Got My Mind Set On You” was George Harrison’s biggest solo hit. The song was originally recorded by up and coming R&B singer James Ray in 1961. Ray died just as the song was taking off. The Beatles discovered him in 1963 and performed one of his songs in their live shows. But it was this song that stuck with him and he released a cover decades later as a tribute to the career that never was. The original is a much better. You owe it to yourself to have a listen:

  8. Breaking Bad was an interesting show to watch, as it was one of the earliest show’s I ever binged with my wife. We watched the first two seasons together and then at the end of Season 2 (SPOILER: The plane crashes and Walter kills Jessie’s girlfriend) she said, “OK, that’s a good ending, I’m done.”
    “But … I think it’s been renewed for another season.”
    “Don’t care. That’s my ending for the show. I’m perfectly happy with that being the ending and I have zero interest in watching anymore.”
    Years passed as I watched the rest of a the seasons with rapt attention, occasionally asking if she wanted to get back into it because it was sooooooo good, but every time the answer was the same, “It already ended for me.”
    Oh, how I wish I would have taken the same stand with Dexter at the end of season 5! I more or less hate-watched that show for years in spite of myself because I was chasing an ending that I had already been given.

  9. Truly Madly Deeply was one of the songs for my wedding, so it’ll always have a place in my heart but until now I never knew it ended the horrible reign of Candle in the Wind.

  10. Oh man. You should have made an exception this episode and moved classic corner into the main show. Casablanca is too good. It’s one of those movies I could watch back to back and never get tired of. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to see it. I think the issue was the scene everybody knows from it makes it look like a straight romance (which was never my thing) when it is so much more. It’s funny, it’s exciting, and something wells up inside me every time during the scene opusander mentioned.

  11. Don’t ask me to cite my sources or anything, but a friend of mine who loves the series told me the reason we don’t get Advance Wars games anymore is Fire Emblem. So Nintendo had two turn-based strategy series, and basically they began favoring Fire Emblem because there was more waifu potential, Nintendo not explicitly condoning but also not discouraging such manner of engagement. This is what I’m given to understand; I’m not big into either series so I’m trusting a secondhand anecdote here.

  12. After this weeks episode, I randomly opened my wife’s STARS app to look at what movies were there and found Jim Henson’s The Storyteller series available to stream. It was a sign and we were instantly pulled into the hypnotic storytelling of young-old John Hurt as he told us about Hans the Hedgehog Man. Thanks for constantly reiterating the obscure works of Jim Henson. (Also, our Christmas break was additionally warmed by finding the Muppet Christmas special on YouTube.)

  13. I was really bitter that you didn’t talk longer about Savage Garden. And how dare you, Matt Jay, they are not a one hit wonder in my heart! Darren Hayes second solo album is awesome techo pop. Justin Timberlake wishes he were as gay as Darren.

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