There’s a dynamite new contender in cable, a Woody Allen movie you don’t have ashamed to watch, and a double shot of unfunny political comedy – Sept 28-Oct 4: Thirty Twenty Ten

Robin Williams dies, Elvira and Bill Maher get their own movie, Ted Turner buys a television network, HBO debuts its least prestigious show to date, Greg Kinnear has a stupid dream, Dreamworks’ first ANTimated movie, Monica topples Aerosmith, spoiled Chihuahuas, and MC Hammer is almost there. All that and more, on this edition on Thirty Twenty Ten, your auditory look back on the week that was 30, 20, and 10 years ago

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12 thoughts on “There’s a dynamite new contender in cable, a Woody Allen movie you don’t have ashamed to watch, and a double shot of unfunny political comedy – Sept 28-Oct 4: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. I’m not sure why Chris believes Elvira, Mistress of the Dark isn’t on DVD, I got it from Walmart for 5 bucks a year or so ago. It was goofier than I expected, not bad if you’re into 80’s schlock. And Scarecrows was just on TCM a couple weeks ago, it was not good, stick with Predator instead.

  2. Oh Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is on DVD. Been reprinted many times and jumped from distributor to distributor. It’s a very funny movie and I like Elvira herself anyway, she’s always entertaining. Sexy yes, no question but she is genuinely funny and she’s still working. In 2014, she did a 13 episode miniseries where she hosted and riffed on Full Moon films like Puppet Master and Demonic Toys. She even tackled Hobgoblins. Oh and I do definitely agree the character and the film itself are feminist. When you get down to it, she doesn’t allow patriarchal customs get to her and is proud of who she is. Plus, pretty funny in one scene of the film she created a monster by pure accident when she assumed a spellbook was a cookbook. Definitely fits the valley girl aspect. It got a laugh out of me so it definitely worked and watching it again this month for my Horror movie marathon too.

    Scarecrows I really dig. It’s actually a slasher film that didn’t go for the most easy plot and instead made a rather effective low budget slasher film concentrating on a lot of tension as much as gore. One of the things I find interesting are the brief hints as to how the scarecrows are even alive in the first place. Because the film keeps cutting to a photo of three people that indicates they’re the reason the scarecrows come to life. And I think these things predate the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers because they do tend to steal bodies from their victims and turn them into scarecrows themselves which lead to some very creepy moments. Still though, very fun. It’s a breeze even clocking in at 83 minutes so they don’t waste time. Especially since this one I’m also watching for my Horror movie marathon.

    Curiously though, I heard a rumor that for the MGM DVD (before Shout Factory’s Blu-Ray) is that apparently an audio commentary by the film’s director was done but didn’t get in. I can only assume it was the same reason Roger Spottiswode’s commentary for Shout Factory’s Blu-Ray release of Terror Train didn’t get in despite being announced; the director barely said anything. So if that was the case for Scarecrows, pity.

  3. Thank you for reminding me how much I miss Martin Tupper. I totally pegged Brian Ben Ben to be the next great comedy TV star at the time. I am still mystified as to why that did not happen. He is so fucking talented and it bums me out that I don’t get to enjoy his comedic brilliance anymore.

  4. Religulous was actually a very special film for me. I grew up in a relatively conservative Christian environment, the kind of place where people(peers and Sunday School teachers, not my parents) would yell at me for suggesting that evolution was a thing. In college, I realized I didn’t need Christianity, but was still afraid to call some people out on their bull shit. I saw this movie at an art house theater in a very Jewish community. It was just so comforting to finally be able to laugh with a crowd of people at some of the ridiculous rhetoric(why can’t God get over his jealousy?) and personal talk tales(I asked for a sign and God made it rain) surrounding a culture that bullied me for the first 20 years of my life.

  5. 1988: I didn’t catch it in theatres, but after Jessica Rabbit gave me my sexual awakening, for some unknown reason I was really drawn to Elivra. Was it her _bouncy_ personality? How _well-rounded_ her acting was? Her _titillating_ dialogue? It’s a mystery I’ll never solve but I did specifically hunt out a VHS copy of her film, which wasn’t easy in my old home town. And then when I foolishly talked with my cousin about how I went to multiple video stores until I found a copy … yea … he quickly figured out why I wanted to watch it and mocked me mercifulness.

  6. I tried to be a Simon Pegg completest, but then saw “Big Nothing”, with him and David Schwimmer. That’s the movie that made me more selective. Too bad, because I love Hot Fuzz.

  7. 1988: I didn’t catch it in theatres, but after Jessica Rabbit gave me my sexual awakening, for some unknown reason I was really drawn to Elivra. Was it her _bouncy_ personality? How _well-rounded_ her acting was? Her _titillating_ dialogue? It’s a mystery I’ll never solve but I did specifically hunt out a VHS copy of her film, which wasn’t easy in my old home town. And then when I foolishly talked with my cousin about how I went to multiple video stores until I found a copy … yea … he quickly figured out why I wanted to watch it and mocked me mercifulness.

    The Night at the Roxbury is a film I have never watched in full, have some vague desire to finish watching, but know it is absolutely not worth my time to do so. I watched it as a 20 drunk year old at a frat party in 1998 and at the time I could find it barely enjoyable. I missed the first few minutes and got pulled away before it ended and I’ve vaguely (very vaguely) wondered how it ended for the last 20 years. I know that if I watch it I will be a tiny bit unhappy (because I know it will not be enjoyable and I have very little free time and I will be wasting said free time on something not good) AND where I also know that if never choose to watch it I’ll always be a tiny bit unhappy because I’ll continue to vaguely wonder about what I didn’t see. So I’m in a position where in life where no matter what I choose it will make me a little sad: Adulthood!
    PS. Outside of Wayne’s World Stuart Smalley Saves His Family is the best SNL movie. Fight me!

    Antz 100% does not hold up. I tried to watch it with my kids (6 and 8) this week and they started asking for their ipads within 5 minutes.
    What Dreams May Come: I watched the film in theaters in 1998 and read the book in 2002. My memory is the book is significantly better.

    Buffy: UM… ACTUALLY (sorry!) it’s the Mayor who is very polite, not the principal. And the Mayor of Buffy is in my top five list of television baddies of all time, easily. He’s a really solid character even if his end-game plan was kind of week.

    Early Edition: I’m shocked to learn that this lasted 4 seasons. I remember watching the very first episode, thinking it was a kick-ass premise, and then never watching another episode again. It’s almost as if the world goes on when I’m not looking or something.

    2008:
    Pushing Daisies: Probably has the most convoluted set-up of any TV show I’ve ever seen. How many other shows spell out the rules in the opening? Not rhetorical: are there any others?

  8. 1988: I didn’t catch it in theaters, but after Jessica Rabbit … for some unknown reason I was really drawn to Elvira. Was it her bouncy personality? How well-rounded her acting was? Her titillating dialogue? Who can say? But I did specifically hunt out a VHS copy of her film, which wasn’t easy in my old home town. And then when I foolishly talked with my cousin about how I went to multiple video stores until I found a copy … yea … he quickly figured out why I wanted to watch it and mocked me mercilessly.
    1998: The Night at the Roxbury is a film I have never watched in full, have some vague desire to finish watching, but know it is absolutely not worth my time to do so. I watched it as a 20 drunk year old at a frat party in 1998 and at the time I could find it barely enjoyable. I missed the first few minutes and got pulled away before it ended and I’ve vaguely (very vaguely) wondered how it ended for the last 20 years. I know that if I watch it I will be a tiny bit unhappy (because I know it will not be enjoyable and I have very little free time and I will be wasting said free time on something not good) AND where I also know that if never choose to watch it I’ll always be a tiny bit unhappy because I’ll continue to vaguely wonder about what I didn’t see. So I’m in a position where in life where no matter what I choose it will make me a little sad: Adulthood! PS. Outside of Waynes World Stuart Smalley Saves His Family is the best SNL movie. Fight me!

    Antz 100% does not hold up. I tried to watch it with my kids (6 and 8) this week and they started asking for their ipads within 5 minutes.
    What Dreams May Come: I watched the film in theaters in 1998 and read the book in 2002. My memory is the book is significantly better.
    Buffy: UM… ACTUALLY (sorry!) it’s the Mayor who is very polite, not the principal. And the Mayor of Buffy is in my top five list of telivion baddies of all time, easily. He’s a really solid character even if his end-game plan was kind of week.
    Early Edition: I’m shocked to learn that this lasted 4 seasons. I remember watching the very first episode, thinking it was a kick-ass premise, and then never watching another episode again. It’s almost as if the world goes on when I’m not looking or something.
    2008: Pushing Daisies: Probably has the most convoluted set-up of any TV show I’ve ever seen. How many other shows spell out the rules in the opening? Not rhetorical: are there any others?

  9. My only knowledge of Punchline is I borrowed a tape of the movie “Lust for Life” about Van Gogh from an art teacher back in community college. In that tape there were pay per view commercials for Punchline. I feel like that movie was one of Siskel & Ebert’s least favorites of 1988?

    “Early Edition” completely ripped off My So Called Life’s theme!

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