Merry Christmas From Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Robin Williams is a funny doctor, and Tom Cruise is a Nazi – Dec 21-27: Thirty Twenty Ten

Dev Patel wants to be a millionaire, Robin Williams is a funny doctor, 3D Sonic is here (in Japan), Pee Wee Herman meets Cher, Christmas is all around us, Frank Miller is a bad director, but at least Terrence Malick is back. All that and more this week on Thirty Twenty Ten, your weekly look back on the week that was 30, 20, and 10 years ago.


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12 thoughts on “Merry Christmas From Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Robin Williams is a funny doctor, and Tom Cruise is a Nazi – Dec 21-27: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. Man I wish you guys discussed Hellbound: Hellraiser II more despite Dangerous Lialsons sounding decent. But I am the big Horror movie fan.

    It’s hard to decide which I like more between this and the first film. It’s just as gothic and high concept if not more but it definitely expanded the mythos. Though funny enough, the character of Julia was supposed to be the icon of the Hellraiser franchise, not Pinhead. But her actress wasn’t interested beyond two films. So Pinhead took her place. For the record, Julia is the woman who Frank slept with and lured men to get killed by the guy. She’s one of the primary antagonists of the sequel and essentially got resurrected the same way Frank did.

    But yeah, it’s a damn solid sequel. See it, dudes!

    The Pee Wee Playhouse Christmas special, saw that one on Adult Swim of all places. They used to air that yearly before IFC ended up taking over that. That special was crazy and I do mean crazy because where else would you find Grace Jones singing Little Drummer Boy in a Christmas present that was supposed to be sent to the president.

    The Faculty, I should see at some point. But you technically saw the debut of Josh Hartnett in Halloween H20 months ago. I told you people, I’m a big Horror movie fan. If I may be egotistical for a moment, you guys need me on your show. 😛

    Incidentally, that is another movie Greg Stevens reviewed. (Seriously, get him in your show!)

    Stepmom, it’s alright. Just harmless fluff. Though give Chris Columbus credit, I find his dive into darkness interesting. He did write Gremlins and got the ball rolling before Spielberg and Joe Dante took notice. And as well as Columbus and his daughter produced The Witch for which I’m entirely grateful they did.

    Either way though, I’ll take watching Stepmom again over watching Patch Adams. I was 7 when the film came out but I saw it in theaters anyway because it had Robin Williams and as a consequence, I didn’t know what I was getting into. Neither did much of my family, we only saw the poster. Looking back, no thank you. Not now, not ever.

    Only thing I know about Valkyrie is the trailer used the Saw theme. That’s about. But also Bryan Singer directed but fuck that guy. Want to see Slumdog Millionaire though and that animated film documentary. But I remember people making a fuss over Marley and Me because of the ending. They used 22 dogs in that film believe it or not. But I’m sick of dog movie. I saw a trailer to some movie connected to A Dog’s Purpose when I went to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Kill the fucking dog genre already.

  2. ‪Hellraiser 2 is everything you want from an 80’s horror sequel. Characters double down on their actions from the first movie, the absurd macabre imagery and gore is dialed way up, and most importantly you get more hammy, theatrical Pinhead lines. I’m a horror dork, a good Pinhead quote can give me legit chills.‬

    Holy shit, only 2 comments and they’re both about Hellraiser 2. Hahah

    1. BTW: Don’t do a Hellraiser month of podcasts, it’s all super trash after the start. 3 is a guilty pleasure, and 5 is half way decent but there’s nothing of value in most of these.

      1. Come on man, I just watched every last Friday the 13th film and not a one of them was anything but schlock. I feel like part of the point of An Elm Street Nightmare is to do a deep dive on why something that is trash none the less managed to make a lasting impact on the pop culture scene.

        1. I get where you’re coming from, but most of the Hellraiser series is just an unenjoyable slog. I dare you to try to watch 6 or 7, there’s just nothing there. 8 is trash fire, but you can laugh at it. I dropped off after that, when they replaced Doug Bradley with that embarrassingly doughy guy as the new Pinhead.

  3. Slumdog Millionaire is an interesting one. It’s a bit like Avatar in how huge it was at the time, and then almost immediately forgotten. I liked it then but don’t think I ever rewatched it. I remember hearing at the time that it almost went straight to DVD due to a distribution deal going south. I also heard recently that it’s widely hated in India where it is considered a patronising and inaccurate example of cultural appropriation.

  4. PanAm 103 was the first news story I remember. I was five and I remember seeing the cockpit on TV in the field in Scotland while i was sitting on the floor of my parents living room playing with packing materials from a package that had just come. I think a lot about the Syracuse students that died on the flight a lot.

    I’m not allowed to watch Beaches, because this one time I read the description on Wikipedia and wanted to cry, but I didn’t! Not this time!

    I watched Pee Wee’s Christmas for the first time in a long time over Thanksgiving when IFC was showing a marathon of Pee Wee. That feels like so long ago now. The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas gets slower the older you get y/n?

    I was the asshole who thought that Jon would be a terrible host for Daily Show back then. I just remembered sloppyJon from MTV. Back then, Daily Show was more of a parody of the local news and Dateline NBC.

    I think John Glenn was one of Barbara’s most interesting because it had just been announced that he was going up in space in ’99 and that was a big deal, because they didn’t know what space would do to an older man.

  5. “The Accidental Tourist” this film, along with next year’s “The War of the Roses” are part of my own personal “My Parents Are Going to Get Divorced” du-ology. Now, on some level I knew things were not great between them but it was those two films (specifically how we watched them) that really drove that fact home home. What exactly caused the argument between them during “Tourist” is lost in my memories (it may have been me being a ten year old boy who _not_ the intended audience for “The Accidental Tourist” or it could have been the divorce theme in the film itself) but there was some type of fight. Which hay, that happened before but this fight happened in the theatre. During the film. While we were surrounded by other people. My family is a bunch of very reserved WASP-types so that just-wasn’t-done. But it _was_ done during “Tourist” and the frost in the car drive home afterward sticks with me to this day. After that things got worse and worse between the two of them. So with that ugly experience why would my Dad then take the entire family to see a film entirely about an ugly divorce? Find out next year when you cover “The War of the Roses”! Laserinos whose parents are divorced; any films you associate with that divorce?

    Aw, I wish you had played the clip about Arnold saying he was going to get a visit from the Devil! I feel like Krampus and other darker Christmas traditions were pretty unknown in America in 1988.

    Dennis Miller’s Rock and Roll Christmas 1988. Wow, it really is just a YouTube playlist of clips of previous Christmas specials. It’s not bad, and I could see why a 1980’s family would like to have it on as something in the background. Hmm… what is the best YouTube playlist list of clips from Christmas specials?

    Mega Man 2! This has made of the cut of literally thousands of “Top Ten NES Games” of all time lists, and it deserves to be included in each and every one of them. I can still see myself reading Nintendo Power at my Grandma’s house and getting more and more excited with every page as I would pour through the issue again and again over, tracing the maps and trying to imagine what it was like to play a game that I had never seen. When I finally did play Mega Man 2 it was probably the hardest game I had ever experienced – far harder than Zelda or Mario 2. “Nintendo Hard” existed for very sound structural reasons (Mega Man 2 was the only game I’d get for months and if I could beat it in a week I’d feel cheated) but as a ten year it was pretty discouraging to die over and over (and over and over…) again and again. However, I had built up the game so much in my mind through Nintendo Power that I kept on trying again and again until I finally got good enough to really enjoy it. Still hate those damn spikes to this day though.

    Poison – Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. Monster Ballads are super fun. What’s your favorite monster ballad?

    In Cabin in the Woods it’s mentioned that the American ritual center only ever messed up once before. The date they give is 1998 and the reason they failed is listed as a screw up by the Chemical Department. Why do I bring that up? Because in 1998 The Faculty was released and the characters seem to _roughly_ fit all the classic archetypes from the Cabin in the Woods-verse (The Virgin, The Scholar, The Athlete, The Whore, The Fool) and not only did none of them die (“The Virgin” was revealed to be the monster so she doesn’t count) but the bad guys undoing was due to the stoner having a custom mix of pot counter acting their chemicals, which was what caused the failure in The Cabin in the Woods! Chem department screwed up again! That department should be audited … if they hadn’t been eaten along with the rest of the world by the hell-beast at the end of Cabin (something I will have many words to speak of when you get to it in 2021).

    Josh Hartnett I genuinely had to Google him.

    Patch Adams – I deeply hate this film despite the fact that I have never watched it. What film (that you have never seen) do you hate the most?

    Faculty ‘ Another Brick in the Wall” 1998 – Wow. This doesn’t just scream late 90’s, it screams 1998, and if you listen hard enough you may be able to pinpoint the month!

    The Spirit – Never saw it but ten years later the “WTF” effect from the following of “mother” with “lover” (and the implications of said following …) in the trailer still stick with me.

    Valkyrie. If you compare Tom Cruise to the guy he plays they look way closer than is the case in most historical dramas.

    Idly wondering; How clearly do you remember if you’ve seen a film in a theater or not? Is like a 75% of the time you can remember-type-thing or is like a 95% of the time you can remember-type-thing?

    Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It’s really exceedingly hard to tell someone’s life story in a film. For the most part films try to tell distinct episodes but this film tells the entire 80 year long journey of not one, but two people, one going forward and one going backwards. That’s a hell of a feet to even attempt! So grading it on a scale of what it was trying to accomplish I’d give it an A plus.

    Slumdog Millionaire One great way to sell a film is “It’ll Show you Something You Haven’t Seen Before” and the number of Hollywood films set in Indian slums was pretty much zero before this came out. Have there been any since?

    Marley and Me – I’m going to go to bat for this film in a big way. I’ve seen it twice and loved it both times. The first time was with my wife before we had kids and I was using it as an argument for why we should get a dog only after we had kids. It worked and we didn’t get a dog until the kids were 5 and 7 when we got Brooklyn who is the best dog in the world! We all love her and while she is nothing at all like Marley when we got her I really wanted the kids to understand that a dog is a living animal with its own internal world. I wanted to show them that the relationship you have with a dog is not like the relationship you have with a toy and this film does an excellent job of showing that. Much like Benjamin Button, it captures an entire life, only this time it captures the life of a dog, included the sorrow of the fact that dogs just don’t live as long as humans do. I love it and always will so let me throw out this challenge: Is there a better film that tells the life story of a dog?

    Regarding The Grinch: Why do the Whos have it coming?

  6. One more thing, The Faculty actually had Jon Stewart just as he was announced he got his own show on Comedy Central.

  7. I will call this story A Very Sega Master System Christmas

    in 1988, I was eleven years old. I had grown up playing video games. My family had a Colecovision, Atari, and Odyssey 2 growing up. Hell, we even had Pac Man and Dig Dug arcade cabinets. The year before, we got an NES, and I loved it. However, I then heard about another video game console that was out there by a company called SEGA. I saw the game on display at a Sears store and was immediately struck by the game’s slick design. That sleek black and red console was sexy as hell and I was intrigued. Then the commercials started showing up on TV, pushing games like Shinobi and After Burner. Now I wanted one.

    So that year on my Christmas list, I put down a Sega Master System and a copy of Thunder Blade, but did so under absolutely no illusions that I would actually get one. This was just a pie in the sky wish I was throwing out there.

    So that year must have been a good one for my family, financially speaking, because Christmas morning saw plenty of presents under the tree. My family gathered around the tree and my Mom started handing out the presents. For some reason, instead of opening them one at a time, she decided to hand out all the gifts before we opened them. Unbeknownst to me, she had a plan, and was handing out the gifts in the order she wanted us to open them, saving the best for last. However, what I decided to do as she was passing them out was to arrange them from smallest to largest and open them in that order. What ended up happening was the last present she handed me was the first one I opened. And it was a copy of Thunder Blade.

    I fucking lost my shit, because I immediately knew what was in the biggest box. I pushed all my other presents aside and tore it open. And there it was, a freaking Sega Master System. I went bonkers. I was the N64 kid years before the actual N64 kid. And it was MY console, not a family system as all the other. That system was hooked up in my room and I was the only one who played it. At the time, I only had a 13 inch black and white TV, but I didn’t care. I had my very own video game system and I loved it. I played it every day after school. That Master System boot screen is burned into my memory and is the sound effect I use for alerts on my cell phone.

    That system changed my life, because I went from a video game fan to a die hard Sega fan. Eventually I would get a Sega Genesis, and that would become my favorite game console of all time, but the Sega Master system was my first love.

  8. Oh Beaches – that trailer was terrible btw – I watch this movie at least once a year because it was a movie I watched with my Mom – I remember wanting to be little CC Bloom aka Mayim Bialik and watched her scenes over and over to learn the song “The Glory of Love” (not the Peter Cetera song) – I was also very sad that song was not her version on the soundtrack – I did love the soundtrack and found a new appreciation for Bette Midler.

  9. I have a soft spot for Slumdog Millionaire. I visited Bangladesh in 2009 and the soundtrack to Slumdog was everywhere in Dhaka and Rangpur. It was my first trip overseas and it was the largest culture shock I ever experienced but the sound track to a Slumdog Millionaire was able to connect my world back home to the new world I was in and find a way to connect with people I met.

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