The Worst Transformers, Adam Sandler Raises a Kid, and Pop Culture is Changed Forever by Big Bat: Thirty Twenty Ten – Jun 21-27

Batman is quite possibly the most important movie ever, Doug says goodbye, Fred Durst has his reasons for doing it all, the Transformers movies get even worse, Adam Sandler makes one of his most grounded film to date, and Michael Jackson’s death completely overshadows Farrah Fawcett’s. 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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13 thoughts on “The Worst Transformers, Adam Sandler Raises a Kid, and Pop Culture is Changed Forever by Big Bat: Thirty Twenty Ten – Jun 21-27

  1. 1) Batman is the first movie that I knew, months in advance, when it was coming out. There were ads on the back cover of every comic, including Marvel stuff, and every videogame and skateboarding magazine for like 4 months. When I was 12, it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen; later, I got fixated on things like Batman using machine guns and how dumb it is to make Joker the guy who kills Bruce’s parents. Since then I’ve come around because it’s slick as fuck and incredibly enjoyable.

    2) How dare you mention Christopher Daniel Barnes and not point out that he’s probably the definitive voice of non-child Spider-Man?

    3) I was the only fan of HARD TIME ON PLANET EARTH. It was the perfect show for a 12-year-old dork desperate for science fiction shows on network TV. I’m sure if I saw it in 2019 I’d be embarrassed but at the time I thought it was great. (I also loved THE 100 LIVES OF BLACK JACK SAVAGE, which will tell you exactly who I was until I was like 14.)

    1. You weren’t the only fan of Hard Time on Planet Earth. 10-year-old me enjoyed that show, then promptly forgot the name. I’ve been wondering about it off and on for years, just somehow never when I had internet access. I’m so happy to rediscover it, even if it seems much cheesier now.

  2. As you mentioned Anna Friel I think it’s worth remembering a few years before Rogue Traders she was famous for having the first lesbian TV kiss in Britain and her character would go on to kill her dad and bury him under the patio (or stoop as I believe Americans would call it).

  3. I think you’re underrating Disney live-action department. Sure they produced a lot of shlock, but there were some legit gems during even during the older years. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is excellent and quite adult, Swiss Family Robinson is a good adventure film, and the 1940s version of Treasure Planet is solid. There’s also some underrated gems, remember Disney produced the superb Never Cry Wolf film, for example, and released it under their banner, which led to the creation of Touchstone.

  4. I’m a Transformers fan and I’ll defend the 2007 movie as perfectly “fine” but Revenge of the Fallen is really just horrible. I was in eighth grade when it came out and because of the previous movie everyone at school was extremely excited for the sequel. We all bought tickets for after school opening day and ended up having basically two whole rows of just people from my grade, not even all people I would consider friends, that’s how far reaching it was.

    I distinctly remember walking out of the movie and being really disappointed but kind of just feeling the room after a movie where you don’t want to say your opinion quite yet. One of my friends catches up with the rest of us and says something along the lines of how awesome it was to which I reply saying “I dunno I don’t think I liked it very much”. To which I was told by them I was “actually stupid for thinking that”.

  5. Honey I Shrunk the Kids is probably the best kids in peril films of the 1980’s. You don’t see these nearly as much these days but the film does a rather clever trick for the genre. In most Kids in Peril films, the parents have to be completely absent because the second that a kid in peril reaches their parent, it ceases to be a Kids in Peril film and becomes a “Protect Your Child” film for the simple reason that parents are the ones who are primarily responsible for their children’s safety. So if a kid and parent are close to each other in a film, no member of the audience will think that it’s up to the kid to keep themselves safe. They’ll think it’s up to the parent and judge the parent if they don’t do everything possible to keep their kid safe. But Honey I Shrunk the Kids pulls off a rather brilliant screenwriting trick by having parents who love their kids and are only a couple of feet away from them, BUT who are also completely unable to help them due to the nature of the plot! This gives us parents who can take some agency (trying to fix the machine, trying to find the kids) but who are unable to assist the kids while they are in peril for the majority of the adventure of the film (the kids making their way from the front yard to their home). It’s a really well done movie and both my kids enjoyed it which isn’t guaranteed at all for films that show up in the 30 year old segment. (Kid #2 walked out of Batman ’89 for instance).
    Honey I shrunk the Kid’s MGM Studio’s Playground was the frickin bomb! I’m pretty sure I went to it in Spring Break of ’91 when I was 12 years old. That’s a little old to be playing on it but I don’t think any other playset ever made me feel as much like I was inside of a movie as that one did. As an added bonus, it was up long enough for my youngest child to play around on it in 2015 when she was five! Sadly it closed in 2016 but as a kid I loved all there was to do on the playset and as a parent it was super awesome to have a spot where the little one could let out a ton of energy while I enjoyed the super awesome “sit on a bench for 15-minute” attraction which at my age is an E-ticket ride.
    Let us discourse! Because I do not think that Batman ’89 is a good film. This isn’t 2006-me comparing it to the Nolan films, this is me speaking after having watched it on Sunday with one of my kids. Or rather TRYING to watch it with one of my kids. Because my six year old son, who loves Batman the animated series and whose favorite toy in the whole world is BatBot Extreme, peaced out of Batman ’89 after 10 minutes. I was a little nervous showing it to him in the first place as it’s a PG-13 film but it didn’t become an issue because the film couldn’t hold his interest and it didn’t hold mine either. First, I do think you are absolutely right that the visuals and score are incredible. But the same is true for Phantom Menace. No, I don’t think Batman ’89 is that bad but I did find it to be a rather empty film. Not to get too deep into a super hero film, but what is the message of Batman ’89? The prime fight between The Joker and Batman is one over publicity for Pete’s sake (“Get’s all my press!”) I just don’t see any reason to watch this film in 2019. 1989, when the last big Super hero film was Super Man IV: The Quest For Peace? Yea, knock yourself out 1989 comic-book fan. But today? I just don’t think it’s worth a re-watch or a new watch.
    Oh, side note: My 1989 year old self, that was one cool cat. How cool was he? Well he decided that all the super mature kids were getting posters of Hot Babes in their rooms, so he was going to get one too! But his Mom didn’t allow him such posters. But then he saw one of Kim Basinger in a rather low cut white dress from this film. He convinced his Mom that this was just a movie poster of a movie he was a fan of so it didn’t count and she gave in and let him get it. He then proudly hung the poster in his room and when his friend came over and asked what he wanted to do, this cool cat whose sexual awakening was still ongoing, said, “I’m going to enjoy the scenery.” And then awkwardedly stared at his Kim Bassigner poster for three minutes before he got bored. Such a cool cat.
    Prince and the Batman Soundtrack. Has any other artist wrote as many songs for a major motion picture as Prince wrote for Batman?
    As a Dad in my early 40’s, “Did it All for the Nookie” doesn’t really speak to me. But 20 years ago I thought it was a pretty good song. I’m not really sure what my mindset was in thinking such, “Hmmmm… I guess sometimes you DO do it all for the nookie, don’t you? True words Mr. Biscuit!” but if it’s on today I won’t turn it off.
    I’ll never forget where I was when I first heard about Michael Jackson’s death. I was Assistant to the General Manager of a car dealership, working on a report in my office when I got a phone call from Don, a salesman. Me: “Hi Don, what’s up?” Don: “Michael Jackson died.” Me: “Oh ….. uh…OK?” The words made zero sense to me. Like what was he expecting me to do? Don: “I think you should play his music.” Oh, right. As part of my duties I ran the dealership’s sound system so I kind of reluctantly bought a couple of Best of Michael Jackson collections on Amazon Music and set them up to play the rest of the night. As I did so, I remember thinking, “Aren’t people over that guy? What with all the allegations?” But apparently not because over the next few days I heard people talk about him and NOT. A. SINGLE. BAD. THING. WAS. SAID. It was like his death just deleted every single allegation that had been made about him. 2009 isn’t that far away from now but I feel very confident that such a thing simply will not happen again. And I think this is testable. MJ and Cosby had roughly the same level of fame in the 1980’s but I bet that when Bill Cosby passes away, the crimes he committed are 100% going to be brought up again and again (and rightly so).
    Away We Go: My wife and I watched this, a movie about a pregnant couple trying to decide what type of parents they want to be, when she was pregnant with our first child. It was delightful seeing a couple in the exact same life position of us, as well as being a genuinely funny and heart felt film. I highly recommend it.
    I think Transformers Revenge of the Fallen was when I realized that just because something was a huge Mega-Block-Buster SERIES, that didn’t mean I had to see it. I think I had learned the lesson that I didn’t have to see every Big Block Buster with Armageddon, but I think some part of me still really wanted to be part of the geek zeitgeist and if there was a SERIES of films on some level I thought I should try to watch some of them. But with the Transformers series I let that ship sail. And now there are tons of series I’ve never watched and know I never will. What is the biggest series of films that you have not seen a single one of in at least the last ten years?
    Ed McMahons death. I’ll always remember Ed for the time he went on Conan and told Andy Richter that he was the last of the sidekicks and had to stay alive as long as possible. And Andy just responded with something like, “I’m only 32!”

  6. I’m biased because I did the music for it, but I think Surveillance actually holds up really well if you’re looking for an oddball thriller and willing to give it a chance. French Stewart from 3rd Rock from the Sun is great as a creepy, power-tripping cop. It’s against-type casting but he pulls it off really well.

  7. Transformers 2 is too long, has too many characters, and has a story that really doesn’t make sense… but I don’t hate it. In fact, I will say that I have enjoyed all of the Transformers movies, some more than others, obviously. I think even this movie’s biggest critics would admit that the forest fight between Prime and the Decepticons is a highlight of the entire series. I really liked Jetfire’s character, and enjoyed seeing the movcie’s take on characters like Ravage and Devastator. THAT SAID, it is a chore to watch, and is my least favorite of the series. I distinctly remember watching this movie in the theater and hearing all the little kids just start buzzing with excitement when the stars of the Paramount logo go flying across the screen with that stuttering robotic sound effect that is unique to the series, and I thought to myself: “Oh shit. Since this is the sequel, there’s no need to set up anything and this is pretty much going to be wall to wall action.” – And that’s pretty much what it was.

  8. Tonya Harding would skate to the Batman soundtrack in the early 90s, I think she skated to it when she landed her triple axel in ’91.

    Aw, the soapnet channel passed away in 2013.

    I remember I found out that Michael Jackson was dying because someone had posted it on a South Park stream I was watching on the old justin.tv website. I went to a news site, and a minute later the site said he was dead and I screamed. I immediately remember thinking how odd it was that Michael had a personal doctor.

  9. I think it may be accurate to say that Batman was The Avengers of its time. Big superhero movie that changed pop culture forever. Sure, some movies that tried to cash in on it didn’t work out I can agree but Diana, don’t diss The Crow and Tank Girl (latter is massively underrated), though I know people who love The Phantom. Though it’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Most of the 90s when cashing in on Batman didn’t bother going for Marvel Comics until Blade (barring the unreleased Fantastic Four movie), most of the films made were either from other publishers like Dark Horse and obscure ones or 30s pulp heroes.

    But my experience with Batman began with my sister, she was and still is a big fan (This was either before or after I saw Batman Forever). Basically, I had the VHS and a plush toy that had suction cups you could put on car windows that I inherited from my sister.

    I was hooked from the getgo. I was enticed from the opening to the ending. Something about it clicked with me. I haven’t seen it in a while but I remember loving the delivery of “I’m Batman.” Keaton delivered with such a big punch to it. Simple but with a lot of intimidation-helped by the music when he made his exit along with the way he finished the scene.

    I do agree with my friend Austin however that Nicholson more or less played himself than The Joker.

    And I agree about Robert Pattinson. I agree and said the exact same things like, come on people, have you not learned from history? Like, I posted the friggin petition and variety article! Nothing changed after 30 years, it’s ridiculous! Personally, I think Pattinson will be my favorite live action Batman.

    Only thing good about Big Daddy is the song by Garbage when I grow up.

    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, my oh my. See, I saw this on my Colombia trip. Didn’t understand it since it was dubbed in Spanish and no subtitles for some reason but I liked it originally but as I rewatched it in English and grew older, it became so much worse. I don’t know where to start; the racism, the sexism, the script making no sense or wasting its good ideas? I can tell you it made me hate Optimus Prime in general forever to the point of vowing if I ever write an official Transformers vs Godzilla crossover, Prime will get killed by Godzilla in the exact way he killed The Fallen with his ripped off, running away like a coward and a punch through the chest with the bonus sight of the Matrix of Leadership being crushed to death.

    But enough of that morbid imagery, sorry. My point is, writer’s strike or not, it brought out the worst excesses Michael Bay has in his films. He has contempt for the material and it shows from the racism to the military stuff. Just, it’s a mess!

  10. Okay, I should expand on why I hate Optimus Prime. He’s bland. I don’t get the appeal and the hero worship he has in the franchise. In the movies, he’s too OP and is a try hard wannabe badass. That’s why I would want Godzilla to kill him; put that asshole in his place by the King of the Monsters.

  11. You guys talk about if there will be any artist like the Beatles. I argue Beyonce has achieved Beatles status.

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