Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Three Men, A Baby, Flubber, Gertsmann, and Thanksgiving – Nov 24-Nov 30

This Thanksgiving week in history: 87 cooks up a pair of classics with Planes, Trains & Automobiles and Three Men and a Baby. 97 resurrects Alien and debuts Tenacious D as Beavis and Butt-head are dead. 07 has one of the biggest firings in video game history while Shrek has an unexpected holiday classic. Also… THIS IS EPISODE 100!


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30 thoughts on “Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Three Men, A Baby, Flubber, Gertsmann, and Thanksgiving – Nov 24-Nov 30

  1. Happy 100th Episode and Happy Thanksgiving! ^_^

    I unfortunately watched Flubber in the theater when it first came out and, well, yeah it doesn’t hold up. It’s one of those films for me anyway you like as a kid but then when you look back, you do realize that not only it doesn’t hold up, pretty much a lot of was ill conceived and bizarrely, John Hughes wrote this, what the hell? But then again, he did write the 101 Dalmatians remake so maybe he just had a Disney deal that was a thing for some reason at the time. But yeah, I was attracted to it as a kid based on Robin Williams. I mean, like, kids love Robin Williams, I did and I still do but I prefer his good stuff as opposed to Flubber or Ferngully, even Jumanji. So looking back, a lot of forced slapstick, not many of the jokes but god bless Williams for trying but the material fails him, love story isn’t interesting. Hell, the entire CGI dance sequence of Flubber is basically, “throw this for the kids” and they’ll love it. Total cynical move, yo!

    But Chris, you’re luckier than I am, my first Alien movie in the theaters that I ever saw was Alien vs. Predator. Alien: Resurrection I find at least laughable so I can watch it fine especially since I like Sigourney Weaver, Ron Perlman and Winona Ryder. I mean, I like the entire cast fine and some scenes I like. I wouldn’t call it a good movie but maybe so bad, it’s good for me because of how stupid funny it is. But even then, I like Alien 3 better since I like that movie’s ambition a lot more. But I still love the original and even prefer it over James Cameron’s Aliens. Heyo! Although bit of a funny story, I rented this film at the age of 10 and I definitely felt the jarring tonal shift from what I’ve been used to even when I hadn’t seen Alien or Aliens in a while at the time.

    While I saw it in reruns, I did see the finale of Power Rangers Turbo on ABC Family (when it was called that at the time) and it was the first time the villains won. It wasn’t Rita or Lord Zedd but the show’s villains won for a change! It was unbelievable and I was invested in what was going on because the Rangers were trying to fend of the villains at the damaged command center and everything, the tone, was very dark and despair. Everything and everyone was getting trashed and the tube gets destroyed and the rangers lost their powers. The entire place blew up and there was no cure all to rebuild everything so there was no going back. So the entire thing with the rangers sans Justin (the kid ranger) to go after the villains for the next season Power Rangers in Space. It all ended with the rangers winning next season of course but wow, it was quite something.

    And oh really? Beavis and Butthead were at the Oscars? Huh. Go figure. And I have only one comment about Awake, only knew about it via Bad Movie Beatdown and it just seems to borderline between laughably bad and boring pretentious bad. And I knew about the film being delayed multiple times. I can tell you however, there was a deleted scene where Christopher McDonald, who plays the doctor in the film, his first scene was supposed to be where Hayden Christianson is on his way to the operating table, McDonald comes running in dressed as the grim reaper with the hood and all. It turned he came from some Halloween or costume party but the way it was played out, it just seemed like it was supposed to be like a fake out scare of sorts but the way it was played, it was utterly hilarious.

    The Bionic Woman reboot I have seen however. Been a long, long while since I’ve seen it. It was boring admittedly and it’s a pity because a Bionic Woman reboot does have potential, just needed better execution. Maybe someday a proper reboot will be done.

  2. I’ve seen Alien Resurrection within the last few years, and it still fucking sucks. It feels like a minor improvement over Alien 3, but it’s still safe to say that Alien and Aliens are the only good & worthwhile entries in the franchise. At least now that we’ve had Prometheus and Alien Covenant, 4 is not as much of a blemish on the franchise…

    Happy 100th episode guys! It’s been a blast every week and I look forward to discussing more great and weird items from the past in the next 100.

  3. I’ll always have a soft spot for Alien Resurrection, as it was the movie I went to see with my now wife on our first date 20 years ago. I can’t remember what we thought about it at the time, but we made out in the car afterwards, so 5 stars.

  4. Despite Canada having a Thanksgiving, just on a different (I’m told the original?) day, it’s never been as big a deal for us as it seems to be for you. It’s probably because it’s tacked on to a weekend like most other statutory holidays, while my understanding is y’all get a (woohoo!) 4-day weekend. It’s a nice time, but it’s not the event you make it out to be.

    With all that context out of the way, the saddest thing is that, I think because Thanksgiving is not as big a deal here, Planes, Trains and Automobiles never made it into my regular rotation. I’m sure that there are lots of Canadians that did love and rewatch it endlessly, but the one time I saw it, it really didn’t resonate with me. I guess that travelling home for Thanksgiving (or the holidays in general?) is just not as much of a tradition here as it is there.

    Love you long time xoxo

  5. I’ll always remember Alien Resurrection for Sigourney Weaver sinking an incredible no-look, over the head basket, and Ron Perlman ruining the shot by going OH SHIT!

  6. I rewatched the entire Alien and Predator franchises last year, and to me Alien: Resurrection is the second from the bottom, only ahead of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. The characters are irritating and hateable, the Whedon dialogue is terrible, and the sets and production design don’t mesh at all with the previous films. That last point pisses me off the most, because all three of the previous Alien films built great and beliveable environments that sold you on its vision of the future, but Ressurection looks like just another crappy sci-fi tv series for the most part.

  7. Fun fact about “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol: this was a cover of a song from 1968 by Tommy James and the Shondells; the song it replaced at number one in 1987 was “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany, which was *also* a cover of a Tommy James and the Shondells song (this one from 1967). To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time two covers of songs originally recorded by the same artist have replaced one another at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  8. The birth of Giantbomb is what got me into Games/Talkradar I was 17 and had been living on my own/with assorted GFs for about a year and had no money for games but decent internet yadda yadda I knew of Gerstmann and loved that his site had videos of game play for me to vicariously enjoy and I learned what podcast were via Arrowpointing Down the whole shitting on MK vs DC thing(an underrated gem) drove my attention to some jamoke ass edglords and the rest as Theey say (Johnny They a poetic frand of mine) is a thing that’s been recorded down.

    1. BTW the whole “I can’t afford games so I watch” thing I did as a teen instantly made me understand the streaming culture and I’m glad I was able to be around in its infancy and see it grow.

  9. Songs that don’t appear on soundtracks would be an awesome Laser Time topic to tackle. I got a long list of films that either had songs that didn’t appear on soundtracks, or didn’t even have soundtracks to begin with.

    1. As a Bond fan it immediately peaked my interest because I know off-hand there’s actually a couple of Bond themes that aren’t on the soundtrack albums (but they appear elsewhere in the artist’s discography).

  10. I love Looney Tunes more than anyone I’ve ever met. It started because as a kid, we didn’t have cable but my dad loved renting tapes and making copies of them. So he made me a 6 hour tape of every VHS Looney Tunes collection out there he could rent. That tape was watched from start to finish by my brothers and I like 11 million times. It started a lifelong love of the shorts. To this day, I can still start up The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie and my brother and I will sit through it and laugh our asses off. I think my favorite collection is Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island with it’s weird 70’s interstitials.

    I still wish they’d release an actual complete collection. Golden and Platinum collections still leave out a ton of wonderful shorts (not counting the weird racist ones).

  11. I wonder what was the effect of the Masked Magician show with Mitch Pileggi on the public consciousness, for Val Valentino to get so many lawsuits for “exposing” old “trade secrets”. I like watching how stuff works tv programs considering I enjoy the process of breaking things down and building them up, and the show did put an impression on me to try and not fall for the same tired old bs. Twenty years on, I guess not much considering how gullible the American populace continues to be.

  12. I have never been “hip” and “with it” and this is especially true for music. For whatever reason I completely missed Will Smith’s _Miami_ when it first came out in 1997. But flash forward to 1999 when the State Department gave me permission to study a semester in communist Cuba and I flew into Miami with a bunch of second generation Cuban Americans who were barring that song non-stop for half the flight. Now my Spanish was pretty much non-existent so I literally learned how to say Welcome to X by having the Cubanos pain painstakingly help me enunciate the line “Bienvenidos a Miami.” In my mind the song is forever linked to my time in Cuba thanks to teaching me that tiny bit of Spanish as well as the much more enjoyable to hear “¡Ay papi!”

  13. I went to the Thanksgiving Day parade in 1997. We were visiting my uncle who had just moved to New York for a job. The highlight was getting to see the Rugrats balloon that debuted that year. I was 8 years old and it felt like the first time something I liked and identified with was totally in the mainstream. I remember hearing about the Cat and the Hat on the news that evening, but they actually had video of the cops attacking the Barney balloon. Since I aged out of Barney and it so infantile to me as an 8 year old, I really enjoyed seeing that. You can find video of it online today, but it doesn’t look like the exact footage on the news that night.

    Our Christmas card that year was a photo taken on the trip of my sisters and me on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty with the Twin Towers in the background. #neverforget

  14. Monster Rancher! I can’t believe this one snuck by me. This is one of my favorite games ever. It marks the only time I ever bought a game before owning the console it was on, because I wanted that badly to play it on other friends’ PlayStations. It was made by Tecmo, not Taito, and monsters weren’t “randomly generated” per se–the game read a small portion of the data on the disc to generate the monster, and a CD would give you the same monster every time. I recall that PC game and utility discs were more likely to give you purebreds, while music CDs usually produced hybrids. One of my cousins had a huge CD collection and I once spent several days trying all of them–even got a few secret ones. Amazingly, the disc swapping still works on an emulator, so the game is still easy to enjoy today. The first game is the only one I enjoy; after that, the series got way too up its own ass and there was no way any reasonable person would figure out how to unlock most secret monsters from in-game information.

  15. Fun fact about Planes Trains and Automobiles: The “Those aren’t pillows” hotel scene was filmed 15 minutes away from where I grew up in Gurnee, Illinois!

    I can’t help but think of that movie every time I drive by that hotel when I come home for the holidays.

    1. Replied while listening

      Monster Rancher- I would often go to the in game shrine, wait for a load, click to spawn a monster…..wait for load… tray…put any music CD or game CD in, close psone tray….wait for load… tray….put monster rancher in and instinctively press power Fuuuuuuuuuuuck

      Ok this time don’t press power….

  16. Putting this on all three pages just to make sure you guys see it.

    It’s an admirable feat, how regular you fellows (and Diana) are at getting these shows up without missing a beat, even for national holidays. It is definitely appreciated. Cheers.

  17. Hope I got this in time:
    So, being from NY (Brooklyn to be exact) The Macy’s parade was an honored tradition in my family, with my father taking my sisters and I every year. We would always plant ourselves right toward the beginning of the parade, always on the same corner, always on the side of the street with the buildings at our backs, this way we could have Central park as the backdrop.

    In 1997 I went without my dad, instead going with some high school buddies (i was 16) and the cat in the hat lampost fiasco happened directly across the street from where I was standing.
    We watched as the balloon approached the cross street, which were always wind tunnels, and saw his hat take out the street light, snapping it like a dry twig.

    It was surreal watching the news coverage at my aunt’s later that day as we had dinner, as my friends and I had watched the entire process of the EMT performing triage in the middle of the crowd and extracting her from the most dense crowd you can imagine with the most amazing precision and speed.

    Because of this, not only do balloons fly lower, but they removed and replaced allllll of the street lights along every parade route so that they now can unlock and turn inward so that they are parallel with the sidewalk instead of perpendicular. If you get to the parade route early enough (like 3 or 4 am) you can watch the con ed workers moving the lamp post stems.

    thanks for the great podcast guys!
    -Mike Amari

  18. I feel like I can map my life around the Alien franchise.
    I’m about ten years older than you lot. When Alien came out, my father took me to see it. I wasn’t even ten years old. Strangely, it did not traumatize me. Tho my mom never forgave him.
    I was a teenager when Aliens came out. Everyone I know who saw it loved it. I made drawings of loaders and APC’s, and drooled over a $50 power loader model at my local game shop.
    There was an Alien comic book that came out before Alien 3, where the aliens came to earth. There was even a teaser for Alien 3 that stated “On earth, everyone can hear you scream”, referencing the original tag line. But Alien 3 was not on earth. Here’s the trailer I saw at a sci-fi convention:
    Alien 3 was a big disappointment for fans. No earth, no Hicks even. And poor Newt, who earned a peaceful sleep at the end of Aliens, dies in the beginning of 3! Everyone I knew who saw it thinks of it as the worst in the franchise (except my father).
    But Alien Resurrection was a kind of “apology” film. Like Star Trek 6 and Star Wars Episode 2, it tried to make amends for a prior bad entry in the franchise.
    And like those other films, the result is flawed, but at least an improvement over the prior film.
    I didn’t know that Joss Whedon wrote Alien Resurrection, but it makes sense. The crew of the freighter is definitely Firefly-esque. And scenes with them are the most enjoyable. The Ripley clone part of the story is impossible to fathom. Why they needed a clone of someone dead for 200 years, rather than just any human? It’s never really explained.
    But the freighter crew is fun. And Alien Resurrection was hands-down the scariest PS1 game I’ve ever played.

  19. Congrats on hitting 100 episodes! Looking forward to the next 100!

    I don’t know how it got started, but whenever Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” played at the high school dances, everyone would yell, “Hey everybody! Get laid! Get f***ed!” in between lyrics. Could always tell who the new DJs were, they’d turn ghost white when they’d hear a group of high school kids yelling it at a school sponsored dance.
    Star Trek: First Contact was originally going to be called Resurrection (Borg reference?), but since the Alien franchise snagged it before Trek could, it had to be changed.

  20. As a long-time Looney Tunes fan, I wanted to let you know I’m excited to hear about anything related to the classic era Warner Brothers cartoons.
    During this episode’s first TV segment, you mentioned the Bugs “Bunny Thanksgiving diet” special, which was followed by a show titled “Daffy Duck” with no further details.
    Actually, the second special was “Daffy Duck’s Thanks for giving” and was produced in 1980. Like other Looney Tunes special from that era, it includes edited Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies cartoons from the 50’s. It consists mostly of Chuck Jones stuff with Freleng’s “His bitter half” included probably as a curtesy to Friz since it has no relation with the cinematic plot line of the show.
    But this special is mostly famous for being the original introduction of “Duck Dodgers and the return of the 24 ½ century” the sequel to the original 1953 Duck Dodgers short. “Return of the 24 ½ century”, as you may know was produced during the Star Wars craze of the late 70’s .The original intention was to show it theatrically with “Empire strikes back” just as the original “Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½ century” had been re-released to be shown along Star Wars in 1977. Sadly, the Dodgers sequel was not ready in time for the May release of “Empire” and was instead combined with classic shorts into the TV special as we know it.
    “Daffy Duck’s Thanks for giving” is worth seeing only for the unedited version of the Duck Dodgers sequel. Unlike the edited version, which was shown numerous times on the Bugs Bunny and Tweety show, on Nickelodeon and on home video, this one is pessimistic and it ends with the imminent destruction of Earth by Marvin the Martian.

  21. Oh lord Power Rangers Turbo. That season is exactly as bad as you think it is, even if you’ve never seen it, and every problem starts with production.

    Including Justin, the 10 year old, was a choice born of only capitalism — Saiban was seeing their demographics do well with teenagers, but PR was lacking in the young children demo, losing to its own show, Big Bad Beetleborgs. Instead of just accepting the two-for dominance, they tried to jam the two demographics together and made it worse for everyone, losing a ton of viewers they didn’t get back until next year with In Space.

    But worse, Carranger was an extremely funny, goofy, parody of Power Rangers, adapted to the formula. If you’ve seen the image of the Power Rangers pointing at the camera, going, “Baseball is a beautiful child’s game, how dare you use it for evil!” that is from Carranger. For comparison, imagine if Japan localized The Naked Gun films into action movies, but kept in stuff like the giant condom sex scene or the slapstick OJ Simpson. This led to the Power Rangers being cooked into a giant pizza in one episode, which PR fans still consider a low point the show has yet to match.

    The season finale of Turbo is kind of cool, because for the first time, the Power Rangers lose, and *badly* — the new Command Center is blown up, they lose all their powers, and the season just ends. And, better yet, the next season — In Space — was actually awesome. It airs Feb 6th, and is a great season, but not until Nov 20th next year do we get Countdown to Destruction, which is the season that completes multiple dangling story threads from MMPR, including the final moments of Bulk and Skulls character arcs. Read this on the show and I’ll tell you more.

    -Julian Williams

  22. I can remember listening to Cheapy D answer some reader mail on the CAGcast about Giant Bomb when it started. He said that there was no way it could possibly succeed, but that it would be an interesting experiment to watch. I kinda agreed, so as soon as they started podcasting, I jumped on board – I figured I’d listen until it fell apart, and then maybe follow the crew to 1Up or whatever “real” gig they took after GiantBomb closed its doors. I liked it a lot and, even though I don’t really follow games the way I used to, I still haven’t missed a single episode. It’s become such a warm blanket, and it’s one of a handful of shows I still listen to, just so that I can say “I was there from the beginning”.

  23. I can’t believe that Matt Jay missed that “Three Men & a Baby” stars Home Improvement’s Wilson as one of the henchmen.

    You can see Wilson’s whole face!

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