The Best Nintendo Game of All-Time, Pixar’s Worst (non-Cars) Movie, and Here Come the Christmas Movies – Nov 23 – 29: Thirty Twenty Ten

A Bug’s Life is better than most remember, Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuts, Zelda goes 3D, Guns ‘N Roses hilarious “comeback,” Chris tells you his favorite ever TV series finale, the greatest Xmas movie of the whole dang 1980s, and for some reason, we’ve all watched Four Christmases. 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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15 thoughts on “The Best Nintendo Game of All-Time, Pixar’s Worst (non-Cars) Movie, and Here Come the Christmas Movies – Nov 23 – 29: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. The word Sarah wants for a story that’s just a series of things is “picaresque.”

    After finally reading A Confederacy of Dunces last year it’s a vocab word that finally stuck with me.

  2. I have a very specific memory about Very Bad Things. My dad and I went to go see it, and it was the first and last time a movie ever went kaput on us. It was around the scene when they accidentally kill the hooker, and the audio starts to fade then the screen goes black. My dad was pissed. Needless to say he got our money back. Although I never revisited the movie since then. Maybe one day I will.

  3. Scrooged I never did see but wouldn’t mind for real. Though I did catch part of the end credits which, I recall may or may not had a transphobic line.

    But just now, if someone were to remake Scrooged now that I think about it, Taika Waititi should direct. No, not because I just watched Thor Ragnarok for Thanksgiving even though it is awesome.

    I didn’t know Phil Collins did acting though. But Mystery Science Theater 3000. 30 years, wow! But I enjoy the show and the Mac and Me episode just recently, they were on fire! Also, I also just thought of a biopic idea about the creation of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with Hugh Dancy as Joel Hogdson and also directed by Taika Waititi. What can I say? My Thanksgiving tradition now includes watching a Godzilla film, Kristy (definitive Thanksgiving Horror film) and Thor: Ragnarok given that last one is very Anti-Colonial which I’m all for. Great counteract to the origins of Thanksgiving, you know?

    A Bug’s Life looking back I consider mediocre. And sorry but good riddance to A Bug’s Land in Disney California Adventure given it’s being replaced by Marvel Land because really, who cares about A Bug’s Life anyway? What kid even watches that movie nowadays? Call me heartless but I’m all for tearing down and replacing it all with something cool like Marvel. Kids love superheroes anyway. That and the film has the unfortunate side effect of having a child rapist in the film like Antz. Why the fuck do two animated films in 1998 about bugs and ants keep having this problem?

    Home Fries I want to see now though, so thank you for introducing me to it!

    Four Christmases, fuck Vince Vaughn. That’s all. But I did see that rickroll in that Thanksgiving parade. The fact they managed to get Rick Astley for a Foster’s float is surreal to me.

  4. Alright, I’ve been waiting for the release of Chinese Democracy. I was an internet-obsessed teenager in 2008, and I followed the lead up to this album very closely for about two years. The funny thing is that, by mid-2008, most of the final album had been leaked. Some songs, like “I.R.S.” and “Street of Dreams,” were available for most of the 2000’s. From what I remember, only “Catcher in the Rye” (which originally featured an awesome guitar solo by Queen’s Brian May) and the title track, were changed from the leaks. Most of the songs on the final album even featured musicians that had left the band years prior, like Buckethead and Brain.
    So, the question most GNR fans have now is: What the heck took them so long? Well, we just don’t know. As far as I know, the album could have been released as we finally heard it as early as 2006.

    And that Dr. Pepper promotion was a total sham. The website for proving purchase never worked for me.

  5. I love Scrooged. And I think my wife would love it too, but the movie has been tainted for her by a friend that was too insistent that she watch and love the movie. Maybe one of these years she’ll watch it with me on her own accord and hopefully enjoy the movie.
    — — –
    Probably the ultimate hipster card I can pull out is that I watched MST3k when it was on local TV here in Minnesota. I don’t really have any specific memories of watching the show itself, but I do remember thinking it was really cool especially because it was a TV show made where I lived. But because we had cable off and on I didn’t see much MST3k when it moved to the Comedy Channel. If anyone’s curious to see the season 0 episodes should go to But as far as new viewer go, a new episode like Cry Wilderness is great. Also the shorts are always great. Even if you don’t intend to watch the whole thing, if you find an episode with a short you’ll enjoy that.
    — — –
    What to say about Ocarina of Time? It’s probably the one game that Playstation owners wish they had.

  6. They just made a gurrrl version of very bad things with Kate Mckinnon and ilana Glazer? probably the only girl version remake of a movie that deserves a genuine “why the fuck did they make this?” because the only people I know who actually even liked the original movie are all “hot couch” guys

  7. Scrooged. If they ever make a bio-pic of Bill Murray’s life I really hope they end on Groundhog Day (his biggest triumph IMO) and include this one in the second act for a prime bit of conflict; “Did you have some disagreements with the director?” Ebert asked Murray. “Only a few,” Murray replied. “Every single minute of the day. That could have been a really, really great movie. The script was so good. There’s maybe one take in the final-cut movie that is mine. We made it so fast, it was like doing a movie live. He kept telling me to do things louder, louder, louder. I think he was deaf.”
    I might call this the darkest version of a Christmas Carol ever made (and the basic premise of the story is more than a bit inherently dark). Ebert denounced it as “one of the most disquieting, unsettling films to come along in quite some time,” and while I love it that kind of fits my memory of it. The Ghost of Christmas future scared the crud out of a me as a 10 year old ( ) and Bill Murray’s character is even more of a scrooge than Scrooge. So question: Is there a darker version of a Christmas Carol than this one?

    Cocoon 2: Thanks to the wonders of HBO, I saw Cocoon 2 and never saw 1. No idea why HBO played 2 over and over and over again, but never 1, but that was the case as I remember. Is that even possible today? I mean say a kid is a Netflix or Hulu only household; do those streaming services ever only have the sequel and not the original? Have you ever seen that on a streaming service?

    Wow, 30 years of MST3K. That… doesn’t seem possible but that’s probably because like virtually everyone else I didn’t get into the show until years after it first premiered, soon after my parents separated. My Dad lived about 3 hours away and I remember being driven every weekend to go see him (it was a long boring drive for an iphone-less kid to do every weekend there and back). It was a long slog and by the time I got there it was usually pretty late. My Dad and I would talk for a bit but then, him being a morning person and me being a night owl, he’d go to bed and I’d go downstairs to the basement. I can still picture the tiny little TV down there that I used to flip through channel after channel on late at night. Then one time I came across this monster movie. Cool, I’ll give it a go. But there were these little figures at the bottom talking. Young me didn’t get it. “Why are they ruining the film???” he mentally shouted to no one in particular. But then something in what they said made me laugh. Again then they made me laugh again and again. Next weekend I was back in the same place and came to the same show and decided to watch it again. After that, I was hooked and it became part of my regular ritual. All throughout my parents’ divorce (which dragged on for a couple years) I would lose myself for two hours in that cow town puppet show.
    I too saw the live show and was completely expecting a “Grateful Dead” type experience where the crowd was going to be full of no one under 40 but was overjoyed with how many young kids were there. Super happy this show is still resonating with a lot of people.
    But that does raise the question of where should you start someone off with MST3k?
    I would say Mitchel is an excellent first show to view;
    Any other suggestions?

    Circus of the Stars is such a goofy concept that was on year after year after year. But maybe it left an effect on me as I was _this_ close to taking a trapeze class though, but moved out of the city (Portland, or course) where it was offered before I could get started.

    Harry Anderson’s the Absent Minded Professor. Is “Good old fashion fun” every code for anything else besides, “This is non-offensive! Super non-edgy! You can watch it with your Grandma and 6-year old, we promise!”

    A Bug’s Life. Oddly enough I saw the Bug’s Life show at Disney World before I ever saw the movie and that show is NOT designed to introduce characters to you. Which is a fair decision because I bet 99% of their audience had seen the film before they saw the show but if you haven’t …. It is trippy as balls!

    Ocarina of Time. When this came out I didn’t have an N64 as I more or less skipped that entire console generation. I wasn’t even that into the gaming sphere at the time but somehow I still heard about how amazing it was and being a huge Zelda fan when I was young I wanted to give it a shot. And then one night at the fraternity I was pledging to, this guy and I started talking about the game. I said let’s give it a shot. So I got up to start following him to his room and he got up at the same time. We started walking down the hallway, passed the first stairway, and then we reached the end. There was a second stairway there but I didn’t know why we wouldn’t have taken the first stairway if his room was on the second floor, but mentally shrugged and we both went up the stairs. Then, once at the top we started walking BACK the way we came. I gave him looks and he gave me looks until finally we reached the stairs leading back down to exactly where we had started from. I looked at the stairs uneasily and then said, “Um… Dude? Where is your room?” He replied, “Dude … where is YOUR room?” Neither of us had a room in the fraternity, neither of us owned an N64, we were both following the other guy thinking the other guy lived there. The moment when we both realized this remains to this day one of the most awkward single moments in my entire life.

    I say this as a huge Babylon 5 fan; The best way to watch Babylon 5 is to go back in time to the mid-90’s because to watch it then is to watch one of the most groundbreaking works on television of the decade. B5 had serial story-telling that demanded shows be watched in order ( and also required a high degree of knowledge retention from those episodes) and in many ways it was the pre-cursors to the Television Reissuance sparked off by the Wire and the Sopranos … only I’m pretty sure none of those shows was inspired by B5 and what we have instead is a case of parallel development. Today … sign. There is just TOO MUCH great TV out there to really make it worth re-watching but it will always have a special place in my heart.
    But I haven’t seen the show in a 15-plus years. Anyone watched it in the last year or two?

    Chef – Suck on my Chocolate Salty Balls. I’d kind of like to give these a try;

    Australia and The Shield – Both of these have been on my “To watch” list for 10 years now! You did a good job of making Australia sound like a big hot mess but as a WWII history geek I still want to watch it anyway so you know what, this month I’m going to watch it. As for The Shield… I’m officially taking it off my “To watch” list. Oh, Chris you made it sound great but I’ve been hearing about how great it is for a long time and … I just don’t have the time. I can make time for a 3 hour movie but an 88 hour series that ended 10 years ago? Eh…. Too much good stuff out there. And the fact that it’s non-HD and not in widescreen? Yep that kills it for me. Off the list. Hot take: Non-HD and non-widescreen is going to be the new black-and-wide and whole cloths of past media is going to be non-watched by most people born in the 21st century. Oh, they’ll be able to watch it, sure. They’ll just choose not to.

    Four Christmases: My parents are divorced and my wife’s parents are divorced so before we moved we regularly did the 4 Christmasi (Christmasus?) a year thing. It got to be such a hassle that my Mom starting celebrating Halthanksmas – it falls on the weekend she can get the most people together and we make haunted Ginger Bread houses and get visited by Saint Halthanksmas (me in a Santa Suit with a turkey hat and a stuffed spider larger than my head).

    The Rick Roll at the Macy’s Day Parade. For me this will forever be the moment that the internet was no longer a “niche” product but that was up there with TV and Radio and Movies as a cultural force for the nation as a whole. Because when that happened I just imagined two sweet old ladies turning to each other and saying, “Oh dear Ethel. I do believe we’ve been the Rick Rolled.” And both knowing what that meant.

  8. Babylon 5 is great, and I’m told the finale is wonderful and wraps up everything very neatly because JMS had plans on how to properly end the show. Definitely worth a watch, there are unfortunately issues with the video quality due to WB being shitheads about the property and all ex-PTEN shows (JMS has expressed his frustration on Twitter a lot about it) but the message is great and also scarily relevant to the time we live in. I just wish I got to catch all of it on go90 before it was pulled…I was at the second season where they replaced Michael O’Hare with Bruce Boxleitner because O’Hare was having mental health issues. Probably the best choice because Michael at times sounded like he was unsure of how to act and when I became aware of the problems behind the scenes it made more sense and I felt bad for him.

  9. Chinese Democracy was just a fun ride until release. Emphasis on “until release.” Don’t get me wrong, the album isn’t terrible, it’s just also not remarkable in either a good way or bad way. To answer your questions, only Axl was left from the debut Appetite for Destruction. Dizzy Reed, who was added for Use Your Illusion, is also still present. The band had released one non-cover single prior to 2008, the 1999 “Oh My God” from the End of Days soundtrack which was, for a time, expected to be on the album and indicative of its sound. That song is bad, I don’t like to just make blanket statements but it’s bad, and there’s better stuff to talk about. The only reason why the album probably took so long is Axl was likely fearful of how it would be received and insecure about it. Sebastian Bach, who did some backing vocals on the album, was saying it was essentially complete for years and we have leaks that suggest very little changed between 2006 and release. Not surprising, it’s a very over-produced album with a lot going on, and sometimes probably too much. It’s interesting how Axl’s voice sounds from song to song, but again, who knows how old some of the vocal tracks were by the time it was released? Dr. Pepper got involved in early 08 with just a challenge for the band to get the album out by the end of the year, and if it did, free Dr. Pepper for everyone! It wasn’t an official tie-in, just someone at Dr. Pepper being a smart-ass. The company made good on the promise, though their website was overloaded and people started complaining causing the band to threaten legal action for damaging the band’s rep and harming the release of the album (Axl claimed he did not have anything to do with this and it was his overzealous lawyers). By the time it came out, it was interesting to see the lengths the label went to try and recoup some of that money. Deals with movie studios, game developers, and retailers all to help get some more money beyond just album sales. And the album is actually okay, really scatter-brained and all over the place, but okay. Appetite is the band’s only true, great, release with Use Your Illusion also being a bit of an over-produced, over-stuffed, mess. GNR kind of became known for ballads in the 90s, and interestingly it’s what Chinese Democracy does best. “Street of Dreams,” “This I Love,” and “Prostitute” are probably the best tracks. The title track is fine too, and there’s some okay filler and some not great filler as well. It’s a very interesting record, but it’s most interesting aspect is in the journey as opposed to the end product.

  10. Jeez as a Christmas fanboy it always hurts to see people so stressed by Christmas. I’m in Chris’s boat. and they can’t say its because I don’t cook because the entire family does their share. Christmas doesn’t have to always be stressful (I say always because some jobs can be more stressful during that time) It is what you make of it. You don’t have to stress for the perfect present, you don’t have to stress over the perfect day. All that ever mattered to me is the pure childlike joy of it. The smells, the views, the family, the music, everything that will always be as good to me as it was when I was a kid.

    Honestly, the only “stressful” part for me is deciding which family we see Christmas day between me and my fiance, and even that isn’t too bad.

    I really need to find a copy of Scrooged that needs to be added to my list of must-see Christmas movies.

  11. I believe there’s been six Snoopy Macys balloons. I think this was the year that the Snoopy balloon was modeled after one you could buy at Macys!

    My favorite KTMA MST3K is City on Fire.

    Excuse me, excuse me, Circus of the Stars announcer, Cathy Rigby wasn’t an Olympic winner. U.S. Gymnasts were not winning medals at the Olympics back then.

    Didn’t Very Bad Things have the Limp Biskit’s “Faith” cover during the end credits? Comedy Central showed ‘da hell out of this movie in 2000. The hooker died because she got impaled on a hook in the shower?

  12. Babylon 5 is one of my absolute favorite shows of all time. I didn’t watch it when it originally aired but my mom did and later introduced it to me when the show came out on DVD sometime around 2006. A few other people have already praised it for being the absolutely groundbreaking show it is so I want retread that grounds I will however says that despite the poorly aged CGI and at times terrible picture quality, I still think it holds up rather well at least in terms of story. It’s all available to stream on Amazon right now so give it a watch. Just be patient with the first season as it has aged the worst out of the five seasons, but sets up the entire story and should not be skipped.

  13. My biggest memory of Ocarina of Time is the summer I rented it from my auntie’s video store every weekend. My parents were too cheap to ever buy me game cartridges so I spent a whole summer renting OoT on a Friday and keeping it until Monday. I let everyone in the town know (as I lived in a small town) that if they fucked with my save file, I would end them. Luckily no one was a huge Zelda fan so I had that game all to myself. I had a binder I made of a map of the game’s important places and a list of the songs I needed.

    Finishing that game felt great as it was one of the first games I ever finished. I felt like I went on an adventure.

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