Daniel Craig fights the Nazis, the Greatest Sketch Show Ever Says Goodbye, and the Best Movies of 1988, 1998 and 2008 – Dec 28 – Jan 3: Thirty Twenty Ten

Arsenio debuts, Daniel Craig embodies Defiance, Night Flight gives way to Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear, and in our final show of the year, we’re looking new additions to our past lexicons and our favorite movies of 1988, 1998 and 2008. 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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5 thoughts on “Daniel Craig fights the Nazis, the Greatest Sketch Show Ever Says Goodbye, and the Best Movies of 1988, 1998 and 2008 – Dec 28 – Jan 3: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. I’ve only seen Defiance which I thought was okay. But it’s evident to me that wanted to be Oscar bait so much. But I did see the Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees guest spot on The Arsenio Hall show.

    Hodder mentioned in an interview he was told not to freak out Arsenio Hall but did so anyway with that last moment of grabbing his hand which freaked out the guy much.

    And that MGMT song, first heard it in the first trailer to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Which, pretty fitting.

  2. One more thing, you can also find Pat Hingle in Maximum Overdrive and was the narrator and that random dinosaur in The Land Before Time.

  3. A not so quick note on Sarah’s comments that when people show clips of “80’s movies” a lot of them are from 1988. I think that’s very true, but I also think it’s part of a larger trend; A disproportionate share of a decade’s zeitgeist comes from the end of that decade. When we think about 1950’s music, we almost only think about rock and roll which came at the tail end of the 1950’s. Going by the year end billboard top 100 list, the vast majority of 1950’s music was big band or crooners or slow songs about how love is nice. The 1960’s we think of hippie music, but that was also a tail end phenonium. 70’s and disco? Tail end. This breaks down a bit in the 1980’s where new wave was an early phenonium., but plenty of end decade songs register as very 80’s. I think the general trend is also at least partially true for movies, tv, and fashion as well for the fundamental reason that the last years of the decades _are_ the last years, hence they are what is most recent as well as being the crescendo of whatever we think of as notable and unique to that decade.

    USA UP All Night. I watched soooooooo much trash movies on this show but what is fascinating to me is that the type of movies it show are still being made. I looked up bikini movies on Amazon prime and there are plenty of films (films made in the last ten years mind you) that look like they could have been played on USA Up All Night. I didn’t watch any of them (I was just curious if that type of film was still being made) and granted I’m no longer 12, but who is the audience for these things today? I usually watched trash because it was ON, and what was I going to do, not watch TV? But in the age of on demand streaming and the internet I just don’t get the appeal.

    Arsenio Hall. Without a doubt Aresnio was regarded as the coolest talk show, evah in my school, but it must have taken a few years because it was completely connected to doing the “woof woof” dog pound sound and motion which we all did with all the coolness a bunch of 11 year olds could manage.

    Fast Car by Tracy Chapman is one of the very few American Billboard top 100 songs to be primarily about class issues. There are 100 of them a year, and as part of a project I’ve listened to every one of them from 1945 to 1999 at this point, and I can count the number of popular songs about class conflicts on my hands. Also, I think it’s very important to notice that the protagonist of the song is the one who is getting jobs and trying to get promoted. She says she hopes the dude driving the fast car will get a job but it doesn’t seem like he ever does. Every effort to make a better life for the both of them is on her. So a the tail end when she says, “So take your fast car and keep on driving” it seems she has come to the realization that the only thing her partner had to offer was a fast car and she no longer a teenager. She needs more than that now that she’s a mother and made something of herself.

    Dark City DVD – This is an amazing commentary from Roger Ebert. There was one comment that has stuck with me ever since. He’s explaining this scene where they do a special effect and that how if you freeze frame you can see how the effect fails. Roger then talked about how unfair this was because the people criticizing it for this were not doing so in good faith. They were not engaging with the movie as a movie. They were finding faults purely to find faults because no one watching the film would see the alleged mistake as it was too quick for the unaided human eye.

    Mask of Zorro – Taking Batman’s canonical age as late 20’s early 30’s (when people athletically peak) then that means that the version of Zorro that he most probably saw as a young boy (the day his parents were killed) was 1998’s Antonio Banderas Mask of Zorro.

    Mr. Show. I went to a Con in New Orleans for fans of MST3K in 1999 and as you can imagine in the days when “Keep Circulating the Tapes” was a real life thing that we actually did, tons of weird wacky stuff was shown. One such thing was The Altered State of Drugachusetts. I laughed so frickin hard at that and wanted to see more from the comedic genius who made it but the guy who showed me the second hand tape didn’t know who they were. So I didn’t know. And I remained not knowing for ten years until I randomly came across The Altered State of Drugachusetts on YouTube and found out that Mr. Show as a thing that existed. (Which is now fully available on Amazon Prime, btw)

    Hatewatching: The last thing I hatewatched was Dexter. I will go to bat for the first four seasons of Dexter as being part of the rebirth of the golden age of Television. And then seasons 5 … wasn’t. And then 6 was just plain bad. By 7 I deeply disliked the show but I kept waiting and hoping it was going to come to a decent conclusion so I could stop watching. By 8 that hope was dead and I was engaged in pure unadulterated hatewatching – hating both the show and myself for being determined to see the end. And then the final episode was, without exaggeration, the absolute worst ending of any TV show I have ever seen ever. It was the Dexter equivalent to if at the end of The Sopranos, when the family was at the diner, the music was playing, the tension was building, if at that moment Tony had suddenly torn off his face to reveal that he was a cyborg sent to change his past which was now our future. I can never see myself hate watching something else ever again because no hatewatch could ever compare to end of that show when my hatewatch burned with the fire of a thousand suns.

    Defiance. The story of Jewish resistance in this film is a great story and I’m very glad it was made but as humans see the world through stories it is part of a larger, insurmountable, nature of storytelling that can often result in a distorted view of history. Let me explain by briefly telling the story of how both my wife’s grandparents survived the holocaust; Her grandfather was a tailor so one day he sewed himself an SS officer’s uniform, walked to a train station, scowled at the station master, and bluffed his way onto one of the last trains out. Her grandmother walked from Hungary to Portugal with an infant. During that walk, while asking for directions she was told by a (unknowingly hostile) stranger to head towards an extermination camp. That stranger told her she would be given food there. As she approached and asked if there was food inside some random guard took pity on this lady with an infant and told her this wasn’t the place for her and she should walk away, quickly. She made it to Portugal and only realized how close she came to death years later. While talking about those two incredible stories my wife mentioned it seemed to her like every European Jews from her grandparent’s time ALL had incredible stories. And as delicately as I could, I mentioned that the reason for that was that because any European Jew without an incredible story of what happened to them in the 1940’s was killed. Because the average tale of the average European Jew in that period was, “I was scared with all the rumors flying about but no one knew for sure what was happening. One day I was ordered to go somewhere. I did because I was worried I’d be shot if I didn’t go. When I went to the place I was ordered to go to, I was murdered.” That is the average, utterly typical story of the Holocaust. But it’s not cinematic. It’s not compelling. And it’s not one that any survivor will ever tell their grandchildren, because the dead don’t tell stories. This causes a distorting view as the vast number of stories we tell ourselves about the Holocaust are not at all representative of the actual event, either through survivors or fiction. A similar trend also happens with stories about slavery in the US where the vast vast majority of films or tv shows that touch the subject are about _escaping_ slavery, rather than living a lifetime as a slave, which was the average, utterly typical, slave experience in the US before 1865. As I said, I think this is literally an insurmountable problem due to the way humans tell stories but I also think it’s worth noting.

  4. Aw, in January of 1989 I was five, 1999, a sophomore in high school, and 2009 I was a junior at a women’s college, why yes I did finish college late as hell.

    Another thing Arsenio was in was Alan Thicke’s terrible talk show, Thicke of the Night! He was like one of the regulars? Along with Richard Belzer. This is the only clip I found of Arsenio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBn7MlNtCes

    To Diana: we watched the Jon Lovitz scene of Happiness in screenwriting class in college 9 years ago. I don’t remember much about the scene, I was just happy to see Jon Lovitz in class.

    Andre Previn is Soon-Yi’s adopted dad, back when he was with Mia Farrow.

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