Christian Slater Gleams the Cube, Jon Stewart Takes the Reigns, and Theaters are Policed by Paul Mall Fart Cop… or something – Jan 11-17: Thirty Twenty Ten

MTV Presents: Football, The Daily Show has a new host, Bobby Brown has his own prerogative, Hanna-Barbera takes a second stab at Smurfs, Sean Hannity comes into his own, Stan Winston directs his first film, the cinematic dawn of In Living Color, and in defense of Paul Blart.


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20 thoughts on “Christian Slater Gleams the Cube, Jon Stewart Takes the Reigns, and Theaters are Policed by Paul Mall Fart Cop… or something – Jan 11-17: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN is definitely worth your time. If you guys are lacking context, let me – as a Britto – explain. It’s very heavily influenced by the weird subgenre of British-made horror movies of the 1960s and 70s. Think the Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee Hammer Horror films and especially The Wicker Man, but fusing that gothic horror sensibility with the kind of grotesque, un-PC, catchphrase-heavy comedy that was particularly popular in Britain at the time (a trend that included shows like The Fast Show and Little Britain). It’s far more original and funnier than Little Britain in my opinion, though.

    The first two seasons follow a similar structure in that they’re essentially sketch shows with a loose overarching narrative. The third season gets a little more experimental, with each episode being a standalone half hour story focusing on a single character from the previous seasons, but all tied together with one Rashomon style incident. It wasn’t very well-received at the time but holds up very well, I think.

    The movie ‘The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse’ released in 2005 is also fantastic, and goes into even stranger territory, as it’s plot centers around the show’s cast of fictional characters breaking out into the ‘real world’ in order to abduct the ‘real life’ League members (who all play themselves with the exception of the only non-actor in the troupe who is played by Michael Sheen) to force them to write more episodes of the show to stave off their own impending extinction. It sounds like a terrible and self-indulgent premise, but it works. David Warner plays the villain and it also has a Simon Pegg cameo.

    All four of the members of the League went on to great success in various fields – Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton went on to create their own BBC shows Psychoville and Inside Number 9, but the most famous would probably be Mark Gatiss of Doctor Who and then Sherlock fame, and who also had a small role in Game of Thrones.

    There are a couple of things about the original run of the show that haven’t aged well – the first is Papa Lazarou, a Joker-like carnie character who appears in season 2 and, while not in blackface as such, has a sort of Al Jolson minstrel look. He isn’t at all intended as a racial caricature, and, like most LoG characters, is a deliberately grotesque figure, so they just about get away with it in context, but it might be initially shocking to a modern viewer. The other character who certainly hasn’t aged well is Barbara the taxi driver, who is pretty much one big joke at the expense of trans people – the joke being that her attempts at transitioning are totally unconvincing, and the comedic contrast as she talks in very blunt terms about her ongoing surgery in the voice of a gruff Yorkshireman. I found it funny at the time, but it’s pretty indefensible, honestly. You kind of just have to accept it as a product of less-enlightened times.

  2. The thing that separates League of a gentlemen from say, Little Britain is the downtrodden humanity in a lot of the characters. Very few of them are likeable, but theres something about the naivety of Edward and Tubbs, the weird inbred murderous shopkeepers, that makes them much more engaging than characters from something like Little Britain.

    Then there are the characters that are just fucking punching bags for life, like the vet and the old glam rock musician who are just put upon in sketch after sketch and its horrendous to watch but so very, very funny.

    Also, Jesus Christ, you guys…

  3. Oh man, we’re finally here, Jon’s first Daily Show. You know how Chris is with Roger Rabbit? That’s how I am with 1997-2004 Daily Show. I even had an extensive fan site about the show for years. I know Jon is embarrassed by them, but I love those rickety 1999 episodes of Daily Show and their immaturity. Yes, all of Craig’s correspondents left when Craig left, except for Beth Littleford, Stephen, and to a lesser extent, Mo Rocca, who had began a few months earlier. We got Vance DeGeneres’ first fieldpiece three days later!

    Chris, I did watch all three airings of daily show each day too.

    Wasn’t there a snorks joke on family guy where the snorks’ snorkel gets “erect” when a girl bends over?

    Ryan White didn’t pass away until 1990, so that’s surprising they did the movie while he was still alive, how awkward.

    ooo, League of Gentlemen. I remember having to sit through that ugly ass show a few times while waiting for the 1am Daily Show repeat (see!) sometimes during the Summer-ish of 2000.

  4. The only thing I remember about Paul Blart: Mall Cop is that the criminals infiltrate the mall while Paul Blart is too busy playing Rock Band. I can’t think of a more perfect late-2000s time capsule than rhythm games and Paul Blart.

    I actually got one of my songs called I Like Trains into the Guitar Hero DLC store back in 2012, and I was so excited because Guitar Hero was a huge institution to me. But I got in so late that the company who created the guitar charts went bankrupt and disappeared, and I never actually saw any of the sales money. I know at least one person bought the song, because I did.

  5. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka is a stone cold classic. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I literally laughed out loud remembering the mom/white stuntman fight scene. One of the underrated laughs for me from that movie is when Keenan Ivory Wayans gets a sliver in his hand during a fight scene and, after removing it with tweezers, lets out a Rambo-esque howl of pain. Hilarious.

  6. Why aren’t the last two episodes appearing on Google Podcasts or Spotify? After a long time spent catching up, I’ve been showless for the past two weeks. Anyone else having this issue?

    1. Maybe the show moving networks might have something to do with it and they have a new rss feed? or you have to re-add it? I’m using iTunes and haven’t seen a difference.

      1. Yeah I’m having the same issue. Tried unsubscribing and no joy. Also tried different apps. It’s stuck in 2018 for me.

  7. Pumpkinhead is one of my favorite Horror films. Always watch it every October. I just love the southern gothic look of it. Very stylized with its lighting, the concept is well executed, very emotional. Stan Winston certainly gave it his all with his directorial debut. I don’t know why it got a release in January but I know the film went through distribution limbo since it was supposed to be distributed by DEG, that studio owned by Dino de Laurentiis, went bankrupt and got in the hands of MGM. I guess they didn’t think it would sell well, which pity. Sequels aren’t worth it though but I read the first issue of the comic by Cullen Bunn, it’s pretty good.

    I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, well, I’ll check it out but I’m kind of spoiled by Undercover Brother and most of all, Black Dynamite, the cartoon especially. I mean, unless Sucka has somebody literally fucking the sea or Bill Cosby and Woody Allen being threatened to get beaten up, then we’ll talk.

    Virus, I know the film was based on a comic book that was supposed to be a film but the technology wasn’t there. But by the late 90s, he wrote the script but then the guy who wrote Species came in. So, yeah. Plus, creator of the comic co wrote Darkman. Surprisingly, Virus had a toy the in but not so surprisingly is Jamie Lee Curtis said it sucks.

    Jon Stewart, my favorite interview is with Roger Ebert, especially when they discussed Doogal and an uncle of my roommate actually was interviewed, he’s a Christian, homophobic nut, so he got made fun of.

    And nobody going to bat for My Bloody Valentine in 3D? You guys don’t know me very well. XD

    This is actually a decent remake. It’s very enjoyable. Knows what film it is and goes wild with it. Plenty of fun kills, Tom Atkins is a treat as always (Night of the Creeps, yo!) and the twist as to who the killer is was well done. I quite really like the film, I like both versions really.

    Paul Blart, from what I’ve seen and know, it’s a lame Die Hard spoof. Like seriously, when the plot kicks in, it turns into such almost beat by beat. That movie is an insult. And hot take, I don’t care who crucifies me, Kevin James is not funny and never will be. King of Queens sucked!

    You like him fine but that’s just me.

  8. Gleaming the Cube. At the 7 second mark “it’s ridiculous to think there’s gonna be anything in 30 years, you know?” and now it’s exactly 30 years later! That’s… all I got. I have zero memories of this film.

    I’m Gonna Get You Sucka is a film film 10 year old me thought was the funniest thing ever, despite being as removed from the source material as one could be. I don’t think 10 year old me had seen a single blacksploitation film and yet the comedy still resonated with me in a big big way. It’s actually quite commendable to have a parody film work if one is completely divorced from the source material but I’m Gonna Get You Sucka succeeds in that regard. Anyone watched it recently?

    Snorks. Watching the theme song; was there a vampire Snork?

    Next time Chris has nothing to report for ’89 in video games, could he bring up the Nemo? It was supposed to be released in ’89 “less than two months before the console’s planned 1989 release” but never was so I think that counts for 1989. It’s a fascinating piece of tech combining stuff from the 1980’s in a Frankenstien’s monster; Also, that system has new never before seen POLICE ACADEMY footage! Seriously; they recorded a VHS tape full of all the Police Academy actors playing their Police Academy characters and as we speak that tape is just sitting in Mark Turmell’s garage as yet unreleased to the world. Just think of all those Police Academy fans out that who would clammer for that. (crickets chirp)

    Sopanros “46 Long” (Not mentioned on the show) a solid episode that reminded me of something: At this point half of my life has been spent in a Post-Sopranos TV world. The Sopranos utterly changed Television, that’s indisputable at this point, but any time I watch a TV series obviously influenced by it (High production values, high degree of quality, low number of episodes per year, high continuity) it feels new to me. My gut reaction to what television should be seems stuck in a pre-1999 view of it, despite what my intellect says.

    Varsity Blues – This is part of my “Not Another Teen Movie” collection of films I know about solely because I watched Not Another Teen Movie while being completely unfamiliar with any of the modern films it was making fun of, not being part of the desired audience. Now a mark of a good parody (like I’m Gonna Get You Sucka) is that it still works on it’s own. Did Not Another Teen Movie still work while I was completely unfamiliar with what it was referencing? No. No it did not.

    Oddly enough, I think I watched the very first Jon Stewart episode of the Daily Show. I was living in a dorm at the time so watching Craig Kilborn’s daily show would have had to have been a group watch but I think it was just weird enough (Your moment of Zen) that it was part of the regular routine. The only thing I can (very vaguely) remember though is the interview with the Little Person from Wizard of Oz. Thinking it further, I’m sure that the Larry Sanders show connection is what pushed Jon Stewart over the edge to become host of the show. I’m a huge Larry Sanders show fan and think the show still holds up today, but it’s most long lasting impact is probably making Jon Stewart host of the Daily Show.

    Notorious (2009 film). I’m (figuratively) the only person who went and saw Notorious who knew NOTHING about Biggie Smalls. His songs? Not familiar. His feud with Tupac? I was vaguely aware that there was some East-Coast / West Coast rap rivalry but that one sentence was the extant of my knowledge. That he was killed? I might have had some hint of this but not enough to be sure that was how the movie was going to end. And I will say that if you ever get the chance to watch a biopic about someone you are not at all familiar with, I recommend it. I think one (singular) reason biopics get degraded so much is for the most part everybody sees biopics about people they are familiar with. And thus they know how the story ends which can’t help but effect how they view the film.

    Friday Night Lights Season 3 finale “Tomorrow Blues” could honestly have been the series finally. Most of the main cast was graduating High School, and there was a fair amount of humming and coughing to cover up the fact that most of them probably wouldn’t have been Sophomores when the series started, so having a show be about High School puts a pretty firm timeline on how long it can go on. The show got around that by having Coach go to a new school and while that had some interesting moments I don’t think it was ever as good as the first three seasons.

  9. Pumpkinhead and Deepstar Six remind me of when I was a kid browsing my old movie rental place. The VHS covers made the movies look so creepy. Which made me super curious about them because I’ve always been a fan of movie monsters, aliens and creatures. And I love the Pumpkinhead design. It’s been a bit since I’ve revisited the movie, but I have seen it as an adult and I remember liking it. I’ve probably seen Deepstar Six more recently although I get it mixed up with The Abyss, Leviathan and Lords of the Deep. So I kinda forget what exactly happens. I remember liking Leviathan the most among these underwater scifi movies that were all apparently released in 1989. Maybe it’s because Peter Weller is in it. The Abyss might be the best of these group but it’s a hard watch once you know what Cameron put his actors through.

  10. Chris: “I looked into this.”
    Chris, 30 seconds later: “Lost isn’t streaming anywhere.”
    Sarah: “Isn’t it?”
    Chris: “I don’t know.”

  11. I grew up very near Kokomo where Ryan White lived when he was diagnosed with AIDS and we watched this movie when I was in seventh grade in the late ’90s. I’ve also seen his mom speak and read books about the incident since. The weird thing is most of us had no idea about any of this, because it’s something that people just didn’t talk about in that part of Indiana in the ’90s. There are still people in Kokomo to this day who were around back then and claim they were completely justified in their fears.

    This is, of course, is bullshit. AIDS was understood well enough that a little education should’ve gone a long way, see the response the family got when they moved to Cicero, but this was an example of small town ignorance and prejudice winning out over education and the facts. They terrorized that poor family, and it’s a black mark that people around there would prefer to pretend never happened. Like they get really pissy and defensive if you bring it up or point out that maybe threatening and ostracizing the kid dying of a terrifying uncurable disease wasn’t exactly a shining moment.

    The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis has a great exhibit on White complete with a reconstruction of his room and all of his stuff. It’s like stepping into the 1980s, and to this day when I visit I still get a little misty thinking about the hell that poor kid had to go through.

  12. Another memory jogged loose:

    I remember listening to a podcast about this newfangled thing called Bitcoin when it was still brand new. I had the thought “I should buy five hundred bucks of this stuff and just leave it on a hard drive for a decade. Don’t touch it.” This was back when it was going for a couple of cents per bitcoin.

    I never did it. I figured it would be a flash in the pan. Plus it was associated with a lot of criminal shit and I didn’t want to wind up on a watch list. Even if I’d sold when it was only a few thousand per coin I would’ve made millions though. In the hypothetical world where I bought five hundred bucks worth at a few cents per bitcoin and sold it at its height I would’ve had hundreds of millions.


  13. Hell yeah Sarah, Fever Ray IS amazing. Karin Dreijer is such a cool fucking person, her solo stuff and the Knife’s stuff (especially Silent Shout) are some of the best albums ever IMO.

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