Howie Mandel is a Monster, the Many Women of Lou Bega, and We Hear Patton Oswalt’s a Big Fan

The Rock gets his own show, Rob Zombie takes his last crack at Halloween, Lou Bega evokes the 5th Mambo, the 16-bit game world has a new contender, Antonio Banderas is lucky number 13, Fred Savage’s Monsters Inc, SNL cast members conspire to ruin Michael Chiklis’ career, and Brendan Fraser loves third tier Jay Ward adaptations, apparently! 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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7 thoughts on “Howie Mandel is a Monster, the Many Women of Lou Bega, and We Hear Patton Oswalt’s a Big Fan

  1. Halloween II by Rob Zombie, it’s just eh. I still disagree on Rob Zombie’s Halloween being the worst in general, I can name worse Halloween films and remakes than that. Second film is just eh, I call it a case of trying too hard and just swung the pendulum too far in what he wanted. There’s just nothing I can think of to say. It’s just there but I’ll take an interesting failure like that over the 4th Final Destination. I, I detest this movie.

    See, when watching the film on Netflix months ago. I was aware of its poor reputation but I thought, “it can’t be that bad!” I thought, maybe it’s not as bad as people say it is. No, it turns out. The reputation it has is completely justified.

    Final Destination 4 is just one if the film definitions of wasted potential. Literally, nothing saves it except for the deaths of the racist red neck and dude bro in the pool but otherwise, it’s shit. The premonition of the racetrack is a pure example how. In concept, it’s horrifying but in execution, they turned it unintentionally funny. The CGI effects killed it especially the staging. A huge engine comically lands on a woman and it’s the fakest looking thing you’d ever seen. The 3D effects look as bad as Jaws 3 and that is a comparison I do not make lightly!

    And later on, it just ventures into self parody. Like one of the characters trying to hang himself and again, should be horrifying and tragic but the staging kills it that it became completely comical.

    Weirdly, this is by the same director of the second film, David R. Ellis, which was really good! So, what happened? Was he on a off day or did New Line after the Warner Bros takeover second guessed him after Snakes on a Plane? It’s just a total waste of a film and a shame too given the first two films are very good and even the third film is kind of a guilty pleasure. At least I heard the 5th film is a very good improvement.

    And fun fact about Little Monsters, the script by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot, it got rewritten so much by the director, producer and a scab writer. They had to leave because of the writer’s strike and because of that, it resembled barely anything from the original script and was not the one United Artists signed off on.

  2. Great show as always!
    So, I loved Millennium. Still do. Didn’t catch it in the theaters, but saw it more that a few times on HBO in subsequent summers. The cast and effects were pretty cheesy, but I loved the plot and the dystopian-future aesthetic. That movie was the first time I came across the whole “he meets her first in the past/she meets him first in the future” trope that Sarah talked about with the Time Traveler’s Wife a few episodes back. Dr. Who also used that trope with River Song. It’s always a fun twist.
    Little Monsters was another favorite from the year. It’s basically just the Pleasure Island part of Pinocchio but with monsters, so that’s cool. I didn’t know about the 900 number, but totally would’ve risked being grounded to call. The only number I’ve ever called like that was to talk to Cap’n Crunch in the early 80s. From what I remember he was very pleasant.
    I agree with Sebastian that Final Destination 4 went straight-up funny, but I’m pretty sure that was the point. Everyone knew exactly what was coming from the franchise so it just leaned into the camp. Regardless of the effects, it made for a fun opening night experience in the theater.
    Last thought…. not a big gamer but damn if Chris’ review of Arkham Asylum doesn’t make me want to get a system and play it. I remember it being a big deal when it came out, but I didn’t pay too much attention. Based on the aesthetics alone, it looked to me like they were straying a little far from the source material, so I was super intrigued by Diana saying it’s more like a “best-of Batman.” Kevin Conroy is indeed the ONLY good Batman so that alone sells it.

  3. Thanks for having two episodes this week. I know it takes a lot to try and get caught up but please know it’s much appreciated by your fans.

    The Latvians Singing Revolution. It’s been interesting watching the collapse of the Soviet Union “in real time” on Thirty Twenty Ten. On January 1st, 1986 (the first week covered by the show), there was not a single person in a major position of power who was planning for the Soviet Union to try to liberalize itself and then cease to exist in under six years, and yet that’s exactly what happened. Glasnost and Perestroika were not yet “things” in the USSR in January of ’86, they only became widespread after around March of 1986 and even after that date there was a lot of hesitancy in the West and in the Warsaw Pact about how seriously to take them. But inch by inch they crumbled aspects of the Soviet state until events like the Singing Revolution and the opening of the Berlin Wall (happening only two months from “now”) brought about the biggest geo-political change in life of everyone reading this sentence. I find it a useful lesson to always remember that what seems to be solid and unmovable for generations can often collapse quicker than what even those who have spent their entire lives studying it ever expected.

    Millennium was not made for 11 year olds. It’s sci-fi, but it’s sci-fi from the pre-Star Wars “The Future Is Going to Be Both Nightmarish and Boring At the Same Time”-school of Sci-Fi which doesn’t appeal to that age bracket. But because I was a huge sci-fi fan at the time and because it was showed on HBO over and over and over again, I distinctly recall my young brain thinking, “I like sci-fi. This is sci-fi. For some reason I turned it off last time, but maybe this time…” and then being bored by Millennium all over again and turning it off, again. Were there any films that you tried to watch multiple times when you were young for some reason but could never get into?

    Fred Savage’s Little Monsters. Memory is funny. I know I watched this film, possibly more than once on HBO or something, but when I look in my memory files I can’t recall the plot, I can’t recall a single line, I can’t recall anything about the film with the exception of the final scene of Fred Savage running from place to place desperately trying to find an exit from Monster World so he’s not stuck there forever. Everything else about the film is gone but I can remember that scene very clearly. Are there any movies that are reduced to one and only one scene in your memory? What was the film and what was the scene?

    The Zelda Game and Watch made me cool for about five seconds. Our school banned what few portable video game options were available in 1989 but of course it didn’t ban watches. Noticing this loophole I begged and pleaded for a Zelda Game and Watch, not just because I was a huge Zelda fan (which I was) but also because I thought it would be super rad and tubular to the max to show it off to all the kids at school. And in a rare experience of a childhood dream going exactly as my childhood self expected it to go … IT WENT EXACTLY LIKE HOW I HOPED IT WOULD! I took the Zelda watch to school, started to play it while we were waiting in line for something, and instantly got swarmed by a mass of grade school kids who utterly lost their shit over the concept of game on a watch. “How did you get that?” “Is that really Zelda?” “Does your Uncle work for Nintendo?” I let other kids play with my watch and after a few days the excitement died down (because the game was utterly basic) but for that first day? I was the talk of the playground and if I time-traveled and gave my 1989-self an IPhone to show off, I’m not sure the excitement could have been any greater than what was shown to the real 11 year old me for that rinky-dink bare bones of a Zelda game strapped to a clunky digital watch.

    TurboGrafx-16. It’s not just that I didn’t own one. It’s that I never met a single kid who owned one. Did anyone here ever own a TurboGrafx-16? If so, what was your favorite game for it?

    Dudley Doo Right. Never saw the film, and never will, but I will heartily recommend Ripsaw Falls at the Island of Dead IP’s…. I mean Universal Studio’s Toon Lagoon in Orlando. The Podcast the Ride folks tell you everything you could ever want to know about Dudley Doo Right ( ) but also go into depth about what could have happened on the ride. Originally it was planned that everyone would be part of a two-log ride, with half the passengers being on the left log and half on the right. Then at the climactic moment a buzz saw would “cut” the two logs in half so that half the members went one way and half the other way. It’s a shame they didn’t go with that because while it’s a pretty solid log ride, that would have made it a great one.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the 13th Warrior is pretty much an exact reversal of a typical Mighty Whitey story in that it’s the story of a highly civilized Arab (loosely based on Ahmad ibn Fadlan’s historical account of the being among the Volga Vikings) who comes to “darkest England” and uses his advanced knowledge to become a central figure in the “primitive” civilization’s mythology (I think you may have forgot to mention that The 13th Warrior is a very loose retelling of Beowulf, the earliest story in the English language.)

    Metroid Prime Trilogy. Place your bets, place your bets! What year will we see Metroid Prime 4?

    When Batman Arkham Asylum originally came out in 2009 I didn’t have the hardware to play it and soon afterwards my wife had our first kid so I didn’t game that much for half a decade. Flash forward to 2014 when I picked up Shadows of Mordor (which heavily borrowed from Batman Arkham Asylum) and the gameplay felt super fresh and original and exciting to me. A couple months after finishing that game I then bought Batman Arkham Asylum for a couple of bucks on Steam and decided to give it a try. And while I intellectually knew it couldn’t be a rip off of Shadows of Mordor, it still felt derivative to me because of the order I played the two games in. What is a “rip-off” that felt fresh and new to you because you experienced it before you experienced the original?

  4. Fun pub trivia fact: The console that scared Nintendo enough to suddenly announce a successor to the NES? The PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16. To look at it from the perspective of the time, Nintendo was content to ride out the Famicom/NES gravy train for as long as it could run. When NEC announced that they were entering console gaming with a 16-bit system, Nintendo had good reason to be afraid; NEC had risen to take over much of the Japanese PC market, and with their tech scale/know-how combined with the gaming expertise of Hudson (One of the NES’ top 3rd party devs), along with connections to Konami and Capcom, it looked like they would do the same to the console market. As such, not too long after NEC released the PC-Engine, Nintendo tried to diffuse the buzz by suddenly announcing that they too had a 16-bit console in development (it wasn’t anything beyond the idea stage at that point). So how did the TurboGrafx-16 go from being an existential threat to Nintendo to being a footnote in the 16-bit console war (In the US/EU; the PC-Engine was quite the contender in Japan against the SNES)? There were a variety of factors, but the simplest explanation is that NEC played it too safe with the system’s expansion. They waited too long to release in other territories, and as mentioned in the episode, by late 1989 they were going head-to-head with the Sega Genesis. In 1987 Japan, putting the PC-Engine up against the Famicom was an easy sell, but in 1989 US/EU, the TG16 up against a 16-bit console like the Genesis was a much tougher sell, especially with Sega ramping up the marketing and developer outreach.

  5. Gonna have to disagree with Diana and say that The 13th Warrior is a legit great movie. Yes, the title is terrible; the marketing was terrible; the trailer was terrible, etc. But the movie is actually a retelling of Beowulf that mostly works. It’s obvious that A LOT was cut out (supposedly Michael Chrichton fired McTeirnann and re-shot a bunch of the movie himself), and it feels a bit rushed during their journey (including the part where Banderas learns their language). THAT SAID, this is a beautifully made thriller unlike anything you’ve probably seen in a long time.

    I’m a big film score buff, and the soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is absolutely jaw dropping. One of the finest pieces of his career. And the build-up to the final battle will give you goose bumps. It’s basically 300 without the toxic masculinity. Plus, what makes the movie work is that Banderas really isn’t the hero – he’s just playing a part in a much larger story.

    The movie was a huge flop, but I don’t know anyone who saw it that doesn’t like it. It definitely found an audience on video and I think it’s largely considered a hidden gem by action fans. Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum gave it a “Straight A” in her review, and I believe it made her top ten that year. Hell, even the jaded movie theater industry guys I saw an early screening of the movie with enjoyed it in rapt silence – and those jackasses pretty much MST3K everything.

    It’s only about an hour and forty-five minutes long, and I highly recommend the shit out of it. God damn, just talking about it makes me want to go watch it right now.

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