Back to the Future Goes West, Tom Cruise Loves Limp Bizkit, and two American Movies Duke it Out in the Middle East

May 22-28: Nic Cage is a top gun, 50 Cent doesn’t die tryin’, Jackie Chan goes west, Disney adapts a videogame series poorly, Sex and the City leaves the city for the desert, Jesus comes to Canada, Eminem is Slim Shady, and goodbye to Andy Richter, Michael J. Fox, Tracey Ullman, and You Can’t Do That on Television. 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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8 thoughts on “Back to the Future Goes West, Tom Cruise Loves Limp Bizkit, and two American Movies Duke it Out in the Middle East

  1. Interesting timing on “A Killing in a Small Town”. The two nights before that, ABC aired a miniseries called “Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase” starring Shelley Long. Truddi had been abused by a terrible stepfather, and developed several other personalities that helped her survive. She tracked down that stepfather and planned to kill him, though I believe she ended up grabbing scissors instead of an axe (and as I recall, ended up walking away and letting him live). Just thought it was another odd example of networks copying each other’s ideas.

  2. Chris, I’m gonna fight you over that Mission Impossible take. Rouge Nation is one of the best spy thrillers Ive ever seen

  3. I agree with the Tom Cruise take. I want to hate Tom Cruise but he clearly loves movies and the art of movie making. He’s a great actor.

    I remember Malcolm and Eddie. I was a big fan but it was on “black night” on UPN so I get why it will wallow in obscurity.

    Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Greys Anatomy premiered in 2004 and saved ABC. It was when the ensemble drama really kicked off and really changed TV. I never watched Lost but do remember when around season 2 or 3 people were already growing tired of it and tapping out.

    I saw Dewey Cox in the theatre opening weekend. It was so good and introduced me to so much different music 18 year old me didn’t know about. Also I get why it failed. My friends didn’t want to see it because “I don’t know who Dewey Cox is”. People really didn’t realize it was a parody movie and not another Oscar bait music biopic.

  4. Given that Twin Peaks is arguably the most important and influential series on every TV show that has followed it to this day, maybe in the future try not to get so many basic facts wrong about it.  (Even a cursory read of a wikipedia page could help you.) Laura’s murder was NOT solved at the end of season 1, and David Lynch did not leave the show at that point, either (he directed the season 2 premiere among other S2 episodes and cast himself as FBI Bureau Chief in early season 2 episodes). And don’t negate co-creator Mark Frost’s contribution to the show. He was the one who wrote and directed the S1 finale you’re talking about and was more present on the series in S1 than Lynch in some ways because Lynch was off making Wild At Heart. (In fact, contrary to what you say, Lynch was perhaps MORE present in the first few episodes of S2 than in S1, though he did leave in the middle of that season, eventually returning for the end of S2.)

    A lot of people who binge the show in a weekend on Netflix make the (stupid) mistake that season 1 ends with the reveal of Laura’s killer and the resolution of the “Who killed Laura Palmer?” plotline (the 9th episode of season 2) but you should know better since 302010’s whole point is that it examines media week-by-week. Also, in describing the events of the S1 finale, you got nearly every character wrong (e.g. it’s Catherine not Shelly who’s tied up in the burning mill, Hank Jennings not Bobby Briggs who shoots Leo, etc., etc.). Seriously, if you can’t be bothered to watch the show, at least skim wikipedia.

  5. The (first) end of 24 has me thinking about the awesome breakdown of the series Jon Bois did. He uses the same smooth jazz and well produced charts everyone loves from his sports videos to show how Jack Bauer is the most miserable bastard in the world who ruins everything around him. Check it out!

  6. Firebird. What was the best film about the air force OTHER than Top Gun?
    Back to the Future Part III. I think this may have been the first western I ever saw, which does really show that the people making much of the pop culture I loved in my youth were from a different generation then me because Westerns were huge for them and a complete culturally black hole for me. What was the first Western you ever saw?
    What were the lines in Back to the Future Part III that were also in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
    The Back to the Future Part III Train at Universal.
    Nickelodeon. You can’t do that on Television. I absolutely hated the Barf sketches, regarding them as in horrible taste, but I never had the slightest problem with the firing squad killing children.
    clip of the Tracey Ullman’s sketch about dancers stealing her underwear and having to do physical comedy to hide her crotch.
    Madonna’s “I’m Breathless” sounds like a weird concept album. Has it ever been done since?
    Mission Impossible 2. What really amazes me is that this is a 24 year old franchise (with two new films in production) that has made billions but I feel like it has very few fans and people mostly forget that it exists?
    Michael J. Fox leaves Spin city. I know very little of this show. Is there any “You have at least watch THIS episode!” of it?

    Andy Richter ends Conan run. To me Andy Richter was such a huge part of the Conan show that I pretty much stopped watching it when he left (to be fair this was combined with life changes too). What I’ll always remember about him is the interview with Ed McMan where Ed was talking about how Andy is the only sidekick left and that when Andy dies it’s all over for the sidekicks and Andy just sputters out, “I’m thirty-two!”
    I feel like Daikatana is known solely for the “Make you his bitch” advertising slogan. Are there any other video games that are more famous for their ads than for the game itself?
    I really want to go to bat for Agora, the film about the female roman philosopher Hypatia. The Roman Empire lasted a really really long time but we almost always only see a few decades of it (The Civil Wars and the early decades of Christianity). This film covers the transition of Rome from being an Empire’s whose official religion was Paganism to one whose official religion was Christianity and it does it in an adult and fascinating way; showing the complexity and the shifting tides of opinion in the Empire all while never forgetting that these were real people with their own personal problems. It was great and I wish more people watched it.
    Prince of Persia. I watched this last week and I’ve forgotten almost everything about it between that point and now. Disney was really smart to buy Marvel and Star Wars because other than the original Pirates trilogy I’m not sure what memorable live-action films they have created in the 21st century.
    Breaking Bad Fly episode. What is your favorite bottle episode of all time? I think this is mine.
    The Ending to Lost. I fell out in season 2. Season 1 was SO good in my mind, that I have considered trying to “speed watch” the series where I just pick the 12 best episodes after season 1 and watch them to get a sense of how the show progressed after I left it.
    24. I went away for a week and my wife binged a season and a half of 24 and after that I never caught up. I enjoyed the show and wanted to, but life was just too busy for me to find the time to watch the episodes that she already watched so it became “her show” to watch when we weren’t together.
    “cause the boys in the hood are always”

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