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JoelSchlosberg

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  1. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 233 — Space Jam LIVE!

    NBA Jam was famously the first arcade game to earn a billion dollars in revenue, so its level of popularity was on an order of magnitude comparable to Space Jam merchandise. And each of those billion dollars was fed in to an on-site arcade machine in quarters (each of which purchased a "quarter" of a basketball game), without any DLC or ancillary revenue streams. But the presentation of the game was so energetic and fun, with Monstar-level superhuman plays and classic catchphrases like "HE'S ON FIRE!" and "BOOMSHAKALAKA!" from legendary voice actor Tim Kitzrow's hyped-up announcer, that each buck felt like it was well spent no matter how badly it was played.
  2. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 233 — Space Jam LIVE!

    One possible source for the association of the term "jam" with basketball (or confirmation that they were already associated) is the Michael Jackson song by that name. The music video is largely set in a basketball court where Michael Jordan joins the other MJ as a guest star: There's also an animated short called "Jam" mentioned in the book Young Animators and Their Discoveries, which quotes its young animator Kevin Huart explaining exactly what he meant by the term: "The title, Jam, is used in the sense of a jam session, like musicians going out just to have a good time, a free, atmospheric thing. It doesn't have anything to do with some grape jelly that appears at one point in the movie." No basketball is mentioned, but the cartoon does have aliens and home invasion: "There isn't a big plot to Jam. There are two little Martianlike creatures who come out of a book called The Mysterious Worlds, adn they explore my living room and my kitchen and they like what's happening."
  3. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 233 — Space Jam LIVE!

    When they said that Space Jam got a D+ CinemaScore grade, that just didn't seem right for a rating drawn from audience members who had chosen to go see the movie (and thus not including people who had avoided it on principle). Looking it up on their website shows that its actual CinemaScore is an A- ... with the D+ probably coming from that being the grade in the Entertainment Weekly review that was quoted as calling it "greed promoted as synergy" just before mentioning the CinemaScore.
  4. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 233 — Space Jam LIVE!

    Two quick observations about video game tie-ins: first, not only is Space Jam not the most incongruous movie HDTGM has done that got a video game, it's not the most incongruous movie HDTGM has done live in Chicago that got a video game: https://s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/diqiu-production/32243e44-a877-11e2-9601-00242129f07b.jpg No kidding, the Blues Brothers 2000 movie got a Nintendo 64 game, and the actual gameplay has the same goofy cartoon art style as the cover. Second, the Space Jam video game wasn't even the first video game to put the Looney Tunes in a basketball contest with gameplay specifically based on NBA Jam! That would be a game called "Looney Tunes B-Ball" released a year before Space Jam: https://www.mobygames.com/images/covers/l/231782-looney-tunes-b-ball-snes-front-cover.jpg
  5. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 233 — Space Jam LIVE!

    It's not quite the case that every film critic hated Space Jam. At least two of them gave it a big thumbs up: To be sure, Siskel and Ebert might be predisposed to see a movie-star quality in Michael Jordan since he's from their own Chicago, but they do mostly like the rest of the movie as well. And they bring up a comparison to another HDTGM movie that I don't recall was ever being mentioned in the episode: Kazaam! Which raises the question of whether Space Jam is at least better than that as a movie vehicle for a '90s superstar basketball player. I will say that it's kind of ironic to hear Siskel decry Kazaam making Shaq a "genie" as opposed to just playing himself to be a "manufactured" role, when convolutedly "manufactured" is exactly what every single thing about the premise of Space Jam is except Michael Jordan just playing basketball like he does in real life.
  6. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 192 - Striptease: LIVE!

    By complete coincidence, this week I've also been reading The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of, a book by science fiction writer Thomas M. Disch about his love-hate relationship with his genre. It's not surprising that he deals with L. Ron Hubbard as one of the more infamous personalities in the field, but I was still startled that he actually does bring up the issue of whether Battlefield Earth and the Mission Earth series were ghostwritten! "As a believer that genius is induplicable, even inverse genius, I am inclined to believe they are his."
  7. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 192 - Striptease: LIVE!

    According to a 1996 CNN article "Demi Moore puts her all into movie roles" Ms. Moore did in fact "research" her role at real-life strip clubs:
  8. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 192 - Striptease: LIVE!

    Did anyone else notice how similar the logo in the poster and the font of the opening credits is to the title design of a very different work of cinema that begins with the letters S, T and R? They both seem to be based on a font called ITC Benguiat - and most of the differences were changes made for the Stranger Things logo: The logo is admittedly and obviously a throwback to '80s horror book covers by the likes of Stephen King, but I like to think that it's also a nod to how even Eleven would be horrified by some of the sights of Striptease:
  9. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 192 - Striptease: LIVE!

    When the New York Times reviewed the first book in the series, they said that "the characters were thoroughly obnoxious (although not in any interesting way)" - that could very well be it! It's definitely not the title of the particular book in the series the driver was reading at the time: "Villiany Victorious" in a movie whose antagonists are about as pathetically inept and ineffectual as, well, Terl in Battlefield Earth. Which I'm surprised you didn't mention - the Mission Earth series achieved the distinction of being even worse received than its infamously reviled predecessor. Admittedly, I am impressed by the driver having the dedication to have read all 3,249 pages of the 8 volumes in the series preceding Villainy Victorious - over 3 times more than the 1,050 pages of Battlefield Earth! The ghostwriter/editor of Mission Earth HAS in fact gone public about the experience, with this lengthy account full of the gory details. Ironically, "Villainy Victorious" was the one title for a book in the series that was the idea of Hubbard and not the ghostwriter: http://www.lermanet....issionEarth.htm Oh, and the Mission Earth books have a soundtrack! (As did Battlefield Earth, but it wasn't even subsequently made into a movie that would have music.) As you might guess, the music isn't exactly Annie Lennox quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=522hrnzve0k (PS: I haven't read that ghostwriter's account in ages - probably last around the time that the Battlefield Earth movie came out! - and I had misremembered it relating the ghosters/editors creating a lot more of the books from whole cloth, rather than just the "previously on..." introductions to volumes 2-10. But in a sense it is way more L. Ron Hubbard's megalomaniac style to actually write more than a million words of a manuscript, and then allow subordinates to make as few changes as possible, rather than lazily doing an outline and hoping that they'd flesh it out. Although it could very well be that he was losing it as he got toward the end of the original unedited version.)
  10. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 192 - Striptease: LIVE!

    The editor of this movie is one Anne V. Coates: First off, yes, this of all movies was edited by a woman (who later went on to edit Fifty Shades of Grey)! But she's also the legendary editor of Lawrence of Arabia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ccB1KTzr9o Some of the less distinguished titles in her filmography have also been previously featured on HDTGM, like Congo and Masters of the Universe, so I'm surprised nobody's mentioned her yet. RogerEbert.com's Peter Sobczynski is probably right that the bad movies she edited would be even worse without her contributions (I'm less sure why he doesn't classify Striptease among the "outright junk" - both of the other HDTGM movies he mentions are conspicuously more watchable in a dumb-fun sort of way):
  11. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 191 - Rad: LIVE!

    A year later, Can't Buy Me Love was planning to be called Boy Rents Girl until they got the rights to use the Beatles song. Isn't it standard practice for movies to use a placeholder name if they can't get permission to use a song? But if they really wanted the perfect video game and song tie-in, they shouldn't have looked to Paperboy, Frogger, Glenn Frey or the Beatles, but to the "really rad" hip-hop beats of this Nintendo classic - released the same year as Rad in Japan only, they could have built the movie around a preview of the American version just like how The Wizard gave a sneak peek at Super Mario Bros. 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGZv30buf-U
  12. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 191 - Rad: LIVE!

    For those who haven't seen it: Plus if Death doesn't kill you, a tornado will: A Paperboy movie would also explain one of the other puzzling things about the game: if you're able to finish your paper route, you then go on a "training course" full of obstacles and opportunities for stunt jumps. That never seemed to have much relevance to newspaper delivery, even in a suburban neighborhood that's Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey meets Twister: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FL6SyBlySc And if Rad and Paperboy were the same franchise, it would probably be the all time champion of the movie with the most versions of a tie-in game! The crew thought that Lawnmower Man getting 3 different games was excessive (for that particular movie, it is), and the most games for a HDGTM movie I could find was 9 for Spider-Man 3. But that pales to the cross-pRadform cornucopia of 25 different versions listed on Paperboy's Wikipedia page: Arcade BBC Micro Acorn Electron Commodore 16 Commodore 64 Commodore Plus/4 Amstrad CPC ZX Spectrum Apple II TRS-80 Color Computer MS-DOS Apple IIGS NES/Famicom Amiga Atari Lynx Atari ST Master System Game Gear Sega Genesis Game Boy Game Boy Color Nintendo 64 Mobile phone Xbox 360 iPhone/iPod Touch
  13. What if it was the other way around, so that Tony Stark's day job is literally just to iron clothes? And if other superheroes had occupations that were literal versions of their names? Superman would be a superintendent. Batman would be a baseball player. The Punisher would be a dominatrix. The idea of giant flying robots invading the streets of NYC comes from the Superman cartoon The Mechanical Monsters, where they carry out the villain's diabolical evil plan to... steal jewelry. So in that context, it does make sense that their only opposition besides the hero would be local cops armed with Tommy guns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DadH3KjHZws
  14. Correction: Sin City was not released in the same year as Sky Captain but the next year - and in fact, its director met with the Conrans in the interim and modeled his digital-backlot approach on theirs:
  15. Well them starting off the movie with a prominent close-up of the "Hindenburg III" makes it clear from the get-go that history in the movie's universe hasn't unfolded in quite the same way as our own. If there's a zeppelin that never really existed at all, existing events could have occurred at different times. (Similar to how the sitcom The Goldbergs takes place in a deliberately vague "1980something" that blends its creator's memories of the entire decade, so that he can go to see Poltergeist on its theatrical run which was in the summer of 1982, but in the same episode wear a T-shirt of Top Gun and play The Legend of Zelda both of which didn't come out until 1986.) It's far from alone in such regard - the 1930s Frankenstein movies take place in a setting that's a mix of their own decade and the early 1800s of Mary Shelley's original book. And the anachronisms are less of a stretch than, say, Captain America: The First Avenger having the Unisphere which wasn't built until 1964. In fact, there's even a science fiction short story that won both of the top prizes for that category (the Hugo and Nebula awards) that specifically takes place in an alternate history wherein zeppelins regularly dock with the Empire State Building using technology that has been developed in the wake of the first and only World War - Fritz Leiber's "Catch That Zeppelin!" With Leiber spelling out what is implied in Sky Captain that Nazism never arose in the alternate timeline - instead of developing technologies of warfare, Germany has developed peaceful use of blimp tech that is clearly impractical for aerial combat.
  16. "Conran admits that he 'stole' from everything from comic books to B science fiction films to Citizen Kane."
  17. Maybe the meta-joke is that Sky Captain is just messing with Polly Perkins? Like telling someone that their shoelaces are untied, which actually are tied but they glance down to check - "made you look!" In any case, as several reviews have pointed out, if the lens cap WAS on, the un-exposed film could be used for another try at the photo!
  18. One rather ironic omission: for all the kvetching about the movie's alternately-washed-out-and-muddy color scheme and its excessive referencing of The Wizard of Oz, I don't think it was ever brought up that the former is a case of the latter! The opening "black and white" scenes in Kansas are actually sepia-toned (they used to be shown B&W on TV and VHS, but were always originally intended to be in shades of brown rather than gray)! The scene where Dorothy opens the door to full color Oz even had her dress and the door frame painted sepia so that it could be shot in-frame (ironic that Sky Captain did not use such practical tricks): https://youtube.com/watch?v=F4eQmTizTSo
  19. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 188 - Body Rock: LIVE!

    When Disney had "the Rock in Moana" sing, they weren't telling him to wing it, since it wasn't the first, or even the second, time that he had sung a song in a movie:
  20. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 175 - Ultraviolet: LIVE!

    Plus there's a 1991 precedent for using a lack of military-approved haircut to surprise advantage in combat:
  21. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 175 - Ultraviolet: LIVE!

    Maybe "bushido" is a reference to Bullshido?
  22. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 175 - Ultraviolet: LIVE!

    The impracticality of the villain's nose plugs was discussed, but was I the only one who was getting flashbacks to nasal equipment that adds to the lack of menace in another infamous bad movie?
  23. JoelSchlosberg

    Episode 175 - Ultraviolet: LIVE!

    While the biohazard symbol-shaped building was mentioned, the podcast didn't really go into just how impractical such a design would be, particularly the sharp corners at the edges of the crescents: Wouldn't it be super awkward if your cubicle was in the narrow space at the very tip? How far do hallways and stairwells/elevators extend to the end? Don't the sharp curves put unnecessary strain on the structure? There are real-life buildings in the shape of a sharp wedge, like the Flatiron Building in New York City, but they're usually built at intersections where the angles of intersecting streets is an external constraint. But the biohazard-symbol building is on a solid foundation with empty space between the buildings that isn't being used for anything! There aren't even skyway bridges connecting the main building with the three smaller buildings inside.
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