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Episode 101 — Xanadu: LIVE!

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They completely changed the story in the Xanadu musical, which is why it was actually enjoyable.

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Trivia time: one of the muses was played by Sandahl Bergman, who would play Valeria in Conan the Barbarian two years after this.

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XanaDOUCHE! Had anyone said that yet?

 

What about XanaDEUCE, because they must have dropped a deuce on a piece of paper and pitched it as the screenplay!

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I saw the Broadway musical when I was in a theater camp and I really enjoyed it. Unlike the movie, it was a straight comedy and fully embraced the ridiculousness of the plot. Tony Roberts (best known as Woody Allen's sidekick in Play It Again, Sam and Annie Hall) played the dual role of Gene Kelly and Zeus and he was a lot of fun to watch. I think the ELO songs are pretty awesome, I don't know what Jason has against Jeff Lynne who even if you don't like his work with ELO has produced some really cool albums for Tom Petty and George Harrison.

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I feel like the world is ready for a sequel to Xanadu, but after a little investigating, I learned that there isn't one in the works! We must right this wrong. If Mr. Manzukas isn't too busy writing Nundercover, I have a project for him, here's the pitch: a reimagination of Xanadu, but instead of Greek gods, we go Norse mythology. Odin will be there, Thor, Loki.....Odin's owl. And following the Nordic theme, we trade those skates for ice skates. It will be called "Ragnarock!!" (Two exclamations for copyright purposes). The plot will be that the ancient Norse gods have returned and are wreaking havoc, but are placated when they discover a power they have never encountered; the power of rock! Various modern rock bands must perform awesome ballads, one after the other to appease the gods, or else the world will be destroyed!

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if you have not check this movie out yet, and need a copy, check out the amazon.com's

Xanadu (Magical Edition)

 

I kid you not.

 

14ech8o.jpg

 

not sure what the magic edition would get you that isn't in the special widescreen edition.

 

Ohh it comes with a reflective mirror like disc you can snort bath salts off of.

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I think this movie is super fun to watch. It is awful, but I love the awfulness. The awfulness is downright delightful!

 

I honestly wonder how much better the movie would have been had it had almost any other actor in the lead role. Speaking of which, I suspect Michael Beck edits his own [brief] Wikipedia page as it ends in an odd reference to his 30th wedding anniversary.

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I feel like the world is ready for a sequel to Xanadu, but after a little investigating, I learned that there isn't one in the works! We must right this wrong. If Mr. Manzukas isn't too busy writing Nundercover, I have a project for him, here's the pitch: a reimagination of Xanadu, but instead of Greek gods, we go Norse mythology. Odin will be there, Thor, Loki.....Odin's owl. And following the Nordic theme, we trade those skates for ice skates. It will be called "Ragnarock!!" (Two exclamations for copyright purposes). The plot will be that the ancient Norse gods have returned and are wreaking havoc, but are placated when they discover a power they have never encountered; the power of rock! Various modern rock bands must perform awesome ballads, one after the other to appease the gods, or else the world will be destroyed!

Wait, so you want to hire an actual Greek guy to do a reboot based on NORSE mythology? Eh, makes about as much sense as this one already...

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I think Michael Beck has developed a decent sense of humor about his place in movie history. I can't remember where, but once upon a time I read an interview with him where he mentioned that The Warriors had opened a lot of doors for him in Hollywood, and then Xanadu promptly slammed them all shut again. I love The Warriors and while I'm never quite sure if it's actually a good movie or just a cult movie that has a great concept behind it that's at least competently executed, I remember his performance as being fairly good, although James Remar and Lynne Thigpen (RIP, much respect) are obviously the ones who stand out.

 

I have to fault the guy who gave "XanaDon't" as his alternate title, because there was an off-Broadway musical called "Zanna, Don't!" that ran about ten years ago. Although I may be the only HDTGM listener who would know that.

 

Also, like almost all of the live episodes, this one made me laugh until my sides hurt. It's been a truly crappy week, and I really needed that, so Paul, June, Zouks, and Michaela, my heartfelt thanks.

 

Does the soul who created the Bingo card have it online anywhere? I've been trying to imagine what's on it, aside from "'And That's Just about The Point where I Came,'" "Insane June Theory," "Luke's Sister from Gilmore Girls," and "Pacino Impression."

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Fascinating movie, great episode. Two things:

 

The talking (and singing) vagina movie exists:

https://www.youtube....h?v=41IsnJUOVgo

 

The second is that I've been giving altogether too much thought to the Andy Gibb of it all. This movie makes much more sense as an Andy Gibb vehicle IF in the first draft, Sonny was a songwriter. Follow the train of thought:

 

Sonny is a songwriter who is paid by a record label to record spot-on cover versions of popular songs for licensing purposes, or Muzak. When he tries to add his own spin to anything, the head of the label admonishes him to stay inside the lines and only do flat covers, true to the original recording in every way but the one that matters, legally.

 

The movie opens with Sonny trying to write lyrics to whatever song happens at the end, then crumpling the lyrics and tossing them away.

 

When he has a discussion with Gene Kelly about music, he's coming from an informed place, not an entitled shitty one. Well, maybe an informed shitty one.

 

The decision to open the club is about getting his music heard, by erecting his own venue. He is in the band at the end.

 

I'm not saying it would be a GOOD movie, but it would be a better one, and one that would have Bee Gees music in it, probably, and also, one closer to the heart of the source material, which was about a playwright who wrote musicals about mythology, who is visited by the muse because she doesn't like the way muses are being portrayed in his new project.

 

I want to stop thinking about this now.

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This is very important to me, and I need to talk about it. One of the other muses is played by Sandahl Bergman, who I will love forever due to her role in Conan the Barbarian as Valeria (another instance in which she played a supernatural character). I think it's a little like Matt Gourley's love of Grace Jones from A View to a Kill. Based on her filmography (and this pains me to say it) I can't objectively say she is a good actress, but she'll always be Valeria to me.

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This is very important to me, and I need to talk about it. One of the other muses is played by Sandahl Bergman, who I will love forever due to her role in Conan the Barbarian as Valeria (another instance in which she played a supernatural character). I think it's a little like Matt Gourley's love of Grace Jones from A View to a Kill. Based on her filmography (and this pains me to say it) I can't objectively say she is a good actress, but she'll always be Valeria to me.

 

Just for you man!

 

[media='']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE8bPud_Gck[/media]

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That had to be a recording studio with sets in it for some reason, because it couldn't have been where they shot music videos. Music videos weren't "A Thing" yet when Xanadu was released.

 

It was definitely a recording studio with "sets" for "inspiration." But gotta break it to ya': the Beatles were doing music videos in the 60's. And they weren't even the first ones.

 

MTV hadn't started until a year after Xanadu, but there were plenty of music videos before that.

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This movie was so bad that it created the Razzies.

 

YES! I was waiting for Scheer or somebody else to point this out, but they never did! How could they miss this?!

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Had to contribute this little background tidbit...

 

When I was still in high school (we're talking some 22 years ago now), the members of a breakfast morning crew on a local FM radio station were each recounting their most embarrassing celebrity encounters. The lead announcer* told his tale:

 

In his first job, straight out of journalism school as an entertainment reporter, he scored the plum role of interviewing Olivia Newton-John, who had returned home to attend the Sydney premiere of Xanadu. Bonus - he got to accompany her to the screening. Apparently he was the envy of the office.

 

Unfortunately, poor guy couldn't remember any of it... because he had fallen asleep during the movie - with Olivia seated next to him...

 

Olivia was by all accounts very sweet about it, saying something along the lines of: 'That's okay - I know it's a horrible movie'. So it wasn't just the critics!

 

* From memory, the announcer's name was Paul Holmes (2dayFM, Sydney).

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if you have not check this movie out yet, and need a copy, check out the amazon.com's

Xanadu (Magical Edition)

 

I kid you not.

 

14ech8o.jpg

 

not sure what the magic edition would get you that isn't in the special widescreen edition.

 

Ohh it comes with a reflective mirror like disc you can snort bath salts off of.

 

Is Olivia Newton-John, Nyan Cat?!

220px-Nyan_cat_250px_frame.PNG

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So assuming that waitress at the end was NOT actually Kira, this means that after Zeus finally allows Kira "just one more night" with Sonny, she spends it dancing and singing (and changing costumes) instead of actually spending it with Sonny. All he gets is a kiss blown at him before she turns into light, not even one actual kiss.

 

PS I was very pleased to find out we have a copy of the Xanadu comic in our library (at Marvel)!

 

15676508453_b8b9b8321e.jpg

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I thought the waitress at the end was Kira, and that her parents had relented, that being the point of the "I forget what's different, a moment or eternity" discussion. To gods, the time Kira's going to (in the best-case scenario) spend with Sonny (about 40, 50 years?) is a blink of an eye, so it's pointless to hold her back. I thought that the "Can I talk to you for a second" thing was meant to be flirty/witty, which is maybe me giving too much credit to the writer?

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PS I was very pleased to find out we have a copy of the Xanadu comic in our library (at Marvel)!

Oh wow, I'd recognized the name from a Like I'd received on my Krull comment, and I was going to ask if you were THE person! Geeky story: I met the model for Tim Bradstreet's Punisher covers through E-Bay when he was interested in getting more details on items he was interested in purchasing from me that featured his likeness.

 

Also, I got to be a SHIELD agent in "Winter Soldier" when it filmed in Cleveland. It was pretty rad.

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Oh man! So jealous!

It was a lot better than when I was Gotham PD for a day on "Dark Knight Rises" a few years back. I'm pretty sure I got murdered in that movie. Possibly twice.

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