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Episode 231 - The Master of Disguise (Live from The Beacon Theatre)

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Live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City, Paul, June and Jason discuss the 2002 comedy The Master of Disguise. They talk all things Pistachio Disguisey including the Turtle Club, constant farts, Italian accents, and what it means to be a master of disguise.  

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This movie was at least on the short side which made it relatively painless to watch. I didn't find it funny but there've been plenty of other movies for this podcast that were more of a chore to get through.

I've been hung up on one particular detail in the film, which I noticed during the film's master of disguise training montage. Pistachio is seen reading "The Master of Disguise for Dummies." Of course, the For Dummies series is very well-known and widely available, which raises the question of why such a book would exist if being a master of disguise is supposedly a hereditary secret. Presumably, the intention of such a book would be to allow anyone who read it to be able to become a master of disguise, regardless of lineage, and it would mean that the Disguiseys' talent really isn't that special or unique to them, which would undermine the film's premise. In this universe, this book shouldn't exist, and the only justification consistent with the film's plot for such a book existing would be that someone in the Disguisey family made their own "for dummies" book and infringed upon that trademark (oh dear.)

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Comedian Jamie Loftus tells a story about a friend of hers that worked on the set of Master of Disguise. Apparently, parts of the turtle scene were filmed on September 11, 2001. Despite the fact that America had just suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history the director didn’t let anyone go home and the entire cast and crew had to work a full day. Imagine trying to process a national tragedy of that magnitude while holding a boom mic over Dana Carvey in a turtle suit. That director should be brought up on war crimes.

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30 minutes ago, G0AT HER0 said:

Comedian Jamie Loftus tells a story about a friend of hers that worked on the set of Master of Disguise. Apparently, parts of the turtle scene were filmed on September 11, 2001. Despite the fact that America had just suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history the director didn’t let anyone go home and the entire cast and crew had to work a full day. Imagine trying to process a national tragedy of that magnitude while holding a boom mic over Dana Carvey in a turtle suit. That director should be brought up on war crimes.

Fellow listener of The Bechdel Cast!?

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Hi everyone! Paul wondered where the $16 million budget came from.

Might I suggest the soundtrack? 

Consider these songs:

Walking on Sunshine; Papa Don't Preach; Whip It; Eye of the Tiger; Conga (Miami Sound Machine); U Can't Touch This (M.C. Hammer); Happy Face (Destiny's Child); and the themes from Jaws and Chariots of Fire, just to name a few.

This is the soundtrack to a major blockbuster film, not this movie. Perhaps the director said to the music director, "use a song like this" (names the most obvious placeholder song he can think of)....and then they were too lazy to find a cheaper version, so they just used those exact songs.

 

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I had trouble with this episode. It kept repeating or something? Did this happen to anyone else or is my apple podcasts haunted? 

I worked in a movie theater when this came out. So I saw it in the theater. (Since it was free.) All I really remember was--and I think it was this film--we had a standee in the lobby of the various characters Carvey plays. Usually someone would take those home. No one wanted it so it sat around it the back room for awhile. 

But in hindsight, I am surprised the studio spent the money to market this. Did they think it was good? 

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I remember renting the vhs from the local video store as a kid. I think I liked it because I was a child and it was a movie. But was also deeply disappointed in what I was given? I know that I was mostly upset by the lack of Turtle work. I felt like the trailer promised me more of that nonsense than I got. I think that this was the first time I was let down by a movie and realized movies could be bad

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18 minutes ago, gigi-tastic said:

I remember renting the vhs from the local video store as a kid. I think I liked it because I was a child and it was a movie. But was also deeply disappointed in what I was given? I know that I was mostly upset by the lack of Turtle work. I felt like the trailer promised me more of that nonsense than I got. I think that this was the first time I was let down by a movie and realized movies could be bad

As Don Henley observed, this is the end of the innocence.

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5 hours ago, TrueBreenius said:

This movie was at least on the short side which made it relatively painless to watch. I didn't find it funny but there've been plenty of other movies for this podcast that were more of a chore to get through.

I've been hung up on one particular detail in the film, which I noticed during the film's master of disguise training montage. Pistachio is seen reading "The Master of Disguise for Dummies." Of course, the For Dummies series is very well-known and widely available, which raises the question of why such a book would exist if being a master of disguise is supposedly a hereditary secret. Presumably, the intention of such a book would be to allow anyone who read it to be able to become a master of disguise, regardless of lineage, and it would mean that the Disguiseys' talent really isn't that special or unique to them, which would undermine the film's premise. In this universe, this book shouldn't exist, and the only justification consistent with the film's plot for such a book existing would be that someone in the Disguisey family made their own "for dummies" book and infringed upon that trademark (oh dear.)

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Or....this is a meta commentary on the inscrutability of this movie. The book is intended for viewers of Master of Disguise, the film we are watching. This movie happened to us, we are the "dummies". Half the book deals with the Magic vs. Acting? debate, and there is an entire chapter devoted to Bo Derek entitled "James Brolin's Vagina".

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Of all the movies I've watched for this podcast, this maybe the worst one. I realize it was a kids movie but it was beyond dumb and the laughs were non-existent (sorry, Jason and June). I would imagine Dana Carvey would like to write this one off as a bad choice except that he wrote the movie. *turtle*

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Okay, the Disguiseys are supposed to be Italian. Pistachio was probably born and raised in the US. But one of them impersonated Abe Lincoln. This means that they'd been in the United States for at least four generations before Grandfather (Harold Gould). What gives? Are there American and Italian branches of the family? Did they come to the US in the early 19th century, then return to Italy late in the century? Incidentally, Harold Gould is only 17 years older than James Brolin, and Brolin only 15 years older than Carvey. Those Disguiseys breed young. But Pistachio is going to be the outlier, at least 47 when he has a kid with Jennifer. 

 

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I just noticed in the credits that Paula Abdul was the choreographer

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I found Data’s treatment after kidnapping Mama Disguisey to be rather bizarre.  He somehow drugs/brainwashes her into thinking she’s still cooking at home.  If he has such ability, why doesn’t he use that to help him steal the Constitution and other ‘stuff’.  
 

And then he periodically threatens her by having a pair of arms rising out of a pile of flour?!?  Are they real arms?  If so is the person in the flour also a Master of Disguise?

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When Jason tried comparing this movie to Harry Potter, Paul questioned who Voldemort would be in this film.  I think the answer is pretty obvious:

 

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12 hours ago, doxrus said:

Did they come to the US in the early 19th century, then return to Italy late in the century?

The implication is that the Masters of Disguise are essentially the Illuminati — capable of invisibly controlling world events. I think that's what they were going for with their iconography and quasi-magical abilities as well.

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This was the first movie that I've watched for this show that I legitimately found painful to sit through.

I was at the theater that night.  I'm relieved that they cut some of the more obnoxious stuff from the audience out.

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36 minutes ago, starri said:

This was the first movie that I've watched for this show that I legitimately found painful to sit through.

I was at the theater that night.  I'm relieved that they cut some of the more obnoxious stuff from the audience out.

Yes, I was at a Boston show for an episode that hasn't dropped yet. If other audiences are anything like the audience from that night, then some angel is editing these podcasts to an extent that I hadn't appreciated until now. Is it just me or are audiences more obnoxious these days? It didn't seem so long ago when people would behave respectfully at a show.

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On 1/17/2020 at 2:15 PM, G0AT HER0 said:

Comedian Jamie Loftus tells a story about a friend of hers that worked on the set of Master of Disguise. Apparently, parts of the turtle scene were filmed on September 11, 2001. Despite the fact that America had just suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history the director didn’t let anyone go home and the entire cast and crew had to work a full day. Imagine trying to process a national tragedy of that magnitude while holding a boom mic over Dana Carvey in a turtle suit. That director should be brought up on war crimes.

Can you imagine being in a turtle suit processing 9/11? The mind reels

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16 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I just noticed in the credits that Paula Abdul was the choreographer

Do we think this is a better get than the Bratz movie she lost out on?

 

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I'm going to shock you guys but... I don't think the Disguisey are really Italian! They CLAIM to be from Italy. HOWEVER their name ends in a Y! This is important because most Italian surnames end in a vowel, like Medici, Ferrero, or   Brambilla.  According to Wikipedia " 

A large number of Italian surnames end in i, due to the medieval Italian habit of identifying families by the name of the ancestors in the plural (which have an -i suffix in Italian). For instance, Filippo from the Ormanno family (gli Ormanni) would be called "signor Filippo degli Ormanni" ("Mr. Filippo of the Ormannos"). In time, the middle possessive portion ("of the") was dropped, but surnames became permanently pluralized and never referred to in the singular, even for a single person. Filippo Ormanno would therefore be known as Filippo Ormanni.[9] Some families, however, opted to retain the possessive portion of their surnames, for instance Lorenzo de' Medici literally means "Lorenzo of the Medici" (de' is a contraction of dei, also meaning "of the"; c.f. The Medicis).

Some common suffixes indicate endearment (which may also become pluralized and receive an -i ending), for example:

-ello/illo/etto/ino (diminutive "little"), e.g., Bernardello, Vettorello, Iannuccillo, Bortoletto, Bernardino, Ravellino, Verdino

-one/ne (augmentative "big"), e.g., Mangione, Bellone, Capone, Pastene, Mantone, Vallone

-accio/azzo/asso (pejorative[10]), e.g., Boccaccio, Terrazzo, Varasso"

Also you could have an ending based on your region.

The few areas where names often end in consonants are Sardinia ( apparently Sardinian is a unrelated Romance language that doesn't follow the same rules. )  , the North East (specifically Veneto and Friuli were brought up a lot on message boards . Apparently the latter is near Croatia and Slovenia and during the fascist regime names were "italiniated"  with an ending i.), Names of Jewish descent ( often they were emigrants often). But those names tend to end in S, N, and ICH.  S for Sardinia Like Piars, Marras, N for Veneto with Furlan, Brusadin, and for Friuli more Slavic names like Cosulich or Marinich. You get German sounding names in cities near the Austrian alps as well. 

However notice that not a single one of these kinds of names ends in a Y !  You want to know why?!

 BECAUSE ITALIAN LACKS THE LETTER Y!!!!!!! 

Italian has 21 letters in their alphabet and lacks  J, K, W, X and Y motherfuckers! They are apparently present in loanwords , or words from other languages, and have their own pronunciation but aren't I'm the official alphabet. 

I'm telling you the Disguisey family are frauds!  Why else would they live like extreme Italian stereotypes?  To put people off the scent! It's just yet another layer of deceit!

Could it have been the mistake of a careless person at Ellis island? Probably not. The myth of workers at Ellis island changing people's names is one that has been disprove n a bunch of times. Names were actually taken from ships manifests. They were most likely written in the person's country of origin and by someone who spoke the passengers language. Also interpreters were used if need be. The manifests were used to confirm the identity and then checked off. The only name change could happen if a person CHOSE IT. Also they had to do so BEFORE getting to Ellis island because it would be the name they put on the manifest! If course once in the country you could also easily drop your old identity if you wished.

Therefore I believe that the "Disguisey" family went to Italy on purpose to flee and add a new layer of disguise to the family. 

What were they fleeing? A job gone wrong? An old enemy who was about to unmask them? Were they being kicked out of town for their flatulence? I demand answers! 

 

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2 hours ago, joshg said:

Is it just me or are audiences more obnoxious these days? It didn't seem so long ago when people would behave respectfully at a show.

I can forgive some of it.  It was the late show, people had been drinking, and the theater was sweltering.  But yeah, editing is an art.

I did genuinely love that Tall and Jason only referred to Brent Spiner as Data throughout the entire thing.  I'm sure June had no idea what they were talking about.

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Is this movie fixable/ saveable? Like I'm on board with the idea of a family who solves crime with the help of disguises.   So is there a world where that bare bones idea works? Or is this just not possible?

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On 1/18/2020 at 8:11 AM, joshg said:

Hi everyone! Paul wondered where the $16 million budget came from.

Might I suggest the soundtrack? 

Consider these songs:

Walking on Sunshine; Papa Don't Preach; Whip It; Eye of the Tiger; Conga (Miami Sound Machine); U Can't Touch This (M.C. Hammer); Happy Face (Destiny's Child); and the themes from Jaws and Chariots of Fire, just to name a few.

This is the soundtrack to a major blockbuster film, not this movie. Perhaps the director said to the music director, "use a song like this" (names the most obvious placeholder song he can think of)....and then they were too lazy to find a cheaper version, so they just used those exact songs.

 

I think the soundtrack was the aspect of this movie that offended me the most. So many great songs just ruined or used wrong. Seriously how bad do you have to fuck up for Conga not to make something better?

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It's time for...

How Did This Get Named?

Frankly today's movie is not all that funny or interesting but different enough to still comment on. 

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変身パワーズ (Henshin pawaazu) or Transformation Powers!

What is interesting to note is that while at first I thought this title was self explanatory (he has powers that allow him to transform) upon reading some Amazon reviews there appears to be a slight double meaning which I don't know if it was intentional or not. A lot of reviews seemed to be this the title was a play on Austin Powers. Obviously there is a slight Mike Meyers connection to all this but I'm not sure if that is intentional or not. The poster has a colour scheme not unlike the first Austin Powers, so maybe. Anyway you'll be happy to know that this movie is rocking a two star rating on Amazon and nobody has given it more than three stars. Choice comments from the reviews are "These are American styled jokes and that must be be why I'm not laughing", "I think this is a kids movie", "The most interesting thing is the special feature on the Turtle Club" and my favourite "Another in the dark history of nice guy Adam Sandler's Happy Madison's attempts to give his loser friends their own movie."

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