Episode 169: Masters of the Universe (1987)

Welcome, young listeners! Today’s lesson is that it’s nice to be nice! Isn’t that nice? Now watch us blow things up but somehow not actually hurt anyone! Hurrah! Lashings of ginger beer for everyone! So this week’s episode of “I Made From TV Love You!” is about a movie based on delightful 80’s children’s cartoon: “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” a show that taught us the values of friendship, teamwork, and obscenely over-developed thigh muscles (and chest muscles, arm muscles . . . pretty much all of them).  What few of you may know is that this tv series was actually based on a series of toys! I know! I was shocked too! It was certainly not based in any way on Conan the Barbarian ha ha what a silly thing to suggest.  Anyway, shortly after the poorly-animated TV show ended, the combined, staggering genius of Mattel and Golan-Globus decided that hey, 130 episodes just wasn’t enough of this gem: we need a live-action movie! And from this, we were given “Masters of the Universe,” starring the massively-thewed Dolph Lundgren and the inexplicably present Frank Langella.  Is the movie live? Does it have action? Find out! Because knowing is half the battle! . . .  hang on, that’s not the right one. . . because this movie is more than meets the eye! . . . no, no, dang it, that’s not right either . . .well, listen in and find out if we ever figure this out.

Poll question: what is the movie you’ve seen the greatest number of times, and how many times would that be? And by “seen,” we mean “watched all the way through,” not just glanced at a scene when you were channel flipping or had on in the background.

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 168: Mission: Impossible (1996)

Good afternoon, Mr. or Ms. Listener (and all the ships at sea).  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to listen to very special after-school episode of “I Made From TV Love You!” The movie you see before us is “Mission: Impossible,” the 1996 adaptation of yet another classic 60’s spy show that spawned a movie franchise that continues to devour everything in its path.  It has propelled the career of Tom Cruise to new heights . . . oh, um, sorry Mr. Cruise, that was insensitive . . . The show starred the ivory-haired, granite-faced Peter Graves (alumnus of the University of Minnesota) as well as a pre-Space 1999 Martin Landau and Barbara Bain as part of the IMF (“Independent Meatball Fondlers”) who went after Enemy Agents from the country of Enemyland (no real country is ever named in the show) and overcame them with cunning, meticulous planning, and brilliant disguises [disclaimer: “brilliant disguises” tended to mean rubber masks).  The film adaptation(s) do contain some meticulous planning but also way, WAY more explode-y parts.  Can Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt fill the brogans of Peter Graves as Jim Phelps? Well, Tom Cruise did not attend the University of Minnesota, so that’s a pretty big disadvantage to overcome.  Tune in and find out! This podcast will self-destruct during your next operating system update.

Poll question: Has there ever been a movie about a profession that made you say “I want to do THAT!” Conversely, has any movie about a profession ever made you say “I NEVER want to do that!”

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 167: Charlie’s Angels (2000)

Good morning, angelic listeners! We’re serving up another tasty tv dinner of “I Made From TV Love You!” And what will you find when you peel back the aluminum foil? Why, right there, next to the tater tots, is “Charlie’s Angels,” from director McG (no, he’s not McDonald’s new Happy Director Meal . . . or is he?) and producer Drew Barrymore, this cinematic adaptation takes on the pioneering tv show of the 70’s that bravely offered up the notion that women would be detectives, as long as they showed plenty of cleavage and wore a lot of evening dresses.  Working for a never-seen mysterious detective, these three women fight crime with the aid of Bosley, the most Watson-y bumbling sidekick since Nigel Bruce.  And why did they never meet/see/learn anything about Charlie? Because of that crime-fighting duo Stuff and Reasons tm! So does this movie follow in the high-heeled footsteps of its progenitor? Give a listen and see what Charlie says (spoiler: it has nothing to do with Good n’ Plenty candy).

Poll question: has product placement ever worked on you? Have you ever wanted to buy something placed in a movie?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 166: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Don’t touch that dial! We’ve got another episode of “I Made From TV Love You!”, movies spawned by the small screen! Ah, the Cold War.  What riches it provided.  The space race. The arms race.  The Red Scare that turned neighbor against neighbor.  The looming fear of nuclear annihilation. And the good things to come out of it? Ummm . . . well, a whole bunch of 1960’s spy shows! “Secret Agent Man,” “The Avengers” (no, not those Avengers), “Mission: Impossible” and, as you might have guessed, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” which brought us Napolean Solo (great-great-great-great-grandfather of Han. Don’t try to verify that) and Ilya Kuryakin.  Together, they fought for the U.N.C.L.E (“Unbelievably Nice Clowns Lifting Eggplants”) against the evil T.H.R.U.S.H. (“Terribly Hostile Ragamuffins Undermining Seattle Housing”).  I’m almost certain that’s what the acronyms stood for.  Anyway, 2015 brought us a big-screen version, with big, big-screen men Henry “Stop Calling Me Superman” Cavill and Arm-and-Hammer. No, wait, Armie Hammer, that’s it.  Also a rather small big-screen woman, Alicia “What Did My Agent Get Me Into” Vikkander.  Does this daring trio capture the suave, location-shot-based feel of the show? Give a listen and find out!

Poll question:  In a callback to our “what fictional character would you want to meet” question, what unusual or fantastic movie setting would you want to visit? Would you want to hang with the Navi on Pandora? Smoke a bowl with Bilbo in the Shire? [Thanks to Val for this question!]

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 165: George of the Jungle (1997)

Back again for more, are you? Well, we’ll soon fix that! This week, we’re hip-deep in “I Made From TV Love You!”, the series about movies inspired by their small-screen counterparts.  And this week . . .  ah, Jay Ward. You fine animator, you.  You gave us so much.  Rock and Bullwinkle.  Dudley Do-right. Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  Endless Captain Crunch commercials.  So . . . what happened? What took you from pithy wit and subtle political satire to and brain-dead Tarzan parody? This show didn’t even last a year . . . and yet three decades later, The All-Conquering Mouse decided that the world needed a live-action big-screen resurrection of this sad aberration, starring no less than a very oiled-up Brendan Fraser.  Oh, Jay.  Sweet, sweet Jay.  We’ll always remember you for Moose and Squirrel, not . . . that other thing.  But is this a fitting tribute to this unfortunate misstep? Does the remake surpass the original? And why won’t Disney consider Super Chicken as a long-needed addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Why, I ask you! Well, I can’t promise you an answer to that last one, but we’ll try to answer the others.  Give a listen!

Poll question: how much to a movie’s musical score (the background music, not the pop songs on the soundtrack) affect your cinematic experience? Tell, tell!

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 164: Star Trek (2009)

In the mid-1960’s, a television program appeared that would profoundly change the medium of tv, science fiction, American popular culture, and even scientific exploration.  Its influence is still felt today among its legions of fans, who range from “devoted” to “psychotic.” I’m speaking of course of 1965’s “My Mother The Car,” starring Jerry Van Dyke.  This criminally ignored, ground-breaking show was the first to consider the idea of the Singularity, where human consciousness and technology would subsume and be subsumed by each other, forming an entirely new form of sentience.  But since Hollywood has blindly and stubbornly rejected all of my spec scripts, there’s no movie to discuss so I guess we should talk about Space Walk or whatever that other show was called.

This cinematic version of Star Trek represents a very daring and risky venture, wherein the film’s creators decided to take a venerable and frighteningly-beloved franchise . . . and almost completely rewrite it, changing the characters’ backstories, presentation, and even, in effect, discarding the history of the show itself.  Does it succeed? Is it fascinating? Highly illogical? Be there whales here? Give a listen and find out!

Poll question: what fictional cinematic character would you most like to sit down and have a conversation with, maybe over lunch or drinks?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 163: The Addams Family (1991)

Holy cathode ray tubes! It’s a brand-new series here on “Max, Mike; Movies”! This time we’re checking out creations for the big screen that had their origins on the small screen. No, not on your phone, I’m talking about television . . . although recent technological and social changes really have redefined what the term “small screen” might refer to.  Heck, it might even make people think I’m talking about their smartwatches! The cultural and linguistic ramifications are seriously . . . hey, but, movies! Movies that were spawned by tv shows! That’s what we’re talking about in this new series “I Made-From-TV Love You” [note: title of series is a clumsy paraphrasing of an old Mystery Science Theater 3000 quote. Patent pending].  This week we’re starting off with a movie based on a tv show based on a series of New Yorker cartoons based on . . . probably some stuff scribbled on a bar napkin: “The Addams Family.” This is the live-action one, not to be confused with the recent CG movies or the family’s appearances on assorted episodes of Scooby Doo.  Give a listen and try to blot out the memory of the atrocities MC Hammer committed on the classic theme song.

Poll question: (a reversal of a question from a couple of shows ago) What is a movie that you love, or at least really enjoy, that everyone else can’t stand (or looks at you funny and edges away when you tell them you love it)?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 162: Back to the Future (1985)

And now we arrive at the end of our series “I’d Forgotten How Much I Hate Time Travel”! Or perhaps we’re just at the beginning . . . no, no, we’re really not.  Mike and I have now remembered just how much we do hate time travel and we’re quite done with it.  But not before we tackle one of the best-known and most beloved time travel movie of modern(ish) times, Robert Zemeckisisisisis’s’s’s original “Back to the Future”! We’ve got Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Crispin Glover! Great Scott! Yes, I’m sure there’s a guy named Scott in there somewhere and I’m sure he’s just great.  That’s probably him sitting next to Huey Lewis.  Anyway, this movie dares to ask the question: if you build a time machine out of a Delorean, how much cocaine does it take to power it? 80’s joke, heyoooo! Seriously, this movie does raise a number of interesting ideas about time travel, not the least of which is that apparently Polaroid photographs are incredibly sensitive, well-calibrated measurement tools for temporal anomalies.  Hear that, Captain Picard? All that fancy equipment on the Enterprise and all you needed was a cheap photo! What the heck am I talking about? What the heck am I EVER talking about? Give a listen and find out!

Poll question: what’s one of your favorite examples of perfect movie casting? I mean, what was that one character where you saw who was playing them and went “Yep, they couldn’t have done better”?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 161: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Welcome! Well, we still haven’t forgotten how much we hate time travel but maybe we will forget once the timeline changes! Again! For the first or last time! But this week, we’re checking out another time travel epic from 2014 (a big year for time travel movie, as last week’s entry can support) “Edge of Tomorrow” which, despite its title, is not a long-running daytime soap opera but rather a Tom Cruise science-fiction vehicle that fortunately also has Emily Blunt along as another passenger.  This has all the classic Tom Cruise elements: running, riding motorcycles, creepy chuckling . . . oh, and there’s aliens and time travel and soldiers in funky battle armor that no one seems to think they need training to use.  But most of all, this movie has . . . the Spanus.  What is the Spanus, you dare to ask? Give a listen and learn, but be warned! Once learned, this cannot be unlearned!

Poll question: what’s a movie that everyone else seems to love and adore but you either can’t stand it or it just strikes you as “meh….”?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/

Episode 160: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Hey there, true believers! It’s our pulse-pounding penultimate pulchritudinous package of “I’d Forgotten How Much I Hate Time Travel” limited edition, foil-covered mini-series! And we’re dealing with an entry in that Merry Mutant Marching Society “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Excelsior! ‘nuff said! Other catch phrases! Why this one, Lissome Listeners? Because this X-Magnum Opus is the one that deals most blatantly and obviously with time travel.  Based on one of the most beloved (and re-written) X-Men comic book storylines of the same name, this movie follows the X-Men as they attempt to rewrite a terrible historical event from the 1970’s that resulted in a dreadful post-apocalyptic world.  What is this event, you ask? Obviously it was the invention of bell-bottoms, that fashion nightmare that doomed humanity.  We . . . we didn’t know . . . we just didn’t know! Now which X-Men are we dealing with, you may ask? The Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellen X-Men or the James Macavoy/Michael Fassbender X-Men? You’re both right! It’s two! Two! Two X-Men in one! With a glistening drop of mutant retcin! Yes, this movie attempts to serve as a bridge between the older cinematic X-Men and the newer ones, with time travel thrown in.  Does it work? Does the time travel mangle our minds? Does this movie contain the absolute best version of Quicksilver ever to appear on screen? (spoiler for the last question: yes.  Yes it does).  For the answer to the OTHER questions, give a listen! ‘nuff said . . . again.

Poll Question: What movie do you think should be protected by state, federal, and church law from EVER being remade?

George Floyd Memorial Fund:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

Southern Poverty Law Center: https://donate.splcenter.org/