Criterion On The Couch

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January 20, 2019  

Episode #18: The Princess Bride

Adam and Jim are discussing The Princess Bride? Inconceivable! Join us in episode #18 as we travel with Westley, Fezzik and Inigo Montoya across the countryside of Florin, past the Cliffs of Insanity, to rescue Princess Buttercup from the castle of Prince Humperdinck, all the while avoiding the shrieking eels, flame spurts, lightning sand and Rodents of Unusual Size.

SHOWNOTES

The Princess Bride - Criterion

Director: Rob Reiner

   This Is Spinal Tap

   A Few Good Men

   Sleepless in Seattle

   The American President

Writer: William Goldman

   Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

   All the President's Men

   Misery

   Absolute Power

   The General's Daughter

Actors:

   Westley - Carry Elwes

   Psych - Pierre Despereaux

      Extradition - British Columbia

      Extradition II - The Actual Extradition Part

      Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy Rusty Old Dagger

      Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels, and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire

   Inigo Montoya - Mandy Patinkin

      Homeland

   Buttercup - Robin Wright

      Forrest Gump

      House of Cards

   Vizzini - Wallace Shawn

      My Dinner with Andre (Criterion #479)

      COTC episode #12

      Toy Story - Dinosaur

   Fezzik - Andre the Giant

   Humperdinck - Chris Sarandon

   Count Ruben - Christopher Guest

      This is Spinal Tap (Criterion #12)

      Waiting for Guffman

      Best in Show

   Miracle Max - Billy Crystal

   Valerie - Carol Kane

   The Albino - Mel Smith

   Clergyman - Peter Cook

   Fred Savage & Peter Falk have no names

      Wonder Years

      Columbo

December 3, 2018  

Episode #17: Watership Down

Hazel, Dandelion, Blackberry and Clover? No, we’re not making a salad, instead we’re discussing the 1978 animated retelling of the Richard Adam’s novel Watership Down. Join us in episode #17 as we heed Fiver’s warnings and search for our new warren.

SHOWNOTES

Watership Down - Criterion

Director - Martin Rosen

   The Plague Dogs (1982)

      Theme Song - “Time and Tide”  by Alan Price (original keyboardist for The Animals)

         The House of the Rising Sun

         Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Hazel - John Hurt (Died Jan 25, 2017)  (207 acting credits)

   Alien (1979)

   The Elephant Man (1980)

   The Plague Dogs as Snitter (1982)

   Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

   Hellboy (2004)

   V for Vendetta (2005)

   Melancholia (2011)

   Doctor Who as The War Doctor in 3 episodes (2013)

   Watership Down mini-series as General Woundwort (1999 -2000)

Fiver - Richard Briers (Died Feb 17, 2013

Bigwig - Michael Graham Cox (Died Apr 30, 1995)

Captain Holly - John Bennett (April 11, 2005)

Chief Rabbit - Ralph Richardson (Died Oct 10, 1983)

Blackberry - Simon Cadell (Died March 6, 1996)

Silver - Terence Rigby (Died August 10, 2008)

Pipkin - Roy Kinnear (Died September 20, 1988)

Dandelion - Richard O’Callaghan (Still Alive?)

Cat - Lynn Farleigh (Still Alive?)

General Woundwort - Harry Andrews (Died March 6, 1989)

Cowslip - Denholm Elliott

   Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Clover - Mary Maddox

Kehaar (Bird) - Zero Mostel (comedian)

The only black man (Clifton Jones) plays a character named “Blackavar”

Watership Down references in the TV Show “Lost”

Movies with similar stories / plots include Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Secret of NIMH

Other movies mentioned:

   Raiders of The Lost Ark

   The Dark Crystal

   Floyd Norman - An Animated Life

   The Inbetweeners

September 30, 2018  

Episode #16:The Breakfast Club

A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal walk into school… No this isn’t the beginning of a joke, it’s the opening of John Hughes trend-setting 1985 dramedy, The Breakfast Club. (starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy). Join us in episode #16 for a memorable Saturday detention at Shermer High School.

SHOWNOTES

The Breakfast Club - Criterion

John Hughes - Director

   Sixteen Candles (1984)

   The Breakfast Club (1985)

   Pretty In Pink (1986)

   Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

   Uncle Buck (1989)

Emilio Estevez (as Andrew Clark)

Anthony Michael Hall (as Brian Johnson)

Judd Nelson (as John Bender)

Molly Ringwald (as Claire Standish)

Ally Sheedy (as Allison Reynolds)

Paul Gleason (as Richard Vernon)

John Kapelos (as Carl)

A Charlie Brown Christmas dance

All Psych episodes featuring cast members from The Breakfast Club

   Judd Nelson

      Season 4 Episode 13 - “Death is in the Air”

   Molly Ringwald

      Season 6 Episode 6 - “Shawn Interrupted”

   Ally Sheedy

      Season 3 Episode 16 - “An Evening With Mr. Yang”

      Season 4 Episode 16 - “Mr. Yin Presents…”

      Season 5 Episode 16 - “Yang 3 in 2D”

      Season 7 Episode 15 - “Psych: The Musical”

  Anthony Michael Hall

      Season 7 Episode 14 - “No Trout About It”

      Season 8 Episode 2 - “S.E.I.Z.E. the Day”

      Season 8 Episode 4 - “Someone’s Got a Woody”

  John Kapelos

      Season 7 Episode 10 “Santa Barbarian Candidate”

      Season 8 Episode 6 “1967: A Psych Odyssey”

 

This American Life (episode 526, Act Three)

   Molly Ringwald and her daughter watch The Breakfast Club together for the first time.

Music

   Don’t You Forget About Me - Simple Minds

   Fire In the Twilight - Wang Chung

   We Are Not Alone - Karla Devito

   I’m The Dude - Keith Forsey

The “naked blonde” joke that Bender tells himself (while in the ceiling) never had a punchline.

Additional Movie references

   David Margulies

      As The Mayor in Ghostbusters

   William Atherton

      As Walter Peck in Ghostbusters

      As Richard Thornburg in Die Hard and Die Hard 2

      As Professor Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius

 

August 30, 2018  

Episode #15: Election

Corruption? Scandal? A rigged election? In episode #15 we discuss director Alexander Payne's high school political dramedy, Election (starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon).

SHOWNOTES

Election - Criterion

Alexander Payne - Director

   Citizen Ruth (1996)

   Starring Laura Dern

   About Schmidt (2002)

   Sideways (2004)

   Paris, je t’aime (2006)

   The Descendants (2011)

   Nebraska (2013)

Matthew Broderick (as Jim McAllister)

   Also starred in Godzilla (1998) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Reese Witherspoon (as Tracy Flick)

Chris Klein (as Paul Metzler)

Jessica Campbell (as Tammy Metzler)

Mark Harelik (as Dave Novotny)

Phil Reeves (as Principal Walt Hendricks)

Delaney Driscoll (as Linda Novotny) - also played Ruth’s sister in Citizen Ruth

Holmes Osborne (as Dick Metzler) - also played Donnie’s Dad in Donnie Darko

Movie Trivia

   Thora Birch, who starred in Ghost World (2001) was originally cast to play Tammy

   Election was filmed in Papillion LaVista High School in Papillion, Nebraska

Josie and The Pussycats (2001) was also a Universal Pictures/MTV Films production

Unlike “Stadium High School” in 10 Things I Hate About You, the high school in Election seems pretty realistic

Tom Perrotta (who originally wrote Election) also wrote the novel The Leftovers which was later turned into an HBO series starring:

   Justin Theroux

   Liv Tyler

   Janel Moloney

   Scott Glenn (not to be confused with David Carradine)

   And written by Damon Lindelof

Election - Alternate Ending

Three Times A Lady - The Commodores

Navajo Joe - Ennio Morricone (from the 1966 movie Navajo Joe starring Burt Reynolds)

Mystery Men (starring Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo)

   Wes Studi as Sphinx

Paul falls asleep reading The Celestine Prophecy (by James Redfield)

July 27, 2018  

Episode #14: The Graduate

In episode #14 we discuss Dustin Hoffman's break out role in The Graduate. Based on the novel by Charles Webb and featuring the music of Simon & Garfunkel, The Graduate tells the tale of one young man's struggle to start the next chapter of his life while also becoming involved in a forbidden affair.

SHOWNOTES

The Graduate - Criterion

Mike Nichols - Director

   Charlie Wilson’s War

   Wit

   Regarding Henry

   Working Girl

   Closer

Anne Bancroft - Mrs. Robinson

Katharine Ross - Elaine Robinson

Murray Hamilton - Mr. Robinson

Dustin Hoffman - Ben Braddock

William Daniels - Mr. Braddock

Elizabeth Wilson - Mrs. Braddock

Simon & Garfunkel

   The Sound of Silence

   Mrs. Robinson

   Scarborough Fair / Canticle

   Bookends (not featured in The Graduate)

The Simpsons - Lady Bouvier’s Lover (The Graduate spoof)

1966 Alfa Romeo Series 1 Spider 1600

The Giver (movie)

Home School (sequel to The Graduate)

Donnie Darko

Harper Simon

   Berkley Girl - Official Video (featuring Jena Malone)

Overlord - J.J. Abrams’ new supernatural WWII movie

Carly Simon

   Let the River Run (from Working Girl)

A Christmas Story

Group photo of MGM stars

Criterion on the Couch episodes referenced:

   Harold & Maude

   Easy Rider

May 22, 2018  

Episode #13: RoboCop

In episode #13 we discuss the 1987 science-fiction classic: RoboCop, the original movie that spawned numerous sequels, television series, video games and reboots. Set in a Detroit city plagued by crime, officer Alex J. Murphy is a revenant cop who's been given a second chance to protect and serve.

SHOWNOTES

RoboCop - Criterion

Paul Verhoeven - Director

Starship Troopers

Total Recall

Hollow Man  

Peter Weller - RoboCop

Nancy Allen - Officer Lewis

Ronny Cox - Dick Jones

Kurtwood Smith - Clarence J. Boddicker

(widely known as Red from That 70’s Show)

Miguel Ferrer - Bob Morton

Robert DoQui - Sergeant Reed

Ray Wise - Leon Nash

Dan O’Herlihy - The Old Man

Paul McCrane - Emil M. Antonowsky

The Soundtrack Show Podcast

Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Podcast

3/13/2018 - Discussing Cain from RoboCop 2 (starts at 1:46)

The initials “OCP” in RoboCop stand for Omni Consumer Products

 

Adam’s pictures from the RoboCop TV Series:

Police Cruiser

Explosion

Stuntman

March 21, 2018  

Episode #12: My Dinner With André

In episode #12 we discuss the 1981 cerebral motion-picture, My Dinner With André. Wallace, a struggling actor/playwright from NYC, attends an intimate dinner with his old acquaintance André. As the two catch up on lost time, their conversation shifts into the social, emotional, physical and metaphysical concerns of the modern world. At once both outrageous and grounded, My Dinner With André explores the relationships between people, their environment, and the universe.

SHOWNOTES

My Dinner With Andre - Criterion

Director - Louis Malle

André Gregory as André

Wallace Shawn as Wallace

(widely known for his role as Vizzini in the movie The Princess Bride)

Another movie about playwrights: Synecdoche, New York - starring Philip Seymour Hoffman

One of Adam’s favorite books:The Fuck Up by Arthur Nersesian

John Adams mini-series on HBO

Rabbit Starvation (a.k.a. Protein poisoning)

Survivorman (featuring Les Stroud)

Primitive Technology - Youtube Channel (NOT Les Stroud)

Gymnoépdie No. 1 by Éric Satie (also used in The Royal Tenenbaums)

Other philosophical movies (that Jim couldn’t name):

The Man From Earth (2007)

The Invitation (2015)

Parodies

Community - Season 2 Episode 19 - “Critical Film Studies” a.k.a. My Dinner with Abed

February 11, 2018  

Episode #11: It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

In episode #11 we discuss one of the most star-studded, high-flying action/comedies of all time: It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Interrupted from a leisurely drive through the California desert, five men bear witness to the last words of a dying criminal, revealing the location of his hidden loot. What follows is a no-holds-barred-comedic-mad-dash to see who can get to the money first and claim it as their own.

SHOWNOTES

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - Criterion

Director - Stanley Kramer

Capt. T. G. Culpepper - Spencer Tracy

J. Russell FInch - Milton Berle

Melville Crump - Sid Caesar

Benjy Benjamin - Buddy Hackett

Mrs. Marcus - Ethel Merman

Ding Bell - Mickey Rooney

Sylvester Marcus - Dick Shawn

Otto Meyer - Phil Silvers

J. Algernon Hawthorne - Terry-Thomas

Lennie Pike - Jonathan Winters

Monica Crump - Edie Adams

Emeline Marcus - Finch Dorothy Provine

Man in Car - Jack Benny

Cab Driver - Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson

Cab Driver - Peter Falk

Colonel Wilberforce - Paul Ford

Tower Controller at Rancho Conejo - Carl Reiner

2001’s Rat Race was a modern remake

The West Wing: Season 4 Episode 9 - Swiss Diplomacy

The First Lady and President Bartlet talk about Mrs. Wilberforce

The Simpsons: Season 5 Episode 11 - Homer the Vigilante

Bart tricks the driver

The Big T

January 6, 2018  

Episode #10: Pan’s Labyrinth

In episode #10 we discuss Guillermo del Toro's Oscar-Winning masterpiece: Pan's Labyrinth. Set just after the Spanish Civil War, young Ofelia is thrown into two very different worlds; one of soldiers and violence and one of faeries and magic. Now to protect her own life and that of her mother, she must carefully navigate the border between fantasy and reality.

SHOWNOTES

Pan's Labyrinth - Criterion Collection

Directed by Guillermo Del Toro who also directed and/or wrote:

Cronos (Criterion)

Crimson Peak

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Hellboy

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The Devil’s Backbone (Criterion)

The Strain (TV Series)

Pan’s Labyrinth - Happy Trailer

Other violent movies

Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino)

Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino)

Pulp Fiction (Tarantino)

Saw

Non-violent Thrillers

Psycho

The Decemberists’ album: The Hazards of Love

Doug Jones plays both Pan and the Pale Man

Day for night cinematic technique

In the Bible, King David is responsible for the death of Bathsheba’s husband.

Harry Potter: Mandrakes in herbology class

Books:

S (Ship of Theseus)

The Jolly Postman

The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break

Labyrinth with David Bowie

October 30, 2017  

Episode #9: Easy Rider

In episode #9 we discuss Dennis Hopper's directorial debut: Easy Rider. Wyatt and Billy are two bikers with an anti-establishment lifestyle. After netting a big score in a drug deal, the two friends set off on a cross-country journey where they'll experience the best and worst that society has to offer. 

SHOWNOTES

Easy Rider - Criterion Collection

Directed by Dennis Hopper

Written by Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Terry Southern

Notable Cast:

Dennis Hopper - Billy

Peter Fonda - Wyatt

Jack Nicholson - George (young Jack Nicholson looks similar to Walter Goggins known for Justified and Vice Principals)

Family Connections:

Peter Fonda (Henry’s son)

Bridget Fonda (Peter’s daughter)

Jane Fonda (Henry’s daughter)

Henry Fonda (was featured in episode #1: 12 Angry Men)

American Chopper was a television documentary series that aired on the Discovery Channel

Top Gear (BBC) aired an episode (series 9 - episode #3) where the hosts had a dangerous encounter in the American south.

Training Day (starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke) was another movie with a weird drug scene.

Requiem for a Dream was another movie with many weird drug scenes.

Mad Men (season 5 episode 6 - Far Away Places) featured Roger and Jane Sterling take LSD

Trail Magic is a hiking tradition of doing charity unto others

Music that we mention (not necessarily in the movie):

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf

Wasn’t Born to Follow - The Byrds

Signs - Five Man Electrical Band

Slow Ride - Foghat (written in 1975)

Product placements:

Jim Beam

Enco Gas

Coca-Cola

Pepsi Co

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Budweiser

Citgo

CAT