MOV105: “It Looks Like A Pulsating Beacon of Blood and Urine!”

In This Reel of COL Movies, It’s our 2nd Anniversary Episode! And the Cubs from Cubs Out Loud are here to celebrate with us. In the past we find out what happens when you put Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in a movie where they just CAN’T DIE?!? Catfights and immortality combine in this 1992 film that–surprisingly–also starred Bruce Willis. “Death Becomes Her.”Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more room for another vampire film, the curse of the Collins Family is back. Vampires, Ghosts and Witches, oh my! Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up for a movie you can really sink your teeth into. It’s “Dark Shadows.” In the future, we find out if Milla Jovovich can finally put Umbrella Corp. in it’s place. Will Oded Fehr live down The Mummy Returns. It’s zombies and fabulous hair in “Resident Evil: Retribution.” We’ve got all that plus news about a Steve Jobs movie, Pee-Wee Herman, And how the Avengers is driving up not only box office receipts but apparently Shawarma is flying off the shelves as well! It’s the 105th Reel of COL Movies – It looks like a pulsating beacon of blood and urine!

News:

The Past: Death Becomes Her (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes: 45% Fresh, 58% Audience

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn

Trivia:

  • ​The date when Helen drinks the potion (October 26, 1985) is the “present” date in Back to the Future, also directed by Robert Zemeckis.
  • In the scene where Helen sits down onto a shovel handle, she didn’t sit in the way she was expected to do, so the SFX people had to morph the image to make it look like the shovel handle was pushing up into her chest.
  • Meryl Streep accidentally scarred Goldie Hawn’s cheek with a shovel during the fight scene.
  • Catherine Bell was Isabella Rossellini’s nude body double.
  • In the scene where Madeline punches in the entrance code and enters the gate as Helen slips past her unseen, you get a brief glimpse of her license plate. It reads “2HYE305”, not “ZHEMEKIS” as previously noted
  • A pneumatic bra was built to create the effect where Meryl Streep’s breasts become higher and firmer after drinking the potion, but the effect didn’t look realistic enough. In order to get the shot Meryl Streep’s dresser stood behind her, out of sight of the camera, and pushed her breasts into position.
  • An edited picture from the original ending was used during Ernest’s funeral scene. The picture of him aged was actually a of him in full age makeup from the first ending. Bruce Willis’s aged face was used, but put on an actual picture of a mountain climber, which thus resulted in the end picture of Ernest at his funeral.
  • During the description of the plot to kill Madeline, there was a quick shot of the folder being stamped “case closed” at a desk. Also on the desk was a brain in a glass jar labeled “abnormal” – a tribute to the original Frankenstein.
  • Bruce Willis replaced Kevin Kline as Ernest.
  • In an interview Meryl Streep revealed that she assumed the role of Helen (Goldie Hawn’s character) was meant for her. Not the “song-and-dance” role of Madeline.
  • The three main character’s names are a play on words. Madeline, Ernest and Helen can be shortened to Mad, Ern, Hel, or “Madder ‘n Hell.”
  • At one point Lisle Isabella Rossellini asks Madeline Meryl Streep how old she thinks she is. Streep answers 38, to which Rossellini gives a dirty look. Rossellini was in fact 39 at the time of filming.
  • In the opening scene, Meryl Streep’s character is starring in a musical version of Sweet Bird of Youth, a play by Tennessee Williams about an aging actress who pines for her lost youth.
  • Director Robert Zemeckis is a good friend of Steven Spielberg. Production designer Rick Carter and cinematographer Dean Cundey both previously worked with Zemeckis on the Back to the Future sequels. They would both subsequently work with Spielberg on Jurassic Park. This led to writer David Koepp coming to Spielberg’s attention. He was hired to finalize the Jurassic Park script, and later became a regular Speilberg collaborator, having been called upon to polish the scripts for Men in Black, Twister, and to write the scripts for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • The film underwent some major re-editing after negative feedback was received at test screenings. The entire ending was changed, and the role played by Tracey Ullman disappeared from the film completely, despite the fact that she was featured briefly in the trailer for the film.
  • In several scenes, references to deceased musicians and actors are visible. When Bruce Willis’s character falls through the glass roof and lands in the pool, Jim Morrison can clearly be seen with a girl. Later on, an extra playing James Dean turns around (with his signature hairdo) as Willis steals his Grey Spider.
  • Robert Zemeckis: The shots in the psychiatric clinic where Helen is brought look exactly like those in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
  • There are two scenes (both involving Ernest Menville) that foreshadow Madeline Ashton’s and Helen Sharp’s fall down the stairs outside Ernest’s memorial – when Ernest pushes Madeline down the stairs during the fight that ensued after she took the potion and when Ernest argues against taking Lisle Von Rhuman’s potion by speculating what would happen if he were “pushed”, rather “fell”, down the stairs. Their fall outside his memorial can be interpreted as his revenge against them for for their treatment of him in their ongoing battle with each other and for using him as a tool in their pursuit of everlasting youth and beauty.
  • Despite lackluster reception, it won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and Meryl Streep was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. The film opened at #1 at the box office with $12,110,355 upon the also opening weekends of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bebe’s Kids. It went on to earn over $149 million worldwide.

Talking Points:

  • ​I remember this being a “how the heck did they do that movie” Does it hold up?
  • Plot hole!? If it mends a cut, why wouldn’t an extra dose heal them?

Critic Notes

  • Positives: the “bitchery” between Hawn and Streep is fun; Daring and risky; for the time, effects were amazing; Black comedy at its best
  • Negatives: there is no glee, simply narcissism and insult comedy; Younger audience won’t get it; too focused on the effects and some “serious” parts of the movie didn’t fit in the comedic overtone

What We Learned:

  • ​Bruce Willis knows how to rock a porn stache.
  • Happiness is a completely inappropriate expression for death.
  • Everyone that works in Beverly Hills salons has an accent
  • You can’t use ordinary paint on dead people
  • If your going to lie, do it QUICKLY.
  • A guy who sticks to his word at the cost of everything else is an idiot
  • Mind the stairs.
  • Death can be achieved in small, expensive doses

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This has always been a classic to me. I mean, Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis? How can this not be a good movie. Something is wrong with the Rotten Tomatoes ratings. I say a definite buy.
Damon: I always enjoyed this movie as it brought back memories of the campy movies of the early 90s. This was a pretty good movie with some interesting choices of actors. How could you go wrong?
Ray: This is one of those quirky little fun dark comedies that I love so much. Unless your a particularly squeamish person this is one that you should check out some time if you can.
Robert: Meryl is fabulous. Goldie is chilling. Bruce is one pedophile wind breaker away from being a tour de force. 10 out of 10.
Steve: Always been a fun one for me. Hawn and Streep give great performances as frenemies who eventually have to help each other survive. Clever and definitely displayed some state of the art effects for the time! Definitely memorable!
Ben: Nowhere do movie characters defy the laws of the physical universe as gleefully as they do in Robert Zemeckis’s films.

The Present: Dark Shadows
Rotten Tomatoes: 42% Fresh; 54% Audience

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Johnny Lee Miller, David Selby, Jonathan Frid, Katherine Leigh Scott, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote

Trivia:

  • ​There were 1245 episodes of the 1966-71 series. More than most shows on television even to this day.
  • This is Tim Burton’s eighth film with Johnny Depp, his seventh film with Helena Bonham Carter, his fifth film with Christopher Lee, and his second film with Michelle Pfeiffer (Pfeiffer had starred in Batman Returns twenty years previously).
  • Anne Hathaway, Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Angelique.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott reported at the Dark Shadows Festival in Brooklyn (August 19-21, 2011) that she, Lara Parker, David Selby and Jonathan Frid were treated “like royalty” when they arrived on set for their cameos during the first week of July 2011, and that Johnny Depp walked up to Jonathan Frid and said, “None of this would be possible had it not been for you” referring to Frid’s original portrayal of the Barnabas Collins role and its impact on the success of the original series.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) and Gulliver McGrath (David Collins) were also both in the the film Hugo but shared no screen time together.
  • Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Barnabas Collins, Angelique, Quentin Collins and Josette DuPres in the original Dark Shadows, appear in the ball at Collinwood Manor.
  • To prepare for his role as Barnabas Collins, Johnny Depp undertook a weight-loss regime and a diet of green tea and low-sugar fruit, getting his weight down to 140 pounds.
  • Eva Green described her role of Angelique as “Bette Davis and Janis Joplin mixed together.”
  • Christopher Lee stars with Jonny Lee Miller in this film; decades earlier, Lee had appeared with Miller’s grandfather Bernard Lee in the 007 film The Man with the Golden Gun, which was based on a novel written by Lee’s cousin Ian Fleming.
  • This was Jonathan Frid’s last film.
  • Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer were fans of the original Dark Shadows, having watched it when they were young.
  • Makeup artist Joel Harlow applied several layers of custom greasepaint to create Barnabas Collins’s chalk-white complexion.
  • When Michelle Pfeiffer heard about an adaptation of Dark Shadows, she called up Tim Burton to ask him for a part in the film, a practice she rarely does.
  • With no time for rehearsal prior to filming, Tim Burton found a way to put his entire main cast in the mindset of their respective roles: He gathered them together on the set for a photo session in which they replicated the famous image of the original Dark Shadows cast all standing in the foyer of Collinwood. This image evolved into the film’s teaser poster.
  • The producers scoured the UK and Maine to find an appropriate fishing village to film Collinsport in, but couldn’t find one that fit. Thus they constructed the whole town from scratch in Pinewood Studios.
  • For the sex fight sequence, the actors worked with stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart and wore harnesses that spun them through the air. Eva Green was not too fond of the sequence since she doesn’t like heights.
  • A 33-foot-high miniature of Collinwood Mansion was constructed, measuring 1/3 in scale to the actual set of the Mansion.
  • Production designer Rick Heinrichs designed Collinwood to reflect its maritime heritage (the mansion was close to the ocean, and its owners have a background in fishing); ocean motifs like fish and mermaids are present throughout the house and its furnishings, including seahorses in the fireplace along with statues of the sea god Neptune.
  • Tim Burton wanted the film to reflect the era of its setting, and showed cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel several 1970s vampire movies to help him understand the way the film should be shot.
  • According to costume designer Colleen Atwood, she designed the 18th and 20th century costumes and then overlaid and blended in elements from both to create a smooth, similar feel that suited the film.
  • Colleen Atwood created Josette duPres’s dress from nylon and aluminum.
  • Josette duPres’s ghost scenes were shot in an underwater tank.
  • The actress who played Dr. Julia Hoffman in the original Dark Shadows TV series was Grayson Hall, wife of Sam Hall, head writer of the show. In the same way, Helena Bonham Carter, who played Dr. Hoffman, is the long-time partner and fiancée of the film’s director Tim Burton.
  • Shipped to theaters under the code name “Night Moves”.
  • The trailer for the film premiered exclusively on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 15, 2012. That same day, the trailer made its online debut on Apple.com.
  • The film was again scored by long-time Burton collaborator, Danny Elfman.
  • The soundtrack features a score of several contemporaneous 1970s rock and pop songs, along with others from later and slightly earlier, including “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues, “Top of the World” by The Carpenters, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” by Barry White, “I’m Sick of You” by Iggy Pop, “Get It On” by T. Rex and “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath. Alice Cooper, who makes a cameo in the film, sings “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Ballad of Dwight Fry”. A cover of the Raspberries’ song “Go All the Way” by The Killers also plays over the end credits.

Talking Points:

  • Does it even compare to the original stories?
  • ​Alice Cooper – boy he’s always looked that bad – “That is the ugliest woman, ever!” Barnabas Collins
  • Little bit of Amityville Horror (Bleeding Walls) and Death Becomes Her (Immortally young witch)
  • Bad trailer marketing?
  • Soundtrack
  • Is this like “21 Jump Street” – taking serious content to comedy in a remake?

Critic Notes:

  • Positive: Fun and offbeat; Great for fans of Depp;
  • Negative: Not what fans of “Dark Shadows” want in a remake; Can’t decide if it’s a comedy, horror movie, or melodrama

What We Learned:

  • ​Dreams really can come true!
  • Blood is thicker than water.
  • Blood can mean a life of privilege for some or a life of burden to others.
  • Family is the only real wealth
  • If the sexes were equal men would be unmanageable.
  • Ghosts are simply people who have shifted into another dimension.
  • A Curse takes devotion.
  • Every year you get half as pretty and twice as drunk.
  • A Vampire can drain a stout man in seven and a half seconds.
  • Balls are a symbol of power.
  • Alice Cooper is the ugliest woman alive.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Okay, okay, I admit this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. But was it great? Nope, but enjoyable. I say wait for Netflix or rental.
Damon: Meh…I enjoyed this movie, but it didn’t really leave as big an impression on me. I liked the campiness and did laugh at points, but the story was too much to be in one movie. Understandable, there was a plethora of stories to draw from, which makes it hard. Maybe I’m just not a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp fan. Meh…
Ray: I was worried that this was going to be a horrible comedy, luckily this was a decent homage to the original, with the soap opera-ness turned down slightly and the humor turned up a bit. If you were a fan of the original series you will probably get a good chuckle out of this. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it.
Robert: Didn’t see it. The trailer looked … interesting.
Steve: At first, I thought I was going to pull my eyes out, but it kind of grew on me. I liked the verbal judo Depp used for the character, which made me listen intently. Thought there were too many characters in the film though. Would have liked to see how they would have made this a straight film rather than comedy.
Ben: A very nice retelling of the story, even if it has been told 3 times prior…

The Future: Resident Evil: Retribution

Release: September 14, 2012

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez

Summary:

Alice is captured by Umbrella once again, and awakens in the heart of their operation facility; as she moves further in the complex, more of her past is unveiled and she continues to hunt for those responsible for the outbreak. Her quest takes her and her newfound allies from Tokyo to New York, Washington D.C. and Moscow. After a “mind-blowing” revelation, she is forced to rethink everything, finally finding out the truth about herself, and the Umbrella Corporation

Talking Points

  • Any thoughts about seeing past characters coming back?
  • Returning from the previous film are: Milla Jovovich as Alice, Sienna Guillory (Jill Valentine) and Boris Kodjoe (Luther West). Shawn Roberts (Albert Wesker) makes a cameo appearance. Colin Salmon who played James “One” Shade and Michelle Rodriguez who played Rain Ocampo in the first film return. Oded Fehr who portrayed Carlos Olivera in the second and third film also returns. There will be two “versions” of Rain, One, and Carlos; one being portrayed as “evil” and one as “good”. Game characters, Ada Wong (played by Li Bingbing), Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb) and Barry Burton (Kevin Durand) will appear in the film. Ali Larter (Claire Redfield), Wentworth Miller (Chris Redfield) and Spencer Locke (K-Mart) will not return and their absence will be explained by their characters being captured by Umbrella.
  • How about all the monsters this time…rather than just zombies?
  • An element from the fourth video game called the Las Plagas parasite will play a part in the film and will allow the undead to “run around, ride motorbikes, and shoot machine guns”.
  • What do you think about the obvious marketing campaign with Sony?
  • Random comment:
  • On October 11, a platform collapsed during the second day of filming and injured 16 people on the set. According to Toronto police, ten people were taken to the hospital for emergency treatment. Injuries included bruises and broken bones. Emergency workers had a difficult time determining which injuries were real since the people were dressed in zombie costumes with fake blood.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Well, it’s a teaser. It’s Resident Evil. Bad movie, but will have fun with the action when i see it. If you’d looking for a dumb action movie you can turn your brain off for and watch women kick ass, that’s this movie.
Damon: Why do they keep making this movie? WHY? I saw the first one and asked for my money back. Didn’t get it, but oh well. The trailer is just lame. And 3D? What’s the point. I’ll save my money for porn.
Ray: Resident Evil movies are hit or miss with me. I sort of enjoy them more when they abandon the video game aspects and blaze new ground. I’m always happy to see Milla though.
Robert: Not very. The first one was okay. The rest were barely tolerable … and this is coming from someone who went and bought Milla’s album, The Divine Comedy.
Steve: Good times with Alice! While I love the series…the last one was lackluster. I hope that this will be so much better! I have confidence and am looking forward to some of the characters coming back and seeing where it goes.
Ben: Bleh!

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV100: ”Hey Korean Jesus”

It’s the 100th…yup, 100th…reel of COL Movies! The boys “celebrate” with an interesting variety of movies. On the pole, they start out with the Tom Cruise classic “Days of Thunder”. After burning some rubber, they head to the pit to check out the Jonah Hill remake of “21 Jump Street”. On the straight away to the checkered flag, the boys review the trailer for Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s reimagining of “Dark Shadows”. All of this and movie news about Captain America’s sequel, Hollywood’s need for speed, and Johnny 5’s staying alive! It’s the 100th reel of COL Movies…”Hey Korean Jesus!”

News:

The Past: Days of Thunder (1990)
Rotten Tomatoes: 40% Rotten, 59% Audience

Director: Tony Scott

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, Michael Rooker, Fred Dalton Thompson, John C. Reilly

Trivia:

  • Many real-life NASCAR drivers (including Rusty Wallace) appear in the film.
  • NASCAR driver Greg Sacks did most of Tom Cruise’s stunt driving. Cruise wanted to do his own stunt driving, but wasn’t allowed to for insurance reasons. The Chevrolets were prepared by Rick Hendrick’s racing team, which later used some of the movie cars in real races. 35 cars were wrecked during filming.
  • Tom Cruise received a speeding ticket for doing 85 in a 55 mph zone while working on this movie.
  • The scene where Tim approaches Harry on a tractor was filmed on NASCAR legend Junior Johnson’s farm.
  • The scene where Cole and Rowdy race rental cars on the beach shows birds scattering out of the way. The birds were lured onto the beach by birdseed, and in the first take most of them were run over.
  • During the Darlington race in which the two movie cars appeared in, Neil Bonnett, one of the drivers interviewed at Daytona before the race, was nearly killed in a serious accident. Ironically, Bonnett was killed in a practice crash at Daytona in 1994. In the beginning of the film, the announcer introduces driver Aldo Bennedetti from Reading, Pennsylvania. This character is most likely a reference to real-life driver Mario Andretti. Both are of Italian descent, Mario’s brother is named Aldo, and Mario is from Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
  • Robin Wright was first suggested for the role of Claire Lewicki but was unavailable.
  • Production began without a finished script; scenes were often written the day of filming. During one driving sequence, Tom Cruise actually had to read his lines off cue cards attached to his windshield, which resulted in a minor car accident. For subsequent driving sequences, Cruise was fitted with a special earpiece to have lines fed to him.
  • Most of the cars used in this film were actually Chevrolets outfitted with special fiberglass bodies made to resemble stock cars. The vehicles routinely broke down from the strain of the racing or had their bodies greatly damaged. At one point, half the fleet was in the repair shop.
  • Producer Don Simpson originally intended to take a supporting role as a fellow driver in this film but his role was reduced to only one line.
  • City Chevrolet, a sponsor for Cole Trickle early in the movie, is a real-life Charlotte area dealership that is owned by Rick Hendrick, who prepared most of the cars in the movie.
  • Tom Cruise and ‘Robert Duvall (I)”s characters are (very) loosely based on former driver Tim Richmond and his crew chief Harry Hyde. Richmond was known as an overnight sensation, and Hyde was the veteran crew chief. The scene where Duvall’s character teaches Cruise about tire management is based on an actual incident between Hyde and Richmond, who died of AIDS complications the year before the film was released.
  • In an effort to give a more realistic atmosphere, professional racing broadcasters were brought in to play the broadcast reporters and track announcers. Key among these were members of ESPN’s racing crew, including booth announcer Bob Jenkins and pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch.
  • After the first days of the editorial crew looking for “Tony”, Director Tony Scott gave Apprentice Editor Tony Ciccone the nickname “TC” to avoid further confusion. He’s still known by it.
  • All cars used in the movie for the races had to pass inspection and qualify. Bobby Hamilton qualified one of the movie cars in the top ten; they removed the cameras and he was allowed to enter the race.
  • The scene where Cole Trickle leaves the pits after a race to hit Russ Wheeler is also based on ,an actual event during the 1987 all-star race at Charlotte, NC between drivers Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt.
  • Some footage for the movie was shot during the 1990 Daytona 500. Two additional cars, driven by Bobby Hamilton and Tommy Ellis, were added to the rear of the field for the express purpose of shooting them for this film. They were not officially scored and left the racetrack after 100 miles (40 laps) were completed. At one point in the race, leader Dale Earnhardt even lapped the movie cars.
  • Cars designed specifically for the movie officially raced at Phoenix and Darlington, with Greg Sacks driving Cole Trickle’s City Chevrolet in both races. Bobby Hamilton drove Rowdy Burns’ Exxon car at Phoenix, while Hut Stricklin drove it at Darlington. None of the cars finished their races, but Hamilton did lead his race for five laps before an engine failure.
  • According to an article in Car and Driver by Bob Zeller, Bobby Hamilton was paid $14,000-$15,000 by Rick Hendrick to drive the camera car. At the time Hamilton was making about $185 a week driving a wrecker (tow truck). He did so well that Hendrick hired him on for the next NASCAR race in Phoenix and the rest of the season.
  • When Cole wins at Darlington, the track announcer says third place goes to Geoffrey Bodine. Tim Daland, Cole’s car owner, is based on owner Rick Hendrick, whose first driver was Bodine.
  • First feature film of Margo Martindale.
  • Harold Faltermeyer turned down scoring duties on the film. FHe recommended fellow German composer Hans Zimmer to the producers. Zimmer was also recommended to director Tony Scott by his brother Ridley Scott and star Tom Cruise.
  • The movie was conceived by Tom Cruise when he and Paul Newman were allowed to test one of Rick Hendrick’s race cars. Tom’s first lap was in excess of 180mph.
  • The man who drove for Harry Hogge before Cole Trickle was called Buddy Bretherton. In the movie they mention he died hitting the wall at Daytona. Harry also mentions that Buddy heard voices while driving. Buddy Bretherton is probably based on the Nascar driver Bobby Isaac. Who drove for crew chief Harry Hyde. Issac claimed to have heard voices telling him to get out of the race car or he would die. So he pulled the car off the track and quit. Isaac died years later from a heart attack while driving in a 1977 Late Model Sportsman race at Hickory Motor Speedway with 25 laps left.
  • Reputedly Tom Cruise handpicked Nicole Kidman to be his love interest in the film after seeing her performance in Dead Calm.
  • When Cole tells Harry “when it comes to the car I’ll take your word,” he is referring to a line from a deleted scene where he states, “I’ll take your word for what a car can do but I’m not taking anybody’s word for what I can do.” The line can still be heard in the trailer.
  • Alison Doody, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Heather Locklear, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster and Ally Sheedy all turned down the role of Claire Lewicki.
  • In the “Making of…” documentary, Rowdy’s Winston Cup Championship trophy is for 1984. The real-life champion for that year was Terry Labonte.
  • Real-life Hendrick Motorsports pit crew member Mike Slattery served as an extra for Cole’s crew. After hearing what the stuntmen’s pay would be, he asked for the opportunity to do some of the stunts. However, when he saw how close the car came to the stuntmen, he changed his mind saying, “They can have it!”

Talking Points:

  • The Sound.
  • Top Gun in Race Cars?
  • What We Learned:
  • You can never build a driver like you can build a racecar
  • If you’re from California you’re not a Yankee, you’re not really anything
  • Despite what it says in the NASCAR rulebook there is nothing stock about a stockcar
  • The first thing you need to do to win a race, is finish.
  • Tires win a race
  • Drivers don’t go to doctors or funerals
  • Control is an illusion
  • Rubbin’ is racin’

Trailer

Recommendations:
Jeff: I had the radio controlled version of the Superflo car when I was a kid. This just brings back memories. And it’s a good movie to boot. Definitely worth the rental.
Ray: If only every NASCAR race was 5 minutes long, they might be as enjoyable as this movie. Making NASCAR as exciting as only Jerry Bruckhimer and Tom Cruise can it’s definitely worth a rental.
Steve: Top Gun in cars. Never really cared for this movie and it didn’t do much for me this time around. I do like the “new kid” becomes the “old guy” who gets owned by the “new kid” thing though.

The Present: 21 Jump Street
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 90% Audience

Directors: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Trivia:

  • Jennifer Lawrence, Juno Temple, Julianne Hough and Gemma Ward auditioned for a role.
  • Emma Stone was considered for the lead female role but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with her other movie, The Amazing Spider-Man.
  • Channing Tatum’s character is named Jenko after Captain Richard Jenko, played by actor Frederic Forrest, on the original 21 Jump Street TV series. Jenko was the original captain of the squad before being killed off and then replaced by Captain Adam Fuller, played by Steven Williams.
  • Channing Tatum passed on the movie twice before he was convinced by Jonah Hill to take the role.
  • At one point, Dave Franco’s character says that he doesn’t trust Channing Tatum’s character because he looks like he’s 40 years old. In reality, Tatum is only five years older than Franco.
  • Jonah Hill lost over 40 pounds for his role since he and Channing Tatum are required to do a number of physically demanding stunts.
  • In one scene the bad guys are actually watching the TV series 21 Jump Street on TV. While other original cast members show up in cameos in the film, Dustin Nguyen (Officer Harry Truman Ioki) does not. But he is worked into the film here as almost all the shots on the TV are of Ioki.
  • The understudy for Peter Pan is named French Samuels. Samuel French is the name of the publishing company that manages the rights to the musical “Peter Pan”.
  • While undercover, Jonah Hill’s character’s cover is almost blown by someone he knows personally, and he avoids this by pushing her away and saying that she tried to grab his private parts. This same exact thing happened to Johnny Depp’s character in Donnie Brasco while he was undercover.
  • The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
  • Hanson (Johnny Depp) is seen in disguise as a biker eating a jar of peanut butter, based on a suggestion by Depp during his last season on the show. Penhall (Peter DeLuise), was also seen in disguise as a biker based on one of the character’s attires in the original series. The disguised characters were written specifically for Depp and DeLuise by Jonah Hill.
  • Hanson and Penhall are shot multiple times and die in the climactic shootout, marking the deaths of the television series’ original characters.
  • At the end of the film it is revealed that one of the bad guys is actually Tom Hanson, played by Johnny Depp, from the original 21 Jump Street series. He has been undercover for years with the villains using the alias D.B. Following 21 Jump Street Johnny Depp played another cop who was long term undercover with criminals whose name was Donnie Brasco … D.B.
  • Johnny Depp ad-libbed most of his lines as Tom Hanson.
  • Footage of Dustin Nguyen from the original show are shown on television screens during the shootout at the prom. Whenever Nguyen is shown, a TV screen gets shot.
  • Talking Points:
  • Ok…When they made fun of themselves for rehashing old ideas..
  • Was it what you expected?
  • The Cameo’s
  • #2 is already listed with a writer on IMDB

What We Learned:

  • Korean Jesus ain’t got time for your problems, he busy dealing with Korean Shit.
  • Drugs are bad, but they can have their place in the life of a professional actor
  • You never won’t know what you can’t achieve before you don’t achieve it.
  • Artistic does not equal Autistic
  • A extra vagina can be used as a coin purse
  • You cant run in tights or skinny jeans
  • Chickens are highly explosive
  • Everyone is a stranger till you give em a chance

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I saw half this movie and I’m surprised that I actually kinda liked it. I really think this movie was very well done but I just can’t stand embarrassing moments. If you like that humor, you’ll like it all. If not, you’ll like half the movie.
Ray: Well, I almost hate myself for it, but I enjoyed this movie a whole heck of a lot more than I was expecting. I thought it was funny, and I think they did a good Job with the twist on what it’s like to delve back into high school. Run out and see it? Maybe on a date.
Steve: I want to smack Jeff for making me watch this. However, there was some “fun” in it, but I found it extremely difficult to suspend the belief I know about law enforcement. So not 21 Jump Street…really should have been something else.

The Future: Dark Shadows (2012)
Release: May 11, 2012

Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green

Summary:

In 1752, the Collins family sails from Liverpool, England to North America. The son, Barnabas, grows up to be a wealthy playboy in Collinsport, Maine and is the master of Collinwood Manor. He breaks the heart of a witch, Angelique Bouchard, who turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. In 1972, Barnabas is accidentally freed from his coffin and returns to find his once-magnificent mansion in ruin. The manor is currently occupied by Barnabas’ dysfunctional descendants, all of whom are hiding dark and horrifying secrets and need his protection.

Talking Points

  • Turning a melodramatic soap into a comedy?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Okay, so I admit I really don’t know the original source for Dark Shadows but from what I seeing here, I think it’s going to be a complete disaster. If you want to see Johnny Depp, watch 21 Jump Street.
Ray: Now, this one makes me sad. I was never a big fan of the source material, but a lot of my family was. I don’t think any of them would have any interest in seeing this, and I can’t say I do either.
Steve: In the same vein as 21 Jump Street…taking a classic drama to comedy is strange. I don’t understand this trend in Hollywood. Comes off more Munsters or Addams Family than Dark Shadows source material. Not sure what I think at this point.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV054: “I Support The Missionary’s Position.”

The boys head briefly back in time to resurrect Ryan Reynolds’ performance in 2010’s “Buried”, then head off to the high seas with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz to find out if “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” lives up to the hype.  They wind up the show with a review of “Warrior”, a September release starring – the dreamy – Tom Hardy.  All of this, along with more news about Akira, Star Trek, and more.  There’s no need to start a mutiny…this 54th Reel of COL Movies is gonna entertain the heck out of you.

News:

  • More woes for Akira, Director leaves – no replacement as of yet
  • Albert Hughes no longer directing – no replacement so far
  • Split was friendly – Warner brothers deciding how to proceed
  • Impatiently waiting for more Star Trek? Be prepared to wait some more
  • recent interview in which Bob Orci revealed franchise mastermind J.J. Abrams had not yet approved the 70-page outline Orci co-wrote
  • Bruce Greenwood indicated last July that the plan was to start shooting in January 2011, which made perfect sense given the June 2012 release date. February 2011 came and went without any “Trek” casting news
  • World War Z to start its worldwide shooting schedule in June
  • directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), is gearing up for a June production start.
  • shooting will begin in Malta. Production will then relocate to the UK and, later, Hungary. Principal photography will last well into the fall.
  • Brad Pitt is still set to star as a UN researcher gathering stories of the great zombie war. The actor is also producing.
  • J. Michael Straczynski and Matthew Michael Carnahan penned the script.
  • Tom Hardy’s Bane

The Past: Buried (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh; 63% Audience

Director: Rodrigo Cortés

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Robert Paterson, Jose Luis Garcia Perez, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis

Trivia:

  • Samantha Mathis, who plays Paul Conroy’s wife, previously starred in a film where she is buried alive, called 83 Hours ‘Til Dawn (1990) (TV).
  • Shot in 17 days in a Barcelona studio.
  • Seven coffins were used in the movie.
  • The phone number of the Chicago FBI field office mentioned in the movie is the number of the office in real life.:
  • Ryan Reynolds states that he suffered from claustrophobia towards the end of filming (much like the character he is playing). This was mainly due to the fact the coffin he was in was gradually filled with more and more sand as filming went on. He describes the last day of shooting as “unlike anything I experienced in my life, and I never ever want to experience that again.”
  • When Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) opens up the note his kidnapper wants him to read on video, the first line says “The date is 23 October.” This is Ryan Reynolds’ actual birthday.
  • Ryan Reynolds is the only person we see in the flesh. All of the other performances are either voiceovers or recorded on his cell phone. The whole film is shot from the interior of the coffin. We never see the outside world. The film never repeats a single shot. These all make Buried (2010) one of the most minimalist films ever made.
  • Ryan Reynolds was the first and only choice to play Paul Conroy.
  • Shot in sequence.
  • Alfred Hitchcock films Rope (1948) and Lifeboat (1944) were an inspiration on Rodrigo Cortés when making Buried (2010).

Talking Points:

  • If anything makes me more excited to see Green Lantern.. its this.
  • Movie magic.

What We’ve Learned:

  • Don’t drive a truck in Iraq
  • If you do drive a truck in Iraq, keep your cell phone charged as much as possible
  • Remember your safety number
  • HR Departments SUCK

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It was alright. Did keep my attention.
Ray: I thought it was a little slow going at first, but it kept my attention and the ending ROCKED.
Steve: I really liked it. I was surprised by Ryan Reynolds’ dramatic chops, as well as how few people were actually in the movie. Good movie magic, too.

The Present: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Rotten; 68% Audience

Director: Rob Marshall

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin

Trivia:

  • Nothing new since the trailer.

Talking Points:

  • What was the average age of your audience, mine was about 60 (Ray)
  • I felt this film was very lazy, and just a setup up for more films.
  • Film length.
  • The mermaids (or harpie/vampire/siren/mermaids)

What We Learned:

  • Don’t lay your sword on the table while chasing a known criminal
  • A gentleman allows a lady to maintain her fiction
  • You can tell how long you have been at sea by the smell of your crew
  • Mermaids like singing
  • Tears of Joy are more potent than tears of sorrow.
  • Flags don’t shield you from musket balls

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: So fun. Was it a great movie? No, but fun. Skip the 3D though.
Ray: If your a fan of the series, I would say go for it. 3D is probably unnecessary. I could go my whole life without seeing another PotC movie.
Steve: Did not find the 3D necessary at all, but overall enjoyed it. Drug along in some places, but walked away feeling like it was the best since number 1.

The Future: Warrior

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Starring: Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Noah Emmerich

Trivia:

  • Filming took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Mogul Minds Studios, located in Pittsburgh, was used during the filming, as well as the University of Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center and the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In. North Hills High School was also used for some interior scenes.
  • Hardy went through a demanding training routine for gaining muscle during the film’s pre-production, gaining around 28 pounds of muscle and raising his overall weight to 205 pounds.
  • Additional filming was shot at the former West Virginia State Penitentiary, located in Moundsville, West Virginia.
  • Additional scenes were shot around the historic Pitt Hotel and Restaurant in McDonald, Pennsylvania.

Talking Points:

  • Seems like The Fighter + MMA + Iraq

Summary:

An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for a mixed martial arts tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan’s unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Looks like a Fighter imitator. Unless I hear otherwise, not interested.
Ray: The Fighter part two?
Steve: The Fighter with some more up-to-date issues. Tom Hardy looks awesome, though!

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV049: “This Is Our Once A Year Day”

In the 49th reel, the boys go back in time to check out the musical about working in a 1950’s pajama factory.  Yes, that’s correct..working in a 1950’s pajama factory!  Does “The Pajama Game” still fit today?  (Ba-dum-dum)  In current film, they FINALLY check out the ILM animated feature “Rango”.  Did they find any redeeming qualities in the random cast of desert animals searching for water or should they have just died of thirst?  Lastly, the boys check out the trailer for the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.  Is Jack Sparrow still relevant or should he just down with the ship?  All of this and movie news about remakes of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Crow” (yeah, that’s what we thought too!), along with updates on the sequels to the not yet released “Thor” and “Captain America”, and what’s going on with George Takei (rhymes with gay).  Don’t pass up this “jammy” packed episode!

News:

The Past: The Pajama Game (1957)
Rotten Tomatoes: 90% Fresh / 66% Audience

Director: George Abbott, Stanley Donen

Starring: Doris Day, John Raitt, Carol Haney, Eddie Foy Jr., Reta Shaw, Jack Straw, Ralph Dunn, Barbara Nichols, Thelma Pelish

Trivia:

  • 39% of the cast is from the original Broadway production.
  • The soundtrack LP, released by Columbia Records, vaulted to ninth position among “Billboard”‘s popular albums.
  • A song written specifically for Doris Day, “The Man Who Invented Love” (music and lyrics by Richard Adler), wound up on the cutting-room floor. Currently, the recording can be listened to on the soundtrack CD from Collectables, and the footage can be watched on the DVD from Warner Home Video.
  • The original Broadway production of “The Pajama Game” opened at the St. James Theater in New York on May 13, 1954, ran for 1,063 performances and won the 1955 Tony Award for the Best Musical. Shirley MacLaine was in the ensemble and was an understudy to Carol Haney. Miss MacLaine did go on for Miss Haney at least once during the Broadway run, allowing her to perform the popular songs “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway”. John Raitt, Carol Haney, Eddie Foy Jr., Reta Shaw, Thelma Pelish, Ralph Dunn, Ralph W. Chambers, Mary Stanton and Buzz Miller were in the original cast and recreated their roles in the movie version.
  • Frank Sinatra turned down the lead role in The Pajama Game (1957), which would have paired him up with Janis Paige, who played the role on Broadway. As a result, Paige lost out on playing the part to Doris Day, who was considered a bigger box-office draw

Talking Points:

  • What does this say about the state of society at the time it was made?
  • Undertones of Romeo and Juliet?

What We’ve Learned:

  • The second hand doesn’t understand that your back may break and your fingers ache and your constitution isn’t made of rock
  • 7½ cents doesn’t buy a heck of a lot
  • Its not ok to hit employees, but its ok to shove them
  • Not only is free beer at a company picnic acceptable its encouraged!
  • Just knock 3 times and whisper low that you and I were sent by Joe

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: There’s a special place in my heart for this movie as I had an amazing time being in the play in High School. Best shape I’ve ever been in.
Ray:I dig musicals, but this one was a no go for me.. I kept falling asleep
Steve: I am a huge fan of musicals…especially many classics in film. However, it was difficult for me to get into this one, despite knowing it was highly successful.

The Present: Rango
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Fresh / 72% Audience

Director: Gore Verbinski

Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root

Trivia:

  • This is the first animated feature produced by special effects company Industrial Light & Magic.
  • Rattlesnake Jake was modeled after Lee Van Cleef.
  • Ned Beatty based his performance on that of John Huston’s in Chinatown (1974).:
  • Johnny Depp character Rango was modeled after Don Knotts character Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show” (1960).
  • The first cat that Beans talks to in Dirt is an obvious vocal impression of staple western actor Pat Buttram.
  • Spirit of the West was modeled after Clint Eastwood.
  • The wanted posters in the sheriff’s office offer rewards for “Lockjaw Smith” and “Disco Lovejoy.”

Talking Points:

  • Anyone catch the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas reference?
  • Lots of facial close ups.
  • Does knowing how this movie was filmed make you appreciate it any more or less?
  • What do you think about the animation itself?
  • Did you have a favorite character?

What We Learned:

  • If you want to find water you must find Dirt
  • The desert and death are the closest of friends
  • Cactus root is a natural laxative

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: A couple of funny reference moment, but the movie overall was just okay. Amazing animation though.
Ray: Kudos to ILM for amazing visuals… Story was ok, but I felt it went on way too long.
Steve: I thought it looked great, although some of the characters were creepy looking (Dark Crystal). Not sure that I feel it’s a kid’s movie – kind of in the vein of Nightmare Before Christmas – but I overall liked it. The voice acting was very good.

The Future: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane

Trivia:

  • The title was revealed by Johnny Depp in character as Jack Sparrow, at Disney’s D23 Expo on September 11, 2009.
  • Disney’s Head of Production Oren Aviv said that this would “hopefully be the first of another trilogy.”
  • Johnny Depp said he agreed to star in this, before “there was a script or anything”.
  • This film is loosely based on the 1988 pirate novel ‘On Stranger Tides’, by Tim Powers. The novel’s protagonist is a pirate named Jack, but his character is significantly different from Jack Sparrow
  • In May 2010, Disney announced that this movie will be filmed using 3-D cameras. The special effects, however, will be rendered in 2-D then converted to 3-D to keep the budget lower.
  • This is the only “Pirates” film to not be directed by Gore Verbinski.
  • Penélope Cruz was pregnant during the filming of the movie

Talking Points:

  • Penelope Cruz – draw or detraction?
  • Is this franchise worth our time or has it “jumped the shark”?

Summary:

When Captain Jack Sparrow crosses paths with the enigmatic Angelica, he’s not sure if it’s love — or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Yes, we do need another Pirates Movie. I like the idea of just making each one an individual story.
Ray: I have really no interest in this series anymore, it’s hard to get excited about it.
Steve: I am not particularly interested in the franchise anymore…but I do admit that this one looks better than any of the previous to me.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV031: Super Duper Looper

The boy take a trip to the North Pole, Venice, and go back in time to the Wild West.

News:

  • Did y’all have Battle LA in front of The Tourist?

The Past: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Starring: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston

Trivia:

  • When Cornelia leaves the plate of food outside for Joe the can of Coke is positioned so the word “Coke” is showing. When Joe picks up the plate moments later the can has turned to show the words “Coca-Cola” in cursive on the other side of the can.

Talking Points:

  • Did anyone feel this felt like 2 movies smushed together?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Muppet Reindeer are creepy..not cute
  • A handsome man looks good in anything, but Green is not his color.
  • Santa is weight Conscious
  • If you give extra kisses, you get extra hugs
  • Puce is like Fuscia, but a shade less lavender and a bit more pink
  • Nothing gets your reindeer motivated to go faster like a little emotional manipulation

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Ray: Maybe good for a walk down memory lane, but I couldn’t recommend this to anyone over the age of 9.
Steve: Tolerable, but didn’t keep my attention all that much. Cute story on the origin, but the “current day” stuff was annoying.
Jeff: Favorite Christmas Movie Evar!

The Present: The Tourist

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Starring: Johnny Depp, Andelina Jolie, Paul Bettany

Trivia:

  • Tom Cruise, and Sam Worthington were going to play Frank originally before it falling in the Lap of Johnny Depp
  • Charlize Theron was originally supposed to play Elise
  • Angelina admitted the only reason she agreed to do this movie was that it was going to be a “quick shoot” in Venice.
  • Remake of 2005 French Film “Anthony Zimmer”

Talking Points:

  • Predictable?
  • Romantic Comedy/Action Movie/Heist Movie? Another schizo movie!
  • Did Depp just seem like a more sober Jack Sparrow to anyone else?

What We Learned:

  • Math Teachers are not English Teachers
  • Interpol Agents are not very discrete
  • Nutcase? Probably an American
  • Swordsman = Player
  • Italians are big on keeping tabs on their wives
  • If you’re going to get in a gunfight, do it in a canal in Venice – no one cares.
  • Buy E-cigarettes because Johnny Depp uses them (Product Placement?)

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Ray: Entertaining, but predictable.. I felt disappointed by the performance of Depp
Steve: Enjoyed it mostly. Felt it was trying to be too many different movies.
Jeff: Enjoyable, that the greatest movie ever but nice

The Future: True Grit

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Stienfeld

Trivia:

  • Remake of Original (1969) staring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby
  • The original True Grit (1969) featured Robert Duvall. Duvall appeared with Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart (2009). His cousin Wayne Duvall appeared in the Coen Brothers’ earlier film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000).
  • The original True Grit (1969) starred John Wayne in the role of Marshall Reuben J. ‘Rooster’ Cogburn which is played by Jeff Bridges in this film. Both actors have very similar nicknames. Wayne is also known as Duke while Bridges is known as The Dude.
  • Michael Biehn auditioned for the role of ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper but lost out to Barry Pepper.

Talking Points:

  • Seen The Original? The Duke vs The Dude
  • Girl = annoying?
  • Matt Damon = Southern Accent & teeth?

Summary:

Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with “true grit,” Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn. Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not augment her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and surprises on the journey, and each has his or her “grit” tested.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Ray: Westerns are not my thing, but I love the Coen Bro’s
Steve: Not a big Western person…and Matt Damon’s teeth bug me in this trailer.
Jeff: Excitedm feels like a true western to me.

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

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