1941 (1979) #deezenpalooza

 

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Deezenpalooza continues!  This will be our last review in the DEEZENPALOOZA Summer Event!  Spielberg’s 1941….what can I say?  What can I say?  I will say nothing – go listen to the podcast…

Danny Peary writes, in his indispensable Guide for the Film Fanatic, “Pointless mayhem was directed by Steven Spielberg, although it’s the type of comedy (i.e. Casino Royale) that looks like it was directed by anyone who came along.  At the outset the film has some period flavor, introduces some promising characters, but it becomes increasingly stupid; it is alternately smutty, racist, cruel (unless you think watching someone’s house slide off a cliff is funny) – it is always wasteful of it’s large budget.”

 

WarGames (1983) #deezenpalooza

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Deezenpalooza continues!  Matthew Broderick plays a precocious teen who accidentally hacks into a government computer (the W.O.P.R.) and starts World War III.  Along for the (moped-driven) ride is Ally Sheedy and reliable 80s jerk, Dabney Coleman.  John Badham (taking over after Martin Brest was fired) directs a thoughtful screenplay by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes.  Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin put in solid cameos as a pair of programmers who assist Broderick’s character in searching for an elusive password.

Mark and Christopher discuss this hacker classic from 1983!

Vintage Cable Box review of Wargames

Midnight Madness (1980) #deezenpalooza

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VHS Rewind’s Deezen-palooza continues with the product placement heaven known as Midnight Madness. No kidding; a drinking game can be made out of the egregious product placement this movie: just take a drink of your favorite alcoholic beverage (ideally, Pabst Blue Ribbon) every time a product or a product name (and that product/product name can be just about anything – an automobile, a beverage, video game, a location (a restaurant, a hotel) appears (in whole or in part) in a frame of this film and, come tomorrow, you will not remember blacking out at about the halfway point of this movie.

Midnight Madness was apparently produced by the Walt Disney Company (and yes, there is a product appearance/mention of a Disney character in here – take a drink!) although the Disney name is not mentioned in the product credits. The flick is a starring vehicle for then-Dr Pepper pitchman David Naughton (and yes, there is a Dr Pepper appearance in the flick – take a drink!) and a whole slew of other actors/actresses you have never seen before or since (although you may be surprised by which of the one or two actors/actresses who have continued to get work consistently since Midnight Madness).

This week our hosts at VHS Rewind lament that, as a vehicle for our man, Eddie Deezen, well, Eddie gets a bit lost in the sea of characters and subplots throughout this movie, but when Eddie is on-screen, it is Deezen gold.

Our hosts talk at length about Michael J. Fox, who has his first movie role in this flick. There is no hint of the Michael J. Fox we would all come to know and love. You may say it is the director’s fault for Fox failing to make an impression (there are a few bizarre scenes that are specifically about and involve Fox’s character yet Fox has no dialogue whatsoever (did it end up on the cutting room floor?)). Our hosts make the case that, in those scenes where Fox is allowed to speak, he sounds a big drugged (or, perhaps, blitzed on Pabst Blue Ribbon).

So grab a Pabst and give a listen to the newest episode of VHS Rewind!

Vintage Cable Box review of Midnight Madness