Tag Archives: tim burton

The SportsAlcohol.com MiniPodcast: The Secret of My Success and Mars Attacks!

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Ben and Jesse are back at it again. After our first business/’90s sci-fi double feature of Pretty Woman and Starship Troopers and our follow-up pairing Other People’s Money and Dark City, we got together to watch 1987’s The Secret of My Success (previously unseen by Jesse) and 1996’s Mars Attacks! (previously unseen by Ben), a business/sci-fi double feature heavily featuring Michael J. Fox. We pulled in Mars Attacks! number one fan and expert Nathaniel, and had a nice little chat about gruesome demises, nepotism, particularly camera-friendly ways of turning around, and other hallmarks of business/sci-fi/Fox cinema.

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

Happy Holidays-ish: The Top Six Best Christmas-Adjacent Movies

Sara

Sara

Sara is big into reading and writing fiction like it's her job, because it is. That doesn't mean she isn't real as it gets. She loves real stuff like polka dots, indie rock, and underground fight clubs. I may have made some of that up. I don't know her that well. You can tell she didn't just write this in the third person because if she had written it there would have been less suspect sentence construction.
Sara

First, a confession, which may not seem immediately related to the subject at hand: until December 3rd, I had never seen a Batman movie in full. Not a Nolan, not a Keaton, only dim memories of Val Kilmer clips interrupting Seal in the “Kiss From a Rose” video. But that night I gathered with some fellow SportsAlcohol-ics to watch Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, in a thinly-veiled attempt on Jesse’s part to (a) get me to finally watch one of these things and (b) put forth the argument that Returns is part of one of my favorite genres: not unequivocally holiday-themed films like A Christmas Story or Elf, but what I’ll call the Christmas-Adjacent. These are films whose plots do not revolve around, say, getting the family together for a big dinner, taking over for Santa after accidentally killing him, or having your marital infidelities exposed with poorly hidden gifts intended for your mistress. Rather, they use the holiday, or holiday season, as a motif or backdrop for other stories, variously invoking the warmth, loneliness, and occasional homicidal rage the season brings. You can also watch them any time of year and it doesn’t feel too weird. Having now seen Batman Returns myself (Ed. note), I absolutely agree that it fits the genre, and is fun to contemplate as one of the strangest studio tentpoles to exist. But the following, in my opinion, are the best, and the ones that most often end up in my holiday-watching rotation.
Continue reading Happy Holidays-ish: The Top Six Best Christmas-Adjacent Movies

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The Career of Tim Burton

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Tim Burton is easily one of the most commercially successful directors in Hollywood, with a name awareness up there with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Christopher Nolan. Yet in recent years, the director, whose new movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children just came out, has been the target of plenty of scorn, too. Is he an underappreciated auteur, a self-plagiarizing hack, or something in between? Is Miss Peregrine a comeback or did he not really go anywhere? What’s up with how much the internet hates Alice in Wonderland?

These questions and more are at the heart of our Tim Burton podcast, where Nathaniel, Marisa, and Jesse started with his new movie and wound up discussing every single feature he’s directed in some capacity. We talk about the best, the worst, the unloved and the underloved. Who sticks up for what? Who has a hot take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? And what have any of us bought at Hot Topic? Listen up and find out.

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

Ejected from the Planet of the Apes

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Rob and I were ejected from the Planet of the Apes (the movie, not the planet) in 2001. We got a chat going to explain what happened.

ROB
When was the last time we IM’d each other?

JESSE
Probably sometime after we saw Planet of the Apes 2001 but also way before Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out in 2011.

ROB
Only a decade between the two? It felt like a lifetime

JESSE
Right? A lot of these franchises get rebooted or whatever way too fast, but we straight up got into long-term relationships and got married in the lapse between Apes movies.

ROB
Sabrina and I had been dating a few months. But I don’t know if she had yet to meet my parents when we first attempted to see the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes.

JESSE
I had met Marisa the spring before at school and we were chatting online a lot that summer. In fact I think her friends went to go see it the same night that we tried and I’m sure I emailed or IMed her about our misadventure.

ROB
Oh you guys were totes in touch, but you hadn’t sealed the deal yet

MARISA
So this is a Google Hangout?

ROB
I don’t know if this counts as a real Google hangout because it’s text only Google hangouts are an insidious plot to get unsuspecting people to sign up for Google+

JESSE
First: background by way of what I’ve been listening to on a loop for the past 24 hours and am listening to RIGHT NOW: I got my cassette-to-computer device working and ripped the audio of Planet of the Tapes, the mix tape I made for the drive to Crossgates Mall to see Planet of the Apes (2001). At least the intro will be available as a download with the transcript of this conversation.

ROB
Ugh, I prepped for this by listening to the Apes jams bonus tracks on Severe Tire Damage. I learned nothing.

JESSE
But SO DID I, because those bonus tracks are all over the mix! Weirdly, though I had only seen the 1968 original at the time, the two best They Might Be Giants improv’d Apes songs are in fact my two favorite Planet of the Apes sequels: Escape from the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

ROB
“This Ape’s For You” isn’t one of your favorite Apes movies?

JESSE
OK, so to fill in, Rob and I and our buddies did this thing where we made 30-minute tapes for the drive to Saratoga to Crossgates Mall outside of Albany, for the movies we were particularly psyched about.

ROB
Our buddies was usually Jesse, Me, Chris, Jeff, and whatever girl had yet to realize we weren’t that charming.

JESSE
I was trying to remember what the other mixtape-worthy movies of summer 2001 were, and I’m pretty sure it was just Moulin Rouge! and A.I.… which is actually pretty spot-on. But in retrospect, it’s weird that Apes was the only really big blockbuster type thing that got the tape treatment that summer. Which actually makes sense because summer ’01 was a bunch of really uninspired sequels and also Michael Bay’s interpretation of Pearl Harbor.

ROB
It ended up being low key as it was me, you, Chris, and Ofy. But the ape tape is important to the story.
Continue reading Ejected from the Planet of the Apes

Going Ape

Marisa
Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

When I think about friends I’ve had throughout my life, one common thread that runs through all of them is the ability to get excited about something. The “something” is only of secondary importance (though I’m sure if you were passionate about something I find loathsome, a friendship might not work out). But the ability to get into something, feel strongly about it, argue about it, write about it, make lists about it, or just generally be about it is apparently something I find important in people.

While it’s essential that you have the ability to get excited about something, it’s even better if you can muster enthusiasm for next to nothing. Which brings us to Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes.

If you recall—and Jesse and Rob get into this in more detail—in the summer of 2001, there wasn’t much to get excited about. Before Burton’s Apes, the big blockbuster-type movies that year were The Mummy Returns, Pearl Harbor, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Fast and the Furious (surprise hit!), and Jurassic Park III. Okay, we also had Moulin Rouge and A.I., but it was a summer of slim pickings. I still went to the movies often, but there was not that much to really rev up the anticipation engine.

With enthusiasm to spare and nowhere to direct it, and being a bunch of kids on college break living out in the suburbs, Burton’s Planet of the Apes became The Thing We Get Excited About among my friends. I don’t really remember how or why it was chosen. (I do have a theory about how suburban upbringings and unconditional love for Tim Burton go hand-in-hand, but that’s a different post for a different day.) I just remember that it was decided: We Will Go All Out for Apes. And we did.

Apes4
I love this photo, and not just because you can’t see me in it. First off, you can see that we got big group to go to the movie in the first place (six in the photo, me taking the photo, and at least one more in the photo below). If this movie came out today, I don’t know if I could scrounge nearly 10 people to go see it unless it had a good Rotten Tomatoes score.

Also, we brought apes! And monkeys, of all sizes. (I’m pretty sure that purple one up front is mine, and his name is John Flansburgh because I bought him at Serendipity 3 after a They Might Be Giants concert.) One of my friends brought an ape so big, I was afraid they were going to make him buy a ticket for it.

Ape2

We were definitely Team Ape. You can’t see it in the photos I think a few of us even drew “GO APES!” on ourselves, homecoming pep rally-style. It didn’t matter that the movie wound up falling into the bottom tier of Apes movies and the bottom tier of Tim Burton movies.

It’s pretty easy to find a friend that will go with you to a critically acclaimed, Oscar-preordained, box office smash. But if you find people who will go with you to a possibly junky, head-scratching Mark Wahlberg vehicle—and bring stuffed animals, and write on themselves, and generally root for the apes, well, then, that’s a friend for life.