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2/18/18 Episode 89: Joysticks (1983)

Listen to the Let's Watch A Full-Length Movie on YouTube podcast and watch Joysticks (1983), embedded above, at the same time. Start with the podcast. Click here to launch the podcast in separate browser tab.

Porky's (1981) and National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) might had launched the teen sex comedy genre, but both films were set in the 1960s and were aimed for nostalgic old people. It would take a bold picture like Joysticks (1983) to set the action, for youth's sake, in the present day world of video game arcades.  Director Greydon Clarke (God bless him and his preppy name) shot this under 3 weeks, yet Joysticks remains evergreen. It shoves dated fads into a genre formula. It's Pac-Man footage mixed in with topless women. It's the gold standard of teen sex comedies.

Great cast, this movie. Jon Gries is fearless as punk rocker King Videot. Joe Don Baker and his henchmen (including character actor Jon Diehl) grimace and huff the story along. Jim Greenleaf (who, Carl says, got into an awful car accident afterwards) plays the slob with a bit of gravitas.

Not only does Pac-Man (and Super Pac-Man) play a big role in Joysticks, the yellow dot eater appears onscreen, chomping from the left side of the screen to the right, as a transitional "wipe" to get to the next scene. What I don't get is how Clarke doesn't just use this wipe not to reveal a new scene. In the town hall meeting (which Carl aptly points out happens in Act 2, not Act 3), the Pac-Man wipe is used to indicate time has passed. It's jarring to see a full-screen wipe cut from one location to the same location.

You can see Clarke's own generation pop up throughout. The arcade has a soda fountain counter, the bad guys disguise themselves as teenagers by dressing up as hippies, the plot is warmed-over Music Man (1962), and, straight out of the Playboy Philosophy, when the men speak, they are usually flanked with blonde women surrounding them.

I can't recommend this movie enough. Again, it's the gold standard of teen sex comedies.

2/11/18 Episode 88: King Lear (1987)

Listen to the Let's Watch A Full-Length Movie on YouTube podcast and watch King Lear (1987), embedded above, at the same time. Start with the podcast. Click here to launch the podcast in separate browser tab.

Jean-Luc Godard is still alive, still kicking, and has directed over 100 movies, shorts and documentaries. His best known films were shot during the Sixties and his most recent full-length movie, Goodbye to Language (2014), is considered one of the most poetic 3-D movies ever (I saw it in 2-D). So we can safely say Mr. Godard might had made lesser films in between Breathless (1960) and today.

One of his movies is so slight, that the story behind the movie is more interesting than the movie itself. Story goes the art house director and mainstream movie producers met at the Cannes Film Festival and signed a contract on a cocktail napkin to have Norman Mailer star and write a version of King Lear.

Co-host Carl believes Godard purposely made a bad movie when directing King Lear (1987). The film does come off as a fuck you to action genre producers Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan and to us, the audience. Godard onscreen even farts on one of his actors. Carl did a lot of research, so listen to the podcast to learn more back story. Plus, Carl and I perform Act 3, Scene 4 of the bard's classic tragedy, King Lear. Carl's Lear and I'm Poor Tom.

2/4/18 Episode 87: Raise The Titanic (1980)

Listen to the Let's Watch A Full-Length Movie on YouTube podcast and watch Raise the Titanic (1980), embedded above, at the same time. Start with the podcast. Click here to launch the podcast in separate browser tab.

Movie Executive: Let's do a Titanic movie!
Assistant to the Movie Executive: Like the ship sinks and people die?
Executive: Or...(does a line of cocaine), after the disaster, we raise the Titanic from the depths of the sea.
Assistant: Yes, sir! (leaves, comes back) Anything else, sir?
Executive: Do we have any more Mr. Magoo?
Assistant: "Mr. Magoo," sir?
Executive: That's what I call cocaine.
Assistant: There's no more, sir. Perhaps you can raise lines of cocaine out of your nose?
Executive: That's a terrible idea...and so is Raise The Titanic! Cancel that movie!
Assistant: Too late, sir. It's the one of the biggest flops of the decade.
Executive: Oh, Magoo, you've done it again!

1/28/18 Episode 86: The Hottie & The Nottie (2008)

Listen to the Let's Watch A Full-Length Movie on YouTube podcast and watch The Hottie & The Nottie (2008) at the same time. Click here to launch the podcast in separate browser tab. 

Since the release of this episode, the movie has been pulled from YouTube. Embedded instead is young Carl and Mike performing Hamlet.

The success of Jackass: The Movie (2002) launched two more theatrical versions of MTV and/or reality shows: MTV The Real Cancun (2003, The Real World) and From Justin to Kelly (2003, American Idol). They bombed. 3-D movies valiantly drew crowds into the theaters, but the internet and DVD sales kept them down. 

Paris Hilton came from the worlds of reality television, DVD sales, and the internet. She was on the groundbreaking reality show The Simple Life; her porn tape sold tons of DVDs; and she was a MySpace phenom and online paparazzi fixture. The silver screen beckoned.

The Hottie & The Nottie (2008) would had been shitty even without Paris as the lead. Its low budget production cries out "first year Hulu." Its sexist premise - pretty actress (Christine Lakin) wears ugly make-up - crumbles quickly. Movie takes place on the Santa Monica pier and beach, a bad movie rule for me. (On the podcast, I refer to Santa Monica Beach as Venice Beach, so sue me). My bad movie rule is that the characters not only hang out on "zany" Santa Monica beach, but can afford to live in one of the beach houses. They live one of the most famous houses.

Whatever my opinion, I feel like a lot of people grew up watching this film and get nostalgic for it.

I get nostalgic because the movie feels like the last Generation X "slacker" comedy before the Millennial movies took over. The male lead looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo and watches TV with his slacker friends, combing through their 1987 yearbook. For a costume party at the famous beach house, Shaggy dresses as Speed Racer and mingles with women dressed in Hot Dog on a Stick uniforms. The famous San Francisco Stonestown Mall location just closed, so that also makes me nostalgic.