Category Archives: Thoughts On

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ Anniversary Celebration (with Special Guest Elliott Serrano)”!

Hi, everyone!

On March 18, 2016, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, starring Pee-wee Herman, debuted on Netflix. That makes this Saturday the film’s one-year anniversary!

In honor of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’s big anniversary, here’s a picture of my foil ball! It’s been growing since February 19, 2015, and now has 100 pieces of foil!

So… “Let’s see how big my foil ball is today!”

Pee-wee Herman: “It’s THIS tall!”

Given how much I talked about the film before its release… years before its release… how big of a Pee-wee Herman fan I am in general (Exibit A! Exibit B! Exibit C!), and the fact that Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’s anniversary falls on a Saturday, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate!

So why don’t you join us this week for our grand…

“Why don’t YOU?!”

Christmas/Holiday Movies: “It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie”

Hi, everyone!

I had a pretty hectic Halloween season this year, so I wasn’t able to continue my series about Halloween movies. However, I know that my subsequent series on holiday/Christmas/winter movies (and specials) only had half the amount of entries… that is, only two. Yikes.

So, I’m going to rectify that this year, starting…

now!

For those of you who are new (or just don’t remember), this is how this series works…

This month, I’m going to watch (and, in some cases, re-watch) some movies that are perfect for the holiday/Christmas/winter season. These are not reviews, because I’ll only be writing about films I love and recommend. There’s no plan, method, or scientific algorithm to what movies I’m going to watch or how I’m going to structure these entries. I’m just going to have fun with it, and I hope you will, too!

First up, a TV movie that I believe is ridiculously underrated…

It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

It’s ALWAYS a merry Christmas with The Muppets!

It’s ALWAYS a merry Christmas with The Muppets!

It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
Plot: The Muppets are putting on a big Christmas show to save their theater, but when everything goes wrong and Kermit the Frog’s spirit seems broken, an angel comes to show him what the world––– and his friends––– would be like if he’d never been born.

I also have a very personal connection to this movie, which you’ll have to read on to find out about!

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday”

Before we get started, follow Pee-wee Herman’s adventures on his official website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his new YouTube channel, and join his FREE Premium Diamond Platinum Fan Club!

I’ve written about Pee-wee Herman twice before. Both times, I predicted I’d end up writing about Pee-wee’s Big Holiday when it was released on Netflix.

… I’m psychic!

I was so excited for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday that I stayed up until 12:00 am PT––– 2:00 am my time––– to watch it the second it premiered!

This was how I looked just before 2:00 am on March 18.

This was how I looked just before 2:00 am on March 18.

Thank goodness I was on a different floor with the door closed… otherwise, my constant laughter would’ve woken everybody up!

All of the following images, videos, and GIFs belong to their respective owners!

Here’s the poster…

That’s about how high I jumped every time I heard news about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

That’s about how high I jumped every time I heard news about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

Here’s the trailer…

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is written by Paul Reubens and Paul Rust, directed by John Lee, and produced by Judd Apatow. (You all know how much it means to me to see someone who’s both a writer and a performer!)

Let’s do this!

“Ha ha!”

Christmas/Holiday Movies: “Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special”

Remember how I said I’d love to write more about Pee-wee Herman?

Well, here I am, doing just that!

Check out Pee-wee Herman’s official website!

Christmas (and the holiday season in general) is, obviously, about giving to others, especially those less fortunate than us. It’s also a time to reunite with friends and family. Mix generosity with friends and family, and you have the perfect recipe for craziness and fun. And who has more crazy fun than Pee-wee Herman?

So “come on in, and pull yourself up a chair,” because it’s time for…

Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special (1988)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s a treat: a promo for the special from 1988! Check it out:

This is the perfect year to watch it, too: to get yourself ready for the premiere of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday in March on Netflix!

If you like Pee-wee Herman, you’ll love Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special! Not one bit of the show’s trademark anarchic insanity or subversive nature was sacrificed to create this double-length episode.

This special has everything you’d expect to see in a traditional Christmas special: guest stars galore, seasonal music, almost every Christmas/holiday/winter symbol you can think of, and even a reminder of why people celebrate Christmas in the first place.

If you need something to make you laugh, something to show to kids, or something to make you stand out when it’s your turn to pick in the Christmas movie marathon, look no further than Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special!

You’re invited to the coolest Christmas party EVER!

You’re invited to the coolest Christmas party EVER!

As with anything Pee-wee Herman-related, if you’ve never seen Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special before, it’s best to go into it without knowing too much about it. Think of it this way: would opening Christmas presents be as fun if you knew what every single gift was beforehand? The answer is no. The surprise is part of the fun!

Go watch Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special (which is streaming on Netflix), and then come back here to read the rest of this post.

Go. Now. Don’t worry: I’ll wait.

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Christmas/Holiday Movies: “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

I had so much fun writing about Halloween movies, I decided to extend the series and write about films perfect for Christmas/the holiday season! Most will probably be about Christmas, but I’m leaving myself wiggle room for other holidays and general winter movies.

Remember, these are not reviews: I’m writing about films and TV specials that I love and recommend.

My favorite Christmas movies generally have a nice mix of humor, fun, wackiness, and heart––– and some good music doesn’t hurt, either.

This first film has all of that, and more. Warm up your voices, because it’s time for…

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)!

By the way, if you like the Muppets, make sure you check out The Muppets on ABC!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

I’m not sure why there’s music from Beetlejuice in the trailer, but it works.

I'm smiling already!

I’m smiling already!

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Plot: Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, bitter businessman, despises Christmas and all forms of kindness and charity; but this Christmas, he just might get a chance to redeem himself…

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Halloween Movies: “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”

Happy Halloween!

A lot of people wonder how I even know about all the classic horror and monster movies that I do… and the obscure ones, too! Well, the answer is horror hosts, like Svengoolie and…

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)!

Fair warning, “ladies and Dobermans”: accidental (and deliberate) double entendres will be busting out of this entry! (Oh boy, here we go…)

Make sure you check out Elvira’s website!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I wrote about how I discovered Elvira here on Terror from Beyond the Daves.

As I seem to say all the time, I saw this amazing movie by accident. My younger brother’s actually the one who found this one. I returned the favor later by finding her second film, Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2001), which is just as fun. They make a fantastic double feature! (Oh geez…)

I first saw Elvira, Mistress of the Dark before I’d seen any of the classic horror and monster movies that I love so much, and before the revival of Elvira’s Movie Macabre (which you should definitely check out) hit the boob tube. I was also just at the age where I could actually understand the double entendres and suggestive visual gags I was about to witness… along with my younger brother… and my parents.

None of us had seen this movie before. In fact, I’d never seen anything even remotely like this movie before. Basically, Elvira was my first exposure to double entendres. (Oh boy…)

This is another movie you’re going to want to watch more than once. You’ll be laughing so hard the first time around (or otherwise distracted…) that you’ll miss at least half of the rapid-fire humor.

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Plot: A horror movie host who dreams of headlining in Las Vegas suddenly finds herself one of the heirs of a deceased relative; when she goes to a conservative town to collect her inheritance, she’s forced to stay when her car breaks down, but all is not as it seems…
Villain(s): That would be a spoiler!
Scare Factor: The scares are mostly played for laughs here. If something does manage to creep you out, Elvira will surely put a comedic twist on it within seconds.
Gore Factor: There’s some gore, but it’s relatively minimal.
Family-Friendly Factor: This is Elvira we’re talking about here. Double entendres, suggestive language, and her own ample assets––– you know: her sarcasm and comedic timing––– abound.

Wow! Elvira’s really HOT!

Wow! Elvira’s really HOT!

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Halloween Movies: “Dracula”

First of all, this is my sixtieth blog entry! Hooray!

Anyway…

When I wrote about The Monster Squad, I made it very clear just how much I love the Universal Monster franchise. It’s amazing to me that one studio was responsible for bringing so many iconic monsters to the big screen.

So, of course, no series of entries on Halloween movies that I write would be complete without one of the original Universal Monster movies rearing its head.

Grab your crosses and stakes and put on your turtlenecks, because we’re about to face…

Dracula (1931)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I first saw Dracula on Svengoolie, and boy, was I excited to see it! (I’m always excited for Svengoolie, but that’s beside the point.)

If you want to see the film, you have a couple of options: Sven recently showed it again (with a new score), and it will rerun Saturday, October 31, on WCIU. Also, Turner Classic Movies is showing it in theaters on Wednesday, October 28, in a double feature with the Spanish-language version of the movie (with English subtitles), which was filmed at night with a different cast and crew using the same sets. I went to the double feature on Sunday, and I loved seeing all the similarities and differences between the two films.

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

Dracula (1931)
Plot: Mr. Renfield travels to Transylvania to close a real estate deal with Count Dracula, who plans to move to London, but all is not as it seems…
Villain(s): Really?
Scare Factor: The scares are very different from what you’re used to seeing in horror films, so it’s hard to predict how scary you or any kids you know may find this one.
Gore Factor: You see blood once in the entire film.
Family-Friendly Factor: There’s no swearing, and any minimal suggestive content that adults may infer will go way over kids’ heads.

Quick! Run while he’s stuck in the web!

Quick! Run while he’s stuck in the web!

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Halloween Movies: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

It’s time to give yourself over to absolute pleasure, as we dive into the wonderfully weird and wacky world of…

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I found out about this movie by a strange coincidence. One of the mainstays of Six Flags’ Fright Fest every year is the family-friendly musical comedy monster mash, Love at First Fright. While the basic plot stays the same, jokes and references change every year, keeping the show fresh and just as fun and entertaining for veteran viewers as for newbies.

The musical numbers are all existing songs from various sources, so I knew most of them. But one of my favorite songs from the show remained a mystery. After the show, I asked one of the cast members where it was from. It turns out that it, as well as another song from the show, is from The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Which songs? I’ll reveal them later…

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of those movies that I bought and watched pretty much “blindly,” meaning that I knew almost nothing about it, other than the fact that it would have those two particular songs. Late one night a few years ago, I popped in the DVD and watched it for the very first time. I watched it alone, which in hindsight, was probably a good idea. Given my age at the time, watching it with my parents would’ve been really awkward.

The movie immediately hooked me with its tone and humor. In an instant, I was laughing and dancing along. A few scenes later, my jaw dropped. I found out that I was watching one of the funniest, weirdest, and most downright insane films I’d ever seen.

… And I loved every frame of it.

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Plot: A clean-cut, newly engaged couple gets a flat tire on an abandoned road during a thunderstorm late at night and goes to a nearby castle in hopes of using a phone to call for help.
Villain(s): That would be a spoiler! It’s kind of up for interpretation, anyway.
Scare Factor: This movie is so ridiculously fun that the few minimal scares are more humorous than nightmare-inducing.
Gore Factor: The gore’s pretty minimal.
Family-Friendly Factor: If your family has members that are teenaged or older, then you can probably watch this one together. There’s a fair amount of swearing, though most of it’s pretty mild. In case you’re a complete Rocky Horror “virgin,” there’s a lot of sexual content.

VERY different…

VERY different…

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Halloween Movies: “The Monster Squad”

This month, I’m going to watch (and, in some cases, re-watch) some movies that are perfect for the Halloween season. These are not reviews, because I’ll only be writing about films I love and recommend. There’s no plan, method, or scientific algorithm to what movies I’m going to watch or how I’m going to structure these entries. I’m just going to have fun with it, and I hope you will, too!

The one promise I’ll make is that I’ll only include spoilers after the jump.

For this inaugural entry, I’m going to write about a movie I just saw for the first time––– well, all the way through, anyway…

The Monster Squad (1987)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I’ve known about The Monster Squad for a while, though I don’t know exactly how long. When you love the Universal Monsters as much as I do (and I’m sure many of you do), you read a lot about them and other films that reference or utilize them. I was bound to come across The Monster Squad at some point. And I did. I read about the plot, found out some trivia, and watched some clips. All signs pointed to this being a film I’d love.

So recently, I finally ordered the twentieth anniversary DVD online. I watched it with my family, who had never even heard of it until I told them about it. Luckily for all of us, my gut instinct turned out to be a bullseye: we loved every minute of it––– and if you love monster movies, you will, too!

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

The Monster Squad (1987)
Plot: Some young friends obsessed with monsters suddenly find themselves face-to-face with the Universal Monsters and must stop Dracula’s plan before it’s too late.
Monsters: Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, the Gillman, and the Mummy
Scare Factor: It may be scary to kids about five years old or younger, but it all depends on the kid. If this kid has already seen some monster movies, especially ones with the Universal Monsters, he or she will probably be fine. For everyone else, watch it and have fun!
Gore Factor: The gore’s pretty minimal.
Family-Friendly Factor: There’s some scattered swearing and some suggestive comments. Some people may find a couple of words offensive.

Look out! Behind you!

Look out! Behind you!

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”

Hi, everyone!

I could easily write an entire post just about Pee-wee Herman (Peewee.com) and his various projects. But, it would be very long, and, honestly, I’d love to write about Pee-wee Herman again, so I’m going to leave that possibility open for myself and just focus on Pee-wee’s Playhouse for this post. So… you’re welcome!

I’m writing about Pee-wee’s Playhouse now for three reasons…

1. The entire meticulously re-mastered series was released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory (ShoutFactory.com) on October 21, 2014. By the way, Shout! Factory has a pretty unique library of releases. You should check out their catalog!

2. I want to.

3. You’ll have to keep reading to find out this last one!

“Why don’t you make me?”