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Ask 411 Movies for 11.19.12: A Long Time Ago in a Column Far, Far Away!
Posted by Leonard Hayhurst on 11.19.2012

Obscure Television Series of the Week
Title: Jack's Place
Air Dates: May 26, 1992, to July 13, 1993
Network: ABC
Cast: Hal Linden as Jack Evans, Finola Hughes as Chelsea Duffy and John Dye as Greg Toback
Premise: Jack's Place was a restaurant where former lovers and new lovers would find each other on a landlocked takeoff of The Love Boat premise. Jack was the wise owner of the place, Chelsea was the British waitress and Greg was the single dad bartender studying medicine.

Q: Speaking of the He-Man reboot, was anyone else a fan of the She-Ra stuff? Besides just girls? I mean, I'm a girl and loved HeMan, I still sometimes watch reruns of She-Ra when I am having some insomnia, makes me wish I'd have kept my old figurines after watching Toy Collector on Travel Channel. But it makes me wonder why they never would've tried to give She-Ra the hollywood treatment since there was a Masters Of The Universe movie.
-Litas Revenge

A: Last week the column featured the 2002 reboot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. She-Ra and her cast of characters were slated for the third season of the new series, but it wasn't produced due to low toy sales.

She-Ra was basically an attempt by Mattel to expand their Masters of the Universe toyline to girls with the Princess of Power spinoff. The toys and cartoon were never as popular as He-Man and therefore She-Ra hasn't shown up much since in other versions of the Masters of the Universe.
She-Ra was introduced in "The Secred of the Sword" the first five episodes of her series put together into a full length animated movie. She-Ra in real life was Adora, the twin sister of Prince Adam of Eternia, who turns into He-Man. As a child, Adora was kidnapped by Hordak and taken to Etheria to lead his Evil Horde army. With the magic sword that He-Man gives Adora, she turns into She-Ra and is freed from Hordak's control. She joins the rebellion and stays on Etheria to lead the people there to freedom.

Q: You prob been asked this before, but after reading a review for Skyfall, the person stated that there is good argument for 2012 being the best year for movies ever. What you think?Cause I could definalty see the argument for it. Skyfall,The Avengers,TDKR,Spiderman,Prometheus and even movies like The Hunger Games and the upcoming Twilight movie,also don't forget The Hobbit coming out. Only think I couldnt think of a comedy movie that stood out. But still impressive year. I would certainly say it was the most financial successful.
-Muta Mark

A: I've read in a couple different places where 2012 is being considered a banner year for Hollywood. The quality movies are making money and the blockbuster movies are quality. Sure, you've had some misses like Cloud Atlas and John Carter, but there's been a lot of good movies released so far and more yet to come before the end of the year like The Hobbit and Les Miserables.

Usually the two high water mark years for Hollywood are cited to be 1939 and 1989. The summer blockbuster was reinvented in 1989, an influence still felt today in marketing and presentation. Batman earned more than $250 million domestically and nine total films on the year went over $100 million, unprecedented for the time. The others were Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, Look Who's Talking, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Back to the Future Part II, Ghostbusters II, Driving Miss Daisy and Parenthood. Other notable movies included Dead Poets Society, When Harry Met Sally..., The War of the Roses, The Little Mermaid, Steel Magnolias, Christmas Vacation, Born on the Fourth of July, Uncle Buck, Field of Dreams, The Abyss, Major League, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Lean on Me, Weekend at Bernie's, Road House, Do the Right Thing, Sex Lies and Videotape, Say Anything, Casualties of War, My Left Foot, Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Fabulous Baker Boys.

If you look at any list of the greatest movies ever made, 1939 is usually the most represented year. Films include Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Stagecoach, The Women, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dark Victory, Of Mice and Men, Ninotchka, Gunga Din, Young Mr. Lincoln, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Only Angels Have Wings, Love Affair, Gulliver's Travels, Beau Geste and Drums Along the Mohawk.

Q: Hello Leonard,
Apologies if this has already been asked and answered. I was recently linked to a video on YouTube titled "Sean Bean dies in every movie". Now while I don't think that's quite true, Wikipedia credits him with 85 roles and I counted 21 different deaths, that's a rather large amount of on-screen deaths, close to a quarter.
Cut a long story short, is there anyone else who you can think of that when you see them on the screen, you start counting down how long it will be until they're killed off? Is anyone else a contender for most deaths in a film/television career? And for a fun bonus question if you want to what's your top three, five or ten best performances for an on-screen death? Your choice how much you wish to do, if any.
Appreciate your hard work, time and effort.

A: Not only does Sean Bean seem to die in every movie, but it's always in the most violent ways. Most everything in the reel are violent gunshots, but you also get being drawn and quartered and stampeded over a cliff by cattle.

The king of getting killed off in a movie has to be Christoper Lee. Cinemorgue has him at 33 on screen deaths and some sources have it at around 40. Right up there is Boris Karloff with 37, according to Cinemorgue.

A big bulk of Lee's deaths are horror films where he played Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula and the Mummy. Other notable movie deaths for him include ?The Man With the Golden Gun, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Gremlins II: The New Batch, 1941, Airport '77 and many other horror flicks. And the below sounds like he's slowing strangling a bag of cats.

What is usually sited as the top movie death scene of all time is Janet Leigh getting knifed in the shower in 1960's Psycho. The famous bit of trivia from the scene is that director Alfred Hitchcock used chocolate syrup for the blood, because it photographed better than standard fake blood. With the way it's shot and edited it's all about what you think you see and not what you really do.

Another memorable death scene is the chestburster in 1979's Alien. The rumor was always that the cast didn't know what was going to happen during the scene, which is partially true. They knew the gist of the scene, but not exactly what would happen. For example, Veronica Cartwright didn't know she would be sprayed with blood and her horror at being so is pretty much a real reaction. I couldn't find the pure clip on YouTube. The below is close, but features dubbed in meows. Live with it.

The execution of Eduard Delacroix in The Green Mile from 1999 is particularly gruesome. Due to the evil Percy not wetting the sponge used to help conduct electricity, Delacroix is cooked over a period of minutes instead of a swift electrocution. How Wild Bill and John react to the situation also helps to make the scene terrifying and gruesome.

Q: Hi Leonard,
If you had to recast the main characters in the Original Star Wars Trilogy with actors/actresses from today, who would you choose and why?

A: You didn't ask for reasoning, so I'm not going to give you any. Actually, I don't have much reasoning outside of I can see these people in the parts. Also let me state, I don't think Disney should do a reboot of the franchise, but sequels and expand the universe.

Luke Skywalker: Daniel Radcliffe
Princess Leia: Jennifer Lawrence
Han Solo: Chris Hemsworth
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Malcolm McDowell
Grand Moff Tarkin: Christoph Waltz
Darth Vader: You have to keep the voice of James Earl Jones. Just watch the below video on how badass it sounds using Jones' dialogue from other movies.

Q: Hey Leonard,
1) Could you please give the nationalities for the Disney Princesses, and the general time periods for when their movies are supposed to take place?
2) The "Kaitlin" gag on The Mindy Project got me thinking about this. There was a sitcom on Fox that I think was a one-and-done, airing sometime between the years 2001-2005, single-camera, no laugh track. The premise was life in the suburbs between various families. There was one episode, the only one I saw, where one of the dad characters was the coach of his daughter's little league baseball team, and every girl on the team was named Kaitlin. The episode's plot was that the one girl on the team whose name was not Kaitlin was the daughter of an Eastern European woman who had moved into the neighborhood and also was an internet stripper. In the end, everyone learns not to judge others. Any ideas on what show this was?
3) This might be outside the timeframe, but for obscure television series of the weeks, how about Bakersfield P.D., or Medicine Ball?

A: On your television series, I looked at a list of every released Fox sitcom and couldn't find a show that matched up. Either it was some sort of pilot they burned off randomly or you have the wrong network. I did a general internet search using several different key words and couldn't find anything either. Maybe a reader might remember something.

Bakersfield P.D. ran on Fox from Sept. 1993 to Aug. 1994. Giancarlo Esposito played Det. Paul Gigante, a half black and half Italian cop who transferred from Washington D.C. to Bakersfield, Calif., following separating from his wife. Ron Eldard played his partner and Brian Doyle-Murray was the grizzled veteran who covered often for Jack Hallett's inept captain.

Medicine Ball aired on Fox from March to June 1995. It was kind of like St. Elsewhere, focusing on a group of first year medical students at a teaching hospital in Seattle. Katie Cooper (Jensen Daggett) was a talented young surgeon, but was having trouble juggling her home life. Danny Macklin (Donal Logue) was an neurotic internal specialist who had a hard time dealing with patients. Harley Spencer (Harrison Pruett) hated hospital bureaucracy. Nia James (Kai Soremekun) was an outgoing psychiatrist. Max Chang (Darryl Fong) was the best with patients and had a cynical sense of humor.

As Josh mentioned in the comments on the Disney princesses, you have to go to their origin stories much of the time to get a good idea of time period and nationality.

Snow White is apparently based on the real life story of Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal in the Bavarian area of Germany in the 1740s. While Cinderella goes back as far as the first century B.C., the Disney version draws from the story by Frenchman Charles Perrault in 1697. Aurora of Sleeping Beauty also comes Perrault during the same time period. Ariel of The Little Mermaid comes from a Hans Christian Anderson story of the same title, placing it most likely off the coast of Denmark in the 1830s. Belle of Beauty of the Beast also comes from a French fairytale, first published in 1756. Jasmine of Aladdin is based on Princess Badroulbadour from "The Story of Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp" in One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. While the tale is Middle Eastern, the original is actually set in China although names and settings seem Middle Eastern. The Disney version is mostly likely shooting for 10th century Baghdad.

From here it gets a lot easier. Pocahontas was a real Native American and Jamestown was first settled in 1607. Fa Mulan is based on a real woman from the middle sixth century China. Tiana of The Princess and the Frog is updated to jazz era New Orleans. Rapunzel goes back to another old fairytale and is based on a French story from 1698.

Of course, there is a new princess recently added to the Disney ranks.

Q: Looking for info on a movie I remember seeing once on a Saturday afternoon. Late 50's shlock. People are stranded on an island. The waters around them are filled with creatures that appear as white circular scribbles, like they drew them onto the film. The creatures eat through everything but can't get up on land for some reason, although I remember a parrot being eaten. In the end they realize one giant squiggle rules them all and figure out a way to kill it. The hero swims out and climbs on top of it and injects it with the kill juice using a huge fashioned needle. I know this is definitely a real movie. I only saw it the one time and no one else I've ever asked remembers it, like they had better things to do on a Saturday in the 70's.

A: Thanks to Facebook friends George Sirois of here on 411, Don Reese, Cory Kirker and Shane Pyle I have the answer of The Flesh Eaters from 1964. Grant Murdoch (Byron Sanders) is hired to fly an old actress (Rita Morley) and her assistant Jan Letterman (Barbara Wilkin) to Pronvincetown. A storm forces them down on a small island where they meet scientist Peter Bartell (Martin Kosleck). He's been trying to breed creatures called Flesh Eaters, which can strip the skin off a victim in seconds. When things they get out of hand, they try to electrocute the little beasties, but it causes them to form into one giant monster. Bartell figures out they're allergic to hemoglobin in blood, so Murdoch fights the monster to inject it with a concentrated hemoglobin serum.

The film was directed and shot by Jack Curtis using a lot of deep focus and a comic book look in the layout of scenes and shots as the script came from comic book writer Arnold Drake. The movie has gained a cult following, because it was actually very brutal and gory for the time period.

I've still got more questions to get too, but be sure to send more.

Don't die.
"All I got to do is to be black and die, lady. "


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