Tag Archives: Billy Dee Williams

The Set of 400: #18 – My Favorite Dance with the Devil in the Pale Moonlight

Today! Because I’ve got a flying mouse to kill, and I want to clean my claws –

Batman (1989)

Directed by Tim Burton (x6)

Starring Michael Keaton (x9), Jack Nicholson (x7), Kim Basinger (x2), Robert Wuhl (x3), Michael Gough (x3), Pat Hingle (x3), Billy Dee Williams (x3), Lee Wallace, Tracey Walter (x3), Jack Palance, Jerry Hall, William Hootkins (x2), Garrick Hagon (x3)

One of the main reasons I started heavy-duty list making in the first place, Tim Burton’s Batman was everything to me in 1989. Remember, this was the halcyon summer of the third Indiana Jones and the second Ghostbusters and… Honey I Shrunk the Kids, so nine-year-old Joe had plenty to look forward to after the hectic slog of fourth grade. And while I enjoyed all of those (yes, even Ghostbusters II), none had the impact of the Caped Crusader facing off with the Joker on the big screen. I can’t overstate how important this movie was in the entire formation of my interests for years to come.

Seriously, is it possible we all have it wrong on GBII? I haven’t seen it in forever, but it’s not really all that bad, right? I mean, it’s not Caddyshack II, is it?

And I didn’t like this movie in a cool way – I wasn’t some detached fan who viewed it in secret and mentioned it sporadically if it happened to come up. Ten-year-old me was a giant dork about this movie, badgering all my grade school pals with Batman shit and watching it endlessly at the house. Before it was available on VHS, I read the novelization by (I still remember) Craig Shaw Gardner multiple times. I had the Prince soundtrack and the Danny Elfman score on tapes. I had no fewer than three posters from this movie in my bedroom. It was straight up disgusting, how into this movie I was. Oh, is your big takeaway 380+ movies into this list that I wasn’t a cool kid? Huge surprise, I know! I’m not putting up much of an argument for being a cool adult, either! Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #53 – My Favorite Dead Animal Sleeping Bag

Today! Because I thought they smelled bad on the outside – 

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Directed by Irvin Kershner

Starring Mark Hamill (x3), Harrison Ford (x7), Carrie Fisher (x7), Anthony Daniels (x3), James Earl Jones (x6), Kenny Baker (x4), Peter Mayhew (x2), Frank Oz (x8), Alec Guinness (x3), David Prowse (x2), Billy Dee Williams (x2), Julian Glover (x2), Jeremy Bulloch, Kenneth Colley (x3), Denis Lawson, John Ratzenberger (x7), Jason Wingreen

Look, there was bound to come a time on this list where the movies just get crazy great. While there are maybe a few unconventional choices going forward, maybe some preferences inside franchises that are atypical, we’re still largely going to be dealing with super popular or super acclaimed films, by and large. So, like, what is there to say about The Empire Strikes Back that hasn’t already been said? Is there anything in entertainment or pop culture that has been written about more over the last forty years than Star Wars?

For me, it’s basically just this movie and the St. Patrick’s Day parade, though

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The Set of 400: #86 – My Favorite Golden God

Today! Because I’m out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur –

Return of the Jedi (1983)

Directed by Richard Marquand

Starring Mark Hamill (x2), Harrison Ford (x4), Carrie Fisher (x6), Anthony Daniels (x2), Kenny Baker (x3), Peter Mayhew, James Earl Jones (x5), Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid (x2), Frank Oz (x7), David Prowse, Alec Guinness (x2), Sebastian Shaw, Kenneth Colley (x2), Warwick Davis (x2)

The first movie I distinctly remember seeing in theaters, Return of the Jedi was everything to me as a kid. I don’t wholly remember a time before it – figure, I was a sturdy three-and-a-half when Jedi came out – but as this was the newest film, it rapidly became the go-to in our rotation of Star Wars flicks. Even now, while (spoiler) it is my least favorite of the original trilogy, I contend it has the single best sequence of any of the films – the Tatooine/Jabba’s Palace first act, obviously. And sure, it just drowns in stuffed animals by the end – and a final action sequence that goes on forever – but as much as you might hate the Ewoks, if you grew up with them, do they really bother you that much? This was a franchise built on merchandising first and foremost! They needed their own line of Care Bears! Come on!

Adorbs!

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