Tag Archives: Burgess Meredith

The Set of 400: #331 – My Favorite Punchable Child Character

Today! Because he’s got a chip on his shoulder the size of the national debt –

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Directed by Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, and Steven Spielberg

Starring Dan Aykroyd (x2), Albert Brooks (x2), Vic Morrow, John Larroquette (x2), Steven Williams, Scatman Crothers, Selma Diamond, Bill Quinn, Murray Matheson, Kathleen Quinlan, Dick Miller, John Lithgow, Donna Dixon, Burgess Meredith (x3), Abbe Lane, Bill Mumy, Nancy Cartwright, William Schallert, Patricia Barry, Kevin McCarthy, Jeremy Licht, Priscilla Pointer, Martin Garner, Helen Shaw, Charles Hallahan, Doug McGrath

A wildly uneven movie, which is to be expected considering the basis, the highs in Twilight Zone are pretty damn high, while the lows are only mediocre – this is a wall-to-wall watchable movie, even if on paper it seems like it shouldn’t have worked at all. Bringing in the high profile quartet of directors was certainly a good first step – with the only one I tend to skip being Dante’s “It’s a Good Life.” I don’t know, it’s not an episode I particularly enjoy either, so I’m not blaming the way they execute it, I’m just not a huge fan of that asshole kid. It’s pretty meh.

But the other three – pretty solid. The only original story of the group – the Landis directed “Time Out” is a bit heavy-handed, but effectively lead by Vic Morrow (famously killed on the set of this film, requiring a different ending to be concocted). Spielberg’s “Kick the Can” is schmaltzy, but has always been my favorite segment, with its sadly sentimental senior citizens getting one night to be young again. But clearly they saved the stand-out sequence for the finale, as George Miller’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” surpasses the episode it’s based on (the best episode they chose to adapt, too) and gets a dynamite performance from Lithgow as the tortured passenger, seeing a monster on the wing of the plane.

Lithgow is largely not doing well

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The Set of 400: #336 – My Favorite Voodoo Action Figures

Today! Because the Kraken is invulnerable. A hundred men could not fight him, an army could not kill him –

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Directed by Desmond Davis

Starring Harry Hamlin, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Jack Gwillim, Claire Bloom, Burgess Meredith (x2), Judi Bowker, Sian Phillips, Pat Roach, Susan Fleetwood, Tim Pigott-Smith, Neil McCarthy

This pile of Ray Harryhausen wonderment adorned with super high end actors was another staple of the household growing up. We even had a puzzle of the above poster that I remember being a real ballbuster to put together – there’s a lot more water in the bottom part of the picture than appears here. But as a pure adventure movie, this thing basically holds up. Sure, those stop-motion effects look a little creaky in anything nowadays, but they are still relatively seamless with the movie as a whole. And there’s a bunch of well-realized mythological creatures populating the goings on. Pegasus! Medusa! The Kraken! Dude!

When the speechifying starts, it’s not the greatest. Even Olivier and Maggie Smith, with epic godly back-lighting, have a hard time making that dialogue work, but seriously, the plot in this thing doesn’t matter. There are monsters for Harry Hamlin’s Perseus to battle, for Chrissakes! His quest is basically gather up weapons, consult some witches, try not to turn to stone, fight giant sea creatures, rescue damsels, and keep that hairdo looking tight. Fun, mindless action!

Not so much backlighting as a full on laser show!

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The Set of 400: #356 – My Favorite Pinball Machine Destruction

Today! Because there is no tomorrow! There is no tomorrow!

Rocky III (1982)

Directed by Sylvester Stallone (x2)

Starring Sylvester Stallone (x2), Mr. T, Talia Shire (x2), Carl Weathers (x2), Burgess Meredith, Burt Young (x2), Tony Burton (x2), Hulk Hogan, Al Silvani

That’s right, we’re back where it all started – Rocky Balboa! Cast your mind to nearly two months back when this long journey began, as Rocky IV was the first movie announced on the Set of 400. Seems like yesterday, right? And yet here we are, with another Rocky movie! How fun for you!

has it over in many respects, in my opinion. First, it has Burgess Meredith, at least for a little while. Second, it’s the rare Rocky film where the fights don’t go to the scorecards. Third, awesome beach running montages featuring a completely jacked Carl Weathers, and later his completely improbable footrace defeat by the much shorter Stallone. Fourth, Mr. T’s terrific bad guy turn as Clubber Lang. And lastly, Thunderlips, in the flesh, baby!

Amazingly, Hulk Hogan’s first of three appearances on this list – feel free to submit guesses on the other two and win respect!

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