"Beetlejuice": Springtime Is Spooky Season
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
1y ago
Just in time for the 35th anniversary of "Beetlejuice," the second episode of Season 3 is here! Released on March 30, 1988 (yes, it's technically a spring movie), "Beetlejuice" introduced the world to "the ghost with the most." Raf remembers this film really fondly, while Sarah was a little more apprehensive about it in her early years. But these days, both love revisiting it regularly, especially since it gives them the chance to talk about Tim Burton's overall career trajectory and goth representation in cinema. Plus, they've got hot takes on polyester blue leisure suits, Robert Goulet, and ..read more
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"Scrooged": The Gift You Get Years Later
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
1y ago
Welcome back to the couch!  Season 3 of "What the Kids Were Watching" is here, and Sarah and Raf are getting into the holiday spirit with the 1988 film "Scrooged." As with some of the previous films discussed on this podcast, "Scrooged" -- an 80s retelling of "A Christmas Carol" starring Bill Murray -- has proven a bit divisive for our hosts. Raf has wanted to talk about this movie since the podcast launched, while Sarah was resistant. "I didn't want to have to face how I just didn't love this movie," she admits. Ultimately, though, both hosts are surprised at how much they absorbed from ..read more
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"L.A. Story" and "Roxanne": Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
1y ago
Steve Martin's delightful comedies "L.A. Story" (1991) and "Roxanne" (1987) have more in common than you may think. Both are based on classic works of literature: "Roxanne" is a sweet retelling of "Cyrano de Bergerac," while Raf insists "L.A. Story" loosely retells "Hamlet" and "The Tempest." Both movies can be seen as fairy tales for adults, respectively showcasing a whimsical and magic-drenched side of Los Angeles and the sheltered charm of the imagined mountain town Nelson. They paint adult life as a mixture of bizarre trends, Shakespeare quotes, and good old slapstick fun. But are these fa ..read more
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"Short Circuit": Warmongers and Brownface and Kittens, Oh My
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
2y ago
The legacy of the supposedly family-friendly comedy "Short Circuit" is a frustrating one; and in this podcast episode, Sarah and Raf try to parse out what's salvageable from the 1986 film and what's not. "Short Circuit" is the story of a robot/mobile nuclear weapon that gets struck by lightning and, Pinocchio-like, goes on a series of wacky adventures to become alive. Or, as Sarah sums it up: "This whole movie is like one big commercial for a surge protector." In addition to the robot Johnny Five -- clearly the inspiration for WALL-E, according to Raf -- the film features Ally Sheedy as Stepha ..read more
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"The Crow": Caws for Remembrance
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
2y ago
The 1994 comic book film "The Crow" has a famous and heartbreaking history. Its star Brandon Lee — son of Bruce Lee — was tragically killed in an on-set accident. Because of this, the film was edited down with much of its expository material removed, and the result was a tight and haunting story with an iconic lead performance. Sarah and Raf note that it's hard to watch Heath Ledger's Joker in "The Dark Knight" and not think of Lee's Eric Draven. That doesn't mean "The Crow" is a perfect film. As much as Raf loved it, he admits that it's "the most 1994 movie ever made," but celebrates what a l ..read more
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"Die Hard" Part II: Unlocking the Vault (with Guest Star Eric Lichtenfeld)
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
2y ago
In the final part of a two-part podcast episode, film historian and author Eric Lichtenfeld ("Action Speaks Louder") joins Sarah and Raf for the second half of their conversation about the 1988 action film and Christmas classic "Die Hard." This time, the group dives even deeper into the important tropes and meaning found in the beloved film: what the music is really saying; how John McClane is pride and Hans Gruber is vanity; and the sheer delight of stealing a candy bar from the Nakatomi Corporation. Raf dares to ask if there's anything the group doesn't like about the movie (and yes, there a ..read more
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"Die Hard" Part I: Welcome to the After-Party, Pal (with Guest Star Eric Lichtenfeld)
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
3y ago
For years, people have argued about whether or not the 1988 action masterpiece "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. Sarah and Raf are not here to argue about that. They're here to close out Season 2 with an incredible guest star who provides in-depth insight into the film's production and ongoing influence -- someone who literally wrote the book on "Die Hard." (Well, he wrote the Library of Congress essay that accompanied the movie's induction into the National Film Registry.) Film historian and author Eric Lichtenfeld ("Action Speaks Louder") joins the podcast hosts to discuss the enduring cultur ..read more
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"The Addams Family" and "Addams Family Values": As Creepy as They Want to Be
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
3y ago
The Addams Family: They're creepy, they're kooky, and now they're an essential part of Thanksgiving thanks to the 1991 film "The Addams Family" and especially the 1993 sequel "Addams Family Values." These goth-tastic films, both of which were released during the holiday season, were a much-needed seasonal respite from the season's treacly offerings when our hosts were growing up. "It was teenage catnip," says Raf. "Hot Topic: The Movie," adds Sarah. Decades after their releases, the Addams Family movies remain beloved for several reasons. For one, the hosts love watching a family that rejects ..read more
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"SpaceCamp": Out of This World (with Guest Star Reese Marino)
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
3y ago
Do you like strong female protagonists, Dire Straits songs, dope sweaters, and robots who take everything literally? Then you -- like our podcast hosts (and guest star!) -- probably loved the 1986 film "SpaceCamp." Dubbed "baby's first 'Apollo 13'" by Raf, this charming film follows a group of teens and their rejected-astronaut-turned-reluctant-leader Kate Capshaw as they accidentally blast off into space on the world's most expensive test drive. The film did poorly at the box office, as it launched only five months after the Challenger disaster. But the home video market brought a lot of fans ..read more
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"Interview with the Vampire" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula": Sucks to Be Them
What the Kids Were Watching
by Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz
3y ago
The late aughts had “Twilight,” but in the early 90s, vampire fans were sinking their teeth into “Interview with the Vampire” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” — and today, these two movies are the subject of a bloody good podcast episode. Raf explains how these films were groundbreaking in many ways, from portraying vampires as creatures worthy of sympathy to featuring a gay subtext that was rarely seen in the era's big-budget films. Sarah admits she hasn't seen these movies as many times as Raf has, but she does approve of Gary Oldman’s “Victorian Geddy Lee” look. In many ways, these two films ar ..read more
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