We begin another year on Out of Touchstone, kicking off 1993 by looking at films involving characters fighting against the elements. First up is the harrowing Touchstone film ALIVE, the inspiring true story of a group of plane crash survivors stranded in the Andes Mountains. It's a very powerful film, but both Mike and Chad felt that it was also hard to watch at times due to the intense subject matter and speed at which the events unfold on screen. Finally, the hosts look at two entries from Walt Disney Pictures - HOMEWARD BOUND: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY and A FAR OFF PLACE - to compare the plight of each film's protagonists in the wild to those of the doomed passengers on the treacherous mountain.
It's time for a special episode of Out of Touchstone as we had the pleasure of interviewing Marty Kaplan: He's a fascinating individual who has spent time working under a U.S. President and now has an esteemed academic career. But in the 1980s he was a Vice President with Touchstone Pictures, and then worked as a writer/producer for Disney in the 1990s. He shares some detailed stories about developing ideas and working with Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg during the formation of the new Touchstone division, while also describing how his political background helped him shape the screenplay for the 1992 Hollywood Pictures comedy, THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN. It was a very enlightening interview and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed conducting it!
It was a quiet year for Touchstone as 1992 saw the studio only release six films, but Mike and Chad still had a fun time picking their favorites of the bunch. While two films received the lion's share of praise, the other four still garnered attention for some wonderful performances. Franchises were established, filmmakers began relationships with the studio, and some iconic characters were born. In addition, both Walt Disney Pictures AND Hollywood Pictures made some respectable (and underrated) additions to the overall Disney catalog. Sit back and listen as we enjoy a fun year!
We wrap up 1992 on Out of Touchstone by looking at shady protagonists with questionable backgrounds. First up is the Touchstone comedy CAPTAIN RON, featuring a stellar comedic turn from Kurt Russell but a dismal script with lame jokes aplenty. Finally, Chad and MIke focus on three more films - Disney's ALADDIN and THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, and THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN from Hollywood Pictures - to judge each lead character against Captain Ron to see who is the most selfish and who has the greatest redemption.
The examination of the criminal mind is the focus of this episode of Out of Touchstone, as we start by discussing Touchstone's CROSSING THE BRIDGE, a "coming of age" drama about three friends faced with the decision to engage in criminal activity. Both Mike and Chad enjoyed the performances but thought the film was a tad slow. After that, the co-hosts look at the 1992 slate of thrillers from Hollywood Pictures - THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, A STRANGER AMONG US and CONSENTING ADULTS - and contrast them with the only Touchstone film of the year to bear any resemblance to the genre.
We've got characters pushed to their limits on this episode of Out of Touchstone, highlighted by one of the most notorious flops in Touchstone's history: THE GUN IN BETTY LOU'S HANDBAG. While Penelope Ann Miller was great in the lead role, both Mike and Chad felt the script left a lot to be desired. The hosts also look at the stressful predicaments in Disney's HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID and the oppression featured in SARAFINA! from Hollywood Pictures, comparing the plight of each film's protagonist to the turmoil facing Betty Lou.
It's all about "kid power" for this episode of Out of Touchstone, as we focus on the 1992 films released by Disney aimed at young viewers. First up, Chad and Mike dissect Touchstone's 3 NINJAS, and lament about how they both feel that they missed out by not seeing the film when they were younger. From there, the hosts look at three other releases geared toward a youthful crowd - Disney's NEWSIES and THE MIGHTY DUCKS, and ENCINO MAN from Hollywood Pictures - to see how they stack up against the ninjas from Touchstone. We've got Stoney, Tum Tum and bad guys named Snyder on a fun-filled episode!
We roll into the first half of 1992 on Out of Touchstone by looking at films featuring proactive leads being dropped into unfamiliar surroudings and inspring those around them. First up, the hosts dissect the wildly successful star vehicle, SISTER ACT, and focus on the merits of Whoopi Goldberg's ability to carry both a film and a tune. Though Chad and Mike have different views on the film, they both agree that the supporting cast is quite strong. Finally, the guys compare the themes of two other Hollywood Pictures - MEDICINE MAN and STRAIGHT TALK - to see how they relate to the strength of Touchstone's biggest hit of 1992.
A new year of films brings a new format to our podcast, as we kick off 1992 by dissecting only one Touchstone film, the stage adaptation NOISES OFF. Mike and Chad discuss their favorite moments and performances from the ensemble comedy, highlighting the terrific work done by the late Christopher Reeve and John Ritter. In the second half of the show, the hosts briefly look at two other movies released near the same time from Hollywood Pictures - BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY and PASSED AWAY - to see how all three films fit within the Disney development slate as well as the box office charts of the season.
Another year has come and gone, which gives Mike and Chad a chance to pick their favorite films and performances from the 1991 Touchstone films. The year provided several surprises from the studio - both good and bad - but two gangster films seems to shine the brightest. We say goodbye to Ernest P. Worrell and "The Queen of Touchstone", but also look forward to a new era that sees increased production under the Hollywood Pictures banner. Finally, the hosts also discuss the infamous "Katzenberg Memo" that made an immediate impact on Disney's future plans for success within their film division.