The Langoliers

Have you ever liked something a lot but you know deep down…that it is mediocre or even worse? That is the way I feel toward this 1995 two-part Stephen King TV movie. This is an odd post. Me recommending a TV movie that is not great but…I do love the story.

I always complain when movies don’t go by the book. I can’t say that about this one. It’s so close to the book it hurts which is great. It wasn’t the story that was bad…I love the plot. The acting is ok…well average at best…no it has to do with something that I usually don’t care about at all. Special effects… Star Trek had primitive special effects but I loved the red beams from the phasers…as long as it gets the story across is all I care about. But this…this has to be some of the worst CGI effects ever in a movie even a TV movie. It actually ruins the end for me.

The plot is much like a Twilight Zone episode. A plane full of people takes off from Los Angeles to Boston. 10 people wake up after sleeping for the first 40 minutes into the flight and see everyone else including the crew has vanished. They find the missing people’s watches, wigs, and even implants (surgical pins, pacemakers) sitting in the seats where their owners were at one time.

They look out the window as they were going over Denver and see no lights at all. No one is on the radio. It’s like the world is empty except them. It just so happens a pilot with the airlines was on the plane asleep traveling and he woke up and flew the plane to a smaller airport in Bangor Maine (it is a Stephen King story so where else but Maine). They land but no one is at the airport and everything is drab looking. All the food and drinks are flat. They hear this far off munching sound coming toward them.

That is a great beginning and I liked the story it’s just the “monsters” are pretty bad. If you want a Twilight Zone type story…it’s a fun watch but it could have been so much better. If Hollywood wants to redo a movie…which seems to be the case these days…this one would be a great one to do.

So yes I would recommend this sometimes so so TV movie because of the story. The Stephen Kings book it came from was called Four Past Midnight and is a collection of novellas. I have watched this movie at least 4 times. I just can’t help it.

In this trailer, they wisely avoid showing too much of the Langoliers

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John Mellencamp – Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) ———Songs that reference The Beatles

In a hand painted night, me and Gypsy Scotty are partners, At the Hotel Flamingo, wearin black market shoes, This loud Cuban band is crucifying John Lennon

This song was released in 1996 and it came off the album Mr. Happy Go Lucky. The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada and #83 in the UK in 1996. It’s a very good pop song and Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First), which was Mellencamp’s last US top 40 hit.

John Mellencamp and Cougar had 29 songs in the Billboard 100, 10 top ten hits and one number 1 (Jack and Diane). He released this two years after his minor heart attack in 1994. I’ve always liked this song…catchy riff and a good pop hook.


Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)

In a hand painted night, me and Gypsy Scotty are partners
At the Hotel Flamingo, wearin black market shoes
This loud Cuban band is crucifying John Lennon
No one wants to be lonely, no one wants to sing the blues

She’s perched like a parrot on his tuxedo shoulder
Christ, what’s she doing with him she could be dancing with me
She stirs the ice in her glass with her elegant finger
I want to be what she’s drinking, yeah I just want to be

I saw you first
I’m the first one tonight
I saw you first
Don’t that give me the right
To move around in your heart
Everyone was lookin
But I saw you first

On a moon spattered road in her parrot rebozo
Gypsy Scotty is driving his big long yellow car
She flies like a bird over his shoulder
Se whispers in his ear, boy, you are my star

But I saw you first
I’m the first one tonight
Yes I saw you first
Don’t that give me the right
To move around in your heart
Everyone was lookin’

In the bone colored dawn, me and Gypsy Scotty are singin’
The radio is playin, she left her shoes out in the back
He tells me a story about some girl he knows in Kentucky
He just made that story up, there ain’t no girl like that

But I saw you first
I’m the first one tonight
Yes I saw you first
Don’t that give me the right
To move around in your heart
Everyone was lookin
But I saw you first
I saw you first

Movie Quotes Part 2

A few days ago I  had a Movie Quotes post and received suggestions from people and have included some. Thanks to you all including msjadeli, hanspostcard, and The Hinoeuma.

Monty Python and the Holy GrailJust a flesh wound.

at 1:10

Cool Hand Luke – “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

TombstoneI’m your Huckleberry, why Johnny Ringo looks like somebody just walked over your grave. 

Pulp Fiction (deleted scene) “There are only two kinds of people in the world, Beatles people and Elvis people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis and Elvis people can like the Beatles, but nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice, tells you who you are.”

at 1:21


Dirty HarryYou’ve got to ask yourself a question: ‘do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?

at :49

Spinal Tap – “But these go to 11”

A League of Their Own  – “There’s no crying in baseball!”

at :35

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’

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Planet of the Apes“Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”

at 1:58


Good Morning VietnamNo, Phil, he’s not all right. A man does not refer to Pat Boone as a beautiful genius if things are all right.

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Into The Great Wide Open

I’ve always liked this song and album. I saw them on this tour and it would be the only time I got to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The song is a cautionary tale about stardom and the record business. The album of the same name peaked at #13 in 1991. This was the first Heartbreakers album since Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) in 1987. Tom Petty released his solo album Full Moon Fever two years before this.

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Rock Tracks.

The video to the song was well made. Petty later commented that he was approached about making a movie out of the song. The video not only featured Johnny Depp but also Faye Dunaway.

From Songfacts

“‘Into The Great Wide Open’ had a lot of dark humor,” Tom Petty told Mojo in 2009.

The song tells the story of a guy named Eddie who moves to Los Angeles, meets a girl and becomes a rock star. On their journey, there is a struggle, but always a possibility, as the future is wide open. Eddie plays from the heart, and it pays off with a record deal and a hit. But once he’s achieved his dream, the sky is no longer the limit, as his A&R man spouts that industry cliché, “I don’t hear a single.”

Petty, who knows a thing or two about record company machinations, leaves it to the listener to decide what happens next. There’s a good chance it doesn’t go so well for Eddie.

In the music video, Johnny Depp stars as Eddie. It was directed by Julien Temple and also features Faye Dunaway as Eddie’s manager, Gabrielle Anwar as his girlfriend, and appearances by Matt LeBlanc, Terence Trent D’Arby and Chynna Phillips. As in many of his videos, Tom Petty opens the book to reveal the story. In this one, Petty also plays the roadie Bart, the tattoo artist, and the reporter.

In the video, Eddie becomes a boorish narcissist and his career tanks. Dropped by his label, he goes into the same tattoo parlor where he started and sees himself inking up a newcomer (LeBlanc).

This was the first music video in which Johnny Depp starred. He was a big deal at the time (it was after Edward Scissorhands but before What’s Eating Gilbert Grape), and Petty remarked, “I never met so many women in my life as when we had Johnny Depp in this video.”

Depp later featured in videos for Lemonheads (“It’s A Shame About Ray”), Johnny Cash (“God’s Gonna Cut You Down”) and Alice Cooper (“I’ll Bite Your Face Off”). He also played guitar on songs by a number of high-profile artists, including Oasis (“Fade In-Out”), Patti Smith (“Banga”) and Paul McCartney (“My Valentine”).

This was used in the 2013 Family Guy episode “12 and a Half Angry Men.”

Into The Great Wide Open

Eddie waited till he finished high school
He went to Hollywood, got a tattoo
He met a girl out there with a tattoo too
The future was wide open

They moved into a place they both could afford
He found a nightclub he could work at the door
She had a guitar and she taught him some chords
The sky was the limit

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

The papers said Ed always played from the heart
He got an agent and a roadie named Bart
They made a record and it went in the charts
The sky was the limit

His leather jacket had chains that would jingle
They both met movie stars, partied and mingled
Their A&R man said “I don’t hear a single”
The future was wide open

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Into the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

My 5 Favorite Baseball Announcers of All Time

This list will be different for every baseball fan. Many times it’s your team’s announcer and other times it’s a network announcer you grew up with. I tend to like announcers who are not complete homers although some I like… like Harry Caray. He made it fun even though he openly rooted for the Cubs…and Budweiser.

There are many more that could be on this list.

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5: Harry Caray – He injected fun into the game. It was like a fan announcing the game. He wasn’t technically the best baseball announcer but he was enjoyable.

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4: Mel Allen – I remember Mel when I was a kid on “This Week in Baseball.” That voice was a part of my childhood.

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3: Bob Uecker – “Just a bit outside” the more I listen to him the more I appreciate him.

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2: Jack BuckNOT Joe… You could hear his excitement for the game in his voice. For me, the best is between Jack and…

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1: Vin Scully – Being a Dodgers fan I was spoiled by Vin Scully… my number 1 favorite. If you tuned into a Dodger game you would not know who employed Mr. Scully. He would not root for the Dodgers and he knew when not to say anything and let the action speak for itself.





Sling Blade

This 1996 movie is about a mentally challenged man from the South named Karl Childers who is in a mental hospital after he kills the town bully and his mom when he is 12 years old. He thought the man was taking advantage of his mom but she was encouraging it so he killed her also.

Karl is very southern, slow, absurd, sympathetic, and frightening. The movie was written, directed, and starred Billy Bob Thornton. Karl spends most of his life in the “nervous” hospital and is released with nowhere to go to. He goes back to the small town he was from and with the help of one sympathetic staff member he got a job at a small engine shop. He is great at repairing engines. He then makes friends with a young boy named Frank who has a single mom with a rather nasty boyfriend named Doyle Hargraves (Dwight Yoakam).

At first, you first meet Charles Bushman at the mental hospital in mostly a one-way conversation with Karl. Charles is beyond creepy and it’s an interesting character contrast between the two. They both killed other people and are institutionalized …Charles because he feels like he is entitled to kill and Karl because he thought he was protecting his mother and then she becomes a victim because he thought she was wrong in taking part in the affair.

Karl is likable and you do feel sympathetic to his situation. He grew up alone in an old shed outside of his parent’s house. He is basically dumped on society after 25 years in a mental hospital and you pull for him to make it through.

Karl sees things in very simplistic terms…in fact, he sees things better than some others. There is one scene that shows this best. Karl is called over to look at a tiller to see what is wrong with it…no one could figure out why the thing would not start after it was taken apart and put back together…Karl takes one look at it and said: “It ain’t got no gas in it”

Billy Bob Thorton on who Karl was based on:  “I was raised in a place where a guy who was kinda deformed, and couldn’t talk plain, was made to live out in back of his parents’ house. They fed him like a dog. The story was that the mother thought he came out the way he did — and he struggled, just to walk — his mother said she was scared by a snake when she was pregnant, and it caused him to come out like that — he was the devil’s child. It turned out he had polio. That’s all it was. That’s where I got the setup for where Karl comes from.

Here is the cast.

Billy Bob Thornton as Karl Childers

Dwight Yoakam as Doyle Hargraves

J. T. Walsh as Charles Bushman

John Ritter as Vaughan Cunningham

Lucas Black as Frank Wheatley

Natalie Canerday as Linda Wheatley

James Hampton as Jerry Woolridge

Robert Duvall as Karl’s father

Jim Jarmusch as Deke, the Frostee Cream employee

Vic Chesnutt as Terence

Brent Briscoe as Scooter Hodges

Mickey Jones as Johnson

From Wiki…Awards and Nominations

  • Academy Awards
    • Won for Best Adapted Screenplay (Thornton)
    • Nominated for Best Actor (Thornton)
  • Chicago Film Critics Awards
    • Won for Best Actor (Thornton)
  • Edgar Awards
    • Won for Best Motion Picture Screenplay (Thornton)
  • Independent Spirit Awards
    • Won for Best First Feature
  • Kansas City Film Critics Awards
    • Won for Best Actor (Thornton)
  • National Board of Review Awards
    • Won for Special Achievement in Filmmaking (Thornton)
  • Satellite Awards
    • Nominated for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama (Thornton)
    • Nominated for Best Original Screenplay (Thornton)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards
    • Nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast
    • Nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Thornton)
  • Writers Guild of America Awards
    • Won for Best Adapted Screenplay (Thornton)
  • Young Artist Award
    • Won for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film (Black)
  • YoungStar Award
    • Won for Best Young Actor in a Drama Film (Black)