Mike DeKalb and Chad Smart break down every film that Disney released under the Touchstone Pictures banner, discussing their box office performance as well as the state of Hollywood at the time of each release.
Episode 42 - Join The Club!
We continue along in 1993 by looking at two exclusive clubs and the drama unfolding amongst their members. THE CEMETERY CLUB is the first group under the microscope, as Mike and Chad dissect the tale of three Jewish widows attempting to move on with their lives in this heartwarming Touchstone Picture. The performances are solid (especially Danny Aiello) and the film does have some nice sentimental touches. From there, the co-hosts look at another Disney organization - THE JOY LUCK CLUB, courtesy of Hollywood Pictures - to highlight how the Chinese women do a much better job of coping with unforeseen tragedy than their Jewish counterparts.
Episode 41 - Survive!
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.
Episode 40 - Interview with Marty Kaplan
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!
Episode 39 - 1992: The Year in Review
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!
Episode 38 - Diamonds in the Rough
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.
Episode 37 - Crime Doesn't Pay
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.
Fun Exploration of a Very Interesting Studio Division
I love movie podcasts like this one that dive deep into the history of films, and the Touchstone angle is a great, creative way to explore some landmark (and some not-so-landmark) movies. Mike and Chad are an awesome duo & really know their stuff. Can't wait for more!
Wonderful and insightful
A tad biased here, as I help produce this podcast, but I love this show. Out of Touchstone is an in-depth look at the films released by Touchstone Pictures and reviews each film as well as researches how and why they were made. The hosts give fun commentary on all aspects of film-making too, since they have worked in the business for years. Mike and Chad are great hosts - Mike provides more serious and informative commentary while Chad comes through with comic and ironic observations. The show is just starting off, but I can't wait to see how they illuminate the Touchstone era of Walt Disney Pictures.