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Out of Touchstone
93 minutes | Jan 23, 2023
Episode 57 - Interview with Jim Burnstein
We're excited to bring you another interview on Out of Touchstone as we sit down with Jim Burnstein, the writer of RENAISSANCE MAN who now serves as the Director of the Screenwriting Program at the University of Michigan. He discusses his career at length, beginning with his decision to become a writer and how he managed to navigate the film industry in Hollywood in the late 1970s. He then recounts the arduous process of bringing RENAISSANCE MAN through years of development to the big screen, and touches on the legacy of the film as well as its importance to one of his current co-workers: Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. Hope you enjoy this fascinating chat with a real-life "Renaissance Man"!
67 minutes | Jan 9, 2023
Episode 56 - One Step at a Time
Addiction and education are the topics of the day as we wrap up Spring 1994 on Out of Touchstone by looking at two of the studio's offerings. First up is WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, which features strong dramatic performances from Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia in a hard-hitting look at the effects of alcholism on the family unit. We both enjoyed the film, even though the supporting cast was underutilized. Then we shift our focus to the charming RENAISSANCE MAN, the Danny Devito-led comedy about an unemployed businessman teaching Shakespeare to Army recruits. Mike loved the film as it reminded him why he started this podcast in the first place: to provide a chance to uncover some hidden gems that we missed during their initial theatrical release. Our long hiatus is over and we are happy to be back!
3 minutes | Aug 30, 2022
A New Beginning
Mike provides a brief update on the show: please bear with us through this delay, as we are excited to re-start the show and post new episodes soon. Thank you for listening!
67 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
Episode 55 - Social Commentary or Coming of Age?
April 1994 has arrived on Out of Touchstone, as we look at three Disney films that feature younger characters growing up somewhat quickly. First up from Touchstone Pictures is THE INKWELL, a unique look at affluent African Americans in the 1970s and the psychological progression of an impressionable young man. Mike and Chad both agreed that the film was not what they expected and had a great cast, but was doomed by its mismatched tone. The co-hosts then look at the maturation of young men in two unique settings: HOLY MATRIMONY, the Hollywood Pictures story involving bizarre marriage laws; and WHITE FANG 2: MYTH OF THE WHITE WOLF from Walt Disney Pictures, the mediocre sequel to their 1991 Jack London adaptation.
69 minutes | Mar 21, 2022
Episode 54 - Christmas in March
It's March 1994 and Disney has decided to release three movies set during the holidays or around winter - time for the guys from Out of Touchstone to put on their warm weather clothes! First up, Mike and Chad do a deep dive into Touchstone's THE REF, a wonderfully underrated dark comedy with a stellar cast that deserves to be a Christmas staple. From there, the co-hosts look at ANGIE (from Hollywood Pictures) and D2: THE MIGHTY DUCKS (from Walt Disney Pictures) to see how they fared in the crowded box office landscape of family comedies and Oscar contenders.
57 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
Episode 53 - This Should Be Against the Law
We continue into February 1994 on Out of Touchstone, which features two films that include questionable romantic entanglements. We start with the unsettling Touchstone comedy MY FATHER THE HERO, which creeped out both of the hosts and made them question the laws in the Bahamas. Maybe something was lost in translation from the original French version of the film? Thankfully, Mike and Chad both found comfort in Disney's BLANK CHECK, a much more harmless look at a kid spinning an elaborate lie. They may have come out in the same month, but the films are miles apart in terms of entertainment value.
63 minutes | Feb 21, 2022
Episode 52 - Troublesome Adventures
We've come to 1994 on Out of Touchstone, which brings us a series of adventures for the new year. We kick things off with the low-budget (and low-brow) comedy CABIN BOY, a star vehicle that Mike had a real hard time watching, though Chad did find it slightly enjoyable. Thankfully there were two other films released by Disney in the same month - THE AIR UP THERE (from Hollywood Pictures) and IRON WILL (from Walt Disney Films) - for the co-hosts to compare to Touchstone's flop. It's Chris Elliott on the high seas! It's Kevin Bacon in Africa! It's Mackenzie Astin in the Great White North! Adventure awaits!!
50 minutes | Feb 7, 2022
Episode 51 - 1993: The Year in Review
1993 brought us several notable films and performances from the Touchstone library, so Mike and Chad take this opportunity to shine a light on their favorites. While one film dominates the Ronnie Awards due to its technical achievement and another draws praise for its superb acting, there were also a few hidden gems that the co-hosts found pleasantly surprising. On top of that, both Walt Disney Pictures and Hollywood Pictures managed to release some easily overlooked films during the year that definitely merit reconsideration in the streaming age. All in all, it was an unspectacular-but-solid year for Disney and we had a blast reminiscing about how these movies left their mark both during their initial release and now three decades later.
71 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
Episode 50 - Heroes Come in Many Forms
We’re looking at the role of saviors as we come to the end of 1993 on Out of Touchstone: we start with Whoopi Goldberg’s return to the fold in SISTER ACT 2, another mostly unnecessary sequel from Touchstone that doesn’t quite capture the charm of the original film. Mike and Chad then turn their gaze to period pieces involving soldiers (Disney’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS) and lawmen (Hollywood’s TOMBSTONE), in order to compare their heroic exploits to Touchstone’s singing nuns. Listen as we answer several burning questions, including “Which group needed saving the most?” and “Who had the best mustache in TOMBSTONE?”
65 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
Episode 49 - Fever Dreams
Two of Disney's most peculiar films of 1993 are the focus of this episode of Out of Touchstone: first we look at Touchstone's THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a landmark of stop-motion animation with a fantastic soundtrack, which has since been re-branded as a full-fledged Walt Disney film. The film has a solid legacy, as compared to the other film that Mike and Chad discuss: SUPER MARIO BROS. from Hollywood Pictures, which does have some amazing world-building, but also retains a certain level of notoriety from its doomed production. Both films are bizarre and strange - but is that necessarily a bad thing?
70 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
Episode 48 - The Agony of Victory
The fall of 1993 brings us a few sports movies to discuss on Out of Touchstone, starting with THE PROGRAM: a melodramatic look at a struggling football team. Mike and Chad both felt the Touchstone drama was just a little too corny to be taken seriously, even though it did shed some light on important issues facing student-athletes. The co-hosts then look at two other sporting efforts from the studio - Hollywood Pictures' ASPEN EXTREME and Walt Disney's COOL RUNNINGS - comparing the athletic endeavors (and personal drama) from the winter sports of skiing and bobsledding to the high stakes world of college football.
70 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Episode 47 - Dead-pan Humor
We wrap up the summer of 1993 on Out of Touchstone by looking at three comedies involving resurrection and unconventional love. First up is MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK from Touchstone Pictures, a wickedly dark comedy with an outstanding supporting cast (featuring several stars in the making). Both Mike and Chad enjoyed the wackiness of the film and wish Hollywood would produce more like it. From there, the co-hosts compare this zombie romance to two other films in the Disney catalog, focusing on the themes of fathers disapproving of their daughter's taste in men (SON IN LAW from Hollywood Pictures) as well as humor in the morbidity of coming back from beyond the grave (Walt Disney's HOCUS POCUS).
78 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
Episode 46 - Stumbling Criminals and Bumbling Cops
Crime continues not to pay in the summer of 1993, and on this episode of Out of Touchstone our hosts look at the long arm of the law and some questionable decisions from reluctant criminals. We kick off with the Touchstone sequel ANOTHER STAKEOUT, which allows Mike and Chad to question why it was even made while marvelling at the power of a sweet moustache. We then shift our focus from police work to those skirting the law in two films from Hollywood Pictures: FATHER HOOD, featuring Patrick Swayze as a deadbeat dad attempting to win the love of his kids, and MONEY FOR NOTHING, starring John Cusack as a ne'er-do-well who accidentally comes into possession of a large sum of stolen cash. We attempt to answer the burning questions on this episode: Will the cops get their man? Will the criminals find a heart? And most importantly, will a good moustache lead to higher box-office returns?
69 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Episode 45 - It‘s Gonna Work Out Fine
We continue in the summer of 1993 by looking at some difficult subject matter on Out of Touchstone. First up is the musical biopic WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, which features two outstanding lead performances and an unflinching look at domestic violence. From there, Chad and Mike compare the tale of Ike and Tina Turner to two films from Hollywood Pictures: a musically-inspired drama set in Nazi Germany (SWING KIDS) and a courtroom thriller about a manipulative lady-killer (GUILTY AS SIN).
75 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Episode 44 - Wise Beyond Their Years
The summer of 1993 has arrived and gives us a look at precocious children and manipulative adults on Out of Touchstone. The first film that Mike and Chad discuss is the underrated Touchstone family film, LIFE WITH MIKEY, featuring Michael J. Fox as a talent agent taking in a new protegee. The child stars (Christina Vidal and David Krumholtz) are terrific and though it is quite conventional it still warms the heart. Afterwards, the co-hosts look at two more Disney films to compare and contrast the idea of mentorship of an impressionable mind (with BORN YESTERDAY from Hollywood Pictures) and detail how kids get away with anything (as in Walt Disney's THE ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN).
64 minutes | Aug 16, 2021
Episode 43 - Growing Up Is Hard To Do
The spring of 1993 brings about two films that highlight the difficulties of maturing into adulthood. First up, Mike and Chad take a deep dive into the ensemble Touchstone dramedy INDIAN SUMMER, which features a group of characters longing for their younger days. While neither co-host felt the film had much of a plot, we both loved the terrific cast. Finally, we look at the Hollywood Pictures epic BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT, focusing on a group of men who have to come to grips with the long-lasting consequences of prior mistakes.
60 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
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.
67 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
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.
67 minutes | May 24, 2021
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!
53 minutes | May 10, 2021
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!
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