Let's Talk - Movies
Episode 40: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023) - Just Watched
Jason Connell discusses Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, the new documentary about the famous actor, and much more.
Synopsis: Follows the life of beloved actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, exploring his personal and professional triumphs and travails, and what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan
Studio: Just Curious Media
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Whoa, just curious. Welcome to Just curious media. This is let's talk movies. And I'm Jason Connell, on the show today I'm talking about still a Michael J. Fox Movie 2023 just watched. That's right. This is a documentary about movie and TV icon from the 80s and 90s. Michael J. Fox. Now, I have always been a huge Michael J. Fox fan, going back to family ties, and then many, many movies after that. But I saw this documentary, part of special screening by Newport film, shout out Newport film, Newport, Rhode Island, not Newport Beach or anything like that. We live very close to Newport. And they select documentaries and being a documentarian, myself having produced 10 counted 10 award winning documentaries back in the day. I'm a fan. And of course, he put that together with Michael J. Fox, and you have my attention. Well, I'm going to read the synopsis. And then I'm going to play the trailer and then share some of my takeaways and give you more insight about this remarkable documentary. But this is the synopsis. The film follows the life of beloved actor and advocate, Michael J. Fox, exploring his personal and professional triumphs and travails. And what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease. And that's really what's going on here. Those of you probably know this by now, most of you if you're a fan of Michael J. Fox, the fact that he did get an incurable disease, Parkinson's disease, but yet, he continues to act. And I find that remarkable, he got it very young, mind you, which is also just kind of shocking. And how can someone so big, so iconic get stricken with this? Well, it was his fate, and he never wants back down from this battle. And the documentary is about that. And it's truly remarkable, emotional touching. Now, the official release date of the movie, the documentary doesn't come out until May 12 2023. Of course, I said, I saw early screening of it. And it's an apple original film, shout out Apple getting in the game making lots of content. And I'll be coming another HBO and Netflix, Amazon Studios. But remarkable. Here's the poster. By the way, those of you watching on YouTube Live, there is Michael J. Fox, looking pretty good, I might add. And as far as Parkinson's goes, he got the disease in 1991, but didn't go public until 1998. So you know, he was in so many movies in that seven year span. And nobody knew it, besides his wife, family, just a select few. And that's remarkable in its own right, keeping it a secret until he could no longer do so. Now, here's a quick definition of Parkinson's. For anyone who is unaware, a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. So imagine that, and this is true. Hiding this and being on multimillion dollar movie sets and being the star of these movies, not just a day player are a big part, typically carrying the show. So this great documentary is directed by Davis Guggenheim. Now he's definitely a name in the space. I'll just list two of his titles Waiting for Superman 2010 Great doc about the education system. And then An Inconvenient Truth 2006 Oscar winner Best Documentary it was the climate control movie with Al Gore. Very, very gripping timely. I believe there was a sequel. Something else about Davis married to Elizabeth Shue, well known actress in her own right they have three kids but shoe was in Back to the Future Part Two, and Three with Michael J. Fox. There you go doesn't come up in the documentary spoiler alert. But I always thought that was interesting. I knew that they were married but I just thought wait a second. So maybe he got to know Michael J. Fox through this, that and the other but again, they don't spend time folk isn't on that? And yes, Elizabeth shoe was not in the original. She came in and replaced the original actress who played his girlfriend. So I'm gonna play the trailer. And we'll just kind of delve into a few more things after that. Okay.Media:
The story of me take two, three. Here we go. Ready? Action Are you telling me that you built a time machine? Out of a DeLorean? What does it mean to be still? I only know he's ever still there, that's him. That's our star. I want his job. I can do whatever the exception is. I can fix it. I can be older. I can be taller. I can be anything. The popularity of Michael J. Fox is a phenomenon. Michael J. What is the secret of your success and the winner? I don't believe this. Right. I feel four feet tall. I get it. I was big. I was being bubblegum. I woke up my pinky auto animated Parkinson's disease. I told Tracy the news in sickness and in health I remember her whispering no one outside of my family knew there was only one reason I took these pills to hide. But I was used to hiding was taken me away to deny that part of me that mostly continued to go on and do things is to quit. I want except that it's tough, some of it. Still on Michael J. Fox movie. The sad sad story is Michael J. Fox gets this debilitating disease and it crushes him. Yeah, it's boring.Jason Connell:
Wow, powerful stuff I'm going to tell you. And of course, you have more than a feeling by Boston great track in the trailer, don't remember it in the movie or not, but doesn't matter. Phenomenal. And you can kind of see right there that really shows you the tone of the movie, what the filmmaker was after what Michael J. Fox was after. They also do something very neat in this movie. They use old footage of Michael J. Fox in other roles, but they don't highlight it. They don't say what it is. It just kind of goes with what they're talking about. So if he's reflecting back to something from his past, which he often is, they're using maybe a random clip from the secret of my success. And then work it into the storyline rather than doing, you know, full blown recreations, which is also some of that. So it's a nice mix. It's not just talking heads, having made a lot of documentaries. You know, talking head is important, but you also want to mix it up and have a variety of things to look at. And it does an amazing job. You also see home video footage and and things that you've never seen. These are private videos or stills or behind the scenes on family ties, just things you're going oh my gosh, I want to see more of that. Where's the rest of these things? And of course you see Tracy Pollan, his wife who he met on family ties. They were a couple on the show a couple in real life. Those things don't usually pan out. Well, of course, they have four kids still together, still going strong. So it really remarkable relationship. Now I quickly want to run down, Michael J. Fox, his filmography, just some of the beats along the way, and what to start with TV. Before he hit it big Trapper John M. D, The Love Boat, Night Court. Everybody was on The Love Boat for some reason, but and then family ties. Alex P. Keaton was born. In the documentary I was shocked to find out that he threw the P in Alex P. Keaton, and it was the right touch. My family and I used to gather to watch that show in particular, it was almost very similar to my family. They were like ex hippies, and they Keaton's were that. And of course, they had this Republican son with the two daughters who kind of fit their ideology. And he was such an oddball, but it made the show work. It was fantastic. Well, the creator of the show was Gary David Goldberg, actually read this biography, the autobiography that he wrote many years ago, he since passed away. So rest in peace, but the book was sit OBU sit, and that was his dog, Uber, and at the end of every episode of family ties, there'll be a steal of this dog, I think with a stick in its mouth, Uber, and you would hear sit, OBU, sit, and then the dog would bark. And then he would say, or someone would say, Good dog. Yeah, great book, because it was his story, actually, Gary story. And of course, family ties is a big part of that. There's also a subtitle for the book. And it's how I went from Brooklyn to Hollywood with the same woman, the same dog, and a lot less hair. So I highly recommend checking that out. Now, back to J. Fox, movies, High School, USA, Poison Ivy. So now he's in the middle of doing family ties, and he gets back to the future. Teen Wolf, light of day, the secret of my success, Bright Lights, Big City, casualties of war, Back to the Future, part two, back to the future. Part three, the hard way, dark Hollywood, for love or money, the American president. Now the American President, he was part of an ensemble piece. He wasn't the president and he wasn't even the vice president. But he's in the movie. And it's a great movie nonetheless. And then, back to TV, he would later do Spin City. I think that he was doing that show when he shared his diagnosis of Parkinson's. And that show was also created by Gary David Goldberg. So full circle there. And it's a delightful documentary. I really recommend anyone who enjoys docs and Michael J. Fox to check it out. I'm glad they did this movie now. And not like in 20 years, you know, do it now. He's still making movies. He's popping up on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Also, I didn't know what else was going on with him. I didn't even know a lot of this intel about him keeping this a secret. And finally divulging that he had this and thinking that might end his career he sustained and just what a fighter. He is truly, truly remarkable that relationship he's in. He has a trainer throughout the movie who those things were really gripping as well. Big, strong trainer who works with him on just muscle memory, always trying to get stronger, and then kind of floats around him because Oh, Michael J Fox falls a lot. And when he falls, he usually really gets hurt. He's got broken bones and other injuries and because he's just so rambunctious, he doesn't want to stop and he's got that will. I just truly admire it and I admire him more than I ever did. So again, I highly recommend it. Thank you Newport film. Thank you, Michael J. Fox. Thank you, Davis. Guggenheim. And without further ado, please enjoy. Still a Michael J. Fox movie. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to the let's talk movies podcast and the let's talk movies YouTube Live Channel. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast. And for all your listeners that enjoy sharing your thoughts. You can leave us a review on Apple podcast, send us a direct message or post a comment on any let's talk movies social media platform. We also highly recommend checking out our other podcast and visiting just curious media.com