WTFAW: The Lion King

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and the new year is upon us. As I look back at the year, I can’t help but feel pride in what we have accomplished, and be filled with hope for the year that is to come…

Of course, I’m sure something will happen to remind me that joy, ultimately, is transitory…

Dave: Hi!

And Dave is proving as dependable as ever…

So, what spawn of madness have you brought today? Of course. after the miserable crap-fest that was Pan, I defy you to bring me something that’ll piss me off more.

Dave: Nah, this is nothing like that. It’s just a fan theory about The Lion King.

Excuse me…?

Dave: I said-

I heard what you said. You are seriously about to bring me a fan theory about The Lion King? My favourite movie of all time? The film that pretty much defined my entire childhood? Arguably one of the greatest movies ever made?

I’m curious, Dave. Are you actually this stupid, or are you just actively hoping I’ll kill you?

Dave: Come on, don’t be so dramatic. It’s the holiday season! Besides, this theory actually makes sense.

Well, of course it does! Why else are we talking about it… But fine. The festive season does make me slightly more generous than I would be otherwise, so I’ll humour you.

Dave: Great! So, the theory is that Mufasa is actually a god!

I have to agree. he IS pretty badass.

Dave: No, I mean an actual Deity, complete with supernatural powers.

I see. And what, pray tell, has lead you to this conclusion?

Dave: Well, remember how the pride lands looked during the whole first part of the movie? It’s all lush and green and beautiful. When Scar takes over, it goes all grey and desolated. The idea is that Mufasa is actually a god, and when he died, he used his weather altering superpowers to turn it into a barren, empty wasteland almost devoid of life. And then, when Simba becomes king, Mufasa returns it to it’s original luscious state again. It’d also explain why all the other animals bow before the lions, despite their predator/prey relationship.

Is that all?

Dave: Well, there’s another thing but I’ll keep that just in case-

No, you’re not. I’m not in the mood for games right now. What is the other argument?

Dave: Fine. Mufasa’s spirit survives his mortal body and appears to Simba later.

Anything else? No? Good. Now, before I start addressing these arguments…

Dave: Yes…?

I hope you realize the rage you have induced in me, and that you appreciate that I intend to channel that rage against the fan theory, rather than succumb to the overwhelming urge to strangle you with your own lungs.

Dave: Oh…

As for the fan theory, I’ll start with the second argument first. Mufasa appears in the sky to Simba, which is impressive, I admit.

However, the reason for that isn’t that he’s a god.

Dave: Well, what is it, then?

It’s actually mentioned earlier by Mufasa, after he saved Simba and Nala from the Hyenas.

Let me tell you something that my father told me. Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. […] So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I.

And when Simba is told by Rafiki that Mufasa lives on in him, what happens? Mufasa appears IN THE STARLIT SKY to guide him, telling him to take his place as the true king.

Amazing! It’s almost like it’s a callback or something!

Dave: I guess…

Also, isn’t it strange that Mufasa, who is apparantly a god, has a father?

Dave: Lots of gods have fathers! It’s something found in greek, egyptian and norse mythology, among others.

That’s true, but he is also clearly aware of his own mortality, hence the lessons he teaches Simba.

Dave: But how else do you explain that the pride lands become a wasteland soon after Mufasa dies, and return to normal when Simba takes over?

Fine, I’ll explain it. If you’ll be so kind to look at another quote from Mufasa.

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope […] When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so, we are all connected in the great circle of life.

This is a lesson that has been passed down from father to son, for generations. Mufasa told Simba what his father told him, so that he can tell his children. They learn to maintain the balance, not killing too many antelope

Dave: Uhm…

But Scar was never taught those lessons. Because of this, he doesn’t understand that, to quote Mufasa again, “There is more to being king than getting your way all the time”.

When Scar takes the throne, he is shown to be spoiled, arrogant, sadistic and selfish. He wanted power for its own sake, and he doesn’t understand what it truly means to be king. In the process. he brings another prominent group of predator, the Hyenas, into the pride lands.

Because of this, he upsets that delicate balance of the pride lands, rendering them desolate as a result.

When Simba takes the throne after Scars death, the pride lands are returned to their pristine glory. Because unlike Scar, Simba actually LEARNED what it means to be king!

But hey, I suppose it’s understandable this fan theory would exist. I guess the movie was a bit too subtle with the whole “Circle of Life” motif. It’s only ONE OF THE MAJOR FUCKING THEMES of the movie. It’s not like it’s obvious to anyone who saw the movie and actually gave two shits about what the characters were talking about. OH WAIT, YES IT FUCKING IS!

Congratulations, Dave! Once again, you have not only brought a theory that is stupid, but also, much like the one about The Thing, it’s a masters class in MISSING THE FUCKING POINT!

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Pan

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a public service announcement, regarding the 2015 movie Pan.

Message reads: Do not watch Pan! Fuck this movie!

Some of you might be curious as to the reason for this opinion. Well, let me tell you.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows old? Personally, I really like the 2003 movie, with memorable elements like Jason Isaacs doing a spectacular job as Captain Hook. A very good adaptation of the famous children’s story.

But apparently, someone decided that this story needed a prequel, to establish how it all began.

This story shows us the origin of Peter Pan, how he was the son of a human girl and a fairy prince, and because of this lineage, he is destined to free the fairies of Neverland and vanquish the evil pirate Blackbeard and…

What’s that? You didn’t know that was Peters origin?

That’s right. We don’t know Peters origin, because it doesn’t MATTER! Something that will become obvious as we go on…

Peter, instead of being careless, boastful, selfish… you know, like the epitome of a boy seeing his entire life as an adventure, is motivated throughout the movie by his mother, first looking to find her, and later to live up to her memory. His ability to fly is completely unique to him, as he’s the child of a fairy and a human.

You know, as opposed to living among fairies and flying by thinking happy thoughts. After all, he is the only one we ever see or hear of that fly in the story, right…

Hook, in the story, used to be Blackbeards Boatswain, described as having long black hair and an obsessed hatred for Peter and the list boys. Here, he’s a blonde cowboy taken from somewhere unknown, trying to help Peter defeat the pirate Blackbeard and protect the fairies of Neverland, and flirting with Tiger Lily.

Tiger Lily, meanwhile, is no longer the native american child who got kidnapped by the pirates and left to drown at Marooner’s Rock, but rather a white young adult woman, fighting the pirates to protect the fairies, being trained to fight by Peters mother.

And Smee, as far as I can tell, dies near the end of the movie. We see him fall in a life boat, remove a wooden rod, which drops him and the boat into the abyss.

Oh, didn’t I mention? The pirate ships fly in this movie. And they travel through time.

And while in the Disney version, and the 2003 Universal version, the ship flew with the help of fairy dust, in this movie we never get an explanation as to why or how. It’s not fairy dust, because that’s all being smoked up by Blackbeard to maintain his youth. No, here they just fly, because Neverland. Of course, despite this, and memorizing famous songs, the pirates still use swords and flintlocks…

Anyway, Blackbeard wants to live forever, and needs the fairydust to do that. It’s a good thing they never established what fairy dust can do in the original story… oh, wait, they did… it’s what helps you fly.

But why bother with small details like fundamental aspects of the story? This is a “re-imagining”, so we can just make shit up! I’d go on, but listing all the stupid moments in the movie could probably fill a very angry book, so I won’t bother. Instead I’ll try to sum it up as best I can.

This is a completely pointless movie. There is no reason for it to exist. As a standalone story, it’s boring. As a Peter Pan story, it’s fucking idiotic, with Blackbeard at one point singing “Smells like Teen Spirit” and “Blietzkrieg Bop”.

Speaking of Blackbeard, I said it when I talked about Pirates of the Caribbean and I’ll say it here.

BLACKBEARD WAS A REAL PERSON! He was not fictional! He existed, and he really, actually died in 1718!

Stop sticking him in your stupid fucking movies! Especially when he just boils down to “Diet-Captain Hook”. Just compare him with Hook in the 2003 version, where the worst thing I can say about him is “He has brown hair rather than black“.

And as a prequel, it’s useless.

After all, what is the purpose of a prequel? To establish the characters and setting up the original story. What this movie should do, is set up Hook and Peters personalities, perhaps with Hooks arrival in Neverland, how the rivalry between them started, how he lost his hand fighting with Peter.

None of that happens in this movie. All we get is Hook and Peter being friends, meeting in a mining colony controlled by Blackbeard.

The movie ends with Blackbeard defeated and the fairies returned to Neverland, and Hook and Pan musing that surely, they will always be friends. What happened to the other thousands of miners, the other ships, the pirates? Never revealed. Story’s over.

The movie begins with a narrator telling us “To truly understand how things end, we must first know how they begin”.

Well, you fucking failed to explain how they began!

The one thing the prequel had to do was to establish the characters, and it just leaves it all to be resolved in the interrim between this and when the Darlings come to Neverland.

So what was the fucking point?!

Why are Hook and Pan friends in this movie?! To set up some tragedy and pathos regarding their rivalry in the original? Why would we need that!? We’re not supposed to feel sorry for Hook! He’s the guy who, throughout the story, is trying to achieve his goal to MURDER CHILDREN!

At no point, in the original, or any adaptation of the story, do they EVER show anything to suggest that there was some bitterness or deeper tragedy to their rivarly we weren’t aware of.

You know why? BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE! Hook is one of the few characters who can get away with being evil for evils sake! He is the archetypical villain, perfectly suited for a boy who views life as nothing but fun and adventure!

It’s almost like they deliberately set out, when writing, to get everything wrong with the movie!

And that, of course, brings us to the most important reason to hate this movie…

You see, that is exactly what they DID!

This adaptation, this “re-imagined prequel” is so different, with so many changes from the original… specifically so they wouldn’t have to pay royalties for it!

Fun fact: You know who owns the rights to Peter Pan?

When you make an adaptation of “Peter Pan”, you have to pay royalties to something called GOSH.

GOSH stands for “Great Ormond Street Hospital”.

They are a childrens hospital that has been open since 1852. It has been open for 163 years, surviving solely on charity.

In 1929, J.M Barrie made the hospital the recipient for Peter Pan. This, coupled with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, grants the hospital a perpetual right to collect royalties for public performances, commercial publication, or other communications to the public of the work.

The people making this movie, then, deliberately tried to make a movie based on Peter Pan, without the whole hassle of funding TREATMENT FOR SICK CHILDREN!

And while they decided to make a donation to the hospital before filming began, that was not out of kindness, but because if they didn’t, people would tear them to shreds, even more than the critics and audiences already have.

And even then, that doesn’t change that they STILL don’t pay GOSH the royalties they, if for no other reason than common fucking decency, should.

So for those reasons, and many others, I will reiterate my opening statement.

Fuck this movie, and fuck the people who made it!

WTFAW: The Thing

It seems that it’s time once again to deal with a fan theory.

Dave: That’s right! I’ve got an interesting one about The Thing.

Oh joy… John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of my favourite movies, and certainly my favourite in the science-fiction genre, alongside Ridley Scott’s Alien. I’m SO happy you’ve brought a stupid fan theory based on it…

Dave: Well, at the end of the movie, they-

Hold it.

Dave: What?

This is one of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made, so before we start talking about the ending, I think I need to point out that there will be spoilers, in case someone wants to watch the movie.

If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading right now! You owe it to yourself, if you’re at all interested in science-fiction, to watch this movie, and I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t.

So, with that out of the way, tell me what madness you have brought for me, Dave.

Dave: Right. At the end of the movie, Childs is infected!

I see. And you base that on what?

Dave: It’s obvious! Look at the scene with MacReady and Childs talking. They are both standing in the light of the burning base, and when MacReady is talking, his breath billows out in huge clouds. Childs, meanwhile, doesn’t have visible breath, because he is not breathing!

I’ve seen this in the trivia section of IMDB. While it seems plausible at first glance, If you look closely, you can see that his breath is visible, just not as visible as MacReady’s . If that wasn’t enough, earlier in the movie, when they discover the infected Bennings outside, he shrieks at them WITH VERY VISIBLE CLOUDS OF BREATH billowing from his mouth!

This “fact” is based on an apocryphal story that started on reddit in 2013, that John Carpenter was surprised people couldn’t tell if Childs was infected or not. The keyword being “apocryphal”. As in “Probably not true”.

Dave: Aha! But there is another piece of evidence for this theory!

Really? And what would that be?

Dave: Remember when MacReady hands over the bottle to Childs? Childs takes a sip from it, right?

Yes…?

Dave: Well, that wasn’t booze! That was one of the molotov cocktails MacReady was using in the previous scene! He knew it wasn’t real booze, but the thing wouldn’t! This proved to MacReady that Childs was infected!

That’s a very compelling argument. If I didn’t know better, I would say it’s very accurate.

Dave: Thanks!

Unfortunatly, I DO know better, and I can see how the argument doesn’t work.

Watch the scene with MacReady facing off against the Thing again.

He tells the Thing “fuck you too”, throws a stick of dynamite at it and blows it to hell. When he left the underground lair, he had a leather jacket, a stupid hat and a gun. You know what he didn’t have? A molotov cocktail.

Next we see, he’s stumbling through the camp, wrapped in a blanket and sitting down in the snow. Except now he’s holding a bottle. Don’t you think it’s reasonable to assume he took that from the same place he took the blanket?

Dave: Uhm…

Not to mention that the moment before Childs shows up, he was about to drink from the bottle.

So no, there’s no evidence whatsoever that the bottle was a molotov, and more likely was just one he brought, along with the blanket.

Dave: Then how do we know if Childs is infected or not?

Does it matter?

Dave: Of course!

No, it doesn’t!

With this theory, we’re dealing with a very special niche of stupid. The whole premise of this theory is completely missing the point! We don’t know if Childs is infected. Hell, we don’t know if MacReady is infected!

The theme of the movie, the source of the fear is paranoia! The fear of not knowing who you can trust, fighting an enemy capable of perfectly mimicking a human. The ambiguos ending is there to maintain that fear, with the audience not sure if one, both or neither is infected. That’s the whole point! We don’t know, and we shouldn’t know, because we’re not SUPPOSED to know!

If you watched this entire movie, and you start looking for clues for who of the two survivors is infected, all that means is that you don’t understand the movie.

Couple that with a bad theory, attempting to justify missing the point, and we reach one simple conclusion.

Dave: What’s that?

That you are an idiot!

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