Archive for August, 2012

The 5 Most Baffling Direct-To-Video Disney Sequels

I’ve had this kicking around on the back-burner for a while. See, in the last couple months of developing SQInc, I felt oddly compelled to put on really bad movies as background noise – and this led to me watching every single one of Disney’s straight-to-video sequels out of morbid curiosity. I mean, after “Return of Jafar”, how much worse could they get?

As it turns out, the Nostalgia Chick from TGWTG.com had the same idea and ended up releasing two videos detailing the best and worst out of the movies at the same time I was writing this. Basically, her lists and my lists were almost 100% identical, so I kicked this article aside until I could retool it. So now instead of a best/worst list, I decided to just pick apart the five movies that defied the most logic.

The Fox and the Hound 2
What is it?: Okay, so I might rip off this one from NChick’s “worst” list, but the strangeness of it is bewildering. Apparently, the story of Todd and Copper (a fox and a hound who grew up best friends and raised to be mortal enemies) actually had a deleted scene where Copper runs away from home to become a famous country singer. Todd’s his manager, Copper gets high on fame – becomes a jerk, of course – and then there’s that whole “friendship” theme that comes back to bite him in the ass.
Baffling Because…?: Are you kidding? Clearly, someone thought “The Fox and the Hound” wasn’t “Hannah Montana” enough. And if that’s the case, I don’t think “Hannah Montana” is “Fox and the Hound” enough yet. Not until they make a sequel where Hannah chases her best friends around with a shotgun.

Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return
What is it?: This is one of those sequels where instead of writing one plot, they just staple three episodes of a failed TV series together (they did the same thing for “Cinderella 2″ and “Tarzan and Jane”.) In three completely separate stories, Milo and his friends go defeat a Kraken, travel to the desert and fight dust coyotes, and then, in the last twenty minutes, travel to Asgard and battle the Nordic gods in the epic battle of Ragnarok.
Baffling Because…?: Let me repeat that last one: Disney takes on Ragnarok. The fabled Death of the Gods, End of the World scenario. Now hear me out, because that not only ties into the mythology set by the first Atlantis movie, but it already sounds like a plot for the most epic, bad-ass sequel Disney could have ever made for anything. This begs me to ask: why wasn’t the whole movie about THAT? Why was the best story idea mashed into the last twenty minutes of a bargain bin movie? I don’t know about anyone else, but I want a remake. I would watch the crap out of a theatrical “Atlantis 2: Ragnarok Boogaloo”.

Mulan II
What is it?: Mulan is hired to escort three princesses to a neighboring country so they be wed to three princes and prevent a war. Along the way, the princesses fall in love with Mulan’s sidekicks, and Mulan teaches everybody a lesson about the evils of arranged marriage.
Baffling Because…?: …I don’t think Disney is qualified to preach about arranged political marriages in times of war. That makes about as much sense as “Twilight” preaching about abortion. In fact, this is one movie where “follow your heart” can literally get people killed. And it almost does. People are constantly yelling at Mulan to just let the “arranged marriage” thing slide because thousands of lives are at stake. But here’s what gets me: the moral of the story is that Mulan is wrong. When she finally convinces the princesses to give up the arranged marriage, guess what happens? WAR BREAKS OUT.
And how do they resolve it?: Mushu impersonates the Great Dragon and scares the crap out of China’s leaders until they agree to peace. That’s right: they had to pull a “Watchmen” just to fix Mulan’s mistake.

The Lion King 1 1/2
What is it?: It’s “The Lion King” from Timon and Pumbaa’s point-of-view, revealing to us how they were actually present in every scene of the first movie.
Baffling Because…?: It’s very surreal watching Disney doing a parody of its own movie. This is not like “Enchanted” where they’re spoofing a formula. Here’s a movie where Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” gets remixed with the Blue Brothers theme song, and every sincere moment from the original “Lion King” is caused by Pumbaa farting. Not to mention the chronology is all over the place. It shows us Simba being born, and then the Wildebeest Stampede happens the next day. Then Simba spends months in the desert before Timon and Pumbaa find him.

“Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True” AND “Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time”
Why two at once?: It’s just the Cinderella thing, you know? The movie’s over 60 years old and it defined “Happily Ever After” – was anybody EVER asking for a sequel, let alone two? Not to mention one of them involves time travel. Before watching these, I made damn sure to watch at least 2 minutes of “Finding Nemo” to put myself in a good mood because I knew I was going to need it. In the end, I couldn’t summarize the logic behind either of these movies. They’re just so completely random. So I’m just going to post my notes and let you guess what thing I found most baffling about them:

  • So “Cinderella 2″ is one of those “three episodes of a failed TV series stapled together” movies…
  • The first 20 minutes of the movie is a vignette about how hard it is for Cinderella to be a princess. Riveting. Also, the talking mice should not pronounce “horse.” Especially when they want to ride one.
  • The next 20 minutes are about the time one of the mice gets turned into a human, hits on Cinderella, and then drives an elephant into a ferris wheel. I rather liked this story.
  • And the last twenty minutes involve Cinderella giving her stepsister a make-over. The mice try to pronounce “horse” some more.
  • “Cinderella 3″ opens on the Evil Stepmother tearing open a hole in the space-time continuum with the fairy godmother’s wand and erasing “Cinderella 2″ from existence.
  • So now Cinderella is a time-traveler stuck in 1955 (1855?) and the only way she can get back to the future is if she can get the Prince to kiss her at the ball.
  • It contains Cinderella clones, the Pumpkin Coach ride from Hell, and tons of self-referential humor. This movie actually has a lot more in common with a Doctor Who episode. It’s surprisingly watchable.

  • But the thing that baffles me most…: They were making a Cinderella TV series?!

    Honorable Mention: The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning
    Baffling Because: Ariel’s mom looks just like Ariel. This means that if you’re watching this movie with the sound off (or not paying attention) and don’t know who this woman is… then King Triton is going around dating his own daughter. I know he’s a pimp and all, but DUDE – the first couple minutes of this movie were freaking me out before I put one and one together.

    August 26 2012 | Movies | 4 Comments »

    The 12 Types of Karaoke People

    I’ve been going to karaoke a lot since March. And no, it’s not just because it’s a good opportunity to network with people and have drinks with many beautiful women every week. Those parts are perks. No, I’m actually a singer at heart.

    I’ve been attending about six different karaoke bars since I moved to Vancouver. At first, it was myself and my friend Tegan as we cruised the city scoping out locales. Once we met more people, our karaoke crew grew and grew until it actually performed mitosis and separated into two different crews (well, three, but one of them turned into a D&D crew instead). Eventually I had to cut back on places just to keep track of everyone. But the funny thing is, in my travels, I’ve discovered that essentially each karaoke bar is host to the exact same crowds (some rowdier than others, of course). There are ongoing patterns with the people who come and their song choices. It’s almost predictable in an eerily welcome kind of way.

    I’ve managed to break these personality-types down to a list of twelve. This isn’t a straight-up list of the ONLY kinds of karaoke people, but rather a list of the most frequent types I’ve seen perform thus far. See if you can spot yourself in here.

    The New Guys
    The first thing new guys will do is look for the book and then read the WHOLE THING. This takes them about twenty minutes. Then they find one of their favorite songs, go up on stage and discover first-hand that just because you know the chorus to a song doesn’t mean you know the rest. We’re cheer them on anyway because the new guys are entitled to some slack. That is, providing they don’t attempt singing both the guy and girl parts of “Love Shack” by themselves.

    The Happy Camper
    He is a regular. He is the worst singer you’ve ever heard. He will somehow be up on stage at least five times a night. He will always sing the same songs. He’s completely unaware of how terrible he sounds. Yet his passion for getting up there and raping our eardrums is infectious. Do not allow this guy anywhere near Pink Floyd. Especially “Comfortably Numb”; he is not aware that this is a seven minute song. He might also attempt to sing both the guy and girl parts to “Love Shack” as well. I cannot stress enough that this is never a good idea.

    The Newly-Weds
    Not always necessarily married, but they might as well be. They insist on singing duets. The girl is usually the talented one. The guy’s just really, really drunk and laughing his ass off though most of the song. They will always pick songs from “Grease” or they’ll jump right on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and apologize in advance for the next eight minutes. “Love Shack” is not recommended in this case either, but they WILL sing it.

    The Party-Girls
    They sing Madonna. They sing Lady Gaga. They sing ABBA. They might be good. They might be awful. They always travel in packs. The crowd can easily sing along with them, or just as easily tune them out. They are always the first ones to start dancing, even if there’s no room for it. The party-girls are the background noise at every karaoke night. For guys, they are also the eye candy, and we will cheer on their singing regardless of talent. Except for “Love Shack”.

    The Attention-Deprived
    Some guys are usually mediocre singers at best, so they only sing songs with novelty value where the crazier they perform, the better the song becomes. They always put on memorable performances as they insist on jumping around on-stage, over-doing lyrics, and singing Spice Girls songs with their bros for laughs. They can sometimes do “Love Shack”, but more often than not, they can’t.

    The Divas
    These girls can SING. Much like the attention-deprived males, they’re also entertainers at heart, but they tend to replace comedy with sheer talent and heart-stopping sexiness. They dominate at Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Christina Aquilera, Mariah Cariey, and even nail “Lady Marmalade” every time. Any time one of these girls is on stage singing Adele’s “Someone Like You”, most guys will forget they hate that song long enough to throw out some whistles and cat calls. They never sing “Love Shack” because they know better.

    The Guy Who’s Stealing All The Girls!
    Seriously! This guy is up on stage every twenty minutes doing a duet with another girl. And when he’s not up on stage, he’s on the dance floor teaching them to salsa. I’d hate this guy if I wasn’t so desperately trying to be him. Or if he sang “Love Shack”!

    The Hipsters
    Do you remember the 90′s? Because the hipsters do. Alanis Morrisette, Garbage, Nirvana, Marcy Playground, No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Weezer, and Stone Temple Pilots are just the beginning for their song selection. They’re also Amy Winehouse fans and like to dress the part. They’re normally very good singers and have never heard of “Love Shack”.

    The Staff
    I love how the bartender, chefs and waitresses always have a few songs ready to go. And they’re always awesome at it. And none of those songs are ever “Love Shack”.

    The Sinatras
    Not just Sinatra, but these guys sing anything slow and old school that’ll get the ladies swooning. Elton John, Billy Joel, Bing Crosby, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley – and it always sounds authentic. They even look the part. Always wearing fancy suits with just the right amount of musk. I’d hate these guys if I didn’t want to be them so much. Also, blah blah blah “Love Shack”.

    The Stealth Bomber
    Nobody knows where she came from, but she blows us all away. She out-performs the original song. She hits notes we’ve never heard. She makes the room go quiet. She is always a she. Why doesn’t she have a record contract yet? Nobody knows. And then she’s gone. She could probably nail “Love Shack” too if she tried.

    Me & Bobby
    So one time, me and my cousin Bobby went up and sang “Love Shack” at my bro’s wedding. We kicked ass.

    August 06 2012 | Daily Life, Music | 6 Comments »