Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Death" of a "Hulk"-ing franchise

(Opens with James cleaning up his house while "Accidentally In Love" by Counting Crows plays in the foreground until it is interrupted by a incoming Skype Phone Ring.)

TLOTA: Yo, What up Rowdy?

Rowdy: Nothing much, just wanted to welcome you as a voluntary contributor to first off.

TLOTA: That's cool.


TLOTA: What are you talking about?

Rowdy: There's a rumor that a mutual friend of yours hooked you up for a weekend with Lea Michele from "GLEE"?

TLOTA: No rumor, all truth. An old associate of mine, Ed if you want to know his name, saw I was in the dumps and was working as a go-for on the show and noticed Lea was in need of some company and my name got mentioned and the fact that I am single we skyped a few times I said "I've got nothing to do on Labor Day weekend except take care of the place while my parents were out." And I asked if she'd like to come over. She said yes and now I've got to clean up.

Rowdy: Does she know...

TLOTA: About what I do on line? Yes and she knows about you so from now on be UBER-Careful when you talk about "GLEE" especially about you know who. You got it?

Rowdy: Okay, just try not to frack this up!

TLOTA: I'll do my best, catch you later, Stay Rowdy dude.

Rowdy: Naturally. (James walks away from the conversation and out the front door to see Nash from Radio Dead Air looking bizarre.)

TLOTA: Nash? What are you doing here?

Nash: Let me have it, I want it, you've got it, let me have it god damn it!

TLOTA: Nash, You're creeping me out dude!

Nash: GIVE IT TO ME! (Repeated 5Xs before James punches his lights out.)

(Cut to James in the Shower humming to himself when from out of the shadows Linkara pops up to scare the bejesus out of James screaming where is it multiple times before James knocks him out too and drags him over to Nash.)

TLOTA: Man things go from weird to crazy in Nano seconds around here who or what's gonna happen next? (Matthew "Film Brain" Buck comes out of nowhere babbling incoherently and James swiftly knocks him out. Cut to Lea Michele just getting  ready to go to James' place when Jane Lynch comes in)

Jane Lynch: Hey Lea, can I ask you something? Are you mad? An Internet reviewer, especially one who calls himself "The Last Of The Americans"?

Lea Michele: First off he's only "The Last Of The Americans" when he's working as an internet reviewer which is part time, the rest of the time, he's James and that's it.

Jane Lynch: Well, it's just that I don't want to see you hurt yourself especially after what recently happened with well, you know.

Lea Michele: Jane, relax, I can take care of myself if something bad happens okay?

Jane Lynch: Okay, I'll see you Tuesday.

Lea Michele: Oh Jane, Thanks.

Jane Lynch: Any time.

(Scene cuts to the afternoon where James and Lea are enjoying a quiet lunch together)

TLOTA: I hope it's to your liking. It's been a while since I cooked for myself and one other person.

Lea Michele: This is fine, What are these again?

TLOTA: Zucchini stuffed zucchinis.

Lea Michele: Interesting, but delicious.

TLOTA: Thanks. (James smiles with a bit of concern and nervousness.)

Lea Michele: Are you okay?

TLOTA: Actually, no. Before you came over three of my fellow internet reviewers were insistent that I had something they wanted which I have the following knowledge of Jack & Squat and Jack left town years ago. However I've been thinking between their history together they have reviewed the "Justice League Of America" Pilot that went nowhere, The 2011 Wonder Woman pilot that never finished and was dropped like a hot potato and then they reviewed two of the three Incredible Hulk movies based on the show which was loosely adapted from the comic book in which they changed Bruce Banner to David Banner and instead of him getting blasted by a bomb he blasts himself a concentrated dose of gamma radiation and I just figured it out. You'll have to help me out on this.

(Music from the last seasons of the Original Run of American Gladiators play Speedy shot of James Faraci breaking through the American Flag, working out, fighting bad cinema, bad pop culture anything bad in the world with a picture of the White House appears in the background as Jack Swagger, Zeb Coulter and President Obama appear in the foreground as all three fall as James Faraci stands alone and tall and in Army text the words of The Last Of The Americans stand by his side)

(Scene cuts to Nash, Linkara and Film Brain knocked out onto one another when a splash of water wakes the three up)

Lea Michele: Wake up time! (The three look around until they see Lea Michele with a bucket in her hands and the three scream in fear)

Film Brain: I'm sorry for talking trash about "New Years Eve" but it was horrendous.

Nash: & I am so humbly apologizing for saying smack about your ex.

Linkara: And I am Never EVER going to review the "GLEE"/Archie crossover, just don't do anything horrible to us!

Lea Michele: What are you three talking about?

TLOTA: They're nervous because of an incident between Mara Wilson of Mrs. Doubtfire fame and the Nostalgia Critic and they don't want to suffer the same wrath and I know why you three stooges are here. (James pulls out DVD of "The Death Of The Incredible Hulk) Hold it there. The only way you get this is if I help you review it.

Lea Michele: I want in on the review too.

Nash, Linkara & Film Brain: Fine.

TLOTA: But if we're going to do this, let's act like civilized people about it and introduce ourselves.

Nash, Linkara & Film Brain: Okay.

Nash: Hello everyone I'm Nash of Radio Dead Air where we tune in turn on and drop dead.

Linkara: I'm Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug of Atop The Fourth Wall where bad comics burn.

Film Brain: I'm Matthew Buck of Bad Movie Beatdown.

Lea Michele: I'm Lea Michele from "Glee"

TLOTA: And I'm James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and the views we're about to express are that of our own and some of yours. Film Brain give us a bit of what we're in for. (Remix of Lonely Man Plays as Film Brain talks)

Film Brain: This is "The Death Of The Incredible Hulk" the final made for TV Movie based on the 1970's tv series and while I think there are some loose connections to the last film they're not as obvious but unlike the others this wasn't a backdoor pilot to another series.

Nash: Something tells me the fans got to a network executive and threatened to kill him if another Incredible Hulk movie was made that was as flimsy to serve as a backdoor pilot and we didn't get to see more of the Hulk.

Linkara: And thank god they did somethings right.

TLOTA: No Disagreements here. So let's dive into "The Death Of The Incredible Hulk". We start off at a Science Facility in the Pacific Northwest where we see David passing himself off as a simple minded janitor.

David's Superior: Now David, I told you not to take so much time trying to make things perfect.

David: There was a spot.

David's Superior: We all want you to keep this job David but you've got to listen.

TLOTA: Man this guy reminds me of someone I know. (James looks at a Photo of his father looking down on everyone with a frown on his face while the Imperial March from Star Wars plays) Nah too coincidental.

Nash: Later on David is cashing his paycheck when a group of thugs corner him and take his big amount of green.

Film Brain: Speaking of Big and Green Here's Lou Ferrigno . (Hulk drops power line with Nash doing a voice over bit saying Hulk pissed that Time Warner Cable causing Hulk to miss out on new "Two and a Half Men" episodes due to CBS Blackout then the Hulk throws two of the three thugs onto trash bins which makes Lea Michele laugh out loud.)

TLOTA: What's so funny?

Lea Michele: If that was "The Incredible Hulk" He would've slammed all three of them into the trash bins like he would have if he was throwing a basketball from the back of the Basketball court for three points. (The others nod in agreement as to how Lea Michele was right. Then cuts to The Hulk being cornered by the cops when he smashes through the wall then through the kitchen/dining area, then living room which makes Lea Michele laugh even harder.)

Linkara: There is no way you thought it was funny.

Lea Michele: I did. The Monday after the incident David is about to call it a day when he decides to step into a lab ran by a Dr.Pratt and help him in private with his research on Genetic research in hopes of ridding himself of the Hulk. Meanwhile we see a couple playing Racquetball.

Nash: Why do I feel we're about to deal with ANOTHER gamma transponder?

TLOTA: Actually you're wrong this is Jasmine she's working as a spy for some rather unsavory folks.

Lea Michele: Who are they? Why none other than Soviet spies headed by the One armed man from "The Fugitive" starring Harrison Ford & Tommy Lee Jones.

Film Brain: Actually Lea you're not far off, this is Andreas Katsulas playing a spy named Kasha and he's only second in command his superior is named Ashenko. Apparently Ashenko wants Jasmine to infiltrate the Science Facility and grab Dr. Pratt's research and if she doesn't her sister Bella is going to die. But not to worry Edward will inject her with his stupid vampire venom to turn her from a human to a vampire if Jasmine can't save her.

TLOTA: You had to throw in a "Twilight" reference didn't you.

Film Brain: It was an easy set up.

Linkara: Meanwhile Dr. Pratt talks to his wife about his research and is wondering who in the cover of dark, in the middle of the night is helping him with his research.

Dr. Pratt: It's A Mystery. It's the middle of the night. Somebody walks through a High security facility without being noticed, moves though time-locked doors, enters my lab, enters my computer and my formulas and changes them, but this somebody is helping me Amy.

Amy: Got it, Ronnie, It's a ghost!

Nash: A ghost? A Ghost?! Can I have my hammer? (James tosses Nash his Rubber Mallet and conks Film Brain, Linkara and himself to the NBC tones and gives himself one more for good measure.)

TLOTA: I Know it's kind of early but Lea, let's take a break. Let those three regain consciousness and we'll grab a bite to eat.

Lea Michele: Okay.

(Commercial Sting going out with of the American Gladiators first run's final season's ten seconds theme with James Standing next to Army Text saying The Last Of The Americans. Then same commercial sting takes us back to the review.)

Nash: A few nights later David is helping Dr. Pratt in secret but when he gets to a certain point in his helping.

Computer: Who are you? (Computer repeats that line until David types I don't exist and the computer responds.)

Linkara: Meanwhile Jasmine meets up with a security guard, nabs one of his prints and makes a hasty exit with the guard she just sat and drank with and he didn't know it was the same girl with a different hair style.

Nash: Well to be fair it's hard to be a good security officer and not have good detective skills

Film Brain: We then see Dr. Pratt watching and waiting for his "Ghost" Partner when David comes in and works on the research. Gee could Dr. Pratt be that stupid that David needs to hold a neon light over him saying it's me this whole friggin' time!

Dr. Pratt: You! Who are you?

David: A Friend.

Dr. Pratt: Why do you come here in this way?

David: I have no choice.

Lea Michele: Dr. Pratt threatens to call security if David doesn't spill on who he is and for the love of Peat Moss just tell him who you are

David: Banner! My name is...

Dr. Pratt: Banner. Of Course! Dr. David Banner, Princeton, Stanford. Amy was right it's a ghost.

Nash: David tells Dr. Pratt why he has been on the lamb for so long.

David: I experimented on myself and, uh...

Dr. Pratt: And now you have that strength.

David: Now I have a mutation near the rage center of my brain and during moments of anger or fear it secretes a hormone and I become a mutant thing, a beast until that rage ends.

TLOTA: Having heard David's story Dr. Pratt decides to help David but in order to help him fully Dr. Pratt has to see the Hulk. So we get a montage of events lead up to when Dr. Pratt is capable of letting the Hulk out of David and putting him in a force field. Then we get the moment Dr. Pratt has been waiting for.

(David holds on to a shock stick for a split second then lets go.)

Dr. Pratt: David, Don't resist!

Linkara: That's right allow the Hulk to come out summon and then become one of the Borg, Resistance is Futile! (David holds on to the shock stick until the Hulk comes out and pulls shock stick out of the holding spot and punches  on to the force field.)

Dr. Pratt. Now Amy. NOW! (Amy presses button to inject the Hulk with tranquilizers. Nash does a voice over saying "Hulk go night night!")

Linkara: After David recovers himself he, Dr. Pratt and Amy looks at the footage of the Hulk.

Amy: I still say it's human David. It's a part of you.

David: Is it?

TLOTA: That's a good question Is The Incredible Hulk human? And the answer is YES IT IS HUMAN BECAUSE YOU'RE(Slams fist and a sign saying it's the final film) KILLING HIM OF IN THIS THE FINAL FILM!

Lea Michele: Yikes James. Take it down a few notches we don't need to see you get angry, I don't think any of us would like to see you angry. The next day Dr. Pratt gets hot around the collar himself when a high government muckity muck says his research could lead to super soldiers like Captain America which is the opposite of what his research stands for and proceeds to chew them both out.

Dr. Pratt: The Perfect soldier is a man who sits around dreaming of coming home who writes his girlfriend because he has nothing more to do because there's no more war! Because we've healed the species, healed it of hatred and disease and greed. The perfect soldier hangs up a sign and goes fishing because he's out of work! That's your perfect soldier!

TLOTA: DAMN! Just... Just DAMN! He has the Biggest set of stones I've seen on a man.

Nash: While you go on how you wish you could be him. Dr. Pratt tells David that the Hulk goes down tomorrow night. That is unless Jasmine comes in and soils the bed. (Jasmine comes in dressed as the female security officer and the experiment goes south and all of them face palm themselves one at a time.)

Linkara: The following night Dr. Pratt is comatose and the government suspects David is with the spies to take down the government. Meanwhile Jasmine tells Kasha what had happened and commands his lackey to torture Jasmine. But thankfully Jasmine remembers that David was in the chair and David makes a run for it until he turns green and...

TLOTA: Nope!

Linkara: What do you mean "Nope"?

TLOTA: I mean "Nope" as in A) He doesn't become the Hulk even though he's cornered by Soviet Spies and has no time to do so & B) Jasmine's partners turn on Jasmine and David help Jasmine without Hulking out. and Jasmine's holder tells Jasmine that her sister Bella is Ashenko and that Bella is in charge and dies right then & there.

David: He's gone.

Nash: Thank you Captain Obvious!

David: You're bleeding a lot.

Film Brain: No duh! Thanks for the News report Tom Brokaw!

Jasmine: Who do you work for?

David: I'm a doctor, I work for myself. I'll bill you later (Cuts to the five some doing an air rim shot!)

Film Brain: David takes Jasmine to a cabin in the woods above the facility that she used to research the job. The next morning David decides to turn himself in and not tell the authorities about Jasmine even though she's an enemy spy on American soil.

TLOTA: Actually after what has happened towards Jasmine I think her loyalties aren't towards the sickle and the mallet. In fact she gets him in without having to go to the authorities and they successfully sneak in, help Dr. Pratt come out of his coma and get out as fast as humanly possible that is until Jasmine's former associates successfully bring out the Hulk and causes hundreds of dollars of damages to a pair of bulldozers. Meanwhile Dr. Pratt and his wife are kidnapped by the soviets and David & Jasmine have to stay long enough to find and make sure the Pratts are safe and not in Soviet hands.

Linkara: So how do they accomplish it, by going to a car lot. Not sure how this makes sense.

David (Sporting a British accent): I beg your pardon, are you a salesman? I am dead set on driving one of these home today. Now which is the top of the line?

Film Brain: It's official I'm insulted by a guy who can become a Broccoli colored quarterback!

Nash: While David continues to insult the united kingdom he takes the salesman who is in fact a soviet spy out for a joyride that made Jeff Gordon's test drive for Pepsi look like a leisurely trip on the back roads of Hazzard County when David picks up...

David (Still Sporting a British accent): Oh, the wife, get in darling!

Lea Michele: Oh Hai Joan Collins!

Nash: Uh No! It's Jasmine

Jasmine(Sounding infinitum percent close to Joan Collins): Now where shall we go! (Cut to James, Linkara, Film Brain & Nash with their jaws scrapping the floor.)

Lea Michele: Surprised? Not as much as he is going to be.

Jasmine(Normal): Hello Brenn, tell us where the doctor is or die.

Linkara: After getting the information they needed Jasmine and David stuff him in the trunk and turn him into the authorities which leads to the climactic showdown. Jasmine and David have the police come out in force to take everyone down while David tries to rescue Dr. Pratt and his wife. (Police come out of every car and James dubs in the Hut Hut from the Blues Brothers finale when the officers and all armed forces are storming the building.)


TLOTA: Bella orders Kasha to get Doctor Pratt and Amy but due to an misdirection Kasha thinks they've escaped and Bella kills Kasha. Meanwhile Kasha's goon who knows how to fly a plane tries to use the plane to kill Jasmine and (Jasmine looking like she's just moving her arms which makes Lea Michele laugh out loud again) WHAT IS SO FUNNY?!

Lea Michele: Could she try any less to look like she's running she could just keep her arms down and tell everyone she's on the back of a truck with a camera strapped to it.

Nash: Well despite that David risks his life for her becomes the Hulk and hangs on for dear freaking life onto the side of a plane (Hulk hanging on to the plane and Nash says WHEE! like the Hulk) after that the hulk then gets on board and then...

Goon: NO! THE FUEL! (Hulk aims the gun down and the plane explodes! The scene cuts to James, Lea Michele, Film Brain, Linkara and Nash looking on in shock as The Incredible Hulk plummets to his death and the rest of the scenes play out)

Jasmine: David don't! Don't Die! We could be free now!

David: Jasmine, I am free! (David dies and Lonely Man plays as everything pulls back to see Executive Producer: Bill Bixby credit)

Linkara: The Incredible Hulk is dead! The Incredible Hulk is dead?! HOW?! HOW DID IT HAPPEN?!

TLOTA: Not a friggin' clue! Final thoughts? (Everyone shrug their shoulders in confusion as the remix of Lonely man plays again)

Film Brain: The Death Of The Incredible Hulk somehow found middle ground from the previous two couldn't find and yet somehow the flaws from the previous two are more amplified unlike the Incredible Hulk Returns and The Trial of The Incredible Hulk there is more Hulk action but the plot suffers heavily from it.

Linkara: Especially when it comes to how they killed off the Hulk. If you missed any of the conversations about the Hulk and how they were going to kill him off you'd think they were setting up for another one.

TLOTA: Well they were but due to Bill Bixby's declining health and ultimately his death that movie was scrapped at the last second. But what we were given I really did like this and the other two equally.

Nash: I can't disagree with you because quite honestly the acting is okay especially with Bill Bixby doing better behind the camera this time around. The story doesn't feel as haphazardly done and all around things could have been far worse.

Lea Michele: Are we done?

Everyone else: Yep.

Lea Michele: Good now, Linkara, Nash, Matthew I've got something to tell you. GET OUT NOW!

Nash, Linkara, Film Brain: Huh? (Lea Michele spin changes to Wonder Woman and James is shocked)

TLOTA: Holy M. Night Shyamalan twist Batman! (Scene changes to the front door as the whole place is rocking eventually leading to Nash being thrown out onto his ass followed by Linkara then Film Brain by Lea Michele as Wonder Woman at the front door)


Film Brain: Well now what?

Linkara: Go to a convention somewhere near here.

Nash: Sounds good to me. (The three walk off as Lea grabs James by the waist back inside)

Lea Michele: Hey James let's have some fun!

TLOTA: I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and the fun I'm about to have is AWESOME!

(End Credit scenes with the words "The Death Of The Incredible Hulk: A review.  Presented by James Faraci, Nash Bozard, Lewis Lovhaug, Matthew Buck & Lea Michele. Camera work by Hope Chapman. A Radio Dead Air Production with the words under the Radio Dead Air Logo Tune In Turn On Drop Dead underneath and the Channel Awesome mark one logo shows while animated 1980's Incredible Hulk cartoon theme plays. Then a blooper where Lea Michele nearly exposes more than she should've in the Wonder Woman top and James turns away saying I saw nothing, I saw Nothing just like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes and everyone laughs)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why is Batman more popular than Superman?

(Commercial Sting with of the American Gladiators first run's final season's ten seconds theme with James Standing next to Army Text saying The Last Of The Americans. Then a rubber stamp stamps over the entire thing the word Editorial)

I'm James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and the views I'm about to express are that of my own and some of yours. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Superman. Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment marked this landmark by returning the last son of the planet Krypton back to the Big screen with "Superman: Man Of Steel" and before I get a comment on semantics of titles of things I'm calling it "Superman: Man Of Steel" because it is a Superman movie. But for as much as I love this movie and as much as Superman should be celebrated he's been getting shafted because people care more for other heroes one in particular is Batman people are more interested in someone who hides in shadows & skulks in his own misery. So I've got to ask "WHY THE FUCK IS BATMAN MORE POPULAR THAN FUCKING SUPERMAN?!" He is not a hero as a matter of fact, Batman is the first Anti-Hero, he doesn't follow the law, he finds way to circumvent them even by normal standards Batman would be as vilified as The Joker or The Riddler. Where as Superman represents Truth, Justice and The Human Way and while yes it is true that there was an entire Reboot of the DC Universe a while back, it doesn't make Batman any less an anti-hero. Superman IS the hero because he is willing to fight for what is right. The sentiment of that has been echoed in a comment made by Brandon Routh who played the Character in Superman Returns (Which was great by the way) when he said "His (Superman's) Challenge is to continually see the good in people and to do good when others don't see it." That is something Noble to aspire to. What does Batman aspire to do, put every criminal away and get himself close enough to die as possible while showing Gotham that they have to save themselves & while some of what he wants to do is noble, his intentions are misguided. I'm not saying he has to be as Campy as Adam West's portrayal of Batman (Which I have nothing against Adam West) but he doesn't have to be so dark he's almost like the villains he tries to capture, just try to find the balance. I also think why Batman might edge out Superman because he isn't like Superman. Batman is first off mortal where as Superman has the half life of an unlicensed nuclear accelerator.  While both are orphans (and that's the only thing they have in common) Superman's morals are different because of who raised him, a loving couple from Kansas where as Batman had no one to tell him where the line had to be drawn. Superman tries to do what is right within the confines of the laws of man and countries and tries to show that we are capable of doing what is right and not cause harm. Where as Batman again can't tell where the line is. Batman can do the things he can because of his alter ego Bruce Wayne, A Billionaire. He uses his fortune to fund his full time hobby. Superman's alter ego (prior to the reboot) Clark Kent is a farm boy with a job as a reporter in Metropolis at the Daily Planet which allows Clark the inside information to know when something comes up and how to handle the situation. But why I think Batman is more popular is how he is portrayed. Batman is seen with sympathy because we've all had loss and wished we could've done something to stop it whereas Superman is seen with cynicism because he is the one who is capable of so much and does so much but doesn't allow his ego to take over what he knows and does is right and that is a shame Superman is who we can be, Batman is who we need to fear. But do I think Batman is more popular than Superman in general? HELL NO! Superman has good moral values and can be much more powerful than being dark and brooding like Batman. Superman represents the best in all of us and we should aspire to be more like Superman. I'm James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and That's my opinion.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A "Beauty"-ful Crossover co-writen by "The Rowdy Reviewer" Chris Lee Moore


TLOTA: Well the good news is at least the Disney Channel doesn’t air that annoying Shia LaBeouf anymore. The bad news is, they air nothing but their god awful current tween garbage and my twin nieces are watching this and soon enough their little sister! You’d think they could put in some time to air some of their old stuff! You know, back when Walt was alive and everything they produced was good! I’d bet if they showed a classic now and then they’d really see the ratings take a huge jump up.(The Rowdy Reviewer pops in out of nowhere via Jeannie blink)

ROWDY: I’ll take that bet!

TLOTA: GHAA! (Jumps out his chair to smash through stuff eventually landing in an all-white background) What the…? (Turns around and comes to a realization) It’s my intro but why isn’t it starting? Oh now I know, I haven’t hit the play button to start it. (James walks off camera and hits the play button.)

(Music from the last seasons of the Original Run of American Gladiators play Speedy shot of James Faraci breaking through the American Flag, working out, fighting bad cinema, bad pop culture anything bad in the world with a picture of the White House appears in the background as Jack Swagger, Zeb Coulter and President Obama appear in the foreground as all three fall as James Faraci stands alone and tall and in Army text the words of The Last Of The Americans stand by his side)

TLOTA: Don’t you ever warn people before you do that?

ROWDY: I’m sorry for barging in like this but I need to set you straight.

TLOTA: On What?

ROWDY: Don’t tell me someone like you has just bought into the belief that EVERYTHING Disney made in the past was great! How much stuff did they do with that whole “true love conquers all” crap? Isn’t that what you dislike the most?

TLOTA: Sometimes I can be a bit of a hopeless romantic and the rest of the times well…You have to ask?

ROWDY: Then wouldn’t it be great to tear one of those a new one?

TLOTA: I guess?

ROWDY: Then cue the opener!

(Cut to opening title sequence for Sleeping Beauty)

TLOTA: Well, wait a second, NO! That is one of Disney’s most beloved movies ever!

ROWDY: Yes, but when has popular opinion ever stopped an online critic? Do the words Film Brain and Equilibrium mean anything? I get that a lot of people love this movie, and it featured a lot of things that would become iconic in the Disney franchise. I just feel there are a lot of flaws in the picture that need to be addressed, and if I had to go along with Film Geek in his ripping of Alice in Wonderland, I’m taking someone down with me in riffing this!

TLOTA: I’m so honored. But if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this the right way. Sit down over there and introduce yourself.

ROWDY: Hello everyone, I’m The Rowdy Reviewer of

TLOTA: And I’m James Faraci, The Last of the Americans and the views we’re about to express are that of our own and some of yours. (James places his left hand to cup over his mouth and whisper not within Earshot of Rowdy “Hopefully none of yours”.) Alright Rowdy you dragged me into this so why don’t you kick this off.

ROWDY: So I’m sure we’ve all heard the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty: Beautiful Princess gets cursed to an eternal slumber until handsome prince awakens her with a kiss; standard fairy tale fare that makes cynical crackpots like us puke. There have been numerous versions of the story, and while the movie claims to be adapted from Charles Parrault’s tale, it still has elements included from the Grimm Brothers version along with the Ilyich Tchaikovsky musical. What a lot of people might not know is that this movie was not a hit when it was first released in 1959. It took nine years to make, was their most expensive film ever at the time and only grossed 1.7 million in its initial release, leading to the company’s first annual loss in a decade. As a result, the Disney Company would not adapt another fairy tale until nearly 30 years later with The Little Mermaid.

TLOTA: So if it’s so beloved now, why did it fail then?

ROWDY: You’re gonna regret asking that, Let's find out.

TLOTA: So the movie opens with the king and queen of Insert Name Here Kingdom happy because the king finally knocked up his queen and now the whole land is celebrating their daughter’s birth.

ROWDY:Okay, I do try to be fair, so I will praise that even back then, Disney went the extra step to give names to the main characters of these fairy tales that didn’t have them before, hence naming the princess Aurora, which was taken from the musical, and her father King Stephan. Though sadly his queen gets the shaft there but she does get a line or two of dialogue and we also get a name for our prince here in Philip, who is completely unaware that these two old guys are already declaring that he will marry this girl one day.  

TLOTA: So where are we on the Creepy meter? (Pics of people and things James finds creepy) Okay we’ve passed real rapists and criminals, the rapists and criminals on Law & Order: SVU, Nearly seeing Spoony’s Junk in “To Boldly Flee”, anything from “Son of the Mask” and we’re near (Ding) Ah! The Pedoprinciple from “Even Stevens”.

ROWDY: You gotta love the look on his face here, like he’s already worried about getting cooties. But no time for that now because, Ladies and gentlemen, it’s now time to get off your seat and on your feet for the REAL stars of this movie, FLORA, FAUNA AAAAAAAAAANNNNND MERRIWEATHER!!!!!! I’m not kidding; these three are hands down the best thing of the entire film, as we’ll see.

(Show scene of Flora and Fauna bestowing their gifts of beauty and song)

ROWDY: So the first two basically make her to be as hot as Barbara Eden with the voice of Desiree Goyette. But before Merriweather can step in…

(Cut to Maleficent’s entrance)

TLOTA: Holy crap, now there’s an entrance! Meet Maleficent voiced LITERALLY by the actress who did the voice of the wicked Step-Mother in Disney’s Cinderella, and come on Rowdy, even you have to admit this is one of the most awesome villains EVER.

ROWDY: I’ll get to that in a moment.

MALEFICENT: I too shall bestow a gift on the child… Before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel – AND DIE!!!!!!

ROWDY: Hell hath no fury indeed. This is the first big issue I have, although I admit it’s not really with the film itself but how it connects to the criticism of Disney’s more modern work. Back when I was in college there was this essay someone wrote in one of my textbooks titled “What’s Wrong With Disney Films?” in which the author looked to criticize pretty much all the animated films the company had made from my generation; the masterpieces we grew up with like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Lion King. And one of those so-called criticisms was that “Disney villains used to be just mean and nasty, where now they’re downright pure evil.” Excuse me? THIS is just “mean and nasty?” This woman looks like the demon child of Mephisto and Lady Gaga, and not only that, she curses the princess to die when she turns sixteen – JUST BECAUSE SHE WASN’T INVITED TO HER BIRTHDAY PARTY!

TLOTA: Wait that’s why Maleficent did that to her? Because she got snubbed for a party? Kind of petty and kind of a stupid reason to do that to the kid, don’t ya think?

(Rowdy nods in agreement)

ROWDY: And yes, while I will say that Maleficent is one of Disney’s most iconic villains and well deserved of that title, but you can’t tell me Disney would get away with a character like this today with people like One Million Moms around!

TLOTA: At any rate, it’s up to Merriweather to fix this whole thing, and she does by using Fairy Tale Plot Element Number One in that True Love’s Kiss will revive the princess should she fall to the curse. You know, I have always wondered just what her gift would have been had Maleficent not stepped in.

ROWDY: I like to think she would have given her the gift of strength and courage, and she would have become Disney’s first kick-ass Princess long before Mulan or Merida ever appeared. In other words, she’d have turned out to be like this…

(Show image of Beth Phoenix in Aurora’s ballgown)

TLOTA: Your fantasies are STRANGE. But this isn’t enough for the king, who orders every spinning wheel in the land to be burned. I hope the kingdom has good trade relations to get clothing and you have to feel sorry for all those tailors, Seamstresses and clothing manufacturers that are now unemployed, also is it me or is this kind of overkill sort of like using all of a government’s nuclear arsenal to kill a mosquito.

ROWDY: Meanwhile, the fairies are concerned that even that might not be enough to stop Maleficent.

MERRIWEATHER: I’d like to turn her into a fat old hoptoad.

FLORA: You know our magic doesn’t work that way.

FAUNA: It can only do good, dear, to bring joy and happiness.

MERRIWEATHER: Well, that would make ME happy.

TLOTA: I’m gonna take a flying leap here. Merriweather is your favorite character?

ROWDY: That’s as much of a lock down guess as saying the Chicago Cubs aren’t making the post season. Eventually our three heroes, and yes these ARE the heroes of this movie, just you wait, decide the best idea is to shanghai the baby – okay, they actually tell the king and queen about it – and raise her in hiding pretending to be mortal peasants. And then, bam, we fast forward 16 years to see it apparently has worked so far, though mainly because Maleficent’s goons are dumber than Rita Repulsa’s putties.

MALEFICENT: Did you hear that, my pet? All these years, they’ve been searching for a baby! (Followed by her laughing and then zapping all goons in a rage. Scene cuts to James & Rowdy ducking as a stray zap nearly incinerates the two.)

TLOTA: Sweet Buttery Jesus. Okay, I get why she’d be upset that her goons don’t have the intelligence god gave a common jackass for them to adapt for time passage. But why in hell did it take her sixteen years to ask them? And now I’m starting to see some of the flaws you’re seeing in this thing. Apparently being the mistress of all evil doesn’t mean you’re THAT smart.

(Rowdy nods in agreement)

ROWDY: At any rate we learn that indeed the fairies have raised Aurora under the name Briar Rose and are now planning her 16th birthday party, and because they still refuse to do magic, wackiness is certain to ensue!

TLOTA: Well wait a minute then how did they survive for 16 years without magic?

ROWDY: Later

MERRIWEATHER: After today she’ll be a princess, and we won’t have any Briar Rose.

FLORA: Now we knew this day had to come…

FAUNA But why did it have to come so soon.

FLORA: After all, we have had her for sixteen years…

MERRIWEATHER: Sixteen wonderful years…

ROWDY: Sixteen years that were apparently not good enough for us as an audience to see. It makes you wonder why no one at Disney has yet to try a direct to video mid-quel movie detailing those years. Or even a TV series on it.

TLOTA: Well, that still might be better than Dog With a Blog.

ROWDY: Unfortunately we have to cut away from the fairies to get back to, sigh, the main characters in perhaps the most iconic scene from the movie. Short version here, Rose tells her woodland friends of her dream prince and they try to pose as him and Rose falls for this because it’s gonna be 30 years before Disney starts making Princesses with intelligence and perception, before the real prince shows up and it’s the whole love at first sight garbage.

(Scene of Aurora and Philip dancing to Once Upon a Dream)

TLOTA: Now even you have to admit, this music is quite beautiful.

ROWDY: Yeah, the music was adapted directly from Tchaikovsky, and this is one of Disney’s most memorable songs, even if it’s only four lines, so we’re not exactly talking A Whole New World here?

TLOTA: Why are you bringing up an Aladdin song?

Rowdy: No special reason. But enough of the saccharine, let’s get back to the real stars! After doing their best to make Martha Stewart cry, the fairies finally concede to fixing everything with their magic, but it turns out it turns out it wasn’t a good idea giving magic weapons to two fairies who bicker as much as Leonardo and Raphael.

(Scenes of Flora and Merriweather constantly changing the gown between pink and blue before they break down on a magic fight changing each other’s colors scene cuts away briefly to see James is pink and Rowdy is blue before returning to the scenes with audio of Joey Styles shouting CATFIGHT!! CATFIGHT!!)

TLOTA: And this is what draws the attention of Maleficent’s pet raven who then overhears the three tell Rose that she’s actually Princess Aurora, which is devastating to her because she doesn’t want to marry the Prince. Meanwhile Philip’s desire to marry Rose doesn’t go over well with his father.

(Scenes of Rose crying and Philip riding off against his father’s wishes)

TLOTA: Wow, What a sad story of two lovers who can’t be together – wait a minute, the people they’re betrothed to are each other and yet the two don’t know that. So what’s really the point of this?

ROWDY: You’ve just brought up the second and perhaps most frustrating main problem I have with this movie. This entire subplot about our two main characters thinking they love someone they can’t be with is pointless because it amounts to NOTHING!!! And we as an audience know it’s going to amount to nothing because we know that these characters are in love with the one they’re betrothed to and just don’t know it, so this whole angst plot is going to get neatly tied up in the end. What’s more, the film brings up the subject of arranged marriages, hinting at the possibility that maybe it’s an outdated custom, and ultimately uses that aforementioned plot convenience to not tackle the subject fully! This issue bothered me even as a kid when I first watched the movie, and I saw this years before Aladdin came out and tackled this subject much better, creating a scenario where love triumphed over outdated laws and customs.

TLOTA: Okay Rowdy, let’s get off the soapbox for a while and take a break. Trust me it would do us a world of good.

(Commercial Sting going out with of the American Gladiators first run's final season's ten seconds theme with James Standing next to Army Text saying The Last of the Americans. Then same commercial sting takes us back to the review.)

TLOTA: Okay, We're back! Feel Better.

(Rowdy nods contentedly)
ROWDY: So the fairies bring Aurora to the castle, where she gets distracted by something shiny that lures her to the secret chamber that every fairy tale castle is required to have…

(Scene of the spinning wheel appearing out of nowhere and Aurora pricking her finger)
TLOTA: So in this version she just magics a wheel out of thin air? Isn’t that cheating?
ROWDY: She’s the epitome of all evil. Did you think she was going to play fair?

TLOTA: Point taken, so the fairies decide to hide their failure to protect Aurora by putting them all to sleep until the princess is awakened. Which I’m sure will happen quickly once Prince Philip comes to her rescue… unless he gets up and captured by Maleficent and her goons himself. (Scene of Prince Philip getting captured by Maleficent and her goons himself. Scene cuts to the two of them face palming themselves, then The Angry Video Game Nerd, Mike Matei, Kyle Justin, everyone at Channel Awesome themselves and then God face palms himself) Kind of a lame prince there, now that I think about it.

ROWDY: And now we get to the final big problem with this movie. Prince Philip is the absolute most worthless hero in the entire history of Disney! He does absolutely nothing himself! Let’s count the ways here in the third act, shall we? Does he find a way to free himself from Maleficent’s imprisonment? No, the fairies break him out. (FAIRY RESCUE COUNT: 1) Then the fairies give him his sword and shield out of nowhere. (2) Then they help him get past the stooges and out of the castle not once, not twice, not THRICE but FOUR times!! (6) Oh, and guess which one of them eliminates Maleficent’s squawky pet? (7) Are you starting to get why I say these three are the real heroes of the movie?

(James Nods in agreement)

(Scene of Philip cutting through the briars, aided by the fairies (8))

MALEFICENT: Now shall you deal with ME, O Prince! And ALL THE POWERS OF HELL!!!!

TLOTA: Did she just say All the Powers of Hell?

ROWDY: If you’re soiling your underwear at that, so am I.

(Scene of Maleficent turning into a dragon and Prince Philip’s face is showing he is scared with James doing a voiceover shouting ABBOTT!)

ROWDY: But now our valiant prince has the chance to really prove his mettle against the mistress of all evil – oh wait, the fairies do it by enchanting his sword so he can’t miss! (9) Oh and by the way, tell me a Disney film today that would get away with flat out stabbing the villain in the heart!! So after the fairies do all the real work, the prince gets the reward by kissing Aurora awake, and its revealed that whole conflict with their engagement was nothing after all. Don’t worry, everyone, Aladdin and Jasmine will eventually tear down the walls of those antiquated customs.

(Scene of Aurora and Philip dancing in the ballroom)

TLOTA: I think you’re gonna need that barf bucket.

ROWDY: I always have it on standby. But fortunately our movie ends with the real stars and one last bit of levity.

(Ending scene of Flora and Merriweather again changing Aurora’s gown back and forth as she and Philip dance)

ROWDY: And so that’s Sleeping Beauty, for my money one of Disney’s most overrated films ever! I’ll admit the animation is beautiful, the music is outstanding and the supporting cast still includes some of Disney’s most memorable characters. But beyond that, the storyline is just really thin, the main characters have the personality of balsa wood and the chance to tackle certain issues of ancient society are just wasted. Along with its box office failure, a number of critics at the time also called it out for slow pacing and little character development. It seems nostalgia over Walt Disney’s legacy is what gives it its following since, and I just don’t see it being as beloved if it was released in 1999 instead of 1959.

TLOTA: Well let’s be frank Rowdy. This is NOT a kid’s movie and for that matter nothing Walt Disney made ever was. Walt made Family ENTERTAINMENT, and even he seemed to admit this wasn’t his best work. Regardless, it still has its place in Disney lore, right up to Sleeping Beauty’s castle being the centerpiece of Disneyland – or is that Cinderella’s? Oh well, Most castles look alike anyhow and now that this is over, maybe some good old guy time at the ballpark is well deserved, eh, Rowdy?
ROWDY: Yeah, actually I’d love to discuss that, but Jeannie should be calling me any moment to play “Save the Harem Girl from the Evil Vizier…” (Pops out)
TLOTA: There are times when I hate my existence. I’m James Faraci, The Last of the Americans and this has been mostly Rowdy’s opinion.
(Rowdy pops back into his apartment)

JEANNIE: Welcome back master, did you enjoy yourself?
ROWDY: Yes I did, now let’s have some fun.
JEANNIE: Master what’s that in your shirt? (Rowdy looks in his shirt to find a note written by James which Rowdy reads aloud)
ROWDY: “Rowdy, for dragging me into that, you owe me one episode of TV Trash on Superman. Your bud, James Faraci, The Last of the Americans P.S. Thanks for letting me do a crossover with you, I’ve always wanted to do so.”
JEANNIE: Looks like you have some more work to do before we play “Save the Harem Girl from the Evil Vizier”. I’ll be waiting in my bottle.  (Jeannie pops out)
ROWDY: GRRR! There are times when I really want to hate that guy.