Saturday, January 18, 2014

Was "Demo Reel" that bad?

(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)

ORAC: Disclaimer: The Following was pre-written prior to the current events involving James Faraci The Last Of The Americans.

TLOTA: 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. In 2012 Doug Walker alias The Nostalgia Critic decided to retire his well known persona in the fourth anniversary special "To Boldly Flee" with that came a moment where everyone wondered "What was going to happen next?" what happened was "Demo Reel" & I am saying it was not worse than Melvin: Brother Of The Joker & The Nostalgia Critic's Let's Play. I 'm saying if people on your site are making jokes about how bad it is, I decided not adding salt & lemon juice into the open wound. But not everything about it was horrendous, it was just not what people were used to when it came from Channel Awesome and Doug Walker. But with that in mind I think I can break into three columns "Demo Reel" & those columns are where it did work, where it didn't & how it could've been better. So let's get to dealing with the three columns with where it did work.

Where "Demo Reel" worked)

"Demo Reel" worked well primarily in the supporting cast of Rachael Tietz as Rebecca Stone`, Malcolm Ray as Tacoma Narrows, Jim Jarosz as Quinn & Rob Walker as Carl Copenhagen. These may be THE best supporting cast on the planet since "The Office" pre-Steve Carell departure after Steve's departure they couldn't hold the series together at all. When they had something funny to do or done to them, it was genuinely funny like when Rebecca Stone` beat the tar out of Psychotic Turkeys while trying to do a live action version of "Wreck It Ralph" and in the episode "Blue Patches" it showed they could do good dramatic work. I also found the concept of "Demo Reel" interesting. But that's where Demo reel worked. Now let's deal with where it didn't work.

Where "Demo Reel" didn't work)

"Demo Reel" didn't work in the material they were parodying. Don't get me wrong I love a good parody. Spaceballs was a fucking RIOT, but the reason the parody worked was because it understood the source material. Unlike two guys named Seltzer & Friedberg who never understands the source of the materials they parody. "Demo Reel" tried to stay close to the source material they were trying to parody did it work? No. Another thing that didn't work was Doug thinking we'd automatically like Donnie DuPre as much as we liked the Nostalgia Critic we got to know the Nostalgia Critic & love his humorous reviews on those movies we dislike and do like. Donnie DuPre was not who we came for and the villains weren't that good either but that's also in the final column.

How "Demo Reel" could've been better)

"Demo Reel" could've been better in certain areas. First one (Show Casper The Friendly Ghost shouting TIMING! moment from "Child's Play 3" crossover between Phelous & Nostalgia Critic) and there's a reason why I did that. The first episode "Demo Reel" aired one month after the final part of "To Boldly Flee" that was a little too quick for people first off, second if he wanted to give us a taste that is where this show was going he could've shown the first episode and then waited until say early January to continue "Demo Reel" by then you could've come to the conclusion that maybe there's room for both "Nostalgia Critic" & "Demo Reel". Second area was the villains, that's not to say they were bad, they were unimaginative. The main antagonist were a Swedeing actors union and in the final episode before the bridging episode "The Review Must Go On" were fans of Donnie's actual past as a former child star who was in two movies that were like two starring a little fella who tried to be the man who would be Darth Vader and a hint of a certain former child star who exacted a bit of revenge on the Nostalgia Critic. The final thing that could've been better was the story arc of the series. Let's just say had Doug & Rob not been the only writers on "Demo Reel" it would've been on right now alongside "Nostalgia Critic"

Now with all that said was "Demo Reel" that bad? Well... let's say it could've been worse. While I am glad for the reboot of the Nostalgia Critic that happened in 2013. I wasn't jumping for joy over "Demo Reel"'s demise in fact I thought things were getting better and while I hope to see a revival of "Demo Reel" and have it in the Channel Awesome continuity let's say I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of it's return. I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans & that's my opinion.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The "Spider"'s first bite

(Title card reads on a Black background New Year’s Eve and the clock is counting to midnight from 11:59 starting with ten counting back to one then a crowd shouts “Happy New Year” and Auld Lange Syne is heard in the Background as scene fades to James stumbling into his room after ingesting ten bottles of Martinelli’s Sparkling Non Alcoholic Apple Cider and one partly full bottle in hand with Lea Michele behind him)

TLOTA (Plastered): You know something, I’m glad Ed brought you to me and you know what else I hope Christy & Brandon have a miserable married existence for the next fifty years. (Proceeds to laugh uncontrollably drunk while Lea is looking at James as if she doesn’t want to be there) Say Lea, am I still standing.

Lea Michele: Yes but barely.

TLOTA (Plastered): Okay that’s good (James falls down, bumps his head on the bed and floor as Lea quietly shouts for help. Title Card reads two weeks later as it appears James is coming back into his room)

TLOTA: Whew, that man is barely tolerable, I don’t know how James does it. (James looks at his watch double taps the crystal on it to reveal it’s the Rowdy Reviewer.)

Rowdy: So Lea, any changes? (Cut to Lea using a medical tri-corder trying to use it.)

Lea Michele: Nothing, according to this thing he’s still alive but he’s not comatose.

Rowdy: So what the frack are we to do? (Snaps fingers) Wait a second ORAC! (Rowdy grabs and activates the Sonic Screwdriver next to James’s closet door revealing ORAC)

Lea Michele: Is that ORAC? It’s about the size of a Microwave oven.

Rowdy: This is the main part, James keeps the activation remote card next to… Ah here we are. (Finds activation remote card next to James’ keys to his vault and puts the card into ORAC.) ORAC see if you can use the findings in the Tri-corder to see what’s up with James.

ORAC: According to the data obtained James should be awake in 3, 2, 1. (James groans as the two turn to see James wake up.)

Rowdy: Thank goodness you’re all right James welcome back from the great beyond. (Lea Michele smacks Rowdy in the arm and thinks and quietly apologizes saying “Sorry I forgot”)

TLOTA: I feel like I got hit by the north end of a south bound burro and got kicked in the head by the south end.

Rowdy: Well as long as you’re awake, you’ll be right as rain soon enough.

TLOTA: I appreciate the encouragement but I’ve got a few questions. First off what year is this?

Lea Michele: 2014

TLOTA: 2014?

Rowdy: Yeah and you are a contributor to my site

TLOTA: Well, that at least helps so the only other question I have now is, who are you guys? (Rowdy and Lea look at each other and say “Oh Boy!”)

(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 James looking at his own site while Rowdy & Lea sit behind James on his bed)

Lea Michele: Are you sure this will work?

Rowdy: Look according to ORAC he has no memory of the last six years. It might help him out you know kick start his own Swiss cheese memory and fill in the holes quicker than Al, Gushie & Ziggy did for Dr. Sam Beckett. (James chuckles as he reads his own words.)

TLOTA: Is this for real? Let me say this out loud “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” do I sound like I need help or what? Oh, I need to use the toilet, I’ll be back. (James walks out to the bathroom)

Lea Michele: So how can we help him now? ORAC any ideas?

ORAC: There is one, one of you must go to the end of the hallway there should be a temperature thermal meter that is hooked up to the water heater/furnace. Flip the bottom switch all the way to the left and the top dial all the way to the right, wait five seconds then enter the door to the left.

Rowdy: I’ll do it.  (Rowdy does what ORAC suggests) So now WHAA…(Echoing scream is barely heard as the door to the left of the thermometer closes as James walks out of the bathroom and back to his room)

TLOTA: Don’t go in there without matches. What happened to that little squirrely guy? Rowdy I think I call him, because I heard this scream as I was relieving myself sounded like someone just disappeared off the face of the earth. (Scene cuts to Rowdy spinning around in a circle eventually getting a glimpse of the TARDIS and E=MC2 and going ooh and getting digital camera to get snapshots then proceeds to scream again until he lands onto the floor face front with Rowdy saying “OW!” and shakes off what happened just to notice a mattress)

Rowdy: How come this mattress isn’t over the landing area ORAC?

ORAC (Audio): Unfortunately there was a misjudgment on my calculations. However the packet you’ll need to find is marked S.R. SPIDER 1-3. Do you see it? (Rowdy looks around to find them)

Rowdy: BINGO! (Rowdy grabs the Packet.) Now to get myself out of here. (Rowdy pulls out communicator) Jeannie. (Rowdy pops out of where he was and pops back to the front door of James’ room) Hey guys I’m back and I’ve got something here to help you out James let’s find out what’s in it. (James grabs the packet to see all three Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi.)

TLOTA: If I’m going see these, I’m going to need assistance. (Scenes of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy plays while James does Audio over the clips) Because if I’m going to talk about these movies I have to know why these movies are the way they are. Are they good movies? Are they bad movies? And why they even deserve to be known. (Scene cuts back to James, Lea & Rowdy in James’ room) But I’m doing them one at a time. So let’s start with the first one. (James grabs the first Spider-Man movie and it hurts him.) Don’t know why that happened? (Scene cuts to inside a school bus as James does a voice over the video) So as the movie begins we meet Mary Jane Watson played by Kirsten Dunst and Peter Parker played by Tobey Maguire and with the exception of Mary Jane, Aunt May played by Rosemary Harris, Uncle Ben played by Cliff Robertson, Harry Osborn played by James Franco & Harry’s dad Norman played by Willem Dafoe everyone around him treats him a lot like garbage even the bus driver to the senior trip is a dick!

Mary Jane: Stop the bus! He’s been chasing us since Woodhaven Boulevard.

TLOTA (voice over the video): But as they make their way to Columbia University Science Department in which they’re working on genetically making Super Spiders. It’s also at the entrance at that department where we meet the Osborns Harry & Norman and their relationship is tumultuous at best. It’s also where Peter meets Norman Osborn for the first time and spills that he’s working on a project. But back with the trip it’s here where Peter gets his DNA mucked around with a spider bite from one of the Super Spiders just as Peter gets some photos of Mary Jane and that night back where he lives with his Aunt May & Uncle Ben his DNA is fused with the Spider’s DNA. Meanwhile at Oscorp Norman and his associate are trying to keep their Government contract but in working on a strength enhancing formula like Captain America’s Super-Soldier formula. However we soon discover that General Slocum doesn’t want to keep working with Oscorp.

General Slocum: Dr. Osborn, I’m going to be frank with you. I never supported your program. We have my predecessor to thank for that.

TLOTA (voice over the video): General Slocum has given a green light to Oscorp’s rival to build a weapon that if is successful in two weeks Oscorp is kaput! So what does Norman do? (Cut to James in his room with Lea & Rowdy where he sets up a multiple choice answer) Does Norman: A) Hire a volunteer. B) Get all the kinks out of the formula but the General being a gigantic D-Bag ends the contract because he is a D-Bag or C) Test it out on himself?

Lea Michele: I’m going with B

Rowdy: Myself as Henry Winkler said it best in Happy Days A!

TLOTA: I’m going with C (Show clip of Norman Osborn preparing to test the formula on himself and proceeds to gain his alter-ego The Green Goblin before cutting back to the three back in James’ room) if you guessed C congratulations you’re as much an idiot as I am.  (Cut back voice over the video)The next day Peter discovers he now has better vision, a set of muscles that could make Arnold Schwarzenegger think is okay and the strength to go with it, he can stick to substances like glue, can shoot webs from his wrists and take down bullies three times his size and is super-fast. Meanwhile Norman has no memory of the events that took place from last night where in my case having Swiss cheese memory of the last six years is a good thing and Norman hears that Dr. Stromm was murdered with the flight suit and glider taken as well. That night Peter decides to use his abilities to make some cash to get a car. How you may ask? By facing off with Bone saw McGraw played by the Late Macho Man Randy Savage but not before getting the phrase Uncle Ben says that’ll haunt Peter for the rest of his existence.

Uncle Ben: With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

TLOTA (voice over the video): After Peter gets hot around the collar Ben rides off while Peter goes up against Bone Saw as the man himself BRUCE CAMPBELL introduces…


TLOTA (voice over the video): After beating Bone Saw, Peter gets gypped by the promotion and lets the thief get away with taking their money which comes back to bite Peter in the ass as Uncle Ben is murdered by the Thief he let go. (Show UHF Clip of Martial Artist sensei shouting “STUPID! YOU’RE SO STUPID!” with clip of Peter Parker sitting and crying on a roof top as the sensei shouting “YOU’RE SO STUPID!” part of the audio clip before the video plays with James doing voice over.) Meanwhile the Green Goblin strikes against Oscorp’s rival and takes out the Government liaison with one fell kablamo! (Cut to James in his room with Lea & Rowdy) Well at least the Government has a good contract with Stark Industries (Show clip of Iron Man 1 where Tony Stark saying he’s shutting down the Weapons manufacturing division of Stark Industries until further notice then the audio cut back to the three who say “Never mind” then back to the visual of James, Lea & Rowdy.) I don’t know about you but I could take a break.

Lea Michele & Rowdy: Sounds good to me.

(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 (voice over the video): After graduation from High School, Peter mulls the words Uncle Ben said to him last and in a way to ease his own eternal guilt fights crime in his brand spankin’ new professional Spider-Man suit while the debate rages by the public and a voice on the Pro-Spider-Man side is a barely recognizable Lucy “Xena” Lawless. I am dead serious. But all of this attention gets to J. Jonah Jameson the chief of the Daily Bugle played by J.K. Simmons who plans to use him to boost sales by vilifying him.

J. Jonah Jameson: He doesn’t want to be famous, then I’ll make him Infamous.

TLOTA (voice over the video): Peter gets a hold of the story and gets a job being paid freelance photographer salary while Mary Jane tells Peter that she & Harry are dating. Meanwhile the Board of Directors at Oscorp decide to oust Norman and sell the company after a big city festival for reasons. But that sets off Norman to fry the Board at said festival where He & Spider-Man face off for the first time and The Green Goblin attacks and nearly kills Mary Jane as well but Spider-Man saves her for the first time as well. After Peter tries to defend Spider-Man to Jameson guess who comes to interrupts Jameson’s gloating.

Green Goblin: Jameson, You SLIME!

TLOTA (voice over the video): Good grief, did that just come out of his mouth?

Green Goblin: SLEEP!

TLOTA (voice over the video): Oh brother and just as you thought things weren’t ridiculous enough. The Green Goblin smacks Spider-Man upside the head and gives him an opportunity to join him to destroy the city. While Peter mulls the offer Mary Jane is attacked by muggers after an audition and we get the infamous one person upside down the other person right side up kiss.(Cut to James in his room with Lea & Rowdy) Lea you’re a woman, if you kissed a guy while they’re upside down is that crazy or romantically awesome.

Lea Michele: Depends on the situation. (Cut back voice over the video)

TLOTA (voice over the video): At a situation where the Green Goblin set an apartment building on fire. Spider-Man tells The Green Goblin he’s nutty as a nut goodie and slices Spider-Man’s arm the two escape as Norman comes in time for Thanksgiving. After seeing Peter’s wounded arm Norman and the Green Goblin plan to attack Spider-Man where it hurts him the most by scaring Aunt May nearly to death and Kidnapping Mary Jane after it appears that Mary Jane was flirting with Peter behind Harry’s back. So the final confrontation is on as Mary Jane and people in a sky car’s lives are at stake when…

First Citizen: Come on up here, tough guy. I got a little something for you!

Second Citizen: I’ll kick your friggin’ ass!

First Citizen: Leave Spider-Man alone! You’re gonna pick on a guy trying to save a bunch of kids?

Third Citizen: I got something for your ass! You mess with Spidey, You messin’ with New York!

First Citizen: You mess with one of us, you mess with ALL OF US! (Cut to James in his room with Lea & Rowdy looking at James)

TLOTA: It was one of the first Post 9/11 movies set in New York after 9/11. (Both Lea Michele & Rowdy go Oh! Then it cuts back voice over the video): After saving everyone in the sky car and Mary Jane the Green Goblin captures Spider-Man and… (Show scene of Explosion takes off 3/4ths of Spider Man’s mask) The Green Goblin goes on the offensive beating Spider-Man into hamburger when he threatens Mary Jane again Spider-Man FINALLY attacks the Green Goblin and Spider-Man eventually discovers that the Green Goblin is in fact Norman Osborn.  It looks like Norman is trying to ask Peter to help him while setting up the glider to chop him in half when (Show scene of Spider-Man leaping over the glider getting Norman right through the guts and man marbles and show scene of audience of “Hot Shots Part Deux holding their private parts then cuts back to Spider-Man)

Norman Osborn (With voice digitally altered to sound higher as if he did get it in the private parts): Peter? Don’t tell Harry. (Norman Osborn dies there)

TLOTA (voice over the video): At Norman’s funeral, Harry vows to make Spider-Man pay for Norman’s death even though it would’ve taken Peter a minute to tell Harry, The Green Goblin killed your father and he died saving me. But what do I know? Remember Swiss cheese memory.

Peter Parker (Narrating): Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility” this is my gift, my curse, Who am I? I’m Spider-Man (Show end scene of first Spider-Man movie then cut to James, Lea & Rowdy.)

TLOTA: And that was the First Spider-Man movie and to be honest, what was accomplished outside of telling his origin story? Not much. (Show clips of First Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie while James does voice over the video) But for setting up character arcs that might be addressed in further movies it does a decent job, the effects haven’t aged well, the story outside of setting up Spider-Man’s origin was fairly well done and I’m surprising myself for saying this because the casting was well done especially with Uncle Ben & Aunt May even Norman & Harry Osborn were well cast. But a lot of the dialogue was lame, the jokes were abysmal and maybe it’s me but it’s not the Best Comic Book Adaptation nor is it the worst but it’s not as amazing as everyone makes it out to be.

(Scene cut to James, Lea & Rowdy.)

Rowdy: Well it looks like you’re on your way back. (Rowdy’s phone goes off) One second. Hello (Muted horn play representing other person talking like in a “Peanuts” Special.) Dang it, I got to go, all the pre-recorded episodes I did when I heard about what happened to you are all posted and I got to get back to do my reviews down where I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington area of Texas. I mean I agree with you but I found it pretty good and the story for the most part decent. But this is where I hope you can handle the rest of the movies. Good luck and Stay Rowdy My Friend. (Rowdy pops out as James & Lea sit there in surprise)

Lea Michele: Wow, how did he do that?

TLOTA: He has a genie. How did I know that? (Lea Michele grabs Tri-corder, scans James)

Lea Michele ORAC, what’s the latest findings?

ORAC: According to the scanner some of his memories are beginning to return and his brain is integrating the data from the returning memories to what he’s been though for the past six years. He must watch the next movie in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie series to continue the progress.
TLOTA: So what am I waiting for? (James walks over to Spider-Man 2 & grabs it and it hurts him even worse than grabbing the first Spider-Man and he drops it only for Lea Michele to grab it and see the cover.)