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EPISODE 120 - Masters of the Universe

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That was the first episode in almost a year I listened to without seeing the movie...and I loved it. Tatiana was a really wonderful guest and I really liked that even though it was incredibly absurd, our hosts enjoyed it and recommended it.

 

June saying that she "sobbed hysterically" was both really funny and incredibly touching. My wife and I are the opposite-I get to be the emotional one.

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I haven't even listened to the podcast yet, but I always find it interesting which movies bring about first-time posters to a forum for a podcast that has been around since December of 2010 (holy shit). The more listeners the better, and the HDTGM/Earwolf forums continue to be, honestly, the most worthwhile on the ENTIRE INTERNET, so it's great. I just find it interesting comparing the forum response and posting for a movie like Masters of the Universe as opposed to, say, Sharknado 3.

 

Speaking of previous movies, I know this isn't exactly the best movie (let's face it, it's kind of a piece of shit), but I just enjoyed the experience of re-watching it far more than last week's Maximum Overdrive. Hell, there probably was a ton of cocaine on the sets of both films, but I feel like this is the kind of movie that nobody got blinded by a errant lawnmower blade because of some asshole director making pointless and dangerous drug-fueled decisions. It's got a very "fuck it, let's do Star Wars with swords in Middle America because we need to sell toys" kind of vibe to it. It's just a fun bit of fantasy, which is great. I know it sucks, and "fun fantasy" could be ACTUAL Star Wars, so Masters of the Universe fails as a film in trying to achieve that, but at least I don't have to spend my time listening to Emilio Estevez's disgusting kissing sounds as he sweats it out in a disgusting truck stop (or sewage pipe).

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If they were not robots then we get into a whole other issue I have with most sci fi movies. Characters tend to wear armor for no reason at all. These troops wore armor but they were no protection for sword strikes or blaster fire. Same deal with the storm troopers. Why are they wearing the armor?!? The laser blasts go right through it. If it allowed you to take several blasts then I could see it making sense. Having people wear armor purely for aesthetics is dumb.

 

Agreed. Especially since we see at the end that Lubic's Earth shotgun can mow them down with no problem.

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Corrections and Omissions

 

And just after that, Gwildor yet again mentions "song-writing masters" by asking Kevin if he qualifies as one for simply being able to remember a melody. This leads me to believe that at least the people of Eternia, if not most of the universe, are musically inept, and human beings are basically among the 1% of the audible arts of the Cosmos. "The Chicken Dance" brings down the house at Castle Greyskull.

 

 

In the music shop Charlie calls Kevin "Mr. Perfect Pitch" for recognizing a D flat so it's not just the melody. Still stupid for Gwildor to call him a master song writer just because he's in a shitty band in ???-town America.

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I want to validate June and Tatiana's "vortex rescuing the plane" theory, because that exact thing actually happened in an episode of Doctor Who, the 2011 Christmas special "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe".

 

https://en.wikipedia...nd_the_Wardrobe

 

In it, the Doctor travels back to WWII England to watch over a widow and her two children whose father has recently been reported MIA in a plane crash (shown at the beginning of the episode). Without getting into too much detail, the episode ends with the widow piloting a space ship through a time vortex and coming up alongside her husbands bomber in the past as it's about to crash into the English channel. The plane is follows the ship through the vortex, and both plane and family arrive safely at their home in England.

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Not sure if this has been addressed but I am pretty sure the movie was set in southern CA. First Courtney mentioned that she was moving "3000 miles" away to NJ and then her parents were going to fly to Catalina if she didn't want to go to the beach with them. Is Cata!ina more of an adult place? Makes no sense.

 

I remember seeing this movie as a kid. I was obsessed with He-Man and She-Ra along with all of my cousins. This is the first movie where I was extremely upset and disappointed. I Just remember being so mad that it was not really abouth He-Man at all. Gave it a fair chance the second time around. Still sucks!

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Even though some of this is covered in the oral history and here already, I just thought I would do a little clean up on the whole He-Man cartoon and toy angle of things.

 

This movie is not based off of the cartoon but the line of toys. The original line of toys were released in 1982 and the following year the Filmation cartoon began.The line of toys and the comics that came with them were entitled Masters of the Universe. When Filmation made the cartoon they named their cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The toys continued to be sold as Masters of the Universe however due to the popularity of the cartoon the name He-Man just came to represent it all. The figures contained comics and the ones released with the wave one figures contained stories that were different than the cannon set-up in the Filmation series. The most notable of these is that in the wave 1 comics, He-Man was very much a barbarian. There was no Prince Adam alter ego, Orko, or many of the other familiar things from the cartoon. While the Filmation animated series ran, they would introduce characters from the toy line into the show, and in rare cases like Orko they'd make toys from popular characters on the show.

This movie is based off of the line of toys and not the animated series. This explains the more barbarian-like nature of He-Man (though the gun usage is highly questionable) and the use of mostly wave 1 characters such as He-Man, Skeletor, Man At Arms, Beast Man, Teela and the Sorceress who did not have a figure but was in the mini-comics. The addition of the new characters was simply an attempt to create new character to be turned into toys. Though Griwldor did served as an Orko replacement due to special effects and the large role that Orko had become in the He-Man mythos.

Most notable clash of this all was the use of the iconic He-Man catchphrase "I have the power." In the animated series he had to hold his magic sword aloft and say "By the power of Greyskull! I have the power" to transform from Prince Adam to He-Man. In this movie as there was no transformation to be had they had to shoe horn it in a way that doesn't fully make sense.

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A couple things:

 

Towards the end of the movie when Kevin is trying to remember the cosmic key tones, why is the speaker Teela blasts blaring bad classical music at a time of night when the streets are deserted? In the same scene they clean Julie's lightning burn/poison wound with the gross water from an outdoor fountain. In the words of Jason, that is not hygienic you guys.

 

In the final battle Evil Lynn flees while Skeletor still has his universe powers and an army of robots. It's as if she sees Skeletor's shit aim and concludes from that that his defeat by He-Man is assured.

 

My biggest issue with the movie is the use of time travel at the end. If the keys can be used for time travel then why couldn't Skeletor use his at the beginning to go back and catch the heroes at any point. Also Gwildor seems to have varying levels of precision with key destinations. He should have no idea how to get to Earth on purpose, much less the exact day in the past when Julie's parents die. When they escape Skeletor Evil Lynn says he was pushing buttons at random and when they arrive at Earth Gwildor says he did not have time to "enominalize" his coordinates and they could be anywhere.

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This movie, man...it was gross. I was eating while watching it, and when Gwildor (Gwildemort?) drank that barbecue sauce and it just soaked his beard, I almost puked. Listening to this ep after and hearing about Beastman drooling and the boot-sweat problems of Dad/Mustachio did not help. But the episode was hilarious, which more than makes up for my nausea!

 

Everything that happened before they got to Earth was just nonsense to me, and I got so frustrated I almost stopped watching - I have no idea if knowledge of the He-Man universe would be helpful, but as it stands

is literally my only prior experience with He-Man, and it actually has nothing to do with He-Man (and was stuck in my head for the entire movie)...
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When Kevin finds a tubular shaped all metal object in a smoking crater in a graveyard with no keyboard, no writing, no volume control and no input/ output for power or amplification he immediately identifies it as a Japanese synthesizer. He is suppose to be musician so that is an odd call. Then later in the movie Kevin saves the day by using an actual Japanese synthesizer to open the worm hole. A Casio. Product placement maybe?

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When Evil-lyn and her goons track down Kevin at Julie's house, they put the truth collar on him, and he claims not to know where the key is. Blade then tells Evil-lyn that they can track the key from the air. So what was the point of going to the house?

 

This scene also shows just how shoddy Eternian magic tech is. They place the truth collar on Kevin and he says that the key has been taken from him by the cop and doesn't know where it is. Then, just a little while later when Julie and team He-man arrive, they remove the truth collar and suddenly he is a regular fount of information. "The key? Yeah, the cop took it. He said he was going to Charlie's--you know, the music place in the mall. The address is..."

 

I also loved how this scene contrasted with Julie's first encounter with He-man. When they free Kevin from Evil-Lynn's thrall, his first reaction is to freak out, tell Julie to run, and threaten them with a wooden chair. Considering the circumstances, I think this is a fair reaction to the situation.

 

Julie, on the other hand, meets He-man as she's running through a shady warehouse district in the middle of the night after been chased by a gang of monsters. Suddenly, a man in a cape and leather fetish gear steps out of the shadows and grabs her. Her response to this is to mildly protest, rub her cheek all over his oily chest, and allow this strange man to carry her away.

 

That is straight up bananas!

 

abcef65ddbfa2fcf3673ee6f0121a449.gif

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I was truly blown away by the art direction in this film (Household Objects Spraypainted Gold: The Movie!). It’s almost hard to believe that only 1 of the 3 set decorators ever worked in the industry again. I was pleased to see, at least, that prop maker Michael W. Moore went on to make props for such cinematic masterpieces as Toys, Theodore Rex and Barb Wire (also Munchies, Lawnmower Man, Red Heat, Virtuosity, the 1990 Captain America, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland - the guys’s IMDb page is basically a HDTGM suggestion thread).

 

But my favorite part in the movie is right after He-man pulls that hairy Yoda out of the lake. Why is Teela’s immediate reaction to scoop up a handful of mud and smell it three separate times? What is happening here? She even looks offscreen after the first time as if asking the director “Is that good? Can you tell I’m smelling it?” Utter madness.

 

rwepb.gif

http://giphy.com/gif...1lIG38DMXa7gtgY

 

Also, has no one mentioned the fact that the male lead is NAMED Kevin Corrigan, but not played by Kevin Corrigan?

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Id just like to point out again, that the bulk of this movie is pointless. They discover no extra power (internal/emotional, or external/magical/technological) on Earth that would increase their ability to fight Skeletor and his forces. Kevin and Julie are useless in the battle that ensues when they arrive at Eternia for the final showdown as either moral, medical or martial support. Skeletor's forces are actually more powerful when they arrive with the addition of the mercenaries and Skeletor's enhanced power, and He-man having been whipped and beaten in the meantime.

 

The beginning of this movie has the heroes fighting Skeletor on Eternia, and they run away overwhelmed. They gain nothing on Earth to help them, and their only goal is to return to Eternia. When they do, they are in a worse position than when they began. The entire Earth detour was effectively useless.

 

The only thing that changed is now principal Strickland is there with his seemingly magic boom-stick that he would have ejected all the rounds out of before ever firing since he pumps it every time he speaks. Conclusion; the reason they gave him the castle and woman is because principal Strickland is in fact the hero of the movie who single-handedly tipped the scales of power into the favor of good.

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The best part of the episode is that they all assume that Dolph Lundgren can't speak english, and that his lines were supposed to all be dubbed, and then mention that he is super smart at math and studied at MIT. So he was smart enough to go to MIT as a Swede but that didn't require him to speak English? Math is the universal language,

 

Seems like everyone had a June Moment there. Clearly Dolph is very smart and just had a heavy accent.

 

I would like to have a How Did this get made special episode of watching a movie with June's dad. Maybe "who framed roger rabbit" in which neither June nor her father understand how the cartoons work in the movie and spend most of the pod cast complaining about it.

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Does anyone else remember the story arc in the comic Concrete in which Concrete is recruited to help with the special effects for a Masters of the Universe-esque movie? Just like the real movie, there were money problems. Presumably unlike the real movie, the first director of the movie is put into a coma when the special effects guys decide to sabotage the production in an attempt to make Concrete look dangerously incompetent.

 

Paul Chadwick was, among other things, making a point that even irredeemably crappy movies like Masters of the Universe can manage to wring out moments of beauty. As much as I enjoyed his comic back in the day, I'd like to force him to watch the new Fantastic Four movie and then dare him to make that argument again.

 

(Edit: the story arc was titled "Fragile Creature", and thinly-veiled Masters of the Universe analogue in the comic was Rulers of the Omniverse.)

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Here's my problem with the ending of the film--Gwildor doesn't just return them to a alternate present where Julie's parents survived, he returns them to the past where she has the opportunity to alter the future.

 

It's not explicitly stated in the film, but based on her level of grieving (not crying inconsolably, but still in a period of raw pain), I would guess that at the beginning of the movie, her parents have been dead for about a year. So Gwildor sends them about one year into the past, to the very morning her parents were to die,* and she saves her parents--which is great. The problem is, Julie and Kevin are thrown back into the past, but they retain all of their memories. Are we just supposed to trust that once the relief of her parents being alive has subsided, Julie and Kevin aren't going to exploit this precognition to their advantage? How can they not? They have to repeat their senior year of high school, don't they? How are they not going to use the education they have already attained to get better grades? And, once they get a taste of these advantages, how long until they start to really abuse their new found power? Sure, they could maybe use this knowledge to help the world by warning of tragedies before they occur, but isn't it just as likely that they could use it for their own nefarious purposes?

 

And Gwildor knows this is what they can do!! In fact, by sending her to the day her parents died, he is basically encouraging her to disrupt and mold the time stream in any manner she sees fit. So basically, Julie and Kevin spent one evening running around with He-man and pals, and in the return, they are granted a full year of near omniscience. That's a great deal for them, but I can think of at least one scientist who would have a serious problem with that...

 

 

tumblr_lub770NXBk1qbvn8yo4_250.gif

 

 

 

*How come time travel movies never give people more time to correct a mistake? They always send them to, like, moments before whatever is supposed to happen is going to occur. Shit guys, give yourselves some breathing room.

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Here's my problem with the ending of the film--Gwildor doesn't just return them to a alternate present where Julie's parents survived, he returns them to the past where she has the opportunity to alter the future.

 

It's not explicitly stated in the film, but based on her level of grieving (not crying inconsolably, but still in a period of raw pain), I would guess that at the beginning of the movie, her parents have been dead for about a year. So Gwildor sends them about one year into the past, to the very morning her parents were to die,* and she saves her parents--which is great. The problem is, Julie and Kevin are thrown back into the past, but they retain all of their memories. Are we just supposed to trust--that once the relief of her parents being alive has subsided--Julie and Kevin aren't going to exploit this precognition to their advantage? How can they not? They have to repeat their senior year of high school, don't they? How are they not going to use the education they have already attained to get better grades? And, once they get a taste of these advantages, how long until they start to really abuse their new found power? Sure, they could maybe use this knowledge to help the world by warning of tragedies before they occur, but isn't it just as likely that they could use it for their own nefarious purposes?

 

And Gwildor knows this is what they can do!! In fact, by sending her to the day her parents died, he is basically encouraging her to disrupt and mold the time stream in any manner she sees fit. So basically, Julie and Kevin spent one evening running around with He-man and pals, and in the return, they are granted a full year of near omniscience. That's a great deal for them, but I can think of at least one scientist who would have a serious problem with that...

 

 

tumblr_lub770NXBk1qbvn8yo4_250.gif

 

 

 

*How come time travel movies never give people more time to correct a mistake? They always send them to, like, moments before whatever is supposed to happen is going to occur. Shit guys, give yourselves some breathing room.

I think if we dig enough (and if we edit their Wikipedia page), we'll discover that Kevin Corrigan wrote "Living in a Box" and that the two Kevins are in fact co-existing, with "Days of Future Past" Kevin not interfering with loser "beginning of the movie" Kevin. HE'S LISTENING TO HIMSELF ON THE RADIO!

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Possible Omission?

 

Besides this just being an overall terrible movie the one specific thing that has always bothered me about the film is this:

 

- Skeletor gains THE POWER OF THE UNIVERSE. ie: He is an ALL POWERFUL BEING!!!

- He battles He-Man and loses. (If you remember, his power bolts (as an all powerful being) dont even succeed in preventing He-Man from reclaiming his sword!)

- Gets cast into the pit of lava and re-emerges saying; " I'll be back!"

 

So, my huge beef with this movie is this: WHY SKELETOR!?!? Why will you be back!?!? You were already all-powerful and you couldnt even scratch He-Man. If you come back what is your Plan B?

 

Thats it. Loyal fan here, havent posted much, but have heard every ep several times. consistently good, and your guests are always top notch.

Thanks!!

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Right, you fuckers, I am totally depressed by England's poor showing in the rugby world cup, and I need you to cheer me up. I know the lovely Americans amongst you don't even know what I'm talking about but I need you to lift my spirits. Help me out here.

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I'm sure everyone has pointed this out already, but the reason for the lame slo-mo in the dark final fight with Skeletor was they had literally run out of money at that point. There was no final fight scene shot. They were supposed to do this huge thing where they run around the entire throne room set (the highlight production value of the movie), but since they could only shoot like an hour on no money, they improvised with closeups and darkness to cover up slapped together mistakes and shoddiness.

 

Here's a fun 11 minute clip explaining the trainwreck of a production the whole thing was. Severe limitations from the toy company on what they could and couldn't do (couldn't use the sword to hit people, which is why he just deflects lasers with it), and the story of running out of money.

 

Everything makes sense when you realize that it's a Golan-Globus film.

 

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I know this has nothing to do with the film itself, but wasn't there just a great vibe to this episode? June was killing it (by far this ep's MVP), Paul was totally present and, well, sort of honest and vulnerable, Jason sounded really happy and Tatiana was an awesome and fully engaged guest. There was an energy and focus that really put this one over the top for me.

 

And I'm going to put my name on the list of people who made audio recordings of visual media. In my case, it was episodes of the original Battlestar Galactica. I was probably 8 years old (yes, I am ancient), and I lived off of anything with a spaceship or a monster in it. Home video was still a few years away, so rather than being able to indulge in my franchise of choice, Star Wars, I had to make due with whatever was broadcast over the air (we were one of those disgusting poor families which could afford neither cable nor an airplane). I'm pretty sure I also had a cassette dedicated to TV theme songs I liked (number one with a bullet: In Search Of...).

 

Anyway, great ep. Thanks guys!

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Hi guys,

 

I hate to copy/paste something straight out of wikipedia, but as I listened to the episode, I remembered reading about how the the movie was heavily inspired by a Jack Kirby comic book, "The New Gods" just as much as the original He-man cartoon. I know I still have the original article buried in a closet here somewhere, but wikipedia has the essentials, including confirmation from the film's director. This "New Gods" inspiration is responsible for the portals and the flying disc that He-man rides on, among other things.

 

Additionally, Skeletor is "in reality" He-man's uncle (according to the old cartoon), so there are shades of Star Wars and again, New Gods. (Orion, the hero of New Gods is revealed to be the son of the big baddie, Darkseid; Skeletor's parallel character)

 

Copy/paste from wikipedia:

 

Jack Kirby inspiration

 

Comic book writer/artist John Byrne compared the film to Jack Kirby's comic book metaseries Fourth World, stating in Comic Shop News #497: “ "The best New Gods movie, IMHO, is Masters of the Universe. I even corresponded with the director, who told me this was his intent, and that he had tried to get [Jack] Kirby to do the production designs, but the studio nixed it.

"Check it out. It requires some bending and an occasional sex change (Metron becomes an ugly dwarf, The Highfather becomes the Sorceress), but it's an amazingly close analog, otherwise. And Frank Langella's Skeletor is a dandy Darkseid!" ”

Director Gary Goddard clarified this in a letter appearing in John Byrne's Next Men #26, in which he stated: “ "As the director of Masters of the Universe, it was a pleasure to see that someone got it. Your comparison of the film to Kirby’s New Gods was not far off. In fact, the storyline was greatly inspired by the classic Fantastic Four/Doctor Doom epics, The New Gods and a bit of Thor thrown in here and there. I intended the film to be a "motion picture comic book," though it was a tough proposition to sell to the studio at the time. 'Comics are just for kids,' they thought. They would not allow me to hire Jack Kirby who I desperately wanted to be the conceptual artist for the picture…

"I grew up with Kirby's comics (I’ve still got all my Marvels from the first issue of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man through the time Kirby left) and I had great pleasure meeting him when he first moved to California. Since that time I enjoyed the friendship of Jack and Roz and was lucky enough to spend many hours with Jack, hearing how he created this character and that one, why a villain has to be even more powerful than a hero, and on and on. Jack was a great communicator, and listening to him was always an education. You might be interested to know that I tried to dedicate Masters of Universe to Jack Kirby in the closing credits, but the studio took the credit out."

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I would like to posit that Karg is the father of Thorg and he was actually going to use the cosmic key to go back and save his son from dying in the game. Courtney Cox usurped his idea to save her parents and became responsible for preventing Thorg's death. So that would make He-Man's power the ability to time travel and cheat death! Maybe He-Man was the last person to win the game 900 years before KT

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And I'm going to put my name on the list of people who made audio recordings of visual media.

 

I did this also, recording episodes of the original Muppet Show. I'd make my family watch the show in silence as I didn't want them to ruin my recordings. That I grew up to become a Location Sound Mixer... total coincidence. ;-)

 

You made recordings of Battlestar Galactica? Great idea.

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