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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 120 - Masters of the Universe

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You're lucky that's what you got, could have ended up a very different search depending on current trends.

 

I think Auden should try again with safe search turned off.

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At least you didn't lose to Japan I your opening game... That should make you feel better.

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It's a TatMas Miracle! TatMas = TATiana MASlany

 

I love you Tatiana Maslany! I love you HDTGM! That's right I'm creepy!

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Oh my.

 

The first 3 results when I googled "fisto ram man":

 

wsv23d.jpg

 

I wasn't a huge He-Man fan, but I was familiar enough with the storyline to know that He-Man is like Superman in that they have alter-egos. So I'm just surprised that once He-Man lands on Earth and sees that no one around him is dressed in armor... that we didn't get to see Prince Adam and his gorgeous hair style.

 

2669786-6445620001-tumbl.gif

 

 

 

Also the whole freakin point of saying "I have the power of greyskull" is to morph into He-Man. Really bummed I never got this payoff in the movie.

 

tumblr_m1ywxmWmEm1qa1xnko1_500.gif

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Hey Paul, June, and Jason! please listen to the beginning of Tears for Fears "head over heels" and the song played by the 'dimension key' (?). I think Gwildor was a member of tears for fears... Thanks and keep up the great work. Love the podcast and the League.

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Opening Credits Rip-Off

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

Right away, when this movie starts, we're hit square in the face with the notion that this movie has no original ideas. For whatever reason, the opening credits take place in outer space. As setting in which the film NEVER re-visits. There are zero scenes that take place in space, and they don't even really travel through it. (the wormholes just sort of take you to other places, not through outer space) So why??? Why have the opening credits like this? Easy. Star Wars. Again, the notion is "Hey...kids like the Star Wars, let's make it kinda like that"

 

Then to top it off the opening music might as well be from the Star Wars music library. I'm listening to it and thinking, man is this a John Williams song? Just then "Music by Bill Conti" appears on screen, Not quite John Williams, but close enough. (and WAY better than they should've been able to afford)

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Opening Credits Rip-Off

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

Right away, when this movie starts, we're hit square in the face with the notion that this movie has no original ideas. For whatever reason, the opening credits take place in outer space. As setting in which the film NEVER re-visits. There are zero scenes that take place in space, and they don't even really travel through it. (the wormholes just sort of take you to other places, not through outer space) So why??? Why have the opening credits like this? Easy. Star Wars. Again, the notion is "Hey...kids like the Star Wars, let's make it kinda like that"

 

Then to top it off the opening music might as well be from the Star Wars music library. I'm listening to it and thinking, man is this a John Williams song? Just then "Music by Bill Conti" appears on screen, Not quite John Williams, but close enough. (and WAY better than they should've been able to afford)

 

 

While I agree that the opening score is very John Williams-esque, I felt the opening was more of a Superman (1979) ripoff. Although, you could argue that that in itself was a Star Wars ripoff.

 

 

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Ahhhh, I agree with June, that poor bastard, her father. Probably stole that airplane or won it in some shady poker game or something. And even if he had an airplane he wouldn't even go through all the flying lessons, he'd spend half the flying lessons money on booze and cheap prostitutes, like all poor people do. No wonder he crashed that plane, oh my goodness, these fucking poor people.

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Dear God, I can't believe I'm doing this, but I think I'm going to have to make an argument in defense of the movie's logic regarding her parents dying on an airplane.

 

First of all, isn't Catalina an island that's only accessible by boat or airplane? So the takeaway really shouldn't be "they were going to go to the beach, but decided to go to the beach instead," but rather "they were going to go to a local beach as a family outing, but since Julie opted out, the mother and father are going to have some alone time on Catalina Island instead." However this doesn't explain why the writer(s) felt her parents had to die in a plane crash--maybe a car crash was too prosaic. All I can figure is the writer felt her parents had to be dead and this was simply a scenario where both her parents could be dead without getting so dark as to suggest they were both murdered or something. Sure the family could have just as easily owned a boat that sinks, but I don't think the writer really wanted the audience dwelling on her parents slowly drowning to death either. When you say "died in an airplane crash," I think most people think of it as a "quick" death, that is to say, not painful or lingering.

 

So to sum up: the parents needed to die together, it had to be in a fashion where Julie could feel some guilt about it, and it had to be presented in such a way that wouldn't completely bum out the viewer for the rest of the movie. Whether these were "good" choices for the writer to make is really up to the greater viewing audience, but I think it works for the sake of the story.

 

As for the point regarding the affordability of an airplane to people of modest means...well, maybe that's why they lived so modestly. Maybe that's just where her parents liked to spend their money. It's like in the Fast & Furious movies where Dom and his crew live in a relatively modest home, obviously having spent most of their money on their cars. People spend money on dumb shit all the time. Who's to say that the plane he's flying isn't tricked the fuck out with chrome rims and shit?

 

giphy.gif

 

Sure, maybe it's not the most responsible use of their money, and personally, not the choice I would make as a father, but who am I to judge? Her father's a free spirit, man! And sometimes a bro just has to spread his wings and fly!

 

However, I do agree with June's macro point of keeping those poor people out of the sky. Ugh...just the thought of it makes me throw up in my mouth a little...

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Bottom line: this film packs an emotional punch. Paul and June felt it. There's no reason that should happen during a film based on a terrible '80s action figure line--unless there really is something special going on with the movie. It's not a 'great' film by any grand stretch of the imagination, but it deserves to be rehabilitated a bit. This is not a movie that deserves to go down as just being "bad"; nor is it deserving of the 17% it currently tracks on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

They did WAY better than they had any right to with this thing, and given what we know about the budget and production issues, it's a goddamn miraculous piece of cinema. It has a coherent plot (not sure why you guys had a hard time making sense of it; it's pretty basic), and actual themes. Those were not required of '80s low-budget action/sci-fi movies. But this one has them. Can we stop saying this movie is bad? It's a lot of fun, it hits you in the feels, and it's got Frank Langella doing fucking Shakespeare in a skeleton mask. Can we cut it a little slack?

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While I agree that the opening score is very John Williams-esque, I felt the opening was more of a Superman (1979) ripoff. Although, you could argue that that in itself was a Star Wars ripoff.

 

 

I was actually thinking "Superman 4", which Cannon put out around the same time, but I'd argue that "Masters" did Superman's opening better than the film from the actual Superman series.

 

Oh wow, I just checked Wikipedia, and it looks like "Superman 4" and "Masters of the Universe" were released only two weeks apart!

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I would also like to propose a challenge to everyone here. Given my hypothesis above, please provide a song by a notable “song maker,” that when connected to Gwildor’s key, would create a space/time rift and then tell us where said portal would take us.

 

It's 2005 and Chad Kroeger is sitting in his studio in Vancouver. He sees the cosmic key sitting on top of the mixing board and figures it is some crazy Japanese thing one of the engineers picked up at Metrotown. He starts plucking away at a song that's been in his head and plays Rockstar on it. A giant purple wavy timey whimey thing appears in front of him. He goes to approach it and gets sucked in. He looks around and for it appears that he's in 1950s small town America. Then he notices that there are two suns in sky. This is not Earth! A local boy approaches him, and he looks fairly human if not for his greyish skin tone and trumpet shapped ears. "You're not from around here, are you?" asks the boy.

"No," Chad explains, "I'm a musician and I played a song on this crazy Asian thing and ended up here. I don't know where I am."

"Our planet is called Atturnium. Are you from Earth? We get your signals you send out. We do love yours shows and your music. We've based our whole society on it. Did you say you were a musician?"

As Chad nods the little boy asks him to play something, and he starts playing How You Remind Me on the cosmic key. The time hole appears again and he can see his studio back in Vancouver.

"Boy that was great." says the young boy, "We love Earth music and yours is the kind of music we'd never get tired of hearing. I wish you could stay here forever and make music for us. You must be like a God back on Earth."

Chad sighs as he looks through the time hole and sees on the screen of a laptop a comment board full of Nickleback hate. "Something like that..." He replies.

The boy pauses and says "So will you stay here where we will love you and your music and never say a bad word about you?" As Chad looks at the screen he notices something glinting behind it. It is all his Junos and MuchMusic Awards sitting on a shelf. He looks at the young boy and says, "I'm sorry my people need me more. Besides this new song is going to be our best ever! Enjoy when it gets her kid." Chad tosses his sweat plaid shirt at the kid and hops through the time hole, back to Vancouver.

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I just want to take a quick moment to express my love and confusion of Beastman. As a huge fan of the cartoon growing up I know Beastman can talk. He may not be the brightest bulb in the drawer but he talks and he can talk to beasts. In fact the whole selling point of Beastman is this. He can control the Beasts of Eternia, so when He-Man is out in the jungles he can make giant snakes and lizards attack him. He is brutishly strong but that is secondary to his command of beasts. This begs the question, why bring him to Earth? Did they simply need the muscle? Did they figure there were beasts for him to control there? Also Beastman carries a sword the entire movie. Now, as any purist will tell you he used a whip not a sword. You use a whip to tame and command beasts, a sword cannot do that. Not that any of that matters because he doesn't hold or use the sword once in the movie. He either fires a rifle very awkwardly or just beats on people.

 

In summation, I just wanted to talk about Beastman so I could post this gif I made of him running very daintily.

 

beast_zpsqlyn1qg7.gif

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It's 2005 and Chad Kroeger is sitting in his studio in Vancouver. He sees the cosmic key sitting on top of the mixing board and figures it is some crazy Japanese thing one of the engineers picked up at Metrotown. He starts plucking away at a song that's been in his head and plays Rockstar on it. A giant purple wavy timey whimey thing appears in front of him. He goes to approach it and gets sucked in. He looks around and for it appears that he's in 1950s small town America. Then he notices that there are two suns in sky. This is not Earth! A local boy approaches him, and he looks fairly human if not for his greyish skin tone and trumpet shapped ears. "You're not from around here, are you?" asks the boy.

"No," Chad explains, "I'm a musician and I played a song on this crazy Asian thing and ended up here. I don't know where I am."

"Our planet is called Atturnium. Are you from Earth? We get your signals you send out. We do love yours shows and your music. We've based our whole society on it. Did you say you were a musician?"

As Chad nods the little boy asks him to play something, and he starts playing How You Remind Me on the cosmic key. The time hole appears again and he can see his studio back in Vancouver.

"Boy that was great." says the young boy, "We love Earth music and yours is the kind of music we'd never get tired of hearing. I wish you could stay here forever and make music for us. You must be like a God back on Earth."

Chad sighs as he looks through the time hole and sees on the screen of a laptop a comment board full of Nickleback hate. "Something like that..." He replies.

The boy pauses and says "So will you stay here where we will love you and your music and never say a bad word about you?" As Chad looks at the screen he notices something glinting behind it. It is all his Junos and MuchMusic Awards sitting on a shelf. He looks at the young boy and says, "I'm sorry my people need me more. Besides this new song is going to be our best ever! Enjoy when it gets her kid." Chad tosses his sweat plaid shirt at the kid and hops through the time hole, back to Vancouver.

 

Cam Bert, I just want you to know that I got as far as, "It's 2005 and Chad Kroeger is sitting in his studio in Vancouver" before I had to "Like" your post. That's such a strong opener. There are world famous authors out there right now that wish they could grab their reader's attention like that in their first sentence. It was the forum posting equivalent of the first note of "Far From Over" being played in Staying Alive--once you hear it, you know that you're going to be 100% on board for whatever comes next.

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A couple of quickies:

 

The wormhole appears on a distant world, a world which is on the brink of environmental catastrophe and whose wise elders are desperate for a solution. Who should emerge clutching the mysterious Japanese synthesiser, blinking behind sunglasses, but Bono from U2.

 

"No thanks," say the elders, "We don't want to save the planet THAT much."

 

The wormhole appears, bathing an alien planet in multicoloured light. Standing near it are a multitude of little green people wondering who is this visitor from across the universe. It's English Beatles tribute act Oasis. Immediately a violent struggle ensues, the like of which this galaxy has never seen. And when Liam and Noel have finished kicking the shit out of each other, they talk to the aliens.

 

Out of the wormhole, blinking and stumbling, comes Adam Levine from Maroon 5, bringing with him the Cosmic Key and its haunting melodies. The people of this distant world say "Are you a master of melody sir? We have been searching for a musician for some time." Adam confidently plays them a selection of his hits including "Moves like Jagger" and "She Will Be Loved." The aliens listen carefully, then huddle together for a discussion. After a time they turn and ruefully shake their heads. "Sorry," they say "We ARE looking for some music to use as a weapon of battle to demoralise our enemies, but we don't want to commit war crimes."

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Cameron, your logic seems pretty sound regarding the death of her parents. The death also makes me question how old she really was supposed to be? Was she already 18 when they died? Was she not under anyone's guardianship? So many damn questions.

 

But to further June and Tatiana's point about them saving the plane in the portal; I genuinely had the same thought as well. I kept thinking that maybe - (Interstellar spoilers???)

just maybe Christopher Nolan had a tiny bit of inspiration from this for Interstellar. I mean no they don't actually save a ship within the black hole but him going to the other dimension and then coming in contact with Anne Hathaway on the ship was an excellent addition and basically what I thought was going to happen here. Courtney Cox appearing in their plane and saving them through this other dimension.

 

 

But I guess that all of us had way high expectations.

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So here's my thought on why the movie is the way it is in regards to barely being about Eternia/He-Man and more about the Earth heroes. After reading the Slashfilm article they were talking about how important it was for the toy He-Man to make little boys feel power (hence the "I have the power" catch-phrase). So my theory is that the movie was made this way in order to have kids be able to connect with He-man and his friends/enemies more intimately. In the film, He-man comes into reality and makes the ordinary people the heroes of the story. Little boys could imagine He-man coming into their lives and fighting along side of him. They had the power to control the outcome of the story much like they did when they played with the He-man toys. Either that or a Steven King coke binge. All I know is, I saw this movie when it came out as a very young child and thought it stunk. I spent most of my time trying to reconcile the fact that Gwrildor is essentially Orko.

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I wasn't going to watch this movie, until Paul played the last clip of Frank Langella. Then I watched it just for him.

 

But I had to point out that Skeletor's final monologue is basically the same scene Frank Langella does 12 years later at the end of Ninth Gate:

 

 

If you're wondering if he kills it in that scene? He does.

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Oh. Also, I am obsessed with the idea of Paul Scheer's One Man Show of Beverly Hills Cop.

 

I would literally go to LA just to see him thrashing around on stage with a bunch of cardboard boxes to The Neutron Dance.

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In summation, I just wanted to talk about Beastman so I could post this gif I made of him running very daintily.

 

beast_zpsqlyn1qg7.gif

"OOOoooh I hope they didn't run out of crab puff pastries yet!"

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So here's my thought on why the movie is the way it is in regards to barely being about Eternia/He-Man and more about the Earth heroes. After reading the Slashfilm article they were talking about how important it was for the toy He-Man to make little boys feel power (hence the "I have the power" catch-phrase). So my theory is that the movie was made this way in order to have kids be able to connect with He-man and his friends/enemies more intimately. In the film, He-man comes into reality and makes the ordinary people the heroes of the story. Little boys could imagine He-man coming into their lives and fighting along side of him. They had the power to control the outcome of the story much like they did when they played with the He-man toys. Either that or a Steven King coke binge. All I know is, I saw this movie when it came out as a very young child and thought it stunk. I spent most of my time trying to reconcile the fact that Gwrildor is essentially Orko.

This makes me picture a GI Joe movie that's really about the kids in the PSA segments at the end of every episode, with occasional cameos from the heroes telling them not to grab downed power lines or not to go in the swimming pool right after eating or whatever. Why were those guys always packing so much heat while walking around the neighborhood dispensing life lessons?

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So here's my thought on why the movie is the way it is in regards to barely being about Eternia/He-Man and more about the Earth heroes. After reading the Slashfilm article they were talking about how important it was for the toy He-Man to make little boys feel power (hence the "I have the power" catch-phrase). So my theory is that the movie was made this way in order to have kids be able to connect with He-man and his friends/enemies more intimately. In the film, He-man comes into reality and makes the ordinary people the heroes of the story. Little boys could imagine He-man coming into their lives and fighting along side of him. They had the power to control the outcome of the story much like they did when they played with the He-man toys. Either that or a Steven King coke binge. All I know is, I saw this movie when it came out as a very young child and thought it stunk. I spent most of my time trying to reconcile the fact that Gwrildor is essentially Orko.

 

(So I read all of blackacre's post, agreed with it, went on to write a response post, made (what I felt were all valid points), found a YouTube video, finished my post, and was just about to submit it, when I took a second re-read what blackacre wrote. I then realized I had pretty much restated everything he/she already said in my own long winded and wordier fashion. I'm an idiot. However, if you want to go ahead and waste your time reading my post expressing the exact same sentiment as blackacre, here you go! Sorry, blackacre--I didn't mean to intellectually plagiarize you)

 

Yeah, that was my impression as well. I think it is pretty telling that the movie isn't called He-Man and the Masters of the Universe like the toy line or the cartoon, it's just Masters of the Universe. In fact you could argue that by the end of the movie, both Julie and Kevin are themselves Masters of the Universe--or at least, the masters of their own universes/lives.

 

From what I gather from the Slashfilm article, the intent was always for the kid "to have the power," so to some extent, "The Masters of the Universe" was always meant to refer to the children making pretend with their toys, not the characters themselves. When a kid is playing with a He-man action figure (or any other toy for that matter) the child is essentially playing God for that period of time. For example, as far as my son is concerned Thomas the Train is a high flying, death defying, super rocket train--and that's totally cool. I'm not going to tell him that trains have to stay on the tracks. He needs to play however things make sense in the world he is creating.

 

So I think it was very deliberate to make He-Man almost ancillary to the plot of the movie. His character is just a toy on the screen that the audience got to play with for an hour and a half. In many ways, it reminded me of the Captain N cartoon (Is anyone else familiar with that show? Just me? Okay, cool). Here's the intro:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyoUecpe_wU

 

Ostensibly, Captain N is the story of a kid from our world that is sucked into the realm of Nintendo video games and gets to have adventures with Mega Man, Simon Belmont, Kid Icarus, etc. The key to remember though is that the show is about the kid, not the video game characters themselves. It's "Wouldn't it be cool if I could hang out and go on adventures with Link and Zelda?" I really feel that this is what they were going for with this movie--except in this case it's my really cool toy that's come to life, he's come to my crappy little town, and now I get to have an adventure with him. We (the 4-8 year old audience) are not supposed to identify with He-Man, we're supposed to identify with Kevin and Julie. To a child, He-Man is He-Man. He-Man's their friend, and as much as we may like our friends, nobody actually wants to be their friend. You want to still be you. You just might want to hang out and go on adventures with your friend.

 

Because of all this, He-Man had to be a cipher in this movie. Except for some rough outlines regarding his story and look, He-Man needed to be a blank slate so that the 6-year-old kids in the audience could project their own personal version of He-Man onto Dolph Lundgren. In other words, since He-Man was based on toy and not an existing IP with decades of character development and back history, his entire personality and modus operandi was primarily based on whatever a particular child wanted him to be. For instance, Taylorannephoto, Cam Bert, Fister Roboto, Blackacre, and I may all own the same He-Man figure, but each one would be "different" based on our individual personalities. So the real challenge this movie faced, was to somehow present an image on the screen that jibbed, not only with the minimal mythology presented in the cartoon, but also with the various "head canons" of millions of kids around the world.

 

Now, the big question is: does that work in a movie? Can you film what is essentially a child's playtime fantasy with his/her toys and somehow make that something everyone will want to see? Judging by the results of the movie, I'd say "no." However, I do feel like it to even attempt such a feat was wildly ambitious and everyone involved should feel proud of what they were able to accomplish.

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Ignoring the fact that they're speaking English to begin with, at one point Skeletor says he is the Alpha and the Omega. So apparently some version of the Greek language exists in Eternia as well.

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holy shit - the trailer has a laugh track.

 

Oh--it needs it.

 

He also defines "stylin'" as a "consciousness razor."

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