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A Copywriter’s Blog

lion-os

I had intended to write a review of the Thundercats reboot last week. But watching the premiere was a near coitus-like experience, and as soon as it was over I fell into a contented sleep and only just woke up.

(That means I liked it.)

Warning: if anyone reading this is concerned about minor spoilers or preposterous sexual metaphors, you shouldn’t keep reading.

I said before that I was cautiously optimistic about this reboot, but I didn’t expect this. This… was like an orgasm accompanied by the trumpets of angels. An angelgasm, if you will.

Artist's conception of an Angelgasm

Artist's conception of an Angelgasm

The best reboots update a nostalgic memory with something awesome enough to please your adult palette as well. Like being able to smell your mom’s chocolate chip cookies baking during an orgy.

The trick of course, is that you obviously don’t want your mom to be the one doing the baking, cause that’ll ruin the sex. And you can’t just buy cookies from the store, because there’s nothing nostalgic about that at all.

That’s what’s making me so happy about this reboot- these are definitely my Thundercats. They look similar, sound similar, and behave similarly to the Thundercats of my youth. Lion-O is an overconfident child, Cheetara rescues him in the knick of time, and WileyKit and Kat cause trouble.

In other words, the cookies smell just like I remember them.

And to compliment the cookies, the sex I mean plot: A brilliant explanation of why Cheetara runs impossibly fast and hits people with sticks. Snarf as blessedly mute comic relief. A backstory setting up technology as a semi-mythical thing no one believes in until a group of mechs show up and knock down the walls.

Having just included robots and pokemon rejects in my orgy, I confess the metaphor breaks down slightly at this point. Consider it proof of how difficult it is to get a reboot right.

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There were one or two things that I missed. Jagga’s sacrifice didn’t seem anywhere near as emotional as it did the first time, and I really miss the origin story of the 80s version. Not that this one is bad. I just consider that one high art.

But these are my Thundercats. And when the Sword of Omens is held on high, the smile on my face is best described as “shit-eating”, and my ecstasy reaches a peak best described as… as… as…

……zzzzzzzzzzz.

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Smurf You, Hollywood. Ben Levy 18, April

Perhaps you have heard about, or been afflicted by, the trailer for the new Smurfs movie coming out. If not, I’m sorry to do this to you:

Screen shot 2011-04-18 at 11.17.05 AM

Their expressions accurately reflect my own.

At this point, I would normally launch into a hate-fueled rant against Hollywood’s latest thinly-veiled attempt to cash in on nostalgia. But I felt this deserved something special. So before you go any further, please begin playing this video. Then sing along with me:

“SMURF You”
(sung to the tune of “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green)

(Chorus)
I see your movie remake,
of a show I knew and I’m like
“Smurf You”.
Oo, oo, oo
You saw the bills in my wallet,
Want them for yours, I’m like,
Smurf You!
Smurf you blue!
You wanna be richer, so you made a big picture
Ha, now ain’t that some smurf? (ain’t that some smurf)
And although there’s pain in my chest
You’ll still profit I bet, so….
Smurf You!
Oo, oo, oo

You won’t get no glory, from ripping off a story,
That we all watched when we were eight.
It takes more than 3D, for you to sell me
So all you’ll get from me is hate.

I wish there were rules, against reboots done by fools
(3D won’t fix issues)
Well
(don’t even try that excuse)
Ooooooh
You can write this one down too-
ACT1, SCENE 1: Go smurf yourself.

(Chorus)

I know it’s hard to, write a new script
But that don’t mean you should rape these shows.
Hoping to fake it, you’ll never make it
Cause even your preview trailer blows.

I’d rather be reamed, than see this farce on screen.
(3D won’t fix issues)
Well
(don’t even try that excuse)
Ooooooh
You can write this one down too-
I really hate yo ass right now.

Pause the song. Imagine the sound of a record scratch. Music stops, singer breaks the fourth wall and addresses the camera:

No really, I hate you. What the hell is your problem? Look, I’m fine with introducing the next generation to the Smurfs, but these things don’t even look like them. It’s like you applied a blue filter to a movie about garden gnomes. Even the fucking chipmunk movie looked kind of like the chipmunks. Do you understand what I’m saying? YOUR MOVIE IS ALREADY WORSE THAN THE CHIPMUNKS! AND IT’S NOT EVEN OUT YET!

Music starts up again and singer breaks into the chorus as though nothing happened. You may begin the song again.

(Chorus)

Now Holly- holly- Hollywood, now what the hell can we do with you?
(with you, with you, with you)

If you were just one person I would force you
to commit seppuku.
(seppuku, seppuku, seppuku)
Like “Stab! Slice. Uh! Slice. Uh.”
It’s over! Oh!
I hate you. Oh!
I so hate you! Oh!

(Last Chorus)
I see your movie remake,
of a show I knew and I’m like
“Smurf You”.
Oo, oo, oo
You saw the bills in my wallet,
Want them for yours, I’m like,
Smurf You!
Smurf you blue!
You wanna be richer, so you made a big picture
Ha, now ain’t that some smurf? (ain’t that some smurf)
And although there’s pain in my chest
You’ll still profit I bet, so….
Smurf You!
Oo, oo, oo

“SMURF You” written by Ben Levy, with apologies to, well, everyone.

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But it won’t work. I’m on to you. After this, this, and this, I can spot your attempts to skullfuck the last remaining vestiges of my happy childhood memories from a mile away.

I’ll give you some credit, though. When I first heard you insidious franchise-fucking money whores had started filming an A-Team movie, I thought I knew what to expect. I was ready for the post to practically write itself.

a-team

But then I found an photo of Liam Neeson in costume, and he was the spitting image of Hannibal. And then I read it was being directed by Joe Carnahan, of Smoking Aces fame. How proud you must have been, Hollywood. I can see you steepling your fingers in a dark room and laughing to yourself. “He’ll totally buy it,” you cackle, as you chew on newborn children while their mothers watch, and think up new ways to ruin the Transformers franchise, “he’ll be too intrigued to hate the film. He’ll see too much potential.”

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It almost worked too. I was ready to believe. I was fresh off Inglorious Basterds and District 9, and I told myself that maybe, just maybe, the A-Team movie wouldn’t be that bad.

Then I woke the hell up.

Smoking Aces was a thing of beauty. And Liam Neeson can be funny if you’re a little drunk and he’s not playing a dad. But neither of them are A-Team material. You’re not making the A-Team. You’re making a cinematic sin.

Your mistake, Hollywood, the thing that really proved to me that you were going to beat to death one more of my childhood loves with a phallus-shaped baseball bat, was this: UFC fighter “Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Barracus.

The-A-Team-tv-09

Mr. T isn’t dead, you sniveling, spineless, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, twats. I defy you to tell me what the hell is wrong with casting him as (essentially) himself. Not a damn thing, that’s what. I know this movie isn’t really about the A-Team. It’s about some fuckwit who wasn’t smart enough to craft an original premise, so you just bought the rights to an old TV show and prayed that enough people would love the franchise to see it no matter how horribly you mangled the plot. But if you really want to bring in the hordes, why didn’t you morons at least get the single most memorable person from the original show? This could have been the Return of the Teletubbies in 3-D, but if it had Mr. T, being Mr. T, I’d have gone to see it. Twice. Now? You have nothing but my unrequited rage.

The only thing that would save this movie now is if the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Halfway through the advertising campaign, we discover that this movie is a plot to discredit the original A-Team, and they all reunite, jump in the van, and start busting the heads of every Hollywood dipshit responsible for this mess. That movie I would see (along with Mr. T and the Teletubbies).

But then, that was my fevered prayer for the GI Joe movie as well, and look how that turned out.

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