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Meant to See It

On the eve of recording the second episode of The United States of Geekdom podcast Rick proposed a new column for me to write. As if I did not have enough running already (Buy Me, Fanboy! Presents; JediCole's Recommended Reading; Defending the Ape-Man) he did make a compelling case for another.

So what exactly is Meant to See It?

The phrase may be familiar to those who followed our antics on Amazing Comicast. Both on and off the air when Rick has asked me if I have seen a movie, especially one I have no intention of ever seeing, I tend to reply, "Meant to see it!" I took this phrase from Paul Shaffer back in the days of Late Night with David Letterman (on NBC). Dave had asked Paul if he had seen a movie (Down and Out in Beverly Hills, if memory serves)and Paul replied, "Meant to see it!" With a little added sarcasm and condescention I adopted this as the ideal phrase to fein interest while being simultaneously dismissive. It applies to movies, television shows, the reading of books or comics, in fact it is almost universally applicable. So Rick suggested that I write this column to discuss the movies I never intend to see, not matter how good or bad. EVER!

I thought I would kick things off with a movie that Rick had recommended as a second film for a Mystery Science Theatre 3000-style riff as we had previously done (at the All-Con convention in Dallas) with Roadhouse. While we never could find a movie that was equal to the task to Roadhouse I also never even so much as cracked open the DVD case on Rick's copy of the initial selection of this new column...Jason X!

While I have actually seen Friday the 13th years ago on psuedo-cable thing we had growing up (and in some ways enjoyed it more than I thought, if for nothing more thean the scoff-value), I never had the desire to partake of any of the rest of the exploits of Jason Voorhees, no matter where they took place. Like my largely uneventful and certainly serial killer-free trip to Camp Langson as a child, one visit to Camp Crystal Lake was sufficent to satisfy me for a lifetime.

Pigs in Space I can handle and quite like. Jason in space? That is a bit too much if you ask me. Sure the studio was Hell-bent to churn out a minimum of 13 movies within the context of the Friday the 13th franchise. And sure there was no shortage of suckers to take the bait and see this cinematic turd in the theatre at least once. (I am fairly certain that our esteemed leader, Rick, was counted amoungst their numbers). All of that not withstanding I could not bring myself to choke this one down, even for the sake of tearing it apart MST3K style! Some things are just not worth the sacrifice. Especially hot on the heels of t
trying to watch Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure a few weeks earlier.

With sincere apologies to Rick (No, really!) I must place high on the list of movies I will never watch if I have any say the Disney/Pixar instant classic, Cars. See what I did there? Classic cars. Okay, so they can't all be gems! The same can (and must) certainly be said of the Disney/Pixar umbrella of films. And this one is not even a diamond in the rough in my opinion. An opinion based solely on having seen a few commercials and from the formulation of opinions by exposure to the myrid toys. While I did not read part of an online review, I am certainly not a fan! (I will offer a prize to the first person to write in and correctly identify the previous reference.)

Rick discovered well in advance of the publication of this article my initial choices to include in this diatribe. I had hoped to surprise him and simultaneously bemuse him with this choice. I know he has an undying fondness for the Disney/Pixar line-up so this has to be a tremendous thorn in his side. But one he has to be accustomed to by now as I think Molly sees eye to eye with me on this score. She has posed the question of how these anthropomorphic cars reproduce. A great question indeed. And while she has suggested the posibility that they are oviparous, the mysery still remains.

Other salient questions are also raised, en masse no less, by this film. While one of my major bones of contention with animated features that lend humanity to the animal kingdom and in the process perpetuate the tired chestnut of "nature red in tooth and claw" by vilifying predator species, this movie simlpy leaves thinking people scraching their heads! From the aforementioned curiosity about reproduction (Are they a hive species with some form of "queen car" holed up in the mysterious land known as Dee-Troy-Tuh where she is surrounded by loyal worker robot arms that tend to the fledgling cars?) to the question of who pumps the fossil fuels upon which they rely for nutrition? And how does one get fossil fuels in the first place when the entire population of the planet appears to be steel-based, inorganic life forms? Even Cybertron makes more sense than this world!

Then there are the sticking points that weigh heavily upon me. Sally’s “racing stripe tattoo” (the scene containing its mention being seen by me in a commercial for the DVD release) being one of the worst. So a paint detail is a tattoo?? Why wasn't that a curious birthmark like Cindy Crawford's mole? Are we to impart from this that each car is “born” with its factory paint (does that make the primer some sort of subcutaneous layer of the dermis?) but can opt to get a tattoo to look more sporting? A painted on version I would guess. And extrapolating from this are we meant to impart that, when engaged in a race, that Lightning McQueen and the others have been “tatted up” with sponsor logos for the race? Or are those just “temporary tattoos” that will wear off a few days after the race. Or perhaps they are some kind of henna-based paint. The mind boggles.

And of course there is the issue of pigeon-holing characters by archtype. This can range from stereotyping (the rustic, and seemingly rusted, hayseed of a wrecker truck that speaks of a perception of the rural south unrivaled even by the hillbillies of Deliverence) to the outright racist profiling of the "lowrider" character known as Ramon. (I discovered this aspect when it was mentioned in a radio commercial for some internet povider utilizing Cars references as "timely" metaphors). Is it just me or does this not rival the pickaninny crows from Dumbo in its offensive racial stereotyping?

At the end of the day my logical mind simply will not allow for the “Cars” universe!

In conclusion of this installment (perhaps the only one depending on reader reaction) I tackle Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. I did go to a screening of the first Transformers movie, a sneak preview if I recall, and enjoyed it for what it was. Though it was bit busy for my tastes. And certainly did not leave me hungry for more. None the less, curiosity alone might well have brought me to the theatre, probably the Dollar Theatre.

But then I got word of something that would prevent me from ever having the slightest desire to ever see this movie. Even for free. Even for free with a free dinner included. And a massage, too! Throw in a $25 Toys R Us gift card while you are at it! I am just that big of a toy geek that it would seem to be an appropriate lure. But no, that would not be sufficent either! Even a $50 gift card would seem insulting to me if watching this movie was the price I would really be paying. Think of the movie Indecent Proposal and the sum of cash offered in said proposal. Now imagine me being offered that very sum by some derranged tycoon with no other stipulation that screening this movie beginning to end. The results would be the same. My answer would be a steadfast and emphatic "No!"

So what would this something be that has me so opposed to subjecting myself to viewing this movie that I would sooner watch Cars? Twice no less! Three little words...

Wrecking ball testicles!

Right there with ya. . . on two of the three.

Cars has enough of the Pixar magic that it makes up for all the rest of your nitpicks. The other two are Meant to See Its of the highest order.

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