There are several movies opening at my local theaters this week.
One is Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, which is cute as a children’s book, but really probably didn’t need to be extended into a full-length movie.
Another is Dracula Untold, which did anyone else know this existed? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? This is seriously the first I’ve heard of it. It sounds also very terrible. Listen to this: “An encounter with a foul demon offers Vlad a deal that would give him superhuman powers and a fighting chance to save his people. But the Faustian bargain comes with a terrible penalty — one that may curse to prince to dwell in darkness for all time, feeding on human blood and destroying everything he holds dear.”
Another is The Judge…
…which stars Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and I’m sure is very impressive and wonderful and absolutely not my cup of tea at all, so let’s move on to the last movie:
Meet the Mormons, which has the misfortune of sounding less like the documentary it is and more like a Meet the Parents prequel.
So, I didn’t actually go see The Avengers last weekend. (I know. It was just me, your little brother Timmy [who was grounded anyway] and the crazy cat lady from down the street.) But I figured they deserve to be honored for soundly trouncing box office records for an opening weekend, and so I am honoring them, as such, by having them face off against another team that starts with an “A.” That team is … the A-Team.
(Yes, I know you can read and, thus, knew that from the post title, but I put a lot of thought into this intro, so please be patient.)
Speaking of intros, the Avengers are self-explanatory, because you all went to see their movie last weekend (unless you didn’t, in which case, hi, Crazy Cat Lady!), but for those of who who a) don’t remember the ’80s; b) didn’t exist in the ’80s; c) I hate you, get off my lawn, the A-Team (which was also a [less successful] movie recently) was a team comprised of Hannibal, Mr. T and some other guys, who went around helping people on the sly after being accused of a crime they didn’t commit. (In the ’80s, people were always getting accused of crimes they didn’t commit. It was a whole thing.)
On to the battle!
Physicality. The Avengers are comprised of Iron Man, The (Incredible) Hulk, Thor, Captain America and that chick in a leather suit. Oh, and I guess Hawkeye, the one I forgot about because they didn’t make a movie about him first and also, who remembers the guy without superpowers?
Anyway, they’re all very attractive people, because nobody makes a summer blockbuster about average-looking people. That would be crazy. The A-Team, as previously mentioned, features Mr. T (not the character’s name, but does anybody remember the character’s name?), Murdock (who’s kind of goofy-looking), a white fox named Hannibal Smith and a guy so ’80s-style hot his nickname was “Face.” Winners? I can’t help but notice The Avengers are all very whitebread, which I guess I should expect for a team made up of Norse gods and American Nazi-fighting supermen, so I feel like I should give this win to the A-Team for being more ethnically diverse, at least, but then I look at Chris Evans and I go “guhhhhhhhhh” because have you seen that man? So, to reiterate: Winners? The Avengers.
Has superpowers? The A-Team doesn’t have superpowers, unless you count the power to make things and people explode without actually getting killed good and dead or even hurt very badly. (God bless the ’80s and its magnificent explosions.) The Avengers does have superpowers, except for Hawkeye, who just has good aim; Black Widow, who only needs to look good in leather; and Tony Stark, who has a super-powered suit. Still, they do have Thor, who is a Marvel-ized version of a Norse god; The (Incredible) Hulk, who has the superpower of being a hideous monster; and Captain America, who has the superpower of getting injected with some sort of serum that gives you … eh … superpowers. That’s more than the A-Team has, superpowerwise, for sure. Winners? The Avengers.
To be fair here, has Mr. T? I pity the team that doesn’t get to hang with Mr. T. Winners? The A-Team.
To be even more fair, managed to avoid the fate of having to deal with an “actress”? The A-Team was supposed to feature Tia Carrere as a member of the team in later seasons, but she was under contract to some soap opera or another, so they dodged that bullet. The Avengers have Scarlet Johansson on their team, who portrays a Russian about as convincingly as I do. Winners? The A-Team.
Fights a more evil foe? To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure who The Avengers are supposed to be fighting. Aliens? Loki? Nazis? I do know that the A-Team was on the run from the American military (for that crime they didn’t commit, remember), and that a lot of people think the military is evil. Not me, though. I’m patriotic all the way. I’m even waving a tiny American flag right now. God Bless the USA!
Winners? Eh, the Avengers?
Has a scarier boss? The Avengers’ boss is Nick Fury, a man who’s so scary his last name is Fury and they could only cast Samuel L. Jackson, legally, to play him. He’s just that scary. The A-Team is usually bossed around by Hannibal, but sometimes they work under a mean old general. Unfortunately for them in this here category, that mean old general was not played by Samuel L. Jackson. Probably because he was, like, 12 or something. Winners? The Avengers.
Met Boy George? Shut up, you kids, and enjoy this link to Karma Chameleon. At any rate, The Avengers did not meet Boy George, unless he has a cameo in the movie that no one mentioned. The A-Team did. Also, they got to meet Hulk Hogan. Winners? The A-Team.
Met Stan Lee? It’s a Marvel movie, of course they did. Winners? The Avengers.
Would be awesome as a team of little people? Actually, The Avengers would be pretty awesome as a team of little people, as would every team, except possibly basketball teams, I suppose. However, only the A-Team has photographic evidence of exactly how awesome they would be as a team of little people. Winners? The A-Team. Also, the Internet.
Overall winners? Yes, despite me choosing the A-Team precisely so I had an excuse to re-use that awesome photo, they are no match for the awesome might of The Avengers. I mean, those guys beat Harry Potter and stuff! Winners? The Avengers.
You know, I think I’d really like to see A Game of Shadows. Or I mean, I would, if Guy Ritchie would just go ahead and name the character something else because THAT’S NOT SHERLOCK HOLMES.
(I know. Some of you thought I’d gotten past this, didn’t you? Well, I haven’t. And I won’t. And I never will.)
I mean, sure, Holmes is a badass to end all badasses, and, yes, I can buy that he would defeat any adversary with a gun, a cane or his bare hands, but the whole thing is still just off somehow and, for that, I can’t forgive Guy Ritchie.
So, yeah, I might’ve gone to see A Game of Shadows because it actually looks pretty cool, and I love seeing Robert Downey Jr. beat people down and be all dapper. And Jude Law is still handsome, ridiculous moustache or no. But it’s not a Sherlock Holmes movie, no matter how much it claims to be.
It’s a battle of Sherlocks!
In one corner, we have the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, who’s all lanky and sociopathic and grey-eyed and stuff!
In another corner, we have Robert Downey Jr., who is not really any of those things, except for maybe the eyes, because I’ve never really looked at them closely.
Which Sherlock will come out superior? Let’s get ready to rumble! (Or something.)
Physicality. Now, as I’ve noted before, repeatedly, Sherlock Holmes was never intended to be an attractive man. However, the world at large doesn’t want to watch movies or television shows about unattractive people, probably because they run into enough of them out in the world. So both Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. are rather good looking. But Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite, plus he looks more like a Sherlock Holmes to me, so he wins. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch.
Gets into half-naked street fights? The BBC’s Sherlock has only done one season, which had no shirtless street fights and more’s the pity. From the trailers for Sherlock Holmes, it’s clear that there is at least one scene where Holmes isn’t wearing a top and is fighting. Probably in the street. Winner? Robert Downey Jr.
Has a better sidekick? Both Sherlock Holmes(es) have John Watson(s?) for a sidekick. One is Jude Law, who is a very pretty man. The other is Martin Freeman, who totally murders some jerk to save Holmes’ life, about 24 hours after meeting him. That’s some pretty badass sidekickery. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes.
Leads a life filled with romance? Well, obviously Sherlock Holmes shouldn’t lead a life filled with romance because he hasn’t got time for that sort of thing. So Benedict Cumberbatch and the BBC are right. Huzzah for them! Stupid Guy Ritchie had to insert stupid Irene Adler into Holmes’ stupid (nonexistent) romantic life. Winner? Robert Downey Jr. (Losers? Holmesians.)
Is in a show that I could actually sit through because it wasn’t so godawful wrong? You know what movie I couldn’t stand to watch? Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is a movie I couldn’t stand to watch because everything in it was wrong except maybe the character’s names. On the other hand, I’m working my way through third viewings of every episode of the BBC’s Sherlock because it’s just that good, that’s why. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch, the BBC and me!
Is more like the literary Sherlock Holmes? Duh. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch.
Has a larger audience, because people like stupid movies and, apparently, dislike reading? Winner? Robert Downey Jr.
Has an archenemy? I don’t know if Moriarty shows up in the (wretched, horrible) Guy Ritchie movie because I could only watch seven minutes before throwing up in my mouth and crying a bit. But I do know that BBC Sherlock has not only Moriarty to contend with, but also Mycroft Holmes, who is much thinner than expected. Winner? BBC Sherlock, aka Benedict Cumberbatch.
Lives in the correct time period? Wow, the Sherlock Holmes movie got one whole thing right. I love the idea of a modernized Sherlock Holmes, but for accurate time periods, the movie wins. Winner? Movie Sherlock.
Just an all-around more awesome Sherlock Holmes? Now, I’ve got nothing against Robert Downey Jr. I think he’s a gorgeous man and a great actor, and in the few minutes of the Sherlock Holmes movie that I managed to watch before having a freakout about what the hell is Irene Adler doing at his office, I was very impressed by his performance. I thought he did a marvelous job of portraying a man who sees everything, who notices everything, and can’t help himself. He gave the role a bit of pathos, and I liked that quite a bit. But I love Benedict Cumberbatch more, because his Sherlock says snarky things and totally doesn’t get basic rules of human behavior and is more like some mythical crime-solving being. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch.
Overall winner? Yeah, like my bias wasn’t going to be obvious in this one. Benedict Cumberbatch takes it all! Huzzah! Cookies for him!
So, lately, you’ve been dating this guy. You know he’s not a robot or an Egyptian mummy, but there’s something a little different about him. You know who’s a little different? Sherlock Holmes! Sherlock Holmes is a little different! Perhaps you’re dating him!
Let’s find out by using this handy 10-step guide!
1. Is your boyfriend a genius? If your boyfriend is a genius, sure that’s great and all, but there’s plenty of geniuses who aren’t Sherlock Holmes.
2. Is your boyfriend a detective? Now if your boyfriend is not only a genius but also the world’s only consulting detective, things are looking brighter.
3. Is his best friend a doctor? And is that doctor named “John Watson”? If he’s not named “John Watson,” then you’re definitely not dating Sherlock Holmes, because Holmes only has one friend and that one friend is Dr. John Watson.
4. Did your boyfriend used to do a lot of cocaine? And did he only stop doing all that cocaine when his best friend Dr. John Watson convinced him it was an unhealthy habit?
5. Does he say things like “it’s a three-pipe problem” or, if you’re dating the modern Sherlock, “a three-patch problem”? Today’s modern Sherlock Holmes is trying to quit smoking. Good on him!
6. Do people describe themselves as his “archenemy”? Really, it would be only one of two people, because no one else can match up to Holmes: Either the evil genius Moriarty or the evil genius Mycroft Holmes. I’m not actually sure how evil Mycroft Holmes is, but he works for the government, so pretty evil, right?
7. Does he live for the high of solving crimes? The weirder the better?
8. Are you Irene Adler? It wouldn’t matter if you were. He never dated her, anyway.
9. Does he live at 221B Baker Street? Can you steal me a piece of wallpaper and see if he’ll autograph it?
10. Does he not know or care that the earth revolves around the sun? “If we went around the moon or round and round the garden like a teddy bear, it wouldn’t make any difference!” he might say.
If you have answered yes to most or all of these questions, then whatever. You’re still not dating Sherlock Holmes because he doesn’t date.
In conclusion, go to hell, Guy Ritchie.
Due Date. Due Date doesn’t look funny.
It’s one of those movies that relies on the charms of its leading men to pass muster, which is fine since Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis are each charming in their own special way. (In Zach G.’s case, it’s very special.) (Oh, why I am calling him Zach G., you wonder? Is it because I can’t spell his last name right? Maybe it is.) (Probably it is.)
But are they charming enough?
(Hell, you know if I’m asking it, the answer is “No.”)
No, they are not charming enough! I know I just said that. Shut up!
I mean, yeah, I always thought if you stuck Robert Downey Jr. in a movie and he was wearing a suit, I would gleefully sit down to watch that thing and finish up with thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another.
(And I’ve never understood the appeal of Zach G., but I guess I’m just a humorless soul.)
So, anyway, you put these two guys in a movie and Robert Downey Jr. isn’t even solving or fighting crime and he actually looks a little haggard, and the only time I laugh is that part in the trailer where Zach G. gets hurt.
Because I’m a humorless, evil soul.
You are my perfect (bat) man.
1) a superhero
2) fabulously, fabulously wealthy.
Either one of these things is enough to get my attention, but the combination of the two, well! And with a masked vigilante’s lifespan being what it is, marrying you is like pulling an Anna Nicole Smith without having to marry some crusty old guy before he kicks off.
Errrr, not, Batman, that I want to marry you for your wealth alone. You have many other redeeming qualities, such as having trained with ninja! (Having trained with ninja is a thing that can be defined as a “quality,” right?)
There’s also your good looks and your gadgets. (OK, I’m pretty sure you can call gadgets a “quality.”) And I mustn’t forget your keen detective’s mind, which is a big turn-on for most ladies, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that.
(I mean, do you have any idea how many fictional women were throwing their panties at Sherlock Holmes?)
Also, and most importantly, you are the goddamned Batman.
I love you.
You know the guy, right?
The guy that’s like, “Oh, that movie? The one based on (insert novel here)? I found it highly inferior to the original work. Blah, blah, blah.”
(Blah Blah Blah is a really great song, by the by.)
That guy isn’t satisfied with a good movie that is based on a novel (or comic book or video game or whatever). He wants it to be exactly the same, even though that’s impossible, because they are two completely different mediums, and I know that, really I do.
So on the flight over here, they’ve got the Sherlock Holmes film. And I’m like, “OK, sure, I’ll give it a try. Robert Downey runs around without his shirt on for a while. That should be awesome.”
(And that was pretty awesome, I have to admit.)
But then Holmes and Watson have dinner with Watson’s bride-to-be, Mary Morstan. And one of them says something about Holmes meeting her for the first time. And I’m like, “Well, that’s odd. Didn’t Holmes introduce her to Watson because she was a client of his?”
And then Holmes does his trick where he can tell all sorts of stuff about a person just from looking at them (and I have to admit, I did love the bit where Holmes is sitting alone in the restaurant waiting for Watson and Mary. Robert Downey Jr. saw everything, and you could see his interest and his frustration that he couldn’t not do it. Pretty cool acting, I have to admit).
And Mary was engaged before! And I’m like, “Well, that’s even more odd. She was never engaged.”
But then I was like, “Well, whatever, it’s just Watson. Who cares about Watson, anyhow?”
And then! AND THEN. Irene Adler stops by Holmes’ apartment (I’d have gone with Holmes’ home, but I thought the rhyme was too obvious, even for me), and says something like “It’s Irene Adler again,” and that’s when I was like “Frak this movie and everyone involved in it! She was never a client of his! She barely even met him! God damn all of you, they were never in love!”
That was when I leaned over and showed the person sitting beside me the line in my Sherlock Holmes short story collection (which I had, coincidentally, brought on the plane with me) that says this: “It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler.”
And that was when everyone was like, “Please, shut the hell up.”
So it turns out that I’m that guy. I’m a little bit ashamed, but mostly, I want to punch Guy Ritchie in the face.
Read the damn stories before you make a Sherlock Holmes movies. Have you ever heard of accuracy?
Crap, I’m doing it again.
Iron Man 2 opened this weekend! (I didn’t see it.) But in honor of it doing well at the box office (OK, I’m totally just assuming it did, because research is hard when you’re excessively lazy), I thought I would present a fictional! Character! Battle! featuring Iron Man himself.
Shall we see now what Robocop and Iron Man have in common?
(Ehhh, it’s not that much, really, but this seemed like such a good idea at 3 a.m., so I’m going with it.)
On to the action! Or text. Actually, it’s text. Sorry.
Physicality. This category is getting to be the bane of my existence. Sure, I like to rate people based on their looks. Who doesn’t, you know? But it’s getting harder and harder to rate these fictional characters. Except when one is portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in the movies, who is quite the looker. I can’t even remember the name of the actor who played Robocop, which I would have done were he hot, so clearly, this one is a gimme. Winner? Iron Man.
Features metal prominently in his uniform? As the “iron” in Iron Man implies, there’s a lot of metal in the uniform. In fact, it’s not really a uniform so much as a magical (or technologically advanced, whichever) suit that can fly and shoot rockets and whatever. Like a miniature jet plane. On the other hand, Robocop, as his name implies, is part robot and part cop. And robots are totally made of metal, unlike their skin-coated android counterparts. However, Robocop still has those delicate human bits sticking out here and there, like elbows or something, I don’t know, so I think there’s less metal in his makeup than in Iron Man’s. Who is, thus, the winner.
Is more attractive to women? This seems like another gimme for Iron Man, as looks are a very important feature of attractiveness. But there’s other things women look for in their men too, like, does that uniform come off? Because robots aren’t very cuddly. Also, Tony Stark is a billionaire, which more than quintuples whatever else he has going for him. It, like, thousanduples it. Billionaires are hot. So I guess this category was a gimme for Iron Man. Winner? Iron Man.
Is featured in a love story to last through the ages? Both Iron Man and Robocop have been featured in their share of dirty, dirty, dirty fan fiction, because that’s what they get for being introduced to the public. However, only Robocop has enjoyed sexy fun times with one of the greatest detectives of our — or any — generation. The goddammned Batman. Also, this was supposed to be a love story. In any case, any story that makes me snort things out of my nose is a win to me. Winner? Robocop.
Is actually a zombie and a robot? Those two things are so cool. I mean, what’s cooler than zombies? Cyborg zombies, that’s what. Goddamn, that’s awesome. Winner? Robo “zombie” cop.
Is more effective at enforcing the peace? I’m pretty sure Robocop has killed more people than he’s saved. Like airbags! Which is great, if that’s what you’re going for, but I think most of us would prefer not to be shot in the face by a zombie robot cop. (Although if you have to be shot in the face by somebody, a zombie robot cop should be at the top of everyone’s list.) On the other hand, Iron Man even joined the Avengers, who are totally for truth, justice and the American Way. At least, I think they’re all American. (I could be mixing them up with the Defenders or something, I don’t know.) Whatever. Winner? Iron Man.
Has cooler villains? According to Wikipedia, Iron Man has “a large range of villains.” In fact, they go so far as to list them alphabetically. There’s no entry for “x” or “q,” though, which is kind of disappointing. Robocop, however, must face enemies like Red from That 70s Show and a robot that can’t manage stairs. Eh, let’s call this one a tie.
Because I really can’t think of anything else here, overall winner? Iron Man comes out on top!
(Also, everyone who read that truly horrifically awesome fanfic. We’re all winners!)