Monday, November 29, 2010

Lessons I Learned From the Twilight Zone, Part I

In the spirit of the post on what I learned from reading Goosebumps, I decided to do a post on what I learned from watching everyone's favorite creepy old TV show, the Twilight Zone.

To Serve Man

Synopsis: Aliens come down to earth offering humans all kinds of wonderful gifts. The earthlings are unsure of whether or not to trust them. They decide to translate a book the aliens leave behind called To Serve Man. To their horror, it's a cookbook.

Lessons Learned: Aliens are evil. Don't trust them when they offer the human species gifts. There's probably a horrible twist.

The Gift

Synopsis: An alien comes down to a small town offering a gift. Distrusting him, the townspeople slaughter him, whereupon it's revealed that his gift is a cure for all diseases.

Lessons Learned: ...Except for when they're good. No, you can't win.

Purple Testament

Synopsis: A WWII soldier finds he can predict death by seeing a flash of light on the faces of doomed men.

Lessons Learned: Apparently Angelica Huston died soon after the Addams Family franchise finished up.

Long Distance Call

Synopsis: A little boy's grandmother gives him a toy telephone before she passes away. After she dies, she's able to contact him on the phone and asks him to join him. Soon, the little boy tries to end his own life in order to be with his grandmother. The boy's father pleads with the grandmother (his mother) over the phone to let the boy live his own life.

Lessons Learned: Yes, Sadako, there is a more overbearing fictional mother out there than Mrs. Costanza.

A Nice Place to Visit

Synopsis: A crook named Rocky Valentine dies and wakes up in a world beyond his wildest dreams where he's rich, can gamble nonstop, and has beautiful women who are attracted to him. It turns out that the afterlife is a bit too good to be true, though. Growing bored of a world where there's no possibility of anything bad ever happening, Rocky begs to be taken to the other place (i.e., Hell), only to be told that he's already there.

Lessons Learned: Be good, boys and girls, or you'll have to gamble nonstop with beautiful women. Compared to Dante's Inferno, it's pretty tame. Then again, Rod Serling's depiction of Hell is a lot closer to the obligatory visit to Atlantic City that the Real Housewives of NJ go on every season. Rod Serling may know more about Hell than Dante and Virgil ever did.

The Howling Man

Synopsis: A group of monks finds the devil and put him in a room locked with a staff, but a visitor is soon talked into letting him out.

Lessons Learned: The devil can hold his own in fiddle contests, induce pea soup vomiting, and still find time to head up the law firm of Milton, Chadwick & Waters. Yet in the face of a simple staff, he's as helpless as an infant in a playpen. (Actually, more helpless if said infant is starring in an animated TV show on the Nickelodeon network.)

It's a Good Life

Synopsis: Welcome to a world where a six year old boy named Anthony has the power to read minds and to create anything. At the end, little Anthony transforms a man trying to stop him into a jack in the box.

Lessons Learned: Back in the day, the worst thing that living in a 6 year old's paradise entailed watching dinosaurs fight on TV instead of Ozzie and Harriet and getting turned into a jack in the box. Irritating, yes, but we live in a day and age when your average kid gets exposed to creepier things than a jack in the box. Furbies. Bratz dolls. Tickle me Elmo. Billy Mumy's world was creepy to be sure, but I don't want to imagine what would happen if this episode got remade.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Movies in a Minute: Home Alone

It's Thanksgiving, and you know what that means. Non-stop Xmas programming! In honor of that, I'm re-posting my Home Alone recap. Happy happy turkey day, everyone.

Kevin: "Did anyone order me a plain, tomato free, no-fat non-dairy cheese pizza?"

Buzz: "Yeah, we did, but if you want any, someone's gonna have to pull a Tracy Gold."


All: "KEVIN!"

Jeff: "Kevin, I wish Mom remembered to take her birth control pill the night you were conceived."

Kate McCallister: "There are fifteen people in this house, and you're the only one who expects me to parent."

Uncle Frank: "Look what you did, you little hemorrhoid on the ass of America."

Kevin: "I hope I never see any of you jerks again! Whoa. I made my family disappear?"

Kevin: "I made my family disappear. No more bespectacled Kieran trying to go All About Eve on me!"

Kevin: "Buzz, your girlfriend, yuch. Hey Buzz, I'm going through your stuff. Better come out and pound me. Mom? Dad? I'm eating junk. Better come out and stop me. James Cagney? I'm watching an obvious rip off of Angels with Dirty Faces, better come out and sue me!"

Kate: "KEVIN! Am I a terrible mother?"

Uncle Frank: "Well, we were thinking of getting you the Susan Smith Parenting Award of the Year."

Aunt Leslie: "Frank! Use a sotto voce until we're sure they're paying for our return tickets."

Kevin: "Excuse me, is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?"

Cashier: "Son, you have to pay for that toothbrush. Son? That's a loss of almost two dollars for us. Son! Jimmy, that boy looks frightened. Hunt him down like a dog!"

Cop: "Hmm, chasing a scared eight year old or looking for the shabbily dressed guys driving around the gated community in the huge van? Eight year old."

Marv: "Can we be the wet bandits?"

Harry: "Shut up, Marv. Grab your crowbar and get into the child molester van. We've got about eight more pieces of accessories that scream: CRIMINAL to collect before we can start robbing this rich enclave at nine o'clock tonight."

Old Man Marley: "Hello. You know any time you see me, you can say hello. A lot of stuff has been said about me. None of it's true."

Kevin: "Really?"

Old Man Marley: "Well...maybe the stuff about my obsessive crush on Jessica Fletcher. But really, I'm just a lonely old man who misses his granddaughter. I got into a fight with my son and I'm afraid if I go back he'll throw me and my La-Z-Boy out on our asses."

Kevin: "When these guys come back, I'll be waiting. This is my house. I have to defend it. Let's see. Ice on the stairs. Humiliating chicken feathers. Blow torch to the head. And an iron maiden made from my Lego bricks."

Karl Rove: "Hey kid? When you grow up, if you don't have plans, can you come work for us? We'd love to see what you can do for us at Guantanamo."

Marv: "Harry, where's your gold tooth?"

Harry: "Are you frigging fragging kidding me--I stole that tooth off Billy Batts before we buried his body and then reburied it. That kid's ruined the greatest hits of the Shangri-Las for me!"

Marv: (narrating Wonder Year style) "Looking at myself in the mirror, covered in chicken feathers, facing a long term back injury, with possible was then that I realized...(aloud): I'M GONNA KILL THIS KID!"

Harry: "First, I'm going to start by biting off every single little finger."

Old Man Marley: "Let's get you home, Kevin. Maybe we should talk to your parents about getting you into therapy after that creepy near finger biting incident. Looks like your folks aren't home. Maybe we should contact the authorities."

Kevin: "Sir. I'm eight years old. I'm barely able to brush my own hair without creating an adorably tousled cowlick. Do I look old enough to be home alone? My parents are here. They're just slightly off camera."

Old Man Marley: "Oh. Okay. See you later. Have a great Christmas."

Sadako: "Marley, I'm no connoisseuse of the child neglect laws, but I'm starting to realize why your son won't let you see your granddaughter."

Bing Crosby: "Have yourself a merry little Christmas...What movie did they dig me up to sing in this time? A Chris Columbus, really? They couldn't get me a murdering Santa slasher?"

Kate: "Kevin? I had to sit through sixteen hours of John Candy but I'm here. I'm so sorry. I'll never forget to feed you or clothe you or change your woodchips again, little guy."

Kevin: "Mom! Where are the others?"

Kate: "Eating frog legs nuggets at Charles DeGaulle."

Family: "We're home! And we left Uncle Frank back in Paris wandering around the Babar store."


Monday, November 22, 2010

Movies in a Minute: Jurassic Park II: The Lost World

Hey, you guys. I know I posted the Lost World before, but I've re-edited it so I'm happier with it. Expect some totally brand new posts after Thanksgiving break.

John Hammond: "I'm a conservationist now. I've sent your beloved paleontologist girlfriend off to Isla Sorna to scout all the lovely dinosaurs. And I knew you'd go after her. Isn't that delightful?"

Ian: "You're lucky you're so damned cute."

John: "You'd better hurry. My nephew Peter Ludlow, the new head of InGen, is planning on making a tacky dinosaur amusement park. And he won't even give me half an acre for my performing fleas. Go and stop him."

Kelly: "Dad, can I go with you, Dad? Dad?"

Ian Malcolm: "No. Sarah? SARAH?"

Nick Van Owen: "Sarah Harding?"

Ian: "How many Sarahs do you think are on this island?"

Cera: "Does anyone know how to get to the Great Valley?"

Sarah: "Don't leave anything on this island! Cigarette butts, candy bar wrappers, resentment of Mother Earth--

Sarah: " ...Aww, cute! I think my uterus just skipped a beat. Oops, the camera's out of control--I can't fix it because my ovaries are in the way..."

Baby: "Halp! Mom! She's trying to steal my soul!"

Ian: "Shoot them!"

Sarah: "Help, I need guns and tampons and chauvinism and some Cherry Garcia!"

Feminism: "Could someone loan me a pair of crutches?"

Sarah: "Anyway, as I was saying, we're here to observe, not interact. Anything we do could have lasting repercussions. Not even a single candy wrapper can sully the island."

Kelly: "Uh, hi, Daddy. I sort of stowed aboard."

Ian: "I'm not mad at you, Kelly. I'm FURIOUS."

Sarah: "She's a woman, Ian, not a child. I'm so tired of you treating us women like we're brainless, hysterical little damsels in distress. Anyway, Ian, this is really your own fault. You filled our heads with stories of this place. Did you really think we had the self control to stay away? Sorry, I love you but I don't need you right now. I'm off to finish my dissertation on baby dinosaurs."

Peter Ludlow: "We're here to take the dinosaurs."

Dieter Stark: "Look at it. It's like he's not even afraid."

Hippie Beardo: "They've got no reason to fear man."

Dieter: *taser* "They do now."

Sadako: "Dieter? This is a Spielberg film and you just 86ed an animal. You do know your chances of making it out alive are less than your chances were of actually getting Steve Buscemi through that woodchipper back in North Dakota, yes?"

Roland: "I've set up base camp. You can keep my fee, you corporate wanker. All I want is the right to hunt the Rex. Look, Ajay. The Rex young. With offspring that young, the parents won't leave him alone that long. We can use the baby to get him where we want him to go."

Sarah: "Or her. Female Rexes are just as worthy of capture!"

Rex Baby: "HALP!"

All: "Poor animals."

Nick: "John Hammond did send a back up plan. Me."

Sarah: "So...your plan?"

Nick: "Star in as many crappy features as possible until Will Ferrell realizes I'm the greatest thing since Spam in a Can. Oh, and free the dinosaurs that they penned up!"

Nick: "Well, we've destroyed all of INGEN's evil corporate radios and phones by unleashing a dinosaur stampede. But we've still got the expensive trailers we came with to dispense with. Time for operation save cute baby! Come on, baby Rex."

Sarah: "Oh, come here, you. Let's fix that leg."

Sadako: "Nick. The bad news? This isn't going to end well. The good news is that if you make it out of here alive, the good people at Whale Wars have a mid level stinky butter hurling position to offer you."

Ian: "Why does no one listen to me?"

Rex: "Give us the baby. No one gets hurt."

Ian: "That should make an interesting chapter in your book."

Sarah: "I think the debate over the parental instincts of the T-Rex is now academic. Now, the only question is what to put on the cover. Baby Long Neck or Baby Three Horn?"

Rex: "...Psych. We're back. A dinosaur's story of revenge. Come on, honey, help me push the RVs over the side."

All: "HALP!"

Eddie Carr: "Eddie to the rescue!"

Spielberg: "Great. Rexes, start yanking him apart."

Eddie: "Wait, wait. I operated according to the rules of the Spielberg-a-verse. I saved the heroes. I allied with the Greenpeace guys. I don't have a law degree. I didn't steal embryos, and I didn't shoot the cute herbivorous stegs when they were attacking Sarah Harding because they were just defending their baby. I didn't even fantasize about Sarah in nothing but a smile and a flak jacket."

Spielberg: "You saw the first film, you balding, overweight tech geek. You know the rules. I really don't think this is quite the film for a man of your...carriage. If you go quietly, I'll leave twenty pounds of free gummy dinosaurs in your trailer."

*Trailers fall off the cliff and explode*

George Lucas: "Steve, was that as good for you as it was for me?"

Roland: "I know you. You're that Earth First bastard. Thanks to your eco terrorism, we're stranded here."

Nick: "Well, thanks to me we're also one step closer to Dinotopia."

Hippie Beardo: "Let's keep going. We'll lose the Rex when we leave its territory."

Sarah: "You're wrong. T-Rex has the largest nasal cavity of any animal with the exception of one. Now hand me my blood covered vest and let's get on with it."

Roland: "Are you injured? Your's covered in blood."

Sarah: "And it's torn, from caring for the baby Rex--I think the blood gives it that little something extra, doncha think?"

Dieter: "Aaah!"

Sadako: "Told you. Be nice to little animals when you're co-starring in a film that is PETA's wet dream."

Everyone: "Dino attack!"

Roland: "Now to take down the male Rex. Damn, where are my bullets?"

Nick: "Replaced by yours truly."

Spielberg: "My man! With what? Walkie talkies?"

Nick: "Solar panels."

Roland: "Fine, fine. Tranquilizers it is."

Spielberg: "Hm, for no other reason at all...send in the raptors."

Kelly: "And that's kicking your raptor ass."

Ian: "You got cut from the team? And they say there's such a thing as affirmative action!"

Spielberg: "Okay, raptors, the rest of you are disheartened and confused now that Shaniqua Lou Retton killed your friend. Start fighting amongst each other randomly and ignore the fleshbags."

Sadako: "WHAT? They're stupid AND weak? These are not the raptors I'm looking for!"

Peter Ludlow: "Good news, everyone! The Rex is tranquilized and help is here. We'll bring Rex and baby Rex to San Diego via ship."

Sadako: "Am I the only one who saw Reptar on Ice? This isn't gonna end well."

T Rex: "San Diego, eh? Time to hunt down a My daddy went to San Diego and all he got me was this stupid t-shirt for Rexie. I need a large in the torso and an extra extra small in the arms."

Sadako: "Back up a teensy bit. You know, the part where the crew was all dead and eaten and yet the T-Rex was still in the closed cargo hold?"

Spielberg: "That's the last time I leave you in charge of anything related to plot, Lucas."

T-Rex: "Progress and technology angers me! Time to kill a corporate head. Come on, Rexie, just like Daddy showed you."

Rexie: "Yum! Can we stop off for some Enron on the way home, Daddy?"

Spielberg: "Time to return Rex and baby Rex home to Isla Sorna. Cue the thoughtful music and the shots of cute dinosaurs romping on the island."

John Hammond: "No more talk of amusement parks. I'm going conservationist."

John: "You see, it's much more profitable to simply film nature videos of the dinosaurs in their natural habitat, just being dinosaurs, and then have my brother narrate over them in a calm soothing tone of voice. We'll make a mint!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TV in a Minute: Twilight Zone: Living Doll

Hey guys. You're headed through a dimension not of sight or sound, but of mind. Also, of toys that make the Bratz dolls look normal. Welcome to the Twilight Zone episode Living Doll!

Annabelle: "Now remember, Christie. When you go out shopping, never show a man what you've bought till after he's eaten. Go hide your doll till I can get your stepfather into a good mood."

Christie: "Yes, Mommy."

Erich: "What have you got there, Christie?"

Annabelle: "It's just a doll, Erich. I charged it to the account. Christie, go show Daddy your doll and remember to flash him your dimples when you do so he won't be too angry."

Christie: "Her name is Talky Tina, and she talks and moves and I just love her!"

Erich: "Okay, Annabelle. How much did it cost?"

Annabelle: "I told you--

Erich: "I know, you charged it, but how much did it cost."

Annabelle: "I...don't understand."

Sadako: "Between this and Wilma Flintstone's catchphrase CHARGE IT! I'm surprised the feminist movement was able to take off at all."

Annabelle: "I don't think it's the price of the doll that's bothering you, Erich."

Erich: "Oh great, more of that Freudian mumbo jumbo you've been getting from the doctor."

Annabelle: "It isn't Dr. Lubin's fault Christie feels rejected, or that you're taking your hostility at having to conquer your lollipop addiction out on Christie."

Erich: "Talky Tina, hm?"

Tina: "My name is Talky Tina, and I don't like you!"

Rod Serling: "Tina--the doll that does everything. To Erich Straiter, she is a most unwelcome addition to his household.

Sadako: "And to future horror writer R.L. Stine she's a muse out of which an entire evil doll franchise is born."

Rod: "But without her, he'd never enter the Twilight Zone."

Annabelle: "Why, Erich? Why did you have to throw the doll?"

Erich: "I don't like what it says!"

Annabelle: "If only you'd open your heart to Christie a little more."

Betty Draper: "Your new husband doesn't like your kid and has a charge card? I don't quite understand the problem."

Annabelle: "I can't let you treat Christie this way. I love her."

Erich: "But I don't love her. I'm only her stepfather and I'm incapable of loving children because we can't have any of our own. Is that what you're saying?"

Annabelle: "I know you got more than you bargained for when you married me. A wife on the wrong side of thirty and a daughter. But we'll do anything to make you happy."

Sadako: "I don't know, Annabelle. A 9-5 job in the stenographer pool is looking better and better."

Erich: "So where'd you spend my hard earned money finding this doll, anyway?"

Annabelle: "Mason's. She'll be a good playmate for Christie."

Erich: "Lacking a brother or sister, is that what you mean? That's why you bought the doll--sort of a reminder?"

Sadako: "No, but I'm starting to wish I'd written my senior thesis on a study of correlation between inability to conceive and purchases of American Girl and My Buddy dolls."

Talky Tina: "I'm Talky Tina, and male infertility is easily conquered by switching from briefs to boxers! Also, you might want to get that mole checked out."

Erich: "All right, Annabelle. How'd you do it? Put a walkie talkie in the doll?"

Annabelle: "Erich, I'm a woman in early 1960s America. I can barely toast bread without igniting the kitchen. I'm not playing some kind of high tech trick on you."

Erich: "Bye, Tina."

Phone: "I'm Talky Tina, and this phone call was collect and long distance!"

Erich: "The doll was in Christie's bed! She's the one who's been doing it!"

Christie: "Daddy! Please! I've got blonde hair, blue eyes, a sweet little gap between my teeth--what more do you want in a daughter?!"

Erich: "I'm not your real daddy! You can't tell me what to do!"

Christie: *sob*

Sadako: "Double session with Dr. Lubin next week, huh?"

Erich: "Come with me, Tina!"

Talky Tina: "I'm Talky Tina, and I'd suggest you reread the Geneva Convention."

Budding Feminists: "Telly, could you replace Talky Tina with the Barbie who hates math? Thanks!"

Erich: "Well, this isn't going to work. Wait, Annabelle, where are you going?"

Annabelle: "You're sick and demented. Torturing a doll?"

Erich: "I'll give it back to Christie! Would that solve things?"

Annabelle: "Well...I suppose I'll have to let my child grow up with the psychological pain of having a stepparent who resents her. But since it's either that or secretarial work in an age where the workplace policy to sexual harassment was Thank you sir, may I have another and not I don't have to take this, all right."

Erich: "Hey, what's that noi--NOOO!"

Annabelle: "Erich? ERICH!"

Talky Tina: "I'm Talky Tina, and you better be nice to me! That means the double canopy doll sized bed from the Pleasant T. Rowland company and not a knockoff!"

Annabelle: "Great. I'm pushing forty and I've got to find a third husband with a daughter and an evil doll in tow?"