June 8, 2011
Disney’s “Aladdin” (1992) isn’t a movie anybody from our generation hasn’t seen. It was an instant classic, destined for greatness. But, as usual, I’ll have to set up the story here.
In “Aladdin,” a street urchin (Scott Weinger) rescues a princess-in-disguise (Linda Larkin) from getting her hand chopped off in the market. The two fall in love, but not before Princess Jasmine’s true identity is revealed to Aladdin. He is thrown in jail, where Jafar (Jonathan Freeman), the royal vizier to the Sultan (Douglas Seale), is disguised as a petty criminal. Jafar convinces Aladdin to steal a lamp from the Cave of Wonders, which unbeknownst to Aladdin houses a magic Genie (Robin Williams) who will grant three wishes to the holder of the lamp. This sets a whole string of problems into motion, including Aladdin wishing to become a prince, Jasmine discovering he’s lied to her, Jafar stealing the lamp and becoming sultan, then a sorcerer, then a genie himself, and Aladdin having to save the kingdom by defeating him.
So how could everything be avoided?
Moral of the story?
Don’t trust people you meet in jail.
Now this one’s a bit tough. I was thinking for a little while how this wouldn’t solve all the problems of the story. But after a little bit of thought, I realized that — indeed! — it would. During the scene in the dungeon, Aladdin’s monkey Abu comes to visit. Jafar, disguised as the old man, pretends to be another prisoner. Only once Aladdin has agreed to help him does the “old man” show Aladdin the secret passage out of the place.
So basically, Jafar put on a fake beard and took off his hat to become that grotesque man pictured above (meaning the teeth were Jafar’s all along — gross). He sneaked on down to the dungeon and hobbled around a little bit, then opened a secret passage that he knows about all along (from what I can only imagine is from that time Jafar got stuck there thanks to drug smuggling or attempted suicide bombing).
If Aladdin had refused, there’s no way in hell a greedy asshole like Jafar would stay down there. Eventually, he’d leave — and when he left, Aladdin would see how to get out of the dungeon. Abu would probably come up with some way to help him out of his bindings, then Aladdin could escape!
Even if he chose not to trust Jafar, but faked trust until he could escape, there’s not a chance that Aladdin couldn’t overpower Jafar. Seriously. Have you seen the scrawny arms on that man? Aladdin could escape — and since Aladdin’s the only one who can enter the Cave of Wonders, there’d be no Genie involved for the story. And with no Genie, there’s no lie about being a prince, and there’s no chance Jafar can change from vizier to sultan to sorcerer to genie himself.
Then all that’s left is for the Sultan to realize his vizier’s a psychopath. It’d be like the story of Caesar and Brutus, but set in Agrabah. And since it’s Disney, it’d probably end a little less bloody. Just saying.
June 8, 2011
We all know the story of “The Lion King.” Throw together an all-star cast (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg), get Disney to write one fantastic script and write some pretty awesome African-sounding music — and BAM. You’ve got 1994’s “The Lion King.”
The story goes, in case you forgot, lion cub Simba witnesses his father King Mufasa’s death, but is unaware it is at the hands (paws?) of Mufasa’s brother Scar. Scar tells Simba the Pride Lands will blame Simba for the death of his father, so Simba runs away. With Simba out of the picture, Scar assumes the figurative crown, but ends up turning the Pride Lands into a wasteland. Simba returns as an adult to challenge Scar and eventually wins, but not without a huge amount of effort.
Moral of the story?
Don’t trust anyone named after their disfigurements
It’s as simple as that. Would you ever trust someone named Stubby? Nine Toes? Facial Burns McGee? I didn’t think so.
But then we have virtually the entire cast of characters in “The Lion King” going around trusting some guy named Scar. First of all, look at that guy’s name compared to everyone else’s. You’ve got Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Sarabi, Zazu, Rafiki. And Scar. You tell me which name doesn’t belong?
Yet everyone goes along trusting this guy. Just look at him. He doesn’t look like someone you could trust. That’s as bad as saying, “Yeah, I think I trust that guy Hole-in-His-Face.” No sense whatsoever.
Not to mention, what the hell was his name before he got that damn scar? Assuming he wasn’t born with it, that is. If he got in a battle, why the hell would the pride start calling him “Scar”? They were just asking for trouble.
I’m not saying to judge the book by its cover or anything, I’m just saying to have some common sense. If you meet someone with a suspicious name, they’re probably a suspicious character. If you’ve got someone like that on your hands, just watch your back (tail?), OK?
June 8, 2011
After one dumb ass teenager named Max (Omri Katz) lights a magic flame in the house that belonged to three supposed Salem witches 300 years previous, said witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) return from the grave to continue the work they started before their deaths. Basically, you throw an annoying little girl (Thora Birch), a love interest for the teen (Vinessa Shaw), a talking cat (voiced by Sean Murray) and a zombie (Doug Jones) into the mix, and you’ve got 1993’s family film “Hocus Pocus.”
Don’t get me wrong; this movie’s a classic, at least for all those kids who grew up in the ’90s. But a lot of drama happens in this movie. The kids’ parents get enchanted by the witches to “dance until they die,” the cat dies and moves on to the afterlife after 300 years, the boy almost gets his lifeforce eaten or something and the witches cause a whole bunch of mayhem with the children of Salem.
So how do we avoid all the drama?
Moral of the story?
Don’t let virgins manipulate flame
Seriously. Just don’t do it. The entire plot of “Hocus Pocus” would be avoided entirely if not for Max’s blatant disregard for mature use of flame. Who even gave him that lighter, anyway? I can only imagine he stole it from the last trio of bitches he resurrected from the dead. But seriously, think about it. When has anything good come out of letting some kid who’s not got his dick wet (or had her hymen broken, I suppose) use a lighter? I’ll tell you: Never. Never, ever.
In the context of the movie, maybe if he brought Allison (the love interest mentioned earlier) out to that cabin to bang her instead of, you know, lighting the damn candle, he wouldn’t have gotten himself into that mess. He could have just left his sister in the car or something. Give her a lollipop — that would probably distract her for the measly little 2 minutes he’d need to turn in that V-Card. Then he could have lit all the candles he wanted and nothing bad would happen… aside from maybe a fire.
But what’s a fire compared to three magic-wielding sisters from the 17th century?