Friday, December 11, 2009

Movie Franchises That Confuse the Hell Outta Me.

When I was a boy, I spent quite a bit of time at my cousins’ house. We rough-housed, broke things, and told on each other for a variety of offenses. On the occasions that I slept over, we were confined to the basement, and we watched USA’s Up All Night. One night, USA aired one of the Conan movies. I thought it was pretty cool. But then, one of the bad guys dies in the most horrific way I’d ever seen. He gets trapped by this huge rolling circular door and he screams and cries until the door finally rolls over him completely. Since then I’ve had this image burned on my brain and I’ve developed a phobia of rolling circular doors. Anyway, I plan on elaborating on all those villain deaths that traumatized me at a later date. For now, I want to talk about movie franchises that confuse me. Stay with me, I’ll get there. I could never remember what Conan movie we were watching. So every time there’s a Conan movie on TV, I have to watch, hoping that I finally see that scene. For whatever reason, I never see it. Yesterday… I SAW IT! The rolling circle door death happens in Red Sonja. The weirdest thing though; Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the movie, but he doesn’t even play Conan – he’s some other dude that looks just like Conan. And this brings me to…

Movie Franchises That Confuse the Hell Outta Me.

Conan the Barbarian / Conan the Destroyer / Red Sonja
Since I’ve only seen bits and pieces of each one, to me, these are all kind of one big movie. I’m not even sure if Red Sonja is supposed to be part of the Conan franchise, but it looks the same. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in it, only his name is Talidor. Really? These can’t be two different characters - they are identical! Talidor just wears more clothing. You can’t paint stripes on a donkey and call it a zebra, ok? I’ve been to Tijuana and the zebra-donkeys are not convincing.
I’ve seen enough of these movies now that you’d think I knew the plots. But I don’t. I don’t even know who Conan is or why he’s all barbaric. I don’t know where they are or what time period it is. All I know is that the older sister from Wonder Years is in one of them and she is hot. That’s all I got.

It's good to be the Governer

Mad Max / The Road Warrior / Mad Max beyond Thunderdome
This is another franchise that I’ve seen in parts. I’ve seen enough to know that it’s the end of the world and people drive around to find gas. Why don’t they stop driving and save on gas? I also know Thunderdome is the final movie and it stars Tina Turner. My problem is that I don’t know which came first, The Road Warrior or Mad Max. They look exactly the same to me, and the names give no clue as to which is the sequel. Every time Mad Max or Road Warrior comes on, I try to watch to get a better idea of the story. But all I see are some people driving around and some people blowing up.

Couldn't find a funny picture from the movie... so... enjoy the mesh.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Now, here’s a franchise of which I’ve seen every movie. The Curse of the Black Pearl was a phenomenal film. Then things got really weird. The sequel didn’t make a lick of sense, and the third movie made even less sense. Both movies were so confusing to me, and I’m an adult – sort of. I’m not sure how a child is supposed to figure it out. So tentacle dude is cursed to find souls to operate his boat? Again, why not just stop driving the boat and save on souls. Relax and enjoy the afterlife my friend; I’m sure there are some mermaids somewhere that really dig those tentacles. I wasn’t sure who the voodoo lady was either and really hoped everything would be cleared up in the third flick, At World’s End. But I was wrong. Jack Sparrow is now running around the afterlife hanging out with lots of other Jack Sparrows. Interesting. And then there’s a bunch of other pirates getting involved and they all have pieces of eight? Pieces of eight what? And watch out guys that one lady got crabs. The plot is so convoluted and the movie is so long, I stopped paying attention.

"Love, weren't you a girl in the last movie?"

Freddy kills to avenge his own murder. Jason kills to avenge his mother’s murder. But what’s Michael Meyers’s problem? Why does he care so much about killing his sister? I think they tried to answer that in the 5th or 6th movie, but that seemed like a stretch. And how does he keep coming back to life? Freddy and Jason live in an uber-supernatural universe where they both have the ability to return and the audience believes it. But Michael seems somewhat rooted in realism, so I’m not sure how bullets don’t kill him. And also – is it just me or does the mask look way more weinery with every sequel.

"Shut up. They had a mask sale at Walmart."

Lord of the Rings
And these movies are four hours long, why? I’ve only seen the first half of the first movie and I refuse to watch anymore. So – can someone tell me what happens? Kthxbye.

Yeah, can I have my precious half-hour back?


B-Movie Becky said...

Definitely understand the confusion with the Conan ones. No, Red Sonja is different, but it's in the same mythology.

Mad Max came before Road Warrior, and Thunderdome was the last one. The first two are really great films, you should give them a dedicated watch.

Halloween is my favorite film, so I could make a super long comment, but I won't. Let's just face it. Horror sequels don't really care about series chronology/continuity.

JLG said...

I love the original Halloween - it's a really great movie. And some of the sequels are pretty good too. The continuity and origin is where I get lost. I'd love for you to explain it Becky!!

Geof said...

Haha great post JLG. I agree with you 100% on these being confusing. But the franchise that confuses me the most is the Highlander film franchise.

Ever watch those? They suck after the awesome first one but those films are whacked out as far as continuity goes. I'd try to explain it to you but then this comment would become a novel.

JLG said...

Nope - I've only seen parts of them on SyFy network. I'm sure I'd be lost - they look pretty involved.

Geof said...

You will be confused alright. The creators don't even know what the heck they wanted to do either.

I HIGHLY recommend the original though.

Fletch said...

I'm no LOTR nerd, but how in your right mind can you watch all of the POTC flicks (of which I 100% agree with your thoughts) and not watch the Rings? They make 100% sense, despite their lengthy run times. Take a day off and watch them all (not the extended cuts - I'm not interested in 4 hour films, either). Fast-forward if you must through the terminally long (yet still cool) battles, but give 'em a shot already.

JLG said...

I suppose you're right, Fletch. Maybe I'll do a live blog event and review as I watch them...


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