A couple months ago, I discovered Movie Fights, a series on the Screen Junkies channel at YouTube. Essentially, three people join a panel and debate a variety of questions related to movies. Host Andy Signore proclaims a winner for each fight – based on strength of argument, not personal feelings — and the top two fighters go on to a speed round.
After watching a few videos and having answers that weren’t mentioned by any of the Fighters (“Of course Chewbacca would win in a fight with Groot! Not only do Wookies have that whole ripping-arms-from-the-socket reputation, they live in giant trees and have giant claws for climbing them. Chewie is built to take down Groot!”) I thought it would be fun to play along at home for real.
So when I saw the new Fights video drop on Sunday, I listened to a question, thought about it for one minute, and spent three minutes typing an answer. Then I watched the fight for that question and spent a minute and a half typing extra thoughts, sometimes based on the other answers, sometimes just other things I thought about.
You can watch this week’s Movie Fights, featuring Spencer Gilbert (Honest Trailers writer), Germain Lussier (writer for Slashfilm.com) and Andre Meadows (Black Nerd Comedy), here, and see how my answers stack up, or you can just read on and probably tell me how wrong I am. But I suggest watching the fight, because it’s a lot of fun. Don’t let the long runtime scare you, it’s really easy to get to a list of all the fights in the video and skip right over any you don’t care/don’t know about, as I did for this.
Full disclosure: Because this required some lightning fast typing, there were also some pretty heinous typos. So I did a little bit of cleaning for spelling and grammar, but did not add any significant content that was not in the original commentary.
Which Disney character deserves a spin-off movie?
I’m going to say Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast.” When we see Gaston, sure he’s kind of a big meathead jock, but he’s the big meathead jock who has a thing for the nerdy independent book girl. I think there’s room to explore his character, both in the realm of how he has all the confidence he clearly has and displays and there’s room for growth in a story where he has to look beyond his handsomness and strength to solve problems.
Mentioned by Movie Fights fighters: Sebastian (Little Mermaid), Power Line (Goofy Movie), Edna Mode (The Incredibles).
Follow-up thoughts: I’ve never seen The Princess and the Frog, but I recognize there might be some overlap between “Gaston becomes a better dude” and Naveen stops being a jerk, but I think we’ve seen more hints of Gaston’s layers. We’ve seen him at his burliest, now let’s see him at his weakest, and see why his tastes run the way the do. Who is Gaston when he’s not buried under years of societal expectations?
Which movie flop needs to be remade
Lone Ranger. Because hey, can we do a Western action comedy that features Native Americans that isn’t super racist? I know the trend is apparently a big fat no, but I think surely there must be a way. And there’s so much history in The Lone Ranger that there has to be a good story to tell somewhere without doing whatever the hell it was that Disney thought it was doing with its Lone Ranger.
Full disclosure: I’ve never actually seen Disney’s Lone Ranger, but I feel like I’ve seen enough from previews, reviews and other clips. Also, I spent a minute reviewing a Wikipedia list of box office bombs.
Mentioned in the fight: Starship Troopers, Monster Squad, Super Mario Brothers
Follow-up thoughts: The other fighters all suggested movies that were 20-30 years old. And while I liked all their arguments, as someone who first saw those movies when they were reasonably new, a part of me wonders what the appeal would be for the modern kid. I think with a re-do of The Lone Ranger, you can not only hit the kids who were just a little too young for the Depp version, but you also hit the adults who grew up with The Lone Ranger and other people who just saw Disney’s version and want to see it done well. Plus, again, it’d be nice to see Tonto not be a racist stereotype.
What movie needs a tie-in video game?
Firefly. It was a great series that got cut short and the movie, while enjoyable to most who saw it, kind of shut the door on a few things. A game allows for more stories that exist in the time of the series as the player buys a seat on Serenity and ends up caught up in the crew’s adventures. There’s potential for all kinds of game-play from ranged attacks with Jayne and Mal, hand-to-hand with River or Zoey and flying with Wash. Because really, who WOULDN’T want to take a ride with the best crew in the ‘verse? Plus, you know all those actors would be game to come back, and really, at this point, more than a decade later, a video game is the only way that’s going to happen. I’m envisioning something that’s part Knights of the Old Republic, part Fable or Skyrim, and all awesome.
Mentioned in the video: Kill Bill, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Crank
Follow-up thoughts: There are also creative ways to do powerups: Wear Jayne’s silly hat, get a bonus in fighting. Have Wash’s dinosaurs in your inventory? Increase chances of charming your way out of a situation with humor. Simon’s medical bag? You get the point. There are also all sorts of combinations of characters you could go on missions with to get different experience. (See: KoTOR.)
Full disclosure: While this is an idea of I’ve had long before ever hearing of Movie Fights, I did see the question while skipping a fight I was ignorant of, and then I had to go to work, where these comments percolated a little bit. But I’m pretty sure the Movie Fighters aren’t going in cold, anyway, so. Also, while I do know about Firefly Online, it’s not released yet! And it doesn’t fit as well into traditional video game structure as mine, So, nyah.
Best High School Movie?
While it’s tempting to say whichever movie had Freddie Prinz Jr doing a poetry slam with a hacky sack, I’ve got to go with She’s The Man, starring Amanda Bynes as a girl who pretends to be her brother to go play soccer at an all-boy private school. Where she rooms with and falls for Duke (Channing Tatum). It’s not the first movie to play off Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Hi, Just One of the Guys!), but it’s certainly one of the more exciting, what with all that soccer, and really. Bynes’ Viola is hilarious.
Mentioned in the video: Clueless, Mean Girls, The Breakfast Club
Follow-up thoughts: The movies mentioned in the fight are all great movies, no question, but they’re all, really, dealing with cliques. Whether they’re deconstructing them, invading them, or throwing the pieces all into a room on a Saturday, it’s still about how archetypal characters relate to each other. And sure, you can make that claim with the soccer team of She’s the Man and Viola’s etiquette group or whatever it was, but you also have the Viola’s crush on Duke, all that soccer action sports-movie stuff, mixed with her trying to keep this absurd secret, AND a good story in there about Viola’s free spirit compared to the other girls she deals with. There’s just more to enjoy.
Full disclosure: Look, I’m not really sure She’s The Man can hold a candle to Breakfast Club and Mean Girls, but it’s what I thought of, and once you’ve picked a side, you have to fight for it or go home in defeat.
Fights I skipped:
Point Break Remake trailer – love it or hate it?
Tomorrowland: See in Theatres, Rent or Skip?
So that was my first foray into Movie Fights. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.
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