Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guilty Pleasures Blog-A-Thon #10: Masters of the Universe

Lemme get this out of the way right now.


Ok, it's out of my system.

I was a kid in the early 80's when He-Man was out and about and me being a typical boy in America I of course was obsessed. I had everything He-Man. The toys, the bedsheets, even curtains. And I had all the toys, including Castle Greyskull! Fuck yeah!!

I remember this being the first movie my dad took me to see in the theaters when I was a kid and I don't remember what I thought of it back then (I probably crapped my pants a few times) but now, I must admit, this movie is really cheesy.

Then again it was made by Golan-Globus, the Michael Bay of the 80's, so what do you expect?

First thing I notice is how similar parts of this movie is to "Star Wars". The start has Skeletor marching down a hallway and a dark ominus song is playing. He's taken over Castle Greyskull and managed to lock up this Sorceress chick, who more or less runs the universe or something. But He-Man (Dolph Lundgren) and his rag tag group including Duncan, the man-at-arms and Teela, Duncan's daughter lead the resistance and fight off Skeletor's army.

They meet Gwildor (Billy Barty), some keymaker that made what he calls a Cosmic Key that can open a doorway to any planet in any dimension. Skeletor stole this Key and used it to take over the Castle (This happened before our story starts so we don't see this happening) but Gwildor has a proto-type, which He-Man wants to use to sneak into the Castle.

But they could just use the backdoor of the Castle instead, which they do. When Skeletor's army attacks He-Man & The Gang, Gwildor opens a door to some random place and they all jump in, "Sliders" style.

I know this pre-dates "Sliders" by probably 7 or 8 years, but still.

Gosh, where could He-Man and his friends possibly go? Mars? Jupiter? The Restaurant At The End of the Universe? Well...

No. They land on Earth. Good ol' Earth. How come every movie version of a cartoon from the 80's has all the action happening on Earth? Like the stupid recent "Transformers" movie (hey speaking of Michael Bay...) the Transformers JUST HAD TO come to Earth. And here. He-Man and the gang HAD TO COME to Earth. I dunno. I'm guessing it's so little kids like me in the 80's would go "OOH! COOL!! He-Man could land in MY neighborhood!"

So on Earth, we meet Julie (Courtney Cox...seriously) who's leaving whatever city we're in to go to New Jersey. Jeez, why Julie? Whereever you're at now seems really nice, why go to Jersey? Gonna join the mob or something?

(No offense to any readers from New Jersey.)

Julie's leaving cause her parents died (remember this) in a horrible plane crash (remember this) about a year ago (remember this). She and her boyfriend Kevin plan on spending one final night together. But then Kevin finds the Key, which somehow flew 100 miles away from where He-Man and his Junkyard Gang landed. Kevin, cause he's a moron, thinks it's a Japanese synthesizer and starts pressing the keys.

All this key pressing sends signals to Skeletor and he sends a group of "his best killers" to get He-Man and this other key. The Best Killers arrive at a high school where Kevin's band is gonna play the prom and chase after Julie. He-Man hears her pleas for help and comes to the rescue. I put "best killers" in quotes cause Julie literally threw random crap at them and they got all terrified of it and practically wet themselves. Jeez, I'd make a more effeciant killer and I'm a movie blogger.

(No offense to my fellow movie bloggers reading this.)

Anyway, the "best killers" trash the school and the cops show up, lead by the dude who played Strickland in the "Back to the Future" series. He's given a name but I think he's more well-known as Strickland so I'll just call him that. Anyway, Strickland finds Kevin and thinks he and Julie trashed the school, so they go to Julie's to wait for her.

Meanwhile Skeletor kills one of his "best killers" cause they all really suck, but gives the other three another chance to redeem themselves.

Eventually, everyone in the cast meets up at a music store where Strickland is confused by He-Man and The Pips. A big gigantic war happens in the music store between He-man and Skeletor's army. This chick that works for Skeletor seriously named EVIL-LYN (I guess Evil-Ann or Evil-Emily was taken?) tricks Julie by pretending to be HER DEAD MOTHER! Julie stupidly falls for this (Yeah her and Kevin were meant for each other) and Julie gives her the key.

Another fight ensues and He-Man chases after some guys on a cool flying platform thingy then Skeletor shows up! On Earth!! The 5 year old inside me is squealing in terror!! Skeletor can show up IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!! BOO!!! He destroys the key and takes He-Man back to Eternia (their home planet) as his slave, while Duncan and Teela and Gwildor stay on Earth to die.

Gwildor says he can take everyone back to Eternia if they could play the right notes to open the door. Kevin remembers the notes and they set up this thing that looks like the thing E.T used to phone home to open the doorway. I should mention quickly that Skeletor shot Julie's leg with some poison and "only the sorceress can save her" blah blah blah. Oh and Strickland has had enough and is about to throw everyone into prison when the key is activated and everyone lands in Castle Greyskull.

At the Castle, Skeletor managed to soak up some powers of the universe cause something was aligning with something else and well...nah I won't say it. But all looks lost until our musical doorway opening A-Team shows up and starts kicking ass. Soon enough He-Man breaks free and he grabs his sword and...damn I said I wasn't gonna say it anymore. So I won't.


Now the 5-year-old in me is squealling in delight cause now it's the final epic battle between He-Man and Skeletor. Well, come on now. Who do you think wins? Yeah, He-Man. He throws Skeletor down some abyss that's just there and with one transistion, Julie is ok, everyone is decked out in gold (Hey! Like the ending of "Star Wars"!) and for some weird ass fucking reason Strickland is staying behind cause somewhere he found a woman. Ooook.

Gwildor tells Julie that suddenly this key can also send people back in time and so he sends Julie and Kevin back a year before Julie's parents died. She stops them from getting on that plane and...just leaves the house. He runs outside and meets Kevin who also went back in time. They hug and kiss, He-Man says you-know-what one more time and the end.

Ok wait.


Ok. Gwildor sent Julie and Kevin back in time a year. A year ago Strickland was there, on Earth, being a cop. So...what? Now there's two Strickland's? One Strickland is on Eternia getting serviced by an Eternian babe while the other one is a prick? Or did the Strickland that stayed behind at Eternia cancel out? UGH! Forget it.

I really hate to love this movie but god damn it I can't help myself. It's He-Man!! HE HAS THE POWER!! (Sorry sorry) But did it need to be so damn cheap lookin' and cheesy? I would've been happy with a cartoon movie version, mainly cause it meant I didn't have to look at Dolph Lundgren's beefy nipples the entire time. And I won't get into the whole gay undertones cause I think it's been talked to death. Oh and I should mention that both the opening and closing credits rip off the "Superman" credits. Even the music sounds similar. Weird.

Oh and I know I complained yesterday about people who nitpick movies to death and how movies don't have to always make sense, but this did go a bit too far. All the time Skeletor and his army is on Earth, they're riding around these suburban streets in big ass loud machines with literally ten thousand army dudes all with guns and lasers and flamethrowers and stuff and not one single person in this city is out and about, noticing this or whatever. It's like everyone in this town is on vacation and the only people left were Julie, Kevin, Strickland, and the guy at the music shop. Or maybe the Langoliers took em.

In other words, if the makers of "12:01" made this, the instant Skeletor showed up, he would've been shot to death by the army, the navy, the coast guard, the national guard, and for good measure have the C.I.A erase everyone's memories.

(Pictured: Not A Single Person On This Block)

And with this, "Masters of the Universe" is my tenth and final guilty pleasure on this list. I quite enjoyed this week and will possibly be visiting it again in the future. I wanna take this time to thank every single person that wrote out lists on their blog, sent me their lists through the email, and everyone reading these posts and supporting it.

I must say you guys definately have the power!


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