Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Scooby Day

Somehow, Scooby Doo ended up become a central part of my cinematic day on Tuesday.

It started in the morning when I was randomly going through Netflix. I had started out trying to find the sports movie section, something I never actually accomplished, either because it doesn't actually exist or because I don't know how to use Netflix properly. (Still trying to find a baseball movie to watch in conjunction with opening day, a feat I eventually accomplished through iTunes. You'll read more about that tomorrow.)

While poking through I came across this:

Which I thought was absolutely hilarious.

In case you don't know Enter the Void, well, you should read this post, as it gives you some idea what it's about. But let's just say Scooby-Doo and Enter the Void couldn't have less in common in terms of subject matter or target audience. I do know why Netflix linked them together, as they both deal with the supernatural in some respect, particularly ghosts. But that's kind of like saying Donnie Darko and Monty Python and the Holy Grail have something in common because they both involve killer rabbits. If anyone at Netflix were doing the cross-referencing on these things, they'd realize that they are also playing Gaspar Noe's other two films, each of which is more shocking than Void, and so should have a plenty good idea about the content of his work. One of those two films involves a lengthy and graphic rape scene and someone getting his head bashed in with a fire extinguisher, while the other features actual pornography, including an ejaculation directly at the screen that was designed for the film's 3D theatrical run. Yeah.

Though I do suppose a suggestion of Enter the Void "because you watched Scooby-Doo" would have been far worse.

I thought this was so funny that I posted this screen grab to my Facebook Flickcharters discussion group, which engendered many likes, laughs and incredulous comments.

The second part of my Scooby Day came after we had returned from morning errands and my younger son was having his nap. My older son was actually with me yesterday as this is the second of two weeks of school holidays between term 1 and term 2. As the younger one had awoken before 6 that morning (we just had daylight savings over the weekend), I was in no shape to engage my older son and actually slept on the couch while he watched an episode of -- yep -- the Scooby Doo TV show he had gotten from the library.

But that's not where it ends. There was actually a third part of my Scooby Day.

Watching this episode gave him an appetite for more of Mystery Incorporated, but apparently, none of the three other episodes available on this DVD. ("Too scary," apparently.) So he asked, "Can we watch more Scooby Doo on your computer?"

By this he meant Netflix. However, as of a few months ago, Netflix is not only available on my computer. Now we can get it through our TV, thanks to an intermediary device called Fetch TV, which also gives us access to a bunch of free (and paid) OnDemand programming. As of a few months ago we can get Netflix, Stan (an Australian streaming service) and YouTube through our TV, so I switched over to the Netflix app and searched for episodes of Scooby's TV show. There were none, but the aforementioned Scooby-Doo movie and its sequel, Scooby-Do 2: Monsters Unleashed, both came up in the search. After thinking about it for a moment, I decided these probably were not inappropriate for him.

For some reason he chose the sequel, even though he hadn't seen the first, and even though he was fully aware that was the choice he was making. That made the difference between me watching it and not watching it. While I might have rewatched Scooby-Doo -- I rather liked it, actually, and not just because I saw it at the drive-in -- Monsters Unleashed was a higher priority, as I'd never seen it despite liking the original. Liking the original did not prevent me from realizing that the sequel was probably terrible, which is probably why I've never bothered before in the 12 years of its existence. But I always figured it was something I would see eventually. Why not now? So I shook off my nap and promptly settled in for an unexpected viewing of Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

Indeed I did not end up really liking it, but I was going to give it a positive star rating until the final 20 minutes or so, which get bogged down in especially dated-looking special effects and dumb histrionics involving sort-of-real monsters. (Which I thought violated the core principles of the show, in which everything apparently supernatural is ultimately revealed to have a logical and earthbound explanation.) The reason I even liked it all was tied to the performances of the actors, who continue to give their all in impersonating the famous characters. I was again especially taken with the work of Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Linda Cardellini as Velma, who continued to both be adorable.

My son liked it without reservation. Actually, he did acknowledge it was a bit silly. But I saw this as a clear victory, since the movie is live action and he has traditionally shown some antipathy toward that.

It's Wednesday now, and I do not expect Scooby Doo to make any appearances today.

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