Yesterday it was announced that an 8th Saw movie has gone into development. This comes to no ones surprise as this past October did not perform as expected (aside from Gravity which made all of the money). While 2013 as a whole hasn’t been lacking in horror and The Conjuring was a blockbuster for the genre, October usually has more than just one major horror movie. This years? The Carrie remake! Who ever made this decision should be fired. Not to remake Carrie but to not have any other horror movies open during the month. I think it was assumed that there would have been a 5th Paranormal Acitivty movie this year but, in a welcomed turn, they decided to skip this year – reassess the franchise’s game plan and, as a result, we’re getting one next year (which, I for one, and very excited for) and the latino-centered spin-off Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which looks like a hot mess so see you there.
Written by Michelle Salvatore
(Sorry-not-sorry about skipping the recap for last week’s episode. There was a game-changing episode of The Good Wife on right after, and I spent the next 48 hours scraping bits of my blown mind off the walls.)
This week on Once Upon A Time, we get to meet Ariel. An introduction that I’m sure had absolutely nothing to do with The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition being available now on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and Digital HD.
Despite being highly anticipated since the season began – and I say this as a grown-ass woman that owns a Little Mermaid iPhone case – Ariel’s back-story was the most frustrating part of this episode. Mainly because I’m pretty sure it was written in about an hour.
Back in the Enchanted Forest days, Snow White was saved from a couple of the Evil Queen’s henchmen by the
pregnant teen from Reba mermaid Ariel. This isn’t one of those badass evil-homicidal-whores-of-Poseidon mermaids we encountered five episodes ago; nope, this mermaid has red hair, glitter for brains, and a crush on a prince she’s barely met. If only she could find a new BFF who would give her some realistic advice about love, life, and healthy priorities.
Snow White just so happens to have stumbled upon our fishy friend on the highest tide of the year. It’s during this time that the mythical Goddess of the Sea, Ursula, grants all mermaids the ability to walk on land for twelve hours. Ariel budgets that this should be enough time to make Prince Eric fall in love with her at the royal ball being held in Ursula’s honour. Snow White decides to tag along, and promises to keep Ariel’s mermaidness a secret from the Prince. Because this plan wasn’t very well thought out.
Even though Prince Eric has been scientifically proven to be the best Disney prince, this episode made him seem like a gigantic tool. During the course of one dance he not only declares that he’s goin’ sailing around the world the next day, but also that Ariel is totally the Love-Of-His-Life. Then the dance ends, he tosses her a “meet me at dawn and join me on my adventures, or bye forever” ultimatum, and then just leaves. Seriously, as soon as the song’s over he walks four feet away to continue casually schmoozing with the other non-love-of-his-life guests. Classic scrub behaviour.
Is it really too much to ask for a little more to work with than “they are in love because love at first sight and that’s it”? If we’re going to bastardize some beloved fairy tales once a week, can we at least try to inject a little more depth in them too?
Anyway, post-swoon Ariel quickly regroups with Snow White and I can’t even properly recap their discussion because I was blinded with confused rage. What the hell was she so enchanted with? Why is she talking about asking him to give up his dreams for her when it’s pretty clear that he’s happy to go on his sea-trip without her? Why not just tell him she’s a mermaid? The guy lives in a place called The Enchanted Forest and threw a banquet for a legendary sea-witch; he’s probably pretty chill about that stuff. And why can’t she just sail around with him? She travels by sea, ships travel by sea; this is not really a problem, kids.
Snow White doesn’t point any of this out because, again, she shouldn’t be anyone’s first-choice for advice. Instead she’s like “well, you got three hours until your legs are sushi again so, go talk to the ocean about it or something. I dunno.” Which is the perfect opportunity for the Love Of My Life, Regina, to show up disguised as Ursula and start wrecking some lives. This is a surprise to Ariel because she didn’t think Ursula existed, and trying to understand how she can believe that but also not question where her twelve-hour legs came from is just another example of when I threw my hands up in the air and gave up last night.
After Lana Parrilla courageously delivers some “Part Of Your World” lyrics as dialogue with a straight-face (because subtlety never sold any Blu-ray™ Combo Packs), she gives Ariel a magic bracelet that has the power to swap bottoms with a human. I’m a hundred percent serious. That is what it does.
Ariel, because she’s a rude fish, walks up to Snow White
like “What up? I got a big cock!” and slaps the bottom-swapping bracelet on her without even asking. Now suddenly Snow White has a tail and Ariel has perma-legs. I’m a hundred percent serious. That is what it does.
Regina shows up and takes so long Darth Vader-choking Snow White that even the world’s dumbest mermaid has enough time to stab her in the neck with a dinglehopper, and rescue Snow White once again. The two of them escape into the sea because for some reason Regina’s magic only has a one-foot radius? Or isn’t waterproof? Or maybe has a time delay? Wait, how did they get away from her?
Ariel doesn’t end up joining her probs-a-sociopath Prince’s boat trip the next morning because Regina steals her voice as punishment, and therefore Eric couldn’t hear her calling to him. At no point did clapping her hands or splashing around a bit occur to her.
Even for Once’s standards, this was some half-assed stuff – I’m still not entirely convinced that this week’s screenplay wasn’t written on a napkin. And we haven’t even talked about what’s happening on The Island yet.
(I’ll be quick, I promise)
Peter Pan is still on a mission to be the creepiest teenager on TV regardless of how little screen time he had. He used the word “fertile” this week, and my uterus shriveled up and died in discomfort.
Rumpel is having more Lost-y hallucinations of Belle. Nobody cares, and all of this moping around is castrating one of my favorite characters. Thankfully, Regina abandoned her alliance with the Charming Family and asked him to join forces, spawning some of the best one-liners she’s had all season. Even more so this week than usual, she was the only one who made any sense at all in any given scene.
The Charming Family and Captain Hook found Neal imprisoned inside a magical cave where, in order to rescue him, they had to reveal their darkest secrets. Hook admitted he loves Emma, Emma admitted she loves Neal but also wishes he was dead (why do we even let her talk?), Neal admitted that he
tried to kill Sookie Stackhouse loves Emma, and Prince Charming confessed that he’s now cursed to stay in Neverland forever which really pissed off the ol’ ball and chain.
Going back for a second, I’d like reiterate that Captain Hook just openly admitted that he is in love with his step-grandkid’s mother. I’m still the only one who is bothered by this? Okay, fine.
This “Cave Of Truth” thing was such a needed cop-out that I’m not even going to complain about it, and I’m equally as thankful that Hook just told everyone that Neal was alive instead of hiding it until the season finale. I think we’re all very tired, and just want to go home.
My head hurts, you guys.
SNL opened with, of course, another political cold open last night. But instead of the usual, dry and unfunny type, this one packed an unexpected punch. It was an Obama-centered cold open but this time, for the first time since *I think* Maya Rudolph hosted, Michelle Obama was visible. Thanks to Kerry Washington, of course. The sketch was basically noting that Lorne has read our tweets, our open letters and the interview with Kenan saying he wouldn’t play another black woman again. It wasn’t hilarious but it worked and it let Lorne get all the stuff he needed to address out of the way. Did it solve SNL’s problems? No. Diversity is still needed at the show and desperately, but this is a very small step. A convenient one, but still.
I tweeted last night that I was really excited for the episode and I hope I hadn’t jinxed it. I don’t think I did, but I don’t think it was the standout episode I was hoping for. I think it was better than Ed Norton’s but not the season’s best (Tina, Miley’s). But that doesn’t matter because it did exactly what it needed to do: it showed that Kerry Washington has RANGE. The sketches weren’t particularly good last night but it was her obvious excitement and comittedness (new word, made it up) to the characters that worked so well and made me laugh. This is how SNL can work sometimes: either it’s an exceptional episode because everything is on point or it’s carried (or “kerried” rather, amiright? #nailedit) by the hosts exuberance. The latter is how last night’s worked and there is nothing wrong with that.
The Monologue: Nothing too special but Kerry nailed the jokes and it got the necessary Scandal reference out of the way. Some fans are complaining because they didn’t do an actual Scandal spoof last night which is dissapointing because it’s so ripe for parody, but it would have been too easy, no? I’m upset they didn’t do it either because while it’s an easy laugh, it could have been really good.
Best Sketches: Does a parody of what is (apparently) a parody work? I don’t know, but it made me laugh and that’s all that matters. The “What Does The Fox Say?” spoof was one of the highlights of the night mainly because I have no tolerance for the real song and found this superior. The “Career Week Speaker” sketch was fine but I’m not entirely sure why they opened with it. Kerry carried the entire thing and her delivery was fantastic. I love Nasim, but these type of characters just don’t work for her.
The “How’s He Doing?” sketch works really well. I think the last time they did it was with Maya Rudolph and I really liked it then and liked it again last night. It’s a bit formulaic like these kind of sketches can get, but it worked well. And I’m sucker for an episode that uses Jay Pharoah a lot. I also enjoyed the “Miss Universe” sketch.
Worst Sketches: “Cartoon Catchphrase” just did not work. It wasn’t terrible by any means but it just fell flat.
Can we talk about how much I’m enjoying Cecily Strong on Weekend Update? I’m just really proud of her. I was never a big fan of her character work and I’m still not, but I think she’s shining in this. And it makes me a little upset because if she had been given the chance, I think Casey Wilson could have excelled as an anchor too. Except we wouldn’t have gotten Happy Endings so never mind then?
The Conjuring is not only the scariest movie of the year, but in my opinion, one of the best. And now we’re giving away to one lucky reader a copy of the frightfest on blu-ray! Wanna win? Of course you do.
HOW TO WIN: Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@TheReelTimes and you can follow my personal account @JordanApps for an extra shot at winning)! Retweet this tweet and THATS IT! Winner will be selected at random. (Contest closes on November 7th, 2013)
AND make sure you click here to check out these awesome The Conjuring GIFs on our Tumblr! Let us know which is your favourite!
Written by Michelle Salvatore
It’s been a week since we visited Angst Island, but don’t worry: everyone is pretty much right where we left them.
Last night’s episode of Once, the appropriately-pervy titled “Nasty Habits”, focuses on the entangled past and present of Rumpelstiltskin, Neal, and Peter Pan (Regina says a funny line about pasta but that’s it). Rumpel and his thought-dead son Neal have finally reunited in the Neverlandian jungle, and set off to save Henry from Peter Pan’s evil campfire dance party.
Meanwhile, the flashback scenes offer us Rumpel’s long history of being a party-killer. Turns out him and Peter Pan were childhood friends that had a falling out (of course), and the bitter and lonely Pan came back to kidnap a young Neal from him in revenge. Neal was a pretty easy target for parental rebellion at the time, considering one of the rules of being The Dark One’s son is “Don’t Leave The Hovel.” Rumpel even takes a page from my mother’s playbook with the “It’s not you I don’t trust, it’s everybody else” line. Parents just don’t understand.
So Rumpel saved his son from Peter Pan (who’s also the Pied Piper because if the Sick-Bastard Shoe fits…) once before, but can he save his grandson from Campfire Dance Party of Doom now?
As a father-son team, Rumpel and Neal can’t get it together. At first, it looks like they might just be able to set their differences aside for Henry – they even come up with a rescue plan. Neal summons a kraken some bad CGI a giant squid, with the intention of using its ink to paralyze Pan. My biggest complaint is that we don’t actually get to see Rumpel milk(?) the squid for ink. How do you even do you even harvest ink? I would’ve been 110% okay with cutting all of Snow White’s lines if it meant seeing Robert Carlyle do that.
Regardless of this catastrophic plot hole (I’m bitter), the rescue plan works! Peter Pan is paralyzed, and father and son managed to steal-back an unconscious Henry. Did Rumpelstiltskin fail to kill Peter Pan right then because his redemption arc is closing in on its trajectory, or are the producers just really determined to save money by re-using all of this Lost set dressing for the rest of the season? ‘Tis but another magical mystery.
Unfortunately, the Stiltskins just can’t handle a good old fashioned Family Mission Accomplished and have to fight about something. Trust remains the core issue for these two, as both have a bad habit of being abandoned. Just as we see young flashback-Neal tear Rumpel a new one for not trusting that he would choose his father over Peter Pan, older dreamy-Neal then loses it when he finds out about The Prophecy.
You remember The Prophecy right? How Buffy Summers will face the Master and die Henry will be the downfall of The Dark One? Therefore Rumpel needs to murder him in order to survive? Well, even though Rumpel is all “chillaaaaax, I’m totally over this living thing anyways”, Neal is pretty upset about the whole thing. He opts to paralyze his ol’ pops with some squid jizz and abandons him in the forest – just to be safe. Then Pan shows up and steals-back-back Henry from Neal before the boy even wakes up.
Overall, this whole adventure is a huge waste of time and everybody pretty much starts right back where they started. Except Henry, who starts to embrace the Lost Boy life, and Rumpel smeared some…something? on his face this week. I can only assume for the same reason as Kathy Bates.
Things aren’t much more productive over on the other side of the island. The Charming family et al. is searching a cave for any clues that Neal may have left behind when he was a Lost Boy as to how to get the hell off the island. Eventually they find the answer, but it’s encrypted by a secret code. Because screw you, that’s why.
I think this episode is trying to set up some more romantic chemistry between Emma and Hook for their kiss next week – but this couple just isn’t working, you guys. Let it go. The most intimate thing they said to each other was when Hook reminded everyone that he used to shack up with Neal(Emma’s babydaddy)’s mom.
Charming and Hook on the other hand…
I don’t have much else to say about this week since “Nasty Habits” reads mainly as a set-up for things to come. I’m counting on those things to start happening soon though, because I’m over this #SaveHenry garbage. In fact…
Reasons to Just #LeaveHenry
1) He seems happy at Peter Pan’s camp now, and finally has friends his own age
2) He’s annoying and repetitive
3) Regina and Emma wouldn’t have to fight over him anymore
4) Robin Hood’s kid is a cuter replacement anyways
Okay, I guess that’s a bit of a hard sell. Can we at least tone down how creepy Peter Pan and his Lost Boys are? There’s enough boy-collecting going on in Neverland right now to trigger Macaulay Culkin’s PTSD. And now Marilyn Manson has been cast to play Pan’s shadow because whatever, I don’t need to sleep.
Until next week!
Yesterday it was a joy to see the same headline repeated several times over my timeline on Twitter. It was announced that Kerry Washington will be hosting Saturday Night Live. This was met to rapturous Twitter applause (a Twitter applause consists of exclamation marks + a lot of caps). And, in turn, it sparked a debate. Because of course. If you do a quick Google search of “Kerry Washington + SNL” you’ll find several articles that are discussing whether or not Saturday Night Live has a race problem. Basically: where are the black female comics at?