Detective Queekachu – Detective Pikachu / Drag Race: Season 1

This week the Queeks discuss Detective Pikachu. Then they get around to watching Drag Race season 1 part 1.

Chapters

  1. [00:00] Intro to Detective Pikachu, Starring Danny DeVito

  2. [03:14] Who is This Movie For?

  3. [07:22] Rita Ora & Cyndi Lauper

  4. [09:50] The Torterra Disaster

  5. [13:04] Bill Nighy & Ryan Reynolds

  6. [15:44] Lucy the Love Interest

  7. [18:42] CGI vs. Costuming

  8. [21:07] Horse Doping, Dog Fighting, or The Flintstones?

  9. [25:44] The Sequel/Other Video Game Adaptations

  10. [30:04] Intro to RuPaul’s Drag Race

  11. [35:05] A Lizzie McGuire Movie Detour

  12. [37:42] The Evolution of Drag Race

  13. [41:11] The First Season

  14. [45:38] Season 1 Heroes & Villains

  15. [48:27] Spoilers for Reality Shows (and Historical Dramas)

  16. [50:20] Drag Lingo & Standard Definition TV

  17. [54:27] Where To Next, Dorothy Cyclone?

Links

CODY: Hi.

BEN: Hello.

CODY: Welcome to “Queeks.” This is queer stuff and geek stuff.

BEN: It’s both of them.

CODY: At the same time.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: How’s it going, Ben?

BEN: It’s going pretty good. How’s it going, Cody?

CODY: Pretty well. We’re recording this on Mother’s Day.

BEN: Happy Mother’s Day, moms.

CODY: To you as well, Ben.

BEN: Oh, thank you. Yes, I’m a mother of none.

CODY: I’d like to think of you as a mother to me.

BEN: I am your mother.

CODY: Thank you.

BEN: I’m your mommy. We had kind of a big week. We did a lot in preparation for this because we have two new things that we had not seen this week that we had to watch in preparation.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: So we went to see “Detective Pikachu.”

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And it was an experience.

BEN: It was something.

CODY: Yeah. One, we kept having to push it back because it kept being sold out because of children.

BEN: Yeah, the fact that children are going to the movies is garbage, even though it’s literally a children’s movie. I mean, when we looked at the tickets the night before, the seats were pretty much entirely clear, other than, like, a chunk in the middle.

CODY: Right, which, I’m usually pretty good about being like, I don’t think it’ll fill up, and usually being right, not anticipating that most parents taking their kids are not going to be buying tickets ahead of time in case their kid, like —

BEN: Vomits or puberty something.

CODY: Throws up on the dog or something and can’t go.

BEN: Throws up on the dog.

CODY: That’s what kids do.

BEN: Throw up on dogs.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Throw up on clothes.

CODY: So we had to push it back several times.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But we did end up finally getting to see it.

BEN: We made it.

CODY: So I was not familiar before I saw this movie with the fact that it is based on —

BEN: Based on a video game.

CODY: Right.

BEN: That was only released in Japan.

CODY: I knew it was based on a video game series.

BEN: You’d never heard of Pokémon before this.

CODY: No. I knew of the Pokémon.

BEN: Ah, yes, the Poké-mans.

CODY: I was not familiar with “Detective Pikachu” itself. Although, I mean, I think I had heard of it. I think I’d just forgotten about it entirely.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: And it was released worldwide.

BEN: They did?

CODY: Yes, just much later than that. So the Japanese version, it was a shortened version of the full game itself, what it later came to be, that came out in 2016.

BEN: Oh. Good year.

CODY: And it was released, I think worldwide, in 2018, so it did eventually come out.

BEN: I mean, there was a lot of buzz when they announced that they were gonna do a movie. There was, like, a kind of pop culture campaign to try to get Danny DeVito to do the voice of Detective Pikachu.

CODY: Really?

BEN: Yes. That was, like, a whole thing.

CODY: I was unaware of this. I didn’t know it was a thing until the first trailer came out, actually. I had not heard they were doing this. DeVito would have been a pretty good choice.

BEN: I know.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: Especially for the ending, which we will get to.

BEN: Just him waddling up.

CODY: I was looking at the stuff for the game. It did take the characters and, like, basic plot elements like the mystery chemical that they have and all the different locations.

BEN: Oh, really?

CODY: That all comes from the game.

BEN: Oh, wow. That’s impressive.

CODY: It is, but the story is pretty different. Like, all the scenarios are pretty different.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It still involves, I think, his dad being a detective and all that. Um, so what were your initial overall thoughts?

BEN: Well, I came up with this great line, ‘Detective Pikachu? More like Detective P.U.’

CODY: Alright. Well, we can build on that.

BEN: No, that’s it. That’s it for me.

CODY: That’s all.

BEN: That’s all. That’s everything I have. That’s all my collective thoughts.

CODY: Fair enough. I was not the biggest fan.

BEN: Yeah, I think my biggest complaint about it is that it couldn’t decide between whether it wanted to be a movie for the original fans of Pokémon as, like, a nostalgia trip, or if it wanted to be a movie for a new generation of Pokémon fans. And there’s definitely been movies that have been able to bridge that gap. Like, “Toy Story 3” does a really good job of appealing to both new fans to those characters and the fact that, like, just under the surface, the entire plot is about, like, growing older and letting go of childhood and how sad that is. And I mean, it’s, you know, a whole other level for parents, too, which, despite me being a mother, you know, at the time I wasn’t, and so I didn’t necessarily know what that was like.

CODY: Right. Yeah, I feel like the initial response to someone saying they didn’t like this movie would be, ‘It’s a kids’ movie. You’re just not thinking about it like that.’ But I was thinking about it like that, and to me, it failed more as a kids’ movie than it did as a just a movie or someone who knows about Pokémon. Because we — there were a good amount of kids in the theater when we saw it.

BEN: It was mostly kids.

CODY: I mentioned this afterwards, there weren’t a lot of times, maybe a few, where there were a bunch of kids laughing, like burst out in laughter, or even, like, aahing and oohing over a cute Pokémon. That happened like once or twice. There really wasn’t a lot of reaction from them, which is the best part about seeing a kids’ movie in the theaters. You should always see a kids’ movie with kids.

BEN: Unless it’s something like this, but again, I think they partially marketed this as both for a new generation of fans and the OG nerds, but I think in an effort to not go too far in either direction, it just didn’t really go in any direction. Like, it wasn’t super satisfying for me as someone who played Pokémon Red and Blue, and that was the last Pokémon game I played.

CODY: Nor for me, who has played all of the main ones.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And most of the — not most of, actually, but a good number of the side titles. I can’t say most of because they have —

BEN: There are thousands.

CODY: — like, 400,000 games.

BEN: Yes. Well, I’ve played “Pokkén Tournament,” which is really fun.

CODY: Yeah, the fighting game. That one is very fun. Yeah, there just wasn’t much there, and even for ones who maybe were fans when they were younger, like we were, it was very rehashy of the original. Did you see any of the other movies, the cartoons? I only saw the first one, “Pokémon: The First Movie.”

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Did they call it “Pokémon: The First Movie?”

CODY: Yes.

BEN: I don’t even remember that. Is that the one with the scene where Ash turns to stone?

CODY: Yes, that’s it.

BEN: And then all the Pokémon combine all their friendship magic?

CODY: That’s the big Mew/Mewtwo story, yeah.

BEN: Okay. I saw that.

CODY: And it’s, like, that’s cool. And they’re actually making a remake of that as well.

BEN: Are they going to do it like live-action/CGI?

CODY: I don’t know.

BEN: Because I feel like remaking an animated movie is an interesting choice.

CODY: There’s a trailer for it. It is a Japanese production, as well.

BEN: Oh, it is. Okay.

CODY: I think it’s still animated, but maybe it’s like CGI.

BEN: Do they remake animated movies very often? Because I feel like it’s just basically tracing at that point.

CODY: Oh, you mean like animated to animated.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Yeah, no, not that I can think of.

BEN: I mean, kind of “The Lion King,” but like —

CODY: I remember I saw the teaser for it. I think it is very, like, updated.

BEN: Okay.

CODY: It’s not, like, you know, cel shaded cartoons or anything, which, that, to me, makes more sense if you’re going to go that kind of way because they only did it halfway, where it’s like yeah, we remember, the whole Mewtwo being experimented on. He breaks out of the lab that’s  run by scientist Rita Ora, which, I was still shocked to find that out at the end.

BEN: I don’t know who that is, and I mixed her up with Ore-Ida, the potato people.

CODY: I don’t even — which is, I mean, come on.

BEN: Well, I don’t know.

CODY: I can’t even name one of her songs.

BEN: Can I at least name an Ore-Ida product, though? I bet you can.

CODY: French fries, crinkle cut.

BEN: Yeah, there you go.

CODY: In the oven.

BEN: In the oven.

CODY: Thumbs down.

BEN: But whaa, you don’t like them?

CODY: I oppose Frenched fries that are baked.

BEN: Frenched fries that are baked?

CODY: Yes. Baked Frenched fries.

BEN: Baked Frenched fries.

CODY: Yeah, it’s not my favorite.

BEN: It’s not the same, for sure.

CODY: But yeah, no, I still don’t understand why she was in it. I guess probably, I think she did the song at the end as well. I’m not positive, and I didn’t check, but I’m going to assume that’s true. Because why wouldn’t it be?

BEN: Who else would it be?

CODY: Like Madonna doing the song for “Die Another Day” and also appearing in it.

BEN: Cyndi Lauper doing the song for “The Goonies,” but not appearing in it.

CODY: Did she?

BEN: She was not a fan of — so apparently she had written the song, and the studio basically was like, Yep, we’re also releasing “Goonies,” so can we just add, in parentheses, “The Goonies Are” before the title, “Good Enough?” And she was like, no. And then they said yes, and that was it.

CODY: Oh, that sounds fun.

BEN: And that it gave birth to an amazing music video that’s about 20 minutes long that’s on the DVD of “The Goonies,” that’s mostly just her and some pirates, and then also the Goonies show up with shirts that say ‘Goonies,’ just in case you didn’t know they were Goonies.

CODY: I’m not familiar with this. I’ve not seen “The Goonies” in a very long time.

BEN: We could do a full episode just about that music video.

CODY: We might have to.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: So, regarding Mewtwo, very cool, but don’t just use him and toss away the details. It’s just like, Oh, he’s a clone. By the way, man-made Pokémon. You don’t need to worry about that. He’s just here to look cool.

BEN: Right. We’ll hint at his origins and make it sound like we’re trying to explain it to you, but if you’re not a longtime fan, you’ll have no idea what we’re talking about, and if you are a longtime fan, you’ll just be either bored at the rehashing or annoyed at the lack of commitment.

CODY: And it’s not like it mattered.

BEN: No, no.

CODY: It was immaterial.

BEN: Right. They could have just thrown it in as an Easter egg of, like, showing an ancient ruin of Mew somewhere in the background in the lab, and that would’ve been it.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Like, that would have been fine.

CODY: And there was a lot of that, little things that didn’t really matter. I have to get to this now before we get sidetracked because the scene that makes the least sense in the entire movie is the Torterra garden scene.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: So, I mean, they find these Torterras, the big tortoises with land on their backs, which is cool. They see them in there, and then they read a little read-out in front of the display.

BEN: On the exposition machine.

CODY: Right, that they’re doing growth experimentations on evolution to make them bigger. And then later, the entire world starts crumbling, apocalypse-style.

BEN: We’re led to believe that’s because of a Greninja throwing a grenade. Is that where they’re called Greninjas?

CODY: I didn’t think that. I thought there was something else, like there was some machine under the ground or something. Did you just ask if they’re called Greninjas because they throw ninja stars?

BEN: Grenades.

CODY: Oh, excuse me. Yeah, I think that is why they’re called grenades.

BEN: No, not why they’re called — not why are grenades —

CODY: No, they’re called grenades because Greninjas throw them.

BEN: Yeah, that’s where the name comes from. That’s so cool that they knew that even in, like, World War I and stuff.

CODY: I know. Which is when grenades were invented, during the war.

BEN: Right. Yeah, in the middle of the war.

CODY: On the battlefield.

BEN: Some scientist was like, Oh, a Greninja grenade.

CODY: Lieutenant MacGyver was his name. It goes all disaster movie.

BEN: It does, for like four minutes.

CODY: And then you — and it’s very disaster movie, like, the ground is vertical.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But somehow they don’t die, which — usually I never really care about “plot armor” about people not dying in crazy situations because it’s like, that’s how you make a movie exciting.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But it was a little ridiculous considering the stakes of the movie before that were not at that level.

BEN: Not especially high.

CODY: And it immediately ends because as soon as they find out they’re on the back of a giant turtle, the turtles then lay down to rest.

BEN: Sit back down.

CODY: Everything’s back to normal.

BEN: I guess I didn’t think about it till now. They were probably just irritated from the Greninjas throwing their ninja stars.

CODY: I guess so.

BEN: And that made them all wake up?

CODY: Make them wake up, stand up, and then be like, Oh, back to bed.

BEN: Oh boy.

CODY: And then get back down.

BEN: Enough.

CODY: Stop moving. And I guess the implication is that they’re also, they never move.

BEN: Is that, like, canon?

CODY: I don’t think so.

BEN: I guess if they’re land, they have to stay where they are, right?

CODY: Well, it’s just, they have land on their shells. It’s like they have an ecosystem on their shell. But it really, that scene was just, I mean —

BEN: It didn’t contribute really anything to the plot.

CODY: No.

BEN: Like, we already knew that they were experimenting with growth.

CODY: But it also wasn’t a movie that has, like, a ton of scenes that are just for action that don’t contribute to anything.

BEN: That’s true.

CODY: This was really the only time it happened because it wasn’t a very exciting movie.

BEN: No, it wasn’t.

CODY: Not much happened.

BEN: Which is rough for kids.

CODY: That’s the thing. There’s so much exposition, but it’s not explaining to kids what they’re seeing on screen. Most of the action of the story did not happen within the narrative limits of the movie.

BEN: Yeah, that’s true.

CODY: It’s mostly, like, flashbacks at best.

BEN: Holograms.

CODY: Holograms. At worst, it’s just them talking about what has happened.

BEN: It’s a classic telling and not showing.

CODY: Yeah, the entire movie.

BEN: Which doesn’t go great with kids’ movies.

CODY: No. That’s, I really don’t —

BEN: I mean, Bill Nighy was fun.

CODY: He was, as he always is. I adore Bill Nighy.

BEN: It is Bill Nighy, right? As opposed to Bill Nigh?

CODY: I just say that.

BEN: I say that to make sure it’s not Bill Nye.

CODY: Right, to make sure no one thinks that the Science Guy was the villain in “Detective Pikachu.”

BEN: I guess we should have done a spoiler warning of the start of this with it.

CODY: Well, I think if anyone’s foolish enough to listen to 20 minutes of us talking about “Detective Pikachu,” they should —

BEN: — by now have been like, Oh, well, maybe I shouldn’t.

CODY: Also, in fairness, anyone that’s, I assume, an adult that’s listening to this —

BEN: Doesn’t care enough?

CODY: — is smart enough to realize that he’s the villain within, like, the first minute. Which is fair. It doesn’t need to be a big twist.

BEN: Did you also make the connection, as soon as they made the reveal that you could put human souls inside of Pokémon, that Detective Pikachu was the dad?

CODY: I figured there was something going on with that initially. The old ‘your dad was with you the whole time.’

BEN: Yes.

CODY: What is that movie where the dead dad becomes a snowman? Is that “Jack Frost?”

BEN: I believe that’s “Jack Frost.” And isn’t that Michael Keaton as the snowman?

CODY: Is it? I don’t know.

BEN: Like, not the voice. He’s just inside the suit.

CODY: Yeah, I haven’t really thought about it since —

BEN: Warwick Davis was the voice.

CODY: — before I really know who Michael Keaton was.

BEN: Yeah, I don’t even know when that came out. I believe it was —

CODY: I just remember I was a kid, seeing the, like —

BEN: The snowman looked terrifying.

CODY: It did. I remember seeing the opening scenes, and I really, really hated it.

BEN: Is it just kind of like a snow version of “The Santa Claus?” Like if you punch a snowman’s head off, you become a snowman?

CODY: I don’t think so at all.

BEN: Oh. How would he become a snowman? Did he die?

CODY: I think he died in, like, a car crash, and then he —

BEN: But then these kids make a snowman, and it’s him?

CODY: Yeah, I think.

BEN: What a sad message to tell children who lose their parents.

CODY: Right. Hey, if you lose your dad, maybe there’ll be a snowman.

BEN: If you miss him hard enough, maybe a snowman will become him.

CODY: I don’t remember the details. I just remember a specific scene of the kid outside shoveling snow furiously, and the mom being like, ‘it’s okay to cry.’

BEN: It’s your father!

CODY: Right.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: Put your father down!

CODY: Yeah, I assume that’s how it went down. We should watch that for our next episode.

BEN: “Jack Frost” as a Christmas special?

CODY: Oh, good call.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You’re right, Bill Nighy was fun. Bill Nigh-y.

BEN: The Science Guy-y.

CODY: Ryan Reynolds was good. I’m still, like, the whole thing of Pikachu with his voice is, like, it’s more just it’s still kind of just Ryan Reynolds being funny as himself, and there’s a Pikachu there.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: But whatever. I did like the main character as well, played by Justice Smith.

BEN: I did, too. I thought his performance was good.

CODY: Yeah, I did, too. I do have to address his companion.

BEN: Pikachu?

CODY: No, the lady.

BEN: Oh, her performance was very cartoonish.

CODY: It was, and I think part of it is because of the script.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Because I don’t know if you noticed, a lot of the dialogue in the entire movie was pretty, like, grounded.

BEN: Mm-hmm.

CODY: Especially the main guy, Tim. His stuff almost seemed improvised a lot, where it was very, like, natural reactions.

BEN: Right.

CODY: And maybe it was partially improvised. I don’t know. Hers were written like —

BEN: Hers felt like video game dialogue.

CODY: It felt exactly like dialogue straight out of a GameBoy Pokémon game.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: Like, ‘I’m a detective’ — or, ‘I’m a reporter.’

BEN: ‘I’m the best there’s ever been.’

CODY: ‘I like to get the scoop.’

BEN: Right.

CODY: It was the most cartoonish, like, wacky reporter who’s up and coming, played by what I thought of immediately as thrift store Amber Heard.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: But apparently she has — I’ve seen her in other things because she’s in “Big Little Lies.”

BEN: Oh, wow. Of the new season?

CODY: She’s in the first one.

BEN: I need to watch that show.

CODY: Yeah, you do need to. She’s also in other things, like “Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri.”

BEN: Oh. Was she the mom?

CODY: She was the kid who had died.

BEN: I thought it was a son. Oh my god, yes. Of course, duh.

CODY: And she’s in other things, too. So I think she probably — I mean, I thought she was fine in “Big Little Lies,” so I think that is mainly a dialogue problem. But, yes, she was — that character, Lucy, was grating.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: I mean, it was rough. It got better towards the end of the movie when they stopped giving her lines.

[LAUGHTER]

CODY: Or not even giving her lines —

BEN: When they just edited her out of the entire film?

CODY: — but they stopped writing her as a character and wrote her as, like, a plot device, I guess.

BEN: Right. Before the end of the movie, a lot of the characters just kind of became plot devices.

CODY:. Right? She kind of stops — I mean, she’s still trying to be a reporter, but she doesn’t have the attitude she has in that first. The first scene where she’s, like, hidden in shadows on the staircase is really just, I mean, that one almost got an audible groan.

BEN: And the gag of her being an unpaid Buzzfeed intern is cute, but like, it doesn’t really — it’s not a character.

CODY: Right.

BEN: It’s a trait.

CODY: Yeah, and also, I mean, I know this is not an uncommon thing for kids’ movies, do we — can we stop doing the shoehorned romance plots for kids’ movies?

BEN: Yeah, in Pokémon, it wasn’t needed. If anything, there should have been a romance between two Pokémon. That would have been really cute.

CODY: And it didn’t even have a payoff because it’s not like they kissed at the end or anything.

BEN: Which is what all the kids wanted to see.

CODY: Which I also don’t want, but it just seemed unnecessary. Why can’t they just be friends?

BEN: I was really tempted to sing.

CODY: You should’ve.

BEN: I didn’t.

CODY: You’re gonna have to at some point.

BEN: Yeah, eventually.

CODY: Or else.

BEN: It’s in my contract.

CODY: Yeah. You really gotta fill that out, or else we’re finding someone else.

BEN: My contract? Oh shit, okay. I’ll get on it.

CODY: I don’t — I do have to say that the heroes of this movie were definitely the animators and the, like, character models designers because they are stellar.

BEN: The design was awesome.

CODY: It was. But I still have to say just the designs of the Pokémon because one, I think they could have had a lot more fun with, like, the human characters and the costuming because, I don’t know, they look pretty wacky from source material. And if they had wanted to go that route, that could have made people look a little more interesting.

BEN: I just wish they picked a route to go.

CODY: Right. They didn’t.

BEN: If they had decided to go, like, gritty noir style, that could have been really cool. Like a noir interpretation of this wacky world would have been really, really fun to watch.

CODY: But they chose to do this, like, grounded realism for all the people.

BEN: But then, like, full-on cartoonishness — well, I guess they weren’t really cartoony. They were kind of realistic with the Pokémon.

CODY: They were, which could have — but I still think they were still fantastical, but it’s still like a crazy element to have in there.

BEN: Yes.

CODY: You can’t just have all these monkeys with hands for tails running around, but then, I don’t know, have people dressed in slacks. I don’t know.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: It could have been fun, though.

CODY: I just, I usually don’t have such a problem with costuming when it’s not anything special, but for some reason, it really stood out to me as being, like, why isn’t anybody wearing, like, a Pokémon trainer jacket or something? Or a fun hat?

BEN: Right. Well, I think his T-shirt in it might have been an Unown, right? I think.

CODY: Oh, I didn’t even catch that.

BEN: Possibly. I’m not sure. I kept looking for little Easter eggs because I figured, like, if they were gonna make a movie that was not necessarily overtly appealing to older fans and was more catering to the younger audience, then I would have hoped that they would have sprinkled in more Easter eggs and cameos, which, maybe they did and I’ve just played one or two games, so I might not be the target for those Easter eggs and cameos.

CODY: True, and I’m sure there are ones that we didn’t catch, just little things. And I guess a lot of it maybe was for the game itself, the “Detective Pikachu” game.

BEN: That could be.

CODY: Because a lot of the locations, like the cafe they’re in at one point, or like the — I think maybe the fighting arena they’re in, a lot of them are from the game.

BEN: Interesting. Okay.

CODY: But we didn’t have any frame of reference for that.

BEN: Right.

CODY: The environments themselves were fine.

BEN: I keep thinking of what this movie would have been like in other interpretations of it. Like, imagine how interesting it would have been if it was a drama talking about, like, performance enhancing drugs with Pokémon. They could have focused on that. Like, a, what are the ethics of Pokémon fighting at all? And b, what are the ethics of, you know, performance enhancing? Because I think there was just some article recently with the Kentucky Derby, where the winning horse was disqualified because of doping or something. But apparently doping is, like, rampant in all animal sports because the animals aren’t considered the athlete. And so it’s like, who cares? Like, that — no kid’s gonna wanna watch a movie about an allegory for horse doping.

CODY: Right.

BEN: But I don’t necessarily think I would either, so I don’t know where I’m going with this.

CODY: Funnily enough, one of the games you haven’t played does very lightly touch on —

BEN: Horse doping.

CODY: The subject of — yeah, it does.

[LAUGHTER}

CODY: One of the Pokémon games is entirely about horse doping.

BEN: It’s a Ponyta just doped out of its mind.

CODY: They do lightly touch on the aspect of maybe Pokémon are slave.

BEN: I mean, they are.

CODY: Yeah, I mean, it’s sort of unclear in the movie.

BEN: And that’s a premise in the movie, though, too.

CODY: It’s sort of unclear in the movie. Like, we don’t ever see an animal, do we? That’s not a Pokémon?

BEN: Well, that’s been a running joke in the Pokémon games of, like, what do they eat for meat? Do they eat Pokémon?

CODY: Right, so it is a little confusing. Because it’s hard — I mean, I think it’s fair enough that they don’t address it because it’s hard to keep it being Pokémon that we know without being, like, is this any different from dog fighting? It’s not.

BEN: It’s dog fighting.

CODY: It’s a little worse.

BEN: It’s worse because they’re super sentient.

CODY: Also, the element that’s always been present to make it okay that they’re fighting is that they just faint.

BEN: Yes, they don’t die. They faint.

CODY: But there’s like Pikachu near death scene in this movie, so I guess that doesn’t count for this one?

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: It was hard to tell.

BEN: I mean, Mew, like, lit him up and made him glow to come back to life, I guess.

CODY: Right.

BEN: Which implies he was losing his life.

CODY: Well, it seemed from the reactions of Tim that he was losing him, and not that he was just — because he was saying we’ve got to get him to a healing Pokémon. There was a sense of urgency, not like, let’s just take him back to the healing center and throw him on the conveyor belt.

BEN: Right.

CODY: It also was a little — I mean, clearly Pokémon pretty central to lifestyle in this whole world.

BEN: In Ryme City.

CODY: But yet, Tim has taken on the position of like, I don’t really —

BEN: I don’t need one.

CODY: Yeah, or not even that just that. But it’s like, I don’t deal with that. I don’t like them. Like, at one point Pikachu asks him, he’s like teasing him, “you like Pokémon, don’t you?”

BEN: Right.

CODY: It’s like, that would be so weird for someone in a movie for their position to be, like, I don’t like animals.

BEN: Yes, and then someone else later to be like, You do like animals, don’t you? You do see that they’re valuable.

CODY: And it’s especially even more comical in this because they have, like, a Flintstones-like place in society, where they’re being used to fight fires.

BEN:  And as a shower.

CODY: And to light a grill for a wok.

BEN: Was there one of those?

CODY: Yeah, a street vendor was cooking —

BEN: Charizard, or something?

CODY: There was a Charmander, and his tail was lighting it. It was cute.

BEN: That’s wonderful.

CODY: Yeah, those elements are really cute.

BEN: I really enjoyed the Squirtles as firefighters.

CODY: Yeah, I thought they did that kind of stuff pretty well. I wish there would’ve been more of it, actually.

BEN: I agree. I would have watched, like, an hour and 25 minutes of just that.

CODY: Of just Pokémon in society?

BEN: Just like a clip show.

CODY: And also making sort of self deprecating, dejected comments to the camera like the dinosaurs do in “The Flintstones.”

BEN: Oh yeah. Like, ‘It’s a living,’ as it puts out a fire.

CODY: Right. Exactly. It needed about 1000 times more of that.

BEN: Except it would just be saying its name over and over again into the camera.

CODY: Yeah, true. I need to go back and watch the trailer because I feel like there were at least a couple things in there that I didn’t see in the movie.

BEN: Really?

CODY: Yeah, I don’t know. One particular image from the trailer with Ludicolo, who was the server in the bar in this, with his sombrero.

BEN: Yeah. That was in the movie.

CODY: It was, but there was a part in the trailer that I seem to remember — I might just be going crazy, but it seemed like he was in action of some sort.

BEN: That would’ve been fun. He was great.

CODY: He was funny.

BEN: He was the breakout star of the film.

CODY: He really was.

BEN: I want him to have a spin-off.

CODY: I think he should. Detective Ludicolo. They are making a sequel. There’s a sequel development.

BEN: Already.

CODY: They announced that before it was released.

BEN: Okay, big mistake. That’s what they did with “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” and it didn’t work out.

CODY: In fairness, I do think this is going to do a bit better than “Herbie.”

BEN: They thought that “Herbie” would do great.

CODY: I think — I feel like the stakes are a little bit different. I think Pokémon is a more bankable property than Herbie the Love Bug.

[LAUGHTER]

BEN: I would like to see a Herbie the Love Bug-verse.

CODY: I have not seen either of the — I’ve not seen any of the Herbie. I’m not familiar with the Herbie cinematic universe.

BEN: Are you not?

CODY: I’m not.

BEN: It’s fine.

CODY: Lindsay Lohan is in that, right?

BEN: Yeah, she was in “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”

CODY: Okay.

BEN: I think that was one of her last movies before she went off to Mykonos. Or the Poconos?

CODY: Mykonos. Maybe she’s been to the Poconos as well.

BEN: She could’ve been to the Poconos, I don’t know. I mix up my -onoses

CODY: That was when she left for Mykonos to develop her dancing skills.

BEN: Right.

CODY: Interesting to note, this movie sits at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the highest rated video game adaptation ever.

BEN: Wow.

CODY: How depressing is that?

BEN: Yeah, that’s a bummer. Well, I mean, have you seen the live-action “Super Mario Bros.?”

CODY: I have.

BEN: I have it on DVD.

CODY: I was looking through the list because RT did a list of ranking all these.

BEN: Russia Today?

CODY: Yes, Russia Today did this ranking of all the video game movies, and the “Super Mario Bros.” movie was not as low as you’d think.

BEN: I think it was fine for what it was.

CODY: Yeah, I think it’s fair enough that they had a lot under it that we’re just, like, these Z-list movies, where it’s like, who and why? I only recognized them because they were directed by Uwe Boll.

BEN: Who’s this?

CODY: Notoriously terrible director of video game adaptations.

BEN: Oh, wonderful.

CODY: Seriously, look at that list. In the bottom, it’s astonishing how many of them he made.

BEN: How? Why do people keep giving him money to do them?

CODY: I don’t really know. I haven’t looked into it much. There has to be some — I mean, I don’t know if he’s, like, helping to finance these things.

BEN: Oh, that could be.

CODY: I have no idea, but it’s really alarming. And I’ve never seen a full one of his movies, but I have seen clips and, like, best-of reels. But it’s 73%. The next highest, tied for second, are “Tomb Raider” and “Rampage,” both from 2018 —

BEN: I forgot about “Tomb Raider.”

CODY: — at 52%.

BEN: Yikes.

CODY: That’s so crazy that we’ve only had one.

BEN: Wait, so does that mean this is the only one that also has a Fresh rating?

CODY: Only Certified Fresh.

BEN: Is it Certified Fresh or just Fresh? Because there is apparently apparently a difference.

CODY: Maybe it is just Fresh. I don’t know.

BEN: How do they determine what is certified and what is not? Does certified mean, like, we promise you’ll like it?

CODY: I think certified has to have a certain number of top critics.

BEN: That would make sense.

CODY: I think.

BEN: But bottom critics don’t get a say.

CODY: Right. Classic. Yeah, that’s kind of crazy that we’re this far into the video gaming era and still only have one, according to Rotten Tomatoes reviews, one decent video game movie.

BEN: Right.

CODY: I’m hoping we’ll get more. We do have “Sonic” coming out, which I have very high hopes for.

BEN: That’s a joke, yes?

CODY: That is a big joke.

BEN: Excellent. Yeah, the fact that they are binge remaking the entire movie in nine months based on negative Internet response to the trailer is concerning.

CODY: Well, let me say this unequivocally, them fixing the animation is not going to fix the movie.

BEN: Which is so disappointing because it’s Ben Schwartz as the voice.

CODY: I mean, his character model looked bad. It didn’t look as bad as the script did.

BEN: Yeah.

CODY: Because none of those jokes landed.

BEN: No.

CODY: And you should be putting some pretty good ones in the trailer.

BEN: Yes. Especially — I mean, Jim Carrey, like, he can make things funny, even if they aren’t funny.

CODY: Him and Ben Schwartz, I think, was pretty good casting.

BEN: It  was great casting.

CODY: But I don’t think they’re gonna get to do anything worthwhile.

BEN: Aw man, that’s disappointing.

CODY: Yeah, but I don’t know. We should probably still see it and talk about it.

BEN: I mean, I think we have to.

CODY: So, any last thoughts on “Detective Pikachu?” I would say take your toddler to see it. Don’t take your kid if they’re —

BEN: Over 10.

CODY: Or if they’re old enough to go see a better movie.

BEN: Yeah. Just go see “Avengers” again at that point.

CODY: Yeah, do that. Let’s take a break and talk about something else.

BEN: Okay.

Published by Queeks: The Queer Geek Podcast

We're two queer geeks who know a lot about nerd culture, but not enough about gay culture. Join us as we obsess over the fandoms we love, and expose ourselves (ooh la la) to the LGBTQ culture we've missed.

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