Does the internet need an archive for film executives’ marketing impulses gone awry? A last stop storehouse for crap movies, along with crap movies made from video games? Of course! And That Guy with the Glasses shows us that with a little deconstruction, Hollywood’s missteps can lead down a humorous and even profitable path.
In his flagship online series, Nostalgia Critic (real name Douglas Darien Walker) rationalizes his role by telling us, “I remember it so you don’t have to,” but in truth he’s found, and is thoroughly committed to covering, a niche that no other critics would want. Averaging hits well into the 200,000s per episode, the Nostalgia Critic’s targets include obscure offerings such as Pokemon: The Movie, Super Mario Brothers: The Movie and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movies (yes, I believe he reviews all TMNTs at once). He’s also covered the recent Transformers 2, as well as the occasional non-toy-nor-video game fare such as The Good Son.
There’s a reason Walker has earned the large numbers that he does. The unassuming intellectual comes across as a very likable, talented and well-reasoned commentator, with just the right amount of wackiness to go along with his well-reasoned arguments and solid comic timing. He honors his role as nostalgia archivist often a little too well, doling out 20 minute reviews so he can encompass the full arcs of (bad) movie plots. If you’re impatient, there’s still gold in them thar hills. A little fast-forwarding certainly doesn’t hurt the critiques.
His review of the film Good Burger, which came out of the tv show of the same name, gives Walker more than ample material for his craft. Legendary punch line (and also L.A. band) Abe Vigoda makes a cameo in the film that results in a brilliantly hilarious montage. And while Good Burger may not qualify for the so-bad-it’s-good school of films, in Nostalgia Critic’s hands it’s transformed into stand-up, uh, sit-down comedy through his analysis, right up to the end of his 20-min screed:
Walker makes a number of convincingly cogent arguments in his face-off of the original Batman vs. The Dark Knight. Not a lot of comedy here, but, after awarding Batman the winner, our friend with the glasses manages to re-appropriate (post-Colbert Report et al.) Christian Bale’s infamous outburst to gut-busting comedic effect yet again.
Teaming with Channel Awesome’s Mike Michaud, their production company appears to be doing quite well (the pulling in five-figure checks kinda well) thanks to Blip.tv, ads and donations. And I’m sure Walker’s acting gig for a PBS promo of its Make ‘Em Laugh documentary series didn’t hurt either.
For those whose nostalgia doesn’t really run along the lines of movies made from video games or bad Disney offshoots (is that redundant?), take a look at Guy with Glasses’ 5 Second Movies, which are much more addictive, and with many of them literally five seconds, they’re a well-sized distraction.
Watch it all at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com.