September 15, 2009
NC: Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to! And welcome to…”Bland Shit 101”!
(The caption “BLAND SHIT 101” appears below NC while an animated piece of poo slowly comes from the top of the screen and then falls below the screen with a plop, as quirky music plays in the background)
NC: That’s disgusting. You ever have one of those pesky ideas that seems…unique, original and charmingly inventive? (pauses) Don’t you just HATE those? Why can’t we make something that’s…tired and dated with no originality whatsoever? Why can’t it be more like…Blank Check?
(The movie’s title screen appears, then a montage of clips from that movie with Taylor Dayne's "I'll Wait" playing over it.)
NC (voiceover): For you see, Blank Check is the height of cinematic blandness, taking a relatively clever and new idea and sucking all the creativity out of it so that it becomes a forgettable piece of nothing, leaving no impression at all.
NC: How could any film accomplish such an incredible feat? Well, let’s watch this incredible piece of ass droppings to find out.
NC (voiceover): Now, most films would begin with a unique way of showing their title, trying to distinguish itself and give it its own style. But not “Blank Check”! They just show it. (the movie title is simply shown) My God, that is uninventive, as if to say, “Really, your ticket stub is the only written title you’ll need for this film. Anything else would be an extravagance.” We see a criminal named Quigley escape from prison and get a briefcase of money that he hid while he was put away. We then cut to our main character named Preston.
Preston: (speaking to the audience): Dad….I’ve given this some thought, and I’ve decided that…
NC (voiceover): Wow, I think he’s really talking to his dad. That’s why we’re in this tight, uncomfortable shot that doesn’t show his father, right? Why else would they obviously frame this in such an awkward way—(cut to Preston’s pet goldfish in a bowl) Ohh, it’s a goldfish! You see? This trick has been used a dozen times in other films, but that just adds to the blandness that “Blank Check” has to offer.
NC: I’m sure there’s more to be unimpressed by.
Preston’s Brother #1: Out of the way, stick-boy!
NC (voiceover): Oh, there is! Two obnoxious brothers who like to pick on him all the time! You mean we get TWO unintelligent bullies who have no human emotion outside of just being a stereotypical teen antagonist? It must be my birthday!
(Preston's brothers play Monkey in the Middle with Preston's money)
Preston: Hey, that’s my life savings!
Preston’s Brother #2: Consider yourself our silent partner!
NC (voiceover): So, apparently, Preston is upset because his father treats his brothers better because they’re trying to start their own business, and Preston hasn’t yet, even though he’s, like…seven.
Preston’s Dad: They need the space for their business.
Preston: Not my space.
Preston’s Dad: Young man, in this family, industry gets rewarded. While you’re in here playing, your brothers are hard at work. (Cut to him bringing in a large Macintosh computer monitor) Surprise!
Preston’s Brother #1: Woah, check it out!
Preston’s Dad: Preston, maybe you can teach your brothers how to use it.
NC (voiceover): Oh, did I mention that he’s the only one who knows how to operate a computer? Yeah, the two brothers who want to start their own business don’t know how to operate a computer.
NC: (holding a fork and knife as if ready to eat) More bullshit, please!
MacInTalk: Damian and Ralph sleep butt to face. (the voice repeats the phrase “Butt to face” over and over)
Preston’s Brother #1: Who said that? (Both brothers try desperately to shut the monitor off) Type “Quit”! Hit “Delete”! Turn it off!
NC: (mimicking one of the brothers) We can’t let a computer that nobody outside this room talk smack about us!
Preston’s Brother #2: (unplugs the monitor and punches Preston on the shoulder) Don’t rub it, be a man!
NC (voiceover): “Don’t rub it, be a man.” Yeah, I had that T-shirt growing up, too. So Preston is invited to a birthday party of a kid who doesn’t like him—I’m…not sure how that works—as the kid greets Preston in a classic manner.
Butch: It’s Presto the Pesto! (He gives a low five and then quickly withdraws his hand behind his head before Preston could give five back)
NC (voiceover): Oooh, that’s right! Always trust Disney to be 20 years behind what’s currently popular. Personally, I would prefer the Psyche-Hitler.
(A brief cut of a clip from 1990’s “Captain America” with Richard retracting his hand, shouting “Heil, Hitler!” and shooting Dr. Vaselli with the other hand is shown)
NC (voiceover): So, because his cheap-ass father gave him such little money, he only gets to ride the dorky rides, while the other kids get to enjoy the larger rides, proving that money is the only thing to make you truly happy.
(Cut to Preston’s family at the dinner table at home with Preston’s brothers leaving the house)
Preston’s Dad: You need some cash?
Preston’s Brother #2: Nah. We got a bunch of change. (He pats his pockets to indicate he has plenty of change)
Preston: It’s not fair! Why can’t I have anything?
Preston’s Dad: Well, Preston, they have jobs and they learned to save.
Preston: How can I save money if I don’t have any?
Preston’s Dad: A penny saved is a penny earned.
(The word “DOUCHE” is pasted on the screen)
NC (voiceover): (in a deep voice) DOUCHE!
NC (voiceover): (normal) Meanwhile, the Quigley guy goes to visit an old friend who’s an owner of a bank. It turns out his bills are marked, so he’s gonna send in a guy named Juice (a photo of O.J. Simpson appears with “???” posted at the bottom) to get new ones. Why can’t he just get ‘em now?
NC: Because this is “Bland Shit 101”!
(Once again, the caption “BLAND SHIT 101” appears below NC while an animated piece of poo slowly comes from the top of the screen and then falls below the screen with a plop, as quirky music plays in the background)
NC: (pauses) I love that title screen.
NC (voiceover): So Preston goes to the bank to see if he can deposit just $11 when we’re introduced to…(An attractive female bank teller walks in with a heavenly voice vocalizing softly in the background) the hot chick of the movie.
NC: (his voice quivers at the sight of the bank teller) Oh, my God. (a thump is heard below NC’s desk, and NC acts nonchalant about it)
(Preston goes up to the counter)
Shay Stanley (the attractive bank teller): Hi, can you see OK?
Preston: Uh, yeah, sure. I…would like to open an account, please?
Shay Stanley: $11. Do you have any other money you’d like to deposit, Mr. Waters?
NC: (as Preston) I would like to make a deposit in your skirt--I mean, uh, um…yeah, that’s what I meant.
Shay: Well, I’m afraid the minimum balance is $200.
Shay: Whenever you’re ready, please come back and see me, OK? My name is Shay Stanley.
Preston: Buh-bye. (walks away)
NC (voiceover): (dubs over Preston) I sure hope I can buy you at the end of this movie. (Normal voice) So Preston gets his bike run over by the Quigley guy, who sees a cop and forgets to write out the amount in the check to cover the injury. So you think his folks would be relieved that he’s okay, right? Not in the impractical world of “Bland Shit 101”!
Preston’s Mom: I thought we understood about taking care of our valuables.
Preston: It was a piece of junk.
Preston’s Dad: Well, if that’s how you feel about a gift from your parents, I don’t see giving you a new one for your birthday.
Preston: I don’t want a new bike, I want my own room.
Preston’s Dad: I’m warning you, you’re on thin ice as it is about the bike.
Preston: What I want is my own house.
Preston’s Dad: That’s it, young man. Until further notice, you’re grounded.
NC (voiceover): (dubs for Preston’s Dad) That’ll teach him to almost get run over. I almost had to summon an emotion there. Pfft!
NC (voiceover): (normal) So Preston realizes that he has the blank check and decides to put it to good use. Good old-fashioned criminal use.
(Preston types the words “One Million Dollars” onto the blank check)
Preston: One million dollars. (The musical score “gasps” for some reason)
NC: Did the film score just gasp?
(The “gasp” is heard again)
NC (voiceover): So he tries to deposit the check but gets called in to the head of the bank because they don’t believe him.
Mrs. Udowitz (an old bank teller): We have a little problem here.
Biderman (bank owner): What is it, Mrs. Udowitz?
Mrs. Udowitz: Someone thinks this is some kind of game.
Biderman: (examines the check) I see. Is there much of a line, Mrs. Udowitz?
Mrs. Udowitz: Yes, we’re swamped.
Biderman: Now, what are you doing here? (He shoos her out) Please.
NC: Is it me, or is the actor playing the head of the bank the same actor playing the female teller? Could they do that back then?
Biderman: (uncomfortable camera close-up on his mouth) Juice?
Preston: (misinterprets) No, thanks, I’m not thirsty.
NC (voiceover): That’s right, he mistakes the kid for Juice. You see, all adults are freaking idiots in “Bland Shit 101”, especially in kids films. However, it turns out that the real Juice is downstairs asking to see the head of the bank as well.
Juice: (Played by Tone Lōc) Lookit, my name is Juice, and I got some right here, and I wonder if you be so kind enough as to…cash it for me.
NC: OK, who IS this guy, anyway?
NC: Stop following me, strange man with kind of cool voice, (shows Tone Loc's name in the Blank Check opening credits) or Tone Loc, whatever your name is!
Juice: (runs into Preston and picks up his backpack) What’s wrong with you, little boy?
Preston: I’m sorry.
Juice: You know you ought to be in school.
NC (voiceover): (dubs for Juice) Don’t make me sing about how I’m gonna eat you. (shows clip from Ferngully)
Goanna (from “Ferngully”): (sings) If I’m gonna eat somebody…
NC (voiceover): So the bank guy finds out he’s been had as the kid first decides to buy a freaking castle with the money he just got, and wouldn’t you know it? The Quigley guy is trying to buy it, too. That’s a smart escaped convict, trying to draw little attention to himself and keep a low profile while living in a castle!
Real-estate agent: Hello?
MacInTalk: (speaking through Preston's phone at home) Hello. Good afternoon. I’d like to make a cash offer on your house.
NC (voiceover): (dubs for real-estate agent) Well, I’m a total moron, so continue.
Real-estate agent: Well, I have an offer on the table at 300.
Old couple selling the castle: We’ll take it!
Real-estate agent: Just one thing, sir. What is your name?
(Preston thinks as he looks at the Macintosh logo on his monitor and begins to type)
MacInTalk: My name is Macintosh.
Real-estate Agent: Well, congratulations, Mr. Macintosh.
NC: I think you mean Mr. Product Plug.
Real-estate Agent: You have a house!
NC (voiceover): So Preston uses all his money claiming it belongs to a fictional guy named Macintosh. But wait a minute! This movie almost had a creative premise going! Surely, there must be some way to make it more conventional. How about a comic-relief limo driver? There we go! And make sure not one word of his dialogue is funny.
Henry the Limo Driver: I’m waiting for a client here.
Preston: But I am your client.
Henry: (laughs) Oh, right, yeah. And I’m Madonna. You wanna ride in this? You need some buckaroos, buckarinnis, some moolah, some dinaro, some money…some frog skins, much similar to the money you just gave me. In fact, identical to the money you’ve given me right now. I was just kiddin’ about being Madonna.
NC: (laughs) I love comedy relief that provides no comedy or relief.
NC (voiceover): But wait! Don’t bland, uninventive comedies need to have mindless montages? (such a montage begins with Preston doing wild things in a department store, like playing tennis and dancing in front of many TV screens) Oh, yeah! The movie’s stylin’ now! Oh, and did I forget to mention that the limo driver is along for the ride, too? I don’t think he (Preston) even invited him along or anything. He just started coming with.
NC (voiceover): (dubs for a store owner’s voice) It’s OK, they’re rich.
NC: Aw, gee, this story seems way too simple. Isn’t there some way we can make it needlessly complicated?
NC (voiceover): Well, it turns out that the attractive banker isn’t actually a banker at all. She’s an FBI agent, trying to find the money that Quigley stole before. That seems totally unneeded and implausible! Way to shitty it up, movie! I almost enjoyed a few seconds there.
Henry: (driving Preston home): Hey, you know this guy, uh, what is it, Macintyre?
Henry: Ah, Macintosh, yeah. Why does he get a kid like you to go out and buy all this stuff for him?
Preston: He never had a real childhood, so…now that he’s really really rich…he can have all the fun that he couldn’t have as a kid.
NC: Sounds like a modern-day Michael Jackson to me! (Solemn patriotic music begins to play) Ladies and gentlemen, I’m personally glad to have made the first Michael Jackson joke since he died. I miss the man, we all do. But the time has come to laugh again. (A patriotic American flag waves behind him as he speaks) Laugh at the oddness, laugh at the strange behavior! Don’t let the fear of bad taste hold you back. You see, Michael Jackson was an odd person. Very, VERY odd person. But the reason we can still laugh at him is because he was also something that we could never take away: a genius. Don’t be afraid, people. No matter how hard you laugh, he will always be a genius. I’m the Nostalgia Critic. The time has come to laugh once more. (He pauses as the music finishes) Anyway.
NC (voiceover): Preston comes across Shay, the FBI agent, who doesn’t question at all that a kid is riding a limo and suddenly has money now.
Preston: So, uh, I’m thinking about coming to the bank and opening my account.
Shay: Wow, you got the $200 already?
Preston: Just about.
Shay: Alright, well…see you tomorrow.
NC (voiceover): J. Edgar Hoover, she ain’t. So he orders a bunch of product placements as a ton of adjustments are made to the castle and his douche dad is none the wiser.
Preston’s Dad: Who is Macintosh?
Preston: I work for him. He’s paying me.
Preston’s Dad: Yeah, but who is he? I never met him.
Preston: You haven’t met him?
Preston’s Dad: No, I haven’t met him!
Preston: He’s heard about you.
Preston’s Dad: Really?
NC: (shoos at the screen) Ahhh! A couple seconds of development and explanation! Aren’t there any crappy montages we can cut to?
(A crappy montage beings to play)
NC (voicoever): There we go! (a montage of Preston and the limo driver partaking in extreme activities is shown, like go-kart racing, trampoline jumping and sliding down a waterslide that’s attached to his bedroom) That’s right, bring on the needless padding! Continue to film scenes that were made for the trailer! (The montage continues a bit) You know, I’m starting to wonder if he can really get this much for a million dollars. I mean, I know that’s a lot, but I don’t even think Donald Trump could have a house like this. So Shay starts to think there’s something suspicious about Mr. Macintosh. (sarcastic) No! You think? (normal voice) So Preston convinces her to go on a date where he assures her that Mr. Macintosh will appear. Henry, the limo driver, gives him some pointers.
NC: (laughs) Uh-oh! I smell hilarious quirkiness coming up!
Henry: (speaks blandly as NC’s face changes from eagerness to disappointment) Let me tell you about the real deal on dating, which I know, OK? Now, women love a great body. They love—look at this body. (He displays his husky frame) Woah, see? You know. Course, you know, you got a bod now that’s of, uh, a Greek God, really. Think about it. I mean, women like having a good bod because they want to feel protected by a man that fights some guy. But not with those arms. (points to Preston’s arms) You don’t want to hit a guy with those arms, ‘cause those pythons would take a guy’s head off. An all-you-can-eat salad bar? Women love that. Take some with you. You know? Line your pockets with plastic bags, put the food in there, because it doesn’t say, “All you can eat HERE.” Does it say “here” on this side? (Preston shakes his head no) Don’t think so.
NC: I apologize. There was clearly nothing funny in there. I frankly don’t know what that scene is about.
NC (voiceover): So Preston lets his family know that he’s going to help out with Macintosh again, even though he’s grounded.
Preston’s Dad: Macintosh may have a pile of money, but he doesn’t decide when my son is or isn’t grounded.
Preston’s Brothers: (to each other) Grounded.
Preston: (to himself in a whisper) So much for Plan 442.
Preston’s Dad: What do you know about Plan 442?
Preston: I didn’t want to say it, but I told Mr. Macintosh about your Plan 442, and he was very, very interested. Yep, I promised him I’d bring a copy of it tonight and show it to him.
Preston’s Dad: Let me get you a fresh copy of the Prespects.
Preston’s Mom: No, I’m gonna get a copy of it, sweetheart.
NC (voiceover): It’s good to know that this movie is teaching young kids that love can be bought.
Preston’s Dad: Maybe I should go over and meet--
Preston’s Dad: Why not?
Preston: You’ll ruin everything. He has a date tonight, and he’s really nervous about it. He may be up pretty late. (Whispers) This woman's the bomb!
Preston’s Dad: (chuckles to himself) Lucky dog.
NC (voiceover): And they’re officially more dysfunctional than the Manson family!
(A photo of the Manson family with the caption “Out Kooked!” posted and “Ta-Da!” music playing)
NC (voiceover): He dresses up in a suit that even the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would find a bit much as our seven-year-old hero tries to wine and dine a 20-something-year-old FBI agent.
Preston: Mr. Macintosh is very interested.
Shay: He is?
Preston: He’s never met anybody like you before.
Shay: He’s never met me before, period.
Preston: Technically, no, but he’s been thinking about you lately.
NC: Kid, you haven’t hit puberty yet! Girls are just cootie-filled gross magnets at that point!
NC (voiceover): Oh, and the world’s greatest FBI agent still doesn’t catch on that there’s something weird about the fact that she’s dating a kid right now! Perhaps we could analyze this and understand why either of their motivations match their characters.
NC: But not in “Bland Shit 101”! It’s been over two minutes. How about some lame jokes?
Shay: Is he an entrepreneur?
Preston: No, he’s American.
NC: Good! Good! And since there’s clearly no interest in developing our characters, let’s end with a pratfall!
(Preston causes a pratfall by grabbing the tablecloth and falling backwards)
NC: (laughs) Oh, “Black Check”. Your cinematic forgetfulness is beyond compare. (pauses with a smile before whispering in rage) Fuck you!
NC (voiceover): So, still benign to the whole “dating a kid” thing, Preston takes her to a spot that he knows she’ll enjoy.
(They both stand in a street fountain)
Preston: Three, two, one. (He raises his arms up as numerous fountain spouts spray skyward in unison, and he takes her through the fountain to dance in the middle)
NC: Ohh, wet woman. (He watches the scene with delight at the sight of Shay wet until two thumps are heard under his desk, and he takes a hammer to bang on his crotch, then he resumes watching in delight)
NC (voiceover): So, even though he’s gotten wet what is probably an expensive outfit, she just seems to laugh and giggle throughout the whole thing. OK, I’m not a woman, but if I was, I would deck the little bastard. (Preston sees Biderman and Quigley approaching) But you may not have to, as the criminals spot Preston and try to nab him.
NC: All right, “Bland Shit 101.” Get ready for wah-wah music and shrug in three, two, one…
(Preston and Shay run away while the criminals run through the fountain as the spouts shoot up skyward, making them fall to the ground as wah-wah music plays and NC shrugs)
Quigley: (talking to Biderman and Juice while they’re all standing) He got away again! I don’t believe this! He got away again! (Jump cut to Biderman on the ground for some reason)
NC (voiceover): Oh, hey, I guess the banker guy was so upset, he fell back down to the ground in a jump cut. I sure hope they don’t get wet again—(the fountain spouts shoot up again) D’oooh! (wah-wah music and NC shrugs again)
NC (voiceover) So, did Preston’s plan to embarrass himself and ruin her outfit work in his favor?
Shay: I had such a good time.
Preston: Me, too.
Shay: Good night, Preston.
Preston: Good night, Shay. (Both give a low five to each other)
NC (voiceover): D’oooh, the high five of shame! It’s one thing if they hug you or try to shake your hand, but a high five? (He hisses through his teeth) That’s gotta hurt. So the crooks find the one bratty kid and force him to tell them where they can find Preston.
(Cut to Butch and the three criminals on the rooftop of a building)
Quigley: Why don’t you just tell me what I need to know?
Butch: In round numbers.
Quigley: I don’t think you get the picture, sonny. Maybe you need a better view. (He holds Butch over the edge, then a brief cut of a tall building as Butch screams)
Butch: Preston Waters, 1508 Oak Street, Hillsdale, Indiana!
NC (voiceover): (dubs for Butch) Thank God you just cut to that picture of the same building instead of dangling me off it, or else I would have REALLY been scared!
NC (voiceover): (normal) So Preston says he’s gonna have a birthday party for Macintosh when it’s really his birthday. So he finds out that he’s actually spent all the money and can’t pay for the party, just at the same point where his father comes in and, of course, mistakes him for Macintosh!
(Preston sits in his swivel chair out of sight from his dad)
Preston’s Dad: You don’t have kids, do you, Mr. Macintosh? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s very easy to make mistakes, and, uh…I always hadn’t paid enough attention to my kids.
NC (voiceover): (dubs for Preston’s Dad) I feel like I’ve never seen my kids, even when they’re right in front of me.
Preston’s Dad: I’m afraid he’s missing out on his childhood. (pauses) So am I.
(Preston begins to tear up)
NC (voiceover): (dubs for Preston and sobs) This speech is terrible.
Preston’s Dad: We appreciate you sending Preston home early.
NC (voiceover): After his dad leaves, he sends everybody home and waits in the castle by himself, where of course, the bad guys arrive.
NC: (recaps the situation) So some burglars are trying to break into a place and there’s just one lone kid there to defend it. What’s that movie that everybody was trying rip off at that point in time? Oh! Home Alone! (laughs) I just so happen to have the Home Alone rip-off checklist right here! (He holds up a clipboard) Let’s get marking!
NC (voiceover): (speaks with accompanying text onscreen) Impractical traps foiled by unimaginably stupid villains? Check! Gratuitous shot to the crotch resulting in cartoony sound effect? Check! Unfunny dialogue hoping to be turned into an obnoxious catch phrase?
Preston: That musta hurt!
NC (voiceover): Check!
NC: Oh, will the hilarious moments ever stop? Ripping off other hilarious moments?
NC (voiceover): So, of course, the bad guys catch up with him and are about to make him pay.
NC: This looks like a job for a predictable conclusion. Bring in the cops who just so happen to show up at the right time! (such a scene is shown)
Shay: (shows her FBI badge) FBI, Biderman!
NC (voiceover): So the bad guys get arrested as Preston tries to see if there’s any future for him and Shay.
Preston: So, when can I see you again, Shay?
Shay: Mmm…why don’t you give me a call in, say, about…ten years?
Shay: OK. It’s a date.
(Preston and Shay…KISS?! 'DUN-DUN-DUN' dramatic sting)
NC (voiceover): Oh, my God!
NC: BAD TOUCH! (dials his cell phone with the phrases “STEP AWAY FROM THE CHILD!” “Notify an adult, preferably not another pedophile” and “’No’ means no, and so does ‘ Yes!’” flashing around him as an alarm goes off) Stop arresting that Kazaam guy! We have lip-to-lip contact here! HURRY!
NC (voiceover): So Preston goes home not to an angry house of parents who should rightfully punish him, but to a birthday cake to celebrate another year on this planet. So, I guess the moral of the story is, “Bad deeds always go unpunished, and money is the root of all happiness.”
NC: But, really, would you ever expect any other message from the Disney corporation?
NC (voiceover): So now you know how to turn your creative, charming little idea into an unimaginative, depraved piece of forgettable bland shit. Just watch Blank Check as a reference, and you’ll do fine.
NC: And now, I’d like to turn off my calm, pleasant teaching demeanor in order to show you what I really think of this movie. (He turns on a “switch” at the side of his head, then draws out his gun at the camera) Fuck you ALL! (He starts shooting randomly, causing Preston’s castle to explode; he then calms down) I feel much better. I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it, so you don’t have to! (He gets up to leave)