Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Passion of the Popeye

SPOILER ALERT: The only thing I remember about this cartoon is Popeye at the end punching the crap out of Bluto and singing "We aim to please."  And the punches strike with such force that the whole background shudders, much like when Boola falls in Sindbad the Sailor.  So, let's hurry up and get to that part!  Oh boy.....


This must've been a song of the era, as the music switches when the title of the cartoon appears.  Also, when the doors close and reopen again, they open to a black screen!  The credits slowly appear from top to bottom... they just like messing with people's minds, all the true artists do.
First scene: a diner.  Popeye comes out of the door on the left, Olive the door on the right.  They hang up a sign that says "Open for Business."  That is, until Bluto levels the place to the ground in a fit of rage.  Ooh!  Soup and beans!  Epic.  
Oh, crap... I feel a song coming on.  This'll eat up some time!  
And so, with the song over, Popeye and Olive eagerly look around for customers.  Finding none, their faces drop.  Next scene: the background behind Olive, where we see a bunch of ants walking... I mean, very far away people.  Obviously, Olive and Popeye need a quick lesson in Business 101.  If you're going into the restaurant business,... location, location, location.  They don't have a food cart, after all!  You can't just go into business just because you want to make money.  Everyone wants that.  No, you've got to have biz savvy, or that extra special something.  Olive has some drive to succeed, so she tells Popeye, and I quote, "Popeye, I don't like this spot.  I think that would be a better location," and she points to the corner where the people are.  Popeye's pipe twirls and, for the first time, makes a trilling noise!  "Okay, Sweet Pea," Popeye says to Olive.  I know, I know, he comes later.
Next scene: a long shot of the whole city block... oh, you just know something's going down... it does!  Yes, like one of those damn Zynga games, Popeye moves the diner in one fell swoop, taking a building that's in the way down with it.


The diner's at its new location, but the potential customers have yet to appreciate it.  We cut to just across the street, where Wimpy and Bluto are standing together.  Bluto looks pissed, as usual.  Wimpy gets a whiff of the aroma coming from the diner, and tells Bluto, "Watch me obtain a hamburger without the necessary fee."  That bastard!  I never did like that Wimpy.  Wimpy waddles past Popeye and Olive into the diner, and takes a seat.  Popeye and Olive rejoice, shaking hands, no less!  "Oh, a customer!" she says.  "New deal, new deal," mutters Popeye... hmm!  Wonder what that's a reference to...  Anyway, Popeye takes Wimpy's order.  As YouTube's "jasobres" points out, this may be the first time Wimpy gives his line: "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!"  It certainly won't be the last.  Popeye's pipe twirls again.  Well, the stuff's on the grill anyway, so why let it go to waste?  Popeye flips a patty to Olive, and she catches it with a slice of bread, not a hamburger bun.  A dash of pepper, and she throws it back to Popeye who catches it with another slice of bread, not a hamburger bun.  A relic of a more innocent time.  Now, Wimpy could be picky about it, as we've already seen him gorfing down the burgers with proper hamburger buns in such films as A Dream Walking, but since he's such a freeloader, a meat junkie twitching and trembling as he waits for his next fix, he happily takes the sandwich and takes a huge bite out of it, and walks out.  He passes a pickle jar on the way and helps himself, of course.  "Don't forget!  Tuesday!" he says, implicitly adding that they'll have more than a little trouble collecting, of course.  Popeye hits the cash register and... I mean, delicately presses the button on the register, and it says "20¢ in the Red."  Lol.
Wimpy emerges triumphant from the diner and walks over to Bluto, waving his half-eaten hamburger sandwich and pickle from the pickle jar, as if they were some kind of trophy.  And for Wimpy, it probably is.  It's the only kind of trophy he'll ever get.  "Okay, now watch me!" says Bluto.  Somehow, Bluto doesn't have the pathos that Wimpy has.  Oh, this is going to be ugly from the start..............
Bluto sits down at a table, yells "SERVICE!" and starts hitting the table.  See what I mean?  Bluto complains about the tablecloth, and asks for a clean one.  Well, as much as I loathe Bluto, I'm with him on that one.  And Popeye ends up providing a clean tablecloth.  How do you like'a that?  Should've had that clean tablecloth on there in the first place!  Triumphant in style, Popeye hands Bluto a menu.  We hold on the menu for a good few seconds so we get all the jokes.  Wow!  Just like a Stooge flick!
Bluto decides what he wants, and orders a half dozen sandwiches.  Good Lourdes.  Well, you don't maintain that Bluto physique on tofu, that's for sure!  "One half-dozen sangwiches," says an echo-y Popeye.  If you recall, the first words out of Wimpy's mouth were "I will gladly pay you Tuesday..."  So Bluto's already at a disadvantage, in addition to just generally acting like a di¢k.  Olive prepares the sandwiches, and it looks like they're going to be ham.  She cuts six slices off the ham bone, and she throws a loaf of bread into the air and starts slicing it.  This is where I have to get my geek on, because six sandwiches implies twelve slices of bread.  If I'm not mistaken... and I just might be... Olive cuts the loaf of bread NINE times!  I heard the swishes!  And on top of that, there's only SIX slices in the pile on the counter!  Please to EXPLAIN IT!!!  Of course, when she starts to neaten up the stack of sliced bread, it turns into ten slices, so she's still two short.  Oh, it gets worse, believe me........
Next scene: Now Olive's got the stack of ham slices in her right hand, and the stack of sliced bread in her left and... yup, you saw it coming, she's going to treat them like playing cards and make sandwiches that way.  Time to get my geek on once again.  First of all... now she has fourteen slices of bread: thirteen and a heel.  And the ham has grown from six slices to ten!  Which is probably for the best; you kinda don't want to skimp on ham slices if you're making a ham sandwich.  Maybe it's just me.  And so, she shuffles the two stacks and it turns out perfectly, of course.  Well, when she finishes shuffling, it's bread, ham, bread, ham, bread, ham... like that.  Next scene: the stack is now bread, ham, bread, bread, ham, bread... see what I mean?  Inconsistency!  Even cartoons have to play by the rules some of the time.  Sticking with the playing card motif, Olive licks her thumb and starts "dealing" the sandwiches to Popeye from across the room.  Popeye catches the sandwiches on a plate, and hands the plate to an openly salivating Bluto.  Bluto arranges the sandwiches artfully on his arm and... well, wouldn't you know it?  The six sandwiches he ordered have suddenly become NINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What the deuce... And just when you thought it couldn't get worse, it does.  Specifically, the way Bluto gobbles down the sandwiches without the proper amount of chewing.  Even Homer Simpson, the king of animated overeating, would have a tough time with that one.  Then again, there was that time he was eating brownies in front of George Harrison...


Anyway, Popeye does some fancy sleight of hand and produces a bill for 60 cents.  The bill makes a cuckoo sound.  If it were me, I'd ask the customer if they wanted something else, or if they would care to see the dessert menu, but never mind.  Bluto takes the bill and rips it into eight pieces, wads up the pieces in his hand, and makes that disappear.  Slightly deterred, Popeye says "That's a good trick.  Sixty cents, please," and holds out his hand.  Bluto coats Popeye's hand in mustard instead.  He then hits Popeye in the arm joint, causing Popeye to hit himself in the face with all that mustard.  What Popeye does next is even more diabolical, however: he takes a white kerchief, puts it over Bluto's face, ties it in the back, punches Bluto in the face, then unties the kerchief and removes it from Bluto's face.  Voila!  Bluto's got a massive black eye now.  The trumpets herald its grand debut.  Popeye takes out a mirror so Bluto can see it.  Oh, it's on.
Bluto now tilts Popeye's head, balances the mirror on Popeye's nose, and tells Popeye to hold it.  WHAM!  Right in Popeye's oversized chin.  Popeye slowly flies towards the wall, taking five tablecloths with him.  You know, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had a feeling Popeye would bounce back and put each tablecloth back where it was.  Little consolation, seeing as how the place is about to be trashed.  Popeye regains his composure, goes to Bluto's table, and hits Bluto in the chin with it.
Olive is strangely absent while all this is going on.  Bluto gets hit on the head with the diner cash register.  He and Popeye then get stuck in a loop which reminded me of this earlier loop.  Bluto bashes Popeye on the head with the register, but ends up getting smacked by it himself when the change drawer opens and hits him in the face.  Repeat two more times.  The fourth time, the register breaks over Popeye's head.  Popeye catches the change in midair and puts it in his pockets.  Soon after... another Fight Tornado breaks out.  Category 3.
Now, while all this is going on, Wimpy returns.  Wherever there's chaos, Wimpy has to investigate.  Things are flying all over the place now because of Popeye's and Bluto's Fight Tornado.  J. Wellington manages to snag himself a flying hamburger, no less!  And a proper one this time, with proper hamburger buns.  He also grabs some mustard in mid-air and lavishes it upon his burger.  To be polite, he puts the mustard knife into a mustard container that flies past his head.  Wotta guy.  While Wimpy's chewing away, the fat bastard, we hear punching followed by a bell.  Next scene: Bluto's got Popeye in a pretty tight spot.  Popeye, who appears unconscious, has his arms pinned to the ground by Bluto's feet, not unlike Christ.  Of course, Bluto's able to turn six sandwiches into nine, so they've shared divine powers at the very least.  Bluto's punching Popeye in the head, and even though Popeye appears to be dead, Popeye's legs kick Bluto in the ass with each blow to the head.  Bluto's tactical mistake: punching Popeye away from him before he could finish killing him.  "TAKE THAT!" he quickly says, as he sends Popeye through the air with one last punch.
Popeye lands on a lunch counter seat, right in front of Olive gawking at him.  Olive quickly grabs an open can of spinach and places it in front of Popeye.  It's just the way it has to be.  If Popeye ate the spinach at the beginning of the pic and wailed on Bluto for six minutes, why, he'd be just as bad as Bluto.
In keeping with the Biblical theme, Popeye's fist transforms into a horse's foot with a horseshoe on it.  Oh, there's no doubt about it, the Devil in Popeye is on the loose.  Popeye goes up to Bluto, and Bluto's laughing himself towards his own destruction.  And for once, I remembered it correctly!  Popeye starts singing "We Aim to Please," and smites Bluto with his fist so hard, the whole earth seems to tremble from the force of it, and it sounds like a shotgun blast.  Lol... sorry, I couldn't help it.  The second punch sounds a little more like a gong.  A third and final punch, and Bluto flies against the wall and his shirt gets caught on a meathook!  Bluto then transforms into a giant sausage with shoes!  Lol.  This seems to be the first time Bluto transforms like that.


Another happy ending.  Popeye tacks a sign on Baloney Bluto that says "A Lot of Baloney: 60¢."  There's an ecological economics lesson there somewhere, but I'm not qualified enough to spot it.  One last chorus of "We Aim to Please" by Popeye and Olive together, to the tune of the ending Popeye theme.  If Popeye takes a worse beating than the one in this film, then I kinda don't want to see it.  Seriously.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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