Friday, August 09, 2013

Next Popeye: I Wanna Be A Life Guard

Thank goodness these Popeye cartoons aren't bound to any type of rules of consistency.  I'm getting whiplash as it is!  So, two cartoons ago, Bluto was throwing Wimpy off his ferry, and one cartoon ago Bluto was employing Wimpy at his diner, and now Bluto is going to Wimpy for a lifeguard job in I Wanna Be a Life Guard.  Apparently, the title's based on a popular song of the day.  Let's see if Wikipedia concurs... it doesn't!  Oh, I feel so ... I feel like the boastful caveman in the B.C.  comics... never mind.  Screw that guy.
Anyway, Popeye's on shore leave as usual and he finds himself looking for a job.  He happens upon an opportunity for a life guard.  I wonder how much trouble Popeye would have getting a job today in the Résumé Age.  You would think that the spinach alone would be enough.  He's on the fence about the lifeguard job, so he probes a little deeper by dragging the knot hole in the piece of fence in front of him so he can see inside.  He sees Olive diving and falls madly in love... just go with it.  What is it about guys always falling in love with the anorexic chicks? 
When suddenly... Bluto approaches and horns in on Popeye's territory.  Bluto pulls the knot hole back up so he can get a look from his taller angle.  Bluto suddenly wants the job for the same reason Popeye did: love.  Fortunately, Olive's a blank slate with each new cartoon; if I were her, I'd still be a little sore about that bridge incident, but that's just me.  And so, Popeye and Bluto head over to inquire about that job opening, and for once Popeye tries to run ahead of Bluto.  Sure, he did it in The Two-Alarm Fire, but he was lugging all that equipment, too.  Popeye and Bluto wedge themselves through the door much like the Stooges.
And so, it's up to Wimpy to pick the better man for the job.  Good thing he's not going by singing voice; personally, I think Bluto wins that one.  But Popeye can hit those lower registers pretty good too... just not as good as Bluto for me.  Okay, moving on.  Also, it's a good thing they're not going by bathing suit.  Popeye blushes when the assembled crowd makes fun of his outfit.  And Olive's the lead taunter!  That's about the extent of her role this time.  I guess it was contract negotiations that week or something.
And so, by the ancient rules of civilized combat, the test of talents begins.  Bluto swims across the pool and he does it in style.  Not bad!  Also, he gets a 3D background to work with!  Not so for Popeye.  Well, Popeye's doing some fancy underwater stuff, making like a torpedo or something.  As always, he outdoes Bluto... but no one can see what he's doing!  He's submerged under the water!  Wimpy and the crowd don't know what he's doing!  Duh!!!  Nevertheless, the crowd is impressed.
Second feat: diving.  Bluto does a move opposite to that of Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School, and Popeye puts Greg Louganis to shame with his fancy divin', and lightin' his pipe at the same time.
Third: Bluto calls it.  He uses Popeye to practice life saving.  Lucky for him they don't see what all he does to Popeye.  If he were to get the job, it wouldn't be long before he's rescuing somebody who he doesn't like, and ends up punching them in the face as they rise to the surface.
Another warning sign: Bluto wrings Popeye out like a rag to dry him off after their dip in the water.  You know Popeye's in bad shape because he's got Xs for eyes.  Oh, it's well past time for spinach.  Now, I haven't been keeping that great of a track of it, but I think this is the first time Popeye has to call to his spinach can.  As in Can You Take It, Popeye's able to blow air through his eye... geez!  We were just talking about this!  Does Popeye actually just have one eye?  Or does he just choose to squint?  Either way, note that he is indeed able to pass air through his right eye, as he's able to manipulate his eyelids like gills.  The can of spinach hears Popeye's distress call.  The can leaps off the shelf and rolls to Popeye.  Unlike A Clean Shaven Man, in which a can had enough potential energy to bounce off the wall and back into Popeye's mouth... rubber spinach?... here the can is self-moving.  Must be spinach laced with radium.  Spoiler Alert: Popeye kicks Bluto's ass and sings the ending song, the life guard one.  Popeye holds Bluto aloft, and Bluto spits out an endless stream of water!  He's turned Bluto into one of those statue thingies!  How do you like dat?  Three stars, despite the 3D background.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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