Danielle Explains

The Man’s Voice – Part 1

K-dramas are back as Danielle brings Sam another K-drama rom-com with the 2021 show The Man’s Voice. Mi Rim is a normal young woman working in a convenience store and pining over the handsome co-pilot who occasionally comes by to shop. Through a series of contrivances (primarily the pet hotel being closed for a day) the co-pilot, Tae Hwa, is left with no one to watch his large, fluffy white cat. Inexplicably, Tae Hwa decides leaving his cat with the virtual stranger Mi Rim is the best option. As Tae Hwa jets off to Paris, Mi Rim takes the cat home but it quickly escapes into the night. Mi Rim catches it just as a storm rolls in and she is struck with lightning and her skeleton is illuminated like a cartoon. Instead of doing the sensible thing and dying, Mi Rim wakes up the next day, the cat sitting beside her, and suddenly she is able to hear the cat’s voice in her head. The cat, in the voice of a middle aged man, proceeds to abuse Mir Rim to no end, and rather than simply exerting her authority as the human part of this relationship, she rolls just over and takes that abuse. Meanwhile, Tae Hwa calls and texts Mi Rim from the plane he is supposed to be flying, to check in on his cat which, again, he left with a complete stranger. The cat, Natsume, is dead-set against Mi Rim’s designs on Tae Hwa, and manages to outwit her several times, even though he’s a cat and she’s a human. As the first half of the series draws to a close, a new character makes an appearance: A mysterious woman who demands “Revenge on the cat!” What does any of this mean? Maybe part two will explain it. Maybe.

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

For part two of this year’s Winter Bizarre Danielle brings the third installment of the Netflix film series with The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Margaret is the queen of the small European country of Montenaro who happens to have two identical doppelgängers: Former Chicago baker now princess Stacy and Fiona, her cousin and former kidnapper of Stacy. Montenaro is hosting an international Christmas festival (which is, apparently, a thing) and the Vatican has loaned them the Star of Peace, a relic belonging to St. Nicholas. Due to security that can charitably be described as “utter clown shoes” the star is immediately stolen. Under the threat of excommunication, Margaret commutes her felonious cousin’s sentence so she can tap her criminal network to track down the star. Fiona puts her large network of one person to work and identifies that the star is being held by a nefarious hotelier. Instead of informing Interpol—who are investigating—of this development, Marget, Fiona, and Stacy plan a comically amateur heist that involves flirtation, sexy laser dancing, and, of course, lots of switching. The consequences for failure are almost certainly death at the hands of the villainous hotelier, which Sam thinks is a fair bit worse than excommunication for not heisting the star back. Throughout all of this, Sam has serious questions on the state of the Montenaro monarchy, which seems rife with nepotism, incompetence, and princess switching. Despite that, Danielle and Sam come up with a pretty good pitch for The Princess Switch 4, so Netflix, if you’re listening, call us!

Book Reshorts: Archie vs. Predator

Even though we have a short episode today, Danielle couldn’t resist sharing the very weird 2015 cross-over comic Archie vs. Predator. Yes, that Archie, of comic and cartoons fame, meets the alien hunter and, spoiler, things do not go well for him and his friends. There’s not much more that needs to be said here, this is one that can only be even marginally understood by experiencing it.

Flat-Out Love

business. Not that there isn’t business to get into, what with the youngest daughter carrying around a cardboard cutout of the eldest brother, Finn, since he’s traveling in Africa. Meanwhile, the parents are totally checked-out and most of the responsibility of taking care of Celeste falls to their middle, college-aged son, Matt. Everyone refuses to tell Julie anything about why Celeste needs Flatt Finn, and Matt tells her to leave it alone, but leaving things alone is beyond Julie. She starts talking to human Finn on Facebook, but he is equally unhelpful. Meanwhile, Julie decides to mess with Celeste by using Flat Finn to manipulate her into doing things outside of her comfort zone. After some confusing shenanigans involving a fear of heights, or possibly just escalators and elevators, Julie dumps her perfectly nice barista boyfriend because she’s falling in love with Finn on Facebook, something which is clearly a good idea. However, the family’s big secret around Flatt Finn will shake Julie to her core, only not really since it’s pretty obvious and also not really terrible or shameful, but since everyone in this book kinda sucks (except Celeste and Flatt Finn, who only gets a pass because he’s cardboard) there is, of course, drama. So join us for a book that begs the question: Why are there two more sequels, and when can we read them?

Be sure to check out I Drink Your Podcast, especially the Into the Wild episode featuring Danielle. You can find them on Twitter @IDYP_Podcast, Instagram @idyp_podcast, and listen wherever you get your podcasts.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

In the finale of this year’s Spook Retorts, Danielle shares the 1998 movie I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. If you remember anything about the first I Know What You Did Last Summer, it’s about a hook-wielding fisherman seeking bloody revenge against a group of teens that hit him with a car and left him for dead. For this sequel, just forget all that, it’s doesn’t matter. Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is now at college and trying to put the trauma of the previous summer behind her, despite her boyfriend Ray’s (Freddie Prinze Jr.) best efforts. However, when she wins a radio contest for a free tropical vacation in the middle of hurricane season, she brings her friends along to a deserted island hotel. People start predictably being murdered and Julie catches sight of the hook-wielding man who is now, for some reason, killing random people who didn’t hit him with a car. A hurricane rolls in trapping everyone on the island, and while the hotel knew this was coming, it is inexplicably still open. The murderer also demonstrates some hitherto unknown hacking powers on a karaoke machine for the sole purpose of spooking the teens, because apparently revenge is the last thing on his mind just behind pranks. Predictably, the bodies pile up as Julie and her friends try to survive and as Ray somehow magics himself onto the island to help. There is a particularly dumb twist at he end, but Sam is really more interested in the story that isn’t being told: An average day in the life of the hook-wielding murder.

Bird Box

Spook Retorts continues with Danielle sharing the 2018 film Bird Box. Imagine a terrible, mysterious event that is causing people around the world to lose control and kill themselves. Now imagine this isn’t the Shyamalan movie The Happening; that’s basically Bird Box. Sandra Bullock is Malorie, an emotionally stunted pregnant woman in a world about to undergo an apocalypse. Mysterious creatures have appeared and if you so much as catch a glance of them they will drive you to madness and suicide. Malorie manages to find refuge in a house full of weirdos and John Malkovich, which is redundant. Meanwhile, future Malorie (yes, it’s the kind of film that jumps back and forth in time a lot) is undergoing a perilous, blindfolded journey down a river towards shelter, escorting two small children she has dubbed Boy and Girl in what Sam thinks is a stunning display of emotional abuse. Back in the past, the refuge house is infiltrated by someone…possessed? Obsessed? Infected? by the creatures, and at this point neither Danielle or Sam can explain how anything in this world works. It doesn’t matter because a couple of births and shotgun shells later things resolve one way or another. If you want answers or even the barest notion of what these creatures are so as to better grasp the stakes or struggles in this movie, boy, do we have bad news for you. There is, however, a box with some birds in it that is almost entirely irrelevant, so ten out of ten, perfect movie.

The Net

This week Danielle brings us our first Sandra Bullock film with the 1995 cyber-thriller The Net. Angela Bennett is an average cyber-security employee/freelancer/contractor/thing who is a consummate recluse. She does out there things such as chatting in message groups and ordering pizza online, the horror. When a mysterious floppy disk (look it up, kids) is mailed to her house she finds it contains links to a mysterious backdoor that lets her access supposedly secure systems. The colleague who mailed her the disk flies his one-man aircraft out to see her, but dies in a suspicious crash before arriving. Unperturbed by his sudden death, or chaos at the airport due to a seemingly unrelated hacking, Angela jets off on a vacation to Mexico. There she encounters the sexy nerd Jack and they quickly hit it off on his boat, but just when Jack is about to kill her for that floppy disk (which she inexplicably brought) Angela escapes. That’s when Angela discovers her identity has been erased and replaced with a different identity that marks her as a criminal. Now Angela must find out about the shadowy organization behind her identity erasure and how their magic wizard computer powers work. Also, if she could find out what their motivations are, that would be great too, because we can’t figure that out. So dive into what Hollywood thought computers were in 1995, and join Sam and Danielle as they struggle to answer the film’s biggest question: Who is Cyberbob?

The Ice Pirates

In the first of our Great Switcheroo episodes, Danielle shares her pick of the 1984 movie The Ice Pirates. What do you get when you can’t decide between being a goofy lampoon of Star Wars or just a knock-off? It might very well be The Ice Pirates. The galaxy has inexplicably run out of water, the remaining bits of ice from comets are controlled by the Templars, a group of chain-mail wearing space knights. The annoyingly rouge pirate captain Jason (really) finds himself captured by the Templars and at risk of castration at the hands of the Castratomatic machine. Luckily, he’s saved by the princess Karina who wants his help to find her lost, and possibly dead, father the King of something, who knows what. At this point, some of Jason’s crew also escape with him, but run into a robot pimp with a TV showing scantily ladies in its stomach. The robopimp doesn’t really matter to the movie, but Sam thought it important to mention that it’s basically a horny Teletubby. Anyway, the crew and the princess escape to the pirate moon, there’s a space herpie on the ship but it doesn’t matter. Really, the thing that matters most is that the group eventually makes their way to possibly the best named character of all time; a lover of baby donkeys and teenage ducks, the one, the only, the indomitable Lanky Nibs. There’s a bunch of stuff after that about finding Karina’s father and the Seventh World, but after Lanky Nibs it’s all just a blur until a finale that screws with time in ways that make our heads hurt. Also, did we mention Anjelica Huston has a minor roll in this movie, as well as Ron Perlman in his second ever film credit? So come enjoy Danielle grapple with explaining why she didn’t love a movie that seems to have it all, and tune in next week for Sam’s turn on The Great Switcheroo!

It’s a Disaster

This week Danielle takes Sam through the 2012 dark comedy film It’s a Disaster. When Tracy (Julia Styles) brings her new boyfriend (David Cross) to a regular brunch to meet her friends, they all quickly find themselves trapped inside the house together as a series of disasters threaten the world around them. However, they won’t let something like the end of the world get in the way of their interpersonal drama. This one is short, weird, and really needs to be experienced to be fully understood, but Sam is nonetheless impressed by the cast’s comedy chops, and the way the story makes life-threatening circumstances funny. Danielle really only cares that the cast contains America Ferrera. But the thing the two of them agree about the most for this brunch-pocolypse is “don’t be late”.

Ready Player Two – Part 2

This week Danielle takes Sam through the truly bizarre finale of the 2020 Ernest Cline novel Ready Player Two. Wade Watts is trapped in the OASIS in his ONI VR headset by Anorak and his “infirmware” and is being forced by Anorak to find the seven shards hidden by Halliday on various media worlds Kira—the late wife of Ogden and romantic obsession of Halliday—had a hand in creating. And if that sentence doesn’t sum up Ready Player Two, nothing does. The purpose of this latest scavenger hunt is still unclear, but Wade now has 12 hours to complete it before he dies, so naturally he completely ignores the help offered by his biggest fan L0hengrin. Wade and his friends set off to various media worlds, including the not-much-of-a-challenge school world, and the fever dream of the Prince world. Eventually, Wade figures out that Anorak wants the shards because he—the A.I. consciousness of Halliday—wants to use the shards to resurrect an A.I. consciousness of Kira which Halliday created without her consent. Anorak wants to live in eternal bliss with this A.I. Kira even though she never loved Halliday, even when reconstituted virtually. We won’t spoil how the space ship full of frozen embryos figures into all this, but it’s wild. Anyway, Wade and his friends find a convenient magic sword that Ogden, and only Ogden for some reason, can use to defeat Anorak, and embark on a pretty simple heist to free Ogden and bring him to the Oasis to fight Anorak. All of this is pretty standard, but then Wade discovers there are A.I. scans of every person who has used an ONI device, and his solution to this is probably the most ridiculous, and most irresponsible, part of the whole book, which is really saying something.