5Big Has a Machine That Grants Godlike Powers
After getting turned down by both the girl and the roller coaster of his dreams on account of his size, 13-year-old Josh Baskin finds a lame mechanical sideshow called the Zoltar machine, which promises to grant wishes. After wishing to be "big," the kid discovers that he is now multiple Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks.
This leads to a sequence of events that led us to write an entire other article on why the movie is so unintentionally disturbing.
Is Zoltar hinting at something?
Hang on a second ...
The whole "child in the body of an adult" plot is actually kind of its own genre since Freaky Friday set the bar. In the vast majority of these movies, the writers explain away the body-switching shenanigans as some kind of one-off magic trick of God that you're not supposed to think too much about.
But in Big, it's all because of this carnival machine. A machine that somebody built, deliberately, with the express and stated purpose of being able to grant wishes. It doesn't even try to hide that fact. It's an actual, concrete object with the reality-fucking powers of a genie, and it's just sitting there.
Thankfully, the smell of funnel cake provokes amnesia in small children.
So after the initial shock of Hanksification wears off, surely he puts two and two together, right? Well, actually, he forgets about the Zoltar machine altogether, shrugs his shoulders and decides to settle into his new life as an adult by getting a job to pay his bills. After all, shit happens. When life gives you Tom Hanks, you make Hanksinade.
The Zoltar machine doesn't even come back into the story until near the end, when Hanks decides he wants to be a normal kid again and suddenly remembers it exists. Of course, the most powerful device ever created is still just sitting there, waiting patiently for absolutely anyone to give a shit.
Considering that the entire plot of man-child Hanks' adventures as a toymaker rests upon the premise that his boundless imagination and childlike sense of wonder make him the perfect toy designer, it's downright bizarre that he never realizes the potential of a machine that can grant him literally anything he desires. Even when he finally tracks the Zoltar machine down, he just wishes to be small again without adding "with a working lightsaber" to the end of his request.
Making him unlike any other kid on the planet.
So, just to get this straight: There's a machine that grants multiple wishes exactly as you intend them, whose existence and powers have been verified by several people ... and everyone just ignores it. This thing could end world hunger or make you the richest man in the world. Instead, it's just going to get thrown out once the carnival acquires a Pepsi machine.
4Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Introduces Terminators
In the middle of a movie about giant robots punching each other, it's easy to forget one scene not involving giant robots that, oh by the way, should have changed the entire fictional universe.
At one point, Alice, a sexy blonde with no personality who has been trying to get into Shia LaBeouf's pants for most of the movie, suddenly transforms into a marauding killbot. Megan Fox kills it in order to give her something to do in this film, and everyone forgets about the whole "making out with a robot" thing, probably by mutual consent.
Who doesn't love this charming hunk of orange peels and Brillo pads?
Hang on a second ...
Michael Bay is too busy trying to wedge more explosions into the film at this point to notice that this just became an entirely different kind of movie, because holy shit the robots can look like us now.
Seriously. Fuck everything else. Up until this point, the Transformers were all giant, lumbering golems hitting each other over the head with steel beams. As soon as they learn to convincingly pass off as human, the whole tone of the conflict changes from blunt-force trauma and explosions to paranoia and suspicion, and a movie about giant robots punching each other takes a one-way trip into The Thing territory.
"Wow, Shia, you look a lot less gross right now!"
Worse yet, the Decepticons have figured out that LaBeouf's greatest weakness is T&A, so now he has to be suspicious of any incredibly attractive women who are desperately gagging for his junk, for the rest of his life. Like LaBeouf shouldn't already have been suspicious of that.
"OK, so you don't like kissing."
But in the film, nobody ever mentions the fact that the Decepticons now have access to Terminators, except for an offhand remark by LaBeouf that she tasted like diesel. And though LaBeouf seems willing to trust everyone he sees (including his college roommate, and an actual retired Decepticon) to help him in his quest, the bad guys never see the benefit in perhaps dropping another fake human or two into his merry band of adventurers.
Instead, the giant robots just go straight back to punching each other, and Megatron gets his shit wrecked when the humans bring Optimus Prime to the fight. Good work, buddy -- maybe this is why Starscream keeps trying to steal your job.