The Phantom of the Opera
March 22, 2016
(We open with the Channel Awesome logo, then cut to a black and white auction going on, with Malcolm as Analyst 2, here called Chart Guys, as the gavel holder, and a crowd of people, among them NC and Beth and Tim from Shark Jumping, watching the auction. Malcolm bangs the gavel)
Chart Guy (Analyst) 2: Sold!
(The crowd applauds)
Beth: Well, I'm sure glad Tim and I stopped by for the studio auction of OneStepCamp.org. (A caption for that is shown) Plug.
NC: Well, I'm glad you shelled out all that exposition.
Beth: Yeah, but why are we all in black and white?
NC: Oh, the color was the first thing to go. Those two paid top dollar for it.
(Murky Dismal and Lurky are seen carrying a colorful cube as they leave)
Murky: Come, Lurky. We're going to put the color back in the Last Airbender movie.
Chart Guy 2: #333, a DVD in pieces. (A destroyed DVD is shown) Some of you may recall the strange film of The Phantom of the Opera.
(NC and Beth gasp)
NC: Phantom of the Opera?
Tim: Wasn't that supposed to be the grand adaptation of the epic Broadway musical?
Beth: Yeah, brought to you by Joel Schumacher.
Tim: The Bat Credit Card guy?
(NC immediately shoots at Tim to stop him talking)
NC: 20! It deserves a Nostalgia Critic review.
Beth: 30! Shark Jumping would do it better.
NC: 40! You don't even review movies.
Beth: 50! Your face looks weird when you smile. (NC looks at her weirdly) I just thought we were throwing out random insults.
NC: 60! It betrayed everything that was good about the musical!
Beth: 70! It betrayed everything that was good about the book!
NC: Somebody actually read the book?
Chart Guy 2: Need I remind you that copyright around here has been tighter than this review series budget? Doing a copyrighted movie with copyrighted songs might not be the best idea.
NC and Beth: Oh, yeah.
Tim: Well, Webber already stole from Pucchini.
Beth: Maybe we can find a way to review it despite all that.
Chart Guy 2: Well, then, perhaps we may frighten away the jokes of so many years ago with a little...recreation. Gentlemen! (Points to the right, but nobody's there) Oh, right, it's just me.
(He bangs his fist on the destroyed DVD, causing an explosion as the pieces come together to form a disc. The title "The Phantom of the Opera: Musical Review" is shown as evil laughter is heard. Images and stills of various forms of Phantom of the Opera media, which includes stills from the movie, are shown. Like Mad Max: Fury Road and Hocus Pocus, the images and stills serve to replace movie clips in the review)
Beth (vo): The Phantom of the Opera was a novel in 1909 by French author, Gaston Leroux. While it's not the best novel in the world, it was still interesting and told in a unique way for the time period, kind of a bio-graphic recap of falsified true events, you know, like in Old School: This is Spinal Tap.
Tim (vo): It follows the deformed Phantom, who lives in the sewers of the opera house. He's secretly giving voice lessons to a young ingénue named Christine Daae, and like any creepy teacher, the Phantom is also attracted to her. The moral of the story is about the beauty underneath the ugliness, a sentiment shared in many different French stories like Beauty and the Beast and Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Beth (vo): But it's not just about the music being beautiful, it's also about the power of compassion and empathy. He suffers because of his bad choices, while also being redeemed because of his good ones.
NC (vo): The story was so timeless that they made film after film about it, and in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber turned it into a smash Broadway musical, so big that people were waiting for a movie to come out about it. Webber and Schumacher first wrote the script all the way back in 1989, with original Broadway cast members, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, set to star. But after a tough divorce between Webber and Brightman, the movie got delayed and delayed, until they just said, "Screw it. Let's just throw in the guy from 300 (Gerard Butler)."
NC: Which is what we're reviewing today. (There's a sound of glass breaking off-screen) Or at least trying to. What is it now, Hyper?
(Hyper Fangirl stands in front of a greenscreen in a yellow dress)
Hyper: The only reason why I agreed to play Carlotta is because I thought we were going to get a love scene.
NC: Carlotta is the singer who's jealous of Christine. She doesn't have any love scenes.
Hyper: Why else would you cast me as the egocentric primadonna character then?
NC: (NC looks down at his feet, unsure as to what to say) No habla ingles?
(Hyper yells in anger, and NC sighs. She starts to leave, but is stopped by Analyst 1 (Rob) with a "I Heart Charts" cap.)
Chart Guy (Analyst) 1: Whoa, whoa, Hyper Fangirl. You can't leave! You score high in the 12 to 29 demographic.
Chart Guy 2: Plus with a subset of 65 to 70 year olds we'd rather not talk about.
Hyper: I don't care, I'm leaving. (She runs out)
Chart Guys: No, no, no, no. (They both run after her)
NC: Great. Now who's gonna do the opening number?
(Drunken Mom walks into the room)
Drunken Mom: Perhaps I can be of some assistance. (She struggles a bit with closing the door)
NC: Who are you?
Drunken Mom: My name is Aunt Despair, and I have a special connection with the studio.
NC: No, you don't.
Aunt Despair: I represent the Fandumb Ghost that have lived here for years.
NC: No, he hasn't.
Aunt Despair: He sends you a message.
NC: I doubt that.
Aunt Despair: He welcomes you to his production of...
NC: (Starts talking over her) Lady, I'd fire you if you worked here, but you don't, so I'm just going to call the cops.
Aunt Despair: Fine, he just recommends that you replace Hyper Fangirl with Beth.
(Cut to Beth laughing with Tim, before cutting to the Chart Guys)
Chart Guy 1: Of course, reviewer.
(Beth looks surprised)
NC: Why not? It would be like when Christine replaced Carlotta in the movie.
Aunt Despair: You really had to spell that out?
NC: You'd be surprised.
(Cut to Beth singing in front of the green screen)
Beth: I can sing, I can sing so well
Hear how great I am
It's kind of weak
But you're supposed to be my biggest fan
Stare in awe, as I do somewhat well
And then heap on me tons of praise
When I'm doing barely better
Than a high school play
(The camera turns around her, as she is suddenly dressed in a white dress)
Chart Guy 1: (He and Chart Guy 2 applaud) Ah, ah, bravo, bravo. That was amazingly adequate.
NC: (He leans towards Tim) You hear that? That's your remarkably passable girlfriend.
Beth: I can't believe you're actually diggin' this with such rapt intensity
This is autotunes and meek like
Mili Vanili (She sings the last part in a high tone)
(An audience applauds. After performing, Beth comes out of the room to be met by Tim)
Tim: Honey, that was amazing! How did you get so phenomenally OK?
Beth: Well, I literally had a celestial being teaching me how to sing.
Tim: (beat) All right. Uh, that doesn't seem weird to you?
Tim: Does it charge a lot?
Beth: No, totally pro-Bono.
Tim: All right, then.
(Images of Christine in the movie are shown, as well as the Phantom's magic tricks in the musical)
Tim (vo): I guess if Christine in the movie can fall for a supernatural entity like a man pretending to be the angelic ghost of her father, anything's believable.
Beth (vo): The funny thing is, this could work in some respects. In the book, the Phantom studied magicians and illusionists to convince her he wasn't human. But in the play and movie, a lot of these illusions just wouldn't look right, like mannequins that change facial expressions, candles with moveable arms, and even shooting literal fireballs out of his hands. What is he? A Super Saiyan? (A picture of Goku is shown)
(NC comes in)
NC: Hey, Beth. Way to be phenomenally serviceable. (To Tim) Hey, we were gonna go have a good laugh by watching some of the movie. You wanna come with?
NC: All right. (To Beth) Good job, Beth. Not...not great, just...good. (NC and Tim sit on the couch to watch the movie. In keeping with the tone the Mad Max and Hocus Pocus reviews have done, we don't see the movie on TV, just sound effects are heard. As soon as they start watching the movie, NC and Tim burst out laughing) Can you believe the singing choices that they made in this? (Laughs)
(An image of Gerard Butler as the Phantom is shown)
Tim (vo): And here comes the laugh riot himself, Gerard Butler as the Phantom!
(As NC and Tim continue laughing, Beth sees a shadow on the wall rising up, but whispers at it to keep quiet)
Tim: He never even sang before!
NC: And it shows!
(NC and Tim continue laughing, as Beth makes a nervous face. Another image of Gerard Butler is shown, before showing images of various actors, all with a Photoshopped Phantom mask on their faces)
NC (vo): It's no surprise that Butler was at the bottom of a long list of actors in line to play the Phantom. This includes John Travolta, Antonio Banderas, Meat Loaf, Matthew McConaughey. (A caption pops up on McConaughey's image saying, "Needs more Lincoln") They even looked at Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. I...guess that turned out well? (A poster of the movie version of Les Misérables is shown)
(An image of Butler in Dracula 2000 is shown, before being shown for comparison with Butler's Phantom)
Tim (vo): But then Schumacher saw Gerard Butler in Dracula 2000 and thought, "Yes, that's the guy with no professional singing experience who should star in my musical." (An image of Butler in Gods of Egypt is shown) And he was never grossly miscast again.
NC (vo): The Phantom is supposed to be a dark, tormented creature who can teach you to sing like an angel. (A poster of 300 is shown) Boom! A Spartan jock who sings like sandpaper on an active machine gun!
(NC and Tim resume laughing their heads off)
NC: This is fun! This is fun what we're doing, honestly.
(As Beth watches NC and Tim continue to laugh at the movie, the shadow suddenly appears in the door behind her and sings)
Shadow: Insolent (the subtitles say "innocent") boy, this dumb whinny critic
What the fuck is your problem?
Gerard never sang before this damn movie
And I think he sounds awesome
NC: This is the fault with these movies
(Images of Russell Crowe in Les Miserables, Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia, Cameron Diaz in Annie (2014), Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd, Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen in Les Miserables are shown)
It's best to have no celebrity
They'd at least sound right
(Beth starts singing, while the shadow becomes angry and flips the bird at NC)
Beth: Angel of Stupid, this isn't working
Nothing will make us like it
NC: You are totally insane
Beth and NC: Angel of Stupid, won't you admit it
Schumacher made a bad flick
(Beth turns around, and the shadow reveals himself to be, in fact, the Fandumb (Doug))
Fandumb: I am no Angel of Stupid
I am pure sexy and coolness
(Beth, hypnotized by the Fandumb, approaches the door, then suddenly bumps into it)
Fandumb: (off-screen) Um...open the door. (Beth does so) Yeah, that's right. Turn the knob, you dunce. Lay it tight, very good. Push. Don't fall. This is a common mistake. And don't forget to close it behind you, you weren't raised in a barn. (Beth closes the door) There you go.
(As the famous opening notes of the Phantom of the Opera theme song are heard, we cut to a sewer where the Fandumb is guiding Beth throughout it)
Beth: Oh, God! It smells terrible down here! What is that?!
Fandumb: Well, it's a sewer! What did you expect?
Beth: It kind of sucks out the romance!
Fandumb: Well, if the audience can't smell it, you can't smell it! Put your hand down!
(The Fandumb resumes guiding Beth through the sewer as Beth sings the theme song in thought)
Beth: In dreams I heard the tale of fantasy
A fan of Schumacher's Phantom movie
Though in reality we know it bites
(She sings in real-time)
The Fandumb of the Opera won't see
This movie's trite
Fandumb: Wait. You singing verbally or mentally? You keep going back and forth. (Beth shrugs) Oh, come on.
(He continues guiding her through the sewer as the Fandumb sings the next verse. At one point, they encounter a man with a horse mask to give Beth a piggyback; though she refuses to, she ultimately ends up doing so)
Fandumb: Sing praises and admit this movie's great
And Gerard Butler is a musical saint
Though Phantom fans believe this movie's shite
The Fandumb who's not Gerard Butler's there
To make things right
(The Fandumb and Beth go on a boat and start rowing on it, with the Fandumb wearing a sailor hat)
Beth: Though parts might be okay, this film's a mess
Along with Butler's strange dueling accents
Fandumb: It's Scottish doing French doing English.
Beth and Fandumb: That's great/odd to focus on
Beth: Give it a try
Fandumb: Don't want to try
Beth and Fandumb: The Fandumb of the Opera is...
Fandumb: (singing fast) Totally awesome and sexy and dark and cool and did I mention sexy?
Now sing real high
Beth: He's weird, the Fandumb of the Opera
Fandumb: Sing marginally well. (Beth sings high notes, causing the Fandumb to be weirded out) That's...actually a little too good. (Beth sings higher) No, you sound interested in what you're singing! Don't do that! (Beth sings higher) More breathing! More gasping! Have the lungs of an asthmatic! (Beth sings higher, as thunder is heard) Stop! You sound like a person people would pay money to actually listen to! Remember your training! Sing like-a me!! (Beth sings the loudest and highest note, which ends the song. The Fandumb is not impressed, though) What was that?
Beth: Sorry, my instincts took over. That, or my years of actual experience from someone who doesn't sound like a dying moose.
(The horse-man comes back)
Horse: Hey! You gonna feed me or what?!
Fandumb: (sighs) Yes, yes, I will feed you soon!
Beth: Yeah, was that a horse? Did I ride on a horse?
Fandumb: Not that you care! Do you know how hard it is to bring a horse in a sewer? But it was done in the movie, so I am bound to it.
Beth: Yeah, but it didn't make sense in the movie, either.
(Images of the movie's horse are shown)
Beth (vo): The Phantom puts Christine on a horse, an honest to God horse in the sewers, and carries her for only, like, a few steps that I'm pretty sure she could've walked by herself.
Fandumb: But wasn't it a magical couple of steps? Chicks dig horses, I read this.
Horse (off-screen): FOOD!
Fandumb: SHUT UP!
Beth (vo): And on top of that, the horse is never seen again. He just disappears. Where does the Phantom keep a horse? Why does he keep a horse? How the hell did the horse obtain the strength to carry a human being if he breathed French rough sewage his entire life?
Beth: Yeah, sure, it was "in the book", but Andrew Lloyd Webber took a lot out for the musical version, and this was just about the worst thing they could've put back in for the movie.
Fandumb: Well, have you ever considered the possibility that I'm giving the horse singing lessons, too?
Fandumb: Oh, yes. I teach horses very differently from how I teach women.
Beth: Oh, I was wondering why my singing never sounded like yours.
Fandumb: I have also taught him the classic Phantom movie method of seduction. Show her, Buttercup!
Horse: But I need to exercise outside for muscular stability!
Fandumb: Just DO IT!
Horse: (sighs) Fine.
(He clears his throat and starts singing in the Fandumb's voice)
Horse: So soft, so smooth, this is sweet seduction
I'm so great at pushing all your buttons
(Beth is weirded out at the horse's singing, while the Fandumb gives a thumbs-up)
Let me blow your mind with these melodies sublime
I'm a sexy prince with all these cool-ass lines
Fandumb and Horse: Take pleasure in the screeching of my pride
Beth: (still weirded out) Okay. I think you got the wrong idea of what made the Phantom sexy.
Fandumb: What do you mean?
Horse: Yeah, come on, this is pretty hot.
(Images of the movie's Phantom and the musical's Phantom are shown)
Beth (vo): The Phantom's seductive nature wasn't from physical strength or three-quarters good looks on his face, it came from his passion for music and his confidence as an artist. And while his dominance and control normally came through psychological manipulation, here, it's from an open-shirted swordfight. And even then, he loses, so they couldn't even do that right.
Fandumb: Fine. I guess I'll return you home. Don't know why I thought mirror-napping you would draw you closer to me, anyway.
Beth: Oh, good! Finally! God knows everybody's missing me back at the studio.
(We cut back to NC and Tim still sitting on the couch)
NC: Hey, you know where Beth went?
Tim: I don't know.
NC: Eh, who cares? Put a dress on.
Tim: Oh, whatever.
(And we go to commercial)
(NC walks by the TV in a room, holding a script, while the "Notes Song" is playing in the background)
NC: Okay, according to this, the next song is the "Notes Song". Oh, God, is that one of those songs that's supposed to be funny because everybody talks really fast?
(He is interrupted by Chart Guy 2, who's standing in front of a board with a chart)
Chart Guy 2: What the fuck! It's a bunch of crap! I mean, what the fuck!
Chart Guy 1: (Walks into the room) Chart Guy, shut your trap.
Chart Guy 2: Launder all the dough! Grab up all the cash! Up to Mexico!
Chart Guy 1: Are you high on crack?
Chart Guy 2: (Hold up the phone) Have you seen these latest texts?
Chart Guy 1: (Takes the phone, NC looks at his phone): Oh, dear Christ, whatever's next?
(He starts reading from the text, holding the phone so the viewers can see it)
Chart Guy 1/text: Dear Chart Guys, I am LMAO,
So glad that Hyper Fangirl left.
If you could grant my wish, and just fire that bitch faster though
I'm so afraid her mugging will be rubbing off on scrumtalescent Beth
NC: Very clever. So maybe...
(He is interrupted by Chart Guys)
Chart Guy 1/Chart Guy 2: Who would have the balls to send this?
(NC shuts the script as a sign of annoyance)
Someone with Rob Schneider's brain
(NC sarcastically asks them to keep going with his finger)
Chart Guy 2: These are both signed FG
Chart Guy 1: Who the Hell is he?
Chart Guy 1/Chart Guy 2: Fandumb Ghost!
He's a predatory vapor, to expect us just to cater like Darth Vader to his Emperor Palpatine.
(NC is starting to talk, but is interrupted by Tim. NC is more annoyed)
Tim: Where is she?
Chart Guy 2: Oh, God, I'm deaf!
Tim: My precious girlfriend, where is she?
Chart Guy 1: You mean Beth?
Tim: I want an answer. I think she was my only ride home.
Chart Guy 2: Well, why don't you call her?
Tim: A voicemail!
(NC is even more annoyed)
Chart Guy 1: For the love of God!
Tim: And now a text... But not from Beth!
Is this something you would have sent?
Chart Guy 1: And what is it that you think we have sent?
(Chart Guy 1 looks at the phone, which reveals a text from Nostalgia Critic, which says: SHUT UP! -NC. The three look at NC, who is sitting relaxed. NC looks at them.)
NC: Oh, I'm sorry. Are we done? Like, finally done? Like the idea of people talking over each other isn't nearly as funny as you think it is DONE? (Beat) Okay.
(He stands up and is about to speak, until Hyper Fangirl suddenly appears)
Hyper: Where is he?
(NC is stunned)
NC: Shit! (Runs and hides)
Chart Guy 1: I need a drink!
Hyper: Nostalgia Critic, where is he?
Chart Guy 1: What did he do?
Hyper: He didn't chase me after I left, am I not worth it?
(Aunt Despair comes back in with a cell phone)
Aunt Despair: Please, sir, here's another text.
Chart Guy 1: Just read it.
Aunt Despair: Why? According to you guys, I don't even work here. I'll just let him read it.
(She drops the phone onto a hiding NC, causing him to yelp. Aunt Despair leaves, flipping the birds (middle fingers). NC gets back up)
NC: Bitch. (Reads the text on the phone) "Gentlemen, I have sent you several text messages on my cell phone, ruining an otherwise sensible data plan. I shall give you one..."
(As NC reads the text to everyone, we see the Fandumb saying the text)
Fandumb: ...last chance. Hyper Fangirl's not too good, you see. And I've molded Beth into something like me. In the new reviewing of the Phantom, you will dare forecast your Fangirl as the toilet. (Holds up a Dora the Explorer doll and a toilet figure. Hyper becomes angry) And give the starring role to Blandsapar Beth. I will watch the performance from my normal seat, which, like the movie, would be very easy to capture me if you wanted to. But you won't, because you are stupid. Should these demands be ignored, something really, really, REALLY, really, really bad will happen... maybe I'll shit in the buffet or something. But probably not that, since I just gave it away. By the way, don't eat the soup.
(We fade back to NC reading the text)
NC: "I remain your obedient servant. - FG."
Hyper: Hell, no!
Chart Guy 2: I ate the soup!
Hyper: Read my lips, I said, "Hell, no!"
Chart Guy 2: I need to puke!
Hyper: I'm not your potty.
I'm going, I'm leaving!
Tim: Oh, sweet, then can you drive me?
Chart Guy 1: Enough!
Fangirl is our one leading star with a fanbase.
Chart Guys: The Focus Groups all tend to agree.
Tim: Why didn't I buy a second car?
(NC is becoming really annoyed at the constant overlapping singing)
Hyper: He'll kill you both!
(Chester A. Bum appears)
Chester A. Bum: Have you seen my shoes?
Chart Guys: Fangirl, you are the star.
Hyper: What? This song is so confusing.
(Jim Jarosz appears with a pizza)
Jim: Here's your pizza.
Tim: I need a lift.
Chester: Oh, they're on my toes.
Jim: I need a tip.
Chart Guys: You'd better sing for us.
Chart Guys: Don't be such a butt munch.
Hyper, Tim and Chart Guys: Can we all stop talking at once?
NC: My review! (Everyone looks at NC) That was such a hilarious, needed, not-overstaying-its-welcome song that I pray, like in the movie and play, you have another hilarious, needed, not-overstaying-its-welcome song right after that one.
(The four people quickly begin to sing the next song as the music for "Prima Donna" is heard)
Chart Guys and Tim: (singing) Hyper Fangirl, fan fiction of the strange...
(NC quickly turns the camera to face him)
NC: Okay, I'm not subjecting you to that, especially when the movie has a setup that supports it so little.
(Images of that musical number from both the musical and the movie are shown)
NC (vo): In the play, it makes sense why the owners would want Carlotta over Christine. She's the bigger name. But in the movie, the fans are asking for Christine. In fact, they literally tell Carlotta her public needs her right after the people cry out for Christine! That not only makes no business sense, it makes no common sense!
(Chester approaches NC)
Chester: Have you ever considered the possibility that maybe everybody on the production was high?
NC: No, I think that's just you, Chester.
Chester: Oh, good! So I must be imagining Beth next to you right now.
(NC turns round to see Beth is sitting on the couch next to him. NC and Chester both yell and back away, stunned. Tim sits down on the couch)
Tim: Sweetcheeks, you're back!
Beth: Oh, yeah, I'm fine. You know, don't bother sending out a search party for me or whatever.
Tim: Sorry, we've been really busy.
Beth: Yeah, like, a phone call, or one of the milk cartons.
Tim: Well, we were singing such a funny song.
Beth: Maybe an amber alert.
Tim: Everyone was singing over top of everyone else. It was so hysterical. (Beth stares at Tim) O-okay, do you want to call the police about this guy that kidnapped you?
Beth: I couldn't do that to him.
Tim: All right, then. You just wanna go grab a bite or something?
Beth: (speaking with clenched teeth) I said, I couldn't do that to him!
Tim: (Beat) Maybe macaroni grill?
NC: Well, while they're doing their dress porn (gestures to the Chart Guys and Hyper, who are still singing), do you guys wanna go and shoot the next scene?
Beth: Does Andrew Lloyd Webber like to use five melodies?
(The trio leave as Hyper and the Chart Guys are about to finish their song. Hyper sings a high finishing note as NC, Beth and Tim go into the filming room to shoot the next scene)
NC: (off-screen) Action!
(Hyper and the Chart Guys immediately go to the filming room as well)
Hyper: Critic, you have to put me in the lead!
Chart Guy 1: That's right. We just sang a song about it!
NC: (Sighs) Hyper, what's this really about? I thought we were over.
Hyper: Yeah, but it's hard to let things die.
NC: Well, you're gonna need to start. Now if you don't mind, I'm busy. (To Beth and Tim) All right, let's take it from the top.
(Hyper sadly walks out of the room as the Chart Guys follow)
Chart Guy 1: Better pay no heed to him. Here. I'll show you some analytics.
(Chester witnesses Hyper leaving)
Chester: Oh, that's a pity. (Brings out three cigarettes) I will smoke three Js in her honor. (Smokes them, but shrieks in shock when he is confronted by the horse-man) WHOA, THIS STUFF WORKS FAST!
Horse: The Fandumb hears you like making fun of this movie, saying everybody's high?
Chester: Yeah, but if you know me, you know that's not really an insult.
Horse: It's time to destroy you! Just as Beth is about to become the lead.
Chester: But, wait, why would you do that? You'll ruin her chances of becoming a big hit.
Horse: It's just like in the movie.
(Images of the scene where the Phantom kills a stagehand is shown)
Horse (vo): Where in the play, the death of the stagehand could be interpreted as the Phantom fighting off an attack from him, in the movie, he clearly goes after the stagehand during Christine's big moment, thus completely sabotaging her success.
Chester: But why would he want that?!
Horse: One thing to understand about a Fandumb: they rarely make any sense.
(He throws a ticking timebomb at Chester and throws him straight into the filming room and right next to Beth and Tim)
Chester: Well, I guess I'm gonna blow up.
(And he does. NC rubs his head in annoyance)
NC: No, Chester. The Phantom doesn't have a bomb, the entire movie's the bomb.
Tim: Critic, that wasn't a stunt. This man is dead!
(NC gasps and stands up)
NC: Oh, my God! (Sits back down and acts like nothing happened) Okay, let's shoot the love scene.
Tim: You want us to confess our love for each other after we just watched a man die?
NC: Sure. They did it in the movie.
(Images of what NC said happened in the movie are shown)
NC (vo): They see a guy hang, they escape to the roof, they start making out.
NC: It's a totally natural thing to do.
Tim: If it's natural.
NC: It is, trust me. Murder is a total aphrodisiac. Now, start the music.
(Tim looks at Beth, then turns away)
Tim: I can't.
NC: Yeah, those chunks of Chester are distracting. Cleanup!
Tim: No, I mean, I...I can't sing this.
Beth: You're a wonderful singer, snuggle-bottom.
Tim: Thanks, biddle-dumpling, but that's not what I'm taking about. I'm too good to sing this crap.
(An image of Carlotta in the movie is shown)
Tim (vo): In the Phantom movie, a bunch of people who couldn't carry a tune were allowed to record their own vocals. But they insisted on dubbing over Minnie Driver, who actually can sing*.
*(Note: There's actually a reason for the dubbing. Minnie Driver can sing, but she could not sing in an operatic voice like her character. This is mentioned later in NC's editorial, Should Bad Singers Be Dubbed)
Tim: So if she was too good to sing that crap, I'm too good to sing this crap.
NC: Okay, if they dubbed the people who can sing and then don't dub the people who can't, we are not dubbing anybody in this musical at all! Now, start singing with your natural voice!
(The music for "All I Ask of You" is heard as Beth and Tim sing in front of a snowy background. Tim's voice is dubbed over with Doug's singing voice)
Tim: I have barely known you
For most of the running time
(NC smiles and nods)
Beth: And yet, I guess that is enough
To go from strange to true love
But I'm not sure why I like you
You're bland and super white
But still, we were friends as babies
Is that enough?
Tim: Well, maybe
Beth: So say you'll never, ever leave
Tim: No, never
Seriously, I am now attached to you
Beth: Even with that crazy stalker Phantom
You'll probably die
Tim: Well, yes, I guess that's true
Beth: Love me
Tim and Beth: The movie says I do
(They look at each other as the song ends)
NC: Cut! Beautiful. (Looks at his phone) And it is now currently six months later.
Tim: Wait, it is?
NC: Oh, yeah. In the play, there's an intermission to signify the passage of time, but in the movie, it's an incredibly sloppy transition. Look! You're even engaged now.
(Beth notices she has a ring on her finger)
Beth: Oh, so I am.
(Beth and Tim hi-five)
NC: (puts on a mask) Care for a painful analogy of what's happening in the show as well as our lives?
(We cut to NC, Beth, Tim, the Chart Guys and Aunt Despair singing in a theatre while all wearing masks)
This whole song is only for
Don't you see? 'Cause the Phantom wears a mask, too
You've all heard this junk before
It's cliched, but we're acting like it's brand new
Tim: Does anybody else think it's odd that we're singing about how colorful everything is and the only colors are faded black and urine yellow?
Beth: Hey, I'm just amazed at how lame that guy's Red Death mask is.
(We see the Fandumb, wearing obviously different clothing, a different mask and a red cape, but unrecognizable to everyone)
NC: Hey, buddy! Nice dollar store costume!
(Images of the Red Death in the musical are shown, as well as the movie's version of the Red Death)
NC (vo): Red Death is supposed to be like this extravagant outfit. You look like Zorro: The Gay Blade's stunt double!
(Everyone laughs, but then gasp when the Fandumb lifts his finger and an organ plays loudly)
Chart Guy 1: The organ music! Must be the Fandumb, yo!
Fandumb: It is. (Brings out a script) I have written you a new musical to perform, a self-inserted fan fiction that's destined to become a classic! (Throws the script at NC, who sees that the script's title is "Love Never Dies - By the Fandumb") It is the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera everybody has always wanted!
(Images of the musical's sequel, Love Never Dies, are shown)
Fandumb (vo): What if the Phantom and Christine had sex the night before their wedding? Ooh, and Raoul is a drunk, broke gambler now. And the Phantom is, like, super-successful and hosts a carnival. (A caption is shown saying, "Yes, this is REAL") And Christine totally still loves him. Ooh, ooh, and her 10-year-old son is actually the Phantom's son!
Fandumb: Ooh, ooh, ooh, and when she dies in the end, the son goes to live with the Phantom forever!
NC: I see you've been reading Hyper Fangirl's live journal for too long.
Fandumb: This review is still mine! You will sing for ME!
NC: Okay, just don't sing for us!
Fandumb: Trap door!
(He falls down a trap door)
NC: I'm not sure why we had that installed.
Beth: (sighs) Oh, great. Now we have to do a sequel to that crappy musical.
(Everyone turns to face Beth, stunned at what she just said)
NC: Wait. You didn't like the stage play?
Beth: No, I mean, it's not bad, but it doesn't represent the original story. Misses the point on lots of occasions.
(NC takes off his mask, stunned at the fact that someone doesn't find the musical that great)
NC: I don't know what to say. Like every Phantom fan, the idea of someone not liking the show is just inconceivable to me!
Tim: You do know it wasn't a critical hit when it came out, right? The only reason it ran for 30 years is because Rudy Giuliani murdered all the homeless, and slack-jawed fruits from Ohio suddenly weren't afraid to go to Times Square anymore.
NC: Away with you!
(Beth groans and walks away)
Tim: Wait, Beth, where are you going?
Beth: Where all sappy, dramatic musicals lead!
(We cut to a cemetery called "Symbolic Cemetery" as we see Beth staring over a grave. The gravestone says, "The Phantom of the Opera Book - Gone, but...yeah, pretty much forgotten")
Beth: Why does no one remember what an amazing novel you were?
(We see Hyper Fangirl, now in her normal get-up, standing in the distance)
Beth: Nothing. Just remarking on something pretty close to me and how watching it fade is kind of like losing a friend.
Hyper: Yeah. I know what you're talking about.
(We see that Hyper is staring at a grave, too. That gravestone says, "Nostalgia Critic's Friendship")
Beth: Wishing that this shit never happened
Wishing we could just retreat
To times before over-bloated scores
And fairy tale endings
Hyper: Wishing we could watch movies once again
There on the couch, laughing out loud
Without kidnapping you
Beth: The Phantom was a tragic figure
Not some emo canary
Hyper: If only we could go back in time
(We see the ghost of Chester watching this musical scene and being moved to tears)
Chester: (crying) And I thought my problems were bad!
(We fade back to Beth and Hyper singing)
Beth: It's not enough
Hyper: I won't give up
Both: 'Til I can press rewind
Wishing that this shit never happened
Then it could be him and me
Hyper: I'll use coercion
Beth: Where is the Persian
No more pretending, won't let Webber slide
Hyper: No more fun and games, I will make him mine
Beth: Help me press rewind
Both: Help me press rewind
(The Fandumb suddenly appears next to Beth)
Fandumb: Yes, yes, boo-hoo! Beth, after all I've done for you, tell me your hatred for the musical is not true!
Beth: I mean, it's okay, but it took out the best parts of the book and just added stupid 80s synth cheese.
Fandumb: DAMN YOU!
NC: I know, Beth. The movie can be pretty tough to get through.
Beth: I was talking about the play.
NC: I know. The movie. That's what I said. I've come to grips with it.
Beth: No, I'm talking about...
NC: Let me live in my denial.
(The Fandumb points at NC)
Fandumb: You! You betrayed me! I'm fed up with this world! (Pulls out a sword) Now I will show you the true meaning of pain!
(NC quickly pulls out his gun and shoots the Fandumb on the leg)
NC: He-hey! Yeah! Not so tough, are you? Hey, word of advice, jackass: The Phantom is not a swordfighter.
(Images of the Phantom dueling Raoul in the movie and the Phantom's mirror trick in the musical are shown)
NC (vo): He's an illusionist, literal smokes and mirrors to trick people!
NC: Where the hell does a guy in a sewer even learn swordfighting?! (The horse-man appears with a sword of his own) The horse! Of course! Everybody knows they're master swordsmen. Why else would you keep one around?
Horse: En garde, ass-munch!
NC: (smiles) Well, you're about to be put out of your misery.
(He is about to shoot the horse, as the Fandumb braces himself for what's about to happen, until Beth stops him)
Beth: No, Critic! Not like this.
NC: Yeah, yeah, I think like this.
Beth: We have to do it like in the movie.
(Images of the aftermath of the movie's swordfight scene are shown)
Beth (vo): Even though we have him cornered and can end the bloodshed right now, we have to perform his magical play, setting up a trap to catch him later.
NC: I have a horse pointing a sword at me right now, and that makes more sense than anything that you just said.
Beth: Just do it.
NC: (sighs) Fine. But if a cast member and/or building gets destroyed, I'm blaming you.
(They leave, as Hyper watches this from behind a gravestone and brings out a cell phone)
Hyper: I have an idea.
(We see the old Batman segue, music and all, with the Phantom mask instead of the Bat logo, cutting to NC, Beth and Tim in the filming room. Tim is wearing the Phantom's mask)
NC: All right. Let's wrap up this stinker.
Tim: Wait, I'm confused. Why am I wearing the mask now?
NC: (brings out the "Love Never Dies" script) Because in this version, Raoul is the real monster. So we're having him wear the mask instead.
Tim: Then how come it's just a little bit of paint under here?
NC: Oh, that's from the movie.
(Various images of the Phantom's deformed appearances are shown, including Claude Rains, Michael Crawford, Lon Chaney, Robert Englund, Ramin Karimloo, and lastly, Gerard Butler)
Tim (vo): But in every version of the story, the Phantom is horribly deformed, usually in really creative and distinct ways. How come this version looks like a bad sunburn?
NC: Because the Fandumb is visually sexy now, not psychologically.
Beth: Eh, it's no worse than giving him a carnival freak show backstory.
NC: Okay, let's begin this song with Tim... (However, the Fandumb is standing next to Beth instead of Tim) Fandumb, what are you doing?
Fandumb: I do not know no Fandumb. I am Tim whatever-my-last-name-is!
NC: It's so obviously you. You just want to do a love scene in front of the world with... (However, another Phantom (also Doug) is standing next to Fandumb instead of Beth) What the hell is going on?! Why are there two Fandumbs?!
Phantom #2: (Speaking in a recognizable higher voice) Oh, but there's only one original Phantom around here.
NC: (surprised) Oh, my God. Is that...Michael Crawford?!
Crawford's Phantom: Yes. (Gestures to Hyper, who has come into the room and is waving at NC) The young lady alerted me that my honor was being thrrrreatened.
NC: Okay, way to go, Hyper!
Fandumb: This is absurd!
NC: All right, Crawford. Show that no-talent hack what real singing is!
(Crawford's Phantom starts singing. His singing style, altering between high notes and low notes, quickly makes NC weirded out)
Crawford's Phantom: You have come here
To prove your voice does not suck ass
Like a warthog who got himself kicked in the ballsack
Pass the point of epic burns
Like gargling sawdust...
(Beth and Tim join NC as they watch the two Phantoms confront each other)
Tim: Were we knocked out or something?
NC: You wish you'd stay that way.
Crawford's Phantom: ...your voice is as profound as hammered shit
Beth: You know, this guy sounds pretty silly, too.
NC: You think?!
Fandumb: Yours is not that much better
You're like a squeak-toy
Falsettos sucking Borris Karloff's tit
Crawford's Phantom: You're screeching like a dying sow
Fandumb: Seriously, which gender are you now?
Both: Yet, somehow, ladies find us hot stuff
Crawford's Phantom: Pass the point of epic burns
Fandumb: You go back and forth like a helium balloon that farts
Crawford's Phantom: You sound like road-kill
Fandumb: Sounds like you're fast-forwarded and then slow downed just in random parts
Crawford's Phantom: For I'm the OG voice that was here first
Fandumb: Shrills repeating, ears are bleeding, no way to go in reverse
NC: (speaking over the third verse) You know, maybe this play isn't as flawless as I remember it.
Beth: I got to admit, the only time I believed the chemistry.
Fandumb and Crawford's Phantom: We've passed the point of epic burns
(Suddenly, Hyper takes off the Fandumb's mask. The Fandumb yells and tries covering himself)
Fandumb: My mask!
Tim: Aha! Now we'll find out who the Fandumb really is.
Beth: Oh, I got a feeling the Butler did it.
(The Fandumb's face is revealed to be a Photoshopped face of...)
NC, Beth and Tim: Andrew Lloyd Webber?!
Beth: Oh, I was way off.
Crawford's Phantom: Buddy?
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Yes. It was me all along.
Tim: Wait a minute. Your singing sounded just like Gerard Butler. That's why you cast him!
Beth: Yeah! And this whole thing was just for your stupid Phantom sequel that was so bad, it's never actually been shown in the US, and this, coming from a country that turned Bend and Snap into a musical number.
Webber: Well, you can't blame a guy for trying, can you?
NC: You murdered a man!
Webber: Oh, yes, that's true. Well, I'd better be off, then.
(The horse-man suddenly bursts in)
NC: What the hell?
Webber: Oh, yes. Don't you know? Horses fly.
(Webber and the horse-man fly away)
NC: My God! Everybody should get a horse!
(He sees Hyper Fangirl approaching him)
Hyper: I'm sorry I did what I did, Critic. I felt if one of us could remember the truth about the past...
NC: Well, maybe we both remember the past a little differently. Can we still be friends?
Hyper: (smiles) Only if we're the best. (A horn honks) Oh, that's my date.
NC: Wha...? You were dating someone while you were trying to still get me?!
Hyper: I have a life outside of you, Critic.
(She walks outside to get to her date, who is inside a familiar truck)
Devil Boner: (From inside the truck) Come on, baby! We're gonna be late to the Pottery Bar!
Hyper: Oh, you!
(The truck drives off. NC, Beth and Tim all look at the camera)
NC: So, what can we say about Phantom of the Opera? I mean, like, all of it?
(Images of the book, as well as other not-well-known adaptations, are shown as Beth speaks)
Beth (vo): The book definitely stands on its own as a solid piece of work, but even I’ll admit that it lends itself to a lot of interpretations, whether it’s Lon Chaney craving through the sewers in 1925, or a godawful video game from the mid-90s. So even if one isn’t your cup of tea, you know there are several right around the corner.
(Images of the musical are shown as Tim speaks)
Tim (vo): The musical has a lot of cool things about it, but it’s also very flawed, with tons of plot holes, clumsy lyrics and weird character choices. To the movie’s credit, they try to fix some of these problems, but in doing so, they create a slew of others.
(Finally, images of the movie are shown as NC speaks, giving his final thought)
NC (vo): The movie is not a very good adaptation of either the novel or the musical, but in all fairness, it’s not without some good moments. The sets are nice, the cinematography can be good. But the most important investments, like character and music, completely miss the mark. One thing all of these have in common, though, is that they are an experience. Whether it be through words, music or batshit crazy film choices, The Phantom will always leave us asking the question, “What the hell did I just watch?”
NC: But, hey, at least it's not "Love Never Dies". I'm the Nostalgia Critic.
Beth and Tim: And we're Shark Jumping!
NC: And...let's go buy a horse!
(They eagerly leave the room)
Beth: Aren't they amazing?
Tim: They're just so practical!
(The credits roll. After that, we see Crawford's Phantom still standing in front of green screen, puzzled)
Crawford's Phantom: Um... Should I just show myself out? Hello? (beat) Don't go! (another beat) So be it. I'm forced to show myself out the door! (walks away)
(Channel Awesome logo)
Fandumb: SHUT UP!