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Last week Netflix and Adam Sandler brought us their latest hit from the “Sandler-verse,” Hubie Halloween, and with it came Hubie’s Swiss-army thermos. The thermos gag got a laugh from me every single time. Hubie Halloween gave me hints of old Sandler movies like The Water Boy and Little Nicky because of the over-the-top character he played and ridiculous sight gags. It wasn’t at the level of Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore but it also wasn’t The Ridiculous 6 which would’ve been the worst case scenario.
It’s a movie that came just at the right time. With movie theaters being inactive for the last 6 months and many productions delayed, we’re starting to run out of new things to watch. We don’t have a lot of new sources of mindless entertainment these days. Of course that’s the least of our problems with the global pandemic, global warming, societal injustices and upcoming presidential election all creating chaos across the country. Hubie Halloween is the perfectly mindless content we needed to get us out of our funks for 90 minutes.
Now, I just said “mindless” right before typing this sentence, BUT watching Hubie Halloween got me thinking. Thor has his Hammer. King Arthur had Exalibur. And now Hubie Dubois has his… thermos? Hubie’s thermos might be up there with the most useful items a hero has ever had in a feature film. We need to explore this further. (I’ve been inside for over half a year, so it doesn’t take much to beautiful-mind the crap out of a small aspect of an Adam Sander movie).
Let’s set some ground rules.
First, we’ll be grading these famous movie items on a scale with 100 being the best. Points are added up according to the following categories:
- Versatility- Is this item a one trick pony or is it multi-faceted? Worth up to 20 points.
- Convenience- Is the item easy to use and carry around with you? Worth up to 10 points.
- Effectiveness- What was the success rate of this item in the movie? What’s the likelihood that the use of this item could come back to bite you if used incorrectly or if it falls into the wrong hands? Worth up to 30 points.
- Real-Life Practicality- Are there real-life applications to this item that would actually be helpful to everyday people? Worth up to 40 points.
Second, we’re only choosing one item per movie in order to keep things simple (and to keep my sanity). For instance, we’ll have to decide between Marry Poppins’ magic carpet bag or her magic umbrella. Unfortunately it can’t be both.
Lastly, we have to eliminate a bunch of items right off the bat because they’re too large-scale and not really the type of items that we’re looking for:
- Vehicles- Anything that you ride inside of is disqualified. Sorry to Batman’s Batmobile, Doc’s Delorean, all spaceships, all sea vessels & submarines.
- Non-mobile Items- This has to be something that can easily be carried on someone’s person. That means pretty much all heavy machinery is out. No time-machines, teleportation devices, cloning machines, etc. that can’t leave the home base.
- Channels- This means anything that is a mechanism to “channel” someone’s own power. The best example for this would be wands in Harry Potter. Wands don’t actually create magic, it’s a tool for wizards & witches to control and use the magic that’s already within them.
- Sentient Beings- This kicks out all of Tony Stark’s Jarvis related items, Magic Carpet from Aladdin, Dr. Strange’s cloak, etc.
- Suits- Bat-suit? Out. Iron Man Suit? Out. Ant-Man’s shrink suit? Out. I’m sure you get the point.
- Weapons- All of these are cool and all, but would the majority of us actually use them more than once if we had the chance? Weapons would score too poorly in all of the categories, so we’re just going to eliminate them all together. Bye-bye Captain America’s shield, Mjölnir, Excalibur, lightsabers, etc.
- Modifications- Did a character suffer some tragic accident and then science turned them into half human/half robot? If that’s the case, then all tools associated with them are ruled out. My apologies to RoboCop, Inspector Gadget, the Winter Soldier & others.
Now that we have the rules established, let’s dive in!
Proton Packs, Ghostbusters
What Is It: Proton packs are what the Ghostbusters use to restrain and capture ghosts haunting New York City. (They’re also technically not a weapon so they don’t get disqualified.)
Versatility: I guess you’re just using this to catch ghosts or destroy things, so not very versatile. 4/20
Convenience: I’m sure the citizens of NYC were glad to be rid of all of those ghosts but the Ghostbusters couldn’t have been happy to have to lug those big packs on their backs for every mission. 4/10
Effectiveness: The streams are incredibly difficult to control and cause a ton of collateral damage, but they get the job done when used right. There’s a really high backfire rate on this one considering when you cross streams there are potentially fatal repercussions as a result. 9/30
Real-Life Practicality: Ghosts don’t exist, and if they do, just let them be. It’s not like they’re causing the kind of havoc ghosts in the movies do. I follow a very strict “I don’t mess with them, so they won’t mess with me” policy. 0/40
Total Score: 17/100
Universal Remote Click
What is it: Like a universal TV remote (does anyone under the age of 15 even know what that is anymore?) except instead of controlling the TV, you can control the world around you.
Versatility: Want to stop listening to someone? Hit the mute button. Want a do-over? Hit the rewind button. Catch a cold? Fast forward so that you can skip over being sick. 20/20
Convenience: It’s a remote. It fits in your pocket and you can go anywhere with it. All of its features are just the touch of a button. 10/10
Effectiveness: Here’s where things get complicated because up until this point, the universal remote has a perfect score. The problem that arises is being able to actually control the remote. The remote learns your tendencies and next thing you know, giant chunks of your life have been skipped over and your life is ruined because during the time that’s skipped, you’re on auto-pilot. This definitely did not work out for Adam Sandler’s character, Michael Newman until he was ultimately able to get rid of the thing. 0/30
Real-Life Practicality: You would’ve thought that the universal remote would be much further on our list. IF there was a way to figure out how to perfectly control the remote and maybe use it sparingly, then it could work in real life. The ramifications are just too great to take the risk. 5/40
Total Score: 35/100
The One Ring The Lord of the Rings Series
What is it: “The one ring to rule them all.” The wearer of the ring becomes invisible. It also extends the life of whoever is in possession of it.
Versatility: It makes you invisible, similar to the invisibility cloak (we’ll get to that later), but you get virtual immortality on top of it which makes the One Ring slightly more versatile. 10/20
Convenience: You don’t want to be invisible 24/7 so you can’t wear the ring on your finger. You can keep it in your pocket or wear it on a neckless. Whoever has the ring in the LOTR series loses the ring more often than you’d like. Docking a couple points based on those reasons. 8/10
Effectiveness: Becoming invisible is one thing, but you then see the world from some sort of shadow-dimension where the Ringwraiths can find you (not good) and so can the eye of Sauron (really not good). Oh and did I mention you’ll become a psychotic, power-crazed ring addict? 5/30
I repeat- Ring. Addict. Don’t wear rings, kids. 5/40
Total Score: 38
Neuralyzer, Men In Black
What is it: The neuralyzer is what M.I.B. agents use to remove someone’s memory. If someone was witness to the discovery of an alien, they can wipe their memory of this event from ever happening with just a flash.
Versatility: The only thing you’re using this device for is giving people amnesia. 4/20
Convenience: A neuralyzer is super-convenient. It’s small, fits in your pocket and user-friendly. It loses some points because it requires you to put sunglasses on so that you’re not effected by the amnesia-flash yourself. It’s slightly inconvenient to always have to carry sunglasses around with you, especially when it’s dark out or you’re inside where people will think you’re strange for having sunglasses. 8/10
Effectiveness: This works every time as far as I know. Finding a way to reverse the memory loss is practically impossible. The only way to accomplish this is with a De-Neuralyzer which is really
You also need to make sure that you have a way to shield your eyes. If you don’t, you’re screwed. Plus, if you aren’t accurate with your timing on the memory wipe, you could accidentally remove weeks, months or years from someone’s hippocampus (The part of the brain that holds memories… Not to be mistaken as a school for hippopotamuses… Hippopotami?) 21/30
Real-Life Practicality: The main reason to use this in real life is most likely because they’ve done something bad and they need to remove their bad action from somebody’s memory. Not to mention the ethical and moral dilemmas that arise in general when considering using something this powerful. The only case it might be useful for people with good intentions is if you’re trying to remove a traumatic memory to spare someone. But even in that case, the Neuralyzer would need to be utilized right after the traumatic event. You can’t selectively delete a memory. It’s everything that’s happened between the time of the memory event and the present or nothing. 6/40
Total Score: 39/100
Lasso of Truth Wonder Woman
What is it: A golden lasso that compels those who are lassoed with it to tell the truth.
Versatility: I guess other than getting people to tell the truth you could rope in some farm animals? 8/20
Convenience: Roll it up and attach it to your belt. Just don’t wear it AS your belt if you don’t want to be forced into honesty all day. 8/10
Effectiveness: You’re getting anyone you tie this lasso around to tell the truth, even if it’s just tied around their little finger. The issue is in actually tying someone up with it. Could be some trouble if you tried to do that against their will or if you don’t have the skills to actually lasso something. 15/30
Real-Life Practicality: It’s basically a guaranteed lie-detector. But at the same time, how much more often would this be used than an actual polygraph machine. I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to be forced to tell the truth without some sort of pushback. You’d never actually get the chance to use it more than the handful of times you could convince someone to play along. 10/40
Total Score: 41/100
The Invisibility Cloak Harry Potter Series
What is it: The invisibility cloak is just what it sounds like. It’s a blanket you throw over your head to make yourself invisible.
Versatility: You can use the invisibility cloak for a number of scenarios- sneaking around, hiding from someone, hiding something from someone but ultimately you’re only using it to make something invisible. 8/20
Convenience: The invisibility cloak covers a lot of surface area and it appears to be really light-weight. It looks easy enough to fold up and carry around or to throw over yourself quickly if you’re in a pinch. 10/10
Effectiveness: You’ll turn invisible no problem, but you need to watch out for your feet in case the cloak isn’t long enough. You also need to remember that just because they can’t see you, it doesn’t mean they can’t hear you or bump into you, so its effectiveness really depends on the user. If you’re clumsy or a loud breather or you have allergies, then there’s a greater chance of getting caught. Otherwise, there’s not much to worry about here. Harry Potter never really had too much trouble with anybody stealing the cloak either. It was always his most reliable tool aside from his broom. 21/30
Real-Life Practicality: Unless you’re a serious creeper, I’m not sure what the benefit of being invisible would actually grant you. You could be trying to recover some important information, do some sort of reconnaissance…that’s all I’ve got. Even if you’re using it as a way to get some information, I’d imagine it’s to eavesdrop and find out what people actually think about you. Is that information you’d actually want to know or would you be better off being ignorant and not knowing what people are saying when it’s normally behind your back? 20/40
Total Score: 59/100
Jack’s Compass Pirates of the Caribbean Series
What is it: A compass that points toward what you most desire.
Versatility: If you need directions to anything other than what you want the most, you’re out of luck. 4/20
Convenience: About as convenient as it gets as long as you’re sure of what you most crave. 8/10
Effectiveness: Like I just alluded to, if you aren’t certain about your inner-most desire, then the compass will be on the fritz. But if you’re certain, you’ll be led right to it. 20/30
Real-Life Practicality: What could I possibly want most that I couldn’t find on my own? That’s what Google is for. And even if I did find whatever it is I want, I probably couldn’t afford it. Is the compass going to lead me to a pile of cash and then lead me to the owner of James Bond’s original Aston Martin? If it takes you through all the steps leading toward getting what you want the most, then it works out nicely. If not, it’s useless. 30/40
Total Score: 62/100
Green Lantern Ring Green Lantern
What is it: A ring that grants the wearer powers and abilities by harnessing their willpower.
Versatility: Pretty much anything you can imagine, you can make happen with a Green Lantern ring. 20/20
Convenience: It’s just a green ring, so it’s really convenient unless you’re concerned the green might clash with your outfit. Unlike the One Ring to rule them all, I don’t believe Lanterns lose their rings very easily. 10/10
Effectiveness: If you have a Green Lantern ring, there’s no denying its power and effectiveness. The problem is actually getting your hands on one. You have to be one of two beings out of every possible living creature across our end of the universe. Just on Earth alone, your chances are 2 in over 7.5 billion. And if there’s life a few galaxies away that we don’t know about, forget it. 15/30
Real-Life Practicality: This would easily be the greatest item on this list to have in real life. You’d be able to do practically anything that pops into your head. But if these existed in real life, none of us would have a ring because we definitely don’t have the willpower to be gifted one. I’m surprised I’ve had enough willpower to write this long of an article, let alone get a Green Lantern ring if they existed. 20/40
Total Score: 65/100
Hoverboard Back To The Future Part II
What is it: It’s a skateboard without wheels that hovers over the ground.
Versatility: I don’t think Marty McFly is doing anything else aside from hoverboarding around. 4/20
Convenience: Should be slightly more convenient than a skateboard because of its lack of wheels. I’ve never carried around a skateboard before so I wouldn’t know. I’ll guess. 6/10
Effectiveness: It goes fairly fast (especially when you grab on to the back of a moving vehicle). Just don’t try to hover over water without some extra power. They look difficult to control but I’m sure practice is everything with these.
Real-Life Practicality: This is probably the one thing on this list that we’re closest to having in real life. Who wouldn’t want to ride around on a hoverboard? Well, I guess anyone that already doesn’t ride a skateboard. 35/40
Total Score: 70/100
Thermos Hubie Halloween
What is it: A thermos with countless features that I’m sure weren’t even revealed in Hubie Halloween.
Versatility: Thermos vacuum cleaner? Check. Thermos telescope? Check. Thermos shovel, umbrella, grappling hook, torch, megaphone, blender, flair gun or hairdryer? Checks all around. Thermos compass? No, unfortunately not. That’s what smartphones are for. 19/20
Convenience: The thermos is tethered to Hubie’s belt which keeps it handy and ensures he’ll never lose it. However, it’s pretty bulky to have on your waist all day and might be uncomfortable. 7/10
Effectiveness: We don’t know the extent of the capabilities Hubie’s thermos has but it looks unlimited. Just when you forget Hubie has his thermos, he breaks it out to use for something new. Just don’t get lost in a corn maze. 25/30
Real-Life Practicality: Hubie’s thermos has untold real-life applications. The only barrier from someone using this in real life is embarrassment. Can you get over the insecurity of carrying a thermos on your hip all day, every day and not worry about people thinking you’re weird? Most probably couldn’t. 30/40
Total Score: 81/100
Carpet Bag Mary Poppins
What is it: A bottomless carpet bag that can carry an infinite amount.
Versatility: As stated above, infinite amount means infinite possibilities. 20/20
Convenience: It’s a bag with handles that lets you carry around everything you could possibly need. That’s about as convenient as it gets. 10/10
Effectiveness: There’s a moment where Mary Poppins has to rummage around a bit to find her tape measure. That’s the carpet bag’s only hiccup. If she thinks it, she pulls it out of the bag. 28/30
Real-Life Practicality: Can you imagine how easy packing for vacation would be?! You could fit your whole life in that bag. You’d never have to worry about forget anything ever again. All of the items that we went on and on about in this article? You can put all of them in the carpet bag! This wins hands down. 40/40
Total Score: 98/100