March of the Penguins

Cyborg steeled himself for the worst.

From an analytical perspective, the viewing of this film was guaranteed to go badly because the HIVE had a terrible perspective on nuclear family structure. The concept of parents who took responsibility for their kids was something rather alien. The concepts of survival of the fittest and close family ties clashed. The HIVE would find that funny.

From a personal perspective, Cyborg happened to think that March of the Penguins was a fantastic cinematic achievement, heartwarming, and touching. This almost automatically meant that the HIVE would find it weak-assed, flimsy, and "gay", not in the homosexual sense of the word, of course, but in the sarcastic, "can you believe that word used to be an innocent way of expressing happiness?" sense.

The bloodbath began as the winter storm set upon the husbands trying to protect the eggs from the storm. As the mass rotated, frozen, dead eggs were spotted on the sidelines.

"If they're really starving as much as all that, couldn't they eat the eggs?" Seymour observed.

Jinx, always the closest thing to a voice of reason, elbowed him. "That's sick."

"That's survival of the fittest."

Billy muttered something darkly under his breath, prompting Xilo to ask, "What's an orgy?"

Bailey, who got Billy's meaning immediately, burst out laughing. Angelica glared at him. He shrugged her off. "Whatever, they know."

"I don't get it," said Vito.

"They're keeping in a moving mass to keep warm," said Jinx.

"Yeah, no duh, okay. But I mean, they're starving."

"They're dedicated."

"Yeah, but there's a bunch of food all around them."

"Well, what do you expect them to do, eat each other?"

"No! Look at the fringes of the group! Frozen eggs everywhere. The chick was inside living off the nutrients, and now it's dead. Why can't they eat that?"

"Because they're not cannibals!"

"Then they're stupid," Vito muttered. "That's a waste of resources."

"Maybe they do eat the dead eggs," said Billy, cutting in, "But the filmmakers just didn't show it because they're trying to make penguins look like the best fricking thing we ever took for granted on this planet. Cannibals aren't cute. You can't make something like Happy Feet out of a bunch of cannibals."

There was a pause as the mother of a dead chick tried to steal a baby chick from another mother.

"There's no such thing as a mother who wants a kid that much," Angelica muttered.

"Happy Feet was way better than this," Seymour announced. "Elijah Wood is the only penguin voice I will ever appreciate."

"Are you kidding? This is Morgan Freeman, bringing sexy back to the north pole," said Billy.

"South pole, dude. Are you even watching this?"

"Okay, speaking of voices," said Vito. "They know each other by song, right?"

"Or by tap-dancing," said Jinx.

"…right. So, Dad comes back to find dead baby chick. Is the dead baby chick singing? That doesn't work."

"He just keeps looking for it, and when he can't find it, he knows it's dead," said Jinx. "If I can figure that one out---"

"No, but they showed one of the dads finding a dead chick."

"Doesn't mean it was his dead chick."

"And I mean, how awkward. He made that huge, horrible trip for nothing. Couldn't the mom have left a note or something? I mean jeez, talk about taking people for granted."

"You can definitely see where the writers of Happy Feet got their inspiration," said Seymour. "I can follow this plot point by plot point. Look, here comes a predator bird. I already knew that was coming. I bet he'll be a completely ineffectual hunter and won't actually catch anything."

The predator bird was ineffectual. When he did, at last, catch a baby penguin, Angelica said, "I like how all the adults are standing around not doing anything about it."

"True to life," Billy murmured.

Five minutes later, when the families were reunited:

"I like how the parents are making out right in front of the kid," said Angelica.

"True to life," Billy repeated.

"How French of you," said Seymour.

Billy threw his pencil at him. "What the hell?"

Seymour put two fingers together, miming a cigarette, and pretended to take a drag from it. "Ah! Eet ees sad! Ze panguens do like ze humans do, and zey all do eet badly! How like life!"

Jinx elbowed him. Seymour elbowed her back and added defensively, "For the record, I was doing an impersonation of Robin Williams' version of how French people talk."

Bailey laughed. "I remember that! He's so good."

"He's a total druggie," said Vito.

"Drugs make you brilliant," said Bailey.

"We have conflicting evidence before us," Montego muttered, and Bailey punched his arm lightly.

"Alright, that's it," Cyborg announced. "I've had enough. I've seriously had enough."

He stood before the class.

"I happen to like this movie. I think it's pretty damn impressive. I think it's amazing that they were able to get all this on film in those conditions. I think Morgan Freeman has a great narrative voice, and I appreciate that they were able to get all these random events into a story line that has absolutely nothing to do with Happy Feet, thank you very much. Now there are twenty minutes left to this movie, and we are going to watch them in absolutely perfect silence or so help me God I will destroy this room and every video projector in this facility just so I never have to suffer through your sarcastic, oh-so-clever critiques again. Thank you."

He went back to his seat and sat. The class was silent for the last twenty minutes of the film, and he enjoyed those twenty minutes very much. When the movie was over and they took off to their next class, he was given a wide berth.

Except for Jinx, who sidled up to him and hooked her arm in his.

"That," she said, "Was pretty damn impressive."

Cyborg glowed all the way down the hall into the next class.