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Film / Desktop Desperadoes

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Desktop Desperadoes is a British 2019 live-action/animated comedy, musical, fantasy film. It was animated, written directed by and featured Gilbert and Sullivan performer Joseph Marshall along with other collaborations from Hull Savoyards (including Paul Anderson, another Gilbert and Sullivan performer and localized Piano Teacher) and the Hull Dagger Lane company.

It centers around Pointer, an animated graphic who works for the company "Collington Computing" run by Bob Collington. Pointer is highly ambitious and hopes to resign from "Collington Computing" in order to join the Multi Billion Dollar US corporation "Desktop Daredevils" run by Jane Maine. His strict boss refuses to allow him to leave his corporation in fear that Pointer may be held for ransom. Pointer secretly evades the building without a trace. All goes to hell though when a fiendish criminal by the name of Alex is made aware of Pointer's existence and attempts to manipulate him and utilize his special abilities within his career of crime.


The official link to the film is here,

This film provides examples of:

  • Bloodless Carnage: When the main antagonist, Alex is shot through the heart not a drop of blood is spilt Although seconds later it is revealed that this is down to him not being human after all but rather a graphic in disguise.
  • Ceiling Smash: Pointer pricks himself up the buttocks with an arrow which causes him to fly upwards along with the cage and smash through the villain's ceiling, escaping his captivity.
  • Chase Scene: When Alex is revealed to be the infamous "Pointer 95" in disguise, he is pursued by Pointer through the hidden Desktop Universe which consists mainly of the world wide web including the search engine. This is a steam train driven by the Welsh Train Driver.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Pointer very subtly exhibits this as he is about to be lethally transferred to Alex’s laptop.
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  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: If Pointer’s powers to freeze and manipulate time-and space don’t qualify we don’t know what does!
  • Generic Cop Badges: At the Yorkshire Barracks, it is played to the extreme, none of the soldiers outfit display any insignia, even the Sergeant’s rank is only identified by reference. Subverted with Detective Sergeant Walters who is referred to by a highly formalized rank.
  • Harmless Freezing: When Pointer freezes the platoon in place to make it look as if they are standing to attention significantly longer than the Sergeant’s expectations.
  • Evil Plan: Alex relays his evil scheme to Pointer prior to the data transfer process in great theatrical details including his plans to hack the main banks of the world.
  • Kidnapped from Behind: Alex traps Pointer in a cage simply by posing as a director and inviting him to an “audition”. The fake disclaimer was placed inside the cage and as Pointer is reading it, Alex locks the cage door behind him.
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  • Ash Face: Happens to Pointer after poking his head in a canon at one of the local museum (which amazingly fires despite presumably not been actively used for centuries!)
  • Butt-Monkey: Linda, Bob’s secretary is a shining example of this, varying from her dizziness in the intro song, her flattening from the door of Pointer’s castle as well as the printer and almost getting eaten by a shark
  • The Comically Serious: Collington for the most part.
  • Agonyofthe Feet: At the military base, Pointer drives over Alex’s foot while he is impersonating a soldier. His reaction draws attention but it does not blow his cover.
  • Squashed Flat The printer can be used to strip people of their three dimensional shape but can be restored with the “undo” symbol. It is once used as evidence to confirm Pointer’s existence and used again to disarm Jane Maine. Also Linda faces this when Pointer builds a large castle at the beach but accidentally slams the drawbridge on her. She is shown to be alive though as she peels herself off the ground.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Linda is subjected to a comedic variation of this after the volleyball strikes her at rocket speed. She is later restored in time for another round which doesn’t go any better for her.
  • Disney Villain Death: Played with. The fall itself doesn’t kill off Pointer 95 but he is sucked through a permanent deletion vacuum, disposing of his organic lifeform forever.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Yorkshire is a typical example of this i.e. Forcing the whole platoon to stand on one leg for 10 whole minutes while she enjoys her coffee break and not expressing much gratitude when Pointer saves her platoon from the pacifists.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Alex is depicted as a calm and polite individual who will happily take the time to explain his intentions but the contents of his evil schemes does not resolve him of any villainy.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: This whole film features Pointer, a character animated in Flash which is a favourable attention to detail given that he is part of the hidden Desktop Universe.
  • Patter Song: Pointer’s entire explanation as to why he should be allowed to move company is comprised of this.
  • Another Dimension: “The Desktop Universe” is a universe where Pointer and his lost brother Pointer 95 originate from. It consists mainly of a data clustered void and navigating through it is the search engine, a locomotive driven by a Welsh train driver. Every door throughout the carriage leave to a different website. The only one we see visited though is an army website where Pointer obtains his tank.
  • "I Am" Song: Collington begins the film with one introducing himself, the company and his employees.
  • Shout-Out: During his dream sequence, Pointer while flying on a surfboard sings the trio “If you go in” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. A nod to Joseph Marshall and Paul Anderson’s ties to the canon.
  • Everythings Betterwith Spinning: Bob ends the second verse of his song by spinning Linda as a dance move. It backfires though resulting in her dizziness.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: Jane and Pointer’s reactions to the news of Alex’s scheme are displayed in this fashion.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Even Collington’s screen cannot protect him from Pointer’s boisterous antics (The thermometer generated by Pointer’s anger flies upwards, bypasses the screen and strikes Collington in the face)
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: The only time we ever see Collington lose his cool is when belting out a massive exclamation of “SILENCE!” after hearing about Linda’s botched attempt at exposing Pointer to the outdoors.
  • Brick Joke: Even after Linda and Pointer have safely returned to the office, the swarm of bees manage to catch her up through the open window and chase her out.
  • Non Sequitur: Nobody has ever explained where the shark that almost guzzled Linda up came from.
  • Paintothe Ass: Pointer disarms the mugger by lodging a pointing arrow directly into his rectum.
  • The Reveal: When Alex is shot in the climax, he de-materialises into data and he's revealed to have been Pointer 95 in disguise, Pointer's long-lost brother who fled Collington's corporation after Pointer started out performing Pointer 95 and the whole plot was driven by a desire for vengeance, hence attempting to take Pointer's life, and greed, hence attempting to hack the banks.
  • "Psycho" Strings: During Alex's explanation of his plans at the George Washington Conference Centre, the strings reached an ear-piercingly high level to maximise the discomfort. One of the earliest viewers even suspected the microphone was malfunctioning without any crew members noticing.
  • Plot Twist: That one decision of Pointer to save Alex from the mugger back fired horribly when it exposed him to Pointer's abilities However, Alex turned out to be a graphic himself but still.
  • Blob Monster: The virus embodies this description fairly accurately.
  • In-Universe Camera: A small fraction of the in-universe nature programme hosted by Dr. May Helix is shown where she is discussing the nature of bees. It does grow more confusing though when Pointer enters the scene where it is hard to tell which camera is capturing Helix's piece to camera and which is the film's main cinematic camera.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Detective Sergeant Walters is a stern, serious no-nonsense official who is always content to rely solely on hard evidence for any statement made within his investigations. He almost comically breaks this persona when Collington reveals his animated printer. He grows even more stunned when Linda faces her second flattening.
  • Cutaway Gag: During Collington's second conversation with Walters, he is giving an update that one of his subordinates noticed Pointer and began to pursue him but the connection was lost. The aftermath of an off-screen collision is revealed with the police car immobilized from a steaming engine. Pointer is then seen making a disparaging comment.
  • Useless Security Camera: With how easy it was for Alex to sneak into Jane Maine's office and hold her at gunpoint, it leaves the viewers wondering if this is indeed the first time Jane has been held hostage?
  • Alonewiththe Psycho: Pointer and later Jane as well during both cases of entrapment under the eyes of Alex.
  • Flashback: Pointer 95 describes his history with the company and how he ended up abandoning it when his brother outperformed as well as his new identity, living under the name of Alex.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Pointer goes to sleep and dreams about him flying over a South Pacific Island but his surfboard is shot down by Alex (a bit of foreshadowing giving that he was saved by Pointer earlier) and it reaches a whole new level of surrealism when he is rocketed up into the sky where the clouds reveal demonic faces and he falls back down into the abyss.
  • Jerkwitha Heartof Gold: Collington while hotheaded, stern and highly strict to his employees, he does mean well in ensuring Pointer's safety, he finally opens his heart and respects Pointer's ambitions in the finale and he does genuinely love his wife Vicky.
  • British Royal Guards: A female royal guard can be seen in the Yorkshire Regiment but the Sergeant is quick to call her out with a snarky comment "'Ey red robbing? Where's your camouflage gear? In the wash!? There's no washing machines in Afghanistan love!"
  • Achilles' Heel: All graphics are fairly resilient to any hazards and can escape any drastic situations. However, their biggest fears are the recycling bin which if ejected while entrapped, it permanently erases them from existence.
  • Bewarethe Nice Ones: Pointer may be good-natured, cute and fairly easy-going but will not hesitate to blow you into oblivion should you endanger his life. As Pointer 95 learns the hard way and ends up being ejected down the recycling bin.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Alex leaving his gun unguarded on the desk at the George Washington Conference Center is a blunder which would make Dick Dastardly spin in his grave.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: The timing of BBC News which reports on Pointer's existence, spelling out his own reluctant confession is impeccable.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Alex is a typical example of this Even when his true form is revealed, his voice does not change.
  • Foreshadowing: In hindsight Alex's advanced knowledge in manipulating data and generally being highly computer literate is no surprise given that he was in fact a graphic himself as revealed later on.
  • Kickthe Dog: Alex attempts to slowly transfer the cute and gentle Pointer into his laptop which from speculation, appears torturous.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Alex's accent appears to keep slipping between Yorkshire and Received Pronunciation at random intervals It's later justified when Alex is revealed not to be the person we initially suspected and RP is Pointer 95's natural manner of speech
  • Visual Pun: The Search Engine is a locomotive which maneuvers throughout the Desktop Universe. This houses all of the websites through doors across various carriages.
  • Overly Long Gag: Pointer's attempt at selecting an appropriate vehicle for his trip to the United States takes up a fair portion of the entire scene.
  • Action Girl: For a fairly large portion of the film, Jane Maine is portrayed as the typical damsel in distress but once she gains access to Alex's pistol, she does not hesitate to use it.
  • Happily Married: Bob and Vicky Collington unquestionably qualify with their obvious expression of romance and their wiliness to resolve circumstances rather than bicker over them.
  • An Aesop: This film both encourages the viewers to pursue their dreams and thinking outside of the box while also approaching your ambitions carefully and not automatically trusting everyone you happen to encounter. They may be manipulating you.
  • Oh, Crap!: Pointer displays a hilarious "Oh Crap!" face during Linda's wrestle with the shark.
  • Police are Useless: Possibly applicable when one of the officers crashes his vehicle while chasing Pointer, although Pointer's capabilities are endless and beyond what a human could achieve so this could be an unfair analysis.
  • Large Ham: Joseph Marshall's portrayal of Bob Collington is clearly very much derived from his experience in stage acting, often as if he was performing in front of an audience of one hundred people and not in front of a camera.
  • Adult Fear: There's likely not a single parent who can't relate to Collington's reluctance of Pointer being allowed to roam unsupervised and face potential danger. Simply change the Boss/Employee relationship to a Parent/Child relationship and the point is certainly applicable.
  • All Thereinthe Manual: A large majority of the "Collington Computing" employee's names and positions are not revealed at any point during the actual film. For example, Vicky while obviously Collington's wife, is neither referred to by name nor is her position as a "Collington Computing" employee established until the end credits.
  • Badass Adorable: Pointer with his profoundly impressive and resourceful abilities while maintaining his cute persona qualifies for this trope.
  • Beyondthe Impossible: Collington in conversation with Detective Sergeant Walters insists on the existence of Pointer by demonstrating one of his tools "The Printer".

Collington: Look, I can present you with solid evidence that my story is 100% truthful and not delusional.

Walters: Yes and I can present you with evidence that I'm the Queen of Sheba! (Sees Printer) Wow!

Collington: Do you know what this is? It's not just a printer, it's an animated printer that's capable of stripping anything or anyone of their three dimensional shape no matter what their size, observe! (Proceeds to compress Linda down to a paper-thin shape with the printer)

  • Coveredin Gunge: An instance of this occurs when Pointer escapes Alex's flat by jumping onto the back of a lorry, but to his dismay, not just any lorry but a rubbish lorry. This results in the predictable.
  • Hammer Space: Justified, Giving that Pointer consists solely of data and can materialize any weaponry and outfits in the blink of an eye varying from a hammer to a printer and even a sword at one point.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: While generally not regarded as tiny in the accepted sense, The height gap between 5ft 2 Vicky Collington and 6ft Bob Collington is quite large by observation.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: The whole film would not have been possible without the wonderful and helpful input of the actor portraying the main antagonist Alex, Peter Jonas.
  • Meaningful Name: Pointer, while containing many functions, is shaped like a Pointer. He also uses his drop-down menu occasionally which is how an actual desktop Pointer functions.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Try watching all of the scenes featuring Jane Maine and attempt convincing yourself the Seattle-Based, Multi-Billionaire Computer Genius was not influenced by Bill Gates.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Both the male and female characters have their fair share of amusing injuries, though Linda's are arguably the most exaggerated. (Flattening, Shattering, Shark Torment)
  • Animated Musical: Played with, this is an animated/live-action film which features occasional songs but is arguably still relevant.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Both Pointer's Patter Song and the duet later on is visually represented through animated sequences.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: No matter what Pointer or the child viewers may be inclined to believe, It can't be denied that Collington's strict regulations are implemented with the best of intentions.
  • You're Insane!: A polite variation of this exists in the climax from Pointer as Alex is unveiling his scheme "You're nuts by the way, in case you don't know that already!"

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