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  1. Goes to show how much these comic book films are a blur to much of the acting community who populates them. It feels all the same.
  2. So in a time in which white actresses can be nudged aside from playing long established white female characters for the sake of diversity, its Scarlet who is tone deaf for not wanting restrictions? When people rush to the defense of Disney casting a black actress for Little Mermaid are they not also asking the same thing by wanting to do away with any preconceived restrictions on who could play what? Or is the selective outrage limited to only white folks who want to benefit from some race-bended casting as well? I'm African American and a progressive. I have been keeping up with the casting of black people in film and television for nearly 20 years. I even used to write articles at times for a black entertainment website. I say this only as a preemptive strike towards any who would dismiss my two cents by presuming I'm white or I'm a bigot or I'm hardcore right-wing or that I'm all of the above. I'm none of those things. I just can't abide by double standards. And I see such double standards when people cheer on Disney making a movie out of the old, popular novel A Wrinkle In Time and call anyone who question the casting for that film as racist or stuck in the past. When you point out to them how offended they may be if a white actor is chosen for a role meant for a person of color, like Scarlet in Ghost In the Shell, they claim that's different; they act as if appropriation, cultural or otherwise, can only be applied only if white people are doing it. Last year I was upset to see left-leaning people practically stalk all of Naomi Scott's tweets and Instagram posts because they were upset about her casting as Jasmine in Aladdin. They insulted her and claimed she should walk away from the role because she wasn 't ethnically or racially right for the role in their minds. She was half Indian and thus didn't meet the standards in their eyes. Some even denied that part of her heritage and emphasized how she was white (she is half white). A year later we have people on my side of the political aisle stressing how the casting of a black Ariel doesn't matter because mermaids don't exist and the story was just a piece of fiction written by some European man. Well, Aladdin is also a piece of fiction based upon work by a European man that takes place in a kingdom that doesn't exist. So tell me why the different reactions by the left on social media for these two separate casting decisions? And why is it that the media is doing pushback against those complaining about the casting for Little Mermaid but conveniently remained unaware of all the vitriol that was directed Scott's way when she got the role in Aladdin? Apparently Scarlet Johansson isn't the only who is tone deaf. We can't ever make up for all the lost time and lost chances of decades worth of Hollywood 's apartheid casting. All we can or should do is give everyone equal opportunities going forward. Equal opportunities means equal treatment too. Thinking it's okay for people of color to go after roles of established white characters because it makes up for past digressions while at the same time frowning on the idea of white people taking roles playing established non-white characters may be understandable. But it is still hypocritical.
  3. But it is NOT how it is in the comics. Despite how interconnected things are in the comic books, Peter Parker's Spider Man somehow managed to never have a mentor who is a more established superhero. Ever. And yet he became Marvel comic book's most popular character. Imagine that. The only Spider Man that did have such a mentor is Miles Morales. In his case it was Captain America. Miles also wanted to impress Cap and join the Avengers, he went not to a public school but an elite charter school, he had friends and classmates who were racially diverse. This included his best friend and roommate who was a chubby Asian boy. He found himself involved in interracial relationships. Oh and he was written as a thirteen year old to fifteen year old, an age range Peter Parker had not been portrayed as, if ever, in over forty years. In fact all that I listed above had never been part of the Peter Parker backstory until the filmmakers of Homecoming, who were very aware of Miles' story, decided to lift it from the Miles Morales comic books. So when I read people raving about how they like this new fresh take on Peter Parker for the MCU I'm compelled to point out that the filmmakers lifted from Miles what made him different and gave it to Peter. I totally understand Feige and Co going with Peter Parker for he MCU. But when they decide not to pursue Miles at that point but have no qualms taking characteristics and elements from his story for the Peter Parker films, that seems tacky. Plus it's annoying to see people give credit to the filmmakers for coming up with a different take for Peter when what they really did was steal work established for another character. As a comic book fan I have never seen that occur before in these films, not to this blatant extent. Last of all the use of Tony Stark in Peter's life in Homecoming was a cash grab. It was a way of ensuring success of Homecoming by putting in the most popular Marvel film character in the movie. To those who think that was a natural move considering the setup in Civil War, I counter that that film also very much could have justified Captain America being in Black Panther and Winter Soldier being in BP a lot more too. That could have erased any concerns Disney or Marvel may have had about the overall appeal of a BP film worldwide. But the filmmakers from BP trusted they didn't need to make phony relationships with established Marvel screen heroes in order to sell their product.
  4. In other words Feige and Co lifting so many elements from the Miles Morales comic book that made THAT particularly Spidey fresh and updated for the 21st century worked like a charm for you when applied to Peter Parker and the MCU. Because that is what essentially happened. The Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies were more true to the Peter Parker comics and were extremely popular without having to ride the coattails of Iron Man's international popularity and the domestic dominance of the MCU among the American public. But Holland 's version of this franchise probably needed all of that extra help (including great promotional pushes in CW and the last two Avengers flicks) because of fatigue setting in after moviegoers had gotten three versions of Peter Parker on screen within a span of about ten years. How else do you explain the slightly disappointing box office of Homecoming which was easily bested by the two following MCU films with less popular characters (Thor and Black Panther)? I'm sorry but Far Away From Home got the benefit of so much promotion by Infinity War and such an enviable sweet spot in the box office schedule by being the immediate follow-up to Endgame, that it's domestic take from this six day run doesn't wow me. I mean Black Panther made more than that in three days in freakin February without having the benefit of being a sequel. I'm gonna wait to see how Far From Home holds up domestically before assessing how big it's appeal is.
  5. Gawd, no on the Ariel front. Just stop, Disney. And btw if a black actor was "taking" established, high profile IP roles from white actors left and right the way Zendaya takes away from white actresses (Spiderman, Dune, possibly Little Mermaid) the fanboys would riot.
  6. I don't know about that. He's not that great of a director, not one who can elevate bad material (writing) at least. As soon as his name was announced I knew this was going to be a turkey unless a great script was there waiting. And honestly if there was a great script, the studio wouldn't have wasted it on Gray.
  7. And somehow this film won a poll for being more anticipated than The Force Awakens.
  8. If you lived in the USA you could watch a marathon of the first Rocky motion pictures on Spike TV today. If you are only going to see one eventually check out the first Rocky film. It's a classic.
  9. Didn't realize that Jordan himself had to be forgiven for how bad the recent FF ended up being. After all he was one actor of an ensemble superhero flick and it wasn't as if his performance had brought down the film. The negative reviews were never directed at him specifically....except the ones by (mostly white) fanboys who felt personally insulted Jordan was cast and made it their mission to burn him in effigy. Instead sensible people placed the onus on director/writer Trank who was clearly overwhelmed and clearly had some conflicts with the studio. Why don't you demand an apology from him instead because Jordan doesn't owe you a single thing.
  10. Some additional thoughts....sorry for the length. Let us not forget too that Will Smith is still a huge star. Perhaps his appeal is greater with international audiences than domestic ones, but until proven otherwise he still has clout. The way some folks talk about him you would think he was on a downside the likes of Eddie Murphy or John Travolta. But in the past ten years only two of his movies have been box office disappointments. “Seven Pounds” wasn’t a bust but didn’t live up to the “Pursuit of Happyness” standards. “After Earth” was indeed a huge bomb but Smith was at best a supporting player in that film anyway. And the movie stunk. It deserved to be a bust. My point is that it isn’t as if Smith has outstayed his welcome with audiences. In many way it is just the opposite: he has largely been absent from films over the past six or seven years as he spent more of his energy producing films for his kids and his company. 2015 will be the first year he has starred in two movies since 2008. One thing Smith has made a reputation for is being the hardest-working star as far as promoting a movie. It is one reason why he is such an asset. And he has been promoting the hell out of “Focus” over the past few weeks. He’s hit virtually all the major American late night TV talk shows and has started the morning TV show tour as well. He and Robbie spent about a week going from one European country to the next for red carpet premieres all the while making time for appearances on European shows like “Top Gear”. Smith, who has a strong Hispanic following, also appeared on a popular American based Spanish language talk show during which he spent one segment mostly conversing with the host in Spanish. Then there’s Margot Robbie who appears to be on the verge of becoming a legit star. One Hollywood type tweeted about how he saw the billboard for “Focus” when driving one night and thought how big a deal it was that Margot Robbie, barely into the beginning of a film career, already had her name right next to Smith on that billboard. The size of her role probably justified that but we have all seen in the past examples of when studios still wouldn’t go the route of giving a young, unproven actress the same royal treatment as they give the proven major star. Warner Bros must have really been wowed by her performance as was the writing/directing duo of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa who brought her aboard for the Tina Fey movie “Funhouse” after working with Robbie on “Focus”. Robbie looks so stunning in these promos for “Focus” that she may be worth the extra price for an IMAX ticket. I once had an email exchange with Grace Randolph of Behind the Trailer after she made a YouTube video praising the first trailer of “Focus”. Her issue though was she was worried that Robbie was going to get lost as some eye candy for male viewers while alienating female audiences. I disagreed in that I thought Robbie was a talented actress who would come across as likable to female viewers. Most of all I thought Randolph didn’t get how Robbie’s sex appeal should not be seen as a bad thing. It is an asset. Men swoon over this woman. I know I do. She may been the rare actress that can attract male audiences to see her work even when she is not appearing in a comic book or young adult novel adaptation. She has that rare quality of making male viewers lust after her and female viewers wanting to be her. Frankly I think the film is being undervalued on this site, especially when you take a glance at the box office bombs that had been championed here with countless pages of postings. When the first trailer of “Focus” dropped I was surprised with all the lukewarm receptions it got from posters here, particularly considering how well it was received in other places on the web. I’m still taken aback by even recent posts on these boards which dismiss the movie for “looking stupid.” Really? It is one thing to say that the promos aren’t interesting enough but how in the world are they stupid-looking? Now “Get Hard”…..THAT looks stupid. And I wonder would it look less stupid to people if it was starring the original choice of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (neither of whom had ever been considered major box office draws) or the second choice of Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart? Because I’ve been given hints that I would best enjoy this film if I knew the least about its twists, I’ve stayed away from looking for reviews but the few I’ve come across have been promising. But there was no better recommendation than David Letterman when he had Smith on his show last week. Not only did he go out of his way to praise the film and encourage audiences to see it, not only did he become the latest man to fall under Margot Robbie’s spell, but despite having already seen the movie free of charge (either through a screener or an early screening) he came out and said he will go and see the movie again. This time on IMAX. If this film is any good it is going to make a good sum of money in America alone.
  11. The IMAX explanation perhaps can best be found in this article http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/01/30/how-will-smith-is-making-a-movie-star-comeback-the-right-way/ According to Scott Mendelson IMAX is looking to “branch out” in terms of the type of movies that they are acquiring and “Focus” may be the most prominent example of this. And anyone who catches the commercials for “Focus” on TV would know that the studio is really pushing the whole “see it in IMAX” hard sale. This all suggests that Warner Bros REALLY liked what it saw. More importantly thought it may be more telling that IMAX liked what it saw as well and wanted its name to be associated with this movie. IMAX in the end determines which films are to be shown in its format. I believe only one out of every six proposed films are in the end selected by IMAX but don’t hold me to that. Mendlelson is one of the best writers of the movie business and his article was an excellent take on what Smith is currently doing with his career. He brings up an interesting point that Warner Bros may have been so impressed with “Focus” that the studio made the decision out of the blue to bring in Smith and Margot Robbie for “Suicide Squad”. Maybe pursuing Robbie for the role of Harley Quinn may have been a bit of a no-brainer, but the studio going after Smith for Deadshot was a surprise to everyone to say the least. A lot of that may come down to the widely-lauded chemistry that Smith and Robbie reportedly display in Focus, although who knows for sure how much screentime they will share in the DC Comics film adaptation. However it is common for studios to give offers to actors who just appeared in projects that they are happy with.
  12. That's a good breakdown. But in all honesty I "liked" your post mainly for seeing that badass B5 avatar you use.
  13. You see interracial relationships in big movies a lot more than you think. They just almost always happen to involve a white male and a non-white woman.
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