What's new

For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans (1 Viewer)

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
40,356
Location
The basement of the FBI building
Actually, as someone who's been a comics fan for almost the entirety of my life, I find this the most puzzling. And that's because comics characters and their backgrounds get changed all the time. The versions of some of the superheroes that were (re-)introduced in the late 50s or early 60s were different from what they were in the 1940s. The Flash was originally Jay Garrick, who got his powers after exposure to "heavy water". Later, the Flash was Barry Allen, who got his powers when a lightning bolt hit a rack of chemicals that splashed all over him. Green Lantern used to be Alan Scott, who found a mysterious old railroad lantern and ring that gave him magical powers. Later, he was Hal Jordan, who was given a ring and lantern by an alien member of an interstellar law enforcement corps. Hawkman and Hawkgirl were originally resurrected incarnations of ancient Egyptians, later police officers from the planet Thanagar. And the list goes on.
Sorta building on that, I'm always amazed how comic books have been unquestionably the most "progressive" form of entertainment for decades (they've actually had diversity on the page and with the creative teams long before Hollywood started paying lipservice to it) and yet some fans are surprised and go berserk that a decades long trend of diversity is simply continuing on. No doubt the He-Man Woman Haters Club is going nuts over Natale Portman in the new Thor trailer today. :laugh:
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
10,039
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Hmmm... just watched that Thor trailer. The *only* thing that looks interesting/intriguing is that brief shot with Portman, if for no other reason than to find out just how that's possible. From the trite and cliche' use of Guns 'n Roses music to the CGI scenery the rest looks pretty forgettable.
 

Reggie W

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
9,078
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
Sorta building on that, I'm always amazed how comic books have been unquestionably the most "progressive" form of entertainment for decades (they've actually had diversity on the page and with the creative teams long before Hollywood started paying lipservice to it) and yet some fans are surprised and go berserk that a decades long trend of diversity is simply continuing on. No doubt the He-Man Woman Haters Club is going nuts over Natale Portman in the new Thor trailer today. :laugh:

Race and sex are triggers in our society. However, we live in a diverse world. I think it makes sense to update some of these properties to the present day. James Bond is constantly shifted to be about the times it is made in. I mean you could do a series of period Bond films, that would be fun to me, but they like to move the series to be in line with the world we are living in.

I read comic books in the 1970s and not the ones that were the most popular. I liked war, western, and science fiction comics. I've never tracked how they have changed over the decades because I have not followed them over the years. Superheroes never grabbed me. I did watch the old Superman TV show but I really did not sort of really love a superhero film until the Christopher Reeves Superman movie. I enjoyed the hell out of that and still do.
 

Indy Guy

Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
97
Real Name
Tony Baxter
This is what they should do. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be their approach. And I understand their reasoning for not doing it that way. Basically, the truth is they want the properties to make money. So, they want to just gender swap or race swap a popular character because that has a better profit potential.

If they actually hired writers that were a specific race or sexual orientation or whatever to write specifically for whatever group they are from...well...the properties likely would not have across the board appeal...which is what makes them money.

So, rock and a hard place. If you, for example, have a transexual writer, write a story and characters that are transexual and less than 1% of the population is transexual...well...now you have a property that will only appeal to a small segment of the population which eats into the box office.

Sure, everybody can celebrate and pat themselves on the back for being inclusive, but you are writing at that point for much smaller groups.

Much better just to have a black guy or a woman play Captain America than to actually take a risk on having a person representative of one of those groups actually write a property that would represent them.

I mean, I see what they are trying to do but basically as you essentially said, they are not going about it in a way that makes any sense. They just say "Make 50% of the characters represent groups that do not make up 50% of the population" just in a random way.

And here is the issue with that, everybody, including the people in these groups, can see right through what they are doing.
Beyond inclusion and diversity issues are the long standing values of casting and believability in creating lasting stories.
To paraphrase Walt Disney regarding Cinderella, "If you don't believe in the world we create for Cinderella, you won't believe in her predicament nor the magic that eventually releases her."
In contrast, today creators are so eager to get credit for changing attitudes, that they spotlight inclusion in contradictory ways.
Disney had a live version of Aladdin with a physically challenged cast member appearing on stage in a contemporary wheelchair. Had the chair been designed to seamlessly fit into the Aladdin marketplace, (for example, a little cart pulled by an animated goat)...Disney might have realized a truly magical moment that also enhanced the story and sense of participation for the cast member. Instead, the contemporary chair had the effect of taking the audience out of the story to give Disney obvious credit for including a physically challenged cast member. The role could have been seamless, had the desire to get "credit" taken a back seat to production and story.
A good example of seamless inclusive storytelling is Disney's "Princess and the Frog". In this story, the setting changed from fairy tale Europe to New Orleans Louisiana a century ago. This facilitated a diverse cast very much at home within the new backdrop.
The characters developed in a way consistent with the historical context, allowing a broad audience to relate to the lead's frustrations and aspirations. The shallow nature of supporting characters focused on human rather than racial perspectives so their evolving growth was also credible.
The ethnic nature of the villain was never about "blackness" anymore than "Sleeping Beauty's" Maleficent was about female empowerment. A good story with perfect casting and credible situations keeps the audience lock-step within Story reality.
The concept that Walt Disney relied on is not outdated...it's just hard to do. It requires eliminating well meaning but obvious story contradictions. Like obvious product placement ads of yesterday...today's industry leaders are most anxious to get credit for "not so inclusive" diversity.
 

Reggie W

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
9,078
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
No doubt the He-Man Woman Haters Club is going nuts over Natale Portman in the new Thor trailer today. :laugh:

Why would they be upset about Portman? Is she not supposed to be in there or is she a gender swap of a male character? I have not seen a Thor picture nor read the comics. So, I'm in the dark on what they are supposed to be. I figured the thing that would upset fans when I watched the trailer is how sensitive Thor and the other guys in it are. This seems one of the huge complaints on this kind of stuff, the male characters now have to be super sensitive rather than just superheroes.

I laughed at the bit where Thor stares lovingly into Chris Pratt's eyes but that is the kind of thing the "fans" seem not to want.
 

Walter Kittel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
8,819
Essentially reposting what I said in the Thor trailer thread...

I am not overly thrilled about Portman coming back to the franchise, but only because I never was sold on the relationship between Thor and Jane Foster. As noted in the other thread, the dynamic will probably be different this time (at least based on the trailer snippet) so my original reaction may be moot at this point. Perhaps more importantly the film is being directed by Taika Waititi which means it is probably going to be pretty damn good. And yeah, the 'stare' was pretty fun and is the sort of thing you are going to see in a work from Waititi.

- Walter.
 

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
40,356
Location
The basement of the FBI building
Why would they be upset about Portman? Is she not supposed to be in there or is she a gender swap of a male character?
Any time a woman or any minority gets the spotlight in a franchise movie, there's a small segment of usually white male "fans" that go berserk (death and/or rape threats, unending online ranting and raving) simply because a woman, etc. has gotten the spotlight in what they see as their movies. Whether it's entertainment or politics, that's become the standard reaction from today's scared bigots on the internet when someone that is different from them gets attention.
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
10,039
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
I guess those "fanbois" really haven't read the Thor comics... Since that trailer shows a what looks to be a shattered and reformed Mjølnir returning to *her* hand it appears they're lifting some of the comic's history with the hammer and, though temporarily wielding a reformed Mjølnir, she's destined to become a Valkyrie as in the comic.
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
7,654
Real Name
jr
I guess those "fanbois" really haven't read the Thor comics... Since that trailer shows a what looks to be a shattered and reformed Mjølnir returning to *her* hand it appears they're lifting some of the comic's history with the hammer and, though temporarily wielding a reformed Mjølnir, she's destined to become a Valkyrie as in the comic.

(On a real world tangent).

Even in our world's own history, there existed female viking warriors verified by dna analysis. For example, grave "bj581" from Birka in modern day Sweden. (Birka was purportedly a viking town more than a thousand years ago).




I recently watched a PBS documentary about this.


 

jayembee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
3,315
Location
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Jerry
Why would they be upset about Portman? Is she not supposed to be in there or is she a gender swap of a male character? I have not seen a Thor picture nor read the comics. So, I'm in the dark on what they are supposed to be.

Kinda sorta somewhat. The backstory here (from the comics) is that when Odin gave Mjølnir to Thor, Odin put an enchantment on it that said "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall have the power of Thor". Without digressing too much, it was part of a lesson Odin wanted to teach Thor about worthiness.

At any rate, back about six years or so in the comics, there was this big brouhaha in fandom because the then-current storyline in the Thor comic was that Thor stopped being worthy (it was really that he stopped believing he was worthy) and was no longer able to pick up the hammer. But someone else -- unknown at the time, and later revealed to be Jane Foster -- came along, was able to pick up the hammer, and was transformed into a (female) version of Thor. She "replaced" the original Thor in the Avengers, and so on. Eventually, things went back to the way they'd been before.

(Whether this is where the movies are headed is unknown, but the presence of the character played by Christian Bale in Love and Thunder certainly suggests that it might be.)

Anyways, a lot of fans just went beserk. Part of it is that they saw it as a pattern of sorts. There have been other stories involving female and/or non-white characters taking on -- in one way or another, not necessarily replacing -- the identities/powers of the traditional characters. An Iron Man writer created the character of Ironheart, who was a 15-year-old prodigy who reverse-engineered her own Iron Man armor; Shuri became a replacement Black Panther for a while; Sam Wilson became the new Captain America; and so on. The angry fans saw this as Marvel ramming an "SJW" agenda down people's throats.

But it's not just a concern about "replacement". Give yourself thanks that you seem to be unaware of the relentless campaigns against Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. It's almost (but not quite) been as insane as the Star Wars fans hatred for Daisy Ridley and (especially) Kelly Marie Tran in the sequel trilogy.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
23,556
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Give yourself thanks that you seem to be unaware of the relentless campaigns against Brie Larson as Captain Marvel.

I think sometimes the world has a tendency to mistake the village idiot for the whole village, to assume the most noxious viewpoints are more representative of public sentiment than they actually are.

For all of the internet trolling in regards to Brie Larson, Captain Marvel opened to record breaking box office, and Larson’s second appearance as the character in Avengers: Endgame yielded the largest opening weekend of all time.

Most people don’t care about what the village idiots have to say and aren’t swayed by noxious viewpoints. They just don’t have the time, energy or inclination to argue with said idiots.

Is the trolling kind, decent, or appropriate behavior? I would argue it is not. But I’d also argue that it’s not truly representative of the audience, either. I would never say that we shouldn’t call out bad behavior when we see it, but I would also say that the overwhelming success of these films indicate that the trolls aren’t winning.
 

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
40,356
Location
The basement of the FBI building
I think sometimes the world has a tendency to mistake the village idiot for the whole village, to assume the most noxious viewpoints are more representative of public sentiment than they actually are.
I think most fans realize it's a small segment of the fanbase (something I try to always point out when I gripe about those creeps) but I think the more mainstream entertainment press treats them as larger or more indicative of the fans. I have a friend who has only seen The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi (no, I don't know why I talk to her :laugh:) and even she knows that everyone hated The Last Jedi and it's because those turds have been so loud.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
23,556
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
I think most fans realize it's a small segment of the fanbase (something I try to always point out when I gripe about those creeps) but I think the more mainstream entertainment press treats them as larger or more indicative of the fans.

I think that’s exactly it.

“Don’t feed the trolls” is always the best course of action and we’d all be better served if more editors and publishers took that to heart.
 

jayembee

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
3,315
Location
Hamster Shire
Real Name
Jerry
I think sometimes the world has a tendency to mistake the village idiot for the whole village, to assume the most noxious viewpoints are more representative of public sentiment than they actually are.

For all of the internet trolling in regards to Brie Larson, Captain Marvel opened to record breaking box office, and Larson’s second appearance as the character in Avengers: Endgame yielded the largest opening weekend of all time.

Most people don’t care about what the village idiots have to say and aren’t swayed by noxious viewpoints. They just don’t have the time, energy or inclination to argue with said idiots.

Is the trolling kind, decent, or appropriate behavior? I would argue it is not. But I’d also argue that it’s not truly representative of the audience, either. I would never say that we shouldn’t call out bad behavior when we see it, but I would also say that the overwhelming success of these films indicate that the trolls aren’t winning.

What I found amusing is that some of the Brie-haters continued to post articles suggesting (based on the ubiquitous "inside information") that Disney was going to (a) cancel plans for a second Captain Marvel film, (b) replace her as Captain Marvel, or (c) just drop the character completely from the MCU. This even despite press release after press release talking about the casting of the movie, starting pre-production on the movie, starting actual production on the movie, and so on. Or claiming that adding Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan to the movie was proof that Disney didn't have confidence in Larson carrying the film on her own. :rolleyes:

Some people just don't know when to quit.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
23,556
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Some people just don't know when to quit.

Absolutely.

And there are similarly people who are insisting that Kathleen Kennedy is going to be fired from Lucasfilm any day now… for nearly a decade.

When someone doesn’t like something like a TV show or movie, the correct response is…to not watch it.

In regards to your earlier comment on Kelly Marie Tran, I think she was done a massive disservice by the entertainment press covering it. There was endless coverage about the trolling, about her response to it, about her ethnicity, about her character, but I felt like the most important part of that story was ignored.

For me, the story there, the question that went mostly unasked was, “Why do companies like Twitter allow their users to send death threats to other people?” At any time, whether it’s Brie Larson, Kelly Marie Tran or anyone else, these companies could have taken action and didn’t, normalizing the behavior and tacitly condoning it. That’s the real story.
 

Reggie W

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
9,078
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
Kinda sorta somewhat. The backstory here (from the comics) is that when Odin gave Mjølnir to Thor, Odin put an enchantment on it that said "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall have the power of Thor". Without digressing too much, it was part of a lesson Odin wanted to teach Thor about worthiness.

At any rate, back about six years or so in the comics, there was this big brouhaha in fandom because the then-current storyline in the Thor comic was that Thor stopped being worthy (it was really that he stopped believing he was worthy) and was no longer able to pick up the hammer. But someone else -- unknown at the time, and later revealed to be Jane Foster -- came along, was able to pick up the hammer, and was transformed into a (female) version of Thor. She "replaced" the original Thor in the Avengers, and so on. Eventually, things went back to the way they'd been before.

(Whether this is where the movies are headed is unknown, but the presence of the character played by Christian Bale in Love and Thunder certainly suggests that it might be.)

Anyways, a lot of fans just went beserk. Part of it is that they saw it as a pattern of sorts. There have been other stories involving female and/or non-white characters taking on -- in one way or another, not necessarily replacing -- the identities/powers of the traditional characters. An Iron Man writer created the character of Ironheart, who was a 15-year-old prodigy who reverse-engineered her own Iron Man armor; Shuri became a replacement Black Panther for a while; Sam Wilson became the new Captain America; and so on. The angry fans saw this as Marvel ramming an "SJW" agenda down people's throats.

But it's not just a concern about "replacement". Give yourself thanks that you seem to be unaware of the relentless campaigns against Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. It's almost (but not quite) been as insane as the Star Wars fans hatred for Daisy Ridley and (especially) Kelly Marie Tran in the sequel trilogy.

Thanks for that extended explanation, Jerry. I would never know these things as I don't follow the comic book universe and so don't know the legends and lore of the characters. So, when I watch one of these films I just watch it as story. I don't know if a character is supposed to be male or female or what powers they should or should not have. I can't nitpick the stuff because I have know knowledge of the nits.

I did see all the ranting on the last trilogy of Star Wars films but a lot of that I did not understand at all either. I thought the worst mistake they made with those films was not putting Han, Luke, and Leia all back in the same space again. And leaving Luke out of the first movie entirely. You went to the trouble of getting the actors all back, this was a huge draw for the fans of the first trilogy, and then you totally pass on reuniting them and kind of waste Luke and Han completely. Bad break on Fisher dying after the second picture.

Mostly what I see as mistakes have to do with writing and I see a lot of really horrible writing. Just things where it seemed like nobody thought anything through or even made the effort to sketch out what they wanted to accomplish. I mean it was like nobody thought, "Hey, we are doing a trilogy and we have Han, Luke, and Leia back. Let's map out what we want to do with them."
 

Joe Wong

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 8, 1999
Messages
1,221
Thanks for that extended explanation, Jerry. I would never know these things as I don't follow the comic book universe and so don't know the legends and lore of the characters. So, when I watch one of these films I just watch it as story. I don't know if a character is supposed to be male or female or what powers they should or should not have. I can't nitpick the stuff because I have know knowledge of the nits.

I did see all the ranting on the last trilogy of Star Wars films but a lot of that I did not understand at all either. I thought the worst mistake they made with those films was not putting Han, Luke, and Leia all back in the same space again. And leaving Luke out of the first movie entirely. You went to the trouble of getting the actors all back, this was a huge draw for the fans of the first trilogy, and then you totally pass on reuniting them and kind of waste Luke and Han completely. Bad break on Fisher dying after the second picture.

Mostly what I see as mistakes have to do with writing and I see a lot of really horrible writing. Just things where it seemed like nobody thought anything through or even made the effort to sketch out what they wanted to accomplish. I mean it was like nobody thought, "Hey, we are doing a trilogy and we have Han, Luke, and Leia back. Let's map out what we want to do with them."

Re: Star Wars...

Not to get too in-depth on the merits or otherwise of the sequel trilogy (since it's been discussed aplenty), but the lack of a cohesive vision across the 3 films is what made it (overall) disappointing for me.

I enjoyed The Force Awakens, even though many elements were similar to Star Wars (ie. ep IV). It was fun, had interesting new characters, and it brought back people (Luke, Leia, Han) we hadn't seen in over 30 years. That "what's happened to these characters?" curiosity was I'm sure a huge draw for most audiences.

The Last Jedi was like the polar opposite. Many liked the change of direction or breaking of expectations, but I found the disconnect with TFA to be jarring. Even worse, I found it to be quite boring in many parts. Which, to me, when watching movies, is a "sin".

And then, of course, The Rise of Skywalker had the unenviable job of trying to wrap everything up while not ignoring the other 2 entries, and turned out to be a little ho-hum. This time, the pace at which it jumped from locale to locale made it less interesting, since we get no broader sense of the places they visit.

As has been discussed earlier in this thread, having a showrunner-type (David Chase, Kevin Feige, etc.) can help guide the overarching plot as well as tone of a TV or film series. That the Star Wars sequel trilogy seemingly didn't, was a glaring oversight (to me).
 

Reggie W

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
9,078
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
Re: Star Wars...

Not to get too in-depth on the merits or otherwise of the sequel trilogy (since it's been discussed aplenty), but the lack of a cohesive vision across the 3 films is what made it (overall) disappointing for me.

I enjoyed The Force Awakens, even though many elements were similar to Star Wars (ie. ep IV). It was fun, had interesting new characters, and it brought back people (Luke, Leia, Han) we hadn't seen in over 30 years. That "what's happened to these characters?" curiosity was I'm sure a huge draw for most audiences.

The Last Jedi was like the polar opposite. Many liked the change of direction or breaking of expectations, but I found the disconnect with TFA to be jarring. Even worse, I found it to be quite boring in many parts. Which, to me, when watching movies, is a "sin".

And then, of course, The Rise of Skywalker had the unenviable job of trying to wrap everything up while not ignoring the other 2 entries, and turned out to be a little ho-hum. This time, the pace at which it jumped from locale to locale made it less interesting, since we get no broader sense of the places they visit.

As has been discussed earlier in this thread, having a showrunner-type (David Chase, Kevin Feige, etc.) can help guide the overarching plot as well as tone of a TV or film series. That the Star Wars sequel trilogy seemingly didn't, was a glaring oversight (to me).

When I went to see The Force Awakens I had a good time. I am not a Star Wars super fan so, again, I did not go in and pick it all apart. I went with some super fans and they had issues with it. Particularly, what happens with Han and that all Luke does is a quick cameo. These things they did not like at all.

What I noticed watching the next two films was it seemed really obvious that they had not treated this project as a three film trilogy and mapped the out the ebb and flow and arc of the whole thing. The second film swerves off in an odd direction and the final film almost seems as if it wants to ignore the second film. I just could not grasp why they took this approach to a big, expensive, important project that, for the company, a lot was riding on. It seemed pretty half assed.

So, by the time I got to the end of the trilogy I felt like there was no satisfying resolve for the three major characters they had return. It was almost as if they really did not want to do much with them and instead the goal was to use the new characters to make more films. Problem with that was after doing three Star Wars films the new characters did not want to make anymore Star Wars films.

I also don't think the new characters are anywhere near as beloved as Han, Luke, and Leia. So, to me, they bungled the films in the writing. I mean unless Harrison Ford demanded to only have to shoot one film or something, that was an absurd way to handle that character. Luke is not even dealt with in the first film and is oddly handled when he does appear. It just seemed like bad writing and poor planning and too much thought that the new characters would take over the show.
 

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
40,356
Location
The basement of the FBI building
I did see all the ranting on the last trilogy of Star Wars films but a lot of that I did not understand at all either. I thought the worst mistake they made with those films was not putting Han, Luke, and Leia all back in the same space again.
As much as I would have loved to see the characters together again, I vastly prefer that they tried something different with them. Needless to say, some fans only want the familiar (see the popularity of The Mandalorian).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
351,515
Messages
4,955,823
Members
143,076
Latest member
Ruavain
Recent bookmarks
0
Top