Friday, May 21, 2021

The Rumored Superman Film And The Trap It Faces

This is a rough transcript of something I talked about on the last episode of the DTM-Cast, but for those who want a more clear descriptor, here it is. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I try my best to explain it, but otherwise, there are places that could bring you up to speed better than I could.

So I've had a couple messages for the Q&A - which I'll probably do next episode - but one of the things that people have brought up was the news that the next Superman movie - whatever that entails - will feature a black man portrayal Kal-El... they don't say WHO is playing the role. Just that they're looking for a color person to play the role... and I read this piece of business and I'm like... whatever. My stance has been as long as the guy they hired for the part does a good job of playing that part, I don't care what he looks. I've heard people suggest Michael B. Jordan, which wouldn't be such a bad choice, but I'd imagine they would go for an unknown, which is probably the best thing they could do.

The issue I would have is whether they can actually pull a good Superman movie out of there as because the last two have been... Superman Returns, not great. Man of Steel, good for generic superhero fare but not a great Superman movie. But the one common thread with both films is that the guys who played Superman - Brandon Routh for the former, Henry Cavill for the latter - are usually good in the roles and you only wish they were in better movies. Say what you will about the theatrical Justice League, but it's the only movie that gave us a proper Superman and if Cavill was able to do THAT Superman in his own movie, things would be different.

And honestly, if the actor does the role justice, does it really matter what skin tone they got? Harvey Dent was played by Billy Dee Williams in the first Batman movie in '89. He did little, but he did fine. Michael Duncan Clarke played Kingpin in that Daredevil movie everyone apparently hates and I thought he was fine there. Hell, going with something more recent, the actress who played Starfire in that Titan show -  Anna Diop - people were giving her shit because she was a black woman playing an alien with orange skin, which could either be blatant racism from some people or a minority of people thinking she's playing a black woman alien who occasionally glows when she needs to do some special effect because the people making this thing are cheap fuckers and probably spent all their money on gore effects. But I thought she was one of the better characters on that show. So my stance on that is... as long as the guy they get to play Superman does a convincing job of it and as long as the  story they concoct is really good, then that's all I care about.

Now, the more cynical side - and the one that gives me pause over this news - will bring up the built-in defense, the cheap excuse, that comes with going in this casting direction. And it is the grim possibility that if this movie bombs or if this movie is critically lambasted, the crew will immediately cry racism as the reason for whatever failures the film may or may not entail. And I know this to be a possibility because that's precisely what happened with that Ghostbusters remake from five years ago where they blamed the failure of that film on sexists who crapped on the film because of the all-female main cast, when in reality, the movie bombed and people crapped on the film because it simply wasn't a good movie.

To this day, I've not seen the film. No desire to do so. Have not met anyone who has seen the film. And it basically boils down to a bad trailer that pretty much told me the kind of film this was going to be; an ill-conceived remake with really shitty comedy bits and a cast of talented actresses who, quite frankly, deserved a far better movie. And because I need to clarify this for the really stupid people who might come across this program, the idea of a reboot never appealed to me because reboots are almost always terrible, especially nowadays. When they showed the first shot of the cast in costumes, I was like, "Okay. Wait for the trailer."  And - best case scenario - the most I would've done is "Wait until it hits Netflix." That's my default reaction to any movie these days, with only the most miniscule of exceptions where I'd actually make a note to watch this in theatres... which isn't a huge list even before we had the pandemic.

And so the trailer hit, I was not impressed, and... actually, to put a finer point to it, the first comedy bit when they're doing the money shot or whatever they call, they had lost me. This was bad sketch comedy that I would expect from a shitty That Guy With The Glasses sketch video and even that is being - perhaps a bit generous? Maybe. And each bad joke was followed by a worse joke and I was all but convinced that this was not worth my time. That's not my kind of comedy. I don't find that to be funny. I'm not entertained by that sort of thing unless it's done really well and this showed no signs of that being a possibility and so I decided not to waste my time with this film. Simple as that.

And then when the backlash came out afterwards, and there were accuations of sexism, racism, any -ism you can pull out of your ass to explain the massive negative reaction... any cheap and easy excuse you can think of besides the really obvious one of "This movie looks like shit." And I don't want to dismiss things like sexism and racism because those are very really things - last year certainly brought that to light, but when you're using those as reasons as to why nobody likes your fucking movie, it's easy to see why anyone would dismiss those words and those implications very easily. Because when you bitch about every little thing that doesn't matter and blow it out of proportions, it makes the really grievous acts that involve those -isms seem VERY trivial.

And then James Rolfe did his infamous "No Review. I Refuse." video where he stated that he was not going to see this reboot and he outright specifies WHY he had no interest in watching this film (TLDR: It wasn't Ghostbusters 3, which is what he wanted) and people played the sexism and misogyny cards because they're dumb fucks who look deeper into WHY. Nobody bothers with the context; they just assume the worse because they're fucking stupid.

And that's where I went... "Nah. Not going to reward that kind of shitty behavior with my patronage."

So I never saw the film and to this day, I refuse to give it a watch on that count. And... you know what? I'm okay with that. If I  go through life never having seen that film, then nothing of value would have been lost. And there's probably a couple other movies that I simply refused to watch on that count alone... which is not something I want to feel about movies or entertainment. I shouldn't have to say "I'm not watching something because of so and so. I'm not watching something because it looks stupid." And even on that latter note, eventually, years down the road, I would eventually watch the thing I avoided before to see if it was really as bad as I feared it would be... but not this GB move.

So that's the trap of this upcoming Superman movie that they could fall into. I have not followed up on reactions; don't care to do so. I don't want outside influences to affect my thoughts on the matter. But give me a trailer that gives me a sliver of a chance that this could be a good movie - which is all I could ask for; a movie I can enjoy - because if it looks interesting, I might give it a shot sooner or later. Otherwise, I'll skip it and move on to something else... although I'd imagine my older brother would want to try and watch this in theatres, so... eh, we'll see.

Cautiously curious is my current stance and that's all I will say about that.

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