Friday, February 21, 2014

Hollywood: It isn't that they never learn. Its worse.

Hollywood has a very loooong history of making movies that SUCK when they make them "based on" a popular story, comic book, novel, what have you. They chop, channel and modify the story like it was some kind of mutant hot rod, twisting it out of all recognition from the thing they were basing it on. In fact, if you see a Hollywood movie "based on" pretty near anything, you know its going to have no resemblance to the original.

They have no respect for the source material.

Today's example, the new Fantastic Four movie.

The long rumored, "That Awkward Moment" pals Miles Teller (Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic) and Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm/Human Torch) will star alongside Kate Mara (Sue Storm) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing) in Josh Trank's reboot. And it seems there will be some changes to the canon, with The Wrap pointing out that the Storm siblings may not be from the same parents. Are they adopted or perhaps they'll just do away with the unnecessary requirement that they have to be related? Guess we'll have to wait and see.
Michael B. Jordan is a short, skinny, wise cracking black kid. Johnny Storm in the comics is a white kid with platinum blonde hair. He is a jock and an adrenalin junkie. He is platinum blonde Susan Storm's brother. Cue the screams of "RACIST!!!" but any circumlocution they come up with to explain this substitution is not going to add to the movie. Its going to be -stupid-, as these things always are. In addition Jamie Bell is another skinny, pencil necked dude, making it a stretch for him to play The Thing, a giant muscle-bound rock monster with a 24" diameter neck.

Now, you would think that recent major box office disasters such as John Carter of Mars, Green Lantern, The Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim would have these Hollywood money guys paying attention. This is hundreds of millions of dollars going down the tubes.

But no. Having EPICALLY failed by casting Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger, they're casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. Johnny Depp is a fine actor, but he failed as Tonto in large part because he's not an Indian. What hope does Michael B. Jordan have depicting an irresponsible blonde white kid? Or even, dare I say it, what hope does Jordan have of accurately depicting a black kid raised in a white family? What possible hope is there that the writers will script his lines that way? They're going to have him cuttin' his g's and slangin' his jive talk, fo' sho' bruthah. Which is so 1970's it make me want to hit somebody. Maybe I could punch J.F. Sergeant in the face.

There is no reasonable purpose for this casting, its like a whole two-four of bottled fail. That leaves unreasonable purposes.

It is not mere ignorance, because everybody in Hollywood talks about what's hot and what's not pretty much all day long. 
It is not mere stupidity, because guys with two hundred million dollars to invest did not get that way by being stupid, and they don't entrust that money to people who are stupid.
It is not a mistake, because we have examples of movies like Iron Man 1,2&3, the Avengers, Thor 1&2, four Spider Man movies, Captain America, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit 1&2, Batman ad nauseam and so forth all making -huge- money by being as true as possible to the source material.

It is hubris. It is Hollywood mocking us and our beliefs and especially our heroes, fictional though they may be. Like always.

This is Big Money Hollywood packaging up the same tired old bullshit in a new wrapping. Stock characters called the Nerd, the Hot Chick, the Tough Guy and the Wisecracking Black Sidekick Guy will be following the same liberal PC script as always, wrapped up in some fancy CGI effects and jammed down our collective throats like we're a bunch geese on a foie gras farm. Because they know what's good for us, and they're going to give it to us whether we like it or not.

The problem for me, and the reason I wrote all this, is that I actually LIKE the Fantastic Four comic books. I didn't even mind the first two movies, even though they completely mangled the character of Doctor Doom. They managed to be fun anyway.
This FF movie here, this isn't going to be fun. This is going to be another PC lecture with some explosions in it, maybe a ray gun or two. It will suck, but worse it make the Fantastic Four completely radioactive as a movie franchise. There will be no more FF movies after this one crashes and burns. Which pisses me off, frankly.

Hey Hollywood money men! You think I'm going to pay fifteen bucks a ticket to go see this turkey? Not a chance in Hell.  I'll wait for Netflix if I bother with it at all, and watch you assholes lose your shirts. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Phantom

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