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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Slate: Baseball’s First Black Player Lived His Life as a White Man

The William Edward White story…

Until she was contacted last month, White’s only grandchild, Lois De Angelis, said her family had been unaware of White’s role in baseball history, and of his racial background. De Angelis, who is 74 years old and lives in Grayslake, Ill., said she knew that her grandfather worked as an artist and had been published in the Saturday Evening Post or another magazine, and that he was separated from her grandmother, who worked as a secretary for Sears. Beyond that, De Angelis said she knew nothing about William Edward White.

White’s wife, Hattie, lived until 1970. De Angelis doubted that Hattie would have known White was one-quarter black, at least before they were married. “My grandmother was very prudish, very English,” she said. Neither Hattie nor De Angelis’ mother, Vera, ever mentioned why Hattie and White had separated, De Angelis said. Perhaps, she speculated, White left the household because Hattie discovered his racial history. “That’s funny when I think of my grandmother,” De Angelis said. “She would die if she knew it.”

So where does that leave William Edward White? Baseball pioneer or baseball footnote? When he trotted out to first base at Messer Street Grounds in Providence, White may have been the only person who knew that a black man was playing in the big leagues. And even that assumes White thought about the fact that he was black, or even partly black. In the racially bifurcated America of the times, “you were black or you were white,” Hobbs says. If no one else knew—if society couldn’t respond and react—it’s reasonable to question whether White should be recognized as the first African-American major-leaguer.

Or maybe that’s a distinction without a difference. American history and its precision-loving subset of baseball history are filled with the sort of ambiguity that complicates the search for convenient, ironclad “firsts.” This much is indisputable: On June 21, 1879, a man born a slave in Georgia played in a major-league baseball game. A black man named White played for the Grays. Factually and figuratively, that seems right. And it seems worth celebrating.

Repoz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:57 AM | 740 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   501. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4658913)
Marcel Pagnol's The Baker's Wife and the Marius trilogy are well-known in art house circles. They star Raimu, who Orson Welles called the greatest actor who ever lived, and Pierre Fresnay, who starred in one of my favorite films, Clouzot's Le Courbeau [The Raven]. I haven't seen the Pagnol's films, though, nor anything with Raimu, not in their entirety, anyway.

At one point last year TCM had scheduled the Marius trilogy, but it got pre-empted shortly before it was to run. I'd seen all of them at the AFI back in the 70's and was wondering how well they'd have held up since that first and only viewing.

BTW, there are also bits of Tati on youtube--and one entire movie, I think. He doesn't do that much for me, but some of those excerpts are fairly funny, especially the one from Mon Oncle with the rich woman compulsively dusting everything as her husband leaves for work.

That sounds like a parody of my wife, before my guffawing overrode her obsessiveness. A former GF of mine had what I always considered was the perfect meditation on the subject of household microbes: "Dust exists."
   502. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4658915)
one of my favorite films, Clouzot's Le Courbeau [The Raven]

Total agreement with you on there. How that film ever made it past the Vichy censors never ceases to amaze me. It was a powerful movie, but its point wasn't exactly subtle.
   503. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4658938)
Le Corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, and Diabolique are all really strong films. I still haven't seen The Wages of Fear or The Mystery of Picasso, however.
   504. Morty Causa Posted: February 19, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4658968)
The Wages of Fear is a fine film, although modern viewers might think it takes too much time to warmup in the bullpen. But once it gets started....
   505. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4658974)
I recorded Wages of Fear in October, and haven't yet gotten around to watching it**. But Diabolique is probably on my all-time Top 50 list. What I didn't know until just now was that the director Henri-Georges Clouzot had won the screenplay rights over Alfred Hitchcock. Much as I love Hitchcock, I'm not sure how he could have improved much on Clouzot's film.

**And Morty may be right about that "warmup" time, as the movie runs for 148 minutes.
   506. Davo Dozier Posted: February 19, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4659028)
That's crazy. I'd have guessed Wages of Fear was a 90 minute film.
   507. Morty Causa Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4659110)
Clouzot's best work is intense and does rival Hitchcock in the expression of suspense and tension, but he doesn't seem to be capable of Hitchcock's light touch. He has fewer notes to play. Hitchcock has all the A-level tools of an all-around superstar player. OTOH, Clouzot's best stuff has a laser-like focus that can be mesmerizing.

EDIT: Although Diabolique reminds me more of Peckinpah's Straw Dogs than Hitchcock. Peckinpah should have done more along that line.
   508. simon bedford Posted: February 19, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4659138)
diabolique reminded me more of polanski if he had lightened up a little.
   509. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4659295)
FWIW I saw The Last Airbender on my channel guide a few nights ago and decided to watch, I mean not many films have a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes...

It's not that bad, don't get me wrong, it's a bad movie, it's just not THAT bad, not 6% bad, IMDB's 4.4 rating (out of 10) seems a bit more on the mark.

Both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic (20%) have Airbender as Shyamalan's absolute nadir, which just isn't right, it's certainly not as bad as Lady in the Water or the Happening (I haven't seen After Earth)

Of course the good things in Airbender are stuff that is derived from the source materials and many of the visual images many of which derive from the source material) In many respects Shyamalan seem absent from the film.

Which brings me to his directorial arc- 6th Sense was a great movie, Unbreakable and Signs were good, the Village had its moments, but overall there seems to be this relentless downward movement, he went from being able to craft a whole movie, to being able to craft a disjointed movie/story with many good scenes/movements, to crafting a badly disjointed movies filmed with badly staged scenes, randomly interspersed with some truly compelling images and scenes.
   510. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4659336)
...it's certainly not as bad as Lady in the Water

Something that achieved that would open up a metaphysical wormhole that would swallow reality.

And, speaking of bad, I watched Prometheus for the second time last night - I had seen it in the theater when it came out. It was worse upon a second viewing, which is really saying something.
   511. zenbitz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4659365)
And, speaking of bad, I watched Prometheus for the second time last night - I had seen it in the theater when it came out. It was worse upon a second viewing, which is really saying something.


Wow. I don't think I have been that... disappointed by a pre/se-quel before. Just after it was released I did find a post-facto defense of the film that at least kinda sorta made some sense.
   512. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4659368)
Just after it was released I did find a post-facto defense of the film that at least kinda sorta made some sense.

I'd love to see it. I really had no problem with the premise and plot, I'm simple like that, sci-fi wise, but it was handled so stupidly script-wise it was painful. From finding your target visually on an entire planet within minutes of entering the atmosphere to being too stupid to run sideways, the idiocy and narrative was simply galling.
   513. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4659376)
The Lady in the Water is a breathtaking accomplishment ... in pure, unrepentant hubris and self-fellating narcissism.

I mean, after MNS's script has the film's smug, derisive, dismissive film critic character torn to pieces by a vicious scrunt (SCRUNT!) (gee, I wonder where that idea came from?)((the horrible death, not the word "scrunt", who the #### knows where MNS came up with that and why he thought it passed the laugh test)), we find out the whole movie is about this supernatural creature coming into our world to specifically find the character played by MNS, who is destined to be a transcendent, transformative leader, whose words will change the world for the better in inconceivable ways, but will be martyred before all of those changes can be realized. It's an entire movie premised around the idea that MNS ... sorry, MNS's character is essentially the 2nd coming of Gandhi, with ideas so powerful the they will both be scorned and reviled by those incapable of understanding them and feared and hated enough for an assassination by those who do.

Amazing.

However, I think on my personal scale, it's not quite as amazing as Kevin Costner's The Postman, where he essentially reconstitutes the United States from the post-apocalyptic rubble (as ... a postman!), gets Tom Petty, literally playing Tom Petty, to tell us that he might be Tom Petty, but he's not nearly as famous as Kevin Costner's The Postman, and closes with a one-two punch of a) citizens of the future, reborn United States standing around a statue of Kevin Costner's The Postman talking about how great and amazing and historically important Kevin Costner's The Postman was, before b) Kevin Costner takes us home over the closing credits with a song written and performed by Kevin Costner, about how awesome Kevin Costner's The Postman was.

Oh, and Kevin Costner's The Postman does Shakespeare.

So, not quite, Lady in the Water, but I will watch you anytime I randomly stumble across you playing on some 3rd-tier cable channel ...

   514. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4659401)
In Costner's somewhat defense, the movie is at least based on a novel written by David Brin. Which he ruined, of course, but he didn't come up with the actual tale.
   515. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4659418)
Which he ruined, of course, but he didn't come up with the actual tale.


Well, yes, but that's also a little like reading the Bible and thinking the part of Jesus was the one you were born to play ...
   516. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4659424)
Or would die to play.
   517. zenbitz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4659826)
I googed 'defense of prometheus' and skimmed about 5 of them -- DIFFERENT ARTICLES, MIND YOU -- but still didn't find the one I remembered.
   518. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4659987)
The Lady in The Water is probably the worst* movie I've ever seen.


* - there's more than one type of worst, of course.
   519. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4659996)
* - there's more than one type of worst, of course.

And of course whenever you start approaching the truly "worst" movies, you're skating on the edge of the "so bad they're good" category: Reefer Madness; My Son John; Ed Wood movies; My Dinner With Andre; etc.
   520. simon bedford Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4660000)
i have to throw out a few titles for consideration for any "worst" list...."battlefield earth" was among the more offensive and pointless few hours i spent watching a movie, dreadful on just about every level "the postman" poorly acted and an incredibly stupid concept that seemed to drag on forever.."hearts of fire" perhaps the worst musical/romance film ever, a love triangle featuring bob dylan and the quite gay ( and not shy about it) rupert everett ( who sings ok actually) fighting over a teanage actress known only as "fiona" the story line, such as it is, is about as stupid as they make them and the dramtic highlight of the film is an armed stand off with a blind girl, no i am not making that up
   521. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4660005)
"hearts of fire" perhaps the worst musical/romance film ever,


WHAT I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW DARE -

Oh wait.

I thought you meant Streets of Fire.

Whew.

Carry on.
   522. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4660027)
I know a 10-year-old kid who laughed her ass off at Bob Hope’s “No food! No water! AH HA HA HA! We’re done for!” ending of “The Road to Moroco.”

The appeal of some movies is sometimes very much due to a time in your development. When I was a kid I loved the Bowery Boys. And I had reasons. I have to work hard to recall them, and can only place myself artificially back where I was.


My affection for Abbott & Costello has waned, too. But I wasn’t talking about some dopey little kid laughing at silly ol' Bob Hope acting insane (although that's funny too), I was talking about her full appreciation of the attendant punchline that I didn't want to spoil. It's one of the funnier movie closers.


MAD wasn't so much sophomoric as hopelessly tame. ...there were hundreds of lampoons, cartoons, photo montages, etc., that made the pages of The Realist---including that famous Wally Wood Disneyland Orgy---that wouldn't have made it past the editor's desk at MAD. I can just imagine, for example, William Gaines giving thumbs up to "The Parts That Were Left Out of the Manchester Book", or the sublime cartoon of Mao Tse-Tung telephoning Governor Wallace to inform his of his mass miscegenation plans.

With visions of dishwater Dave Berg blazing across your jaded eyes, you may have forgotten Max Brandel’s decade of sharp photographic satires for MAD such as “The Ten Commandments Revisted” and “This is America...” or other MAD pieces such as “You Can Never Win with a Bigot,” or “Passionate Gun Love Magazine,” or “The Religion Primer,” or “Stokely and Tess” (a parody of “Porgy and Bess”), or “MAD Interviews a John Birch Society Policeman,” or a “Beetle Bailey” parody in which Beetle’s hat is finally removed, revealing not just his eyes, but a message written on his forehead: “GET OUT OF VIETNAM,” or “If There Were Only Two Survivors of World War III Left on Earth,” or the ending of their “Hogan’s Heroes” parody that transferred the cast into a zany concentration camp. Those are just some of the pointed articles from the peak Realist era of the mid 60s.

President Johnson showing off his surgical scar to the press (original photo)
Biting satire for the tuned-in cognoscenti
Tame rebellion for undemanding teens

As Andy says, the publications’ styles, formats and aims are different enough that a mano-a-mano comparison doesn’t make total sense. But that’s another chit for MAD; what MAD did (and does) is harder than what the Realist did. Since this is a baseball site, MAD is Roger Clemens, the National Lampoon was Sandy Koufax*, and the Realist was Bill Lee.

(*if he'd pitched another 20 years with the bad arm)

I emphatically recommend “The Baker’s Wife.” I’ve only seen the Marius trilogy once myself, and it was good. Jacques Tati is as stiff as a board; he’s like if Buster Keaton was a county surveyor instead of a comedian. Now I need to hunt down “Corbeau/Raven.”
   523. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4660037)
I was talking about her full appreciation of the attendant punchline that I didn't want to spoil. It's one of the funnier movie closers.


I preferred the ending of Road to Rio, which is one of the only times Jerry Colonna has made me laugh really, really hard.
   524. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4660052)
My favorite Jerry Colonna scene does not include Jerry Colonna.
   525. Morty Causa Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4660058)
My affection for Abbott & Costello has waned, too. But I wasn’t talking about some dopey little kid laughing at silly ol' Bob Hope acting insane (although that's funny too), I was talking about her full appreciation of the attendant punchline that I didn't want to spoil. It's one of the funnier movie closers.

I can't subscribe to those ultimate sentiments, but, then, I rarely think breaking that wall between the fiction created and the viewer is warranted. It almost always results in a letdown. I think it can work in rare cases. In literature, it works in Fowles's intensely felt The French Lieutenant's Woman. In film, it did work, for instance, in the Burns & Allen TV show. This was because, first, George is never really part of the fiction. He's the bystander watching Gracie create havoc (and enjoying himself immensely). Plus, the show isn't presented as fiction. Plus, plus, the fiction is only George commenting to you about what's going on--he's not negating the "reality" of the situations.

My point about The Bowery Boys was that I had an aesthetic. A sense of the aesthetic has nothing to do with age. Now, being able to perceive the aesthetic sense consciously and articulate it in some systematic fashion has to do with age and the knowledge and experience that accrues with it, but a child of five has an aesthetic just as a man of 50 does (and he has knowledge and experience). You might say that the aesthetics of he man of 50 are more justifiable becomes they have been forged and refined by a broader experience and a lot more knowledge. But he has ( I don't know if this is Wordsworhtian or not) lost something, too. I use to think the man of 50 was more attuned to what was truly aesthetic, but not any longer. Each is at a particular emotional/psychological/epistemological spot, one entirely dependent on time, a spot so special to their development that it inhibits each from appreciating the other's perspective. Imaginative vicariousness can take you only so far. After that, you have to be "there".
   526. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4660059)
The last scene of the third Hope-Crosby movie is a little late in the game to be worrying about the pristine condition of the fourth wall.
   527. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4660062)
Recently, I was reading a collection of Walter Kerr's theatre criticism for the New York Times. One theme he kept coming back to is that he thought the plays of the day (1966-1983, roughly) should be breaking the fourth wall a lot more. In his opinion, asides and soliloquies were vital for making a theatre audience feel involved in the experience.

At least in this collection, he mentioned it a lot. It was something he kept coming back to as one of the basic problems with modern theatre: actors didn't talk to the audience nearly enough.
   528. Morty Causa Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4660063)
526:

Thanks for missing the point. And I never said that it only worried me then. It's a corroding thread throughout those movies. However, if you can put yourself in a certain place and mood, they can be enjoyable.

In his opinion, asides and soliloquies were vital for making a theatre audience feel involved in the experience.

And see my comment about Burns and Allen. There's breaking the wall without breaking the fiction. That's not what Hope at his most extreme does. He negates the experience of pretending the movie is real. That's important, vital even, as to aesthetic consequences.

Talking to the audience goes back to the Greeks, at least, as does the third-party commenting on the action proper.
   529. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4660069)
Talking to the audience goes back to the Greeks, at least, as does the third-party commenting on the action proper.


Yes, Kerr made that point. A lot. If I were in charge of editing this collection, I would have trimmed it back, because it made him seem like a crazy person on the subject.
   530. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4660076)
Yeah, I don't think that soliloquy is really breaking the fourth wall. Othello doesn't talk to the audience about how scratchy his costume is, or what he's doing after the show, or what an ass his character is. Woody Allen breaks the fourth wall in Annie Hall, to nice effect, I think. Michael Winterbottom has his characters do it, hilariously, in 24 Hour Party People and Tristram Shandy: A #### and Bull Story. American Splendor does it well.

I agree that The French Lieutenant's Woman is just about the best use of the technique I can remember. But what's the equivalent term for a book? I'm not sure. It's a metafiction, and I love that aspect of it, but then at the end the author inserts himself as a character, and within the narrative he explains the contrivances of the narrative itself and how he's about to change the ending. It's kind of amazing that he pulled it off.
   531. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4660078)
Yeah, I don't think that soliloquy is really breaking the fourth wall.


I think it is. The fourth wall is between the audience and performer; if the performer acknowledges the audience or performs in that direction, it counts. Like characters on The Office or Modern Family talking to the camera. They stay in character, but they break the fourth wall.
   532. Greg K Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4660079)
However, I think on my personal scale, it's not quite as amazing as Kevin Costner's The Postman, where he essentially reconstitutes the United States from the post-apocalyptic rubble (as ... a postman!), gets Tom Petty, literally playing Tom Petty, to tell us that he might be Tom Petty, but he's not nearly as famous as Kevin Costner's The Postman, and closes with a one-two punch of a) citizens of the future, reborn United States standing around a statue of Kevin Costner's The Postman talking about how great and amazing and historically important Kevin Costner's The Postman was, before b) Kevin Costner takes us home over the closing credits with a song written and performed by Kevin Costner, about how awesome Kevin Costner's The Postman was.

Paul Gross' Passchendaele covers roughly the same ground. He writes himself as Jesus essentially, and in case you didn't get the not so subtle metaphor he even has himself die in an explosion on a WW1 battlefield that miraculously ends up with his body stuck to two planks of wooden debris in a cross.
   533. Greg K Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4660080)
Worst movies for me are...Autumn in New York (and I enjoy just about anything with Winona Ryder in it...Mermaids is actually a favourite of mine), The Bachelor and The Happening (though to be fair to this thread I haven't seen The Lady in the Water.)
   534. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4660083)
The fourth wall is between the audience and performer; if the performer acknowledges the audience or performs in that direction, it counts. Like characters on The Office or Modern Family talking to the camera. They stay in character, but they break the fourth wall.


I suppose it depends on the soliloquy, but in most plays the character is not actually acknowledging the audience, he's just speaking out loud to nobody in particular. It's a contrivance to narrate his inner thoughts.

"Performs in that direction" isn't a real standard - performers on stage are almost continually facing the audience, even if they are in conversation with another actor on stage.

Beyond this, there's another distinction to be made. Ferris Bueller addresses the audience explicitly - but he's still Ferris Bueller, the character, and he's still firmly in the narrative. When Bob Hope addresses the audience, however, he's no longer the character, he's Bob Hope, actor and celebrity. That is a true shattering of the fourth wall. It halts the narrative, it combats your suspension of disbelief. I think that's what Morty was complaining about.
   535. Morty Causa Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4660085)
Yes, that's the point and the difference. No one during the original run of MacBeth suddenly says to the audience (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), Gosh I hope King James bestows a knighthood upon me for this really good bit of goose we're sending his way. John Barth, from the beginning, messed about with addressing the reader. Even in his first novel, the fine, and realistic, The Floating Opera, the first-person narrator addresses the reader directly, but he doesn't pretend his story isn't real. In his later works, Barth really runs some wild permutations on amalgamating the fiction and the supposed reality.
   536. Morty Causa Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4660089)
BTW, up thread someone mentions Woody Allen doing this. Indeed, the documentary style of his first movie he directs, Take the Money and Run, depends on he and other characters addressing the audience, but they still don't get out of character. And Woody has stated a number of times that Bob Hope was very influential in creating his early movie persona. Woody Allen and Bob Hope both played fast and loose with breaking character and engaging in anachronisms. You really have to prepare yourself almost ahead of time for something like Love and Death.
   537. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:25 AM (#4660093)
I found just the clip I wanted from 24 Hour Party People, where Steve Coogan conducts a hard fourth wall breaking in the very first scene.

It's the first 40 seconds of this clip.
   538. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4660095)
President Johnson showing off his surgical scar to the press (original photo)
Biting satire for the tuned-in cognoscenti
Tame rebellion for undemanding teens


That's nice, but the Levine cartoon was published in the NYR in 1966, two years before that similar "scar" cartoon made its appearance in MAD. I won't use the p-word, but let's just say that imitation is often the sincerest form of flattery.

As Andy says, the publications’ styles, formats and aims are different enough that a mano-a-mano comparison doesn’t make total sense. But that’s another chit for MAD; what MAD did (and does) is harder than what the Realist did.

If what you mean by "harder" is "turn a profit", then it's hard to argue with that. But this is getting to be like trying to convince Billy Crystal than Mike Trout might be a shade better than Roger Maris. I'm beginning to feel like the heel who's destroyed Bug Daddy's child's faith in his father in the classic Pogo sequence, and underneath it I'm not really that mean a guy.
   539. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:56 AM (#4660097)
No one during the original run of MacBeth suddenly says to the audience (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), Gosh I hope King James bestows a knighthood upon me for this really good bit of goose we're sending his way.


They may not say that exact thing, but there are plenty of asides in Macbeth, and those are explicitly spoken to the audience.
   540. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4660131)
Hey, this seems like the right place to discuss the casting of the new Fantastic Four movie! If you aren't quite up to speed on your comic book nerdery, the lady in the top left is supposed to be the sister of the fella in the bottom right.
   541. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4660136)
FILM CRITIC HULK PROVIDE ONLY PROMETHEUS ANALYSIS PUNY MEN REQUIRE. Ahem.
   542. Lassus Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4660140)
Hey, this seems like the right place to discuss the casting of the new Fantastic Four movie! If you aren't quite up to speed on your comic book nerdery, the lady in the top left is supposed to be the sister of the fella in the bottom right.

The thing with a lot of these non-Marvel Studios comic films (Spider-Man, the new FF) is that they are using the "Ultimate" universe, which allows for a lot of "youthification" of the franchises. I guess it's working for the new Spider-Man movies so far (I don't like them, but Spider-Man was always my favorite, so the bar may be basically unreachable), but I just don't understand why they'd turn off nearly 40 years of fans by altering the characters that made them famous. No, I don't mean the race. Adopted, pow, done and done. But in the last one, Doctor Doom going into space with them, in this one new origin rumors, just endless changes, it strikes me as completely idiotic.
   543. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4660146)
In literature, it works in Fowles's intensely felt The French Lieutenant's Woman

A top contender for my favorite novel ever.

Another contender for me is Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge. That's a wonderful novel that depends for its postmodern effects on the narrator being good old boring stuffy Somerset Maugham who wouldn't think of a postmodern idea to save his life.

A lot of the topical meta-asides in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama are probably not intelligible except by way of footnotes, and thus artificially. Shakespeare and his contemporaries did love plays within plays. Hamlet and Midsummer Night's Dream have well-known examples; The Taming of the Shrew is technically a play within a play (making something like the bizarre film idea for Kiss Me Kate, where the cast meets to put on a show about people putting on a show, almost a logical extrapolation).
   544. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4660147)
No, I don't mean the race. Adopted, pow, done and done.


But why? Tokenism? If they're so gung-ho to whiz on Jack Kirby's grave why not make Queen Latifah play Reed Richards and make Owen Wilson "The Invisible Dude". I bet their chemistry would be electric.
   545. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4660151)
My personal worst movie ever is "Highlander 2". Because not only is it a stunningly bad movie and painful to watch, but it also completely ruins "Highlander" by changing the entire origin story and premise.
   546. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4660153)
Adopted, pow, done and done. But in the last one, Doctor Doom going into space with them, in this one new origin rumors, just endless changes, it strikes me as completely idiotic.

Why, why, why, don't they just "James Bond" these superhero movies? I get that they wanted to make a new Spider-Man movie with different actors, but do we really need half the movie to be his origin? Same with FF, why bother with a re-boot? Just tell me a damn FF story, we know who the characters are. Bond doesn't have a true continuity and it's been extremely successful. Most Bond movies are self-contained stories with a character we know (played by different actors) in a world we know. Why can't they do that?

The earlier Batman movies tried it. The problem was not that they switched actors, but they made bad movies. But the studio just put Batman on hold until someone decided to reboot it.
   547. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4660156)
The worst movie ever is certainly Ed with Matt LeBlanc. It's the one with the chimp that plays baseball, I'll bet more than a few of us have seen it.
   548. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4660157)
Those who do not remember the prequel are condemned to reboot it.
   549. Lassus Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4660161)
But why? Tokenism? If they're so gung-ho to whiz on Jack Kirby's grave why not make Queen Latifah play Reed Richards and make Owen Wilson "The Invisible Dude". I bet their chemistry would be electric.

Meh. As a comic book and narrative fan, this is an idiot place to plant your flag. There are way more important, relevant, and solvable issues.
   550. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4660163)
Meh. As a comic book and narrative fan, this is an idiot place to plant your flag.


What's wrong with having Queen Latifah play Reed Richards?

There are way more important, relevant, and solvable issues.


Well dish, girlfriend.
   551. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4660192)
And of course whenever you start approaching the truly "worst" movies, you're skating on the edge of the "so bad they're good" category.
Exactly. Tossing MDwA in there made me chuckle, by the way.

"battlefield earth" was among the more offensive and pointless few hours i spent watching a movie
That was my former worst of this ilk. I expected camp, I got angry boredom.

I don't care about comic books, but Lassus is correct.
   552. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4660238)
Studios don't care about the actual product, they care about the marketability and brand recognition. They care about those things to a ludicrous degree, which is why there are 10,000 ads for the new Mr. Peabody movie in my neighborhood. Mr. Peabody, as a character, is basically unknown to anyone under the age of 50. This is how desperate studios are for characters with built-in brand recognition.
   553. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4660279)
By no means do I mean to detract from your point but...
I'm 40 and most certainly knew who Mr. Peabody was, as I grew up at a time when there were less channels and Bullwinkle was in syndication. I imagine that many of my age-cohorts would as well.
   554. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4660285)
I'm 32, I know who he is. My mother liked Rocky and Bullwinkle so she encouraged me to watch it. I was exaggerating.
   555. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4660288)
To learn who Mr Peabody is, just take the Wayback Machine.
   556. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4660319)
I needed Wiki to tell me who Mr. Peabody is, but I can fill anyone in on Koko the Clown.
   557. Ace of Kevin Bass Posted: February 21, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4660342)
But why? Tokenism? If they're so gung-ho to whiz on Jack Kirby's grave why not make Queen Latifah play Reed Richards and make Owen Wilson "The Invisible Dude". I bet their chemistry would be electric.


I think this link addresses the question very well:

The biggest controversy on the face of it is the casting of black actor Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, a character depicted as white in the comics. There are fans who can’t see why this sort of casting is desirable, or how it’s different from the reverse; casting a white actor in a previously black role. So let’s break this down.
Superhero comics are overwhelmingly white because most of the major characters were created in the U.S. before the Civil Rights movement reached its peak. The decision to marginalize black people in our media to the point of invisibility is not a value that we should seek to perpetuate.

If filmmakers and comic book creators do nothing about this, their inaction does perpetuate those 1950s values. If filmmakers and comic book creators look for ways to introduce more black characters — sometimes at the expense of the surfeit of white characters — they will offer some degree of correction to those 1950s values. If filmmakers and comic book creators do the reverse, and eliminate black characters in favor of white characters, they don’t just perpetuate 1950s values; they embrace them anew.

Let’s be clear; by “1950s values,” I mean 1950s racism.

So adding black roles corrects an established bias. It’s a positive response to racism. Removing black roles exacerbates that bias — it is itself a racist act. Doing nothing supports the established bias. It facilitates a status quo grounded in racism.
Comic book movies seem to do best when they respect the source material and build upon it. They seem to do poorly when they try to distance themselves from the source material. But there are some aspects of comics’ history that we should perhaps choose to be less respectful of. Like the inherent racism. Right?

So let’s hear no more, “Johnny Storm isn’t black,” or “let’s make black characters white,” because those are ugly sentiments that play in to racist attitudes that we need to move past.


If anything, I agree with the linked article that they should have made both Sue and Johnny black, or made Reed black and Sue/Johnny white if people really have a problem with the interracial siblings thing.

But calling it tokenism seems silly to me. It's no more tokenism than casting Idris Elba as Heimdall, or having a repertory Shakepeare company where sometimes you stage Hamlet with Gertrude, Ophelia, and Fortinbras as black, or Romeo and Juliet with Romeo, Mercutio, and Paris black (or Asian, or whatever, as long as they're good actors who will inhabit the roles well). Race doesn't and shouldn't matter when interpreting source material like this.
   558. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 21, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4660344)
This is how desperate studios are for characters with built-in brand recognition.


And yet Guardians of the Galaxy is not only getting made, people are looking forward to it.
   559. BDC Posted: February 21, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4660351)
calling it tokenism seems silly to me

It is silly. How long has Will Smith been a star, doing characters that were white in pop-culture source material? Sometimes you just want a particular actor.
   560. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4660423)
And yet Guardians of the Galaxy is not only getting made, people are looking forward to it.


That seems to play into my point more than it rebuts it. Even obscure characters with the Marvel imprimatur are more desirable than original ones. But, the more important factor here is that they are obviously trying to recreate the success of The Avengers. Which makes sense.

I'm surprised that you would object to what I said ... it's a widely noted trend. I mean, Battleship happened.
   561. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 21, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4660433)
That seems to play into my point more than it rebuts it. Even obscure characters with the Marvel imprimatur are more desirable than original ones. But, the more important factor here is that they are obviously trying to recreate the success of The Avengers. Which makes sense.


The characters in Guardians of the Galaxy are very far from being recognizable. It's the opposite strategy from the Fantastic Four movie, which takes a famous comic book that's already had multiple movie adaptations.

And it's not really the Avengers strategy either, which involved a series of standalone movies (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man) that all fed into the big team-up. This is just starting with a team-up of characters that, again, have not been established in the public consciousness. Calling the "Marvel imprimatur" implies that anything released by Marvel Studios will automatically count as something with "built-in brand recognition," even if it's a ocmic book hardly anyone's even heard of.

it's a widely noted trend. I mean, Battleship happened.


Yes, there are movies based on nothing more than "people have heard of this." But there are also movies that are not based on that. So when you say "Studios don't care about the actual product, they care about the marketability and brand recognition." it seems relevant to point to a major studio release that seems to be going out of its way to avoid the marketability and brand recognition that would come from the hundreds of characters in the Marvel IP that are more recognizable than the ones they're using.
   562. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4660445)
Calling the "Marvel imprimatur" implies that anything released by Marvel Studios will automatically count as something with "built-in brand recognition," even if it's a ocmic book hardly anyone's even heard of.


That's exactly what I'm implying.
   563. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 21, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4660449)
That's exactly what I'm implying.


"Marvel Studios" is the name of the movie studio. Their movies have included two Ghost Rider movies, two Wolverine movies, and Elektra. It certainly does not have automatic acceptance by the viewing public, especially when, again, it's releasing a movie based on a comic book no one's heard of. This is not an example of a studio prioritizing brand recognizability over product; it's the exact opposite.
   564. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4660471)
Here's my point. Suppose you had a ripping good script about a team of superheroes that you've written from scratch. You pitch it to a studio. Then another guy comes in, with a less than ripping good script about a team of superheroes, superheroes that 99% of the movie going public have never heard of, but at least they are Marvel superheroes. My bet is that the studio goes with the second guy.

And note that I never said a damn thing about what the public actually wants. I don't think this strategy is smart, I just think that it's happening. I mean, Battleship. That's the whole reason for bringing up Mr. Peabody. Why on earth would Mr. Peabody get his own movie? How many living humans are going to buy a movie ticket because they are loyal to the character of Mr. Peabody? Or Stretch Armstrong? The studios are grasping at straws.
   565. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4660477)
Superhero comics are overwhelmingly white because most of the major characters were created in the U.S. before the Civil Rights movement reached its peak.


So don't bastardize the source material, work with new material. Wait in line to see "Steel" opening night. Buy the "Hancock" Director's Cut. Cosplay as "Spawn". Boycott the new "Avengers" movie until they add Black Panther.

Don't make Johnny Storm black, or Galactus Chinese, or Batman a dwarf just to satisfy some misguided sense of reparative sensitivity. If you're really so gung-ho to sacrifice source material on this clownish altar of political correctness just do like they did in "The Wiz" and black-wash the whole affair. I'd buy Mike Tyson as The Thing.

Let’s be clear; by “1950s values,” I mean 1950s racism.


The cudgel of the rhetorical bully. Who's the racist here - The late Jack Kirby, original creator of The Fantastic Four? Stan Lee, co-author, who at least still alive to answer to his purportedly racist past? If someone is making accusations make real ones, not nebulous ones.

But calling it tokenism seems silly to me.


It is *clearly* tokenism, and it's driven by the exact same sentiments that the author decries as "1950s racism".

Why wasn't the original Fantastic Four populated with all manner of ethnic minorities? Because the market wanted white heroes. Why are they ridiculously trying to shoehorn a minority character in a position where it clearly conflicts with the official canon of the series? Because they have market research showing they may make more money by doing so. That's it. There's no righteous crusade going on now, and no insidious racist conspiracy at the office of 1950s Marvel Comics to rectify.
   566. zenbitz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4660483)
Manos, The Hands of Fate is the worst. So bad the MST3K of it is unwatchable.
   567. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4660489)
I'm not a comic book guy so I know most of these characters through their movie and t.v. incarnations, but I don't see why the skin color of a character is any more important than other physical characteristics, and I think it's less important than the actual character traits and stories themselves, which vary wildly between different versions. When a 52-year-old Jack Nicholson and a 29-year-old Heath Ledger can play the same character in different movies with wildly different stories and both receive critical and fan acclaim, why should we really care about an actor's skin color? I realize that something about it feels different, but I would submit that's because of our own hangups on race and not any rational reason.
   568. Morty Causa Posted: February 22, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4660644)
Who's blacker--Will Smith or Quentin Tarantino?
   569. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 22, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4660647)
Our first black president** can spot em both at least five Melanin treatments.

**Not to be confused with the current White House occupant.
   570. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 22, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4660913)
The cudgel of the rhetorical bully. Who's the racist here - The late Jack Kirby, original creator of The Fantastic Four? Stan Lee, co-author, who at least still alive to answer to his purportedly racist past? If someone is making accusations make real ones, not nebulous ones.


Speaking of Stan Lee, if he doesn't have a problem with his characters being changed from white to black, why should anyone else? I don't see anyone objecting all that hard to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
   571. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 23, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4660957)
Speaking of Stan Lee, if he doesn't have a problem with his characters being changed from white to black, why should anyone else?


Did anyone have a problem with George Lucas making Greedo shoot first?
   572. Lassus Posted: February 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4660961)
I'm starting to wonder if this has something to do with the Steinbrenners' money.
   573. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 23, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4661140)
Did anyone have a problem with George Lucas making Greedo shoot first?


In that case, people were able to present story-based and character-based reasons to object to the change. In this case, all I've seen is "Johnny Storm is supposed to be white," which isn't really an argument. What about the character means that he can't be a black guy? And if the specific objection is that the movie is whizzing on Jack Kirby's grave, it seems like the other creator of the character should get an opinion, too.

EDIT: I think you can either prioritize the creator's wishes (in which case, if Stan's okay with it, you should be too) or not (in which case you should wait to see if the movie's any good). And again, did you complain about Nick Fury? How do you feel about it after seeing the movie?

(And let's face it, every other Fantastic Four movie has been terrible. Might as well change SOMETHING.)
   574. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4661523)
Comedy lost one of the better voices it ever had. RIP, Harold Ramis.
   575. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4661526)
I don't see anyone objecting all that hard to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury


I'll be very, very happy to do so. (Not that I have any idea what movies those were, assuming there was more than one.)
   576. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4661534)
Did anyone have a problem with George Lucas making Greedo shoot first?

In that case, people were able to present story-based and character-based reasons to object to the change.


Like I did in my initial post at 540?

In this case, all I've seen is "Johnny Storm is supposed to be white," which isn't really an argument.


His sister is supposed to be white too. But they left her white. I'm starting to become more enamored of the idea of rebooting the entire FF franchise with an all-black cast. Snoop Dogg as Reed Richards, Mike Tyson as The Thing, Beyonce as Susan Storm. Ving Rhames as Dr. Doom. Flava Flav as the voice of Herbie the Robot?

And again, did you complain about Nick Fury?


By the time I knew about it the movie was out on DVD, I'm not all that keen on these Marvel movies. For what it's worth I couldn't believe how underwhelmed I was seeing "The Avengers" after all the hype and box-office hullabaloo.
   577. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4661550)
Like I did in my initial post at 540?


One of the siblings could have been adopted. How does that change the story or characters in any way?

(And I actually like Ving Rhames as Dr. Doom, although I'm concerned that casting a black guy with a deep voice will make Dr. Doom seem like a Darth Vader rip-off.)
   578. Lassus Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4661552)
I'm not all that keen on these Marvel movies. For what it's worth I couldn't believe how underwhelmed I was seeing "The Avengers" after all the hype and box-office hullabaloo.

This is definitely best heard in the voice of the Simpsons Comic-Book Guy persona that you've adopted.
   579. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4661556)
Like I did in my initial post at 540?

One of the siblings could have been adopted.


Maybe cosmic rays induced hyper-melanism. Heck, they could always make Sue Storm black using makeup on the actress they chose.

How does that change the story or characters in any way?


You could make Sue and Johnny twin sisters and work around that too, that doesn't mean it isn't a bastardization. It's the comically ham-fisted tokenism of the move that I find so preposterous.
   580. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4661562)
I'm not all that keen on these Marvel movies. For what it's worth I couldn't believe how underwhelmed I was seeing "The Avengers" after all the hype and box-office hullabaloo.

This is definitely best heard in the voice of the Simpsons Comic-Book Guy persona that you've adopted.


Worst comeback ever.

Seriously, that was the lamest "world-threatening MacGuffin" since Night of the Lepus. Loki has all the guile of Wreck-It-Ralph.
   581. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4661566)
It's the comically ham-fisted tokenism of the move that I find so preposterous.


You know literally nothing about the move aside from the race of the actor.
   582. Lassus Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4661567)
Worst comeback ever.

If you say so. I'm reading your sentences, I'm hearing the voice, it's pretty awesome.
   583. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4661569)
Serious question, BTW: in the last two Fantastic Four movies, did anyone complain about Jessica Alba and Chris Evans being siblings? They don't look anything alike, and Alba's half Mexican.
   584. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4661578)
You know literally nothing about the move aside from the race of the actor.


I know what Johnny Storm looked like in the comic books. If that means nothing then why not open up the whole cast - Peter Dinklage could play Dr. Doom. They could call him Dr. Dink! Can you think of any reason why Peter Dinklage shouldn't play Dr. Doom, assuming he was available and the producers could afford an actor of his caliber?

Serious question, BTW: in the last two Fantastic Four movies, did anyone complain about Jessica Alba and Chris Evans being siblings? They don't look anything alike, and Alba's half Mexican.


Chris Evans

Jessica Alba

They're like aliens! She's half-Mexican! He's a quarter Latvian! WTF Hollywood?
   585. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4661585)
did anyone complain about Jessica Alba and Chris Evans being siblings? They don't look anything alike, and Alba's half Mexican.


Former FF writer & artist John Byrne complained about Alba's being cast, & especially about her appearing with blonde hair (assuming she did -- if anything, I'm even less enthusiastic about Marvel [or any other comics-based] movies than YR is, so I haven't seen the flick in question & am very unlikely to ever do so), but that's mainly because he's become a bitter old coot with the passing of the years.
   586. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4661587)
Former FF writer & artist John Byrne complained about Alba's being cast, & especially about her appearing with blonde hair


That's true. Specifically, his complaint was this: "Personal prejudice: Hispanic and Latino women with blond hair look like hookers to me, no matter how clean or 'cute' they are."
   587. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4661588)
I think caring about the race of pretend characters when it is not a part of the story is silly. I noticed the race difference between siblings, thought "Huh? OK by me" and then moved on. Equating it with a substantive character change done retroactively to a beloved movie (Han Shot First!) is silly on most every level. And of course Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury is awesome (and the Avengers movie was great).

Of course I have my doubts about an FF movie, but I never really liked the FF that much anyway. Standard FF comic plot: "Sue, Thing and Torch, you guys hold off the villain for a while, I'll come up with a dumb "science!" method to fix everything and be annoying and pretentious while doing it." Dr. Doom is the best part of the FF world and they keep ruining him. Oh well.
   588. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4661589)
Can you think of any reason why Peter Dinklage shouldn't play Dr. Doom, assuming he was available and the producers could afford an actor of his caliber?


I think Dr. Doom's physical stature lends him gravitas, which will be hard to match for an actor of Dinklage's height. He has to be looming over things when he's shouting ridiculous dialogue.

(Incidentally, I want to keep arguing but this thread keeps not letting me submit comments. It's really frustrating! I'll type out a response and click "Submit Your Comment" but nothing will happen. So I copy it and reload the page, and then maybe it will post. So if I stop responding, I promise it's just frustration with the software and not because I didn't think of an absolutely brilliant comeback that eviscerates all objections)
   589. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4661590)
They're like aliens! She's half-Mexican! He's a quarter Latvian! WTF Hollywood?


John Wayne & Gengis Khan both laugh with you beyond the grave.
   590. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4661594)
Can you think of any reason why Peter Dinklage shouldn't play Dr. Doom, assuming he was available and the producers could afford an actor of his caliber?

I think Dr. Doom's physical stature lends him gravitas,


Heightist. Peter Dinklage, an outstanding actor in his own right, can't even sniff the role by your standards. But if he were Yao Ming, oh sure, come on down!
   591. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4661596)
John Wayne & Gengis Khan both laugh with you beyond the grave.


One of the greatest "so bad it's good" performances of all-time. "You're so beautiful in your wrath, da-haw-da-haw..."
   592. simon bedford Posted: February 24, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4661604)
i dont even think John Wayne as Ghengis Khan is the WORST miscating when it comes to racial miscating in hollywood, marlon brando as japanese in "teahouse of the august moon" was far worse, brando was just dreadful and offensive, kate hepburn in dragon seed , was pretty dire, tony curtis as a cossack ( with yul bryner as his dad) in "tarus bulba" was fairly awful, robert redford as english in out of africa...there must be more recent ones but all of thses make waynes portrayal seem almost sensitive by comparision ( susan hayward was far more miscasted in that movie for what its worth)
   593. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4661605)
In contrast, I thought Joel Grey as "Chun" in "Remo Williams" was excellent.

And I've recently learned through pursuing "Game of Thrones" forums (just started the series recently) that British and Australian fans are gobsmacked to learn Peter Dinklage is not just an American, but an American with a natural American accent so thick they can barely understand him off-camera.
   594. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4661607)
That's true. Specifically, his complaint was this: "Personal prejudice: Hispanic and Latino women with blond hair look like hookers to me, no matter how clean or 'cute' they are."


Byrne (whose work I was quite taken by when he was just starting out in the mid-'70s, especially when he was paired with a strong inker) really needs to abandon his silly-ass web forum (if it still exists) & hang out here, particularly in the politics thread. He'd fit right in.
   595. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 24, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4661611)
i dont even think John Wayne as Ghengis Khan is the WORST miscating when it comes to racial miscating in hollywood


I give extra points for Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" for being so bad in a good movie that people just kind of block him out of their heads.

In contrast, I thought Joel Grey as "Chun" in "Remo Williams" was excellent.


I did too, but I was at the exactly correct age to think that Remo Williams was the greatest movie ever made. I still enjoy it, but I have revised my opinion slightly.
   596. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4661614)
i dont even think John Wayne as Ghengis Khan is the WORST miscating when it comes to racial miscating in hollywood

Herbert Marshall as the half-breed Indian in Duel in the Sun
   597. Greg K Posted: February 24, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4661625)
And I've recently learned through pursuing "Game of Thrones" forums (just started the series recently) that British and Australian fans are gobsmacked to learn Peter Dinklage is not just an American, but an American with a natural American accent so thick they can barely understand him off-camera.

Weird, I do love the show and especially Dinklage, but I always thought his accent was one of the weaker elements of it.

Luckily the quality of accents means pretty much nothing to me. It never even occurs to me that there's anything amiss when I watch Kevin Costner's Robin Hood. The British do seem highly attuned to accents though, mostly because they love making fun of the way other British people talk.
   598. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4661637)
robert redford as english in out of africa...


Except he was directed to portray the character in the movie(in real life an Englishman) as an American because... hollywood...

Wayne wanted the Genghis Khan role...

Also Jack Palance as Castro

Yul Brenner as the guy on the right


   599. simon bedford Posted: February 24, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4661730)
not how i remeber it happening, my recollection is the redford hooked up with Jane Seymour ( of all people) and learned to do a more than managable english accent , but went to his buddy difertor pollack and begged off from using it, which raised the question why have redford in the movie in the first place if he wasnt going to try and play the part as an englishman? ( i am sure you know that the part was based on a real historical character Denny rehys, and streep was playing isaak denison)
   600. PreservedFish Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4661762)
I've been thinking about this and I think I'm on YR's side.

Why, in biopics, does it matter that actors resemble the historical figures that they are portraying? Why didn't a black actress play Margaret Thatcher? Or an Asian man play Ray Charles?

It's because humans are shallow. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that. It's just true. And Asian Ray Charles kills your suspension of disbelief, it absolutely murders it. It would make the movie into a farce.

Giving Lois Lane the wrong hair color is pretty much the same thing. It's not a farce, it's a tiny detail, but it's a bothersome one that should be avoided.

The reference way above to Shakespeare really misses the mark when it comes to these comic book adaptations. Spiderman is not seen as a familiar timeless archetypal story of immense richness and complexity that has and can be interpreted a thousand different ways. When you make a Spiderman movie, you're trying to make it definitive. And definitive tellings try to be loyal to the the original. That's why the one random newly black superhero feels like tokenism, like the one black character on a sitcom or in a commercial.

And finally, sometimes these attributes really do matter. Why wouldn't you have James Franco play Jackie Robinson? Because sometimes race matters. Dinklage isn't inappropriate for Dr. Doom because he can't loom. It's because the character isn't a ####### dwarf. Sometimes a black guy is just playing a role in Shakespeare. But sometimes the race of the actor is significant and it changes the feeling of the play. Directors think pretty hard about what race their Othello or Caliban is going to be.
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NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
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NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
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NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
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NewsblogBrown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate
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