Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


The White Filmmakers Green-Book

I’ve been sitting on this one for almost a month, trying to get it just right. It’s a sensitive topic, but one that I have a lot of opinions on. Granted, I’m not the only one and this probably would have been a lot more relevant had this come out right after the Oscars, but given how sensitive the topic is, I wanted to do my best to present my arguments in the best way possible. So without further ado, let’s look at why the Oscars are stupid about race.

The White Filmmaker’s Green-Book

Posted under Musings

Reel Snippets of 3-10-17

I’m back!

After my hiatus for job search and health reasons, I’m ready to kick back into gear. And what better way to do that than with two movies I’ve been itching to talk about: an outstanding horror movie from a comedian and something I’ve been hinting at for a while now… let’s roll.

Fifty Shades Darker
Get Out

Posted under Reel Snippets

Black is the New Green

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that most of you have become aware of the new remake of Annie coming out this year, the spin being that the cast is almost entirely African-American. Naturally, as with every time a character’s race is changed in a remake or adaptation, this has caused a bit of an uproar with some uncomfortable words attached. To give my personal thoughts briefly, I’m not thrilled about the film, but it’s less about changing the race of the characters than wondering if we really need another adaptation of Annie. Also, as a person from a musical theater background, I have a problem when classic showtunes are “updated” by adding a hip-hop back beat or a pop remix. However, seeing as two of the movie’s producers are Jay-Z and Will Smith, it’s entirely possible that was part of the contract.

But that situation brings my attention to a controversy of the same nature that cropped up a month or two ago. This may have slipped under the radar, but 20th Century Fox is rebooting the Fantastic Four film franchise with a completely new cast and crew. The big twist? Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch, is now black. Sure enough, copious amounts of people got their undies in a bundle over this, since Johnny has always been white in the comics. The question then becomes if this whole thing is worth all the fuss. Personally, I would say it’s worth some concern, but not for the reasons you’d think.

There’s nothing wrong with changing a character’s race in an adaptation to give representation to the POC section of the population. After all, it worked for Heimdall in the Thor movies, seeing as he was one of the best parts of it. However, changing the Human Torch’s race comes with a little more baggage than that. You see, the Fantastic Four are known as the quintessential Marvel family in every meaning of the word, since Johnny and Sue Storm are siblings and Sue eventually marries Reed Richards (Ben Grimm is… um… the best friend that’s like family and crashes on their couch, I guess?). But here’s the thing: they made Johnny black, but kept Sue white and this just raises a lot of questions. Is Johnny a foster child? Are they step-siblings now? Have they been changed to cousins in this version? Now, if the movie addresses this, I’ll be completely fine with it. It could even be a great statement about what family truly means in the 21st Century and how blood relation isn’t the only definition.

UPDATE: I am told that Sue is the foster child in the Storm family in the upcoming reboot. However, given this next bit, I don’t think that helps matters.

But really, my issue isn’t that they’re making Johnny black. No, my issue is that they’re keeping Sue white.

If the filmmakers wanted to go all the way with this concept, they would have made both of the Storm siblings African-American. But for some reason, Sue, who I remind you is the one who gets married, kept her ethnicity. I’m not normally one to deconstruct things too excessively to look for discrimination, which should disappoint the faculty of UC Santa Cruz. But the more I think about it, the more this rubs me the wrong way.

Maybe it’s the possibility that a much grander statement was denied by not changing the marriage of Reed and Sue into an interracial marriage, or the idea that her race was kept the same because there was some weird societal standard that Caucasian women are somehow prettier or more desirable than African-American ones, or that the womanizer character got a race lift rather than the one in the stable relationship. (Wow, UC Santa Cruz really did get inside my head.) Really, though, what bugs me the most is that on the surface, it seemed like a character’s race was changed for a publicity stunt and no one at any point seems to have asked, “So why don’t we change his sister’s race too?”

At the end of the day, changing race should involve a lot of passion from the people doing it. We may not have asked for a racially different update to Annie, but the people behind it probably felt that this was a big step for the community. I detect no such passion behind the Fantastic Four change. To me, that strikes as a lazy attempt to try and seem like they’re progressive and with the times in order to trick more money out of the hands of moviegoers, as well as Fox’s attempt at being edgy and trying to keep up with the mainstream Marvel films. So when all is said and done, I do not believe the sun’ll come out tomorrow on this reboot.

Posted under Musings

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