Unlikable Superman

Image Courtesy of : Google Images.

For starters I actually enjoyed Batman v Superman. Even though I only saw the movie once.  I promise I will eventually see the movie a second time. Unfortunately the majority of the hard core fanboy movie-going audience didn’t enjoy the film as much as I. Even though the film has to date made an impressive $325 million domestically and $863 million worldwide, many critics have unfortunately panned the film. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 27%, this film was barely given a chance by the critics. Some of the criticisms ranged from the fact that the story line was incoherent to the fact that Batman kills.

I understand some of the criticisms but I think that some of these criticisms border on cruel and unreasonable. The fact that one particular person doesn’t like a movie doesn’t mean that everyone else should dislike it as well. I believe that people are entitled to their opinion but I do not think that you are allowed to impose your opinion on others, and then have the audacity to shame others that don’t share your same views on the subject. In this case that would be Batman v Superman.

Now, that being said, I do want to point something out that has been a problem in these last two DC extended Universe films which was that Superman kind of seemed like a jerk. I know that he is starting out his role as the iconic figure we know and love but I mean c’mon, please make him a little bit likable. I am all for realism but I always felt like Superman was a creature of the light (whereas Batman is of the dark). With the way Supes has been portrayed he’s appeared a little too cocky ans self-serving. For example, (SPOILER WARNING) he goes out of his way to save Lois Lane to the point that he shoves a guy through multiple walls. I have heard a well thought out defense of that move but I feel like Superman could’ve easily tried a different tact. Also he seems so tortured all the time, he’s like one of your Debbie-Downer co-workers who always has something bad to say about something (yeah you know who they are). All these things add up to a Superman that I don’s hate, but also one that I am not particularly fond of.

Moving forward, I hope that Superman does lighten up. I think that he’s one of the characters in the comicbook lexicon who is about brightness and hope (I mean his family crest does mean ‘Hope’ for goodness sake). I think that if they focus on once again making Superman a character we can look up to and have joy in, then that will hit the sweet spot that many fans are looking for.

That’s my take. What do you all think out there?


Oscars so…..?

Image courtesy of ABC

So it’s that time of year again…award season is upon us. The red carpet is being rolled out in Hollywood. But this year is a little different (or maybe not so different?).  The controversy over the lack of diversity among the Oscar nominees has put a cloud over the ceremony. Especially with the #OscarsSoWhite rampant on Twitter it doesn’t take Tom Hanks telling us “Houston we have a problem,”(yes, I couldn’t resist the Apollo 13 reference) to let us know that there is something seriously wrong going on here.

Even some high profile stars are boycotting the Oscars, with Jada Pinkett Smith being one of the most prominent ones.

Many people are bemoaning this outcry by saying that people of color should be patient, as Michael Caine recently mentioned. That’s like Lyndon Baines Johnson telling Dr. King to be patient for the Voting Rights Act.

Going beyond the Oscars there is a real problem with diversity in our entertainment arena. In a recent study conducted by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, they found that out of 109 motion pictures evaluated only 7% had a racially balanced cast. The study also found that at least half or more of all media evaluated (film, television, streaming) failed to portray one speaking or named Asian or Asian American on screen. Of the lead characters in film, only 21.8% were an underrepresented minority, which is 16.1% below the U.S. Census number.

Behind the camera things weren’t much better. Only 12.7% of film directors were from an underrepresented minority group, and out of that they named just two Black women: Ava DuVernay (Selma) and Amma Asante (Belle)—who happens to be Ghanaian.

The major studios overall did not fair much better. No studio scored an inclusion score above 25% across all metrics. Only Sony and Viacom achieved a Fully Inclusive score for underrepresented minority characters and leads. The authors of the study credit films like About Last Night, Selma and Top Five for helping to bolster their respective scores.

The authors suggest ways to remedy this including: targeted inclusion goals, countering mythologizing in decision making with evidence (i.e. thought that minority leads can’t do well at the box office), and building inclusive consideration lists.

I think some people are afraid and think that others are taking their piece of the pie. No. It’s not about taking a piece of someone’s pie, it’s about making the pie bigger.

Your thoughts are welcome.