Movies

White Washing the Legend of Billy Sing

Billy Sing

It seems that White Washing movies is not just an American phenomenon.

The Asian Australian community is calling out director Geoff Davis for casting his son Josh as Billy Sing in a new mini-series. Chinese Australian Billy Sing fought at Gallipoli as a sniper and racked 201 confirmed kills. He is a rare historical hero for the Chinese Australian community. And now he’ll be portrayed by a White man.

When asked to respond about the casting gaff, Geoff Davis lamented that he could not find an Asian actor that could fill the role of Billy Sing’s father so instead, he cast veteran Australian actor Tony Bonner for the part.

Asking Tony to play it as Chinese would not only have been racist and demeaning. It was also financially irrelevant — we could not have afforded the make-up. Whatever his genetic background, his culture was Australian. To me, he’s very representative of every Australian whose parents were not born here.

A lot of people are sitting at the back of this bus attacking the driver. A lot of people feel they own the story of Billy Sing. But they’ve probably got more resources than me — if they want to tell that story, then tell it.

I guess we should be thankful Davis didn’t decide to “yerrow face” them up with heavy makeup. Still, they couldn’t find any Asian actors? In America I would call this fucking lazy. There are plenty of Asian American actors out there young and old who could have fit the bill. But I’m not familiar with the minority populations of Australia. Is there a large Asian Australian actor community that Davis could have drawn from?

Well, I hate to wish ill on anyone, but I think it’s a sign that he’s run out of money on the production. Maybe if he had the support of the Asian Australian community, they might have been able to hold some awesome fundraisers or maybe an awesome Kickstarter campaign. But it appears that a lot of people who worked on this show will not get paid unless it makes money. Sorry folks, you threw your hat in with a white washed production. It was doomed from the start.

Source: The Australian via Angry Asian Man

What Does Iron Man 2 Mean For Comics?

Jack Kirby's Iron Man

Iron Man 2 is a really fun movie. I liked the first one much better, but the sequel does not disappoint. There were a few things that made me turn up an eyebrow or two, but in general, I liked it. Not entirely pants messing worthy, but a really solid summer movie.

I doesn’t get much more mainstream than Iron Man 2. It’s got all the elements of a proper summer movie. Big ‘splosions. Sexy chick in a tight pleather body suit. Big actions scenes. Big Hollywood actors. Celebrity cameos. A global marketing campaign that’s impossible to ignore. An excellent opening weekend. It’s a near perfect execution of the big summer block buster formula. So if this movie is a huge mainstream success, does that also mean that comics are moving out the basement?

I don’t think the American comics market will ever be as ubiquitous as it is in Japan. I just don’t think our buying habits can support those big ass, cheaply printed comic digests that are sold absolutely everywhere. I guess what I hope for is a comics market that mirrors the video game market or at least a decent shadow of it. I’d love to see kids wrestling with the decision to buy the latest Iron Man collection or the latest Iron Man game. Part of me naively believes that all of these comic book movies will bring us closer to that kind of market penetration for comics. But I just don’t know. Kids don’t give a fuck about comics. And these movies don’t seem to be bringing them into the stores. I heard a lot of kids coming out of Iron Man 2 saying that they’d never read the comic, didn’t realize it was a comic, loved the animated show but never bothered with the comic, or hoped that they’d make more movies so they wouldn’t have to read the comic. By contrast, most of the people walking out of the theater my age or older were totally geeking out over how close the movie was to the comic or predicting which heroes would make the cut for the Avengers movie. Does that seem backwards to anyone else?

I kind of want to know why Marvel isn’t shipping shit tons of Iron Man comics to the theaters for them to hand out with every showing of Iron Man 2 opening weekend. That seems like a no-brainer to me. Okay, a very fucking expensive no-brainer. But they’ve already invested in Free Comic Book Day. Just extend that and send a few crates out to participating theaters. Also, how about reminding kids that Iron Man is available in their local comic shop at the end of those movie trailers. The Marvel.com URL at the end is a nice start, but your website is all about the movie right now. Or how about doing a series of the YouTubes about how the movie relates to the comic or how elements of the comic have been incorporated into the movie or the geeky things that are comics related that you can look for throughout the film. Come on, Marvel, get those kids into those damn stores!

Is Iron Man 2 good for comics? Yes. More people know about Iron Man than ever before. And Marvel gets another major studio win which is good for the bottom line which is always good for comics. But besides name recognition and a fat paycheck for Marvel/Disney, what other good does the movie do for comics? We have yet to see a sustainable upswing in comic sales. I’m sure there will be a spike in Iron Man graphic novels and floppies for the next few weeks, but then what? Will that growth be sustained? Or will we have to wait for another comic book movie to see that spike again?

4 Reasons Why Movie Tony Stark is Better Than Movie Bruce Wayne

Iron Man 2 comes out today and it looks fucking fantastic. I haven’t read any reviews and have tried to keep away from spoilers so it’ll be all fresh when we check it out tomorrow.

In some ways, I think Tony Stark is kind of like Marvel’s take on Bruce Wayne. They’re both insanely rich. They’re both womanizers. They both have wonderful toys. But as similar as they are, they couldn’t be more different. It’s my belief that movie Tony wins over movie Bruce (Christian Bale version) if we were to pit them against each other. Let’s go down the list!

Toys

Comparing the Iron Man suit to Batman’s utility belt is unfair. So we’ll pit the Tumbler against the Mark III Iron Man suit. There’s no denying that the Tumbler can take on just about any conventional weapon in a bad guy’s arsenal. Movie badguys typically carry a couple of fire arms, an automatic weapon or two, maybe some kind of large caliber rifle. Regular bullets don’t mean shit to the Tumbler. Rocket launchers? That’s a little different. We saw a bazooka take out the Tumbler in one hit.

Guess what Tony has loaded as standard equipment in the forearms of the Mark III. Tony’s got him some mini missiles which were more than enough to take out an entire tank. Sorry Bruce. Even though the Tumbler is basically a more mobile and agile tank, that shit is still not missile-proof.

Lifestyle

Tony and Bruce have a reputation for philandering. Tony truly loves women. He loves flirting with them, impressing them, acting like an idiot for them. There’s a tremendous joie de vivre that surrounds Tony when he’s around women.

There is no joie de anything when Bruce is out with the ladies. Oh, he plays like he’s having fun. But it feels like an act that he puts on for the public. Bruce Wayne is the mask that Batman wears. There is no joy in anything that Bruce Wayne does. Behind those eyes is a cold, dark, brooding man whose heart can only be lifted by one woman. And even then, he’s still too broody and dark for his own fucking good. There is no joy for Bruce Wayne. Ever. And that’s why Tony will always be more fun to be around.

Personal Relationships

Bruce Wayne hides from his close friends. He’s never completely honest with Lucius Fox, a man who’s integrity is almost beyond reproach. He never really commits to his feelings for Rachel. Sure, he says he loves her and all that, but what does he really do to show it? About the only person he’s truly honest with is Alfred and even then Alfred usually has to break him out of his shell. Bruce Wayne is a loner and will always be alone. Which is why I don’t think we’ll ever see a Nolan Batman movie with a Bat sidekick.

Tony is very open with his close friends, almost too open. He’s completely trusting. Pepper Potts knows absolutely everything about Tony, his social security number, his latest fling, how to install his chest glowy thingy. He trusts Rhodey with the knowledge that he is indeed Iron Man before he outs himself to the world. And even then, he’s open about who he is and what he intends to do. There’s no hiding, no shadows, no secret signal. Tony is open with his life and his friends and they would do anything to protect him.

Reasons For Heroing

Batman is defined by his villains. His entire motivation for crusading as a giant flying rodent is to avenge his parent’s death. Without crime or evil, there would be no Batman. He is shaped by the darkness.

Iron Man is defined by Tony Stark. Tony chooses to repent for all the misery his technology has caused. He chooses to make the world safe regardless of who he has to go up against. He controls his destiny. He could stop whenever he wants to. I don’t think Bruce knows how to stop.

And seriously, who would you rather have a beer with? Broody, emo sociopath or cocky, fun loving womanizer?

Iron Man 2 is out now!

FINALLY! A Live Action Street Fighter Movie That Doesn’t Fucking Well Suck!

Let these three minutes erase from your mind any trace of any live action Street Fighter movie you have seen in the past. This short is actually officially endorsed by Capcom. When it comes time to make another damn Street Fighter movie, I hope Capcom remembers this crew and gives them the gig.

Thanks to AZM Ally and fellow comic ninja Bryan Prindiville for sending this my way.

Batman 3, Now With Release Date

Zur En WTF?

Angry Zen Minion Ted O’Hanlan sends word that the mythical third installment of Christopher Nolan’s take on our favorite caped crusader is no longer mythical. Warner Brothers has declared July 20, 2012 the day of the return of Batman.

No details on anything else but the director and the date which is where you, the internet, comes in! I imagine it will be called something along the lines of Return of the Dark Knight or Batman Returns or The Goddamn Batman. But that’s beside the point. Which villains from Batman’s rogue gallery would you like to see get Nolafied? Which Bat family sidekicks would you like to see all movied up? And would hearing the phrase “I’m the Goddamn Batman” make this the best movie in the universe?

Source: Cinematical

Movie Thor Unveiled

Movie Thor

Marvel has released this sexy photo of actor Chris Hemsworth all Thored out. I don’t really have much to say other than he looks slightly constipated and if he makes that face throughout the entire movie, he’ll pop a vein or two, but I think this photo is worthy of the caption game! You know the drill, comment with an appropriate caption for our first look at the Son of Odin.

What Kick-Ass Means For Comics

Kick-Ass is just as awesome as you think it is. Go see it. I haven’t read the comic so I can’t really compare the two so coming fresh to the material, the movie is a lot of damn fun. I imagine the comic is even more so. That’s not what this post is about.

Since the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie, we’ve seen comics gain more mainstream acceptance than ever before. Sure, the Tim Burton Batman flicks were pretty big when they dropped, but it wasn’t until Spider-Man that comic publishers made a concerted effort to expand their mainstream market share. For the sake of argument, we’ll call this the Silver Age of Comic Book Flicks. With the Spider-Man, publishers recognized an opportunity to take comics to another level. They got together and created what has become a sort of signature event in the comics community, Free Comic Book Day.

While the comics community has done more outreach to the general public than ever before in this Comic Book Flick Silver Age, major Hollywood studios have begun to scrape up comic book properties left and right to cash in on established fan bases. Indeed, it seems like comic books and Hollywood are a match made in some kind of geek heaven. A larger proportion of the floor space at San Diego Comic Con is now dedicated to giant Hollywood movie displays. Our summers are now filled with at least one or two big ass comic book movies. Nothing says mainstream acceptance like big budget Hollywood flicks. At least, that’s what I thought.

It’s certainly true that comics have more visibility that ever before. More random people on the street are familiar with comics thanks to these Comic Book Movies, manga sections in the book stores, comics and geek culture blogs. Comics are everywhere. And yet, comics are still stuck in a sort of basement-of-my-mom’s-house mentality. You’d think that by now, being a geek for comics would be a badge of honor. Yet we’re still considered to be a very fringe fandom. Which brings me back to Kick-Ass.

Our hero and his friends are all giant dorks. They’re ridiculed by bullies, ignored by women. They spend their free time in the comic book store or jerking off in their bedroom. Nice. The two high school girls we’re introduced to, Katie and Erika, would never step in to a comic book store on purpose. Nay, they must be taught the ways of comics by the geeky guys who are the heroes of this film. What the fuck, are we really that socially inept that even in a film that’s basically a love letter to comics we’re still portrayed as horny losers? Oh, and girls can’t read comics unless some dork corners her in a comic book shop? Give me a fucking break. I know a lot of this film is supposed to be tongue in cheek, but if we can’t get over this complex we’re never going to grow the fuck up.

Comics are still in the basement. This movie does little to say otherwise. It’s fun. It’s silly. It’s totally worth the price. But in some ways, it also stands up as an example of why we’re still struggling, as comic book geeks, to gain mainstream acceptance. The fact that it’s having such a hard time at the box office (How to Train Your Dragon is kicking its ass after a month in the theaters) shows that comic book flicks still have some way to go.

So here’s a question. Are comic book fans still considered to be horny losers or have we grown out of that stereotype?

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