Public Enemy - Burn Hollywood Burn
There's a new phenomenon in Hollywood these days. Well, maybe it's not new, but it has become more prevalent and definitely more noticeable now thanks to this here internet: movie makers publicly release the actors for the roles of upcoming movies weeks, if not months, before the movie even starts filming. Needless to say, this can lead to quite the web shitsplosion.
Take a look at this link. That's a petition on Change.org (a legitimate site that has brought attention to such serious issues as LGBT rights and the Trayvon Martin case) to remove Ben Affleck from the upcomng Superman vs. Batman movie. It has over 94,000 signatures. 94,000 people took the time to fill out the form and let their cyber-voice be heard on this very pressing matter.
I realize it doesn't take long to fill out an online form, but that's precious time that you could be doing literally anything else and having a more meaningful impact on the world. But my real issue is: who gives a flying fuck? Is the actor portraying a man dressed as a bat that important to you that you had to start a petition, or even just took the time to fill out this form? Your desire to see someone that you personally deem "acceptable" as a grown man in skintight latex is enough to try to sabotage another man's career? If movies are that important to you, you should be more concerned about yourself than Bennifer. The best and most revealing part about the petition is when the creator disses other people who have started similar positions. He chastises someone for petitioning the White House (they fucking petitioned the White House about a Batman movie!!!) saying that the government has more serious issues to deal with. No shit! But let's be honest, Mayor of Petitionville, shouldn't you have more serious issues to deal with? Shouldn't fucking everybody? Unless you are somehow involved in the production of this movie (or you happen to be Bob Kane or Bill Finger) why do you think you have a say in the matter? Why do you so desperately need a say in the matter? Oh, you're a die hard Batman fan? Sorry, you only have hundreds of other Batman movies, cartoons, games, and comics to live for. And in a few years they'll do another reboot with all new actors and a new director and maybe they'll consult you then. But for now, get over yourself.
Social media erupted after the Affleck announcement. Batfleck is going to be a travesty! How could they do this to us?? Someone made a wise-crack about how Affleck ruined the Daredevil franchise and now he'll ruin this one. Oh wait, that was me? Well, jokes are fine, I'm not a humorless gonad. But for the love of Good Will Hunting, let the guy live, and let the director/producers/casting director/other dozens of people involved in the decision do their jobs, which is to make the fucking movie. It's our job to watch it. And if it's a giant turd, like Daredevil or friggin Pearl Harbor, then we can shit all over it. We should shit all over it. Fans can be critics, they can't be casting directors. If you don't want to see a movie made a certain way, you make it that way YA BIG JERK.
We all remember the magnificent performance from Heath Ledger as the Joker, right? Guy won an Oscar playing a murderous clown in a superhero action movie. Every single person who saw that movie raved about how amazing the Joker was. What so many people quickly forgot was the rage we all felt when his name was announced as the Joker. How could Brokeback Knight take the place of Jack Nicholson? What the hell was Christopher Nolan thinking? Well, we must have all forgotten Ledger's performance in Monster's Ball because in his first appearance on screen as Batman's archnemesis, he made everyone forget their complaints. Hell, he made everyone forget Jack Nicholson. Jack's Joker was considered one of the greatest movie villains of all time, and he looked like a harmless birthday party clown in comparison to Ledger. So, I don't know, maybe we should give Affleck a shot? Let's not forget, he was da bomb in Phantoms, yo.
But the retard-ragefest doesn't end with Affleck or superhero movies. Oh no. The ladies have reached the same levels of fanboy insanity, maybe even surpassing it. Did you hear about this new movie coming out, 50 Shapes of Clay, or something like that? I think it was based on a popular book? And the book was originally fan-fiction of Twilight? Oh you've heard of it? Maybe you were one of the thousands of people who signed the petition to remove Charlie Hunnam as the lead role. Congratulations! Your estrogen-induced rage made him quit the role before they even started filming. A talented, hard-working, attractive (but not enough, I guess?) actor lost out on a role that probably would have made him and his future grandkids set for life. Hurray! And these loud, obnoxious fans are so proud of themselves. They had an influence on the movie! They are a part of it now! Except, no, you're not. You just make the entire ordeal more frustrating, annoying, and drawn out.
The makers of the Fifty Shades movie have an especially impossible job because of the particular source material. The book really gets the juices flowing (literally) in its fan-base because of the overtly sexual material. S&M shops haven't seen this much business since Marquis de Sade himself opened the first ball-and-gag store (citation needed, but I'm pretty sure that's accurate). People don't just love the book, they fucking LOVE it. It has replaced their favorite diamond studded "self-massager" under their mattresses. It speaks to their hidden fantasies and desires and makes them feel something. So now, the makers of the movie are attempting to satisfy the desires and fantasies of every one of their stark-raving mad fans. It's hard enough satisfying one woman's desires, and now they're trying to make every woman happy (and some guys I'm sure).
I can tell you right now, it ain't gonna happen. Even Wilt the Stilt couldn't please every woman (although he did try admirably). I guarantee that with each new choice, more and more insane fans will spout off angry tweets and emails and start more ridiculous petitions. And if the movie makers cave in to their demands, they are establishing an impossible threshold for each replacement. Each guy has to be hotter than the last, not to mention he has to be a perfect match for whoever the actress is, but it still won't be good enough. He needs to personify the individual fantasy inside the minds of each and every woman.
It's pretty damn ridiculous. Jax from Sons of Anarchy isn't good looking enough for you ladies? It's a good thing most women in their everyday lives are more concerned about finding a partner who is financial stable rather than one who is attractive, because if they held us up to the standards of their fantasies, no guy would stand a chance (I disabled the comment section already, so don't even bother with the angry comments, ladies). Besides, it's not like you will be personally spanked by Christian Grey. He won't be at Comic-Con in the S&M booth giving out free chokes. It's just a movie. They probably won't be showing full on dong action; they won't even show sac, so what's the big deal? If he doesn't cut it for you, and you really need to see Matt Bomer's ass in leather, go watch Magic Mike again (I had to IMDB that one, I swear).
Side note: I feel like girls can get away with being openly shallow a lot more than guys these days. Progress, I guess? It's good that women can feel more comfortable in their sexuality and they are allowed to express it how they want, we all should have that right. But damn, ladies, the thirst is unreal! If a guy says his favorite actress is Scarlett Johanssen, he gets called shallow, despite the fact that she is a phenomenal, respected actress. Yet women have Magic Mike themed events where they watch the movie over and over and hoot and holler at the screen while proclaiming Channing Tatum the greatest living thespian in the world, knowing full well that he couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag (with scissor in his hands). It's acceptable, though, because women have been considered the less shallow of the sexes for so long, so it's cute to see them openly fawn over a good looking guy. Guys are shallow, yes, but you ladies are giving us a serious run for our money in that department.
Another thing you'll hear a lot now that we know everything about a movie before it even started filming is the phrase, "they are ruining my childhood!" Again, I may be guilty of uttering the phrase myself, usually replacing the word "they" with "Michael Bay", but I don't really take it that seriously. When I first saw Bay was doing the Transformers movie, it stung a little (after all, this is the fucking guy who made Pearl Harbor, and Optimus Prime and friends were an integral part of my childhood) but when I thought about the last time I had seen a Transformers cartoon, I realized it was over 20 years ago. Why did I care? I saw the first Transformers movie, didn't really like it, so I avoided the next 2 or 3 or however many there are. It really didn't affect my life or have any impact on the memories of my childhood. In fact, it brought back a lot of fond memories. That's the only good thing it did, and I'm thankful for that. Oh, they made a shitty G.I. Joe movie? Who cares? It doesn't affect how much I used to love Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. It actually made me reminisce about the epic battles I used to orchestrate between the two action figures. They (aka fucking Michael Bay) are remaking a live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as aliens? Who gives a shit? I'll always have the original live-action (not the second one so much, and definitely not the third, that one never happened) and awesome original cartoons. The remakes won't change any of that. I don't have to see the new movie and it's easier than ever to see the originals with Youtube and Netflix. I also have a dvd of the original movie (duh).
So let's just all try to allow the directors and producers that make the damn movies decide what will work for their own projects. Yes, their decisions are often horrible (like whenever somebody casts Jason Segal in anything) but can they make the movie before we deride it? I know it's fun to get all worked up about insignificant pop culture happenings, but let's remember that they are truly insignificant. I don't mean to say that entertainment and art is not significant or important, but if an actor you don't like is in a movie you want to see, try to give the guy a chance, or just don't see the movie. Go watch Tim Burton's Batman movies, they're pretty fucking awesome. Or watch Nolan's Batman trilogy again, that was sweet. Hell even the campy Adam West movie was entertaining. There are a lot of solid options, and none of them include trying to sabotage someone's career. Let's keep the petitions for more serious matters, like beginning construction on a Death Star by 2016. Already 34,000 signatures!
I Love You All...Class Dismissed.