A British actor has been cast as Superman which is probably a sign of the apocalypse.

Jazz and comic books. Two forms of art that have the distinction of originating in America. Maybe jazz is a little out of date and only enjoyed by pretentious D-bags but those comic book things are still huge, particularly the film adaptations.

Now, if the fat cats in the United States want to outsource their already wealthy, profitable corporations just to make an extra billion here and there and damn the lower-class working stiffs, that’s fine, but outsourcing your super heroes is one step too far.

Batman, Wolverine, and the new Spider-Man are not played by Americans. It was never that big of a deal, it was forgivable, “the best man for the job,” you may say, but the news has come out today that the new Superman will be played by Henry Cavill, a British actor. That just doesn’t sit right, does it?

But why is it that it’s not that big of a deal when Brits play other super heroes? I could do my homework and write a long winded essay about how Superman was on the scene long before Spidey or Bats ever showed their sorry asses and he became a symbol of hope during World War II, or that his motto is standing for “truth, justice, and the American way,” or that his very origin story is an allegory for the American dream. But I won’t. I’m too lazy to write it and you’re too lazy to read it. Short paragraphs work so much better for both of us.

Richard Donner’s 1978 film, a spectacular classic, was wise enough to embrace all of the Americana associated with Superman. Maybe that’s why his film is the only Superman adaptation to date to be considered a great work of filmmaking.

Why is it cool to not care? I’m Canadian (Superman is a half-Canadian invention by the way), but if I were American I think I’d boycott the movie. Where’s the patriotism? If they got an American to play James Bond I’m sure people would be pissed off, so why not for Superman? Why do people want to insist it isn’t an issue? It is.

But hey, it’s fine if a Brit plays Superman, it’s fine if all the companies move to India, whatever, it’s all good, as long as I have my I-Phone. It’s cool to be open to anything because I’m just so awesome.

Anyway, I think this casting is distracting from the big picture anyway, and that’s that the movie can’t possibly be any good anyway. Zack Snyder is directing it, after all. How good could it possibly be. I liked Watchmen and everything but if ever there was a “style over substance” director it’s Snyder. Seriously, since when did he become the go-to guy for comic book adaptations? I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw the Watchmen trailer and laughed so hard I peed a little when he was described as a “visionary director.”

And that got me thinking. Zack Snyder is an American, I wonder if it crossed his mind if it would be a good idea to cast a non-American for the role. I wonder if he considered whether or  not it may upset people. I’m sure he’ll give some interviews in the future to explain himself. But if he sees it as a non-issue, I can’t imagine the guy having a firm grasp on the character.

Ultimately I think it’s far more ignorant to act like it isn’t an issue at all than to at least acknowledge it. You can agree with this blog or not, but just don’t pretend it isn’t an issue and that anybody feeling uncomfortable about the casting is totally out of line. That’s like saying “When I see a person, I don’t see race or colour, I just see a person.” Yes, that seems all nice and everything but that’s one of the worst things someone can say. It’s our diversities that make us unique and every race, colour, creed, and nationality has its own rich history and ignoring Superman’s impact on American culture is pretty close-minded.

I can’t speak for Americans but if they cast anyone other than a Canadian to play Captain Canuck, I wouldn’t think twice about skipping it.

Trailer analysis: Yogi Bear, and Thor

If you need further proof that Hollywood has become a parody of itself, then by all means check out the teaser trailer for Yogi Bear. Be sure to feast your eyes on the trailers for the Smurfs movie and the Jack Black version of Gulliver’s Travels while you’re at it.

The special sneak preview of the the upcoming live action Yogi Bear movie hit the net last night. Needless to say, it looks fairly by-the-numbers. Let’s see:

  • Live action blended with horrendous CGI? Check!
  • Genuinely talented actor taking a paycheck by voicing the titular character? Check!
  • B-Grade talent in the human roles? Check!
  • Animals dancing and shaking their butts to pop music? Check!
  • Tedious slapstick humour? Check!
  • In FUCKING 3-D?? Check and mate!!

I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of the Yogi Bear cartoon, but I’m pretty sure taking your kids to see this should equate to child abuse. It looks like absolute garbage, and will probably kill your kids’ brain cells. You may as well toss them a bottle of Jack Daniels and tell them to have at it.

Do kids really like seeing these shitty-looking CGI animals dance to pop music so much? Like, really? Teach your kid to read, participate in team sports, plant a fucking tree for God’s sake, or at the very least just stay at home and watch the original cartoon! How can they possibly fill an entire movie with picnic basket stealing gags? It’s filler, fodder, junk food for the brain. Any kid going into this movie is going to walk out of it a little dumber.

The trailer may as well contain a voice over saying: We think kids today are stupid. We’re going to take a beloved cartoon character and shit out a lousy movie with him, fill it with pretty colours, lots of dancing, and lame jokes, because today’s kids just love that stuff!

Kids aren’t that stupid, are they? Take them to see the Pixar stuff, take them to Harry Potter, they can handle that. But this movie looks like it will be shit. Stop taking kids to see this worthless trash and they’ll stop making it!

Ugh. Whatever. It’s a stupid kids movie. Not the first. Not the last. But I’d never take my (theoretical) kid to see something like Yogi Bear. I’d have too much love and respect for my offspring.

It breaks my heart to see Anna Faris in this movie. I do think she has talent, and she’s really hot, too. It’s  also disappointing to see Dan Aykroyd sell out with voicing Yogi the bear, and not doing all too great of a job of it, either.  He’s a gifted actor, writer, and comedian. He’s one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, a true comedic pioneer, he’s an Oscar nominated dramatic actor, he’s a Ghostbuster for God’s sake, and hey, his wine brand is pretty good, too. So it’s really come to this, huh?

In addition to the exciting Yogi Bear news, some leaked footage of a 5-minute Thor trailer has been popping up as well. Good luck finding it, though. It gets pulled as soon as it gets uploaded. I can’t say I’m a big Thor fan or anything, my familiarity with the character really only extends to the “BY THE HAMMER OF THOR” line repeated so hilariously in various TV shows and films, namely Anchorman. Ha, ha. Personally I can’t really see the appeal of a space viking that has a big hammer as a weapon, but whatever.

Some thoughts on the trailer:

  • It’s never occurred to me until right now how much Anthony Hopkins sounds like Marlon Brando, and his role gives off a Superman/Krypton opening kind of vibe.
  • I have no idea who the actor playing Thor is. He must be new. I’d swear he was an ex-wrestler or something if it weren’t for the fact that he’s British and can apparently act without grinning into the camera.
  • “For a crazy homeless man, he’s….pretty cut.” Tee hee, funny line.
  • Natalie Portman alone should get my ass in the seat.
  • The best thing about the trailer was the Iron Man reference.  Oh boy, I can’t wait for Iron Man 3. When’s that coming out??
  • The costume design is impressive, but not too surprising considering the film is helmed by Kenneth Branagh, director of Shakespearean adaptations such as Henry V, Hamlet, and As You Like It. I’d say Branagh’s involvement in the project would be an encouraging factor, but then again, this is the same guy who voluntarily acted in Wild Wild West.

So I’m sure the verdict isn’t quite in yet. Some folks are hella excited for this movie and died of nerdgasms upon viewing the trailer, but I think a lot of people are still waiting to make up their minds. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if Thor is any good or not.