Friday Round Up: A Week of Controversy

We have not just the important news of the week in digest form, we have the nerdy controversies of the week. The reviews for Fantastic Four. The Gamergate movie. Kermit and Miss Piggy breaking up. Dinklage’s work on Destiny redone. Black Widow absent from Age of Ultron. So we decided to start with something fun, the above video. Chris Farley’s last film role was Shrek the ogre. He had recorded half the movie when he died at age 33 from an overdose. The movie was rewritten for Mike Myers as Shrek (twice actually, when he decided he wanted to do a different voice). Farley’s character was more of a teen ogre that wanted to be nice unlike his parents. His work has never been heard before but this week the above animatics leaked. It’s really interesting to hear this much different take.

MOVIES

thing has no pants

Things don’t look good for the new Fantastic Four movie that comes out this weekend. First, Fox embargoed all reviews until the day before release. Then star Miles Teller argued he wouldn’t expect good reviews for the movie in some odd damage control. Then the reviews landed and they are not kind. The overall consensus is that the movie tries to be too serious but the characters act dumb so it’s hard to reconcile. Also, most reviews say it is very slow and is almost entirely the origin with a problem to resolve in just the last few minutes. The current Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score is 11% (it was 20% when I started this draft of FRU). Rev. Ron says he’ll give us a review for next week.

On the other hand, Fox does seem to be able to do X-Men pretty well. Above is the brand new redband (NSFW) Deadpool trailer. Now, did this movie really need to be rated R? Probably not. But at the same time, at least it’ll offer something a little different. And it seems pretty funny. Deadpool has never been my favorite character but he can be interesting when the story is executed well. To that end, I strongly recommend Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force run. Amazing stuff.

sarkeesian effect site mistakes

A pair of the misogynist jerks that side with GamerGate decided to put together a documentary ostensibly about ethics in gaming journalism but with an obvious agenda. It was right there in the title, The Sarkeesian Effect, where they target Anita Sarkeesian for daring to have a feminist point of view on the gaming industry. Anyway, the two creators, Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini, had a falling out. Owen released his version of the movie and it bombed utterly. According to Owen’s girlfriend, there were 7 other people that came to see the movie. The writing was on the wall. The official site for the movie (Owen’s version, anyway) is filled with Lorem Ipsum placeholder text. We mean EVERYWHERE. It even spelled one of the filmmakers’ names wrong.

TV

amell vs stardust

Arrow star Stephen Amell has confirmed he’ll be on Monday Night RAW to confront Stardust, who apparently has been making oblique insults to Amell for weeks now. It takes place in Everett, just a tiny bit north of Seattle and not too far from Vancouver where Amell is filming Arrow. I think I will tune in. I haven’t watched pro wrestling since the Attitude era of WWF but I love Arrow and knowing how fit and competitive Amell is, I bet it ends up being a brawl that maybe leads to a SummerSlam match. Meanwhile, Phoenix Jones thought Stardust was insulting him since he is a superhero in the Northwest. Phoenix told me he’d be ringside this Monday. Not sure if he’s getting involved but I do know WWE has invited him in the past to audition for Tough Enough. He declined because he is a legit MMA competitor, currently fighting for WSOF. But it could be interesting.

kermit and miss piggy separate

Just ahead of ABC’s upcoming new Muppets show, Kermit and Miss Piggy announced their separation. I’ve seen people on social media getting very upset about this. I like Muppets but this doesn’t upset me at all. Miss Piggy isn’t that nice. Kermit deserves better.

COMICS

hercules and howlett

Comicsalliance writer J.A. Micheline wrote a piece this week arguing for a boycott of Marvel comics. Why? The author argued that Marvel had two strikes in a row recently: placing white writers on Blade, a black hero, and editor Axel Alonso stating that Hercules in his upcoming new solo title will be straight despite the Greek character being canonically bisexual in his original stories as well as in some Marvel stories (Hercules and Wolverine of Earth-TRN208 as seen in the X-Treme X-Men title). I don’t have the same vitriol as Micheline but I do respect the argument. Marvel has taken a lot of steps to diversify its prominent characters but there’s still not much in terms of representation for the LGBQI crowd and the talent behind the books is even less diverse. How much responsibility does Marvel have to reflect the diversity in society both in its characters and the talent that it utilizes?

MERCH

ghost from destiny

Peter Dinklage may have an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work on Game of Thrones but he didn’t get much love for his voice acting in the game Destiny. And now he’s out. Completely. In September, Destiny will drop its third DLC and will also have all of Dinklage’s lines re-recorded by Nolan North, who does a lot of video game voiceover work. Dinklage played Ghost, a tiny floating box that guides you. His delivery was a bit monotone, but it could easily be argued that was just Dinklage’s take on playing a robot. I don’t know how anyone is going to make a line like “That Wizard came from the moon” or “OK, the Skywatch is on the other side and it’s surrounded by Fallen” sound that terrific.

minion attacks ireland

I guess the Minions aren’t content to have three hit movies and tons of popular toys. Now they’re attacking motorists. Well, a giant inflatable in Ireland stopped traffic when he got loose and blew into a highway, at least.

pepper potts hot toys

Hot Toys has two new Marvel movie figures out this week: Quicksilver from Avengers: Age of Ultron and… Pepper Potts! (Supposedly Drax is on the way soon to complete the Guardians of the Galaxy) At this point, Hot Toys has released high end figures of Black Widow (more than once), Gamora, Scarlet Witch, Maria Hill and Pepper Potts. They definitely are a bit more female friendly than even Marvel themselves. Take a look at the cover art for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron DVD and Blu-Ray. Notice anyone missing?

  • It should be noted that those Blu Rays are European releases and they’re both missing Hawkeye. Hawkeye and Black Widow are both treated as second stringers in merch, so it’s not like a super sexist act that Black Widow isn’t on there. They’re just focusing on the big guns of the team.

  • Skewed_View

    You can tell fantastic 4 is bad when the actors, studio, and director are all super defensive about it before it officially opens. That, and because of all the trailers.
    I’m still not 100% sure what gamergate is, and I don’t know if I really care.
    I always thought Kermit needed to find someone who appreciated him more. He’s basically in an abusive relationship when he’s with Piggy.
    What is Marvel’s responsibility? I don’t know, it’s certainly not something I think about too much. They should have diverse characters, and I believe they do. I mean, do you need to go through the Marvel comics encyclopedia and make sure that all ethnicities and sexual orientations are represented in the same proportions you find in the real world? Do you just use America’s breakdown, or the world’s? I also don’t like the idea of black people only writing for black characters, white for white, women for women, you get the idea. I did read the article, and I know the author says it’s not that white people can’t write for black characters, but if that’s the case, then why aren’t they mad and writing articles every time a comic is handed over to a white person, regardless of the ethnicity of the character?
    I am not bothered by Black Widow’s absence on the blu rays. It would be weird if Hawkeye, Vision, or the twins were there and she still wasn’t, but since it just features the biggest stars (and the first names on the box going left to right), I don’t see it as sexist. Also, as Vincent pointed out, that’s just a couple of versions, the US releases have her on there (as did the first Avengers, Capt America 2, and Iron Man 2).

  • Shawn