Racebending in The Last Avatar: Removing the Excuses

avatar: the last airbenderAs a fan of the series, 'disappointment' is a definite and deep understatement! I mean for Hollywood to do this is nothing short of a shameful big F**K UP! I agree with Eric about Speculative or Fantasy Fiction writing. I'm a fan of fiction both science and fantasy and you can't help but notice that the vast majority -- I'm talking close to 100%-- of fantasy worlds or planets inhabited by humans have people entirely if not predominantly white and have societies based on European culture!! The ONLY exception I could think of is the Earthsea novels by Ursula le Guin, but even then once her books get translated into movies (the Scifi channel), most of the leading roles are white!! Part of what made the series so popular was the uniqueness of having a fantasy world that is populated by NON-white people for a change and whose culture was NOT European based or influence!! And for Paramount to screw this up with white leads is as ridiculous as it is insulting!!

Racist Apologetics

By the way, I am sickened by the same racist apologist comments I've come across the net about this situation! Here are the three most common ones:

1. "It's a fantasy world, with no 'Asian' continent or people; why not have some racial diversity..."

2. "Wouldn't be unfair to whites to have all the lead roles go to Asians?"... (I laughed at this second excuse when I first heard it, but after a while of hearing over and over again these white idiots apparently were serious!!)

3. "The characters don't look white in the cartoon; look at their eyes"

It's a fantasy world

As for excuse # 1, I pretty much answered that above-- when it comes to fictional stories and how all of them are populated by white characters especially in leading or starring roles. I mean in J.R.R. Tokien's 'Lord of the Rings' series it was never stated that the peoples or characters were 'white' but what else were they suppose to be in a story based on Norse mythology?!! I mean you never saw New Line Cinema try to find "racially diverse" people even for the extras (save for the 'Arab-like' enemies) let alone leading roles, all of which were expected to non other than white!!

Would it be unfair to whites for all the lead roles go to Asians?

2. Is a no-brainer for anyone who has the most basic knowledge of Asians in the film industry. Even in movies and shows centered on or based on Asians the lead almost ALWAYS goes to whites! From David Carradine in Kung-Fu to the most recent movie '21' whose starring roles were based on Asian Americans but were still portrayed by whites, while meanwhile having Asian actors play their sidekicks!! So don't me about "unfair"!!

Look at their eyes

3. While the series is NOT anime, it was inspired by anime and manga/ Korean manwa drawing styles where the eyes are drawn large for convience of conveying emotional expression alot easier! As for eye color, the only reason why the characters Sokka and Katara have blue eyes is because they descend from water benders!! In the Avatar world, bright eye color is a sign of element bending-- air benders have gray eyes, earth benders have green eyes, fire benders have yellow eyes, and water benders have blue eyes. It is NOT a "caucasian" trait as they are NOT caucasian. And of course "the eyes" are the ONLY thing these white idiots like to focus on because EVERYTHING else about them is obviously Asian!!

I know that such racist white people are in the minority but apparently it's whites like these that continue to perpetuate this kind of bullsh*t in Hollywood!

Star Trek Prequel/Sequel/Reboot gets Prequel/Sequel/Reboot

st_finaldomesticposter_unratedAs studios continue their trend of jumping well ahead of the game, announcing sequels to films that have yet to be released, Paramount Pictures decided to move forward with a Prequel/Sequel/Reboot to follow the Prequel/Sequel/Reboot to Star Trek that will not release until May 8. Kurtzman said:

“Obviously we discussed ideas, but we are waiting to see how audiences respond next month,” [...] “With a franchise rebirth, the first movie has to be about origin. But with a second, you have the opportunity to explore incredibly exciting things. We’ll be ambitious about what we’ll do (/Film)."

Ok, so let me see if I understand this.

  • The people who wrote the not yet released film (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) will return with producer turned writer Damon Lindelof to pen a script for the next film.
  • They don't know if the film scheduled for May 8th is a sequel, a prequel or a reboot.
  • They are not going to start writing the next movie because they are not convinced that fans will accept the sequel/prequel/reboot premise, cast or aftermath.
  • Their uncertainty has risen to the level where they have yet to ask director J. J. Abrams to return for the sequel/prequel/reboot to the sequel/prequel/reboot.

Well. They are at least making one thing clear (maybe), by not having J. J. Abrams return they are signaling that they don't want the net movie to be another time travel story to another dimension.

Check out my Star Trek Review.

Harlan Ellison sues Paramount

Harlan Ellison is suing Paramount, again, for residuals and royalties for products and derivative works based on his script for the original Star Trek episode, ""City on the Edge of Forver." While Ellison could never be confused with a quite, introverted person, his recent statement on the suit is just priceless:

And please make sure to remember, at the moment some Studio mouthpiece calls me a mooch, and says I’m only pursuing this legal retribution to get into their ‘deep pockets,’ tell’m Ellison snarled back, ‘F- - - -in’-A damn skippy!’ I’m no hypocrite. It ain’t about the ‘principle,’ friend, its about the MONEY! Pay Me! Am I doing this for other writers, for Mom (still dead), and apple pie? Hell no! I’m doing it for the 35-year-long disrespect and the money (Trek Movie)!

The Principle of the Thing

While Ellison may not be doing this for the principle of the thing, we should support him on principle.

Paramount's actions give lie to their claims that they are so interested in extending, expanding, and developing copyright to protect the writers and artists responsible for the work.

The truth is: They are looking to protect their own financial interests at the expense of both the writers/artists/creators of the works and the audience.

Maybe this will help more people see the truth, and help us reverse the trend toward empowering these companies are harming the producers of and audiences for these works.

(via Beam Me Up)

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Watchmen: Dr Manhattan over the River Thames!

The video above shows Dr Manhattan really floating over the river Thames.  To celebrate the London premiere of Paramount Pictures projected a 70 foot tall Dr Manhattan onto a water screen:

The water screen, moored especially for this occasion in the middle of the Thames between the London Eye and The Shell Building, created an enormous vertical screen of water that extended to 72 feet in height and 100 feet across (/Film).

J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek on IMAX

ST_crew_banner_121508 Star Trek Reboot Crew

Paramount Pictures and IMAX Corporation announced that Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III”, "Lost" and "Alias”), will be simultaneously released to both IMAX® and conventional theatres worldwide on May 8, 2009.

Star Trek will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Paramount Pictures will be the exclusive distributor of the film to IMAX theatres worldwide.

“We’re excited to share the enhanced IMAX version of this film with the millions of dedicated fans who have been anticipating this release since production began,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. “The IMAX Experience adds that extra level of excitement to an already action-packed film, giving moviegoers a premium ‘event’ at the multiplex.”

I am not sure “anticipating” is the right word, “dreading” might be more appropriate.  I would love to see it in an IMAX theater though.  It would make you feel more like you were a part of this Hollywood polished reboot.

J.J. Abrams said, “I’m thrilled that audiences will be able to experience this new, epic world of Star Trek – with an incredible cast and mind-blowing visual effects – on what is, obviously, the most remarkable film format in the world.”

I get the feeling that this is a move designed to benefit the relationship between Paramount and IMAX.  While this announcement does very little to excite me about the movie, but it is at least interesting.

Klingons in the Theater

Image via Wikipedia

Not since the Klingon Opera have so many Klingons been on the stage.

A Klingon Christmas Carol

On December 13th, for the second year in a row, the St. Paul, MN theater group Commedia Beauregard is performing "A Klingon Christmas Carol." The official press release states. The theater company usually do performances translated into English, and this is the first work translated from English (although some would say that this is being done in the original Klingon). The translation was done by the company along with the help of members of the local Klingon fan club, the IKV Rakehall (Trek Movie).

I hope the level of violence rises to the required level.   A callow dishonorable Scrooge needs to learn how to stand up and be strong.  I can only hope they video it and put it on the web somewhere.

Hamlet in Klingon

I an attempt to get some support from the fans they have alienated, Paramount is filming a production of Hamlet in Klingon for a special feature for the Bluray version of the upcoming movie.

It is too little, too late.  You cannot make up for a movie that is being hyped as a “movie trekkers will cry heresy” during by putting a Klingon Hamlet as a special feature on a medium no one cares about.

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