Black Panther is clearly all the rage at the box office and it’s crazy that he wasn’t introduced sooner to the Marvel cinematic universe. We had to wait roughly 10 years for his solo flick since the MCU kicked off, maybe Marvel was strategically timing his arrival with current trends in the news and social media? Whatever the case thinking about the gigantic monetary success of ‘The Panther’ I’m certain people over at Disney/Marvel are scheming what characters will be the next smash sensation and I’m certain they’re considering just how the racial background of them might help bring in the big bucks once again. Let’s face it, the white dude superhero can clearly get a little stale sometimes. So who’re the top contenders that Marvel might introduce to the moviegoing public? Here’s my predictions and hopes:
Shang Chi: The Master of Kung Fu
Shang Chi is clearly at the top of the list when I think about what Marvel might have planned next after the success of The Black Panther. It seems like Marvel and Disney are pretty concerned about their Chinese audience when it comes to releasing new movies as they can make a ton of money there. So if they play their cards right perhaps the legendary Master of Kung Fu could woo audiences in the USA and abroad? I think so, imagine a Marvel Kung Fu flick done right with crazy over the top superhuman martial arts action on the big screen. They could achieve what they should have with Iron Fist and give everyone the action extravaganza they craved for the Netflix character. I’d love to see him come to life on the big screen, he’s a true classic character that deserves more respect..
I’ve been seeing an increase of stories recently online & on social media about Marvel Comics and it’s continuing sales slump. Most of the articles bring up the hot topic of diversity, some say that Marvel’s record low sales of their comics books are simply because of rising cover prices & lack of fresh new ideas for their characters. Others say that it’s directly due to it’s attempt at diversifying it’s star characters by changing their race, gender & sexual orientation. Most of their popular character’s titles have had a bit of a revamp lately, for instance Wolverine is now female, so is Thor, so is Iron Man, Cap is black, the Hulk is now Korean-American etc. etc. You get the point. Could these changes really be the reason why sales are down? Do people just simply hate diversity in the Marvel Comics titles?
I really doubt that it’s really that simple, though rising cover prices and lack of fresh ideas definitely doesn’t help their low sales. What I see personally happening is a bit of a trend within Marvel Comics that feels a bit insincere. I honestly don’t really mind that the traditional characters have been replaced but I do feel Marvel’s move to make all these changes to their most popular titles feels as if they’ve been exploiting diversity to make a quick buck. What I’m saying is that it feels like Marvel is just trying way too hard to be current on these topics rather than crafting interesting stories. I don’t believe you can simply take all of your money maker superhero titles, simply change their identities and expect them all to suddenly bring you boatloads of cash because you finally decided to make them more diverse. It’s just not that simple folks. Continue reading
It’s a hot topic here the past couple days surrounding the upcoming Netflix series ‘Iron Fist’ online. The series starring Finn Jones as the legendary kung fu playboy vigilante has come under fire for it’s supposed racist roots and just plain shitty all around reviews. It’s been slammed pretty hard by the critics calling it “boring” and “racially uncomfortable” with it’s white male lead. Apparently Finn Jones shut down his Twitter because of the online backlash from people who’re calling him out personally as part of the problem.
Now I’m not sure whether the show really sucks or not, I haven’t seen it. I’m curious to see if it’s indeed as bad as critics are saying or if perhaps this racial controversy is really the root of all the negative reviews. I thought the previews looked ok but the whole set up looks a bit too familiar. The problem seems that people are upset that the character, who is a white male in the original comic books, should have been recast and played by an Asian actor in the new series. Then it was stated that many were against the idea of a recast because having an Asian actor in the role of the “martial arts guy” played too strongly into racial stereotypes. A bit of a double edged sword it seems. Continue reading
I’m going to voice my opinion here quick on The Oscars this year, there’s been a lot of complaints and controversy about it this time because of it’s lack of racial diversity in it’s list of nominees. Here though at Universal Dork the awards are a simple process. I’ve seen a LOT of movies this year and there were some damn good ones, but when we think of the Oscars there’s certainly a “type” of movie that’s normally the winner. For instance I’d probably include ‘Krampus’ or ‘What We Do In Shadows’ on a list if I were in charge of shit. Well we all know that THOSE types of movies aren’t Oscar material so looking on to the big major heartfelt/drama flicks of 2015 one movie comes to mind that just feels right to me, without even having to consider race and really solves all the problems people are having this year with the Oscars. That movie is ‘Creed’.
Yep I honestly don’t think there’s any movie in 2015 that fits the bill of deserving best picture. This movie was the only flick that actually caused me to well up in tears more than once. Yeah and it’s a Rocky movie! I’d go on to say that this one is just as powerful as the first. It brings the movie full circle but isn’t a carbon copy of the original, it delivers quite an interesting story and continues the saga of the Rocky franchise in a truly realistic and heart wrenching/warming tale.
Heck, director Ryan Coogler should most definitely be up for best director too, seriously, they need to give this film a ton more love for everything he put into it. Writer, director, screen play, he made it happen and did a brilliant job. So I’m baffled Coogler & the movie weren’t even nominated. Both should be on the nominations list and it should win best picture. Period.
Next I think it’s main star Michael B. Jordan should undeniably be up for best actor this year. It’s a crime he didn’t make the list. He’s come a long long way as an actor and in the case of Creed he’s the perfect actor to play Apollo Creed’s son. He’s so convincing in the role I think any other actor may have made this movie feel like an inside joke. Jordan takes the franchise and runs with it in his own direction and gives us all a completely new breed of underdog to root for. So yeah everyone bitching about the “Oscars so white” should be demanding Jordan’s presence instead of whining about Ice Cube Jr. in the bland retelling of N.W.A.’s “real story” in ‘Straight Outta Compton’. Performances don’t come much better than Jordan’s. So yeah the Oscar’s fucked up big time.
Lastly if Stallone at least doesn’t take home the “Best Supporting Actor” award home with him for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in Creed then we’ll have another crime on our hands! At least he got a nomination, the fact that he didn’t win best actor for Rocky back in 1977 is ridiculous. Hell, Sly should have won best actor for First Blood and his role of Balboa in 2006. Let’s face it ‘Rocky Balboa’ was a fantastic movie as well, but somehow Stallone topped his performance there in last year’s Creed. He goes well beyond the distance here giving his best performance perhaps of his career. Stallone brings the legacy of Rocky Balboa here to new heights and it’s clear his heart was in it 110%. Sly’s is an incredible actor, director and writer. It’s a shame he’s not given more real cred by so called film critics. Perhaps this year at least he’ll get what he deserves finally, an Oscar. You messed up big time this year Hollywood….