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Post Reply An Argument That Bothers Me Greatly. (The Great Wall Movie)
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
I am trying to criticize the movie, I think Damon is a great actor, and the director is of Chinese descent, but I just find this to be a really brainless argument made by people who do not write orread that much. It is similar to my criticism of GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire and how he should not treat characters as potential targets.

Similar, the argument here that I am criticizing is that "It is a fantasy film about monsters, therefore it is not whitewashing because it is not suppose to be true to history"

I am not sure if I am wrong or not, but let us be honest. A white guy is in the film because "the writers written it to be that way", despite anything that could have proven to be more realistic. The notion of historical accuracy is far more important than the he implied lack of verisimilitude in the fantasy genre, but let us not rule out the idea of white washing. There are plenty of other ways they could have written other films that could rely on this element of the fantastical for white actors to portray such roles.

Take this example

"Noblewoman Wang Li is played by Scarlet Johannsen, and is 100% Chinese, but has a physical abnormality that makes her look completely white".

If such a thing happened, would you not roll your eyes? I mean, it is fantasy, so it is obviously okay because fantasy is not meant to be real life. My argument would essentially be that the roles given to which actors potentially denote a lot of the political elements in real life, and can potentially destroy fantasy by making it too convenient, too fantastically out there. Still, this does not 100% prove whitewashing or disproves it. At all. I just think it is a poor argument without any understanding of writers as Gods in the stories they exercise complete control over.

I cannot help but roll my eyes, that out of the thousands of probably capable Chinese generals and warriors at the time, that they happen to cast Matt Damon as the leading hero, but I must see the film before I judge it. After all, Damon isn't a bad actor, just a disappointing choice in a complicated dilemma of Hollywood. Plus, whites probably did exist in 12th Century China.

What do you think?


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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
Is this the movie with Luhan and Karry from TFBoys?
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17

GreenBubbleGum wrote:

:o Is this the movie with Luhan and Karry from TFBoys?


I believe so.
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
Doesn't really bother me. It's the director's movie. Maybe I think this way because I am Caucasian and subconsciously it allows myself to relate more to the setting since one of the main characters has a skin complexion I identify with. Maybe this drives Asians like yourself to be distanced from the main character. I don't really know, all I know is that I'm going to enjoy seeing the HUMAN RACE win against the lizard people (Hopefully).
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
It's not like white washing is anything new in hollywerird



to be honest though big stars bring in big draws and there just not enough big Asian stars
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


What do you think?




I think its a movie. Its merits determined by its quality, and not by the races of its characters.

As an aside, the project seems to be as much a Chinese production as it is Hollywood; and, I would assume the primary audience was China given its release schedule and the difference in market size between China and the US.
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17

GrandMasterTime wrote:
Doesn't really bother me. It's the director's movie. Maybe I think this way because I am Caucasian and subconsciously it allows myself to relate more to the setting since one of the main characters has a skin complexion I identify with.


But therein lays the kicker, doesn't it? Chinese director, Chinese setting, Chinese history, the single most famous Chinese monument, Chinese people walk into it thinking "Finally, we get to see a big screen hero from China in a big screen blockbuster" and boom: There's Matt Damon and William Dafoe. With an entire asian cast playing second fiddle.

Yes, William Dafoe is in this too. He just happens to be in China at the time as well. -.-



uncletim wrote:
to be honest though big stars bring in big draws and there just not enough big Asian stars


And that's also the kicker, ain't it?

Not enough big Asian stars > We can't cast an Asian in the role > Not enough big Asian stars. Kind of a self perpetuating problem.

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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
It's mostly about box office draw and money, money, money.

And that perpetuates the cycle.

We need/want a big name in the film in order to raise enough money.

Big name popular actors tend to be white.

Well, big name actors might not be so predominantly white if more popular films gave important roles to not-whites... but...

Basically it will take more people making an effort at diversity in all kinds of films of all sorts and budgets, so that the pool of big name popular actors that has risen up from all those films of all sorts and budgets is also more diverse. Then when it comes time to make a big film in which it would be especially appropriate to cast someone of a certain race or ethnicity, there's someone in the big name pool who matches both in box office draw and authenticity for the role.

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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
Trump was right, gotta build wall to keep the Mexican Dragons out...
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17
I'm sure Mark Wahlberg will do us proud.

But in all honesty. White actors = money. People won't risk spending money on 100% authenticity, on top of whether it will even work or not, people don't do that anymore, they don't take a chance to be cultured. If this means making a blockbuster movie, it's all about profit.

That's about it. Unless you're good enough to make a masterpiece, but who are we kidding, that just takes CGI.

This is about the familiarization. We can't accept anything different in our eyes, because change is scary to us. Keep thinking like that world

It doesn't matter about anything anymore. Just money and a face to promote said movie. Since when did we make movies for the passion of our people and culture? I think Morgan Freeman does that in his documentaries now, more like spare time Bullshit, wild tangent Bullshit
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17

runec wrote:


uncletim wrote:
to be honest though big stars bring in big draws and there just not enough big Asian stars


And that's also the kicker, ain't it?

Not enough big Asian stars > We can't cast an Asian in the role > Not enough big Asian stars. Kind of a self perpetuating problem.


I'm calling major bullshit on the "not enough asian stars" thing.

Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Ming Na-Wen, John Cho, Lucy Liu, Rinko Kikuchi and those are just the ones I know off the top of my head.

Edit: I forgot Michelle Yeoh, fuck!
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Posted 2/13/17
I was thinking about this too. It reminds me of The Last Samurai by somehow working in a Caucasian male as the lead.

I also find the timing of a movie called The Great Wall coming out kinda funny.
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Posted 2/13/17

zangeif123 wrote:

I was thinking about this too. It reminds me of The Last Samurai by somehow working in a Caucasian male as the lead.


The difference being, Last Samurai at least "semi-historically accurate".
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Posted 2/13/17

octorockandroll wrote:


runec wrote:


uncletim wrote:
to be honest though big stars bring in big draws and there just not enough big Asian stars


And that's also the kicker, ain't it?

Not enough big Asian stars > We can't cast an Asian in the role > Not enough big Asian stars. Kind of a self perpetuating problem.


I'm calling major bullshit on the "not enough asian stars" thing.

Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Ming Na-Wen, John Cho, Lucy Liu, Rinko Kikuchi and those are just the ones I know off the top of my head.

Edit: I forgot Michelle Yeoh, fuck!


be honest though oct how many of those other then Jackie Chan and maybe Lucy Liu (is she still alive?) could be considered house hold names? How many would put butts in the seats?
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17

octorockandroll wrote:
Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Ming Na-Wen, John Cho, Lucy Liu, Rinko Kikuchi and those are just the ones I know off the top of my head.

Edit: I forgot Michelle Yeoh, fuck!


There's certainly ones available yes.

Although if you put Kukuchi, a Japanese actress, in a major Chinese film it would not go over well I would think.


uncletim wrote:
be honest though oct how many of those other then Jackie Chan and maybe Lucy Liu (is she still alive?) could be considered house hold names? How many would put butts in the seats?


Yes, thats sort of the problem again. In order to get a Butt In The Seats sort of star you need to let them into a movie with Seat Butt Building Potential(tm). On the other hand if you're not sure your film can carry itself then you can cover it by using a Butt In The Seats star to try and sell it. -.-

Which, looking at the initial unflattering reviews, could be the case here.
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