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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

PeripheralVisionary wrote:



Matt Damon without a doubt. Which leads me to my second problem. The continued hiring of actors that may be due to a racial bias in Hollywood, which is clearly an impetus because of our demographic. Although this seems to be dying out.

The problem not only lies for the audience, but of continued discrimination against actors, models, anything where looks should be important.

That and Victoria Secret models tend to have the same face. FUCK.


I think it's more complex than that. If we ran another simulation but instead of exchanging the main male role in the 2nd simulation we exchanged the main female role with some famous white female actor the movie would probably be less popular to the Chinese (And less popular overall). You can guess the rest.

So in short, I think we should forget about all this and enjoy the movie.
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/18/17
How dare they build a wall! It just a wast of money! and it is racist.
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Posted 2/13/17
From the review in Variety:

"Those who ranted against the project as another case of Hollywood “whitewashing” in which Matt Damon saves China from dragons may have to bite their tongue, for his character, a mercenary soldier who stumbles into an elite corps fighting mythical beasts, spends the course of the film being humbled, out-smarted, and re-educated in Chinese virtues of bravery, selflessness, discipline, and invention. In between the cultural cheerleading, there are some highly watchable war and monster spectacles, though none so original or breathtaking as to stop one from associating them with the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy or its imitators."
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Posted 2/13/17 , edited 2/13/17

PeripheralVisionary wrote:
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?


I was just about do a blog post on that next week:

We have Matt Damon for the exact same reason that we had Keanu Reeves in ancient Japan in "47 Ronin".
And, for the same reason that 47 Ronin, a story of samurai loyalty, was turned into a fantasy CGI epic where our heroes fight spider demons.

"The Great Wall" was supposed to be a big-budget Chinese epic that wanted to reach out to Hollywood to get some business ties going.
Problem is, China only wants to see "safe" (ie. non-political) stories about historical epics, romantic comedies, or generic action/fantasy, and Hollywood, OTOH, has absolutely no interest whatsoever in other countries' legendary history, unless it's neato mythology.
The script started out as a Chinese big-budget historical epic, but when it became a co-production, the script was changed so that Matt Damon was now a transplanted English soldier who leads the Chinese to fight ('cause, he's, like the hero), and that the Wall was built not to keep Mongols out, but to keep CGI monsters out.

...I am not making this up.

(Uh, yeah, studios, I just don't think this "China will save our box office hinders" thing is going to work out in the long run...)
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Posted 2/13/17
There may be two versions of the same movie released for the two different markets. It wouldn't surprise me if the Chinese version cuts back on the white actors roles and the western version plays them up. It's what a smart director would do business wise.
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Posted 2/14/17

runec wrote:


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.


This reminded me of a very stupid movie from the 90s/early 2000's that "starred" Steven Seagal (when he was in his prime butt-in-seats) Of course, the "star" got killed off in the first 15 or so minutes ha! It was something stupid about a hijacked plane and they used a stealth fighter to latch onto the jet and insert a spec ops team. Now I gotta look it up.. IMDB here I come.... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116253/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_48 stupid stupid movie.
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Posted 2/14/17
Why no Donnie Yen? Give him a chance, Hollywood! He's good for more than just action choreography, villains and supporting roles! And he speaks exceptionally good English! I'm not just saying all this because I'm a huge Donnie Yen fan, I swear! Totally didn't see Rogue One because he was in it!
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Posted 2/14/17

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


How many of those capable Chinese generals and warriors at the time does the average American know about? The two main markets for this film are China and North America. In order to ensure maximum profitability, you include elements from both markets to maximise its appeal and profits. In this case you set the entire thing in China with Chinese actors (to appeal to the Chinses market) and include a couple of Hollywood actors to appeal to the North American market.

If The Great Wall succeeds, it will set a precedent in Hollywood that films with an Asian aesthetic are profitable and as a result they'll make more of them.

Side note: The film is set during the reign of Emperor Renzong of Song (1010-1063) Gunpowder didn't reach Europe until the mid-late 1200s so the idea of European Mercenaries searching for gunpowder in China (to presumably send back to Europe) isn't that improbable.
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Posted 2/14/17

Voc666IV wrote:


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


How many of those capable Chinese generals and warriors at the time does the average American know about? The two main markets for this film are China and North America. In order to ensure maximum profitability, you include elements from both markets to maximise its appeal and profits. In this case you set the entire thing in China with Chinese actors (to appeal to the Chinses market) and include a couple of Hollywood actors to appeal to the North American market.

If The Great Wall succeeds, it will set a precedent in Hollywood that films with an Asian aesthetic are profitable and as a result they'll make more of them.

Side note: The film is set during the reign of Emperor Renzong of Song (1010-1063) Gunpowder didn't reach Europe until the mid-late 1200s so the idea of European Mercenaries searching for gunpowder in China (to presumably send back to Europe) isn't that improbable.


Which sets up another problem. The lack of career building for minorities in the first place. It is tricky though. Appearance matters a great deal in acting, hence so does race, age, looks in general. I am advocating awareness more so than forced assimilation and minority hiring, which I think is discrimination. People should make their own movies how they want it, but I do not think they barred from criticism for their decisions in either the story or the production.

Though I was wondering about the probability of the historical context. I suppose it would be possible, but again, it appears that the Chinese have been exposed to this threat that they have built a wall, and I suppose they would know the terrain, though the argument of realism still is getting nitpicky at that point.

I still cannot imagine it being probable at all.
Posted 2/14/17
Yes Matt Damon umm- that all i'm going say
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Posted 2/14/17
First world problems. Actually, first world, urban ivory tower, wealthy oikophobic white people problems. A total nonissue
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Posted 2/14/17 , edited 2/14/17

karatecowboy wrote:

First world problems. Actually, first world, urban ivory tower, wealthy oikophobic white people problems. A total nonissue


There are almost always more important problems. Though most people would not devote their lives to serious matters like genocide all the time. In any case, this is a discussion of ideas, so to speak, of the validity of my claims and worries.
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Posted 2/14/17

karatecowboy wrote:

First world problems. Actually, first world, urban ivory tower, wealthy oikophobic white people problems. A total nonissue


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Posted 2/14/17

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


karatecowboy wrote:

First world problems. Actually, first world, urban ivory tower, wealthy oikophobic white people problems. A total nonissue


There are almost always more important problems. Though most people would not devote their lives to serious matters like genocide all the time. In any case, this is a discussion of ideas, so to speak, of the validity of my claims and worries.


I've seen MacBeth in Japan. Everybody was yellow. Not a problem. Neither is this. It's like when Hamilton and other WASPs were cast with various darkskins in Hamilton. Not a problem. Only a problem for people who hate certain races

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Posted 2/14/17

lorreen wrote:

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.



You are looking at movies targeted at Western audiences. That's why you see Western actors featured as leads. In India, China, Japan, Mexico, and many other parts of the world, movies are made. They have their famously popular actors that draw big - in their own parts of the world. White actors are not used in those movies. Matt Daimon will not be a big draw in India, or China, so...

Just like the Ring was originally a Japanese movie, it was totally remade, but with Western actors. If they want a big draw in China, it will have to be remade, with famous Chinese actors in Damen's and Da Foe's roles (as an example). Unless it is that, somehow Matt and William have managed to get Chinese fans..., they'll likely redo the movie with famous Chinese actors in the lead roles.

Not every Hollywood movie gets screened in non Western countries. Only the big action packed CGI movies with big effects go there. Spiderman movies, Avenger movies, Star Wars, etc, etc. Sharon Stone's "Basic Instinct" Very likely didn't get a showing in India, or China, or anywhere in the African continent. It may have been subded or dubed for French and German audiences, but that would be it (I use it as an example)

The point I'm trying to make is that it is perspective. It seems that "All movies" are whitewashed, but that is because that is the audience the movie is being made for, Western audiences.
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