All that is wrong with the world…

May 30, 2011

Are traditionally derogatory terms for homosexuals still derogatory?

Filed under: Issues...the world...etc.. — Tags: , , , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 1:39 am

While I was growing up terms such as ‘gay’, ‘faggot’ or ‘queer’ were purely insults for homosexuals. Gay people reclaimed the word queer as a pride issue and now many choose to refer to themselves in this way. The words gay and fag/faggot are still used to refer to queer people, although I would think only fag/faggot could be considered offensive. The question is, if you refer to someone you don’t like who isn’t gay as a faggot or something negative as being gay, should queer people find this offensive? Should people using the words in this way stop?

The easy and correct answer here is that some people find the words offensive so people should simply stop using them. However, words and their meanings change. There is a whole generation of people who may refer to or describe something negative as gay, yet have absolutely no issue with people being gay. For some people this is just a habit that they may have to consciously try to break, although others may not see any issue with it.

I think it is likely that using these words in this fashion will fade out, or the meaning will change across the board, just as it changed once before from meaning happy to meaning homosexual. I think the South Park episode ‘The F Word’ hit the nail on the head. In the episode the boys use the word fag to refer to obnoxious bikers who make a lot of noise, annoying everybody in the town. The adults are upset as they think the boys are using the word to insult gays (not at all homophobic) when the boys are just using it as a generic insult to refer to the bikers, with no gay connotations at all.

I do understand why gay people could be offended, as the insult only came about as being gay was considered a negative or lesser thing. However these days, just as with the South Park boys, it is not the way the insult is used and is rarely the intended meaning. As was mentioned in the South Park episode, a word is not automatically offensive, it is people who give words their power and allow it to be offensive. Personally, I don’t think using gay to refer to something negative should be that offensive, as I believe enough time has passed that the words meaning has changed in that context.

I think it is an interesting issue and I can see both sides of the argument. At the end of the day however, nothing is going to change with those choosing to be offended by it continuing to be offended and those who continue to say it continuing to say it. What will be interesting is if in 10 or 15 years from now ‘gay’ or ‘fag’ are still used as insults, or they have just faded out of use completely.

May 21, 2011

Roland Emmerich is far worse than Michael Bay

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 8:51 pm

For a long time I have heard people lampoon and criticize Michael Bay to what seems an unfair extent. The guy makes fun popcorn movies that are unashamedly an excuse for action, but this does not mean they are poorly made. They tend to have charismatic characters and acceptable dialogue with the action fitting into whatever story is being told. At the same time, I have heard very few people criticize Roland Emmerich’s films. This is what I don’t understand, as Emmerich’s films have to be at least twice as bad as any Bay movie. Emmerich’s films tend to be as inaccurate as possible whether it be scientifically or historically, have very flat characters and poorly written dialog with the sole purpose of his movies being the action scenes. Which are not filmed with any noticeable skill but rely on the visual spectacle of cities being destroyed with the aid of CGI.

So in this short post I will attempt a comparison between Emmerich’s and Bay’s 8 last movies, including the current Rotten Tomatoes rating.


Bay Movies

RT %

Emmerich Movies

RT %

Bad Boys – A decent buddy cop comedy with likable characters and decent action scenes. Formulaic but entertaining none the less.

39%

Universal Soldier – An interesting premise which turned out to be a lackluster movie, still it was entertaining enough.

22%

The Rock – Probably my favorite out of Bay’s movies. A good story for an action movie, good characters and great action scenes. Also, Sean Connery while he was still awesome.

67%

Stargate – As above an interesting premise, although it wasn’t terribly entertaining and didn’t have much action. It’s greatest accomplishment was inspiring the TV series, although at least in the movies the aliens spoke English.

47%

Armageddon – I never liked this movie that much, much preferring Deep Impact, but it wasn’t bad per se. Plus, it had Bruce Willis chasing Ben Afleck with a shotgun.

41%

ID4 – This was a huge summer blockbuster movie, but it was full of plot holes and a poorly thought out story. Still, the effects were impressive and people enjoyed it. Fun for what it is, even with the amount of suspension of disbelief if requires.

60%

Pearl Harbor – I never saw this, and have no desire to. Every indication is that it is horribly historically inaccurate with a thin plot and poor dialogue. So, one completely terrible movie for Bay.

27%

Godzilla – I didn’t really have a problem with this and for most people who did the problem seemed to be calling a random monster Godzilla, when Godzilla is an iconic character with a personality. Meh. As far as US monster movies go, it’s one of the better ones.

25%

Bad Boys 2 – Similar to the first, but with far more action and comedy. An enjoyable ride and fine for what it is.

23%

The Patriot

62%

The Island – Probably the second best Bay movie. I didn’t see the "twist" coming, and quite liked the characters trying to escape their predicament. It even managed some interesting commentary.

40%

The Day After Tomorrow – This is where Emmerich really started to go downhill.

 

45%

Transformers – Didn’t really care for it as I was never into Transformers although many people liked it, thinking it Bay’s best movie by far.

%57

10,000 BC – Have not seen it, but it looked atrocious. Horribly historically inaccurate with no plot to speak of.

%9

Transformers 2 – Did not see all of it, but saw enough to think considering twin robots racist was imbecilic.

%20

2012 – Saw parts of it, just a ridiculously weak excuse of a plot for CGI city devastation. Bay’s films always have at least some plot and interesting characters.

%39

So if we do the average scores based on Rotten Tomato ratings, Bay comes in with an average of 39.5 slightly ahead of Emmerich who has 38.625. Less than 1% difference, which I actually find hard to believe. What about box office gross? According to Box Office Mojo,
Emmerich
has a lifetime total gross of $1,111,318,231 and an average of $138,914,779 while Bay has a lifetime total gross of $1,495,782,691 and an average of $186,972,836.

So Bay has better ratings from critics albeit slightly, although I think with Transformers 3 coming out vs. Anonymous -a ridiculous Shakespeare as a fraud story – the ratio will significantly change. Bay also has much better box office performance than Emmerich. Objectively he is ahead of Emmerich and personally I don’t think his movies are anywhere near as bad as Emmerichs.

The point I am making is that Bay is good at what he does and should not be criticized for the types of movies he wants to make. People can criticize action movies with less of an emphasis on plot and characters, but that doesn’t mean he is bad at making those types of movies or that those movies are intrinsically bad. In contrast Emmerich is appallingly bad no matter what he tries to do. I really hope that people stop hating on Bay who is decent at what he does, and start giving Emmerich the criticism he deserves, hopefully in time to stop him from destroying the Foundation franchise.

Recent thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

The first news that was released in early April is that TDKR is going to be shooting in Pittsburgh, which will replace Chicago as the setting for Gotham City. It seems like an odd choice to change it for the final film and given how successful the franchise in I would not think budget was a limitation. I have not been to Pittsburgh not known much about it, but I assume it must have something special that will fit the fell of the third movie better than the streets of Chicago or New York City.

Later on in April the roles that Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are playing were announced the characters of Miranda Tate and John Blake respectively. These characters are not from the comics so they could be brand new characters as was the case with Rachel Dawes, very minor parts or as many people are speculating, pseudonyms for more well known characters. I don’t really see Joseph Gordon-Levitt being given a small role given how much Christopher Nolan likes him, yet I can’t imagine what role from the comics he might play starting off as a cop.

As for Marion Cotillard playing Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member, it certainly sounds like a minor part. Many people have been speculating or perhaps wishing that she will be playing Talia Al Ghul, something I really hope is not true. I would have thought there was not much to support that. Josh Pence was cast as a young Ra’s Al Ghul but Nolan seemed unlikely to bring characters back to life, so I assumed it was probably for a flashback. I can’t really see Nolan wanting to Introduce Talia into the final film as she won’t get the screentime she deserves, although considering what he did to Two-Face I wouldn’t be surprised.

The most interesting news which also makes the possibility of Talia appearing in TDKR far more likely was the first set photo of TDKR filming in India, which appears to show Lazarus pits. They could just be random pits or pools….but the coincidence is too much to ignore. It is the biggest surprise so far given that Nolan is trying to go such a realistic take on the Batman mythos. As I wrote in my last article I think Nolan could handle the Lazarus pits in a realistic way, just as he handled quantum suicide in The Prestige. Lazarus Pits in TDKR may indicate Young Ra’s Al Ghul will have a larger role not resigned to a flashback, and would certainly allow for the introduction of Talia. It’s interesting and such a shock, that I really can’t guess where this movie is going.

Most recently we got the first picture of Tom Hardy as Bane . A welcome surprise is that he is actually wearing a mask. It isn’t a Luchador mask which isn’t surprising since Nolan stripped the character of all Hispanic traits, but for him to be wearing a mask is an indication the interpretation of the character may still be somewhat faithful. As for how Tom Hardy looks as Bane physically? I like how broad he has gotten in the shoulders, but would have preferred he have larger biceps. I don’t expect the hulk from the comics, but something closer to Schwarzenegger in his prime.

I’m really looking forward to see where this movie goes. I have a lot of problems with how Nolan has treated the characters so far, not least turning Bruce Wayne into a soldier, eliminating his skills and intelligence. Still, to see a faithful interpretation of Bane and Catwoman and lazarus pits on screen is going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it more than any other movie right now.

Thoughts on the Smallville Finale

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 7:28 pm

I wasn’t surprised that the Smallville Finale was bad…but I was amused to see just how bad it was. This is what fans had been waiting 10 years for, how could they not be disappointed? First of all we had season 10 implying a confrontation with Darkseid, one of the more interesting comic book villains, and at the end maybe a 10 second battle. Then we have a retarded plot of the planet Apokolips crashing into earth. Why? Why enslave humans if you are just going to kill them? How could our scientists mistake a planet for a meteorite? Why would Darkseid move his planet all the way to our galaxy? Most of all…how could a planet get so close to us without severely fucking up our atmosphere, climate and land? None of this mattered as Superman simply flew up and pushed the planet away. We waited 10 years for him to even be able to fly and at the same time he became powerful enough to push an entire fucking planet away. OK, sure.

Then, characters were brought back simply because it was the finale without any clear reason for being there. Lionel from the other universe was back, acting like the Lionel from the main universe…apparently having been planning something all along. Jonathan was brought back not just as a vision, but apparently tangible enough to hand Clark his costume. Lex was brought back from the sum of his various failed clones, from what I understand. Of course, Jimmy was there, the most idiotic thing ever. Jimmy Olsen who looks exactly the same and has the same name as his dead brother is back, what, 7 years later making him…15ish? All of these characters were terribly underused and shoehorned into the episode in ways that didn’t even make sense.

What about the whole becoming Superman thing? We never see Clark settle on the name Superman, we never see him clearly in his costume, we never see the worlds reaction to his emergence as Superman. He only flies in the last 5 minutes of the show…10 years of Superman and 5 minutes of flying. Aye. Even in the future they don’t show him as Superman…why was it so hard to show him in his costume and perhaps have people talk about Superman? Why was the costume in the fortress of solitude? I think Tom Welling looked good as Superman…it would have been nice if we actually saw him in the costume though.

It was Jor El’s plan all along that Clark would wear that specific costume and be a superhero on earth? Kind of takes away a lot from the character doesn’t it? Of course nothing was explained. Last but not least, they didn’t show the wedding of Clark and Lois. Something the show had been seemingly building up to and I imagine fans were looking forward to, yet again nothing resulted. The finale of Smallville was possibly the worst episode of the series, which is fitting for a show that continue to disappoint. I just don’t understand how the producers could make such a bad episode, unless it was deliberate. Aye.

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