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Monday, November 20, 2017 

Justice League movie apparently flopped

The news about the opening for the new Justice League movie reveals some pretty bad tidings for its finances, as the presence of at least one star and the director must've taken their toll upon the film's reputation:
No one will say this, but just like the Harveywoood taint on Matt Damon and George Clooney helped to doom Suburbicon, so too did it damage Justice League. Like his pals Damon and Clooney, the DC Universe’s Batman, Ben Affleck, got his big break, his start, thanks to Harvey Weinstein, and did so during Harvey’s halcyon days at Miramax.

You cannot think of Ben without thinking of Harvey
, and to make matters worse, last month, Affleck himself was accused of groping numerous women. So far he has only acknowledged and apologized to one, while at the same time strenuously denying he knew anything about his mentor’s alleged predations.

The only problem with that claim of ignorance is that it is difficult to believe when one of Weinstein’s alleged rape victims, Rose McGowan, claims that Affleck is lying, that she told him of the incident right after it allegedly occurred.

Then there is Mr. Woke Feminist Joss Whedon, who stepped in for Zack Snyder to complete some re-shoots after the Justice League director left to deal with a family crisis. Whedon has spent years preening on social media about what a super guy he is when it comes to women — well, except for his wife, who he serially betrayed with “needy young women” on a well-worn casting couch. Whedon’s rape jokes, his misogynist attacks on women who wanted no part of his Chauvinist Thought Plantation, his mockery of female cancer survivors… The man is a pig.

If that is not baggage enough, I give you RatPac, one of the primary production companies behind Justice League, a company named after and founded by Brett Ratner, who is currently facing multiple accusations of straight-up sexual assault.
With all the sex assault scandals bursting out in Hollywood now (and even the Eddie Berganza scandal), the timings for this movie couldn't be worse. It's a whole case of poor choices for casting, producing and directing, and much like all the news about the delays and reedits to the Jonah Hex movie several years ago, that doesn't bode well for its financial prospects either. In fact, notice the official title doesn't even include "of America"? Just what kind of cold feet do these producers have anyway?

On which note, this review by John Nolte got me to thinking about the makeup of the cast, and, it even tells something eyebrow raising about potential politics shoved in. First, here's what he says about the characterization of Cyborg:
Cyborg (Ray Fisher) is the tiredest cliché of all, a surly black guy in a hoodie, whose primary power is to do whatever the plot needs him to do.
So he's little more than a plot device, and dresses in a manner Brian Bendis may have foisted on Luke Cage to boot? Sigh. This also got me to thinking about the possible reasons for Cyborg's addition to the League, even in the New52 reboot: was it all for the sake of filling a diversity quota? If that's the case, then the filmmakers were basically caving to silly worries about the ability to sell the movie on its own terms. Vic Stone did not need to be pried out of his role in the Teen Titans for the sake of all this PC nonsense. And, what's so wrong with Martian Manhunter that they couldn't consider him a fitting diversity quota filler? It all gives new meaning to the old adage, "it ain't easy being green", coined as far back as the Muppet Show with Kermit the Frog. And if they needed a protagonist of black background, they could've chosen Vixen, who was a League member in the mid-80s, after all. They could also have added Zatanna, who'd become a member in the Bronze Age.

Still, the way they've handled Cyborg is probably nothing compared to what DC did in the Justice League-related comics of recent, insulting Atom fans by continuing to shove the diversity-quota Asian Atom character down everyone's throats. Again, the way it's done may not be as nasty as how they did it during Identity Crisis, but it's still incredibly insulting, and nobody who cares about Ray Palmer and Jean Loring should support such PC mandates.

But now, let's turn to this next part where Nolte says:
Anyway, after the death of Superman, the world is losing hope. White men are hassling Arab women, the seas are rising due to man-made Global Warming, and adults have lost their ability to banter… Something that is painfully obvious in a handful of scenes where the Justice League is about as comfortable with each other as a sleepy woman is in a room with Al Franken.
Really, did the Hollywood Islamophiles make their way into this dreck? Just what the world needs. This brings to mind the political scene in Batman vs. Superman, where a demonstration serving as a metaphor for protests against illegal immigrants turned up. Of course, let's note that Arabs are also white, so I think Nolte would've done better to say "white western men", or something like that. And we could honestly do without allusions to global warming, when even here, the weather is already getting much colder.

The movie's opening weekend only resulted in $96 million, which is not very good for a film that reportedly cost over $300 million. But, the reasons for failure are pretty apparent if you look under a microscope, so WB's going to have to come to terms with how dreadful their production choices were, and how the timing in the era of Weinstein scandals did additional damage.

Besides, if they don't care about the comics, they can't expect to make really good movies out of them.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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