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Thursday, January 13, 2022 

A pretentious column about upcoming movie adaptations and such

Northern New York 360 published one of Andrew Smith's dreadful Captain Comics columns, focusing on upcoming movie adaptations, and predictably, it's all just a whole pile of superficial "recommendations" with no serious depth:
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Dec. 16): Jason Momoa and Amber Heard return for more moist movie magic. The first was good, and this may be even better.
With Heard in the cast, after all the trouble she apparently caused Johnny Depp, I think not. Besides, the whole first film looked like a lot of overrated mishmash to me, filled with too many special effects, much like a lot of blockbusters of today, and honestly, I've grown weary over the past 2 decades or so of movies with heavy special effects. Mainly because they're no substitute for good acting. As for Heard, depending how things go at this point, her presence in this movie could be a make-or-break situation, if anybody's alienated enough by her own offenses.
“The Batman” (March 4): Robert Pattinson (“Tenet,” “The Lighthouse”) reboots Bruce Wayne and his nocturnal hobby, accompanied by Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Zoe Kravitz as Selina “Catwoman” Kyle, Colin Farrell as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepott, Paul Dano as Edward “Riddler” Nashton and Andy Serkis as Alfred. Oh, yeah, I’m ready for this.
I'm sorry, but this too is a horribly overused franchise, and I'm not ready for it at all. Too much Batman, and what if this time, they come within even miles of wokeness? I see Smith also thought to add non-comic adaptations to the list:
“Death on the Nile” (Feb. 11): I can’t get enough of these delightful, star-studded Agatha Christie movies, especially when the vain and supercilious Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is the detective. And, hey, Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”) is in this one!
And guess who else is in this film? Armie Hammer, recently disgraced and blackballed in Hollywood because he's come under investigation for sexual abuse, and it was discovered he'd written vulgar messages on social media. I'm afraid that's going to seriously dampen whatever impact this Christie film might've had earlier. The studio distribution's excluded Hammer from most advertising (he plays the role of Simon Doyle), and after the resulting scandal, it's possible the movie could suffer at the box office if audiences find his presence troubling. Next, here's a real eyebrow raiser:
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (March 25): Benedict Cumberbatch plays the impulsive mystic, and is rejoined by Rachel McAdams (Dr. Christine Palmer), Benedict Wong (Wong) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo) from the first movie. Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff) costars, and Xochitl Gomez debuts as America Chavez, a Young Avenger in the comics, among whose many powers is the ability to travel between dimensions.
Let me get this straight. A character who was created more on PC/SJW grounds than serious entertainment value is being added to the screenplay and cast of characters here? Hmm, in that case, what are the odds a film whose first installment saw the PC changes to Stephen Strange's mentor could have more PC ingredients in store? Oh, and if memory serves, this movie picks up where WandaVision left off on the TV set, with Scarlet Witch at least initially rendered insane? I'm not enthused about that. Though it does prove how, despite all the #MeToo propaganda going about lately, women are still subject to repellent ideas in entertainment.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (April 15): I haven’t really enjoyed this series of Harry Potter prequels, feeling like they were aimed at an audience younger than me. Mads Mikkelson replacing Johnny Depp as Grindelwald lowers my interest even further, possibly below sea level.
Interesting he should mention Depp over here, seeing how the guy was unfairly framed for an offense his ex-wife committed, not him. But that doesn't prove he's sympathetic to Depp, if he's sugarcoating the Aquaman film, and the actress who doesn't deserve the privilege of playing Mera.
“The Flash” (Nov. 4): I’m not crazy about Ezra Miller as the Scarlet Speedster — Grant Gustin really nails my idea of Barry Allen on TV — but Michael Keaton returns as Batman, and there’s a new Supergirl in town (Sasha Calle). That’s enough to earn my dollars.
There's plenty of reason why it's better to avoid this, if nobody sane wants to award Miller for his bad conduct. And if Smith's glossing over that, it's very sad.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)” (Oct. 7): I’ve never seen a movie embraced so quickly or so fiercely as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” I expect this sequel to meet a similar reception.
And if memory serves, this is a cartoon building more upon SJW themes than genuine entertainment. Like only so many recent productions. Given some of the subjects of the Spider-Verse cartoon were introduced for the sake of diversity-pandering, that's why the whole cartoon seems more like an excuse to further the writings of pretentious scribes like Brian Bendis into silver screen projects. And since Bendis did much to ruin the MCU 2 decades ago, that's what makes it such an unappealing project to me.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8): Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) directs and Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Jaimie Alexander return as Thor, Jane Foster and Sif, respectively, Gorr the God-Butcher (Christian Bale) arrives to kill everyone and the Guardians of the Galaxy crash the party. Clearly, Marvel knows what we want.
If it turns out this builds on Jason Aaron's machinations, that's a reason to avoid it. Sometimes, I just can't believe how many of the most overrated writers have been involved with the past decade's movie adaptations.

But now, regarding the non-comic-based films he included on the list, here's something very, VERY telling of where propagandist Smith is going:
“Top Gun: Maverick” (April 22): I disliked the first movie, which had a toxic masculinity that was so repulsive I felt sorry for Kelly McGillis having to pretend to like it (and that was before I knew the actress was lesbian). I’ll pass hard on the sequel.
Really! I miss the part where he specifies what he didn't like about Tom Cruise and Tony Scott's notable 1986 escapist drama. Was it that Cruise's character was romantically/sexually attracted to a lady USAF official? Was it that he barged into the women's restroom to continue his conversation with her at one point, a scene that's admittedly in questionable taste, but was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, and it's not like anybody denied it wasn't appropriate behavior in real life? When you leave things this superficial, how do you expect to make a point? Does he believe it's wrong for men to fall in love with women? Nothing's clear from such an ambiguous paragraph, and something tells me that Smith's got none of the same complaints about men pretending to be women using transgenderism as a shield for entering women's bathrooms and prisons, invading their privacy and violating them. Let's also remember this was the same terrible columnist who once defended Identity Crisis in the past 2 decades, and doesn't seem repentant even now. What business does he have complaining about men becoming attracted to women and convincing them they're worth a consensual affair and/or marriage with? He doesn't even mention that McGillis had been a victim of sexual assault herself both when she was 12, and in 1982, which might've had something to do with her turn to lesbianism, and may have been one of the reasons she co-starred in The Accused in 1988. Smith doesn't even mention that, despite the tragedy she experienced, McGillis was married at least twice to 2 different husbands and has 2 daughters. What is he trying to prove by exploiting somebody else's misfortunes to push bizarre anti-masculine propaganda?

Of all the most revolting downers he could've written up, Smith's smearing art in Top Gun has got to be the worst to date. By that logic, Clark Kent was wrong to woo Lois Lane, and Tony Stark was wrong to lead affairs with various lady guests in Iron Man. Smith has effectively declared only so many classic comic creations "toxic males" with this awful column of his. As for the Top Gun sequel, what's really sad is that, despite Smith's disinterest, it'll probably be subject to wokeness in the screenplay anyway, exactly what he's advocating now.

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