Monday, 9 June 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #110: Random Musings...

1. Some folks are griping about the trailers for the upcoming Incredible Hulk movie, saying that trailers, and most likely the film itself are portraying the US military as the bad guys.

That got me thinking... Okay, ever since he got dosed with Gamma Rays, Bruce Banner turns into a raging 10 foot tall concrete crushing force of pure destruction called The Hulk whenever he gets a case of the grumpies.

I figure that the US military has no choice but to try to contain, control, or even kill the Hulk, because if they don't, he could end up killing thousands of innocent people because someone stepped on Bruce Banner's foot. That's the tragedy of the Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner, the brilliant scientist, has the potential to do a lot of good in the world, but he's also prone to completely wipe out whole cities on the slightest provocation. He has to be stopped, somehow, even if that means blasting him into kingdom come.

But Hollywood seems to have tossed in some sub-plot about the military wanting to use the Hulk as a weapon.

I don't have personal experience of being in the military, but I have known many veterans and people with military experience, and when they want a weapon, they want something they can aim. The Hulk, by definition, has no control, of anything, he's just rage made physical. If he wasn't, the Hulk wouldn't be going around saying "Hulk smash!" he'd be saying "Hulk have meaningful conversation about nature of Hulk's existence."

So having them make Tim Roth's character into the Abomination, when past experience says that command and control is an issue, doesn't strike me as all that bright. But I will wait to pass final judgment until after the movie's been released, and if the writer's bothered to make up a rational reason other than the need for a big monster fight finale to justify it.

Now some say that the "wanting Hulk for a weapon" stance is the product of Hollywood's innate lefty knee-jerk reaction to anything associated with the military. I think it goes a little bit deeper than that. I talked about the demise of the Men with a Mission film. The closest thing to that now pretty much dead action sub-genre is the heist film. That's because the average citizen of the Axis of Ego, and those who seek to live in that luxurious enclave can't really imagine any motivations that go beyond wanting something. They can't conceive the military going after the Hulk simply because he endangers thousands by his very existence and those people must be protected, the military must want something physical, tangible, and valuable from him.

2. There's a full fledged scrap-o-rama going on between actor/directors Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee, because Lee attacked Eastwood for not having any black soldiers in his Iwo Jima movies.

Clint declared that his film was dealing with a very narrow group of Marines and sailors, and none of them were black, because the US military at that time was rigidly segregated. Changing the race of any of them would have been seen as rewriting history for the sake of political correctness, and putting African American soldiers in the Japanese Army would have been just bizarre.

Clint then advised Lee to "shut his face" and if I was Lee, I'd consider it, because even though he's pushing 80, Clint still looks like he could kick some ass if need be.

Now some may say that Lee is taking a stand against injustice, but I have to disagree. Lee's movie career hasn't exactly been stellar as of late, he has a WW2 movie coming out, and nothing gets truckloads of media attention faster than calling another, bigger, celebrity a racist. So it strikes me as just some sort of publicity stunt, and I have to say, that if his film needs this sort of attention, it does not bode well for the film itself.

1 comment:

  1. D,
    I've always respected your takes, but your assessment in this seems to be based on the concept that the Hollywood system is diverse & equal. It certainly isn't. Do you think Spike Lee hasn't had a string of success lately because the studio system wants to fund his 1st choice of script? Or do you think these predominantly white male studio execs fund what they shortsightedly think he should make? Clint Eastwood, through years of hard work and a discerning eye, of course, has built a stellar career. But do you think the same could be said if he were black? Or if his choice of subject matter were more diverse or contained more minorities? Do you think Clint Eastwood would tell Steven Speilberg, if he had a difference of opinion w/ him, "to shut his face"?
    Apparently you do see the fallibility of some of the Hollywood system; other aspects of its unfairness makes you just as blind as those you rail against. don't.
    you might want to get your fact straight about there being no black soldiers on Iwo Jima.
    This might help: