“Heroes, Villains, and Me” is a periodic article on Geeky KOOL by Larry Litle about the world of comic books and my reaction to it. “Heroes, Villains, and Me” is not a comic book review article. I will write about current events, speculation and rumors, or my own wacky thoughts about the world of comic books and related stuff.
Anticipation is high for Captain Marvel for a lot of fans. This movie will lead right back into Avengers: End Game. It brings on of the most powerful Avengers from the comics to the screen. Captain Marvel is an amazing hero and character from the comics with a rich history that can be explored on the big screen.
It is Marvel’s first female lead superhero movie. Wonder Woman proved a female lead in a Superhero movie could be amazing and dominate the box office. There is a movement to purchase tickets for young girls that cannot afford a ticket to the movie.
Pre-Sale tickets are some of the best for any superhero movie with still a week to go. High pre-sale tickets is usually a good sign for the success of a film. It is projecting to make over 100 million its opening weekend, which is high for a March release. Overall, the early reviews and reactions have been positive from the fans and critics.
With all of the positives, why are some down on this film? The actors have made some comments that have rubbed some of the Marvel fans the wrong way. This has lead to some kick back against the actors and the film.
Brie Larson made some comments in an interview with Marie Claire, a British magazine aimed at Women. This was published in early February. You can read the full article and the context of the comments here. She was discussing this issue with Keah Brown, a reporter who has a disability. Inclusion became a part of their discussion.
“About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white males. So, I spoke to Dr Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of color, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses. I want to go out of my way to connect the dots. It just took me using the power that I’ve been given now as Captain Marvel. [The role] comes with all these privileges and powers that make me feel uncomfortable because I don’t really need them.” (Marie Claire)
This isn’t the first time Larson has made comments about white males. She is known to speak up about the lack of female and diversity with movie critics. When asked about the poor reception that the movie, A Wrinkle in Time received, she replied, “I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.”
Larson recently was asked to clarify some of her comments by a Washington D.C. Fox Affiliate. She stated, “What I’m looking for is to bring more seats up to the table. No one is getting their chair taken away, There’s not less seats at the table. There’s just more seats at the table.”
Even with the clarification, some are seeing these words as an attack on a large group of comic book and movies fans. They are upset that her comments appear to focus negatively on one race and gender. Some people see these type of comments as discrimination since it groups people by race and gender. Some of the discussion is how Larson would like there to be no white male critics or interviewers.
The tension with some fans were intensified with recent comments by Samuel L Jackson. TMZ reporter asked Jackson about a comment made of President Trump. The comment was that President Trump has done more for African-Americans than any other president. Jackson replied with “Yeah, because he has a bigger plantation.” Jackson’s disdain for President Trump is well known and the reporter knew he would get a reaction of Samuel L Jackson. Jackson’s comments have come under fire from fans who are also fans of President Trump.
The movie review website, Rotten Tomatoes has changed their review system. They will no longer allow people to score the movie before it is released. They also are minimizing much the “Want to See” Score affects the rating of a movie. According to Rotten Tomatoes, they planned on changing this long before the negative reviews for Captain Marvel started flowing in. This has left some individuals cry fowl and feeling like their voice has been silenced.
Some of the fans are claiming they are opposed to Captain Marvel because she stole the name of SHAZAM‘!s hero. They are upset that he is being called SHAZAM! and not also Captain Marvel. You can see SHAZAM!’s Zachary Levi’s comments right here.
Here is my take on all of this. I understand the negative feelings for what Brie Larson said. At first, I read her comments out of context. I am a white male who has worked hard to become a geek journalist and would love to interview Brie about this movie. After first reading it, I got the impression she would not want to be interviewed by me. Her clarifying statement of more seats at the table makes a world of difference on how this comes across to me.
She is correct that there is not many females nor minorities in either the journalist or critic side for these movies. There needs to be push to get more people involved in the journalist and critic roles. I think she could have stated it in a better way to show she wanted to add more seats to the table from the beginning.
I do have respect for her not caring what the critics have to say about a movie. I completely get why she made the comment about A Wrinkle in Time. As a writer, I don’t really care what a non-fan of a genre thinks about my writing if it is aimed at a certain group. But again she should have said it in a much more constructive manner so it wouldn’t come across as hate toward certain people.
The TMZ journalist was fishing for the comments he got for Samuel L. Jackson. I wasn’t surprised at all by what he said. He has made his disdain for President Trump well known. If you expected anything else from Jackson, then you haven’t been following what he has said in the past. A majority of Hollywood stars are on the left side of the political spectrum and are not President Trump supporters.
I have come to expect comments and statements I don’t agree with from Hollywood stars. It happens all the time. For years, they have lectured us on various things. Just think about all of the stupid things Tom Cruise has said over the years. Yet I can put this to the side and still enjoy his movies. If I stopped watching movies with people making comments I really disagree with, then I would never be able to watch a movie again.
We cannot expect movie stars to think like fans. They are going to say things that will be controversial and divisive. They are just people and they are asked questions about their views. Some know they have a platform and use it for what they think the greater good if you agree with them or not. They should not be expected to always think “what will the fans think about my statement.” Yes, they need to use better wisdom on how they make their points.
With SHAZAM!, it isn’t Brie Larson’s fault that the name was changed. It is an issue with DC and Warner Bros changing it. They would be allowed to call him Captain Marvel but just not have the name of the comic or movie be Captain Marvel. See my previous article about the history here.
It is simple for me. If you wanted to see Captain Marvel before the comments were said, then go see it. If you want to see SHAZAM! then go see it. If you were not interested then don’t go see it. I want to see both.
I have tickets to see Captain Marvel on opening day. I can put aside any comments the stars of the movie have said and still judge the movie on its own merits. I will review the movie and let you know what this fan of the character of Captain Marvel (been faithfully reading her comic for years) and of the MCE thinks about this film. If I don’t like it, it won’t be because Larson or Jackson hurt my feeling with their statements.
I hope every will do the same. After you see this movie, if you want to rate it on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes then go for it. Give it the review you think the movie deserves and not the actors. Don’t be a jerk and rate the movie poorly because someone hurt your feeling. Just ask the question, what would Captain America.