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Diversity in Modern Society


#3956

Black Panther is about a 7.3 movie. 97% is a bit ridiculous.


#3957

That’s more down to the silly, binary RT system that treats a 6/10 the same as a 10/10.

Metacritic’s 88% aggregate is more measured - a 4/5 film seems about right, since 3/5 seems too low.


#3958

I don’t. I explicitely said I don’t use RT for that sort of thing. I use the Steam review feature for games, IMDB for movies.

Haven’t watched Moonlight or the Favourite, but the IMDB scores for GB and BP are WAAAY more accurate than the RT ones.

As Jim said, 97% for BP is bonkers.

And 5.2 for GB is already generous, 72% is just wishful thinking.

Also, the way RT works is a bit bullshit. Say a movie had a 100 scores, all with 51% positive, it’d get a 100% fresh… how is that even representative? RT is just good to get an idea of the trends, and more often than not the divide between traditional press and users. And even then… =/

Oh and lastly, trolls exist on both sides, not just “MRA” crowd. There’s a lot of score tampering everywhere and from every side, but again, I find that IMDB is more accurate despite everything.


#3959

I agree, I think their system is a horrible way to combine/summarise scores.


#3960

Yup. Metacritic is the most accurate of the review sites, really.
Rottentomatoes is a pretty good measure as to whether a film is good, but it’s nature means that non-controversial movies that vaguely please a lot of people get the best ratings.

IMDB is a good measure for mainstream entertainment, but not if you’re looking for a good movie that stretches your boundaries a bit.


#3961

#3962

To be fair, Johansson may not be portraying a white woman on the cover. I’m definitely getting an Aboriginal Australian vibe from her.


#3963

That’s become a really frustrating meme - whether you think the GITS film was any good or not, in a departure from the source material her casting makes perfect sense within the film’s plot.

I don’t even like ScarJo (as an actor, or a scrumpet), but the ongoing critique is plainly dumb.


#3964

Maybe they had her on because she’s Jewish?


#3965

What we need is a color chart so we can tell when we get the right kind of diversity that will offend the twitterverse the least.


#3966

Gotta love the Irish.


#3967

Internet polls are okay in many ways, until pressure groups hit them. Then they can skew rally badly.
As such I use the RT critics score as an indicator and never the audience one but with always the knowledge of the limitations of its methodology. 97% think Black Panther is a good film, it is a good film. Is it better than Ragnarok that got a lower score? I don’t think so but when all is said and done it isn’t a bad measure of whether to shell out for a ticket.
If 300 critics crap on a film I have found they are generally right.


#3968

That sequence was bullshit of the highest order. It was literally added to the movie to say “It’s OK that we hired a white actress to play a Japanese woman because of this element in the backplot!”. It’s justification after the fact.


#3969

Mamoru Oshii’s comments on this were interesting.


#3970

If you’re gonna cast a white person in an Asian role, own that choice. Adding a scene to the film to justify that choice after the fact is the bullshit.

Note this part of the quote:

So Oshii said that before he saw the film, if he even saw it. And even if he’s OK with the choices, that just means he’s OK. Anyone is free to disagree with him.

To put my cards ont he table, I thought casting Johansson as Kusanagi was a bad choice, because she’s not a good fit for the story. I’m fully aware of the realties of Hollywood and expected her to have a caucasian name - which she did. Tieing her identity back to the original Kusanagi is actively insulting and an attempt to gain “woke points”


#3971

I actually thought having the body be non-Japanese-looking added an extra dimension to the idea of being dissociated from a new identity in a new and different body.

But then to be honest my knowledge of GITS comes more from the anime than the manga, and in the original movie the cyborg body doesn’t look particularly Japanese either (although I appreciate that that’s partly down to the exaggerations and conventions of that art style).

I think it works both ways - a lot of the “whitewashing” controversy came out before most people complaining about it saw the movie too, and I wonder if they felt frustrated that the details of the movie actually made the casting of Johansson make a lot of sense, and destroyed a lot of the pre-release arguments about casting her in the first place.

And let’s be honest, without a bankable lead like SJ, the film wouldn’t have got made in the first place, and I can’t think of any Japanese actors with that kind of global profile (which is a related but much larger argument in its own right, of course).

It’s kind of interesting to me too that in the case of both GITS and Captain Marvel we have a film with a strong female lead character where the female lead is being attacked in some quarters for being white. It’s a shame as it suggests some sort of hierarchy of discrimination where a positive step in one direction is somehow undermined by not also being a positive step in another direction at the same time.

I know you didn’t like the film Lorcan, and I know a lot of that stems from how familiar you are with the manga and anime, much more so than I am (I liked the first movie but not the second, and I haven’t seen any of the series; and I tried book one and didn’t much like it). So I can appreciate you’re coming at this much more informed about the history of the franchise as a whole.

But on its own terms, I think the movie worked and the casting of SJ made sense, even if it might not have been what long-term fans of GITS wanted to see on-screen.


#3972

Eh… I really liked SJ’s casting, I thought it was a great fit, and she looked like the character in the manga and the anime, so I was fine with that.

I also think it works flawlessly for the concept of the story… as far as I remember the manga’s not even supposed to be a full-on japanese cast anyways… It’s a dystopian futuristic tale, and they tend to be very “wordly” on those. TBH I never saw Kusanagi as being japanese anyways, because of their usual art-style shenanigans.

Plus I also agree on the obvious decision to cast an A-list star for the movie, every little bit helps with these kinds of movies.

Too bad some people made a fuss over nothing, because I bet there’s a lot of incels, comic-gaters and MRAs that…wait… wrong bunch of idiots… :smile: I bet there’s a bunch of SJWs, soiboys and professional offense-takers who boycotted it because of this absurd “whiteashing” “controversy”.

(funny how things work both ways, huh?)


#3973

I don’t think this is a fair description, it’s one of those situations where I think you can see valid arguments on both sides.


#3974

Well… some people defend a black Heimdall or a female Mar Vell by saying “oh they’re just fictional characters, they can be any race/gender/etc…” the same should be applied in SJ’s case.


#3975

It’s absolutely a convention of manga and anime. “Good” characters tend towards the big eyes look, manly because Tezuka did it, and he was a big fan of the Fleischers

Oh,I agree, and I said as much in my post.

So this is a complex subject, and not one i feel I’m particularly good at getting across, especially online. But it comes down to a few points for me.

First, Hollywood is shit at representation in general. I don’t think Marvel/Disney “deserve” recognition for having a female lead-movie. And I think that a big part of the decision to do that now is because they knew that there would be an online controversy about it, which would garner them free press and social capital.

Second, it’s more nuanced than “hey, here’s an action film starring a woman, and here’s another action film starring a woman, that’s progress!”. The idea of intersectionality is based around raising everyone up together. Two action films starring white women, especially when one of them is an adaptation of a Japanese franchise asks the question “why is the lead in both these films white?” An honest dialogue, highlighting the realities of the Hollywood system would be far more welcome than “well actually, she’s an Asian woman in a robot body that looks like a white woman”

There’s a YouTube media critic I like who calls this “The Thermian Argument”, after the aliens in Galaxy Quest. If your defense for a creative choice is an in-story element, that’s not entirely compelling - because the creators made the choice to put in the element being criticised, and the justification for the element. Which doesn’t automatically negate the criticism. The movie producers could have cast an Asian woman as Kusanagi, or chose not to include the scene justifying casting a white woman instead.

Now, obviously I think these are valid criticisms, but the next point is important to raise, even though it kinda goes against them.

Third: left-wing outrage culture exists, and it’s horrible too. A lot of the people complaining about Johannson’s casting were doing so to whip up a hate mob, a lot of them were unwilling or unable to engage with the realities of Hollywood, a lot of them were genuinely angry and lashing out, and some percentage of them were doing it to amass their own social capital within that outrage culture.

TL; DR? The entire controversy around Ghost in the Shell was basically a series of systemic issues with our society interacting.

The thing is, it’s not my dislike of the movie as an adaptation of Ghost in the Shell that’s informing my dislike of the scene. I’d made my mind up about the movie long before I got to that point.