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'ism/'obia and Entertainment: How much is too much?

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Posts

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2011
    Iron Man 2 had an arab antagonist?

    JustinSane07 on
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Does every even-numbered season of 24 count?

    A notable counterexample is The Sum of All Fears, which went from Arab/Palestinian/Iranian villains in the book to neo-Nazis in the post-9/11 film. Which IMO weakened the message tremendously.

    DivideByZero on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Oh thats right he was Russian.

    Draygo on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The Sum of All Fears had Russian (again) collaborators.

    It also had bitchin' cool Tu-22M (how cool are "Backfires"? So cool the US wanted their own copy, and built the B-1), which is how I remember it had Russian collaborators.

    Were there American collaborators? I'm not sure. Tom Clancy's original books are not all that stellar compared to their movie adaptations, I personally believe.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2011
    Sum of All Fears is German Neo-Nazis I thought. The guys that were all "Hitler was stupid. You don't try to fight America and Russia, you get America and Russia to fight each other."

    JustinSane07 on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Collaborators. The main guy was a sort of "pan-Europeanist" or something.

    The book hardly makes any more sense--the puppet-master is an East German socialist with a grudge, from what I remember. Sounds more and more like Die Hard.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    In neither version were the Russians really the villains, only the opponent that the US was set up to fight by the real villains.

    In the novel, the confrontation between Russian and American conventional forces (that nearly escalates to a nuclear exchange) was provoked by the main villains (former East German communists and Palestinian extremists) so the two superpowers would destroy each other. When that failed,
    and the Arabic terrorists were captured, they tried to pin the blame on Iran so the now-unhinged President would overreact and retaliate, nuking an Islamic holy city and turning the whole of the middle east against the US. (It was narrowly averted.)

    That whole subplot I thought was an excellent example of the folly of rushing to judgment during a crisis.

    In the film, the Palestinian angle was dropped entirely and it was neo-Nazis orchestrating the US/Russia conflict out of revenge for WWII. That change always rubbed me the wrong way, in that it seemed like the producers were bending over backwards to avoid looking like they were drumming up anti-Arabic sentiment in the immediate wake of 9/11.

    (But yeah the film did have some bitchin' action scenes. The book was like 600 pages of boredom followed by 200 pages of incredible tension at the very end.)

    DivideByZero on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • OgotaiOgotai Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think that carrier getting attack scene is actually lifted from a completly differnt book of his, been a long time since I read that though. So apparently they thought it needed alot of work to be intesting as a movie.

    The Neo-Nazi chage always hit me as, "well we cant use arabs, so who is left?'

    Ogotai on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    As it turned out, American script writers and novelists were really disappointed when East Germany was dissolved without resulting in a torrent of insane East German communists creeping out of the woodwork, but rather a few alienated ex-East Germans who carried various boring grievances like "fired from my job" or "tired of all that goddamn pop music". They're the only ones who actual give East Germany much thought, people in show-business just can't catch breaks!

    But yes, the film had Russian collaborators, but the actual Russian Government (like the Soviet Government in the book) were not the villains for a change. Really the most memorable thing in the film, at least to me, is the impressively rendered showdown between an American aircraft carrier and a flight of Tupolev supersonic bombers. Very cool.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    edit; @ Ogotai:

    You might be thinking of Red Storm Rising, which includes a supercarrier getting all fucked up by Backfire bombers.

    Wikipedia has a nice writeup of the differences btw the novel and the film. It finished shooting 3 months before 9/11! And the writer thought that Arab terrorists were "too cliche." In any event it probably would have taken too long to establish two distinct terrorist groups with wildly different backgrounds and motivations, and the movie's already clocking in at two hours. With Nazis you just need to show one swastika and the audience instantly accepts who they are and why they're the villains.

    DivideByZero on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I have to disagree--I think the choice in supplementary foreign villains was weird--but I'm coming at it as someone who finds the film on the whole as rather strange, primarily as being a sort of foreign invasion fantasy. I come from an island which, apparently, is a far more likely target of foreign invasion (I'm not terribly convinced of the likelihood), and yet no foreign invasion film has ever gotten anywhere near as popular.

    Saying that a decision that is based on a foreign culture is strange isn't a logical conclusion if you admit that you don't understand that culture.

    Its like complaining that everyone dies in tragedies. Goodness why does everyone have to die in a tragedy? Why can't people survive? This doesn't make sense, i live in a culture where everyone doesn't die at the end of the story! Certainly everyone doesn't die at the end of a story in that culture. The proposition is ridiculous! So why does everyone always die and why do people go see these plays where everyone dies?

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Ogotai wrote: »
    The Neo-Nazi chage always hit me as, "well we cant use arabs, so who is left?'

    That's exactly what I mean... contra "Arab villains have been increasing since 9/11", it seems they're now all but taboo.

    spool32 on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    I have to disagree--I think the choice in supplementary foreign villains was weird--but I'm coming at it as someone who finds the film on the whole as rather strange, primarily as being a sort of foreign invasion fantasy. I come from an island which, apparently, is a far more likely target of foreign invasion (I'm not terribly convinced of the likelihood), and yet no foreign invasion film has ever gotten anywhere near as popular.

    Saying that a decision that is based on a foreign culture is strange isn't a logical conclusion if you admit that you don't understand that culture.

    Its like complaining that everyone dies in tragedies. Goodness why does everyone have to die in a tragedy? Why can't people survive? This doesn't make sense, i live in a culture where everyone doesn't die at the end of the story! Certainly everyone doesn't die at the end of a story in that culture. The proposition is ridiculous! So why does everyone always die and why do people go see these plays where everyone dies?

    I'm sorry, I don't agree with that analogy--I think I understand the focused direction of the story, and its objective of portraying an single, hated enemy, but the addition of supplementary villains, even in cahoots with them, seemed like a weird decision.

    I mean, I'm not an expert on the film by any means (nor are you, unless you were involved in production or something, I imagine) but it does strike me as a distinctly strange choice. I mean, if it was done to humanize the enemy, then by all means, it's not a surprising choice at all, but I don't think that was the case. But if the objective was to make the enemies more dangerous or threatening, it seems rather strange and ineffective, even acknowledging the concern about Latin America at the time--maybe it was just done wrong overall. It seems pretty clear that it wasn't done to reflect the movie's dedication to an accurate portrayal of an invasion of the United States, if that were possible at all.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think it's logical to assume that, were the 1980s USSR planning to invade the continential United States, it would have called on its satellite/client states in the western hemisphere to assist. In the same way that the 1980s America would probably not unilaterally invade the USSR, but would involve NATO or its other allies. So it does make sense for them to be there, especially as the Cubans in the film, after the initial airborne invasion, are only depicted as garrison troops. It's assumed that most of the Russians themselves are on the front lines far from Colorado.

    I mean, you could easily make a case that the Cubans and Nicaraguans in Red Dawn are there as a blatant reference to the fear of communist expansion in Latin America. But I don't think their presence detracts from the film, and I don't think they were written in to stoke fears of brown people specifically, but communism in general. It wasn't a matter of making the enemy seem more or less dangerous or competent, although there is the contrast between the Cuban garrison troops led by Col. Bella and the combat troops led by the Russian, Strelnikov.

    Plus there's the subplot where Bella grows increasingly disillusioned with the war and occupation, ultimately deciding to resign and return to Cuba to be with his wife, and culiminating with his decision to let the boys escape at the very end. That plot did humanize him in a way that probably wouldn't have worked had his character been Russian.

    DivideByZero on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If you cannot understand why a director would put scary brown communists into a movie about scary communists and the plucky young all American boys that defeat them, yet you claim to understand the culture of the U.S. in the 1980's then i just don't know what to fucking say. I am completely flabbergasted. You're beyond the point that I can understand your position in any rational manner.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Goumindong, first off, I think you're taking this way too seriously, which coming from me is saying something. I'm not deliberately attempting to troll you or anything of the sort--that was never my intent. If it came off as such, I'm sorry. Nonetheless, I think you're getting bent out of shape needlessly.

    I've acknowledged, multiple times, that I came to the United States well after 2000. I've never claim to be deeply familiar with the whole of American culture. You made that claim--perhaps you misunderstood me because I was unclear, if so, my fault. I thought I was somewhat familiar with American entertainment of the 1980s in the style of Red Dawn, but I'm more than willing to acknowledge that I could be mistaken. Next, I did not say I found the fact that Americans would find communists a frightening fictional enemy "strange"--what I did say was that I fought it was a strange decision, overall, because I thought it detracted from the idea of a greater enemy through an ineffectual villain, which could still be erroneous. I thought it was a strange decision because I thought it weakened that specific narrative, as I've already said. I thought it would have been more effective to use the Chinese, but that is, again, merely an opinion. Not really something to get bent out of shape about.

    I think you're taking this a little too close to heart at this point, for whatever reason.
    I think it's logical to assume that, were the 1980s USSR planning to invade the continential United States, it would have called on its satellite/client states in the western hemisphere to assist. In the same way that the 1980s America would probably not unilaterally invade the USSR, but would involve NATO or its other allies. So it does make sense for them to be there, especially as the Cubans in the film, after the initial airborne invasion, are only depicted as garrison troops. It's assumed that most of the Russians themselves are on the front lines far from Colorado.

    I mean, you could easily make a case that the Cubans and Nicaraguans in Red Dawn are there as a blatant reference to the fear of communist expansion in Latin America. But I don't think their presence detracts from the film, and I don't think they were written in to stoke fears of brown people specifically, but communism in general. It wasn't a matter of making the enemy seem more or less dangerous or competent, although there is the contrast between the Cuban garrison troops led by Col. Bella and the combat troops led by the Russian, Strelnikov.

    I hadn't considered that a reason for their inclusion, rather than of an equally (if not more) frightening enemy of the same league, was an attempt to make a logistical/"realistic" feeling concession in a somewhat fantastical movie already, as you'll see in any action film, that they believed wouldn't detract from the film. That's entirely possible, and makes sense.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
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