Nina – Trailer

Cynthia Mort’s Nina–a movie that revolves famed chanteuse Nina Simone’s often turbulent life–is not the type of movie that is typically of interest to me, though what I find fascinating is why Zoe Saldana was cast in the role–especially considering the brouhaha over Gods Of Egypt and Aloha.

And sure, I get it that Saldana is in the position to get movies made, when another actress, perhaps more closely resembling Simone, might not be able to.

That being said, there are scenes in the trailer were Zoe Saldana is clearly wearing blackface–which is necessary since she’s depicting a woman who’s darker-skinned than she is–which it should go without saying, that a darker-skinned actress wouldn’t have to do.

And of course, the patron saint of Easily Won Causes–except for a few outliers, you could count the famous people openly sympathetic to Bill Cosby one one hand–Judd Apatow has to chime in, though I get the feeling that before this is over he might wish he hadn’t because he’s clearly out of his depth.


And it has nothing to do with Apatow being a white person, though for someone as sarcastic as his Tweet implies, it might do good for him to cast a few black women as leads in his own movies.

Though I get the feeling that for Judd Apatow, it’s okay to comment on the actions of others, as long as he doesn’t have to live up to the very same ideas he espouses.


Will Hollywood Ever Learn? -Gods Of Egypt Edition

Alex Proyas is a pretty interesting director and I’ve enjoyed quite a few of his movies, particularly The Crow and Dark City  (I didn’t mind I, Robot, despite its story having little to do with Issac Asimov’s story).

That being said, his latest project, Gods of Egypt, has me scratching my head.

Gods of Egypt - Gerard Butler

In the poster above that’s Gerard Butler playing Set, the Egyptian god of Death (thankfully in the movie he at least seems to assume his jackal-headed guise at times) though if you look at the trailer virtually everyone of consequence is apparently played by a white person.

Didn’t we get enough of this bs casting with Aloha?  And I am not saying that Egyptians were black–despite the fact that for a period of time the country was conquered and ruled by Nubia, who definitely WERE–though they were certainly brown-skinned, and most definitely not white (though  Egypt was also conquered by the Roman Empire, and ruled for a time by the Ptolemies).

Then there’s the fact that Egypt is actually on the continent of Africa (though culturally is more Middle Eastern in nature).

And since the people weren’t white, why would they choose white people to represent their gods?  It’s either indicative of a people with a massive inferiority complex, or it just doesn’t happen.

My money’s on the latter.

Gods of Egypt - Horus

And I get it.  Hollywood isn’t exactly known for even attempting to depict such things accurately–a few days ago I was watching an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Energy Eater, when I noticed an American Indian character played by William Smith.  Smith has had a storied and fascinating career, and while he’s an American, he’s not Indian.

And speaking of Kolchak, Richard Kiel played an American Indian spirit in the episode Bad Medicine.

He is also not an American Indian (though I suspect that his size was what the producers were more interested in, and at over seven feet tall he’s got plenty of that).

What bothers me about casting like this is that I would have no issue with it at all if American Indians and African Americans were so common in movies and on television that casting white people in roles that traditionally aren’t wouldn’t make that much of a difference.

Though that’s just not the case.  There are plenty of American Indian, African-American, Middle Eastern actors that could use the work AND result in a more accurate portrayal of an American Indian diablero or  Egyptian deity.


The 33 – Trailer

Not to be cynical–which pretty much means I am going to do exactly that–but I am shocked to see that the producers of the upcoming The 33 are actually casting Latino actors to play the Chilean miners who were trapped in a cave-in a few years ago (I only recognized Lou Diamond Phillips, who wasn’t among those men trapped, though hope springs eternal).  And speaking of which, why is the trailer in English? I hope they do something clever. ike in the case of The Hunt For Red October, when the actors began speaking Russian, yet through movie magic this was turned to English; which at least tells viewers that they’re doing so for our benefit of an domestic audience).

Or even subtitles would be welcome because the likelihood those miners were speaking English primarily–probably their second language, if at all–is a bit unlikely).

After all, the movie Alive was based on the story of an Uruguayan football team who’s plane crashed in the Andes, yet the cast was almost as white as the snow that capped the mountains they were stranded on.

And more recently, remember Aloha?

There’s also the danger of the Chilean minors becoming secondary characters in their own story, which if you have seen Mississippi Burning, is more possible than you’d think.