La La Land, Racism, and the Real History of Jazz

(image via Variety)

Hollywood loves few things more than it loves itself. I grew up watching old musicals with my mom, and many of them were super meta: musicals about actors putting on a show. Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney headlined a whole host of these films, enshrining the “Show within a Show” trope. My dad put it well, when I auditioned for a play in middle school: “Just don’t think you can solve the world’s problems by putting on a show.”

La La Land may not be trying to solve the world’s problems, but it’s certainly trying to save a few people. It won a stupid number of Oscars and was mistakenly announced as this year’s Best Picture (Moonlight actually received this year’s honor). But for all its adulation, La La Land is currently on the receiving end of accusations of racism. And those accusations are well-founded: as Refinery29 points out, one of the two main plots is about a white manic pixie dream boy saving real jazz from the silly Black sellouts. Ouch.

Is La La Land actually racist? The truth is a bit more complicated.

Spoilers abound below the cut.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Snow White and the Huntsman… Again.

I am both excited and nervous about this movie. While it looks good exciting and action packed, I’m still worried about Kirsten Stewart’s performance. I know Chris Hemsworth will be excellent as the Huntsman, but the thing I’m most disappointed about is the evil queen. She seems thoroughly evil in this movie and I’m starting to get a little bored with it.

When are we going to add depth to the stepmother? I wouldn’t even mind if she was the bad guy if they just gave her some depth to make her character a bit more interesting.

Overall though I am looking forward to Snow White and the Huntsman, and I’m looking forward to see where they will go with it, especially with the lack of a prince charming.

I Guess Whitewashing is Okay Again

There have been many issues around race and comic book movies over the years. Marvel I feel has been the most notable with casting black actors in typically white roles. Alicia in Fantastic Four was black instead of the usual blonde-haired, blue-eyed character she is in the comics. Nick Fury, now played by Samuel L. Jackson is black, and perhaps the most controversial, Idris Elba played the Norse god Heimdall in Thor.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Frankenweenie

It’s Trailer Tuesdays again! Let’s look at Frankenweenie!

This movie looks good fun and interesting along with awesome stop motion animation. My only problem with it is it has been done before. I know it sounds weird to say that a movie has been made about a Frankenstein dog has been done before, but it has, by none other that Tim Burton himself.

The 1984 thirty minute movie live action version of this movie was cute, fun, and entertaining a Tim Burton classic. I happen to enjoy a lot of Tim Burton’s movies, but I noticed a trend with Tim Burton. He tends to be better with his own original works than remaking classics. I honestly did not enjoy Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland, and many people felt the same way. Now with a remake of one Tim Burton’s old classics coming out I have to wonder if he’s maybe losing his touch, especially considering he hasn’t written anything new since Corpse Bride in 2005. 

This remake of Frankenweenie looks great, but the old one was fine it didn’t need to be remade. I just wish Tim Burton would try to do something original again instead of another remake, even if it is a remake of one of his original stories.