Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Faith In Critics is Shaken to It's Core...

...they gave bad reviews to a Diversity Points movie.

A Wrinkle in Time scored an abyss-bound 43% on Rotten Tomatoes.

How on Earth that is even possible?   Don't SJW critics have standards anymore?  Didn't this film race bend pretty much every single character?  Didn't this film star Oprah?  I mean the producers miscast Oprah as Mrs Which and that didn't count for anything?

The only thing I can assume is that Disney went to the well one too many times recently.  That Black Panther sucked all the Diversity Points out of the room.

Madeleine L’Engle’s classic young adult novel “A Wrinkle in Time” is the latest victim of diversity-deranged stunt casting in which no respect is paid to the race or sex of existing literary characters. But that’s only one reason why this frustrating fiasco is such an embarrassing failure. Director Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), who has no feel at all for the material, seems more interested in promoting colorblind multi-culturalism than producing an entertaining adaptation that is worthy of its much-beloved source.

Although movies featuring original characters whose physical attributes have been unspecified elsewhere are legitimate equal-opportunity roles for any actors, deviating from already established characters turns a project into either a sort of alternative-reality racelifted remake (the black-cast versions of “Annie” and “Steel Magnolias”), a re-imagined novelty (“The Wiz”), comic exploitation (“Blacula”) or a display of randomly colorblind inclusiveness (a black Human Torch in the most recent “Fantastic Four”). All of those swaps are distracting enough to seem like gimmicks, even if an appearance-miscast actor gives an otherwise adequate performance.

Teenage Meg Murry and her mother, both white like the rest of their family in the 1962 “A Wrinkle in Time” novel, are portrayed in this film version by black actresses Storm Reid and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Dad is played by Caucasian Chris Pine. Because Meg’s precocious younger brother Charles Wallace is played by Filipino-American Deric McCabe, this results in the absurdity of the character now being identified as adopted, presumably because it would be hard to believe he could be the product of Mbatha-Raw and Pine’s union. Twin brothers from the book are missing entirely from the movie, which may be a blessing, considering that political correctness probably would have dictated they be played by a Native American dwarf and a disabled transsexual.

The irony of making changes like these to a book in which Meg herself states that “like and equal are not the same thing at all” apparently was lost on those responsible. (Then again, the line does not appear in the movie, possibly because the filmmakers knew they had sabotaged said theme.) Also, it’s unfortunate that the film eliminates the novel’s references to Christianity that resulted in it being banned from some libraries. Inclusion apparently has its limits.

Changing Meg and her mom’s race may have been DuVernay’s attempt to promote the illusion of a universe in which such changes don’t and shouldn’t matter, but that aim is subverted by moments that take on unintended meanings in this new context. Meg’s white friend Calvin (Levi Miller) twice mentions that he likes her hair, which is a huge explosion of curls. Coming from a white boy to a black girl, the compliment has a different implication than if both teens were white. Similarly, when Meg is shown a vision of an idealized makeover of herself that she could become if she gives in to nefarious temptation (a scene not in the book), the fact that her doppelganger’s hair is unnaturally straight and flat comes off like a racist insult to the hair she was born with.

While “whitewashing” conversions of any character to Caucasian are routinely criticized (such as white Natalie Portman’s recent “Annihilation” portrayal of that novel’s half-Asian lead), changing any white character to black apparently is supposed to be regarded as a refreshing redress of historic racist wrongs. That kind of mindset makes it easy to see why the source of pure evil in “A Wrinkle in Time” never is referred to as The Black Thing or The Dark Thing, as it is in the book.

The basic plot sends Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace on a quest to find her long-missing dad, with the help of three supernatural beings. But the screenplay (by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell) contains so many annoyingly unnecessary deviations from the novel that it almost could be mistaken for an unauthorized pastiche that attempts to alter just enough details to avoid a plagiarism suit.

A female character known as the Happy Medium in the book is now male (Zach Galifianakis). Calvin’s abusive mother is now an abusive father. Meg’s father has been missing for four years instead of two. A character transforms into a flying green leaf-creature instead of a winged white centaur. Instead of taking place in an imposingly grim office building, an encounter with the evil “man with red eyes” (Michael Peña, known here simply as Red) takes place on a sunny, umbrella-crowded beach.

The movie completely ignores L’Engle’s creepy description of the book’s main villain as an oversized, disembodied brain. Even the ending is altered — mild spoiler alert — by having Meg rely upon another character’s feelings toward her, instead of triumphing solely by expressing hers toward him.

Wow, the director really blew it out of her ass.  I haven't read the book in nearly forty years but I remember that line distinctly.  Meg, couldn't love It but she could love Charles Wallace.

This movie was always bound to blow it completely.  No SJW can make a movie with Christian themes.  They just can't do it.  And A Wrinkle in Time was deeply informed by the author's Episcopal  faith (back when that denomination was a Christian belief system).

What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that [my belief] is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful being is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because a tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn. -Madeline L'Engle

The closest the director could get to any of this was the deeply held Tumblrina belief that Oprah is the One True Mama-Space-Jesus.

1 comment:

bert bvdemier said...

I you want to see how converged a website like Box-office Mojo is look no further that "A wrinkle in Time".
After jerking themselves of for a month on Black Panther and how it is the going to "make all the monies", they have to defend Wrinkle.
The budget for a Wrinkle has been removed because most people can do math and a 100 milion movie making a 1,3 million preview (between Tommorowland(flop killed the series) and Alice through the Looking Glass(flop, killed the series)) is the start of a series-killing flop.

Personnaly I love movies like Black Panther and Get out. They are good enough movies to watch them once and the have the hilarious tendacy to suck up the SJW-points during their run.
If this dynamic exists we are going to have a ball in the next few years where moviemakers are going to fight over the limited resource of SJW-points.(without saying that such a dynamic exists, of course)