‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ saves Sony’s bacon (just don’t you dare mention the writer’s ‘slavery’ sucker punch)

There are times when I wish that I never made the leap to YouTube and instead stayed on my little old blog churning out content for people who understand things like nuance. My reaction to Spider-Man: Homecoming highlighted that fact quite nicely yesterday.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger said that he loves the movie and wants people to see it, but that a weird scene involving “MJ’s” comment on slavery was a social justice-y sucker punch out of nowhere. I then used that scene to discuss real-world “MJ’s” populating college campuses and influential circles of activists across the nation.

Translation:Doug is an SJW! Doug is triggered! Doug can’t enjoy anything that includes a whiff of SJW politics.”

Sigh.

Below are my videos on the old web-head’s return to the big screen. As always, if you enjoy the content then be sure to subscribe. And if you too think I’ve gone full “SJW” then go for it in the comments section. Let me know! I find this conclusion fascinating.

Here is the full review with one major spoiler for those who haven’t seen the film.

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Amy Pascal officially Kevin Feige’s Mephisto with MCU blindside, proves this blog’s 2015 warning prescient

Kevin Feige
The world is only days away from Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the Spidey buzz got real over the weekend when Sony Pictures producer Amy Pascal blindsided Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige during a promotional event. She directly contradicted previous statements by Mr. Feige that Sony’s “Venom” and “Silver & Black” (Silver Sable and Black Cat) would not be connected to the MCU.

Ms. Pascal said:

“Well, those movies will all take place in the world that we’re now creating for Peter Parker. They’ll all be adjuncts to it. They may be different locations, but it will still all be in the same world. They will all be connected to each other as well. […] There’s a chance [Tom Holland will appear]. There’s always a chance.”

The look of utter disbelief on Mr. Feige’s face — and one monstrous swallow — are proof that he severely underestimated how devious the woman can be.

It also proves that Mr. Feige would be wise to take some advice from yours truly, perhaps the only one who warned that his “deal” with her to get access to Spider-Man was his very own “One More Day” moment.

Yes, that’s right, Amy Pascal is Kevin Feige’s personal Mephisto.

Mephisto Amy Pascal

I wrote on Feb. 10, 2015:

“Question: Will Amy Pascal become Kevin Feige’s Mephisto? […] It will be a sad day if Kevin Feige’s name is attached to future Spider-Man failures because of Amy Pascal’s intransigence. While Spider-Man fans should be thrilled that the character will show up in future Marvel Studios movies, they should seriously ask themselves if Marvel made a deal with the devil when total victory was within reach.”

Marvel Studios had Sony on the ropes. Through Sony’s own moronic moves under Pascal’s leadership, the studio ran its reputation into the ground. And while it’s great that the world will now see Spider-Man in the MCU for Avengers: Infinity War, there is no doubt that individuals like Ms. Pascal are petty, vindictive, and untrustworthy.

The Sony hacks by North Korea demonstrated it, and the point was hammered home further by the viral video.

The good news is that Kevin Feige is about 10,000 times more intelligent than anyone at Sony. He will likely come out on top in the end. The bad news is that Sony’s suits know this and will subject Marvel Studios to all sorts of public and private pain for the ignominy of taking orders from their betters.

Cross your fingers that Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t a train wreck, but if it is then just watch this video with Ms. Pascal to remind yourself who is to blame.

Zendaya plays race card while looking as white as Joseph Gordon-Levitt; better luck next time, ‘Homecoming’ diva

zendaya

It was only a few weeks ago that your friendly neighborhood blogger said he was looking forward to Zendaya’s performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but now the actor had to complicate matters by playing one of the worst race cards of all time.

CNN reported Thursday:

Zendaya has alleged a grocery clerk of racism after refusing to sell her $400 in gift cards.

The “K.C. Undercover” actress posted a Snapchat video Tuesday about a shopping experience in which she said a clerk told her she couldn’t afford the gift cards, and tossed her wallet.

“The lady that was helping, I don’t think she was a huge fan of our skin tone,” Zendaya said.

“This is what we deal with…” — before a male friend in the video added, “Because we’re black.”

A store manager came over and eventually helped Zendaya, 20, complete the gift card purchase.

The store eventually clarified (for those who have lived under a rock for several years) that there are limits to how many gift cards can be purchased on a single credit card. The wealthy entertainer — who should know by now that criminals who steal credit card information prompted such rules — was initially denied a $400 purchase.

So here is the situation: A Hollywood star who looks as white as Joseph Gordon Levitt walks into a Vons grocery store. She looks like some random teenager, plops down a credit card, wants to charge $400 on gift cards, and then gets upset when the store clerk looks at her like she’s crazy.

Is it more likely that the clerk — who must deal with black people in California every single day  — is racist, or is it more likely that a spoiled Hollywood star wasn’t recognized and then treated (ironically) just like everyone else?

I will go with the latter option, but I’m open to convincing in the comments section below.

jg-levitt

Note to Zendaya: People are sick and tired of the race card. It doesn’t work.

Sometimes, what you perceive as racism is just people behaving rationally to your immaturity or moronic behavior.

Sometimes, what you perceive as racism is just someone having a bad day.

Sometimes, what you perceive as racism is nothing of the sort because the person on the other end of the conversation thinks you look like a small white child.

Note to Sony and Marvel Studios: Tell your future “MJ” that it may be okay to be a diva on the big screen, but that doing so in public just makes Spider-Man fans less inclined to see her work.

Related: Dan Slott plays ‘Captain White Privilege’ after Zendaya-MJ casting reported

Spider-Man movies called ‘white-boy fantasy’: The Root writer says Zendaya casting not ‘progress’

Jason Johnson

The Root bills itself as an “opinion and culture site for African-American influencers,” which works out nicely because I was recently looking to see what such self-proclaimed individuals were saying about Zendaya’s role as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It turns out that Spider-Man is a “white-boy fantasy” and nothing you ever do is good enough for “influencers” like Jason Johnson.

Mr. Johnson wrote on Aug. 23 for The Root’s “No, Zendaya in Spider-Man: Homecoming Is Not the Progress We’re Looking For”:

Consequently, the announcement that she’s been cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s long-term love interest, Mary Jane, in Spider-Man: Homecoming next year has given many people all sorts of excitement and feels. I am not one of them. Casting Zendaya as Mary Jane is another example of Hollywood expecting black dollars at the box office, but disrespecting black consumers and fans on the big screen. …

Zendaya’s casting is yet another sign that makers of Hollywood sci-fi fantasy action films will “racebend” a character (change a character’s race from what it was in a book, film or cartoon), slap themselves on the back for being progressive and expect black fans to be satisfied, while pretty much maintaining the status quo. Racebending is fine so long as it’s for girlfriends and sidekicks, but the movies are still white-boy fantasy adventures in which the lead remains a straight white male no matter what. And that unfortunate fact can’t be separated from the choice to cast Zendaya as Mary Jane.

There was never a doubt or even a conversation about casting anyone other than a white man as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America or the Incredible Hulk. Even though Iron Man was black in the early 1980s, the first Captain America was a black man, and Thor as a Norse God could be anybody.

Are you a young comic book fan who is on the ideological fence? If so, then consider the psychology on display with Zendaya’s casting:

  • If you think movie producers should try to adhere as closely as possible to the source material, then liberal guys like Dan Slott will imply that you are a racist.
  • If you think movie producers should try to adhere as closely as possible to the source material, then liberal guys like director James Gunn will say that you have “too good of a life.”
  • If you think movie producers should try to adhere as closely as possible to the source material, then liberal guys like Devin Faraci of the website Birth. Movies. Death. will call you a “racist fanboy.”
  • Conservative guys like me will shrug their shoulders and say, “Yeah, but Zendaya may still be pretty good. As long as she tints her hair red then we should just give the girl a chance.”
  • Meanwhile, liberals like Jason Johnson will mock you for your “white-boy fantasy” even if you do give Zendaya’s casting three cheers for diversity. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Welcome to a life of Kobayashi Maru-type scenarios if you board the USS Social Justice.

As your friendly neighborhood blogger has said on numerous occasions, social-justice obsessives are never satisfied. Any attempt to placate them will only result in additional admonitions that require an apology, new demands to meet without question, and more rules that undoubtedly conflict with a sub-group of professional victims someplace else.

Between now and the July release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, I implore anyone who is still trying to define their ideological identity to conduct a test: Come to this blog and disagree with me just to see how I react. Then, do the same with liberal writers like Dan Slott or Nick Spencer. By the time your favorite wall-crawler returns to theaters, I am confident that you will no longer be on the fence.

James Gunn stands on moral pedestal, lectures world on Zendaya-MJ story; fans praise giant red herrings

Guardians of Galaxy director James Gunn needs to be called out for his astonishing level of chutzpah. A man who has dedicated his life to make believe — the man who has spent countless days and weeks and months of his life focused on comic book characters — decided it would be a good idea to belittle fans who dared to disagree with him on Spider-Man: Homecoming casting.

“If you’re complaining about the ethnicity of Mary Jane your life is too good,” wrote Mr. Gunn on Thursday, shortly after reports that Zendaya landed the role.

Translation: Just shut up and accept what we do or you will be mocked, ridiculed, and labeled a racist. 

James Gunn MJ tweet

Mr. Gunn could not just be content to have 2,100 share his smug tweet (with another 3,500 “liking” it). No, instead he had to climb atop a giant moral pedestal and lecture the world via Facebook on a controversy he helped create by stirring the pot.

His fans, of course, took the red herrings he dished out and lavished him with praise. Since they are so blinded by partisan politics or celebrity worship to identify a logical fallacy when it slaps them in the face(book), yours truly will dissect elements of his self-righteous rant.

“I do not believe a character is the color of his or her skin. When Michael B Jordan was cast as Johnny Storm I didn’t understand the uproar. The primary characteristic of Johnny was not, to me, that he was white, or that he had blonde hair, but that he was a fiery, funny, big-mouthed braggart of a hero. I was happy that he was going to be played by one of the finest and most charming young actors out there.”

Here we have Mr. Gunn, just like Marvel writer Dan Slott, responding to an argument that does not exist. Who is arguing that a character “is” the color of his or her skin? No one.

People who loves Peanuts went to the movie theater recently to see Charlie Brown and his beagle — not Charlie Brown and his miniature dachshund.

Moviegoers who love James Rhodes went to see Captain America: Civil War, and rightfully expected to see a black man — in this case, Don Cheadle — on the big screen as War Machine.

No one is arguing that race is the primary element that defines a person, but it is not wrong for comic book fans to expect a faithful transition of their favorite characters from platform to platform.

To lavish Mr. Gunn for addressing an argument that no one is making is absurd.

“Yesterday, a rumor broke out that the character of Mary Jane was being played by a young black woman, Zendaya, and all hell broke out on the Internet (again).”

That is because guys like you and Dan Slott look at what the dregs of the internet are saying and then insinuate that anyone who disagrees with you a.) has “too good of a life,” or b.) is a racist moron.

James Gunn kicks a hornet’s nest and then wonders why he gets stung.

For the thoughtful majority of you out there:

For me, if a character’s primary attribute – the thing that makes them iconic – is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks. For me, what makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she’ll work. And, for the record, I think Zendaya even matches what I think of as MJ’s primary physical characteristics – she’s a tall, thin model – much more so than actresses have in the past.

Again, note what Mr. Gunn does here: He responds to an absurd idea that no one is making, as if that’s what the real debate boils down to, and then says you are “thoughtful” if you agree with his rant. Ironically, fans who are not very thoughtful fail to see what he is doing while still getting excited that they agree with him.

Yes, James, it is correct that a character who is solely defined by skin color is lame. That would be a stellar point to make if the issue at hand centered around that claim. But hey, at least you get to relax in the verbal sponge baths that your Facebook and Twitter fans give you. I guess that counts for something…

“Whatever the case, if we’re going to continue to make movies based on the almost all white heroes and supporting characters from the comics of the last century, we’re going to have to get used to them being more reflective of our diverse present world. Perhaps we can be open to the idea that, although someone may not initially match how we personally conceive a character, we can be – and often are – happily surprised.”

Bravo, James! Well said. Do you know what would also make guys like me “happily surprised”?

Answer: If you and your friends did not say that fans’ “lives are too good” or that they are racist when they disagree with you.

Related:

Zendaya as Mary Jane? Ask about red hair for the next year and you’ll be called a ‘racist’

Dan Slott plays ‘Captain White Privilege’ after Zendaya-MJ casting reported

Dan Slott plays ‘Captain White Privilege’ after Zendaya-MJ casting reported

The announcement on Aug. 18 that Zendaya will play Mary Jane in next summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming spread like wildfire across the internet. It wasn’t long before the usual suspects were attacking anyone who questioned the decision with charges of racism. Dan Slott, the man who once said that Peter Parker’s love for Mary Jane is “anti-Marvel,” joined in the fray to play “Captain White Privilege” (yes, he went there) in his twitter feed.

Since Marvel’s scribe for The Amazing Spider-Man has a habit of sliming long-time Marvel fans with attacks on their integrity, it seemed as if it were time to make a YouTube video on issue. Since Mr. Slott never is a magnet for controversy, I fully expect future installments to follow in the months and years ahead.

Check out the video and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Zendaya as Mary Jane? Ask about red hair for the next year and you’ll be called a ‘racist’

Zendaya

And so it begins — the great new excuse to call people “racist” for the next year.

News broke on Thursday afternoon that Zendaya will be playing the iconic role of Mary Jane in next summer’s latest Spider-Man movie, Homecoming.

The Wrap reported:

Zendaya will be playing long-time Spider-Man love interest Mary Jane Watson in next summer’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” two individuals with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Diehard Spidey fans have long speculated about whom the 19-year-old Disney Channel star would portray in Sony’s high-profile reboot of the superhero franchise, starring British actor Tom Holland as a teenage Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man.

Also Read: All 43 Marvel Movies Ranked From Worst to Best, Including ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (Photos)

At least one recent draft of the script has Zendaya’s character dropping several clues to her identity as Mary Jane, one of the most familiar love interests in the Marvel superhero’s universe — and played by Kirsten Dunst in Sam Raimi‘s 2002-07 movie trilogy starring Tobey Maguire as the webslinger.

Zendaya, the star of the Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!” and “K.C. Undercover,” was cast back in March to play a “key role” as a character named Michelle.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger has plenty of thoughts on Sony’s movie, but what concerns me most is the knee-jerk reaction by race-obsessed goons to label anyone who wants to see a beautiful redhead on the big screen as “raaaaaaacist.”

Peter MJ

One of the first race-runners out of the gate was Devin Faraci of the website Birth. Movies. Death. He worries about the “next racist fanboy outrage,” (because honoring source material is apparently ‘racist’ nowadays).

Devin Farac

The comments section of websites like The Wrap (You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy) was just as bad.

Wrap comments Homecoming MJ

Ah, yes, all those “racist white nerds” who like their Blades and Rhodeys black and their Mary Janes white with red hair…they’re so weirdly racist!

The good thing about Sony’s habitual screw-ups when it comes to…pretty much everything…is that at this point fans only want to see a good movie. My prediction is that Zendaya — who is certainly beautiful  — will do just fine.

It’s hard to do a worse job than Kirsten Dunst, so as long as Zendaya captures the essence of MJ’s character then most long-time fans will forgive the studio’s deviation from the comics.

It is much harder to turn the other cheek, however, with writers who salivate at the chance to spit out charges of racism over the slightest disagreement.

What do you think of Zendaya’s casting? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you think it was strange of Sony to keep it a secret for so long if the casting is not supposed to be a big deal? Let me know in the comments section below.

Update: Dan Slott decided to weigh in on the issue, and he was in rare form with his Straw Man arguments and specious claims. I cover it in the comments section, but decided to take a screenshot of the embedded tweets since he has a habit of deleting them when things get out of hand.

Dan Slott Homecoming Zendaya