Power Rangers Shows Superhero Genre How Representation is Done

Originally posted at Just Add Color

If you told anyone that the movie that was going to shake up the superhero genre in the best way would be the film adaptation of Power Rangers, they would be shocked and probably, in some strange, elitist, I’m-too-old-for-Power Rangers way, appalled. But Power Rangers has come out of the blue as the film when it comes to portraying a diverse group of people in a way that is both organic and makes sense for today’s world and today’s multicultural and diverse audience.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Young, Scrappy, and Hungry

AMC’s Into the Badlands might have gotten a ten-episode second season (up four episodes from season one), but there’s no slowing down narratively. Episode 2 — which is actually chapter 8, proving just how propulsive the story of the Badlands is — wastes no time getting Sunny out of the mines, after a pretty awesome, and gruesome, fight scene to open the show. I would put the rest of the episode into three distinct buckets, that just so happen to coincide with a line from Hamiltons “My Shot.” And yes, I’m keeping up these #IntoTheHamLands recap titles all season!

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The Red Capes Are Coming: A Batman v Superman Retrospective

One year ago, history was made when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Wonder Woman Justice opened in theaters.

Why is this a cinematic milestone?

For the first time in history, the Man of Steel, the Caped Crusader, and the Amazon appeared together in a live action story. This is of monumental importance because not only are these iconic heroes the flagship franchises of DC Comics, they are also the cornerstones of western media and western culture.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Friends All Scattered to the Winds

After more than a year off the air, AMC’s dystopian martial arts epic Into the Badlands has finally returned! And with it, so have these NOC Recaps. Speaking of which, I’m going to try to title each recap with a line from Hamilton because 1.) seriously, have you met me?; and 2.) the Badlands writers have basically challenged me as much. So, appropriately enough, the Season Two premiere is named after a lyric from “Yorktown.”

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Fans Sound Off on Into the Badlands Couple Sunny and Veil

Originally posted at Just Add Color

Into the Badlands is coming into its second season March 19, and even though we’re psyched about the level of action and and suspense, we’re also focused on the family aspect of the show, which is worrying about how Sunny’s going to get back to his family, Veil and their newborn baby.

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Ghost In The Shell: Worse Than We Thought

On February 28, I saw a 15-minute sneak peek of the Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. From the announcement of the project, this has always been a bad idea. But the announcement of the cast and story has made things much worse. Most noticeably, Hollywood adaptations of Japanese anime have yet to be successful. Either their stories veer too far from the source material, the director isn’t a good fit or the casting makes no sense. You would think Hollywood would learn, yet here we are, on the precipice of another anime-adapted flop.

Here are the takeaways from what I have seen of Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell so far.

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Logan: The End of Ol’ White Men

The “Whitelash” theory of Trump’s super-embarrassing slide into the presidency (well, we never claimed the U.S. wasn’t anti-intellectual, did we?) has the still-ascendant, but demographically shrinking and culturally stagnating white/cis-het/male contingent (helped substantially by their female counterparts) striking back at the diversity of Obama’s America by electing a crypto-white-supremacist in response to his racist and xenophobic dog whistles. Although not the only compelling narrative of the last year and a half, Trump’s Whitelash has enough truth to it to make it into at least a Ronald-Takaki-authored history book, if not a textbook from Texas.

Meanwhile, pop culture may be lashing in the opposite direction — and, in fact, contributing to the panic. Whereas the last Academy Awards shows of Obama’s presidency featured a field of winners that rivaled a wedding-dress-clad polar bear fainting on an iceberg for whiteness, it is President Trump’s first Oscars that saw the Academy — now led by a black woman — crowning its first African-American-made Best Picture. The last season of tv was the most diverse in history, and we don’t need numbers or stats to know this. And even the debate around diversity failures points to how far we’ve come, and how aware of the changing nature of American culture the mainstream has become.

So it’s not much of a stretch to see Logan, clearly the end of a franchise, as the gentle, mournful and mourning, Hollywood-sanctioned version of conservative white panic.

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One-on-One with “Oscars Tourist” Yulree Chun

When Yulree Chun stepped off Starline’s tour bus on Sunday, she didn’t expect herself to be in the center of attention at Hollywood’s biggest night — The Oscars. She and her husband, Patrick Tio, who recently returned from their honeymoon, were just planning on enjoying a nice day walking around Hollywood before they were asked by Starline “employees” to try out their new tour for free.

Chun and the other unexpecting tourists were told they would be viewing a special Oscars fashion exhibit but found themselves in front of the Dolby Theater among Hollywood’s elite.

While Chun and Tio were mingling with the celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Ryan Gosling, host Jimmy Kimmel called on Chun and asked for her name. Chun told him, “My name’s Yulree. Rhymes with jewelry.” This followed an exchange that would cause a bit of controversy on Twitter. Chun remained cool as she was too starstruck to think anything of it.

We got to chat with Yulree Chun about the event and how she’s now happy that everyone is able to pronounce her name correctly.

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Erased and Ignored: Dick Grayson’s Rromani Identity Comes to Light

Last week, Warner Brothers announced the addition of a solo Nightwing film with LEGO Batman director Chris Mckay to their DC film slate. The news sent fans into an excited tizzy and resulted in a slew of potential fan-chosen actors who could play the title role.

It’s been almost 20 years since Dick Grayson last appeared on the big screen in Batman and Robin as portrayed by Chris O’Donnell. Previous actors who have played Dick Grayson — or the Robin character — have been Douglas Croft, Johnny Duncan, and Burt Ward. There have also been two television shows, The Graysons and Titans, that were meant to feature Dick Grayson as the central character. Both, unfortunately, were scraped by their respective networks.

So there’s been a lot of fan interest in a Nightwing/Dick Grayson-centric media property for a long while. Now with Warner Bros. making it official, fans are eagerly awaiting to see who will put on the black and blue suit as our hero. All the talk about who can, and should, play Dick Grayson on the big screen has also brought up the truth behind Dick’s heritage in comics canon. 

That truth being Dick Grayson is part Rromani.

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Moonlight and Get Out: Renaissance or Wave?

This has been an amazing ten months for Black cinematic culture. We had Beyoncé’s Lemonade in April 2016. Donald Glover’s Atlanta and Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar both premiered on September 6, 2016. Luke Cage’s entire season broke the Internet on September 30. Barry Jenkins’s Best Picture Oscar winning Moonlight dropped October 2016. So did Issa Rae’s Insecure. And then the wicked mind of Jordan Peele unleashed Get Out, this past weekend. There were other films, television shows, videos and the like, but damn. Look at this trajectory. It would be so easy to label this a Black Cinematic Renaissance, but I don’t think I want to be that optimistic.

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