Ken Watanabe, Octavia Spencer, Monsters, Cookies, And My Questions On Roles People Play (Obviously Spoilers)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Sometimes you just don't always get a chance to see the movies you want to see, or as strange as it sounds, when you have the time, you may not actually be in the mood to see the film you've been wanting to see. It's like that same oddity of when you have the time to travel you may not have the money to, or when you have the money, you don't have the time (and yes, we all make decisions and live with our consequences but this is a post on movies, so just go with it).

And then you have those times, where you're just lounging around and happen to catch a film because it's playing on the TV and you're kind of interested, a little lazy, and you start watching movies you never set out to do.

Down the rabbit hole you go.

Recently this happened to me with Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Blumhouse's Ma and while I finished them, I just have to ask some questions and make some observations.

Both of the films have their flaws, and in a lot of ways, while I may watch them if they're on again, let me say they're no Little (and this was another film which I just happened to catch...because I was lazy...and it was really funny--and make sure to see Thalia Tran in the upcoming NBC show "Council of Dads" who'll be dealing with life as an adoptee).

The brief overview

So let's just get this part out of the way. Both movies in their own way had something to offer, even if it was just a few morsels of goodness in comparison to what they could have been. I enjoyed the fight scenes in Godzilla. I like Ziyi Zhang. Ma looked like it could scare me and it was coming from Blumhouse. Octavia Spencer had some great moments.

If finishing a movie says something, I at least feel like I did a little more than mumble my way through a soliloquy.

Moving on...

Q + A

From a character standpoint G:KOTM wasn't great. We all know this. And yes, we should expect more. But with these remakes, versus something like Shin Godzilla, I'm just not expecting much.

But wholly bucker fatman--WTF was with Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa? I truly feel, he just took a backseat to every White person there and he actually--no fucking lie--had this really nice dialogue about Godzilla, and then the main White Guy, Kyle Chandler, asked him if he just made it up (or something close to that) and Watanabe was like " it from a fortune cookie".


And what makes this worse is that according to Cinemablend, Watanabe actually changed a line from being spoken in English to Japanese.

So he changes the line to Japanese, because sure, I can see it too - why would he speak in English when he's ready to sacrifice his life, having a heart to heart with the big G?

I'd change that too.

But he didn't think to change the line about a fortune cookie? Was it because he was already taking the CHINKY BACKSEAT to all the White People already so why care about a CHINKY FORTUNE COOKIE REFERENCE?

And no one else thought this was an issue when they did the reading either? Vera Farmiga, Bradley Whitford, O'Shea Jackson Jr.?

No one?

I'm not trying to deny all the good of Watanabe, but maybe I shouldn't be surprised either because he was in Isle of The Dogs too right (because we can all forget "The Last Samurai")?

Didn't that dog turn out to be White in the end?

And Then Ma

I feel like this could have been a lot more interesting--but it wasn't done by Jordan Peele, it was from Tate Taylor, you know--from The Help. And other people have talked about this already--this isn't quite new, but in some ways I'm more mad at this film because I felt like it could have given me something a lot more meatier from a race standpoint, but instead, it goes like this:

The White Girl of one of the mothers, who back in the day helped completely humiliate Spencer's Ma sexually (and I don't know if they can call that rape, but if you think about it, maybe there's a case for something like that and at the very least sexual misconduct)---

Well - this White Girl, at the end of the movie, stabs Ma after a struggle. Even after she finds out her mom did do something to completely humiliate Ma back in high school, where Ma was I think the only Black girl there (although the daughter didn't know the extent of the humiliation).

Ma's Black daughter can be seen getting away from the evil that is Ma, and hugging the White Girl's White Mom, while the house is burning up in flames.

What happens to Ma?

She goes up in the bedroom where she's tortured her White high-school crush and lays down beside him (because he's either dead or very close) and then we see the house burning from high-above.

And that's how it ends.

Ma could have killed everyone in the name of revenge. Her daughter could have tried to understand and help out even if she knew her "Ma" was crazy.

But instead, the White People didn't understand when the Black person they DEMORALIZED had wanted some type of revenge and closure (because of the racist sexual "prank" they pulled on her).

The Black woman abandoned her daughter.

The Black woman put it all on the line for the White Guy (and her first marriage--presumably to a Black man--didn't work out).

I mean--how was I supposed to feel? Happy and content?

That would be a no.

If a movie can be compared to a meal and a dining experience, I'll just say that neither movie made me feel satiated.

If anything, it was like all I got for dinner was a soggy fortune cookie.