Tag Archives: courtney b. vance

Chromatic Casting: Remixing The Dark Knight Rises

By Arturo R. García

At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to revisit Friday’s post about Bane, Chromatic Comics-style. Keep in mind that there’s several different permutations of the casting choices I came up with.

Let me say up-front that this, ultimately, is an exercise in casting for fun. It is not intended to suggest that casts comprised entirely of people of color are “THE ANSWER.” To suggest that one must choose between calling for more POCs to be cast in race-neutral roles, or calling for the creation and development of more standout characters of color – be they heroic, villainous or otherwise – is to enable a false dichotomy. There’s good reasons why Luke Cage is best played by a Black actor and why Bruce Wayne could be played by, say, an Asian-American actor. (He’s not in this particular version, but I’m not saying an Asian-American actor or actress couldn’t pull it off, and if you’ve got any choices of your own, please feel free to chime in in the comments.)

If anything, the Chromatic meme puts the lie to the premise that “there’s not enough [x] actors to make it work” or “people wouldn’t go see an [x] actor in a general-market lead role.” Showing that there are actors of color out there, each of them with established fan bases, who could step into these “iconic” roles only supports the call for a greater variety of roles for them, and for the next wave of POC actors, because it shows that there are “enough” of them out there for both consumers and business interests to take a chance on.

With that established, here we go. A ton of pics, and some spoilers for Nolan’s Batman series are under the cut.

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No Future For You: The Last Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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FlashForward sold itself on the promise that it could become the next Lost. Instead, it bowed out as ignomiously as Heroes, canceled after only one year, and guilty of the same major sin: failing to capitalize on a multi-cultural ensemble.

But this show actually blundered on a greater scale than Heroes – not only was it created by sci-fi faves Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer, but its’ primary POC players – John Cho, Courtney B. Vance, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy and Barry Shabaka Henley – were already known quantities going into the show. In a disturbing omen, you had Cho coming off Star Trek and two successful Harold & Kumar movies, but still in second-banana status behind Joseph Fiennes, who hadn’t had a hit in any medium in more than a decade. Fiennes didn’t do himself many favors with the mostly listless character of Mark Benford, who only seemed to come alive until after his marriage dissolved sloooooowwwwwlllyyyyyyy over the course of the season. Worse yet, the creative team chose to shunt these actors and their characters to the background and burn screen time on nothing characters like Aaron Stark; a pair of Magic Autistic Saviors; and star-crossed, bird-brained near-lovers (more on them later), among others.

chobenford1Not that the series finale, “Future Shock,” didn’t try to redeem its’ ever-beleaguered protagonist, as Mark went into Army of One mode and
ohbytheway finally solved the riddle on his wall – that the show and the series would end with a second flash-forward. In this regard, he got something denied to his his counterparts on more-ballyhooed contemporaries like BSG and Lost – a sense of agency. Here, Mark chose to literally walk into the assault he always knew was coming, and to fight his way out. Similarly, you had Wedeck figure out why his flash-forward had him, literally, on the toilet – because and Vreede chose to go in and save Mark’s ass. (Wedeck, by the way, got the episode’s only “F-CK YEAH” moment in shooting the guy in the bathroom). Continue reading

Circling The Drain: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.20

Hosted By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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It wasn’t our fault, promise. Well, at least we don’t think so.

FlashForward officially entered lame-duck status last week, making “The Negotiation” awkward to watch, despite it finally putting its’ players, as Gabriel would say, “where they need to be.” For the first few minutes, watching Wedeck rally the troops – and credit to Courtney B. Vance for making this speech shiny yet not-saccharine – I thought this was the finale. Gang, your thoughts?

Andrea: As much as I had patience with the show to establish itself, another part of me wonders if the creatives thought they had more time to develop the show, considering that far worse shows have been picked up. I guess they forgot they were on ABC, not the CW (or whatever the hell it’s called nowadays).
Mahsino: No Andrea, it wouldn’t have lasted that long on the CW, too many people of color. But yeah, I kept checking IMDB to see if this was the season finale.
Arturo: Y’know, I’m not so sure. The CW lusts after the younger demos enough to think it would’ve been more likely to accept J-Cho as a lead actor vis-a-vis J-Fiennes. And while Smallville is positively bad, the network’s shown a steady hand in letting that fandom develop over the past 10(?!) years.
jen*: It did seem like the finale. But I’m not thinking the CW would go for a show with so many old people … playing old people.
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A Game Of Inches: The Racialicious Roundtable For Flashforward 1.17

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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So, judging by last week’s responses, the future isn’t bright for this show, is it? Or was it something we said? Gang, what do you think?

jen*: That, or everyone was just thinking, “mmm. Cho.”
Diana: I was disappointed, but maybe this week will be better.
Mahsino: yeaaah. maybe it’s a proportional reflection of the decline in ratings?
Andrea: Mmmmmm. Cho.

In some ways, it’s a pity, as this episode was an example of the writers giving us more of what we’ve been after – a clear-cut story focused on action and possible consequences.
jen*: Um, Yeah! Is it really too much to ask to get this on the regular? Are shows just focused on the season open and then a 4-ep build to the finale? Cuz if that’s the case, I can skip the midseason and take up a craft.
Diana: Jen, it’s not too much to ask. But if you do start crafting, may I suggest knitting. You can throw one of the needles at the tv if you need to and not miss a stitch.
jen*: You know, I always did wanna learn how to knit…
Mahsino: I make and elaborately decorate cupcakes, but I hear knitting is nice too. But yeah, I haven’t even been as into an episode as this one. Continue reading

Dear John: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.16

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

He smokes, he sings, he stares down paranoids … “Let No Man Put Asunder” was all about Demetri. Kind of odd, in that an ep named after something you hear at weddings focused nearly exclusively on the groom, but what the heck – the Roundtable didn’t mind him being the focal point of an episode. Mark who?

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I guess we should’ve known something big was up when Demetri both talked down *and* shot up the Lone Gunman there all by his lonesome.
Andrea: Demetri is full of awesome sauce, full stop, with a caveat. (I’ll address this shortly.) And it’s about time the writers start realizing who the show’s emotional center is….and it isn’t Mark Shakespeare.
jen*: Dem is awesome – no doubt. I could definitely see him carrying the show from here on.
Diana: Dem’s the man.
Mahsino: I dunno, I hate reckless, illogical thought processes more than I love Dem. When he was doing that I could help but think, wouldn’t it be a bitch if he gets shot here and dies the next day? Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’ 1.10

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Can I just tell you all how much I hate “press conference” scenes on film or television? And the one in “A561984″ was one of the worst yet. I don’t know where they wrote that bunch of goons to get their training from, but with all their RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE crap, we never got to hear:

* Exactly how Lloyd and the Hobbit came to think they caused the GBO
* What the test yielded apart from the blackout
* Where they got their funding for their SCIENCE!
* Who the hell is paying for all the damages their little stunt caused

Instead, these idiots gave the boys a chance to get away – and what kind of lame-ass security guard gets jacked by a *reporter*? Where was this thing held, a Sarah Palin signing? What a horrible way to kick off the show.
Diana: It was a bit lame. And those were obviously amateur rent-a-cops. I was kind of with the Hobbit on this one. They should have had more info on if they actually caused it before making it that public. They could have gone to the feds first. But that makes too much sense.
Carmen: Yeah especially after Lloyd and Charlie (sorry, I’m a Lostie) tried to act all cool during that Texas Hold’em showdown… this press conference showed them to be the dorks that they are.
Andrea: But the Hobbit/Charlie/Dan Brown-Sounding Philosophy Dude did go to Stan and tried that whole “I Got Something You Might Be Interested In” bit. And Stan bit a bit…though Janis saw through dude’s ruse. To eyerolling effect. On that I give Janis daps.
jen*: The whole confession/press conference was ridic. I understand Lloyd’s guilt, but what scientist tells everybody his experiment caused chaos when he has no proof? Just coincidence. How could they even have held a press conference without going to the FBI or something first? Continue reading

Because You Demanded It: The Racialicious Roundtable For Flash Forward

Hosted By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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[Writer’s note: What happened to Heroes, you ask? Stay tuned next week, True Believers. Now, let’s roll with the new …]

algough1The most amazing thing about Flash Forward? Not the Blackout. Not the crows falling from the sky. Not the diverse array of visions being assembled in the Mosaic. Not even Joseph Fiennes’ character being dumb enough to trust Rudolph The Nazi. It’s Al.

See, Al is a classic That Guy character: not one of the major players, not even a major supporting character. He just seems to weave in and out, backing people up as needed. And most of the time, That Guy (or Girl) – that neutral, almost inconsequential character – is played by a white person. But here’s Al, just … being.

And catching up to the show late as I am has been eye-opening: POC characters being COMPETENT! Involved in PRIMARY STORYLINES! And not crying every five minutes! But, I’m glad we seem to be moving past the “What did you see?” stuff and start solving the case already. Let’s see what the ‘Table thinks! Continue reading