Tagged: Paul Feig

Episode 193 – Ghostbusters (2016), Ghostbusters (1984), Game of Thrones Season 6; review: The Witch

The Witch (A24 Films)
The Witch (A24 Films)

Hey how’s it going? This episode Dustin is gone so the mice get to play. BK, Cody, and Andy review trailers for the new and original Ghostbusters as well as the Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer. They also review The Witch, now in theaters. All that plus “What We’re Watching.”

Questions or comments on the show? E-mail us at trailerpodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @TrailerPodcast or on Facebook at facebook.com/trailerpodcast.

Full trailers…

Ghostbusters (2016) (Sony Pictures) — in theaters July 15, 2016

Ghostbusters (1984) (Sony Pictures) — probably in your DVD library

Game of Thrones, Season 6 (HBO) — premieres April 24, 2016 **WARNING: MATURE CONTENT**

Episode 156 – Bridge of Spies, Z for Zachariah, The Peanuts Movie; review: Spy

Spy (20th Century Fox)

In this episode, we watch trailers for Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, post apocalyptic thriller Z for Zachariah with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine, and The Peanuts Movie. Plus we review the Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy and talk about What We’re Watching.

Questions or comments on the show? E-mail us at trailerpodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @TrailerPodcast or on Facebook at facebook.com/trailerpodcast.

What We’re Watching…

– Andy: Point Break (1991) 
– Dustin: The Late Show Podcast with Stephen Colbert (official website)
– Cody: Bloodline 

Full trailers…

Bridge of Spies (Dreamworks SKG/20th Century Fox) — in theaters October 16, 2015

Z for Zachariah (Roadside Attractions) — in theaters August 21, 2015

The Peanuts Movie (20th Century Fox) — in theaters November 6, 2015

Cheap insults fail in “The Heat”

The+HeatThese are some expanded thoughts that stem from our review of The Heat in Episode 73. Written by Andy.

I think everything is open to being made fun of. But there is a difference between “laughing at” and “laughing with.”

How you frame the joke and who is in on the joke makes a difference.

Too often, The Heat chooses to laugh at people who are different as a means of creating an easy joke, rather than working a little harder to make fun of stereotypes and the people who use them. Example:

Scenario A:

Our hero is making fun of another character who happens to be albino, disabled, or minority. This character is played by someone who is not actually a part of this community* and is portrayed as a jerk, calling our hero offensive names.

In retort, our hero calls this character offensive names as well.

The joke comes purely from the offensive names, relying on stereotypes and insults (based purely on how someone looks) for humor.

They keep this up through the whole movie.

There is no resolution to this joke. There is no payoff. (In fact, our supporting character ends up being killed for being “annoying”)

Scenario B:

Our hero encounters the supporting character (albino, disabled, minority, etc.). The actor playing this character is actually part of this community. This is the first step of them being IN on the joke.

Our hero (or better yet, the villain) says something stereotypical or offensive to the character. “Hey snowcone! You look like some kind of demon.”

Our character embraces the insult and flips the tables on our hero (or villain). “That’s right. I am a snowcone. I am made out of snow. I’m actually one of the X-Men.”

Our hero realizes she was being insensitive and rights her behavior. Or, the villain, realizing their insults aren’t working, ups the ante with worse and worse insults as our character embraces them all in funnier and funnier ways.

Now the humor comes from how silly the stereotypes look and how useless the insults are. The supporting character is empowered by what makes them different, not belittled by the hero because of it.

Conclusion:

I care less when someone from a privileged position is mocked: they can fall back on their money or position of power in society when the joke is over. I care more when it is someone from a disadvantaged position that is the object of cheap jokes.

Now, my expectations are probably way too high at this point. After all, this is just a Hollywood movie with a budget of $43 million, not some kid’s YouTube video. Come to think of it, I’ve seen 6-second Vines with more social commentary than what we find in The Heat.

I love funny names as much as the next guy, but context matters. Are you insulting a minority with a stereotype just for the sake of the stereotype? Or are you trying to bring light to the stereotype and make fun of people who rely on it as an insult?

It is possible to make a successful politically incorrect movie where you laugh at stereotypes in spite of yourself (Blazing Saddles, Team America, Tropic Thunder), but The Heat ain’t it.

*I don’t think characters always need to be played by an actor who belongs to that community or group. You pick the best actor for the job. But I don’t like the whitewashing of movie roles (See The Last Airbender). It’s lazy and propagates a very bland popular culture.