Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!
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*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.
DISCLAIMER: I have not seen Fantastic Four yet and to be honest, with all the terrible reviews, I am not rushing out to spend my hard-earned money on what sounds like total crap. I’ll wait for the DVD most likely. Which stinks because I was really excited to see this “reboot” (God how I detest that term) of a story I find enjoyable. I’ll admit that I actually enjoyed the other two, with Chris Evans and Jessica Alba, I thought they were campy, sure, but in a way that was fun. Either way, I was okay with a studio doing a harder-edged, dark version of the Fantastic Four. It seems like it was a monumental failure, only taking in 26 million at the box office this past weekend (I never thought in my life I’d use failure and 26 million dollars in the same sentence).
So what am I writing a blog about if I haven’t seen the movie? I’m writing it about the director, Josh Trank. He published a tweet this week that caused a fair amount of controversy.
“A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s the reality, though.” – Josh Trank
Seriously dude? Are you 12 or something? I read that tweet and shook my head. Here’s a young guy making his first really big studio movie and because people don’t like it, he feels the need to publish a Tweet that makes him sound like a petulant child. Totally unprofessional. He removed the Tweet as fast as he could (I imagine someone like his dad told him he sounded like a baby) but the damage is done. The fact is Trank, directors make lousy movies once in awhile, it happens. I actually read a pretty okay review of the movie from a friend of mine who said it was … good. That’s nice to hear but still, not a rave review.
I read something today about Joel Schumacher and his thoughts on his failed (and often mocked) Batman & Robin film. He recently said;
“They immediately wanted a sequel, but I said yes. There’s nobody else to blame but me. I could have said, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’
“Val [Kilmer] left at eleventh hour to do The Island of Dr. Moreau. It changed everything. George [Clooney] made a noble effort. I was the problem with Batman& Robin. I never did a sequel to any of my movies, and sequels are only made for one reason: to make more money and sell more toys. I did my job. But I never got my ass in the seat right.
“I just hope whenever I see a list of the worst movies ever made, we’re not on it. I didn’t do a good job. George did. Chris [O’Donnell] did. Uma [Thurman] is brilliant in it. Arnold is Arnold.” – Geek Tyrant
Now this guy is a class act. Not only does he not blame his actors, he openly blames himself for the failure of the movie. That is how you gracefully accept blame. Then again, Shumacher has been around for awhile and he knows the Hollywood machine. Not to mention, it’s been years since the debacle that was Batman & Robin. I should also add that Twitter and all this “glorious” social media also did not exist during the time of Batman & Robin so who knows how things would have played out had Twitter existed back then.
The fact remains that Trank is a talented guy, I recently saw his movie Chronicle, a small budget flick about kids who accidentally gain superpowers and what then happens. It’s a great, simple story, low budget and a lot of fun. It’s real world superhero stuff, which I adore. It’s well-directed, well acted and all around really good. So what went wrong with Fantastic Four? I can’t say for sure since I haven’t yet seen the movie but I can guess, Fox Studios. And maybe, just maybe, Josh Trank acted like a baby over some things. Maybe he didn’t speak up when changes were made. Maybe he folded under the pressure that is the superhero genre. Hard to say and it’s not really my job to discover the answer to the mystery.
Social media is both a blessing and a curse these days, so many people take to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites to show off what they ate for dinner, talk about their latest read, or completely barf out their emotions/feelings/thoughts/etc. I’ll admit that up until a few years ago, I was guilty of expressing my innermost thoughts and feelings online but I’ve started to realize a couple of things.
1. I do not want everyone on my friends list to know my every issue, problem, etc. If I need to talk to someone about something private, I email, text message or call the people I love and trust more than anything else. I do not tweet about it.
2. Vaguebooking is annoying as Hell. Don’t post something on Facebook that says, “Life Sucks” or “I think I’m dying” or “Squirrels have attacked, run for the bunkers,” without giving some kind of context or explanation. Social media is NOT therapy people. Trank thought it would be a good idea to explain himself using 140 characters or less and guess what, everyone took it the wrong way and he’s gotten a lot of crap for it this week.
I sincerely hope that Trank learned his lesson on this. If he wants to work in Hollywood, he’s going to have to get tougher skin and he’s also going to have to learn to make a movie he likes within the constraints of a studio. Otherwise, he’s not going to be getting much work.
For the rest of us, let’s hope that Fantastic Four dies a quick death and we can move on to being excited about other things, like cotton candy grapes (yeah, they’re a real thing).
Did you see Fantastic Four? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!