Friday, July 20, 2018

Why Marvel Villain "Ghost's" Sex is Irrelevant

The Ghost
In the movie "Ant-Man and the Wasp", the mysterious Ghost was played by Hannah John-Kamen. The character is a masked, sci-fi-suited fighter who can become intangible — meaning she can pass through walls, go invisible, and so on — and who makes life hell for our heroes.

However, in the comic book, Ghost is a man. Though the character is new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ghost has been around in the comics for more than 30 years, albeit in a very different form.

The change of sex was not met with protest and threats of boycott from avid Marvel comic followers because the character is a minor villain. Ghost has not played in any major cataclysmic episode in the Marvel universe.

Changing Ghost from man to woman created no major shift in the character background since there was really no worthy life story to begin with. This is totally different from making Johnny Storm a black dude or having a thin and wiry actor play Ben Grimm.

Speaking to TheWrap, "Ant-Man and The Wasp" director Peyton Reed echoed the same sentiments and explained how and why he changed the character to fit into his corner of the MCU.

"We found Ghost and we were free to reinvent that character however we wanted, and obviously we made him into a her, but also made a character that really sat within the tone of our movie and the theme of fathers and daughters. It fit with our movie," Reed told TheWrap.

"Ghost is a far lesser known antagonist in the comics world," he continued. "I really dug the look of that character and the power set, but in terms of backstory or character in the comics, I didn't find it very compelling, I thought it was kind of boring, so it really was sort of a chance to create a character from scratch for this movie that really had a personal connection to our heroes and particularly to Hank Pym and I liked that."

Besides, if Ghost was made into a male villain and he beat the crap out of the Wasp, PC culture would probably erupt in consternation.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Pageant Skit Nailed The #MeToo Movement Perfectly

Swimsuit Skit
Starting on 2019, the Miss America contestants will no longer walk around in bikinis and high heels, but the beauty contest's latest attempt to cater to the PC culture expectedly had a rough start.

"We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance," Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host, catalyst of the #MeToo movement and Miss America’s chairwoman, announced on ABC's Good Morning America in early June.

Almost immediately, people from all walks of life felt the insult to their sensibilities. Former Miss Americas joined forces online to express their disapproval, and a popular organizational shake-up has been linked to the pageant's new out-of-touch direction.

However, the real dispute may be happening on the state level—where all but five of the qualifying pageants are still holding swimwear contests and organizers, contestants and fans are publicly disparaging the move online.

According to Philadelphia magazine, eulogy posts in the Miss America Fan Group on Facebook are calling the decision "a death nail into the program and predicted 'a mass exodus' from participation at the state level."

In the recent Miss Massachusetts competition last Saturday, the organization featured a skit (below) lamenting the removal of the swimsuit competition, with the loss being correctly blamed on the #MeToo movement.

"We may have very well seen the last ever swimsuit competition on stage. It’s very upsetting,” a woman kneeling on a chair on stage bemoaned as part of the comedy sketch. "And I’m trying to understand, God, why it happened.”

"Me too, Amy," responded a person dressed as God, holding up a #MeToo sign.

Everyone and literally everyone in the crowd cheered following the comment, and the emcee had to wait until the applause died down to proceed. In the aftermath, at least one title holder is planning to turn in her sash.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Actor James Woods Has Perfect Response To Agent Dumping Him

James Woods
Popular U.S. actor James Woods, one of the rare Hollywood celebrities to openly support President Donald Trump, was dumped by his talent agent because of difference in politics and he has a perfect response.

The Emmy Award-winning actor shared on Twitter the email he received from Ken Kaplan on Independence Day, informing him he no longer wished to represent him.

"It's the 4th of July and I'm feeling patriotic," wrote Kaplan, whose list of clients includes "Twilight" falling star Kristen Stewart. "I don't want to represent you anymore. I mean I can go on a rant but you know what I'd say."

Woods, 71, who described Kaplan as a "political liberal," included his response on his Twitter feed.

"Dear Ken, I don’t actually," he wrote. "I was thinking if you're feeling patriotic, you would appreciate free speech and one's right to think as an individual.

"Be that as it may, I want to thank you for all your hard work and devotion on my behalf. Be well."

The twice Oscar-nominated actor, known for his roles in "Salvador" and "Casino," has drawn attention for his support of Trump and has previously complained about being blacklisted by Hollywood because of his conservative views.

Prior to being dumped by his agent, he had gone on a rant on Twitter hitting out against Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and former president Barrack Obama, describing him as a "stain."

Good one, Mr. Woods!

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Surge Pricing Will be Adopted by MoviePass

Business Insider reported earlier that MoviePass will start charging surge prices for certain movies during particular times.

When the app deems a showing to be exceptionally popular, MoviePass will charge its subscribers an additional US$ 2, according to CEO Mitch Lowe. "At certain times for certain films - on opening weekend - there could be an additional charge for films," he told Business Insider. The new pricing is set to take effect in July, but Lowe says subscribers to the annual plan will be exempt.

There are two other changes on the way that will probably be more palatable to MoviePass' customers. In August, the company will launch a bring-a-friend option, where subscribers can add a ticket for another person for "somewhere near the retail price of the ticket." And for an additional US$ 2 to US$ 6, subscribers can see an Imax or 3D film, neither of which are currently included in MoviePass' plans.

At launch, users will be able to add one of these new options to their ticket purchase, but adding both options for the same showing won't be available immediately.

MoviePass has had plenty of money issues. An SEC filing notes that the company's monthly losses rose to US$ 40 million last month as subscription tallies surpassed three million. Variety also reported that MoviePass launched a US$ 164 million bond sale, basically taking out a loan in order to keep operating. Lowe told Business Insider that the new surge pricing was partly put in place to ensure "we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise."

Meanwhile, AMC launched its own subscription plan after spending months disparaging MoviePass and its model, and Sinemia continues to offer a variety of plans as it competes with MoviePass.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Instagram Takes on YouTube

Instagram said last 20 June that it now has more than one billion active users, as it unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract "creators" like those on YouTube.

It becomes the fourth Facebook platform to hit the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the messaging applications WhatsApp and Messenger.

Instagram, which had some 800 million users as of September, has been outpacing rival social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat and has been gaining younger users even as Facebook itself has seen declines in the youth segment.

Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom announced the milestone as he unveiled the new video application known as IGTV.

"We have now a community of one billion users," Systrom told the event in San Francisco.

"Since our launch in 2010, we've watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown."

As Facebook itself has moved deeper into video, Instagram will become a direct competitor to YouTube with IGTV.

IGTV will enable any user to upload long-form videos and will also include "channels" from video "creators," similar to a format employed by Google-owned YouTube which has given rise to a number of YouTube "stars."

"Anyone can be a creator - you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel," Systrom said.

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