Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Despicable Me 2 
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
RogerEbert.com (O. Henderson) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review
I'd like to begin here by paying tribute to (arguably eulogize) the first Despicable Me  movie. I loved that film. I saw it as part of a series of outstanding childrens' films including Finding Nemo , The Incredibles , Wall-E , Up , How to Train Your Dragon  even Happy Feet  (which I didn't particularly like but our teenage/Hispanic evening receptionist at the time just loved it along with her entire family).
Indeed, part of the reason why I started this blog in the fall of 2010 (in the months following the summer-time releases of the first Despicable Me  and How to Train Your Dragon ) was that I was expecting to be writing some very positive reviews about the children's movies that are coming out. Let's face it, Catholics/religious folks are generally skeptical of Hollywood and so I was expecting to be writing: "Don't put Hollywood unnecessarily down, there's some very nice stuff and especially for kids being produced these days by our movie people."
Instead, I've found myself having created my blog AFTER THE END of that lovely and perhaps innocent era of recent children's animated films. For today it's more or less obviously become another battleground of our "culture wars." AND FOLKS, IT'S NOT PRETTY. There has been an obvious, hammer-over-the-head NATIVISM / RACISM pervading MANY / MOST "children's films" made since 2010:
(1) "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series might as well be called "Diary of a WASPY Kid" because THE ONLY NON-WHITE kid in the entire series is a RICH INDIAN KID who all the other (WHITE) kids make fun of. (No Blacks, no Hispanics, no East Asians, just one Indian kid who it's "okay" to pick on ... I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP ...)
(2) The film Hop , screenplay by "Cinco" Paul (though there is absolutely NOTHING Hispanic about him) has a Anglo-American "slacker" teenager from L.A. joining forces with English-accented "Easter Bunnies" to keep "uppity" HISPANIC accented "peeps"/"Easter chicks" led by HECTOR the "ringleader/foreman" of the "Easter chick proletariat" in their place. Seriously again, I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP ...
(3) Hoodwinked Too  - has an ALL Anglo/English Accented "Happy Ending Agency" (a fairy tale C.I.A. ...) keeping the fairy-tale world safe from A VERITABLE MOB of VARIOUSLY ACCENTED VILLANS (a Russian accented witch named Verushka, three Hispanic accented pigs bent on wreaking vengeance against an English accented "Big Bad Wolf" (since turned "good guy") for having "blown their house down." Each time the three stage guerrilla style attacks on said "former-Big Bad Wolf" they cry out "Viva los Puercos!" (AGAIN, I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP ...) and even German accented "Hansel and Grettel" who turn out to be the true super-villains of the story ...
(4) In Cars 2 , Larry the Cable Guy's pickup and Owen Wilson's American sports car (Lighting McQueen) join forces with Michael Caine's BRITISH SPORTS CAR (Finn McMissile) to fight a CRIME SINDICATE of ugly "loser" non-Anglo-American cars (Italian Fiats, Former East German Trabants and Former Yugoslav Yugos) that want to somehow undermine the proper status of things (AGAIN, I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP ...)
And now this film Despicable Me 2  (directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, screenplay by Ken Daurio and NON-HISPANIC with a Hispanic sounding name Cinco Paul) sequel to the beloved first movie only here in the NEW MOVIE the formerly-evil and still RUSSIAN ACCENTED Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) fights the STILL EVIL, STILL HISPANIC ACCENTED "El Macho" with "personal hygeine issues" (voiced by Benjamin Bratt. Apparently Al Pacino who was originally slated to play Eduardo/El Macho's role walked away from the role ... Good for you Al Pacino!).
And who are the "good folks" in the current story? YOU GUESSED IT, an ALL Anglo/American "Anti Villain League" with Anglo-American accented agent Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig) and its Kings-English accented head, Sir Ramsbottom (voiced by ). To be fair, both the Minions and even Gru have fun with Sir Ramsbottom's name ... but the point is that ONCE AGAIN the all "Good Folks" are Anglo and all the "non-Good Folks" (even Russian Accented Gru himself) are non-Anglo ...
Then add that "El Macho's" very suave/debonair son Antonio (voiced by Moises Arias) first "woos" and then DUMPS Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove) oldest of the cute-as-a-button three little girls that Gru's taken care of since the first movie. But then aren't ALL HISPANIC BOYS love 'em and leave 'em "Latin Lovers..."???
So how can I, who in my "day job" have worked since my Ordination in largely/predominantly HISPANIC parishes, possibly LET THIS KIND OF EVIL MESSAGING GO?
In my current parish, 75% of the kids attending our school are _cute as a button_ Hispanic kids. In the CCD program, this rises to nearly 90% (AGAIN ALL GOOD KIDS!). The Anglo kids are _also_ cute/good. But look at the numbers. How can I recommend a film like this that makes fun of the families of 75-90% of the kids in my parish? How?
Then consider Hollywood's stupidity in all of this: The majority of Americans under 17 years of age AREN'T EVEN WHITE ANYMORE. By its OWN STUPID RACISM it's disqualifying itself from its own future audience! And is a message of Anglo-American supremacy exactly helping it in markets outside of the U.S.? It's all really, really dumb.
And it's sad, because OTHERWISE the film would be very, very cute. The Minions are absolutely adorable and the addition of the Kristen Wiig character was great as well.
But why then throw all that CUTENESS away to deliver a STUPIDLY NATIVIST/RACIST MESSAGE. Why?
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