Reviewers flub their coverage of “War for the Planet of the Apes,” Sofia Coppola responds to critics of her own work, and more in today’s roundup.
The new “Planet of the Apes” installment mostly has critics roaring their approval, though at least two of them obviously did not watch the whole 220-minute movie: The Christian Science Monitor’s reviewer laments the lack of a particular bit character development which does actually occur during the film’s later scenes, while Roger Moore of Movie Nation‘s withering review fails to recall even basic plot elements correctly. Bonus points to the critics who were able to weigh in on how the film lines up with Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel, in addition to the previous franchise of films (minus Tim Burton’s version, which we’re pretending never happened). It might seem easy to fake your way through a low-impact field like entertainment journalism, but the real fans are always paying attention, and can tell the difference.
Speaking of critics, particularly of the armchair variety, some of them have been roundly spanked by Sofia Coppola, who issued a formal response to some of the negative feedback surrounding “The Beguiled.” While many have questioned her decision to eliminate the original 1966 book and 1971 film’s only African American characters in her updated version, to Coppola’s eye, novelist Thomas P. Cullinan’s portrayal constituted an “objectionable stereotype,” one that she had no interest in adapting to film: “He wrote in his idea of Mattie’s voice,” the filmmaker writes, “and she is the only one who doesn’t speak proper English – her voice is not even grammatically transcribed.” While most naysayers have probably already made up their minds, it’s unlikely that many of them have spent as much time with the source material as Coppola has, and would be hard-pressed to defend it with any real vigor.
Winnie the Pooh just found himself banned in China, because internet wags have begun making memes comparing him to their President Xi – and the country’s censors simply will not tolerate any criticism of their leader. The BBC points out that the Chinese president is more like Christian Grey in his domineering and humorlessness, which is exactly what makes the Pooh comparisons so entertaining to those who question his authority. While this may sound silly, their article contains illustrations of how the government enforces censorship over everything from literature to messenger apps: “There is seen to be no room for even the most frivolous challenges to [Xi’s] supreme authority.”
Perhaps no one in the U.S. has cried “censorship” more than Milo Yiannopoulos, but the alt-right author may have overlooked how few people really want to read his book Dangerous in the first place. Despite the author’s claims that more than 100,000 copies were sold here in the states, sales figures reveal it’s only about 18,000. (meanwhile, only about 154 residents of the UK were willing to take the plunge). Surprise! Yiannopoulous blames the discrepancy on a huge conspiracy of misinformation and “fake news.” Best of luck when it comes to finding places to spend all those fake royalties!