Last week we talked about the new TCM series that takes on problematic movies and recontextualizes them for modern audiences. The series. called Reframed Classics, promises discussions about culturally significant films from the 1920s through the 1960s, from Mickey Rooney’s performance as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Fred Astaire’s blackface in Swing Time.
But as we all know, it's not just the hits that have problems. It's also the flops.
That’s where Amber Ruffin chimed in recently. She did a bit on her late-night show called Reframed Flops. In it, she offered to help TCM talk about box-office bombs and pointed out the problematic parts that could have contributed to their... suffering.
Check out the segment below.
I found this to be so funny. On the whole, Hollywood needs to address its decades of inequality and racist, sexist, homophobic, and classist stereotypes. Sometimes we forget they cast a shadow not only over the hits but over the crapfest movies as well.
I honestly forgot John Carter was about a Confederate soldier. Seems like the studio could have made that adaptation tweak where its hero fought for the Union... or maybe just wasn't from the 1800s. Especially since they were sending him to Mars regardless.
The Lone Ranger jokes write themselves now. While that train set piece is one of my favorites in recent years, Johnny Depp playing Tonto was so shortsighted and poorly judged it's amazing it happened, and so recently!
Finally, let's talk 13th Warrior. As a kid, I loved Michael Crichton's books. Eaters of the Dead was one I just never understood, and when they adapted the movie, I was not allowed to see it. So I just illegally downloaded it... and after two days of waiting on my Limewire to load, I was punished by watching a nonsensical story where Antonio Banderas plays a Muslim poet. That was such a weird miscast, especially in a movie with Omar Sharif.
Either way, we got one of the worst movies of all time and one of the biggest box-office bombs.
Will fixing your problematic elements lead to better box office results? Probably! A report from last week says Hollywood leaves around $10 billion on the table because of a lack of diversity.
So don't let your stories suffer, open things up!
Source: The Amber Ruffin Show