The 1930s: James Stewart as Luke, Katharine Hepburn as Leia, John Wayne as Han, Lionel Barrymore as Obi-Wan, and Paul Robeson as the voice of Darth Vader.
The 1950s: James Dean as Luke, Debbie Reynolds as Leia, Burt Lancaster as Han, Claude Rains as Obi-Wan, and Orson Welles as the voice of Vader.
Of course, the original Star Wars didn’t have major stars like James Stewart or James Dean. If Lucas had cast stars, we might have had John Travolta as Luke, Jane Fonda as Leia, Burt Reynolds as Han, John Wayne as Obi-Wan, and George C. Scott as the voice of Vader.
Actually, that’s a movie I might want to see . . .
Burton’s a great and unquestionably imaginative director, but he didn’t imagine this movie. As I understand it, Disney hired him to direct only after Ehren Kruger wrote the script. The script was, of course, based on the animated Dumbo, which itself was based on an unpublished storybook (more like a storybook proposal, really) by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl, with art by Helen Durney.
I’m sure that Burton is doing a great job on Dumbo. But it didn’t come from his imagination.
If Donald Trump builds his wall, it’ll probably succeed to some extent. Every obstacle keeps some people from overcoming it.
My main problem with the wall is that it embodies the hurdles that our immigration system puts up to keep people out. Entering this country should be easier, not harder.
Keep out criminals, except “political” criminals
like those jailed for protesting dictatorships. Keep out people with infectious
disease. Keep out people too physically or mentally damaged to survive on their
own (unless their friends or relatives will support them).
My other problem with the wall is the political message that
it sends. From the Berlin Wall to the barrier between Israel and the West Bank,
walls or fences or whatever you call them say, “Outsiders scare us.”
“I make fun of everyone, so I include everyone, and therefore, I don’t dislike anyone.” — comedian Lisa Lampanelli
Here’s the problem with the “I’m an equal opportunity offender” defense that Lampanelli and other comedians have used: Your attacks may be equal, but your victims aren’t. Some are more vulnerable than others.
But picking on immigrants, trans people, and others losing their rights just adds to the troubles pounding them into the dirt.
The jokes may be funny, depending on the audience — a lot of audiences laugh hard at a comedian who ridicules the people they don’t like. Hell, I’ve laughed at some of the jokes.
But they’re still ugly, mean, and cheap. As comedian Patton Oswalt has said, “The stuff I really regret is that I was doing very hack jokes about midgets or someone who’s mentally handicapped just to get a rise out of the audience.” He added, “The core of what makes a comedian good is you look at stuff in the world that everyone accepts and you tear it down a little bit to find out what’s funny in it. If I refuse to do that with my own work and I only do that with the outside world, that’s a pretty weak stance to have in life.”
I wouldn’t stop comedians from telling any joke they want. Censorship is evil, full stop. Comedians must have freedom of expression, and freedom of expression must always be safe.
But I can say that I don’t usually like those jokes. That’s my freedom of expression.
When you see something that received high praise when it first appeared, it can disappoint you. If it was the peak of high craftsmanship in its time, later works may have come along to outshine it and make it look ordinary. If it was fresh and barrier-breaking, later works may have gone beyond it, making it look fusty.
It’s terrific. The writing is funny and suspenseful and full of heart, and the art is expressive and beautiful. If Smith were bringing BONE out as a new work today, it would get the same spectacular praise as it got the first time around.
I liked BONE well enough when it first appeared, but I didn’t read all of it. Now, I’m re-reading the parts that I already knew as well as parts that I’ve never read, so I have two perspectives on the work.
Both of my perspectives agree: It’s terrific.
Jeff Smith has been concentrating on picture books lately and doing them beautifully, as you’d expect. But Jeff, please — come back to comics.