Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Affleck's Fake Movie

Based on a true story, "Argo" is about a covert mission to rescue American's trapped in Iran following that country's 1970s revolution. The mission's premise: Stage the production of a fake big-budget Hollywood scifi movie that wished to film in Iran's "exotic" desert locales, and while there smuggle the would-be hostages out as part of the "production crew." Ben Affleck directs and stars.

Of special note for geek audiences: The non-film used designs from comics legend Jack Kirby as it's concept-art - Kirby will appear in the film, played by Michael Parks.

Amusingly, I've already been effectively called a racist once today in-part for not coming out against this movie because Affleck's character was Latino in real life. So... yeah, now I've mentioned that: Affleck's character was Latino in real life. I'm not sure what else I'm expected to say about that other than to note that I don't like Hollywood' insistence that white leads are needed to a open a movie


Phil said...

"Amusingly, I've already been effectively called a racist once today in-part for not coming out against this movie because Affleck's character was Latino in real life. So... yeah, now I've mentioned that"

Wow, Bob. That just sounds like all kinds of sincere.

Serial Wordsmith said...

You've got to love crazy real life stories like this. I was interested when I first heard about this movie and this trailer just got me more so. Thanks for sharing Bob!

Mister Linton said...

Well, the media (and Jesse Jackson) keep insisting that Gerorge Zimmerman is white and not Latino. So, whatever fits the narrative best is fair game... even for supposed non-fiction or "news".

Daniel said...


Yeah, how dare Bob dismiss a completely unfounded, knee-jerk cry of racism due to him not speaking up fast enough about a racial injustice instead of making a 5 minute video on the internet about it?

Oh wait, that's right, because Bob already made that video almost a full year ago


Wendy said...

Bob is many things, but tolerant of racism is NOT one of them. I, for one, applauded his efforts to go to the mat for Resident Evil 5 before it was released and I was just as enraged when his defense was submarined by Capcom's juvenile and--let's fact the truth--INDEFENSIBLE racism in that game.

I'm in the boat with Bob on this one: Hollywood is racist. They're so scared of diversity that the few offerings they toss up are sheer tokens at best. This movie here is the same thing Hollywood was doing in the 2960s: hiring dark tanned honkies to play someone from another race.

Phil said...


I already commented on that Thor episode several times. In fact, it is part of the main reason I brought this issue to Bob.

You can find my comments here: http://moviebob.blogspot.com/2012/03/big-picture-relics.html

And most recently here: http://moviebob.blogspot.com/2012/05/big-picture-wrongs-rights.html

Just in case you don't bother to actually read it I'll repeat my main point again from one of my most recent comments:

"If Bob doesn't give a damn about nonwhite Americans in Hollywood getting the shaft as they have been for decades and continue to be getting it with no signs of stopping then it's fine by me.

What I have a problem with is that Bob only seems to care about such issues if it somehow related to something else that he actually cares about that is white related."

One can even see that in his post here. Aside from the comment he makes about the casting which clearly doesn't sound sincere, he goes out of his way to mention that Jack Kirby will be featured in the film. And good thing Kirby is being played by a white guy. I mean, imagine a Latino playing the great Jack Kirby. That would be absurd, right? But a white guy playing a real life Latino American hero in an industry that rarely if ever hires Hispanics or Latinos as leads in movies? Well, green light that shit!

That green light can be partly attributed to George Clooney. He was one of the producers on this.

MajorRed53 said...

Please refrain from feeding the trolls. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Phil.

You ever think it might be...I dunno, UNUSUAL that man would post about shit he cares about on a blog specifically set up to talk about shit he cares about, and consequently would only talk about racism, sexism, etc. in relation to shit he cares about on the blog for talking about shit he cares about?

Like, this blog is called 'MovieBob', not "Bob's Big Blog of White Guilt As It Relates To The Movie Business". So, consequently, you would expect him to talk about movies as he cares about them, and racism and sexism in movies as it floats into his field of vision and/or when he cares to speak about them.

Because, yanno, it is HIS BLOG. If you want to make "Phil's Phantastic Phantasmagoric White Guilt Menagerie@lemonparty.org", I don't see anything in the Constitution that's stopping you.

Coming here and raising a fuss just seems like attention whoring behavior. If you really gave a damn about 'white-washing' in Hollywood, MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN BLOG AND RAISE AWARENESS.

Sylocat said...

I'm amazed at the number of trolls who seem desperately obsessed with a random internet film critic's opinion on their pet topic.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall people throwing such a fit when they got Al Pacino to play Scarface.

Daniel R said...

Really digging this.

And not just because of the Jack Kirby involvement.

I'm excited for two reasons;
John Goodman and Ben Affleck

If this turns out even a fraction as good as "the Town" then we're in for a treat.

Also, because everyone else mentioned it;
Actually, while Tony Mendez was Latino, he actually had fairly fair skin. Not as fair as Affleck's granted but still.
As a Mexican myself, If I saw Affleck in that make-up with that wig walking down the street I would really be fooled into thinking that he was one of us. His complexion's a bit more copper-toned and the wig helps his facial structure look a bit more familiar to the people of this region.
True, its a shame a real Latin-american actor can't get a chance to shine but it looks believable.
Its interesting how some Americans immediately think of Mexicans as having a darker shade of skin then theirs when actually we come in many different 'tones'

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thought "Tropic Thunder 2: Desert Thunder" when reading this?

Phil said...

One thing I really dislike about internet comment sections is how people can be deceitful about who they are simply to advance their point.

Daniel R, the chances of you being "Mexican" based on your comments is so slim that I don't even know why you mentioned it. It sounds more like an act of desperation than anything else as it doesn't add anything to the discussion.

First of all, Antonio Mendez does not have "fairly fair skin". In fact, he looks so much like the typical "Latino" that it makes the casting of Ben Affleck playing him an honest to god joke.

In fact, here is an actual picture of the real Antonio Mendez when he was younger: http://www.themasterofdisguise.com/images/Tony_Laos.jpg

He is now a more recent picture of Antonio Mendez (he is the gentleman on the right): http://www.themasterofdisguise.com/images/statehouse2.jpg

Anyone with working eyes and a sane brain will know that none of those pictures look anything like Ben Affleck in any way shape or form. The fact that you suggested he does look like him is either because you were commenting without knowing what you are talking about or you are some racist who feels the need to lie in order to sweep a clear act of discrimination under the rug.

And by the way, even if Mendez in real life was "fairly fair skin" it still does not excuse not casting a Latino for the role for the simple reason that Hispanics and Latinos barely ever get chances to be leads in Hollywood. There is simply no excuse and those that accept this disgusting practice should think about that position they hold.

Joe said...

Hey, the formerly secret half of the "Canadian Caper"! I think I'll give this a look.

Daniel R said...


Ok, no me estaba esperando tener que decir esto pero bueno;

Te aseguro, mi querido Felipe que yo soy absolutamente Mexicano y que ademas vivo en México, donde nací y he vivido toda mi pinche vida. Si acaso no encuentras mi testimonio y perfecto use del lenguaje Español como suficiente prueba de mi verdadera nacionalidad, bueno, pues te sugiero que encuentres algunos otros comentarios hechos por mi cuenta en este mismo blog.

Por ejemplo, recientemente en el episodio de "The Big Picture; Future Assembly" donde yo mencione que "Los Vengadores" estaba estrenando en mi país de MÉXICO en Abril 27, y presumí mi adquisición de unos boletos.


¿Así que dime Phil, que podría ganar yo al mentir de mi nacionalidad en ese post?

Volviendo a "Argo", Cuando veo la foto de Mendez yo sinceramente lo registro como una persona de piel blanca pues yo estoy un poco más acostumbrado a ver gente de piel mas morena.

Y quisiera recordarte que no dije que Affleck se parecia de cualquier manera a Mendez. Dije que con el maquillaje y la peluca, Affleck se aproxima más a una persona de descendencia latina. Tanto que yo, un MEXICANO, no estaria confundido por su apariencia si lo viera caminando aquí en la calle.

Tampoco mencione que el habito de darle papeles de personajes Latinos a actores Blancos era algo bueno o aceptable. Mencione que era una vergüenza que un actor Latino o Hispánico no pudiera conseguir este papel.

Perdon Bob por distraer del verdadero tema de este post pero cuando alguien te llama racista y te insulta al decir que no eres lo que de verdad eres, tienes que responder.


Ok, wasn't expecting to have to say this but fine,

I assure you my dear Philip that I am entirely Mexican, and live in México, where I have lived my entire damn life. If you don't find my testimony or my perfect use of the Spanish tongue sufficient proof of my real nationality, then, well I suggest you read some other comments made by me in this very blog.

For example, a little while back in Bob's post "The Big Picture; Future Assembly" I mentioned that "The Avengers" was premiering in my home of MÉXICO in April the 27th, I even flaunted my tickets.


So tell me Phil, what did I have to gain by lying then?

Going back to "Argo", When I see the photo of Mendez I honestly think of him as a Latino person of pale skin as I am accustomed to seeing people with a darker shade of skin.

And I'd like to remind you I didn't say Affleck looked anything like Mendez. I said that the hair and make up helped Affleck look a lot more like a typical person of Latin heritage. So much so that if I, a MEXICAN, were to see him walking by on one of our streets I wouldn't be confused by his appearance.

I also didn't say the tendency to cast white actors was good or acceptable. I said it was shameful that an actor of Latin or Hispanic descent couldn't get a shot.

Sorry Bob for distracting from the actual topic at hand but when someone calls you a racist and insults you by saying you aren't what you really are, you kinda have to respond.

Phil said...

You wrote your message in Spanish. That's really nice, Daniel R.

Except two things:

1) It still doesn't prove that you are "Mexican". Plenty of people who aren't Hispanic can learn Spanish well. And adding Mexican slang like "pinche" in the Spanish version of your response doesn't add any kind credibility either. Anyone can type that. Heck, I just did.

2) You completely failed to miss in my initial reply to you so I'll copy and paste it:

"It sounds more like an act of desperation than anything else as it doesn't add anything to the discussion."

Even if you are Latino it doesn't make your words more correct than they would've been otherwise. There are studies that show that there are people of color that have internalized racism against their own people and even allow racism to happen. For example, George Zimmerman who is part Latino has been found to have made discriminatory comments against other Latinos on his old myspace page.

Also, there is even discrimination in Mexico against the "brown" Mexicans seeing as how most of the rich and elite of Mexico are of European descent. This is why cries of how Latinos come in all "shades" usually come from European Mexicans who want to enjoy the same white privileges outside of Mexico that they enjoy within. One only has to look at those Mexican soap operas to see how often those that are casted in lead roles are noticeably very European looking.

Therefore, even if you are Latino and are able to write a Spanish version of a reply to me it doesn't mean anything. The issues regarding Argo still stand and you have been incorrect that Affleck is believable as Antonio Mendez and that Mendez has "fairly fair skin".

Hispanics and Latinos rarely get hired for lead roles in Hollywood. This is not anything new it has been going on for decades and the same goes for other nonwhites. This is not only another grand opportunity lost but it shows that business is going on as usual in Hollywood.

Sweeping this under the rug and pretending that it doesn't really matter much is a big reason why people of color continually get marginalized in Hollywood even if they have every right to be considered for certain roles, especially lead roles in movies.

Daniel R said...

This is not sweeping it under the rug or pretending it doesn't matter or happen. I never once defended the continuing trend of white actors portraying Black, Latino or Asian characters.

Yes its sad that Mendez can't be portrayed by a Latino. Yes its a trapping that Hollywood should really be walking away from, and they are slowly.

But I'd point that I myself being a living breathing person LIVING IN MEXICO can tell you that Affleck, with the make up on and the wig on, looks slightly familiar to regular people I see walking down the street.

This was a trivial comment. A pointless comment that came to my mind the moment I searched for a picture of Mendez after viewing the trailer, which I thought was interesting. Not something to in any way justify Affleck's casting or say that most Mexicans look like that. Just that Affleck could conceivably pass off as Mexican with proper make up.
I sure as hell wouldn't have said it if I knew it meant you would jump down my throat and accuse me of being racist and lying about being Mexican, of which I am offended btw. How the hell do you expect me to prove the truth when you already have you're little made up narrative stuck in you're head?
What about every past time I've mentioned being Mexican in this blog, was it all just a master plan concocted specifically for this very moment?

Phil said...

"How the hell do you expect me to prove the truth when you already have you're little made up narrative stuck in you're head?
What about every past time I've mentioned being Mexican in this blog, was it all just a master plan concocted specifically for this very moment?"

You're missing the forest for the trees, Daniel. I've already made it clear that you being Mexican or not is irrelevant. It does nothing for this discussion and I've specified the reasons as to why. The issue still stands in regards to Argo.

Like other talents of of color in Hollywood, Hispanic and Latinos are heavily marginalized for lead roles. This is not one sole incident but connected to an entire history that Hollywood has but today pretends it has shed. You actually suggested that with "proper make up" Affleck can "conceivably pass off as Mexican". You are literally defending brown face. I suggest you look into the disgusting history of black face, yellow face and yes even brown face to see how those practices where not only used by whites to discriminate against those people of color but even as a strategy to block their involvements from important parts in Hollywood.

Daniel R said...

Again, I am not endorsing or defending anything surrounding Affleck's casting, portrayal, or adequacy for the role.

I'm simply saying that it works. They made Affleck's skin look a bit more copper-toned and it does indeed make him look Mexican by my estimation.

Once Again,
I'm not saying that is a good thing, I'm not saying its a good decision, I'm not saying this is something that I'd like to see Hollywood continue doing. Just that it works at the task they were trying to pull off. Racist or not, he does look like a Mexican IN MY OPINION.

Like hell its irrelevant! I don't know if you'd be insulted if someone else called you a liar and actively denied something true of yours that you happen to hold dear and be very proud of. Yes its not relevant to the discussion at hand, its still an offensive thing to say to someone else.
But whatever, I'm probably being a bit too sensitive and blindly patriotic.

Phil said...

Daniel R,
If you are not endorsing Affleck's casting, portrayal and adequacy for the role then who cares about the make up?

As for your second point, we are on a comment section on the internet. Anyone can be anyone. I've experienced people being deceitful on the internet through the advantage of anonymity. There is no reason for you to feel insulted.

biomechanical923 said...

I really hate to come down on the privileged side of an argument, but Phil kind of has a point here.
Simply being a Mexican person does not automatically make you an expert on all things Mexican.
Citing your race (or gender, or nationality, or whatever) to back up your opinion as an authority on something just gives off a sense of attention-grabbing.

The Wayans brothers looked nothing like white women in "White Chicks". I know this because I am a white person and I have seen many other white people in my time

See what I mean?

Daniel R said...


Very well, I may have come off as arrogant and abrasive. I kinda lost a bit of my temper there for a second. It was stupid. I apologize to you @Phil and indeed all commenters for the entitled tone of my last few tweets.

But isn't the fact that the make up seems familiar to a Mexican an achievement on their part. I mean, isn't it like say if Bob mentioned an actor having a great Boston accent. Him being a Boston native, I'd take the compliment with a little more weight. I know I wouldn't be the guy to ask about say, a biopic on Miguel Hidalgo and its level of authenticity or on a paper detailing average Mexican genealogy. But considering I live here and therefore see other Mexicans on a daily basis, then I'd say there's at least a little bit of merit in the costume 'fooling' me into-

Y'know, this is one of those moments when I feel I should really shut my mouth before I say something really stupid that just ends up hurting my argument even more.

Alright, I'll stop now. Sorry

Anonymous said...

You know Phil, if you try hard enough you can probably insult EVERYONE who already agrees with you on an issue. It's such a very effective way of encouraging social change, I'm amazed I never thought of it.

Dave said...

I remember when this controversy occurred with 2008 movie 21.

(read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_(2008_film)#Casting_controversy if you don't remember)

Anonymous said...

You don't seem all too enthusiastic in your condemnation. You're gonna have to better than "So... yeah,"