Just two new releases this week. We’ll start with the less controversial of the two.
1. Boss Baby (Fox, @3,773 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated PG for some mild rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 41% Fresh [68 reviews]): Hey, it’s Alec Baldwin, playing an immature bully who has inexplicably risen to power! When was the last time that happened?
This film is a very loose adaptation of the popular children’s book. It deals with a young baby who is wise beyond his years who goes into business because too much of the cuteness market share is going to the dogs–literally. He needs to work with his brother, a boy who is none too happy to have a sibling, to gains some cuteness back for the babies.
This is DreamWorks so it should be fun, even if the premise is a bit out there.
2. Ghost in the Shell (Paramount, 3,440 Theaters, 120 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 51% Fresh [95 reviews]): Scarlett Johansson is a great actress, especially when it comes to action films. However, she is not Asian. And no matter how good an actress she is, if you cast a White American in the lead role of a manga adaptation, you’re going to hear calls of “whitewashing.”
While the rights holders and the director of the anime that first adapted the manga have come out and said that they expected an American actress in the role, people still feel that there should be an Asian in the lead.
Of course, Hollywood is less concerned with cultural accuracy than it is with gaining a lot of money. Johansson is an international star. So cries of whitewashing will fall on deaf ears, especially of the film earns a mint.
Next week, the Smurfs go full CGI and Caine, Arkin and Freeman go in style.