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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Warcraft: The Beginning (aka Warcraft) movie review: guest review by a white male teenage nerd from 1987

Warcraft The Beginning red light

Like all Frazetta fantasy posters came to life all at once. A masterpiece of cinema that truly speaks to the interests of white male teenage nerds from 1987.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): always worried about based-on-videogame movies

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Warcraft is a masterpiece of cinema that truly speaks to me and my interests. It’s like all the Frank Frazetta fantasy posters on my bedroom walls came to life like all of them all at oncetweet with like orcs and human warriors and flying beasts and mages and interplanetary portals and there’s even elves and dwarves here though not that much. It’s like someone made a Lord of the Rings movie but left out all the boring stuff about what hobbits like to eat for breakfast and elves sitting around talking about politics and definitely all the stupid stuff about why evil is so bad. Like duh we know why evil is bad, it’s evil. And instead the guy who made the movie just filmed all the battles not just the war-type ones but the wizards throwing magical lightning and stuff around.

How much cooler could this be? None. None more cool.

Warcraft or Frazetta? You can’t tell the difference!

Warcraft or Frazetta? You can’t tell the difference!tweet

It’s great that Warcraft doesn’t waste any time either with like telling you who people are. Like we can tell the King is the King because he’s wearing a crown, but it doesn’t matter with everybody else. This movie doesn’t even really have like a main character so you don’t get bogged down with his stupid life story or anything like this. Like who cares if Frodo is tempted by the One Ring? What does that even mean? Yawn. I mean what is more important, that you know who everybody is and what they want out of life when they’re only going to get killed later anyway or is it better to spend time listening to people saying “Iron Forge” and “Stormwind” and “the Guardian is summoned” and “the magic is death to all things”? Which rocks more? I think you already know. Who cares what the Guardian is or what he does for a job or why the magic is death. It just is. You can tell because the movie is very serious about everything. Like no one makes any jokes. Except when they call guns “boomsticks” that sounds like it’s not even part of this movie like maybe it came from somewhere else that doesn’t quite match up with the serious feeling that Warcraft has. But that’s okay I guess.

The synopsis: Orcs are invading human lands because the orc place is dying because of magic or something. And the humans have to stop them. Also magicians are mostly bad.

When my band makes our album this is totally going to be the cover.

When my band makes our album this is totally going to be the cover.tweet

I like that Warcraft knows that even in a fantasy realm the world is run by white guystweet, so this gives me hope for the future. I may not be a jock or a brain but as long as I’m a white guy, I’ll be okay. I like when movies make me feel good like that. There’s this one scene where the King who is of course played by a white dude called Dominic Cooper and his army leader guy who is played by another white dude called Travis Fimmel are arguing about military tactics and there’s like a black guy and an Asian guy and maybe another not-white guy standing around listening, but they don’t get to talk. It’s like Yes you are men, you guys, but you’re not white, so you don’t get to be in charge or make decisions. That’s just the way it is. I mean let’s be realistic about this. Who would you trust to fight invading orcs from another dimension who are using magic against us? I think we all know the answer to that.

Naturally because this is a movie there’s pretty ladies here to look at, but they’re not like major characters or anything because they are mostly just there to support the men like in the real world. There’s the beautiful Queen who inspires soldiers and an orc wife who has a baby and gives the main orc guy something to fight for. This is important because men need something to fight for and also to know that someone will fuck him when he comes home. Of course there has to be one badass warrior babe, and she’s kinda hot cuz she’s green like that slave girl on Star Trek, and even though she’s half orc she’s still hot. Like her orc tusks aren’t gross or anything and you could still kiss her. It’s kinda weird though because mostly the orcs aren’t green, they have normal white skin, only a few orcs are green. But the hot orc chick is played by a black actress called Paula Patton so I think maybe this is like a racial commentary. Like even orcs have racism. Think about it.

There’s also a thing where a baby orc is put in a river like Moses which really makes you think. Also a lot of people have bare feet a lot of time which I think is meaningful but I’m not sure how yet. It’s symbolism. I will probably have to see Warcraft at least 10 times to figure it out.

I think I saw this in a music video by Queen once. It was awesome.

I think I saw this in a music video by Queen once. It was awesome.tweet

In conclusion, Warcraft is so totally freakin’ mint that I give it 19.5 sides of a 20-sided dicetweet. The only thing that might have made this movie even better is if Rush did the soundtrack. Though really Rush might be too deep for this so they might not be a good match. But it would awesome to try. I think when Warcraft comes out on VHS I will borrow it from the library and play it with the volume turned down and crank like “Distant Early Warning” and see how that works. It could be cool.


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Warcraft: The Beginning (aka Warcraft) (2016)
US/Can release: Jun 10 2016
UK/Ire release: May 30 2016

MPAA: rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence
BBFC: rated 12A (moderate fantasy violence)

viewed in 3D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • amanohyo

    You had me at 1987, but lost me at no female major characters. In the few moments we have before the WOW horde breaks through the gates, I would like to ask a serious question. Would you prefer if the movie only had white actors? By that I mean, I enjoyed two of the Lord of the Ring movies, and strangely the lack of nonwhite extras/side characters didn’t really bother me (you could say they were being faithful to the books, but it would have been easy to toss in a nonwhite actor or two in a minor role). In some ways, a movie like this one that has nonwhite characters who are relegated to the sidelines is more annoying because it reinforces a kind of racial hierarchy. I know that makes no logical sense, because obviously it is better for nonwhites to be represented if only in some small way and for those actors to get work. However, it somehow feels worse to see someone ignored or marginalized than it does to never see them at all. Clearly this is not a good movie in many many ways, but would making all of the characters white have made you less aware of and/or annoyed by the fact that this world was run by white guys?

  • Would you prefer if the movie only had white actors?

    No. But that’s hardly the only other option.

    would making all of the characters white have made you less aware of and/or annoyed by the fact that this world was run by white guys?

    Do you really need to ask that? Or is what you’re really asking is this: Why don’t I complain about the lack of white people onscreen more?

  • Jacob Redmon

    I have read many of your reviews, but this is my first time commenting. You have described yourself many times in your reviews as a “geek” or a “nerd” – you claim to love fantasy, superheroes, and everything else. Well, madame, you are neither.
    Your painting of teenage boys who love fantasy as monosyllabic, droning morons who don’t have any interest in anything beyond “what’s cool” demonstrates that you have absolutely no understanding of, or respect for, geek cultures. The teenage boys who grew up in the 80s with Frank Frazetta posters in their rooms were the kind of people who had imaginations, stayed up all night reading the fantasy novels, and actually DID care about storytelling. These teenage boys, who you mock with such obnoxious, condescending fervor, ARE the people who sat around discussing the type of food that hobbits liked for breakfast and went off into tangents about the nature of evil in fiction. When I was in highschool, I had more complex discussions about storytelling and the nature of fantasy with them than I could ever have with a pretentious nob who looks down on younger people and claims that they don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand Lord of the Rings. These are the people who keep fantasy/geek culture alive – they’re the ones creating the new Star Wars films, the Marvel films, Scott Pilgrim, and any other great piece of nerd culture that’s come out in the last decade. So congratulations – these boys you mock are the ones who are keeping a genre you claim to love going. There’s nothing inherently wrong with liking something just because it’s awesome (something you don’t seem to understand), but you don’t even begin to give lovers of fantasy enough credit. Oh, excuse me…you don’t give BOYS enough credit. I’m sure you think teenage girls who read Lord of the Rings one time are the pinnacle of human intelligence. For someone who seems so concerned with how women are portrayed in fiction, you have a disgustingly sexist view of real-world men. Also, by the way, Frank Frazetta is one of the greatest fantasy artists of all time. So your comparison of this film to his art, clearly meant as an insult, is something that most people would consider a compliment. Way to go.
    I also love the fact that you dragged racial/sexual politics into a review of a film that clearly has nothing to do with either. Here’s a news flash for you: if you adapt a fantasy film created by white people with a heavy basis in European mythology, IT’S GOING TO HAVE WHITE PEOPLE IN IT. You use Lord of the Rings as a comparison. Guess what? There aren’t any black or Asian leaders in those stories in any sense. And here’s another news flash: geeks don’t care about race or gender. They care about mythology. They care about story. Is your entire judgement of fantasy based on whether or not it ticks certain social justice warrior boxes? You seem like the type of person who has an orgasm every time you see a trailer for the new (awful) Ghostbusters film.
    And your assumption that only white teenage boys could like something such as Warcraft also betrays yet another misunderstanding of geek culture: most of the women in my life – brilliant, creative people – love this type of fantasy just as much as, if not more so, than the men in my life. I have female friends who love Warcraft, and love Lord of the Rings, because the mythology of both is immersive and imaginative. Most of the creative/artistic/story-centric people that I know are women. And unlike you, they actually have an appreciation for geek culture and don’t slap the label on themselves because they think it will make them popular.
    So, to sum up, because I’ve probably lost you: You claim to love geeks and understand fantasy yet have no respect for the group of people most responsible for keeping geek culture alive. You, as a feminist, are extremely dismissive and disgustingly sexist toward teenage boys, but that’s ok because they’re boys. You drag racial/gender politics into films that have nothing to do with either, and make awful assumptions about what boys think of these issues when you do so. You mock one of the great fantasy artists as some fetishistic idiot, despite his influence on a culture that you claim to love. So, with all of this information, there are only two possible outcomes:
    1. You are a troll, and you spew stupid, ignorant nonsense because you hate fantasy and want to perpetuate negative stereotypes about it.
    2. You are so monumentally, catastrophically stupid that your ability to type coherent sentences is nothing short of a miracle.
    Either way, you are an absolute disgrace to a culture that you claim to represent. And since you’re clearly too stupid to understand this, I’ll spell it out slowly: if you call me a “troll” or call me a “misogynist,” or any other such term that you love to throw around like confetti, you’re essentially proving that I’m right. And the fact that you call yourself a “flick filosopher” and pretend that you know ANYTHING about philosophical discourse is laughable. So I’ll leave you with a quote from “A Fish Called Wanda” that I think sums you up perfectly:
    “You think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?”
    “Apes don’t read philosophy.”
    “Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

  • Chaz Le

    So just because there is NO Mary Sue’s in this movie and possibly NO Bro-mance, the FemiNazi’s are ALL up in arms? phhhst :P

  • #notallgeeks

  • Jim Mann

    I consider myself as a geek, but I didn’t read this as MaryAnn saying that all geeks — or even a majority of them — think this way. This was more aimed at the extreme examples like those involved with Gamergate or the Rabid Puppies who hang around with one another in online forums and complain bitterly how girl stuff or liberal stuff is ruining their games/SF/fantasy or ruining their childhoods.

  • Danielm80
  • amanohyo

    Yes, that is what I’m getting at. It’s interesting that the intermediate steps seem to cause more mental friction than the initial status quo state of all white dudes, for me at least. The comparison is not apt, because of course the LotR movies have so much more going for them when it comes to storytelling and acting that it’s easy to forgive the all white cast, or at least to point out that it’s problematic but not to the point that it ruins the film.

    I guess my question is, was the marginalization of the nonwhite characters more apparent because this was such a terrible movie? This review made me realize that there are lots of movies with all white casts that don’t really bother me because I am entertained and just plain used to it at this point. That’s disturbing because I feel as though I should be more aware of that kind of imbalance.

    On a lighter note, it took ovaries of steel to post this review. Video games (for a lot of people, THE video game), nerds, feminism, LotR, racism, the only internet combustible missing is religion. This is about to get super crazy – I’m talkin’ every Bingo box on the board checked multiple times crazy. Have fun!

  • was the marginalization of the nonwhite characters more apparent because this was such a terrible movie?

    The specific scene I mentioned in the review is particularly egregious in its marginalization. It’s like Duncan Jones realized that his film was blazingly white but didn’t really know how to fix the problem. So in this instance, the terribleness and the marginalization are bound up together.

    Have fun!

    I doubt it’s going to be fun. I’ll probably have to close comments very soon.

  • Jacob Redmon

    That response would be more warranted if your condescension toward male fantasy fans/tendency toward pretentious, self-important ranting about race and gender weren’t so heavily recurring in so many of your “reviews.”

  • If you’re angry about what you see as condescension in my review, then you need to be angry at the movie, because that sort of caricature of male nerd-dom is who the movie is aimed at. If you do care about what hobbits eat for breakfast, you’re probably going to hate this movie, because it completely misunderstands what fantasy fans like.

    self-important ranting about race and gender

    Spoken like someone for whom race and gender issues are not a problem. Congrats on your privilege. You don’t like what I have to say about movies, there are hundreds of other critics to choose from. And most of them are white and male.

  • Aww, does it sting when someone reminds you that the world does not, in fact, belong to men? Poor baby.

  • Jurgan

    Yeah, it’s fun for us on the sidelines to watch trolls flail impotently, but I imagine it’s less enjoyable when you’re the one they’re attacking.

  • Jurgan

    Was that suppose to say “belong?” Or “bow?”

  • It does say “belong.” Though perhaps you saw the comment before I made the correction.

  • Fly Dungas

    except that it does lol

  • Aww, bless.

  • Chaz Le

    I dont get it, I thought haters of Warcraft the movie were just ALL Trump supporters, whining about the Horde invading White Nations :P
    At least they had non-whites standing around

  • Lovely word salad. Delish. Thank you.

  • althea

    And so much less enjoyable to have to think of some way to respond, at least to some, when they allow for it. I’m sure it got excruciating long ago.

  • Jacob Redmon

    No, actually, I don’t, because that is not who this movie is aimed at. It’s aimed at fans of the game’s mythology. Many of whom are women. And if you were actually a geek, you would understand that. The fact that you assume that of this movie, and of its fans, lies in you projecting your own prejudices. I’m not here to debate whether or not the movie is good – it’s probably not. But that’s not the point.

    Ah, the moldy “privilege” chestnut. In fact, I do care about race and gender issues, thank you. The problem is that YOU see these problems where they don’t exist. For instance, your review of the “Angry Birds Movie” magically transformed a children’s film about exploding avians into a demonstration of male superiority and an attack on feminism. How does a person even connect those two dots? How delusional and out-of-touch do you have to be in order to read that message into a freaking Angry Birds movie? Between this review and that, I also noticed how many of your articles are sarcastically written from the perspective of straw-man idiots…just so you know, over-reliance on sarcasm is another indicator that you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are. Who’s the one acting like a teenager now?
    And again – “There are hundreds of other critics to choose from. And most of them are white and male.” – Very nice. You harp in endless self-righteousness about how women and people of color are treated unfairly, and many of them are, yet here you are making assumptions about my attitude toward others because I’m a white man (the horror!), because I had the AUDACITY to point out the fact that you’re a pretentious hypocrite. I don’t give a shit what race or gender a person or character is. You, on the other hand, seem to care very much.

  • Will still check this out and get some entertainment that’s specifically designed to hit my Warcraft-player brain. But it’s what I’m afraid of already. Jones and Co. made a fan movie that’s got all the stuff that your average gamer wants, but lacks in just about every other department.

    I think there are other stories in WoW’s long history that may have been more worth telling than this one, but I guess these things are always made with visions of franchise-building. My big fear is what MaryAnn said earlier and that the film takes itself very seriously, which I feel is a miscalculation from the filmmakers. The tone, game-wise, has always been fun despite some of its aspects being somewhat brutal and dire. Again, to try and tell an epic-scale story like this is such a tall order I almost wish they chose to focus more on the orc story. I know they want a balance between factions, but to tell a smaller story better… I would have liked that. But it may have felt more like something the new Planet of the Apes movies are already doing better.

    Sorry for the ramble.

  • all the stuff that your average gamer wants

    What is that, though, precisely? Do games NOT want real characters? Do they not want an actual story?

  • FantasticTuesday

    MaryAnn, what did you make of Garona’s character? Myself and my SO felt she was actually the main character of the story (a complete arc, fish-out-of-water protagonist in the second act). It was also a pleasant surprise too see her give the film a Bechdel-test passing conversation with Ruth Negga’s character. Not something we expect from this kind of movie.

  • There are examples out there of games that push narrative. It’s still being argued over as an art form and gaming is definitely going through some sea changes in that department. WoW is honestly pretty much a Skinner box anyway, with aspects cribbed from just about every classic fantasy story. Thrall (the baby orc) has a pretty interesting story, as does Arthas and his fall from grace… But I think it all suffers from games being a relatively young art form still getting its narrative footing. Things that are forgivable when you’re controlling an avatar in the game world are missing something when their stories are translated to another medium. Writers are failing though, if they can’t fill those gaps.

    But I guess to answer your question, particularly in WoW’s case… I’m not really sure. :) Like I said, so much cribbing going on in the game that it feels like snippets, and that bare-minimum of material can be enough to make a gamer go “Yeah, Gul’dan, I saw that guy in my game and there he is in the movie”… I’m sure the filmmakers’ aspirations are higher, but that may be all we’ve really got with this film.

  • She’s barely a character. I don’t think much of her at all.

  • reaper_unique

    I hope you don’t mind me pointing out some things that make me question your writing regarding this particular movie?
    Mainly with the following parts.

    “Naturally because this is a movie there’s pretty ladies here to look at, but they’re not like major characters or anything because they are mostly just there to support the men like in the real world.”

    Yet you then state: “There’s the beautiful Queen who inspires soldiers”.

    Moral is actually very important in these kind of settings where soldiers actually need to get pretty close to their opponent at the risk of getting their head smashed in. Also she bonds with the female half orc slave as to help her get accustomed to the new environment. I believe that this cannot be underestimated give the female half orc was a valuable asset during the final battle.

    Then you state the following a bit later:
    “and an orc wife who has a baby and gives the main orc guy something to fight for. This is important because men need something to fight for and also to know that someone will fuck him when he comes home.”
    You did see that she went to battle with him, right? Of course, since she was pregnant she wasn’t much use but it must have been apparant in the movie that female orcs fight just as good (if not better) than their male brethren?

    Let’s continue:
    “Of course there has to be one badass warrior babe, and she’s kinda hot cuz she’s green like that slave girl on Star Trek, and even though she’s half orc she’s still hot. Like her orc tusks aren’t gross or anything and you could still kiss her.”
    Damn true, can’t argue with that.

    Next up:
    “It’s kinda weird though because mostly the orcs aren’t green, they have normal white skin, only a few orcs are green. But the hot orc chick is played by a black actress called Paula Patton so I think maybe this is like a racial commentary. Like even orcs have racism. Think about it.”
    You did actually watch the movie right? I mean it’s actually explained in the movie why MOST (not a few, again, you did watch it, did you?) are green and only a FEW are not green but the natural light brown color.

    Regarding the following paragraph:
    “There’s also a thing where a baby orc is put in a river like Moses which really makes you think.”
    I guess the director really went that cliche route but we’ll have to see in the next installment if he really is the “Moses” but I believe you are assuming a bit too much with this.
    I do not see a reason why borrowing this from a plethora of other movies is such a bad thing either, not really original but it’s not like it’s strange, is it?

    About this paragraph then:
    “Also a lot of people have bare feet a lot of time which I think is meaningful but I’m not sure how yet. It’s symbolism.”
    You did watch the movie, right? I mean, you do realize they are orcs? right? Or am I missing some other barefooted persons? Maybe our MC that was drunk? Have you ever see drunk people? You do realize some drunk people do stupid things while they are drunk?

    I can continue but I hope you understand why I’m reluctant to believe that you were serious while writing this?

  • games being a relatively young art form

    But this is not a game. It’s a movie.

  • amanohyo

    Oh, that’s a shame. Yeah, I figured you probably would if things got ugly and frustratingly repetitive. Hopefully, there will be enough calm WOW fans out there with good taste in movies (or at least a sense of humor) to counterbalance the others.

    At least this is a nice chance to compare the average amount and type of negative attention female reviewers get with the average amount/type of negative attention their male counterparts receive. This movie in particular is an ideal test case because the flaws are so obvious that the complaints and critiques in the negative reviews I’ve read so far have been fairly similar.

  • only a FEW are not green but the natural light brown color

    Haha. The main orcs are Caucausian-colored, yet most orcs are not that color? So orcs *do* have racism!

    Moral is actually very important in these kind of settings where soldiers actually need to get pretty close to their opponent at the risk of getting their head smashed in.

    Yup. And the only way to do that is for a pretty lady to give them a pep talk. Yup.

    You did see that she went to battle with him, right?

    And you did see where the only reason there is any focus on her in that scene is so she can give birth, and then after that she does nothing but literally sit around in their tent and Be Supportive?

    female orcs fight just as good (if not better) than their male brethren?

    So why weren’t the main orc characters female?

    am I missing some other barefooted persons?

    Yes.

    we’ll have to see in the next installment

    Please God no.

  • At least this is a nice chance to compare the average amount and type of negative attention female reviewers get with the average amount/type of negative attention their male counterparts receive.

    Except we already know what the comparison will turn up. This is not an unknown thing.

  • FantasticTuesday

    So you don’t make much of her interaction with Ruth Negga, either?

    Do you disagree that she’s the main character or do you just feel she was a weak main character?

  • This movie has no main character.

  • But the established story in the game is the base they’re working with. Once they’re in the movie world, they need to fill the gaps in storytelling that the game doesn’t bother with. What is sufficient in a videogame narrative completely flops when it’s a movie. It’s the failure to translate and flesh-out what’s essentially a skin-and-bones narrative skeleton.

    That’s why I’m expecting to see some cool locales on film that I’ve been virtually romping around in for the last decade, but also feeling disappointed that there’s not much there to make a compelling movie.

  • That’s where I think it may have been a better idea to focus on Durotan’s story and flesh that out. I understand the original script was more human-centric. But the orcs really seem to be the only thing of note that could help the film stand apart from others of its type.

  • “And here’s another news flash: geeks don’t care about race or gender”

    hahahahahahaha

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

  • FantasticTuesday

    Fair enough. You still aren’t addressing my question about that scene between Garona and the queen. It just seems odd that you’d ignore that yet spend so much time painting this film as anti-female. *shrug*

  • Does anyone else not tell people about their geeky interests anymore because of the unsavory crowd it tends to attract? Does everybody else lie about their personal tastes on their online dating profiles so they don’t get matched with geeks? Or is that just me?

  • Juju

    If you want to really enjoy the Warcraft movie, pretend you’re a Hobbit and this is your world’s of the Avengers. Pretend the theater is inside a hole in the ground. That sort of worked for me.

  • *One scene* does not a “strong movie about interesting women” make.

  • But geeks have won! Isn’t that what we’re meant to believe? :-(

  • FantasticTuesday

    I can definitely see that working as well, if not better, than the final film’s plot. I think ultimately this film is hamstrung by having to stay largely faithful to the incredibly utilitarian plot of a game from 1994.

    It’s not an awful plot but it does force the film to have a Lothar-Khadgar buddycop adventure to uncover Medivh’s true nature. There’s just not enough time in 2 hours to address that, Durotan’s rebellion, and leave enough room to fully flesh-out the roster of characters. Duncan Jones has talked of 40 minutes of cut footage and his desire to release a director’s cut. I think it’s a safe bet that that’s where all the character development went.

    As you said elsewhere, there are other stories in Warcraft that can offer a great deal more depth. Fingers crossed.

  • Chaz Le

    white female privilege much?

  • DonJunbar

    I have read almost all of the negative reviews on this movie, and this one is just the worst. I have never seen a reviewer pat themselves on the back this much. The entire review is the Maryann laughing at her own jokes. The movie may be bad, but c’mon, have a little respect and give it an honest review about what you did and didn’t like.

  • amanohyo

    Oh definitely – everyone here knows what the results will be. But this will provide another concrete example that is easily verifiable. Sometimes, anti-feminists challenge me to provide examples of unequal treatment, but the best examples are movies with a lot of negative reviews (sadly, you need a ton of negative reviews to get a decent sample size of female critics) which I don’t typically remember or watch in the first place. I will eventually watch this one (for free) if only to see the scene you mentioned above. Hopefully, it is MST3K worthy and not just bland bad. My least favorite part of playing modern video games is sitting through unskippable cutscenes (which is why I skipped all of Hardcore Henry) so this one will probably feel like torture.

  • FantasticTuesday

    I never said it came even close to that goal. But there’s a very wide gulf between that and a film being the sexist schlock you are calling it.

    I just don’t see the point in constructing a really ignorant strawman (‘Warcraft is so totally freakin’ mint that I give it 19.5 sides of a 20-sided dice’… Ugh, really? Who says that?) for the purposes of your review just so you can pretend that this is some kind of hateful, basement dweller movie.

    I mean come on, the film at least *tries* to avoid the tropes (no battle-bras, no male-gaze camera angles, earnest attempt to pass the Bechdel test.) You can hate the film for the failings that are there but I see no point in inventing new failings. E.g ‘…there’s pretty ladies here to look at…’ is clearly supposed to make the film sound like the female characters are just there for titillation. Except it doesn’t add up: there’s an orc, a half-orc slave who wears more clothes than her captors (and is completely covered by the second act) and a queen in a very modest dress.

    But no, clearly they are just there for hormonal boys to look at.

  • WellWellWell

    The author of this review must have absolutely hated “All is Lost” – the cast there was 100% white and 100% male.
    Also, I’m not sure if it’s right to write a professional review without doing at least some “homework” on the source material. Just watching a film once is enough to form a private opinion. It’s not enough to write a good review though. Reviews in my opinion are more like mini research papers, not stream-of-consciousness essays. But then, my standards are my problem…
    Even a tiny attempt at research would have shown the author, that the movie only shows a tiny piece of Warcraft universe. Just the same way Fellowship of the Ring exposed only a tiny part of Tolkien universe. If Warcraft franchise makes it to the third installment, you will witness dark-skinned elves, dark-skinned dwarves, dark-skinned humans and at least as many leading female protagonists as male ones. It represents human diversity much, much better than Lord of the Rings does. Or any of those trendy “superhero” flicks, for that matter. Perhaps still not perfectly, but better.
    Of course it’s easy to hide behind “I’m reviewing this particular movie I saw and therefore could care less about the background and what to expect (or not) next in the franchise”. It’s like saying that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a horrible idea after watching that disaster of a movie and then refusing to even start watching the brilliant TV series that followed.
    I’m also wondering whether “PS: I Love You” was criticized by this reviewer for its grotesque, bordering offensive caricatures of Irish people (inexplicably portrayed by Scottish, English and American actors) and Ireland?

  • FantasticTuesday

    >and then after that she does nothing but literally sit around in their tent and Be Supportive?

    Well she’s just given birth. What’s she going to do, abandon her only child? She does also put a knife to the throat of a leading male character and later competently protects her child and herself (sort of, lol) without anyone’s assistance.

    Sure, she doesn’t have a lot to do in this movie, she is after all a minor character, but it’s laughably disingenuous to claim that all she does is give birth and be supportive to her husband.

    >So why weren’t the main orc characters female?

    At the end of the film they make a woman their warchief.

  • lamk123

    Wow…seek some fun or something. Learn to look past at whatever eats you up so bad that it spills out like that.. Life’s hard when there’s more bitter than sweet.

  • TronSheridan

    What a bitter person you are inside. Sad.

  • lamk123

    First review I’ve read of yours. Very long drawn out thinly veiled sarcastic diatribe on racism and sexism. Hard to read. Overall 2/5…I tend to be more generous and kind in my criticisms than is called for. :D

  • lamk123

    Wow…yes…they should seek some fun or something. Learn to look past or examine why something eats them up so bad that it spills out like that.. Life’s hard when there’s more bitter than sweet.

  • Danielm80

    Maybe, for fun, she could go back and see one of the 30 four- or five-star films she reviewed this year.

    http://www.flickfilosopher.com/2016/06/2016s-films-ranked.html

  • Noah Goble

    My god you people are obnoxious. Yes, both of you. jason, I agreed with you up until like the last sixth or so of your original comment, that was just blatantly baiting the author and you came off as really bitter and troll-like. Like, fucking ad hominem dude. Jesus. And then MaryAnn is at once winning and losing this, which I lowkey admire. I legitemately laughed out loud at the whole notallgeeks thing, that was very good. And then props for referencing colbert, colbert is the shit. But in terms of like actual points, the only one you really made was “If you’re angry about what you see as condescension in my review, then you need to be angry at the movie, because that sort of caricature of male nerd-dom is who the movie is aimed at. “, which is sort of a derailment. You also in that same response said “Congrats on your privilege”, which is an equally obnoxious, if a bit more subtle, ad hominem attack intended to bait your opponent. And this article, my god was it infuriating. Imagine a MRA doing his own caricature of what a SJW would like, say as a review of the new ghostbusters movie, and then acting as if something you’re very interested in is an integral part of that stereotype. It would be a really shitty thing to do, and it would honestly make more legitemate points than this article. The only thing you’ve done here is satisfy your own shitty stereotype. But like this whole contentious encounter, not even worthy of being called an argument, is like a perfect microcosm for how the debate between your two sides generally goes on the internet, in that it doesn’t go at all. Can we please all just stop with the stereotyping and the straw manning and the “the other side is actually sexist/privileged”, with the goddamn outrage, whether at people blaming rape victims or shit on r/tumblrinaction. None of this is ever going to be straightened out if you guys keep demonizing each other and talking past each other and seeing each other as deluded or sexist or somehow less intelligent because they happen to subscribe to a different goddamn view! Just imagine a world in which everybody is like equal, and people who disagree with you do so because of perfectly rational reasons. Or even better, imagine a world in which the only way to ever know that you’re right is to honestly, politely, and considerately debate the opposing side, honestly trying your hardest to see their view. Oh wait, that’s the world we actually live in, something which the majority of the internet just doesn’t seem to be able to fucking grasp!

  • Noah Goble

    Everything I said in the discussion with Jason, but like again.

  • These really are questions that speak to why movies based on video games generally fail. I think gamers do want real character and story, or at least think they do. Games deliver their narrative in different ways than a film does, and that may mask deficiencies in the way they tell stories. Then again, the games that have real narrative are outnumbered by those that are just shoot-em-ups.

    We know a movie like DOOM is going to have only the bare minimum of components to get it off the ground. Do we want to know the back story of the space marine in DOOM or do we just want to watch him kill demons? With something like Warcraft, there’s a little more conventionally there and it’s more disappointing when it fails to execute. If it’s light and treated as such, it’s forgivable, but Warcraft aspires to loftiness which may exceed its grasp.

    Blizzard’s new game universe, Overwatch, should be interesting to watch over the next few years. It’s positioned as a very Marvel-esque world with 20+ “heroes”. They’ve created five animated Pixar-like shorts that have fans clamoring for a full-length feature. But, even with these cinematics, the characters are still mere sketches and it’s a writer’s job to find that tale worth telling. It’s promising, but I’m not holding my breath. It definitely has potential but the pitfalls that hamstring Warcraft are there too.

    Maybe the solution is to not adapt a game’s narrative, which is pretty flimsy to begin with, but make a new story in that game’s universe that has depth and explores modern issues. You know, like really good fantasy/scifi does.

  • LaSargenta
  • Matamoros

    I don’t know about all that, but I’m 50 and Latino and I found this review to be sexist and racist. Imagine if it read “Latino female middle aged nerd” or the like.

  • Michael

    “white male teenage nerds from 1987” wow…. ya know racism and sexism goes both ways….

    You stupid white bitch

  • ‘Warcraft is so totally freakin’ mint that I give it 19.5 sides of a 20-sided dice’… Ugh, really? Who says that?

    Caricatures of geeks. Which is who this movie is aimed at.

    I mean come on, the film at least *tries* to avoid the tropes

    My bar isn’t that low. Sorry. The mere lack of naked women is far from enough for me to give a movie a pass. And a very few women in mostly very cliched roles is far from the only problem with this movie.

  • It’s kinda the exact opposite of white privilege that leads me to complain that the female character played by a black woman is completely undeveloped as a character.

  • “Latino female middle aged nerd”

    Oh, if only we have movies pandering to that demographic!

  • It’s like saying that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a horrible idea after watching that disaster of a movie and then refusing to even start watching the brilliant TV series that followed.

    No, it’s not.

  • I’m bitter? Hilarious.

  • I think your anger is better directed at the film.

  • Michael

    not angry… just pointing out hypocrisy…. actually have zero interest in the film…

    hahahaha…. and you remove comments…whats the matter lady? is your weak female mind to fragile to take criticism?

  • Johann Coetzee

    Mick LaSalle, renowned movie critic, had a basic list of 6 characteristics found in great movies:
    -The movie is topical when new.
    -It embodies timeless human values.
    -It contains a great performance.
    -It has an overarching consciousness or personality that brings the movie into balance.
    -It contains at least one memorable scene.
    -It ends on a note of complexity, not just ambiguity.

    From what I read in your review, sans all the causes you are crusading for, only trying to tie what you wrote to the 6 LaSalle points, this movie is turd. That is all we are interested in to be honest.
    Thanks.

  • Johann Coetzee

    Cannot fault you on that assessment… +1

  • WellWellWell

    I think it is. You (as well as many other critics) refuse to see “Warcraft” as a part of trilogy, with two much better parts yet to be made. For unknown reasons though, “Fellowship of the Ring” didn’t seem to have such problem with professional reviewers, whose consensus was “it’s not perfect, but we’ll give it a shot to right the wrongs – there are two more parts to come, after all!” “Fellowship of the Ring” would’ve been perceived as rather mediocre if people didn’t know what to expect in the following installments. “Warcraft” is exactly the same thing. And “Buffy” had a very similar situation – it took five long years for the TV series to get made after critics trashed the movie (quite deservedly, but way overkill in most reviews), not recognizing the potential of its idea itself.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but this review of yours gave me an impression that you believe that this movie intentionally caters to the tastes of a stereotypical young white male gaming nerd. Wouldn’t it have been self-destructive for a film, whose target audience are players of “World of Warcraft” – more than one third of them female and more than half of them Asian?

  • Jachyra

    I think you mean “not MOST geeks.” As a long-time fantasy fan I wanted to say most of what Jacob said as I was reading. Thanks for saving me the trouble Jacob. Regardless of whether or not your disdain for this film is warranted, your portrayal of a geek is way off the mark.

  • Doodlee Pigvirus

    this review made me laugh very hard. thank you. :)

  • Matamoros

    You’re missing the point. The point is that the title and the review itself were racist and sexist. I’m 50, Latino, and I enjoy movies of all kinds, including movies about video games. The title and review make it sound that just because I’m Latino, I can’t possibly like movies that white people like. I hate that kind racist segregationist garbage.

  • Danielm80

    The review is making fun of a very particular type of person, someone who’s so delusional he thinks the world—and the entertainment industry—revolves around him. And because he’s white and male, he thinks it’s perfectly normal for the major characters in the movie to be white men, and for the women to be stereotypes and eye candy. He also has terrible taste in movies, and hates films with any sort of subtlety or complexity. If you like the same sorts of movies he does, you should probably worry. Unfortunately, people like him really do exist in the world, even though it’s not 1987. You can find them on the Internet, complaining about SJWs, and about this review.

  • Jacob Redmon

    (sigh) Let me rephrase. Geeks care about whether or not source material that they love is adapted properly. They don’t care what race or gender original characters are. Have you noticed how thoroughly the geek community embraced Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars Episode VII? How much love both of those have gotten over the past year? The Marvel fanboys who complained last year that Johnny Storm was black in Fant4stic are the exact same people complaining now that The Ancient One is white in Dr. Strange. And remember how much love Black Panther got after Civil War was released? People were talking about how awesome he was almost as much as Spider-Man. Or how excited everyone was about Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman? Geeks don’t sit around thinking “Oh man, I hope this movie only has white dudes in it,” which the author of this article seems to imply. Geeks freak out when filmmakers make changes to something that we grew up with (which is understandable), but we don’t give a shit what a character is when they are introduced for the first time or adapted faithfully.

  • Jacob Redmon

    Apologies if that last part was obnoxious and baity, Noah. I did go too far there. But frankly, I think that there are some occasions where people deserve to be called out on their bullshit as bluntly as possible. I mean, I’m arguing with a person whose best response to criticism is to ignore every statement made and post a fucking gif of Colbert instead.

  • NdA

    This entire review is an absolute joke. Making race such a huge point in this is laughable, quite frankly hilarious. This movie as you clearly state in your “biast” thing is based on a video game. A video game which has a massive established lore and history. Minute details are often already spelled out, and altering them to please people who play the race card on every little thing would just upset the die-hard fans of the series… Their main target audience.

    Yes, the king and his advisor are white in the movie. That is most likely because they were in the lore of the Warcraft universe as well. In the warcraft universe humans are most frequently white, as are most other humanoid characters. That doesn’t mean the movie is ‘racist’ in any sense of the word, as in the Warcraft universe the races aren’t seperated by the color of their skin but rather by their very ‘species’ (probably a better word for it but i can’t think of it). Trolls, Orcs, Elves, Humans, Dwarves etc. These are the ‘races’ in Warcraft just like Black, White, and Asian are to our world.

    This movie was in no way racist, it just has its own history. Trying to compare a fictional world with a very well established history with our own worlds history is just plain foolish.

  • Matamoros

    And you can find them at KKK rallies and in all-white trailer parks. If you like and agree with this review, you just might be as white and as racist as the writer.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    They don’t care what race or gender original characters are.

    What Lenina said.

    Seriously, whose basement have you been dwelling in? Is it literally made of ivory? But please, keep digging.

  • Danielm80
  • Matamoros

    As I wrote below, this reviewer is clearly racist (and white). He or she assumes that we minorities (I’m a Latino) couldn’t possibly like movies like this (or any other type of movie), and pretends to speak for us.

  • Josh Leitzel

    Once again, you’ve diluted what could have been a slightly constructive discussion into narrow-minded hash-tagging.

    #notallfilmreviewers

  • Josh Leitzel

    You actually used the “check your privilege” defense unironically. Congrats. And you used it on someone who’s personal life and upbringing you haven’t the slightest knowledge of, making it completely baseless and accusatory.

    “You don’t like what I have to say about movies, there are hundreds of other critics to choose from. And most of them are white and male.”

    I’d like to actually see a source for such a bold claim, and not simply anecdotal evidence. Even if that were the case, most of these “white and male” reviewers hated this film that’s supposedly appealing to them anyway.

  • Josh Leitzel

    Your comment added literally nothing to this thread but to merely widen the circle-jerk this forum tends to attract.

  • Josh Leitzel

    Are strawmen arguments your only form of defense from criticism?

    Do you think that, just perhaps, some people simply have an issue with the toxic community that has slowly surrounded a just cause? And not the cause itself? It’s an honest question, though, and there are plenty of fair and well-spoken youtubers that I could recommend that discuss their disdain towards the current SJW culture. Human ideologies aren’t split conveniently by a clear line and arbitrary labels.

  • Josh Leitzel

    XD XD XD XD lulz u really got dem MRA’s!!!

    Get a better spokesperson that actually represents what they claim to and isn’t a total fraud. Post one of those insanely progressive tumblr memes of pricks drinking “male tears” while you’re at it.

  • Josh Leitzel

    Good on you man, good on you. It’s always nice to have a neutral party step in and speak a bit rationally to put things in perspective. Though I honestly think these trite labels that the internet loves to throw apply onto people are one of the biggest causes of issue. Discussion online and in the real world would be so much more rational if they didn’t exist. That’s why I don’t subscribe to labels and communities myself. Apparently there’s such a thing now as an “Anti-SJW.” Why? Why must having a certain viewpoint always be diluted into cheap titles? It completely devalues the complexity of the human mind and lumps individuals into generalizations with which they may or may not entirely agree with. It limits rational discussion.

  • mik73

    From the perspective of my young 14 year old (in 1987), D&D addicted (with shout-outs to Fighting Fantasy), comic book collecting, Dungeon Master re-re-re-playing, socially awkward white teen boy self: It does indeed sound like this movie could speak to me. Seems to be getting bad reviews across the board, but I may still have to check it out if for no other reason then to give that inner 2d6+2 kid a chance to soak up some nostalgic feels.

    Kind of felt the same way about Battle of Five Armies actually. I didn’t get much of a ‘Tolkien’ vibe from it. Or even a ‘Tolkien filtered through Jackson and Co. on a good day’ vibe. Felt much closer to being that elusive ‘good’ D&D movie that, frankly, a bunch of us (privileged white males or otherwise) are still waiting patiently for.

    On a more serious note, yeah it would be nice for a bombastic “magic users and Orcs” type movie to still have decent characters and juicy plot. Everyone’s tastes will vary there, but if it’s all just a hodge-podge of aimless CGI sequences…meh.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, do let us all know when you develop an original thought to share. Actually, let someone else know.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    This was looking so bad for so long, I had hoped we could avoid this kind of popcorn thread. Plus, I really thought Warcraft was kinda dead. And I say that as someone who just did his WoW chores for the day; who remembers the computer lab on campus in college 20 years ago echoing with “Ready to serve…”

  • Well that review was just mean.

  • I’d like to actually see a source for such a bold claim

    http://variety.com/2015/film/spotlight/lack-of-women-film-criticism-1201667282/

  • I think a lot of white men are getting very angry at having their privilege challenged. And I am going to keep doing it.

  • Clearly, this is not a site or a community that is for you. You’re not going to find any sympathy here.

  • I think it is.

    Well, you’re wrong.

    You (as well as many other critics) refuse to see “Warcraft” as a part of trilogy, with two much better parts yet to be made.

    That’s not how this works. If the next movie is better, I’ll say so. But this movie — any movie — needs to stand on its own.

    For unknown reasons though, “Fellowship of the Ring” didn’t seem to have such problem with professional reviewers

    “Unknown reasons”? Here are two: Beautifully portrayed characters — actual characters — and a story — an actual story — with deep resonance. Neither of which this movie has.

    And why don’t you read my review of FOTR? I called it one of the best films of the year.

    Wouldn’t it have been self-destructive for a film, whose target audience are players of “World of Warcraft” – more than one third of them female and more than half of them Asian?

    Guess what? The general movie audience is made up of a helluva lot more than white guys, and we don’t get pandered to by Hollywood. So yes, it’s self-destructive. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen all the time, or that is didn’t happen here too.

  • These are the ‘races’ in Warcraft just like Black, White, and Asian are to our world.

    And yet the king and his adviser are white. Why do you think that is?

  • He or she

    Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and not trust your powers of reading comprehension there.

  • if it’s all just a hodge-podge of aimless CGI sequences

    That’s what it is.

  • The movie deserves it.

  • NdA

    Truly, your powers of ignorance astound me. If you do not understand the complexity and depth of the Warcraft universe’ lore and history, don’t pretend to, or worse yet, simply apply the real worlds history to it.

    He’s white because that happens to be the color of his skin that he was born with and no other reason. The House of Wrynn, the ruling family of Stormind have held that position for generations not because they rule with an iron fist, but because they are renowned and so respected and loved by their subjects. King Llane Wrynn, the leader depicted in the Warcraft movie, was so fiercely attached to his people that he took the throne up when his father, Adamant Wrynn the third died, and without hesitation lead his nation in to battle, and fought right along side his nations troops to protect all of those he ruled over.

    Not only did he fight to protect his own citizens, (if you were watching the movie, you would have noticed this) He even fought and argued over the idea that all orcs should be slaughtered like the ‘beasts’ they are. He fought to treat them with sympathy and respect, as actual living, feeling beings, in the face of others in his nation saying that they are savage cruel animals who need to be put down. He was one of the VERY FEW who even considered accepting Garona Halforcen, the half-orc who was shunned by both her own kind and the rest of the world save for a compassionate few.

    King Llane, the ‘white king’, argued that even the so called ‘brutes and savages’ attacking them at that very moment deserved some form of sympathy. He fought for equality for even his sworn enemies.

    And you sit here, claiming to have actually watched this film, and say that it had immense racist undertones.

    Fun fact: The current king, King Varian Wrynn, upholds those very same values. He fights not only for his own people, but to protect ALL life no matter who it belongs to. While he will defend himself and his nation first, he accepted his father, King Llane’s views, and shows sympathy, even to orcs.

  • Not sure Rush did though, but they suck so whatever.

  • Josh Leitzel

    An eye for an eye, and you guys clearly aren’t interested in returning the favor, so no. I COULD reply with a sarcastic tumblr meme though, since you guys seem to consider that genuine argumentation around these parts.

  • Josh Leitzel

    It’s sad that instead of choosing to engage in honest discussion with me, you childishly assume that I’m angry (and… white?). What would I be angry about? You think you’re actually checking anybody’s privilege, you’re just making generalizations. You think you have the authority to assume who is privileged and who is not through paragraph long comments and you do not. You don’t know jack about the people who disagree with you, you don’t know where they’re from, who they are, what their state of life is (what RACE they are). All it is is conjecture on your part. And if you choose to react so defensively, that’s your decision. But this isn’t an open discussion board. If someone disagrees with your views of gender politics, for example, what they’re REALLY saying is “you don’t understand feminism, only I understand it.” So basically anybody who might have an objection on certain points is just attempting to assert their ego, not just actually engage in discussion. Since that topic is so prevalent in your reviews, I think putting those ideas under scrutiny is absolutely relevant for discussion. We all have a certain level of privilege, and the point of pointing that out is to allow for perspective, not to simply silence people, so I’m not sure what that’s adds to the discussion. You don’t have to agree with what people say all the time. But simply dismissing them as “white privilege” is just lazy. But hey, what do I know. I’m just an angry white guy. Grr! >:(

  • Josh Leitzel

    I’m aware of that. Was never looking for sympathy, just rational discussion. All well.

  • Danielm80

    She’s assuming that Jacob Redmon is a white man because he said, “I’m a white man.” There are also many examples of angry white men out in the world, and it’s reasonable for her to mention them here, especially when the film is filled with stereotypes about race and gender.

    If you have examples of substantive, well-reasoned arguments in favor of this film, or intelligent critiques of the “SJW” movement, you’re welcome to provide them here. There certainly haven’t been any on this thread so far.

  • John Alexander Williams

    Hilarious! Well done. It’s also hilarious that the ads are citing the blurb “Masterpiece!,” maybe from your review,

  • John

    Another review that doesn’t give a crap about the movie they fail to critic, but rather tries to spread their self-entitled opinions and start a completely misplaced discussion … Should I be as gender-centered and start to rant about every movie based on the focus of their cast? I am happy that I can be completely unbiased towards movies with female and/or male main protagonists, I suppose you can’t …

  • Josh Leitzel

    “There are also many examples of angry white men out in the world”

    Congratulations for being so perceptive, Daniel. Lots of angry people livin’ out there in the world. Not like its a natural human trait or anything.

    The film looks like garbage, I’m not intending to defend it. Also, there certainly have been intelligent critiques here. In fact, Noah Goble’s comment just a few convos above us was very reasonable and constructive. The correction is there aren’t any that you like, you are the creator of the extremely inclusive bingo card after all.

    I’m not going to spend time convincing you of the state of over-compensative progressive culture. Not just because I don’t think you would genuinely consider it, but also because a bunch of Youtubers have already done it for me. So I’d rather point you towards some channels that deconstruct this stuff. I’d personally recommend Shoe0nHead, tl;dr, Blaire White, Vernaculis. Armoured Skeptic is also good for his modern feminism and social justice videos.

  • Mark

    It does belong to men, we just allow you to live among us. If you want to know what it would be like if men wanted to treat you like animals, look to the middle-east – women in their natural state.

  • Mark

    You’re a white female, the most privileged group in the western world. Everyone kowtows to your feelings and coddles you every which way and that. All you do is jump in on the bandwagon of minorities and try to ride the victimhood gravy train.

  • Mark

    You are. Sorry you were born a female.

  • Oren Depp

    I’m sorry that you’re not as deeply indulged in the lore surrounding the actual reasons for green and “white” orcs (I have seen them more commonly referred to as brown). Perhaps I’ve lost myself in your unending depths of sarcasm, which I hope you’ll forgive me for, but I’d like to clarify that the origin of orcs is that they are all brown (or white, as you say). The only reason they are green is because they are corrupted by fel magic.
    Now I’m not sure if you just blatantly decided to ignore the OP’s mentioning that the movie explained all this. The green orcs literally have demon blood flowing in their veins, and yet were once brown orcs before. I’ll have to admit, I’m going to be severely disappointed if you claim this to be racism. I fail to see any racism or bigotry in a few heroic orcs trying to return their kin back to their sustainable, peaceful ways, and away from the addictive, bloodlust-inducing demon blood that happens to make their skin green. The very essence of the endeavor is purely compassionate. The story is not of a domineering oppressor or a race claiming to be superior inherently; in many ways, it documents a desperate attempt to provide a road to rehabilitation.

    Furthermore, I think you must respect to a certain degree the reality Warcraft must face when creating the movie regarding humans. In a game lore immutably intertwined with primarily Norse mythology, the developers of the game Warcraft did not betray the true reflections of how these mythologies were portrayed originally. Meaning white males, white females. Would it not be condescending to throw in a token black or asian character into a mythology where the race has no basis? And because this movie is the adaption of said Warcraft 1, is it not the responsibility of the filmmaker to at least stay true to the grounding mythologies that dictate what kind of race would be present? Now perhaps he could’ve thrown some in, but changing a main character’s race that has endured for over 20 years for the arbitrary purpose of appealing to certain movements, once again, seems more condescending then genuine. In the end it would have been met with complete outrage and stomped the movie out before it began due the betrayal felt by fans.
    I suppose in some twisted attempt you could try to claim that the green orcs aren’t doing anything bad, and in fact it’s an ethnocentric plot that is a reflection of racism today. But I really hope you won’t, as I think you know that wouldn’t hold any merit. As for the humans, its a practice of mythology where certain races simply weren’t a role. And please, don’t respond with a short tagline with a semi-witty hashtag. If you’re going to claim something’s racist, at least have the resolve to realize the weight that accusation carries.

  • Matamoros

    Yeah, and I’m going ahead and call you a racist– now I have no reading comprehension because I’m Latino. As if I could care less what your gender is.

  • Wow.

  • I’m pretty sure you’re a white man:

    https://twitter.com/@joshleitzel

    And if you’re not, you’ve gone out of your way to pretend you are.

  • Which ads would those be?

  • self-entitled opinions

    LOL

  • You’re so close to getting it!

  • John Alexander Williams

    Saw on TV a couple of days, FX I believe.

  • Bluejay

    now I have no reading comprehension because I’m Latino.

    Um, no, she SO did not make that connection. You ARE proving her point, though.

  • John

    Fits your review that you believe this to be nonsenically redundant. If I understand you correctly.
    And also, that you are only looking for the weakness in what I’m writing than actually replying “constructively”. Quite unsympathetic.

  • WellWellWell

    If a movie needs to stand on its own, why does the Fellowship of the Ring do? It has no ending whatsoever, the same way as Warcraft. Or Empire Strikes Back, for that matter.
    Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but your review of the Fellowship reads like you watched it having already been somewhat acquainted with the entire Lord of the Rings story. And should we go with the “movie must stand on its own” idea, it surely distorts the perception.
    It also seems that you and many others mistook charismatic portrayal of the characters in LOTR movies for the complexity of the characters themselves. Maybe I was watching it inattentively, but I just couldn’t see Lawrence of Arabia in Aragorn or Dolores Claiborne in Arwen. The characters were mono-dimensional. And that is not necessarily a bad thing for a fairy tale. Then why is it bad in Warcraft? Yes, unlike LOTR, Warcraft suffers from some poor casting choices, which taint the impression. But there’s a vast difference between a shallow character in itself and a bland portrayal of a good, serviceable to the story character.
    As for the actual story with deep resonance – I couldn’t disagree more. When Stormwind is attacked by the orcs, other kingdoms refuse to help initially. And why would they? They are safe and well-fed. Stormwind used to be one of them, safe and well-fed itself, but now it’s in trouble. It’s not one of them anymore because of it, they fear it will “infect” their well-being with its troubles, they choose to shun away. It’s a bystander effect in all its ugliness. What sacrifices will it take to shake them from this apathy? Among other obvious themes are allusions to environmental woes caused by greed (“pollution” of the worlds by Fel magic in the name of power), literally soul-sucking lust for power that inevitably corrupts any leader if left unchecked (hello to LOTR), self-destructive addiction (yes, to magic – hello to “Buffy”). Also, warmongering and militaristic orc society wasn’t stereotypically strictly patriarchal (sorry, Maria Gimbutas, but with all due respect you were likely wrong). All these themes were packed into a rather intelligible and coherent, albeit simple and not particularly original plot, executed by serviceable yet not caricaturist characters.

  • David

    So would you agree that conservatives are marginalized in the film criticism since the majority of critics are left of center?

  • LaSargenta

    Another reviewer thatwho doesn’t give a crap about the movie they fail to criticcritique, but rather tries to spread their self-entitled opinions and start a completely misplaced discussion … Should I be as gender-centered and start to rant about every movie based on the focus of theirits cast? I am happy that I can be completely unbiased [Considering review are opinions, there is no way a review by anyone can be ‘unbiased’.] towards movies with female and/or male main(redundant word choice) protagonists, I suppose you can’t …

    There were too many errors in there. FIFY, except for the punctuation.

  • David

    “Latino female middle aged nerd”
    don’t you mean “Latina”?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    It would have been better left as a game.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Here’s the thing I don’t really get. We’ve been romping through these locals for, literally, decades. Why does anyone need a bad movie translation? It’s not even like a book-to-film adaptation, where you could argue artistic merit in the visualization. Video games are already a visual medium.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Thoughtful reading, prior to typing up a reply, isn’t really Josh’s strong suit. That, more than the abundant awfulness of his replies, is why I finally put him on my kill list.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    [citation needed]

  • Danielm80

    You left the s out of “reviews.” And you misspelled “biast.”

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Only 5 buzzwords in this one, and no good dog whistles. Weaksauce. 3/10

  • John

    As a white male nerd from 1987, and also a successful white male engineer from 2016, you can take YOUR stereotypes and shove them. How about not worrying who may or may not be represented in a film and just review the movie for its story, cinematography, soundtrack, and other actually relevant details?

  • Danielm80

    When he first started posting comments on this site, he’d start out with one halfway-reasonable point and then follow it with two or three arguments that made no sense at all. I now miss those days.
    But at this point, I’m astonished when any comment on the Warcraft thread is even loosely connected to the argument it’s responding to.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    He had this sort of pseudo-intellectual thing going, even if it was based on other people’s bad ideas. Now he’s going full wharblgarbl, and getting testy when other people don’t respect his precious precious words. Adorbs.

  • David

    Just from this comments section you can notice that a lot of people become agitated, annoyed, or combative when the term “white privilege” is used. If you want to know why, the answer is that, generally speaking, most people don’t like being told that they should feel guilty and ashamed because of the color of their skin.

    The term White “Privilege” is a euphemism for White “blood guilt”.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    If you’re feeling guilty over your privileges, that’s on you. I don’t feel guilty for being born a SWM, but I do recognize that that puts me a a certain advantage over the majority of the population right now, and, at the very least puts me in a mind to not be a complete raging asshole about those advantages.

    ETA: for the record, I try to more than not be a raging asshole. But that seems like a good start, even if it is hard to do for a lot of SWMs, especially on the internet.

  • Bluejay

    The answer is that, generally speaking, most people don’t like being told that they have blinders on, even when (and especially when) they have blinders on.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, at least you managed to live up to the stereotypes. Good jorb.

  • John

    Thanks, I appreciate it. I’ll try to take more time to write my comments. I didn’t talk about an unbiased review, but about having no bias towards a particular gender.

  • Danielm80

    When George W. Bush left office, I thought, “At least we know presidential candidates can’t get any worse. We’ve hit rock bottom.” I should have known.

    I felt the same way about this thread, and then I was accused of being a KKK sympathizer. And that was before “Mark” started posting this morning. (His comments were deleted, but they’ll probably show up on the “gendered abuse” thread.)

    I think Josh is George W. Bush in this little allegory.

  • Mrduck

    The last half of your review is just complaining about lack of minority and female representation. Doesn’t seem much use as if you are going to the movies for that reason, why? I mean I hardly think many go to the movies thinking ‘aw man I can’t wait to watch something with a black female lead’ they go hoping to watch something. Even to the point of scratching at air saying racism in the orcs? This has just gotten silly.

    Over sexualization of females or something like a movie hold the premise that when the males died off the world fell apart because ‘woman amiright’ IS a valid point, but getting caught up in the whole no women MC or a non perfect racially mixed cast or mixed at all is flawed for reviewing to an extent. If the all female ghostbusters is actual garbage in its directing, cgi, dialogue execution, etc should ‘but hey it has female leads’ really be the talking point of the review?

    Though as you said further down “The specific scene I mentioned in the review is particularly egregious in its marginalization.” Which is fair criticism as forcing characters where it doesn’t belong shows poor decision making, but if the issue is that they are colored, not the fact that the characters didn’t really belong in the scene at all I have a hard time agreeing. Though tbf I feel the whole ‘needs more slave leia’ take on movies is annoying where unlike it being part of the plot, its just a need for tits. Unnecessary additions to pander to a certain group in after thought is just poor directing. The movie should be made with the vision and free from representation quotas to pander. If the actors he wanted ended up white, fine whatever, they may fit his vision the best. If it happens to pander then w/e racial diversity shouldn’t be the measure of how good a movie is.

    i think the first half had much better points. A clusterfuck of a movie that leaves you confused with no explanation, at least thats what It sounds like you where going for.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Really? You actually thought that? Dear, sweet, summer child. ;-)

    Mark was “natural habit” dude, yeah? I trust he’s packed his bags for his masculinist utopia, and wish only for the screen door not to hit him in the ass on the way out.

  • Pretty much. I’ve often wondered why it’s considered so important to make the movie based on the whatever, when that whatever is satisfying in its original medium. MONEY is probably the obvious answer. I guess in the end all the artistic misfires are worth it when you do get something truly inspired.

    That’s why I would have liked the idea of a story inspired by the game, rather than just a retelling of the lore which is not that exciting. But I imagine that’s more difficult than adaptation.

  • Danielm80

    I don’t think it was Marc Esadrian. I only got a quick glance at the comments before they were detleted, but this guy seemed to be ten times angrier, and ten times more sexist, than any of the MRAs who usually post here. We’ll find out if the comments ever make it to the “gendered abuse” thread.

  • CPOKashue

    Is the Rush bit just a gag, or is there matchup potential here, like how the first fight in The Matrix syncs to Particle Man by They Might be Giants?

  • lemmykins

    Weak review. How about something that actually deals with the movie you watched instead of chasing your pet hang-ups?

  • shortstory

    People with blinders on. Telling other people they have blinders on. It’s working out wonderfully! Now no one can enjoy a movie without someone’s butt getting sore!

  • You think there’s nothing in that review that “deals with the movie”? Interesting…

  • I’ll leave that to the nerds to figure out.

  • The term White “Privilege” is a euphemism for White “blood guilt”.

    No, it isn’t.

  • They’re not *my* stereotypes. They’re the movie’s.

  • I am happy that I can be completely unbiased towards movies

    No one is unbiased toward any artform.

  • Adorable that you think you’ve offered anything constructive that I might respond to…

  • When Stormwind is attacked by the orcs, other kingdoms refuse to help initially.

    But it’s not dramatized in any way at all. Soulless blank people standing around mentioning facts does not a story make.

    They are safe and well-fed

    What? How is this depicted in the film?

  • LaSargenta

    Thank you. I fixed the plural, but I was quoting John, so I wasn’t going to use the ironic biast.

  • Do you have a citation for “the majority of critics are left of center”?

  • LaSargenta

    It is impossible that any of us are without bias, including towards or against gender. You don’t recognise how it would feel to be of a gender that is sidelined, infantilised or otherwise limited in the majority of pop culture representation. Ergo, you are biased in favor of the gender who is permitted a broader representation.

    I have only vicarious experience of being of a gender that doesn’t have that problem, so I have a bias of assuming that men will not see my point of view — this extends to initially not trusting individual men. If they are evolved, trust can build on my side.

    We all have biases.

  • LaSargenta

    I have to ask…

    I hate that kind of racist segregationist garbage.

    Really? Can you explain your username then, Sr./Sra/Srta. Matamoros?

  • Bluejay

    I’m sure I have some blinders on as well. Doesn’t mean I can’t see the blinders on others. ;-)

    Of course you can enjoy whatever movie you want. If reviews that criticize the movie make you upset, you could always, you know, not read them.

  • Josh Leitzel

    I don’t even have a Twitter account. That’s not me. That’s pretty excessive to go out of your way to prove it though, as if it somehow devalues all of my points that you refuse to even acknowledge.

    Also, the reason I singled out the race/gender accusation wasn’t because it was untrue, but because you felt it was a relevant counter-argument in the first place. Do you attempt to discover the race and gender of every person who dissents as a way to determine if their opinions merit respect? What if it’s a white male but they were once a female? Do they have inherited privilege, or do they retain their feminine oppression? Where is the line drawn?

  • coroloro

    I have been rather bothered by this whole thread (and this is not only the first time I have read your critiques, but also my first time commenting). I may be white, male, and born in the 1980’s (well, actually, 1980- and while I played Warcraft 2, I never really went beyond it and honestly was a part of a roleplaying community on MMORPGs that looked down on World of Warcraft) – but my wife is 19, Dutch, and a ‘geek’ herself not by self-proclamation but simply because of the things she enjoys. She has a very neutral perspective and tries to be fair- and she is as much bothered by feminists who seem to want not equality but superiority over men, as she is by men who are the same way. I also have a friend who is a tried and true ‘geek’ who is African-American and into things like Warcraft. I will be bringing him to see the movie- on my dime- just so I can get his legitimate, African-American Geek response to your opinions about ‘racism’ in this movie.

    I will also be taking my wife this weekend. I read your entire discussion, beyond this point, to her- and she was quite bothered by what you had to say. We saw “Angry Birds” together- it was a boring and definitely sub-par film- but hearing that you tied it into gender… that shocked her to the point of laughing. Keep in mind that my wife is again from a culture that is generally past many of those issues we still ‘grapple with’ here- she was raised by a mother who cut her daughter’s hair short and encouraged them not to be bound by stereotypes, she was put into boy’s PE in school and beat many of them in sports. Her family, and in many ways culture, is VERY supportive of gender equality- and she herself had to run from her mother’s scissors (to grow her hair long) and decided that while she loves climbing trees and sports, and geeky guy talk, she also loves wearing dresses and being feminine. I think she more than qualifies to speak to the female side of all this.

    So just upon hearing your criticisms of Warcraft’s movie, she did not seem to find a lot of basis in them just from what you said alone- though she is looking forwards to the movie herself and plans to see it, and herself enjoyed Lord of the Rings, discusses quantum physics for fun with me, speaks four languages, reads hieroglyphics, and can recite from memory details about American, European, and ancient Egyptian history and culture (not because that is her area of training- just because she grew up loving archeology).

    I grew up ashamed of my gender, in a cultural associating masculinity with negative emotions and actions and femininity with the postive- it took me decades to finally realise that some very hurtful, negative things were very true of women as well (not to mention loosing my son to one I loved dearly, who once insulted me as being ‘disgustingly weak’ because of my gentleness) and that there were very positive ways to be masculine as well. I also grew up feeling shame for my skin colour- white- and constantly apologising, because of my genetics alone, to African Americans. For the fact I was born into a middle class family- one my father worked to build from a poor coal mining family, all the way through medical school by hard work and brains alone, when he used to eat old bananas from trash cans as a kid for a treat in the 1940’s South. He became a Colonel in the medical corps of the US Army, and helped many children heal from abusive parents and families as a child psychiatrist. His ex wife left him, committing adultery and leaving him at the edge of suicide- before he rebuilt his life, blamed by many simply for being a man as at fault. His ex, whatever she said, was believed- and he refused to shame her.

    So listen- I know there are people out there from both sides who are idiots, and jerks. But that doesn’t give us an excuse to be one back, or to shift tables not just towards equality, but towards superiority. I know, for a fact, there are women out there who use the common perception of men and women to their advantage to hurt men… I know, because I was in a power-and-control abuse relationship where my fear of ever being controlling myself, was used to dominate and manipulate me. It took me years to heal and recover, and an amazing and loving wife from outside my own culture to help me finish doing so.

    I don’t want my son growing up thinking he is less because he is a man, or because he is white. I don’t think ANYTHING justifies making people think they are less simply for their genetics- their gender, their race, etc. A group of women can be in a restaurant and make horrible jokes about how men are pigs and deserve to be put in their place- and people nearby might even laugh. Yet if men said in a restaurant here that women were stupid and needed to be taught lessons- they’d not only make people upset, someone just might walk over and yell at them for it.

    That’s not equality. That’s reverse-prejudice. Just be careful that in ‘fighting’ for women you don’t end up seeing ghosts in every shadow, and destroying innocent people in the process.

    My wife and I are fantasy lovers- I don’t expect great things out of Warcraft, though I look forwards to some interesting effects. However, I also seriously doubt that it will be any more offensive than most of the Hollywood movies that come out constantly. In a world where any movie now will be attacked for being mostly white, or mostly male… yet the opposite is just fine… well, I see a bleak future ahead. Human beings have so much trouble finding balance.

  • Vitor

    The only thing I got from this review is that LITERALLY anybody can be a movie critic now days

  • jd bond

    Sigh…Warcraft has purple skinned ancient night elves with all female army led by a female general and a female supreme leader. A white skinned human sets this world on fire. A green skinned Orc is considered “Jesus” in this world but author is correct. Most powerful mage in known history is a female. An undead female leads an entire “race” of undead people.

    But yes, white male can’t escape their superiority! I am going to ask Peter Jackson to apologize. Hell, I am going to boycott Game of Thrones, all marvel and DV movies. Never going to watch another star wars!

  • James

    But who’s going to challenge the privilege of white ginger females who make a living critiquing movies? Never mind, I’m sure your life has been so, so tough. It makes sense that you turned out to be such a c***. Didn’t have a choice.

  • M&M

    This is a film review? You’re a hack

  • Bluejay

    Ooh, look! A typing sphincter!

  • John

    I’m not saying i am without bias. What I mean is that I have absolutely no particular preference
    watching performers of any gender.

    Without knowing me, how can you assume what I (do not) recognize? And also, I find it quite arrogant to demand of men to “evolve”.

    However I agree, women, in certain art forms (for example in video games), are not as well represented as men. This limited representation can lead to a certain type of exclusion. I imagine, this can be frustrating for women and it should
    be subject to change.

    (Back to topic: The Warcraft movie at least attempts to do that, starring three strong female characters (Garona, Taria and Draka).)

  • derekremund

    My white female wife loves the mythology of this universe. My half-Black best friend loves this stuff. My gay Korean ex-roomate loves this stuff.

    Of course people’s colors and sexes shouldn’t really matter anyway, but since that seems to be what’s important here I thought I’d throw it out there.

    It’s sad that in the midst of a revolution of inclusivity in media, we apparently aren’t allowed to like anything that “white male nerds” would traditionally like, because I guess that’s just not allowed.

    Criticize poor filmmaking, poor characterization, bad cinematography, etc, but there’s really no reason to denigrate audiences because you’ve decided their combination of sex and race isn’t okay (nevermind the fact that that audience is a lot more diverse than you are giving it credit for).

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’m sorry, was your enjoyment of this film somehow damaged by another person’s lack thereof? How sad, and frankly odd.

  • derekremund

    Unfortunately (?) smug hashtagging isn’t really accomplishing the “privilege checking” you think it is.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Warcraft has purple skinned ancient night elves with all female army led by a female general and a female supreme leader. A white skinned human sets this world on fire. A green skinned Orc is considered “Jesus” in this world but author is correct. Most powerful mage in known history is a female. An undead female leads an entire “race” of undead people.

    None of this happens until at least Warcraft 3. Try to keep up.

  • jd bond

    “None of this happens until at least Warcraft 3. Try to keep up.”

    I hope you are not playing dumb for a reason because we all know that part of “world” doesn’t exist because it is not shown! Such logic! Atleast you can show respect to the guy in your avatar and not talk dumb..

  • LaSargenta

    Can’t we find the minds to lead us

    Closer to the heart?

  • Rob

    when was the last time you used a vibrator. You should give it a try. It may help with you anger issues. poor miserable soul

  • LaSargenta

    If you have no preference, and that works for you, roll with it. But, why do you need to castigate those of us who might lament the lack of broader representation? Why do you — in effect — say ‘I’ve got no preference and you are small-minded for not just sucking up whatever is handed to you?”

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, first of all, Fellowship isn’t really a self contained story. In fact, it’s only became a separate book because of the publisher, not Tolkien. This movie is largely based on Warcraft 1, which is. Second, when the film of FotR was released,the other two parts had already been (mostly) filmed, with release dates set. It would have had to tanked beyond Eregon levels, or maybe The Golden Compass, for the rest of the films to not get released. It was a bold move on New Line’s part. Legendary and Universal haven’t committed to anything beyond this film. Even the “The Beginning” appellation isn’t being applied in all regions. Third, FotR is the first part of Goddamn Lord of the Motherfucking Rings. I mean, I loves me some Warcraft lore, but come the fuck on.

  • Elwood72

    FWIW, I’m not a “real geek” because I have never played World of Warcraft and never plan to. But I spent many Friday nights in 1987 playing Dungeons and Dragons in friends’ basements, sometimes while listening to Rush, and I recognize myself in this review, and it made me laugh out loud. Although I wasn’t playing with all white guys, and there were people there who cared a lot about what the Hobbits were eating. . . But still, “Distant Early Warning” FTW!

    So where does this fall on the spectrum of badness, closer to John Carter or Battlefield Earth?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    None of those events occur until Warcraft 3. This is fact. (Though I could be wrong about the “white skinned human” because I’m not 100% sure who you’re referring to here.) Very few of the events or characters appear, nor to my knowledge, are mentioned in the film. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, they don’t exist in this film. They don’t even ever have to exist in the film version(s) of Warcraft lore. So bringing them up to defend this film is a non sequitur. Also, “we” is a much smaller group than you think. In my experience, the majority of WoW players aren’t really all that familiar with the lore of the game, beyond the current xpac. (Just wait for all the complaints about the total lack of Nelfs. In a story based on Warcraft 1.)

    My apologies if that logic hurts.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That’s the guy. And no, I don’t think it’s Esadrian. He wouldn’t hide behind (another) pseudonym.

  • jd bond

    You have little or no logic. Who cares what this movie shows! Movie is very much an introduction to a broader world, a concept that is lost on you and you are trying to bury it behind a wall of text. This of-course is internet and everyone is a rocket-scientist. I am sure if movie started with all female night elfs, idiots like you will complain about how the movie is pandering to PC crowd.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, if no one should care what the movie shows, what’s all the arguing about? Seriously, think before you type.

  • amanohyo

    After skimming all the reviews and their corresponding comments sections, my predictions appear to have been overblown. There’s a lot less ad hominem and fewer personal attacks than I was expecting. Perhaps it’s because many of the diehard fans of WOW/Warcraft are middle aged? Maybe this is so bad that even the most hotheaded nerds don’t feel like wasting the energy to defend it? Unlike Deadpool, Warcraft lost its cool cred a long, long, long time ago.
    The strangest comment I’ve seen so far is one angrily reproaching Sheri Linden at The Hollywood Reporter for not knowing enough lore, the twist being that she gave the movie one of its few positive recommendations. Overall though not too bad. I’m surprised but happy to have been wrong (we’ll see if things change on Friday) – I’m super curious to find out what will happen in a month when Ghostbusters 3 releases. If it’s as widely panned as this, there won’t be much beyond a brief period of gloating, but if it’s mediocre or better, there’s a good chance for some interesting discussions.

  • LaSargenta

    Something tells me they would get the joke.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Azeroth is essentially a Tolkien-like universe, based in Scandinavian myth and aesthetic. The other races in the WoW games draw upon Asian and African culture, but the humans are primarily white. You should be blaming Blizzard more than this film. The director clearly went out of his way to assemble a diverse cast and tell an impartial story. But the industry has no choice but to accept the world for what it is when trying to introduce a brand new franchise with a risky investment of $160 million. People are superficial and would much rather see sexy, lighter-skinned actors on screen. By people, I don’t just mean average white, racist Americans. Look at China. Star Wars did rather poorly in China, even after Disney consciously made John Boyega’s picture on the Chinese poster smaller. And Warcraft is poised to do extremely well in China, the huge market that’ll probably allow the series to continue and recoup its money. Only an existing juggernaut property like Star Wars could afford to cast unknown talent as its leads because that universe is bigger than the actors. When talking about whitewashing and racism in Hollywood, you can’t really blame one person, one department, or one film. It’s a cultural issue with a lot of greys.

  • John

    I wouldnt say that. However, what I might say is that not every movie can fullfil everybody’s expectations. And you cannot expect from a movie to include everything you want, but maybe take it as what it is, without thinking that it only tries to offend you by it’s (lack of desired) content. But trying to enjoy it as what it is; and if you don’t, you don’t. That obviously doesn’t mean that one should forget the general issue we were discussing before.

  • LaSargenta

    You mean the general issue that you are pissed that a reviewer has an opinion you disagree with?

    Oh, no. I haven’t forgotten that.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    You should be blaming Blizzard more than this film.

    Well, Blizzard Entertainment is listed one of the production companies, Chris Metzen is credited as “Story by”, and Metzen and Nick Carpenter got Co-Producer credits, so they do catch blame. On the other hand, Jones is one of the credited screenwriters, and all of the credited producers are Hollywood studio types and/or friends of Jones, any of whom could have fixed what needed fixing, so they get to catch their own ration of shit.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    not every movie can fullfil everybody’s expectations

    Well, this gem certain garners a nod for the No Shit, Sherlock Award for 2016.
    And I like how you segue into what amounts to an unironic call to like everything.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Not if they want to make back their money. Filmmaking is a business… Warcraft is a successful game property with players of all races and genders who don’t have an issue with the world’s aesthetic. Just as Lord of the Rings fans don’t take issue with English Shakespearean thespians like Ian McKellen playing Gandalf the White, etc. Why ‘fix’ what ain’t broke? The only color that matters here is green $$. A movie of this scale cannot get made without hot, recognizable actors. And honestly, the fans don’t want to see their favorite characters get diversified. We’d rather see brand new diverse characters created from scratch.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That’s a notion that doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny. For one thing (and this is somewhat anecdotal but is based on years of observation) WoW players aren’t even mostly lore-nerds. Most really don’t care. For another, nerds have never really opened a movie (Serenity remains the gold standard on fandom’s inability in this regard.) So there’s no reason not to mess with a property like this for fear of damaging the bottom line. If anything, change whatever you need to attract a wider audience.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Also, if you’re under the impression that there are no WoW players with issues with the “world’s aethetic”… then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  • Jack Jazzy

    I think, apart from maybe casting a household name, Warcraft was casted rather well in terms of attracting a wide audience. From Travis Fimmel, to Paula Patton, to Daniel Wu, there you’ve got three hot, talented, and diverse leads. You have to give the producers credit. Yet somehow the SJW’s will always find something to complain about. That’s why they’re not worth indulging. Diversity doesn’t always spell wider audiences. Sometimes, as I alluded to with my Star Wars example, it detracts bc people are predisposed toward light-skinned actors on a superficial level. Especially China, as evidenced with Star Wars.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Flimmel is whiter than me. But 2 out of 3 ain’t bad I guess.
    You’re shifting the goalpost. Your argument was that changing things would alienate the game fans, and hurt the film. Whether increased diversity is advantageous (and you provide evidence that the producers thought so on at least some level) is a separate argument. One at a time.

    Yet somehow the SJW’s will always find something to complain about.

    Whoops. My fault for assuming you were a reasonable person, with some misapprehensions. Ah, well, to the kill file with you.

  • John

    I’m pissed that certain “critics” abuse Warcraft: The Beginning as a battleground for their own agenda and social injustices, for what this movie doesn’t stand and is not responsible for …
    As a huge fantasy fan that has read most Warcraft books and is fairly familiar with the story, I hope you can understand how I am just really annoyed what primary message the reviewer takes out of this movie … Well, in any case, i think it doesn’t make sense to continue this discussion, we’re just going to talk past each other. Just this: I’m sorry that you guys feel so betrayed and underappreciated by society; I truly hope it is going to change for the better for you.

  • Jack Jazzy

    You’re right. I’ll amend my thought here. What I want to say is that SJWs should not be complaining because the cast is quite diverse, particularly for a fantasy blockbuster. I do not believe the diversity will help or hinder the width of its audience. Stats show that diversity has little to no bearing on whether average moviegoers will see a movie. Some evidence aforementioned shows that people would prefer an all-white cast, but I’m not necessarily advocating that. But I’m against diversity for diversity’s sake and I’m against changing character’s skin color to fill a diversity quota. And I oppose this “reviewer”‘s metrics of measuring the quality of a movie based on how many minorities are in it. That is reasonable.

  • Danielm80

    Have you ever complained that a film is formulaic or based on clichés? Stereotypes about women and minorities are a type of cliché—although they’re also connected to heated social issues, of course—so it’s possible to get irritated by them just on basic aesthetic grounds.

  • John

    Well, I felt like I have to be overly clear because it seems people want to misunderstand me in this comment section… Proof of this is the false conclusion in your next sentence.

  • LaSargenta

    Why are you up-voting all your comments?

  • Seb

    Never mind the fact that “white privilege” is a myth that doesn’t exist – having precisely ZERO evidence to back it up.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Because I can :P

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    “None so blind…”

  • Danielm80

    I was going to suggest that we start a drinking game based on this thread, but that would require that the comments make some sort of basic sense, and most of them don’t.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Is he? Awesome!

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    It’s not so much a “false” conclusion as you not really realizing what you’re saying. Try this, if I say “I hated this movie, the music was horrible” and you respond “I don’t really listen to the music, and you should enjoy the film without paying attention to the music”, that would be a silly argument, and certainly would make me like the movie any more.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    “Abusing”. The poor, poor movie. *sadface*

    Also, perhaps you’re not the most objective observer yourself there chief.

  • John

    Nah. I’d appreciate that you actually paid attention to what the movie itself is about (at least you TRIED to enjoy the movie as what it is), and if you hate the music and therefore the movie, so be it.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    We could bust out the bingo cards?

  • Seb

    And since when is it a good way to judge people based off of their skin? To “pretend” like a white man. As if this is supposed to mean something. Was it not MLK who said “I dream that one day we will live in a nation where they will NOT be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
    You are completely neglecting this, whilst being what I’m sure you’re so very much against.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    In other words, other people’s actual opions, and their reasons for them, vex you, when they don’t conform to your own.
    Seems like LaSargenta already covered that, though.

  • derekremund

    Of course I have, and of course I’ll complain about that.

    That’s not what I find problematic about the analysis as presented.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I don’t think you actually listened to that speech, let alone anything else King aver said about anything. (Except the things that sound kinda racist against white people. Be you got that shit memorized.)

  • richard goodwin

    In my humble opinion as an illustrator and fantasy enthusiast, you should have looked more at Frazetta’s body of work before using him as a reference point here. If he’s your only idea of a fantasy artist (and I understand the ease of using his name instead of doing research), maybe pick up a few books and do some more research before throwing a respected and loved artist under the bus. He didn’t really do orcs and magic often (or at all in reference to the visuals of the warcraft franchise). He was an illustrator that had his hands in a lot of different worlds, but the brand of fantasy that Warcraft is a part wasn’t one of them. John Blanche, David Gallagher, Adrian Smith, Karl Kopinski, Geoff Taylor, Alex Boyd, and Paul Dainton are just a few names I can think of that had their hands in creating the different Warhammer settings that Warcraft has pulled from visually since the beginning.

  • Jack Jazzy

    I also down voted everyone else’s. Are you triggered now!? mwahaha

  • Seb

    Could people actually name me one institution or law that is racist or sexist in intent? Can people point out to me which systems systematically privilege men? If you can find any, then we need to correct them, or stop them if need be.

    But so long as people are not capable of doing that, shouting “institutionalized racism” and “white male privilege” really fails to prove anything.
    The ONLY laws that do actively discriminate or privileges certain groups of people, are ALWAYS in favor of women and poc. It’s called affirmative action.

  • Seb

    I did, and you refuted nothing.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    But would the character she using have known any of those names?

    Also, allusion, how does it work?

    Also, somehow I think Frazetta will manage to survive this base libelslander, even without your defense.

  • John

    Wait, now you appear to be Cpt. Obvious.

    Yes dear sir/madam, I’m annoyed by opinions and their reasons, that don’t conform with my own in a drastic way, like every other human being.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Yeah, you should work on that. It’s not the sound reasoning you seem to want to think it is.

  • John

    Understood, Dr. Rocketscience.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    *thumbs up emoji*

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    So far, I’ve muted a basic racist, a dudebro, and some guy who’s just pissing me off. And all three have responded, even though I won’t see it. That gives me some joy.

  • John

    Wait, which one am I? : / Oh ye muted, nvm …

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Not you. So sorry.

  • Seb

    Projection thy name is Lenina Crowne. Just because YOU care so much about race and gender – because you’re a racist and sexist – doesn’t mean you have to project your immoral views onto other people, and certainly not people you have never, nor will ever meet. You are literally so racist and sexist, that you assume everyone else is.

  • Seb

    You in fact did NOT go to far. You pointed out her hypocrisy, and you did not resort to ad hominems. Heck ad hominems are not even fallacious so long as the accusation is true – which in this case, it would be. Great respect for speaking out. I just wish MaryAnn actually tried to listen to opposing arguments without dismissing them for “angry privileged white men”. This is ridiculous.

  • Mygaffer

    It’s ironic you harp on the lack of non-white non-female leads while comparing the film unfavorably to Lord of the Rings, which was rather lacking in both departments as well.

    The inclusion or lack of non-white characters has nothing to do with the quality of the film. A film can have all non-white, all female casts and be terrible, an all white male film can be great, and everywhere in between. Including this in a movie review seems very political and has nothing to do with the quality of the film. It’s sad to see a handful of reviewers now use politics as a crutch when writing reviews.

  • John

    I really wasn’t looking forward to a discussion with you anyways … You reek too much of self-importance.

  • Seb

    Keep showcasing your tolerance for other people’s ideas and opinions (because that’s what progressives do, no?)… by being…intolerant!

  • LaSargenta

    No, just perplexed. It is like cheating at solitaire.

  • LaSargenta

    Well, I don’t know if it is “Awesome!” But, it is odd and kind of futile.

  • Jack Jazzy

    In my defense, it is a game stacked heavily against me. Most rational people don’t give people like this reviewer the time of day, so hardly anyone will be here to upvote or agree with me when I say that the amount of non-whites in a movie is an invalid metric of quality. Duncan Jones put in a valiant effort in assembling a diverse cast and telling an impartial story about humans vs. orcs, humanizing the latter. For that he deserves praise, not petulant criticism.

  • LaSargenta

    When an artist (singular or collective) toils away in a garret (metaphorical or otherwise), only living with the art in progress, the artist is working from a vision that sprung from the loins of that artist’s inspiration and lives in a special, isolated world. BUT, there comes a day when that art has to be set free. It must be hung on a gallery wall, placed on a pedestal in some marble arcade, erected by construction workers, cast in a foundry and put in a public square, shown in a movie theater, spoke or sung through a microphone, published on leaves of dead trees, released on the web, wheat-pasted to a plywood siding, or painted with spray cans on a wall (probably in my neighborhood).

    This is scary, because NOW there is an audience.

    The audience brings its experiences, its exposures to some of the same things that inspired the artist, its likes and dislikes, and its prejudices. In fact, the art now is gazed upon and becomes ART and it no longer belongs to the artist and, in fact, becomes one with the soup of the culture(s) of the audience.

    It will be interpreted in a multitude of ways. It will cause emotions that are not guaranteed to be the same between members of the audience nor even emotions that the artist imagined firing in people. There will be intellectual connections made by strangers that the artist never thought of. There will be myriad opinions.

    You know what? They are all right.

  • LaSargenta

    Upvotes are not currency and Duncan Jones probably will never know that you are cheating to support him on this site.

  • Jack Jazzy
  • Jack Jazzy

    He liked my tweet ;)

  • LaSargenta

    Well good for you. But, seriously, you upvoting yourself doesn’t make him like your tweet more. I’m still perplexed.

  • Jack Jazzy

    You fixating on me upvoting myself for fun doesn’t refute my argument or bolster your defense of this self-righteous, bigoted reviewer.

  • LaSargenta

    Apologies, it was a tangential conversation as I hadn’t had much chance to get an answer as to why someone would do that. I’ve occasionally seen it before and always wondered.

    Feel free to return to your nonsense and I’ll return to ignoring you.

  • John

    Quite beautifully spoken. However, I’d say they are as much wrong as they are right. Same applies to me, of course. Well, at least let me have the freedom to disagree. : )

  • LaSargenta

    You do. But, depending on how you frame your disagreement, I might feel that I want to exercise my freedom to tell you to go fuck yourself.

    That’s the nature of discourse.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Typical. Oh well, I encourage you to check out the film for yourself and form your own opinion. You seem intelligent enough to not blindly embrace this woman’s word just because she taps into some of the issues you seem to care about.

  • LaSargenta

    Life is short. I frequent this reviewer’s site because I found with the movies we both had seen, she was a generally reliable barometer as to whether or not I’d feel like my time watching something was well spent. Over time I realized where this wasn’t reliable and I now have adjusted the calibration.

    This film does not look interesting and my time is too valuable to push myself to see something in the hopes I’ll have fodder for an argument.

  • John

    Hmm, I’m not a big fan of this kind of discourse. Doesn’t lead to anything but divergence. But oh well, so be it. Or not. Bye.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Exactly, this movie isn’t made for the likes of you or this reviewer. It’s made for people who like fun action movies. Those people aren’t as petty in their needs for diversity, and don’t let that ruin their experience. My feeling is they shouldn’t even try to pander, because there will always be some perceived problem. But you can just look at IMDb and see that there are a lot of minorities in the cast (three of them are leads) and you can read any article or watch literally any interview with Duncan Jones (who’s married to an Asian woman), and he’ll talk about how he wished to portray the orcs in a fair light, and not as monsters. I even heard they made some of the ELVES Asian, which outraged a lot of purist fans. It’s a pretty ridiculous claim to say that this film is geared solely towards white males.

  • LaSargenta

    Ahahahahahaha.

    Yeah. Actually, I *do* like fun action movies. Between the trailer and this review, this seems like it would be leaden to me. I’d rather rewatch something actually fun.

    bye felicia

  • Jack Jazzy

    Nerdy fantasy film then? Unless you’re a Ringer or a member of the DnD club. Probably not your cup of tea. Idk you, but this kind of movie is an acquired taste, obv not for everyone. That’s all I was saying.

  • LaSargenta

    So you feel a need to attack people who don’t want to bother wasting time acquiring your taste?

  • Jack Jazzy

    No, I’m saying this movie is for hardcore fantasy fans. Idk you, but I’m guessing you’re not a Ringer (lord of the rings fan). It’s hardly of any value for me to review a metal album when I don’t like metal music.

  • LaSargenta

    This is a website of a film reviewer. Reviewing films is the job of a film reviewer. Real reviewers don’t limit themselves to one pigeonholed genre of films.

    Even music reviewers don’t necessarily limit themselves.

    Being a reviewer is not about being a fan. Also, even a fan ought to have some discernment and be able to judge whether something is good or just hitting the high notes of that particular ‘fandom’.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Right. As much as I would have liked for them to make a finer, more accessible, sort of cinematic film adaptation of Warcraft, they really went out of their way to retain the cartoonish-ness of the game’s aesthetic with lots of CGI and critics as well as audiences are rather predisposed to the gritty, realistic quality of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and have come to expect that in any sort of fantasy filmmaking. This film, being more than fantasy (uber high fantasy), enters murky territory, which makes it a harder sell, because so much of it is animated and blended together with real actors.

    Critics of film generally recuse themselves of having to review anime, because it’s a very specific, acquired taste kind of thing. This film, I believe, has a similar dynamic. But I think more people will open up to it because they love the game or they love fantasy a la Avatar and Rings, which is closer to what this film is.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Most critics recuse themselves of reviewing anime. It’s such a specific, acquired taste thing. Warcraft, being so heavily animated (in order to retain the game’s cartoonish aesthetic) and blended together with real actors, enters murky territory, being more than your average fantasy picture, where we have come to expect gritty, realistic visuals a la Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. It’s now uber high fantasy, which is a tougher sell. It becomes part of a more niche, cult market, like anime. But bigger since many people see this as a cool blending of Avatar and Lord of the Rings and are on board for the popcorn fantasy fare it promises. Others see it the way many see anime. Something other, that’s too nerdy for their time.

  • Jack Jazzy

    Most critics recuse themselves of reviewing anime. It’s such a specific, acquired taste thing. Warcraft, being so heavily animated (in order to retain the game’s cartoonish aesthetic) and blended together with real actors, enters murky territory, being more than your average fantasy picture, where we have come to expect gritty, realistic visuals a la Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. It’s now uber high fantasy, which is a tougher sell. It becomes part of a more niche, cult market, like anime. But bigger since many people see this as a cool blending of Avatar and Lord of the Rings and are on board for the popcorn fantasy fare it promises. Others see it the way many see anime. Something other, that’s too nerdy for their time…

  • Kerk Crotchlickmeoff

    Who’s that “White Male Teenage Nerd”? A new critic? Never heard of him. What’s he known for? Is he like AVGN?

  • bronxbee

    exactly what do you think the definition of “critic” is? some are movie reviewers, which means they’re satisfied with a “thumbs up/thumbs down” quick and simple overview of the movie. a “critic” on the other hand, attempts to analyze a creative endeavor with a view towards putting it into a larger context or examining the creative endeavor’s expression of the culture in which it is viewed. so if all you want is a simplistic, “i loved/hated it” there are plenty of reviewers out there, but that is not criticism.

  • richard goodwin

    It’s just my humble opinion – of course I know Frazetta will survive this, and I do understand allusion – I’m merely offering a (in my opinion) more accurate artistic reference point. I simply appreciate reviews that have done research and offer well informed opinions as result.

  • Danielm80
  • Fuck you Cunt

    you are a cunt and your review is offensive and biased as hell. go do something else.

  • Jon Skinner

    they really shouldn’t put SJW reviews along side normal human beings reviews

  • illanm

    YOUR BIAST COS YOU SAID RUSH NOT VAN HALEN WHO ARE CLEARLY SUPERIER

  • Matamoros

    Yes I can. Why wouldn’t I be able to?

  • RD20

    Alternatively it’s just a crappy review. Warcraft is created by the type of people who would have a Frazetta poster which are pretty darn amazing pieces of art. Somehow you consider being compared to beautiful fantasy art to be an insult. I’m going to give you the benefit of doubt and guess you have at least played wow if not the original warcraft. If so you should know the story is pretty much set in stone. Frankly you seem to be the kind of person who many people escaped to fantasy realms to avoid; however now geek is cool so you have to at least pretend to like it. TBH it’s rather disgusting.

  • RD20

    Actually they were closest in coloration to native american which would make sense due the influence of the shamanistic culture of certain tribes on the creation of the horde culture. Warcraft is specifically mean to be shades of grey except for the big bads. If anything there is are large parallel drawn between the Native Americans and orcs, not Native Africans.

  • RD20

    Sure the courts.

    In terms of sentencing length

    Black Men > White Men > Black Women > White Woman

    Class also varies this a bit but sex does tend to be a larger factor than race :D

  • Michiel

    Not sure what is more hilarious, the review or the comment section.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    As a self-professed lore nerd, I’m just gonna say , “Ugh”.

  • I don’t even have a Twitter account. That’s not me.

    Then I stand corrected. But you’re still using a man’s name as your handle, so I’ll stand by my contention that you are either a man or you are pretending to be.

    Your question about trans people is a good one, and a complicated one. And completely irrelevant to how some white men gets pissed off when their privilege is pointed out.

  • we apparently aren’t allowed to like anything that “white male nerds” would traditionally like,

    You’re allowed to like whatever you want to like. This is not in question.

    you’ve decided their combination of sex and race isn’t okay

    So not what I said.

  • halavana

    Satire! Beloved satire!!! Wasn’t interested in paying to see Warcraft, but definitely enjoyed the review.

  • That part of the world literally does not exist in this movie.

  • Battlefield Earth.

    I was a D&D playing, Rush-listening teenage nerd in the 80s, too.

  • When talking about whitewashing and racism in Hollywood, you can’t really blame one person, one department, or one film

    Oh, you may rest assured, I don’t.

  • Filmmaking is a business..

    Movies with diverse casts make more money than those without. The “Hollywood is a business” excuse has been demonstrated time and again to be nonsense. If Hollywood truly cared about making as much money as possible, we would see different sorts of movies with different sorts of casts.

    hot, recognizable actors.

    Like Travis Fimmel and Ben Schnetzer?

  • If he’s your only idea of a fantasy artist

    Haha. He’s not.

  • The inclusion or lack of non-white characters has nothing to do with the quality of the film.

    Absolutely true. But when a film, such as this one, has nothing else going for it (unlike LOTR, which did), it becomes blazingly obvious.

    A film can have all non-white, all female casts and be terrible,

    It’s almost like you actually read some of my Where Are the Women? project!

    Still, can you think of a *single* film with an entirely nonwhite, entirely female cast? I can’t.

  • It’s made for people who like a fun action movie.

    That would be me! And yet this movie failed to amuse me.

    Duncan Jones (who’s married to an Asian woman)

    Did you really just go to “but some of his best friends are black”?

    I even heard they made some of the ELVES Asian

    Wait: You *heard*? Have you not even seen the movie you are defending so vociferously?

    Elves are barely even glimpsed in the film. FYI.

    It’s a pretty ridiculous claim to say that this film is geared solely towards white males and does not represent minorities

    It really isn’t.

  • because so much of it is animated and blended together with real actors.

    Wrong. The problem with this movie is not that it is “high fantasy” or mixed CGI with live actors. (The new *Jungle Book* does that, and it’s marvelous.) The problem is that the story is all over the place, there’s no protagonist, the dialogue is crap, the characters are not developed, and it’s all a pile of soulless shit.

  • The orcs do NOT look like Native Americans in this movie. Not even close.

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