All About Communication

 

By Jessica Daniel

As a college student majoring in Communication Studies, I am learning a lot about how and why people communicate the way they do. Communication is more than just speaking, but it is actively listening and paying attention to nonverbal cues, being in tune to the other person and how that person sends his or her message. The act of communication is transactional, meaning each person in a conversation exchanges roles in being the sender (speaker) and receiver (listener). It is also about learning how to manage conflict in relationships whether those relationships are family, friends, coworkers, etc. I really enjoy my major and learning the skills of being an effective communicator. I think if more people took communication classes and apply the skills they learn in every aspect of their lives the healthier relationships would be.

I am so glad I chose Communication Studies as my major; it is very broad and filled with a variety of career opportunities to get involved in. The areas available to focus on as a part of the major are interpersonal, small groups, public relations, organizational, intercultural, mass media and more. With Communication Studies, there are so many options to choose from that can accomodate anyone interested in the field.

Orange County Supervisors Approve Year-Round Homeless Shelter

By Christopher Rivera

 

In November, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, of California, unanimously approved a year-round homeless shelter to be built in Anaheim. This was after 600 supporters and opponents who gathered at the forum at Eastside Christian Church.

Their vote came four hours after heated debate over whether or not the warehouse should be converted into a 200 bed facility for the homeless. The facility is located off the 91 freeway, and is on 1000 N. Kraemer Place in an industrialized part of Anaheim.

Those that were against opening of the facility were business owners that surround the area, as well as residents from nearby neighborhoods. Their argument against opening a year-round homeless shelter is it will only lead to more crime and become “a magnet to additional homeless in the area,” said Mike Chew, who is a nearby resident who lives a mile away from the facility.

Image result for year round homeless shelter anaheim\

The opponents also fear that once this location is open that it will deter customers from shopping at their stores. The residents in the nearby neighborhoods fear that the homeless shelter will lower their value of their home.

Those that were in favor of opening a year-round homeless shelter included advocacy groups, charities, and churches.

One of the supporters was Curtis Gamble, who, as the O.C. Register reports, was homeless for six years, told the forum, “It’s time we help the veterans. We served the country, we looked out for you. It’s time to look out for us.”

With the shelter approved, board Chairman Todd Spitzer was reported saying, “If we do it here and we do it right and we dispel all the myths, we can do this and we can solve the homeless problem in our county.”

The 200 bed homeless shelter will be, “equipped with a multiservice center that would assist occupants with health, employment, housing and other services.” Shuttles will be available to transfer people to and from the shelter to jobs and appointments. Homeless clients who have pet dogs will also be able to keep their pets in kennels and be able to play with them in a dog park that is located on the facility. The shelter will also offer a bike repair station, as was reported Scpr.org. It will also help people find permanent housing and permanent employment.

The shelter will be able to provide, “122 beds for men, 64 beds for women with an additional, separate wing for families. Cots, mats and cribs would be used for overflow.” There will also be a “[f]lexible sleeping space [that] would also be provided for transgender populations, people with special illnesses or people in recuperative care.”

The shelter beds will be available upon reservation only, and a background check must be passed to ensure there are no wanted felons or sex offenders from entering the facility. They are hoping there will be an average stay of 30 days, with a six month stay maximum.

10 percent of the shelter’s beds will be reserved for referrals from law enforcement agencies. And to make sure this facility is safe there will be unarmed private security guards patrolling the property. The shelter will also have metal detectors, cameras, and outdoor lights to ensure safety.

It is estimate that nearly 15,300 people will experience at least one night of homelessness over the course of this year, according to Orange County Commission to End Homelessness.

Although the 200 bed shelter is only going to help a fraction of the 4,500 people who are homeless in Orange County, but as Karen Stoyanoff, who is a member of Anaheim’s Poverty Task Force and a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim, said “[The shelter] is a drop in a bucket, but the point is, we’ve got to start somewhere.”

Christmas Time

By Jessica Daniel

As the holiday season arrives with Christmas next week, I cannot help but feel for many people who have lost loved ones during this time of the year. I have experienced it myself when I lost my dad. For many, the Christmas season can bring memories of sadness just thinking about no longer seeing your mom or your dad, your brother or your sister, or even a friend who has passed away. This season brings heaviness for a lot of people as we see others who are blessed to have their familes together under one roof. Some people don’t have families. Some people are homeless with no place to go or to eat.

For those of us who still have families in our lives, we need to love and cherish them, no matter if our families are dysfunctional or not, blood related or spiritually related. Family is a gift from God. We need to cherish the people in our lives while we still have them with us because you never know what could happen. Cherish each and every day that you have and thank God for each day that He blesses you with your loved ones. Forget all arguments and disagreements you may have had with family and open your heart to love and forgiveness towards one another because life is short.

As Christmas arrives next week, I want to encourage anyone who feels sad during this time of the year to look to Jesus for that peace and joy you never thought you would experience. For me, Jesus is my hope and He is the reason why I smile even through the pain and the stormy trials that I face. No matter what we are going through, no matter what or who we have lost, God is right there ready to restore and to comfort us. So allow Him to turn your sadness during the holidays or any day into a joy you thought you would never have.

Psalms 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”

Nicolas Hėnin: Welcoming Refugees A Vaccine Against Terrorism

 

 

 

henin

 

By Chris Rivera

On December 7th, on Democracy Now, Amy Goodman interviewed French journalist and author Nicolas Hėnin; Hėnin was held hostage by Isis for ten months in Syria and was held by Mohammed Emwazi. The focus of their conversation included Hėnin’s thoughts on countries closing their borders to Syrian refugees.

 

Released hostages journalists Edouard Elias, Didier Francois and Nicolas Henin

 
Hėnin was released from captivity on April 18th, 2014 along with three other French journalists. He told Europe 1, which is his employer, that they had spent “six whole months in basements without seeing daylight, and for two-and-a-half months we were chained to each other … In a country at war it’s not always easy to get food, water, electricity … sometimes the fighting was close and we were moved very quickly in crazy and unpleasant conditions.”
He had tried to escape captivity, but unfortunately he was captured within 24 hours, as was mentioned in an article by the Guardian.
In the interview Amy Goodman asked Hėnin about how the West is handling the Syrian refugee crisis; his response is inspirational for person who was not only held hostage by Isis, but for someone whose country was attacked by terrorist that killed 130 people. Hėnin responds by saying, “welcoming refugees is not a terror threat to us, to our countries. It’s like a vaccine to protect us from terrorism, because the more interactions we have between societies, between communities, the less there will be tensions. I mean, the Islamic State believes in a global confrontation. What they want eventually is civil war in our countries, or at least large unrest, and in the Middle East, a large-scale war. This is what they look for. This is what they struggle for. So we have to kill their narrative and actually to welcome refugees, totally destroy their narrative. And if you kill their narrative, it’s even more efficient than if you drop some bombs and kill some of their fighters.”
The way we kill their narrative, according to Hėnin, is by showing refugees and Muslims that Isis propaganda is just, well, propaganda. Hėnin believes Western society has to show the Syrian refugees that the West is not as Islamophobic as Isis is saying it is. He wants to show that Western society is actually suitable for Muslims, and well anybody with different views and different religions.
Hėnin goes onto talk about how the caliphate that Isis is creating is not the dream land that Isis is saying it is. How could it be when there are “hundreds of thousands of Muslims fleeing this dream land of Syria. It’s like—it’s just like if you had loads of Jews fleeing Israel just a couple of years after the state of Israel is established. I mean, that’s a—it contradicts all of the speech the state is based on and contracts itself on. And not only that, so they leave this land of sham, that is dream land for ISIS, to immigrate to lands of unbelievers.”
The Syrian refugees are leaving a place that they are familiar with for a place that they possibly know little to nothing about, and they are being “welcomed with open arms by the Western societies, who—and by many people in Europe who say, ‘Well, you are our brothers, and we will protect you.”
Of course there are going to be those people who share Donald Trump’s view on banning all Muslims from entering, which Hėnin believes that this mindset only, “play[s] the game of ISIS,” because, “welcoming refugees is kind of a vaccine against terrorism.”
Hėnin also had a few words about religion to which he said, “religion seems to be always almost a vaccine against terrorism, because a good religious people will never become a terrorist.”
Towards the end of the interview Amy Goodman asked Hėnin “What would you say to young Europeans who want to join, who what to become jihadists?” To which he responds, “ISIS will recruit you, telling you jihad is cool, because, yes, it’s cool, if you have no life, no girlfriend, no job, no money, nothing in your home country, and ISIS promises you, what, adventure, engagement, a girl, a car, a weapon, power, money, whatever. So, they all play like jihad is cool. And my answer is: ISIS is a scam, because ISIS does not really fight Assad, does not protect the Muslims in Syria, but kills, to wide extent, a number of Muslims in Syria. ISIS is a disaster for the Syrian people. So, for those who want to join ISIS, I tell them, “I understand the reason for your rage, because, yes, there are many reasons actually to be unhappy about both your life in the West or both the situation in Syria and these civilians being massacred in huge numbers. But ISIS will just make you make this crisis bigger.”

Sanders and Clinton: The Democratic Debate

As the United States approaches the year 2016, we find ourselves looking at all the possible candidates that can be the future leaders of our country. The most recent, and likely one of the more popular debates that has been seen is the debate of the democrat candidates in 2015. The biggest names among the group were Hillary Clinton, the most popular and well-liked candidate who is most likely to receive a nomination. And there was also Bernie Sanders, an up-and-coming candidate who is a senator from Vermont and has a very clear stance on politics, pointing out corruption and injustices that have been committed over the last 30 or so years.

These two were the biggest names in the debate and for good reason. Clinton is the most-likely to receive the nomination as she is exactly what the Democratic Party is looking for: Someone who is able to represent their views in a suitable manner while also having skills and beliefs that everyone can agree with when it comes to leadership. Her time working in the office with her husband Bill Clinton would certainly give her experience and if she won, she would be the first female president of the United States. Considering that the US has just recently had their first-ever black president, it makes sense to keep the change going by having a female in office for the first time.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is very much a liberal. He has strong views on the government as a whole and on the country. Sanders has been both praised and criticized for his strong Socialist beliefs on having free medical care, free college tuition, and placing larger taxes on the 1% of American corporations that make trillions of dollars every year. He has garnered much attention from the millennial generation and minorities, receiving a great deal of support after announcing that he plans to run for the presidency to change the horrors that he has seen. Sanders has made his position very clear on #Black Lives Matter as he stated in the Democrat debate saying, “We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major, major reforms in a broken criminal justice system in which we have more people in jail than China. And I intend to tackle that issue to make sure that our people have education and jobs, rather than jail cells.”

The debate was full of incredible moments where politicians addressed tough issues such as #Black Lives Matter, and Planned Parenthood and the fire that it has received. All politicians gave it their best, however it was Clinton and Sanders that stole the spotlight and received the most attention. While many young voters are hoping to see Bernie inaugurated into office, many opinion polls hold Hilary as the top candidate. It seems that Bernie is just too far left for politicians to consider appropriate for leadership. There was a rumor going around the internet, starting on the popular website Reddit – where Sanders has garnered plenty of support – that CNN’s official website took down their Facebook opinion poll where their viewers voted on who won the election, with Sanders having a staggering 82% lead over the other candidates, saying that it was taken down so that their viewers would be able to believe their articles saying that Clinton won the debate. This turned out to be nothing more than a rumor as the poll still exists on the official Facebook page with the solid results that have Sanders at the top. However, there are plenty more opinion polls that have Hilary Clinton at the head of the line, so Sanders supporters shouldn’t get their hopes too high unless they include their vote in the primaries.

There were rumors of Vice-President Joe Biden planning to run for office, and many people were surprised that he was absent from the debate. It turns out that Biden was rumored to run for the presidency, but not too long after the debate he held a press conference on October 21st putting the rumors to rest, saying that he was not going to run. For some, this is a disappointment and for others it is a surprise. Nevertheless, much of the Democratic Party is focused on Sanders and Clinton to see who will win the nomination.

As for the Republican Party, there is a very large majority from both sides of the political line that simply hope it’s anyone but Donald Trump.

Black Power: Why I’m Fed Up With BET Networks

  BET or Black Entertainment Television use to be a force to be reckoned with. Once owned by Bob Johnson, use to display positive and powerful programs like Video Soul with Donnie Simpson, BET NEWS, also one of my favorites that they need to bring back for this lost generation is Teen Summitt. A youth talk show geared toward giving African American teenagers an outlet to share their voices on topics that most concern them. 

Nowadays, BET shows a constant rerun of the same movies and nothing really positive for the African American audience it targets. Lately, the network has picked up the show The Westbrooks. Which from the commercials I’ve seen is just a black watered down version of The Khardasians.  Has our society gone so far into this social media game that we are praising young ladies for being popular on social media instead of being an intelligent and educated young woman. I suppose so with the term, “hoes be winning”. 

Come On, BET what happened to College Hill, Baldwin Hills and several other shows. I noticed the Book of Negroes, lasted not very long. 

Black People in power stop giving away your damn power for a measly buck! Johnson sold BET Network to Viacom some years ago. Just like Dr. Dre sold Beats by Dre to Apple. If black people weren’t so brainwashed perhaps we could do better. We will always be at the bottom of the totem pole for that reason alone. 

I just hope that for the ones with power we help take care of each other.  As for BET a non black owned station could careless about making positive images in the black community because they want to keep us ignorant and dumb. 

  Wake up black people! BET or VH1 don’t give a damn about black people. There was a time when VH1 wouldn’t even show blacks on their network. Now all you see are blacks.  Because they’re capitalizing off of our ignorance with shows like Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop. Shows that potray us as being over sexualized and catty to other black women. Men cheating on their women because one just isn’t enough.  We need to wake up to see the tricks being played here. 

  
Pick up a book instead of a remote sometimes.  

Representation in Modern Animation

Cartoons have been and will always continue to be for kids, speaking in terms of the majority. They were made for everyone in the beginning, with a Bugs Bunny cartoon meant to entertain children and their families when they brought them to the only places that would show cartoons at the time – movie theaters. Now everyone enjoys a great classic, while also enjoying the evolution of cartoons over the last few decades. In more recent years, kids and young adults are able to see more representation in certain shows where most would have the simple white family and school with the occasional black friend, though those were rather rare.

However, with these new representations and many of the children of the 90’s and 00’s not willing to let go of their childhoods just yet, the audience has expanded from young children to adults as old as 25. Many audiences are thrilled to see a new generation of cartoons taking shape and showing more representation in their characters, as well as giving a darker side to the cartoons and giving deeper meanings to the people that watch it.

header

One of the more famous cartoons of recent years is The Legend of Korra cartoon made by Brian Konietzko and Michael DiMartino is the sequel series to their famous work in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The cartoons take you to a mystical land heavily-inspired and created through Asian culture where there are people capable of manipulating the elements at will and using them to their advantage, no matter whether it’s good or bad and the show makes a point of showing you both and keeping many characters in the “grey” area between good and evil. The Avatar being the most powerful of them all, able to bend all four elements. Avatar: The Last Airbender has often been praised for its unique storytelling as well as representation among their main cast, with all of them arguably being people of color, and one of them being handicapped with blindness. The Legend of Korra was quick to make waves after, showing a young woman as the new avatar with incredible skill, while also being one of the first bisexual characters to appear on a cartoon show and having it be recognized by audience and crew.

tumblr-nkpnavx7t61rptk5lo2-1280-126321

Though it was not completely explicit in this as some might have liked, it was still incredible and greatly supported by the audience. Korra was also rather famous for showing the darker side of mental illness, putting Korra through rather traumatic events that caused her to have intense PTSD for a majority of the final season. It is praised for it’s forward-thinking as well as its unique animation style which has often been compared to the intricate animation of Japan.

dccomics_ad_SU_v5

Another, and one of the more recent cartoons, and likely the most famous for their wide variety of racial and gender representation is the Steven Universe cartoon made by Rebecca Sugar. The cartoon is a science fiction tale of a young boy named Steven, who lives with three alien beings that are known as the Crystal Gems. There is Pearl, the tall, motherly, undoubtedly elegant and organized Gem that once was in love with Steven’s late mother Rose Quartz. There is Amethyst, the scrappy little purple Gem that has a rather messy fighting style as well as eating habits, and is recognized by both the audience and the crew members as genderfluid, even though the preferred pronouns used for Amethyst are She/Her, though there are episodes where Amethyst can be seen looking like a rather masculine man known as the wrestler Purple Puma. While she is technically an alien, Amethyst is also considered a person of color. The third Gem that steven lives with is Garnet, the leader of the three. She stands tall and proud with a cool attitude and serenity, with immense power and an ability to read into the future, while also being undeniably another person of color.

Steven Universe has been argued to be one of the more forward-thinking cartoon shows of the current cartoon era as it not only has the main cast being people of color, but also many of the supporting cast, including Steven’s love interest Connie Maheswaran. There are multiple characters shown throughout the show with their own small story arcs as they interact with Steven and the Gems, with only a few of the typical white American families showing their faces among the crowd, though they aren’t always considered typical. There is also, and more notably, the character Garnet. Garnet was revealed to actually be something called a fusion Gem, meaning that she is a being created from two Gems known as Ruby and Sapphire. She is a living representation of a lesbian relationship. Many of the actual voice cast are also people of color, with the well-known singer Estelle playing as Garnet, Deedee Magno-hall playing as Pearl, Erika Shukrani Luttrell playing as Sapphire, Michaela Dietz playing as Amethyst, and even a celebrity appearance by Nicki Minaj as the voice of Sugilite – the fusion of Garnet and Amethyst.  

Steven Universe shows a wide appeal to many audiences with deep and intricate story lines surrounding the lore of the Gems and their society, as well as how the Crystal Gems came to protect earth after a long and arduous war for it over 5,000 years ago. It also appeals to many people of color and those of the LGBT+ spectrum by showing support for them with their own character cast. There is also the main character himself, Steven Universe, who has been seen breaking a few of the usual boundaries made for main characters by being a young, chubby boy that has a kind heart and is rather quick to emotion. This is not something seen in most of the main characters involving young boys, as they’re often shown as rough-and-tumble types that will never shed a tear. Steven Universe is a boy that will cry over the fact that snakes don’t have arms, loves the color pink, and isn’t afraid to wear a dress and work it like no one else.

With these new forward-thinking shows, it looks like there will be promising representation in the future for all people of color, as well as those outside of the heterosexual orientation, and the gender binary norm. Steven Universe has already garnered quite the large and well-known fan base online for its representation along with its rather intricate story line. Many people of the millennial generation, or those within the 12-25 age range are hoping to see a great deal more of the show and will continue to support it as long as it’s airing.

Empire: TV Royalty Enters Season 2

Empire: TV Royalty enters Season 2 by Randall Rydell Russell

  
Last January, director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) did something that not many have done before. He took a freshman, predominately black television series, and made it historical. It was in critics top lists, the soundtrack sold like crazy, and was nominated for numerous awards, making it the biggest hit the Fox Network has had in a long time. Now in season two, Lee Daniels looks to raise the stakes and tell a new chapter of the Lyon family and their associates. At the end of last season, Luscious Lyon (Terrence Howard), was sent to prison for the murder of his childhood friend Bunky. Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) is using this time to figure out a way to take over Empire with the help of her oldest son Andre (Trai Byers), youngest son Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Luscious’ former fiancée Anika (Grace Gealey), all the while middle son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is trying to run the company and fixing his relationship with Luscious. As the past begins haunting them, it looks like this season will turn out to be even more epic than the first. Already, the season shows Luscious is doing everything he can to continue running Empire through Jamal and a mysterious executive (Marisa Tomei), even though he is behind bars. Cookie is seeing her past coming back to haunt her when the man she snitched on, Frank Gathers (Chris Rock) discovers Cookie’s betrayal. Jamal is fighting his inner demons, unable to make new music, trying to keep Empire running smooth, taking on a much darker side and distancing himself from the rest of his family due to their betrayal of Luscious at the end of last season. Hakeem wants to be the king of Empire and doesn’t approve of Jamal calling the shots, causing their once tight bond to be severed. Andre is living in constant paranoia after he and his wife Rhonda (Katlin Doubleday), killed and disposed of the body of Luscious’ partner Vernon (Malik Yoba), also he still wants to run Empire for himself. This season already is proving that it’s going to surpass the previous season. The music is hype, the acting is top notch, the drama is real. You can’t help but root for Luscious even though his character is so evil. You root for Cookie to be on top, but her past may crumble under her. So much to talk about and there’s only been one episode. Empire is ready to change the game, again.   

2015 Emmy Awards

     Everyone knows of the Emmy awards. Everyone knows these kinds of shows, where they have lovely trophies to honor those that work in show business from producers to directors to composers and to actors especially. The Emmy awards and the Oscars are two of the largest televised awards shows in the United States, both of them involve show business, but with a significant difference in how they are chosen. The Oscars are chosen through a group of judges from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, people who are able to give well-thought out opinions on films down to the very last detail. The Emmy awards, unlike the Oscars, are chosen from the votes of the people that are in the same business – performers voting on performers, directors on directors, and so on. Each Emmy is chosen by a group of the nominees peers.

     With this in mind, it’s also rather notorious for these awards shows to have bias. The Oscars’ group of judges have been known to be terrible snobs, with a predominantly white group of people winning these awards. The Emmys are not too different, with many white actors and actresses receiving awards over their non-white peers. The year 2015 seemed to take a different stance, giving out multiple awards to many women of color. The most notable of which being Viola Davis making history as the first black woman to receive the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on “How to Get Away with Murder.” Other notable awards were Regina King for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her work on “American Crime,” and Uzoamaka Aduba who won two Emmys under the categories of comedy and drama for her work on “Orange is the New Black.” She became the first woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and in its drama category counterpart for the same role.

     And it should also be noted that many of the nominees for these awards included more black women than before. For Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, there was also Angela Basset and Mo’nique Imes-Jackson alongside actresses like Kathy Bates. In Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Viola Davis was also up along with Taraji Henson.

     Viola Davis’s speech was rather historical in itself, starting off with a quote from Harriet Tubman, “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.” The rest of her speech celebrated black women, saying that the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. She spoke out many names of famous black actresses such as Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Nicole Behari, and Meagan Good and thank them for helping women of color to cross that line. It was a show of how important it is to be a black woman, how important it is to overcome boundaries that have been set in a society where pale skin is treasured above everything else, it was a show of sisterhood and support and it was awe-inspiring.

     Another notable moment, while it was not worthy of an award, it was certainly heartwarming like one. It was Tracy Morgan making his appearance on television at the Primetime Emmy awards for the first time since his rather major car accident last year. The accident caused a lot of neurological damage, as well as putting him in a coma for 8 days, and when he awoke he found that he lost one of his closest friends in that accident as well. It was incredible to see him walking out onto the stage unassisted and speaking in full sentences with no trouble. It was a moment of victory for him, and for everyone watching that knew what a fragile state he was in before.

     It was a truly spectacular night full of well-deserved awards to many actors and actresses who worked hard for their places in entertainment. Hollywood is notorious in its need to cover up color and replace with nice white people, but this year’s Emmy awards were a celebration of color. As more representation is placed on the screen of national television, it looks like there will be great recognition for people of color in the future, and hopefully next year’s Emmy will be studded with even more colorful stars.

Fantastic Four Flop

One thing that cannot be denied about today’s modern media is that superheroes have grown immensely popular. Marvel studios has put out more and more movies, especially following its time where it was given to Disney in 2009 not too long after the release of their first Marvel-Studios sanctioned movie of Iron man in 2008. Before that time, many of the Marvel movies such as the first Spiderman was owned by Sony and The Fantastic Four was owned by 20th Century Fox Studios. Recently, along with a few Spiderman reboot series that were produced in 2012 and 2014, another attempt was made to reboot The Fantastic Four in what might be the biggest movie flop of this generation.

The movie starts off easily enough, giving some back story to the characters of Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic, and Ben Grimm, also known as The Thing. The entire film is an origin story of how the Fantastic Four came to be, talking about how Reed wanted nothing more than to be the first person to invent teleportation. What he didn’t realize was, in his research, he ended up making teleportation to another dimension rather than to another location on earth. This caught the attention of Dr. Franklin Storm, a scientist researching inter-dimensional travel, and he asks Reed to become part of his program, making him part of the primary research team which includes his son Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch, and his adopted daughter Susan Storm, also known as Miss Invisible. After researching and finding a successful means of travel to another planet in another dimension, things go horribly awry after they attempt to send themselves there to make their mark before any government jerks get their hands on their success. From there, it goes downhill having their bodies gain their superpowers and are then trained to be used as weapons for the government while also preparing to find a way back to that other planet to use it for resources.

There were many changes made to the movie in comparison to the films that arose in 2005. One of the biggest differences was in the casting, making Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) black as well as his father (Reg E Cathy), while making Susan Storm (Kate Mara) their white, adopted daughter. When it was first known that Johnny was going to be black, there were mixed results in the aftermath. Some were outraged, saying that you can’t make a guy black when he’s supposed to be white. Others supported the decision, thinking it was good of Fox studios to attempt getting some more representation because the world needs more black superheroes. However, the movie was such a gigantic flop and when even the trailers didn’t look that interesting, most people were completely unaware of the decision and didn’t care.

The movie itself is terrible. The characters are as flat as possible, showing very little emotion throughout the film, with the exception of a scene where some of them were drunk. There is very little backstory on all of them, so their character introductions are horribly rushed. The effects of the movie were lovely to look at, however many feel that it would have been better to have the movie released in 3D and the director refused to do so. The director was Josh Trank, who directed other movies such as Chronicle. This pretty much summarizes his entire career as a director other than his work on Fantastic Four. All others he participated in he was mostly doing so as an editor, not as a writer or a director. And much of the blame for the 120 million dollar movie’s disastrous opening weekend, which only gave Fox 26 million dollars, is put on him.

According to different sources from the set, Trank was often withdrawn from others as he created the film, spending most of his time in his trailer instead of with others on set. And although Fox was reluctant to micro-manage their director as they didn’t wish to gain that kind of reputation, Trank was quick to micro-manage his actors down to the point where he would tell them when to blink and breathe during their scenes to keep their characters as flat as possible. He was not kind to his actors either, often getting into fights with them over the scene and being abusive to Kate Mara, who played Susan Storm despite his objections to her casting. Though it never escalated to fist fights with the actors, it did almost get to that point with Miles Teller, who fought with him very often due to his sarcastic nature and Trank’s rather withdrawn personality.

Now with 20th Century Fox out over 60 million dollars, it’s not likely that they will put trust in Trank, despite his success with his movie Chronicle that he directed for them in the past. Trank’s reputation as a director is unsightly, and the hopes of seeing more representation among future superhero cast members is not strong. Luckily, this movie was not made by the same studio that created the Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America movies. So perhaps Marvel fans can hope to see more black superheroes in the cast for any upcoming films.