JP Dalton’s review published on Letterboxd:
Originally this was two different reviews, but since then I decided it better to combine the two for people to easily look back on. First post took place the day of James Gunn's firing. Second post took place 6 days later.
I thought we all knew James Gunn's sense of humor was offensive. Look at Slither and Super. Heck in the first Guardians one of the most famous jokes insinuated that Peter Quill basically painted the walls of his spaceship with jizz! The guy worked for Troma for years, a company known for its dark and twisted comedy. He even had a web series called PG Porn. Until around the time he joined Marvel his whole shtick was being offensive.
Not only that, but he has already openly apologized for going too far with these comments years ago and has changed since. Ostracizing James Gunn now for things he said a decade ago is like hating me for saying "Ew that's gay" in middle school. My first experiences with the term "gay" made me think it meant "stupid." It was afterwards I learned its true meaning. Then I didn't think gay people actually existed until my one friend came out as gay. I thought "Wow it's real, huh" and then accepted him for who he is. All that happened in like a single school year. What I'm saying is we constantly learn and hopefully better ourselves, and I know middle school is a generally formative but that was ONE year and Mr. Gunn had TEN years.
So sorry peeps, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will still remain my favorite movie of all time, and I will not be looking forward to the hunt for a new director of Gaurdians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. As good as Taika Waititi making another Marvel movie sounds, James Gunn made his stamp on Guardians and a change in director in my mind will lose the feel. This was blown out or proportion by a republican who didn't like Gunn's anti-trump tweets and we all ate it up.
Hey I know it's been like half a week or so and everyone else is probably over this but I'm not, so I'm gone put a few more opinions here about the James Gunn controversy. I've been hearing certain comments and I wanted put my 2 cents on them:
This is just like Roseanne Barr. Why should he get better treatment?
It's not like Roseanne Barr though. She said bad things in the here and now. It's sign that she NEEDS to change. James Gunn said things in the past and has stopped and regretted saying those things for years now. Roseanne deserved her punishment because she did not learn her lesson. There's also the case that Roseanne's hateful comments are sometimes targeted towards a particular person, and I believe that makes them worse.
James Gunn wasn't punished back when he made those comments, so he should be punished now.
Well James Gunn wasn't a known name back then. He worked for Troma, directed Slither, and was a writer for hire on the live action Scooby-Doo's and the Dawn of the Dead remake. That may sound like a lot but nobody really acknowledges writers except for Aaron Sorkin, and I believe Slither was a box office flop that eventually became a cult classic. Nobody cared what he was doing. I guess it makes sense to punish him now that he's big, but I would only want to do that if he maintained this bad character and like I said before he's proven to be a changed man.
How dare these celebrities defend him?
Cuz... they're his friends. Many of these celebs have now talked to or worked with him and they see him for the good caring person he's become. It's sort of more proof for the "he's a changed man" thing I've been saying.
He made so many comments about pedophilia, he's probably a pedophile.
No. What? No. I guess I could see how that logic would make sense but I'm not buying it. If there was a victim who actually came out my opinion would change, but there's factors that people are forgetting. Around that time he was working for or just off of working for Troma Entertainment. Troma Entertainment is a company known for proudly making entertainment as low budget yet offensive as possible. They're most famous film The Toxic Avenger featured villains who, if I remember correctly attempted numerous rapes including one on a blind woman and would make games out of trying to run over children with their cars. The point is they encouraged offensive behavior and comedy. Working for a company like that is gonna give you a warped sense of humor. That just comes with the job. And like comedians don't always draw their jokes from real life experiences. It's one of numerous wells from which they get their inspiration from.
I also find it weird that we're freaking out about this now because people talked about this WHEN he was hired by Marvel. Everyone was like "Whoa wait they're recruiting the guy who just made Super? A movie where Rainn Wilson plays an emotionally compromised and possibly schizophrenic man who thinks God told him to become a superhero (in which there is a scene where he is raped by Ellen Page)?" It was kinda what helped sell the movie in the beginning, articles talking about how Marvel was thinking outside the box by recruiting more indie filmmakers to bring these less publicly known characters to life.
He should have deleted those tweets.
Yeah probably, but it sounds like James Gunn did not want to hide his past. He knew he made mistakes along the way but he wanted to embrace them as a part of who he is now. He was very open about this stuff, but we as a whole hadn't heard about it in such a long time that we were surprised when it reappeared because we forgot it was a thing. The past he embrace was weaponized against him and in hindsight he should have cleaned that up beforehand. Then again I guess you never expect to be targeted by people until it happens for the first time.
I believe that comedy is comedy no matter how offensive it is and should not be censored unless there is pure hateful intent. Things like The Book of Mormon or Borat are totally offensive comedy but not birthed from hate. Heck, I was one to defend Pewdiepie when he had his controversies because I had been watching his videos and knew he had no ill intent with his jokes. He just didn't know how to structure them as jokes, so he basically said "I'm a nazi" to the world thinking everyone would go "hah he said he was a nazi but he isn't dat funny" and then everyone took it the wrong way. He wasn't hating anyone he was just being a fucking idiot, and that's what James Gunn was doing. Both were idiots and then they grew up, James Gunn more so, and he did it years ago. He had changed before he was even hired by Marvel! Gunn did not deserve this. I will continue to support him in any way I can whether that's with or without Marvel, but I sure hope that's with some day.