Tag Archives: film

ICYMI: Female Superheroes Always Wear Their Hair Down and it’s Sexist

Avengers: Infinity War just passed the $800 million mark in global box office sales, breaking records previously set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However one writer is not focused on plot lines or the fates of some of our favorite characters – instead, she’s paying attention to the female superheroes’ hair.

More specifically, how they always wear their hair down. And she thinks it’s sexist.

Rebecca Jennings wrote an article for Racked, an online blog that’s a part of Vox Media, where she claims the reason we never see Wonder Woman or Black Widow with their hair tied back is because “comics are a visual medium, and a bunch of long, flowing hair swirling around during an already epic fight scene looks pretty cool.”

She interviews Christina Dokou, an assistant professor of American literature and culture at the University of Athens who says the ” ‘boys’ club’ legacy of comic books, in which female characters were stuck with sexist stereotypes, still endures. Even today, the physical attributes and feminine beauty of superheroines are exaggerated to make them look like, well, frankly, porn stars at worst, and sexy female athletes at best.”

Even their hair color plays a role in sexism.

Red or black hair is usually reserved for the strongest superheroine around, or the one with the most flamboyant personality — see, for example, Phoenix, Red Sonja, or Wonder Woman — while blondes are still mostly treated as glorified bimbos, regardless of their powers,” she explains, pointing to Supergirl and Smallville as examples of the latter.

Meanwhile, a shaved head often indicates a godlike mental ability — think Deadpool’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead or Stranger Things’ Eleven — but can also double as a signifier of sexual preferences. Dokou points to Moondragon, a ’70s-era telepathic martial arts superhero with a shaved head, who was eventually revealed to be bisexual after dating the pixie-cut alien Phylla-Vell. Then there’s the anarcho-punk outlaw Tank Girl, known for her mostly shaved head, who inspired weekly lesbian “Tank Girl nights” in London.

“To put it in a nutshell, the shorter the hair, the more precarious a character’s relationship with traditional femininity,” Dokou says.

She notes the only movie that seems to have any kind of “hair diversity” is Black Panther because the costume and make-up artists styled them to reflect different tribes in Africa.

This is today’s feminism and it’s ridiculous. Instead of enjoying superheroes and celebrating the strong female characters portrayed on the big screen, Jennings is reducing them to their looks.

Does anyone even pay attention to their hair? Most likely not and even if they did, these are fictional characters – WHO CARES IF THEY ALWAYS HAVE PERFECT HAIR? I doubt many little girls are sitting around crying because their hair isn’t perfectly blowing in the wind like Supergirl’s. And I’m pretty sure that Kara Danvers wears her hair up or pulled back most of the time when she’s not saving people.

Also, Harley Quinn wears her hair in pigtails but that’s probably to convey a  sexualized image, so I guess she doesn’t count.

There are plenty of male superheroes who wear their hair down too – Thor, Loki, or Bucky anyone? No mention of that in her hit piece on comic book movies. What does that say about masculinity? Oh, the horrors!

Why must third wave feminists try to ruin everything? Stop taking everything so literal and just enjoy watching these leading ladies kick butt and look fabulous while doing it!

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Jim Carrey’s ‘art’ has people a bit upset

Whether or not you enjoy his type of comedy, Jim Carrey is a legend in the world of funny.

Dumb and Dumber.  Liar Liar. The Ace Ventura flicks. The Cable Guy and Me, Myself and Irene. These are just some of the funny films Carrey has produced during his career. However, his career seems to have hit an extended dry spell, not really doing much, let alone anything funny.

But like most celebrities whose careers dry up, Carrey has turned to the world of politics in an attempt to stay relevant. His most recent take on our current political situation has some people pretty upset.

Check out the funny man’s artwork.

This photo is obviously a caricature of Sarah Sanders, meant to portray her in a not so positive light.

Carrey then followed up that work with yet another one. This one is a take on President Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Yet, another celebrity doesn’t like President Trump. Big surprise, right?

Likely the biggest shock though is how people have reacted to Carrey’s artistic take on Sanders and Trump.

 

Trump to meet with video game execs to discuss school violence..yes, seriously

Donald Trump, The President of the United States, The Commander in Chief, is set to meet with video game executives about…school violence.  I’m not kidding.

The planned meeting – expected to happen sometime next week – was announced by Trump’s press secretary Thursday. Just like his “skip due process and just take the guns,” this meeting with video game execs seems to be another ridiculous, misguided attempt to lessen violence in schools.

Listen, children being brutally murdered in the classroom is an extremely serious issue. No children should ever go to school fearing for their life. But are we sure consulting the makers of Call of Duty is the right way to go about it?

Yes, video games are a billion-dollar industry, and those games often depict violence, at times graphically. But anyone who would feel compelled to commit horrific acts of violence after seeing Agent 47 gun down someone likely has bigger, probably mental health issues. That person is likely to exhibit warning signs, in which, if action is taken by the proper authorities, something could be done.

For instance, look at the institutional failure on essentially every level in the Florida shooting. The FBI knew about Nikolas Cruz, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department received call after call, – even from the shooter himself – about Cruz’s potential for violence. The school also knew about Cruz, but yet no one did anything….nothing.

One has to wonder why Trump hasn’t said a word about any of this? Yet, he goes after guns, the NRA, and now, apparently the entertainment industry.

Apparently, in a meeting last week with lawmakers, the President suggested a rating system for films and video, reportedly saying:

“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies. … Maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”

Maybe he’s just not aware, but last time I checked, there was already a rating system in place for both movies and video games. Heck, television programs have had a rating system for something like the last 10-15 years.

Maybe, I’m wrong. Maybe going after video games and movies, legislating the content in our entertainment is the way to go. Maybe that’s the answer. Somehow though, I don’t think altering  Pac-Man, Mario or Lara Croft will do much.

-BZ

 

 

TV: New and original programming…like Murphy Brown?

Last year wasn’t a good year for film studios, at least financially.  Summer 2017 was particularly terrible. Ticket sales during summer 2017 were down nearly 15 percent from summer 2016, not good anyway you slice it.

But what do you expect when you get another Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, the unwatchable King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the 40th Fast and Furious flick? The films weren’t good and audiences, thankfully, responded, accordingly.

Now, one of the reasons, that is constantly given for the decline in box office sales, is the inventive, original programming TV is producing. To be fair, there’s probably a fair amount of truth to that. Add Netflix and Hulu to the mix and put the shows coming from those streaming services up against a $200 million crappy Michael Bay flick and there’s no competition. People would much rather watch The Crown, House of Cards than the 12th Transformers.

But for all of the great programming coming from the tube, there is a disturbing trend that has developed recently and we all need to do our part to put an end to it: Reboots.

Listen, I get it. Everybody likes a little nostalgia, those characters mean something to us, they are a part of our past.

But do we really need to know what Roseanne is doing? Or Will and Grace? Or Murphy Brown? Or Scully and Mulder? Or the Tanner clan? (To be fair, I do enjoy that one. It’s just so incredibly bad, it’s good.)

Has the well of original ideas in Hollywood really run that dry that we’re going back to 20, 30-year-old series?

There’s even been rumors of The Office reboot. Really? That show has only been off for a couple of years. You likely won’t find a bigger The Office fan than me, but leave things alone, sometimes it’s better that way.

What’s next? Are we going to check in with the group at Bayside? Find out if Urkel really did do that? Learn if the Prince of Bel-Air is still fresh after all these year? Where does it end?

If we band together, if we stand up, we can stop them! We can do it! Make Television Great Again and stop reboots!

 

The Razzie nominations and it’s…an impressive collection of garbage

The Oscar nominations, which recognizes the best in film from last year, are set to be announced Tuesday morning. However, almost as a middle finger to the Academy, the Razzie nominations are publicized. Now, for those unfamiliar with the Razzies, they – can anyone guess? – yes, recognize the worst in film from the prior year.

In any given year, just with the sheer number of films released, Hollywood churns out a ton of garbage. And being a film critic, I get the pleasure of viewing a fair share of the crap that invades the local metroplex.

Without any further ado, here are the unlucky films/actors/actresses that are being recognized for being especially awful:

WORST PICTURE 
Baywatch 
The Emoji Movie 
Fifty Shades Darker 
The Mummy 
Transformers: The Last Knight 

WORST ACTRESS 
Katherine Heigl / Unforgettable
Dakota Johnson / Fifty Shades Darker 
Jennifer Lawrence / mother!
Tyler Perry / Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween 
Emma Watson / The Circle

WORST ACTOR 
Tom Cruise / The Mummy 
Johnny Depp / Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 
Jamie Dornan / Fifty Shades Darker 
Zac Efron / Baywatch 
Mark Wahlberg / Daddy’s Home 2 & Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR 
Javier Bardem / mother! & Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Russell Crowe / The Mummy 
Josh Duhamel / Transformers: The Last Knight 
Mel Gibson / Daddy’s Home 2 
Anthony Hopkins / Collide & Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 
Kim Basinger / Fifty Shades Darker 
Sofia Boutella / The Mummy 
Laura Haddock / Transformers: The Last Knight 
Goldie Hawn / Snatched 
Susan Sarandon / A Bad Moms Christmas

WORST SCREEN COMBO 
Any Combination of Two Characters, Two Sex Toys or Two Sexual Positions / Fifty Shades Darker 
Any Combination of Two Humans, Two Robots or Two Explosions / Transformers: The Last Knight
Any Two Obnoxious Emojis / The Emoji Movie 
Johnny Depp & His Worn Out Drunk Routine / Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 
Tyler Perry & Either The Ratty Old Dress or Worn Out Wig / Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL 
Baywatch 
Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween 
Fifty Shades Darker 
The Mummy 
Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST DIRECTOR 
Darren Aronofsky / mother!
Michael Bay / Transformers: The Last Knight
James Foley / Fifty Shades Darker 
Alex Kurtzman / The Mummy
Anthony (Tony) Leonidis / The Emoji Movie 

WORST SCREENPLAY
Baywatch 
The Emoji Movie 
Fifty Shades Darker 
The Mummy 
Transformers: The Last Knight

No matter how you slice it, that’s a particularly impressive collection of garbage.

For my money, it’s Fifty Shades Darker all day, everyday. This one, the before it, and likely the one set to invade theaters next month, are trash.  Although, the total and utter disaster that was The Mummy is sure to contend..hard.

Anyway, here’s to a better flock of flicks in 2018! But let’s be honest, it’s not likely to happen.

 

Pay Gap Outrage as Mark Wahlberg is Paid More than Michelle Williams when Re-Shooting Movie

A story broke today that Mark Wahlberg was paid 1,500 times more than Michelle Williams when they did re-shoots for the upcoming movie, All the Money in the World. Originally, Kevin Spacey starred in the Ridley Scott flick, but when the sexual allegations came out about the award-winning actor, Scott promptly dropped him from the movie and decided to re-shoot his scenes with a completely different actor.

Williams decided that as an act of solidarity for victims of sexual abuse, she would not take any money, only making a per diem $1,000 over the nine days of filming.

“I said I’d be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me,” Williams told USA Today in December. “And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort.”

Wahlberg on the other hand, decided to take the money, getting paid $1.5 million for the re-shoot.

Now, he’s taking quite a bit of heat, with the typical response from others in the industry as well as the media being that this is a prime example of wage inequality.

Here’s the thing: this is not wage inequality. This is one actress making a choice not to get paid and another actor choosing to do so. Women absolutely should be paid the same amount of money as men if they’re doing the same work – or in this case, sharing the same amount of screen time.

Mark Wahlberg is a huge star. His movies make millions at the box office and he’s currently the highest paid actor in Hollywood. Michelle Williams, a great actress in her own right, does not command the same kind of box office presence. So all this re-shoot nonsense aside, an argument could be made that she’s not an equal draw to the box office and paying Wahlberg more, even though they are co-stars, is still actually not pay inequality because he’ll bring in revenue for the studio, whereas she won’t.

That’s all hypothetical of course because the issue here is the money made during the re-shoot. And in this instance, it’s Williams own fault, not Wahlberg’s, that she wasn’t paid. She could have brought home a paycheck just the same as him, but chose not to as a statement.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Michelle.

-K

 

Top 10 films of ’17

As hard as it may be to believe, we’ve reached the conclusion of 2017. For some this is probably a good thing, others likely want to hold onto this year and never let it go and others may be so incredibly confused that they aren’t quite sure what year it is exactly.

Regardless, 2017 is coming to an end and this is generally the point where everyone begins looking back at the year that was and how they spent it. Now, one of the activities that consumed a fair amount of my time in 2017 was visiting the theater, checking out the latest, greatest and the not-so-greatest flicks Hollywood had to offer. Having seen nearly a film a week for the entire year (sometimes as many as two to three a week), I saw a lot of what 2017 gave us as far as film goes.

Anyway, here are my Top 10 films of 2017:

10. Table 19 – A funny, lighthearted flick that not many saw. Once you think you’ve figured out where the story is going, it takes you in a completely unexpected and opposite direction. Plus, Anna Kendrick shows she can actually do more than just sing acapella.

9. IT – Creepy, chilling, freaky and any other synonym one can come up with for frightening only just begins to describe this horror classic. Not generally a big fan of horror flicks, but this is definitely one to check out, unless you have a fear of clowns, of course.

8. Baby Driver – Bank heists, fast cars and rollicking, feel-good tunes. Baby Driver is a terribly fun ride and then some and even a little bit more.

7. Detroit – Strong performances and even stronger direction highlight this fact-based flick that failed to get much attention at the box office. Probably a little too long, but it’s still one of the best films 2017 provided.

6. The Big Sick – This quirky, indie romcom about culture clash, forbidden love and an unheard of medical condition, is certainly one to check out. It’s funny, touching and deliriously offbeat.

5. Patti Cake$ – Go after your dreams no matter your circumstances, your color, gender or size is the idea behind this gritty and inspiring flick. A number of star-turning performances are included as well.

4. Dunkirk – Master director Christopher Nolan. What more do you really need to say. Quite simply, he’s did it again. The story, the direction and the breathtaking cinematography are all outstanding. Check out Dunkirk, you won’t be disappointed.

3. Shape of Water – Definitely not one for everyone. But for those interested, they’ll witness a director at the top of his game in nearly every facet. The performances of Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and the Michael Shannon don’t hurt either. Shannon steals absolutely every scene in which he appears.

2. Lady Bird – Writing and directing are strengths on display with this one, but it’s the performances of Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf that separate it from other such films. 

1. Darkest Hour – Gary Oldman is absolutely outstanding as Winston Churchill, turning in the performance of the year. Watch him bring this monumental historical figure to live is such a joy, treat to witness.

 

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