So far, the blogosphere has been busy extolling the big box office blockbuster The Heat, a film starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy that netted $40 million its opening weekend. Hailed as both a comic vehicle for its two superstars and a trailblazing movie that “breaks the mold” of the male “buddy-cop-action-comedy” genre, The Heat has garnered great reviews from critics appreciative of its girl power message (e.g., Laura Shamas’ July 1 review in The Huffington Post). No doubt, the film succeeds as a comedy, trading in running gags and clever parody sustained by the talents of Bullock and McCarthy. But is The Heat truly a feminist triumph? If so, what kind and at whose expense? Looking beyond the laughter, how does the film depict women’s ability to succeed in a male dominated profession? And does using this genre really “break the mold?”...read more
Note the first: Expect this review to include SPOILERS. Not that there’s a whole lot to it that isn’t fed to you by the trailer, but still. Stop reading now if you want to remain somewhat surprised.
Note the second: This movie is not high cinema. Don’t let Guillermo del Toro’s name on the onesheet fool you — you’re not going to leave the theatre saying, “I think the way the ferocious glowing aliens came through a rift in the ocean floor represents our own inner ambiguity about our place in a changing world.” You’re going to leave saying, “MONSTER ROBOT GRR KABOOM!” Because that’s what the movie is about....read more
Scalzi pretty much nails it on the [eta] freedom of speech aspects of the question of whether to boycott or not to boycott the upcoming movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic SF story Ender’s Game....read more
Guest Bloggers Paul and Renee: We blog and review at Fangs for the Fantasy. We’re great lovers of the genre and consume it in all its forms – but as marginalised people we also analyse critically through a social justice lens....read more
Have at it.
**UPDATE: Way to drill down way lower than people’s worst expectations of you, Seth McFarlane. Bleagh.**
**UPDATE: WTF? appalling Onion tweet re Quvenzhané Wallis.**...read more
Poor Richard Cohen. He watched Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, and it turns out that even though James Bond is middle-aged, he’s ripped and studly when he takes off his shirt. And that is not fair! Old men of yesteryear didn’t have to be in decent shape to score babes half their age; they just had to be smarmy jerks....read more
I just wanted to quickly mention the trailer for the new Judd Apatow movie, “This is 40.” Of course, we all know that Hollywood is guilty of all sorts of offenses all of the time, but it seems rare even today to find one that is quite so up front with its surface-level exclusion. The [...]...read more
In 2004, I read this line: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” It so intrigued me that I decided to learn more about the woman who wrote it. Her name was Simone Weil and she was a French philosopher, activist, and mystic, from the 1930s. I was amazed by what I discovered....read more
Come on, Peter Jackson. You’re the guy who condensed a thousand-plus-page epic into three briskly-paced films, and now you’re stretching The freakin’ HOBBIT into three movies? Blahblah Erebor blahblah Dol Guldur blahblah Necromancer. Dude. The Hobbit is a simple story, a kids’ story, really. Three hundred pages. If you want complex, make a film of [...]...read more
Disney princesses, ranked from least to most feminist. Interestingly, the most feminist princesses are the cartoon girls of color — perhaps because being non-white, it’s easier for (male, white) illustrators and writers to imagine them in non-traditional roles?...read more
After the underutilization and literal objectification (Tony Stark: “I want one”) of the Black Widow in Iron Man 2, I was looking forward to seeing what would happen with her character in The Avengers under the directorial lens of Joss Whedon. I was not disappointed. Twice (once in IMAX). What did disappoint me? The same things that pissed off Fempop’s Kickpuncher, who found that no amount of badassery on the part of the Black Widow could direct men’s attention away from her (minimal) cleavage....read more