August 18, 2015 § 1 Comment
The other day I went to go see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and was struck by the 20 minutes of trailers that played before it. Not because they were so long, though it has gotten pretty ridiculous, but because of how testosterone-fueled many of them were.
The two that stuck out most were In the Heart of the Sea and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi — they’re movies with men, men and more men. In the former, Chris Hemsworth’s wife gets one line, and the rest of the story portrays how the crew of men get stranded at sea by a giant whale.
And there isn’t a single woman in the two-and-a-half minute trailer for 13 Hours. It’s a war movie, so…no surprise there.
Both these films are based on true stories, so arguably there isn’t much the filmmakers could do to include more women. But it’s dull (to me) to see men’s stories told over and over again with barely even the presence of women. (And it did make me wonder what the world would be like if women were in charge instead of men; I’m not saying there wouldn’t be any wars, but I’ve no doubt they would be less destructive.)
The recent study about lack of diversity in movies — “women made up only 30.2 percent of all speaking or named characters in the 100 top-grossing fictional films released in the United States” — rang true in Mission Impossible 5 as well. Other than Rebecca Ferguson, there were only two other women (with or without lines) in the whole film…and they both die shortly after we meet them.
There’s also a scene toward the beginning of the movie where Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin are sitting in front of a panel of judges, trying to justify why IMF should or shouldn’t be disbanded. The row of at least eight judges were all old, white men. Only a couple of them even talk! How difficult would it be to just throw a woman on there? Or a person of color?
But no. Men are the default. Every eastern European thug, every security staff member at the secret Moroccan plant, all men.
I would feel so disheartened if I were an actress. Where are the roles in big movies? There isn’t even the excuse that you’re not pretty or white or young enough; you’re a woman, and there’s only room for one or fewer of you.
February 16, 2014 § 6 Comments
Over the weekend, I had the chance to watch Disney’s Frozen with a few friends — well, it was almost 4 a.m. when we started the movie, so we only got through two-thirds of it.
A little background: I absolutely love watching animated movies. Two of my favorite movies of all time are Coraline and The Secret of Kells; one of my favorite films of 2013 was Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2. However, this doesn’t mean I’m not picky about what I watch. Almost none of the other animated features of last year (Monsters University, Despicable Me 2) appealed to me, including Frozen.
Overall, I’d say the movie was charming. The animation was beautiful, and the songs and voice acting were superb. But I couldn’t get over the fact that the entire plot was based on a hugely flawed premise.
I can accept without question that Elsa was just born with magical snow-making abilities. Fairy tales usually have an element of fantasy, after all. But what I cannot wrap my head around is that she has to go through a huge period of her life believing that she needs to hide this superpower.
Her parents are largely to blame. It’s strongly implied that they knew about this ability even before the incident and had told young Elsa to keep it under wraps. Why else would nobody in the kingdom know about it? But the thing is…what are they afraid of? They’re the royal family. Can you imagine if the Queen of England had the power to shoot icicles?? Wouldn’t awe and respect of the throne be magnified by a million percent?! Did they think that the police were going to come and cart their daughter off to join the circus?? (Were they afraid ice-haulers like Kristoff would be put out of a job???)
That brings us to the part where Anna’s memories gets erased/replaced. It’s weird enough that we don’t get any explanation (other than a map that falls out of a book?) of why stone trolls are the end-all, be-all of magical maladies. I guess their reasoning was that if she forgot about her sister’s power, then she wouldn’t tempt her to use it and would therefore be safe. Really? The king and queen went with that kind of logic? That whole sequence was basically shoved down our throats in a don’t-ask-any-questions way, but I demand better.
If Elsa were encouraged to cultivate her powers instead of trying to act like they don’t exist, this would’ve been a much better story. Seriously, what kind of parent tells his child to “conceal, don’t feel”?? We as the audience are asked to simply believe that her abilities are automatically bad and to be feared without being given good enough reasons as to why.
February 9, 2013 § 5 Comments
Anybody who knows me well should know that I still enjoy watching children’s movies — for example, Wreck-It Ralph was one of my favorite films of 2012. So last fall, when a trio of horror-based animated films came out, I ranked them in the order I wanted to see them the most:
ParaNorman, as I expected, was clever and thrilling and even a little bit disturbing, which is what I liked so much about its predecessor Coraline (one of my favorite movies). I decided not to watch Frankenweenie after reading some “meh” reviews and watching Tim Burton’s original live-action short film.
Yesterday, due to the impending doom of snowstorm Nemo, I settled in at home to watch Hotel Transylvania. It seemed like an interesting twist on the usual fare. Monsters that are afraid of us? Ha! A human accidentally infiltrating their midst? Haha! Sounds like there’s a lot of humorous material to work with.
Sadly, it was mostly a disappointment.
November 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
The last — and possibly first and only — movie that my parents, brother and I watched in a movie theater together was Casino Royale. It was Thanksgiving week of my senior year of high school, and because I was working part-time at the theater, I could get free tickets for myself and my parents.
Thanks to my rising social media influence (LOL) on Klout, I scored free tickets to an advanced screening of Skyfall, which I braved wind, rain and snow to see on Wednesday night. Below, I spell out my thoughts and give or take points for excellence, logic, etc. in the style of Vulture’s Gossip Girl recaps.