Girl Power At The Box Office

As I sat in a room listening to people pitch idea’s one shot out at me. “Why do female movies have to be so violent?”. This was in reference to “The Heat” staring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, which creamed the male-dominated ‘White House Down’ at the box office. I never heard anyone question why ‘White House Down’ was too violent.

‘The Heat’, for all it’s flaws is still a police film—which means action and violence. I didn’t realize that because the leads were female things needed to be “nicer”. I don’t think criminals take it easy on the female cops they come in contact with in real life so why dumb is down for an audience?

Is it because seeing women in violent situations makes us comfortable? Man, I wish. That’s not it. It’s just that this is a “boys domain” and it’s very much “no girls allowed”. I’m not saying I agree with overt violence in films, I’m not even going to say “The Heat” is a good movie—but it does deserve as much violence as the boys. I’m pretty proud of the box office last weekend.



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Johnny Depp, Stop Making Me Dump You

Johnny Depp is part Native American—we all know this. Johnny Depp is playing Tonto in The Lone Ranger. When I first heard this I thought, “good—he won’t do some ridiculous portrayal” but that’s exactly what he did.  Not only is it racist—it’s bad. Really, really bad.  What the f*** is he doing?

I was so upset when I saw the trailer. Just really offended and annoyed. Then I forgot about it because who cares? It’s Johnny Depp– he hasn’t done anything worth mentioning since 2007 and that’s pushing it, I really enjoyed Sweeny Todd but if you’re not the musical type than it’s 2005 with Corpse Bride. Either way he’s a bit washed up. He burned too brightly for a while and now it’s time to go away. Every character he plays now is Captain Jack just with a different outfit. It’s so tired.

I understand that this is a remake and they want to stay true to the character but whenever there’s a remake don’t they always say it’s “reimagined” so they get credit for it and it’s not just “well yeah, this worked then it works now”? Couldn’t they have made Tonto more of a formidable person? They better delve into the fact that he is speaking Pidgin and not broken English—they owe that much.

It’s just so—so—ridiculous. I didn’t think it could get any sadder, offensive, or racist. But then Johnny Depp opened his once very sexy talented mouth:

“Since cinema has been around, Native Americans have been treated very poorly by Hollywood. What I wanted to do was play Tonto not as a sidekick — like ‘Go fetch a soda for me, boy!’ — but as a warrior with integrity and dignity,” he recently explained to the folks at Total Film. He added, “It’s my small sliver of a contribution to try to right the wrongs of the past.”

Then why are you playing him so stereotypically racist?!?!! HOW THE HELL IS YOU PLAYING TONTO RIGHTING ANYTHING?! UGH! But then he kept talking:

“I wanted to maybe give some hope to kids on the reservations. They’re living without running water and seeing problems with drugs and booze. But I wanted to be able to show these kids, “Fuck that! You’re still warriors, man.”

My boyfriend was raised on a reservation—a real one and they have running water. Johnny Depp has never lived on a reservation so he should probably shut up about that. So, you’re going to show kids that they’re warriors by being racist? Kids you think can’t afford running water but can totally afford a 15 dollar movie ticket? Show them “you’re still warriors” because that’s all Native Americans were? They weren’t inventors, hunters, doctors, they didn’t build things, or create things, they were warriors….SHUT UP!

I broke up with you on December 13, 2012 stop making me do it over and over again!



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So Classic

I was born in the wrong era. The 1930s-1970s is the area I should’ve been in. All the movies, the styles, I loved it (except for the sexism and oppression but let me live in my world where that didn’t happen). I am completely content to lie in my bed and watch TCM all day every day. The majority of my DVD collection consists of films made before 1970. This is the time where movies were great, meaningful and an escape. The movies stars…don’t get me started! Monroe, Hayworth, Hepburn, Leigh, Taylor…they acted like stars. It was always glamour! Not this crazy Amanda Bynes, Anne Hathaway crap.
TCM—that’s my station. I love The Essentials, it’s a Saturday night special hosted by Robert Osborne and another actor or actress (this month was Drew Barrymore). They go over movies that are “essential” to watch. In February they do 31 days of Oscar—all Oscar winning films leading up to the Academy Awards. They have wonderful documentaries…great flicks…it’s wonderful. I didn’t think it could get any better until I found out that this month is “The Woman’s World: The Defining Era of Women on Film”.
From the TCM site:
TCM proudly introduces Friday Night Spotlight, a new month-long festival of films hosted by a special guest. The theme of the inaugural Friday Night Spotlight is A Woman’s World: The Defining Era of Women on Film, with celebrated singer/actress/superstar Cher joining Robert Osborne in hosting the screenings. This Spotlight will shine on the “woman’s film,” a staple from the late 1930s through the early ’50s that viewed life from the female perspective as it changed with the times, creating a genre that was rich, varied, sometimes subversive and always entertaining.
Among films with the theme of Motherhood are dramatic vehicles for two icons of the woman’s film, each playing a mom who sacrifices everything for a daughter: Barbara Stanwyck as Stella Dallas (1937) and Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce (1945). The War Effort and the Homefront of the World War II era are represented by Claudette Colbert in, respectively, So Proudly We Hail (1943), in which she serves as a Red Cross nurse in the Pacific, and Since You We Went Away (1944), in which she bravely maintains a family while her husband is away at war.
Working Women, a force that would grow considerably during the war years, include Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940) and Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year (1942), with Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy, respectively, as the men in the lives of these independent career women. Among the Women Taking Charge are Ginger Rogers as a young working-class woman who marries into wealth yet retains control of her own destiny in Kitty Foyle (1940), and Bette Davis as a genteel but strong-willed socialite who takes over the child of another woman (Mary Astor) in The Great Lie (1941).

Not only are the celebrating women in film…they’re doing it with Cher. Stop being the best TCM I can’t take it! I have a full-time job how the hell am I supposed to live knowing this is going on?! Fine, FINE! You win! I’ll spend every Friday night at home watching your station.



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Jar Jar Abrams

 

I awoke one day and twitter was all abuzz about JJ Abrams signing on to direct the next Star Wars film. If you have been in hibernation for the past few months, George Lucas sold LucasArts to Disney, and Disney announced that Star Wars: Episodes VII-IX will happen. Episode VI is expected to come out in 2015.

Now, I’ve loved Star Wars for most of my life. That’s true, I think, for a lot of people who were born after the first three films came out. I enjoy the prequels—they do a number of things very well, though they have their shortcomings. Honestly, much better than any of the films is the current series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which is expected to move from Cartoon Network* to DisneyXD after this season, now that ownership of the series has changed hands. Hopefully, none of the content of Clone Wars will change. It’s seriously just . . . so much better than the films. Have a marathon of Clone Wars with some friends and then try to watch one of the films. It’s a weird experience.

I am cautiously optimistic about Disney’s ownership of LucasArts. I mean, Disney is a giant, terrifying corporation. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to quality. This is the company that made the iconic movies that dominated just about everyone’s childhoods. They’re not out to ruin the franchise that they just paid billions of dollars to buy. Plus, Leia is a Disney Princess, now. Super exciting.

Now, JJ Abrams will be directing the next film. Once I have learned all that I can about something, I usually react fairly quickly with “I love this” or “I hate this.” According to high-powered executives on some comedy shows (like Better Off Ted), that would make me a great leader. However, when the JJ Abrams-as-director thing was announced, I had a more cautious reaction.

First of all, JJ Abrams destroyed the planet Vulcan in his first Star Trek film, for which I will never forgive him (yes, the planet is ugly and brown, but seriously the Vulcans are awesome leave them alone). At least now he will be in a setting where the destruction of planets is less of a shock and more of a fact of life.

JJ Abrams’ previous projects are . . . well, interesting. He did a wonderful thing for Star Trek. And while I have some issues with a few things from the 2009 Star Trek film and while all that I know from the trailers for the next Star Trek film is that there will be many explosions and that Benedict Cumberbatch’s face is as ridiculous as his name, I’m glad that he’s doing it.

Lost is much-acclaimed by some people but irritates me to no end. That said, JJ Abrams really just did the pilot of it and then the writers and showrunners after that kind of had no idea where they were going with it. The best things that I can say about Lost is that they had two former cast members from Babylon 5 and that Lost was filmed on the same island as Dante’s Cove.

Fringe is definitely a weird show (and it recently had its finale), but it’s a truly enjoyable show that I . . . did not watch all of the way through.

So I really think that we should be open-minded about JJ Abrams taking on Star Wars. That said, I was “open-minded” about M. Night Shyamalan adapting the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender (one of the greatest shows of all time) into a live-action film, and The Last Airbender turned out to be an outrageous abomination. I’m not saying that I would kill him, but if M Night Shyamalan were dying of thirst and I had an unlimited supply of water, I don’t know that I would share. And I don’t even drink water.

So, JJ Abrams needs to be careful and make something that will please the show’s fans and possibly even attract some new ones. But we should not just dismiss him or these new Star Wars films because we’ve been disappointed in the past.

 

*This is probably for the best, as Cartoon Network apparently likes to cancel its best and most well-rated shows. Like, for example, Young Justice is ranked #2 on IMDB of Cartoon Network’s shows, but they have failed to renew it for a third season. I am all kinds of outraged over this. They’re keeping The Annoying Orange and some of their other, um, “stellar” programming. Oh, and they’re continuing to air live-action shows. On Cartoon Network. Because that makes so much sense. (No but seriously I am so irate with them)



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