Category: Someone Has to Say It

Women in Refrigerators and Lazy Writing

In the sixth episode of season five of Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark is raped. It is an awful scene that feels gratuitous and pointless. One of the oddest things about it though, is that while Sansa is being raped, the camera lingers on another character’s face. The face we’re shown is that of Theon, the traitor, who is being forced to watch while the audience watches him as though his torment is what we should be worried about. When this happens we call it fridge-ing. Fridge-ing refers to when a female character in a movie, book, comic book, TV show or song is murdered, tortured, raped or brutalised in some way solely to give the male character(s) a motive to act against a villainous individual or organisation. The expression comes from writer Gail Simone, who coined it about an issue of Green Lantern in which Kyle Raynor, the new Green Lantern, comes home to find his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, beaten to death and stuffed into their refrigerator. Up until that point the plotline had been interesting as Kyle struggled to deal with his new superhero responsibilities with the support of a loving partner. Of course, a nuanced story about two people in love dealing with an insane situation and trying to look after each other would have been super hard to write, so instead we get Alexandra’s murder,...

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The Cameron Crowe Apologist

With Cameron Crowe’s tenth directorial feature coming to theatres this weekend, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Aloha will be any good, or will prove to be simply more romantic drivel from an American filmmaker who has seemingly ceased to make anything worthwhile in the past fifteen years. Not since his semi-autobiographical coming of age dramedy Almost Famous, which was released in 2000, has Crowe produced anything that has been greeted by the mainstream movie going audience with as much fanfare and critical acclaim as his early features enjoyed. Seemingly, there are no moviegoers left who...

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The World Needs More Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen is a powerhouse of an actress. At a relatively young age, she’s already proven herself to be able to submerge herself in roles in multiple genres such as psychological drama, horror, thriller, coming-of-age, action, and both the light and the dark romances. She hasn’t turned in a bad performance, and continues to test her range as an actress. She has created a filmography of differentiating roles that are all, on paper, either strong or complex characters that she’s able to ground and help make feel real. She definitely knows how to pick a role. The usage and execution of the role depend on the director, wherein lies the problem. As much as I wanted and intended this piece to be a love letter to Olsen and her performances, I realized about halfway through her filmography that directors aren’t really utilizing her to her fullest extent. She’s clearly giving her best in all of her performances, but the films she’s in aren’t reciprocating it. Take a look at the premise for Naomi Foner’s Very Good Girls; a female-centric coming-of-age drama. You can see why Olsen would be interested in it, and she did give a very good performance in it, but that film was a complete misfire with its teen melodrama and its male-dependent female characters. She’s a lead in that. However, switching over to a Gareth Edwards’...

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BREAKING: Joss Whedon Is Still A Feminist

The fruits of Joss Whedon’s latest labor of geek love, Avengers: Age of Ultron, has officially hit theaters, and the internet is officially ablaze with feminist backlash surrounding Whedon’s treatment of Black Widow. Feminists are angry. Whedonites are angry. Comic fans are angry. Hulk smash. So much anger. And now the king of geek has officially left the Twitter-sphere. Sure, maybe it’s simply because he’s finished with the franchise and needs a break from the exhausting chore of keeping up with social media. Or maybe it’s because of the death threats, because who wants to listen to all that hate when...

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The Real Problem With The Joss Whedon Situation

*Be wary of Age of Ultron spoilers in this post* People fuck up. We’re human. Examining our graceful failings is one of the many purposes of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Whether you love or hate the film, the movie poses questions over which most superhero movies skim. It’s a movie that makes the heroes question their very existence and their shortcomings. By the finale, the movie answers this question by letting Ultron and Vision discuss humanity’s fallibility. It promotes a discussion on whether the heroes are in the right. So why can’t we apply this logic to our actual everyday conversations? There’s an...

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It’s Time to Give Jessica Chastain Her Own Action Series

For the sake of entertaining the stupid individuals who might disagree with the point I’m about to make, let’s say that maybe Jessica Chastain isn’t really tough. I mean, pull her out of a cinematic scope and you have an old-Hollywood throwback starlet who weaves between delicate and glamorous and gives kind and patient answers to interviewers. So sure, maybe she’s not a bar room brawler in her spare time. Perhaps she hasn’t even thrown a punch recently. Or ever, maybe. But, doesn’t that make it all the more obvious that her ability to convey quiet strength and frightening...

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Nostalgia Wars: The Nerd Menace

When Han Solo appears for the first time in picture in the closing shot of the most recent trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, actor Harrison Ford is once more joined by his Wookie best friend and personal confidant, and the viewer receives a visceral rush of nostalgia. Sure, Han is a little more grizzled and grey than the last time we saw everyone’s favorite intergalactic gun-for-hire, and it’s still unclear just what kind of performance Ford will be able to muster for a genre franchise that he has never been reticent to criticize in the past....

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Are There Too Many Superhero Movies?

  In 2016, there are going to be 7 new superhero movies gracing the screens. In 2017, there are going to be 8, and in 2018, there are already 7 more scheduled to fill theaters. Now as much as I enjoy watching our favorite heroes grace the screen armed with big budgets and ensemble casts, I can’t help but neglect that nagging voice in the back of my head that maybe, just maybe, it is all being overdone a bit too much. Now why is this a problem? Predictability. Every superhero movie is ostensibly a formula: the invincible hero,...

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Are Superhero Movies a Cultural Genocide?

In many ways I think Alejandro González Iñárittu would make the perfect supervillain. He’s warped this perception of superhero movies as a “cultural genocide” from which there is no escape. To him, film is a dying medium when it comes to artistic integrity. From the depths of his mind, Birdman was born. The elitist viewpoint on superhero movies being such a negative impact is unfiltered insanity. I’ve written before on how superhero movies are here to stay (and why it’s okay), but I need to expand on those thoughts before proceeding. There are countless other genres that flood the marketplace with...

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The Lone Gunman and the MCU

Of late, the superhero film franchise has become all-important within the mainstream, and Hollywood has very quickly adapted to the rise in popularity of independent properties like Batman and Iron Man in a way that it has never done before. While films like Richard Donner’s Superman and Tim Burton’s early Batman features were and still are well regarded as seminal heroic capers and dark comic fantasies, the current superhero climate, as precipitated by Marvel Studios, itself a subsidiary of the licensing property giant that is Walt Disney Studios, has gone so far as to incorporate each subsequent film in...

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Black Widow Needs Her Own Movie

As great as Marvel’s movies are, it’s impossible to deny that they’re basically a boys’ club. Sure, there are a number of supporting female characters, but so far most have been trapped in roles of damsel in distress, comic relief, or plot device. The MCU’s strongest female character is undoubtedly Black Widow. After first appearing in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson made a bigger impact as the character in The Avengers, most notably during her scene with the caged Loki. Though Joss Whedon and Russos beefed up her role and made her an integral part of the team, she’s...

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Does Race Matter in Comic Book Movie Casting?

One of the biggest points of contention in comic book movie casting is race. I mean really, this couldn’t come as a surprise. Race is a major point of contention in everything, so why shouldn’t it affect our popular culture as well? While this argument is usually divided along the line of black or white, the issue at hand is far bigger than two races. It’s an issue than encompasses racial diversity as a whole. At the heart of this controversy is the fact that many people believe that the way comic book characters look in the comics is...

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Avengers: The Best Modern Blockbuster

If there’s any glaring flaw with The Avengers, it’s that the “assembling a team” concept was already perfected by Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven half a century ago. I’m naming those off the top because they’re the only ones that have done it better. Granted, any movie that follows the spiritual footsteps of a Kurosawa project will have a rough go about themselves internally but externally we can explore why the formula works so well. As fans of fiction, each of us loves watching heroes come together for a greater cause. It may be spiritually connected to the greater...

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Adaptations Don’t Need to Follow Their Source Material

We’ve all heard it a million times: “Well, it’s not as good as the book!” or “That didn’t happen in the comics!” Should that detract from the movie experience? I’ll just be straightforward here and say, “Fuck nope.” The thing about adapting books or comics to the big screen is they’re not even the same medium. What works in context of the written word won’t always play well on the big screen. Comics are easier to compare to film given the use of imagery, and since we’re doing AEvengers Week, this seems like a match made in heaven for...

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In Defense of the Incredible Hulk

I was always a fan of the Hulk, as I could sympathize with the torture of a man who just wants to do good, but whose emotions only lead him to cause destruction (and turn into an enormous green rage monster, but that’s no biggie). I wasn’t happy with the depiction of Hulk in the 2003 Ang Lee film, but it has been quite a few years since I’ve seen it, so I’ll hold off on talking about it. It was only in 2010 when I found out there was a new Hulk movie, and better yet, a reboot...

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