Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Hello, ladies.

Before I can even get into why Hollywood Hates You when it comes to the mythical “Female Action Star”, I have to set things up with a little history about the myth and myself.

I love action movies. Action is about on par with horror as my favorite genre, so I tend to hold action films up to a higher standard than most. And one of the biggest areas that Hollywood tends to screw up is when they’re making a movie with a woman in the lead. So let the history lesson begin!

If you ask a film buff who the best strong female characters are in regards to action movies, they will undoubtedly name these two vixens:

Form-fitting panties don't exist in the future.

So if you answered Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor you’d be right… and wrong. Because it’s not these versions of the characters people are really thinking of, it’s these:

Just add guns.

You see, what a lot of people don’t realize is that Alien and The Terminator aren’t really action movies, they’re monster movies. In these two movies, Ripley and Sarah are essentially Final Girls. They each spend much of the movie running away and cowering in fear while their friends are being killed around them and then only when they are the last ones left do they take charge and kill the monster like in a slasher movie.

So when these two movies were hits and it came time to make the sequel, James Cameron jumped genres in each case (more so with Aliens though) and made them into action movies.

Naturally, Hollywood has been trying to recreate the success of those movies for decades. The problem is they tend to focus on Aliens and T2 but not so much on the originals. Ripley and Sarah are so badass in Aliens and T2 because we’ve already gotten to know them, so the sequels didn’t have to waste time introducing them and building up their characters too much (movies like The Dark Knight also benefited from this).

Fast Forward to 2011. It’s been 20 years since Terminator 2, and we have gotten a slew of Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley wannabes. Some of these attempts were actually not too bad, but the majority of them suck really, really hard and the first sign that clearly deviates from the Sarah/Ripley formula can be seen below:


And the worst offender of all being:

Crapwoman

You see what I’m getting at, right? I’m pretty sure if a woman was going to go on an Ass Kicking Spree she wouldn’t dress like anything remotely resembling these women. Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any of these awfully designed skank uniforms.

“But these films are made for MEN and thus the women in them must be SEXY” is what you’re saying?  And to that I say, “bullshit”. There’s not a goddamn thing sexy about Halle Berry’s Catwoman outfit. But let’s dig deeper.

One of the reasons why people love characters like Martin Riggs, John McClane and Rocky Balboa is because they all, at some point, ceremoniously get their asses kicked. Die Hard being my favorite example. We don’t love McClane because of his wisecracks and pithy comebacks, we love him because he took on terrorists without any shoes on and his best moment is when he’s picking glass out of his feet in the bathroom. By the end of that movie he looks awful.

Women in Hollywood movies are not, under any circumstances, allowed to look anything less than stunning. These “female action stars” can get punched and kicked and set on fire and still look like they just stepped out of a beauty salon at the end.

Sarah and Ripley were not, by today’s standards anyway, “sexy”. I mean, did you see that hair they had back then? Uh-uh. Sure, they managed to squeeze Ripley into those micro panties at the end of Alien and Kyle Reese got into Sarah’s pants (which was actually plot related), but they weren’t big tittied airbrushed super models. They were attractive, but they were very common looking women. Their looks didn’t detract from their characters. Ripley looked like the kind of woman who would be on that ship. Sarah looked like a waitress. It just looked authentic.

By not being glamorous or super sexy, an audience was able to accept those women in those roles, because let’s face it, if they remade Alien or Terminator and cast Megan Fox or Olivia Wilde or Scarlett Johansson, no one would buy it. Women who look like that don’t fight aliens and robots, they get killed by them.

Since the release of T2 there’s only been one female action character I could truly respect, and that’s her:

...said Hillary.

Why does The Bride in Kill Bill get a pass? I’m so glad you asked!

First of all, you have to take into account that Kill Bill takes place in it’s own reality that’s clearly a little different than ours.

Yes, her sword DOES count as a carry-on,.

Secondly, she doesn’t dress like a cheap whore. When she goes into a battle she wears clothes she can move in and shoes that don’t have high heels. Or in other words, practical ass-kicking attire.

Third, she doesn’t fight any man in direct hand-to-hand combat, and this is very important. The one man she does attempt to fight hand-to-hand mops the floor with her face, then teaches her how to do exactly what he did to her. Every other person she fights hand-to-hand is a woman. Every man she kills she does so with a weapon or, in one case, using an ancient 5-Point Palm Exploding Heart technique.

Fourth, Uma Thurman as The Bride is allowed to look ugly (well, in the move sense of the word, anyway). When we first see her she’s beaten, bloody, and begging for her life. When she wakes up from her coma she’s without makeup. She gets into fights with Vivica Fox and Daryl Hannah and at the end of both fights she actually looks like she just got into a fight! Amazing, isn’t it? Within the world the movie establishes, she is very believable for exactly this reason.

Fifth, she doesn’t have a lover interest. And why would she? Love interests are just their so the hero has someone to rescue in the third act, and no one wants to see a woman have to rescue her man, so why should a Female Action Hero need a love interest? It’s ri-goddamn-diculous.

Angelina Jolie in Salt is also a relatively good example of this.

Yummy.

Though Salt isn’t that great of a film, Jolie’s character dresses the way a woman in her situation would dress. She starts off with long tied up blonde hair, a skirt and heels, and over the course of the film wears pants, regular shoes, and cuts her hair short. And by the end she literally looks like she fought her way through hell. Granted, she still somehow managed to beat up full grown men while barely weighing 90 pounds, but hey, it was a Hollywood movie, we’re lucky she wasn’t wearing stilettos and a bustier while she was doing it.

So what does this all have to do with Hollywood Hating You? Well, because they think you’re morons, that’s why.

Hey, this might be hard to hear or believe, but women and adults like action movies too, not just horny teenage boys. And a general audience doesn’t just want to see a hot woman kicking butt, they want to see a good character that they can respect and root for kicking butt. Why do you think that whole Wonder Woman TV show didn’t work? Because she’s basically fighting crime while wearing a bathing suit, that’s why. It works in comics, not in live action.

And when you get right down to it, it’s just plain lazy. Why waste time casting an actress who actually looks like she could kick ass and do her own stunts when you can just cast the hot skinny noodle-armed flavor of the month and dress her up in a stripper outfit and call it a day? I want another Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor, goddamnit. Not another goddamn Sucker Punch.

Sexying up a “Female Action Star” by emphasizing her sexuality and making her look like an expensive cosplay prostitute is a lot like putting nipples on the Batman suit.

And we all remember how that turned out.

Revenge of the Nerds

Fuckin' nerds.

Look, “nerd” doesn’t mean what it used to mean, okay? Back in the day when floor-model TVs were the shit, a “reality show” was something you paid $5 bucks to see at your local sex shop, and nobody knew who the fuck Justin Bieber was, “nerd” was a derogatory term for a dude who was smarter than you and got good grades and was proud of it.

The Notorious B.I.L.L. Represent.

No, these days “nerds” are really nothing more than dorky looking guys who don’t get laid. Oh, and like Star Wars. Star Trek used to be nerd-exclusive, but J.J. Abrams went and ruined it for the nerds, so it’s off the table now.

And I’m not knocking nerds. We need nerds. Would a jock have thought up such a thing as an iPhone or would a cheerleader know how to make a Playstation 3 work? I don’t think so. So I’m all for nerds. Who else is going to get us those hover boards we saw in Back to the Future 2? BTW nerds, you need to get on that shit. 2015 is only 4 years away you know!

How the hell am I supposed to put rims on this thing?

Which leads me to why Hollywood Hates You:

And this:

And the mother of them all, this:

Above: Realism.

So before I rant I must take you into the mind of the Hollywood Universe. There exists a thing called The Hollywood Brain Cloud. Basically, any stupid half-assed idea you can think of can magically sound like genius if you’re in the Hollywood Brain Cloud. But how does this explain why there are so many movies where dog-faced dorks get to smooch up storms with girls who appear to have stepped out of a Victoria’s Secret ad? I’m guessing it went a little something like this:

HOLLYWOOD EXEC #1: Star Wars made lots of money.

HOLLYWOOD EXEC #2: Hey, didn’t lots of nerds go see that?

HOLLYWOOD EXEC #1: Yeah! We should make more movies for nerds!

HOLLYWOOD EXEC #2: On it!

What other explanation is there? Sure, back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s guys who couldn’t get a date and had a disposable income were more likely to retreat into the land of make-believe via their local movie theater, but now they have the internet. And by “internet” I mean “free online porn”. Plus, thanks to the internet movie piracy is easier than it’s ever been. And what group of people are most likely to download movies? And what group does the average Hollywood movie target? And what group do these so called “nerds” mostly belong to? You guessed it. Young white males between the ages of 13 and 34. Or, as Hollywood prefers to call them, “suckers”.

But back to Transformers. Did we really need to see Shia Labeouf tongue rape a girl who, minus his fame and zeroes in his bank account, wouldn’t even spit in his mouth if he were dying of thirst? “But Transformers made gobs of money and sold tons of toys!” you say?

Please. Let’s not play that game. A movie like Transformers is going to make bank no matter who’s in it, as long as there’s huge fucking robots transforming into cars and stuff getting blown up real good, it’s going to rake in mountains of cash. The fact a guy like Labeouf is getting some of that cash is just Hollywood’s way of giving you the finger.

See? Told you so.

And no, I’m not saying I want to see a bunch of movies where asshole douchebags get the girl either. I’d much sooner root for Michael Cera than Dane Cook, but come! How exactly does the success of Superbad translate into Hollywood making an anthology of movies about Michael Cera fucking some blonde girl? And how exactly does Jesse Eisenberg get to score so much top shelf punani in his movies while always looking like a gangly pedophile in training? Why is it that the “nerds” in these movies hardly ever have to put in any work to get these impossibly sexy girls, instead the girls simply just fall all over them? In what universe is this realism?

Look, I watched Out Of Sight a few weeks ago for the first time in years. There you’ve got George Motherfucking Clooney putting the moves on Jennifer Lopez (back when she was still relevant). Clooney is the type of guy who always has a good line of credit at the Pussy Bank, but here he’s actually putting in work and talking a sweet game in order to romance Ex-Ms. Affleck. And it works. Because the man is pimp. Same thing with Up In The Air. If my girlfriend told me she cheated on me with George Clooney I’d completely understand.

I'd fuck me.

Now if I see a movie about a guy who looks like Shia Labeouf, Jesse Eisenberg, Jay Baruchel or Michael Cera and they get a girl who looks like Megan Fox, Portia Doubleday, Alice Eve or Teresa Palmer without money changing hands, then how the hell am I supposed to buy into that? If these guys are putting in far less work than George Clooney in order to get a laid, how is that entertaining? It’s not. It’s bullshit. And I don’t take kindly to bullshit.

And that’s why Hollywood Hates You. Because they honestly, truly think you want to see dorks with no discernible skills or good qualities get everything they want without doing a damn thing to get it. And they think you’re willing to pay $10 bucks a pop to see it on the big screen or $24.99 to see it in 1080p Hi-Def on DVD and Blu Ray. Pfft. Not bloody likely.

Well, except for that *one* time.

I hope that's talent in that hose.

I guess it makes sense I’d use my first post to try and piss off as many people as humanly possible. Look, this isn’t going to be a “Fuck Ryan Reynolds” post, it’s… well, actually, yeah, it kinda is, but hear me out before you start launching insults at me.

The fact that a guy like Ryan Reynolds is totted as being “a star” is a clear sign as to how much Hollywood hates you, because he’s not. Yes, he’s handsome. Yes, at one time he got to bury his face in Scarlett Johansson’s bosom on a daily basis. And yes, he has that degenerative disease where he can’t keep his shirt on for more than 90 minutes at a time, and I get that the ladies love him (and a surprising number of the fellas, too).

But there are two reasons why I’m tried of seeing this guy’s. A) he’s not a good actor, and B) his movies suck.

Above: Acting.

And yeah, I saw The Nines and Chaos Theory. Just because he smirks a little less or tells a few less snarky jokes in a movie does not make him a good actor. It’s almost as absurd as Paul Walker defenders pointing to Running Scared as an example of his “acting skills”, which was basically him wandering between difference accents and saying “fuck” a bunch of times, but I’ll save Paul Walker for another post.

“But so what? So he plays the same damn character in every movie. So do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Nic Cage and a bunch of other “stars”. Why single poor handsome Ryan Reynolds out? Is it because YOU’RE JEALOUS?”

No, ladies, I’m not. The difference between Reynolds and those other guys is that Reynolds movies don’t make money. Unless he’s playing against Sandra Bullock or mutants, no one goes to the movies to just see him. But he keeps snagging leading roles anyway, so Hollywood hates you by continuing to force Ryan Reynolds smirking grin down our throats until we finally vomit cash (presumably in order to get them to stop).

Above: Vomit.

Calling this “The Ryan Reynolds Agenda” is kind of unfair since it’s not like he’s the first.

Remember a guy named Ben Affleck? No? The guy who was in Armageddon and Daredevil and married a Spanish chick with a big butt? Still nothing? Yeah, right. Stop lying. You know you remember.

If only we could forget.

Back in the 90s Hollywood pulled the same old bullshit it always pulls. It saw a potential young rising white male actor and they threw a fuckton of money and bad scripts at him and the death of his career was inevitable, except that some of Ben Affleck’s movies made money. It wasn’t until that godawful Gigli that Hollywood finally pulled the band aid off.

Has Green Lantern done that for Ryan Reynolds? Doesn’t look like it. Hollywood has already invested far too much time and money into this guy. They are desperate to make him into a bankable movie star even if they have spend all the money in that bank to do it. It’s going to take a colossal Mars Needs Moms type of bomb for Hollywood to finally get the message that smirking and rock hard abs don’t a movie star make.

Gigli?