Tag Archives: women in film

The Green Hornet vs. the Bechdel Test

Spoiler alert: it fails.

Green Hornet movie title at old theater
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Tron: Legacy vs. the Bechdel Test

Hello, readers (if we still have any…) and Happy New Year!

One of my many resolutions is to write more often.  One way I’ve decided to do this is to apply the Bechdel Test to every movie I see in theaters this year and write it up for BTW.  The Bechdel Test, for those of you who’ve been living in a cave, has three rules.  In order to pass this test, a movie must (1) have two or more named female characters, (2)  that talk to each other, (3) about something other than a man or shoes.  My first contender this year?  Tron: Legacy.

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BTW Watches: Jennifer’s Body

Hell is a teenage girl.”
As opening lines go, Jennifer’s Body has a pretty kicking one. (Hey, pun!)

Jennifer's Body Movie Poster

Let me begin by saying that I had high expectations for Jennifer’s Body.  Since reading Diablo Cody’s interview in the Aug/Sept 2009 issue of BUST, I’ve been wanting to see this flick.  I missed it in theaters, and finally got around to seeing it recently.  Why was I excited?  Two reasons, mostly: first, because of what I’d read about it; that it was supposed to be a feminist take on the horror genre.  As a viewer who enjoys shows like CSI and Law & Order, I was anxious to see the bad guy played by a girl.  Frankly, I’m sick and tired of always seeing women cast as the corpses, or soon to be corpses, running and screaming from Faceless Rapist and Murderer of the Week.  I was beyond excited to witness Ms. Cody turn the tables on men and make the killer a hot young woman targeting men.  And second, I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to see how Megan Fox would do in a non-decorative role (::cough::Transformers::).  I have a soft spot in my heart for her because I think she’s gotten a disproportionate amount of hate, and for virtually no reason.  I recently read a piece over at HuffPo posing a similar question: Why do we hate Megan Fox?  The author argues that we hate her because she’s beautiful and she speaks her mind: a lethal combination in a culture that rewards and values silent womanhood.  Check it out.

So I watched it and I’m left a little flummoxed; but I’m going to give it a B-.  If you’re still with me, read on… Continue reading

Flashback to Feisty Females in Film: Anne of Green Gables

Feisty Female: Plain, old, unromantic Anne — with an e– Shirley. (But couldn’t you just call her Cordelia?)

Year we got to know her:  1986 (1985 if you’re Canadian)

Best known for: Her quick temper, red hair, dramatic elocution, fierce intelligence, and loyalty to her friends and family

Why she deserves a second look:
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Woman of the Week: Rachel McAdams

rachel mcadams sherlock holmes

WOW: Rachel McAdams
Why Now?: Because I went to a showing of Sherlock Holmes on New Year’s Day and was scandalized to hear one of my companions describe Rachel McAdams as “the poor man’s Katie Holmes.” WHAT!?
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Film Whips It Good

This is our third guest blog from Revolution, although now she’s better known as K-Y La Jelly. (Check out 1 and 2)

whip_it_cast

Whip It was not only a directorial debut for Drew Barrymore, it was a debut of women’s roller derby resurgence that began merely at the turn of this millennium.  Hollywood’s spotlighting of lesser known athletics has led to their subsequent national and international growth before.  Documentary Planet B-boy attributes the international exposure to breakdancing simply after 1983 Flashdance’s introductory clip of kids dancing in the streets.  About’s skateboard guide, Steve Cave, lists the 1989 release of Gleaming the Cube, a movie that first featured Tony Hawk among other future professionals, as a major event that boosted skateboarding popularity.  Has the passion of Barrymore’s pet project impacted roller derby in the same way?

Despite the novelty of roller derby in Hollywood, Whip It’s financial and artistic grade achieved a big fat mediocre.  Box Office Mojo ranks Whip It #6 behind Zombieland (#1) and Toy Story I & II (#2) according to gross profits made that opening weekend.  Kyle Buchanan gives a more historical perspective on the film’s monetary losses in “A Dispiriting List of Girl-Targeted Movies that Opened Better than Whip It” on movieline.com.  To summarize, the list includes several movies that star Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan, and dramatize the following topics:  boyfriends, princesses/drama queens, animals (horses and mermaids), and gymnastics (not to belittle the athleticism of this sport).  Film critics from New York TimesWashington Post and USA Today grant Whip It one thumb up for an eccentric cast and one thumb down for a predictable plot.

A quick read through roller derby team websites and blogs, however, show a very different story.  Ivanna S. Pankin, founder of Las Vegas’ Neanderdolls and owner of the online derby store Sin City Skates, states that even if the movie had sucked it is a free marketing tool that educates people about the sport’s existence.  For the past year she has prepped her business to respond to sales booms after the film’s release.  Sojourney Beaver, Las Vegas’ general league manager and new recruits coach, says that for every person who asks, “There’s derby in Las Vegas?” another person asks “What’s roller derby?”  After Whip It’s release, Beaver found 22 more women at the next beginner’s practice, about four times the normal 1-5 newbies who show up at the start of the season.  Although most of these new recruits denied the film had anything to do with their choice to start derby, a few admitted they had no clue a derby team existed in Las Vegas until they saw flyers posted at theaters.  Similarly, LV member Bootsi Call quotes 380 tickets sold at the following bout compared with the average 100-200 fans.
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Flashback to Feisty Females in Film: Ocean Girl

neri ocean girl
Feisty Female: Neri aka Ocean Girl

Year We Got to Know Her: 1994

Best Known For: Super strength, telepathic connection to humpback whales, superhuman lung capacity mistaken for underwater breathing capabilities, and **spoiler** being an alien charged with saving Earth’s oceans (shades of Star Trek IV…)

Why She Deserves a Second Look:
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