Monday, July 6, 2015

ARE SUPERHERO FILMS "MORE" SEXIST,? STAR WARS MASHUP, THOR'S JAMIE ALEXANDER IN 'BLINDSPOT,' COSPLAY, + LINKS

Cara Delevingne as the Enchantress, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
'SUICIDE SQUAD,' 2016, Warner Brothers
I'm sure most people have heard of the 'Suicide Squad,' which will feature a plethora of DC Comics characters. Yay! As a comic book reader and an avid fan of superhero films, the latest comment by a star of the upcoming 'Suicide Squad' struck my interest. Model turned actress Cara Delevingne will be playing the Enchantress and has recently been quoted as having said that,
"three girls in [Suicide Squad]...have the best roles...but generally...superhero films are totally sexist. Female superheroes are normally naked or in bikinis. No one would be able to fight like that. Wonder Woman, how the hell does she fight? She would be dead in a minute."
Margot Robbie on set of 'SUICIDE SQUAD'
She certainly has a point with regard to the intrinsic sexism in the film industry. Don't get me started on the maltreatment of Black Widow or how Sony's email hack revealed that Marvel is afraid of female-superhero films. Both Rose McGowan and Sandra Bullock have recently spoken out against sexism in Hollywood. McGowan was actually fired by her agent for doing so. Bullock went further and condemned the media's attacks on women's age and appearance. I myself am tired of interviewers asking women "how do you feel about getting older and how do you balance work and family?" Why don't they ask men those questions?
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in 'BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE,' 2016
I have spoken out against the blatant sexism and misogyny in the armpit that is Hollywood. That said, I also think the female form is beautiful and I love Wonder Woman's costumes. Admittedly Gal Gadot's costume in 'Batman v. Superman' is much more practical, and still cool. However, in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with accentuating the feminine form. What bothers me is the refusal by major studios to produce female-led superhero films or the overt sexualization (and abuse) of women in a television show that will not be named.
Scarlett Johannsson as Black Widow, 'IRON MAN 2'
However, I think Superhero films (that feature female superheroes) have the potential to be less sexist than other types of films because they feature women in a heroic and engaging manner. It doesn't mean these films are devoid of sexism-- as is apparent in the "passing around" of Black Widow in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron.' But on the flip side, I thought Widow's role in 'Captain America: Winter Soldier,' was incredible. She carried the film almost as much as Captain America. So are superhero films in general more sexist than other types of movies? I don't think they are, but please share your thoughts.

I'm getting really excited to see Jamie Alexander in her new television series 'Blindspot.' Alexander will be playing a mysterious woman who wakes up naked in Timesquare with 200 tattoos and no memory. She also kicks a lot of butt and has some sort of military training. It kinda reminds me of the show 'Prison Break,' when Wentworth Miller (Currently Captain Cold on 'The Flash') was all tatted up so he could break his brother out of prison.

Someone turned 'Stars Wars' into a literal spaghetti western, starring Bobba Fett. I believe 'Star Wars' is based on 'Seven Samurai,' for which 'The Magnificent Seven' was also based. So the western mashup is not that far of a stretch.
Estrada Photography
My favorite cosplay costume this week is the cutest coplay of all...Snow White and Bobba Fett mashup.

Links
Fisti reviews 'Selma.'
Alex has some great ninja news and a fantastic entry in the "How I Work Blogathon."
Sati reviews 'Spy'. I can't wait to see this movie.
Hannah did an awesome entry for my "How I Work Blogathon."
Allie is getting married and Jenna is a bridesmaid. Recommend a good wedding flick for them to watch.
Jeremy celebrates 'Terminator' week.
John and Ruth review 'Terminator: Genisys.'
Brittani reviews 'A Girl Walks Alone at Night.'
Chip watched 22 movies in June.
Katy writes about the 10 highly anticipated movies this year.
The Geek Twins created a cool infographic about "10 Interesting Facts" About the New Spiderman
French Toast Sunday is hosting "Julames" Cameron month.

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28 comments:

  1. I think that sexism is so prevalent in film today that any 'lesser' form of sexism is welcome, but not the answer. Super Hero movies are great, but Cara has a serious point (and it's been that way since the beginning of time). I hope that this will change soon, even if ever so slightly. With each passing form of 'lesser' sexism, eventually we'll reach the end of sexism, right?

    I'm so here for Blindspot. It looks great!

    Thanks for the link!

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    1. Fisti-- Your points are well made! Ha, and yes it has been that way since the beginning of time. I am really looking forward to Jamie in Blindspot. It looks great. I wonder how long they will be able to keep that show going? It seems like it would eventually burn out once she finds out who she is?

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  2. I'm not current on all the superhero movies, but I do see the point on the ridiculousness of female superhero costumes. Then again, aren't some of the men's superhero costumes form fitting as well? Anyway, it made me think of the horror of women's bathing suits. Why do guys get trunks that would pass easily for normal shorts while women have to deal with lingerie? So not fair.

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    1. Ha, yes you make some good points! There are some movies and television series where the women are near nude and the men are fully clothed? I'm like...what's wrong with this picture?

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  3. Well, way for Marvel to make me feel bad about defending them as being an example for having such a large array of female characters (of which there are many if you total all the women who appear across the franchise, though there does often seem to be a greater male-female ratio for individual installments). All the comments about Scarlett Johansson haven't helped. Fortunately, Marvel does seem to at least be okay with female-lead television shows, as is evidenced by the success of Agent Carter and now the upcoming AKA Jessica Jones. Perhaps if the latter is also a success it will help convince Marvel that releasing a female superhero movie could work.

    I suspect part of the problem as well is that while there have been attempts at female superhero films, there haven't been very many good ones, usually the result of extensive pre-production issues.

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    1. I think Kevin Feige is a big problem with regard to female superheroes. He's made some comments that concern me. I'm not sure DC is much better. But I agree. Marvel is better than DC with regard to women in television. 'Agent Carter' was a big deal. It seems like DC may be coming around with the new 'Supergirl' show.

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  4. In general Marvels female superheroes are known for crime fighting superhuman strength. I have a fondness for songbird whos cybernetically enhanced and has a secret weapon! She has throat implants which gives her voice enough sonic power to affect her enemies and WOW does she look might fine, LOL.

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    1. Ha, I'm not as familiar with the Marvel superheroes as I am with DC. I'll have to look Songbird up. She sounds like a character similar to the Black Canary?

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  5. The entire comic industry is sexist so it's not surprising that the movies are too. It's getting better with a wider demographic and more attention to the overt sexualization of the heroes. Still has a long way to go. You're right that it's not the costumes which are emphasizing the human body. Men get the same thing when they're required to starve and kill themselves to get the "ideal" superhero body. Stephen Amell asked for less shirt-less scenes because he felt the diet and excercise wasn't healthy for him on Arrow. But women have an additional layer that they're required to be subservient to the male heroes. Hopefully Wonder Woman can change things and we'll finally get that black Widow movie. Snow White Stormtrooper is awesome and I'm looking forward to "Blindspot" too!

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    1. Yes, the comic book industry as a whole is sexist. I have hopes that it's getting better. You make such a good point about Stepehn Amell. He certainly has a lot of shirtless scenes. I don't think those scenes are meant to "expand" his character... You make some great points though!

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  6. Thanks for including my link!
    I don't think the sexism is really bad. And women can carry a feature as a superhero. (Doesn't anyone remember Xena?) Yes, some good movies would be nice. (Remember Supergirl from the 80's?)
    I've always thought of Star Wars as a western in space anyway.

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    1. The thing that bothers me is the lack of female superheroes. Their costuming doesn't bother me so much because when I'm looking at Superman, I'm looking at the muscles, so of course there is going to be some objectification of anyone (male or female) who plays a superhero. I do remember 'Supergirl.' It's a total guilty pleasure for me. I love that movie. It's been a long time though...so I'm hoping we get a Black Widow film soon! :)

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  7. Hey thanks for the link Mariah! I'm not all that enthused yet for Suicide Squad but maybe that'll change as the date gets closer.

    I'm liking the look of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and as Black Widow was the scene stealer in Avengers & Capt America movies, I have a feeling she too would make the same impact in Dawn Of Justice. Here's hoping the film will be decent!

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    1. I'm getting excited for the 'Suicide Squad.' I'm hopeful that DC can get it's act together with regard to film. They do great television shows, but Marvel has won the movies. I love Gal's Wonder Woman.

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  8. Great thoughts and links. Nice of you to share.

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  9. I'm still not entirely sold on Suicide Squad (or Cara as an actress for that matter) but she does have a point about costumes. I appreciated that Joss Whedon did something different with Scarlet Witch's costume in Age of Ultron. I think the thing that bothers me most is heels. Why would you fight crime in heels? I sure a hell wouldn't.

    Thanks for the link!

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    1. You're welcome. Yes, I can agree. The Suicide Squad is a lot of hype. They keep releasing set photos, which worries me. But I remain hopeful! I loved the Scarlet Witch's costume from the Avengers. The heels would have to go. Have you seen Batgirl's new costume? That's a costume that's practical.

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  10. Yeah, I think there's sexism in all the movies, and super hero ones are just gross. Sad state of affairs.

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    1. Ha, I remain hopeful that superhero movies will get better!

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  11. That cosplay is amazing. I'm not a big superhero film fan, but I do laugh every time I see the ridiculous outfits the women wear. I know there are comics where the boobs aren't so big and the costumes not so sexual, and it would be nice to see those transferred to the screen.

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    1. Hi Libby! Have you seen the new 'Batgirl' costume? It's awesome. Very utilitarian. It would be nice to see that transferred to the big screen.

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  12. I'm with Brittani on this one, I'm still not sure about Suicide Squad, although I said the same of Guardians of the Galaxy and I loved it, so what do I know!
    Thank you for the link love too, by the way :)
    - Allie

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    1. Sure, glad to! I'm hesitantly excited about the Suicide Squad. I'm really looking forward to it. I hope I'm not disappointed.

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  13. First, thank you for stopping by my blog today. It's always fun to make new friends in the geekoblogosphere.

    Second, I'm going to jump on board with Maurice's point: the comic books are sexist so it's hardly surprising that the movies are, too.

    Third, Star Wars is based on Hidden Fortress, a different Kurosawa film. Both movies are excellent. Interestingly, the first Star Wars Marvel story after the initial movie adaptation was based on Seven Samurai.

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! I enjoy making new friends! I do agree, but I think it's getting better. The Batgirl costume has given me hope. I don't necessarily think that sexism in comic book movies is worse than it is in hollywood, but it is of course still present.

      I knew there was another movie that Star Wars was based on. I thought 7 Samurai was definitely one of the movies it was based on though?

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  14. First, thanks for the linkage.

    Second, The Armchair Squid is mostly correct about Hidden Fortress. While Star Wars is not a remake of it, it takes some elements, most notably two comic relief characters where one is tall and thin while the other is short and wide. Seven Samurai and Star Wars are not connected, other than Lucas being a fan of Kurosawa..

    Third, I believe most people are reacting to the comic book images, not movie costumes, when making comments about sexualized female heroes. (Witness the recent news about the Spider-Woman cover.) There's no way to actually make movie people look like the images in the comics (other than CGI) because they are so unrealistic.

    People focusing only on the women being sexualized in comics are missing half the boat, though. The men are sexualized just as much. They are drawn as insanely musclebound and in skin tight costumes. There are some people that have commented that young boys reading comics today may be getting unrealistic ideas of how muscular they are supposed to be and that they are getting bad body images just like some girls do.

    It's pretty common for people to focus on just one aspect of sexualized characters, though. I'm reminded of the nearly across the board complaining about the sexualized women in Sucker Punch while there was nary a whisper of complaint about the director's earlier film 300 where the men were far more naked, and for the entire film, not just select scenes. They wore only shorts and sandals. At least in Sucker Punch the women were covered except for a couple inches of thigh, from their elbows to their hands, for a couple inches of midriff, and for their faces. Either both films should get charged with sexualizing their characters, or neither should.

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    1. Thanks for the correction on 'Star Wars.' Yes, I think both men and women are sexualized in comic books and films...women more so. But I do agree that when I want to see 'Superman,' I want to see the physicality of 'Superman.' I thought 300 was definitely beefcake on steroids. It had other issues too. Zack Synder is far too literal when it comes to comic book films. I don't know what he was thinking on 'Sucker Punch.' That movie was just terrible. At least 300 had a plot he could follow. 'Watchmen' was decent excluding that one porno scene he threw in there with 'Hallelujah' playing in the background.

      I do hope it's getting better in comic book films for female characters to lead their own films and expand upon their characters. As long as their costumes are tastefully done, a little skin doesn't bother me. I loved the Scarlett Witch's costume in 'Avengers 2.'

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