trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott talk about the increasing presence of violent women in cinema. I'm not sure it's worth investing one of your 20-articles-a-month freebie reads at the NYT for, seeing as they say nothing really new. I did, however, appreciate this point made by Dargis:

I complain about the representations of women, but I’m more offended when in movie after movie there are no real representations to eviscerate, when all or most of the big roles are taken by men, and the only women around are those whose sole function is, essentially, to reassure the audience that the hero isn’t gay. The gun-toting women and girls in this new rash of movies may be performing much the same function for the presumptive male audience: It’s totally “gay” for a guy to watch a chick flick, but if a babe is packing heat — no worries, man!


Bingo. This touches on what I was trying to say earlier about how this latest Fast and Furious movie seems more gay than previous ones (despite my not remembering exactly how often the men in the first movie were shirtless together). NHEMs aside, so long as there is a sop to heterosexuality--a hot chick with a semi-interesting personality (she doesn't have to be that interesting, which is how Kate Hudson has a career)--the movie gets to skate the gay issue. (Not so with slashers, but then the slashers can slash anything. And they do.) But when you literally remove every single female character, there's nothing left. I mean, that's how it appears to the decidedly heteronormative folk, even me (and I'm the one who was rolling her eyes at BSG for the way they didn't--and then, worse, did--engage with the gay characters.)

Like it or not, if there's a chick between two guys, the movie is not gay. It can be SO GAY, like Top Gun gay, and the 18-49-year-old dudes it's aimed at will never see it, and a good chunk of us hetero ladies will miss it (or not think it's as bad as reputed). I could see it, if I squinted, in The Fast and the Furious, but I like it better without that spin. Once you get down to Fast Five, and the tokenism of the lady-parts-having characters is that blatant? You can't squint to not see it.

I also share their interest--though not their concern--about violent ladies in cinema these days. A.O. Scott makes a good point about how it's creepy that a lot of them are young girls being shepherded by father figures. But otherwise, I don't subscribe to Dargis' point that this is two steps forward and two steps back. There is something to Scott's claim that the movies emphasize the woman's ability to fight at the expense of her sexuality (often as a means of pre-empting her sexuality). That's a valid point to make, seeing as we argue at women in the public sphere all the time to be perfect--maybe not killing machines, but definitely at every thing else--while insisting that "good" women haven't got sex drives at all. I don't know that the films reinforce that belief so much as reflect it, is all I'm saying.
trinityvixen: (Default)
It's been nothing but hustle and bustle here today. Our lab has literally doubled in size, and all the new people need separate things and need to train on different procedures, and, naturally, we have a fuse blown that delayed stuff and ARGH MEME TIME.

Day 20 - Your favorite actress

This shouldn't be a surprise, really. There's absolutely no one like her, even among her peer group. Annette Benning is good. So is Julianne Moore. So's Susan Sarandon. But nobody is Meryl fucking Streep. Unlike Matt Damon, I do watch movies because Meryl Streep is in them. I wouldn't have ever watched Out of Africa or, God help me, The Devil Wears Prada without her. (Mamma Mia! I would have watched even if the lead had been, like, age-make-up-wearing Lindsey Lohan.) She is transformative in every role. EVERY. ROLE.

And she can do ANY role. You want comedy? She walked off with It's Complicated despite starring against the also hilarious Alec Baldwin. I thought she was a riot in Julie and Julia, where she was not only a different kind of funny, she was an entirely different person. Entirely. Like, I could draw a connection between performances as other actors evolve, but Meryl Streep would be a zig-zag. She does everything and does it always, always different. And it is always, always spectacular. Even when it's meant to be a smaller, more inward performance, she manages to deliver that and still be fabulous.

Know what's sad? I thought of at least three other women Meryl Streep's age who I think  are phenomenal actresses. I can't think of any that are my age that I would say the same about. Meryl Streep is amazing, but she also benefits from having come of age in a time when there were actually roles for women in cinema as opposed to slots--you know, the "girlfriend" slot, or the "evil slut sidekick to the villain" slot or the "victim" slot. Are there women whose work I like who are younger than 60? Yes. I thought and still think that Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer, from Battlestar Galactica, are fantastic actresses. There are several women, especially on BBC shows, that I like. But movie stars? Maybe Natalie Portman. (It depends on the project she chooses, and her taste...wavers.)

Day 01
Day 02
Day 03 - 06
Day 07
Day 08
Day 09
Day 10
Day 11-13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17-19
trinityvixen: (Default)
Naturally, the only thing I found worth talking about is a big spoiler. Hence the spoiler cut. (Did I mention that there would be SPOILERS here?) )

I'm not overwhelmed by this, mostly because the story arc is awfully telegraphed with just the premise. They're not (as yet) taking it in such a different direction that you can't see where its going if you know anything about the old series, you know what I mean? I never really watched much of the original V TV series, but even I know enough to know where this is headed.

Also, I LOLed when I saw Tory Foster in the "coming this season on V" promo at the end. The only thing that could make crazy lizard aliens better is crazy robot lizard aliens.
trinityvixen: (cylons)
Had to laugh at this assessment of the BSG series finale on io9:

The series finale was written up on 2 cocktail napkins amidst a drunken stupor, 30 minutes before the actual airdate.

That night, we were all watching a live performance of the cast doing history's most ambitious improve performance off chicken scratch notes.


I heartily agree, and I'm hoping to keep that in mind because tonight, I watch Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. I am trying not to let nostalgia for when the show didn't suck get me too excited about this. Failing, but I am trying.

[livejournal.com profile] viridian will laugh at me because I used to totally be on Team Human, but I'm looking forward to spending more time with the Cylons. Because they ended up being marginally less assholish than humanity. (I made a list, once, of the people I deemed to be on Team Not Raging Assholes. Two of the people on it ended up being Cylons.) This is an impressive feat given how they were introduced when they committed genocide. I mean, they're assholes. They're definitely, definitely most of them assholes. They're also infantile in that can't-make-up-their-minds, change-sides-when-the-wind-changes-direction, don't-remember-killing-people-yesterday-that-they-want-to-be-friends-with-today sort of way.

But you know what they weren't? They weren't like the humans, who constantly congratulated themselves on how awesome they were. They fucked up so much, they make Smallville Clark Kent look successful. They also always were like, "Yeah, we fucked up, but we're people, and we'll get better and it's totally okay that we continue to suck because we're trying. And no one should be mean to us when we fuck up. Because that's mean."

No, really, that was humanity--a bunch of fuck-ups with issues that ran the gamut from meaningful to trivial, with the bias being in favor of those trivial issues taking over for the more weighty ones in terms of what people dwelt on. But you couldn't call them on it. Because that would be unfair. You don't get to judge them until you've survived the destruction of your planet and several years spent as fugitives.

It comes down to evolution--the Cylons evolved in the course of the show, the people didn't and didn't want to when they were pretty much forced to.

The Cylons were all like "We want to be people! Maybe we can be! Let's try! That didn't work! Let's try something else! Oh look, we can be people if we do it this way!" Even EVIL EVIL EVIL Cylons were like, "I am willing to maybe change a little and work with humans if it means I get what I want and then I'm out!"

People were like, "LOL ROBOTS SUX." For four seasons.

So, yeah, bring on the Cylons. I'm sure this will be a disappointment, but hey, ROBOTS! Hot robots!
trinityvixen: (lifes a bitch)
This woman is spot-on about why women don't go to see so-called "women's movies."

"Amelia" has failed, as it happens. But if you want to know why, it might be more informative to watch the trailer. Every shot is burnished to a monotonous gold, there are period costumes and a booming score, and every other line out of Hilary Swank's mouth is something about freedom or overcoming obstacles or believing in dreams. (“It can't be done!” “Let's change that!” “No one has made it!” “I will!”) No matter how much you like strong female characters, this isn't interesting. And I'm reluctant to see any movie that looks this predictable and obvious out of some kind of womanly obligation. “Strength” can be just as bland as anything else – and just as limiting.

AMEN. I like to see things that are interesting. End of story. I can put up with sausage-fest superhero and action movies because they're about people turning into robots or being able to fly. These are relevant to my interests. Hilary Swank is not relevant to my interests, nor is her rah-rah retelling of Amelia Earhart's story. That biography is interesting, don't get me wrong, but it's been whitewashed to remove all controversy and pumped up with as much artificial girl power as the Spice Girls were. It's malarkey, and women, who--shock!--are human beings with the ability to sense bullshit, know better than to fall for that.

I really like her comment on "strength." I got into this with issues I had with female characters on Battlestar Galactica. I insisted that "toughness" did not a complex female character make, for all that allowing women to be physically or emotionally resilient was (sadly) fairly novel on television. Tough isn't necessarily interesting, and Sady Doyle understands that the "tough" girl is still a girl in a box. She's tough. End of story. It's like how Laura Roslin went from being harsh but human to an uncaring monster at her worst. The second you get lazy about characterization and lose the humanity of your character is the second they become caricatures. Unfortunately, this happens to female characters more often than males because we still write from a male-dominant point of view in most of our fiction. To create conflict for men, women have to be one note. As Hollywood et al. have tried to lure women in with women-centered movies, they've kept women as one-note. That's not an interesting thing to watch as 90% of the focus of a movie. It's not interesting when it's a dude, either, but because they assume women are starved for movies "about them" (like we're aliens or something) the think that women will watch anything where they don't have to be penis-whipped from all sides of the cast list.

What studios need to do is try the Alien experiment: write the story for a character. Then don't be afraid to cast it gender-blind. You'd be amazed at how awesome a female lead can be when you write her as human first, possessor of strange and unknowable girly-bits second.
trinityvixen: (window)
So far this season, Heroes has not been awful. I credit much of this to Robert Knepper and the uber-creepy inclusion of the Carnival. Everything is better with circus freaks. Everything. Of course, this will all change in another few episodes and I'll regret saying this, but I'm even enjoying parts of this season. (My reviews at Pink Raygun for this season are here, here, here, and here.) There are definitely still problems, much of which stem from the show's loyalty to characters and the actors playing them.

That might be about to change, however. If you still care about spoiler warnings, don't read what's under the cut.Who am I kidding? I'm the only one still watching this show. )

And did I mention the racefail? )
trinityvixen: (cylons)
Because they make my points waaaay better than I do.

From "The Passion of Mr. Gaeta": (Spoilers at the link for the end of Battlestar Galactica!)
Popular media has consented to allowing queer characters to exist, but only if their sexuality never has to be seen as equivalent to the hetero characters' relationships. If we are quiet and closeted, in other words, we are just fine. If you are a pushy queer, like that bossy Cain woman, expect the worst.

This is a pretty half-assed approach to queer liberation. Covert representations of queer characters are better than no representation at all, I suppose. The problem with such “open secrets,” though, is that they reenforce the closet more than they tear it down. To find out about these queer characters’ sexualities, one has to do more sleuthing than Angela Lansbury. Queer sexuality becomes information only for those “in the know.” Keeping that information out of the canonical representations implicitly upholds the notion that queer sexuality is something that needs to be guarded against lest that it scare the horses or offend the general public. Eve Sedgewick reminded us many years ago that closetedness is a performance “by the speech act of silence.” Well, BSG’s silence around queer Gaeta and Hoshi’s sexuality was deafening. Apparently in space, nobody hears you come out.



Remember: silence is a commentary, too. This sort of blinders-on thinking is what caused that RaceFAIL nonsense to implode. (Or so I gather--jesus christ I'm not commenting on that I never said anything PLEASE DON'T HURT ME) Basically, you're responsible for what your work puts out into the ether, whether you intended it or not. Your control over the interpretation ends with the first person who sees it who didn't help make it. And it's a given that one of those people who sees it--be he/she the first or fifty-millionth--is going to have issues with it. Picking fights with groups that aren't just the oddballs screaming into the internet but are, say, 10% (gay) or 50% (female) or roughly 80% (not white) of the world's population by closeting, hampering or marginalizing them, respectively, is just Not A Good Idea. It's also hurtful and maddening to counter since we're still at this "But we made Dumbledore gay!" (see link for why that's bullshit) level of "progressivism" vis a vis minority groups.

THIS

Apr. 2nd, 2009 11:19 pm
trinityvixen: (cylons)
h/t [livejournal.com profile] the_grynne, one of the best commentaries I've read yet on Battlestar Galactica:

Slight spoiler for the finale )

There's also this post, wherein she, more concisely than I, addresses the issue of culpability among the Cylon:

The problem, however, with trying to denounce anti-Cylon sentiment as mere prejudice, is that when it comes to Cylons a blanket prejudice might very well be the only correct and moral response. There was a twisted sort of sense in Helo focusing on Sharon's race rather than her individual guilt back at the end of the first season, because at the time we were still thinking in human terms. To accuse Sharon of genocide made as much sense as holding a single Wehrmacht soldier responsible for the Final Solution. In the intervening two and a half seasons, however, we've learned that there's no such thing as a Cylon non-combatant or even a foot soldier. Their decisions, we've seen, are made en masse, with each model voting unanimously (Caprica breaking with the other sixes on the question of whether to nuke New Caprica was unprecedented and shocking). Unless the writers make a last minute revelation that the eights opposed the decision to attack the colonies, there's no other conclusion to draw but that when polled, Sharon said that yes, billions upon billions of dead humans sounded to her like a good start.

Slight spoiler for 4.5 )

It's funny, you know, because I do completely think this, and have said as much before. It's not that I don't recognize the need to move on in the interests of survival as the show moves along in season four, just that the moving on should not imply forgiveness or forgetfulness (willing or otherwise). And that those who aren't able to forgive the losses they've suffered aren't necessarily monsters. (And the ones who can may be pragmatic, but they are probably also fucking sick in the Stockholm Syndrome kind of way.)
trinityvixen: (cylons)
My birthday present to myself, to be amortized over the next kajillion years or if I win the lottery.

Seriously, I don't think they ever even made prop Centurions for the show. That makes me immeasurably sad.

Anyway, barring my very own Centurion, I'd happily take a resurrection tub.
trinityvixen: (cylons)
Last one from me, and then from here on out, I'll just stick to writing fanfiction to fix this mess.

Parts 1 and 2 of "What the frak happened to the last season of Battlestar Galactica?"

Part 3: Hopefully not as long as either of those parts! Spoilers for the end of 4.5 )

I still cannot believe it. Especially the Daniel thing (definitely check that out in there if you haven't heard about a Caprica spoiler). I need fanfiction to fix this nao, kthnxbai.

Heee!

Mar. 26th, 2009 03:41 pm
trinityvixen: (vampire smile)
There are funny, angry people at message boards, not just assholes. This is awesome!

OMG LOL (Um, BSG finale spoilers!) )

I just fell out laughing over this. For once, roflmao isn't just an obnoxious internet thing to say!
trinityvixen: (cylons)
Or: The three Ps that rhyme with T which stands for Trouble. (To paraphrase The Music Man.) Right here in River Caprica City.

As promised (though not requested) the things with which I took issue over season four of Battlestar Galactica and that I felt contributed to its lackluster end.

Starting in season 4.0:
Spoilers! )

Gah, that's only the problems I had with the first half of the fourth season. And that is the half I liked. I should probably skip the second half, say I hated everything but the two episodes of the mutiny, and just give up.
trinityvixen: (excellent)
I've never been able to see the chick who played Kara-El on Smallville as entirely human. So perhaps this is the best role for her. And Alan Tudyk! OMG! SRSLY you guys, even though BSG has left a bad taste in my mouth of late, I'm totally interested in this reboot now. I'll watch anything with Alan Tudyk in it. (Except I, Robot.)
trinityvixen: (cylons)
I've been thinking a lot about the finale for BSG and I've pinpointed in my mind specific themes and individual scenes/choices that bugged me and lead to such a messy end. Some of the folk I watched the finale with said that it was probably the best they could have done starting from where they had. I violently disagree. There were plenty of better ways to end it even with all that had come before. The worst problems arose in the last half season, so, maybe, without being able to undo those, the finale was the best it could have been. But even still, I felt that the finale was bad even in terms of previous episodes just within this last half season.

There are two major problems of theme with the finale, but they are, more or less, entirely endemic to that episode and not any of the others. Those problems are Spoilers! ) Both of these themes being abused caused about 99% of my dislike for the finale.

Events taking place in the finale weren't entirely great either, even ones that don't fall under the umbrella of problematic thematic elements. A lot of the issues I took with the finale and the series is that nonsensical decisions ruled the day. For example, spoiler. ) Or that hard decisions were avoided like the plague. Spoiler. ) These are not just problems with the finale. That last set of problems has been endemic to the series since Cain. Since Roslin never died of cancer that first time. And so on.

I'm drafting a list in my head of what things might have been different, going back only so far as the start of 4.5 and then beyond that to 4.0. Seeing as the events of season 4.5 are almost entirely contained/caused by the events of season four as a whole, it's easy to pick out moments whereby, if the other three seasons are inescapable canon, that could have been changed to make a better ending. Whatever the problems of seasons 1-3, I feel that they had less of an impact on season four than did intra-four events.

So tell me my BSG fans: what would you have changed about season four/4.5 before the finale that you think would have made for better (or, at least less stupid) drama and/or conclusion to the series as a whole?
trinityvixen: (cock)
Bottom line, Ron Moore doesn't have any. (Spoilers for the series finale.)

Yeah, that's about what I thought. I knew no matter how I tried to wank-understand what the shit just happened, it wasn't going to work because the man and his team are just pathologically opposed to making sense.

It's over

Mar. 21st, 2009 02:40 am
trinityvixen: (cylons)
Spoilers for the BSG series finale. Beware of cursing. )

I have decided, in light of this ending, that, for me, the show ends at the first 10 episodes of season four. I prefer incomplete answers to the ones given. I'm hoping that, in time, with having only watched each episode of this half season once, I will be able to forget it and be happy with what came before. This is the same strategy I've tried applying to The Matrix and its sequels; in time, the stupidity will be lost in my memory and I can enjoy what came before without hating what was done to it. It's not working, but I can hope. Maybe it's just not yet to that part of God's plan where I can forget this idiocy.
trinityvixen: (cylons)
Leave it to me to ignore the significance of a bunch of TV actors getting to speak at the UN in favor of goggling at this:

Incidentally, am I the only one still rooting for [Starbuck] and Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama to get together for more than just a quickie? Given that Lee’s father, the commander, already thinks of Kara as a daughter, their union would make family gatherings, like their equivalent of Thanksgiving, all the more pleasant.

Yes, I know that my family reunion was much more pleasant this year after I hooked up with--and brought as my date--my dead sister's ex-fiance. Oh, how we laughed!

SRSLY U GUYZ, THE SPACE INCEST HAS INFECTED EVERYBODY. Stop stop stop.


(And yes, I know it's not technically incest. However, our incest taboos are much more about avoiding sexual relations with people we've been socialized to accept as our family than it is simply about not fucking people genetically related to us. It's the socialization aspect--two people socialized to be siblings, say--being overturned that really gives people the squick.)
trinityvixen: (horror)
From EW:

One can't forge a destiny without being beholden to all the baggage that comes with the name. I get all that. But if you're gonna change the name, then CHANGE THE GODSDAMNED NAME. Don't half-ass it. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. (I'd have liked The Mansquito Network, but I'm in the vast minority.)

...I would have voted for "The Mansquito Network." I've said it once, I'll say it again: there will never be another Sci-Fi, SyFy, or Whatever-Sells-to-the-Norms Channel Original Movie with a better name than Mansquito.

Just say it aloud: Mansquito. It is officially the name to end all names. It certainly sounds better than a network moniker that closely resembles a venereal disease...

Also: NO. If you're not responsible enough not to change your name to the STD Channel for non-nerds, you don't get to retell Alice in Wonderland with the people who did Tin Man.


(One more BSG tidbit: The Cylon-centric stand-alone movie The Plan was directed by Edward James Olmos. I love you, Daddy Adama, but stay on the other side of the camera from now on, okay? The movie will also apparently change the way we see the series so much we'll all have to watch it over again. Somebody check me on this, but did they say the same shit about Razor? 'Cause, ewww no.)
trinityvixen: (Stupid People)
The last post about assholes on the message boards at TWoP, I promise.

The BSG recapper, Jacob, made some half-assed statement about how men can't be raped and any attempt to depict male equivalents of rape were hollow attempts to equalize something that is inequitable. I respectfully disagreed, saying that the trauma of sexual abuse can't be ranked, let alone place rape as some holy grail above all others. (Not to mention that it is very disrespectful, not to mention sexist, to assume that men can't be violated like women can.)

I got this as a response: The only person saying that, again, is you.

I call it a moral victory that this smarty-smart-smart person resorted to "I know you are, but what am I." I had to respond as much, but they'll probably delete it. I still walk away the superior here. Because I didn't call anyone a smothering asshole for refusing to tolerate dissent.
trinityvixen: (lifes a bitch)
tl; dr: BSG is sexist, get over it, me. (No spoilers for tonight.) )

It's a major problem in fiction when you create a world with a different value system from your own. If you want them to be so different, you have to betray your own ideas of what is right and wrong and go, "What would Person X living in World Y think about this Action Z?" The better you are able to separate your own value judgments from that system, the more successful it will be. It's fine to go, "I'll create a world where they think nothing of murdering the second baby in a set of twins!" That's a good challenge to our sense that baby-murdering is wrong, and if you can write it such that the people in your work of fiction can be still entirely sympathetic despite this baby-killing thing, you've written yourself an amazing story. If instead you pull a BSG and write characters such that all the baby-killers end up miserable or dead, you pass judgment on them as the author and your readers/audience will pick up on that. It invalidates the system you set up, and your world breaks a little. (If the point of the story is that people wake up to the fact that this isn't such a great moral thing to do, it's another story. But you can't go "Oh yeah, everybody does this, it's not shocking" and then brutalize the people who do it without invalidating that assumption.)

This is what I mean when I say authorial intent isn't always the final word in a work of fiction. Maybe the author really intended their world of twin-killing people to seem totally normal. But their own moral judgments sabotaged their work. I think it's perfectly fair to call them out on it. This is what workshopping is about, is it not? "Hey, listen, this is totally awesome as a concept, but I don't think you actually believe it. If that's the case, you should reconsider how hard you sell this value in your fictional world." A good author would go, "Hmm, you're right. I need to commit to it more or show that my people are actually ambivalent about it." Because when the author doesn't know how to sculpt a part of his/her world, you can always tell. It's lazy to hand-wave away criticism. And fucking annoying to the audience to go, "Fuck off, you over-sensitive pricks. We're totally sensitive to your minority views. We told you to go climb a tree instead of calling you a bunch of whining pussies, didn't we?

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