Now In Meh-O-Vision


This is a weird summer movie season for me.  Ordinarily, I’m frothing with hate at the slate of summer’s films.  This year, there isn’t even anything that looks bad enough to rage about.  And there are a number of films that, on paper, look like something I should enjoy, but all I can muster is a big old “Meh” and shoulder shrug.  It’s the Summer of Meh.  Perhaps that full list could be its own blog post, but for now let’s look at Pixar’s Brave.

There’s an assumption that I’d want to see this because it’s set in Scotland, and “But you loovvvveee Scotland!”  Well, yeah.  But I could just as soon watch Trainspotting again and actually enjoy myself.

I’ll admit, I’m just not into animated films.  I was for a while when it was a big “thing” in the 90s to like animated films just to go check out the animation, but what interest I had in that was killed by CG.  And I don’t like kids’ movies.  I don’t care if, “But they put some token things in there that adults will like too!”  It’s never enough.

I honestly tried to muster up interest in Brave.  Yet after watching every single iteration of the trailer, I –  1. never felt anything more than “Meh”, and 2. could not tell WTF the movie is ABOUT.  That’s not a good sign.  If I’m not going to see it just because it looks pretty, I need to know…I dunno…the plot?  Maybe just a hint?  And the final nail was that the trailers were full of cheap Scottish jokes/stereotypes.  “OMG LOL they wear kilts! THAT’S FUNNY! LOL! Look, huge hairy guy who farts! HAHA”  Sod off.

The only appealing elements were the Pixar deerhounds, the Scottish landscape, and the very impressive job they did with Merida’s hair.  Honestly, her hair looks like its own sentient being.  (Pixar, consider making an animated film about Shaun White!  Perhaps put cute animated foxes in it too?  I’ll not only shell out for full-price IMAX seats, I’ll even buy concessions!  MAKE IT SO!!)

And you know what else?  I’m really, really, extraordinarily tired of “girl power” movies.  Because I’m anti-girl?  No, because I am pro-girl.

Let me break it down for ya.

It’s the year 2000-bloody-12.  Shouldn’t girls already BE empowered?  Yes!  And if not, why the hell aren’t they?  What are we doing wrong (ooooohhh, Jesus, don’t get me started…)  WHY is our culture still cranking out movies/tv shows/other media in which it is a Big Freaking Deal when a female character is good at something?!

You all have seen the trope a zillion times.  Some girl (in this case Merida), displays a heretofore hidden talent for doing something (in her case, archery), that is normally the domain of males.  And ZOMG, everyone is stunned. Stunned!  Heads snap in whiplash double-takes, jaws comically drop!  Because holy cow, it’s like so inconceivable that a GIRL could do that!  And then she proceeds to kick everyone’s butt.

That may have been empowering once.  Decades ago.  But tell me, how is that substantially ANY different from movies of the 30′s where there’s always a spunky gal reporter (she’s always spunky, and always a reporter) and the other characters spout lines like, “Gee! A lady reporter?!”  Or those fabulous 1950′s Sci-Fi gems that often feature a Lady Scientist and, guess what? Heads snap in whiplash double-takes, jaws comically drop!  Men say, “Well whaddaya know! A Lady Scientist!

It is 2012. This is not empowering anymore, it’s insulting.  You know what would be empowering?  You know what would be fucking groundbreaking?

Make a film in which the female protagonist is good at something.  And nobody bats an eyelash about it.  It’s not a big deal.  It’s just a given that a female could be good at [whatever thing], because, duh…it is.  And she goes about her business with quiet competence and helps out as an equal and it is not treated as the least bit strange that such a thing is possible.  Not saying such characters don’t exist, but they are so RARE and typically found in media for adults (Dana Scully, I’m looking at you. And shout out to my girl Molly Hooper from Sherlock!)

And while we’re at it, Hollywood, if you want to be motherfucking revolutionary….

How about “empowering” a girl who isn’t Pretty, White, and Thin?

I know, that’s like crazy advanced alien civilization from the future talk!!

And how about, instead of being good at beating boys up with ninja skills, or archery, some other athletic ability, we have the girl save the day by building a nuclear reactor or fixing the Warp Drive, or something requiring brain power?


Hey, looks like I got a rant in after all.  Aren’t I just spunky?


One Response to “Now In Meh-O-Vision”

  1. LOUP Says:

    I don’t plan on going to the theater to watch it — but it does look pretty so I may watch it later. I want to see a decent movie about a serial killer that is a woman. Or military team leader where men don’t question her every order.

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