Warm Bodies: Romance Is So Dead


So, zombies are the new vampire. Now they, too, are sympathetic, romantic and stilted in their speech. They, too, have glowing eyes and lips of an unnatural hue. At least they don’t sparkle. Not yet. Alas, the male zombie heartthrob/lead from WarmBodies, named simply “R” in the novel by Isaac Marion and played by Nicholas Hoult […]

Some Musicals Are More Feminist Than Others


While Les Misérables is not your typical musical–or, as this Guardian review puts it, “There’s no dancing, there are no jazz hands and there is next to no speech”–it is typical of the genre in that, like opera, it includes more female characters than do many plays, movies and novels. Regardless if this is due […]

The Hobbit: A Gender-Bending Journey


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is, in no way, shape, or form a film that passes the Bechdel test. Not only does it lack two female characters interacting with each other about something other than a male love interest, it pretty much lacks female characters, full stop. Of all 15 main characters, not one is […]

Breaking Dawn Part 2: And They Lived Happily Twi-After


The Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn: Part 2 tries hard to be epic, and in ways it is. Not all of them good. On the plus side, it has a grander scope, better cinematography, action scenes my 13-year-old literally described as epic, and more camp. The camp part is its best feature, and this time around there […]

The Brainy Message of ParaNorman


Got a thing for zombies? Have some tween-age children in your life? Do you like whizz-bang stop-motion animation? Or, perhaps you are one of those types who appreciates a well-developed cast of characters that kicks stereotypes to the curb, features strong women and–can it be true?!?!–has a positively depicted openly gay character. If so, get […]

Catwoman Finally Rises


The tragedy in Aurora, Colo., is on all of our minds as our reviewer casts a feminist lens on the latest Batman film. Our hearts go out to the wounded and to the family and friends of those murdered in yet another horrifying incident of gun violence. … Most reviews of The Dark Knight Rises […]

Women Attend Comic-Con But Don’t Run the Show

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This year, 40 percent of the attendees at the just completed annual Comic-Con were women. If only that percentage was reflected in the event’s programming. Instead, the majority of programming consisted of panels where the ratio was (at best) one woman for every five men. Though it’s true there are more strong women’s roles than […]

The Bold and the Brave


Brave, Pixar’s 13th feature film, is indeed rather brave. Yes, it strays from the romance focus; yes, it gives us a strong female lead; yes, it questions hetero-monogamous-marriage as the happy ending. But the real derring-do comes from the fact that it is woman-centered and focused on a mother-daughter relationship. Less overtly, it also supplies […]

10 Reasons NOT To See Snow White and The Huntsman

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Early on in Snow White and the Huntsman, our “heroine”–and I use that term loosely–played by Kristen Stewart, dives into a sewer to escape the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron). Near the close of the film, some two hours later, the seven dwarfs wade through a sewer. These two scatological bookends are an apt framing device […]

Good But Not Earth-Shaking Vibrations: A Review of “Hysteria”


Watching Hysteria brings on feelings of bemusement and frustration–bemusement as it’s still hard to stomach the century-spanning belief in “womb disease,” otherwise known as hysteria; frustration as the male-centered model of sexuality that brought about this enduring belief is still prevalent today. The decidedly rom-com approach the film employs is also frustrating, though amusing, especially […]