The Hobbit: A Gender-Bending Journey

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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 […]

Memorial Day Amnesia? Rachel Maddow Has the Cure

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Memorial Day build-up is in full swing across the nation, as we prepare for barbequing, beach-going or simply sleeping in. Alas, few of these preparations involve remembering we are a nation perpetually at war. As with many other national holidays (Mother’s Day being a prime example), the intent of the day has been lost to […]

Hollywood’s War on Women

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While Hollywood’s marginalization of women may not yet have reached the scale of the Republican Party’s, a study released today reveals that the top-grossing films of 2011 were far from gender-equitable. The study, “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2011,” conducted by San Diego State […]