It’s Time To Bury Our Firsts

We have a hard time letting go of our childhood favorites, and we’re worse off for it.

 

My geek and nerd history is filled with some wonderful firsts. The first time I saw Star Wars, sitting in front of a small TV watching the trilogy back to back on cable. Seeing Indiana Jones get chased by the boulder through the decrepit ruins for the first time. Witnessing The Delorean’s maiden voyage into the past. Seeing how far down the rabbit hole went in The Matrix. Experiencing Middle Earth for the first time, and then seeing it adapted for the screen. Discovering that Cowboy Bebop was merely the tip of the Anime iceberg. Playing my first tabletop RPG. Saving the galaxy from Reapers and breaking hearts as Commander Shepard. And yet, when I sit down and contemplate these firsts, I find myself wrestling with a desire to relive and repackage the greatest hits of my youth versus putting them to rest and moving on.

 

Today the media landscape has become a veritable King’s Feast of nostalgic geek and nerd content. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the multiplexes since Iron Man in 2008, and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. We’ve had a Star Wars film come out every year since 2015, as well as comics and cartoons to fill in the blanks. We got a Blade Runner sequel, two more Jurassic Park sequels, a Ghostbusters remake, a Trainspotting sequel, a Beauty and the Beast remake, two Alien prequels, A Mummy remake, and so on. Stranger Things has even tapped into our collective nostalgia for the 80s, giving us familiar synth strings and exceptional set design to transport us back in time. What a wonderful buffet of memory! Grab another plate, stay awhile.

Continue reading It’s Time To Bury Our Firsts

Co-host/Video Producer/Writer for After the Hype. Created an animated fantasy webseries called Flagon. Plays D&D on the reg, and goofs around on the internet more than is probably healthy.

Yes, Women Can Be Friends!

Women can be friends.

It’s true! Women can even be amazing friends who support each other. I’ve worked on all-female crews, and the environment is a lovely, supportive safe place where teamwork is paramount, and nobody has to worry about getting sexually harassed or made to feel insignificant. Conflicts still happen and enemies still exist, but when women work together, they can get a lot done and have a good time.

 

Ocean’s 8 did a great job of embracing this. In fact, the teamwork was almost TOO good. There wasn’t enough drama for my taste, and maybe that’s because it was realistic. In real life, an all-female team of thieves would just get shit done and solve problems and not try to dick measure.

 

 

We’re taught that women are catty bitches who see each other as competition, but that doesn’t match what I see in my world.

 

On film, female friendships are often adversarial. For every 9 to 5, you get 10 Working Girls, where women compete for the same job or the same man or both. At some point action directors realized that when you put a woman in a black leather bodysuit and make her fight another woman in a white leather body suit, that turns other men on. As I’ve written before, in any large group, there can be only one woman, which automatically makes other women competition. We’re constantly barraged in pop culture with this idea that women cannot be friends.

 

But the times, they are a’changin’.

Continue reading Yes, Women Can Be Friends!

Emily Blake writes screenplays with lots of fight scenes. She is a vocal advocate for feminism, polyamory, kink, and sex positivity. She makes most of her money as a script supervisor for film and television, but she also makes cosplays for clients out of her little apartment in Los Angeles.

Violence and Hypermasculinity in Film

“But it’s just so unrealistic. It doesn’t work that way in real life.”

 

As an avid fan of romances, romantic comedies, and other chick flicks, this is a constant refrain from my friends. The thing is, I am an adult woman with a couple LTRs (Long Term Relationships) under my belt and a string of less-than-glamorous personal and romantic mistakes. I am fully aware. What is maddening for me, a grown human with a functioning brain who can separate fantasy from reality, is that I never hear this same criticism lobbied at action films. Romantic comedies are all but dead and buried, largely in part because of this constant asinine chorus designed to question my and other fans’ credibility. But in a world where women fight for their voices to be heard, for bodily autonomy, for equal pay, I’d say we’re doing a lot better at separating our fantasy lives from our real ones than we’re given credit.

 

We live in a world where a man can rape a woman and leave her unconscious behind a dumpster and engender sympathy from a judge. I, and many of you readers, live in a country where mass shootings happen at an alarming rate — all at the hands of men. Boys are discouraged from showing emotion, and even women, in their quest for equality, aspire to be “badass” and “tough” and, ultimately, more like men. Perhaps romance is not the fantasy we should have killed. Instead, we should look at the violence and hypermasculine themes so pervasive in every blockbuster and consider how that impacts us.

Continue reading Violence and Hypermasculinity in Film

Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.

Bryan’s MCU Review

!!!SPOILERS AHEAD, SO BE CAREFUL!!!

I love comic book movies.

 

I love them all, bad, good, and all the ones in between.  But, no matter how much I love them, I’m totally willing to criticize the hell out of them.  In my opinion the best superhero film of all time is hands down, Superman 1978. Even with that ridiculous ending.  Every movie from there on out is just chasing their coat tails. One franchise out there has been doing a pretty damn good job chasing.  Not all have been fantastic, none have been terrible, and I can proudly say I’ve seen, own, each and every one of them. I’m of course talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

 

Like many of the boys and girls out there, I’m super excited for the upcoming Infinity Wars, and watched all the movies, all over again, to prepare.  As I watched, I found I enjoyed some more than I remembered, some less, and one that I was convinced was a great film but realized I was wrong. So here we go!  My review of each and every MCU movie released so far!

 

A warning before I dive in, for those of you who don’t listen to our show, I’m way more of a DC guy than Marvel.  If my opinions seem way off base and pisses you off, just remember, I’m a crazy person who enjoys all the DC movies.  Though, I really do love these movies and I’m excited for Infinity Wars this weekend.

 

Continue reading Bryan’s MCU Review

Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production

Hang On a Second: We Are the Problem

A few weeks back I saw the wonderful film Lady Bird with my wife and a friend.

 

All three of us were totally swept up by the performances, the script, the directing, and more than anything, the incredibly well told and convincing story.  As the lights came up, the audience started to stir and grab their coats (an action I find pointless in LA, you don’t need coats here ya bunch of wussies) and the conversation I overheard boggled my mind.  The room wasn’t even fully lit and the man in front of me started saying, “That was good, but doesn’t hold a candle to Three Billboards… yadda yadda yadda.” I’ve overheard this conversation many times but this was the first time it really stuck out to me.  Mostly because the movie we just saw addresses this very instinct to react to something the moment you’ve experienced it.  In the very beginning of the film Lady Bird and her mom are listening to an audio book, and when it ends Lady Bird goes to turn on the radio.  Her mom stops her and asks, “Can we just sit with what we’ve heard for a moment?”  I rolled my eyes and laughed with the audience, but I think there may be something to that.

Continue reading Hang On a Second: We Are the Problem

Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production

Bryan’s 2017 In Movies

A list of all the films I watched in 2017!

As a host of a movie podcast, you watch a lot of movies. Bare minimum you’re looking at 52 movies for a year, but that’s saying you only watch them for the episodes you’re prepping for, and that’s just dumb. This year I watched a grand total of 225 movies. I count them as watches after I’ve sat thorough at least half the movie, although that only came in to play a few times, particularly at Christmas while flipping through movies on TV. Throughout the whole year, I only quit one movie, that is the lowest that number has ever been for me.

 

So! Without any further ado… My 2017 in movies, with some short reviews thrown in for fun.

WHAT I WATCHED:

 

    1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – (technically the movie started playing in 2016, but I count it because when I walked out it was 2017)
    2. Swiss Army Man
    3. Clerks – First time I had watched this in about 5 years, it surprisingly holds up.
    4. Batman V Superman – The first, but not the last time I will watch this in 2017.
    5. Resident Evil
    6. Hell or High Water
    7. Hidden Figures
    8. Resident Evil 2

      My personal fav RE movie.
    9. Resident Evil 3
    10. Underworld Blood Wars
    11. Resident Evil 4
    12. Resident Evil 5
    13. Final Fantasy Kingsglave
    14. Silence – After the last 6 movies I watched, this was the greatest thing I had ever seen.
    15. Moon
    16. Resident Evil 6 – This is the most lackluster ending to a franchise ever…

      The marketing was better than the movie….
    17. 50 Shades of Gray – This sucked.
    18. The Mighty Ducks
    19. D2 The Mighty Ducks
    20. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
    21. Amelie
    22. When Harry Met Sally
    23. Lost in Space

      pfff! haha they are all so serious!
    24. Babe
    25. Dirty Dancing
    26. Little Rascals
    27. John Wick
    28. Sing Street – Still the best movie of 2016.
    29. John Wick Chapter 2 – Totally forgot this was a movie.
    30. The Lego Batman Movie

      Both fantastic and utterly forgettable
    31. Deadpool
    32. Lost Highway
    33. Finding Dory
    34. Suicide Squad – Don’t remember what compelled me to watch this again, but I know I liked it way move on this viewing, I know it’s crap, but it’s fun crap.
    35. Clueless
    36. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog – Is this a movie? It’s better than most…
    37. Some Like It Hot

      This movie is near perfect.
    38. Newsies (live) – Saw it in a movie theater, I’m counting it.
    39. Doctor Strange
    40. The Legend of Tarzan – God I hope I never see this again.
    41. X-Men Apocalypse
    42. The Legend of Tarzan (again) – Fuck…
    43. Friday the 13th Part 6 : Jason Lives – Better than Tarzan
    44. A Cure for Wellness – Why did we all forget about this movie? It was pretty good!

      Beautiful movie
    45. The Italian Job
    46. Old School
    47. Knock knock – Terrible… Better than Tarzan… okay I’ll stop hating on Tarzan.
    48. Logan
    49. Get Out – Best of the year? Maybe…
      —Tried to watch “Sisters” – got way too bored and turned it off
    50. Little Nicky – I paid actual money to rent this. Still don’t know why.
    51. Pacific Rim
    52. Jurassic Park
    53. Beauty and the Beast (1991) – If they make a live action movie of this, it will suck.
    54. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers : The Movie

      Yes, that Power Ranger movie.
    55. Kong Skull Island – That was awesome! I will go home and force my wife to watch the Peter Jackson one RIGHT NOW!
    56. King Kong (2005) – She fell asleep…
    57. Ghost in the Shell
    58. Princess Mononokee
    59. Paprika

      I miss Satoshi Kon
    60. Akira – Anime Battle for ATH, go listen! All of the movies picked were amazing!
    61. Noises Off! – Have you seen this? You really should!!
    62. James and the Giant Peach
    63. Power Rangers – It was awesome! Shut up, it was.
    64. Trainspotting 2
    65. Superman the Movie
    66. Terminator 2 – Another one you’ll see pop up a few times…

      Best movie ever made. Come at me.
    67. The Running Man
    68. Cloak and Dagger
    69. What We Do in the Shadows
    70. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – First repeat of the year (by choice… fucking Tarzan). I think that’s pretty good.
    71. Arrival
    72. Furious 7
    73. F8 of the Furious
    74. Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion
    75. Rogue One

      Better every time I watch it.
    76. The Conjuring 2
    77. Guardians of the Galaxy
    78. Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens – I watch this one more than I’m proud of. I’m always expecting that the next viewing will the the time that I love it… and nope… it’s good. Not great.
    79. Don’t Think Twice
    80. Jason Bourne
    81. Free Fire – Man I loved this movie, such an odd way to tell a story, and I loved every minute of it.
    82. Nocturnal Animals
    83. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
    84. Alien

      1 of 2 good Alien movies.
    85. Alien Vs Predator Requiem
    86. Moana
    87. Prometheus
    88. Alien 3 – Alien battle for ATH was clearly happening here. Watching a lot of Alien movies really reminds you that there are only 2 good ones.
    89. La La Land
    90. The Fifth Element – This was in theaters, and it was amazing.

      annnnd JUMP!
    91. Alien Covenant – Crap, saw it without Chewie so that means I have to see it twice… CRAP!
    92. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
    93. Batman and Bill – Hands down my favorite Doc of the year.
    94. Batman v Superman – 2nd time, still love it.
    95. Wonder Woman – And holy sheeeeeet that was so much better than BVS.
    96. Alien Covenant – ugh…
    97. Almost Famous

      This poster is one of my all time favorites.
    98. It Comes at Night – Great movie, too bad the trailers were so misleading.
    99. Armageddon
    100. The Mummy (1999)
    101. The Secret Life of Pets
    102. Meru – Awesome doc about climbing a mountain, should still be free on Amazon, check it out!
    103. Despicable Me
    104. Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Wow this sucked. Ewan McGregor was good.
    105. Batman Forever
    106. Batman and Robin
    107. Despicable Me 2
    108. The Burbs
    109. Logan – Even on rewatch, still very good, slightly over hyped, movie.

      This movie is gorgeous.
    110. Baby Driver – One of the most fun movies of the year.
    111. Escape from the Planet of the Apes
    112. Orlando
    113. Battleship
    114. Kung Fu Hustle
    115. Long Kiss Goodnight
    116. Fist Fight – Better than I thought it would be…
    117. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    118. Power Rangers

      GO GO!
    119. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    120. Passengers – (quit halfway) (watched second half after 121 and 122)
    121. War for the planet of the apes
    122. Valerian and the Planet of 1000 Cities – Deserved a way better reception than it got. I thought it was a blast.
    123. Ghost in the Shell (2017) – BOO!
    124. Spawn
    125. Free Fire
    126. Wings

      Might be my favorite movie I watched this year. (Not released in 2017)
    127. Dunkirk – My new favorite Nolan movie.
    128. Tour de Pharmacy
    129. Sing – My most unexpected joy-to-watch movie of 2017.
    130. Kong skull island
    131. Never Ending Story
    132. Ingrid Goes West – In contention for my least favorite movie of the year… Spoilers it’s in 3rd place.
    133. Never Ending Story Part II
    134. Barton Fink
    135. The Terminator
    136. Terminator 2 Judgement Day – They released it in theaters, I’m surprised I only saw it**
    137. Avatar
    138. Good Time

      I’ll use a still that give nothing away. Eff you marketing of Good Time.
    139. Terminator 2 Judgement Day — **twice
    140. Tag – WTF was this movie??? See it!
    141. Why Don’t You Play in Hell – So. Fucking. Good. FUCK BOMBERS YEAH!!
    142. Annabelle
    143. IT – A new contender has shown up as my favorite movie of the year.
    144. The Mummy – Why?
    145. Mother! – See our ATH Episode released on 1/11/18 to see my thoughts on this one.
    146. Long Live the King
    147. Annabelle: Creation
    148. Queen Kong – Chewie’s most unexpected joy-to-watch movie of 2017.

      This is a Musical. That’s all I’ll say.
    149. Pet – This movie so doesn’t go where you think it’s going. And for that I love it.
    150. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
    151. Mary’s Shelly’s Frankenstein
    152. The Collector
    153. Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
    154. Rosemary’s Baby
    155. Thirst

      so. good.
    156. Fright Night – All time classic, so glad I rewatched it.
    157. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    158. Justice League Dark – They got Matt Ryan to voice Constantine! Movie is okay.
    159. An American Werewolf in London – In my top 5 of all time.
    160. Sleep Away Camp
    161. What We Do in the Shadows – I didn’t realize how much I go back to this movie till I made this list.
    162. Addams Family Values
    163. Geostorm
    164. In & Out

      Forgotten but amazing comedy.
    165. Baby Driver
    166. Thor
    167. Thor The Dark World
    168. Hocus Pocus – Chewie has never seen this! We must watch it annnnd…. She fell asleep.
    169. Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping
    170. Blade Runner 2049 – Holy hell I love this movie.  I could go on and on…

      The color alone makes me love this movie.
    171. Jason X
    172. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
    173. H20: Halloween 20 Years Later
    174. Friday The 13th part 9 Jason Goes to Hell – Was going to watch part 7… should have watched part 7….
    175. The Wizard – Power glove… It’s so bad.

      I bought this. I now own this movie. Jealous?
    176. Super – Everyone who told me I HAD TO SEE THIS had no idea how much I’d hate it.
    177. Thor Ragnarok – Man, this movie was a blast!
    178. Son of Batman
    179. Wonder Woman (2009)
    180. Superman Unbound – UNBOUND!!!!
    181. Green Lantern First Flight
    182. Elle – Rough watch… good movie.
    183. The Royal Tenenbaums

      I chose this photo for the dumb face on the right.
    184. The Big Sick
    185. BVS – again
    186. Justice League – Poor Justice League… So many cooks you can’t see the kitchen. I still liked it for what it was.
    187. Pet Cemetery
    188. Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales – way Way WAY Better than the last one.
    189. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Trailer gives away a lot, but still love this movie. McDonagh has one of the strongest voices out there making movies today. Great ending.
    190. Hellraiser
    191. The Ladykillers

      First and last time I’ll watch this one…
    192. Turner and Hooch
    193. Iron Man – Don’t watch this if you want to keep enjoying the Marvel movies. This is better than the rest by a mile.
    194. Too Funny to Fail – Not a ton of people have talked about this doc, but you should definitely watch it.
    195. Avengers
    196. 3 Ninjas
    197. Star Wars TFA – Prepping for Last Jedi… Its official 6, 5, 4, RO, 1, 7, 3, 2 (8 is still pending and I don’t know where it will land….)
    198. Cult of Chucky – Better and worse than I thought it would be. Felt more like a TV Pilot than a movie.
    199. Star Wars Return of the Jedi

      Leia is such a bad ass.
    200. Good Time – This time for the podcast. So GOOD!
    201. Death Note – The bad in this movie outweighs the good by just a bit.
    202. The Disaster Artist
    203. Space Jam – Welp, never going back to this one.
    204. Jack and the Beanstalk (1974) – Thanks Elliot…
    205. Night of the Hunter
    206. Superman 4 the Quest for Peace – Just as bad as you’ve heard it is… so watch it already!!!!
    207. Harry and the Henderson’s
    208. The Babysitter – I barely remember even watching this. But I think I kinda liked it? Maybe?

      Seriously though, Why isn’t he wearing a shirt?
    209. Godzilla vs Gigan
    210. Ghostbusters II
    211. Star Wars Episode 8 The Last Jedi – Saw this weeks ago now… still processing it. Definitely more my pace than TFA was, take that for what you will.
    212. Santa Clause 3
    213. Shape of Water – We have a winner for best of the year.

      Not the best photo I know, but I love this shot in the movie.
    214. Baywatch – AWFUL, but I kinda liked it?
    215. Elf
    216. Love Actually – This movie is mean. I really enjoy it, but everytime I watch it I find myself asking, why is everyone so mean?
    217. Bad Santa
    218. The Santa Clause
    219. The Greatest Showman – We have a winner for least favorite of the year… but… the singers can actually sing… so I don’t know!!
    220. The House
    221. Despicable Me 3 – Stop. Stop now.
    222. Okja – well that was fantastic!

      I WANT A SUPER PIG! (not to eat it)
    223. Bright – I was on The Front Row Movie Reviews talking about this one!
    224. Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle – How does Jack Black steal a movie from The Rock and Kevin Hart?? I don’t know, but he sure did!
    225. The Mighty Ducks – A fitting way to end the year. Just like this movie I’m young scrappy and hungry!.. For 2018 movies? This joke failed… Also I saw Hamilton.

DONE!!!

 

What did I learn from this? I like a lot of bad movies, and that’s okay! As the year went on I started to get discouraged about weather or not I’d even share this very embarrassing list, but I think that misses the point of why I did it. What I learned from this is that I love movies. Period. The good and the bad, it is still my favorite way to experience a story. Even the worst of the worst have something in them that is enjoyable. I look forward to how my list looks from 2018, I doubt I’ll have the time to watch 200+ movies again, but it’s worth a shot!

TOP 10 OF 2017 RELEASES:

  1. Shape of Water
  2. Okja
  3. Dunkirk
  4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
  5. Good Time
  6. IT
  7. Batman and Bill
  8. The Disaster Artist
  9. Baby Driver
  10. The Big Sick

HONORABLE MENTION: POWER RANGERS!!

 

MORPHIN TIME!

BOTTOM 5 OF 2017

  1. Alien Covenant
  2. The House
  3. Ingrid Goes West
  4. Despicable Me 3
  5. Baywatch – still liked it… but man its just terrible.

HORRIBLE MENTION: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Would be in the top five, but its rare to get a musical with actual singers and dancers in it.

 

dance!

 

Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production

Review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Parts of this movie work so well, but others completely ruin the experience!

Want to hear this read aloud?  Check out the latest episode of The Front Row Movie Reviews: Full Disclosure 

 

I LOVED Kingsman, it was a refreshing take on both spy and comic book movies in a world where we have way too many spy and comic book movies.  But woof… that ending.  We get it, anal sex is funny, but I really didn’t need to see some one’s actual ass hole to get the joke.   So I’d my hopes were cautiously high the sequel.

 

And well… shit.

 

 

***SPOILER WARNING***

 

The parts of Golden Circle that work, work so well.  Its funny, its shot well, and I really feel like they started to understand the comedy of the world they are living in.   But what the fuck?  All of that good stuff is ruined by an insane lack of Channing Tatum, a false promise of Halle Berry being a bad ass, AND A FUCKING CGI PENETRATING SHOT OF A WOMAN’S VAGINA AS A DUDE FINGER BANGS HER?  REALLY?  You ruined your whole movie by making us feel SO uncomfortable that it’s hard to ever get back into it.  Whatever I may think of 90% of the movie, I can’t unsee this shot.  It’s not funny or clever.  It certainly doesn’t serve the plot of the movie (and I see a lot dudes defending it online… calm down dudes, you’re wrong)  If for some reason it was essential to have Eggsy finger bang that girl, it could have been handled better than depicting  a 15-year-old’s pervy wet dream.  I hate to say that these things added together ruined the whole movie, but they kinda did.

 

It would be a shame if my character doesn’t pay off in any significant way!

 

That doesn’t even mention how poorly underused Julianne Moore’s excellent villain Poppy was.  Why couldn’t she fight?  Everyone else is fighting in formal wear, why not her.  AND if she can’t fight why do people care who she is?  Why is she in power???  She played a character I was excited to see in action.  She had this sickening sweet attitude, like if cotton candy could be a person.  It made her scary in a way I didn’t expect.  So when the final show down started I was pumped…  then she gets smacked, given a heroin overdose, and dies… That is a wet fart of a character exit.  If this was the only problem I probably wouldn’t have had much to say… but this on top of everything else just left the taste of dirty dish water in my mouth (yes I know what that tastes like, college was weird).

***SPOILERS ARE DONE NOW***

 

All in all I’m just disappointed.  I’m disappointed in a franchise I thought I wanted more of.  I’m disappointed in a director I have so much respect for.  And I’m disappointed that this shit is still in movies today.

 

When it works it works and it’s a blast, but the bad severely out weighs the good.  If I had to score it… 4/10

 
 

Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production

About that Lone Girl on the Team…

Guys, we need to talk about that lone girl on the team. You know, the only one “allowed?”

Think of your favorite movie featuring a team, something like Ocean’s Eleven, Baby Driver, World’s End, or even a Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

How many women are on the team?

 

Was it one? Did I get that right?

 

 

Actually, in Ocean’s Eleven, the one woman isn’t even one of the titular eleven. In The Expendables, we don’t even get a woman until the third movie – and don’t think I didn’t notice when I saw the first one. My first thought on leaving the theater was “Where was Michelle Rodriguez?” That happens a lot, too – the all-male team – but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I’m here to talk about that one woman who’s allowed to play with the boys.

 

My feelings about clowns are well documented on social media so I won’t be seeing IT, but I’m familiar with the story. It’s a good story and I enjoyed the original series (Tim Curry’s clown is more funny than scary, which is the only reason I didn’t throw my TV out the window. Fuck that clown in Poltergeist, though. Fuck it to hell.), but it does fall into that “one girl allowed” trap.

 

We went a long time with only one female Avenger, and she still hasn’t gotten her own movie. You don’t have to go far to find examples.

 

Here’s how it works. You’re a group of boys, but you’ll allow ONE girl in, as long as she’s a tomboy. She must be tough and way cooler than all the other girls because she’s willing to do the fun stuff boys do like ride around on bikes or steal priceless artifacts, not just sit around playing with her Barbies all day and being lame. If you’re kids, maybe your lead boy has a crush on her, but she doesn’t have time for that shit because she’s too busy being cool. When she grows up, though, she becomes Zoe Saldana in The Losers – a sexy badass who’ll flirt with you just enough to think you have a chance.

 

It’s a clearly established message, one we see play out in a film like Working Girl, where the women eat each other. There is room in the boy’s club for exactly ONE woman, and that one woman must be tough as nails. If another woman comes along, she is a threat to you. She might take the place you worked so hard to earn. What if she’s tougher or sexier or better at throwing rocks at clowns? You’ll be pushed out and replaced, because there’s never more than one. So you hate that other woman, and you will do what it takes to keep her away from your boys. And this is why you hear that old adage that women hate each other. No we don’t. We’ve just been taught to see each other as a threat because we’re not allowed to work together if we want to be successful.

 

 

And before you’re like “Get over it, lady. They’re just movies,” realize that this mimics our daily lives. I’ll never forget when Ken Marino was on The Nerdist podcast and Chris Hardwick asked him why he never had more than one woman in the cast of The State. I’m paraphrasing (not by much), but this is what Ken said: “We had Kerri Kenny. Why would we need another woman?” They had what – ten men in that cast? But why would you need more than one woman? It wasn’t a joke – this was Ken’s actual reasoning. (And white people as far as the eye can see, while we’re at it)

 

Movies about women doing “grrrrl power” stuff is totally fine. A chick flick like Waiting to Exhale or First Wives Club? Go for it, ladies. Just don’t touch our man’s world with your delicate manicured fingers.

 

Need proof? Look at what happened with the female Ghostbusters. More than one woman holding a gun? And none of them are even wearing spandex and sliding sexily under a laser beam? (Although, OMG now I really want to see Leslie Jones wear spandex and slide sexily under a laser beam) And they’re FRIENDS? And THE MAN IS THE DUMB SEXY ONE? THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!!! EVERYONE PANIC!!!!

 

Men hate women liking the same things they like so much that they actually said a Ghosbusters movie about women would ruin their childhoods. Like, those actual words were used, and not just by one or two guys either. I gotta tell you dudes, I survived all the Ghosbusters being dudes. I survived all the kids in Stand By Me being dudes. I survived all the Expendables being dudes. I survived all the thousands of heist movies (Go watch The Hot Rock, you plebes) being about dudes (and usually one woman). My childhood was ruined by shitty parenting, not by watching movies about boys. I sure do wish I’d had some female Ghostbusters to look up to, though.

 

Boys get to have movies where they share a bond of friendship by going on adventures together. Girls get to have movies where they share a bond by drinking wine and talking about boys. We like having adventures too! We like busting ghosts! We like leaving the house and traipsing through the woods! And not just one of us – a LOT of us! Sometimes together! If the idea of that threatens your sense of self, the problem is you.

 

 

That’s why I’d like to conclude by giving a big shoutout to The Fast and Furious series. As that series has expanded, it’s gotten not only more diverse in color, but more diverse with women as well. Sure, you’ve got Letty, who is the stereotypical tomboy who’s normally allowed to exist in movies about teams, but you also get Gisele, who’s all grace and poise and has her own agency.  You get Ramsey, who’s smart and quippy. You get Hobbs with a female partner he relies on – more than once, even – and the relationship feels real. Say what you will about those films and their silliness, they allow their characters to expand away from what we’re used to seeing over and over, which is probably one of the reasons they’re so successful.

 

I’m tired of going to the theater to see the same sexy tomboy surrounded by white dudes (and one funny black guy) in every single movie. So bring on your lady Ghostbusters. Bring on your Amazons. And also bring on some new story about women that isn’t a reboot or adaptation or a story about a fucking road trip where we chat about how much boys suck or compete for a man. Bring on some goddamn girly adventures, because as Cindy Lauper once said in Goonies, which was allowed to have TWO girls, “What’s good enough for you is good enough for me.”

 

 

QUICK NOTE: Originally mentioned at the top of the post that Kung-Fu Panda only had one female character on the team, but it turns out we forgot about Viper, played by Lucy Liu.

 

Emily Blake writes screenplays with lots of fight scenes. She is a vocal advocate for feminism, polyamory, kink, and sex positivity. She makes most of her money as a script supervisor for film and television, but she also makes cosplays for clients out of her little apartment in Los Angeles.

It’s Our Fault We’ll Never Get The Next Star Wars

Nostalgia is a big part of our current pop culture landscape, but maybe it’s keeping us from getting the next Star Wars, or TMNT, or Doctor Who.

I think it was either Universal Studios’ announcement of their DARK UNIVERSE franchise or the latest round of “Cowboy Bebop is REALLY getting a live-action series” news that I came to the realization that we’ve given the next generation a bit of a raw deal when it comes to entertainment. Much of the movies, television shows, comic books, and pop culture that have defined our childhood have undergone a revival to aggressively cash in on our nostalgia.

 

In some cases I’ve been very receptive to this; see 2012’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which struck a balance between reminding me what I loved about the 80s/90s cartoon, and making something new out of it for a younger generation of turtle fans. Still, it wasn’t new, and I’d be willing to guess that it won’t have the same impact on the new generation of fans that it had on me and my generation. They inherited the heroes in a half shell from us olds, but we saw its origin.

 

Continue reading It’s Our Fault We’ll Never Get The Next Star Wars

Co-host/Video Producer/Writer for After the Hype. Created an animated fantasy webseries called Flagon. Plays D&D on the reg, and goofs around on the internet more than is probably healthy.

TOP TEN GREEN LANTERN CHARACTERS!

Batman is a contender, and I have a soft spot for Aquaman, but the Green Lantern is my fave. Here are my top ten green lantern characters of all time.

 

I’ll start with a disclaimer, I’m not an expert on Green Lantern.  I’m a fan, have been for a long time.  But when it comes to the nitty gritty stuff, I may not be the best source.  Now that that’s out of the way, I want to tell you why the Green Lantern(s) is/are amazing, and why I love him/them so much!

 

When people ask me who my favorite comic book character is, I alway pause.  Part of me wants to say Batman, he’s a clear winner for many people.  Then I want to say Superman, Wonder Woman, I have a real soft spot for Aquaman… But when push comes to shove Green Lantern gets my vote every time.  This vote, is a total cheat I know… there are many Green Lanterns and I love them all.   So as a way to celebrate this fact, here we go! A countdown of my favorite Green Lantern characters!!

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Bryan is the Host and Producer of After the Hype. He loves talking. About everything. But mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Batman.
 
He also lives in Los Angeles and works in TV Post Production