Unordered List

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Rationalizing Wonder Woman's Amazon costumes

Entertainment Weekly just posted the first pic from the new Wonder Woman movie, and it's stressing me out because I'm worried these ladies are gonna get stabbed in the junk.

The way I see it, there are two options here:

  1. Wonder Woman and friends are sword-proof and invulnerable, and the armor is just a fashion choice.
  2. The armor is "real," but inexplicably exposes everyone to lethal blows to the neck, arms, and upper thighs.
Now, I'm the first to admit that there's no such thing as a ~practical superhero costume. Their job is to look cool and distinctive, not to make perfect rational sense. Unfortunately for Wonder Woman, her wardrobe choices are colored by decades of sexist garbage movies where women wear skimpy outfits to satisfy our old friend the Male Gaze. In that context, this photo could probably benefit from... some pants, basically. Maybe just one woman wearing pants. 

Analysing ~sexualized movie costumes is a real can of worms, because you very quickly become embroiled in the issue of shaming real women for their fashion choices. However, there's a very big difference between a real person deciding to wear a strapless metal bathing suit (do what thou wilt!) and a movie studio marketing its first female action hero in the same kind of outfit. These costumes do not exist in a cultural vacuum.

Monday, 25 January 2016

The Big Short: Douchepocalypse Now

The Big Short is full of scenes where finance bros stare at each other in dawning horror, stunned by the realization that the U.S. economy is built on fraud and misinformation. Conveniently, that is exactly how I feel about The Big Short receiving any kind of critical acclaim whatsoever.

Going into this movie, I knew two things: the wigs and hairstyling looked horrible, and at some point Margot Robbie would explain The Economy while gratuitously nude. Thus warned, I assumed I was in for a reasonably good Oscar movie with some dumb misogynist garnishes. How wrong I was.

Instead, the experience was like gazing into Michael Moore's butthole with a telescope built by Seth MacFarlane.

Billed as a kind of biographical comedy, The Big Short is more like a docudrama with occasional jokes thrown in. The technical details are complex, but the basic narrative is simple: a handful of hedge fund managers correctly predict that the housing market is going to crash, and decide to bet against the U.S. economy. So while they do uncover some stunning examples of Wall Street fraud, they're not exactly underdog heroes. The cast is split between loud rich men who are Right but widely ignored by the financial establishment (Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, et al), and everyone else, who is Wrong.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Awards eligibility post & highlights from 2015

It's Hugo Award nomination season, and I'm eligible in the Fan Writer category!

If you enjoy this blog, please consider me on your Hugo ballot! (Or other non-Hugo awards that I don't know about!) To nominate for the 2016 Hugos, you either need to have attended Worldcon in 2015, or have bought a ticket for Worldcon 2016 or 2017. Or you can buy a "supporting membership," which lets you vote on the Hugos (so ~prestigious!) and get ebooks of the nominated books/short stories.

For the "fan writer" category, you can consider anything I wrote in a ~fannish capacity. So, this blog, along with my Tumblr and Twitter, etc. Here are some highlights from 2015!

Interview: Mad Max: Fury Road costume designer Jenny Beavan (Now nominated for an Oscar!)

The new heroes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I'm looking forward to writing more about Star Wars this month!

What was up with that Black Widow scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron? My most ~controversial post of 2015, apparently.

Age of Ultron: The empire of Tony Stark On Age of Ultron's imperialist overtones, and Tony Stark's status as a burgeoning supervillain.

Ant-Man: Fun, but still a waste of $130 million

Review: Mad Max: Fury Road The most important movie of 2015.

Podcast: Guest appearance on Into It, discussing Mad Max: Fury Road with regular host Elle Collins.

For my other writing, head on over to Tumblr, where I host my more casual posts & commentary.

P.S. My friend Elizabeth Minkel and I recently launched a weekly newsletter for fanfic recs (a new fandom or fic theme each week!) and cool fandom news/links. You can sign up here, and check out previous issues here. It's pretty great!