Sexism isn’t a superpower

As The Avengers press tour continues, the cast is continuing to make headlines.  Only this time in a very positive way!

Mark Ruffalo, aka the Incredible Hulk, and Scarlett Johansson, aka Black Widow, were finishing up their final interviews before the premier.  During the Cosmo interview, Ruffalo answered all the clichéd and sexist questions usually aimed at Scarlett.

It’s no secret that inequality is a huge issue throughout the country, throughout the world even.  And Hollywood is no exception.  Interviews are the most obvious form of inequality toward women in Hollywood.  Men are asked about the project or upcoming projects or acting techniques, while women are asked about weight loss or beauty tips or the dreaded “what are you wearing?”

In fact, Marvel has recently been called out for being sexist by their very own Mark Ruffalo.  That’s right, the Incredible Hulk is angry that Marvel has not produced enough Black Widow merchandise…and you wouldn’t want to see him when he’s angry.

tumblr_mi1brn2Tdf1qjf4x5o1_400The actor took to Twitter to ask Marvel for a bigger selection when it comes to the strong female hero:

Although…the superhero department has made strides toward equality for women, it clearly isn’t enough.  Marvel recently hired two female writers for the Captain Marvel and Superwoman is currently being filmed, but there is a long way to go.

Black Widow has appeared in Iron Man and Captain America, along with the two Avengers movies.  Her character has evolved into a strong female lead, and now fans are calling for her own stand alone movie.

Social media is calling for a reform in the superhero genre.  Even director Joss Whedon is frustrated by the lack of female superhero property.  In an interview with Digital Spy, Whedon said:

“It’s a phenomenon in the industry that we call ‘stupid people’. There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny that goes on. You hear ‘Oh, [female superheroes] don’t work because of these two bad ones that were made eight years ago’… there’s always an excuse.”

Social media allows people to voice their opinions in a very public way.  Because of this, filmmakers are making strives to fit popular opinion.  Hopefully, the outrage fans have because of the sexism in the superhero genre, we will see a change in the near future.  Se

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Words Are Just as Loud as Actions, Thanks to Social Media

Marvel’s The Avengers: The Age of Ultron opens this weekend.  The week of a box office opener is a big one for the stars, they are busy promoting by doing interviews and making appearances.  Unfortunately, it is not going so smoothly for the cast.  First, Robert Downey Jr., aka Tony Stark aka Iron Man, walked out in the middle of an interview. Then, Chris Evans, aka Captain America, and Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, found themselves amidst a major controversy.  During an interview, the two actors called Scarlett  Johannson’s character, Black Widow, a “slut” and a ‘whore.”

Tenner calling Black Widow a

Tenner calling Black Widow a slut–

So fans, especially female fans, everywhere are like: outrage

While The Avengers publicist is probably like:                     Facepalms

So, I think by now we can all agree that “slut-shaming”, “body-shaming”, and all of the “shamings” are frowned upon.  Obviously, this did not sit well among Avengers fans.

The Avengers, the first installment, grossed over $1 billion in box office sales.  The sequel was expected to do just as well, however, with this recent controversy, the success of the movie is up in the air. There has recently been a big push for equal treatment and respect towards women.  Equal Pay Day, which took place on April 14th, women in Hollywood taking a stance for respect, and outrage toward “body-shaming” are pushing for women to be treated equally and with respect.  Which is why these comments sparked such controversy. Update: Since posting this blog a few hours ago both actors have apologized (yupp, social media outrage works that quickly)

“Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America. We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize.” – Chris Evans “I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.” -Jeremy Renner

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A New Genre of Horror

The genre of horror is pretty standard,  a group of people go to an abandoned place and one by one are brutally murdered by some scary guy in a mask.

Unfriended, which is premiering this weekend, is said to be the “new genre of horror.”  That’s a pretty big claim.  So what makes it the new genre of horror?  Well it has all the components of a typical horror film–gore, teens, and a demon.  What’s different about this  horror flick is that social media and technology are a major component.

The scorned demon haunts a group of teens after an embarrassing video was posted on the Internet.  After committing suicide, the girl begins to torture and brutally murder the group of teens while they are group video chatting.

The entire movie is through the view of a webcam.  Just as modern rom-com has incorporated texting and other advancements in social media and technology, the horror genre has also modernized.  But this isn’t the first time.  The Blair Witch Project (1999) changed the game for scary movies.  The movie was documentary styled and filmed entirely with a hand-held camcorder.  The Paranormal Activity saga, beginning in 2007, used the innovation of a night-vision security camera throughout the film.


Paranormal Activity–

Blair Witch

Blair Witch Project–

What sets Unfriended apart from these movies is that it also incorporates social media.  Like many films, the movie is topical, very often we see a viral video or cyberbullying push a teen to commit suicide.  It is also no secret that social media plays a major part of a teenager’s life.

“We knew that the audience sees and uses everything we’re showing in the movie everyday.  It’s a very familiar space that we’re operating in. They’re constantly using these websites and social media platforms that they see in the movie.”

– Levan Gabriadze, Director

According to the FilmmakersIQ, a psychological study found that what makes a scary movie scary and why audiences are attracted to horror films is relevance.  The studies show that a movie must be relevant for audiences, whether a universal relevance, such as fear of the unknown or death, or a cultural relevance, such as societal issues.

This study explains why scary movies are trying to keep up with the times.  The more relatable and relevant a movie is the scarier.  Social media is relatable to a majority of people nowadays.  Social media will continue to influence not only the horror genre but all genres because of the major role it plays within our society.

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Should Reboots Get the Boot?

Why doesn’t the saying “don’t fix what ain’t broke” hold any water in Hollywood?  Filmmakers have thought of every which way to bring back the classics: re-releases, live-actions, and now reboots.

It was announced recently that 90s classic She’s All That is getting the reboot treatment.  This announcement sparked major discussion on whether or not filmmakers should learn to let things go.  While some people think it’s time for Hollywood to get creative:

Others feel that it is a way to keep the classics relevant:

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.30.32 AM

No matter what side you stand by on this argument, reboots are here to stay.  This by no means is a new thing to the movie making business.  Reboots have been around, but seem to be occurring more and more over the past few years.  IMDb released a list released a list of all upcoming remakes from 2014-2020.  The list has 112 titles…112!  Ten popular titles that have been released or are set to be released in the upcoming year are:

  1. RoboCop (2014)
  2. Annie (2014)
  3. Godzilla (2014)
  4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
  5. Fantastic Four (2015)
  6. Jurassic Park (2015)
  7. Poltergeist (2015)
  8. Terminator (2015)
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  10. The Avengers (2015)

CNN posed an interesting question: “Is Hollywood lazy, or are the movie studios just giving the fans what they want?”  The consensus on social media is that remakes are not what the fans want.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.11.19 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.12.41 PM








The people have spoken, leave the classics classic.  Movie makers should justgiphy

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Fans by Day, Casting Directors by Night

Do movie makers consider the audiences opinion during the movie making process?  Some people seem to think so. People are constantly tweeting thoughts about cast choices.  A lot of these opinions surround book-based films or live-action movies, films in which audiences have an idea in their head of who should fill the role of their beloved characters.

Live-action films of popular cartoon movies is becoming a popular trend.  Disney has seen great profit from remaking the once popular animated films.  Alice in Wonderland grossed over $1 billion worldwide in 2010, Maleficent grossed over $700 million worldwide, and the newly released Cinderella has grossed over $300 million in just the first three weeks.

Continuing this clearly popular trend, Disney has announced that Beauty and the Beast will be set to hit theaters in March 2017.  Shortly following this big announcement, the company also announced they are developing a live-action Mulan.

With Disney giving the green light for Mulan, many fans have started thinking of suggestions of who could fill these roles.

There have been several different suggestions for each character.  So how will Disney go about choosing? Do they consider these suggestions?

There have been instances in which casting was taken in a different direction than what the fans had wanted or imagined.  The best example occurred during the casting for the Twilight saga.

Robert Pattinson was casted as the lead role and fans erupted in discontent.  Despite the numerous suggestions, casting went against popular opinion, and even went against who the author, Stephanie Meyers, had in mind.

“Indisputably the most difficult character to cast, Edward is also the one that I’m most passionately decided upon. The only actor I’ve ever seen who I think could come close to pulling off Edward Cullen is Henry Cavill. Henry was Albert, the young son in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’ Can you see it? I know I can!”

– Stephanie Meyers on Edward Cullen casting

Fans were so upset with the choice that a petition was started in hopes of changing this decision. The petition did not shake as many feathers as I’m sure fans would have hoped.  It gained over 700 signatures, however, the decision remained.  As we all know, this did not affect the success of the movie.  Despite the commotion, the movie still earned over $100 million.

50 Shades of Grey casting also received Internet outcry after Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam were announced.  The petition for this film received over 90,000 signatures.  Actor Charlie Hunnam stepped down from the role, although it was not confirmed that it was because of this.

There have been instances of times in which the fans’ opinions were taken into consideration and times in which it was ignored.  In both cases, social media played a big role.  Fans were allowed to voice their outrage at the choices, and whether they were accepted or not, were still heard.

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Films from Beyond the Grave

“Only the good die young” seems to ring true quite often in Hollywood.  We have seen some very talented actors taken far too soon- Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, and Paul Walker.  However morbid it may be, posthumous films seem to draw more hype than ever before.

Fast and Furious 7 hits theaters April

Fast and Furious 7 hits theaters April 3rd–

The Fast and Furious franchise has earned $2.3 billion over fourteen years.  The six movies have been mildly popular, but the newest installment has been gaining a lot of buzz.

Paul Walker, a beloved character from the very first Fast and Furious, passed away in 2013, before the 7th film was finished shooting.  There was talk of how filmmakers were going to go about finishing the film.  A year and a half later, the film is due to be released Easter weekend.  Many fans, as well as curious people, are ready to see just how it was done.

Amazing film and tribute to #PaulWalker #fast and Furious 7

— Amanda Boardman (@Mandsby) March 23, 2015

Posthumous films seem to draw in audiences.  There is something appealing about watching an actor’s final work.  It may be a way to memorialize or honor their life.  One of the most popular posthumous films was The Dark Knight.

As part of the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight was the second installment featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker.  Ledger died before the film was released, adding an intense buildup to the press of the movie.  The movie earned over $1 billion worldwide.  The death of the star added to the eeriness of his character and led to Ledger posthumously winning the Oscar for “Best Supporting Actor.”

Is our society becoming more morbid or gruesome? Or do we just want to see what all the hype is about?  Many people see in the news and on social media talk of these great actors and their works.  Is this our way of honoring them?

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Better the 2nd Time Around?

Studios have adopted the very popular colloquial term “throwback” when it comes to movies.  The trend seems to be re-releasing once popular films.  Prequels, sequels, trilogies, sagas; it seems that new movies are becoming less and less popular.

Recently, Ice Cube announced that some theaters will be releasing the 1995 classic Friday on April 20th (4/20).  This isn’t just a coincidence–the film will be released on what is commonly known as “National Pot Day” in honor of the film’s characters and their professions (?).

This isn’t the first movie that has come up with the brilliant idea to re-release a movie.  Disney, of course, demonstrated how successful a reissued movie could be for a studio.  In 2011, Disney released The Lion King 3D.  The movie earned $29.3 million!

Fandango's "The Breakfast Club" re-release reviews

Fandango’s “The Breakfast Club” re-release reviews

Popular films that are still being talked about years after their release are being re-released in hopes of stirring up buzz all over again.  The Breakfast Club was re-released this March in honor of its 30th Anniversary.  The re-release received positive feedback, only furthering other film studios to re-release classic films.

So why do people pay to see a movie in theaters that they saw 15 to 20 years ago? Remastering or director’s cut draws audiences back in to pay the $11 and see what’s changed.  Slapping a 3D to the end of any title also changes the game.

Re-releasing films is not a trend that will end any time soon.  Not only do audiences continue to support their once favorite films, but are actually calling for other films to be re-released.

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