My Week in Pictures.

Ma new hair.

This is when I’ve just styled it after washing, so it’s not sitting exactly how I want it, but this is my new hair, courtesy of Kerrie from Renik hair in Bendigo. Paging Dr. Lexie Grey.

 

Sunny days.

My sister came over and it was like we were kids again, playing at a playground near my place.

Movies.

This week was jammed packed with movies, including Magic Mike (review to come soon) and The Dark Knight Rises. While I loved the twist ending, I didn’t care for the rest of the movie and don’t think it warranted a review from an Early Bird perspective. I did think that the representation of ethnic minorities and women were dismal, and those that the movie did portray were token roles: the black football players and prisoners, a police officer’s wife and Catwoman’s sidekick, who had about three lines. My favourite part of the movie was Anne Hathaway’s inclusion, but even then, she reeked of the male gaze. For once can a female action hero do her thang in flat shoes? And what was with the horizontal straddling of the Batcycle? Megan Fox in Transformers 2, much?

The stack.

New books.

I was in Bendigo late last week and had a chance to stop off at my favourite book store, Bendigo Book Mark. I picked up Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, which I’ve been eyeing off for over a year, Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo and Truman Capote’s Music for Chameleons, for the fact that it includes a short story about Marilyn Monroe!

Related: “With a Gun Between Her Legs”: Why “Strong” (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

Was Kristen Stewart’s Public Apology Really Necessary?

My Week in Pictures April 5th, 2012.

Megan Fox Too “Spicy” for Transformers?

 

A few weeks ago I caught a snippet from a Shia LaBeouf interview in the back pages of Famous, claiming that “Megan [Fox] developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment [stuff] that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael [Bay] who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women,” but wasn’t able to locate it again til this week.

Love her or hate her (personally, I lurrrrve her!), you’ve got to admire Fox for her outspokenness and, if that means, in this day and age, that she’s “Spice Girl”-esque, then so be it.

It’s kind of sad, actually, that to stand up to a cretinous misogynist and say “actually, no, I don’t want to be involved in a film where all my character does is lay about on a motorcycle while you direct the cameraman to get up-skirt shots of me” equates to being a caricature of pop-feminism from fifteen years ago.

I think LaBeouf was trying to remain loyal to both sides of the coin, but he has been critical of Transformers director Bay in the past. It’s just that he’s a guy and the star of the film, so they look the other way, whereas Fox is an apparently replaceable sex object who’ll never work in this town Hollywood again.

At least, that’s according to this week’s Famous, which has a somewhat-outdated story on Fox’s firing from the franchise, her replacement with Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and her allegedly anti-Semitic remarks against Bay. The article references a 2009 interview with Wonderland magazine, and an open anonymous letter posted on Bay’s website, which was written at least a year ago.

When talking about the release of the latest Transformers flick with a male friend, he said Fox was an idiot for trash-talking Bay and expecting not to get fired for it. (There is no evidence to suggest Fox did think that, FYI.) I wondered why Fox is the scapegoat to illustrate not biting the hand that feeds you in standing up for herself and refusing to be objectified in such a “way that appeals to a 16-year-old’s sexuality”, while Bay is lauded for his special effects and partnership with Steven Spielberg.  He said he didn’t care; having a car with a button that you could press which turns it into your very own gigantic friend was cooler. Right: who cares how horrible the people making movies are, as long as the end product is good fulfills some boyish childhood fantasy, right?

Related: The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

“She Just Wants Attention.”

Gay Chicken: Latent Homophobia in “Why Would You Go Gay For?”

“With a Gun Between Her Legs”: Why “Strong” (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

Minus Two & a Half Men.

Elsewhere: [IndieWire] Shia LaBeouf Claims Megan Fox’s “Spice Girl Strength” Got Her Fired From New Transformers Movie.

Image via Semaj Blogeater.

Movie Review: Bridesmaids*.

 

*It has come to my attention that I give away too much in my movie reviews, so the asterisk will now serve as a blanket *spoiler alert* from now on.

Diarrhea, vomit, the c-word, (Judd) Apatovian-esque.

Those are the plot points, along with Maya Rudolph’s character, Lillian, getting married, as her best friend, Annie, played by writer Kristen Wiig, struggles to come to terms with it, that have been floating around in the lead-up to the most anticipated “chick flick” of the year.

Let me say, straight off the bat, that I hate Judd Apatow movies. I find them crass and full of sophomoric toilet humour. Knocked Up was the worst movie I saw in 2007, and that was also the year of the first Transformers and License to Wed, so that’s really saying something!

So I was a bit apprehensive that the film was being compared to Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Hangover. So if Bridesmaids was just going to be equating the feeling of sandbags to breasts and and showing crowning from a female’s point of view, you could count me out.

I’d been hearing about the hype surrounding the film for a few months on Jezebel and, in turn, the Australian media as its June release date came closer and closer.

I’m here to tell you that it does live up to said hype.

Bridesmaids deals with besties Annie and Lillian, and how their friendship begins to change—not for the better, in Annie’s mind—once Lillian gets engaged and fellow bridesmaid Helen comes on the scene.

Helen is played by Rose Byrne, who I’m not biggest fan of, but after seeing her in this, I have to acknowledge her acting chops. Byrne made my blood boil with her portrayal of Helen, an entitled Stepford wife who takes over the planning of Lillian’s hens weekend, bridal shower and—eventually—her wedding, too.

I audibly grunted every time she was on screen, each time more infuriating than the last, making her a contender for villain of the year, in my book.

Wiig was so endearing as Annie; someone you would want as your own best friend. Until she starts to let Helen get to her, subsequently ruining Lillian’s hens weekend with her drunken airplane shenanigans, and trashing her French-themed bridal shower, the idea for which Helen stole from Annie and claimed as her own… with take-home Labrador puppies as party favours! Animal cruelty, much?!

It is very easy to empathise with Annie. She dates a jerk who puts her down all the time and won’t commit, but is drop dead gorgeous (Jon Hamm, please stand up), so doesn’t realise it when an actual good guy comes into her life and is encouraging and supportive. She “opened a bakery in a recession” and went bankrupt thereafter, so she really can’t afford weekend getaways to Las Vegas or $800 (“on sale!” as Helen exclaims) bridesmaids dresses. She gets fired from her job in a jewellery store for calling a teen customer a c*nt, evicted from her shitty, housing-commission-esque apartment she shares with British brother-and-sister odd-couple, played by Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, and Australia’s own Rebel Wilson, and eventually ends up moving in with her mum. All of this on top of the end of her friendship with Lillian because of Helen’s interference. Or so Annie thinks, and whiles away her unemployed days watching Castaway and feeling sorry for herself.

The movie is worth it for the aeroplane scene alone, in which the funniest joke of the movie resides. I won’t give it away as I’m pretty confident most everyone—men and women alike—will go to see it. It’s like the Hangover for girls, don’t you know?

Not all chick flicks have to suck!

Images via IMDb.

“She Just Wants Attention”.

 

I’ve written about this before, but thought I would elaborate some more on it. And by I, I mean Tavi in this Jezebel post, “Women Who Want Attention”:

“People really, really hate Megan Fox. If you have an Internet connection, you know this, but in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a hate-driven Tumblr, the description of which reads: ‘Fuck you, Megan Fox. No, really. Keep your trap shut.’

“Megan Fox is a pretty talkative person. Wait, no, she’s a pretty talkative woman. She’s a pretty talkative woman who makes a lot of dudes happy by playing the sexy chick. And on top of that, she’s talked about how her male boss, Michael Bay, can be kind of a jerk… [for making] her wash his Ferrari wearing a bikini in order to get a part in Transformers. Which she should apparently be really, really grateful for, since whenever people talk about her, they like to throw in the ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ admonishment. To which I say, what if that hand is also trying to grab your ass?

“People seem to get pissed that their sex symbols have to come with opinions, and like, emotions, and things to say. Fox is dismissed by Bay and the media as an attention whore, an egotistical bitch who just wants to find something to complain about so people will look at her… Fox, you see, is similarly famous but also desired, so she should have nothing to be upset over. Surely a woman’s needs and problems can’t go deeper than that! She just wants attention.”

Related: The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Women Who Want Attention.

[Fuck You Megan Fox!] Homepage.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Yet another reason to “really dislike Katy Perry”.

On the other hand, yet another reason to “Be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Live in New York City”:

“We are, as a group, anti-fanny-pack as much as we are pro-gay-marriage. Hetero marriage… we can pretty much take or leave.”

Dr. Katrina Warren on “The Grief of Losing a Pet”. Be warned: this is a tear jerker. I was bawling by the third paragraph, possibly because this story is close to my heart. I lost my dog Ben (above), who’d been with us for seven years, last year, and I still miss him like crazy.

While it may be summer here in the Southern Hemisphere, Gawker lists the “10 Things I Love About Winter”, one being winter movies (which we see here in summer):

“So while Pirates of the Caribbean 18: The Scullery’s Scourage, Transformers 8: This Time It’s Impersonal, and Men in Black 3: Will Smith’s Kids Can’t Make All the Money may make your July 4th jam, I’d rather pass the popcorn in December.”

Satah from This Ain’t Living mourns the loss of “the fun, campy, musical romp of high school TV shows”, Glee.

From “Harry Potter and the Incredibly Conservative Aristocratic Children’s Club”:

“Maybe, incidentally, the reason no other woman as smart as Hermione appears in the books is that J.K. Rowling, like the Turk, can bear no sister near the throne. Her volcanic ego burns down everything in its path. Where the Twilight books are works produced from and for a state of sexual yearning and frustration, Rowling’s ‘wizarding world’ is a fantasy place created for the benefit of Hermione Granger, for her infinite sagacity, foresightedness and teacher’s-pet-hood to be rewarded at every turn.”

I wish Dolly Parton was my fairy godmother.

Elizabeth Wurtzel on the sex appeal of Sarah Palin. Sure, she may be a “kind of sexy librarian, kind of a MILF” but “unfortunately, Sarah Palin is not very bright, not very thoughtful and not very qualified to run a country”. Well said.

“This is a post about judgement”, by Mia Freedman.

“With a Gun Between Her Legs”—Why “Strong” (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad For Women.

 

There has been a bit of talk throughout the blogosphere recently (and not so recently) about how “strong” (ie. butt-kicking but looking hot whilst doing it) female characters are detrimental to women.

From Overthinking It:

“… The trouble is, although these characters were marginally better than the original Damsels in Distress, they still ended up having to be saved in the final act by the male hero. There would usually be a scene (or three) where the ‘Strong Female Character’ would be trapped by the villain and put into sexy clothing.”

Here are a few examples: Drew Barrymore in Charlie’s Angels (in a satirical hyper-sexualised way), Rose McGowan and Alyssa Milano in Charmed, and Megan Fox in Transformers, which Overthinking It explicitly references.

Furthermore:

“And even when she was being strong, she was always doing it in the sexiest way possible. She’d never, say, get a black eye or a broken nose in a fight. Her ability to fix cars (a powerful, masculine trait) would basically allow her to get sexy grease all over her slippery body. Her ability to shoot a gun was so the film’s advertisers could put her on a poster wearing a skimpy outfit with a big gun between her legs. All in all, the ‘strength’ of her character was just to make her a better prize for the hero at the endand for the horny male audience throughout.”

Again, Fox in Transformers with the grease, but also Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and even Strong Female Character Buffy, who always looks good kicking vampire butt.

Related: Are Our Favourite Fictional Females Actually Strong, Or Stereotypes?

Elsewhere: [Overthinking It] Why Strong Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

[Overthinking It] The Female Character Flowchart.

[Overthinking It] “Her Ability to Shoot a Gun Was So the Film’s Advertisers Could Put Her On a Poster Wearing a Skimpy Outfit With a Big Gun Between Her Legs.”

The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

 

Recently, there has been a bit of a backlash against Megan Fox, whothe consensus seems to beshould keep her mouth shut and be grateful for her break in Transformers. Much the same could be said about Katherine Heigl, who left Grey’s Anatomy amidst a storm of controversy earlier this year, when she complained about 17 hour days, which were allegedly scheduled around her movie filming and new mum timetable.

New York magazine went as far to give a “definitive… analysis” on both women, and whether their stock in Hollywood amounts to “buy, sell or hold.”

While Heigl managed to escape with a “hold” verdict, due to her ability to “get a project green-lit just by signing on” (the other four actresses in this category are Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie, out of which “Heigl is the only one who will work in a young romantic comedy”), Fox’s future is cloudy (“sell”).

I actually like both ladies, who also happen to be two of the most beautiful women on the planet. But apparently being beautiful and outspoken do not a feminist heroine make.

New York notes that some see Heigl as “refreshingly outspoken”. Others? “A headstrong, self-immolating, gaffe-spewing, headache-inducing diva freak.” Or, perhaps, she’s both?

She has stood up for her co-star T.R. Knight after fellow Grey’s Anatomy doc Isiah Washington dissed him with homophobic slurs. She also called her big-break film Knocked Up sexist, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Then there was the whole withdrawing-her-name-from-Emmy-contention debacle, due to insufficient storylines for her character, Izzie Stevens, on the show. Finally came her David Letterman rant about working seventeen hour days, and that the Grey’s producers should be “embarrassed”.

Some of these things perhaps weren’t the smartest, nor correct, things to say in the public arena, at the risk of coming off as a “diva freak”, but who the freak cares?! It takes a pretty gutsy woman to speak up about those kinds of things, as a lot of people would want to in any workplace; it just so happens that when Heigl does it, the world hears it.

Speaking of smart, Fox isn’t really known for espousing intelligent quid pro quos, but she is arguably Hollywood savvy, as “Fox’s appeal is all about simultaneously exaggerating her sexuality and then downplaying it as just Hollywood silliness.”

The exaggeration? Writhing around in denim cut-offs on a motorcycle in Transformers 2, girl-on-girl makeout sessions with Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer’s Body and lingerie ads, which is what she’s known for.

A recent Jezebel article asserts that “people really, really hate Megan Fox” (apparently, there’s a Tumblr hate-blog, “the description of which reads, ‘Fuck you, Megan Fox. No, really. Keep your trap shut’”) purely for the fact that she’s outspoken. (I’m a goner, then!)

When she criticised Transformers director Michael Bay for being a sexist “jerk”, he laughed it off, and this exchange of words carried on for the good part of a year, until she was let go from the franchise in May.

But in dismissing her from Transformers 3 and casting Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as her replacement (who’s “most notable acting role was as “Woman in Underpants” in Michael Bay’s own Victoria’s Secret commercial”), this should give Fox “a sense of how she’s viewed”, by Bay, at least.

This is further reiterated by the fact that Bay allegedly made her wash is car in her bikini in place of an audition (casting couch, much?), to which Jezebel says:

“Which she should apparently be really, really grateful for, since whenever people talk about her, they like to throw in the ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ admonishment. To which I say, what if that hand is also trying to grab your ass?

(Perhaps she’s asking for it then, because of the way she looks? But that’s material for a whole different blog post.)

Unfortunately, though I think she’s awesome and has much more to offer, I see Fox going the way of so many sex-pots who are no longer relevant: Tara Reid, Carmen Electra, Denise Richards.

So it seems you can’t win either way. Either shut up, sit tight and look pretty. God forbid you speak your mind, as you run the risk of being labelled an outspoken, ungrateful harpy worthy of your own hate brigade.

Elsewhere: [Vulture] The Definitive Vulture Analysis of Divisive Rom-Com Queen Katherine Heigl.

[Vulture] What is Professional Provocateur Megan Fox’ Valuation in Hollywood?

[Jezebel] Women Who Want Attention.

[Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Guest Post: Video, Consent & Kendra Wilkinson.