All posts tagged: Superhero

Avenging the Avengers

I recently wrote a piece (“Whedon’s Binary”) critiquing the way gender expression is treated in the Joss Whedon Avengers universe for the Joss Whedon Roundtable over at Hooded Utilitarian. This entry will be a first for me – a response to my HU piece (yes, I’ve progressed to actually arguing with myself). The HU piece was fun for me, but it was written entirely from the perspective of critical distance. I actually really enjoyed both Avengers films. So, as a lighthearted counterpoint to my original article (albeit from a slightly different angle than gender expression), I present to you: Five Feminist Moments from the Joss Whedon Avengers Universe: 1) When Black Widow pretends to be a helpless victim before kicking ass in the opening scene to the 2012 Avengers. She doesn’t require the villain to conveniently “mess up”, freeing herself only once she has the information she needs, proving her command of the entire situation. 2) When Black Widow successfully tricks Loki into revealing his secret plan by pretending to be an emotional “silly girl”. Loki mocks her emotions and gives away his angle …

Film Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

So I think that part of the reason I have such a thing for superhero movies is because I can actually tell the characters apart. I don’t mean to suggest that I’m truly faceblind or to compare my issue with those who actually are. I’ve never had to worry that my family has abandoned me, or any of the terrifying experiences faceblind people must deal with. But I really do have a hard time telling some individuals apart, with embarrassing consequences in my day-to-day life. I have introduced myself to one particular colleague at work no less than three separate times. And these weren’t introductions in passing; three times I overheard him talking about our mutual alma mater and struck up a conversation, thinking he was a complete stranger each time until he corrected me. Sober. At work. This sort of thing happens with some unfortunate regularity. I know there’s a stereotype (or possibly a truism) about white people not being able to tell PoC who belong to the same ethnic group apart. But my problem is white dudes. Something about my brain is more likely …

Film Review: Big Hero 6

My first review is an animated Disney superhero movie – who’s surprised? If you haven’t seen this one yet, you should. It’s still in theaters, and it’s great. Big Hero 6, directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, is based on a lesser-known Marvel comic that Disney dug up and reinvented. Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney lend their voices as brothers Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, who are half-Japanese-half-Caucasian American (Potter and Henney are themselves of mixed heritage) living with their aunt in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. While the brothers’ mixed background is implied, both Hamada parents are deceased and never shown. I suppose actually depicting an AMWF couple on screen would have been too much awesome for one movie…sigh.

Turning Point

“Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to do, I wasn’t sure it was a possibility” – Lupita Nyong’o My motivations for creating fictiondiversity.com are twofold: First, I watched Colin Stokes’ two excellent TED talks on gender and racial diversity in film. Mr. Stokes introduced me to Bechdel test, which serves as a lower-bound test for the representation of female characters in film. To pass the test, a movie must script: 1) at least two (named) female characters, 2) who speak to each other, 3) about something other than a man. That’s it. A movie passes the test if two female characters say nothing other than good morning to each other. And yet only about 60% of the movies produced since 1970 pass. The Bechdel test is not a new concept. Invented by Liz Wallace, it was popularized by Alison Bechdel in a 1985 comic strip. This was, however, the first I’d heard of it. I had somehow made it through several college film classes without ever coming across the …