It was going to be “Masculinity and Femininity”, but the women don’t do anything. Spoilers follow, assuming you care what happens and didn’t already work out the entire plot half way through the trailer. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for December, 2007
Posted by Richie on December 31, 2007
Posted by Richie on December 24, 2007
Full text behind cut. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Richie on December 23, 2007
So here is a post about Hammer’s Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) instead. It’s not actually that good, but it suits our purposes because there’s a bit of gender role-reversal going on compared to other horror movies. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Richie on December 12, 2007
This isn’t very constructive, I just feel the need to get it out of my system before I do something useful. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Richie on December 11, 2007
In addition to all the things I articulated poorly in Cerise, I picked up the latest GW publication and they’re now referring to female painters as “paintresses”. Even though they’ve been happily called, uh, “painters” up until now. And “paintress” is two letters longer, so the ‘Oh, but if we say “his or her” it ups the word count’ excuse doesn’t work. Oddly enough, there are no women writing for them.
The worst comment in the worst thread of the worst forum of the worst webcomic ever (in the last 48 hours)
Posted by Richie on December 10, 2007
Having had a total of ten hours sleep in almost three days, I stupidly went to the Shredded Moose forum because I need something to make me feel better about myself and all the good bloggers require concentration. Unsurprisingly, the most active thread is a bunch of softcore porn.
Just in case you didn’t hate the writer enough after the last post, his response to this relatively tame but still NSFW image is…
I definitely don’t mind a nice cut of dark meat.
Ohhhhhhh yes, he did.
God knows there’s enough back and forth over objectification vs. attraction, so it’s nice to see something which is indisputably a load of racist, sexist shit, because I’m incredibly tried right now and don’t want to have to think about it for more than ten seconds.
My preferences in jug size are geared towards firm, palm sized, you know so you can cup your hands over them. But I’ll swing small or large as long as they’re real… or at the very least look and feel real. None of that Tupperware-titty shit.
What a catch.
Sweet dreams, everybody!
Posted by Richie on December 8, 2007
Shredded Moose is what would happen if Maddox wrote Penny Arcade. The creators would probably consider that a compliment, which makes it even worse.
Unlike most webcomics, you don’t immediately see the strip if you visit the website. Rather, you’re presented with the latest editorial from the comic’s writer / self-insert star Brew, who is – and you may need to sit down before reading this – a twentysomething middle class white guy who likes video games, comic books and random violence. Now, I know what you’re thinking: We already have enough of these guys clogging up the internet under the misapprehension that their all-consuming sense of entitlement gives them a unique insight into contemporary society, so where the fuck does this guy get off adding yet another turd to the increasingly untenable virtual dungball? Well, there’s an exciting twist: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Richie on December 6, 2007
I wrote something in Cerise.
Posted by Richie on December 4, 2007
- Malus is allergic to bees. If he knows he’s going to spend a great deal of time in a self-sustaining island community that has no contact with the mainland and is full of bees, why does he not think to bring any allergy medication?
- In the beginning, Malus fails to save a woman and her daughter from a crashed car before it burns up. The only point of this scene existing seems to be to prove that Malus reaches out and tries to help women all the time, even though they’re a bunch of lying bitches. Just to hammer this home, the woman and her daughter from the car wreck then reappear alive during the sacrifice scene, baying for his blood. Since their death couldn’t possibly have been faked, and whether or not they died / didn’t die has no relevance to whether or not Malus comes to the island… Well, what? Were they ghosts? Was he hallucinating? Is it supposed to symbolise that, no matter how far you go to help them, women will always want you dead anyway?
- From Wikipedia: Writer and director LaBute rewrote the role for Burstyn as the head of a matriarchy, to give the film a ‘feminist slant’. Should this man ever be allowed to write female characters again?
- The cult itself makes substantially less sense than Scientology. Apart from the obvious ‘how did a matriarchal pagan tradition spring up around bees, since nobody knew bees were matriarchal until relatively recently?’ question… Why do they even have a wicker man if everything revolves around bees? Shouldn’t they have a wicker bee? And if they need a ‘drone’ for the sacrifice, why do they have to lure some guy from the mainland there with a ridiculously complicated scheme when there are plenty of men on the island already? I mean, if we’re going to keep with the ‘hive’ metaphor, then wouldn’t outsiders not count as ‘drones’ in the first place, since they’re not part of the hive? Still, it’s more accurate than Bee Movie.
- And if they’re neo-pagans who had a hand in creating their own traditions fairly recently, why do they then accept literally the idea that human sacrifice will result in more honey?
- The evil matriarchal pagans keep dead male babies preserved in jars and stocked in a shed. Firstly, why do they kill them, since they have no trouble with men being on the island and use them for manual labor? Secondly, why keep the sodding things preserved in jars for unsuspecting outsiders to find? It serves no purpose aside from telegraphing that these gals hate men to any audience members who’ve just stumbled into the theatre and missed the previous five hundred clues.
- Nicholas Cage also produced the film, so why did he not exclaim “Neil, what on Earth do you think you’re doing?” and hire another writer somewhere around page twelve?
- The colony is cut off from the mainland and ruled by women. So why do the women there wear makeup, and where does it come from? And why do the women – who spend a great deal of their time wandering through forests and chopping wood – continue to wear bulky full-length dresses and have long hair, while the men are allowed practical clothing and haircuts?
- Bees are generally only aggressive if you’re perceived as a threat to their hive, but these ones go out of their way to sting Malus regardless. So do they farm an especially aggressive species of killer bee? If so… why?
- How’d it get burned? How’d it get burned? How’d it get burned? HOW’D IT GET BURRRRRNED?
- In the original The Wicker Man, there’s a scene where Howie is looking over the harvest festival photographs and notices that one is missing, raising the question of who took it and why. In this version there’s a re-hash of the scene, only Malus finds the empty frame full of broken glass. Since the photograph isn’t attached to the wall, why bother doing this when you could just pick it up and walk off?
- Along similar lines, the original has a scene where Howie opens a desk at the school and finds a beetle tied to a nail, doomed to move in ever-decreasing circles until it’s trapped. In this version, Malus opens a desk and an adult crow flies out, as if we’re suddenly in Resident Evil. How difficult was it to catch and imprison just in time for Malus’ arrival, and why couldn’t we hear it scratching, flapping and squawking earlier on?
- Why do the people on the commentary track ask Neil LaBute about the complexities of writing and directing an effective horror movie, rather than somebody who might know?
Posted by Richie on December 2, 2007
As a fan of the original 1973 The Wicker Man, I was planning on giving the remake a fairly wide berth. Then I saw this and figured it was probably worth renting.
Good God this movie hates women. We’re not talking about a subtext or some kind of feminist reading, it’s literally just ninety minutes of paranoid misogyny, occasionally interrupted by chase sequences where Nicholas Cage is pursued by a swarm of CGI bees. This is almost, but not quite, as stupid as The Day After Tomorrow, in which Jake Gyllenhall is chased up a corridor by global warming and stops it by shutting the door behind him. I digress. Obviously this post contains spoilers for both the 1973 and 2006 versions, although so does the DVD cover. It’s got a wicker man on it and everything.
In the original, our protagonist / sacrificial victim is a fundamentalist Christian police officer, specifically chosen as the May Day sacrifice because he’s fundamentalist Christian police officer and thus meets the sacrificial requirements: He’s in a position of authority, he’s a virgin, he’s hostile to paganism, and his profession makes him easy to manipulate using red herrings.
In the remake, he’s still a police officer, but he’s a down-to-earth everyman kind, and only chosen because some man-hatin’ broad used him to get pregnant before dumping him. She then reappears out of nowhere years later and uses the kid to manipulate him into going to Evil Lesbian Island. You know those MRA stories about women deliberately getting pregnant in order to live the life of Riley off some innocent guy’s child support payments and take his kids away? It’s that. But with CGI bees.
In the original, the motives of both sides are cast into doubt, with Sergeant Howie initially coming across as a stubborn bigot and the pagan community as nice, if slightly off-centre. By the end, Howie hasn’t become any nicer a person, but it’s the pagans who end up burning him alive as a May Day sacrifice. This obviously isn’t the most tolerant depiction of paganism, but at least the story looked like it could go either way up until that point.
In the remake, Sergeant Malus is a nice guy who becomes increasingly appalled at the antics on Evil Lesbian Island, but keeps soldiering on because he’s just so damn concerned about his daughter. Had Malus been written as a paranoid misogynist (rather than by one) and the separatist women as superficially pleasant, the film might have managed to generate some suspense about who was right and who was wrong. Instead, we get a matriarchy where the men are speechless and referred to as ‘drones’, while the women live in a hive-like building full of hexagonal yellow windows and attend to the needs of their queen. The director seems to have been going for kind of symbolism here, but… no, sorry, it was just too subtle for me. Oh, did I mention the island’s economy is entirely dependent on making honey?
In the original, the sacrifice is a purely religious offering designed to ensure a good harvest the following year.
In the remake, the sacrifice is half a religious offering and half a paranoid MRA fantasy about what feminists do when nobody’s looking. They’re positively salivating at the death of Malus and chanting “THE DRONE MUST DIIIIEEE!” while the wicker man burns, except for the one who used him to get pregnant, who has a moment of regret about it. Because even evil separatist lesbians secretly crave cock. You know they do.
In the original, the film ends with the a closeup of the sun as the burning wicker man collapses.
In the remake, oh Christ in the fucking remake, we get a little coda where two of the hot evil women from the island to go the mainland and pick up two guys at a bar. The implication is that they’ll deliberately get pregnant and then use those children at some point in the future to lure their fathers to the island in order to burn them or beat them to death with copies of Intercourse or whatever floats their man-hating boat that day. I can picture Neil LaBute fighting the studio executives for this scene to be included: “No, it’s vital! The audience might not realise that women are manipulative and evil yet!”.
This could possibly have worked as a satire, in a “Guys, how would you like it if you were treated as a second class citizen because of your gender?” way. It… didn’t. It didn’t work because it didn’t try to work, it’s just 90 minutes of paranoid castration anxiety, created by somebody who’s scared that women in power might treat men in the way that men in power treat women. The greatest tragedy, though, is that the “OH GOD, NOT THE BEES!” scene was removed from the Australian DVD release, meaning I sat through the entire shitfest with no payoff.
They also never explained how a matriarchal pagan tradition was formed around insect colonies nobody knew were matriarchal until relatively recently.
Or why they had a fucking wicker man in the first place.