lilacsigil: Black Widow with sights on her (black widow)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
Thor: The Dark World is the latest Marvel installment, and while it does manage to pass the Bechdel Test, it does not pass it as easily and thoroughly as the previous Thor movie. (It still beats the fail for Avengers, though!)

Jane and Darcy have several scenes together discussing science and plot devices; Frigga and Sif speak briefly, Jane talks to an Asgardian woman about technology, and Frigga and Jane have two short conversations together, both about plot issues.

Major Spoilers )
valtyr: (Default)
[personal profile] valtyr
Easy pass on this one; a good number of named female characters, many of who talk to each other. One segment consists almost entirely of women, three schoolgirls and a mother, talking about the haunting and some other girls.

Several of the movie's scares have become cliche since its release, but there are still plenty of chilling moments. Worth a look.
valtyr: (Default)
[personal profile] valtyr
Well, this was a weird movie. It's primarily set in an asylum that treats the criminally insane (and has terrible security). There's a particular serial killer connected with the hero, who is not very interesting and can't really atc.

There are four named female characters; the female lead, who is a psychiatrist, a nurse/attendent, her granddaughter, and Mabel the cannibal, who is probably the most memorable character in the film. The film passes the Bechdel test with conversations about, um, cannibalism, butchery of human beings, and other such delights between Mabel and her doctor. There's also some conversation between the doctor and nurse about the granddaughter.

It's not a great movie by any means, but there are some hilarious dark scenes, the female lead is decently acted, competent and brave, and the Wolf serial killer has some sweet armour.
alexseanchai: Bekah Kelso as Hecate in Ember Days, at the end of the film (Ember Days Hecate)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I'm not sure if 'Winter Queen' and 'Summer Lady' are their names or their titles, but in Ember Days, the Winter Queen challenges the Summer Lady face to face.
valtyr: (Default)
[personal profile] valtyr
This movie scrapes a pass. The three main characters are Carmen, the driver of the plot, her intern Sara, and Carmen's boyfriend. Carmen's a journalist who wants to investigate a series of missing persons in Poland; her boss wants her to investigate missing bees. Carmen takes her boyfriend and intern off to Poland.

Carmen and Sara talk a fair bit; most of the characters they discuss are men, but they have some generic chat about their work. They interview a missing man's mother, and they talk with a little Polish girl, primarily about the missing man. Carmen and Sara also discuss certain spoilery plot elements, albeit briefly.

The movie starts slow and clichéd, but picks up a lot about halfway through, putting an interesting new spin on some of the stuff we've seen; sadly, that's also when the plot shifts to being driven more by the male characters than the female.

This is a horror movie, and I found it pretty creepy. It's not particularly exploitative of the female characters; at one point some of them are stripped of their clothes, but not in a sexualised fashion, and I wouldn't say the violence was sexualised. Gore is fairly sparing and used to good and squicky effect.

I'd recommend this as a horror movie, but it's not particularly good for female characters.

Push (2009)

Feb. 4th, 2012 03:06 pm
valtyr: (Carol Vulcan)
[personal profile] valtyr
I watched this primarily because it has Chris Evans + superpowers, but found it a lot of fun. The plot gets a bit murky and confusing in places, but it does some interesting things with premonition. Some elements that early pinged me as a bit weird later turned out to be deliberately so in a plot-significant way.

What I was surprised by was the diversity of the cast. The film is set in Hong Kong, and while the three protagonists and most of the main group of villains are white, there are supporting heroic characters who aren't white, the primary antagonist is black and there's a separate group of Chinese antagonists. There are three significant characters who are women of colour.

There's also a lot of female characters, and they're pretty cool. A thirteen year old pre-cognitive, an older precognitive, a badass telepath on the run, a psychic surgeon, a tracker. And there's the thirteen-year-old's mother, who appears only briefly but is an off-screen chessmaster type who heavily influences the plot.

The two precogs have a tense rivalry, talking about their powers, the mother, and the predicted death of one of them. The girl and the surgeon talk about the mother. The girl and the precog talk about the telepath. While Chris Evans' character is the lead, the story is driven primarily by the two lead women. All the women are competent, decently characterised, and have their own agendas. While most of the action scenes are men (both telekinetics we see are male; there's some showy use of the powers in combat I enjoyed) there's a couple of decent ones with women.

It's not an amazing movie, but I found it enjoyable and interesting, and it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours and makes it look easy. I would happily watch an entire movie about the two pre-cogs and their rivalry; their scenes together were fantastic.
green_grrl: (SGA_asskicking)
[personal profile] green_grrl
This movie passes, passes, passes!

There are numerous named female characters:
Hanna - a sixteen-year-old girl raised in the Finnish Arctic by her father and trained to fight
Marissa - the evil CIA agent who was Hanna's father's handler and who is the enemy he's training Hanna to protect herself from
Sophie - the material-girl, teenaged British tourist who meets Hanna-on-the-run and befriends her
Rachel - Sophie's hippie mother, who forms her own bond with Hanna
Katrin - Hanna's grandmother

Since the main plot of the movie is Marissa trying to hunt Hanna down, the conversations Marissa has with all the other women (and all the men she interacts with) revolve mostly around that, sometimes mentioning Hanna's father, sometimes not. That's an easy pass.

In addition, though, this is a movie with other themes and relationships. Despite Sophie's makeup-wearing, gum-popping ways, there's only one scene where she wants to chase boys and ends up dragging Hanna on a double date, and one scene where Hanna talks about meeting up with her father to Sophie. Other than that, Sophie indulges in a rapid-fire patter of pop culture, fashion, eye-rolling at her family, and genuine expressions of friendship—not boys.

Rachel admires Hanna for her independence and down-to-earth qualities, and Hanna spends quite a bit of time in the front of the family van while Rachel drives. Rachel's idea of conversation includes anthropological explanations for lipstick (Saying "labia" in front of your sixteen-year-old daughter? Instant mortification for said daughter! :-) and philosophizing on nature and theology.

I also appreciated that this movie featured a kick-ass heroine, yes, but at no point did she strip down, show skin, put on high heels/high-heeled boots, wear spandex/something clingy/something low-cut, or any other pandering to what has become the stereotype. She dressed to fight. Refreshing!

I'd call this movie a Bechdel home-run.
valtyr: (spider-woman)
[personal profile] valtyr
Thor is the latest Marvel superhero movie, and it's a good one. Most of the conversations revolve around Thor, unsurprisingly, but the movie still passes.

There are three named female characters (Frigga appears in the film and is credited, but I don't think she's addressed by name; her sons call her 'mother') the Lady Sif, Jane Foster, and Jane's assistant Darcy. Sif barely interacts with Jane and Darcy, but Jane and Darcy do talk about physics and Jane's work with each other.

In the original comics, Jane was a nurse, assistant to Thor's alter ego Dr Don Blake. Here, she's a physicist studying wormholes and ion storms and stuff; I really liked that she'd been given her own goals and storyline, and that other characters respected her and her work. Her assistant Darcy was also a hoot.

Lady Sif, in the comics, was also a love interest; here, she's been added to the Warriors Three, who in the comics, like here, are a band of Asgardian warriors and Thor's sidekicks. It's worth noting it would have been really easy for the filmmakers to just include the Warriors Three and either ignore Sif or have her backgrounded. She's either been included because they think Sif's awesome, or because they decided they needed more women. Either motivation is good. :) Also, she's a very sensibly dressed warrior woman as well as a badass!

Also, when fighting breaks out, Frigga picks up a sword and throws down. She doesn't have a huge part, but it's nice to see an older woman doing even a bit of action stuff.

Overall, this is one of the best superhero movies I've seen for female characters. Jane Foster is competing with Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman for my favourite superhero movie love interest of all time. :)
miss_haitch: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_haitch
I recently rewatched the horror film 28 Days Later and was impressed at how well it stands the test of time. Jim, a bicycle courier, wakes up alone in a London hospital, and things have changed. A lot. People taken over by a lethal "rage" virus run rampant, attacking and infecting anyone in their path. Running from the infected, Jim teams up with Selena and Mark and hides out in a newspaper kiosk. And then the scary really sets in...

It's the low-key and character-driven moments that make 28 Days Later so effective - it's fairly quiet for a zombie film, which for me makes the suspenseful bits almost unbearable (but also a lot of fun). The main characters are likeable, and there's very much a sense of ordinary people having to deal with an utterly extraordinary situation.

I really appreciated having two major female characters - Selena, a pragmatic survivor and Hannah, a teenager still numb from the apocalyptic events. They talk to each other about varied things - surviving, driving, food-foraging and more.

Content notes for the film: rated 18 in the UK, it includes explicit language, graphic gory violence, and threat of sexual assault - and is very bleak in places.
trinity_clare: (jazz hands)
[personal profile] trinity_clare
Every once in a while I get the urge to make a big batch of cookie dough and watch High School Musical. It was really only a matter of time before I had the Bechdel test on my mind at the same time. The fascinating thing about these movies is that the combination of mathematical gender equality - there are *exactly* as many female characters as male - and giving everyone names for merchandising purposes leads to a surprisingly solid pass from all three films.

HSM 1 -- Bechdel Pass, Mo Movie Measure Pass

The strongest pass in this movie comes from Gabriella and Taylor, who have at least two sustained conversations not about Troy. Beyond that there's Gabriella and her mom (who doesn't have a name beyond Mrs. Montez), Sharpay & Kelsi, Sharpay & Gabriella, and all three girls with Ms. Darbus. Almost every scene without Troy has a good chance of passing.

HSM 2 - Bechdel Pass, Mo Movie Measure Pass

Not as strong as pass as the first movie. Sharpay & Gabriella do a lot of sniping at each other, but only occasionally is it about something other than a boy. Kelsi talks to the girls far more often than the boys, and she has scenes with all four of the other girls in this one. I don't think Gabriella and Taylor talk about anything besides Troy in the entire movie, sadly. The Sharpettes don't have names, so they're a Bechdel pass but nothing more. Ditto Mrs. Evans when she talks to Sharpay.

HSM 3 - Bechdel Pass, Mo Movie Measure Pass

Even though there are actually more sustained f/f conversations in this one than in the last two, it feels like a much weaker pass. Given more time and a bigger screen, they decided to play up the romance, which led to a lot more focus on Troy and Gabriella at the expense of the minor characters. Kelsi literally doesn't speak to anyone besides Ryan, and Martha might not actually speak at all. Luckily Gabriella and Taylor have a much stronger subplot that doesn't intersect with Troy until the middle of the movie. There's also a new character (Tiara) who spends all her screentime talking to Sharpay and exchanges five words each with Darbus and Gabriella.
cyanocitta: Because wanting to be treated like a human being is just like invading Poland (feminazi)
[personal profile] cyanocitta
Thankfully this movie passes the Bechdel Test as well as the Mo Movie Measure. Considering that there are so many female characters it would be stupidly disappointing if it failed one or the other. Most of the characters are female, they do talk to each other and they talk to each other about a variety of topics. Burlesque passes the Mo Movie Measure, too, and the named female characters actually have personalities that aren't entirely pasted on. The movie is decently feminist all-around although definitely not perfect and definitely cheesy.
crumpetsfortaenia: An image of Loki from the film Thor (Default)
[personal profile] crumpetsfortaenia
A pass, I suppose, since Bellatrix Lestrange (evil!crazy) corners Herminone Granger, and threatens her with death and torture, Dolores Umbridge interacts briefly with a disguised Hermione, and with another woman who has been accused of being Muggle-born. Luna and Hermione might also exchange a few words, but if they did, they were pretty unmemorable

Like most of the Harry Potter films, this was very much centered on Harry and his interactions with the rest of the world, and secondary female characters, like Tonks, Ginny and Molly Weasely were significantly cut down in comparison to their roles in the books.

The only really developed female character is Hermione, and she does get some really great moments -- I was particularly impressed by the emotional depth that Emma Watson managed to put into a scene where Hermione erases her parents' memories of her.

And while the Bechdel technical-pass wasn't all that impressive, it was still a pretty enjoyable film.
scaramouche: She-Ra's sword, animated (she-ra's sword is sparkly)
[personal profile] scaramouche
This film also goes by the alternate title Rapunzel: A Tangled Tale, in my part of the world, at least.

There are three main human characters in this film, two of which are women: Rapunzel and her adoptive mother, Mother Gothel.

Despite the impression that some of the marketing material may have given, Rapunzel is very much the focus of the story. Her relationship with Mother Gothel is the driving force of the story's conflict, and their interactions lay central to the film.

Character-related spoilers for the film. )

That's the central characters.

There are a couple of supporting characters in the form of guards and ruffians that Rapunzel encounters, but none of them are women. She does cross paths with some women in the kingdom village, but none of them have dialogue. One more character-related spoiler. )

RED (2010)

Nov. 11th, 2010 02:16 pm
valtyr: (Wanda watercolour)
[personal profile] valtyr
A definite pass - it's an ensemble, and two major characters are female, Sarah and Victoria. They talk to each other about the men in their lives, but they also discuss the job they're on. And there's an earlier scene where Sarah talks to a female supporting character about her daughter - I can't remember if the mother's name was actually spoken, or if I've just filled it in from knowing her daughter's name. Still, a definite pass, and some named female supporting characters.

Also, Helen Mirren with a big gun, kicking ass! I recommend this if you like slightly cheesy action movies.
kareila: (Default)
[personal profile] kareila
This made-for-HBO movie passes Bechdel with flying colors, but I'm not sure it passes Mo Movie Measure. The two named characters are Temple and her high school science teacher, Dr. Carlock, who is male. The other two main characters, Temple's mother and aunt, obviously have names, but I can't recall anyone referring to them by their names during the film, except perhaps her mother as "Ms. Grandin". So I'd call that a borderline megapass. Even apart from that, though, Temple's character is all kinds of awesome and I highly recommend the film.
trixtah: (Default)
[personal profile] trixtah
While I'm on a Michelle Yeoh kick, this is one of the better movies she's been in, which could best be described as a slapstick martial arts rom-com. Yeoh plays Yim Wing Chun, who made the school of Wing Chun kung fu famous.

The movie is played for laughs, with lots of slapstick and sexual humour - I'm sure if you know Chinese, there would be a lot more innuendo going on than what can be picked up via subtitles. Wing Chun runs a tofu shop with her aunt, Abacus Fong (King-Tan Yuen), and also dresses as a man and helps protect the town from bandits. Bandits abduct a young widow, Charmy (Catherine Hung Yang), who Wing Chun rescues. Charmy goes to work in the tofu shop, and Wing Chun's boyfriend Leung Pok To (Donnie Yen) suddenly returns from his martial arts studies, and much mistaken identity, bandit-fighting and marriage result.

So, Wing Chun and her aunt talk about marriage (and yes, about men too),  Wing Chun's habit of dressing like a man, business and the bandits. Naturally, Wing Chun talks about Charmy's rescue and they all discuss romance, bandits and so on. Before Wing Chun does her final boss fight with the bandit chief, she visits her sifu, Buddhist nun Ng Mui (Pei-pei Cheng, who returns as the baddie Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger), and Mui advises her on the best way to defeat the bandit chief.

The tofu shop fight scene is worth the price of admission alone, and despite the more dodgy humour, there is quite a bit of implied commentary about survival in a male-dominated world.
valtyr: (Wanda)
[personal profile] valtyr
Passed and how. It was FILLED with women, talking to each other about all kinds of stuff, and generally being awesome.

I actually wasn't really looking forward to it; a friend wanted to see it, so I went along. Oh, but it was great. Four named female characters, including the protagonist and her sidekick, and they got the vast majority of the badass fight scenes and moves.

I will say I was amused at the prevalence of tweezers and waterproof mascara in the zombie apocalypse, but I was pleasantly surprised when the protagonist actually got dirty.

It was also a pretty good movie, although the final scene was ludicrous. The story was decent, it ratcheted up the tension well, and the fight scenes were beautifully shot. (Maybe a little too much bullet-time, but I can't see 3D so it may be better for people who can.) I really recommend this for people who like women-focused action movies.

Salt

Aug. 31st, 2010 05:27 pm
sasha_feather: Teyla from Stargate: Atlantis (teyla)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I recently saw the movie Salt with [livejournal.com profile] lilaia and all the people in my circle are right: this movie rocks.
1. Angelina Jolie as a super-competent kick-ass spy hero, who is presented in a basically non-sexualized way*, and has an emotional arc.
2. Chiwetel Ejiofor. I will see him in anything.

Note that it still just barely passes the Bechdel test for a conversation between Salt and a girl who lives next door. I still highly recommend it.

It opens on one disturbingly violent scene of Salt imprisoned and being tortured, but after that is basically PG-13 content: no sex, stylized movie violence, car chases and such.

*I thought the drag outfit was pretty sexy myself, but YMMV.
lilacsigil: Female scientists kissing, Global Frequency (Global Frequency)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
The Scott Pilgrim comics are six volumes (each about the size of a manga collection) of black-and-white excellence, written and drawn by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The series is a somewhat surreal homage to video games, crappy bands, post-college malaise, Toronto and growing up for real. Scott Pilgrim (unemployed dude in a band) falls in love with Ramona Flowers (who makes Amazon deliveries on rollerblades through Scott's dreams) but her seven evil former lovers have formed a League and will fight him for Ramona. Ramona is unimpressed. Each book is full of video game references, and each book is like a level of a game, with each "Evil Ex" as the boss (until the seventh book, anyway).

While the first two volumes are more than a little wobbly on the Bechdel front, and on the manic pixie dream girl front, the next four turn that around beautifully. One of the great strengths of the comic is that, because of its length and rambling style, it has a wonderful supporting cast. Scott Pilgrim himself is something of a Nice Guy douchebag to start, with some very immature behaviour, but, amazingly, he grows up. Ramona Flowers is the manic pixie dream girl with a dodgy past, but we get to see her make decisions for herself and grow up, too. There are numerous female characters who interact with each other at length, and certainly not all circling around the main characters. Envy Adams, Knives Chau and Kim Pine in particular leap off the page and do their own thing - and so does Ramona. There are also several characters of colour, though only Knives has a major role, and several gay men and bi men and women (though no lesbians as such).

The comic is a solid Bechdel Pass. Female characters discuss music, their jobs, ninjas, their relationship to each other, their thoughts on a successful female musician, the beach and ideas about parties and costumes.

The movie is rather different. Time constraints have cut out most of the side characters' storylines to focus on Scott's story. Even Ramona gets very little of her story told. Knives is more prominent in the movie - and Ellen Wong is terrific - but this comes with the nasty addition of casual and really unnecessary racism and violence directed at her, and an oddly flat ending. A few characters - Knives, plus Wallace Wells, Lucas Lee and Stacy Pilgrim - are even better than in the comic, and others - Julie Powers, Gideon Gordon Graves - embody their characters to a frightening degree, but Michael Cera is very flat in the lead, and the pacing is really off, not something I expected from Edgar Wright. The last comics wasn't actually finished when they started filming, so maybe that's part of the unsatisfying ending.

Most characters' conversations are about or with Scott, but the movie still scrapes a technical Bechdel pass. Knives and Julie both talk to Envy about her blog and jeans respectively; Roxy and Ramona talk about their former relationship. That's less than a minute total out of the entire movie, which has a lot of women in it, because the rest of the movie is all Scott, Scott, Scott. I wish it had been a TV series instead - one of those 6 hour BBC style miniseries would have been awesome.

Caramel

Mar. 29th, 2010 09:52 pm
glinda: I want everything I've ever seen in the movies (movies)
[personal profile] glinda
Caramel is a lovely little Lebanese film that passes with flying colours. (As one would hope given that the five central characters are female as are quite a few of the supporting characters but that's no guarantee) It's a very female-focused film, there are male speaking characters that we see quite a lot of and even have important roles in the plot, but while they are important in the girls lives they are peripheral, the important relationships are their friendships and familial relationships with other women.